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Dragon Gate

Daily Watchlist (10.25.19)

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The Daily Watchlist is a new project I’ll be working on to highlight the matches I watch day to day. Sometimes the matches will be current and other times they’ll be from the past. The matches I recommend will be highlighted on the bottom of the page. Today I watched fifteen matches from Dragon Gate and Stardom.

Stardom 10/19 (Night)
Hazuki & Natsuko Tora vs Arisa Hoshiki & Saya Iida – Recommended

Unlike the rookies in the two previous matches, Iida put out a cohesive showcase from start to finish. Hazuki and Natsuko make a great goon team and Iida was able to play off of them perfectly. We also got a sampling of Hazuki and Arisa who have incredible chemistry and everything in the match was a hit. No down time, a great comeback and several nearfalls from Iida. Not blow away but a strong match.

Andras Miyagi & Kagetsu vs Martina & Natsu Sumire
A three minute Oedo Tai showdown that primarily consisted of sign attacks. Very little to get invested in but were treated with the Firebird Splash for the finish.

Bobbi Tyler & Zoe Lucas vs Death Yama-san & Hana Kimura
Hana committing to Yama-san’s character is charming but couldn’t make up for the slow start. Tyler looked like she wanted nothing to do with this match by completely no-selling everything. They picked it up in the final stretch but the finish was weak. Disappointing level of effort from Tyler.

Bea Priestley & Jamie Hayter vs AZM & Momo Watanabe – Recommended
The match revolved around Bea keeping Momo occupied on the outside while Jamie took care of AZM in the ring. Hayter and AZM displayed a great amount of chemistry playing off each other’s strong suits well. Hayter’s power game over smaller wrestlers is absolutely disgusting, a prime example being her running knee at Momo. AZM’s speed and quickness was on full display as well. Again, not blow away but an easy watch start to finish.

Riho & Starlight Kid vs Mayu Iwatani & Saki Kashima – Recommended
Not only are Mayu and Saki swapping gear, they’re also taking each other’s moves. My brain is going to be scrambled when they change back. This was a strong match that only had one major blemish where Kid and Mayu lost their positioning causing Mayu to slip off the ropes. Instead of selling the mistake, she popped back up which was wonky. Slipping is fine as long as the mistake is sold. Stardom fans love Mayu enough that it didn’t detract from the match, allowing them to pick right back up and have a really good main event.

Stardom 10/20
Martina vs Saya Iida vs Saya Kamitani

Iida and Kamitani started with a double team on Martina until Kamitani began using Iida as a weapon. Those two had a nice exchange, Marita breaks up their battle, escapes a couple roll ups and takes the win. Smartly laid out match but not something to rush out and see.

Andras Miyagi & Natsuko Tora vs Death Yama-san & Hana Kimura – Recommended
You can take this Yama-san & Hana pairing to the bank, I’ll never grow tired of them. They were gooned on by Andras & Natsuko but used their double teams to pick up the win. They’ve used a boot into an O’Connor roll as a finish to their last two matches and added a monkey flip cannonball senton combination. Fun match overall and a borderline recommendation.

Bea Priestley & Jamie Hayter vs Riho & Starlight Kid
A battle between the tournament’s two undefeated teams. As per usual, Riho and Kid were tasked with using their speed to find a way past their larger opponents. Some fun power versus quickness exchanges for yet another solid match but not something you need to make time to watch.

Mayu Iwatani & Saki Kashima vs Jungle Kyona & Konami – Recommended
Not just the best tournament match, one of Stardom’s best matches of the year. Kyona’s fire paired with the crowd support for Mayu is a perfect combination. Mayu and Saki were back in their regular gear so consider me even more confused. Strong energy throughout the match, everyone brought their A game. Like the previous night, there was a wonky spot involving Mayu but she can do no wrong as far as these crowds are concerned. If Kyona had any rust in her first two matches it was completely gone by the third. Big time recommendation.

Dragon Gate Kobe World 2006
Genki Horiguchi, Ryo Saito & The Turboman vs King Shisa, Shisa BOY & Super Shisa – Recommended

Hot fifteen minute opener with a good mix of comedy and fast-paced technical wrestling. Genki and Saito are masters at blending their goofy side with great technical displays. They’ll play the fool but get serious when they need to pull out the win. King Shisa was played by Pentagon II/Pentagon Black and Shachihoko BOY as Shisa BOY of course. The match was at its best when Genki and Saito were in the ring with Super Shisa showing off wacky holds and exchanges. Not a super memorable match but if you’re going back to watch these shows this is the type of fun action you hope to see.

Akira Tozawa & Takayuki Mori vs K-ness & Kenichiro Arai
A good look at early Tozawa when he was thirty pounds heavier and the leader of a comedy faction. This wasn’t nearly as graceful as the first match. Tons of stiff strikes including a headbutt that makes Tozawa tear up. It’s his comedy that steals the match. He runs around acting like a hot shot despite being cut off at nearly every turn. If you want a taste of chunky comedy Tozawa you get quite the helping in this match.

BxB Hulk vs Dos Caras
Just a year and change into his career, Hulk is put to the test against the then fifty-five year old Dos Caras. The early portion of the match sees Caras stretching Hulk out in various holds and hitting a dive before Hulk gets a chance to show off his variety of cartwheels and springboard attacks. The match isn’t as wild as it looks on paper. They kept things pretty standard for a nice and professional match. No one embarrassed themselves but not much to sink your teeth into either.

Shingo Takagi vs Yutaka Yoshie
Like Hulk, Shingo was young in his career here with only six months more experience and put to the task of wrestling Yutaka Yoshie. Despite being more than twenty years younger than Dos Caras, Yoshie has a fourth of his mobility at best. He’s just a massive mound of a person who Shingo has to fight off to the best of his abilities. Shingo was a bodybuilder before getting into wrestling so his comeback featured a nice string of moves for a guy Yoshie’s size, a brainbuster, pumping bomber and last falconry (rolling DVD) before Yoshie crotch first onto Shingo’s face from the second rope.

If you’d like to watch Shingo wrestle 300+ pounds of clay, be my guest. He’s always had a great amount of fire but Yoshie offers little other than his size which is massive. He was this same size when IWGP Tag Team Champion with Hiroshi Tanahashi and when he wrestled thirty minute G1 Climax draws. How embarrassing.

Masato Yoshino, Naoki Tanizaki, Naruki Doi, Dr. Muscle & Gamma vs Yasushi Kanda, Don Fujii, Jack Evans, Matt Sydal & Roderick Strong – Recommended
After sustaining a neck injury in 2001, Yasushi Kanda retired from wrestling and began working as a referee and in the Dragon Gate office. He made his in-ring return in 2006 taking on the Muscle Outlawz with crooked referee Kinta Tamaoka in their pocket. The story of the match was Blood Generation helping Kanda fight the good fight against all odds. Early on the tags changed between Kanda and Evans. When the match needed spice, enter Evans to do a wacky assisted phoenix splash or 630 and then back to Kanda for more story.

There was a good combination of both speed and innovation paired with the storytelling throughout the match that made sure it never dragged in its twenty-five minute runtime. Blood Generation couldn’t get the job done but CIMA came in for the save and set up a no rope match for the main event against Muscle Outlawz Magnitude Kishiwada. Big time tag matches are why I watch Dragon Gate and this one more than delivered.

Masaaki Mochizuki & Minoru Suzuki vs Genichiro Tenryu & Magnum TOKYO – Recommended
The first half of the match was largely boring. It wasn’t until the ten minute call that things started to heat up. There was a three minute slap exchange between all four guys, including a referee, which was the match’s highlight. Magnum was out of the promotion a month after this match yet scored the fall which was odd but considering he was a centerpiece from the beginning, it was a respectful way to end his run all things considered. This was the third promotion Suzuki and Tenryu crossed paths and here they had a short but fun exchange. Check this out for the second half but skip the first ten minutes.

Recommended Matches
Hazuki & Natsuko Tora vs Arisa Hoshiki & Saya Iida
Bea Priestley & Jamie Hayter vs AZM & Momo Watanabe
Riho & Starlight Kid vs Mayu Iwatani & Saki Kashima
Andras Miyagi & Natsuko Tora vs Death Yama-san & Hana Kimura
Mayu Iwatani & Saki Kashima vs Jungle Kyona & Konami
Genki Horiguchi, Ryo Saito & The Turboman vs King Shisa, Shisa BOY & Super Shisa
Masato Yoshino, Naoki Tanizaki, Naruki Doi, Dr. Muscle & Gamma vs Yasushi Kanda, Don Fujii, Jack Evans, Matt Sydal & Roderick Strong
Masaaki Mochizuki & Minoru Suzuki vs Genichiro Tenryu & Magnum TOKYO

Along with providing show reviews from across Japan, Robert McCauley is also an editor for FightboothPW.

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