NOAH News

58 Year Old Keiji Mutoh Claims The GHC Heavyweight Championship

In a historic night that saw Pro Wrestling NOAH return to the Nippon Budokan for the first time in 11 years, it was the 58 year old Keiji Mutoh who stole the headlines, turning back the clock to claim the GHC Heavyweight Championship from Go Shiozaki.

Whilst something of an upset, the impressive Shiozaki had long been sporting the wounds associated with a 400+ day GHC title reign and on this night, those ailments finally caught up with him.

Having spent much of the main event fighting off repeated leglock attempts from Mutoh, the outbound champion’s compromised legs were unable to kick out of a flash hurricanrana from the man also known at The Great Muta.

In winning the title, Muta becomes just the third man in history to have won New Japan’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship, All Japan’s Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship and now, NOAH’s GHC Heavyweight Championship.

Kensuke Sasaki and Yoshihiro Takayama are the only other members of this exceedingly exclusive club.

Mutoh would have little time to savour his victory however as Kaito Kiyomiya, whom Mutoh had defeated last year, stormed the ring and presented himself as the legend’s first challenger.

Elsewhere on the card, National Champion Kenoh saw off the challenge of Masakatsu Funaki, before being approached backstage by another legendary figure, Kendo Kashin, who threw down the gauntlet to the Kongoh front man.

Jun Akiyama, who returned to a NOAH ring just 24 hours ahead of his KO-D Title challenge at DDT’s Kawasaki Strong, was on the losing end of the NOAH Generations tag team encounter alongside Naomichi Marufuji.

The representatives of NOAH’s present (and future), Kaito Kiyomiya and Yoshiki Inamura were able to see off the veteran duo, seemingly paving the way for Kiyomiya to make his return to the GHC Heavyweight title scene later in the evening.

Full results:

GHC Heavyweight Championship: Keiji Mutoh defeated Go Shiozaki (c)

GHC National Championship: Kenoh (c) defeated Masakatsu Funaki

Kaito Kiyomiya & Yoshiki Inamura defeated Naomichi Marufuji & Jun Akiyama

GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship: Seiki Yoshioka defeated Daisuke Harada (c)

GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Title: STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) defeated Kotaro Suzuki & Ikuto Hidaka

The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura, Kazushi Sakuraba, Kazuyuki Fujita, Kazunari Murakami, Kendo Kashin & NOSAWA Rongai defeated Kongoh (Katsuhiko Nakajima, Masa Kitamiya, Manabu Soya, Haoh, Nioh & Tadasuke)

The M’s Alliance (Masaaki Mochizuki & Masato Tanaka) defeated Mohammed Yone & Shuhei Taniguchi

Atsushi Kotoge, Yasutaka Yano & Daiki Inaba defeated Hajime Ohara, YO-HEY & Kai Fujimura

Akitoshi Saito defeated Kinya Okada