I would like to point out that I am dropping Dragon Gate from my Japanese puroresu watching as I’m rather getting fed up with the repeated overkill of the big matches. After this, I only have the annual Kobe World show to watch and I’ll be done.Anthony W. Mori, PAC & Syachihoko Machine VS Cyber Kong, Akira Tozawa & Super Shenlong
- Fast paced match with everyone getting to show their stuff. Cyber Kong seems to be putting on some weight, and not in a good way, but it’s still tough to beat his power game, which made for some comedic spots with Syachihoko Machine.Match Rating: *
Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa Busou 10-Match Series – Match 3: Stalker Ichikawa VS Shinobu Kandori
- Stalker matches are only funny when he can get some offense in, not when they are instant squash matches where the only move done wins the match.Match Rating: DUD
Hardcore Match: Naoki Tanisaki VS Shingo Takagi
- Short match, but fun since you don’t see many matches in Dragon Gate that involve barb-wire boards and bats! Short match, but they pulled out some fun spots like Shingo slamming Naoki off the apron through a table! Shingo wins dropping Naoki on his head on a pile of chairs with the Made In Japan.Match Rating: ***
Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii & El Blazer VS Gamma, Genki Horiguchi & NOSAWA Rongai
- Your standard face team versus heel team six-man tag. NOSAWA seemed barely a factor here and could easily have been replaced by any of the other Muscle Outlawz members.Match Rating: *
Special Singles Match: Naruki Doi VS KENTA
- KENTA gave a lot to put over Doi in the beginning, and they had a rather OK match here. I kind of surprised they didn’t do the usual “hit-a-hundred finishers” finish to end the match here, as KENTA hit the Go 2 Sleep rather out of nowhere to win the match to a rather flat response. Could have been better, but I don’t think KENTA really cared all that much for this one.Match Rating: **1/2
Open the Twin Gate Unified Tag Team Titles: Taku Iwase & Kenichiro Arai [C] VS Ryo Saito & Susumu Yokosuka
- Saito & Yokosuka win the tag titles, but what I HATED about the match is how Yokosuka started the match barely able to walk with his heavily bandaged leg, but by the end of the match he’s throwing lariats like nobody’s business! Which was how he won the match! Having a straight forward competitive match without the bad leg wouldn’t have hurt, and it makes Iwase & Arai look bad for losing to an injured guy.Match Rating: **1/2
Mask VS Hair Six-Way Escape Cage Match: BxB Hulk VS YAMATO VS Yasushi Kanda VS Masato Yoshino VS Dragon Kid VS CIMA
- If there is one thing I HATE about Dragon Gate above the overkill in their big matches, it’s CIMA’s overkill of being the underdog when he really isn’t. How many times already have we seen CIMA go into a match with an “injury”, and feigns certain death throughout the whole match only to make a super-human recovery at the end the likes of Hulk Hogan to win the match? Same case here! When CIMA was the last babyface in the ring against THREE Muscle Outlawz members, I just knew he would defy the odds and his “bad” arm to win the match. Three on one and the heels still couldn’t pull it off? Sure they played up the Outlawz turning on Yoshino which gave CIMA a breather/excuse to win the match, but you also had CIMA playing up how bad his arm was that he couldn’t even lift it or get any grip on the cage with it! Suddenly his Typhoon buddies hand him a pair of gloves to help with his grip, no big deal right? NO! CIMA not only climbs the corner of the cage, but he jumps up to grab a conveniently placed corner bar with BOTH his hands, and has the strength to skin the cat and pull his whole body weight up! He could have just climbed up the cage directly, but NO again! Had to be flashy, which totally spoiled the match for me! Having CIMA escape with the final 2 being Kanda and Yoshino for the drama of Outlawz kicking out Yoshino would have been more dramatic rather than CIMA being a glory-hog yet again.
The way the match was built up was that the focal point was YAMATO for pissing off 4 of the other 5 competitors in the match, which would logically make him be the man everyone sees gets his head shaved, but instead he was the first of the Outlawz to escape. Yoshino gets by as they built up the rest of the group turning on him, with only Doi backing him up and helping him to escape with his hair, which left Kanda as the sacrificial lamb to get his head shaved.
The match overall was OK up to ‘till CIMA was the last man left with the Outlawz as you just knew what was coming from that point on, which spoiled it for me and can’t look past it to give this match a better rating.Match Rating: **
I’m rather glad I only have one Dragon Gate show left to watch before I completely wipe my hands clean of this promotion. Unless Genki wins the Dream Gate, I don’t expect to continue watching any time soon.
Labels: Dragon Gate