Scout Report by Wrestlingscout
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
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.
2. Shuji Kondo vs.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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'
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.