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* The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Toryumon is a relatively young Puroresu promotion which has just recently undergone some massive changes in its structure. Formerly owned by Ultimo Dragon, the promotion featured students of his Ultimo Dragon Gym. However, recently Toryumon Japan has ceased to exist following one its largest shows ever. The name of the company has been changed to DRAGON GATE Pro Wrestling, but also Ultimo Dragon has no involvement in the new company, his influence and name removed completely.
The style of wrestling in Toryumon is very fast paced, almost Lucha Libre style matches with a Puroresu undertone. Due to this style of wrestling almost all (excluding maybe one or two) of the competitors in Toryumon would be considered Cruiserweight’s.
This tape is one of the first of many Toryumon tapes I purchased, and features all (excluding CIMA) of the top guys in the promotion: Magnum TOKYO, Masaaki Mochizuki, Dragon Kid, Darkness Dragon, Ryo Saito and Genki Horiguchi to name a few.
This tape can be picked up from most good Puroresu tape dealers.
SUWA vs. Masaaki Mochizuki.
As with a lot of Toryumon’s matches, the match starts out with some brawling outside of the ring. Match went nowhere from there as it was barely three minutes long with little offence in the match at all. Mochizuki nailed some of his usual kicks and SUWA nailed barely anything. Outside interference led to SUWA hitting Mochizuki with the Slap Jack (Underhook Face First Piledriver) for the win. Not a good match at all, but had no time to go anywhere.
SUWA vs. Takashi Okamura.
This match similar to the previous one on the tape is not good. Slow paced match, with not much variety of offence as Okamura is obviously a striker (wears a Gi) and uses mostly kicks and basic pinning combinations. SUWA this time round uses more offence including some suplexes, the Slap Jack and a huge Flying Elbow Drop that picked up the win. All the offence was well executed, but again a big brawl in this match, with more outside interference slowed the match and disrupted the overall flow. Below average match.
Stoker Ichikawa vs. Mitsuhiro Matsunaga.
Another short, pointless, throwaway match. This match had some good comedy moments however provided by Ichikawa, the highlight being him putting on a referee’s shirt and telling the ref to wrestle Matsunaga. Other than this, the match was pointless brawling, with the only real offence being a Flying Headscissors and a Somersault Tope Suicida by Ichikawa. Finish to the match came when Matsunaga pulled out a knife on Ichikawa, which led to Ichikawa tapping out. Match had no purpose other than a bit of light hearted entertainment. Poor match.
Darkness Dragon & Genki Horiguchi vs. Magnum Tokyo & Super Shisa.
Match starts with some brawling, which leads to Darkness Dragon & Horiguchi gaining the advantage. Some really good high paced work to start, switching between mat wrestling and rope running sequences. The highlight is an ultra fast paced, back and forth sequence between Darkness Dragon and Magnum TOKYO. Match featured some really good tag team wrestling by both teams throughout. Match was full of innovative, high impact and high flying offence, which was all executed to perfection. Great performances all round, with some awesome back and forth offence near the end of the match. Great pace, great offence and great effort makes this a great match. Finish came when TOKYO nailed a Viagra Driver (Pumphandle Michinoku Driver) on Horiguchi.
Susumu Mochizuki vs. Masaaki Mochizuki.
Again, the match starts out with some brawling on the outside of the ring. Sumsumu took control of the pace early on and started working on Masaaki’s leg. Couple of brief comebacks from Masaaki, each time cut short with Susumu going back to work on the leg. Interference throughout for Susumu by Genki Horiguchi and Darkness Dragon, who attacked Masaaki on several occasions. Overall, some good, varied offence from both guys in the match. Masaaki with his usual array of kicks including the Corkscrew Enziguri, but Susumu with his Lariato and his Canadian Backbreaker into Diamond Cutter. Finish came following a Hurricanrana by Masaaki, which picked up the 3 count over Susumu. Good pace, good offence, good timing all made this a good match.
Ryo Saito, Dragon Kid, & Magnum Tokyo vs. Genki Horiguchi, Darkness Dragon, & Susumu Mochizuki.
Match starts out with some good back and forth, high paced mat work, with some really good wrestling sequences. Really good trade between Magnum TOKYO and Darkness Dragon. Match also featured some of Toryumon’s trademark brawling into the crowd. Match had a really fast pace, with some great tag work from both teams and quick tags which kept the pace really high. Horiguchi, Dragon and Mochizuki using some really “old skool” heel tactics throughout the match also. Overall match was really good, with high impact moves and high spots galore. The six competitors helped keep a really good balance between power offence, high flying and mat based submissions. All six competitors nailing trademark moves during the match and awesome back and forth finishing sequence kept the match exciting to the finish. Finish came following Ryo Saito getting hit by a Step Enziguri, Lariato and then being cradled for the pin by Horiguchi. Another really good match.
Darkness Dragon and Magnum TOKYO were great in both matches they were in and were easily my two top guys on this show. However, anyone involved in the last three matches put in nothing short of a good performance.
Having seen some of his other matches SUWA was a disappointment for me on this tape. Both matches were short and were very weak matches. I had really high hopes for the match against Mochizuki, but that only lasted 3 minutes!
When Stoker Ichikawa is the talent in a match, you know you are watching something horrible. Mitsuhiro Matsunaga had no place being on this show, when that could easily have been used for a much better match.
Overall, this is not one of the best Toryumon tapes I have seen. It is half good and half bad, but the good just about outweighs the bad on this tape. The final three matches are all good matches, but nothing exceptional, but it does allow an introduction to the likes of Magnum TOKYO, Darkness Dragon (now K-Ness) and the other superstars out of the Ultimo Dragon Gym. If you like high flying, high paced matches, definitely check out Toryumon/Dragon Gate.