WPF Sets Up 3 Title Bouts for 3/15! Sonjay Returns! Orlando Colón Debuts!
March 4th, 2009
The WPF's Japan branch manager Yoshiyuki Nakamura notified ZERO1 today that they have scheduled 3 title matches for the upcoming "ZERO1 WRESTLER'S 1" show in Korakuen Hall on March 15th. These matches will be for the World Heavyweight title held by Shinjiro Otani, the now vacant NWA Intercontinental Tag Team titles, and the ZERO1 International Jr. Heavyweight title held by Ikuto Hidaka. The WPF announced they will not only choose the challengers for the titles but in the case of the Intercontinental Tag Team titles they will also choose ZERO1's representation.
The first announcement from the WPF was the return of American jr. class wrestler Sonjay Dutt. Sonjay hasn't appeared in a ZERO1 ring since back in November 2005 for the "MAX Around" tour. Sonjay is a former CZW and MLW Jr. Heavyweight champion and the winner of the TNA "World X Cup" along with the Motor City Machine Guns and Jay Lethal. The WPF announced Sonjay will be the one facing Hidaka for the ZERO1 International Jr. Heavyweight title.
To challenge Shinjiro Otani for his newly won World Heavyweight title will be debuting wrestler Orlando Colón. Colón is the nephew of legendary Puerto Rican wrestler Carlos Colón, and the cousin of WWE wrestler Carlito. He most often wrestles for the World Wrestling Council (WWC) in Puerto Rico where he's come close to winning the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship, the title held by current WPF ally Steve Corino. Orlando will face Otani on 3/15 and both he and Sonjay will team together to face their opponents Otani and Hidaka on 3/11 in Shin-kiba's 1st Ring.
As reported yesterday, NWA Intercontinental Tag Team champions Mr. Wrestling 3 and Charles Evans were stripped of their titles and Evans fired from the WPF for "conduct unbecoming of a champion." The WPF announced the titles were vacant and they would announce new challengers for a decision match. ZERO1 President Otani suggested the former tag champs of Ryoji Sai and Kohei Sato as potential challengers. The WPF has now responded that they will choose who will challenge their wrestlers on 3/15.
"We then considered challengers such as EMBLEM of Otani and Tanaka, but Otani already has a scheduled match for that day. According to Mr. Nakamura, it appears the wrestler who has grown the most of late is Osamu Namiguchi. We have also heard from other agents that Namiguchi's stock was on the rise. Therefore we have removed Kohei Sato from the challengers team and added Namiguchi in his place.
"To face the team of Ryoji Sai & Osamu Namiguchi we have chosen former champion and current ZERO1 US Heavyweight champion Mr. Wrestling 3 and new partner Steve Corino. Though title matches are always risky, these two wrestlers are seen as the best chance to bring these titles back to the WPF." - WPF Management
WPF Strips NWA Intercontinental Tag Titles! Charles Evans Released!
March 3rd, 2009
The WORLD PREMIUM FEDERATION (WPF) announced today that they have stripped the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team titles from Mr. Wrestling 3 and Charles Evans, leaving the title belts currently vacant. Mr. Wrestling 3 and Evans had won the titles back in November 2008 from long time champions the Gikyoudai team of Minoru Fujita and Takuya Sugawara. At the same time the WPF announced it was firing Charles Evans from their active roster.
The WPF revealed it was stripping the title belts and firing Evans due to "...conduct unbecoming of a champion." The WPF said Evans had "committed an act of rebellion" and was discovered to have been contacting other professional wrestling organizations without the knowledge or permission of the WPF. The WPF said that they will determine shortly how to handle crowning new champions and announce their decision as soon as possible.
ZERO1 President Shinjiro Otani suggested their challengers for any decision match would most likely be former tag champion Ryoji Sai and Kohei Sato.
Ryouji, Kohei and Nami Step Forward!
March 3rd, 2009
ZERO-ONE truborn wrestlers Ryoji Sai, Kohei Sato and Osamu Namiguchi all appeared before the media today to discuss the current situation with ZERO1 and ways to fight back against the WPF. Ryouji spoke first, saying the WPF takeover and the expelling of KAMIKAZE in a "Loser Leaves ZERO1" match is a turning point in the company:
"At this rate, we have to make sure our company isn't stolen. We've made the decision that by the Korakuen show on March 15th we're making a change, and with this change I raised the concept of the wrestlers of ZERO1 organizing under the banner of WRESTLERS. We need to finish what has been started. I'll step up wherever I'm needed, and will take on any agents of WPF. All I ask is the wrestlers who enter the ring to bring the fire. All the motivated wrestlers are ready. And we need to get KAMIKAZE back as well."
Kohei brought up his recent freelance status and his official rejoining of the ZERO1 roster, once again citing his affinity for ZERO1 and what the company has come to mean to him. He said he also is ready to cooperate with the other wrestlers in their current efforts.
Nami commented that they are all trueborns of ZERO1 and it is there responsibility to take control of the situation and respond positively. Ryouji said he and Nami would take over the training of the younger wrestlers on the roster, adding "this might be our last chance. It is life or death."
ZERO1 President Shinjiro Otani was asked later what he thought of the rousing of Ryouji, Kohei and Nami. He said he finds them reliable and respects their opinions, claiming that fans of ZERO1 who don't support them aren't thinking. He said fans had questioned whether he had also yielded authority to the WPF like FIRST ON STAGE representative Mr. Nakamura had done. He wanted to assure fans this is not the case.
"I sense a fair wind has been blowing lately. With the young wrestlers of ZERO1 coming together that wind has grown stronger. A new ZERO1 starts at Korakuen Hall on March 15th."
Otani Defeats Nagata For World Heavyweight Title! Instant Defense Versus Corino!
February 28th, 2009
The month of February was tough for Pro Wrestling ZERO1 as they lost their bus to fire and due to the global economic situation FIRST ON STAGE director Yoshiyuki Nakamura sold his controlling interest in the company to the WORLD PREMIUM FEDERATION. The WPF is a mysterious foreign company that is attempting to take over Japanese Pro Wrestling and sees ZERO1 as a weak target. To that end they have sent various agents and now have hired longtime ZERO1 gaijin agent Steve Corino. With Nakamura now in league with the WPF, Shinjiro Otani and the wrestlers in the company vowed to stay together and resist the WPF's takeover.
Despite this difficult situation, ZERO1 had something to celebrate at yesterday's "ZERO1 WRESTLER'S Belief '09" at Korakuen Hall as President Shinjiro Otani defeated New Japan's Yuji Nagata to win the World Heavyweight title. Directly after his victory, Steve Corino challenged Otani to an immediate match. Once more Otani stood his ground defeated Corino and scored his first title defense on the day he became champion!
Otani had challenged Nagata following his title defense on 1/4 in the Tokyo Dome over Masato Tanaka. Since winning the title in October 2008, Nagata has also defended versus Kohei Sato and Tatsuhito Takaiwa. Otani was given a hero's welcome into Korakuen Hall by the ZERO1 fans, as Nagata was assailed with loud booing. Corino, Mr. Nakamura and several other men wearing the mask of Mr. Wrestling 3 entered the hall and took up seating near the announce tables to observe the match.
Both men began with kicks, but when Nagata struck Otani's left knee he gained the early advantage. Otani fell to the match and grasped his knee as Nagata began to stomp him. Otani found himself unable to stand as the crowd chanted his name and Nagata kept up his attack! Only when Nagata went to facewash Otani did the tides turn for a short time.
Soon Nagata once more attacked Otani's leg, and as the ZERO1 President used the ropes to rise, Nagata hit him with a suplex getting a 2.9 count! Then as the ZERO1 wrestlers around the ring slapped the ring mat as the crowds cheered Otani as Nagata slapped on a figure-4 leglock. Though it was a difficult time, Otani managed to reach the ropes and break the hold!
Otani fought back with more kicks and a spring board missile dropkick before hitting the Spiral Bomb for a 2 count! Nagata fought back with his back suplex hold but Otani also escaped, finally hitting Nagata with the Shinya Hashimoto konshin no kesagiri chop, a 2nd Spiral Bomb and then finally a dragon suplex for the victory!
Following his loss Nagata took the microphone and placed the World Heavyweight title at his feet.
"My reign has ended, so it is. I understand that various misfortunes have struck ZERO1. I have added to the value of this belt, and now it is yours you must become the pillar of ZERO1. We all know that if you do not become the pillar of ZERO1 than it might not survive."
"It is Shinjiro Otani which must fight on the front line of ZERO1...though it was a mortifying defeat today...sooner or later we'll meet again."
Otani then took the microphone and spoke to the fans as Nagata exited. Otani thanked the fans and said that he will defend the title when ever challenged. No sooner had Otani spoken these words did Steve Corino suddenly confront him. As he spoke he removed his jacket, tie and shirt saying that if Otani will defend the title any time then he wanted a match right then! Mr. Nakamura then called for the bell and it was rung!
Corino charged Otani and sent him to the outside, attacking him with a chair as the other Masked WPF agents also interfered. Back in the ring Corino continued to attack the same leg Nagata had worked on in the previous match, also using the Figure 4. Otani fought back with a spinning heel kick and Corino with a lariat, but it was Otani who secured the victory once again with a Spiral bomb!
Also on the show, DRAGON GATE's Shingo Takagi made his ZERO1 debut in a heavyweight tag team match alongside Kohei Sato versus Ryoji Sai and Big Japan Pro Wrestling's Daisuke Sekimoto. It was Sekimoto who welcomed Takagi to the ZERO1 ring by throwing the more jr. class wrestler around. Of course Sekimoto is strong enough to throw the heavyweights around as well, at one point delivering a double German suplex on both Ryouji and Kohei simultaneously!
The finish of the match was between the two ZERO1 wrestlers and former tag team partners, as Ryouji defeated Kohei with his Nachi's Waterfall diving footstomp as Sekimoto fought with Takagi outside the ring.
Following the match Takagi pointed as both Sekimoto and Kohei and held up the 1-on-1 hand gesture in hopes of singles match with both fighters. Takagi also told the media the he would like to continue to participate in ZERO1 events.
The fourth match of the show was a Jr. Six man Special tag between current International Jr. Heavyweight champion Ikuto Hidaka, DRAGON GATE's Masaaki Mochizuki and newly freelance wrestler Minoru versus Masato Tanaka and the Gikyoudai team of Minoru Fujita and Takuya Sugawara. This was Minoru's first time back in ZERO1 since he left New Japan Pro Wrestling to go freelance.
This was a fast paced and quick 17 minutes as not only did it see the team of Fujita and Sugawara but also Fujita facing his former partner in Ikuto Hidaka. It also saw the first career confrontation between Minoru and Masato Tanaka.
The final came when Minoru faced Sugawara and Tanaka in the ring, as Minoru struck Sugawara with a middle kick and locked on a cross armbreaker only for Tanaka to break the hold before the submission. Minoru and Sugawara exchanged elbows and once more Sugawara was caught with a middle kick coming off the ropes. This time Minoru had Sugawara in the center of the ring and locked on the "Minoru Special" for the victory.
Also on the show, Saki Maemura continued her retirement road alone as Hikaru is still injured with a dislocated elbow. She teamed with NEO pro wrestling's Haruka Matsuo versus TEAM MAKEHEN's the Shirai Sisters - Mio and Io. Saki scored the pinfall of Mio with her Hanamaru Dokken in just under 10 minutes. Mr. Wrestling 3 took the place of KAMIKAZE's originally scheduled bout after winning a "Loser Leaves' ZERO1" match. He faced young rookie Shito Ueda and defeated him easily in under 4 minutes with a brainbuster. In the opening match Osamu Namiguchi and Yuzuru Saito defeated BattlArts Munenori Saw and XWF's Yusaku Obata. Nami won the match with former WDB Tag Team partner and injured SUN wrestler Hikaru's finisher the "Lanakilla-H."
KAMIKAZE Falls To Mr. Wrestling 3! Otani Continues To Advance!
February 26th, 2009
Shinjiro Otani has sworn to win back the World Heavyweight Title tomorrow from New Japan's Yuji Nagata and has dedicated himself body and soul to its capture. To that extent Otani continued his winning streak leading up to match by pinning ZERO1 International Jr. Heavyweight champion Ikuto Hidaka in a tag match today at Shin Kiba 1st Ring.
Hidaka was teamed with Ryoji Sai and the two attempted to focus their attacks on Otani's partner Munenori Sawa. Otani however was having none of it, delivering a nasty fashwash to Ryouji and then finishing Hidaka with a German suplex and then his Spiral Bomb for the win.
Back in the locker room following the match, Otani asked how long it was until he finally got his title shot. When told it was about 24 hours from that moments he responded "There's still 24 hours remaining? I'm fired-up and ready to go now! I have to control my temptation to crush Nagata! I'm going to quote my great senpai Fujinami for the first time in 16 years - 'I NEVER GIVE UP!!'" Otani then swore once more he would win back the title belt tomorrow.
In the main event, KAMIKAZE had his "Loser Leaves the Company" match versus Mr. Wrestling 3, a match also for the ZERO1 US Heavyweight title. Mr. Wrestling 3 even came to the ring without the title belt, saying it was unnecessary as it was impossible that he would lose the match. The two brawled to the outside where KAMIKAZE appeared to get the advantage, locking on a Cobra Twist amongst the fans' seating. Returning to the ring he kept up his assault with an enzuigiri and savate kick followed by a vertical drop brainbuster! However when he body slammed Mr. Wrestling 3 in order to deliver his Moonsault Press the referee was struck and fell to the ground. So when KAMIKAZE hit the moonsault press there was no referee to count!
KAMIKAZE then once more went for his Cobra Twist, but Mr. Wrestling reversed it into a pinfall and held onto the ropes! The referee, still dazed from being struck saw the pinning attempt but not Mr. Wrestling 3's cheating and counted 3! Mr. Wrestling then grasped the microphone to large booing from the crowd and said, "ZERO1 is on its deathbed! Who is next?" and then cheered the WPF cry, "3-2-1-Yes We Can!" though the fans didn't cheer along with him.
Also on the card was the 5th scheduled defense of the WDB Mixed Tag Team titles held by Hikaru and Osamu Namiguchi. Though Hikaru had been injured on another company's show she had promised to be there for the match. Turns out she was too injured and with her arm in a sling could only stand on the apron and cheer on partner Nami as he singlehandedly battle Minoru Fujita and Saki Maemura. And while Nami fought as hard as he could, battling both Fujita and Saki in rapid fire exchanges and even surprsingly using Hikaru's "Lanakilla-H" during the match, it turned out to be to much for him to handle alone and Fujita was able to roll him up for the victory and to crown new champions.
Also on the show Masato Tanaka defeated XWF's Yusaku Obata in a singles match and Kohei Sato defeated Yuzuru Saito in an opening singles match.
"ZERO1 Wrestler's Belief '09"
|"Loser Leave the Company"
ZERO1 US Heavyweight Title
|O Mr. Wrestling 3 ©
|(15:52 → Ground Cobra Hold Reversal)|
|O Masato Tanaka||vs.||Yusaku Obata (XWF) X|
|(8:08 → Sliding D)|
|O Shinjiro Otani
Ikuto Hidaka X
|(15:54 → Spiral Bomb)|
|WDB Tag Team Title|
|X Osamu Namiguchi
|vs.||© Minoru Fujita O
© Saki Maemura
|(12:55 → Modified Inside Cradle)|
|O Kohei Sato||vs.||Yuzuru Saito X|
|(6:24 → Piledriver)|
Corino and Mr. Wrestling 3 Arrive in Tokyo!
February 25th, 2009
WPF Agents Steve Corino and Mr. Wrestling 3 arrived in Japan today and made their way to the FIRST ON STAGE offices. Both men will be participating in tomorrow's event at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring and then the following day at Korakuen Hall. Both men reviewed ZERO1's upcoming schedule and appeared to show much happiness at the empty slots following the March 29th "Celebration from the Yasukuni Shrine" when the WPF will take-over and reorganize ZERO1. Corino commented:
"Mr. Nakamura and Mr. Wrestling 3 have made the wise choice joining the WPF. I hope the office staff also makes the wise choice as well. We want to make sure that the desks in this office are dedicated to the WPF. And though KAMIKAZE is a very good wrestler, I'd advise the staff to begin preparing for his retirement ceremony tomorrow.
"I really like ZERO1, but a new day is dawning. For a bunch of different reasons I want the ZERO1 wrestlers and staff to have good fortune and happiness in the future. The WPF is one of the top organizations in the world. I hope to see all the fans tomorrow at Shin-kiba."