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Dean Knickerbocker’s Weekend Review in Puroresu

by on June 22, 2011

By Dean Knickerbocker

In general, I would like to avoid providing puroresu results here. There are plenty of phenomenal sites out there such as representingpuroresu or purolove that already do a remarkable job at it. But this past weekend was such a big one to the puro fan that I felt it appropriate to review some of the results and see how they play going forward.


**********

Dragon Gate held their Champions Gate event over two nights (June 18 and 19). During Champions Gate, every Dragon Gate title is defended leading into their annual big Kobe World Hall show on July 17. The first night saw Pac defend the Brave Gate title over Ricochet and Masato Yoshino, YAMATO & Gamma over CIMA, Naruki Doi & BxB Hulk for the Triangle Gate titles. The second night saw Dragon Kid & Pac beat Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi for the Twin Gate titles and Masaaki Mochizuki defending the Dream Gate title over Yasushi Kanda. After his title defense, Mochizuki did receive a beat down from BxB Hulk as the next Dream Gate challenger. This places all the Championships within the control of the new Junction Three faction and leads into the World Show. Currently four matches have been announced and the show appears loaded.

Open the Dream Gate: Masaaki Mochizuki vs. BxB Hulk
Open the Triangle Gate: YAMATO, Masato Yoshino, Gamma vs. Naruki Doi, Yasushi Kanda, Cyber Kong
Open the Twin Gate: Dragon Kid, PAC vs. CIMA, Ricochet
Akira Tozawa vs. Shingo Takagi

At a minimum I would expect Blood Warriors to get one or two of the titles back.

*****

All Japan held a big event on June 19th. This card had to be shuffled due the ongoing Voodoo Murders scandal and as a result of the scandal the show had a lot less buzz going into it. KAI beat Shuji Kondo to win the vacant World Junior Heavyweight Championship. The AJPW junior division has had some of the best matches in Japan this year. KAI has long been on the brink of big career step and I am hoping this win gives him some momentum to keep the great junior matches going. Seiya Sanada & Manabu Soya regained the All-Asia Tag Team Championship from Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi in their fourth encounter. Great Muta & KENSO beat Akebono & Ryota Hama to win the vacant World Tag Team Championship. Even as a huge Muta fan, I might need to fast forward this one when I see it. I can’t imagine anyone thinking it makes sense to continue to put KENSO in main or semi-main event matches.
Finally, Suwama beat Yuji Nagata to retain the Triple Crown. I was really hoping for a Nagata win to maybe give some positive rub to AJPW. But Suwama is a very credible champion and has his next title defense against Champion Carnival runner up Sanada.

Finally, as I noted here, New Japan held their annual Dominion event on 6/18. Of the title matches, I predicted three out of five correctly, but missed the top two. Mascara Dorada won the CMLL World Welterweight Champion from Ryusuke Taguchi. Kota Ibushi won the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion from Prince Devitt. MVP beat Toru Yano to retain the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Even though I predicted otherwise, in not really a surprise, IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Karl Anderson & Giant Bernard beat GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Takuma Sano & Yoshihiro Takayama to retain the IWGP belts and win the GHC belts. And a shocker to me, Hiroshi Tanahashi beat Hirooki Goto to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Goto has won the New Japan Cup multiple times and failed in his resulting title shot. He has been at the top tier of the New Japan heavyweights for almost four years now, but never having won the title. I figured he had paid his dues, and it was his time to win the title, but New Japan obviously felt otherwise. After the main event, Giant challenged Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Tanahashi accepted but he issued a challenge to Bernard and Anderson for the IWGP Tag Team titles. Tanahashi chose Goto as his partner and July will feature both title matches. The other big news coming out of Dominion is that Prince Devitt will get a rematch with Kota Ibushi on an upcoming DDT Promotion show.
So those are the big stories coming out of the weekend. All four shows sound excellent and when they surface I may have reviews of them here. I also will be back soon with my look at where things may stand halfway through the year for the Tokyo Sports Awards.

Cheers
Dean
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