Time for more Wrestle-1 goodness, with this show featuring a CIMA/Jun Tonsho re-match the 2018 Tag League final and Pegaso Illuminar makes his first ever challenge for the WRESTLE-1 Title. Lets go!
Match 1 – Masayuki Kono/Alejandro/Yukio Naya/Hajime/MAZADA vs. Ryuji Hijikata/Ganseki Tanaka/Ryuki Honda/El Hijo del Pantera/Masayuki Mitomi
The line-up I have read for this show says that this match is meant to just be Masayuki Kono against Ryuki Honda but obviously that is not the case and instead we get this big 10 man to open up which has been clipped but shows some decent action. Honda and Kono do still interact though and end up as the final two with Honda impressively hitting a nice vertical suplex but he then gets caught up in a Jujigatame by Kono that makes him tap-out. Simple and pretty fun tag to get the ball rolling.
Winners: Kono/Alejandro/Yukio/Hajime/MAZADA (via Jujigatame) NR – clipped
Match 2 – Kenichiro Arai, Kuma Arashi & Yusuke Kodama vs. Duan Yingnan, El Lindaman & T-Hawk
Solid six man that was very back and forth. Kuma was a proper workhorse for his team being in it the most and looking great. As usual Duan’s role was kept limited but he worked well and had a good go at chops at one point.
In the end Lindaman deadlift german suplexes Arai and T-hawk follows it up with the Cerberus to give Strong Hearts the win. Those Strong Hearts tags continue to deliver.
Winners: Strong Hearts (via Cerberus) ***1/4
Match 3 – ASUKA & Hana Kimura vs. Command Bolshoi & Reika Saiki
This has had a few minutes cut from the beginning which is a shame since this is some good stuff as you’d expect from these women. Just some straight up solid back and forth action with Kimura getting the win hitting an inside leg hook Michinoku driver.
Winners: ASUKA/Kimura (via inside leg hook Michinoku driver) NR – clipped
Match 4 – Andy Wu & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Kaz Hayashi & Tsugutaka Sato
Decent match. Sato gets controlled for a portion which was pretty standard and mostly maintained through simple hold, but there was some fun interactions outside of that particularly between Marufuji and Kaz.
Andy ends up with the win hitting a snap wheelbarrow victory roll, though it was more like a driver in the way Kaz took it.
I do think Sato has come along well since his debut over a year ago, his work is solid though he does still feels a little plain to me. But the potential is there and I’m sure he’ll continue to develop and just keep getting better.
Andy and Marufuji make quite a fun team.
Winners: Wu/Marufuji (via snap victory roll driver) ***
Match 5 – CIMA vs. Jun Tonsho
whilst their last match was a fun sprint that lasted under 2 minutes, this one was a fairly different story.
From the outset Jun wouldn’t let up on Cima and kept going for pins before going for a front necklock that he refuses to let go for most the rope break. This obviously pissed Cima off especially since he’s nursing a neck injury with it being taped and so he resorts to smashing Jun with a turnbuckle pad to get control and retaliates by working on Jun’s neck a little. Jun soon comes back though and once again keeps going for the pins after any offence he hits and when he’s countering Cima’s stuff. CIMA still manages to hit some big moves though like the Perfect Driver, but Jun will not stay down until finally a Meteora keeps him down for the 3 count just like last match.
This was very good and I really liked how it all played out with Jun really trying desperately to get the win with whatever pin he could. The guy shows great fire and is really starting to become a new standout in W-1. Maybe you’ll get him one day lad.
Winner: CIMA (via Meteora) ***1/2
Match 6 – WRESTLE-1 Tag Team Title WRESTLE-1 Tag League 2018 Final Match: Koji Doi & Shuji Kondo (c) vs. Daiki Inaba & Manabu Soya
This was a great little final. Doi/Shuji get a couple of control bits but they are kept short and sweet with the whole match flowing real nicely and consistently with barely any break in the fun action. Both Kondo and Soya have taped up arms and there’s a good bit where they keep clashing them going for lariats before Soya manages to hit one and Kondo hits his own straight after.
Inaba and Doi end up as the final two for a good few minutes and have a terrfic little struggle on the go to get the win, you could definitely see the determination in Inaba who hasn’t had a taste of gold in so long. He locks in the Manjigatame quite a few times but Doi keeps managing to power out of it. There are a couple of nice nearfalls thrown into the mix too and by the end despite Inaba’s efforts, Doi gives him a deadlift brainbuster to win the league and retain the tag titles for his team. Really enjoyed that, probably the most invested I’ve been in Inaba thus far, I really got behind him in that final stretch and so did the crowd it seemed.
Winners: Doi/Kondo (via deadlift brainbuster) ****
Main Event – WRESTLE-1 Title Match: Shotaro Ashino (c) vs. Pegaso Iluminar
Bit surprising to see already in a title match but he did manage to get pinfall over Ashino in a tag match, so guess he earned it. Match itself was really good, Pegaso holds his own well in the beginning but things turn around when he takes a nasty bump from the second rope to the outside and Ashino starts taking apart his leg in great fashion. From there it becomes a struggle for Pegaso who keeps getting caught out during his comebacks but eventually manages to start getting in some big offence. However his efforts aren’t enough and despite not going down easy himself it’s a T-bone powerslam that gets him down for 3 count allowing Ashino to successfully retain.
It was very difficult to see Pegaso wins this considering how new he is and I never really bought into him being able to and neither did the audience it seems who gave little to no reaction to his nearfalls. Despite that detractor though the guy still worked hard and showed some potential to be a future champ.
Winner: Ashino (via T-Bone) ***3/4
Quite a solid show overall, nothing must see but it all delivered something good and at the very least I’d recommend the Tag League final.
W-1 has really turned into one my favourite promotions this year, they may not produces as many MOTYC’s as other promotions, but they’re consistent, have a roster I really like and one of the only promotion at the moment that’ll I’ll happily watch all their big shows in full.
Thanks for reading.
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