Scout Report by Wrestlingscout

T2P 3/30/02 League Tournament Review

After being blown away by their initial Japanese show, I couldn't wait to order some more, this time their League tournament from late March. This is probably going to be the one Japanese group I buy everything from because it's that damn cool. Then I can make a "Best of" and show everyone just exactly why T2P is the hottest promotion in the world!

1. Anthony W. Morii vs. Takayuki Yagi vs. Stevie Brother Tsujimoto
I'm not really sure how this works exactly, but I'm sure I can pick it up as it goes along. It appears to be a three-way, which guarantees interesting stuff. Morii's gimmick still baffles me, I guess he's a prince, but it doesn't really matter much. Stevie has dawned some dreadlocks making him look like old Judo SUWA, but not really. Yagi is still the same ole fisherman. Cool matwork (maybe I shouldn't have to ever say that again because it's restating the obvious) with all three bouncing around, two tying up one and so on. They do some neato spots like Morii leapfrogs Yagi, who runs off and covers Stevie. They mainly isolate one by knocking him out of the ring then the other two exchange T2P coolness! Morii use a cool stepover toehold half crab combo to beat Yagi and on comes the Britney Spears. Yagi won't shake his hand and Stevie gives him a BIG low blow and that's that. This seemed fast, but the work was fast-paced, so it worked. This style is great for keeping interest and is probably something that if done right could gain acceptance in the States.
Rating: **3/4

2. Shuji Kondo vs. Toru Owashi
The two with the best heavyweight styles match up in what should be very interesting. Owashi takes it to Kondo, going to the floor and chucking him four rows back. These guys are much more physical with their strikes and moves than their peers, so I'm sure we'll see more youngsters with these styles. Kondo is more hold-friendly, while Owashi prefers the big moves. Kondo's comeback is met with a lowblow and Owashi loses his temper and attacks the ref and gives him another. The ref yellow cards him, so Owashi attacks him again and is DQ'd. The big man cuts a promo with a very unusual voice and hits the ref again. Strong style meets T2P? Owashi seems to not fit the style perfectly, but can work with it at least. I'm sure he'll crossover with Toryumon as he could be a great heel bruiser there. Kondo, the mini-Goldberg, is quite good and should have the same mobility.
Rating: **

3. Masato Yoshino vs. Anthony W. Morii
Yoshino, my favorite of the kids, wrestled Morii (then "Mori-ken Taro") at the first show and they blended really well. Morii attempts a missile dropkick early, which misses, and I'm still trying to figure out how highflying plays into this style. They do some unusual brawling as well, again how do strikes play into this style...I'm not quite sure. What appears to be a botched quebradora-involving spot is cleverly covered up. Yoshino does his head scissors into entangled Octopus hold, but not as freaskishly smooth as the first show. Morii appears to be outshining the company's #2 at this point. Morii seems to be the Prince of the Stepover Toehold as he works into it for and works it into all of his moves (how awkward does that sound?). Yoshino comes back with his head scissors into bulldog and entangled head scissors hold, I forget their respective nicknames, for the win. Yoshino is great, but Morii looked like the better man here in what was another fast match with no downtime.
Rating: **3/4

4. Milano Collection A.T. vs. Shuji Kondo
The company's ace against their little powerhouse. Kondo was probably the underdog against Owashi and is certainly the underdog here. A.T. comes in fast with a double armbar, sort of like a Triangle, but with both arms and no head. Then he goes for his one-handspring elbow, but Kondo bulls his way out of the corner. Milano catches him with his knee-assisted enzugiri followed by his twisting quebrada legdrop and then locks him Mr. Niebla-style and that's what I'd call a squash. A fun squash that really sets forth a lofty task for Yoshino, who'll meet Milano in the finals.

5. Shachihoko Machines vs. Raimu Mishima & Noriaki Kawabata
The Machines have body suits and seriously weird me out. They're like the bastard twins of Stoker Ichikawa, the Conquistidors and a Teletubby. Then two more come out...I'm in HELL! Mishima and Kawabata seem unimpressed. This is my first chance to see Kawabata, who has a martial arts gimmick. The Machines do some tag team confusion comedy, until Mishima cleans them out, but both fall into the ropes identically. They go for a double (literally) leg on him, but Mishima spins them into one another, so they have a mini-match. One is sent to the floor and the other plays a kicking bag. The Machines come back with hilariously wonderful double-teaming. The ending is just awesome with #3 and #4 taking out Kawabata as one gets Mishima in a head scissors into a sleeper hold. The second cues the first to do a roll forward, like a Japanese Legroll and the second flips over with the legs for the win. The Machines are funny and talented, like Kinya Oyanagei meets Stoker Ichikawa, which is just great.
Rating: **1/2

6. Taru & Tarucito vs. Ryo Saito & Kinya Oyanagei
Two Toryumon boys, who have been adopted by T2P, compete in what will have to be a very athletic comedy match. Kinya has his schoolboy gimmick here complete with coke-bottle glasses. The referee takes them, but he needs them and Saito's sunglasses don't fly either. He starts with Taru, but needs to use a textbook to aid him. It doesn't appear to be helping, so he keeps raising his hand and going to the book. Finally he brings the book in with him and no he doesn't nail Taru with it, he does everything but...brillance! Saito and Tarucito are next, but the lil' guy can't seem to do much damage. The Tarus come back with rudo tactics, namely Axe Kick low blows. Kinya and Taru do some of the same spots from their first match, but things are switched up a bit. The finish is a bit anticlimatic, but it perpetuates the Taru-Kinya feud.
Rating: **1/2

7. Milano Collection A.T. vs. Masato Yoshino (Finals for the NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship)
Not always when the top two talents in a company meet do they give us the best match possible. I'd say that can sometimes be the case in the US, but in Japan, I'm yet to see this happen. I'm intrigued to see Milano' first real match with another T2P guy, so when a masked man jumps him, I'm not impressed. The masked man, a bigger guy in a "BIG FUN" jacket steals Milano's invisible dog and leaves. So now maybe things are slightly tilted in Yoshino's favor as A.T. has been knocked stupid before this match for the company's apparent top title. Tarzan Boy comes out on the offense, again not hitting his Octopus hold clean. He hits the combo that beat Morii, but Milano's long legs find the ropes. A.T. mounts a comeback, but can't lock his Paradise Lock (Nieblina) due to his injured elbow. Instead he uses AT Lock for a win at just over 5 minutes. Again a quick match, which I think should've gone longer. The outcome was right though as even an injured and attacks A.T. is unbeatable. He continues to sell the elbow, will it become his Achilles' Heel?
Rating: **3/4
Milano is given the NWA International Junior Heavyweight title, which a gawdy looking belt, I mean I've seen backyarders with better-looking belts. The masked man is revealed by Saito as Don Fujii. There's some post-match comedy and my Japanese isn't good enough yet, so they really lose me. Fujii still has the dog and he and Saito are together against the T2P boys.
Not as overwhelming as the first show, but important in establishing Milano even further as the company's ace - hands down. He beat the group's #2, injured, meaning he's a few steps ahead of them all. The Toryumon vs. T2P angle is interesting as there is both a style clash and a kinship since they're all Ultimo Dragon's students. I think T2P's comedy is just fantastic and the wrestling is yet to be below what I'd call "pretty good." This style is still new and hard to rate, so take my stars with a grain of salt. This is great TV.