Starts off with a look back at the Brave Gate League matches from the 3/17 Korakuen Hall show. First with Tozawa pulling off the huge upset of pinning Naruki Doi thanks to a bag full of protein powder, then Dragon Kid stealing the win from Masato Yoshino with a quick crucifix pin. We then see highlights from the main event of that show where Yasushi Kanda lead the Original M2K to victory over Blood Generation. That’s followed by Susumu and CIMA challenging each other to a number contenders match for Ryo Saito’s Dream Gate title. Open the Brave Gate League: Super Shisa VS Masato Yoshino (3/18/2006)
This was clipped down a bit, and from what they showed of Shisa on offense, it looked like Yoshino couldn’t be bothered to sell much for the guy! They actually did a ref bump leading to Shisa hitting the Yoshi Tonic but with no one to count, and we than had one of the weirdest finishes ever where they traded cradles back and forth and ended up with the referee counting BOTH their shoulders down and the match is declared a draw! They each get a point and Yoshino leads the two since he has one point more than Shisa.Match Rating: *
We get a really quick look at Naoki Tanizaki beating Akira Tozawa with a running knee strike to the head he calls the Casanova, to tie Yoshino with 6pts leading the League. That means if Dragon Kid wins his match with Doi, there will be a 3-way tie and a 3-way dance for the finals!Open the Brave Gate League: Dragon Kid VS Naruki Doi (3/18/2006)
This was a quick back and forth battle, with Doi using the usual cheating tactics to try and steal the win from Kid. Doi managed to kick out of the Ultra Hurricanrana, and Kid managed to kick out of a top rope powerbomb! Don’t know why, but the Ultra Hurricanrana is supposed to be Kid’s finisher, but I’ve seen a lot of people kick out of it recently. It wouldn’t hurt to have Kid kick out of the Doi555 which he avoided like death during the match? Kid did manage to kick out of the Bakarate Sliding Kick though, and he also did this fun suplex counter where he flipped out into a stunner! The finish came when Yoshino tried to help Doi cheat, but Tanizaki took care of him by hitting him with a garbage can! He also hit Doi with the can, giving Kid the chance to hit a DDT followed by the Dragonrana for the win.
We now have a 3-way dance for the finals!Match Rating: *1/2
Open the Brave Gate League Finals: Masato Yoshino VS Naoki Tanizaki VS Dragon Kid (3/19/2006)
Where to begin with this? How about the fact that Tanizaki walked out of the match TWICE! First when his fellow Do-Fixer team mate and in-match opponent Dragon Kid accidentally hit him twice thanks to some nifty countering from Yoshino, but he came back after a bit with his thrash can to use as a weapon. The second time was when Ryo Saito accidentally hit him after helping to fend off interference from Blood Generation, which lead to a brawl between the two at ringside before Tanizaki walked out of the TITLE MATCH! There should never be a reason to walk out of a title match in my opinion after all the hard work he went through to get there.
The Ultra-Hurricanrana again loses credibility as Yoshino is able to kick out of it, after a top-rope Diamond Cutter no less! At least Kid kicked out of the Lightning Spiral and Another Space before a second Lightning Spiral softened him up enough for Yoshino to lock on the Sol Naciente for the submission win.
Another thing I didn’t like was the lighting of the venue, as whenever they used the ringside cameramen, the spotlights would shine right into the lens making the picture way too bright. Ever had the sun reflect off the windscreen of the car in front of you into your eyes? That’s what it felt like watching this match at times, and it was hard to catch that Kid actually gave up at the end because of it. An OK match, but just really hard to watch for me.Match Rating: **
Kenichiro Arai VS Akira Tozawa (4/12/2006)
The beginning of Tozawa-Juku! He instantly got over with the crowd, so of course Araken had to squash him just like when Tozawa’s dancing gimmick was getting him over. Tozawa didn’t have a lot of offense in, but he did a cool looking stunner out of a full-nelson. He also took a lot of punishment from Araken, but he ASKED for it mostly to show how much of a man’s man he is! He even did the old “Thank you, Sir, May I have another, Sir?!?” bit when Araken kept laying running face kicks to him! Tozawa also had this fun diving headbutt move where he did a very long pose to get to it, so of course he missed. Araken even let him hit the move a second time, but no sold it. So like I said, mostly a short squash with Araken winning with his Henshin Tiger Suplex-hold.Match Rating: *
Loser Changes Character Handicap Match: Stalker Ichikawa VS the Florida Brothers (4/12/2006)
So with his gimmick on the line, Stalker goes from being the super job-boy who gets KO’d from punches and kicks to being able to kick out of a Doomsday Device as well as Michael and Daniels’ finishers? And still have enough to pull of a BEAUTIFUL German suplex-hold I might add. Sure they threw logic out the door as far as the characters were concerned, but what the heck, it was fun to watch.
Tozawa came out after the match and draped Michael in his white jacket before walking off. K-ness informs Stalker that by winning the match, he gets a shot at a special opponent at the next pay per view on 4/23, and that opponent will be none other than Yutaka Yoshie!
Bye Bye Floridas.Match Rating: *
Another quick look back at the feel good win of Yasushi Kanda and Original M2K defeating Blood Generation with Kanda hitting the Gegokujoh Elbow drop on Don Fujii for the win, followed by Susumu and CIMA’s declarations for challenging Ryo Saito for the Dream Gate title. They also show the problems starting up between CIMA and Gamma.Open the Dream Gate No.1 Contenders Match: CIMA VS Susumu Yokosuka (3/19/2006)
I hear a lot of complaints about the no-selling of big moves in NOAH, but Dragon Gate does it a lot worse than them when it comes to the big matches. Take this match for example where Susumu hits the Jumbo no Kachi only for CIMA to pop up and hit the Schwein and Susumu pops up again to hit another Jumbo no Kachi, and this was after Susumu was hit with another Schwein previously! This bit of no-selling wouldn’t be a big deal if it was a sequence in the middle of the match with both guys collapsing after doing it, like NOAH would, but instead they like doing it near the end of the match, so both guys are taking big move after big move and just popping up for more without any real rest period in between! Sure it makes the match exciting, but it does nothing for the credibility of their finishers now does it?
I don’t think the finish did much for Susumu either since it took a miss-timed powder attack from Gamma to blind CIMA giving Susumu the chance to hit the Jumbo no Kachi-gatame for the win.
The match was clipped a lot and again suffered from the very bad lighting positions which is a real pain to the eyes.Match Rating: **
Highlights of the friction between CIMA and Gamma in Blood Generation, and how Naoki Tanizaki became the newest member when he blindsided Gamma. Don Fujii wanted to evaluate Tanizaki, and accepted him in to Blood Gen when Tanizaki pinned him in a tag match with the Casanova at Korakuen Hall on 4/12.Dragon Kid, Genki Horiguchi & Anthony W. Mori VS CIMA, Naruki Doi & Gamma (4/12/2006)
This was clipped down mostly just to show the problems within Blood Gen with CIMA and Gamma. But the good guys did get to show some fun offense, like Genki doing a half-nelson suplex! Dragon Kid also did this awesome super frankensteiner to Doi who was sitting on Mori’s shoulders on the TOP ROPE! And Mori hit the Elegant-ton (Swanton) for a near fall. But like I said, this match was mostly about Blood Gen, and it reached it’s peak when Gamma attacked everyone with a chair than cut Mori’s hair! Don’t know why, but CIMA actually defended Mori, leading to Doi turning on him and joining Gamma in beating him down. Yoshino also joined in and so did Tanizaki, and they beat down CIMA and Fujii. I guess they didn’t beat them down enough though, cause they still had it in them to argue over the microphone about who should get the Blood Gen name! CIMA really needs to decide if he’s selling those injured ribs or not.Match Rating: *
A look at Magnum TOKYO’s Ryuukon 10-Match Series, and how he was able to beat Tenryu on 2/05 with the AV Star Press.Ryuukon 10 Match Trial Series #5: Magnum TOKYO VS Genichiro Tenryu (3/25/2006)
This was rather surprising as Magnum had a lot more offense in than expected, and they played up a pretty good heavyweight match even if most of it was exchanging chops, strikes and kicks cause there’s only so much Tenryu can do at his age. The finish was rather surprising as Magnum won a strike exchange by chopping out Tenryu’s legs with low kicks, followed by a low dropkick to take him off his feet and a La Majistral cradle to score his second win in the series!Match Rating: *1/2
Ryo Saito & Susumu Yokosuka VS Magnum TOKYO & Masaaki Mochizuki (4/12/2006)
A lot of emphasis on Susumu and Mochizuki in this one. Mochi had his leg worked over, and Susumu had his arm worked over. Magnum and Mochi showed some good team work, and Magnum demonstrated some of the moves he’s been learning from Tenryu, like the WAR Special, and the Ryuukon Lariat. Ryo gave Magnum a fisherman’s buster on a pile of chairs out on the floor, and Susumu hit a big Jumbo no Kachi-gatame on Mochi after Ryo gave him a dragon suplex to pick up the win.
Probably would have preferred if the match wasn’t clipped down so much. Next stop: Korakuen Hall!Match Rating: **
Labels: Dragon Gate