Full results of Pro-Wrestling FRONTLINE’s first TV show, FRONTLINE POWER WRESTLING Episode #1!
This was the first TV show under the FRONTLINE banner and we start with a re-cap of the first ever FRONTLINE show from March 8th. Brief highlights of the following matches are shown as part of a music video montage to open the show.
1. GO STRONG VS. WAR TIGERS: Adam Stryker & Jason Richards def. Blood Tiger & Tiger Beast after Stryker used Amateur Brain Surgery on Blood Tiger. (11:52)
2. IS OOKAMI WORTHY? GOLD HOUSE TRIAL MATCH #1: Black Dragon def. OOKAMI no Chi by DQ after Dragon caught OOKAMI out with the Chair Illusion. (10:27)
3. Kenta Yamashita def. OMEGA after Yamashita used the German Suplex. (16:16)
4. GOLD HOUSE VS. G4: Jun Ikeda & Hiroki Kokubun def. Shinji Watanabe & Yuuta Mori when Ikeda pinned Mori after a lariat. (21:16)
It’s interesting to note the reaction that Go Strong got from the Japanese fans, they seemed to take to this young gaijin team quickly. And rightfully so, both Stryker and Richards looked impressive in their debut outing. OOKAMI no Chi also looked impressive, but it is clear that she still has much to learn. Her inexperience against someone as cunning as Black Dragon cost her this match as Dragon cheated his way to victory by tricking the referee.
Kenta Yamashita received a warm welcome home and was roundly applauded following his win over OMEGA while the man who was the number one star in Tokyo Pure Wrestling, Kenta Yamashita, showed that he is still the man to beat here in FRONTLINE with an impressive display of power.
NEWCOMER TAG CLASH: Kenta Urinoe & Minoru Hirota vs. Hiro Yuko & Ryo Unikawa
This was an interesting match to open the show. Hiro Yuko, in an effort to show the depth of his ability, attempted to do some chain wrestling with Urinoe, who answered with brutal strikes that rocked Yuko. The whole thing degenerated into a brawl before Hirota & Unikawa both got hot tags at the same time. After some back and forth action between the two, including a Lion-Plex II from Hirota and a Peacekeeper from Unikawa which both brought near falls, Hirota connected with the Mach-5 for a pinfall victory, with Yuko unable to come to the aid of his partner.
After the match Ryoichi Karasuma is seen walking to the ring and heading straight for Hiro Yuko. He lambasts the young man for “undignified” antics and says that a lot will have to change if Hiro is to make it in FRONTLINE. Yuko seems frustrated with his defeat and doesn’t take kindly to the advice of his elder, shrugging him off as they walk back up the entrance ramp.
BYAKURAI vs. Troy Gafgen
Troy Gafgen got a decent reception from the fans while BYAKURAI was warmly welcomed into FRONTLINE. The fans here are familiar with his father, Oda Yokohama, the first man to wear the BYAKURAI mask. Gafgen made use of his size advantage in this match, almost ending things early with a Sidewalk Slam. But the “Faceless Dragon” got back into contention by using his speed and agility, Dark Magic was almost enough for a three count. Gafgen grew in stature as the match progressed and reversed a running hurricanrana into a hellish powerbomb for another near fall. Eventually Gafgen ended the match with The Sickness.
IS OOKAMI WORTHY? GOLD HOUSE TRIAL MATCH #2: OOKAMI no Chi vs. Hiroki Kokubun
Last time out OOKAMI came up short against a crafty Black Dragon of Blood Circle. This time she faced Kokubun, member of Gold House and long time friend of her uncle, Jun Ikeda. OOKAMI was much more cautious in this match, possibly over-cautious as she inflicted only minor damage against the ageing Kokubun. He may be bigger and stronger than his opponent but Kokubun is much slower these days and usually struggles against smaller, quicker opponents like OOKAMI. But he managed to keep her grounded, at one point having her locked in the neck-lock figure four for a considerable amount of time. OOKAMI looked to pick up the pace and almost stole the match with her no-hands springboard dropkick and Cradle DDT, but it was a Golden Falcon from Kokubun that ended this contest.
As Saiko Yunokawa makes her way to the ring for her match, the fans are taken aback by the strange way she’s dressed. As she reaches the ring, she sheds most of the get-up to reveal a simple (if psychedelically decorated) bodysuit. Her face is painted. She vaults over the top rope and rolls to her feet, and takes a mic from one of the officials at ringside.
“Hello Nagaoka! I’d just like to say it’s a real honour to be here in FRONTLINE, to be given the chance to compete in my father’s land, and to bring my art to all of you. Strap in tight, FRONTLINE fans, because you’re about to see things you never thought were possible in a wrestling ring.”
She tosses the mic back to ringside and awaits the arrival of Kenta Yamashita. The fans mostly seem undecided on this strange woman although a handful, who’ve seen her in FRONTIER and other Western companies, seem eager to see her in action.
Kenta Yamashita vs. Saiko Yunokawa
This match features two stars who have made names for themselves in our sister promotion Pro-Wrestling FRONTIER. Yamashita received a hero’s welcome upon his return, despite his career stalling while abroad he is still a fan favourite in his homeland. Yunokawa on the other hand received a more hushed reception from the crowd in general, although she did appear to have a small number of fans in attendance. Yunokawa is being classed as a gaijin by FRONTLINE, despite her Japanese ancestry, and she’s adamant she’s going to win over the fans. She did well in that endeavor as she pulled out some impressive moves, particularly The Poseidon Misadventure which almost ended the match. Yamashita looked the shell of his former self during the opening stages, but soon grew in stature and almost sealed a win with the Heel Hold. Yunokawa continued her aerial assault, knowing she wasn’t about to compete strengthwise with a man twice her weight, and ended up sealing the win with Stronger Than Dirt. The two shook hands at the matches completion, both earning a good reception from the fans.
Before heading to commercial break we get brief highlights of two other matches.
- Karasuma(c), Yokoyama & Yamada beat Nanahara(c), KAITO & Ishikawa after Karasuma used Strangle Hold Alpha on KAITO for a submission victory. (15:24)
- Yuji Shibata beat Katsutoshi di Limones by pinfall after the GTF. (09:37)
BIFU vs. Jun Ikeda
Last week BIFU made his FRONTLINE debut against Kazuki Suzuki and tonight he faces off against Suzuki’s fiercest rival, Jun Ikeda. Facing these two in your first matches would be enough to intimidate many a man, but not BIFU. BIFU was impressive in his resolve and his heart, although his ability clearly wasn’t a match for Ikeda. He did show signs of promise, however, and almost picked up a shock victory after a series of three spinebusters. Ikeda struggled against BIFU’s power for a moment or two, but his experience came back to help him and a powerful lariat turned the tide. From there Ikeda remained in control and finished his opponent with the Gold Slam for a pinfall victory. BIFU can be proud of his showing in this match, but he’ll want to get some wins under his belt soon to boost his confidence. Meanwhile Ikeda, the last Tokyo Pure World Champion, continues to impress and make himself a contender for the new FRONTLINE Japanese Heavyweight Championship.
Stryker and Unikawa meet
“Mr. Unique” Ryo Unikawa ran into Adam Stryker. The two men hugged it out and talked for a moment about Ryo’s father, Riku Unikawa, Japanese wrestling legend. Ryo said that although his father is on a wheelchair right now and almost doesn’t communicate with the outside world, he will bring fame and pride to the Unikawa name again. Stryker said that Ryo would be more than welcome in his stable and that together they can take over FRONTLINE and make Ryo a star just like his father was. Jason Richards walked into the scene, saying hi to Unikawa and telling Stryker that their match is next. Go Strong went to the entrance section and Unikawa went to his locker room to pack his stuff and think about Stryker’s offer.
GO STRONG vs. GOLD HOUSE: Stryker & Richards vs. Amazing Dragon & Hiroshi Takahasi
The match started with Stryker and Takahashi. Takahashi went for his signature triple German’s early, but Stryker rolled out of the second one and used the Headhunter Kick to turn the tide of the match in his favour. From there Go Strong were in control for a long period, with Richards’ Shooting Star Press on Dragon almost ending the contest. Dragon managed to tag out to Takahashi who regained control of the match. He connects with the Blizzard Suplex on Richards, who instantly pops back up and nails Takahashi with Emerald City Flash! Both men collapse as their partners are desperate for the tag. Stryker and Dragon are in and Dragon goes for a ‘rana but Stryker reverses into a powerbomb. From there he locks in the Kirā Klutch while Richards blocks Takahashi with a roundhouse kick. Dragon taps out and Go Strong win the match. They’ve been impressive since their arrival in Japan and their claims to the GFC Tag-Team Championship may well work out.
Backstage OOKAMI no Chi was stopped by her uncle, Jun Ikeda, and her cousin Ken20. Ikeda says he is proud that his niece is competing in FRONTLINE and honoured that she is wanting to follow in his footsteps. He suggests that she take only matches against other women, but she is determined to make it in the men’s division. Ikeda feels she still has much to learn and suggests that if she insists on continuing in the men’s division that she has a match against her cousin on March 30th. OOKAMI accepts.
Great Sato vs. Kazuki Suzuki
The rivalry between Sato and Suzuki is almost as long as the one between Suzuki and Ikeda. For many a year both Suzuki and Ikeda have been trying to persuade Great Sato to join their respective teams and for years Sato has refused. Now Sato, Suzuki and Ikeda find themselves as some of the top contenders for the GFC Japanese Heavyweight Championship and this match will do a lot to determine who is granted that opportunity first. Suzuki, as ever, struck the first blow in this epic contest and dominated the opening stages. But Sato never gives up easy and after riding out the rough spell he begins to get back into the match and then takes control after a Fujuyama Driver that gets him a near fall. Sato tried to capitalise and followed up with a top rope hurricanrana, but the Blood General caught him and dropped him hard into a powerbomb. He then hoisted Sato up before crashing to the mat with a Doctor Bomb that scored a very near fall. Sato missed a Shining Triangle attempt and Suzuki nailed a lariat to the back of the masked man’s head. A second Doctor Bomb ended the contest with a pinfall victory for Kazuki Suzuki.
As the show came to an end we were reminded of the upcoming FRONTLINE schedule, including the big show on March 30th at Korakuen Hall. We now know that the following matches will be taking place:
“OPENING NAVIGATION ~ CONCLUSION”
March 30th, 2013 (SkyDirecTV)
Tokyo – Korakuen Hall (2,000)
* IS OOKAMI WORTHY? SPECIAL CHALLENGE MATCH: OOKAMI no Chi vs. Ken20
* CLASS IS IN SESSION: Hiro Yuko vs. Ryoichi Karasuma
* BLOOD CIRCLE 6 MAN TAG CHALLENGE: Adam Strker (c), Jason Richards and Kenta Yamashita vs. Takeshi Genji, OMEGA & Kazuki Suzuki (c)