Archive for the ‘2012’ Category

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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.

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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

Squash
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.