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Wrestling / Pro Wrestling ZERO1

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"...It was the quintessential ZERO-ONE card offering, if nothing else, variety; junior heavyweights and super heavyweights, flying wrestlers and power wrestlers, 80s tribute gimmicks and 80s superstars, performers old and young, fat and thin, short and tall, good and bad. Naoya Ogawa defeating The Predator in their first ever cage match highlighted the show."
Ichiban Puroresu about 2002 in Japanese professional wrestling

Pro Wrestling ZERO1 (formerly called Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE and Pro Wrestling ZERO1-MAX) is a Professional Wrestling company founded in 2001 by Shinya Hashimoto. Under his hand, ZERO-ONE was a mainstay in the puroresu scene and a direct rival to the similarly founded Pro Wrestling NOAH, but after Hashimoto left the promotion in 2004, the company began a gradual decline and ended up turning into basically a large-sized indy, the position it occupies today.

Originally conceived by Hashimoto as a sub-company within New Japan Pro-Wrestling, he launched it as an independent promotion in January 2001 after leaving NJPW by booking disagreements. Helped by native loyalists, various friends and foreign allies, Hashimoto led it to success until 2004, year in which the promotion started an interesting crossover with Dream Stage Entertainment to form the sports entertainment-oriented Fighting Opera HUSTLE. However, November of that year also saw Hashimoto leaving ZERO-ONE due to economic mismanagement, which caused the promotion to fold and be re-opened by the rest of the staff under the name ZERO1-Max. The company continued its co-promotion with HUSTLE until the latter's end in 2009, year in which it got renamed again, now as ZERO1. A couple years later, the late Shinya's son Daichi Hashimoto would debut, though his short tenure in the company would only be the first of several failed attempts to give it its former status.

Unlike most puroresu companies, ZERO-ONE stands up for its cosmopolitism and openness. It maintained a memorable working agreement with United States promotion Ultimate Pro Wrestling in the Turn of the Millennium, later became the Mecca of the Japanese independent circuit, and still frequently books freelancers and little known foreign wrestlers. Also, following its late creator's interest in martial arts, it used to feature a lot of shoot-style and Mixed Martial Arts talents, and was the platform for the relaunch of the cult promotion Battlarts. Currently, the company focuses mostly on its junior heavyweight division and its batch of legends and technical luminaries, but it has not totally cleared off its status as the Bazaar of the Bizarre of the wrestling world.

Tropes associated with Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Before Shinya Hashimoto's death, he had planned to return to New Japan for a reunion of the Three Musketers and perhaps to work out the relaionships between NJPW and ZERO-ONE, but it all ended with his demise.
    • UEXILE took the trouble to redebut under his real name with the goal of being a ZERO1 regular, but he vanished shortly after.
    • After the pro wrestling debut of Daichi Hashimoto in 2011, famous kickboxer Yuichiro Nagashima came to announce he was becoming a wrestler too and that he would be Daichi's rival, which seemed to foretell a lifelong feud full of great wars and five star matches like the wrestlers of yore. Then it all ended abruptly when, after literally two matches for ZERO1, Nagashima left for Inoki Genome Federation and dropped his plans of wrestling full time. Ironically, Daichi also jumped to IGF three years later, but by then Nagashima had abandoned pro wrestling altogether and had returned to kickboxing.
  • Acrofatic:
    • Matt Ghaffari looked slow and clumsy, but his cartwheels and jumps said otherwise.
    • A minor example is KAMIKAZE, whose stout build doesn't stop him from being a moonsault expert.
  • Appeal to Force: Through winning pro wrestling matches, Takao Omori has proven himself to be the best fisherman in the world.
  • Arc Number: Take a wild guess. The original plan was a spinoff called New Japan 00 or New Japan ZERO, which lasted a year before making a clean break as ZERO-ONE.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Given the plenty of rising young wrestlers and proud martial artists in ZERO1, there had been many of them in it through its history. Naoya Ogawa and Hayato Fujita are the main examples.
  • The Ace: Munenori Sawa had individual trouble, but he and Ikuto Hidaka's 766 day reign as NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champions saw teams brought in from Dragon Gate and Chikara just put an end to them.
  • The Artifact: The entire company counts as one. It was created by Shinya Hashimoto as his personal fed to rebuild his popularity after his NJPW late career fiasco, but after his death, the people left in charge had clearly no idea about what they should do with the promotion, and it took some years for them to come up with it.
  • Author Avatar: Besides Shinya Hashimoto, Nanae Takahashi was largely responsible for the SUN offshoot.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Predator. And to make things worse he was pretty big too...
  • Bash Brothers: OH Gun (Shinya Hashimoto and Naoya Ogawa).
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: As he used to do before his encounter with Naoya Ogawa, Hashimoto faced many shootfighters in Worked Shoot matches and defeat them.
  • Big Fun: The judoka turned pro wrestler turned sumo wrestler turned pro wrestler Y2P–160 kg. Shinya himself wasn't the most cut or slim guy and wasn't completely above gags and such either.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": AJ Styles finds your voices annoying.
  • Costume Porn: The★ZEST and NOIZ. Ikuto Hidaka also likes to wear cool attires and masks during his entrance.
  • Crossover: The Differ Cup Scramble Tag Team Tournament, hosted by DDT, IWA Japan, Michinoku Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling NOAH and Pro Wrestling ZERO 1.
  • Delinquent Hair: Minoru Fujita, later adopted by his partner Takuya Sugawara.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Pro Wrestling SUN was a brand concept as ZERO1's female counterpart, but it didn't thrive.
  • Dressed to Kill: LEONA, like his father Tatsumi Fujinami, is frequently seen in dress clothes but he can fight quite well.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Tom Howard.
  • Easily-Distracted Referee: Simply Luscious, though she does it on purpose.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Tom Howard's gimmick was that of a Green Berets hand-to-hand instructor.
  • Engrish: "Greatest Headbutt of the World" Fugofugo Yumeji.
  • Escalating Brawl: Thoroughly during an event in March 2003 in midst of Hashimoto and Otani's feud. Otani started attacking Hashimoto, but then Satoshi Kojima did a Villainous Rescue and attacked Otani. Then Yoshihiro Takayama came out and attacked Hashimoto and Kojima. Then The Predator also came and attacked Takayama. Then Naoya Ogawa came to save Hashimoto and attacked Takayama as well. Then Matt Ghaffari came and attacked... well, at this point, everybody was attacking everybody.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: The Ultimate Pro Wrestling members served esentially as old-school American heels.
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: Many of the AWA\Superstars Of Wrestling Title belts ended up in ZERO1's possession after the attempted revival of the AWA by former employees in the 50 states and Canada with SOW were crushed.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Perennial rookie Shota Takanishi saw his career ended due to a neck unjury. A more brutal example was the injury which retired and almost killed Naohiro Hoshikawa.
  • Gorgeous Gaijin: The ladies took a real liking to Leondard Spanky, so the promoters capitalized.
  • The Giant: Nathan Jones, The Predator, King Dabada, and more recently, Akebono. Kohei Sato is considered an example for Japanese standards.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Shinya Hashimoto's son Daichi debuted in 2011 and was considered his sucessor as the crown jewel of the company, but his departure in 2014 subverted this.
  • Humiliating Wager
    • Tracy Taylor, Saki Maemura and "Hula Kong" were all forced to dance in coconut bikinis at some point during the Hawai'i Championship Wrestling Tour
    • Osamu Namiguchi and Hikaru lost a loser has to eat Nagano food tag team match.
  • Keet: Wataru Sakata. His smile was just infectious.
  • Licensed Game: The King Of Colosseum series has pulled from Zero 1 for its rosters.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Many of the ZERO1 wrestlers qualify.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Shinya Hashimoto and his son.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Osamu Namiguchi's Dream Catch finishing move, a top rope victory roll.
  • My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: A recurrent motif.
  • The Napoleon: Low Ki automatically assumed he was being made fun of for size, or lack there of.
  • New Year Has Come: Signified by the ZERO1 Wrestler's 8 - New Year Gigs event
  • Old Master: Kazuhiko Ogasawara, who was an old Kyokushin Karate master.
  • Power Stable: Far East Connection, Sword Army, Axe Army...
  • Start My Own: From New Japan, though it was originally going to be done with their involvement.
  • Surfer Dude: Sandy Beach, named both for surfing and his appearance...
  • Sword Limbo: Toshie Uematsu has made use of matrix dodges.
  • The Artifact: ZERO-ONE formerly figured as a member of National Wrestling Alliance, the Global Professional Wrestling Alliance (which includes Pro Wrestling NOAH, Ring of Honor and Dramatic Dream Team amongst its members) and the World Wrestling League. As such, "Zero-1" or some variation of occasionally pops up in promotions that seem entirely unrelated to it, such as NWA Midwest.
  • The Movie: Oh! My Zombie Mermaid\Ah! House Collapses, though it's less about ZERO1 itself as it is about a rival promoter trying to destroy a Captain Ersatz of Shinya Hashimoto.
  • Those Two Guys: Ikuto Hidaka tends to be one of those with his many tag team partners, and apparently was it in real life with Takafumi Ito back when they trained together under Masanobu Kurisu.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: SMASH served as neutral ground for as showdown between Zero-1 and Fight Club Finland.
  • Waif-Fu: During a 3 on 3 tag match at ZERO1 Dream Series ~ Growth Momono Mio managed to get the win for her team by putting Hartley Jackson in a knee lock. Now Jackson was the smallest man on his team, but still way bigger than Momono, the smallest woman on hers.
  • Wholesome Cross Dresser: Lingerie Mutoh, Munenori Sawa's parody of Keiji Mutoh's pre Great Muta gimmicks.
  • Wild Samoan: Several came from UPW, such as King Dabada and even Samoa Joe.
  • Worked Shoot: Especially back in the 2000s when Hashimoto was still alive.
  • Worthy Opponent: The relationship between Ikuto Hidaka and Masaaki Mochizuki.
  • Wrestling Monster: Shockwave The Robot (and many others).
  • You and What Army?: Keiji Muto and Shinya Hashimoto got a memorable one each during the feud between AJPW and ZERO-ONE.
    After intruding on the ring.
    Muto: Hashimoto! ZERO-ONE! All Japan Pro Wrestling and Keiji Muto call you out. We declare all out war!
    Hashimoto: We're right here, so come on! You and All Japan are too disconnected from each other to do anything. Come on!
    Muto: So you think All Japan is disconnected? They're here somewhere. I brought my whole family with me today.
    Almost the entire AJPW roster, led by Masanobu Fuchi, comes behind him.
    Fuchi: All Japan is one. As a major organization, ZERO-ONE will be crushed. Hashimoto, what do you have to say?
    Hashimoto: Everybody here, come out! We'll show those guys what we can do.
    The ZERO-ONE roster comes with Hashimoto.
    Cue brawl.
  • You Are Fat: The way Micah Taylor addressed the Great Championship Wrestling roster, especially the Equalizer.