Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dragon Gate USA Open The Ultimate Gate 2013 Review

Johnny Gargano faces his toughest challenge yet in the form of Shingo!!!

Dragon Gate USA Open The Ultimate Gate 2013
Secaucus, New Jersey 4/6/13

1.) Brian Kendrick vs. Rich Swann: **3/4

Rich Swann comes out signing "All Night Long", so we're already off to a good start! He's facing off against Brian Kendrick. A fine opener. Nothing really fancy, but solid for what it was. Swann gets the win.

Following the match, as Kendrick is coming to after his loss, Chuck Taylor comes out. He berates Kendrick, who criticizing the Gentlemen's Club for not being serious enough and felt they were wasting their talents goofing off. Kendrick tells Taylor that he will find out what he's all about tomorrow night before leaving. Taylor then calls out his opponents for the Six Way Freestyle.

2.) Six Way Freestyle – Chuck Taylor vs. Arik Cannon vs. Jigsaw vs. Anthony Nese vs. Fire Ant vs. Shane Strickland: ***1/2

We certainly have an interesting array of competitors in this match. This was a pretty entertaining match. Really fun showcase off all six guys. The one glaring downer was a botched dive attempt (botched twice, really) by Shane Strickland. Other than that, a very enjoyable match. Anthony Nese survives the chaos and gets the win. 

3.) Scot Reed (with Larry Dallas) vs. Derek Ryze: *

Not really much to say here. Basically a squash for Reed.

After the match, Caleb Konley comes out and outs down a verbal tirade on The Scene, saying it was for losers and that he was sick of it. He asks Reed to join him in leaving The Scene, but Reed attacks Konley instead. The two brawl and Konley gets the upper hand. He eventually finds himself alone in the ring with Larry Dallas, but allows Marti Belle to go after Dallas first!! After she beats him up for a bit, Konley lays Dallas out, officially ending his tenure with The Scene.

4.) Jon Davis vs. Trent Baretta: **1/4

Originally, Samuray del Sol was supposed to face Davis, who attacked him at Heat 2013, but he was pulled due to injury (presumably at Evolve 19), so Trent Baretta is making his Dragon Gate USA debut here instead. I should note that, during Davis' excruciatingly long entrance, he stared at a fan in the front row, who stood up and help up his iPhone to Davis, showing that he was running a timer on his phone for how long Davis' Entrance took as Davis just stared at him. I legit love that guy. The match itself was just ok. The crowd does not care about Davis or this match. It ends when Davis gets DQ'ed for refusing to stop beating up Trent in the corner, and then beats up the referee and Trent after the match (which was apparently the same thing the night before). Davis cuts a promo saying he has nothing to lose, and again, the crowd doesn't care. He challenges anyone in the back to come out and face him. The crowd chants for Super Dragon and Hulk Hogan, but Davis says he'd just beat them up and leaves. Well, I think it can be safely said that this Jon Davis push was a major flop. Honestly don't understand the appeal of this guy out of The Dark City Fight Club.

5.) EITA & Tomahawk T.T. vs. The Super Smash Brothers: ****

Finally, after a few dreadful bits, we get to the really good part of the show. This is the Dragon Gate USA debut for Tomahawk T.T., who is a rising Dragon Gate star along with EITA. These two teams had a pretty great match. The Super Smash Brothers are always entertaining to watch, but EITA & Tomahawk T.T. were equally as impressive. Lots of great back & forth action that really brought the crowd back into the show. EITA & Tomahawk T.T. get the win after a very cool finishing sequence. They will be teaming up with CIMA in the annual Dragon Gate Six-Man Tag the next night.

6.) Akira Tozawa (with Christina Von Eerie) vs. Ricochet: ****1/2

Here we have two of the best wrestlers not just in Dragon Gate, but the entire world. This was an incredible match. When you get two guys of this caliber in here, you know it's going to be awesome, and they definitely killed it!! Even Christina Von Eerie got a bit physical with Ricochet, going as far as suplexing him on the floor! Ricochet was able to overcome all this and get the win over Tozawa in an unbelievable match.

7.) Sami Callihan vs. Uhaa Nation: ***

Interesting match up here. I've seen some people say they weren't really high on the match, but I had no problems with it. On the whole, it was a fine match, and it gave the crowd a bit of a breather between big matches. Uhaa Nation gets the win with the Uhaa Combination.

8.) Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles – CIMA & AR Fox vs. The Young Bucks: ****

The Young Bucks earned this title show after going 2-1 during the California Triple Shot in January. Much like the earlier tag team match, I thought this was really enjoying. It's honestly impossible for anyone not to enjoy a Young Bucks match, and they worked pretty well against CIMA & AR Fox, who themselves obviously worked well as a team, being the champions. It was a little show to start, but picked up a good deal by the end. In the end though, The Young Bucks were able to secure the win with More Bang For Your Buck and the Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles!!

9.) Open The Freedom Gate Title – Johnny Gargano vs. Shingo: ****1/2

This is Shingo's first appearance in Dragon Gate USA in nearly two years. The crowd is really into him. Gargano comes into this having held his title for over 500 days. All I have to say was that this match was freaking amazing!!!! It was just an incredible thrill ride from start to finish. Their were several points where either main could have easily won the match, and the crowd got louder & louder after every big move. Then the controversy started. Towards the end, the referee got knocked down inadvertently by a elbow from Johnny Gargano. With the referee down, Gargano kicks Shingo low and then proceeds to choke him with a string he pulled out of his tights. Gargano locks in the GargaNo Escape and quickly stuffs the string back into his tights after the referee calls for the bell. I think the ending came off better on the DVD, but apparently the live crowd were not happy with it at all, so I decided to knock the rating down by 1/4* because of the controversial feelings towards the ending. Otherwise, it was an amazing match.

After his victory, Gargano gives his usual babyface speech, asking the crowd if they enjoyed the show, telling the crowd that it was an honor to perform for them and hoped they drove home safely. 

Overall: 9.25/10

I thought this was a really great show. Definitely one of the best shows Dragon Gate USA has put on in a while. The first half of the show (specifically the first four matches) had a high point with the Six Way Freestyle but for the most part was average at best, but once the second half hit, things really picked up. You have four ****+ matches, which is just incredible. The two tag team matches were really fun & entertaining, and then Ricochet/Tozawa and the Open The Freedom Gate Title Match both were insanely awesome. I'm not going to say much on the controversial finish to the Main Event, since I think you should see it for yourself and come to your own opinions on it. On the whole though, this show was simply amazing, and easily worth seeking out.

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