Philadelphia, PA – 7.25.2010
Commentary is provided by Lenny Leonard and Leonard F. Chikarason.
CIMA opens the show to hype up the crowd. Johnny Gargano comes out and tells CIMA he is the perfect American candidate for CIMA’s WARRIORS International faction. Gargano challenges CIMA to a match right now to prove himself. CIMA cuts a funny promo in English. Gargano slaps CIMA across his face. CIMA accepts the match.
CIMA vs. Johnny Gargano
CIMA lights up Gargano with overhand chops. Gargano sends CIMA to the apron with a sole butt and springboard kicks him to the floor. Gargano follows him with a suicide dive. Gargano bites CIMA and throws him back into the ring. Gargano basement dropkicks him in the neck for two. Gargano hits a neck breaker for two. CIMA rolls through a sunset flip with a double stomp and a senton. CIMA targets his attack on Gargano’s left leg. He puts Gargano in a leg trap Romero Special before stretching Gargano back with a chinlock. Gargano bites CIMA’s hand to escape. CIMA ties up Gargano in the corner and dropkicks him in the buttocks. CIMA whips Gargano to the corner and sends him to the floor with Venus. Gargano cuts off CIMA with a slingshot spear. Gargano spin kicks CIMA in the stomach. Gargano O’Conner rolls CIMA for two. Gargano transitions into a surfboard stretch. Gargano releases and hits a side Russian leg sweep for two. Both men trade waitlocks. CIMA hits the Superdrol. He follows with a double stomp for two. CIMA comes off the top with a sunset flip for two. Each guy hits double knees in the corner. Gargano lawn darts CIMA into the corner and hits a superkick for two. CIMA avoids a second lawn dart and hits a superkick of his own. CIMA hits the Perfect Driver for two. CIMA lands the Tokarev. He follows up with the Schwein and Meteora for the pin at 11:52. Gargano turning CIMA’s offense against him was great. Even though Gargano lost this match, the showing he had will be really beneficial for him in the future. This was a very hot opener and exactly the kind of match you’d want them to have. ***1/4
CIMA shakes everyone’s hand after the match…except for Gargano’s. Gargano looks upset as he heads backstage. We cut to Leonard F. Chikarason and Lenny Leonard who discuss a few of the things going on tonight. They shoot things over to Drake Younger who is covered in scars. He talks about all the battles he’s faced and how he’s excited to face Naruki Doi tonight. He says everyone will respect him after his match.
We’ll be shown a series of flashback clips from DGUSA’s first year through out the show. The first one is from “Open The Historic Gate” where the Kamikaze vs. CHIKARA Sekigun feud started. We see YAMATO kick Mike Quackenbush in the groin and Gran Akuma turn on Quack and Jigsaw to join Kamikaze USA.
Arik Cannon vs. Adam Cole vs. Chuck Taylor vs. Ricochet
Cannon and Ricochet start off. Cannon takes him over with an armdrag into a hammerlock. Ricochet escapes and goes back and forth with Cannon. He sends Cannon to the floor which tags in Taylor. Taylor nips up from an armdrag and dropkicks Ricochet to the floor. Cole tags in and takes Taylor down with a pair of armdrags. Taylor chops Cole and Cole dropkicks Taylor to the floor. Cole suicide dives onto him. Ricochet gets cut off with a back elbow from Cannon. Ricochet sends Cannon to the floor with a headscissors. Cole nails him with an enzuigiri from the floor. Taylor hits a tope con hilo onto Cannon and Cole. Ricochet flies onto all of them with the Space Flying Tiger Drop. Taylor crotches Ricochet on the top rope. Cannon powerbombs Taylor and Ricochet off the top rope. He throws Cole into the corner with an exploder suplex. Cole comes back with a Northern Lights suplex for two. Cannon and Cole trade chops. Cannon blasts him with a hard right hand. Cole nails him with a superkick and Cannon knocks him down with a lariat for two. Taylor gives Cannon the Sole Food and a big boot for two. Ricochet rounds off onto Taylor’s shoulder into a huracanrana. Ricochet hits a standing shooting star press and Cole breaks the pin. Cole drops Ricochet with a Death Valley neck breaker for two. Ricochet kills him with a Backslide Driver. He Tiger Walks off of Cole into a swinging DDT on Taylor. Cole flies out of the corner with a leg lariat. Cannon punches him and hits the Total Anarchy for two. Ricochet sends Cannon to the floor. Cole catches Ricochet and German suplexes him onto the edge of the ring. Cole hits a crossbody on Cannon in the ring for two. Cole follows up with the Coleateral for two. Cannon blocks a guillotine with a brainbuster for two. Cannon misses a moonsault on Ricochet. Cole drops Cannon with the Panama Sunrise. Taylor sends Cole out with a missile dropkick. Ricochet flies onto him with Chocolate Rain. He misses a double moonsault. Taylor spikes Ricochet with the Awful Waffle for the pin at 9:40. That was an unbelievable sprint. All four guys brought their A game in a very polished spot fest. This was really the best of every competitor and they worked well putting together a fluid, crazy match. ***3/4
Kamikaze USA is backstage. Jon Moxley says he wants to reward Gran Akuma for turning on CHIKARA this time last year by taking the entire group out. YAMATO says he is going to break the CHIKARA “bean sprouts” in half.
We then cut to a clip from “Open The Untouchable Gate” where Bryan Danielson and Naruki Doi wrestled a phenomenal match.
Naruki Doi vs. Drake Younger
This was originally supposed to be Doi vs. Dragon Kid, but Kid is out due to injury. Doi is also injured and has his ribs taped up. Younger backs Doi to the ropes and breaks cleanly. Younger knocks him down with a shoulder block. Doi I sent to the floor after an armdrag. Younger hits the floor trying a somersault senton off the apron. Younger appears to have hurt his knee, which is why Doi slams it into the ring frame. Doi continues to attack Younger’s knee inside the ring. Doi dropkicks Younger’s legs as it’s caught in the ropes. Doi dragonscrews him down and hits a trifecta of shin breakers. He drops Younger with a suplex for two. Doi dropkicks Younger’s leg. Younger catches Doi and drops him on his head. Younger hits a couple flying forearms and a shoulder tackle. Doi knocks Younger down with an elbow strike. Younger escapes the Doi 555 and hits a diving lariat for two. Doi traps Younger in the ropes and dropkicks him in the chest. Doi hits a somersault senton as Doi dangles from the middle rope. Younger cradles Doi for two. Younger drops him with a modified Michinoku Driver for two. Younger goes for the Drake’s Landing. Doi instead drops Younger on his face. Doi hits the Dai Bousou in the corner. He lights up Younger with slaps after the Doi 555. Doi lands the Bakatare Sliding Kick for the pin at 8:44. It’s a shame that Dragon Kid was injured, but Younger and Doi did a decent job for having such short notice. **1/2
Younger grabs the microphone and says he can take a beating from whomever Dragon Gate USA has to offer. He uses that as a selling point why a Dragon Gate stable should recruit him. Johnny Gargano comes out and throws Younger into the guardrail. Gargano refuses to give up his presumed spot in a Dragon Gate stable to him.
We then cut to the CHIKARA Sekigun and Masato Yoshino backstage. Mike Quackenbush says he recruited Yoshino for their match tonight because they share a mutual hatred of YAMATO. Yoshino says he’ll show how strong he is as the Dream Gate Champion tonight.
The next flashback is from “Open The Freedom Gate”, where BxB Hulk won a four way elimination match with YAMATO, CIMA, and Gran Akuma to become the first ever Open The Freedom Gate Champion.
Open the Freedom Gate Championship
BxB Hulk (Champion) vs. Masaaki Mochizuki
Mochizuki tricks Hulk into a few kicks to the chest. Hulk hits a dropkick and Mochizuki pops right back up. They block one another’s kicks and reach a stalemate. Mochizuki and Hulk then exchange kicks, with Mochizuki’s breing more effective. Hulk sends Mochizuki to the floor and kicks him multiple times in the leg. Mochizuki goes for aknee strike but hits the ring post by accident. In the ring, Hulk kicks out Mochizuki’s leg as Mochizuki hits the ropes. Back on the floor Hulk does more damage to Mochizuki’s knee. Hulk applies a Cross Crab in the ring, and Mochizuki grabs the bottom rope to break. Mochizuki fights up with a kick to Hulk’s chest. Hulk tries to springboard in but Mochizuki catches him with the Sankakugeri. Mochizuki kicks Hulk off the mat. Mochizuki ducks a kick from Hulk on the floor, causing Hulk’s knee to hitthe ring post. Mochizuki brings Hulk to the apron where he hits a shin breaker. Mochizuki ties Hulk’s knee in the bottom rope and hits a running kick to it. Mochizuki clenches on a figure four leg lock. Mochizuki kicks Hulk in the hamstring after another shin breaker. Mochizuki applies another figure four. Hulk fails to reverse the momentum. Hulk instead grabs the bottom rope to break the hold. Mochizuki shrugs off a chest kick from Hulk and nails one of his own. Mochizuki turns counters an enzuigiri with an ankle lock. Mochizuki grapevines the leg and he continues to twist Hulk’s ankle. Hulk evades the Shin Saikyou High Kick. Hulk hits a springboard missile dropkick. He kicks Mochizuki’s head while he’s trapped in the ropes. Hulk moonsaults onto Mochizuki on the floor. Back in the ring, Hulk sweeps Mochizuki’s leg and hits a senton splash for two. Hulk lands an axe kick and a uranage. Hulk puts Mochizuki in a tree of woe and misses a delayed dropkick. Mochizuki drills Hulk with a yakuza kick. Mochizuki puts Hulk in a tree of woe. He fakes out Hulk, opening the opportunity to kick Hulk in the back. Hulk escapes a German suplex. He hits the First Flash for two. Mochizuki escapes the EVO. Hulk hits Mouse and a lariat. Mochizuki sweeps Hulk’s legs to block the First Flash. Mochizuki kicks Hulk multiple times in the head for two. Mochizuki hits Twister for two. Hulk blocks the Sankakugeri and takes Mochizuki down with a spinwheel kick. Mochizuki brings Hulk down with a superplex. Mochizuki hits the Twisting Ikkakugeri for two. Hulk comes back with the EVO. Mochizuki then hits the Illusion in a flurry of strikes. Hulk kicks Mochizuki in the chin and big boots him in the corner. Hulk hits a super EVO for two. Hulk hits a Phoenix Splash for two. Hulk hits the First Flash for the pin at 21:32. The leg work done in the first half of the match led to absolutely nothing. The second half was a really cool back and forth exchanging of strikes, filled with lots of tension and excitement. If they had trimmed down the first half significantly, this would have been one of Hulk’s defenses. As it was, it was on par with all the others. ***1/2
Hulk is celebrating when a ghoulish looking girl comes out. She was one of Hulk’s dancers in Phoenix. She’s a representation of Hulk’s past (Hulk dropped his dancing routine in Japan to become more serious in his feud with Shingo). This brings out Shingo and YAMATO who beat Hulk down. Moxley comes out and says that they took away his hair and dancers and now they’ll take his title. Shingo drops Hulk with a Death Valley Driver. YAMATO picks him up when Bryan Danielson comes out. Shingo and YAMATO get in his face. Moxley calls Danielson a pussy and tells his partners not to bother with Danielson until they can make some money off of it. Shingo and Danielson will wrestle in the main event of the show. Danielson hands Hulk the Freedom Gate championship.
The next flashback is from “Fearless” where Kamikaze USA was beating down BxB Hulk. The CHIKARA Sekigun made the save and got into a brawl with Kamikaze USA. CIMA came out and cleared the ring with a broom.
Rich Swann vs. Scott Reed
Nicole Matthews is Reed’s valet for the bout. Swann grabs a headlock and Reed throws him out. Swann gets caught with a belly-to-belly suplex. Swann catches Reed with a chinbreaker. Reed dumps him with a release German suplex for two. Swann ducks a clothesline and rolls up Reed for two. Swann hits a sole butt and a tornado kick. Swann Finlay rolls into a standing moonsault. Swann hits his signature standing 450 splash for the pin at 2:01. An impressive display by Rich Swann to say the least. N/R
Brodie Lee comes out and lays out the referee. He gives Swann the Truck Stop and avalanches Reed in the corner. Lee cracks Swann with a big boot. He big boots Reed as well and gives him a t-bone suplex. Lee goes as far as to big boot Nicole in the corner. Lee grabs the microphone and says he wants a Japanese opponent the next time he’s in Dragon Gate USA.
The next flashback is from “Mercury Rising”. The clip is from the six man main event featuring the WARRIORS vs. World-1. Still one of the best matches in Dragon Gate USA’s short history.
Full Confrontation Elimination Match
CHIKARA Sekigun (Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw, & Hallowicked) and Masato Yoshino vs. Kamikaze USA (YAMATO, Akira Tozawa, Jon Moxley, & Gran Akuma)
An all out brawl between all eight men kicks things off. YAMATO chokes Quack in the ring while the others brawl on the floor. Quack and YAMATO trade strikes mid-ring. Moxley attacks Quack from behind with a forearm. Moxley gets in a few strikes. Quack knocks Moxley and YAMATO to the floor and dives out with a moonsault onto them. Yoshino and Tozawa end up in the ring. Yoshino sprints off the ropes and sends Tozawa out with a knee strike. Hallowicked and Akuma tag in. Hallowicked takes Akuma down with a courting hold armdrag and an electric chair armdrag. Hallowicked hits a super snapmare for two. Jigsaw doublestomps Akuma on Hallowicked’s shoulders. Hallowicked drops him with Go Too Sleepy Hollow and Jigsaw hits a 2k1 Bomb for two. Akuma slides to the floor and Tozawa hits Jigsaw with a butt butt. Kamikaze USA beat down Jigsaw in their corner. Jigsaw escapes an avalanche Rubix Cube from Akuma and tags in Hallowicked. He hits Moxley with a yakuza kick, Akuma with a step-up enzuigiri, and Tozawa with a Rydeen Bomb for two. Tozawa blocks the Graveyard Smash and hits a butt butt. Hallowicked nails a yakuza kick for two. Tozawa hits a Saito suplex. YAMATO and Moxley knock all of Hallowicked’s teammates off the apron. Kamikaze each hit a strike to Hallowicked in the corner. YAMATO drops him with Galleria for the elimination at 8:00. Jigsaw fights Tozawa and Akuma by himself with success. Moxley breaks a pin. Quack and Jigsaw take down Moxley with some double team offense. Quack, Jigsaw, and Yoshino each hit Moxley with a strike in the corner. Yoshino comes off the top with a dropkick to to YAMATO into a senton on Moxley. Yoshino dives to the floor. Jigsaw drops Moxley with a brainbuster for two. Moxley dumps Jigsaw with a crossface German suplex. Jigsaw refuses to stay down, so Moxley grabs a chair. He nails Jigsaw and Quack with the chair and gets disqualified at 10:40. Jimmy Jacobs spears Moxley and fights him to the back. YAMATO meanwhile drops Jigsaw with the Galleria for the elimination at 11:08.
Quack tries a few roll-up variations on YAMATO, but only gets two. Tozawa trips Quack to block a palm strike. Yoshino trips YAMATO to stop a dive. Yoshino drops Tozawa with the Sling Blade for two. Tozawa avoids a missile dropkick. He knocks Yoshino down. He misses the Apron Kara Tozawa but lands a senton splash. Yoshino blocks a series of kicks but Tozawa drops him on his face. Quack breaks the pin. He palm strikes Akuma. Akuma drops Quack chest first onto his knees for two. Akuma hits a Falcon Arrow. He follows with a frogsplash for two. Quack palm strikes Akuma again. Akuma hits a modified shin breaker and goes for the Yoshi Tonic. Quack counters into a powerbomb for the elimination at 14:20. Yoshino and YAMATO trade strikes and kicks at a fast pace. Yoshino drops YAMATO with the Ude Yoshino for two. YAMATO blocks the Lightning Spiral. Yoshino hits it on the second try. Tozawa boots Quack. Quack accidentally forearms Yoshino. Tozawa drops Quack with double knees for two. Tozawa and YAMATO pummel Quack in the corner. Quack drops YAMATO with the Black Tornado Slam for two. YAMATO gives Quack a brainbuster for two. YAMATO hits a sleeper suplex. Tozawa hits a deadlift German suplex and Yoshino breaks the pin. Yoshino goes for Ude Yoshino, but YAMATO turns it into the Galleria for two. YAMATO goes for a second one. Yoshino slips out, so YAMATO kicks Yoshino low behind the referee’s back. Yoshino hits the Torbellino and puts YAMATO in Sol Naciente. Meanwhile, Quack puts Tozawa in the CHIKARA Special. YAMATO and Tozawa quit simultaneously at 18:32. Akuma really looked timid and awkward throughout the entirety of the match. That aside, the frenetic pace made the 18 minutes fly by. They kept me captivated the entire time, especially when Yoshino and YAMATO were in the ring. This was an excellent match to cap off the feud, at the right time in the right building. ***1/2
Jon Moxley is freaking out outside of the arena. He warns Jimmy Jacobs to stay out of his business.
The next clip is from “Uprising”, where CIMA and Dragon Kid took on Shingo and YAMATO. Shingo dropped Kid with Made in Japan and the Stay Dream (which got Shingo the win in the match). This was their explanation for why Dragon Kid missed the show.
Bryan Danielson vs. Shingo Takagi
Danielson powers Shingo to the ropes. Shingo does the same. Danielson ducks a cheap shot and hits an uppercut. Danielson and Shingo slug it out with forearms. Shingo and Danielson block each other’s moves. Shingo hits the floor for a breather. Shingo gains the upper hand in a test of strength, but Danielson rolls through to counteract. Shingo knocks Danielson down with a shoulder block. Danielson rolls to break a wristlock and dropkicks Shingo to the corner. Danielson twists on Shingo’s wrist and fingers before snapping his arm. Shingo chops Danielson who retaliates with uppercuts. Danielson kicks Shingo in the arm and slams it over his shoulder. Danielson puts Shingo in the Romero Special, transitioning into a Dragon sleeper. He releases to crash Shingo face first to the mat. Danielson butterfly suplexes Shingo into a cross armbreaker. Shingo rolls to the ropes to break. Danielson blocks a suplex and again kicks Shingo’s arm. Shingo blocks a sunset flip and muscles up Danielson into a suplex. Danielson rolls to the floor and Shingo follows. Shingo whips Danielson into the barricade. He then throws Danielson shoulder first into it. Shingo absorbs a few uppercut and squeezes Danielson’s head against the ring post. In the ring, Shingo stands on Danielson’s chest. He comes down with a stomp. Shingo drops a knee for a one count. Danielson’s forearms have no effect. Shingo hits a Mongolian chop and chokes Danielson in the corner. Shingo nails a gut buster and a DDT. He hits a senton for two. Shingo escapes a submission and puts on a surfboard stretch. Shingo quickly escapes. Danielson and Shingo go face to face. Danielson lays in some uppercuts which fire Shingo up. Danielson blocks a Saito suplex. He flips out of a German suplex and hits a running knee strike. Danielson hits a running forearm and running elbow strike. Shingo hits the floor so Danielson baseball slides Shingo into the front row. Danielson springboard dives onto Shingo. In the ring Danielson hits a missile dropkick. After Shingo kicks out at one, Danielson tries for a Dragon suplex. Shingo drops him with a Saito suplex. Shingo hits a second for a two count. Danielson blocks a couple of attacks but Shingo catches him with a powerslam. Shingo puts on the Manriki. Danielson gets the ropes to break.
Shingo puts on a cravate in the corner. Danielson evades an attack in the corner but gets caught with an exploder suplex. Danielson ducks a lariat and O’Connor Rolls Shingo for one. Shingo drops him with a reverse STO. Danielson blocks the Blood Fall and hits the Big Fat Kill. Both guys lay on the mat, catching their breath. Danielson lays in multiple kicks to the chest and forearms to the side of Shingo’s face. Shingo counters with a pop-up Death Valley Driver. He hits a lariat in the corner. Shingo goes for a superplex. Danielson slips out and puts Shingo in a tree of woe. He hits a baseball slide. Danielson then brings Shingo off the top with a belly-to-back superplex for two. Danielson stomps Shingo’s face in before transitioning into a Triangle Choke. Shingo powers up and Danielson slides down with a crucifix pin. Danielson traps his head and lays in a barrage of elbows. Shingo fires up and heads to the second rope. Shingo drops him with the Stay Dream. Danielson kicks out at two. Shingo and Danielson aggressively trade headbutts on the mat. Danielson blocks the Pumping Bomber but gets nailed with a right hand. Shingo hits Made in Japan for two. Shingo nails the Pumping Bomber and Danielson kicks out again. The crowd is now on their feet. Shingo goes for Made in Japan again, but Danielson small packages him for two. Danielson puts on the Cattle Mutilation. Shingo rolls free. Danielson hits a Tiger suplex for two. Danielson once again lays in a barrage of elbows to the side of Shingo’s face. Danielson kicks Shingo in the side of the head and hits a Regalplex for two. Danielson turns into the Triangle Choke. Shingo picks up Danielson, but Danielson elbows in the forehead until Shingo comes back down. Danielson applies the LaBell Lock and Shingo taps out at 29:15. The fans chant “Match of the Year” and rightfully so. This is this kind of match you don’t usually see from the Dragon Gate camp, and it stood out from everything else on the card. These guys were at their best for the entirety of the match and had the crowd in the palm of their hand. You believed either guy could win at either time and the crowd reacted to everything they did. This is not only one of the best matches the company has produced, but one of the best matches anywhere in 2010. ****3/4
YAMATO goes face-to-face with Danielson after the match. BxB Hulk jumps in to save Danielson from a potential two-on-one beatdown. Moxley brings them to the bck, reminding them of what he said earlier in the show. Danielson tells Hulk that he’s heard that he’s looking an American representative for World-1. Danielson offers his services, and Hulk shakes his hand to accept the offer immediately. A wise move by Mr. Hulk, if I say so myself.
Also on this disc is a “Year In Review” feature. All of the Flashbacks featured during the course of show are individually encapsulated for your viewing pleasure.
Super Shenlong vs. Lince Dorado
Shenlong and Dorado fight for control on the mat. Dorado kicks Shenlong’s legs out. Shenlong and Dorado trade armdrags. Dorado grabs Shenlong’s leg and transitions into a headlock. Both men square off after Shenlong escapes. Shenlong runs the ropes and takes Dorado down with a toreador. He dropkicks Dorado to the floor. Shenlong stomps Dorado in the corner. Dorado comes off the second rope with a twisting plancha. He kicks Shenlong in the back before reapplying a headlock. Dorado digs his feet into Shenlong’s shoulder blades as he pulls back on the arms. Dorado hits a back senton for two. Dorado hits a dropkick and elbow drop for two. He puts on a seated abdominal stretch. Shenlong takes Dorado down with a headscissors. Shenlong hits a missile dropkick for two. Shenlong hits a half-nelson slam for two. Dorado hits a springboard crossbody for two. Dorado rolls through a sunset flip with an enzuigiri. He hits a lynxsault for two. Dorado takes Shenlong of the top rope with a jump-up huracanrana for two. Shenlong drope toe holds Dorado in the corner and hits an enzuigiri. He hits a running dropkick and a swinging DDT for two. Shenlong misses a shooting star press. Dorado hits one of his own for two. Shenlong and Dorado are trading forearms as the 10:00 time limit expires. This was shockingly pedestrian and grounded for two agile high-fliers. There was no story to this, hence nothing much to say. *1/2
Up In Smoke (Cheech & Cloudy) vs. Tommaso Ciampa & Rexx Reed
Ciampa and Reed jump Up In Smoke before the bell. Cheech sends Reed to the floor. Cloudy and Cheech maul Ciampa with some tandem offense. Reed attacks Cloudy from the apron. Ciampa drops Cloudy with an electric chair facebuster for two. Reed nails Cloudy with a sliding forearm and a suplex for two. Reed hits a senton splash for two. Ciampa nails Cloudy with a hard clothesline for two. Ciampa lands a running knee strike. Reed slams Cloudy after a running forearm. Cloudy avoids a senton and tags in Cheech. Cheech hits Ciampa with a couple dropkicks and elbows. He takes him down with a moonsault press. Cheech suicide dives onto Reed. Cheech cartwheels off the top rope and facewashes Ciampa in the corner. Cloudy flies in with double knees and Cheech hits a 619 from the floor. Cloudy pins Ciampa for two. They hit Ciampa with Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Cheech. They follow up with the Tidal Wave for the pin at 5:39. Now this is the way you get the crowd going. Up In Smoke have no shortage of exciting offense, and Ciampa and Reed served as perfect, larger foes. I enjoyed the sprint they put forward. **1/2
Brodie Lee comes out to attack Cheech and Cloudy. While it looks like they have a shot to take him on at first, Lee knocks them down with a double clothesline. He nails Cheech with a big boot and gives Cloudy the Truck Stop. The fans chant Brodie Lee as he paces around Up In Smoke’s fallen bodies.
Jimmy Jacobs vs. Sami Callihan
Callihan and Jacobs exchange hard chops right away. Callihan pummels Jacobs with forearms. He goes for the Stretch Muffler, but Jacobs counters with a headscissors. Callihan shoves Jacobs to the corner and lays in more chops and forearms. Jacobs reverses and stomps Callihan down. Callihan mows Jacobs down with a lariat for two. Callihan bites Jacobs as he applies a chinlock. Callihan gives Jacobs a couple headbutts. Callihan kicks Jacobs, but Jacobs fires back with a clothesline. Jacobs gives Callihan a running chop in the corner. Callihan side steps a second running attack. He gives Jacobs some more headbutts and sends him to the other corner. Jacobs drop toe holds Callihan in the corner and flies in with a seated clothesline. Jacobs doublestomps Callihan for two. Callihan boots Jacobs and hits the Zig-Zag for two. Callihan hits the ropes and Jacobs catches him with a spear for two. Callihan blocks the Contra Code. Jacobs counters a Saito suplex with a Guillotine Choke. Callihan headbutts Jacobs and throws him out with an exploder suplex. Callihan powerbombs Jacobs for two. He applies the Stretch Muffler. Jacobs escapes. Callihan knocks Jacobs off the apron with a springboard clothesline. Callihan looks to suplex Jacobs through two chairs, but he breaks free and hits the Contra Code onto the chairs. In the ring, Callihan blocks a spear with a leg lariat. Callihan misses a diving headbutt. Callihan and Jacobs exchange headbutts on the mat. Jacobs connects with an ace crusher. Callihan crotches Jacobs on the top rope. Jacobs brings Callihan down with an avalanche DDT. He puts on the Guillotine Choke and Callihan taps out at 9:41. They packed a great punch for the time given. There was lots of drama and excitement and never a dull moment. I commend these two guys for putting on what a pre-match main event should be. ***
Austin Aries & Homicide vs. Bryan Danielson & Rocky Romero
FIP “New Dawn Rising” – Lakeland, FL – 2.11.2005
At this time, Aries and Homicide are ROH and FIP champions, respectively. Cool concept for a team. Homicide backs Danielson to Danielson’s own corner. Danielson trips Homicide and cranks on his leg. Homicide grabs Danielson’s beard to free himself. Danielson takes Homicide back to the mat in a side headlock. Homicide escapes. Romero and Aries tag in. Romero breaks a lock-up in the corner. Aries turns a knuckle lock into a cravate. Romero transitions into a headscissors. Aries transitions into a grapevine stretch. Romero breaks and takes Aries to the mat in a choke. Aries gets the ropes. Danielson blind tags in and slams Aries three times. He tries for a fourth, but Aries slams Danielson instead. Homicide tags in and attacks Danielson’s arm. Danielson dropkicks Homicide to the floor. He grabs a chair. Danielson takes it from him. Danielson and Homicide get in a fight over whether Danielson should be DQ’d or not. Homicide comes back in and gets isolated by Danielson and Romero in their corner. Homicide rolls through a submission from Romero into a Rings of Saturn. Danielson breaks it, and Homicide tags in Aries. Aries back rakes Romero, and Homicide mafia kicks him for two. Aries hits a fallaway slam for two. A leaping elbow also gets him two. Aries counters a suplex and delivers a kick to Romero’s chest. Romero responds in kind. Danielson tags in. He and Romero hit a double kick to Aries’ chest. Danielson goes to work on Aries’ arm. Romero tags in and works on Aries’ neck and back. Aries backs Romero to the corner and tags in Homicide. Homicide drops him with an overhead suplex, and Danielson breaks the pin. Homicide puts him in an abdominal stretch. Romero reverses into an Octopus stretch. Danielson and Aries tag in. Danielson gives Aries an Airplane Spin. Homicide comes in and Danielson also gives him an Airplane Spin. He knocks down Aries with Homicide. Romero comes in to congratulate Danielson, but a confused Danielson gives him an airplane spin. Everyone is dizzy! Homicide tags in and tries for a suplex. Danielson blocks and hits a butterfly suplex. Danielson and Homicide knock each other down with stereo clotheslines. Aries tags in as Homicide knocks Romero off the apron. Aries goes up top, but Danielson crotches him. Homicide and Romero brawl on the floor. Danielson hits Aries with a superplex for two. Aries blocks a full nelson and hits a rolling forearm for two. Aries hits a brainbuster and Romero breaks the pin. He kicks Aries in the side of the head. Romero dropkicks Aries into a belly-to-back suplex from Danielson. Danielson locks in the Cattle Mutilation, and Aries taps out at 23:27. This was slow to start, but still had solid action throughout. Things really picked up after the fun Danielson airplane spin spot, and when the teams decided to divide up into two separate battles. It’s cool to see these guys back in 2005 and how far they’ve come in their careers since. ***1/2
Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong
FIP “Attack of the Masked FIPpers”- Brooksville, FL – 12.10.2005
Dave Prazak accompanies Danielson. Danielson slaps Strong in the corner. He changes corners and does it again. Strong shoves Danielson down and sends him to the floor with a shoulder block. Strong comes back in and wins a test of strength. Danielson kicks Strong in the gut and hits an uppercut. He snapmares Strong into a rear chinlock. Strong escapes and leapfrogs Danielson a couple times. Danielson goes to the floor and Strong chases him around the ring. Danielson boots him as they come back in the ring. Strong knocks Danielson down with a shoulder tackle and gives him an atomic drop. Danielson bails to the floor again. Danielson begs for mercy back in the ring, but Strong takes him down with a few moves. He takes Danielson to the mat in a headlock takeover. Danielson knocks Strong down with a back elbow as Strong comes off the ropes. Danielson hits a somersault senton for two. Danielson stomps on the back of Strong’s knees after teasing the surfboard. Prazak chokes Strong on the ropes as Danielson distracts the referee. Danielson crotches himself on the middle rope trying to jump on Strong’s neck. Strong hits a twisting crossbody for two. Danielson knocks him down with a clothesline. Strong kicks Danielson in the chest and monkey flips him. On the floor, Danielson sends Strong face first into the ring post. In the ring, Strong reverses a vertical suplex sending Danielson to the mat. Strong tries a slingshot splash, but Danielson gets his knees up to counter. Danielson hits a butterfly suplex for two. Danielson hits another somersault senton, but Strong counters into a crucifix pin for two. Danielson taunts Strong before slamming him. Danielson misses a flying headbutt. Strong hits a dropkick for two. Strong hits a clothesline and a urinage backbreaker for two. Strong misses a top rope elbow drop. Danielson applies a figure four leg lock. Strong reverses the pressure. Danielson breaks and stomps on Strong’s knee. Strong and Danielson trade a few pin attempts. Strong brings Danielson off the top rope with a superplex. Strong gives Danielson a gut buster. Prazak grabs Strong’s leg, allowing Danielson to hit a rolling forearm. He follows up with a German suplex for the pin at 21:56. This didn’t touch their awesome encounters from ROH, but was pretty good stuff by FIP standards. These guys worked a different, slower style but still told a good story and kept things interesting for the entire duration of the match. ***1/2
The bonus disc also features a preview for the “Enter The Dragon” Pay Per View and a highlight video of the show featuring different camera angles.