Pro Wrestling Noah
|Founded||June 16, 2000|
|Style||Royal Road with Ark|
|Headquarters||Kanda-Misakichō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan|
|Sister||Pro Wrestling Sem|
Pro Wrestling Noah (プロレスリングノア Puroresuringu Noa) (stylised as Pro Wrestling NOAH) is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion, founded in 2000 by former All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) ace Mitsuharu Misawa after he had led a mass exodus in which 24 of AJPW's 26 contracted wrestlers left the promotion to form Noah.
Noah held its first shows in August 2000, and established the Global Honored Crown as the fictional governing body for its collection of championships. Throughout its 19 year history, Noah has had working relationships with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), Impact Wrestling (Formerly TNA) and Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW). It is currently owned by Lidet Entertainment.
Noah under Misawa (2000–2009)
In January 1999, AJPW 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) and two gaijin (Stan Hansen and Maunakea Mossman) 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 AJPW. Noah's promotional symbol, an ark with a dove holding an olive branch, refers to this.
Pro Wrestling Noah is essentially a continuation of AJPW'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 AJPW 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).
The Wrestling Observer named Noah as the best promotion in 2004 and 2005, as well as having the best weekly television show in 2003.
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, taking over as President of Pro Wrestling Noah. Also in 2009, Noah lost their weekly television show on Nippon TV.
Noah after Misawa (2009–present)
In March 2012, it was revealed that Noah management had ties to a Yakuza crime syndicate, which resulted in the promotion demoting General Manager Ryu Nakata and Counselor Haruka Eigen and enforcing new anti-Yakuza protocols; Noah also lost its TV show as part of the fallout.
On December 3, 2012, Noah released Kenta Kobashi from his contract, reportedly leading to Atsushi Aoki, Go Shiozaki, Jun Akiyama, Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru all announcing that they were not going to re-sign with the promotion after their own contracts expired in January 2013. On December 19, Noah confirmed that the five men had indeed refused to re-sign with the promotion and would be wrestling their final matches for the promotion on December 23 and 24. The following month, all five men joined AJPW. Kobashi returned to wrestle his retirement match in a Noah ring on May 11, 2013, at Final Burning in Budokan.
On May 12 at Noah's "New Chapter" show held at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Akira Taue announced the signings of Daisuke Harada, Mikey Nicholls and Shane Haste of The Mighty Don't Kneel (TMDK) as full-time members of the promotion. Taue also announced his retirement from in-ring competition to focus on his duties as the Chairman of the promotion and his retirement match would take place on December 7, 2013 at the Ariake Coliseum. On April 30, 2014, Noah's arguably biggest star and ace Kenta announced his resignation from the promotion to sign with WWE.
In early 2015, NJPW wrestler Jado took over as the new head booker of Noah. On April 21, one of Noah's bigger stars, Takeshi Morishima, was forced to retire from professional wrestling due to issues with his blood. On December 24, 2015, Noah announced the signing of freelancer Katsuhiko Nakajima. Four days later, Noah announced the departures of Mikey Nicholls, Shane Haste and Takeshi Morishima, following their contracts with the promotion expiring at the end of the year. On June 13, 2016, freelancer Go Shiozaki officially re-signed with Noah, three and a half years after his resignation from the promotion.
On November 1, 2016, it was announced that Noah had been sold to IT development company Estbee, Co, Ltd. As a result, former AJPW president Masayuki Uchida took over as the new Noah president. On November 7, Estbee officially changed its name to "Noah Global Entertainment kabushiki gaisha". On December 27, Noah announced the relocating of its offices from Ariake, Tokyo to Kanda-Misakichō due to Differ Ariake's scheduled closing in June 2018. At the end of 2016, NJPW pulled all of its wrestlers, including the entire Suzuki-gun stable, from Noah with reports stating that the relationship between the two promotions had turned "extremely sour". Having lost the NJPW relationship, Noah's attendance numbers went down by 29% during the first four months of 2017. On February 7, 2017, Noah announced a business alliance with American promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), which was extended in July, after TNA had been renamed Global Force Wrestling (GFW). In March 2017, Noah formed another partnership with Canadian promotion Border City Wrestling (BCW).
On February 1, 2019, Noah was purchased by LIDET Entertainment, acquiring a 75% stake in the company. This was followed the next month by the first major rebranding in company history. Pro Wrestling Noah not only changed their logo but also replaced the green mat with a white canvas.
On July 26, 2019, Major League Wrestling announced a working agreement with Pro Wrestling Noah, which would include a talent-exchange agreement and content collaboration between the two promotions.
Similar to New Japan Pro Wrestling's International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP), Noah has its own title governing body, the Global Honored Crown (GHC) system.
As of December 6, 2019
|Championship||Current champion(s)||Reign||Date won||Days held||Location||Notes|
|GHC Heavyweight Championship||Kaito Kiyomiya||1||December 16, 2018||355+||Yokohama, Japan||Defeated Takashi Sugiura at Great Voyage 2018 in Yokohama Volume 2.|
|GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship||Hayata||2||August 4, 2019||124+||Tokyo, Japan||Defeated Minoru Tanaka at Departure 2019.|
|GHC National Championship||Takashi Sugiura||1||November 2, 2019||34+||Tokyo, Japan||Defeated Michael Elgin to become the inaugural champion at Noah the BEST 2019 – A Battle With Aesthetics.|
|GHC Tag Team Championship||AXIZ
(Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima)
(7 / 5)
|June 27, 2019||176+||Tokyo, Japan||Defeated Sugiura-gun|
(Kazma Sakamoto and Takashi Sugiura) at Global Junior League 2019.
|GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship||Ratel's
(Daisuke Harada and Tadasuke)
(4 / 1)
|November 2, 2019||34+||Tokyo, Japan||Defeated Yoshinari Ogawa and Kotaro Suzuki at Noah the BEST 2019 – A Battle With Aesthetics.|
|Championship||Final champion(s)||Reign||Date won||Vacated||Location||Notes|
|GHC Openweight Hardcore Championship||Kenta Kobashi||1||June 8, 2009||December 23, 2009||Tokyo, Japan||Defeated Makoto Hashi at Southern Navigation 2009.|
Noah also holds annual tournaments to decide the top wrestler or tag team in the promotion:
|Tournament||Latest winner(s)||Date won|
|N-1 Victory||Kenoh||September 16, 2019|
|Global Tag League||Takashi Sugiura and Kazma Sakamoto||May 4, 2019|
|Global Junior Heavyweight League||Hayata||July 27, 2019|
|Global Junior Heavyweight Tag League||Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinari Ogawa||June 13, 2019|
Pro Wrestling Sem
Pro Wrestling Sem was the junior affiliate of Pro Wrestling Noah launched in 2006. Its name came from the biblical figure Sem, the eldest son of Noah. Sem was originally headed by Naomichi Marufuji and Kenta, acting as coaches for the rookie competitors. Mitsuharu Misawa's inspiration for the venture came from the German Westside Xtreme Wrestling promotion, where he wrestled in March 2005. The seats are limited to a few hundred, so that all fans could sit close to the ring. Sem events usually took place in the Differ Ariake in Tokyo. No Sem events have been held since 2015.
- "Misawa Passes Away After Backdrop In Hiroshima Match". Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online. June 13, 2009.
- Schramm, Chris (2009-06-13). "Japanese legend Mitsuharu Misawa dies in the ring". Slam! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-06-13.
- Mainichi Japan (2009-06-15). "Pro wrestler Mitsuharu Misawa dies in ring after blow to head". Mainichi Japan. Mainichi Daily News. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
- ノア激震！小橋解雇、秋山ら退団. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). December 4, 2012. Archived from the original on December 10, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
- "ノ小橋、９日両国大会でフリー宣言へ！秋山ら５選手もノア退団申し入れ". Sports Navi. Yahoo!language=Japanese. December 5, 2012. Archived from the original on December 8, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
- 秋山らノア退団正式決定. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). December 19, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
- 秋山、潮崎らノア退団5選手が全日本プロレスに参戦. Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. January 27, 2013. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
- 2013年5月11日(土). Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-05-11.
- "小橋が古巣・全日本に登場 馳がPWF新会長に任命". Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. 2013-03-18. Archived from the original on 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
- 「方舟新章」5月12日(日) 後楽園ホール大会 試合後コメント. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- 「方舟新章」5月12日(日) 後楽園ホール大会 田上社長会見の模様. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- "Kenta選手退団に関するご報告". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). 2014-04-30. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
- "ノアのエースKenta退団「挑戦したい」". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 2014-04-30. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
- Johnson, Mike (2014-04-30). "Top Japanese star to WWE?". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
- Meltzer, Dave (March 9, 2015). "Mar. 9, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Brock Lesnar update, Rey Mysterio leaves WWE for AAA, Bill DeMott allegations, and much more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 34. ISSN 1083-9593.
- "森嶋猛選手 引退のご報告". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). 2015-04-21. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
- "ノア森嶋が電撃引退 「糖尿病」が原因". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2015-04-21. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
- 中嶋勝彦選手 入団会見の模様. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
- 契約期間満了に関するご報告. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). 2015-12-28. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
- ノア再入団の潮崎が会見 方舟マットを「もっと高みに導きたい」. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2016-06-13. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
- ノア正式発表 ＩＴ企業「エストビー」に事業譲渡. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2016-11-01. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
- 社名変更のご挨拶. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). 2016-11-07. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- 消える“プロレスの聖地”…ノアはディファ有明から都内に移転. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2016-12-28. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
- Johnson, Mike (2017-01-05). "1/5 NJPW New Year's Dash results and notes". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
- Meltzer, Dave (May 22, 2017). "May 22, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: NJPW business up, ROH War of the Worlds review, tons more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 8. ISSN 1083-9593.
The only company down is Noah, which is down 29 percent after losing its affiliation with New Japan and losing Suzuki-gun as the regular top heels. For as much as the Noah fans hated Suzuki-gun and blamed them for the bad business, and they didn't pick business up the way hoped for, Noah has fallen significantly without them.
- "【TNA、現インパクトレスリングとの業務提携を発表！】2月7日内田雅之会長の記者会見の模様". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). 2017-02-07. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
- Johnson, Mike (2017-07-17). "GFW announces extended partnership with Pro Wrestling Noah". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
- "Border City Wrestling signs working agreement with Pro Wrestling Noah". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
- "【ノア】新体制移行を発表 新オーナー・リデット社「ビッグマッチ増やしたい」（東スポWeb）". Yahoo!ニュース (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-04-17.
- "MLW FORMS WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH PRO WRESTLING NOAH". WON/F4W - WWE news, Pro Wrestling News, WWE Results, UFC News, UFC results. 26 July 2019.
- "Major League Wrestling Partners With Pro Wrestling NOAH". Sports Illustrated. 26 July 2019.
- Richards, Alex (2019-10-03). "Michael Elgin To Compete For New Pro Wrestling NOAH Championship". Last Word on Pro Wrestling. Retrieved 2019-10-04.