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Thomas Bugg

Wrestle-1 Best Matches?

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I'll be honest, I've never got around to watching anything from Mutoh's promotion. But I'm binge watching puro this weekend and I'm looking to check out other stuff besides Shin Nihon Puroresu, so what are W-1's best matches in their history? And what's their style?

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I watched a fair bit from their first year - I got behind and just opted not to keep up outside of a couple of matches. I'd say their style was kind of...generic Japanese wrestling. Some good, some so-so. They used to be keepers of the flame of different style/rules matches, which saw weird shit like EWP Intercontinental champions like Leon van Gasteren and Dean Allmark come over from Europe to have matches in 3 min rounds.

They hit a real high early on when they introduced the tag team titles and put them on TEAM 246 - Kaz Hayashi and Shuji Kondo. Basically it brought all the joy you'd want from a team featuring a bulldog brawler and a flyer. The W1 singles title was having a difficult life under KAI as the ace so the tags were forced to become the company workhorses. They split the team after they dropped the title, which I seemed to recall was done in a fairly WWE style way that Muta isn't afraid of bringing in. Their title matches from this reign were super and much of the 2015 W1 Grand Prix was good as it was based around Kondo ditching Kaz for holding him back.

This said I find W1 a bit like NOAH in 2019 - fine wrestling but inessential. Happy for a superfan to come in and tell me how wrong I am.

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I’ve never watched them, but the scuttlebutt suggests that both Soya v Ashino matches from last year are worth a watch, plus Ashino v T-Hawk from this year.

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That's the problem. It requires people to watch the company. There aren't a lot of those people. Online or in person.

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10 hours ago, Control said:

I’ve never watched them, but the scuttlebutt suggests that both Soya v Ashino matches from last year are worth a watch, plus Ashino v T-Hawk from this year.

I’d recommend these, and Ashino in general. He’s a squat dude with a dapper haircut and cauliflower ears who enters to Fuel and suplexes everyone. But overall “inessential” was the right word. A small roster that goes trough the usual booking. (Ashino as junior ace in NOAH or AJPW would be pretty great, though, and he could credibly move up in the former eventually.)

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