*** Dragon Gate USA DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens *** May 7, 2010 – Windsor, Ontario – The Windsor Armory OPEN THE NORTHERN GATE
CONCLUSION: Dragon Gate USA had their first show North of the border, and my first impression was that they had to be quite disappointed by the turnout. However, for what looked like very few people, the building was actually pretty loud for a night of amazing action!
TAG TEAM GRUDGE MATCH Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Gran Akuma & Akura Tozawa: They seem to be building their tag team division around Jigsaw & Quack – which is A-OKAY with me. After they won a long, very exciting match, the Kamikaze USA group assembled and demolished the Quack/Jigsaw team. FIP World champion Jon Moxley came out to offer approval to his troops and guided them all backstage.
FIP WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH Jon Moxley vs. Phil Atlas: Jon Moxley has the worst entrance music, but I’m still a huge mark for him. He really made a name for himself in 2010, and I’m looking for him to become a huge star in 2011. He came out with his flavor of the week (the flavor of blonde) to defend his FIP title against Canadian sensation Phil Atlas. Moxley is engrossed in a bitter feud with Jimmy Jacobs right now. Midway through the match, YAMATO & SHINGO snuck out to ringside just as Moxley flung Atlas through the ropes to the floor. Moxley faked an eye injury and hijacked the referee’s attention while the heels on the floor assaulted Atlas. They threw the challenger back into the ring where he was easily finished off by the amazing Jon Moxley.
SPECIAL CHALLENGE MATCH CIMA vs. Jimmy Jacobs: When I first scanned the list of matches on this DVD, my eyes immediately widened with excitement when I saw CIMA vs. Jacobs on the card. It feels odd that they would put Moxley and Jacobs matches back-to-back without any kind of altercation, so I expected Moxley to get involved at some point. It wasn’t five star or anything but I loved the match. And Moxley proved me wrong by NOT showing his face. CIMA extended his hand as a show of respect, but Jimmy just kicked it away – as he is determined to stand alone for the first time in his wrestling career.
SPECIAL ATTRACTION MATCH Naruki Doi vs. Nasaaki Mochizuki: Before the match, the “whole shebang” Johnny Gargano walked out to the ring and talked about the United States of America – the land of opportunity! Gargano presented himself a free agent and said he would be a great American representative for Mochizuki’s Veteran group or Doi’s WORLD-1 group. Gargano offered Mochizuki some gifts – VHS copies of D2: The Mighty Ducks, Angel’s in the Outfield, and Dunston Checks In. The gifts were rejected! Gargano also offered Doi a gift, a stuffed alian, which Doi sarcastically accepted and then he told Gargano to go home now. Gargano went backstage and the match finally got started. This was another solid, no surprises, match between two great competitors. Mochizuki came out with the win over Doi and they both showed great sportsmanship when it was finished.
MAXIMUM PRO WRESTLING SHOWCASE MATCH Jon Bolen & Tyson Dux vs. Xtremo & Brad Martin: Here we go with a match featuring mostly local talent. There was the somewhat impressive Jon Bolen (a former WWE developmental wrestler) and three athletic Canadians. I wasn’t particularly impressed with this match. It came off as a bunch of “indy” workers doing stuff to get noticed and didn’t belong on a Dragon Gate USA DVD.
2/3 FALLS MATCH Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino: This would be their third singles match on U.S. soil since Dragon Gate USA opened its doors. Both previous encounters ended with Dragon Kid winning and offering to shake hands but Yoshino blew him off like a true bitter heel. Since then they have classed in a tag team match, and a six man tag team match, with Yoshino’s team coming out on top both times. Yoshino was the winner of the first fall, putting fan-favorite Dragon Kid at a huge disadvantage. Of course, Dragon Kid made a come back and even the score by being the winner of the second fall. This is where the match really got turned up a few notches as the rivalry exploded before the spectators eyes. A few minutes later, Yoshino forced Dragon Kid to tap out to the triangle choke to end the match and to finally put the rivalry to rest. Now that Yoshino was on top, he was willing to shake hands – and Dragon Kid accepted in another show of good sportsmanship.
TAG TEAM MAIN EVENT BxB Hulk & PAC vs. YAMATO & Shingo: This was a very long hard-fought back-and-forth contest with four great athletes going at it. The match ended with YAMATO pinned the Open the Freedom Gate champion BxB Hulk in what the announcer called a “demoralizing” loss for the champion, who has to defend the belt against Masato Yoshino the following night at “Uprising”!
CONCLUSION: This DVD is full of solid wrestling matches, but nothing to write home about. There was a noticeable lack of storyline progression here, especially when it came to Moxley/Jacobs. If you get all of the DGUSA DVD’s, you won’t be disappointed with this one, but if you are picky about which ones you buy, then skip this one.
[BONUS DISC]: The bonus disc includes an “Open the Northern Gate” highlight package and the following action packed matches from Full Impact Pro and Japan’s Dragon Gate promotion…
[BONUS DISC] FULL IMPACT PRO 2/17/06 FLORIDA Bryan Danielson vs. Matt Sydal:
[BONUS DISC] TAG TEAM MATCH 7/10/06 JAPAN Dragon Kid & King Shisa vs. Susumu Yokosuka & Keni’chiro Arai:
[BONUS DISC] RINGSIDE EXCLUSIVE 8/23/09 JAPAN BxB Hulk & Masato Yoshino vs. Naruki Doi & Naiko Tanizaki:
[BONUS DISC] RINGSIDE EXCLUSIVE 8/26/09 JAPAN BxB Hulk & Masato Yoshino vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Katsuhiko Nakajima:
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