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  August 5, 2000



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Misawa's NOAH Promotion debuts
By JOHN F. MOLINARO -- SLAM! Wrestling



Mitsuhara Misawa's Pro Wrestling Noah promotion made its debut in Japan today at Tokyo's Diifer Ariake complex, drawing a sellout crowd o 1,800 fans.

The main event saw former All Japan Triple Crown champion Kenta Kobashi and Jun Akiyama defeat Misawa and Akira Taue in a best-of-three-falls match. As a result of their win, Kobashi and Akiyama will now square off against each other tomorrow in Tokyo to crown the promotion's inaugural world champion.

Akiyama scored both falls for his team, first forcing Misawa to submit with a front choke and later pinning Taue after executing an exploder. Akiyama and Kobashi won the match two falls to none. Following the match, Akiyama attacked Kobashi after shaking hands with him, driving him into the mat with a suplex. It was Kobashi's first match in months after recovering from major, corrective knee surgery.

The show received mixed reviews from Japanese fans and media. Many were surprised by the focus promoter Misawa put on gimmickry, as evidenced by his decision to have Takao Omori, Yoshihiro Takayama and Satoru Asako, (collectively billed as 'Team No Fear'), attired in white wrestling gear and have their hair bleached.

Misawa set up a huge big screen TV in the complex's parking lot for the benefit of fans that couldn't get into the building so they could watch the historic show.

In other results from the show: Takeshi Morishima defeated Makoto Hashi, Haruka Eigen; Jun Izumida and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi defeated Rusher Kimura, Mitsuo Momota and Takeshi Rikio; Kentaro Shiga & Masamichi Marufuji defeated Masao Inoue & Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Yoshinari Ogawa, Masahito Kakihara, & Daisuke Ikeda defeated Takao Omori and Yoshihiro Takayama, & Satoru Asako.

SLAM! Wrestling will have a full report on Pro Wrestling NOAH's show from Tokyo tomorrow where the promotion's first world champion will be crowned.

-- With files from Zach Arnold, Wrestling Observer

Akiyama crowned NOAH champion




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