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Wrestling / Toryumon

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Toryumon is a Professional Wrestling dojo and promotion system founded in 1997 by Último Dragón. Its name is a word coined after the Japanese word toryumon, translating as gateway to success.

The system was the first and greatest Japanese school for the Mexican wrestling style of lucha libre, and featured branches in both coasts of the Pacific. The American one, Toryumon Mexico, was its main training facility and is the longest lasting entity to keep the Toryumon name, while its Japanese equivalents, Toryumon Japan, Toryumon 2000 Project and Toryumon X, were build to showcase the wrestlers trained on the other side. The first of them in particular developed until becoming the hottest independent wrestling company in Japan, particulary after Michinoku Pro Wrestling's declive, and in 2004 broke up with the system in controversial circumstances and turned into the company known as Dragon Gate.

Toryumon used to be notable for its isolationism, rarely opening its doors for wrestlers who did not come up through the Toryumon system or Michinoku Pro, and even Dragon Gate retains some of it. It sanctioned one title, the Ultimo Dragon Gym title, and promoted several others including the Universal Wrestling Association Trios Tag Titles, and the National Wrestling Alliance Welterweight Title.

After the breakup, the Toryumon system initiated kind of its own downward spiral. With the failure of X, most of its wrestlers either joined Michinoku Pro in an effort to resuscitate the company (and get a home base for themselves) or tried luck in major promotion. In 2005, Último Dragón and his loyalists opened a new promotion created to compete with Dragon Gate, Dragondoor, but it was such a failure that its next incarnation, Pro Wrestling El Dorado, dissociated itself from Toryumon the same way Dragon Gate did (although in friendly terms this time). El Dorado lasted some more years, but it folded anyways, becoming a micro-promotion named Secret Base which still works today.

Tropes associated with Toryumon and its non-Dragon Gate offshoots

  • Aborted Arc: With the closure of dragondoor, the war between Shuji Kondo's Aagan Iisou and Taiji Ishimori's seikigun was discontinued (and not that many people complained, given how impopular the feud was). The next incarnation of the promotion closed it rushedly in its first events by having Ishimori officially dropping his ace status and teaming up with Kondo against STONED before leaving.
  • Battle Strip: Nidia tried to get cheap heat in Toryumon Mexico by trampling and spitting on her shirt before throwing it in the audience... and a surprising amount of fans still tried to make the catch.
  • Boy Band: Taiji Ishimori with Shu and Kei Sato as his backup singers in Toryumon X. They were supposed to be the top faces of the promotion and even released an album, but fans took to their rivals, the "Salsa Band" known as Los Salseros Japoneses, better.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Magnum Tokyo, Shiima Nobunaga, Sumo Fuji, Judo Suwa, and Little Dragon note  all made appearances in WCW in the late 90s. Tokyo actually got a bit of a push as the lackey of the Boogie Knights Disco Inferno and Alex Wright), and Little Dragon beat Eddie Guererro on WCW Monday Nitro note .
  • Face–Heel Revolving Door: Invoked, as the Toryumon have some degree of continuity with each other and regional promotions, such as those in the WWN. Perhaps because of this continuity, forced attempts often fall flat however.
  • Fake Nationality: In-universe. Toryumon 2000 Project had a stable called the Italian Connection, founded by Akihito Terui, who would change his name to Milano Collection AT and claim to be Italian. He would add YOSSINOnote , "brother" YASSINInote , Condotti Shujinote , Berlinetta Boxernote  and Pescatore Yaginote  to the stable over its first couple years of existence. Most of them debuted under Japanese names, and once they joined the Italian Connection, pretended to be Italian as well. Eventually the stable lost a grudge match against a rival faction and were forced to admit they were Japanese and not Italian.
  • Gorgeous Gaijin: Los Guapos Internacional: Marco Corleone, Alex Koslov and Shocker in Toryumon Mexico.
  • Legacy Character: Dos Caras Jr. and Lizmark Jr.
  • Licensed Game: Virtual Pro Wrestling was a WCW series, nominally, but had wrestlers from many different Japanese promotions and added Toryumon wrestlers after WCW went under.
  • Monster Clown: The original Los Payasos Tricolor have stopped through Toryumon Mexico.
  • Ninja: Dick Togo became "Ninja Warrior" when moving from Dragon Gate to Toryumon Mexico.
  • Parody: If you know The Great Muta, well they did have TARU as The Great Ruta. They also had Takamichi Iwasa and Raimu Mishima... er, Michael Iwasa and Daniel Mishima as the Florida Brothers, who parodied southern style wrestling.
  • Ring Oldies: The over fifty Atlantis and Mil Máscaras in Toryumon México can still go, and being old proved unable to stop Atlantis from going to Japan as well.
  • Tag Team Twins: The Brahman Brothers/Sato Twins are the kings of this trope in Japan. They were considered one wrestler in Toryumon X, and were actually allowed to compete in matches as the same person, as the referee would rather permit it than try and figure out who was who.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The prime example would have to be the Sato twins, who went from The Sailor Boys (pop idol backup singers for Taiji Ishimori) to the Brahamns (Hindu-Satanic occultist deathmatch aficionados).
  • Trope Codifier: For various cheats such as outside interference and wimpy referees in Japanese wrestling. They had existed before, but were largely on their way out in "mainstream" shows (New Japan, All Japan, NOAH) till Toryumon's first graduating class got back from Mexico and made Toryumon Japan a hit.
  • This Means Warpaint: During the feud between the original Toryumon Japan class and the Toryumon 2000 Project, CrazyMAX all came out to wrestle in SWAT Team gear and black face paint.
  • Troll: This was the hallmark of the original M2k (Masaaki Mochizuki, Susumu Mochizuki & Yasushi Kanda). Not content with just dominating the competition and cheating to win, they liked to actually ruin events - one of their favorite tactics was to try and ruin tournaments by forcing the final round to end in a double count-out or no-contest.