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Scout Report by Wrestlingscout
If you ask anyone who's been a fan of wrestling since the early 80s, they'll say they were a Horsemen mark. It was hard not to be. Flair was so suave and cool outside of the ring and such a great talent inside of the ring. Definitely the guy you loved to hate or hated to love. The group was merely an extension of Flair, but with more ruthless mentality. You basically had three tag team wrestlers and a decent heel manager. Tully Blanchard, who did a lot of singles wrestling at that time was just a tough Texan, who was a crafty rulebreaker as well. Then you had the new Minnesota Wrecking Crew, Ole and Arn Anderson, who were double tough and twice as mean. Lastly you had J.J. Dillion, who was basically the weak link, but acted as a mouthpiece and executive manipulator.
Any gang that's been started in the US, namely the New World Order, owe a huge debt to the Four Horsemen. We've seen a lot of good groups over the years and probably more forgettable ones. A gang is only as good as those who oppose it (in most cases) and in Japan this is well known and utilized. From the numerous pseudo-interpromotional battles (that the nWo owes credit to as well) to some hot heel groups, Japan has had it all.
The one that really started it all was the New Japan versus UWFI conflicts of the 90s and though it wasn't a true promotion war, it played a huge role in New Japan becoming the biggest wrestling company in the world. This idea was taken by Eric Bischoff and as a result turned WCW into the top promotion in the US for a few years. The New World Order returned to Japan and starting with Masahiro Chono began soaking up talent. In time the major story became could nWo Japan get Keiji Muto, very similar to could the nWo get Sting concept. Well both men joined eventually and the gang's lost their purpose and fell apart.
Chono's bad ass image had really blossomed as a gang leader and so he started a new one - Team 2000. It kept a lot of the nWo guys and brought in some fresh faces as well. Unlike before though, teams were formed to combat Team 2000. First was the Fighting Club G-Eggs, which included rising stars: Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Yutaka Yoshie, the late Masakazu Fukuda, and Brian Johnston (though he was only a part-timer and not a young lion at all). After Fukuda's death, the group was seriously weakened and never did much more than assist New Japan's home team. Keiji Muto came back in a big way with a new look and started a gang of his own. It started with himself, former Team 2000 member Don Frye, and the soon departing Shinjiri Otani. The group, Bad Ass Translate Training, became the first of its kind including wrestlers from New Japan (Muto), All Japan (Taiyo Kea and Hiro Hase), and Michinoku Pro (Jinsei Shinzaki).
Now we are seeing Team 2000's inevitable split, which has potential to be greater than nWo Japan's as the young lions are the ones leaving. The new group, which yet to be named, consists of: Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Koji Kanemoto, AKIRA, Jado and Gedo along with oldsters Hiro Saito and Tatsutoshi Goto. Team 2000 has two natives: Masa Chono and Michiyoshi Ohara along with many gaijins: Scott Norton, Scott Hall, Giant Singh, Giant Silva, and Super J. They've expanded to All Japan though adding more gaijins: Steve Williams, Mike Barton, Mike Rotundo, and Jim Steele. This should be an interesting war as everyone in Team 2000 is has-been's, never-were's, or never-will-be's. The grouping though saves these types from becoming nobodies in the company and makes them good hands in a gang. Team Tenkoji on the other hand will elevate them and potentially their junior underlings.
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