Before all this mess with Best of the Super Juniors, I seem to recall a time when Joey Ryan was the grappler going viral and giving the vapors to wrestling purists. If for some reason you don’t remember, Joey and his fearsome American loins were the stars of a match in Japan that saw Danshoku Dino get suplexed via sheer virility. At the time, Ryan was touring Japan with a promotion called DDT (Dramatic Dream Team). They’ve got a roster full of legit puroresu workers (including Cruiserweight Classic-bound Kota Ibushi), but comedy is a focal point for them. That’s especially the case for their most noteworthy title: The Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship.
The Ironman title is basically WWE’s Hardcore Championship, complete with the 24/7 defense rule. Since its inception in 2000, the title has changed hands hundreds of times. Ryan won the title last month on a return trip to DDT, and eventually took the belt back with him to California. What followed was the first Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship defense outside of Japan… and it wasn’t exactly successful.
That’s right, lucha libre legend Rey Mysterio is now a champion in Dramatic Dream Team. Given the chaotic nature of the title, let’s just enjoy this one while it lasts. Mysterio joins a list of prestigious champions that includes:
– NXT Women’s Champion Asuka
– A miniature Dachshund
– Three different stepladders
– New Japan Pro Wrestling booker Jado
– A guy driving a taxi
– Aja Kong and Kyoko Inoue, two of the greatest Japanese female wrestlers ever
– Yoshihiko, an inanimate dummy
– An invisible man
So yeah, he’s in good company. Although if I’m Chuck Taylor, I’m probably less than impressed with this. Taylor’s less-than-official CHIKARA 24/7 Hardcore Championship has been defended across America in similar lightning-quick matches, all documented for posterity on his Instagram. That Michael Elgin/ACH match is an instant classic, for my money.