Masaaki Mochizuki vs Takehiro Yamamura
taped 02/12/2017, aired 02/27/2017
Hakata Starlanes, Fukuoka, Japan
(reviewed 09/11/2017) Another standout Yamamura singles match! Not quite as gripping as the Big R match but still quite a lot of fun. Way back when he debuted, Yamamura made mention that he idolized Mochizuki and wanted to one day be able to kick as hard as he does. A year and a half later, this translates to the young, hungry kid attacking his idol at the bell and overwhelming him with youthful exuberance that, as spry as Mochizuki is at 47, the veteran simply can’t match. Seeing Mochizuki become increasingly frustrated by Yamamura’s speed and tactics, getting surlier and angrier by the second, is as delightful as watching him finally grab a hold of the kid and kick his chest cavity in. Yamamura, to his credit, goes toe to toe with one of the better strikers in wrestling today and holds his own pretty damn well for a while, but after 12 minutes of a fire fight he simply can’t hang and Mochizuki puts him down with a roundhouse. Real fun stuff here, highlighting one of the match types Dragon Gate does best. If you’re a fan of young upstart punks struggling against established veterans, give this a go.