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RADICAN'S TAKE
RADICAN'S DGUSA DVD REVIEW SERIES - "Open the Golden Gate" 1/27: PAC-Tozawa, Ricochet & CIMA

Dec 6, 2012 - 12:02:15 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist

RADICAN’S DGUSA OPEN THE GOLDEN GATE DVD REVIEW
LOS ANGLES, CALIF.
JANUARY 27, 2012
GoldenGate.jpg


A video package was shown announcing the merger of EVOLVE and DGUSA.

Low Ki came out to a huge reaction to start the show. They’ve got a video screen next to the entrance with a nice graphic for the show. BxB Hulk came out next with Akira Tozawa to a big reaction, but not as big as Ki’s reaction.

1 - - LOW KI vs. BxB HULK (w/Akira Tozawa)

They went back and forth on the mat to kick things off. Hulk worked a headlock and the crowd went back and forth chanting for both men. Ki fired back at Hulk with a big chop and then some action took place outside of the camera shot. Ki grabbed a submission and the camera shot continued not to show all the action. Ki continued the assault in and out of camera shot. Hulk fired back and nailed Ki with a dropkick. Ki fired back on Hulk with a series of chops and covered him for a 2 count. Ki went for a hammerlock on the mat, but Hulk managed to get back to his feet. Ki hit a big suplex and covered Hulk for a 2 count.

Hulk fired back and hit a series of kicks on Ki before sending him down with a big kick for a 2 count. Hulk grabbed a stretch on the mat and kicked away at Ki before applying a half crab. Hulk held the half crab and continued to kick away at Ki before wrestling the Hulk back. Ki bridged up and kicked Hulk in the back of the head to break the hold. Ki fired up on Hulk with some big kicks. Ki nailed Hulk with a series of blows before nailing him with a kick to the back. They exchanged kicks and Ki sent Hulk to the mat with a kick to the back of the head. He then covered Hulk for a 2 count.

Ki measured Hulk and nailed him with a kick. Ki hit another huge kick and sent Hulk into the corner. Hulk fired back with a spin kick of his own and covered Ki for a 1 count. Ki nailed Hulk with a running dropkick that sent him to the mat. Ki followed up with the Ki crusher and went up top. Ki stalled as the crowd cheered before nailing Hulk with the doublestomp for the pin.

Winner: Low Ki

Star rating: (**1/2) - The match didn’t really build or feature a lot of drama. Surprisingly clean win over Hulk for Ki, but he was obviously in for a big push. I don’t mind them not going all out here since it’s the opener and both guys delivered some good hard-hitting action.

Chuck Taylor came out and got on the mic. Taylor said Swann missed his flight. Taylor said it was going to be him against one of the Young Bucks. The Young Bucks made their entrance. Matt got on the mic and said the biggest rock stars in pro wrestling were in the building. Matt said he and Nick had made a ton of money since the last time they wrestled in DGUSA. Matt said they’re the f’n Young Buck and they’re here for a tag match. The Young Bucks then jumped Taylor. Scorpio Sky then ran out to make the save.

Taylor got on the mic and asked Sky if he wanted to be his partner after he cleared the ring. The Young Bucks charged the ring and it was on.

Ricochet and CIMA were shown talking backstage about the Blood Warrior s stable breaking up in Japan. CIMA told Ricochet to focus on the tag title match tonight.

2 - - SCORPIO SKY & CHUCK TAYLOR vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt & Nick Jackson)

Taylor sent Matt to the floor and nailed him with a big flip dive. Sky and Taylor took turns punching Nick before he finally spilled to the mat. Nick eventually fired back on Taylor before tagging in Matt. They began working over Taylor’s arm. Taylor nailed Matt with a couple of chops, but Nick tripped him coming off the ropes. The Young Bucks then caught Taylor with a double team on the apron before Matt took out Sky and the crowd booed as they posed in the ring.

Matt kicked away gently at Taylor’s head as the crowd chanted TNA reject. The fans then started a twitter chant. The Young Bucks continued to work over Taylor and hit a wheelbarrow into a face buster. Matt choked Taylor from the outside while Nick taunted Taylor. Taylor fired back on Matt and nailed him with a missile dropkick. Nick tagged in, but Taylor sent him to the outside by dragging the top rope down. Nick dragged Sky off the apron and Taylor nailed Matt with a falcon arrow that left both men down. Taylor finally tagged in Sky, who ran wild. Matt kicked Sky from the apron, but he punched him to the outside. Sky suplexed Matt to the floor. He then nailed Nick with a kick for a nearfall.

Taylor got the tag, but Nick got his boot up in the corner. Taylor fired right back and Sky & Taylor nailed Nick with a combination of moves for a nearfall. The Young Bucks isolated Taylor and hit him with a combination of moves. Nick took out Sky with a dive that they missed and Matt hit a neckbreaker off the second turnbuckle for a 2 count. The Young Bucks isolated Sky in the ring and taunted him. The crowd chanted for Sky, who countered a double team from the Young Bucks. Sky nailed Nick with a huge flip dive to the outside. Taylor then got Matt with a half crab out of an arm drag off the top. The crowd chanted for Matt to tap out, but Nick nailed Taylor with a superkick. Everyone hit superkicks and then Sky caught Matt in a dragon sleeper. The Young Bucks fired back and hit a double tombstone on Sky, but Taylor broke up the pin.

The Young Bucks sent Taylor to the floor. They signaled for more bang for your buck on Sky, but Taylor tripped Nick. Taylor then took down nick with a hurricanrana off the top. Taylor then caught Matt with the awful waffle, but Matt made the save. Nick shoved Taylor to the mat a few moments later after they battled on the turnbuckles. Sky then went at it with Nick, but he shoved him to the mat. Matt hit a low blow on Taylor that wasn’t show. The Young Bucks hit more bang for your buck on Sky for the win.

Winners: Matt & Nick Jackson

Star rating: (***1/4) - This was a really fun tag match that had good crowd heat. It’s too bad Swann didn’t make his flight because this was a big match for Ronin in terms of storyline purposes.

Jon Davis cut a promo. He said Caleb Konley would go down tonight. He said he hoped Finlay was watching this show. Davis ended by promising to establish dominance.

3 - - MASATO YOSHINO vs. NARUKI DOI

The fans chanted for Doi and he yelled at them. They grappled on the mat during the early stages of the match before coming to a stalemate. The pace picked up and they went at it faster than I could keep track of. Doi ended up on the outside after the dust settled thanks to Yoshino. Yoshino went to work on Doi’s arm in the middle of the ring. Yoshino continued to work over Doi’s arm and took him down slickly with a nice arm submission/stretch combination. Doi fired back and took Yoshino down. The fans tried to rally behind Yoshino, but Doi nailed him with a neck breaker for a 2 count. Doi grabbed a chinlock and the crowd tried to rally behind Yoshino, who got the ropes.

Doi jawed with the fans when they tried to get behind him. Doi then nailed Yoshino with a suplex. Doi set up Yoshino upside down in the corner and nailed him with a dropkick and a cannonball, but only got a 2 count. Doi and Yoshino began exchanging chops. Yoshino eventually took down Doi with an elbow off the ropes and the pace picked up. Yoshino caught Doi with a submission using the ropes for leverage, but he had to let it go due to the ref’s count. They went at it again at a fast pace and Yoshino caught Doi with the lightning spiral. The crowd clapped along as Yoshino went after Doi. Doi countered Yoshino and delivered a dropkick for a 2 count.

Yoshino countered Doi 5’s twice and hit a dropkick that left both men down on the mat. Yoshino went up top and hit a double stomp on Doi’s elbow. He then drove Doi’s arm down into the canvas. Doi fired back and tied Yoshino up in the ropes before nailing him with a dropkick. He then hit a spinning powerbomb for a 2 count. Doi set Yoshino up on the top turnbuckle. Yoshino shoved him to the mat and hit a huge missile dropkick for a nearfall that popped the crowd. Doi caught Yoshino in the from jungle submission. He then rolled him up for a 2 count. Doi caught Yoshino coming off the ropes and nailed him with a modified powerbomb that left both men down. The crowd clapped as both men tried to get to their feet. Doi nailed Yoshino with a slap and taunted him. Both men then exchanged chops. They went back and forth and Doi ended up hitting Doi 5’s and his signature sliding kick for a good nearfall.

Yoshino countered Doi and hit the lighting spiral, which left both men down on the mat. Yoshino called for the lightning spiral off the top moments later, but both men ended up losing their balance. Yoshino then hit a springboard sling blade on Doi for a nearfall. The crowd clapped with both men slow to get to their feet. Doi countered the lightening spiral. Yoshino ended up catching Doi with a lightning spiral as he came off the ropes for another good nearfall. Some of the crowd clapped with both men down on the mat. Yoshino drove Doi’s arm into the mat and locked in the sol naciente. Doi struggled to hold on as Yoshino applied pressure on the hold. Doi slipped out and hit a tiger suplex for a nearfall.

The crowd started chanting this is awesome, but it wasn’t a 100% of the crowd. Yoshino took Doi down again and locked in sol naciente again. Yoshino then hooked Doi leg while maintaining the hold and Doi was forced to tap.

Winner: Masato Yoshino

Star rating: (***1/2) - This was really good and came off better than watching it live on iPPV. The crowd was more into the action than I originally thought and only a small segment of the action dragged.

Larry Dallas was shown backstage talking with Caleb Konley and a couple of women. He said Hollywood was treating the Scene well. Dallas gave Konley some words of encouragement before they finished the promo.

A.R. Fox came out and cut a promo. He said Callihan had destroyed his mentor Sabu. Fox said he wanted an Anything Goes Table match. Callihan was out next and Fox nailed him a big dive.

A.R. FOX vs. SAMI CALLIHAN – Anything Goes Tables match

Both men brawled on the outside to kick things off. Callihan told Fox he couldn’t do anymore dives and he nailed him with a punch. Fox then nailed Callihan with a springboard 450 and the crowd went nuts. Taylor came into the commentary booth with Leonard, but his levels were low. Fox drove Callihan into the barricade and went for a dive through the ropes, but Callihan got out of the way and he crashed into the barricade. Callihan choked Fox with his jacked on the outside before tossing Fox into the ring. Callihan got a table from under the ring and tossed it right into Fox, who was slumped against the turnbuckle. Callihan nailed Fox with the table again and the crowd gasped.

Callihan lifted up Fox and slammed him on the back end of the table. The crowd gasped as Callihan foamed from the mouth in the ring. Callihan set up Fox and slammed him onto the table again. Callihan mounted Fox and began nailing him with forearms. The crowd chanted you’re a sick f--- at Callihan. Another portion of the crowd answered yes he is. Callihan set up the table, but discovered the legs were broken. Fox then slid under the table with a basement dropkick to wipe out Callihan. Fox then hit a swanton into the corner. Fox went up top as the crowd clapped. Fox went for a legdrop on the apron, but Callihan got out of the way. Callihan got a chair and tossed it at Fox. Callihan set up a guardrail between the barrier and the apron. Fox tried to fire back, but Callihan backdropped him onto the guardrail.

Both men battled near the apron. Callihan slapped Fox in the face. The crowd chanted for Fox, who fired back and spat in Callihan’s face. Fox hit a code breaker and Callihan ended up on the barricade. Fox then hit a kick flip off the ringpost that put Callihan through the ring barrier. Fox tried to set the broken table up. He ended up standing up against the corner. Fox set up Callihan and went to the opposite corner. Callihan cut him off by hitting a dropkick. Callihan set up for a powerbomb, but he ended up turning around and powerbombing Fox over the top to the outside onto the barrier. He then tossed the table on top of Fox from the ring. Callihan then set the table up against the barricade and hit a Liger bomb through the table on the outside.

Winner: Sami Callihan

Star rating: (***3/4) - This was an insane match with a lot of big bumps and these two put it all on the line in the first chapter of their feud. This was really well-done and Fox came across really well.


Larry Dallas came down to the ring with Caleb Konley and two ladies of the night. Jon Davis was out next to a small reaction from the crowd.

5 - - CALEB KONLEY (w/Larry Dallas, Horse, & Buggy) vs. JON DAVIS

Taylor was still in the commentary booth with Leonard. Davis got a couple of nearfalls with pinning combinations during the early stages of the match. They did some chain wrestling, but Konley ended up getting the ropes. Leonard said the girls were named horse and buggy. Konley hit a back chop on Davis and he looked pissed. Davis caught Konley with a powerslam off the ropes moments later and the crowd chanted for Davis. Davis followed Konley to the outside and nailed him with a big kick. Davis then hit Konley with a back chop. One of the women identified as Buggy got in Davis’s way, but she escaped his wrath. Davis then nailed Dallas with a big punch, which gave Konley a window to take him down on the outside.

Konley went to work on Davis in the ring and locked in a modified front face lock, but Davis got the ropes. Davis fired back and nailed Konley with a big chop. They then began exchanging big chops. Davis absolutely killed Konley with a big chop. Konley went for a hurricanrana, but Davis tried to powerbomb him into the turnbuckles, but Konley only caught the bottom turnbuckle. Konley fired back with a leaping leg lariat and went for a springboard, but Davis got his knees up and hit a huge clothesline. Davis then nailed Konley with the post as the crowd applauded and chanted for Davis. Davis then hit the three seconds around the world powerbomb for the win.

Winner: Jon Davis – Davis was impressive here and the announcers did a good job putting over his power. The crowd was into the match as well, which helped make Davis seem even more impressive as he heads towards a match against Fit Finlay.

The Young Bucks cut a promo backstage. They said they were on the marquee tonight and had drawn a good house. Matt brought up that DGUSA now had tag titles. He said that was interesting and seemed to hint that the Young Bucks would go after them.

Akira Tozawa came out first with BxB Hulk for his match against PAC. He got a nice pop coming out from the crowd. Tozawa flipped off the fans once he got into the ring. PAC was out next to some funky techno music. He also got a good response coming down to the ring.

6 - - AKIRA TOZAWA (w/BxB Hulk) vs. PAC

They went back and forth on the mat during the early stages of the match. The crowd chanted for both men as they circled each other before going at it again. Tozawa set up for a dive a few minutes later, but PAC got out of the way and Tozawa gave him the thumbs down. The pace picked up and PAC took Tozawa down with a headscissors. Tozawa bailed to the outside to gather himself as the crowd applauded. The crowd booed as Tozawa stalled. He finally got into the ring, but walked right into a suplex from PAC. PAC continued to work over Tozawa inside the ring as the crowd clapped. PAC hit a springboard doublestomp on Tozawa and the crowd applauded. PAC went for a springboard moments later, but Tozawa got his knees up and the crowd applauded.

Tozawa smiled as he got to his feet and put the boots to PAC. Tozawa was busted open above his eye, but he continued to work over PAC after licking his own blood of his palm. Tozawa choked PAC in the corner and yelled like a wild man. Both men exchanged forearms, but Tozawa raked PAC’s eyes. He then threw some blood at PAC before going back on the attack. Tozawa tied up PAC in a submission and yelled at the ref to check on PAC to see if he wanted to quit. Tozawa locked in a half crab and bit PAC’s foot, but he got the ropes. Tozawa choked PAC in the corner again and yelled at the ref when he told him to break the choke. PAC tried to fire back and went for a springboard, but Tozawa nailed him with a dropkick. Tozawa followed up with a dive through the ropes, but PAC caught him and suplexed him on the floor.

The crowd chanted for PAC as he hit an insane springboard moonsault to the outside on Tozawa. Both men were down with the crowd chanting this is awesome. Both men ended up back in the ring with PAC moving gingerly. Tozawa tried to come off the ropes, but PAC tossed him up into the air and he crashed to the mat. Tozawa fired back with rapid-fire chops on PAC in the corner moments later. PAC shook his head and told him to bring it, so Tozawa punched him right in the face. Tozawa followed up with a shining wizard moments later for a nearfall. Tozawa screamed as he picked up PAC. PAC blocked a suplex attempt. Tozawa hit a pair of rolling elbows and a bicycle kick. PAC fired back with a bicycle kick of his own. Tozawa hit a Saito suplex, but PAC got up. Tozawa then ran right into a German suplex and both men were down as the crowd applauded.

PAC got up and went up top with Tozawa still down. Tozawa cut him off and they battled up top. PAC eventually caught Tozawa with a kick and went up top again. Tozawa went for a top rope German. They struggled, but Tozawa eventually hit an inside out German and the crowd went nuts. Tozawa was slow to cover PAC and only got a 2 count. Tozawa put PAC on the top turnbuckle and went for another German, but PAC blocked it. PAC sent Tozawa to the mat and the crowd chanted for PAC. PAC went for British airways, but Tozawa got his knees up. They went back and forth and PAC hit a German with a bridge for a nearfall. Tozawa fired back with a German of his own. Tozawa then hit a deadlift German with a bridge for a nearfall and the crowd went nuts. Tozawa finally hit a straightjacket German for the pin.

Winner: Akira Tozawa

Star rating: (****) – Awesome back and forth contest. They started a little slow, but about ten minutes into the match the crowd got into it and they delivered some really good nearfalls before going to the finish. These two guys are a blast to watch in the ring. They are both so good.

The crowd chanted for Tozawa after the match and he told them to go f--- themselves.

Leonard went to the ring to do the formal introductions for the main event. Masaaki Mochizuki and Jimmy Susumu were out first. Open the United Gate Champions CIMA & Ricochet were out next. Mochizuki didn’t get much of a response when they were introduced. CIMA, who isn’t in Blood Warriors anymore told Ricochet not to heel on the fans when they were introduced by Leonard.

7 - - Open the United Gate Champions CIMA & Ricochet vs. MASAAKI MOCHIZUKI & JIMMY SUSUMU

Mochizuki and CIMA kicked things off. Mochizuki nailed CIMA with a kick on the apron. He then nailed Ricochet with a big kick to the back before tagging in Susumu. Ricochet and Susumu went at it and Ricochet teased a dive, but ended up springing off the ropes when Susumu got out of the way. Susumu fired back on Ricochet and tagged in Mochizuki. Mochizuki began working over Ricochet’s leg, as he took him off his feet with a big running kick before locking in a leg submission on the mat. CIMA tried to run in, but he tied him up in a leg submission as well. Both men eventually got the ropes to break the hold. Susumu tagged in and worked over CIMA’s leg. CIMA countered and slammed Susumu’s leg into the mat. CIMA continued to work over Susumu with a stump puller. Ricochet and CIMA nailed Susumu with a tandem dropkick and Ricochet covered him for a 2 count.

Susumu drove Ricochet into the corner and tagged in Mochizuki, who nailed him with a series of punches. Ricochet fired back and tagged in CIMA, who refused to take a short cut to get the upper hand on Mochizuki. Mochizuki fired back on CIMA moments later and nailed him with a big kick before tagging in Susumu. Mochizuki and Susumu tagged in and out of the match to work over Ricochet. Susumu grabbed an abdominal stretch on the mat on CIMA and then rolled him up for a 2 count. CIMA fired back and slammed Susumu before nailing him with a senton. He tagged in Ricochet, who covered Susumu for a 2 count. Ricochet grabbed a headscissors submission on the mat with a modified arm bar on Susumu, but he eventually got the ropes. The crowd has been pretty quiet so far.

Ricochet dropkicked Mochizuki to the floor, which drew some boos. CIMA then tagged in and continued to work over Susumu. CIMA locked in a leg submission on Susumu. Mochizuki ran in, but CIMA nailed him with a suplex while continuing to hold onto the submission. CIMA continued to work over Susumu’s legs with another submission on the mat. Susumu struggled to the ropes and the crowd began to chant for him. Susumu eventually got to the ropes to break the hold. Ricochet got flipped into Susumu and nailed him with a spinning kick. CIMA then got a bulldog/clothesline takedown on both of his opponents. The crowd continued to try to rally behind Susumu. Susumu fired back and took out Ricochet and CIMA with exploders as the pace picked up. Mochizuki got the hot tag and went to work on Ricochet, but CIMA kicked him from the apron. Mochizuki fired back and took out CIMA on the apron with a springboard kick before taking down Ricochet with a kick as well.

Ricochet fired back and hit Mochizuki with a standing one and a half senton for a 2 count. Ricochet blocked a kick from Mochizuki and nailed him with a pair of kicks. Mochizuki fired back with a single kick that took Ricochet down. Ricochet went for another kick, but Mochizuki caught it and applied an ankle lock. CIMA then got caught in a figure 4 by Susumu and the crowd chanted for them to tap. Ricochet escaped and made the save for CIMA. Susumu and CIMA ended up alone in the ring and CIMA got a small package for a nearfall. The pace picked up with both men going for pinning combinations. Susumu eventually caught CIMA with a high angle DDT for a 2 count. The crowd tried to rally behind Susumu as he continued to work over CIMA. Ricochet ran in and hit a running SSP off CIMA’s back for a 2 count on Mochizuki.

Mochizuki countered a double team, but CIMA and Ricochet hit a combination of moves capped by a standing SSP press on Susumu from Ricochet for a nearfall and the crowd went nuts. CIMA nailed Mochizuki with a perfect driver moments later, but he kicked out. The crowd continued to go crazy as Ricochet went at it with Mochizuki in the ring. Mochizuki took down Ricochet with a pair of kicks inside the ring. Susumu took out CIMA on the outside and double teamed Ricochet with Mochizuki. They nailed Ricochet with a combination of strikes in the corner. Susumu then hit a powerbomb on Ricochet after a step up kick from Mochizuki, but CIMA made the save and the crowd went nuts.

All four men were slow to get up. Susumu and Mochizuki nailed CIMA with a combination clothesline, but CIMA told them to bring it. CIMA took several kicks from Mochizuki, but he wouldn’t go down. CIMA eventually sent Mochizuki to the outside when he went for another step up kick. Susumu took CIMA down from behind. Susumu and CIMA went at it, but Ricochet ran in and nailed him with a kick through the ropes. CIMA then hit a coast-to-coast dropkick. CIMA nailed Susumu with shwine. Ricochet then hit a 630 onto Susumu and Mochizuki. He then covered Mochizuki, but Susumu made the save and the crowd applauded.

The crowd chanted Dragon Gate as they reset things in the ring. Ricochet went back up top, but Susumu cut him off. CIMA then went after Susumu and put him on his shoulders. Ricochet dropkicked Susumu right into a suplex from CIMA, but Mochizuki made the save. The crowd chanted for CIMA as he lifted Susumu to his feet. Susumu nailed CIMA with a pair of lariats and then a crucifix for a nearfall. Leonard practically had an orgasm as Susumu caught CIMA with a big clothesline. Susumu ran into a superkick, but fired right back on CIMA with another big clothesline. Susumu followed up with another sliding clothesline for a good nearfall and the crowd went nuts. Susumu lifted CIMA, but Ricochet ran into the ring. CIMA then hit shwine on Susumu, but he kicked out at the last second. CIMA hit a DDT and went up top. He connected with meteora on Susumu for the pin.

Winners: CIMA & Ricochet to retain the Open the United Gate titles

Star rating: (****) – The match started a little slow, but it was better than I originally thought. They did a good job of building up to the final pin with a lot of nearfalls and the crowd was definitely into the action. They also did a good job of teasing the new dynamic between CIMA and Ricochet now that CIMA is out of Blood Warriors.

Hulk and Tozawa ran into the ring right after the bell and attacked CIMA. They’re both in CIMA’s old Blood Warriors stable. Low Ki’s music then played and he ran into the ring and squared off with Tozawa and Hulk. Ricochet got back into the ring and tried to help CIMA to his feet. The crowd chanted that was awesome as Tozawa and Hulk backed off.

Ki got on the mic, but I couldn’t hear what he said. He said it was time to raise the bar. He said it was time to make sure the fans got their money’s worth at every show. Ki said he was here in DGUSA to compete against the best in the world. The crowd started chanting for Tozawa. Ki said in time. Ki said for now, he came to DGUSA to prove himself as an elite competitor in the world of pro wrestling. Ki turned his attention to Mochizuki. He put him over and said he wants to face him. He then turned his attention to Ricochet. He told him he was a breakout star, but he told Ricochet not to forget he was the 2010 breakout star. Ki said this was all business and it was all for the fans. Ki then turned his attention to CIMA, who he called the icon of Dragon Gate. Ki said he’s a great competitor. Ki said he was a breakout star in Japan in 2002. He said they’ve never crossed paths before, but they would in DGUSA.

Ki asked CIMA to shake his hand. CIMA agreed to shake hands and the crowd applauded. Ki said now wasn’t the time or place, but they can have some fun in Miami. Ki said he looked forward to competing against everyone in Dragon Gate. The crowd applauded as everyone left the ring except for CIMA and Ricochet. Leonard plugged the WrestleMania weekend DGUSA events before signing off.

CIMA ended up getting on the mic and thanked the fans for coming. He asked the fans if they enjoyed the show. The crowd indicated that they enjoyed the show. The crowd applauded as CIMA and Ricochet posed in the ring to end the show.

Overall thoughts: (9.0) When I watched this show in two different sittings on iPPV, I thought it was a really good show, but didn’t think it was excellent. After watching the show back on DVD with great sound and picture quality, I got the sense that this truly was one of DGUSA’s better shows of the year. The only drawback I noticed in terms of production was the lights were too bright from the hard camera, but I didn’t find it to be a huge distraction. The card was well-paced from top to bottom and the card didn’t drag at all the entire night.


Low Ki cemented himself as a big force in DGUSA/EVOLVE on this show and that was a big gamble for DGUSA booker Gabe Sapolsky to take given their history. Ki went over former Open The Freedom Gate Champion BxB Hulk in decisive fashion in the opening match and was a force later in the show making the save for CIMA. Ki also set the stage for several potential matches in a long promo that lost me at times. If Ki is going to be relied on to carry a promo at the end of the show, he’s got to do a better job than that on the mic, but he was really given a lot to work with setting up potential matches with Ricochet, Tozawa, Mochizuki, and CIMA. In the end, Ki didn’t end up making any appearances at all in the promotion during the second half of the year, but he’s certainly someone that made an impression and can be brought back if his commitments in Japan don’t get in the way.

The first half of the show featured a lot of fun matches. It’s really too bad Swann missed the flight out to Philadelphia, as he was building some momentum towards a shot at the Open the United Gate Championship with his partner Chuck Taylor. Scorpio Sky did a good job filling in and teaming with Taylor against the Young Bucks.

Doi vs. Yoshino was a lot of fun. Yoshino did some good submission work during the early stages of the match, but abandoned it early and then went back to trying to finish off Doi with his signature submission later in the match. Overall, it was a blast watching these two Dragon Gate talents go at it given their history together.

Callihan and Fox had an all-out war. They took a lot of risks, but they weren’t overly reckless in their Anything Goes Tables match. The only thing that’s concerning is that it was the first match in a feud between them as singles wrestlers and it seems they might have set the bar awfully high if the feud continues. Fox is getting better and better in the ring, as is Callihan and it’s a lot of fun to watch them get a spotlight feud on this show, which is something that had been lacking in DGUSA/EVOLVE.

The second half of the show featured a good spotlight match for Davis, who got a dominant win over Caleb Konley, who really sold Davis’s offense well and made him look more dominant than other opponents have in similar matches. Tozawa and PAC had a really good match that certainly reached the four star level after a bit of a slow start. Both of these guys are worth going out of your way to see. They have great chemistry in the ring and sent this match home with a bang with some fantastic exchanges.

The main event was really good and CIMA and Ricochet teased some tension, but ultimately didn’t break apart during the course of the match. The match dragged in spots, but once things picked up and the crowd got into it, the action was really good. Mochizuki and Susumu make a powerful unit and certainly played the role of contenders well in this match.

Davis looked strong in his match as well and looks to be set up for an in-ring confrontation with Finlay at some point. He needs to work on his promos and come across better. Davis has great presence in the ring, but needs to find his voice on the mic when doing backstage promos. The same can be said for Ricochet, who didn’t come across well in his segment with CIMA.

The DVD felt more complete than the live iPPV. The Young Bucks really stood out in terms of the promos that were inserted into the main card. They can talk and have a presence behind the mic, although they never returned to the company in 2012. As always, DGUSA does a great job with their post-production. The sound quality and sharpness of the picture give the show a great boost in quality. The extras are nice as well and I always enjoy the alternate angle highlight reel, especially on this show with so many good matches.

***

You can purchase this release at DGUSA.tv

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Contact Sean at PWTorchSean@gmail.com


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