Now that we took care of the day show, it’s not time to focus on the second show that happened at the very same day where our main event will crown new Artist of Stardom Champions, will it be JAN or will it be Oedo Tai?
Let’s find out and…dive right in.
Leo Onozaki vs. Shiki Shibusawa
Review: Our opening it bout is between JAN and STARS with our two rookies fighting each other to start the show and let’s see which one of these two come out on top. The match was very generic since it was mostly Shiki working on Leo’s arm to try and maybe go for a submission, but she never really did any in the match or even finished it with one. Leo didn’t do too much in the match herself despite her two cutters in a row once again, maybe one day we’ll see more out of her. After five minutes, Shiki would win the match with a Missile Dropkick which is still a weird finisher for this day in age, but they’re still new so can’t fully fault them.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 7, 2018
Recommended: This one was kinda skippable.
Candy Floss vs. Konami
Review: Konami in singles action again as she takes on Candy Floss and this one should be a good bout since I like Konami and Candy Floss can be good if given the right opponent, so hopefully they can here.
The two would look like they were about to go for a test of strength, but Candy would turn it around to give Konami a hug, playing a few mind games to go with her sweet personality, so don’t let that charm fool you. For a five minute match, I didn’t think this one was bad at all since they were solid with what they were doing as Candy would work on Konami’s arms and Konami would work on Candy’s legs and even do some submissions on her leg. One time it looked like she was rolling into a Calf Crusher, but she stopped halfway to make it a variation of a Figure Four and it looked pretty unique. Candy would almost have the win with her Straight Jacket Lungblower and would only get a two count. Konami would give her a Roundhouse Kick to knock Candy down and it looked like she was going for a pin, but she wrenches Candy’s leg while pulling her arm to make her tap out.
Recommended: Fairly decent match, so up to you.
Tag Team Match
Martina & Natsu Sumire vs. Tam Nakano & Zoe Lucas
Review: We get Oedo Tai taking on STARS with Martina and Sumire teaming up to take on Tam and Zoe Lucas which I feel like I might be disappointed in this. According to the interview before the match, this is apparently Martina’s last match in Japan and I honestly couldn’t be happier to hear about that, but time to tough out this match.
Sumire and Tam would start this match off to try and do a test of strength until Martina would attack Tam from behind to try and do a double team on Tam, but Tam would hit them both with a cutter and tag in Zoe. Zoe would get attacked and Martina and Natsu would do their Oedo Tai post on the ropes with the other members as the two share a beer together to only spit it on Zoe’s face. Sumire would do her Bronco Buster or well pretty much land on them and be grinding Zoe’s face as Martina would do a Bronco Buster on Zoe as well while behind Sumire to do it as a double team, and then they would have both Zoe and Tam on opposite corners and hit a Bronco Buster on each of them. I’m not really crazy on both Martina and Zoe, but they actually did better than the other times I’ve seen them on their respected tours despite the match being average, it’s not terrible either. Sumire would hit Tam with her flogger to give Martina an opening to hit her Codebreaker, but only for a two count. When Martina held Tam up to give Sumire another opening to whip her, she would miss and hit Martina in the face, giving Tam an opening to hit a Roundhouse on Martina for a two count and then she would hit it one more time for a three count. Martina is out of Stardom for a while and I’m sure she’ll be back and hopefully better this time.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 8, 2018
Recommended: It wasn’t terrible, so really up to you.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima & Starlight Kid vs. AZM, Io Shirai & Momo Watanabe
Review: We’re back to having STARS taking on Queen’s Quest in the pre-main event again with Mayu leading the team with Saki and Starlight while Io leads it with Momo and AZM. With Io confirming her departure with the company, she’s looking to give it her all for the remainder of her tour until June 17th when she says goodbye, so expect some quality matches involving her until then like when she fought Starlight earlier.
Saki and AZM started the match off as they both went back and forth with their sequence with neither of them getting the full advantage as now Mayu and Momo are in the ring, but the same thing would happen with both of them not getting the actual advantage over the other, and then it would go over to Io and Starlight as they had a similar sequence from their earlier match and it looked like Starlight was gonna have the advantage again, but Io outsmarted her to drag her down as all three members of Queen’s Quest would attack her and let AZM take over. The two are set for a rematch for the Future of Stardom Championship at the next show and AZM is showing Starlight that she means to take her title this time around. AZM would keep working on Starlight more until she finds an opening, hitting a DDT on AZM and makes the tag to Saki to give herself some time to recuperate, but AZM would knock Saki down to tag Io in so she could work on Saki for the time being, only for Saki to find a way to knock her down and tag Mayu in. The two wouldn’t do too much as Io had Mayu in a Figure Four Leglock as the two would roll around to have Mayu try and reverse it, but it didn’t work as the two would brawl a little bit while in the position and Io goes to tag in Momo. Mayu would first hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count and Momo would try to finish off Mayu also only to be saved by Saki, giving her an opening to hit a German Suplex for a two count. Momo would first hit her Cradle Piledriver and then a Somoto off the second rope and it looks like she’s got it, but would only get a two count and Mayu would get an opening on her again to make Momo tag AZM in while Mayu tags in Starlight. The last few minutes focus on these two in the ring as they keep showing their intensity every time they work together in the ring. Starlight would first try to make her tap out with a Boston Crab which transitioned into her variation of the Walls of Jericho, but it wouldn’t be enough as she now tried to cradle AZM to keep getting a two count and would reverse it to try and get a pin, but no. AZM would walk into a Superkick from Mayu in which Saki catches her for a Stunner, and then a Moonsault by Starlight to have another two count. Io would try to help AZM by going for an uppercut and accidentally hits AZM. Soon as AZM goes for a Crossbody, the bell rings meaning that they reached the time limit and it’s not a draw. Wow, what a match.
Recommended: Definitely give it a watch, great match.
Artist Of Stardom Title Match
Jungle Kyona, Kaori Yoneyama & Natsuko Tora vs. Hana Kimura, Hazuki & Kagetsu
Review: In the pre-match interview, Oedo Tai would be asking the real questions before the match and that is who gets what color belt. For those that don’t know, the Artist of Stardom titles all has a different color, one blue, one pink, and one orange. They all decide to go with the pink one and kinda hard since there’s only one pink and they will decide after they win but first, they must move by bicycle…Charin charin! Charin charin! They brought back the Oedo pupper to walk around in the ring, it’s so adorable!
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) June 8, 2018
Kagetsu and Kyona would start the match off and would try to knock each other down with their strength with shoulder tackles and none of them would go down until Kyona would finally be the one to knock her down. JAN would try to do their jungle pose on Kagetsu, but Kyona would get dragged outside of the ring and it would lead to a brawl to the outside with Hana for some reason would also pulling on Tam’s hair to throw her down, what did she do to you? Hazuki would also make sure her pupper would be on camera as she holds onto it while sitting on Kaori, adorable. Hazuki would Kyona would now be in the ring as Hazuki would work on the arm for a moment and would go for a Senton til Jungle moved out of the way to give Kaori the hot tag while Kagetsu is back in the ring. Kaori would show that she’s got some moves with doing Armdrags and going high with a Dropkick and would tag Natsuko to try and finish Kagetsu off, but she would hit a nice little Dropkick from the top rope to throw Natsuko off and finally tag Hana into the match as she would start to kick Natsuko down for a bit, but she was able to fight Hana off and tag Kyona into the match. Hana would try to do the Black Widow on Kyona on her injured arm to try and make her tap out, but Kaori would break it up. Kagetsu and Hazuki would have both Kaori and Natsuko in a Hart Attack position as Hana would hit both of them with a Bulldog. JAN would do a triple team with Kyona first hitting the T-Bone Suplex on Hazuki off the top rope, Kaori then hits the Senton, Natsuko would hit a Splash, and then Kyona would hit a Frog Splash to go for the pin, but Hana breaks up the count. Kyona and Hazuki would keep going back and forth with stiff hits to each other and some close calls with roll-ups and hitting their impact moves, but these two wouldn’t budge. Oedo Tai would try to help Hazuki, but Natsuko would Spear the two to knock them down and then help Kyona hit a Double Suplex for a two count, but Kyona would hit her Jungle Bomb and JAN are the new Artist of Stardom Champions!
After the match, Jungle Kyona would thank the fans for supporting them and even though they may be looked at as a joke when it comes to units, but they like to think they’re cool and it looks like they are since they won the titles. This would be Momo’s first tile in Stardom and her first one in her professional career and got emotional from how far she’s come as a wrestler and hopes to keep the belts for a long time. JAN would have the fans do the Jungle Jungle! chant to end the show. No pink belts for Oedo Tai, but at least they ride by bicycle.
Recommended: Very entertaining match, worth a watch.
— Oedo Tai Gifs (@OedoTaiGifs) June 14, 2018
Overall: Much like the show from earlier while it wasn’t a great show, it was still solid enough to keep them entertained with the last two matches standing out. Got two big title matches coming up on the next show so be sure to stay tuned for that.
Favorite Match: Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima & Starlight Kid vs. AZM, Io Shirai & Momo Watanabe
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