El Dorado: The Creation of El Dorado
review by Zedi
Date: July 16th, 2006
El Dorado is a newborn promotion lead by Noriaki Kawabata, which is conceived as the evolution of the Dragon Door Project. This is the official debut event, but it's not the first El dorado show, since the promotion organized some developmental shows in the previous months. The card is:
1. Brahman Shu, Brahman Kei & Manjimaru vs Motosugu Shimizu, Makoto Oishi & Shiori Asahi
Most of the wrestlers listed in the card are Toryumon graduates and were involved in the Dragon Door Project; some of them are currently regulars in Michinoku Pro and AJPW.
Battle 1: Brahman Shu, Brahman Kei & Manjimaru vs Shimizu, Makoto Oishi & Shiori Asahi
After some words, the heel trio (Manjimaru and the Brahman brothers) start beating their opponents, taking them out of the ring. A brawl starts around the arena, with the heels using everything they find to hit the faces: objects used as weapons include bottles and an umbrella. Back in the ring Oishi and Asahi take on Kei and Shu, until Oishi applies an Octopus Hold on one of the brothers; Manjimaru stops him, but Oishi counters with an enzigieri.
Match Thoughts: An ok opener, with a good brawl and decent in-ring action: **1/4
Battle 2: Brother YASSHI vs Jumping Kid Okimoto
Before the match YASSHI stars kidding about JKO height (JKO is not taller than 1.65 m). The match starts very fast, with a series of avoided attacks, ended with JKO finally hitting a Frankensteiner; YASSHI rolls away to outside the ring, but JKO dives over the top rope landing over him. Back in the ring the two trade some chops, then some headbutts, until they both fall to the floor (some comedy stuff here). The headbutts battle continues with the 2 laying on the ground. JKO goes for a Bodyslam, but YASSHI counters with a testicular claw; JKO with a Superkick, 3 slaps and a nice cartwheel dropkick. JKO tries a springboard heel kick, but YASSHI catches him with a "69" tombstone piledriver, then goes on top for a Flying Big Head, which he misses; JKO with a quick small package, but YASSHI kicks out at 2, then with a La Majistral, but only gets another 2 count. YASSHI hits a "Nice Jamaica" (German Suplex Hold) at 9:55 for the win.
Match Thoughts: A comedy match, very fast paced in the final 2 minutes. JKO, who is Rasse in Michinoku Pro, in this match didn't do hardly any of his usual aerial stuff. Overall an ok match, but nothing really special: **
Battle 3: Shogo Jet Takagi vs Kinya Oyanagei vs King Pocota
As you could expect from the characters involved, this is a total comedy match. The match starts with King Pocota preying in the corner, and Takagi and Oyanagei in action. Oyanagei locks Tagaki's arm with a sort of extensible clamp, goes on the top turnbuckle and performs a sort of ropewalk armdrag takedown using the clamp. Shogo Takagi doesn't seem to be too worried about that and hits Oyanagei with his Jet Punches; Oyanagei asks to be punched again and so does Takagi. King Pocota finally wakes up and attacks Takagi, only to receive a stunner by Oyanagei, which he sells in a very funny way; Oyanagei goes for his "Three Cheers Splash", but only gets a 2 count due to the save by Takagi. Finish saw Takagi and Oyanagei hitting King Pocota with a Stereo Jet Punch and Oyanagei pinning him by putting an action figure of Rey, a character from the "Fist of the North Star" comic, over his the chest, on 7.21.
Match Thoughts: Only a little wrestling action, but lots of fun; it would be great to understand the japanese language to fully enjoy these comedy vignettes. This was a normal "Osaka Pro style" match: *
Battle 4: Shinjiro Ohtani vs Bear Fukuda
Bear Fukuda (formerly known as Mango) immediately attacks with some forearms and a corner splash, then takes out Ohtani with a suplex and a clothesline, and finally hits a slingshot Plancha to outside. Back in the ring, Fukuda continues the beating with foot stomps, slaps and a bodyslam; Ohtani comes back by slapping him harder, until Fukuda falls down. Irish Whip, followed by a Running Yakuza Kick by Ohtani; Fukuda is sitting harmlessly in the corner and receives a face wash and another Yakuza Kick to the face. Fukuda stands up and, after being hit by a Big boot, delivers to Ohtani a Lariat. Back on his feet, Ohtani executes a Backdrop Suplex, goes on top, but Fukuda recovers and hits a Superplex for a 2 count. Ohtani with a Spinning kick, then with another Yakuza, but Fukuda counters with a powerslam and then goes for a Brainbuster. Fukuda goes on top and hits his "Final Flash" (a diving body press), but Ohtani kicks out at 2. Ohtani back on his feet hits a kick and a hard chop, then delivers a missile dropkick on the back of his head; Ohtani with a German Suplex, but Fukuda kicks out at 2; he tries a dangerous head-drop Dragon Suplex, but Fukuda kicks out again. Ohtani applies a King Cobra Hold for the submission at 9.53.
Match Thoughts: Much better than what I expected, since I really don't like Fukuda and I didn't expect anything special by Ohtani: a good start, only a few stalling in the middle and 3 awesome final minutes, lots of hard-hitting and near falls. Despite the fact Ohtani looks older than he is, he's still in good in the ring and hits harder than ever: ***
Battle 5: El Blazer, Kota Iibushi & Milanito Collection A.T. vs Kondo, Takuya Sugawara & Ken 45°
It's time for a typical fast paced "Toryumon style" Trios match. El Blazer is the Michinoku Pro Yoshitsune, while ken 45° is Pineapple Hanai. Milanito & Sugawara start the match engaging in some mat wrestling. It is then the turn of Ken 45° and El Blazer: Blazer with a Sunset Flip, but Ken kicks out and tags in Kondo, who shows his hard-hitting style, while the forearms of El Blazer don't seem to do any damage; Kondo hits a one-handed slam for a 2. Irish Whip by Kondo and Blazer gets beaten up by all 3 his opponents; there seems to be some sort of miscommunication problems between Ken and Sugawara. Ken with a Snapmare, then goes for an Irish Whip, but El Blazer jumps over the top turnbuckle and performs a Moonsault, landing on his feet behind Ken; Sugawara tags in and the two try a double team move, but el Blazer counters with an impressive Double Springboard Implant DDT, then tags Kota in. Kota takes Ken out of the ring with a Dropkick, then hits a great moonsault from the top turnbuckle to outside. Kondo and Milanito are in in the ring, but El Blazer uses Milanito's back and Kondo's shoulders as a ladder to perform a dive to outside the ring to hit Sugawara. Milanito with an enzigieri, followed by a second-rope asai moonsault; he applies the AT lock, but Kondo gets out of it with an impressive double-handed chokeslam. He covers, but only for a 2 count. Milanito hits an Enzigieri, but Kondo take him down with a beautiful "The Original" (a flapjack into a powerslam); Milanito barely kicks out, so Kondo uses his running Spear Slam, but isn't able to cover due to a missile dropkick by El Blazer. Sugawara is back in the ring and tries to attack El Blazer, who is again on the top turnbuckle; evasion flip from the corner by Blazer, who hits an enzigieri, followed by a 619 over the top rope, for a 2 count. Sugawara hits an Enzigieri, an elbow smash and a Quebrada, but Blazer is able to kick out again at 2; Sugawara tries to set up the Crime Operation, but Blazer reverses it into an inverted Hurricanrana. Ken 45 breaks the count at 2.
Kota comes back with a Plancha, then hits a series of stiff kicks, but Ken reverses one of them into a T-bone Suplex; Ken with an Hurricanrana, then goes for a Running Senton, but Kota avoids it and hits a nice looking Standing SSP, only to get another 2 count. Kota goes for the Golden Star press (a swan dive Phoenix Press), but misses, but he hits an enzigieri anyway, executes a top rope moonsault, but Ken barely kicks out before the 3. Kota tries a German Suplex, but Ken replies with a low blow and a lariat; he tries a springboard move, but El Blazer dropkicks him; Milanito and El Blazer work together, with a sequence of moves involving a Standing Step-over SSP, a Rolling Neckbreaker and a 619; Kota tags in and hits a Standing corkscrew senton, for a 2 count, again. Kota with a second-rope Asai moonsault, but Ken 45° seems immortal, kicking out again. Kota with a Deadlift German Suplex, but this time Kondo runs in for the save. Ken is still lying on the mat, so El Blazer tries a Shooting Star Press, just to receive 2 running dropkicks by Kondo and Sugawara. Sugawara this time is able to hit a Running Inverted Samoan Drop, but this is only a 2 count. Kondo and Ken 45 perform a double team Powerbomb/Dropkick combo to take Blazer down, but both Milanito and Kota are able to make the save. Sugawara and Ken go for double team again, but there are miscommunication problems, with Ken trying to win without Sugawara's help; the 2 start arguing, until Milanito makes his comeback and takes both of them out. Kondo is in the ring again, this time alone with El Blazer; at this point Brahman Shu and Kei show up and hit Kondo with the Kendo stick, blocking his King Kong Lariat, thus allowing el Blazer to hit the "Uno Cielo Perfecto" (a Springboard Dragonrana) for the final pin at 17.45.
Match Thoughts: This match was awesome from start to finish, fast paced and very entertaining with tons of near falls. Not a single botch, nothing sloppy at all, despite the difficulty of the maneuvers involved in this nearly 20 minutes match. El Blazer is awesome, his aerial stuff is incredible and this time he didn't botch a single thing; the same can be said about Iibushi Kota. Shuji Kondo looks very impressive; nothing wrong with this match, and it wasn't just a spotfest; a very good match that could have been great with some more ring psychology: ***3/4
Battle 6: KAGETORA vs Touru Owashi
And now it's time for the main event, with the top face, Touru Owashi, facing the top heel, KAGETORA; slow start, with static locks until the Brahman brothers interfere with their Kendo stick to help KAGETORA, but Takagi comes in for the save. Some very hard chopping by both contenders, Owashi tries a shoulder block but one of the Brahmans hits his back with a chair. KAGETORA drags Owashi out of the ring and throws him through the chairs; back in the ring Owashi responds with a clothesline, a Suplex and a Legdrop, but gets only 2 count; he hits a Chokeslam for a 2nd 2 count. KAGETORA escapes another Chokeslam, then hits a dropkick to Owashi's chest, followed by 2 lariats and an enzigieri. KAGETORA goes for a Backdrop Suplex, Owashi gets out of it, but KAGE is able to hit a German Suplex. Brainbuster by KAGETORA, but Owashi kicks out. It's Ikkitousen time, but Owashi doesn't agree, so Shu and Kei try to help their boss, by trapping Owashi in the corner. Owashi avoids a lariat, takes care of the Brahmans, then hits a running Chokeslam. He then hits a Top Rope Flying Splash; KAGETORA barely kicks out at 2. Owashi tries a powerbomb, but KAGE counters, responds with a kick and goes for the Ikkitousen, which is reversed into a Crucifix Bomb by Owashi: that's only a 2 count. Owashi sets up a powerbomb, again; both Shu and Kei run in with a chair, hitting him. The Brahmans and Manjimaru beat down Owashi, Takagi and the referee until Kondo and YASSHI come in for the save. The heels run away and the match ends in a No Contest, just to set up a 8 men Tag Team match, with KAGETORA, Shu, Kei and Manjimaru vs Owashi, Kondo, "brother" YASSHI and Takagi.
Match Thoughts: Of course this was a match interrupted in the middle, so it didn't last more than 10 minutes. This wasn't a bad match at all, but nothing really special for a main event; Kagetora looks great in the ring, and Owashi is a good worker but, despite being very young, he resembles more an old school wrestler than a new generation one, thus hardly fitting in a promotion like El Dorado: **1/2
Battle 7: KAGETORA, Brahman Shu, Brahman Kei and Manjimaru vs Touru Owashi, brother YASSHI, Shuji Kondo & Shogo JET Takagi
The match starts with all 8 men brawling around the arena; KAGETORA takes Takagi back on the ring and starts the beating. Shu, Kei and Manjimaru eventually join this violence party, taking care of YASSHI and Kondo. Shu with a series of stiff kicks gets a 2 count, tries to cover again, but Kondo makes the save. The brothers use a double team, but Takagi counters with a kick and a shoulder block, then tags Owashi in. Shu tags Manji, who gets triple-dropkicked by Owashi, Kondo and YASSHI. Yasshi with a double team senton gets a 2 count, so Owashi chokeslams him onto Manji chest with another double team, but Manjimaru kicks out again. YASSHI goes on top for his Flying Headbutt, but misses: KAGETORA and the Brahmans with some triple team work, but they only get a 2 count. Shu with a spinning kick, Kei with another, KAGETORA hits a Hangetsu and finally Manjimaru hits the Manjiotoshi, but Kondo saves YASSHI. Kondo and Owashi are now in the ring with Manjimaru and execute a double lariat and a double spinning high kick; Owashi hits a Chokeslam, but Manjimaru somehow is able to kick out. Kondo lifts Manji for a powerbomb and Yasshi goes on top hitting a Flying Somersault Neckbreaker, for a nice double team move, but KAGETORA kicks him before he could get the pin. Owashi hits a Running Chokeslam on Manji, but gets hit by a flying Elbow by KAGETORA; very fast paced action now: Takagi with a flying Shoulder Block, Shu hits him with a spinning kick, and YASSHI runs in the ring hitting a Shining Wizard. Shu and Kei try to double-team Kondo, who counters with an impressive Double Lariat; Manjimaru goes on top, but Kondo catches him and hits a killer Release German Suplex for a 2 count. Kondo is preparing for a King Kong Lariat, but KAGETORA hits a Hangetsu, then rolls out of the ring, while Manji is trying to use his weedwacker: unfortunately he's not fast enough, since Kondo is able to recover and go for his lariat, misses a first time, but hits a second one after Takagi hits Manji with a chair shot. 3 count at 7.43.
Match Thoughts: The shortest match of the show, but very fast and a little bit chaotic, maybe too chaotic. The match was good, but absolutely lacked of "ring psychology": ***
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a good show, especially considering that this is a newborn promotion, still in a developmental stage. There were not any bad matches, the only one which lacked good wrestling was a good comedy match; of course there was noting memorable, but the trios match was really very entertaining and offered tons of good action. El Dorado seems to provide more comedy and much more character and storyline development than the previous Dragondoor; that's no doubt about the fact the average match quality is much better. The roster is solid, with some excellent workers like Shuji Kondo and KAGETORA and the younger Toryumon graduates such as El Blazer represent a variety of entertainment.
The only perplexity I have regards the booking: Dragondoor failed mainly due to the poor booking, with too many unknown wrestlers used as faces and the heels being so popular they had all the fan support; this time Kondo is a face and KAGETORA is a great choice as the top heel, but Owashi, who has always been a monster heel, doesn't perfectly fit in his role.
I'd recommend this show to anyone who enjoys Dragon Gate and Michinoku Pro, since the wrestling style is very similar.