Tokyo, Korakuen Hall
Kotoka: Road to Final
0. Problem Dragon, Kaito Ishida⭕️ (7:13 1sec.) Hyo Watanabe, Yuki Yoshioka❌
1. International 6 Man Tag Team Match: Susumu Yokosuka⭕️, Genki Horiguchi, Jason Lee (9:36 Yokosuka Cutter) Kagetora, Zachary Wentz, Bandido❌
2. Takashi Yoshida⭕️ (4:11 Pineapple Bomber) Big R Shimizu❌
3. Kotoka Road to Final in Tokyo: Don Fujii, Yosuke♡Santa Maria⭕️, U-T (10:51 Neraiuchi) Gamma, K-ness., Kotoka❌
4. Ryo Saito, Punch Tominaga⭕️ (9:39 Punch Clutch) Shingo Takagi, Yasushi Kanda❌
5. 3 Way 6 Man Tag Team Match: YAMATO, BxB Hulk,Flamita vs. Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Ben-K vs. T-Hawk, Eita, El Lindaman
★Ben-K (17:17 Spear) Hulk
★T-Hawk (20:18 Cerberus) Yoshino
6. Open the Dream Gate Championship Match: Masaaki Mochizuki⭕️ (21:27 Crucifix Hold) Kzy❌
The show opened with the contract signing for the main event. Kzy was ready. He wanted to create a change of scenery for fans. Mochizuki was ready to give him some payback for the 3 consecutive losses he has suffered. He won’t go easy on him in his first challenge.
Yoshida said Shimizu was pathetic. He has fallen so far behind Ben-K. Isn’t he ashamed? Doesn’t he feel degraded? He obviously knows nothing about pro wrestling. Maybe he should start over, with Yoshida as his teacher. All he has to do is say “Mr. Yoshida! Please teach me how to wrestle!”. He admitted that though he never bothered to learn how to wrestle himself so he doesn’t know how to teach it.
Kotoka thanked the fans for today. Next month is the end. His final match will be right here in this very building. The Korakuen Hall faithful has always supported him, much like they do for everyone. A lively crowd helps him step his game up every time out. He is going to give everything he has left as his 10 year life as a pro wrestler draws to a close.
Takagi complained loudly to the company about having to wrestle Punch and Saito yet again. These endless matches are pointless. He refused to do it unless something was at stake. Saito complained about Takagi complaining. The fans don’t want to hear him bitch and moan before every match. Stakes? Conditions? Fine. If that is what Takagi wants. If Antias win, it all ends. No more matches. However, if Saito & Punch win, Antias will have to honor certain stipulations. Takagi was hesitant to accept without knowing, but his temper got the best of him. Punch is just a trainee level staff member that can’t even play the music correctly anyway. He wanted to put an end to it so he attacked.
Naturally, he tried to blow off the agreement. He never agreed to anything. Saito told him to keep his excuses to himself. They would take their medicine here. Punch Tominaga pinned the Brave Gate champion, so Kanda should give him a Brave Gate title match. Kanda flew into a rage and shouted a string of obscenities. Punch told him that when they were together in Verserk, Punch was on sound boy duty more than he wrestled. This year has been different. He’s a wrestler, and titles are the only things that matter to wrestlers. He demanded a title shot. Kanda accepted, expecting a quick and easy first title defense.
Now that that was decided, it was time for the other stipulation. Takagi once again tried to blow it off, but Saito forced him to come back into the ring. The other demanded was a simple one. He was challenging Shingo Takagi to a match. A match for the Open the Owarai Gate championship. Takagi wasn’t having it. Kanda lost the match. This has nothing to do with him. Saito questioned his manhood. What kind of man sells out his friends like that? “He lost. None of my business.”. Takagi will happily fight him any time and anywhere but he wants nothing to do with that title. Saito told him if he wants to fight him, he has to fight for the title. GM Yagi was brought in to set up the match. Takagi vehemently protested. No one wants to see him do comedy. Saito polled the fans who gave a resounding yes to the match. Yagi said the fans have spoken. March 6th in Korakuen Hall, Shingo Takagi will challenge Ryo Saito for the Open the Owarai Gate championship. Yagi admitted he also really wanted to see this match happen. He will be cheering for Takagi. If he wins, he will have to proudly wear the Owarai Gate title belt around his waist. Who wouldn’t want to see that? Takagi resigned himself to his fate. He warned Saito that nothing will be different. He won’t change his style or lighten his attack. There will be no comedy. No laughs. If walks away with the title he will seal it away forever so there will never be another match. Saito was fine with that. Finding Shingo Takagi’s funny bone was his job. No no-showing. If he wins, no vacating the title immediately. He will be a proud, fighting champion. Backstage, Takagi wondered if forces were conspiring against him by putting him in this type of match right before the All Japan Champion Carnival. If he wins, he will seal the title, rip the belt into pieces, then burn the pieces until there isn’t a single trace left.
When they were together in Dia HEARTS, Mochizuki always found Kzy to be a loudmouth flake that fluked his way to wins every now and then. He’s gotten strong. He once said that “Flash pins are vital to know. If you get the 3 count with one in a title match, you become champion.” Well. You can also remain champion if you get the three count with one. Whether Kzy continues his ascension and stands next to the other members of his generation, or whether he stays at a level behind them won’t be decided by the result of this match. The fans will decide. Mochizuki thanked him for a thrilling and exciting match. He was really tired so he was leaving Kzy with the task of closing the show. It was his time.
Kzy was devastated. He never expected he would lose like that. Never saw it coming. “Flash pins are vital”. That is why he uses and will continue to use them. He really wanted that title. He wanted to stand right where he is standing now and say “I AM THE CHAMPION”. He wanted to put all of those memories of the noisy weakling Kzy to rest for good. He lost today, but he has to find a way to keep moving forward. He thinks he knows the best way to do it. Pick a fight with his own generation. To do that he has to stand across from a certain duo, not next to them. He announced he was leaving Tribe Vanguard. YAMATO assumed he had just hit his head really hard and wasn’t thinking clearly. It happens in matches like that. He tried to ferry him backstage so he could cool off. Kzy pushed YAMATO away. He was thinking crystal clear. When they started Tribe Vanguard, YAMATO told him it was time to become serious. Today, right here and now, he was as serious as he ever would be. He can’t think of them as big brothers any longer. He has to think of them as his generation rivals. Obstacles to his success. Hulk was crestfallen. He cried out Kzy’s name with pain in his voice. He didn’t realize Kzy felt this way. Kzy 😭 Ohhhh Kzy😭 he wailed. He understood what Kzy was trying to do. He would look forward to battling with him, but warned him that he won’t be as friendly as he is now. YAMATO was going to say the same thing he said when Kzy left Mad Blankey. It was time to pay up on his bar tab. Kzy wasn’t amused. YAMATO got serious. There are 5 or 6 wrestlers considered the “current generation”. Every day they are under a massive amount of pressure to perform and carry the company forward. If Kzy wants to be a part of that elite few, he can meet YAMATO in the ring and show him what he is made of.
Kzy was left to close out the show but Antias came out. Eita was gleeful at this turn of events. Kzy was a real dumbass, wasn’t he? He fails at winning the title and decides the best thing to do was quit his team? You can’t accomplish anything on your own in Dragon Gate. Perhaps, with backup from Antias the result would have been different. Eita was going to give him one last chance. Cover himself and red and black and fight with Antias. They will help him reach that next level. Come to the dark side, everyone knows that is the path that suits him the best.
Kzy responded with an elbow smash to Lindaman. He was quickly subdued by Antias. He blew his chance. Now he would pay for it. Susumu & Horiguchi rushed to his rescue and helped run Antias off. Horiguchi wondered why Antias was so fond of completing killing the room like they always seem to do. He turned to Kzy. He is one step away from where he wants to be. Maybe even just a half step. Backstage, they watched Kzy have the courage to leave Tribe Vanguard to stand on his own. They were here to let him know that they will have his back and provide any support he needs in his quest. T-Hawk told them this was none of their business. Horiguchi replied that as the next Twin Gate challengers..no, as the next Twin Gate champions, it was their business to oppose Antias. In 2018 both Susumu & Horiguchi are celebrating their 20th anniversaries. They were wrestling when T-Hawk & Eita were making mud-pies in their sandbox. If Kzy was going to reach the top, he would need allies. Susumu & Horiguchi learned that from the demise of the Jimmyz. He proposed that the 3 of them team together. Kzy accepted their help. They agreed to team up to face T-Hawk, Eita, & Lindaman at the March 6th Korakuen. Lindaman vowed all three of them would be licking his boots by the end of the match.
Kzy closed out the show. He thanked the fans for staying until the end of what ended up becoming a really long segment. He’s unsure what the future will bring but he will do his best to stay positive and move forward. For now, there is next month. His match, and that other thing. Kotoka’s last match. He hoped the fans were planning on a big send off for Kotoka. He thanked them for coming today. He would be waiting for them in the same time and same place next month.