WWE Superstar and former member of the Shield
*** Dragon Gate USA DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
July 25, 2009 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
[ OPEN THE HISTORIC GATE ]
INTRODUCTION: How sweet it was, to open my mailbox today and find the recently released DVD of Dragon Gate USA’s first ever event, appropriately titled “Open the Historic Gate.” The Gabe Sapolsky led DGUSA promotion filled the void left just when my beloved Ring of Honor began to disappoint.
OPENING SEGMENT: In a nice added touch, Philadelphia-favorite Dawn Marie (from www.wrestlerescue.org) was the special hostess and ring announcer for the night and welcomed everybody to Dragon Gate USA! The announcers for the show were former ROH announcer Lenny Leonard and Chikara Pro star Mike Quackenbush..
BXB Hulk vs. YAMATO: I have read so much about BXB Hulk being an amazing entertainer, so I was anxious to check him out for the first time. Daizee Haze, and another girl who looks familiar, played the part of Nitro Girls – as they accompanied BXB Hulk to the ring during his energetic entrance routine. I love Daizee, but she was looking deathly skinny here. The other girl looked healthy and probably had a background in dance. The hype was spot on, and BXB Hulk was thoroughly entertaining for me! He did a blind back-flip off the top rope and came within inches of drilling the Haze! Viewers unfamiliar with Dragon Gate will quickly notice that this is the perfect blend of American and Japanese wrestling styles. YAMATO reminds me of a grown up Mowgli from “The Jungle Book,” except he is one of the only true heels in the promotion. Meanwhile, the crowd was solidly behind BXB, who took quite a beating before “hulking up” and making his comeback! YAMATO squashed his efforts, and planted BXB with a sick-looking modified Pile-driver! YAMATO became the winner of the first match in Dragon Gate USA history.
Too Cold Scorpio vs. Kenn Doane: All of you Spirit Squad fans out there will be happy to know Kenny is alive and well, living the post-WWE nightmare of working the independent circuit. The former Kenny Dykstra found a home in Dragon Gate USA, and was lucky to be matched up with one of the greatest independent wrestlers of all-time – a Philadelphia legend – Mr. Too Cold Scorpio! Mike Quackenbush, who is a walking encyclopedia, noted that Scorpio has been wrestling longer than Kenny has been alive! The crowd was ribbing Doane aggressively, chanting “we want Ziggler!” in reference to Kenny’s former Spirit Squad partner Nicky currently wrestling as Dolph Ziggler in the WWE. This had considerably less Japanese influence than the previous match, and more of an American indy style, including a lot of heel stalling by Kenny at the start of the match. Late in the match, Kenny went for the top rope Leg-drop, but Scorpio moved. Then Scorpio went for the top rope moon-sault, and Kenny got his knees up for the block. Scorpio recovered like a professional, and “dropped the bomb” on Kenny with an impressive back-flip off the top rope landing a Leg-drop on Kenny in the middle of the ring for the win! Scorpio helped Kenny up after the match, to show respect to the young star. They shook hands in the middle of the ring, and since this isn’t TNA – nobody turned heel on the other.
SIX MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw & Soldier Ant & Fire Ant vs. Gran Akuma & Icarus & Amasis & Hallowicked: These eight phenomenal wrestlers were representing the greatest independent promotion that nobody has ever seen. Chikara Pro is a group in Pennsylvania that is well-known for its masks and unique gimmicks. For someone like me to have never seen a Chikara show, much less an entire match, is saying something. Sure, I’ve read some incredible things about the events, and seen the wrestlers compete in other rings (like ROH & FIP), but I have never seen the Chikara product. I guess what I’m saying is they do a poor job taking advantage of people who can give them great exposure, despite delivering a consistently amazing show. Good to see Jigsaw back under a mask where he belongs (FIP made him wrestle without it for some reason). The first part of the match had me wondering what the hype was all about, but they really turned up the heat at the end for quite a spectacular finish. The crowd was totally pumped to see Mike Quackenbush and his trio of masked partners pick up the victory. After the match, Mike Quackenbush got on the microphone and said that Dragon Gate and Chikara make a splendid combination! Quackenbush then paid tribute to his trainer, before issuing an open challenge for anybody in Dragon Gate to face anybody from Chikara Pro. YAMATO answered the challenge, and told Quackenbush that he has no right to be in the ring. YAMATO kicked Quackenbush between the legs and attacked him until Jigsaw & Akuma made the save! Suddenly, Akuma turned on Jigsaw and joined YAMATO in beating up Quackenbush. Cheech & Cloudy hit the ring but they were dumped by YAMATO & Akuma. The Colony of Ants came out and YAMATO retreated with Akuma by his side.
Dragon Kid w/Shingo vs. Masato Yoshino w/Naruki Doi: Masato Yoshino looks like the villain from any Karate Kid movie. Dragon Kid was one of the more memorable characters from when Dragon Gate used to visit with Ring of Honor. Both men were accompanied by their stable-mates, who happen to be wrestling in the main event tonight! When they said that I was afraid the match would focus on the other guys instead of the guys in the ring, but that’s not the way business is done in Dragon Gate USA. It turned out to be another spectacular match with Dragon Kid hitting his famous finisher that had to be seen! Dragon Kid offered to shake hands after the match, but Masato Yoshino slapped it away. Suddenly, Naruki Doi and Shingo were nose to nose – but before they could get into trouble, Too Cold Scorpio was right there to stop them. Scorpio said he was in this building when Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko had their classic match (in ECW), as well as Rey Mysterio and Psicosis, and a match between himself and Sabu. Scorpio then convinced Dragon Kid and Masato Yoshino to agree to a rematch.
TAG TEAM MATCH
CIMA & Susumu Yokosuka vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson): Whenever Dragon Gate visited ROH, it was my opinion that CIMA was the biggest star and the clear audience favorite. I have heard a lot of good things about the Young Bucks, who pattern themselves after the Rockers and the Hardy Boyz. Despite their lack of size, they have gotten some good exposure all over the United States, as well as some experience in Japan. What can I say, except that the fans became unglued for the last part of this match, which featured the Young Bucks pulling out the greatest victory of their careers! Everybody watching this match had to have become an instant fan of these two up-and-coming wrestlers! I thought the fans were chanting “you’re the future!” but they were really saying “Yokosuka!” Everybody showed a lot of respect and appreciation after the match, as the Young Bucks put over their opponents. One of the Bucks said that everybody is calling them the “tag team of the future,” but he disagreed with that statement. He said that after tonight, the Young Bucks deserve to be called the tag team of the present! The Young Bucks issued an open challenge for any team in Dragon Gate to step up and face the Young Bucks!
MAIN EVENT (NON-TITLE MATCH)
Naruka Doi (champion) vs. Shingo: It was time for the main event, which featured Dragon Gate’s top two wrestlers fighting, not for the championship, but for pride and bragging rights! The match was well booked, and built from beginning to end – and finally climaxed with an intense finish that had the fans out of their seats. Naruki Doi pulled out the victory over Shingo after planting him with the Muscular-bomb in the middle of the ring! A spectacular match to end a spectacular show!!
CONCLUSION: The show, which was originally taped for a PPV audience, was full of beautifully worked matches featuring the sorely missed booking of wrestling genius Gabe Sapolsky, who was blessed by the wrestling Gods with a newfound passion for the wrestling business. If you’re a fan of smart booking, then jump on the Sapolsky bandwagon and add some Dragon Gate USA to your DVD collection today.
BONUS DISC: The special bonus disc includes an Open the Historic Gate Highlight Reel, the Enter the Dragon PPV Preview, an FIP Bonus Match (BxB Hulk & Jack Evans & YAMATO vs. Delirious & Jigsaw & Hallowicked), plus a Dragon Gate Bonus Match from Japan (BxB Hulk & Jushin Liger & Jack Evans & Matt Sydal vs. Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino & Magnitibe Kishiwada & Kevin Steen), and a Fray between a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of which turned out to be a dynamite match.
If you would like to purchase this or any other Dragon Gate USA DVD, please check out DGUSA.tv
Dragon Gate USA “Open the Historic Gate”
DVD Review by Sean “The MiC” McCaffrey (BULLSMC@aol.com)
As I have mentioned in past writings, my love for wrestling has waned in recent times, as I have found myself becoming a bigger fan of smaller MMA groups rather than indy wrestling groups. I think a lot of it has to do with this scene being stagnant combined with the talent pool not being as deep as 6-7 years ago. Also, the economy & torrent sites have affected alot of indy promoters which in turn, means indy promoters/promotions have had to scale back their costs/budgets, which means shows around this area haven’t lived up to expectations, due to the quality we were used to seeing.
I am not going to bullshit you here. I never was a huge fan of Japanese wrestling. My knowledge of Japanese wrestling is very limited, as it was always hard for me to get into it, because my wrestling tastes are for a great story, rather than a great bump-fest. I’ll take the build-up and soap-opera elements of a well told story, such as Hogan/Andre or even something like Austin/Vince over your Misawa’s, Kobashi’s, etc. Since I don’t speak Japanese, I could never get into the Japanese stuff because I never understood what was going on. Why were these guys fighting? Why were these championships important? I could never get into the story, so I just couldn’t get into it. It would be like watching a foreign film with no subtitles.
When it comes to Lucha Libre, I was always able to get into that more than Japanese wrestling because I understand a little Spanish and could pick up what as going on, even though the style comes off very choreographed. It seems Triple A is somewhat getting away from that a bit with alot of American talent on their shows, so for me, when I wanted to branch out, I’d take Lucha Libre over the stuff in the Orient.
I know not everyone is like that, but I wanted to let you know where I stood on this. When you read this review, you’re basically reading what I think Dragon Gate is looking for – the casual fan. Let’s face it, super smart marks and fans of Japanese wrestling are going to watch this no matter what. DG will get their 1000 buys and draw their 1000 people crowds no matter what’s on the card, because these fans are getting authentic Japanese wrestling. However, to be successful in the long haul, DG needs to get casual wrestling fans behind it. Myself, and I’m sure tons of other fans have been burnt out from the WWE and think TNA is ran be autistic retards. We are flocking to MMA, especially UFC in these slow times for wrestling. DG is trying to provide a product to the casual fan who is sick and fed-up with today’s crap and put on a show that makes us realize that there is something appealing for us.
For those like me, and don’t know about the origin of Dragon Gate, here’s what I got for you, courtesy of Wikipedia:
In 2004, Último Dragón left the promotion and took the Toryumon name and trademarks with him. The promotion subsequently changed its name to Dragon Gate and declared CIMA (the last one to hold the Último Dragón Gym Championship) its first Open the Dream Gate (singles) Champion. Since then, the promotion has gained a steady following in Japan (as well as a cult following in the United States) and has been in full-time operation since its separation from Toryumon in 2004.
Stars from the promotion have also made appearances on the United States independent wrestling scene, most notably with the Ring of Honor promotion, where stars from the company competed in the Dragon Gate Invasion show on August 27, 2005 in Buffalo, New York Dragon Gate Challenge on March 30, 2006 in Detroit, Michigan and Supercard of Honor and Better than Our Best in Chicago, IL on March 31 and April 1, 2006, respectively. A six-man match pitting Blood Generation against Do-Fixer at “Supercard of Honor” on March 31 in Chicago Ridge, IL was very well received by both fans and critics, making it one of only a handful of North American matches that wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer has given a five-star rating.
Both Ring of Honor’s “All Star Extravaganza III” on March 30 and “Supercard of Honor II” on March 31, 2007 in Detroit, Michigan featured Dragon Gate in the main events.
Dragon Gate has appeared frequently with Hawaii’s Action Zone Wrestling AZW Hawaii with their first appearance happening on Sept. 5, 2007 at the event titled “Showdown”. CIMA, Dragon Kid, Susumu Yokosuka, Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, BxB Hulk and Shingo Takagi have all appeared on AZW live events since then.
In 2008, Dragon Gate promoted their first set of shows in the United States. The first show took place in Los Angeles on September 5  and featured El Generico, Necro Butcher, and Kendo. Their second show was in Hawaii on September 8.
In 2009, Dragon Gate announced it will be making its debut in the United Kingdom with shows promoted with British wrestler Mark Sloan making its online home www.dragongateuk.com
Japan’s Dragon Gate promotion announced its expansion into the United States with Dragon Gate USA on April 14, 2009 at the Korakuen Hall event in Tokyo. It named Satoshi Oji as the President and Gabe Sapolsky (former Ring of Honor booker) as the Vice President of Dragon Gate USA.
If your knowledge of Japanese wrestling is extensive, than you will love this PPV. If you’re like me, you know the big players. This is nothing like All Japan or New Japan. As it says in the wikipedia, Dragon Gate features Japanese guys wrestling a lucha style, which made sense after watching the first match on the DVD.
Of course, you know I wear the WSU cap, which recently agreed to give women matches to DG’s newest DVD, “The Independent Tour De-Force.” However, I want to make it clear that I went into this DVD with an open mind. Sure working with as many companies as possible is great for WSU’s exposure, but I watched this with the purpose of reviewing this for the DOI. I can work with companies even if I don’t enjoy their matches. (Trust me, I’m not clamoring for more Giant Silva vs 5 ticket sellers with the goal of the match being the ticket sellers throwing a net over Giant Silva.)
Would Dragon Gate impress a casual, yet jaded fan? This DVD needed to give me a reason to come back and at least get me interested in what’s next. Find out below if Dragon Gate succeeded in getting a new fan:
The DVD opens up with some really slick production. In fact, the whole DVD is slick. This is not your typical indy DVD. Let’s be honest, most indy companies are one-man shows, with the promoter wearing tons of different hats. You can see here that everyone has a job and a lot of money was earmarked for this show to be successful. The box the DVD comes in, pictured above, is a 3-piece set, which holds 2 discs. As far as the level of packaging, this is on par with the WWE.
BxB Hulk vs. YAMATO
Dawn Marie is your ring announcer. I also want to point out that I did read live reviews of this show when it took place on 7/25/09, but stayed away from reading any DVD reviews to make this review as unique as possible. However, I do remember a lot of fans bashing Dawn’s ring announcing, where it got to the point where DG put out a press release saying Dawn wouldn’t be on future shows. Watching this whole DVD, and I’m sure it could be chalked up due to the power of editing, Dawn was fine to me, but again you can hide your live mistakes on DVD. She didn’t add anything here, but she didn’t hurt the show either, as far as the DVD is concerned.
Dragon Gate started off with a bang with this match. All six matches on this show were wrestled like main events. There was progression as the show went along, but really, every match was worked to be main event quality.
BXB has a unique interest, with Daizee Haze and some other girl dancing for him. His character wasn’t explained by the commentators, who are Lenny Leonard (always does a great job on DVDs, as I remember him from the early JPC days) and Chikarason. Daizee and this other girl did this weird dance. I don’t know if it was on purpose or not, but the other girl was 3 seconds behind Daizee’s dance moves. Unique entrance, I just didn’t understand the backstory of it, if there was one.
Yamato was established as a heel right away. Hulk, based on his entrance alone was super over. Similar to ECW and ROH crowds, this was a smart mark crowd who knew everything going on. These DVDs will need to educate the casual Japanese fans like myself, but the live shows can have lee-way since those fans know what’s going on. I’ll point out some stuff as I continue, but I want to say the commentators made this DVD for me. They did a great job explaining the characters, the history, why this person doesn’t get along with this person, etc. I went into this dark and Leonard especially, did a great job of lighting me up like RVD.
BXB started the match with a backflip from the top rope into the ring. However, the Carnage Crew didn’t throw his bags around afterwards.
Right off the bat, the crowd was insane, with DRAGON GATE chants and BB HULK chants. Lots of big moves in this opening match. I guess with 6 matches, you want every match to be a show-stealer. You can see Dragongate is influenced by Lucha Libre because selling was ignored alot in this match. Yamato worked over BB’s right leg (lucha style) for a long part of this match. However, all of a sudden, BB just no sold that shit and was flying around all over the place.
Maybe he’s named BB Hulk because he can Hulk up and not feel pain? That was the only thing that really quirked me about this match, because they had a great match, but the no selling the right leg basically made Yamato’s 10 minutes of offense look worthless.
BB wins with a “Galleria” which is like a package Owen/Rikishi/sitout pile driver.
Good match here, with the crowd making the match better since the crowd was knowledgable about the wrestlers.
2 Cold Scorpio vs Ken Doane
Scorpio was doing this thing where he was enchanted and in a trance about his own ring music. I don’t think that was booked that way, I just think Scorpio is nuts.
The crowd was on Doane right away, with the “Where’s your pom-poms?” chant
Leonard brought up the fact that Scorpio has more years in the biz (24) than Doane has on the earth (23).
One thing I noticed here, but it changed shortly, was that the announcers were 100% committed to the match at hand and weren’t selling other matches. That would change after this match, as I guess the focus was getting the first two matches under the belt.
The beginning of this match wasn’t all that, but as it progressed it picked up a bit. You can see the crowd was basically waiting for this to end at points.
I have to say, no matter how old he is now, Scorpio can still go. He does look a bit cracked out though, as he has a really weird look on his face.
Another thing I noticed is that Doane was too obvious calling spots here, as he had Scorpio in a chinlock and could’ve read him War & Peace in the time it took him to call his next wave of moves.
Scorpio wins after the Tumbleweed (Corksrew somersault leg drop). The match dragged early on, but the last 5 minutes were entertaining.
Scorpio looked really happy just to be there and perhaps just to be back in Philly again. Doane had a bloody mouth after the match, as it looked like Scorpio’s leg caught Doane.
Scorpio put Doane over after the match, giving him his hand in respect. Scorpio then danced for about 10 minutes and seemed orgasmic about his music again. I’m surprised Scorpio’s extended exit (think the length of 3 Sandman entrances) wasn’t cut out.
We then went backstage. The Dragongate champion, Naruki DOI was getting dressed for his match. This is where the announcers plugged the backstories, who the guys were and all that. We were told DOI is the top single wrestler in DG. He is on a huge win streak. We then went to the other half of the main event’s locker room, Shingo. Shingo was put over as the most powerful guy. Shingo was the top dude in DG until DOI took his spot. Shingo was the first guy to graduate the DG dojo.
We were then asked who would be the top dog, which I just found comical for several reasons, one of them being it just sounded so corny.
Chikara 8-Man Tag
Mike Quackenbush/Fire Ant/Soldier Ant/Jigsaw vs Hallowicked/Gran Akuma/Icarus/Amasis
I’ve talked about Chikara many times on this site. I’m not really a huge fan of it. I can’t get into their shows, but I understand they have a huge fan base and many people do. I think the shows are booked really well and Quackenbush does a great job with it, but it is not for me. It is mortal kombat come to life. Like I said, I like good stories and the drama. There’s not much drama with a bunch of choreography and no-selling. I’m also into protecting people’s finishers, so when I see DDT’s (Jake Roberts) Powerbombs (Sid/Taker) and superkicks (Shawn Michaels) all over a match, it just makes me go blah.
The Chikara guys are definitely entertaining in small doses and they are booked well, but it is hard to take them seriously. I remember reading something online with Vince McMahon saying he wasn’t a big fan of masked wrestlers because you couldn’t see their facials and some human emotion was lost. I fully understood that after watching this. The best guys, to me, were Quack, Icarus and Akuma, ironically the three guys w/o masks in this match.
I also want to make it clear here that I’m not just burying Chikara because I don’t like their style. I was actually watching Chikara when they first started coming around and doing matches at Ricky O JCW shows. Say what you want about Ricky, but JCW was awesome for a period of time. Ricky did a good job of developing new guys, giving guys chances and putting together well booked angles. One thing that came out of all that was a Chikara relationship. That is where I saw Quack and his guys live for the first time in 2003 or 2004.
On his own, Quack is awesome to watch, because he is unique, but when you got everyone doing the same style, it doesn’t stand out as much. Quack got the recpetion fit for a king here, and got a bigger reaction than anyone else up to this point of the show. The Chikara 8-mans are fluid as water, but it’s like watching a trapeze act because every move is so rehearsed. Again, I know fans like that, but it isn’t the style I like.
What I liked about this match was the announcers explaining all the Chikara angles, so you knew what was going on with everyone and why a technicos (Hallowicked) was doing teaming with the rudos.
Another thing that hurts Chikara in my eyes, is that everything is one big joke that everyone is in on. It’s hard to take it serious. I mean the finishers of these guys are cheesey, such as “Go 2 Sleepy Hollow”, “Jig-and-Tonic”, “Ants Marching” etc. I’m supposed to take this serious?
I know I’ve been putting over the commentators, but one thing they pointed out late was that if you attempt to take someone’s mask off, it’s an automatic DQ. I’m sure the announcers just figured people knew that, but it should’ve been explained to start, especially since it played into the match later.
I always liked Icarus/Akuma from the JCW days and they to me, were always Quack’s best students. I liked when these three were in the ring, even though it’s the same stuff every match.
This was exciting and definitely the comedy/feel good match of the night. Jigsaw wins the match for his team after the Jig & Tonic on Icarus. The match earned a huge CHIKARA chant after the pinfall.
From here, we had our first angle of the night.
Quack did a promo saying DG & Chikara make a splendid combination. Quack put over Jorge “Skayde” Rivera for training alot of DG & Chikara guys. A video highlight reel that looked like it was made in 10 seconds in an 8th grade computer class aired. Safe to say DG didn’t produce that video. Quack said there is sibling rivalry in the back and wants to see Chikara vs DG matches. Quack made an open challenge, any DG guy vs any Chikara guy. Yamato then came out to answer the challenge. Yamato cut a promo in Japanese, and I loved this part, DG translated what he was saying for the viewer. Instead of me thinking Yamato was scared of Godzilla, I understood that he was heeling out Quack.
Yamato was good for this role too because he was already established in the first match of the show. Yamato ends his promo by kicking Quack in the nuts. Jigsaw then ran out for the save. Gran Akuma then came out and turned on Jigsaw. So our first angle/built up match for next show is Jigsaw/Quack vs Akuma/Yamato. I think adding Hallowicked & Icarus to the teams would be even more exciting. After the turn, a bunch of Chikara guys and Fray jabronis ran out to make the save. Akuma and Yamato bailed out. Akuma smiling in the aisle way made him look like a bald Chris Benoit, without the whole killing his family thing.
Good way to set something up for next time.
Yoshino w/DOI vs Dragon Kid w/Shingo
Odd to see the main eventers out here to just manage, but that’s a Japanese thing.
I really liked this match. Never seeing these guys before, I was amazed with Yoshino’s speed. The guy runs faster than a guy who just ate 100 tacos (Perhaps Kane D?) running to a toilet. I was going to use like a guy running away from a camera joke here, but I figured that card has been played. Heynow!
Again, the announcers did a great job of setting up the stage and what was going on here.
The bottom rope, which kind of looked loose all show, seemed to have the attention of the wrestlers at points.
One of the biggest spots in this match saw Dragon Kid stand up on the top rope, jump up and perfectly frankensteiner Yoshino the mat. That is so fucking dangerous, but these guys made it look so effortless and routine.
The finish saw Dragon Kid springboard off the top rope and frankensteiner Yoshino down, while pinning Yoshino’s legs behind him for the pin. It is that move that Rey Misterio used to do and ways always his finisher in the video games.
Really good match here. While Yoshino lost and Dragon Kid was booked to be a highlight reel, I came out of this wanting to see more of Yoshino.
After the match, Dragon Kid attempted to shake hands with Yoshino. Yoshino blew him off and shoved him. Shingo & DOI then get face to face. Scorpio, of all people, comes out. Scorpio talks about Malenko/Guerrero, Rey/Pyschosis, etc. A big ECW chant breaks out. Scorpio mentions his times with Sabu. Scorpio says Yoshino/DK is the new decade version of all that. I hate when people say that, because you want the fans to think that on their own, not be forced-fed that. Scorpio says everyone wants to see a rematch. Everyone agrees and all go home happy.
I just found it odd that this guy doing all this robot dancing earlier was the voice of reason.
We then had a plug for DGUSA.tv website and saw some clips from Japan which featured some names like Liger, Austin Aries (I guess he was on TV with TNA) and Evan “I’m No Longer Matt Sydal” Bourne.
MY PICK FOR MATCH OF THE NIGHT
The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) vs Cima/Susumu Yokosuka
Listen, if there is a better tag team match all year, can you email and let me know about it? To me, this is the BEST tag team match I’ve seen all year. Also if you are going to email me, don’t tell me about any tag team gimmick matches, I’m talking from a pure 2 vs 2 tag team match standpoint. This match was fucking awesome.
The fans knew what was coming, as the Bucks got a great reaction and streamers. After a handshake to start, Cima/SY started wrestling like heels. In the early stages of this match, Quack joined the commentary booth and put over his angle a bit before dedicating himself fully to the match.
The Bucks get alot of comparisons to the RockNRoll Express, The Rockers & The Hardyz because of the way they dress and wrestle. They would definitely be “Blowjob” wrestlers if they were around 25 years ago like the aforementioned tag teams.
When this match picks up after the initial feeling out process, just be prepared to be wowed and amazed. I can’t even describe it all. This is definitely worth going out of your way to see & worth the price of the DVD. The Young Bucks just drove up their asking price and exposure with this match.
One thing on commentary that I noticed is that alot of guys did variations of ace-crushers/jaw breakers in this match, but the commentators would always call them stunners. Wasn’t Johnny Ace big in Japan? I guess no one wants to talk about Ace in a positive way anymore!
Lots of huge moves in this match. Unlike the first match, where moves were being no-sold and guys power kicking out at 2, the teams broke up all big counts, although Matt Jackson did kick out of a Ki-Krusher 99 from Cima. Just found that funny, you didn’t see anyone kick out of that move when Ki was up here.
After Cima hit a version of the Van Daminator, a huge DRAGONGATE chant filled the walls of the Arena. The Jacksons also picked up steam and then these two teams went into an incredible sequence where I felt like I was on crack and ecstasy cause everything was moving so fucking fast and making an impact. After a 450 and a moon-sault, Yoko got pinned by Matt Jackson. Awesome match.
These two teams then got a deserving standing ovation.
All four guys took a bow together to show respect to the fans, like they were on Broadway and Act III was over.
Matt Jackson did a promo saying the Bucks weren’t the tag team of the future, they were the tag team of now. It’s hard to argue that. I know it’s happened in ROH, but I’d love to see Bucks vs Briscoes in DG. Matt put out an open challenge to any tag team to face them in their home- DG USA. Aren’t Demolition taking bookings these days?
We then got some UFC/Boxing type hype, as we went into the locker room one last time for final preperations from the main events.
DG Champion Naruki Doi vs Shingo
This match was built up perfectly throughout the card and when they finally got in the ring, I wanted to see what the two best in DG would do. It kind’ve reminded me of all the hype Sabu vs Taz had in the day.
The DG championship looks weird, when compared to American championship belts.
I like how Naruki named himself after this website, that was pretty cool of him.
Shingo is built up as the most powerful guy in this company, and he showed his power off alot in this match. One of my favorite spots in this show saw Doi go for a cannonball but Shingo caught him then lifted him up high for a brutal powerbomb. Shingo would go on to also hit a 30 second stall suplex. Amazing.
Doi was very impressive too, hitting a top rope belly to back suplex.
I also want to put over the work of Ref Mike Kehner. He was awesome selling this match and telling a story too. The best refs are the ones you don’t notice, but if you watch this match, watch Kehner. He makes this match exiting, such as when he’s out of breath counting close 2 counts and looking in awe of what was going on. He made the match more dramatic and gave it that main event feel.
Doi wins this match with a Muscular Bomb (Half nelson lifted and dropped into a wheelbarrow driver). This match was non-title, but since Doi won anyway, I wonder why it wasn’t for the title? Perhaps DG didn’t want to think Doi was an automatic win so that’s why they made it non-title?
Even minutes after the match was over, not one fan was going for the exit (unless it was edited off). Everyone was standing and chanting Dragon Gate. Excellent match to close the show, although I’d rate the tag match higher than this one.
I was very impressed by this DVD and this show. One thing that I talked about in this review is that it was hard for me to understand Japanese wrestling. DGUSA did a great job of getting an American fan (myself) into this. I look forward to seeing what DG has up their sleeve next and eagerly await the next DVD release.
If you’re looking for something new, fresh & innovative & sick of the same old indy crap, give this a shot.
For more on Dragon Gate USA, visit www.DGUSA.tv
Sean “The MiC” McCaffrey