Welcome back to Stardom and despite the previous showing being Sapporo Fes, this is still part of the Shining Stars tour.
Technically, this is day two leading to Io’s retirement and this one we surprisingly have the World of Stardom Championship on the line here, so this should be an interesting bout along with having a stacked show today, so let’s just…dive right in.
Leo Onozaki vs. Shiki Shibusawa
Review: Last time I covered Stardom, I decided to make a little game with Leo Onozaki with her cutter as I write down how many times she’ll do the move in her matches since she can either do a bunch of them or a few while still not doing a whole lot outside of that and she only did two in her last match, so lets see if she beats that when she fights Shiki. This match really doesn’t have a whole lot to talk about since it was pretty much chaining, dropkicks, cutters, and bulldogs, oh my! But that’s really it and another thing Leo did was what looked like a Rolling Armbar, but she rolled her up a pin first and once Shiki kicked out, Leo would apply the submission. Shiki would hit her Missle Dropkick a couple minutes after that to get the win.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 16, 2018
Leo’s Cutter Counter: 2
Hanan vs. Natsuko Tora
Review: Oh hey, Hanan’s back as it’s been a while since we last saw her compete in a match here as she takes on Natsuko Tora, so let’s see how she fairs up. It looked like they were about to shake hands here and Hanan decides to kick Tora in the midsection and starts showing her aggressive side by going all out right away. I think she’s showed the most offense out of the rest of the younger Joshi wrestlers as she was able to do some submission hols, STO’s, and even almost get an upset victory with her roll-up, but Tora would still kick out of it and while Hanan showed a valiant effort, she would get caught in a Spinebuster and Natsuko would hit a Splash off the ropes to score the victory over Hanan. Nice try, kid and I hope to see more progression out of you soon.
Recommended: It was average, so this one is all up to you.
Three Way Tag Team Match
Deonna Purrazzo & Zoe Lucas vs. Jungle Kyona & Kaori Yoneyama vs. Hazuki & Natsu Sumire
Review: We got a three-way tag match this time involving two units such as JAN and Oedo Tai, and we also got Deonna and Zoe teaming up for this one. Natsu said the last time she and Hazuki teamed up, it was the greatest match in pro wrestling history and I for one believe them, why would you ever question them in the first place? Morons and also the Oedo pupper is there so automatically eight stars…suck it, Dave.
— Oedo Tai Gifs (@OedoTaiGifs) June 21, 2018
Deonna, Hazuki, and Kaori started the match off and it was going pretty well since they all had nice little counters like Hazuki jumping over Kaori as Deonna caught her for a German and would escape it to roll Deonna up but Kaori would roll Hazuki up once Deonna kicked out and all three of them stood up for a stalemate and once they tagged their partners in, it started to become a bit of a cluster fuck. I mean it when I say that the majority of the match was pretty much all over the place from time to time. Zoe did better in this match than her previous matches here and that’s not really saying much though. Natsu and Hazuki did team up pretty well as well as JAN as they would hit their tag team stuff when they needed to. Jungle looked like she was about to take out Hazuki for the win but she was able to roll out the ring in time with Deonna to sneak up behind Jungle to hit a German Suplex for a two count. Kaori and Jungle would kick down Deonna and Zoe and they attempted a charge in on one of them, but Zoe ducked causing Kaori and Jungle to hit each other instead. Hazuki would hit a Codebreaker on Zoe to go for a pin, but the pin gets broken up as Natsu would whip Deonna to get her back outside while Hazuki hits a poor Michinoku Driver and the Atomic Bombs Away to give Oedo Tai the win.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 20, 2018
Recommended: It was an average match but had cool spots and Natsu says it’ll be the greatest match ever and I will still believe her
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid & Tam Nakano vs. AZM, Io Shirai, Konami & Momo Watanabe
Review: This will be the last time Io Shirai would be teaming up with her fellow Queen’s Quest members as she has two shows left with Stardom as one of them is their traditional gauntlet and her final one is a surprise we’ll get to when I cover it soon. This will also be the last time she’ll be fighting STARS in a tag team match either and wants her last night with Queen’s Quest to count because Io is trusting them with her faction with Momo now the leader of it.
AZM and Starlight start it off as they have a little score to settle due to a draw at the previous show and I don’t mind since I love their work together since they’re two of the best in that division. I love how they do their Lucha style beginning with doing arm drags and jumping over each other, but AZM would offer her hand to Starlight and would attack her which signals Queen’s Quest to run out and attacked STARS from the ring apron and then they all team up on Starlight ending with Io hitting a Running Dropkick to the turnbuckle. Momo gets tagged in next and starts to work on Starlight for a moment until she tagged Io in as she starts attacking Starlight and does her Moonsault landing on her knees on top of Starlight and then tags in Konami and delivers a stiff kick to the face and goes to attack some more, but Starlight would reverse her and hits a Standing Moonsault which gives her enough time to tag in Saki.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 21, 2018
Saki would start to beat down Konami in which AZM tries to help her out, but backfires when they’re both on the mat as Io and Momo come in to help, but Tam and Mayu run in to get them on their knees so Mayu and Saki ran towards them to hit a dropkick on both of them while landing on AZM and Konami, that was a cool spot. Tam gets tagged in now and would do some damage to Konami before tagging Mayu in while Momo gets tagged in as well with Mayu normally one-upping her throughout their time together in the ring until Momo actually gets an opening and hits a Suplex for a two count. This gives Queen’s Quest a chance to attack STARS from the apron again as Momo hits the Somato on Mayu for a two count and that was a close call and would hit another one for another two count, but now tags in Io as Saki gets into the mix now. Saki actually hits the Killswitch and Queen’s Quest broke it up before they could get the three count. Tam and Mayu would hit a Double Dropkick to AZM and Momo and just about everyone is on the outside as Mayu looks to do a Splash off the top rope and it appears as if she landed on her fellow STARS members by accident. Io would get Saki back into the ring as all four members of Queen’s Quest would hit Saki with a Dropkick in stereo and then Momo slams Saki down for good measure as Io hits her Diving Moonsault Press for the pinfall as Queen’s Quest wins it. Io would pose with Queen’s Quest after the match one last time as they ended it on a high note for them, now the rest is up to Momo to lead them.
Recommended: Very good match, worth the watch.
World Of Stardom Title Match
Toni Storm (c) vs. Kagetsu
Review: The last time Toni defended her World of Stardom Championship was against Mayu Iwatani on April 1st and I thought for sure there that Mayu would reclaim that title and it looked like I was wrong. In my first Stardom coverage where we had Toni’s team taking on Oedo Tai, I assumed Kagetsu was gonna be the next challenger when she came out with the fake belt to mock and and three months later, the match actually happens with no official announcement that I’ve heard of and I’ll take it since Kagetsu needs her chance to shine now that she lost the Goddesses or Stardom Championships and now has a chance for a solo run in Oedo Tai while the other members go for the rest of the gold and Hana betters herself in Mexico for the next three months. It’s make or break for Kagetsu since she did lose to Io Shirai for the Wonder of Stardom Championship last month and is now hoping to bounce back to try and dethrone Toni Storm.
The two start off with some chain wrestling as they both appear to be going back and forth and first it looked like Toni had control of it, but Kagetsu would reverse it around to come out on top for a moment until Toni would turn it back around as the two break it up. Toni would put Kagetsu in a Headlock and pushes her off to kick her to the outside as she now goes for a Suicide Dive until Kagetsu hits Toni with a chair before she could land and starts to hit her with the chair a few times. Kagetsu would start to pick up the heat as she starts to throw Toni around outside through the chairs while burying her in them as she makes it back into the ring, but Toni does also in a bit until Kagetsu hits a Dropkick off the top rope. They would go back to mat wrestling with both of them trying to go after their arms to make the other tap out as the two don’t seem to be able to make the two tap out and Kagetsu would go for the Michinoku Driver and doesn’t have the strength to pick her up and Toni hits a stiff forearm as the two would go back and forth with strikes as Kagetsu would go for a kick, but Toni ducks and hits a German Suplex.
Kagetsu would go for another kick which Toni would catch before hitting Kagetsu with another German Suplex and it looks like she’s about to charge at her, but Kagetsu catches her for a Samoan Drop and the two are down as the crowd starts to chant for Kagetsu over Toni. Toni would then apply the Guillotine Choke and it looked like Kagetsu is gonna be out for the count, but she would find a way to power out of it and picks her up for a Brainbuster and tops it off with a Michinoku Driver for a two count! Kagetsu would go to the top rope to try and hit the Oedo Coaster, but Toni pushes her off and hits not one but two Suicide Dives to the outside and would get her back in to go for the Powerbomb as Oedo Tai distracts the referee so Kagetsu could spray blue mist into Toni’s eyes to hit two Michinoku Drivers for a two count. For those that don’t know real quick, the blue mist is a sign for the person to fall asleep while the regular green is for vision and I like that the different colors of mist have a different meaning, definitely look at them if you don’t know which ones mean what. Back to the match as Kagetsu would finally hit the Oedo Coaster and Toni would surprisingly kick out, leaving Kagetsu a bit frustrated here and would pick Toni up, but she reverses it with the Strong Zero and that looked painful as Kagetsu would kick out as well. The two would slowly get up as Kagetsu hits a stiff kick to Toni’s head but she is still standing and tells her to bring it on as Kagetsu would deliver at least seven Roundhouse Kicks to her head and would still be conscious until she caught her leg for a submission to try and make Kagetsu tap out until she got to the ropes. Toni would try to put Kagetsu away with another Strong Zero, but Kagetsu would push her into the referee and sprays the red mist into her eyes this time which means burning sensation into her eyes and hits a Death Valley Driver and would top it off with an Oedo Coaster as we have a new World of Stardom Champion!
Kagetsu winning here was a bit of a shocker since I expected Toni to hold it at least till the winner of the 5★Star GP, but I’m more than okay with Kagetsu winning it now as she has definitely earned his opportunity and working so hard to get here over the years. Last year during Kagetsu’s produced show, she actually was considering retirement until Io Shirai would talk her out of it and I’m glad she did otherwise we wouldn’t have this moment right here. Her winning was the right call and I can’t wait to see where this leads and who will be the one to take it from her.
Recommended: Very good match with a nice story in it, watch it.
Overall: This was a solid show, but the Oedo Pupper and Kagetsu won…so fuck you and watch it. Joking aside, it was was a decent show and the last two matches are definitely worth watching. We got a new champion and I’m definitely excited to see where this leads for Oedo Tai and Kagetsu.
Favorite Match: Toni Storm vs. Kagetsu
Least Favorite Match: Leo Onozaki vs. Shiki Shibusawa
(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