Champion Kawada To Defend Against KAMIKAZE On 12/13!
December 7th, 2009
Today a signing ceremony for the World Heavyweight title took place for Toshiaki Kawada's 1st defense in 12/13 in Osaka, Japan. Following the 8-man tag match on November 30th, KAMIKAZE approached Shinjiro Otani and asked for his support to challenge Kawada for his first title defense. Though eight years separate their age, both men are graduates of the Ashikaga-kodai High School and participated on the school's wrestling team. KAMIKAZE felt that with Kawada winning the ZERO1 top title that it was "destiny" for him to face him as a challenger. Ashikaga-kodai High School in Tochigi is well known for producing wrestlers, including deceased NOAH founder/wrestler Mitsuharu Misawa, Kawada and Yoshiaki Yatsu.
"I'll get the title back by any means necessary!"
Kawada was contacted earlier this month about KAMIKAZE's challenge and he accepted saying, "...there is no reason to refuse." Kawada also said that in his time wrestling for ZERO1 he knows that ZERO1 has many loud and excited fans. He said while KAMIKAZE has been accepted for the challenger in Osaka Prefectural Gym #2 on 12/13, the true test will be if the fans cheer for him to win. He also added that there was no need to ask Otani, as he will accept any challenge directly.
Similarly before his entry to the Fire Festival '08, KAMIKAZE returned to his original "starting point" in Ashikaga for training and preperation. Just like back in '08 KAMIKAZE visited his own school and the long stone stairs of Orihime Shrine. He once more ran up and down the stairs, a common and continual occurrence in his and the rest of the wrestling teams' youth. KAMIKAZE said the wrestlers of Ashikaga-kodai all share a special bond and understand each other. KAMIKAZE felt the spirit of his old shool in his work-out, and his feeling of overthrowing Kawada increased.
As the signing ceremony today, Kawada was his normally staid self, showing little enthusiasm. He did recognize that KAMIKAZE is a fellow alumni of his old school and added that he hopes KAMIKAZE uses this to motivate himself for a good battle. KAMIKAZE again reiterated that fate is playing a role of this confrontation as not only were the from the same school and wrestling team but were both trained by the same wrestling coach.
"I keep saying it's fate, but it feels natural to be the first challenger. This is how I feel. I fight Kawada now and I'll take the belt home to ZERO1."
Kawada then added that he hope KAMIKAZE brings those words to action in the ring, and he remembers well the old days in Ashikaga. He added that both men have a strong desire for victory and that is will be a good match.
Furinkazan! Corino Says He and Kanemura will "Dance their way" To Victory!
December 4th, 2009
In the approaching Furinkazan Tag Team Tournament longtime gaijin wrestler for ZERO1, Steve Corino, sent a message about his upcoming participation. Corino will be teaming with Kintaro Kanemura in Block A of the tournament. Not only will Corino be in the Furinkazan, also on December 10th in Toyko's Shin-Kiba 1st Ring he will team with Kanemura in a non-tournament match versus Masato Tanaka and Ikuto Hidaka in an "E-Style" extreme hardcore match.
Steve Corino's video message:
Hidaka Wins Tenka-Ichi 2009! Wishes for Tag Match with WWE's Funaki!
November 30th, 2009
Top ZERO1 Junior class wrestler Ikuto Hidaka won his first Tenka-Ichi Jr. tournament yesterday in Korakuen Hall by defeating NJPW's Prince Devitt in the finals. Hidaka had participated in 7 Tenka-Ichi tournament and adds this victory to his plethora of current titles including half of the NWA Intercontinental and NWA International Lighweight Tag Team titles.
Previous to the kick-off of "ZERO1 WRESTLER'S 7 ~ Grant Me My Wish! ~" all the participants of the tournament were called to the ring. Sonjay Dutt then relinquished his ZERO1 International Jr. Heavyweight title as it was decided that the winner of the tournament would also be recognized as the new Jr. Heavyweight champion in ZERO1. Hayato Fujita Jr. then addressed the crowd and thanked them for coming, promising that he will do his best to win and have a hot battle.
The first match was Takuya Sugawara, who had passed the 1st round by defeating DRAGON GATE's Akira Tozawa on 11/19 in Shin-Kiba 1st Ring, versus Prince Devitt. Sugawara attempted to get a leg up by attacking before the bell, and when Devitt escaped to the outside following a dropkick Sugawara attacked with a tope! Sugawara then threw Devitt into the chairs and slammed his head on the East signboard as they brawled outside the ring.
Sugawara brought Devitt back to the ring and stomped him in the corner, before hitting the ropes only to be cut off by a dropkick and a springboard diving body press from the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team champion! Sugawara fought back with an enzugiri and a running elbow for a 2 count! Sugawara then went for his Shiisanputa move but Devitt fought out and landing a hard spinning font kick! He then planted Sugawara with a vertical drop brainbuster but also only scored a 2 count! Devitt then took to the top turnbuckle and landed a double footstomp right on Sugawara's stomach for the victory and advancement to the next round!
Next up, another gaijin in Sonjay Dutt entered the ring to take on Sugawara's Gikyoudai partner Minoru Fujita. Sonjay last appeared in a ZERO1 ring in March when he won the title from then champion Ikuto Hidaka. With a tournament victory Sonjay would reclaim his ZERO1 International Jr. Heavyweight title. Fujita made a slow entry, parading around in the bleachers amongst the fans before entering the ring.
Fujita targeted Sonjay's neck by locking on the STF in an attempt to keep Sonjay grounded, though Sonjay escaped to the ropes after much effort. Fujita attempted a German suplex but Sonjay was able to reverse it with an impressive Hurricanarana! He then locked on a Camel Clutch but Fujita escaped. Sonjay continued his attack with a moonsault but Fujita avoided it and again went for the STF. Sonjay again moved to the ropes and Fujita switched to an ankle hold.
Sonjay freed his leg as both wrestlers exchanged elbows in the middle of the ring, as Fujita aimed for an "Axe bomber" Sonjay ducked and scored a Manhatten Drop into a spinebuster for a 2 count! Sonjay then went for a 2nd rope hurricanrana, only for Fujita to catch him and reverse it into a Tombstone piledriver for a count of 2! Battling on the top turnbuckle, Sonjay gained the advantage with a quick avalanche sunset flip powerbomb! Following up with a moonsault double footstomp from the top Sonjay put the 2nd "Sworn Brother" away by footstomp and advanced to face fellow gaijin Prince Devitt in the next round.
The third match in the tournament saw Michinoku Pro's Hayato Fujita Jr. facing newcomer Hajime Ohara. Hayato had advanced after winning a 1st Round match versus Munenori Sawa on November 19th in Shin-Kiba 1st Ring. Many Ohara fans have come to Korakuen Hall as he received large calls from the audience; Hayato also had his share of supports cheering him on. Ohara initially offered his hand for a handshake, but Hayato kicked his hand away! Ohara then poked Hayato in the eyes and attacked him while he was stunned for a 2 count!
Soon Hayato was taking his vengeance with rapid fire hard kicks, as Ohara target Hayato's lower back with various stretch holds. Hayato then unleashed a tear of offense, a spear, and gut wrench suplex and then a German suplex for 2! As Ohara tried to recover, Hayato layed in heavy kicks and then went for the running knee but Ohara reversed with a la Magistrol but only for his own 2 count! Back on offense Ohara lifted the young Michinoku fighter on his shoulder and began to stretch him more, before dropping down into a modified back breaker!
With Hayato down, Ohara signaled for his "Muy Bien" move but Hayato used the time to recover and trip him up and lay in multiple kicks but again Ohara survived! Hayato went for his KID front choke but Ohara immediately escaped! One more Hayato attacked with multiple kicks, and then his Helm running knee to Ohara's face to get the 3 count. Hayato then advanced to the semi-finals to take on Hidaka.
It was Hidaka's turn for his 2nd round match versus large-sized jr. Magnitude Kishiwada. While both participated in the Fire Festival '09 the were in different block so never faced each other in that tournament. With Fujita and Sugawara out of the tournament, Hidaka remained the final ZERO1 representative remaining. Hidaka sent Kishiwada outside the ring early with a Frankensteiner, but when attempting to hit an Asai moonsault Kishiwada grabbed his leg and dragged him down to the floor. Kishiwada then took him up the south side stairs and attack Hidaka with a chair! Kishiwada then returned to the ring to gloat and pose for the crowd.
Kishiwada continued his attack with a double arm suplex, and then followed up with a drop kick from the 2nd rope sending Hidaka flying across the ring. Hidaka fought back with a missile kick, a super kick and a reverse DDT gaining back lost momentum! He continued with kicks as Kishiwada powered back with a lariat, but trying to hit the early Last Ride powerbomb for a 2 count! Hidaka hit a serious of kicks and blocked an attempted lariat before dropping Kishiwada with the Wild Dog high kick as both men fell to the mat. Hidaka rose first and continued to attack with a Misty Flip to a dragon screw leg whip.
Hidaka then hit the low altitude dropkick to the knee and rushed in for the Shawn Capture, but Kishiwada was ready and caught Hidaka mid-quesadora and slammed him backwards with a modified suplex! He followed it up with a hard vertical drop brainbuster but again Hidaka survived! Kishiwada then launched his 105kgs from the top rope with a diving body press for another 2, and again went for the Last Ride and the victory. Hidaka fought his way out but Kishiwada modified his hold into a vertical sit-out driver and impaled Hidaka head first on the ring! Fired up, Kishiwada again looked to finish Hidaka with a Last Ride, but Hidaka reversed the hold with double elbows to the head and then a modified crucifix pin for the surprise 3 count! Kishiwada was startled, and Hidaka had used a lot of energy moving into his next match versus Hayato Jr. in the semi-finals.
Match #5 and the semi-finals was the confrontation between gaijin juniors, as NJPW's Prince Devitt faced Sonjay Dutt. The match started with both men fighting for position, scrambling on the ground and running the ring. Sonjay finally hit a Frankensteiner and as Devitt was caught in the ropes a diving guillotine leg drop to the outside! Sonjay followed this up with a springboard diving body press but only scored a 2 count! Devitt fought reversing another springboard move with double knees. He then took to the top rope and dropped the same double footstomp he used to defeat Sugawara in the 1st round. The former ZERO1 International Jr. Heavyweight Champion kicked out at 2! Both wrestlers continued to exchange moves until Sonjay regained the advantage with a jumping kick on a kneeling Devitt, which he followed up with a running Shooting Star press for another 2 count!
Sonjay also went to the move that won him the 1st round, the moonsault footstomp, but Devitt quickly moved from harm. As he charged Sonjay cut him off with a kick to the gut, and then began positioning him for what looked to be a Guillotine driver until Devitt escaped with knees to the head and then holding Sonjay up in a Fireman's carry, dropped him across his knees with the Prince's Throne finisher and pinned him at just over 11½ minutes. Devitt advances to the finals and Sonjay loses his International Jr. Heavyweight title.
Since entering the Tenka Ichi Jr. Tournament 2009, Hayato Fujita Jr. said he was aiming for Ikuto Hidaka. Now the two would face off to determine which wrestler will face Prince Devitt in the finals. Hayato had laser beam focus, standing on the top turnbuckle and not reacting when Hidaka entered the ring but slapping him across the face before the bell rang! The battle broke down into a slugfest as the two began to exchange kicks and elbow strikes! Hayato drove Hidaka down and out on the apron, but when he attacked with a running apron soccer kick Hidaka caught his leg and Dragon Screw leg whipped him to the floor!
Back in the ring Hidaka continued to work on Hayato's leg. They exchanged face slaps a Hayato rose to stomp Hidaka but Hidaka again caught his leg and locked on the Figure-4 as Hayato made it desperately to the ropes! Throwing Hidaka into the corner, Hayato charged with the running double knees, a savate kick and a gut wrench suplex. As Hidaka struggled to his feet he ate a hard kick to the head but Hayato could only get 2! Hayato kept up the hard kicks but Hidaka fought back just as hard, finally Hidaka took him down with a low kick, the springboard low altitude dropkick and the Shawn Capture! Hayato fought back by reversing into his KID guillotine choke but Hidaka stretched his leg to reach the ropes! Hayato then hit a German suplex and a high kick that landed square to Hidaka's skull but could only get a 2 count!
Once again Hidaka caught a hard middle kick and raises Hayato in the air for an Iguchibomb but the younger fighter kicked out before 3! Then simultaneous high kicks layed both men down on the mat! Both rose to their feet at the 8 count and continued to strike with precision kicks, each looking for the knockout blow! Once again Hayato dropped Hidaka, and signaling for his Helm running knee hit the ropes, but yet again Hidaka caught his leg, and after turning him around landed a final Wild Dog High kick to Hayato's head! Miraculously Hayato kicked out just before 3, and stunned and staggering crawled towards the ropes. Grabbing him by the hair, Hidaka hot a savate kick, a knee and a final Wild Dog high kick for the victory!
Following the match Hidaka and Hayato shook hands in the center of the ring and exchanged words. Hidaka said that while Hayato entered the Tenka-Ichi for the opportunity to face and defeat Hidaka, he hopes that the young Michinoku Pro fighter will "return to this rung until you can defeat me." Hidaka won the victory and advanced, but would he have enough left to take on and defeat Prince Devitt in the finals?
Before the finals of the Tenka-Ichi Jr. Tournament 2009, there was 8-man tag involving many of those not currently in the tournament. ZERO1 President Shinjiro Otani teamed with Ryoji Sai, Munenori Sawa and young Kenta Kakinuma to face Masato Tanaka, Kohei Sato, KAMIKAZE and Shito Ueda. KAMIKAZE, who wants to challenge World Heavyweight champion Toshiaki Kawada, used this match as a stage to show he is prepared. He did this mostly by focusing on jr. heavyweight Munenori Sawa. Though Sawa fought hard, and was saved from being pinned several times by his teammates. KAMIKAZE's partners however cleared out the ring, and after a jumping kick and a near fall off a powerbomb, KAMIKAZE finally got the pinfall with a reverse Tiger Driver.
Then the main event and the finals of the ZERO1 Tenka-Ichi Jr. Tournament 2009 between Ikuto Hidaka and NJPW's Prince Devitt. Both men had battled their way through two previous matches but their superior conditioning had them both prepared. Before the match began, both men met in the middle of the ring and shook hands firmly. The match began wit speedy offense and defense from both wrestlers. Devitt sent Hidaka to the corner, where Hidaka dodged his charge and put him on the apron, blocking a jumping high kick but being dragged to the mat by his hair. Recovering quickly, Hidaka used the bottom rope to slide out of the ring and perform a quick hurricanrana to the floor!
Back in the ring the two exchanged kicks as Hidaka aimed at the leg of Devitt. He then hit a dropkick to Devitt's knee, but hitting the ropes again Devitt responded with a running kick, and then followed it up with a low dropkick sending Hidaka outside the ring. Taking advantage, Devitt hit a high flying a Tope con Hilo to the outside! Back in the ring Devitt kept up the attack with a missile dropkick and a brainbuster.
Devitt then went for the diving foot stomp from the top, but Hidaka moved and then hit a tornado DDT! Again Hidaka attacked the leg with more kicks and the spring-board low dropkick for the Shawn Capture leg hold. Devitt escaped as 15 minutes passed in the match. Hidaka attacked with more kicks until Devitt turned the tide with a hard jumping kneel kick to the side of Hidaka's head. With momentum shifted, Devitt then hit a avalanche brainbuster only for Hidaka to get a quick 2 count on an attempted roll-up! Winning another kick battle, Devitt finally hit his Prince's Throne double knee attack but only for a 2 count himself! Devitt placed Hidaka on the top turnbuckle, looking for another avalanche move but Hidaka reversed it with a top rope super Misty Flip again only for 2!
Their strength waning, both men rose and traded more kicks, with Devitt being felled by a Wild Dog high kick but barely kicking out at 2! As he struggled to regain composure, Hidaka pounced with Iwami Ginzan and the pinfall victory to win his first Tenka-Ichi Jr. Tournament! This tournament was his 7th appearance in a Tenka-Ichi Jr., and also gives him his ninth ZERO1 International Jr. Heavyweight title win.
As is traditional for the Tenka-Ichi Jr, Hidaka was given all ten Dragon Balls and was offered a wish of his choice. Hidaka responded:
"I invite my teacher and master, WWE's Sho Funaki to the ring of ZERO1 for a tag match!"
An eerie voice echoed through Korakuen Hall in response: "It is easy. I grant your wish!"
Furinkazan Tag Team Tournament Blocks & Schedule Decided!
November 26th, 2009
ZERO1's 1st Tag League, Furinkazan, is approaching and all ten teams have been announced. The teams have now been divided in two blocks for a round-robin tournament that will begin on December 9th in Mito, Japan and will cover seven shows in ten days ending in Nagoya, Japan on December 19th.
The teams with the most total points in their block at the end of the tournament will then compete against each other for the opportunity to be the first ZERO1 tag team tournament winners.
The format is standard round-robin style similar to the annual "Fire Festival": 10 tag teams organized in 2 separate blocks (A & B) where 1 win counts as 2 points, a tie as 1 point, and a loss for 0 points. After all matches have been done, the block leaders with the most points will go on to a final match versus the winners of the other block. The blocks are as follows:
- Block A
- Ikuto Hidaka & Munenori Sawa
- Minoru Fujita & Takuya Sugawara
- Shinjiro Otani & Akebono
- Ryoji Sai & Kenta Kakinuma
- Steve Corino & Kintaro Kanemura
- Block B
- Kohei Sato & KAMIKAZE
- Masato Tanaka & Masaaki Mochizuki
- Rikiya Fudo & Shito Ueda
- Shiro Koshinaka & Hajime Ohara
- Tsutomu Osugi & Hercules Senga
|BLOCK A||Hidaka &
|BLOCK B||Sato &