Archive for the ‘2011’ Category

 

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.

1. Dragon Gate USA Homegrown vs. Dragon Gate Veterans Match#1
AR Fox vs. Masato Yoshino

This was a nice opener where Fox looked very strong against the red hot Yoshino. Good choice.
Grade: C+

 

2. Dragon Gate USA Homegrown vs. Dragon Gate Veterans Match #2
Brodie Lee vs. PAC

This was fantastic. Two completely opposites pull of a very exciting and competitive match. PAC has really progressed over the years and he’s not a spot monkey anymore and is a great technically sound performer. Brodie is a beast plain and simple who is definitely gonna have a future in the WWE.
Grade: B

 

3. Dragon Gate USA Homegrown vs. Dragon Gate Veterans Match #3
Rich Swann vs. Akira Tozawa

Swann was very solid and entertaining against the heavy favorite Tozawa. Let’s see if Swann can actually follow the footsteps of PAC and evolve in Dragon Gate.
Grade: B-

 

4. Dragon Gate USA Homegrown vs. Dragon Gate Veterans Match #4
Johnny Gargano vs. BxB Hulk

Gargano has been on fire in DGUSA with victories over most of the Dragon Gate stars and this would be his first encounter against Hulk, the first Freedom Gate champion. This lived up to the hype and a whole lot more. Gargano’s push in DGUSA has been a complete blessing as his stock is skyrocketing all over the indie circuit.
Grade: B

 

5. South Philly Street Fight
Sabu vs. Pinkie Sanchez

This was like an ole classic ECW brawl. To those who can appreciate will be entertained; Otherwise, forget about it.
Grade: D+

 

6. Open the Freedom Gate Championship
YAMATO (c) vs. Chuck Taylor w/Johnny Gargano

This was a great opportunity for Taylor to win the big one. Gargano was at ringside to not only give moral support to his Ronin stablemate  but also scout YAMATO for their encounter the next night. This was excellent and you see how valuable Taylor is for DGUSA. YAMATO has been a blessing in disguise for DGUSA as he’s been giving extremely solid title defenses that clearly make him the main man. Great story-telling for Ronin.
Grade: B-

 

7. Open the United Gate Championship
Spike Mohicans (CIMA & Ricochet) (c)  vs. D.U.F. (Arik Cannon & Sami Callihan)

Blood Warrior members CIMA & Ricochet are called the Spike Mohican because of well, the hairdo. D.U.F. have been on a rampage in DGUSA and finally get what they wanted and it’s a title shot. This went way better than I expected. I was extremely worried over Cannon’s inconsistency but he and Sami were on the same page as a the Mohicans and they tore the house down. Literally!
Grade: B+

 

Bonus Features:

BJ Whitmer & Uhaa Nation vs. The Scene (Scott Reed & Caleb Konley)

This was a squash but it was very exciting to watch the big men in action as a cohesive unit.
Grade: C-

 

Final Thoughts:

This was a huge step from the REVOLT! show. Like I said before, the homegrown talent facing the japanese veterans are definitely a plus and you got 6 great matches from that concept alone. This is the formula that DGUSA needs to keep applying for the time being so it can develop and not close itself in a bubble. I definitely recommend this puppy.

Verdict: 8.25/10

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. D.U.F. (Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez) vs. The Scene (Scott Reed & Caleb Konley)

Decent opener but the Scene are way too bland to be interesting and also D.U.F. are starting to get old. Hopefully they can interact with the Dragon Gate stars for some refreshing.
Grade: C-

 

2. Jon Davis vs. Sami Callihan

This felt like dragging corpses up a hill. This match had potential but it disappointed with all the delays.
Grade: C-

 

3. Masato Yoshino vs. Akira Tozawa

This was good back and forth action but neither didn’t go the extra mile like they usually do.
Grade: B-

 

4. Ronin (Johnny Gargano & Chuck Taylor) vs. Blood Warriors (CIMA & Brodie Lee)

This was fun. Warriors are as solid as ever while Ronin are in dissension. Definitely a Chuck Taylor vs. Gargano is in the talks.
Grade: B-

 

5. BJ Whitmer vs. Vinny Marseglia

SQUASH!
Grade: DUD

 

6. FRAY!
PAC vs. Rich Swann vs. Ricochet vs. AR Fox vs. Uhaa Nation vs. Sabu

This was mainly a spotfest but there are bits and pieces of the match that are very exciting to watch. Ricochet and Nation were outstanding.
Grade: B-

 

7. No Ropes, No DQ Match
YAMATO vs. BxB Hulk

This was very fun to watch and clearly the best match of the night. However it wasn’t enough to get the crowd up their feet and involve them for moral support.
Grade: B

 

Final Thoughts:

This card on paper looked great but it heavily came up short from the expectations. This show felt like it took place at a cemetery with the lots of corpses surrounding the ring. Hopefully this doesn’t repeat again for Dragon Gate USA since there is a lot of money involved bringing in the Japanese half way across the world for such a undeserving crowd. There are some good matches but I would skip on this show in favor of other more deserving titles.

Verdict: 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. Ronin (Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann) vs. The Scene (Scott Reed & Caleb Konley)

Solid opener and probably the best match I’ve ever seen from the Scene, catchy tune huh? l0l. Ronin are dandy as always so there can be no complaint from anyone here.
Grade: C+

 

2. Silas Young vs. Brodie Lee

Young is definitely an underrated performer and you can see how much potential he has against big man Brodie. It’s a shame that Blood Warriors got involved cause this was on the right path to greatness.
Grade: C+

 

3. Akira Tozawa vs. Jon Davis

Short and straight to the point but effective. Tozawa is a beast while Davis is perfecting his craft a whole lot better.
Grade: C+

 

4. YAMATO & AR Fox vs. D.U.F. (Arik Cannon & Sami Callihan)

Seeing YAMATO opposing D.U.F. is a first for me and I liked everything I saw from it. Fox is getting better with each appearance so it’s only fitting for him to team up with the Dragon Gate guys to learn something new.
Grade: B-

 

5. Sabu vs. Pinkie Sanchez

Immediately after the previous match, Fox attacked D.U.F. and Pinkie showed up to make it a 3 on 1 but Sabu also made his presence feel noticed and this kicked off the following match. And to be honest, this was one sided as you would expect so this isn’t really something I can watch again.
Grade: D

 

6. Uhaa Nation vs. Facade vs. Flip Kendrick vs. Sugar Dunkerton

Nation is impressive here along with Dunkerton who’s a certified asset. As for Kendrick & Facade, extra unwanted space that don’t put food on the table.
Grade: C-

 

7. Johnny Gargano vs. Naruki Doi

Gargano faces his biggest challenge yet in Naruki Doi, the longest reigning Dream Gate champion and perhaps CIMA’s fiercest rival. No disappointment whatsoever and this happened exactly as I would’ve hoped for. Must Watch!
Grade: B+

 

Segment: Immediately after the match, Gargano takes the mic and issues a challenge for the Freedom Gate championship at New York on November 13th. Wishing Taylor & Swann the best on their hunt for the United Gate titles. Taylor comes out and is baffled with Gargano’s statement. He addresses that he earned a match of his choosing earlier on and challenges YAMATO for the Freedom Gate title on November 12th in Philly. This doesn’t suit well with Gargano and both argue about it for only Rich Swann to come out in a Junction Three shirt that didn’t suit well with Taylor and storms off. A lot of dissension between Ronin.

 

8. Open the United Gate Championship & Open the United Twin Championship Unification Match
Junction Three (PAC & Masato Yoshino) (c) vs. Blood Warriors (CIMA & Ricochet) (c) 

With the obvious stipulation, this is for the bragging rights of being the best team in Dragon Gate. Boy does Dragon Gate know how to main event it’s shows. The desire for those titles were so much that it almost felt like a battle till death. I give a standing ovation for all four of them. Definitely a must watch!
Grade: A-

 

Bonus Features:

Louis Lyndon vs. Cedric Alexander vs.  Stitch Sypher vs.  Eric Ryan vs. Brett Gakiya vs. CJ Esparaza

This was a freestyle pre-show match for the Golden Ticket holders. Not too thrilled with what I saw but you may disagree.
Grade: D

 

Final Thoughts:

Wonderful way to end the weekend with a new chapter for many of the wrestlers involved in Dragon Gate USA. Gargano & Taylor’s title matches with YAMATO are definitely something to look for and also the progress of this new breed of talent who are multiplying rapidly.

Verdict: 7.5/10

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.