I’m not going to be doing a super detailed run down of each match this time, but just so I don’t go too long without doing a recap I wanted to get this out while it was still fresh in my mind.
1. Super Shisa vs. Takuya Tomakomai
A decent opener. Tomakomai is the new rookie that we’ve been hearing about and he was pretty impressive I’d say. It always helps to wrestle your first big match against your trainer and Shisa did a good job of making him look good. Those chops were beastly to say the least. This match won’t be remembered for long, but a fair showing nonetheless.
2. K-ness and Susumu Yokosuka vs. NOSAWA Rongai and MAZADA
Unfortunately NOSAWA and Mazada have gone back to being extremely dull to watch (as opposed to the end of last year when I actually started to come round to them). This match was overall fairly disappointing and was pretty confusing as to why it was on the card. Clearly it was just to show the dominance of KneSuka, which is fine in itself, but I still feel like the Deep Drunkers feud isn’t resolved properly. Oh well, guess we’ll have to wait until they are Twin champs come Korakuen.
3. Loser Returns to Dark Matches: Akira Tozawa vs. Cyber Kong
Another mind boggler. Two rising stars who both need spotlight and one gets sent to dark matches if they lose? Hmmm… Well I can’t say this match lit my world on fire as really I can’t remember much of what happened. Sorry I can’t say more but really, I cannot remember this match at all. Kong wins. Tozawa to dark matches. Great.
4. Open the Brave Gate Title Match: Dragon Kid vs. Tigers Mask (c)
I have to say I do kind of like Tigers Mask. Dragon Kid was a bit too over-eager in this match and it showed when he messed up the same spot twice. Really he shouldn’t even have gone for it again anyway. I’ve never seen something like that before and it will be interesting to see if that affects Kid’s confidence in the future. For the most part though Tigers Mask made the match what it was and I dug his nightstick in the boot, kick to the head finish. Great heel move and even though he isn’t a Dragon Gate competitor, I think he’s a great Brave Gate champion. Still doesn’t make sense that he IS the champion, but whatyagonnado?
5. Open the Triangle Gate Titles Match: Akebono, Masaaki Mochizuki and Don Fujii (c) vs. Takuya Sugawara, Yasushi Kanda and Kzy
I was looking forward to this match for one reason and that was because there could be only one outcome – no more Akebono. Of course we did have to sit through him and Suga in the ring and I’m not convinced that having Sugawara as a Triangle Champ is much better, but at least the Triangle matches going forward can be more than one dimensional. Suga being in this match as opposed to Arai is one more head scratcher, but for some reason Dragon Gate wants to get across that he is the DD leader. Kanda and Kzy kept this match from being boring although Mochi coming out with a boxing glove to a no DQ match didn’t make any sense. As if punching someone with a boxing glove would hurt more than your kicks? What? Kanda’s elbow with the chain for the finish was nice to see though.
6. WORLD-1 vs. WARRIORS Full Confrontation Naniwa-Style Elimination Match: Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, BxB Hulk and Naoki Tanisaki vs. CIMA, Gamma, Genki Horiguchi and Ryo Saito
OK now things are starting to pick up. Up to this point the show had been pretty boring and uneventful. Doi really is starting to take a backseat right now and I think this is a mistake. He should be doing what CIMA is doing and still being the man in the spotlight, just not holding any titles. Nevertheless, him getting pinned early was a shock but really made this match feel like anything can happen.
I’ve got to say the whole Ryo being slightly retarded, at first made me wonder what they were doing, but as soon as he tried coming out before his time I knew it was going to be awesome. He looked to be in shape and ready to go which was a bit surprising, but he went out much earlier than I would have liked. I guess it makes sense though since this is his first match back and shouldn’t be pushing himself too hard.
Everyone performed at their best and with the exception of when it came to CIMA and Gamma against Yoshino, kept a phenomenal pace. It was great to see CIMA and Gamma take on the heel roles at this point though. The crowd at first was so hot for Yoshino but when it came down to he and CIMA left I was left a little unsure who they were cheering for. No question the match of the night and one has to wonder how long they will be keeping Yoshino Mr Number 2 for. He’s been that guy his whole career but has always been so good and so over that really, his time is now. Well it would be were it not for…
7. Open the Dream Gate Title Match: Shingo Takagi vs. YAMATO (c)
The match I was looking forward to the most and for the most part it did it’s job. YAMATO working the arm the whole match was really nice to see and Shingo actually selling it was awesome (I shouldn’t have to say that, but this is Shingo after all). The match was mostly Shingo controlled but there was some good pacing and I really loved the Fujiwara arm bar > ref stop finish. It made so much sense in the context and it made me totally mark out. Someone else said this elsewhere but I want to reiterate: YAMATO is THIS good after only 3 years. The future is very bright for Dragon Gate if he stays on top of his game and injury free. A seriously true shining star.
The extended ending to the show with KAMIKAZE coming back together as a unified unit was actually really good. WORLD-1 have been the dominating unit for so long but really, it’s all KAMIKAZE now. They are really so strong and if the reappearance of Iwasa (another huge mark out from me here) is anything to go by, their future is looking really bright. I was originally hoping for a Shingo heel turn, but I have changed my mind as I want to see a full on domination of KAMIKAZE for a while. They are one of the stronger units from the past few years now that Dragon Kid has left (sorry Kido, but it’s true) and as soon as Tozawa comes out of dark matches and Iwasa makes his long anticipated comeback, things will be superb for them.
Overall not a very memorable PPV, but the last two matches really redeemed it. I wouldn’t be recommending this show as a great example of what DG is capable of (except the Naniwa elimination match I guess) but certainly there have been worse.