Zero1 Jump Up Fly to the Future (4.16.19) review

Zero1 Jump Up Fly to the Future (4.16.19) review

Zero1 Jump Up Fly to the Future

 

April 16 2019

 

We’re in Tokyo, Japan at Shin-kiba 1st Ring.

Zero14Hidaka

Ikuto Hidaka is in the “studio” to provide expert analysis. Presumably this will involve eating seaweed and drinking beers. Unless he takes a different approach to company boss man Shinjiro Otani. The seat in the background is there specifically to display the DVD art for this show. They couldn’t find a stand? Or just open it up or something?

 

Shoki Kitamura vs. Shogun Okamoto

Why do I keep watching this Zero1 undercards? It’s like any other Japanese promotion only the gulf is even larger and the undercards are just awful. Consistently so. Okamoto is a Zero1 undercard stalwart. Think of that what you will. Shoki is still at the ‘has potential’ stage of his career. It’s tough to judge any wrestler until they’re around three full years into their career. His aborted run in Wrestle-1 doesn’t really count. Okamoto wins here but the match never got out of first gear.

Final Rating: **

 

King Khash vs. Chris Vice

Khash is just a kid. He’s a boy king. Vice, of the terrible Voodoo Murders group, is largely dominant. Comms opt to talk about Roppongi Vice, CM Punk and Pepsi.

Meanwhile Chrissy Vice is out for the ref’s blood. This combined with Vice gunning for a legit win, with slingshot shoulderblocks, makes this an actually ok match up.

Zero14Vice

I’m consistently impressed with Vice’s powerhouse offence. However Khash’s timing is a little off and a few spots have Vice standing around waiting for something to happen. The raising knee in the corner is a terrible spot at the best of times but here it’s business exposing. Way too long waiting. Some of the power stuff is a little clumsy too but in a good way. Vice quite happily busts out some fun shit like the Gannosuke Clutch before a Package Piledriver finishes. Vice is starting to look quite sharp. Can he walk in the footsteps of Dylan James?

Final Rating: **3/4

 

International Lightweight Tag Team Championship

Ikuto Hidaka & Fuminori Abe (c) vs. Kubota Bros

It’s kinda harsh getting Hidaka to commentate on himself losing but losing a title as well? Zero1 are fucking jerks. It’s a shame because Hidaka & Abe were a great team. Always good value for midcard tag defences. Hidaka will presumably get over by teaming with someone else and coming after the belts again. He’s already won with six different partners (Dick Togo, Minoru Fujita, Munenori Sawa, Takafumi Ito, Hayato Fujita, Takuya Sugawara) BEFORE Abe.

 

Kubota Bros are so Indie. They feel like the lowest rung in the ladder. If that ladder runs from the shitty indies up to WWE/New Japan. I do like shitty Indies but Abe deserves better. The match is perfectly fine because, although they look like bums, the Kubota’s are competent and Abe is a wonder. Hidaka looks alive here too. He’ll never be able to recreate that flipping high flying style of 15 years ago but he can do a tidy enough toned down version with dragon screws.

They try and set the stall out here for something epic and it’s the Kubota Bros dude. Like, who are we trying to fool? Is it me? Anyway, Abe eats a Tiger Driver and the belts switch after 13 minutes or so. Hidaka will be back in two weeks tagging with SUGI or Iwasaki to grab them straps back. I hope Abe keeps being used.

Final Rating: ***

 

Arn’s Faves (Shinjiro Otani, SUGI & Tatsuhito Takaiwa) vs. RAICHO, TARU & Yoshiyaku Yokoyama

This may be the greatest trios team ever assembled. Put Hino in the Takaiwa spot and we’d be talking seriously about those numbers. The other team is worthless. TARU is way past his best, which was never that good. Yokoyama is the worst wrestler in the promotion. RAICHO is ok. While I appreciate the clear heel/face divide I don’t want to see these scrubs this high up the card.

Zero14Otani

I legitimately get mad at Otani for wasting talent like this. Himself included! The match is only good when RAICHO and SUGI are doing flips. The rest of the match is garbage.

Zero14Raicho

Takaiwa settles for hitting the odd spot and Otani basically just does boot scrapes. Only with follow through so he batters the Voodoo Murders on the floor as well. I can’t get over Otani trying to make Yokoyama look good. What does he see in this man? RAICHO tries to lift SUGI spots here, and fails, and Yokoyama actually pins Otani with the Savage (sic) elbow.

Final Rating: *1/2

 

Kohei Sato & Towa Iwasaki vs. Masato Tanaka & Yuji Hino

Hold the fucking phone! Show saving match is on deck. We have three bruisers and super rookie Iwasaki in there for the ride. Iwasaki is 20 years old, technically solid and has a little extra leg size, which makes me think he’s heading towards the heavyweights. Hell, he’s already there at 220lbs but he’ll be a contender.

When Iwasaki isn’t in there this gets really stiff. It’s a bunch of guys who know each other well and aren’t afraid to leave a little stink on those strikes.

Zero14Iwasaki

This extends to the new kid with Tanaka keen to discover how pliable he is. It’s a fun match and most of the content is guys stiffing each other. One of my favourite moments is Hino’s borderline casual lariat that would beat Iwasaki if Sato didn’t save him. FUCKING BOMB finishes for Hino. Iwasaki is still inexperienced but he looks at home in these contests. This wasn’t quite the home run it could have been but give it six months and Iwasaki will look even more at home.

Final Rating: ***3/4

 

Zero1 World Heavyweight Championship

Daisuke Sekimoto (c) vs. Takuya Sugawara

This screams ‘routine defence’. Sugawara is a midcard act at best.

Zero14Sekimoto

Sekimoto’s job, as incumbent champion, is to make me believe he’s capable of dropping a fall to this jamoke. Where it finds that moment is during a Sugawara tope. He hurls himself skull first at Sekimoto’s chest and the missile damage makes it feel like he has a shot. He just needs to hurl his body at Sekimoto.

Zero14Sugawara

Sekimoto almost immediately responds with brutality and the backbreaker in particular looks murderous. Sugawara, in his defence, gets some nice cheeky roll ups and mixes in a degree of offence. I’m not convinced his counters into DDT’s work but he’s clearly trying harder than usual. Sekimoto puts him away with the German suplex and this was fine. Sugawara was good enough here.

Final Rating: ***1/2

 

Summary:

This show is somewhat salvaged by a better undercard than usual but there’s no denying there’s no big ‘must-see’ clash here. The Iwasaki tag is the closest the show comes to that and I’d probably recommend the Sugawara title match because that’s as good as he’ll ever get in singles but everything else is just ok.

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