Zero1 Hono Pro-Wrestling 16th Yamato Shinshu Chikara Matsuri
Or the Shrine Show for short.
March 31 2019
We’re at the Yasukuni Shrine. Over a thousand in attendance. Otani is in the studio to record comms for it.
This takes ten minutes. He talks about some forthcoming cards and we get on with the show.
Shoki Kitamura vs. Yuta Suzuki
As per usual the kids are on first. Yuta is a genuine prospect. He’s very solid, capable and has a lot of mass for a youngster. Kitamura I’m less keen on and so is the cameraman! He doesn’t bother following a charge into the corner. I know it’s the opening match but come on dude. Kitamura gets the win and the sheer indifference of the camera operator about sums up how important this was.
Final Rating: *1/2
Hiroshi Yamato & Super Tiger vs. Kubota Brothers
The production values are so bad here I’m quite startled by it all. It’s such a pity because the Shrine show is usually one of Zero1’s better looking events.
Literally no fucks given from Otani. Who cares about the wrestling? Watch me snack instead.
Absolutely no fucks given pic.twitter.com/x7aSlg86NB
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) April 21, 2019
The Kubota Bros win here. Nobody cares.
Final Rating: *
Zero1 United National Heavyweight Championship
Towa Iwasaki (c) vs. King Khash
Iwasaki is starting to get the big push around here. He’s only 20 but already reminds me of some of the bigger heavyweights from Japanese history. I compared him to Jumbo Tsuruta last month. King Khash is an American gentleman. He’s a regular for Defy and worked on the Progress tour last year. This is basic but fine and Iwasaki retains with a bridging backdrop driver in under seven minutes.
Final Rating: **
Zero1 have developed a habit of having bad undercards and then smashing it in the big matches. Let’s hope that tradition is alive and well here because this has not been a good undercard.
Kohei Sato & SUGI vs. RAICHO & Shogun Okamoto
This doesn’t feel like a complete waste of two of Zero1’s best wrestlers at all.
RAICHO is the evil version of SUGI. I think it’s Masamune. This is a natural winner for ‘match that goes and makes use of the building’ and naturally the cameraman falls asleep and leaves the hardcam pointing at the ring.
He finally wakes up and this is happening. SUGI attempting to high spot murder his evil double in the name of love. It goes bad for SUGI and he’s superkicked off the balcony. RAICHO is confirmed as a coward for not jumping after him. I have serious doubts about them sharing any kind of DNA. If he was an evil clone he would definitely have jumped. SUGI does one of his patented high spots; jumping off Sato’s shoulders but the cameraman misses it entirely. For some bizarre reason Zero1 decide this would be a good match for Shogun Okamoto to shine. As I’m sat here watching this I realise there’s a strong reason why no one else watches Zero1. They’re a company that present a lot of obstacles to the casual and even if you watch it a lot it is disappointing. They kinda screw up the ending here with RAICHO not good enough to match SUGI on a dramatic counter. Anyway, he plants SUGI with a sit out powerbomb and that’ll do it. Easily the best thing on the show to this point but it was a low bar.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Masato Tanaka & Takuya Sugawara vs. Fuminori Abe & Ikuto Hidaka
Knowing the geniuses at play behind this show we’ll probably spend the entire match with Sugawara and Hidaka rolling around on the mat doing bad shootstyle counters. They do way too much stuff that I don’t care about before tagging Tanaka in and Abe does a great job of refusing to take snapmares. He keeps rolling through them. It’s so simple and yet so great. He just doesn’t want to be in position to get kicked. There are building blocks here for a better match but there’s way too much Sugawara. The best use of him is standing on the apron and taking random slaps from Abe. The Abe vs. Tanaka exchanges are so great in this. Abe knowing he can’t go toe to toe with a legendary hard man and instead utilizing his speed and versatility to get the job done. Tanaka’s response is to hit Hidaka in the groin with his wooden samurai sword. That’s certainly not a spot I would want to take. Hidaka can’t put Sugawara away and ends up eating his lethal looking spinny drop driver thing (that’s the official name I believe).
Final Rating: ***1/2
Shinjiro Otani, Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Tatsumi Fujinami vs. TARU, Chris Vice & Yoshikazu Yokoyama
It’s kinda wild that a 65 year old Fujinami is still doing these guest spots in other promotions. The shade from Gedo at not using him in 11 years. Shocking. What’s more shocking is Otani absolutely wasting himself and his mates in this match. 34 year old Australian journeyman Chris Vice, who’d not wrestled anywhere of note until last year, is the best wrestler on their team by some distance.
As an added bonus to the production values on this show during this match a loud crackling noise drowns out all the commentators. Also the lighting is so bad you can’t see the wrestlers when they hit the ropes. They brawl outside here and the cameraman is asleep at the wheel again, missing the whole thing.
When they return to the ring, as the camera doesn’t move at all, we get a boring heat segment on Otani. This match is over 20 minutes long. Otani gets in a few of his trademark spots but there is heavy reliance on heat and these are not good wrestlers to be controlling a lengthy match against three veterans. Otani pins Yokoyama with a weak clothesline. This was a terrible match and a terrible idea.
Final Rating: ½*
Yuko Miyamoto vs. Yuji Hino
No pressure lads but if this is shit we’re on for an all-time bad Zero1 show. Miyamoto does a grand job here of stepping up to Hino. He clearly can’t match the big man for power and sells like he’s rattled by almost every single shot but it doesn’t stop him trying. Hino is his usual self. Utterly convinced he’s going to mash Miyamoto in short order and looking surprised when Miyamoto lands anything.
They run a great sequence where they just slap each other until Miyamoto staggers into a German suplex, bleeding from the face. FUCKINGBOMB finishes for Hino. This was a very enjoyable match. Miyamoto trying like hell to take Hino on in a smashmouth battle and failing. Hino crushing him in the end.
Final Rating: ***3/4
While the in-ring varied quite dramatically in quality there was a massive issue with production on this show. It was unacceptable. The production came from Nicopro and it was some of the worst production work I’ve ever seen. In 2019! What the hell is wrong with you clowns? One camera. One operator. Presumably with other duties because he wasn’t paying attention. An abject failure. I cannot possibly recommend that you watch this.