When the phone rings at the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla offices, people usually duck under their desks, or check the caller ID and casually walk away. Why, you may be asking? Part of it is that ill-conceived Columbia House membership from 10 years ago that Dino Winwood still paying off, but the other part is because phone calls always mean bad news. And it was more of the same today when B-Boy contacted the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla offices to tell us he suffered a slight tear of his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) this past weekend, and therefore, will be unable to wrestle at All Star Weekend 6. We know this news is very disappointing to many fans who were looking forward to this match, but imagine how disappointing the news is for B-Boy, who has a 3-4 month recovery period ahead of him. This news is also very disappointing to us here at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, since B-Boy was scheduled to face Super Dragon at All Star Weekend 6 in their last match ever.While it would be impossible to meet the high expectations placed on B-Boy and Super Dragon’s final encounter, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Commissioner of Wrestling Dino Winwood and Commissioner of Food & Beverage Excalibur have put their heads together to find an opponent who has more history with Super Dragon than even B-Boy. The opponent the Commissioners of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla found has been a part of Super Dragon’s professional wrestling career since the beginning, traveling the length and width of California with him, then around the country, and ultimately around the world. Their rivalry was the centerpiece of the rise of Revolution Pro, the legendary Southern California wrestling promotion where both men gained national prominence. While they faced each other elsewhere, it was in Revolution Pro where their rivalry reached its’ height, and a little over four years ago, where their rivalry had seemingly concluded. The opponent the Commissioners of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla found is none other than TARO.
While the rivalry between Super Dragon and TARO may have ended inside the ring on November 29, 2003, outside of the ring, the two men continued to harbor hard feelings toward one another. TARO, so distraught by his final loss to Super Dragon, sank into an alcohol-fueled stupor which continued for years. Thanks in part to a timely intervention by, among others, friend and former tag team partner Excalibur, TARO sought the help of a Twelve-step program, and was on the road to recovery. Things progressed extremely well for TARO, who through hard work and perseverance was able to complete steps One through Eight and brought much joy to his friends and family. However, upon reaching step nine, where the recoveree makes amends with those they have wronged, and seeks their forgiveness, TARO hit a stumbling block. There was one individual who would not accept TARO’s apology, one individual that rejected his forgiveness, and wouldn’t even speak to him. That individual was Super Dragon.
For a period of thirteen months, TARO hounded Super Dragon, pleading with him to accept his apology for the years of pain and suffering TARO caused. It was after thirteen months when TARO’s sponsor advised him to continue with the remaining three steps, while continuing to seek forgiveness while completing the program. In June 2007, TARO finally completed his twelve-step program, and has been sober for nearly two years, but has yet to receive forgiveness from Super Dragon. While initially seeking apologies through respectful phone calls and thoughtful missives, TARO now feels that he must take his recovery fully into his own hands. “I’ve only defeated him once in (singles competition) in my entire career, but if the program has taught me anything, it’s that where there is a slight glimmer of hope, there are realistic possibilities.” says TARO. While Dragon is famous for his stoicism, those who have done battle with Dragon know there is one surefire way to gain his respect: beat it out of him. That tactic worked for Davey Richards, who Dragon regarded as insignificant until their meeting at the 2005 Battle of Los Angeles, and is now two-time co-holder of the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Tag Team Championship. TARO continued, “Maybe he just needs a reminder of what we’ve been through, and how tough I am. He will accept my apology, even if I have to beat it into his head.”
When questions of conditioning and preparedness arose, TARO was quick to answer them. “Without alcohol, I have to fill the void with something. My ‘something’ was first my anger toward Dragon. Through the program, I learned to channel those feelings into my triathlon training, and now I’ve channeled them into becoming ring-ready. I’ve always wanted a chance to avenge my loss to Dragon, and lately I’ve an even bigger incentive. Now finally, I have an opportunity to do so.”
On Sunday, January 6, 2008 at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s All Star Weekend 6, TARO returns from retirement for one night only to battle arch-rival Super Dragon! The final chapter of the historic David versus Goliath story that helped shape professional wrestling in Southern California!