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RADICAN'S DGUSA "Freedom Fight" PPV review - Yamato-Richards, Doi & Yoshino vs. Dragon Kid & Shingo

Jan 18, 2010 - 6:37:01 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist

RADICAN'S DGUSA FREEDOM FIGHT PPV REPORT
PREMIERS JAN. 22, 2010 ON PPV
PHILADELPHIA, PA


"Freedom Fight" debuts on Jan. 22 on Indemand, The Dish, TVN, Viewers Choice, and Bell cable systems.

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1 - - NICK JACKSON vs. MATT JACKSON vs. HALLOWICKED vs. GRAN AKUMA vs. LINCE DORADO vs. JOHNNY GARGANO – First Round Open The Freedom Gate Tournament Qualifying match

All six men went at it right away at a furious pace. The Young Bucks worked together early on and cleared the ring of all of their opponents. Matt and Nick then teased going at it, but Akuma and Gargano jumped them both from behind. The Young Bucks cleared the ring again and tried to square off, but Dorado and Hallowicked sent them packing. Nick ran into the ring and hit a springboard x-factor on Akuma and went right into a moonsault off the apron on Dorado for a pop from the crowd. The Bucks hit the more bang for your buck on Hallowicked, but Nick broke up Matt's pin on Hallowicked.

Matt and Nick finally went at it in the middle of the ring and the crowd loved it. Matt nearly pinned Nick with a code red facebuster, but Akuma broke up the pin. Akuma ended up alone in the ring with Gargano. He nailed him with a half-nelson suplex, but Gargano fired back moments later and tossed him head-first into the turnbuckles. Akuma finally managed to nail Gargano with a moonsault for the pin.

WINNER: Gran Akuma to advance to the finals of the Open The Freedom Gate Tournament

STAR RATING (**3/4) – This was all action from bell to bell. The crowd was really into everything and the confrontation between the Young Bucks was fun.

Lenny Leonard and Chikarason were shown backstage and they sent the action right back to the ring for the next match.

2 - - BxB HULK vs. BRIAN KENDRICK - First Round Open The Freedom Gate Tournament Qualifying match

Hulk got the better of a couple of exchanges at the beginning of the match and Kendrick bailed to the outside both times. The announcers pointed out that Hulk didn't perform his dance routine because of the importance of winning the Open the Freedom Gate title tonight. Hulk got the better of another exchange with Kendrick and the crowd chanted his name. Kendrick fired back and locked Hulk in a camel clutch. Kendrick used several shortcuts to maintain the advantage. Hulk fired back and peppered Kendrick with several kicks.

Hulk nailed Kendrick with a standing twisting moonsault legdrop for a nearfall. He charged Kendrick in the corner, but Kendrick caught him with a kick. Kendrick went for sliced bread #2, but Hulk dumped him to the outside. Kendrick ran into the crowd to avoid a dive, so Hulk went after him and pitched him back into the ring. Hulk went up top, but Kendrick cut him off and rolled him up in a small package for a nearfall. Both men exchanged several nearfalls on the mat before Hulk nailed Kendrick with a nasty kick and then rolled him up for the pin.

WINNER: BxB Hulk to advance to the finals of the Open The Freedom Gate Tournament

STAR RATING (**1/2) – Kendrick seems to be missing something since his return to the independent scene. The match was solid, but unspectacular with Kendrick mainly trying to ground Hulk and using shortcuts to maintain the advantage.

Kendrick got on the mic after the match and pitched a fit after the ring announcer tried to get him to leave the ring. He talked about his injuries and said he'd earned the right to leave the ring at his own pace. He said he was an artist and wrestled for himself. Kendrick went on for awhile and said he chose to be himself and not follow rules when he was in the WWE. A ref came out to try to get Kendrick to leave the ring, but he wouldn't leave. Several wrestlers came out to try to get him to leave, but he still continued to rant on the mic. Jon Moxley came out and grabbed the mic from Kendrick. Moxley said he agreed with Kendrick. Moxley and Kendrick then attacked the wrestlers and officials that were trying to get them to leave before the segment ended.

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3 - - CIMA vs. MIKE QUACKENBUSH vs. SUPER CRAZY vs. JORGE RIVERA -First Round Open The Freedom Gate Tournament Qualifying match

CIMA and Quackenbush bowed to Rivera prior to the match, but Crazy did not. Crazy and Rivera went at it during the early stages of the match with Crazy quickly getting the upper hand before Rivera fired back at him. The action really picked up with all four men exchanging nearfalls off of pinning combinations before coming to a stalemate in the middle of the ring. CIMA and Rivera went at it. CIMA ended up nailing Rivera with a double stomp for a nearfall. All four men did a seamless series of innovative spots until Crazy took out Rivera's knees.

The crowd chanted for Crazy. CIMA went to check on Rivera, but Crazy sent him to the outside. Crazy also sent Quackenbush to the outside before continuing to work over Rivera's knee. Rivera fired back on Crazy. He then took out Quackenbush and held him in a pendulum submission, but CIMA ran in and nailed him with a dropkick. Rivera then locked CIMA in a nasty leg submission, but Crazy broke it up. CIMA eventually ended up sending Quackenbush to the outside before locking Rivera in a slick pinning combination for the pin.

WINNER: CIMA to advance to the finals of the Open The Freedom Gate Tournament

STAR RATING (***) – The match told a good story with Crazy looking to get payback on Rivera for taking his mask when he was only 14 in Mexico. They put together some really cool spots and Quackenbush hit a sweet dive to the outside on Crazy at one point, but CIMA managed to get Rivera alone in the ring and pinned him with ease in the end.

-The crowd applauded for Rivera after the match. Quackenbush and CIMA began shoving each other after the match. Quackenbush told CIMA he would take the belt from him if he won it tonight.

4 - - DAVEY RICHARDS vs. YAMATO - First Round Open The Freedom Gate Tournament Qualifying match

After both men exchanged holds on the mat, Richards got the upper hand and went to work on Yamato's arm. Richards went for a kimura, but Yamato struggled to block it and eventually escaped from Richards's grasp. Both men rolled outside the ring and exchanged blows on the floor. Richards sent Yamato into the guardrail before booting him into the crowd, which drew a huge pop for Richards from the crowd. Richards sent Yamato out of the ring again with a kick, but he slid under the ring and ran back in from the other side before nailing Richards with a dropkick. Yamato then locked in a single leg crab on Richards, who eventually got the ropes.

Yamato continued to work over Richards's leg for several minutes. The crowd began chanting for Richards and Yamato told them to "shut up." Richards tried to fire back, but ended up going down to the mat in pain after attempting a kick with the leg Yamato had been working over. Richards fired back with a version of the alarm clock as the crowd chanted for both men. Richards sent Yamato to the outside with a kick and then nailed him with a suicide dive through the ropes that popped the crowd huge. The crowd heat continued to increase as Richards attempted to shake some life into his leg before going back on the attack. Richards managed to finally catch Yamato with the kimura in the middle of the ring.

Yamato eventually managed to reach the ropes to break the kimura. Richards went for a German, but Yamato escaped and dropkicked Richards's leg before applying an ankle lock. Richards tried to escape several times, but Yamato was able to reapply the hold. Richards finally managed to reach the ropes and the crowd applauded. Both men exchanged blows in the center of the ring. Richards nailed Yamato with several kicks, but he wouldn't go down. Yamato nailed Richards with a German, but Richards got right up and nailed him with a clothesline and the crowd went insane as both men struggled to regain their bearings.

Yamato slammed Richards and went up top, but Richards nailed him with a kick. Richards followed up with a superplex, but Yamato got right up. Richards continued unfazed and eventually nailed Yamato with a German with a bridge for a 2 count. The crowd chanted that it should have been a 3 count, but the ref said no. Richards went up top, but Yamato cut him off. Richards managed to send Yamato down to the mat. He paused for a moment and went for a SSP, but Yamato got his knees up. Yamato looked out at the crowd manically before applying a sleeper on Richards. Richards eventually escaped and both men exchanged blows in the center of the ring.

Richards went for a lariat, but Yamato ducked and nailed him with a sleeper suplex. Yamato then kicked Richards in the head and covered him, but Richards kicked out. Yamato then hit a brainbuster, but Richards kicked out again. The crowd was 100% behind Richards, but Yamato managed to nail him with the galleria for the pin.

WINNER: Yamato to advance to the finals of the Open The Freedom Gate Tournament

STAR RATING (****1/2) – This was an awesome match. The crowd heat was insane as both men picked a body part and worked it over during the first two thirds of the match. This match featured a lot of great nearfalls and hard-hitting exchanges. Richards and Yamato then took turns holding the advantage down the stretch before Yamato finally took the win in the end. What a match!

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-Gran Akuma, BxB Hulk, CIMA, and Yamato were shown backstage getting ready for their match to crown the first Open The Freedom Gate Champion.

5 - - MASATO YOSHINO & NARUKI DOI vs. DRAGON KID & SHINGO

Mike Quackenbush joined Lenny Leonard in the booth. They talked about the rivalry between Kid and Yoshino in DGUSA. Kid and Yoshino had a series of slick exchanges in the ring before tagging out to Doi and Shingo. Shingo got the upper hand on Doi. Shingo and Kid began tagging in and out of the ring and showcased some nice teamwork while working over Doi. Doi fired back on Kid and began working over his arm. Yoshino tagged in and nailed Kid's arm with a double stomp off the top. Doi & Yoshino then hit a slick series of double team maneuvers on Kid before Yoshino locked Kid in a nasty stretch in the middle of the ring. They also did a good job of keeping Shingo out of the ring so that he couldn't help out his partner.

Kid fired back and took down Doi with a headscissors takedown before tagging in Shingo, who ran wild. Doi went for a charge on Shingo in the corner, but Shingo caught him and suplexed him to the mat. Kid took out Doi with a moonsault to the outside. Shingo then went to work on Yoshino inside the ring as the crowd applauded. Shingo continued to show impressive power as Doi attempted to slide through his legs, but Shingo caught him and dead-lifted him right into a brainbuster. Doi fired back moments later and took Shingo down with a running lariat before locking in and octopus submission. Kid then locked Doi in an octopus as well and exchanged blows with Yoshino and the crowd went nuts.

Doi ended up tying Kid in the ropes moments later and nailed him with a running dropkick. Wow! Kid fired back moments later with a springboard stunner. Shingo then got a hold of Doi and Kid came off the top with a double stomp. Shingo hit the blood ball on Doi moments later, but he kicked out at the last second and the crowd applauded. Doi cut off Shingo and caught him with a sitdown powerbomb as he charged off the ropes. Doi tried to lift Shingo. Shingo tried to fight him off, but Doi finally nailed him with a modified powerbomb. Kid ran in, but Doi caught him with a dropkick and then landed on Shingo with a senton for a nearfall.

All four men brawled on the turnbuckles. Kid fought off Doi and then nailed Yoshino with a super frankensteiner off Shingo's shoulders, but Doi broke it up and the crowd went nuts again. Moments later, Shingo nailed Yoshino with a DVD and Kid followed up with a dragonrana, but Yoshino kicked out at the last second. The action continued at a furious pace until Kid went for a springboard dragonrana, but Doi countered it into the Doi 5's, which left everyone down on the mat. The crowd erupted in a Dragon Gate chant. After a series of nearfalls, Yoshino caught Kid in his signature submission. Kid resisted, but finally submitted.

WINNERS: Yoshino & Doi

STAR RATING (****1/4) – This was an incredible match. The pace of the action was incredible from bell to bell. The teamwork of Yoshino & Doi was about the best I've seen out of a tag team as they pulled off several incredible sequences together on Kid and Shingo at different times during the match. I thought they went a bit overboard with the nearfalls at the end, but the crowd loved every second of this match.

After the match, Yoshino and Shingo began shoving each other before the cameras cut away.

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-Jon Moxley was shown cutting a promo outside of the venue. He said nobody pulled his strings. Moxley said some would call him a waste of talent. He said he liked to think and make his own decisions. He said he had talent in the wrestling world that only others could dream of. He said he didn't have to listen to anybody. Moxley said he just wants what is his before he walked away. Good promo.

6 - - GRAN AKUMA vs. CIMA vs. YAMATO vs. BxB HULK – Four Way Elimination Open The Freedom Gate Tournament Finals

Yamato and Akuma formed an alliance during the early stages of the match and went to work on Hulk and CIMA. CIMA and Hulk began working together, but he immediately turned on Hulk and nailed him with a back cracker. Yamato and Akuma continued to work together as they isolated CIMA. Yamato nailed CIMA with a low blow and Akuma rolled him up for the pin for the first elimination. Akuma and Yamato quickly took down Hulk and posed for the crowd while they booed. Yamato and Akuma locked in a double submission on Hulk. Yamato then held Hulk in a crossface while Akuma taunted him. Hulk ducked a kick from Akuma, who ended up kicking Yamato.

The crowd came alive as Hulk went up top, but Yamato cut him off. Hulk nailed Yamato with a spin kick, which sent him to the floor. Hulk and Yamato began exchanging kicks in the center of the ring. Hulk ended up nailing Akuma with a reverse hurricanrana. Hulk followed up with a phoenix splash on Akuma, but Yamato broke it up. Hulk sent Yamato out of the ring and hit Akuma with the E.V.O to eliminate him. The crowd began for chanting for Hulk as he stalked Yamato in the corner.

Yamato and Hulk began exchanging forearms in the center of the ring. The crowd cheered Hulk and booed Yamato each time they landed a blow, but Yamato ended up catching Hulk with a powerslam that left both men down on the mat. Yamato went up top, but Hulk fired up and nailed him with a spinning kick. Hulk then nailed Yamato with a powerslam off the top, but appeared to have hurt himself in the process. Both men staggered and exchanged forearms in the middle of the ring. Yamato absolutely lit up Hulk with strikes, but he wouldn't go down. The crowd erupted as Hulk fired back with a clothesline and hit the E.V.O., but Yamato kicked out. Hulk nailed Yamato with a superkick, but he kicked out at the last second. Hulk finally nailed Yamato with a modified island driver for the pin and the crowd erupted.

WINNER: BxB Hulk to become the first Open the Freedom Gate Champion

STAR RATING: (***3/4) – This was a really fun match. Yamato and Akuma worked together early on until their alliance fell apart. The segment with Hulk going 1 on 2 against Yamato and Akuma really got the crowd into the match. The final minutes with Yamato and Hulk just lighting each other up with strikes and big moves was awesome.

Overall score (8.5): This was a really good show, especially the second hour which featured some of the best action you will see on PPV in 2010. The first hour was solid, but the tournament matches weren't anything special outside of the Yamato-Richards qualifier, which was awesome.

The show started with the four qualifying matches for the Open the Freedom Gate Tournament. The opening Six Way match was a lot of fun, especially with the teases of the Young Bucks going at it one on one. Akuma getting the pin in the end was a surprise, but it all made sense in the end.

The Hulk-Kendrick match was good, but it seems like Kendrick is missing something upon returning to the independent scene. His promo after the match wasn't very effective either and the segment dragged after it lasted for awhile. He needed to deliver his message in a more effective manner than he did while rambling on about being an "artist." It would have helped if Jon Moxley had been identified as well upon entering the ring to side with Kendrick.

The Quackenbush-CIMA-Super Crazy-Skayde Four Way match was a lot of fun and told a good story with Crazy looking for a measure of revenge against Skayde. The action in this match was as slick as I expected it to be and Crazy fit right into the Dragon Gate style. I also liked the post-match tension between CIMA and Quackenbush.

The Yamato-Richards qualifier was the best match of the night. These two are simply awesome. The crowd seemed split given that two heels were going at it in the ring, but Richards won them over. Yamato is simply awesome playing to the crowd and his submission work here was right on par with Richards's work on the mat. Yamato ended up getting the win in the end, but all I can remember about the match was how awesome both men were.

The tag team showcase was awesome with all four men just tearing it up in the ring. Most of the match was built around the Kid-Yoshino rivalry and they had some great exchanges. Shingo is one of my favorite heavyweights to watch right now. His power displays during the match were incredible. I also loved the double team maneuvers that Yoshino and Doi pulled off seamlessly together. This match is worth going out of your way to see.

The main event to determine the first Open The Freedom Gate Champion really good. I loved the story the match told and the announcers did a fantastic job of filling in all of the details as to what was on the line for each man. I really liked how the end of the match was booked with Hulk going at it alone with the tandem of Akuma and Yamato, who reached an agreement to work together at the beginning of the match. The last few minutes of the match with Hulk and Yamato tearing it up in the ring were incredible.

I highly recommend ordering this show on PPV. It was a really fun show from start to finish. There are three awesome matches on the card, which includes an early MOTYC between Yamato and Davey Richards. Although some of the qualifying matches weren't memorable, they all played into the larger story heading into the main event. There really weren't any negatives on the show outside of the post-match segment with Kendrick. Jon Moxley was also given some PPV time to cut a good promo that went a long way towards establishing his character down the line. Thumbs up!


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