On June 13th, Pro Wrestling NOAH held their 10th annual show in tribute to the great Mitsuharu Misawa and the main event of that show was the team of Takashi Sugiura and KAZMA SAKAMOTO taking on AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) for the GHC Tag Team Championships. This match took place when Takashi and KAZMA participated in NOAH’s Global Tag League and even fought the current champions in the finals on the May 4th show where Takashi and KAZMA were able to win the match to win the Global Tag League along with getting a title opportunity. Takashi had two titles matches during the Misawa Memorial shows where he would fight the GHC Heavyweight Champion, Kaito Kiyomiya on the June 9th show and he would lose that match to solidify Kaito as the new number one wrestler in the company. All wouldn’t be loss for Takashi at this point since he had his other opportunity to try and win the GHC Tag Team Championships from AXIZ and to their surprise, they actually would make lightning strike twice when they defeated AXIZ once again, but to win the GHC Tag Team Championships this time around.
So how did this partnership between Takashi and KAZMA take place? Well, on the February 24th show, there was a ten-man tag team elimination match and if Hooligans lost, they would be disbanded and Takashi was the one that defeated them, meaning they had to disband and KAZMA was one of them. The two of them had a brawl and it lead to a match to take place on March 10th between the two, leading to Takashi getting the win after the referee stopped the match. After the match though, it looked like it would lead to a small little alliance and would decide to team up for the Global Tag League. So who know they would first be rivals and now partners to win the whole thing.
This was AXIZ’s second run as the GHC Tag Team Champions around this time and they would only have one successful title defense during this time while holding the belts for 109 days. Katsuhiko Nakajima and Go Shiozaki were known to being the top teams in the division in the short time they would pair up together. The first time they won the belts was during the December 7th show when the titles were vacated due to Naomichi Marufuji being injured and unable to defend them. AXIZ would win the belts but they would only hold it for about nine days when they dropped them to the Hooligans. When they won the belts back on February 24th against 50 Funky Powers, they looked to have a much longer run this time around and they did despite only retaining it once.
Takashi may have failed to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship on the first memorial show, he was able to win the GHC Tag Team Championships on the second memorial shows for his friend, Mitsuharu Misawa. KAZMA is also a double champion with being one half of the GHC Tag Team Champions and one third of Dragon Gates Open the Triangle Gate Championships with his R.E.D unit. The match should be airing on June 22nd, so definitely keep an eye out for it when it shows up online since you don’t wanna miss this match. So what will be next for these two tag teams? Apparently these two teams will be having a rematch for the GHC Tag Team Championships on the June 27th show, which is also the opening day of NOAH’s Global Junior League, so be sure to keep an eye out for it. Two successful shows to remember the memory of one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Mitsuharu Misawa. Looking forward to seeing how this rematch will unfold.