Dragon Gate USA: Heat

Hollywood, FL – 3.29.2012

Championship Rundown
Open The Freedom Gate Championship: Johnny Gargano
Open The United Gate Championship: CIMA & Ricochet

Commentary is provided by Lenny Leonard.

Low Ki vs. Bobby Fish

Ki goes for a cross armbreaker. Fish turns it into a cradle for a two count. He backs Ki to the corner after being taken to the mat. Fish pie faces him after a kick to the chest. Ki snapmares him into a power elbow for one. Fish hits a slingshot senton for two. He digs his elbow into Ki’s mid-section. Ki throws some chops and takes Fish down with a back elbow. They exchange some hard strikes, looking for control. Fish takes Ki to the corner with some chest kicks and gets two with a belly-to-back suplex. Ki leans back in a bodyscissors to force Fish’s shoulders to the mat. Fish releases and does some damage to Ki’s ribs. Ki kicks out of a running powerslam. Ki O’Conner rolls Fish for two. Fish knees him in the chest. Ki won’t let him get a cover, regardless of how much pain he is in. Ki evades a corner attack and hits the Tidal Crush. Fish blocks the Ki Krusher and knees Ki to the corner. Ki comes out with a strike to the head and successfully hits the Ki Krusher for the pin at 10:51. As you would expect, both these guys worked really wel together given how similar their approach to wrestling and styles are. Fish held his own and looked really strong over Ki, but in the end fell to one of his classic finishers. A nice way to open the show. **3/4

The Blood Warriors are no more. Akira Tozawa and BxB Hulk took it upon themselves to kick some of the “weaker” members out and re-branded themselves as Mad Blankey. Uhaa Nation made the conversion with them. He says that tonight in the main event he will show the world that they are the best stable. Tozawa says Blankey means Bullshit, then goes on to say all his opponents are bullshit. I’m confused, but it’s possible Tozawa has no idea what bullshit means.

Ricochet vs. Mike Cruz

Ricochet is now a member of World-1 International, with Masato Yoshino, Rich Swann, PAC, and Naruki Doi. He stomps on Cruz’s hand. Cruz shoulder blocks him down, but Ricochet just pops back up. He throws Cruz down for a two count. Cruz snaps off a headscissors and a dropkick in quick succession. Ricochet dropkicks Cruz as Cruz tries for a springboard crossbody. He throws a few kicks to the chest for a two count. Ricochet stretches Cruz out around his back and slams his head into the turnbuckle. He spins him out into a Black Tornado Slam for two. Ricochet misses a leg lariat in the corner. Cruz comes back with a Busaiku Knee and a running bionic elbow. He delivers a dropkick out of the corner. More chest kicks come from Ricochet. He drives Cruz right onto his head with an Ace Crusher for two. Ricochet comes off the second rope and gets caught by Cruz’s German suplex for two. Ricochet ducks a clothesline and hits an enzuigiri. A snapmare driver gets him two. He puts Cruz away with a shooting star press at 7:02. That was a fun, fast exhibition. Cruz looked good and I would like to see him get some opportunities outside of the Florida WWN shows. **1/2

You can watch this match in its entirety here.

Immediately after the pin, Mad Blankey come out and attack Ricochet. The Zetsurins (aka Veteran Army) of CIMA and Masaaki Mochizuki make the save.

The D.U.F. (Sami Callihan, Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez) are backstage. Sami is not happy that Sanchez is drunk and forgot his gear. He and Cannon say they’re not concerned with their opponents this weekend (Sabu, AR Fox, and Jon Davis) at the moment. They’re focused on taking on Ronin and Mad Blankey in the main event. Sami says they don’t get respect like the other DG factions do, even though they main evented the last show. This whole team they’re yelling at Sanchez to shut up. Whatever.

Masato Yoshino vs. Samuray Del Sol

Before the match, Johnny Gargano makes his way to the ring. He will be defending the Freedom Gate title against Yoshino in a couple of days at “Mercury Rising 2012.” He puts over Yoshino, but says he wants a front row seat to scout Yoshino before their big match. He wishes both guys luck.

They trade arm holds to start. After some back and forth they both snap off some armdrags. Sol huracanrana’s Yoshino and dropkicks him to the floor. He looks at Gargano before getting back in the ring. Sol locks his legs but Yoshino manages to make it to the ropes. Yoshino controls Sol’s arm while also twisting his neck. He rolls him into a hammerlock Octopus. Sol gets his foot on the ropes. Yoshino evades a dropkick and hits one his own. He gets two with a suplex. Sol gets sent to the apron and comes back in with a springboard dropkick that sends Yoshino to the floor. Sol crashes to the floor after mistiming a second rope springboard attempt. He recovers however, and Finlay rolls Yoshino into a basement dropkick back in the ring. He gets two with a slingshot shooting star press. Yoshino evades a corner attack and drops him with the Sling Blade. Sol pops him up for a gutbuster. Yoshino ducks a spinwheel kick. He lights him up with some slaps before taking a twisting neckbreaker. Sol gamengiri’s Yoshino on the top rope. Yoshino evades his super huracanrana and comes off the top with a dropkick. He takes him down with Torbellino and goes for Sol Naciente. Sol instead catches him with a cradle for the pin at 10:19! That was a major upset and a huge upset for Sol. I question the Freedom Gate challenger losing a couple nights before challenging for the title, but there’s no denying that this kicked of Sol’s DGUSA career in a big way. The action itself was also very good. ***

Johnny Gargano says it’s a little awkward talking to Yoshino after his loss, but says everybody has an off night and puts over Sol. He then talks about how great Yoshino is. Yoshino says not to insult him and shoulder bumps Gargano before heading to the back. Gargano vows to beat him on Saturday night.

A trailer for “Untouchable 2011” is shown. You can read my review of the show here and purchase the DVD here.

Zetsurins (CIMA & Masaaki Mochizuki) vs. The Scene (Scott Reed & Caleb Konley)

Larry Dallas and Amber O’Neal are in The Scene’s corner. They jump the Veteran Army before the bell. Reed backdrops Mochizuki. Mochizuki sweeps his legs out and kicks him off the apron. Konley and CIMA tag in. CIMA dropkicks him into a senton for two. He holds up Konley so Mochizuki can axe kick him in the groin. Reed suffers the same fate. Mochizuki works on Konley’s leg, but ends up being crotched on the middle rope. Konley kicks the rope into his groin. Reed runs in and kicks the middle rope into CIMA’s groin as well. The Scene isolate Mochizuki until he Sankakugeri’s Konley off the apron and gives Reed the Sick Kick. CIMA stomps down Reed in the corner. Konley attacks him from behind but ends up being taken down with a bulldog. Reed is clotheslined at the same time. He double stomps Konley for two. He goes for the Perfect Driver. Konley counters into the Zack Attack for two. The Veterans hit stereo superkicks on Mochizuki. Amber distracts CIMA long enough for Konley to attack him. The Scene deliver the Ob-Scene but Mochizuki is there to break the cover. Konley slingshots Mochizuki into Reed’s powerslam for two. Mochizuki yakuza kicks Reed in the corner. He kicks both Scene members in the chest. The Veterans set them up in the corner for stereo double knees. CIMA gives Reed the Schwein. Mochizuki hits the Twister on Konley. CIMA gives them both the Meteora at the same time for the pin at 10:10. You know, there’s a lot about the Scene in ring that’s solid. Their act and lack of charisma however is doing them absolutely no favor, as proven by how quiet the crowd was when they were in control. Something needs to be changed if they are be taken as a serious threat against THE two top guys in Dragon Gate. That aside, the match was pretty solid given the crowd’s apathy at times. **3/4

Mad Blankey attacks the Veteran’s. Ricochet comes in to help them out since they bailed him out of a Mad Blankey attack earlier. Uhaa Nation comes in to help out Hulk and Tozawa, wiping out the Veterans as Hulk and Tozawa beat down Ricochet. Tozawa tells the live crowd (after bicycle kicking CIMA) that their name means bullshit. He says he will beat the Veterans and Ricochet in Miami.

Ronin are backstage. Chuck Taylor and Rich Swann tease Gargano about his hurt back. Taylor teases Swann about making his flight this time. He says he’s not wearing a shirt so he can get tan to get with a Spanish girl tonight. He goes through his bucket list of sexual encounters. Taylor then gets into promo mode and says they’re going to prove that they’re the best stable in Dragon Gate tonight. Swann and Gargano agree with that sentiment.

PAC vs. AR Fox

Fox and PAC start off fast but then slow down and take things to the mat. Fox cartwheels into a headscissors. He ducks PAC’s clothesline and dropkicks him to the floor. Fox turns around to hit the ropes and gets caught with a springboard dropkick. PAC applies a figure four headscissors. Fox makes it to the ropes. PAC suplexes him for two. He headbutts Fox in the stomach before giving him a gutwrench suplex for two again. PAC nails a running back elbow in the corner. He hits a shooting star press to Fox’s back and then stretches Fox’s back out across his knee. Fox gets the ropes once more. PAC goes to the top rope. Fox crotches and springboard dropkicks him to the floor. He follows with the Lo Mein Rain. The Guillotine legdrop gets him a two count. He skins the cat into a dropkick, then hits a moonsault cannonball senton for two. PAC comes back with a running forearm. He gets two with a brainbuster. Fox enzugiri’s PAC from the apron but misses a springboard dropkick. PAC’s shooting star press is blocked by Fox’s knees. A rolling Death Valley Driver from Fox leads to a springboard 450 splash. PAC kicks out. PAC evades the Lo Mein Pain and hits a German suplex. He spikes Fox onto his head with a reverse huracanrana. PAC gets the pin with a sit-out powerbomb at 14:55. This built quite nicely but finished rather abruptly. Yes, PAC had beaten Fox enough to pin him, but I was primed for a kick out and then either the 630 Shooting Star or British Airways to put Fox away. Either way both guys looked terrific, and now that PAC is out of Dragon Gate, I think Fox has potential to be one the high fliers capable of filling of his shoes one day. ***1/2

Ronin (Johnny Gargano, Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann) vs. Mad Blankey (Akira Tozawa, BxB Hulk & Uhaa Nation) vs. D.U.F. (Sami Callihan, Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez)

Cannon and Hulk try to spit beer and wine (respectively) into each others’ eyes, and end up hitting their partners (Callihan and Tozawa) instead. This begins a huge brawl amongst all nine guys. Nation dropkicks Swann and press slams him onto Taylor and Cannon. Callihan enzuigiri’s Nation in the corner and gives him two facewash bicycle kicks. Nation clotheslines him on his third attempt and pops him up for a gut buster. Cannon breaks his pin after a standing moonsault. He gives him a neckbreaker and drinks a beer while locking Nation’s leg. Cannon spits beer in Tozawa’s face, but Tozawa still bicycle kicks him to save Nation. He sends Cannon out with a Shining Wizard. Taylor gives him the Brodie Knee and an overhead suplex. Sanchez double stomp Taylor’s head and hits a missile dropkick. Hulk elbows Sanchez into a kick to the head. Swann dropkicks Hulk to the apron. Callihan gives Swann a Death Valley Driver and the Boing Splash for two. He sends Swann out with a lariat and suicide dives after him. Gargano goes for a dive and eats Sanchez’s forearm instead. Gargano sends Callihan into the corner with a Complete Shot. He gives him a neckbreaker. Cannon enzuigiri’s Gargano and throws a flurry of punches. The D.U.F. take turns beating down Gargano in their corner. Tozawa and Hulk take over after kicking Cannon and getting in a fight with Callihan. They and Nation beat down Gargano for a bit. Gargano ends up shoving Hulk to the D.U.F. corner. He and Tozawa get thrown to the floor. Gargano finds himself trapped in the D.U.F. corner once again. He evades Cannon and Callihan tossing Sanchez at him. He drops Cannon and Callihan with a DDT/Complete Shot combo. They roll to the floor and Gargano tosses Sanchez onto them. Swann and Taylor dropkick Tozawa and Hulk to the floor. All of Ronin dives onto their opponents. This leaves Nation, who hurts his knee on a tope con hilo. Taylor tries to superplex Sanchez. Cannon and Callihan end up powerbombing him which also hurts Sanchez. Cannon gives him Total Anarchy off of Callihan’s back. Swann and Tozawa break the pin. The D.U.F. throw kicks and strikes his way. They almost have the pin with the Forearm 2 Remember but Hulk saves his partner. Hulk hits Mouse on Sanchez. An axe kick gets a two count. A few more kicks from him and Tozawa lead to a German suplex. Cannon breaks that pin. Tozawa takes care of Callihan and Cannon on the floor. In the ring, Hulk hits the First Flash on Sanchez to eliminate him and the D.U.F. at 14:18. Uhaa Nation has been taken to the back, leaving Tozawa and Hulk to take on all of Ronin themselves. They do an admirable job beating down Swann in their half of the ring. Swann ends up taking Hulk down with a Leap of Faith. Gargano tags in and gives Hulk a dropkick. Taylor tosses Hulk into Gargano’s Ace Crusher for two. Hulk dropkicks Taylor into Tozawa’s Saito suplex. Swann breaks the pin. Tozawa throws Gargano to the apron. Gargano gives him the slingshot spear and Taylor hits a quebrada. Swann follows up with a frog splash for two. Tozawa and Gargano knock each other down trading strikes. Tozawa misses an enzuigiri, but deadlifts Gargano into a German suplex for two. Tozawa fights for the High Tension Suplex. He hits it and gets the pin at 23:15. I am really impressed with how well everybody kept the match together in the wake of Nation’s injury. Tozawa and Hulk looked like bad asses taking out Ronin on their own and Tozawa now has a legitimate claim to a Freedom Gate title shot after pinning Gargano. This was a really good and fun main event. ***3/4

Bonus Matches

CZW Death Match Showcase #1
Danny Havoc vs. tHURTeen

KEVIN STEEN joins commentary for the CZW Showcase bouts. Havoc backs tHURTeen to the corner and blows him a kiss. They actually go back and forth with some wrestling, ending with tHURTeen sending Havoc to the floor with a back handspring headscissors. He then moonsaults after him. Back in the ring tHURTeen tries to hit Havoc with a light tube. Havoc stops him and then bites down on the light tube to break it. He headbutts tHURTeen to the corner and throws some forearms. Havoc gives him a modified uranage for two. He gives tHURTeen a Manhattan Drop out of an electric chair position. Havoc gets two a light tube assisted backbreaker. Rich Swann joins commentary randomly. Havoc picks up a bundle of light tubes. tHURTeen’s crossbody doesn’t break them, but a double stomp onto his stomach does the trick. He kicks a light tube into Havoc’s back and moonsault knee drops one into his chest. Havoc meets tHURTeen on the rope. He puts him through another bundle of light tubes with a super Falcon Arrow. He uses some light tubes in a fallaway slam and gets two. After recovering, tHURTeen huracanrana’s Havoc off the ring apron. He misses a cancun tornado splash back in the ring and cuts his hand on some light tube glass. Picks up more light tubes and gives tHURTeen a Tiger Suplex. tHURTeen kicks out. Havoc gets two with a Death Valley Driver as well. Havoc blocks the Rollback Driver with the Burnout for the pin at 13:28. Even though these matches are not my cup of tea, I’ve seen quite a few CZW shows. I don’t think CZW fans would be too thrilled with these, and there wasn’t enough quality wrestling to make it worth the while of anyone outside of that audience. This wasn’t awful or anything, but it went far too long and just showcased dudes going through light tubes. *

CZW Death Match Showcase #2
Drake Younger vs. DJ Hyde

They trade some smack talk before the bell. Younger avoids being thrown into some light tubes. Younger’s chops have no effect, but Hyde’s do some damage. Younger tries a sunset flip and gets stapled in the head. Hyde staples a dollar bill to his head. Younger staples a streamer and ticket onto Hyde’s head and face as they fight in the crowd. In the ring he pummels Hyde with some water jugs. Younger breaks a bunch of light tubes over Hyde. He slams Hyde chokeslams him through a bunch of light tubes tied together in a square. Whatever light tubes weren’t broken get stomped on his back. Hyde digs one of the broken tubes into Younger’s head. He dumps some thumbtacks amongst the light tube debris. Younger avoids being powerbombed onto them. He crossbody’s Hyde into the tacks for two. Hyde sends Younger into the tacks with a Boss Man Slam for two. He gets two with a cannonball senton too. Younger sends him through light tubes with a Death Valley Driver. He frogsplashes through some light tubes for two. “Of course he kicks out”, says Lenny, which is my attitude at this point. Hyde kicks out of one after the Drake’s Landing. Give me a break. Hyde lariats some light tubes into Younger (after two tries). Younger gets right up, breaks light tubes over his own head and charges. Hyde suplexes him onto his head. Younger gets up, gets tubes lariated into him, and Hyde pins him at 11:39. That was so ridiculous I had my eyes rolling by the end. It says a lot when Leonard and Steen laughed and mocked this and the previous match most of the way through. This was almost embarrassing in how silly it all was. Younger is actually a good wrestler and Hyde needs to stop pretending like anyone cares about him. Let’s keep these types of matches in CZW please. ¼*

AAW Heavyweight Championship
Silas Young (Champion) vs. Samuray Del Sol vs. Gran Akuma

“DGUSA Untouchable 2010” – Chicago, IL – 9.25.2010

Young applies pressure in a tandem knuckle lock. Akuma and Sol send Young to the ropes. Akuma drop toe holds him into a moonsault from Sol. Akuma puts him in a Camel Clutch while Sol dropkicks him in the face. Akuma then dropkicks Sol. Sol catches Akuma with a headscissors from the mat and then one to the floor. Young swings Sol into a backbreaker. He throws him across the ring in a fisherman’s suplex for two. Akuma sole butts Young and kicks him in the face. Sol gets thrown over the top rope. He holds on and skins the cat back into a headscissors to Young. He uses Young’s quesadora to huracanrana Akuma. Sol gives Young a backcracker and Akuma breaks the cover. Akuma blocks Sol’s Shiranui with the Tenchi Crash for two. Akuma heads up top. Sol heads up with him. Young places Sol onto his shoulders. He hits the Pee Gee Waja Plunge for the pin at 5:03. This wasn’t too long to be anything memorable, though Sol got to show off and was able to foreshadow his future DGUSA success. **

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