Naruki Doi vs Takehiro Yamamura
King of Gate 2017 Block C Match
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
(reviewed 09/24/2017) There’s a few neat moments at the beginning of this match that speak to the characters of these two men. Per usual, Yamamura jumps his opponent before the bell because otherwise he doesn’t have much of a chance of surviving against someone with several magnitudes more of experience. Doi, probably the craftiest heel in Dragon Gate history, sees this coming and tries to bait Yamamura in for a clothesline to cut the kid off when he comes flying in. Yamamura, though, has a sort of lithe youthfulness that allows him to avoid that and a few more of Doi’s attempts at misdirection to overwhelm the veteran with a big dive. Before long, Doi is able to turn things around and tries to grind Yamamura into the mat with a number of holds in order to combat his speed. Doi, as he tends to do, gets rather cocky within his control segment and it riles Yamamura up to fire back with some slaps and strikes that allow him to even things up a little as these two trade big spots back and forth. Yamamura, as he tends to do himself, manages to stick with Doi through the worst he can offer and in the end it takes a Bakatare Sliding Kick, Doi 555, and a second Bakatare to put the young striker away. Quite a fun little match here, hardly surprising considering who it is and where they’re at.