A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: January 24th, 2015
Location: Yokohama Radiant Hall in Yokohama, Japan
Before going back to New Japan again, I need to cover as many different promotions as possible just to be fair. So it is Union’s turn! Union is a small promotion but they have their own Championships and have been around for a while now. Lots of recognizable wrestlers as Union wrestlers also participate in Big Japan as well as other places. Here is the full card:
- Goro Jr. and Ryota Nakatsu vs. SAGAT and Tomoya
- Cherry and Emi Sakura vs. Ladybeard and Riho
- Daichi Kazato vs. Madoka
- Hiroshi Fukuda and MEN's Teioh vs. Kazushi Miyamoto and Seiya Morohashi
- Union Pro Fly to Everywhere Championship: Mio Shirai vs. Aoi Ishibashi
- UWA World Tag Team Championship: FUMA and Isami Kodaka vs. Ishikawa and Masato Shibata
My expectations are low but as always my hopes are high.
Goro Jr. and Ryota Nakatsu vs. SAGAT and Tomoya
Goro Jr. and SAGAT start off and they roll around on the mat trading submission holds. Neither has any luck so both tag out, Nakatsu gets Tomoya to the mat and controls position but Tomoya wiggles away. Tomoya snaps off a hurricanrana and kicks Nakatsu before tagging in SAGAT. SAGAT works over Nakatsu some on the mat before tagging Tomoya back in, and Tomoya hits Nakatsu with a big boot. Snap vertical suplex by Tomoya and he stomps Nakatsu. SAGAT is tagged back in but Nakatsu finally mans up and elbows SAGAT. They trade elbows and chops, kicks by Nakatsu and he hits a dropkick. Nakatsu tags in Goro Jr. and Goro Jr. levels SAGAT and Tomoya. Dragon screw by Goro Jr. but SAGAT hits a flapjack and tags in Tomoya. SAGAT stays in and they both attack Goro Jr. in the corner. Tomoya goes up and hits a reverse splash, but Goro Jr. kicks out. SAGAT comes in but Nakatsu kicks him from the apron, and Goro Jr. tags in Nakatsu. Jumping knee by Nakatsu and he hits I guess a sliding kick for two. Sling Blade by Tomoya and he tags in SAGAT while Nakatsu tags in Goro Jr.. Running senton by SAGAT and he hits a spear for two. Goro Jr. catches SAGAT with a spinning backfist of sorts and he applies a sleeper, but Tomoya breaks it up. Goro Jr. hits what is apparently the Goro Suplex, very poorly, and he gets a three count. Goro Jr. needs a new finisher, he can’t hit that one. This was rough, it actually started fine as there was nothing wrong with the beatdown segment but a lot of the stuff after that looked poorly thought out. Nakatsu appears to be the best wrestler of the bunch as action really suffered when he wasn’t in there. Opening Union Pro is the right place for most of these guys. Score: 3.5
Cherry and Emi Sakura vs. Ladybeard and Riho
Cherry and Riho start off, armdrags by Riho but Cherry stomps on her stomach. Dropkick by Riho, Ladybeard comes in and they dance around the ring before hitting front rolls over Cherry. Riho and Ladybeard pose over Cherry until Sakura breaks it up. Sakura chops Riho and throws her to the mat. Backbreaker by Sakura and Cherry is tagged in. Cherry pulls out Riho’s hair and punches her in the stomach. Front necklock by Cherry but Riho reverses it with a bridging suplex and tags in Ladybeard. Sakura is also tagged in and Ladybeard hits a series of lariats. Ladybeard kicks Riho to the mat, Riho gets on his shoulders and hits a diving doublestomp. Cover by Ladybeard but Cherry breaks it up. Sakura superkicks Ladybeard and hits a double underhook backbreaker. Moonsault by Sakura then Cherry hits the Cherry Bomb. Cover, but Riho breaks it up. Double Irish whip to Ladybeard but he lariats Cherry, then Riho hits a hurricanrana on Sakura. Ladybeard picks up Cherry, Cherry gets Ladybeard’s back but Ladybeard pushes her off and hits a spinning kick. Cherry goes for La Magistral but Ladybeard blocks it and covers Cherry for the three count. I don’t want to say anything that will hurt someone’s feelings, so let’s just say this type of match isn’t made for me. None of them are particularly good at the pro wres and its just kinda silly, but not in a ‘it made me laugh’ kind of way. Score: 2.0
Daichi Kazato vs. Madoka
After the usual feeling out process, Kazato starts working over Madoka’s leg. Shoulderblock by Madoka but Kazato elbows him in the back. Moonsault by Madoka but Kazato dropkicks him out of the ring. Pescado by Kazato but Madoka boots Kazato on the floor. Back in the ring things settle down a bit as Madoka controls things. Madoka works over Kazato’s midsection but Kazato hits a lariat. Kazato slams Madoka and hits a slingshot elbow for a two count. Kazato stretches Madoka but Madoka drops Kazato on the top rope. Madoka slams Kazato, he goes up top but Kazato is up and joins him. Madoka pushes him off but Kazato jumps back up and hits a Frankensteiner. Kicks by Kazato but Madoka avoids the sliding kick. Brainbuster by Madoka, Kazato goes for a reverse STO but Madoka grabs the referee to stay up. Kazato pushes the referee down but Madoka hits Kazato low twice before hitting the Ranhei for the three count. I still think the Ranhei is one of the neater looking moves, very high impact. Other than that a pretty pedestrian match with a few good spots here and there. There was nothing wrong with it though, just nothing special. Score: 5.5
Hiroshi Fukuda and MEN's Teioh vs. Kazushi Miyamoto and Seiya Morohashi
Oh Miyamoto, how far you have fallen. Fukuda and Miyamoto start off. Miyamoto throws Fukuda around and poses for the massive crowd of 240. Teioh is tagged in, but he soon tags Fukuda back in. Fukuda can’t shoulderblock Miyamoto down and Miyamoto hits a shoulderblock. Morohashi is tagged in and he punches Fukuda into the corner and the action spills out to the floor. Morohashi and Fukuda return to the ring after a bit and Morohashi tags in Miyamoto. Miyamoto chops around Fukuda and tags in Morohashi. Morohashi sits on Fukuda’s arm and he punches Fukuda into the corner. Fukuda scratches Morohashi’s back and tags in Teioh. Teioh slams Morohashi, Miyamoto comes in but Teioh punches him. Teioh hits a vertical suplex on Morohashi. Spinning toe hold by Teioh but Miyamoto chops him. Fukuda is tagged in and he rams Morohashi into the corner. Fukuda goes up top and Morohashi hits Fukuda in the chest. Miyamoto comes in and holds Fukuda but Miyamoto instead lariats Morohashi. Teioh comes in with a chair but he hits Fukuda with it, and everything is confusing. The match is thrown out since Miyamoto and Teioh decided they are friends and they beat up their own partners. I don’t follow Union enough to figure out what is going on with that ending, but it was different and it made me laugh, so there is that. The action up to that point was really sub-par though. Score: 3.5
(c) Mio Shirai vs. Aoi Ishibashi
This match is for the Union Pro Fly to Everywhere Championship. Going into the event this was the match I had the most hope for being good, so we’ll see. Shirai kicks Ishibashi but Ishibashi hits a shoulderblock. Bodyscissors by Ishibashi but Shirai gets out of it and they trade kicks. Shirai throws down Ishibashi by her hair and wraps up Ishibashi in the ropes. Running kick by Shirai and she applies a sleeper and then a bodyscissors. Shirai applies a headscissors over the top rope, she goes up top but Ishibashi avoids the missile dropkick. Kick to the side of the head by Ishibashi and she kicks Shirai again. Stunner by Ishibashi and she hits a dropkick. Leg sweep by Shirai but Ishibashi catches her kick and hits a Fisherman Suplex Hold for a two count. Ishibashi goes up top but Shirai kicks her before she can jump off and throws her to the mat. Sliding kick of sorts by Shirai but it gets two. Headscissors by Shirai but Ishibashi gets to the ropes. Shirai goes for a Tiger Feint Kick but Ishibashi ducks and they trade elbows. Knee to the stomach by Shirai but Ishibashi avoids the enzigieri. Ishibashi rolls up Shirai but it gets a two, they do something sloppy and I realize my hopes are not coming true. Crossbody by Ishibashi, she goes up top but Shirai joins her, hitting a superplex. Egukeri by Shirai and she gets the three count. I didn’t realize that Ishibashi wasn’t very good, I am assuming it’s her fault since I have seen Shirai before and she is usually on point. But for a short-ish title match there were just too many mistakes, miscommunications, or weird looking moves. The strikes were generally fine and the action stayed moving, it was just disappointing for a championship match. Score: 4.0
(c) FUMA and Isami Kodaka vs. Shuji Ishikawa and Masato Shibata
This match is for the UWA World Tag Team Championship. FUMA and Ishikawa tussle to start and trade submissions holds until FUMA delivers a kick. Both wrestlers tag out, Kodaka hits a single leg takedown on Shibata and then applies a wristlock. Shibata sends Kodaka outside the ring and all four brawl at ringside and into the crowd. Back in the ring Shibata kicks Kodaka into the corner and stands on his shoulders. Shibata tags in Ishikawa and Ishikawa stretches Kodaka on the mat. Shibata is tagged back in and he slams Kodaka to the mat before hitting an elbow drop. The slow beatdown on Kodaka continues for several minutes until Kodaka kicks away Shibata and tags in FUMA. FUMA kicks both Ishikawa and Shibata, and he trades elbows with Shibata. Enzigieri by FUMA and he elbows Shibata in the corner followed by a running kick for two. Lou Thesz Press by Shibata and he tags in Ishikawa. Ishikawa lariats FUMA in the corner and hits a backdrop suplex. I dunno how FUMA and Kodaka are the champions, Ishikawa and Shibata are much more impressive.
Ishikawa applies a stretch hold to FUMA but FUMA kicks Ishikawa and tags in Kodaka. Kodaka dives on Ishikawa but Ishikawa catches her and hits a massive fallaway slam. Dropkick by Kodaka and he applies an Octopus Hold. FUMA and Kodaka kick Shibata out of the ring and then both hit a double kick to Ishikawa. Kodaka goes up top but Ishikawa avoids the doublestomp. Sleeper suplex by Ishikawa and Kodaka eats a double chokeslam. Ishikawa picks up Kodaka but Kodaka reverses Splash Mountain with a hurricanrana. Kodaka then dives out with a tope suicida onto both Ishikawa and Shibata. Kodaka kicks Ishikawa in the head, he goes up top and hits a diving double knee drop. Cover, but Kazushi Miyamoto appears and beats the crap out of Kodaka. Teioh comes down too and they assert they destroy everyone they can get their hands on. The referee throws out the match due to the interference.
Well no one wants to see a match end like that so after a few minutes the teams agree to re-start the match. Ishikawa and Kodaka are the legal men as things pick back up. Elbows by Kodaka but Ishikawa knees Kodaka in the stomach. Ishikawa goes for Splash Mountain but Kodaka lands on his feet and kicks Ishikawa in the head. Ishikawa tags in Shibata as FUMA is also tagged in, and they trade elbows. Backdrop suplex by FUMA but Shibata chops FUMA and hits a body avalanche. Reverse splash by Shibata and he applies an STF. Kodaka breaks it up but Ishikawa kicks him out of the ring. Fisherman Buster by Shibata and he tags in Ishikawa. Shibata suplexes FUMA and Ishikawa hits a running kick for two. Kick by FUMA and he hits a German suplex hold for two. Fire Thunder Driver by Ishikawa, he delivers a running kick but Kodaka breaks up the pin with a double knee. Shibata comes in and takes care of Kodaka, and FUMA kicks Shibata so all four men are out. Ishikawa and FUMA trade punches, knees by Ishikawa but FUMA hits a backslide for two. Headbutts by Ishikawa and he hits a running knee. Splash Mountain by Ishikawa, and he picks up the three count. New champions! I enjoyed this. The mid-match interruption was fine as it didn’t end the match and it helped establish what is apparently a future tag team challenger. FUMA looked really out of place here, he was just smaller and weaker than everyone else in the ring. Shibata isn’t great but does power moves well and Ishikawa is the real deal, on the Indy Scale anyway. Fluid action, strong strikes, big moves when necessary but without overkill, and a decisive ending. Definitely not perfect, but I’ll take it, by far the best match on the card. Score: 7.0
This event was going to hell in a hand basket until the main event. The main event was quite good, I just wish there was something else on the card that was worth watching. Sadly there wasn’t, and it is difficult to recommend an event with only one good match, no matter what the promotion is. I’m not sure if Union Pro is capable of having a solid event top to bottom but this certainly wasn’t one.
review completed on 2/11/15