February 5, 2004
Zero-One offshoot launches Friday
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling
North American fans of Japan's Zero-one promotion have reason to celebrate, as its American cousin, World-one, launches this weekend with shows in Pottstown and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in Fall River, Massachusetts.
"We are really excited about the debut shows." Steve Corino, who has been working on promoting the shows for the last few weeks, told SLAM! Wrestling. "We have Masato Tanaka and Yoshihito Sasaki coming in from Pro Wrestling Zero-one. We have some great Canadian and American talent."
Included in that talent are CM Punk, The Christopher Street Connection, The Extreme Horseman's CW Anderson & Simon Diamond, as well as Brian Kendrick, better known as Spanky. Kendrick sent shockwaves through the wrestling community recently when he asked for, and was given, his release from his WWE contract.
"Spanky and I have always been really close, we share the same birthday. When he started coming over to Japan we always had a great relationship, so with his return to Zero-One it opens the door for him to come into World-One. He comes back Friday teaming with Low Ki against Jerry Lynn and Justin Credible. A lot of people who have been emailing us are excited about Saturday's show, for the first time ever Spanky vs. Homocide. He is also scheduled for Sunday. He's really excited about coming."
The idea of promoting in the States has been batted around by the Zero-One office for a while; it was late in 2003 when the decision was made to go for it.
"The idea of branching out was an idea that the office and I have had for eight or nine months, since we started Zero-One USA last January, we thought about starting a promotion in America on a smaller scale. We decided late last year we were going to start in February and now here we are a couple of days away."
Although all three shows are important, the one at the Fall River Cultural Center has special meaning. All money raised will be going to the Christopher James "WE CAN BEAT IT" Cancer Fund" for Christopher Litchfield, a four-year-old boy who has cancer.
The Philadelphia show is running at Corino's old stomping ground: Viking Hall, aka ECW arena. A special 4:00 p.m. bell time allows for them to make room for Combat Zone Wrestling to run its fifth Anniversary show in the same building that night and allows fans the chance to take in both shows and two very distinct styles of wrestling. With Ring of Honor, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, East Coast Wrestling Alliance and CZW all running in the same area, some think that there could be an over-saturation of the market that would hurt everyone. Corino disagrees.
"The Philadelphia area and the east coast in general are so hot for independent wrestling. All those promotions have their own distinct style, and that is why the fans keep coming out. World-One will be a distinctly Japanese strong-style as opposed to the innovative style of ROH or the more hardcore nature of CZW. We are giving them the total Japanese style of pro wrestling, the same rules, and concepts and booking style. An alternative to the alternative."
For ticket and show information visit www.zerooneusa.com. SLAM! Wrestling’s Corey D. Lacroix will be checking out the shows and filing a report next week.
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Jason Clevett is a freelance writer from Calgary, Alberta. He will have a full profile on "The King of Old School" Steve Corino in the upcoming weeks.