New York City, NY – 1.28.2011
Commentary is provided by Lenny Leonard & Leonard F. Chikarason.
Ring announcer Larry Legend explains the United Gate Tag Team Tournament. Four teams will compete against each other, round robin style, throughout the weekend. The team with the most points (2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss) by the end of the weekend will be crowned the new champion. Model and New York Giants girl Reby Sky presents the titles.
Akira Tozawa vs. Sami Callihan
Jon Moxley is in Tozawa’s corner. Funny considering Callihan and Moxley are partners elsewhere. Both guys argue over “who’s ring it is”. They slap each other to prove their point. They knock each other down with stereo clotheslines and engage in a strike battle from the mat to their feet. Tozawa hits a bicycle kick and Callihan lands a forearm. Callihan kicks Tozawa on the apron. He misses a clothesline. Tozawa misses the Apron Kara Tozawa. Callihan misses his own headbutt. Tozawa misses the Apron Kara Tozawa again but hits a senton for two. Callihan rolls to the floor. Tozawa follows with a suicide dive but misses. Callihan looks to suplex Tozawa on the floor. Tozawa blocks at first, but Callihan ultimately succeeds. Callihan gets two in the ring. Callihan legdrops him for two. Callihan chops him in the corner. Tozawa side steps an attack and bicycle kicks Callihan off the top rope. Tozawa connects with two suicide dives. Tozawa delivers some boots and chokes Callihan in the corner. They fight on the top turnbuckle. Callihan knocks Tozawa down and hits a top rope dropkick. Once again both man exchange strikes. Tozawa wins the exchange with an enzuigiri. Callihan responds with a Saito suplex. Tozawa retaliates with one of his own. Callihan hits another, as does Tozawa. Callihan kicks Tozawa and delivers a deadlift Saito suplex. Tozawa fires up and gives Callihan a deadlift German suplex. Once both men catch their breath, Tozawa nails a bicycle kick. They begin exchanging kicks. Callihan hits the Forearm to Remember for two. Callihan rolls through Tozawa’s huracanrana, so Tozawa hits a shining wizard. Callihan kicks out so Tozawa hits another. He hits a deadlift German suplex for the win at 11:59. This was a lot hard hitting tough guy stuff that successfully pumped up the crowd. I’m not thrilled with the lack of selling, but it’s hard to say this match didn’t get the result they were looking for. **3/4
Jon Moxley says that Kamikaze USA are a pack of winners, and that Tozawa just proved it. Moxley puts down all the New York sports teams for being losers, as well as Homicide (who Moxley will be facing Sunday). Reby Sky slaps Moxley, as she of course represents the New York Giants. Sky gets in his face and calls Moxley a coward. Moxley says his New Year’s resolution was to no longer hit women, so he asks Tozawa to do it for him. Tozawa refuses. Moxley tries to convince Tozawa further, but Jigsaw (A New York native) hits the ring before he can do so.
Jigsaw vs. Jon Moxley
Jigsaw jumps Moxley right before Moxley attacks Reby Sky. Jigsaw lays into Moxley with a series of chops and sends him to the floor with a huracanrana. Jigsaw follows Moxley out with a tope. Moxley sends Jigsaw up to the stage, and Jigsaw jumps off with a tope con hilo. In the ring, Jigsaw comes in with a crossbody. Moxley knocks Jigsaw off the ropes with a forearm, causing Jigsaw to crash to the floor. Moxley follows out and sends him into the guardrail with a side Russian leg sweep. Moxley works over Jigsaw’s elbow back in the ring. Moxley knocks him down with a back elbow for two. Moxley hits a release vertical suplex for two and transitions into a kimura. Jigsaw double stomps Moxley in the back of the head from the second rope. Jigsaw hits an enzuigiri and brainbuster for two. Moxley responds with a hard clothesline. Jigsaw counters the Hook and Ladder with a prawn hold for two. He superkicks Moxley down and comes off the top with a double stomp for two. Moxley catches Jigsaw with an ace crusher for two. Moxley applies a crossface chickenwing. YAMATO emerges as Jigsaw escapes and hits a superkick. YAMATO attacks Jigsaw on the floor while Moxley distracts the referee. Moxley reapplies the chickenwing with a bodyscissors, causing Jigsaw to tap out at 7:32. This was solid, but nothing extremely special. This really just seemed like fodder to build up Moxley for his match with Homicide on Sunday. **
Moxley grabs the microphone and calls YAMATO the next Open The Freedom Gate champion. He talks more trash about Homicide and New York. BxB Hulk interupts and tells Moxley to shut up. YAMATO lays in the boots to Hulk, and our Freedom Gate title match is on.
Open The Freedom Gate Champion
BxB Hulk (Champion) vs. YAMATO
YAMATO rakes Hulk’s eyes and whips Hulk with his own entrance jacket. YAMATO stomps on forearms Hulk in the corner. Julius Smokes runs out to attack Moxley. Both men brawl to the back, making this an even match. Forearms are exchanged in the ring. Hulk kicks the crap out of YAMATO’s hamstring. YAMATO shoulder blocks Hulk. Hulk pops up, and flips into an armdrag. YAMATO swats a dropkick away but gets armdragged and dropkicked anyhow. Hulk knees YAMATO in the face as he holds onto a cravate. A dropkick to the head gets him one. Hulk delivers a flurry of kicks. YAMATO grabs Hulk’s leg and pulls him to the mat with a legbar. Hulk escapes. He goes for a kick from the apron, but YAMATO traps it in the ropes and delivers a dropkick. He boots Hulk in the ropes, sending him to the floor. YAMATO does more damage to Hulk’s leg on the floor and then back in the ring. Hulk manages to duck a clothesline, but eats a spear for two. YAMATO transitions immediately into the ankle lock. Hulk goes for an enzugiri. YAMATO ducks and applies a single leg crab. Hulk escapes. YAMATO softens him up in the corner. Hulk collapses when Irish whipped. Hulk blocks a corner attack. Hulk hits a springboard dropkick. Hulk sweeps YAMATO’s legs and hits a senton for two. He lands a roundhouse kick for two. YAMATO blocks the EVO. He sunset flips Hulk into a cross crab while placing his knee on Hulk’s head. Hulk gets to the ropes. Hulk catches YAMATO with a spinwheel kick as YAMATO goes up the ropes. Hulk hits a backflip powerslam. Hulk boots him in the corner and hits an axe kick for two. YAMATO crotches Hulk on the top rope and delivers a running dropkick. YAMATO gets two with a superplex. Hulk wins a forearm exchange. They trade boots. Hulk hits Mouse and a clothesline. YAMATO nails an enzuigiri. Hulk hits another enzuigiri. He gets the EVO and YAMATO kicks out just in time. Hulk ducks an enzugiri and delivers a series of kicks. He hits First Flash for two. Hulk barely hits a Phoenix Splash, clutching his knee in pain. YAMATO slips into a choke sleeper to evade the EVO. YAMATO turns it into a suplex and delivers a brainbuster for two. YAMATO finally hits Galleria for the pin at 21:36. The Galleria looked really weak and Hulk’s selling was spotty at times. This also started off slow, but by the finish the crowd had been woken up and seemed genuinely surprised and pleased with the title switch. ***1/2
Jimmy Jacobs comes out to let YAMATO know that his eyes are set on becoming the Open The Freedom Gate championship and puts him on notice. Jacobs offers a congratulatory handshake and YAMATO accepts. As YAMATO leaves, Jacobs says he asked for the biggest and baddest man to begin his path to the title and calls out his opponent, Brodie Lee.
Jimmy Jacobs vs. Brodie Lee
The rest of the Blood Warriors stable accompanies Lee. Jacobs attacks Lee as he enters the ring. He stomps on Lee in the corner. Jacobs evades a few attacks. His chops have no effect on Lee. Jacobs pokes Lee in the eyes. Lee sends him to the floor with a dropkick. Lee catches Jacobs and slams him back first into the ring post. In the ring, Lee steps on Jacobs’ throat. He delivers a delayed vertical suplex for two. Jacobs fires up as he absorbs Lee’s strikes. After a pair of strikes, he eats a superkick from Lee. Jacobs counters the Truck Stop with the End Time. Lee places Jacobs on the top rope. Jacobs sends Lee to the floor with a missile dropkick. Lee side steps a pescado. He powerbombs Jacobs onto the entrance stage. In the ring, Lee hits a shotgun lariat for two. Lee misses a big boot. Jacobs rolls him up for two. Jacobs springboards back with an ace crusher. He hits a top rope senton for two. Lee nails the big boot and a powerbomb for the pin at 6:15. Although Jacobs was “squashed”, he looked strong in his effort. **1/2
The Blood Warriors celebrate with Brodie Lee in the ring. All of sudden Ronin comes out with Swann singing their theme song (which is just as awesome as it sounds). Chuck Taylor says he wants to prove that they’re good enough to go to Japan, and suggests that they start the tag team tournament right now. The Blood Warriors quietly oblige.
Open The United Gate Championship Round Robin Tournament Match
Ronin (Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano) vs. Blood Warriors (Naruki Doi & Ricochet)
Some fast action on the mat between Gargano and Doi reaches a stalemate. They trade holds until Doi hits a shoulder block. Gargano armdrags him down and slams his face into the mat multiple times. He hits a basement dropkick. Ricochet and Taylor tag in. Taylor can’t get a strike in due to Ricochet’s quickness. Ricochet sends him to the corner with a rana and quickly tackles him. Doi and Ricochet make some quick tags to legally gang up on Taylor. Gargano blind tags in and O’Conner rolls Ricochet for two. Taylor throws Ricochet face first into Gargano’s feet. Gargano hits a suplex for one. Ronin knock Ricochet down and stomp on him after a little dancing. Taylor delivers a butterfly suplex for two. Gargano knees Ricochet after a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Taylor. Gargano Russian leg sweeps Ricochet into an Anaconda Vice. Ricochet slips out into a pin for two. Ricochet trips Gargano. Gargano kicks him away as he tries a moonsault. Taylor hits a senton for two. Ricochet shoves Taylor to the floor and rolls back into a Pele kick on Gargano. He tags in Doi. Doi splashes Gargano back first as he lay on the ropes. Taylor slams Doi. Doi crotches him on the top rope. He sends Gargano feet first into him. Blood Warriors hit stereo Dai Bousou’s. Ricochet shooting star presses off Doi’s back onto Taylor. With Gargano’s help, Taylor gives Doi a blockbuster. Ricochet gives Taylor a slingshot rana. He Tiger Walks Gargano onto Taylor. Taylor tosses Ricochet into an ace crusher from Gargano. Doi breaks the pin. Ricochet 619’s Taylor into the Doi 555. Gargano catches Doi with a slingshot spear. Ricochet gives Gargano Chocolate Rain for two. He hits the Sasuke Special on both Taylor and Gargano. On the floor, Ronin Doomsday Device Ricochet into Doi. In the Ring, Ronin hit a wheelbarrow DDT combo on Ricochet. Gargano hits the Hurts Donut. Doi breaks the count. Taylor gives Doi the Sole Food. Ricochet cartwheels into a reverse rana on Taylor. Doi hits Doi 555 and the Bakatare Sliding Kick. Gargano breaks the cover. Ricochet catches Gargano’s slingshot spear. Doi hits him with a senton. Ricochet hits a lionsault for two. Ricochet misses a tornado senton. Gargano superkicks him and dives onto Doi. Taylor drops Ricochet with the Awful Waffle for the pin at 16:07. Ronin continues to impress and proves they have what it takes to hang with the Dragon Gate regulars. Ricochet is already showing tons of improvement since going to Japan. ***3/4
Gargano says this match proved that Ronin belongs in Japan. Rich Swann panders to the crowd and then calls out Austin Aries for their match. He asks Taylor and Gargano to stay ringside, which they do.
Austin Aries vs. Rich Swann
Aries starts off with a missile dropkick. Aries knees Swann in the head and applies the Last Chancery. Taylor and Gargano pull Aries’ leg to break the hold. Swann kicks Aries in the face as he’s distracted. Swann pokes him in the eyes. Aries responds with some hard strikes. Swann rakes Aries’ eyes. Swann goofs off a little before slapping Aries in the face. Swann kicks him in the back for one. Aries hops over Swann and slaps him right back. Aries sends Swann to the floor with a rolling forearm. Swann cuts off Aries’ dive with a kick to the face. Swann dives off the apron with a whoopee cushion. Aries holds on and powerbombs Swann onto Taylor and Gargano. He wipes out of all of Ronin with the Heat Seeking Missile. He slingshots with a double sledge, then into a senton for two. Aries hits an STO and the powerdrive elbow for two. He delivers a diving elbow to Swann’s neck. He applies a stump puller. Swann delivers a clothesline and a reverse STO in the corner for two. A rolling frog splash gets him two. Aries hits a Finlay roll. He misses a frog splash. Swann kicks him in the neck before landing a senton for two. Swann wins a strike exchange with a sole butt. He hits a spin kick to Aries’ face. Aries avoids a corner splash. He pummels Swann and waits for the IED. Swann instead hits an enzuigiri and turns Aries into an inverted surfboard. Aries escapes. He avoids a superplex but eats Swann’s tornado kick. Swann delivers a standing shooting star press for two. Aries recovers before Swann can hit the standing 450. He hits a Japanese armdrag and shin breaker/suplex combo. Aries hits the IED for two. He puts on the Front Chancery, but Aries’ hurt arm doesn’t allow him to apply it for very long. Aries dangles Swann from the top rope and drops him with a DDT for two. Swann escapes the 450 splash. He drops Aries with a headscissors piledriver. He then hits a brainbuster for two. Swann fights to deliver his standing 450 splash. Aries kicks him to the top rope and nails a super brianbuster. He turns it into the Last Chancery, and Swann taps out at 16:32. The finish was awesome, though the match lost steam somewhere in the middle. If you trimmed the fat out of the middle, this would have been a much more well-rounded bout. As it was, both guys still looked strong and put on a fine match. ***
CIMA and Naruki Doi come out and ask for Ronin to speak. Taylor says based on their performances tonight, Ronin belongs in Japan. CIMA says Swann’s loss proves otherwise. Taylor points out that he and Gargano are facing CIMA and Dragon Kid tomorrow, and says once they defeat CIMA he can’t deny that they’re capabale wrestlers. CIMA polls the fans as to whether they believe Ronin should be in Japan. The fans think they should, and CIMA calls them stupid because of it. World-1 come out to end the conversation and get the main event under way.
Open The United Gate Championship Round Robin Tournament Match
World-1(Masato Yoshino & PAC) vs. Blood Warriors (CIMA & Dragon Kid)
PAC and Kid stay grounded as they vie for control. PAC lands on his feet from a headscissors. He gives Kid a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker a standing shooting star press. Yoshino and CIMA pick up the pace, engaging in a Lucha sequence that sees Yoshino give CIMA a headscissors takedown. World-1 hit double elbows and PAC hits a twisting senton of Yoshino’s back. Yoshino applies a headscissors on the mat. CIMA escapes. Kid blind tags in and comes in with a double axe handle onto Yoshino’s arm. Yoshino grabs Kid’s arm so PAC can do the same. Yoshino double stomps onto Kid’s arm. Kid and PAC exchange forearms. Kid knocks him down with an elbow. The Blood Warriors isolate PAC to wear him down in their corner. Yoshino tries to save him, but CIMA awesomely ties him into a stretch while holding PAC in a submission at the same time. CIMA even sends PAC face first into a wooden chair from the crowd. PAC escapes their grasp with an enzuigiri to CIMA. Yoshino and Kid tag in. Yoshino ducks a spinwheel kick and hits Slingblade. Yoshino puts CIMA in the Coumori. He breaks and PAC dropkicks CIMA to the floor. Kid kicks Yoshino’s leg and hits Diamond Dust. He hits a stunner for two. CIMA brings Yoshino to the floor. PAC grabs Kid’s leg as he goes for a dive. CIMA comes into the ring. He hits a doublestomp and senton on PAC. He then hits Venus and the Iconoclasm. PAC responds with a slingshot ace crusher. He then hits a springboard dropkick. Yoshino and PAC attack CIMA in the corner. Yoshino accidentally dropkicks PAC. They put Yoshino on PAC’s shoulders (as PAC is kneeling). CIMA bulldogs them simultaneously. CIMA and Kid hit stereo Tokarevs. PAC blocks the ultra huracanrana from Kid. Yoshino dropkicks him. He gets caught up top and eats the stack huracanrana. CIMA hits the Perfect Driver for two. CIMA superkicks Yoshino into Kid’s Bible pin, and PAC breaks it up. CIMA superkicks PAC in the corner. Kid drops him with Messiah. He misses a Dragonrana on PAC. Yoshino catches him with the Lightning Spiral. Yoshino drops CIMA with the Torbellino. Kid blocks a second Lightning Spiral. Yoshino powerbombs him, and PAC hits a springboard 450 splash. He follows with a German suplex for the pin at 20:17. The action was at a blistering pace near the end, making for some really cool action and sequences. With the amount of times these four have wrestled over the years, it’s no surprise they were able to pull of an exciting, fun main event like this. ****
Ronin stand on the stage, leaving all four teams in the tournament to stare down each other as the show comes to a close.
Open The Triangle Gate Championship
World-1 (Masato Yoshino, BxB Hulk, & PAC) vs. Kamikaze (Dragon Kid, Akira Tozawa, & Taku Iwasa)
Kobe World Puroresu Festival – Kobe, Japan – 7.19.2009
Hulk quickly bridges back for a pin attempt after an intense exchange. Tozawa hits a flying hip attack. A luchaesque sequence ends with both men throwing simultaneous dropkicks for a stalemate. PAC and Iwasa tag in. Iwasa knocks him down with a shoulder block. PAC sweeps his legs for two. PAC hits a standing corkscrew splash on his back. Yoshino and Kid tag in. Kid evades a dropkick and sneds Yoshino out with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Yoshino evades the Bermuda Triangle, and PAC hops onto Iwasa and Kid with a shooting star out of the ring. PAC pins Iwasa for two. Iwasa slams PAC. Tozawa slingshot sentons PAC who is lying across Iwasa’s knees. Kamikaze wraps up all of World-1 in submission holds. Hulk switches into a submission on Tozawa, causing Kid and Iwasa to break their holds and save him. Hulk nails Tozawa with a back heel kick and stomps on him in the corner. He hits a dropkick for two. They trade forearm strikes. Hulk kicks him in the chest. World-1 isolate and wear down Tozawa in their corner. Tozawa dropkicks PAC to escape and tag in Iwasa. He suplexes Hulk and splashes PAC at the same time. Kid gives Yoshino Déjà vu. Tozawa dives onto PAC on the floor. Kid ultra huracanrana’s Yoshino off the apron and to the floor. Hulk hits Iwasa with a springboard dropkick. Iwasa responds with a corner lariat and Kegon. Yoshino breaks the pin. Hulk kicks Kid and Iwasa. Iwasa captures Hulk and Kid stomps on his chest. PAC breaks the pin and gives Kid a backbreaker. PAC hits Kid with a slingshot neckbreaker. Iwasa catches PAC with the Noshigami on the ring frame. Tozawa hip attacks Yoshino. Yoshino drops him with the Sling Blade for two. Kid hits a spinwheel kick in the corner. Kid blocks a vertical suplex with a stunner. Tozawa actually hits the Apron Kara Tozawa for two. Kid gives Yoshino a 619. Kid drops him with a Messiah. World-1 hit triple strikes on Kid. They all hit him with top rope dropkicks, but Yoshino only gets a two count. Iwasa places Hulk up top and kicks him in the face. Kid huracanrana’s Hulk off of Iwasa’s shoulders from the second rope. Iwasa hits two lariats and PAC breaks the pin. PAC hits an enzuigiri. Iwasa hits a lariat. PAC rolls up Iwasa to block the Noshigami for two. Iwasa successfully hits the Noshigamai. Kid hits an ultra huracanrana for two. Hulk hits Tozawa with Mouse. Yoshino delivers the Ude Yoshino. Tozawa blocks the Lightning Spiral with a German suplex for two. He goes for another. Iwasa accidentally hits him with the Gouwan. Tozawa is triple teamed in the corner. PAC hits him with a shooting star knee drop. Yoshino hits the Speed Star and Iwasa breaks the pin. Yoshino dives onto Kid and Iwasa on the floor. Tozawa huracanrana’s Hulk for two. Hulk breaks a German with an enzuigiri. He gives Tozawa the EVO. PAC follows up with a corkscrew shooting star press for the pin at 17:13. This was the usual crazy sprint from the Dragon Gate crew you expect. This was fun from bell to bell and you can tell just how good World-1 were as champions around this time. ***3/4
Other bonus features include a preview video for the entire “United” weekend, a PAC highlight video, and a highlight video of the “United: NYC” show.