Korakuen Hall (Tokyo, Japan)
2 Count, 3-Escape Rules
CIMA had a really fun and unexpectedly great (to me, at least) match this past December versus Super Shisa. Each wrestler was allowed five rope breaks and the match was based around a lot of funky submission holds and counters. Dragon Gate has run quite a few matches recently where the wrestlers receive a specified number of rope breaks. Given that rope break limits are most closely associated with shoot-style pro wrestling, it is not necessarily something I would expect to find here but it seems to work.
In this particular match from Korakuen, each team is allowed three escapes and pins occur after a 2-count. CIMA and Tominaga quickly force their opponents to use up their breaks with a pair of submission attempts within the first couple of minutes of the match. The match then turns into an all-out sprint – a pace that feels more Dragon Gate-like. I thought the frantic pace had a little more context here. With no rope breaks left and the match being able to end after only a 2-count, I would be running around like my hair is on fire too if I were Kotoka or Shimizu.
The next several minutes (the match only runs six minutes in total) are really fast paced with a dive and (only) a couple of bigger moves mixed in. After a miscommunication spot in which Kotoka runs into Shimzu in the corner, Tominaga slaps on a nice Cross Arm Breaker (Hey, that’s the name of the site!) while CIMA throws s an arm bar on Shimizu to keep him at bay. Out of rope breaks, Tominaga gives up.
This was the kind of fast-paced, breezy match that still had a little substance to it that is a perfect fit in the mid-card of any show. The different rules made the match something different and memorable, despite otherwise being worked like a typical six-minute Dragon Gate sprint. The rules and length of the match also saw to it that the somewhat-typical Dragon Gate “move overkill” issue did not become a factor.
Junior Tag | Watchable | Quality