April 3 & 4, 2010 – Kobe & Kyoto, Japan

Championship rundown:
Open the Dream Gate Champion: YAMATO
Open the Twin Gate Champions: Shingo Takagi & Cyber Kong
Open the Triangle Gate Champions: Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii & Akebono
Open the Brave Gate Champion: Super Shisa
Open the Freedom Gate Champion: BxB Hulk

The show starts with a clip of YAMATO pinning Naruki Doi to become the new Open the Dream Gate Champion. After the win he vowed to win the King of Gate tournament. That starts now!

CIMA {W5} vs. Masato Yoshino {W1} [Opening Round Match]
YES! I love this matchup. CIMA takes control early. Yoshino hits an armdrag. He hits a dropkick. He works the arm, but CIMA’s flexibility allows him to kick his way to freedom. Yoshino puts on the Koji Clutch. He avoids the Venus and puts on the Coumori. He misses a dropkick from the floor to the apron. CIMA dropkicks him off the apron. He rams Yoshino into the apron, back-first. He shoves Yoshino into the crowd. Back in the ring he misses a double stomp but hits a back kick. He hits a dropkick. Yoshino blocks the Superdrol. He puts on From Jungle. CIMA tries to counter to the Schwein but Yoshino catches him with a DDT. CIMA hits a jumping high kick. He misses a double stomp, leaving him open for the Ude Yoshino. That gets 2. Yoshino misses the shotgun dropkick. CIMA hits the Schwein for 2. Yoshino blocks a superbomb and hits a floating dropkick. CIMA hits the Perfect Driver for 2. CIMA hits the Neji to Hashi after an awesome sequence for 2. Yoshino blocks the Crossfire and gets a sunset flip for 2. CIMA hits a superkick but Yoshino catches him with a crucifix pin for 2. He hits the Lightning Spiral for 2. He hits the Torbellino and puts on the Sol Naciente for the win at 11:23 shown of 18:25. These two put together the best matches. CIMA continues to put over younger guys (by submission!) in amazingly fluid matches and I’m loving every second of it.
Rating: ***¾

YAMATO {K} vs. Masaaki Mochizuki {Z} [Opening Round Match]
They fight it out on the mat to start. Mochizuki focuses on the leg. He hits a back kick. YAMATO takes a powder. He lets the count get to 19 before reentering the ring. Mochizuki takes offense and hits a low blow. YAMATO blocks the apron kick and starts to work over Mochizuki’s leg. Mochizuki hits a head kick. YAMATO plays dead until he finds an opening to put on a heel hook. Mochizuki gets to the ropes. They trade strikes in an exchange that Mochizuki wins. YAMATO blocks the Sankakugeri and goes for the heel hook but Mochizuki rolls through and hits a chest kick. He goes to work on YAMATO’s arm. YAMATO blocks a cross armbreaker for as long as he can, and then quickly gets to the ropes once Mochizuki fully applies the hold. Mochizuki stays on the arm. YAMATO puts on a leglock. Mochizuki gets to the ropes. YAMATO gets too cocky while absorbing Mochizuki’s kicks and gets caught with the SicK Kick. YAMATO drops Mochizuki on his leg and dropkicks the knee. Mochizuki hits nasty kicks to the head. He hits a Magnum TOKYO style back heel kick for 2. He hits the Twister for 2. YAMATO blocks a dragon suplex and hits an enziguiri. He puts on a leglock. Mochizuki blocks the CBV by biting YAMATO’s wrist. He kicks the arm. YAMATO sweeps the leg but Mochizuki hits a headbutt on his way down. Mochizuki hits the Saikyou High Kick for 2. YAMATO slugs him. Mochizuki hits a kick to the gut. He hits the Ikkakugeri. He hits it again as a back heel kick. He counters the Galleria to a Twister version of the move for the win at 15:26 shown of 20:19. I’ll be calling that the Twister III from now on. There were dozens of tiny things that made me geek out during the match. There was a point when I felt like things were about to fall apart, and just then Mochizuki really took over and made this something special. I especially like that the element in Doi’s game that won YAMATO the title was displayed by YAMATO here and won Mochizuki the match. Mochizuki is in a very good position now, as a title match should be forthcoming even if he doesn’t win the tournament.
Rating: ****

The rest of the first round is shown in digest form. KAGETORA {K} vs. Dragon Kid {W5} ended after Kid survived the Genkonitteki and hit the Bible for the win. Naruki Doi {W1} vs. Gamma {W5} saw Gamma steal the former champions V9 Clutch, calling it the G9 Clutch and picking up the win with it. Don Fujii {Z} vs. Genki Horiguchi {W5} ended when Horiguchi caught Fujii with the Backslide from Heaven. A night later Shingo Takagi {K} vs. Takuya Sugawara {DD} ended when Takagi cleared the ring of the Deep Drunkers, smacked Sugawara around with the red box and hit him with the Pumping Bomber for the win. His partner had less luck, as BxB Hulk {W1} vs. Cyber Kong ended when Hulk laid out Kong with the First Flash, which is what he’s calling his thrust kick. Kong looked very weak in the clip (and odd with short hair), getting dominated and losing in just over five minutes.

K-ness vs. Susumu Yokosuka [Opening Round Match]
They trade holds on the mat to start. K-ness hits a head kick out of nowhere. He gives Yokosuka a moment to regain his composure. Yokosuka hits a lariat for 2. The fight spills to the floor, where K-ness misses a kick and hits the post. Back in the ring Yokosuka stays on the leg. He dropkicks the leg. K-ness hits a backdrop. He hits a head kick. He hits a double stomp to the back of the head. He hits a Michinoku Driver for 2. He avoids the Ashi Yokosuka and hits the Kaishaku for 2. He puts on the Aoki Hikari. Yokosuka gets to the ropes. He hits an avalanche DVD for 2. K-ness hits an enziguiri. Yokosuka hits the Darkness Buster for 2. K-ness unloads with headbutts and hits a super Darkness Buster. They trade elbows in an exchange that K-ness wins. Yokosuka goes into zombie mode and fires back. He ducks the Shouryuukyaku and hits a lariat for 2. He hits the Jumbo no Kachi for 2. He hits the Aikata for 2. K-ness gets a sunset flip for 2. He gets two more for 2. He hits the Kaishaku for 2. He hits the Darkness Dragon Driver for 2. He hits the Shouryuukyaku and the Darkness Buster for 2. He hits another Darkness Buster. He hits a third for the win at 13:17 shown of 21:49. This didn’t have the emotion of their 2005 tournament match, but it had the same nostalgic vibe and hard work. I’m rather astonished at how hard everyone worked in the opening round. It seems natural now for K-ness to do what Yokosuka did in 2005, which is to use both of their moves to win the tournament.
Rating: ***½

Next week we will see the semifinals:
Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Masato Yoshino
Gamma vs. Dragon Kid
Shingo Takagi vs. Genki Horiguchi
BxB Hulk vs. K-ness

The show ends with the reigniting of the feud between Super Shisa and Tigers Mask. Mask and Osaka Buffalo attacked the Zetsurins after their match in Kyoto. Mask challenged Shisa to a match for his Open the Brave Gate Championship when Dragon Gate comes through Osaka on April 18th. Shisa agrees to the match.