7/28 DGUSA Fourth Anniversary iPPV results: Johnny Gargano defends the Open The Freedom Gate Title against the winner of a four-way, The Young Bucks vs. Ricochet and Rich Swann for the United Tag Titles
DGUSA Fourth Anniversary iPPV
New York, New York at Highline Ballroom
Report by Dot Net staffer Zack Zimmerman
250 would be my guess for attendance, but it was really tough to tell as it was standing room only and the layout didn't make it easy to count. There was a cool underground feel to the venue. There was balcony, stage, and floor seating, all of which were full. There were also booths available with great views of the ring for any level ticket holder willing to spend a $10 food/drink purchase minimum. We had no issues spending the minimum, nor did anyone else, as all of the booths were full as well. Good crowd turnout.
1. Jon Davis beat Drew Gulak. Davis won after an offensive flurry finished with a lariat.
Lenny Leonard announced that they would be taking a short break to fix some technical issues with the iPPV feed.
2. Shane Strickland beat Caleb Konley. Strickland used a rollup after Larry Dallas and Trina Michaels came to ringside and distracted Konley.
3. Anthony Nese (w/Mr. A and a valet) beat Uhaa Nation. Nese got the win after a 450 splash. Booker Gabe Sapolsky seems to be high on Nese based on the way he's being featured. Good showing.
After entrances for the Chikara eight-man tag, it was announced that Jigsaw had been traded to the rudo team along with cash considerations in exchange for Ophidian and a 2015 Chikara WrestleFactory draft pick. A funny "only in Chikara" moment.
4. Jigsaw, Chuck Taylor, and the Batiri (Obaryon and Kodama) beat The Osirian Portal (Ophidian and Amasis), Fire Ant, and Frightmare. Fun match that got more time than expected. However the fun was overshadowed by a terribly botched finish when the referee called a two-count on what was clearly supposed to be the finish. Jigsaw then hit the Jig n Tonic on Ophidian for the win.
5. Akira Tozawa beat CIMA, EITA. And Tomahawk TT in a four-way to earn a title shot later in the show. Tozawa pinned CIMA with a running version of CIMA's Meteora. All the competitors seemed to be enjoying what they were doing in this one, with some really fun spots and interactions.
Open The Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano came to the ring and talked down to CIMA for coming up short. Thus continuing the slow build to CIMA's eventual title shot.
Jon Davis came down and laid out Tozawa. CIMA fought him to the back. While Christina Von Eerie was tending to Tozawa, Gargano gave her a hard kick to the ribs. Apparently, the match had already started so Gargano went right into the Garga-No Escape on Tozawa.
6. Open The Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano beat Akira Tozawa to retain the title by immediate ref stoppage with the Garga-No Escape. The crowd was not happy after this one. "Bullshit" chants that seemed directed more at the booking decision than Johnny Gargano.
Intermission. I spoke with several friends during intermission, all of whom were underwhelmed with the show up to this point. Several who traveled for the show were especially disappointed in the fact that the marquee title match ended in such a wonky fashion.
7. Trent Barreta beat Evolve Champion AR Fox. Barreta used a handful of tights while getting the pin in about five minutes. Trent said he deserves a title shot after beating the Evolve Champion. Fox went to the back and got his belt, accepting Trent's challenge.
8. Evolve Champion AR Fox beat Trent Barreta to retain the Evolve Championship. Fox reversed a Frankensteiner and won with a rollup. Trent said the way he sees it, they're tied 1-1, so the winner of the next fall would be the real winner and Evolve Champion.
9. Evolve Champion AR Fox beat Trent Barreta to retain the Evolve Championship with Lo Mein Pain. This was the best match of the three. If you put all three matches together, it was a very impressive showing.
Tony Nese's valet came out with a contract for a shot at Fox's title. Mr. A jumped Fox from behind. Fox eventually took a mic and said Nese could have his shot.
10. The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) beat the Inner-City Machine Guns (Ricochet and Rich Swann) to retain the United Gate Titles. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of any show with the ICMG is their "All Night Long" entrance routine, great reactions every time. The Bucks pinned Swann after More Bang for Your Buck. Very good tag match as expected. It went about 20 minutes, but still felt a bit shorter than anticipated. As we found out, that's because the show wasn't over...
After the loss, Ricochet took a mic and said that after two failed attempts at regaining the tag titles, it's time to focus on his singles career. He reminded everyone that he had a guaranteed title shot against a champion of his choosing per stipulation of winning the WrestleCon six-man tag.
Johnny Gargano came out and said that Ricochet did in-fact have a title shot, but Gargano's contract for this show was specifically for a defense against the winner of the four-way so he rejected Ricochet's challenge.
Enter Akira Tozawa to a great reaction. He seemed to have recovered from the beating before intermission. Gargano tried to back out, but Rich Swann forced him into the ring for a real title defense.
11. Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano beat Akira Tozawa to retain the Open The Freedom Gate Championship. Very good match with big spots and believable false-finishes. Tozawa continues to be the most over worker in DGUSA, as usual, having the fans rabidly behind him throughout the show and especially this match. Tozawa showed great heart and overcame several instances of Gargano cheating, but ultimately passed out in the Garga-No Escape.
After the match, Tozawa showed great emotion. He was crying in the ring and apologized to the fans for falling short. He got one final big reaction as he made his way to the back. Lenny Leonard thanked the fans and concluded the show.
Notes: A lot of this show felt reminiscent of late ECW, where wrestlers booked stipulations in their own matches and wrestlers who were standing in the ring would suddenly be joined by a referee and the bell would ring. I'm not a fan of having a passé regular "general manager," but this was the opposite where things felt too thrown-together on the fly.
Overall, I was really nervous up until the final couple of matches. There was a very underwhelming feeling amongst the crowd going into the tag title match, but that match along with the real title match seemed to raise people's opinions by the end of the show. The second half of the show gave people their money's worth and made it a pretty decent show, convolution aside.
Johnny Gargano's heel work was also a bright point of this show. As a babyface, Gargano was easy to get behind as the underdog, and after almost two years with the title, it's believable that his head would get too big. The turn feels natural and is being very well executed.
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