Written by: McXal
Dragon Gate USA – Untouchable 2010 – 25th September 2010
DGUSA returns to Chicago for another pay-per-view taping, and another strong line-up in store. The ppv portion of the show features Jon Moxley and Jimmy Jacobs in a Street Fight, Dragon Kid looking for revenge on Shingo for turning on him to join Kamikaze, and a tag team main event of World-1’s Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi taking on the Warriors of CIMA and Ricochet, who has enjoyed whirlwind success off the back of his debut at the last show. There’s also a hugely special dark match main event with Bryan Danielson, who returned to the WWE at Summerslam 2010, fulfilling his remaining independent dates and saying goodbye to DGUSA with a two high profile singles bouts. He has Jon Moxley tomorrow in Milwaukee, but tonight he’s signed up to face former Open The Dream Gate Champion YAMATO. Lets join Lenny Leonard and Leonard Chikarason in Chicago, IL
SIDENOTE – In the name of controlling expenses in the difficult economic climate, Dragon Gate USA has slightly altered their approach to DVD production. Their events are no longer going to be double disc sets (although they’d also apparently burnt through much of their ‘bonus content’ back catalogue by this stage, negating the need for an extra disc anyway) to save on the expense of producing two DVD’s per release. It also means less packaging costs, and this weekend’s events mark the first two “new style” releases. Essentially it’s still the cardboard, ‘deluxe’ packaging, only it’s now a slimline single-DVD version. I’m not a fan. They still look superb, but the reduction in packaging has made them far more vulnerable. My copies of Untouchable 2010, and Way Of The Ronin had both become dislodged from the DVD fastening inside their cases in transit thanks to the reduced protection the packaging now offers them. In both cases the fastening had actually broken with the shards having come loose and scratched the back of my DVD’s. I wound up taking them to a local Blockbusters store to give them a clean and ‘scratch repair treatment’, they were that bad, since I really want to watch these shows, and don’t want to wait weeks and fork out to send them back to the US for DGUSA to inspect before sending out replacements. So yeah, the packaging still looks tremendous, unfortunately for us international customers, it’s a b*tch. I’m hoping it was a rough flight or something, since I’m not cool with having to pay to have every one of my new DGUSA purchases cleaned up professionally thanks to sh*tty packaging scratching the hell out of them.
Since they’re on the same DVD this time, I actually took the time to check out the bonus features. There’s a fun little match between Arik Cannon and Kyle O’Reilly, who I’ve not seen before, which is well worth a watch. The main selling point is a terrific ‘warts and all’ self-documentary series by Jimmy Jacobs. He talks about being a legitimate drug addict during the entire run with Age Of The Fall. Interestingly, he all but reveals he quit ROH after a series of locker room incidents including wrestling drunk, not bringing his gear, getting in locker room fights and generally being a jerk. It also probably explains why he’s been so inconsistent in the ring in 2009. A big part of the selling point of DGUSA was that he could start ‘wrestling’ after spending much of his last run in Ring Of Honor bleeding and doing hardcore stuff. He also has a closet full of his old wrestling sh*t, including a rack of ring jackets. It’s cool to see he kept the jacket he wore during AOTF’s debut.
BxB Hulk comes out to open the show, but ends up getting attacked by his own dancing girl – who it turns out has been recruited by Jon Moxley.
BxB Hulk vs Akira Tozawa vs Mike Quackenbush
The Open The Freedom Gate Championship is not on the line here, but there’s plenty of pride at stake. As part of Kamikaze USA, Tozawa may find himself as a marked man. Quack has an intense dislike of that group, going back to the disrespect YAMATO and Akuma showed Chikara at Open The Historic Gate…whilst Hulk has found himself the target of multiple attacks from them in recent shows.
Quack comes out to save Hulk from Tozawa and sends him to the floor for a somersault senton. Following that Akira decides to take a time-out on the floor whilst Quackenbush and BxB fight. Eventually the Kamikaze member pounces and comes from nowhere to blindside Hulk with a big clothesline. Quackenbush works BxB’s legs, looking to work himself into contention for a Freedom Gate shot apparently, and that’s something the opportunistic Tozawa continues by re-entering proceedings once again to dropkick Hulk’s leg. Anklelock into a Figure 4 from Mike as he forms an unlikely unit with the Kamikaze guy. Hulk drop Akira with a missile dropkick then a standing corkscrew senton for 2. NECK DROP DRIVER from Tozawa to Quackenbush gets 2. Quack to the top rope and lands a swanton for his own nearfall. QDIII…Hulk breaks the fall. Red Star Press from BxB, but he’s kept at bay with another leg submission from Mike. Tozawa GERMAN SUPERPLEXES BxB onto his bad leg…but still Huk decides not to sell it. Superkick into the EVO wins it for BxB at 11:10
Rating – * – This really wasn’t suited to my taste at all. BxB Hulk’s selling is always pretty ropey, but it degenerated to outright horrible here, with him selling a leg at times, no-selling it when he wanted to do some cool moves, then going BACK to selling it for no reason. The match format with one in, one out constantly, Quack seemingly working with a Kamikaze USA guy having supposedly hated them for the last year pissed me off too. In essence, it was an average match, with a whole bunch of other factors combining to make this a generally unenjoyable experience. Perhaps my least favourite DGUSA match…actually, maybe not. That ‘Salute To Skayde’ still gives me nightmares…
Hulk grabs a mic to invite Kamikaze to come and take his title from him if they think they can…
In the locker room the camera man asks for a promo with Chuck Taylor…whilst CIMA walks in to announce that the American representative for Warriors is Ricochet. Johnny Gargano is left on the sidelines looking devastated!
Da Soul Touchaz vs Brodie Lee
The Touchaz are a trio of workers from the Chicago area who have a surprisingly over gimmick, and a vocal corner man who seems like a useful version of Julius Smokes. Given that Brodie Lee showed up at the last show and absolutely decimated everything in his path, you slightly fear for what he’ll do to them though…
I have no idea what their names are, so I’ll call them Tall Toucha, Short Toucha and Fat Toucha. Lee drops Tall on his head with a suplex. Short bandana Toucha (Acid Jazz apparently) tries to spit some mist but gets superkicked. Fatty Toucha (Willie Richardson) runs in to hit a FATTY POOOOUNCE! It’s a temporary respite though as Lee drops Jazz with the Truck Stop to win at 01:56
Rating – * – Perfunctory squash. It’s cool to see Lee being given the push as the ‘big man’ of the promotion, although I’m hoping his work has improved since his 2008/9 run in ROH which wasn’t up to much. Da Soul Touchaz looked like a fun and unique act, and seem to offer far more to DGUSA than someone like Drake Younger
C-Redd, the Touchaz manager, gets battered with the Big Boot to put the gloss on it. Lee takes the stick and re-iterates his promise to come for Japanese talent tonight.
Shingo vs Dragon Kid
A video package documents the US-based history between these two. When DGUSA started they were friends and team-mates…which was all tossed aside when Shingo turned on Kid to join Kamikaze. They met in a keenly fought tag battle at Uprising, but this is their first American singles match
Dragon Kid randomly starts the match dancing like Jack Evans…so Shingo punts him in the spine. He takes a good minute of punishment as a result of that goofy dance, then goes for a 619 and gets caught into a POWERSLAM ON THE APRON! Shingo drops him face-first into the apron moments later to compound his total dominance over his former partner. Kid tries to fire back with a chop so Shingo HEADBUTTS him to the floor before continuing to clobber on the back of the neck. Swinging cobra clutch slam next, followed by a standing senton bomb and a bodyscissors as the powerful athlete totally negates the DK’s speed. At last Dragon manages to springboard into a flying headscissors, and capitalises further with the Bermuda Triangle moonsault to the floor. Tilta-whirl DDT puts Shingo down for 2. Kid notices Shingo favouring his arm, and shows terrific intelligence by going straight for the Cristo. But he’s still far smaller, and Shingo’s size enables him to power up into an urinage backbreaker. Shingo blocks a hurricanrana with powerbomb to the turnbuckles then catches him bouncing back to deliver an alley-oop for 2. Kid hits back with a SUPER Ace crusher then the Ultra Rana and gets an even closer 2. He goes for another rana and is caught into the DVD position but blocks the second rope DVD. Shingo counters the super hurricanrana…BACK TO THE SECOND ROPE DVD! DRAGON KICKS OUT! Last Falconry countered…Shingo Lariato ducked once. SHINGO LARIATO DROPS KID ON HIS NECK! MADE IN JAPAN NAILED! TWO AGAIN! LAST FALCONRY! Shingo finally puts DK down in 15:23
Rating – **** – Enjoyable match, and a nice combination of the archetypal ‘size vs speed’ match incorporated with the classic Dragon Gate high spots and frantic finishing sequences. Personally I thought Shingo’s aggression towards his former partner was what made this match memorable, from really angry headbutts, right the way through to his PUMPING Last Falconry finish. Hopefully we’ll get more matches out of this rivalry as they’ve got great chemistry
Jon Moxley vs Jimmy Jacobs – Street Fight
These two have basically been at odds since Jacobs came to Dragon Gate USA, starting when Jacobs had issues with Brian Kendrick and Moxley sided with Spanky. Like Jacobs said in his interviews, he sees a lot of his old self in Mox, but from Jon attacking Lacey in Chicago, to the two of them fighting in Canada, to Jacobs coming out and attacking Moxley during the Kamikaze USA vs Chikara Sekigun 8-man, we’ve reached the stage were these guys need a fight to settle their differences. Jon Moxley has competed in CZW, and can recently boast a singles victory over hardcore icon Tommy Dreamer, whilst Jimmy had some of the best brawls in recent memory on the indy circuit a couple of years ago with Age Of The Fall in Ring Of Honor. He came to DGUSA to wrestle, not fight…but needs must
Jacobs comes out wearing the bloody Age Of The Fall debut coat, and carrying the chain with which he hung Jay Briscoe in 2007. But he remembers a time he was even crazier than that period of his career. Yes folks, tonight it’s the RETURN OF HUSS! The fuzzy boots are back folks! STAGE DIVE BY JACOBS! They fight through the crowd, although the lighting isn’t brilliant, it’s easy to see Jimmy leap off a chair into a flying elbow drop to a dazed Moxley on the floor. Moxley’s random broad for the evening tries to distract Jacobs…but Jimmy steps aside and watches Mox DESTROY his valet with a Yakuza kick. SPEAR…END TIME! Moxley busts out an AWESOME counter to the release suplex. He uses the chain to choke and rake the face of Jacobs, only for Jimmy to start no-selling. BERSERKER BOOT gets 2! Jon score with a superplex and goes for the chain again, only for Jacobs to pull out two railroad spikes. SPIKES TO MOXLEY’S HEAD! He uses the chain to hang Mox in the ropes then hits the senton bomb for 2. Contra Code gets 2 as well, even after another spike to the head. END TIME WITH THE CHAIN! Yamato invades the ring to save his leader and lays Jacobs out with a brainbuster. Brodie Lee, former Age Of The Fall ally of Jacobs arrives…AND BOOTS YAMATO! Lee gets the Japanese scalp he’s been promising. Moxley blocks the spear to the face and delivers a full nelson faceplant (didn’t catch that move’s name). He chains Jimmy’s coat over his head, blinding him for REPEATED UNPROTECTED CHAIR SHOTS! Moxley wins at 13:08
Rating – *** – That was good fun, and that finish from Moxley, although possibly unspectacular, was such a sinister and vicious way to finish a grudge match. The work was solid, and I enjoyed all the references to Jimmy Jacobs’ past as the bout progressed…however, I think my core concern was that this feud hasn’t gone on for long enough, or produced enough Jacobs/Moxley interaction to warrant this sort of match just yet. I feel like we skipped several chapters, and therefore didn’t quite get the emotional connection with the match that I perhaps should have done.
Rich Swann vs Drake Younger vs Chuck Taylor vs Johnny Gargano
At Enter The Dragon 2010, a throwaway four-way ‘freestyle’ match like this was so impressive that it nearly stole the show. Chuck Taylor picked up the win in that one, and is joined tonight by three other American talents who impressed at the DGUSA birthday bash. Swann debuted and looked like a highly capable athlete after impressing in an afternoon seminar, whilst Gargano and Younger were involved in losing efforts against top name Dragon Gate Japan talents in CIMA and Naruki Doi. Who gets to be the star and secure future bookings?
Gargano runs away from Younger, but after Drake gets preoccupied with Tayor, Johnny slides back in to blindside him. Younger fights them off, then hits a capture suplex on Swann. LAWN DART INTO THE RAILINGS from Gargano to Younger. PHOENIX SPLASH TO THE FLOOR BY SWANN! Gargano cuts Rich’s momentum short with a slingshot spear and leaves Swann in position for an Asai moonsault from Chucky. Swann springboards OFF Taylor’s back into a flying headscissors on Johnny. With Gargano gone Taylor decides to wear Rich down by working an abdominal stretch. Swann goes for a standing moonsault on Gargano, who punts him off in mid-air. ELEVATED DDT TO GERMAN SUPLEX COMBO from Taylor and Gargano…but their alliance comes unglued when they argue about who needs the pin. RED STAR PRESS off Gargano’s back. STANDING 450 DOUBLE STOMP! TAYLOR SAVES! That double stomp wasn’t intentional by the way – it looked disgusting. Sole Food from Taylor, who eats the HALF NELSON SUPLEX from Drake moments later. More big strikes leave all four down at 9 minutes. DRAKE’S LANDING for Swann but Johnny saves before the victory. Taylor pounces to hit the AWFUL WAFFLE on Drake to win at 10:26
Rating – *** – It lacked the sizzle and crisp execution of the Enter The Dragon 2010 freestyle, but this was still good for a cheap laugh. I liked Gargano and Taylor as the cocky pricks who dominated the match, whilst Swann made a tremendous whipping boy. Still not sure what Drake brings to the table though, he looks painfully average.
CIMA/Ricochet vs Masato Yoshino/Naruki Doi
This is the main event for the ppv edit of the show and, on paper, it’s a strong match. Ricochet blew people’s socks off with his performance at Enter The Dragon 2010, and has immediately been pencilled in for a tour of Dragon Gate in Japan, and handpicked by CIMA to be the Warriors’ American representative. He also gets thrown into his first DGUSA ppv main event in a huge tag team match against the current Open The Dream Gate Champion in Masato Yoshino, and his partner (and former Dream Gate Champion in his own right) Naruki Doi. From a storyline perspective, this clearly contributes to the Warriors vs World-1 competitive rivalry
CIMA and Doi start, keeping things restricted to the canvas for the first few minutes. Doi clips CIMA’s leg with a dropkick, only for the DG icon to flip him into a small package for a quick nearfall. Yoshino tags in and effortlessly runs through Ricochet with a dropkick. Rico fires back with a kick of his own, into a standing moonsault for 2. The Warriors team try to isolate Doi in the ring with CIMA starting to focus on the neck. But Doi gets to his partner, and the Speed Muscle guys return the favour by trying to work CIMA’s arm. Ricochet tags, but Lenny Leonard speculates that was playing into Yoshino and Doi’s plans as they now have the most inexperienced man trapped in the ring to target. They nail him with a double gutbuster into stereo dropkicks, then take CIMA out again with a Tornillo/Shotgun dropkick combo. In a nice touch, Speed Muscle change up the usual Yoshino double stomp spot out of the corner by hitting the move on Ricochet’s leg instead, thus negating his high-flying capability. Corkscrew enzi from Rico enables him to get the vital tag. Saito suplex/deathlock combo on both opponents by CIMA…HANDSPRING INTO A CORKSCREW MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR BY RICOCHET! Yoshino tries to avoid CIMA’s face double stomp and takes a kick to the head instead. The Dream Gate holder uses his speed to hit back with the Slingblade then the From Jungle stretch. Doi plasters Ricochet with the Shotgun Dropkick, only for Rico to block Doi 555 and hit him with a Gory Cutter. Doi pops up after taking that to score with the Rydien Bomb for 2. Venus Strike into the ICONOCLASM! RED STAR PRESS BY RICOCHET! Doi counters the Schwein…BACKSLIDE DRIVER FROM RICOCHET INSTEAD! Yoshino finally arrives to help his partner and hits Ude Yoshino on CIMA for 2. Avalanche Perfect Driver blocked for a DOOMSDAY SLINGBLADE! PERFECT DRIVER GETS 2! Not a whole lot of selling in this time. Ricochet evades the Lightning Spiral and dumps Yoshino on his neck for another nearfall. Second rope German super-ugly-plex nearly gives Doi the victory. MACHINE GUN SLAPS! But CIMA saves Rico from the Baketori and stomps Doi in the chest. He tries to give Yoshino the Schwein but the Dream Gate Champion counters with a crucifix pin. Torbelino…LIGHTNING SPIRAL! CIMA SAVES! HANGTIME DROPKICK SENTON COMBO! DOI 555! BAKETORI SLIDING KICK! RICOCHET GRABS A ROPE! CIMA ensures Doi can’t hit the Muscular Bomb, and drops him with the Schwein for 2. Ricochet goes upstairs…450 MOONSAULT! RICOCHET PINS DOI! A star is born at 20:46…HUGE win for Ricochet
Rating – **** – Typically storming Dragon Gate-style tag team action there. As ever you had the slow build beginning, and ‘please don’t stop’ finishing sequences. I’m actually going to be a little critical and say I thought that, even for this particular ‘style’ of wrestling, the selling was absolutely lousy here. Guys were literally getting dropped on their head with huge moves and not even acting like it hurt before popping up to do their own big spot. It’s fun to watch but this one started to approach the point where it stopped being a wrestling match and became a bit of a stunt-show. Ricochet looks like a top prospect though, and you can see why Dragon Gate Japanese office jumped all over him and gave him a mega-push on his first tour. He can be protected in tag team matches, and he has almost unparalleled ability to hit incredible high spots with absolute precision. He is primed to be a Dragon Gate star both in Japan and the US now…
CIMA takes the microphone and puts Ricochet over, declaring him the newest member of Warriors International. He gets his hand raised in victory by both CIMA and Dragon Kid to close the ppv. Johnny Gargano rocks up to pay respect to Ricochet too which is intriguing
YAMATO vs Bryan Danielson
At Enter The Dragon 2010 we saw Bryan Danielson return to DGUSA and help BxB Hulk against Kamikaze USA. He then defeated Kamikaze’s Shingo in an amazing main event. After becoming a part of World-1 in the aftermath of that bout…then returning to the WWE at Summerslam at the end of August, he now returns to DGUSA for one final weekend, fulfilling his commitments to World-1 and DGUSA even whilst now being featured on national television once again as Daniel Bryan.
‘Miz Tapped Out’ – Chicago. Lenny Leonard questions why the WWE US Championship isn’t on the line tonight. Yamato shows he means business tonight by taking that weird skirt thing he wrestles in off and competing in basic trunks. Mexican surfboard by Danielson, with repeated ‘I have till 5’ moments for the fans to enjoy. Yamato actually leaves the ring and hides under it to get some respite, finally re-emerging the other side of the ring to dropkick the back of Dragon’s knee. He hotshots Danielson into the railings then totally floors him with a running mafia kick. Back inside the Kamikaze man gets 2 with an exploder as the crowd try to fire Danielson up with a frightfully off-key rendition of ‘The Final Countdown’. Multiple kicks in the corner by Danielson, and when Yamato tries his hide under the ring trick for a second time, he finds Dragon waiting to dropkick him into the crowd. SPRINGBOARD FRONT ROW PLANCHAAAAAAAAAA! Imagine how pissed off Vince would have been if Danielson broke his leg doing that! He does come up limping, a fact which Yamato capitalises on with kicks to the leg and a modified Figure 4 hold. Dragon fights him off with a back suplex backbreaker and immediately falls to the ground favouring his own knee. Yamato tries an anklelock, only to see it COUNTERED by Danielson into a LEG CRADLE GERMAN SUPLEX for 2! Even though he dropped it in the WWE, this is the indies so Danielson can still bust out the CATTLE MUTILATION! Yamato escapes and punts him in the head before delivering a brainbuster. CBV CROSSFACE! He lines up a superplex which Danielson avoids, and of course, the WWE US Champion comes up in perfect position for his trademark back superplex. Lebell Lock countered…TRIANGLE CHOKE INSTEAD! COUNTERED TO THE ANKLELOCK! Dragon frees himself with an enziguri. GALLERIA NAILED! DRAGON KICKS OUT! SLEEPER SUPLEX BLOCKED! MR SMALL PACKAGE…YAMATO COUNTERS! REPEATED KICKS TO THE HEAD FOR 2! MMA ELBOWS! LEBELL LOCK! YAMATO TAPS! Dragon wins at 23:24
Rating – **** – Hell of a match once again. I don’t think it was in the same league as Danielson vs Shingo from the last show but it was another gruelling, hard-fought battle between the ‘Best In The World’ and probably the best mat wrestler in Dragon Gate. Indeed, YAMATO’s MMA-influenced ring style meshed really well with Danielson, to the extent that it was weird seeing him in there with a guy who was completely in his league as a grappler and a striker. I’m marking it down because it felt like until the crowd dive from Dragon, it was very much an exhibition match. Credit to Danielson, he did as much as he could to make YAMATO look great even in defeat. He faces Jon Moxley in a final Kamikaze USA challenge tomorrow night in his last ever major independent appearance.
Speaking of Jon Moxley, he runs out with the spike he stole from Jimmy Jacobs earlier and looks to attack American Dragon…only for BxB Hulk to make the save. Danielson takes the mic to assure his fans that, even in the WWE, he’s going to continue to be a ‘wrestler’, not a ‘superstar’. However, he vows to use his final DGUSA appearance to kick Moxley’s head in.
In the locker room Jon Moxley fronts up Kamikaze USA and warns BxB Hulk that he won’t be able to ‘eliminate’ them…and compares Warriors’ signing of Ricochet to ‘bringing a knife to a gun fight’.
Tape Rating – *** – I’d say that this was one of the weaker Dragon Gate USA releases thus far. It’s still a strong show don’t get me wrong, but DGUSA has set it’s bar mighty high, and as a result even shows like this don’t seem quite as good in comparison. I think my main problem with this was the slow start – the Brodie squash and rubbish triple threat didn’t exactly hook me into proceedings, whilst Moxley/Jacobs and the Freestyle matches were very much low-end 3* matches. In reality, the three headline bouts featuring Dragon Gate talent were Shingo/DK, the tag team ppv main event and YAMATO vs Danielson…and they were all terrific. But after firing on all cylinders in Philadelphia for the last show, this event never really threatened hitting those highs. As such it’s down at the lower end of the DGUSA spectrum along with Open The Ultimate Gate and Open The Freedom Gate as less essential purchases in my opinion. It’s still a decent building show and totally smokes a lot of what rival independent groups are producing right now.
Top 3 Matches
3) Shingo vs Dragon Kid (****)
2) CIMA/Ricochet vs Masato Yoshino/Naruki Doi (****)
1) Bryan Danielson vs YAMATO (****)