|Trading name||Pro Wrestling NOAH|
|Industry|| Professional wrestling|
|Founded||June 16, 2000|
|Style||Royal Road with Ark|
|Headquarters||Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan|
|Key people|| Sanshiro Takagi|
(Head of Public Relations)
|Operating income||¥10 million|
|Website||Official Japanese Website|
Pro Wrestling Noah (プロレスリングノア Puroresuringu Noa) (stylized as Pro Wrestling NOAH) (NOAH) is a major promotion, founded in June 2000 by Mitsuharu Misawa, following his resignation from All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW). The promotion is currently owned by CyberAgent, in which the promotion operates as one of CyberAgent subsidiaries alongside DDT Pro-Wrestling.
The core of the promotion's roster was formed by wrestlers loyal to Misawa, who left AJPW in a mass exodus during June 2000. Noah held its first shows in August 2000, and established the Global Honored Crown as the fictional governing body for its collection of championships. During Misawa time in Noah, the promotion established himself as one of the largest wrestling promotion in Japan, which was owed to its TV program aired on Nippon TV. In June 2009, Misawa died due to an in-ring accident, leading to Akira Taue taking over as Misawa successor becoming the President of the promotion, while Naomichi Marufuji becoming the Vice President of the promotion.
During Taue's presidency, Noah had turbulent years, with the promotion losing its weekly television timeslot on Nippon TV in 2009, was later moved to NTV G+ television and also started to unravel with financial issues and dissension in the front office. In 2012, it was revealed that Noah management had ties to a Yakuza crime syndicate, which resulted in the promotion of some executives and enforcing new anti-Yakuza protocols. In the end of the year, NOAH released Kenta Kobashi from his contract, leading to six wrestlers to leave the promotion. In October 2016, NOAH was purchased by Estbee Co., Ltd ran by former AJPW President Masayuki Uchida, with Estbee officially changing its name to "Noah Global Entertainment kabushiki gaisha". In January 2019, Uchida sold the promotion to LIDET Entertainment, with the promotion undergoing a visual makeover and also relocated their offices from Misakichō, Tokyo to Yūrakuchō, Tokyo as a plan to relaunch the promotion as the second largest promotion in Japan. In January 2020, the promotion was sold Japanese Internet advertising company CyberAgent which parlayed its entry to the world of professional wrestling when acquired its sister promotion DDT Pro-Wrestling three years before the acquisition of Noah.
Noah is known for engaging in working agreements with various promotions including All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW), Dragon Gate (DG) and a long relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), which ended in 2016. Also around the world including Ring of Honor (ROH), Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA), Impact Wrestling (Impact), International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG) and Major League Wrestling (MLW).
Noah under Misawa (2000–2009)
See also: 2000 All Japan Pro Wrestling mass exodus
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. It was also announced that Nippon TV would carry weekly tapings of Misawa's new Noah promotion, with the title of the program being called "Colosseo", in a 30-minute timeslot on Sundays at midnight. 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. The promotion debuted on August 5, 2000, in Differ Ariake, main evented by a two-out-three falls match putting Kenta Kobashi and Jun Akiyama against Mitsuharu Misawa and Akira Taue, won by Akiyama and Kobashi. Misawa later established the promotion's championships as the Global Honored Crown, and a tournament was held for the GHC Heavyweight Championship in 2001, where Misawa defeated Yoshihiro Takayama in the final to become the inaugural champion.
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 to 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). Interest in the fledgling promotion was high, and Misawa used this to push younger talent over himself, with Jun Akiyama winning the title in July 2001. In January 2002, Noah began a working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling, resulting on January 4, Akiyama defending the GHC Heavyweight Championship in the Tokyo Dome against Yuji Nagata. Despite the positive reception to Akiyama's reign, head booker Misawa grew anxious that a lack of legitimate title contenders would damage both the title and Akiyama's reputation early in the promotion's life, and in April 2002 Akiyama dropped the championship to Yoshinari Ogawa as a stepping stone to get the championship back to Misawa.
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 launched in 2006. Similar to New Japan Pro Wrestling's "Young Lions" system, functioning 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. In November 2006, Noah was one of the founders of the Global Professional Wrestling Alliance (GPWA) in order to aid the many competing wrestling promotions in Japan, while also forming working relationships with promotions in the United Kingdom, United States, and Mexico, leading Noah to began a working relationship between NOAH and American promotion Ring of Honor (ROH), resulting in a show on July 16 in Tokyo called "Live In Tokyo", co-promoted with ROH, while also having Takeshi Morishima holding the ROH World Championship and also forming a working relationship with Dragon Gate wrestlers Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi holding the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
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 timeslot on Nippon TV was later moved to NTV G+ television channel.
Noah under Akira Taue (2009–2016)
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 the summer of 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; 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.
Noah under Masayuki Uchida (2016–2019)
On October 1, it was formally announced that NOAH has been purchased to Estbee Co., Ltd ran by former AJPW President Masayuki Uchida and Akira Taue stepped down as advisor. 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 Misakichō, Tokyo 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) which later was ended. In March 2017, Noah formed another partnership with Canadian promotion Border City Wrestling (BCW). On March 12, 2018, Noah announced the departure of Taiji Ishimori, ending his ten years run with the promotion. In May 2018, Noah formed another partnership with Shanghai-based promotion Toho Eiyuden.
Noah under LIDET Entertainment (2019–2020)
On January 29, 2019, Masayuki Uchida announced that it had sold 75% shares of the company to LIDET Entertainment as result Uchida resigned from its position in the company and joined LIDET as an advisor for the promotion operations and announced the relocating of its offices from Misakichō, Tokyo to Yūrakuchō, Tokyo. On March 3, Noah held their last event under the green ring color inspired by Mitsuharu Misawa since their formation and undergone a visual makeover on March 11. On March 6, NOAH changed its logo thus citing the complete ownership of the promotion by LIDET. Four days later, NOAH established a plan to relaunch the promotion as the second largest promotion in Japan, which would start with the rebranding of the Global League to N-1 Victory and the announcement of two shows; the first on September 16 at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, which would host the finals of the N-1 Victory and the second show on November 2 at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan named Noah the Best. On July 25, it was announced a working relationship between NOAH and American promotion Major League Wrestling (MLW), which would include a talent-exchange agreement and content collaboration. On September 10, Noah announced they would run the Korakuen Hall for two night; the New Sunrise on January 4 and the second night the Reboot on January 5, to coincide with NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome, which was also on both nights, as part of LIDET Entertainment's plan to relaunch the promotion. Leading to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan event on November 2, Noah announced the creation of the second version of the title to replace the first version, which was unveiled on September 20. On October 3, Noah announced the creation of the GHC National Championship, which the inaugural champion would be crowned on November 2. On December 6, Noah announced a working relationship with Mexican promotion International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG), which would include a talent-exchange between the two promotions.
Noah under CyberAgent (2020–Present)
On January 28, 2020, Tokyo Sports reported that LIDET Entertainment had sold all shares of Noah Global Entertainment to CyberAgent Inc., becoming one of its subsidiaries alongside DDT Pro-Wrestling. Negotiations between Noah Global Entertainment's President Akihiro Takeda, and CyberAgent, began in November 2019, due to Noah's financial struggles, with the deal taking took one month to complete the deal. The following day, Noah alongside DDT's president Sanshiro Takagi formally announced the acquisition by CyberAgent and also a corporate restructure with Takagi being Noah and DDT's President and Representative Director, Naomichi Marufuji would be the Vice President, Akihiro Takeda would be the Executive Officer and Takahiro Yamauchi would be a Director. Takagi also announced that he would focus on the company’s business side, while the in-ring product would be run by the previous Noah's staff. It was also announced that all Noah's shows would be streamed on DDT's internet streaming service DDT Universe, starting with the finals of the 2020 Global Junior League and both Noah and DDT's television deal would remain the same with Noah being with NTV G+ and DDT at Fighting TV Samurai. Also on January 29, Noah also announced that the promotion would celebrate its 20th anniversary in the Ryōgoku Kokugikan which would be later canceled due to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
On March 30, Noah it was initially announced that some 2020 Global Tag League shows of the tournament, while the April 15 show would be held behind closed doors, being streamed on DDT Universe, due to restrictions made by the Japanese government regarding the 2019-20 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic but it was later announced that the entire tournament would be held behind closed doors and the shows would be streamed on the DDT Universe under NOAH TV name. On April 1, 2020, it was announced that Noah would relocate its offices in Yūrakuchō, Tokyo to the DDT's headquarters in Shinjuku, Tokyo, in which they are located. On April 22, the first show of the NOAH THE SPIRIT 2020 tour would be held in an empty TV studio broadcast live on AmebaTV, and the rest of the shows would be canceled including ALL OUT ATTACK 2020 tour. On May 9, NOAH and their sister promotion, DDT started to promote shows at an empty TV studio being broadcast on AmebaTV under NOAH TV name. On May 12, it was announced that NOAH would be included on CyberAgent's new streaming service Wrestle Universe as part of CyberAgent's acquisition.
This is a list of wrestlers who currently wrestle for Pro Wrestling NOAH roster, as well as a list of notable alumni. The current roster consists of the Home Unit (those under exclusive contract), freelancers, gaijins and several stables.
- Nippon Television (2001–present, currently broadcasting weekly highlights shows and live specials on NTV G+ since 2009)
- Fighting TV Samurai (2000–present, currently broadcasting live specials, retrospective shows)
- AbemaTV (2020–present, online linear television service, live-streaming episodes of NOAH TV matches)
- DDT Universe (2020–present, streaming service, broadcasting most NOAH shows live, as well as on-demand classic, as well as content from other promotions beginning with NOAH sister promotions Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling and DDT Pro-Wrestling)
NOAH has its own title governing body, the Global Honored Crown (GHC) system.
|Championship||Current champion(s)||Reign||Date won||Days held|
|GHC Heavyweight Championship||Go Shiozaki||4||January 4, 2020||190+|
|GHC National Championship||Katsuhiko Nakajima||1||May 9, 2020||64+|
|GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship||Kotaro Suzuki||4||April 20, 2020||83+|
|GHC Tag Team Championship||Sugiura-gun International|
(El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr. and Rene Dupree)
|April 20, 2020||83+|
|GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship||Stinger|
(HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa)
|May 10, 2020||63+|
|Championship||Last Champion(s)||Date Won|
|GHC Openweight Hardcore Championship||Kenta Kobashi||June 8, 2009|
|Tournament||Last winner||Last held|
|N-1 Victory||Kenoh||September 16, 2019|
|Global Tag League||Sugiura-gun International|
(El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr. and Rene Dupree)
|April 18, 2020|
|Global Junior League||Daisuke Harada||January 30, 2020|
|Global Junior Heavyweight Tag League||Stinger|
(Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinari Ogawa)
|June 9, 2019|