Luke Hickey https://twitter.com/PuroReviews
DRAGONGATE return to Wakayama for Memorial Gate in it’s traditional March placement after last years 2020 COVID delayed August edition. Two title matches will take place, with Mochizuki & Yoshida facing their first challengers for the Twin Gate in Arai & Kanda, while Shun Skywalker faces Kazma Sakamoto in his 3rd defence of his Dream Gate title.
A lottery utilizing local delicacy Umeboshi will be held to determine order of entry for the 3Way 6Man Tag Match. Starting as a 1 vs. 1 vs. 1 3Way match, a new participant will enter every 60 seconds. The match will proceed with tornado rules until all members have entered. Teams are eliminated when any member is defeated. If any team member is defeated during the tornado portion, their team is eliminated and their remaining member(s) will be unable to join the match. The last team remaining wins the match. Order of entry will be R・E・D, MASQUERADE and HIGH-END.
8Man Tag Team Match
Natural Vibes (Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka, Genki Horiguchi & U-T) vs. Gurukun Mask, Shachihoko Boy, Punch Tominaga & Ho Ho Lun
The appearance of Gurukun Mask is the continuing relationship between DRAGONGATE and Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling. A fairly lively opener, especially in the closing stages of the bout. Natural Vibes looked great, U-T vs. Ho Ho Lun was some of the better segments of the match but a personal highlight for me was the guesting Gurukun Mask who looked fantastic. Unfortunately he and his team couldn’t keep up with the synergy of Natural Vibes.
Natural Vibes win via pinfall following Kzy’s Running Elbow Smash on Shachihoko Boy
6Man Tag Team Match
Ultimo Dragon, Bokutimo Dragon & Boku Kagetora vs. R・E・D (BxB Hulk, Kaito Ishida & Diamante)
Continuing to build towards the Mascara contra Mascara match on April 9th between Diamante and Bokutimo Dragon. Ryo Saito ran a high fever on Friday night and as a precaution was pulled from today’s card, Kagetora took his place and is wrestling under the alias of Boku Kagetora. No waiting around for this one as Bokutimo and Diamante go straight into it, going after each others masks from the off. Boku Kagetora wearing one of Bokutimo’s shoulder pieces looks great here. Somehow, Bokutimo and Diamante manage to end up wearing each others masks. A feud that seemingly started from nowhere has now in a space of a month managed to build up significant heat, and in the last few shows Bokutimo picking up some momentum heading towards Korakuen Hall.
R・E・D win via DQ after Bokutimo rips off Diamante’s mask
Afterwards during a Bokutimo promo, Ultimo rubs Diamante’s mask against Bokutimo’s butt.
Ben-K vs. HipHop Kikuta
Still no singles theme for Kikuta who is accompanied by Ishida, Ben-K on the other hand appears to be by himself as the rest of his unit are preparing for the following match. The match itself largely features a more methodical pace with Ben-K trying to wear down his opponent. Unfortunately for Ben-K when he tries to charge with a Spear to a cornered Kikuta. Kikuta manages to evade and Ben-K goes flying into the corner post and to the outside. Back in the ring they start trading forearm blows with Kikuta coming out on top and briefly having the better of it. He eventually falls to the power advantage of Ben-K. Ben-K Bomb being blocked by Kikuta, who follows up with a Hip Attack and a Leg Drop. Neither man manages to get much momentum during the match so a big move from nowhere wasn’t a surprising outcome, the surprise is Hip Hop Kikuta’s biggest singles victory to date.
Hip Hop Kikuta wins via pinfall following a Snap Piledriver
3Way 6Man Unit Fight – Wakayama Tornado Style Match
MASQUERADE (Kota Minoura, Jason Lee & La Estrella) vs. HIGH-END (YAMATO, Dragon Kid & Keisuke Okuda) vs. R・E・D (Eita, KAI & SB KENTo)
The order of entry will be R・E・D, MASQUERADE and then HIGH-END until all unit members are entered, though a team can be eliminated prior to all members entering. The match starts with SBK, Jason Lee and Dragon Kid. This starts quickly under Tornado rules, with Jason Lee looking to eliminate SBK and R・E・D quickly. KAI enters next ands the numbers advantage for R・E・D briefly as La Estrella quickly follows. La Estrella quick to show why he’s one of the best upcoming high-flyers in wrestling today. Keisuke Okuda restores equal footing for the time being and HIGH-END work over KAI for a time, trying to eliminate him and R・E・D as Eita makes his entrance. Jason Lee and Eita get into it, with Eita getting the better off it. Kota Minoura comes out just in time to save his buddy. YAMATO enters, himself and KAI immediately zone in on each other. Bodies are strewn around the outside as R・E・D work on Kota Minoura in the ring. The entry of YAMATO also means that the Tornado Rules are over. R・E・D controlling the pace largely until YAMATO deals with Eita & KAI. Surprisingly HIGH-END members on a number of occasions break up pins despite this being an elimination match. The pace starts to accelerate and MASQUERADE is eliminated after KAI pins Jason Lee. YAMATO is quick to enter and face him, they are followed by KAI and SBK. YAMATO comes from nowhere and hits SBK with a Go To Hospital. HIGH-END running things now, Okuda looks to finish SBK but Eita breaks the pin. It comes back to KAI and YAMATO who briefly square off until KAI manages to lock in a Small Package and wins it.
MASQUERADE eliminated via pinfall, KAI’s Meteo Impact on Jason Lee
HIGH-END eliminated via pinfall, KAI’s Inside Cradle on YAMATO. R・E・D win.
Open The Twin Gate Championship Match
Masaaki Mochizuki & Takashi Yoshida (c) vs. Kenichiro Arai & Yasushi Kanda
1st defence for the Twin Gate Champions starts out with Arai & Kanda working over the left arm of Yoshida, tagging in and out frequently before the match settles into Arai vs. Yoshida for a time. Mochizuki gets in after Yoshida hits Kanda with his Shut Up Throat Thrust. Mochizuki & Yoshida quick to isolate Kanda, far more striking orientated than the limb work favoured by Kanda & Arai. Arai cuts off Mochizuki after he misses Kanda in the corner, hurting his leg in the process. Arai wisely locks in a Figure Four to increase the pressure on the newly injured leg of Mochizuki. Arai & Kanda work really well together, and the work Arai does on Mochizuki puts the title reign in jeopardy. Mochizuki manages to tag out to a hot Yoshida who easily dismantles the challengers. Arai manages to subdue the beast in a Cravate, Arai and Kanda then return to work on Yoshida until Mochizuki re-emerges. Through a series of big moves from the champions, they put away Kanda in empathic fashion.
Mochizuki & Yoshida retain the Twin Gate titles via pinfall following Yoshida’s Cyber Bomb on Kanda. V1 for the Champions.
Open The Dream Gate Championship Match
Shun Skywalker (c) vs. Kazma Sakamoto
3rd defence for the youngest Dream Gate Champion in history. This is Kazma’s first singles challenge in DRAGONGATE, and makes his entrance to his own theme song for the first time. They start strongly into a lock-up with Kazma holding the strong side. They return to a lock-up after the rope break and transition through some chain with Kazma coming out on top again. The following exchange came out more even, staring each other down and boosting the speed for a spell, an area that favoured Skywalker who then applied a lock to the left arm and shoulder of Kazma. This submission, llave-orientated offence that he came back from Mexico is great and I love that he’s added that to his high flying arsenal. R・E・D are quick to get involved at ringside as Yagi is being distracted by Kazma. Kazma is a proving a far more bruising and violent than Skywalker’s previous defences, Ishida went after the leg for a plan, Kazma is just doing anything to hurt Shun. Kazma continues to use his knees prominently in his offence, something he has been doing increasingly since February. They throw Elbows, Shun rising to Kazma’s challenge and looks to be on the rise until Kazma gets his knees up on a Skywalker Moonsault. Shun then absorbs a Knee, rising to his feet and Kazma unleashes a torrent of Knee and Elbow Strikes. Kazma hits the True Tiger Knee Subtype but Skywalker kicks out, they battle more and Skywalker hits a Moonsault on a downed Kazma but is late to cover and only gets a two count. Skywalker calls for the SSW but Kazma blocks it. They trade headbutts and Shun hits a massive SSW to retain.
Shun Skywalker retains the Dream Gate title via pinfall following an SSW. V3 for the Champion.
R・E・D attack MASQUERADE afterward, and Hip Hop Kikuta challenges for the Dream Gate title. This match has since been announced for DEAD or ALIVE on the 5th of May.