Akira Tozawa (c) vs Flamita
Open the Brave Gate Championship
Kobe Sambo Hall, Kobe, Japan
It’s interesting to see how these two guys, with their different amounts and forms of charisma, play to the crowd in their own, distinct ways before the match starts. We begin with a real luchariffic bit of chaining and standoff spots, and it’s likewise interesting to see how luchacentric this match is, even by DG standards. I have to think it’s because it’s a Flamita singles match, as opposed to his usual tag team matches, and his style is able to shine a bit more. After Flamita uses his speed to dominate the early part of this match, Tozawa slows things down and goes after the youngster’s leg rather aggressively. When Flamita tries to turn the tide with his flippdydo’s, it doesn’t work at first because of his beaten leg, but he’s able to eventually get some momentum going with a handspring back elbow and big tope con hilo, and he actually continues to sell it throughout the match and it plays into multiple spots, which is hardly standard DG fare. There’s some really cool, albeit pretty nonsensical, offense from Flamita here, and I hope to see more of its ilk in the future from him. Even though I feel like Tozawa’s at least partially phoning it in here, doing most of his usual stuff, it’s all still enjoyable, and this is the closest thing I’ve seen yet to a slower, veteran Tozawa. Flamita is the one who really shines here, and while I was questioning whether or not he could adapt his style to a semi-big main event match, he really does it here, with good selling, good (at least for DG) psychology, and a bunch of spots I’ve never seen before, and it’s one of my favorite performances from him yet. Nothing to go out of your way for, and it’s strangely shorter than I’d imagine it’d be, but this is a solid match through and through.