Yota Tsuji and Yuya Uemura undergo singles Korakuen gauntlets

Five singles matches for the Noge Dojo representatives in five nights



Yota Tsuji and Yuya Uemura are on the bubble of graduation from their Noge Dojo Young Lion statuses. With international excursions in the current climate proving difficult, the two have been looking for any other opportunity to prove themselves against the New Japan roster. The coming nights in Korakuen Hall will give each man five opportunities in crushing gauntlets. 

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June 14: Uemura vs Suzuki! Tsuji vs Tanahashi!

Yuya Uemura’s gauntlet will begin on June 14 opposite Minoru Suzuki. Ever since tearing into Suzuki in tag matches way back in February 2020, Uemura has been desparate for the chance to face the King of professional wrestling one on one, and now he finally gets his shot in a match that is over 16 months in the making. Is it a death wish for Uemura? Or a potential dream win?

Yota Tsuji has his own high pressure and much yearned for singles contest against Hiroshi Tanahashi. Tsuji has looked up to the Ace more than anyone else on the NJPW roster, and Tanahashi has taken the Young Lion under his wing to the point that Tsuji is a regular fixture ringside for Tanahashi’s big singles matches, rallying the crowd behind the Ace. Now mentor faces student in a tremendous singles encounter on June 14. 

June 15: Uemura vs ZSJ! Tsuji vs Taichi!


June 15 sees the Noge Dojo face off with the IWGP Tag Team Champions and mean singles competitors in their own right, in Dangerous Tekkers. Yuya Uemura has shown impressive technical acumen as he’s continued to develop, and matches with Gabriel Kidd have certainly helped in that respect, but in Kidd’s countryman Zack Sabre Jr, he faces the ultimate master of his craft. 


Yota Tsuji has long campaigned for a match with Tetsuya Naito, one name absent from this singles gauntlet. Yet Tsuji will have an opportunity against a rival of Naito’s, and a future opponent to boot, in Taichi. Should Tsuji make a significant dent in the Holy Emperor’s game here, will Naito have any choice but to accept the Tsuji challenge? 


June 16: Uemura vs Tanahashi! Tsuji vs Okada!


Every night on this tour beings with it a ton of pressure, but what more pressure could arise than from a pair of singles matches to two wrestlers that could be the greatest of the future era against two of inarguably the greatest of the modern era? After Tsuji kicks off his tour with Tanahashi, Uemura has the Ace next. Tanahashi no doubt has respect for Uemura’s classical stylings, but will it see him to an impressive performance tonight? 

Yota Tsuji is hungry for an excursion to Mexico, one Okada took on his own volition to start his career while still a teenager. Lucha influences could be they key for Tsuji to make a mark on the fans and on Okada in this one, but in his first singles match since his failed challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, Okada wants to get right back on his horse, and will likely not be looking to entertain the Young Lion long. 


June 22: Uemura vs Taichi! Tsuji vs Zack Sabre Jr.!


A week’s rest between Korakuen Hall events sees Tsuji and Uemura still hard at work in action on live events before returning to the hall on June 22. This time they again face Dangerous Tekkers, but with opponents reversed. How will Uemura cope with the hard and heavy hits of Taichi? 


Meanwhile Tsuji has dabbled in some llave techniques as he’s pushed for more Mexican experience. But will that have any impact on Sabre’s European Catch mastery? 


June 23: Tsuji vs O-Khan! Uemura vs Ibushi!


Yota Tsuji ends his gauntlet with a very interesting opponent in the form of Great-O-Khan. While O-Khan was challenging then NEVER Openweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi earlier this February, the Dominator and the United Empire at large toyed with Tsuji’s loyalty and emotions. They even offered Tsuji a spot at the table within the United Empire itself, something Tsuji refused to maintain his loyalty to Tanahashi. Now Tsuji wrestles O-Khan one on one and there will be no such kindness shown from the United Empire member on June 23. 


Uemura wrestles Kota Ibushi on June 23. The chance to battle the number one contender to the IWGP World heavyweight Championship is an incredible way for Uemura’s gauntlet to end. On any given night, it only takes three seconds to score a win in NJPW, and if a miracle could occur, Uemura might be able to leapfrog from the bottom of the card all the way to the top tonight. Could it possibly happen?