Pro Wrestling Noah
|Style||Modified Royal Road (Ark Style)|
|Headquarters||Ariake, Tokyo, Japan|
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) 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 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).
The Wrestling Observer 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. Also in 2009, Noah lost their weekly television show on Nippon TV.
In 2010 Pro Wrestling Noah announced a new 'Global League tournament' comprising twelve of Noah's top heavyweight stars.
The promotion celebrated its 10th anniversary in summer 2010. They had a series of special events planned to commemorate the milestone. 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.
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 All Japan. Kobashi returned to wrestle his retirement match in a Noah ring on May 11, 2013, after which he left the promotion to take a backstage role with All Japan.
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.
|GHC Heavyweight Championship||Naomichi Marufuji||Yuji Nagata||July 5, 2014||Tokyo, Japan|
|GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship||Atsushi Kotoge||Daisuke Harada||December 6, 2014||Tokyo, Japan|
|GHC Tag Team Championship||Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer||Mikey Nicholls and Shane Haste||February 11, 2015||Nagoya, Japan|
|GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship||Hajime Ohara and Kenou||Atsushi Kotoge and Taiji Ishimori||October 12, 2014||Yokohama, Japan|
|GHC Openweight Hardcore Championship||Vacated||Kenta Kobashi||June 2010||N/A|
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||Takashi Sugiura||November 8, 2014|
|Global Tag League||Takashi Sugiura and Masato Tanaka||April 27, 2014|
|Junior League||Yoshinobu Kanemaru||October 31, 2009|
|NTV G+ Cup Junior Heavyweight Tag League||Hajime Ohara and Kenou||August 2, 2014|
Pro Wrestling Sem
Pro Wrestling Sem is the junior affiliate of Pro Wrestling Noah, the name coming from the biblical figure Shem, the eldest son of Noah. Sem is headed by Naomichi Marufuji and Kenta, acting as coach 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 presentation and close proximity of the fans to the ring impressed Misawa enough to recreate them, thus matches in Sem take place on a pink ring mat and the audience seats are limited to a few hundred, so that all fans can sit close to the ring. The events of Sem usually take place in the Differ Ariake Arena in Tokyo.
- Jun Akiyama
- Atsushi Aoki
- Big Van Vader
- Haruka Eigen
- Makoto Hashi
- Tamon Honda
- Akihiko Ito
- Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Kenta Kobashi
- Mitsuharu Misawa
- Mitsuo Momota
- Takao Ōmori
- Ippei Ota
- Takeshi Rikio
- Kentaro Shiga
- Go Shiozaki
- Bison Smith
- Akira Taue
- Michael Modest
- Bryan Danielson
- "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. 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. 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. 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. 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.