Zero1 Dream Series
June 9 2018
Zero1 suddenly has a YouTube channel and most of this show is on it…sort of. They’ve edited the matches into music videos. Fuck it though, what’s the worst that can happen?
Yoshikazu Yokoyama vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Hartley Jackson
Firstly this made tape. I get the feeling Zero1 are keen on doing something with Hartley Jackson. I’m not feeling it. Yokoyama is dreadful. Takaiwa at 45 years old is not going to fix all this. He tries to instil a sense of discipline but there’s no helping some people. Yokoyama is at his best when he’s fixing his hair. Jackson pins him with a Savage Elbow proving that, as he says, “Jackson number one”. This was ok-ish considering who was involved.
Final Rating: *1/2
Keep watching the video because after that it’s…
KAMIKAZE vs. Kohei Sato
This is fun. They basically just slap each other across the chest. Given KAMIKAZE’s limited abilities that’s probably for the best. There’s not many men who make Kohei look weak by overpowering him but KAMIKAZE manages it for a while. Fun fact: I’m the same height as KAMIKAZE. Maybe slightly taller after the piledriver that finishes him off here.
Final Rating: **1/2
NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Championship
Masamune & SUGI (c) vs. Ikuto Hidaka & Fuminori Abe
First off, SUGI fucking rules. This isn’t my opinion it’s a goddamn fact. He wrestles with such outstanding fluidity here that you’d think he was actually a luchadore pretending to be Japanese, pretending to be a luchadore. Abe is also excellent and has a huge future in pro wrestling. He’s elegant and explosive. SUGI’s sequences with Hidaka remind of how great Hidaka was when he was a young wrestler. Hidaka is 45 now and he isn’t great but SUGI makes him look great again. He even lets Hidaka pin him in the middle of the ring for the title change. What a gent. This was 6 minutes clipped down from double that so I’m not rating it but SUGI fucking rules. Watch it anyway. Probably muted because the music sucks.
NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship
Isami Kodaka (c) vs. Shinjiro Otani
Otani still thinks he’s a junior, which is interesting. Everyone else his age (apart from tiny boys like Liger) have moved up to heavyweight and he has wrestled in heavyweight matches. He certainly has a heavyweight style. All heavy hits. Because it’s a junior match he breaks out all his flying moves. Namely the spin kick. Then it’s back to scraping his boot across a much younger man’s face for his personal pleasure. Incidentally Otani’s weight is 213lbs, which unless you’re going by old school NWA weight classes (and we certainly fucking are) he’s a heavyweight. As if to respond to my criticisms he hits a fucking SENTON off the apron.
Then he gets tired and has to lie down. That’s a Big Mood for me. Every Otani match feels like a war. This is no different and I’m actively pissed off that not more Zero1 makes tape so I’m deprived a regular stream of Otani stuff. Even in his 40s he’s on that same level of badassery that makes Ishii so attractive (in the unconventional sense). Kodaka amuses me by striking at the old man and kicking him into submission. The stamp on his bald spot is fucking hilarious. Again this was very clipped but very good.
Masato Tanaka & Yuji Hino vs. Hiroshi Yamato & Yuko Miyamoto
Masato Tanaka doesn’t care for your music video style presentation. Hino is one of my favourite guys right now. Not just because he hits hard but because he does a great job of no selling stuff, like it genuinely doesn’t seem to hurt him. His treatment of Yamato’s actually quite hard chops here is tremendous. Yamato is probably the star of the match, working his ass off throughout and taking a savage beating from two of the toughest guys in all of puroresu. Miyamoto does less for me. He’s quick but I don’t buy him as a legitimate threat to Tanaka, which is how he’s billed throughout. Certainly as a tougher customer than Yamato who works harder. Hino however doesn’t sell for Miyamoto until he gets up a necessary head of speed, which I appreciate. Bring that logic.
Yamato does a phenomenal no sell where he drags himself back up to the top rope to square off with big Yuji. Oh it’s so great. They may even have speeded the footage up it’s that cool looking. Yamato gives such a good account of himself here it makes me wonder why he’s not booked in more places. I guess it’s the Wrestle-1 vibe. Miyamoto gets the upset by pinning Tanaka with a moonsault. Again this was clipped in half but what remains is gold. I wish this was around in full somewhere because I’m willing to bet it’s **** or so.
It’s an interesting approach to stick Zero1 footage on YouTube in this manner. Is it a bad idea? Perhaps not. I watched the entire show in 45 minutes. There are some shows I wish I could do that too. The downside is that the last three matches looked good and I wish I’d been able to see all of them. However considering how little Zero1 makes tape I’m happy to get this much.