Okay, so right on the heels of the AJPW Champion Carnival, we are graced with Dragon Gate’s largest tournament, King of Gate. The field is broken into four groups, which get boiled down to the four winners. The four block winners will pair off in semi-final matches to get to the finals. Also as a wrinkle this year, the two lowest point holders, will have a consolation match for overall last place.
Since we didn’t do a predictions article, here’s my guesses for the Final Four and overall winner.
A Block: YAMATO
B Block: BxB Hulk
C Block: Eita
D Block: Shingo Takagi
Overall Winner: YAMATO
So with all that out of the way, my articles will cover C & D Block. Whereas, A & B Blocks will be covered by Mathew again. A Block is pretty stacked, so definitely keep an eye on that one.
Naruki Doi vs Eita
Now this is fun since Naruki is a former tournament winner, and Eita has put on some very impressive matches.
This starts off as a typical face against heel match. ANTIAS continues to use their heelish tactics when Takashi Yoshida interferes and attacks Doi while on the outside.
Even though it started off a little simple, the match really picks up. We saw numerous top rope manuevers, submission attempts and strikes back and forth. It really looked like Eita was going to pick up the victory, but Doi showed the resilience of a past winner. After a near fall with his sliding kick, Eita went for a Frog Splash, but missed and got pinned after a Muscular Bomb.
Winner: Naruki Doi via Muscular Bomb
Rating: *** 1/4
5/12/2018 *Not Shown on Stream
Naruki Doi vs Punch Tominaga
Winner: Doi via Bakatare Sliding Kick
Punch Tominaga vs Yosuke♡Santa Maria
We’ve go the Japanese George Jefferson, against Dragon Gate’s Exotico Santa Maria. Now this may need some explaining, so let me say, Dragon Gate has a lot of Lucha Libre elements and Exocticos are one of them. Long and short, men that dress up in drag and are referred to in a feminine way.
So now as we get to the match, it’s well…a match? Starts off a little slow, picks up with a few strikes and Santa Maria has a fantastic flurry capped off with a Spin-A-Roonie into a diving Triangle Body Press. Sadly though, the exotico had the most flair to her offense, but Punch ends up winning with a big Cross Armbreaker from the top turnbuckle.
Nothing overly special, but Santa Maria is actually a pretty polished high flier. Should be interesting to see if she gets more singles opportunities.
Winner: Punch via Flying cross armbreaker
5/14/2018 *Not Shown of Stream
Eita vs Punch Tominaga
Winner: Time Limit Draw (1 Point Each)
C Block Standings:
Naruki Doi 2-0 (4 Points)
Punch Tominaga 1-1-1 (3 Points)
Eita 0-1-1 (1 Point)
Dragon Kid 0-0 (0 Points)
Yosuke♡Santa Maria 0-1 (0 Points)
Masato Yoshino vs Shingo Takagi
This was a very hard hitting match, that saw the ANTIAS stable facing the MaxiMuM stable in first matches for their respective blocks. While I’m admittedly not well versed in the history between these two, since there aren’t as many competitors in each block for King of Gate, every match matters. With only 5 men, in 4 different blocks, that means each match is 25% of your tournament hopes if you want to move forward.
After coming off a slightly disappointing, but still impressive run in the AJPW Champion Carnival, Shingo has a little bit to prove. This match went back and forth the entire times, trading strikes, chops and big moves. Also we saw ANTIAS work a little bit like LIJ from New Japan where they helped out Shingo on the outside by piling up chairs or causing distractions, but not being outright in the way.
Shingo had to throw literally everything at Masato, where after 2 Last Falconry attempts, Yoshino still kicked out. So Takagi laid him out with one more Pumping Bomber lariat, and finally picked up the pinfall victory.
Winner: Shingo Takagi via Pumping Bomber
Rating: **** 1/4
Kagetora vs Ryo Saito
So I’m not totally familiar with Kagetora, but Ryi Saito is…quirky let’s say. He lost the Owari belt and got his head shaved, purely to prove to Shingo that he’s a good comedy wrestler. He really wrestles, on his own wave length.
This match is no different, with Saito starting off bowing and complying with Kagetora at one point by telling him to just fall down. After that we get an, okay match. A few submission attempts and a missed SaiRyo Rocket brings us towards the ending sequence.
We see both men spill to the outside, and take turns trying to hit the other and slide in, but they hit the apron at the same time and decide to trade blows instead of beat the count. So we get a double count out, which means no one gets points, and Saito raises his hands like he just won the match.
Sometimes…I don’t even know.
Winner: Double Countout (no points)
Rating: * 1/2
5/14/2018 *Not Shown on Stream
Susumu Yokosuka vs Ryo Saito
Winner: Yokosuka via Jumbo no Kachigatame