Powell's 5/14 Dragon Gate USA "Mercury Rising" PPV review: Dragon Kid, CIMA, and Gamma vs. BxB Hulk, Masato Yoshino, and Naruki Doi, Tommy Dreamer vs. Jon Moxley, Brian Kendrick and Paul London vs. Jimmy Jacobs and Jack Evans
By Jason Powell
Dragon Gate USA "Mercury Rising" PPV
Taped March 27, 2010 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Debuted on PPV on May 14, 2010
The show opened with a shot from inside the World-1 locker room and then the Warriors locker room with play-by-play voice Lenny Leonard hyping their six-man tag match. He said viewers would see a type of match they've never seen before on Dragon Gate USA pay-per-view...
1. Shingo defeated Genki Horiguchi (w/Warriors) in 10:30. Late in the match, Horiguchi hit a tornado DDT, but Shingo no-sold it. Horiguchi took him down and followed up with a missile dropkick to the back. Later, Shingo hit a lariat and followed up with Made in Japan for the clean pin...
Powell's POV: A solid opening match. Nothing particularly memorable, but a quality match.
Lenny Leonard narrated a video and noted that the wrestler who was pinned in the next match would no longer work for Dragon Gate USA...
2. Jimmy Jacobs and Jack Evans defeated Paul London and Brian Kendrick in a loser of the fall leaves the company match in 10:45. They picked up the the match when the teams were brawling at ringside. They fought back inside the ring and the ref called for the bell to start the match. London and Kendrick were in control early.
Evans tagged into the match and the energy picked up immediately with his high flying moves. Jacobs and London had a nice exchange with the former hitting a huracanrana, and the latter performing a double stomp off the ropes.
Later, Kendrick hit Sliced Bread No. 2 on Jacobs for a near fall. He was in control of the offense until Jacobs applied End Tme. London tried to break it up, but Evans stopped him. Kendrick tapped out and it was announced that he must leave DGUSA. There were some boos over the announcement followed by a group of fans singing the goodbye song...
Powell's POV: Disappointing match simply because I know how good those four can be. It didn't receive much storyline support and really could have used some mic work to set the stage. London wasn't in as good of shape as he was in his WWE days. He didn't look bad physically, but he's not as tone as he once was.
Highlights aired of Jon Moxley calling out Tommy Dreamer at the "Fearless" pay-per-view. Brian Kendrick said Moxley has his endorsement and doesn't need to beat up a sellout like Dreamer, who "sold his soul." Kendrick said Dreamer is retired...
Powell's POV: Good mic work by both men. Moxley just keeps getting better on the mic. There's just something about him that commands the attention of the viewer.
Tommy Dreamer was standing in the ring as the fans chanted "ECW" and then "Tommy." He thanked the fans for their cheers. A fan joked about Dreamer crying. He laughed and said he was very happy. Funny. Dreamer thanked the diehard fans for supporting pro wrestling. He told the fans to have the greatest weekend of their lives.
Dreamer noted that he had a match the night before against Tajiri in Japan. He said he flew from Japan in a middle seat. "Thanks for that, Tajiri." He said he wanted to go old school for this match. He said it's a bit of a throwback in that it's no rules and anything goes...
Powell's POV: Dreamer was really fun here. He was very relaxed and played off the crowd well. He seemed genuinely appreciative of the live crowd's reaction and had fun joking with a French fan in attendance. That said, is there anything old school about Dreamer working a hardcore match when he always works hardcore matches?
3. Jon Moxley (w/a valet) defeated Tommy Dreamer in 12:30. Moxley threw chops early. Dreamer fired back with some slaps to the chest. They fought to ringside quickly and there were plenty of empty seats. Dreamer placed the ring bell over Moxley's crotch and rang it. He also hit him with a garbage can to the held, which drew more "Tommy" chants.
They went back to the ring at 5:45. Moxley caught Dreamer on the ropes and crotched him. Moxley returned fire with a trash can shot to the head. Dreamer bled. Later, Dreamer took control of the match, but the valet entered the ring. Dreamer grabbed her and went for a piledriver, but the referee broke it up. "The fans aren't really happy about it, but it's a girl," Leonard said on commentary.
Dreamer disposed of the referee and then went through with a very safe piledriver. Suddenly, YAMATO hit the ring and attacked Dreamer, who fought him off. Shingo hit the ring and DVD'd Dreamer. Moxley went for the cover, but Dreamer kicked out. Dreamer came back with a piledriver for a near fall. Dreamer set up Moxley for a DVD, but Moxley raked his eyes and DDT'd him on a chair for the win...
Powell's POV: I dig Moxley. He needs to add some weight because he's one of those guys who looks much more intimidating in his street clothes than he does in his wrestling gear, but he's a really good talker and a decent brawler. This match didn't fit with anything they've done in Dragon Gate in the past, but obviously the hope was that Dreamer would sell tickets and pay-per-views, so I don't blame the company for booking him.
A brief video hyped the Open the Dream Gate Championship being defended on DGUSA pay-per-view. Leondard noted that YAMATO is the 11th champion...
4. YAMATO defeated Susumu Yokosuka to retain the Open the Dream Gate Title in 21:45. Leonard noted that YAMATO recently won the championship and spoke about the recent history of the title. The crowd was dead early, but they started clapping when Yokosuka had a chin lock applied. YAMATO reached up and grabbed a fist full of face to break the hold, but Yokosuka came back with a lariat.
YAMATO caught Yokosuka in a triangle choke. Yokosuka reached the ropes to break the hold and then headed to ringside. YAMATO followed and they fought amongst the sparse crowd. They headed back to the ring, where Yamato went to work on his opponent's arm.
The action picked up at 10:00 as the wrestlers traded exploder suplexes, which received a nice round of applause from the fans. They fought on the ropes and Yokosuka spanked YAMATO's ass. At 13:40, the wrestlers fought for position as they went for a suplex. YAMATO turned it into a arm bar submission.
At 16:45, Yokosuka hit a lariat for a near fall. He came back a short time later with a DVD. He came back with additional lariats for additional near falls. YAMATO came back with a sleeper and a German suplex and went right back to the sleeper. YAMATO hit a brainbuster for a near fall. He eventually followed up with a Michinoku Driver for the 1-2-3...
Powell's POV: The match started slow, but built nicely as it went on. There's just something low budget about seeing a challenger wearing a t-shirt in a major title match, but that's just me. YAMATO was the heel, but he didn't really play that up until he mugged for the cameras over his fallen opponent afterward. Overall, though, the best match of the show thus far and they managed to get the crowd into the action as the match went on.
An ad aired for the DGUSA website...
5. World-1 (BxB Hulk, Masato Yoshino, and Naruki Doi) defeated Warriors (Dragon Kid, CIMA, and Gamma) in 27:25. Hulk did his pre-match dance routine with a dancing girl. I have no idea why this is considered cool, but whatever. The match started with Kid and Yoshino as Leonard recapped the history of the annual Dragon Gate six-man match without mentioning Ring of Honor, which used to hold these matches.
Later, Dragon and CIMA held Hulk upside down while Gamma leapt off the top rope and hit Hulk with a kendo stick shot to the balls. Doi ended up taking the stick and comedically took jabs at Gamma. It looked like Dragon Kid was even getting a laugh as he knelt on the ring apron.
There were numerous wild spots for the next 20 minutes. Ultimately, Yoshino applied an arm submission hold on Gamma. The other Warriors attempted to break it up, but were cut off by Hulk and Doi. Gamma eventually tapped out to give World-1 the win.
After the match, the losing team took a bow. Yoshino took the mic and indicated that he wants a title match against Hulk. Apparently, Hulk accepted. Doi slid between them and took the mic. He asked Yoshino if he was sure (it sounded like he said "drunk" at first). Both guys said they were and he wished them both luck. "Did you enjoy the show?" Doi asked. The fans cheered. He led them in a Dragon Gate chant...
Powell's POV: I'm not even going to pretend like I did the match justice with my recap above. There were way too many spots to keep up with and it was one of those matches where I just had to sit back and enjoy the action rather than deliver a lengthy play-by-play. It wasn't the best of the six-mans that the Dragon Gate wrestlers have put on, but it was very entertaining and was easily the high point of the show. Dragon Kid was awesome, which is nothing new. He's the guy I look forward to most when I watch the Dragon Gate USA events and it's not even close. If I didn't know better, I'd say he was the secret love child of Ultimo Dragon and Rey Mysterio.
Backstage, Moxley was with Shingo and YAMATO. Moxley was talking about how dangerous his new allies are. The Japanese wrestlers spoke and captions appeared on the screen about how Japan is better than the United States. Moxley dubbed them Kamikaze USA...
Overall show: A solid two-hour show. Not the company's best night, nor was it there worst. I was hoping for more character development, but Dragon Gate is clearly trying to cram as much in-ring action into two hours as possible. If you've ordered past Dragon Gate shows and enjoyed the product, you'll dig this event. Leonard did a good job flying solo on commentary. I prefer a two-man booth, but they've yet to find the right color commentator to play off him, so I actually preferred this approach to the teams they've had in the past. The lighting was solid and the audio mix was good. There were no frustrating moments where you had to strain to make out what the wrestlers were saying over the house mic. It's just too bad the crowd was so sparse because the energy in the building lacked compared to past the previous events.
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