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#MustWatchMonday: Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Shingo Takagi (Dragon Gate King of Gate Tournament 2017)


While NJPW has been holding their annual Best of the Super Juniors tournament for the past couple of weeks, Dragon Gate's tournament, the King of Gate, has been happening for the past month or so. The format of the tournament isn't too different to the G1 Climax or the BOSJ; wrestlers are split into blocks and go round robin in order to score points. While NJPW's tournaments only have two blocks, Dragon Gate has four. The semifinals has the winners of A and B going against each other, and the same for the C and D blocks. This is done most likely to prevent too many intra-stable matches from occurring. The winners of the semifinals then fight for the right to be called the winner of the tournament, who will get to challenge for the Open the Dream Gate Championship at Dragon Gate's Kobe World PPV.

The participants in this tournament range from established veterans like CIMA or Don Fujii, who are always out to show that they can still hold their own (and they really do), to young wrestlers barely out of their rookie years like Ben-K or Takehiro Yamamura. Dragon Gate places a lot of emphasis on being able to go in the ring, so less capable wrestlers such as Punch Tominaga or Mondai Ryu aren't included in these proceedings.

Today's featured match will be from the first night of the tournament held in Korakuen Hall. For the first time since their widely acclaimed match in the Gate of Destiny of 2015, Masaaki Mochizuki and Shingo Takagi face off in a singles match.



Find the time to watch the match above, as Dragon Gate is really good with continuity; both in their stories and with their matches.


The brawling begins even before Shingo makes it into the ring. After getting shoved by Shingo during a brief staredown, Mochizuki goes straight into a middle rope enziguri, and the match gets underway. It should be noted that Mochizuki is currently 47 years old, and yet can seem to pull great match after great match out of his hat at a whim.

However, Takagi dominates for most of the match here, being able to survive Mochizuki's initial onslaught to gain control of the pace. But Mochizuki gets by using sheer power of will, and wins the match after an elbow counter into a roll-up. Despite the respect Mochizuki has from the fans and his fellow wrestlers, he was clearly the underdog here, but was able to scrape together the win.

What did you think of the match? Would you be willing to watch other matches from the tournament? Leave a comment!


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Brandon Sy is a PhD student in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics currently based in Sydney. Since he wasn't allowed to watch wrestling as a kid, he's been overcompensating ever since. Despite being a huge fan of Japanese wrestling, he still holds a soft spot in his heart for WWE's Kane. He's good for recommending matches from pretty much anywhere, whether it be Japan, Europe, the US or Mexico. He'd be ecstatic if you watched Dragon Gate though.

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