DRAGONGATE
KING OF GATE 2020 – NIGHT SEVEN
MAY 30, 2020
KOBE LAPIS HALL, KOBE, JAPAN

Watch: Dragon Gate Network

Dragongate’s King of Gate tournament trudges along for another year, this time without fans. Instead of spanning across two different Korakuen Hall dates and shots in Kobe Sambo Hall, Sapporo, and Osaka, these matches are confined to Dragongate’s home base, Kobe Lapis Hall, which is where their studio show Prime Zone is filmed.

KING OF GATE 2020 BLOCK A FINALS
YAMATO DEF. DIAMANTE 

Diamante attempted a split-legged moonsault in this match. It was gnarly. He underrotated on it, all while YAMATO was trying to get his knees up to counter the move. No one was hurt, but the split-second between Diamante attempting that move and then hitting the ground was by far the most terrifying part of this tournament so far. 

Diamante dominated YAMATO for a lot of the match, but I never felt like the result was in question. That’s not necessarily a flaw with the match, as YAMATO is a multiple-time Dream Gate champion and Diamante is Diamante. Watching YAMATO on the defense, resorting to flash pins to attempt to beat the masked man, was great. He caught Diamante in the Frankensteiner of the Almighty for the win. YAMATO, as expected, wins his block. **3/4 

KING OF GATE 2020 B BLOCK FINALS
KAITO ISHIDA DEF. NARUKI DOI 

A rare Open the Dream Gate vs. Open the Brave Gate champions match. The most notable version of this match in prior incarnations was when CIMA, then Brave Gate Champion, wrestled Naruki Doi, who was in the midst of his first Dream Gate reign, at Kobe World 2009

Kaito Ishida clocks in at 75kg and stands 173cm tall. By comparison, current Dream Gate champion Doi is just as tall as him, but weighs nearly 10kg more. YAMATO is an inch shorter, but has more muscle to him. Yoshino, Kzy, and Eita are all roughly the same height and weight as Ishida, give or take a few in either category. I bring this up because Ishida, between the statistics there and with his in-ring output over the last year and a half, has the talent to become a top of the line star in DG. At this point, the only thing that I think is holding him back is the fact that he holds the midcard belt. Yes, there was interference in his victory against Doi. R.E.D. attacked him with a lariat-train in the corner, but the Toryumon Army did the same thing to Ishida. It was a powder throw that distracted Doi enough to cause him to get rolled up for the win. 

Still, a win over Naruki Doi in any sort of legitimate fashion is a huge deal. This wasn’t a countout or a DQ. This was a pinfall victory over Naruki Doi. Kaito Ishida pinned Naruki Doi. Forget the fact that he won his block, the fact that he beat the Dream Gate champion is huge. 

This was a very fine match, not spectacular, but fine. Ishida has been delightfully consistent during this tournament, and this match was no different. ***1/2 

KING OF GATE 2020 C BLOCK FINALS
EITA DEF. DRAGON DIA 

I let out an audible groan when Eita won this match. It’s not because I’m anti-Eita, but because as this match went along, I became more and more sucked in at the prospect of Dia winning this match, and given the fact that Ishida had beat Doi earlier in the night, I figured anything was possible. 

Eita, along with Yasushi Kanda, defeated Dia in his debut match. The two did not wrestle at all, not even in a multi-man setting, in 2019. Since the generational warfare began at the start of the year, they’ve had some interactions in six-man tags, but this was their first ever singles match, and I hope to God it’s not their last. 

This is the best match of the tournament that hasn’t had YAMATO’s name involved. I thought this was sublime. Everything was well-timed and superbly-executed. A year after Shun Skywalker’s run of greatness that elevated him into the main event scene, Dragon Dia is having a similar trajectory, he’s just doing it in front of no crowds. Had Dia won this match, I would’ve put it on my spreadsheet. It would’ve been a generous four stars, but four stars nonetheless. Eita broke my heart and Imperial Uno’d Dia into oblivion. ***3/4 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Big names, big stakes, and big matches on Night Seven of King of Gate. I recommend any empty arena show with at least two decent matches, and this show certainly had that. I’m back on board with King of Gate after this show. A very fun, easy watch.