UNION “Golden Union 2015”
a review by Kevin Wilson

Date: April 29th, 2015
Location:  Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance:  Unknown

As I am trying to review all the events from Golden Week that I can track down, I am led back to UNION.  UNION is a pretty low level promotion, even as far as indies go, and I have accepted that this review will likely be read by no one.  But there are several title matches on the card and the main event certainly has potential.  Here is the card:

- Ryota Nakatsu vs. Yuya Kubo
- Ladybeard vs. Madoka
- Ken Ohka and Mio Shirai vs. Kengo “Ohka” Mashimo and Seiya Morohashi
- MEN’S Teioh, Kazushi Miyamoto, and SAGAT vs. Masato Shibata, Kazato, and Mitomi
- 2nd Generation Muscle Sakai Finals: Hiroshi Fukuda vs. Super Sasadango Machine
- Independent World Junior Heavyweight Championship: Isami Kodaka vs. Yukio Sakaguchi
- UNION MAX Championship,  1,000 Rose Death Match: FUMA vs. Shuji Ishikawa

One match is missing and I’m not concerned about it, onto the show!

Ryota Nakatsu vs. Yuya Kubo
They start off on the mat and trading holds for a minute before returning to their feet and Kubo hits an armdrag.  Armdrag by Nakatsu and he kicks Kubo.  Nakatsu throws Kubo into the corner, Irish whip, but Kubo kicks him back and hits a headscissors.  Kubo kicks Nakatsu in the corner and he hits an elbow but Nakatsu elbows him back.  Running kick by Nakatsu and he kicks Kubo in the chest.  Vertical suplex by Nakatsu but Kubo catches the kick and he hits a backdrop suplex.  Kubo hits a double underhook facebuster, he picks up Nakatsu and they trade elbows.  Strike combination by Nakatsu, he picks up Kubo and he hits a German suplex for two.  Backslide by Nakatsu, but it gets two, he rolls up Nakatsu and he gets a three count!  This was awkward at times and certainly disjointed.  Kubo isn’t very good and he wasn’t the best leader for Nakatsu in the match.  Not a great way to start the show.

Ladybeard vs. Madoka
Ryoma Go and Harumi Tachibana are in the corners I guess to watch.  Ladybeard hits an armdrag slam but Madoka avoids the elbow drop.  Ladybeard returns the favor and then they both miss leg drops.  Standing moonsault by Madoka but Go hits Madoka from the apron.  Ladybeard picks up Madoka and he goes for a powerbomb but Madoka kicks out of it.  Madoka hits a facebuster and then he kicks Ladybeard.  They trade kick attempts until Ladybeard connects with one, cover, but Go comes into the ring.  He wants to hit Madoka but Madoka ducks and he hits Ladybeard by accident.  Schoolboy by Madoka and he gets the three count.  This was a nothing match clearly and accomplished nothing.  Just undercard fodder.

Ken Ohka and Mio Shirai vs. Kengo Mashimo and Seiya Morohashi
They brawl to start with Mashimo and Morohashi getting the better of it, and Morohashi knees Shirai in the ring.  Scoop slam by Mashimo and he tags Morohashi.  Morohashi stomps Shirai in the corner but Shirai applies a necklock over the top rope.  Shirai goes up top and she hits a missile dropkick to Morohashi.  Shirai tags in Ohka and Ohka trades elbows with Morohashi.  Headbutt by Ohka and he elbows Morohashi into the corner.  Shoulderblocks by Ohka and he hits a rolling fireman’s carry to Morohashi.  Spear by Morohashi and he tags in Mashimo.  Mashimo hits a jumping elbow and he kicks Ohka in the chest for a two count.  Mashimo and Ohka trade strikes, Shirai goes up top and goes for a diving crossbody to Mashimo.  Mashimo catches her but Ohka pushes them over, and they hit a double vertical suplex on Mashimo.  Cover by Shirai but it gets two.  Shirai goes for a kick, Mashimo catches it but Shirai applies a submission.  Mashimo gets out of it by slamming Shirai to the mat, Mashimo picks up Shirai and goes off the ropes, but Ohka intercepts him.  Mashimo grabs Shirai but Shirai hits a victory roll for a two count.  Shirai goes for an enzigieri but Mashimo ducks it, and Mashimo applies the Mudo, getting the quick tap out!  This was a perfectly fine midcard match.  It only went five minutes but it had some quality wrestlers in it and they kept it moving.  These four could probably do a pretty fun 15 minute match but they did the best with the time they had.  First decent match on the card so far.

MEN’S Teioh, Kazushi Miyamoto, and SAGAT vs. Masato Shibata, Daichi Kazato, and Mitomi
They brawl outside the ring to start things off until Teioh and Mitomi get in the ring.  Everyone poses on Mitomi, then Miyamoto covers him for two.  Miyamoto rakes Mitomi in the eyes and chops him to the mat before hitting a scoop slam.  Elbow drop by Miyamoto and he covers Mitomi for two.  Mitomi tags in SAGAT and SAGAT chokes Mitomi in the corner.  Teioh is tagged in and he chokes Mitomi before tagging Miyamoto back in.  Miyamoto hits an elbow drop and hits a backbreaker.  Slingshot senton by Miyamoto and he covers Mitomi for another two.  SAGAT is tagged back in as the beatdown on Mitomi continues.  Mitomi finally dropkicks SAGAT and he tags in Kazato.  Kazato elbows SAGAT and he hits a hurricanrana.  SAGAT falls out of the ring, SAGAT goes to the ropes and hits an Asai Moonsault onto everyone.  Back in the ring Kazato picks up SAGAT and hits a back kick.  Stretch hold by Kazato and he tags in Shibata.  Shibata picks up SAGAT but SAGAT tags in Miyamoto.  Miyamoto and Shibata trade lariat attempts, clubbing blows by Shibata and he hits a body avalanche in the corner.  Running butt smash by Shibata, cover, and he gets two. 

Shibata picks up Miyamoto and slams him near the corner, but Teioh grabs him from the apron.  This gives Miyamoto time to recover, he goes up top with him and he hits a superplex.  Shibata tags in Kazato while SAGAT is also tagged in, SAGAT knees Kazato but Kazato kicks him out of the corner and hits a missile dropkick.  Mitomi then flies in with a dropkick, Shibata goes to the corner and he hits the reverse splash.  Kazato goes off the ropes and hits a sliding lariat, cover, but Teioh breaks it up.  Kazato picks up SAGAT but Teioh and Miyamoto come in to help.  Press slam by Miyamoto and he throws Kazato to the mat.    Miyamoto lariats Kazato while Teioh hits a backdrop suplex, SAGAT picks up Kazato and he applies a sleeper (Kazato is pretty much already out anyway).  The referee calls for the bell since Kazato is out, making SAGAT and company the winners!  I’ll give them credit for a hot stretch run and finish, but the first half of the match was dull.  If this was Joined In Progress six minutes in I’d probably recommend to give it a gander, but not as a full package.

Hiroshi Fukuda vs. Super Sasadango Machine
My understanding is the winner of this match gets to wrestle as Muscle Sakai (2nd Generation).  There are clothes hanging over the ring for reasons unknown.  They trade tie-ups and what not to start, and Machine knocks Fukuda out of the ring.  He returns after a moment and Machine drops a knee onto his groin.  Machine charges Fukuda but Fukuda applies a cross armbreaker.  Machine gets out of it and applies a triangle choke but Fukuda gets away.  They trade headbutts, and Machine hits a hard elbow.  Chop by Fukuda as they slowly get back up, they trade lariat attempts until Machine knocks Fukuda off his feet.  Another lariat by Machine as Honda waddles down the ramp with a ladder.  He brings it in and sets up the ladder, both Fukuda and Machine climb up the ladder but Fukuda knocks Machine off.  Fukuda gets a microphone and talks on it, but Honda joins him up top and punches Fukuda off of it.  Machine climbs up the ladder now and he talks on the microphone as well.  Machine pulls down the pants hanging up over the ring and celebrates with them, but the match isn’t over and Machine lariats Fukuda.  Machine puts on the pants but Fukuda rolls him up from behind for two.  Fukuda applies a cross armbreaker and Machine quickly taps out!  Fukuda wins the match and the rights.  Well this was awful, I guess for storyline reasons it made sense to Union fans (all none of you) but as a casual fan it didn’t do anything for me.  The epitome of a skippable match.

Isami Kodaka vs. Yukio Sakaguchi
This match is for the Independent World Junior Heavyweight Championship. They jockey for position to start, Kodaka gets Sakaguchi to the mat but Sakaguchi switches positions with him.  Back up Sakaguchi knees Kodaka hard in the chest and kicks him again after he returns to the ring.  Sakaguchi applies a chinlock but Kodaka gets a toe on the ropes.  Kodaka goes for a suplex but Kodaka applies a neck crank and knees Kodaka in the midsection.  Kodaka rolls out to the floor, Sakaguchi goes for a kick from the apron but Kodaka moves and Sakaguchi kicks the ring post.  Back in Kodaka hits a dragon screw leg whip followed by a second one as he works over Sakaguchi’s now injured leg.  Headbutt to the midsection by Kodaka but Sakaguchi fires back with a kick to the chest.  Sakaguchi applies a sleeper and then a necklock, but Kodaka gets into the ropes.  Sakaguchi puts Kodaka up across the turnbuckle and he hits a knee to the midsection.  Cover, but it gets two.  Sakaguchi grabs Kodaka but Kodaka snaps off a backdrop suplex.  Kodaka and Sakaguchi trade elbows, headbutt by Kodaka but Sakaguchi headbutts him back.  Sakaguchi and Kodaka trade elbows, Sakaguchi hits Kodaka but Kodaka hits a superkick.  Kodaka goes out to the apron and he hits a swandive missile dropkick to Sakaguchi’s leg.  Kodaka goes off the ropes but Sakaguchi catches him with a backdrop suplex.  PK by Sakaguchi, and he gets a two count.  Sakaguchi charges Kodaka in the corner but Kodaka moves and he applies an ankle hold.  Kodaka releases it, he goes up top and hits a diving double knee to Sakaguchi’s leg for a two count.  Kodaka picks up Sakaguchi and goes off the ropes but Sakaguchi kicks him in the head.  Sakaguchi picks up Kodaka and applies a front necklock, but Kodaka reverses it with a brainbuster.  Kodaka picks up Sakaguchi and he hits the Isamiashi-zan, and he gets the three count!  This was a good match, I really liked Kodaka’s leg work even though it ultimately didn’t influence the finish.  Sakaguchi is limited but it wasn’t a long match so his offense didn’t get old, and overall it was solid.  Mildly Recommended

(c) FUMA vs. Shuji Ishikawa
This match is for the UNION MAX Championship and is a 1,000 Rose Death Match.  Basically instead of barbed wire boards, it is rose covered boards, if that helps. They go to the mat to start, kick by Ishikawa and he throws FUMA into the rose covered board.  The rose massacre begins, if you are a florist don’t watch this match.  Ishikawa puts the board onto FUMA and hits it with a chair before applying a crossface, but SAGAT runs in and breaks it up.  FUMA stomps Ishikawa on the mat and he hits him in the chest with some roses.  FUMA gets a barb wire bat and he hits Ishikawa in the chest with it.  Ishikawa blocks the next shot and he headbutts FUMA out of the ring.  FUMA returns to the ring, Ishikawa kicks him and he rakes some roses in his face.  Ishikawa puts some roses on FUMA’s back and he stands on him, Ishikawa ties up FUMA in the chair and he hits Ishikawa repeatedly with another chair.  Cover by Ishikawa but it gets a two count.  Ishikawa rubs roses in FUMA’s face, he gets a chair but FUMA kicks the chair into his face.  Running kick by FUMA as Ishikawa falls out of the ring, he gets a chair and uses it to dive out onto Ishikawa.  They return to the ring, Irish whip by FUMA and he elbows Ishikawa in the corner.  Running knee by FUMA, she goes up top and hits a doublestomp to Ishikawa’s back.  Cover, but it gets two.  FUMA kicks Ishikawa in the back but Ishikawa suplexes FUMA onto the ropes.  Footstomp by Ishikawa off the second turnbuckle, he picks up FUMA and chops him into the corner.  Irish whip by Ishikawa and he hits a lariat.  Backdrop suplex by Ishikawa and he gets two.  Ishikawa brings a table in the ring and throws it at FUMA, Ishikawa knees FUMA into the corner and he sets up the table.  Ishikawa puts FUMA on the top turnbuckle but Miyamoto runs in and powerbombs Ishikawa through the table. 

FUMA jumps halfway across the ring with a footstomp and then hits Ishikawa with a piece of table.  Kicks by FUMA, he goes off the ropes and hits a jumping kick for two.  German suplex hold by FUMA but Ishikawa kicks out.  Release dragon suplex by Ishikawa, cover, but it is broken up.  Double Irish whip to Ishikawa but he hits a double crossbody.  Ishikawa picks up FUMA and he throws him out of the ring onto his friends, and while FUMA recovers he sets up a rose board across two chairs in the ring.  FUMA gets back in, Ishikawa grabs him and knees FUMA in the chest before hitting a DDT.  Running knee by Ishikawa, cover, but it gets two.  Ishikawa picks up FUMA and he powerbombs him into the rose covered board, but FUMA barely gets a shoulder up.  Back up, FUMA gets away and he slams FUMA into the roses.  FUMA and Ishikawa trade elbows while on their knees, headbutts by Ishikawa and he covers FUMA for two.  Ishikawa gets more roses and throws them at FUMA, headbutt by Ishikawa but FUMA headbutts him back.  Head kick by FUMA and he hits another one but Ishikawa won’t stay down.  Slaps by FUMA and they trade slaps, high kick by FUMA and he covers Ishikawa for a two count.  Back kick by FUMA, he goes up top and he nails a diving headbutt.  Cover, and he gets the three count!  FUMA is still your champion!  A lot to like about this match. First of all I have to acknowledge the roses, while it is unique I have no issue believing that would be painful and it made for a fun visual.  It is not something I’d want to see on very show but as a special attraction it worked.  I also liked FUMA beating Ishikawa by himself after his posse was taken out, I don’t mind interference in title matches, I just don’t like it when it directly leads to the end of the match.  All the spots were hit well and overall it was a memorable match. Definitely worth checking out.  Recommended

Final Thoughts

This is a two match card for sure, and really just the main event was memorable even though the title match leading up to it was a good warm up.  The undercard was just dreck for the most part, Union is terrible at that, but once you get past that this is probably one of the better Union events I have seen.  If nothing else check out the main event for its uniqueness and pretty good wrestling as well, rose death matches don’t happen very often so it is worth your time.

Grade:  D+

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event reviewed on 5/13/15