WRESTLE-1 "Tour 2015 West Side Story" on 2/22/15
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date:  February 22nd, 2015
Announced Attendance:  750

As far as WRESTLE-1 shows go, this is a pretty small one.  No title matches or any special attractions, although we do have a handful of singles matches.  And Mutoh is on the card!  So we have that.  Here is the full line-up:

- Jiro Kuroshio, Daiki Inaba, and Murase vs. NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA, and Rionne Fujiwara
- Seiki Yoshioka vs. Yusuke Kodama
- Hiroshi Yamato vs. Koji Doi
- Manabu Soya, AKIRA, and Andy Wu vs. Masayuki Kono, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, and El Hijo del Pantera
- Masato Tanaka vs. Shuji Kondo
- KAI, Ryota Hama, and Yasufumi Nakanoue vs. Keiji Mutoh, Masakatsu Funaki, and Shotaro Ashino
- Kaz Hayashi vs. Minoru Tanaka

Sometimes the small shows have the biggest surprises, let’s see how this goes.

Jiro Kuroshio, Daiki Inaba, and Hiroki Murase vs. NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA, and Rionne Fujiwara
Inaba and Fujiwara start off and they trade strikes before tagging out.  Kuroshio and NOSAWA are next and NOSAWA hits a shoulderblock.  Elbows by Kuroshio to everyone and NOSAWA eats a double dropkick.  The action spills outside the ring before they return, and Kuroshio is double teamed by NOSAWA and MAZADA.  MAZADA stomps around Kuroshio and he tags in Fujiwara.  Kicks by Fujiwara to Kuroshio and Fujiwara hits a jumping knee in the corner followed by a face crusher.  Kuroshio fights back and hits a jumping kick, allowing him to tag in Inaba.  Inaba elbows Fujiwara in the corner followed by a vertical suplex for two.  Irish whip by Inaba but Fujiwara delivers a lariat.  Fujiwara tags in MAZADA and MAZADA stomps on Inaba.  Inaba snaps off a vertical suplex and he tags in Murase.  MAZADA rakes Murase’s eyes but Murase chops him in the chest.  Swandive missile dropkick by Murase and he hits a backdrop suplex hold for two.  Inaba runs in to shoulderblock NOSAWA and the wrestlers take turns doing moves at each other.  MAZADA knocks Kuroshio off the top turnbuckle and he drops Murase with a release German suplex.  MAZADA picks up Murase, hits the Shoda Drop and he picks up the three count.  Basic opener, and the number of wrestlers/match time ratio was too off to give any one wrestler much of a chance to shine.  Young guys looked solid but that’s about it.  Score:  4.0

Seiki Yoshioka vs. Yusuke Kodama
They trade holds to start, they go off the ropes and Kodama hits a hurricanrana.  Yoshioka falls out of the ring but slides back in, hitting a jumping kick to the face.  Yoshioka kicks Kodama in the chest and then the back, they trade strikes on their feet which Yoshioka gets the better of.  Dropkick to the knee by Kodama and he hits a scoop slam.  Slingshot senton by Kodama and he gets a two count.  Yoshioka elbows Kodama but Kodama hits a vertical suplex.  Backdrop suplex by Kodama and he applies a STF.  Jumping kick by Yoshioka, he goes to the ropes and he hits an Asai Moonsault down to the floor.  Yoshioka slides Kodama back in and hits a knee in the corner.  Another knee by Yoshioka and he hits a tornado DDT.  Enzigieri by Yoshioka but Kodama hits a release German suplex.  They trade elbows back on their feet and then they trade kicks, superkick by Kodama and he covers Yoshioka for two.  Kodama picks up Yoshioka but Yoshioka gets away and hits a tilt-a-whirl armbar.  Buzzsaw kick by Yoshioka, but the cover gets Yoshioka.  Yoshioka goes off the ropes and he hits the sliding kick for the three count.   Fun match but it never really got much beyond that.  I enjoy both wrestlers quite a bit, nice fast paced action and they didn’t waste any time since they didn’t have any time to waste.  Good effort by both.  Score:  6.0

Hiroshi Yamato vs. Koji Doi
Yamato attacks Doi on the ramp before the match starts but it doesn’t go well as Doi throws Yamato into the ring post.  Doi slides Yamato in the ring and they trade elbows, Doi goes off the ropes but Yamato dropkicks Doi out of the ring.  Yamato goes to do a tope suicida but Doi hits him in the head with a chair before he can dive out.  Doi blindfolds Yamato and throws him back into the ring before stomping on him.  Yamato gets the blindfold off and chops Doi back but Doi throws his arm into the ropes.  This is a weird little match.  Doi applies a reverse chinlock before hitting a spinebuster for two.  Doi punches Yamato into the corner, Irish whip, but Yamato elbows him.  Knee by Doi but Yamato hits a springboard back splash.  Spear by Yamato in the corner and he hits a cross armed suplex.  Top turnbuckle back splash by Yamato and he puts Doi on the top turnbuckle.  Yamato joins him and he hits a spider belly to belly suplex.  Yamato goes to do a dive off the top but Doi hits the ropes to knock him off.  Doi picks up Yamato and he kicks Yamato low before hitting a headbutt.  Sit down powerbomb by Doi but Yamato kicks out.  Doi hides behind the referee and he hits a lariat on Yamato for a two count.  Doi goes for a lariat, Yamato avoids it and he hits a lariat of his own.  Northern Lights Bomb by Yamato, and he picks up the three count.  It is like Doi had planned to do all the heel things he knew of (using weapons, blindfolding, low blows, hiding behind the referee), but they only had a seven minute match so he ran through it too quickly.  Nothing really had meaning because they didn’t really have time to finish any one train of thought before going to the next spot.  Just too condensed for my liking although glad that Yamato won.  Score:  4.5

Manabu Soya, AKIRA, and Andy Wu vs. Masayuki Kono, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, and El Hijo del Pantera
Aww Wu and Pantera aren’t friends anymore.  They were so cute together.  They brawl around the ring to start the match, a lot of it off camera since it is just the one camera.  Wu and Pantera start as the legal men and Pantera stomps him in the head.  DESPERADO all get in the ring briefly to brawl and Pantera is attacked in the corner.  Kono is tagged in and he elbows Wu to the mat for a two count.  SAKAMOTO is tagged in next and he elbows Wu in the corner.  Pantera comes back in but Wu hits a headscissors out of the corner and tags in AKIRA.  Soya comes in too and Pantera is double teamed, until Kono and SAKAMOTO come in as well.  AKIRA and Soya keep the advantage and they hit double bulldogs.  AKIRA and Soya chop their opponents down, Soya lifts up Pantera and AKIRA hits a diving knee drop.  AKIRA goes up top and hits the diving body press, but Kono breaks it up.  AKIRA goes off the ropes but he is hit from the floor and Pantera hits a heel kick.  AKIRA tags in Wu and Wu hits a diving crossbody on SAKAMOTO.  Wu kicks SAKAMOTO and he hits a bulldog for a two count.  Wu hits a hurricanrana on Pantera, Kono grabs Wu but Soya hits a lariat on Kono.  Tornado DDT by Wu to SAKAMOTO and he hits a Buzzsaw Kick for two.  SAKAMOTO kicks Wu back, Pantera and Kono come in the ring and Wu is double teamed.  Pantera picks up Wu and he hits a hammerlock DDT.  Cover by SAKAMOTO, but AKIRA breaks it up.  SAKAMOTO goes off the ropes and he hits Wu with a lariat, cover, but Wu gets a shoulder up.  Wu gets away from SAKAMOTO and he applies a crucifix cover for a three count!  This got the point across and was a fun warring factions brawl.  Lots of interference which was fine as that was just the general structure of the match.  Wu picking up the win shows he won’t just be swept under the rug with the team split up, and overall I enjoyed it.  Simple but to the point.  Score:  6.5

Masato Tanaka vs. Shuji Kondo
They go right to trading shoulderblock attempts and then trading elbows.  Successful shoulderblock by Kondo, Tanaka goes out of the ring and Kondo follows him out.  They brawl into the poorly lit crowd until they eventually return to the ring, and Kondo lariats Tanaka while he is on the apron.  They go outside the ring again but finally they both get back in and they trade strikes.  Kondo applies a reverse chinlock, he goes off the ropes but Tanaka catches him with an elbow.  Jumping elbow by Tanaka in the corner and Tanaka hit a brainbuster for a two count.  Elbows by Tanaka and he hits another jumping elbow.  Kondo snaps off a vertical suplex and he hits a spear.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Running elbow by Tanaka but Kondo hits an atomic drop followed by a DDT.  Tanaka comes back with a DDT of his own and he hits a pair of lariats.  A final lariat by Tanaka, cover, but Kondo gets a shoulder up.  Scoop slam by Tanaka, he goes up top but Kondo gets his knees up when he goes for the diving body press.  Kondo and Tanaka trade elbows on their knees, they return to their feet and Kondo hits The Original for two.  Hard lariat by Tanaka, he picks up Kondo and he hits a Falcon Arrow.  Tanaka goes up top and delivers the diving body press but Kondo ducks the Sliding D and hits a King Kong Lariat for two.  Kondo goes off the ropes but Tanaka hits his own lariat followed by a brainbuster.  Tanaka sits up Kondo and he nails him with the Sliding D, picking up the three count!  This felt rushed but it was still a solid match.  Long term selling was out the window as they were mostly just trading big moves the last half of the match.  Luckily these two are smooth and skilled enough it didn’t come across too bad and both had a chance to shine.  Solid, but not the classic it probably could have been with more time.  Score:  6.0

KAI, Ryota Hama, and Yasufumi Nakanoue vs. Keiji Mutoh, Masakatsu Funaki, and Shotaro Ashino
Wonder who the fall guy is here, maybe the wrestler I’ve never heard of?  Nakanoue and Ashino start off the match and they get into a strike battle.  Double leg tackle by Ashino and they jockey for position on the mat.  Funaki and KAI are tagged in and they trade holds on the mat.  Funaki tosses KAI to the mat and he tags in Mutoh.  Flashing Elbow by Mutoh and he yanks around on KAI’s leg.  STF by Mutoh and he tags in Ashino.  Ashino clubs on KAI but KAI elbows Ashino back into the corner.  KAI tags in Nakanoue and Nakanoue elbows Ashino as they trade elbows back and forth.  Nakanoue gets the better of it and he tags in Hama.  Irish whip by Hama to Ashino to the corner and he hits a body avalanche followed by the running butt smash.  Cover by Hama but it gets two.  Hama tags in KAI but Ashino hits a vertical suplex.  Ashino tags in Mutoh, dropkick to the knee by Mutoh to KAI and he hits dragon screws on Nakanoue and Hama.  KAI gets a dragon screw and he applies the figure four leglock on KAI.  Mutoh throws KAI in the corner and hits a Shining Wizard. Mutoh hits another Shining Wizard but KAI hits a jumping kick.  Mutoh goes for a dragon screw but KAI elbows out of it.  Dropkick to the knee by Mutoh and he hits a Shining Wizard, but KAI comes back with a superkick.  Funaki and Hama are tagged in, and Funaki kicks Hama in the corner.  Snapmare by Funaki and he hits a PK for a two count.  Cross armbreaker by Funaki but it is broken up.  KAI hits a backdrop suplex on Mutoh but Funaki knees Hama in the ropes.  Funaki goes for a crossbody but Hama catches him and hits a body slam.  Hama tags in Nakanoue and Nakanoue elbows Funaki in the corner before hitting a double arm suplex for two.  Funaki catches Nakanoue and goes for a kick but Nakanoue blocks it.  Backdrop suplex by Funaki and he tags in Ashino.  Dropkicks by Ashino to Nakanoue, and he hits another one.  Backdrop suplex by Ashino, but the pin attempt is broken up.  Nakanoue is triple teamed in the corner, and Mutoh hits Nakanoue with a Shining Wizard.  Crab hold by Ashino but KAI breaks it up.  KAI kicks Mutoh and he drops him with the LAT.  Ashino elbows Hama but Hama hits him with a lariat.  Nakanoue goes up top and nails a diving elbow drop, but Ashino gets a shoulder up.  Nakanoue picks up Ashino, he goes off the ropes and he nails the Knock Away for the three count!  This wasn’t great, they mostly used it to build up future matches (mainly KAI vs. Mutoh) as otherwise there wasn’t much to it even though it wasn’t offensive.  Score:  4.0

Kaz Hayashi vs. Minoru Tanaka
They trade holds to start and Tanaka bails out of the ring.  He returns after a minute and they go back to the mat, Irish whip by Tanaka but Hayashi hits a shoulderblock.  Jawbreaker by Hayashi and he hits a quebrada, so Tanaka rolls out of the ring again.  Hayashi goes off the ropes and he hits a tope con hilo, sending both of them crashing into a table.  Hayashi brings Tanaka back in the ring and he applies an arm submission hold but Hayashi gets to the ropes.  Hayashi hits Tanaka into the corner, Irish whip, but Tanaka boots him back.  Missile dropkick by Tanaka and he dropkicks Tanaka again.  Short armbar by Tanaka but Hayashi gets to the ropes.  Hayashi comes back with a neck whip and Hayashi applies a crossface, but Tanaka gets a foot on the ropes.  Hayashi picks up Tanaka and he drops him with a tombstone piledriver for a two count.  Tanaka goes for Hayashi’s arm but Hayashi gets away, they trade strike attempts and Hayashi hits an overhead belly to back suplex.  Handspring kick by Hayashi after Tanaka hits a dropkick, and both wrestlers are down.  Jumping kick by Tanaka and he dropkicks Hayashi in the head.  Tanaka puts Hayashi on the top turnbuckle and he joins him, hitting an avalanche double arm suplex.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Snapmare by Tanaka, he goes up top and he nails the FIREBALL Splash, but Hayashi gets a shoulder up.  Quick cover by Hayashi but Tanaka gets out of it and hits a suplex.  Cross armbreaker by Tanaka, he grabs Hayashi but Hayashi lands on his feet on the suplex attempt.  Final Cut by Hayashi, cover, but it gets a two count.  Hayashi drops Tanaka with the Power Plant.  Elbows by Hayashi but Tanaka kicks him in the head.  HEAT Clutch by Tanaka, and he picks up the three count!  This was a fun match, these two can really go.  I hate the dim lighting they used for this card as it did make it harder to get into the matches, not that I couldn’t see what was happening but the moves do lack some impact when visibility is limited.  A nice main event for a house show like this one but it probably wouldn’t have worked as well for a bigger show.  Score:  7.5

Final Thoughts:

Not to sound like a overly picky person, but it is difficult to really get into an event with just one camera and one that is lit so poorly. It is one thing if you are live as you can get into the atmosphere of the event and the crowd, but as someone sitting at home thousands of miles away it makes the show come across as a bit dull. Some of the matches were quite good, the main event was entertaining and some of the mid-card was worthwhile, but nothing on the card really jumped out at me and the event as a whole felt flat. It was just a house show-like event so not a big deal, but this wasn't the best WRESTLE-1 offering of the year.

Grade: C-

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review completed on 4/6/15