Dragon Gate USA Open The Golden Gate 2013
Santa Maria, California 1/25/13
1.) Samuray del Sol vs. EITA: ***1/4
EITA made his first appearances for Dragon Gate USA during the last few shows of 2012. I'd say this was a pretty good opener. It seemed that these two worked pretty well together (which makes sense considering the lucha elements both have in their backgrounds) and it was a good way to start off the show.
2.) Ray Rosas vs. Brian Cage: **
These two are known for their appearances in PWG (Cage more so than Rosas obviously). This match pretty much went exactly the way you would expect. Rosas got a few chances to shine, but Cage had control for most of it and eventually got the win.
After the match, Larry Dallas comes out and signs Brian Cage to The Scene. When you look at this in hindsight, this was so stupid, since Cage ended up losing in FRAY on the next show and would only made a few appearances in Evolve later in the year. A complete waste if you ask me. Dragon Gate USA is the second promotion to miss the boat on Brian Cage (the first being TNA).
3.) Evolve Standings Match – Jon Davis vs. AR Fox vs. Chuck Taylor: ***1/4
Here we have an Evolve Standings Match that's essentially a lead in to the upcoming Evolve Title Tournament. It's a Three-Way Dance, so their are eliminations in this one. A pretty good match here. Anything Chuck Taylor and AR Fox did together was very solid. Davis added some but the match was just kind of fine until Davis got eliminated first. Then it picked up with Taylor vs. Fox until Taylor got the win to go to 10-5.
4) The Jimmy’s (Jimmy Susumu & Ryo Saito) vs. Johnny Gargano & Rich Swann: ***1/2
We have a one night only reunion of Ronin with Gargano & Swann teaming up here. The Jimmy's appeared at the last few Dragon Gate USA Shows of 2012, but here we have Jimmy Susumu instead of Genki Horiguchi. The match started off slow but things picked up as the match progressed. The Jimmy's got the win with Susumu pinning Gargano, so Susumu presumably gets an Open The Freedom Gate Title Shot some point, but as we know, that never really panned out. A pretty solid match.
5.) Vendetta Pro Showcase Match - Kevin Devine vs. Julian Cash: DUD
Vendetta Pro had put on a pre-show card before this show, hence why it's a Vendetta Pro Showcase. These two wrestle for about a minute before Jon Davis comes out and destroyed them both. Not much else to say.
6.) The Young Bucks vs. D.U.F. (Arik Cannon & Sami Callihan): ***1/2
This is the first appearance in Dragon Gate USA for The Young Bucks in quite some time. They really got to show just why they are arguably The Best Tag Team in the World. Just really good action from start to finish in what was probably one of the best performances the D.U.F. has had in tag team competition. The Young Bucks get the win in an exciting tag team affair.
7.) Akira Tozawa vs. John Morrison: ***3/4
Morrison is making a one time appearance for Dragon Gate USA, and Akira Tozawa answered the open contract Morrison sent to Dragon Gate in Japan. I really enjoyed this match. Tozawa has gotten to the point where he's one of those guys that will always have a great match no matter who he is wrestling. They seemed to wrestle a bit of a slower pace (since Morrison is more familiar with WWE's in-ring style) but it was still pretty good. Morrison picks up the win with the Starship Pain.
After the match, The Young Bucks come out and attack John Morrison, but AR Fox comes out for the save. Morrison & Fox send The Young Bucks packing and celebrate to close the show.
Not the best show in the world, but it was still a pretty entertaining one. If you're fans of Morrison and/or Tozawa, then I think this show is worth seeing. The rest of the card doesn't have anything must see, but is, for the most part, relatively consistent. The two tag team matches were pretty good, plus the Evolve Standings Match and the opener were both fine as well. The only real complaint I have here is that the guys who are having the big No Rope Match the next night (Gargano & Davis) both lost on this show. Other than that, a nice way to start 2013 for Dragon Gate USA.