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Found 14 results

  1. Crazy Max are still the biggest bullies in the Japanese schoolyard. This starts with a brutal beatdown on Tokyo including him bleeding which really added a wrinkle into everything and got over the violence. Magnum is able to tag out and TM comes in. A really good exchange with him and Taru culminating in a back kick right to Taru’s face. Then Fujita and CIMA come in and have an even better sequence than that before. One thing I appreciated about breaking up the tropes was Fujita came in again and they teased doing the pairings and stuff until Crazy Max has had enough of that and uses their number advantage to take back over. Magnum is really selling the damage and has wrapped a towel over his head. Magnum’s pride gets the best of him as he comes back in but gets worked over by the CM stable. A quick flurry and he is able to make another big tag to Fujita. This starts the match into the finishing stretch. Big dives for the faces which I appreciate because them getting the shine is a face move and not really needed for the CM stable. Fuji and Mochi continue to battle and it continues to entertain me every single time. That gives way to Magnum and CIMA. I again keep waiting for Magnum to suck but much like HHH, it hasn’t happened so far. In fact, he was for sure the leader of the face side for me in this match just from the sympathy he built up from the blood. Heat is a little off in this match as in Korakuen, it could possibly be a MOTYC for me. TARU’s kicks looked brutal here and even TM is showing some surprising fire getting a nearfall on a Tiger Suplex that needs a Fuji save. Big tombstone to Fuji and a dive for Fujita and now TARU has to save him. Great stuff and shows Crazy Max sticking together even though shit is going awry. Just when the faces look like it is in the bag, CIMA hits his palm strike and a huge lariat from Fuji gets 1, 2, …. NO! I bit big time on that one. A chokeslam from Fuji and Crazy Max prevails again. What a great fucking match to start the month. The long term critic in me could say that this makes Crazy Max look just a tad strong again but knowing that M2K is coming as a way to counteract that has me really excited and it has been a hell of a ride getting to that point. ****1/4
  2. Can someone do me a solid and tell me who Sasuke the Great was? This has to be one of the most random six man lineups I have ever seen. The Sasuke's team up and do some interesting stuff but also seemed to mix up more comedy which odd. Apache and Mochi then square off and they just gel so well together that I am saddened we didn't get a long standing feud. Collyer and Hamada is the lesser of all the pairings but is so damn bizarre that it does have some intrigue just based on that. These guys didn't really set out to have a classic but more of a fun 14 minute high energy six man that also advances the feud between Sasuke the Great and Great Sasuke. ***1/4
  3. Hilarious opening with Stalker and Mochi starting out, CM revving Stalker up and then he gets kicked and pinned in five seconds. One of the funniest spots of 2000 right up there with the best Porky stuff. Theme of match after that had a big focal point on TARU and he probably looked the best he has the entire year fighting from underneath with M2K just swarming on his shoulder. The action was frantic and very enjoyable. Once TARU is able to tag we go to the final stretch which is really exciting. I thought Kanda was a complete dick and Masaaki was excellent like usual. CIMA is able to come in and pick up the win to a big pop for Crazy Max. Helluva fun match. ***1/2 (7)
  4. This is the first match where the work is unquestionably good but I don’t have much to say about the match overall. I did like seeing Hamada being aggressive and showing some fire in there. TMIV and Mochi as the youngsters was funny in 2016 eyes. Overall, this flowed at a very good pace and was enjoyable but didn’t leave a lasting impression and never kicked into the next gear for me. ***
  5. I'm already in love with Toryumon. I really respect what they're aiming for so much. Yes, there are moments where their inexperience shows, but they have made a real commitment to building their fundamentals, keeping a strong face-heel structure and cultivating strong personalities. They haven't downplayed their great high-flying moves at all, but they've found ways to incorporate them in a way that's most effective instead of just rolling them out mindlessly. Michinoku Pro did this too, but Toryumon has borrowed far more from the American approach to pro wrestling than Michinoku Pro did, and this style is very much distinct from Pro. In fact, I'd say that if this match is any indication, Toryumon was probably the best-booked Southern style fed in the world at this time, and that includes OVW and Memphis Power Pro. The match itself starts with a wild brawl that spills all over the ringside area with an overzealous manager running around everywhere before finally settling back in the ring (Who do they think they are, the Midnight Express and Fantastics?) and working a great trios. You see potential from those involved in different ways, with CIMA looking like the most complete wrestler of the six and Dragon Kid as the best high flyer. Mochizuki looks like he's almost there, but not quite yet. The post-match angle was awesome too, with the manager immediately hitting the ring to help unmask Dragon Kid and commence a chaotic heel beatdown before a tuxedo-clad Ultimo Dragon makes the save, hitting everything in sight with a variation of kicks to clear the ring. Bring on the Toryumon! ****
  6. I kind of keep justifying myself from not calling these Toryumon multi man matches as great because I don’t want to be seen as just blindly loving everything they are throwing out there but it hasn’t happened yet. I was weary of the face side of things here with Tiger Mask and Magnum but they turned in some of the best respective performances of themselves I can recall seeing. Magnum had a lot of energy and didn’t botch much of anything of note. He was paired off with CIMA for the bulk of the match and held his own. The other big thread throughout this match centered around Mochizuki and Fujii and this was great stuff. Fujii is already showing that amazing charisma that he will carry throughout his career and he brings a different edge to the Crazy Max faction that allows for comedic relief while he also is menacing. Fujii ends up taking the loss here and is pissed off going on a bit of a fit post match as the faces cut a celebratory promo to close us out. Loving all of the Toryumon so far. ****
  7. Two young guys going out there and having a killer match. The strikes here were insane with loud thuds and snaps to them with no thigh slapping and other shortcuts. Mochizuki in particular is such a bruiser. Ishii is someone with a ton of hype in current day and he still had some of the same stuff down in this time as he is beloved for today. I can't wait to track him throughout the 2000's. Mochi seems to have the match in hand for the most part of the match and Ishii works good at getting his spots in to create intrigue. Mochi is able to put him away. Humorous moment post match as Mochi cuts a promo and spikes the microphone and it bounces right into Ishii's hands. I say if you like either of these guys now, this is a piece of history in their career that certainly holds up. ***3/4 (7.6)
  8. It is a shame that Goara doesn’t release this in full. We only get two minutes of action but it results in one of the most important things in Toryumon and Dragon Gate history. The match ends in a 20 minute draw and then Masaaki gets on the mic and wants to join forces with Kanda and Susumu. Kobe is bewildered at this announcement but we have a new faction that is formed backstage and they are an immediate threat to the dominance of Crazy Max. NR
  9. Always up for another dose of Crazy Max running through some punks. This match essentially has Tiger Mask IV in the Magnum Tokyo role being paired with CIMA. This match has a bit of a unique structure in that it starts really traditional with Dragon Kid being the FIP and then once the hot tag gets made, the match breaks down and the brawling results around the building. I believe we even get Susumu and Kanda at one point coming out to interfere on SUWA. Mochi and CIMA have a hot sequence which gives way to Fuji vs TM which is equally as fun. The match ending with Dragon Kid and SUWA was initially disappointing because DG was as sloppy here as he had been since that awful January match. He does however stick the landing and it is clear that of the face side, he is getting some of the bigger wins so far. ***1/2
  10. What a great showcase match for everyone. The Toryumon guys were able to shine particular Mochi and SUWA as they were the ringleaders for a lot of the action and kept things moving along. Tanaka felt more spirited here and was able to bust out his flash submissions in a believable and exciting way. The big standout however was Ricky Marvin who flew around like a crazy person and did state of the art highspots for 2017 standards much less 17 years ago. A wonderful way to show the talent that got eliminated in the first round in the best light. ***3/4
  11. Outstanding sprint, maybe the most action-packed match we've seen so far from these guys. This was the Toryumon guys interpreting Michinoku Pro's glory days and doing a tremendous job of it while adding their own spin, with all six holding their own and giving strong performances. And the best part? Crazy Max finally lost a match! There were two minutes left on my file after this and I was hoping they weren't going to run in and get their heat back and they didn't, which was great! They needed to do a job right about now to keep things interesting, and they did it in a match type that a novice would probably think is far more typical in Toryumon than it really was. ****1/4
  12. Mochizuki vs Bobby Blaze is a complete wtf novelty match on paper but this actually turned out to be pretty fun with Blaze in particular doing a good sell job on his leg. Mochi works it over throughout the match and locks in a wide variety of submissions to keep things interesting. Blaze’s comebacks were well placed and gave the crowd just enough hope that he could pull this one out. I liked the rollup that was the finish. Fun match. *** (5.9)
  13. The way this started was really exciting. Tons of speed and precision on the strikes. The match was really moving along well and then we get a ref bump. That was kind of a bummer as Mochi uses his time to use a ladder. Implant DDT on the apron by Mochi and then he goes after the mask. Mochi is really carving out a rudo name for himself since joining up with M2K. Sasuke makes his comeback and looks to have the match in hand until Mochi is able to hit a dragon suplex off of a missed swantom. The finish is interesting as Mochi’s shoulders were down so Sasuke was able to put his up and win. Mochi and Gran Apache respond in disgust post match and kick Sasuke a few more times right in the head as a result. Strong match and Mochi is making a name for himself. ***1/2 (7.0)
  14. This was a ton of fun. There are minor things like interference from Mochi right in front of the referees eyes that dip it slightly below the great level for me but I really enjoyed the work that Mochi did on top and Fujita's sell job was tremendous. He had a lot of his body worked over and managed to sell both his leg and midsection wonderfully with it stunting his aerial moves that he tried to perform. I also greatly enjoyed the finishing stretch where it builds but also ends on the correct move giving the psychology of the match. Nothing was bloated or unnecessary. ***3/4 (7.6)
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