|Industry|| Professional wrestling|
|Founded||July 5, 2004|
|Headquarters||Kobe, Hyogo, Japan|
|Sister|| Dragon Gate USA|
Dragon Gate UK
|Number of employees||50|
|Website||Official Japanese Website|
Dragon Gate Entertainment Co., Ltd. (ドラゴンゲートエンターテイメント株式会社 Doragon Gēto Entāteimento kabushiki-gaisha) operating as Dragon Gate Pro-Wrestling (ドラゴンゲートプロレス Doragon Gēto Puroresu) and often referred to as Dragon Gate (ドラゴンゲート Doragon Gēto), is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion formerly known as Toryumon Japan. It stayed behind after Último Dragón left Toryumon and took the name and rights with him in 2004 Most of Dragon Gate's wrestlers were graduates from Último Dragón's Toryumon Gym, and thus the promotion is based on a Junior Heavyweight style with varying emphasis on high flying manoeuvres, flashy technical grappling, and submissions. Takashi Okamura served as has served as the President of the promotion since it's creation, until Nobuhiko Oshima took over the presidency of the promotion, after Okamura left the promotion on May 7, 2018. Toru Kido serves as the President of Dragon Gate Entertainment a parent company formed to take over all domestic operations. Shortly after, the attendence for the shows in 2018 started to decrease, especially in the Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival.
Since its creation, Dragon Gate is one of a few promotions to be broadcasted by GAORA. Dragon Gate is arguably the second largest wrestling promotion in Japan, in terms of attendance and revenue. Dragon Gate has also engaged in working agreements with other promotions around Japan, including DDT Pro-Wrestling, Pro Wrestling NOAH and New Japan Pro Wrestling, and also around the world, including AAA and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Dragon Gate's biggest event is the Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival, which celebrates the anniversary of Dragon Gate.
Establishing in Japan (2004–2005)Edit
In early June 2004, it was announced that Ultimo Dragon, who just returned from a one-year stint with WWE, leaving the Toryumon Japan promotion and taking the Toryumon name since he owned the rights. The last show was promoted under the Toryumon name that took take place at the fifth anniversary show "Vo Aniversario" at World Memorial Hall in Kobe on July 4. Takashi Okamura, was serving as the Director of Toryumon Japan while Ultimo was in WWE, then he announced that the promotion would continue on independently as Dragon Gate.
Naming the promotion Dragon Gate was itself taken from the meaning of the word Toryumon itself. The word was coined after the homonym that is translated as climbing up dragon gate, which means the gateway to success.
Following the split, Dragon Gate immediately went on to work, launching the Every Day Pro Wrestling project. As part of the Fuji Television "Adventure King" as an attraction in Tokyo, Dragon Gate wrestlers would wrestle two shows per day throughout July and August, often having two or three matches per show. They would hold the larger scale "Premium" shows once a week during this time. The project was a success and it brought in new fans to Dragon Gate and wrestling in general. They would hold a second in 2005, which further increased the fanbase.
The promotion reached a very intriguing predicament by the end of 2004 and going into the start of 2005 as several key wrestlers left, either by their own or by being fired. Those who left were Milano Collection AT, SUWA, TARU, and the entire Aagan Iisou unit, the latter group has been the main heels of the promotion. Also, the highly popular and revolutionary Crazy MAX unit had folded due to SUWA's departure. Following a bad period in the month of January in 2005, company ace CIMA would turn heel and start a new unit called Blood Generation that got the promotion back on track.
International expansion (2005–2015)Edit
That year also saw the foundations for expansion outside of Japan, a very ambitious concept for a company that was nearly a year into its independent existence. CIMA, along with first Dragon Gate trueborn's graduate Shingo Takagi, traveled to the United States to wrestle in ROH. In November, they ran a show in Kanan, China that drew 3,500 attendance, setting the creation of plans to run shows in the United States and South Korea. Also in November, Mexican gaijin Vangelis and King Shisa, who would later reveal to be Pentagon Black, appeared in Dragon Gate and were followed by American gaijin Jack Evans and Roderick Strong. This would set the tone for the promotion, previously under isolationist principles, for the most part, opening their doors to outside talent from 2006 onward.
Dragon Gate sended talent to ROH and PWG in 2006 where they immediately won the heart of American fans, through which produced the legendary Blood Generation vs. Do FIXER in a six-man tag team match on March 31, 2006 in Chicago Ridge, Illinois that won acclaimed and earned Match of the Year honours of the Wrestling Observer as well as a prestigious five-star rating from its chief editor Dave Meltzer. In addition, Dragon Gate would a start series of events called WrestleJAM, bringing together wrestlers from Japan, America, and Mexico to celebrate and showcase their in-ring styles.
On January 6, 2008 CIMA announced at the end of a PWG show that Dragon Gate would be running their first US show in Los Angeles later that year. It would take place on September 5, 2008 in Bell Gardens, which they followed with a show in Waikiki, Hawaii the next day. This would lay the expansion for the launch of Dragon Gate USA the following year. Also in 2008 since Naoki Tanizaki's return to the promotion, Dragon Gate started to allow their wrestlers to compete elsewhere in Japan.
Despite an unfortunate incident that was made public in mid-2009, Dragon Gate continued to grow stronger than ever with increasing fanbases in Japan and in the United States following the first Dragon Gate USA show on July 25 in the former ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Furthermore, they ran the first of what would become the annual visits to Europe, in particular, the United Kingdom, in October and November, later it was created a sister promotion called Dragon Gate UK that increased the fanbase in Europe including BxB Hulk making the first ever title defense of The Open The Freedom Gate Championship in Japan on December 12 against Susumu Yokosuka. Dragon Gate also produced one show in Barcelona, Spain in October 2009 named Open the Spanish Gate. Later 2014 Dragon Gate hold their last show in the UK and since then it wasn't held any shows in the UK. On August 15, 2015 Dragon Gate ended their expansion in the USA in order to Gabe Sapolsky focus more on Evolve.
Open The Dream Gate Championship accident (2015)Edit
On July 21, following the Kobe World Pro Wrestling Festival, it was reported that Open The Dream Gate Championship has been lost. Following this, it was immediately reported to the police the incident. All championship titles were locked in aluminium suitcases. All titles were found, except for the Open The Dream Gate Championship which as declared stolen. The situation was declared to be further investigated and Takashi Okamura made the highest priority finding the championship, leading to the promotion ordering a new title.
Dragon Gate restructure (2018–Present)Edit
It was reported, in October Okamura became sick and he would perhaps retire by the end of the year. During the period of Dragon Gate USA, Okamura and Nobuhiko Oshima always had discussions over the International expansion of Dragon Gate, but Okamura was not concerned Internationally but only in Japan. He also wasn't fully committed on the partnership with Oriental Wrestling Entertainment. On March 21, 2018, at Memorial Gate in Wakayama, Dragon Gate announced Dragon Gate Network, a new streaming site for the promotion's events.
On May 7, Takashi Okamura announced his withdrawal from the promotion due to medical issues. As a result, it was formed a parent company called "Dragon Gate Entertainment, Inc." where Toru Kido was appointed as president and would also serve as executive director of the promotion. Kido would also take over all domestic operations, while Nobuhiko Oshima would take over the role of president of "Dragon Gate Inc.", the international department of the promotion with the Headquarters in Shangai, China. Oshima would bring with him three wrestlers from the promotion to work for Oriental Wrestling Entertainment in Shanghai, China, where they would be signed Dragon Gate Entertainment. Dragon Gate would be based in Shanghai, with the purpose of being coordinated with Oriental Wrestling Entertainment and other international bookings. Dragon Gate would solely focus in Japan. Kido also created a board of directors to turn the company over with Masato Yoshino, Yoshiyuki Saito and Takayuki Mori taking part of it. There were some reports claiming that Dragon Gate had a formal split Oshima and Kido sides, despite Kido denying them.
On July 22, it was also announced that Dragon Gate would hold live events in Hong Kong on October 22 and 23 and later securing a venue to run regular events. The shows will also be streamed on the Dragon Gate Network.
Since the promotion started to run independently in 2004, Dragon Gate has functioned on having a vast majority of its roster aligned with one unit or another. There are generally multiple factions active at one time.
|Katsuya Ichikawa||Play-by-play commentary and backstage interviewer|
|Naoto Kikuchi||Ring announcer|
|Shoki Ono||Ring announcer|
|Takayuki Yagi||Referee and general manager|
|Toru Kido||Senior managing director|
President of Dragon Gate Entertainment
|Yatsuka Nakazawa||Dragon Gate Records|
- Gaora (2004-present, broadcasting monthly show and live specials)
- Dragon Gate Infinity (2000-present, broadcasting live and taped shows)
- Nico Nico Douga (2016-present, streaming untelevised spot-shows and interviews)
- Dragon Gate Network (streaming service, in partnership with Gaora, broadcasting most Dragon Gate shows live, as well as on-demand classic)
Since the start of Dragon Gate until now, the first six units were formed before like Crazy MAX, Florida Express, Aagan Iisou, Italian Connection, Final M2K and Do FIXER. The others unit are since their formation until their disbanding.
- ■ Founding member
- ▲ Left the unit
- ▼ joined the unit
- ● rejoined the unit
- ★ Leader
|Championship||Current champion(s)||Reign||Date won||Days held|
|Open The Dream Gate Championship||PAC||1||December 4, 2018||10+|
|Open The Triangle Gate Championship||Natural Vibes|
(Kzy, Genki Horiguchi and Susumu Yokosuka)
(5, 11, 9)
|May 6, 2018||222+|
|Open The Brave Gate Championship||Dragon Kid||4||September 24, 2018||81+|
|Open The Twin Gate Championship||Tribe Vanguard|
(YAMATO and BxB Hulk)
|July 22, 2018||145+|
|Championship||Last Champion(s)||Date Won||Notes|
|I-J Heavyweight Tag Team Championship||Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi||October 12, 2007||Unified with Open The Twin Gate Championship on October 12, 2007|
|Open The Owarai Twin Gate Championship||Don Fujii and Kikutaro||April 12, 2009||Has seemingly been forgotten about after its first appearance|
|Open The Owarai Gate Championship||Shingo Takagi||March 6, 2018||The title after Takagi escaped the Dead or Alive seven-way steel cage match, where if Takagi escaped the championship would be declared inactive.|
|International Junior Heavyweight Championship||Masaaki Mochizuki||November 23, 2006||Mochizuki beat Gedo in a decision match on January 26, 2007 to determine the then final champion and then retired the title.|
|Tournament||Last winner||Last held|
|King of Gate||Masato Yoshino||June 6, 2018|
|Promotion name||Location||Partnered on||Notes|
|Dragon Gate NEX||Japan||2006||Active|
|Dragon Gate USA||United States||2009||Inactive|
|Dragon Gate UK||United Kingdom||2009||Inactive|
Marquee events Edit
- Champion Gate
- Memorial Gate
- Dead or Alive
- King of Gate
- Kobe World Pro Wrestling Festival
- Dangerous Gate
- Gate of Destiny
Marquee tours Edit
- Open the New Year Gate
- Brand New Gate
- Fantastic Gate
- Gate of Evolution
- Gate of Generation
- Gate of Victory
- Gate of Maximum
- Fantastic Gate
- NEX Sanctuary
- PRIME ZONE
- Rainbow Gate
- Truth Gate