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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

(NOAH) POST MATCH INTERVIEWS – 31ST JULY 2018, YOKOHAMA RADIANT HALL

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MINORU TANAKA & HI69

TANAKA: We are the 34th GHC Junior Tag Champions and that equals the strongest NOAH junior tag team, that said, the league has ended inconclusively. But everyone, the story will end in Korakuen in three days time. We saw it earlier. I don’t know exactly who will be the winner, but we will watch it on the monitor like fans. I am looking forward to it, defending the belt against them.

HI69: I think that is true, I thought that getting the win would be natural, so I am disapointed with the results, but the team who wins the league will aim for the belt, that is true of all of us…we will show the GHC Heavyweight fight to all the NOAH fans.

TANAKA: The story of the worthless champions is over now. It is a story that belongs to the past, and it doesn’t matter. Understand?

THE BACKBREAKERS (HITOSHI KUMANO AND HAJIME OHARA)

Q: You have taken a big step towards the finals?

KUMANO: We have aimed to win since the beginning. Ohara has tried hard in spite of the injury, and today we took it. The final will be taken by The Backbreakers. If anyone can win, it will be us.

OHARA: So far I’ve been disappointed, as I have lost a lot. I will not give up, and will take the big step towards winning the title at Korakuen. Kawasaki! Kawasaki will be the title match! I have big ambitions. This year it will be for the Backbreakers, so Mui Bien today too!

SUPER NEW GENERATION ARMY (KAITO KIYOMIYA, KENOH, MASA KITAMIYA, KATSUHIKO NAKAJIMA)

Q: A victory today, but still nothing to say?

Go Shiozaki silently touches the reporters chest and leaves.

KITAMIYA: Losing the belt does not change what you do. There is always someone in front of you, the belt is a target, people will keep biting at it…putting the belt on does not change.

NAKAJIMA: Although the belt might have been taken over there, we have just started, don’t forget…we are the ones who take the iniative.

KITAMIYA: If you are a champion, then be strong like a champion. Do you think you have unarmed us without the belt? It is not enough.

Q: Kenoh, Kiyomiya, what your thoughts on the generation struggle so far?

KENOH: I think its funny that those old men have three belts. Like Nakajima said, this has only just begun and I will take back the belt and end this generation struggle.

KIYOMIYA basically says that you have nothing to fear when a team rides on momentum.

YO-HEY & HAYATA

YO-HEY: Finally! Finally! We got our ticket to the finals! But! Frankly 10%, 20%….no, I’m glad about 747%. However, YO-HEY will be in tune for the final match at Korakuen Hall. We will knock the Backbreaking people down with twisting bodies. We will raise the atmosphere, and get a ticket for our second consecutive title! We are satisfied with such a team for the final! This team will go into the final and defeat the opponents! HAYATA & YO-HEY will win two consecutive times…our….I want to eat pumpkin.

HAYATA decides he is leaving. YO-HEY won’t let him

YO-HEY: I want to eat pumpkin…one word…bride…I was impressed by the two moonsaults…

HAYATA walking off as YO-HEY clings to him: Same!

YO-HEY: Same!

Link to original article from Noah.co.jp (in Japanese)


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(NOAH) POST MATCH PROMOS – 28TH JULY 2018, KORAKUEN HALL

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“THE HOOLIGANS” (Mitsuya Nagai, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Maybach Taniguchi & Cody Hall)
Q: What is the origin of the team name?
KAZMA: You know soccer don’t you? Football hooligans fucking rampage. At NOAH we are going to fucking rampage. That’s the meaning.

NAGAI wants to know how long the Chinese athletes think they can continue to fight with them

KAZMA: Even though NOAH and Eastern Heroes have a business alliance, why are we their opponents? I guess its some kind of conspiracy. Oh well, we will teach them the true nature of pro-wrestling. We will go to China next time, and anywhere in China, we will teach you wrestling!

RICKY MARVIN AND EL HIJO DEL PANTERA

Q: Are you excited, you hoped for a third victory?

MARVIN: Yes! From now on it is real! We will show them! I came back from Mexico for this reason!

PANTERA: Thank you! Next it is Hi69 and Minoru Tanaka!

MARVIN: You guys! Do your best!

PANTERA: Team Mexico! Number One!

YO-HEY & HAYATA

YO-HEY: My waist…ah. The wife cut in…but another two seconds and it would be too late, I would have tapped out…after all, it is the best wife. Aside from that, Hajime Ohara did not take the Headache well. I caught that guy and was able to win. ♪ Now we have six points. If I think about it, had we lost today I would have lost my dream of two consecutive victories.

Then YO-HEY noticed HAYATA (who had been completely ignoring him) watching the two new trainees making their announcement for their debut.

YO-HEY: If you are interested in the trainees speech, the wife can have the last word.

HAYATA: Same!

YO-HEY: Winning two consecutive matches, also the same!

MASATO TANAKA, TAKASHI SUGIURA, MOHAMMED YONE & QUIET STORM

SUGIURA: The members of this group have nothing to fear from those young guys.

Q: You had a fierce competition with Shiozaki. Your chest is swollen from the chops?

Sugiura says that he is going to drive the elbow into his face.

Q: Will you exceed the momentum today?

SUGIURA: What do you think?

Q: What is the opinion on Sugiura from the others?

TANAKA: He looks good, especially when watching Shiozaki and Sugiura from the corner, it makes me feel a hot burn. Two matches. So intense.

YONE: The younger team do not have such a reassuring team to assemble. The wall is too high for them. What do you think Quiet Storm?

QUIET STORM: C’mon, C’mon, C’mon. Anytime! Anywhere!

Q: Blind spots?

SUGIURA: No. For Shiozaki and the younger generation, be scared when we are aligned.

IKUTO HIDAKA & TAKUYA SUGAWARA

HIDAKA: Hey champions! Did you see it? This is what we meant, like when Mr. Yoshiaki Fujiwara, came to the dojo and said “no matter who is the champion, even in sumo, even in rock-paper-scissors, you cannot lose to them”. You assholes have no excuse, so just give us the belts.

SUGAWARA: 4 wins, 8 points, we are at the top. I said it earlier by August 5th is not just NOAH’s anniversary, it is Hidaka’s 46th birthday. 46…does he look it? He looks quite good.

HIDAKA: Stop it!

SUGAWARA: Lets hope Team ZERO-1 gets the victory, and we can have Hidaka’s birthday party in the ring at Korakuen.

HIDAKA: How old will NOAH be?

SUGAWARA: 18

HIDAKA: On my 46th birthday

SUGAWARA: This one is going to be beautiful!

HIDAKA: Hey! Stop messing around

SUGAWARA: Anyway, the next is RATELS. ZERO-1 can take the win.

HIDAKA: YO-HEY is a young pupil of my teacher, FUNAKI. I’m sorry, but I will not go easy on him, we have to finish the series.

SUGAWARA: Alright, lets see how tough this can be.

NAOMICHI MARUFUJI AND AKITOSHI SAITO

Q: You have not had a belt for a long time*, what are your thoughts?

SAITO: I haven’t really noticed the difference. My ambition now is also a bit different because I am thinking about Noah. There is something I want to say to the young guys. Today I was caught, even if the genius beside me does not care, and even if I fell and collapsed, I turned that into a tactic to take advantage, because that kind of compassion is there. That’s it, that’s how you raise a promotion I think. If you understand this, I think you will know strength.

Q: Marufuji-san, how do you feel seeing Saito like this?

MARUFUJI: In recent years, Saito has been taking small steps. Now he has shown his real strength, look at what has happened. The customer also knew this, and of course he is a former champion of a different generation. In terms of generation, I am lower than him, but now I am going to fight in the same place like this and with all my strength. I will do my best to support him, and in the 20th anniversary of my debut, thanks to Saito, I was able to win this belt, thank you.

SAITO: No way. I trust you from the bottom of my heart and chosen you for my partner. You and I have a different bond, we have been together since the beginning of NOAH and we know it.

Q: What about future defenses?

MARUFUJI: The young guys…I guess they will challenge. It would be strange if they didn’t. Of course it is inevitable that the same generation may also do the same. Nakajima and Kitamiya, you can do it once again, anyone can. It is our style that we will do it with anyone. Do you understand? Who do you think my partner is, assholes?

SAITO: Saito!

Link to original article from Noah.co.jp (in Japanese)
========================================================================
*2012 when Saito partnered with Go Shiozaki


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Wrestle-1 Tour 2018 Outbreak Part 2 Results & Review (6/22/2018)

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Welcome back to Wrestle-1 and last time we covered them, a lot has happened with CIMA and OWE invading Wrestle-1 to shake the company up, as they will be fighting each other in a series of matches during the show and Manabu would also retain his championship in the process.

Our main event tonight is for the W-1 Tag Team Championships since Jiro and Masato would defeat Ashino at the previous show as they look to have the match tonight. Will W-1 be able to drive OWE away on their first night or will they show that they’re here to stay? Let us…dive right in.

 

Singles Match
Takanori Ito vs. Takumi Baba

Review: We open up the show with a regular exhibition match between Takanori Ito as he takes on Takumi Baba. This one was really nothing to write home about because this was more of an average squash type match with one guy controlling the majority of the match in a short amount of time and eventually Takumi would get some offense in the match for about a brief moment and ended after he would hit a Dropkick off the top rope and Ito would turn it around with a few kicks to the chest and would call for the German Suplex Hold for the win after about five minutes. Ito reminds me a bit of Kevin Owens and I think I said that before since he pretty much has the same attire as him, same body type and is quick, but doesn’t have the full intensity like Kevin does, but he does have potential to be a top guy in W-1.

Recommended: Skippable.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Ganseki Tanaka, Koji Doi & Tsugutaka Sato vs. Masayuki Kono, MAZADA & NOSAWA Rongai

Review: Time for a six-man tag match involving someone that is responsible for the invasion of CIMA and OWE, NOSAWA and he got exactly what he wanted so let’s see if he’s right later on tonight, but now he has to focus on his match against Ganseki, Koji, and Tsugutaka. With another old vs new style tag team match, it’s what you expect with Koji getting the early shine in the match and would lose it once Ganseki came in to take in the heat of everything from NOSAWA, MAZADA, and Kono as all three of them would just give him a beating without giving him any chance to tag in anyone else, which is how it should be when it comes to tag team matches. Eventually, Koji would get back in the ring for the hot tag and would clean house with his powerhouse style and would tag in Sato to try and put it away, but NOSAWA would hit a Shining Wizard on Sato, followed by a Lariat from MAZADA and Kono would hit a Chokeslam to try and win it, but Koji would break the pin just in time. NOSAWA and MAZADA would fight the illegal guys on the outside of the ring as Kono would hit a Chokebomb for a two count and then would hit his Running Knee as the young guys would lose once again.

Recommended: It was an average match, so this one is up to you

 

Tag Team Match
Alejandro & El Hijo del Pantera vs. Kenichiro Arai & Yusuke Kodama

Review: On our last show, Kodama would defeat Seiki to become the new Cruiserweight Champion and was then challenged by Pantera to be the next contender for the belt as we have no match date for it just yet, we got a tag match with Pantera partnering up with Alejandro while Kodama would team up with Kenichiro Arai. We get our preview early as Pantera and Kodama would start the match off with Pantera being all quick in the ring and even ran the middle ropes for a bit before the two locked up and Pantera is just too quick for him with his cat-like reflexes, no pun intended. Kodama would throw Pantera to the ropes and he just flips outside on his own as he landed on the entrance ramp before going in to do a Springboard Dropkick to make him go outside of the ring as Kenichiro would run in only to be tripped down as Alejandro would hit him with a Crossbody to make him go outside now and it looks like they’re both about to do a Suicide Dive, but they psyche them out as they are still in the ring taunting them.

Alejandro gets tagged in now and looks to do a Splash to the corner as Kodama would move out of the way and kick Pantera down before going back to the ring to tag in Kenichiro as he now begins to work on Alejandro’s arm and that seems to be the key focus for Kenichiro and Kodama when they kept tagging each other back and forth while still working on his arm to injure it more until Kenichiro came back in the ring to do more damage as Alejandro would hit a Hurricanrana to get him down as he makes the hot tag to Pantera. Pantera would hit the both of them with a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker and would go to the ropes to do a Springboard Frontflip onto Kenichiro and before he could do anything, Kenichiro would tag in Kodoma when he wasn’t looking and hits Pantera with an elbow while Kodoma hits a Diving Crossbody for a two count. The two start punching each other back and forth until Kodoma would rake his eyes and went to throw him into the ropes, Pantera would hit a Springboard Headbutt and top it off with a Dropkick before he made his way to tag in Alejandro who hits a Dropkick off the ropes and Pantera would hit a Drop Toehold to make Kodoma land between the ropes so they would hit a Double 619 and a Double Dropkick as Alejandro goes for the pin, Kenichiro would break the count. Alejandro and Pantera would hit the ropes again but Kenichiro would pull Pantera out of the ring, giving Kodama an opening to attack Alejandro with a Fisherman Buster and then he hits his Mad Splash to get the victory.

Recommended: Solid match, worth watching.

 

Singles Match
CIMA vs. Jun Tonsho

Review: It is now time for Strong Hearts vs. Wrestle-1 to begin as we have our first match with the leader, CIMA to take on Jun Tonsho, who has been pretty impressive during the last couple of times that I’ve seen him wrestle and should be an interesting bout. Soon as CIMA got into the ring, Jun would start to Dropkick him right away and start going after him so CIMA doesn’t get a chance to fight back and it’s a smart move on his part to try and take him down quickly and does with a few more Dropkicks and once he attempted to go for the Dragon Suplex, CIMA would fight it off and hits a Dropkick of his own. CIMA would first hit a Fisherman Buster for a two count and he quickly picks him up for a DDT and then goes to the ropes to hit his Meteora for the quick victory as he defeats Jun in less than two minutes. Strong Hearts has one point on the scoreboard while W-1 has zero.

Recommended: For a match being two minutes, it was pretty entertaining. Worth a viewing I say, especially if you’re interested in this feud.

 

Tag Team Match
Kaz Hayashi & Seiki Yoshioka vs. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz

Review: After pretty much CIMA getting the quick work done on Jun, our next match is a tag team match as we have Kaz Hayashi leading this one with former Cruiserweight Champion, Seiki Yoshioka as they take on two of Strong Hearts members, Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz and I’m excited for Zachary as he’s been one of the breakout stars for me in 2018 and I can’t wait to see him shine more tonight. Zachary and Seiki start the match off with first some basic chain wrestling as Zach would turn it around into an Armbar to try and make him tap, but Seiki would have his foot on the rope to break the hold. Seiki would start ducking Zach’s strikes and attempts to go for a Baseball Slide as Zach jumped over him and ran to the ropes to do a Springboard Corkscrew to knock the former champion down and once Saiki got back up, Zach would tag in his partner Dezmond. as Seiki backed up to tag in Kaz.

Dezmond would outsmart Kaz with his strikes and jabs whenever Kaz would try to throw or hit him as Dezmond kept on turning it around and threw him into the corner only to be thrown over, which Zach would tag himself in the second Dezmond hits the apron and would kick Kaz in the back of the head and jump over the ropes to kick his chest in and soon as Dezmond rolled off him, Zach would jump over Dezmond to hit the Bronco Buster and impressive teamwork right here. Seiki would attack Zach for a bit and Kaz would Dropkick his leg to knock him down as he now begins to work the leg a bit until he went for a Handspring Enziguri only for Zach to duck and hit the same move but with a Dropkick as he connected and hurts his knee in the process before tagging in Dezmond.

Dezmond would Dropkick Kaz on the back of his head to make him roll out of the ring and went to go for a dive, but gets punched in the face instead as Zach would jump over the ropes to land on top of Kaz. Seiki would try to attack Dezmond and gets thrown to the ropes and he does an Asai Moonsault to the outside only for Dezmond to do a cartwheel into a Moonsault to the outside as well as the place goes crazy. Dezmond get Kaz back in the ring and goes for a 450 Splash to only land on his feet since Kaz moved and would hit Kaz with a jab to the midsection as both him and Zach would hit a combination of strikes where Zach ends it with a Double Stomp while Dezmond goes for the cover and Kaz kicks out. Seiki and Zach get tagged in and Seiki would look like to put it away as he hits the Headscirssor Slam and tops it off with a Roundhouse Kick to go for the cover but Dezmond breaks the count and gets Kaz out of the ring. Seiki went to go for the victory as Zach had him in a short-arm hold as Dezmond hits Seiki would a Superkick and Zach turns him around for a knee strike as Zach went to go for his Standing Moonsault by Seiki’s feet, Dezmond would push him mid-air to make him land on Seiki for the win. Strong Hearts now has the lead 2-0.

Recommended: Great match and I’ll even post the video of the match on here so you can see it for yourselves.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Andy Wu, Manabu Soya & Shuji Kondo vs. El Lindaman, Gao Jingjia & T-Hawk

Review: This will be the last match in the Strong Hearts vs W-1 matches for the evening as it is not a six-man tag match with our Wrestle-1 Champion, Manabu Soya leading the team with Andy Wu and Shuji Kondo as they take on T-Hawk who leads the team with El Lindaman and Chinese star, Gao Jinjia. Can Strong Hearts get a clean sweep or will Wrestle-1 finally get a victory here?

This is my first time seeing Gao in action here and I gotta admit that while he’s a little bit green and needs more work, he’s very athletic and can definitely move in the ring here, I hope to see more growth from him in these matches. Lindaman is someone I wasn’t fully sold on in Dragon Gate and I still cannot get into the guy here since he’s just mediocre at best in my opinion. T-Hawk is someone I felt like he wasn’t ready for the big spotlight when he won the King of Gate last year and once he teamed up with Eita, he started to slowly get better in the ring and with his character work, and now seeing him here made me think that it would be a good place to start if he does get involved with major storylines with W-1 depending on how long the feud will go on for, but I do believe that Manabu will eventually fight at least CIMA or T-Hawk for the championship depending on the direction they go with it. The match was solid with mostly Kondo and Wu doing the work in the matches while Strong Hearts relied heavily on the heel tactics and greater numbers against one person. When Manabu was in the ring, he really played his strengths into the match to show that the company was his house and he’s not going to let another promotion come in here and try to take it from him or the others in Wrestle-1. One move I did love was that Gao jumped onto Lindaman’s back and hits a 450 Splash off his back and onto Andy Wu, I don’t think I really see that happening and thought it looked awesome. T-Hawk and Andy are in the ring now and it looked like Wu would get the one win Wrestle-1 needed over Strong Hearts, but Hawk would hit his Black Tiger Bomb and get the three count.

That’s right, Strong Hearts was able to get a clean sweep over Wrestle-1 by winning all three of their matches tonight. The two teams would continue to brawl in the ring after the match while T-Hawk was getting confrontational with Manabu hinting that they would eventually fight each other again soon. W-1 would eventually leave the ring during the brawl and T-Hawk declared that they will all return for the Korakuen Hall show on July 18th. Though he stated that this time around that STRONG HEARTS will announce their matches/teams with W-1 being given the chance to follow.

Recommended: Solid six-man tag match, worth a viewing.

 

WRESTLE-1 Tag Team Title Match
Kumaarashi & Shotaro Ashino (c) vs. Jiro “Ikeman” Kuroshio & Masato Tanaka

Review: At the last show, Jiro would get the surprise victory over Ashino with the Ikeman Flash and Jiro stated that he and Masato would challenge for the belts at the next show with his partner this time since Kuma was busy that night taking on Manabu for the Wrestle-1 Championship and then lost. Both Ashino and Kuma would need to win this match here to redeem their losses or will Jiro pull the upset once again with Masato and have a second belt in his collection since he’s still the Wrestle-1 Result Champion?

Yes, Masato is still rocking Jiro’s jacket and wearing it while he wrestles in this match, I just love how he can be a heel in a few places while being the babyface in other companies like this one. I love whenever Jiro and Ashino work together in the ring since they have such great chemistry together with Ashino’s ability mixed up with Jiro’s charisma gives us unique matches together. I liked how Ashino would tackle Jiro down and would just kip-up right away and do it a couple of times even when Ashino would rake his eyes and throw him down to the ground and Jiro would just find a way to mess with Ashino, it’s the small types of interactions mixed with their chemistry that I just enjoy. Kudos to Kuma for showing off his power and throwing Jiro around like a rag doll and he sold that once he hits the turnbuckle post on the outside, even when Kuma tried to throw him into the ring, Jiro would bounce off the ropes to fall back down to the outside and it made Kuma look great here. Masato getting the hot tag and in the match and starts exploding in the ring and he continues to show that he can still be at the top of his game for a man his age, it must be that ancient Japanese secret that I don’t know about and need to figure out. Ashino would lock the Ankle Lock on Jiro and would make sure he wouldn’t let go of the hold so he could make him tap out this time instead of giving him any type of advantage to escape and pull another upset like he did at the previous show and while Jiro was able to escape, Kuma would be ready to do a Diving Senton onto him off the second rope to add more damage to his body and Masato would hit Ashino  with a Brainbuster off the top rope as Jiro hits his Moonsault Press to go for the win, but Kuma broke the count. Ashino isn’t done yet with Jiro as he worked him more with some stiff European Uppercuts and a T-Bone Suplex to go for a two count and would reapply the Ankle Lock once more to see if he could get him to tap out once more and he still fails to do so, and Masato would catch Ashino off guard with a running knee to the face and Jiro would hit not one, but two Moonsault Presses to double tap him and pins him for the win as we have new Tag Team Champions!

Seeing the title change hands rather quickly did throw me off guard, but at the same time, I think it made sense since Ashino is too good for the tag titles and needs to focus on getting his Wrestle-1 Championship back, maybe Kuma can find a different partner from his faction to go for the belts. But congrats to Jiro for now holding two championships in the promotion and if he can win the Grand Prix, he’ll have a chance to win three belts if he can also defeat Manabu, but again he has to win the Grand Prix first.

Recommended: Very fun match and all four of these men delivered for a great main event. Give it a watch.

 

Overall: I was amazed that Wrestle-1 was able to pull off two great shows back to back and they added new elements to their storylines and rivalries to make me wanna watch more of them frequently if they were able to upload shows in time instead of almost a month in between. Next up is the Wrestle-1 Grand Prix which takes place on the July 1st show and will have the semi-final and finals taking place on July 18th (my birthday), and the winner of that match will fight for the Wrestle-1 Championship on their big show in September 2nd. The entrants to this match are Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio, Masayuki Kono, Kaz Hayashi, Shotaro Ashino, Shuji Kondo, Koji Doi, Takanori Ito, and Kumaarashi. I’m gonna go with Jiro making lightning strike twice and win it back to back, but don’t be surprised if Ashino wins the match to set up the rematch between him and Manabu.

Favorite Match: Kaz Hayashi & Seiki Yoshioka vs. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz

Least Favorite Match: Takanori Ito vs. Takumi Baba

Score: 8/10

See you all next time!


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