Friday, September 20, 2013

ZERO-1 01:01:2013

So I'm watching stuff from January. Let's see how this goes.
YOSHIKAZU YOKOYAMA vs. HAYATO MASHITA
 Mashita is a Sayama trainee who did some Real Japan and BattlARTs. I know I've seen him before, but I can't remember anything he's really done. He looks really lackadaisical and a little generic in a shooty way. I like his work in the corner, but there wasn't much else for him. Yokoyama made his debut at 21 in 2010. I don't remember watching him back then, but I like where he's at now. For one he's rocking wicked mullet, that is also party in the front with a stubby mohawk deal. This match is worth watching for a bit of neat, somewhat subtle psychology in the finishing stretch. Yohoyama counters a running knee with a running back body drop. Mashita sells the back and walks to a corner to regroup. Yokoyama bull rushes him in the back, tosses him down, and stomps his back again before climbing the rope. Then Yokoyama does a really heavy top rope elbow drop on Mashita's lower back to go into the nice camel clutch submission. It really felt like it came about in an organic way, with Yokoyama noticing he had an in with Mashita holding his back, and then eating it up. It's a cool bit of thought that I really appreciate.

MEIKO SATOMURA vs. YUHI
Yuhi is totally fun with her kicks and springboard business. Yeah she nearly mucks up the springboard dropkick, but it works out in only pulling a nearfall. Both girls have some fun counter submissions, with Yuhi in particularly showing some great desperation in her flash-sub attempts. Definitely a fun match worth checking out with some fun kicky stuff and a nice finish.

MINEO FUJITA, YUKI SATO, & TRAVIS BANKS vs. CRAIG CLASSIC, MENSO~RE OYAJI, & BIKUMA
Okinawa Pro Representing! The early comedy stuff with Menso~re was fun and energetic, but everything got less and less interesting as it went on. Lots of nut shots. They'd also take inopportune moments to work the crowd during up tempo stuff. Like with Bikuma's DDT. Sato should have just pushed him off at that point. Didn't get to see much of any of the gaijin. So nothing much of interest here.

KOHEI SATO, RYOUJI SAI, KAMIKAZE, & ONRYO vs. SHITO UEDA, YUSAKU OBATA, WILL GIBSON, & JESSE WILLIAMS
There's a cool gameplan here with Sato's team deciding they want to cut the ring off on Obata and quadruple team him a lot. Obata's character is fiery and hard headed, just the kind of guy who'd think he could take on four dudes on his own. It works out for them for the most part. Ueda is the guy they want to keep out of the ring, as they show no fear towards the gaijin wrestlers. Jesse Williams is kind of awkard and hasn't totally figured out how to use his size and Will Gibson is completely clowned by Onryo during their segment. The ending is a nice call back to that and what they'be been building on. Ueda is already illegally in the ring trying to help out Obata, and Obata who's hurt pretty bad tags out to Gibson. Once the ring clears leaving the two legal men, it's, yep, Gibson and Onryo. So after some counters Onryo sneaks a pin on Gibson for the win. It's not a great match, but the story is there, and there's some cool moments between guys like Kamikaze(who I'm normally not into) and Obata, as well as some nice work from Sato and Ueda.

AKEBONO vs. JASON NEW & JO KYUNG-HO
Bono clowned these little dudes pretty hard, no selling nearly everything. I liked their spunk and charisma. Kyung-ho's gear looks Jeff Hardy-ish, which was made complete when he decided to go for a Swanton Bomb towards the end of the match. And it looked ridiculous since Akebono was really far away for that type of move. The best part of the match was when Akebono seemingly lost his shit on Jason New after a slap. Decent squash match, but I'd really like to see New and Kyung-ho against some guys at their own level to see how they can piece stuff together.

After the match Daichi Hashimoto, who was supposed to wrestle Bono on this show but was injured, slapped the big man in a little face off. Then Atsushi Onita showed up and revealed a video of his henchmen (Bad Boy Hido!) talking shit to Bono's wife and two sons at a restaurant They goaded him into signing a contract for a death match. It's a cool story and I really enjoyed Akebono getting super pissed off.

INTERNATIONAL JR. HEAVYWEIGHT & NWA WORLD JR. HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
TAKUYA SUGAWARA (c) vs. IKUTO HIDAKA

Wasn't really feeling this.Despite a couple of neat sequences, this didn't have a good rhythm and I don't feel like it really built up the anticipation of someone losing. It just kind of felt like I'll do some stuff. You do some stuff. Then just don't get up when I pin you. Just not a particularly engaging story that made me care about either guy. Kind of a let down, even though I wasn't expecting a whole lot.

SHINJIRO OTANI & MASATO TANAKA vs. JAMES RAIDEEN & DAISUKE SEKIMOTO
I really dug the first chunk with Otani getting worked over. It was fun to see him start out hot and then after some Raideen chops he becomes an old man fighting to survive. Lots and lots of chops in the first half which I was fine with. It got a muddled sometime after Tanaka's hot tag, but was enjoyable overall. I feel like Raideen is a weaker version of Joe Doering. He's not bad, he just doesn't have much personality, other than big dude who hits people. He's got a good look, and he's solid in the ring, he could just use a little more character to make himself larger than life. Everyone else was good as usual.

OVERALL SHOW THOUGHTS
As is my usual Z1 experience, there's some good stuff and there's some bland stuff that keeps it from being a great Japanese company.There's a lot of guys who are just a hair past generic, showing you just enough personality to frustrate you that they don't show more. Sekimoto, Tanaka, Otani, Kohei Sato, and Obata are all good roster members, they just need something or someone to give them a little bit more edge. The women's match is probably the best with the opener, main event, and 8 man tag being other matches worth checking out.


2 comments:

  1. listen jae. i dont wanna be a dick here. but you should be watching monday night raw from 1993 and not zero fucking one from 2013. get the fuck out of here with this january first nonsense

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ahahaha, I know this comes from a place of love.

    ReplyDelete