Fans of Pro Wrestling NOAH have had to endure one of the most painful descents in pro wrestling history. From the heights of 2005’s Tokyo Dome sell out to the lows of an exaggerated 3,500 fans at today’s show, it is obvious that NOAH is slowly dying. Even still, there is some light for fans that have stuck with it and endured the painful loss of Go Shiozaki and Jun Akiyama. KENTA, the man who pioneered much of CM Punk’s current offense, has finally won the BIG ONE! In a 21 minute battle with current champion Takashi Morishima, KENTA was able to make the giant Japanese champion tap to his finisher GAME OVER (a modified Crippler Crossface).
With that win KENTA becomes the second junior heavyweight to win a major heavyweight championship in Japan. The first being Naomichi Marufuji in 2006, who scored an upset win over Jun Akiyama. Unlike Marufuji, KENTA’s win was somewhat expected. He had been built as a potential champion for quite some time. His numerous World Title matches were some of the closest fought in NOAH’s recent history. Unfortunately, he always came up on the short end of the stick.
KENTA has become the champion of a bleeding brand. He is still a popular figure for the company and recognizable amongst all Japanese wrestling fans. If they are to grow, KENTA may be their last hope before the company closes its doors. The next twelve months may be the last for NOAH unless KENTA can steady the ship and bring them back to some semblance of what they once were.