Category: Kotoka: Road to Final 2018

03/06/2018 Kotoka Road to Final

Tokyo, Korakuen Hall
Kotoka Road to Final – The Ending
1850 Attendance

1. U-T, Shun Skywalker⭕️, Hyo Watanabe, Yuki Yoshioka (4:55 Skywalker Moonsault) Gamma, Problem Dragon, Kaito Ishida, Shachihoko Boy❌
2. ▲K-ness. (4:16 No Contest) Punch Tominaga▲
3. Big R Shimizu⭕️, Ben-K (9:27 Shot-put Slam) Yasushi Kanda❌, Takashi Yoshida
4. Flamita⭕️, Zachary Wentz (10:06 Flam Fly) Jason Lee, Bandido❌
5. Open the Owarai Gate Championship Match: Shingo Takagi⭕️ (8:01 Pumping Bomber) Ryo Saito❌
★Takagi becomes the 41st champion via fan decision
6. T-Hawk, Eita⭕️, El Lindaman (14:14 Biblia) Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka, Genki Horiguchi❌
7. Kotoka Retirement Match: Masaaki Mochizuki, YAMATO⭕️, Yosuke♡Santa Maria, Don Fujii, Kagetora (25:00 Galleria) Kotoka❌, Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, CIMA, Dragon Kid
8. Kotoka⭕️ (2:40 Caldera) Oji Shiiba❌

Kanda & Yoshida attacked both Punch & K-ness., causing the no contest. Kanda raged at Punch. That Brave Gate title belongs to him. It is all Takagi’s fault that Punch has it. The belt will be back where it belongs after Wakayama. Punch called it a gift from Takagi, because deep down he really loves him. He was going to protect the gift that Shingo Takagi gave to him in Wakayama. Kanda was furious and demanded Big Ben come out for the next match.

Takagi refused to cooperate in any of the Owarai Gate division antics, while Saito could barely contain his delight. Takagi wouldn’t budge from the corner to pose for the ceremonial photo, so Saito & Yagi came to him. Saito wondered why he had such a serious face on. He has been stalking Takagi on social media and found he is a fan of Yoshimoto Shinkigeki. He must have been watching it to learn how to be funny! Takagi told him to leave his private life and hobbies out of it. There will be no comedy and no cooperation in this farce. When it came time for the fans to decide, Referee Yagi & Saito encouraged the fans to cheer loudly for Takagi. The poll for Saito was cut short and the title was quickly awarded to Takagi. Takagi flew off the handle at the result and demanded a new poll. That ended with the same result. Winner and new Open the Owarai Gate champion, Shingo Takagi. He blamed it all on Kanda. Someone who couldn’t beat the likes of Punch Tominaga deserves this belt more then him. He tossed the belt at Kanda. Kanda told him the fans have spoken. Put the belt around your waist. The argument escalated until Lindaman mediated. Takagi vowed to never forgive or forget the indignity that Saito, Yagi, and the fans did to him today.
Saito told him to treat the belt with respect, it is his now. He thanked the fans for playing along and putting the title around Takagi’s waist.

Antias kept up the attack in the post-match on Horiguchi & co. Punch came out to make the save. In the midst of the all the arguing, he stopped to congratulate Takagi on his newly won championship. Eita proposed a 4 on 4 match. Kanda demanded the 4th spot on the Antias side. Takagi said it was no spot for a FORMER Brave Gate champion. Kanda replied that it was no spot for the CURRENT Owarai Gate champion. He was going to deal with Punch himself. Kzy interrupted. Who agreed to a 4 on 4 match? Kanda & Takagi can both be in the match. Did they already forget his warning from last month? There are others out there with a bone to pick with Antias. One of them will be their partner, making it 5 on 5. He called out “brother” YASSHI. Last time we saw him, he was a member of Verserk. Seems they don’t exist anymore. No one bothered to even tell him. What the fuck? In Dragon Gate it doesn’t matter if you are good guys or bad guys. Your stablemates are your family. Those mother fuckers gave him the finger and betrayed him. Now those mother fuckers will have to answer to him. T-Hawk wasn’t impressed with his vulgarity. Dragon Gate only has room for real professionals. The pros would show him how things are done. Antias accepted the 5 on 5. GM Yagi was quick to make the match, but he added a stipulation. It would fought under Oedo Style Elimination rules. Lindaman said that it didn’t matter what the rules were. The results would be the same as today.

Oji Shiiba interrupted the first attempt at the retirement ceremony. He couldn’t let his big brother retire before they had a 1 on 1 match with each other. It was one of his dreams and if it didn’t happen here it never would. He pleaded for the match to happen now. Kotoka was deeply moved. He was pretty beat up, but how could he say no? He told his baby brother to bring all he had.

The retirement ceremony began with various gifts from media outlets. Gaora prepared a special DVD of his famous matches for him. Each member of the roster was then given the opportunity to say goodbye.

He shares the same hometown as Horiguchi, so he is sad to see him go. At the same time, he is relieved that he won’t have to see him in constant pain from his injuries. Oji will carry on his legacy, Horiguchi is sure of it.

U-T is an only child. Seeing Kotoka and Oji just now, he wished he had a brother. His family is Dragon Gate. He is small, just like Kotoka. He will strive to carry on the spirit that Kotoka carried as someone who wouldn’t let his size get in his way.

Hulk asked him if he found what he was looking for these past 10 years. He has a new path to look on now. His own path.

Maria asked for a kiss. Kotoka complied with a very long and very deep one.

Flamita presented him with one of his masks and they posed for photos.

YAMATO said that seeing one of his juniors retire before him has made him stop to think. He recalled a time back from around Kotoka’s debut when Kotoka took him drinking at an adult establishment in Ikebukuro. Together they ran up an $800 bill. Between the two of them they didn’t have the cash so they ended up putting it on a card and paying it off in installments. Hopefully they can go drinking again sometime, but maybe not at that type of place…

Kotoka started as a trainee around the time Kagetora came to Dragon Gate. He had doubts that he would make it. He defied Kagetora’s expectations and became a wrestler that was very important to many people. He also hoped to see him again at a place with booze.

Bandido gave him a shout of encouragement.

FUjii was looking forward to getting together with him in Kita Shinchi in Osaka, eating delicious food and talking about the old days together.

Mochizuki talked about seeing younger stars retire many times during his long career. Surely himself & Fujii were next. Fujii first, of course. He extended an open invite to Kotoka to hang out.

Wentz wished him luck and talked about how moved he was by the relationship Kotoka & Oji share.

CIMA talked about the time they went to Russia together for some matches. There were various things related to visas and such that CIMA just had absolutely no idea. He pushed it off on Kotoka and made him do everything. Kotoka really came through there and CIMA is still grateful.

Kid pointed out that he was in his 20th year, while Kotoka was ending his at 10. He isn’t sure if Kotoka learned anything from him. Probably not. He has learned quite a bit from watching him, though. The Kotoka he knows will succeed at whatever new challenges he takes on in his new life.

Gamma was never in the same unit as him. Nevertheless, seeing one of his fellow Dragon Gate wrestlers retire is always sad. Kotoka is still in his 20s. He has a long life ahead of him. Seize that life with both hands, and don’t forget to come back and visit every now and then.

They were in Verserk together, but Problem Dragon had more memories of drinking together than of fighting together. Kotoka has been busy lately so he hasn’t been able to accept any invites lately. Now that he is free from wrestling, he can take it easy and savor his drinks.

Hyo thanked him for helping him out during their short time together. He is a part of the same generation as Oji, so he hopes that they can both work towards the top together. He wished him luck in his new life.

Shun wished he had more time to wrestle and talk with him. He will eat just about anything so he would love it if they could go out together sometime.

In the time between Punch joining the company 12 years ago and Kotoka joining, many trainees came and went. This left Kotoka as his closest junior. He’s done so much for him. He wished him luck in his new life and reminded him that even though he was no longer a wrestler, they would always be friends.

Yoshioka never wrestled him, but he has received a lot of advice from him and he really enjoyed their conversations. Hopefully they will have the chance to have more of them in the future.

Shachi recalled their very brief time together as a part of Windows. Kotoka had such a loud voice at ringside….

Saito will always remember today as the day Kotoka retired and he lost the Owarai Gate title.

Last year, Ishida was injured on the one of the first shows of the year. Kotoka also suffered a bad injury himself but he was always more concerned with how Ishida was doing.

K-ness told him that even though his time as a wrestler was coming to an end, he would always be a part of the Dragon Gate family. He would never be forgotten.

Kotoka’s career was exactly half the length of Susumu’s. Susumu is going to continue to the best he could as a wrestler and wished for Kotoka to do the same in his new path. He actually has a lot more to say but he would send it via LINE later.

Kzy was his first exhibition match opponent and he still remembers how serious his face was. They will still be friends working towards their goals.

Jason gave him a message in Chinese, which Shimizu translated. His translation was dubiously much much longer than the original message. Jason revised his message to a simple “Thank you”.

Shimizu recalled that time that they conspired to join Mad Blankey together, but were betrayed. He is happy they got to fight together in MaxiMuM at the end. He told him that if things ever get rough for him, to cheer himself up by watching Dragon Gate.

Ben-K couldn’t hold himself together. After crying a few days ago in Osaka he had vowed not to cry today. He fought the tears for a long time, fighting them so hard that he accidentally turned the microphone off. He eventually told him he would risk his life for him. They hugged.

Yoshino was amused by the scene. Which one was the senior and which one was the junior? The first unit Kotoka joined was WORLD-1, with Doi & Yoshino. His last unit was MaxiMuM, also with Doi & Yoshino. Their bonds will always be deep. Not as senior or junior anymore, just as friends.

Doi was annoyed at everyone acting so gloomy. This isn’t a funeral! You’re supposed to be cheerful at optimistic at retirements! Kotoka was small, but he excelled. Anyone watching today could see his bravery, his fighting spirit, and his will to succeed. He doesn’t know what Kotoka plans on doing in the future but as long as he keeps those traits he has nothing to fear or cry about. Even though he was retiring today and was no longer a wrestler, Doi ordered him to stay in the MaxiMuM group chat and leave messages every now and then. Maybe he can come do some guest commentary on a DVD or something. Something!

Oji went last. He thanked his brother for granting his wish and fighting him. He had been planning on seeing his big bro off with a happy face on, but the sadness was so strong. He won’t get to achieve his dream of holding the Twin Gate with him, but he did get to go 1 on 1 with him and will always cherish that. He will continue to cheer for and look up to him as little brothers do.

Kotoka admitted he was always bad at speeches, so he prepared this one ahead of time.

Thank you for everything over the last 10 years. When he first decided to retire he had no idea he would get to do it in the main event in Korakuen Hall like this. He owes it all to the fans and to Dragon Gate. Even though he wasn’t the biggest, by believing in himself he managed to achieve a 10 year career in wrestling. If there is anyone out there that is close to giving up or thinks they can’t realize their dreams, he asks them to not give up. Believe in yourself and try your best. You can do it. Even someone of his size was able to live their dreams by not giving up. If he can do it, so can they. It’s time to start on a new challenge. Together, they can walk with excitement and optimism towards the future.

03/04/2018 Champion Gate in Osaka

Osaka, Edion Arena Osaka #2
Champion Gate in Osaka 2018 Night 2
Attendance: 1500

0. U-T⭕️ (5:29 Pinfall) Yuki Yoshioka❌
1. CIMA⭕️, Gamma (11:26 Mad Splash) Don Fujii, K-ness.❌
2. Takashi Yoshida⭕️ (7:38 Fatality) Kaito Ishida❌
3. YAMATO⭕️, Ryo Saito, Punch Tominaga (11:38 Frankensteiner of the Almighty) El Lindaman, Shingo Takagi, Yasushi Kanda❌
4. Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Jason Lee, Big R Shimizu⭕️ (12:07 Shot-put Slam) Yosuke♡Santa Maria, Flamita, Bandido, Zachary Wentz❌
5. Kotoka Road to Final in Osaka 2: Kzy⭕️, Dragon Kid (13:15 Running Elbow Smash) Kotoka❌, Oji Shiiba
6. Open the Twin Gate Championship Match: T-Hawk, Eita⭕️ (15:09 Biblia) Susumu Yokosuka❌, Genki Horiguchi
★1st Defense
7. Open the Dream Gate Championship Match: Masaaki Mochizuki (23:13 Triangle Choke → Referee Stop) Ben-K
★4th Defense

The contract signing for the main event was held at the top of the show. Ben-K only had one thing to say. He was going to open the door for the next generation. Mochizuki enjoyed seeing the hopefulness of youth. He was going to show that youthful power was no match for veteran skills on his way to victory.

Kanda accidentally hit Takagi with a John Woo. Takagi accused him of doing it on purpose. Kanda told him if he had actually held YAMATO like he was supposed to then it wouldn’t have happened. Lindaman tried to play moderator. They have 170-180 matches every year. Mistakes will happen every now and then to even the best. He pleaded for cooler heads to prevail. He also chastised YAMATO for taking advantage of the situation to score a dirty win. YAMATO warned him that Kanda & Takagi were quickly becoming like oil and water. They just don’t go together. Saito stopped their bickering. People were forgetting the most important thing.
On the eve of his Owarai Gate title match, Shingo Takagi still was not funny. He could tell that Takagi had it in him. To achieve his goal of sealing away the Owarai Gate forever, Takagi must surely have something gut-bustingly funny planned.
Punch also gave a quick speech. He was going to prove that yesterday was no fluke. He once again thanked Takagi for the assist. He couldn’t have done it without him. He asked the fans for their support in Wakayama.

Kagetora showed up at ringside decked out in various pieces of MaxiMuM merchandise to second them. They confronted him afterwards. Doi assured the fans that he was not a member of the group. Kagetora said that he has always thought MaxiMuM gear looked really cool so he bought some and came down to watch the match. It was awesome. MaxiMuM rules! He left, leaving MaxiMuM in disbelief.

Kotoka had a message for his brother. He’s gotten so big already. The crowd was behind him today. The chants were for him. He’s going to be just fine. He will be someone like him, no, Oji will surpass him. No doubt about it. When Oji first told him he wanted to join Dragon Gate and become a pro wrestler, he didn’t like the idea. It is hard and it is painful. The thought of his brother being exposed to the things he had to go through was hard for him. From the time he joined all the way until today he has worried about his little brother. Today, their final time as a team, he was relieved and happy. Thank you. Today is his real starting point.
Oji said he work as hard as he can to try and fill the hole that Kotoka will leave behind when he retires on Tuesday. He wasn’t just aiming for the same spot as his brother. He was aiming for no less than the Dream Gate. His brother was leaving in two days, but he has only just begun.

Linda interfered with a box attack to help Eita win. Kzy protested. Were they satisfied with such a win? Eita replied that a win was a win. Kzy said that they talk a big game, but when the time comes they rely on interference and weapons. He was going to personally teach them to respect the dignity of title matches. He asked Horiguchi to be his partner and challenge for the Twin Gate. Eita wondered why he picked the old bald guy but wasn’t going to argue. It’s an easy win and a good way to inflate their defense count.

Mochizuki heaped praise on Ben-K. All he was missing was experience. As he found out today, years and experience are not something to be taken lightly. The Dream Gate isn’t something that can be so readily opened by someone on their first try. YAMATO currently has the record for the quickest title win. If Ben-K puts in the effort, he still has time to topple that record. Mochizuki thinks he can do it.
Shimizu interrupted. He had lost his way earlier this year and it left him in a long losing streak. Meanwhile, Ben-K was on a huge tear. It was a Heaven and Hell difference. His match with Ben-K back in Kobe and watching this match today, he has found his way now. He asked Mochizuki for a title match. Mochizuki admitted it would be a tough match. They have a pretty even record in 1 on 1 matches. He had no problem accepting the challenge. The match was set for 3/21 in Wakayama. Mochizuki complained about having to do another title match with just 3 weeks. He’s 48 years old, after all. He quickly changed his tone to fighting words. He doesn’t know if coming back to do another title defense so quickly is a mistake or not, but Shimizu will get an up close look at what kind of 48 year old Mochizuki is.
Shimizu thanked Ben-K for inspiring him and praised him for his growth this year. Ben-K thanked the fans for their support today and thanked Mochizuki for giving him a shot. He really wanted to open a new door here in Osaka today. He couldn’t do it, but next time he will have revenge. Maybe right here in Osaka. It doesn’t matter what kind of kicks and punches come at him, he won’t give up.

03/03/2018 Champion Gate in Osaka

Osaka, Edion Arena Osaka #2
Champion Gate in Osaka 2018 Night 1
Attendance: 1350

0. Shun Skywalker⭕️ (5:17 Boston Crab) Oji Shiiba❌
1. Dragon Kid⭕️, Kagetora (9:15 Bible) Bandido❌, Zachary Wentz
2. Ryo Saito⭕️ (5:55 Pinfall) Don Fujii❌
3. Kotoka Road to Final in Osaka 1: Shingo Takagi, El Lindaman⭕️ (11:34 German Suplex Hold) CIMA, Kotoka❌
4. Ben-K, Big R Shimizu⭕️ (10:54 Shot-put Slam)Masaaki Mochizuki, Gamma❌
5. Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka, Genki Horiguchi⭕️ (12:10 Backslide from Heaven) T-Hawk, Eita, Takashi Yoshida❌
6. Open the Brave Gate Championship Match: Punch Tominaga (8:34 Punch Clutch) Yasushi Kanda
★Tominaga becomes the 33rd champion
7. Open the Triangle Gate Championship Match: Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Jason Lee⭕️ (23:14 German Suplex Hold) YAMATO, Flamita, Yosuke♡Santa Maria❌
★2nd Defense

Oji came to Kotoka’s aid after the third match, delivering a dropkick to Lindaman. Lindaman was appalled that a green boy would come after a superstar like him. He wasn’t on that level yet. Things will only get worse for him when his brother is no longer around to look after him.
Kotoka gave a speech. He thanked his brother and the Osaka fans. He was inspired to become a wrestler by CIMA. He was so cool. He always aimed to be like him. Being able to team with him here in one of his final matches in Osaka is a dream come true. Tomorrow, he teams with his baby brother for the last time. They haven’t had many chance to team together, but teaming in Osaka tomorrow means both of them get to achieve a shared dream.

Ben-K told Mochizuki he looked worn out. Was he going to be ready for tomorrow? Mochizuki replied that while he was 48, he wasn’t a normal 48 year old. There won’t be a repeat of what happened in Hakata. Ben will learn the hard way what it is like to have a long and grueling Dream Gate title match.

Horiguchi and T-Hawk had a back and forth. Antias had no intention of letting the Twin Gate fall into the hands of two broken down pieces of trash. Horiguchi & Susumu created a poem using the Japanese A-I-U-E-O syllables that doesn’t translate well but said “Antias, Listen up. we are taking the belts and the glory.”

Takagi accidentally hit Kanda with a box attack, leading to the unthinkable result of Punch becoming champion. Kanda was furious. He demanded the result voided. This was all Takagi’s fault! Takagi told him that anyone that loses to someone like Punch only has himself to blame. Kanda demanded a rematch. Punch was now Brave Gate champion, and being brave means you have to accept all challenges. He accepted, and thanked Takagi for his help today. The match was set for 3/21 at Memorial Gate in Wakayama. Punch gave a speech. He has been in the business for 12 years, 6 of them as an active wrestler. This was his first title. He wants to become a brave and strong champion worthy of the belt. He looks forward to the day where he can stand in front of the fans as a legitimate champion.

Yoshino heaped praise on Maria. When this match was made, he didn’t expect to be saying the things he was about to say. Yoshino saw what Maria was really made of today. She said that she was inspired by Kzy and would carry Tribe Vanguard in his absence. Tribe lost today, but Maria shouldn’t be discouraged by that. From here, whether she returns to the old Yosuke Santa Maria or steps forward as the new Yosuke Santa Maria is up to her. Yoshino said he will always happily accept another challenge. Maria, Ben, Shimizu, even U-T. You can’t seize any opportunity you don’t go for.
Losing today hurt. It hurt bad. But the fire inside Maria has only just been lit. Today, tomorrow, the day after that. Yosuke Santa Maria will be the one carrying Tribe Vanguard.

02/26/2018 Kotoka Road to Final

Tottori, Yonago Convention Center
Kotoka Road to Final
500 Attendance

0. Yuki Yoshioka⭕️ (4:58 Boston Crab) Oji Shiiba❌
1. YAMATO, Flamita⭕️, Yosuke♡Santa Maria (14:51 Flam Fly) Gamma, Kagetora, Bandido❌
2. Masaaki Mochizuki, Ryo Saito⭕️ (10:30 SaiRyo Rocket) Jason Lee, Shun Skywalker❌
3. Masato Yoshino, Ben-K⭕️ (13:41 Ben-K Bomb) Susumu Yokosuka, Zachary Wentz❌
4. Kzy⭕️, Genki Horiguchi (13:59 Running Elbow Smash) Dragon Kid, Problem Dragon❌
5. Kotoka Road to Final in Yonago: T-Hawk, Eita⭕️, Yasushi Kanda (15:01 Super Kick) Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Kotoka❌

02/25/2018 Kotoka Road to Final

Aichi, Loisir Hotel Toyohashi
Kotoka Road to Final
Hyo Watanabe Homecoming
900 Attendance

0. Yuki Yoshioka⭕️ (5:26 Boston Crab) Oji Shiiba❌
1. Dragon Kid⭕️, Gamma, Problem Dragon (13:42 Bible) YAMATO, Flamita, U-T❌
2. Genki Horiguchi, Yosuke♡Santa Maria⭕️ (12:41 Neraiuchi) Ben-K, Jason Lee❌
3. Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka⭕️ (17:09 Yokosuka Cutter) Bandido, Zachary Wentz❌
4. Masaaki Mochizuki, Kagetora⭕️ (12:31 Modified Michinoku Driver) Big R Shimizu, Hyo Watanabe❌
5. Kotoka Road to Final in Toyohashi: T-Hawk, Eita⭕️, Shingo Takagi (16:31 Super Kick) Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Kotoka❌

02/24/2018 Kotoka Road to Final

Kyoto, KBS Hall
Kotoka Road to Final
850 Attendancd

0. Shun Skywalker⭕️ (4:55 Pinfall) Yuki Yoshioka❌
1. T-Hawk⭕️, Eita, El Lindaman (11:26 Cerberus) CIMA, Dragon Kid, Don Fujii❌
2. Susumu Yokosuka⭕️ (11:47 Yokosuka Cutter) Yosuke♡Santa Maria❌
3. Kzy⭕️ (9:19 Skayde Schoolboy) Kagetora❌
4. YAMATO, Flamita⭕️ (15:03 Flam Fly) Bandido❌, Zachary Wentz
5. 🔺Ryo Saito (5:00 Time Limit Draw) Genki Horiguchi🔺
5. Masaaki Mochizuki⭕️, Punch Tominaga (11:05 Disqualification) Shingo Takagi❌, Yasushi Kanda
6. Kotoka Road to Final in Kyoto: Masato Yoshino, Ben-K⭕️, Jason Lee (17:56 Ben-K Bomb) Naruki Doi, Big R Shimizu, Kotoka❌

Kagetora suddenly appeared in a Tribe Vanguard shirt, and acted as a second for them in match four. When asked why, he said he simply really liked the design so he bought it at the merch table. YAMATO scolded him for showing up to work drunk. Kagetora assured him this was not the case, thanked him for putting on a great show, then took off with a huge smile on his face.

02/20/2018 Kotoka Road to Final

Hyogo, Kobe Sambo Hall
Kotoka Road to Final

0. Kaito Ishida⭕️, Problem Dragon (7:45 Knee Strike) Shun Skywalker, Yuki Yoshioka❌
1. Dragon Kid⭕️, Gamma (13:27 Bible) Zachary Wentz❌, Bandido
2. Kzy⭕️ (6:46 Skayde Schoolboy) Takashi Yoshida❌
3. Ben-K⭕️ (8:23 Spear) Big R Shimizu❌
4. Shingo Takagi, El Lindaman⭕️ (11:18 German Suplex Hold) Masaaki Mochizuki, Ryo Saito❌
5. Champion Gate Twin Gate & Triangle Gate Skirmish: T-Hawk, Eita, Yasushi Kanda⭕️ (12:51 Ryu’s) Genki Horiguchi, Susumu Yokosuka, Punch Tominaga❌
6. Kotoka Road to Final in Kobe – Osaka Champion Gate Triangle Gate Skirmish: YAMATO, Yosuke♡Santa Maria⭕️, Flamita, U-T (17:23 Leg Roll Clutch) Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Jason Lee❌, Kotoka

Kzy said that even though he lost his Dream Gate match, it only increased his motivations. He left Tribe Vanguard and refused to join Antias because he wants to show everyone what he is capable of on his own. Speaking of Antias, he had a warning for them. He won’t forget that they are coming for him. Maybe there are others that have a bone to pick with them, as well…

Ben-K berated Shimizu. This match wasn’t much trouble for him at all. Maybe this isn’t a slump at all. Maybe he has just lost it. He needs to really think about things if he is going to snap out of it. Actually, since thinking isn’t his strong suit he would be better off just trying to run over anything in his path. Shimizu responded positively. He couldn’t believe someone his junior was talking to him like this, but the match showed just how far apart they are right now. This gave him the perspective he needs to snap out of this losing streak. He thanked him and they shared a hug.

Lindaman mocked Saito. Who was laughing now? Takagi was 100x as funny as Saito! Saito was pleased by that statement. Finally, someone who found Takagi funny. This gives everyone something to look forward to for the Owarai Gate title match. Takagi can beat his ass all he wants. It doesn’t matter how much of a beating he gives. You can’t win the match that way. He was looking forward to a comedic Shingo Takagi. Takagi raged at Lindaman for exposing private secrets like that! Under no circumstances will he participate or cooperate in any comedy bullshit. If he happens to win the title he will immediately seal it away. Destroy it. Burn the belt. It will never be seen or fought for again. The match will be business as usual. Takagi destroying Saito.
He turned his attention to Mochizuki. What kind of champion was he? First he defends against a comedy wrestler, then against…what was his name? Ezy? Why is he taking all of these easy matches and ducking the only real challenger to his title? Why was he refusing to give a match to El Lindaman!? Mochizuki was quick to point out the Ezy pun is the sort of thing that would help him in the Owarai Gate match. Yeah, he was scared of giving Lindaman a title shot. Not because he was afraid of losing. Because of how lopsided and bad the match would be. Lindaman didn’t buy it. Mochizuki needed people like him to raise the value of the title. He wasn’t planning on challenging any time soon but he would consider it if Mochizuki would lick his boots. The two sides brawled to the back.

Maria said that Kzy inspired her. While it was sad that he is gone from the group, it has only lit a bigger fire under her. She will carry Tribe Vanguard to victory at Champion Gate. YAMATO said that with Hulk out injured and Kzy gone, it isn’t an exaggeration to say that Tribe Vanguard will have to rely on the likes of Maria & U-T. Dragon Gate has to. Yoshino complained about bring kissed by Maria 3 times already this month. After a pull apart, Kotoka was left to close the show.
This was his final match in Kobe, the city he has called home for 10 years. There are a ton of memories here. He is happy he got to compete here for some of the best fans in the world. Dragon Gate will continue to spread it’s wings and fly to different corners of the world, but the origin will always be right here in Kobe. The fans and their support are the fuel that drives them. He hopes they will continue to provide that fire even after he is gone.

02/18 Kotoka Road to Final

Saitama, Kawagoe Espoir Isanuma
Kotoka: Road to Final
Attendance: 650

1. Masaaki Mochizuki, Genki Horiguchi⭕️, Bandido (12:32 Backslide from Heaven) T-Hawk, Eita, Takashi Yoshida❌
2. Ryo Saito⭕️, Punch Tominaga (11:29 SaiRyo Rocket) Masato Yoshino, Hyo Watanabe❌
3. Kzy⭕️, Susumu Yokosuka (13:11 Sliding Elbow Smash) U-T❌, Zachary Wentz
4. Ben-K⭕️ (6:20 Sodegarami) Oji Shiiba❌
5. Shingo Takagi⭕️, Yasushi Kanda (13:33 Pumping Bomber) Naruki Doi, Big R Shimizu❌
6. Kotoka Road to Final in Kawagoe: YAMATO, Flamita⭕️, Yosuke♡Santa Maria (14:34 Flam Fly) Dragon Kid, Gamma, Kotoka❌

02/17 Kotoka Road to Final

Toyama, Toyama Seibu Athletic Center in Tonami
Kotoka: Road to Final
450 Attendance

1. Kzy⭕️, Genki Horiguchi, Zachary Wentz (15:48 Running Elbow Smash) Ryo Saito, Bandido, Hyo Watanabe❌
2. Eita⭕️ (6:30 Superkick) U-T❌
3. YAMATO⭕️, Flamita (15:03 Front Cradle) Dragon Kid, Gamma❌
4. Masato Yoshino, Ben-K⭕️ (15:11 Spear) Punch Tominaga, Yosuke♡Santa Maria❌
5. Kotoka Road to Final in Tonami: Shingo Takagi, Yasushi Kanda, Takashi Yoshida⭕️ (15:05 Pineapple Bomber) Naruki Doi, Big R Shimizu❌, Kotoka

02/12 Kotoka Road to Final

Kagoshima, Orocity Hall
Kotoka: Road to Final
Attendance: 350

1. Kzy, Genki Horiguchi⭕️, Zachary Wentz (13:16 Backslide from Heaven) Dragon Kid, Gamma❌, Bandido
2. Susumu Yokosuka⭕️ (12:05 Jumbo no Kachi!gatame) Big R Shimizu❌
3. Eita, Yasushi Kanda⭕️ (9:55 Candy Magic) Masaaki Mochizuki, Kagetora❌
4. CIMA⭕️ (5:37 Mexican Stretch) Hyo Watanabe❌
5. Ryo Saito, Ben-K⭕️ (16:19 Spear) T-Hawk, El Lindaman❌
6. Kotoka Road to Final in Kagoshima: YAMATO⭕️, BxB Hulk, Yosuke♡Santa Maria, Flamita (19:28 Galleria) Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Jason Lee, Kotoka❌

02/11 Kotoka: Road to Final

Fukuoka, Hakata Star Lanes
Kotoka: Road to Final
Attendance: 1600

0. K-ness.⭕️ (5:32 Hikari no Wa) Hyo Watanabe❌
1. Kagetora⭕️, Punch Tominaga (10:18 Kagenui) Big R Shimizu❌, Zachary Wentz
2. Yosuke♡Santa Maria⭕️ (7:11 Inside Cradle) Don Fujii❌
3. Kzy⭕️, Susumu Yokosuka (15:38 Running Elbow Smash) Flamita, Bandido❌
4. Kotoka Road to Final in Hakata – Team Kumamoto vs. Antias: T-Hawk⭕️, Eita, El Lindaman (12:42 Cerberus) Genki Horiguchi, Kotoka❌, Oji Shiiba
5. Ben-K (2:09 Spear) Masaaki Mochizuki
6. Dragon Gate Return Match: CIMA, Gamma, Dragon Kid⭕️ (16:09 Bible) YAMATO, BxB Hulk, Ryo Saito❌
7. Open the Triangle Gate Championship Match: Naruki Doi⭕️, Masato Yoshino, Jason Lee (20:26 V9 Clutch) Shingo Takagi, Yasushi Kanda, Takashi Yoshida❌
✴︎1st Defense for MaxiMuM

Maria said that while she usually in on the receiving end of abuse from Don Fujii, today she was the winner. Kzy inspired her with his performance in his Dream Gate challenge. She promised to make a move of her own in the very near future. This ended up being a challenge for the Triangle Gate with YAMATO & Flamita later.

Ben-K told Mochizuki he looked really tired. He just lost in two minutes to someone who hasn’t even been wrestling for two years. Surely he would have no problems accepting a title challenge from the wrestler that beat him. Mochizuki was taken by surprise by the attack at the bell today. That won’t happen a second time. Ben-K will receive a lesson in how fighting for the Dream Gate is done. The match was set for 3/4 in Osaka.

02/10 Kotoka: Road to Final

Yamaguchi, Kaikyo Messe Shimonoseki
Kotoka: Road to Final

0. Hyo Watanabe⭕️ (5:55 Boston Crab) Oji Shiiba❌
1. Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Jason Lee⭕️ (14:25 Hong Kong style Sunset Flip) Genki Horiguchi, Ryo Saito, K-ness.❌
2. Shingo Takagi⭕️, Yasushi Kanda (11:30 Pumping Bomber) Flamita, Bandido❌
3. Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka⭕️ (14:02 Yokosuka Cutter) Ben-K, Zachary Wentz❌
4. Kotoka Road to Final in Shimonoseki: Masaaki Mochizuki, Kagetora⭕️ (12:09 Kagenui) Big R Shimizu❌, Kotoka
5. T-Hawk, Eita⭕️, El Lindaman (17:35 Superkick) YAMATO, BxB Hulk, Yosuke♡Santa Maria❌

02/07 Kotoka: Road to Final

Tokyo, Korakuen Hall
Kotoka: Road to Final
Attendance: 1850

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❌
★3rd Defense

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, 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.

02/05 Kotoka: Road to Final

Shizuoka, Twin Messe Shizuoka
Kotoka: Road to Final
300 Attendance

0. Hyo Watanabe❌ (4:57 Boston Crab) Oji Shiiba❌
1. Masaaki Mochizuki, Masato Yoshino, Jason Lee⭕️ (14:09 Hong Kong style Sunset Flip) Genki Horiguchi, Kagetora, Problem Dragon❌
2. Eita⭕️ (7:49 Low Blow) Gamma❌
3. Susumu Yokosuka⭕️, Zachary Wentz (14:14 Jumbo no Kachi!gatame) Naruki Doi, Big R Shimizu❌
4. Kotoka Road to Final in Shizuoka: Kzy⭕️, Bandido (15:05 Running Elbow Smash) Ryo Saito, Kotoka❌
5. YAMATO⭕️, BxB Hulk, Flamita (16:59 Frankensteiner of the Almighty) T-Hawk, Shingo Takagi, Takashi Yoshida❌

02/04 Kotoka: Road to Final

Aichi, Okazaki Tatsumigaoka Hall
Kotoka: Road to Final
Attendance: 600

0. Yuki Yoshioka⭕️ (6:28 Frog Splash) Hyo Watanabe❌
1. T-Hawk, Eita⭕️, Shingo Takagi (14:26 Super Kick) Flamita, Bandido, Problem Dragon❌
2. Jason Lee⭕️ (10:11 Hong Kong style Sunset Flip) Takashi Yoshida❌
3. Susumu Yokosuka, Genki Horiguchi⭕️ (14:54 Backslide from Heaven) Gamma❌, Zachary Wentz
4. Kotoka Road to Final in Okazaki: Ryo Saito⭕️, Kagetora (12:10 SaiRyo Rocket) Masato Yoshino, Kotoka❌
5. YAMATO, BxB Hulk, Kzy⭕️ (18:25 Running Elbow Smash) Masaaki Mochizuki, Naruki Doi, Big R Shimizu❌

02/03 Kotoka: Road to Final

Hyogo, Shirasagi Himeji Minato Dome
Kotoka: Road to Final
Attendance: 700

1. YAMATO, BxB Hulk, Kzy⭕️ (13:24 Running Elbow Smash) Masaaki Mochizuki, Ryo Saito, K-ness.❌
2. Naruki Doi, Ben-K⭕️ (13:10 Sodegarami) Problem Dragon, Kaito Ishida❌
3. Susumu Yokosuka⭕️, Genki Horiguchi (14:36 Jumbo no Kachi!gatame) Jason Lee, Shun Skywalker❌
4. Flamita⭕️, Zachary Wentz (15:36 Flam Fly) CIMA, Bandido❌
5. Kotoka Road to Final in Himeji: T-Hawk⭕️, Eita, Shingo Takagi (17:27 Cerberus) Masato Yoshino, Big R Shimizu, Kotoka❌

01/31 Kotoka: Road to Final 2018

Aichi, Tsushima Bunka Hall
Kotoka: Road to Final 2018
Attendance: 500

1. T-Hawk, Eita⭕️, El Lindaman (14:23 Superkick) Masato Yoshino, Dezmond Xavier❌, Zachary Wentz
2. Open the Owari Gate Championship Match: Ryo Saito⭕️ (10:11 Schoolboy) Gamma❌
*Saito succeeds in his 2nd defense via fan decision
3. Susumu Yokosuka⭕️, Jason Lee (13:17 Yokosuka Cutter) Kaito Ishida❌, Bandido
4. Flamita, Genki Horiguchi⭕️ (12:57 Backslide from Heaven) Yasushi Kanda, Takashi Yoshida❌
5. YAMATO, BxB Hulk, Kzy⭕️, Yosuke♡Santa Maria (19:46 Running Elbow Smash) Masaaki Mochizuki, Naruki Doi, Big R Shimizu❌, Kotoka