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Charles (Loss)

[2001-08-14-Toryumon] CIMA & SUWA & Big Fuji vs Magnum Tokyo & Dragon Kid & Ryo Saito vs Maasaki Mochizuki & Yasushi Kanda & Darkness Dragon

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Crazy MAX vs M2K vs Seikigun, trios titles, Toryumon August 14th 2001

 

Background: The three original factions duke it out for trios supremacy. This was the first multi-way trios match the company attempted, and it tended to be saved for special occasions until recent years.

 

Why I think it's underrated: Toryumon wasn't nearly as well-known outside Japan as Dragon Gate is today. It was the 4th or 5th biggest promotion in Japan and got treated as such. Add in the fact that this wasn't at a big event and it was easy to miss, but I'd say it was the best spotfest that they produced in the first three years of the promotion. Plenty of fun sequences and excitement.

 

What it deserves: Top 100. They went on to top themselves, but this set the standard.

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This was a mostly fun spotfest. Crazy Max triple teams are so worn out for me by now that seeing them in this just makes me unhappy. There's more to do than that in this match, save it for the regular matches. Magnum Tokyo gets real sloppy near the end. Otherwise, lots of fun spots and zaniness. It may make my ballot.

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I appreciate that they work the opening of this match as if these wrestlers are hesitant to make the first move. That kind of thing takes time but is something I wish I'd see in more multi-man matches. It helps to create the illusion of unpredictability that I think you want in this kind of matches. This has some fun moments but also had stretches where I was losing interest. I think the 2002 triple threat trios matches are better but I'm not in love with them either. I don't think any Toryumon or DG will make my top 100 but if anything does it'll be one of those.

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UWA World Trios Champion Crazy Max (CIMA, SUWA, Big Fuji) vs. Sekigun (Magnum Tokyo, Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito) vs. M2K (Maasaki Mochizuki, Kanda, Darkness Dragon) - Toryumon 08/14/01

 

Nothing like jumping feet first into Toryumon with their first three-way trios match. Dragon Gate is always something I read about, but never really took the time to watch. Who has time for Dragon Gate when they are watching 90s All Japan for the first time. I don't know if it would help or hurt this match if I understood the backstory better. From my understanding, M2K (leader, Mochizuki) and Crazy Max (leader, CIMA) are both heel stables, but M2K is more heelish. Sekigun (leader Magnum Tokyo), meaning home army, was comprised of two of Toryumon's biggest babyface stars, Magnum Tokyo and Dragon Kid, both of who I remember appearing in WCW in 1998. I was really into dancing gimmicks as a child and I have very fond memories of Alex Wright, Disco Inferno and Magnum Tokyo stable. My perception of Ryo Saito was that he was any up and coming babyface and the general whipping Boy. Darkness Dragon is the evil mirror universe Little Dragon. Kanda, Mochizuki and SUWA are you standard heel Japanese characters. Fuji is notable for being bigger than the average Toryumon competitor (Magnum Tokyo is also pretty big). CIMA is a lot more fliptastic than your standard heel.

 

All that being said, I don't always turn my nose up at spotfests especially when the out and out intention is just have a fun spotfest, but this did have long stretches where not a lot seemed to be happening. I liked the tentative beginning between the three leaders and their knucklelock, before a weak melee broke up. I enjoyed little spots like messing ultra-heel Mochizuki by knocking out all his tag partners out and doing a dive train on him in the corner. Fuji turning on Saito with a lariat was fun, but set up a boring heat segment. Dragon Kid was much better in this setting than in the singles match with SUWA with all his flips. I liked Darkness Dragon dropkicking Dragon Kid while he was in a Giant Swing. Also the double huge bump off SUWA dropkick was cute. SUWA hits a super bomb for two on Dragon Kid. In a melee, CIMA takes a slam and La Magistral cradle (yep its Ultimo Dragon's promotion) by Darkness Dragon eliminates Crazy Max. Surprisingly, the finish run is pretty boring. Dont get me wrong a Shooting Star Press is always a badass grand finale, but the run-up was pretty dull. This was pretty underwhelming by normal spotfest standards. ***

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