Ryu Lee (born May 15, 1995 in Tala, Jalisco, Mexico) is a Mexican luchador enmascarado, or masked professional wrestler currently working for the Japanese professional wrestling promotion New Japan Pro Wrestling, where is a one-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
Lee's real name is not a matter of public record, as is often the case with masked wrestlers in Mexico where their private lives are kept a secret from the wrestling fans.
Since his debut, Lee worked under the ring name Dragon Lee for promotions such as NJPW and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), before being fired by CMLL in 2019.
Professional wrestling career
New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2017–present)
On January 5, 2017, Dragon Lee made a surprise return to NJPW, attacking Hiromu Takahashi (the former Kamaitachi) and Tetsuya Naito during their match against KUSHIDA and Michael Elgin. Following the match, Dragon Lee posed with Takahashi's IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship belt. This led to Lee unsuccessfully challenging Takahashi for the title on February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka. The following May, Dragon Lee realized one of his goals in professional wrestling, when he was announced as a participant in the Best of the Super Juniors 24 tournament. In his opening match of the tournament on May 17, Dragon Lee handed rival Hiromu Takahashi his first singles loss since returning to Japan at the end of 2016.He finished his block with a record of three wins and four losses, failing to advance to the finals.
In March 6, 2019, at NJPW's 47th-anniversary show, after Ishimori retained the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against Jushin Thunder Liger, Ishimori challenged anyone from Ring of Honor to face him in a match at G1 Supercard for his title. Afterwards, Ishimori's challenged was accepted by Dragon Lee, who confronted him and instead he would be representing Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). On April 6, 2019 at G1 Supercard, Lee defeated Taiji Ishimori and Bandido in a three-way match to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the first time, In the process, he became the third Mexican wrestler to hold the title behind Juventud Guerrera and Mistico. Lee participated in the 2019 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, where he finished with seven wins and two losses. On June 9, at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall, Lee lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship to Will Ospreay. On August 22, Lee, representing CMLL, entered the 2019 Super J-Cup, defeating CHAOS's Yoh in his first round match. On August 24, Lee defeated NJPW's Ryusuke Taguchi in the second round. On August 26, Lee defeated fellow CMLL representative Carístico in the semifinals, before losing to reigning British Cruiserweight Champion El Phantasmo in the finals of the tournament.
Lee returned to the promotion on December 8, in a pre-tapped vingette anouncing that he would rename himself to Ryu Lee, while also challenging Jushin Thunder Liger to a match at the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome, on January 5, 2020. At the second night of the event on January 5, Lee teamed with his rival Hiromu Takahashi in a winning effort against Liger and Naoki Sano on Liger's retirement match. Afterwards, Takahashi nominated Lee as his first challenger for his title. The title match was announced on January 8. At The New Beginning in Osaka, Lee unsuccessfully challenged Takahashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
The man known under the ring name Dragon Lee was born on May 15, 1995, in Tala, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, son of professional wrestler Arturo Muñoz, who had worked as Toro Blanco, Poder Boriqua, Poder Mexico and Comandante Pierroth over the years. Dragon Lee's two older brothers grew up to become professional wrestlers as well, with the oldest of the brothers, William, making his wrestling debut in 2008 and would later become known as "Rush". Another of Dragon Lee's brothers, Carlos, became a professional wrestler in 2011, adopting the enmascarado (masked) character Dragon Lee initially. In 2012 the original Dragon Lee was offered the opportunity to take over the Místico character after the original wrestler under the Místico mask left Mexico. It was public knowledge that Dragon Lee had taken over the Místico character, leaving the mask and character of Dragon Lee behind. Dragon Lee's uncles are also professional wrestlers, known as Franco Colombo, Pit Bull I and Pit Bull II and all had a hand in training Dragon Lee prior to his professional wrestling debut. At the age of 14 his father took him to Mexico City to start training in amateur wrestling, participating in several wrestling events. He would also participate in boxing but, as Dragon Lee recalls in an 2015 interview, during his first match he performed a Suplex (a wrestling throw) on his opponent and was disqualified. At that point he realized that his future was in Lucha Libre.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Running frankensteiner, sometimes while jumping over the top rope to an opponent standing on the apron
- Topé suicida
- Topé con hilo
- "El Niño Maravilla" (Spanish for "The Wonder Boy")
- Entrance themes
- "Dragon Lee's Theme" by Yonosuke Kitamura
Championships and accomplishments
- Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #250 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2016
- Ring of Honor
- ROH World Television Championship (1 time)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Rookie of the Year (2014)
Luchas de Apuestas record
|Winner (wager)||Loser (wager)||Location||Event||Date||Notes|
|Dragon Lee (mask)||Kamaitachi (mask)||Mexico City||2015 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas||March 20, 2015|||
- ja:ドラゴン・リー (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-05-23.
- Madigan, Dan (2007). "Okay... what is Lucha Libre?", Mondo Lucha Libre: the bizarre & honorable world of wild Mexican wrestling. HarperColins Publisher, 29–40. ISBN 978-0-06-085583-3.
- ja:戦国炎舞 -Kizna- Presents New Year Dash !! (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-01-05.
- Rose, Bryan 2017-02-10. NJPW New Beginning in Osaka live results: Naito vs. Elgin . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-02-11.
- ja:【新日本】高橋ヒロムに挑戦のドラゴン・リー ベルト奪取後に兄弟で王座戦だ (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports (2017-01-23). Retrieved on 2017-05-03.
- ja:【『Super Jr.』出場メンバー決定！】Aブロックにリコシェ、オスプレイ、ドラゴン・リー！ マーティ・スカルが初上陸！ Bブロックにボラドール！ 金丸、ACHも初出場！ (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2017-05-03). Retrieved on 2017-05-03.
- Namako, Jason 2017-05-17. 5/17 NJPW BOSJ Day 1 iPPV Results: Tokyo, Japan (Takahashi vs. Dragon Lee) . Wrestleview. Retrieved on 2017-05-18.
- Ruiz Glez, Alex 2011-02-25. Rush Habla después de ganar el campeonato mundial semicompleto del CMLL (in Spanish). SuperLuchas Magazine. Retrieved on 2011-07-31.
- Rush (in Spanish). Récord. Archived from the original on 2013-10-03. Retrieved on 2011-07-31.
- Dragon Lee (in Spanish). Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre. Archived from the original on 2011-05-13. Retrieved on 2012-06-20.
- Místico con alma de Dragón.... ¡Las Amazonas del ring en jaula! (in Spanish). Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (2012-06-21). Archived from the original on 2012-06-21. Retrieved on 2012-06-21.
- Boutwell, Josh 2012-06-23. Viva La Raza! Lucha Weekly . WrestleView. Archived from the original on 2012-08-28. Retrieved on 2012-06-23.
- Cruiz, Gabriel 2015-05-15. Dragon Lee, la apuesta coliseína. (in Spanish). Fuego en el Ring. Archived from the original on 2015-06-11. Retrieved on 2015-05-17.
- Redaccion 2014-09-19. Caída a Caída... 81 Aniversario del CMLL (in Spanish). MedioTiempo. MSN. Retrieved on 2014-09-20.
- Cano Vela, Eduardo 2014-09-19. CMLL 81 aniversario (Cobertura y resultados en vivo) -Atlantis destapa a Último Guerrero (in Spanish). SuperLuchas. Retrieved on 2014-09-20.
- ja:【新日本】「スーパージュニア」開幕 高橋ヒロムがまさかの黒星発進 (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports. Retrieved on 2017-05-18.
- El CMLL invade Estados Unidos junto a NJPW (in Spanish). Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (2017-05-18). Retrieved on 2017-05-22.
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- Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2016 . The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved on 2016-09-01.
- Meltzer, Dave (January 26, 2015). "Jan. 26, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2014 awards issue w/ results & Dave’s commentary, Conor McGregor, and much more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 22. ISSN 1083-9593.
- Valdés, Apolo 2015-03-21. Dragon Lee desenmascaró a Kamaitachi (in Spanish). MedioTiempo. MSN. Retrieved on 2015-03-21.