February 13, 2015
Korakuen Hall
Tokyo, Japan

To celebrate watching my 50th event of 2015, I decided to watch an event with my favorite wrestler, the Great Muta! Ok so it is not as special as it was a decade ago but I still enjoy it. Also on this card the WRESTLE-1 Tag Team Championship will be defended as well, as Kaz and Kondo take on Tanaka and Yoshioka which I am sure will be a good match.  Looks like it is not clipped, which will make it more fun to watch.

Kuma Goro vs. Shotaro Ashino: This is the debut match for both wrestlers. They trade holds on the mat to start, neither able to get a clear advantage. Ashino eventually gets Goro’s leg but Goro applies a side headlock until they return to their feet. Goro gets Ashino in the ropes and slaps him, and the two trade elbows. Shoulderblock by Goro but they trade elbows until Goro hits a back elbow. Scoop slam by Goro and he chops Ashino into the corner. Lariat by Goro in the corner and he hits a senton for two. Crab hold by Goro but Ashino makes it to the ropes. Back up they trade elbows and Ashino hits a dropkick. Belly to belly suplex by Ashino, he slaps Goro in the crab hold and Goro submits!

While on one hand it has to suck to tap to another rookie, the advantage of this match is they were both able to do a bit more than usual since they were against someone with the same amount of experience. Not that sentons and suplexes are big spots but they were put in the match at the right times and the match was laid out very well. Simple, but fundamentally very sound. **1/4

NOSAWA Rongai, Hiroshi Yamato, and Rionne Fujiwara vs. Ryota Hama, MAZADA, and Hiroki Murase:  Someone will have to explain to me why NOSAWA and MAZADA are on different teams. NOSAWA and MAZADA begin things and they go back and forth, with MAZADA hitting a lariat before tagging in Murase. Yamato also tags in, they trade submissions before going into an elbow battle. Dropkick by Murase and he tags in Hama. Scoop slam by Hama and he stands on Yamato against the ropes. Murase is tagged back in and Murase chops Yamato in the corner. Yamato kicks Murase back and Yamato hits a back splash. Yamato tags in Fujiwara, and Fujiwara kicks Murase in the chest. Fujiwara throws Murase into the corner and Fujiwara hits a jumping knee followed by a face crusher. Fujiwara tags in NOSAWA and NOSAWA kicks Murase in the back. NOSAWA tags in Yamato and Murase hits a shoulder tackle in the corner. Suplex by Yamato and he hits a back splash off the top turnbuckle. Cover, but MAZADA breaks it up. Yamato throws MAZADA out of the ring and then elbows Hama, which Hama doesn’t appreciate. Yamato tags in Fujiwara but Murase kicks Fujiwara back and hits a swandive missile dropkick. Murase tags in Hama, and Hama shoulderblocks Fujiwara. Body avalanche by Hama and he delivers the running butt smash. Cover, but it gets two. Fujiwara avoids the body press and he makes the tag to NOSAWA. NOSAWA goes for a sunset flip, he can’t get Hama over and Hama sits on NOSAWA for a two count. Hama goes off the ropes and he hits a leg drop, but NOSAWA gets a shoulder up. Another elbow drop, but MAZADA breaks it up. Hama knocks down MAZADA (guess MAZADA and NOSAWA are still friends), Hama hits the Ookido Press on NOSAWA and picks up the three count.

Just a standard early card six man tag. Some decent action here and there but predictable, although none of the wrestlers looked bad and this is the best way to use Hama. *3/4

Hama Ass.

Any Wu and El Hijo del Pantera vs. KAZMA SAKAMOTO and Koji Doi: They all brawl to start off as Pantera and Wu hit dropkicks. Pantera dives out of the ring with a tope suicida, they then isolate Doi in the ring. Double team to Doi, and Wu hits a diving bodypress for a two count. Wu is tripped from ringside and Doi tags in SAKAMOTO. SAKAMOTO attacks Wu in the corner and tags Doi back in. Doi slams Wu and punches him down in the corner before tagging in SAKAMOTO. Chops by SAKAMOTO and he tags Doi back in. This not exciting assault on Wu continues until Wu hits a tornado DDT on SAKAMOTO. Wu tags in Pantera, Doi comes in too but Pantera hits a catapult dropkick on SAKAMOTO. He then lets Doi fall out of the ring, Wu comes in and its a plancha down onto SAKAMOTO. Pantera then hits a cannonball on Doi, Pantera and Wu gets back in the ring with SAKAMOTO and Pantera hits a dropkick. Bulldog by Wu and Pantera hits a senton, but Doi breaks it up. Wu and Pantera dropkick Doi out of the ring, but Wu accidentally hits Pantera with the Mizuno Ofune. SAKAMOTO covers Pantera, and he picks up the three count. Wu and Pantera got into it after the match, so maybe this team is finally over.

Even with the high flying this match dragged, which is an impressive feat since it was under seven minutes. The beatdown segment was just uninspired and the action afterwards wasn’t able to make up for it. I’ve seen Doi be better but unfortunately this is pretty normal for the other three, I don’t see card elevation in their future. *1/2

Great Muta, Masayuki Kono, and TAJIRI vs. Yasufumi Nakanoue, Yusuke Kodama, and Daiki Inaba: Great Muta’s first match of 2015! SUPER EXCITE. Muta spits green mist at Nakanoue before the match even starts and everyone brawls on the floor while Muta watches from inside the ring. Inaba rolls in and Muta hits him with the Flashing Elbow. Muta works over Inaba’s leg and applies a STF. Muta tags in TAJIRI and TAJIRI hits a suplex on Inaba before tagging in Kono. TAJIRI helps as everyone takes turns attacking Inaba, and Muta applies a sleeper hold. Inaba gets to the ropes and Muta tags in TAJIRI. TAJIRI slams Inaba and attacks Inaba’s taped up shoulder. Jumping knee by Kono in the corner and Kono hits a backdrop suplex for two. Inaba finally hits a vertical suplex of his own and he makes the hot tag to Nakanoue. Nakanoue cleans hours and elbows Kono in the corner. Sliding lariat by Nakanoue, he goes up top and hits a diving elbow drop. Kono hits Nakanoue with a jumping knee and he tags in TAJIRI. TAJIRI kicks Nakanoue in the head but Nakanoue hits a jumping elbow off the second turnbuckle. Nakanoue tags in Kodama and Kodama hits an elbow on TAJIRI followed by a vertical suplex. Handspring elbow by TAJIRI but Kodama hits a superkick. Jawbreaker by TAJIRI but Kodama bounces back in his corner and tags in Inaba. TAJIRI kicks Inaba but Inaba slams TAJIRI to the mat. TAJIRI avoids the diving headbutt, Kono runs in and hits a side slam on Inaba. Everyone attacks Inaba in the corner, powerbomb by TAJIRI but the pin is broken up. Nakanoue runs as now all six wrestlers are in the ring, and Nakanoue elbows Muta. Jumping lariat by Nakanoue to Muta, Nakanoue and Kodama go up top and jump off, but Muta and TAJIRI mists both of them. Inaba goes off the ropes but Muta and TAJIRI both mist him as well, and Muta hits Inaba with a Shining Wizard. Cover by TAJIRI, but Inaba kicks out. TAJIRI goes for the buzzsaw kick but Inaba ducks it and rolls up TAJIRI for the three count!

That ending was unexpected. This was fun, Muta and TAJIRI hit their signature double mist spots and Inaba played the part of whipping boy well. No substance, but it was nice to see Inaba pick up a big win and Muta did enough to keep me amused. **1/2

Muta during the match introductions!

Muta and TAJIRI with the double mist

Manabu Soya and AKIRA vs. Masakatsu Funaki and Jiro Kuroshio: AKIRA and Funaki start things off as they trade holds on the mat. AKIRA dropkicks Funaki and he tags in Soya. Soya elbows Funaki in the corner but Funaki avoids the next one and kicks Soya in the chest. Funaki applies a choke and he tags in Kuroshio. Kuroshio and Funaki take turns kicking Soya, and Kuroshio hits a quebrada. Dropkick by Kuroshio but Soya levels him with a spear. Soya tags in AKIRA and Kuroshio hits a double chop from both wrestlers. AKIRA works over Kuroshio’s leg and he tags in Soya. Atomic drop by Soya but Kuroshio kicks him in the stomach and hits a corkscrew splash out of the corner for a two count. Kuroshio tags in Funaki, and Funaki kicks Soya in the chest. Funaki goes for the crossface chickenwing but Soya gets to the ropes, Soya catches Funaki’s kick and delivers a lariat. Soya tags in AKIRA, scoop slam by AKIRA and he hits a diving kneedrop. Diving body press by AKIRA but Funaki applies a cross armbreaker. AKIRA gets out of it and applies an abdominal stretch, Funaki gets out of that and he hits a PK. Cover, but it gets a two count. Funaki goes for the Hybrid Blaster but AKIRA gets away and hits a release German suplex. AKIRA tags in Soya while Kuroshio is also tagged in. Kicks by Kuroshio and he elbows Soya in the corner. Kuroshio goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, he picks up Soya and slams him in front of the corner. Kuroshio goes up top but Soya throws him out to the apron. Soya picks up Kuroshio and brings him back in the ring, superkick by Kuroshio but Soya hits a running powerslam. Lariat by Soya and he plants Kuroshio with a twisting neckbreaker. While AKIRA holds down Funaki, Soya puts Kuroshio in the Scorpion Deathlock, but Funaki gets away and breaks it up. Soya headbutts Kuroshio, he goes off the ropes but Kuroshio hits a dropkick. Crucifix pin by Kuroshio, but Soya kicks out. Kuroshio goes for a small package but Soya blocks it and hits a brainbuster. AKIRA hits a pescado on Funaki while in the ring Soya hits a death valley bomb on Kuroshio for a two count. Soya charges up and he crushes Kuroshio with a Wild Bomber for the three count cover.

I really like Soya, I think of all the wrestlers around 30 years old in WRESTLE-1 he shows the most ability. This match was pretty good, a little random but Kuroshio is starting to grow on me and Funaki still seems to at least care a little bit anyway. They kept the action up and overall no big complaints. **3/4

KAI vs. Masato Tanaka: They bounce off each other to start the match and then trade chops. Tanaka and KAI trade elbows, and KAI knocks Tanaka out of the ring. KAI goes off the ropes but Tanaka elbows KAI in the head as he goes for a tope suicida. KAI comes back with a big boot but Tanaka lariats him over the guardrail. They fight in the crowd, then on the ramp Tanaka drops KAI with a brainbuster. Tanaka slides KAI back in the ring and Tanaka chops KAI in the chest. Tanaka elbows KAI in the corner and hits an elbow drop for two. Tanaka and KAI trade elbows but KAI snaps off a hurricanrana. Tanaka falls out of the ring and KAI hits a legitimate tope suicida. KAI rolls Tanaka back in and he hits a big boot in the corner. Tanaka comes back with a lariat but KAI returns the favor. Brainbuster by KAI but Tanaka hits a quick DDT. Tanaka charges but KAI kicks him, and they trade lariats. Tanaka puts KAI on the top turnbuckle and they trade headbutts. Superplex by Tanaka and he drops KAI with a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Tanaka goes for the Sliding D but KAI ducks it and hits a Fire Thunder Driver. Kick to the head by KAI but it gets a two count. LAT by KAI, but that also gets a two. KAI goes up top but Tanaka gets his knees up when KAI goes for the Splash Plancha. Tanaka goes up, but KAI also gets his knees up when Tanaka dives off. Tanaka and KAI headbutt each other while on the mat, then they trade elbows. Jumping kick by KAI but Tanaka hits a Sliding D for a two. He goes for another one but KAI ducks and hits a release German suplex. Lariat by KAI, he picks up Tanaka and hits the folding powerbomb for a close two. KAI goes up top, he delivers the Splash Plancha and he picks up the three count.

Another really good match, WRESTLE-1 is definitely improving in 2015. There were a few silly spots here and there but its hard to hate a match with two wrestlers going full speed to entertain, and it really felt like an important match (which I guess it was since they are building up KAI). I’m one of the few people in the world that thinks KAI does show some potential, he just needs the right opponent and Tanaka did the trick. ***1/2

KAI with the perfect tope suicida

(c) Kaz Hayashi and Shuji Kondo vs. Minoru Tanaka and Seiki Yoshioka:  This match is for the WRESTLE-1 Tag Team Championship. Tanaka and Hayashi start off and Hayashi slaps Tanaka after he gets him in the ropes. They trade holds on the mat until Tanaka rolls out of the ring to regroup, its funny when they start like this because you know damn well with these four that they are going to start dropping bombs at some point. Kondo and Yoshioka tag in and they trade kicks and elbows. Yoshioka kicks Kondo out of the ring and goes out to the apron, but Kondo pulls him out of the ring. Kondo stomps Yoshioka against the railing as the ‘feeling out’ portion of the match is officially over. Kondo tags in Hayashi, Hayashi goes to the apron as Kondo throws Yoshioka to him, and Hayashi hits a scoop slam. Back in the ring, Hayashi and Kondo take turns working over Yoshioka’s back. Yoshioka hit a jumping kick to Kondo and they trade elbows until Yoshioka hits an enzigieri. Scissors kick by Yoshioka, Tanaka runs in and goes for a pescado on Hayashi but Hayashi moves. Yoshioka kicks Kondo in the corner but Kondo catches one and stomps on Yoshioka’s head. Yoshioka kicks Kondo repeatedly in the corner and goes for a PK, but Kondo catches his leg. Original II by Kondo but Yoshioka kicks him as he goes for the spear. Kondo roars back with a lariat but Yoshioka kicks him in the head and both wrestlers are out. Tanaka and Hayashi are tagged in, dropkick by Tanaka and he hits a missile dropkick. Tanaka dropkicks Hayashi in the knee, Kondo runs in though and Tanaka is double teamed. Yoshioka runs in but he eats a superkick/lariat combination. Everyone runs off the ropes but Yoshioka hits a tornado DDT on Kondo. STO by Tanaka on Hayashi but it gets a two count. Kondo gets Tanaka on his shoulders while Hayashi is up top, but Yoshioka kicks Hayashi before he can jump and Tanaka suplexes Kondo. Frankensteiner by Yoshioka to Hayashi, Tanaka hits a sliding kick and then Yoshioka hits a pescado on Kondo.

Tanaka puts Hayashi up top and hits an avalanche single arm suplex for a two count. Yoshioka goes up top and hits a senton bomb, Tanaka goes up and nails the FIREBALL Splash, but Kondo breaks up the pin. This is the ‘dropping bombs’ potion of the match I referenced earlier. Yoshioka kicks Kondo in the head and goes to the apron, hitting an Asai Moonsault onto Kondo. In the ring, Tanaka grabs Hayashi and hits a jumping kick followed by a buzzsaw kick for two. Tanaka applies the cross armbreaker but Hayashi gets out of it and and applies La Magistral for two. Overhead suplex by Hayashi but Yoshioka runs in and hits a jawbreaker. Kondo comes in and plants Yoshioka with the Original but Tanaka dropkicks Kondo in the back when he tries to do the same to him. Tanaka grabs Hayashi and they trade kicks, Yoshioka runs in and kicks Hayashi too but Hayashi fights them off and hits a handspring kick on Tanaka. Hayashi picks up Tanaka and hits the Final Cut for a two count. Hayashi picks up Tanaka but Tanaka gets away and rolls him up for two. Kondo comes in and hits a lariat on Tanaka, Hayashi picks up Tanaka and hits an inverted suplex but he only gets two. Yoshioka picks up Tanaka again and this time hits the WA4, but Yoshioka breaks it up. Kondo gets rid of Yoshioka while Hayashi drags Tanaka to his feet, and Hayashi delivers the Power Plant for the three count.

This match was simply fantastic. I thought they were going to kill time at the beginning but they quickly showed they weren’t, and they didn’t go the ‘beat down’ segment route as they just took turns trying to kill each other. I love great team work, and both teams were constantly working together from start to finish. I also liked Hayashi literally pulling out everything he had to put away Tanaka, it just helped put over how big of the match it was, if after all that he won with La Magistral or something it would have felt like a letdown. Just a fast paced, hard hitting, and exciting match that everyone needs to see. One of my current top five matches of the year. ****1/2

FIREBALL Splash by Tanaka.

Power Plant by Hayashi

Final Thoughts:

To my utter shock, this is the second really complete and entertaining event from WRESTLE-1 in a row. Recently they have gotten away from the stuff I didn’t like about the promotion (maybe I wasn’t the only one) and have showcased the better wrestlers. The main event was a fantastic must-see match, KAI/Tanaka was the best KAI match I’ve seen in a long time, and Great Muta worked as a special attraction. The rest of the card wasn’t great as the first part of an event generally does suffer on indy cards, but the last half more than made up for it. There should be something for everyone here, definitely recommended to give a watch, even if you have negative thoughts about WRESTLE-1 as a whole give this event a try. Overall Grade: A

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