Pro Wrestling NOAH is essentially a continuation of All Japan’s promotional system in the 1990s, with a slight leeway to allow for wrestlers from other promotions, something previous All Japan promoter Giant Baba had not allowed. It also features a strong junior heavyweight division, which 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 have quickly become NOAH’s junior aces.
Like New Japan Pro Wrestling, NOAH recognizes singles and tag team titles for both heavyweight and junior heavyweight contenders. The titles are known as the GHC (Global Honored Crown) titles. Despite not being considered the #1 promotion in Japan due to New Japan’s history, merchandise sales and television ratings, since 2005 NOAH has been able to outdo their rivals in many ways. NOAH has been able to outdraw NJPW in several key places, such as the Tokyo Dome.
Respected wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer rates Pro Wrestling NOAH’s bouts amongst the highest out of all wrestling promotions. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi from March 1, 2003, and Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama from 10 July, 2004, are both five-star rated matches in the Wrestling Observer.
NOAH has working agreements with Ring of Honor and World League Wrestling.
A spinoff league called Pro Wrestling SEM has recently been announced. Similar to NJPW’s “Young Lions” system, it will function as a training facility for rookies. Naomichi Marufuji and KENTA will act as trainers. The name “Pro Wrestling SEM” is once again an allusion to the Biblical story of Noah, Sem being Noah’s eldest son.
Edited by KrisDale86 on 12 Dec 2006, 13:28
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