Toryumon 2000 Project on 12/26/02
review by Ryan Mancuso

Hello again, this is the final part of my series of reviews from Toryumon 2000 Project. This actually takes place on two different days. First, the Young Dragons Cup was shown. It took place on December 7 at a Toryumon Mexico show in Mexico City. It was an 8-man single elimination tournament that features wrestlers from T2P and the next class of Toryumon students called Toryumon X. Finally, matches from T2P at Korakuen Hall on December 26 were shown. There were two major singles matches. In a battle between T2P and Toryumon Japan, YOSSINO battles K-Ness. In the main event, Milano Collection AT defends his NWA International Light Heavyweight Title against CIMA. This was a high stakes match because two companies were on the line. CIMA was defending Toryumon Japan and Milano was defending T2P. It means that the loser of the match would be directly responsible for their company shutting down. The review begins now:

Before we get to the matches on December 26, there is a feature on the Young Dragons Cup. The Young Dragons Cup is a one night tournament held every December at a Toryumon Mexico show. The winner is usually someone who is seen as the next big star from within the school. Previous winners include Magnum TOKYO, Genki Horiguchi, Yasushi Kanda, Milano Collection AT and Touru Owashi. In 2002, the tournament took place on December 7. It featured wrestlers from the T2P class and next class of Toryumon wrestlers called Toryumon X. Clips of the quarterfinals were shown with SUWAcito defeating Berlinetta Boxer with a low blow, Condotti Shuji defeating Small Dandy Fuji with the Gorilla Clutch, Jun Ogawauchi defeating Koichiro Arai with the Samurai Lock and Taiji Ishimori defeating Henry III Sugawara with what looked like a backflip elbowdrop or senton.

Young Dragons Cup Semi-Finals: Condotti Shuji vs. SUWAcito

A continuation of the Crazy MAX vs. Italian Connection rivalry, but this time with the mini version of SUWA facing Shuji. It seemed that SUWAcito had the match won, but Boxer interfered that gave Shuji the chance to jackhammer SUWAcito down and lock in the Gorilla Clutch for the submission win.

Young Dragons Cup Semi-Finals: Taiji Ishimori vs. Jun Ogawauchi

It looked Ogawauchi was going to pull off the victory, but the Toryumon X ace managed to counter Ogawauchi's fireman’s carry with a sunset flip for the pin in under 5 minutes.

Young Dragons Cup Finals: Taiji Ishimori vs. Condotti Shuji

This was a good final. Despite having only a little over 18 months experience at the time, I thought Shuji wrestled like a veteran and gave this match some direction. Shuji would use his strength advantage to keep the high-flying Taiji on the mat. Taiji would fight back with a nice quebrada off the top rope, and onto Shuji and Boxer on the floor. It looked like Shuji had the match wrapped up when he was about to put Taiji in the Gorilla Clutch, but Taiji countered with a small package for the victory. After the match, Shuji asked for a handshake. Taiji shook, but Shuji managed to steal Taiji’s trophy. It looks like there is a rivalry brewing between a member of the T2P class and Toryumon X's ace.

Now, we are at the December 26 Korakuen show.

Anthony W. Mori, Phillip J. Fukumasa & Henry III Sugawara vs. Jun Ogawauchi, Kinya Oyanagei & Noriaki Kawabata

From the time between this review and the previous review, Mori formed his own stable of British princes with Fukumasa and Sugawara. This was a decent match with some good triple teams. Oyanagei would use his partners back as a step ladder to use a charging corner splash. Later, Ogawauchi would swing Oyanagei around to where Oyanagei would nail them with elbows. I thought Fukumasa and Kawabata were the weak links in their teams. They had an exchange that fell apart, and were unsure what to do next. The British princes would use a triple submission, but they would eventually be countered and caught in submissions of their own. Sugawara won the match for the Royal Brothers when he used the Buckingham Backbreaker.

Masks vs. Masks: Syachihoko Machine #1 & #2 vs. Syachihoko Machine #3 & #4

Until Machine’s #3 & 4 took off #1 & #2’s belt, the action was quite confusing because all four men wore the same costume. There was a run-in by Syachihoko Machine’s in black costumes, but they played no difference in the outcome of the match. Machine’s #1 & #2 got the pin on #3 with their Syachihoko Clutch. After the match, Machine’s #3 & #4 unmasked. They were Toryumon X’s twin brothers Kei & Shu Sato.

YOSSINO vs. K-Ness

This was a great match. The chemistry between these men was so natural such as K-Ness countering a YOSSINO headscissors attempt with the Judah. The match was so good that they put them together throughout 2003. K-Ness needed a new rival after his long feud with Dragon Kid. It gave YOSSINO a chance to show that he more than just someone who was beneath Milano on the pecking order. K-Ness was great at being the man who can catch the high risk wrestlers doing their crazy stuff and make it look good. He did it throughout the Dragon Kid feud, and showed he could do it without YOSSINO despite never being a part of the T2P class.

Just to do a brief rant that is semi-relevant to this match. I have to say that while I am not a big fan of the over abundance of interference that big matches in the Toryumon system have, but it does not bother as much because of the way it is done. The interference is usually done to get over the idea of rivaling factions doing anything to make sure their guy wins. They also give me a clean sequence for the last few minutes of a match. It is not interference with the finish being influenced by that interference. It is more like interference early, both guys recover enough to where there is no excuse for the interference being the reason for loss and then the finish. Here is the play-by-play:

YOSSINO immediately attacks K-Ness after he got streamers for his introduction. He throws K-Ness to the outsides and Irish whips him into the ring post. He slams K-Ness head into a chair and throws him back into the ring. He whips K-Ness off the ropes and slams him down on the mat. He whips K-Ness off the ropes again, and takes him down with a chop to the chest. YOSSINO is now stomping on K-Ness. YOSSINO slams K-Ness head into a turnbuckle. He whips him into the opposite corner and locks in the reverse tarantula. The referee is distracted and Susumu Yokosuka breaks it up with a dropkick to YOSSINO’s midsection.

He throws YOSSINO into the crowd. K-Ness recovers and whips him into the ring post. Both men are back in the ring. This time it is K-Ness doing the stomping. K-Ness with a side headlock and YOSSINO pushes him off the ropes. K-Ness connects with a dropkick to the knee. K-Ness starts to stomp, bend, dragon screw and drop his own weight on YOSSINO's knee. K-Ness goes on the floor and nails YOSSINO's knee with a running axe handle. K-Ness locks in the figure-four leglock. After a lengthy struggle, YOSSINO makes the ropes.

K-Ness bodyslams YOSSINO down and does a splash on his injured leg. More stomps on the knee by K-Ness. He whips YOSSINO into the corner and charges in with a jumping elbow. K-Ness knocks YOSSINO down with a lariat. He covers, but YOSSINO is out at 2. K-Ness catches YOSSINO with an enzuigiri and takes him down with a Rock Bottom. He covers again, but YOSSINO escapes at 2 once more. K-Ness locks in the Scorpion Deathlock. YOSSINO is fighting for survival and manages to reach the ropes.

K-Ness runs off the ropes, but Condotti Shuji trips him. He holds K-Ness for a YOSSINO baseball slide dropkick, but K-Ness escapes and it is Shuji who gets the feet to the face. K-Ness whips YOSSINO off the ropes, but YOSSINO catches him in the tilt-a-whirl into Octopus Hold. K-Ness is now the one fighting, but he manages to reach the ropes. YOSSINO is still feeling the effects of K-Ness working on that leg because he can barely standup. He whips K-Ness off the ropes and goes for a dropkick. K-Ness puts a halt to his momentum and YOSSINO only connects with air.

K-Ness runs off the ropes again. YOSSINO picks him up on his shoulders, spins K-Ness around and slams him face first on the mat. YOSSINO covers, but only gets a 2 count. YOSSINO runs off the ropes and connects with a neckbreaker drop for another nearfall. YOSSINO looks for a running headscissors, but K-Ness counters with the Judah. Berlinetta Boxer distracts the referee, and Italian Connection runs in to break the hold to the jeers of the crowd. They whip K-Ness into the corner and connect with a corner charging attack. Kondo goes for a lariat, but K-Ness pushes YOSSINO into the line of fire. Now, it is Do FIXER running in to use corner charge attacks on YOSSINO.

Susumu lifts YOSSINO on his shoulders. K-Ness climbs the top rope and connects with a diving knee onto YOSSINO. K-Ness picks up YOSSINO and spikes him with a brainbuster. K-Ness covers, but YOSSINO barely kicks out at 2. K-Ness plants YOSSINO with a vicious cross-arm powerbomb and goes for the pin. YOSSINO kicks out at 2.75. YOSSINO is just dead weight because K-Ness could not pick him up for a few seconds. When he does, he throws a few forearms. However, that might have woken up YOSSINO because he fires back with a forearm and a discus slap. YOSSINO runs off the ropes and K-Ness catches him with a jumping kick.

K-Ness covers, but picks up YOSSINO at 2. K-Ness is taunting the Italian Connection on the floor. K-Ness goes for another cross-arm powerbomb, but YOSSINO escapes and nails K-Ness with the Torbellino. He locks in Sol Naciente. K-Ness is fighting to reach the ropes. He is close, but YOSSINO pulls him closer to the center. K-Ness has no choice, but to submit. YOSSINO and K-Ness trade words on the microphone. It seems that this will not be the last time they meet in a ring.

NWA International Light Heavyweight Title: Milano Collection AT © vs. CIMA

This was as big of a high stakes match as it got because Milano’s title was not the only thing on the line. The fate of Toryumon Japan and T2P were on the line. CIMA winning means Toryumon Japan stays open, and T2P shuts down. Milano winning means T2P stays open, and Toryumon Japan shuts down. You could feel that this had a big match atmosphere when CIMA sat in the middle of the ring to try to block Milano’s catwalk as part of the entrance. Milano would walk to CIMA’s side and stand in front of him to pose for photos. When Milano turned around, there was a stare down between the two men.

This was a really good match. The crowd was hot with plenty of screaming from the female fans. Milano look on the top of his game here. He used some nice looking submissions, some of which I had never seen him use before, and even countered a few of CIMA’s moves into submissions. I thought Milano really held his own with one of Toryumon Japan’s aces, and showed why he was picked as the leader of the T2P class. CIMA looked great as well, but I felt was a step behind Milano in this match. There was plenty of interference from Crazy MAX and Italian Connection. It got so chaotic former wrestler turned referee Yasushi Kanda had to restore order, and take control of the refereeing duties of the match. Outside of a Crazy MAX chair shot onto Milano that played no direct difference in the outcome of the match, Kanda did a good job. He had help that Crazy MAX and Italian Connection were too busy brawling with each other on the floor.

The last two or three minutes saw a lot of big move teases from both men. CIMA went for the Iconoclasm, but Milano jumped over him as a counter. Milano went for the Paradise Lock and AT Lock, but CIMA managed to escape both submissions. Milano managed to succeed in applying the Paradise Lock on CIMA. However, CIMA escaped and recovered. CIMA connects with a superkick and won the match by nailing Milano with the Schwein. As a result, CIMA is the new champion and has ended T2P. Backstage, Milano apologized to the entire T2P roster for losing the match and ending T2P as a promotion. The T2P gave Milano a round of applause for the effort he put into the match and helping them show that T2P wrestlers can hang with Toryumon Japan wrestlers. T2P would get an official farewell show a month later.

Final Thoughts: This was another very good show from T2P. CIMA vs. Milano and YOSSINO vs. K-Ness were great matches. It showed that the T2P wrestlers were on the same level as the more established Toryumon Japan stars. The Young Dragons Cup was fun as well. Ishimori has some nice visually looking moves. Despite his lack of experience, Condotti Shuji was already wrestling like a veteran. The rest of the matches was watchable. Just like the other T2P shows, this one is a definite recommendation from me.

Final Score: 8.0 [Very Good]

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