Manhattan, NY – 6.5.2011
Commentary is provided by Lenny Leonard and Rob Naylor.
The Blood Warriors (CIMA, Ricochet, Austin Aries and Brodie Lee) make their way to the ring. CIMA puts down the fans and Masato Yoshino comes out for his match with Ricochet.
Masato Yoshino vs. Ricochet
Yoshino cleanly breaks a lock up against the ropes. Ricochet punches Yoshino when breaking their second lock up. Yoshino hits a dropkick. Ricochet flips over Yoshino and armdrags him to the corner. He dropkicks Yoshino to the floor and fakes a dive. Yoshino charges back in, stomping Ricochet down in the corner. CIMA angrily threatens Yoshino with a chair. He calms down and Yoshino twists Ricochet’s arm, bringing him to the mat. Ricochet gets the ropes to break an arm submission. Yoshino stomps on his hurt arm. He splashes Ricochet’s arm while the Blood Warriors talk trash. Yoshino rolls him into a modified seated Octopus stretch. He crucifixes Ricochet for two. Ricochet catches Yoshino with a reverse STO. He pitches Yoshino to the floor where Lee and CIMA put the boots to him. Ricochet gets two when his partners throw Yoshino back in the ring. Ricochet hits a sweet dropkick for two. Once again Ricochet throws Yoshino to the floor so his buddies can attack. Yoshino kicks out at two once back in the ring. Ricochet delivers a snapmare/low enzuigiri combo for two. Yoshino and Ricochet exchange strikes until Yoshino back elbows Ricochet to the mat. Yoshino hits Sling Blade to counter Ricochet’s attack. Yoshino gets two with a hammerlock driver. Ricochet misses a springboard Ace Crusher. Ricochet does however hit an enzuigiri and then a springboard Ace Crusher for two. Yoshino puts his knees up to block a standing moonsault. Yoshino puts Ricochet in From Jungle. Ricochet makes his way to the ropes to break it. Yoshino double stomps Ricochet’s arm as Ricochet clutches the top rope. Ricochet counters Ude Yoshino with the Rickrack. He hits a standing shooting star press for two. Yoshino dropkicks Ricochet as he goes for a crossbody. Yoshino’s top rope dropkick fires him up. He calls for the Lightning Spiral. Ricochet counters and fights for a suplex, only getting a two count. Ricochet hits a tiger feint kick and a shooting star press for two. Yoshino crotches Ricochet as he goes up top. Yoshino brings him down with the Sling Blade. Both men throw overhand chops. Yoshino catches Ricochet with a Lightning Spiral for two. Ricochet enzuigiri’s Yoshino as he comes off the ropes. Yoshino drops him with the Torbellino. Yoshino locks in Sol Naciente and Ricochet taps out at 16:54. I’m amazed how relatively weak Ricochet looked compared to all of his other matches. Still, he was able to withstand most of what Yoshino threw his way until he locked him in the Sol Naciente which inflicted pain on Ricochet’s hurt arm. They told a really good story and this was a very good way to kick off the show. ***1/4
The other Blood Warriors attack Yoshino after the match. PAC tries to save him but also gets beaten down. YAMATO then comes out to even the odds, allowing Yoshino and PAC to dispose of the other Blood Warriors. PAC and YAMATO then go face to face since they have a match later on. Yoshino calms them down and now blows are thrown.
Rich Swann and Johnny Gargano are deliberating over who their partner in the six man tag match tonight should be since Chuck Taylor is injured. Swann says he has an idea. Gargano puts his confidence in Swann.
Throughout the show we’ll be treated to some highlights from DGUSA’s second year. The first is Ricochet defeating Naruki Doi in a tag match from Untouchable 2010 when he busted out the double rotation moonsault for the first time in DGUSA.
AR Fox vs. Pinkie Sanchez
Fox brings Sanchez to the mat in a headscissors. They exchange headlocks. Fox shoulder blocks Sanchez to the mat. Fox hits a leg lariat and a jumping corner forearm. Fox leaps to the top rope and back down with a back elbow. Sanchez goes to the floor and gets attacked from behind. Fox tries to throw Sanchez’s face into a fans boot. Sanchez takes off the shoe and throws it at him. Fox then shoves Sanchez’s face into the fans’ foot and sock. Sanchez knee strikes Fox from the corner. He follows up with Snake’s Revenge for two. Sanchez pokes Fox in the eyes to block an attack from the corner. Sanchez gets two with a butterfly suplex. Sanchez blocksa sunset flip with a seated splash. Sanchez snapmares Fox and rams his underwear clad buttocks into Fox’s face. Fox elbows his way back up, only for Sanchez to clothesline him back to the mat. Sanchez hops to the top rope. Fox ducks his attack, pulls Sanchez’s pants up and drops him with a brainbuster. Fox drop toe holds Sanchez on the second rope. He sends Sanchez out with a missile dropkick and then this a springboard 450 splash. Back in the ring he calls for Lo Mein Pain. Sanchez sprays pink mist in his face to counter. He then hits bootiez4breakfast for two. Sanchez hangs Fox in a tree of woe before hitting another bootiez4breakfast for two. Sanchez springboard off the top, only to be caught in an Atomic drop. Fox airplane spins Sanchez into a Death Valley Finlay Roll. Fox then hits a swanton bomb for two. Fox and Sanchez trade pinfalls, neither man getting a win. Sanchez sole butts Fox to the corner. Fox hits the Stone Cold Stunner, then stomps Sanchez down in the corner like Austin would. Fox successfully delivers the Lo Mein Pain for the pin at 13:02. This was a breakout match for both guys. They had terrific chemistry, the crowd’s attention and a good story to tell. This match is a good sign for both guys’ futures. ***1/4
Arik Cannon and Sami Callihan make their way to the ring after the match. Callihan puts over Fox and then questions why he’s better than the D.U.F. He believes Fox was handed opportunities over them multiple times. Callihan says they are going to show him what being a D.U.F. is like, leading to Cannon blasting him with a haymaker. While they’re beating Fox down, Sanchez retrieves a keg and keg post into the ring. Callihan slams the post into the keg which is placed on Fox’s head. Sanchez locks Fox’s legs so they can do it again. This was the first thing the D.U.F. has done so far to really get me intrigued by them. It’s implied that Sanchez has finally earned his spot in the D.U.F.
The next DGUSA second year moment comes from the World-1 vs. Kamikaze USA main event from “Way of the Ronin 2011”. We see Shingo cleaning house, as well as some offense from YAMATO and Tozawa. This match is spectacular and you absolutely should check it out.
Jon Davis vs. Tony Nese vs. Ahtu vs. Flip Kendrick vs. Louis Lyndon vs. Façade vs. Sugar Dunkerton vs. Caleb Konley vs. Cedric Alexander
Larry Dallas is managing Ahtu who is starting off the match with Alexander. Dallas says if Ahtu loses he will be gone from DGUSA forever. Ahtu’s massive frame absorbs Alexander’s attacks. Ahtu boots him to the corner and spears Alexander with force. He hits a pump-handle facebuster for the pin at 1:15. Davis is the next entrant in the match. Neither man budges from the others’ shoulder block attempts. Davis nails him with the Pounce for the pin at 2:43. Nese is the next participant. Nese and Davis exchange strikes. Nese takes Davis down with a knee strike and spinwheel kick. Davis powerslams Nese for two. Davis wins a punch exchange. He whips Nese to the corner as Dunkerton makes his entrance. He lights up Davis with punches. He jumps off the ropes into an X-Factor on Davis. He clotheslines Nese in the corner before hitting the Bow Chicka Wow Wow lariat. Dunkerton dropkicks Davis to the floor and suplexes Nese. Kendrick enters with Dunkerton standing tall. Kendrick kicks Dunkerton to the mat and backflips into a headscissors. Kendrick hits a slingshot huracanrana and a standing moonsault senton. Kendrick enzuigiri’s Davis. Davis German suplexes Kendrick. Nese kicks Davis as Lyndon enters the match. Lyndon crossbody’s Davis to enter. Lyndon knee strikes him. Lyndon trips Davis and boots him to the floor. Dunkerton blasts Lyndon with a right hand. Lyndon trips Dunkerton. Dunkerton hits a Tiger Atomic drop. Lyndon kicks him just as Konley makes his entrance. Dunkerton lariats Lyndon and gets shoulder tackles by Konley. Konley hits an axe kick and rolling forearm. A cradle suplex gets him two. Konley ducks a spinwheel kick. Nese pops him into a right hand. Konley brings Nese to the rig apron. He hops off the ropes with a back elbow. Façade enters the bout. Lyndon hits a tope suicida on Konley and Nese. Kendrick hits a tope con hilo onto Nese and Lyndon. Façade delivers a springboard spin kick to Konley before hitting a tope con hilo onto Dunkerton and Konley. Façade walks the ropes to springboard dropkick Dunkerton. He then springboard sentons onto Nese and Lyndon on the outside. Façade suplexes Dunkerton onto his knee. He puts on a modified Cattle Mutilation, submitting Dunkerton at 11:21. Davis takes on both Lyndon and Façade by himself. He puts them both on his shoulders and Death Valley Driver’s them simultaneously. He pins Lyndon at 12:33. Façade kicks out at two. Davis drops Façade with a spinebuster. He hits a Blue Thunder Bomb to eliminate Façade at 13:20. Nese kicks Davis to block a dive. He low superkicks Davis to the floor. Kendrick drops Nese with an inside out suplex. A cancun tornado quebrada gets him two. Konley appears out of nowhere and crotches Kendrick on the top rope. Nese powerbombs Konley and Kendrick for two. Nese boots Kendrick and slams him face first into the mat. Nese hits the Implant for the pin at 15:31. Konley drops Nese with a neckbreaker. Davis buckle bombs Konley. Nese superkicks Konley twice. Nese hits a German suplex for the pin at 16:13. Davis and Nese trade blows. Nese elbows him in the corner and hits a running knee strike for two. Nese comes off the top. Davis catches him with a spinebuster. Nese counters a powerbomb with a huracanrana for two. Davis powerslams Nese for two. Nese brings Davis off the top with a huracanrana for two. Davis and Nese go forearm for kick. Davis ends it with 3 Seconds Around The World for the pin at 19:05. This was action packed, fun and consistent throughout. I really was impressed with just about everyone and wish every FRAY could be as exciting as this one was. ***1/2
Swann tells Gargano that their plan as worked. Gargano says that they have another guy and that Ronin will be the last team standing.
Speaking of Ronin, our next DGUSA Year 2 moment is when Ronin formed at “Bushido: Code of the Warrior” (DGUSA’s first iPPV) by attacking CIMA and Ricochet.
Masaaki Mochizuki & Susumu Yokosuka vs. D.U.F. (Arik Cannon & Sami Callihan)
Rob Naylor tells us that AR Fox is on his way to the hospital. Mochizuki and Yokosuka knock down the charging D.U.F. members. Mochizuki kicks Callihan on the floor while Yokosuka chokes and strikes Cannon in the ring. Cannon shoulder blocks Yokosuka to the mat. Yokosuka clotheslines Cannon off the apron. Yokosuka props him up so Mochizuki and kick Cannon of the apron. He then dragon kicks Callihan back in the ring. Mochizuki and Yokosuka choke Callihan in their corner. They wishbone Callihan’s legs. Yokosuka and Mochizuki inflict damage on Callihan’s arm and hand. They even simultaneously bite both of Callihan’s hands. Yokosuka back elbows Callihan for two. Mochizuki kicks Callihan in the chest as he’s locked in the ropes. Yoksuka pins him for two. Yokosuka holds Callihan by his legs so that Mochizuki can punt him in the chest. Callihan dragonscrew’s Yoksuka and tags in Cannon. Cannon wisely attacks Yokosuka’s damaged leg. Callihan also helps with wearing down Yokosuka. Mochizuki tries to help out a couple of times only to be thwarted. Yokosuka kicks out Callihan’s legs and tags in Mochizuki. He comes in with a dropkick to Cannon. Callihan kicks Mochizuki from the apron. Mochizuki however sends Callihan to the floor with the Sankakugeri. Mochizuki yakuza kicks Cannon in the corner. Mochizuki takes Cannon to the mat in a cross armbreaker. Callihan tries to save but Yokosuka drops him with Ashi Yokosuka. He then puts Callihan in a figure four leg lock. They both break their holds. Mochizuki kicks Cannon in the chest. Cannon and Mochizuki exchange strikes. A running chest kick gets Mochizuki two. Cannon superkicks Mochizuki and hits a brainbuter for two. Callihan forearms Mochizuki in the corner. Cannon delivers the Total Anarchy off of Cannon’s back. Yokosuka breaks the pin. Cannon misses a moonsault. Yokosuka hits Jumbo no Kachi. Callihan and Yokosuka exchange forearms. Yokosuka gives him a lariat. Mochizuki then gives Callihan the Ikkakugeri. Yokosuka hits a super exploder suplex. Mochizuki lights up Callihan with kicks before Yokosuka hits the Jumbo no Kachigatame. Cannon breaks the pin. Callihan Saito suplexes Yokosuka. Cannon gives him a haymaker. Callihan pump kicks Yokosuka. Cannon hits the Total Anarchy and Callihan the Forearm to Remember for two. Callihan puts Yokosuka in the Stretch Muffler. Mochizuki kick Callihan in the hopes for him to break the hold, but Cannon pitches him to the floor. Callihan keeps the hold while kicking Yokosuka in the back of the head until he taps out at 16:49. I am so impressed and surprised by how good Callihan and Cannon were in this match. They held their own against the Dragon Gate veterans, had great teamwork and the crowd into their shtick. This truly was a diamond in the rough and doesn’t get enough love. That finishing stretch ruled too and added a nice exclamation mark onto an already excellent match. ***3/4
The next DGUSA Year 2 moment is from “United: Philly” when Masato Yoshino & PAC took on Naruki Doi & Ricochet as part of the Open the United Gate tag title round robin tournament. This is another amazing tag match in Dragon Gate USA that deserves more love. Be sure to check that show out!
Ronin (Johnny Gargano & Rich Swann) & Masato Yoshino vs. Blood Warriors (CIMA, Austin Aries & Brodie Lee)
Yoshino was chosen by Ronin since he defeated Blood Warrior member Ricochet in the opening bout. Lee and Aries attack Swann and Gargano before Yoshino makes his way out. Yoshino and CIMA get at it in the ring. Yoshino is of no help, as the Blood Warriors easily take the match into their hands. Swann gets humiliated and isolated back in the ring. Just when it looks like Swann is about to escape their grasp, Lee takes out Swann and his partners with dropkicks. Swann however shoves CIMA to the corner and tags in Gargano. Gargano suplexes CIMA for two. He begins to tie up CIMA’s legs but Aries runs in and knocks him down. Aries and Gargano wishbone his legs. Aries does some damage to Gargano’s legs. Gargano shoves Aries to the corner and tags in Yoshino. Yoshino and his partners all come off the ropes with moves to Aries’ arm. Swann tries to keep on Aries, but Aries hits a Northern Lights suplex. CIMA works over Swann’s leg until Swann pushes CIMA to his corner. Ronin and Yoshino triple team CIMA with some nice looking offense. The Blood Warriors revere Ronin and Yoshino’s triple Irish whip. CIMA hits Gargano with Venus and an Iconoclasm. Lee throws Swann onto Gargano and CIMA kicks Swann in the face right after. Now Swann is back where he was at the beginning of the match. CIMA teases some of his opponents finishers while beating down poor Swanny. Swann luckily is able to flip out of an Irish whip and take CIMA off the top rope with a huracanrana. Gargano’s strikes do nothing to Lee. Lee tries to double chokeslam Ronin, but Swann dropkicks Lee over a kneeling Gargano. Lee shoves them to the corner and misses a big boot. Gargano pescado’s into Lee’s arms. Aries clotheslines Swann to cut off his dive. Aries drops Swann with a brainbuster for two. He transitions into the Last Chancery which Yoshino breaks. CIMA double stomps Yoshino and delivers a senton for two. Yoshino puts CIMA in the Coumori. He lets go and Swann hits a pop-up legdrop for two. CIMA gets triple teamed in the corner. CIMA puts Yoshino in a modified Skayde schoolboy for the pin at 18:41. Swann moonsaults off of Gargano’s back onto CIMA for two. Swann sunset flips Aries for two. Ronin double enzuigiri Aries which brings in Lee. Lee chops Gargano in the corner. Lee legitimately hurts himself on a big boot in the corner. While Lee is down, Aries hits a shinbreaker/suplex combo on Gargano for two. Swann mercifully covers Lee to eliminate him at 20:40. The fans chant for Brodie as he gets taken to the back.
Gargano and Aries fight on the stage area and floor. CIMA puts the boots to Swann back in the ring. Swann hits some Kawada kicks and a superkick. He Finlay rolls CIMA into the FIREBIRD. He misses, allowing CIMA to take control again. CIMA hits a super Perfect Driver for two. CIMA then hits Meteora for the pin at 24:08. CIMA and Aries team up on Gargano in the corner. CIMA delivers the Iconoclasm and Aries follows with a frogsplash for two. Gargano shoves CIMA into Aries, sending Aries to the floor. CIMA’s momentum from a missed knee strike sends him to the floor. Aries trips Gargano from the floor. CIMA accidentally dropkicks Aries to the floor. Gargano suicide dives onto Aries, then CIMA, then comes off the apron with a senton to CIMA. In the ring Gargano delivers a sole butt and superkick to CIMA. CIMA goes for Schwien. Gargano turns it into the Hurts Donut. He puts CIMA in the Gargano Escape. Aries side steps him for a bit, but Gargano puts the hold back on. CIMA taps out at 28:25. After a stare down, Gargano gives Aries the Hurts Donut for two. Aries throws Gargano to the apron to block the Gargano Escape. Aries blocks Gargano’s slingshot spear and puts him in the Last Chancery. Gargano gets to the ropes to break. Aries tries to drop Gargano on the ring apron. Gargano snaps his neck across the top rope. Aries gives Gargano a neckbreaker in the middle ropes, then flies to the floor with a double axe handle. Aries follows with the Heat-Seeking Missile. In the ring Gargano counters a brainbuster attempt with a suplex. Aries wins an exchange with a shin breaker/suplex combo. Aries nails the IED and a brainbuster for two. Aries hits the 450 splash. Gargano puts his foot on the ropes to break the pin. Gargano goes for the Gargano Escape. Aries punts Gargano in the face instead. Gargano superkicks Aries to block another IED. Gargano delivers the Hurts Donut, transitioning into the Gargano Escape. Aries taps out at 35:10. That was severely disappointing. Up until Lee’s injury, we were treated to very long and not very interesting Blood Warrior control segments that didn’t lead to anything. Yoshino’s elimination was pulled off well, then Lee’s injury halted things again. Also, the flash and panache most Dragon Gate six mans have were left out completely. This made Gargano look like a million bucks by the end, but it was definitely hard to stay completely focused for the entire 35 minutes. **3/4
The final DGUSA 2nd year moment is YAMATO defending his Open The Freedom Gate title twice in sixteen hours. The first time was against Austin Aries at “Mercury Rising 2011” and the second was against Akira Tozawa at “Open the Ultimate Gate 2011”. Both matches ruled. YAMATO is still champion and will be defending that title in the main event.
Open The Freedom Gate Championship
YAMATO (Champion) vs. PAC
PAC breaks a lock up in the corner. YAMATO does some damage to PAC’s arm on the mat. PAC hops over YAMATO’s wristlock and dropkicks him to the corner. PAC enzuigiri’s YAMATO for two. PAC suplexes YAMATO for one. He applies a legscissors to YAMATO’s head. Although it zaps YAMATO’s energy enough for PAC to get a two count, YAMATO gets his foot on the ropes to break the hold. PAC legdrops YAMATO for two. YAMATO boots PAC to cut off his charge to the corner. He suplexes PAC into the corner to turn the tide. YAMATO drives PAC’s knee into the mat. YAMATO kicks the inside of PAC’s leg. He shoves PAC to the floor where he continues to attack the leg. In the ring YAMATO back elbows PAC for two. YAMATO pulls PAC’s hair while twisting his leg. PAC gets the ropes to break free. YAMATO puts PAC in a sleeper. PAC quickly escapes with a chin breaker. YAMATO’s missed corner elbow carries him to the floor. PAC dives out onto him. In the ring PAC delivers a slingshot Ace Crusher. He then hits British Airways for two. YAMATO sunset flips PAC into a half crab. PAC crawls to the ropes to break. PAC enzuigiri’s YAMATO in the corner. YAMATO stops PAC as PAC crawls the ropes. PAC fights YAMATO on top, winning with a sunset bomb. He follows with a springboard 450 splash for two. YAMATO breaks a waistlock with an enzuigiri. PAC comes back with a springboard dropkick. PAC hits a second to YAMATO’s head for two. PAC and YAMATO exchange kicks and strikes. PAC catches YAMATO with a German suplex for two. PAC goes for another German suplex. YAMATO rolls through and puts on an ankle lock. He transitions to a choke sleeper. YAMATO suplexes PAC onto his head. YAMATO suplexes PAC onto his head. YAMATO German suplexes PAC for two. YAMATO applies a sleeper hold once again. PAC crawls to the second rope and falls backwards to break YAMATO off. PAC hits a Phoenix Splash from the second rope for two. YAMATO crotches PAC on the top rope and dropkicks him. YAMATO brings PAC off the top and delivers a brainbuster. He picks him up for a second brainbuster for another two count. YAMATO then delivers Galleria for the pin at 22:27. Not YAMATO’s best defense, but still a very good match. YAMATO damaging PAC’s leg went nowhere, but the action itself was good and the crowd ate up a lot of the nearfalls closer to the finish. Not a bad way for DGUSA to end its second year. ***3/4
YAMATO thanks the fans and tells PAC that he respects him. He’s about to continue when CIMA makes his way to the ring. He tells YAMATO that he wants his title. From there, Ricochet and CIMA attack both YAMATO and PAC. Swann and Gargano cause CIMA and Ricochet to flee. Gargano is shown picking up the Open the Freedom Gate title and looking at it. He hands it to YAMATO and shakes his hand. Gargano says he’s gone from being on the pre-show to being one of the top acts in Dragon Gate USA. He points out how Taylor and Swann have grown as well, creating the best stable in Dragon Gate USA. He hints to YAMATO that he’s gunning for the Freedom Gate title, but then thanks the fans for all of their support over the past two years.