(NOAH) "The Last Showa Born Heel" ~ can Masa Kitamiya be the new era Masa Saito? (Friday Wrestling at 8 O'Clock column)

8th February 2019
Hochi Sports\Yahoo Japan

Last week I wrote a column called "Mitsuharu Misawa's shining GHC: 22 year old new champion, Kaito Kiyomiya", but when I watched the match between the youngest GHC Heavyweight Champion in history, Kaito Kiyomiya (22) and Masa Kitamiya (30) at Noah's event at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo the other day, and although I had mentioned Kiyomiya's star power, there was a burst from his opponent, the bad guy, Kitamiya.

Noah's founder, Mitsuharu Misawa (who died at the age of 45 in 2009), was admired by Kiyomiya with emerald green tights, Kitamiya is a bearded heel influenced by Masa Saito (died at the age of 75 on July 14th last year).
Saito was active as a top wrestler in the US and Japan, his funeral service and farewell ceremony was attended by Seiji Sakaguchi and Riki Chosu. Masa Kitamiya carried the coffin alongside Killer Khan, Akira Maeda, Keiji Mutoh and Masahiro Chono.
At Momoyama Gakuin University, he was the captain of the wrestling team and after graduation he entered Kensuke Sasaki's "Kensuke Office", and made his debut in his hometown of Toyama in September 2011. He was influenced by Masa Saito, who was supervisor at the Kensuke Office. After "DIAMOND RING" (Kensuke Office) ceased, he belonged to Noah from November 14th. On April 11th 2016, he announced he had changed his name, he wore black long tights with the Japanese flag and stitching of "JAPAN" into black long tights, which was the Saito style. Kitamiya is well matched in this, as it was Saito who made following Yoshiaki Yatsu a precedent.

Kaito Kiyomiya is 189cm and 98 kilos, compared to Kitamiya who is 172cm and has the figure of a bullfighter at 103kg. At Korakuen Hall, which that day became the start of the new Noah, it boasted a startling individual contrast with the brilliant young ace and the brilliant heel.
After catching Kiyomiya with a knee attack, the Prison Lock came out. This is a leg lock by Saito, of which it is thought he created while he was imprisoned in the United States. This was something he had also inherited from Yatsu, but with the pump up pose, Kitamiya looked exactly like the silhouette of Saito.
The backdrop he has added, is also a twist. This move was handed down from Riki Choshu to Saito, and Kitamiya uses this technique as "the side suplex".

Kiyomiya, who had spent much of the match being harrassed, used a reversal with the Tiger Suplex Hold and got the victory, however, it was an incredible fight which had used rhythm, rather than non-stop action, especially the image of Kitamiya's torture of Kiyomiya, and Kiyomiya's subsequent fainting in agony.
After the match, the defeated Kitamiya immediately withdrew, and Naomichi Marufuji (39) who had returned that evening from a left shoulder injury, made his challenge to Kiyomiya.
The title match has been set for March 10th at the Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium.

I was impressed by the agression displayed in the rebirth of Noah's new ace and Noah's new face as they competed, but I want to see Kitamita and Kiyomiya fight over and over again. Will be be done in the provinces?

Kiyomiya was born on July 17th 1996 of the hard working Heisei era, while Kitamia was born on October 27th 1988, the last generation of the Showa era. It is likely though that Kitamiya will be the one that will keep the statue of the Showa pro-wrestler and take it in a new era beyond Heisei.

Kitamiya's loyalty to his teacher has not been hampered. No, Sato was never Kitamiya's teacher, of which Kitamita said, "I am not his trainee, because Masa always told me he was a lone wolf."
After the memorial service, Masa Saito's "Go for broke", became one in Kitamiya.

Link to original article from Yahoo Japan (in Japanese)
Picture credit - Yahoo Japan

Note on "Showa Era" and "Heisei Era"

Showa Era
"Period of enlightened peace/harmony" or "period of radiant Japan"), or Shōwa era, refers to the period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of the Shōwa Emperor, Hirohito, from December 25, 1926 until his death on January 7, 1989.

Heisei Era
The current era in Japan. The Heisei period started on 8 January 1989, the day after the death of the Emperor Hirohito, when his son, Akihito, acceded to the throne as the 125th Emperor.