1) BxB Hulk v. Yamato- 6
Everything an opening match should be, Hulk has the charisma, he def. has the girls, and the ring movement to succeed. Both guys showed tons of heart here, Hulk has the sympathetic side of selling hurt down but can't convey it with anything but simple selling and some body language, but it will come. Could have shaved a few minutes off of this but nothing wrong with what they accomplished here.
2) 2 Cold Scorpio v. Ken Doane- 3
An interesting match, 2 Cold is getting older but apparently a diet of weed, cocaine and energy drinks makes up the elixir of life because he can still do all the high flying stuff he did in his 20's/30's. He put on a show of high risk moves that were impressive, but the match lacked any kind of direction. Doane still doesn't get it, he moves from spot to spot with the same blank look on his face for the duration of this match. He didn't give the fans anything to connect to except his over-hyped legdrop.
3) Mike Quackenbush/ Jigsaw/ Fire Ant/ Soldier Ant v. Hallowicked/ Icarus/ Gran Akuma/ Amassis- 5
The CHIKARA boys show off what they got and for diff. sections, this worked. No denying the fun factor here, as obviously these guys are well versed with each other, each guy working off the last in the ring with the fluidity of a Corvette engine. Their Lucha style looks good, even more polished than most true Mexican luchadores, but it's all practiced and coveted to look as such. A few guys weren't up to snuff though, Akuma was the bald Davey Richards, sick kicks and just walking the ring from spot to spot, kicking out of everything thrown at him, the Ants were fun to watch though. All in all, not on the level of older Dragon Gate multi-man matches (or for that matter, old Toryumon stuff) but the finish really was as exciting as touching your first boob.
4) Dragon Kid v. Masato Yoshino- 6
I used to be the biggest Yoshino hater in the modern world, dude's a buck & 1/2, and he was the Man of Steel, would commonly be in 30+ min. matches, kick out of every finisher known to man, and still looked like he could go to the club after the match. His selling is still pretty unbelievable (almost like he always gets something in his eyes) but he's improving from that style. Kid has always been more grounded and the element i most liked about this was the unrehearsed look it had, reversals not coming off clean, knees coming up at the last second from splashes, strikes used well (and not only as transitions) it had all the trappings of looking like a real fight. Kid also amazed with some downright awesome hurricanranas too.
5) Young Bucks v. CIMA/ Susumu Yokosuka- 4
Matches like these are my biggest pet peeve. Just in this match alone, the Bucks put together a tag team highlight reel that may never be matched, i mean just a litany of cool tandem stuff they pulled off here was downright impressive but all the basics were thrown out of the window due to the excess, legal man problems, terribly long 2.9 kickout sessions, but the thing that gets me most is the complete lack of professionalism of wrestling, what they are doing there, was thrown out of the window. At no point did this feel like two teams that were trying to win, it was 100% performed like a ballet, an entertainment piece with heavily rehearsed and choreographed spots for the fans' enjoyment, which to the modest 23 year old fan with no concept of ring psychology (and probably no dating prospects) this is the cat's pajamas, the balls and the cock of what they love, but it doesn't fly with me, i've been watching too long, have seen too much to claim this was a great "wrestling" match. Moments that annoyed me were Yokosuka constantly taking water breaks after moves (esp. a Bucks double team dive move outside), CIMA motioning the crowd to cheer louder instead of selling the crazy move he just took and the long speech after the match where everyone is friends again because they put on a great show. I don't think these guys have ever seen an Arn Anderson match (my latest HOF inductee) because if you do, you won't disbelieve he wants to maim his opponent for one second. 'Nuff said.
6) SHINGO v. Naruki Doi- 6
I nearly went with a 7 here, but not quite. It was probably still the best thing on the show though. SHINGO showed me a lot, he kept up with his hurt knee selling for a good portion of this, and not overtly done, just little spurts, like right before the big superplex, he grabs it for a second as if he was fighting through the pain but it clutched him just for a moment. Doi is dynamic, his legwork left some to be desired though and none of his finishers (which people don't care about anymore) don't look like they could beat anyone. A Flapjack? a running kick? but this was paced just like a Heavyweight Japanese title match, even though no belt was on the line, the announcers did a good job making it still feel important. I liked how SHINGO kept countering that absurdly difficult finish Doi kept trying because realistically, it would be hard to hit that move. The near falls at the end kept building and building and the match ended when it peaked, nearly, so it was a main event they could be proud of.
Overall, i like Dragon Gate, but it's like a perfect ROH replica in that it only offers one thing and that will wear on people after a while so just like Wasabi, a little i can take but too much of it and i'll be on the floor heaving and gasping for air, never wanting it to darken my mouth again.