Pro Wrestling NOAH

noahlogoindex1mainkirinukiPro Wrestling NOAH, often referred to as NOAH, is considered the #3 promotion in Japan and the youngest of the Big 3. Founded by former All-Japan wrestler Mitsuharu Misawa in 2000 following a mass exodus from AJPW, it has slowly made it’s way up through the ranks with a mix of young talent and legendary veterans. It has been run much like All-Japan with the exception that NOAH has often had working agreeements with other promotions around the world, and frequently brings in a handful of gaijin and independent/freelance talent to work it’s tours. NOAH also has working agreements with the US-based Ring Of Honor promotion and the WLW promotion operated by the legendary wrestler Harley Race. 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. NOAH also has a spinoff promotion called SEM, designed to be a breeding ground for young up-and-comers. The SEM events usually occur once every 4-6 weeks and feature a mix of rookies, young talent, and veterans. They also frequently work with the Kensuke Office promotion run by puro legend Kensuke Sasaki (but Sasaki calls NOAH home).
Tragedy hit the promotion very hard in June of 2009 when Misawa, the founder and president of the promotion and still one of it’s top stars, died in the ring during a tag team match. He was only 46. It threw the promotion into a state of turmoil with some predicting it could be the end of NOAH, but the promotion will continue on without its founder and leader. New leadership came from within to lead NOAH onward, with Akira Taue appointed President & Kobashi also appointed to front-office positions, along with Takeshi Morishima named executive and Chariman of the Wrestlers Association & Naomichi Marufuji named Vice President, and the promotion still maintains a strong roster with such names as Go Shiozaki, Jun Akiyama, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Kotaro Suzuki, and one of the greatest Heavyweights ever-Kenta Kobashi as well as his Junior Heavyweight protege, KENTA. NOAH hopes to forge onward and continue as it did before with Misawa watching from above. But the promotion will be tested again after the loss of company auditor and GHC Title Commissioner Joe Higuchi in November 2010. Higuchi, a longtime veteran of puroresu who was very respected as a referee and later in various other roles, oversaw all the promotion’s title matches and ocntract signings. However, the company wasted little time in finding a suitable replacement, naming legendary Hall Of Famer Harley Race, a former wrestler who now operates the Missouri-based World League Wrestling (WLW) promotion and is active as a trainer, to be the new GHC Title Commissioner.
The promotion celebrated it’s 10th anniversary in August 2010. To commemorate the anniversary, the promotion unveiled a new logo, seen at the top below the original logo.
The promotion refers to it’s titles as Global Honored Crowns, or GHC Titles. Currently the promotion’s titles are the GHC Heavyweight Title, GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title, GHC Hardcore Title (Global Hardcore Crown, an Openweight Title that is not a hardcore title in terms of weapons being allowed and hardcore match rules), GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Titles, and GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles. The Hardcore Title is currently inactive.

Current active roster:
Jun Akiyama (秋山 準  / Akiyama quasi-)
Atsushi Aoki (青木 篤志 / Aoki benevolence)
Genba Hirayanagi (平柳 玄藩  / Flat willow 玄 feudal clan)
Masao Inoue (井上 雅央  / Inoue elegance middle)
Taiji Ishimori (石森 太二 / The stone forest it is thick two) (Inactive-injured)
Yoshinobu Kanemaru (金丸 義信 / Yosinobu Kanamaru)
Kenta Kobashi (小橋 建太  / Kohashi building it is thick) (Inactive; Returns 7/23/2011)
Naomichi Marufuji (丸藤 正道  / Circular rattan right track) (Inactive-injured)
Takeshi Morishima (森嶋 猛  / Forest 嶋 super)
Yoshinari Ogawa (小川 良成  / Ogawa it is good forming)
Takeshi Rikioh (力皇 猛  / Power emperor super) (Inactive-injured)
Akitoshi Saito (齋藤 彰俊  / Akitosi Saito)
Takuma Sano (佐野 巧真  / Sano skill truth)
Go Shiozaki (潮崎 豪  / The tide promontory it is great)
Takashi Sugiura (杉浦 貴  / Sugiura your)
Kotaro Suzuki (鈴木 鼓太郎  / Hand drum Taro Suzuki)
Shuhei Taniguchi (谷口 周平  / Taniguti lap flat) (Inactive-injured; Scheduled to return 7/26/2011)
Akira Taue (田上 明  / Tagami discernment)
Mohammed Yone (モハメド ヨネ  / [mohamedoyone])
Bison Smith (gaijin)
Ricky Marvin (リッキー・マルビン / Rickey malvin) (gaijin)
Yoshihiro Takayama (Independent/Freelancer, currently works all shows)
Kento Miyahara (Kensuke Office, appears frequently)
Katsuhiko Nakajima (Kensuke Office, works virtually all shows)
Takashi Okita (Kensuke Office, appears frequently)
Kensuke Sasaki (Kensuke Office, works virtually all shows)
Satoshi Kajiwara (Kensuke Office, appears occasionally)
Mushiking Terry (ムシキング・テリー  / [mushikingu] terry) (Alternate gimmick used on rare occasion by Kotaro Suzuki)
Kentaro Shiga (志賀 賢太郎  / Kentarou Shiga) (Independent/Freelancer, Appears semi-regularly)
Akihito Ito (伊藤 旭彦  / Akihiko Itoh) (Retired)
Ippei Ota (Retired)
Mitsuo Momota (No longer with promotion, possibly retired)
Mitsuharu Misawa (三沢 光晴 / Misawa optical clear) (Deceased)

Other gaijin & freelancers who appear at least occasionally:
Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (菊地 毅  / Takeshi Kikuchi)
Kishin Kawabata (川畑 輝鎮  / Kawabata shine 鎮 )
Junji Izumida (泉田 純至  / Spring rice field pure reaching)
Tamon Honda (本田 多聞  / Honda multi hearing)
Makoto Hashi (橋 誠  / Bridge sincerity)
Masashi Aoyagi
Yuto Aijima (KAGEKI)
Yutaka Yoshie (currently working virtually all shows)
Minoru Suzuki
Toshiaki Kawada
Chris Hero
Claudio Castagnoli
Davey Richards
Keith Walker
Bobby Fish
Eddie Edwards
Other talent not listed above make once in a while appearances, mostly those in the US-based Ring Of Honor promotion via working agreement between the promotions. The promotion also has hosted several wrestlers from Australia in Spring 2011.

Titles & History:
GHC Heavyweight Championship
GHC Jr. Heavyweight Championship
GHC Hardcore Championship (Inactive)
GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship

The promotion’s official websites can be accessed via the following URLs: (Japanese) (English)

NOAH Main Theme (this version has been used since 2004):