14th February W-Impact
WRESTLE-1 Result Title Match
Takanori Ito (c) vs. Jiro Kuroshio
Too often smaller Japanese wrestling shows get all out “super indie” main events, with wrestlers acting like its the Tokyo Dome, crowding the match with multiple finishers and crazy moves. This is fine, but here Kuroshio and Ito put on a heck of a great main event without doing half of that, by just doing what they do choose to do well. Kuroshio is a showman before anything else but he’s also very talented, perhaps deceivingly so and he makes this match his. Ito meanwhile is a no-nonsense guy (the time taken for each of their entrances really tells the story) and Kuroshio’s antics clearly begin to get into his head. Those very antics will put some people off, but stick with it as the real action soon arrives.
13th March Trans Magic
WRESTLE-1 Title Match
Shotaro Ashino (c) vs. Manabu Soya
The first half of the match is nothing to write home about, but it lays the groundwork for a dramatic second, with Soya left fighting an uphill battle. Ashino’s heel work is greatly underappreciated, and it really makes this match.
18th April Cherry Blossom Tour
WRESTLE-1 Tag Team Title Match
Koji Doi & Kumagoro (c) vs. AKIRA & Manabu Soya
Soya is now “The guy” but the story in this match is really AKIRA, and while he may be the weak link of his team, the veteran pulls out a big performance in pursuit of the tag titles, taking some big nasty bumps along the way.
6th May Triumph
Fans Bring the Weapons Hardcore Match
Jiro Kuroshio vs. Seigo Tachibana
Few people could make the comedy elements (which includes the use of food products and an umbrella as weapons) in this match work, but Jiro’s lovably cheeky charisma, not only makes this an entertaining bout, but one that goes beyond being comic relief and legitimately steals the show.
This list is updated regularly, so don’t forget to check back soon for more recommended matches!
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