Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling review (4.29.18)

Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling review (4.29.18)

Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling


April 29 2018




This is a weird show for me because they’ve never aired on Japanese TV before and Cagematch don’t even cover them. I know a lot of the wrestlers from other places but this is genuinely a new experience for me. I’m excited!


We’re at the Navel Kadena Arena. There are a few hundred fans in attendance. The arena is on the third floor of Shakey’s Pizza! Gurukun Mask is the man in charge. This is his baby. That’s his picture up top. If you decide to watch this show the opening 10 minutes is just chatter.


RYUKYU-DOG Dingo & Cuervo Negro vs. Billy Ken Kid & Shuri Joe


Dingo and Negro have little kids as mascots and that’s really weird.


Dingo, as you can probably guess from the name, is actually Australian. I’ve seen him wrestle in AJPW before. Billy Ken Kid has been around for ages. He’s 44 and I remember seeing him wrestle for Osaka Pro back in the day. My favourite thing about this promotion is that the referee wears a mask. Taking that lucharesu to another level lads!


The match is somewhat hampered by Billy Ken Kid having to wait for the slightly dopey fans to move before he can hit a dive. It rather wrecks his otherwise efficient set ups. Another thing I really dig is the one side of the ring has no fans at all, due to the building being so small. Instead of wasting it Ryukyu have a camera on top of the wall so you get a view down into the ring. It’s very cool. The guys in this opener work their asses off. It might not be the technically best match you’ll see but they all care about the product. There are some issues. Dingo at one point notices Billy in the ring making a save and is so slow to react to it that you know it’s only because Billy is scripted to make the save. It doesn’t feel logical. Shuri Joe picks off Cuervo Negro for the win and these guys did not rest at all. Twenty minutes of balls to the wall!

Final Rating: ***1/4


Misaki Maeda vs. Pork Tamako


Maeda sports green and looks as above.


Whereas Pork has a cheerleader gimmick. They’re both babyfaces. Maeda needs to get in better shape if she’s going to be taken seriously but she does have great facials. Plus if you’re walking around with the surname “Maeda” you’d better be tough as shit. As with the opener there’s no lack of effort here. Again it’s not technically great but they make amends with sheer determination. The dropkicks in this are superb. Not because they’re well executed but because of the exertion! Lots of screaming and contact. Maybe not much height. Pork finishes by driving Maeda’s head into the mat on a roll up. Whether the driving part was intentional or not I don’t know but it made me yell “oof” out loud so you know its good. Accrding to the internet (@monkeybuckles specifically) it’s called the Dos Caras Clutch.

Final Rating: ***


Hibiscus Mii vs. Rey Paloma

We’re going intergender here with Mii against cocky bastard Rey Paloma.


Mii’s hair has gotten shorter since I last saw her wrestle. As with almost all Japanese women she looks tiny, even compared to the relatively short Paloma.


Here’s that cool looking camera angle coming down from the empty wall. You get a great look at the building from here, as well as the ring obviously. Mii establishes herself as tough enough to do strike duels from the off, making this seem less like IG and more about wrestling equality…until Rey makes it weird.


So yeah, this is a very silly match with a lot of sex crimes. Rey turning a headscissors into a sex act just seems wrong. Everyone seems to be having a good time and I can only assume Mii agreed to all this stuff, given the way she smiles in between spots, but it’s a bit creepy. The fact that Paloma seems to be getting off on wrestling a woman is quite disturbing and about as far from what you want from IG as possible. They do some good comedy, including the ref on Irish whips etc, but when Rey starts pinning Mii with his dick on her face I’m pretty much done with it.


Look at this shit! This is the finish! The finish! THE FUCKING FINISH! Urgh.

Final Rating: DUD


Brother YASSHI, Tida Heat & Gunso vs. Takashi Sasaki, Hejor Kidman & Shikuwasa Z


Sasaki represents FREEDOMS, as you can tell from his banner. YASSHI is one of those guys who ends up everywhere despite his ‘talents’. They leave the entrance music playing during this, as if it’s a New Jack match. Which is weird because they’ve muted all the entrance music apart from this. It also means I miss the introductions and I’m still not sure who everyone is. Tida Heat is the guy with the MAD DOG shirt on. He looks like a SoCal Indies guy from 2001.


The only two I don’t know are Shikuwasa and Kidman. One of them is dressed as goat, complete with tail.


Apparently that’s Kidman, thanks to a brief Twitter search. Kidman is probably my favourite wrestler in this. He makes for a plucky underdog and the bad guys bully him because of his tail. The match has various sequences, all of which are relatively fast paced. I like how they go through some heat segments and shit before settling into a bunch of spots. Sasaki’s bully treatment of Tida Heat is pretty great, seeing as the heels had been trying this on Sasaki’s partners all match but needed multiple guys to do so. Sasaki just does it on his own. YASSHI messes everything up with a chair shot and Tida Heat ends up beating Shikuwasa with a Canadian Destroyer.

Final Rating: ***1/4


Ryuo Championship

Churaumi Saver (c) vs. Gurukun Mask

This is Gurukun Mask’s promotion so you’d kind of expect him to be champion and he was the first champ. Since then Dingo and Billy Ken Kid have had the belt before it came to this man:


Churaumi Saver. The two men are very similar both in size and style, which leads to a lot of parity stuff and mirror moves. They do an excellent job in making me think they’re evenly matched and that this will be a tight affair. GM is the elder of the two, by some distance, and he knows when to slow things down and give his opponent something to think about.


Or break their ankle on the ring post. The match slows down into a very technically sound, if somewhat dull, middle section where Gurukun Mask works over Saver’s leg.

The third stage of the match is where we just abandon the leg match and do dives. Gurukun Mask won’t let Saver forget the leg though and goes back to it. I appreciate that level of dedication to a limb match. I’ve been saying for ages that leg matches are very hard to execute while keeping a match interesting and that’s definitely true here. They try hard to walk a line. If Gurukun Mask had been in his prime when Liger and company were changing pro wrestling in the 90s he would have fit right in. He has great basics and hard hitting offence and he reminds me of that time period. I’ve never seen him in a big spot before and he’s a total throwback. The mixture of lucha and puro is what hybrid wrestling used to look like.

Saver breaks out far flashier offence like this ^ and a whole mess of innovative lucha stuff. While Gurukun Mask’s approach is to slowly dismantle, Saver kills with fire. I’m not keen on the finish as Saver repositions GM before going up for the 450 Splash and that does it. This was close to being great but it went too long for the ideas at play. The work was certainly tight, for the most part, and both guys shone. Easily best match on the show.

Final Rating: ***3/4



It was a nice change of pace. I didn’t enjoy the IG match at all. It represents everything IG shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be about a man sexually molesting a woman into submission. That’s just wrong on so many levels. The rest of the show was fine. Some decent wrestling and a solid main event. Just keep your intergender to competitive matches rather than rape fantasies boys.

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