I liked the highlights of the Round 1 and Round 2 matches of the tournament they showed at the beginning of the show.Super Shisa, King Shisa, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Magnum TOKYO VS Masato Yoshino, Naruki Doi, Don Fuji & Magnitude Kishiwada
You know how all the Blood Generation members come out with the work-out tools which represent their personality? Why does Kishiwada have INFLATABLE dumbbells instead of real ones?!?
The match itself was a good fast paced opener with a good blend of speedy offense, aerial assaults and comedy mixed together, even if it did feel a little bit short. I felt like you just didn’t see enough of everyone that was involved in the match, even if they did do some fun stuff like the Blood Generation quadriple team on Shisa.
I’m kind of interested in King Shisa as he seems to be playing the role of an old, bigger Shisa, but can still match speed and agility with the likes of everyone else. He had a good exchange with Magnitude and a singles match between the 2 of them would make for an interesting contest.Match Rating: **Florida Brothers (Michael Iwase & Daniel Mishima) VS Vangellys
I expected Vangellys to be another of those masked luchadors, but this guy actually has more of a Latin Lover ladies man gimmick going for him, complete with a lap dance and strip routine as his ring entrance, and this kid is jacked too.
Vangellys actually looked really out of place in this match, but they did actually wrestle more as a way to show off Vangellys’ aerial skills, and he does move well for his size. I also think this is the first time the Florida Brothers won a match by DQ where they guy actually got himself DQ’d on purpose.Match Rating: 1/2*Do-FIXER (Genki Horiguchi & Naoki Tanisaki) VS Generation Next (Jack Evans & Roderick Strong)
I’ve got several ROH shows, but I’ve never really watched them thoroughly, so I was really surprised by Jack Evans here as he probably stole the match with his high-flying acrobatics. A major promotion like WWE could easily build their entire cruiserweight division around him if they had the brains to as he impressed me in this one match more than Rey Mysterio has in the past few months.
This was a fun and entertaining match from start to finish, with a great showing from all four men involved. I liked Genki in the arrogant, cocky senior role as he beat down Evans and mocked him by snatching and wearing his do-rag, and he looked good in it too!
Roderick Strong had a great showing here as well as he wowed the crowd with his arsenal of back-breakers and gut-busters. And the Generation Next team did this really painful looking spot where they perched Genki between the turnbuckles, then Evans did a flip out of a powerbomb by Strong into a spinning foot stomp on Genki’s back! These guys definitely know how to innovate their offense and I loved that these four worked together so well. I just feel for Genki here as he had to drop the fall instead of Tanisaki.Match Rating: **King of Gate Tournament: Kenichiro Arai VS CIMA
Kenichiro Arai got this far in the tournament due to some serious luck. He received a by in the first round, and he won by forfeit in the second round because Anthony “W” Mori got injured. So when we get to the actual match here, we get treated to one of the oldest in ring stories in pro-wrestling: The arrogant heel beating down the injured baby-face. And as you all probably know, this is one of the angles I hate to see the most.
So in the match you get CIMA wailing away on Arai’s bad leg, with Arai only managing to get in those small bursts of offense, but not being able to get the win because of his injury, like not being able to hold the pin when he hit the Hanshin Tiger-suplex cause his knee couldn’t hold the weight.
The only thing of note in this match was the top rope facebuster on a chair by Arai to CIMA, CIMA giving Arai a dragon screw with a steel chair, and CIMA’s new Schwein-gatame submission finisher, where CIMA lifts his opponent in the Schwein position, than kneels down and pulls down on his opponent’s legs in a figure four position. While I like a good story in a wrestling match, the longer this one went the more I wished it would end already.Match Rating: 1/2*King of Gate Tournament: BxB Hulk VS Shingo Takagi
The battle of Dragon Gate’s next generation stars, only Takagi has a few months of seniority over Hulk, and was playing the big man VS little man game since he outsized and out-powered Hulk. Hulk definitely has a future with Dragon Gate as he’s got that pretty boy look the girls love and definitely has some skills to back up his looks. It’ll be interesting to see how he does when the heels finally start selling his offense and his finishers actually start working, and of course if he can stay healthy since he bumps his ass off all the time.
Now Takagi on the other hand is a favorite of mine. He’s got a good bad ass look, and some skills to go with it too, including two killer finishers in the Last Falcony (wrist-clutch spinning Olympic Slam) and the Grand Fall (reverse fireman’s carry into an inverted face buster), and he already has a good push going for him as a powerhouse worker. I just wish they’d stop trying to make him act like Shuji Kondo as there are definitely some similarities there with the way he keeps going for the big lariat all the time.
I liked the match, but it just felt too one sided for me and I would have preferred if it had been more of a see-saw battle instead.Match Rating: *1/2King of Gate Tournament: Susumu Yokosuka VS Dragon Kid
I thought this match was really solid compared to the previous two tournament matches as they didn’t one guy a clear advantage like the others did. Interesting start to the match as Kid tried a 619 fake on Susumu on the outside, but Susumu tried to lariat him out of it, resulting in Susumu hurting his arm and Kid hurting his knees! The match was mostly worked around Kid attacking Susumu’s arm, but Susumu was still able to battle back even if it did seem like he forgot to sell the arm at certain points.
They even managed to get in a few comedy spots with referee Bakery Yagi as Susumu pulled Yagi into the line of fire and he ate a missile dropkick from Kid, Kid than ducked a lariat from Susumu and Yagi at that too! Finally, Kid went for Deva Ju on Susumu, but Susumu passed him to Yagi in mid air resulting in Yagi getting flipped!
When things got serious again we were treated to some great action, like Kid giving Susumu a diving head scissors off the top flipping him off the apron to the floor, Kid countering a top rope Last Ride into a Franken-steiner, and a SICK Ultra Hurrican-rana from Kid that saw Susumu crash right on his head when they couldn’t get the complete flip! There was even a bit where Susumu started doing K-ness’ moves like the Darkness Buster and Blue Light! The only problem I guess I had with the match was the out of nowhere ending when Susumu flipped through an Ultra Hurrican-rana and got the flash pin. This was still a solid contest and the best match on the show up to this point.Match Rating: ***1/2King of Gate Tournament: Ryo Saito VS Masaaki Mochizuki
First we had Ryo working on Mochi’s leg, than we had Mochi working on Ryo’s arm, and after all that they put on a solid back and forth war. One of the coolest spots in the match was Ryo catching Mochi out of mid air in a knee-bar when Mochi tried for the triple jump flip kick.
The match boiled down to both men going back and forth trying to beat the crap out of each other, mostly with Ryo taking Mochi’s heavy kicks but being able to rebound back with some big moves of his own. The ending saw both men trying to beat each other to the punch and hit their dragon suplex finishers, with Ryo winning out in the end.Match Rating: ***Overall:
A strong show overall with some good action throughout and two great main events. Check back soon when I review the finals of the tournament!
Labels: Dragon Gate