Hello! Are you a ROH fan? Do you not know a lot about this Dragon Lee fellow who’s debuting for on Friday night’s PPV All-Star Extravaganza VIII?
Dragon Lee’s not a guy who totally needs an introduction—he’ll introduce himself with a flip or two—but it’s likely this will be the first time much of the Ring of Honor fanbase (and maybe even a bit of the ROH staff) have seen him, and anything to get people up to speed is a help.
Just, the thing is, the last time a CMLL guy appeared on ROH, Stuka Jr. was introduced the same as in his wikipedia entry. That included talking about a trademark move which doesn’t really exist in anywhere but wikipedia. It was mildly embarrassing for everyone involved and it’d be nice if it was avoided this time. I’d personally hate to see that happen again, so I’m here to help! I’m just that nice of a guy.
If you find yourself watching Friday’s Dragon Lee/Kamaitachi match with a friend new to Dragon Lee, there are some basic facts you can impart to him.
DRAGON LEE DOES A LOT OF COOL MOVES BECAUSE HE IS YOUNG & CRAZY
Moves is a good place to start since that a good place to start. This section also has GIFs, and GIFs are cool.
Dragon Lee’s favorite finishing maneuver is a top-rope hanging double stomp. (Double stomps are called “lanza” in Mexico.)
— Jocay (@Jocay19) September 4, 2016
He’s also got a super finisher he pulls out if nothing else works, the Dragon Driver. It’s similar to a move Kota Ibushi uses.
— Jocay (@Jocay19) March 19, 2016
Dragon Lee also has a lot of other offense German suplexes, back suplex, an awesome running knee, a great dropkick to the head – the man has a lot of offense. But, what you’re really want to call attention to are his dives.
Dragon Lee can go up and over with a beautiful tope con giro (not hilo)
— Jocay (@Jocay19) April 9, 2016
Or he can go right at you with a javelin toss like tope
— Jocay (@Jocay19) September 4, 2016
Dragon Lee can do all of this because he’s 21 and largely making 21-year-old people decisions. They’re not always the wisest, but they are fairly entertaining.
Dragon Lee is enormously athletically gifted and has quickly picked up the sport: he’s not even three full years into his wrestling career, and he’s already one of the most exciting members of his promotion. All the risks has catch up to Dragon Lee this year, missing a few months in the spring and summer with knee injuries, but it hasn’t caused him to change his style at all so far.
DRAGON LEE HAS A REAL SPORTS BACKGROUND
There’s a lot of work that goes into being a CMLL trainee.
Dragon Lee mentioned he was required learn olympic wrestling and do lots of cardio, in addition to the weight training and normal lucha libre skills to become a CMLL luchador, all since he was 14 years old. That was not the beginning for him: he also trained in Kung Fu when he was 12, which helped inspire the martial arts themed Dragon Lee gimmick. (Think Bruce Lee.) He was also a national youth amateur wrestling champion but Dragon Lee’s father actually wanted his song to get into boxing, which leads to….
Dragon Lee’s father pushed him to enter a boxing competition to not attend a competition but to get his first fight. It turned out there was no one else to match-up against with no experience, and the only opponent left was one with 13 fights. Dragon Lee took the bout—even though his trainer thought it was a bad idea. Dragon Lee was there and he wanted to fight.
Dragon Lee got pummeled in the match so, just by wrestling instinct, he grabbed his boxing opponent and suplexed him thru the air. A skirmish broke out, but Dragon Lee is proud he never actually lost the match, just was disqualified.
That was the end of his boxing career.
DRAGON LEE HAS ACCOMPLISHED A LOT IN A SHORT TIME
Look at this list:
- 3rd place in the 2014 En Busca de un Idolo (equivalent of the ROH Top Prospect Tournament)
- 2015 Leyenda de Plata runner up (one of the most prestigious tournaments in CMLL)
- Two-time CMLL World Lightweight Champion, including defenses over legends like Negro Casas and Virus
- Winner of a mask match (Kamaitachi) at CMLL’s second most important show in 2015
- Winner of a mask match (La Mascara) at CMLL’s most important show in 2016
Again, Dragon Lee’s only been around for less than three years. That’d make a good career for some people, and his is just starting.
Debuting on Ring of Honor is another bullet point to add the list, but, with all due respect, it’s not the biggest moment. Dragon Lee’s been on a bigger show this same month, as part of the main event of CMLL’s biggest show of the year. Dragon Lee’s already represented his home promotion abroad, having a tremendous match with Kamaitachi in NJPW. He’s handled the same sort of pressure he’s getting tonight well before, and should have no problem doing it again.
DRAGON LEE IS FROM A WRESTLING FAMILY
Dragon Lee has two older brothers in wrestling, Rush and Mistico.
Rush is the leader of Mexico’s Los Ingobernables, and the most hateable guy in wrestling.
Mistico is the second guy to use that name in CMLL, and is a young exciting high flyer who’s turned his career around quite a bit after a motorcycle accident. Both have tremendous egos.
Younger brother Dragon Lee is very different, a humble guy with a good head on his shoulders. His sudden rise to the top could mess with a lot of people’s minds, but Dragon Lee appears to be the most down to earth guy of the brothers.
Dragon Lee’s father is the wrestler currently wrestling as Comandante Pierroth (not the original), and was known by Poder Mexica among other names earlier on. He is a tough dad. Dragon Lee was not permitted to have a girlfriend while he was training for wrestling. This is also a real story he told on CMLL’s interview show about a month ago
ENTERTAINING ANECDOTE #2: Mistico, the middle brother, was depressed about a breakup and in a rebellious phase when he was much younger (before he was Mistico.) Mistico told his father he wanted to die. His father decided to tie a noose around Mistico’s head, throw the rope around a leverage point, and actually started to hang his son. Mistico was pulled off the ground two feet. Pierroth asked Mistico if he still wanted to die. Mistico said no, and Pierroth let him down. Mistico says he’s loved his father even more since that moment.
They are a HARD family. That is not a recommended parental tactic.
DRAGON LEE AND KAMAITACHI ARE MAGIC
There’s no great reason Dragon Lee and Kamaitachi started feuding. They just ended up on opposite sides of matches and brought out the best and worst in each other. Their feud, from the mask match in March of 2015 thru Dragon Lee regaining the lightweight title a year later, was the best feud in the country in Mexico. Their match in Japan is among the best matches ever on the annual CMLL tour in Japan, and their matches in Mexico are among the best matches of the last two years.
When Dragon Lee and Kamaitachi face off on ROH’s PPV, it’ll be six months since their last singles match. Dragon Lee’s gotten that big win over La Mascara in that gap time, while Kamaitachi has started to become part of ROH. Dragon Lee won most of the matches over Kamaitachi in Mexico. Kamaitachi defeated Dragon Lee in their one match in Japan. Even though Kamaitachi has made a new home in ROH, the United States is close to neutral ground. There’s no telling when or if they might meet again, and it’s a chance for one of the two to break away. Does Dragon Lee make a big impression with a win in his Ring of Honor debut? Or does Kamaitachi show he’s learned enough in the US to surpass his Mexican rival?
That’s the story of the match. But, really, this match doesn’t need a story or even an introduction – Dragon Lee will introduce himself with flips if no one else does. Still, if this CMLL/ROH thing is supposed to work, maybe using some of this to explain why people should care about Dragon Lee would help it along.