We have another self-produced show here as last time we did this, we covered Kawada’s Holy War, with a second set for July.
But let’s set our focus on this one, involving arguably the greatest wrestler of all time, Kenta Kobashi. For those that actually don’t know of Kenta Kobashi, he started his career in 1988 at AJPW and would be with the company until 200 when he jumped ship with Misawa to join his company called Pro Wrestling NOAH.
He would stay with NOAH until his retirement in 2013 and has one of the greatest careers in not just in Japan, but in the history of wrestling with having memorable reigns, feuds, and coming back after a long battle with cancer, the guy is a legend and should be considered as such. After his retirement, he has been doing self-produced shows once a year called Fortune Dream and today marks as his fifth show ever since his retirement and they’re normally considered great shows as it attracts a lot of people. He’s given us a great card tonight and let’s not waste any more time and just…dive right in.
Kazumi Kikuta vs. Kotaro Suzuki
Review: First bout is a singles match between Kotaro Suzuki and BJW’s Kazumi Kikuta. Kotaro is a Freelancer who mostly worked for NOAH in his career with sixteen years of experience while Kazumi has had about three years under his belt, but being in the ring with a vet could help him out a lot and especially if he gets the win over him. The match was simple and yet effective since it was mostly strikes and chain wrestling not that there’s anything wrong with it at all. Kotaro would mostly use his strikes on his abdomen and they do work since it helped him be weak at times also. The match is about eight minutes and Kazumi goes for a Lariat but Kotaro ducks it and hits his Tiger Driver for the win.
Recommended: The match is fairly decent, if you like simple stuff then this is for you.
– There was a talk battle between Kenta Kobashi and Masahiro Chono that lasted about twenty minutes and unfortunately I couldn’t find out any info on what was said during the talk battle, but I know one of the topics was one of their battles for the GHC Heavyweight Championship.
Three Way Match
Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura
Review: One of the first big matches booked for the show as we have OZ Academy vs. Stardom vs. Sendai Girls with all three of the biggest stars in their respective promotions and is also one of Io’s last matches before her departure, so it’s gonna be a special one for her and another thing to top this all of is that her sister, Mio Shirai is also apart of the match as the special guest referee. I don’t know the full story, but Io and Mio have been rumored to have some issues with each other and it’s good to see that those are resolved now and they can share the ring one last time. Believe it or not, Mio was also a wrestler at the time for those that don’t know and she was actually pretty good despite being retired now.
Io and Hiroyo would start it off with a test of strength and would invite Meiko to be apart of it, but she instead decides to kick the both of them and just attack the two. You can see Io playing it a bit safe to avoid getting injured before her WWE physical, but that’s perfectly understandable and she still does the majority of her moveset. She would hit Hiroyo with a Frankensteiner for a two count and would do her signature backflip to get away from them and leads to a Dropkick to the outside and she’s not done here as she does a Suicide Dive to the both of them. Io would get Meiko back in the ring for a Missle Dropkick and a Crossface till she had to break it up in which Meiko would start delivering her stiff kicks to Io so she could knock her down and does a cartwheel towards her and landed on her knees directly onto her back. Hiroyo would get back in the ring to try and beat Meiko down, but it backfires with Meiko kicking her into the corner and would proceed to kick her down while Mio would try and break it up to only get pushed down and her sister would strike back at Meiko. Io then goes for a Springboard to only get caught by Hiroyo for a Powerbomb and would do it one more time on top of Meiko as they both kick out.
Hiroyo would get the upper hand over Meiko after a series of punches back and forth and would attempt a German Suplex only for Io to get in and do a Sunset Flip over Hiroyo as she hits her German in the Process. Io goes for her running knees to the corner onto Meki and then hits her Double Underhook Facebuster before hitting her Diving Moonsault Press and looks like this could be it, but Hiroyo picked Io up from behind to hit her Backdrop and Meiki hits Hiroyo with her Death Valley Bomb and Scorpion Rising to go for the finish, but Io breaks it up just in time. All three women are down but Io would get up to hit her Diving Moonsault Press onto Hiroyo and go for the pin, but Meiko pulled her off to hit her Death Valley Bomb and the bell rings meaning the time limit has passed and is now a draw. This was a fantastic match and a great display of how Puroresu Joshi’s wrestling is all about, the only big con was the time limit finish being rather predictable and wish they went with an actual winner since a loss wouldn’t hurt them. After the match, all three of them would shake hands and hug it out and then Io would hug her sister, Mio and pose with her one last time.
Recommended: Definitely give it a watch, great match.
Tag Team Match
Koki Kitahara & Mitsuya Nagai vs. Naomichi Marufuji & Super Tiger
Review: We now have a tag match involving the veterans of the business with Koki and Mitsuya taking on Marufuji and Super Tiger, yes we have Super Tigers also instead of only Tiger Mask and Black Tigers. This is a special match for another reason too as this is not only Koki Kitahara’s 30th anniversary as a wrestler, but this is also considered his retirement match at the same time, so this is a big one for him. The match while nothing special, it’s still a really solid match with Koki and Mitsuya doing heel tactics in the match and trying to rip off Tiger’s mask, Koki even did a Slice Bread in the match and while not perfect, it’s still impressive. The match is about seventeen minutes and Super Tiger gets the win with the Buzzsaw Kick on Koki to end his thirty-year career.
After the match, they would hold a retirement ceremony for Koki as he would thank everyone for all of the support throughout the years and has had a great career. The original Tiger Mask would even come out to present one of his masks in a sealed case for him as everyone takes a picture with Koki and had the ten bell salute for him. Thank you, Koki Kitahara for your career as we’ll never forget you.
Recommended: Solid match, worth a watch.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Go Shiozaki, Yuji Hino & Zeus vs. Akitoshi Saito, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kohei Sato
Review: Something like this when you first glance at it and say this should be the main event, but it isn’t and I will get to that at the actual main event, but this is still a huge six-man tag match between all of them as on one side we got Zeus, Yuji Hino, and Go Shiozaki to take on Akitoshi Saito, Katsuhiko Nakajima, and Kohei Sato. Kohei and Yuji started off the match and of course you got Hino playing too cool with that swagger of his to not care much and then his teammates would get the others into the corners to chop all three of them and then the other team would flip it around to start kicking them and then they’ll brawl to the outside. Hino and Kohei aren’t done with each other as they go over to the commentary booth where Kenta Kobashi and Daisuke Sekimoto are sitting as the two would chop each other right in front of them before bowing to the two out of respect. Akitoshi would then hit Go with a Piledriver on the outside of the ring while Hino and Kohei would get back in the ring now and Hino starts to chop him some more before tagging Zeus in so he could do the same thing before tagging in Go just so they could chop this guys chest, and then Hino gets tagged back in to do it some more and would even accidentally chop Zeus when Kohei ducked and tagged Nakajima in as he starts kicking Hino down.
Nakajima would hit a Missle Dropkick and gets a two count until Hino attempts a chop but Nakajima ducks to kick him in the chest and this would happen quite a few times with Hino starting to put his hands behind his back for Nakajima to kick him, but then Nakajima would mock him to have Hino chop hi which he ducks all of them as the fans boo Nakajima for it, but Hino would laugh it off and slap him in the back of the neck and tag Zeus in who starts to show off his power with his own chops, even do the Kobashi style chops in homage to Kobashi and then does a Gorilla Press Slam to gain momentum, but Nakajima would knock him down as the two tag in Go and Akitoshi. They would start getting stiff with each other with the punches until Go hits his own set of Kobashi style chops to him, but would then get knocked down as Akitoshi, Nakajima, and Kohei would start to give him stiff kicks as payback for all of the chops they’ve done to them and there was a lot of chops. Eventually, the two would start going at it more while the others are outside fight as Go hits his Gowan Lariat for the win.
Recommended: Great tag match, worth a watch.
Tag Team Match
Ayato Yoshida & Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Takuya Nomura & Toru Sugiura
Review: As I said in the last match, the six-man tag or even the retirement match on paper could’ve been your closing matches for this show as one was a retirement match got Kako and the other one was just a match containing some of Japan’s best, but Kobashi has picked these four men to be the main event because he believes that these men are the future of Japanese wrestling and he wants to give them this chance to show that to the world and I love Kobashi for thinking this as I believe this is a smart move, so now let’s see if those four can deliver with the main event spotlight shining on them. We have Toru and Ayato starting the match off with some chain wrestling and the two seem to be pretty even despite Ayato getting the early advantage be doing a Dragon Screw to Toru’s leg while down on the mat and the crowd applauds them as they both get up quick. Kaito would get tagged in now and would start to strike Toru til he got slammed down, but Kaito got back up to knock him down so he could tag in Takuya as the two locked up till they got to the ropes and Kaito would slap Takuya which he replies with some stiff kicks.
What I love about this match is that it’s simple and I don’t mean that in a negative way or anything like that at all, what I mean is that they didn’t need to do anything involving flips, flashy moves, big moves in the beginning, or anything crazy like that since you just had four people in the ring working a regular match and just telling us a story in the ring and showing us that old school puro style of wrestling that we all know and love as these four just match it so well. The only time you see a Crossbody was when Toru would do it to Ayato as a desperation move so he could tag in Takuya to get the hot tag. Also, the interactions between Takuya and Ayato is great with their combination of strikes and reversals with Ayato looking like he was going to do a Hip Toss and would knee him in the face instead and Takuya would deliver a Roundhouse to the head and the crowd cheers once more. The final spots involved Kaito and Toru with Toru hitting a beautiful Spinebuster and they knew when to hit the bigger moves in the match to sell the story of the match more, Toru went for a Moonsault off the top and misses as Kaito would hit a Jackhammer for a two count, but he’s not done as he now goes for a German Suplex Hold for another two count. Kaito is now all fired up and looks to put Toru away, but Toru tries so hard to fight off the Tiger Suplex hold, but it doesn’t work as Kaito hits it for the three count.
After the match, Kenta Kobashi and the people involved in the show would get in the ring for some group photos as Kenta thanked everyone for coming out here to support the show as he looks forward to producing Fortune Dream 6 next year.
Recommended: Fantastic match, worth a watch involving the future of puroresu.
Overall: The show was fantastic from top to bottom as I look forward to seeing these shows once a year since Kenta would always give us something special for us to see and they all delivered in the match. I can’t wait till next year to see what he has in store for us.
Favorite Match: TIE Ayato Yoshida & Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Takuya Nomura & Toru Sugiura and Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura
Least Favorite Match: Kazumi Kikuta vs. Kotaro Suzuki
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.14 ~ 14TH DECEMBER 2018
The endless well of NOAH knowledge, Hisame, bring us updates and news leading up to NOAH’s final show of the year, Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2.
TOKYO SPORTS PURORESU AWARDS 2018
Tokyo Sports announced their nominations for their annual end of year awards. NOAH have not been included since 2016 when Katsuhiko Nakajima won “The Fighting Spirit Award” and Naomichi Marufuji won “Best Bout”.
Although Takashi Sugiura was a runner up nominee in “Outstanding Performance”, this went to Naomichi Marufuji (who has won “Best Bout” in 2006, 2008 and 2016, “Outstanding Performance” in 2006, “Best Tag Team” (with KENTA) in 2003, and “Newcomer Award” in 1999).
Kaito Kiyomiya has won his first award for “Fighting Spirit”.
Kaito Kiyomiya, being Kiyomiya, at first couldn’t believe it. He thought he had either been nominated for “Best Newcomer”, despite having debuted three years ago, or that someone was joking.
YO-HEY IN IPW
IPW have announced that YO-HEY is the second NOAH wrestler to compete in their Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament on Tuesday 15th January 2019 in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.
Tickets can be bought here
YO-HEY said when RATELS were due to come over in 2018 that he was excited as this would be his first time in England, and he wanted to meet Mr. Bean.
Yes. I guess a man described as a “childish buffoon who brings various unusual schemes and contrivances to everyday tasks” would get on very well with YO-HEY.
Expect another two NOAH names to (hopefully) be announced.
POWER HALL 2018
NOAH wrestlers have been announced for “Power Hall Year End Special” on December 28th.
Masa Kitamiya and Kaito Kiyomiya will be in “Timeless Masterpeice” (main event) teaming with Riki Chosu & Tatsumi Fujinami (Kitamiya) and NOSAWA and Kasai (Kiyomiya)
Katsuhiko Nakajima will be in a four man tag and renew his rivalry with Takuya Nomura in “Ultimate Collision”
Heisei Ishingun will reunite (Akitoshi Saito and AKIRA)
HAKATA STALENE CLOSED FOR REPAIRS
Hakata Stalene has been closed for renovation until March 2019. There is some concern that when it reopens it will not be used for puro, which will be not only disaster for the local residents, but promotions who come to the area too.
YO-HEY & HAYATA OUTSIDE PARTICIPATION
YO-HEY & HAYATA will be appearing in Kushinbo Kamen’s New Year Produce on the 28th December, and they recorded this video message.
Question: how can someone covering their face by a hood, STILL look SO PHOTOGENIC?
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH wrapped up a short (compared to the frenetic pace of last year) “Winter Navigation 2018”. Sadly due to the snowy weather rolling into the provinces (and I think as one fan said, not having a streaming service which severely impacts as people don’t sometimes know what is going on), attendances have not been good with only one night in five being sold out.
Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima announced that they have split from “The Super New Generation Army” and stand as a team called “The Mid Generation” as they both debuted in 2004; so despite being part of the “Golden Era”, they stand now in the era between the vets and the younger heavyweights. This makes more sense for both of them, Shiozaki in particular who was in a grey area being too old for the younger heavyweights and too young for the veterans.
I think this was probably always NOAH’s intention to have them break away from the others at some point, especially now Kiyomiya is not so dependent on Shiozaki and needs less input. The GHC Heavyweight tag championships that Shiozaki has held recently have been for him to get other people (Kotoge & Kiyomiya) over in the heavyweight division, so this is one is for him to enjoy with a partner who certainly needs no favors.
Although the two are far too green to be involved in any storylines (as much as NOAH has them) or heated feuds, Kinya Okada and Yoshiki Inamura are slowly building into a feud, with Inamura refusing to shake hands with Okada the second time he lost to him and leaving the ring. Looking at the size of them, these two are going to be ultra heavyweights one day.
Due to injury, Chinese athlete, Chang Yufeng, has been pulled from the NOAH cards and is working ringside duties. This means that Lin Dong-Xuan has had his first singles matches and faced Tadasuke on the 9th in the resulting card shake-up.
None of the champions or their challengers have managed to directly get the win over each other in any of the pre-matches.
Yuji Hino made a definite impact (a Kotoge shaped impact) when Shiozaki and Nakajima clashed with himself and Taniguchi in their one and only pre-match by giving him “The Fucking Bomb”. Hino (whom Nakajima has called The Hooligans “pet pig”) has not been in NOAH due to his schedule since the 9th December. Nakajima says he will “silence his noisy oinking” at “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2”
Hino then went on to insult most of The Hooligans (aside from KAZMA SAKAMOTO and Mitsuya Nagai). He’s probably not going to take well to being called names either.
Kotaro Suzuki said something to the effect that Daisuke Harada walked in and took the seat he had left empty. Harada said this untrue as he came here from Osaka Pro, and that no one wants his damn seat anyway, they all have their own. Harada said he cannot afford to lose in Yokohama, after all, much more is on the line than just the belt.
Suzuki’s last comment before the title match is that people should cheer for Harada (who he called “truly my puppet”) because he was going to crush him and take everything from him.
Hajime Ohara hinted that there is a mini generational war going on among the juniors with Minoru Tanaka and Hi69 having the tag belts, and Kotaro Suzuki having the GHC Junior. There was tension between The Backbreakers and the GHC Junior Tag Champions at the match signing with Kumano and Tanaka squaring up.
Minoru Tanaka likened the title match in Yokohama to be like a barbecue with butter falling into the fire, and told Hajime Ohara on the last night that he was the “burnt scum” of it when Ohara sarcastically told him to enjoy the taste of his barbecue.
Takashi Sugiura and Kaito Kiyomiya continued to stalemate, with Sugiura telling Kiyomiya that he had better bring his energy to Yokohama. In a post match promo on the 12th he said that he was going to “win a way that he cannot stand up” either by knockout, pin or referee stop.
GHC BELT NEWS
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
- GHC Junior Champion: Kotaro Suzuki
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69
All titles will be challenged for on the 16th December at “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2”
Kaito Kiyomiya will challenge for the GHC Heavyweight
Daisuke Harada will challenge for the GHC Junior
Yuji Hino & Maybach Taniguchi will challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag
The Backbreakers (Hajime Ohara & Hitoshi Kumano) will challenge for the GHC Junior Tag
~ President Uchida told Katsuhiko Nakajima that “I don’t kick people, and laugh” when discussing teams for Masao Inoue’s bowling tournament
~ Atsushi Kotoge got his cape back that Yoshinari Ogawa threw into the audience at Korakuen Hall
~ YO-HEY had planned to go buffo to use the dojo tanning machine, but unsurprisingly, December is too cold and the dojo doesn’t have much in the way of either heating or air-con, and he apologized for the inconvenience of his not getting naked. Please let that be the end of his story.
~ Atsushi Kotoge started waving The Hooligans flag around (they had left it behind), his cloak also broke and Kumano took a secret picture of him fixing it.
~ Naomichi Marufuji has been able to start very light training. Makoto Hashi (old dojo friend from the AJPW days) has been helping him with physiotherapy (he trained as one when he retired from NOAH), and they talked of old times during the rehabilitation sessions.
~ Everyone in NOAH has a nickname, Kinya Okada’s is apparently “Oka-chan”
~ Atsushi Kotoge was scolded for timekeeping by Go Shiozaki and then Takashi Sugiura for taking too long rushing around the hall
~ This was apparently Tadasuke’s first time in a NOAH ring against Takashi Sugiura (he showed “amazing power” when he lariated Sugiura according to a fan)
~ Kinya Okada gave a post match interview for his debut, he says he admires everyone, but he has no hero. He wants to be his own wrestler.
~ Hitoshi Kumano has picked up a nasty looking black eye during the last three days of “Winter Navigation 2018”.
~ The top of Kinya Okada’s head and hair vanished on the entry screen into the blue background due to a glitch, making him look like one of the “Coneheads”.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya celebrated his third anniversary in wrestling on the 9th December
~ Masao Inoue told Quiet Storm not to chop him as “it hurts as its cold”.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya really likes tomatoes (says he will be the only person eating them at a buffet, his fridge is full of them, ate them at an interview instead of an apple).
~ Hi69 celebrated his 37th birthday on the 12th December.
~ Katsuhiko Nakajima has had a new t-shirt released…
KING SHAMELESS CORNER
He’s been good this week. Expect that to change after he’s had to behave himself at Yokohama.
The event on the 7th December, will be broadcast on the 15th December
The event on the 16th December, will be broadcast on the 22nd December
English translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography “Heir to The Ark“
(Chapters 1 and 2 are complete, 3 is currently ongoing)
Review of “Anything is possible ~ The Eddie Edwards Story“
“I have been with Noah for eighteen years, I have worn the belt and carried Noah” ~ mini interview with Takashi Sugiura.
“I will change the scene with the win on the 16th December” ~ interview with Kaito Kiyomiya
“I will not be beaten” ~ Kaito Kiyomiya pledges generation change by taking the GHC
“Come At Me You Bastards” ~ Kenoh’s column (December 2018)
Image credit ~ NOAH GHC
Dragon Gate Fantastic Gate 2018 Results & Review (12/4/2018)
Mathew brings us more coverage with…Dragon Gate? Well I suppose something big did happen, even though King of Gate was still horrid. But hey, let’s see if PAC’s involvement helps things out.
We now return to Dragon Gate to take a small break from the AJPW Real World Tag League, which you should check out if you haven’t just yet since it’s been a great tournament.
As of right now, this will be my last Dragon Gate coverage for the year due to scheduling with the holidays and work, plus I need to get ready for matches of the year at the end of the month. We got a big show today since we got Open the Dream Gate Championship defended against PAC.
So let us see how things will turn out as we…dive right in.
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Dragon Dia & Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk, Kagetora & YAMATO) vs. Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito & Super Shisa
Review: Our opening contest is an eight-man tag match with Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito, and Super Shisa taking on three members of Tribe Vanguard, Kagetora and the Open the Twin Gate Champions, BxB Hulk and YAMATO along with Dragon Dia. Dragon Dia is a new wrestler in Dragon Gate as he is also considered to be Dragon Kid’s new apprentice whenever he decides to hang it up. Let’s see how Dragon Dia does and will he help Tribe Vanguard get the victory or will it be the other team?
The match was short and incredibly basic with nothing really too much to make the crowd seem overly invested in it in my opinion. Half of the match is pretty much Dia paying his dues in the ring while also getting a bit of offense into the match, so how did he do? From what I saw out of him, I thought he does have potential to be how Dragon Kid was but he has a long way to go if he wants to reach that level eventually. Dia did take a beating from the other team and even had Gamma kinda waterboard him while he was taking a Mexican Stretch. Tribe Vanguard would do stuff for a little bit into the match and they worked well with each other and not with Dia since he’s not really apart of their unit. Dia would get to have Fujii for a pinfall but he kicked out and hits Dia with a Lariat to end his momentum. Fujii would hit a Chokeslam onto Dia as Ryo would do his SaiRyo Rocket to get the pinfall victory.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Hyo Watanabe, Kota Minoura, Masaaki Mochizuki & Yuki Yoshioka vs. Hiroshi Yamato & MaxiMuM (Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida & Naruki Doi)
Review: We get another eight-man tag match to continue this show as Masaaki Mochizuki is in action with Hyo Watanabe, Kota Minoura, and Yuki Yoshioka as the four take on Hiroshi Yamato and three MaxiMuM members, Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, and Naruki Doi. While the opening match wasn’t really something that was memorable, I’m sure we’ll get some action in this one to pick stuff up. Which one of these four will win?
I’m still new to Hiroshi Yamato, but I’m still digging his singing type of gimmick and think it’s pretty funny. This one was a much better match than the opening contest since all of the competitors were more involved in this We had another small encounter with Mochizuki and Lee, and I still wanna see that match happen but I know we probably won’t get a singles match with them any time soon. Yuki is someone that keeps growing on me whenever I see him involved in these tag matches as he does show signs of progress and I hope to see big things from him in 2019. Jason Lee would try to do his taunt in the ring when he’s in his meditative state and rolled up Mochizuki for a two count and when Mochizuki would try to do the same taunt, Jason would just kick his head. Yuki would block Naruki’s Bakatare Sliding Kick but takes a German from Yamato, a Facebuster from Naruki, and a kick along with a German from Lee as they break the hold. Yuki would attempt a flash pin onto Kaito but Kaito would quickly maneuver out of it until Yuki pinned him back down as he gets the surprise victory!
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Shun Skywalker vs. U-T
Review: We only have two singles matches in this show and it’s time to get our first one underway as we have Shun Skywalker taking on U-T. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Shun in a singles match since the King of Gate Tournament and this might be the first time I’ve seen U-T in a singles match, so this is definitely a nice surprise since both men can go. Which one of these two will get the win?
If you were expecting a highflying type of match between these two, you don’t get that type of match here and while it did throw me off, I was honestly okay with it since they still did give us a technical match. For my first time seeing U-T in one on one action, I gotta say that seeing him more ground-based in this match was very surprising in a good way too since he’s very crisp in his ability. Shun Skywalker still continues to impress me every time I see him in the ring, so seeing both of these men deliver in this match made me feel very satisfied.
The match was also very even here and it looked like Shun was going to get him, but U-T would catch him with the Skayde to try and make him tap out to the hold until Shun would roll out of the hold and hits the Moonsault Press for a two count. Shun would hit a Reverse Suplex and goes to the top rope to go for another Moonsault as U-T puts his knees up before Shun could land. U-T would apply the Skayde once again but Shun would refuse to tap out of the hold once again and the bell rings to show that there’s a time limit draw. Huge ovation for these two in this match and I hope this isn’t the end for them.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Six Man Tag Team Match
Dragon Kid, Bandido, & Flamita vs. DAGA & R.E.D. (Eita & Ben-K)
Review: Our next match is a six-man tag team match with Dragon Kid teaming up with Flamita and Bandido is they take on R.E.D. We found out that Dragon Kid and Eita are going to have one final match at Final Gate in a hair vs mask match, but I’m not sure if the Open the Brave Gate Championship is on the line yet. But this is sure to be an exciting tag bout and let’s see if R.E.D wins or the luchadors take it.
R.E.D starting the attack on their opponents before the match started in their typical heel fashion. The face team would start to make a comeback with Bandido and Flamita diving to the outside onto their opponents. Seeing Kid, Flamita, and Bandido team up worked out very well here with their Luchador agility with Bandido once again being on fire in this match and if he’s someone you follow, what the hell is wrong with you? Get on that shit right away if you like Lucha Libre. It’s a shame Ben didn’t win the belt but I know he’ll bounce back into something soon, maybe going back to the Open the Twin Gate picture with Big R. Eita and Dragon Kid going back at it develops more fuel into their story and I actually can’t wait for it to end and not because it felt like it went on for too long, but with the new stipulation they added to their match, it just adds a lot more involved for their eventual conclusion. After Flamita and Bandido did their tag team combo with Bandido hitting a Phoenix Splash after being flipped over, Eita and Kid are alone in the ring again. Dragon jumped off the ropes and got caught for a Super Kick and would go to finish off Kid but he hits the Bible onto Eita to get the surprise victory!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi, Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka & YASSHI) vs. R.E.D. (Big R Shimizu, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Yoshida & Yasushi Kanda)
Review: Our next match is another eight-man tag team match with R.E.D members, Big R Shimizu, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Yoshida, and Yasushi Kanda taking on Natural Vibes members, Genki Horiguchi, Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka, and Brother YASSHI. Recently, Natural Vibes broke the record for most title defenses with the Open the Triangle Gate Championships and they still look to hold onto the titles for a long time to keep the record around more. Will Natural Vibes get the win or will it be R.E.D?
R.E.D once again attacking Natural Vibes before the bell would ring and both teams would start fighting to the outside of the ring and into the crowd near the bleachers until they got back into the ring as we get the match started now. The match felt a little too short for this type of match but I thought it was still solid enough for a quick little exhibition type of match. We had a little encounter with Takashi and Kzy during the middle of it where they would go back and forth and it did seem like Takashi was gonna win this little back and forth until Kzy hits his running Elbow Smash onto him. Natural Vibes started to get the shine in the match when Susumu hits an Exploder Suplex onto Kanda off the middle rope and Kzy tops it off with an Elbow Drop while YASSHI hits a Diving Headbutt for a two count. Members were taking each other out left and right until it was Genki and Takashi in the match now as he does his Backslide From Heaven to go for the pin but Big R picked him up in a Wheel Barrel position for a German Suplex. Big R would quickly pick him up for him and Takashi to hit a Doomsday Device and KAZMA topped it off with a Package Piledriver to give R.E.D the win.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Open the Dream Gate Championship
Masato Yoshino (c) vs. PAC
Review: We now have our main event of the evening as Masato Yoshino defends his Open the Dream Gate Championship against PAC. This will be PAC’s second singles match in Dragon Gate ever since he made his return to the company and while his match was disappointing, he still wanted to make the challenge to prove himself. Only one gaijin won the Open the Dream Gate Championship and that man was Ricochet, so if PAC wins then he will be the second one to win it. Masato though won’t go down without a fight here as he defends Dragon Gate against this man. Will Masato retain once again or will we have a new champion?
While both R.E.D and MaxiMuM are surrounding the ring, none of them interfere in the match and I’m glad too because it would’ve been a little bit too much in this match, plus PAC needs to prove himself that he can defeat Masato on his own without any help. I thought this match was a great title defense and definitely PAC’s better match compared to his one with Flamita since this one had a nicer pace that didn’t make it drag out a bit at all and he played the heel persona well like how he did in WWE when he was considered the King of the Cruiserweights, but he’s now known as the Bastard Child in Dragon Gate. I think I liked Masato’s match against Ben-K a little bit better, this one was almost as good in my opinion. One spot I really did like was when Masato went for the Slingblade off the top rope and PAC just flipped out of it and it just looked more smooth. Also, the Corkscrew PAC did to the outside looks great despite him shooting himself a little bit too far since most of the people were a bit too close.
PAC pulled off a lot of power moves like the Pop-up Powerbomb and it looked like he had Masato right where he wanted him as he went to the top rope to go for the Black Arrow but he was able to catch himself once Masato moved out of the way and hits the Another Space and then would hit the first Torbellino as he calls for the submission finish to apply the Sol Naciente, but he wouldn’t hold it for long this time as PAC picked him up for the Powerbomb for a two count. PAC seems to be getting back control now as he would try to go for the Black Arrow once more time but Masato picked his knees up to make PAC land on it and rolled him up for a two count. Masato wouldn’t give PAC time to rest as he hits a second Torbellino and applies the Sol Naciente once again but PAC was unable to power out of it this time around as he falls onto the mat unable to move for a bit until his foot landed on the rope to break the hold. Both men would have bursts of energy in the last stand as Masato lands another Torbellino and PAC gets up quickly to hit Masato with a German Suplex and gets him up for a Powerbomb but Masato would Sunset Flip over him for a two count. PAC would hit a Lariat onto Masato to knock him down before hitting the German Suplex Hold for a two count, and it appears PAC has him right where he wants him as he went to the top rope to the Black Arrow and he connects this time for a three count and we have a new champion!
You heard right, PAC is the new Open the Dream Gate Champion. Part of me feels like it’s a bit too soon to win the belt since he just came back a couple of months ago but at the same time, they wanna capitalize on this while he’s still red hot since leaving WWE and it could potentially open new eyes to the product since most fans knew him as Neville. So in a business aspect, it’s a good idea and hopefully, it can lead to what the company is looking for. Let’s see how things turn out.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Overall: Aside from the two singles matches being the highlight of the show, nothing else really stood out with the multi-man tag matches throughout the night. U-T and Shun did great work together and PAC had a much better match than he did with Flamita and we got a new champion out of it to bring in a new era for Dragon Gate.
Favorite Match: Masato Yoshino vs. PAC
Least Favorite Match: Dragon Dia & Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk, Kagetora & YAMATO) vs. Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito & Super Shisa