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Legacy of the Elementals -- A Dynasty


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[I]When my father entered the wrestling business in 1973, he started a revolution. Today, I survey the wrestling scene, only to find that revolution all but ended. The grace and technique of my father have given way to mediocrity; a few of the high-flying combatants out there today have respect for the craft, but more are like Shinrikyaru Ooka and Hisato – able to leap, but not attuned to the craft underlying their leaping. A few fighters endure with respect for the old ways – the Englishman known as Wilson, young Sensational Dragon, even Koji Kojima – but most lack balance. With wrestlers like Optimus and my father’s successor approaching retirement, the art of Super Junior wrestling is in a sad state of decline. Today, Super Junior wrestling is failing, not only technically but commercially. Cartoonish characters rule the day – the recent and much-publicized return of the ridiculous Samuel Stragavelli to the once-proud Burning Hammer is the most recent and perhaps the saddest blow on that horizon. The backlash is even worse -- the brutish Kikkawa and his band of thugs look to turn the craft of wrestling into an artless battle of punches and brutality. Something must be done. Today, I begin to do something about it. Today, I leave the dojo to embark on my career. I am Kyoshi Muraguchi, and today I don the mask of my father – the mask of Elemental. [/I] So begins this diary – the tale of Kyoshi Muraguchi’s rise through the wrestling world as Elemental III. Muraguchi is taken roughly as he stands in the original database, with one exception: I have given him a custom moveset, which is (at the moment) identical to that of his father Elemental (the first), but may change in the future. I’ve also spent $2640 to increase his mat wrestling by 10%, and $2050 to increase his chain wrestling by 8%, leaving him with the following skills: POWER 20% BRAWLING 14% STRONG STYLE 5% HARDCORE 3% MMA 0% MAT WRESTLING 30% CHAIN WRESTLING 24% SUBMISSIONS 14% AERIAL 55% FLASHINESS 64% MICROPHONE 20% CHARISMA 44% ACTING 11% LOOKS 64% STAR QUALITY 80% BASICS 56% PSYCHOLOGY 31% SAFETY 62% CONSISTENCY 82% SELLING 36% ATHLETICISM 66% TOUGHNESS 25% STAMINA 60% INTENSITY 26% STIFFNESS 21% RESILIENCE (A) RESPECT (F) MENACE 2% SPIRIT (F) He’s got 4% popularity across the board in Japan, none whatsoever anywhere else.
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TUESDAY, WEEK 1, JUNE 2006 [I] I have gone to the four promotions in Japan, and beseeched them to offer me a job. Despite my father’s involvement with Burning Hammer, they would not employ me; this is no doubt wise of them. I will gain experience elsewhere, then return. The laughably-named Pride Glory Honor Wrestling, which never supported the super-junior style, was merely a formality; I asked them, but knew their response before they made it. This leaves me with the two options, and I will take both, but not without hesitation. The history of Golden Canvas Grappling is legendary, but it is not a history rich in lightweight workers. At the moment, they only employ two masked lightweights – one is the very talented Westerner Wilson, the man known as Dark Angel, but the other is Shigeki Kawasawa – called “Eagle”. Optimus trained him for a year, but he left in some petty dispute before he gained the requisite skills. He acted without honor in doing so; his work in the ring is slipshod and risky; he is not a man I respect. My other new employer is World Level Wrestling – and they have more lightweights. Many more, in fact, and while some are woefully lacking in fundamentals – I refer specifically to the disgraceful Hisato, and to “Emerald Angel” Ishibashi… I am too harsh on Ishibashi. He is young, and could improve. Indeed, I am no better than he is in some ways. I must maintain my humility. But while the workers are there, the promotion shows no evidence of respect for the traditions of wrestling. Instead, they book short matches, intending to capture the attention of an audience with no understanding of the subtleties that go on within the ring. Still, perhaps that is what the market will bear. I cannot deny wrestling the right to change with the times, and this product is better than the tedious and barbaric punch-battles of INSPIRE and whatnot. But when I gain power – and some day, I guarantee I will – this nonsense will cease. Unfortunately, neither of these promotions will allow me to wear the mask of my father just yet. They say I must earn the right to wear it via success in the ring – they will not have an Elemental who loses match after match. I suppose that is prudent of them – I would certainly be enraged if another man took the name and made a laughingstock of it – but rest assured, I shall not lose. [/I]
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Thanks! Unfortunately, it's not going anywhere, at least not as quickly as I'd like... but wait! TUESDAY, WEEK 1, JULY 2006 [I]It’s been a long and painful month – not of wrestling, but of waiting on the sidelines for promotions to call. Dutifully, I have attended six shows, awaiting the break that might put me into action at the last minute; dutifully, I have watched as no such break occurred. I am troubled, not only financially but in spirit; how can I change an industry that will not even give me time? In recent days, though, a bright spot has arrived. I dare not be too optimistic, but I remain hopeful. On Saturday, I was at the GCG’s weekly show – where the young Tayama claimed the openweight title from Hyobanshi, an uninspiring brawler ceding the crown to a still less inspiring one – when a man in a mask bearing the colors of the British flag approached me. This was UK Dragon – a worthy competitor, and a better exponent of the super junior style than most native Japanese users of the style. He asked why I was wearing the mask of Elemental, and I told him my story. He seemed very interested… Dragon explained that, in his home country, he was a highly respected wrestler – a headliner for a company called Ring of Fire, founded on the principles of Japanese wrestling and named in a deliberate nod to the promotion my father made famous. He would be honored, he said, to recommend me to the owner and head booker of Ring of Fire, a man using the unlikely name of British Samurai – though, he added, British Samurai’s respect for my father’s work would render his own approval redundant. He then gave me some tapes. I’ve watched those tapes, and what he says is true – though Ring of Fire’s style is not [U]entirely[/U] Japanese, it’s much closer in spirit than the nonsense of much modern American wrestling. Anyway, England has always had a legitimate respect for the Japanese art – the country has produced workers like Dark Angel Wilson and UK Dragon himself. At the very least, this will provide me with some experience, a regular paycheck, and the chance to test my skills against a new and different style of wrestling. And it’s not as though Japan has treated me well thus far. I’ve decided to give Ring of Fire a try. Meanwhile in PGHW, PRIDE Koiso has taken the Historical title from Bryan Holmes. (And what’s “historical” about that title, anyway? PGHW [U]has[/U] no true history! The only legitimate world titles are the Burning Hammer title passed down from Master Kitozon, the Burning Junior title, and the Golden Canvas Heavyweight title!) I’ve never been hugely fond of Holmes, but at least he practices the art of wrestling; Koiso is just another interchangeable strong-style idiot without technical skills or grace. Japan is so depressing; I’ll be perfectly happy to go to England. Maybe I’ll [U]stay[/U] there. This place doesn’t deserve me. [/I]
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Oh, don't worry about it. That's entirely intentional -- remember the situation he's in. He's just out of school, wants to change the world, and nobody is giving him the chance. Plus he's grown up around BHOTWG in general and his father Elemental in particular, and wants to live up to that tradition. He won't [I]always[/I] be this bitter and overconfident. Well, assuming he ever gets booked anywhere...
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[QUOTE=Cathcart Chiswick]Oh, don't worry about it. That's entirely intentional -- remember the situation he's in. He's just out of school, wants to change the world, and nobody is giving him the chance. Plus he's grown up around BHOTWG in general and his father Elemental in particular, and wants to live up to that tradition. He won't [I]always[/I] be this bitter and overconfident. Well, assuming he ever gets booked anywhere...[/QUOTE] Ok that's cool then. I am liking the dynasty, despite the comment on it's main character. I just want to clarify that.
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Actually, I enjoy the character. It's a great starting point, with room to grow both positively and negatively. A kid who believes he's entitled to the legacy of Elemental, simply because his father made the character famous. Ideally, at some point, he'll cross American Elemental because that could be quite the intense confrontation. So keep him brash and petulant and let the Wrestling (Spirit) world form and shape his character.
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THURSDAY, WEEK 1, AUGUST 2006 [I]After two months of waiting, my first match came tonight. It didn’t come without a few problems, though. I was matched up against Quick Kick Nakao, a young worker with some raw ability, which he chooses to disregard in favor of brawling. Needless to say, he was much favored over me; I soon evened the match, though, using my technical knowledge against him. Nine minutes in, I hit a missile dropkick, then climbed to the top rope to deliver the Inferno Splash -- but I mistimed my jump and landed on my back. Oh, the pain! Oh, the embarrassment! I was able to recover, though, and hit the Earth Breaker for the win. Still, this isn’t the glorious debut I was imagining. Oh, well – humility, Kyoshi. Nobody even expected me to win.[/I] Kyoshi Muraguchi beat Quick Kick Nakao in 10:30 via Earth Breaker (Match rating: C-)
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TUESDAY, WEEK 1, SEPTEMBER 2006 [I]So, last night, Marihito Masuko won the Burning Hammer Openweight title from Nariaki Hitomi. Of course I realize this is a lower-level title, and it changes hands frequently, but every little bit helps, right? Marihito has done things the right way, not neglecting his technical training or working a needlessly stiff match, and it’s good to see Burning Hammer recognize that. Congratulations, Marihito! Still not getting very many calls myself. At least I’m not panicked about the money, but I’d like to advance my career faster than it’s going now. [/I] TUESDAY, WEEK 2, SEPTEMBER 2006 [I] In a fairly shocking upset, Hyosuke Kokan took the Burning Junior Championship from Sensational Dragon. Of course, you know I believe Dragon is the best young worker in the business today, but Kokan is solid. He’s a student of Elemental II, who of course wouldn’t bother with mere spot monkeys. Of course. I expect Dragon will get a chance to retake the title in the future, but one could do worse than giving it to Kokan. [/I]
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SATURDAY, WEEK 2, OCTOBER 2006 [I]Over two months after I beat Nakao, GCG has finally seen fit to give me another booking. This is one of those six-man matches where they basically throw a lot of lower-level workers into the ring to see what develops – sort of like a training session with an audience. Not the ideal situation, but after getting booked only once in four and a half months, I’ll take what I can get. My teammates are Naonobu Murakami, a sturdy veteran brawler, and Julian Watson, and unpleasantly stiff Canadian brawler; we’ll be facing Shotaro Ikina, Namboku Makuda, and Henry Bennett. I’m the smallest of the six, but also the fastest. The tentative plan is to have Watson use his toughness to wear down the enemy, then bring me in mid-match to hit some aerial moves. Ikina is the biggest name on either team, but also probably the worst wrestler; it’s likely the other two will protect him up to the end, at which point he’ll try to hit his one good spot, the facebuster. Of course, plans don’t always hold, especially in matches like this. Murakami opens the match, facing off against Makuda. It’s a battle of technicians, and the older, stronger Murakami puts on a clinic, completely dominating Makuda. Seven minutes into the match, I’m brought in; I hit a springboard rana and a moonsault, but when Makuda manages to tag out to Ikina, I take a few quick shots and leave, giving way to Watson. Watson manages to keep it even against Ikina, but when Bennett tags in, it’s back to Murakami. As before, Murakami dominates the younger fighter, then tags out to me for a missile dropkick and a standing moonsault. Twenty-two minutes have passed, and I’m starting to wonder if it’s time to try for the pin. It’s not my place to make the first attempt, I suppose; I let Bennett tag out to Ikina, hit a rolling wheel kick and a slingshot senton, and give Watson his turn. Watson doesn’t hold his own as well this time; when he only narrowly blocks an Ikina Driver, Murakami decides it’s time for him to take over. But Murakami is in poor condition, as are we all. This could be trouble. Murakami gets some strong hits in, but at the 28:30 mark, he only barely kicks out of a German suplex. He regains control, hits a stiff capture suplex, and tags out to me. “Take it home”, he says. I hit the standing moonsault, then climb the ropes for a flying body press, which also hits. It’s time – Earth Breaker! As I pin Ikina, I see Makuda out of the corner of my eye. He’s trying to break up the pin – but Murakami tackles him. 1… 2… 3! Victory is ours! [/I] [B]Naonobu Murakami, Julian Watson, and Kyoshi Muraguchi defeat Shotaro Ikina, Namboku Makuda, and Henry Bennett in 31:20 via Earth Breaker on Ikina (Match rating: B-)[/B]
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Thanks for all the kind words! FRIDAY, WEEK 3, NOVEMBER 2006 [I] I never expected to first wear the mask of Elemental under these circumstances – ten thousand miles from Japan, in an opening match against a very young English wrestler called “Jonni Dyslexic”. (These Englishmen – where do they get their names?) Anyway, this was an easy match – I was hitting Ranas and Missile Dropkicks before I even got winded. I won the match, perhaps too early (but I wasn’t taking any chances), with a flying body press of all things. I don’t suppose it was an incredibly exciting match, but I suppose I’ll have the chance to produce one of those later, against a worthier opponent. [/I] [B]Elemental III beat Jonni Dyslexic in 8:50 via flying body press (Match rating: F)[/B] ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MONDAY, WEEK 1, JANUARY 2007 [I] So… the year ends. I never expected to finish 2006 undefeated. Of course, I also envisioned myself participating in more than three matches. How can I change wrestling when they won’t let me fight? How can they continue to hold me back when I don’t lose? I asked my father; he reminded me that I was twenty years old, and that when he made his debut, he was three years older than that. He said that I had time. I don’t feel that way. Tonight, Kansuke Konda took the Burning Junior Championship from his former tag-team partner Kokan. This doesn't make a lot of sense to me -- Konda’s not terrible, but there are a half-dozen better workers in that company. I don’t know – maybe it’s a storyline thing. Probably won’t last. Would they just book me already? Sometimes I feel as though GCG is deliberately burying me in retaliation for what my father did to their company thirty years ago. That’s crazy, isn’t it? Tell me that’s crazy. Ah, some day they’ll see the error of their ways. Some day, they’ll let me run and see the error of their ways. [/I]
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