Posted on

Shingo Takagi Returns At DRAGONGATE Fan Appreciation Night

Shingo Takagi

DRAGONGATE Fan Appreciation Night (Shingo Takagi Returns!)

PWI’s Ringside Report (12.06.22)


THE FIRST OF hopefully many DRAGONGATE Fan Appreciation Nights gave us a glimpse of what’s to come on the road to FinalGate2022, offered an impressive rookie debut, solidified the greatness of Masaaki Mochizuki, and gave us the return of NJPW’s Shingo Takagi after a four-year absence from the company. In other words: FAN SERVICE at its best!

If you have not watched the show, do yourself a favor and go do so! It is FREE! No sign-up required; all you have to do is type on your web browser and select the “English Commentary” option for the 12.6 show. It does not get any easier than that.

The night began with a fast-paced tag team match between Kaito Nagano (who debuted three months ago, yet is wrestling like he has been doing it for much longer) and Dragon Dia vs. the Z-Brats team of ISHIN and Diamante. I am still waiting for that ‘Mante/Nagano singles match, DG!

In the second match of the night, rookie Yoshiki Kato had his debut match against Madoka Kikuta. Talk about a show of strength between these two … the future looks so so bright for Kato!

Strong Machine J displayed more and more of that aggressiveness he’s shown since April. The second-generation wrestler showed he is not always full of “Good Vibes Only” in the six-man tag team match pitting NATURAL VIBES (SMJ, Jacky Funky Kamei, and one-half of the newly crowned Open the Twin Gate champions, Kzy) against the M3K team of Kanda Yasushi, Mochizuki Jr., and Susumu Mochizuki.

One-third of DDT’s KO-D 6-Man tag champs, Naruki Doi, teamed with Shuji Kondo and Eita to take on Gold Class – (Minorita, Ben-K, and Kota Minoura). This match was a great reminder that the former Takumi Hayakawa is a fighter and that we are closer and closer to seeing Eita on the path to great things. Eita did signal to Doi and Kondo that the three of them would make a great team to challenge for the Triangle Gate (trios) title.

Speaking of that prestigious trios title … in a surprising turn of events, Takashi Yoshida pinned one-third of the Triangle Gate champions, KAI, during the eight-man tag between High End and co. (YAMATO, Dragon Kid, Takashi Yoshida, and Problem Dragon) and the Z-Brats team of BxB Hulk, Shun Skywalker, KAI, and H.Y.O.

Shingo Takagi

The win was overshadowed when a piece of all-too-familiar entrance music started to play as BxB Hulk was about to put away YAMATO with a First Flash. Hulk was visibly shaken and became emotional when Shingo Takagi walked out.  The “Rampage Dragon” made his intentions known, as the match has been set for Final Gate!  Shingo Takagi and BxB Hulk will face YAMATO and Madoka Kikuta in the “Shingo Takagi is Back! Special Tag Team Match.”

The night ended with Yuki Yoshioka defeating the “Iron Man” himself, Masaaki Mochizuki, for a fourth successful defense of the Open the Dream Gate championship.

Still, at 52 years old, “Mocchy” pulled all the stops and once again solidified why he is one of the best, hands down.  And Yoshioka keeps showing glimpses of the inferno that burns within.  You want and need to watch this match!  You’ll thank yourself for it.

Yuki Yoshioka

The second Fan Appreciation broadcast is scheduled for December 11 from Nagoya. This show will again broadcast for free at No sign-up is required!

Posted on

DIAMANTE: “El Original” Is Home In Japan (Part 1)

Diamante portrait

DIAMANTE: “El Original” Is Home In Japan (Part 1)

Text & Photos by Issa Marie

WHEN WE LOOK back at the last calendar year, Diamante’s dominance in the ring cannot go unnoticed: key victories over Shun Skywalker and Dragon Kid; unmasking Dragon Dia and becoming one-half of the toughest, pound-for-pound, Twin Gate champions with the aforementioned Skywalker; and, crucially, being the only opponent Yuki Yoshioka beat with a reversal instead of using his signature frog splash (we’ll put a pin in that one for the moment).

Days shy of their continued series of epic battles between Z-Brats and NATURAL VIBES, Chapter 3, I recently had an opportunity to speak with Diamante. This is part one of our conversation.

The “Mexican Power” decided to embark on his dream of wrestling and making his name known in Japan when the opportunity presented itself in 2019. “I love Japan! I fell in love with the country, the people, the culture during my first trip in 2012 as part of NJPW/CMLL FantasticaMania Tour,” said Diamante.  “However, it was Dragon Gate’s strength, agility, the courage, and skill of the wrestlers I encountered in Mexico that solidified it for me. This is the place I want to be … the company I want to wrestle for.”

Diamante & Shun Skywalker

Even though he had an opportunity to return to Mexico, Diamante decided to stay in Japan. “I was already home,” he said. “I was with my family, and I have no plans of leaving any time soon. I have goals and dreams I have yet to accomplish, and I want to attain them in Dragon Gate.”

And one of those goals is to recover the Twin Gate title with his “Calamity Of The Skies” partner, Shun Skywalker. “Shun and I are the strongest tag team,” he said. “When we regained our championships, we want to defend them all over the world. At Dangerous Gate, I want Jacky (Funky Kamei) and Jason (Lee) to retain, so that we can take back what is ours from them. Shun and I gave them that win to appease the ‘crying’ children of the Kung Fu Kids.”

And what about the other members of NATURAL VIBES? “Z-Brats has no true rivals,” bragged Diamante. “NATURAL VIBES is a unit made up of kids (Jacky, Jason), an old selfish man (Kzy), a Strong Machine that spends more time broken than being functional, and Big Boss and U-T, who we have beaten and humiliated time and time again. At Ota-Ku, it will be the beginning of their end.”


Even though his current sights are on NATURAL VIBES, Diamante has not forgotten about the man who betrayed him and tossed him away, the current Open the Dream Gate champion, Yuki Yoshioka.  “Infer,” he began, referring to Yoshioka’s former “Dia Inferno” moniker. “After everything I did for you … I took care of you, I put my mask on the line for you, I did everything I had to do to protect your mask. And what did you do? You unmasked yourself and walked away from me—from us—without saying a word.”

To Diamante, who previously took the mask of Big Boss when Boss wrestled as Bokutimo Dragon, Yoshioka’s voluntary unmasking was a show of disrespect and lack of pride. The mask is, after all, everything to masked wrestlers.

Since Yoshioka became a topic of conversation, I had to ask: Does “El Original” plan on challenging the promotion’s top singles champion anytime soon?  Diamante smiled that beautiful smile of his. “I am working on becoming the best version of myself,” he began. “And, when I grab the microphone and ask for that opportunity, knowing I will win.”

Stay tuned for part two of this interview, in which we’ll share a small look into the man behind the mask!


DIAMANTE: “El Original” Estoy en Casa, aquí en Japón (Pt 1)

La dominancia de Diamante en este año es algo que no puede pasar por desapercibido: victorias decisivas sobre Shun Skywalker y Dragón Kid; el haber desenmascarado a Dragón Dia; junto a Skywalker, formar parte del equipo, Kilo por Kilo, más fuertes y peligroso, ganando el campeonato de Twin Gate; y el único oponente el cual Yuki Yoshioka le ganó sin usar su sello personal (hablaremos de esto un poco más adelante).

Unos días antes de otra lucha épica entre Z-Brats y NATURAL VIBES, Tercer Capítulo, conversé con Diamante – esta es la primera parte de nuestra plática.

El “Poder Mexicano,” al darse la oportunidad de hacer un sueño en realidad, no dudó en mudarse permanentemente a Japón. “Me enamoré del país, la cultura, los fanáticos durante mi primera visita en el 2012, en la gira enter NJPW y CMLL, FantásticaManía. Siempre quise destacarme aquí; pero fue la fuerza, agilidad, coraje, y la destreza de los luchadores de Dragón Gate lo que solidificó mi decisión de luchar en y para esta compañía.”


En vez de regresar a México durante la pandemia, Diamante quizo quedarse en Japón. “Estaba en casa, con quienes consideró mi familia, y no tengo planes de irme. Tengo metas y sueños que cumplir; y quiero alcanzarlos en Dragón Gate.”

Y una de esas metas es recuperar el campeonato de Twin Gate junto a su ex rival y ahora pareja, Shun Skywalker, que juntos son conocidos como “La Calamidad de Los Cielos,” mientras que ellos se identifican como “Los Cazadores.” “Shun y yo somos el equipo más fuerte” dijo Diamante. “Cuando recuperemos nuestros campeonatos, queremos defenderlos por todo el mundo. En Dangerous Gate, queremos que Jacky (Funky Kamei) y Jasón (Lee) retengan los cinturones para quitárselos. Shun y yo le regalamos esos campeonatos para calmar a los niños chillones de Kung Fu.”

¿Y qué piensas del resto de los integrantes de NATURAL VIBES? “Z-Brats, no tenemos rivales. Ellos están compuestos de unos niños (Jacky y Jasón), un viejo egoísta (Kzy), una “Máquina Fuerte” que se la pasa la mayoría de tiempo descompuesta, y Big Boss y U-T, a quienes le hemos ganado y humillado un sin número de veces. En Ota-Ku, será el principio de su final.”

El estar enfocado en NATURAL VIBES no significa que Diamante se haya olvidado de la persona que lo traicionó y lo hecho a un lado, el campeón de Open de Dream, Yuki Yoshioka. “Infer (como siempre le decía)…después de todo lo que hice por ti, te cuidé, arriesgué mi máscara para preservar la tuya, tu identidad…y como me pagaste? Desenmascarándote y dejándome (dejando a R.E.D.) sin decir una palabra.”

La máscara de un luchador es lo más sagrado. Y Diamante, quien, en lucha de apuestas en Dragón Gate, les ganó las máscaras a Bokutimo Dragón y Dragón Dia, ve las acciones de Yoshioka (desenmascararse) como una falta de respeto, de honor…

Ya que Yoshioka es tema de conversación, tenía que preguntar – “El Original,¿” tiene planes de retarlo por el campeonato en un futuro no muy lejanos? Diamante sonrió, esa sonrisa coqueta que enamora, antes de contestar. “Estoy preparándome, evolucionando a ser la mejor versión de mí. El día que tomé el micrófono y lo rete, lo haré sabiendo que soy el que será el ganador.”

Estén pendientes de la segunda parte de esta entrevista donde conoceremos un poquito, a el hombre detrás de la máscara.


今回のインタビューはZ-BratsとNATURAL VIBESの対抗戦前夜にディアマンテ選手について語っていきます。こちらの記事は2パートの前編となります。




NATURAL VIBESの他メンバーは?「Z-Bratsは敵なし。NATURAL VIBESは子供達(ジャッキー、ジェイソン)、わがままなおっさん(Kzy)、壊れたストロングマシーンと何度もボコボコにされたBIGBOSSとU-Tの集まりなだけ。大田区は終わりの始まりだ。

ディアマンテ選手の目的はNATURAL VIBESではありますが、彼を裏切られた現オープン・ザ・ドリームゲート王者こと吉岡勇紀選手は未だに忘れていない。「インフェル・・・

あなたの為にいろいろお世話をし、自分のマスクを掛けて試合をし、あなたのマスクを守るためどれだけ苦労したんだろう。その結果?自身のマスクを剥がし、 何も言わずに私たちーいや、私の前から去っていった 。