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Dragon Gate King of Gate Results & Review: A&B Blocks Part 1

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Dragon Gate makes its return to my coverage as they launched their streaming service last month and you can subscribe to it at dragongate.live if this promotion interests you.

However, this one is a bit more costly compared to the other streaming services since it costs 1500 yen a month if you want access to live shows and exclusive content unless you do 999 yen a month, but you only get archived stuff and any new shows will be up 3-4 weeks after it airs, which sucks.

Anyway, we have another tournament after AJPW finished their Carnival as Dragon Gate does their own version called King of Gate, which is a month long and four blocks instead of two, but there’s five wrestlers in each block. So I will be covering blocks A and B while Andrew will join me again to cover blocks C and D. The winner of each block will fight in a single elimination match until they reach the final and the winner of that will fight the Open the Dream Gate Champion, Masaaki Mochizuki.

My Picks for Block Winners and Champion:

A Block: YAMATO
B Block: Big R Shimizu
C Block: Naruki Doi
D Block: Shingo Takagi

Overall Winner: YAMATO

 

Who will win their respective blocks? Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

5/8/2018

King of Gate 2018 B Block Match
Big R Shimizu vs. Takashi Yoshida

Review: Our first block has Takashi taking on one half of our new Open the Twin Gate Champion, Big R Shimizu and his partner is Ben-K, who is fantastic and is on my A Block. And now for the match…it was a match, it unfortunately existed. This is not a good way to start your B Block and not even a good way to start your actual tournament! The only good thing about the match is that it was only three minutes as it was just sloppy with both of these guys, then again I’m not a fan of Big R or Takashi, but still the match was terrible. The match ended with Takashi trying to pull Big R off the turnbuckle to deliver a Powerbomb, but he kept holding onto the ropes and it looked messy until he lets go and….that’s it, the match ends. Takashi gets two points and I won’t get those three minutes match.

Recommended: No no no no, now time to cry in the corner again.

 

King of Gate 2018 A Block Match
Kzy vs. YAMATO

Review: You really can’t go wrong with these two as they’re some of Dragon Gate’s best and I’m glad they’re the main event of this show. Since it’s been two months since I covered Dragon Gate, time for a quick little recap. Kzy was apart of the same group YAMATO was in called Tribe Vanguard and he recently left the unit since he felt like he was being held back and wanted to shine on his own to make his own group with “brother” YASSHI, Genki Horiguchi, Punch Tominaga, and Susumu Yokosuka as they’re now officially called Natural Vibes and they formed on the April 6th show, I have to admit that I am a fan of this tag team and the change in Kzy, plus their dance is really fun to watch before the match starts, they even won the Open the Triangle Gate titles at the previous show (Kzy, Yokosuka, and Horiguchi). Now he looks to fight his former ally to prove himself that leaving Tribe Vanguard was good for him, also YAMATO changed his hair on me and it scares me… The match was nearly twenty minutes and it was fantastic, both men just worked wonderfully with each other, the story was good, the sequences were crisp, and it just gelled so nicely. Kzy showed that he can hang with the top guys and I have no doubt that he’ll be in getting bigger title runs soon. YAMATO also showed why he was considered an ace at one point despite getting mix reactions, but no denying that he is good in the ring and he could use this tournament to get a proper rematch against him. YAMATO would get the win with the Almighty as he praised Kzy after the match saying he felt something special from him during the bout. Fantastic showing by both of these men.

Recommended: Highly recommended, go watch it now.

– One BIG problem with the network that I’m noticing and that is they don’t have all of the shows on the network, meaning that it’s gonna be hard to cover the whole tournament fully or even tell you if the matches were worth watching, but we will at least tell you the results. On the May 12th show, I only had a B Block match with Genki Horiguchi defeating Takashi Yoshida, gaining two points himself. All of this and more for 1500 yen a month by the way…

 

5/13/2018

King Of Gate 2018 Block A Match
Ben-K vs. Shun Skywalker

Review: Least with this show we get to see the match and this time it’s with Ben-K, who is another one of my favorites in the promotion and can be the future of the company, it’s amazing how great he is with about two years of experience in the ring. He’s got the look, the talent, the charisma, he’s gonna go far in this business for sure. Shun Skywalker has been impressing me lately and was surprised to see him in this tournament, but it’s a good way to prove his worth and see if he can perform well with the top guys. The match was pretty solid for what it was as Shun actually did impress me in his match with Ben-K and has done very well holding his own in the match. Ben-K also did great, but it shouldn’t be a real surprise since he’s on the rise right now. Definitely a lot of good sequences and Shun definitely getting enough close calls to make him feel like he can be a serious threat, but it’s not enough as Ben-K would hit him with an amazing Spear to get a win here.

Recommended: I enjoyed the match, very solid and a great ending.

– Of course it’s happening again with the May 14th show and it appears our next live show isn’t until the 19th…1500 yen folks. This really makes it hard to cover the whole tournament as now it feels like both mine and Andrew’s coverage a bit hollow without most of the matches. I could’ve added three more matches on here to give you all a full article, but it doesn’t appear to be the case here and we at The Chairshot completely apologize for this. If it was an actual tour, then I wouldn’t mind as much, but the fact that it’s for your big tournament that we’re having this problem and that’s not fair to the audience here who subscribe to the product. Get your shit together.

For A Block, Yasushi Kanda defeated YAMATO by Countout in five minutes.

For B Block, Takashi Yoshida defeated BXB Hulk to get his second win.

 

Overall: The shows could’ve been so much better, but the Dragon Gate Network really downgraded the expectations for this show, but I really hope it delivers at the end of it despite us possibly losing half these shows. If I had known this, then we probably could’ve just done it ourselves, but I’m still happy to be working with someone on it. Least two out of three matches were really good, so that’s a plus.

Favorite Match: YAMATO vs. Kzy

Least Favorite Match: Big R Shimizu vs. Takashi Yoshida

Score: 7/10

 

A Block Standings:
YAMATO (1-1) (2 Points)
Ben-K (1-0) (2 Points)
Yasushi Kanda (1-0) (2 Points)
Kzy (0-1) (0 Points)
Shun Skywalker (0-1) (0 Points)

B Block Standings:
Takashi Yoshida (2-1) (4 Points)
Genki Horiguchi (1-0) (2 Points)
BXB Hulk (0-1) (0 Points)
Big R Shimizu (0-1) (0 Points)
Jason Lee (0-0) (0 Points)


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Andrew’s G1 Climax 29 Ratings & Analysis: Night 4 B Block

Second night for the B Block! Jay White and Tetsuya Naito need to get on the scoreboard. Did it happen?

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Second night for the B Block! Jay White and Tetsuya Naito need to get on the scoreboard. Did it happen?

Sapporo is a fun city for the main event, with a lot of general history.

Will Ospreay having a neck injury means he’s not working the undercard tonight.

Those are probably the two points that matter the most. So I guess let’s get to the show!

Ratings:

  • Jyushin Thunder Liger & Kota Ibushi vs Yota Tsuji & Shota Umino: Ibushi wins via Half Boston Crab @8:20 – **
  • Toa Henare, Ren Narita & Tomoaki Honma vs EVIL, BUSHI & SANADA: BUSHI wins via MX @7:20 – ** 1/2
  • Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr & Lance Archer vs KENTA, Clark Connors, Karl Fredricks & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Kanemaru wins via Deep Impact @11:30 – ***
  • Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI: Okada wins via Rainmaker @8:45 – ** 1/4
  • Block B: Shingo Takagi vs Toru Yano: Shingo wins via Pumping Bomber @6:15 – ** 3/4
  • Block B: Juice Robinson vs Hirooki Goto: Juice wins via Pulp Friction @12:20 – *** 1/2
  • Block B: Jon Moxley vs Jeff Cobb: Moxley wins via Draping Deathrider @8:55 – *** 1/4
  • Block B: Tomohiro Ishii vs Jay White: Ishii wins via Vertical Drop Brainbuster @19:15 – **** 1/2
  • Block B: Taichi vs Tetsuya Naito: Taichi wins via Last Ride @21:00 – *** 3/4

 

Analysis:

Liger and Ibushi take on Young Lions because Will Ospreay is nursing an injury. So this was unexpected, but who’s gonna argue with some Liger? Bare bones basic Young Lion match, but Liger and Ibushi kept the interest high.

EVIL and SANADA are facing one another on Thursday, but they were on the same team tonight. Part of this story was BUSHI remaining to look strong since the end of the BOSJ, while EVIL and SANADA had the tension building up. Instead of the LIJ fist bump after the win, EVIL tries to cheap shot SANADA, SANADA counters and then they have a stand off.

This Suzuki-Gun match was beautiful. It was just a gang fight, with each member of Suzuki-Gun taking someone off and Lance Archer even joined commentary at some point. House show quality match was a good way to describe this, but it was still fun and got across the point for future matches and just great character work.

It might be a little mean to say, but YOSHI-HASHI is in this match, so who cares? Chase Owens does prove why he’s the glue that holds Bullet Club together. He’s a great tag team player and this year he’s looked a lot better than he has in the past. So we’ve got an alright match, Okada wasn’t gonna eat a pin, but I guess they wanted to protect YOSHI a little, so Chase ate the Rainmaker.

Shingo proved he watched the Naito match by trying to get Yano to take off his shirt. Anyone who saw Shingo in Dragon Gate knows he’s got some comedy chops being a former…wait…the current, Open the Owarai Gate champion (Owarai means comedy). Shirt, wrist tape and turnbuckle shenanigans ensue, but the right person won. Shingo gets on the board and doesn’t suffer the shame of getting bamboozled.

This tends to be an issue with Goto and Juice a lot of the time. By this, I mean boredom. Goto and Juice have bumped heads a few times and they both try very hard, but they aren’t exciting together. Juice being a quirky but not overly animated just means you get a snarky line and one move that may be entertaining (usually Left Hand of God) and then the action stalls. So both did good work, it was a tough match, but it wasn’t really anything crazy. Solid enough match though.

Moxley focused on Cobb’s left shoulder, so the story was to take out Cobb’s power and try to figure out how to end the match. We saw another solid match, and Moxley gets across more of his character. He does borderline heel tactics and then apologizes to the referee. So this brawling, unstable babyface is an old school gimmick in Japan, but not often seen in New Japan. It’s nice to watch, and Moxley taking advantage of Cobb’s positioning to hit the Draping Dirty Deathriding Paradigm DDT.

Jay White starts off against two of the heavier hitters from Chaos, his former stable. After taking Goto lightly, Ishii comes into this match after a big win over Jeff Cobb. White came into the match less relaxed, but still playing up his smarmy character. Ishii laid into Jay the whole match, where Jay tried to outsmart the Stone Pitbull, but Jay isn’t as clever as he thinks he is. A great match with well placed false finishes and a lot of tension. Fantastic back and forth, plus Ishii picking up the win is something special.

There were so many story threads going on here. Sapporo is the place of their Intercontinental Championship match earlier in the year where Taichi had Takashi Iizuka interfere. Iizuka left the Iron Fingers for Taichi, but he hasn’t used them in the 6 months he’s had them. This was a great struggle of wrestlers who were once rivals, but Naito has since eclipsed Taichi. Hell, Taichi even hit a Ganso Bomb, shades of his mentor Toshiaki Kawada. References, call backs and a solid match from a story telling perspective.  Work rate might not have been fantastic, but that’s the beauty of professional wrestling being more than the moves in the ring. Plus part of the fun of Taichi matches is watch Miho Abe react, since she’s such a lovely devoted valet.

Overall Score: 6.75/10

A lot of this show was driven by the stories and the historical threads between participants, opposed to the in-ring action. I appreciate the mixture of angles that New Japan shows attack with. Many newer fans just know NJPW for great hard hitting work rate, but the beauty of puroresu in general is how deep the stories go.

Sometimes the wrestlers reference things from their mentors/trainers, sometimes it’s just a story line from the isolationist politics that each puro company has dabbled with or sometimes it goes all the way back to when someone was a Young Boy in a dojo. The layers are there for those who wish to know, so part of the fun in nights like this, are what personally floats your boat.

The show was the weakest so far, but there were plenty of satisfying moments outside of ring work.

B Block Standings:

  • Tomohiro Ishii – 2-0 (4 Points)
  • Jon Moxley – 2-0 (4 Points)
  • Juice Robinson – 2-0 (4 Points)
  • Toru Yano – 1-1 (2 Points)
  • Hirooki Goto – 1-1 (2 Points)
  • Shingo Takagi – 1-1 (2 Points)
  • Taichi – 1-1 (2 Points)
  • Jay White – 0-2 (0 Points)
  • Jeff Cobb – 0-2 (0 Points)
  • Tetsuya Naito – 0-2 (0 Points)


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.43 ~ 14TH JULY 2019

Global Junior Tag League has started! Hisame let’s us know what’s going on in Pro Wrestling NOAH!

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Global Junior Tag League has started! Hisame let’s us know what’s going on in Pro Wrestling NOAH!

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
After a long break in which it was thought that due to the silence coming from the roster, they had all gone on a short summer break, NOAH returned on the 12th July to hold a show in Tokorozawa.

In Global Junior Tag League, YO-HEY defeated Junta Miyawaki (although he did praise him afterwards in a rambling promo), and Chris Ridgeway defeated fellow STINGER, Kotaro Suzuki by making him tap.

Minoru Tanaka vs Daisuke Harada for Global Junior League, was the main event of the evening, and what a match it was. They pulled everything out of every drawer they had, Tanaka worked on Harada’s knee, while Harada worked on the neck. The match went to a thirty minute draw, and both spoke afterwards about it. Minoru Tanaka says that he won today, and he will win the league. He also mentioned that he wants to see more junior matches main event shows.

Daisuke Harada said that he would not let “that stranger” win, and he would challenge for the belt again, whether the fans liked it or not.

Takashi Sugiura and Hajime Ohara took on Masao Inoue and Kinya Okada, and there was the usual amusing Inoue\Sugiura interplay. Earlier in the evening, joining in with Marufuji not remembering Kenoh’s name, and vice versa, Takashi Sugiura joined in, but changed it so that he couldn’t remember Masao Inoue’s name. Inoue is a sufferer of gout, and naturally Sugiura targeted his foot by keeping him in the ankle lock after Kinya Okada had tapped, and then when his arms were lifted in victory, he continued stamping on Inoue’s foot.

Speaking of Marufuji and Kenoh, Kenoh (when the team of Marufuji, Yoshinari Ogawa, Hiroshi Yamato and Keisuke Ishii took on Kongoh), timed it just right when Marufuji bounced into the ring, landed and turned so that he was there waiting for him, and they both got in each others face. Inamura was chopped to ribbons.

As Go Shiozaki was still absent (he will return to the ring on the 15th), Katsuhiko Nakajima came to the ring carrying both of the tag belts. As he said at the match signing which took place on the 13th June, he was preparing more for the GHC Heavyweight than the singles, and so he started the match off against Kaito Kiyomiya. However, it wasn’t Nakajima who took the win, but Kaito Kiyomiya with the Tiger Suplex on Hi69.

EVENT RECAPS

Tokorozawa City Gymnasium, Sub Arena (12th July 2019)
Post match promos – 12th July 2019

Current Global Junior League Scores (as of July 14th 2019)

BLOCK A

Minoru Tanaka 5
Daisuke Harada 3
Yoshinari Ogawa 2
Tadasuke 2
YO-HEY 2
Junta Miyawaki 0

BLOCK B

HAYATA 4
Chris Ridgeway 4
Hajime Ohara 2
Hitoshi Kumano 2
Kotaro Suzuki 0
Hi69 0

NEWS

“THE COMPANY DOG”

In keeping in the theme of using pets on merchandise (a silhouette of one of Hitoshi Kumano’s little French Bulldog appeared on the back of one of his t-shirts, and Akitoshi Saito had a cat t-shirt) continued when NOAH put the head of Takashi Sugiura’s beloved Shiba Inu on a t-shirt, complete with dog tags which read “company dog”. Naturally, this was a shot at Kongoh (in specific Kenoh, as he is the only one who speaks), who are currently feuding with The Sugiura Army, and the use of the phrase “Company dog” (i.e. someone who does his masters bidding unquestionably, comes goes, fetches, wags tail etc).

The t-shirt will be released on the 15th July at Korakuen Hall, with mail order to follow (a white version is also available).

NAOMICHI MARUFUJI’S COMIC STRIP
Naomichi Marufuji has started illustrating a comic for “Weekly Pro”. The comic is a condensed version of his autobiography, “Heir To The Ark”, and starts off with his childhood growing up in Saitama with three older brothers, and wrestling with them which inspired his love of the sport. The comic starts off with two of his brothers arguing about who they are going to be, then they tell little Marufuji that they feel sorry for him, as being the youngest and the smallest, he is going to get it from them (which he did in reality), and Marufuji fighting back by saying that Tiger Mask (Mitsuharu Misawa) is strong.

You can find an ongoing translation on my blog.

TAKAYAMANIA

The main event for TAKAYAMANIA EMPIRE 2 will be Hideki Suzuki and Minoru Suzuki vs Naomichi Marufuji and Masato Tanaka. Event will be held on Monday, August 26 2019 at Korakuen Hall.

Broadcast most likely will be through ABEMA (a Japanese PPV subscription channel, only available to those in Japan).

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

TOUR TIDBITS
~ HAYATA’S garden has produced Daikon. YO-HEY celebrated by putting it in his mouth.
~ NOAH held a joint fan birthday party for Kaito Kiyomiya and Junta Miyawaki. Miyawaki turned 22 in June, with Kiyomiya turning 23 this month.
~ Naomichi Marufuji says he has a new gown for Korakuen Hall on the 15th June
~ YO-HEY made a summer vacation to see his family in rural Yabu. One of his young nieces asked him if he was married to HAYATA.

BROADCASTS
NOAH’s big Kawasaki Kultz event (and the GHC Heavyweight title, plus the final night of Global Junior League 2019) will air on the 2nd August on G+ at 12.30am JST

NOAH will be broadcast live on Sunday 4th August at 11.30am JST on G+

GIF OF THE WEEK

LINKS
GHC Heavyweight tag & single championship signing

Picture credit: Noah GHC, PKDK, YO-HEY
GIF credit: Noah GHC


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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