Dragon Gate "Open the New Year Gate" on 1/12/14
review by Kevin Wilson
Date: January 12th, 2014
This was the first taped event of Dragon Gate in 2014. I am way behind in my Dragon Gate watching, in fact I don't think I have seen an event in several years. So I am way behind on what the factions are and things like that. But I will just learn as I go along, I do recognize most of the players so it doesn't look like much has changed. The full card is:
- Naruki Doi and BxB Hulk vs. Ryo "Jimmy" Saito and Jimmy Kanda
On to the matches!
Naruki Doi and BxB Hulk vs. Ryo "Jimmy" Saito and Jimmy Kanda
Kick by Hulk and Doi covers, but it gets a two count. Hulk toys with Saito and chops him in the chest, but Saito returns fire. Hulk hits the Mouse and goes off the ropes, but Saito catches him with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Saito tags in Kanda, Kanda knocks Doi off the apron and then sails out onto Doi with a tope suicida. Kanda throws Doi into the ring, he goes in the ring as well, Irish whip by Kanda and he hits an atomic drop. Kanda goes off the ropes and hits a powerslam, cover, but Hulk breaks it up. Drop toehold by Saito to Hulk but he has to hold back Kanda who keeps going after Doi. Double Irish whip to Hulk but Hulk kicks them both, he goes off the ropes but is catch with an atomic drop. Kanda dropkicks Hulk into Saito, who drops him with a release German suplex. Double Irish whip to Doi when he crawls into the ring, Kanda hits a running elbow and Saito follows with a strike of his own. Diving elbow drop by Kanda to Doi, cover, but it gets two. Kanda picks up Doi and goes for the Ryu’s, but Doi blocks it. Kanda goes off the ropes but he is hit from the apron with a yellow container and Doi delivers the Doi 555. Doi gets the yellow box and hits Kanda with it, he then goes off the ropes and hits the Bakatare Sliding Kick with the box. He keeps hitting Kanda repeatedly with the box, the referee tries to stop him but Doi pushes the referee down. The referee doesn’t appreciate this and calls for the bell. Your winners by DQ: Ryo "Jimmy" Saito and Jimmy Kanda
Match Thoughts: I haven’t watched Dragon Gate in years and even I could figure out pretty easily from this match that Doi really really doesn’t like Kanda. I don’t know why he doesn’t like him, but the two clearly have a strong dislike for each other. That obviously dominated the match and led to the DQ, but it was a crazy way to start out the event and get the crowd into it. Good job at showing emotion in this match and further a storyline by all the wrestlers. Score: 6.5
YAMATO and Cyber Kong vs. Yosuke♥Santa Maria and U-T
Kong comes back with his own elbow, U-T runs in the ring to help, double Irish whip and they deliver a double dropkick. Kong doesn’t go down, they go for a double vertical suplex and finally are able to hit it. YAMATO comes in the ring, Irish whip by Maria from the corner, reversed, Maria jumps up to the top turnbuckle and dives out of the ring onto Kong. Back in the ring, U-T hits a swandive dropkick onto YAMATO. Irish whip by U-T from the corner, reversed, U-T kicks YAMATO when he charges in and kicks YAMATO back. U-T goes for a missile dropkick but YAMATO sidesteps it. Irish whip by YAMATO but U-T avoids the dropkick, he goes off the ropes and ties up YAMATO with a modified reverse figure four. YAMATO inches to the ropes and is able to force the break. Maria is back in the ring, double Irish whip to YAMATO but YAMATO reverses it, YAMATO avoids U-T’s charge and Maria hits a dropkick in the corner. Bodyscissors into a bulldog by U-T, then Maria hits a jumping leg lariat. Cover, but YAMATO kicks out. Maria charges YAMATO in the corner but YAMATO moves, Kong hits Maria with a lariat in the corner but misses on the second attempt. U-T then charges Kong in the corner, but he moves and YAMATO delivers a dropkick to U-T. YAMATO slams U-T in front of the corner, Kong goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving elbow drop. Cover, but Maria breaks it up. Kong kicks down Maria, he picks up U-T but U-T rolls him up for a two count. Kong grabs U-T around the waist and hits a suplex, he then follows with a Pineapple Bomber. Kong picks up U-T and nails the Cyber Bomb, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: YAMATO and Cyber Kong
Match Thoughts: So to me, Maria is a ‘feminine’ character done right as he made me laugh a few times but in terms of in-ring ability didn’t act any differently than the other wrestlers. Its ok to have some comedy, just don’t let it dominate every match you are in unless it’s booked as a comedy match. Anyway, I thought this match was really good. U-T is young but shows a lot of promise, Maria was very on-point with his moves and the veteran team did a good job at looking strong but still giving the young guys plenty of offense. The action stayed at a very quick pace, which isn’t unusual of course for Dragon Gate. There was nothing really wrong with the match, it was entertaining from start to finish and as far as veteran vs. young stars tag team matches go it was about as good as it gets. Score: 7.0
Don Fujii vs. Kotoka
Match Thoughts: Not a whole lot to this match. Kotoka isn’t really a rookie so not sure why he was being treated like one here, but it was a typical veteran vs. young wrestler match. Even though Kotoka got a few near falls I never brought the idea that he could win the match. Fujii is different than other Dragon Gate wrestlers, which is fine of course but he just doesn’t have the fire or urgency that the other wrestlers show. Pretty average and uninspired match overall. Score: 4.0
Jimmy Susumu and Jimmy Kagetora vs. K-ness and Ryotsu Shimizu
Irish whip by Kagetora but Shimizu comes out of the corner with a shoulderblock. Susumu comes in the ring but he is dropped with a brainbuster by Shimizu. Shimizu tags in K-ness, K-ness is sent off the ropes but he hits a kick/DDT combination on Susumu and Kagetora. K-ness kicks Susumu hard in the head, sending him out of the ring. He then throws Kagetora into the corner and both K-ness and Shimizu hit running strikes in the corner. Shimizu flips Kagetora out to the apron, but Kagetora jumps up on the top turnbuckle, slides back into the ring and kicks Shimizu in the head. Susumu returns and hits a lariat onto Shimizu in the corner, Susumu puts Shimizu onto the top turnbuckle and hits an superplex. Kagetora then comes off the top turnbuckle with a diving elbow drop, cover, but K-ness breaks it up. Kagetora picks up Shimizu but Shimizu slides off his back, Kagetora goes off the ropes but K-ness kicks him in the head. Fireman’s carry pin by Kagetora but it gets a two count. Kagetora goes off the ropes but K-ness slides between his legs and hits Hiraki no Wa for the three count! Your winners: K-ness and Ryotsu Shimizu
Match Thoughts: Short match but they packed a lot into it. Any time a tag match is under five minutes it is going to hurt the overall quality, it just doesn’t provide enough time for all the wrestlers to make an impact and lead to a satisfactory ending. K-ness beating Kagetora seemed to come out of nowhere as Susumu had been hurt more than he had during the match. It wasn’t bad, it just needed more time to really tell a story. Score: 5.0
(c) Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! vs. Super Shisa
Shisa retorts with a dropkick, that sends Horiguchi out of the ring. Shisa then bounces off the far ropes and sails out onto Horiguchi with a tope suicida. Shisa rolls Horiguchi back into the ring and hits a missile dropkick off the top rope. Irish whip by Shisa but Horiguchi kicks him when he charges in. Horiguchi goes up top, Shisa joins him but Horiguchi pushes him onto the ropes and hits a running knee to Shisa’s head. Shisa rolls out of the ring but quickly rolls back in and surprises Horiguchi with the Alejandro Lock. Horiguchi gets to the ropes to force a break, Shisa picks up Horiguchi and does a handstand in the corner, but Horiguchi gets his knees up when he goes for a splash. Tornado DDT by Horiguchi and he drop Shisa with a brainbuster. Cover, but Shisa gets a shoulder up. Horiguchi picks up Shisa and goes for the Beach Break, but Shisa reverses it into a sunset flip for a two count. The two trade pin attempts then piledriver attempts, until Shisa drops Horiguchi with a piledriver. Backslide by Horiguchi, Shisa gets out of it and delivers the Yoshi Tonic, but Horiguchi kicks out. Another backslide by Horiguchi but Shisa kicks out and rolls up Horiguchi for a two count. Shisa goes off the ropes but Horiguchi catches him and nails the Beach Break. Cover, and Horiguchi picks up the three count. Your winner and still champion: Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!
Match Thoughts: Even though the ending was sudden, I love the Beach Break so I will give them a pass on that one. Pretty good match, as Shisa played to his strengths (submission holds, keeping things grounded) while Horiguchi focused on his big moves to pick up the win. Shisa has lost a step, which isn’t surprising considering his age, but he held his own here as he worked at a more methodical pace. I wish the finishing run was a bit more fleshed out (odd saying that about a Dragon Gate match) and it didn’t really feel like a title match, but other than that it was solid. Score: 6.0
Masaaki Mochizuki vs. T-Hawk
Another kick by Mochizuki, he goes off the ropes but T-Hawk catches the next kick and chops Mochizuki in the chest. This also hurts T-Hawk since it is his injured arm and the chops have little effect on Mochizuki. Armbreaker by Mochizuki and he goes off the ropes but T-Hawk catches him with a double chop to the face. Mounted elbows by T-Hawk, cover, but it barely gets two. From the pin attempt Mochizuki applies an armbar and twists on T-Hawk’s fingers. T-Hawk gets a foot on the ropes, T-Hawk gets back up and Mochizuki pushes T-Hawk in the face. T-Hawk returns with chops but Mochizuki chops him back. Finally a chop knocks down Mochizuki, T-Hawk picks him up and gets Mochizuki up for a vertical suplex. Back up they trade strikes, kicks by Mochizuki and he goes off the ropes but T-Hawk catches him with a superkick. Vertical suplex into a slam by T-Hawk, cover, but it gets a two count. T-Hawk throws Mochizuki into the corner and chops him in the chest, Mochizuki fires back with punches, Mochizuki goes off the ropes and hits a big boot. Mochizuki goes off the ropes again and hits another big boot, but T-Hawk catches the third. Chop by T-Hawk and he elbows Mochizuki, but Mochizuki kicks him and tries to apply the armbar. T-Hawk reverses the armbar attempt with a backbreaker. T-Hawk kicks Mochizuki in the head a few times, Mochizuki returns to his feet and kicks T-Hawk to the mat. Irish whip by Mochizuki from the corner, reversed, T-Hawk blocks Mochizuki’s kick attempt and runs to the other corner, but Mochizuki charges him and hits a boot to the face. Mochizuki puts T-Hawk on the top turnbuckle and hits an armbreaker down to the mat. Cross armbreaker by Mochizuki but T-Hawk gets a foot on the bottom rope. Kicks to the arm by Mochizuki and he kicks T-Hawk in the chest. Mochizuki picks up T-Hawk but T-Hawk hits a vertical suplex.
Mochizuki rolls out to the apron but T-Hawk chops him off of it down to the floor. T-Hawk then gets a running start and sails out onto Mochizuki with a tope suicida. T-Hawk slides Mochizuki back into the ring and gets back in himself as well, T-Hawk charges Mochizuki in the corner and hits a running chop to the chest. More chops by T-Hawk, Mochizuki goes off the ropes but T-Hawk catches him with a tombstone piledriver. Cover, but it gets a two count. Rojo by T-Hawk but Mochizuki gets a hand on the bottom rope. T-Hawk picks up Mochizuki but Mochizuki slides down his back, T-Hawk goes off the ropes and hits a running chop followed by several more chops. Mochizuki punches T-Hawk hard in the face and goes for a kick, T-Hawk catches it but Mochizuki gets his leg free and kicks T-Hawk repeatedly in the chest. Kick to the head by Mochizuki, cover, but T-Hawk gets a shoulder up. Mochizuki sets up T-Hawk in the corner and hits the Ikkakugeri. Twister by Mochizuki, cover, but T-Hawk kicks out again. Mochizuki sets up T-Hawk and runs up the corner, but T-Hawk grabs him from behind and hits the Outsider Edge. Cover, but it gets a two count. Mochizuki applies a triangle choke out of the pin attempt but T-Hawk powerbombs out of it. Both wrestlers slowly get up, T-Hawk gets Mochizuki to his feet and nails the Night Ride, but Mochizuki gets right back to his feet. Chop by T-Hawk, kick to the face by Mochizuki but T-Hawk hits a second Night Ride. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Both wrestlers charge each other, high kick by Mochizuki but T-Hawk returns with a chop and both wrestlers fall to the mat. They get on their needs and trade slaps and headbutts, Mochizuki gets T-Hawk to the mat and quickly covers him but it barely gets two. They struggle to their feet but the bell rings. This match is a Draw (30:00).
Match Thoughts: Some good and some bad here, but overall an enjoyable match. Obviously this match was very strike-based, for better or worse, as that is both wrestler’s general style. I did not like the no-sell of the Night Ride, I really think no-selling a wrestler’s primary finishing move is never a good idea. In general a “fighting spirit” spot doesn’t bother me but if you treat your opponent’s finisher that way you’re basically confirming there is nothing your opponent can do to beat you. At least they were given time to structure the match the way they wanted to, and the arm work but Mochizuki was really good during the match. A really good match, it was just a little too strike-centric for my tastes and the no selling of the Night Ride made me shake my head. Score: 7.0
CIMA, Dragon Kid, and Gamma vs. Masato Yoshino, Shingo Takagi, and Akira Tozawa
Dragon Kid kicks Yoshino in the corner, snapmare, and CIMA hits a slingshot corkscrew senton. Arm submission hold by CIMA but Yoshino gets a hand on the ropes. Another submission by CIMA but this one is broken up. CIMA tags in Dragon Kid, Dragon Kid picks up Yoshino, snapmare, and he hits a jumping kneedrop. Handstand by Dragon Kid but Tozawa runs in and dropkicks him. Takagi comes in the ring also and he spins Dragon Kid before tossing him to the mat. Tozawa comes in the ring again, he picks up Dragon Kid, double Irish whip to Dragon Kid and they hit a double elbow. Takagi then slams Tozawa onto Dragon Kid and both wrestlers hit sentons. Cover, but CIMA breaks it up. Tozawa tags in Yoshino, and Yoshino kicks Dragon Kid in the head. Double Irish whip with Takagi and they shoulderblock Dragon Kid down. Yoshino circles Dragon Kid and kicks him in the head. Yoshino throws Dragon Kid in the corner and tags in Takagi, and Takagi punches Dragon Kid to the mat. Takagi picks up Dragon Kid, Irish whip attempt but Dragon Kid blocks it. Knee by Takagi, Irish whip, reversed, but Takagi avoids Dragon Kid’s dropkick and hits a lariat. Cover, but Gamma breaks it up. Tozawa throws Gamma out of the ring, Tozawa picks up Dragon Kid and goes for a suplex but Dragon Kid lands on his feet. Tozawa tries to throw Dragon Kid out of the ring but he lands on the apron, CIMA then comes in the ring and hits the Superdrol. Dragon Kid tags in Gamma while Takagi is also tagged in, Gamma goes off the ropes and both men hit lariats. Irish whip by Gamma but Takagi catches him. Takagi goes for a suplex but Gamma reverses it. Yoshino comes in the ring and goes for a headscissors but Gamma catches him and hits a front suplex. Gamma falls out of the ring, CIMA and Dragon Kid come into the ring and they all hit tope suicidas out of the ring onto their opponents. CIMA and Takagi get back into the ring, Irish whip by cc, reversed, and CIMA hits a sunset flip for a two count. CIMA goes off the ropes but Takagi catches him with a powerslam, cover, but it gets a two count.
Takagi goes off the ropes again but CIMA rolls up Takagi and applies a stretch hold. Yoshino breaks that up, Gamma comes in the ring as well and the two trade chops. Enzigieri by Gamma, Irish whip, but Yoshino dropkicks him when he goes for a leapfrog. Tozawa comes in the ring, Irish whip to Gamma in the corner and they both hit running elbows. Tozawa slams Gamma in front of the corner, CIMA runs in the ring but Tozawa holds him so that Yoshino can hit a dropkick/senton. Takagi then goes up top and hits an elbow drop on Gamma, cover, but he gets a shoulder up. Tozawa stomps Gamma, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Gamma is up in time. CIMA then comes in the ring, he climbs the top turnbuckle and puts Tozawa on his shoulders. Dragon Kid then from the apron jumps on the top rope and hits a Frankensteiner onto Tozawa. Gamma dropkicks Tozawa, CIMA rolls him up but it gets a two count. Takagi comes in to the ring but Gamma gets rid of him, as CIMA hits a pump handle slam into a gutbuster onto Tozawa. Dragon Kid then comes in the ring with a springboard move which Tozawa ducks, German suplex by Tozawa to Dragon Kid as Takagi and Yoshino join him in the ring. Takagi hits a running lariat onto Dragon Kid in the corner, then Yoshino hits a running elbow. Tozawa goes last and hits a running elbow as well, Takagi goes for a lariat, Dragon Kid blocks it but Takagi powerbombs him. German suplex hold by Tozawa to Dragon Kid, but it is broken up. Takagi goes off the ropes and levels Dragon Kid with a lariat, cover, but Dragon Kid barely gets a shoulder up. Tozawa picks up Dragon Kid, he traps Dragon Kid’s arms but Dragon Kid breaks free. Tozawa goes off the ropes but Dragon Kid catches him with the Bible for a two count. Dragon Kid goes off the ropes but Tozawa kicks him back onto the apron. Tozawa goes off the ropes but CIMA catches him with a kick. Dragon Kid then comes back in the ring from the apron with the Ultra Hurricanrana, and he picks up the three count! Your winners: CIMA, Dragon Kid, and Gamma
Match Thoughts: A hot finish but the match was a bit bland up to that point. In a Dragon Gate main event I expect more craziness but some chunks of this match were just punches, kicks, and tag outs like I was watching a bad beatdown segment from the 80s. Once they finally got rolling things did get really good, it just took them longer to get there than I was expecting. If the heel beatdown was more entertaining then it may have been different, but as it was I was starting getting antsy before the last five minutes or so of the match. So it ended well, but as a whole it was disappointing in comparison to what I was expecting. Score: 6.0
Best Match: Masaaki Mochizuki vs. T-Hawk. It was a few ticks below being a ‘great’ match but it still was very good. The arm work by Mochizuki was very well done and T-Hawk did a good job selling it. It also held everyone’s attention which sometimes can be hard during a 30 minute draw, it never really slowed down. A bit too many strike exchanges but overall a great effort by both men.
MVP: T-Hawk. I know I should say Mochizuki, but Mochizuki is a very seasoned veteran and I knew what to expect of him. I hadn’t really seen T-Hawk before but he really impressed me with his selling and ability to take pain as Mochizuki’s kicks are not soft. He really stood toe to toe with one of the main players of Dragon Gate and did not seem out of place in any way. A memorable showing by the youngster.
Overall: Definitely some good and some disappointing. The big singles match I can definitely recommend, and the title match was good even if it didn’t really feel like a title match. The main event was disappointing though, I expected more out of a six man DG main event and until the last few minutes it just felt flat. The rest of the matches were generally above average but nothing that will blow you away. So overall it was a solid event, I just wish the main had delivered.