Kobe Sambo Hall (Hyogo, Japan)
4-Escapes, 2-Count Rules
I don’t say stuff like this often, but if you are not watching these CIMA rope-break, two-count rules matches in Dragon Gate you really should be.
These two had a similar match back in December that I likely never would have watched if my brother had not read someone else praising it and describing the submission/counters style of match. That match was really good and then CIMA had a tag match back in January under similar rules that was way too short and worked a tad differently (less time on the mat), but was still a lot of fun.
I might not go as far as to say this is CIMA working his maestro matches but it is not far off either. This match is largely focused on applying and transitioning in/out of aesthetically pleasing submission holds which certainly fits that sort-of match description. CIMA’s work in this style is also surprisingly visceral for a guy who is not exactly spent his career working this style.
Both wrestlers escape the submission attempts logically – they are not just running through four submission/rope breaks. If you would have asked me last year if I’d prefer a match with rope breaks/2-counts or a match with rope breaks/no pins (UWF-style rules), I’d have easily gone with the later. I really like the 2-count rules, however, after watching these matches. It provides a buffer zone between full-on shoot-style and traditional pro wrestling style in that there are pin attempts but they are less about pinning a guy after a big move and more about catching him with a flash pin like a wrestler would try to catch his opponent with a submission. It opens up a lot of transition possibilities in and out of submissions/quick pins.
Super Shisa is really smooth and proficient at this style as well. Hold for hold, he might have been the standout in this one over CIMA. Very smooth in applying submissions and he has a couple of really cool looking ones.
I hope we get more of these sorts of matches from CIMA going forward. He appears to be taking a step or two down from his prior headlining role in Dragon Gate, so I could certainly live with him having eight-minute rope-break-rules matches in the mid card rather than bump-intensive main events. I sort of like the Dragon Gate guys – or at least these two Dragon Gates – working submission-heavy matches over, for example, submission-heavy matches in IWRG or Monterrey. There is probably something to be said for the added quickness that these two (and the rules) bring to a submission-oriented match over, for example, a technical-style Lucha match.
Submissions | Watch It | Quality