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[2002-05-03-ZERO1] Shinya Hashimoto & Naoya Ogawa vs Tom Howard & The Predator


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Forget your initial feelings when you see this match up and believe me when I say: this was some wonderous pro wrestling. Lots of bullshit, but it was great bullshit. The Ogawa/Predator sections are really efficient in a "irresistable force vs. Immovable object“ way. Tom Howard looked great working his voodoo combat MMA stuff as he and Hashimotogo full Memphis meets Volk Han exhibition style. Some ref bullshit and a Gerard Gordeau run in do happen but that doesn't matter. You will be glad you watched this. Or maybe not.

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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [2002-05-03-ZERO1] Shinya Hashimoto & Naoya Ogawa vs Tom Howard & The Predator
  • 4 years later...
  • 4 months later...

Shinya Hashimoto & Naoya Ogawa vs The Predator & Tom Howard - Zero-1 5/3/02

Probably my favorite match of the Z-1 vs UPW feud but I really did like the last tag match with Mark Kerr. Call me crazy but I think Tom Howard is definitively a good wrestler. Skipped the anniversary show but will go back to watch Ogawa vs Ohtani at some point. Predator has changed his gimmick from the MMA one he did in WWE and is doing a blatant Bruiser Brody ripoff gimmick complete with chain, Hussing and the commentary screaming BRUISER BRODY every second of his entrance. Hashimoto & Ogawa feel like a real rockstar dream team.

Ogawa and Predator play well together. Two big muthas that don’t bump worth a shot unless you force them. I feel like Predator wrestled better here. Ogawa goes for the Judo hip throw, Predator blocks and Saito Suplex! Ogawa powders! Felt electric. Ogawa gets that judo throw on comeback. Whips crowd into a frenzy. Great Clash of the Titans feel.

Howard work like the biggest dick throughout this match. Throughout the match Howard starts with his hands behind his back. First segment was  against Hashimoto works twice in getting Hashimoto down. Hashimoto third time chops, Judo Takedown on Howard army crawl spot out on a leglock. He loves that spot and he is really good at it.

Hashimoto/Predator - Hashimoto droptoehold but Predator comeback. Hashimoto big kick sends him to powder. Probably the weakest segment but Predator felt huge. Ogawa comes in.

Ogawa Saito Suplex on Predator sends him to powder! Great heat!

Really good sequence with Ogawa/Howard. Howard hands behind his back. Ogawa tags Howard in the face. Howard takes him down second time. Howard steps on his foot on the third pass. Takes him down. He is a such a dick. Ogawa triangle choke on Howard but Howard is choking Ogawa. I really wanted them to unleash hell on Howard.

Predator gets tagged in but gets flattened with STO. Turns out the white red is a Heel ref. We work a heel ref the rest of the match. Hashimoto DDT. Heel ref spot. Hashimoto Spinning Heel Kick. Hash/Ogawa Total Elimination!!! I LOVE THAT SPOT! but heel ref let’s Howard break it up and Howard tags in.

Ogawa rocks Howard’s world with two SPACE TORNADO OGAWAS! CRUSHING HIM! They do their double team German but Predator attacks everyone with a chain. Japanese ref calls the match off because the white ref won’t do it. Hard to tell if it is a DQ or No Contest. Predator hangs Ogawa with the chain to set up their big match!

What puts a ceiling on this is that Hashimoto/Ogawa never truly unleash hell and climax with a win. You want to see Howard get fucking wrecked doesn’t quite get there. Where the match really succeeds is making you want to see Ogawa vs Predator in a singles match. Felt like a really good chapter in the overarching story than a standalone great match and that’s alright more pro wrestling should be done in this style. ***1/2

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