By Will Pruett
DGUSA Revolt - November 11, 2011
Wonderland Ballroom, Revere, Massachusetts
This is the first of a triple-shot weekend from DGUSA that was taped for DVD release and also shown on iPPV. This is from the DVD copy of the show.
The show kicked off with a backstage promo from Ronin, consisting of Johnny Gargano, Chuck Taylor, and Rich Swann. Chuck Taylor took offense to the g Tamar used by Gargano and Swann. This promo was well done by the three men, p,aging up tension in the group. It looked a little dark for DVD quality.
1. The Scene (Caleb Konley and Scott Reed) vs. The D.U.F. (Arik Cannon and Pinkie Sanchez). The card in the actual arena began with this tag team match. The D.U.F bring. A ton of energy to the ring with them and that was apparent in this encounter. I still can't find a way to get into The Scene's act. No matter who they bring out with them or what they do, it isn't quite clicking with me.
This match was a decent opening tag encounter. It didn't burn the audience out, but it did excite them. Cannon, at one point, grabbed a PBR from his pocket and started drinking it during the match. The Massachusetts crowd loved this (apparently they are in a PBR town). This mat h wasn't long and wasn't super impressive, but as an opener, it worked. The finish came with a superkick from Cannon to Konley, followed by a Brainbuster for the pin.
The D.U.F. defeated The Scene via pin.
A lot of focus was put on The D.U.F. challenging for the DGUSA Open the United Gate Championships the next night. This is a place where DGUSA seems to shine with these double and triple shot weekends. They deliver a stellar product with a show, while also using that show to build to the next. One weekend of shows feels like a cohesive story being told. They all work together in a big picture sense.
While The D.U.F. celebrated, Sami Calihan called out Jon Davis. Davis responded and they started their scheduled match.
2. Sami Calihan (with Pinkie Sanchez and Arik Cannon) vs. Jon Davis. This match started with some brawling on the floor. Both men worked a high impact brawling style that was pretty impressive. If you've seen either of them, you know you're going to get a lot of still shots and a lot of technically sound wrestling as well.
Calihan is great in this role as an antagonist. He comes off as naturally so dirty that the audience has to respond with hatred. Jon Davis also stands out here as a larger wrestler that can work the power game, but can also wrestle and sell with the best of them. This was a slightly longer match that I expected to see as second on the card, but it was a pleasant surprise. These two wrestlers could main event almost any DGUSA or EVOLVE show, so this match deserved the time it was given. Davis won the match with a torture rack-like maneuver into a powerbomb. The match was good and worth the time, but not a must-see affair. It was a little bit longer than it needed to be.
Jon Davis defeated Sami Calihan via pinfall.
After the match, The D.U.F. attacked Jon Davis, slamming a couple barricades from ringside onto him. This looked painful. A few wrestlers from the back ran out to rescue Davis and run off The D.U.F. Pinkie Sanchez and Arik Cannon ran all the way to the commentary table and joined Lenny Leonard for the next few matches.
3. Masato Yoshino vs. Akira Tozawa. This was one of the most exciting matches to me when I got this DVD in the mail and saw the card. Yoshino is one of my favorite acts in DGUSA. His speed, style, and proficiency in the ring make every match of his a must-watch. Tozawa has charisma for days. He was attempting to play a heel in this match, but he was very over as a babyface. It seems basically impossible to turn a crowd against Tozawa.
Tozawa did a lot of stalling to kick the match off. The crowd was into his stalling, in one of the few moments that the crowd seemed to be alive through the course of the night. This match was not the high-speed affair the I initially expected, but it still had some excitement. They wrestled a technical match based on getting Tozawa over as a heel, which Lenny Leonard accentuated on commentary. This also doesn't quite reach must-watch status. The structure of this card builds pretty well.
The finish for this match came after a little bit of time when Tozawa hit one of his hard German Suplexes on Yoshino with a bridge for a three count.
Akira Tozawa defeated Masato Yoshino via pinfall.
We went backstage to another promo, this one from Uhaa Nation. He spoke about the High Flyer's Fray later in the night and suddenly transitioned into saying the Pledge of Allegiance. It was an odd promo. The Scene's manager Larry Dallas approached him, closely followed by The Scene. Dallas would like to party with Uhaa. Uhaa said no. The Scene now wants to attack Uhaa.
It was at this point in the show that the lighting became a little bit frustrating to me. There was a ton of strobe lighting going on in entrances and after matches. That was a little too much for me, watching on DVD. In general, everyone seemed a little washed out by the lighting in the ring. I haven't seen this before from DGUSA, so it surprised me. Production-wise, this show seemed slightly below the (admittedly high) standard I have from DGUSA.
4. Ronin (Johnny Gargano and Chuck Taylor) vs. Blood Warriors (CIMA and Brodie Lee). This was my first exposure to Brodie Lee and I definitely see why WWE has signed him to a developmental deal. He looked great in this match. He wasn't asked to do too much, but he was involved. CIMA did most of the heavy work for the Blood Warriors, but that wasn't too evident. Lee is a unique talent that will go very far with the WWE style.
Gargano and Taylor are starting to show some tension, which is accentuated by Leonard and Arik Cannon on commentary. Cannon is a little distracting while trying to get his character over, but that is one of the pitfalls of putting a wrestler on the show on commentary. Both Gargano and Taylor are getting Open the Freedom Gate Championship shots on the next two nights, which is well-promoted by Leonard.
At one point Brodie Lee did a slingshot senton and my head almost exploded. A guy that big shouldn't be able to fly like that (more of this sentiment to come a little later). Ronin tried to make a big babyface comeback at one point, but they were cut short. After the stereotypical independent tag team match breakdown, Lee and CIMA won with a sit-out powerbomb and double knee strike combination on Gargano. This was a great pre-intermission match that bordered on must-watch status.
Blood Warriors (CIMA and Brodie Lee) defeated Ronin (Johnny Gargano and Chuck Taylor) via pinfall.
Brodie Lee and CIMA began to beat down Johnny Gargano, but Chuck Taylor managed to save him and pull him out of the ring.
I can't say enough about the way this card is structured. The timing and structure are of the shows are some of my favorite things about DGUSA. They take the crowd on a journey and assure that it climaxes in the main events. My compliments to the entire team for assuring the show isn't too long, too self indulgent, or too boring. It's a difficult balance and DGUSA manages to hit that note almost every time.
This is the intermission slot on the live show, so we saw promos from BxB Hulk and Yamoto discussing their match tonight. Yamoto vowed to avenge his hair. Hulk discussed his hatred for Yamoto. We also saw a commercial for WWNLive.com.
5. B.J. Whitmer vs. Vinny Marseglia. Vinnie Marseglia is a Massachusetts-area wrestler getting a shot on this show. Whitmer is a long time indie scene regular that has always bored me a little bit. The crowd here agreed with me and treated this match like the boring affair that it was. Whitmer won this one quickly with the Peruvian Necktie (a jujitsu style submission) rather quickly.
B.J. Whitmer defeated Vinny Marseglia via submission.
B.J. Whitmer then called out Brodie Lee and the two began the brawl. They went into the crowd and through some poorly-lit areas. In the middle of this brawl, there was a sudden cut to a commercial for DGUSA's Fearless show.
Chuck Taylor joins Lenny Leonard on commentary for the rest of the show. He was pretty entertaining. This provided a fair amount of promotion for the rest of the weekend, which, once again, was a strong point of this show.
6. Rich Swann vs. PAC vs. Ricochet vs. A.R. Fox vs. Uhaa Nation vs. Sabu in a High Flyers Fray. This match was insanely good and insanely exciting. It's called a High Flyers Fray and that is exactly what it delivers. It is high spots galore, without a whole lot of downtime. It also didn't feel like a pointless high spot match. The athleticism was something that you cannot see anywhere else. The excitement was palpable. There were moments in this match that had me jumping out of my seat. This was the first must-watch match of this show. I'll cover some highlights, but this match has to be seen to be believed.
The rules are as follows: Two men will start the match. Every two minutes, another man will enter the match. It is elimination rules. Once a wrestler is pinned or submitted, he is eliminated.
Swann and PAC kicked the match off and they seemed to be allies from the beginning. They're both a part of the Junction Three stable in Japan. They had a nice exchange, but things really picked up with Ricochet entered. Swann and PAC double teamed Ricochet for most of this two minutes. A.R. Fox is out next and Swann and PAC continue to work the double team. PAC attempts to hit Fox, but ends up hitting Swann with a big move. Fox uses Swann to pin and eliminate PAC.
Uhaa Nation entered next and he absolutely blew my mind. Uhaa is a pretty muscular guy. He is thicker than any high flyer I have ever seen. He also can hit a standing moonsault and a standing shooting star press. Uhaa Nation (who is currently injured) is a performer that you should go out of your way to see. His performance in this match is cut shorter than I would like, but this is a nice display of what he can do. Uhaa Nation was then beat up by The Scene, which eliminated him from the match.
Throughout this match, Lenny Leonard was doing commentary, as well as picking up the house mic and doing a countdown for each entrance. This was a little odd. Also odd was a countdown for a non-entrance, which is what we got for Sabu. Eventually Sabu did run out.
At one point, PAC eliminated A.R. Fox, then Ricochet eliminated PAC. We're down to Ricochet and Sabu here. We got some standard Sabu offense with a chair involved. He didn't look like Sabu out of 1998, but he also didn't embarrass himself at all. Sabu hit what he could and it worked. Finally, after a nice little Ricochet and Sabu exchange, Ricochet won the match with a 630 splash.
All I could say after this match was "Wow!" Go out and watch it now.
Ricochet won the High Flyers Fray, last eliminating Sabu.
As the ring crew took down the ropes for the main event, there was a short promo segment with Lenny Leonard interviewing Akira Tozawa. Tozawa wants a shot at the Open the Freedom Gate Championship. Rich Swann interrupted Tozawa and somehow challenged him to a rap battle. Tozawa decided to sing in an operatic style, which the crowd loved. Swann then rapped while Lenny Leonard clapped and looked nerdy. This segment was some fun entertainment to give the crowd a breather after the last match took their breath away.
A video package running down the long history between Yamato and BxB Hulk was shown. This was a nice way for the uninitiated fan (like me) to catch up on where these two have been. It also described the No Ropes - No Disqualification match as the most dangerous in Dragon Gate.
7. Yamato vs. BxB Hulk in a No Rope - No Disqualification match. This match started out tentatively with each man feeling out the other. This wasn't how I expected such a big grudge match to begin. Early on we had Akira Tozawa interfering to help Hulk. We also had a slow first portion of the match. I'm all about pacing, but this seemed odd.
The lack of ropes lead to a lack of flying, which isn't what one expects from DGUSA. They made up for that lack of flight with some really good, stiff brawling. As the match went on, the action intensified into what I expected from the beginning. This had all the makings of an intense feud about five minutes in and it kept it there. A chair eventually got involved. Yamato also attempted a frog splash off of one of the ring posts, showing amazing balance. He did miss that move.
The last five minutes of this match were amazing with finisher attempts, finisher kick-outs, hard kicks, reversals, and finally Yamato hitting the Gallaria on the chair for the three count.
While not initially what I thought it would be, this match was great. It also gets the must-watch recommendation from me, although I personally put it a notch below the High Flyers Fray (I can understand reversing that order as well) but it is close.
Yamato defeated BxB Hulk via pinfall in a No Rope - No Disqualification match.
This card was great, as was the DVD. The production values aren't perfect, but they are better than 90% of independent shows anyways. The ebb and flow of this card made it easy to take in all in one sitting and the final two matches were a perfect payoff.
It's interesting to me to book a crazy high flying spot-fest and then to follow it up with the No Ropes match, which took away the potential of flying. These two matches show the dichotomy of DGUSA. It's a hard-hitting promotion with a ton of technically sound action. It is also a promotion where you can see some of the best high flyers in the world do what they do best. There is something for everyone in this promotion.
On the special features front, you get a Chuck Taylor promo walking through the Occupy Philadelphia and lamenting being held down by the 1% (the DGUSA originals) and a highlight package.
I'd give this show a solid B+. With two must watch matches and nothing horrible, it was quite the pleasant surprise. You can't go wrong with this show, especially the final two matches. As I said before, there is truly something for everyone here and it's all good.
The DVD is available in the store section of DGUSA's website.
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Dot Net DVD Review: DGUSA Revolt 2011: Yamato vs. BxB Hulk in a No Rope - No Disqualification match, an amazing High Flyers Fray featuring Sabu, PAC, Uhaa Nation, A.R. Fox, Ricochet, and Rich Swann, Yoshino vs. Tozawa
Jul 2, 2012 - 02:08 PM
Jul 2, 2012 - 02:08 PM
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