PRO WRESTLING ZERO1
21ST ANNIVERSARY SHOW – SHINJIRO OHTANI 30TH ANNIVERSARY
MARCH 6, 2022
Watch: Wrestle Universe
TAKUYA NOMURA DEF. SATSUKI NAGAO (7:48)
On one hand, this was a good opener, on the other, you could argue this was a waste of Nomura. I tend to side with that latter point. You could have gotten a lot more out of Nomura in a different spot. However, Nomura was great here and gave a beating to Nagao who is a young boy. Nagao, for his part, is not bad. He’s a little bland but showed some fire at points. He’s definitely a work in progress. Nomura got the submission victory with a Crab Hold. ***¼
HIDE KUBOTA & YASU KUBOTA DREW YUKO MIYAMOTO & SUPER TIGER (20:00)
This was slow to start with Miyamoto and Tiger working over Hide’s arm. Then the Kubota Brothers worked over Tiger for a while. This never made it past second gear. The work was fine throughout and even good at some points, but it lacked excitement. It also went on way too long, I can’t believe we couldn’t have gotten an actual finish here instead of a draw. **¾
TSUGATAKA SATO & TAKUMI BABA DEF. SHOKI KITAMURA & GENTA HIRIKI (11:18)
Baba got worked over early on, but then this became a sprint. They didn’t reinvent the wheel here, but it was solid non-stop action. A hot closing stretch ended with Baba pinning Hiriki with the BB Bomb for the win. Good stuff. Hiriki is only about a year into his career and is showing a lot of promise. All of the guys in this match really bode well for the future of ZERO1.
After the match Baba called out All Japan’s Atsuki Aoyagi and they showed a graphic of him, so you’ve got to assume that is happening. ***¼
TARU & SHOGUN OKAMOTO DEF. CHRIS VICE & YOSHIKAZU YOKOYAMA (11:05)
Voodoo Murders explode! TARU threw powder into his opponents’ face before the bell and started to cut up Yokoyama with a two-pronged fork. Okamoto then worked over Yokoyama in a lackadaisical style. Things picked up a bit when Vice got in there. He threw the rotund Okamoto around, which looked cool. Yokoyama looked to have Okamoto pinned with a Death Valley Driver, but TARU pulled the referee out and then got in the ring, threw more powder and taped Vice to the corner. Yokoyama kicked out of some awful looking Okamoto offense but eventually got pinned after a Backdrop where he landed right on his head.
This, apart from some spots from Vice, was not great. *¾
MASATO TANAKA DEF. YOSHIKI INAMURA (17:22)
Oh baby, this was my most anticipated match of the show. Tanaka, the crafty veteran, tried to ground Inamura early on. While fighting on the outside, Inamura rammed his left arm into the ring post and Tanaka went to work on it after that. When things picked up, there was a fair amount of no selling spots which I’m sure will bother some, but I thought it was fine here. While Tanaka took most of the first half of the match, Inamura got in some great offense later on. Tanaka won the match with the Sliding D, but Inamura managed to survive a previous Sliding D and a Superfly Splash.
I might have hyped myself up a little too much for this match. This was very good, but I didn’t think it got to a sublime level. I also think Tanaka took too much of the match and he never really felt like he was in danger. I know he has a GHC Heavyweight Title match coming up, but Tanaka could have survived a few more near falls from Inamura. ***¾
After this match we got a video message from Perros Del Mal de Japon members NOSAWA Rongai, Ikuto Hidaka and Super Crazy, so look for them to face ZERO1 wrestlers soon.
NWA INTERCONTINENTAL TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
TAKAFUMI & JUNYA MATSUNAGA DEF. TOMOHIKO HASHIMOTO & GAJO © (13:52)
Hashimoto and Gajo, representing Pro Wrestling A-TEAM, are not exactly the most dynamic wrestlers. There was some sloppy stuff here too. Takafumi and Matsunaga put in some effort though, and that kept the match decent. Takafumi made Gajo submit to the Ichi Senshin. The champions fail at their V2 defense.
This certainly exceeded my expectations, though it’s not going on any year end lists. After several title vacancies over the past couple of years, Takafumi and Matsunaga would be a good choice for a team to bring some stability to these tag titles, they showed here that they have chemistry as a team. ***¼
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
TAKASHI SUGIURA © DEF. TAKUYA SUGAWARA (20:58)
Sugiura went after Sugawara’s arm early on and Sugawara fought back by going after the leg. We then got an extended period of leg work from Sugawara. The work here, particularly from Sugawara, wasn’t flashy but it managed to not feel plodding. Sugiura’s offense looked great as usual. Sugawara went for a Moonsault and landed right on Sugiura’s head. Sugiura no-sold it, got up and put Sugawara into a Guillotine and got the referee stoppage. I have to wonder if Sugiura went right to the finish there because he got pissed off. Sugiura was clearly feeling the impact to his face after the match. I would have considered giving this a higher rating if it had a proper closing sequence.
The quality here was surprising insofar as I wasn’t expecting much of this. Sugawara has never been much of a worker, but he tried here, though some of his stuff was sloppy, and not just the Moonsault. Sugiura deserves tons of credit for making this passable too. Sugiura succeeds in his V2 defense.
After the match, Shinjiro Ohtani got on the mic and seemed to argue with Sugiura. Perhaps that is a match they will be building to, once Ohtani returns from injury. It must suck to not be able to wrestle on your own anniversary show due to injury. ***¼
I generally enjoyed this show. While there was only one match that I would give a recommendation to, everything else was more or less what I expected.
ZERO1 does have some very good young talent, but if they want to improve the quality of their shows, they’re going to have to trim the fat and make better choices when it comes to the outsiders they bring in.
But now that ZERO1’s big shows seem to be a regular event on Wrestle Universe, I’m going to keep watching them.