Toryumon Vamonos Amigos, December 2001
review by Ryan Mancuso

Hello again, I am back with another review from Toryumon Japan. This one takes place a month later with the December 2001 airing of Vamonos Amigos. Unlike last month taking place on three different shows, this episode takes place over one show. There will be very minimal to no clipping of the matches. This episode aired matches from the November 8 show at Korakuen Hall. Last month, they aired one match from this show. It was CIMA's return to the ring and him using the Schwein for the very first time to defeat Chocoflake K-ICHII in 59 seconds. This month all of the main matches are airing from the show. M2K debuts a new member when Masaaki Mochizuki & the new member take on Ryo Saito & Big Fuji. Luchadores Ricky Marvin and Gran Apache face off in a #1 contender’s match for Magnum TOKYO's British Commonwealth Jr. Heavyweight Title. Also, SAITO debuts a new student in Super Shisa. Enough with the preview and onto the action:

The show started off with some clips from the October 28 Differ Ariake show which aired on last month’s episode. The only thing that was new footage was Genki Horiguchi attacking Ricky Marvin after a match. This month's guest in the studio is M2K’s leader Masaaki Mochizuki.

Magnum TOKYO & Dragon Kid vs. Susumu Mochizuki & Darkness Dragon

This was a great opener with everybody being on their game for this one. The chemistry between Kid and Darkness was just amazing. Susumu and Darkness functioned really well as a team. They had that chemistry that made Susumu and Kanda really work as a tag team. Susumu did a Ric Flair-esque delayed vertical suplex on Kid. Kid looks great when he hits his big moves. In this match, he did. Magnum was the weak link, but not by much. Kid won the match for his team when he used his Ultra Hurricanrana, which is a springboard Hurricanrana, on Susumu.

Exhibition Match: Super Shisa vs. Kenichiro Arai

The retired SAITO introduced a student he has been working to the crowd. It is a masked man named Super Shisa. Tonight, he has a 5-minute exhibition match with Kenichiro Arai. Both men traded holds with Shisa using a unique escape from a hammerlock. Shisa showed that he was definitely a student of SAITO’s when he used a SAITO Special right before the bell rang.

#1 Contender’s Match for the British Commonwealth Jr. Heavyweight Title: Ricky Marvin vs. Gran Apache

This was an interesting match because it was a battle between two wrestlers who were working for rival promotions in Mexico. Ricky Marvin was in CMLL and Gran Apache was in AAA. If they had been wrestling in the same promotion in Mexico, then they probably would have had a lot of matches with each other on the undercard. Apache is the midcard, veteran Rudo who can make young guys look good and teach them a few things in the ring. Marvin is the young, rising Technico who is definitely willing to learn to become a better wrestler. It felt like they would have been perfect for each other.

Despite not working with each much, these two men put on a good match. It still made you feel like they could have done better if they just wrestled each other more. They showed that veteran vs. youth chemistry that I just mentioned. There was one bad mess up where Apache was running the ropes for a dive on the floor, but his foot missed the second rope and nearly crotched himself there. Thankfully, he was okay and able to continue the match. Apache nearly got the victory with the Black Tiger Bomb. However, Marvin was able to roll him up in a La Magistral for the victory.

Ryo Saito & Big Fuji vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & X

Ryo & Fuji debut their Bicycle Brothers team by riding together to the ring in a bicycle. After Mochizuki comes to the ring in the M2K trademark scooters, the ring announcer calls out for X. The newest member of M2K is Genki Horiguchi!

Ryo Saito & Big Fuji vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Genki Horiguchi

This certainly answers a lot of questions. Magnum TOKYO, Dragon Kid and Kenichiro Arai are not happy with Genki decision to join M2K. They are blocking his entrance to the ring. They do clear a path for Genki to enter. The first thing he does is spit at Magnum TOKYO. TOKYO is outraged and climbs on the apron to try to get a piece of his former friend. Genki kicks him off the apron and slaps Arai in the face. Genki and Mochi shake hands, then immediate attack Ryo and Fuji. They throw them out of the ring. The bell rings, and the match starts with a brawl on the floor.

Genki and Mochi nail their opponents on the floor with chairs. Genki and Ryo are back in the ring. Genki is taunting Ryo with slaps. Ryo fights back with slaps to the chest. He whips Genki off the ropes. Ryo leapfrogs and Genki rolls under him. Genki connects with a dropkick, and then takes down Ryo again with a tilt-a-whirl armdrag. Ryo catches Genki with a savate kick to the midsection. He runs off the ropes and takes Genki down with a facecrusher. Ryo catches Genki with a low dropkick to the face. It causes Genki to roll out of the ring while Ryo tags in Fuji.

Now, it is Fuji and Mochi in the ring. Mochi throws his hard kicks. However, Fuji absorbs the pain and asks for more. Mochi runs off the ropes for a spin kick, but Fuji catches him and drops him with a backdrop suplex. Fuji uses a shoulderblock that sends Mochi through the ropes. Fuji climbs the top turnbuckle, and looks like he is going for a plancha. As usual, Fuji loses his footing and cannot connect with the move.

Genki has entered the ring. He and Fuji trade waistlocks. Ryo enters the ring to nail Genki from behind, but accidentally nails Fuji. It looks like there is trouble already with the Bicycle Brothers. Genki runs off the ropes, but the Bicycle Brothers catch him with a double kick. It looks like things are now all better between the two. They run off the ropes and take Genki down with a double facecrusher. They run off the ropes again, but Yasushi Kanda and Darkness Dragon trip them up. In a little payback from earlier, Genki hits a low dropkick to Ryo's face. Genki snapmares Ryo down, and dropkicks his former friends back this time.

Genki puts Ryo in between the ropes, and it gives Mochi the opportunity to have a clean shot with his kicks. Mochi enters the ring. He aggressively kicks at Ryo's leg. He puts Ryo's leg on the ropes, runs off and drops his weight on the leg. It looks like M2K has targeted Ryo’s leg. They slam Ryo's leg on the ring post for even more damage. Genki runs off the ropes and dropkicks Ryo in the leg. He locks in a single-leg Boston crab, and Mochi kicks at Ryo’s leg. Fuji tries to save his partner, but Genki throws him out of the ring. Genki and Mochi whip Ryo off the ropes. They catch him with a double chop to the midsection. Mochi uses a kneebreaker and locks in a leglock.

Fuji tries to save again, but Genki cuts him off. After a brief struggle, Ryo reaches the ropes. Mochi and Genki go for another double team attack. However, Fuji pushes Ryo out of the way and absorbs the attack. Ryo is whipped into the corner, and Mochi charges in with a jumping knee. He whips Ryo into a Genki dropkick. They go for another double team attack, but Fuji trips up Mochi on the floor. Ryo evades a Genki dropkick which made Genki hit his tag partner. Ryo catches Genki with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.

Fuji is now in the ring with Mochi. Mochi goes for a lariat, but Fuji ducks and catches him with a dropkick. The impact of it sends Mochi to the floor. Fuji actually does a plancha to Mochi on the floor. All 4 men are in the ring. Ryo and Fuji runs off the ropes simultaneously. Ryo catches Mochi with a hurricanrana, and Fuji catches Genki with a sitdown splash. They go for one of Ryo's trademark submissions in the Cycling Yahoo. To add a little comedy to the situation, Fuji has a difficult time applying the hold on Genki. Eventually, he figures out how the move works. With Susumu distracting the referee, Yasushi Kanda enters the ring to break up Fuji's hold with a blue box attack.

There were plenty of counters in the next exchange of moves. Mochi caught a Ryo savate kick and nailed Ryo with a savate kick of this own. Mochi was going for a brainbuster, but Ryo landed on his feet behind Mochi. Fuji was going for a lariat on Mochi, but accidentally nailed Ryo. Fuji tried a chokeslam on Mochi, but it was broken up. Mochi blocked one Fuji lariat with a kick, but Fuji connected big time with a second one. Fuji covered, but Mochi kicked out at 2. Ryo dropkicked Mochi into Fuji’s arms. It looked like Fuji was going for a German Suplex, but Mochi landed on his feet.

Genki connects with a springboard dropkick on Ryo and Mochi with an axe kick on Fuji. Genki has the blue box and nails Fuji with it a few times. With Fuji holding the blue box, Mochi does a Van Daminator style triangle enzuigiri. Mochi covers, but Ryo breaks it up with the blue box. Genki goes for another springboard dropkick, but Ryo catches him with a dropkick to the midsection. Ryo hits a few savate kicks to Genki’s midsection. Ryo plants Genki with a fisherman’s buster. He covers, but Genki escapes at 2.

Genki catches Ryo with a headscissors variation, and locks in the GH Lock. Ryo is fighting desperately to escape the hold. After a struggle and some encouragement with “Ryo” chants from the crowd, Ryo does escape. Genki goes for the Beach Break on Ryo, but Fuji breaks it up with a lariat. Mochi comes out of nowhere to nail Fuji with a missile dropkick. Genki goes for the Beach Break on Fuji. Fuji holds onto the ropes to prevent the move from happened. However, Mochi kicks Fuji’s arm off the ropes. Genki plants Fuji with his version of the Vertebreaker. Genki covers, but the referee stopped the count at 2 when he saw Fuji's leg underneath the ropes.

Ryo enters the ring, but Genki catches him in a tornado DDT. Genki uses a springboard moonsault for a 2 count. Ryo is whipped into the corner again. Mochi goes for another jumping knee attack, but Ryo gets out of the ring. Mochi goes flying over the top rope and onto the floor. Ryo catches Genki in a German Suplex Hold, but Genki manages to barely kick out at 2. Ryo goes for a Dragon Suplex Hold, but Genki low blows out of the attempt. Mochi enters the ring and nails a recovering Fuji on the apron with a high kick. Mochi whips Genki off the ropes, and Genki dives onto Fuji on the floor with a tope con giro.

Ryo whips Mochi into the corner and charges in. However, Mochi connects with an axe kick. Mochi succeeds in his attempt at the Dragon Suplex Hold. It looked like it was over for Ryo, but he miraculously kicks out at 2. Mochi uses another axe kick. He runs off the ropes, but Ryo catches him with a variation of the inside cradle that he calls the Messenger. The referee counts: 1! 2! 3! Ryo Saito has just scored a major upset in pinning M2K’s leader Masaaki Mochizuki. Fans throw streamers in appreciation for Ryo’s win.

However, M2K does a post match attack that leads to CIMA making the save. Mochi and CIMA exchanges words on the microphone. They agree to a hair vs. hair match at the major Toryumon show that would take place a month later. Ultimo Dragon enters the ring to talk on the microphone. He makes the match official. After Mochi and CIMA leave, the lights dim and Ultimo Dragon makes a speech on the microphone. It is a somber speech because it seemed like he was saying that his injuries would never recover and that he would have to officially retire. Toryumon President Takashi Okumura spoke some words. However, Mochi interrupted things and talked trash to Ultimo.

Things got physical with Mochi and Ultimo trading kicks, and it was the first time in years since Ultimo Dragon got into physical action. M2K attacks Ultimo and Okumura to the jeers of the crowd. Mochi uses his Triangle Enzuigiri on Ultimo, and Genki plants his teacher with the Beach Break. Everyone, from both Toryumon Japan and Crazy MAX, entered the ring to stop the attack. CIMA went right after Mochi. This attack made Ultimo Dragon more determined to make a comeback to the ring.

Now, it is time for my thoughts. This was a great mix of angle progression and match quality. They finally pulled the trigger on a significant development in the Ryo, Genki & Fuji angle by having Genki join M2K. With Chocoflake being gone after CIMA beat him in 59 seconds and Kanda wound up retiring as a result of his neck injury, Genki joining up with the group would give them an extra member. Even after the match, they were able to hype up a big CIMA vs. Mochi hair match and help answer the question about Ultimo Dragon’s status with the M2K attack. The quality of this match was really good as well. Mochi was intense with his kicks. Genki was hitting a lot of the flashy moves. It is uncommon for the Rudo to have the flashy moves in a match, but this was Genki’s heel turn so there was some emphasis on him. He did a really nice takedown into the GH Lock and the springboard moonsault later in the match. Ryo was the underdog babyface who kept getting beat up, but never stayed down. Fuji was in the enforcer role and the match a little levity with some of his comedic antics. Fuji also did a fine job at keeping his involvement minimal so that the match did not feel like it had to slow down.

It seemed that not even the studio was safe from confrontation. Mochi was talking trash. The other announcers informed Mochi that CIMA was in the studio. CIMA showed up. He and Mochi had a verbal confrontation. It seemed that things would get physical, but Mochi just walked out angry. As the show was closing, CIMA took over the special guest in the studio.

Final Thoughts:
Another great episode of Vamonos Amigos from Toryumon Japan. The promotion was just on fire during this period. Some great matches with angles that progressed in each episode. Magu/Kid vs. Susumu/Darkness and Ryo/Fuji vs. Mochi/Genki were great fast-paced tag matches. Marvin vs. Apache was also good. The Shisa exhibition was fun. They finally pulled the trigger on Genki's heel turn, and Ultimo Dragon got physically involved. This episode is a definite recommendation in my book.

Final Score: 8.0 [Very Good]

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