Welcome back to Dragon Gate as we are now in the final round of the King of Gate tournament where we have YAMATO taking on Masato Yoshino. The winner will face Masaaki Mochizuki the next day for the Open the Dream Gate Championship.
The tournament as a whole has been incredibly lackluster and I probably won’t cover their next one due to how poorly the network handled it, but I will however still be covering certain shows along with the big ones. Let’s get this started and just…dive right in.
Tag Team Match
K-ness & Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Natural Vibes (Punch Tominaga & YASSHI)
Review: It feels weird that the companies big champion is the opening contest in these last recent shows, but I guess it’s just how they work. K-ness would rip off Punch’s do-rag off of his head and once that happens, we get Punch abuse by K-ness just slapping the bald spot on his head any chance he would get and it happens quite a lot, even Mochizuki does it a couple of times too, but Punch abuse gets the crowd laughing. Also, Brother YASSHI, what are you doing grabbing their dicks in the match like they’re Joey Ryan? I mean I get that it’s a distraction, but couldn’t rake their eyes or something instead of grabbing and raking the dicks, man?
The match would feel a bit slow at times despite some of the humor they had in the match involving Punch, but also a few sloppy spots in there to hurt the match a little bit. Near the end of the match, Punch and Mochizuki would be in the ring with Punch going for a few strikes and Mochizuki slapping the bald spot on his head along with a few stiff kicks until he hits the Saikyo High Kick to knock Punch out and win the match for him and K-ness.
Recommended: Average match, so unless you like seeing Punch get abused, skip it.
Shun Skywalker vs. Susumu Yokosuka
Review: We got Shun in singles action as he would take on Susumu Yokosuka. Susumu would go up to the referee when he comes into the ring and leans over on him once he was standing on the ropes with the ref between his legs, but once he got down, he saw a kid in the ring holding the flowers as he took them since I guess he wanted to feel pretty and he took a picture with the fan.
The match, for the most part, was solid for what they did since they were crisp with their spots and just had a nice flow with their chemistry here. Shun is someone that keeps on improving in the ring and I feel like he could be a big player in the upcoming years, but I’m still not a fan of his in-ring attire and I guess it’s mostly just due to the colors of it that throw me off than anything else. I don’t know why it happened, but when Susumu would have Shun in a Powerbomb position, he would just smack his ass a few times like he owned it, Natural Vibes is being weird today…well weirder. The last couple of minutes I enjoyed a lot with Susumu attempting to for the Lariat a few times, but Shun would roll him up quickly for a roll up, but no prevail there, but he would go for it the second time and still no luck. Once Shun got up, he got hit with a stiff Lariat for a two count. Susumu would eventually hit the Jumbo No Kachi on Shun and gets the win.
Recommended: It was pretty solid, I would say it’s worth at least a view.
Ben-K vs. Yasushi Kanda
Review: We now have Ben-K taking on ANTIAS member, Yasushi Kanda in out next singles match and the last time these two fought in the ring during the King of Gate tournament, Ben-K would defeat him by countout and I guess he looks to try and get an actual win over him this time.
We had Kanda attacking Ben before the announcer would finish saying his name and took Ben to the outside so he could try to knock him down a little as the bell rang. Once they got back inside, Ben would get the upper hand on Kanda for a brief moment and use his power to try and knock him down, but it wouldn’t last long as Kanda would send Ben back to the outside again and I feel like they already overdid it since they did it a total of four times this match and wasn’t really spaced out either, so it did hurt the match a lot to me in my opinion. ANTIAS is becoming how Suzuki-Gun was in NOAH where they would do this stuff in almost every match and during times when it’s just not needed and becomes overkill for me. It looked like they’re still protecting the Ben-K Bomb when he wouldn’t hit it again, but would eventually Spear Kanda to try and pin him only for ANTIAS to run in and start assaulting Ben-K.
The beat down would only happen for a while til Over Generation came out to make the save as they have a big match set for July between the two units as the loser of that match would disband. The referee would rule the bout a no contest.
Recommended: I love Ben-K, but the match was pretty awful.
Tag Team Match
Don Fujii & Ryo Saito vs. Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi & Kzy)
Review: The last time these two teams fought was in a six-man tag with Saito getting the surprise win and it looks like they’ll be fighting again in a regular tag team bout this time around. I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t do the Natural Vibes dance and I know they did it for the opening bout, but I wanted to see it again.
If you’ve seen the previous match between the teams, then it’s pretty similar with the mixture of comedy and other spots throughout the match, but no Fujii hitting Saito with a water bottle again, he knew better or we get that face again. That’s what I love about Ryo Saito, he’s not only hilarious, but he tells a story with his comedy and wrestling, but he knows how to do it so well and that’s why the fans are so behind him when he’s in the ring. The chemistry between Kzy and Genki is probably my favorite of the two out of the whole Natural Vibes unit just by how they do their moves together and the flow of their teamwork. The match was a lot of fun since we got nice spots and humor in here, but Kzy would get payback this time as he does the Skyade Schoolboy on Saito to pick up the win. After the match, Saito would tell Kzy that he wants a match for the Open the Triangle Gate Championships in which Kzy accepted, but no official date for the match yet.
Recommended: Very entertaining match and a ton of fun, worth a view.
Six Man Tag Team Match
MaxiMuM (Big R Shimizu, Jason Lee & Naruki Doi) vs. Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk, Kagetora & Yosuke ♡ Santa Maria)
Review: This is a mostly for hyping up the Open the Twin Gate Championship match as both Yosuke and Kagetora are scheduled to fight Big R and Ben-K for the titles the next day as well and I don’t know why Ben just wasn’t booked for this match instead of being in that match against Kanda since it did nothing for him, but oh well.
When are people gonna learn not to pick up Jason Lee from behind when he’s in his meditating position? Because he’s just gonna Arm Drag you every time you try to pick him up from behind, so stop trying it even though it’s still cool to see regardless. Soon as Yosuke got into the ring and Naruki was tagged in, Jason and Big R just backed away for a moment because they don’t wanna deal with him since they know what he’s about. People may not like the type of gimmick Yosuke is doing, but I personally love it and is a damn good worker on top of that, I’m glad he’s being used more. Very fun match with everyone playing their part and the highlight for moe out of the six here is Kagetora because he started exploding with his offense throughout the match, especially with Jason Lee. There was one cool spot with Big R going for a Powerbomb on Yosuke and it got reversed when he was high into the air Leg Dropping him on the way down, but only got a two count with that one. Big R went to go for his Shot Put on Yosuke, but it got reversed into the Neraiuchi which looked insane as he pinned Big R to get that much-needed momentum for tomorrow’s show.
Recommended: I enjoyed this one a lot, definitely watch.
Six Man Tag Team Match
ANTIAS (Eita, Shingo Takagi & Takashi Yoshida) vs. Over Generation (Dragon Kid, Gamma & Kaito Ishida)
Review: It looks like we’re gonna get a little preview here with a six-man tag between the two units to hype up what’s to come sometime in July, how as to who should disband? That’s really a tough call since both of them should split up, especially with CIMA leaving to help out his Chinese promotion OWE, but ANTIAS has been doing pretty bad lately and wouldn’t mind them disbanding as well, however, the only problem is that they’re really the only heel faction right now and if they did disband, then there’s really no heel team.
Enough with attacking them to go to the outside once the bell rings! Here and there I don’t mind it if it’s spread out or anything, but the fact they did like four in Ben/Kanda that it already made this one feel a bit forced this time and it’s at the point where it’s incredibly annoying. Despite that, the match actually does get good since ANTIAS did get some nice heat into the match with Over Generation getting some strong offense in as well. One funny little spot I liked was when Dragon and Kaito would pin Eita down on the mat while Gamma was on the top turnbuckle and spits water down on him as if he was a little fountain or something and after seeing how Eita did during the whole King of Gate, he deserved it. Something that annoyed me between Eita and Dragon Kid is that they actually did better during their encounter in this match than their actual King of Gate tournament match where it was one of the worst matches in the entire tournament, which is a shame too since they’re both great workers and I hope we can an actual match soon, but we might if it’s for the Open the Brave Gate Championship. When they were going for their last moments in the ring, Dragon would hit the Bible on Eita to get the win for Over Generation.
Recommended: Solid match, worth a watch.
King Of Gate 2018 Final Match
Masato Yoshino vs. YAMATO
Review: Here we are as this is the final round of the King of Gate tournament as it comes down to A Block winner, YAMATO and D Block winner, Masato Yoshino. Both men are no strangers to the Open the Dream Gate Championship also as YAMATO has won it four times while Masato has won it three times. YAMATO defeated Naruki Doi in a fantastic match to advance while Masato defeated Takashi Yoshida to make it here as well. Last year, T-Hawk would be the winner of King of Gate to fight YAMATO who was the champion at the time but failed to capture the title. With YAMATO in the finals, he wants to win the whole thing so he can get that rematch against Mochizuki to try and take back what he feels is rightfully his, but he needs to beat Masato first who hasn’t won that belt in three years. Who needs the win more? Who will win the King of Gate 2018 tournament and who will fight Masaaki Mochizuki tomorrow for the Open the Dream Gate Championship? We’re about to find out, right now.
The match would start off with some slow chain wrestling with Masato actually controlling the majority of it as he would work on YAMATO’s arms for a moment and being smart by just working on that body part mostly since it could cut down his arsenal quite a bit if he damages the arm enough. YAMATO would eventually find a way to get some time to breathe as he went for a Crucifix for a two count but would catch Masato into a Crossface the moment he kicked out, but there would be a rope break. The two would eventually have a chop battle going back and forth, but it looks like YAMATO had the upper hand when he applied a Guillotine choke on Masato to slow him down while wrenching the arms a little bit in the process. Masato would attempt to go for a Reverserana, but he goes to choke YAMATO with his legs while he was over the ropes and while the referee was calling for the five count, Masato would move him over to the other side of the rope to choke him out again before letting go. Masato would get control again as he applies the Black Widow for a moment and turns it into a Sunset Flip for YAMATO to kick out and hits a beautiful yet quick Sling Blade the minute YAMATO got up. Masato would run at YAMATO again only to be caught in a Tombstone position and hits a Fire Thunder Driver for a two count. Masato would apply his Sol Naciente to try and make YAMATO tap out and it almost worked since he fell down almost unconscious, but he got back up and hits the Ragnarok for a two count. Masato would get back up and hits the La Mistica and a Torbellino Crucifix to get the pin as Masato Yoshino has won the King of Gate!
My thoughts on the match was that there were times that it was slow, but around the middle and on is when it started to pick up to be a great match and if it had that flow from beginning to end, then this would’ve been the best match out of the whole tournament and a worthy final, but I would have to give it to YAMATO and Naruki Doi for being the best match of the tournament. Masato winning this one was a shocker for me since I felt like it should’ve been YAMATO to get that anticipated rematch between him and Mochizuki, but I can’t be mad with the result, so congrats to both of these men and we’ll see if Masato will be the one who will dethrone the champion.
Recommended: Definitely worth a watch.
Overall: The show was a rather entertaining one as we had some good matches with one horrible match, but it was a good show for the final and a great main event. Now we find out what happens the next day as we have two title matches to cover.
Favorite Match: Masato Yoshino vs. YAMATO
Least Favorite Match: Ben-K vs. Yasushi Kanda