Dragon Gate Pro Wrestling

dgate-logoDragon Gate is the promotion formerly known as the Toryumon Japan promotion and is what I would consider to be the #4 promotion in puroresu. It’s also the only one of what I call the “Big 5” major promotions that is not based in Tokyo-the promotion calls Kobe it’s homebase. Originally founded by the masked wrestler Ultimo Dragon, the promotion changed into what it is today after Dragon left the promotion in 2004. DG is based on a Junior Heavyweight style with varying emphasis on high flying maneuvers, flashy technical grappling, and submissions. Dragon Gate is often associated with Mexico, as it is basically based on Mexican wrestling style, and many wrestlers in Dragon Gate went to Mexico to train there when they were beginners. Dragon Gate’s main wrestlers often describe Mexico as their “mecca”. The promotion has carved a niche for itself in Japan thanks to it’s high-flying talent, which also boasts some of the fastest wrestlers in the entire sport, it’s theme of faction warfare (which is a more integral part of DG than in perhaps any other promotion-virtually every roster member is in a faction), and efforts to expand throughout the world. DG had a working agreement with Ring Of Honor until Spring ’09, which saw DG talent appear at ROH events and do cross-brand matches. In Spring ’09, the promotion launched an American extension called Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA), which features talent from the main promotion as well as working partnerships with US-based independent promotions including Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG) and CHIKARA. They also run a series of smaller spinoff shows called “NEX” at their DG Arena in Hyogo, usually held once a month, which are shows designed for showcasing rookies and up-and-coming talent. Additionally, they also host a series of independent events called “Buyuden” (or sometimes ‘Byuuden”) produced by veteran Masaaki Mochizuki under the DG banner.
The promotion was dealt a serious PR blow in September 2009 following a scandal involving instances of and photos showing wrestlers physically abusing/mistreating a monkey that was kept at the promotion’s dojo as a pet. The monkey is in good health today and no longer lives at the dojo. Although the guilty parties (the promotion’s ace, CIMA, young roster member RYOMA, outsider-turned-roster member KAGETORA and a trainee) were punished, this was a major blow that threatened to derail DG’s fast-track rise to the top of the puroresu ranks in Japan.
Dragon Gate currently has 6 titles: Open The Dream Gate, Open The Brave Gate, Open The Twin Gate, Open The Triangle Gate, Open The Freedom Gate, Open The United Gate. A 7th title, Open The Owarai Gate, is currently inactive. The titles are uniquely referred to as “Open The Gate” titles, and defenses of the Heavyweight Title, Open The Dream Gate, are treated as major events.
Faction warfare is perhaps a more integral part of Dragon Gate than any other promotion-virtually every roster member is in a faction, moves between factions happen very frequently and the rivalries betwen factions and their members are extremely intense. The current active factions and their members:
Blood Warriors: Naruki Doi, Naoki Tanisaki, Yasushi Kanda, Kenichiro Arai, Takuya Sugawara, Kzy, CIMA, Gamma, Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito, Genki Horiguchi, Cyber Kong, Tomahawk T.T.
Unnamed at this time: Masato Yoshino, BxB Hulk, Pac, K-ness, Susumu Yokosuka, Shingo Takagi, YAMATO, Taku Iwasa, Akira Tozawa, Cyber Kong, KAGETORA, Masaaki Mochizuki
Others/non-affiliated/NEX: Don Fujii, Super Shisa, Anthony W. Mori, Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa, Jackson Florida, Johnson Florida, Shisa BOY, Syachihoko Machine, Turboman, Turboness, Super Shenlong, Takuya Tomakomai, Dr. Muscle, Mark Haskins, Kotoka

The promotion has also released a soundtrack of wrestler ring entrance music. Originally released in 2008, it can be purchased in the USA via digital download from iTunes (2-CD set, 35 total songs for $15.99). A second such album was released in Japan on July 11, 2010 (currently not available in US). They have released other albums and DVDs under their “Dragon Gate Records” label in Japan.

Current active talent:
Ryo Saito (斎藤了 / Ryo Saito)
Genki Horiguchi 堀口元気 / Horiguti vigor)
Cyber Kong (サイバー・コング / Cyber [kongu])
Kzy (Kzy)
Yasushi Kanda (神田裕之 / Hiroyuki Kanda)
Kenichiro Arai (新井健一郎 / Ken Ichiro Arai)
Naruki Doi (土井成樹 / Doi forming tree)
Masato Yoshino (吉野正人 / Masato Yoshino)
BxB Hulk (B×Bハルク / BxB [haruku])
Naoki Tanisaki (谷嵜なおき / Every valley 嵜)
Shingo Takagi (鷹木信悟 / 鷹 wooden trust Sato)
Dragon Kid (ドラゴン・キッド / Dragon kid)
Akira Tozawa (戸澤陽 / Door 澤 positive)
Taku Iwasa (岩佐拓 / Iwasa 拓)
Gamma (Gamma)
Susumu Yokosuka (横須賀享 / Yokosuka 享)
Masaaki Mochizuki (望月成晃 / Forming Akira Mochizuki)
Don Fujii (ドン・フジイ / Don [hujii])
Magnitude Kishiwada (マグニチュード岸和田 / Magnitude Kishiwada) (Independent/Freelancer)
K-ness (K-ness)
Anthony W. Mori (アンソニー・W・森 / [ansoni] W forest) (Retired)
Super Shisa (スペル・シーサー / Spelling [shisa])
Shisa BOY (シーサーBOY / Sea sir BOY)
Super Shenlong (超神龍 / Super God dragon)
Syachihoko Machine (しゃちほこマシーン / The dowel [ho] it is dense the machine)
Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa (“ハリウッド”ストーカー市川 / “The hollywood” stoker Ichikawa)
Jackson Florida (ジャクソン・フロリダ / Jackson Florida)
Johnson Florida (ジョンソン・フロリダ / Johnson Florida)
Dr. Muscle (Dr.マッスル / Dr. [matsusuru])
Kotoka (琴香 / Koto fragrance)
Pac (PAC) (gaijin)
Ricochet (リコシェ / [rikoshie]) (gaijin)
Rich Swann (gaijin)
Akebono (Independent/Freelancer, occasionally appears)
Takuya Sugawara (菅 原拓也 / Takuya Sugawara) (Independent/Freelancer)
Takuya Tomamokai (苫小牧卓也 / Tomakomai Takuya) (Now competing as Tomahawk T.T.)
Kinta Tamaoka (Referee)
Takashi Okamura (岡村隆志 / Okamura Takashi will) (Dragon Gate President)
Toru Kido (木戸 亨 / Toru Kido) (Dragon Gate Executive Director/Conference Commissioner)
Satoru Oji (王子聡 / Satoru Oji) (DGUSA President)
Gabe Sapolsky (ゲイ ブ・サポルスキー / [geibu] [saporusuki]) (DGUSA Vice President)

Dragon Gate USA core roster:
Naruki Doi
Dragon Kid
Genki Horiguchi
Johnny Gargano
Gran Akuma
BxB Hulk
Jigsaw (Currently not with promotion)
Masaaki Mochizuki
Mike Quackenbush (Currently not with promotion)
Ryo Saito
Shingo (Shingo Takagi)
Akira Tozawa
Susumu Yokosuka
Masato Yoshino

Titles & History:
Open The Dream Gate (Heavyweight)
Open The Brave Gate (Jr. Heavyweight)
Open The Twin Gate (Tag Team)
Open The Triangle Gate (Trios/6-Man)
Open The Owarai Gate (Comedy Title)
Open The Freedom Gate (DGUSA Singles Title, recognized by DG)
Open The United Gate (DGUSA Tag Team Title, recognized by DG)

The promotion’s official websites can be accessed via the following URLs:
http://www.gaora.co.jp/dragongate (Japanese)
http://spora.jp/dragongate (Japanese)
http://spora.jp/okamura/ (Japanese, Official website of Dragon Gate President Takashi Okamura)
http://dgusa.tv (English, DGUSA official site)
http://www.youtube.com/user/DRAGONGATERECORDS (YouTube channel of Dragon Gate Records; Very rarely updated)