Zero1/Super Fireworks First Ever Bob Sapp Current Blast!
May 12 2017
This show is based entirely around the concept that Bob Sapp hasn’t done an explosions match and Atsushi Onita is on his latest retirement tour so it’s a special attraction. That’s how they sold this show. We’re going to blow Bob Sapp up. Hey, I’m here! Not that it drew. We’re in Nagoya and the building is half full at best. I’m not going to screenshot a wide angle shot because it’s embarrassing, frankly.
Kotaro Suzuki & Takuya Sugawara vs. Ikuto Hidaka & Sean Guinness
The ring announcer announces Guinness how I order it at the bar. “Guinnessuuuuuuu”. This is usually due to slurring on my part. Speaking of which I’ve been boozing for the entire week prior to sitting down to review this and it’s actually a relief to be spending an evening watching puroresu over mass alcohol consumption. My liver will be pleased. It’s a little sad watching Guinness have a decent match with Kotaro in front of a hundred people who only showed up to see Bob Sapp get blown to smithereens. If you’re a pro you just go out there and give it your best. I’m sure Guinness has worked in front of smaller, shittier crowds in his time. Guinness looks so good here, like a cross between Finn Balor and Neville, that if I was Otani I’d probably give him a big push. What’s he got to lose? The others don’t have his drive and ambition although Kotaro can sleepwalk his way to *** and Hidaka doesn’t suck, when properly motivated. Sugawara? Yeah, he’s rubbish in this match. Luckily the focus remains on Kotaro vs. Guinness and they deliver in spades. The finish is those boys doing a near falls sequence that ends up in a pin. The technical stuff was great here and, like I said, if I’m Otani I’m pushing Guinness. The plan is Kotaro vs. Guinness for the junior belt in Zero1. That should be good.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Takuya Shibayama vs. Hartley Jackson
Jackson is a journeyman. He’s been around in so many places for so long he worked Korakuen Hall for New Japan over a decade ago. He’s part of the resurgent Australian scene but at 37 years young may not be one of the figureheads of that movement. Shibayama is a guy I’ve seen listed on cards but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him wrestle. I may have just forgotten him, as I watch quite a lot of wrestling. He has flamboyant sparkly pants and Jeff Hardy rainbow hair but works mostly strong style. They work a back and forth veterans match until Shibayama seems to completely give up on the concept and Jackson beats him with a Savage Elbow. The wheels came off this motherfucker and no mistake.
Final Rating: **
Yoshikazu Yokoyama & Chris Orndorff vs. Mayo-gun X & Mayo-gun XX
Yokoyama is rocking his Honky Tonk Man/Punch Tominaga gimmick. Orndorff is still existing as a Chris Benoit/Paul Orndorff wannabe. Their masked opponents have some sort of old school evil Killer Bees deal going on. They wear masks to differentiate themselves. One sports red, the other green. Not sure which one is X and which one is XX. The referee is quite lenient and allows the heels manager to get involved, as well as extensive double teaming. I would search the internet to find out who he is but searching “Mayo-gun X” gets a lot of condiment delivery systems to browse and I love my condiments too much. If I start looking at mustard guns I’m going to get one.
The manager, who looks like he’s in the Yakuza and just fancied a go at the business, strolls in there with brass knuckles at one point. Geez, no wonder Zero1 can’t draw for shit. The condiment boys win. I’m ok with that. This was awful. I quite enjoyed it.
Final Rating: *1/4
NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Championship
Junior Stars (Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka) (c) vs. Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa
This match has a high concentration of surly old fucks. At least three of them would rather slap you in the face than talk to you. This has the added bonus of seeming like a bar fight, as there are roughly a pub’s worth of fans in here. Minoru Tanaka appears to be drinking bottled piss (because it’s sterile and he likes the taste).
I’m sad immediately because everyone is in a good mood, which rapidly deteriorates into a fight. You can always rely on these miserable old fuckers to beat each other up. Bless them all! Apart from piss-drinking grey-head Minoru Tanaka. He’s far too good natured. Every time Kanemoto takes over he’s all “no, you fucking wimp, kick him in the kidneys and stamp on his testicles. It’s the only way he’ll learn”. Otani retorts by doing the boot scrapes to Koji and trying out innovative new ways to stamp on his face.
Otani is an absolute dick and one of my favourite wrestlers of all-time. He’s a miserable old prick, who’s mad at the world because he’s old and his hair is falling out and his head looks like a ripe melon. And there’s Koji Kanemoto, who spent his entire career doing the same shit and making more money in bigger spots. Otani is practically seething. Takaiwa is no help at all, getting his leg destroyed and spending most of the match crawling around on the mat. Then Takaiwa suddenly wakes up, stops selling, hits two lariats and pins Kanemoto with the Death Valley Driver. Huh? Then he starts selling the knee again. Bizarre stuff. Match was a bunch of old guys kicking the shit out of each other. If I had a favourite genre of pro-wrestling that would be it.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Yusuke Obata
Obata is Zero1’s golden boy who they point blank refuse to put over for the title. He’s so muscular and lean. Sekimoto is quite bulky by comparison. Every time I see Sekimoto’s chest I think ‘that’s just totally unrealistic’ and also ‘has Dino Bravo come back from the dead’. Obata is keen to put down a marker. He wants to show Sekimoto that this is Obata’s House. Not his literal house. This is a sports hall. And it looks like Obata doesn’t have many mates. Obata looks decent but Sekimoto bullies him with his superior size and power. It’s very much a lesson in how unprepared Obata is to be a genuine main event. And yet Obata is 33 years old and has been wrestling for 12 years. Maybe he’s never going to reach the top of the mountain. He does some good shit here, trying to limit Sekimoto by hitting dives, applying sleepers and hitting strikes. If Sekimoto was a human man and not a shaved clone of a bear he might even stand a chance. He doesn’t. German suplex finishes and the crowd’s non-reaction about sums up what a disappointing evening this must be for all concerned. Some really good action in this but it was limited by card placement and lack of enthusiasm.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Masato Tanaka & James Raideen vs. Hideki Suzuki & Kohei Sato
There are some serious heavyweight badasses competing in this thing. Plus there is storyline attached as Masato Tanaka has turned to the dark side to capture the title, at Hideki Suzuki’s expense, so now everyone is going to fight. Tanaka is the only normal sized guy in the match. Everyone else fell out of Vince McMahon’s wet dream. Raideen, the Kiwi, has improved as a worker over the years and has developed his style to suit Japan. My biggest beef with this match is that Hideki Suzuki isn’t angry about losing his title. I know it’s been a couple of months but I’d still be pissed off if I was him. Maybe he’s even more pissed off that nobody turned up to this show. This is like the old guys tag from earlier, only with more steroids and youthful vitality. The match clips along at a fair old rate until Hideki decides to break Raideen in half and that’s the submission finish.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Current Blast Death Match
Atsushi Onita, Shogun Okamoto & Aja Kong vs. Bob Sapp, TARU & Jaguar Yokota
Onita coming out to “Wild Thing” never gets old. He does. It doesn’t. What few fans did show up are all over his entrance. Shame he can barely walk to the ring under his own power. I love that TARU, when faced with throngs of fans, clears them in a second with a SWORD, channelling Tiger Jeet Singh and genuinely scaring the hell out of people.
Bob Sapp strolls out, slowly, to Ric Flair’s music, wearing a Ric Flair robe.
I love Bob Sapp pic.twitter.com/pjRMJI8WOo
— Arnold Furious (@ArnoldFurious) June 12, 2017
If you carry yourself like a megastar, you’re a megastar. He manages to get Onita to take a bump before the match even starts, by pushing him over. Sapp isn’t what you’d call a good wrestler. He’s slow, he’s sloppy and he’s downright awful at times. However that personality will take you a long way. The women decide to carry the workload, which is a terrific idea as they’re generally better in every way to their male counterparts. Onita tries a table spot on the usually sturdy Japanese tables and it collapses under his weight. The referee, already sporting goggles to protect him from the evils of splintered wood, looks absolutely disgusted with the table for breaking.
Sapp is strangely hilarious throughout, acting like a big heel and stomping on women but doing so with such a ridiculous look on his face that I can’t hate him. Onita decides to hit a Stunner and when that, rather predictably, doesn’t work at all he does it again. Botch. Repeat spot. Sleep? Onita doesn’t quite have the same mantra as Brock Lesnar. He gets miffed with that shitty table and uses bits of it to hit TARU with. This is a match for the ages (ages 44-59). In the midst of all this terrible horseshit Jaguar and Aja continue to have a really good match. Lots of powder and mist gets involved before Onita bashes TARU with the blast bat for the win. TARU thankfully protected by his boiler suit, unlike the exposed flesh of Robert Sapp.
Final Rating: I can’t rate this. Watch it though.
After the main event Onita yells “next time I shit you” at Bob Sapp. He follows this by drinking water and literally spitting in fans faces. If that doesn’t make you want to watch this show I can’t help you. Sure, there were no fans and nothing topped **** but I genuinely loved this show.