A Casual Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: January 1st, 2015
Location: Tokyo Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown

Every year ZERO1 puts on an event on January 1st, and 2015 was no different. This year the event was used to help push some angles that they have going for the new year, allowing fans to catch up if they are out of the loop. The TV show had some highlights from 2014 to set up the matches we would be seeing, which includes a massive 5 vs. 5 Match Series. Here is the full card:

- Kazuki Hashimoto vs. Yoshikazu Yokoyama
- International Jr. Heavyweight Championship and NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Jason Lee vs. Atsushi Maruyama vs. Mineo Fujita
-  Ikuto Hidaka, Fujita "Jr." Hayato, Yuko Miyamoto, and Isami Kodaka vs. KAMIKAZE, Demon Ueda, Kengo, and Voodoo Mask #15
- Atsushi Onita, Ichiro Yaguchi, and Dump Matsumoto vs. TARU, "brother" YASSHI, and Voodoo Mask
- 5 vs. 5 Singles Match Series: Shinjiro Otani, Tanaka, Kohei Sato, Hideki Suzuki, and Obata vs. Takashi Sugiura, Akebono, Takayama, Sai, and Daisuke Sekimoto

A lot of these matches are clipped at least a little but I'll only note it if it's a significant clipping. The last match is an hour long so that will be the vast majority of the event.

Kazuki Hashimoto vs. Yoshikazu Yokoyama
This one is joined in progress with Hashimoto hitting bootscrapes in the corner. He goes for a running kick but Yokoyama springs up and hits a spear. Another spear and he hits a reverse splash for a two. Powerslam by Yokoyama and he punches/elbows Hashimoto in the face. They trade slaps back up, which Hashimoto wins, and Hashimoto hits a PK. Fisherman Buster by Hashimoto and he gets the three count. As a general rule I don't 'rate' matches when less than half is shown, but they both were intense and made the bit we saw fun to watch. Score: N/A

Jason Lee vs. Atsushi Maruyama vs. Mineo Fujita
Maruyama and Lee bounce around to start things off and Lee hits a double armdrag. Fujita and Lee face off, then Maruyama and Fujita do, but Fujita hits them both low with his groin-based offense. Fujita hits Maruyama low again but Lee elbows Fujita into the corner. Double Irish whip to Fujita and he is attacked in the corner, but Lee rolls up Maruyama from behind. That was a really short lived partnership, there are no friends in triple threat matches! Well Maruyama didn't learn and the exact same thing happens again. Fujita kicks both , but Fujita hits Lee with an atomic drop and then hits a low blow on Maruyama. I gotta admit, having an entire offense based on low blows is pretty funny. Fujita kicks Maruyama in the groin in the corner but Lee elbows him. Maruyama rams Fujita feet first into Maruyama's groin but he gets a two count. Lee attacks Fujita in the corner and hits a dropkick. Lee goes for the Game of Death but Fujita blocks it. Maruyama hits a tiger suplex on Lee but it gets two. Tilt-a-whirl DDT by Lee but Fujita decimates Lee with an Emerald Frosion for a two count. Probably not intentionally. Lee dropkicks Maruyama out of the ring and hits a German suplex hold followed by the Game of Death for a three count. Jason Lee is still your champion. Fujita makes me laugh too much to not like the match, I am not sure when he woke up and decided all his offense would be shots to the nuts, but it's hilarious. Score: 6.5

Ikuto Hidaka, Fujita "Jr." Hayato, Yuko Miyamoto, and Isami Kodaka vs. KAMIKAZE, Demon Ueda, Kengo, and Voodoo Mask #15
Fujita and Voodoo Mask start off and trade elbows. Boot by Fujita but Voodoo Mask delivers a high kick and they leave, leading to a massive brawl outside of the ring. Hidaka attacks everyone all by himself back in the ring and tags in Kodaka. Kodaka knocks back both Ueda and Voodoo Mask and with Miyamoto they hit stereo Frankensteiners. Diving chop by Miyamoto to Ueda but Ueda rakes his eyes. Everyone from team Hidaka comes in the ring and applies submission holds, KAMIKAZE is isolated but he hits an overhead kick on Hidaka. Fujita kicks KAMIKAZE but KAMIKAZE tags in Voodoo Mask. Fujita is thrown in the corner and he is lariated by everyone. Cover by Voodoo Mask but it gets two. KAMIKAZE hits a second turnbuckle moonsault, cover by Voodoo Mask but its broken up. Kodaka goes off the ropes and sails out of the ring with a tope suicida. Handspring elbow smash by Miyamoto, Fujita sits up Voodoo Mask and hits the Helm for a three count. Hidaka and friends win the match. This was clipped in about half and not all of these guys are actually good. Probably a good thing it was clipped. Score: 3.5

Atsushi Onita, Ichiro Yaguchi, and Dump Matsumoto vs. TARU, "brother" YASSHI, and Voodoo Mask
Matsumoto attacks Voodoo Mask with a kendo stick before the match even starts and everyone battles up into the stands. Yaguchi gets in the ring with YASSHI and hits him with a barbed wire bat, but Voodoo Mask hits Yaguchi with a lariat for a two count. Onita hits as lariat and then hits everyone with a piece of table. Yaguchi hits a backdrop suplex onto Voodoo Mask, then with Onita they hit a union DDT onto a piece of table for the three count. This was way too clipped up as about ten minutes weren't shown, but it was nice to see Matsumoto. Score: N/A

Shinjiro Otani, Tanaka, Kohei Sato, Hideki Suzuki, and Yusaku Obata vs. Yoshihiro Takayama, Sugiura, Akebono, Ryouji Sai, and Daisuke Sekimoto
This is a 5 vs. 5 Singles Match Series. What that means is that a wrestler from each team starts out in a 1v1 battle, and when a wrestler is defeated the winning wrestler stays and a new wrestler from the other team comes in. Basically a 1v1 gauntlet match but with teams. This process repeats until one team has no wrestlers left. There is a 15 minute time limit for each singles match, if the time expires than both wrestlers are eliminated. Got it? Good. Lots of star power here, some wrestlers that don't lose in singles matches very often are going down.

First Pairing: Shinjiro Otani vs. Yoshihiro Takayama. They lock knuckles then trade punches back and forth. Takayama gets the better of that and hits a PK. Kicks to the chest by Takayama but Otani hits a spinning heel kick. Facewashes by Otani and he hits a backdrop suplex. Takayama returns the favor and knees Otani in the stomach. They trade punches and Otani hits a release dragon suplex. Otani goes up top and hits a missile dropkick to the back of Takayama's head, and he hits a second dragon suplex for a three count cover. Shinjiro Otani wins, Takayama is eliminated. Team Otani - 5, Team Takayama - 4

Second Pairing: Shinjiro Otani vs. Daisuke Sekimoto. Otani and Sekimoto grapple into the corner and Otani chops Sekimoto. Sekimoto chops him back and hits a pescado when Sekimoto falls out of the ring. Otani rams Sekimoto into the ring post but Sekimoto hits a vertical suplex. Chops by Sekimoto and he hits a lariat. Otani comes back with a jumping kick and hits a big boot followed by a German suplex. Sekimoto springs up and hits a lariat, and both wrestlers are on the mat. They trade elbows and Sekimoto hits a lariat. Another lariat by Sekimoto but Otani kicks out. German suplex hold by Sekimoto and he gets the three count, Otani is eliminated. Team Otani - 4, Team Takayama - 4

Third Pairing: Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Yusaku Obata. Obata immediately dropkicks Sekimoto and hits a double knee in the corner followed by a dropkick. Swandive doublestomp by Obata and he gets a two count. Sekimoto goes for a suplex but Obata catches him with a front necklock. Sekimoto gets to the ropes, Obata goes up top but Sekimoto bops him and hits a superplex. Obata gets up but Sekimoto levels him with a lariat. Vertical suplex by Sekimoto and he applies a Scorpion Deathlock but Obata gets to the ropes. Obata applies a sleeper but Sekimoto rolls to the ropes. Kick by Obata, he goes up top and hits a missile dropkick. Back up they trade blows, running knee by Obata but it gets two. Fisherman buster but it gets two also, Obata goes up top but Sekimoto avoids the diving kneedrop. Release German by Sekimoto and he levels Obata with a lariat, German suplex hold by Sekimoto and he gets the pin, eliminating Obata. Team Otani - 3, Team Takayama - 4

Fourth Pairing: Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Hideki Suzuki. They tussle to start, trading submission holds on the mat. Back up they trade strikes and Suzuki hits a suplex. Stretch hold by Suzuki but Sekimoto gets out of it and hits a lariat. Armbar by Suzuki and he goes for a cross armbreaker but Sekimoto slams him into the corner. Lariat by Sekimoto and he hits a double underhook suplex for a two count. Sekimoto applies an Argentine Backbreaker but Suzuki slides off. Atomic drop by Sekimoto but Suzuki hits a backbreaker. Tombstone by Suzuki but Sekimoto reverses the double arm suplex. Dragon suplex hold by Suzuki, and he gets the three count. Daisuke Sekimoto is eliminated. Team Otani - 3, Team Takayama - 3

Fifth Pairing: Hideki Suzuki vs. Akebono. Suzuki tries to knock off Akebono which fails epically. Suzuki falls out of the ring but Akebono clubs him in the back and stands on him. Suzuki avoids Akebono's charge and Akebono goes into the post. Suzuki hits Akebono with a chair and rolls him into the ring, and Suzuki dropkicks Akebono into the corner. Suzuki goes for a dragon suplex but Akebono easily blocks it. Hard elbow by Akebono and he hits a body press for two. Yokozuna Impact by Akebono and he picks up the three count. Suzuki is eliminated. Team Otani - 2, Team Takayama - 3

Sixth Pairing: Akebono vs. Masato Tanaka. Tanaka can't knock over Akebono and Akebono hits a lariat followed by an elbow drop. Slam by Akebono and he stands on Tanaka's chest. Body avalanche by Akebono and he dumps Tanaka out of the ring. Another body avalanche by Akebono and he hits an elbow drop for two. Tanaka avoids the body press and hit a jumping elbow. Tanaka finally chops down Akebono, he goes up top and hits the diving body press. Body avalanche by Akebono but Tanaka rolls him up, Tanaka goes for a Sliding D by Akebono catches him. Tanaka gets away, he then hits a Sliding D first from the back and then from the front. Cover, and he barely gets three, eliminating Akebono. Team Otani - 2, Team Takayama - 2

Seventh Pairing: Masato Tanaka vs. Takashi Sugiura. They trade elbows, Tanaka elbows Sugiura down in the corner but Sugiura recovers. Elbows by Sugiura but Tanaka pushes him back and they go back and forth. Tanaka wins the battle and he snaps off a DDT. Brainbuster by Tanaka but Sugiura gets up his knees on the diving crossbody. Sugiura drops Tanaka on the top rope and they trade strikes, knee by Sugiura and he gets a two count. They trade more elbows, Tanaka goes up top and hits a diving body press for two. Tanaka goes for the Sliding D but Tanaka ducks, suplex by Sugiura but Tanaka hits a lariat. Knee by Sugiura and they trade elbows. They trade elbows some more and Sugiura hits a German suplex. Sliding D to the back of the head by Tanaka, he goes off the ropes and hits another one. Cover, but it gets a two as Sugiura gets in the ropes. Olympic Slam by Tanaka but Sugiura fires back with a Sliding D for a two count. Olympic Slam by Sugiura, cover, but Tanaka gets a shoulder up just as time expires. The match is a draw so both wrestlers are eliminated. Team Otani - 1, Team Takayama - 1

Final Pairing: Kohei Sato vs. Ryouji Sai. Sato pushes Sai in the ropes and gives a clean break. We skip ahead with Sato kicking Sai but Sai kicks him back. Slam by Sai but it gets two so he slaps on a chinlock. Sato gets out of it and headbutts Sai, kicks by Sato and he hits a Falcon Arrow. Sato goes up top but Sai kicks him and hits a superplex. They trade strikes, kick to the chest by Sai and hits a vertical suplex. Knee by Sai in the corner but it gets two. Sai slams Sato to the mat, he goes up top but Sato headbutts him. Avalanche Falcon Arrow by Sato and he hits a Emerald Frosion. Piledriver by Sato, he picks up Sai and hits a German suplex hold for the three count. Sato wins the match for Shinjiro Otani, Masato Tanaka, Kohei Sato, Hideki Suzuki, and Yusaku Obata. This match was long, but good. Some pairings (Tanaka/Sugiura and Sekimoto/Obata) were better than others, but overall it was enjoyable. Didn't like the final pairing since it takes away the gimmick a bit to have two fresh wrestlers, then they wrestled a seven minute match like they had wrestled for twenty. But even with that it was entertaining. Score: 7.5

Final Thoughts:

This is the definition of a 'one match card,' but at least in this case it was intentional as most the other matches were really clipped. The final match was definitely fun, I just wish they hadn't set it up so that final pairing was two full strength wrestlers, just took out some of the drama. If the main event sounds interesting to you, go for it, but don't expect anything from the rest of the event.

review completed on 1/18/15