A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: January 12th, 2014
Location: Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Announced Attendance: 1,550
WRESTLE-1 started in the middle of 2013, and as 2014 begins it is still plugging along. The wrestlers in general have stayed the same and this card has mostly singles matches with some outside participation. Here is the full card:
- Kaz Hayashi, Shuji Kondo, and Rob Terry vs. Masayauki Kono, Ryouji Sai, and René Duprée
- Andy Wu vs. MAZADA
- Ryo Mizunami vs. Shu Shibutani
- Kikutaro vs. Ryota Hama
- Hiroshi Yamato vs. NOSAWA Rongai
- Lost Points Rule: Masakatsu Funaki vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
- Daiki Inaba vs. Kazushi Miyamoto
- Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi vs. Koji Kanemoto and Seiki Yoshioka
- KAZMA SAKAMOTO vs. Seiya Sanada
- Masato Tanaka vs. Yasufumi Nakanoue
- KAI vs. Minoru Tanaka
And here we go.
Kaz Hayashi, Shuji Kondo, and Rob Terry vs. Masayauki Kono, Ryouji Sai, and René Duprée
This match doesn't appear to be planned as it started with Hayashi getting attacked, but Terry comes in the ring and clears it. So it now becomes an official match and they brawl around the ringside. Kondo and Sai finally get in the ring, scoop slam by Sai and he tags in Kono. Kono picks up Kondo and hits a scoop slam. Kono tags in Duprée, and Duprée kicks Kondo in the ribs. Snapmare by Duprée and he hits an elbow drop. Cover with one foot by Duprée but it gets a one count. Side headlock by Duprée and he punches Kondo before tagging in Sai. Chop to the chest by Sai, he grabs Kondo's leg and applies a crab hold. Kondo crawls to the ropes and reaches them to force a break. Kondo jumps out of the ring to go after KAZMA but Kono greets him out there and knees Kondo against the guard rail. Duprée slides Kondo back in the ring, Sai throws Kondo into the corner and tags in Duprée. Chops by Duprée and he hits a double stomp to Kondo's chest. Cover, but it gets a two count. Duprée picks up Kondo and tags in Kono. Irish whip by Kono and he hits a knee followed by a backdrop suplex. Cover, but it gets two. Irish whip by Kono to the corner but Kondo moves when he charges in. Sai comes in the ring but Kondo hits a bulldog/lariat combination on Sai and Kono and tags in Hayashi. Hayashi punches Kono, he goes off the ropes and kicks Kono into the corner. Jumping kick by Hayashi, Sai runs into the ring and hits Hayashi from behind, Irish whip by Sai but Hayashi kicks him back and hits an STO into the turnbuckles. Duprée runs in the ring, Hayashi tries to go off the ropes but Duprée grabs him from behind and pulls Hayashi to the ground. Duprée picks up Hayashi but Terry comes in the ring and he hits a double chokeslam on Sai an Duprée before hitting a lariat onto Kono. Hayashi picks up Kono and goes for the WA4 but Kono blocks it. Duprée comes in the ring, Hayashi throws him out of it and then Kondo runs in the ring and hits the Lanzarse onto Kono. Kono tags in Sai but he get slammed to the mat by Terry. Hayashi picks up Kono but Kono knees him back, Hayashi goes off the ropes but Duprée hits Hayashi from the apron with a chair. Running knee by Kono onto Hayashi and he picks up the three count! Your winners: Masayauki Kono, Ryouji Sai, and René Duprée
Match Thoughts: Not a bad way to open the show, even though I'd have preferred some of the bigger-name wrestlers do something more meaningful than a quick six man tag. Judging how everyone was acting I don't think this match was planned but just kinda "happened," but since W-1 doesn't always announce their cards before the event it is hard to say since I don't speak Japanese. Terry is really being built up to be a monster in W-1, I don't know if it is a temporary thing or if they have long term plans for him down the road. Short and non-offensive, but I would have liked to seen more from the stars. Score: 5.5
Andy Wu (with Panda) vs. MAZADA
MAZADA stares down Panda who is on the apron, Wu pushes MAZADA into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Leg sweep by Wu, MAZADA returns the favor and both men return to their feet. MAZADA rolls out of the ring to re-group but returns after a moment, takedown by Wu, he goes off the ropes and hits an armdrag. Two more armdrags by Wu and he dropkicks MAZADA out of the ring. Wu gets a running start and hits a plancha off the side ropes down onto MAZADA.
Wu kicks MAZADA around the ring and slides him back in, Wu goes up on the top turnbuckle, MAZADA charges in but Wu flips over him. Wu kicks MAZADA in the corner, Irish whip, MAZADA drops Wu onto the apron but Wu pushes him back and hits a diving crossbody off the top turnbuckle. Cover, and it gets a two count. Wu picks up MAZADA, he goes off the ropes but MAZADA catches him with a spinebuster. Leg drop by MAZADA and he applies a reverse chinlock. Choke by MAZADA until the referee tells him to stop. MAZADA goes over and looks at Panda and then stomps Wu. MAZADA picks up Wu and punches him down to his knees, MAZADA goes off the ropes but Wu avoids the kick and hits a hurricanrana. Bodyscissors into a bulldog by Wu, he waits for MAZADA to get up and goes for a kick, but MAZADA ducks it. Waistlock by MAZADA, reversed by Wu but MAZADA hits a DDT. Lariat by MAZADA, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Wu has recovered and hits a headscissors. Leg sweep by Wu and he nails a spinning side kick. Cover, but MAZADA barely gets a shoulder up. Wu picks up MAZADA and applies the Panda Choke. MAZADA struggles for a moment but has no choice but to submit. Your winner: Andy Wu
Match Thoughts: As funny as I think it is that the panda mascot just stands on the apron the entire match, this still wasn't much of a match. Why a five minute affair needs to have stalling is beyond me, you'd think once the wrestlers saw their match time they'd be making the most of it. MAZADA is too low on the totem pole for this to register as an important win for the younger Andy Wu, even if the win was decisive, so I am not really sure what the point of the match was. If this was given more time or had more substance it may have been worth watching, but as it is, it is just a time killer. Score: 3.5
Ryo Mizunami vs. Shu Shibutani (with Kikutaro as referee)
Mizunami and Shibutani shake hands before circling each other, tie-up, Mizunami pushes Shibutani into the ropes and she gives a clean break. Tie-up again, Shibutani gets Mizunami into the ropes this time and Kikutaro pulls her back. Elbows by Shibutani, she blocks a Mizunami lariat and delivers a DDT. Shibutani goes off the ropes and hits a sliding kick to the face. Shibutani goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the missile dropkick. Shibutani drags Mizunami up and hits a few elbows, she goes off the ropes but Mizunami catches her with a suplex. Mizunami charges Shibutani and delivers the spear, cover, but it gets a two count. Mizunami picks up Shibutani and puts her up in the Argentine Backbreaker, but Shibutani rolls her up for a two count. Shibutani goes off the ropes and hits a hurricanrana for a three count! Your winner: Shu Shibutani
Match Thoughts: I watched this twice just to find where the match was clipped so they did it very sneakily, but still only half the match was shown. Pretty much all we learned from this is that Shibutani is spunky and Kikutaro is a creeper (Kikutaro was rooting for the prettier one throughout the match). Other than that, too little shown to get a good feel of the match. Score: N/A
Kikutaro vs. Ryota Hama
Tie-up to start, Hama pushes Kikutaro into the corner and he gives a clean break. Tie-up again, this time Kikutaro gets Hama into the corner and he chops Hama in the chest. Hama switches positions with him but Hama gives a clean break, Kikutaro tells Hama and the referee to start fighting but the referee hits Kikutaro. Kikutaro goes off the ropes and goes for a shoulderblock, but Hama knocks him back. He tries again with no result, Kikutaro goes for a drop toehold but Hama doesn't budge. Back up they get into a sumo stance but Kikutaro dodges out of Hama's way. Kikutaro goes for a slam but Hama pushes him down to the mat. Snapmare by Hama and he hits a rolling attack, cover, but it gets a two count.
Hama goes for a splash but Kikutaro rolls out of the way. Kick to the back by Kikutaro, he goes off the ropes and hits the Flashing Elbow. Kikutaro picks up Hama and goes for a suplex, but Hama reverses it into a suplex of his own. Hama hits a running splash in the corner, Kikutaro falls to a seated position and Hama hits a running butt smash. Hama covers Kikutaro but Kikutaro gets a shoulder up. Hama picks up Kikutaro but Kikutaro grabs Hama low. Dragon screw.. groin whip by Kikutaro, he goes off the ropes and goes for a sunset flip, but Hama sits on him with the Thunder Drop. Cover, and Hama picks up the three count. Your winner: Ryota Hama
Match Thoughts: I know that I say this every time I see him wrestle, but Hama seems to keep getting bigger and bigger. Anyway just a simple comedy match, which is mostly all that Hama has been doing in WRESTLE-1 since it re-opened. Kikutaro couldn't do all of his usual shtick because Hama is 1,503 pounds, but he is still pretty amusing after all these years. Nothing bad, just short. Score: 4.5
Hiroshi Yamato vs. NOSAWA Rongai
Yamato has an old man (well a younger wrestler dressed as an old man) with him in the ring, I don't speak Japanese so I have no idea what that is about. NOSAWA throws Yamato out of the ring while he is talking to the old man, and NOSAWA starts talking to him. Yamato comes up from behind and clubs NOSAWA in the back,
snapmare by Yamato and he hits a jumping senton. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kick to the back by Yamato and he throws NOSAWA into the corner. Irish whip by Yamato but the old guy is talking around the ring and getting in the way. Yamato charges NOSAWA but NOSAWA moves out of the way. NOSAWA kicks the old man to the mat and stomps him in the back, the old man goes for his cane but NOSAWA stops him. Yamato kicks NOSAWA but NOSAWA throws Yamato out of the ring. Irish whip by NOSAWA to the old man, who goes really slow until speeding up and delivering a dropkick. Old man goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving senton. Yamato comes back and he hits a lariat onto NOSAWA. Northern Lights Bomb by Yamato, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Hiroshi Yamato
Match Thoughts: I can admit that I don't 'get' this match. I really don't know what is going on. But I do think that Yamato is too good to keep being in these silly matches every week, I think that he is a great wrestler. But I guess the action was solid even if the story went over my head. Score: N/A
Masakatsu Funaki vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
This match uses the Lost Points Rule.
Simply put, this means a wrestler loses a point every time they use a rope break or is knocked down to the point the referee starts a ten count. Lose three points, you lose the match, but you can also lose by KO or submission as well at any point in the match. Tie-up to start, Funaki pushes Takayama into the ropes (that doesn't count as losing a point) and he gives a clean break. Funaki takes Takayama down to the mat and goes for a waistlock, but Takayama switches positions with him and gets in the mount position. Funaki gets out of that but Funaki pushes Takayama into the ropes while still on his back. Funaki gets Takayama to the mat and gets on top but Takayama gets out of it and both men return to their feet. Takayama grabs Funaki and takes him down to the mat, he goes for Funaki's leg but Funaki switches positions with him. Funaki goes for the cross armbreaker but Takayama gets out of it and they return to their feet again. Funaki blocks a leg kick and returns with one of his own, but Takayama catches one of Funaki's kicks and suplexes him to the mat. Waistlock by Takayama but Funaki rolls out of it and applies an ankle hold. Takayama has to use the ropes to break the hold, and loses a point. Back up, waistlock by Funaki and he takes Takayama to the mat, re-applying the ankle hold. Again Takayama has to grab the ropes, and he loses another point. Single leg takedown by Funaki and he goes back to the ankle, but this time Takayama is able to reverse it and Funaki has to use a rope break. Back up, suplex by Takayama and he hits a second one. Backdrop suplex by Takayama, the referee starts a count but Funaki gets up in time. Both wrestlers now only have one point left. Knees by Takayama but Funaki drops him with a high kick and the referee calls the match as Takayama has no points left. Your winner: Masakatsu Funaki
Match Thoughts: This is similar to old Pancrase Rules, in case you were curious, in terms of the Lost Points. The most striking thing to me in this match is here you have two wrestlers that are extremely familiar with MMA-style fighting, and the first 95% of the match was just slow and listless. They were clearly just going through the motions, there was no attempt to make it seem interesting or like either wrestler was in danger. Which is ok if you have a long match, not everything has to be meaningful, but in a short match there is more pressure on the wrestler to have every moment count. After they did their sleep-walking MMA routine the last minute or so was fine as they tried to make their opponent lose points, and the final kick by Funaki was really snug so it didn't come across as a fluke win at all as Takayama may not have made the ten count anyway. Besides the ending though this was just a slow match with two veterans not doing a whole lot, and if you didn't know who they were and already respect them both you wouldn't be impressed with this match. Score: 3.0
Daiki Inaba vs. Kazushi Miyamoto
Inaba charges Miyamoto to start the match and clubs him against the ropes,
Irish whip by Inaba, reversed, and Miyamoto kicks Inaba in the stomach. Side headlock by Miyamoto, Inaba Irish whips out of it but Miyamoto shoulderblocks him down. Miyamoto goes off the ropes but Inaba catches him with a dropkick and Miyamoto falls out of the ring. Miyamoto gets on the apron but Inaba greets him with elbows, but Miyamoto ducks one and snaps Inaba's neck over the top rope. Back in the ring, eye rake by Miyamoto, he picks up Inaba and delivers a hard chop. Inaba chops him back but Miyamoto rakes Inaba in the eyes again. Miyamoto picks up Inaba and rubs his face across the top rope. Clubs to the back by Miyamoto but Inaba returns to his feet, elbow by Miyamoto and he applies the Cobra Clutch. Cobra Clutch Leg Sweep by Miyamoto, cover, but it gets a two count. Miyamoto applies a reverse chinlock to Inaba, he picks him up and goes for a brainbuster, but Kanemoto blocks it and hits a vertical suplex. Miyamoto gets up in the corner, and Inaba hits a running elbow smash followed by a second one. Inaba goes off the ropes and hits a third, and finally a forth sends Miyamoto to the mat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Inaba to the corner, reversed, Inaba kicks Miyamoto when he charges in and hits a shoulderblock off the second turnbuckle. Cover, but it gets two. Inaba goes off the ropes but Miyamoto catches him with an atomic drop. Million Dollar Driver by Miyamoto, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Kazushi Miyamoto
Match Thoughts: Another pedestrian match, so far this event has been a dud. Miyamoto is doing a new 'million dollar' gimmick which I guess means he wrestles with a bow-tie and wears some of Tenryu's tights. He is not a bad wrestler but there wasn't really time to do much here. Inaba shows a lot of fire which is good and he got his spots in, but he was never in any position to win the match. I like wrestlers using new moves, but the Million Dollar Driver by puroresu standards is a somewhat weak looking big finishing move. Overall the action itself was acceptable, but it just didn't have time to really develop before it was over. Score: 5.0
Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi vs. Koji Kanemoto and Seiki Yoshioka
Sekimoto and Kanemoto start things off. Tie-up, but they break cleanly. Another tie-up but they quickly break again. A third tie-up, Kanemoto gets Sekimoto into the ropes and delivers a kick combination. Sekimoto charges Kanemoto, Kanemoto moves and kicks Sekimoto, he then goes off the ropes but
Sekimoto elbows him back. Kanemoto twice goes off the ropes trying to shoulderblock Sekimoto down with no success, he tries again but this time Sekimoto hits the shoulderblock onto Kanemoto. Side headlock by Kanemoto but Sekimoto hits an atomic drop to get out of it. Back up, Kanemoto nails Sekimoto with a kick to the head, cover, but Sekimoto kicks out at one. Kanemoto tags in Yoshioka while Sekimoto tags in Okabayashi. Tie-up, side headlock by Okabayashi, Yoshioka Irish whips out of it but Okabayashi shoulderblocks him down. Okabayashi goes off the ropes and kicks Okabayashi twice, step-up kick by Yoshioka and Kanemoto comes in the ring to help. Kanemoto holds Okabayashi while Yoshioka kicks him repeatedly in the chest, then Yoshioka holds Okabayashi for Kanemoto. Double Irish whip to Okabayashi and they hit a double kick to the chest followed by a running kick by Yoshioka. Cover, but Sekimoto breaks it up. Thrust kick to the side of the head by Yoshioka, cover, but Okabayashi kicks out. Yoshioka applies a crossface hold to Okabayashi, Okabayashi struggles to his feet and gets Yoshioka onto his shoulders before tossing him to the mat. Okabayashi tags in Sekimoto, Sekimoto picks up Yoshioka and chops him against the ropes. Yoshioka fires back with an elbow and the two trade strikes, which Sekimoto gets the better of. Cover by Sekimoto but it gets a two count. Sekimoto tags in Okabayashi, Okabayashi punches Kanemoto on the apron while Sekimoto comes in the ring and attacks Yoshioka in the corner. Kanemoto gets in the ring but Okabayashi chops him to the mat and kicks him out of it. Sekimoto picks up Yoshioka and throws him into the corner while Okabayashi stomps Kanemoto on the apron. Sekimoto gets out of the ring, Okabayashi chops Yoshioka down in the corner and hits a scoop slam. Okabayashi tags in Sekimoto, Sekimoto picks up Yoshioka and he hits a scoop slam as well. Sekimoto tags Okabayashi back in, and we get another scoop slam. Okabayashi tags in Sekimoto, scoop slam, he tags in Okabayashi who hits another scoop slam. Cover by Okabayashi but Kanemoto breaks it up. Okabayashi punches Kanemoto, he goes back to Yoshioka and clubs him in the back. Okabayashi tags in Sekimoto, and Okabayashi runs over to knock Kanemoto off the apron. Sekimoto picks up Yoshioka and hits a vertical suplex, cover, but it gets a two count. Crab hold by Sekimoto while Okabayashi holds off Kanemoto, but Yoshioka is able to make it to the ropes. Sekimoto picks up Yoshioka, Yoshioka elbows Sekimoto but Sekimoto hits a hard chop.
Yoshioka is back up and hits more elbows but again is knocked down by a chop. Yoshioka gets up again, Sekimoto goes off the ropes but Yoshioka hits him with a jumping kick. Kanemoto then comes in the ring and kicks Sekimoto low, and he kicks Sekimoto into the corner. Facewash by Yoshioka and he hits the running one, then Kanemoto hits one as well. Yoshioka tags in Kanemoto, then both men hit running kicks on Sekimoto in the corner. Kanemoto gives Sekimoto another facewash, he goes off the ropes and hits a second one. Kanemoto picks up Sekimoto and hits him in the corner, Kanemoto goes off the ropes but Sekimoto charges him. Sekimoto ducks the first lariat but Sekimoto hits the second one, Sekimoto goes out of the corner but Kanemoto delivers a jumping kick and both men are hurt. On their knees they trade elbows, kick combination by Kanemoto but Sekimoto applies a waistlock. Kanemoto goes off the ropes but Sekimoto catches him with a powerslam. Sekimoto tags in Okabayashi, Okabayashi picks up Kanemoto and chops him against the ropes. Irish whip by Okabayashi, reversed, and Okabayashi pushes Kanemoto to the mat. Okabayashi goes off the ropes but Kanemoto catches him with a kick and tags in Yoshioka. Kicks to the leg by Yoshioka and he hits a running dropkick to Okabayashi's leg. Yoshioka goes off the ropes and kicks Okabayashi in the chest, cover, but it gets a two count. Yoshioka picks up Okabayashi and hits a strike combination, he goes off the ropes and hits a tilt-a-whirl slam. Spinning kick by Yoshioka, cover, but it only gets two. Yoshioka sits up Okabayashi and kicks him in the back, Yoshioka goes off the ropes but Sekimoto grabs him from the floor. Okabayashi then hits a lariat onto Yoshioka before applying the crab hold. Kanemoto comes in the ring and breaks it up, Sekimoto comes in and throws Kanemoto out of the ring. Sekimoto picks up Yoshioka and holds him so that Okabayashi can hit a lariat, then they hit a double backdrop suplex. Cover, but it gets two. Okabayashi puts Yoshioka in the Argentine Backbreaker, Kanemoto comes in the ring and Sekimoto puts him in the Backbreaker as well. Kanemoto gets out of his and helps Yoshioka, Sekimoto throws Kanemoto out of the ring and both men hit lariats onto Yoshioka in the corner. Okabayashi slams Yoshioka in the middle of the ring, he and Sekimoto both go up to opposite turnbuckles, Sekimoto hits a diving body press and Okabayashi follows up with one of this own. Cover, but it gets a two count. Sekimoto gets rid of Kanemoto, Okabayashi goes off the ropes and hits a lariat onto Yoshioka. Powerbomb by Okabayashi, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi
Match Thoughts: Not quite as good as some other Sekimoto/Okabayashi matches I have seen but still a really good match. The best part was seeing Kanemoto and their reactions to him, they had to constantly have someone guarding him from interfering as he tended to get involved in the match whenever he wanted. He also was not intimidated at all by his larger opponents. Kanemoto overshadowed Yoshioka, not on purpose as Yoshioka got the bulk of the offense, but Kanemoto just has so much more charisma and ring presence than his younger partner. Unfortunately that did take away some of the effectiveness of Yoshioka since most eyes were on Kanemoto, but it still fit the dynamic of the veteran wrestler teaming with the younger wrestler still learning his craft. Anyway a very good match but nothing that went that extra step to blow you away. Score: 6.5
KAZMA SAKAMOTO vs. Seiya Sanada
The video for this match was choppy at best but I will do the play by play the best I can. They circle each other to start, KAZMA throws Sanada into the corner but Sanada rebounds out of it and hits a sunset flip for a two count. KAZMA rolls out of the ring but returns after a moment, clubs to the back by KAZMA and he hits an uppercut. Irish whip by KAZMA and he chokes Sanada against the second rope. Sanada is hit from the floor by a chair while the referee is distracted, Irish whip by KAZMA and he hits a back elbow. Cover, but it gets a two count. KAZMA Irish whips Sanada from the corner but Sanada moves when he charges in and delivers a kick. KAZMA fires out of the corner with a lariat, he grabs Sanada and delivers an elbow. Headbutt by KAZMA, he goes off the ropes and the two wrestlers collide with both men going down. They both get up at the same time, Sanada hits KAZMA into the corner and hits a series of mounted punches. Kick by KAZMA, he goes off the ropes but Sanada delivers a dropkick. Swandive lariat by Sanada, cover, but KAZMA gets a shoulder up. Sanada waits for KAZMA to get up and goes off the ropes, but chaos ensues as the referee is knocked down and KAZMA's friends (Kono, Sai, and Duprée) come in the ring to stomp on Sanada. Sai gets a chair but he is stopped from using it as Hayashi and Kondo come down to help. Hayashi helps clear the ring, KAZMA grabs Sanada but Sanada snaps off a cutter. Sanada finds his way to the corner (Kono had put a black bag over his head so he still can't see), and he hits a rounding body press for the three count! Your winner: Seiya Sanada
Match Thoughts: Sadly the only version of this match I have found so far is kinda choppy and missing random moments of the match, but I think I got the gist of it. I really like Hayashi and Kondo coming down to help, how often do we see the heels cheating and no one caring? Since it is already documented that Hayashi and Kondo are at odds with Kono and company, it only made sense they would assist. Other than that it was mostly a storyline-continuing match as the line is clearly drawn in the sand between the two rival factions in WRESTLE-1. Since the audio and video were a bit jacked I won't score it but I think it accomplished its goal and I've always been a fan of Sanada. Score: N/A
Masato Tanaka vs. Yasufumi Nakanoue
Tie-up to start, hammerlock by Tanaka, reversed by Nakanoue but Tanaka hits a drop toehold. They jockey for position, tie-up, side headlock by Tanaka, Nakanoue Irish whips out of it and they collide with no result. Nakanoue goes off the ropes and runs into Tanaka but he can't knock Tanaka down. After bouncing off the ropes a few times and finally Nakanoue is able to knock Tanaka down. Nakanoue picks up Tanaka, chops by Tanaka and he goes off the ropes, but Nakanoue avoids the dropkick. Side headlock take down by Nakanoue but Tanaka gets out of it and both wrestlers return to their feet. Tie-up, drop toehold by Tanaka, side headlock by Tanaka but Nakanoue pushes Tanaka into the ropes. Chop by Nakanoue to the chest but Tanaka chops him back. They trade chops and elbows, Nakanoue goes off the ropes and he hits an elbow smash. Tanaka falls out to the apron, Nakanoue goes out after him and punches him into the railing. Nakanoue tries to throw Tanaka into the rail but Tanaka reverses it. Tanaka picks up Nakanoue and slams him down on the floor outside. Tanaka gets a table from under the ring and sets it up at ringside, he grabs Nakanoue and slams him into the apron. Tanaka puts Nakanoue softly on the table, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits a diving body press through the table down to the floor. Tanaka picks up Nakanoue and throws him into the ring, he grabs Nakanoue's leg from the apron and puts it against the ring post. He then hit Nakanoue's leg with a piece of the table he just broke. Tanaka grabs Nakanoue by the leg and kicks him in the head, chops by Tanaka and Nakanoue falls into the ropes. Nakanoue returns with chops, Tanaka picks up Nakanoue but Nakanoue fires back with elbows.
They trade elbows, Tanaka goes for a vertical suplex but Nakanoue reverses it and hits a suplex of his own. Kick to the leg by Tanaka and they trade chops, which Tanaka gets the better of. Tanaka picks up Nakanoue and puts him against the ropes, elbows by Tanaka, he goes off the ropes and hits a jumping elbow smash. Tanaka goes off the ropes, Nakanoue catches him with an elbow but Tanaka elbows him back. Jumping lariat by Nakanoue, he throws Tanaka into the corner and he hits a running elbow strike. Double armed suplex by Nakanoue, cover, but it gets a two count. Nakanoue goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving elbow drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Nakanoue picks up Tanaka but Tanaka reverses the waistlock into a DDT. Tanaka picks up Nakanoue, Irish whip to the corner and he hits a running lariat. A second lariat by Tanaka and he hits Nakanoue with a third, sending Nakanoue to the mat. Tanaka goes up to the top turnbuckle and goes for a diving body press, but Nakanoue gets his knees up. Nakanoue now goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Nakanoue picks up Tanaka, waistlock by Nakanoue, and he hits a German suplex for a two count. Nakanoue picks up Tanaka, elbows by Tanaka and Nakanoue returns fire. Elbows by both men back and forth and Tanaka chops Nakanoue to the mat. Tanaka picks up Nakanoue and he hits a brainbuster. Cover, but Nakanoue gets a shoulder up. Tanaka picks up Nakanoue, Tanaka goes off the ropes but Nakanoue catches him with a lariat. Nakanoue picks up Tanaka, he goes off the ropes and hits an elbow smash. Cover, but it gets a two count. Nakanoue goes off the ropes but Tanaka hits a roaring lariat. Cover, but Nakanoue gets a shoulder up. Tanaka goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the diving body press. Cover, but Nakanoue barely gets a shoulder up. Tanaka sits up Nakanoue and nails the Sliding D, cover, and he gets the three. Your winner: Masato Tanaka
Match Thoughts: A really good match, it kinda amazes me that Tanaka is still so good at his age and after all the brutal damage he used to put his body through in FMW and ECW. This is the longest competitive match I have seen from Nakanoue and he is pretty good, shows a lot of fire, he just needs to vary his offense a bit so that it doesn't get repetitive (lots and lots of elbow strikes). But Nakanoue stayed in the match so it was always competitive, and they got enough time to develop a match. Great effort by both men here. Score: 7.0
KAI vs. Minoru Tanaka
KAI and Tanaka circle each other to start, tie-up, KAI pushes Tanaka into the ropes but Tanaka reverses positions with him and gives a clean break. Tie-up, waistlock by Tanaka, KAI applies a wristlock but Tanaka reverses it.
KAI reverses it back and applies a hammerlock on the mat. KAI gets Tanaka's shoulders down but it only gets a two count. Both men get back up, tie-up, side headlock takedown by Tanaka, KAI struggles back to his feet but KAI takes Tanaka down with a side headlock. Tanaka quickly gets out of it and both men return to their feet. Side headlock by Tanaka, KAI Irish whips out of it and they collide with no result. Tanaka goes off the ropes but KAI goes off the ropes too, but Tanaka steps out of KAI's way so he doesn't try a springboard move. Drop toehold by Tanaka, KAI gets out of it and applies a front facelock. Tanaka reverses it back and applies a hammerlock, and he knees KAI in the arm. Armbar by Tanaka on the mat but KAI gets out of it and applies a headlock on the mat. Tanaka gets back up while in the hold, Tanaka Irish whips out of it but KAI shoulderblocks him down. KAI goes off the ropes, kick to the stomach by Tanaka and he goes off the ropes, and KAI hits a dropkick. Tanaka falls out of the ring, KAI goes off the ropes and hits a tope suicida, kinda hitting his head on the guard rail in the process. KAI picks up Tanaka and hits a DDT on the floor.
KAI gets back into the ring and Tanaka slowly follows him, and KAI knees Tanaka in the back of the head. KAI picks up Tanaka, elbow by KAI and he hits an uppercut. KAI goes off the ropes but Tanaka catches him with a dropkick. Tanaka picks up KAI and kicked KAI in the leg. Tanaka charges KAI but KAI hits a jumping kick to the head. KAI goes out to the apron but Tanaka avoids the attack. Big boot by KAI in the corner and he hits a backdrop suplex, cover, but it gets a two count. KAI picks up Tanaka and nails the LAT, cover, but Tanaka gets a shoulder up. KAI goes up to the top turnbuckle but Tanaka recovers and joins him up there. KAI elbows Tanaka off but Tanaka charges back again, more elbows by KAI but Tanaka hits a jumping knee. He then goes up back again and this time he is able to hit a top rope suplex. Cover by Tanaka but it gets a two count. Tanaka grabs KAI but KAI elbows him off. They trade elbows, kick by Tanaka and he goes off the ropes, but KAI boots Tanaka. Dropkick by Tanaka and he hits a side kick for a two count cover. Tanaka goes for a second one but KAI ducks it and hits a jumping kick. Springboard kick off the ropes by KAI and he hits a brainbuster. Cover, but it gets a two count. KAI picks up Tanaka and hits a second LAT, cover, but again Tanaka gets a shoulder up. KAI drags Tanaka to his feet and hits a powerbomb, cover, but it only gets a two count. KAI rolls over Tanaka, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and goes for the Splash Plancha, but Tanaka gets his knees up. Roll-up by Tanaka but it only gets a two count. Back up Tanaka goes for a kick, KAI catches it but Tanaka applies the HEAT Clutch for the three count. Your winner: Minoru Tanaka
Match Thoughts: I can't help but feel that the wrong person won, but at least it was kinda flukish in that the wily vet had to sneak out the victory. Both wrestlers looked good here, I have really enjoyed KAI the last few years and I think he brings a lot to the table. Tanaka hasn't really lost a step and it was a well structured match from start to finish. Even though it was not a short match they still kept the pace up and there really wasn't any killed time. They played the story well that each time KAI went for his finisher, Tanaka stopped him, so it didn't make it appear as if KAI was overmatched. He was just never able to hit his big move to put Tanaka away. A really solid way to end the event. Score: 7.5
Best Match: KAI vs. Minoru Tanaka. I could have given it to either of the last two matches, but these two just meshed really well and it was an entertaining match from start to finish. I like the new "less is more" some promotions started doing, instead of trading kickouts of finishing moves the spots are built up towards the finishing moves instead. Tanaka is a veteran and knows how to structure an entertaining match, and this certainly was. I wish that KAI had won but I don't think it hurt him any to lose to a very respected veteran with a flash move.
MVP: Yasufumi Nakanoue. In a way it should be Tanaka for making Nakanoue look so good, but this is the first match I have seen of Nakanoue that he looked like he could be a potential star. He went toe to toe with Tanaka and took all of his big moves. He also showed a lot of emotion and even a bit of charisma. A good showing by the young star.
Overall: The bulk of this show was really rough. The first part of the show was just bland with short singles matches and I was starting to have a bad feeling. But three of the last four matches were really good and helped turn the card around. So as an entire show I wouldn't really recommend it but there was some good action here. Hopefully W-1 will work on having more complete cards, they have the wrestlers to put on entertaining matches (I mean look how Kono, Hayashi, Yamato, and Kondo were used) but the booking just isn't giving them the opportunity to do so. A very top-heavy card but some of the matches did deliver.
review completed on 2/20/14
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