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NotQuiteQuentin
Jan 29, 2005

BIG OVER


College Slice

UPCOMING MAJOR SHOW 12/28/2014 - FINAL GATE - Fukuoka

SHOWTIMES AND CARD PREVIEW TO COME

The Dragon Gate style/storylines are a bit more involved than other Puroresu companies, so I’m making this post sort of an explainer and show preview. I should note that a lot of history pulled for these post is from http://www.iheartdg.com and specifically their fantastic “History of the Toryumon System” podcast series. Jae is probably the biggest gaijin Dragon Gate/Toryumon and his website and podcasts are musts if you want to better understand Dragon Gate. In future posts I'll preview and get into the history of most of the Kobe World matches. I hope this can become a discussion/GDT thread like the New Japan thread.


WHAT IS DRAGON GATE?

In 1998 Japanese Junior Heavyweight legend Ultimo Dragon decided to open his own school in Mexico to teach his style of Lucha Libre and Puroresu that is best described as Lucharesu. He named his dojo Toryumon Gym and quickly it became the place to train if you were a Japanese wrestler that either was interested in Lucha Libre or too small for other Puroresu organizations. In 1999 they had their first shows under the name of Toryumon Japan featuring the first class of Gym students such as CIMA (then known as Shiima Nobunga), Dragon Kid and Magnum Tokyo, to name a few, as well as other indy mainstays like Masaaki Mochizuki and Takashi Okamura. The company would achieve quick success and became one of the more prominent Indies to end the 90s and enter the 00s. As time went on more students would go train in Mexico and later make their Japanese debut in such promotion groups as Toryumon 2000 Project (T2P) and Toryumon X. Soon Ultimo Dragon would retire, and come out of retirement to wrestle in WWE, leaving the control of the promotion to the wrestlers and the now mostly retired Okamura.

Upon his return from WWE in 2004 his graduated students and the Toryumon Gym would split. There are several reasons for this divorce, most prominently Ultimo wanting to focus on training in the dojo and the older wrestlers wanting to earn more than the reported pittance they got as Toryumon Japan wrestlers. Ultimo will remain based in Mexico training his students with occasional Japanese excursions and the graduated Toryumon Japan/T2P wrestlers creating a new promotion named Dragon Gate.

The first show show as Dragon Gate was their July show at Kobe World Hall, making this both their 15th and 10th anniversary as Dragon Gate. Since 2004, Dragon Gate has thrived under the stewardship of their new President Okamura and a booking committee of the wrestlers led by Genki Horiguchi. They expanded into America first with their relationship with Ring of Honor which resulted in the 2006 Wrestling Observer match of the year between Blood Generation of CIMA/Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino and DO FIXER of Ryo Saito/Genki Horiguchi/Dragon Kid. This match was also given five stars by Dave Meltzer. By 2009, the relationship between Ring of Honor and Dragon Gate grew sour and Dragon Gate would ally themselves with former ROH booker Gabe Sapolsky and launch Dragon Gate USA.

Today Dragon Gate is the consensus number two promotion in Japan, although this is more due to the attrition and many splinter companies formed in the aftermath of Giant Baba’s death. Globally I’d probably put them higher than TNA but lower than AAA, but that’s just my personal opinion. Regardless they are thriving in a very weak wrestling scene in Japan and this show is likely going to sell out Kobe World Hall which seats about 9,500 people.

Dragon Gate is an unique promotion. Their matches are based on speed, fluidity, and emotion with a much weaker emphasis on significant selling and the traditional rules of wrestling. Borrowing from Lucha Libre leaving the ring constitutes as a tag, and the referee can often be significantly fooled in order to have massive run-ins. There is a dedicated storyline between wrestlers that can often have 15 years of history and the biggest emphasis in the promotion is on its units and which one holds the most belts. In interest of fairness, it’s necessary to mention that Dragon Gate does have their detractors. For one, the style often gets derided by mainstream Puroresu fans and press and it is often lumped into the group of indy feds such as DDT, K-Dojo and the former Osaka Pro and Okinawa Pros. Even its former wrestlers have criticized it; 1st term wrestler & Crazy Max member SUWA called the promotion “Social Dance Wrestling” when he left the promotion and joined NOAH. It doesn’t draw the typical puro fans and instead draws significantly with younger women and it has a strong following in the homosexual community. The promotion hasn’t been without scandal. The Cora Monkey scandal still stains wrestlers like Jimmy Kagetora and Shingo Takagi even though the promotion has mostly weathered the controversy. It’s closely aligned with the famed MID-BREATH gym where your physique can be as enhanced as it gets (the owner does bodybuilding and has a scary musculature.)


CHAMPIONS

Open the Dream Gate - 20th Champion BxB Hulk [DIA.HEARTS]
Open the Triangle Gate (Trios) - 52nd Champions Masaaki Mochizuki/Dragon Kid/Big R Shimizu [DIA.HEARTS]
Open the Brave Gate (>83 kg) - 25th Champion Flamita [MILLENIALS]
Unified Open the Twin Gate (Tag Team) - 35th Champions "YAMAKong" YAMATO/Cyber Kong [MAD BLANKEY SP]
Open the Owarai Gate (Comedy) - 22nd Champion Jimmy Kanda [JIMMYZ]

2014 King of Gate - Jimmy Susumu [JIMMYZ]
2014 Summer Tag Adventure Tag League - Jimmy Susumu/Jimmy KAGETORA [JIMMYZ]

Dragon Gate USA titles are often mentioned/carried when the champion is on tour but neither have been defended in Japan since 2012. It's incredibly likely that WWN and DG will have less of a relationship going forward and those titles might lose their DGUSA designation. EDIT 12/30: DGUSA is on hiatus so there really is no affiliation at this point other than the Freedom/United Gate using DG nomenclature.

UPCOMING MAJOR CARDS, MATCHES & TITLE DEFENSES

1/16 Korakuen Hall - On NicoNico

Millenials v Mad Blankey All Out War - T-Hawk/Eita/U-T/Yosuke♡Santa Maria v YAMATO/Cyber Kong/K-ness/CIMA/Gamma - Currently a handicap match due to events of FINAL Gate with Flamita.

NotQuiteQuentin fucked around with this message at Dec 30, 2014 around 23:17

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NotQuiteQuentin
Jan 29, 2005

BIG OVER


College Slice

UNIT RUN DOWN

In Most Tecnico to Most Rudo Order

Dia.Hearts
[Established 9/9/2014]

Members: BXB Hulk (leader), Masaaki Mochizuki, Dragon Kid, Big R Shimizu, Kotoka (Unofficial Assistant)

Colors: Silver and Gold

Gimmick: Faces in Hulk’s image. Loves good times and pantaloons. Second stable with a design under Hulk’s image (first being Pos Hearts)

History: Dia.Hearts was founded after Hulk won the Dream Gate and he was unaffiliated. During a Triangle Gate #1 contenders tournament Hulk teamed up with VTR members Mocchy and Kid. They found a mutual love of pants and had found quick success winning the dang thing. As Mad Blankey continued their relentless assault of Hulk, Mocchy and Kid ran in to save him and defected from VTR to form Dia.Hearts. Hearts is for Hulk’s courage and Dia for their combined diamond-like strength. Ryotsu Shimizu joined as Big R Shimizu after Dia.Hearts backed him up when Mad Blankey stole his crossing guard outfit. He’s become a stout strongman who has a devastating Shot Put Slam. Kotoka isn’t an official member but you’ll see him tag with them on the lower card due to he and Hulk’s history in World-1 and Unaffiliated Army.


Monster Express [Established 10/6/2013]

Members: Masato Yoshino, Akira Tozawa, Shingo Takagi, Shachihoko BOY, Ricochet (Gaijin, Inactive), Uhaa Nation (Gaijin, Inactive)

Past Members: Mike Sydal (Gaijin Assistant), Anthony Nese (Gaijin Assistant)

Colors: Orange and Purple

Gimmick: We are the six best friends that anyone has ever had!

History: Out of betrayals and destructions comes Monster Express. On August 1, 2013, akatusi dissolved after losing a Loser Disbands match with Mad Blankey. In the match aftermath, Mad Blankey turned on and ejected their founding leader Akira Tozawa as YAMATO took control of the group. Uhaa Nation, Tozawa’s best friend in Dragon Gate, refused to team with Mad Blankey and joined Tozawa and Shingo Takagi as an unaffiliated team. The next month had Naruki Doi turn on Masato Yoshino in the middle of the annual Summer Adventure Tag League and joining Mad Blankey.

This forced the end of World 1 International, with Yoshino, Ricochet and Shachihoko BOY now without a stable. Tozawa, finding that he enjoyed wrestling much more while he was teaming with his best friends, proposed the united stable Monster Express and the six stood united as this group. Yoshino is the Speed Monster, Takagi the Muscle Monster, Tozawa the Long Face/Stamina Monster, BOY the Voice Monster, Ricochet the Aerial Monster and Nation the Power Monster.

Since its founding, Monster Express has been one of the most dominant units in recent memory. Yoshino and Ricochet both enjoyed Dream Gate reigns and Tozawa/Takagi was one of the greatest Twin Gate teams of all time. Most gaijins find themselves in the friendly graces of MX when they come for training. Currently, much is up in the air as Takagi has expressed jealous of Hulk+Akira’s friendship reviving after Hulk left Mad Blankey and Ricochet and Nation being on hiatus with DG Japan.


Jimmyz [Established 3/3/2012]

Members: Jimmy Susumu, Ryo “Jimmy” Saito, Jimmy Kagetora, Jimmy Kanda, Genki Horiguichi HAGee.Mee!!, Mr. Kyu Kyu Naoki Tanizaki Toyonaka Dolphin

Colors: None but a poo poo-ton of eyeglasses symbols

Gimmick: “Plain” Second-Gen Wrestlers who love crowd pandering.

History: One of the oldest modern units in DG. The first seeds of the Jimmyz was planted during the Blood Warriors v Junction Three war that tore Dragon Gate apart in 2011 and early 2012. Hulk+Akira, the dominant Blood Warriors tag team, was constantly getting the better of the Junction Three top tag team KAGETORA and Susumu Yokosuka. Hulk+Akira would beat down the two and rub in their face that they were boring, plain and just the worst. This lead to a Name contra Title match between the four where Hulk+Akira took KAGETORA and Susumu’s names (the second time Susumu has lost his name). They would name the losers Jimmy Kagetora and Jimmy Susumu, choosing Jimmy due to its meaning of plain or boring in Japanese.

As Akira Tozawa and BXB Hulk gained control of Blood Warriors, many members of their large stable ran foul of the Hulk+Akira regime. First the tag team of Maraha Isappa, Ryo Saito and Genki Horiguchi, were expelled followed by Yasushi Kanda. Kanda was too plain for them, so they decided to take his name and call him Jimmy Kanda as well. The five would unite the next month as Jimmyz and Ryo Saito became Ryo “Jimmy” Saito and Genki Horiguichi would adapt his HAGE nickname to his ring name as Genki Horiguichi HAGee.Mee!! They might be plain outside of the ring with their glasses and names, but they’d do the best to get everyone aboard the Jimmyz Train inside the ring.

Blood Warriors would become Mad Blankey (more about that later) and an injured Naoki Tanizaki would return to find that he was seemingly replaced by an imposter Naoki Tanisaki (spelling intentional). He joined the Jimmyz and launched a war to take his name back. It wasn’t very successful, as Imposter Naoki Tanisaki won the rights to the name. Naoki then wanted to be called Naoki Jimmy, but Imposter Naoki claimed his victory rights to rename him Mr. Kyu Kyu Toyonaka Dolphin after how much the old Naoki cried over losing his name and old Naoki’s hometown. Mr. Kyu Kyu would win a second name match, and took Imposter Naoki’s claim to the name. Mr. Kyu Kyu decided he liked his new name so he just added back his proper name to now be called Mr. Kyu Kyu Naoki Tanizaki Toyonaka Dolphin. It’s probably the longest name in wrestling history.

Since then the Jimmyz have often stood united, often against their sworn rivals Mad Blankey. They’re rarely at the top of the card but you’ll often see them make challenges for the Triangle and Twin Gate and even Genki and Susumu won King of Gate. Sometimes when someone pisses off Jimmyz you’ll see Kanda, Kagetora and Tanizaki adopt “Combat” mode where they wear jumpsuits and smear themselves with all kinds of paint. In early 2014, Saito suffered a devastating hernia that forced him to the sidelines as the Jimmyz became more and more Combat oriented. The unit also was tearing itself apart as Kagetora, Kanda and Tanizaki could simply not get along. It took countless pleading from Saito and his return, but now the Jimmyz have abandoned their Combat side and are getting along for good.


Millenials [Japanese Debut 8/23/2013]

Members: T-Hawk (co-leader), Eita (co-leader), U-T, Yosuke Santa Maria, Flamita (Gaijin)

Former Members: Rocky Lobo (Gaijin)

Colors: White, Green and Red

Gimmick: Tweener luchadores on a warpath with anyone born before 1990.

History: There were a lot of things that led to Millenials forming. One was Eita Kobayashi being surprisingly devastating at chops, which gave him the ability to become the 2012 KING OF CHOP, a tournament to decide who had the most devastating chop in Dragon Gate. As KING OF CHOP, he asked CIMA if he could accompany him on a Mexican excursion. CIMA acquiesced and Kobayashi decided to spend an extended time in Mexico, basing himself in DTU and IWRG and he called himself Eita.

In 2012, Tomahawk TT capitalized on Naoki Tanizaki’s injury and decided to imitate his role on the Triangle Gate team as Naoki Tanisaki. Real Naoki came back later in 2012 and the two entered the name war talked about in the Jimmyz entry. Upon Mr. Kyu Kyu reclaiming his name Kyu Kyu forced the Mr. Pii Pii Tomakomai Penguin name upon him and Pii Pii would enter a downward spiral. Kyu Kyu would beat Pii Pii in a loser exiles match and Pii Pii found himself without a name and without a home. Kyu Kyu took pity on Pii Pii and offered to team with him in a match versus Hulk+Akira in Februrary 2013, forming the one-time “Aquatic Brothers” team. After they lost Pii Pii would leave for Mexico, renaming himself Tomahawk and basing himself in DTU and IWRG as well.

On 4/12/2013, New Dragon Gate trainee Yuta Tanaka was to debut in his hometown in Nagoya. However, Eita and Tomahawk sent him an invite for him to train with him in Mexico. Taking the opportunity, Tanaka slipped away the week before and joined the two in DTU and IWRG.

During the 14th Kobe World Wrestling Festival on 7/21/2013 a video played on the big screen. Eita, Tomahawk (now T-Hawk) and Yuta Tanaka (now U-T) announced they would be returning to Japan soon and they’d be bringing Mexican friends Rocky Lobo and Flamita. They believed that Dragon Gate lost its roots of Lucha Libre and these men would bring them back with their strong lucha. Not only that, but they formed such a tight bond in Mexico that they knew that they would only ally themselves with those born in the 90s. If you were older than them, you were on notice. The Millenials would be Right Here, Right Now. They made their debut in Korakuen on 8/23/2013 and were the second major part of the “Winds of Change” that started with Shingo Takagi’s Dream Gate win over CIMA at Kobe World.

In November, Yosuke Watanabe, now unit-less and unmasked after akatusi disbanded and he lost a mascara contra, found themself envious of the strong lucha that its generational counterparts displayed. Eita and T-Hawk welcomed them into Millenials as he was born after 1990. Yosuke would also declare their love of Eita and their excitement at showing their true self. The next month they would redebut as Yosuke Santa Maria, an exotico character.

The Millenials claimed their biggest generational victory when they won the Unit Disband contra Deportation match against WE ARE TEAM VETERAN on 11/6/2014. They’ve now set their sights on the remainder of Dragon Gate, but the Zombie Veterans that have bolstered Mad Blankey are unwilling to let the issue of eliminating the Millenials drop.


Mad Blankey [Renamed 3/1/2012]

Members: YAMATO (co-leader), Naruki Doi (co-leader, injured), Cyber Kong, Kzy (Injured), Punch Tominaga, Mondai Ryu, Don Fuiji (SP, Reinforcement), K-ness (SP, Reinforcement), Gamma (SP, Reinforcement), CIMA (SP, Reinforcement)

Former Members: Akira Tozawa, BXB Hulk, Tomahawk T.T./Imposter Naoki Tanisaki/Mr. Pii Pii. Tomakomai Penguin, Uhaa Nation (Gaijin)

Colors: Black, Yellow and Red

Gimmick: Current Rudo Faction who loves cheating and sleaze tactics.

History: Okay this one will be a long one. Mad Blankey is the current rudo faction in Dragon Gate, and you can trace their history back to Real Hazard, which started on 5/14/2008. So it’s both literally the oldest faction in Dragon Gate, and has the longest history. I frankly don’t have the time or patience to go through complete Dragon Gate Rudo history, so let’s just say it went Aagan Iisou -> Blood Generation -> Muscle Outlawz -> Real Hazard -> Deep Drunkers -> Team Doi -> Blood Warriors -> Mad Blankey and the longest tenured heel in Dragon Gate, Kzy, joined Real Hazard in 09 and he has been in each of those heel units since then. Okay? Okay.

In early 2012 Akira Tozawa and BXB Hulk executed a coup over Blood Warriors and expelled the former leader CIMA. They would later kick out Naruki Doi, Gamma, Genki Horiguchi, Ryo Saito and Yasushi Kanda, the gaijin all defected to World 1 International, and they would add Cyber Kong to boister their ranks. Pleased with trimming the fat, Hulk+Akira recreated the unit in their image. Blood Warriors was no more and in its place was Mad Blankey.

Super Shenlong II renamed himself Mondai Ryu, the Problem Dragon, and joined the group as did the ferocious gaijin Uhaa Nation. In 2012 it was either them or the Jimmyz as the top unit, however were unable to unseat CIMA, who was in the midst of the most impressive Dream Gate reign in Dragon Gate history. However Blankey Yellow, consisting of Hulk+Akira and Imposter Naoki Tanisaki, would win the 2012 Summer Adventure Tag League, the only trios tag league to date, in a clean sweep.

Things would drastically change in 2013. Imposter Naoki Tanisaki, now Mr. Pii Pii Tomakomai Dolphin was ejected after losing a Loser is Exiled match. Fresh after defeating akatusi in Loser Disbands Match, YAMATO would turn on Shingo Takagi and Mad Blankey would turn on its founder Akira Tozawa. This would be a drastic gimmick shift from YAMATO as became the leader of Mad Blankey. Blessed by the Goddess, he was all-knowing and he would lead them in their next era. He would then beat Takagi for his second Open the Dream Gate reign. During this, Nation refused to fight his best friend Tozawa and left Mad Blankey. Later in 2013, during the Summer Tag League, Naruki Doi would turn on his Speed Muscle partner Masato Yoshino and join Mad Blankey, disbanding World 1 International in the process.

2014 has been the most turbulent year in Mad Blankey’s history. YAMATO became the first ever three time Open the Dream Gate champion at DEAD OR ALIVE 2014. BXB Hulk, after months of drama and dislike of how Mad Blankey changed with YAMATO and Doi at the helm, left the group after DEAD OR ALIVE as he won the Cage Escape Hostage Cabellera contra Mascara match. The win saved Cyber Kong’s mask but as Doi was the last person remaining, Kzy had his head shaved. Sick of his treatment, Hulk became his own man. Chihiro Tominaga, emboldened by his sweet new punch perm he was forced to get for losing a match against Kotoka joined the group as “The King of Cheating” Punch Tominaga. Even though Hulk lost the rights to Mad Blankey name in a gauntlet match, he held his head high as he beat YAMATO at the 15th Kobe World Wrestling Festival for his first Open the Dream Gate title reign. That was the first sign of a rough fall/winter for MB as Doi and Kzy both suffered horrible injuries that still has them on the shelf.

Naruki Doi planned for this. And in his annual rendition of Doi Darts he introduced a second game: Miracle Doi Darts Mad Blankey Supplements Game. Since both him and Kzy were going to be out for a while, he was going to look out for his best bros and get them some temp members. Somehow K-ness, Don Fuiji, and Osaka06 of Gamma and CIMA were selected to the delight of Mad Blankey. K-ness and Don Fuiji, harkening back to the M2K and Crazy Max days, took to Mad Blankey quickly but Osaka06 was still stung by the Millenials disbanding WE ARE TEAM VETERAN. They were the Zombie Veterans and they were going to haunt the Millenials until end times. As YamaKONG won the Twin Gate title at FINAL GATE, Osaka06 saw what they need to in Mad Blankey and gave their ultimate allegiance to YAMATO. They were still the Zombie Veterans, but as Mad Blankey is willing to wage war on the Millenials, they are with them.

NotQuiteQuentin fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2014 around 23:47

Thauros
Jan 29, 2003



Huh, I didn't know Liger was on the show. Makes sense with the G1 I guess, although I know he's doing the NOAH jr. tag tournament as well.

oatgan
Jan 15, 2009



look at that beautiful card

Daryl Surat
Apr 6, 2002

I don't care what you say about this post, but if anyone steps on my bunion, I'll kill them!

Toryumon is probably my favorite Japanese wrestling federation/style of all time, so I'm partial to Dragon Gate (incidentally, I think "Dragon Gate" is just the English language translation of "Toryumon") even more than I am New Japan. There's a slight change in the style, but maybe the main thing I'm noticing is the fact that the top-level guys have largely been the same people for the last like, decade plus.

There's just so much wrestling each year and so much stuff in the past to go through, which is why it's such an achievement that Toryumon and now Dragon Gate's routinely able to do things where I can honestly say "that's a new one." I appreciate ring psychology, but in a world of FIGHTING SPIRIT it's not the be-all end-all. The high flying in Dragon Gate is crisp and for all that goes on and all that can go catastrophically wrong, you don't often see blown spots. Pure CMLL-type lucha often looks overly contrived because they wrestle so "light" and bump very rarely, but the Dragon Gate style alleviates those issues. Comedy in wrestling is hard to since most of the time it's really dumb and unfunny, but Dragon Gate's stuff more often than not gets a laugh because it's so well-timed relative to everything else in the match. Bonus points for most of the more comedic guys also being able to wrestle quite well such that the silliness isn't a crutch.

It's really too bad about the acrimonious split with Ultimo Dragon. I rarely watch those Mexican Toryumon shows he does since the cards are typically filled with people I've never heard of elsewhere, and when he wrestles in other Japanese feds it's usually against stiffs. Guy can't even get a break in New Japan to declare Okada his greatest recent student or anything.

oatgan posted:

look at that beautiful card

Seriously. Of everything on the Kobe show, I'm looking forward to Flamita vs Dragon Kid the most.

oatgan
Jan 15, 2009



Daryl Surat posted:

Seriously. Of everything on the Kobe show, I'm looking forward to Flamita vs Dragon Kid the most.

For me its the Twin Gate match, but as long as we can agree on Millennials supremacy then that's okay

oatgan fucked around with this message at Jul 17, 2014 around 03:26

ChampRamp
Mar 29, 2010

SAVE_US.CHR


A Dragon Gate thread! I can't wait for the Kobe show.

NotQuiteQuentin
Jan 29, 2005

BIG OVER


College Slice

MAIN EVENT - OPEN THE DREAM GATE TITLE MATCH

CHALLENGER
- BxB Hulk [Unaligned] vs THE 19TH CHAMPION - YAMATO [Mad Blankey] - 3rd Defense







To get the significance of this match, we have to go back to New Hazard and 2007. Pretty soon after it’s rebirth Dragon Gate started to debut their first wrestlers with no connections to Ultimo. Four of the first five graduates (excluding Tozawa) left their stables or returned from learning excursions to create the newborn unit New Hazard. The principles of this unit were Shingo Takagi, BxB Hulk, Cyber Kong and YAMATO, their gaijin assistants were ROH wrestlers Jack Evans, Austin Aries and El Generico. They had immediate success, holding the Triangle Gate twice and Hulk and Takagi becoming GHC Jr Heavyweight Tag Champions in a rare case of DG wrestlers leaving their home promotion (it was a lot more rare for them to do so at this time in comparison to lately with their NJPW interactions). However New Hazard would barely survive a year; first YAMATO and then Takagi and Kong would turn on BxB Hulk and create Real Hazard with the remainders of then current rudo stable Muscle Outlaw’z.

This would start a period of inner generational warfare that has yet to conclude. In fact, the principles of New Hazard haven’t been completely on the same side since. Fast forward to August 2013 YAMATO would align himself with Hulk for the first time since New Hazard when Mad Blankey would turn on its leader Akira Tozawa and YAMATO claimed leadership. This also introduced a personality shift in YAMATO in that he became incredibly egotistical calling himself “Almighty” and “All Knowing.” It also gave YAMATO a significant boost in rank: he now ties all-time Dragon Gate ace CIMA with 3 Dream Gate reigns.

Hulk was fine with deferring to YAMATO in the stable he and Tozawa created. In Dragon Gate, units and alignments are permanently in flux. What’s okay one day will get tossed out the window in a few months when someone pisses off someone else and they either kick each other out or the unit falls apart. The fact that Jimmyz have existed since 2012 is a wonder and they're one of the longest DG era stables. So this wasn’t a tenable situation and this spring Mad Blankey started to have issues heading into DEAD OR ALIVE, the annual May PPV. General Manager/Head Ref/former wrestling son-of-a-baker Takayuki Yagi decided to throw a wrench into usual Cage Escape Lucha de Apuestas: Instead of the last man without a flag losing their hair or mask, they would be a surrogate to an unit mate who would lose theirs.

To say Mad Blankey wasn’t handling this well would be an understatement. Naruki Doi would represent Kzy and Hulk drew fellow New Hazard vet in Cyber Kong. In these sort of matches the units typically stick together and team up for a while. As the match goes on, you’ll take your chance to escape but you’re going to work together. The final three in this match were Hulk, Doi, and Masato Yoshino. At a critical moment Hulk had the chance to escape, but seeing Yoshino take it to his eternal partner/rival Doi, he decided to return to the ring and assist his fellow Mad Blankey member. Doi didn’t take kindly to Hulk doing this and attacked him, which lead to both Kzy and Kong attacking Hulk through the cage! This wouldn’t dissuade Hulk and he’d grab the final flag, dooming his fellow Hokkaido native and “North Tribe” teammate to getting his head shaved.

After the shaving, YAMATO fresh off beating Ricochet for the Dream Gate lit into BxB Hulk and Hulk had enough. After several Final Flashes to his former teammates, BxB Hulk left the very unit he formed and turned Tecnico for the first time since 2011. Hulk decided to go it alone but vowed to put an end to YAMATO and Mad Blankey.

Since then YAMATO has made successful defenses against Genki Horiguichi H.A.Gee.Mee!! and the 2014 King of Gate Jimmy Susumu. Hulk’s last few months have been a lot more turbulent. He had an opportunity at Korakuen to run the gauntlet against the remainder of Mad Blankey in a match that winner would get sole possession of the Mad Blankey name and logo, which Hulk designed himself. Hulk would get screwed out of this by usual DG rudo shenanigans. At the next Korakuen he paired up with Masaaki Mochizuki as a dream team where he’d bring back his old dance routine with the veteran as BxB Masa against Mad Blankey top team of YAMATO and Doi. He wouldn’t get his comeuppance as Dr. Muscle would interfere with a box attack and reveal himself to be Chihiro Tominaga going rudo and joining Mad Blankey as Punch Tominaga.

So it comes to this, on the biggest stage in Dragon Gate history: Can YAMATO continue his third reign and prove that he’s truly Almighty and All Knowing? Or could after months of being kicked around and years of being overshadowed could BxB Hulk take the top prize in Dragon Gate?

So that’s the story behind this match, but there are more interesting facets to this match. First and most notable, the lack of CIMA. For the Dragon Gate fan (and really anyone who pays attention to it), he’s synonymous with Dragon Gate and has been for every year of its existence. I kind of want to pull people who complain about John Cena aside and point them to CIMA. This is the first Kobe World in a long time that a healthy CIMA isn’t in a title match (he was in a Twin Gate match in 2011). More so, you have two DG true borns in the Main Event, which hasn’t happened since 2008. And that was only because CIMA was injured. The major storyline since last Kobe World was the rise of the new generation. Introducing the 3rd era DG true borns in the Millenals & Shimizu and the 1st era really becoming the focal point of the promotion. This is a real major test of the future of Dragon Gate. CIMA is close to becoming a Hiroyoshi Tenzan-esque injured legend so they need YAMATO and Hulk to step it up. YAMATO’s has had a fantastic year. If more people watched DG he’d get consideration for Most Outstanding Honorable Mention.

Now it lies on Hulk, someone whose persona really makes up for his wrestling. He’s in no way a tough guy in the vein of Mocchy and Takagi, he doesn’t have the speed of Ricochet or Flamita, or the overwhelming charisma of Akira Tozawa or YAMATO. But he really connects with the fans, and they are buying into the face turn. BxB Hulk isn’t the youngest guy as he turned 34 this year. He’s also sort of struggled in comparison to his 1st era peers. Takagi’s has had 2 Dream Gate reigns and the leadership of several units. YAMATO has tied CIMA in title reigns and is hitting his stride after he took over Mad Blankey. Tozawa had the most successful US excursion since Takeshi Morishima in Ring of Honor and will be a perennial upper card figure. Hulk’s the dude that used to dance. It has been interesting to see BxB Hulk since DEAD OR ALIVE and it’ll be even more interesting to see what happens at Kobe World and lies ahead for BxB Hulk.

NEXT UP: TWIN GATE - Shingo Takagi/Akira Tozawa (c) v T-Hawk/Eita

NotQuiteQuentin
Jan 29, 2005

BIG OVER


College Slice

Daryl Surat posted:

Toryumon is probably my favorite Japanese wrestling federation/style of all time, so I'm partial to Dragon Gate (incidentally, I think "Dragon Gate" is just the English language translation of "Toryumon") even more than I am New Japan. There's a slight change in the style, but maybe the main thing I'm noticing is the fact that the top-level guys have largely been the same people for the last like, decade plus.

I really think that since that monster CIMA reign they've realized that the clock is ticking with the younger guys and that they're elevating YAMATO and BxB Hulk to the roles that usually would have been CIMA/Mocchy/Yoshino. But that also might be me reading too into this.

I'm glad to see this get a response so far. Glad to see folks be into Dragon Gate! I really think they're the promotion of the year but no one's watching them.

Thauros
Jan 29, 2003



NotQuiteQuentin posted:


I'm glad to see this get a response so far. Glad to see folks be into Dragon Gate! I really think they're the promotion of the year but no one's watching them.

Hell of a lot more people are in comparison to last year at the very least. I still personally prefer NJPW for both style and the fact I'm simply more invested in the characters but DG's great.

yea ok
Jul 27, 2006



it's good to flip

Bard Maddox
Feb 15, 2012

I'm just a sick guy, I'm really just a dirty guy.


Kobe Festival at 2 AM, Battleground in the night then G1 Day 1 at 2 AM Monday morning? Radical. Let's do this.

coconono
Aug 11, 2004

I bet against K-1


I'm gonna try and catch this. Dragon Gate has been producing super magic(press y) for quite some time now.

Panama Red
Jul 30, 2003

funky cold madiba


Hulk debuted as the most manicured man in wrestling and pretty much a Magnum TOKYO clone but I've always been a big fan of his. I had grand ambitions earlier this year of watching every PPV + Infinity from 2005 to the present but life got in the way. I'll always have a soft spot for the old guard of CIMA, Mochi, Milano, Kondo and Ryo, but it's very exciting to see DG really pushing its younger talent.

Thauros
Jan 29, 2003



WO/F4W's Alan4L has a free guide up imploring people to watch this show.


quote:

This weekend, Dragon Gate present their biggest show of the year live on Ustream from Kobe World Hall in Japan. They are building it as the 15th Anniversary show (15 years since Toryumon Japan began) and there will be 9,000 fans in attendance to witness some of the best pro wrestling you’ll find anywhere in the world. The show will have a major league feel with top notch production, cool entrances and all the bells and whistles you’d want from a big event. Before running down the card match by match, I just want to highlight a couple of key things about this show:

-Why it’s newsworthy to non-Dragon Gate fans:
This will be the first televised match of Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) in two years. He got his first big break in Dragon Gate in 2006 and was a very popular member of the roster before signing with WWE. He will team with his good friend CIMA (Dragon Gate’s icon) against Masato Yoshino (the fastest wrestler on earth) and Ricochet.

-The match everyone will be raving about the next day:
The semi-main event Open The Twin Gate (tag title) match pitting Shingo Takagi & Akira Tozawa against The Millenials (Eita & T-Hawk). These four will tear the house down and if it’s not a MOTYC I’ll be surprised.

-The superstar performer you’ll be seeing:
Heel champion YAMATO who defends his title in the main event is arguably the best wrestler in the world right now. He’s the total package of charisma, skill and storytelling ability. He's really peaking right now and he’ll be going all out to make an impact.

So yes, they are the three key things I’d highlight as being why this is worth every penny of your $25 but there is so much more to be excited about on this card. Here’s the rundown:


1. Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii & Gamma vs. Jushin Thunder Liger, Uhaa Nation and "Hollywood" Stalker Ichikawa

A shame that Mochizuki, still one of the best around at 44 years old, is in the opener but that’s just the way the cards fell on this occasion. Should be a really fun way to kick off the show. Stalker is a great comedy wrestler, Uhaa is an athletic freak, Liger is a legend, Fujii is a great curmudgeonly old guy and Gamma is…. also there. The crowd will love these guys.

2. Punch Tominaga & Mondai Ryu vs. Jimmy Kanda & Jimmy Kagetora

Should be a short match, mainly designed to get over Tominaga’s new heel persona. Both Jimmy’s are as solid as they come – very good wrestlers but they’ll have to deal with lots of chicanery here from the Mad Blankey duo.

3. Open The Brave Gate Championship – Flamita (c) vs. Dragon Kid

Flamita, only 21 years of age, has been pegged as one of the top prospects to come from Mexico in years. Our own Dave Meltzer has compared him to Rey Mysterio Jr. Dragon Kid, now 37 years old, was Flamita’s age when he defeated Eddy Guerrero on an episode of Nitro in 1997 under the monikor "Little Dragon". The fact that he’s here 17 years later, and as good as ever with no sign of being worn down from his style is a tribute to him. It will be interesting to see if Kid acts more as the base here to showcase Flamita, or if it’s more back & forth as far as the impressive high flying. If they click, it could be spectacular.

4. Open The Triangle Gate Championship – Mad Blankey (c) (Naruki Doi, Kzy & Cyber Kong) vs. The Jimmys (Jimmy Susumu, Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!! and Mr. QuuQuu Naoki Tanizaki Toyonaka Dolphin)

The Triangle Gate has been the show stealer many times in the history of the promotion and whilst this match probably won’t continue that tradition, it could still be a lot of fun. Doi is the top worker on the heel side but Kzy is super underrated, and brings a lot of charisma. Everyone on the face side is excellent with Genki in particular capable of producing some exciting nearfalls down the stretch with his flash backslide gimmick.

5. CIMA & Matt Sydal vs. Masato Yoshino & Ricochet

When Matt Sydal was released by WWE, DG fans salivated at the prospects of a match like this in Kobe. Now they’re getting it. Two of the biggest homegrown stars in company history each teaming with a top gaijin star – one from the past, one from the present. Nobody really knows what Matt Sydal is going to be like coming of such a long lay-off and severe foot and ankle injuries, but it’s impossible for this match to be anything other than great with the other three involved. Ricochet has broken out the double moonsault every year at this show (2011, 2012 and 2013) but has not done it on

any show since the 2013 edition. So it will be interesting if he feels he has one more left in him. He certainly doesn’t need to do it and has nothing to prove as his legacy as one of the best flyers ever is locked in no matter what. CIMA and Yoshino are world class. They’re arguably the two greatest performers to come out of the Dragon System and on the big show, they will deliver special performances.

6. Open The Twin Gate Championship – Monster Express (c) (Shingo Takagi & Akira Tozawa) vs. The Millenials (Eita & T-Hawk)

The storyline here has been great. It’s the best built match on the show. Monster Express have held the belts since December and have been fantastic as a team. However young upstarts The Millenials have been dominating Tozawa at every turn. T-Hawk has beaten him in multiple singles matches (including a MOTYC on May 9th) and in a recent trios match Eita locked him in his El Numero Uno submission which forced Takagi to throw in the towel to protect his partner. Tozawa is one of the best sympathetic babyfaces going and the fans will be behind him in a big way here to get the better of The Millenials and prove his worth to his partner. The show will mark a year since T-Hawk and Eita announced their return from their learning excursion in Mexico, and this may be their best chance to have an incredible next level match to put an exclamation point on a great year for them.

7. Open The Dream Gate Championship – YAMATO (c) vs. BxB Hulk

It’s YAMATO’s second Kobe World main event, and Hulk’s third. Hulk has come up short in both his previous appearances (2008 and 2011) but he’s got to be the red hot favourite to make it third time lucky. He’s coming off a babyface turn in May which thus far has been a success with the fans really getting behind him. They were the top two guys in Mad Blankey and the split was looming for a while, so the build is there. Hulk still has a bit to prove as far as being a main event player and this is the match where he needs to find the absolute best BxB Hulk and perform at that level. YAMATO on the other hand, there are zero doubts about. He’s incredible. This is his stage to really make his mark and he will, even if it’s in putting over Hulk. The match will build slow and could go upwards of 30 minutes, but it’ll be very heated in the latter stages. It should be great.

So there it is, what could be a contender for show of the year. DG always deliver big on these "Big Match" shows. They only do five a year and they make sure they’re special.

The show kicks off at 2am EST on Saturday night and 7am in the UK & Ireland Sunday morning.
http://www.ustream.tv/DragonGate

Dunbar
Feb 21, 2003



Two Japan shows in two nights starting at 2am. Too bad I won't be able to stay up to watch either live, but I'll definitely catch on VOD. I think I'm going to try to order this Dragon Gate show off Niconico to see if it works for once Ustream stops carrying stuff.

coconono
Aug 11, 2004

I bet against K-1


that Rundown gave me a super boner for this card. I am hype.

NotQuiteQuentin
Jan 29, 2005

BIG OVER


College Slice

UNIFIED OPEN THE TWIN GATE TITLE MATCH

CHALLENGERS
- T-Hawk / Eita [MILLENIALS] vs. 35TH CHAMPIONS - Shingo Takagi/Akira Tozawa [MONSTER EXPRESS] - 6th Defense.

Most folks are already calling this the match of the night, and for good reason. These four gel great with each other, and the build up to this has been fantastic. There are a couple threads going into this match. First, you have a very hungry Millenials top team. Since they returned from their excursion all they’ve done is win. However after Champion Gate T-Hawk and Eita found themselves without belts and they immediately targeted their seniors in Shingo and Tozawa. Due to having the Dream Gate champion in their midst for the majority of 2014, Monster Express has felt like they’re the top unit in Dragon Gate. The other units have been getting underneath their skin lately. The Jimmyz (particularly Kanda) stuck in their craw at DEAD OR ALIVE, and now the punk kids are nipping at their heels. What gives?

Eita has had Tozawa’s number as of late. As mentioned in Alan4L’s preview, he got the rare Towel TKO at Korakuen. Shingo knew Tozawa wasn’t the type to submit to Eita’s Numero Uno and would rather take the Trios loss relatively unscathed than his parter having an significant target on him going into Kobe World. As Tozawa and Shingo have as bipolar of a relationship as one can get in Dragon Gate (with the exception of Doi and Yoshino), it’s pretty easy to see how an action like that could cause strife in the Best Friends stable.

I think there is a lot of subtext to this match, and potentially the reign of the champions. You see, the Twin Gate has been dominated by legendary teams since the belts were unified in 2007. You have the aforementioned Speed Muscle, Zetsurins of Mocchy and Fuiji, Marraha Isappa of Saito and Horiguichi, and the Spiked Mohicans of CIMA and Ricochet whose legacies fill the ledger of the Twin Gate. It’s about time we start considering this Monster Express team among them. For one, they’ve had some incredible title defenses. The quirky charisma of Akira Tozawa meshes with the hoss attitude and their ring styles really compliment each other. You could argue that they’re the best just looking at the record book. As of two weeks ago, they topped K-nesSuka as the longest Twin Gate reign of all time. If they put away T-Hawk and Eita, they’ll tie Zetsurins with the most amount of defenses at 6. It’s not just Tozawa’s honor they’re fighting for at Kobe World, it’s now their legacy.

It’s also interesting how high they’re placing the Twin Gate on the card. It’s actually the newest title in Dragon Gate and one of the few that doesn’t have a direct connection to Toryumon Japan. Traditionally the Triangle Gate has been the premiere multi-man title, but there is a lot less emphasis on the Mad Blankey Champion team than there is on either T-Hawk and Eita or the champions. Instead of a huge 3-way or 4-way match like previous big shows, it’s one team versus another. This one could tear the house down. Will T-Hawk and Eita put away Monster Express again and make a stronger claim in being the premiere unit in Dragon Gate? Or will the champions have another amazing match and force their name into the conversation as the best Twin Gate team in Dragon Gate History?

NEXT UP: INTERNATIONAL DREAM TAG - Ricochet/Yoshino v CIMA/Sydal

NotQuiteQuentin
Jan 29, 2005

BIG OVER


College Slice

double post

Thauros
Jan 29, 2003



Remimder since I almost forgot myself that this is tonight at 2 AM for the eastern US. This is the first DG PPV I've ever bought, looks like a hell of a show.

Dunbar
Feb 21, 2003



How long do the DG big shows usually run? ~3 hours like a regular PPV or 4+ hours like the big New Japan monsters?

Thauros
Jan 29, 2003



DOA 2014 (last big show) went over 4 hours.

oatgan
Jan 15, 2009



this is the most excited I've been for a show in a while

LoboLoboLobo
May 26, 2008

yoink!

I look forward to reading the live tweets when I wake up in the morning for work and hopefully catching most of the show this week. Have fun guys

oatgan
Jan 15, 2009



LoboLoboLobo posted:

I look forward to reading the live tweets when I wake up in the morning for work and hopefully catching most of the show this week. Have fun guys

(check psp-tv this weekend)

Dunbar
Feb 21, 2003



I wish like hell I could watch this live, but a 2am start is pretty much the worst possible time for me. There's no way I can stay up until 6am (or later) to watch a four hour show, and it's equally impossible to go to bed early enough to wake up by 2. I prefer the 4 or 6am starts. Looks like I'm going to have the same problem with a lot of the G-1.

Thauros
Jan 29, 2003



2 on a weekend's not bad as these things go. 4's the worst for me, as it's too early to wake up for and too late to stay up through.

oatgan
Jan 15, 2009



thank you sachihoko boy

LvK
Feb 27, 2006

FIVE STARS!!


I... uh... should I be offended?

Super No Vacancy
Jul 26, 2012

yahallo


I am watch my first dragon gate show

Super No Vacancy
Jul 26, 2012

yahallo


what song was that

oatgan
Jan 15, 2009



epitasis posted:

what song was that

Yosuke=Santa Maria's theme. They are an exotico in the Millennials stable

UltimoDragonQuest
Oct 5, 2011



No Liger theme.

Thauros
Jan 29, 2003



Gee, I wonder who's taking the fall here?

UltimoDragonQuest posted:

No Liger theme.

Yeah I was hoping DG wouldn't block it since they've played Ricochet and Uhaa's copyrighted themes.

Bard Maddox
Feb 15, 2012

I'm just a sick guy, I'm really just a dirty guy.


*****

Super No Vacancy
Jul 26, 2012

yahallo


this Uhaa Nation guy is a freak dang

yea ok
Jul 27, 2006



idk what just happened

oatgan
Jan 15, 2009



epitasis posted:

this Uhaa Nation guy is a freak dang

you should scope his dream gate title match against Ricochet. That dude can go and he's cool as hell and charismatic.

Super No Vacancy
Jul 26, 2012

yahallo


this song rules too

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yea ok
Jul 27, 2006



is mondai ryu still garbs?

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