Hi, not taking a break from 2013 AJPW but wanted to share something in the meantime. This is a review of ZERO1 07/31/08 & 08/03/08 from Samurai TV. Its the last 2 days of their Fire Festival which is their Champion Carnival or G1Climax. A side project that I'm working on is checking out Zero One, Zero1, Zero- One Max and every iteration of that company. Its not going to be a deep dive since there's no ready made compilation that I'm aware of. In fact there's not a ton out there in general...at least hype or talk save a few early matches or cross over matches. The dvds are out there but you're trusting your instincts on which shows to check out. I decided to go with a selection of mainly Fire Fests since it features the most well-known stars of the company as well as others from outside organizations. From there its a scavenger hunt on different comps and what's available online. Its nice though because it reminds me of my early days of hunting for puro and being happy with what I could find. Let's get going!
Shinjiro Otani v Masaaki Mochizuki 7/31/08 - Dynamic all action match with some really fantastic sequences and exchanges. This was a blast to watch. Its been awhile since I've seen some Otani. Slight clipping but very good stuff.
Manabu Nakanishi v Takao Omori 7/31/08 - Yeah here we go, two dudes just clubbing the heck outta each other. Manabu throws Omori through a door from the Torture Rack position. Lots a lariats - very good stuff. Slight clipping
Kohei Sato v Togi Makabe 7/31/08 - Quick violent stuff and a fantastic finish. Manage is very underrated but he does take some getting used to. My 2010 NJ project CA couple years ago made me a believer.
Masato Tanaka v Ryoji Sai 7/31/08 - This was a great match IF you gloss over the excellent leg work Tanaka did. I was on my way to saying Sai put on a Kawada worthy sell job but then he proceeded to blow it off at every chance he got including after a missed double stomp. So I can't say this was anything other than a good match that could have been great. When a guy just sells his ass off and then acts like nothing's wrong that's silly and I don't want silly wrestling. But maybe fast forward those bits and you'll really enjoy the hard hitting action. I don't know maybe I'll rewatch with lowered standards?
Masato Tanaka v Takao Omori v Manabu Nakanishi 8/3/08 *3 Way Match* - A really fast paced and effectively built 3 man match to determine who was going to the finals. Nice sequences and spots...yeah I thought this was great stuff for 7+ minutes.
-Spoiler alert for the Tournament Finals Matchup -
Masato Tanaka v Togi Makabe 8/3/08 *Fire Festival Tournament Finals Match* - Makabe is the violent cheating outsider and Tanaka is the home promotion hero. Can he withstand the punishment the bigger and younger NJ villain can dish out? What about his trusty chain and flunky Honma? If anyone can Dangan can! Seriously, this was some classic shit if you're an ECW/FMW fan from way back like me. Brawling, blood, hard hits, table spots, fake outs, fighting spirit... But this wasn't just a bunch of those things thrown in a blender. No, it was built very well in an old school type of way and that made everything that much better and more meaningful. I loved this battle.
This was a very good start. The finals were totally my cup of tea despite not being a traditional macho he-man slugfest like the Strong BJW guys do or a fireworks show. It was a more Southern brawl (with heel cheating) than a late 00's puro match. It had a couple hardcore spots but in the ways of later ECW/FMW plus it was intense and hard hitting as you wanted for 2008. Glad I took a chance on this one!
Thanks for reading! I hope that you will enjoy this side project and we'll both find out more about Zero-One.