*** Dragon Gate USA DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens *** January 23, 2010 – Chicago, Illinois [ Dragon Gate USA: FEARLESS ]
IN THE RING Jon Moxley & Brian Kendrick: The show (originally a PPV) started off with my new favorite wrestler, Jon Moxley, taking over the ring with ally Brian Kendrick. Moxley cut a promo on Tommy Dreamer and called him the King of the Losers. Moxley said he and Kendrick aren’t buying what Dreamer is selling. Kendrick told Moxley that he doesn’t have to prove anything to the fans. Kendrick reminded Moxley that Dreamer lost all his passion when he sold his soul ten years ago. Kendrick said Dreamer has a wife, has kids, and has responsibility – and he’ll use that as an excuse not to fight Moxley. Moxley said if Tommy had any balls he would come out and shut his mouth right now. Kendrick said Dreamer is retired, and he retired ten years ago, when he became “office.” Moxley said he had a better idea and together they jumped out of the ring and headed backstage. What a concept; starting a show by creating some intrigue!
SINGLES MATCH Gran Akuma vs. TJP: TJP is the new name for T.J. Perkins, who is known world-wide under a mask as Puma. I think one of the announcers called him T.J. Puma at one point. Gran Akuma is one of the chosen ones, who have risen to the top of DGUSA. The announcers talked about Akuma turning on Chikara and forming an alliance with Yamato on a first two DGUSA DVDs. To my surprise, TJP made Akuma tap out after a really fantastic opening contest!
TAG TEAM MATCH CIMA & Super Crazy vs. Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw: This was the official start of the PPV, so everything before this match was bonus for the DVD viewers. So good to see Super Crazy, even if he has packed on a few extra pounds since he was in the mainstream spotlight. CIMA & Crazy pretty much dominated as long as they controlled the pace. After a while, the Chikira boys doubled the speed of the match and got some of their offense in. That flurry was short-lived as CIMA & Crazy caught up and regained control. Then they started going back and forth exchanging moves left and right. There was a mix-up and CIMA accidentally super-kicked Crazy, leading directly to the Chikara team gaining the victory!
SINGLES MATCH Brian Kendrick vs. Jimmy Jacobs: This was a real treat for me, considering these guys are two of my guilty pleasures in pro-wrestling. I have always loved watching Jimmy Jacobs, but I have to question his decision to steal Adam Lambert’s look. Before the match, Kendrick said he liked Jacobs because they had a lot in common. Kendrick pointed out that both of them love the art of professional wrestling, and consider themselves “artists.” Kendrick said he found someone who knows a lot about Jimmy’s psychology, so his valet for tonight was going to be LACEY! SHOCKING! Jacobs was immediately thrown off his game and fell for Kendricks’ insensitive ploy. Late in the match, Jacobs had battled his demons and put Kendrick in the Guillotine-choke. Just as it looked like Kendrick was about to pass out, Lacey jumped in the ring and begged for Jimmy’s forgiveness. She started to kiss Jimmy on the lips and at first he resisted, but eventually he gave in and started kissing back. Lacey motioned for Kendrick to attack and he did so, leading to the victory for Kendrick. Lacey screwed Jimmy Jacobs again! Jon Moxley came to the ring to celebrate with Mr. Kendrick. The heels left and Jacobs grabbed the microphone. He said he knows Brian’s wife, Taylor (aka Taylor Matheny) was at home, and she wasn’t tough enough (a reference to her being on WWE Tough Enough Season 1) but she’s good enough for him! Kendrick returned to the ring and threatened to kill Jacobs, but instead he was going to break his heart. Jacobs watched as Kendrick was about to make out with Lacey, but instead Jon Moxley destroyed her with a clothesline! The crowd erupted with chants of “that was awesome!”
IN THE RING Jon Moxley & Brian Kendrick + Tommy Dreamer: Moxley & Kendrick gloated in the ring, until Tommy Dreamer made his way out to brawl with Moxley all over the building. They eventually made their way back into the ring. The fight lasted about 10 minutes and they were actually doing wrestling moves, so I guess that is considered a match as far as the fans were concerned. The end came when Dreamer took down Moxley with a DDT!
FIP WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH Masaaki Mochizuki (c) vs. Davey Richards: Last month, Davey Richards lost the FIP title to Mochizuki in a Japanese ring, so this was his shot at redemption. It was an amazing match, which saw Richards recapture the title, but it was all for not, because a few days later, Richards signed a contract with ROH and he was pulled from all Dragon Gate & EVOLVE events. He was also stripped of the FIP World Heavyweight title.
3-WAY ELIMINATION TAG TEAM MATCH The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) vs. Shingo & Yamato vs. Naruji Doi & Masato Yoshino: What else would you expect from six incredible athletes. Total nonstop action, a name most often associated with false advertising, but it was 100% true when applied to this match. You’ll love it!
OPEN THE FREEDOM GATE TITLE MATCH BxB Hulk (c) vs. Dragon Kid: When Dragon Gate first started coming over to American to take part in ROH events, Dragon Kid was one of the more interesting characters to come along. American fans loved his cartoonish gimmick and his unbelievable ring style. It was truly something they had never seen before (at least, not in a long while). BxB Hulk came to America a little bit later, and his gimmick was so sensational that it caught on very quickly. His electrifying entrance is so simple, yet it instantly brings fans to their feet. Both of these guys are adored by the fans, and they expected to be thrilled by this main event spectacle. The match had a brilliant build-up, starting slow, and ending with an exclamation point which is how all main event matches should end. As it turns out, BxB Hulk successfully defended the Open the Freedom Gate championship!
CONCLUSION: After the match, Davey Richards, Akuma, and Yamato hit the ring and attacked both BxB & Dragon Kid. CIMA ran down and tried to help but he was taken out by Yamato. SHINGO came out and put a stop to the beat down. SHINGO grinned at Yamato (his enemy) and then turned heel by attacking Dragon Kid. The heels then destroyed BxB in a 4-on-1 beat down. Some mid-carders ran out but they got disposed as well. BxB Hulk was brutalized until the Chikara locker room (Quackenbush, Jigsaw, Hallowicked, and possibly Lince Dorado) stormed the ring. Mike Quackenbush speared Yamato down to the mat and they had a heated brawl. Suddenly, CIMA found a broom under the ring and started swing it at EVERYONE to clear the ring! CIMA takes out the trash. CIMA cut a promo in English (reading from a piece of paper) and promised to bring in GAMMA to be his partner in DGUSA.
BONUS DISC: The bonus disc features a “FEARLESS” highlight reel and a “FEARLESS” PPV preview and promo spots (stuff they released on the Internet leading up to the PPV). Plus the following bonus matches.
SIX MAN ELIMINATION MATCH Jon Moxley vs. Arik Cannon vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Lince Dorado vs. Brad Allen: These matches are done just to showcase talent, which is why I’m glad they’re not included on the main shows, but instead given to the fans on a bonus disc. It’s always fun to see new faces compete in the ring, so you can see some of the people you may have only read about online. I’ve never been a big fan of Arik Cannon, but he seems to have a loyal following. I am most interested in Jon Moxley and Johnny Gargano out of this bunch, and if I have an eye for talent, and I believe I do, I’d predict that they will be big stars in the future. The match barely got started when Brian Kendrick hit the ring and got Jon Moxley eliminated by disqualification. This was likely the catalyst for these two hijacking the beginning of the show and ranting on Tommy Dreamer (see main show review). I was solidly behind Johnny Gargano at this point, but alas it was young Kyle O’Reilly who walked out of Chicago with an important W on his record.
AAW HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH Silas Young vs. Hallowicked: Hallowicked earned this title shot by winning an Elimination match at the AAW show the previous next in Berwyn, Illinois. Another good showcase. The champion retains.
FIP WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH (JAPAN) Davey Richards (c) vs. Masaaki Mochizuki: This was the prelude to the match that stole the show on the main DVD. I wasn’t even aware that Davey Richards had dropped the FIP title to Masaaki Mochizuki in Japan, but I guess this is the proof. I guess it’s the easiest way for a promotion to solidify the World-status of it’s Heavyweight title. This was another incredible match from two incredible athletes, in front of the incredible Japanese fans.
OPEN THE FREEDOM GATE TITLE MATCH (JAPAN) BxB Hulk vs. Susumu Yokozuka: It’s a nice touch adding these last two matches from Japan. As every wrestling fan knows, the atmosphere at a Japanese wrestling event is completely different from the North American scene. They respectfully applaud wrestlers, and they are completely silent during introductions. Vince McMahon isn’t happy unless his marks are bouncing off the walls for three hours straight acting like a bunch of headless chickens with empty wallets. Anyway, this was another wonderful match. Fans, there is such thing as good wrestling out there these days!
If you would like to purchase this or any other DRAGON GATE USA DVD, please check out the Dragon Gate USA website at DGUSA.tv