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  1. #1
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
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    Dragon Gate

    I went to Dragon Gate's Gate of Destiny show last night, so in lieu of a full-out column I thought I'd give my random thoughts on it here. I don't know if anyone follows them enough to not want to read spoilers but be warned that there are a few spoilers here.

    I sadly don't follow much of Dragon Gate, especially since it's not easy to find their work online (at least legally). But I do try to read up on them, so I was a bit prepared for yesterday's show. Overall it was a solid show, although the lack of title changes for such a big event was a bit shocking to me. I thought there'd be at least 2-3 changes, but there was only one (the Open the Triangle Gate Championship).

    I was pretty psyched to learn that Ricochet would be going back to Dragon Gate for this show, which was wholly unexpected since he's been working with New Japan. I'm guessing the rumors of him starting up with the WWE are close to reality and he's wanting to work at a few places before he reports to them next year. He had an awesome match against Eita, picking up the win in the process. I was happy with this match because it's actually the first one-on-one match I've seen Ricochet work in, since he's always been in multi-man matches whenever I've seen him in New Japan.

    I was expecting Genki Horiguchi to get the win against his former Jimmyz partner Kagetora for the Open the Brave Gate Championship, but he didn't. I haven't followed the Jimmyz breakup too closely but it doesn't seem like they've done much with it in the last few months since they disbanded. Maybe there's something in the cards for next year, but I was expecting something to happen here. Instead we got a short 10 minute match with Horiguchi and Kagetora embracing at the end and walking up the ramp together.

    CIMA and Dragon Kid won the Open the Twin Gate Championship at this very show in Osaka last year, and they successfully defended the titles here again to keep their 1+ year reign going. I like both of these guys but their teaming feels very strange to me, like they don't mesh very well. It was a really good match, though. Ben-K and Big R Shimizu were pretty good in defeat.

    The Open the Triangle Gate Championship match was a three-team match, so it felt like a clusterfuck at times, but still well done. I really like the heel work that VerserK puts on, and their team dynamic is really awesome. The mix of the strength of Shingo Takagi, the craziness of Cyber Kong and the smarmy Lindaman works really well. The other teams also worked really well (Tribe Vanguard with Yamato, BxB Hulk and Kzy, MaxiMuM with Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino and Kotoka). As I mentioned, this was the only title that changed hands with Tribe Vanguard winning the belts. That was okay with me, although I really wanted the heels to retain here.

    The Open the Dream Gate Championship match was between the current champ Masaaki Mochizuki and former Jimmyz member Susumu Yokosuka. Mochizuki is nearly 48 years old and has been wrestling for over 20 years, which is really impressive in itself, so it was pretty shocking that he took the belt off of Yamato who had that belt for over a year. During the match the former Jimmyz members came down ringside, as well as Don Fujii (Mochizuki's former partner, from what I understand). I thought Susumu was getting the win here since Horiguchi didn't get the win earlier in the night and the fact that all of his former stablemates were cheering him on. But at the end of a long, drawn-out match Mochizuki retained. It was a decent match with some good selling and psychology involved but I didn't feel it was main-event level for an event like this. Mochizuki looked winded at the 5-minute mark, and they went for about 23 minutes from what I read online, so it was a lot slower paced than I'm used to for Dragon Gate matches.

    In all, like I mentioned, it was a solid show and I enjoyed it a lot. I really dig a lot of their roster. T-Hawk looks amazing and is just 27 years old so I think he's going to be a big star in the company. The veterans like Gamma and Don Fujii are a lot of fun to watch them do their thing. I really like Punch Tominaga's role as the crazy dude out there mostly taking a ass-kicking in a serious yet hilarious way. A lot of the younger guys like Jason Lee and Hyo Watanabe look like they have a lot of upside to them. The Dragon Gate roster is stable (almost all of the wrestlers I saw last night were also on the card last year) and there's a good mix, so it's really a good promotion. There's a pretty decent fan base - supposedly 5500 fans were in the stadium, which I think is a sell-out crowd, and what New Japan will pull for Power Struggle in the same building tomorrow. I just wish that I could follow their shows easily and stay up to date with them.

    EDIT: I guess I should post a few pictures that I took to spice up this post and make it look more column-like:



    The beginning of the show.




    Ricochet before his




    Yamato, BxB Hulk and Kzy celebrate their championship win.




    Masaaki Mochizuki's entrance.




    After Mochizuki's successful title defense.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 11-04-2017 at 02:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Me Gusta Cola Jeff's Avatar
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    So, the big show featuring Kzy vs. Mochizuki happened today. Some tidbits:

    -Punch Tomianga and Ryo Saito beat the team of Yasushi Kanda and Shingo Takagi. Punch pinned Kanda and thus gets a Brave Gate shot against him. Meanwhile, with the win and with GM Yagi's help, Saito is forcing Shingo to fight him for the Owarai Gate title, which Shingo is LOATHE to do. Should be a fun time
    -After the result of the main, Kzy leaves Tribe Vanguard! Afterwards ANTIAS comes out to call him an idiot for now being unitless, but out to his aide come the next Twin Gate challengers, Susumu Yokosuka and Genki Horiguchi. Not only do they back him up here, they ask to help him out going forward, declaring they'll help him reach the top. Looks like the start of a new stable, which I'm VERY interested in

  3. #3
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update! I really wanted to watch that show and I totally forgot about it. I need to put these dates on a calendar or something to keep track of them better.

    I'm sure mizfan is over the moon that Tominaga won and is getting a Brave Gate title shot. I'm curious if they'll actually go with him as the Brave Gate champ.

    The grouping between Yokosuka, Horiguchi and Kzy is really interesting. I'm mostly wondering what that means for Tribe Vanguard with Kzy's decision as well as what they'll do now they're down to (I think) just four.

  4. #4
    Me Gusta Cola Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate View Post
    I'm mostly wondering what that means for Tribe Vanguard with Kzy's decision as well as what they'll do now they're down to (I think) just four.
    It's actually five now: Hulk, YAMATO, Santa Maria, Flamita, and U-T. There are still ex-Jimmyz floating around without a stable, Saito and Kagetora most notably. Wouldn't be surprised to see Kage join TV to give them another solid worker, I think he'd pair well teaming with literally any of those folks. A Hulk/Kage or YAMA/Kage team would be sweet, and them as a trio would, for my money, give Tribe the best possible combination of workers in a trio.

    Meanwhile, I also wouldn't be surprised if Saito and Punch remain a combination, maybe even joining Kzy's new group. Still waiting for the ball to drop on a Over Generation breakup to really open things up for new stable members all around.

  5. #5
    The Brain
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    PUNCH TOMINAGA!!! YOU CAN DO IT MAN!!!

    Actually I think it's about as likely as Mondai Ryu winning the belt, but I can dream.

    New stable is always exciting times. Can't wait to see what weird awesome name they come up with.

  6. #6
    The Brain
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    I'm just counting down the days til my man Punch goes back where he belongs and joins the new evil jerk stable.

  7. #7
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
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    A few important title matches have been set for March 3rd and 4th in Osaka:

    March 3rd:

    - Yasushi Kanda vs. Punch Tominaga: Open the Brave Gate Championship match
    - MaxiMuM (Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino and Jason Lee) vs. Tribe Vanguard (YAMATO, BxB Hulk and Yosuke♡Santa Maria): Open the Triangle Gate Championship match

    March 4th:

    - T-Hawk and Eita vs. Susumu Yokosuka & Genki Horiguchi: Open the Twin Gate Championship match
    - Ben-K vs. Masaaki Mochizuki: Open the Dream Gate Championship match

    I'm intrigued by the Dream Gate title match. The little I've seen of Ben-K, I've enjoyed a lot. And he's actually quite young (turned 26 last October) so there's a lot of upside to him. I'm a bit lukewarm on Mochizuki's title reign so far. I mean, he's good in the ring but as someone who's new to watching the promotion I honestly don't see anything special about him. It feels like this title reign is serving the long-time fans instead.

    I'd love to go to both of these shows in person but sadly I already have plans for both dates

  8. #8
    The Brain
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    I'd be ok with Mochizuki losing the title sometime soon, but probably not to Ben K. I'm still not sure who the best candidate for that is.

    That Tribe Vanguard trio looks way, way up my street though!

  9. #9
    Me Gusta Cola Jeff's Avatar
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    When Mocchy drops the belt, I think it'll be to a younger guy, to usher in the newest generation as having made it. Kzy could get it if he gets a second shot, but I think it's gonna come down to four people: T-Hawk, Eita, El Lindaman, or Big R Shimizu. Ben-K's a bit too new so I don't think he'll get it yet, but those four have been around for a few years and have built themselves up over time, and I could see any of them getting it. T-Hawk and Eita seem to be beloved by the company, El Lindaman is probably the most overall talented of everyone, and Shimizu's popular and talented. Gotta be one of them to take the belt off of ol' Mochizuki.

  10. #10
    The Brain
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    Woah, El Lindaman more talented than Eita?!? That's news to me, I gotta take another look at Lindaman!

  11. #11
    Me Gusta Cola Jeff's Avatar
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    I did say more 'overall' talented lol. Lindaman's probably one of the best talkers in DG; I remember reports of him destroying even CIMA back when he was still Yuga Hayashi. Neither T-Hawk nor Eita have his mic prowess and oftentimes seem to...kinda suck lol.

    Plus I think he's fantastic in the ring, probably a more solid worker than everyone in that group tbh. Problem is, he's more-or-less the 'established fall guy' of VerserK/ANTIAS, good enough to get wins but also regularly taking the losses. So I dunno if he gets as many chances to show that off anymore; he's not as protected in that regard as either T-Hawk or Eita

  12. #12
    The Brain
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    I was gonna say, I thought he was a bit of a job guy still. But either way I gotta give him another look, I probably can't say much about his mic skills but if he's got those ring skills I want to check it out!

  13. #13
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
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    I was also under the impression that El Lindaman was just a job guy. I'll have to keep my eye out for him. I do know that the times I've gone to Dragon Gate shows I want someone to punch him in the face hard, so I guess he's great in that heel role!

    Out of all the people Jeff mentioned as better contenders for the Dream Gate title, I hope it's T-Hawk. He's been one of my favorites since I've been watching the promotion. Since he's still only 27 I'm sure he'll have at least one main event run in him eventually, but I hope it's sooner rather than later.

  14. #14
    The Brain
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    I think he's the next most likely after Eita. Either one would definitely be interesting and a pretty fresh addition to the main event scene.

    Watched an El Lindaman tag match yesterday and I'm still not sure I'm seeing what Jeff is seeing in the guy. He's good, but is he that good? Will have to talk about it on the show next week!

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