Powell's 3/31 DGUSA Mercury Rising results and review: CIMA, Ricochet, and Masaaki Mochizki vs. Low Ki, Akira Tozawa, and BxB Hulk, Johnny Gargano vs. Masato Yoshino for the Open the Freedom Gate Title, PAC Invitational
By Jason Powell
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DGUSA from Miami, Florida
Aired live via online pay-per-view
1. Bobby Fish defeated Jon Davis.
Powell's POV: I missed the majority of the opening match. Note to self: Don't make the mistake of waiting until the last minute when you're not sure if you have enough money in your Pay Pal account.
PAC headed to the ring for a promo. He spoke about his match with Low Ki from Friday night and said he would love the opportunity to do it again. The crowd cheered. He noted that CIMA isn't 100 percent and asked DGUSA to put him in the main event instead. The crowd chanted "Yes!" repeatedly.
Chuck Taylor came out and drew repeated "No!" chants. PAC said something and threw the mic down. Taylor told the crowd to shut up because he was talking, which scored him a loud "Shut the f--- up" chant. Taylor said that if PAC is in the main event, then there would be no PAC Invitational match. He said they would have a Chuck Taylor Invitational match instead. Play-by-play voice Lenny Leonard questioned why Taylor is able to book his own matches...
2. A.R. Fox beat Arik Cannon (w/Pinkie Sanchez) by DQ in 11:15. Colt Cabana joined Leonard on commentary for the match. Cabana recalled texting Gabe Sapolsky to rave about Fox the first time he saw him wrestle in person. Sanchez passed a bottle of beer to Cannon, who took a swig while he had Fox locked in a hold. There was a cool spot with Fox going after Cannon on the second rope, only to be slammed aggressively to the mat.
The announcers spoke about Fox being trained by Curtis Hughes. Cabana questioned who would have guessed that Hughes would be making his mark in that manner. Later, Cannon hit a flurry of offense that concluded with a lariat for a great near fall. In the end, Sami Callihan came out and hit Fox with a chair for the DQ.
Powell's POV: Fox is a good high flyer, and Cannon is more of a brawler type, but htey worked well together with Cannon serving as a good base for Fox's moves, and Fox selling like a rag doll for Cannon's power moves.
Afterward, Sami took the mic and spat on Fox. He said his match with Sabu was finally here. He called Sabu a loser and called for him to come to the ring so they could start the match now. The lights went out and then Sabu was in the ring when they came on again...
3. Sabu defeated Sami Callihan in a Street Fight in 18:00. The trio roughed up Sabu as the bell sounded, but Cannon and Sanchez disappeared quickly. The ring announcer reminded the crowd that the match would be fought under street fight rules. Cabana remained on commentary. They brawled into the crowd and then filled the ring with chairs and a table.
Sabu bled early. As Sabu went for the Camel Clutch in the ring, Cannon and Sanchez headed back to the ring. Jon Davis came out and fought with them. Sabu did his classic springboard leap off the chair, onto the top rope, and onto the wrestlers on the floor for a big ovation from the crowd.
Callihan came back and wrapped Sabu's leg in a chair. Callihan took another chair and slammed it over the chair several times. Cabana said doctors weren't going to run to the ring because the ring is where they do battle. He said Sabu would have to wait for the match to end to find out whether the leg was broken or not.
Sami locked Sabu in a submission hold. Sabu grabbed a chair and hit him lightly over the head/back a couple of times. Sami grabbed the bottle he used to spit his tobacco in and poured it over Sabu's head. The crowd chanted, "You sick f---" briefly. A.R. Fox popped up and dropkicked Callihan and then performed a move on him. Sabu slammed a chair on Callihan's head and then finished him off with the Arabian Facebuster.
After the match, Sabu called Fox into the ring to acknowledge him. Leonard recapped the story of Fox idolizing Sabu and bringing him to DGUSA. After Sabu and Fox left the ring, Callihan threw a fit and hit a Death Valley Driver on Johnny Vandal, who Leonard said wasn't booked and was merely helping out...
Powell's POV: I could have done without some of the chairshots and outside interference. Perhaps the run-ins worked for regular viewers who are up to speed on all of the current feuds, but it was a little confusing for this occasional DGUSA viewer. That said, I enjoyed the throwback hardcore brawl. It's a shame that Sabu never had that big money run so that he could have retired by now, but there's still something special about watching him perform his signature spots and he nailed most of them. Callihan is a
Gabe Sapolsky joined the announcers briefly and thanked Cabana for joining Leonard on commentary. He plugged Cabana's "The Art of Wrestling" podcast...
A pair of the wrestlers from the ariel invitational match hit the ring. Chuck Taylor came out without boots or socks on and attacked them. Other wrestlers came out. Taylor took the mic and started to talk. El Generico ran out and the crowd chanted along with his entrance music. Generico cleared Taylor from the ring...
4. El Generico defeated Chuck Taylor, Lince Dorado, CIMA, Rich Swann, and Samuray Del Sol in 16:05. The announcers explained that CIMA suffered an injury on Thursday and was swapping spots with PAC in this match, while PAC moves into the main event. Generico hit a big brainbuster on Dorado and pinned him to win the match. Taylor sneered at ringside before walking backstage as the crowd sang along to Generico's song...
Intermission. An ad aired for the Evolve show, and recap videos were shown...
Powell's POV: This was one of those matches where it's better for my sanity to sit back and watching the spectacle rather than trying to relay everything that happened. It was cool to see El Generico show up given that he worked the ROH show earlier today. I'm not big on intermissions, but watching ads and video recaps beats the hell out of looking at a graphic, as I've seen before on iPPV events. By the way, the production is excellent for online pay-per-view standards. It was tough to hear a couple of soft spoken wrestlers on the house mic early on. The other wrestlers sound fine, the announcers are loud and clear, the picture quality is very good, and there have not been any glitches yet (though I did start watching a few minutes late).
After the intermission, the ring announcer spoke about how big the weekend is for the wrestling industry. He introduced CIMA and someone from CZW. CIMA thanked the fans for coming and watching the iPPV. It was hard to make out what he was saying, but the live crowd enjoyed it. He turned things over to the CZW rep, who announced that they would be holding a "Super Weekend." He said they would team up with Chikara and DGUSA. The ring announcer said tickets will go on sale this summer for the events at the Meadowlands Center, which is next door to Metlife Stadium...
5. The Scene (w/Larry Dallas) beat Los Ben Dejos in 6:25. Lenny Leonard was joined on commentary by Chuck Taylor. The Scene was escorted to the ring by a couple of stripper types. Taylor questioned what pendejos means. Leonard said he couldn't swear because people on Twitter don't like it. "But they can have an orgy at ringside and that's okay," Taylor asked.
Taylor also said Scott Reed "has a lot of muscles" and then added, "He's not afraid to be big." Regarding Larry Dallas, Taylor said blind people and assholes wear sunglasses indoors. He said he's pretty sure Dallas still has his vision. The Scene got the win and then celebrated in the ring with the strippers...
Powell's POV: The highlight of the match was listening to Leonard and especially Taylor slam The Scene, Larry Dallas, and their, um, ladies. Granted, it was a bit odd to hear Taylor pick on a fellow heel, but it still worked for me. The match? Well, let's just say it was positioned perfectly in the popcorn slot.
Taylor said Leonard went to the ring for a segment. He said he'd be introducing the "Open the something Gate Title" match...
Powell's POV: Hilarious. I'm all for anyone picking on those dorky ass title belt names. How can you not? By the way, the escorts The Scene brought out may have actually doubled the number of women in the building. Potshots aside, it's been an entertaining show thus far.
6. Johnny Gargano defeated Masato Yoshino to retain the Open The Freedom Gate Title in 22:20. The crowd rallied behind Gargano early. "Look at these idiots chanting his name," Taylor said. The match started slow, but the crowd was into it. "Remember when Gargano had charisma?" Taylor asked while the crowd was chanting his name. Taylor also put over Yoshino's finishing hold.
At 14:00, Yoshino hit a beautiful missile dropkick. Yoshino applied Gargano's own finishing hold on him. There was a "Please don't tap" chant. "Give it up, you punk, give it up," Taylor said. A short time later, the lightning quick Yoshino caught Gargano with a kick and then locked him in a submission hold. Leonard did a big buildup about how he's never seen anyone escape. Unfortunately, Gargano escaped in a nonchalant manner and it didn't pack the punch that Leonard's buildup suggested it should.
The fans chanted, "This is wrestling." Taylor became my new hero by saying, "Of course it's wrestling, you turds, what else would it be?" There was a wild series of back and forth shots that consisted of punches, kicks, and a lariat that Gargano won the battle with. Yoshino came back with a roll up for a good near fall. Gargano came right back with one of his own. In the end, Gargano applied a submission hold and won via tapout. They shook hands after the match.
After Yoshino left, Gargano celebrated. Chuck Taylor hit the ring and roughed him up until he was run off. "Yeah, run, you pussy," yelled one fan. That led to a "You're a pussy" chant from the crowd...
Powell's POV: A good match that the live crowd was hot for. Yoshino is always fun to watch. He's just so damn fast and he delivers the best missile dropkick in the business. Taylor is a riot on commentary and I really like his character. He needs to find a better balance of one liners and enhancing the matches, but he's a great character and it will be fun to watch him progress.
7. Low Ki, Akira Tozawa, and BxB Hulk (w/Christina Von Eerie) beat PAC, Ricochet, and Masaaki Mochizuki in a six-man tag in 21:25. Arik Cannon replaced Chuck Taylor on ringside. He said he had plenty of beer with him so he's ready. Good action early on. The pin attempts didn't register with the crowd, though, as they knew it would be a lengthy match.
Cannon didn't have as many one-liners on commentary as Taylor did, but he did a better job of enhancing the match from a wrestler's perspective while staying true to his character. Ricochet hit a huge twisting dive over the top rope and onto a pair of wrestlers at ringside around 14:00.
At 19:15, Low Ki and PAC were left standing in the ring while the others took themselves out of the picture with high spots. PAC hit a wild move off the top rope on Low Ki. Then it was time for Tozawa and Mochizuki to square off. Tozawa hit a German suplex on Mochizuki for a big near fall. He followed up with a straight jacket German suplex and got the pin.
Low Ki took the mic after the match and spoke to the crowd. He said he was ready for Pac whenever he is. The crowd chanted "Right now." He put over Ricochet as a rising star. He spoke about pro wresting being alive and well and delivered his "size of the fight the fighter will bring" and left the ring to close the show...
Powell's POV: An entertaining train wreck style match. I enjoyed it when the wrestlers were given one-on-one time down the stretch and I wish they could have done more of that, but I'm probably in the minority. After all, this was the wild annual six-man tag match high spot fest and they delivered in that regard, though I don't expect this to be a serious match of the year contender. I prefer it when there's something at stake in a match, whereas this felt like a high spot exhibition at times. Perhaps they could add a wrinkle by giving the person who wins the match a future title shot.
I mentioned earlier that it's been a while since I've watched a DGUSA show. The product I last saw felt too nerdy to appeal to a mainstream audience and it was plagued by the usual indy production values. Things have changed for the better. The lighting was great and the overall production was slick and professional. Lenny Leonard is a very good play-by-play voice, and I enjoyed the guest color commentators.
Although the product still clearly caters to the diehard pro wrestling fan, it no longer feels like the pro wrestling version of a Star Trek convention. The show ran around three hours rather than going the marathon route, and there are some true rising stars on the roster. While Ring of Honor feels like too much of a throwback promotion for some fans, Dragon Gate USA felt fresher and more exciting on this night. Here's hoping that's a trend, as I am looking forward to keeping a closer eye on the promotion.
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