Wrestle-1 at Korakuen review once again! Stacked card this month with two big title matches. I was obviously spoiled before I saw this show and I know all the results going in but I will stay enjoy the matches because Wrestle-1 is on fire. Jiro is having his first ever hardcore match of his career against one of the best hardcore wrestlers of all time. Muto and Yuji have had some great interactions in the past so I am hyped to see them go at it again. I hope you enjoy!
Inaba is looking jacked as ever! Hopefully this new muscular Daiki Inaba leads to a push to the main event scene. A lot of people are down on Koji Doi but I thought he was more than fine here and looked solid. This felt really rushed but it worked! Most matches that feel rushed are not that great but somehow it worked in this match. Inaba did a nice spinebuster followed by a big lariat. Tons of strikes traded between the athletes. Inaba is so fucking good, blue thunder bomb followed by a diving headbutt. Doi taps out to a grounded octopus stretch. Lovely opener.
This was trimmed for TV and we only saw a few minutes of it and what I saw was pretty good. This was to set up Trigger challenging for the UWA 6 man championships in June at Korakuen. I love me a bit of YASSHI but I don’t know if Wrestle-1 is the best fit for him. We already have NOSAWA and the rest of Tokyo Gurentai, we don’t need another little dickhead heel. Tajiri used to hand spring back elbows on his opponents. Hama squashed everything in sight. Ashino took all of his opponents to suplex city. YASSHI pinned Tajiri clean with a German suplex hold. I felt like he should of cheated to beat the legend.
This was another match trimmed for TV and once again from what I saw it was neat. REAL DESPERADO are winning me over believe it or not. I must be the only NOSAWA OUT OF THE QUESTION fan on planet earth. I really hope Kumagoro gets the push he deserves sooner rather than later, one of the most underrated performers in Japan. Soya was a hoss using a stalling suplex on KAZMA. He also used a dropkick out of nowhere. Kumagoro missed one of the biggest sentons I have ever seen, coming off the top rope as if he was an 18 wheeler. KAZMA was impressive yet again. Soya killed him with a lariat and he sold it like death. KAZMA pinned Kumagoro with a Gory Bomb.
The hype levels for this match were unparalleled, I was so excited! This match delivered in many ways. Jiro bought the fight to the deathmatch legend and more than held his own. I don’t want Jiro to become a regular in Freedoms doing glass deathmatches but he was so great here. The first spot of the match was Kasai killing Ikemen with a unprotected chair shot and Ikemen kips up as if he was knocked down with a shoulder block. Ikemen went for a suicide dive and ate a chair shot. Ikemen is bleeding heavily from the head. Kasai was dominating for the early portion of the bout, suplex onto a chair. Ikemen suplexed Kasai onto a ladder! Kasai used a gut wrench style piledriver? I have never seen it done before but it was phenomenal. Ikemen used three STIFF chair shots to gain the advantage. Moonsault onto Kasai who had a ladder on top of him. Jiro splashed Kasai from the top of a giant ladder but the table didn’t break and Kasai yelled at him to ‘do it again’ and ‘one more time’ which was hilarious but he did it and the table broke the second time around. Tope con hilo from Ikemen. The big spot of the match was Jiro doing a swanton bomb on the outside from at least 20ft high off a ladder threw 2 tables, Kasai moved out of the way at the last second. THAT WAS FUCKING NUTS AND I LOST MY SHIT. Jiro Kuroshio is a mad man. Kasai put skewers into the skull of Ikemen and gave him a brain buster but Ikemen kicked out! Top rope goggles splash from Kasai but fucking Ikemen KICKS OUT AT ONE! Kasai is pissed so he drops him on his head with a reverse tiger driver to win! Respect was shown post match.
So I didn’t write notes for this match because sometimes when I am that excited to see a match I don’t want to worry about writing and I just enjoy the wrestles. These two fucking men killed it as expected. The innovation was amazing! So many neat and creative spots! I loved this from start to finish. Kaz Hayashi is one of the best wrestlers in the world. One spot that stood out to me was Hayashi using an Aerostar like tope suicida. The smoothness and chain wrestling was beautiful. Not one single botch or miscue. Everything in this match had purpose and meant something. Please whenever you have the chance watch this, your eyes will thank you for it. This review doesn’t do the match justice but I enjoyed it so much! Kotaro retained with a tiger driver.
This was good but nowhere near as great as the Muto 6 man tag from April. He and Okabayashi did have some wonderful interactions but not as good as the month before. But it wasn’t about this match being great it was all about the post match angle which most of you should know by now what happened. Everyone in this match was good. Obviously Daichi and Yuji were above the rest because BJW BOYS are always the best. That’s sarcasm but BJW is definitely my favorite promotion. Hashimoto kicked the shit out of everyone in sight. Yuji was stronk and took Daichi to strong style city. Muto made a hot tag on Okabayashi but Okabayashi had Muto scouted and issued out a backdrop suplex on the former IWGP heavyweight champuon. Muto focused on the legs of Yoshioka with dragon screws and basement dropkicks. Muto’s team got tandem submissions on all of there opponents but Yuji broke it up by power-bombing Daichi onto Muto who had Yoshioka in a figure 4. LEONA did a terrible dragon screw. Shining Wizard from Muto on Yoshioka, LEONA used a tope suicida? Yoshioka tapped out to a figure 4 leg lock.
So post-match the BIG DOG Jun Akiyama came out to confront Muto and chose not to shake the hand of Muto-san. But he did say he will be Muto’s opponent at Wrestle-1’s big show on 8/11. It later came out that the match will be a 6 man tag featuring guys from each wrestler’s home promotion. No one expected Akiyama to come out. Shall be lit.
So fucking hell. I love both guys with all of my puroresu heart but this match didn’t click for me. I don’t know what it was, it just did not connect with me personally and never had me invested. Which is so odd because I was so excited to see this match and after the 20 minute bout it left me stumped. I heard Brother Mort say that it was really good but sorry Morten it just wasn’t that great for me. In fact it was my least favorite Hino title match in Wrestle-1. I preferred there 2014 match to this one. The finish fell really flat to me and I think that’s what left me down more than anything. The finish was a Gannosuke clutch but it was so flat surprisingly. The work was good throughout the match. KAI was being a little turd and Hino was chopping him to pieces and eating him alive. KAI used a fire thunder driver and a frog splash. This went 20 minutes and it never had me wanting to turn off the match or anything I just felt like they had more to give. But yeah as I said KAI won the belt with the originator certified Gannosuke clutch. ***1/4
After the match KAZMA, Ashino and Soya came out to challenge the new champ and eventually there was a 3 way match later on in May and Ashino won! In June it will be KAI vs. Shotaro Ashino for the Wrestle-1 Championship. Now that should be amazing.
Fine Wrestle-1 show once again but nothing overly great. Two really good matches but nothing that blew my socks off and had me chomping at the bit to see some more Wrestle-1 boys grapple it up. Still Wrestle-1 is always delivering and I am invested into every story line and so on. I don’t mind KAI as champ again honestly. I guess it’s his third reign but this indy KAI has never held the belt so I am excited to see his run with it and eventually dropping the belt to Jiro…. Hopefully.