July 22, 2012 – Kobe, Japan

Open the Dream Gate Champion: CIMA
Open the Triangle Gate Champions: Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino & PAC
Open the Brave Gate Champion: Dragon Kid
Open the Twin Gate Champions: Jimmy Susumu & Jimmy Kagetora
Open the Freedom Gate Champion: Johnny Gargano
Open the United Gate Champions: Vacant

Full disclosure: Footage of Dragon Gate from the summer of 2012 was hard to come by, so I had to settle for the clipped up TV version of this PPV. Better than nothing.

K-ness {MG}, Kenichiro Arai {MG}, Super Shisa {MG} & Shisa BOY {MG} vs. Ryo “Jimmy” Saito {J}, Jimmy Kanda {J}, Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee. {J} & Naoki Tanizaki {J}
The Jimmyz are a huge stable at this point. I’m pretty surprised that Tanizaki isn’t concerning himself with his doppelganger tonight. K-ness throws Horiguchi around the ring by his hair. Horiguchi hits Arai with a snap suplex. The elastic band ends up smacking Horiguchi’s face, as usual, and the Windows get some residual damage. Tanizaki hits BOY with the DH. He hits the Implant for 2 when K-ness makes the save. K-ness hits an enziguiri but Tanizaki catches him with a roll up for 2. K-ness hits the Shouryuukyaku and Arai hits the diving headbutt for 2. Super hits the Yoshi Tonic for the win at 2:39 shown of 10:04. By live accounts this was a lot of fun, but all we got here were the tired spots and the hot finish.
Rating: *

Chichiro Tominaga {A} & Super Shenlong {A} vs. Kotoka {MG} & Rich Swann {W1}
Nothing connects Swann and Kotoka except their erratic behavior. We start with Swann dominating Shenlong. Shenlong hits a head scissor takedown. Tominaga and Kotoka trade elbows. Tominaga hits the STO for 2. Shenlong hits a leapfrog dropkick. Tominaga hits a northern lights suplex for 2. He puts on the cross armbreaker but Swann makes the save with a double stomp. Tominaga puts Swann in an illegal cross armbreaker in the ropes. Shenlong hits the Rocker Dropper for 2. Tominaga misses the moonsault. Swann hits a superkick. He hits the Ace Crusher on Shenlong. Kotoka hits a double stomp and Swann hits a standing SSP for 2. He hits a Frankensteiner for 2. Kotoka hits a dropkick for 2. Swann hits the Frog Splash for 2 when Tominaga makes the save. Swann hits a spin kick. He hits a huge topé. Shenlong and Kotoka trade roll ups until Shenlong lands on top for the win at 4:22 shown of 6:37. These guys showed great energy. The crowd never got behind them but they put on a heck of a little match anyway.
Rating: **¼

Stalker Ichikawa {Z} & Atsushi Onita vs. Mondai Ryu {MB} & Kzy {MB}
Onita killed Ichikawa at Memorial Gate, so I guess this is his way of apologizing. Ichikawa is dressed as Onita and has his barbed wire pitchfork again. Blankey attacks before the bell. Everyone brawls through the crowd. Kzy suplexes Ichikawa on the ramp. He hits a running knee. Onita piledrives Ryu through a table. Later, in the ring, Ryu sets up a barbed wire table in the corner. After some suspense is built, Ryu ends up getting whipped into it. Onita bashes Kzy with table debris. He hits a powerbomb for 2. He nails Kzy with red mist. He puts the barbed wire table on the mat and powerbombs Kzy onto it for the win at 3:56 shown of 11:29. Decent enough brawl for four minutes, but I’m glad I saw the clipped version because more than ten minutes of these guys seems excessive.
Rating: *¾

Dragon Kid © {Z} vs. Ricochet {W1} [Open the Brave Gate Championship Match]
Ricochet goes after the arm to start. He hits a shoulder tackle. He gets a roll up for 2. He hits a dropkick. He fakes a dive and hits the Sasuke Special. Smart work from both guys so far. Kid hits a desperate kick and a head scissor takedown. He hits the 619 and Bermuda Triangle. He blocks the Backslide Driver and hits the Mysterio Rana for 2. Ricochet dodges the Ultra Hurricanrana and hits a dropkick for 2. They fight up top, which was Kid’s territory in their first match. Kid goes for the Skyscraper Frankensteiner, but Ricochet lands on his feet again. This time Kid knows that’s coming and immediately hits the Messiah. Ricochet blocks the Ultra Hurricanrana and flips Kid into a powerbomb for 2. Dig how he upped the ante from the powerbomb in their first match. Kid hits the 619 out of nowhere to keep from getting dumped. That’s an awesome placement for that spot that you never see. Ricochet blocks the avalanche Ace Crusher and hits the Spanish Fly for 2. He hits the 630 Senton for 2. He calls for the double moonsault but Kid pulls him off the ropes. Ricochet kicks his face but Kid dropkicks his crotch onto the turnbuckle. Kid hits the reverse Frankensteiner. Ricochet counters the Ultra Hurricanrana to the World Liner!!! It gets 2. I could be mistaken but I think that’s the first time I’ve seen someone other than Susumu do the move, and Ricochet made it look much more convincing than Susumu ever has. Ricochet misses the double moonsault and Kid hits the Ultra Hurricanrana for 2. Kid hits the Dragon Rana for the win at 11:27 shown of 24:13. I like that Ricochet had Kid’s number in the beginning of the match. This was a brilliantly worked match, taking the nondescript foundation of a match from Dead or Alive and turning into something dramatic, cerebral and smart.
Rating: ****

Jimmy Susumu © {J} & Jimmy Kagetora © {J} vs. Shingo Takagi {A} & YAMATO {A} [Open the Twin Gate Championship Match]
YAMATO and Kagetora start. They do the usual. Takagi and Susumu trade chops. Takagi hits a shoulder tackle and a slam. He and YAMATO hit a double chop. Takagi puts on the Sharpshooter. Susumu gets to the ropes. Later, Takagi and Susumu trade lariats on the ramp until Susumu hits an exploder there. Kagetora hits YAMATO with an enziguiri. He hits a dropkick. Susumu hits a back elbow for 2. Kagetora hits an elbowdrop. He hits a slingshot DDT for 2. YAMATO starts to work the arm but Susumu cuts that off with a lariat. YAMATO hits a dropkick. Susumu blocks the Galleria so YAMATO puts on the sleeper hold. Kagetora makes the save and Susumu hits the DVD for 2. ¬Susumu hits a lariat in the corner. He hits a super exploder. Kagetora hits the flying elbowdrop for 2. Takagi hits Susumu with a lariat and the DVD. Susumu hits a lariat. YAMATO hits the spear. Kagetora hits the leaping lariat. He hits Takagi with the Kuruma Gakari. Susumu hits the Jumbo no Kachi. He hits the Mugen. YAMATO hits the spear for 2. Susumu gets a roll up for 2. YAMATO hits the Galleria for 2. He punts Kagetora. Kagetora hits an enziguiri. YAMATO dumps him and hits a suicide dive. Susumu walks through Takagi’s strikes and unloads with lariats. Takagi hits MADE IN JAPAN for 2. Susumu hits a lariat. He hits the Jumbo no Kachigatame for 2. Takagi hits the Last Falconry. He hits the Pumping Bomber for 2. He hits another Last Falconry for the win and the titles at 14:50 shown of 21:05. This had more drama than their first match back at Memorial Gate, but like that match it lacked depth. That makes me sound pretentious I know, but it just didn’t get me invested emotionally at all. I think this particular Jimmyz pair should find new partners (in Kanda and Tanizaki?) and hopefully YAMATO can get his fire back soon.
Rating: ***¼

Naruki Doi © {W1}, Masato Yoshino © {W1} & PAC © {W1} vs. Masaaki Mochizuki {Z}, Don Fujii {Z} & Gamma {Z} vs. BxB Hulk {MB}, Cyber Kong {MB} & “Naoki Tanisaki” {MB} [Open the Triangle Gate Championship Match]
Fujii, Doi and Kong start. They all lock up. Everyone misses elbowdrops. Kong pins both guys for 2. “Tanisaki,” Yoshino, and Mochizuki knuckle up. Mochizuki takes a bunch of errant chops, and then some intentional ones. Yoshino hits “Tanisaki” with a supercharged dropkick. PAC and Hulk have an athletic exhibition while Gamma imitates them. Gamma gets the most love for being silly. PAC and Hulk hit a double dropkick. PAC dropkicks Hulk to the floor. He hits a huge plancha. Everyone fights on the floor. The gaijin and Ichikawa get involved. Doi and PAC hit stereo suicide dives. Then, in a surreal moment, Gamma and Mochizuki hit stereo moonsault presses. PAC topes them all with a springboard corkscrew moonsault. Fujii teases a dive but Mondai Ryu stops him. PAC dropkicks Hulk for 2. Hulk hits an axe kick. Mochizuki hits Hulk with a chest kick. PAC hits an enziguiri and a moonsault off of Mochziuki’s back for 2. Mochizuki baits PAC to the top then dumps him to the floor. Hulk hits the axe kick. Mochizuki sweeps the leg and hits an axe kick and the First Flash for 2. “Tanisaki” chops Gamma. Gamma hits a superkick. “Tanisaki” hits the Razor’s Edge. Yoshino hits the shotgun dropkick. “Tanisaki” hits a powerslam for 2. Mad Blankey ends up on the losing side of a giant suplex chain thanks to Ichikawa. Everyone gangs up on “Tanisaki.” Mad Blankey gangs up on Gamma. Mochizuki hits a big boot on Kong. Doi and Fujii chokeslam Kong. Fujii chokeslams Doi. Hulk hits a missile dropkick. Yoshino hits the Sling Blade. “Tanisaki” suplexes Mochizuki. PAC hits an elbow. He elbows Gamma and hits a Gemran suplex on Fujii. Doi hits the Doi 555. Fujii gets the Gedo Clutch for 2. This is too fast to follow! Mochizuki and Fujii double-team Doi. Mochizuki hits the Ikkakugeri. Fujii hits the Nice German for 2. Gamma hits the Avalanche Tombstone Piledriver for 2 when PAC makes the save. Gamma hits a clotheslines. Doi gets the V9 Clutch to eliminate the Zetsurins at 13:20 shown of 20:50. That was a pretty anticlimactic way to get rid of them, but at least Doi was selling the effects of the piledriver. The bad guys gang up on Yoshino. “Tanisaki” hits the Casanova and Hulk hits the BxB Star Press for 2. Yoshino hits Another Space on Kong. Kong clubs PAC. PAC hits a double stomp. He hits the springboard 450 Splash for 2. Yoshino hits the shotgun senton. PAC hits the Shooting Star Press for 2. Hulk mists PAC (with white wine?). He hits the Complete Shot and Kong hits the diving elbowdrop. “Tanisaki” hits the Night Ride for 2 when Yoshino makes the save. PAC blocks the EVO and rolls Hulk up for 2. Hulk hits his funky suplex and the axe kick. He hits the First Flash for 2. PAC tosses Hulk but runs into a yellow box attack. Doi salts Ryu and Hulk. Yoshino hits the Torbellino and Lightning Spiral for 2. He moonsaults onto Kong on the floor. PAC hits Hulk with the 360 Shooting Star Press for the win at 18:20 shown of 25:50. Doi disappearing for the five minutes after taking the mega Tombstone making me happy, and the fact that all he could do to help his team in the end was throw salt fit very well. PAC got to look really strong in his last Dragon Gate match, which also makes me very happy. This was a nice comeback for the three-way trios match, after a bad showing at Memorial Gate.
Rating: ****

CIMA © {Z} vs. Akira Tozawa {MB} [Open the Dream Gate Championship Match]
Tozawa and CIMA both had big wins at last year’s show, Tozawa pinning his former leader Takagi, and CIMA teaming with Ricochet to defeat Dragon Kid and PAC for the Twin Gate titles. Typical mat stuff starts the thing off. CIMA works the arm. Tozawa goes for a headlock but CIMA gets to the ropes. Tozaw dumps CIMA where Ryu attacks. Tozawa hits Ryu with a bicycle kick, having told him he wanted to fight this match on his own. In the ring CIMA avoids the chair-assisted senton. He hits a dragon screw with the chair. Tozawa hits the running knee. He hits a suicide dive. CIMA blocks the second suicide dive with a kick. Tozawa recovers and hits the second suicide dive. He tapes his ankle, showing incredible damage from that dragon screw. He hits a basement dropkick. CIMA kicks the ankle. He dropkicks Tozawa to the floor and hits a suicide dive. They fight to the top where Tozawa hits a bicycle kick and a superplex for 2. CIMA avoids the spin kick but Tozawa hits the side suplex. Tozawa hits a German suplex. CIMA catches him in the ropes and hits a head kick. He hits the Tokarev. He hits it again, to the back this time. He hits a superkick and the Schwein for 2. He misses the Meteora and Tozawa hits another German suplex for 2. CIMA gets one arm free as Tozawa hits the High Tension Suplex for 2. Tozawa traps both arms but CIMA stomps on the ankle, so when Tozawa hits another High Tension Suplex he can’t hold the pin. CIMA blocks another High Tension Suplex and stomps Tozawa to the mat after Tozawa blocks the Crossfire. He hits the Meteora to the back. He hits the Crossfire for 2. He hits another Meteora for 2. That was DEFINITELY meant to be the finish and the referee screwed it up. CIMA drags Tozawa up top and hits the Schweinsteiner and another Meteora for the win at 14:38 shown of 28:45. There was some really great work in this match, to be sure. However, because Tozawa was something of an underdog, CIMA’s overkill barrage at the end felt like a burial. The botched finish didn’t help matters. Thanks for that, Yagi. I’d like to see a rematch, because the ingredients exist for a fantastic match between these two.
Rating: ***½

The show ends with a farewell ceremony for PAC.