Pro Wrestling Zero1

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Pro Wrestling Zero1
Acronym ZERO1
Founded January 25, 2001
Style Strong style
Headquarters Japan
Founder(s) Shinya Hashimoto
Owner(s) First On Stage Inc. (FOS)
Sister Pro-Wrestling SUN (2006-2009)
Formerly Pro Wrestling Zero-One (2001-2004)
Pro Wrestling Zero1-Max (2004-2008)
Website Official Site Of Zero ONE

Pro Wrestling Zero1 (stylized as Pro Wrestling ZERO1), formerly known as Pro Wrestling Zero-One and Pro Wrestling Zero1-Max, is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion founded in 2001. It was affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance from 2001 until late 2004 and again from 2011 onwards. The promotion's name seems to refer to the year it was created.

Backstory[edit]

In 2000, Shinya Hashimoto proposed an independent promotion within New Japan Pro Wrestling called New Japan Pro Wrestling ZERO; the idea was shot down, and when Hashimoto was fired by NJPW in November 2000, he registered the Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE name.

History[edit]

The promotion was founded by former New Japan Pro Wrestling stars Shinya Hashimoto and Shinjiro Otani. Over the years, they attracted talent from both New Japan and the independents, such as Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Masato Tanaka, Takao Omori, Ikuto Hidaka, and former RINGS fighter Wataru Sakata.

In the past ZERO1 has had working agreements with Pro Wrestling Noah, All Japan Pro Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, RIKIPRO, Hustle, Big Mouth Loud, King's Road and Dragondoor (now El Dorado Wrestling) which enabled Zero1 wrestlers to challenge for and hold the other promotions' titles. Hashimoto won the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, Takaiwa held NOAH's GHC junior heavyweight title, and Zero1 top Junior tag team of Ikuto Hidaka & Minoru Fujita placed 2nd in the 2005 "Differ Cup" tag tournament run by NOAH and won the NOAH GHC Junior tag team championships in March 2006.

Zero1's structure was, until recently, very much like Genichiro Tenryu's old WAR promotion: the focus on the top star (in this case, Hashimoto), with other talent ranking below him. This is no longer the case however as Shinjiro Otani runs the promotion much differently than Hashimoto.

On November 30, 2004 Hashimoto gave up ownership of the promotion, telling the press that due to financial problems he had decided to step away from the company. Hashimoto had been very injured physically that whole past year and needed surgery, but looked to be heading back to New Japan Pro Wrestling after recovering.

The promotion continued without any delays, stoppages or cancellations. A new parent company "First On Stage" was formed consisting of President Yoshiyuki Nakamura, Ring Announcer Oki Okidata, Shinjiro Otani and a company named Baltic Curry. The promotion was renamed Pro Wrestling Zero1-Max with Otani and Nakamura taking over the general operations.

Several notable foreign wrestlers also work, or have worked for the promotion. For example: Low Ki, A.J. Styles, Samoa Joe, Steve Corino, Spanky, Paul London, Alex Shelley, Sonjay Dutt, Mike Knox, Sylvester Terkay, Super Crazy, Matt Striker, C.W. Anderson, Colt Cabana, CM Punk, Tom Howard, Greg Bownds, Chris Sabin, Ryan Sakoda and Aaron Aguilera.

Among the major changes to the federation's structure was joining the AWA Superstars of Wrestling (now Wrestling Superstars Live) as the only Japanese member. At the same time the owner of the company's National Wrestling Alliance promoting license, New Japan Pro Wrestling, took the license back for their own use.

On July 11, 2005 former owner and top star, Shinya Hashimoto, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm at the age of 40.

Zero1-Max holds a Heavyweight tournament every Summer in the last week of July called the "Fire Festival" (Himatsuri) where the winner holds the "Fire Sword" (a katana) for a whole year until the next summer's tournament. They also hold a Yasukuni Shrine show every April and a yearly junior tournament called the "Tenkaichi Jr."

On September 12, 2006, Zero1-Max joined 12 other pro wrestling companies and joined the Global Professional Wrestling Alliance (GPWA), an alliance that will keep the various promotions involved from stepping on each other toes and instead fostering an environment of cooperation rather than competition. The new alliance will also occasionally put on "Super Shows" where all the promotions will send fighters to compete representing their own companies under the GPWA banner. Pro Wrestling Noah's CEO Mitsuharu Misawa was inaugurated as the first Chairman of the new alliance, with Zero1-Max's Yoshiyuki Nakamura announced as the company's President.

In 2008, the promotion shortened the name to Pro Wrestling Zero1.

In 2011, the promotion returned to the NWA as their Japanese territory. In March 2011, NWA presented Zero1 with the NWA Pan-Pacific Premium Heavyweight Championship in celebration of the promotion's 10th anniversary. In July, Daisuke Sekimoto won the Fire Festival to become the first champion.

In 2012 an Australian division of Zero1 opened in Adelaide taking over what was known as NWA Pro Wrestling. At the beginning of 2014 the relationship ended and the promotion is now known as Wrestle Rampage.[1] It was known as Zero1 Pro Wrestling Australia. Zero1 Hong Kong branch opened in June 2012 after Jason New returned to Hong Kong from Zero1 earlier the year. Zero1 Mexico opened its branch in September 2012 after International Pro Wrestling Alliance united with ZERO1 Japan.

In 2013 Yoshiyuki Nakamura opened a new division of ZERO1 in Belarus.

On December 17, 2013, Zero1 announced a corporate restructuring taking place at the start of the new year.[2]

On August 5, 2014, Zero1 representative Yoshiyuki Nakamura held a press conference in Tokyo and flat out said they "postponed" this year's Tenka Ichi tournament, because they "don't expect to be attracting customers". The Korakuen show on September 19 was thus canceled and after the Fire Festival finals wasn't sold out either, both tournaments are in jeopardy - as could be the future of the promotion.

Championships[edit]

Championship: Champion(s): Held since:
World Heavyweight Championship Kohei Sato September 19, 2014
NWA United National Heavyweight Championship Hideki Suzuki August 3, 2014
International Junior Heavyweight Championship Mineo Fujita September 19, 2014
NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship
NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship Masato Tanaka and Takashi Sugiura May 6, 2014
NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Championship "brother" Yasshi and Takuya Sugawara September 19, 2014
Zero1 Mexico International Heavyweight Championship Sicodelico Jr. September 2012

Tournaments[edit]

Zero1 also hold several annual tournaments:

Tournament Latest winner(s) Date won
Fire Festival Ryouji Sai August 3, 2014
Furinkazan Daemon Ueda and Yusaku Obata December 17, 2013
Tenkaichi Jr. Hub September 16, 2013

Inactive championships[edit]

Championship: Last champion(s): Date won:
NWA Pan-Pacific Premium Heavyweight Championship Akebono May 16, 2012
Zero1 Australian National Championship Damian Slater November 1, 2013
Zero1 United States Heavyweight Championship Mr. Wrestling III November 9, 2008

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WRESTLE RAMPAGE begins now". January 1, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ "ゼロワン来年から新団体名に変更". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2013. 

External links[edit]