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Vamonos Amigos #65 – January (Taped in December 03/January 04)
This show features highlights of Toryumon’s year-end ‘fan appreciation’ matches. These are dream matches chosen by the fans that take place on two different cards, one for singles bouts and one for tags. Due to the huge number of matches, most are cut down to the bare minimum, some of them to the point of being shown in “finish only” form. However, there are also some matches from mid-January TV tapings on this episode of VamoAmi that are shown at greater length.
TARU, SUWA, Don Fuji and CIMA (CrazyMAX) vs. Ryo Saito, Genki Horiguchi, Susumu Yokosuka and Magnum TOKYO
This is clipped to 9 minutes out of 13:13, and is taken from mid-January. This is up to the usual standard of matches between these guys, and it’s your typical multiman sprint with some comedy mixed in. CIMA has THE BUBONIC PLAGUE, either that or his back taping has left marks.
They use the elastic twanging spot on Genki as they did at Yoyogi, though this time he gets it twice. This spot has already caught on big time, and the wrestlers all seem to find it hilarious too (as well they should). Rather than help Genki, Magnum comedically limbos under the elastic as the evil CrazyMAX members prepare to twang Genki’s face off. They also do the comedy bit where Don Fuji starts jumping up and down, causing shockwaves that make everyone else jump up and down too. I laughed, sue me. Once the comedy is done, along with the obligatory submission hold on Genki so that Ryo can get a “H-A-G-E” chant going, the pace picks up and some good near falls are exchanged. Genki fails to hit the Beach Break as usual. Lots more fun stuff happens, and eventually CIMA picks up the win with the LA Mart (Onryo Clutch). Very entertaining match to start VamoAmi.
The Florida Brothers vs. Masaaki Mochizuki and Karaoke Machine #2
“Hey, Toryumon faaans…listen to meee!” Hasn’t got old yet, and it never will. It…Never…Will! Michael Iwasa does the usual promo about their opponent, and he once again names a masked man by their unmasked name. “He is Bata-yan!” Anyway, one clip later and Mochi and KM2 have arrived.
This has some nice comedy action; with one good spot involving KM2’s deliberately contrived and absurd signature move. Normally, he sets up an opponent as if for a moonsault near the turnbuckles, then goes over to the opposite corner and climbs up. He then does a back flip, lands on his feet, goes into a backwards roll, then a handstand, then hits a really weak splash on his opponent. Mid-way through this match, Mochi sets up Daniel for a moonsault and tells KM2 to go up to the top. He climbs the turnbuckles near Daniel, climbs up and does his backflip landing on his feet, then just stands there at a loss as to what he should do next. To remedy this, Mochi hits a missile dropkick to the back of his own partner, knocking him onto Daniel for the cover.
Mochi dominates as expected and looks set to pick up the win. However, this is a Florida Brothers match, and Michael has a trick up his sleeve. With referee Yagi distracted, Michael pulls a spanner (wrench) out of his boot and tries to hit Mochi with it. Mochi avoids this and drops him with a couple of kicks. Michael, now on the floor at Mochi’s feet, manages to sneak the spanner in between Mochi’s kick pad and his boots. As Yagi turns round, Michael leaps onto his back and clutches his chest, pointing at Mochi’s boots and yelling at the ref. Yagi checks Mochi’s boots, finds the foreign object and disqualifies him immediately. The anthem blares, Mochi is outraged and the streak continues!
We then cut to the fan appreciation night, where lucky fans win some very cool items, such as ring-worn attire/entrance attire and other assorted Toryumon merchandise.
Following this we are shown highlights of a large number of fan dream matches…
Yossino and Dragon Kid vs. 2nd Doi and Antony W Mori
Unusual teams like this are the theme for the dream matches, the fans have chosen well. We’re only shown 3 or 4 clips of this one, the outstanding one being DK and Yossino applying their Christo and ‘From Jungle’ holds in perfect synch
TARU and Stalker Ishikawa vs. The Florida Brothers
TARU is the master of comedy matches, and the other 3 are comedy performers. They do a spot where referee Yagi is tied up in the ropes as if for Goldust’s old “Shattered dreams”. They then do this bizarre chain of Kanchou butt pokes (Stalker’s speciality) which ends in Danny Mishima being poked headfirst into Yagi’s tender parts. Then comes the screwjob. TARU is thrown a chair, Michael sells a fictional chairshot. DQ, FloBros win again!
SUWA and Genki Horiguchi vs. Super Shisa and Kenichiro Arai
The elastic twang spot returns, Arai holding Genki and TARU at ringside doing the stretching. Arai catches Genki in an abdominal stretch, prompting TARU to bust out the CrazyMAX megaphone to get the “H-A-G-E” chant going in Ryo’s absence. Genki tries a backslide from heaven, he gets reversed and an Arai Hanshin Tiger Suplex gets the 3.
The Bicycle brothers (Don Fuji and Ryo Saito) vs. Masaaki Mochizuki and Susumu Yokosuka
Saito and Fuji enter on a tandem bicycle, and Ryo is in his old-school singlet. Mochi and Susumu are wearing classic M2K t-shirts and attire, and the referee is conveniently Yasushi Kanda. The three pose together as Fuji raises questions over Kanda’s impartiality. I wish they showed more of this one, the M2K reunion is cool as hell. Kanda gets sucked into the nostalgia of it all and busts out an elbow drop mid-match. Ryo and Fuji attempt to put on a Cycling Yahoo, but Fuji doesn’t quite know how to do it and the opponents escape. A Mochi running kick is countered into Saito’s Messenger cradle for the 3.
Touru Owashi, Brother Yasshi and Dotti Shuji vs. CIMA, Magnum TOKYO and Milano Collection AT
An excellent choice by the fans this, creating a main event dream team. All three faces enter Milano style with the fashion poses and snappy jackets. They do some nifty spots that incorporate the trademark moves of all 3. CIMA’s Venus fist followed by a Magnum TOKYO springboard ‘rana followed by a Milano Paradise Lock for example. A Yasshi low blow and a rope-assisted roll up secures Hagure Gundam the unlikely win over the Toryumon Ace dream team. The ever-cocky Yasshi talks some trash on the mic, and pays for it with a kick to the head and a Schwein. CIMA covers and Magu and Milano count the 3 for fun. All three do the Crazy-F**king taunt, then they dance with Magnum. They really delivered everything a fan could want from these three teaming, and again its just a shame these matches are shown in short clip form.
Super Shisa vs. SAITO
Those pesky fans and their attempts to unravel Toryumon kayfabe. SAITO’s first match in years (if he’s…ahem…not Shisa). They do some synchronised headstand spots, and bust out the Shisa/SAITO specials. Shisa eventually gets the win with a swanky cradle. Whoever was filling the role of Shisa (assuming they’re the same guy) does a good SAITO impersonation from the clips shown. (Since writing this I’ve been told by Toryumon guru M2J that it was Shogo Takagi under the mask, I had no idea).
TARU Chon Mon vs. Stalker Ishikawa
Classic comedy match that the fans are still very fond of. TARU Driller followed by the mighty one finger pin fall is enough to end it.
Daniel Mishima vs. Michael Iwasa
An attempt by the fans to end the Florida brothers’ winning streak by pitting them against each other. Danny tries a camel clutch as a nod back to Iwasa’s losing streak, but referee Yagi doesn’t throw in the towel. A chair is brought in and the two keep throwing it to each other. Yagi tries to get it off them, and as he lifts it they both get hit in the face. They refuse to continue and it’s a draw… I guess technically Yagi was DQ’ed.
Dotti Shuji vs. Touru Owashi
In true heelish fashion, the two monsters of Toryumon deny the fans this one, attacking Yagi and causing the contest to be thrown out in less than two minutes.
Milano Collection AT vs. Yossino
These two trade some of their patented holds, and the clips suggest that it was a pretty good match. Yossino gets to the ropes to escape the AT lock, and has Milano trapped in the Sol Naciente as the time runs out. Time limit draw.
Dragon Scramble rumble match
This looks like it was tonnes of fun, we’re shown a lot of clips, and the official time is 20 minutes. There are some funny moments in the clips shown, one is Antony W Mori eliminating himself with his Ikimasyou! dive with the opponent’s arm held. Another is at the midway point once everyone has arrived. Everyone in the match stops momentarily in order to line up and take turns hitting running attacks on a cornered Yasshi. They whip him into another corner to do it again and he flips himself out of the ring to avoid another beating. Following this, Genki catches Magnum with the backslide from heaven, and the ten or so other guys in the match pile on top to make sure Magu doesn’t kick out.
The dreaded red elastic is introduced. Ryo Saito is set up as the victim, but Kenichiro Arai makes the mistake of sitting on the top turnbuckle to stretch it. Ryo lets it go at his end, sending it snapping into Araken’s chest and eliminating him from the match. Arai sells it hilariously, scampering to the back at high speed patting at his stinging chest. The final five are CIMA, Ryo, Don Fuji, Susumu Yokosuka and Masaaki Mochizuki. Fuji chooses the bicycle brothers alliance over his CrazyMAX partner CIMA and pays for it, being eliminated first after a miscommunication. An angry Fuji causes Saito’s elimination, and then CIMA is eliminated by Susumu. The mighty BLUE BOX is used for the finish, Susumu catches a box shot to the head, and Mochi pins him following a hurricanrana.
After the match almost the entire Toryumon Japan roster celebrates, and they throw Mochi up in the air…then drop him. Mochi then gives a promo and the wrestlers all cheer. A good way to end the regular touring schedule for 2003.
We then cut to the special New Year’s dinner show.
Second Doi, Kenichiro Arai and Dragon Kid vs. Dotti Shuji, Yasshi and Shogo Takagi
This is heavily clipped, and ends with an extremely hard blue box shot to Takagi followed by a Hanshin Tiger suplex.
Stalker Ishikawa vs. TARU
Again heavily clipped. Butt poke into accidental low blow on Yagi is used again, and TARU picks up the win following a TARU Driller and the one finger pin.
The Florida Brothers vs. Masaaki Mochizuki
Mochi’s attempt at revenge on FloBro ends in failure. This time Danny slaps Yagi on the back of the head and runs away, as Michael frantically claims that Mochi hit him. DQ, Mochi outrage, Florida Brothers~!
Ryo Saito and Susumu Yokosuka vs. Super Shisa and Antony W Mori
Clipped to the minimum again, Susumu beats Mori with the Yokosuka cutter.
CIMA, TARU, SUWA, Don Fuji vs. Yossino, Milano Collection AT, Magnum TOKYO and Genki Horiguchi
This one is clipped down. The elastic hits Genki again, this time stretched from the end of the aisle. Genki takes the John Woo like a man, but eventually falls to Don Fuji’s ‘Nice German’.
Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Shogo Takagi
Ugh, Takagi sucks badly, easily my least favourite Toryumon/Dragon Gate performer ever. Mochi was continuing his depressing losing streak following the disbanding of Shin M2K. He dominates this match, but interference from Dotti Shuji, Yasshi and Owashi at ringside hinder him. Takagi works the leg with his typically lame offence, and then applies a half boston crab. Mochi gets control back by reversing a shin-breaker into a stiff knee to the jaw. He then kicks the crap out of Takagi for a while. Mochi plants Takagi in the centre of the ring with a flying Fuji armbar/facebuster from the top rope, then applies a grounded arm wrench. Takagi, in just about the only cool thing he’s ever done, reverses an enziguiri into an ankle hold.
Mochi establishes control again with many more kicks, then he flips Takagi over into a cross arm breaker for what would surely have been the win. However, Takagi’s cohorts run into the ring and put the boots to Mochizuki, forcing the ref to throw this one out.
The longest Takagi singles match I’ve ever seen, and I don’t want to see many more. He was slightly better than usual here working the leg, but his strikes are still completely awful, especially for a guy who’s gimmick is that he punches.
Next up is Masaaki Mochizuki’s birthday party with some fans…
Yossino vs. Brother Yasshi (NWA Welterweight title match)
This is clipped to 9 mins from 11, but it doesn’t take too much away from it being a good match. Their experience together allows them to do some of the more tricky T2P-style Llave moves that Yasshi doesn’t use so often any more. Pre-match, Yasshi attempts to buy the title from Yossino, slapping him in the face with a wad of cash. Yossino doesn’t take kindly to this and the match is on…
This one is wrestled in fast-forward, with the submissions and reversals happening at lightning speed. They trade the advantage on numerous occasions, with Yasshi’s spells in control largely due to interference from his stablemates. Their exchanges show that they know each other well, with Yasshi feeding his arms for the Sol naciente only to hit a low blow, and his ability to stop Yossino taking him down with the Torbellino. Eventually, after both have scored near falls and applied various holds, Yossino has to resort to a quick reversal into a cradle to get it done.
A good ten-minute match and one I’d like to see again.
Yasshi, Dotti Shuji and Touru Owashi vs. Antony W Mori, Yossino and Milano Collection AT
This is the only match on the tape to be shown in its entirety (15:27) and is a great ‘main event’ of sorts. Early on the ItaConne team isolates Yasshi, and they maintain control in the early going. However, the main flow of the match involves the Hagure Gundam team isolating Mori repeatedly as his partners attempt to keep their team in the match. Mori fights valiantly, and the crowd are solidly behind him. He takes a heck of a lot of punishment and keeps kicking out, and there are points where Yossino and Milano intervene and take down Owashi. Eventually its too much for Mori, he is saved from Shuji’s Gorilla clutch, but after Milano and Yossino are dragged out by Shuji, Yasshi and extra man Takagi, Mori falls prey to Owashi’s flying body press and is unable to kick out.
A good fifteen-minute match that really makes Mori look resilient and determined whilst continuing the Hagure gundam dominance.
This show is one for long-term Toryumon fans really. If you follow Toryumon then the in jokes are brilliant. Even for the non-fan it’s hard not to love all the comedy antics on this show, 90 minutes of pure entertainment with two good matches shown at length as a bonus.
The nostalgia of an M2K reunion and other old gimmicks won’t appeal so much to someone who just orders the odd show, and as a standalone show the huge amount of clipping does make it quite weak. However, if you follow the promotion, the dream match highlights are a lot of fun. Mochi/Takagi is missable, Yasshi/Yossino is well worth watching and the main event is pretty good too. If the latter two matches really appeal then pick this up, otherwise be warned that the clipping might put off those unfamiliar with the promotion to an extent.