MLW has been using the Forbidden Door before it became an official phrase in professional wrestling. In the spirit of competition, MLW knocked and Dragon Gate answered for an interpromotional title fight.
Cesar Duran teased the news in an effort to be recognized as bookerman of the year.
Just a few weeks left to show to my renegades why I am the chingon booker of the year. Today I start the full court press... WITH THE #MLWBlood MAIN EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Cesar Duran (@RealCesarDuran) November 17, 2022
Duran delivered. MLW announced that Alexander Hammerstone will defend the MLW World Heavyweight Championship against Yamato at Blood & Thunder on January 7 in Philadelphia.
YAMATO vs. Hammerstone World Title Fight in Philly https://t.co/Gn3riWuKmV— MLW (@MLW) November 17, 2022
Yamato is a five-time Open the Dream Gate champion, which is considered Dragon Gate’s top prize. He is also a ten-time Open the Twin Gate champion and five-time Open the Triangle Gate champion. Yamato was ranked #47 in the PWI 500 for 2017.
The official press release hypes Yamato strong:
YAMATO will be the first-ever DRAGONGATE wrestler to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship and would be the first Japanese wrestler to hold MLW’s top title since 2003, when Satoshi Kojima’s championship reign came to an end in MLW.
“The Almighty” YAMATO, a perennial DRAGONGATE main eventer, is an elite class of fighter. Decorated in gold, having won the Open The Dream Gate Championship, Open the Triangle Gate Championship, and Open the Twin Gate Championship, YAMATO’s all-around skills and experience make him the most dangerous challenger to Hammerstone’s year-plus reign as champion.
A former MMA fighter, competing in Pancrase, the 5th graduate of the Dragon Gate dojo is a ferocious competitor. Utilizing the Ragnarok (an inverted over-the-shoulder back-to-belly piledriver) to finish off competitors, YAMATO’s world class arsenal promises to impress fans and complicate Hammerstone’s power-driven offense.
For a glimpse of Yamato’s skills, check out this highlight video courtesy of The Indy Movement. Yamato is in the red trunks wrestling against Kota Minoura.
Does this interpromotional matchmaking pique your curiosity?