“MAX Around” 11/17/2005International Jr. Heavyweight Title: Ikuto Hidaka VS Sonjay Dutt
This was an enjoyable match as they did some fun spots, but that’s where the problems with it lie as most of the match looked too “spotty”, as in everything was so conveniently set up from prior moves. Dutt got in a good amount of offense and showed a lot of flash with all his fast paced high-flying offense, he even over shot his mark on a big dive out of the ring, but Hidaka still sold it like he got the full impact of it. Hidaka’s offense just looked really limited compared to Dutt, and the really quiet Osaka crowd didn’t help things much either.Match Rating: **Minoru Fujita & Alex Shelley VS Gamma & Takuya Sugawara
I seriously have no idea why Sugawara is trying to pass himself off as a bad-ass heel just because of his Aagan Iisou background, and trying to start a heel team with Gamma, who was the top heel of Osaka Pro at one time. The duo work well together at least, and pulled out a few interesting double team moves. Fujita and Shelley worked well together as well, though I do get the feeling that Shelley is trying to hard at times to try and get some reaction from the crowd, yelling “Eddie” when he did the frog splash for example. I liked the double team they did when Fujita hit an enzuguiri on Gamma while Shelley did a complete shot. The match ended on a DQ when Sugawara started wailing away on everyone with a black (plastic) box.Match Rating: *
Highlight video of “Mr. Danger” Mitsuhiro Matsunaga’s path of destruction through Zero-One MAX and the trail of blood he left in his wake. First he took out youngster Osamu Namiguchi, pinning him in a match despite stabbing him in the head repeatedly with an icepick, and doing the same to Z1M president Nakamura during the match! He then attacked Rikiya Fudo (who seriously looked like a Makoto Hashi/Masaaki Mochizuki doppelganger!), putting his head in a barb-wire vice! Fudo had the match won when he powerbombed Matsunaga on a pile of chairs, but Matsunaga blew a fireball right in Fudo’s face at POINT BLANK RANGE out of the pin!
Matsunaga would than turn his attention to attacking President Nakamura again, bloodying by gorging his head with an icepick till Kohei Sato made the save. Sato looked to be the best prospect to end Matsunaga’s reign of terror, every time it looked like Sato had the match won, Matsunaga would pull something out of his boot and stab away at him with it! Sato had the match won with his trademark German-suplex, but Matsunaga stabbed his arm out of the pin with a fork before gorging away at it, leading to a DQ. Sato’s friend and long time partner Hirotaka Yokoi would make the save and challenge Matsunaga to his specialty, the barb-wire rope death match!
Yokoi was doing well in the match, even bringing out his own custom made barb-wired boxing glove! But his luck would run out as Matsunaga would choke him out with a steel chain. So with all of Zero-One’s top young hopefuls falling to Matsunaga, who would take up the fight to the Dangerman and end the Karate Army? Young Yoshihito Sasaki would answer the call! No Rope Barb-Wire & Spider Board Double Hell Death Match: Yoshihito Sasaki VS Mitsuhiro Matsunaga
The match was a bit short, with a lot of stalling from Matsunaga. I don’t get what the point was for trying to intimidate the fans by acting like he’s going to stab them or something since they pretty much already hate him enough as it is.
But like I always say, a great match will suck you in emotionally and get you cheering even if you already know the outcome, and that’s exactly how I felt watching Sasaki here! He took a Hell of a beating, including a powerbomb from the apron out to the floor on a barb-wire board, and Matsunaga trying to rip his ears off with a pair of pliers! You could even see Ikuto Hidaka looking genuinely concerned at ringside!
But Sasaki sucked it up and battled back, hitting Matsunaga with a barb-wire wrapped chair. Sasaki showed he even learned from his peers past mistakes in dealing with Matsunaga as he when Matsunaga tried to stab him with a screwdriver while trying a German suplex, Sasaki was quick enough to release the hold and Matsunaga stabbeb himself in the stomach! This led to Sasaki hitting the Argentine Coaster on a barb-wire barricade and picking up the win to a HUGE ovation from the crowd!Match Rating: ***1/2
This was another huge step in Sasaki breaking out after winning the Tenkai Ichi Jr. Tournament last year, and rebounding from his loss to Kanemoto. Heck, Sasaki didn’t look like someone who should be jobbing to Kanemoto in the first place! Would Kanemoto step up and represent his company in a barb-wire match? Probably not, but tonight it was all about Sasaki who became a hero to the crowd!
Labels: Zero-1 MAX