DRAGON GATE USA
DEBUT WEEKEND IN CANADA
OPEN THE NORTHERN GATE HIGHLIGHTS
- Akira Tozawa's top rope thumbs-down BOO to the small children in the front row.
- The fast-paced action and big dives in the opening match, including a double-team dive from Team Frightening early on (and a high five with Jigsaw from me, literally right after we sat down. I feel special.) and a one-two-punch sort of dive Jigsaw and Quackenbush (who had the dive of the night - insanely high).
- Kamikaze USA proving their dominance all weekend. They attacked Quackenbush and Jigsaw after their match, they interfered in Moxley's title defence against Phil Atlas, they (Shingo & YAMATO) won both of their matches this weekend, and just generally beat the crap out of anyone in their way. This is most certainly building to something, but I'm not quite sure what yet (in a good, unpredictable sort of way).
- CIMA's top rope double knees to a sitting Jimmy Jacobs for the epic win.
- Johnny Gargano trying to join both Naruki Doi and Masaaki Mochizuki's factions by offering them gifts from America, like D2: The Mighty Ducks and a stuffed turtle. All three were hilarious in this promo, but the highlight had to have been Mochizuki kicking a DVD out of Gargano's hand, which caught some near ceiling-touching air.
- Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Naruki Doi. An awesome back and forth match that included some fast-paced, hard-hitting stuff and ended with a SICK axe kick to the top of Doi's head, putting him out for good. Crowd really showed it's appreciation for this one, including the older couple in front of me who gave it a standing ovation (first time they stood all night!).
- How over the Maximum Pro guys were. Everyone was very familiar with these dudes, including a hilarious chubby kid who yelled "TYSON SUCKS MONKEY BUTT" for the ENTIRE DURATION OF THE MATCH. To give you a better illustration of what I mean by that, try and shout "Tyson sucks monkey butt" for ten minutes and see how you feel, because this match went over ten minutes. It was hilarious. So was Tyson's interaction with the kid. Fun match that got the crowd riled up for the second half.
- The sheer speed of Dragon Kid and Masato Yoshino live. Can't get over how quick these guys are.
- An accidental nutshot to Yoshino after Dragon Kid went for a sitting corner dropkick. I was seriously afraid for Yoshino's future children.
- An INCREDIBLE main event match that was the highlight of the entire show for me. This match literally had everything and was perfectly built to, with Kamikaze USA interfering in the first two matches of the night to get the crowd really on their case. It started slow with some great back and forth wrestling between the two teams, then the pace picked up with some exciting action, then it spilled to the outside with (of all things) a CRAZY brawl that literally had me somehow legitimately frightened.
- BxB Hulk getting whipped into the barricade so hard that it hit a portly gentleman who fell out of his chair.
Really fun show that was worth the long drive from Toronto (through a crazy storm).
"UPRISING" PPV TAPING HIGHLIGHTS
- Mochizuki/Tozawa. CRAZY hot opener. Crowd was on fire for the entire thing, and for damn good reason. Mochizuki clobbered Tozawa with some stiff kicks and won with a standing kick to the brain.
- My unconditional hate for Gran Akuma. He looks so much like a raper. The crowd was split for the match - Toronto locals loved Tyson, DGUSA fans loved Akuma. Tyson was amazing as a heel last night in Windsor, but played a great babyfface tonight. I really think he could definitely be a star just from the way he looks and acts.
- Jon Moxley's weekend of domestic abuse. This dude brought out a girl for both nights (different looking -ahem- "woman of the night" each night, yet wearing the same dress each night), and tossed her around light she was his friggin' opponent. He practically oozes slime, he's such a sleazebag, and I love it.
- Jimmy Jacobs showing shades of his former self. This weekend Jimmy felt a little (er... more than a little, but I love the guy so I find it so hard to rag on him) watered-down. He's had some crazy brawls in Toronto (No DQ vs. The Briscoes, Dog Collar Match vs. Delirious, Markham Street Fight vs. Delirious) so I think I was expecting something just off the chart bonkers tonight in his No DQ match with Moxley, but it didn't quite live up. He did show more signs of his crazy side tonight than in Windsor, which was nice, and the match itself was fun (with an AWESOME dive-into-End Time from Jacobs), but with me expecting blood, I guess I shot myself in the foot.
- The showstopping match that was PAC/Naruki Doi vs. Mike Quackenbush/Jigsaw. Both teams went all out on this one. Literally can't write words that could describe with any semblance of justice PAC's top rope Shooting Star double-shin kick to a bent over Jigsaw that connected with such a thud that I can only assume Jigsaw's kidneys are now scrambled.
- Brodie Lee blasting a referee with a big boot to interrupt a match between two guys selected by CIMA from a pre-show tryout.
- ALL of YAMATO & Shingo vs. CIMA & Dragon Kid. Not even worth describing the insanity that went on here. But, apparently, I will try anyway. The two spots that stick out to me most were YAMATO grabbing CIMA in a waistlock for Shingo to hit the ropes and clothesline him, but CIMA reversed it, then YAMATO reversed it, and so on, and so on, in hilarious fashion, while Shingo pulled his hair out trying to figure out when to go for the the clothesline. So so funny, I really hope it translates to PPV. The other spot was no big deal, y'know, just a top rope standing hurricanrana from Dragon Kid to Shingo, who was perched ON CIMA'S SHOULDERS. HOLY BALLS.
- BxB Hulk's never ending dance.
- By the time the main event rolled around I was a tad (completely) drunk so Yoshino and Hulk were just a blur in the ring, but that's more because of how superhero-fast these guys are. Really great match, felt shorter than the tag match before, but that doesn't matter. This show, top to bottom, will be a hit on PPV for sure.
Such a fun weekend overall. And I bought a Vader mask from the High Spots table. And got CIMA's autograph. And had enough adrenaline to write this monster review. Time to try and make my brain stop rattling around in my skull long enough to sleep!