PAC gives a title shot to the up and coming Shun Skywalker! How does this Dragon Gate event play out?
Welcome back to Dragon Gate and their Champions Gate show!
There were two shows for this one and on the first day, Dragon Kid would retain the Open the Brave Gate Championship over K-ness and R.E.D retained the Open the Triangle Gate Championships over MaxiMuM. Now we look over at the following day as we have two more title matches to cover including PAC taking on Shun Skywalker.
It looks like a promising card and I’m looking forward to covering it as we…dive right in.
0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
1 Star: Vince Russo
2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
5 Stars: Jim Cornette
Six Man Tag Team Match
K-ness, Masaaki Mochizuki & YASSHI vs. Don Fujii, Gamma & Ryo Saito
Review: Our opening contest is a six-man tag match with Don Fujii, Gamma, and Ryo Saito taking on K-ness, Masaaki Mochizuki, and ‘brother’ YASSHI. Weird how K-ness came from having a match for the Open the Brave Gate Championship, which he lost and is now back to the opening matches of the show. This is just random pairings for the match, but they usually go well if done right. Will they give us a fun opening contest?
The first matches are usually more comedy based and this one was no exception here as they did give you humor throughout the match with Don throwing his water bottle at his opponents, Ryo being abused by his opponents, and just whatever they could think of really. Other than that, it was mostly a solid and basic match with everyone performing quite well here which is nice since the opening contest is usually a dud, but I’m glad that it wasn’t the case here. For some reason, YASSHI had to to do a dick grab to his opponents at the same time…hot? Ryo would attempt a La Magistral to YASSHI and would stop halfway to do a submission but Mochizuki would slap him across the head. Don would use the Gedo Clutch onto YASSHI to get the pinfall victory in a solid and comedic bout.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Tag Team Match
Tribe Vanguard (Kagetora & YAMATO) vs. MaxiMuM (Jason Lee & Masato Yoshino)
Review: We now have a regular tag team match with Tribe Vanguard members, YAMATO and Kagetora taking on members of MaxiMuM, Masato Yoshino and Jason Lee. We got four incredibly talented people in the ring fighting against each other with two former Open the Dream Gate Champions as well, so you can definitely expect a great match to happen here. So let’s just enjoy a fun match and see who comes out on top.
YAMATO and Jason starting things off here and I’m still waiting for my one on one, which we might get at King of Gate at this point or I’ll be shocked that we don’t get it. Nice little sequence shared until Kagetora got tagged in and this guy is always an enjoyable treat to watch. YAMATO would do a closed fist onto Jason in the corner and Masato responds by smacking his ass…hot. I just enjoyed every interaction in this match since everyone was crisp in the ring and had nice counters like when Masato would catch Kagetora with a Dropkick in the air when they were both jumping and Kagetora just took it so well in the ring. They also had some fun comedic spots when YAMATO distracting Masato with a wrench to the turnbuckle post a couple of times and dropped it to apologize to the referee. Another fun spot they would do is during their back and forth battle with their punches, one would flick their own hair and the other one will do it after and was a nice little spot. The match was about ten minutes and it was very well paced with great action in between to make everyone look good and YAMATO would get the pin on Jason with the Ragnarok. Very fun tag match.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Kaito Ishida vs. Takashi Yoshida
Review: Our first singles match of the night where we have Kaito Ishida taking on Takashi Yoshida. Kaito would add a little bet into this match where if he can somehow defeat Takashi in this match, MaxiMuM would be able to get another rematch for the Open the Triangle Gate Championship but is Takashi wins, MaxiMuM will be able to challenge for the titles for a whole year. We got a battle of strength from Takashi Yoshida and agility from Kaito Ishida, so it all comes down to which style will come out on top. Will speed win the match or power runs him down?
Kaito would be able to sneak attack Takashi in the match as he would actually have the upper hand when he fought him outside of the ring and would get him inside to try and do more work to him. Takashi would finally have an opening when he throat thrusts him to get him to choke and now he goes back to dominating him in the match. This is where Takashi would just control the match by throwing him around, beating him down, just anything he could do to him to make sure Kaito will lose the match and the opportunity. Kaito definitely did play the part of getting sympathy from the crowd as he just kept on getting destroyed but wait, Kaito would actually catch Takashi into a cradle to get the surprise victory! Now that Kaito was able to get the win, he and MaxiMuM will be able to get a rematch for the Open the Triangle Gate Championships soon. Average match but a nice story with a fitting outcome.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters
Tag Team Match
Mochizuki Dojo (Hyo Watanabe & Yuki Yoshioka) vs. MaxiMuM (Dragon Kid & Naruki Doi)
Review: Our next tag match has two students from the Mochizuki Dojo, Yuki Yoshioka, and Hyo Watanabe taking on Naruaki Doi and current Open the Brave Gate Champion, Dragon Kid. This is a match between the veterans going against the future of Dragon Gate, which Mochizuki took under his wing to groom them up into the future. A win here could do wonders for Mochizuki Dogo, especially if they can pin Kid which would be possible contenders for the Open the Brave Gate Championship. Which team will win?
Dragon Kid still wrestles like he’s ten years younger while being 43 years old, it’s incredible and had really nice chemistry with Hyo for a little bit there when they would open up together. Once Yuki got in the ring with Naruki, it pretty much turned into a pair of Dragon Gate Veterans beating down the newbies to groom them up for success because Hyo and Yuki are some people that you’ll need to keep an eye when it comes to the future of this company. Naruki and Kid would do what they need to do to get the crowd behind Yuki as he would take the majority of the moves in the match until he delivered a Missle Dropkick onto Naruki and caught Kid in the air with another Dropkick as he makes the hot tag to Hyo. Hyo started coming in red hot, showing off his athletic ability in the match and he would do his flips off the corner shades of old PAC as he meets a forearm from Naruki once he turned around. Less than ten minutes of solid tag team action as Naruki would hit a Bakatare Sliding Kick onto Hyo as he sold it beautifully and pins him to give MaxiMuM the victory.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Six Man Tag Team Match
Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi, Kzy & Susumu Yokosuka) vs. R.E.D. (Eita, KAZMA SAKAMOTO & Yasushi Kanda)
Review: We have another six-man tag team match with Natural Vibes members, Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka taking on R.E.D members, Eita, Yasushi Kanda, and KAZMA SAKAMOTO. Natural Vibes lost their Open the Triangle Gate Championships at Final Gate against R.E.D after breaking the record for most title defenses with the title. R.E.D were able to retain the titles at their previous show and now if Natural Vibes can get the win, they could possibly get a rematch. Will Natural Vibes be able to win or does R.E.D win?
Of course, R.E.D does an interference spot outside of the ring before the match starts, it wouldn’t be R.E.D without them doing that at this point. Thankfully, they go back in the ring for the match to start properly now and Kzy is still red hot despite losing to PAC last month. The match itself was at least fun despite the bad beginning with how things would normally go in this six-man tag match with R.E.D doing the heel work and Natural Vibes being the babyfaces of the match and also giving them a run for their money. R.E.D would actually do their own version of a Shield Powerbomb sorta and would have Kzy kick out of it still. Kzy and Kanda are in the ring now and it looked like Kanda was gonna end it but Kzy would hit him with a bunch of elbows and tricks him with the Skayde Schoolboy and would get the win for Natural Vibes. It looks like Natural Vibes could be in line for a Open the Triangle Gate Championship match soon, but R.E.D has to defend the titles against MaxiMuM next, so Natural Vibes will get their opportunity soon. Solid tag match, Kzy is still great.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Open the Twin Gate Title Match
Big Ben (Ben-K & Big R Shimizu) (c) vs. Tribe Vanguard (KAI & U-T)
Review: Our first title match of the night is the Open the Twin Gate Championship match with Big Ben defend their titles against Tribe Vanguard members, U-T and KAI. The two teams fought each other before at the last show I covered here and U-T would pick up the win after a miscommunication occurred with Eita accidentally hitting Ben-K with a chair. This time is now for the titles as they’ve earned that opportunity and Big Ben would need to try and avenge that loss. Will Big Ben retain or will lightning strike twice and we’ll have new champions?
In typical R.E.D fashion, they would attack all over the arena and throw their opponents into a bunch of chairs, but that wouldn’t last long thankfully as they got back into the ring for Big Ben to take charge. Big R Shimizu is like The Bodyguard in a way that I’m not a fan of them when they’re by themselves but when with their tag partner, they’re great together. Big Ben is a great tag team and just have great chemistry together in the ring and have evolved together from when they were with MaxiMuM and now with R.E.D, they showed that they could play both face and heel together. I felt like this match was more about U-T than anything else and how much he progressed as a wrestler. He can surely take a beating too as he would take all the heat from Big Ben during the beginning and middle of the match until he hits a Hurricanrana onto Big R to tag KAI in for the hot tag.
U-T dives to the outside of the ring and so does KAI as they had to get the advantage once again. U-T would get tagged in again as he would apply the Rings of Saturn onto Ben and it looks like he could be tapping out until Big R would break the hold, but U-T would lock it in once again and held it a little bit longer this time around as Big R would break it up again. Big R held U-T for a Chokeslam as Ben-K would Dropkick him to get him down as Big R would have him up for the Shot-put Slam and does so with Ben Spearing U-T down with him and goes for the pin as U-T kicked out of it. U-T is starting to get more momentum as he would just reverse another Shot-put into a pinfall for a kickout and did the same thing to Ben-K when he tried to hit the Ben-K Bomb and caught him in a Crucifix. Big R would throw U-T into the air for Ben to catch him with a Spear and U-T kicked out once again! This kid is trying so hard to win this match and is having a lot of fans supporting him. Big R would finally hit the Shot-put Slam and gets the pin to retain the titles. Great tag team match, U-T is definitely going places.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Open the Dream Gate Title Match
PAC (c) vs. Shun Skywalker
Review: It’s now time for our main event as we have the Open the Dream Gate Championship on the line as the current champion, PAC is scheduled to defend the title against Shun Skywalker. This match came about after PAC had his first successful defense against Kzy and PAC said everyone would fear him now after he destroyed Kzy and asked who else would be brave enough to fight him. This will be where Shun Skywalker came out and he would issue a challenge to PAC for the title and while he was mocked by R.E.D, PAC was amused by the challenge as he would put him over saying he was a great fighter and is generous enough to accept his challenge for the title, and that’s how we got here. This will be Shun’s first singles title match and now is the time to test himself and see if he’s ready for the main event. Will Shun pull the upset or does PAC retain once again?
Shun would shock PAC for a moment here when he would reverse/flip out of his moves, leaving the current champion a little bit stunned but that wouldn’t last too long when PAC just took over once again. This match…really did irritate me here since I know Shun can do so much better than how he performed in this match as it just made him look like he was one of those guys that are just acrobatics and no substance, which is not true since he actually is a solid worker. PAC is also someone that has been a hit or miss in his matches and I know a lot of people love the guy as he can do no wrong, but he hasn’t been consistent in his matches and it’s hard for me to fully support him when one day he’ll have a great match and the next something that’s so basic or overkill, that’s my only big problem with him. Another thing I wanna point out is that this really didn’t feel like a title match and something you would see on any mid-card show, it was just very bland for my taste while the two of them just under performed.
I will say that there were some good moments with Shun during the middle of the match, like when he would jump off the ropes to land onto PAC as he had great height there. The last two minutes of the match was when it started to get more exciting but the problem with that is that it happened in the last couple of minutes to keep it interesting that it was a buzzkill. PAC would go to the top rope to go for the Black Arrow as Shun got up to hit a Spanish Fly and quickly goes to the top rope again for a Moonsault and PAC kicked out at two. It looked like Shun was gonna go for another Moonsault to finish him off but PAC puts his knees up just in time and hits a Standing Moonsault with his knees connecting in Shun’s ribcage. PAC finally got to the top rope to hit the Black Arrow and he retains the title. Shun, I like you and I know you’re a talented guy but you’re honestly not ready for the main event spotlight yet. I think he should try to go for the Open the Brave Gate Championship first before trying to go for the Dream Gate.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Overall: Despite having an underwhelming main event, the rest of the show was pretty consistent from top to bottom with some solid tag team matches and the Twin Gate Title match stealing the show for this one.
Favorite Match: Big Ben (Ben-K & Big R Shimizu) vs. Tribe Vanguard (KAI & U-T)
Least Favorite Match: Kaito Ishida vs. Takashi Yoshida
I would also like to announce that this will be the final Dragon Gate show that I will be covering for The Chairshot as I am moving Dragon Gate to another site I write for, so I can help balance everything out with my personal life and give equal content to my providers. I had a lot of fun covering it here, but I wanna focus more of Stardom and All Japan for this website.