[iPPV Quick Recap] DGUSA Revolt! 2013
The second of the three Dragon Gate USA events this weekend has concluded and it was definitely well worth the money. Click “read more” for a quick recap breakdown of the events, plus my own thoughts on the matches and the overall presentation.
Quick Match Results:
- Chuck Taylor pinned Arik Cannon after putting him through a table (5:41 of wrestling; didn’t count the part before).
- Brian Kendrick won the California FRAY!, last eliminating Drake Younger (13:10).
- Rich Swann pinned EITA after a corkscrew press (15:49).
- AR Fox pinned Samuray Del Sol with the Lo-Mein Pain (14:13).
- Akira Tozawa pinned Sami Callihan with a cradle German suplex (17:46).
- The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) defeated The Jimmys (Ryo Saito & Jimmy Susumu) after a “More Bang for Your Buck” on Saito (16:48).
- Johnny Gargano (c) defeated Jon Davis in a “No Rope Match” to retain the Open the Freedom Gate Title after Davis passed out in a ladder-assisted Gargano Escape (21:09).
Match #1: Chuck Taylor pinned Arik Cannon (Total Time Not Recorded).
- IN A NUTSHELL: Taylor came out and challenged Cannon to a game of Beer Pong to celebrate his win in the Evolve Records elimination match last night. Taylor won the Beer Pong contest and then the match got started. The highlight saw Cannon suplexing Taylor on a pile of chairs and ordering a beer at the bar while Taylor recovered, and Taylor launching himself of the bar a few minutes later. The finish came when Taylor threw a chair at Cannon, who fell through a table in the ring allowing Taylor to cover him for the victory.
- MATCH THOUGHTS: The whole “beer pong” opening was a weird start to the show and almost left-field but Taylor’s spiel about being in college for seven years was amusing (I was too Chuckie T, so I feel you) and the beer pong contest itself was fun to watch. The match itself had its moments but I couldn’t really get into it outside of the spot I mentioned earlier and Taylor just being fun as hell to watch (and listen to, due to his girlish shrieks). Definitely the best choice to open the show.
Match #2: Brian Kendrick won the “California FRAY!”, last eliminating Drake Younger in 13:10 (other participants included Brian Cage, B-Boy, Famous B, Ray Rosas, Johnny Yuma, and Johnny Goodtime).
- IN A NUTSHELL: Rosas and B-Boy started the match off, with B-Boy no-selling chops and dropping Rosas with a hard right. Yuma entered third and after being dropped with a B-Boy right, ended up connecting with a Tornado DDT after Rosas hit B-Boy with a lung blower. Yuma’s tag partner Goodtime was out 4th, and B-Boy eliminated Rosas with an over the shoulder back to belly piledriver. Goodtime got Yuma up and hit a top rope Death Valley Driver onto B-Boy. Yuma then pinned B-Boy to eliminate him. Younger was 5th and connected with a double bulldog on Yuma/Goodtime. The Scene‘s new pick-up, Brian Cage, came out 6th. Younger eliminated Yuma with a sitout powerbomb moments later. Cage laid waste to Goodtime, then caught Younger during an attempted top rope move in a suplex position, but Younger rolled him up for 2. Famous B made his way out as the 7th entrant but his in-ring time was short-lived because after connecting with a swanton on Cage, he ran right into a Younger Vertebreaker for the 1…2…3 and an elimination. When it was time for the 8th entrant, Kendrick made his way out with two members of his wrestling school and struggled to figure out which one would enter the match as Younger and Cage beat the hell out of each other. After Younger eliminated Cage, Kendrick and his two students entered and Kendrick used the distraction to hit Younger with the Sliced Bread #2 and get the victory.
- MATCH THOUGHTS: With this being my first “FRAY!” I didn’t exactly know what to expect but I ended up enjoying the match, chaos and all. And although Famous B had the least amount of ring time, he made the biggest impression on me with the sequence that eliminated him. I really dug that. Kendrick winning was cool and I probably should have guessed he was going to take the opportunity and go for the win but I was stupid and thought they said “student” not “representative”. I need to pay closer attention.
Match #3: Rich Swann pinned EITA after a handspring corkscrew splash (15:49).
- IN A NUTSHELL: Swann did his best to hype the sleepy California crowd up during his entrance to moderate success. The match began with some good chain wrestling, each man matching the other and reversals galore. Eventually it spilled to the outside where a chop war ensued, EITA’s chops sounding absolutely vicious and scary. Swann tried to bail, leading them to the entrance stage where EITA connected with a Tornado DDT. EITA followed it up with a moonsault onto Swann off of the stage. This lasted longer than the 20 seconds that DGUSA allows for outside action, but let’s just move past that. Swann fought back with a backspring Ace Crusher and a frog splash but could only get 2-counts off of that. Both men frustrated, Swann and EITA engaged in a forearm shootout in the center of the ring which turned into Swann kicks and EITA chops. Swann attempted another backspring move but EITA dropkicked him mid-spring eliciting a “This is Awesome!” chant from the crowd. After a missed moonsault from EITA, Swann tried to take advantage with a spinning enziguri and standing 450 but couldn’t put him away. Finally after a handspring corkscrew splash, Swann was able to put his opponent away for the 1…2…3.
- MATCH THOUGHTS: This is the point where the California crowd started getting on my nerves. Swann and EITA had a really good match, slow in spots but had some really cool moments, and outside of a few trying to overcompensate vocally, they sat on their hands. Even the “This is Awesome!” chant quickly died out like they lost interest in it. That aside, the match as I said was really good but did have some slow spots and there were ripples with the flow. The finish also looked awkward, all EITA took from that corkscrew was Swann’s head (get your mind out of the gutter) but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the big moments as well as the mat wrestling. Also much love to EITA for his rainbow mohawk and disapproving glance at Swann as he made his high-energy entrance. I might take a screen cap of that and make it a wrestling meme (no I won’t).
Post-Match: Swann got on the mic and after putting over EITA, tried once again to get the crowd revved up by asking if they were enjoying the show. After that he got down to business and called himself the best high-flyer in DGUSA before laying out an open challenge to anyone who wants to prove him wrong. Swann then dropped the mic and helped EITA up before hugging him.
- THOUGHTS: In between the hyping and the show of respect, Swann cut what sounded like a heel promo. Couple that with his heelish mannerisms in the match (trying to run away from EITA at one point being the big one) and it just made me all sorts of confused as to what his whole endgame was. Either way I love the hell out of Rich Swann and can’t wait to see more of his work. And much respect to his beatbox entrance music too because of reasons.
Match #4: AR Fox pinned Samuray Del Rol with the Lo-Mein Pain (14:13).
- IN A NUTSHELL: The crowd started in with a quick “This is awesome!” chant before the match even started. And once the match began the pre-chant was justified as they immediately went at each other full-speed, countering and striking, which culminated in a standoff and the sort-of applause of the crowd. After a handspring headscissors from Del Sol, Fox went on offense landing a shooting star splash onto the luchador from the apron. Back in the ring AR Fox skinned the cat into a corner dropkick and a corner shooting star splash because the man is made of rubber. After a leg lariat to Del Sol on the middle rope, Fox ended up on the outside and took a sip of a fan’s water bottle which made me smile. Del Sol would soon get back into the match, countering the Lo-Mein Pain and connecting with the first of his many reverse ranas. His comeback was short-lived though as Fox ducked a Rising Sun and connected with a twisting brainbuster. Del Sol found himself on the outside once again and Fox took to the air, hitting what I can only describe as an inverted 450. No that doesn’t make any sense but that’s the best I got because I’m a terrible writer. This move, the highlight of the match, brought the crowd noise up a little bit. Fox would control most of the match from here on out, and would finish Del Sol with the Lo-Mein Pain.
- MATCH THOUGHTS: I won’t lie; outside of the main event, the reason I watched this show for this match having been impressed by their previous DGUSA outings. I was not disappointed in the least as these two went out of their way to try and steal the show with some great high spots and inventive action. Fox is a goddamn machine when it comes to taking to the air and Del Sol’s constant reverse ranas were beautiful to experience (as was his “LUCHA! LUCHA!” chant entrance; I may have chanted along at home because I’m just that sad and pathetic). Again though the California crowd was killing it for me; they got loud here and there but there were points where I could hear a pin drop and it was frustrating. Do these fans even like wrestling? Get rowdy dammit!
Post-Match: The Young Bucks made their way out and dropped Fox with a spike tombstone piledriver. Afterwards they got on the mic and made their intent to win the Open the United Gate titles in the future as well as hyped their main event match on tomorrow’s matinee show Heat.
Match #5: Akira Tozawa pinned Sami Callihan with a bridging Cradle German Suplex (17:46).
- IN A NUTSHELL: While the last two matches were showy in terms of high-flying offense, Tozawa and Callihan went the opposite route and just beat the hell out of each other. After some really good back and forth action, including a deadlift German suplex from Tozawa, Callihan took control and worked over the Japanese star’s left leg in anticipation for his finisher the Stretch Muffler. Tozawa fought back though and both men connected with a bicycle kick sending them to the mat. Tozawa and Callihan then got into a German suplex war, with each hitting one and continually blocking others, and eventually Tozawa came out the victor. The German suplex war then turned into a strike war, as Callihan matched Tozawa’s chops with forearm shots. Callihan caught Tozawa with a sit-out powerbomb and immediately went into the Stretch Muffler which Tozawa countered with a roll-up. Tozawa connected with a bridging German suplex, but only got 2 and after a bicycle kick to the back of Callihan’s head, he cradled the arms and dropped him with another German suplex, this time getting the 3-count and the victory.
- MATCH THOUGHTS: Having to follow-up Fox/Del Sol was no easy feat, but Tozawa and Callihan figured out the right route: pound the sh*t out of each other as stiffly as possible. The offense from both men looked brutal in the best way possible and after hearing positive stuff about Callihan for a long time this made me a believer. He’s a straight up ass kicker and I dig that. Tozawa was no slouch either and his delivery of the German suplex, a move that is almost secondary in these times, was powerful enough to make me think it was a worthy finisher again. Tozawa also entertained, both by accident (tripping out to the ring Shockmaster-style) and by personality (kissing the camera, mocking the ref, making random quips). Three really good matches in a row and at this point I was ready to forgive this horrible horrible crowd.
Match #6: The Young Bucks defeated The Jimmys after a More Bang For Your Buck on Ryo Saito (16:48).
- IN A NUTSHELL: The Jimmys had the offense for the beginning part of the match and almost worked like heels in the way they double-teamed their opponents. Their big early moment came when Saito connected with a double stomp and stood on (I think) Nick Jackson and Jimmy Susumu sat on his partner’s shoulders to increase the pressure. Eventually The Young Bucks got control of the match and Matt Jackson went old-school with backrakes (including a springboard variant called “The Five-Star Backrake”). Susumu tried to fight off The Young Bucks and sadly had to start his own chant to get the California crowd behind him, but the brothers were too much for him and they continued their double-teaming ways (including a Shiranui/Shining Wizard combo). The Jimmys would fight back, with Saito hitting an assisted German suplex followed by a double team sunset German suplex that sent one Jackson into the other in the corner. But it was The Young Bucks’ night to shine, and after a Lariat/Enziguri combo they finished off Saito with the always fun to watch More Bang for Your Buck for the pinfall victory.
- MATCH THOUGHTS: The show had to lose steam at some point and even though this match was entertaining it just didn’t measure up to the triple shot of awesome that came before it. But I will say this: between their awesome double team moves and their near-perfect heel mannerisms and personalities, The Young Bucks have officially made almost every other tag team look completely stupid in comparison. They are just so f*cking good as an act it’s almost incomprehensible. But as much as I really dig The Young Bucks, this and the first two matches will probably be the ones I skip on my second go-around.
Main Event: Johnny Gargano (c) defeated Jon Davis to retain the Open the Freedom Gate Title in a “No Rope Match” when Davis passed out in a ladder-assisted Gargano Escape (21:09).
- IN A NUTSHELL: After a feeling out process with the rope-less ring, things got brutal real quick as the action spilled outside and Davis connected with a chokeslam on the apron. Gargano would fight back though, throwing a chair at Davis and locking on a ring post figure four. The action ended up back in the ring and Gargano locked on the Gargano Escape after ducking a Davis lariat. With no ropes to cause a break, Davis instead slid out to the floor and sent Gargano ribs-first into the ringpost from a fireman’s carry position. Davis followed up with a suplex on the entrance ramp. After sending the champion back into the ring, Davis pulled out one of the rope/turnbuckle assemblies from under the ring, fishhooking Gargano with the part that connects the turnbuckle to the ring post. Gargano would fight back and after diving out to the floor and onto Davis, buried his challenger under a pile of chairs a la Terry Funk in ECW. Davis would fight back and climbed the ring steps to hit a move, but Gargano reversed it sending Davis into the apron via sunset bomb. Gargano continued the assault, but Davis came out of nowhere and dropped the champion with a spinebuster onto the pile of chairs still left at ringside. Davis followed up with a powerslam on a chair inside the ring, resulting in a 2-count. A ladder would come into play and Gargano managed to hits the Hurts Donut on the steel structure to net him a 2-count as well. Gargano bailed out to the back and grabbed an even bigger ladder, positioning it on the apron. But whatever move Gargano was planning was thwarted as Davis sent Gargano crashing into the leaning ladder by way of a powerbomb. Seizing the opportunity, Davis quickly threw Gargano into the ring and connected with the Three Seconds Around the World for a heartbreaking (for him, anyway) 2-count. Davis grabbed the smaller yellow ladder while kneeling but was met with a kick to the head by Gargano. Davis yelled at him and Gargano kicked him once again, sending Davis to the mat and causing the ladder to settle over his shoulders. Gargano then used the ladder and applied the Gargano Escape and after a moment or two of fighting it, Davis passed out and the ref called the match. Gargano remains the Open the Freedom Gate Champion.
- MATCH THOUGHTS: Holy f*cking sh*t was this match absolutely brutal. The idea of a No-Rope match was interesting enough to get me to order the show but like with the fray I had no idea what to expect. What I got was a match that would make Dusty Rhodes proud due to all of the “plundah” involved. Gargano and Davis absolutely destroyed each other and many of the big spots (the powerbomb on the ladder especially) led me to audibly scream “HOLY F*CK!” to no one in particular. Gargano worked the match brilliantly and truly made himself look like a World Champion, and he helped make Davis look like an absolute f*cking monster. Davis truly came out of the match looking like a star, which made up for the fact the California crowd give him literally no reaction when he came out before the match, and having him lose by passing out instead of tapping keeps him looking tough and viable. I’m not familiar with their feud but judging by this match it had to have been a really intense one for it to be blown off in a crazy ass match like this. A perfect way to cap off the night and a match worthy of being in the main event of a PPV.
Post-Match: Brian Kendrick came out to confront Gargano, whom he faces tomorrow at Heat due to his fray win earlier. Kendrick put him over as a great champion but said he had never beaten someone with the credentials he possesses. Kendrick then said he discovered Gargano’s biggest weakness, his pride, and he exploited said weakness by asking Gargano to put the Open the Freedom Gate title on the line against him tomorrow afternoon. This is when the feed froze, but I would assume Gargano agreed to it since he’s the face champion and just proved he’s a badass who backs down from nothing. Kendrick then left and Gargano give a spiel about Dragon Gate USA and how hard they work and how much they really invest in their product and shows. He then thanked the crowd and said he hoped to see them again tomorrow for Heat.
DGUSA Post-Show Interview: Instead of ending after Gargano’s speech, we cut to commentator Lenny Leonard who conducted a brief “shoot” interview with Sami Callihan. Callihan talked about his dreams of becoming a pro wrestler and how he went from a 300 pound kid from Ohio into what he is today. Leonard then asked him what his future held for him, and Callihan responded with “only time will tell” in a very coy way. Callihan concluded with saying how many doors he’s kicked down in pro wrestling and how many more he would be kicking down in the future.
- THOUGHTS: Callihan is one of the many who had attended a WWE Developmental camp, and has worked a dark match for them in the past. Was this his way of saying he was Stamford-bound? Hard to say…but after seeing his match with Tozawa tonight it’d be insane if he wasn’t going to the bright lights, big city.
Overall Show Thoughts:
- While not my first DGUSA event, this was the first one I watched live on iPPV and I’ve got to say that it was well worth my money. Every match had something going for, and four matches in particular rank in the “must-watch” category (Swann/EITA, Fox/Del Sol, Tozawa/Callihan, & Gargano/Davis). From a wrestling standpoint it was as top-notch as I’ve seen from an independent company and in no way was I disappointed or bored at any point in the almost 3 hour show. From a presentation standpoint…that’s a little different. The crowd was absolutely horrid, their lack of enthusiasm in the face of truly great wrestling making me angry as a wrestling fan. The folks on the camera-side were the worst of the bunch, as having to look at them arms folded and stone-faced was frustrating to no end (the folks who were cheering were nowhere to be seen which was a shame). The venue also looked very low-rent and ugly from a visual perspective which doesn’t ultimately matter but it was something that stuck out from time to time. But as far as video went it looked sharp and outside of one (admittedly important) moment there were no feed issues. Overall I would rate REVOLT! very highly and strongly recommend anyone with a passing interest in DGUSA (or independent wrestling) to give it a watch on WWNLive.
- FAVORITE MATCH: AR Fox Vs. Samuray Del Sol (Gargano Vs. Davis a close-second)
- LEAST FAVORITE MATCH: Chuck Taylor Vs. Arik Cannon