The Final Gate (2018) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) and GAORA TV event promoted by Dragon Gate. The event took place on December 23, 2018, in Fukuoka at the Fukuoka International Center and it was the twelveth annual event under the Final Gate. The event aired on GAORA and Dragon Gate Network streaming service.
The event included two championship matches with Natural Vibes (Kzy, Genki Horiguchi and Susumu Yokosuka) defending the Open The Triangle Gate Championship against R.E.D (Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida and Yasushi Kanda) and a four-way tag team elimination for the vacant Open The Twin Gate Championship involving Big Ben (Ben-K and Big R Shimizu), Tribe Vanguard (Kagetora and YAMATO), Speed Muscle (Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi) and Mexablood (Bandido and Flamita).
Production[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
The Gate of Destiny (2018) aired live through Dragon Gate's internet streaming site, Dragon Gate Network, with Japanese language commentaries. The Japanese commentary was provided by Katsuya Ichikawa. The event also aired on tape delay on Japanese TV Gaora Sports to be launched in Dragon Gate's ~ Infinity ~ Series.
The full match card of the event was announced on December 9, containing two title matches for the Open The Twin and Triangle Gate Championships and a Lucha de Apuestas, or "bet matches" mask vs. hair match.
Storylines[edit | edit source]
The Gate of Destiny 2018 featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
In the Open The Brave Gate Championship match, Dragon Kid would face Eita in a mask vs. hair match. Earlier in the year, Eita and Kid started during the 2018 King of Gate, where Eita injured Kid on purpose, leading to him forfeiting the rest of his matches in the King of Gate and even faced off in a losing unit disband match between Kid's Over Generation stable and Eita ANTIAS' stable, which ANTIAS won after Eita pinned Kid for the win. On July 22 at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival, Eita defeated Kid to win the Open The Brave Gate Championship and afterwards took off his mask. Over the next months, Eita and Kid faced off in many matches, where Kid defeated Eita to regain the title on September 24 at Dangerous Gate, and during Kid's trainee Dragon Dia debut on November 6. Two days early, at Gate of Destiny, Eita attacked Kid, after his title defense against Bandido and went for his mask until Punch Tominaga made the save. During this time, Kid joined MaxiMuM, who had been feuding with Eita's R.E.D (previously known as ANTIAS). On November 23, Eita attacked led to an R.E.D assault on Kid and stole his Open The Brave Gate Championship title and claimed that the title would be worthless as long Kid held it. Later that night, Kid costed Eita's match after hitting him with the red box. After a brawl between the two, General Manager Takayuki Yagi separated them and proposed a mask vs. hair match, between the two. Eita refused to take part in the match and suggested to face Kid for his Open The Brave Gate Championship and Yagi's, but Kid reminded that he was the champion. Yagi gave him three choices to take part in the match, start over under his real name and on rookie attire of black trunks, or both. Eita would be forced to accept the match and it was set for the event. On December 4, Kid and Eita faced off in a six-man tag team match, where Kid teamed with Bandido and Flamita and Eita with his R.E.D stablemates Ben-K and Daga. Kid would a score a direct pinfall over Eita and afterwards Eita warned him that he would have in place to make sure he would lose his mask.
In the Open The Twin Gate Championship match Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk and YAMATO) made their second title defense against Big Ben (Ben-K and Big R Shimizu). On July 22 at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival, Hulk and YAMATO defeated Ben-K and Shimizu to win the Open The Twin Gate Championship. Shortly after, Big Ben would turn on MaxiMuM to join ANTIAS (later renamed to R.E.D) on different occasions. On December 2, Tribe Vanguard faced R.E.D in a Captains Fall Elimination match, where Hulk captain Tribe Vanguard and Shimizu captain R.E.D. Shimizu would score the win for R.E.D after pinning Hulk. Afterwards, Shimizu taunted them and demand a rematch for titles, claiming that they lost them because of being part of MaxiMuM. Hulk would ask the General Manager Takayuki Yagi to make the match official at Final Gate. On December 19, the Open The Twin Gate Championship was declared vacated after Hulk was sidelined with a neck injury, which he had suffered during a show on December 18 and instead was announced a four-way tag team elimination for the vacant Open The Twin Gate Championship involving Big Ben (Ben-K and Big R Shimizu), Tribe Vanguard (Kagetora and YAMATO), Speed Muscle (Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi) and Mexablood (Bandido and Flamita) for the vacant titles.
On December 4, R.E.D (Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida, Yasushi Kanda and Big R Shimizu) faced Natural Vibes ("brother" YASSHI, Kzy, Genki Horiguchi and Susumu Yokosuka), where Sakamoto scored a direct pinfall on Kzy. Afterwards, Sakamoto on his behalf, Kanda and Yoshida challenged Kzy, Horiguchi and Yokosuka to a match for the Open The Triangle Gate Championship and accepted, despite Sakamoto not knewing their names. General Manager Takayuki Yagi tried to make the match at Final Gate, but Sakamoto didn't if he could be at the title match. Yagi warned him he could cancel the match, but Sakamoto remebered he was free that day and the match was made official for the event.
Event[edit | edit source]
|Commentators||Katsuya Ichikawa (lead commentator)|
|YAMATO (first and second match) (guest commentator)|
|U-T (second match) (guest commentator)|
|Super Shisa (third match) (guest commentator)|
|Ryo Saito (fourth match) (guest commentator)|
|Don Fujii (Break and fifth match) (guest commentator)|
|Susumu Yokosuka (main event) (guest commentator)|
|Ring Announcer||Naoto Kikuchi|
|Backstage interviewers||Katsuya Ichikawa|
Preliminary matches[edit | edit source]
The pay-per-view opened with Katsuya Ichikawa and YAMATO on commentary, followed by the match card of the event. Followed by the event's tagline and an introduction of the title matches.
In the first official match for the show, Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, Shachihoko BOY and Dragon Dia defeated Super Shisa, U-T, "brother" YASSHI and Mondai Ryu, with Ishida performing the Tiger Suplex on Ryu for the win. After the match, U-T tried to attack Ishida, but was separated by his teammates.
Next, it was an eight-man tag team match between Mochizuki Dojo (Shun Skywalker, Hyou Watanabe, Yuki Yoshioka and Kota Minoura) against the veteran team of Ryo Saito, Don Fujii, Gamma and K-ness, with Shun performing the Skywalker Moonsault on Saito for the win. Before the match, U-T replaced YAMATO on commentary. After the match, Shun confronted U-T on the commentary table. Super Shisa would replace U-T on commentary.
In the third match, Masaaki Mochizuki faced DAGA. The match ended after Mochizuki performed an Hurricanrana for the win. After the match, "Hollywood" Stalker Ichikawa questioned Mochizuki having a singles match on the show. He remembered next year was the company's 20th anniversary and in multiple singles matches with Mochizuki, he never won one, so he demanded a match. Mochizuki gave him credit for demanding the match, but he refused. Ichikawa demanded the referee to start the bell and Mochizuki defeated Ichikawa in the fourth match of the show, after submitting him with a reverse Figure Four leglock. Afterwards, Mochizuki praised Ichikawa for the match.
In the next match, Natural Vibes (Kzy, Genki Horiguchi and Susumu Yokosuka) defended the Open The Triangle Gate Championship against R.E.D (Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida, and Yasushi Kanda). Before the match, it was shown a promo about the title match. Ryo Saito replaced Super Shisa on the commentary table. The match would end with Sakamoto performing the Plus Driver on Kzy to become the new champions. After the match, Yoshida berated Natural Vibes and proclaimed that R.E.D would win their matches later that night.
The event would enter in a break and Don Fujii replaced Ryo Saito on commentary, and it was shown a built of the rivalry between Dragon Kid and Eita leading up to the event. Japanese idol group Batten Showjo Tai would perform their latest song "Yoka Yoka Dance", the event would return shortly after.
The semi-main event featured a four-way elimination tag team match between Big Ben (Ben-K and Big R Shimizu), Tribe Vanguard (Kagetora and YAMATO), Speed Muscle (Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi) and MexaBlood (Bandido and Flamita) for the vacant Open The Twin Gate Championship. It was shown a promo for the title match, before the official match. Both eliminations featured Kagetora pinning Yoshino and Bandido respectively with the Kagenui. At the end of the match, Ben-K performed the Ben-K Bomb on Kagetora and Shimizu performed a Shot-put Slam to become the new champions.
Main Event[edit | edit source]
The main event featured a Lucha de Apuestas ("Bet Match"), Mask vs. Hair match, between Dragon Kid and Eita. Susumu Yokosuka replaced Don Fujii on the commentary table. Before the title match, it was displayed a promo about the title match, as part of the built up to the match. In the final moments of the match, Kid performed an Hurricarrana for the top rope for a two count, Kid would try to perform an Ultra Hurricanrana, but Eita counter it to a Murder Kick and then another Murder Kick for two near falls, Eita would hit him with a box and performed the Numero Uno on Kid, but he managed to get to the ropes. Eita tried to perform the Hidalgo, but Kid tried to counter with the Bible, but Eita pulled him away tried to hit a Lariat, but Kid hit him with the Bible. Kazma Sakamoto would hit Kid with a box and Eita hit him with the Murder Kick, Big R Shimizu would try to Kid with a box, but Naruki Doi with Shimizu with a box and then Eita twice, Kid followed with the Ultra Hurricanrana for the win.
After the match, Eita refused to have his hair shaved, claiming that Kid cheated due to some box attacks from Doi, so he wasn't obligated to cut his hair. He tried to get out of the arena with the rest of R.E.D, but the Dragon Gate Roster would prevent them from trying to leave the arena and Eita ended up getting to the ring. Kid would call out an injured Punch Tominaga to cut his hair. Kid made the decision to Tominaga cut Eita's hair first due to Eita shaving Tominaga's hair in recent months. Tominaga said that Kid's win cheered him up, he would start to cut Eita's hair with a scissor and Kid finished it with hair clippers. Afterwards, Kid challenged Eita to come at him anytime. Eita strangely started to praise Kid, Shimizu wondered what he was saying, but Eita kicked him. he picked up the Open The Brave Gate Championship and said it was time to give it back to the rightful owner, afterwards he smashed the title in his head and destroyed the belt. He attacked Tominaga's injured leg. He said that losing his hair didn't matter and R.E.D controlled Dragon Gate and he would destroy Dragon Kid, Punch Tominaga, and all the wrestlers. Kid thanked the fans and his MaxiMuM stablemates for their help in his win. He's been Dragon Kid for 21 years and he was happy to continue in the next year and also remembered about the company's 20th anniversary and things would be getting even more exciting and hopes the fans would keep coming to see them.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
After the conclusion of the event, R.E.D became the fastest stable in Dragon Gate history to win every championship available in the promotion. Three days later, Dragon Gate Entertainment President Toru Kido, announced a television deal with MBS TV, beginning on January 9 with the creation of a new program called Cutting Edge Battle Dragon Gate. Each episode will be 30 minutes long and will air at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. The Program's first episode would debut with the match between Masato Yoshino and PAC for the Open the Dream Gate Championship on December 4.
Following the event, Eita would change the name of his finishing move from Murder Kick to Imperial Uno. Also, it would start the Rookie Ranking Tournament where Shun Skywalker, Yuki Yoshioka, U-T and Kaito Ishida would pass into the semifinals, Ishida would defeat U-T while Skywalker would defeat Yoshioka to pass into the finals. Dragon Dia was unable to compete in the 5th until 7th place decision match due to being sidelined with influenza and receive a forfeit loss and finishing at 7th place. Hyou Watanabe would defeat Kota Minoura to finish in the 5th place. Skywalker would defeat Ishida to win the tournament. While Kzy would challenge PAC for the Open the Dream Gate Championship on February 10. PAC would defeat Kzy on January 10, after that Shun Skywalker challenged PAC, the title match would be official to take place at Champion Gate in Osaka, while YAMATO would ask KAI to join Tribe Vanguard and he accepted YAMATO's offer.
Following this, Dragon Gate would announce another event in Hong Kong called Dragon Storm in Spring 2019, taking place on May 15 and May 16. Also, the Dragon Gate Network Awards winners would be with Eita being awarded the MVP Award, while also being awarded the Match of the Year with Naruki Doi, YAMATO and BxB Hulk the Best Tag Team Award, while Shun Skywalker the Rookie of the Year.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Case Lowe in his review of the event for Voices of Wrestling praised the rookies and Kzy for his performance, while the main event was "disappointing", but also said "The Twin Gate match, if anything, is must-watch material. Mochizuki vs. Daga, the Triangle Gate, and for story purposes".
Results[edit | edit source]
|1||Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, Shachihoko BOY and Dragon Dia defeated Super Shisa, U-T, "brother" YASSHI and Mondai Ryu||Eight-man tag team match||9:03|
|2||Mochizuki Dojo (Shun Skywalker, Hyou Watanabe, Yuki Yoshioka and Kota Minoura) defeated Ryo Saito, Don Fujii, Gamma and K-ness||Eight-man tag team match||13:25|
|3||Masaaki Mochizuki (with Kota Minoura, Hyou Watanabe, Shun Skywalker and Yuki Yoshioka) defeated DAGA (with Big R Shimizu)||Singles match||16:16|
|4||Masaaki Mochizuki (with Kota Minoura, Hyou Watanabe, Shun Skywalker and Yuki Yoshioka) defeated "Hollywood" Stalker Ichikawa||Singles match||2:16|
|5||R.E.D (Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida and Yasushi Kanda) defeated Natural Vibes (Kzy, Genki Horiguchi and Susumu Yokosuka) (c) (with "brother" YASSHI)||Six-man tag team match for the Open The Triangle Gate Championship||16:57|
|6||Big Ben (Ben-K and Big R Shimizu) (with DAGA, Kazma Sakamoto, Yasushi Kanda and Takashi Yoshida) defeated Tribe Vanguard (Kagetora and YAMATO) (with U-T), and Speed Muscle (Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi) (with Jason Lee and Kaito Ishida), and MexaBlood (Bandido and Flamita)||Four-way elimination tag team match for the vacant Open The Twin Gate Championship||26:21|
|7||Dragon Kid (with Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi) defeated Eita (with Ben-K, Big R Shimizu, DAGA, Kazma Sakamoto, Yasushi Kanda and Takashi Yoshida)||Singles match Lucha de Apuestas, mask vs. hair match||26:13|
Four-way elimination tag team match[edit | edit source]
|Elimination||Wrestler||Team||Eliminated by||Elimination move||Time|
|1||Masato Yoshino||Speed Muscle||Kagetora||Kagenui||18:02|
|3||Kagetora||Tribe Vanguard||Big R Shimizu||Shot-put Slam||26:21|
|Winners:||Big Ben (Big R Shimizu and Ben-K) (New Open The Twin Gate Champions)|