1/27 Dragon Gate USA Open the Golden Gate: Detailed live report of Cima & Ricochet defending the Open the United Gates Titles, Low Ki vs. BxB Hulk, The Young Bucks vs. Chuck Taylor & Scorpio Sky
By Will Pruett
The show started with one of the convention officials welcoming everyone and taking a shot at ROH for not wanting to come back to WrestleReunion this year. There were about 250-300 people at the show, far less than attended ROH’s WrestleReunion show at the same time last year.
1. Low Ki defeated BxB Hulk. I was surprised to see this going on as the opener since Low Ki was brought in as a special replacement. This was a fast paced match with some very stiff work. It only went about 12 minutes (the perfect length of time for an opener), but these guys worked hard from bell to bell.
There were quite a few hard chops and slaps to each other’s chests, something that would become a theme throughout the night. The finish came in a surprising manner with Low Ki hitting the Ki crusher, then the double foot stomp from the top rope and getting the clean win. It definitely seemed like Hulk could have kicked out and kept the near falls going.
2. The Young Bucks defeated Chuck Taylor and Scorpio Sky. Taylor’s original partner was scheduled to be Rich Swann, but Swann missed him flight. Taylor asked to just have a match against one of the Bucks, but they came out and said they were a package deal; therefore it is a two on one match. They attacked Taylor and Scorpio Sky ran out for the save and to make this a tag match.
The Bucks were at their hard hitting, high flying best in this match and Taylor and Sky matched that well. The crowd was into the Bucks as heels (which isn’t surprising, since they have been the lead heels in PWG, the lead LA based indie promotion) and loved Taylor and Sky.
This match broke down the way most tag matches in independent wrestling tend to with dives to the outside and intricate double team maneuvers, but it did so in a very entertaining way. The finish came with the Bucks hitting More Bang for Your Buck on Scorpio Sky for the win.
3. Masato Yoshino defeated Naruki Doi. I have never seen these two wrestle before this match and I have to admit that I am impressed. Yoshino may be the fasted wrestler I have ever seen in the ring. He runs the ropes with uncanny speed and intensity, which he also brings to his moves, giving them a sense of crispness.
Doi, who I believe was working as a heel, was a great opponent to ground and enhance Yoshino. They went about 20 to 25 minutes in a well-paced match that kept the fans into it (although I think most fans will stay into any match they can have dueling chants during). The finish came when Yoshino locked Doi into his x-shaped arms crossed submission (research told me that it is called “sol naciente”) and Doi somehow tapped without the use of his hands. The finish seemed a little sudden, but the match leading up to it was superb.
4. Sami Calihan defeated A.R. Fox an in anything goes tables match. Before the match, Fox cut a promo about Calihan taking out his mentor, Sabu, and how he wanted vengeance stemming from that attack. Cue Calihan to enter and Fox to dive over the top rope onto him to start off the match.
These guys worked an intense hardcore match that made me cringe at times. At one point, a metal barricade was set across the ring and the other barricades outside and Fox was back-dropped onto it, bending it slightly. Calihan then ended up lying on the barricade and Fox hit a dive off the top rope onto Calihan, bending it more. The final piece of barricade abuse came when Calihan power-bombed Fox over the top rope and onto the barricade in a dangerous (and likely unnecessarily so) spot.
Right after that, Fox was power-bombed through the table on the outside (which had its legs broken off from being thrown around so much). This match was exciting, but also seemed way too dangerous.
This brought on intermission, where Colt Cabana invited people to go to his $5 Wrestling comedy show about an hour after the DGUSA event ended.
5. Jon Davis defeated Caleb Konley. Konley was accompanied by some guy and two women. The crowd was not super into it (and no one knows why Konley needed a stable).
The action in this was surprisingly good. Davis slapped and chopped the heck out of Konley, leading to a handprint very clearly appearing on his back. The finish came about eight minutes in with Davis hitting a power-bomb on Konley for the win.
6. Akira Tozawa defeated PAC. This was a very intense match that made both guys look great. Tozawa came off like a technical ground wrestler, which PAC was a high flyer. This combination of styles worked pretty well together.
Early in the match Tozawa got busted open (that worried me seeing as we were in a hotel ball room which meant there was carpet on the floor). There were quite a few springboard dives in this one, including a sick one where Tozawa missed and ended up on the barricade in pain.
The finish of this match was Tozawa hitting German Suplex after rough looking German Suplex on PAC until PAC finally stayed down. Those Suplexes looked to be really legitimately painful, but the match was fairly solid.
7. Cima and Ricochet defeated Masaaki Mochizuki and Jimmy Susumu to retain the Open the United Gate Championships. This match started off wild, but then slowed down to build. It was the longest match of the night, most likely coming in around the 45 minute mark and it took the crowd some time to get into it. Oddly enough as the match went on we could occasionally hear the commentary coming from the back of the room and quite the hubbub at the vendor’s tables with people talking back there.
There were some amazing bumps taken in this match and tag team combinations that cannot be explained, they just have to be seen. This turned out to be the best match of the show.
After the main event, Akira Tozawa and BxB Hulk ran down and started beating up the United Gate champions. This brought out Low Ki to run them off. He then cut a rambling promo about each man in the ring and how he was looking forward to fighting them in DGUSA or EVOLVE this year. It was a pretty weak promo that eventually lead to a handshake between Low Ki and Cima and Low Ki leaving. It was probably a five-minute promo that should have been two minutes.
Cima then got on the mic and thanked everyone for coming the DGUSA.
Pruett’s Pause: This was a really fun card without a bad match in the bunch. It was a depressing turnout, but with WrestleReunion expanding their event lineup to three instead of two, I expected every event to suffer. The key thing that worked about this show and set it above other independent wrestling shows I have seen was the pacing. From top to bottom nothing overstayed it’s welcome (aside from Low Ki’s promo) and that is something that cannot be said about man independent shows.
If you’re in the mood for some solid wrestling, check it out when DGUSA puts it up on their on-demand site. It was a superb way to open the weekend. I’ll be back with results from the PWG show that will happen on Sunday!
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