Toryumon Vamonos Amigos Special, 9/30/01
review by Ryan Mancuso

Hello again, I have returned with yet another review from Toryumon Japan. This will be my last Toryumon Japan review for a while. You can expect something totally different the next time I do a review. This is from September 30, 2001. It is a special episode of Toryumon because it is an extended time slot with a full card being shown instead of matches that place from the month and some are clipped heavily due to a 2 hour time slot. You get to see what a full Toryumon Japan show looks like.

This show takes place at the Ota Ward Gym in Tokyo. It is a pretty historic building because that is where the first ever show for New Japan Pro Wrestling took place and the first ever Triple Crown Title match for All Japan. Tonight, Ota Ward Gym will host the first ever 5-way escape cage match. In that cage match, it will be Magnum TOKYO, CIMA, Masaaki Mochizuki, Dragon Kid and Darkness Dragon. The last man left in the cage will lose hair or mask. Also, Susumu Mochizuki defends his NWA Welterweight Title against Ryo Saito. The review begins now:

Before the matches begin, a video aired that showed the events from August 14 that set up tonight’s main event. From there, M2K entered the ring for some microphone work. Masaaki Mochizuki announced the card to the crowd with a slight M2K bias in his voice. Crazy MAX came down next to confront M2K on the microphone. Toryumon Japan entered last. Nothing physical broke out between the three sides, but it was pretty close during a verbal exchange between Big Fuji and Yasushi Kanda. Kanda yelling is so loud that everyone is covering their ears. After all three sides left, Stalker Ichikawa entered the ring. He has his arm in a cast, but does some comedy on the microphone.


Oh man, SUWA is in an extra surly mood tonight. SAITO tries a springboard plancha early, but SUWA throws a chair at him. SAITO crashes hard on the floor. Despite a few moments of hope, SUWA just wound up dominating SAITO in this match. SUWA finished off SAITO in less than 3 minutes with a double underhook facebuster starting from a Pedigree position that he calls the FFF. After the match, SUWA attacked the referee and expressed his anger towards the entire promotion on the microphone. He even spat at the Toryumon Japan logo when returning to the entrance way.

Genki Horiguchi vs. Gran Apache

This was a solid match with Apache being in the one in control for most of it. Genki was going to dive onto Apache on the floor, but Apache put a female fan into front of him. Genki halted and Apache got a kiss from the fan. Both men connected with some nice dives with Apache’s plancha and Genki’s tope con giro. Apache popped the crowd with his rolling surfboard submission. I will add Apache’s name on the list of wrestlers who throw great punches. They looked like they hurt. After teasing hitting their big moves, it was Apache who succeeded when he won the match with the Black Tiger Bomb.

Big Fuji & TARU vs. Yasushi Kanda & Chocoflake K-ICHI

The M2K team attacked Fuji and TARU at the entrance way, and the match was immediately underway. The first few minutes was just Kanda and Chocoflake isolating a member of Crazy MAX, and working over him. It definitely picked up at the end with some near falls. Fuji used a Van Daminator variation when he threw the M2K Blue Box at Kanda and lariated him down. From there, Fuji scored a very close nearfall with a chokeslam. A little bit later, Kanda nails Fuji with the Blue Box into a Chocoflake Ace Crusher. Kanda jumps off the top turnbuckle with a diving elbowdrop. Kanda covered, but TARU was there to barely make the save. Kanda won the match by using a German Suplex Hold on Fuji.

There was an intermission of matches for Ultimo Dragon to introduce the T2P students. They would have their debut show, which I reviewed already, about 6 weeks later. While everyone else on the T2P roster walks out together to the ring, Milano gets his own entrance. TARU and Ryo Saito show up to give their thoughts.

NWA Welterweight Title: Susumu Mochizuki © vs. Ryo Saito

This was a great match between two men would were breakthrough stars in 2001 and became main eventers in Dragon Gate. This was different than the usual fast-pace sprints in Toryumon Japan. It started off slow with them trading holds and neither finding an advantage. The slow build continued when Susumu saw a weakness with Ryo’s leg, and worked on it for a while. After the build up, the pace picked up and Ryo kept selling the injury after being able to use some of his bigger moves in the match. The injury also hampered Ryo in succeeding fully with his offense. My only complaint was that they got too cute with the run-ins and referee bump. If they had the same clean closing stretch as Susumu vs. Marvin from a month earlier, then I think this match would have been my 2001 Match of the Year in Toryumon and a definite candidate for overall Match of the Year. It is still a good match and worthy of a detailed description.

The match started off with both men very cautious in locking up. After some tussling on the mat, Ryo briefly gained the advantage with an armbar. Susumu quickly escaped. They had traded slaps to the chest. The first turning point of the match came when Ryo took Susumu down with a facecrusher and a low running dropkick to the face. Susumu rolled of the ring. It looked like Ryo was going to get a running start for a dive, but Yasushi Kanda tripped him up. He and Chocoflake mugged Ryo on the floor until SAITO and Kenichiro Arai were able to get the M2K guys off Ryo.

Susumu found an opening when he knocked Ryo down on the apron, and Ryo’s leg was caught on the ropes. Susumu focused on Ryo’s knee by using a kneecrusher onto a table on the floor. Then, Susumu would hit Ryo’s knee with a chair a few times. Susumu tries to Irish Whip Ryo off the ropes, but Ryo’s knee gives out and he couldn’t run. Susumu continues his assault on the leg with various submissions. With each hold, it looked like Ryo was in such pain that he would have to submit. However, Ryo fought through the pain to reach the ropes. Susumu placed Ryo’s injured knee on the bottom rope, climbed the top rope and connected with a diving kneedrop.

Ryo made a comeback with a rolling savate kick to Susumu’s midsection. He caught Susumu running off the ropes with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. He knocked Susumu to the floor with a dropkick. Despite having damage done to the knee, Ryo was able to use a running springboard plancha onto Susumu on the floor. After a hurricanrana and a few savate kicks, Ryo got a nearfall after he used the locomotion fisherman suplexes with the fisherman buster being the end of that movement.

Ryo was going for his Cycling Yahoo. However, exhaustion and pain caused a delay in the move. As a result, Susumu was able to counter and transition into slamming Ryo’s knees on the mat. Susumu locked in another knee submission, but Ryo was able to escape. Susumu climbed the top turnbuckles, but Ryo met him up there. Susumu was able to sunset flip off the turnbuckle and powerbomb Ryo on the mat. After slamming Ryo’s knees on the mat again, Susumu got a nearfall with a jackknife cradle.

15 minutes have passed in the match, and Susumu locks in the figure-four leglock. Ryo almost tapped out again, but managed to roll over and reach the ropes after a struggle. Susumu looked like he might have gone for the Yokosuka Cutter, but Ryo slid off his back on his feet. Ryo surprises Susumu with the German Suplex Hold, but he cannot hold the bridge because of the pain in this knee. Ryo was able to succeed with his Cycling Yahoo submission when he transitioned from a La Magistral into the hold. Susumu managed to escape the hold. Ryo was going for a Dragon Suplex Hold, but Susumu fought out of it.

Ryo runs off the ropes, but Kanda nails Ryo in the back with the Blue Box. Chocoflake distracts the referee, and Kanda enters the ring to do a double team move on Ryo. Susumu uses a Liger Bomb and goes for a cover, but Ryo kicks out at 2. More distracting the ref by Chocoflake allows another double team attempt from Susumu and Kanda. Susumu uses a Kamikaze Fireman’s Carry, and Kanda was going for his diving elbowdrop. However, Big Fuji showed up to prevent Kanda from doing the move. Kanda knocked Fuji down with the Blue Box, and Chocoflake took care of Fuji while Kanda had other matters.

Ryo goes for another savate kick, but Susumu pulls the referee in front him to take the brunt of the kick. Kanda KO’s the referee with a Blue Box shot to the head. Fuji recovered to trip up a Kanda running attack, and then ran-in to lariat Susumu. Ryo and Susumu are up. Susumu blatantly kicks Ryo in the groin. Susumu connects with the Yokosuka Cutter. Susumu covers, but there is no count because the referee is still knocked out from the Blue Box shot. Susumu picks Ryo up and knocks him down with a lariat again. Susumu revives the referee. Susumu goes for another Yokosuka Cutter, but Ryo counters into his small package variation called the Messenger. The referee makes the 3 count, and a new champion is crowned.

While that is going on, Big Fuji and Yasushi Kanda are brawling in the aisle. SUWA shows up and throws Kanda into the first few rows. He throws Big Fuji into the ring, and it looks like he wants to fight with his Crazy MAX stable mate. He and Big Fuji have had some problems in recent times. TARU shows up to keep the peace, but SUWA walks out unhappy. After that mess is finished, Ryo is awarded his newly won title belt.

Now, the cage is being put together and a video package aired with words shared by all of the competitors. I thought Darkness Dragon gave the best promo when he said nothing and gave the camera the middle finger.

Cage Escape Match: Magnum TOKYO vs. Dragon Kid vs. CIMA vs. Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Darkness Dragon

I thought this match was a great way to close out this show. As far as in-ring quality goes, it was not as great as Ryo vs. Susumu. There was still some really good action like with Dragon Kid being crisp with the execution of his flashy moves. I thought it was the storytelling that made this match great. CIMA’s knee injury and how Mochi was ruthless in attack it. It made you wonder how CIMA could get up and climb out the cage with the way he was clutching at his injured knee. Plus, the match showed how it was every man for himself and gave us exchanges that we would normally not see. Darkness Dragon and Mochi showed there was no honor among thieves because they had no problem fighting each other. Their first exchange was 2 or 3 minutes into the match. It was cool to see Kid and Magu have exchanges with each other. In my opinion, the ending was very dramatic even with the interference. Here is the detailed description of the match:

The rules of this match go like this. The way to win the match is to climb over the cage and to the floor. No open door escapes like you may see in the WWE. It is an elimination match with each escape being elimination until one man is left. In this match, being eliminated is a good thing. Basically, there are four winners and one loser. The last man in the ring will lose his hair, if it winds up being Magu, CIMA or Mochi, or his mask in the case of the two Dragon's. To add another twist, escapes cannot be attempted until 10 minutes has expired. So they will have to beat the hell out of each other for a little bit before they could try to leave.

As soon as the bell rings, Mochi forgets the 10 minute rule and tries to climb out. When Susumu tells him that he can’t escape now, he climbs back down to meet a double team from CIMA and Magu. To show that this was every man for himself, Mochi deliberately attacks Darkness. Darkness tried to form an alliance with Magu after they used a double dropkick on CIMA, but he double-crossed Magu. Magu, CIMA and Mochi used a triple dropkick on Darkness before realizing what they had done together.

At the 5 minute mark, Mochi briefly kicks at CIMA's injured knee. TARU tries to sneak an umbrella through the cage for CIMA to use, but the umbrella just won’t fit through the mesh. At the 2 minute mark, Mochi locks in a leglock on CIMA’s injured knee. Magu does the same to Darkness. At the 1 minute mark, everyone beats up Mochi. That includes his M2K stable mate Darkness Dragon. It looks like there is an unofficial deal made to beat down Mochi until the 10 minute mark has passed, and all 4 escape at the same time.

10 minutes has passed and each man goes to a corner to escape. Mochi realizes what is going on and quickly gets up to sprint to a corner. First, he takes down Dragon Kid. Next, he succeeds in getting Magnum TOKYO. With CIMA’s knee injury, it was pretty easy for him to take CIMA down. Finally, he goes after Darkness Dragon and takes him down. There is definitely no M2K alliance in this match. Darkness Dragon is whipped into the opposite corner. Dragon Kid, CIMA and Magu take turns charging in with an attack. When it was Mochi’s turn to attack Darkness, he made a turn to climb up the cage for an escape. CIMA caught up with him, and there was no escape.

While that was going on, Dragon Kid and Magu made an attempt to escape the cage together. However, Darkness caught a leg from each man and took them down. Darkness and Mochi were double teaming Dragon Kid. They used a double powerbomb on him. Mochi held onto Kid so that Darkness could climb the top rope to use a missile dropkick. He kept telling Mochi to push Kid back because he wanted distance to hit the move. Instead, Darkness Dragon pulled a swerve and climbed the cage. He managed to climb over the top of the cage and down to the floor. Darkness Dragon has escaped the cage and saved his mask. Now, Mochi is the only M2K member left in the match.

CIMA takes Mochi down with the Iconoclasm. He goes for the Mad Splash, but Magu stops him. CIMA pushes Magu off the top, but CIMA’s knee gives out. Magu is seeing if he is okay, but Mochi has no guilt in stomping at it. Kid holds Mochi for a Magu lariat, but Mochi gets out of the way and Magu nails Kid. Magu and Kid start fighting each other, I think for the first time ever in Toryumon Japan. Mochi continues to work over CIMA’s injured knee. Magu attacks Mochi, and CIMA suplexes Dragon Kid on the cage. He ties up Kid on the bottom rope with his wristband. CIMA climbs the cage. Mochi and Magu try to stop him, but they are too late. CIMA climbs over the cage and to the floor. CIMA escapes the cage and saves his hair.

Magu takes Mochi off the top of the cage with a face crusher. Magu unties Kid from the bottom rope. They are now double teaming Mochi. Things are not looking good for the M2K leader. Kid tries a hurricanrana off the top turnbuckle, but Mochi gets out of the way and nails Kid with an axe kick. Mochi goes for a triangle enzuigiri, but Magu pulls Kid out of the way and takes the brunt of the kick. Mochi powerbombs Kid on the cage. Seeing that Kid and Magu are down, Mochi realizes this might be his only chance to win the match. He tries to climb the cage, but Magu recovers and puts Mochi in a seated position on the top turnbuckle.

Magu gives Kid a boost for a hurricanrana. However, Mochi blocks the hurricanrana. Since he is still on the top turnbuckle, Kid sees the opportunity to escape and goes for it. Mochi is stopping Kid’s escape, but Magu uses a backdrop suplex off the top turnbuckle to take Mochi down. Kid has climbed to the top of the cage. He wants to help Magu escape and grabs his hand, but Mochi is grabbing onto Magu’s leg. Magu tells Kid to just climb down and let him take care of Mochi by himself. After some pondering, Kid does climb to the floor and has escaped the cage. There will be no unmasking tonight. It is now down to Magu and Mochi.

Magu knocks Mochi down with a lariat. He tries to climb the cage, but Mochi stops him. Magu whips Mochi into the corner, charges in with a lariat and takes him down with a face crusher. Magu climbs the top turnbuckle and connects with a missile dropkick. Magu goes for another escape, but Mochi stops him yet again. Magu still kept the advantage when he planted Mochi with the Viagra Driver. Magu climbed the cage, but M2K climbed up to prevent his escape. They had to stall for a while because Mochi was not getting up. Susumu rocked the cage with a Blue Box shot, and Magu fell down. After winning a strike exchange, Magu went for another Viagra Driver. However, Mochi escaped nailed Magu with an axe kick, slap and high kick. Mochi picked up Magu and KO’ed him with a stiff high kick to the face. Mochi climbed up the cage, flipped off the crowd and climbed to the floor. Now, it will be Magnum TOKYO who will get his head shaved.

Dragon Kid checks on a knocked out Magnum TOKYO. M2K attacks him and throws him out of the ring. Mochi talks trash on the microphone. M2K puts the still knocked out Magnum TOKYO on a chair, and proceed to shave his head. While the haircut is going on, there is a lot of concern on the faces of the female fans. Dragon Kid is in tears because he felt like he let his friend down. M2K hits Magu with the Blue Box. CIMA enters the ring to attack Mochi, but he is also the victim of an M2K assault. They attack CIMA’s injured knee with the Blue Box.

The scene goes backstage with a CIMA interview. SUWA confronts CIMA and the rest of Crazy MAX. SUWA quits Crazy MAX and Toryumon Japan. TARU asks SUWA to reconsider. SUWA throws a filled trash bag at Big Fuji. SUWA exits Ota Ward Gym and they are outside where it is raining. TARU still asks SUWA to reconsider. SUWA and Fuji are still yelling at each other. SUWA leaves in a taxi and the show end on that note.

Final Thoughts: Another excellent show from 2001 Toryumon Japan. Everything was working on this night. I thought the last two matches were great for different reasons. Ryo vs. Susumu brought the high-quality wrestling and the cage match had the storytelling. Everything else on the card was pretty good as well. Fuji/TARU vs. Kanda/Chocoflake was better than I had expected due to a really nice series of false finishes at the end. Genki vs. Apache was solid. An extra pissed off SUWA beating the hell out someone is always entertaining viewing for me. This show gets another high recommendation from me.

Final Score: 8.5 [Very Good]

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