Jimmy Kagetora (c) vs Flamita
Open the Brave Gate Championship
Kobe World Hall, Kobe, Japan
(reviewed 09/16/2017) I wasn’t totally sold on this match when I first saw it on paper before reconsidering it, but maybe that initial instinct was the correct one. This match certainly isn’t bad but it has some bad habits. As he is wont to do, Flamita shines real early here with some incredible lucha libre, showing off what a tremendous athlete he is. Realizing that he can’t hang with such an awesome highflyer, Kagetora almost immediately goes after the luchador’s knee and puts a workin’ on it. Before long Flamita returns the favor and starts attacking Kagetora’s arm, looking to take away some of his tremendous firepower. The champ sells the arm pretty well for a while, being forced to use more of his explosives kicks and knees instead, but Flamita shrugs off any pretenses of his leg work once he takes control and Kagetora doesn’t stick with the arm work terribly long either. This happens as they slide into the finishing stretch, which is polished and exciting but lacking a certain edge or emotional resonance that I notice a lot with Flamita. As much as I like the guy and as talented as he is, he hasn’t yet developed an endearing persona for me yet, and Kagetora’s not exactly the guy to shine enough as a character to cover up for that. In the end, this is a fine enough Brave Gate match. Inoffensive in the grand scheme of things and exciting but hardly enough to catch your attention.