by Zach Dominello
Pre-Show Match: Kenichiro Arai, Jimmy Kanda vs. Shisa BOY, Ryotsu Shimizu
Jimmy Kanda pinned Ryotsu Shimizu with Ryu’s (like Christopher Daniel’s Angel’s Wings) in 5’13.
Fine match. Shisa BOY – aka Fish-Man – is pretty enjoyable to watch.
Kenichiro Arai performed two giant swings on Shisa BOY. He comically collapsed from dizziness after the first one. He ain’t no Cesaro, that’s for sure.
Match 1: “Mr. High Tension” Kotoka vs. Chihiro Tominaga in a Punch Perm Match
From what I understand, which isn’t much, the loser has to get a punch perm hairstyle and return later in the show to show it to the fans.
Kotoka pinned Tominaga with an Inside Cradle in 5’36.
It was only five minutes, but my god that was a fun match. Both guys instantly going for quick pins early. You really get the idea that receiving a punch perm is the worst thing that can happen to a man. I had to stop and google punch perm to see what all the fuss was about. I totally get it now.
The pin attempts were interrupted only with some quick high flying.
Tominaga’s reversal into an arm bar was awesome. Kotoka got out of it and after another great string of pin attempts, Kotoka reversed another arm bar attempt into a pin for the win.
Really fun match. These guys sold the stipulation like pros. The urgency in getting the pin was excellent. Can’t wait to see the end result later in the show.
Highlight: Urgency shown by Tominaga and Kotoka
Match 2: Cyber Kong, Kzy and Mondai Ryu vs. Don Fujii, Gamma and “Hollywood” Stalker Ichikawa
Very entertaining bout. A lot of comedy spots mixed in with some great fast paced action.
Nice to see a good old fashioned stretch muffler on Stalker by Cyber Kong. Stalker getting slingshot into Mondai Ryu’s crotch was very creative. Speaking of Stalker, I really enjoyed his comedy in this match. His failed handspring into a backflip was very funny.
Kzy put away Stalker with Impact in 8’53.
Highlight: Failed handspring backflip by Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa
Match 3: Jimmy Kagetora and Mr. Quu Quu Tanizaki Naoki Toyonaka Dolphin vs. U-T and Yosuke♡Santa Maria vs.Dragon Kid and K-ness
Full discloser: Yosuke Santa Maria is my favourite Dragon Gate wrestler.
Instant Highlight: Yosuke!!
Yet another great blend of fantastic, fast paced wrestling action and actually funny comedy, though I suppose that’s subjective. I certainly love the comedy Dragon Gate stars bring to their matches.
No spectacular spots, but a lot of quick, creative wrestling.
Kagetora pinned U-T in 9’26 with Gurumakakari. Very unique finisher from Kagetora.
Highlight: Besides Yosuke’s multiple and finally successful kiss attempts on K-ness and Dragon Kid, I really liked the 619 attempts by everyone.
Match 4: Jimmy Susumu and Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! vs. Masato Yoshino and Ricochet (Monster Express)
If you’re one those people who like Dragon Gate but think the wrestler’s should slow down a bit, that is unlikely to happen here.
Yoshino pinned Jimmy Susumu with the Torbellino Crucifix in 14’27.
Excellent action in this one. It’s incredible the way that all the guys can switch from comedy wrestling to seriously hard hitting strikes, kicks and throws. Incredibly fun match.
Highlight: Yoshino’s Speed Racer tights. And Ricochet of course.
Match 5: (Millenials) T-Hawk, Eita and Flamita vs. (Monster Express) Akira Tozawa, Shingo Takagi and Uhaa Nation
Interesting finish. Eita won by TKO when he had Tozawa in Numero Uno and the towel was thrown in.
A lot of trash talk after the match to build up Tozawa and Shingo vs. Eita and T-Hawk at Kobe Wrestling Festival. Should be a good match.
This too was a good match. A nicely paced build to the big finish. Didn’t get to see as much of Flamita as I would have liked, but there was still a lot of good wrestling nonetheless.
Highlight: Uhaa Nation’s surprising agility – his moonsault off the apron was pretty nice. The final sequence was also really good.
Tominaga came out to show off his punch perm. It wasn’t so bad. Just a bit 80s. Shingo got in the ring and made fun of him, leading Tominaga to headbutt Shingo and (I think) challenge him to a match at a later date.
Match 6: BxB Hulk and BxB Masa vs. YAMATO and Naruki Doi
Yamato and Hulk’s first exchange was really cool.
Masa reversed an ankle lock from Yamato into an ankle lock of his own in a really simple way that i don’t think I’ve seen before. Really good.
Hulk is a weird one for me. Whenever I see him not wrestling – making his entrance for example – I’m not interested in him at all, but then he starts wrestling and he’s fantastic. For some reason I keep forgetting that he’s actually really good. Same goes for YAMATO.
Some interference towards the end by Cyber Kong, Mondai Ryu and Kzy. The BxB’s looked to have the match won when Kzy stopped the referee’s count. Dr. Muscle (I have no idea who that is) came out and hit Hulk with a box, allowing Doi to pin Hulk with the V9 Clutch in 21’39.
Another good match to finish off the show. Strange finish though with Doi getting the pin despite the big Kobe match for the title being between BxB Hulk and YAMATO.
Highlight: The BxBs incredible dance moves.
Dr. Muscle unmasked to reveal himself as Chihiro Tominaga – now Punch Tominaga – the newest member of Mad Blankey.
Great show. Not one dud match. In fact, the matches just got better and better the further down the card they went, with the last three being especially great.
Ricochet and Yoshino vs. Jimmy Susumu and Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! was the most fun, but match of the night goes to Monster Express vs. Millenials.
Cant wait for the Kobe show on July 20th. Let’s hope the UStream iPPV business is sorted out by then. Until then, come talk to about wrestling and comics or whatever floats your boat on twitter.