Review - Dragon Gate USA: Open The Ultimate Gate 2012
The show took place last night (March 30th) at the Deuville Resort Hotel in Miami. You can read my live coverage (including full results) here:
Match of the night: Akira Tozawa vs Masaaki Mochizuki
This was a great match. Mochizuki dominated Tozawa with kicks and submissions, before Tozawa took it to the next level with his dives, which led to them going to war in an absolutely electrifying stretch. The closing sequence was brilliant, with Mochi having to throw his two finishers in succession at Tozawa to put him away.
This was an important win for Mochizuki. In the past, he has been brought into DGUSA as a sort of special attraction, putting over their top guys like Davey Richards and BxB Hulk. Now he seems to be becoming a regular, so a win over their number two guy really puts him over in the eyes of the fans. At the start of the match, most of the crowd were cheering for heel Tozawa. By the end, these people loved Mochi. Another reason he had to win is that I think Tozawa’s eventual singles victory over him has to happen in Japan.
As I mentioned yesterday, Tozawa and Mochi are my two favourite wrestlers at the moment, so I loved seeing them get such a great reception. Both of them put in outstanding performances.
Ricochet & Masato Yoshino vs Johnny Gargano & Chuck Taylor
The absence of CIMA didn’t harm this match, as Yoshino was fantastic. He’s the kind of guy who is good in singles matches, but great in tag team bouts. Ricochet was the star of the show in my opinion though, everything he did was so crisp and awesome. Gargano put in a solid showing too, he has great chemistry with both of his opponents. This was a great main event, definitely a fine example of DGUSA tag team action for those who were watching for the first time.
Chuck Taylor’s heel turn was well timed and perfectly executed too. Someone else pointed out the brilliance of him snapping when CIMA offered Gargano respect, when the whole reason Ronin began was because CIMA didn’t respect them.
PAC vs Low Ki
This seemed like the final quarter was missing. It had the illusive “big match feel”, it built up perfectly, they did everything right, from the crisp mat wrestling to the well placed highspots, this seemed like the match of the year in the making. However, it ended before its time. It’s not that it wasn’t long enough, they went around twenty five minutes, but it just hadn’t built up to that breaking point yet, the crowd weren’t losing their minds and it didn’t seem like the dramatic climax this would-be-masterpiece needed.
Do you remember in Star Wars, when the X Wing fighters were cruising up to the Death Star for the final battle? Imagine if the Death Star just blew up right there, so they just turned round and went home. That’s what this was like. It was frustrating because it was so awesome, but it stopped just before going to the place everyone wanted it to go at the end. This was still one of the best matches I’ve seen this year, but I’m frustrated because it was so close to being one of the best matches I’ve seen in years.
Rich Swann vs AR Fox
This was a hell of an opener. High flying and fast paced action galore, as Swann and Fox tore it up. These are the kind of matches that Fox needs to be having, he’s a hell of an athlete, and doesn’t need to be breaking his back on guardrails to get over. This set the crowd alight, and gave first time viewers at home at first class impression of the action that this company delivers.
BxB Hulk vs Sami Callihan
I thoroughly enjoy any match where I get to see Hulk kick people and do Mouse (a move where he runs up his standing opponent leading to a backflip). The heel vs heel dynamic was a bit weird, the crowd weren’t sure who to get behind, but they still seemed to enjoy it. It was a solid match, and the development with Von Eerie aligning with Mad Blankey (at the end) was cool.
Samuray Del Sol vs Johnny Vandal
Del Sol looked good in his pay per view debut, and Vandal got to hit some good moves too.
Bobby Fish was very impressive in his tag match against the Scene. It’s a shame about everyone else (in the match).
What a hot crowd! They really added a lot to the show. Their investment is a testament to the work of the wrestlers.
I hooked my laptop up to my 59 inch TV, and I didn’t expect the quality to be very good. How wrong I was, the stream looked great! To anyone who watches shows on their computers, or doesn’t watch them because they don’t want to sit in front of their computer for hours on end, hooking it up to your TV is the way to go.
A strong outing for DGUSA, in front of what is probably the biggest pay per view audience they’ve ever had. Mochizuki and Tozawa stole the show, while the other matches that I listed ranged from very good to great. I’d definitely recommend ordering it on demand over at WWNLive.com
The great opener led to a talking segment which set up the main event, then it was time for some more Dragon Gate action. Instead, we got Tommy Dreamer. His wrestling wasn’t offensively bad, but his misogyny spots (kissing the girls of the Scene’s entourage, piledriving one of them, spanking another) were beyond awful and outdated. This was the last thing DGUSA needed to showcase in front of such a big audience. I know you love ECW Gabe, so do I, but please don’t bring Dreamer back.
Sabu & Jon Davis vs Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez
It was what it was. I liked the finish, with Sabu taking Cannon out with a leg drop through a table, while Davis finished Sanchez with 5 Seconds Around The World, but that was the only memorable part. I just don’t enjoy watching Pinkie Sanchez.
The Scene are talented guys, but they don’t seem to fit in this promotion. I’m actually quite a fan of Scott Reed, but they’re DGUSA matches do very little for me. The addition of a female entourage has at least added something interesting to their act, I suppose.
Lenny Leonard is decent on play by play, and Arik Cannon showed flashes of greatness on colour commentary. However, there was just way too much crudeness. Leonard’s comments whenever women are with heels are just awful, they make the promotion seem anything but classy. They totally distract from the match as well, and are just generally unpleasant. Much like Dreamer’s antics, this was the kind of thing that DGUSA should not have had on such a big show.
Cannon joked around and swore too much, but he could be a good commentator if he cuts that out.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know at email@example.com, or on Twitter @IWEnews
Results from CZW: Super Saturday
I completely forgot to find these results on Sunday. Fortunately for me (and you), the good people of CZW emailed them straight to my inbox. And I quote:
* Shane Strickland, Vu, Hollywood Dream, & Kyle Maverick defeated Remi Wilkins, Tripp Cassidy, Sue Jackson, & Dale Patricks
* In a ‘Best of The Best’ Qualifier, BLK OUT’s Alex Colon beat Aaron McCormick
* Navaeh defeated Kimber Lee
* Greg Excellent beat Drake Younger
* AR Fox defeated Samuray Del Sol
* Sami Callihan beat Tommy Dreamer
* Dave Crist & Rickey Paige defeated Jake Crist & BJ Whitmer
* Before the CZW World Title Match could start between Devon Moore & DJ Hyde, Scotty Vortekz came to the ring & said since his opponent “Ego” Robert Anthony was not there, he wanted in on the title match. CZW owner DJ Hyde said Vortekz was a nobody who didn’t deserve a shot…until Vortekz punched DJ in the face. DJ’s response made the match a three-way elimination match! Hyde first eliminated Moore after a lariat. But Vortekz was able to catch Hyde with a school boy for the pin to become the new champion!
*Ultraviolent Rules: Danny Havoc defeated Matt Tremont
Thoughts: Congratulations Scotty Vortekz!
It’s no surprise to see Sami Callihan take down Tommy Dreamer, since he’s in the midst of an anti-ECW rampage.
Did you attend the show? Feel free to send a review to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post it here at Indy Wrestling Express.
CZW this Saturday!
CZW: Super Saturday will take place this Saturday (February 4th) at the Fountain Square Salvation Inn, 1337 S Shelby ST in Indianapolis, Indiana with a 7:30 pm bell time.
Tommy Dreamer vs Sami Callihan
CZW champion Devon Moore vs CZW owner DJ Hyde
Jake Crist & a Mystery Partner vs Dave Crist & a Mystery Partner
Greg Excellent vs Drake Younger
Matt Tremont vs Danny Havoc
“Ego” Robert Anthony vs Scotty Vortekz
Best of the Best spot: BLK OUT’s Alex Colon vs Aaron McCormick?
Navaeh vs The Runaways’ Kimber Lee
Uhaa Nation vs AR Fox
Thoughts: Looks good. This will be the second time Uhaa Nation and AR Fox have faced off in CZW, no doubt they will be out to steal the show.
PWS results (from last night)
The second night of WrestleReunion in Los Angeles was headlined by a “Pro Wrestling Superstars” show. Here are the full results:
Vader squashed two guys
The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn) defeated The Steiner Brothers (Scott & Rick Steiner) - Mick Foley was the referee
World Of Sport rules match: Fit Finlay defeated Colt Cabana
The Unholy Alliance (Tajiri & Mikey Whipwreck) defeated Cedric Alexander & Caleb Konley
Mascarita Dorada defeated Demus 316
Street Fight: Kevin Steen defeated Tommy Dreamer
Roderick Strong defeated “The Manscout” Jake Manning
Davey Richards defeated Harry Smith
El Generico & The Great Sasuke defeated The Young Bucks
The Godfather won a Legends Battle Royale, also featuring Matt Classic, Lanny Poffo, Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Robbie E, Jimmy Hart, Konnan, Dan Severn, Brutus Beefcake, Gangrel, Greg Valentine, Carlos Colon, Kevin Sullivan, Virgil, Jesse Hernandez, Piloto Suicida and more
Thoughts: Looks like a good balance of old school fun and cutting edge modern wrestling to me. My fellow IWE writer Adrian is a big fan of World Of Sport and the traditional British wrestling style, so he probably would have loved Finlay vs Colt Cabana.
The final show of the WrestleReunion weekend is a Pro Wrestling Guerrilla show, which is taking place right now! Full card here.
PWS card (WrestleReunion)
The second night of WrestleReunion (this Saturday) will be capped off with a Pro Wrestling Superstars show. Here is the card:
“The Manscout” Jake Manning vs Roderick Strong
Tajiri & Mikey Whipwreck vs Cedric Alexander & Caleb Konley
World of Sport Rules: Colt Cabana vs Fit Finlay
Davey Richards vs Harry Smith
Mascarita Dorada vs DEMUS 316
LA Street Fight: Kevin Steen vs Tommy Dreamer
The Young Bucks vs The Great Sasuke & El Generico
The Steiner Brothers vs The New Age Outlaws( Special enforcer: Mick Foley)
WrestleReunion’s “nearly famous” 20 Man WrestleRoyale (Legends Battle Royale).
Thanks to prowrestling.net for the card.
WrestleReunion will take place over three days (this weekend) at the Westin Hotel, LAX, 5400 West Century Blvd (Los Angeles). Click HERE for the full schedule.
Thoughts: Another solid line up for WrestleReunion. I thought I had already posted this card, but apparently not.
Chad, who usually writes PWG reports for us, is attending the whole weekend, so hopefully we’ll get some reviews from him.