Friday, June 20, 2014

Dragon Gate USA Open The Ultimate Gate 2014 Review

Chris Hero goes to war with Masato Tanaka and Ricochet challenges Johnny Gargano!!

Dragon Gate USA Open The Ultimate Gate 2014
New Orleans, Louisiana 4/4/14

1.) Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles - The Bravado Brothers (with Moose) vs. The Premiere Athlete Brand (Anthony Nese & Caleb Konley with Su Yung & Mr. A): **1/2

Here we have a match that.....seems very strange. Why are we getting a battle between the top two heel teams? It doesn't make a lot of sense. Then we saw The Bravado Brothers essentially worked this match as babyfaces. Again, makes absolutely no sense. At one point, Moose & Mr. A got involved. The match itself was decent enough, and The Bravado Brothers retain the Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles.

After the match, The Premiere Athlete Brand verbally berate Mr. A about costing them matches. This leads into...

2.) AR Fox vs. Mr. A (with Su Yung): 1/2*

So yeah, why is this match happening? Why is Mr. A wrestling?! Why are AR Fox's talents being wasted?! I just don't understand. But wait, this match gets even crazier (in a bad way). SHINE Champion Ivelisse comes out and brawls with Su Yung (and we get that God Awful "Catfight" line again). Then, Larry Dallas comes out, and who does he have with him? TEDDY HART!!! Yes, that Teddy Hart, who also brought along his freaking CAT with him!! What is going on?!?! Hart attacks both AR Fox & Mr. A, and for some reason the referee doesn't call for the DQ. AR Fox finally is able to put away Mr. A and this disaster of a match was over. The Premiere Athlete Brand have yet to win a match this weekend.

3.) Biff Busick vs. Rich Swann: ***

After the mess that was the first two matches, we finally got back to some wrestling. This was a pretty solid match. A clash of styles for sure, but good wrestling nonetheless. Swann is able to pick up the win.

4.) The Colony (Fire Ant & Green Ant) vs. The Gentlemen's Club (Chuck Taylor & Drew Gulak): ***1/4

Very interesting matchup. All these guys are entertaining wrestlers, and it was no surprise that this was an entertaining match. Three out of the four are CHIKARA regulars so it was no surprise that they put out a solid performance. The Colony is able to pick up the win over The Gentlemen's Club. Dragon Gate USA & Evolve need some help with their tag team division, and establishing The Colony as potential contenders certainly helps.

After the match, a visibly angry Drew Gulak attacks Chuck Taylor and cuts a promo basically saying The Gentlemen's Club is over and done with.

5.) Low Ki vs. Trent Baretta: ***1/2

Dragon Gate USA decided to bring in Low Ki (who had apparently retired, but decided to come out of it) as sort of an apology for there being no Dragon Gate Talent on these shows. Despite many people's opinions on Low Ki (including myself), he put on a very good match with Trent Baretta. Very good action from both guys. To the surprise of many, Trent Baretta not only wins the match, but wins cleanly!! Pretty solid stuff.

6.) Evolve Champion Chris Hero vs. Masato Tanaka: ****1/2

Masato Tanaka coming in was also a make good for the lack of Dragon Gate Talent. This was an AWESOME Match. I feel like, after watching this match, that Hero & Tanaka were almost perfect opponents for each other. Tanaka was especially impressive, when you consider that he's 41 Years Old and all of the punishment he's taken in his career. Great hard hitting action. Tanaka gets the win in a fantastic match.

7.) Open The Freedom Gate Title - Johnny Gargano vs. Ricochet: ****3/4

Ricochet got this title shot when he scored the winning fall in the Dragon Gate Six Man Tag from last year's WrestleMania Weekend (where the winner of the fall I believe got a Title Shot at any title they wanted or got to book any match they wanted). Ricochet was also coming off of winning the Open The Dream Gate Title in Japan (Dragon Gate's Main Title) a few weeks earlier (the first Gaijin to win that title). Gargano has been Open The Freedom Gate Champion since November 2011. This was simply an amazing, fantastic match!!! Both these guys are two of the best in the world, and they certainly proved it in this match. Just an outstanding match from start to finish. Even with the ref bump towards the end, I think it added more drama to the match. The crowd was really into it as well, especially after the numerous near falls. After a great exchange, Ricochet is able to put Gargano away with The Benadryller to finally end the match and wins The Open The Freedom Gate Title!!!! Everyone needs to see this match. It's incredibly awesome.

Following the match, the faces on the roster come out and celebrate with Ricochet as the show goes off the air.

Overall: 8.5/10

After a shaky start to the weekend with Evolve 28, Dragon Gate USA put out a pretty great show. Despite having the show start off a little rocky with two questionable matches (and the appearance of Teddy Hart), every match after that, starting with Biff Busick vs. Rich Swann, got better than the previous match, and my ratings reflect that. This is what Dragon Gate USA needs to do. Don't go overboard with the booking. Just put guys together in a match and let them wrestle. You don't need to do ridiculous stuff with Teddy Hart & Larry Dallas. Great wrestling is what Dragon Gate USA & Evolve were built on. That's what other independent promotions like Ring of Honor & PWG were built on. When you just let the guys wrestle, you have a great shows like this where you had a few undercard matches that were solid, a fantastic semi main event (Hero/Tanaka), and a Main Event that is definitely a Match Of The Year Candidate. So in summary, this show had a rough start, but really picked up and had two matches that delivered in every conceivable way (two matches well worth your money), and included a great moment in Ricochet ending Gargano's nearly two and a half year title reign.

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