Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dragon Gate USA Enter The Dragon: Third Anniversary Celebration Review

New Tag Team Champions Will Be Crowned!!

Dragon Gate USA Enter The Dragon: Third Anniversary Celebration
Chicago, Illinois 7/29/12

The show starts off with Chuck Taylor & Jake Manning in the ring. Taylor mentions they've been looking for the Swamp Monster (who's been missing apparently) and to prepare for their search, he wants Manning to show everyone how to make a fire. As an Eagle Scout, I really enjoy Manning's Man Scout Gimmick. As he's setting up a tipi with his firewood, MASADA comes out and knocks down his pile, leading to our opening match.

1.) MASADA vs. Jake Manning: *

Nothing really much to this one. MASADA gets the win in what was pretty much a squash.

2.) The Scene (Caleb Konley & Scott Reed with Larry Dallas) vs. Zero Gravity: **1/2

Zero Gravity are regulars in AAW. It was a fine tag team match, but The Scene just do not interest me at all as a team.

3.) Samuray del Sol vs. Shane Hollister: **1/2

Hollister is also an AAW regular. This was a pretty entertaining match, but it really short (only five or six minutes). I think they could have done more if they had a few more minutes. Still very solid for what it was.

4.) The D.U.F. (Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez) vs. The Super Smash Brothers: ***

This match was a good tag team match, though at the same time, I feel like it could have been a little bit better. I really like the Smash Brothers, and I'm glad to see them in Dragon Gate USA.

After the match, Player Uno says the Smash Brothers are coming for the United Gate Tag Team Titles. This brings out Chuck Taylor & The Swamp Monster, Ricochet, and The Scene, who along with SSB & The D.U.F., lay their claim to the titles.

Chuck Taylor & The Swamp Monster remain in the ring after the other teams had exited. The Kentucky Gentleman calls out Gargano for their I Quit Match, but The Swamp Monster attacks Chuck Taylor!! Turns out Gargano disguised himself as The Swamp Monster, and the next match is underway!

5.) Non-Title I Quit Match – Johnny Gargano vs. Chuck Taylor: ****1/4

I really enjoyed this match. Gargano & Taylor pulled out everything they had and it made for a really awesome match. Tables, Ladders, Chairs, Thumbtacks, Guardrails, and Barbed Wire were all used at some point, and their were plenty of awesome spots in this one. The match ends when Gargano puts Taylor in Barbed-Wired-Gargano Escape and makes him say I Quit. The Match of the Night for sure and a great match to end the Gargano/Taylor feud. 

6.) YAMATO vs. Jon Davis: ***1/4

Davis is doing a self-imposed stipulation where he will retire if he loses. He's facing a former Open The Freedom Gate Champion in YAMATO. The match itself was actually a good match, but the crowd did not care about Jon Davis at all. They were much more into YAMATO, which didn't bode well for Davis and his storyline. Davis gets the win, but the crowd barely reacts.

After the match, Davis reiterates his desire for an Evolve Title.

7.) El Generico vs. Akira Tozawa (with Christina Von Eerie): ***3/4

This match came about after what happened at Evolve 14, where Von Eerie repeatedly slapped El Generico, which led to her getting a Yakuza Kick. The match itself was really good, and it was a lot of fun to watch, though Christina Von Eerie's constant interference was annoyed. I really enjoy Von Eerie, but she interfered way too much here. It would eventually leave to Tozawa getting the win.

8.) Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles – CIMA & AR Fox vs. Ricochet & Rich Swann: ****

To say the Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles were in flux through much of 2012 would be a huge understatement. CIMA & Ricochet entered 2012 as the champions, but were stripped after CIMA suffered a neck injury on the first show of their WrestleMania Weekend Triple Shot, Heat. Ricochet & Masato Yoshino beat Johnny Gargano & Chuck Taylor on the second show of the weekend, Open The Ultimate Gate, to win the vacant titles. CIMA then wrestles the next night at Mercury Rising, which to me is really confusing. He was stripped due to an injury but then wrestles the next day? Then the titles were stripped again because Yoshino was no longer available to come to the US for the rest of 2012 (for some reason) and therefore could not defend the titles. So CIMA & Ricochet are allowed to pick their own partners, and they choose AR Fox & Rich Swann, respectively.

Now onto the match itself, it was a really good main event. All of these four are great wrestlers and they once again proved why here. Lots of great action. The ending was kind of sudden, but the match itself was still very good. CIMA & AR Fox win the Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles.

After the match, CIMA puts over his new partner, AR Fox, saying he's the new best high flyer in the world. Ricochet takes offense to this, saying he is better and runs down Fox verbally. Fox then challenges Ricochet to a match at the next Evolve Show.

Overall: 8.0/10

This was a pretty good show, though at the same time, it felt....uneven, I guess you could say. Pretty much the entire first half of the show was very average match quality wise, but it really picked up in the second half. The Gargano/Taylor I Quit Match was the MOTN for sure and matches like Generico/Tozawa & the Main Event were really good, despite minor gripes. Overall, it was a very solid show from Dragon Gate USA.

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