Here are some note from Steve corino which addresses some of the differences between America and Japan.
Notes from 2005 shoot interview with Steve Corino -$1.2 million was missing from the Zero-One bank account, and the company was 4 days from going under when they reorganized in 2004. Lots of people invested: Ohtani, Nakamura and his father, the ring announcer, etc. Corino says that Hashimoto was facing a lawsuit over the money, and that his girlfriend (Kodo Fuyuki’s widow) was somehow involved. -When Zero-One was in trouble, Choshu decided to rejoin New Japan.
One night while Corino and Spanky were walking on the street, a very drunk Choshu picked them up and took them to a bar. Choshu offered to take them with him to Newapan, especially because he thought Corino could do more as a serious wrestler. They turned him down, deciding to be loyal. Then, Nakamura said he was trying to go to New Japan and Corino was shocked. (Of course, Nakamura ended up helping Zero-One stay afloat so Corino was able to keep doing tours). -He got in a legal/financial scrape because of an ex-girlfriend and had to put $13,000 in an escrow account. Nakamura gave him the money for it, and Steve was able to repay him when he (Steve) was cleared a year later.
Choshu and Kawada don’t call any spots, they just expect you to know in advance what’s coming next. (Which in Choshu’s case is easy, and Steve had no problem with it). One time, he was told that the finish would be whatever and whenever Choshu wanted.
On working in Japan: A heel needs to stay on top of a babyface because they’ll start coming back if you give them too much time/space. Most of the match isn’t called or planned, especially the opening minutes. The goal is to make sure it looks competitive rather than cooperative.
On Japanese-style stiffness: Ohtani does a ‘big punch’ spot and wanted to make sure Corino sold it. Corino asked Masato Tanaka about it, and Tanaka of all people said it was dangerous. Sure enough, Ohtani landed a hard punch just below the ear that had Corino wobbling. Also, on his first couple tours Corino was eating some elbows where the wrestlers were driving through rather than stopping when the blow made contact; they lightened up eventually.
He said that Kohei Sato did a running elbow where the point of the elbow made contact, and kept doing it until Hashimoto took one and made him stop. Takaiwa would always stiff wrestlers he hadn’t worked with before.
Young wrestlers would get in trouble for selling a loose shot. Ohtani’s finger-biting spot hurts so much you can’t do a fakey “ow ow ow” reaction.
Corino spent months learning Japanese style in the Zero-One dojo, because he figured that was where he could earn a living.