Opening

It is post-Dead or Alive in Dragon Gate’s universe, which means we are on the road to the 19th Kobe World Pro Wrestling Festival and it’s time for King of Gate.

DG’s world is topsy-turvy nowadays, with Kotoka retiring in March and the split between their native company and their Oriental Wrestling Entertainment relationship, which has seen CIMA, T-Hawk, El Lindaman and Takehiro Yamamura move to Shanghai full-time. This year, King of Gate has compensated for that by reducing the total wrestlers in the tournament to 20 with five in each of the four blocks. The tournament runs from May 8th until June 9th. A new twist for this year is that the Open the Dream Gate champion, Masaaki Mochizuki, is sitting this tournament out. Instead, the King of Gate winner will face Mochizuki for the Dream Gate the day after the King of Gate finals on June 10th.

Past Winners

King of Gate, like many things in Dragon Gate, has its basis in Toryumon Gym with the El Numero Uno tournament. Through its four year history, El Numero Uno had such moments as Masaaki Mochizuki, at the height of rudo-dom as the leader of M2K, managing to win the first tournament after getting a double countout in each of his round-robin matches, and then advancing to the knockout phase after a battle royale and winning the whole thing (it takes a long time to explain it, let’s just say that the Toryumon Era was much more different than how things are now) to the birth of the Backslide from Heaven for Genki Horiguchi in 2003.

Since the creation of Dragon Gate, El Numero Uno became King of Gate. Instead of the round-robin, King of Gate was a single-elimination tournament for a decade. It returned to the round-robin in 2015. Due to the Dead or Alive cage match and the generational war of 2009, there was no King of Gate that year.

  • 2005: Ryo Saito
  • 2006: Masaaki Mochizuki
  • 2007: Gamma
  • 2008: Naruki Doi
  • 2010: Shingo Takagi
  • 2011: BxB Hulk
  • 2012: Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!
  • 2013: Ricochet
  • 2014: Jimmy Susumu
  • 2015: Masato Yoshino
  • 2016: YAMATO
  • 2017: T-Hawk

Dragon Gate Network Schedule

Dragon Gate launched their new streaming service, Dragon Gate Network, on April 1st. They’ve been airing live more shows with the service than they ever did with NicoNico, so a lot of the tournament will be streamed live. Like previous years, not all shows will be making tape. The production quality differs from show to show; some shows will have full production with several cameras and announcing, some others have a hard cam that follows the action and only crowd noise. DGNet has two tiers of service, a 900 yen “lite” archives, and the 1500 yen “regular” full service. The only way to watch King of Gate live is through the regular service. The shows will stay on-demand for a week, then go into the vault until a month from the show date. Then the shows will be the archive for all DGNet subscribers.

Only the May broadcast schedule is set in stone, and Dragon Gate hasn’t announce the June broadcast schedule yet. From experience, and expectation, I’m taking a knowledgeable guess at what will stream in June, but just know that it is just a guess.

  • MAY 8th Tokyo Korakuen Hall
  • MAY 13th – Ai Messe Yamanashi (this is also Shingo Takagi’s special homecoming show featuring LEONA and Tatsumi Fujinami)
  • MAY 19th Edion Arena #2 Osaka
  • MAY 25th Susukino Mars Sapporo
  • MAY 26th Susukino Mars Sapporo
  • MAY 27th Susukino Mars Sapporo
  • JUNE 1st – Tokyo Korakuen Hall (the Knockout Stage begins)
  • JUNE 9th – Hakata Star Lanes (King of Gate finals)
  • JUNE 10th – Hakata Star Lanes (King of Gate winner vs Masaaki Mochizuki, Open the Dream Gate title match)


Block A

Wrestler Previews

YAMATO (2016 Winner) With the exception of Kzy, no wrestler is in a more different place in Dragon Gate from last year’s King of Gate than YAMATO. In 2017, he was at the tail end of his underwhelming Dream Gate run. Although business remained strong (and grew in some cases due to his new range of well received “Food Coordinator YAMATO” products. Buy now and get your choice of Curry Powder, Sunday Gravy Pasta, or what’s either an Alfredo or Vodka Pasta Mixes!), very few matches reached the level they could have been. YAMATO looked burdened by the belt and aimless. Since dropping the title in August, YAMATO seems a lot happier and focused within Tribe Vanguard. As he’s still a member of Dragon Gate’s top tier and is front and center on any advertisements, it’s easy to see him doing well in this tournament. I can see him winning his block, but I don’t see YAMATO winning two King of Gates in three years.

Kzy – Last year at this time, Kzy was considered the most underrated person on the roster. Someone with all the skill in the world, but held down and in the third rank/sometimes loss post for Tribe Vanguard. Then 2018 came around. 2018 has been the year of Kzy. After a career-making Dream Gate challenge, Kzy decided to strike out on his own and started his own unit, Natural Vibes, with Susumu, Horiguchi, Tominaga, and a returning YASSHI. Even with all this moment, Kzy finds himself in a tough block. Dragon Gate likes new units to either look strong initially (VeserK was the best modern day example), or struggle before putting it together (MaxiMuM did this last year). Keeping that in mind, Kzy might have some of the most exciting matches of the tournament and could finish anywhere from third place in the block, or win this whole dang thing and get another Mochizuki challenge.

Ben-K – Now entering his junior year in the company, Ben-K has not only reached the lofty expectations put on him by the company, but exceeded them. Already the number two in MaxiMuM, behind joint leaders DoiYoshi, he already has had a Dream Gate challenge earlier this year and a Triangle Gate reign in his two short years in the company. This sort of tournament is great for someone like Ben-K, who won the Twin Gate with Big R Shimizu at Dead or Alive. His biggest shortcoming is being in “main event” style matches as he gets gassed and needs someone to lead him. The experience he could gain in his second King of Gate tournament could be instrumental for Ben-K’s career path to be a top tier wrestler. He’s sort of the wild card of the block. I could see him somehow steamroll everyone and take the block clean, and also can see him ending up in 3rd or 4th.

Yasushi Kanda – Kanda’s had a slight career renaissance since turning on the former Jimmyz members in October. Now cemented on the rudo side with Antias, Kanda had a brief Brave Gate reign this winter and was put in the Dead or Alive cage match for the first time in recent memory. Even with that slight uptick in role, expectations should be low for Kanda in King of Gate. He will win a match or two, but it’s not likely he’ll advance out of this block.

Shun Skywalker – The winner of the Rookie Representative match, King of Gate will be the biggest test of Skywalker’s career to date. Since debuting, Shun Skywalker ended up obviously below Ben-K in rank, but ahead of everyone else in his class, so it’s not surprising he’s in this spot. More so than any of his non-Ben-K peers, Shun has been showing massive amounts of improvement and in 2018, he’s taken another step forward. Rather than visibly thinking about what his next move is, he started to flow more on offense, and has added some impressive maneuvers like a rope walk Asai moonsault to the outside. It is pretty obvious what his role is in this tournament: get a bunch of singles match experience and showcase more of what he’s got, but there’s always a chance he can play spoiler for one of the block favorites.

Must See Matches

Block A has a pretty spread out schedule, and one that features interesting matches throughout the entire tournament. Sadly, the likely deciding matches of the block won’t be televised, but the ones making tape will be very interesting.

  • MAY 8th The tournament’s lead off show at Korakuen featured YAMATO vs Kzy. A battle of former Tribe Vanguard members, this could YAMATO proving that Kzy isn’t on his level, or Kzy raising a flag for his new unit.
  • MAY 13th – It’s a battle of the Class of 2016 as Ben-K faces Shun Skywalker. Since his debut, Ben-K has clearly been the top guy of his class, but Shun’s been steadily improving and increasing his rank.
  • MAY 26th & 27th – These are the last streamed matches of the block, and the ones where Shun Skywalker could play potential spoiler to Kzy and YAMATO. With Tribe Vanguard down to four full-time members and Team Kzy starting up, both teams could use a young guy like Skywalker to act as a loss post. So this could be an audition for these teams.

Predictions

It’s a three wrestler race in Block A as far as I’m concerned. Shun Skywalker has only consistently beat people of his generation, and like I mentioned earlier, this is a great learning experience for him. Kanda’s to the point of his career where I expect him to put up a fight, but not come close to winning his block. So that leaves us with YAMATO, Kzy and Ben-K. YAMATO’s always a good choice: Tribe Vanguard always feels tenuous with their position in regards to other units, and he’s still very much “the guy” in a lot of people’s minds. Kzy’s elevation has been a masterclass in how you take someone who was a loss post for the majority of their career, and make them matter. Kzy winning Block A wouldn’t be a surprise and continues that elevation. It is clear that Dragon Gate sees something in Ben-K and are doing a good job of protecting him and the next logical step for him is good tournament run. Given how things are going for him in Dragon Gate, I think the choice to win Block A is Kzy.

Block B

Wrestler Previews

BxB Hulk (2011 Winner) – Where have you gone BxB Hulk? Hulk’s career has gone through a couple of eras, and we are firmly stuck in his most depressing one: Post Dream Gate Injury and Irrelevance. It’s either being injured, or just hanging around and not doing much for him in 2018. He was even in the opening match of Dead or Alive this year. Maybe being in a block without Shingo Takagi or Masaaki Mochizuki will help? But getting through a group of beefy folks and tricksters will be tough for a guy that three years ago would have steamrolled them.

Big R Shimizu –  Shimizu’s rise in status can be traced back to last year’s King of Gate, where he upset then Dream Gate champion YAMATO in under four minutes. Since then, he’s been in Dream Key contender’s matches, won the Twin Gate with his Big Ben partner Ben-K, and had his first Dream Gate challenge at Wakayama this March. Big R is still susceptible to some bonehead decisions and flash pins, which is dangerous in a group like this. If everything is “on” and things go as well as they could, then it’s not outside of the realm of possibility that Shimizu makes the finals.  

Takashi Yoshida – Yoshida’s been the one Antias member that stayed out of the Takagi vs Kanda vs Young Antias drama. He’s even put together a somewhat fun year of thicc matches. In normal years, I’d be loath to put him through or be a contender for the overall tournament. This isn’t one of those years, and the former Cyber Kong has potential to be one of the dark horses of the entire tournament.

Genki Horiguchi (2012 Winner) – Genki’s had a rather Genki past twelve months. Jimmyz got disbanded, he’s had a couple of team title shots, time is a flat circle, and we’re kind of back to where we were with him in 2017. He’s joined Natural Vibes with on-again, off-again, partner Susumu Yokosuka, and he’s thrived in the mid card role where he can provide some levity, work the mic, and be incredibly compelling in the ring. Of course, we can’t forget that Horiguchi has the ability to channel heaven (or hell) and get anyone with a backslide. Do I expect him to ride the Backslide from Heaven to his second King of Gate victory? Ehhh. But do I expect him to shake things up, upset some of the Block B leaders and maybe sneak into the knockout round? Sure thing.

Jason Lee – The top gaijin when Flamita’s not around, Jason Lee’s really taken to Dragon Gate and won the Triangle Gate with DoiYoshi just over three months from his debut. He gets both the ring style/speed along with the light DG comedy, so when you combine that with being from an area that the company wants to expand into (Hong Kong and China), he’s a perfect fit. His first King of Gate will be an interesting experience for Lee: he hasn’t had many major show singles matches and usually has been in MaxiMuM multi-man matches. I don’t really have any expectations for him in the tournament, but it’ll be fun to see him in these matchups!

Must See Matches

Block B is probably the most wide open block in this year’s tournament. You can make a strong case for everyone in B, outside of Lee, to win the thing. Unlike Block A, there is a lot more of this block making tape.

  • MAY 8th Block B kicks off with Big Boy season as Takashi Yoshida faces off against Big R Shimizu. They had a match earlier this year in Korakuen where Yoshida surprisingly ran roughshod over Shimizu and squashed him in just over six minutes. The two have some fun chemistry, so hopefully they’ll have a bit more time to show that.
  • MAY 14th For a guy that’s nearing 15 years in the company, it’s weird how many people BxB Hulk has zero chemistry with. It seems like unless the match is against Shingo, Yoshida or Tozawa, the matches felt weird and fell flat. So it’s hard to recommend Hulk’s singles matches. Good for him that he’s going to face off against Yoshida in Shingo’s hometown, so this has a shot of being pretty good.
  • MAY 19th MaxiMuM members Lee and Shimizu collide! This match is basically at the tournament’s midpoint, so it could dictate which one of the two will stay in the Block B hunt, and who will become spoiler. I expect this one to be a little bit more lighter hearted than other matches this tournament as Shimizu is a goofball and Lee loves to trick people out with his meditation schtick.
  • MAY 27th – BxB Hulk vs Big R Shimizu could very well be the block decider on the third day in Sapporo. I bemoaned earlier about how Hulk has chemistry with nearly nobody, but people with the style of Shimizu usually mesh well with him. I sort of see this being Shimizu’s clincher as this is both of their last matches and I expect Big R to be in the hunt leading up to this match.

Predictions

Boy, we have a bunch of people who are seconds or third in rank for their units in Block B. Usually, there will be someone that’s getting pushed or someone with so much higher rank that it makes it obvious who is going to win. I think Jason Lee is the easiest person to eliminate off the bat; this is his first King of Gate and he’s positioned as a the guy in MaxiMuM taking falls since Kotoka retired. Genki Horiguchi is a X-factor in every tournament he enters as can always backslide his way to the tournament finals. Shimizu has been getting a lot of opportunities, and has pulled off the shock upsets in past King of Gates, so he’s a contender. Yoshida has his obvious limitations which makes me think it’s unlikely that he gets a huge run this year. That leaves us with BxB Hulk. I don’t think he’s a contender to win the whole tournament, but he desperately needs something to make the fans believe in him again. He’s in a block with guys he should have good matches yet, and a tournament run can re-establish himself. I think it’s BxB Hulk winning Block B.  

Block C

Wrestler Previews

Naruki Doi (2008 Winner) – Last year seemed like a shoe-in for Doi to win King of Gate. He was the most popular man on the roster in the newest, and most popular unit. And Naruki Doi made a run to the finals where it looked like he booked a ticket to the main event of Kobe World. Until he lost to T-Hawk. Since then, Doi has remained one of the most popular people on the roster, and won the Triangle Gate with his eternal partner/enemy Masato Yoshino and newcomer Jason Lee. I can’t shake the feeling though that Dragon Gate, once again, mistimed pulling the trigger. It goes without saying that Naruki Doi is the favorite of Block C, and perhaps the odds on favorite to win King of Gate and unseat Mochizuki.

Dragon Kid (2004 El Numero Uno Winner) – Dragon Kid has held a belt pretty much whenever he’s been healthy over the last year. After the historic CK-1 reign ended, he was on the shelf for several months with knee tendon issues, and returned and near immediately won a tournament for the vacant Brave Gate championship. Over Generation is practically a shuffling zombie nowadays, with CIMA in China full-time and Yamamura on an injury hiatus and also in China, so he really hasn’t been involved in any unit warfare and probably whatever next Unit Disbands match Over Generation is in will be their last. As he is Dragon Kid, he will always be a contender for getting out of the block, but it will be tough this year.

Eita – What do you do when a much needed heel turn happens, a guy goes back to team with someone that he’s synonymous with, they launch a new unit with them as leaders, and all of this work and effort leaves the wrestler in the exact same place as before? That’s Eita. He won the Twin Gate last December, but it hasn’t done anything to help propel him up the card, and Antias is the least imposing heel unit since Deep Drunkers. A lot of people are viewing this as a “last chance” for him. That seems a bit ridiculous to me. He’s still only 26 and is coming off of dropping the Twin Gate at Dead or Alive, T-Hawk’s departure, and Takagi’s usurping Antias. It would certainly be great for him to perform well, and get out of the block for the second year in the row. I don’t regard this as put up or shut up, but the clamoring might get louder and louder if he doesn’t perform up to expectations.

Yosuke♡Santa Maria – if anyone could be in the breakout role of the tournament this year, it’d be Miss Maria. Since Kzy left Tribe Vanguard, she’s decided to be taken seriously and showed a tremendous amount of rage towards anyone who has shown her disrespect. It’s interesting how her and Dragon Kid ended up in the same block this year, channeling the Kagetora and Takehiro Yamamura vibe of last year. It will be hard for her to win this block with Eita and Naruki Doi here, but if she does breakout, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Punch Tominaga – Tominaga has had some sort of career renaissance in 2018, finally winning his first title in February. He spent most of this year, and last, dealing with Over Generation’s slow erosion and then being a central part of the Dead or Alive main event. On top of that, he joined Natural Vibes. So things are looking good for PT. This block won’t be good for him with Doi and Eita the likely winners and Dragon Kid and Maria being strong contenders. Too bad for him: usually him finishing last in a block is a sign of how weak he is, but this time, it could be just the competition.  

Must See Matches

Block C has the typical split of matches being aired and matches on house shows. Eita has almost all of his matches televised, so if you are a big fan of his, you are in luck.

  • MAY 8th – The kick off show has Eita vs Naruki Doi. Eita is someone who pulls out a crazy match every tournament, so it feels right that he’s on opening night with a potential one. This match can end up being the tie-breaker for Block C.
  • MAY 19th – The former Over Generation and Summer Adventure Tag League winners face off with Eita facing Dragon Kid. I don’t know if this was intentional, but I think it’s great booking that Eita, the guy who practically begged Dragon Kid to be his maestro, is stuck in a block with him after his heel turn last year.
  • MAY 25th –  In a “what a difference four years makes” match, Maria takes on Eita. Maria’s character change happened because she was infatuated with Eita, and she held a loss post/comedy role position when the two were members of Millennials. Since the end of that unit, Maria’s become more and more of a serious wrestler and putting out awesome matches so it’s going to be interesting to see those two together all this time later.
  • MAY 26th The rematch of the Brave Gate match from earlier this month at Dead or Alive, Dragon Kid versus Maria. This seems a lot like what happened last year with Kagetora and Takehiro Yamamura, Kagetora got the first win where Yamamura got revenge during King of Gate. This also is late enough in the tournament where Maria or Dragon Kid could knock the other out of contention.

Predictions

Off the bat, eliminate Punch Tominaga and Yosuke♡Santa Maria. It’s nothing against either of their wrestling abilities, but they usually do terribly in tournaments like this. Dragon Kid winning a block with Doi in it would help out Over Generation. I don’t think that’s likely as Over Generation seems to be on its last legs and he’s already the Brave Gate champion, so he doesn’t need the rub. Eita really really really needs the rub. New Antias doesn’t have a clear number two with T-Hawk and El Lindaman leaving, and him winning could set up a knockout stage match of him versus Takagi. DG’s faith in Eita seems to wax and wane with each full moon, so it’s a giant shrug on how they feel about him winning a block. Naruki Doi seems like a clear block and tournament favorite. He’s even more of a favorite when you think about he’s in a block with DK, who’s unlikely to get a front line push at this stage of his career, Tominaga and Maria, two wrestlers who’ve been off-and-on loss posts their entire career, and Eita, the guy that seems to be in Dragon Gate’s dog house for a bit of every year. Naruki Doi goes through to the knockout stage.  

Block D

Wrestler Previews

Masato Yoshino (2015 Winner) – Yoshino did not participate in the 2017 King of Gate tournament due to his recovery from a freak and career-threatening back injury. After a month of testing the waters and being careful about his back, it has been all Speed Star, all the time. DoiYoshi had outstanding matches in the back half of 2017, and Yoshino is a part of a MaxiMuM trio that won the Triangle Gate. The big question with Yoshino is when are they going to pull the trigger with him again and for him to get another Dream Gate shot. If he wasn’t in the group of death, it’d be almost obvious. If he gets out of Block D, he’s a heavy tournament favorite.

Shingo Takagi (2010 Winner) – Dragon Gate’s current ambassador to the rest of the wrestling world, Shingo’s coming off of a hot performance in AJPW’s Champion Carnival and teaming with  Yuji Okabayashi in last year’s BJW Saikyo Tag League. Doing all of this pulled Takagi away from the front lines of Dragon Gate and in a backseat role in Antias. That was until Dead or Alive, when he claimed control of the heel unit after prevailing in the cage match. It’s now his team and they are going his way. Shingo’s a contender in any tournament he enters, so it would be easy to give him the block and maybe his second King of Gate victory. However, this is the group of death, and things just seem out of place for him to take it in comparison to other wrestlers.

Susumu Yokosuka (2014 Winner) –  One could set their watch to Susumu Yokosuka’s year. Nearly every year Susumu makes a Dream Gate challenge, holds either the Twin or Triangle Gate and challenges for the other, and has standout matches in King of Gate. Well, it’s King of Gate time and in the past year he: Challenged Mochizuki for the Dream Gate, made a couple of Twin Gate challenges, and is Triangle Gate champion with his new unit Natural Vibes. He’s matched up with four other guys that he has great chemistry with, and like most of this block, he can easily take this. I don’t think he’ll win the whole tournament, but we’ll come away from King of Gate with a Susumu Match of the Year contender and all will be right in the universe.

Ryo Saito (2005 Winner) – Ryo Saito is a profoundly bizarre person. In order to get CIMA, Gamma, and Don Fujii to stop being zombie veterans in Mad Blankey, he decided to become a middle school vice principal, and insist that they are a part of his student council. He doesn’t own a smartphone and told Akira Tozawa to keep in touch via email after he moved to America as he only has a flip phone. He spent the past six months trying to convince Shingo Takagi that Shingo was actually a tremendous comedy wrestler, and lost his Owarai Gate championship as well as his hair for his efforts. I could continue, but we’d be here all day, so rest assured, SaiRyo is WEIRD. He just started a comedy unit with Don Fujii and K-ness, and that should probably be an indication as how he’ll do in the tournament. Slight chance to get out of the block, zero chance to win the entire thing.

Kagetora – Kagetora’s year has been aimless. Even he would agree. The Jimmyz were forced to disband in September and he dropped the Brave Gate in December. Since that, Kagetora’s been trying to grab onto any unit that crosses by him and no one wants anything to do with tryhard Kage until he joined Tribe Vanguard at Dead or Alive. He’s the only non-winner in this block, and it’d be stunning I’d somehow he won. At least there will be a bunch of interesting matchups including two with former Jimmyz that will keep him engaged through the tournament.

Must See Matches

Block D is easily the Block of Death. No other block has three former tournament winners, let alone four. Only four of the league matches take place in house show venues, so there will be a lot of opportunities to see these guys throughout the tournament.

  • MAY 8th Block D’s opening day match is Shingo Takagi versus Masato Yoshino. Shingo always has killer matches in the tournament, and the matches he has in Korakuen are often at another level. This is a huge match, one that could main event a Kobe World show, and it’s starting the tournament. That’s insane
  • MAY 19th – Yoshino versus Yokosuka is a match that’s happened many times across their career. They’ve both been firmly on the face side since Yoshino’s face turn in 2009, so this match can be one of deciding which one is better than the other versus some storyline thing.
  • MAY 26th –  The Shingo/SaiRyo feud ends, hopefully. It’s been one of my least favorite parts of Dragon Gate this year, but now that there was a big climax at Dead or Alive, this feels like the post-script. As I said earlier, Shingo is tremendous in these tournaments, so I hope we get more of that in Hokkaido in comparison to what we’ve been seeing all year.
  • MAY 27th – Kagetora and Susumu Yokosuka is a special match. The two teamed together and formed the Jimmyz in 2012 after losing their names. Now six years later, they’ll face off on the last televised show of the Block stage. Yokosuka has been the MVP of King of Gate over the last two years, with an incredible match with Eita in 2016 and the match that signified Kzy’s potential in 2017. This could be three years in a row where Susumu makes someone.

Predictions

I don’t think either of the former Jimmyz have a good chance of winning this block. Kagetora’s hasn’t done much since losing the Brave Gate and only this week joined a stable, and SaiRyo has been focusing on his comedy efforts since the Jimmyz disbanded. So I think a former tournament winner will come out of the Block of Death. Susumu could win the block, but I don’t think he wins the entire tournament. It’s still less than a year since his last Dream Key. Takagi winning the block would help Antias, but I can easily see SaiRyo playing spoiler. Yoshino’s an interesting case. He hasn’t done much singles wrestling since coming back from his near-career ending injury. He’s arguably one of the most popular people in the company with Doi, Kzy, and Mochizuki. And he hasn’t had a Dream Gate match since he lost the belt to Takagi in 2015. Masato Yoshino survives the Block of Death.

Knockout Stages

Since moving to a round-robin system, the winners of each block enter a random drawing to see who they will face in the semi-finals and final. Traditionally, this has been held the day of the semi-finals, so I expect this to happen on June 1st. The finals will be on the 9th. New for this year is the concurrently run Last Place tournament. The format hasn’t been announced, but I suspect it’s going to be the losers of each block facing each other and maybe the person who loses each match will advance.

Predictions

I’m not going to bother to predict the Last Place tournament as we don’t know the format of it. My block predictions had Kzy, BxB Hulk, Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino winning each block. It seems natural to then have the former North Tribe members face off and DoiYoshi to implode. I don’t think that’s going to happen, why burn those big matches when they can take place on bigger show? So I think it’s going to be Kzy vs Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi vs BxB Hulk as semifinals with Yoshino and Hulk winning. The finals then would Yoshino vs Hulk, and Masato Yoshino is your 2018 King of Gate.