PWG DDT4 live review
RECAP OF THE 2013 PRO WRESTLING GUERRILLA DDT4 TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT
1/12/2013, American Legion Post #308, Reseda, California, USA
By Chad Simplicio
Despite the cold snap that has gripped California, another capacity crowd filled the hall for the annual tournament. In addition to El Generico wrestling in his final night for the promotion before moving up to WWE, this time, the defending tag team champions—The Super Smash Bros.—were in the tournament. Therefore, the tag team titles were on the line throughout the tournament.
1 - The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) def. The Inner City Machine Guns (Ricochet & Rich Swann). Although Nick Jackson ate Ricochet’s Corner Suicide Dive, Matt Jackson was able to time his counter to Rich Swann’s signature move, getting his knees up to gut him, then rolled him up for the pin.
2 - The Unbreakable F’ing Machines (Brian Cage & Michael Elgin) def. The Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Stupefied) to hold the tag team titles for the time being. Player Uno legitimately injured his left shoulder, most likely when he took a Suicide Dive onto Cage & Elgin, which saw him apparently bump into the legs of Stupefied, but it would later be reported that he was fine. In the meantime, Michael Elgin p. Stupefied w/ his Spinning Powerbomb.
3 - Future Shock (PWG Champion Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly) def. The Dojo Bros. (Roderick Strong & Eddie Edwards). Despite getting a huge chop to the groin area—which he seemed to provoke Roddy to do w/ a verbal taunt—Adam Cole managed to p. Roddy w/ a title belt shot to the head behind the back of Referee Rick Knox, who was checking on Eddie Edwards & Kyle O’Reilly when they spilled over the top rope, and onto the floor in Vertical Suplex holds.
4 - Kevin Steen & El Generico def. Jay & Mark Briscoe. Who knew that after a few weeks removed from ROH Final Battle 2012, that Steen & Generico would set aside their differences for one night…..technically. Hard-hitting action that ended when El Generico p. Mark Briscoe w/ a Victory Roll to evade the Doomsday Device. Best match of the first round.
5 - After intermission, The Young Bucks def. The Unbreakable F’ing Machines to begin their 3rd run w/ the PWG Tag Team titles, at least up to the Final. Nick Jackson managed to sneak up behind Michael Elgin, who went for his finisher on Matt Jackson, to get the Crucifix Rollup for the pin.
6 - Kevin Steen & El Generico def. Future Shock. Right from the start, Kevin Steen went after Adam Cole, as the two teams brawled outside the ring. In the end, it was Steen who hit the Package Piledriver on Cole, then rolled him over to El Generico, who finished it off w/ the Brainbuster for the pin.
NON-TOURNAMENT SINGLES ACTION
7 - Willie Mack p. B-Boy w/ the Chocolate Thunderbomb. Not much to say about this short match, but it was pretty even, and hard-hitting, even though a seemingly botched STO from B-Boy made Willie go head-first to the mat, dangerously close to the turnbuckles.
SM - Match 2 of the Sami Callihan/Drake Younger Best of 3 Series to determine the #1 Contender to the PWG Championship, and it was contested under Last Man Standing Rules. Alot of chairs and a roadside cone were used in the hardcore match, and once again, Drake Younger got busted open. However, Drake managed to KO Sami w/ a series of hard forearm shots, and this was after he took alot of chair shots to the head.
M - The Young Bucks v. Kevin Steen & El Generico. More hard-hitting action, and it was hard at the start to keep an eye on both halves of the action, as they brawled all over the place. Great exchanges from the duo, but somehow, Matt Jackson was able to reverse the cover on El Generico after eating Steen’s Package Piledriver to eek out the win.
2013 PWG DDT4 WINNERS & 3-TIME PWG TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: THE YOUNG BUCKS
Strange as it may seem after all they’ve been through, Kevin Steen looked like he wasn’t going to shake El Generico’s hand, but in the end, he came back into the ring, and gave him a “bury the hatchet” hug (if you could call it that way). Rick Knox and most of the wrestlers from the back, as well as Excalibur, joined “The Generic Luchador” in the ring, and El Generico gave one last promo to close it out. Now here’s the thing. If WWE can fully recognize El Generico’s incredible pain threshold, combined w/ his great wrestling & entertainment abilities, I can envision him needing only a year or two in NXT before joining the main roster, regardless of which name he’s given, or whether or not he wrestles w/ a mask. If they can use him well like they have Daniel Bryan, Antonio Cesaro, & Seth Rollins, who knows how far they can go w/ him. That is my view.
Live report from PWG: Mystery Vortex
Thanks to Chad for another great PWG review!
RECAP OF THE 12/1/12 PRO WRESTLING GUERRILLA “MYSTERY VORTEX” SHOW AT AMERICAN LEGION POST #308, RESEDA, CA, USA
By Chad Simplicio
A capacity crowd braved the wet, wintry weather that has been rolling over California for the last few days, to be among those who witness some significant events in the West Coast’s top indy promotion to close out the year. A couple of the talents scheduled to be at the show didn’t make their flight to L.A., so there were a few changes to the card.
1 - Roderick Strong & Eddie Edwards def. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) when Roddy & Eddie hit a team finisher on whom I believe to be Matt Jackson. A very strong opener w/ plenty of great tag team action.
2 - Sami Callihan made Drake Younger tapout to a modified version of his Kneebreaker/Heel Hook submission. Another strong singles match that saw Drake Younger get his head busted open during the match, and the series of headbutts didn’t help much either.
* Adam Cole comes out to cut an in-ring promo, holding Kevin Steen’s PWG Championship title. Kevin Steen came to the ringside area from the commentary table w/ Excalibur, and responded w/ a surprise of his own, since the card as a whole was generally a mystery. Their title match would be……..A GUERRILLA WARFARE MATCH.
3 - The Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Stupefied) successfully defended the PWG Tag Team Championship, beating The RockNES Monsters (Johnny Yuma & Johnny Goodtime), who were continuing their slow heel turn. Great tag team match ended w/ SSB hitting the Fatality on Johnny Yuma, w/ Player Uno scoring the pin. Excalibur himself hit the ring after the match, telling the tag team champions that they would do one more match, a non-title match later that night against Roderick Strong & Eddie Edwards.
4 - Joey Ryan did his final PWG match to wrap up his indy bookings prior to joining TNA full time, but came up short against Scorpio Sky (TNA’s Mason Andrews) when eating a Big Fat Kill/Headscissors DDT/Ace of Spades combo. Joey Ryan talked about his time w/ PWG afterwards, and said that he would plan to come back whenever his TNA schedule allows him to do so.
5 - Crazy Fatal Four-Way after intermission. Willie Mack def. T.J. Perkins, B-Boy, & Brian Cage. T.J. Perkins had Brian Cage in a STF submission, but Referee Justin Borden only saw Willie Mack hit his Spike Piledriver finisher on B-Boy for the pin.
6 - El Generico p. Rich Swann w/ the Hallula Kick into a Modified Butterfly Suplex, ending what was the 2nd best match of the card.
SM - Non-title Tag Team Match. Eddie Edwards & Roderick Strong def. The Super Smash Bros when Eddie Edwards p. Stupefied w/ the Top Rope Double-Stomp, and he did plenty of those in this match. I wonder if those two earned a title shot, preferably at the 1/12/13 show back in Reseda.
M - Guerrilla Warfare Match for the PWG Championship between Kevin Steen & Adam Cole. 2 ladders, 8 chairs, an aluminum trash can, and a container of thumbtacks were used in this one. Adam Cole went through alot of painful spots—4 crotch rockets to all steel post corners of the ring, 4 powerbombs to the apron, then eating a huge slam to the stack of 8 chairs. In the end, “The Panama City Playboy” overcame all of that, hitting a huge Suplex on Steen to put him on the pile of thumbtacks, then hit a Straitjacket German Suplex for the pin, and legitimately win the PWG Championship.
A very strong card to close out the year, but their “Threemendous III” show last July was my top PWG show of the year. It’ll be interesting to see how far Adam Cole will go w/ the PWG title, and there will be plenty of opponents coming his way. As for what could be ahead for the promotion w/o Joey Ryan being there regularly, it shouldn’t be that hard for someone to come forward and fill the void, especially as we approach the promotion’s 10th Anniversary show in the Summer of 2013.
Review: PWG Battle Of Los Angeles 2012
Chad Simplicio is back with another excellent live PWG review, of this past weekend’s Battle Of Los Angeles! I’ll hand you over to him:
FULL RECAP OF THE 2012 PRO WRESTLING GUERRILLA BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES TOURNAMENT
American Legion Post #308, Reseda, California, United States
By Chad Simplicio
A capacity crowd was on hand for Night 1, and about 80-90% of them returned for Night 2. Out of the 5 consecutive BoLA tournaments that I have gone to, the outcome of the tournament matches were the most surprising of them all, and there were multiple times where—even from the 2nd Row—the action outside the ring were too close for comfort, and most of them didn’t move far enough. In addition, with a good number of wrestling fans coming in from places further out than Las Vegas or Arizona, including some alleged CZW fans; it brought quite an extraordinary atmosphere to the PWG venue, ticking off a few of the wrestlers & other fans along the way. Once again, Excalibur, who was on crutches due to an injured right knee, had to remind the fans NOT TO TAILGATE OR BRING IN ALCOHOLIC DRINKS at the premises of the legion hall.
Referees: Sparky Ballard & Justin Borden (Why no Rick Knox? Read down!)
Excalibur’s guest commentators: Joey Ryan, Kevin Steen, Davey Richards, & Roderick Strong
ROUND 1 MATCHES HELD ON NIGHT 1 — Saturday, September 1
1 - T.J. Perkins p. Joey Ryan w/ the Superkick, followed by what looked like a Modified GTS.
2 - Roderick Strong p. Drake Younger w/ the Death By Roderick, followed by a Butterfly Suplex in a match where the crowd got really hot for the see-saw, hard-hitting action.
3 - Eddie Edwards made Kyle O’Reilly tapout to the Single-Leg Boston Crab submission, w/ the stomps to the side of the head. Another match where the crowd got hot, and Kyle gave it everything he had w/ the injured torso or lower back.
4 - Brian Cage p. B-Boy w/ what looked like his “Weapon X” finisher in a slow but methodical match.
5 - Non-title match that was held after intermission. Ricochet p. PWG Champion Kevin Steen w/ the Corkscrew Moonsault. Brian Cage ran in late in the match to distract Kevin Steen. While “Mr. GMSI” ate the Package Piledriver, his distraction was enough for Ricochet to take advantage, leading to the final outcome.
6 - Sami Callihan p. Willie Mack w/ the 3rd Running Lariat or Clothesline in a hard-hitting match.
SM - Adam Cole p. El Generico w/ a rollup to counter the Ground Briainbuster attempt in another wild & crazy match—one that brought quite the applause from Kevin Steen on commentary w/ Excalibur.
M - Michael Elgin p. Davey Richards w/ the pair of powerbombs—first to the corner, then the spin to the mat. Very hot crowd reaction to the see-saw, hard-hitting action that easily made it the best match of the first round, including one crazy spot where Michael Elgin held Davey Richards in a 1-min. Delayed Vertical Suplex!
NIGHT 2 — Sunday, September 2
1 - Sami Callihan made T.J. Perkins tapout to his version of Claudio Castagnoli’s (WWE’s Antonio Cesaro) Neutralizer submission.
2 - Adam Cole p. Eddie Edwards w/ a Modified German Suplex in which Cole crossed Eddie’s arms at the wrist. Great see-saw action.
3 - Michael Elgin p. Brian Cage w/ the pair of powerbombs to the mat, well after doing another Delayed Vertical Suplex that was clocked at approximately 1:06. Not sure what happened afterwards since I took the break between match to hit the restroom, but it appeared as if Cage was upset at the loss, and then it seemed as if The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)….HAD ATTACKED SENIOR REFEREE RICK KNOX BACKSTAGE AND BROUGHT HIM TO THE RING…only to be broken up by El Generico. This set up a big tag team grudge match later in the night.
4 - Ricochet p. Roderick Strong w/ the Shooting Star Press to cap what looked like the best match of the quarterfinals, because the crowd were the hottest for it.
5 - 6-man tag team action. Willie Mack, B-Boy, & Drake Younger def. Joey Ryan, Davey Richards, & Kyle O’Reilly. Willie led his “posse of Ghetto-clad wrestlers”, while Joey Ryan led his “sleazy recruits” who donned other Joey Ryan trunks. Wild mix of comedy & wrestling, which ended w/ a flurry, capped w/ Willie Mack p. Davey Richards w/ the Piledriver. After the bell, one of the alleged CZW fans really drew the ire of Joey Ryan.
SEMIFINALS, HELD AFTER INTERMISSION
6 - Adam Cole made Sami Callihan tapout to the Figure 4 Leglock submission, and he had to earn it, taking a page of Sami’s book to kick the back of left knee while Sami was on the middle ropes.
7 - Michael Elgin p. Ricochet w/ the pair of powerbombs, w/ the first coming from the middle ropes to counter the Huricanrana attempt, followed by the spin to the mat. Unlike the previous 2 matches, however, Elgin’s attempt at another long Delayed Vertical Suplex ended in Ricochet hitting a countering DDT :57 in.
SM - 6-man tag team grudge match, that initially started as a 3-on-2 Handicap. El Generico, PWG Champion Kevin Steen, & Senior Referee Rick Knox (THAT’S RIGHT, PEOPLE, SENIOR REFEREE RICK KNOX) def. Brian Cage & The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson). Another wild & crazy match that started with the said handicap, then Kevin Steen hit the ring to tag himself in from El Generico. Crazy flurry of action afterwards, ending w/ Matt Jackson eating Kevin Steen’s Package Piledriver, then El Generico’s Ground Brainbuster, then a Running Splash from Rick Knox, who scored the pin to send the crowd into a fury. Match of the night!
M - TOURNAMENT FINAL: Big see-saw battle between Adam Cole & Michael Elgin, including plenty of action outside the ring. It looked like Michael Elgin had it after he hit the powerbombs, but Adam Cole managed to counter it, and eventually hit the Modified German Suplex for the huge win, and he’s going straight for Kevin Steen’s PWG title!
WINNER OF THE 2012 PWG BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES TOURNAMENT: ADAM COLE
JCW IPPV tonight
JCW BloodyMania 6 will take place tonight, as part of the “Gathering Of The Juggalos” festival. Here is the line up (taken from prowrestling.net):
2 Tuff Tony vs. Kongo Kong for the JCW Title.
John Morrison vs Matt Hardy
Corporal Robinson vs. The Rude Boy.
Vampiro vs. Officer Colt Cabana.
Scott Steiner and Vader team up against opponents TBA.
The Ring Rydas vs. The Headbangers vs. Mad Man Pondo and Necro Butcher vs. The Rock-n-Roll Express in a four-way for the JCW Tag Titles.
Battle Royal featuring Carlito, Chris Masters, Bobby Lashley, Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, U-Gene, Shockwave the Robot, Zach Gowen, and more.
The show will air live on IPPV over at http://www.psychopathiclive.com for $14.95. The Morrison/Hardy match was supposed to be a triple threat also involving Shane “Gregory” “Hurricane” Helms, but unfortunately he had to pull out. He apologised on Youtube.
Thoughts: If this had the usual JCW $5 price tag, I’d probably order it, being a big Morrison fan. Seeing Steiner and Vader team up would be cool too. Send a review along to email@example.com if you check out the show.
Aftermath of Kevin Steen punching people (video)
I forgot to mention in the ROH results that world champion Kevin Steen was involved in an incident with two fans after his match, which resulted in him punching both of them. It is unclear whether they were actually plants or not. I’d assume that was the case, otherwise punching them was a very bad idea on Steen’s part.
Thanks to my friend Arlene for sharing!
Ring Of Honor: Boiling Point results
I’ve been on holiday (“vacation” to you Americans), and totally forgot ROH had an IPPV last night. The questionably named “Boiling Point” took place in Rhode Island, and here are the results:
Roderick Strong defeated Mike Mondo
QT Marshall won a four way, and an ROH contract (vs Matt Taven vs Vinny Marseglia vs Antonio Thomas)
Adam Cole beat Bob Evans
Charlie Haas defeated Michael Elgin
The Briscoes beat Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino
2 out of 3 falls: Jay Lethal beat Tommaso Ciampa
Eddie Edwards & Sara Del Rey defeated Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis
ROH World Championship - No DQ: Kevin Steen retained against CHIKARA Grand Champion Eddie Kingston
Thoughts: I’ve read two reviews of this show. Matt Waters at PWponderings liked it, Chris Shore at Prowrestling.net wasn’t so keen. You can read their reviews on those sites!
Nothing looks “must see” to me, but I imagine the second half was fun.
PWG: Battle of Los Angeles 2012 first round
The following is taken from the PWG website:
“Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s 2012 Battle of Los Angeles - Stage 1
Saturday, September 1, 2012 - 8:00PM Bell Time - Reseda, CA
American Legion Post #308 - 7338 Canby Ave., Reseda, CA 91335
First round matches in the 2012 Battle of Los Angeles are scheduled to include:
Adam Cole (1st Battle of Los Angeles) vs. El Generico (8th Battle of Los Angeles - 2011 Battle of Los Angeles winner)
Michael Elgin (1st Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Davey Richards (5th Battle of Los Angeles - 2006 Battle of Los Angeles winner)
Ricochet (2nd Battle of Los Angeles) vs. “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen (6th Battle of Los Angeles)
Eddie Edwards (2nd Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Kyle O’Reilly (1st Battle of Los Angeles)
Sami Callihan (1st Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Willie Mack (2nd Battle of Los Angeles)
TJ Perkins (2nd Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Joey Ryan (6th Battle of Los Angeles - 2010 Battle of Los Angeles winner)
B-Boy (1st Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Brian Cage (2nd Battle of Los Angeles)
Roderick Strong (7th Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Drake Younger (1st Battle of Los Angeles)”
The Battle Of LA has returned to its traditional two day, sixteen man format, and will conclude the following day in the same venue.
Thoughts: This is going to be an awesome weekend of wrestling. The Battle of LA is at its best when in the full two day format, so I’m pleased they’ve brought that back this year. Ricochet vs Steen and Callihan vs Willie Mack are particularly eye catching for me, as well as the big ROH rematches Richards vs Elgin and Edwards vs O’Reilly.
Results from Dragon Gate USA: Enter The Dragon 2012
This was the Dragon Gate USA third anniversary show, and it took place in Chicago last night.
MASADA defeated Jake “The Manscout” Manning
The Scene defeated Zero Gravity
Samuray Del Sol defeated Shane Hollister
Super Smash Brothers defeated Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez
I Quit match: Johnny Gargano defeated Chuck Taylor
Jon Davis defeated YAMATO
Akira Tozawa defeated El Generico
Open The United Gate Championship: CIMA & AR Fox defeated Ricochet & Rich Swann
Thoughts: No Dragon Gate wrestlers at all in the first half of the DGUSA anniversary show. The previous editions of this show opened with YAMATO vs BxB Hulk, CIMA vs Gargano, Ricochet vs Yoshino, and now we get…MASADA vs the Manscout? Not cool. It’s like the first half was EVOLVE and the second was DGUSA. I understand the practicalities of lessening the imported talent and building the American guys, but that doesn’t work out if the American guys are a big step down.
If I buy a show with the Dragon Gate name on, I want Dragon Gate wrestlers and Dragon Gate style wrestling. Yeah, the top three matches appeal to me on this card, and I know that you can’t feasibly have a completely awesome card on every show, but us Dragon Gate fans aren’t going to keep forking out the money for shows that have a completely uninteresting first hour and a half. I’m not saying that was necessarily the case here, I haven’t seen the show and I’ve heard (well, read) good things about the I Quit match, but DGUSA seems to be going in a distinctly un Dragon Gate direction. The first three shows of the year were really good, and were loaded from top to bottom, hopefully the next DGUSA shows will be more in that vein.
Live coverage of Dragon Gate USA: Untouchable 2012
Lee here with live Dragon Gate USA coverage! The show will start in about ten minutes, keep refreshing this post and checking back for results (they will all be edited into this post).
Jake Manscout and Chuck Taylor opened the show by showing us how to make campfires. Rich Swann interrupted and brawled with Taylor the back, then Jon Davis came out to face Manning.
Match 1: Jon Davis vs Jake “Manscout” Manning
Winner: Jon Davis (5 Seconds Around The World - pinfall)
Thoughts: Good when Davis was on offence, but I’m not a Manscout fan.
Match 2: Rich Swann vs Chuck Taylor
Recap: They had a crazy brawl on the outside, throwing each other into a ladder and chairs etc. Taylor sent Swann face first into the post then DDT’d him on the concrete in a brutal sequence. It got really good when they went in the ring, very fast, plenty of cool moves, with both of them putting in energetic performances. Taylor countered a frankensteiner into a half crab, which he wouldn’t break when Swann reached the ropes, causing a DQ.
Winner: Rich Swann (via DQ)
Thoughts: Underwhelming finish to a hot match, but it made sense given that Taylor didn’t need the win, but has a big match tomorrow. I enjoyed this one.
Gargano made the save after the match, then Christina Von Eerie of Mad Blankey came out and told him Tozawa was going to beat him for the title etc.
Match 3: Super Smash Brothers (Player Uno & Player Dos) vs The Scene (Caleb Konley & Scott Reed)
- Smash Bros accidentally knocked over some part of the stage during their entrance, which was pretty funny. The Scene came out with Larry Dallas, but without their ladies.
Winners: Super Smash Bros (Fatality - pinfall)
Thoughts: This was pretty good. Player Dos is the most ordinary looking guy ever, but he’s got some moves. Their double team finish, the Fatality, is so cool. Good debut for SSB, and it shows that the Scene can have a good tag match when given the chance.
Match 4: Ricochet vs YAMATO
Winner: YAMATO (Spear - pinfall)
Thoughts: Damn that was good. So many cool exchanges and counter spots. The styles clash worked so well, with YAMATO just hitting Ricochet really hard and working the leg to keep him grounded, while Ricochet came back it him with his signature brand of high flying, fast kicking offence. It’s a similar dynamic to that which YAMATO and babyface BxB Hulk had. YAMATO’s spear finish is awesome as it’s sudden, exciting, and protects the opponent’s heat since it catches them off guard and rolls them up.
- After the match, Davis comes out to hype tomorrow’s match. YAMATO hit him with a kick to the groin, then choked him out. Lenny hyped it as if he turned heel, and I believe that may be the case. He entered with the makeup and the swagger of his old heel persona, and we saw flashes of it in his last DGUSA appearance. YAMATO playing heel in the US and face in Japan isn’t unusual, as that’s what he was doing during most of his original heel run in the US.
Thoughts: Good first half. Questionable opener, good matches with Swann/Taylor and SSB/Scene, then a really exciting match from the future ace of Dragon Gate and the top gaijin. Time to go get another beer!
Match 5: Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez vs Some guys
Winners: Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez (Cannon’s Total Anarchy - pinfall)
Thoughts: I enjoyed that more than I expected. Usually I despise Pinkie Sanchez, but he is wearing tie dye shorts that make me think of Dude Love. Maybe Sanchez could be Cousin Peace. Anyway, one of the opponents threw some cool kicks, and the finishing sequence was sweet (Cannon lifted one of the other guys for a Sanchez double stomp, something else happened, then Total Anarchy).
Cannon introduced CZW’s Masada as the newest D.U.F. Masada declined the invitation and swore a lot. Cannon ordered Cousin Peace to stand up to Masada.
Match 6: Masada vs Pinkie Sanchez
Recap: Masada toyed with Pinkie then eventually won, basically.
Thoughts: I totally forgot to pay attention to that. Seemed fine for what it was though.
Winner: Masada (submission)
Match 7: CIMA & AR Fox vs El Generico & Samuray Del So
Winners: CIMA & AR Fox (Lo Mein Pain, Meteora - pinfall ((to Del Sol)))
Thoughts: They threw everything but the kitchen sink at each other there. Hot start, middle section interspersed with spots of insanity (like Fox’s inwards facing flip to outside), then a great finishing stretch.
- CIMA and Fox promo afterwards, hyping tomorrow’s tag title match.
Main event: Johnny Gargano (c) vs Akira Tozawa (Open The Freedom Gate Championship)
Winner: Johnny Gargano (Gargano Escape - submission)
Thoughts: Very good main event with some electrifying moments. Tozawa and Gargano have great chemistry. Akira failing to win the Dream and Freedom Gate titles in the same week makes me sad though.
Gargano cut a promo after the match, announced that he isn’t leaving DGUSA for WWE. Chuck Taylor’s crew attacked him afterwards. The Swamp Monster (Taylor) gave him the Awful Waffle. CIMA made the save.
Thanks for watching along with me tonight! I’ll have a full review up tomorrow or the day after. Feel free to discuss the show with me on Twitter @IWEnews.
Looking back at Dragon Gate USA Enter The Dragon 1, 2 and 3
Enter The Dragon, the Dragon Gate USA third anniversary show, will take place on Sunday (29th of July), so I thought it would be a good time to look back on the previous editions of the show:
(Philadelphia, July 26th 2009)
Don’t let the DVD cover fool you, the DGUSA debut show was originally called Enter The Dragon, but it was in the era when they apparently thought it was a good idea to give the DVD versions of the show different names to the pay per view versions. Confusing. Anyway, this was an excellent show, and ranks among the finest that DGUSA have ever had. Some would still cite it as the best.
The show opened with a thrilling match between two future pillars of the promotion; BxB Hulk and YAMATO. The language barrier and lack of promo time didn’t stop these two from displaying their big personalities, as Hulk made an elaborate entrance with his dance troupe, while YAMATO swaggered to the ring, clearly uninterested in theatrics and fan appreciation. YAMATO combated Hulk’s flashy kicks and flips with his unique brand of hard strikes and submission work, eventually dropping Hulk on his head with the deadly Galleria to secure the victory.
Next up was a match between Kenny “Dykstra” Doane and Too Cold Scorpio…which I haven’t seen as it was only included on the DVD, not the pay per view version which I saw. I’ve heard that this one didn’t live up to the standards of the rest of the card though. Following this was the much raved about CHIKARA eight man tag, which I didn’t love quite as much as the rest of the world. Watching guys I’d never heard of in ludicrous attire flipping around was fun, but it wasn’t the highlight of the show for me that it was for others. After the match, YAMATO came out to cause trouble, and Gran Akuma turned on his fellow CHIKARA wrestlers and sided with the Dragon Gate star, in what was the genesis of Kamikaze USA.
Next up was a good match that saw Dragon Kid defeat Masato Yoshino, starting a rivalry that would continue for almost a year. The real show stealer came after that, as the Young Bucks faced CIMA and Susumu Yokosuka. This was mind blowing stuff, and it took the show from “really good” to “oh my god you have to see this”. The Bucks ultimately secured a massive victory, as More Bang For Your Buck finished Yokosuka. Awesome stuff.
The final bout was a non title match between Open The Dream Gate champion Naruki Doi and Shingo Takagi. This was nicely hyped throughout the pay per view, with footage of each of them warming up in the back, and explanations about how they were big rivals in Japan. They delivered the goods in a great main event, which saw Shingo fall victim to the champion’s Muscular Bomb in the end.
Everything on this show (perhaps barring the Doane/Scorpio match) ranged from good to awesome, it’s a show I would recommend to any wrestling fan. An excellent debut for Dragon Gate USA.
(Philadelphia, July 25th 2010)
Another favourite of DGUSA fans, Enter The Dragon 2010 was a worthy successor to the original, which took place a year before, almost to the day. The cocky young heel Johnny Gargano opened the show as he faced the Dragon Gate icon CIMA. I miss heel Gargano sometimes, he was better on the mic in that role. It was a good opener, but only a shadow of the match they would have the in 2011 when their face/heel roles had been reversed. Next up was the freestyle between Ricochet, Chuck Taylor, Adam Cole and Arik Cannon. Though Taylor came out with the victory, the debuting Ricochet was the star of the show, with his insane moves highlighting this wild, spot heavy extravaganza. This was the first time DGUSA fans witnessed a double moonsault, though Chuck Taylor evaded it, so Ricochet didn’t land one until the next show, which is the only time he has done it in DGUSA if my memory serves me correctly. This was such an important match, as Ricochet was soon snapped up by the Japan office, and went on to win his first title over there only a few months later, which was pretty much unheard of for a gaijin.
Naruki Doi and Dragon Kid were scheduled to have a match on this show, but unfortunately Dragon Kid was injured, so Drake Younger stepped in as his replacement. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t match what I’m sure would have been a great bout between Doi and DK, but it was a nice change of pace, and I appreciate that they didn’t try to make Younger look more epic than he was, as Doi finished him with the Bakatare Sliding Kick in what turned out to be the shortest match on the card.
Next, BxB Hulk made his fifth defence of the Open The Freedom Gate against the wrestling god that is Masaaki Mochizuki. They had a really good match, in which Hulk came out victorious via the First Flash. I always enjoy watching these two kick each other. It’s worth noting that Hulk and Mochi have traded wins in two further matches in Japan since, and both of those matches were superior to this one. Their main event match at Kobe World Hall in 2011 was probably my number two or three match of that year.
The Kamikaze USA/CHIKARA war that began on the first show reached it’s conclusion next. The CHIKARA team was a man short, so Open The Dream Gate champion Masato Yoshino, who had captured the belt from YAMATO about a week earlier in Japan, offered his services to Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw and Hallowicked, as they took on YAMATO, Akira Tozawa, Gran Akuma and Jon Moxley. This was wild, and I liked it a lot more than the CHIKARA match on the previous year’s show due to the story and the inclusion of Dragon Gate wrestlers. I wasn’t crazy about CHIKARA winning, as they all pretty much left DGUSA while Kamikaze continued to be the top heel stable. That said, the finish came when Yoshino choked out YAMATO and Quack submitted Tozawa (the latter of which wasn’t a big deal at the time, since it was before Tozawa truly became a star), so I couldn’t complain too much that they’d fed Kamikaze to outsiders.
Then it was time for the main event, the match often revered as the greatest in the short history of this promotion; Bryan “Daniel Bryan” Danielson vs Shingo Takagi. This was the summer where Bryan was fired from WWE, then returned for a heroic run on the indy scene before McMahon and co rehired him. This was excellent, and any fans who have only seen Bryan’s WWE stuff should definitely go out of their way to see this. I will say though, I don’t consider it the best DGUSA match ever as many do, but it would probably be in my top ten.
(New York, June 5th 2011)
DGUSA’s second anniversary kicked off with an exciting match between Junction Three’s Masato Yoshino and Ricochet of Blood Warriors, which ended when the former Dream Gate champion choked the young heel out with Sol Naciente. This was followed by a bizarre match in which AR Fox displayed his stylish offence against Pinkie Sanchez, a wannabe D.U.F who endured Fox’s assault, pulled his pants down and just generally acted weird. Eventually Fox ended it with the spectacular Lo Mein Pain.
A FRAY! took place next, Jon Davis won, and that’s all I remember of it. I like Jon Davis, so I was pleased he won. Sami Callihan and Arik Cannon of D.U.F took on Susumu Yokosuka and Junction Three leader, Open The Dream Gate champion, the greatest wrestler in the world; Masaaki Mochizuki. A good, hard hitting match this was. Mochi was awesome as always, but this was before I became a Sami Callihan fan, so I wasn’t pleased by the D.U.F victory.
The massive elimination match blowoff to the Ronin/Blood Warriors feud came next. Masato “I will fill in for your missing stable member” Yoshino filled in for the injured Chuck Taylor, as he, Johnny Gargano and Rich Swann took on the heel Blood Warriors CIMA, Austin Aries and Brodie Lee. Chaotic at first, with Brodie Lee leaving early after suffering an injury, this really got good when Gargano was left alone with CIMA and Aries. This was the match that elevated Gargano from “promising mid carder” to “championship contender”, as he singled handedly made both CIMA and Aries tap out. The staredown between he and Aries when they were the last remaining wrestlers was a hell of a moment. Really great stuff, with Aries putting Gargano over huge on the way out (this was Aries last match, and he turned up in TNA very soon after).
The main event saw YAMATO defend the Open The Freedom Gate against PAC, in a match which I loved. It was great all the way through, but the finishing stretch in particular springs to mind, as a desperate YAMATO threw everything he had at PAC, with a dropkick, two brainbusters and Galleria eventually finishing the Englishman.
And so ends my look back at DGUSA’s flagship show. Will Enter The Dragon 4 live up the standard set by its predecessors? You can watch it on live IPPV tomorrow night over at WWNLive.com. You can also watch tonight’s Untouchable there, which I plan to cover live right here! Well, I hope to cover it live, but if not I’ll have a review up very soon.
Thanks for reading! If you want to talk about any of these shows or DGUSA in general, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @IWEnews.