9/11 DGUSA "Way of the Dragon" online pay-per-view report: PAC and Masato Yoshino vs. CIMA and Ricochet, Naruki Doi vs. Johnny Gargano, Arik Cannon and Sami Callihan vs. A.R. Fox and YAMATO
Dragon Gate USA
Report courtesy of Dot Net Member Chris GST of PWPonderings.com
1. Rich Swann and Chuck Taylor defeated Ronin. Despite their impressive roll throughout the first two Tag Team Discovery matches, The Scene were unable to defeat the Ronin duo of Rich Swann and Chuck Taylor, with Taylor pinning Scott Reed with the Awful Waffle after an extended melee on the top rope that left Reed sitting up top with his back to Taylor, not a position you want to be in. The feed unfortunately died quite early on so I can’t comment on the portion of the match we missed, but it seems there were a lot of shenanigans.
2. Brodie Lee beat Silas Young. Despite a valiant effort, Silas Young fell to the awesome power of Brodie Lee, being felled by a huge powerbomb. Brodie mocked Silas after the match and challenged anyone in the building to fight him. Jon Davis answered the call (though there was a chant for Uhaa Nation) but Tozawa blindsided him, allowing their scheduled bout to get under way.
3. Akira Tozawa beat Jon Davis. Jon Davis’ personal challenge series went the way of The Scene’s weekend, winning the first two matches but falling in the difficult third stage, with Akira Tozawa putting him down with an Emperor German Suplex. The match was reasonably short, with each man getting a chance to be in control for a few minutes, before Tozawa managed to hit a running knee strike to soften Davis for his huge german suplex variant. Tozawa could honestly main event this company; his presence is undeniable and he controls the crowd like nobody else. Davis’ power is somewhat scary. At one point he lifted Tozawa from his knees up and into a Jackhammer in one quick motion.
We’re heading to intermission earlier than planned as apparently enough people have complained about the very low lighting that Gabe’s decided to try and fix it. Before that we hear from Lenny Leonard that BxB Hulk vs Yamato in a No Ropes, No DQ match has been signed for the Boston show in Novemeber, but for some reason the Freedom Gate won’t be up for grabs.
4. Sami Callihan and Arik Cannon (DUF) beat A.R. Fox and YAMATO. The D.U.F. got the better of AR Fox despite having the Open the Freedom Gate champion as his partner, with Callihan knocking Fox out with the Stretch Muffler while also kicking him repeatedly in the face. Cannon and Callihan isolated Fox for most of the match, just like last night with Sabu as his partner. Conversely, whenever Yamato got in the ring he dominated, as you’d expect from the company’s champion, but he didn’t really seem to belong in the match.
The D.U.F. got cheers after the match until they continued to beat Fox up, with Pinkie Sanchez coming out to join his comrades. Fox tried to fight back but the numbers were too much… until Sabu hit the ring! Sabu threw some chairs and then started an impromptu match with Sanchez.
5. Sabu vs. Pinkie Sanchez. The live feed died during the match so I have no idea who won or how, but what we did see was Pinkie Sanchez bleeding a hell of a lot from various Sabu weapon shots. It was mediocre violence, and I can’t say I’m devestated to have missed it.
When we rejoined the feed Callihan and Cannon had returned and laid out Sabu. They tied AR Fox to the ropes and Callihan beat the holy hell out of him while Pinkie and Cannon fended off a job squad who tried and save Fox. D.U.F. were eventually forced from the ring, though they amusingly leave Pinkie behind to get a 10 on 1 beatdown. Fox was helped to the back.
6. Uhaa Nation beat Facade, Sugar Dunkerton, and Flip Kendrick in a four-way freestyle. The behemoth Uhaa Nation won this freestyle match, overcoming a pair of highflyers in Facade and Kendrick, and the ballhog Dunkerton, picking up the win over Sugar after a trio of powerbombs. This was the kind of match I think a live crowd is going to enjoy far more than a home audience. It was by no means bad, but not really worthy of the reaction it was getting if you ask me. It was basically an exhibition for Nation who has been a revelation this weekend, with Kendrick getting a chance to shine after a brief flurry. Facade didn’t do a whole lot, and Dunkerton spent as much time talking trash as he did wrestling, but that’s his gimmick to be fair.
7. Johnny Gargano defeated Naruki Doi. Johnny Gargano took a huge step on his road to the Open the Freedom Gate by making Dragon Gate ace Naruki Doi tap out to the Gargano Escape in another competitive match.
Gargano got on the mic – which kept cutting out – and said he feels he is now the number one contender to Yamato and wants his title shot to be on November 13th in New York. Chuck Taylor came out (in a Colony t-shirt of all things!) and dropped an elbow on the microphone, causing the crowd to erupt with praise. He instead yelled his promo, stating he’s using the power he earned through his win last night to challenge for the title the night before on November 12th. Both men insisted the other go after the tag titles with Rich Swann, who came out in a Junction 3 shirt. Gargano left and Taylor and the crowd demanded Swann pick a stable. "I’m with both."
8. Blood Warriors CIMA and Ricochet defeated PAC and Masato Yoshino of Junction 3 to unify the United Gate and Twin Gate Titles. Blood Warriors reigned supreme in tag team wrestling, capturing the United Gate titles after Cima hit Yoshino with Meteora for the win. The extremely intense final minutes made this match a must-see, though it was pretty formulaic to start with. The fans chanting “Dickochet” might have been my favorite part of the entire show.
After the match Blood Warriors posed with their four belts, and Cima pretended to be a dog peeing on the United Gate belts. Ricochet tried to cut a promo but a portion of the fans booed so obnoxiously that you couldn't hear a word he says. This wasn’t just booing heels, it was utterly annoying. I think he said something about being the best high-flyer and proving he was better than PAC. Cima said Blood Warriors are the best, they gave their call-sign, they left. Show over.
Notes: While not as good as last night’s event, this was still a great way to spend a Sunday evening if you’re a wrestling fan. The lighting was super low, forcing an early intermission so they could try and fix it. It did get brighter, but not much. I just got used to it to be honest, and it didn’t really detract from the show quality. There were also a few issues with microphones cutting out, and the stream froze a few times, most notably during the Sabu/Pinkie Sanchez match so we didn’t see who won, but it didn’t really matter given what took place after. There was also an extremely annoying fan heckling almost every match to the amusement of nobody.
Ronin vs The Scene was fun, Brodie and Silas surprised me, and Tozawa vs Davis was exactly like Davis and Swann in that it threatened to steal the show despite not being very long and taking place before intermission. D.U.F. vs Fox and Yamato was only ok to me, but I don’t care for Fox or Callihan so if you do then you may have liked it. Yamato felt wasted here, entering the ring sparingly and dominating when he did, and getting out of dodge the moment the bell rang.
I wish they’d found him something better to do here. Pinkie and Sabu beat each other up in a generic hardcore match with the winner unclear. What was clear was that Callihan beat the zombie-jesus out of Fox after it was over, signifying the Fox/D.U.F. war is not over. The freestyle was fine, but it’s good it was kept short as really only Uhaa Nation and Flip Kendrick got to do anything, and Nation far more than Kendrick. Still, Nation’s a made man after his efforts this weekend and it’ll be interesting to see if he’s available for bookings come November.
Gargano and Doi was great, and making someone held in such high regard in Dragon Gate tap out was a huge moment for Gargano, arguably bigger than making Cima tap in a tag team match. He still has a few things to tweak before I can see him holding the Freedom Gate, but I’d say he’s certainly the strongest candidate to hold the title next. The tension between Ronin was great, with Taylor demanding a title shot before Gargano, reminding me of The Embassy’s title shots at Bryan Danielson. Apt considering the comparisons between Gargano and Alex Shelley.
Rich Swann meanwhile refuses to pick a side, annoyingly. It’s looking like the predicted implosion of the group may come to fruition. The main event took a while to really get going but when it did it was fantastic. The right team won, and though I’m a fan of PAC, I didn’t like him and Yoshino as a team, especially when compared to Cima and Ricochet.
There’s enough quality here for me to easily recommend you give this event a watch, but I don’t think it’s a contender for show of the year or anything like that.
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