It’s Wrestle-1’s final big show of the year at Korakuen Hall, so I decided to check it out as perhaps my final review for 2017. Lets see how it goes.
Match 1 – Akiyori Takizawa vs. Tugutaka Sato
fun little 4 minute opener, they kept the action flowing and it was enjoyable. Sato only debuted a few months and he seems to be coming along well.
Winner Takizawa (via submission) **3/4
Match 2 – Jun Tonsho & Kaz Hayashi vs. Masayuki Mitomi & Rionne Fujiwara
Another fun little match that kept the action constant with some good energy. Not much else to say.
Winners: Jun Tosho/Hayashi (via Japanese rolling leg clutch hold) **3/4
Match 3 – Masayuki Kono & Shuji Kondo vs. MAZADA & NOSAWA Rongai
Decent tag match. They slow things down a bit by the very slightest with MAZADA and Rongai getting the tiniest bit of control you can get in a 5 minute match, but it all worked and was enjoyable.
Winners: Kono/Kondo (via running knee lift) **1/2
Match 4 – Manabu Soya vs. Ganseki Tanaka
This was solid. As Soya is entering the ring, Tanaka cheaply kicks the middle rope into Soya’s crotch, giving him the control from the outset. But Soya soon enough comes back and gets his own control working on Tanaka’s back, before things get more even in the last few minutes. Soya ends up getting the win but Tanaka certainly didn’t go down easy.
Winner: Soya (via Death Valley Bomb) ***
Match 5 – Andy Wu, Daiki Inaba & Jiro Kuroshio vs. Drunk Andy, Seigo Tachibana & Yusuke Kodama
Decent multi-man match. Has a bit of crowd brawling at the start and Drunk Andy’s team get some control over Andy Wu, which wasn’t that interesting but still serviceable. The whole feud between Wu and Drunk Andy seemed to be the main focus, now I’m not entirely sure what the whole deal is between these two but it seems interesting. Drunk Andy appears to already have one of Wu’s masks and carries it around on a fake head, which he uses towards end as a distraction to hit a low blow and try and get the win. In the end though he uses a rainmaker setup to pull the mask of Wu, which gets his team DQed. Intrigued to see where this all goes.
Winners: Wu/Inaba/Kuroshio (via DQ) ***
Match 6 – W-1 Cruiserweight Title Match: Seiki Yoshioka (c) vs. Ryuji Hijikata
Really solid cruiser match, quite an even one too that is mostly back and forth. Hijiata certainly didn’t have much chill, trying to slow down the younger and quicker Yoshioka and delving out the stiffness which includes him almost murdering Yoshioka with a knee strike. Yoshioka certainly did his best dish it back out to Hijikata though and in the end managed to retain after hitting a series of S.Ks. A lot more grounded than your usual cruiser match, which is a nice change of pace and I really enjoyed it.
Winner: Yoshioka (via S.K) ***1/2
Very good tag match. Jake and Yuji get control early on but it soon enough turns back and forth with a good flow of action. Enjoyed Hino’s fuck everyone attitude here, never seen Jake before, apparently he was trained by Shark Boy and Jimmy Yang. He did alright but doesn’t stick out from your average foreign import. Doi and Kumagoro on the other hand have turned into one of my favourite teams to watch, love their dynamic and the way they work. The match wasn’t as good as their previous tag title matches I’ve watched, but still really enjoyable, particularly in its last few minutes.
Winners: Doi/Kumagoro (via Brainbuster) ***1/2
Main Event – Shotaro Ashino (c) vs. Takanori Ito
Really good main event. Ashino spent the first half completely picking apart Ito’s leg and he did a pretty good job of selling it, though he does still fight through the pain to deliver his kicks and moves and even get his own bit of control. But even while doing that you can see the leg is still bothering and in the end Ashino catches him out of nowhere with the anklehold grapevine which makes Ito tap out. I really liked how this match played out, they didn’t go for anything epic and made it work. Loved the confidence that Ashino displayed here, guys been champ for a good while and must feel like he’s unbeatable. Great stuff.
Winner: Ashino (via Anklehold) ***3/4
Very solid show from WRESTLE-1, nothing completely outstanding or must-see but all still very entertaining from top to bottom so no complaints from me. I’ve only watched a few W-1 shows this year, but I’ve enjoyed all that I’ve seen so I’m gonna try and watch review them more regularly in 2018, so we’ll see how that goes. Certainly looking forward to seeing what they have in store for the year.
Thanks for reading!