K-ness. (pronounced kuh-ness) has had a tumultuous past in Dragon Gate. Originally debuting as MAKOTO in Toryumon, he quickly joined Crazy MAX. However, his time there was short lived as CMAX member TARU was not happy with his inclusion. They had a loser leaves town match which MAKOTO lost. Later, a mysterious masked wrestler known as Darkness Dragon appeared and would join the rising upstart group M2K.
He quickly went on to feud with Dragon Kid which culminated in a 2 out of 3 falls Mask vs Mask match at the Toryumon vs T2P event. Despite M2K’s involvement in the match, the betrayal by founding T2P member and current referee Yasushi Kanda meant that Darkness Dragon was forced to unmask.
He went on to change his name to K-ness. and would wrestle unmasked for a time while also turning babyface and forming Do FIXER with now friend, Dragon Kid. However, this was all a ruse on the part of M2K as it was revealed that the real Do FIXER was actually the remnants of M2K, including K-ness.
K-ness. masked again and heel once more went on to a memorable feud with Italian Connection member YOSSINO. The feud revolved around ownership of YOSSINO’s pet monkey Venezia, who K-ness. kidnapped and claimed his own. The feud includes some of the finest junior singles matches in all of Japan at the time and is considered one of Toryumon/Dragon Gate’s best.
K-ness. however would unfortunately be addled with injuries for the next few years effectively taking him out of the spotlight. A short lived comeback as part of a trio team with Masaaki Mochizuki and Don Fujii would see him capture the Triangle Gate belts, but upon losing these titles he would fade into the background once more. After a failed attempt at Masato Yoshino’s Brave Gate title once more it was largely considered (voiced by Yoshino but agreed by K-ness.) that he was a shadow of his former self. K-ness. vowed to regain his best form however and be at the top once again.
This happened when Ryo Saito, then part leader of heel group Real Hazard, ruptured his achilles tendon, forcing him out of the ring for a year. Shocking everyone, Susumu Yokosuka would bring in a now 100% K-ness. to replace him, reforming the successful M2K tag team known as KneSuka. At the top once more, K-ness. defeated Naoki Tanizaki to become Brave Gate champion. Although this reign was short it showed that K-ness. was truly back to his previous form.
KneSuka quickly went on to dominate in the tag field. However, Real Hazard, without any clear leadership, was doomed to failure and with it’s dissolution Kness. and Susumu decided to go it alone, foregoing any unit and simply being known as KneSuka. They were able to capture the Twin Gate titles during this period and had a very successful reign before losing. During this time period they were also invited many times by World-1 leader Yoshino to join his faction. After declining several times but aligning with them anyway, they eventually agreed to formally join, uniting former rivals Yoshino and K-ness. for the first time.
Real name: Makoto Saito
Pseudonyms: Darkness Dragon, MAKOTO
Born: April 16, 1974
- Darkness Buster (Cross-armed scoop brainbuster)
- Darkness Dragon Driver (Cross-armed sitout powerbomb)
- Darkness Bottom (Standing side slam)
- Aoki Hikari (Armlock camel clutch / Crossface combination)
- Shouryuukyaku (Jumping high-angle leg lariat into a pin)
- Tatsumakishoryuukyaku (Jumping corkscrew roundhouse kick)
- Hikari No Wa (Rolling Sunset Flip)
- Kaishaku (Gamengiri to a seated opponent)
- Judah (Modified over the shoulder single leg Boston crab, as a counter to Dragon Kid’s Christo)
- Sol Noches El (Inverted scissored armbar as a counter to Masato Yoshino’s Sol Naciente)
- STF / Armbar combination, as a counter to a hurricanrana
- Rope hung dragon sleeper