The Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival (2020) or often referred to as Kobe World was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event promoted by Dragon Gate (DG). The event took place on Novmeber 15, 2020, at the World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Japan. It was the 17th Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival, which is Dragon Gate's biggest annual event and it's similar to NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom. The event was also available in their streaming service Dragon Gate Network in both English and Japanese commentaries and was broadcasted live at SKY PerfecTV! as pay-per-view (PPV).
The event was originally scheduled to take place on July 26, 2020, but the event was potsponed in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only to be rescheduled on August 15, with the event, set to take place on November 15, alongdside the Gate of Destiny, that took place on November 3, marking the first time the event was held in autumn in the promotion's history. At the end of February, Dragon Gate began holding shows with no audience and only essential staff present, with all Dragon Gate programming being relocated to the Kobe Lapis Hall in May, before resuming shows in July with an limited audience. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event had some restrictions in the attendance, after the Japanese Government lifted the State of Emergency.
The show was headlined by Eita defending the Open The Dream Gate Championship against Shun Skywalker. Another title match for the show featured Dragon Gate (Kota Minoura and YAMATO) facing R.E.D (BxB Hulk and KAI) for the vacant Open The Twin Gate Championship. Two other title matches also took place on the show with R.E.D (Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida, and SB KENTo) defending the Open The Triangle Gate Championship against Dragon Gate (Ben-K, Yosuke♡Santa Maria, and U-T) and Toryumon (Dragon Kid, Kagetora, and Masato Yoshino) and Keisuke Okuda defending the Open The Brave Gate Championship against Kaito Ishida in a rematch from the Gate of Destiny.
Production[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
Since 2004, Dragon Gate began annually producing shows on July in the World Memorial Hall, in Kobe, Japan becoming Dragon Gate's premier annual event similar to what WrestleMania is for WWE and American professional wrestling and Wrestle Kingdom is for NJPW and Japanese professional wrestling. The event celebrates the anniversary of the company after it was formed during the last Vo Aniversario. The Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival 2020 was officially announced on December 2019. The would air live through Dragon Gate's internet streaming site, Dragon Gate Network, and Nico Nico Douga, with Japanese language and English language commentaries. The Japanese commentary was provided by Katsuya Ichikawa while the English commentary was provided by Jae Church and Ho Ho Lun. The event also aired on tape delay on the Japanese TV Gaora Sports to be launched in the Dragon Gate's ~ Infinity ~ Series. The event also was broadcasted live at SKY PerfecTV! as a pay-per-view (PPV) event. The full card of the event was announced on November 5.
The event featured a special appearance by Dragon Gate alumni TARU, who made his return to the promotion for the first time in sixteen years. In February 1998, TARU made his debut in Toryumon Mexico, and later made some appearances in American promotion in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), as part of working relationship between Toryumon and WCW. Afterwards, TARU made his debut in Toryumon Japan, joining the Crazy MAX stable. Soon after, Crazy MAX started to become the most popular stable in the promotion, during which Crazy MAX revolutionized the promotion. Toryumon Japan's successor Dragon Gate reached a very intriguing predicament by the end of 2004 and going into the start of 2005 as several key wrestlers left, either by their own or by being fired, with TARU and his Crazy MAX stablemate SUWA being one of them.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic[edit | edit source]
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, other wrestling promotions began to cancel or postpone their shows in an attempt to prevent further spreading of the COVID-19 virus. On March 1, Dragon Gate began canceling events starting with the Glorious Gate tour between March 3 and March 8 and the March 13th show, including a show on March 5 in the Korakuen Hall. Initially, it was announced that the Glorious Gate would be resumed on March 14, however, the tour ended up being canceled, following the recommendations by the Japanese Ministry of Health regarding the coronavirus pandemic. On March 11, it was announced that the Memorial Gate in Wakayama would be postponed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 22, Dragon Gate began holding shows behind closed doors with no audience and only essential staff present. Four days later, Dragon Gate canceled more events from March 28 through March 31. This led to on March 30, Dragon Gate canceling more events from April 4 through April 8. On April 8, Dragon Gate canceled more events including 2020 Dead or Alive, following Japan's declaration State of Emergency. On May 11, Dragon Gate canceled more events from June 2 through June 10. From May 15 to June 7, Dragon Gate held the entire 2020 King of Gate behind closed doors with no audience and only essential staff present, leading all Dragon Gate programming being relocated to the Kobe Lapis Hall. The format of the tournament was changed to a singles elimination tournament for the first time in four years, due to COVID-19. On June 3, Dragon Gate canceled all of its June events between June 13 through June 29. Six days later, it was announced that the July 9 event would also be canceled. On June 12, Dragon Gate announced the rules and regulations for fans who attend Dragon Gate events. On June 17, it was announced that the Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival would also be postponed. It was also announced that starting on July 4, Dragon Gate would be resuming shows with fans after the Japanese Government lifted the State of Emergency. On August 15, it was announced that the 2020 Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival would be rescheduled to take place on November 15. On October 12, it was announced that Taro Nohashi and Toru Owashi would be appearing at the event.
Changes in participation[edit | edit source]
The card underwent changes due to issues that arose related to the ongoing pandemic. On November 14, it was announced that Jason Lee, Shuji Kondo, and Último Dragón would be pulled out of the event as a precautionary measure due to registering a high fever. In the battle royal for the show, Bokku R Shimizu and Punch Tominaga would be pulled out of the match, with Shimizu replacing Genki Horiguchi in the third match teaming with Ryo Saito against Madoka Kikuta and Taketo Kamei. Horiguchi replaced Último Drágon in the fourth match, while Tominaga replaced YAMATO in the sixth match. In the Open The Triangle Gate Championship match, Shuji Kondo was replaced by a mystery member. Due to Lee missing the event, the Open The Twin Gate Championship was declared vacated, with YAMATO replacing Lee, in the match to crown the new champions.
Storylines[edit | edit source]
The Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival 2020 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.
Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival (2020) was main evented by Eita defending the Open The Dream Gate Championship against Shun Skywalker. Shun Watanabe joined the Dragon Gate dojo in April 2016, before undergoing to a gimmick change in November, in which he renamed himself to "Shun Skywalker". After spendign his time in the midcard, Skywalker began being pushed in November 2017, leading him in March unsuccessfully challenging PAC for the Open The Dream Gate Championship. Afterwards, Skywalker entered in a losing streak, before enventually leaving to an indefinite learning excursion to Mexico, where he worked mostly for Internation Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG). On November 3, at Gate of Destiny, Eita made his first successfull title defense against Kzy. Following the match, Shun Skywalker made his surprise return to Dragon Gate, confronting and challenging Eita to a title match, a feat that he repeated on November 5, leading Dragon Gate's General Manager Takayuki Yagi to make the match official at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival. Leading to the match, Skywalker stated he if was unable to defeat Eita for the Open The Dream Gate Championship, he would be returning to Mexico.
Also on November 3 at Gate of Destiny, Dragon Gate (Jason Lee and Kota Minoura) successfully defended the Open The Twin Gate Championship against Toryumon (Genki Horiguchi and Susumu Yokosuka). After the match, R.E.D members BxB Hulk and KAI attacked Lee and Minoura and challenged them to a title match at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival. KAI had previously turned on Dragon Gate at Dangerous Gate during the six-way steel cage survival match.
Since May 2020, Kaito Ishida tried to conciliate with Keisuke Okuda and get him to join R.E.D on multiple occasions, but was turned down each time. On August 12, R.E.D began teasing a new member, with his identity being kept in secret under the disguise of Dr. Muscle, known as the Yellow Masked Demon, respectively. Afterwards, Dragon Gate members began suspenting Keisuke Okuda, especially his best friend Ben-K to be traitor within them, despite Okuda denying it. On September 9, R.E.D teased that they would reveal the Yellow Masked Demon on October 7. At the October 7 event, Dragon Gate (Ben-K, Kota Minoura, Kzy and YAMATO) faced R.E.D (BxB Hulk, Eita, KAI and Kaito Ishida). Keisuke Okuda interfered during the match, revealing himself to be Yellow Masked Demon. Afterwards, Kaito Ishida urged Okuda to attack Ben-K, leading Okuda to turn on Ishida instead, causing Dragon Gate to win the match. Following the match, Okuda revealed to be on Dragon Gate's side and challenged Ishida to a match for the Open The Brave Gate Championship. This led on November 3 at Gate of Destiny, Okuda defeating Ishida to become the new champion. Following the match, in a post-match interview, Ishida who was not satisfied with the referee stopping the match, confronted and challenged Okuda to a rematch, leading Okuda to accept under the condition that their match would the first match of the show, due to Ishida previously disrepcting Okuda's Dragon Gate stablemate Yosuke♡Santa Maria, claiming the he was only worthy of the opening match.
On October 25, Dragon Gate (Ben-K, Yosuke♡Santa Maria, and U-T) faced Toryumon (Dragon Kid, Kagetora, and Shuji Kondo) in a winning effort. Afterwards, both teams expressed their intentions of challenging for the Open The Triangle Gate Championship. The following day, it was announced that the winners of the Open The Triangle Gate Championship match between R.E.D (Diamante, Kazma Sakamoto and Takashi Yoshida) and Team Boku (Naruki Doi, Ryotsu Shimizu and Punch Tominaga). On November 1, it was announced that the Open The Triangle Gate Championship would be declared vacated after Diamante was sidelined with an injury. Two days later, at Gate of Destiny, Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida and R.E.D's newest member Kento Kobune defeated Doi, Shimizu and Tominaga to become the new Open The Trinagle Gate Champions, confirming the three-way match for the titles at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival. Leading to the match, Kobune renamed himself to "SB KENTo" in short S.B.K, as part of his addition to R.E.D.
In October, Dragon Dia began a losing streak with R.E.D, during which Eita teased a "secret weapon" for the stable on October 4. Three days later, Dia faced R.E.D's Takashi Yoshida in a match. During the match, R.E.D's secret weapon was revealed to be R.E.D's newest member "Dia Inferno", who proceeded to attack Dragon Dia, ripping his mask. On October 17, Último Dragón began trying to bring TARU back to the promotion, leading on November 3 at Gate of Destiny, TARU returning to Dragon Gate in a pre-taped vignette, confirming that he would be appearing at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival.
Event[edit | edit source]
|English Commentators||Jae Church|
|Ho Ho Lun|
|Katsuya Ichikawa (lead commentator)|
|Dragon Kid (first and second match)|
|Keisuke Okuda (third match)|
|Gamma (fourth match)|
|Genki Horiguchi (fifth match)|
|Ryo Saito (sixth match and break)|
|Susumu Yokosuka (break and seventh match)|
|Yasushi Kanda (semi-main event)|
|Masaaki Mochizuki (main event)|
|Ring Announcer||Naoto Kikuchi|
|Backstage interviewers||Katsuya Ichikawa|
Preliminary matches[edit | edit source]
The pay-per-view opened with an introduction of the match card of the event and the title matches.
The first match of the show featured Keisuke Okuda defending the Open The Brave Gate Championship against Kaito Ishida. Before the match, it was shown a promo about the title match. The match ended with Okuda submtting Ishida with the "Doujime Sleeper" to retain his title.
Next, it was a eight-man battle royal, in which the of the match would earn the right to ask for the in-ring related wish of their choosing between Diamante, Gamma, Ho Ho Lun, H.Y.O, Jimmy, Konomama Ichikawa, Mondai Ryu, Shachihoko BOY, and Super Shisa. The first wrestler to be eliminated from the match was Konomama Ichikawa, being pinned by Gamma, after failling to perform the Diving splash. Ho Ho Lun was the second wrestler to be eliminated, after being thrown over the top rope by Diamante and H.Y.O. Diamante and Jimmy were the following wrestlers to be eliminated, after being pinned by Gamma, Shachihoko BOY, and Super Shisa, while Diamante was applying the Surfboard hold on Jimmy, Diamante after being pinned by Gamma and Jimmy by BOY and Shisa. Afterwards, Shisa was eliminated by BOY, after being pinned after a School Boy, which was followed by Gamma, who was also pinned in the same way by H.Y.O. Afterwards, BOY and Ryu began double teaming on H.Y.O. However, while BOY was holding in the ropes, Ryu attempted to attack H.Y.O, but ended up accidentally eliminating BOY. H.Y.O would win the match after performing the Anatolia into a cradle on Ryu to win the match. After the match, H.Y.O announced that he was going to reveal his title opportunity in a later date.
The third match of the show featured Madoka Kikuta and Taketo Kamei facing Team Boku (Bokku R Shimizu and Ryo Saito). The match ended with Kikuta picking up the surprise win for his team after pinning Saito, following a Discuss Lariat. The following match, featured an eight-man tag team match, marking the return of TARU to the promotion for the first time in sixteen years. TARU teamed with Don Fujii, Genki Horiguchi, Masaaki Mochizuki to face K-ness, Taro Nohashi, Susumu Yokosuka, and Yasushi Kanda. The match ended with TARU performing the TARU Driller on K-ness for the win. Afterwards, TARU revealed that he accepted Dragon Gate's invite to return to promotion because of Último Dragón, before thaking his partners for the victory.
The fourth match of the show featured Dragon Dia facing Dia Inferno. Before the match, it was shown a promo about the match. The match ended by disqualification, after Inferno proceeded to remove part of Dia's mask. Dia's Dragon Gate stablemates Mondai Ryu, and Keisuke Okada attempted to stop Inferno, but Inferno's R.E.D stablemates Diamante, H.Y.O and Kaito Ishida began attacking them, before Inferno removed the entirety of Dia's mask.
The fifth match of the show featured an six-man tag team match between Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, and Toru Owashi and Dragon Gate (Kzy, Strong Machine J, and Punch Tominaga). Before the match, it was shown a promo about the match. The match ended with Yoshino submitting Tominaga with Sol Naciente.
In the following match, R.E.D (BxB Hulk and KAI) faced Dragon Gate (YAMATO and Kota Minoura) for the vacant Open The Twin Gate Championship. Before the match, it was shown a promo about the title match. The match ended with KAI perfoming the Meteor Impact on Minoura for the win, becoming the new Open The Twin Gate Champions. After the match, KAI and Hulk began attacking Minoura and YAMATO, until their Dragon Gate stablemate Kzy made the save. Afterwards, Kzy and also on YAMATO's behalf challenged KAI and Hulk to a title match at Gate of Origin.
The following match featured R.E.D (Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida and SB KENTo) defending the Open The Triangle Gate Championship against Dragon Gate (Ben-K, Yosuke♥Santa Maria and U-T) and Toryumon (Dragon Kid, Kagetora and a mystery partner. Before the match, it was shown a promo about the title match. Afterwards, Masato Yoshino was revealed as Toryumon's mystery member for the match. The first team to eliminated from the match was Dragon Gate, after SB KENTo submitted U-T with the SB Shooter. R.E.D retained the titles in the same manner after SB KENTo forced Yoshino to submitt, after performing the SB Shooter for the victory. Afterwards, SB KENTo began berating Yoshino's retirement, before entering in a heated confrontation with the rest of Yoshino's Toryumon stablemates, who felt disrespected by R.E.D. Yoshino's Toryumon stablemates Genki Horiguchi and Susumu Yokosuka also made their intentions of challenging for the Open The Triangle Gate Championship.
Main event[edit | edit source]
In the main event, Eita defended the Open The Dream Gate Championship against Shun Skywalker. Before the match started it was showed a promo of the title match. Following the entrances, started the championship ceremony between the two wrestlers. Then it was displayed the national anthem of Japan, which led to the introduction of both wrestlers. In the final moments of the match, Skywalker performed the Skywalker Moonsault for a nearfall followed by the SSW to win the match and become the new Open The Dream Gate Champion. Afterwards, Skywalker's previous partner Ben-K challenged him to a title match, which he accepted.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Case Lowe in his review of the event for Voices of Wrestling said this was the "was not a show of the year contender, but it maintained its reputation as one of the most important shows on the wrestling calendar. This show featured everything [...] from a Kobe World show: great matches, pageantry, and big moments [...] featured everything Dragon Gate is doing well in the moment."
Results[edit | edit source]
|1||Keisuke Okuda (c) (with Ben-K, Dragon Dia and Yosuke♥Santa Maria) defeated Kaito Ishida (with Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida and SB KENTo) by technical submission||Singles match for the Open The Brave Gate Championship||10:26|
|2||H.Y.O won by last eliminating Mondai Ryu[Note 1]||Eight-man Battle Royal
The winner of this match earned the right to ask for the in-ring related wish of their choosing
|3||Madoka Kikuta and Taketo Kamei defeated Team Boku (Bokku R Shimizu and Ryo Saito)||Tag team match||8:26|
|4||Don Fujii, Genki Horiguchi, Masaaki Mochizuki, TARU defeated K-ness, Taro Nohashi, Susumu Yokosuka, and Yasushi Kanda||Eight-man tag team match||13:09|
|5||Dragon Dia (with Keisuke Okuda and Mondai Ryu) defeated Dia Inferno (with Diamante, H.Y.O and Kaito Ishida) by disqualification||Singles match||5:02|
|6||Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, and Toru Owashi (with Don Fujii, Gamma, Konomama Ichikawa, Shachihoko BOY, Susumu Yokosuka, and Yasushi Kanda) defeated Dragon Gate (Kzy, Strong Machine J, and Punch Tominaga)||Six-man tag team match||14:00|
|7||R.E.D (BxB Hulk and KAI) (with Diamante, H.Y.O, and Kaito Ishida) defeated Dragon Gate (YAMATO and Kota Minoura) (with Dragon Dia, Mondai Ryu, and Keisuke Okada)||Tag team match for the vacant Open The Twin Gate Championship||15:00|
|8||R.E.D (Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida and SB KENTo) (c) (with BxB Hulk, Diamante, H.Y.O, KAI, Kaito Ishida) defeated Toryumon (Dragon Kid, Masato Yoshino and Kagetora) (with Don Fujii, Naruki Doi, Genki Horiguchi, Shachihoko BOY, Susumu Yokosuka, and Ryo Saito) and Dragon Gate (Ben-K, Yosuke♥Santa Maria and U-T) (with Dragon Dia, Keisuke Okuda, Kzy, Mondai Ryu, and Strong Machine J)||Three-way elimination tag team match for the Open The Triangle Gate Championship||21:06|
|9||Shun Skywalker defeated Eita (c) (with BxB Hulk, Diamante, Dia Inferno, H.Y.O, KAI, Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida and SB KENTo)||Singles match for the Open The Dream Gate Championship||20:22|
Three-way elimination six-man tag team match[edit | edit source]
|Elimination||Wrestler||Team||Eliminated by||Elimination move||Time|
|1||U-T||Dragon Gate||SB KENTo||Submitted after the SB Shooter||17:20|
|Winners:||R.E.D (Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida and SB KENTo) (still Open The Triangle Gate Champions)|