AWA World Champion Crowned

The following is from

January 23rd, 2005

Takao Omori made good on his promise and successfully became the 32nd holder of the AWA World Heavyweight title! Many of the Japanese athletes had figured in Steve Corino to win the title due to the inclusion of the well-known gaijin Referee Mr. Fred Rubenstein. Yet as he had promised, Omori defeated the Japanese 2004 MVP Kensuke Sasaki and the “Fire Festival 2004” winner – Kohei Sato in the Japanese 3-way semi-final. And then in the finals he took defeated former ECW and NWA Heavyweight champion Steve Corino. Not to mention all the other odds he faced to secure the throne…including basically winning the title only to have it yanked away from him by the AWA officials.

The semi-final 3-way matches weren’t very long, but consisted of Heavyweights unloading their entire arsenals on each other. Initially in the Japanese 3-way the two ZERO-ONE fighters, Omori and Sato, teamed up on Kensuke Sasaki. But that all changed once the match began heating up. At one point all three athletes were down, and the Ref counted all the way to 7 before they rose to their feet. Finally, as Sasaki sat dazed in the corner, Omori hit the Axe Guillotine Driver on Sato and the followed it up with the Axe Bomber for the victory.

In the Gaijin 3-way former ECW and NWA Tag team champion, Simon Diamond, finally made his first appearance in ZERO-ONE. Initially the two “Extreme Horsemen” (Corino & Diamond) teamed up on Tanaka, performing double team moves and hitting double superkicks until Simon saw an opening in Corino’s defenses and took his shot. This caused a rift in that alliance and the two began to fight each other, until eventually Corino knocked a beaten Tanaka outside to the floor, and then finished Simon with the Lariat-O. Afterwards Corino and Diamond shook hands. The match opened with all three locking up at the same time and then breaking, only for it to turn into a huge chopfest as they all struck each other to the delight of the crowd.

The main event final saw Takao Omori versus Corino in a long (almost 25 minutes) and hard fought battle. Before the match began, Omori confronted Referee Mr. Fred Rubenstein and told him to watch his counts, calling out to the audience to watch for any foul behavior as he battled. Early on Omori hit the Axe Guillotine Driver on Corino on the outside, leaving him to be counted out. Corino made it back in at the17 count, and the two continued to brawl outside the ring, with Corino throwing Omori through the chairs and using one as a weapon (Referee Fred was distracted…). As they fought, Corino continued to work on Omori’s right arm doing significant damage, Omori eventually blocked a flurry of offense from Corino, hit the Axe Guillotine Driver, and two Axe Bombers for the 1-2-3.

Omori raised the AWA World Heavyweght belt in triumph, as Otani ran in to secure the title around his friends waist. Corino asked for a handshake but Omori could only offer his left hand since his right was injured from the accumulated damage. All the ZERO-ONE fighters then came to the ring as Omori took the mic and told the fans he’s appreciated the strong attendance at the show (Otani also came out before the show to thank the fans for coming in such numbers) and gave the “3-2-1- ZERO-ONE!” call with all in present in Korakuen Hall. Afterwards during interviews with the media, Omori announced that according to AWA regulations he has to defend the title in the United States in 2 months time.

Other matches on the show saw Fudo beat Jeto Yamagasa, Yoshihito Sasaki beat Nami, Otani beat Sai, and Fujita pinned well known Northeast indy wrestler Sonjay Dutt in a six-man where Fujita was teamed with Takaiwa and Hidaka. Dutt was teamed with fellow gaijin Spanky and Super Crazy.


Tokyo, Japan – January 23rd, 2004
Korakuen Hall
1,600 fans


AWA Heavyweight Champioship – Decision Match :
o Takao Omori © vs. Steve Corino x
(24:53 –> Axe Bomber)

Testuhito Takaiwa
Ikuto Hidaka
o Minoru Fujita
vs. Spanky
Super Crazy
Sonjay Dutt x
(11:47 –> facebuster)

o Shinjiro Otani vs. Ryouji Sai x
(11:47 –> King Cobra hold)

o Yoshihito Sasaki vs. Osamu Namiguchi x
(8:06 –> Argentine Coaster)

3 -Way AWA Heavyweight Tournament – Semi-Finals (1):
o Takao Omori vs. Kohei Sato x
Kensuke Sasaki
(8:08 –> Axe Bomber)

3 -Way AWA Heavyweight Tournament – Semi-Finals (2):
Masato Tanaka vs. Simon Diamond x
o Steve Corino
(10:13 –> lariat)

o Rikiya Fudo vs. Shinsuke Z Yamagasa x
(10:18 –> Fudo driver)


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