Aja Kong . . . obviously doesn’t take herself too seriously, by playing along with the resident comedian of Toryumon.
SUWA . . . shows off his greatness by doing everything possible to make the spot-machine look credible.
Sumo Dandy Fuji . . . tries to beat the ever-loving crud of out his fellow Crazy Maxer in order to keep his hair!
STOKER ICHIKAWA vs. AJA KONG
Nobody will ever accuse Aja of lacking a sense of humor. She lets Stoker have his fun, and even sells a low blow so that he can do his flying horn poke. Why this dragged on for more than eleven minutes is beyond me, it’s clipped down to less than three, and even that felt way too long. Most of Aja’s shots barely made contact, including the Uraken, although I’m sure she didn’t swing as hard for Stoker as she would have for Manami Toyota.
TARU vs. MAKOTO
Their slow movements would make one think that this is joined more than halfway into a grueling thirty-minute affair, but, the on-screen graphic reveals that this is only ten minutes long. So they either need to spend some time on a treadmill, or the first half of this was all action and we’re joining after the fact. Their work isn’t anything all that special, MAKOTO shows a couple of nice things like the DDT into the front suplex, and, it was surprising to see him use a juji-gatame. But, TARU decides that he’s not doing anything that might make MAKOTO look good. He spends a decent amount of time in the hold, and when he gets out, he starts throwing lariats like he hadn’t spent any time in an armbar. When MAKOTO survives the first TARU driller, he goes all out with three more to keep him down. Whatever.
SUWA © vs. DRAGON KID (NWA World Welterweight Title)
This is probably best known for the Sweeter bomb finish, which their Hair versus Mask match would later play off of. But, this is a good match in its own right. My problem with DK has always been that he seems to think that everything he does has to be a flashy spot, like the cross-corner quebrada to the floor, or an armdrag after rotating around the body three times, and this match is no different. Even his counter to the FFF is an overly flashy rana. What makes the match work is that SUWA bumps and sells like DK is killing him. The rana counter to the FFF stuns him enough for DK to hit the Dragon Stunner and leads to the Dragonrana, which causes TARU’s interference and allows for SUWA to foul him.
When SUWA is in control, it’s the usual fun that this pairing makes, with SUWA working over DK with much more simple and effective offense, and DK’s selling is every bit as good as SUWA’s. SUWA isn’t shy about getting flashy either, but only when his more basic moves don’t do the trick. Instead of going right for the Jet Pool, which is still nowhere near as flashy as what DK does, SUWA first uses moves like the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a flapjack. And, as is usually the case with SUWA, the match ends, but the action doesn’t stop. He and TARU rip off DK’s mask and beat up on a few ring boys until Jinsei Shinzaki makes the save to set up a tag match later on. ***1/4
SUWA/TARU vs. JINSEI SHINZAKI/DRAGON KID
There isn’t very much of this shown, but, most of what’s shown is Shinzaki in firm control and easily handling both members of Crazy Max. The moment that stuck out the most to me was DK doing his ususal array of flashy offense to TARU, and jumping right into a big kick to turn the tide. It’s such a simple spot, but it’s the perfect way to stop DK. TARU works over DK for a minute, but Shinzaki breaks it up before DK is in any real danger. SUWA gets a brief offensive run after he slips off the ropes, which results in him being even angrier when he goes after Shinzaki. But, Shinzaki makes his own save from the Crazy Max duo, and finishes TARU with the straightjacket hold. Shinzaki’s dominance would have made sense if it led to something like challenging for SUWA’s title. But, the post-match antics lead to Arai getting the next title shot. Shinzaki had one more match for Toryumon, against Stoker of all people. It wasn’t even like Shinzaki helped DK get revenge for the earlier embarrassment. Shinzaki fought DK’s battle for him, and the two C-Max members were sacrificed at his altar.
CIMA/SUMO DANDY FUJI vs. GREAT SASUKE/TIGER MASK
This isn’t much of a match, but, it features heat mongering of the highest order from Crazy Max. There’s plenty of mask ripping, fouls, distracting the illegal babyface in order to illegally double-team, and, of course, interference from TARU and SUWA. Sasuke gets hung up in the tree of woe, with TARU standing on top of him, while the other three baseball slide into him. The only altogether odd thing is when Fuji escapes the German suplex by fouling TM, and TM no-sells it. CIMA looks like he’s about to finish off Sasuke after the Venus and Iconoclasm, but TM intervenes before the Mad Splash. Sasuke recovers and takes out Fuji with a big tope, while TM spikes CIMA with a Millennium suplex and then gets the pin with a Tiger suplex. With the Michinoku Pro team victorious, the two losing members of Crazy Max are forced to compete against each other for their hair.
CIMA vs. SUMO DANDY FUJI (Hair vs. Hair)
Even with the cabellera apuesta this seems like it would be a throwaway match, considering it’s between two stablemates, who’d just worked a tag match. But, they actually do a fabulous job creating doubt and making it seem like Fuji can pull off the upset. At first, neither can reel off more than one or two things at a time, which keeps the match feeling ‘fast’ and shows off how well they know each other. But, once Fuji knocks CIMA off the apron and then dives onto him, he firmly takes over, and puts CIMA through the ringer. Fuji wears him down with a seated double chickenwing, and starts bombing him with Nodowas and lariats. CIMA seems to make a comeback when he escapes a top rope Nodowa and connects a Venus and Iconoclasm, but Fuji is still too strong, and counters the piledriver to stay in control. CIMA finally does make his comeback after he counters another Nodowa, and starts hitting his own offense. Their difference in rank is fully on display when Fuji does his best move multiple times and can’t beat CIMA (especially after CIMA was pinned in the tag match after two suplexes), while CIMA gets near falls with his lower end spots like the Perfect driver. CIMA pays Fuji some respect by upgrading to the Cross-Armed Iconoclasm before hitting the Mad Slash to win. It would have been nice to see CIMA do more to sell the beating he took after he went back on offense, although, it makes sense for him to try to hurry things along after Fuji thwarted his first comeback. That one issue aside, it’s still nice to see that they reigned themselves in and told a story, and tried to make their spots matter. ***1/4
CIMA/SUMO DANDY FUJI/STOKER ICHIKAWA vs. MASAAKI MOCHIZUKI/SUSUMU MOCHIZUKI/YASUSHI KANDA
Stoker’s presence and Fuji’s wig make it seem impossible to take this seriously, and it’s painfully obvious who the fall guy is. But, there’s more than enough hate and intensity to get it past any preconceived notions of goofiness, and, it’s a damn fun ride before the obvious finish. Stoker starts with his comedy, and Crazy Max aids him in goofing around with Masaaki. But, they take things too far with their attempts to have fun, and Masaaki turns things around. M2K does to Crazy Max, exactly what Crazy Max did to Sasuke and Tiger Mask: They tear up Stoker’s mask and start triple teaming Fuji. They bait CIMA into distracting the ref and expose the turnbuckle. When Fuji finally does tag CIMA, they put a stop to his fired-up comeback with a shot from the blue box. The match breaks down from there with the usual pairing off and near falls from big moves. It seems like Kanda is going to get the win with his flying elbow on Fuji, but Stoker returns after his unmasking to make the save, and seemingly snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by cradling Susumu. Kanda uses the blue box to make the save, and, it allows Susumu to steal the win. The big downfall to the match is that it took its cues from the Crazy Max/M-Pro tag rather than the hair match and focused more on heat mongering and being go-go-go, rather than telling a story and making the work matter. This is still relatively early in the feud, so there’s no reason why they can’t improve things later on. It’s still a fun and heated affair, and, by trotting out Stoker to take the fall, it keeps things interesting for later on when CIMA and Fuji can get SUWA or TARU to join them. ***
Conclusion: The usual parade of fun that Toryumon provides, with the usual suspects from Crazy Max bringing the goods.