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Dragon Gate King of Gate 2018 Semi-Finals Results & Review (6/1/2018)

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Welcome back to Dragon Gate coverage as we are now at the semi-finals of the King of Gate tournament where we have our four block winners where it’s now just single elimination matches.

Our four finalists are YAMATO (A Block), Takashi Yoshida (B Block), Naruki Doi (C Block), and Masato Yoshino (D Block). Which of these four will move on to the final round and become one step closer of getting an Open the Dream Gate opportunity? Well let’s find out as we…dive right in and cover this whole show.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Ben-K, Hyo Watanabe & Yuki Yoshioka vs. Genki Horiguchi, YASSHI & Shachihoko BOY

Review: We open our show up with a six man tag between Ben-K, Hyo, and Yuki as they take on two members of Natural Vibes and Shachihoko BOY with a nice little exhibition without all their units to give the fans something to enjoy. This match really wasn’t about Ben, Genki, or YASSHI as this was about the other three mostly to showcase what they could do in the ring and I gotta say that those three really did impress me a lot in the match, think the one that stood out for me a bit more was Yuki Yoshioka. Yuki and BOY had a great back and forth near the end, but Yuki would roll him up with a very nice Gannosuke Clutch to pick up the win for him, Ben, and Hyo.

Recommended: Wasn’t bad at all, good for a view.

 

Tag Team Match
Masaaki Mochizuki & Shun Skywalker vs. Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk & U-T)

Review: Shun Skywalker is now ready to team up with our current Open the Dream Gate Champion, Masaaki Mochizuki to take one two members of Tribe Vanguard. It looked like Shun changed his attire a little bit along with some colors, but still don’t know how I feel about the full body suit.

Hulk and U-T would attack Shun before the bell rang, but it didn’t last long as Shun and U-T get right into it. Mochizuki and Hulk would try to go back and forth with their kicks as Mochizuki would just dodge all of them and even kip up whenever he made himself fall to the ground as we appear to be in a stalemate and Mochizuki gives Hulk some props. There was a cool little spot where Shun would toss over both U-T and Hulk over the ropes and they both kicked Shun down while U-T jumps over the ropes to hit Shun with a Codebreaker and it looked awesome. Mochizuki delivering some stuff kicks and then Shun gets the win for his team as he hits the Ashura on U-T.

Recommended: Decent match with some nice spots. So up to you.

 

Tag Team Match
MaxiMuM (Big R Shimizu & Jason Lee) vs. Tribe Vanguard (Kagetora & Yosuke ♡ Santa Maria)

Review: Tribe Vanguard is up again, as they take on two members of MaxiMuM and all four of these men were in the King of Gate tournament.

Jason and Kagetora had a nice fast pace back and forth sequence with Jason getting the step ahead of him with his signature Arm Drag which lead to Yosuke coming in to feel up Jason’s chest from behind when he wasn’t looking and went to kiss him, but Jason avoided it to tag Big R in so he could scare Yosuke off. There would be a few times where Yosuke would try to knock Big R down the dropkicks and shoulder blocks, but those wouldn’t work for a while til he went to kick his leg out to flip Big R over, now he looks to try and pick Big R up for a Scoop Slam only for Big R to fall on him. I liked both team ups here since they both had a nice combination of moves that just meshed off of their styles together to make some interesting moves happen in here. Kagetora got the hot tag as he starts coming in bursting with energy mostly on Big R and just does his best to get that needed momentum. Yosuke would go to the top rope and fall down to try and kiss Jason, but Jason pushed him up to make him fall down into a Cutter, then he would have Big R do his signature splash only for him to miss. Kagetora would take advantage of this and hits his Gurumakakami on Big R to get the win for Tribe Vanguard. With a clean win over one half of the Open the Twin Gate Champions, this could mean that Kagetora and Yoksuke could have a future title match coming up if they keep this up.

Recommended: Solid match, worth a view.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Natural Vibes (Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka & Punch Tominaga) vs. Don Fuji, Ryo Saito & K-ness

Review: We get Natural Vibes up next in another six man tag match as they take on Don, Saito, and K-ness and now we get Natural Vibes doing their entrance dance and still won’t get tired of it because it just matches so well with the music that it’s hard to not enjoy it.

Saito would get checked on by the referee and then it led to Don Fuji slapping him for some reason unless it was to help him focus, but it was funny and Kzy would have Punch and Susumu playfully do it to him as well and got the crowd laughing. The match is more of a comedy match it appears with Saito and Kzy starting it off with some rumor while trying to knock each other down with a shoulder tackle til eventually Kzy had the advantage. There was one spot in the match where Susumu would pin Saito and a water bottle gets thrown into the ring by Ruji and it accidentally hit Saito’s leg and he just makes this weird face at him while Don looks down in disappointment, it’s something that you need to see. The comedy would slow down for now as Natural Vibes would start doing some tag team maneuvers on Saito to keep working on him until he made the hot tag to Don Fuji, and he starts off strong til he’accidentally’ hits Saito again and feel like it’s on purpose for comedy purposes. Kzy would slingshot Punch into Saito for a Spear and that looked awesome. Susumu would knocked Don Fuji down and left Saito in the ring to hit a surprise Dragon Suplex to pick up the win for his team in an upset.

Recommended: I thought it was pretty entertaining and definitely give it a watch.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
ANTIAS (Eita, Shingo Takagi & Yasushi Kanda) vs. Gamma, Mondai Ryu & Kaito Ishida

Review: ANTIAS has been pretty underwhelming aside from Shingo Takagi. Yasushi and Eita have had terrible performances and have been pulling a lot more Suzuki-Gun, where there would be too much interference in ties that it’s not even needed at all and it’s annoying when it’s over done, it’s a shame too since Eita is also a really good worker and just his tournament matches have been so bad.

The tag match started with a brawl to the outside and felt like I’ve seen one earlier in the show, so doing it again really doesn’t do it for me since once is enough. The match was fairly decent since it had nice teamwork with the members of each one, few good spots, but still not a whole lot to really catch my attention. I thought for sure ANTIAS would get the obvious win here, but I’m glad I was wrong with Gamma would hit Eita with a kendo stick for Kaito to get an opening, hitting him with a Roundhouse Kick to get the win.

Recommended: This one was kinda skippable.

 

King Of Gate 2018 Semi Final Match
Masato Yoshino vs. Takashi Yoshida

Review: We are ready for the semi finals to begin as we start off with the winner of D Block, Masato Yoshino taking on the winner of B Block, Takashi Yoshida. I am fine with Masato making it this far, but I’m a bit disappointed that Takashi made it this far since his performance was pretty underwhelming in the entire block and felt like Jason Lee deserved to move up since he was the highlight of the weak block.

Takashi doing the smart thing at the beginning with using his strength to try and overpower Masato while Masato would try to outsmart him by working on his arm to wear him down, but doesn’t last long since there’s another outside spot with Takashi using chairs on Masato and threw him onto a pile of chairs placed on the ring apron by Shingo. Takashi would then choke Masato with part of his wrist band to weaken him a little to hit a rather nice Blackhole Slam, but only for a two count. Masato would finally get the upper hand as he went back to working his arms with a few La Misticas and would do his variation of a choke while holding his arms and his legs around his neck, but Takashi picked him up for a Powerbomb.

Takashi would then spit green mist into Masato’s eyes to give him enough time to hit a Fire Thunder, but Masato would kick out once more! The last couple of minutes of the match start to get intense as Masato would go for a Tilt-a-Whirl which lead into rolling him up for the Speed Star and Masato gets the upset! Masato winning was the right call and definitely earned the right to get this far in the tournament as he now goes to the finals on June 9th against the winner of the main event.

Recommended: Much better than expected near the end, worth a view.

 

King Of Gate 2018 Semi Final Match
Naruki Doi vs. YAMATO

Review: Now that we have Masato Yoshino going to the final round, it is now time to see who will be joining him. On A Block, we have YAMATO who defeated Ben-K to make it this far and on C Block, we have Naruki Doi who was actually undefeated in his respected block and definitely enough momentum to carry over to his next match, but will it be enough?

One thing I wanna say about the match aside from it being the best match of the entire tournament so far is that I loved how nicely balanced it is. I’m not talking about just the story in the match, but how well paced it was with when to give that extra bit of excitement, when to slow it down, and when to kick it into high gear near the end of it, plus both YAMATO and Naruki getting both equal amount of offense in the match where they both have reversals for different moves and one gets the upper hand, but in a moment later, the other one would get the advantage this time.

YAMATO is arguably Dragon Gate’s best worker aside from a few people like Mochizuki, Shingo, Ben, etc, but he has that nice overall balance of a wrestler and it’s no secret why he was so successful in the company for so long. Naruki is someone I consider very underrated in the promotion since this was the best singles match I’ve seen him in for a while now and just shows you how good he is when you see him in one on one action outside of just tag matches. A lot of the stuff they did here just flowed beautifully with Naruki hitting a lot of desperation moves near the end of the bout since he kept getting so close to getting that victory that he could almost taste it.

Naruki started off his desperation with first hitting an Avalanche Leg Trap Fisherman’s Buster off of the second rope to only get a two count as he now tries to do his combination with both moves the Noshigami and his Bakatare Sliding Kick to try and put YAMATO away, but it still wasn’t good enough for him to get the win. With Naruki starting to get even more desperate, he would lose focus with YAMATO finally hitting the Gallaria for another near fall as both of these men won’t quit. YAMATO would then call for the Ragnarok which he hits in the middle of the ring and would then punch his ticket to the finals with a victory or the valiant effort of Naruki Doi.

Both of these men deserve a round of applause for the performance that they both gave us, but the right man won even though I wouldn’t be mad if either of them won the match. YAMATO has now punched his ticket to go to the finals on June 9th as he now fights MaxiMuM member, Masato Yoshino on June 9th. Both of these men have earned this spot in the finals, may the better man win, and I’m very excited to see how this match plays out.

Recommended: The best match of the tournament so far, definitely watch it.

 

Overall: Aside from two mediocre matches, the rest of the card was solid and I wish we had more quality matches from the rest of the tournament like we did with our final two matches on this show, the main event is definitely something people should find the time to sit down and watch from the beginning to the end. This made me excited from the finals despite the majority of the tournament being lackluster for various reasons.

Favorite Match: Naruki Doi vs. YAMATO

Least Favorite Match: ANTIAS (Eita, Shingo Takagi & Yasushi Kanda) vs. Gamma, Mondai Ryu & Kaito Ishida

Score: 7/10

See you all for the final round!


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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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