Preview: Dragon Gate – Kobe World 2022 – Ultimo Dragon 35th Anniversary Celebration (7/30/22)

Dragon Gate Kobe World 2022

Dragon Gate Pro Wrestling has finally arrived at their granddaddy of them all, ready to kick off two straight nights in Kobe World 2022. The first night will celebrate Ultimo Dragon’s 35 years in wrestling. However, despite that being the hook, there are two other anniversary matches, plus all four championships are on the line. Here’s the stacked card for Night One.

Dragon Gate – Kobe World 2022 Night One Card

  • Open the Brave Gate #1 Contender Battle Royal
  • Kzy, Big Boss Shimizu, and Strong Machine J vs Kota Minoura, Naruki Doi, and Minorita
  • Kenichiro Arai, Gurukun Mask, and Bodyguard vs Madoka Kikuta, Takashi Yoshida, and Ben-K
  • Open the Brave Gate Championship: Dragon Dia (c) vs H•Y•O
  • Kagetora 20th Anniversary Match: Kagetora, Taro Nohashi, and Jinsei Shinzaki vs Don Fujii, Toru Owashi, and Shuji Kondo
  • Dragon Kid 25th Anniversary Match: Dragon Kid and Masato Tanaka vs BxB Hulk and YAMATO
  • Bosou 10 Match Series Revival: Konomama Ichikawa vs X
  • Open the Triangle Gate Championship: Eita, NOSAWA Rongai, and Kotaro Suzuki (c) vs Masaaki Mochizuki, Susumu Mochizuki, and Mochizuki Junior with Special Referee: Yasushi Kanda
  • Ultimo Dragon 35th Anniversary Match: Ultimo Dragon vs El Hijo del Santo
  • Open the Twin Gate Championships: Shun Skywalker and Diamanté (c) vs Jason Lee and Jacky “Funky” Kamei
  • Open the Dream Gate Championship Match: KAI (c) vs Yuki Yoshioka

Open the Brave Gate Championship: Dragon Dia (c) vs H•Y•O

Dragon Dia has had an incredible reign as Open The Brave Gate Champion. He’s been able to wash some of the bad funk off the belt for the first time. All his defenses deliver, and he himself is having a year to talk about. However, Z-Brats may take everything from him. First, they took the Open the Twin Gate Championship from him. Now, they may take the Brave Gate Championship from him. The brain trust of Z-Brats, H•Y•O, makes his second attempt at taking the belt from Dia after a double count-out at King of Gate that earned him a match in his hometown; there they went to yet another count-out. H•Y•O’s logic was that he didn’t lose and Dragon Dia didn’t win.

The Brave Gate is the belt that H•Y•O desires to win the most in Dragon Gate. This has been stated since his debut, and if there was ever a time for him to strike, it would be now. He’s on the big stage of Kobe World, against a man that he’s been able to scout in two straight singles matches. H•Y•O is also Dia’s most dangerous opposition for the pure fact one doesn’t know what to expect of the former. He is truly the Swiss Army Knife of Dragon Gate. If Dia comes in here with the same determination he had against SBKENTo, then there’s no doubt he can retain. However, what both men need to not do is look ahead to their challenger on the second night. Whoever that may be after that battle royal during the pre-show.

Open the Triangle Gate Championship: Perros Del Mal De Japon (Eita, NOSAWA Rongai, and Kotaro Suzuki) (c) vs M3K (Masaaki Mochizuki, Susumu Mochizuki, and Mochizuki Junior)

Perros Del Mal De Japon have been Open The Triangle Gate Champions twice this year, the first time coming at a time when it seemed NOSAWA Rongai and Kotaro Suzuki were unemployed. Of course, this was not the case and soon they returned to Pro Wrestling NOAH. Since then, they’ve handled the Triangle Gate recklessly with it being passed around NOAH quite a few times. They also turned back challengers from HIGH-END, and Natural Vibes in Dragon Gate. They have become more, and more unruly over time, mainly NOSAWA being a pest to Dragon Gate General Manager Ryo Saito. After the HIGH-END defense, Masaaki Mochizuki, Susumu Mochizuki, and Mochizuki Junior showed up in NOAH demanding a shot.

It was granted, and in the build-up, it has essentially been all Perros. The youth of Mochizuki Junior has been a focal point, as the veterans had their way with him. NOSAWA demanded Ryo Saito be the special referee for the match, but Saito said he’d be busy. However, if he wanted a ref, he would receive M3K’s Yasushi Kanda, a former referee himself. However, it’s questionable if he will be an honorable one. M3K may be Dragon Gate’s last hope, as NOSAWA has protested night two. An ununified HIGH-END and Natural Vibes will be challengers on Night Two of Dragon Gate Kobe World 2022, but the leader of Perros has stated he will not do a three-way defense. Can M3K bring the belts back home, or will Perros continue their dominance?

Open the Twin Gate Championship: Z-Brats (Shun Skywalker and Diamanté) (c) vs Kung Fu Masters (Jason Lee and Jacky “Funky” Kamei)

Shun Skywalker and Diamanté have been a formidable Twin Gate Champion team, but they come in with opponents that may have their number. Months ago, Skywalker claimed Jason Lee was his property, and he would join Z-Brats. After a rights to negotiate match, and a strong effort from everyone including Kamei, Lee double-crossed Skywalker and joined Natural Vibes. Shun would move onto the Twin Gate belts, and seemingly wipe that out of his head until Z-Brats attacked Ho Ho Lun after a match. Lee, along with Kamei, made the save. They asked Lun to form a unit with them separate of Natural Vibes. Lun agreed, but everyone was confused. Soon, things became clearer with the reveal of the Kung Fu Masters!

Kung Fu Masters is a unit consisting of Jason Lee, Jacky Kamei, Ho Ho Lun, and Super Shenlong. They are exclusive to the Kobe area with hopes of bringing more fans in from Chinatown. This unit is on a roll with two wins over Z-Brats when all together, the second involving Kamei pinning Skywalker, and opening the door for himself and Lee to challenge. Skywalker has specifically targeted Kamei in the lead-up. It’s going to be a real battle of the size of Skywalker and Diamanté versus the true junior style that Lee and Kamei bring. Skywalker is no doubt looking for revenge against both men from the events of that Korakuen, while Kung Fu Masters are looking for the unit’s first championship.

Open The Dream Gate Championship: KAI (c) vs Yuki Yoshioka

Yuki Yoshioka has had a very very long journey to get to this Open The Dream Gate Championship match. Yoshioka earned this opportunity by running the table and winning King of Gate 2022. He everyone he had truly arrived as a main eventer, but somehow, he kept getting dodged. KAI opted to defend the Open the Dream Gate Championship against Shuji Kondo first since he actually lost to Kondo, stating Yoshioka didn’t beat him, so why should he get a shot? Kondo promised Yoshioka the first shot after he beat KAI. Yoshioka agreed, and as Kondo was closing in on the belt, the lights went off. Kota Minoura showed up with a chair and laid out both champion and challenger. He protested the match happening since he defeated Shuji Kondo in King of Gate to advance to the finals, nominating himself as the next challenger.

Yoshioka rightfully took offense to this. All three men, with their own claims to the belt, asked for a solution to their problem. Ryo Saito made a triple threat match where the winner gets to call his shot on which night he gets the shot; the person who he pins for the deciding fall would receive the night he doesn’t pick. As for the person eliminated first, he received absolutely nothing. The match took place, and despite a pact between Yoshioka and Kondo, that fell apart. Minoura eliminated both men, but not without shenanigans to win the match, now having the opportunity to call his shot as Dragon Gate presents Kobe World 2022.

Now or Never

Kota Minoura selected the second night for his championship match, allowing Yuki Yoshioka to receive Night One, and this is a must-win situation for Yoshioka. It was a very bumpy, and probably unnecessary, road taken for him to finally get the match he earned. However, all of this blunder will be forgiven if he walks out both nights as Open the Dream Gate Champion, firmly taking his spot he’s earned at the top of Dragon Gate.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Looking to watch Dragon Gate? All their live shows will be on their steaming service Dragon Gate Network.