We are back at Wrestle-1 as the schedule last month was a bit hectic and had to skip the show due to too much going on.
I’ll just tell you what happened. Last show we did, Manabu Soya and AKIRA won the Tag Team Championships and were challenged by Kumaarashi and Shotaro Ashino in which they won the titles in May and lead to Kumaarashi to be the next challenger for today’s show. As you can see in the title that it says part one and I added that because this is technically day two of this tour since day 1 isn’t aired and the same with day three, so I wrote part one instead of day 2 for that reason. So we got a stacked card and plenty of surprises along with two titles matches, so let us…dive right in.
Ganseki Tanaka vs. Tsugutaka Sato
Review: I’m looking at the match card and I know it says the match is about eight minutes, but they do cut a bit of time from the earlier matches due to trying to make it about two hours for TV and sucks since I wanna see the full matches of the whole card and not just the upper half of it, takes away the feeling of watching a show and feels like I’m watching a recap for the first half. From what was available though it didn’t look too bad at all since it looked like it was the newer talent fighting each other with mostly stiff strikes and submissions, they both looked good while doing what they needed for a simple yet effective opener. Due to half the bout being cut, not much to talk about than what I just said and Tsugutaka won the match with an Elevated Boston Crab.
Recommended: It wasn’t bad, but the match being cut hurt my full opinion so skip it.
Tag Team Match
FUJITA & MAZADA vs. Ryuji Hijikata & Takanori Ito
Review: It started off with Ito and MAZADA going back and forth with punches and once Ito knocked MAZADA down, he kicked his foot up to hit him in the groin to take Ito down with him, clever. Ryuji was only in the ring once during this whole match and it was very brief since it was just FUJITA and MAZADA working on Ito throughout the whole match to get the heat and I actually do like them as a tag team and they flow nicely. MAZADA would try to go for the pin on Ito, but he kicks out at two and Ryuji would hit him with a Shining Wizard before he gets up and goes to the outside to prevent FUJITA from getting in the ring while MAZADA and Ito fight in the ring. Ito would get the upper hand on him with a few kicks to knock him down and would pick him up for the German Suplex Hold to get the win for him and Ryuji.
Recommended: Same problem as above, but this one was watchable at least.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Alejandro, Andy Wu & El Hijo del Pantera vs. Jun Tonsho, Kaz Hayashi & Kotaro Suzuki
Review: We got a six-man match-up with the three masked wrestlers taking on Kaz Hayashi as he leads the team with Jun Tonsho and Kotaro Suzuki.
Pantera and Hayashi start the match off and Pantera starts schooling him with his lucha style and a mix of arm drags, he would then hold his arm while walking on the ropes as Kotaro would try to shake the ropes to knock him down, but Pantera held on and bounced up to flip the both of them and that looks insane. Pantera would jump over Kaz to Dropkick Kotaro and it looked like he was gonna do a Suicide Dive and spins back into the ring before tagging Alejandro. Alejandro got kicked down right away by Kaz and kept going at it till he took an arm drag and he went to go for a tilt-a-whirl, but he slipped when he was going around for the second time and was able to still roll him up for a pin to try and cover it up for a two count and not Kotaro gets tagged in. Alejandro hits a Missle Dropkick and tags in Andy Wu who starts exploding with energy sweeping Kotaro after dodging a Roundhouse Kick, hitting a nice Frankensteiner off the top rope and would get a two count, but now Kaz and Pantera start getting involved in the match with all four of them going back and forth with Kaz and Kotaro first hitting a Handspring Elbow onto both of them, then Andy hits a Wheelbarrel into a Bulldog onto Kotaro, then Kaz hits a Jawbreaker, and then it ends with Pantera hitting a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker to make all four men go down while Alejandro and Jun are standing in their corners until they actually get tagged in.
Alejandro and Jun start to hit each other with punches, but Alejandro would get the upper hand with a Springboard Crossbody and then a Springboard Dropkick and gets a two count. Jun then gets some offense when he dove through the ropes to hit a DDT and goes to the top rope, but Alejandro goes up quick to do an arm drag and then hits a Reverse DDT to go for the pin as the other four men go back in to break it up which ends with Andy and Pantera both doing a Hurricanrana to the both of them and diving to the outside to leave them alone again. Alejandro looked like he was trying to go for that Tilt-a-Whirl DDT which I forget what he calls it, but they both dropped and Jun would hit him with a Dragon Suplex for a two count and for good measure hits a Thrust Kick for the win. After the match, Jun stated that he wants a shot at the UWA Six Man Tag Team Championships.
Recommended: Solid six-man action despite some slip-ups and made me a fan of Pantera.
Tag Team Match
Masayuki Kono & NOSAWA Rongai vs. Koji Doi & Shuji Kondo
Review: Another tag team bout with NOSAWA and Masayuki taking on Koji and Shuji, and of course it started with Shuji and Koji hitting a Shoulder Block onto NOSAWA to knock him down. Part of the match got cut on this one too since it was mostly NOSAWA and Kono knocking down Shuji and it would work for a while until Shuji had one up for a Bulldog while hitting a Lariat on the other so he could tag Koji in for the remainder of the match and would get stopped by Kono as he attempts a Double Chokeslam on Koji and Shoji, but they would jump out of it to push him off for a Double Clothesline and as Koji went for the pin, NOSAWA would hit a Shining Wizard. Eventually, Koji would hit a Facebuster on Kono and then applies the Nankinjogatame to make him tap out.
Recommended: The match was okay, so up to you.
– After the match, NOSAWA was still in the ring as he says that it’s time for there to be some excitement for Wrestle-1 and that is why he called a friend in. Out came CIMA along with several of his wrestlers from OWE (Oriental Wrestling Entertainment), as they made their presence known in the W-1 ring. Joined by T-HAWK, El Lindaman, Takehiro Yamamura, Gao Jingjia & Zackery Wentz (Dezmond Xavier was also announced to join later), the group known as STRONG HEARTS, has declared an all-out war against WRESTLE-1. CIMA stated that he will bring much-needed life to W-1. Which Vice-President Kondo took offense and Hayashi as well was not happy with the call-out against their promotion. CIMA and Shuji Kondo had an initial stare-off, but then T-HAWK got into Kondo’s face to assert himself against the veteran. Jun Tonsho, Hayashi’s current protege, even shoved CIMA to the mat. The OWE boys made a wall in front of Tonsho which lead to Hayashi pulling his boy back. The group will begin compete in W-1 on the June 22nd show at the Shinkiba 1stRING, as President Hayashi stated that the event card will be changed soon. All I can say about this whole ordeal is holy shit. I’m so glad OWE is getting a chance to shine and I feel like this little partnership could help open new doors for the both of them. OWE is a promotion in China which is lead by CIMA himself and is in charge of running it once he left Dragon Gate while still being apart of the company. This feud made me excited and I can’t wait to see what happens. (Credit to puroresuspirit.net for the details as what was said.)
Tag Team Match
Kenichiro Arai & Shotaro Ashino vs. Jiro Kuroshio & Masato Tanaka
Review: Since Kumaarashi is busy with his upcoming title match, his tag partner, Shotaro Ashino had to pick someone else from Enfants Terribles to team up with him and he picks Kenichiro to take on Jiro ‘Ikemen’ Kuroshio and Masato Tanaka which I didn’t see coming. I also love how Masato is also wearing Jiro’s jacket for when he wrestles as his partner, that’s just awesome to me.
Masato and Ashino look to be starting it off and we get some nice chain wrestling for a moment and Masato would get the advantage first while popping his jacket a little, but Ashino gets mad and hits a European Uppercut on him and Masato strikes back and hits a running forearm to the corner before tagging Jiro in as he starts to chop Ashino and while he can to the ropes, Kenichiro opened the ropes up for him to fall to the outside. Kenichiro would attack Jiro on the outside for a moment before putting him back into the ring so he could get tagged in and hits Jiro with the Kitchen Sink to knock him down before going over to the corner where Ashino is sitting on the top turnbuckle as Kenichiro goes up behind him to stand on his shoulders and fall down for a Double Stomp and gets a two count. Kenichiro would run towards Jiro, but Jiro jumps up to make him tackle the turnbuckle post and gives Jiro time to hit a Dropkick off the top and tag Masato in who gets the hot tag and even takes the jacket off, how could you!? Masato would have Kenichiro in a DDT position and Ashino runs in to try and break it, but gets caught in a Stunner while hitting the DDT at the same time, but his momentum would end when Kenichiro hits an Atomic Drop and a Spinning Neckbreaker to knock Masato down. Ashino gets tagged in now and hits a Running Uppercut to Masato and then Masato hits a DDT before he could tag in Jiro who then slaps Ashino with part of his jacket before having him go outside to hit an Asai Moonsault. It looked like Jiro went to go for a Springboard, but Ashino catches him for a German Suplex as they’re both down while Jiro tries to make the tag, but Masato was knocked down before he could reach him which lead to a two on one assault on Jiro with another Running Uppercut while Kenichiro hits an Alabama Slam. Ashino would hit two German Suplexes and he was going for a third until Jiro grabbed the ropes to try and fight it, but Ashino hits his head to make him let go and attempts a third, but Jiro filled out of it and its a Cradle Piledriver and goes to hit his Moonsault Press for the win, but Kenichiro grabbed the referee’s hand to stop the count. Ashino would finally apply his Ankle Lock to try and make Jiro tap and he tried so hard to break out of it, but was unable to for a while until he surprised him with the Ikemen Flash roll-up and gets the surprise victory over Ashino! After the match, Jiro told Ashino that he and Masato want a shot at the Tag Titles at the June 22nd show.
Recommended: Very solid match, worth the watch.
WRESTLE-1 Cruiserweight Title Match
Seiki Yoshioka (c) vs. Yusuke Kodama
Review: Seiki is set to defend his Cruiserweight Championship for the fifth time as his next challenger is Enfants Terribles member, Yusuke Kodama who looks to bring the belt over to his faction so they would have more gold while Seiki is proving that he’s still on top of the division.
It looked like they were trying to see who can outsmart who during the beginning of their sequence with Kodama ducking on of Seiki’s strike to slap him in the face and later on, Seiki would stop himself from jumping over Kodama so he could kick him when he was down, but then Kodama got the upper hand when they were outside and he tripped Seiki from the apron to knock him down as he now gets the heat in the match. Kodama would have Seiki in the corner to chop and punch him around and Seiki would try to turn it around to have him in the corner to go for a kick, but Kodama would duck it to have him back in and hits a Running Forearm along with a Brainbuster for a two count. Kodama went for a Reverse DDT and Seiki would flip out of it as he delivers some kicks to him until Kodama raked his eyes to do an Irish Whip which Seiki reverses and hits a Cruiser Kick to knock Kodama down and tops it off with a stiff Enziguri and an Axe Kick to get a two count. Seiki would have Kodama by the ropes and gets hit to give Kodama time to try and hit a Springboard DDT, but gets pushed off into the corner for Seiki to hit a Shining Wizard, Enziguri, and a Running Dropkick to knock him down, but now they’re on the top rope but Seiki has him down to hit the Tree of Woe for a two count. Seiki would attempt to go to the top rope, but Kenichiro went out to distract Seiki only to get knocked down, but it was enough time for Konada to recover and push him off the top rope to make him go outside where he attack him for a bit and try to get a count out victory and once Seiki got closer, Konada would run and do a flip to the outside onto Seiki to get him back in as he hits a Diving Forearm shades of AJ Styles to get another two count. Konada isn’t done yet as he picks Seiki up for a Powerbomb right away and still gets a two count as Konada now attempts to pick him up, but Seiki would fall back down which leads to Konada to mock him a bit to make him get up as he picks him up again to go for a Fisherman as Seiki fights out of it and hits two Roundhouse Kicks to make them both go down. Seiki would get up first and starts to grab his arms so he could stomp him down for a bit until he picked him up for a Devastation Kick and a Pump Handle Driver for a two count. Seiki looks to end it with the PK but Konada would fall down before he could get a chance to kick him and plays possum by rolling him up for a two count and as Seiki tried to kick him, Konada catches the leg to hit a German Suplex, but Seiki gets back up and kicks him down a few times to try and do it again, but Konada hits a Bloody Sunday for a two count. Konada would pick Seiki up for a Fisherman Buster for another two count, but Konada quickly goes to the top rope so he can hit his Mad Splash and we have a new Cruiserweight Champion!
Seiki Yoshioka has held the belt for 284 days with four successful title defenses under his belt and he definitely had a solid run with the title, but I can’t be mad with Konada winning the belt either since he definitely delivered in this match here to earn this win. After the match, Konada would start to mock and humiliate Seiki a little bit until El Hijo del Pantera came out to not only make the save, but to also assert himself as the next challenger for the championship, but we don’t have the official date for it as of now but I am excited about it.
Recommended: Great match, definitely worth the watch.
WRESTLE-1 Title Match
Manabu Soya (c) vs. Kumaarashi
Review: After losing the Tag Team Championships to Manabu and AKIRA, Kumaarashi would betray his partner to join up with Enfants Terribles to get a rematch for the titles with his new partner and former WRESTLE-1 Champion, Shotaro Ashino and they were able to get the titles together which made Kumaarashi the next challenger for the championship. Enfants Terribles now has all but one title now due to Konada just winning the Cruiserweight Championship and both Ashino and Kumarrashi still being champions, all that’s left for them to take now is Manabu’s title and could make Kumarrashi a double champion if he can somehow pull out the victory here, so let’s see if he can.
We get a bit of a slow start with the two locking up and pretty much a headlock until Manabu pushed Kuma off as they both shoulder tackle each other back and forth for a bit as Manabu was able to knock Kuma down and starts to kick him. Manabu went for an Irish Whip and gets reversed as Kenichiro would grab Manabu’s legs to pull him to the outside and hit him with a chair on his injured ribs while Kuma distracts the referee and before the referee turned around, Kenichiro was on the other side as Kuma would stand on the ring apron to hit a Senton on top of him while Manabu was laying on two chairs.I’m loving the selling with Manabu’s ribs since it’s not over the top and makes it feel like it’s a legit injury while trying his best to fight off Kuma and gets knocked down with a knee in the gut and would even do a Vicegrip on his injured ribs before hitting another Senton for a two count. Manabu would get a small comeback when he runs from the ropes to hit a Flying Clothesline and then a splash in the corner with a Bulldog and then a Neckbreaker right after to only get a two count, but he would pick him up for a quick DDT for another two count and when he tries to throw him into the corner, Kuma would reverse it to throw him in and run after him only to get kicked in the face so Manabu can attempt a Crossbody, but Kuma catches him for a Bearhug and gives him a Backbreaker before Manabu could fight out of it. After applying a Torture Rack onto Manabu, Kuma would attempt to go for a Piledriver a couple of times only for Manabu to flip him over to get some time to regain his stamina and the two would brawl back and forth until Manabu had him dazed with his double-handed chops and ran in for a Spear, but Kuma catches him in time and it looked like he was going for a Suplex, but Manabu reverses it into a Brainbuster and he’s down. Manabu would go for a Spear and a Death Valley Driver to get a two count and it looks like he’s calling for the Wild Bomber, but Kuma would hit his arm twice to prevent him from hitting it and would hit a Lariat of his own, but Manabu would headbutt his arm before the collision and now the two try to Lariat each other to knock the other down and it wasn’t working until Kuma actually hits his first but he calls down with him. Kuma goes to the top rope only for Manabu to get up to fight him off and he hits a Superplex before getting up to try and hit the Wild Bomber, but Kuma catches him to tackle him to the turnbuckle and knocks him down before he climbs up again to hit a Senton off the top rope, but he’s too weak to make the cover otherwise that would’ve been it, but he tries to pin him anyway and it’s already too late as he kicked out. The two would get up slowly and start clubbing each other in the chest until Manabu was too weak to hit him and Kuma picked him up to only get hit with a headbutt, and now Manabu tried to pick him up and gets caught in a Powerbomb instead as Kuma goes for the cover again and Manabu kicks out once more. Kuma went to the top rope to hit one more Senton but Manabu would roll out of the way and hits a Wild Bomber on the back of his head and then one more to go for the pin and Kuma kicks out, but Manabu would hit one more Wild Bomber and this time he gets the win and still champion!
After the match, no challenger came forward, but the W-1 GRAND PRIX will begin on July 1st with the winner earning the right to challenge on September 2nd. Last year we had Ashino taking on Jiro for the WRESTLE-1 Championship on that same show and it was my favorite match of that year, so I’m definitely excited to see who will fight Manabu this September.
Recommended: This was a great match with nice storytelling, definitely give it a watch.
Overall: Aside from the first match being average, this was honestly a great show and one of the better ones that I’ve covered on here for sure. With the invasion of CIMA and OWE, new Cruiserweight Champion, and just a solid main event, I’m very excited to see what the next show brings.
Favorite Match: Seiki Yoshioka vs. Yusuke Kodama
Least Favorite Match: Ganseki Tanaka vs. Tsugutaka Sato