Dragon Gate had a weekender at Kobe Sambo Hall, the main point of the weekend was the Ashiyanikki Cup 6 Man Tag Team Tournament, round 1 would take place between 6 teams on the 26th with the 3 winners progressing to the finals on the Sunday. The winners would get err.. beef curry or something I think from the the restaurant Ashiyanikki.
Eita & Big Ben were the first R.E.D team, they faced Tribe Vanguard in the first tournament match of the weekend. R.E.D quick started before the bell was rung and in typical R.E.D fashion there was a brawl outside the ring, it was an okay match with the main focus on the current story between Big R Shimizu and Ben-K, Shimizu has been inadvertently hitting Ben-K during matches for a couple of weeks now, once again it happened during this match but it didn’t cost them the win as Eita got the pin on U-T following an Imperial Uno.
Shun Skywalker, Yuki Yoshioka & Hyo Watanabe of Mochizuki Dojo faced MaxiMuM trio of Speed Muscle and Kaito Ishida, Ishida would be out for revenge following his defeat to Skywalker in the Rookie League final. The young lads looked good and brought it towards the veterans of Yoshino and Doi, Ishida was vicious towards his generational contemporaries and it was him who got the victory for MaxiMuM after a Tiger Suplex Hold on Hyo. Hopefully this will stop Dragon Kid going on about Yoshino and Doi’s recent losses! This was probably my favourite match of Day 1.
Next up, PAC, Yoshida and Kanda faced Natural Vibes, who were dethroned as Open the Triangle Gate Champions by Yoshida, Kanda and KAZMA at Final. Kzy will be challenging PAC for the Dream Gate in Hakata on the 10th of February. Once again this trio of Natural Vibes show their effectiveness as a unit, probably the best in Dragon Gate right now for me in multi mans but this match for me just was a stepping stone to build Kzy up for the 10th, after all it was he who got the win over Kanda, ensuring a measure of revenge for the defeat at Final Gate.
Natural Vibes (Kzy, Genki Horiguchi, Susumu Yokosuka) vs R.E.D (Eita, Ben-K, Big R Shimizu) vs MaxiMuM (Yoshino, Doi, Ishida) met in the main event this morning to determine the winner, and overall, it proved to be the best match of this two day tournament, in particular the closing 6/7 mins as MaxiMuM shifted through the gears and the pace escalated, Genki Horiguchi got a two count on Ishida with a Backslide from Heaven but found him in a Tiger Suplex Hold which eliminated Natural Vibes, which left it down to MaxiMuM against Eita and Big Ben, all members have a significant amount of recent history that added to this for me, the disbanding of Over Generation last year, Big Ben defecting from MaxiMuM all raced through my mind, it would be Big Ben and their miscommunication that would be an issue as Big R Shimizu once again hit Ben-K with a mistimed clothesline which allowing Ishida to get the win for MaxiMuM following a Tiger Suplex Hold.
Afterwards, MaxiMuM challenged for the Triangle Gate, match will take place in March I believe.