Dragon Gate “Gate of Victory”
October 9, 2014 
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Jimmy Susumu, Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!, Mr. Quu Quu Tanizaki Naoki Toyonaka Dolphin & Jimmy Kagetora vs. Super Shisa, Shachihoko BOY, Yosuke♡Santa Maria & Yuga Hayashi: Fun opening multi-man tag match with the usual shenanigans from Maria early on and a big Asai moonsault onto the pack from Shachihoko BOY, before Jimmyz isolated young Hayashi and worked him over for the majority. He did manage a hot tag to Super Shisa, who started to build some momentum until Genki and Tanizaki took him and Shachihoko BOY out with a pair of suicide dives. Hayashi, left alone with Kagetora in the ring, showed some good fire in trying to stand up to his opponent and wear him down with strikes, but he eventually succumbed to the Ikkitousen wrist-clutch slam from Kagetora to give Jimmyz the win. That was fine, as opening matches go, but nothing to get excited about. Hayashi looks to be a good talent, it’ll be interesting to see how he progresses.

Ryotsu Shimizu vs. Punch Tominaga: This was a Punch match. Brawling, lots of Mad Blankey interference. Shimizu’s offence looks pretty good, I especially like his giant swing wheelbarrow suplex, but this was mostly just Punch looking weird and hulking up with his hands in his pockets. I like the character, it’s a great turnaround for Tominaga, but I want to see him in less throwaway matches. Punch picked up the win with a big kick to the face. Mad Blankey attacked afterwards, beating down Shimizu and stealing his pants, but Dia Hearts made the save. Shimizu ran away to the back, ashamed at his nakedness, leaving Dia Hearts looking somewhat confused.

T-Hawk & Eita vs. YAMATO & Mondai Ryu: The Mad Blankey team took control, YAMATO and Mon-chan doing a good job of working over Eita and keeping him grounded, but Mondai proved to be the weak link and let Eita make the hot tag to T-Hawk who cleared house. Eita hit a beautiful swan dive to the floor, taking out Mon-chan, while in the ring YAMATO narrowly avoided the BT Bomb only to be elevated by T-Hawk into a superkick from Eita! The finish came after Eita hit Perros (a sick Kudo Driver variation) on Mondai Ryu about ten minutes in. Good tag, I really enjoyed this one and thought Eita performed especially well, although it could have been a bit longer. The Millennials team of T-Hawk & Eita have easily been amongst the top teams of 2014, for my money, and they put on a good show, while YAMATO is having a great year with some excellent in-ring performances.

Open the Brave Gate #1 Contender Match: K-ness vs. Jimmy Kanda: Kanda gained the early advantage here, getting some good offence in on the smaller K-ness, including a big suicide dive that sent both men deep into the crowd. K-ness tried to get himself back into the match, but kept getting cut off. When the comeback started, however, it happened lightning fast, K-ness sliding through Kanda’s legs into a sunset pin for two before hitting the Hikari no Wa rolling pin for another near-fall. He followed up with a nice tornado DDT and roundhouse kick to the head for a further near-fall. However, Kanda rallied and after catching K-ness with a sidewalk slam finished him off with three big Gekokujoh elbow drops to set up Flamita vs Kanda for the Brave Gate title at Gate of Destiny. This was fine, but I’m not entirely sold on Kanda and K-ness never really got enough momentum going or gave the impression he was ever about to win. Not a bad match, but not what I was hoping for either.

Dia Hearts vs MONSTER EXPRESS Singles Match Series: Dragon Kid vs. Shingo Takagi: Shingo caught Kid coming off the ropes and almost hit Made in Japan seconds after the bell, but Kid managed to squirm free and sent Shingo to the floor with a dropkick. He followed up by springboarding into a beautiful hurricanrana. He then went for the deja vu headscissors, but Shingo showed his strength and powered out, which became the theme of the match. Kid kept coming at Shingo, hitting some good offence including a 619, but Shingo repeatedly him off. Shingo went up top and almost got caught in a springboard super hurricanrana, but countered into a powerbomb, only for Dragon Kid to hit the hurricanrana in mid-air! It wasn’t enough to put Shingo away, however, and he caught Dragon Kid with the Made in Japan only for Dragon Kid to kick out at 2.9! Shingo waited for him to get to his feet, before finishing it with the Pumping Bomber lariat. Great singles match, Shingo & Kid have such excellent chemistry together in the ring and it really showed here.

Dia Hearts vs MONSTER EXPRESS Singles Match Series: BxB Hulk vs Masato Yoshino: They started hot on the heels of the previous match, wasting no time at all. Yoshino went for the Torbellino, but Hulk escaped, tripped him up and hit a nice standing corkscrew moonsault for a nearfall. Yoshino’s startling speed came into play, but Hulk was trying hard to ground him with kicks. Yoshino hit a big lariat and followed up with a huge missile dropkick to turn the match decidedly in his favour, but Hulk caught him coming off the ropes in a backflip powerslam followed by an axe kick to the skull for a near-fall. After a vicious series of strikes, Hulk wrapped Yoshino up in Tozawa’s straight-jacket German suplex for the 3-count. Yoshino’s marvellous to watch, he’s just so ridiculously quick and had a good opponent in Hulk here, but I felt this was the weakest of the three ME vs Dia Hearts matches. Not that it was bad, but it never really got going.

Dia Hearts vs MONSTER EXPRESS Singles Match Series: Masaaki Mochizuki vs Akira Tozawa: Mochizuki’s been antagonising Tozawa for a while now, so it felt inevitable that they would be paired together when the lottery for this singles match series was drawn at the beginning of the show. Tozawa’s been called the weak link of Monster Express on numerous occasions and was eager not to fail his stable here, but Mochizuki was quick to punish Tozawa for his frivolity when going for his fake out dive or his ridiculous machine gun chops. Mochi peppered Tozawa with kicks, earning a near-fall after a big roundhouse to the skull. He went up top, but was cut off by Tozawa who called for a brainbuster. Mochizuki headbutted him back to the mat, but Tozawa leapt up and scored with a vertical suplex. He struggled to capitalise, however, as the seasoned veteran Mochizuki went to work with his vicious striking ability. Tozawa rallied, however, scoring with a beautiful bridging German suplex for two. He pointed to BxB Hulk on the floor, hit Hulk’s First Flash superkick and finished Mochizuki off with the straight-jacket German suplex. Another good singles match, Tozawa seems to be really popular with the fans at present and I’m liking this storyline of him having to prove himself.

Open the Triangle Gate Championship Match: Naruki Doi, Kzy & Cyber Kong vs. CIMA, Don Fujii & Gamma Oretachi: Veteran-gun had tried to make the match three count rules, but Doi said he’d only put the titles on the line if just a two count was needed for victory, a rule that has distinctly favoured Mad Blankey in the past. The veterans attacked the champions before the bell and the usual Mad Blankey brawl around the arena ensued, with nothing much of note happening and all six wrestlers returning to the ring after a few minutes or so. Gamma started off strong against Kzy, both men trying to grab the quick pinfall and Gamma nearly succeeding with a lovely leg clutch hold. Mad Blankey had more success against Don Fujii, keeping him from tagging for a good portion of the match, but he came back in good fashion, backdropping Doi off the second rope and chokeslamming the big Cyber Kong. The veterans balanced Kzy on his head so Fujii could hit a series of sumo palm strikes to his crotch, which got big laughs from the crowd. However, Gamma found himself at the mercy of Mad Blankey’s usual tricks, taking the metal can to the face and getting worked over as the inept referee was easily distracted. He eventually made the hot tag to CIMA and Osaka ’06 went to work, hitting an awesome double-stomp/crucifix facebuster combo for a near-fall on Kzy. Stalker Ichikawa came to the rescue and thwarted Mondai Ryu’s attempts to throw powder in CIMA’s face, Stalker then throwing the powder in Kzy’s face. Gamma went up top and hit a beautifully Skytwister Press for the two-count, winning Oretachi Veteran-gun the Open the Triangle Gate titles! Good main event that the crowd really got into. 

Final Thoughts:

It’s hard to imagine Dragon Gate not putting on a great show whenever they come to Korakuen Hall and this show was no exception. The second half was much stronger, but I enjoyed the event overall and would definitely recommend checking out the MONSTER EXPRESS vs Dia Hearts singles match series, Eita & T-Hawk vs YAMATO & Ryu and the Triangle Gate main event.

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