So WRESTLE-1 had a big show in Yokohame earlier in the month and I wasn’t sure if I was gonna watch it or not, but then I saw the odd looking six man that happened which included Mutoh, Marufuj, Shingo and Fujinami and decided to check it out and post my thoughts.
Match 1 – Hajime Nomura vs. Tugutaka Sato
This is Sato’s official debut after only working a couple of dark matches previously. Nomura is still pretty new too having only worked a handful of matches. Match itself was simple as you’d expect from a rookie debut, but it was well executed and enjoyable with both guys throwing some good elbows and Sato even busts out a pumphandle slam. In the end Nomura gets the win of course, making Sato submit with an STF. A fine little debut match.
Winner: Nomura (via STF) **3/4
Match 2 – Ken Ohka & Masayuki Mitomi vs. Jun Toshi & Soma Sumeragi
Decent little match. Toshi & Sumeragi are two young 18 year old up-starts who were definitely enthusiastic to get at their opponents and wasted no time going after them. Ohka and Mitomi soon gain control though and despite a bit of a comeback Toshi and Sumeragi lose after Mitomi hits the salty splash. Speaking of Salty, Sumeragi is not happy about losing and tries assaulting Mitomi after the match. leading to a bit of a scuffle between everyone. Really liked the energy and spirit that Toshi & Sumeragi showed.
Winner: Ohka/Miyomi (via Salty Splash) **3/4
Match 3 – WRESTLE – 1 Result Title Match: Seigo Tachibana (c) vs. Takanori Ito
Good match between these two, Tachibana gets a little control working Ito’s arm but it’s mostly a back and forth encounter, that’s really well paced with solid action. I think it was cut ever so slightly by a couple of minutes, but it’s barely noticeable. Ito ends up getting the win, making him the new champion.
Winner: Ito (via bridging German Suplex) ***1/4
Match 4 – UWA World Trios Title Match: Ganseki Tanaka, Manabu Soya & NOSAWA Rongai (c) vs. Masayuki Kono, MAZADA & Yuji Hino
Pretty solid 6-man. Hino’s team gets some control , there’s a nice little chop between Hino and Soya and the rest of the action is decent. Nothing special but enjoyable enough as NOSAWa’s team successfully retain.
Winners: NOSAWA’s team (via la magistral cradle) ***
Match 5 – Daiki Inabi vs. Yusuke Kodama
really solid match-up. Kodama gets the slightest bit of control acting somewhat cocky, but it’s mainly a consistently paced back and forth affair that I really enjoyed. Both guys put in a good effort and I enjoyed their little exchanges. Inabi was certainly was fierce at times and it was his ferocity that got him the win in the end.
Winner: Inabi (via Octopus Stretch) ***1/2
Match 6 – Great Mucha, Keiji Muto & Shingo Takagi vs. Naoki Sakurajima, Naomichi Marufuji & Tatsumi Fujinami
This was the match that I came for, it has such an odd line-up but I really enjoyed it. They kept the action constant, had some fun interactions and a couple comedic moments involving Great Mucha like him slipping off Sakurajima’s bald head attempting a bulldog and the calling over Sakurajima’s baldness, which almost makes Mutoh turn on him. In the end Mutoh gets the win with his Old man shining Wizard, crazy how he still wrestles with such fucked knees. Very fun match overall though, would have liked some more Shingo/Marufuji interactions but at least we got a little bit.
Winners: Mutoh’s team (via Shining Wizard) ***1/2
Match 7 – WRESTLE-1 Cruiser Division Title Match: Andy Wu (c) vs. Seiki Yoshioka
Really good Cruiser title match. they kept a consistent pace and filled it with lots of enjoyable back and forth action. Had one or two sequence that were a little convoluted but still impressive nonetheless. Both guys really showcased themselves well, though I think Yoshioka weirdly looks alot like KUSHIDA. He does great for himself though and manages to capture the title after hitting Wu with a combo moves, ending with his own shining wizard variant. Very entertaining match.
Winner: Yoshioka (via shining wizard variant) ***3/4
Match 8 – WRESTLE-1 Tag Team Title Match: NEWERA (Koji Doi & Kumagoro) (c) vs. Team 246 (Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo)
This was great. both teams get their own portion of control before going into a nice long stretch of great back and forth action, with a couple of good near falls. I think this is only the second time I’ve seen NEWERA but I really like them alot ad they’ve been very impressive both times showing good power and athleticism. Of course I really like Kaz and Kondo too, so this match worked out really wonderfully and features a fair amount of sentons. In the end Kondo gets the pinfall with a King Kong lariat and captures the belts for his team. Best match of the show so far.
Winner: Team 246 (via King Kong lariat) ****
Main Event – WRESTLE-1 Title Match: Shotaro Ashino (c) vs. Jiro Kushio
So this ended up going 36 minutes which is sure to put people off, but they went for something epic and really gave it a good go delivering a really great match that I thought didn’t drag much at all. They obviously take their time with things in the beginning with a fair amount of mat wrestling, but I thought they spaced the match out nicely with both guys getting their own portion of control and some big moves being busted out including two apron spots and Kushio doing moonsault of the balcony. They also have lots of dramatic nearfalls in the finishing stretch and overall I thought it was a tremendous effort by both. In the end Kushio keeps kicking out of whatever Ashino throws at him, so he locks him in the ankle lock and Kushio struggles to escape before getting his leg grapevined that makes it more difficult and forces him to tap, letting Ashino retain. I actually saw the match run time before watching this and had my reservations but fair play they really delivered. Great stuff.
Winner: Ashino (via Anklelock) ****1/4
This was a really entertaining show overall. I enjoyed every match and the final two title matches really delivered. I’d definitely recommend checking them out as well as the Cruiser and odd six man match-up. Very glad I checked this show out in the end.
Side note: Jiro Kushio had a rather bizarre entrance, so I decided to screenshot it for all to see.