Report by Zach Dominello
Pre-Show Match: K-ness & Kenichiro Arai vs. Shachihoko BOY & Ryotsu Shimizu
Fun little pre-show match. Shachihiko and Shimizu did a funny double team move on Arai: Shimizu held Shachihiko Boy in a wheelbarrow position while Shachihiko did the fish pose and then splashed Arai.
Arai landed a flying headbutt on Shimizu for the win.
1. Jimmy Kanda, Jimmy Kagetora, Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! vs. Yosuke♡Santa Maria, Gamma, Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa
Stalker was shot into Kanda’s butt headfirst. Gamma was going to spit water into Kanda’s mouth, but Yosuke took it willingly. Pretty gross.
Yosuke with a gnarly jump off the ropes into nothing but a kick from Genki. Big dive over the corner turnbuckle by Yosuke. Stalker tried an Asai Moonsault but crashed and burned. A surprisingly awesome bridging German by Stalker on Genki, though he then failed the handspring corner attack. Maria kissed Kanda and Gamma but slapped Stalker. Kanda with a big top rope diving elbow (The Gekokujoh Elbow) on Stalker for the win. Fun match. I really like Stalker and Maria’s comedy.
2. Don Fujii, Yuga Hayashi vs. Jimmy Susumu, “Mr. High Tension” Kotoka
Fujii wailed on Kotoka early on. Nice plancha by Hayashi. Hayashi with a flurry of elbows on Susumu who no sold them and then laid him out. Kotoka tried to knock Fujii off the apron with little success until Susumu came over and helped him. Kotoka and Susumu isolated Hayashi for a while. Hayashi made a comeback with a big slap and a dropkick on Kotoka. Fujii tagged in and cleared house. Kotoka with kicks to Fujii that had no effect. Fujii took him down with a lariat. Hayashi with a nice judo throw and armbar on Kotoka. Susumu broke it up. Double stomp from Kotoka on Hayashi. Kotoka went for the pin, Fujii calmly walked over and slapped him off Hayashi. Chokeslam by Fujii to Susumu for two. Bridging German from Hayashi to Susumu for a nearfall. In the end, Susumu pinned Hayashi with Jumbo no Kachi. Everyone shook hands after the match, except for Hayashi, who pushed away Kotoka. Hayashi was very popular with the crowd.
BxB Hulk and Naruki Doi came out for…a chat?
3. No DQ Match: CIMA vs. Punch Tominaga
I enjoy Punch’s new persona. Kind of an angsty teenage possessed yakuza guy.
Punch tried to get the jump on CIMA with a Mad Blankey distraction but he was ready for it and nearly got the quick win. Blankey members attacked CIMA right away. Kong, Kzy and Ryu were all at ringside to assist Punch. CIMA did some really unique mat work on Punch. CIMA with running double knees into the corner followed with a nice dropkick from the turnbuckles. Punch with a leg submission where he kept his hands in his pockets and acted possessed. CIMA made the ropes, but isn’t it no DQ? CIMA took some headkicks and then fired back with a running dropkick and backstabber off the turnbuckles. Kong came in and hit a huge lariat on CIMA. Punch made a pile of chairs and tried suplexing CIMA onto them. CIMA fought out of it and hit a nice Perfect Driver onto the chairs. Kzy hit CIMA with the yellow box and Punch hit him with a big exploding chair shot. Punch, with the assist from Kzy, kicked a chair into/through CIMA’s head for the win. Punch’s pin was just standing over CIMA with one foot. Pretty heel. Big win for Punch.
Fujii immediately came out and confronted Punch. Nothing happened except for some yelling.
4. Open the Brave Gate Championship Match: Flamita vs. Mr. Quu Quu Tanizaki Naoki Toyonaka Dolphin
Flamita went for the handspring rebound off the ropes but Naoki caught him with a dropkick. He then dropkicked him out of the ring. Naoki controlled Flamita early and kept the pace quite slow. He hit a diving knee drop across the back of Flamita’s head. Naoki with some clobbering knees in the corner but Flamita fought back with a dropkick and then a suicida. Flamita went to the stage and dove off onto Naoki. In the ring, Flamita hit the handspring back elbow off the ropes and a standing moonsault. He then hit a middle rope 450, followed by a tope rope 450 for two. Naoki avoided a package codebreaker and hit a penalty kick. Tombstone variation by Naoki, followed with an Implant for two. The finish came when Flamita caught Naoki with a Flame Fly, quickly followed by a second, short-arm Flame Fly for the win. Great match. Really smooth action. Flamita is very impressive.
5. Open the Twin Gate Championship Match: T-Hawk, Eita vs. Masaaki Mochizuki, Dragon Kid
Masaaki destroyed Eita and T-Hawk early. Dragon Kid got trapped in the corner and double team stomped. Dragon Kid tried some forearms on T-Hawk but they didn’t work. T-Hawk chopped him down. Nice double team dropkick from Eita and T-Hawk. T-Hawk just wailed on Dragon kid until Masaaki came in and kicked him off. Dragon kid with a kneedrop followed with a handstand into another kneedrop. Cool move. Dragon Kid did a little side flip over a downed Eita and then a quick dropkick to his head. Unnecessary, but cool. Both Dragon Kid and Masaaki put their opponents into submissions. Fairly slow paced match up until now. T-Hawk blocked a Masaaki armbar by lifting him and slamming him with one arm. Eita did a big dive to the outside. Big lift-up knee strike by T-Hawk to Dragon Kid. Masaaki blocked a suplex and put T-Hawk into a crossface but Eita broke it up. Standing top rope Frankensteiner by Dragon Kid with Eita perched on Masaaki’s shoulders. T-Hawk powerbombed Dragon Kid for two. Eita escaped the Bible from Dragon Kid and put him in a submission until Masaaki broke it up. Masaaki with kicks to Eita. Eita kicked out of a pin attempt at one. Awesome huracanrana pin by Dragon Kid on Eita for two. Big kicks from Masaaki to T-Hawk for a nearfall. Big double team codebreaker on Masaaki for two. T-Hawk hit Night Ride but Dragon Kid broke up the pin. Eita backflipped to the outside from the top turnbuckle onto Dragon Kid. Masaaki stood straight up after T-Hawk’s Night Ride. T-Hawk hit it again for two. T-Hawk finally put Masaaki away with Veracruz. Fantastic match. Best of the night so far. Really amazing finish between T-Hawk and Masaaki.
6. MONSTER EXPRESS vs. MAD BLANKEY Captain’s Fall Elimination Match: Masato Yoshino, Shingo Takagi(c), Akira Tozawa, Uhaa Nation vs. YAMATO(c), Kzy, Cyber Kong, Mondai Ryu
I must say I don’t completely understand the rules here. From what I can tell, the captain has to be pinned for the other team to win. If someone is eliminated, they can be brought back when someone from the opposing team is eliminated. Over the top rope rules apply. Got it? I don’t.
Ryu was eliminated instantly by Shingo. Kong threw Yoshino over the top, eliminating him, which brought back Ryu. I think I get it now. Uhaa double powerbombed Ryu, eliminating him again.
Kong threw Tozawa to the outside but Uhaa caught him and put him on the apron, only to be kicked off and eliminated by YAMATO.
Shingo got kicked off the top turnbuckle and nearly went tumbling to the outside but held on for his life. He scrambled back in before getting kicked out. Yoshino did a backflip to the outside from the turnbuckles (that didn’t count as an elimination for some reason). Uhaa followed suit with a backflip off the apron. Yoshino with a nice cradle pin on Kong to bring back Tozawa. Yoshino hit a great missile dropkick/senton combination. Shingo with a backwards falling top rope elbow on YAMATO for two.
Uhaa got outnumbered and eventually eliminated by YAMATO.
Kong landed a big diving elbow on Shingo for a nearfall. Tozawa did a top rope superplex on Kzy, whose facials are great by the way. Yoshino hit a really quick spinning armbar takedown, which Tozawa followed up with a bridging German for two. Kong came in and hit a big lariat and Cyber Bomb on Tozawa to eliminate him. Uhaa and Tozawa are both eliminated at this point.
Yoshino fought out of a Gallaria from YAMATO for a very long time, but was eventually pinned by Kzy. Three members of Monster Express are now eliminated. Shingo is now 1 vs. 4.
Kzy hit CDJ for two. Kong hit a second turnbuckle powerbomb for two. Big whiplash on Shingo’s neck when he landed. Shingo eliminated Ryu to bring Uhaa back with Last Falconry. Uhaa flipped onto Kzy to death – a flapjack and two standing moonsaults, one shooting star. Kzy was eliminated.
Shingo hit Last Falconry on YAMATO for a nearfall. YAMATO finally put away Shingo with Gallaria for the win. Really fun match. Not as confusing to follow as I first expected.
YAMATO talked after the match, until We Are Jimmyz came out and attacked Mad Blankey. Words were spoken, Japanese words. From what I gathered, it will be Mad Blankey vs. Jimmyz at Korakuen Hall.
7. Open the Dream Gate Championship Decision Match: Naruki Doi (Interim Champion) vs. BxB Hulk (20th Champion)
-If Hulk wins, it counts as his first defense.
-If Doi wins, he becomes the 21st champion.
Really good opening sequence with both guys trying for the advantage but neither giving it up. BxB Hulk finally got it. He got Doi in a single leg and laid some kicks into him while in the hold. Hulk with a float over exploder suplex. Outside the ring, Doi sent Hulk headfirst into the ring post. With Hulk caught in the ropes, Doi hit a running dropkick, and then a diving senton onto a draped Hulk. Big reverse DDT by Doi. Doi put Hulk into a weird camel clutch, with one leg behind Hulk’s head. Hulk came back momentarily with a flurry of kicks, but was cut off with a big DDT. Nice high kick and wheel kick from Hulk. Tope Con Hilo from Hulk onto Doi and Mad Blankey. Springboard wheelkick by Hulk back in the ring. Hulk went up the second rope but someone from Mad Blankey pulled him down. Doi hit a cannonball in the corner and then a powerbomb for two. Nice backflip kick off Doi by Hulk. Mad Blankey distracted the ref while YAMATO hit a running dropkick in the corner. Really big high angle spinebuster by Doi for a nearfall. Doi hit the Bakatare sliding kick but didn’t go for the pin. Doi took Hulk up top but Hulk fought out and hit a running powerslam for two. Hulk accidentally kicked the referee, which led to Mad Blankey all coming in and attacking Hulk, until the Jimmyz came out and helped him. Kzy accidentally threw the powder into Doi’s face. Doi was then attacked by Dragon Kid and Masaaki Mochizuki. Hulk hit First Flash for a nearfall. Hulk went up top but was stopped by Mad Blankey. Doi then hit a crazy top rope Tiger Suplex on Hulk for two. With the ref distracted again, Doi hit Hulk with the yellow sign and then hit the Bakatare sliding kick but Hulk kicked out. Hulk with a great reversal of the Muscular Bomb. Doi went for it again and this time nailed it. Very scary landing for Hulk. Doi hit a flipping piledriver, but Hulk stayed up and kicked Doi in the head. Top rope powerslam from Hulk followed with H Thunder for two. Hulk then kicked Doi’s head off with First Flash, went up top and hit the Phoenix Splash for the win.
Pretty incredible match. Hulk took some really crazy bumps on his neck. A lot of interference from Mad Blankey and Jimmyz, but it didn’t detract from the quality of the match too much though.
After the match, Masaaki and Dragon Kid came out. It seems they are leaving VTR to start a new unit with Hulk.
Very good show overall. The last two matches were particularly great, but only if you really enjoy the car crash no-sell style of Dragon Gate.
Hulk vs. Doi was pretty incredible. Hulk too some really wild bumps. The top rope Tiger Superplex and Muscular Bomb from Doi were very scary.
The captain’s fall match between Mad Blankey and Monster Express was a lot of fun, if not a tad confusing. It never surprises me how agile Uhaa Nation is. Shingo and Tozawa are always great to watch.
Match of the night for me was T-Hawk & Eita vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Dragon Kid. Just a really solid, fun tag team title match. T-Hawk is really good, and the finish between him and Masaaki was fantastic.
Flamita was really impressive in his win against Tanizaki. He’s very reminiscent of a young Rey Mysterio.
The first three matches were all entertaining. Nothing amazing, but no duds. I really like Punch Tominaga’s new character, and Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa is so great at being terrible it’s ridiculous. Great stuff.