Dragon Gate Kobe Pro Wrestling Festival July 20, 2014 Report


by Zach Dominello

Welcome to my report for Dragon Gate’s Kobe Pro Wrestling Festival 2014.

Special thanks to @SenorLARIATO for the videos.

Let’s get to it!

Pre-Show Match 1: Shachihoko BOY vs. “Mr. High Tension” Kotoka vs. Ryotsu Shimizu

Shachihoko BOY got the win with a jumping front cradle. He was very excited about that. They only showed the later half of the match.

Pre-Show Match 2: K-ness, Super Shisa vs. U-T, Yosuke♡Santa Maria

Not happy that my favourite Dragon Gate wrestler, Yosuke Santa Maria, has been relegated to the pre-show. But I am happy because I still get to see my favourite Dragon Gate wrestler, Yosuke Santa Maria. Get ready to be kissed, opponents!

For all of Yosuke’s comedy and antics, he can go when he wants. Yosuke’s dive from the top turnbuckle to the outside was very good. (Should I say “he?” Is “she” more apt? I don’t know the protocol)

Yosuke pinned Shisa with the Neraiuchi for the win in 6:22. Yosuke is the greatest.

Match 1: 15th Anniversary Special 6 Man Tag Team Match: Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii, Gamma vs. Uhaa Nation, Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa, Jushin Thunder Liger

Ichikawa was killed instantly by a sick kick by Mochizuki and pinned instantly ala Daniel Bryan and Sheamus at WrestleMania. Liger got on the mic and talked his opponents into restarting the match.

Ichikawa was in for most of the match. Liger did a few of his regular spots – a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a brainbuster. Uhaa’s standing moonsaults were impressive. Ichikawa killed himself trying to German suplex Don Fujii. He fell back onto a chair and was pinned by Fujii in 8:33. I can’t help but loving Ichikawa’s antics. He’s completely useless but very entertaining. Short, fun match. Ichikawa’s comedy really stood out.

Match 2: Jimmy Kanda, Jimmy Kagetora vs. Mondai Ryu, Punch Tominaga

Not much to this one. Very short match, only 4:25, ending in DQ after Punch Tominaga and Kanda attacked the Jimmyz with chairs. Punch has really embraced his new persona. It’s pretty great. However, this match wasn’t.

Match 3: Open the Brave Gate Championship Match: Flamita vs. Dragon Kid

Good little video package before the match.
Fairly slow paced start, which is something of a rarity in Dragon Gate considering the two guys who are wrestling.
Dragon Kid did a nice handstand knee drop. After a slingshot hurricanra on the outside, Dragon Kid had a water break. I like that water breaks are a normal thing in Dragon Gate.
Flamita got out of AJ Lee’s octopus stretch and hit Dragon Kid with Silas Young’s fancy finisher for a 2-count.
Dragon Kid took forever to set Flamita up for a standing top rope Frankensteiner. At one point Dragon Kid gently put Flamita’s arm in the correct position for the move. Pretty sloppy stuff.
Flamita did a cool Angel’s Wings into a backstabber. Flamita went for a Rainmaker, well Flamita’s variation of the move, which includes a backflip – the Flam Fly – but Dragon Kid reversed it.
Dragon Kid had a nice sequence near the end culminating in a springboard hurricanrana for a near fall.
Flamita won with the Flam Fly, now known by me as the flipping Rainmaker in 15:58.
This was pretty good. Not great like I was expecting, but certainly good.

Match 4: Open the Triangle Gate Championship Match: Naruki Doi, Cyber Kong, Kzy vs. Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!, Jimmy Susumu, Mr. Quu Quu Tanizaki Naoki Toyonaka Dolphin

Early jump from the Mad Blankeys. Shades of Iizuka and Yano early on as everyone fought throughout the stands. They were soon back in the ring. I enjoyed Kzy getting a giant elastic band flung from a huge distance into his head. Very funny to see in a wrestling match. H.G’s hair was targeted by the Blankeys, as it is oft to be.
Wild dives by the Jimmyz to the outside. One of the Jimmyz – Susumu or Quu Quu – nearly landed on his head. Back in the ring there was a really nice assisted GTS by Quu Quu and Susumu.

Great sequence at the end. One of the Mad Blankeys, Kzy I think, hit Susumu in the head with a yellow safety sign. Doi then pinned Susumu with the Bakatare sliding kick in 17:25. Very exciting match. Classic Dragon Gate mixture of humour and incredibly fast action. Doi and Susumu really stood out.

Match 5: International Dream Tag Match: Masato Yoshino, Ricochet vs. CIMA, Matt Sydal

Sydal now looks very Fandango-esque in the hair department. He was a little rusty early on, but once things got clicking he was pretty good.
Ricochet hit a cool chasing (where he follows the opponent off the ropes) Ace Crusher off the ropes.
Great handspring moonsault over the ropes onto Sydal by Ricochet. CIMA did a cool roll up into a Stretch Muffler with a headscissor on Ricochet. Sydal and Ricochet hit stereo shooting stars onto their respective opponents.

Sydal claimed his was better and always will be. Sorry, Sydal, Ricochet is the new king of flips around here. Sydal reversed Ricochet’s roll through brainbuster into a hurricanrana. That was a really awesome spot.
Missile dropkcik/senton combination by Yoshino off the top ropes. Ricochet followed with a 630 splash onto CIMA but Sydal broke up the pin.
The finish came when Yoshino got CIMA in the Sol Naciente submission. CIMA wouldn’t quit so Ricochet superkicked him, but CIMA continued to hold on. Ricochet then did a top rope shooting star press kick while CIMA was still in the submission causing CIMA to finally give up in 17:07.
After the match, It looked like Sydal and Ricochet agreed to a one on one match for a later date. Also my word processor automatically changes CIMA to coma. So I’m sorry if I accidentally called CIMA coma at some point. It was not intentional. I promise.

Match 6: Open the Twin Gate Championship Match: Akira Tozawa, Shingo Takagi vs. T-Hawk, Eita

Early in, T-Hawk Tombstoned Shingo on the ramp after a double reversal. Pretty brutal.

Later in the match, Tozawa hit 2 consecutive dives, and then stereo dives by Tozawa and Shingo. Shingo did a flip over the ropes so it wasn’t exactly stereo, just at the same time. Still very cool.

Shingo and Tozawa had an awesome flurry of offence near the end. Just move after move after move. In fact, the final 10-15 minutes was all incredible action. Simply amazing stuff.
T-Hawk pinned Shingo with the Night Ride E.N.D. to win the Twin Gate tag titles in 30:08.
Match of the night so far. Truly an amazing, must see match. There was so much great action that writing about it just wouldn’t do it justice (and I can only write so fast). Just go and see this one for yourself.

T-Hawk and Eita are the 32nd Twin Gate champions.

Match 7: Open the Dream Gate Championship Match: YAMATO vs. BxB Hulk

A good video package before the match highlighting Hulk’s road to this match.

Hulk targeted YAMATO’s arm early on. While YAMATO was on all fours, Hulk kicked his left arm out from under him. YAMATO sold it like he was really hurt. By the way, Japanese wrestlers spelling their names’ in all caps is super annoying to type.

Later YAMATO performed a nasty double stomp from the top rope to the outside onto Hulk’s leg which was placed under chairs. Pretty sick.

The ref missed it thanks to a distraction from members of Mad Blankey. YAMATO then worked the injured leg in order to neutralise Hulk’s kicks. Of course it didn’t work as Hulk was soon kicking up a storm.
Water break for Hulk.
Hangman face driver by Hulk off the middle ropes, like Randy Orton’s DDT, but better. Belly to belly into the turnbuckles from YAMATO. Hulk’s leg hit hard and he sold it well.
Dragon screw off the ropes by YAMATO followed by a splash onto Hulk’s legs. Hulk kicked out of two consecutive Gallerias from YAMATO.

Hulk came back and hit a really scary H Thunder but YAMATO kicked out.

Big sequence of kicks by Hulk. Because his legs are OK now. Surprise surprise.

Big Phoenix Splash by Hulk for the win in 32:19.

BxB Hulk is the new Open the Dream Gate Champion.

Final Thoughts

The last two matches were well worth the asking price of the whole iPPV. Match of the night goes to the Twin Gate title match. Simply incredible action form start to finish. The final 10-15 minutes just blew me away. Awesome stuff. Not to be outdone, though they were, but only just, was YAMATO vs. BxB Hulk. On any other show this easily would have been the match of the night. On this show it was a very close second. The story of Hulk’s struggle to become champion was told exceptionally well, through the video package and throughout the match. The emotion when he finally captured the title was wonderful. The storytelling throughout the match was very intelligent with YAMATO cleverly targeting Hulk’s leg. Though of course in the end it was to no effect. Still a smart move.

Flamita vs. Dragon Kid was somewhat underwhelming. I think my expectations may have been too high for that one. It wasn’t bad, just not as exciting as you’d expect. Both guys just didn’t seem to click well with each other. Not much chemistry there. That top rope frankensteiner was god awful, but more the set up than the actual move.
Ricochet was brilliant in his tag match. Sydal looked a little rusty early on, but improved as the match went on. The Triangle Gate title match was also a lot of fun. Basically after Flamita vs. Dragon Kid, the show really kicked into high gear and didn’t let off even for a second.

Very good show overall. Not show of the year as some hyped it to be. But still very very fun. Well worth the asking price.

Yosuke Santa Maria forever!