Monday, December 30, 2013

Dragon Gate USA Freedom Fight 2013 Review

Dragon Gate USA Needs A Hero!

Dragon Gate USA Freedom Fight 2013
Brooklyn, New York 11/17/13

1.) Jon Davis vs. Steven Walters: **1/2

Haven't heard much about Steven Walters. The match itself was actually pretty decent. Not the most electrifying opener, but it was fine for what it was. I have no idea what they're doing with Davis at the moment.

2.) "Mr. Touchdown" Mark Angelosetti vs. Jervis Cottonbelly: **

Seeing Jervis Cottonbelly in Dragon Gate USA seems.....out of place? Anyway, the match itself was just ok. More of a showcase for Mr. Touchdown.

3.) Chuck Taylor vs. Jimmy Susumu: **3/4

This did feature a bit of comedy as they mess around with Susumu's hoodie. It was actually quite entertaining. The match itself was solid. A perfect undercard match.

4.) Non-Title Three Way Elimination Match - The Bravado Brothers vs. Andrew Everett & Caleb Konley vs. The Electric Cherry Starship Project (Fire Ant & Jigsaw): ***1/2

The match is non-title because The Bravados dethroned The Young Bucks the night before in Queens, NY to become the new Open The United Gate Tag Team Champions. I actually dug this match a lot. I really like all six guys so it was really easy for me to get into it. Everett & Konley went out first courtesy of Jigsaw & Fire Ant, but The Bravados would eliminate them to win the match.

After the match, Jigsaw superkicks Fire Ant and says he was nothing but dead weight. I found this kind of weird since Jigsaw appeared in this very same venue in Brooklyn two months earlier at Evolve 24 as a heel, teaming with his Pieces of Hate partner The Shard, then wrestles here as a face, with Fire Ant (a very established babyface), and then turns heel on him after their match. Continuity much?

5.) Ricochet vs. Anthony Nese (with Su Yung & Mr. A): ***1/2

This match came about after Nese & Company laid out Ricochet at the end of Evolve 24. I recall it being slow to start, but eventually picking up steam and getting better as it went on. Of course the numbers on the outside with Su Yung & Mr. A caught up with Ricochet, and Anthony Nese gets the win.

6.) Rich Swann vs. Trent Baretta: ****

These two had a very goof match in FIP apparently, resulting in this rematch. I gotta say, this match rocked!! I don't know what it is exactly, but Swann & Baretta have really good chemistry and they seemed to mesh very well with each other. Great action in this one as Swann gets the big victory.

7.) Masaaki Mochizuki & Evolve Champion AR Fox vs. The Young Bucks: ***1/2

Fox & The Young Bucks have faced each other numerous times in 2013, in tag matches (with many different partners for Fox), Evolve Title Matches, Ladder FRAYS!, even the first ever Gate To Heaven Match. This time around, Fox has Masaaki Mochizuki as his parter. A pretty good match here. The action was very solid, as only would expect from these four, but for some reason, I thought it would be a little bit better. Still, this match was very good.

Before the main event, we get "The Roast of Johnny Gargano", hosted by Johnny Gargano. It's basically Gargano's attempt to get people to praise him, but everyone from the fans, to Ricochet (who adds that he still has a title shot in his pocket) to his former Ronin Stablemates Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann. This horrible segment FINALLY leads to Chris Hero coming through the crowd to a standing ovation for the Main Event.

8.) Open The Freedom Gate Title - Johnny Gargano vs. Chris Hero: ****1/4

Hero's just coming off being released by WWE and is now in the main event of Dragon Gate USA's last show of 2013. This was an awesome main event! It started really hot with Hero hitting a few big moves early. It then slowed down a bit, but picked right back up for the rest of the match. One thing I loved about this was that you really didn't know who was going to win. Their were several moments where Hero could have easily won the match. They even had this moment where Gargano hit Hero with the Pedigree, and Hero kicked out at one (Obviously a shot at Triple H). Eventually, Gargano was able to somehow pull out the win and continue with his title reign, which has now eclipsed two years.

After the match, Hero thanks the fans, and puts over Dragon Gate USA and Independent Wrestling in general (specifically the young talent). He's back, alright. AR Fox then comes out and says he can have an Evolve Title Shot whenever he wants it. Hero finally concludes by thanking the fans once again to end the show.

Overall: 8.25/10

This was, on the whole, a pretty good show and a nice way to cap off 2013 for Dragon Gate USA. Much like Evolve 24, the undercard was kind of average, but one it hit a certain point (in this case, the three-way tag), it really picked up. You had three very solid matches and two really great matches, one of which features the return of Chris Hero. I think that this show is well worth the price ticket, and ended the year on a high note as Dragon Gate USA & Evolve look to 2014.

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