Shun skywalker vs jason lee 2022

By Kay

Shun Skywalker vs Jason Lee 03.03.2022 is a terrifying match. Hearing that, a variety of ideas might pop into your head. Death-defying stunts, a brutal deathmatch, perhaps. Classic horror movie wrestlers like Rosemary or Abadon. But it isn’t like any of those things. It isn’t like anything before it. Rather than bringing you the fun, cheesy horror of an old slasher or possession movie, it aims for a different kind of fear, more in line with games like Haunting Ground and Rule of Rose, movies like The Invisible Man. It attempts to bring the terror of abuse, or at least an allegorical version of it, to the wild and colourful world that wrestling portrays.

With this article, I want to introduce you to this remarkable and unique entry in the catalogue of Pro Wrestling Horror.

Prelude

The set-up for the match seemed benign enough. Quiet and clever tag & trios specialist Jason Lee was facing off against his former faction leader, the brilliantly talented but emotionally unstable Shun Skywalker. Jason had always been Shun’s favourite, regularly receiving special attention and affection from him. But that had served him little when their stable, the aptly named Masquerade, spectacularly imploded around the turn of the year, following Skywalker’s spur of the moment decision to sacrifice a teammate during a mask vs mask match. Lee’s refusal to completely and unequivocally side with Shun had gotten him branded a traitor and thrown away with all the rest, as Skywalker abandoned them for more validating friends in the form of new heel unit Z-Brats. 

Most of his former stablemates quickly found new homes, but Jason did not. A month after Masquerade’s unceremonious dissolution, he was still stuck in limbo in Dragongate’s fast-moving and dangerous landscape of constant faction warfare. And so, he drew Shun’s attention once more. Perhaps for the close bond that they had once shared or perhaps simply because he was alone and vulnerable.

When the two finally came face to face again during a randomly decided tag match, Skywalker seized the opportunity to dig in his claws. Using their former connection to distract Jason and roll him up, Shun claimed to have understood his true nature. Jason, in his view, was a pathetic, weak-willed creature, lacking any direction or worth without his former leader’s guidance. Now that they were apart, everyone would see him for the garbage that he was. Thoroughly goaded and determined to prove Skywalker wrong, Jason agreed to a special singles match in Korakuen Hall, the traditional setting of Dragongate’s biggest non-PPV events.

The Match

Even with no titles on the line, tensions were high when the two entered to face each other. After everything that happened, they had never had a full confrontation until this point. One way or the other, this match would drag a lot of muddled emotions into the light of day. Both of them were prepared for that.

Rejecting Shun’s attempts to play with him, first with a receding lock-up, then the offer of a handshake, Jason started the match aggressively, repeatedly kicking his opponent in the corner and choking him with his leg. He would not be swayed by past attachments any longer. As it often is with relationships like these, it almost appeared as though Lee could be the more dangerous of the two at first glance. In contrast, Shun responded with acceptance, affection, even. Barely defending himself, he just stroked Jason’s hair reassuringly and told him everything would be alright. More than any of the physical harm he caused, there is something deeply violent about his gentleness in this match. It is the violence of an abuser trying to make you stay. 

Of course he wouldn’t stay gentle for long. With his massive advantage in size and strength, a momentary miscalculation on his opponent’s part was all it took to turn things around. A nasty brainbuster sent Jason hurdling to the outside within seconds, much to Shun’s displeasure. Affectionately admonishing his adversary for running away, Skywalker followed him out, painfully choking, kicking and generally humiliating him for the entire 20-count. This wasn’t even fun, Shun complained as he rolled Jason back in. He was far from done. Asking Lee to get angry, to hurt him back, Skywalker brutally slammed Jason’s head into the turnbuckle again and again, cornering him, slapping him over and over. There was no strategic point to it. No set-up for a move, no limb-work, nothing outside of pure cruelty.

More than anything, it is the mundanity of this sequence that makes it one of the most deeply disturbing and  uncomfortable things wrestling has ever intentionally produced. There was no blood in the ring, no weapons, no outlandish creatures. As scary as Shun’s mask can look at times, what can be gleaned beneath in the occasional camera flash is not a monster at all, but a man, a perfectly regular, handsome young guy like you might see down the street. His tone is casual and pleasant, his movements natural and nonchalant. Watching him, you can believe in the reality of this monster much more than you would like. And that grounding creates a terror that almost seems alien to the ring which contains it. 

Even in this situation, Jason did not give up. With an angry fervor not seen since his early days on the Hong Kong indies, he eventually managed to counter Skywalker’s attacks and throw him to the ground. Wailing on him in what looked less like wrestling and more like a brawl, roaring with hatred and desperation, Lee hit combination after combination, trying to pay back the pain he suffered and, more than anything, survive. 

But once again, Shun only needed a single opening. A hefty Anti-Air led into a flurry of his most punishing signature moves and while Jason fought back valiantly every step of the way, he could not overcome the difference. The SSW, the only technique devastating enough for Skywalker to grant it his own name, swiftly ended his struggle.

Aftermath

But Shun was still not done with him. Leaning over his defeated opponent and pinning him to the floor long past the three-count, he had one final humiliation to inflict. Forcing a microphone to Jason’s mouth, Skywalker would make him admit his weakness to the entire audience, make him finally acknowledge how worthless he was by himself. Barely conscious and beyond being able to express himself in Japanese at this point, Jason still resisted with the last of his power, screaming to not look down on him in his native Cantonese. Obviously displeased by this disobedience, Shun slapped him again. He would simply have to prove to Jason just how hopeless his situation was. Getting on top of his defeated opponent, Skywalker began to brutally choke him, all while continuously mocking and deriding him.

None of this – illegal post-match attacks, insults, public humiliation – is new to wrestling. But through its context, this moment still does something that the genre has never quite dared to before. It shows abuse, not as a momentary source of cheap heat but as an actual theme for a major storyline. And with the perpetrator having been a charming, likeable, even cute babyface not so long ago, it leaves the audience sitting with the very uncomfortable question of whether situations like this might exist adjacent to their own lives. 

Shun leans over a laid out Jason in the ring. Shun holds a microphone in his hand. In the background BxB Hulk looks on.

Multiple other stables eventually came out to save Lee – for the admittedly somewhat selfish purpose of recruiting him to their ranks, but to save him nonetheless. Shun barely seemed to even register their presence as he kept explaining to Jason how weak and useless he was on his own. “You can’t do anything without me. You can’t do anything against me. As long as you are in this ring, Jason Lee, you belong to me.”, he eventually concluded. The wording he used, “ore no mono da”, is both a passionate and intimate phrase that might be used between lovers, and one that literally calls Jason a thing, a possession. Because that is what this kind of “love” is. The desire to possess another person, masquerading as affection. 

Too stunned to even react to this, Jason instead used the ensuing commotion to do the only thing he could do and escape. With the once familiar figure still shouting “you belong to me” behind him and the most difficult two months of his Dragongate career ahead, things were looking grim.

The rest of this story is a tale for a different day. As perhaps the best and most cathartic wrestling storyline of 2022 it deserves its own in-depth exploration.

But even by itself, Shun Skywalker vs Jason Lee 2022 is one of the best Horror matches in wrestling, despite or maybe because of the immense difference between it and what that phrase might normally make you think. It provides a window into what wrestling can be when it dares to tackle more difficult subject matters and succeeds. When it tries to be more than entertainment alone. I think that is a risk worth taking. 

You can find this match on Dragongate Network and I highly recommend having a look at the entire story. If you need help navigating Dragongate’s streaming service, I wrote an extensive guide here.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Follow Kay’s wrestling writing at https://kayasinkayfabe.com/