Dragon Gate ‘King Of Gate 2018’ 01/06/2018 Semi-final stage – Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Added by Luke Hickey

Live Audience: 1,750
Shown on Gaora & Dragon Gate Network

At the start of the show, each semi-finalist came to the ring to randomly pick from a series of envelopes which would determine their opponent for tonight’s semi-finals. Takashi Yoshida vs Masato Yoshino and YAMATO vs Naruki Doi.

Ben-K, Hyo Watanabe, Yuki Yoshioka def. Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi & Brother YASSHI) & Shachihoko Boy

This match started off nice and slowly with some chain and mat wrestling to allow the spectators to come into today’s events. The Natural Vibes duo were in control for a good portion of the match, Ben-K as usual looked impressive. Yuki Yoshioka looks to be coming along, looking better and more comfortable in the ring as he progresses. The match broke down with everyone getting in some offense, showing what they can do, but it came down to Yuki Yoshioka and Shachihoko Boy going through pins and reversals until Yoshioka got the win with a Modified Gannosuke Clutch.

Masaaki Mochizuki & Shun Skywalker def. Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk & U-T)

U-T went straight for Shun Skywalker as Open the Dream Gate Champion, Masaaki Mochizuki was posing for the Korakuen crowd. U-T and Shun Skywalker going at a much greater pace than the previous match, with strikes and high flying offense. BxB Hulk and Mochizuki come in and show off their educated feet but not landing a single blow, Mochizuki snapmares Hulk and kicks him in the back. U-T comes in and gets the same treatment. Mochizuki & Skywalker are in control and isolating the young U-T, targeting his legs. BxB Hulk returns to the ring and takes them out, BxB Hulk and U-T now double team Shun Skywalker, until Masaaki Mochizuki returns to ring and he and Shun regain control and return to working U-T. Shun Skywalker gets the pin on U-T after an Ashla.

Tribe Vanguard (KAGETORA & Yosuke Santa Maria) def. MaximuM (Big R Shimizu & Jason Lee)

Jason Lee and KAGETORA start off with some technical chain wrestling before quickly picking up the pace, Yosuke Santa Maria comes in and Jason Lee wants no part of her usual antics. He tags in Big R Shimizu, who Yosuke Santa Maria appears to want no part of due to his size. She finally works him down after a series of dropkicks before going for a scoop slam, which fails, with Big R falling on top of her and getting a 2 count. The MaximuM duo work over poor Yosuke Santa Maria and isolate her from her teammate. KAGETORA briefly gets in but MaximuM reassert themselves. Tribe Vanguard finally get to give their opponents some payback, first taking out Jason Lee before working over Big R Shimizu. KAGETORA gets the win over one half of the Open the Twin Gate Champions, Big R Shimizu with a Gurumakakarikai.

Don Fuji, Ryo Saito & K-Ness def. Natural Vibes (Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka & Punch Tominaga)

Don Fuji is still bemused with Ryo Saito’s new gimmick, and my favourite gimmick, that of a Young Lion, which he has portrayed since being shaved bald after Dead or Alive 2018. This was largely a comedic affair as most matches involving Saito & Fuji have been since the start of May. There is some nice sequences which usually feature Susumu, and the match has a nice back and forth to it. Ryo Saito gets a surprise win over Susumu Yokosuka with a Premium Bridge.

Post match, Saito gets on the microphone, addresses most of them by ‘senpai’ as the winning team challenge the Open the Triangle Gate champions, Kzy, Genki & Susumu to a title match. The match will take place at Rainbow Gate.

Over Generation (Gamma, Mondai Ryu & Kaito Ishida) def. ANTIAS (Shingo Takagi, Eita & Yasushi Kanda)

This match-ups main function is to advance the rivalry that has set developed between these two warring units. Both units in previous weeks have been telling the others that they should disband, units are important in Dragon Gate. Plenty of heelish behaviour from ANTIAS as expected and Gamma performed his usual bits getting the crowd into it. Kaito Ishida getting the win over Kanda after delivering a Buzzsaw Kick.

This match is skippable if you aren’t that invested, its mainly to further a story which will come to a climax at Rainbow Gate in a 4 vs 4, (possibly elimination) losers disband match.

Semi-Final #1: Masato Yoshino def. Takashi Yoshida

Ever since I’ve been afforded the opportunity to watch Dragon Gate regularly, I’ve always been unimpressed with Takashi Yoshida, but this match up was probably his most enjoyable match I’ve seen yet.

He controlled the match for large portions playing up to the big, bruising heel that he is. Yoshino had some offense but Yoshida would usually regain control not long after.

In the latter stages, this back and forth between them goes quicker, Yoshida lands a spinning side slam. Then he mists Yoshino but only gets a near fall before Yoshino then gets the win after a Speed Star.

Semi-Final #2: YAMATO def. Naruki Doi
Definite MOTN and maybe the whole tournament

Starts off slowly with a Collar x Elbow tie up with both competitors looking to get the advantage before breaking down into a series of chops, a quick burst of offense and a few quick pins. It cools off after its quick sprint and returns to some chain wrestling on the mat, after which Doi is in control as YAMATO rolls outside to recuperate. Upon re-entering the ring, Doi quickly goes for opponent, not allowing him to get a footing in the match, appearing to be targeting the neck and head of YAMATO.

Doi has a tight headlock applied on the mat as YAMATO struggles for the rope break, YAMATO gets his break and lands a dropkick followed by an overhead suplex. Doi comes back into it with a kick, taking YAMATO to his knees, Doi goes for a baseball slide but misses and YAMATO locks in a sleeper. Doi gets out and both men tussle for control again.

YAMATO is on the ascendency but Doi gets him into the corner, trips him with a leg sweep and lands a Cannonball into his downed opponent. The match quickens as YAMATO gets one near fall, but Doi looks to be the stronger after getting numerous near fall attempts. This back and forth has me on edge, and then YAMATO sets up a Ragnarok attempt that lands as the match reaches its climax and YAMATO advances to the finals.