Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA to challenge for the GHC tag titles on 1/1

Photo Courtesy: Pro Wrestling NOAH

One of the most popular teams in Pro Wrestling NOAH’s history will be reunited on January 1st.

During Wednesday’s show at Yoyogi National Stadium Gymnasium, Naomichi Marufuji issued a challenge to GHC tag team champions Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura for the January 1st event.

Marufuji revealed that his partner would be KENTA of New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Marufuji & KENTA were both teammates and rivals during their time in NOAH. The two began their careers in the All Japan Pro Wrestling system and were part of the mass exodus of talent that formed NOAH in 2000.

As a team, the two became the first GHC junior heavyweight tag champions in July 2003 and held the titles for nearly two years.

During that title run, they were voted the best tag team of the year in back-to-back years by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Both would move up to the heavyweight division and have runs with the GHC heavyweight title.

During Marufuji’s first reign as champion, he defended the title against KENTA on October 29, 2006, which was named Match of the Year by Tokyo Sports.

In 2014, KENTA left NOAH and joined WWE where he wrestled as Hideo Itami.

In 2018, WWE allowed KENTA to return for one night to take on Marufuji at his 20th Anniversary event, which Marufuji won.

The January 1st card at Nippon Budokan will also feature The Great Muta taking on Shinsuke Nakamura.

About John Pollock 5515 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.