Connect with us

More From Japan

Binge-Watch Guide to Best of the Super Jr. 25 (Part 2)

Published

on

As the title would suggest, this is the second installment of my BOSJ watch guide.  You can read Part 1 here.  The tournament has since concluded but that’s the beauty of on-demand over at njpwworld.com.  This guide will cover Night 8 (5/27) through the Finals on June 4th.

 

SHO v. Kushida – Night 8 (5/27)

I decided to include this one for the wrestling purists out there.  It was a slow burner but in a good way.  They took their time by showcasing a lot of chain wrestling and keeping the action in the ring.  Kushida worked a body part throughout the match and both showed off their technical prowess.

Night 9 (5/29) – Tiger Mask v. Taiji Ishimori & Will Ospreay v. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Unfortunately, Tiger Mask and Kanemaru were both absent from my Part 1 list even though they both contributed.  I chose this night because it had the two biggest babyfaces pinned against the two biggest heels in the A Block.  Now you can be more invested in whichever side you choose to root for.  Any wrestling fan can also admire the 47 year old Tiger Mask doing a top rope Tiger Suplex every night.

Marty Scurll v. Dragon Lee – Night 10 (5/30)

If you read my last article you would know that I’ve recently become a big Dragon Lee fan.  This match is a good example why.  Just some really solid back-and-forth action with great pacing.  It kept my attention the whole time.  Also, as I look at my notes page I realized that I made a note about Marty every night he wrestled.  He did something to entertain me on a daily basis and I didn’t even realize it.  That’s the making of a true star.

Now I want to talk about a couple guys that I’ve really grown to love over the course of the tournament.

Ryusuke Taguchi

I’ve always known Taguchi to be a great babyface that provides the comic relief during the nights he’s booked just as Toru Yano does.  What’s great about Taguchi is that he can start a match with silliness for a whole 5-10 minutes then get serious before the conclusion.  The transition is usually so effortless that I don’t even realize it happened until the match is over when I’m left to admire his work.

Matches to Watch: Hiromu Takahashi (5/27) & Marty Scurll (6/2)

El Desperado

I mentioned how his match against Hiromu Takahashi was my favorite in the tournament at this point but he really kept the ball rolling.  Him and his stable mate, Kanemaru would throw their opponents into the bleachers every night which always kept the fans entertained and on edge.  He’s one of the biggest heels in the company so the fact that he enters the ring like Melina is fantastic.  Whether it was trying to out-villain Marty Scurll or innovating the use of weapons against Kushida, Despy always kept me thoroughly invested.

Matches to Watch: Marty Scurll (5/27) & Kushida (5/30)  

Night 11 (5/31) – Bushi v. Flip Gordon, ACH v. Taiji Ishimori, Tiger Mask v. Will Ospreay, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru v. YOH

In the last article I talked about how Night 4 was the big day for the B Block.  Everything just clicked.  That’s what this night was for the A Block competitors.  In my opinion, it was the best showing for Bushi, Ishimori, Tiger Mask, and Kanemaru at this point in the tournament.

Hiromu Takahashi v. SHO – Night 12 (6/2)

If you looked solely at SHO’s point total, you wouldn’t think anything much of his BOSJ performance.  In reality, he was one of the most consistent competitors in the entire field.  Meltzer even gave his match with Dragon Lee on May 19 a 4.5 star rating.

Before we get into the last night before the finals, let’s look at the highest point earners in each block.

A Block

  • Taiji Ishimori (8 points)
  • Will Ospreay (8 points)
  • Flip Gordon (6 points)
  • Tiger Mask (6 points)
  • Bushi (6 points)
  • YOH (6 points)

B Block 

  • Hiromu Takahashi (8 points)
  • Kushida (8 points)
  • Marty Scurll (8 points)
  • Chris Sabin (6 points)
  • Dragon Lee (6 points)

Night 13 (6/3) – Part 1: ACH (4) v. Tiger Mask (6), Bushi (6) v. Kanemaru (4), Sabin (6) v. Taguchi (4), & Dragon Lee (6) v. El Desperado (4)

These matches ultimately did not mean much because of the way the points and match-ups shook out but they were all very enjoyable in their own right.  ACH paid tribute to Tiger Mask, Bushi and Kanemaru renewed their rivalry, Taguchi had yet another fun match, and Dragon Lee and Desperado got personal.

Night 13 (6/3) – Part 2: Ospreay (8) v. Gordon (6), Ishimori (8) v. YOH (6), Scurll (8) v. SHO (4), & Takahashi (8) v. Kushida (8)

These are the matches the entire tournament boiled down to.  I’ll run through some of the situations.  Ospreay needs a win and an Ishimori loss to advance but Kevin Kelly explained on commentary that Flip Gordon was not mathematically eliminated if he wins.  If both Ishimori and Ospreay win, Ishimori owns the tie-breaker because he beat Ospreay way back on Night 1.  YOH is also not out of the picture because he holds a win over  Flip.  That means Ishimori is the only man with a win-and-in situation.  Scurll can still advance to the finals but he needs a win plus a time-limit draw between Takahashi and Kushida.  Needless to say, things got really dicey down the stretch.

Best of the Super Juniors 25 FINALS (6/4) – A Block Winner vs. B Block Winner 

The BOSJ Final is always one of my Match of the Year candidates so I had high expectations.  I wont spoil anything but both men in the match blew me away.  The crowd was white hot for the entire duration and I genuinely did not know which way it was going to go.  It was easily the best match of the tournament and one of my favorites of 2018.  If star ratings are your thing, Dave Meltzer broke his scale again by awarding it 5.5 stars – tied for the highest rated of the year.  After watching it, I’m even more excited than I already was for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match at Dominion on June 9.  You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you choose not to watch.


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


Advertisement
Comments

Coverage

(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.4 ~ 5TH OCTOBER 2018

Published

on

By

CURRENT TOUR RECAP

Noah have had excellent attendances recently, bad weather, transport difficulties and a weekday show, have not kept people away. Korakuen might not have been sold out for the final, but it was a damn good result for a Thursday night with the majority of people making a mad dash across Tokyo to get there after work.
Hopefully, the fans dedication to seeing Noah and their willingness to battle through Typhoon weather (the event on the 30th September was fast tracked because of it and fans were warned that the show might be cancelled half way through due to the weather), rush hour traffic on a weekday and face resultant travel difficulties, will make the network consider just what they are missing.

Naomichi Marufuji missed the last two nights of Global Junior League as he was appearing in WRESTLE-1 and then Kansai Pro, but he was back for the 4th October.

The GHC Heavyweight match signing took place on September 29th 2018 at Yokohama Radiant Halls. Nakajima appeared with the usual smirk, and refused to answer any questions and when prompted to speak, sat with an eerie grin on his face like he found the whole thing very funny. Takashi Sugiura (who arrived wearing the tired expression like that of a father that has been called too many times to the Principals office over the misbehavior of his son), told him and everyone else that the smile would be wiped off Nakajima’s face when he got repeated elbows in it on the 4th October. That evening the veterans were obliterated by the “young people” as Yokohama went wild, Nakajima’s comment on the match was, “Oh, that was fun”.

The clash on the 30th September, however, was very different. The battle damaged endoskeleton inside Takashi Sugiura rebooted itself, and Nakajima caught a beating (seriously, half the time Sugi looked like he was going to put him over his knee). In a very short match Sugiura caught Nakajima with the Olympic Slam, the ref counted three, and Sugiura continued battering on him until the ref pulled him off, and he stood with his foot on him as Nakajima had done to him, before Nakajima was carried off on the back of the Revolutionary Hero who was watching at ringside. Sugiura later said that Nakajima was like a fly who “fled when I tried to crush him”, and vowed to crush him at Korakuen Hall.

On the 4th October, evidently learning nothing from the 30th September, Katsuhiko Nakajima came strolling out to the ring, big smirk on his face, sinister new ring robe with faux wolfskin and sinister black pants, boots and kneepads. As soon as the bell rang, he lay down on the floor, resting his head on his hands and with his elbow bent, looking as if he were posing for a suncream or speedos advert.

Sugiura was not impressed.

It was a brutal match with kicks, elbows, slaps and slams (Sugiura did the turnbuckle brainbuster and held it for twenty seconds), and at one point Masa Kitamiya got involved which earned loud boos from the crowd, especially as Nakajima was using a wooden bar to choke Sugiura with. Eventually, Sugiura seized the chance for the ankle lock, and even bit into Nakajima’s boot.

It was too much for Nakajima, and he tapped out.

Afterwards most of the competitors for Global League got into the ring, (aside from the veterans that was, and those who were seconding Nakajima and the two who are coming in from outside promotions), and started yelling at each other and pointing fingers. Nagai got on the microphone first and said that the Hooligans were gunning for the GHC Heavyweight too, Kiyomiya told them that they would have to go past him first (Sugiura later said in an interview that he doesn’t consider Kiyomiya a challenge, as he couldn’t get past Kenoh to qualify for the number one contendership, so that’s one down for him), and Sugiura told them all to keep their pants on, the league starts on the 30th October, and so “all you youngsters, you had better start practicing”.

Naomichi Marufuji said he was going to finish this nonsense of The Hooligans on the 4th October, being too tired to deal with a “bald octopus and his worthless friends”, so he made this picture of them asking them to turn up to the event like this (Marufuji seems to share Sugiura’s obsession with bald people, and told Nagai to either grow hair down to his shoulders or get a wig if he wanted a title shot).

Nagai is not impressed by being called “a bald Octopus” and vowed to make Marufuji “regret the words you spewed”.

On the 4th October, Naomichi Marufuji & 50 Funky Powers clashed with The Hooligans, who were more interested in attacking Marufuji than they were Saito, and he took the brunt of things in the match. Afterwards, The Hooligans (Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi holding up the belts) stood over them and unfurled their Hooligans flag.

Marufuji has to now give them a title shot, (although he says he is only doing it to crush them), and the two teams will meet in Kobe on the 14th October, before that Naomichi Marufuji and Maybach Taniguchi will have a rare singles match on the 7th October, with Akitoshi Saito facing Cody Hall.

Daisuke Harada faced off against his nemesis, Kotaro Suzuki on the 29th September in a very tense match, which ended with Kotaro Suzuki with the win. He stood over the fallen Daisuke Harada and said that he was going to “shine up that rusty belt” (I think he may also have called him a “Class A War Criminal”, which seems a little extreme).
YO-HEY (watched by Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinari Ogawa) faced Ikuto Hidaka for the semi-finals. YO-HEY seemed to have picked up a knock the knee during the match, (which Hidaka exploited), but he held on in there and refused to quit. The clock ticked away, near falls followed near falls, and then Hidaka locked in the Shinken Capture.
YO-HEY refused to quit.

The clock ran out and YO-HEY was awarded the win, which meant that he now had two jobs; to win Global Junior League and more importantly, to defend the honor of the Noah juniors against Kotaro Suzuki.

The showdown came on the 4th October, between the man who was not Noah born, but yet had the majority of the crowd behind him seeing him as representing Noah, and the man who is Noah born, but yet walked out of Noah, and therefore isn’t considered to be Noah anymore. The match was harsh with a lot of near falls which kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, but Kotaro Suzuki prevailed, and won Global Junior League 2018.

RATELS were at ringside and attended to YO-HEY, when he was rolled out of the ring, YO-HEY could be seen putting his palms together to bow and apologizing to Daisuke Harada.

After the match Kotaro Suzuki challenged Daisuke Harada. He later said he didn’t want the belt, but he had a plan for it, and he was bringing excitement to a division whose guys were bored and stuck in a rut.

All poor YO-HEY could say was “I’m sorry…I’m sorry”.

Junta Miyawaki is still without his first win, but the day is coming nearer, Noah are teasing a lot of near falls though.

Both Kouki Iwasaki (who faced Kenoh on the 4th October, and wants to do again) and Hiroshi Yamato (WRESTLE-1) say that they would like to further participate in Noah. Iwasaki says he wants to face Kenoh again and “knock him down”.

The wins of Takashi Sugiura and Kotaro Suzuki are the best outcomes for Noah.

The Junior division needs a proper heel, and while you could say they have Yoshinari Ogawa, Ogawa due to his age, status backstage in the company as the oldest active veteran (who is always referred to as “Mr. Ogawa” and treated with the highest respect), cannot enter a feud where his opponent runs him down, although he can go to toe to with the youngsters in the ring. Ogawa’s main role is as a teacher, and the rookies who come from the dojo, always pass through him; and Kotaro Suzuki therefore fulfills the role as someone who is a “things were better in my day” heel, allied in some way with Ogawa (whose mouthpiece and whipping boy he can be), and who doesn’t need to be treated with the same respect as Ogawa is. The fans accept Ogawa as “ratboy”, it is inconceivable that he would enter a feud with the normal back and forth banter.

As for Takashi Sugiura, most of the Super New Generation Army (barring Kaito Kiyomiya, who isn’t ready) have challenged him, as has Naomichi Marufuji. Global League resets this and now everyone battles for it, along with the new blood of The Hooligans and the two outside competitors. Takashi Sugiura has said that if he wins the league then he will chose his own challenger, and it will probably be someone from outside Noah.

Global League this year can be best summed up as “Global League 2018: Sugi’s Gonna Kill Ya”, but before that its on to Autumn Navigation.

NEWS

Koji Kanemoto will appear for Noah on the 14th October 2018, he will team with Minoru Tanaka and Hi69 vs RATELS (YO-HEY, HAYATA and Tadasuke)

Global League participants and dates

BLOCK A
Naomichi Marufuji
Akitoshi Saito
Quiet Storm
Katsuhiko Nakajima
Kenoh
Masa Kitamiya
Mitsuya Nagai
Kohei Sato

BLOCK B
Takashi Sugiura
Mohammed Yone
Go Shiozaki
Atsushi Kotoge
Kaito Kiyomiya
Maybach Taniguchi
Cody Hall
Kazusada Higuchi

As excited as people are about Global League 2018, there is some disappointment as fans did hope to see Jay Bradley or Masato Tanaka.

Tuesday, October 30th – Korakuen Hall (18.30) ~ FIRST NIGHT
Thursday, November 8th – Korakuen Hall (18.30)
Sunday, November 11th – Matsuyama City Community Centre (17.00)
Wednesday, November 14th – Takamatsu Symbol Tower Exhibition Hall, (18.30)
Friday, November 16th – World Pavilion, Osaka (19.00)
Saturday, November 17th – Edion Arena, Osaka (18.30)
Sunday, November 18th – Kyoto, KBS Hall (3pm)
Wednesday, November 21st – Aizuwakamatsu City Cultural Centre, Fukushima (18.30)
Thursday, November 22nd – Miyagi, Sendai (18.30)
Friday, November 23rd – Yokohama Radiant Halls, Kanegawa (17.30)
Sunday, November 25th – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo (18.00) ~ FINALS

Holy War Vol.3 
Akira Taue was Toshiaki Kawada’s next guest for his “Talk Battle” at Holy War Vol.3 (Kawada says that Vol.4 will either be this year or next year, with the two youngest on Noah’s roster hoping that they will be on it again).

I think Kawada had hoped that Akira Taue would talk about his struggle of being Noah’s president, but I don’t think that Taue wanted to re-live the trauma by going through it again. For the record, Taue has only ever told tidbits about it, he’s never done a sit down interview about it. The role turned him into an old frail man overnight.

The “Talk Battle” was very funny and very moving; they talked about Mitsuharu Misawa and how Taue was the one who invited Kawada to Noah (not Misawa), Taue’s sumo days (which the fans wanted to hear more about), Taue called Kawada “a bullying mother in law” when he was being difficult and Kawada asked Taue to please stop smoking and cut down his drinking – Taue said he wasn’t doing either, and no doubt 99% of the roster stubbed their cigarettes out when they heard Kawada say that. They told some funny stories, like the time when All Japan took the dojo to the seaside for summer training and Taue (known for his aversion to training) turned up without running shoes and with sandals because to his mind, “sandals are for the beach”.

At the end of the event they played a medley of Jumbo Tsuruta’s, Mitsuharu Misawa’s and Kobashi’s theme music (they found the first two very emotional).

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

Either the winner of Global League 2018 (or a challenger that Takashi Sugiura appoints should he win the league) will be determined on the 25th November

Daisuke Harada will defend the GHC Junior Heavyweight belt against Kotaro Suzuki on the 30th October

Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito will defend the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles against Cody Hall & Maybach Taniguchi in Kobe on the 14th October

The GHC Junior Tag Championship has not been challenged for yet, although the boys from Zero One (Ikuto Hidaka and Takuya Sugawara) have hinted that they may challenge.

TOUR TIDBITS

  • Takashi Sugiura seemed in a very good mood after the title match, joking about why someone would want to beat up an old man.
  • Tadasuke made Yoshiki Inamura to do his entry with him. Inamura wasn’t quite confident enough to do the headbanging and air guitar part though (HAYATA is on record saying it is embarrassing)
  • Atsushi Kotoge had dinner with “father and son” (Go Shiozaki and Kaito Kiyomiya)
  • Mitsuya Nagai came through the heavy door at Yokohama Radiant Halls to make his entry, and it slammed shut on Maybach Taniguchi behind him.
  • Katsuhiko Nakajima kicked Mohammed Yone’s afro, and laughed.
  • KAZMA SAKAMOTO called Marufuji’s picture of Nagai, Hall and Maybach “A Masterpeice”.
  • Daisuke Harada addressed the crowd on the 30th September and thanked them for coming out in spite of the inclement weather, HAYATA, who was in the ring with him, said “Same”. Considering Harada’s address to the crowd in this manner, and his promotional work on radio shows and for tours, it would not surprise me if one day he took over Go Shiozaki’s role as Head of the Noah Wrestlers Association.
  • Naomichi Marufuji says that he is fighting Kenoh on many fronts (Kenoh said in his last column about Marufuji’s perceived political maneuvering, Marufuji said all he had done was fight to defend Noah)
  • Minoru Tanaka says that as a child he was “good at playing building blocks”
  • YO-HEY actually gave a coherent promo on October 1st, except when the wheels fell off at the end and he started talking about snowball fights
  • Naomichi Marufuji has been appointed “Tourist Ambassador to Konosu City, Saitama” on a two year term
  • Minoru Tanaka underwent emergency surgery due to a septic thumb
  • Kikutaro got scruffed by referee Shu Nishanaga (KENTA had him thrown out of SEM once); speaking of Kikutaro he proclaimed himself “The Ace of SEM” (SEM was disbanded in 2015), and I don’t want to know why he was squeezing Atsushi Kotoge’s balls.
  • SPECIAL 4 (Hi69, Minoru Tanaka, Yoshinari Ogawa and Seiya Morohashi) now come out to “Ultra Soul”
  • Hajime Ohara has proposed a “Team Kawasaki” with Ikuto Hideki (and possibly Hiroshi Yamato)
  • Mitsuya Nagai says that when Marufuji becomes bald he will put him in “The Bald Octopus Club”
  • Noah are calling some of the Global League tag matches “Voyage for Global League”.

KING SHAMELESS’ CORNER

Takashi Sugiura abstained from drinking alcohol for a week before the title match in case of head injury and\or concussion, but after the match and subsequent examination at the hospital he was given the all clear, and he went out to dinner afterwards and drunk alcohol. Having had a day of having to behave himself pretty much, he told Tokyo Sports (who call him “King Shameless”), that he had a wet dream when he woke up the next morning. I don’t want to know any more.

EVENT RECAPS
September 29th, Yokohama Radiant Halls: 
September 30th, Ikos Ageo, Saitama
October 4th, Korakuen Hall 
Holy War. Vol 3 

LINKS
Naomichi Marufuji appointed Tourism Ambassador to Konosu City, Saitama 
SEM
Doug Williams has now retired 
“Heir to the Ark”: Naomichi Marufuji’s biography 


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


Continue Reading

Coverage

Dragon Gate The Gate of Victory Results & Review (10/2/2018)

Published

on

Dragon Gate

Welcome back to Dragon Gate and this is the second to last show before Shingo’s departure in a couple days, so I decided to cover whatever the network decides to air until his departure meaning this one and the next one.

We have a special appearance in this show that I’m sure most of you know at this point and I will get to it when the actual match happens.

Let’s see how this show turns out and…dive right in.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Hiroshi Yamato, Kota Minoura & Mondai Ryu vs. Natural Vibes (Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka & YASSHI)

Review: We got half of Natural Vibes opening up the show today after losing to R.E.D at the elimination tag match as Kzy, Susumu, and YASSHI will be taking on Hiroshi Yamato, Kota Minoura, and Mondai Ryu to give the fans an entertaining match to start the show. Will Natural Vibes win?

We had Hiroshi Yamato singing during his entrance, wasn’t bad. The match was mostly entertaining with Natural Vibes doing their dancing around along with their tag moves together in the match and a little comedic encounter between Yamato and Kzy when she held hands and did that dance until Yamato accidentally hits Kzy in the head. The other team didn’t do too bad either since it was just some random people paired off together which happens during the undercard of the show. Other than that, nothing really big happens here since it’s just a regular tag match. Kota Minoura would start to get some momentum over Kzy until Kzy tried to do his Running Elbow Smash, which got reversed into a flash pin but Kzy kicked out of it. Kzy would be able to pick him up for a Piledriver as Kota kicked out of it and picked him up again for the Running Elbow Smash and Natural Vibes gets the win.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Tag Team Match
Gamma & Genki Horiguchi vs. Don Fujii & Ryo Saito

Review: We got another tag match with Roy Saito and Don Fujii teaming up again as they take on Gamma and Natural Vibes member, Genki Horiguchi. Fujii and Saito are still trying to keep the ball rolling with this tag team and I still hope it leads to something for both of these guys. Will they win to get momentum or will the odd duo pull a victory out of nowhere?

It now looks like that Ryo is wearing Fujii’s gear so that they could match, think it makes sense if they’re gonna be a team. This match is just a straight-up comedy match and kinda felt like that was how it needed to go for this one with the people involved in this match. Gamma and Ryo would have a sumo type of match and even did the posing for it which Ryo would win and even Hip Toss Genki when he tried to run in. Genki would tie yellow tape to Ryo’s ear as Gamma would grab the other end of it to run around the hall, almost making it to the stairs as Fujii attacked Genki to make Gamma let go as well. Both Fujii and Ryo would do a neck twist to Genki and it looked like one of his braids fell off of his head and had to tag Gamma in as he tried to put Ryo in a submission till Fujii threw a water bottle at him. Both Fujii and Ryo would hit a Chokeslam on their opponents and Gamma took it horribly, like wow. Gamma would try to roll Ryo up but he pulled the back of her shorts down to have his bare ass out in the open and then the two would try to roll each other up with him still bare-assed as Ryo would get the final surprise pin for the victory.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters

 

Singles Match
KAI vs. Punch Tominaga

Review: It looks like KAI is set to have another match with Dragon Gate and I’m not sure if this is part of the tour or just doing another match or two, but I’ll take whatever I can get with him to see him wrestle. His next match is against Natural Vibes member, Punch Tominaga and feels like it could be a rather comedic but fun match. Which one of these two will win?

Punch would attack KAI on the outside to get the first advantage over him and he does appear to have him on the ropes for the beginning part of it. It was surprisingly pretty back and forth when they were fighting each other in the match since I expected it to be completely one-sided once Punch had his little fun in the beginning, but glad it wasn’t the case. KAI so far in this tour has had mediocre matches and not that they’re bad, but they’re just matches with nothing really standing out with them to make them memorable. The match was very short too, around six minutes as Punch would go for his Moonsault off the rope and misses and KAI would hit Punch with a Lariat for a two count. KAI would then bit a Brainbuster for another two count and picked him up for the Michinoku Driver and get the win.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Eight Man Tag Team Match
Hyo Watanabe, Masaaki Mochizuki, Shun Skywalker & Yuki Yoshioka vs. Tribe Vanguard (Kagetora, U-T, YAMATO & Yosuke Santa Maria)

Review: We got our first and only eight-man tag match for the show as Tribe Vanguard takes on Masaaki Mochizuki’s team and he kinda does have a unit with people like Yuki, Shun, and Hyo but they’re not an official unit and don’t have a name. Will Mochizuki and Shun get revenge on YAMATO or Tribe Vanguard wins this?

All eight of these men delivered in this match with them giving us fast-paced action throughout the entire match with both teams going back and forth, hitting their moves out of nowhere whenever someone else breaks out of a pin or hits a move of their own. Tribe Vanguard were more consistent with their maneuvers due to them being a well-established stable in this match and I gotta give it up for U-T and Kagetora for being the highlights of the match since both of these guys just did great and stood out more in the match, but doesn’t take away from guys like YAMATO and Yosuke.

Mochizuki’s team would also match up with them as Shun would once again deliver in the match and so did the other guys in the match to show that they very well could be a future unit in Dragon Gate if they’re serious about being one or they’ll just keep teaming and doing solo stuff without forming a unit, that’s all up to them. When I talk about the non-stop action of the match, U-T would have someone in a Kneebar and once it was broken up, Kagetora would hit a Diving Elbow Drop out of nowhere. Mochizuki would be in a hold and Shun would try to Moonsault off the top ropes, but was being held onto by Tribe Vanguard and Yuki out of nowhere would hit the Standing Moonsault while they were too focused on Shun. U-T and Hyo would be in the ring now and U-T would lock in Skayde hold onto Hyo to make him tap out as he gets the win for Tribe Vanguard!

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
MaxiMuM (Dragon Kid, Jason Lee & Kaito Ishida) vs. R.E.D. (KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Yoshida & Yasushi Kanda)

Review: We got a six-man tag match with MaxiMum going to war with R.E.D this time after having them assault MaxiMuM at the last show once the main event was over. We got Dragon Kid leading the charge this time with Jason Lee and Kaito Ishida as they take on Takashi Yoshida, Yasushi Kanda, and KAZMA SAKAMOTO. I do we get to see more for KAZMA here in this match but we will see what happens here. Which of these units will win?

I think it was kill Kaito Ishida on R.E.D’s agenda because he certainly took the majority of the beatings in this tag match. We got to see a little bit more of KAZMA in the match and he did a slightly better performance in this one compared to his return at the last show and could be a better powerhouse guy than Takashi if given the opportunity to. MaxiMuM were quick in this match due to relying on their agility since they took on the powerhouses of the R.E.D unit and Dragon Kid would mostly be the one to outmaneuver the opponents while Jason Lee would try to keep up, but they kept on getting overpowered.

Dragon Kid and Kaito would do a combo with Kid hitting the 619 while Kaito would hit a Dropkick at the same time and it would’ve been a really cool spot if they timed it up a little bit better in the match. Kaito would have Kanda sitting on his shoulders while they were both on the turnbuckle and Dragon Kid would jump the ropes to hit a Super Hurricanrana. KAZMA got back in the ring with Kaito and slammed him down as he signaled Takashi and Kanda to hit the Diving Elbow Drops onto him and Kid would break the hold. KAZMA would hit the Pop-up Powerbomb on Kaito and picked him up on his shoulders so Takashi would hit the Doomsday Device and top it off, Takashi picked him up for the Cyber Bomb and R.E.D wins it.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half

 

Tag Team Match
Big Ben (Ben-K & Big R Shimizu) vs. DoiYoshi (Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi)

Review: So we officially have a date for the Open the Dream Gate Championship match between Masato Yoshino and Ben-K as it’s set to take place on November 4th at the show, The Gate of Destiny. For now, we got a tag match with Yoshino teaming up with Naruki Doi as they take on Ben-K and Big R Shimizu. I’m excited to see how this feud will turn out and this will be the first step to see where this direction will go. Will the champion win or will Ben get the early advantage?

Instead of R.E.D going in for the attack, DoiYoshi would attack them first before they got into the ring. I gotta make this comment before I continue further and I’m kinda disappointed with how they changed Ben’s look. I’m saying this because he originally looked like this shogun badass with his attire and now he just looks like a generic powerhouse with his change in appearance. I think he still could’ve kept the gear and just made it red, but with what they gave him now, I don’t like it personally but I still like him despite that. Moving on, seeing DoiYoshi teaming up together with just them was fun to see and they did pull off some sweet tag moves together which I will get to in a little bit. We’ve seen Big Ben wrestle as a team on here before and we know they’re good together despite Big R not being that good, to begin with, but them as a tag team works and we got a solid match between the two teams.

We had Naruki on the top rope Yoshino held Ben-K up for him to kick and as Naruki hits the Dropkick, he landed on Big R for the Senton at the same time and would get a two count out of it. Big R would go for the Shot-put Slam on Naruki and would turn it around to a Crucifix as Yoshino Dropkicked Big R to make Naruki land the pin for a two count. Big R would try to go for it again as Naruki would hit a Flash Pin for another two count and as Yoshino went for the Torbellino, Ben-K caught him for a Spear before he could land it all. Ben was also able to hit Naruki for a Spear and would kick out of it at two. Yoshino would hit the Torbellino this time and had Big R on his knees so Naruki would hit the Bakatare Sliding Kick and would pin Big R for the win. Yoshino would get the first win in this feud between him and Ben-K and it was a good way to start it off, but now we gotta see if they can keep the ball rolling here.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters

 

Tag Team Match
R.E.D. (Eita & X) vs. BxB Hulk & Shingo Takagi

Review: We got our main event here as Shingo Takagi and BxB Hulk are teaming up before their big match as they agreed and R.E.D weren’t very keen on that decision and told Shingo that Eita and a mystery partner will be facing them for this tag match. It looks like R.E.D will be having a new recruit after this match is over and it looks like Shingo is officially out of the group while Eita is in charge. Who is the mystery partner and can Shingo & Hulk defeat them?

I was right to say that Eita would be kicking out Shingo since that is exactly what he did before the bell would ring and as he introduced his partner, the lights would go off for a moment and when the lights go on, we have the return of PAC fka Neville. That’s right, PAC has returned to his home in Dragon Gate instead of going to the obvious places like NJPW/ROH and I’m glad he chose Dragon Gate since this is the best place for him right now. PAC still looks good like he never lost any of his muscle and now it’s time to see if he has any ring rust or not. Also, the reaction on Hulk’s face during this reveal was priceless.

There were two stories in this match and one of them was Shingo and R.E.D since he was out of the group and what R.E.D do to him during the entire match with these weapons was pretty much telling him karma was a bitch and this is what he’s getting back. The second story is PAC and the progression of his character and personality from when he left six years ago to when he came back with his new attitude and personality, I’m glad he kept his WWE look from when he was a heel since that was one of the bigger highlights of his career until the very end and would now try this new persona on a different playing field. As for the ring rust, he really didn’t have much almost as if he never lost a step, but it’s hard to tell due to it being a tag match. The match itself was very solid and it was mostly the story of it that carried the match than the actual wrestling of it and that’s kinda fair due to the atmosphere of the match. Shingo would hit the Pumping Bomber on both Eita and PAC for a two count and Kanda hits Shingo with the black box to distract him enough for Eita to pick it up. Eita went to hit him with it but Shingo caught the box and threw it outside but accidentally hits the referee when he bumped into him, which lead to R.E.D to come in for all of them to hit their moves on Shingo and Big R tops it off with the Shot-put Slam on him. PAC would get Shingo to the corner and hits the Red Arrow to give R.E.D the win.

After the match, YAMATO would get in the ring and told PAC that he wanted to fight him. MaxiMuM got into the ring next and they all talked about how they wanted to fight PAC now, and now Natural Vibes does the same thing and it looks like everyone wants a piece of PAC now since he’s back in Dragon Gate, but it looks like the four units will be having a war coming soon. Speaking of PAC, I wonder what title he’ll be going for? I wanna say Open the Dream Gate, but it all depends on if Ben-K can get it or not. If that’s the case, he could go for the Open the Brave Gate against Dragon Kid or he could team up with Eita to fight for the Open the Twin Gate titles. He has a lot of different options and curious to see which route he takes.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

Overall: The undercard of the match was really weak, but the last four matches made the show more tolerable and we have the return of PAC to close off the show as Shingo now has one match left before he departs from Dragon Gate. Will these changes be for the better or for worse? We’re gonna have to find out soon enough.

Favorite Match: Hyo Watanabe, Masaaki Mochizuki, Shun Skywalker & Yuki Yoshioka vs. Tribe Vanguard

Least Favorite Match: Hiroshi Yamato, Kota Minoura & Mondai Ryu vs. Natural Vibes

Score: 7.5/10


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


Continue Reading

Coverage

Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate 2018 Results & Review (9/24/2018)

Published

on

After the previous Dragon Gate show that I’ve covered a couple of weeks ago, I said I would cover the next big show to keep the train going and see how well they would do.

I did say if they keep on delivering for the rest of the year that I will forgive them for King of Gate and I am giving it a fair chance to see if they can reel me back in. We got a solid card coming up with some nice surprises.

So let’s see if they can deliver again and…dive right in.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Ryo Saito, Don Fujii & Willie Mack vs. Tribe Vanguard (KAGETORA, Yosuke Santa Maria & U-T)

Review: Our opening contest involves members of Tribe Vanguard as they take on Ryo Saito and Don Fujii, and their partner Will Mack who is back for more action this tour it seems. Saito and Don were unable to capture the Twin Gate Championships at the last big show despite it being a great match as they now have this six-man bout. Can Ryo’s team make a comeback or will Tribe Vanguard get the win?

I’m really liking the team of Saito and Fujii the more I see them together and I really do hope they get a rematch for the Twin Gate Championships since it would be nice to see them win the titles. Wille Mack is still around for this tour and that means I get to see more of him and I’m enjoying his work so far and it’s a good time to see it since I don’t really follow Lucha Underground. This team of Tribe Vanguard between these three has also been entertaining to see and I’m really digging KAGETORA here in these match and get to see how good he actually is along with U-T who has been impressing me more, and I already know how good Yosuke is. The opening bouts on their shows are normally just standard and entertaining matches and this one is no different here. Wille would do the Macarena dance and then does a Moonsault onto Yosuke and instead of pinning him, he goes to the top rope to hit the Frog Splash and get the win.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Eight Man Tag Team Match
Gamma, Shachihoko BOY, Mondai Ryu & Kota Minoura vs. Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, Hyo Watanabe & Yuki Yoshioka

Review: This is just a standard eight-man tag team match involving some of the members on the roster that aren’t on the card while their unit members are busy with other big matches. We got one side which is lead by Jason Lee and another one lead by Gamma as they look to give the fans a fun exhibition match. Which of these teams come out on top.

Another standard match with all eight men showcasing their stuff and it’s not a terrible match or anything, it’s just nothing special about it either. Gamma was probably the better one out of his team since he stood out the most with his agility and his little roll-up after roll-up sequence with Yuki, which is probably the only spot in the match that I really enjoyed compared to the rest. Everyone did their part pretty well but again, nothing really else stood out in the match to make anything memorable. Kaito would hit the Tigerplex onto Shachihoko BOY to get the win for his team.

Rating: Tony Schiavone

 

Singles Match
KAI vs. Shingo Takagi

Review: I kinda expected Shingo to be apart of the tag team war against Natural Vibes later on, but I guess he’s just doing a special singles match as part of his farewell tour. Shingo’s opponent tonight is Freelancer, KAI. KAI has been with All Japan for a while and looked like he took a little bit of a break and he now makes his way over to Dragon Gate to have this match against Shingo. Can Shingo get a victory or will KAI just steal it from him?

Seeing KAI in Dragon Gate felt a little bit off at first since it wasn’t fully clicking with me that he was in their ring or if he would entirely fit in with them but as the match went on, I think he did well for himself here and not anything spectacular, still a solid performance. I thought this was a good match, to say the least, and Shingo showing people why he’s still amazing in the ring and could fit in with any promotion if he ever went somewhere else like how he did with AJPW, which I wish he did go back to because his run for that month was amazing. Shingo would take control for most of the match and hits his Pumping Bomber Lariat onto KAI to try and get the victory but he could kick out of it. Kai would pull some stuff from his arsenal as well as he hits a Powerbomb for a two count and would go to the top rope to hit the Frog Splash, but Shingo placed his knees up before he could land it. Shingo went for his MADE IN JAPAN and it could be it but KAI still kicks out of it, Shingo picks him back up to go for the Pumping Bomber but KAI turned it into the Gannosuke Clutch and he gets the surprise victory!

After the match, the two shook hands and said they would like to fight each other again. Shingo would also address his departure from the company when he leaves October 7th and BxB Hulk would come out to the ring and challenged him to be his final match, which Shingo accepted but he said he would like for them to team up with his former rival one more time before then and we get it happened on the October 2nd show. ANTIAS isn’t happy about this match one bit.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half

 

Ten Man Tag Team Elimination Match
ANTIAS (Big R Shimizu, Ben-K, Yasushi Kanda, Takashi Yoshida & KAZMA SAKAMOTO) vs. Natural Vibes (Punch Tominaga, Genki Horiguchi, Susumu Yokosuka, Kzy & brother YASSHI)

Review: During the Gate of Origin show after Natural Vibes retained their Triangle Gate Championships, ANTIAS would come out to attack them as they had a unit war declared for tonight and Eita said that they recruited someone to ANTIAS and it was someone who used to work for Dragon Gate. There was a lot of speculation thinking it was going to be the return of PAC or formerly known as Neville in WWE after he departed from the company recently, but we found out the person making his return was KAZMA SAKAMOTO. For those that don’t know, SAKAMOTO was apart of WWE as Tensai’s manager which didn’t last long at all but now it looks like he’s back at Dragon Gate. Which unit will come out on top?

ANTIAS would come out to the ring and they would announce that they have renamed their stable (fucking again!), and they will now be known as R.E.D or Real Extreme Diffusion. R.E.D would attack Natural Vibes before they could even do their dance and would begin their all-out assault on them and that is what they do for the beginning of the match really, it’s just a beatdown from them to destroy Natural Vibes and kinda expected this to be a little more…hardcore. I say that due to how they all were in the last show that I covered and so far, hasn’t happened yet. The first elimination came from Genki when he eliminated Takashi with the Backslide from Heaven, giving Natural Vibes the early lead. Genko would try to do it again to Big R but he rolled out of it but got caught in a German Suplex from YASSHI but Big R still kicked out. Big R would catch YASSHI with the Shot-put Slam and he eliminates YASSHI to even it up. Genki went back into the ring and tries to hit the Backslide from Heaven one more time and he almost had it as Big R barely kicked out and he caught Genki with the Shot-put Slam as Genki is also eliminated, meaning Natural Vibes only has three members left.

Kzy went into the ring to avenge his two fallen comrades but Kanda came into the ring now to fight him off and he went to go hit Kzy with a weapon, but Kzy catches it and gets him down before hitting hit Running Elbow Smash to eliminate Kanda and we’re now tied again. Big R and Punch are now in the ring together and Big R almost eliminated him by throwing him over the top rope but Punch found a way to get back in before getting caught for the Shot-put Slam as Punch would catch him in a Triangle Hold mid-air to try and make him tap. Big R would pick him up to try and throw him over, but Punch flipped him over to have Big R eliminated instead as R.E.D only now has Ben-K and KAZMA. We now finally get to see what KAZMA can do and so far he hasn’t done a whole lot and kinda hard to in this type of match and hardly sold anything in this match, he’s weird. KAZMA would hit Punch with a knee strike and picked him up for the Package Piledriver for the win as we are now two and two.

Susumu is in the ring with Ben-K now and he seems to be doing okay against him as he gave Ben some Lariats to try and slow him down but Ben found an opening and hits the Spear to eliminated Susumu, leaving Kzy all alone. Kzy starts to fend for himself until Kanda would hit him from behind with his briefcase and R.E.D got into the ring to attack Kzy and even had KAZMA Powerbomb him through a table, but Kzy finds a way to kick out of it and stay alive! That’s exactly what Kzy does as he does his best to stay alive and if he’s gonna go out, he may as well go out swinging. KAZMA would throw Kzy up for Ben to catch him into a Spear and picks him up for the Ben-K Bomb, eliminating Kzy and R.E.D wins the match. After the match, R.E.D would try to shave Punch’s hair off again but Natural Vibes ran in to chase them away with weapons. It looks like it’s not over just yet, very fun match and a good story, excited to see where it leads.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters

 

Open the Brave Gate Title Match
Eita (c) vs. Dragon Kid

Review: This match has some history here. Our current Open the Brave Gate Champion, Eita has been a thorn in Dragon Kid’s side for the past few months when he first defeated him at King of Gate, defeated him to disband Over Generation, and would defeat him to take the title away from him. But now Dragon Kid is looking to get his revenge on Eita as the title is on the line once again and probably the conclusion of this feud. Will Eita win once more or will Dragon Kid get his revenge?

They definitely told a story here from something that has been build up since May and the payoff for this rivalry is exactly how it needed to go right here. This is probably one of their better matches together as they made up for their disappointment in KoG Tournament. Dragon Kid is not only fighting Eita, but he also has to overcome the rest of R.E.D who are at ringside during the match and has to be careful with them around or he could fall prey to Eita once again. That’s what the match pretty much is, Dragon Kid overcoming this obstacle that’s right in front of him and they tell it right here. Eita would have a table on the corner so he could try to throw Kid into it and he would argue with the referee and put his hands on him before the ref gave Eita a Clothesline. Eita had Kid up for the Powerbomb and was charging towards the table until he hits a Hurricanrana to make Eita go through it instead. Kid went to go for the Ultra Hurricanrana but got caught with the Murder Kick and Kid kicks out at two. Eita went to go for another one but Dragon Kid reverses it into the Bible for a two count as well and he goes to the ropes to hit the Ultra Frankensteiner and we have a new champion!

After the match, Dragon Kid would talk about what it meant to defeat Eita in this match and would never forget what he and R.E.D did by making Over Generation disband, which was why he joined MaxiMuM to get revenge on R.E.D for what they’ve done. Now Dragon Kid can move on from Eita and march ahead.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters

 

Open the Twin Gate Titles Match
Tribe Vanguard (YAMATO & BxB Hulk) (c) vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Shun Skywalker

Review: YAMATO and BxB Hulk have been on a roll as champions so far as they now have their eyes set on another defense against the team of Masaaki Mochizuki and Shun Skywalker. Mochizuki and Shun were apart of the All Japan Junior Tag League and while they didn’t win the tournament, they still had a great showing and proved that they could actually be a really good team together which is what lead to this match coming up here since they feel like they could take the titles off of them. Will we have new champions or Tribe Vanguard retains the belt?

YAMATO and Hulk are currently my favorite champions in Dragon Gate right now and I don’t know what they’ve been doing to work this well, but their matches so far have been delivering and even being the match of the night on these shows. Mochizuki and Shun are also showing that they’re a great tag team together, even when they were apart of All Japan’s Junior Tag League, they showed how well they could work together and I hope they stay as partners since Dragon Gate could use some steady tag teams. The match definitely delivered with their wrestling and whoever was in the ring together, they would all give you something to spark your interest. Hulk and Shun are the two that stood out in the match more since I’m really growing on Hulk as a competitor after seeing him wrestle more and Shun keeps on improving in the ring and has champion written all over him if he keeps doing what he’s doing.

Bulk tried to match Mochizuki with a kicking battle and I can tell you that it’s a bad idea to do because Mochizuki will kick you right and you’ll most likely lose that bout no matter how cool Hulk’s dancing kicks are. YAMATO gits the Galleria on Shun and he would surprisingly kick out of it after a close call. Shun would hit a Jackknife pin keep rolling up Bulk in the match to try to get the surprise victory but gets stopped short when Bulk hits the FTX for another near fall. Hulk would then kick Shun in the back of the head and would get him up to hit the First Flash to retain the titles. After the match, Shun would refuse to shake hands with Tribe Vanguard and would walk to the back. Fantastic tag match and hope to see more like this.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half

 

Open the Dream Gate Title Match
Masato Yoshino (c) vs. Naruki Doi

Review: We have two members of MaxiMuM taking on each other in the main event as our Open the Dream Gate Champion, Masato Yoshino as he takes on Naruki Doi. After Yoshino retained the title against Takashi Yoshida, Naruki Doi would come to the ring and make a challenge to his fellow MaxiMuM member to prove who is the better one of the two. Will Yoshino retain for the third time or will we have a new champion?

This one is probably Yoshino’s best defense in this title run so far. Yoshino and Doi were able to pull off a slow and technical match together and knew when to transition into something fast-paced to not overkill the match and tell a genuine story in the ring with these two competitors. Naruki is someone I consider very consistent in the ring and I kinda wish he won the KoG instead of Yoshino because it would’ve been a nice approach, but I’m glad he’s given this opportunity at least. Yoshino though while had a lackluster reign so far, showed himself stepping his game up in this match with his friend and slightly improved his performance when he needed to and just hope he can do that for the rest of his reign.

Around the last half of the match is when they would pick it up a little after doing their technical stuff in the match, it was time to get the crowd invested into the match for. Yoshino went for the Torbellino and he tried to put his submission it but Doi would break out of it to go for the Muscular Bomb as Yoshino would roll him up for a two count. Later on in the match, Doi would take a move out of Yoshino’s arsenal as he would take his submission hold, the Sol Naciente as he would try to make the champion tap out of his own move but Yoshino would get to the rope in time to save himself from tapping. Doi continued the assault with some forearms until he got hit with a Lariat and back to back Torbellino’s to set himself up for the Sol Naciente, but Doi caught him to go for the Muscular Bomb once and again. Yoshino rolled off him to try and pin him but Doi caught his arms to try and take his opponents move again until Yoshino turned it around for his Sol Naciente and while he had him down to his knees, he turned it into his Sol Naciente Kai and he would make Doi tap out and retain the title!

After the match, R.E.D would come out to attack both of them and Ben-K is now declared the next challenger for the Open the Dream Gate Championship sometime in November. On top of that, Eita stated that he and Dragon Kid aren’t done after all (for fuck sake!) and that they will reveal a new member of R.E.D on the October 2nd show when they face Shingo Takagi and BxB Hulk. Once R.E.D left the ring, Yoshino thanked Naruki for not betraying him in the match like the last few times they fought together and treated it like an actual match as they shook hands and hugged it out to close the show with MaxiMuM standing tall.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Overall: While this show wasn’t as good a the previous one I covered, it was still solid enough for it to get by and not fully hate it. The second half of the show was worth watching while the first three were rather skippable. So who will Eita’s partner be on the October 2nd show and how will the rest play out?

Favorite Match: YAMATO & BxB Hulk vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Shun Skywalker

Least Favorite Match: Gamma, Shachihoko BOY, Mondai Ryu & Kota Minoura vs. Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, Hyo Watanabe & Yuki Yoshioka

Score: 7/10


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


Continue Reading

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe To The Chairshot's Newsletter!

Connect on Facebook

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending Today