Masato Yoshino’s retirement, new Open the Dream Gate champion in Kobe

Dragon Gate’s Kobe Pro Wrestling Festival culminated with the retirement match for Masato Yoshino on Sunday in the main event.

Photo Courtesy: Dragon Gate

Dragon Gate’s Kobe Pro Wrestling Festival culminated with the retirement match for Masato Yoshino on Sunday in the main event.

After surpassing the thirty-two-minute mark, Eita and BxB Hulk were victorious against Naruki Doi and the outgoing Yoshino after Eita pinned Yoshino.

The retirement had a long promotional build-up for this weekend in Kobe with Yoshino losing the fall in both matches on Saturday and Sunday as he ends his career.

Yoshino, 41, is a product of the Toryumon system where he was trained by Ultimo Dragon and Jorge Rivera a.k.a. Skayde before debuting in September 2000.

Yoshino would wrestle for Toryumon until it evolved into Dragon Gate and spent his entire 21-year career with the group winning every championship.

He became the Open the Dream Gate champion for the first time in July 2010 and held it four times with his final reign in 2018, which was ended by Pac.

Yoshino was a six-time Open the Brave Gate champion, an eleven-time Open the Triangle Gate champion, and won the Open the Twin Gate championship three times with partners Naruki Doi and Shachihoko Boy. In 2015 and 2018, he was the King of Gate tournament winner.

In 2006, he was part of a revolutionary match as a member of Blood Generation with Naruki Doi and CIMA against Dragon Kid, Genki Horiguchi, and Ryo Saito at ROH’s Supercard of Honor on March 31st in Chicago Ridge, Illinois.

The match was heralded as the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Match of the Year and I was in the building for this match and it was at another level with the six tearing down the house and leaving the crowd in awe at what they had witnessed for the era.

Yoshino also had stints with the upstart Wrestling Society X that aired on MTV in 2007, appearances with TNA, and won the GHC junior heavyweight tag championship with Naruki Doi in November of 2007 beating Ricky Marvin & Kotaro Suzuki and held them until the following January when they dropped them to Shingo Takagi & BxB Hulk.

Yoshino’s retirement was a result of neck problems he has experienced for years and decided to walk away at the age of 41.

The retirement card also featured Yamato ending the reign of Shun Skywalker as Open the Dream Gate champion as the 39-year old won the title for the fifth time.

Skywalker, 25, won the championship for the first time last November defeating Eita, and has established himself as one of Dragon Gate’s elite stars for years to come.

The other title change saw Kagetora (who pinned Masato Yoshino in a multi-man tag on Saturday’s show) become the Open the Brave Gate champion defeating Genki Horiguchi.

Below is the full list of results from Sunday’s card in Kobe (Courtesy: Purolove.com):
*Masato Yoshino Retirement: Eita & BxB Hulk over Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi
*Open the Dream Gate: Yamato over Shun Skywalker (champion)
*Open the Twin Gate: Susumu Yokosuka & King Shimizu (champions) over Dragon Kid & Ben-K
*Open the Triangle Gate: Jason Lee, Dragon Dia & La Estrella (champions) over Shuji Kondo, Toru Owashi & Yasshi
*Open the Brave Gate: Kagetora over Genki Horiguchi (champion)
*Kai, Kazma Sakamoto, Diamante & HYO over Ultimo Dragon, Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii & Ryo Saito after Diamante tore off Ultimo Dragon’s mask
*UT won the battle royal involving Super Shisa, Yasushi Kanda, Mondai Ryu, Ho Ho Lun, Kenichiro Arai, Gamma, Takashi Yoshida, Shachihoko Boy & Ko no Mama Ichikawa
*Kaito Ishida, SB Kento & Dia Inferno over Kzy, Keisuke Okada & Kota Minoura

About John Pollock 5608 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.