"Aussie Cowboy" Hartley Jackson to ZERO1!
March 17th, 2010
Australian Professional Wrestler Hartley Jackson will be returning to Japan for ZERO1 in April to participate in the "Yamato Shinshu Chikara Matsuri" at the Yasukuni Shrine on 4/11 and the Hokkaido Tour from 4/13-4/15. Jackson is a 10 year veteran of pro wrestling that has wrestled in Australia, Japan and the USA.
In 2005 he trained at the Inoki Dojo in Southern California and in 2006 traveled to New Japan Pro Wrestling for a tag match in Tokyo's Korakuen Hall, teaming with Mikey Nicholls against Minoru and Hirooki Goto. In October 2008 Jackson returned to Japan to take part in the "PROWRES EXPO 2008" in Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan
Jackson sent a statement to the ZERO1 offices saying he's proud to be the 1st Australian wrestler to participate at the Yasukuni Shrine show. He said he wants to show that Australian wrestlers are as good as any in the world, and he hopes that contact with Japan will be greater in the future than it has been. The full card for Yasukuni Shrine and the Hokkaido Tour along with Jackson's opponents have yet to be named.
Yamato Shinshu Chikara Matsuri 2010!
March 11th, 2010
ZERO1 once again returns to the outskirts of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on April 11th for their annual Celebration from the Yasukuni Shrine. ZERO1 has run the shrine successfully during Spring time since 2005 (usually in April). Many outside wrestlers have participated in the event in the past, including current champion Toshiaki Kawada, Kensuke Sasaki, Atsushi Onita, Yoshiro Takayama, Dick Togo, The Great Sasuke, Tadao Yasuda, Tatsutoshi Goto, Yutaka Yoshie and many others.
Until ZERO1 brought professional wrestling back to the shrine in 2005, it had not seen wrestling since 1961 when Rikidozan wrestled in the main event of a show that drew 15,000 people. Also wrestling on that same fight card was a young Shohei Baba and Antonio Inoki. ZERO1 President Shinjiro Otani's goal in 2005 was to make Pro Wrestling an annual event at the Yasukuni shrine and so far the tradition has continued.
In most years since its inception, ZERO1's top Heavyweight title has been defended in the main event of the show. Last year Ryoji Sai won the belt from the Otani with his friends from the reality TV show "Ainori" in attendance. As reported earlier this month, following the recent "ZERO1 WRESTLER'S 10 ~ The Birth of ZERO1 ~" show in Korakuen Hall when Toshiaki Kawada made his third World Heavyweight title defense against Ryoji Sai, he then chose Kohei Sato as his next challenger.
Now it has been announced that Kohei and Kawada will clash at this year's Yasukuni Shrine main event in a 60 minute title match. Both men were reached for comment on the upcoming bout. Kawada first:
"After defending my title in Korakuen, even though my leg hurt I felt strong. As I looked up I saw him standing in the ring. Since I've fought against him before my next challenger instantly appeared before my eyes. Like Ryouji, he will be beaten by a wide margin."
Kohei accepted the challenge and gave his own short reply:
"Though Kawada is broken down, he is dangerous. I'm going to make him regret nominating me."
Before Rikidozan ever performed at Yasukuni in 1961, way back in 1921 was the first time Pro Wrestling came to the Sumo arena of the shrine when American wrestler Ad Santel confronted and beat two judo fighters from the Kodokan Dojo after claiming himself the "World Judo Champion" by defeating Tokugoro Ito.
This claim led him into conflict with the entire Kodokan Dojo as it angered the founder of Judo - Sensei Kano. In response, Professor Kano sent Daisuke Sakai, a 4th degree black belt, to fight Santel. Santel won the fight and then journeyed to Japan to take the battle to his challengers. There on March 5th, 1921 Santel defeated fifth dan Reijiro Nagata by TKO in his first bout, then fought to a time-limit draw the next day with fifth dan Hikoo Shoji after 60 minutes. It's claimed that Santel's performance at the Shrine that day made the Japanese see the European "hooking" style as something to pursue in martial arts combat.
In this historical spirit, ZERO1 has called on Dutch MMA and Kyokushinkai Karate veteran Gerard Gordeau. Gordeau is no stranger to the company, having first fought in ZERO1 during their 1st year of operation 2001. And while it has been several years since Gordeau has fought in a ZERO1 ring, he is well known in Japan and the world of MMA for other reasons. Aside from appearing on the very first "UFC 1 - The Beginning" show where he lost to Royce Gracie for the championship, Gordeau has also competed in Kyokushin Karate tournaments since the late 1970s! He is infamous for an eye-gouge of Yuki Nakai in the "Vale Tudo Japan 1995" show in Budokan Hall. Nakai went on to beat Gordeau by heel hook and going to the finals of the tournament, but permanently lost sight in his right eye.
Why is the veteran fighter suddenly returning to ZERO1? The answer is because of his former student ZERO1's Ryoji Sai. Ryouji, disheartened from his recent defeat by Kawada, stated that returning to the Yasukuni Shrine reminds him that it has been a whole year since he won the World Heavyweight title. He said he wants to become champion again before the 10th Anniversary of ZERO1 arrives.
"How do I get my power and confidence back? I return to the man who began my fighting career. Therefore Gordeau Sensei is called forth."
ZERO1 WRESTLER'S - Nakagawa -
Rikiya Fudo X
|(14:49 → Dai Funka)|
|O Kohei Sato
|vs.||Kenta Kakinuma X
|(10:10 → German Suplex Hold)|
X Yuzuru Saito
|vs.||Minoru Fujita O
|(20:15 → Sasuke Segway)|
|O Masato Tanaka
|vs.||Shota Takanishi X
|(9:12 → Sliding D)|
|vs.||Yoshikazu Yokoyama X
|(6:31 → Crab Hold)|
Kawada Defends Title on ZERO1's 9th Anniversary!
March 3rd, 2010
The "ZERO1 WRESTLER'S 10 ~ The Birth of ZERO1 ~" show from yesterday in Korakuen is in the books with 2 major title defenses in a double main event. In the World Heavyweight Title match, challenger Ryoji Sai failed to defeat current champion Toshiaki Kawada who logged his V3 defense of his title since winning the title from Masato Tanaka last October. His two previous title defenses were against KAMIKAZE and BJW's Daisuke Sekimoto. Following his victory, Kawada chose Kohei Sato as his next challenger saying if the young ZERO1 heavyweight failed he would take on Otani and then maybe give Tanaka his re-match.
In the other double main event, the "Kazan" tag team of Shinjiro Otani and Akebono defended their NWA Intercontinental Tag Team titles by a narrow margin against the super-heavyweight team of The Predator and Bambi Killer. Though he gave up almost 22cm and 45kg, Otani was able to fell The Predator with a Hashimoto "kesa giri chop" and 3 rapid fire backdrop suplexes for the victory and his teams' 1st title defense.
Following his 2nd World Heavyweight title defense against Daisuke Sekimoto on New Year's Day Toshiaki Kawada was challenged by ZERO1's Ryoji Sai for a title match. Kawada accepted and the two clashed yesterday to see if Ryouji could defeat the former Triple Crown Champion. Ryouji showed guts early, trading low and mid kicks with the champion. Kawada then unleashed with a high kick sending Ryouji outside the ring as Kawada followed and kept up the attack. Ryouji tried to fight back with a dropkick but accidently struck the metal barricade! Kawada dragged Ryouji back into the ring at the count of 18 to lock him in a single-leg crab and then a bow & arrow hold.
When Kawada went for a running kick attack he suddenly stopped and held his left knee, damaged from years of pro wrestling. Ryouji acted quickly, pushing the referee away from inspecting the injury and attacking with a Dragon Screw leg whip! He then clamped down on Kawada's leg and delivered and elbow to the injured knee. Though Ryouji squeezed with all his might, Kawada pulled himself with both arms to the rope to break the hold. Ryouji continued to attack the limb even after the rope break, also striking with had kicks to the body of his downed opponent. Kawada found a reserve of strength however and fought back with a hard lariat at the attacking Ryouji!
Kawada then lifted Ryouji up to attempt a power bomb but was unable to get his positioning correct because of the injured leg. Ryouji was able to reverse the move into a cross knee lock on the mat! Kawada again struggled to the ropes and when the referee broke the hold he countered with a jumping high kick! However Ryouji countered with his own jumping high kick sending both men to the canvas. Ryouji tried again by hitting a brainbuster and a face kick followed by a body slam and his "Nachi Waterfall" double footstomp. As the match moved past 20 minutes Kawada found his inner strength and launched a fierce attack of a high kick, the one-two elbow strikes, and a face kick. As Ryouji fought to stand he was felled by a hard lariat and then the "Dangerous PK" running low kick where Kawada got the 3 count on him.
Following the match, Kawada was unable to stand due to the damage to his knee and received his title belt back while seated. He apologized to the fans for this, but also called out Kohei Sato designating him to be the next challenger. After he left the ring Shinjiro Otani got on the microphone and said that "ZERO1 never gives up" and that he promises the fans that they will regain the belt from the outsider Kawada.
The other match of the double main event was "Kazan's" defense of their NWA Intercontinental Tag Team titles against the "Super Beasts" gaijin heavyweight team of The Predator and Bambi Killer. Otani had struggled against them in his two previous meeting during the ZERO1 February tour where in Osaka he was defeated by The Predator while teaming with EMBLEM partner Masato Tanaka, and in Saitama he and Akebono teamed with KAMIKAZE in a losing effort against the "Super Beasts" and Kintaro Kanemura.
The Predator stormed into Korakuen Hall swinging his large chain and sending fans fleeing in all directions. The Kazan team entered more slowly and in a dignified manner as the fans cheered them on. This caused The Predator and Bambi Killer to attack before the title announcement or introductions. The "Kazan" team withstood the attack well, with Akebono using his own strength to battle back against the power of the large foreigners. The Predator was especially aggressive towards Otani, slamming him down hard and dropping him with a Michinoku Driver II before locking in a crab hold.
Akebono attacked but was also dropped by a jumping lariat by The Predator! Bambi Killer only got in a brief attack before Akebono forced him in the corner and held him down as Otani delivered a face wash! The Predator stormed back in, choking Otani, chopping and kicking him before backdropping him to the mat! He then lifted the smaller wrestler on his shoulders in an Argentine Backbreaker before throwing him down and getting a 2 count. Again Akebono entered to regain the offense for "Kazan," setting up Otani for a missile dropkick on The Predator before Akebono took Bambi Killer to the outside. Otani then unleashed with the Hashimoto kesa giri chop, a foot sweep also reminiscent of the Hakai Ou himself! Grabbing The Predator Otani then delivered three rapid-fire backdrop suplexes and the 3 count for the title defense!
Vexed by his defeat, The Predator once more stormed through the crowd throwing chairs and causing the fans to run away. On the other hand Kazan embraced in the ring and celebrated their shared victory and defense.
Also on this event was the return of the Lion King Cup, the 3rd one held in ZERO1. This year only ZERO1 youngsters were included with Shito Ueda missing it due to an eye injury. The tournament was a simple 2 matches whose winners would meet later on the show. The 1st match of the card this day saw ZERO1's longest serving young boy, Shota Takanishi, take on the newly debuted Yoshikazu Yokoyama in his Korakuen Hall debut. Yokoyama came in with a serious look ready to fight, while Shota entered with a new costume and all appearances of being the senpai. He overpowered Yokoyama early, stomping him down and locking him in a crab hold.
Yokoyama fought back with his limited arsenal: a body slam, chops and his own crab hold. Shota counter-attacked with a spear, a running elbow, a dropkick and then a final crab hold to get the 22 year old Yokoyama to submit in just over seven minutes.
The 2nd match was the 2nd Lion King Cup match as well, seeing Yuzuru Saito versus Kenta Kakinuma. Saito opened up attacking with elbow strikes and low kicks on the fiery Kakinuma. Saito then shot in as the two youngsters grappled on the mat, reversing each others holds in a flurry of action. Back to their feet both men exchanged elbow shots as Saito forced Kakinuma into the corner and delivered a dropkick, a snapmare and a running soccer ball kick, finally locking on a camel clutch.
Kakinuma fought back with his own elbow strikes, a body slam and a crab hold. Saito overpowered the hold and the two exchanged more hard slaps and elbow shots. Kakinuma charge of the ropes and Saito grabbed him with a front suplex as 5 minutes passed in the match. Saito continued with the middle and low kicks as Kakinuma repeatedly used the dropkick to fight back. Finally as the two began to scramble again Kakinuma hit a dropkick and then grabbed a German suplex hold for the 3 count and advancement to the Lion King Cup Finals versus Shota Takanishi.
In this match, showcased right before the double main event, Shota came out with victory on his mind, attacking with stomping, kicks, elbows, body slam and several submission holds. Kakinuma withstood all this fighting back as the Korakuen Hall crowd got behind him. He responded with high jumping dropkick, his own rapid fire body slams and a camel clutch. Shota escaped to the ropes and fought back with elbow shots and a 619, followed by a jumping kick of the ropes and running dropkick in the corner. When Shota went to take Kakinuma's back the younger fighter struck with repeated back elbows and then a brain buster! Another running elbow and German suplex got him a 2 count, then a following German suplex finished Shota for the 3 count. Kenta Kakinuma is the Lion King Cup 2010 winner!
Previously to the Lion King Cup final, the 5th match of the show saw the Masato Tanaka & Masaaki Mochizuki tag team face off against the current NWA International Lightweight tag team champions Ikuto Hidaka & Munenori Sawa. In Osaka 2 days earlier Mochizuki and his partner Super Shisa tried to win the titles but failed when Sawa submitted Shisa.
The match became a real hard-hitting scramble, as both sides delivered strong strikes and angled for submissions. Mochizuki went to his bachi-bachi style unleashing brutal headbutts on Sawa before locking on an Achilles tendon hold. Sawa struggled and tagged in Hidaka who began his own attack on Mochizuki's left leg. Mochizuki bore the pain and countered with middle kicks.
Tanaka returned to fight back Hidaka using his elbows strikes, a brainbuster and a crab hold. Soon Mochizuki was back in as he and Hidaka continued to battle back and forth as Tanaka brawled with Sawa outside the ring. Both partners used teamwork in an attempt to get the win, with the Aibou tag using the dual Shining Wizard and Tanaka & Mochizuki with the double Sliding D. Despite unleashing their entire arsenals on each other, with many near pinfalls saved only by partners breaking them up before th 3 count.
With 2 minutes remaining, Tanaka leveled Sawa with an elbow and lariat but Hidaka saved the pinfall. Mochizuki entered and hit the Twister on Sawa before Tanaka hit a final Sliding D. Before he could get the pin the bell rang on the 30 minutes time limit and the match ended a draw. Following the match Mochizuki appeared to appeal for a single match with both Hidaka and Sawa. Doing push-ups with Hidaka following the grueling match and then shaking hands and then exchanging fists with Sawa!
Late last month, Michinoku Pro Wrestling's Hayato "Jr." Fujita announced he would come to ZERO1 to commit "Oyajigari" a Japanese word for when younger men assault older men on the streets. Since entering ZERO1, Hayato "Jr." has looked to battle former Michinoku Pro seniors Hidaka and Minoru Fujita. After losing to Hidaka in last year's Tenka-ichi Jr. Tournament, he now has his sights set on Fujita.
His mystery tag partner turned out to be Kowloon stablemate Shu Sato, who was also accompanied by his identical twin brother Kei Sato. While the match started of innocently enough, soon Kei Sato was under the ring and the shenanigans began! As the Gikyoudai wrestled the soon came to believe that the Sato brothers were switching places in the match!
The Gikyoudai managed to gain some headway using double team attacks, though the Satos continued to confuse both the referee and their opponents. This eventually lead to Hayato Jr. hitting his Helm running knee on Minoru Fujita for the win. Following the match, Shu Sato got on the microphone and mocked the Gikyoudai, saying that "Imitation brothers can't defeat real brothers." He added that ZERO1 will feel the power of Kowloon, and that they will meet again real soon.
Also on the show, the current WEW Tag Champion team of Kohei Sato & KAMIKAZE took on the tag team of Kintaro Kanemura & Rikiya Fudo. They had just defended their titles against Kanemura in Osaka, who then teamed with Magnitude Kishiwada.
His new partner wasn't up to the task either, as the champions won in under 10 minutes when Kohei unleased on Fudo with a series of kicks and pinned him with a Pole Star.
An additional not to the show is that following the main event, ZERO1 President Shinjiro Otani spoke to the crowd. He reminded them that it was the same day as today's show 9 year ago, March 2nd, 2001, the ZERO-ONE began in Ryogoku Kokugikan. He also announced that Shinya Hashimoto's son Daichi will make his debut as a pro wrestler before the company's 10th Anniversary.
Last September at the "Shinya Hashimoto Debut 25th Anniversary Destruction King Legend In Korakuen" show Daichi made his ring debut in a kick boxing exhibition against Satoshi Kobayashi. Daichi said he will work hard at making his pro wrestling debut.
ZERO1 WRESTLER'S 10 Title Bout Contract Signings!
February 28th, 2010
ZERO1 returns to Korakuen Hall to celebrate their 9th Anniversary at the "ZERO1 WRESTLER'S 10 ~ The Birth of ZERO1 ~" show. Two championship titles will be on the line that day: Ryoji Sai challenges current champion Toshiaki Kawada for the World Heavyweight title, and current NWA Intercontinental Tag Team champions Shinjiro Otani & Akebono will defend against gaijin heavyweights The Predator & Bambi Killer. All the principles involved participated in a contract signing ceremonies last week.
This will be Kawada's 3rd title defense since winning the title from Masato Tanaka on October 24th. During the contract signing today he was asked about his younger opponent, Ryouji:
He added that a champion such as himself who has held many titles through his career would not be careless nor conceited about his chances of victory.Ryoji Sai is also a former World Heavyweight champion, winning the title from Shinjiro Otani at the last Yasukuni Shrine show before dropping the belt to Masato Tanaka in July of 2009:
Ryouji also said he has a strong desire to be champion again and his goal is to walk into Yasukuni this year on April 11th, 2010 again with the World Heavyweight title.
The final match of the double main events at the March 2nd show will be the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team titles and the "Kazan" tag team of Otani & Akebono making their 1st defense. Following the contract signing the wrestlers also addressed the media with Otani speaking first:
"March 2nd at Korakuen Hall is the 9th Anniversary of the formation of ZERO1. It will be 10 years next year! This is an important event in our continual evolution. Therefore I have a strong feeling and need to be victorious. I have a reliable partner in the former grand sumo champion and we will make our 1st defense!"
The former grand sumo wrestling champion, Akebono, was also on hand to comment:
As the press conference came to an end, The Predator and Bambi Killer suddenly attacked Otani with a chain! Akebono and the ZERO1 young boys intervened in the attack and Otani was carried off by the young boys.