Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

Dragon Gate: Rey De Parejas Final 2023 Korakuen Review

1 year ago

Dragon Gate: Rey De Parejas Final 2023 Korakuen Review

By: Abid Chowdhury

At “New Year Gate” on January 12, 2023 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall, general manager Ryo Saito entered the ring for a special announcement. He mentioned that at Korakuen Hall the following month on February 3, Tag League would make a return. He introduced this tournament as “Rey De Parejas,” and this would be the first time since 2003 that it had been held under that name. Not only that, the last time Dragon Gate held a tag league tournament was nearly 7 years before in 2016.

Fans were on the edge of their seats hearing who would compete in tag league, along with the matches that were announced for opening night at Korakuen Hall in February. Throughout February, matches were held all around Japan. A few teams had a great start, but struggled to keep that momentum going towards the end. While one team had a late run within the tournament, and that led to them advancing to the semi-final. The semi-final and finals of tag league would be held on March 2nd from Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.

The show aired on March 2nd. March 3rd, 2016 was the day the late, great Eji Ezaki (Hayabusa) passed away. Before the show started, Dragon Gate had a nice tribute as they played Hayabusa’s “Fight With Dream” theme song. It played in the background at Korakuen Hall as English commentators Jae and Ho Ho Lun gave a rundown of what had happened within tag league along with the Korakuen card.

A quick introduction into the units in Dragon Gate along with how tag matches work in Dragon Gate: Dragon Gate currently has five units:

  • Z-Brats are the main villains. M3K are also villains, but fans love them so much that they’re cheered more often than they are booed.
  • Gold Class are a heel unit directed towards the female fanbase of Dragon Gate, and similar to M3K they are cheered more than booed.
  • Two teams of protagonists, D’Courage and Natural Vibes. Natural Vibes usually dance or put on a show to kick off a match as a way to hype up the fans.
  • Dragon Gate focuses heavily on lucha libre and uses lucha tag rules. If the legal wrestler is within the ring, traditional tag team rules are applied. However, if that wrestler leaves, including if they are thrown outside the ring, it counts as a tag being made, which would allow their tag partner to enter the ring.

Now, let’s get to the show.

The opening contest was a semi-final match in the Rey De Parejas tag league tournament. This was a special match, with the four best teams from A and B Block facing off against one another. From the A Block: D’Courage (Madoka Kikuta & Yuki Yoshioka) faced off against the B Block: Z-Brats (KAI & Open The Dream Gate Champion Shun Skywalker).

Kikuta & Yoshioka did not have a great start to this tournament, but made a late run where they finished with six points which earned them a spot in the semi-final. Shun Skywalker & KAI dominated tag league, and only suffered one loss; they finished with eight points.

First, Kikuta hit a discus lariat to KAI. Yoshioka followed up with a frog splash from the top and pinned KAI at 9 minutes and 58 seconds. The fans at Korakuen were really excited for this moment, and shocked at the result. Kikuta & Yoshioka advanced to the finals of tag league. This match is a must-watch.

Next was another semi-final match within Rey De Parejas tag league. From the A Block: Gold Class (Open The Triangle Gate Champions Kota Minoura & BxB Hulk) faced off against the B Block’s M3K (Susumu Mochizuki & Yasushi Kanda). Both teams had a nice run within their blocks. Minoura & BxB Hulk finished with seven points while Susumu & Kanda finished with six.

Over the weekend Mick Iriki, the singer of a popular Dragon Gate unit Jimmyz (which was active from 2012-2017) passed away. As a final tribute to the late singer, former members Susumu & Kanda came out to the Jimmyz “Jimmy Ni Satisfaction” theme song.

Kanda pinned Minoura at 12 minutes and 58 seconds after he countered Minoura’s submission. Both of these opening matches are a recommended watch. The fans were really hot for both matches, making this an almost-deafening experience in the arena. After this match, we now had our final for Rey De Parejas 2023: the main event it would be D’Courage vs M3K.

The third match from this evening was a tag team match. Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling’s (RDPW) Teelan Shisa & Ultra Soki vs Z-Brats (H.Y.O & ISHIN). The match finished as a no contest at 6 minutes and 2 seconds. How? Dragon Gate’s ace YAMATO, who is RDPW’s Ryuo Champion, attacked all four men. After the match, Teelan Shisa challenged YAMATO for his championship. YAMATO accepted and mentioned that he will defend his championship against Teelan Shisa on March 18th, at Memorial Gate from Wakayama.

The following match featured the debut of Daiki Yanagiuchi as he faced off against Dragon Gate veteran and legend Don Fuji. Fuji pinned Daiki in seven minutes. After Fuji pinned Daiki, he offered him a handshake, patted Daiki on his back, and raised his hand. The fans applauded Daiki for his performance. Highly recommend watching this. Daiki had a solid debut and is full of potential.

The fifth match was a 6 man tag match. Natural Vibes (Big Boss Shimizu, Jacky “Funky” Kamei & KZY) vs Shachihoko Boy & Gold Class (Ben-K & Minorita). KZY pinned Shachihoko Boy at 11 minutes and 39 seconds.

After the match, there was a special announcement. Next month on April 4th from Shinjuku FACE, Masaaki Mochizuki will be having a special produced show titled “Buyuden Zero” which is being presented by LEC.

The end of the show is approaching. The sixth match is a tag match, Natural Vibes (Jason Lee & Strong Machine J) vs Gold Class (Open The Brave Gate Champion Minorita & Open The Triangle Gate Champion Ben-K). Machine J pinned Ben-K at 10 minutes and 59 seconds. This was an upset win for Machine J because not only did he pin the current Triangle Gate Champion, but also a former Dream Gate Champion in 2019 Ben-K. Fans applauded Machine J for his exciting performance. The match also served as a preview of Jason Lee vs Minorita on March 4 at “Champion Gate” in Osaka for the Brave Gate Championship. Also, this featured the next challenger for Shun Skywalker’s Dream Gate Championship in Machine J on March 5 at “Champion Gate.”

Seventh in the lineup was a huge eight-man tag team match. This match featured seven talents that were not in any of the five units: AJPW World Jr Champion & DDT Universal Champion Naruki Doi, Shuji Kondo, Takashi Yoshida & Ryuo Champion YAMATO vs Dragon Kid, Eita, Kagetora & (D’Courage) Dragon Dia. This was a lot of fun to watch.

The main event of the night featured the winners of the first two matches competing against each other with no time limit. The matchup was D’Courage (Yuki Yoshioka & Madoka Kikuta) vs M3K (Susumu Mochizuki & Yasushi Kanda). This was a back-and-forth match, and both teams hit their best moves. The finish came when Susumu hit multiple lariats to Kikuta, but it was Kikuta who hit a discus lariat to pin Susumu at 22 minutes and 54 seconds. This was surely a match of the year contender. The winners of Rey De Parejas challenged the current Twin Gate Champions KZY and Big Boss Shimizu. The match would later become official for “Champion Gate” on March 5th from Osaka.

Rapid Fire Takeaways:

  • Up until the opening match, U-T, a member of Natural Vibes, has been out of action recovering from a torn MCL in December 2022. English commentator Jae translated what U-T said: he had seen his doctors over the weekend and they informed him he was at 80%.
  • U-T is currently the Ryuo Tag Team Champion from the Ryukyu Dragon promotion alongside his partner KZY. U-T does not know when he will be able to return. Due to this, both U-T and KZY relinquished their tag championships.
  • U-T and KZY were unbeaten, and held those championships for 363 days. KZY mentioned that, when U-T makes his return, they will challenge whoever holds the championship.
  • After the fourth match, the other Dragon Gate rookies (Mochizuki Junior, Kaito Nagano & Yoshiki Kato) all came out in support of their fellow 2021 classmate, Daiki Yanagiuchi after he made his debut.
  • On March 4th from “Champion Gate” Night 1, Minorita looks to defend his Open The Brave Gate Championship from Jason Lee. Jason Lee is looking to win this first singles championship in Dragon Gate before he goes back to visit his native Hong Kong this month.
  • Also on March 4th for night 1, (Gold Class) Ben-K, Kota Minoura & BxB Hulk look to defend their Triangle Gate Championships against (M3K) Mochizuki Jr, Susumu Mochizuki & Yasushi Kanda.
  • On March 5th for night 2 of “Champion Gate” (Natural Vibes) KZY & Big Boss Shimizu look to defend their Open The Twin Gate Championships against (D’Courage) Yuki Yoshioka & Madoka Kikuta.
  • On night 2 in the main event, Shun Skywalker looks to defend his Open The Dream Gate Championship against Strong Machine J.
  • Strong Machine J is the son of legend Super Strong Machine. Machine J debuted in 2019 and won Tokyo Sports rookie of the year. He has improved so much through the years. With his first-ever singles championship title opportunity, he will wrestle against one of the top wrestlers in Dragon Gate, the current Dream Gate Champion Shun Skywalker.

Rey De Parejas 2023 Tag League Results

A Block:

Yuki Yoshioka & Madoka Kikuta – 6 pts
BxB Hulk & Kota Minoura – 7 pts
Jason Lee & Jacky “Funky” Kamei – 5 pts
Yoshiki Kato & Kaito Nagano – 3 pts
Masaaki Mochizuki & Mochizuki Jr – 4 pts
H.Y.O & ISHIN – 5 pts

B: Block

Susumu Mochizuki & Yasushi Kanda – 6 pts
YAMATO & Naruki Doi – 5 pts
Ben-K & Minorita – 0 pts
Dragon Kid & Dragon Dia – 4 pts
Strong Machine J & Strong Machine F – 5 pts
Shun Skywalker & KAI – 8 pts