■ Lion’s Gate Project 12 Full lineup & Ticket sales info https://www.njpw1972.com/tornament/22789?showCards=1
■ The event will be live-streamed on https://njpwworld.com/
April 10 saw Lion’s Gate return to Shinjuku FACE for the first time in 2018. Now the card has been set for Lion’s Gate 12 on May 15, and it’s headlined by a long awaited singles contest. Yuji Nagata will take on Ayato Yoshida from K-DOJO in our main event. This match was originally scheduled for a July 2017 Lion’s Gate card but an injury to Yoshida prevented that from happening. Now the young K-DOJO prospect with impressive kicks and submissions can finally face a man he ‘respects the hell out of’ in Nagata.
Nagata for his part seems full of confidence when it comes to facing Yoshida, having stated the younger man is ‘rushing into this,’ and that ‘he has heart but right now he’s just spinning his wheels’. Will experience beat out youthful vigor? Or will young Yoshida score a huge upset?
In the semi main event, we see a big name (in more ways than one) appear on a Lion’s Gate show for the first time. The core of Strong BJ, Daisuke Sekimoto will go one-on-one with Shota Umino.
Big Japan Pro Wrestling has earned a reputation for deathmatches, but in an arena of blood and guts, Sekimoto has carried the banner for strong heavyweight wrestling. With BJW as his base, Sekimoto has impressed in promotions around the world, with his most notable singles achievement being a victory in All Japan’s Champion Carnival tournament in 2016. With his partner Yuji Okabayashi, Sekimoto is also a two time former World Tag Team Champion.
Sekimoto’s resume is strong, but his history with New Japan is a short one. He wrestled a few times for the NJPW sub-brand LOCK UP in 2007, and participated in July 2012’s Summer Fight Fever show, which saw AJPW and NJPW wrestlers compete in Ryogoku to mark both companies’ 40th anniversary. Since then however, Sekimoto hasn’t been seen in an NJPW ring; now he seeks to make a huge impact. Opposite him, meanwhile, Shota Umino is fresh off the first main event of his career April 10, and will look to make the most of a huge chance against the impressive big man.
Also on May 15, it’s past versus future in tag team action! Hiro Saito returns to Lion’s Gate, this time teaming with fellow nWo Japan and Okami Gundan alum, Hiroyoshi Tenzan. They face Young Lions Tetsuhiro Yagi and Ren Narita.
Tomoyuki Oka will take on Manabu Nakanishi in singles action. There’s a real teacher versus student feel to this one, as the two heavyweights with amateur backbones collide. How will Oka fare against the ‘Countrified Monster’ Nakanishi?
To open the show, it’ll be the two newest Young Lions pitted against one another. Yuuya Uemura and Yota Tsuji both debuted on April 10. Now we might see who has the upper hand at this early stage of their careers.
DOB: February 9, 1981
Height: 175cm (5’ 9’’)
Weight: 120kg (265 lbs)
Debut: August 10, 1999 (against Ryuji Ito)
Signature moves: Fire Hammer, German Suplex, Big Splash, Scorpion Deathlock, Lariat, Bizan (Double team)