ZERO1 "New Trial" 2014
A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: February 11th, 2014
Here we are again, back to ZERO1. I am not ignoring them, they just don't 'make tape' very often, at least not tape that reaches me here in the States. They sadly don't have a regular TV show, although they do pop up on Samurai TV! sometimes. This card has a NWA United National Heavyweight Championship match as well as Sugiura invading from NOAH. Here is the full card:
- Chou-un Shiryu, Jason Lee, and Mr. 450° vs. Toru Owashi, Takuya Sugawara, and Mineo Fujita
Like a lot of the smaller promotion's events, this one is pretty heavily clipped towards the beginning but it gets better as we get further along.
Chou-un Shiryu, Jason Lee, and Mr. 450° vs. Toru Owashi, Takuya Sugawara, and Mineo Fujita
Match Thoughts: Extremely clipped as we saw less than two minute of the match which was over eleven minutes long. I am not complaining, looking at the wrestlers I am perfectly fine with missing this match. Score: N/A
Gokiburi Mask #1 and Gokiburi Mask #2 vs. Menso~re Oyaji and Hiroyo Matsumoto
Match Thoughts: This was very clipped as well which again I think was probably for the better. Clearly there was a comedic element here as Matsumoto kept hurting Oyaji in order to attack their opponents. But too clipped up to get a good feel of. Score: N/A
HUB and Tigers Mask vs. Ikuto Hidaka and Fujita "Jr." Hayato
HUB scoop slams Hidaka and goes up to the top turnbuckle, Tigers Mask lays Hayato on top of Hidaka and HUB hits a diving body press on both men. Tigers Mask stomps Hidaka, they pick him up, Irish whip to the corner and Tigers Mask hits a running elbow. Jumping knee by HUB in the corner, Tigers Mask gets Hidaka around the waist and he hits a German suplex hold while HUB hits a Shining Wizard. Hayato breaks up the pin attempt so HUB throws him out of the ring, Tigers Mask charges Hidaka in the corner but Hidaka pushes him back and hits a spinning heel kick. Lariat by HUB to Hidaka but Hayato knocks him out with a headbutt. Hayato kicks Tigers Mask in the corner and then hits a running knee strike. Hidaka is back up, he grabs Tigers Mask, double Irish whip and Tigers Mask eats a double kick to the chest. PK by Hayato, cover by Hidaka but HUB breaks it up. Hayato throws HUB out of the ring while Hidaka picks up Tigers Mask. Hidaka and Tigers Mask trade kicks which Hidaka gets the better of, cover, but it gets a two count. Hidaka picks up Tigers Mask and nails the Iwami Ginzan, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Ikuto Hidaka and Fujita "Jr." Hayato
Match Thoughts: Even though it was clipped in half this was still a fun match. These guys aren't young anymore but they can still go, and for reasons I can't really explain I've always liked wrestlers in masks so the HUB/Tigers Mask team was extra enjoyable for me. They kept the action moving (probably helped by the clipping), and the home stretch was well done with the teams working really well together. Wish I could have seen the whole thing but still enjoyable. Score: 6.0
Demon Ueda vs. Yusaku Obata
Ueda picks up Obata and he hits a gutwrench sit-down powerbomb. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ueda picks up Obata, scoop slam, Ueda goes up to the top turnbuckle but Obata rolls out of the way when Ueda jumps off. Obata hits a DDT, cover, but Obata gets a two count. Obata goes up to the top turnbuckle but Ueda has recovered and joins him. Obata knocks Ueda down to the mat, he gets up on the turnbuckle and he hits a missile dropkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Obata picks up Ueda but is distracted by Sugawara on the apron. Ueda accidentally blows mist in his face however, and Obata hits a Code Breaker. Obata picks up Ueda and he hits a brainbuster. Mounted elbows by Obata, he goes out to the apron but Ueda rolls out of the way of the swandive attack. Lariat by Ueda, he picks up Obata and he nails the Lucifer Hammer. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Demon Ueda
Match Thoughts: This was solid but unspectacular. Obata seems to have a pretty limited moveset but he did wrestle with a lot of emotion. It really did feel like a grudge match which it was billed as, so that is a plus. They kept things pretty simple, and even though the match wasn't long they used a lot of power moves to justify why both wrestlers were ailing by the end. Plus the Lucifer Hammer is a cool move that no one should be kicking out of anyway. It wasn't complex and if it went longer it may not have worked, but it was perfectly fine for what it was. Score: 6.0
Ryouji Sai, KAMIKAZE, and Yoshikazu Yokoyama vs. TARU, "brother" YASSHI, and Kengo
Sai picks up YASSHI and hits a gutbuster, cover, but Kengo breaks it up. KAMIKAZE throws Kengo out of the ring, Sai picks up YASSHI, he goes off the ropes but TARU hits him from the floor. Sai tags in Yokoyama while TARU is also tagged in, Yokoyama tackles TARU and hits a shoulder tackle in the corner. Scoop slam by Yokoyama and he hits a reverse splash. Cover, but TARU kicks out at two. Yokoyama goes off the ropes but TARU kicks Yokoyama in the stomach and then in the head. YASSHI picks up Yokoyama and hits him into the corner, Irish whip by YASSHI and they repeatedly lariat Yokoyama in the corner. Chokebomb by TARU to Yokoyama, cover, but Sai breaks it up. TARU hits Sai with a kendo stick, but KAMIKAZE comes in the ring and takes it from him. Sai holds TARU for KAMIKAZE, but TARU moves when KAMIKAZE goes to hit him. TARU talks KAMIKAZE off, Sai goes off the ropes but KAMIKAZE hits Sai with a spinning back kick. KAMIKAZE hits Yokoyama with the kendo stick, scoop slam, and KAMIKAZE hits a moonsault on his own partner. TARU covers Yokoyama and he picks up the three count. Your winners: TARU, "brother" YASSHI, and Kengo
Match Thoughts: This is the first time I've seen the Voodoo Murderers in awhile, good to see them again. This was mostly a storyline match, with KAMIKAZE joining the evil team. I wish I understood the promo afterwards as it didn't make a lot of sense he would attack the Voodoo Murderers for most of the match before changing his mind. Beyond that there wasn't much to the match, just an average tag team brawl. Score: 5.0
(c) Tama Williams vs. Daichi Hashimoto
Williams drives Hashimoto into the corner, he gets a running start and he hits a lariat. Running butt smash by Williams, cover, but it gets a two count. Williams picks up Hashimoto and goes for a suplex but Hashimoto lands on his feet. Heel kick by Hashimoto and he elbows Williams in the corner. Irish whip by Hashimoto, reversed, Hashimoto kicks Williams when he charges in but Williams chops him in the chest. Williams charges Hashimoto but Hashimoto moves out of the way and hits the Triangle Kick. Shining Wizard by Hashimoto, cover, but it gets a two count. Hashimoto picks up Williams, punches by Hashimoto and he goes off the ropes, but Williams kicks him in the chest. Williams picks up Hashimoto and goes for a piledriver, but Hashimoto blocks it. Williams goes off the ropes but Hashimoto ducks the lariat and applies a cross armbreaker. Williams gets up and tries to muscle out of the hold but Hashimoto gets him back to the mat. Hashimoto then applies a choke before releasing the hold. High kick by Hashimoto, he goes off the ropes but Williams throws him in the air and hits a Samoan Drop. Double-Arm Piledriver by Williams and he picks up the three count. Your winner and still champion: Tama Williams
Match Thoughts: A bit lackluster but it had its moments. In my opinion Williams isn't big enough to act impervious to Hashimoto's offense. He plays the 'big gaijin' role but he isn't monstrously big, he is just a little bigger than Hashimoto. It also wasn't really long enough to get across that storyline, I wouldn't have minded a bit more offense by Williams for Hashimoto to 'overcome'. Also I hated Hashimoto just releasing the cross armbreaker and the choke in the middle of the ring, it doesn't make any sense to release a move that can end a match for no reason. That being said Hashimoto did a good job here with his comebacks so it wasn't a worthless match, but overall it wasn't great. Score: 4.0
Shinjiro Otani and Kohei Sato vs. Takashi Sugiura and Masato Tanaka
Gutwrench suplex by Sugiura, he picks up Sato and applies a waistlock, but Sato elbows him off. Sato knees Sugiura in the stomach, and Sato hits a release German suplex onto Sugiura. Sato tags in Otani, Otani picks up Sugiura and throws him into the corner. Otani hits the face wash on Sugiura in the corner, Otani picks up Sugiura and rakes him in the eyes. Irish whip by Otani and he kicks Sugiura in the corner. Sugiura responds with his own big boot, but Otani kicks him back and hits a backdrop suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Otani picks up Sugiura and they trade elbows, Sugiura goes off the ropes and he hits a big boot. Otani responds with his own boot but Sugiura hits a spear. Sugiura tags in Tanaka, Tanaka picks up Otani, he goes off the ropes and hits an elbow. Sato comes in the ring, double Irish whip to Tanaka but Tanaka lariats Sato and Otani. Tanaka picks up Otani and he hits a brainbuster. Cover, but it gets a two count. Tanaka picks up Otani, Irish whip to the corner but Otani boots him back. Another boot by Otani and he hits a pair of jumping high kicks. Otani tags in Sato, kick to the chest by Sato, he picks up Tanaka and he hits a Falcon Arrow. Cover, but it gets a two count. Otani comes in the ring, double Irish whip to Tanaka to the corner, elbow by Otani and Sato knees Tanaka in the stomach. Backdrop suplex by Sato to Tanaka, and Sato kicks Tanaka in the chest. Cover, but it gets a two count. Sato goes up on the top turnbuckle but Tanaka has recovered and joins him up top. Superplex by Tanaka and he hits a lariat in the corner. Another lariat by Tanaka and Sugiura hit a running knee to Sato. Elbows by Sugiura in the corner, he hit a scoop slam and Tanaka comes off the top turnbuckle with a diving body press. Cover, but it gets a two count. Tanaka waits for Sato to get up but he misses the Sliding D. German suplex by Sato and Otani hits a missile dropkick off the top turnbuckle. Scoop brainbuster by Sato to Tanaka, cover, but it gets a two count. Sato picks up Tanaka and he hits a piledriver. Cover, but Tanaka gets a shoulder up. Sato picks up Tanaka but Sugiura comes in the ring, and Sugiura drops Sato with a release German suplex. Sugiura hits one on Otani as well, Tanaka goes off the ropes and hits the Sliding D onto Sato. Cover, but it gets a two count. Sugiura picks up Sato and he hits an Olympic Slam, he then sits up Sato so that Tanaka can nail the Sliding D. Cover, and Tanaka picks up the three count. Your winners: Takashi Sugiura and Masato Tanaka
Match Thoughts: A very solid main event with four veterans that can have a good match with their eyes closed. Even though it had a feeling of "I've seen this before!" (Otani has been having main event matches like this in ZERO1 for a decade), they kept it entertaining and even with a high median age, it was a pretty fast paced match. Sato still seems to be sleep walking at times but everyone else showed some intensity, and the strike exchanges were well done. Besides the feelings of Déjà vu this was a fun match, really aided by having Sugiura here, and a fitting main event for the show. Score: 7.0
Best Match: Shinjiro Otani and Kohei Sato vs. Takashi Sugiura and Masato Tanaka. It wasn't really the most exciting match, which can be expected from the 'seasoned veterans' of the promotion, but it was still a really good match. The strikes were hard, Sugiura added his usual intensity, and the time really flew by. The ending was great as it kept Sato strong, and having Sugiura have to sit-up Sato for the Sliding D made more sense than Sato just sitting up on his own. A solid main event for ZERO1.
MVP: Takashi Sugiura. Sugiura added a 'different' element to the main event. If it had just been another ZERO1 wrestler in his spot, such as Hashimoto, then it probably would have felt more like 'old hat'. But Sugiura made things seem more important and urgent, and he really did bring his wrasslin' boots for the match. Great strike exchanges, good timing with the 'bigger' moves, and overall just a really good performance by Sugiura.
Overall: I wouldn't call this a bad card, but it wasn't really good either. I don't like clipped matches, which made the first two matches on the card pretty meaningless. The Jr. Heavyweight tag was fun but also clipped to hell, and the Voodoo Murderers match was more about a storyline than about the action. On the other hand, the grudge match was surprisingly entertaining since I don't usually equate "Demon Ueda" and "good matches" together, and the main event was definitely solid. This is probably an event better served for ZERO1 fans, but I have seen far worse this year and is a good example of what ZERO1 was offering in early 2014.
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review completed on 6/20/14