After the previous Dragon Gate show that I’ve covered a couple of weeks ago, I said I would cover the next big show to keep the train going and see how well they would do.
I did say if they keep on delivering for the rest of the year that I will forgive them for King of Gate and I am giving it a fair chance to see if they can reel me back in. We got a solid card coming up with some nice surprises.
So let’s see if they can deliver again and…dive right in.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Ryo Saito, Don Fujii & Willie Mack vs. Tribe Vanguard (KAGETORA, Yosuke Santa Maria & U-T)
Review: Our opening contest involves members of Tribe Vanguard as they take on Ryo Saito and Don Fujii, and their partner Will Mack who is back for more action this tour it seems. Saito and Don were unable to capture the Twin Gate Championships at the last big show despite it being a great match as they now have this six-man bout. Can Ryo’s team make a comeback or will Tribe Vanguard get the win?
I’m really liking the team of Saito and Fujii the more I see them together and I really do hope they get a rematch for the Twin Gate Championships since it would be nice to see them win the titles. Wille Mack is still around for this tour and that means I get to see more of him and I’m enjoying his work so far and it’s a good time to see it since I don’t really follow Lucha Underground. This team of Tribe Vanguard between these three has also been entertaining to see and I’m really digging KAGETORA here in these match and get to see how good he actually is along with U-T who has been impressing me more, and I already know how good Yosuke is. The opening bouts on their shows are normally just standard and entertaining matches and this one is no different here. Wille would do the Macarena dance and then does a Moonsault onto Yosuke and instead of pinning him, he goes to the top rope to hit the Frog Splash and get the win.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Gamma, Shachihoko BOY, Mondai Ryu & Kota Minoura vs. Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, Hyo Watanabe & Yuki Yoshioka
Review: This is just a standard eight-man tag team match involving some of the members on the roster that aren’t on the card while their unit members are busy with other big matches. We got one side which is lead by Jason Lee and another one lead by Gamma as they look to give the fans a fun exhibition match. Which of these teams come out on top.
Another standard match with all eight men showcasing their stuff and it’s not a terrible match or anything, it’s just nothing special about it either. Gamma was probably the better one out of his team since he stood out the most with his agility and his little roll-up after roll-up sequence with Yuki, which is probably the only spot in the match that I really enjoyed compared to the rest. Everyone did their part pretty well but again, nothing really else stood out in the match to make anything memorable. Kaito would hit the Tigerplex onto Shachihoko BOY to get the win for his team.
Rating: Tony Schiavone
KAI vs. Shingo Takagi
Review: I kinda expected Shingo to be apart of the tag team war against Natural Vibes later on, but I guess he’s just doing a special singles match as part of his farewell tour. Shingo’s opponent tonight is Freelancer, KAI. KAI has been with All Japan for a while and looked like he took a little bit of a break and he now makes his way over to Dragon Gate to have this match against Shingo. Can Shingo get a victory or will KAI just steal it from him?
Seeing KAI in Dragon Gate felt a little bit off at first since it wasn’t fully clicking with me that he was in their ring or if he would entirely fit in with them but as the match went on, I think he did well for himself here and not anything spectacular, still a solid performance. I thought this was a good match, to say the least, and Shingo showing people why he’s still amazing in the ring and could fit in with any promotion if he ever went somewhere else like how he did with AJPW, which I wish he did go back to because his run for that month was amazing. Shingo would take control for most of the match and hits his Pumping Bomber Lariat onto KAI to try and get the victory but he could kick out of it. Kai would pull some stuff from his arsenal as well as he hits a Powerbomb for a two count and would go to the top rope to hit the Frog Splash, but Shingo placed his knees up before he could land it. Shingo went for his MADE IN JAPAN and it could be it but KAI still kicks out of it, Shingo picks him back up to go for the Pumping Bomber but KAI turned it into the Gannosuke Clutch and he gets the surprise victory!
After the match, the two shook hands and said they would like to fight each other again. Shingo would also address his departure from the company when he leaves October 7th and BxB Hulk would come out to the ring and challenged him to be his final match, which Shingo accepted but he said he would like for them to team up with his former rival one more time before then and we get it happened on the October 2nd show. ANTIAS isn’t happy about this match one bit.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Ten Man Tag Team Elimination Match
ANTIAS (Big R Shimizu, Ben-K, Yasushi Kanda, Takashi Yoshida & KAZMA SAKAMOTO) vs. Natural Vibes (Punch Tominaga, Genki Horiguchi, Susumu Yokosuka, Kzy & brother YASSHI)
Review: During the Gate of Origin show after Natural Vibes retained their Triangle Gate Championships, ANTIAS would come out to attack them as they had a unit war declared for tonight and Eita said that they recruited someone to ANTIAS and it was someone who used to work for Dragon Gate. There was a lot of speculation thinking it was going to be the return of PAC or formerly known as Neville in WWE after he departed from the company recently, but we found out the person making his return was KAZMA SAKAMOTO. For those that don’t know, SAKAMOTO was apart of WWE as Tensai’s manager which didn’t last long at all but now it looks like he’s back at Dragon Gate. Which unit will come out on top?
ANTIAS would come out to the ring and they would announce that they have renamed their stable (fucking again!), and they will now be known as R.E.D or Real Extreme Diffusion. R.E.D would attack Natural Vibes before they could even do their dance and would begin their all-out assault on them and that is what they do for the beginning of the match really, it’s just a beatdown from them to destroy Natural Vibes and kinda expected this to be a little more…hardcore. I say that due to how they all were in the last show that I covered and so far, hasn’t happened yet. The first elimination came from Genki when he eliminated Takashi with the Backslide from Heaven, giving Natural Vibes the early lead. Genko would try to do it again to Big R but he rolled out of it but got caught in a German Suplex from YASSHI but Big R still kicked out. Big R would catch YASSHI with the Shot-put Slam and he eliminates YASSHI to even it up. Genki went back into the ring and tries to hit the Backslide from Heaven one more time and he almost had it as Big R barely kicked out and he caught Genki with the Shot-put Slam as Genki is also eliminated, meaning Natural Vibes only has three members left.
Kzy went into the ring to avenge his two fallen comrades but Kanda came into the ring now to fight him off and he went to go hit Kzy with a weapon, but Kzy catches it and gets him down before hitting hit Running Elbow Smash to eliminate Kanda and we’re now tied again. Big R and Punch are now in the ring together and Big R almost eliminated him by throwing him over the top rope but Punch found a way to get back in before getting caught for the Shot-put Slam as Punch would catch him in a Triangle Hold mid-air to try and make him tap. Big R would pick him up to try and throw him over, but Punch flipped him over to have Big R eliminated instead as R.E.D only now has Ben-K and KAZMA. We now finally get to see what KAZMA can do and so far he hasn’t done a whole lot and kinda hard to in this type of match and hardly sold anything in this match, he’s weird. KAZMA would hit Punch with a knee strike and picked him up for the Package Piledriver for the win as we are now two and two.
Susumu is in the ring with Ben-K now and he seems to be doing okay against him as he gave Ben some Lariats to try and slow him down but Ben found an opening and hits the Spear to eliminated Susumu, leaving Kzy all alone. Kzy starts to fend for himself until Kanda would hit him from behind with his briefcase and R.E.D got into the ring to attack Kzy and even had KAZMA Powerbomb him through a table, but Kzy finds a way to kick out of it and stay alive! That’s exactly what Kzy does as he does his best to stay alive and if he’s gonna go out, he may as well go out swinging. KAZMA would throw Kzy up for Ben to catch him into a Spear and picks him up for the Ben-K Bomb, eliminating Kzy and R.E.D wins the match. After the match, R.E.D would try to shave Punch’s hair off again but Natural Vibes ran in to chase them away with weapons. It looks like it’s not over just yet, very fun match and a good story, excited to see where it leads.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Open the Brave Gate Title Match
Eita (c) vs. Dragon Kid
Review: This match has some history here. Our current Open the Brave Gate Champion, Eita has been a thorn in Dragon Kid’s side for the past few months when he first defeated him at King of Gate, defeated him to disband Over Generation, and would defeat him to take the title away from him. But now Dragon Kid is looking to get his revenge on Eita as the title is on the line once again and probably the conclusion of this feud. Will Eita win once more or will Dragon Kid get his revenge?
They definitely told a story here from something that has been build up since May and the payoff for this rivalry is exactly how it needed to go right here. This is probably one of their better matches together as they made up for their disappointment in KoG Tournament. Dragon Kid is not only fighting Eita, but he also has to overcome the rest of R.E.D who are at ringside during the match and has to be careful with them around or he could fall prey to Eita once again. That’s what the match pretty much is, Dragon Kid overcoming this obstacle that’s right in front of him and they tell it right here. Eita would have a table on the corner so he could try to throw Kid into it and he would argue with the referee and put his hands on him before the ref gave Eita a Clothesline. Eita had Kid up for the Powerbomb and was charging towards the table until he hits a Hurricanrana to make Eita go through it instead. Kid went to go for the Ultra Hurricanrana but got caught with the Murder Kick and Kid kicks out at two. Eita went to go for another one but Dragon Kid reverses it into the Bible for a two count as well and he goes to the ropes to hit the Ultra Frankensteiner and we have a new champion!
After the match, Dragon Kid would talk about what it meant to defeat Eita in this match and would never forget what he and R.E.D did by making Over Generation disband, which was why he joined MaxiMuM to get revenge on R.E.D for what they’ve done. Now Dragon Kid can move on from Eita and march ahead.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Open the Twin Gate Titles Match
Tribe Vanguard (YAMATO & BxB Hulk) (c) vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Shun Skywalker
Review: YAMATO and BxB Hulk have been on a roll as champions so far as they now have their eyes set on another defense against the team of Masaaki Mochizuki and Shun Skywalker. Mochizuki and Shun were apart of the All Japan Junior Tag League and while they didn’t win the tournament, they still had a great showing and proved that they could actually be a really good team together which is what lead to this match coming up here since they feel like they could take the titles off of them. Will we have new champions or Tribe Vanguard retains the belt?
YAMATO and Hulk are currently my favorite champions in Dragon Gate right now and I don’t know what they’ve been doing to work this well, but their matches so far have been delivering and even being the match of the night on these shows. Mochizuki and Shun are also showing that they’re a great tag team together, even when they were apart of All Japan’s Junior Tag League, they showed how well they could work together and I hope they stay as partners since Dragon Gate could use some steady tag teams. The match definitely delivered with their wrestling and whoever was in the ring together, they would all give you something to spark your interest. Hulk and Shun are the two that stood out in the match more since I’m really growing on Hulk as a competitor after seeing him wrestle more and Shun keeps on improving in the ring and has champion written all over him if he keeps doing what he’s doing.
Bulk tried to match Mochizuki with a kicking battle and I can tell you that it’s a bad idea to do because Mochizuki will kick you right and you’ll most likely lose that bout no matter how cool Hulk’s dancing kicks are. YAMATO gits the Galleria on Shun and he would surprisingly kick out of it after a close call. Shun would hit a Jackknife pin keep rolling up Bulk in the match to try to get the surprise victory but gets stopped short when Bulk hits the FTX for another near fall. Hulk would then kick Shun in the back of the head and would get him up to hit the First Flash to retain the titles. After the match, Shun would refuse to shake hands with Tribe Vanguard and would walk to the back. Fantastic tag match and hope to see more like this.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Open the Dream Gate Title Match
Masato Yoshino (c) vs. Naruki Doi
Review: We have two members of MaxiMuM taking on each other in the main event as our Open the Dream Gate Champion, Masato Yoshino as he takes on Naruki Doi. After Yoshino retained the title against Takashi Yoshida, Naruki Doi would come to the ring and make a challenge to his fellow MaxiMuM member to prove who is the better one of the two. Will Yoshino retain for the third time or will we have a new champion?
This one is probably Yoshino’s best defense in this title run so far. Yoshino and Doi were able to pull off a slow and technical match together and knew when to transition into something fast-paced to not overkill the match and tell a genuine story in the ring with these two competitors. Naruki is someone I consider very consistent in the ring and I kinda wish he won the KoG instead of Yoshino because it would’ve been a nice approach, but I’m glad he’s given this opportunity at least. Yoshino though while had a lackluster reign so far, showed himself stepping his game up in this match with his friend and slightly improved his performance when he needed to and just hope he can do that for the rest of his reign.
Around the last half of the match is when they would pick it up a little after doing their technical stuff in the match, it was time to get the crowd invested into the match for. Yoshino went for the Torbellino and he tried to put his submission it but Doi would break out of it to go for the Muscular Bomb as Yoshino would roll him up for a two count. Later on in the match, Doi would take a move out of Yoshino’s arsenal as he would take his submission hold, the Sol Naciente as he would try to make the champion tap out of his own move but Yoshino would get to the rope in time to save himself from tapping. Doi continued the assault with some forearms until he got hit with a Lariat and back to back Torbellino’s to set himself up for the Sol Naciente, but Doi caught him to go for the Muscular Bomb once and again. Yoshino rolled off him to try and pin him but Doi caught his arms to try and take his opponents move again until Yoshino turned it around for his Sol Naciente and while he had him down to his knees, he turned it into his Sol Naciente Kai and he would make Doi tap out and retain the title!
After the match, R.E.D would come out to attack both of them and Ben-K is now declared the next challenger for the Open the Dream Gate Championship sometime in November. On top of that, Eita stated that he and Dragon Kid aren’t done after all (for fuck sake!) and that they will reveal a new member of R.E.D on the October 2nd show when they face Shingo Takagi and BxB Hulk. Once R.E.D left the ring, Yoshino thanked Naruki for not betraying him in the match like the last few times they fought together and treated it like an actual match as they shook hands and hugged it out to close the show with MaxiMuM standing tall.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Overall: While this show wasn’t as good a the previous one I covered, it was still solid enough for it to get by and not fully hate it. The second half of the show was worth watching while the first three were rather skippable. So who will Eita’s partner be on the October 2nd show and how will the rest play out?
Favorite Match: YAMATO & BxB Hulk vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Shun Skywalker
Least Favorite Match: Gamma, Shachihoko BOY, Mondai Ryu & Kota Minoura vs. Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, Hyo Watanabe & Yuki Yoshioka