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Dragon Gate King of Gate Results & Review: A&B Blocks Part 2

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We are back with Dragon Gate as we continue talking about the King of Gate Tournament.

The last time I covered the first part of it, I only had three matches in the four shows that aired with two of them not airing at all, so it was disappointing to give people enough to read and for that I’m sorry for that. However, we have four shows that were aired on this one with about two not airing meaning I’ll have plenty of content to talk about this time around for my respective blocks.

So let’s get to it and…dive right in.

 

5/19/2018

King Of Gate 2018 Block B Match
Big R Shimizu vs. Jason Lee

Review: This is the first time I’ll be seeing Jason Lee in a singles match since I saw him in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic and now I wanna see how much actual progress he’s made since he’s been doing fantastic in his run with Dragon Gate so far, way better than I expected him to.

His first match in B Block is against Big R, who lost in his first match, so he wants to get a win here to have points on the scoreboard. I gotta admit that this match went way better than I expected it to be compared to the last B Block match I had, Jason Lee just worked nicely with Big R in this match as his quickness was able to match Big R’s strength to get some impressive chemistry in the bout. Big R went for his Shot-put Slam, but Jason Lee would reverse it to try and get the upset, but it wasn’t enough. Jason did also hit a pretty nice Cutter catching Big R when he attempted to do a Splash off the top rope. After ten minutes, Jason’s quickness wouldn’t work here as Big R hits the Shot-put Slam this time to get his first win in the tournament.

Recommended: Very solid match, definitely worth a view.

 

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

Review: Kzy is looking to avenge his loss to YAMATO as he looks to take on Ben-K who already had one win in his name after defeating Shun Skywalker. A victory here would definitely put him back in the race, while for Ben, it would give him the early lead. I love Natural Vibes entrance the more I see it and the unit is definitely growing on me with each match I see them in.

I believe this match is just as good as the Kzy and YAMATO match since both played their strengths beautifully here with one of our future stars and one known as the gatekeeper of Dragon Gate who is coming on his own with his faction. Not only Ben-K can be a powerhouse, but he shows a lot of his technical ability in his matches too to make him a bit unique while Kzy is more cunning with his speed and tricks to try and roll his opponent up if the opening is given to him. I’ve been noticing that they’ve been protecting the Ben-K Bomb lately as you don’t see him hit it every time he makes an attempt here and I think it might lead to a big payoff in the future for him when the occasion would happen.

The last few minutes is when it started to get intense since neither of these two men would give up and wanna try to get the win fast before the time would run out. Ben-K would do a deadly Shoulder Tackle to send him flying and even hits a Spear to try and put Kzy away, but he kicked out of it. Kzy would also pull out some tricks with the La Magistrals, sick DDT, and a Frogsplash to try and get the win, but now Ben-K kicks out of it all. Kzy would take the big guy down and first hit a Swanton Bomb off the top, and then go over to hit a Frog Splash as he goes for the cover, Ben-K kicks out and the bell rings which gives us a draw. This was probably the best way to do it so it would protect both of these men without really hurting them with a pinfall loss, but now Kzy is gonna have to win his next two matches or he won’t make it. Both get a point.

Recommended: Fantastic match, highly recommended.

 

– So the next two shows are not aired while the last three are aired. On the May 20th show which I only had B Block, Jason Lee picked up his first win by defeating BxB Hulk. On the next show which happened on May 23rd, for A Block Shun Skywalker would defeat Yasushi Kanda by Count-out and on B Block, BxB Hulk got his first win by defeated Genki Horiguchi while considered being mathematically eliminated since there’s four matches for each person and lost his first two.

 

5/25/2018

King Of Gate 2018 Block B Match
Genki Horiguchi vs. Jason Lee

Review: This one is their third match each where a win here would give one a better chance of winning their block while the other one could be mathematically eliminated, so let’s see who wants it more out of these two right here. One thing I see Jason Lee do in his matches that I absolutely love is when he’s going back and forth with someone, he would randomly sit down in a meditating position to throw his opponent off guard and when they try to pick him up from behind, he does the Arm Drag,

I just find it both comical and creative at the same time. Another spot they did was that Jason would treat Genki’s hair like an arm wringer, twisting it around til he would flip him over and thought it was pretty funny to see. Rest of the match was standard, but not in a bad way since they both hit some really good spots in the match like Jason hitting a Cutter off the top, but Genki still kicking out of it. Jason Lee would pick up his second win with a German Suplex Hold, giving him two more points as he now has one more match where if he wins. his chances of advancing are looking good for him and I kinda hope so.

Recommended: It was a nice match that should get at least one view.

 

King Of Gate 2018 Block A Match
Ben-K vs. Yasushi Kanda

Review: Up next is Ben-K taking Yasushi and despite his last match ending in a draw against Kzy, if he wins here then his chances of winning his block would increase quite a bit since the only one that has a chance of beating him would be YAMATO.

Kanda would start to attack Ben right away soon as the bell rings and it looks like he’s trying to go for another count out victory like how he did with YAMATO, but Ben would still get back in the ring in time to save himself. My problem with the match is how slowly paced it was compared to his other matches and usually I don’t mind it if it tells a good story, but this one sadly didn’t so much since it was just nothing interesting in it at all. I like how they built up the Ben-K Bomb again in the match with having Kanda just reverse it so that we don’t see it in here just yet. Kanda would try to rely on the countout again by making Ben-K go to the outside where he will attempt a Double Underhook Piledrive, but Ben would not give him that chance and then hits a vicious Spear on the outside, which gives him enough time to have Ben go back in the ring for a count out victory. Ben now has five points which makes him be in the lead with only one match left against YAMATO, so if YAMATO does lose that match against Shun then that would make Ben the winner by default unless Kzy can stack up two more wins and if Ben does lose to YAMATO if he does lose to Shun, but if YAMATO wins that match and beats Ben, then he’ll move on regardless.

Recommended: I thought it was skippable and just slow.

 

5/26/2018

King Of Gate 2018 Block A Match
Shun Skywalker vs. Kzy

Review: So for this match, both of these men need to have a win here in order to stay alive since this is both their third match in the tournament while Kzy have one draw and one loss while Shun has just one win and one loss meaning Shun has a better chance to win if he gets the victory here, but either way there needs to be a winner here.

Shun would attempt to attack Kzy before the bell rings and it doesn’t last long til Kzy starts to get the upper hand on him. I’m starting to like Shun as a performer, but I feel like he needs a change in attire since I feel like what he wear doesn’t scream somebody that looks like he can be a future guy in the company despite having a solid ability. The match had plenty of fast pacing action between the two with some nice reversals and transitions into their moves and styles to add that nice factor into the match. Shun looked like he was going for a Reverserana off the top rope, but he turns it into a Sunset Flip Powerbomb to only get a two count on him. Kzy would start to get a bit serious as he looks to put him away with his Swanton Bomb and then going for the Frogsplash only for Shun to put his knees up to counter it, giving him a chance to go for the win as he rolled Kzy up three times while coming very close with the third attempt to only get a kickout. Kzy would work around it this time to hit a Canadian Destroyer which Shun kicks out of, but Kzy would get right back up to hit his Running Elbow Smash to get the win. Kzy would bow to Shun after the match to show his respect to him and then leaves the ring.

Recommended: I thought it was fun, but not as good as Kzy’s previous matches against YAMATO and Ben-K, but still worth a view.

 

King Of Gate 2018 Block B Match
Big R Shimizu vs. Genki Horiguchi

Review: Another one where this is their third match and the winner of this match can give them a solid position in the standings as Big R has a win and loss and Genki with one win and two losses, but with Big R having one more match while this is Genki’s last one meaning he’s mathematically eliminated regardless, but he could still spoil it for Big R if he wins.

I didn’t really see a whole lot to make this match stand out, but it was still an average match for what it was since their styles made it seem a little bit slow at times. Genki however is one I consider a bit underrated despite how the matches went since he can go in the ring and is enjoyable to watch when I see him, specially with Natural Vibes right now. Genki would attempt a Hurricanrana on Big R until he caught him to go for a Powerbomb, but then that also gets reversed into a DDT which looked nice, but not enough to put him away. Big R would then hit two Powerbombs to try and put him away only to have another kickout. Big R would then go for his Shot-put Slam only to be reversed for a Backslide which gives Genki a win, ending on a 2-2 record.

Recommended: Average match, but up to you if you wanna watch.

 

5/27/2018

King Of Gate 2018 Block A Match
YAMATO vs. Shun Skywalker

Review: YAMATO returns to action for his third match while this is Shun’s final match on the block and is considered eliminated whether he wins or lose at this point, but he still could ruin YAMATO’s chances here at least. If YAMATO does win then it would mean that only him and Ben-K can win the tournament despite Kzy still having one more match, so we gotta see how it plays out.

Shun would get the early lead over YAMATO as he would get him to the outside so he can jump off the top turnbuckle to dive onto him on the outside, and then he would have him in the ring to do a Springboard Splash, but only for a two count. YAMATO would then use his veteran experience to out wrestle Shun in the match with stiff Dropkicks and just other various strikes mostly. Later on in the match, YAMATO would go for a Frankensteiner only for it to be reversed by Shun to deliver one on his own and the back and forth between that looked solid. Shun would then take off his glove to smack the taste out of YAMATO’s mouth and you can hear that slap too, but YAMATO would apply the Crossface which he calls CBV to make Shun tap out and YAMATO is now alive to fight Ben-K to decide the winner of A Block.

Recommended: Short and solid match, give it one view at least.

 

King Of Gate 2018 Block B Match
Big R Shimizu vs. BxB Hulk

Review: We FINALLY have a match with BxB Hulk that we get to see live since his other matches weren’t aired at all. Despite the match happening, both of them are considered eliminated since both have only one win and two losses to make this their final match on the block while Jason Lee and Takashi Yoshida lead the block and have one more match together to see who will advance, so this is pretty much to see who will have three losses in their record.

The match started a bit slow again with some mat wrestling and a bit of chaining until they both went to the outside after Big R hits a mean Shoulder Tackle that caused Hulk to spin a little before he landed outside, Big R would also then hit his Splash from off the apron to the outside and that looked painful to see. You get some decent back and forth in this match, but again nothing memorable in the match since it felt pretty standard most of the time. Big R would get a huge pop near the end as he started to make his comeback and even hits his Shot-put Slam on Hulk, but Big R wouldn’t cover him in time and it lead to Hulk kicking out at two. Big R would attempt it two more times, but Hulk would reverse each one, and gave him a combination of various kicks despite some of them missing, but he hits his Superkick which he calls First Flash and would get the win.

Recommended: Average match, so up to you.

 

This is pretty much it for the block since I found out that on the last two days of block matches will NOT be aired as the next show that’ll be aired is when we have our Semi Final matches between the four block winners and it actually infuriates me and all for 1500 fucking yen a month. I don’t mind keeping the service after this since when they do the bigger shows, they actually do deliver, but when it comes to the tournament shows like this, I probably won’t cover something like this again due to half of them not airing on the network.

Anyway, on the May 29th show, YAMATO defeated Ben-K to be the winner of A Block and Takashi Yoshida defeated Jason Lee to win B Block. During the May 30th show, Kzy defeated Yasishi Kanda in a match that didn’t matter since YAMATO still has the lead with six points.

 

Overall:  A Block definitely delivered except for Kanda, but the rest of them did very well and gave us quality matches. B Block was underwhelming and to me the one that stood out the most was Jason Lee and this made me hope he wins the block, but I don’t think he will unfortunately. King of Gate as a whole has been underwhelming as well due to half the shows not airing and questionable outcomes in the four blocks with normally relying on count outs, especially in Andrew’s C and D Blocks. I will talk about the winners of all four blocks in the next coverage since the Semi Finals will be aired next. And again, I would like to thank Andrew for helping me out at least despite the network not going in our favor.

Favorite Match: Kzy vs. Ben-K

Least Favorite Match: Ben-K vs. Yashushi Kanda

Score: 7/10

 

A Block Standings:
YAMATO (3-1) (6 Points)
Ben-K (2-1-1) (5 Points)
Kzy (2-1-1) (5 Points)
Yasushi Kanda (1-2) (2 Points)
Shun Skywalker (1-3) (2 Points)

B Block Standings:
Takashi Yoshida (3-1) (6 Points)
Jason Lee (2-2) (4 Points)
Genki Horiguchi (2-2) (4 Points)
BxB Hulk (2-2) (4 Points)
Big R Shimizu (1-3) (2 Points)

See you all for the Semi Final.


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International Coverage

AJPW Dynamite Series Results & Review (6/12/2018)

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We return to AJPW with a pretty stacked card as we have two title matches tonight, including the Triple Crown Championship.

The show before this, there was a tag title match, Champions Dylan and Ryoji, against KAI and TAJIRI, where the champions retain, giving Dylan some momentum for his title match against the champion tonight, Kento Miyahara.

Will Kento retain the title or will Dylan shock AJPW? Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Singles Match
Keiichi Sato vs. Rionne Fujiwara

Review: We get single’s action to start off the show with some juniors, so let’s hope this match can lead to come new contenders for the Junior Heavyweight Championship. The match was rather slow since the majority of it was chain wrestling and strikes which I don’t mind, but it just felt a little bit slower than usual at times.

I know the name is Rionne Fujiwara, but don’t let fool you thinking he’s a Japanese wrestler since he’s actually a gaijin, but there’s actually a good reason for the Fujiwara surname. In 2013 he beat Jiro, challenged Yoshiaki to a match in WNC and lost, however, Fujiwara took him on as the last official disciple, so gave him the Fujiwara surname in a matter of respect and I love that.  I do gotta say that he actually isn’t so bad as he would work on Sato’s arm throughout the match to try and make him tap out, even went for the Triangle Choke between the ropes to help weaken him. Sato would start to deliver stiff kicks in the match and would deliver a Splash first to have Rionne kick out at two and would go for a Brainbuster for another two count and another kick out, but he would hit his Shouha or modified Fisherman Buster to get the win.

Recommended: The match was pretty basic, but not terrible either.

 

Tag Team Match
Takao Omori & Atsushi Maruyama vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Osamu Nishimura

Review: Our next bout is a tag match with our four vets in the promotion for some friendly competition towards one another. I will say this though, I love the reactions from the crowd whenever Fuchi is in the ring because they’ll cheer for him quite loudly whenever he does his trademark stuff and would boo the hell out of his opponents whenever they would try to mimic his stuff from hitting Fuchi below the belt or putting him in a headlock to punch him in the head and do his open fist taunt to the referee.

The match was Omori and Maruyama getting the heat over Fuchi for the majority of it, until Fuchi would make his comeback, do his closed fists and even Scoop Slam the both of them while holding them in the air for about ten seconds. Nishimura would now get in the ring with Maruyama to try and do some damage on him, but Maruyama would then put Nishimura in the Figure Four Leg Lock to try and make him tap out, but Fuchi comes into the ring to get rid of Omori and flips the two over so the hold would be reversed and Maruyama taps out to give Nishimura and Fuchi the win! I do gotta say that for a match involved with guys their age, it was pretty fantastic for what it was and while it’s not great compared to current standards, but for the old school type feel, it was worth seeing.

Recommended: Actually yes, yes check it out.

 

Tag Team Match
Atsushi Aoki & Ishikiri vs. Yohei Nakajima & Último Dragón

Review: Another tag team bout with our Junior Heavyweight Champion teaming up with Ishikiri to take on Yohei Nakajima and the returning Ultimo Dragon. A little bit of context here, Nakajima is on the hunt for the championship against Aoki, but Aoki feels as if he’s not deserving of a title match and Yohei now has to prove himself to see if he can get a match, so if he can beat him cleanly in a tag match, then that will put him in the title picture.

Nakajima would start to attack Aoki before the bell would ring and would keep on the assault until Ishikiri got tagged in and same with Ultimo as the two go at it and let me tell you, Ultimo can still go for a man his age and is just better than the entire junior division in AJPW and that’s the problem with them, just about none of them really stand out, and I’ve said it in my last article with them at how the division has no leadership and something needs to change soon. I personally think Ultimo should be the one to take the title and hold onto it for the time being until they fix up that division and pick someone to be their future instead of just having him drop it to TAJIRI like they did last time. I will, however, try to give this feud a chance and if the execution is bad, then I still say go with my plan and have Ultimo keep the belt. Near the end of the match, Nakajima and Aoki would brawl around and outside the ring while Ultimo and Ishikiri would be the legal men in the match and Ultimo would eventually pick up the win with the La Magistral. After the match, Aoki continued to criticize Yohei as he does not feel he is fully invested in being a champion, which means that Aoki would not give him the title match as he feels like he still doesn’t deserve one.

Recommended: I would watch it just for the interactions between Ultimo and Ishikiri and that’s it. Just give me a singles match with these two instead since they work great together.

 

Tag Team Match
Zeus & Black Tiger VII vs. TAJIRI & Yoshitatsu

Review: We have Zeus in action now and not teamed up with Bodyguard meaning he’s still injured or it’s just a heavyweight/junior heavyweight tag bout and his partner is Black Tiger VII as they take on Yoshitatsu and TAJIRI, surprised he’s not teaming up with KAI and I guess that’s over with since they failed to get the tag titles.

Tiger and Yoshi start the match off and it looked like Tiger would have the opening advantage while for some reason selling his knee and dancing around at the same time…he’s weird, but he would then go for a Shining Wizard and I’m confused as to did Yoshi block it or just no sell it since he got up pretty quick. I always liked the chemistry between Zeus and TAJIRI since they match their strengths off pretty well together and he knows how to make Zeus powerful than he already is. I mean just look at that gorgeous body of his, the body of the gods! The match was solid for what it was except for Yoshi how has been rather sloppy in this match and it really shows here, but hopefully, it’s just the one time since it’s gonna happen to everyone. Yoshi would try to apply the Koji Clutch on Zeus, but that man is too powerful and throws him off before doing a Gorilla Press to both Yoshi and TAJIRI. Black Tiger would try to go for the Shining Wizard on Yoshi to get the win, but Yoshi ducks and hits him with a Spinning Heel Kick and the COJ (Codebreaker of Jericho) for the win and yes he actually calls it that. You know, Jericho is in Japan for the time being, so maybe he should pay Yoshi a little visit.

Recommended: I would like to say it was worth a view.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Suwama, Shuji Ishikawa & Hikaru Sato vs. Jake Lee, Ryoji Sai & Koji Iwamoto

Review: We now get six-man action this time with Violent Giants and Hikaru to take on Jake Lee who has been doing rather well ever since he returned from his injury and wants to keep that momentum going here.

Jake and Suwama would start off the match with Suwama pretty much testing Jake’s strength in the match once they locked up and Jake would even get Suwama towards the ropes to break it up, but then it leads to Jake being kicked in the chest and would get him down which made both teams switch as we now have Shuji and Ryoji in the ring now. Shuji would then knock Ryoji down after going back and forth as we now have another tag, putting Hikaru and Koji in the ring now with Hikaru trying to deliver some stuff strikes to Koji. Hikaru would continue his assault on Koji and both Suwama and Shuji would run in to knock down Ryoji and Jake as they beat down Koji, Shuji would even throw him towards the guardrails to damage his body up some more. Suwama would get in the ring now and hits a nice Back Suplex to pin him for a two count and would then apply the Liontamer only for it to break up. Suwama would deliver stiff shops to Koji and would go for an Irish Whip, but Koji reverses it into a Judo Throw to give himself some time to tag in Ryoji for the hot tag as he starts exploding with energy and would go back and forth with punches against Suwama until he got chopped, but Ryoji would still knock Suwama down to get Shuji tagged in as he doesn’t go down without a fight as he delivers a Double Stomp to Ryoji to end his momentum right here, but Jake would then get tagged in as well as Hikaru with Jake trying to go for his Backdrop and is still unsuccessful to do so with Suwama and Shuji coming in to triple team Jake by the both of them delivering Clotheslines to Jake while he was caught on the ropes and ended with Hikaru doing a Jumping Kick, but would get a two count out of it. Hikaru tries to knock Jake out, but Jake makes a comeback with stiff kicks and hits the PK to knock him down and go for a pin, but he breaks up the pinfall by himself since he’s not done yet as he hits the Backdrop for the win. If Jake Lee can keep this momentum up throughout the whole year, then I would have no problem with him winning next years Champion Carnival.

Recommended: Great match, definitely watch it.

 

  • All 7 teams were announced for this year’s “Jr. TAG BATTLE OF GLORY”. The league will run throughout the month of August (August 3rd – August 25), with the team with the highest points winning the league.

    ☆ Atsushi Maruyama & Masashi Takeda (2017 Winners)
    ☆ Atsushi Aoki & Hikaru Sato
    ☆ Yohei Nakajima & Black Tiger VII
    ☆ Koji Iwamoto & TAJIRI
    ☆ Kaji Tomato & Shiori Asahi (K-DOJO)
    ☆ Shuji Kondo (W-1) & Kotaro Suzuki (FREE)
    ☆ Masaaki Mochizuki & Shun Skywalker (DRAGON GATE)

All Asia Tag Team Titles Match
Jun Akiyama & Yuji Nagata (c) vs. Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi

Review: Uncle Jun and Yuji are back teaming up together as they are set to defend the All Asia Tag Team Championships against Naoya and Yuma from NEXTREAM, can the uncles of AJPW and NJPW retain their championships or will they get dethroned by the younger generation? Well, let’s find out for ourselves.

Naoya and Yuji would start it off with a lock up and Naoya would flip him over only for Yuji to quickly get back up and kick him off. Naoya seems to be holding onto his own for a bit of it since he was able to knock Yuji down after delivering some pretty nice forearm shots to his head and would tag Yuma in now which lead to Jun getting the tag in as well which leads to Yuma getting Jun outside of the ring and does a Plancha to the outside while Naoya does the same to Yuji and would start to knock down the champions outside of the ring. Yuma would throw Jun to the guardrail and once he tried to chop him, Jun wasn’t phased by it at all, but he did take a nasty DDT on the outside and would get him back into the ring. There are two things I love about this match and the first one is the old generation vs new generation feeling with this one with Jun and Yuji showing they can still go in the ring and deliver quality matches for their ages and with Naoya and Yuma, they showed the fire and intensity as a team and as individuals to show that they have a chance to beat them and can be people that others should keep an eye on.

The second thing I loved about this match is that it shows AJPW still has a bright future ahead of them and yeah you got Kento Miyahara carrying the company right now, but you got quite a few people on the rise and that follow Kento to help AJPW reach new heights once more since you got guys like Naoya, Yuma, Koji, and Jake Lee to help them and once the time comes for them to reach that status, they’ll have new people ready to start their journey to follow them and so on, and so on. Naoya would get some close calls with Spearing both Jun and Yuji back and forth and would pin Yuji, but would only get a two count. With Jun beating down and holding Yuma back, Yuji had Naoya in the ring all to himself and would go for his Backdrop Hold and it looks like it could be it, but Naoya surprisingly kicks out at two to show he still had some fight left in him, but it doesn’t last long as Yuji hits the Backdrop Hold one more time for the win and have a second successful defense under their belt. After the match, Naoya and Yuma stated that they weren’t done chasing the titles as they plan to have a rematch for them very soon while both Jun and Yuji welcome it.

Recommended: I thought it was a great match with nice storytelling with old and new generations feeling to it. Definitely watch it.

 

AJPW Unified Triple Crown Heavyweight Title Match
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. Dylan James

Review: I’m still confused as to why its James Dylan getting a shot at the Triple Crown Championship over anyone else in the company. Here we have someone who had the worst performance in this year’s Champion Carnival next to The Bodyguard and has been having mediocre matches since his arrival in this run of AJPW, and he somehow gets this big match in the main event. If it’s so Kento could get an easy defense for his reign, then why not just have him fight someone that defeated him during the Carnival like Joe Doering, I wouldn’t mind a third encounter between the two as a way to end that trilogy over this, but too late now and let’s see how he fairs in this match. Kento is the future of Japanese wrestling and just his entrance and how the crowd reacts to him before he gets into the ring is something similar to Tetsuya Naito except it’s not as loud…yet and he will definitely get there once more people know of his greatness in the ring.

The two lock up as James gets Kento by the ropes and went to go for a quick chop, but Kento ducks out of the way while Dylan tells him he was this close to hitting him, but the next time he would hit Kento and it would even make him go to the outside of the ring. Kento was selling each strike down to him to make Dylan look as strong as he could in this match and I felt like that’s what he needed to do since Dylan is a big guy after all. Dylan would have Kento on a corner and goes for a chop, but Kento ducks and causes Dylan’s hand to chop the turnbuckle post, hurting his hand and would give Kento an opening to strike him down and would even go onto the apron to knee him in the back of the head. Kento would throw Dylan, but Dylan would run back after hitting the guardrail to shoulder tackle Kento, causing him to go over the guardrail. Dylan would get Kento back into the ring so she could work on Kento more with some stomps, chops, and just any strike he could do and while it’s simple, Kento makes it look very effective and I love his seeling for it and Dylan would keep this up for a few minutes before taking him back to the outside, but Kento would headbutt Dylan to regain some composure and before he could do it again, Dylan catches him for a Chokeslam and hits it onto the ring apron. Dylan gets Kento back into the ring and places him on the corner and would deliver a stiff Lariat onto the corner and immediately knocks Kento down onto the mat. Dylan attempts to go for a Powerbomb and Kento reverses it into a Hurricanrana and kicks Dylan, but Dylan chops him and goes for a Suplex, but Kento hits a Brainbuster and the two are down. Kento would hit the Blackout and then attempts to hit his Shutdown German Suplex Hold, but Dylan would break free of it to hit a Lariat and would them hit a second one for good measure and Kento kicks out at two. Dylan is pulling off all the stops in these last few minutes as he hits a Powerbomb this time after Kento breaking free from two of his Chokeslam’s and giving him another Lariat, Dylan is just killing him with these Lariats while Kento keeps kicking out at two even though this whole sequence was actually making me believe that we would’ve had a new champion here. Dylan goes for another Chokeslam, but Kento would turn it around for a regular German Suplex Hold for a two count and Kento would try to get more momentum, but Dylan stops him dead in his tracks and hits the Powerbomb for another two count! Dylan goes for another Lariat only for Kento to hit the Blackout on his arm and go for his finisher, but Dylan breaks free from his hold only to be hit with two Blackouts and then hits his Shutdown German Suplex Hold for the win and still Triple Crown Champion. Where the hell has this Dylan James been? This was the best match I’ve seen him wrestle in, give me more of this!

After the match, Zeus makes his way to the ring and claims himself as Kento’s next challenger and I am completely torn on this because I don’t know if they wanna give Kento another short reign while being the face of the company, but at the same time I feel like Zeus has to win this one and show he can actually win the companies biggest prize. The match is set to take place on July 27th and this is sure to be a classic match. I want Zeus to be the one to take the belt, but I don’t know what direction Uncle Jun would have this match go and we’ll have to wait and see.

Recommended: Dylan James best match in the company and it actually was a great match for what we were given between the two, so give it a look.

 

Overall: I have to say that the show was solid from top to bottom and none of the matches were actually bad and the last two matches definitely delivered to give us a great show here, plus we now have something to look forward to in July and you don’t wanna miss it.

Favorite Match: Jun Akiyama & Yuji Nagata vs. Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi

Least Favorite Match: Keiichi Sato vs. Rionne Fujiwara

Score: 7.5/10


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International Coverage

Stardom Shining Stars Night Show Results & Review (5/27/2018)

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Now that we took care of the day show, it’s not time to focus on the second show that happened at the very same day where our main event will crown new Artist of Stardom Champions, will it be JAN or will it be Oedo Tai?

Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Singles Match
Leo Onozaki vs. Shiki Shibusawa

Review: Our opening it bout is between JAN and STARS with our two rookies fighting each other to start the show and let’s see which one of these two come out on top. The match was very generic since it was mostly Shiki working on Leo’s arm to try and maybe go for a submission, but she never really did any in the match or even finished it with one. Leo didn’t do too much in the match herself despite her two cutters in a row once again, maybe one day we’ll see more out of her. After five minutes, Shiki would win the match with a Missile Dropkick which is still a weird finisher for this day in age, but they’re still new so can’t fully fault them.

Recommended: This one was kinda skippable.

 

Singles Match
Candy Floss vs. Konami

Review: Konami in singles action again as she takes on Candy Floss and this one should be a good bout since I like Konami and Candy Floss can be good if given the right opponent, so hopefully they can here.

The two would look like they were about to go for a test of strength, but Candy would turn it around to give Konami a hug, playing a few mind games to go with her sweet personality, so don’t let that charm fool you. For a five minute match, I didn’t think this one was bad at all since they were solid with what they were doing as Candy would work on Konami’s arms and Konami would work on Candy’s legs and even do some submissions on her leg. One time it looked like she was rolling into a Calf Crusher, but she stopped halfway to make it a variation of a Figure Four and it looked pretty unique. Candy would almost have the win with her Straight Jacket Lungblower and would only get a two count. Konami would give her a Roundhouse Kick to knock Candy down and it looked like she was going for a pin, but she wrenches Candy’s leg while pulling her arm to make her tap out.

Recommended: Fairly decent match, so up to you.

 

Tag Team Match
Martina & Natsu Sumire vs. Tam Nakano & Zoe Lucas

Review: We get Oedo Tai taking on STARS with Martina and Sumire teaming up to take on Tam and Zoe Lucas which I feel like I might be disappointed in this. According to the interview before the match, this is apparently Martina’s last match in Japan and I honestly couldn’t be happier to hear about that, but time to tough out this match.

Sumire and Tam would start this match off to try and do a test of strength until Martina would attack Tam from behind to try and do a double team on Tam, but Tam would hit them both with a cutter and tag in Zoe. Zoe would get attacked and Martina and Natsu would do their Oedo Tai post on the ropes with the other members as the two share a beer together to only spit it on Zoe’s face. Sumire would do her Bronco Buster or well pretty much land on them and be grinding Zoe’s face as Martina would do a Bronco Buster on Zoe as well while behind Sumire to do it as a double team, and then they would have both Zoe and Tam on opposite corners and hit a Bronco Buster on each of them. I’m not really crazy on both Martina and Zoe, but they actually did better than the other times I’ve seen them on their respected tours despite the match being average, it’s not terrible either. Sumire would hit Tam with her flogger to give Martina an opening to hit her Codebreaker, but only for a two count. When Martina held Tam up to give Sumire another opening to whip her, she would miss and hit Martina in the face, giving Tam an opening to hit a Roundhouse on Martina for a two count and then she would hit it one more time for a three count. Martina is out of Stardom for a while and I’m sure she’ll be back and hopefully better this time.

Recommended: It wasn’t terrible, so really up to you.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima & Starlight Kid vs. AZM, Io Shirai & Momo Watanabe

Review: We’re back to having STARS taking on Queen’s Quest in the pre-main event again with Mayu leading the team with Saki and Starlight while Io leads it with Momo and AZM. With Io confirming her departure with the company, she’s looking to give it her all for the remainder of her tour until June 17th when she says goodbye, so expect some quality matches involving her until then like when she fought Starlight earlier.

Saki and AZM started the match off as they both went back and forth with their sequence with neither of them getting the full advantage as now Mayu and Momo are in the ring, but the same thing would happen with both of them not getting the actual advantage over the other, and then it would go over to Io and Starlight as they had a similar sequence from their earlier match and it looked like Starlight was gonna have the advantage again, but Io outsmarted her to drag her down as all three members of Queen’s Quest would attack her and let AZM take over. The two are set for a rematch for the Future of Stardom Championship at the next show and AZM is showing Starlight that she means to take her title this time around. AZM would keep working on Starlight more until she finds an opening, hitting a DDT on AZM and makes the tag to Saki to give herself some time to recuperate, but AZM would knock Saki down to tag Io in so she could work on Saki for the time being, only for Saki to find a way to knock her down and tag Mayu in. The two wouldn’t do too much as Io had Mayu in a Figure Four Leglock as the two would roll around to have Mayu try and reverse it, but it didn’t work as the two would brawl a little bit while in the position and Io goes to tag in Momo. Mayu would first hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count and Momo would try to finish off Mayu also only to be saved by Saki, giving her an opening to hit a German Suplex for a two count. Momo would first hit her Cradle Piledriver and then a Somoto off the second rope and it looks like she’s got it, but would only get a two count and Mayu would get an opening on her again to make Momo tag AZM in while Mayu tags in Starlight. The last few minutes focus on these two in the ring as they keep showing their intensity every time they work together in the ring. Starlight would first try to make her tap out with a Boston Crab which transitioned into her variation of the Walls of Jericho, but it wouldn’t be enough as she now tried to cradle AZM to keep getting a two count and would reverse it to try and get a pin, but no. AZM would walk into a Superkick from Mayu in which Saki catches her for a Stunner, and then a Moonsault by Starlight to have another two count. Io would try to help AZM by going for an uppercut and accidentally hits AZM. Soon as AZM goes for a Crossbody, the bell rings meaning that they reached the time limit and it’s not a draw. Wow, what a match.

Recommended: Definitely give it a watch, great match.

 

Artist Of Stardom Title Match
Jungle Kyona, Kaori Yoneyama & Natsuko Tora vs. Hana Kimura, Hazuki & Kagetsu

Review: In the pre-match interview, Oedo Tai would be asking the real questions before the match and that is who gets what color belt. For those that don’t know, the Artist of Stardom titles all has a different color, one blue, one pink, and one orange. They all decide to go with the pink one and kinda hard since there’s only one pink and they will decide after they win but first, they must move by bicycle…Charin charin! Charin charin! They brought back the Oedo pupper to walk around in the ring, it’s so adorable!

Kagetsu and Kyona would start the match off and would try to knock each other down with their strength with shoulder tackles and none of them would go down until Kyona would finally be the one to knock her down. JAN would try to do their jungle pose on Kagetsu, but Kyona would get dragged outside of the ring and it would lead to a brawl to the outside with Hana for some reason would also pulling on Tam’s hair to throw her down, what did she do to you? Hazuki would also make sure her pupper would be on camera as she holds onto it while sitting on Kaori, adorable. Hazuki would Kyona would now be in the ring as Hazuki would work on the arm for a moment and would go for a Senton til Jungle moved out of the way to give Kaori the hot tag while Kagetsu is back in the ring. Kaori would show that she’s got some moves with doing Armdrags and going high with a Dropkick and would tag Natsuko to try and finish Kagetsu off, but she would hit a nice little Dropkick from the top rope to throw Natsuko off and finally tag Hana into the match as she would start to kick Natsuko down for a bit, but she was able to fight Hana off and tag Kyona into the match. Hana would try to do the Black Widow on Kyona on her injured arm to try and make her tap out, but Kaori would break it up. Kagetsu and Hazuki would have both Kaori and Natsuko in a Hart Attack position as Hana would hit both of them with a Bulldog. JAN would do a triple team with Kyona first hitting the T-Bone Suplex on Hazuki off the top rope, Kaori then hits the Senton, Natsuko would hit a Splash, and then Kyona would hit a Frog Splash to go for the pin, but Hana breaks up the count. Kyona and Hazuki would keep going back and forth with stiff hits to each other and some close calls with roll-ups and hitting their impact moves, but these two wouldn’t budge. Oedo Tai would try to help Hazuki, but Natsuko would Spear the two to knock them down and then help Kyona hit a Double Suplex for a two count, but Kyona would hit her Jungle Bomb and JAN are the new Artist of Stardom Champions!

After the match, Jungle Kyona would thank the fans for supporting them and even though they may be looked at as a joke when it comes to units, but they like to think they’re cool and it looks like they are since they won the titles. This would be Momo’s first tile in Stardom and her first one in her professional career and got emotional from how far she’s come as a wrestler and hopes to keep the belts for a long time. JAN would have the fans do the Jungle Jungle! chant to end the show. No pink belts for Oedo Tai, but at least they ride by bicycle.

Recommended: Very entertaining match, worth a watch.

Overall: Much like the show from earlier while it wasn’t a great show, it was still solid enough to keep them entertained with the last two matches standing out. Got two big title matches coming up on the next show so be sure to stay tuned for that.

Favorite Match: Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima & Starlight Kid vs. AZM, Io Shirai & Momo Watanabe

Least Favorite Match: Leo Onozaki vs. Shiki Shibusawa

Score: 6.5/10


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Stardom Shining Stars Day Show Results & Review (5/27/2018)

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Welcome back to Stardom! The last time we covered them, Momo Watanabe won the Wonder of Stardom Championship and Io Shirai is set to leave the company on June 17th to finally go to the WWE.

For this show, they actually did two shows on the same day, but one in the morning and one at night. This show is focused on the Artists of Stardom Championships which got vacated due to Hazuki going over to Oedo Tai and Io leaving the company, so the morning show is to determine our new contenders and the night show will focus on getting new champions.

I decided to have it as two separate articles instead of one and will be covering the morning show first, so let’s…dive right in.

 

Three Way Match
Candy Floss vs. Leo Onozaki vs. Zoe Lucas

Review: It looks like we get Zoe Lucas back here and I hope she impresses us this time due to her match against Martina being not so good, but she’ll be fighting Candy Floss and Leo Onozaki this time, so should be good.

So Candy would attempt to hug Leo before the match starts and she doesn’t want any of that, but she goes to hug Zoe instead and they hug it out until Leo rolled Candy up for a two count. So after seeing Zoe and there is one problem I am seeing with her and it’s that her flow in the matches comes out either incredibly sloppy or weak with her executions and it just ruins the momentum of her matches for me since it seems like her opponents would slow down for it and doesn’t come out good. Zoe, I get that you’re getting better with your Cutters, but could you maybe do something else? She’s been doing more of those in her matches than anything else and it’s hard to see her progress as a wrestler. Anyway, the match is honestly sloppy due to the bad chemistry being seen here and it ended with Zoe hitting what looked like a botch Moonsault or Splash since it was a split legged thing and hits Leo with her Split Leg Drop shades of Matt Sydal for the win.

Recommended: Skippable.

 

Singles Match
Martina vs. Mayu Iwatani

Review: We got Mayu in singles action this time instead of a tag team as she fights a member of Oedo Tai, Martina and I’m not too sure how this one will go since I love Mayu and maybe she can give Martina a good match here.

My eyes must’ve deceived me for some unknown reason because this match was actually good. Martina has really good forearm strikes since she knows how to make that impactful sounds while knock giving them a concussion while Mayu would use her quick agility to try and roll Martina up a couple of times, but would only get a two count out of it. It looked like they were trying to protect Mayu’s Dragon Suplex Hold since she would attempt it a couple of times but it wouldn’t work and even in one of the times she attempted it, Martina would grab her beer to take a quick sip before reversing it to try and spit the beer in Mayu’s face, but she would duck into a codebreaker as a distraction for only a two count. Mayu would eventually roll her up one more time to get the three count.

Recommended: Not a great match, but one of Martina’s better ones. So watch it for Mayu or skip it.

 

Singles Match
Io Shirai vs. Starlight Kid

Review: I’m not too sure about this, but I do believe this is the first time that they’re fighting each other in a one on one match and I am okay with that, we got Stardom’s best going up against Stardom’s rising star and current Future of Stardom Champion, so definitely good to see if the future is going to be bright for the company or not.

They started off with that lucha style sequence and Starlight actually got the one up on Io on this one when she ended it with a Headscissor and would then start to get the advantage for a moment until Io found an opening to take control of the match. Io would go for the 619 on Starlight and would miss giving Starlight a chance to go for a 619, but Io ducks to the bottom rope which Starlight caught her with another 619 and connects this time, this girl is getting clever and holding her on against her. Starlight would attempt a Frankensteiner only for Io to catch her into a Texas Cloverleaf to try and make Starlight tap out, but it wouldn’t work as she escaped. Io started to get more aggressive with Starlight as she hits her double knees to the turnbuckle twice to try and end it there to get another two count. Starlight starts to make a comeback as she hits another 619 and then does an amazing Code Red to try and get the upset, but she fails to get the pin. Io had enough fooling around and hits her Diving Moonsault Press not once but twice to double tap it to get the victory.

Io would shake Starlight’s hand after the match to show her respect and a small nod showing that the future would be in good hands with her gone. This match was great and I loved the chemistry between the two here and it showed from all those tag matches they had and paid off in this singles match. If this is gonna be their only match together then this was the best way to have it and the future is gonna look bright in the upcoming years with Starlight Kid.

Recommended: Great match, please watch it.

 

Artist Of Stardom Title Qualifying Match
Jungle Kyona, Kaori Yoneyama & Natsuko Tora vs. Saki Kashima, Shiki Shibusawa & Tam Nakano

Review: This is the first match of the two for the Artist of Stardom qualifying match to see who gets to be apart of the title match later tonight and even though we technically have three units, Jungle Assault Nation still wants to feel like they’re not apart of STARS to do their own thing that’s what it seems to be what they’re doing as they take on three members of STARS to start off this qualifying match.

It looked like there was some tension between Tam and Natsuko by the way they stared each other down and got close to each other before the bell would ring, making Jungle and Shiki break the both of them up. The match started off a little bit slow as the triple combo STARS did to Jungle came off a little bit sloppy with how they landed on their knees on top of her, but they covered it up to get right to the next spot as both teams would try to triple Suplex each other, but only for them to break it off since none of them couldn’t do it. Saki and Jungle going at it a bit made me wanna see a future one on one match between the two since I feel like it could be a really good match if given the time to do so and we need to see more of Saki in singles action anyway. Tam and Natsuko would share the ring together and you can see the intensity between the two and how stiff Tam’s kicks were to Natsuko and I love her kicks more than anything aside from being super adorable at the same time. Saki would then hit a Double Stomp off the top rope while Tam follows it with a Diving Senton onto Natsuko which gave Shiki an opening to try and cover her, but Kaori breaks it up. Shiki would make more attempts to try and roll Natsuko up and even had Saki kick her back down when she tried to reverse it, but still kicking out of it. Jungle would make the save by giving both Tam and Saki a Lariat to knock them down to give Natsuko a chance to recover as she hits the Swinging Side Slam to give JAN the win.

Recommended: Solid six-man match, worth at least one view.

 

Artist Of Stardom Title Qualifying Match
Hana Kimura, Hazuki & Kagetsu vs. AZM, Konami & Momo Watanabe

Review: Now that we have JAN going for the titles later on tonight, we get to see who will join them next. Will it be Oedo Tai or will it be Queen’s Quest to take back those titles with different members of the faction?

We get Momo and Hazuki starting us off here as they start doing some chain wrestling with Momo holding her down with a Headlock only for Hazuki to reverse it into the same, but Momo would reverse back into it as they go back and forth for a moment until Momo came up on top and tagged Konami into the match now. Konami would kick Hazuki a couple times and runs to the ropes for her to get dragged out by Hana and Oedo Tai starts the assault on Queen’s Quest around the outside. They would eventually get Konami back into the ring to start beating her down for a while until she was able to make a tag to Momo, but it wouldn’t do much as she also starts to get beaten down by Hana once she applied the Black Widow lock on her which wouldn’t work. Hana would get Hazuki back into the ring only for Momo to start hitting her with stiff kicks and was actually enough to knock her down and for Momo to start running towards her with Dropkicks onto the corner of the turnbuckle. Konami and Kagetsu were in the ring now as Konami would start applying her submission to work on her arms to try and make her tap out any chance she would get and it wouldn’t work with Kagetsu getting help from her teammates in the match and gave her an opening to deliver a kick to the head and a Michinoku Driver for a two count. The two would try to kick each other once more bt one would block the other and then vice versa until they both kicked each other down, giving Konami some time to tag AZM into the match as she would try to put her away, but it wouldn’t last long as AZM gets knocked down for Kagetsu to hit her Oedo Coaster to give her team the win as we now have Oedo Tai vs. JAN for the Artist of Stardom Championships later on tonight.

Recommended: It was an average match for what it was, but watch it once.

 

Overall: I thought this was a fun little show to start off for the morning to lead up to another show coming later on tonight and you gotta give the women credit for pulling a double duty here for the whole day.

Favorite Match: Io Shirai vs. Starlight Kid

Least Favorite Match: Candy Floss vs. Leo Onozaki vs. Zoe Lucas

Score: 6.5/10

When we come back, we’ll find out who will be our new Artist of Stardom Champions!


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