Toryumon 2000 Project on 1/23/02
review by Ryan Mancuso

Hello again, I am back with part two of my reviews of Toryumon 2000 Project. This was the second ever taping for the promotion. It took place on January 23, 2002 at Korakuen Hall. The main event was once again held under Lucha Libre Classica rules. This time it was a six-man match with the three highest ranked T2P wrestlers in Milano Collection AT, Masato Yoshino & Stevie Brother Tsujimoto facing Anthony W. Mori, Takayuki Yagi & Toryumon Japan's Ryo Saito. The first show was really unique with the T2P wrestlers showing a style totally different from Toryumon Japan. I thought T2P made a great debut. Let’s see if there is a repeat performance when the review starts right now:

Shuji Kondo vs. Jun Ogawauchi

This was a very good opener with a story being told in the match. Kondo was going to use his power to win the match, and Ogawauchi would attack Kondo's leg with submissions throughout the match to make sure his strength is useless. Ogawauchi caught him in a really nice wrist-clutch fisherman suplex hold for a 2 count, while Kondo nearly KO’ed Ogawauchi with a lariat. In the end, it was Kondo’s power that prevailed. He caught Ogawauchi in his awesome looking spear and slammed him with the jackhammer. Unlike Goldberg, Kondo did not go for the cover and locked Ogawauchi in the Gorilla Clutch. The Gorilla Clutch, in the best way I could describe it, is an inverted Texas Cloverleaf. Ogawauchi fought hard to try and survive. Once Kondo dragged him back to the center of the ring and lock him in a bodyscissors, Ogawauchi had to submit.

Noriaki Kawabata vs. Raimu Mishima

There was a lot more striking than usual with this match, but I was not impressive with it. Kawabata's strikes did look comical, especially with the fans laughing, for a guy who seemed to do an MMA type gimmick. Both men were fine when trading holds, but I thought the strikes just dragged this match down a little too much. Kawabata won with the Bukogatame 2, which is a hybrid of Indian Deathlock, Guillotine Choke & chickenwing armlock.

TARU vs. Kinya Oyanagei

It looks like Oyanagei changed his gimmick from the first T2P show. Instead of being a defeated soldier, he is now a student attending university. TARU did not recognize him because Oyanagei has changed his look with his beard shaven and coke-bottle glasses. He kept calling Oyanagei to come to the ring. Every time he said Oyanagei’s name, Oyanagei would raise his hand like a student. Even though the match was pretty similar to the first T2P show, Oyanagei's change in gimmick and how he portrayed it with everything he did really made this match work. Instead of saluting at every moment, Oyanagei would raise his hand like a student. There were parts of the match where he would grab his book and read it. I guess he had an assignment due the next day. Oyanagei teased the salute gesture on a Cobra Twist, but he raised his hand instead. It seemed the change in profession was not enough for Oyanagei because TARU planted him with the TARU Driller for the pinfall.

Exhibition Match: Jorge Rivera vs. TARUcito

As said in the title, this was exhibition of various unique submissions and pinfalls by T2P trainer Jorge Rivera. Rivera looked really smooth on the mat and showed that the student still had a lot to learn. Although, TARUcito did get some close near falls and submissions. This seemed to be a five minute Iron Man Match with Rivera winning 3-0. The exhibition was not over because Ultimo Dragon & the ring announcer called out Jun Ogawauchi to the ring. Ogawauchi was going to be the test dummy for how Rivera taught some of the unique moves in T2P like the AT Lock for Milano Collection AT.

Touru Owashi vs. Syachihoko Machine #1 & #2

T2P's Power Fighter is in a handicap match with the Syachihoko Machines. Just like Oyanagei, they seem to embrace the comedy. Both men want to be introduced as #1 and deny being #2. The best way to describe the Syachihoko Machines wrestling style is to picture them as synchronized swimmers of pro wrestling. Owashi was too strong and smart for his opponents. He finished off both Machines with a Double Senshuurakugatame. That is where he ties up the legs of both men then wrap their arms around they own neck.

Lucha Libre Classica Rules: Milano Collection AT, Masato Yoshino & Stevie Brother Tsujimoto vs. Ryo Saito, Anthony W. Mori & Takayuki Yagi

This was the main event of the second TV taping for T2P. It looked Mori got a modification in gimmick because he is now a British Prince. With Iwasa getting injured, Yagi gets a big opportunity to main event. It was a very good match with the emphasis being that Milano, Yoshino and Stevie were the top three guys that T2P has. There was plenty of triple teaming from those three. Of course, there were many unique submissions from the T2P guys. It played off the story that Milano Collection AT has Ryo’s number. It does not matter how close Ryo comes to beating him. Milano had a counter for every big move Ryo tried. Although, Milano had some luck this time because his partners saved him from getting pinned with a German Suplex hold and planted with a Dragon Suplex Hold. Yoshino continued to impress with his amazing speed, and Mori for doing his best to keep up with someone as fast as Yoshino. Stevie and Yagi were the weak links from both sides, but both men performed well enough to not drag the match down. Here is my best attempt at play-by-play for the match:

Milano and Ryo start out the match. They tussle on the mat with Ryo gaining the advantage. He put Milano in a lengthy side headlock. Milano tried to escape, but Ryo was persistent with the side headlock. Milano would escape and put Ryo in these submissions that made you think Ryo was a ball. Milano locked Ryo in a variation of the Paradise Lock in which the arms and legs were tied to the ropes. Milano runs off the ropes and dropkicks Ryo to the floor. Yagi and Stevie are in the ring. They trade chops, but neither man is budging. They also trade shoulderblocks, but neither man goes down again. Yagi goes for another shoulderblock, and knocks Stevie down. Yagi dropkicks Stevie with the impact was a bit over exaggerated when he went over the top rope and onto the floor.

Yoshino and Mori are in the ring. They have a really fast exchange with them trading armbars and various reversals. Yoshino catches Mori in his reverse tarantula with Milano knocked Ryo and Yagi off the apron. Yoshino lets go and gives a Tarzan roar to the crowd. Milano snapmare's Mori down and gives him a kick to the back. Stevie uses some elbow smashes, and Milano with a bodyslam. Milano, Yoshino and Stevie use a triple team submission on Mori. Yoshino and Stevie would work on the shoulder and neck area of Mori, and Milano would use an Indian Deathlock. Yagi and Ryo would break it up. Yagi headbutt's the midsection of Milano, and Ryo runs off the ropes to driver Milano down with a face crusher.

Yagi snap suplexes Milano down, and Mori goes for a submission. Milano counters with an attempt for his version of the STF, which is a stepover toehold full nelson. Mori reaches the ropes at the last second. Milano, Yoshino and Stevie make good use of the six-sided ring when they whip Ryo, Mori and Yagi into opposite corners. Milano, Yoshino and Stevie ran off the ropes at the time to nail their opponents in corners with charging forearms. They did the same thing, but varied their moves with Milano using a beautiful handspring elbow on Yagi. Yoshino and Stevie gorilla press Yagi in the air, and Milano takes him down with a Diamond Cutter. Yoshino called for the kill when he used his set up move the awesome looking Torbellino. He made Yagi submit to the Sol Naciente to win the first fall for his team.

Milano and Ryo start the second fall. Yoshino and Stevie sneak attack Ryo, and they triple team him. Milano sends Ryo shoulder first into the turnbuckle, and locks him in a rope assistance STF variation. Yoshino and Stevie also trap Yagi and Mori into submissions. Once they release those submissions, they put them into another triple submission sequence. Yoshino and Stevie whip Yagi off the ropes. Yagi catches Milano with a Yakuza kick that knocks him off the apron and onto the floor.

From there submissions where traded when Yagi uses a roll facelock and headscissors submission that Yoshino breaks up. Yoshino puts Yagi in a submission, but Mori breaks that up. Mori puts Yoshino in a bow-and-arrow hold. Milano breaks it up. Milano rolls Mori up into a ball. Ryo breaks that up with a dropkick. Ryo goes for the Cycling Yahoo, but Milano has his number by quickly countering. Ryo gets back into position by trying the submission from doing a La Magistral cradle first, but Milano counters again. Milano locks Ryo in a standing submission from the piledriver position in which Ryo's legs are tied up. Mori breaks it up.

Stevie runs off the ropes, and catches Mori with a running blockbuster. Mori escapes with a go behind, and nails Stevie with a superkick. He takes Stevie down with a face crusher. Stevie catches Mori with a crucifix cradle into some unique submission that the camera angle could not pick up. Yagi makes the save, and Yoshino takes him down. Yoshino locks Yagi in another variation of the STF where he puts his body in between Yagi’s legs with the facelock applied. Yagi reaches the ropes. Yoshino runs off the ropes. Yagi tries a tilt-a-whirl, but Yoshino counters that into an Octopus Hold. Yagi manages to escape without reaching the ropes. Yagi catches Yoshino with a Yakuza kick and covers. Yoshino is out at 2. Yagi catches Yoshino with backslide, but Yoshino is again out at 2. Yagi catches Yoshino in a swinging fisherman suplex. He covers, but Milano saves him.

Ryo springboards off the ropes, but Milano catches him with a forearm. Milano picks Ryo up, but gets nailed with two savate kicks to the midsection. Ryo goes for a fisherman suplex, but Milano transitions that into his AT Lock. It looked like Ryo was in serious trouble, but Mori and Yagi make the save. Mori grabs Milano's arm, runs up the ropes and gives him an armbreaker. Yagi uses a fisherman suplex small package for a near fall. Ryo recovers and uses a German Suplex Hold. Yoshino makes the save at the very last second. I'm talking about a 2.9 count there. Ryo can feel victory and tries a Dragon Suplex Hold. Stevie breaks it up. Milano recovers enough to use an enzuigiri Yoshino and Stevie use a double team inverted vertical suplex. Yoshino covers, but Ryo kicks out.

As soon as Ryo kicked out, Yoshino moved out the way and Milano hit a picture perfect Asai Moonsault. Milano continued with his amazing Asai Moonsault into twisting somersault senton. Amazing how Milano makes it looked twist at the very last second. Milano locks Ryo into his Paradise Lock, and Ryo taps out. After the match, Milano puts his foot on Ryo’s back while still wrapped up like a ball. Milano, Yoshino and Stevie pose on the beaten Ryo. Milano, Yoshino and Stevie score the clean sweep. Milano still has Ryo's number. After the match, Ultimo gets the T2P roster into the ring. He announces a tournament for the NWA International Light Heavyweight Title at future T2P shows.

Final Thoughts: Another very good taping from T2P. It was different from the first taping because it felt like less of an exhibition because fans were starting to understand the T2P style. Kondo and Ogawauchi had a really good opener. The comedy from Oyanagei and Syachihoko Machines was good. The exhibition from Rivera was fun to watch. The main event was a great way to close the show. Another highly recommended show from me.

Final Score: 8.0 [Very Good]

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