5/13/12 2:23 AM Edited: 5/13/12 2:28 AM
Edited: 5/13/12 2:28 AM
Member Since: 1/1/01
I'll see what I can do as far as the other companies are concerned. Some I follow more closely than others. I could probably do New Japan pretty easily though
And on to Dragon Gate so far this year
At the end of 2011 and the start of 2012, Super Shenlong, who had been nothing more than a dark match afterthought for the last few years, began showing some heel tendencies, usually by attacking his tag team partner after a loss saying that he could never win teaming with garbage wrestlers like them. His tag team partners were usually one of the rookies, who at the time were being "tutored" by Don Fujii. Shenlong's antics would have implications later in the year. Also at this time, Tozawa became very harsh with his BW teammates, berating and/or attacking them if they lost or cost him to lose. All this while JIII was really gaining momentum in the feud. Naoki Tanizaki was injured at the end of 2011 as well. In Naoki's absence, Tomahawk TT began impersonating Naoki, using his moves, ring gear, etc. As of today, Naoki still has not returned from the injury and Tomahawk is still playing "Naoki Tanizaki". In the meantime, Cyber Kong continued to plead with Mocchi to allow him into JIII while trying to prove his worth as a wrestler. Mocchi seemed to be ok with it, but the rest of JIII, particularly Yoshino, were not convinced since Kong had betrayed them in the past. This continued until the January PPV where there was a "loser leaves the unit" 10-man tag match. During the match, Kong intruded and attacked Mocchi, seemingly betraying JIII and aligning with BW. However, he also attacked CIMA, who was then also attacked by Tozawa and BxB Hulk. After laying out CIMA, an unconscious KAGETORA was dragged on top of CIMA by BW, giving the match to JIII and forcing CIMA out of his own group. After the match, Tozawa took over leadership of BW and the new BW challenged JIII to an elimination 7 vs 7 losing team disbands match, which JIII agreed to. In the runup to that match, there was another "loser leaves the unit" match that was lost by GAMMA. GAMMA was taken off on a stretcher after the match. Ryo Saito and Genki Horiguchi had been on a bit of a losing streak, which planted them firmly in Tozawa's doghouse. They plead with Tozawa to be included in the "losing unit disbands" match, but Tozawa refused because he didn't want to risk them losing such an important match. That left the 7 vs 7 elimination match with the following teams
(BW) Akira Tozawa, BxB Hulk, Cyber Kong, Naruki Doi, Kzy, "Naoki Tanizaki", Yasushi Kanda vs (JIII) Masaaki Mochizuki, YAMATO, Shingo Takagi, Masato Yoshino, Jimmy Susumu, Dragon Kid, Rich Swann
The elimination match lasted over an hour and came down to the two leaders as the only remaining, Tozawa vs Mocchi. Tozawa was finally able to pin Mocchi with the Package German Suplex and JIII was forced to break up. After the win, Tozawa also booted Saito and Horiguchi from BW. So now BW were the only faction left in Dragon Gate, which would lead to a massive unit reshuffle. The first bit of that was CIMA beginning to mend fences with some of the JIII members, namely Mocchi and Yoshino. With Yoshino, CIMA had suggested that he begin tagging with CIMA's old tag team partner Ricochet once he came back to Japan. Since his BW banishment, CIMA had been tagging with Don Fujii again, and Stalker Ichikawa also began teaming with them. Those three had been a team at the end of 2004 after Crazy Max ended. CIMA's next recruit to his new unit would actually be a returning GAMMA. Mocchi decided to officially reconcile with CIMA shortly thereafter, reforming the old "Veteran Army".
Susumu and KAGETORA had been trying to recruit Saito and Horiguchi to join them as "Jimmyz" since they were booted from BW. Saito and Horiguchi rejected their advances many times until they finally relented in March on one condition, that Yasushi Kanda be allowed to join as well. Susumu and KAGETORA didn't entirely trust Kanda, but were reassured by Saito and Horiguchi that he wouldn't betray them, so they accepted and "The Jimmyz" were officially formed. As part of becoming a member of the group, each of them was given a new "Jimmy" name. Saito became Ryo "Jimmy" Saito, Kanda became Jimmy Kanda, and Genki, in homage to his former "HAGE" chant, was renamed to Genki Horiguchi H. A. Gee Mee.
The show prior to the formation of the Jimmyz, Tozawa announced that since CIMA was no longer a member, the "Blood Warriors" name was no longer appropriate, so he was abandoning it. He renamed the former BW to "MAD BLANKEY", and changed their colors from Blue and Red to Yellow and Red. Later in the month, the increasingly heel Super Shenlong would join MAD BLANKEY and rename himself to "Mondai Ryu", which translates to "problem dragon".
Doi and Yoshino began tagging again, reforming the greatest tag team in Dragon Gate history, "Speed Muscle". They began recruiting members for a new group. Ricochet would be included per CIMA's suggestion, as would former JIII gaijin Rich Swann and PAC. Yoshino also tried to recruit rookie Chihiro Tominaga, but Tominaga rejected the invitation and instead tried to convince Shingo and YAMATO to form a new group and include him in it. With Tominaga not joining, the group is currently set at Doi, Yoshino, PAC, Ricochet, and Swann, and was named "World-1 International".
As mentioned, Shingo and YAMATO were content to just tag without forming a unit. Tominaga had begun tagging with another rookie, Yosuke Watanabe, but was still hoping to convince Shingo and YAMATO to form a new unit. Tominaga's persistence finally paid off last month when Shingo and YAMATO invited him to join their new unit. He agreed and suggested another new member, at which point a new Super Shenlong appeared. The new Super Shenlong, who looked an awful lot like Watanabe in a mask, was also invited to join. The new unit of Shingo, YAMATO, Tominaga, and Super Shenlong was later named "Akatsuki".
So, as it stands today, the units are:
MAD BLANKEY: Akira Tozawa, BxB Hulk, Kzy, Cyber Kong, Mondai Ryu, Tomahawk TT (currently playing Naoki Tanizaki)
Veteran Army Returns: CIMA, Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii, Dragon Kid, GAMMA (injured), Stalker Ichikawa
The Jimmyz: Jimmy Susumu, Jimmy KAGETORA, Ryo "Jimmy" Saito, Genki Horiguchi H. A. Gee Mee, Jimmy Kanda
World-1 International: Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, PAC, Ricochet, Rich Swann
Akatsuki: Shingo Takagi, YAMATO, Chihiro Tominaga, Super Shenlong
The current champions are:
Open the Dream Gate: CIMA
Open the Brave Gate: Dragon Kid
Open the Twin Gate: Jimmy Susumu and Jimmy KAGETORA
Open the Triangle Gate: Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, and PAC
So, going into King of Gate CIMA does not have a new challenger for the Dream Gate quite yet. Most likely the winner of the tournament will get next crack at him. Doi broke an orbital bone on a show this week, so the Triangle Gate that World-1 International just won may need to be vacated, but no decision has been made yet. What has been decided is that there will be a #1 contenders match for the Triangle Gate on the next Korakuen Hall show that will see CIMA, Mocchi, and Fujii against a group of returning regulars who are without a group currently, Kenichiro Arai, K-Ness, and Super Shisa.
That's basically it for Dragon Gate. I can clarify anything if anyone has other questions about it though