Dragon Gate
Dangerous Gate 2016
September 22, 2016
Ota City General Gymnasium – Tokyo, Japan

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Meet our previewers

  • John Carroll: They started this whole Voice Gate thing so direct your hate mail appropriately. As always, do not follow their personal twitter (@toshanshuinla), it sucks. It sucks a lot. Rooting for Team North America in the prestigious, not-at-all-a-marketing-gimmick World Cup of Hockey, because they have a logo that looks like the Illuminati’s.
  • Dylan Noah: The one Brother Yasshi fan. Away playing Pokemon right now but you can still follow him on Twitter. (@jimmysusumu). Writes DDT things for VoW, which is his true passion in life. Probably crying about Aagan Iisou right now. Some things are worth never letting go of. He also mains a Swampert and will talk to you about it for hours.
  • Jules: Probably crying right now.
  • Case Lowe: Voices of Wrestling’s official young boy. Current duties include cooking meals for other writers, mopping the floor, and reviewing Dragon Gate major events. Find him on the Open the Voice Gate podcast or on Twitter @_InYourCase

Shachihoko BOY vs. Mondai Ryu

John Carroll: I don’t really understand why Japanese promotions call them “dark matches” and put them on TV anyway. That’s weird, right? Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who thinks that’s weird. Anyway, this will be a match, certainly. Prediction: Shachihoko BOY

Dylan Noah: I love Shachi but Mondai Ryu is disinteresting in just about every way. Shachi will look ten times better and people will still insist Mondai is more than just a wrestler who can be carried to good matches by more talented people. If this goes on for more than five minutes, I’ll feel bad for the people who watched it. Prediction: Shachihoko BOY

Jules: I don’t know why this is happening, but it doesn’t really matter. This will go a total of maybe four minutes and be as fine as a Mondai Ryu match can be. There’s a weird thing going on right now with Ryu and Punch Tominaga, that not many people are paying attention to mostly because it’s happening either on untaped shows on in “dark” matches, but because of it, I’m thinking the International Problem Dragon might pick up the win. Prediction: Mondai Ryu

Case Lowe: Shachihoko BOY will work circles around Mondai Ryu. I’m sick of people trying to convince me Ryu is secretly a great worker. He’s not. He’s fine. This will be short and sweet. Prediction: Shachihoko BOY

Don Fujii, El Lindaman, Futa Nakamura, Shun Watanabe vs. Gamma, Takehiro Yamamura, Kaito Ishida, Hyou Watanabe

John Carroll: Enjoy one of the last matches before El Lindaman’s coming heel turn, presumably. He turned heel for me personally the moment he called Yosuke Santa Maria “ugly”. Maria is beautiful you little, pink-haired, baby-faced pu-oh forget it I can’t stay mad at you, Linda. You’re too pretty. Anyway, this is a decent choice for an opener, as one expects all the children should be fired up in front of a big-ish crowd. No idea who wins this, but it doesn’t really matter, so I literally flipped a coin. Prediction: Fujii/Lindaman/Nakamura/Watanabe

Dylan Noah: The children are in this match and that’s what matters the most. Oh, and I guess Fujii and Gamma are here too, but they don’t matter right now. Anyway, Linda might be turning heel soon or he might not be as TV could very well just be a tweener unit after all. He suffered some heartbreak at the hands of Yosuke Santa Maria after the two failed to find really any success at all in the SATL. Maria called him useless, he called her ugly, and the hearts of people who were not me were broken. But anyway, the children. Futa Nakamura is a handsome, strapping young man who in one backstage interview decreased my will to live by crying. He’s also incredibly strong and talented despite his young age and is well on the way to becoming something huge in this promotion provided they figured out how to book a big strong young man correctly finally. Watanabe Tall and Small are obviously still green but they too have showed that they’re talented and strong and more than ready to learn in the ring. I’m picking Futa because I like him most. Prediction: Fujii/Nakamura/Lindaman/Watanabe

Jules: DG’s already amazing crop of youngsters got even more exciting recently with the debuts of Shun and Hyou Watanabe (no relation). If the tale of the tape is to be believed, Shun is currently the tallest member of the roster at 180cm, and I’m interested in seeing if he takes advantage of that in the future. Both he and Hyou are very promising already, and throwing them in a match with Lindaman, Yamamura and Ishida – three young men who have experienced tremendous growth over the past year, was absolutely the right move. Futa Nakamura, who has impressed since his debut and looks to be the next powerhouse of the promotion, is also here, and I for one am excited just to see him throw his much skinnier opponents around. Because of that, I’m expecting Fujii and Gamma to pretty much be non-factors in this match. Lindaman recently committed the ultimate sin of calling Queen of Everything Yosuke Santa Maria an “ugly bitch”, so I hope he gets his ass kicked for his insolence, but let’s be real, he’s probably getting the win for his team. Prediction: Fujii/Linda/Nakamura/Watanabe

Case Lowe: Woo hoo! Okay, there’s a lot going on here. Fujii is aligning himself here with El Lindaman, who is now a heel, Futa Nakamura, who will be a future Dream Gate Champion, and Shun Watanabe, who wears super bright shoes! They seem like something Dwight Howard would wear in the NBA All-Star game. On the other side you have Over Generation’s Gamma, Yamamura, and Ishida (who has been on fire lately), and the other Watanabe, who is also very good. If you haven’t seen the 8/21 Shun Watanabe debut, go seek that out! That match was a thing of beauty. This will more than likely be the same. I am so excited to see Fujii rip into these youngsters. I am not being ironic when I say that this is one of my most anticipated matches of the night. Prediction: Don Fujii, Futa Nakamura, El Lindaman, & Shun Watanabe

Cyber Kong vs. Jimmy Kness J.K.S.

John Carroll: Cyber Kong singles matches are generally awful, but Kness singles matches are generally great, so I dunno what we’re gonna get here. I assume they just cancel each other out and we get something that’s decidedly average, but who really knows. If there’s a storyline reason why this match is happening, I certainly have no idea what that would be. Prediction: Cyber Kong

Dylan Noah: I don’t know why this is being done to K-Ness but I am annoyed. K-Ness is genuinely incredible and still has amazing singles matches when given the opportunity, which is not at all something we can say for Cyber Kong. He’s failed to be carried to good matches in the past by great wrestlers so my hopes are not high. I just hope K-Ness gets to do his thing. Prediction: K-Ness

Jules: Much like my fellow previewers, I have no clue why this match is happening, so I’m choosing to believe that it’s a throwback to last year’s Dangerous Gate, where Kness betrayed Mad Blankey (which Kong was a part of) to help the Jimmyz win a Losing Unit Disbands match. I know that’s not the reason, and there most likely isn’t one, but I do what I want ok. Anyway, this is a match that will happen and, sadly for Kness, will probably be forgotten as soon as it’s over. Kong’s probably winning, but he shouldn’t, because Kness is objectively so much better than him. Prediction: Cyber Kong

Case Lowe: I will never not pop for a Kness singles match. If I was a money mark, Kness would be a featured act in my promotion. I’m not sure why this is taking place because I don’t really see either of these two being involved in an angle later on in the show, so whatever, this will be a match. Prediction: Cyber Kong

Open the Brave Gate Championship Match
Eita vs. brother YASSHI

John Carroll: Now we’re talking. This match could easily sneak up on you and be a lot better than you expect. People forget it because he’s content to skate by on his heel mannerisms and microphone work most of the time, but brother YASSHI is a good little mat wrestler when he wants to be. He has an amateur background (which we infamously saw a lot of in El Dorado, where YASSHI was the captain of the brief Nanking FUCKING Wrestling Team unit) and was also trained in the llave style having come up through T2P. Eita has embraced a very similar mat wrestling/llave style this year, which not coincidentally has been the best year of his career to date. So anyway, I’m hoping for a really fun mat wrestling exhibition with VerserK interference at a minimum until we get close to the finish. We’ll see if they’re willing to deliver on that, but I’m hopeful! Prediction: Eita

Dylan Noah: This is the match I am absolutely looking the most forward to as Brother Yasshi has quickly stolen into my heart since his return back in February and as my friends and my up-top bio can tell you, he’s entered my realm of favorites. He’s a loudmouth, brash and over-confident and a total asshole, and everything about him is fantastic. He’s also kicked up his wrestling since coming back to Dragon Gate both here and in Wrestle-1, where he spends his time partnering with long-time tag team partner Shuji Kondo in the TRIGGER stable. It’s been quite a year for him, as this is his second title match in Dragon Gate and something like his fourth title match in total counting W-1. But it’s also been a great year for Eita, too. After the hellish booking and the over-pushing that saw him drop to the lower rung of Dragon Gate, he’s managed to climb all the way back to the top using a fun storyline with Dragon Kid, an appearance at the Super J Cup that got fans talking about him, and an incredible KoG match and his big title win at Kobe World. On paper, these two should actually be a fun match. Yasshi has an amateur wrestling background and was trained in the same llave style that Eita has wisely moved to employing in his primary moveset. Eita is also the only person to have submitted Yasshi in all of Dragon Gate, as countless others have failed to pin or submit him themselves. This match should be red hot and even if it’s not a quality match, it’s still got my favorite two wrestlers in it, so this will default be my favorite match, and the one I’m most excited about. Prediction: Eita

Jules: This challenge was made on the first day on the Summer Adventure Tag League, after YASSHI and Naruki Doi defeated Eita’s Over Generation stablemates, Kaito Ishida & Takehiro Yamamura. At the finals of the same tournament, Eita handed YASSHI his first direct loss when he submitted the motormouth with the Numero Uno to win the league for himself and Dragon Kid. I’m glad people seem to be turning the corner on YASSHI being back, as he’s been very enjoyable so far, especially in his tag team with Doi. I’m hoping his amateur wrestling background will come through here, as it has a good chance of meshing well with Eita’s llave style, which has helped him power through the best year of his career so far. I have faith that they’ll deliver, and of course, Eita retains here. Prediction: Eita

Case Lowe: John hit on this earlier, but for as much as I despise YASSHI, he has a llave background and I would certainly listen to an argument that his work in T2P was the best of his career. Eita has transitioned very well into working a llave-based style and it has been a thing of beauty. I have no faith in YASSHI, but I trust that Eita will deliver something decent. This has a very low floor and a very high ceiling, which we normally don’t have in Dragon Gate. Not sure where this is going to fall. For the love of God, Eita better retain. Prediction: Eita

Open the Triangle Gate Championship Match
Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!, Ryo “Jimmy” Saito, Jimmy Kanda vs. BxB Hulk, Kzy, Yosuke♡Santa Maria

John Carroll: One of the weirdest parts of DG’s weird 2016 is Kzy, who was kind of on fire towards the end of Dia.Hearts but has been a complete non-factor since Tribe Vanguard started. That’s a shame, because the man is obviously supremely talented. Hopefully this Triangle Gate match is the start of him turning things around. Hulk meanwhile looked better as the Summer Adventure Tag League rolled on, finally shedding some of the ring rust that had persisted since his return. And Maria is on the rebound here following her big breakup with Lindaman. Anyway, I know the Jimmyz haven’t had the belts long but I still would have to assume Tribe is winning this, because that unit desperately needs something to get going here. So far they’re basically YAMATO And His Friends Who Job A Lot, which isn’t working too well. Prediction: Tribe Vanguard

Dylan Noah: Oh man, this match is an interesting one. Remember when Cima said he was vacating these titles because they should be for the younger wrestlers, and Monster Express were great champions? Yeah, forget about all of that, because the Jimmyz are here and they have these titles. That was a change I actually didn’t see coming but it’s been one I’ve been very high on as the Jimmyz are still my favorite unit in Dragon Gate history. They’re facing Tribe Vanguard here and while they could lose the titles here, I… I really doubt it. Look, TV have had a rough run since they formed as a team. Yamato is the one member of the group who has found success and unfortunately, he’s not in this line-up, so that’s already odds stacked against them. Also, Kzy is in this match, and he’s great, but he gets pinned a lot in almost every match he’s in. I’m not voting against my favorite team anyway. Prediction: The Jimmyz

Jules: I love the Jimmyz. They can farm any number of enjoyable teams, and this one is no exception, but I can’t help but root for Tribe Vanguard here. They need something after the failed Triangle Gate challenge at Kobe World, where Maria also lost the Brave Gate title. They’re a fresher team with a lot of potential, and it would also be the first time North Tribe (Hulk and Kzy) hold belts together, which is something I’ve wanted for a long time. This is going to be tons of fun and I’m especially hoping Kzy produces another hot finishing stretch like he has often done this year. Prediction: Tribe Vanguard

Case Lowe: All in on a hot closing stretch between Kzy and Horiguchi! I noted in my Kobe World review that the Triangle Gate match on that show didn’t feature a Jimmyz team, and because of that, I felt that the match was more exciting. I love The Jimmyz. Horiguchi is one of my favorite wrestlers, Kanda is very good, and Saito is capable of great things, but I don’t like seeing them in this title picture. It’s just so eh. Would love a Tribe Vanguard victory here. Prediction: BxB Hulk, Yosuke Santa Maria, & Kzy

Masato Yoshino, T-Hawk, Big R Shimizu, Peter Kaasa vs. CIMA, Dragon Kid, Masaaki Mochizuki, Flamita

John Carroll: Well this match is….random. First of all let’s just get this out of the way: I could go several lifetimes without ever needing to see Peter Kaasa in a DG ring again. Even if he wasn’t a dipshit transphobe asshole, he’d still be a reckless idiot in the ring who isn’t worth the trouble. Please stop booking him, CIMA. The rest of the guys in this match are pretty great, so hopefully Kaasa spends most of it standing on the apron and lets me enjoy it. Either DK or T-Hawk (who has spent 2016 finding new and inventive ways to hit bottom in the booking, sadly) are capable of taking a pinfall here, but I’ll go with the actual unit to win this one. Prediction: Monster Express

Dylan Noah: Jesus, I just don’t care about this match. Look, after the light shed on Peter Kaasa’s transphobic words, I as a transgender wrestling previewer/reviewer/watcher/what-have-you am just not really interested in watching his work ever again, plus he’s very reckless, and multiple people have pointed out that it looks like he’s actually hurting the guys he’s in the ring with. If we can minimize him in this match, it has a chance of being much better. Flamita and Dragon Kid are finally reunited, which is the most exciting thing about this, and the second most exciting is that Mochi and DK are reunited again. I love the dynamics between these three. Prediction: Monster Express +1

Jules: This is another of those “why is this happening?” matches, but here I have exactly zero complaints. Mochizuki had two of my favorite King of Gate matches this year against Shimizu and T-Hawk, so obviously I’ll eat up any of their interactions. Not really sure why Flamita is teaming with Over Generation, but it’ll probably give us some crazy stereo maneuvers with Dragon Kid, so I’m all in on that. I’m just hoping Peter Kaasa doesn’t injure anyone (or we can just blame that on his ~masculine bone structure!). Prediction: Monster Express (and Kaasa)

Case Lowe: I’m so excited for this match. Knowing the DG booking patterns and show pacings, I would expect that this closes out the first half of the show, which means it’s going to get tons of time. Shimizu and Flamita, Flamita and Kaasa, CIMA and Yoshino, Mochizuki and everyone – there are so many possibilities for this match. Of course, Flamita finally gets Tribe Vanguard gear and he’s not teaming with them on this show. This could very easily be the best match on the show. Prediction: Masato Yoshino, T-Hawk, Big R Shimizu, & Peter Kaasa

Open the Twin Gate Championship Match
Jimmy Susumu, Jimmy Kagetora vs. Naruki Doi, Shingo Takagi

John Carroll: There’s no reason why this match shouldn’t be fantastic, honestly. I mean, look at the four dudes in it for one. It all depends on how well Shingo & Doi click as a team, but I have really high hopes for this one. I don’t think we’re getting a title change here but it’s also very possible, so between the outcome actually being in doubt and the sheer collection of talent this is a very likely pick for your Match of the Night. There have been lots of great Twin Gate matches this year already, but this one could easily end up as one of the very best. Prediction: Original Jimmyz

Dylan Noah: SUSUMU IS IN THIS MATCH. So all three of my top favorites in Dragon Gate are in big positions on this card and this is no different. Ever since Susumu and Kagetora have reunited, absolute magic has been made in the ring. They are wrestling soul mates (not as much as K-nessuka, don’t @ me) and they are absolutely thrilling to watch. Kagetora in particular has come back full force in the way a lot of men do not, and in a very exciting way. Naruki Doi is a great wrestler, and DoiYASSHI has been the most fun team in DG in a long time just because the two of them mesh so well with their personalities. And then there’s Shingo Takagi. Anyway, let’s root for the Jimmyz, my boys, and that this excellent championship reign continues. Prediction: Yokosuka Ichoume

Jules: I’m going to flip several tables if there’s a title change here. Shingo’s had a tremendous year, yes but I’d actually like for him to start a slow decline so we can get some storylines moving. Doi doesn’t have anything to prove to anyone as a tag team wrestler, so how well he and Shingo do here will be interesting in terms of whether they gel or not. Yokosuka Ichoume are one of the best tag teams in DG history, period, and their reign should continue here. Verserk was extremely dominant through the first half of the year, now I want to see them struggle some more. Prediction: Yokosuka Ichoume

Case Lowe: I feel like this match got swept under the rug, because no one is talking about it, and that’s a damn shame. This is going to rule. Shingo is having an unreal year and I find it very interesting that he’s in such a meaningful match so recently after losing his Dream Gate title. Doi is a tag team master, and Susumu & Kagetora are one of the very best teams going today. I am expecting to throw some serious stars at this match. Should be incredible. Any interaction between Susumu and Shingo always peaks my interest. I have a hard time buying that Doi is going to lose two Twin Gate matches back-to-back, and I highly doubt Shingo is eating a pin here. Going out on a limb and saying we have new champions. Prediction: Shingo Takagi & Naruki Doi

Open the Dream Gate Championship Match
YAMATO vs. Akira Tozawa

John Carroll: I don’t really want to talk about this match, because talking about this match means admitting that Tozawa is really leaving us and that’s very painful. Obviously YAMATO is retaining the title but expect Tozawa to pull out all the stops in what could be his last Dragon Gate match ever. Have I mentioned I hate the WWE? I probably should have. Enjoy your cruiserweight division and Tozawa’s probably 10 minutes of airtime a month, that’s definitely worth it. Nope, I’m not bitter at all. I know Tozawa always wanted to go there so I’ll try to be happy with him and wish him the best of luck, but I think the CWC’s quality is blinding y’all to what this cruiserweight division is actually going to be once it’s on RAW every week. Anyway! This match shall be really good, and then there will be lots of tears. The end. Prediction: YAMATO

Dylan Noah: This is fucking heartbreaking. We already know the result of this match because Tozawa has been officially signed to the WWE and this is his goodbye match with Dragon Gate in the same vein that Uhaa vs. BxB Hulk was Uhaa’s. This is fucking awful. I cried enough during that graduation ceremony and I don’t really want to cry again but it looks like I’m not going to have a choice. Yamato has been great in the role of the ace of Dragon Gate and I very loudly wanted him to be in this position ever since he and Shingo first had issues with each other, but this is not what I wanted to see happen. I did not want to see the man who brought me into Dragon Gate with his beautiful face end up being the last match that Akira Tozawa has in this ring. If you watch DG and you don’t like Tozawa, I don’t honestly understand how you can like DG at all because Tozawa is DG. He’s everything that Dragon Gate is known for, being fast and strong and able to fly, but also able to break someone’s back with a snap German seemingly out of thin air. He has more personality in one finger than entire rosters in the States do. Everything about him is absolutely magnetic. These two are going to tear down the house and set it on fire all at the same time, and then we’ll all put out the flames with our tears. Prediction: YAMATO

Jules: NOPE. NOPE. NOOOPE. CANCEL EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW. Ahem. So, this is likely going to be Tozawa’s last match in Dragon Gate before he flies off to WWE and the floundering RAW (y’know, instead of putting him on SmackDown and capitalizing on the fact that his actual best friend is there). He’s following his dream though and I’m happy for him, so I’ll try to focus on the positives. Tozawa and YAMATO had a really great match earlier this year in the semi-finals of King of Gate, and if this is anything similar, then we’re in for a treat. To me, these two are the most complete wrestlers in DG, whether it’s from a pure athletic and wrestling standpoint or for their character work. They’re the very best at emoting, especially, and I have no doubt that they’ll pull out all their tricks to make this one worthwhile. If Tozawa gets his graduation ceremony right after, then we’re in for an emotional rollercoaster. Get ready. Prediction: YAMATO

Case Lowe: Ugh. This is going to be tough to watch. I never thought I’d see the day that Tozawa would leave, but all signs are pointing towards this being it for him. Tozawa is the man, and has been such a major part of this promotion since returning from one of the best excursions ever. I’m afraid going to WWE is going to kill my talking point, but from 2010-2016, I don’t think there’s been a better wrestler than Tozawa. DGUSA, PWG, Dragon Gate UK, Dragon Gate proper, and now the CWC – the man kills it wherever he goes. YAMATO is one of the best wrestlers alive. At his best, I don’t know if anyone can beat him. Grab a box of tissues, get some comfort food, and buckle up. His farewell is going to be hard to watch. I’m getting a little emotional just thinking about it. Prediction: YAMATO