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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

[ZERO1] JUMP UP ~ Fly To The Future 8/12/19

I attended ZERO1's, "JUMP UP ~ Fly To The Future" event on August 12 in Tokyo. A big part of this show was the further utilization of the relationship between ZERO1 and BJW. There was a ZERO1 vs. BJW event in April, then there was another one earlier this month, and at "JUMP UP ~ Fly To The Future", there were two ZERO1 vs. BJW matches.



The first was a tag team match, in which Kohei Sato and Shinjiro Otani (both who have been NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champion in ZERO1) defeated Hideyoshi Kamitani & Yuji Okabayashi (both who have been BJW Tag Team Champion) in one of the best matches of the day.

In the second ZERO1 vs. BJW match, BJW's Daisuke Sekimoto successfully defended the ZERO1 World Heavyweight Championship against ZERO1's Towa Iwasaki in another great interpromotional match. Sekimoto has held the Championship since capturing it in November of 2018, and him being Champion is of great significance for both ZERO1 and BJW. In BJW's case, they have earned bragging rights for bringing a true World Championship into their camp. Not only has the ZERO1 World Heavyweight Championship been defended in Japan, but in the past it has been defended in the United States as well.

In ZERO1's case, it benefits them greatly to have Daisuke Sekimoto as a part of their World Heavyweight Championship's lineage. He has been very successful in Japan- the BJW Heavyweight Championship, BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship, NWA United National Heavyweight Championship, and KO-D Openweight Championship all being on his resume, along with this being Sekimoto's second reign as ZERO1 World Heavyweight Champion. Even when his reign eventually ends, ZERO1 will be able to state that Sekimoto is a part of their World Heavyweight Championship's legacy.



Those who have seen pictures of the ZERO1 World Heavyweight Championship may wonder why, "AWA" is written on it. The reason why is that the lineage of the Championship began in 1996 when a promotion named AWA Wrestling Superstars Live was founded. Many recognizable names have held the AWA WSL World Heavyweight Championship (originally known as the AWA World Heavyweight Championship), including former WWE star King Kong Bundy. In 2004, ZERO1 became an affiliate of AWA Wrestling Superstars Live (I was the publicist/columnist of the main governing body that year). After stripping the previous AWA WSL World Heavyweight Champion of the title, ZERO1 was sanctioned to be the site where the new Champion would be decided. Takao Omori of ZERO1 (who has also been an NWA United National Heavyweight Champion in ZERO1) was the winner of the tournament. ZERO1 was an AWA affiliate for almost three years, and during that time period, most of the wrestlers who held the AWA WSL World Heavyweight Championship were members of the ZERO1 roster (Omori, Shinjiro Otani, Masato Tanaka). ZERO1 was the biggest AWA affiliate, and was the organization most responsible for the popularity that AWA Wrestling Superstars Live was quickly gaining. ZERO1 severed ties with them in December 2007, and Tanaka was AWA WSL World Heavyweight Champion at tt time. The Championship was then renamed the ZERO1 World Heavyweight Championship, with Tanaka being the first Champion.

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