Masato Yoshino has been one of the key figures in Dragon Gate since its formation. Ergo, it hit the company and fans alike back on December 26, 2019, when he announced his retirement. Yoshino has been suffering from lingering issues with a neck injury he suffered back in 2017. However, doctors informed him he could continue on if he simply changed his style. However, Yoshino said if he couldn’t be the SPEED STAR and do SPEED STAR things, then he would simply retire. He originally opted to retire in 2020 before COVID-19 hit.
During that time, Yoshino continued to tease his retirement. However, after winning a Dangerous Gate 2020 match, he said he could continue wrestling. At Kobe Pro Wrestling Festival 2020, he officially announced he would retire on Night Two of the same event the following year on the grand stage. Masato Yoshino has been touted as the fastest man alive and one of the true innovators. He is most known for innovating the Sling Blade made mainstream to most fans by Hiroshi Tanahashi.
【#SpeedStarFINAL Card Update】
— Dragongate Japan Pro-Wrestling (Official English) (@DragonGateEN) July 25, 2021
Masato Yoshino: A Career Look Back
Yoshino had a long road from being a long-haired kid who looked like Tarzan to one of the true aces of Dragon Gate. He was part of factions such as Italian Connection, Blood Generation, Muscle Outlaw’z, WORLD-1, Junction Three, WORLD-1 International, Monster Express, MaxiMuM, and most recently, the Toryumon Generation. His final year as part of Toryumon is seemingly a gift, as he had one last year with all his friends.
His accomplishments are ones to behold – International Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, 4x Open The Dream Gate Champion, 6x Open The Brave Gate Champion, Open The Owarai Gate Champion, 11x Open The Triangle Gate Champion, 3x Open The Twin Gate Champion, 2x winner of King of Gate, 3x Summer Adventure Tag League winner, Rey De Pareja’s tournament winner, GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, Differ Cup 2003 winner, NWA World Welterweight Champion, and 2x UWA World Trios Champion.
"I'll give you the one last gift. My legacy"
"This … please keep it and carry for me"
— Tapla タプラ :: ROAD TO KOBE WORLD (@D_TaPla) July 22, 2021
Then take a look at what he has done in America. Masato Yoshino competed in one of if not the greatest tag matches in Ring of Honor history. He held the Dragon Gate USA Open The United Gate Championship twice, and even competed in the TNA 2008 Super X Cup. He is an international star in every sense of the term. It’ll truly be sad when Yoshino competes in the Dragon Gate ring for one final time. However, the impact he left won’t be forgotten. He handed moves down to the younger generation of Dragon Gate. Simply put, he will forever be ingrained in the company and the hearts of the fans.
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