Dragon Gate "Open the New Year Gate" on 1/18/15
review by Kevin Wilson


Date:  January 18th, 2015
Location:  Kobe Sambo Hall in Kobe, Japan
Announced Attendance:  1,000 (Super No Vacancy Full House)

My last review (for now) in January!  And of course it is Dragon Gate because I review Dragon Gate last.  There is one title on the line here, as the Open the Triangle Gate Championship is being defended, but that is about it in terms of long term specialness.  But it should have some fun action anyway.  Here is the full card:

- Mondai Ryu vs. Yosuke Santa Maria
- Jimmy Susumu and Jimmy Kanda vs. Kotoka and El Lindaman
- Jimmy Kagetora vs. Punch Tominaga
- K-ness vs. Mr. Que Que Naoki Tanizaki Toyonaka Dolphin
- BxB Hulk vs. Kzy
- CIMA, Gamma, and Cyber Kong vs. T-Hawk, Eita, and U-T
- Ryo "Jimmy" Saito and Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! vs. YAMATO and Don Fujii
- Open the Triangle Gate Championship: Masaaki Mochizuki, Dragon Kid, and Big R Shimizu vs. Shingo Takagi, Akira Tozawa, and Shachihoko BOY

Let’s get to it.

Mondai Ryu vs. Yosuke Santa Maria
This was a dark match but we get to watch it anyway.  Hooray!  Ryu shoulderblocks Yosuke and they both drop to the mat.  Dropkick by Ryu and he crotch-thrusts Yosuke in the corner.  Back up they trade chops, drop toehold by Ryu and he sits down on Yosuke while he is against the ropes before splashing him with water.  Ryu sends Yosuke to the corner but Yosuke hits a swandive missile dropkick.  Falcon arrow by Yosuke and he hits a leg lariat.  Hip attack Yosuke but Ryu kisses him and hits an inside cradle for the three count.  I’m not sure if the point was Ryu has bad breath since Yosuke wasn’t interested in him, it was the mask, I dunno.  This was just the dark match to warm up the crowd, and it was quite short so it never got going, but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen either.  Score:  4.0

Jimmy Susumu and Jimmy Kanda vs. Kotoka and El Lindaman
Susumu and Lindaman start off and they trade wristlocks before taking it to the mat.  Both wrestlers tag out, Kanda and Kotoka go off the ropes and Kotoka hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors.  Lindaman comes in the ring and double team Kanda, ending with a double dropkick.  Lindaman picks up Kanda and applies a reverse chinlock.  Lindaman clubs on Kanda and they trade strikes, and Kanda tags in Susumu.  Susumu elbows Lindaman and he hits a backbreaker.  Another backbreaker by Susumu and Kanda hits a slingshot elbow drop.  Kanda applies a single leg crab hold to Lindaman but Lindaman gets to the ropes.  Susumu comes in and they double team Lindaman, Kanda picks up Lindaman but Lindaman dropkicks him and hits a judo throw.  Lindaman tags in Kotoka while Susumu is also tagged in, kicks by Kotoka and he hits a missile dropkick.  Susumu grabs Kotoka and hits a death valley bomb, but Lindaman runs in.  Kanda runs in too and Kanda hits an atomic drop.  Spear by Lindaman and he hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two.  Face crusher by Kotoka to Kanda, he goes up top and hits a diving doublestomp for a two count.  Lindaman elbows Susumu as they trade shots, judo throw by Lindaman and he goes for a cross armbreaker but Kanda breaks it up with a diving elbow drop.  Kanda hits a tope suicida while in the ring Lindaman hits a judo throw for a two count.  Lindaman goes off the ropes but Susumu hits a lariat for two.  Susumu picks up Lindaman and he delivers the Yokosuka Cutter for a three count.  This was a bit too much for me, just not enough structure.  I mean I know in Dragon Gate wrestlers don’t have to tag out but it takes some of the suspense out for me, damage doesn’t mean much when the wrestler can just roll out whenever they want and stop being the legal man.  And that happened quite a bit here.  It isn’t as noticeable in the six man tags which are pure chaos anyway so it just stuck out.  The action itself was fine, I just couldn’t get into it.  Score:  4.5

Jimmy Kagetora vs. Punch Tominaga
Tominaga attacks Kagetora before the match starts, probably realizing this is the only way he is going to win.  They trade elbows, with Tominaga hitting a hard elbow in the corner.  Tominaga does the Nakamura Leg Shake and stands on Kagetora in the corner.  Snap DDT by Tominaga and he gets a two count.  Drop toehold by Kagetora and he hits a tiger feint kick followed by a high kick in the corner.  Dropkick by Kagetora and he hits a brainbuster for a two count.  Gurumagakari by Kagetora and he picks up the three count.  Too short to be good but too short to be offensive.  Score:  5.0

K-ness vs. Mr. Que Que Naoki Tanizaki Toyonaka Dolphin
I’m the last remaining K-ness fan in the world.  Don’t judge me.  K-ness rakes Tanizaki in the eyes in the beginning of the match and hits Tanizaki with a mallet before choking him with it.  I have determined that K-ness is a heel now.  They trade strikes but K-ness goes back to Tanizaki’s eyes.  K-ness hits a boot but Tanizaki hits a vertical suplex.  Enzigieri by K-ness but Tanizaki applies an Octopus Hold.  K-ness gets a foot on the ropes, and K-ness hits a tornado DDT for a two count.  Knee by Tanizaki in the corner and he hits a swinging kick for a two count.  Tanizaki picks up K-ness and hits a tombstone piledriver for two.  K-ness hits the Oklahoma Roll for two (no real selling here), and K-ness delivers the Hikari no Wa for the three count.  They just were going spot to spot here, no real selling or trying to tell a story here, aside that K-ness is a heel.  Putting aside my personal love for K-ness, this wasn’t much of a match.  Score:  4.0

BxB Hulk vs. Kzy

They trade wristlocks to start and then trade armdrags.  Just as they are getting started, Ryu and Tominaga run into the ring and attack both of them.  This leads to mic works which leads to….

BxB Hulk and Kzy vs. Mondai Ryu and Punch Tominaga
All four brawl to start off, with Kzy getting isolated in the ring.  Lariat by Ryu to Kzy but Hulk returns to try to help.  Hulk kicks both of them and hits a reverse STO on Tominaga, now it is Ryu that is double teamed.  Double Irish whip to Tominaga and they hit a cutter/face crusher combination.  Snapmare by Hulk to Tominaga and Hulk hits a standing corkscrew senton.  Hulk kicks Tominaga and applies a single leg crab hold, but Ryu breaks it up.  Ryu and Kzy stay in the ring and Kzy hits a neckbreaker.  Diving leg drop by Kzy but Tominaga breaks it up.  Hulk comes in, Kzy hits a death valley bomb on Tominaga but it gets a two count.  Front flip piledriver by Kzy to Tominaga, but Ryu grabs the referee to stop the count.  Hulk takes care of Ryu, Hulk slams Tominaga to the mat and Kzy hits a Kzy Time for the three count.  This is the good version of Dragon Gate Chaos, it is such a fine line.  But the singles match turning into the tag team match with really no structure came off really well as an impromptu type of thing.  So it wasn’t long or complicated, but I enjoyed it.  Score:  6.0

CIMA, Gamma, and Cyber Kong vs. T-Hawk, Eita, and U-T
CIMA and company attack before the match starts, and they brawl into the crowd.  T-Hawk and Kong end up in the ring, but they hit a stalemate and tag in U-T and Gamma.  Shoulderblock by Gamma but U-T hits a missile dropkick.  CIMA runs in with a dropkick but so does Eita.  Eita dropkicks CIMA but CIMA hits a monkey flip.  Headscissors by Eita, and CIMA falls out of the ring.  Gamma comes in with everyone else, and he is triple teamed in the corner.  Gamma targets T-Hawk in the ring while Kong starts press slamming people.  Kong picks up U-T, scoop slam, and he hits an elbow drop.  Kong tags in Gamma, and Gamma hits a lariat to U-T.  CIMA and Kong come into the ring and CIMA hits a senton to U-T.  CIMA applies a Scorpion Deathlock but U-T makes it to the ropes.  Kong hits a body press to U-T for a cover, but T-Hawk breaks it up.  Kong stands on U-T and chokes him against the second rope.  CIMA hops up to tape his eyes shut, and everyone stomps on U-T.  Gamma kicks U-T low after he finally gets the tape off, but U-T eventually breaks free and tags in T-Hawk.  Gamma and  Kong run in the ring but T-Hawk kicks Gamma before hitting a vertical suplex on Kong.  Eita hits a tope con hilo out onto Kong and Gamma, then CIMA goes off the ropes but T-Hawk trips him from ringside.  Eita and CIMA get in the ring but CIMA hits a standing doublestomp.  CIMA slams Eita in front of the corner and hits a reverse double kneedrop for two.  Eita kicks CIMA back and delivers a dropkick followed by a standing moonsault.  Eita applies a submission and things break down as Tominaga comes in the ring to help.  Gamma is isolated in the ring and is slammed to the mat, T-Hawk picks up Gamma and he hits the Splash Mountain, but Kong breaks it up.  Kong lariats U-T and T-Hawk, and then he lariats Eita as well.  Iconoclasm by CIMA to Eita, and Kong hits a diving elbow drop for a two count.  Kong drops Eita with a tombstone piledriver, he then hits a lariat for a two count.  Kong picks up Eita, CIMA throws powder into Eita’s face, and Kong hits the Cyber Bomb for the three count!   I really like Kong and the members of the T-Hawk team, so this was fun.  I feel like a broken record, but it’s the same basic formula, just general chaos.  They don’t really spend time targeting the ‘weak member’ or limbs or anything, it is just whichever wrestler happens to be in the ring at the end.  I enjoyed it, it was good mindless entertainment, but it never reached the next level.  Score:  6.5

Ryo "Jimmy" Saito and Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! vs. YAMATO and Don Fujii
YAMATO and Fujii attack before the match starts and they brawl into the crowd. Things settle with Fujii and Saito in the ring and Fujii stomps on Saito.  Saito hits a set-up hurricanrana and tags in Horiguchi while YAMATO is also tagged in.  Horiguchi dropkicks YAMATO and tosses him around the ring.  Horiguchi tags in Saito, Saito covers YAMATO but the referee is distracted with Fujii.  Fujii is tagged in and he punches Saito to the mat.  Saito knocks Fujii down but naturally YAMATO promptly runs in and grabs Saito.  YAMATO stays in as the legal men but Saito pushes him back and tags in Horiguchi.  Doublestomp by Saito off the top turnbuckle and YAMATO is double teamed.  Horiguchi picks up YAMATO and with Saito they wrap a ribbon around his neck before running up into the crowd to choke him.  Fujii finally comes in and Horiguchi is double teamed in the corner.  YAMATO comes in and stomps on Horiguchi, but Horiguchi hulks up and hits a hurricanrana.  Horiguchi tags in Saito while Fujii is also tagged in, and Saito hits an overhead suplex.  Saito Irish whips Fujii and Fujii hits a lariat.  Vertical suplex by Saito but Fujii comes back with a chokeslam.  Horiguchi and YAMATO are tagged in and YAMATO dropkicks Horiguchi in the corner.  Fujii returns to the ring but Horiguchi dropkicks both of them.  YAMATO hits Horiguchi with a brainbuster, cover, but it gets a two count.  YAMATO picks up Horiguchi but Saito pushes Horiguchi out of the way and hits a backdrop suplex on YAMATO.  Horiguchi hits a vertical suplex on YAMATO, then Saito hits a body press for a two count.  Fujii throws Saito into Horiguchi and hits a DDT on both of them, followed by a double lariat.  Saito snaps off a hurricanrana onto Fujii but it gets two.  Saito goes off the ropes but he is hit with a box from ringside, and Fujii applies the Gedo Clutch for the three count.  The match quality was down on this one because the wrestler quality was down, never been particularly impressed with Fujii or Horiguchi.  None of them put out any ‘wow’ or memorable spots, and with wrestler flying around you’d hope in a 15 minute match something would be memorable.  It wasn’t unwatchable, it just wasn’t good.  Score:  4.0

(c) Masaaki Mochizuki, Dragon Kid, and Big R Shimizu vs. Shingo Takagi, Tozawa, and Shachihoko BOY
This match is for the Open the Triangle Gate Championship. Mochizuki and Shachihoko Boy start off, they trade strikes and Shachihoko Boy hits a spinning headscissors. Tozawa and Dragon Kid come in next and Dragon Kid hits a headscissors as well. Tozawa throws Dragon Kid out of the ring and the next two wrestlers come in as Takagi and Shimizu come in. Shimizu and Takagi trade shoulderblocks and Shimizu applies a bearhug into a vertical suplex. Takagi tags in Shachihoko Boy and Shimizu tags in Dragon Kid. Let's emotionally fast forward a bit as poor Dragon Kid is dominated the next few minutes which makes me sad since he is my favorite wrestler in the match. Mochizuki gets himself in the match and he chops Tozawa in the corner. Tozawa returns the favor but Mochizuki hits facewashes in the corner. Mochizuki tags in Dragon Kid and Dragon Kid hits a kneedrop for two. Dragon Kid tags in Shimizu, then Mochizuki is tagged in as they work over Tozawa's leg. Tozawa makes the hot tag to Takagi as Dragon Kid is also tagged in, Shimizu comes in the ring but Takagi lariats both of them. Tozawa goes off the ropes as he is perfectly fine now and hits a pair of tope suicidas onto his opponents. Shachihoko Boy then gets on the apron and hits an Asai Moonsault down onto everyone. Takagi slides Shimizu back in the ring as Shachihoko Boy goes up top and hits a missile dropkick followed by a running elbow in the corner. Face crusher by Shachihoko Boy but Shimizu hits a shoulderblock. Body avalanche by Shimizu and he hits another shoulderblock on lil Shachihoko Boy. Samoan Drop by Shimizu but Takagi breaks up the pin attempt. Mochizuki comes in, he kicks Takagi but Takagi punches him in return. More kicks by Mochizuki, Dragon Kid comes in to help and Dragon Kid applies the Christo, but Shimizu slams his way out of it. Tozawa comes in, double Irish whip to Dragon Kid and Takagi hits a tombstone piledriver.

Moonsault by Shachihoko Boy but Shimizu breaks up the pin attempt. Tozawa clears the ring, he picks up Dragon Kid but Mochizuki runs in to intercept. Takagi runs in and lariats Mochizuki in the corner, Takagi gets Mochizuki onto his shoulders and climbs to the second turnbuckle, but Mochizuki gets out of it. Tozawa springs up to the top turnbuckle and hits a superplex. Takagi lariats Mochizuki in the corner and Tozawa hit a running elbow. Double Irish whip to Mochizuki but Mochizuki kicks them back. Takagi garbs Mochizuki and hits the Blood Fall, then Tozawa hits a German suplex for a two count. Mochizuki and Takagi trade strikes but Takagi catches him with a driver for a two count. Shachihoko Boy comes in, he goes up top but Shimizu grabs him from behind. Shimizu puts Shachihoko Boy on his shoulders and Dragon Kid hits an avalanche Frankensteiner. Body avalanche by Shimizu and he hits a chokebomb for a two count. Giant swing by Shimizu and Mochizuki kicks Shachihoko Boy in the head as he swings around. Elevated crab hold by Shimizu, he picks up Shachihoko Boy and he hits powerbomb, but the pin is broken up. Tozawa and Dragon Kid come in the ring, Tozawa knocks down Dragon Kid as Mochizuki comes in but Mochizuki kicks Tozawa in the chest. Takagi lariats Mochizuki, Shimizu comes in and Takagi lariats him down too. Ultra Hurricanrana by Dragon Kid to Takagi, but Takagi barely kicks out. Mochizuki kicks Takagi in the head but Shachihoko Boy runs in and hits a headscissors. Shimizu elbows Shachihoko Boy and he drops him with the Shot Put Slam for the three count. Mochizuki and friends are still champions! So this is probably about as good as the six man Dragon Gate style match can get for me. Sometimes their singles matches are elevated some but their six man tags are always just going to be mindless fun. This match was particularly fun, the last five minutes or so were just non-stop action. They can do that since the wrestlers can just roll out whenever they want and a new wrestler will come in as legal. I definitely enjoyed it but too much random chaos to crown as a MOTYC. Score: 7.5

Final Thoughts:

This was generally an enjoyable show. As I have said before, Dragon Gate has enough quality wrestlers that none of their events are really going to be bad. It really just comes down to taste, if you enjoy their style of wrestling, which they are very honest and straight-forward about, I have no doubt you will enjoy this show as the final match was really fun and there were other good matches on the card. For me personally, I am lukewarm on the style and I always hope for a big singles match as I tend to be able to take it better in a one on one situation versus the six men tags. Still though, there is definitely entertainment to be seen here and it was fun to watch.

Grade: C+ 

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review completed on 2/24/15