Archive for the ‘DGUSA/EVOLVE’ Category

1. Chikara Sekigun (Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw) vs. Kamikaze USA (Akira Tozawa & Gran Akuma)

If you follow Chikara you can relate to this match very much. Tozawa was very fun and clicked well with the Chikara guys in the opener.
Grade: B-


Segment: After the match the rest of Kamikaze (Shingo & YAMATO) deliver a beating to Sekigun and the latter group declares war.


2. FIP World Championship
Jon Moxley (c) vs. Phil Atlas

Moxley is currently Dean Ambrose in WWE. At this time period he was dominating the independent scene all over the east coast. Unfortunately he was less than impressive here with a not so hot offense and it felt like he was uninspired this night. Nothing bad to say about Atlas other than he just didn’t cut it for a title match.
Grade: C


3. CIMA vs. Jimmy Jacobs

Jimmy left ROH and made a home in DGUSA which was phenomenal to see him showcase his talents to a more international level. Pretty good match he had with the ultimate dragon CIMA.
Grade: B-


4. Naruki Doi vs. Masaaki Mochizuki

Mochi & Doi wrestle for the millionth time and the for the millionth time both delivered a high quality match up. One fun segment happened before the match and it was Johnny Gargano trying to pledge for a stable and offered gifts to both competitors such as Disney VHS’s to plush toys.
Grade: B


5. Maximum Pro Wrestling Showcase
Tyson Dux & Bolen vs. Xtremo & Brad Martin

MPW is a promotion based off Ontario, Canada which is owned by former TNA manager & agent, Scott D’Amore. Everyone was impressive but the MVP goes to Tyson Dux, he’s very talented and it’s a shame that no bigger company will add him to their ranks cause this guys is legit.
Grade: B-


6. 2 out of 3 Falls
Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino

Kid & Yoshino wrestle for the millionth time as well. Over the years, professional wrestling has evolved and has become more fast paced and dynamic. These two exemplify this theory with their innovative offense and unmatchable speed. Their match was pure magic.
Grade: B+


7. World-1 (BxB Hulk & PAC) vs. Kamikaze USA (Shingo Takagi & YAMATO)

Uber Faces + Uber Heels = Uber Clash. Shingo & Hulk are heated rivals and always deliver when they’re on opposing sides. No need for explanations here. Match of the Night.
Grade: A-


Bonus Disc:

1. FIP World Championship
Bryan Danielson (c) vs. Matt Sydal – February 17, 2006

Fun match but with really basic arsenals. Felt like a Saturday Night Main Event match.
Grade: B-


2. Dragon Kid & King Shisa vs. Susumu Yokosuka & Kenichiro Arai – July 10, 2006

A lot of potential but one performer dragged the whole thing to what could have been a spectacular match.
Grade: B-


3. Naruki Doi & Naoki Tanisaki vs. Masato Yoshino & BxB Hulk – August 23, 2009

World-1 Collides in the Summer Tag League. There’s a reason why they’re called World’s Number 1.
Grade: B+


4. Masato Yoshino & BxB Hulk vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Katsuhiko Nakajim – August 26, 2009

It was quite slow at the beginning but it picked off real nice to everyone’s enjoyment.
Grade: B-


Final Thoughts:

Overall I can say for a fact that this is one of the more overlooked shows in Dragon Gate USA history. Very solid show from top to bottom that’s very easy to sit through and be enjoyed by all wrestling fans. The bonus content is a definitely a treat and it’s quite nice having these early show 2-disc sets. I definitely recommend this to everyone in general who wants high quality professional wrestling with international flavor.

Verdict: 8.75/10

You can get this DVD and many more at Dragon Gate USA Store. All Evolve & Dragon USA shows are also available On-Demand  at WWNLIVE.



1. Low-Ki vs. BxB Hulk w/Akira Tozawa

Fun opener, both clique very well which I wouldn’t mind Ki doing Dragon Gate in Japan.
Grade: B-


Segment: Chuck Taylor comes out and says that Rich Swann couldn’t make the show and is without a partner for his tag match with the Young Bucks later in the afternoon.  Bucks come out and in typical fashion they began a beatdown on Taylor and out comes Scorpio Sky for the save and we got ourselves a tag match.


2. Chuck Taylor & Scorpio Sky vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)

This was very fun and it’s not surprise that Scorpio made up for Swann’s absence. Taylor is one of the best tag team wrestlers today and you can see by pairing with numerous performers and still deliver a show. Bucks need no explanation.
Grade: B


3. Masato Yoshino vs. Naruki Doi

In Japan they’re known as Speed Muscle for their combination of both assets. I’ve seen some of their work against each other from the main Dragon Gate and they are an a whole other level and I believe that they didn’t disappoint here either. Words can’t describe, just see for yourself.
Grade: B+


4. Tables Match
AR Fox vs. Sami Callihan

Both have been feuding for a large portion of 2011 and they kick off 2012 with a tables match that was very well executed and impressive by working on an entire different crowd that they’re used to perform. Great level of professionalism by both performers.
Grade: B


5. Caleb Konley w/Larry Dallas vs. Jon Davis

Jon Davis has been improving with each match he’s having in Dragon Gate USA & EVOLVE. He didn’t disappoint here and I give a lot of props for Konley for selling those moves like a pro. Things are definitely looking up for the guy this year. Not the best match but very far from being the worst of matches.
Grade: C


6. Akira Tozawa vs. PAC
Both have made a home in California within PWG and since then they have been coming back for more and more. Just when they had their breakout matches with Kevin Steen & Chris Hero respectively, they tore the house down in epic fashion. It’s good to see how much they’ve improved physically and mentally since the first time I laid eyes on them.
Grade: A-


7. Open the United Gate Championship
Spike Mohicans (CIMA & Ricochet) (c) vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Jimmy Susumu

Mohicans were my favorite tag team for 2011 and against rivals Susumu and Mochi is a nice treat for the SoCal fans. Really good stuff and Mochi/Susumu make quite a unit if I say so myself.
Grade: A-


Segment: After the match BxB Hulk & Tozawa come out and beat up their former Blood Warrior stablemates Ricochet & CIMA. Low-Ki makes the save and takes the mic to address that 2012 is his year and then shifts his attention to CIMA & Ricochet individually and lets them know that he’s coming for everyone.


Bonus Features:

The End of the Arena – A video highlight of some of the shows done in the arena and people discussing their experience there.

Johnny Gargano’s Long Road Back – A video package of Gargano’s journey to the top  and finally becoming the Freedom Gate Champion.

Alternate Angle Highlight Video – Highlights from the show with different angles from the final cut of show.


Final Thoughts:

This show was very good top to bottom and I salute the Japanese stars for making the trip to the pacific and giving people their money’s worth. With the result of that, they’re gonna do three shows for this upcoming convention in LA next month so this could mean bigger things for the expansion promotion which I personally like. I definitely recommend this show to all for the sole purpose being a complete show from top to bottom.

Verditct: 9/10

You can get this DVD and many more at Dragon Gate USA Store. All Evolve & Dragon USA shows are also available On-Demand  at WWNLIVE.

1. Low-Ki vs. Ahtu w/Larry Dallas

Unbelievable Squash
Grade: DUD


2. Cheech Hernandez vs. K.C. “Cloudy” Day

Up In Smoke are no more thanks to Cheech turning on Cloudy and now we got this sorta of a grudge match. Nice back and forth action but Cheech didn’t show much character with his heel persona which could have been appreciated and would have helped everyone. Still this was a good match.
Grade: B-


3. John Silver & Alex Reynolds vs. The Scene (Scott Reed & Caleb Konley) w/Larry Dallas 

Disappointing performance I would say. Everyone had way better days but hey not everything is a classic.
Grade: C-


4. Jigsaw vs. AR Fox

This was right on the money like I would have expected it. Fox is definitely the future of the business and Jigsaw is an amazing talent. Positive + Positive = Positive.
Grade: B


Segment: The crowd gave both a standing ovation. Jigsaw gave his respects to Fox and all was going well. Until Sami Callihan shows up to bring out their Dragon Gate USA rivalry to EVOLVE in an effective way. Nothing but good things should happen with both of them working together again.


5. Uhaa Nation w/Ricochet vs. Pinkie Sanchez

Very impressive and effective Squash!
Grade: DUD


Segment: Nation was announced as a member of Blood Warriors in Japan. Rich Swann shows up and cuts a promo on the Warriors and does his Ronin shenanigas to humor everyone.


6. Ronin (Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann) vs. The Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Player Dos)

Phenomenal tag team match with SSB proving why they are more than just video game enthusiasts. Great back and forth action with lots of team work. Still boggles me why SSB aren’t regulars in a big promotion but I can attribute it’s their choice of not doing so.
Grade: B+


7. Jon Davis vs. Kyle Matthews

Grade: DUD


8. Bobby Fish w/AR Fox vs. Sami Callihan

This was alright but and I tip my hat off to both but that crowd was so unwatchable  It felt like they were wrestling in an empty arena or  a forest full of corpses.
Grade: C+


Segment: After the match Fox & Callihan started with the mind games and were milking to beat the crap out of each other but neither wanted to pull the trigger cause of the Discipline policy in EVOLVE.


9. Open the Freedom Gate Championship
Johnny Gargano (c) w/Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann vs. Ricochet w/Uhaa Nation

This was going fantastic but Gargano’s injury drastically slowed down the match. The kid has balls and a lot of heart and for that I give him even more respect that what I’ve given him before. Ricochet was a total pro and handled the pressure like a natural, CIMA has taught him well.
Grade: C+


Segment: Lenny Leonard is in the ring to commence the ECW Arena tribute. Leonard introduces Bob Artese, the first ever ECW ring announcer, who introduces Joey Styles to a standing ovation. Styles thanks the crowd and shares a story regarding the building citing that it’s his favorite place in the world and even better than any WrestleMania. He then proceeds to introduce Pitbull #1 Gary Wolfe, JT Smith and ECW founder Tod Gordon. In the process, CZW talent led by owner DJ Hyde crash the party and threaten the ceremony and claim that the it’s their arena. When tension got high, “Big Balls” by AC/DC started playing and Balls Mahoney came out and cleaned some house but it wasn’t enough. However, an infamous gunshot was heard and to the roar of the crowd came New Jack and finished the job by cleansing the ring from CZW personas, to only be caned by Justin Credible. But then Sabu came out and proceeded to the final match of the ECW Arena.


10. Justin Credible vs. Sabu

This match was very nostalgic with all the ECW throwback memories. In respect to talent involved and the occasion, refuse to grade this match but have in mind that it’s well worth the watch for one final dance at the Arena.


Segment: After the match Styles and Leonard were giving a speech and Sabu wanted to speak for the first time to the roar of the crowd. Unfortunately, Sami Callihan had other plans and took out the Arabian daredevil. Callihan cut a huge and historic promo, reminiscent to a Shane Douglas promo, that should be heard by everyone to end the show in D.U.F. fashion.


Final Thoughts:

Despite the nostalgic moments and wonderful segments, this was an average show. Let me put it this way, first it was drowning then it was saved but a cramp made it drown again and so on so on. The DGUSA title match was not what it was expected due to Gargano’s injury slowing things down and some matches weren’t even matches to begin with. Good show nonetheless.

Grade: 7/10

You can get this DVD and many more at Dragon Gate USA Store. All Evolve & Dragon USA shows are also available On-Demand  at WWNLIVE.


1. Eric Ryan vs. Bobby Beverly

I’ve seen both team with one another in AIW in the past and they’re pretty good. As I was impressed with them as a team I was also impressed by their individual work. Unfortunately someone became the party pooper and beat the crap out of these two which ended the match in a no-contest.
Grade: DUD


Segment: Mr. Wrestling Kevin Steen crashes the opening contest and takes the mic and cuts a very anti-ROH promo. Bobby Fish shows up and makes his statement by putting over EVOLVE and telling Steen to color inside the lines or he will finish him. Both leave peacefully.


2. The Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Player Dos) vs. Jason Gory & Facade

This was a short straight to the point tag match. Decent showing by Gory & Facade.
Grade: C


3. Silas Young vs. Sugar Dunkerton

This was very fun to watch and I praise Dunkerton for being able to distinguish himself as a very good wrestler and also a very good entertainer. Young is definitely someone destined for big things and it’s only a matter of time before he explodes into greatness.
Grade: B-


4. Lince Dorado vs. Pinkie Sanchez

If you ever wanted to see a lucha libre style match in EVOLVE, look no further in that right here. Dorado is a hell of a competitor and Sanchez is as solid as solid can be. Great atmosphere to showcase their talents.
Grade: B-


Segment: Larry Dallas has purchased some mic time in EVOLVE and comes out with big man Ahtu and bluffs the crowd by saying Gargano vs. Taylor will not happen. He also brags about his success as a manager and introduces his newly acquired tag team, The Scene.


5. The Scene (Scott Reed & Caleb Konley) w/Larry Dallas & Ahtu vs. Up In Smoke (Cheech & Cloudy)

The Scene finally gets the attention in a match and worked very well against the veteran team. They sure have potential and should keep it up like this if they ever  want to get far in DGUSA/EVOLVE.
Grade: B-


Segment: Lenny Leanord interviews Cheech and before he said said anything he did his finisher on Cloudy and left.


6. Unsanctioned Steet Fight
Jon Davis vs. Bobby Fish vs. Kevin Steen

Originallhy it was Davis vs. Fish but Steen had plans of his own and threw the match in a DQ and a challenge was made for a non-sanctioned match. Davis wanted a piece of Steen also so he inserted himself in and now we have a 3-Way Stree Fight. Despite it being under the 10 minute mark, everyone got their moment to shine and played along well with the action. Davis showed a more aggressive side of him for this one and looked phenomenal.
Grade: B-


7. Tony Nese vs. John Silver

I wasn’t expecting much from here but I was very impressed. Silver was lethal in his EVOLVE debut and Nese came up with a few new tricks up his trunks and was full of surprises.
Grade: B-


8. Fit Finlay vs. Sami Callihan

Before Sami Callihan, there was Finlay and he sure loves to fight. OK that was cheesy but it’s true. This was a proving ground match for Callihan as he wanted prove a point to the Irish lad that he sure can run the ball and continue the brawling style and move it up to new heights. This was amazing, Finlay despite being over 50 years old can still go like if he was 25 which is unbelievable. Callihan had a large run for his money here and every blow was as stiff as steel. This is definitely a turning point match for Sami Callihan as his stocked heavily rised afterwards and hasn’t looked back.
Grade: A-


9. Johnny Gargano vs. Chuck Taylor

This was very special as both are members of F.I.S.T. in Chikara, also members of Ronin in Dragon Gate USA and Gargano is now one of the most watch wrestlers in the indies.  Perfect choice of a main event if you asked me and I must say that this was not a disappointment . Very back and forth with each one using a lot of psychology as they’re tag partners elsewhere and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. In all, if EVOLVE ever decided to release a Best of, this match will be inserted in a heartbeat.
Grade: B+


Final Thoughts:

This was a very well-executed show that you got one big bang for your buck. Definitely one of the best EVOLVE shows, if not the best. The final two matches sealed the fate of EVOLVE as a must watch in the near future. My recommendation is that this show must be purchased ASAP along with the first few shows if you want good wrestling.

Verdict: 8.5/10



You can get this DVD and many more at Dragon Gate USA Store. All Evolve & Dragon USA shows are also available On-Demand  at WWNLIVE.


1. BJ Whitmer vs. Brodie Lee

This was a decent opener but not what I was expecting. I thought this was gonna be a nasty hard-hitting brawl but it didn’t go that way.
Grade: C-


2. Uhaa Nation & John Silver vs. The Scene (Scott Reed & Caleb Konley)

This was OK. My only dilemma is the Scene being too bland. They need a chip on their shoulder if they really want to be taken seriously or be up in the ranks.
Grade: C


3. Ronin (Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann) vs. Blood Warriors (BxB Hulk & Akira Tozawa)

This was very fun and exciting to watch. Hulk & Tozawa as a team are very and I mean VERY good. They play like naturals and honestly I wouldn’t mind seeing them as United Gate champions. Swann & Taylor were good also but definitely played the supporting role in this match.
Grade: B-


4. CIMA vs. Masato Yoshino

These  two in a match together is a guaranteed success. This was no exception to that theory. These two have been adversaries for many years and two see them face each other all over the world is something very special and unique.
Grade: B


5. PAC vs. Ricochet

These two have been on each others neck all year. This was their rubber match of their rubber match, get it? The futures is heavily bright for these two competitors and they are the perfect example of how much progress one can do with a change of scenery. Both have had amazing success in Japan and have come to the US as masters of the game.
Grade: A-


6. Open the Freedom Gate Championship
YAMATO (c) vs. Johnny Gargano

The year 2011 is definitely the year of Ronin, especially Johnny Gargano. They have been headlining show after show and competing at par with the Dragon Gate stars. Gargano’s pursuit of the title is an amazing story and his biggest challenge is the one upon him in YAMATO, Dragon Gate’s ace. This was an amazing performance that will be talked about in years to come. This definitely is up there on DGUSA’s top 10 matches of all time without a shadow of a doubt.
Grade: A-


7. Extreme Warfare
AR Fox, Jon Davis & Sabu vs. D.U.F. (Arik Cannon, Sami Callihan & Pinkie Sanchez)

This was a beauty. It was very violent, graphic and crazy. Fox definitely was the MVP using his aerial arsenal to his advantage with his surroundings. Amazing display from D.U.F. who would have made an amazing asset if ECW still lived to this day. Sabu & Davis played their parts well as supporting cast and perhaps did even more than that. Very surprised with this match selected for main event but it didn’t disappoint one bit; On the contrary, it surpassed everyone’s expectations
Grade: B


Final  Thoughts:

What a great way to end the year with this stacked card that closed a lot of chapters within DGUSA. 2012 looks out to be a very interesting year with the freshness of talent new and old. This show is my personal choice for DGUSA in 2011. This would have been more emotional perhaps if this was held at The Arena instead of Bushido.

Verdict: 9/10

You can get this DVD and many more at Dragon Gate USA Store. All Evolve & Dragon USA shows are also available On-Demand  at WWNLIVE.