Back at it again with the monthly Wrestle-1 Korakuen Hall show reviews. This card much like the May card coming up doesn’t look all that great but it’s Wrestle-1 and Wrestle-1 never fails to surprise us. For the first time in 2016 the main event isn’t for the Wrestle-1 Heavyweight Championship but it’s for the Wrestle-1 Tag Team Championships. The match looks just OK but I am hyped for the eventual Kasai and Hino interactions. I am watching this 20 days after the event has took place but it’s OK because I love the graps and the graps can do no wrong unless your promotion is owned by Nazi’s.
This was just a young lion opening match. Both guys looked good and Sato looked a lot more smoother and calmer this month in a Wrestle-1 ring. Fujimura’s dropkicks impressed me very much. Sato didn’t sell a lot but when he did it meant more. Both guys showed tons of fire especially Fujimura. Keiichi Sato won with a Boston crab in a little over 5 minutes.
Another match of Sanada’s where he was a pretty young fired up baby face and not a member of the top heel faction in NJPW. He and Inaba did some nice stuff which led to Sanada hitting a plancha very early on. NOSAWA and MAZADA are such a good team, they have been together forever and have really figured out this whole tag team wrestling thing. Inaba was basically a boxing bag for the first few minutes until Hama made his AMAZING hot tag where he just squashed folk with his ass and stomach. Hama squashed everyone and I’m pretty sure he killed NOSAWA when he just sat on him. Hama could not get knocked down but goddamn Sanada takes him down with an RKO! Hama actually took the bump really well. In a shock to the live crowd NOSAWA pinned Tanaka with a La Magistral cradle to set up the UWA 6 man Championship match which took place on the 4/17.
Ikemen’s entrance was pure gold and made me smile so much. The kid has so much charisma and energy and Korakuen loves him. Takagi on the other hand decided to make his entrance on a bicycle! Takagi avoids a plancha by getting on his bike and riding away. Ikemen, Takagi and the ref go behind the curtain and when they come back Ikemen is on Takagi’s shoulders whilst his riding the bike. Takagi floors Ikemen with a lariat….. WHILE RIDING THE BIKE. He went for a pin fall on the outside thinking that it was a DDT match. Ikemen fires back with a tope con hilo and a Ikemen-sault which is a split-legged moonsault. Jiro’s flurry’s of offence are hot fire, big time enzugiri followed by a superkick. Jiro missed a corkscrew moonsault which let Takagi back into the match. Awesome near-falls where I believed Jiro would win but in the end Takagi won with the Sitdown Himawari Bomb.
This was short, real short. Under 7 minutes I believe but it needed to be that way. KAI needed a dominating win and that’s what he got. The video package on KAI before hand was super and made me want him to beat Kono. Once again KAI hit a plancha on his own young boy Mitomi and Mitomi wasn’t happy. KAI did a suicide dive onto Brother Yasshi. Kono’s knee’s looked very strong as did his choke bomb. KAI sold a chokeslam like a champ and made Kono look very good. Wrestle-1 matches always have great near-falls, this match had some real good ones. KAI won with a Gannosuke Clutch! It was put over big by the commentator’s that he won with a Gannosuke Clutch.
This was solid but I wish it got more time because I am sure they could have an amazing match. Like it was good but was short and felt very anti-climatic. TAJIRI connects with the handspring elbow early on and then Kotaro attempts one but he sort of messes it up but TAJIRI is a ring general and covered it up as if nothing happened. He applied a wrist lock and worked on the left arm and that was the story of the match. Really cool spot were Suzuki went for a 619 but TAJIRI caught him in a wrist lock. The crowd was really into TAJIRI but whenever Suzuki did things the crowd was quiet. Like Suzuki did a crazy flipping plancha and it got zero crowd reaction. TAJIRI sold a 619 very well. Ref bump and then Suzuki hits the Blue Destiny but TAJIRI spits mist into Suzuki’s face and then does a perfect high kick. The ref is now conscious but Suzuki kicks out. AWESOME spot where Suzuki kept rolling TAJIRI in La Magistral cradles. Suzuki won with a Tiger Driver in a very flat finish.
This was a fucking great match and that’s not an understatement! Like this was my favorite match on the show and believe it or not Keji Muto was the best worker in this match. I am not joking when I say any of this! Seriously a super great match highlighted by Yuji and Muto interactions. Muto was bumping like crazy early on for Yuji and sold a shoulder tackle as if he was shot out of a cannon. Muto took Yuji down with a hip toss followed by a flashing elbow drop. Muto applied an arm bar and Yuji just deadlifted 53 year old Muto up and dropped him from a pretty significant height. Nakanoue’s strikes looked very snug and strong. Muto still has the best dragon screws in wrestling, he took Yoshioka to dragon screw city. Muto and Yuji legit had 3 fantastic sequence’s throughout this match built around Muto trying to knock down Yuji at the legs and Yuji showing that he is the main man in puroresu. The last 3 minutes were some of the best 3 minutes in wrestling I LOVED IT. KEJI MUTO WAS GERMAN SUPLEXED ON HIS HEAD!!! SERIOUSLY GO WATCH THIS MATCH NOW! Yoshioka was incredible as always. Kumagoro was pinned after a La mistica from Yoshioka, Golem Splash from Yuji and an Elbow drop from Nakanoue. So keen on a Yuji vs. Muto singles match.
This was honestly good but like it could not top that last match. MUTO TOOK A GERMAN SUPLEX IN 2016! OK I am sorry and will return back to reviewing wrestling like a normal person. Wait… Do normal people review wrestling? Wrestling from Japan featuring a guy who has had a needle put through his tongue? This is wrestling brothers. Soya and Hino work real well together but it looks like we won’t be getting a match between those 2 gentleman for a while because of the finish of the bout. Kasai was very over and even more over when he used chairs on Hino and KAZMA. Hino busted open Kasai with multiple chops to the cranium. Soya’s wild bomber lariats are so beautiful but so painful. Hino’s selling and facials are next level. I don’t love Hino like Ian but I still really love Hino. Soya used a death valley driver on Hino which was cool. Hino ducked a wild bomber and KAZMA superkicked Soya out of his boots. Kasai slipped when he was doing his splash from the top but he still connected and then he gave the goggles to Soya and he done a splash whilst wearing the goggles. Hino was put over even stronger when he kicked out of a wild bomber. Soya and Hino just went to war with one another for the last few minutes until Hino hit the FUCKING bomb to retain the titles for his team.
What I am about to say could be perceived as negative but I will say this was the worst Wrestle-1 show in-ring at Korakuen Hall in sometime. BUT this was still a very enjoyable card and nothing bad at all. Just a few things didn’t live up to expectations and a few questionable booking decisions. I still had fun watching this entire show and don’t regret it at all. Ikemen’s match was so much fun just like all of Ikemen. The semi main event was pretty darn great and I really hope Okabayashi does some more dates for Wrestle-1 in the near future. I am legit FIRED UP for a Keji Muto vs. Yuji Okabayashi singles match. Wrestle-1 is my favorite company to do reviews for and that’s because they have turned around their product completely and made me compelled to the story lines and performers.