Starts off with an interview with Ultimo Dragon, who’s wearing an interesting half-dragon, half-tiger mask, and is referred to as Tiger Dragon as he does commentary for the show. They run down the card before going to the intro talking about the history of T2P and the six-sided ring and how it’s being brought back for one night tonight.
Give them extra points for using the SpineShank song “Smothered” as the opening theme.
We than get an old school in ring introduction of the original T2P workers as they come out to the ring to thank the fans, which leads to the retirement ceremonies of Philip J. Fukumasa of the Royal Brothers and Gallardo of Los Carros Exoticos, who even unmasks to thank the fans before a 10-bell count is sounded to end their careers.
A quick rundown of the card again, and we’re on to our first match of the evening.Lucha Preliminar En Clasica: Milanito Collection a.t. VS Jorge Rivera
Interesting rules for this match also, as you get penalized for using rope breaks, with a disqualification given if you use a maximum of five, kinda like Pancrase rules. There was even a yellow card-red card penalty rule in effect.
The match was billed as veteran vs. youngster, and Jorge totally schooled Milanito here as he carried him every step of the match! You could even catch him giving instructions here and there. It was interesting watching an aged veteran like Jorge move and flip around like he hasn’t lost a step, and the man was able to transition into some really interesting submission hold, forcing four rope breaks from Milanito!
I never really liked Milanito or any of the Toryumon minis as the gimmicks just screamed lack of originality. Like a cover band in the music business, it doesn’t matter how much you sound like the original, ‘cause you’re still just an imitation. Milanito really didn’t do anything outstanding, and it didn’t help for him to think he could finish off Jorge every time he was able to successfully counter a move without working over him some more. The guy never even thought to try and force Jorge to into a rope break with a submission or two. Milanito loss in the end when Jorge pinned him with a nice high-angle cradle.
I like this match just to see Jorge’s impressive submission hold and chain wrestling arsenal.Match Rating: *1/2
Paradise for Maximo: Maximo & Mototsugu Shimizu VS Gamma & Kagetora
Maximo is a luchador from CMLL and uses a homosexual gimmick much like Dansyoku Dino of DDT. The guy also has a surprising big fan base in Dragondoor. It’s just too bad we didn’t get to see him do much in the ring other than some comedy spots. Most of the work for his team was done by Mototsugu Shimizu who took a lot of punishment from the heel team and didn’t get to show much offense of his own other than a good looking fisherman’s knee buster and countering a brainbuster from Kagetora into a sweet DDT.
Gamma was good at playing along to Maximo’s comedy spots, and works well with the powerhouse Kagetora, who won the match with a sick looking Emerald Frosion out of a fireman’s carry on Shimizu.Match Rating: *
Keep on Grope: Syachihoko Machines III & IV VS Taiji Ishimori & Little Dragon
The Syachihoko Machines diss Ishimori and his musical exploits with the Sailor Boys earlier in his career, and proceed to stomp on a pair of CD singles before Ishimori jumps them. The Machines quickly unmask to reveal themselves as Ishimori’s ex-Sailor Boy partners, Kei Sato and Shu Sato!
The Sato brothers may have changed up their style to a more heelish, brawling style, but they still have some really good double team combination moves, with their target being Ishimori for most of the bout. Little Dragon looks like a blue colored Dragon Kid wearing a K-ness mask, and does a lot of the quick high-flying offense.
Other than the opening brawl into the audience, the crowd was really dead for this one. The Satos tandem offense kept things interesting for me, but there wasn’t much else, and it took interference from Kagetora hitting his Emerald Frosion move on Ishimori behind the referee’s back to bring this one to an end. Thankfully.Match Rating: *
Another in ring segment with Livedoor blog representative thanking the fans for their support, and this leads to the dramatic return of Kinya Oyanegai (hope I spelled the name right?), who comes out in a tattered and torn suit as he’s fallen on hard times since leaving the business, but is now set on making a comeback to get back in the green financially. All I can say is I’ve only seen him work one match in the old Toryumon days, and it was an amazing display from him the way he balanced his mat prowness with reading a book in the ring! Can’t wait to see what he can do in there again.Touru Owashi VS Toshiaki Kawada
I really liked the build up video for this one, as we’ve always seen Owashi dominate everyone smaller than him, but now he’s standing toe-to-toe with someone just as tough as he is, and he likes the challenge of it! Kawada himself is no stranger to Owashi after facing him in a tag match from a previous show, and adapted well to the style when he surprised everyone with a big plancha on Owashi then! They really built this up as something special, which is what it should be.
This was a really physical match! Both men laid it into each other without holding back and if they traded anymore chops their chests would have ended up like the Kobashi/Sasaki match at the Tokyo Dome in 2005! I also liked that they managed to keep the physicality up without resorting to make a big move spot fest like what we’d see in the bigger promotions.
Owashi had a plan going in, attacking Kawada’s eternal bad leg which helped the ex-sumo student get out of a jam every now and then, but it was still weird seeing Owashi get dominated like he did after seeing him being the dominant one after so many years. Come to think of it, I don’t think there was a clear moment in the match where Kawada looked like he was in any real danger as he was able to escape most of Owashi’s big moves, and managed to kick out of Owashi’s chokeslam. To Owashi’s credit, he managed to kick out Kawada’s trademark brainbuster before a stiff PK to the head put him out.Match Rating: ***1/2
Former WWE superstar TAJIRI comes out and takes a seat at ringside for the main event.
They than show an interesting video on what happened to the top guys of T2P, with Shuji Kondo & “brother” YASSHI making it big in AJPW, and Milano making a name for himself in America working the independents like Ring of Honor.Lucha Libre Clasica Best&Next: Milano Collection AT, Berlinetta Boxer & Iifushino (Ifushi Kota) VS Shuji Kondo, “brother” YASSHI & Takuya Sugawara
A reunion of Aagan Iisou and the Italian Connection, with Kota stepping for YOSHINO. The Italian Connection even did an old school group dance intro with the Milano girls and Milanito joined in as well. Good times.
Surprisingly this one didn’t start out with a wild brawl considering the history between the two sides. The Aagan team actually warranted 2 yellow cards (for YASSHI ripping off Boxer’s mask and Sugawara hitting Milano with the Black Box) and 3 rope breaks, meaning another infraction would have caused the match to be ruled a TKO in the ItaCon’s favor. The match eventually spilled out into a multi-man spotfest, with tons of counters and big moves all over the place, and Milano eventually getting the win over YASSHI with the IRII.
Personally, I didn’t think much of this one and Shogo “Jet” Takagi still sucks.Match Rating: ***
The show ends with a really long in ring segment that I guess means Kenzo Suzuki and TAJIRI will be on the next show or something.Overall:
Definitely worth watching just for the Owashi/Kawada match.
Labels: Dragon Gate, Dragondoor, El Dorado