NOVEMBER 3, 2017

Watch: NicoNico (Guide on Ordering via NicoNico)

Meet Our Previewers:

  • John Carroll: Co-host of Open the Voice Gate and host of Wrestling Omakase, serial group previewer, Princess Principal fan (seriously, watch that damn show, it’s so good!!). Follow their Twitter @toshanshuinla if you like weeb trash (and who doesn’t?).
  • Case Lowe (@_InYourCase): Voices of Wrestling’s official young boy. Now a legal adult and officially a college student. Current duties include cooking meals for the other writers, mopping the floor and reviewing Dragon Gate major events and AAW’s Chicagoland shows
  • Milo Martinez: Podcast invader, #1 Masaaki Mochizuki groupie, currently reporting from Japan and still marvelling at how you can just buy a single hard boiled egg at the convenience store.
  • Michael Spears: Co-Host of Open the Voice Gate and self proclaimed Dragon System Thought Leader. Follow Michael at @fujiiheya where he champions the BIG CAT Hyo Watanabe and the 7-and-0 Miami Hurricanes.

Shun Skywalker vs. Hyo Watanabe

John: It feels like it’s been awhile since we’ve seen a real one-on-one young boy collision, not a tag match involving the young boys and poor Shachi, but I didn’t look that up so it could be completely wrong. But damnit, it feels like it. It would be nice if these two really showed something here since they kinda have been doing absolutely nothing all year; granted, they haven’t exactly gotten many chances so it’s tough to really blame them, but still. This is your chance, boys. Impress us. Winner: Shun Skywalker, but Hyo makes up for it with the ladies later

Case: Hopefully we get to see all of this, as it could be a very fun bout. I’ve grown a little sour on Skywalker as of late. I want to like him way more than I actually do, but in hindsight, it is much easier to look impressive when CIMA and Mochizuki are kicking the shit out of you, compared to when you are grappling with Shachihoko BOY. I don’t feel comfortable praising Hyo in the same preview as Michael Spears, because whatever I say will be topped by him. Let’s just say I love me some Hyo Watanabe. Match 0 will hopefully end in a five minute draw. Winner: Draw~!

Milo: YES. I love when the kids get to go against each other rather than team against older guys, so this is a treat for me. Hyou has reportedly been building himself a reputation in the same lineage as notable young punks Tozawa and Eita, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he lost here. This being said, attitude issues aside, Hyou is still a great prospect, and time will tell whether he can sort himself out and capitalize on his impressive potential. Shun Skywalker, despite still being clad in possibly the worst gear in current Japanese wrestling (and that’s saying something), has also been making strides, and this should be a nice little showcase for him. I’m still wondering if he can go alone rather than being the flippy dude in a trio, so I’ll be watching him closely. Winner: Shun Skywalker

Michael: We are eleven months removed from the “true” coming out of the Class of 2016 (the 16’ers versus Veterans ten man tag on the 12/1 Korakuen), so it’s a good time to assess where the five are. Ben-K’s predicted meteoric rise was actualized with him getting his first title only four months after that match. Sadly, the two lower members of the Class in Yuki Yoshioka and Katsumi Takashima (I’m sorry Don Fujii, I don’t think those names took), have dealt with injury issues that have put them on shelf for an extended period of time. So that leaves us with Shun Skywalker and Hyo Watanabe, who had a quieter year outside of a brief time in Fujii Heya. Sure, they are the lowest ranked dudes on the roster and the company has been bringing in an couple of outsiders, but I’m disappointed that they either got themselves in trouble (Watanabe), or have been saddled with such terrible ring gear that it’s hard to take them seriously (Skywalker). Hopefully the end of 2017 and the start of 2018 will have them move up the card and show a lot more. The two have been solidly improving in openers, so it’s time to see them grow. That being said, I’m stoked we get an one-on-one match instead of being lumped in with the remainder of the undercard. Winner: Time Limit Draw.

Gamma, Mondai Ryu, Kaito Ishida, Jason Lee vs. K-ness, Shachihoko Boy, Yosuke♡Santa Maria, Misterioso

John: Typical DG big show opening 8-man lineup here: your low card veterans (Gamma, K-ness, Shachi), comedy figure without anything to do (Maria), young boy without anything to do (Ishida), and foreigners getting a tryout (Jason Lee, Misterioso; not the 51-year-old luchador by the way, the one who usually goes by “Misterioso Jr.” in Mexico, I guess dropping the Jr. just to confuse everybody). The wild card of course is the lovable Mon-chan, who just returned to the ring after a long injury-related absence on October 29th at Kobe Sambo Hall. That show won’t air on GAORA until this Thursday (11/2), making it highly unlikely most of you would have watched it before Gate of Destiny on Friday. So for all intents and purposes this will be most people’s first exposure to babyface Mondai Ryu, and I have to say I’m very intrigued by how that will go down. Mon-chan hasn’t been a babyface since the very beginning of his Super Shenlong days- we’re talking when he first started with the gimmick and was losing 6-minute Open the Gamma Gate challenges while being billed as “The Former APE Kimata as Super Shenlong” back in 2008, that’s how far back we’re going here. He’d spend the next few years mostly languishing in a nothing role and as sort of a punchline (how many unrelated Mochizuki promos just threw in a casual shot about how bad he was?!) that he eventually turned into a delusional heel gimmick, and finally transformed into the Problem Dragon we all know and love (?). Five and a half years after the official start of that gimmick and his admission into MAD BLANKEY, who knows what Babyface Mon-chan even means? I’m excited to find out! Winner: Gamma, Mondai Ryu, Kaito Ishida, & Jason Lee

Case: Apparently this Misterioso fellow has been floating around Mexico for nearly two decades now (and did a shot in ROH last year), but his name did not ring a bell when it was announced that he would be receiving a tryout on this tour. I’ve grown cold on Maria, but anything with K-ness will continue to excite me. I’ve fallen in love with Jason Lee. I hope this is the first of many tours for him. I wonder if they’ll give him and Misterioso a spot or two to shine. There will be fun moments in this match, even if the deadly undercard of Gamma, Ryu, and Maria will drag this down. I am weirdly looking forward to this.  Winner: Gamma, Mondai Ryu, Kaito Ishida, & Jason Lee

Milo: I’ve been loving Jason Lee in Dragon Gate. He clicks amazingly well with seemingly everyone, and I’m curious to see how he’ll make the most of your typical short, usually comedy-heavy DG opener. On the other hand, I know nothing about this Misterioso fellow, but a luchador in DG is very rarely a bad fit. Not much to say (or to see, really) here, but the two outsiders should help keep it fresh. Another note is the PPV return of Mondai Ryu, now a member of Over Generation! Winner: Gamma, Monchan, Ishida & Lee

Michael: I went and did some research on this Misterioso character. He’s from California, most notably wrestling Volador Jr on a random indie. He either bought the gimmick from the original Misterioso or is his son. And judging from his facebook, he’s a Scott Steiner fan with the chainmail entrance cawl homage. Seeing how Jason Lee has thrived in his tenure so far, I’ve got some high hopes for him. As the others have said, this is your rote big show opener that’s also highlighted by Lee and the big show return for Mondai Ryu. I don’t really have anything more to add, but it’s tough to choose against a team with that’s mostly a single stable than for a bunch of independents and a guy on a tryout. Winner: Gamma, Mondai Ryu, Kaito Ishida, & Jason Lee

Don Fujii, Ryo Saito, U-T vs. VerserK (T-Hawk, Yasushi Kanda, Punch Tominaga)

John: Another thing most of us will be seeing for the first time is Kanda back in his classic heel gimmick, and this is one of those things where I have to remind myself that, for most of you, this is an entirely new thing. For all of his heel roots Kanda has been a babyface member of the Jimmyz for five and a half years, so if you came into DG any time since spring 2012 and haven’t done much in the way of watching older stuff, you only know Kanda as the blue pajama pants-wearing, John Woo-ing lower card Jimmyz member. Here you’ll be introduced to the Kanda that most of the longtime fans know very well: the rudest of the rude, the original punk heel of M2K, the veteran rudo who was a part of Muscle Outlaw’z, Real Hazard, Deep Drunkers, Team Doi, and Blood Warriors all in a row. For some of us this is a homecoming for Kanda; for the rest of you it’s a whole new thing. Hopefully Kanda gets plenty of time in this match to show what he can do as a bad guy again, because that just means less time we have to spend watching Punch Tominaga. Winner: VerserK

Case: What a bizarre match. Does Saito turn on U-T and Fujii and join VerserK? Does U-T finally shatter his glass ceiling? Does Fujii rip into the lower rung of VerserK? There are so many different possibilities that I’m way more excited for this than I should be. Sadly, I don’t think any of those things are going to happen. I think Don Fujii is going to do some crowd brawling, and then Yasushi Kanda is going to drop his dreaded elbow right into the chest of U-T for the victory. Winner: T-Hawk, Yasushi Kanda, & Punch Tominaga

Milo: The team of Fujii, Saito and U-T is among those weird things that happen in DG whenever a unit disbands, but I’m so happy to finally have U-T back that I can’t really complain, especially when his partners are two of my favorite vets. The Verserk team is mix-and-match, with T-Hawk especially seeming like he should be doing something more important… But it’s Kanda I really want to talk about. After five long years of being a good guy, Candy’s finally back to his jackass punk roots, and I, personally, am absolutely thrilled. He almost makes Verserk interesting again, fitting nicely in the role of the wild card, pissed off older guy previously held by another former Jimmy, Naoki Tanizaki (godspeed Mr Quu Quu). The inevitable Kanda/Saito clash is probably going to be the centerpiece of this match, but with U-T on the prowl for a new unit (even asking Tribe and Over Generation to fight for him!), I’d keep an eye on the tiny luchador as well. Winner: VerserK

Michael: Congratulations T-Hawk: You’re in the traditional “l’m a front line wrestler with nothing to do, so I’m gonna team with the lower ranked members of my stable in match two on a big show” role that BxB Hulk’s been in since his return. Now that I got that dig at both T-Hawk and Hulk out of the way, this is a pretty interesting match because of the other participants. As John mentioned, this is the first big show for Kanda back in his heel role and it’s going to take us a bit to get used to, as weird as that is to say. As we went over on the last Open the Voice Gate, Yasushi Kanda is the Dragon System’s original brawling heel and it’s so cool that he’s back in his original role. I’d be remissed if I didn’t talk about U-T. After a few years filled with injuries, and random budding feud with Ishida and Yamamura that was cut short due to the aforementioned injuries, it’s good to see he’s back and that DG is doing something with him. Too often people will get slotted into a particular role (Kotoka, specifically) and it takes them years to break out of it. Not for U-T, who has been been picking up wins and now has both Over Generation and Tribe Vanguard fight for his unit membership. Maybe he pulls off another win and either Don Fujii wants to start the third Fujii Heya with him, he becomes a sumo with Ryo Saito, or VeserK comes calling? I don’t think so but that’d be interesting. Winner: T-Hawk, Yasushi Kanda, & Punch Tominaga

Kagetora © vs. Genki Horiguchi

John: Dragon Gate has done such a good job following up on the Jimmyz split with new and interesting developments for many of its members, which has really allowed them to continue the second half of 2017 momentum that started with the excellent Unit Survival Series. Obviously you have the Kanda heel turn we just talked about and Susumu challenging Mochizuki for the Dream Gate in the main event, but perhaps the coolest development of all is giving Genki Horiguchi the chance to fight for the belt he’s always been linked with. Genki is fourth on the list of all-time title holders, with 3 reigns adding up to a total of 343 days. His first title reign started well over a decade ago just after his heel turn and new membership in Muscle Outlaw’z, following the dissolution of a longtime partnership with Ryo Saito (and the subsequent end of the long standing babyface unit Do FIXER). Could history repeat itself here, with Genki going heel following the end of the Jimmyz and getting rewarded with the Brave Gate? I wouldn’t count it out, though I think it’s more likely that he stays babyface. Provided there’s no heel shenanigans about to go down, I think the match is basically a coin flip that I could see going either way. I’m gonna give the slight edge of Genki but really wouldn’t be surprised if Kagetora retained. Should be an exciting battle of ex-Jimmyz members, one I’m very much looking forward to! Winner: Genki Horiguchi

Case: There is no doubt in my mind that these two are going to kill it. If you’ve read any of my work over the past two and a half years, you know how much I love Big Match Genki. Genki-post Jimmyz, title-less, is going to do his damndest to pull out a victory against Kagetora.

“Horiguchi and Kagetora had a discussion after their match. It has been a week since the Jimmyz ended. There remains an emptiness inside Horiguchi that he hasn’t been able to fill. The others have all gone their separate ways. Some have taken a dark path. Some are pursuing a championship path. You have to make your own chances if you want to remain a player in Dragon Gate. You have to find your own fulfillment. Today, by showing his courage to the Kyoto faithful, he took the first steps towards that. Kagetora knew exactly what he meant. They spent 6 years together and he still understands him. Kagetora challenged him to come for the Brave Gate. They agreed to give their all. Man to Man, former Jimmy vs. former Jimmy at Gate of Destiny on November 3rd.” – iheartdg.com

This will be terrific, and I hope Horiguchi prevails. Winner: Genki Horiguchi

Milo: Oh my goodness. On paper, this looks like an absolute banger. In reality, it’ll probably be exactly that, if the two keep exhibiting the passion and fire that has seemingly inhabited their encounters on this tour. Seeing former unitmates clash is always bittersweet, but Kagetora and Genki are, bar none, two of the most exciting wrestlers in the promotion, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they’re going to go out there intent on tearing the house down. This should be afast paced back and forth that leaves you wanting more, and I’m expecting a thundering finish… with Kagetora hopefully retaining. We all love Genki Horiguchi, and the man could have a great reign should he win here, but I feel like Kagetora still has a few stories to tell with this belt. Winner: Kagetora

Michael: Finally. Finally. FINALLY, Dragon Gate has started to put together a Brave Gate reign that has some teeth to it after the disappointment of Eita and Kotoka’s reigns. I am usually a low man on Kagetora, but I’ve loved his reign outside of the awkward Flamita challenge and defense. Kagetora has really grown from being a great tag worker to just being a great worker over the last few years and this title reign has been the capstone of that process. His series with Yamamura was the best part of DG’s awkward spring and summer, and the match with Maria was really good after they stopped doing the dumb “I’m so scared of Maria kissing me” schtick. Horiguchi ended up being the star of Kobe World, and is always tremendous in these big match scenarios. It’s a great natural feeling match as well. After five years of the Jimmyz, the two find each other separated and with the same goal in mind. Genki’s one of the people who jump into your mind when you think about the Brave Gate title, but I’ve been enjoying this run out of Kagetora so much that I’m hoping it gets to continue. Winner: Kagetora

Eita vs. Ricochet

John: Ricochet coming home to his original Japanese stomping grounds before he heads for HHH’s stupid fucking vanity promotion is a cool little thing, and I’m happy we’re getting to see it. Eita is a great opponent for him, a guy who really could use the boost right now that should come with wrestling someone of Rico’s stature. For all the cracks about his promo work, he’s still got a great amount of in-ring charisma, and needs to get back on track after what has been a bit of a shaky 2017. Tearing the house down with Ricochet here should go a long way toward putting things back on track, regardless of the result. I’m gonna be an optimist and hope Ricochet is here to put Eita over, but this is honestly another one I could see going either way, just like Kagetora-Genki. Winner: Eita

Case: It’s been two years since Ricochet has stepped foot in a Dragon Gate ring, and over three years since he has interacted with Eita. In that span, Eita has transitioned from “T-Hawk’s tag team partner” to a Super J Cup participant, a llave-style grappler, and a star on the rise. I really hope Ricochet goes all out for what will more than likely be his last Dragon Gate tour ever. Winner: Ricochet

Milo: Ricochet is back in DG!! Of course, it’s probably for a short time before he ships off to Helltown, Florida, but man there’s something that feels really good about his return. Maybe because, even during his years away, Ricochet never stopped singing DG’s praises, never forgetting the place that gave him so much and where he worked so hard to become the wrestler he is today.  It’s always nice. Eita has a lot to prove against him, and for all that I rag on CIMA, he couldn’t really have picked a better opponent for Eita to prove himself against. The young man’s been having a weird year after a really strong 2016, so there is no better platform for him to prove himself again. Predicting a winner is hard. Ricochet was the strongest pushed foreigner in the history of Dragon Gate, the only one to hold the Dream Gate, so it’s easy to believe he can eat Eita alive. But Eita needs the win more, and if Ricochet is willing to do the honors, we could witness a truly special moment. Winner: Eita (hopefully)

Michael: I bet I’m alone on an island with this, but Ricochet in New Japan always felt weird to me. Yeah he had some tremendous matches and had a really special tag team with Matt Sydal, but he’s a Son of CIMA, and I was going to be going “what if” if he didn’t (most likely) finish up this portion of his Japanese career with the company that brought him to the dance. This is also one of the biggest singles matches in Eita’s career, and we shouldn’t forget that. The less said about Eita’s 2017 the better, so this is a good point from him to turn it around before the year ends. Dragon Gate likes sending people off on their backs (the only person to win recently on their farewell big show was PAC/Neville), but Ricochet is now doing a full week, so maybe they’ll do the graduation at Korakuen. This is a great get for Eita. Ricochet has shown so many different sides of his wrestling acumen since leaving Dragon Gate, so it’ll be awesome to see a maestro/llave-style vs whatever side of Rico he decides to be that night. Winner: Ricochet

CK-1 © (CIMA, Dragon Kid) vs. Big Ben (Big R Shimizu, Ben-K)

John: I’m so sick of talking about this stupid title reign. Here on the one year anniversary of the beginning of it, they still have no chemistry as partners, they still are of course extremely over with the live crowds, and they still feel like they’re gonna stay on top for as long as they feel like. If you’re entertained by this, god bless you. Winner: CK-1, because we live in geohell

Case: CK-1 won these titles on November 3, 2016. They will be defending them on the exact one year anniversary, and I think I’ve finally learned my lesson – they’re never losing these titles. That’s not entirely a bad thing, as although I think there have been plenty of better options, CK-1’s reign, statistically, has been sort of awesome. I can’t bet against them at this point. I will be happy if I’m wrong, but with a year long reign under their belts, I can’t possibly predict that Big R Shimizu and a second year wrestler named Ben-K are going to dethrone them. All hail CK-1. Winner: CK-1

Milo: Fuck this, fuck you, fuck CIMA, fuck Dragon Kid, fuck this team that has no chemistry and has been unable to deliver an interesting and compelling reign for a fucking year. Getting into this is pointless. It’ll be the low point of the card, probably another nothing match despite the usually great chemistry between Big R and Kid. I’m so fucking tired. Winner: CK-1

Michael: My arms have grown tired from beating the drum that CK-1 should drop the titles, like the rest of my colleagues, so I’m not going to bother anymore. This reign is lazy booking for two guys with zero chemistry, they’ve only had one “great” defense, and it’s really been a case of “well we don’t really have anything planned for these dudes this year, they are far too important to just leave in the lower card, so let’s give the titles and we’ll come back to them next year.” Wait. I’m doing it again. I want Big Ben to win, but whenever I pick CK-1 to lose, they end up winning and I’m hoping reverse psychology works this time. Winner: CK-1

OPEN THE TRIANGLE GATE 3 WAY CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: VerserK © (Shingo Takagi, Takashi Yoshida, El Lindaman) vs. Tribe Vanguard (YAMATO, BxB Hulk, Kzy) vs. MaxiMuM (Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Kotoka)

John: After thoroughly driving the 3-way elimination Triangle Gate match into the ground in 2015 & 2016, with four of these matches (plus a 4-way!) between May 2015 and the end of 2016, DG smartly gave the multi-trio format a break in 2017. This will be the very first Triangle Gate defense of the year that isn’t just two teams of three in a standard trios match, so given that we’re in November and all they did a good job staying away from it all year. Now that we’ve had such a long break I’m really looking forward to the return of it here, and given the high level participants (Shingo, YAMATO, Hulk, DoiYoshi) and the semi-main match placement (if that indeed is accurate), it could get more time than usual and really end up being one of the memorable 3-way 6-mans, rather than a forgettable one. I really, really want to see the MaxiMuM trio walk out with the belts here, so I’m gonna predict with my heart in this one. Winner: MaxiMuM

Case: The Doi/Yoshino/Kotoka trio is a magical combination. For as much as I dread the idea of VerserK mixing it up with Tribe Vanguard, especially for a title, I can’t say I’m not kind of looking forward to this because of the MaxiMuM aspect of things. They have been so good this year. I am at such a terrible lull in my wrestling fandom, but MaxiMuM always makes me crack a smile. I hope they grab the gold. Winner: Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, & Kotoka

Milo: Boy this one should be a doozy. Whenever DoiYoshi are involved in a match like this; you can be sure that sparks will go flying, and while I’m obviously his personal hypeman, Kotoka has been great since his return and has gelled very well with his new dads/mentors. The Verserk team is still pretty much unappealing to me, and there are much better things Lindaman should be doing rather than teaming with Yoshida and Cruella DeVille (see above…). Meanwhile, Tribe Vanguard is having yet another go at these titles, and a year and a half removed from their formation, if they lose here, they should probably call it quits. These are three guys that I love, but I feel like others would do better to hold these titles right now. With that out of the way, this will probably be a lot of fun. The Yamato/Hulk/Doi/Yoshino/Shingo quintet have been going at each other’s throats for a while and it never stops being entertaining, while Lindaman and Kotoka, who onced joined Millennials together, will surely be trying to one up each-other the whole time. Yoshida, thankfully, usually shines in this format, and I’m hoping he’ll be funny, if nothing else. Kzy is always a joy to watch in these matches, especially when Takagi is involved, mercilessly clowning on him for our entertainment. This is the classic DG formula, hopefully with a twist at the end. Winner: MaxiMuM

Michael: This is the perfect match to bring back the 3-way for!!! It’s going put Yoshida in his best element where he can just come in, wreck the house for the bit and not need to carry the bulk of the match. Kotoka has become one of the best sprint style workers in the company so he’s going to be highlight, along with Kzy. To top it off, YAMATO feels like a new man since dropping the Dream Gate. The Korakuen after Dangerous Gate was the first time all year that YAMATO looked comfortable and happy. MaxiMuM is tremendous, and I feel like the current super face unit needs some belts. However, I just have an itch in my brain that they are going to start trying to strengthen Tribe Vanguard or abandon ship. Also Kzy always deserves a title, so why not? Winner: Tribe Vanguard

Masaaki Mochizuki © vs. Susumu Yokosuka

John: Mochizuki and Susumu! Let’s go through their entire 12-match singles history against each other: Masaaki defeated Susumu Mochizuki (yes, they legit have the same name; no relation though) in a British Commonwealth Title defense on 4/21/2001, when both were M2K members. After Masaaki had his head shaved by CIMA at the end of 2001, he turned babyface and was subsequently kicked out of M2K, leading to a name vs. name match with Susumu where the loser had to change their last name from Mochizuki to their hometown on 2/24/2002. I shouldn’t have to tell you who won that one (starting an unfortunate history for Susumu and name matches…). In El Numero Uno 2003 (the Toryumon-era precursor to King of Gate, a round robin league), the now Susumu Yokosuka got his first win over Mochizuki on 3/30/2003. The following year Mochizuki would turn heel for the first time since leaving the original M2K, joining up with Hagure Gundam to form the new unit Aagan Issou. He faced Susumu on 2/22/2004 with the unique stipulation that, if Susumu lost, he would have to turn heel and join him in Aagan; however, even though Mochizuki won the match, when Susumu started to accept the stipulation he instead beat Susumu down and informed him he was “too much of a babyface to ever be heel again” (and outside of a very short 2-month stint with Real Hazard at the end of that unit’s lifetime, in December 2009, Mochizuki turned out to be right…..so far!). Their next meeting came on June 13th of 2004 but ended in a No Contest, and then they fought to a 15-minute time limit draw on 3/27/2005. But we’d get a result when they met again in the Every Day Pro Wrestling Premium Match on 8/16/2005, with Mochizuki defeating Susumu. Mochi then won again the following year in King of Gate 2006 on 12/10, and at that point the two didn’t have another singles match for nearly four years. When they finally fought again on 6/24/2010, Mochizuki once again came out on top. A few months later they would meet again but this time in Dragon Gate UK, and on 9/11/2010 Susumu got his first win over Mochizuki in seven-and-a-half years. Again the two would go nearly four years without a singles match, until 5/23/2014, when Susumu (now Jimmy Susumu) defeated Mochizuki in the second round of the King of Gate. They would face off again in King of Gate the following year, in the first round this time, but Susumu’s brief 2-match win streak would come to an end as Mochizuki got the win on 5/9/2015. So here we are now, match #13. The record stands at 7 wins for Mochi, 3 for Susumu, and 2 draws. Sadly for Susumu I don’t suspect he will get to post win number four here, as instead the record should get even more lopsided for Mochi. But no matter what the result, I’m pumped for another new match in a legendary rivalry! Winner: Masaaki Mochizuki

Case: Never did I imagine this would main event a PPV in 2017. That being said, I’m not complaining. Because I am predicting that Horiguchi walks out with the Brave Gate, I can’t see Dragon Gate crowing two ex-Jimmyz as champions so quickly. I think Mochizuki’s miracle run is going to last until Final Gate. I have no doubt that this match will rule. These two have rather brilliant chemistry, which has been displayed in tag matches for years now. Somehow, they’ve only had 12 singles matches. I am very much excited for match #13 in their rivalry. Winner: Masaaki Mochizuki

Milo: This is an absolute dream come true. The emotion and excitement was at its peak when Mochizuki surprisingly defeated YAMATO for the Dream Gate in September, and then this Susumu challenge came along to somehow make things even better. Mochi and Susumu have history, as John has explained, that runs deep and is an essential thread in the fabric of the Dragon System. They’re also two of the most hard-hitting and crisp workers on the roster, age be damned, and they’ll probably be putting all their younger colleagues to shame with this match. The last time Mochizuki main evented Gate of Destiny, we got what many didn’t hesitate to call the best match in the history of the promotion. Whether he can repeat the performance is anyone’s guess, but this here is guaranteed to be an absolute barnburner, possibly an instant classic, and most definitely a breathtaking display of professional wrestling. I’m expecting Mochizuki to retain, but honestly, the outcome matters much less to me here than the match itself. Winner: Masaaki Mochizuki

Michael: If I could give a preview that was just “Mochizuki (clapping emoji) versus (clapping emoji) Yokosuka” repeated for 140 characters, I’d get fired but it’d be worth it. Like Case, I think there’s going to be some juice in this Mochizuki Miracle that’s going to last us through to Final Gate. Less two months ago I thought the funeral march of YAMATO’s reign was going to last us into 2017, but this is like expecting Little Caesars, and somehow getting the most delightful Neapolitan with fresh basil, prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella. If we are going to get matchups that are bangers like this, then keep the Dream Gate on Mocchy as long as the company can. Sorry Susumu, but you aren’t getting win number four against the dude that took your real name from you. Winner: Masaaki Mochizuki