*** Dragon Gate USA DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
September 6, 2009 – Chicago, Illinois (Congress Theatre)
[ OPEN THE UNTOUCHABLE GATE ]
INTRODUCTION: Dragon Gate USA is on a roll after their first event in the United States, called “Open the Historic Gate.” Now it was time for the next step in DGUSA evolution, and the Chicago fans were very enthusiastic about getting their first taste of Gabe Sapolsky’s new brand of wrestling.
“OPEN THE HISTORIC GATE” REMATCH Masato Yoshino vs. Dragon Kid: These two stole the show at the previous DGUSA event with their high-speed approach to battle. Following that match, the Dragon Kid offered to shake the hand of his long time rival, but the frustrated Yoshino turned his back and left the ring. The fans begged for a rematch, and they got it at the Untouchable event. The Chicago fans were totally into this match, and chanted “this is awesome!” as the two light heavyweights put on a 15 minute highlight reel in real time. Dragon Kid planted Yoshino with his famous finisher, which worked last time, but did not get the job done this time! A few moments later, Dragon Kid tried a different strategy and scored a quick pin out of nowhere to secure his second victory over Yoshino in two tries! Dragon Kid once again offered to shake hands, but Yoshino flipped him off and made a sore loser retreat to the locker room.
IN THE RING The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) + Jimmy Jacobs w/Mustafa Ali: The Young Bucks hit the ring and bragged about shedding the “tag team of the future” moniker and becoming the “tag team of the present.” The Bucks called out Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi to start their match, but were interrupted by Jimmy Jacobs instead! The crowd was literally stunned with excitement! Jacobs, who came out with an Arabian bodyguard named Mustafa Ali, said he wasn’t there for an invasion, but he was there to recruit the Young Bucks – professional wrestling’s hottest tag team. The Bucks said thanks but no thanks, but they didn’t want any part of it. Jacobs & Ali attacked the Bucks, but the Bucks fought back and eliminated their attackers. Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi hit the ring and attacked the Bucks – then proclaimed that they it wouldn’t be a title match tonight!
DRAGON GATE VS. CHIKARA PRO GRUDGE MATCH YAMATO & Gran Akuma vs. Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw: Last month it was quite a dramatic scene when Chikara leader Mike Quakenbush issued a challenge to the Dragon Gate tribe. Quakenbush just wanted a match, but he ended up initiating a major conflict when Chikara wrestler Gran Akuma turned his back on his brethren and sided with Dragon Gate heel YAMATO. This match was a little more sloppy than your usual Chikara match, but still great to watch. The finish saw Quakenbush finish off Akuma with a Dragon Driver II (a vicious-looking pile-driver). YAMATO snapped Backlund-style after the match and put Quakenbush in a deep sleeperhold until Chikara’s Hallowicked ran out to make the save! The conflict between Chikara and Dragon Gate just turned into a WAR!
DRAGON GATE ACE VS. INDEPENDENT ACE MATCH Naruki Doi vs. “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson: With the lights turned off in the building, the ring announcer roared “and now, a man who needs no introduction!” and suddenly the lights came on and Bryan Danielson appeared in the ring! He did not get any entrance music, but the fans started singing his “Final Countdown” theme song. Danielson got a real kick out of that one. Danielson had recently signed with the WWE and was just starting his farewell tour on the independent circuit. This will be one of the world’s final opportunities to experience the American Dragon before he is ruined by Sports Entertainment. Naruki Doi is the Open The Dream Gate champion, which is Dragon Gate’s top singles title. American Dragon always had the crowd in the palm of his hand, but on this night he had them in the crotch of his pants. That might be the most twisted compliment I’ve ever given out. Doi took all of Dragon’s punishment, and still had enough inside of him to finish Dragon off with the Musclular Bomb. That is the most dangerous crazy move in wrestling. After the match, American Dragon praised Naruki Doi for giving him a hell of a match. Dragon said he watched all the matches tonight from the back and the show has been pretty freakin’ awesome! Dragon said the fans chant “best in the world” at him, but he doesn’t think he can do that any more. Dragon said he wanted somebody out there to take his spot, and specifically challenged Davey Richards to step up and take his spot in DGUSA. Dragon said Richards had everything he needs to be the best wrestler in the world, and he wanted Richards to prove to the fans that he can be the absolute best! Dragon thanked the fans and asked them to continue supporting independent wrestling as well as Dragon Gate USA.
SPECIAL ATTRACTION MATCH CIMA vs. Brian Kendrick: Brian Kendrick was recently released from his WWE contract and jumped at the opportunity to become a member of the Dragon Gate USA roster. The crowd chanted “Spanky!” and it reminded me of all the amazing matches he had before sports entertainment ruined him. This match was almost as amazing at the last match. The finish saw CIMA perform a double knee drop right onto Kendrick’s chest and torso for the win. My girlfriend, who is always quick to point out how fake wrestling looks on TV (WWE & TNA), shouted “Holy $#%T!” when she walked into the room and saw the finish.
BATTLE OF THE HARD-HITTERS MATCH Shingo vs. Davey Richards: Davey Richards had been challenged by Bryan Danielson to step up his game and take his spot, so there was a little bit of pressure on him to raise the bar and steal the show. Richards has eliminated every once of body fat from his body and is now 100% muscle. His physique is the mirror image of the Dynamite Kid, to whom he is compared by the Japanese media. Shingo probably has the most American experience out of all the Dragon Gate boys, having worked stints in both Ring of Honor and Full Impact Pro. Midway through the match, Richards messed up his knee, but maintained a strong offense while ignoring the pain. The dumb thing was he kept doing moves that put his injured leg in jeopardy. Shingo absorbed all of Davey’s painful kicks and crazy offense. At one point, Richards launched himself through the ropes at Shingo on the floor, except he grazed Shingo’s arm and literally flew into the fifth row! They played it off like Richards successfully hit the move, so he stood up and continued his onslaught. Richards got two more near falls and then decided that he needed to take a big risk. Richards climbed to the top rope, but Shingo caught him. They struggled for the advantage, until Richards kicked Shingo in the head and then hit a top rope hurricanrana! Shingo continued to absorb all of the punishment Richards could come up with. Richards got Shingo into the Kimura Armbar, but Shingo broke it. Richards transitioned into the Triangle-choke, but Shingo hulked up and lifted Richards onto his shoulders. Shingo climbed to the second rope with Richards on his shoulders and gave him a Senton Bomb… but Richards kicked out!! The fans were becoming unglued at this point. They started punching each other, sending clouds of sweat flying into the air. Shingo suddenly went in for the kill with a series of amazing moves, capped off by a stiff Lariat, but it wasn’t enough to put Richards down for the count. Richards recovered and kicked the snot out of Shingo, and hit another big move, but Shingo miraculously kicked out! They had the crowd throbbing as they continued to exchange holds inside the ring. Shingo was selling a left arm injury from the Kimura earlier. Richards hit an amazing shooting star press and almost hit the ceiling! Richards put Shingo’s injured arm into a hammerlock submission and finally forced him to tap out and end the match! The crowd chanted “thank you, both!” for a strong match of the year contender. Richards took the microphone and said he was in a ton of pain right now, and gave all the credit for the match to Shingo. Richards addressed the challenge put on him earlier by Bryan Danielson. Danielson came out still in his wrestling gear, and said Davey did what he said he would do and stole the show. Richards said he wanted to show Daniels what it means to hear him say that. Richards viciously attacked Dragon and cut a scathing heel promo before marching out of the arena while being showered with boos from the fans. That was simply amazing.
TAG TEAM CHALLENGE MATCH Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson): Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi hold the Open the Twin Gate titles, which are Dragon Gate’s version of the Tag Team titles. They sure do some up with some creative names, don’t they? It doesn’t matter because the champions refused to put the titles on the line! After the Dragon/Doi match, the Kendrick/CIMA match, and the Richards/Shingo match, I wondered what kind of crazy stuff they would do to justify being in the main event slot. The match was pretty darn cool, but nothing like the previous three matches on the DVD. The Young Bucks continue to impress the pro-wrestling world, and had the match won at one point, but there was no referee to make the count! Saito & Horiguchi blinded one the Young Bucks with the dreaded blue mist to the face. The champions took advantage of the confusion and scored a tainted victory over the Young Bucks!
BONUS DISC: The bonus material included the pre-show match which was a Fray (Scramble) between Arik Cannon, Johnny Gargano, Hallowicked, Flip Kendrick, the Great Malaki, Shiima Xion, Mustafa Ali, and Louis Lyndon. They also have an “Open the Untouchable Gate” highlight reel, and an “Untouchable” PPV preview spot. Dragon Gate USA also threw in the following bonus matches, one of which took place in Japan, and two others from Full Impact Pro chronicling the evolution of Davey Richards vs. Shingo.
BONUS MATCH #1 WRESTLE JAM IN JAPAN (JULY 9, 2006) Magnum TOKYO & BxB Hulk & Matt Sydal vs. Gamma & Naoki Tanisaki & Jimmy Rave: Very COOL!
BONUS MATCH #2 FULL IMPACT PRO – IMPACT OF HONOR (JUNE 10, 2006) Davey Richards vs. Shingo: (copy and pasted from my “FIP Impact of Honor” DVD Review) In a match that I was highly anticipating from the moment I saw the line-up, ROH/FIP star Davey Richards took on Dragon Gate’s Shingo. I am a huge mark for both guys and admittedly had high expectations going into it. Now THIS was ROH-style wrestling. I hope the 100 or so fans who were there understand just how lucky they are to be witnesses to two of the best talents out there kicking each others ass for their personal enjoyment. Shingo had his arm raised in the end but it was the fans who got to see the match in person and on DVD who were the winners ( 8.5 / 10 ).
BONUS MATCH #3 FULL IMPACT PRO – ALL OR NOTHING (NOVEMBER 10, 2006) Davey Richards vs. Shingo: (copy and pasted from my “FIP All or Nothing” DVD Review) Anybody who has read any of my ROH or FIP DVD reviews knows that I am very high on both of these wrestlers. This was a rematch from Impact of Honor on June 10. SHINGO won that match, and Davey Richards won this match so I guess now they have to do a tie-breaker ( 8 / 10 ).
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