Dragon Gate Compilation Gate 2010
review by Simon Wright
Date: March 22nd, 2010
In the interim since the Kobe Pro Wrestling Festival show from 2009 (my first review for this here site), a lot’s happened in Dragon Gate. New champions have been crowned, factions gave disbanded and formed with wrestlers defecting and joining. However, one thing that has stayed constant is Naruki Doi as Open The Dream Gate champion. The main event sees the World-1 leader looking make his 9th defence of the title against Kamikaze’s YAMATO. With a card that sees all the other main Gate titles on the line, this looks to be a interesting show. Ready? GO!
Mark Haskins, KAGETORA & Akira Tozawa vs. Makoto Hashi, PAC & Naoki Tanizaki
Hashi is the former Pro Wrestling NOAH star. Haskins is a British wrestler who impressed on a Dragon Gate show in Britain in 2009.
Tozawa and Tanizaki start off. Collar and elbow. Both wrestlers trade waistlocks. Tozawa counters into a waistlock. Wristlock by Tanizaki, forcing Tozawa down onto one knee. Tozawa rolls through and trips Tanizaki, who trips Tozawa and applies a side headlock. They grapple to standing position. Headlock takeover by Tanizaki. Leg scissors round Tanizaki’s head by Tozawa. Tanizaki breaks free and both up to standing position. Haskins and PAC tag in. Double knuckle lock. Arm drag by PAC. PAC runs the ropes, leading to leapfrog and somersault counters by the two. PAC sweeps out Haskins’s legs. Cover for one. PAC flips out of Haskins’s attempted leg sweep, and kicks Haskins in the gut. Haskins staggers into the corner. Irish whip by PAC. Haskins leaps onto the apron and hits a springboard arm drag. PAC lands on his feet. Haskins scores with a dropkick. Haskins tags KAGETORA, who kicks PAC in the gut. Cravat headlock and snapmares on PAC. KAGERTORA hits a basement dropkick an covers for two. KAGETORA beats PAC down and tags in Tozawa. Double axe handle to PAC’s back. PAC wins a forearm exchange. Back kick to Tozawa‘s back, then a backflip kick to the doubled over Tozawa’s back. Hashi tags in and trades blows with Tozawa. Tozawa rakes Hashi’s eyes, but his whip into the corner is reversed. Hashi charges, but runs into Tozawa’s feet. He retaliates with a backfist and discus clothesline. Tozawa rolls out to the apron as Hashi knocks KAGETORA and Haskins to the floor. Hashi spikes Tozawa with a reverse DDT on the apron and a body slam on the floor. PAC keeps Haskins at bay as Hashi executes a diving head butt from the apron to the floor on Tozawa. A diving head butt from the top turnbuckle also scores. Hashi rolls Tozawa into the ring. Tanizaki covers for two. Tozawa slips out of Tanizaki‘s suplex attempt into a waistlock. Tanizaki elbows him in the face. His Irish whip attempt is reversed, but he catches Tozawa with his feet as he runs in. Tanisaki runs the ropes straight into a Tozawa butt bump. KAGETORA tags in. His Irish whip attempt on Tanizaki is reversed, but he scores with a jumping clothesline on the World-1 member. PAC misses a clothesline and KAGETORA capitalises with his legsweep/enzugiri combo.
Hashi beats on KAGETORA. Irish whip on KAGETORA, who slides out of the ring. Haskins catches Hashi with a missile dropkick. Haskins avoids a Hashi clothesline and rolls him into a inside cradle for two. Knee lifts by Haskins. Hashi wriggles free of a suplex/neckbreaker attempt but Haskins counters with a jumping Complete Shot. Two count. Hashi catches Haskins’ super kick attempt and hits another backfist/clothesline combo. Haskins staggers into the corner. Hashi whips him to the other side. Spinning heel kick in the corner by Hashi, into a wrist-clutch fisherman suplex. KAGETORA breaks the cover at two. Tanizaki trades forearms with KAGETORA. Tanizaki knees KAGETORA and whips him into the corner. KAGETORA back drops Tanizaki over the top rope. Tanizaki lands on his feet and vaults back in with a high knee the face. Tanizaki drags KAGETORA into the centre of the ring and drops him with a knee strike. KAGETORA ducks Tanizaki’s Casanova running knee and attempts a roll up. Tanizaki stays upright but misses a double stomp. KAGETORA hits an enzugiri, roundhouse kick and spinning wheel kick in succession. Tanizaki reverses an Irish whip by KAGETORA, who in turn avoids Tanizaki‘s charge. Tozawa sprints with a forearm to Tanizaki. KAGETORA suplexes Tanizaki and covers for two. Tozawa misses his top rope head butt, but he uses the bounce from the move to attempt the head butt twice more. He misses the second attempt and Tanizaki brings his knees into Tozawa’s ribs on the third. Hashi clotheslines Tozawa. Tanizaki goes for his Implant finisher, but Tozawa rolls through as if attempting a sunset flip. Tanizaki gets to his feet and knees Tozawa in the face. Standing corkscrew Shooting Star Press by PAC. Two count. PAC attempts a springboard, but Tozawa kicks the ropes. Tozawa knocks PAC’s partners off the apron as Haskins whips PAC into the turnbuckles. Running elbows by Tozawa and KAGETORA, a running knee by Haskins. PAC eats a KAGETORA punch and a face buster into the knee by Haskins. Tozawa follows up with his Ganki double knee drop on PAC. Tanizaki breaks the cover at two.All six men are in the ring. PAC slides out of Haskins’ body slam attempt into a waistlock. Haskins reverses, but PAC pushes him into the corner. PAC moves and Hashi hits a clothesline on Haskins. PAC charges back in. Haskins drops him to the apron. PAC and Tanizaki team hit a tandem kick and knee on Haskins. Modified Northern Lights suplex by Tanizaki as Tozawa runs towards PAC’s corner. Top rope head butt by Hashi on Haskins. The camera cuts to PAC executing a corkscrew moonsault from the top turnbuckle onto Tozawa on the floor. Tanizaki holds Haskins for another diving head butt by Hashi. KAGETORA breaks the count at two. Tanizaki throws KAGETORA aside and rolls Haskins in position for PAC to land a 360 Shooting Star Press. PAC covers. One Two Three.
Your winners: Makoto Hashi, PAC and Naoki Tanizaki
Verdict: A nice little match to begin with. Didn‘t seem to be any real reason for the six to be facing each other, but as a match just to get the card and the crowd going, it was perfectly watchable. **
K-ness & Susumu Yokosuka vs. Kzy, Takuya Sugawara, Kenichiro Arai & Yasushi Kanda
OK. So there was a group called Real Hazard, of which the above six were members. However, nothing lasts forever and divisions led to the split of the faction. Kzy, Sugawara, Arai and Kanda formed a new stable called Deep Drunkers and declared war on their former team-mates.
Deep Drunkers attack K-neSuka at the bell, Kzy and Arai targeting K-ness, Kanda and Sugawara on Yokosuka. Arai breaks off to untie one of the turnbuckle pads. The camera cuts back and forth as the Deep Drunkers beat down on their opponents. Back in the ring. Kanda hits Yokosuka with an elbow smash and covers for two. This riles Kanda, who gets in the referee’s face. Sugawara snapmares Yokosuka and hits a fist drop. Kzy tags in and trades forearms with Yokosuka, the latter winning the exchange. Arai enters illegally and forces Yokosuka into the corner. Yokosuka reverses Arai’s whip, Arai going to the corner where he had untied the turnbuckle cover. Arai rips the pad away as he ducks a charge by Yokosuka, who goes rib first into the steel. Arai holds Yokosuka’s arm as Kzy drops a top rope axe handle onto Yokosuka. Kzy ties Yokosuka’s arm around the bottom rope as his partners beat down K-ness. Kanda breaks off the attack to spit liquid into Yokosuka’s face. Double hiptoss by Kanda and Arai onto Yokosuka. Arai covers for two. Sugawara complains about the count. Kanda and Yokosuka trade forearms, Yokosuka winning with a short clothesline. Kanda stops Yokosuka‘s attempted running attack with an inverted atomic drop and a rake of the eyes. Kanda goes into the corner, but Yokosuka catches Kanda with a clothesline. Both try to gain advantage in the same way, Yokosuka winning out in the end. He goes for an exploder suplex, but Arai stops him. Kanda attempts a running dropkick, but Yokosuka moves, Kanda kicking Arai.
K-ness runs in and dropkicks Kanda. Yokosuka and K-ness push Kzy and Sugawara into opposite corners. All four Deep Drunkers are in the corners of the ring. Kzy and Sugawara reverse K-neSuka’s whips, but K-ness and Yokosuka execute a dosey-do in the middle of the ring to head back into the corners. Kzy and Sugawara kick them in the face. Kanda and Arai whip K-ness and Yokosuka. They reverse, but Arai and Kanda perform the dosey-do. Yokosuka and K-ness duck the respective clotheslines then sprint across the ring to deliver clotheslines of their own. K-neSuka perform one last dosey-do to clothesline Kzy and Sugawara. K-ness and Yokosuka whip Sugawara and Kzy into each other. Uranage on Sugawara by K-ness. Yokosuka drops Kzy onto Sugawara with a Yokosuka Driver. Sugawara rolls out, leaving Kzy alone. Kzy reverses K-ness’ whip. K-ness blocks Kzy’s forearm and attempts a middle kick. Kzy blocks it, ducks a clothesline and drops K-ness with an Ace Crusher. B-Boy neckbreaker on K-ness. Two count. K-ness is in the corner. He ducks a Kzy clothesline and kicks him in the head. K-ness brainbusters Kzy and covers. The ref reaches two before K-ness moves to avoid an Arai double stomp, Arai hitting Kzy. Arai holds K-ness for a charging Kanda. K-ness wriggles free, but Kanda stops before hitting Arai and hit a double flapjack on K-ness. Arai covers. Yokosuka saves at two. Arai and Yokosuka trade shots with Yokosuka winning. As he runs the ropes, someone throws Arai his sake bottle. The ref takes it, but Arai low blows Yokosuka. Yokosuka is whipped into the corner and takes running elbows by all four Deep Drunkers. Kanda and Sugawara whip the referee into Yokosuka. Sugawara body slams Yokosuka. Diving head butt but Arai. He covers, but K-ness saves at two. Kzy attempts the Kzy Time frog splash, but crashes and burns when Yokosuka moves.
K-ness and Yokosuka clear the ring of the Deep Drunkers, save for Kzy. K-neSuka whip Kzy into the corner. K-ness hits an elbow, Yokosuka a lariat. Yokosuka lifts Kzy with a gut wrench. K-ness scores with a diving knee on Kzy, before Yokosuka executes another Yokosuka Driver. Kzy kicks out at two. Kzy is whipped into the corner again. K-ness elbows Kzy as Yokosuka flips over the top rope onto the Deep Drunkers at ringside. A K-ness superplex scores a two-count. Kzy wriggles out of K-ness’ Darkness Buster attempt and runs the ropes, but eats a K-ness jumping kick. Yokosuka goes for his Jumbo No Katchi lariat, but Kanda hits him in the back with a blue box. Sugawara holds Yokosuka for another Kanda box shot, but Yokosuka ducks and Kanda hits Sugawara. Hurricanrana by Yokosuka on Sugawara. The referee counts two before Kanda sweeps out the referee’s legs. Kanda goes to clothesline the ref, but the referee clotheslines Kanda! Arai swings a clothesline at the referee, who ducks and drops Arai with a back suplex!!! Funny stuff. Arai crawls into the corner. K-ness and Yokosuka hit him with clotheslines, then a double-team version of Yokosuka’s Mugen finisher. Sugawara breaks up Yokosuka’s pin attempt at two with a box shot to the back. K-ness catches a second box shot. Sugawara and K-ness wrestle for control until Kanda hits K-ness with another box. Two box shots to the head knocks K-ness down. Kzy and Sugawara whip Yokosuka into the corner. Yokosuka ducks a Sugawara charge and drills Kzy with a Jumbo No Katchi. He goes for one on Sugawara, but Sugawara counters into his TCO reverse Samoan drop. Sugawara whips Yokosuka to Arai, who hits a wheelbarrow slam. Top rope elbow drop by Kanda. Cover for two. Kzy breaks two chairs over Yokosuka’s skull. Brainbuster by Sugawara. He covers but pulls Yokosuka up on two to hit his Shiisanpuuta finisher. Deep Drunkers hold K-ness down as Sugawara covers Yokosuka. One Two Three.
Your winners: Deep Drunkers.
Post match, Deep Drunkers break out the drinks to celebrate their win.
Verdict: This was designed to get Deep Drunkers over as an uber-heel group, with them using any and all shortcuts to win. However, it wasn’t a squash, as K-neSuka got plenty offence in, and suggest that these two sides will meet again down the road. Things kept moving well with a bit comedy in there as well. I liked it. ***
OPEN THE BRAVE GATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Sawa is an indy wrestler who had a ‘disagreement’ with Shisa following a match on a ZERO1 show. On a Dragon Gate show where the two were hyping the match, Warriors member Horiguchi wandered to the ring and convinced them to make it a three-way elimination match. No idea what he said. I don’t speak Japanese.
Horiguchi tries a quick attack on Sawa, but eats a spinning wheel kick. Shisa and Sawa trade chops and forearms. Shisa reverses an Irish whip, then he and Horiguchi hit a double dropkick on Sawa. Horiguchi and Shisa duck and leapfrog each other’s running attacks. Shisa takes control with arm drags and a dropkick. Shisa attempts a running attack but Sawa (on the floor) trips him near the ropes. Sawa and Horiguchi whip Shisa. Shisa ducks their double clothesline and pushes Horiguchi into Sawa, then locks them both into a single abdominal stretch. Shisa drop toeholds Horiguchi and applies a Mexican surfboard. He brings Horiguchi back to a vertical position, where Sawa hits kicks to Horiguchi’s chest and Shisa’s back. Shisa rolls out to the apron. Sawa’s in the ring. The two trade slaps. Shisa scores with a forearm and abdominal stretches Sawa, who’s also tied in the ropes. Horiguchi dropkicks Sawa, knocking both Shisa and Sawa to the floor. Horiguchi takes both out with his flip dive over the top rope. Horiguchi celebrates by starting a H-A-G-E (Japanese for bald, which Horiguchi is) chant. Horiguchi rolls Sawa into the ring. Snapmare and sleeper on Sawa. In a funny spot, Sawa rubs Horiguchi’s head in a vain bid to find hair to pull. Horiguchi body slams Sawa, but misses a middle turnbuckle moonsault. Sawa pushes Horiguchi into the corner (after an attempt to drag Horiguchi by the hair failed!) and scores with blows to the chest. Snapmare by Sawa, followed by a Muta-esque elbow drop. Sawa catches kicks by both Shisa and Horiguchi, and continues the Muta love with a double Dragon Screw leg whip. Sawa stamps on Horiguchi’s leg, but Horiguchi is on his feet quick. The two trade slaps. Horiguchi wins and runs the ropes into a Sawa sleeper hold. Horiguchi fights out and dropkicks Sawa’s knee.
Shisa whips Horiguchi, but Horiguchi catches Shisa with a step-up hurricanrana. Horiguchi starts another H-A-G-E chant then drops Sawa with a springboard dropkick. Horiguchi goes into the corner. He blocks a Shisa charge and spikes Shisa with a tornado DDT. Horiguchi climbs to the top turnbuckle, but Shisa performs a handstand on the middle rope and catches Horiguchi with a headscissors. Shisa drop toeholds Sawa and crucifix pins both opponents. Two count. Shisa rolls Horiguchi into a jackknife pin, which Shisa ends by performing a handstand. Sawa breaks the cover at two by kicking Shisa in the back. Sawa attempts a suplex on Horiguchi, but Horiguchi reverses into a brainbuster. Horiguchi goes for his Beach Break piledriver on Shisa, but Shisa rolls through into a sunset flip for a two count. Shisa and Horiguchi trade pinfall attempts. Shisa runs the ropes, but Horiguchi catches him and hits the Beach Break. Sawa stops the count at two with a Shining Wizard on Horiguchi. The Muta love continues. Sawa misses a punch on Horiguchi and is caught in the Backslide From Heaven. Two count. Horiguchi shows Muta love with a Shining Wizard on Sawa. Horiguchi attempts a second Beach Break on Shisa, but Shisa counters with a Yoshi Tonic sunset flip powerbomb pin. One two three. Horiguchi is eliminated. Sawa lays into Shisa with kicks. He waits until Shisa staggers upright and hits a high kick to the head. Sawa gloats before making the cover. Two count. Brutal German suplex by Sawa, Shisa landing on his neck and head. Shisa climbs upright in the corner, with Sawa meeting him with more strikes. Shisa ducks a Sawa clothesline and rolls him up for two. Shisa scores with a flurry of strikes, but Sawa kicks Shisa in the head and hits a Shining Wizard. Cover for two. Sawa locks on an Octopus hold, but Shisa reaches the ropes. Sawa rocks Shisa with a stiff punch. Shisa counters a second with a palm thrust, then hits Sawa with the Yoshi Tonic. One two three.
Your winner and still Open the Brave Gate champion: Super Shisa.
Afterwards, everyone shakes hands with everybody. Ain’t that nice?
Verdict: A nice little three-way dance. In truth there was no real reason for Horiguchi to be in it, but he was fun to watch, and Sawa’s stuff was crisp. Shisa was the star of the show though, with the veteran getting his moment in the sun with his Brave Gate reign, not only pinning both opponents, but doing so in a final stretch by gutting out the outsider Sawa’s offence before seizing his moment and winning the match. Simple storytelling done well. With Muta love to boot. ***
Juventud Guerrera & Dragon Kid vs. BxB Hulk & Masato Yoshino
Not seen Guerrera for a couple of years. A video package suggest Kid brought him on to be a member of Warriors. Not sure why. My lack of Japanese again.
Yoshino and Kid start by trading armbars,. Kid reverses Yoshino‘s Irish whip, and the two dodge each other’s running attacks until Yoshino arm drags Kid, who ends up in the corner. He reverses a Yoshino. Yoshino avoids a charging Kid but misses a clothesline. Kid head scissors Yoshino. He rolls out to the floor, but Kid scores with a hurricanrana from the apron. In the ring, Hulk pushes out of a Guerrera headlock but Guerrera shoulder blocks him down. Hulk kips up and trips Guerrera. Guerrera drops down, Hulk avoiding him with his one hand cartwheel, then another (slightly botched) into an armdrag. Guerrera rolls through a Hulk sunset flip and dropkicks Hulk. Guerrera hits a reverse swinging neck breaker, then locks Hulk in a modified Camel Clutch. Kid re-enters and dropkicks Hulk. Kid keeps Hulk grounded with knee drops. Hulk fights back with slaps and a jumping roundhouse kick. Hulk body slams Kid and tags in Yoshino, who scores with a body slam and backbreaker on Kid. Hulk tags in and drops Kid with an elbow, then hits standing corkscrew senton splash for two. Hulk armbars Kid, then scores with a series of kicks and a standing leg lariat. Two count. Yoshino re-enters with a kick to Kid’s ribs. A delayed suplex scores two. Hulk tags in and put Kid in a cravat headlock. He hits several knees before wrapping Kid in the ropes and continuing with the cravat/knee combination. Guerrera is arguing with the referee, so Yoshino jumps off Hulk’s back and elbows Kid in the face. Hulk Yakuza Kicks Kid and scores with forearms. Kid attempts a head scissors, but Hulk catches him. A Yoshino top rope double stomp/Hulk side slam combo scores two. Yoshino pushes Kid into the corner, but Kid blocks a Irish whip. Yoshino tries again, but Kid him with a spinning kick. Yoshino counters Kid’s charge by body dropping him over the rope, but Kid re-enters with a springboard hurricanrana. Hulk enters and throws Kid into the Warriors corner. Kid catches Hulk running in with a kick to the face. Guerrera enters with a springboard cross body block. The two reverse whips. Hulk hits sunset flip, but Guerrera rolls through. Hulk covers his face with his arms, but Guerrera pulls them down and hits a roundhouse kick. Hulk rolls out. Guerrera catches Yoshino coming in with a kick. Kid executes his Déjà Vu head scissors on Yoshino, then a Bermuda Triangle moonsault onto Hulk on the floor. In the ring, Guerrera tries to hit Yoshino with a Go 2 Sleep-type move, but loses his balance and doesn’t connect right. He follows with a jumping spin kick, then a Blue Thunder Bomb. Two count.
Yoshino escapes from Guerrera’s Juvi Driver, then counters Guerrera’s whip attempt into the From Jungle octopus stretch. Hulk and Kid are back in the ring, Kid locking Hulk into his Christo armbar submission. Yoshino breaks his submission attempt to dropkick Kid and save his partner. Yoshino and Guerrera roll out of the ring. Hulk kicks Guerrera and whips him into the corner. Kid blocks Yoshino’s charge, but his springboard attack is countered by a Hulk dropkick. Kid staggers into the corner, but avoids Hulk charging in. Kid goes for his own running attack, but ends up in the turnbuckles when Hulk slides out to the apron. A springboard dropkick by Hulk scores a two-count. Hulk sweeps out Kid’s legs, but Kid counters Hulk’s springboard moonsault by bringing up his knees. Kid executes a head scissors into a DDT, scoring a two-count. Hulk ducks a Warriors clothesline and kicks Guerrera out of the ring. Hulk waistlocks Kid for a Yoshino dropkick, but Kid moves and Yoshino hits Hulk. Kid goes for a 619 on Yoshino, but Yoshino ducks, and counters Kid’s hurricanrana attempt with a powerbomb. Yoshino hits a top rope dropkick, Kid kicking out of the cover at two. Yoshino goes to the top again, but Guerrera holds him for a Kid super hurricanrana. Guerrera follows with a guillotine leg drop. Two count. Guerrera hits a wrist-clutch Juvi Driver on Yoshino, who kicks out at two. I think Hulk was meant to break up the count, but was late coming in. Guerrera body drops a charging Hulk out of the ring. Hulk lands on the apron, but Guerrera Stunners him over the ropes. Hulk drops to the floor. Springboard dive by Guerrera onto Hulk. In the ring, Yoshino avoids Kid’s Ultra Hurricanrana attempt. He catches Kid as he attempts a normal hurracanrana and goes for a powerbomb, but Kid hurricanranas Yoshino into the ropes. Kid connects with a 619 and Ultra Hurricanrana for two. Kid misses a Dragonrana, but lands on his feet. Hulk races in and catches Kid with his Mouse backflip kick and clothesline. Guerrera re-enters but misses a clothesline on Hulk. A barrage of Hulk slaps and kicks drops Guerrera to his knees, in position for Hulk’s First Flash kick. Cover for two. Guerrera wriggles out of Hulk’s EVO pumphandle slam and waistlocks Hulk. Hulk breaks free and hits a twisting on Guerrera, who is knocked into the corner. Guerrera flips a running Hulk over the apron. Hulk and Yoshino catch Guerrera with a spinning heel kick and running elbow respectively. Yoshino executes his Torbellino takedown then locks on the Sol Naciente submission hold. Guerrera taps out.
Your winners: BxB Hulk and Masato Yoshino.
Verdict: You know how a match can be good, but you know it could be better? There no denying all four grafted, but Hulk and Guerrera were a little off, and it took me out of the match a little. There was also the part where Hulk threw Kid into the Warriors corner, which would make no sense in another match. Any other time, this would a good, even great match, but there was just a few things just brought it down to just decent. Not bad, but just decent. **½
OPEN THE TRIANGLE GATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Yes folks, Abdullah The Butcher has a shot at a Dragon Gate title! Akebono and Abdullah stare each other down as the match ceremonies take place.
Akebono starts for his team. The crowd wants Abdullah, but NOSAWA stays in the ring. He goes for a shoulder block, but Akebono knocks down. A body slam attempt on Akebono (a former sumo wrestling champion) also fails, and Akebono slams NOSAWA instead. NOSAWA attempts a sunset flip, but can’t get Akebono over. MAZADA dropkicks Akebono, who drops onto NOSAWA’s chest. MAZADA breaks up the cover at two. They whip Akebono and drop down, so Akebono splashes both of them. NOSAWA and MAZADA roll out, and Akebono motions for Abdullah to come in. Abdullah obliges much to the crowd‘s delight. They stare each other out, then Abdullah demonstrates some karate thrusts and flips off Akebono. Fujii and Mochizuki gang up on Abdullah as Akebono knocks NOSAWA and MAZADA to the floor. Mochizuki goes to the floor and slides in a wrench. Fujii uses it on Abdullah, who is soon bleeding. Fujii and Mochizuki focus on the cut but Abdullah fights back with karate thrusts. Akebono tries to help his partners but Abdullah knocks him down with more throat thrusts. Big Abdullah Elbow on Akebono. Fujii and Mochizuki break the count at two. Akebono rolls out. NOSAWA and MAZADA team on Fujii outside the ring, leaving Mochizuki with Abdullah. Mochizuki targets Abdullah’s cut, but Abdullah pulls out a fork and jabs it into Mochizuki’s forehead, drawing blood. NOSAWA and MAZADA stop Fujii and Akebono from helping Mochizuki. NOSAWA breaks off and holds Mochizuki for Abdullah to continue his fork assault.
NOSAWA snapmares Mochizuki. He claws at Mochizuki’s head then covers for two. NOSAWA head butts Mochizuki. Mochizuki fires back with chops, but NOSAWA claws at Mochizuki’s cut and drags him over to Abdullah, who uses the fork on Mochizuki again. In a funny little spot, MAZADA acts all repulsed like Mochizuki’s blood is splashing on him. NOSAWA lays into Mochizuki with right hands. Akebono knocks NOSAWA down, and chokes MAZADA against the ropes until the referee orders him out of the ring. NOSAWA stomps down Mochizuki. Mochizuki fires back with punches and a kick to the head. He runs the ropes, but MAZADA knees him in the back and enters the ring. Mochizuki ducks NOSAWA and MAZADA’s double clothesline and dropkicks them, then tags in Akebono.Akebono throws NOSAWA and MAZADA around with ease. Abdullah just stands in the corner. NOSAWA forces Akebono into the corner and attempts an Irish whip, but Akebono holds on to the ropes. MAZADA helps his partner to move Akebono, but he reverses the whip and sends them both into the corner. Akebono charges. MAZADA moves out of the way but NOSAWA is squashed. Akebono attempts a choke slam on MAZADA, who escapes by raking the eyes. MAZADA runs the ropes, but Akebono knocks him down with a clothesline and tags out to Fujii. Fujii sends MAZADA into the corner with a flurry of slaps and whips him to the opposite side. MAZADA comes out running and both hit clotheslines. Fujii goes for another, but MAZADA hits an inverted atomic drop. He attempts a clothesline, but Fujii blocks and clotheslines MAZADA down. Fujii throws MAZADA into the corner. Mochizuki whips Fujii, who hits MAZADA with a clothesline. Fujii throws MAZADA into a Mochizuki big boot, but MAZADA doesn’t go down.
Mochizuki drops MAZADA to his knees with kicks to the legs, then hits a running reverse kick to the chest. Fujii blocks off Abdullah (who hasn’t climbed out of the ring, but just stood in the corner) as Mochizuki covers for two. MAZADA escapes from another chokeslam attempt by Fujii and applies a armlock. Mochizuki comes up from behind and locks MAZADA in a full nelson. Fujii goes to clothesline MAZADA, but MAZADA ducks and Fujii hits Mochizuki. MAZADA shoulder charges Fujii out of the ring. NOSAWA tries to shoulder charge Akebono off the apron three times, failing every time. He eventually succeeds by dropkicking Akebono in the knee. Mochizuki tries to whip NOSAWA, who reverses and flapjacks Mochizuki. Two count. MAZADA and NOSAWA whip Mochizuki in the corner. Mochizuki avoids NOSAWA’s charge and ducks a MAZADA clothesline. He attempts a springboard enzugiri on Abdullah, but Abdullah catches him with a karate thrust. Mochizuki stays on his feet, but eats a MAZADA lariat. Shining Wizard by NOSAWA on Mochizuki. Fujii breaks the cover at two. MAZADA takes Fujii to the floor. Abdullah holds Mochizuki as NOSAWA prepares to hit a fork attack from the middle turnbuckle, but Mochizuki moves and NOSAWA stabs Abdullah. Akebono squashes NOSAWA in the corner before punching Abdullah, who finally falls (or to be precise, sits) down. Fujii drags Abdullah into position for a Big Akebono Elbow. MAZADA breaks the cover at two. NOSAWA and MAZADA try to whip Akebono again, but Akebono clotheslines them down. Abdullah is back to his feet. Fujii chops away at his head, but Abdullah head butts him down. Akebono and Abdullah trade punches, thrusts and head butts. Akebono wins the exchange and holds him for Mochizuki to land two kicks to the chest. A running kick knocks Abdullah down. Mochizuki covers. One two three.
Your winners and still Open The Triangle Gate Champions: Don Fujii, Masaaki Mochizuki and Akebono.
Following the match, Abdullah announces he’s coming back and is coming for Akebono. Abdullah then starts a “Butcher” chant and even does a fat man dance.
Verdict: The worst match of the show thus far. Abdullah may be a legend, but he couldn’t do anything except stab Mochizuki in the head, and Akebono can only do so many moves, so there was no real flow to the match aside when the other four were in, and even then they never did much beyond punches and kicks. Just dull as hell. *½
OPEN THE TWIN GATE CHAMPIONSHIP
The build-up video to this match is nuts. It started with Kong returning to Dragon Gate after an injury-related retirement/hiatus, and joining Kamikaze following an emotional promo. Cut to a forest, where Warriors, wearing next to nothing, are grappling about and trying to avoid being stabbed by pointy sticks. It’s as if they watched the Jean-Claude Van Damme flick Kickboxer during a night on the sake and thought the training montages looked like fun. In between all this, there is footage of CIMA and Gamma beating Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino to win the vacant Twin Gate titles, naming their team Osaka06, and posing on boulders and trees while being semi-naked. Oh, and Kong and Takagi being named number one contenders. Trust me, words don‘t do it justice. Anyway, to the match…
Takagi and CIMA start at the bell, but CIMA decides to tag in Gamma. An annoyed Takagi mouths off at CIMA, then Gamma attacks him from behind. Takagi shrugs t off and turns a clothesline attempt into a body slam. A series of lefts by Takagi, but Gamma dropkicks Takagi in his heavily taped left knee. Gamma shoulder blocks Takagi into the ropes then drops him with a dropkick. Kong enters as Takagi rolls out, with Gamma tagging in CIMA. They attempt to tie up, but CIMA kicks Kong in the leg. Kong is unfazed. CIMA breaks another tie up attempt and kicks Kong in the leg again, with the same result. A series of chops also has no effect. CIMA ducks a chop by Kong and makes three attempts to shoulder block Kong down, each one failing. Side headlock by Kong. CIMA pushes him off onto the ropes, but Kong springs back with a shoulder block. Takagi runs in and knocks Gamma off the apron. A double shoulder block knocks CIMA down. Fist drop by Takagi. Kong body slams CIMA, but misses an elbow drop. CIMA grounds Kong with kicks to the head and body. CIMA kicks Takagi to the floor then holds Kong so Gamma can cut Kong’s long hair off with scissors. This leaves Kong looking very upset. Kong rolls out, Takagi back in. He and CIMA trade shots before CIMA trips him to the mat and twists Takagi’s leg. Gamma tags in and slams Takagi’s knee into the mat. Gamma knocks Kong to the floor then traps Takagi in a leglock. Takagi won’t quit so Gamma breaks and tags in CIMA, who blasts Takagi with kicks to the back and chest. This just pisses Takagi off. CIMA aims a kick to the leg, but as he runs the ropes Takagi scores with a shoulder block, followed up by his fireman’s carry gutbuster into a DDT. CIMA avoids a back senton and calls in Gamma. Takagi blocks an Osaka06 double suplex attempt and suplexes CIMA and Gamma at the same time. Kong tags in and aims for Gamma with chops, then a Gorilla press that sends Gamma across the ring. Elbow drop by Kong and cover. CIMA breaks it at two by squirting a bottle of water into Kong’s face. A pissed off Kong slaps CIMA in the face, so CIMA throws the bottle at Kong. Next thing you know, CIMA and Kong are looking daggers at each other, while Takagi has thrown a bottle at CIMA and is getting into CIMA‘s face. CIMA pushes Takagi off and trades slaps with Kong, while Gamma throws the water bottle at Takagi, who starts duking it out with Gamma. Call me gullible, but I’m not wholly convinced it was just part of the match…
CIMA dropkicks Kong down. Takagi throws CIMA out, then decks Gamma with a reverse elbow. Meantime, CIMA has stormed over to Kong on the apron and starts pushing and yelling at him. Again, I’m not sure it’s all just part of the match… In the ring, Takagi suplexes Gamma. Takagi tags Kong and the Kamikaze duo hit a tandem hiptoss into a power bomb-type thing on Gamma, while CIMA argues with the referee over something. Kong goes up top while Takagi holds Gamma in position for another double team move, but CIMA stops it by catching Takagi with a sliding dropkick, then Kong with his Venus palm thrust. Kong drops feet first to the canvas, all groggy. Gamma attempts a back suplex on Kong, but Kong muscles out and forearms him into the corner. Irish whip by Kong. Gamma avoids Kong’s running corner splash and drops him with a back suplex. Gamma tags CIMA, who catches Takagi on the apron with a springboard triangle dropkick, before he scoops slams Kong. Takagi comes in. CIMA scores with chops and goes for a running attack, but Takagi elbows him down. Takagi runs the ropes himself, but CIMA hits a drop toehold. CIMA puts Takagi in a deathlock, then he and Gamma double suplex Kong, wrenching on Takagi’s bad knee. CIMA keeps the hold locked in as Gamma dropkicks Takagi. Takagi is pushed into the corner, but reverses a CIMA whip to the other side. CIMA ducks Takagi‘s clothesline, runs across the ring and dives through to the ropes onto Kong on the outside. Back in the ring, Gamma lands a top rope dropkick to the back of Takagi’s head. Takagi blocks Gamma’s suplex attempt and scores with chops. Irish whip by Takagi. Gamma tries to slide under Takagi’s legs on the rebound, but is caught by Takagi. He muscles Gamma up for a suplex, but Gamma reverses into a suplex on Takagi. A series of chops don‘t faze Takagi, so Gamma spits in Takagi’s face. Mongolian chops by Takagi. Takagi’s Irish whip attempt is reversed, but he catches Gamma as he attempts a leapfrog and hits a Death Valley Driver. Takagi goes for his Made In Japan finisher, but Gamma counters into a headlock. Takagi muscles Gamma into a Torture Rack backbreaker. CIMA tries to save Gamma, but Kong lifts him into a Torture Rack as well. Gamma breaks free and boots Kong in the stomach so he drops CIMA. Takagi throws Gamma out of the ring and follows him. In the ring, Kong whips CIMA into the ropes. He ducks his for a back body drop, but CIMA punches him the head. A chop flurry forces Kong to the ropes. Kong reverses CIMA’s Irish whip. CIMA ducks a Kong clothesline and follows up with a dropkick to Kong’s knee, then a Perfect Driver. Cover for two. Kong reverses CIMA’s whip into the corner. attempts to whip Kong out of the corner. CIMA uses the turnbuckles to vault over a charging Kong. He runs to the other corner, but Kong follows and squashes CIMA with a splash in the corner, then a running clothesline. CIMA staggers out into another Kong clothesline. Kong’s running splash on CIMA scores two.
Takagi and Kong whip CIMA into the corner. Takagi holds CIMA in a modified bear hug for Kong to hit a big elbow of the middle turnbuckle. Kong covers, but CIMA kicks out at two. Takagi scoop slams CIMA and goes outside to brawl with Gamma. Kong attempts a top rope elbow drop, but CIMA rolls clear of impact. CIMA grabs the grounded Kong elbows him MMA-style, then hits a rope-assisted double stomp to Kong‘s chest. CIMA kicks Takagi off the apron as Gamma re-enters. Osaka06 hit running elbows on Kong, who is in the corner. Kong drops down, in place for simultaneous basement dropkicks from CIMA and Gamma. They head up to opposing top turnbuckles and execute stereo coast-to-coast top dropkicks on Takagi, who is kneeling in corner opposite Kong. CIMA and Gamma then drop Takagi and Kong respectively with CIMA’s Schwein. They cover, but Kamikaze kick out at two. Gamma Cradle Tombstones Takagi and signals for a Skytwister Press, but Takagi gets up and intercepts Gamma’s ascent. He gets Gamma in an electric chair position, but turns into a CIMA super kick, allowing Gamma to hit a reverse hurricanrana. Takagi staggers into the corner. Running double knee strike by CIMA, who follows up with an avalanche Perfect Driver. Takagi kicks out of the cover at two. Stereo enzugiris by CIMA and Gamma sends Takagi into the ropes. Takagi bounces back with a double clothesline. CIMA and Gamma shrug them off and super kick Takagi at the same time. Crossfire powerbomb on Takagi by CIMA. Skytwister Press by Gamma. Two count. Takagi blocks Osaka06’s whip attempt by holding onto the ropes. Kong sprints in and hits CIMA and Gamma with a double clothesline. Kong targets CIMA, the two flailing away at each other with chops and punches. CIMA is staggered, but scores with a roundhouse kick to Kong’s head. He powerbombs Kong and goes for the Meteora top rope double knee drop. Takagi catches CIMA up top and attempts to superplex him. Kong goes underneath Takagi and powerbombs his partner, bring CIMA over with the superplex. Kong covers CIMA. Gamma breaks the count at two with a kendo stick shot. He canes Takagi as well, then splinters the stick over Kong’s head. Kong takes them all. Gamma spits in Kong’s face. He runs the ropes but Kong catches him with a standing splash. Gamma staggers into the middle of the ring as Kong runs the ropes back and forth, before blasting Gamma with a stiff lariat. Kong covers, but Gamma kicks out at two. Cyber (Liger) Bomb by Kong. CIMA breaks the cover at two. Takagi picks up CIMA. The Kamikaze duo forearm CIMA back and forth to each other before attempting to sandwich CIMA in between stereo clotheslines. CIMA moves, Kong and Takagi crashing into each other. CIMA hits the Superdrol backbreaker on Takagi, then counters Kong’s powerbomb attempt a back bodydrop. Takagi attempts a Pumping Bomber lariat, but CIMA swings round into a Guillotine choke. Kong breaks it with a German suplex on CIMA. CIMA staggers into the corner. Takagi scores with a running clothesline, then drops CIMA with Made In Japan. Cover for two. Doomsday Device clothesline by Kamikaze on CIMA. Kong knocks Gamma off the apron then lifts CIMA for a powerbomb. CIMA reverses and attempts Schwein, but Kong muscles out and finally powerbombs CIMA. Kong tags Takagi in, and takes care of Gamma on the floor. Takagi lays into CIMA with forearms. CIMA drops to one knee where Takagi mouths off, only for CIMA to ‘Hulk Up’ and respond with lefts and rights of his own. Takagi fires back with a big right and runs the ropes. CIMA catches Takagi with a super kick. Takagi shrugs it off and drills CIMA with a normal lariat and a Pumping Bomber. Takagi covers, but CIMA again kicks out at two. Takagi picks up CIMA and drops him with his other big finisher, Last Falconry. Cover. One two three.
Your winners and new Open The Twin Gate Champions: Cyber Kong and Shingo Takagi.
The new champions pose with their belts, with Kong crying over the success. Sensitive fella isn’t he?
Verdict: Well, it was certainly exciting, but it was a match where selling and psychology were non-existent for the most part, as all four men just crammed in big move after big move; something that Dragon Gate in general is guilty of. It‘s very much a match that you will either love or hate. I enjoy a good all-action match, hence the rating. However, if you like psychology and a logical build, this ain‘t for you. ***
OPEN THE DREAM GATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Main event time. It’s YAMATO’s first crack at the top belt, but momentum is not on his side as Doi has pinned him in tag matches leading up to the bout. The wrestlers and crowd observe the usual title ceremonies and the Japanese national anthem.
Collar and elbow tie up, with both wrestlers backing into the ropes for a clean break. A second collar and elbow a leads to a chain wrestling feast. Side headlock by YAMATO into a headlock take down. Doi scissors YAMATO’s head to break free. Doi headlocks YAMATO, who pushes him off. Shoulder blocks by both men into the ropes. Doi bounces back into a YAMATO dropkick. Doi retreats to the corner. Single leg takedown by YAMATO, grapevining Doi‘s left leg. Doi rolls to the ropes to break the hold. He reverses a YAMATO whip and forearms YAMATO down. YAMATO rolls to the outside (and underneath the ring off camera) as Doi tends to his leg. YAMATO appears on the other side and dropkicks Doi’s bad leg, then applies a Figure 4 Leglock. Doi reaches the ropes again. YAMATO keeps attacking the leg. Doi counters an attempted Figure-Four with an inside cradle for two. YAMTO dropkicks Doi’s leg, then hits a shinbreaker and Dragon screw into a Texas Cloverleaf. Another rope break from Doi. Doi kicks away YAMATO as he attempts another Dragon screw and ducks a YAMATO charge. YAMATO tumbles out of the ring. Suicide dive through the ropes by Doi. YAMATO comes up favouring his right arm. Back in the ring Doi targets YAMATO’s arm with arm wringers and arm breakers over the shoulder, before grounding him with an armbar. YAMATO tries to arm drag his way free several times but Doi holds on with numerous armlock variants. YAMATO finally gets his foot on the rope. Doi ties YAMATO into the ropes and scores with a running elbow then a shotgun dropkick. Suplex by Doi, twisting YAMATO so he landed on the arm. Covers for two. YAMATO’s chops and forearms with the bad arm have no effect on Doi, so he resorts to a head butt. YAMATO attempts a clothesline but Doi kicks him away. Doi runs the ropes but is caught by YAMATO’s discus elbow. Doi reverses an Irish whip, only for YAMTO to score with a diving shoulder block. Doi rolls into the corner. Running elbow smash by YAMATO, followed by an exploder suplex. Cover for two. Doi elbows out of a shin breaker attempt. YAMATO floats into a cross arm breaker attempt which is blocked by Doi. YAMATO rolls into an ankle lock on Doi‘s left leg. Doi kicks YAMATO into the corner and hits the Dai Bosou cannonball senton. YAMATO blocks a Doi 555s attempt and ducks a clothesline, but runs into Doi’s sit out spinebuster. He lands heavily on the right arm. Doi covers for two. YAMATO breaks free of a Tiger suplex attempt and scores with an enzugiri. He goes for the ankle lock but Doi reaches the ropes. Doi hotshots a charging YAMATO over the ropes. Saito suplex by Doi, who covers for two.
Doi goes for Doi 555s again, but YAMATO lands on his feet and catches Doi in the ankle lock again. Doi makes it to the ropes. The two trade shots. Doi targets YAMATO’s arm, but YAMATO dropkicks Doi’s leg. He stalks Doi and applies his choke sleeper, turning it into a Galleria attempt. Doi flips out and applies a choke sleeper of his own, transitioning into position to drop YAMATO with an inverted DDT. He goes for the Bakatare Sliding Kick but YAMTO dodges and locks on another choke sleeper, riding piggyback on Doi. Doi climbs to the middle turnbuckle and falls back, crushing YAMATO. Doi follows with a top rope elbow drop. Cover for two. Doi sits YAMATO on the top turnbuckle, where YAMATO locks the choke sleeper on again, but is forced to break it. YAMATO argues with the ref, allowing Doi to slap him in the face. Avalanche Doi 555s facebuster on YAMATO, followed by a Bakatare Sliding Kick. YAMATO kicks out at two. Doi goes for his Muscular Bomb finisher, but his left leg can’t take the weight! Two wresters lay into each other with forearms, Doi knocking YAMATO down. Doi attempts another Bakatare Sliding Kick, but YAMATO gets up and boots him in the face. Doi retaliates with a running elbow and attempts a Doi 555s, but YAMATO twists into another choke sleeper! YAMATO sets Doi up and plants him with his Gallaria piledriver finisher. Cover, but Doi kicks out! YAMATO goes for a second Gallaria, but Doi reverses and spikes YAMATO with the Muscular Bomb! YAMATO kicks out at two! Both men are tired, YAMATO so exhausted he simply flops to the mat. The ref begins to count YAMATO out, but Doi picks him up on 8. Doi 555s. Bakatare Sliding Kick. Cover. YAMATO kicks out at two again! Doi can’t believe it! He goes for another Muscular Bomb. YAMATO counters into a victory roll for two. YAMATO turns Doi into an STF. Again, Doi reaches the ropes. Both men trade forearms as they get to their feet. Doi hits his sumo slap flurry, but YAMATO retaliates with forearms. He ducks a swing by Doi and locks the choke sleeper in again. Doi tries to break with a judo throw and even a back suplex but YAMATO won’t let go! Sleeper suplex on Doi. Kick to Doi’s face. Brainbuster. YAMATO covers. Two count. Gallaria on Doi. Two count! Another Gallaria! YAMATO hooks the legs. One two three.
Your winner and new Open The Dream Gate Champion: YAMATO.
And so ends Doi’s record setting year-plus reign. A tearful YAMATO cuts a victory speech as the confetti falls.
Verdict: You know those people who like psychology and logical build? They would like this. Just two wrestlers who went all out to win the prize, with a logical story that built to an all action finale where YAMATO proved that he wanted the win that little bit more. Excitement, drama and emotion; you really can’t ask for much more. There may have been a couple bits that the more churlish could poke at, but that should not detract form the fact that this was a fantastic match. ****
Final Verdict: A mixed bag. The show started off all right, but the Warriors/World-1 match didn’t quite click, and the Triangle Gate match was just dull. The Twin Gate match is enjoyable if you like a particular sort of match, but the card is saved by a fantastic main event. I would say there are better overall shows to read up on and track down, but if you have some spare cash, Doi vs. YAMATO makes this worth the investment. ***