Dragon Gate’s period of wildness and unpredictability appears to have come to an end. The unit shuffle has settled down with Shingo Takagi in charge of VerserK, a unit backed by Open the Twin Gate Champions YAMATO and Naruki Doi, Kotoka, Naoki Tanizaki, Cyber Kong, and Mondai Ryu.
Elsewhere, CIMA has rebounded from a year of disappointment as he has come together with the future of Dragon Gate to create Over Generation. T-Hawk has found a home with Monster Express and Jimmy Kness J.K.S. appears to be very happy with The Jimmyz.
The main event of this show, Gate of Destiny 2015 is Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Shingo Takagi. To me, these are the two greatest Dragon Gate wrestlers of all-time. Mochizuki has been in the Dragon System since its first year in 1999 and since then, he’s delivered a number of classics. His stiff kicks and unpredictable offense has made him a favorite of mine. Shingo Takagi, since debuting in 2004, has been delivering tremendous matches in Japan for Dragon Gate proper, in the States for Dragon Gate USA, and across the pond in Dragon Gate UK. These two last faced each other in 2012 in one of the crazier Dragon Gate matches in history, as after 15 minutes of sheer brutality, Takagi won by countout. While I don’t expect the same finish tonight, I expect more violence and brutality from both men.
Kzy, Big R Shimizu, & Draztick Boy vs. Eita, El Lindaman, & Kaito Ishida
Eita, El Lindaman, and Kaito Ishida are a part of CIMA’s new unit called “Over Generation”. They all wear capes to the ring and therefore are my favorite unit in Dragon Gate history.
This match is a look into Dragon Gate’s very bright future. Eita, Ishida, and Shimizu brought some early excitement to the Osaka crowd, but once again, El Lindaman shined brightest for me. If you’ve read any of my Dragon Gate reviews for this site, you know I’m conducting the El Lindaman hype train. His work is so crisp and smooth, especially for his age and his experience level. I could watch him roll around with Draztick Boy all day. Really fun opener. ***1/4
Cyber Kong & Mondai Ryu vs. Takehiro Yamamura & Punch Tominaga
I don’t have much to say about this match other than the fact that Punch Tominaga busted out Christopher Daniels’ Best Moonsault Ever at one point. Unfortunately, his hands were out of his pockets when he performed it or else I would’ve safely called that the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. He did, however, specifically put his hands in his pockets for a Missile Dropkick. His pocket-based offense is my favorite thing in wrestling right now. Kong put Yamamura away with a Cyber Bomb in a perfectly inoffensive match. **1/2
Dragon Kid & Flamita vs. Genki Horiguchi & Jimmy Kanda
I wish I could be Flamita for a day. He’s able to fly around the ring with such speed and precision and it blows my mind every time I watch him. He and Dragon Kid have already developed super solid chemistry as a tag team. Horiguchi and Kanda were no slouches in this one, either. They kept up with the high-flying duo and Horiguchi’s dreaded Backslide From Heaven created an exciting nearfall down the stretch. Another enjoyable match on the show. ***1/4
Open the Brave Gate Championship
Akira Tozawa vs. Kotoka vs. Naoki Tanizaki
This is the second PPV in a row that Tozawa has defended his Brave Gate Championship in a three-way.
This match adds to Tozawa’s case for Most Outstanding Wrestler this year. The VerserK duo of Tanizaki and Kotoka cornered him, double teamed him, and made him suffer for a majority of the match. It certainly didn’t help that referee Yagi was seemingly distracted by Cyber Kong or Mondai Ryu for nearly the entire match. However, Tozawa made a valiant comeback, and with the Osaka crowd behind him, he was able to eliminated Tanizaki with a flash German Suplex.
I absolutely loved the finishing stretch between Kotoka and Tozawa. Tozawa had a moment of hope that was soon ended by him accidentally kicking Yagi in the face. VerserK took full advantage of this as Tozawa appeared to be down and out after attacks from Kong and the already-eliminated Tanizaki. He showed signs of life, however, and made another outstanding comeback, only this one was cut short by Kotoka’s Momo Latch, a fancy cradle that caught Tozawa and put him away for the three count.
Yes, Kotoka is a champion. I will be in mourning for the next month. Actually, he was very enjoyable in this match. The “BLEHHH” gimmick is growing on me. If he puts in performances like this every month, I won’t complain about him dethroning Tozawa. Great story in the match and a finish that didn’t hurt Tozawa in the slightest. ****
Open the Triangle Gate Championship
CIMA, Don Fujii, & Gamma vs. Jimmy Susumu, Ryo “Jimmy” Saito, & Jimmy Kness J.K.S.
CIMA, Don Fujii, & Gamma have held the Open the Triangle Gate Championship since June 14.
The trio of old men continued their great Triangle Gate run with their fourth defense of the Triangle Gate Championship. This had a much more intense vibe than most Triangle Gate matches. Fujii took it to Ryo Saito, which is funny considering the fact that he is teaming up with him in Korakuen Hall later on in the week. Kness hasn’t lit my world on fire since joining The Jimmyz but he was perfectly fine here. CIMA and Jimmy Susumu, while not doing anything too outstanding, gave strong outings that greatly benefited the match. Gamma ended things with a Skytwister Press on Saito. ****
“CIMA asked the fans to hold off on their bathroom and smoke break for just a little longer as he had something important to say. While he was happy they successfully defended, he had been thinking about what Saito said to him back in Sambo Hall about the Veteran trio not needing the Triangle Gate. With the start of Over Generation and Fujii focusing on the Sumoz, this was as good a place as any to vacate the titles. The Jimmyz can field any number of teams. Verzerk, MONSTER EXPRESS, or a OG team featuring one of the youngsters could also potentially take the titles. So, they were relinquishing them. CIMA thanked Fujii for his assistance. Fujii shook his hand but quickly turned to the Jimmyz and left with them to prepare for the Sumoz vs. VERZERK all out war.” -Translation: iheartdg.com
Open the Twin Gate Championship
YAMATO & Naruki Doi vs. Masato Yoshino & T-Hawk
This is YAMADoi’s third title defense since winning the titles on June 13.
The best way to describe this match is insanely dramatic. As a team, YAMADoi have ridiculous chemistry. They feed off one another. They are probably the two strongest characters in Dragon Gate and two of the stronger workers, so when you combine that, you get one of the best tag teams on Earth. I really liked YAMATO pushing T-Hawk to his limit with some of his chops. Finally, T-Hawk is showing some vulnerability. He wasn’t positioned as a future ace in this company, but rather someone who needs to build himself back up.
A crazy, intense closing stretch with Yoshino taking a brunt of YAMADoi’s offense before finally dishing out some of his own. That being said, the VerserK combination was too strong for the Monster Express duo. T-Hawk wasn’t there for Yoshino the way that Doi was there for YAMATO.
I noticed that towards the finish, instead of hitting his usual cannonball in the corner on T-Hawk, Doi, instead, leveled him with a Bakatare Sliding Kick in the corner, which took T-Hawk out for the rest of the match. Yoshino took YAMATO to the edge, but a well-timed powder throw by Mondai Ryu gave the VerserK duo the help they needed to retain their titles. I pick on Ryu, hell, the entire world does but this powder throw was a strike! Nolan Ryan couldn’t have delivered a better throw. Not one, but two Gallaria’s finally put Yoshino away. Amazing match. ****1/2
Open the Dream Gate Championship
Shingo Takagi vs. Masaaki Mochiuzki
This is Shingo Takagi’s second defense of the Open the Dream Gate Championship since defeating Masato Yoshino for it at Dangerous Gate in August.
I have NEVER seen a match like this. The intensity, from the very second after the bell rang, was off the charts.
Mochizuki jumped Takagi as soon as the match started. Since leaving his Monster Express friends high and dry, Takagi has been a real prick to the Dragon Gate roster. Well, guess what, Mochizuki invented being a prick to the Dragon Gate roster! He took it to Takagi right away and landed an Asai Moonsault within the first minute of the match.
Mochizuki is 45 years old. There are things 45 years old people shouldn’t do in a wrestling ring and yet Mochizuki did all of them in this match. He leaned into Takagi’s corner lariat, which sent him flying into the turnbuckles so violently that is scared me. He showed no regard for his well-being tonight. He bumped like a complete madman. He also happened to deliver offense that was out of this world. His kicks are so, so precise. His partner in crime, BxB Hulk, struggles with making his kicks look great sometimes. Well, Hulk, take note. This is how you kick people in the face! His kicks seemingly came out of nowhere at time.
If that wasn’t enough, Mochizuki’s fire towards the end of the match was something to behold. He took Pumping Bomber’s and kicked out at one. He took a Made in Japan from the middle rope and slowly made it to his feet. Masaaki Mochizuki is a 45-year-old man and he just would not die. Finally, a Last Falconry put the veteran away. Our good friend here at Voices of Wrestling, Alan4L, said it better than anyone.
Masaaki Mochizuki just put on one of the greatest performances I've ever seen inside of a wrestling ring. #DragonGate
— Alan (@Alan4L) November 1, 2015
This is what I want from my big professional wrestling main events. This was a fight. The outcome of this match mattered so much to both men and they were determined to come out on top. In the end, Mochizuki’s age caught up to him and Takagi showed that he belongs on top, as the rightful ace of Dragon Gate. *****
Final Thoughts: Gate of Destiny 2015 is a Show of the Year Contender. The last four matches cracked at least four stars and the main event hit the full five for me. Masaaki Mochizuki is a special, special man. Shingo Takagi is no slouch, either, and I look forward to seeing what he can do during the rest of his Open the Dream Gate reign.
If you are not a regular Dragon Gate viewer, this is a great place to start. Akira Tozawa reestablished himself as the best babyface in wrestling, YAMADoi continued their trend of excellent matches, and the main event is one of the best matches in Dragon Gate history. This is a must-watch show from top to bottom. Absolutely incredible.