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Kenoh Retains in GHC Heavyweight Thriller

6 months ago Taiga | Monthly Puroresu

Taiga | Monthly Puroresu

Kenoh Retains in GHC Heavyweight Thriller

By: Thom Fain

In an extraordinary war of attrition, Manabu Soya and Kenoh fought through a lengthy match worthy of its position as the co-main event of NOAH the New Year. After defeating Soya via submission, Kenoh leads NOAH as it continues a transition following the retirement of the company’s biggest draw, Keiji Muto.

He’s not the biggest, not the fastest, not the most acrobatic but the 39-year-old has proven he’s The Guy with an indomitable will and the ability to relentlessly wear his opponents down title match after title match.

Late last year, Kenoh promised in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he’d “create an exciting era for NOAH,” and Soya proved to be his toughest challenge during this reign.

Both men reached the point of complete exhaustion with reddened chests and shaky legs – Kenoh missed a roundhouse kick at point blank range, and then missed a double stomp near the end of the bout, electing instead to submit his opponent after several near falls and gritty submission holds forced the pair to reach into their repertoire for something, anything that might take the other man down for good.

Spoiling Kenoh’s party and wearing a TEAM NOAH shirt (following the formation of his new faction), Go Shiozaki arrived to challenge Kenoh for the big belt.

It all goes down on Jan. 13, and if Shiozaki loses, he has to ditch his infamous phrase — I AM NOAH!

All Photos by Taiga for MP