Dragon Gate
“Champion Gate in Osaka – Night 2”
March 1, 2015

Masaaki Mochizuki, Dragon Kid, Kzy, Big R Shimizu vs. Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!, Jimmy Kanda, Jimmy Kagetora, Mr. Quu Quu Tanizaki Naoki Toyonaka Dolphin: I dare you to find an atomicos match that uses up more characters than this one. This was red-hot with non stop action, particularly the closing moments, which featured the usual super hot Dragon Gate style finishing stretch. Kagetora pinned Kzy to pick up the win. Not a good Champion Gate for Kzy, who lost the Brave Gate to Akira Tozawa on night one, and ate a loss in the opener here. Punch Tominaga tried a run in on Dia Hearts post match, but Big R annihilated him with minimal effort. ***1/4


Akira Tozawa & Shingo Takagi vs. Yosuke Santa Maria & El Lindaman: Tozawa is so proud of his Brave Gate championship. He’s all smiles these days, and has already declared that he’s NEVER GOING TO LOSE HIS TITLE. If he can get past Flamita (who never lost the Brave Gate title in the ring, vacating it out of frustration following a DQ win over Tominaga), we could be in store for a legendary reign. I’m a big proponent of not complaining about names because no matter how bad a particular name is you will almost always eventually get used to it, but with that said, El Lindaman is a really, really stupid name. Another hot match here, with Shingo’s power ultimately being too much for the smaller Millenials. The Millenials did manage a few razor close near falls that nearly had me fooled before Shingo hit the Made in Japan on Lindaman to pick up the win. Lindaman is super talented and is in the only promotion in the world where he realistically has a shot at becoming a star. ***1/4


Jimmy Susumu, Ryo “Jimmy” Saito vs. Naruki Doi, Mondai Ryu: One thing about Dragon Gate is that due to the hard to read booking, I tend to fall for near falls in situations that I really shouldn’t. Mondai Ryu never wins. He’s the designated Mad Blankey jobber, to the point even the other Mad Blankey members mock him for being terrible. Despite this, he used a small package toward the end of this match on Saito that I totally bought as a finish. You just never know with Dragon Gate, because they can turn on a dime at any time with anybody on the roster. Moments later, Saito pinned Ryu, and all was right again in the Dragon Gate world order. This was way better than I was expecting it to be. ***


T-Hawk, U-T, Kotoka, Flamita vs. CIMA, Gamma, Don Fujii, Punch Tominaga: Flamita returned as a surprise on night one, challenging Tozawa for the Brave Gate he never lost. The returns of Flamita & Uhaa Nation have been pleasant and welcomed surprises. Another surprise was CIMA beating T-Hawk here with a Meteora. With Kotoka and U-T in the match basically wearing neon signs that read PIN ME, this was a statement win for CIMA, who noted after the match that he is still a force to be reckoned with who can beat anybody on any given night. In a totally bizarre way, what you had here was a situation where they used the hotshot young rising star putting the old company ace over. This is why I wrote the things I did in my synopsis of match #3. This company always seems to have a curveball up its sleeve, and you never know when it’s coming. Like everything else on the undercard, the working shoes were on for this one. Everybody worked incredibly hard and looked great. Another fun match. ***1/2


Open the Twin Gate Championship – YAMATO & Cyber Kong (c) vs. Masato Yoshino & Shachihoko BOY: Dragon Gate walks a fine line between zany madcap antics and absurd nonsense at times, and they usually have an uncanny ability to walk right up to that line without crossing it. This match crossed it with an utterly ridiculous Mad Blankey full unit run in and attack while YAMATO “held” (read: lightly restrained) the referee in corner. The match lost me at that point, but to their credit (mostly YAMATO & Yoshino, who worked their asses off and were top-notch here) the work over the rest of the match reeled me back in big time. Most people are aware that YAMATO is really, really good, but I feel like Yoshino does not get nearly as much attention as he deserves. Yoshino has long been one of the best tag wrestlers in the world, but his Dream Gate run really put a spotlight on his ability to not only be an elite singles wrestler, but also effectively work in the role of ace. But the real story here was Sachihoko BOY and his emotional response to his victory. An under the radar roster member who most non-hardcore Dragon Gate fans couldn’t pick out of a lineup, he’s toiled away in obscurity for years, usually as the low man in his unit (if even affiliated with a unit, period). He spoke after the match in his gravely Tomoaki Honma-like destroyed throat voice, fighting back tears while recalling his last title win (Triangle Gate) that took place in the same building and how it meant so much to him to win the Twin Gate with his best friend. This was one of those rare moments where real life emotion intersects with kayfabe, and that’s when wrestling is at it’s best. *** (with all of that said, I still have to deduct for the goofy interference spot, because I’m a heartless ogre)



Open the Dream Gate Championship – BxB Hulk (c) vs. Uhaa Nation: I could break this match down for you and tell you all about how this was Uhaa working as a monster vs Hulk working all match long to take out Uhaa’s legs, and how this was by far the best match of both Hulk’s Dream Gate run and by far the best match of Uhaa’s career. But that would be doing a severe disservice to the real story, which was the highly emotional post match goodbye to Uhaa Nation, who announced that this was his final Dragon Gate match.



One by one, each member of the roster (including the kayfabe breaking evil Mad Blankey) took turns saying goodbye to Uhaa, some in Japanese, some in English, with many of them fighting back tears (with some losing that fight). Uhaa started to break when a crying CIMA said “Uhaa, I respect you. Goodbye!” The young boys on the roster, in particular Kotoka, El Lindaman and Big R Shimizu, were all having a real hard time, probably because they’ve spent so much time with Uhaa in the dojo. Tozawa, Uhaa’s real life best friend, closed it out by saying that there was so much history between them that it was hard to speak. He was taking long pauses and trying not to cry. Uhaa dropped to one knee and finally broke. Tozawa said Uhaa was the nicest guy, but also a massive pervert, which broke some of the tension and got laughs. Tozawa was crying hard by this point. In English, he said “Uhaa, I love you. Keep wrestling TOO EASY! C’mon!”. They hugged it out as the Dragon Gate theme played, and everybody took turns doing the Uhaa pose for the cameras. Even my cold, black heart lost it at this point. Off the chart levels of emotion. The only thing I can even remotely compare this too was the Ultimo Guerrero unmasking, but I’m not even sure that’s fair because the emotions were so different. ****1/4 for the match, but you could bump this all the way up to ***** if you wanted to due to the post match stuff and I wouldn’t argue with you at all. You can’t watch this and not feel good about wrestling.