Welcome back to our next Dragon Gate coverage and before we head into the finals on June 6th, it’s time to get ready for the block finals along with the battle royal the next day. We will find out who will be our final four participants as we will be one step closer to our King of Gate winner. Who will win the blocks? Who wins the battle royal?
All these questions and more 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
King of Gate A Block Match
YAMATO vs. Diamante
Review: We kick things off with our final match of A Block as YAMATO takes on Diamante. It looks like each block has a R.E.D member in the finals and Diamante will be the first member to try to secure a block victory. YAMATO is also looking to win the whole thing so he can become Open the Dream Gate Champion once again. Which one of these two will be our first block winner?
Now we go back to our good old R.E.D heel tactics with Diamante attacking YAMATO before the bell has rung and would toss him to the outside. Diamante fought him around the outside to try and weaken him up a bit and would eventually get him back inside since the damage is now done and needs to try and win the match now. Diamante would get most of the heat in the match with having most of the control to get the viewers behind YAMATO. Diamante was rather sloppy in this match, unfortunately, and YAMATO did try his best to make him look good and he did with Diamante’s heelwork but not with his in-ring work.
YAMATO was able to get a little bit of offense in to start his little comeback as he hits a stiff forearm and an Enziguri. YAMATO was able to toss Diamante into the ropes but Diamante flipped over to have himself standing by the apron with a rather sloppy Springboard Crossbody for a two count. Diamante dragged YAMATO into the corner as he attempts a Split-leg Moonsault and it looked like he slipped, landing almost on his head. YAMATO took advantage of this to roll him up a couple of times but Diamante kept kicking out at two. Diamante would do his tilt-a-whirl Backbreaker and Gutbuster. Diamante was planning to put him away as he popped him up but YAMATO caught him with the Frankensteiner of the Almighty and gets the victory. YAMATO will now be going to the finals!
Rating: Eric Bischoff
King of Gate B Block Match
Kaito Ishida vs. Naruki Doi
Review: We now go on to our next match as we have a champion versus champion match with our Open the Brave Gate Champion, Kaito Ishida taking on our Open the Dream Gate Champion, Naruki Doi. A rather interesting match-up as a win could mean something for Kaito if he can beat the top champion. Naruki is looking to win the whole thing as the champion as well. Which of these champions will win and who will fight YAMATO?
We get a regular starter this time around instead of Kaito attacking Doi before the bell. Things seem to be even with them locking up but Doi would be able to get Kaito to the outside and before he could attempt a dive, one of the R.E.D members stepped up to stop him, giving Kaito time to regroup for a second. Kaito eventually rolled back in but Doi caught him on the mat and attacked his head with a couple of knees. Once Doi was on the turnbuckle, he attempted to kick Kaito but his leg was caught and Kaito slammed his leg down. Kaito was able to cut Doi’ arsenal and mobility by half and he now uses this time to attack his leg with various strikes and submission holds. Kaito in R.E.D changed my perspective of him as he can go in the ring, has that heelish look for himself that it seems almost natural with his look.
Kaito was able to get Doi to the outside and attacked him a few times, hoping for a ring-out but Doi was able to make it before the count. Kaito immediately came out with a few soccer kicks and a beautiful Dropkick to top it off. Kaito would go for the Tiger Suplex but Doi hits him with an elbow and catches him with a Cutter. Doi hits the Bakatare Sliding Kick and Kaito kicked out at two. Naruki hits the Doi555 and attempts another Bakatare Sliding Kick but Kaito would kick his leg in instead. Kaito applies the Ankle Lock in tight and it could make the champion tap, but Doi was able to roll him off but would accidentally hit the referee in the process. Kaito was able to get his R.E.D buddies in to charge at him until Kaito failed at the end, leading Doi’s Touryumon group to do the same thing they did. Doi looked like to finish him off but R.E.D tossed salt into the champs eyes and Kaito would roll him up with a School Boy and gets the victory over the champ! I did not see that coming but that now makes things very interesting! Wonder if he gets a future shot after the tournament is over.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
King of Gate C Block Match
Eita vs. Dragon Dia
Review: It is now time for our last block match as we end C Block with R.E.D leader, Eita taking on Dragon Dia. We have one R.E.D member going into the final four and we could have another one in there if Eita can score a victory over Dragon Kid’s protege. Dia was able to get two big victories over Takashi Yoshida and KAZMA SAKAMOTO in the tournament and he could defeat the leader of the group to win the block. Who will win C Block?
What’s this? Dia wasted no time and he would be the one that attacks Eita before the bell, he isn’t messing around and smart to strike first before he does. Dia hits a Hurricanrana to get him to the outside and attempted a Baseball Slide, which he misses and hits a Standing Moonsault off the apron. Dia gets him back into the ring as the two punch each other for a bit until Eita knocked him down with a big chop. Dia caught him off guard for a moment and looked like he was gonna hit a Springboard but Eita pushed him off to the outside. Eita went outside of the ring and would look under the ring, taking out some chairs to place down on the floor. Eita picked him up and hits a Suplex onto the pile of chairs. Eita seems to be a better opponent for Dia since he gave him his best singles match for right now and the story involving it since Eita has a history with Dia’s mentor, Dragon Kid, and Ultimo Dragon on top of that, so the story writes itself.
Eita snapped Dia’s fingers ala Marty Scrull like the sick fuck he is. Eita throws Dia into the corner and once he charged at him, Dia caught him with a beautiful DDT. Dia would top it off with a 619 and a running Shooting Star for Eita to kick out at two. Dia dragged Eita to the corner as he goes to the top to hit a 450 Splash as Eita kicked out again. Dia would attempt another Springboard but Eita ducked as Dia was able to kick him and he would attempt to flip over Eita but was caught with a Powerbomb. Eita would set Dia up for the Vertebreaker but Dia was able to fight out and hit the Bible for a two count. Dia would run towards Eita as he was caught with the Imperial Uno. Eita would go for the cover but he breaks the count on purpose, he’s not done with him yet and hits one more Imperial Uno, securing the victory for C Block.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Second Chance Battle Royal
Big R Shimizu, H.Y.O, Kzy, Ryo Saito, Dragon Dia, Naruki Doi, Ben-K, Genki Horiguchi, Yosuke Santa Maria, and Jason Lee
Review: It’s now time for our final match to see who will be the fourth and final person to qualify for the final four as we have a battle royal with ten people in the tournament that lost. Some of these men either lost in the first round or made it to the block finals as these guys have a chance for a comeback. Which one of them will get a second chance?
Since H.Y.O and Big R are the only R.E.D members in this match, of course, they all would gang up on these two. That was what they did for a good while, even had a little line where one would put Big R in an arm wringer and the other hits his arm with a Double Ax Handle, this would go on after a few people until Big R was able to shoulder tackle Dia and Yosuke. H.Y.O would attempt to copy with Big R what they did to him a few minutes ago but he slipped and landed on the top turnbuckle. Ben-K was able to hit H.Y.O with a Spear and he attempts a Powerbomb but H.Y.O fought him off and was able to toss Ben over the ropes, making him the first one gone! Oh how the mighty have fallen, poor Ben. The next elimination occurred when Big R would hit Jason Lee with the Shot-put Slam and pinned him to get him out of there.
It’s hard to fully judge a battle royal due to it mostly being the same with people fighting around the ring, a small alliance being formed, somebody hits a series of moves, and an elimination happens. Genki would attempt the Backslide from Heaven onto H.Y.O but he powered out of it to do some same thing to Genki and he’s the next one out. Eliminations keep on happening now as the next one occurred when Kzy rolled up Ryo Saito after failing to hit the SaiRyo Rocket. R.E.D seems to be doing well with only two of them and they would now work together to try and take out Dia. Dia would hit the DDT onto H.Y.O and the Reptilianrana, eliminating H.Y.O. Soon as the bell rung, Big R would flip them over to have them both pin Dia, eliminating him as well and we’re now down to our final four.
Big R, Kzy, Doi, and Santa Maria are left now as three of them would gang up on Big R and it was going well until Big R caught Kzy and throws him over with a Fallaway Slam, his members catching him before he landed on the floor. The referee said he was safe but Big R pushed him off as Kzy is not eliminated. *Rips notes up again* There goes two of my picks not making it! Big R attempts to hit the Shot-put Slam onto Santa Maria but he would turn it into a crucifix pin, eliminating Big R as it’s down to Santa Maria and Naruki Doi! Santa Maria doesn’t celebrate long as Doi would quickly toss him over the ropes, making himself the winner as he will face Eita in the semi-finals. Naruki winning this tells me a couple of things. One, that they wanted to save YAMATO and Doi for the finals or they would’ve just had Doi beat Kaito in the block finals, so that means Eita’s chances of winning are now slim. Two, this could mean that Naruki Doi might win the whole thing while being the champion. Who will he challenge though? Well, if he does somehow win, then it could be clear that he would wanna challenge his friend and rival, Masato Yoshino to give him one more title match before Yoshino would retire. That be a way to send him off into the sunset.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Overall: With only four matches for this article, three out of four of them were entertaining to watch. We now have our final four with YAMATO, Kaito Ishida, Eita, and Naruki Doi. One of these men will come out as the winner of this year’s King of Gate. The ball is in anyone’s court right now as each of them could lead to something big once this is over.
Favorite Match: Kaito Ishida vs. Naruki Doi
Least Favorite Match: YAMATO vs. Diamante