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Pro Wrestling NOAH

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Pro-Wrestling NOAH is a Japanese promotion, founded in 2000 by former All Japan Pro Wrestling ace Mitsuharu Misawa. NOAH is broadcast weekly in Japan, as well as in Canada and the United Kingdom on The Fight Network. NOAH has working agreements with Ring of Honor, World League Wrestling, Pro Wrestling ZERO1 and Asistencia Asesoría y Administración.

History

In January 1999, All Japan founder and promoter Giant Baba died, leaving the company in the hands of his widow Motoko Baba as owner and Misawa as president. However, disheartened with Motoko Baba's proposed direction for the company, Misawa departed the promotion on May 28, 2000 to form a new promotion called Pro-Wrestling Noah. All but two native stars (Masanobu Fuchi and Toshiaki Kawada) followed Misawa. The promotion's name alludes to the Biblical story of Noah, in which the people and animals in the ark survive the flood and make a new beginning in the world, a story which was seen as a parallel to the wrestlers' departure from All Japan. Noah's promotional symbol, an ark with a dove holding an olive branch, refers to this.

Pro-Wrestling Noah is essentially a continuation of All Japan's promotional system in the 1990s, with a slight leeway to allow wrestlers from other promotions to compete, which is something that Giant Baba had forbid. Noah also features a strong junior heavyweight division, which was something that All Japan had been relatively lacking in the 1990s due to lack of pushes for the younger stars (such as Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Kenta and Naomichi Marufuji, who quickly became Noah's junior aces).

Despite not being considered the #1 promotion in Japan, Noah has been able to outdo its rivals in many ways since 2005 and has managed to outdraw arch-rival New Japan Pro Wrestling in several key places (such as the Tokyo Dome). The Wrestling Observer also named Noah as the best promotion in 2004 and 2005, as well as having the best weekly television show in 2003.

A spinoff league called Pro Wrestling SEM was recently launched. Similar to New Japan Pro Wrestling's "Young Lions" system, it will function as a training facility for rookies, with Naomichi Marufuji and Kenta acting as trainers. Pro Wrestling SEM is also a reference to the Biblical story of Noah, with Sem being Noah's eldest son.

On June 13, 2009, Misawa teamed with Go Shiozaki against Akitoshi Saito and Bison Smith at Hiroshima Green Arena. After taking a belly to back suplex from Saito, Misawa lost consciousness and was taken to a hospital. He was pronounced dead in the hospital at 10:10 p.m. JST due to spinal damage. On June 27, 2009, Akira Taue was named as Misawa's successor and is the current President of Pro-Wrestling Noah.

In 2010 Pro Wrestling Noah announced a new 'Global League tournament' comprising of 12 of Noah's top heavyweight stars.

The promotion will celebrate its 10th anniversary in summer 2010. They have a series of special events planned to commemorate the milestone.

Current champions

Championship Champion(s) Defeated Date Won Location
GHC Heavyweight Champion Takashi Sugiura Naomichi Marufuji January 31, 2016 Yokohama, Japan
GHC Tag Team Champions Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) The Mighty Don't Kneel (Mikey Nicholls and Shane Haste) February 11, 2015 Nagoya, Japan
GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion Yoshinobu Kanemaru Taiji Ishimori February 24, 2016 Tokyo, Japan
GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Momo no Seishun Tag (Atsushi Kotoge and Daisuke Harada) Cho Kibou-Gun (Hajime Ohara and Ken-o) April 5, 2016 Tokyo, Japan
GHC Hardcore Openweight Champion Vacated Kenta Kobashi June 2010 N/A

Tournaments

NOAH also holds annual tournaments to decide the top wrestler or tag team in the promotion:

Tournament Latest winner(s) Date won
Global League Tournament Kenta November 23, 2012
Global Tag League Mohammed Yone and Naomichi Marufuji April 29, 2012
Junior League Yoshinobu Kanemaru October 31, 2009
Nippon TV Cup Jr. Heavyweight Tag League Atsushi Kotoge and Taiji Ishimori September 22, 2012

See also

External links

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