Submitted by Scott Winter
– From Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan on 12/16
CIMA has been removed from the card due to a minor illness. The rookie Yamamura has been moved into his spot, and now facing Mochizuki in his place will be the always vivacious Yosuke <3 Santa Maria.
T-Hawk vs. Gamma
A match randomly picked by children at the last show. Gamma gained control early and managed a trademark wipe-of-his-saliva all over T-Hawk, but was given a receipt in the form of a brainbuster. He regained the advantage but ate a splash mountain from T-Hawk. T-Hawk going for the Niteride early. An attempted spit in the face of T-Hawk was blocked, as Gamma was hit with a reverse powerslam, but managed to get a couple two counts off a roll up. Despite their efforts, the match reached it’s 5 minute time limit. They shook hands. A draw, then Gamma spit in his face and ran out of the ring. Gross.
Jimmyz (Jimmy “Ryu” Saito & Genki Horiguchi H.A. Gee Mee) vs. VerserK (Mondai Ryu & Cyber Kong)
Genki & Ryu started out trading headlocks. Genki got a dropkick and a kip up. They tagged out, where Kong quickly won a test of strength. Genki back in, but was dropped and nailed with a DiBiase-like falling fist. Jimmyz did manage to regain some momentum with some double teaming on Ryu until Kong interfered. Other members of VerserK smiled in approval from the outside. Ryu mounted Genki in the corner and rubbed his crotch in Genki’s face. Some double teaming from VerserK, but Genki out at two. He attempted a rana, which Kong blocked, but was successful hitting a DDT. Tag into Saito, both Ryu & Saito attempted Saito’s cycling yahoo with Saito finally getting it on a 3rd attempt. More VerserK double teaming left the Jimmyz down, but Saito broke up a two count off a big Kong Frog Splash. Combinations from the Jimmyz now, also ending in a two count being broken up off a Frog Splash. Finally, some VerserK miscommunication led to Saito getting the pin. There appeared to be dissension between the two VerserK members following the match.
Over Generation came out for an in-ring promo after the match. They called a kid into the ring who was wearing their t-shirt.
Big R Shimizu vs. Kaito Ishida
The kid was supposed to ring the bell to start the match, but accidentally jumped the gun prematurely, in a funny bit. Shimizu displayed his power to start, tossing Ishida around the ring. There was a point this year where Big R Shimizu was having a better year than Big E Langston, though it is clear the latter has regained the lead. Ishida attempted chops but was no match for the big man. Ishida is mighty small at this point to come across as a threat. He did slap him in the face twice and nail a missile dropkick for a two however. He connected with kicks, extremely technically sound in doing so. Shimizu regained control and hit the big spinning slam, and a tree slam for two. Ishida managed a nice roll up for a fun two count, but was quickly put down with the Shot-put Chokeslam for a three.
Yosuke <3 Santa Maria vs. Masaaki Mochizuki
No idea why she wasn’t on the card in the first place, as entertaining as anyone on the roster. Yosuke cut a promo before the match, wishing everybody a Merry Christmas and welcomed her opponent to the ring. Mochizuki won in less time than Conor McGregor, and made a beeline for the locker room. Yosuke cut another promo, asking for an immediate rematch, this being a staple of Dragon Gate.
Yosuke <3 Santa Maria vs. Masaaki Mochizuki
Big chops from Yosuke, ducking Mochi’s offense and hitting a dropkick. Then no selling his stuff and showing some athleticism, and hit a gigantic dive to floor, placing her foot on his head in triumph. Awesome. Dragon screw from Yosuke as she is controlling the entire match. Mochi regained control and stiffed her with a gigantic boot in the corner. Two count, but Yosuke fighting back. Huge right hand from Mochi. Yosuke with a sweet spring board dropkick and leg lariat for two. Rather than rub her face in his crotch in a trademark spot, she hit the bonzai drop instead. She ate two boots in return, but showed fight and returned fire with a chop, but was nailed with two more kicks, however kicking out at two. Crowd behind her now, and she hits a suplex.
To the top, but Mochi follows her up there. Superplex but she pops right up! Big kiss and crucifix for an absolutely great two count. A couple kicks from Mochi and she gets another one. Another couple nearfalls and the crowd is way into this. Mochi finally gets the three with the Sankakugeri. Mochi led the crowd in applause for Maria Chan after the match. She planted a kiss on him and he reciprocated. This was absolutely everything you want out of pro wrestling, mixing a great match with fun entertainment.
Jimmyz (Jimmy Susumu & Jimmy K-Ness) vs. Dia.HEARTS (Dragon Kid & Kzy)
Susumu was a reindeer here. Kzy & K-Ness started with a few minutes of comedy, well received by the crowd, not so much by their partners. A little bit of action, but the match morphed back into comedy shortly after. Finally something of a match broke out. Double teaming from the Jimmyz, as they maintained control of Kid. Susumu & Kid traded strikes, with Susumu coming out on top. Kid came back with a rana and made the tag to Kzy. Dia.HEARTS now taking it to the Jimmyz, as Kid hits an Ibushi-like moonsault from the second turnbuckle to the floor. Exploder from Susumu for two, on Kzy. Jimmyz lock in duel submissions, firmly in control now.
Double gutbuster into a delayed double suplex combo. Huge Susumu lariat stops a Kzy comeback, for two. Kid to his partner’s aid, and he hits K-Ness with an assisted rana from the top rope. Big Kzy frog splash gets broken up at two by Susumu. Susumu and Kzy to the top now. Exploder from the top on Kzy. K-Ness with his series of spinning rollups on Kid, but broken up by Kzy. Finally, Kid gets the Bible (crucifix) for the win. Funny how your typical average DG midcard tag match is still worlds better than any other company’s standard average midcard tag match. While this was standard fare in DG terms, a forgettable match in reality, it would be the most athletic thing on the entire show of most other companies.
VerserK (Shingo Takagi, Yamato & Kotoka) vs. Over Generation (Eita, Punch Tominaga & Takehiro Yamamura)
Again, no Cima, instead the rookie Yamamura. They brawled into the crowd, while back in the ring Shingo took it to the rook, who was in attire similar to Cima. He tagged out to Punch, who locked up with Yamato. Hands in his pockets for power, Punchy hulked up and was impervious to pain. Kotoka in, and Over Generation put the boots to him. Eita went to work on his right leg, which was taped. We’ll see if that plays into their championship match at the big year-end PPV in a week and a half. Punch in. Big kick to the nuts from Kotoka, with the bad leg which he sold heavily. Yamato returned with a big dropkick, and a stroking of his bangs, as VerserK put a whopping on Punch in their corner. Literally beating on Punch for minutes at a time, double teaming and punking him out in general.
VerserK miscommunication led to a tag Eita came in, a house of fire. Huge dive to the outside wiping out VerserK. Yamamura in, but Shingo manhandled the rookie. Yamamura was evasive however and eventually hit a fisherman suplex for a two. This was more competitive than when Punch was in there. Punch back in there with Yamato who he will be wrestling for the tag titles in a week and a half. Yamato remained in control, but finally Punch got an STO for a two count. Triple dropkick put Shingo on the floor and the faces turned their attention to Kotoka.
Some pretty fantastic triple teaming ending with a PT BME. VerserK regained control shortly after though. Alabama Slam on Eita from the champ got two. The rook in there now, gets nailed from the outside with the suitcase, but it’s only a two. Ref distraction and the whole VerserK squad enters the ring to beat the shit out of Yamamura, but Kaito Ishida (dressed as Yamamura) pulls some twin magic behind the ref’s back, replacing his spent stablemate and Over Generation gets a clever upset. Good match, nice finish.
Monster Express (Masato Yoshino, Akira Tozawa, Shachihoko BOY), Naoki Tanizaki & Kenichiro Arai vs. “El Lindaman” Yuga Hayashi, Naruki Doi, Metal Warrior, Super Shisa & Jimmy Kanda
This was a match, once again, randomly picked by young children on the last show, essentially drawing names out of a hat. The irony being Yoshino, Tozawa & Shach all ended up on the same team. Metal Warrior was beaten down by Gamma before the match and dragged to the locker room and replace by Karaoke Machine #1 (Don Fujii in a mask). The match is supposed to lead to odd pairings but the oddest thing here is VerserK members on opposite sides. We start with Yoshino & Doi, which the crowd pops big for. A very nice exchange of moves and countermoves leaves both at a stalemate, and they go at it again. More technical mastery between the two and the crowd pops again. They tag out. Shach & Machine in there now. But he comidically hurts his knee getting in there and tags out. Tozawa and Shisa going at it now, culminating with Tozawa faking a dive to the floor. Too Easy. Fujii in there now, and he takes on the entire opposition 5-on-1 in a chopfest. Now his own team is in there and it’s 9-on-1. Match settles back down into Tozawa & Lindaman, and Tozawa gets his chops in the corner, and proceeds to punch out all five opposing members, and teammate Tanizaki. Yoshino & Lindaman now trading chops. Yoshino killing him with those.
We then get your standard 180 mile an hour rope running exhibition from Yoshino. Tag into Arai, who shushed the crowd, and hits a headbutt with a sickening thud that resonates throughout the building. So unnecessary, poor friggin’ Hayashi. Everybody going at it now with multiple highflying moves to the floor. Everybody gets in on the act. Tozawa, Shach, Yoshino. Finally Machine, but he throws up an airball. Yoshino & Arai with a nice exchange back in the ring leading to a two count off an Arai dicing headbutt, as this thing is all nonstop action. Tozawa senton on Kanda off the top gets two. He goes for the German but it;s reversed. Doi nails him with a cannonball in the corner. Machine with a chokeslam, broken up. Shisa with the code red but Tozawa escapes. Double teaming from Shach & Tanizaki gets two on Shisa. Lindaman wuith a judo throw. Shisa gets the code red but not a theree. Doi attempts a series of double teams with his squad but misses all four. He leaves. Hilarious. Five-on-four now. Tozawa up top. Brainbuster off the top and Lindaman is down.
Quintuple team in the corner on Lindaman, who gets Germaned by Tozawa and tombstoned by Tanizaki. Machine in though, he breaks it up and now all nine men hit consecutive moves on each other in a frenzy you’ll only see in Dragion Gate. Lindaman with the Locomotion suplex series on Shach gets the win. Second year in a row he gets the big pinfall in the final Korakuen match of the year. Super fun match. After the main event, kids are once again brought in to throw darts at a board, selecting teams for a 10-man tag at the next Korakuen show.
Very fun, well paced show. The three hours just flew by. It’s after 4:30 am and I’m late to work, but it was worth it, the mark of a good show.