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Dragon Gate: Invasion Uk Preview by Alan Counihan

Last Update: 10/26/2009 4:19 PM
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10/26/2009 4:18 PM
 
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- Dragon Gate: Invasion Uk Preview-
by Alan Counihan




Almost four years ago, Christmas 2005 I believe, my buddy sent me a dvd of Toryumon’s El Numero Uno 2004 show. I had never seen any Toryumon matches prior to this, but had read bits and pieces about the promotion on websites and in magazines. I was always intrigued reading about the likes of CIMA, SUWA and YOSSINO (and curious about what they had against lower case letters). So when I got this DVD I dived right in. Very few wrestling shows have made a first impression on me like this did. Up and down the card there were matches that blew me away. I was wrapt by the storytelling in the Anthony W. Mori tag match, I was in awe of the technical abilities of Milano Collection A.T., my jaw dropped at the speed of YOSSINO and finally in the main event I saw what remains one of my favourite wrestling matches ever – Dragon Kid vs. Shuji Kondo.

I was hooked. Plain and simple. I then started to learn about how Toryumon was now called Dragon Gate and there were all these new stables and a bunch of new guys. So naturally I HAD to check out some DVDs of this “Dragon Gate”. I quickly saw that this was just as good as Toryumonand couldn’t get enough of it. I started watching all the PPV’s and the occasional TV show. Dragon Gate had become a nice addition to my “ProWres fandom”.

Very soon, however, it became more than a “nice addition”, it became the centrepiece. The cause of this was a series of episodes of the TV show (Infinity) in late Spring/early Summer of 2007. It was during this short stretch that I feel the current incarnation of Dragon Gate was born. The spark which ignited this was the return of the first DG trueborn, Shingo Takagi, from his lengthy American learning excursion. Shingo formed a new stable known as New Hazard with his classmate BxB Hulk, the two most promising wrestlers from the following class, Cyber Kong and YAMATOand popular gaijin Jack Evans. NH breathed new life into the product which had been on the verge of looking a wee bit stale in late 2006. The TV show became can’t miss for me (I have probably watched every episode since this point) and the 4 or 5 PPVs each year were MEGA EVENTS on my wrestling calendar.

Things just kept getting better through 2008 and into 2009 and we are now at a point where the company is more popular than ever before (domestically and internationally), doing awesome business and has, in my opinionit’s most complete and exciting roster ever.

And now that roster is coming to the UK to put on an AUTHENTIC Dragon Gate show with the majority of its top stars all in attendance. This is literally something I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams. When the “Dragon Storm” theme that opens every DG show starts playing on November 1st, I’m going to have goosebumps, just like I did when I heard “Grand Sword” signifying the arrival of Kenta Kobashi to the ring a year and a half ago at the NOAH UK show. And as that song preceded an amazing wrestling match, “Dragon Storm” will no doubt precede an amazing wrestling show. A show, which on paper, looks to be as awesome as any wrestling show on UK soil ever.

First up we have former Open The Twin Gate champions Ryo Saito and Genki Horiguchi taking on the British team of Marty Scurrl and Jonny Storm. This match should be a really fun way to kick off the show. The heelish antics of the DG team will no doubt have the crowd very much behind the home wrestlers. Ryo and Genki are smooth as silk in the ring and have tons of great double teams that they can bust out. However these days, they’re just as likely to go complete rudo and Cheat2Win as a great man once said. Scurrl and Storm are both coming into this match at different points of their careers. Scurrl is a relatively new name on the scene, whilst Storm has been around all decade. But both men will have a similar goal on November 1st and that is to prove they can hang with two of the best in the world.

Another young British wrestler will be out to make his name in match number 2. Admittedly I haven’t seen very much Mark Haskins but if he’s being trusted for a match on a show of this level, then he must have something going for him. I can tell you for sure that his opponent has A LOT going for him. KAGETORA has been one of the most fun wrestlers to watch in Dragon Gate this year. He was part of the “lost class” of Toryumon students who were caught in the middle of the DG/Ultimo split and was forced to make a name for himself on the indies (mainly Michinoku Pro) for several years. However at the close of 2008 he re-emerged in DG and has been on a roll ever since. KAGE is one of the most innovative guys in wrestling and he’s sure to bust some unique combos. I’m really looking forward to seeing Haskins in action, as he really seems to be ready to go from all accounts. This should be a good solid match, at the very least.

Two of DG’s most recognisable stars will duke it out third on the card. Dragon Kid and Masato Yoshino have been at war in DGUSA and had a classic on PPV last November back in Japan. I anticipate a match between these two that is every bit as good as their prior outings. One of the main reasons for this is it’s placing on the card. It’s the first BIG main event calibre match of the evening and it’s going on right before intermission. The crowd will be molten. Jaws will be on the floor when Yoshino displays his speed around the ring, mouths will be agape when Kid unleashes his MANY lethal Hurricanrana variations and the roof will threaten to pop off when these two start busting out the big nearfalls. This match will be insane, mark my words.

Following an intermission where we all try to catch our breath, two of DG’s hardest hitters will come out and lariat, forearm, chop and punch the hell out of each other. It’ll be the Pumping Bomber vs. Jumbo No Kachi as Shingo Takagi takes on Susumu Yokosuka. Much like Yoshi and Kid, these two had a great match on the November PPV last year. This is their first singles encounter since that match and I expect it to be tremendous. Susumu is the definition of underrated. Honestly he maybe the most underrated wrestler of the decade. The man has never had a bad match. NEVER!!! Shingo on the other hand is universally recognised as one of the most impressive wrestlers in the world, and several of his matches this year in places like PWG, DGUSA, WXW and of course in his home company are lauded as MOTYC’s. This match could easily be another to add to the list.

And then we have our main event. The match that made Dragon Gate (and Toryumon) famous – the trios tag. The Warriors-5 team of CIMA, Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson take on the World-1 team of Naruki Doi, BxB Hulk and the UK’s own PAC. The expectations are so high for this match that it’s almost impossible for it to live up to them. But it will. These guys are too good at this for it not too. In fact this will EXCEED expectations. This match will blow the mind of everyone in attendance. Simply put, I’ve never looked forward to a live wrestling match more. PAC against The Bucks is the match-up to look out for here. I don’t think they’ve ever been on opposite sides of the ring before and the possibilities of what they’ll do here are mouth watering. This is a match we’ll all remember for years to come.

So there you have it folks. I can’t say much more, other than see ya at the show!!

Alan Counihan


Event Title : Dragon Gate Invasion : UK
Date: Sunday November 1st
Start time : 6.15 pm.
Doors :5.30 pm.
Venue : The Regal, Cowley Road, Oxford.
Online : www.dragongateuk.com

[Edited by WrestlEurope 10/26/2009 4:19 PM]
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