Dragon Gate Dead or Alive on May 5, 2017
Watch: The RealHero Archive
Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium – Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Before we start, can I just say I love the stage setup? It looks like a big time show. Props to iHeartDG.com for the promo translations and the rules for the cage match.
Jimmy Kanda & Syachihoko BOY vs. Shun Skywalker & Shun Watanabe***1/4
This was a fun and easy to watch match. Team Shun had some fun flying moves, while the Boy/Jimmy team worked well together. There were a lot of cool sequences including an elbow drop, and I left very impressed with all four. The finishing sequence was great, with Kanda looking great. My only true complaint is that Shun Skywalker looks like a geek in terms of ring gear. Kanda and Boy win in 8:01.
Tribe Vanguard (Flamita, Kzy & Yosuke Santa Maria) vs. Over Generation (Eita & Gamma) & Drastik Boy***
We get the usual pre-match Over Generation promo, where they bring a child from the crowd to the ring.
This was a fine choice to open the show, we got some fun comedy spots involved water spitting and dancing. The moves were good, though Drastik Boy didn’t really do much for a his final DG tour match. The heat on Santa Maria was solid, and Eita & Flamita had the typical crazy ass fast sequence DG is accustomed to. The majority of the match was inconsequential, but the finish stretch was really well done, with Draztik Boy and Flamita squaring off and making me want a singles match between them now. Tribe Vanguard wins in 8:01.
Don Fuji & Masaaki Mochizuki vs. VerserK (Punch Tominaga & YASSHI)**3/4
We got some outside brawling right away, with a neat comedy chair spot. A lot of this match was Mochizuki vs Punch. Mochizuki was a damn star for me here, with VerserK playing good foils. The heat on Mochizuki was well done, and Mochizuki’s comeback was dope. At one point the commentators started screaming “BEER!” We got fun action, though this felt like no one was taking this too seriously, cause you know, it’s just a midcard match with some comedy and cool moves, an easy watch **¾. One thing I did enjoy is that it felt like the babyfaces overcame something to get the win. Fujii and Mochizuki win in 10:55.
Post-match, we got interviews with the competitors in the Dead or Alive cage match where they state why they want to win the belt.
Open the Brave Gate Title Match: Jimmy Kagetora (c) vs. Takehiro Yamamura***
Right off the bat this feels like a big time singles match. The first half of this match felt a bit too slow for my liking, but once Yamamura hit a dive things picked up. Things eventually slow down again, and the moves used here just don’t feel like they leave an impact. The near falls are fairly well done, with leg work coming into play. Too many times the match just becomes a strike battle followed by some kicks. Ultimately, an okay title match missing something to make it truly memorable. Kagetora wins the match and retains his title in 13:42.
Kagetora puts over Yamamura post-match, saying he looks forward to seeing him grow as a wrestler.
Jimmyz (Genki Horiguchi Ha.Gee.Mee!!, Jimmy K-ness J.K.S., Jimmy Susumu & Ryo 'Jimmy' Saito) vs. MaxiMuM (Ben-K, Big R Shimizu, Kotoka & Masato Yoshino)***3/4
Ben-K looked like a star. In other news, grass is green. The amount of people in this match meant something was happening at all times. I really enjoyed the Big R power spots. The Jimmyz played their roles as heels well, not outshining MaxiMuM, who looked great here, while also looking good themselves. This was a well put together match that never got boring. If you ever feel like watching a DG multi man match, this would be a good choice. Jimmyz win in 13:47.
The two stables talked smack post-match. Yoshino was surprised his partners weren’t that angry at the Jimmyz. MaxiMuM was called a ragtag unit that couldn’t match up to Jimmyz. Yoshino said the Jimmyz are now MaxiMuM’s first target.
Open the Twin Gate Title Match: Over Generation (CIMA & Dragon Kid) (c) vs. VerserK (El Lindaman & T-Hawk)**3/4
El Lindaman feels like a future star, hanging in ring with two DG veterans in Over Generation. Over Generation works a long heat on El Lindaman; it feels a bit too long. The VerserK comeback is done well. VerserK eventually start their own heat segment on Kid that is also a bit boring. We have some cool moves hit, though this match never really gets out of first gear, along with it being made unclear whether or not El Lindaman is supposed to be the face in this match, made this match disappointing. A positive I can state is that El Lindaman feels like a bigger deal then he did before this match. Over Generation retains in 21:36.
Open the Dream Title vs. Hair vs. Mask Five-Way Steel Cage Match: YAMATO (c) vs. BxB Hulk vs. Cyber Kong vs. Naruki Doi vs. Shingo Takagi****1/4
The rules for the match are as follows:
- Flags will be placed at the top of the cage at each corner. The Dream Gate title belt will be placed on the center pole.
- Takagi, Kong, Hulk, & Doi must first retrieve a flag. Once they have done so, they will gain Dream Gate challenger status.
- The four challengers can be eliminated via pin or submission at any time during the match. This can occur before they are able to retrieve a challenger flag. An eliminated competitor must leave the cage.
- YAMATO must compete during the entire match, but will not be able to retrieve the title belt until there is only 1 challenger remaining. He can not be eliminated via pinfall or submission at any point during the match.
- The match will progress until YAMATO and 1 challenger remain. The match can then be won by retrieving the Dream Gate title belt to win.
- The final competitor left in the cage will lose their hair or mask.
- Normally outside interference happens with stables throwing stuff at the competitors, this is legal as they do it from outside the cage. Sometimes, stable members hand stuff to their teammates, who are a part of the match.
The visuals during everyone’s entrances are amazing. Dead or Alive Cage match is one of my favorite spectacles in wrestling. The camera work is great, the outside interference is hilarious, and the tension is built up throughout the match.
The match is slow to start, playing up that everyone wants to play smart. Cyber Kong couldn’t figure out how to climb the cage due to his shoes not being able to get a grip on the cage and it was sad. The teases to get the flag at the top of the cage gets progressively more intense. We get some dope big boy spots from Kong and Shingo.
The outside interface involves baseballs being thrown, cages being climbed, streamers being thrown and water being sprayed, and it is both an amazing visual and comedic.
BxB Hulk plays off the everyone for themselves mentality when he attacks Doi when he tried to get Hulk to help him attack Kong. Shingo looks like a beast when he’s dealing with so much interference.
The sequence with Shingo grabbing a flag is done well, with him overcoming a lot of interference.
Flamita jumps off the cage on to the other stables to prevent them from stopping Hulk grabbing a flag, another great visual. Unfortunately, the camera missed Flamita landing on the outside. Doi eventually gets a flag himself.
A ladder is brought out by El Lindaman to help Kong climb the cage. We get some tense buildup with YAMATO trying to stop Kong climbing, while also dealing with Lindaman’s interference. YAMATO eventually got help from his teammates, but it backfired with a pie being thrown in his face. Kong grabs the flag. This sequence is both hilarious and tense.
Now that everyone has a flag, Hulk, Doi & YAMATO team up on Shingo while Kong climbs down. Kong gets down eventually and starts seeking people, he eliminates Hulk and the match gets a tag feel, with YAMATO and Doi teaming up against the VerserK boys. This portion is very short, but done well with YAMATO pinning Shingo, and Shingo being in shock over how quick he was beaten.
The match gets a triple threat dynamic post match with all three men chopping each other. Kong and Doi square off against each other soon, Kong dodges outside interference involving streamers and it hits Doi in the eyes. Kong eliminates Doi. Kong has been built up well in this match.
Kong and YAMATO are the final two, and soon all of VerserK start breaking the rules. Kong attacks the ref, YAMATO and Kong both go down, VerserK comes in with weapons. and YAMATO is put through a table by Shingo. The interference is annoying in a big time title matches’ closing match-up. YAMATO then takes a chairshot to the head. The interference starts to become overkill, with all of VerserK attempting to destroy a prone YAMATO. When Kong decides to climb the ladder to try and take the title, YAMATO’s Tribe Vanguard stabl mates stop him. They do this while outside the cage because they still care for the rules, DAMN IT. Eventually, they get in the cage and Tribe Vanguard have an awesome stand off with VerserK, it’s chaotic in the best way. Someone from MaxiMuM removes the ladder that Kong needs to climb the cage, YAMATO gets back up and he and Kong become the only two left in the cage. YAMATO quickly takes Kong down, climbs the cage and grabs the title for the win
The DoA cage match is a spectacle, and this year is no different, telling the story of YAMATOth overcoming his challengers well, with the interference being great for the most part and all four challengers doing a great job, creating a damn good MOTYC.
Kong tries to get out of unmasking, but YAMATO is having none of that. Kong eventually relents and is unmasked, revealed to be Takashi Yoshida, age 34 from Osaka Prefecture. Kong states that he has nothing to hide, and VerserK will create chaos, then he and VerserK leave. YAMATO urges Kong to consider a new ring name, and thanks Tribe Vanguard and the crowd to end the show.
DRAGON GATE DEAD OR ALIVE ON MAY 5, 2017
Great - 8.0/10
The undercard was an easy watch, and the main was the spectacle people expect of DoA. The title matches were a bit disappointing, though. If pressed for time, watch the main.