Dragon Gate King of Gate Day 1 on May 9, 2017
Watch: The RealHero Archive
Korakuen Hall – Tokyo, Japan
As always, thank you to iHeartDG.com for providing translations.
King of Gate is a yearly round-robin tournament split into 4 blocks of 6. The tourney will run from May 9th to June 9th.
- Dragon Kid
- Don Fujii
- Jimmy K-ness J.K.S.
- Big R Shimizu
- Jimmy Susumu
- Yosuke♥Santa Maria
- Naruki Doi
- Ryo “Jimmy” Saito
- Jimmy Kagetora
- Takehiro Yamamura
- Cyber Kong
- Shingo Takagi
- BxB Hulk
- Masaaki Mochizuki
- Genki Horiguchi
- Jimmy Kanda
- El Lindaman
Yosuke♥Santa Maria vs. Hyou Watanabe**
This is a dark match. This match was OK. It wasn’t overly ambitious and nothing was objectively bad about it, they worked each other over for a bit, we got two Maria comedy spots and a back and forth closing stretch to end a OK match
Result: Yosuke♥Santa Maria over Hyou Watanabe
Don Fuji & Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk & Kzy) vs. VerserK (Takashi Yoshida, El Lindaman & Punch Tominaga)**3/4
Takashi Yoshida is the former Cyber Kong unmasked and with eyeliner. Yoshida states he will attack his next target soon.
This started out as a very fun brawl on the outside, afterwards it became a more normal trios match with a good pacing throughout, with Tribe Vanguard working a good heat on El Lindaman. BxB Hulk has the most exciting offense in this match. VerserK did a good job as the heels in the match after the El Lindaman heat, with a fun closing stretch with Yoshida messing up everyone to get over his new look. Enjoyable opener, though you can afford to skip it for the tourney matches.
Result: VerserK over Don Fuji & Tribe Vanguard
Jimmyz (Jimmy Susumu & Jimmy K-ness J.K.S) vs. Over Generation (Dragon Kid & Gamma)**
We get the usual adorable, bring a child to the ring promo OG always does. This was a nothing house show match with some comedy water bottle spots, you can afford to skip this completely.
Result: Over Generation over Jimmyz
B Block Match: Ben-K vs. T-Hawk***1/4
This match disappointed me a bit. While there was still some strong boy moves hit and I had no idea who would win, until the closing third nothing really felt impactful. Once final third started, this felt like the tough guy battle I wanted; hot crowd, chops, kicks and trading sequences galore. T-Hawk in particular looking boss surviving Ben K’s flurry of offense, and Ben K looking even more boss after taking T Hawk down immediately afterwards, in a match with a dope ass closing stretch.
Result: Ben-K  over T-Hawk
C Block Match: CIMA vs. Takehiro Yamamura**3/4
This told a very simple and effective story; Yamamura is the young upstart trying to upset the 20 year vet in CIMA. That story was told well, with Yamamura going after every opportunity he could while CIMA could counter most of it, until Yamamura finally locked in a submission. This booking is making Yamamura my favorite part of Dragon Gate.
Result: Takehiro Yamamura  over CIMA
Jimmyz (Genki Horiguchi HA.Gee.Mee!!, Jimmy Kagetora, Jimmy Kanda & Ryo Jimmy Saito) vs. MaxiMuM (Big R Shimizu, Kotoka, Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino)***1/2
Pre-match, MaxiMuM and Jimmyz make it clear this will be a serious match.
This match was off to a hot start with someone always doing something, soon Jimmyz start working an effective heat demonstrating great teamwork in their unit. Big R is dope as a lower wrestler, and it already feels like MaxiMuM have a clear idea what each person in their unit does. We get some great nearfalls before a sudden pinfall that plays well into the MaxiMuM vs Jimmyz story that is starting, in a fun multi-man match.
Post-match, Jimmyz promised to teach MaxiMuM just how painful the reality of trying to be a stable in Dragon Gate can be.
Result: Jimmyz over MaxiMuM
A Block Match: YAMATO vs. Eita***
We start off hot with Eita hitting a dive right away. Eita does a great job working over YAMATO at the beginning, feeling like a young upstart trying to not only get a win in the tournament, but also a win over the top DG champion. Once YAMATO starts to take control the match becomes a lot slower-paced, and a bit boring. This match is built around submissions, so the action is not as fast-paced as one would think. Eita gets some great tension when he locks in an armbar, followed by a great sequence where Eita kicked out of a barrage of YAMATO’s offense before finally falling for the Piledriver. Good match, though it did fall short of my expectations due to the slow-paced middle section of the match.
Result: YAMATO  over Eita
D Block Match: Shingo Takagi vs. Masaaki Mochizuki***
We had a very enjoyable story told where Mochizuki had to overpower the monster that is Shingo using his fighting spirit; we had a clear face/heel dynamic and it felt like a great moment when Mochizuki finally overcame Shingo in a fun match, though nothing particularly crazy happened.
Post-match, Mochizuki brags about his win
Result: Masaaki Mochizuki  over Shingo Takagi
DRAGON GATE KING OF GATE DAY 1 ON MAY 9, 2017
Good - 7.0/10
All the tournament matches were an easy watch, though I didn't feel that there was anything particularly worth recommending, the first night of KOG has done a good job whetting my appetite for the next show.