(5) Ronin (Rich Swann & Johnny Gargano) & Masato Yoshino beat Blood Warriors (Brodie Lee & Austin Aries & CIMA) in a Six Man Elimination match (***3/4)
(6) Open the Freedom Gate Champion YAMATO beat PAC (****1/4)
Overall thoughts: (8.5) – “Enter the Dragon 2011” was a disaster for DGUSA when it originally aired live on iPPV. The internet feed in the building never worked properly and as a result, many fans that ordered the show were outraged. DGUSA made it up to fans that purchased the show by eventually putting up “Enter the Dragon 2011” on-demand and giving people that bought the iPPV an additional free show that hadn’t been released yet.
It wasn’t a good situation for the company when the original airing of this show didn’t work, but the DVD is really banged out with some nice additional features. It’s noticeable right off the bat that a considerable amount of effort was put into this release. The DVD artwork and menus are top notch and stand among the best I’ve seen out of an independent company.
As we all know, none of that matters if the quality of the core product is lacking, but that isn’t the case here. This release is a well-rounded show from top to bottom that features some key storyline development building towards the next tripleshot of events for DGUSA.
The undercard starts off with a series of very good matches. Ricochet vs. Yoshino was a fun opener that didn’t set the bar too high for the rest of the card. It’s a good thing when two guys like Ricochet and Yoshino can go out and put on an athletic exhibition for the fans. It’s noticeable that Ricochet is still rounding into his heel character during this time, but he’s starting to do the little things that count to get heat on him as a heel.
The undercard also saw some good progression for A.R. Fox and Sami Callihan as the seeds were planted for their long-term feud that ended up lasting the rest of the year. Fox had a good match with Pinkie Sanchez, who is perfect for a scumbag heel role on the undercard. The match may have been a little more competitive than necessary, but the post-match beating Fox took from Cannon, Callihan, and Sanchez was well-executed.
Speaking of Callihan & Cannon, they had a heck of a hard-hitting contest with Mochizuki & Susumu. This was a big win for Callihan & Cannon, who beat two veteran Japanese wrestlers from the home promotion. The match really picked up down the stretch with some good nearfalls. Callihan tapping out Susumu was a surprise.
The Ronin-Blood Warriors Six Man Elimination had a couple of wrenches thrown into it, but it turned out to be a heck of a contest. For starters, Chuck Taylor was injured, so Masato Yoshino stepped in after a series of backstage skits with Gargano and Swann aired with them discussing getting a new partner. Backstage stuff like this where the wrestlers can get into the characters and forward the storylines are important, so it was nice to see those included here.
The other wrench thrown into the match was that Brodie Lee suffered a knee injury about mid-way through the contest, which took the steam out of some of the things the match was building to momentarily. Gargano going at it alone against CIMA and Aries was really exciting and when he finally submitted Aries, the crowd was really appreciative of his effort overcoming the odds.
The main event was excellent. Although PAC and YAMATO didn’t have a huge issue going into the match, they put together a match that built and built to an excellent finish. YAMATO worked over PAC’s leg throughout, but PAC would make spectacular comebacks that had the crowd roaring for him. PAC is someone that needs to be seen to be believed, as he’s just a blast to watch in the ring and he isn’t just about high-flying anymore. YAMATO won the match in dominating fashion in the end, which is a nice touch for the champion, who should be promoted as a dangerous threat at the top of the card.
The post-match angle was well-done with CIMA and the Blood Warriors attacking YAMATO and PAC until Ronin made the save. CIMA and Gargano were set up as future challengers to the title, although I’m not quite sure what CIMA did to deserve a title shot after Gargano submitted him during the tag match. They also did a nice angle where Gargano stared at the Open the Freedom Gate Title before handing it to YAMATO. I had to groan when Gargano brought up the title in his post-match promo, as the subtle touch would have been a nice thing to build on and the announcers didn’t call attention to him staring at the title when he did it.
It’s nice when an independent wrestling company puts together a well-rounded package. Not only are the cover art and menus great looking, but the show also featured clips from the last year in DGUSA in-between matches to celebrate their anniversary. Strong recommendation.
You can purchase this release at DGUSA.tv
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