Dot Net DVD Review: DGUSA Open the Ultimate Gate 2012 - WrestleMania weekend continues with one of the best shows of the year, PAC vs. Low Ki, Yoshino and Ricochet vs. Gargano and Taylor, Mochizuki vs. Tozawa
By Will Pruett
DGUSA Open the Ultimate Gate, March 30, 2012
Deauville Beach Resort, Miami Florida
I originally did live coverage of this show as it aired on WrestleMania weekend. You can check out my thoughts on the show from then (as well as a detailed report of all of the action) here. This review will feature a little less action and a little more conversation of quality, since the previous report exists.
This was the second show of the weekend for DGUSA and might have been one of the best they ever put on. Originally, it was available on iPPV for only $1.99 and it was worth every penny. Even with the full price of the DVD, I have to recommend this show. There is just too much to love about this one.
The production quality was the same as most DGUSA DVDs, which is very good. The show was lit well and everything but the in-ring promos sounded great. I knew I would enjoy re-watching this show when it arrived in my mailbox and I wasn't disappointed. You should make sure the show is in your mailbox pretty soon.
Lenny Leonard welcomed people to the show as the crowd chanted "Dragon Gate" and the camera panned around.
1. Rich Swann vs. A.R. Fox This match more than holds up to the original hype I gave it. It was more than excellent. Fox and Swann absolutely tore the house down to open up this show. They had more than enough time to do so as well. This was one of the few indie matches that had the perfect amount of allotted time.
Fox ended up winning this match with Lo Mein Pain and you should go out of your way to watch this one.
A.R. Fox defeated Rich Swann via pinfall.
CIMA and Ricochet came out and announced that they would not be able to defend the Open the United Gate Championships on this night. CIMA's neck was injured from his match the night before and he couldn't compete in a main event match. This lead to Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano, their scheduled opponents coming out.
Taylor wanted to take the titles, but Gargano was too honorable to do that. Masato Yoshino came out and volunteered to partner with Ricochet. The titles were vacated at this point and both teams would compete for them later in the night.
These verbal segments suffer from being dependent on the mic on the hard cam having to pick up the house PA system. Why not record the house system and mix that in on the DVDs. DGUSA is proud of having "Dolby Digital Sound" but they don't provide good sound quality to these key segments. It would take a little more production work, but it would make the DVDs much more watchable.
2. Bobby Fish and Tommy Dreamer vs. Caleb Konley and Scott Reed (w/ Larry Dallas and ladies). This match was an exercise in tastelessness. It was entirely about sexual humor from Lenny Leonard (on commentary) and Tommy Dreamer (in the ring).
Tommy was like an outdated grunge band attempting to play his rebellious greatest hits by kissing two women at once, piledriving one of them, and spanking another woman after the bell. This was an honestly disgusting display of what many feel like all of wrestling is. I wish DGUSA and everyone involved with this match would have chosen to rise above stereotypes instead of providing another embarrassing example of them.
If you get this DVD, and I recommend you do, make sure not to watch this match with anyone that may respect you around.
Bobby Fish and Tommy Dreamer defeated The Scene via submission.
PAC cut a promo backstage (which is an added feature of the DVD) about his match with Low Ki. He wants to beat him.
3. Sami Calihan vs. BxB Hulk. The match started off really hot and really enjoyable. Calihan is one of the brighter discoveries made by Gabe Spolsky and DGUSA and he showed why here. BxB Hulk (in his darker form) was also delightful here.
This match was fast-paced and intense, right up until Christian Von Erie came to ringside. The crowd grew silent and the match seemed to slow down at that point. It picked back up for the finish, which included Von Erie spitting Hulk's bottled liquid into Calihan's eyes. Hulk followed that with a First Flash kick for the pin. The match is totally worth watching.
BxB Hulk defeated Sami Calihan via pinfall.
Sami Calihan then called out Sabu. The lights went out. Sabu appeared. They fought. This lead to Arik Cannon and Pinkie Sanchez joining Calihan in beating Sabu up. Jon Davis and A.R. Fox ran in for the save. Fox and Calihan brawled to the back, leading to our next match.
4. Sabu and Jon Davis vs Arik Cannon and Pinkie Sanchez in a Street Fight. I was admittedly rough on this match in my original report. I had no knowledge of the prior feud between the D.U.F. and Davis, Sabu, and Fox. Because of that, I didn't understand that this match was even on the card, let alone a chapter in a story.
It turned out to be a very good chapter in that hardcore story. I'm not into the hardcore style, but all four wrestlers worked well within it here. They didn't go super-violent with it, although there was blood. They also didn't try too many highspots. It was solid and even a little short.
Jon Davis pinned Pinkie Samchez after his Around the World Powerbomb.
Jon Davis and Sabu defeated Pinkie Sanchez and Arik Cannon via pinfall.
Sami Calihan attacked Sabu and cut a promo about their match on the next night's show. DGUSA always does a good job making all three shows in a triple shot feel like different chapters of the same story. This was no exception.
In a promo that wasn't on the original broadcast, Low Ki discussed PAC rising through the ranks and what it means to him to finally face him. Low Ki did a really nice job with this backstage feature.
5. Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Akira Tozawa (w/ Christina Von Erie and BxB Hulk). This was my match of the night, although I could easily hear an argument for the main event in that slot. Tozawa and Mochizuki absolutely tore the house down.
My favorite feature of this match was the speed at which the men worked. They took it easy and worked a little slower than the average DGUSA match at the beginning, then worked into a fever pitch. It allowed fans in the building and those watching at home to get into the match a little easier. It was a great traditional match.
Involvement from Von Erie and Hulk did occur, but it was minimal. Tozawa and Mochizuki had a match of the year contender on this show. Watch this match, then rewind the show and watch it again.
Mochizuki won the spectacular match with a running top rope kick on Tozawa.
Masasski Mochizuki defeated Akira Tozawa via pinfall.
After the match, Von Erie hit Mochizuki in his little Mochis in an angle to promote the six man tag the next night. DGUSA repeated promoted this show, which provided all sorts of coherence to the weekend.
6. Samuray Del Sol vs. Johnny Vandal. This was Del Sol's first iPPV match and second match in the promotion. This was a very squash-esque match, meant to get Del Sol's moves over with the crowd. It worked. Del Sol's offense was flashy and very entertaining. He hit Vandal with a great Huricanrana to win the short match.
Samuray Del Sol defeated Johnny Vandal via pinfall.
Uhaa Nation cut a just for DVD promo about being hurt and returning sooner than expected. As of this writing, he still hasn't returned. Here's wishing him a full recovery. It'll be great to see Uhaa in the ring again soon.
From this point in the show, Arik Cannon joins Lenny Leonard on commentary. This immensely improves the commentary. Leonard is good, but he needs a partner to be great.
7. PAC vs. Low Ki. This is another match that improved upon the second viewing for me. I was curious as to why until I read my original report. I believed this match did not live up to the "dream match" hype it was given. It didn't. At the same time, it was a damn good match between two amazing athletes.
Ki and PAC started off wrestling a pretty slow pace. This is similar to what PAC did the night before. The match was deliberate and worked into a stalemate multiple times. It eventually sped up and worked to a fever pitch. It didn't kick into the "dream match" gear that I has hoped for, but it did get very good and stay that way for a while.
Low Ki hit a top rope Warriors Way stomp on PAC for the three count. This is another match on this show that must be watched. You can see why it's one of the best indie shows of the year.
Low Ki defeated PAC via pinfall.
Low Ki grabbed a mic and cut a hard to hear promo about how great PAC is and the need for EVOLVE to have a championship. It's odd that the EVOLVE Championship will have taken a whole year to come to fruition.
One major criticism I have about this show is the way the United Gate Championship scene was treated. It wasn't clear who were the champions after CIMA and Ricochet gave up the belts. Lenny Leonard didn't even know when Ricochet came out for commentary on a match. This was a small dose of poor storytelling and it made the show seem disorganized.
8. World One International (Ricochet and Masato Yoshino) vs. Ronin (Johnny Gargano and Chuck Taylor) for the Open the United Gate Championships. This match was fast, explosive, dynamic, and extremely fun to watch. I tried to keep up move by move before and couldn't. I didn't even try this time.
The match came down to Chuck Taylor having the opportunity to use a title belt to win the match, but Johnny Gargano stopped him from doing so. The disagreement lead to a few more minutes of match, but could be ultimately blamed for the finish.
This was an unbelievable tag team match. All four men put it all out there. Chuck Taylor, while he is unique and funny, is so much more than a comedy wrestler. This was my first exposure to Johnny Gargano and I was pleasantly surprised with him. This was a great comeback weekend for Gargano after his scary back injury.
Masato Yoshino is an amazing athlete and, as much as I would have loved seeing CIMA in this match, Yoshino was a welcome addition. Ricochet looks like a major league wrestler, has the charisma of a major league wrestler, and wrestles like a major league wrestler. Every man in this match worked hard and put on a high quality affair.
Masato Yoshino caught Chuck Taylor with the Sol Naciente to make him tap and capture the United Gate Championships.
World One International defeated Ronin to win the Open the United Gate Championships.
The crowd chanted for everyone involved with he match and applauded the truly great effort. CIMA then offered a handshake to Johnny Gargano, completing Gargano's year-long quest for that handshake. Taylor attacked Gargano and CIMA and walked out. Thus began the break up of Ronin.
Masato Yoshino said that he would win the Freedom Gate Championship the next night and asked the fans if they liked the show. It turns out they did.
Final Thoughts: This show was great. There was one truly awful match, but on a DVD all one has to do is skip to the next chapter. There were three great matches and four good matches. That is amazing for any iPPV. Upon viewing this show again, I realized just how great it was. Go out of your way to order this show. Watch it, then watch it again. I'll be doing the same.
The DVD is available in the store section of DGUSA & EVOLVE's website.
Hey people! Let's talk about this show and DGUSA! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me and chat me up on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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