Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dragon Gate USA Open the Southern Gate

1) Brodie Lee vs. Jon Davis - 3
2) The Breakout Challenge Match #1: Jimmy Rave vs. Lince Dorado vs. Sugar Dunkerton vs. Kyle Matthews - 3
3) The Stable Shootout Match #1: Rich Swann vs. Sami Callihan - 6

Opener wasn't stirring any emotion in me. Two big guys doing a kind of clunky match, some ugly moments, like Davis being unable to lift his leg high enough for a spot, and Brodie's control segment dragged. Matthews looks like Justin Gabriel minus the charisma. Kyle looked actively bad with an aloof expression and subpar timing. Dorado was crisp, and Dunkerton, while goofy, was fine. Ending was anticlimactic with Rave hitting a Shining Wizard on Sugar out of nowhere. I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with both Swann and Callihan a couple months ago so I was actively looking forward to the next one. Sami hitting an Exploder suplex on the ramp was a big bump. This had a great, manic pace and lots of physicality. It also had a high saliva quotient. Given its placement on the card these guys overachieved.

4) The Breakout Challenge Match #2: AR Fox vs. Arik Cannon vs. Facade vs. Shiima Xion - 4
5) The Stable Shootout Match #2: Naruki Doi vs. Jon Moxley - 5
6) The Stable Shootout Match #3: CIMA vs. Johnny Gargano - 6

Backstage Moxley promo with short hair and he looks like Nick Swardson. This was the kind of spot-fest we'd expected in a four-way setting but was fairly enjoyable. Arik looked about as appropriate here as the racist Confederate flag did hanging on the wall at this venue. Plenty of stuff came off sloppy but that didn't deter them. Shiima looked the best. I wonder if AR knows Fox McCloud? Five matches in and we're just now getting to see an actual Dragon Talent talent. Brodie Lee attacks Moxley pre-match and throws him around like something Nerf. Naruki targets the leg like Gabe targets the deserts on the buffet. Moxley had the size but Doi the speed. I always thought the crotch chop was such a stupid taunt but when Moxley busts it out after a series of slaps to a kneeling Doi I couldn't help but chuckle. The finish, and how Jon basically sat there and complacently took the Bakatare Sliding Kick to the face was sort of a downer. Post-match Moxley harasses Playboy Playmate Reby Sky. I liked Gargano the first time I saw him because he was wearing a Reptar t-shirt, but now, I've come to respect him as an upcoming force on the indy scene. I wasn't sure early if they'd rally into anything resembling recommendable but the finishing stretch was really good stuff. There was one sequence of counters that was super tricky and smooth and I was pretty stunned they pulled it off. Gargano looked strong in defeat, he took the Schwein more than once, but it was finally the Meteora diving double knee drop off the top that finished him off. I'd say check this out.

7) Jimmy Rave vs. Arik Cannon - 4
8) The Stable Shootout Match #4: PAC & Ricochet vs. Akira Tozawa & Chuck Taylor - 6

The crowd didn't seem too interested in the next match -- can't say I blame them. Cannon's a guy I've never been too big on but had a few flashes of decency with a crisp strike or aggressive power move sprinkled in. Arik won with the Glimmering Warlock which was anticlimactic after previously hitting more high-impact stuff like Total Anarchy for nearfalls. Main event went nearly 30 min. Tozawa bailing to the floor and sitting on a guy's lap in the front row wearing a black leather jacket but tan shorts so he appeared sans pants and massaged Akira's shoulders was odd. Not sure what got him started but PAC is bleeding like he just got ground and pounded by Brian Ebersole. The finishing stretch had the nuttiness you'd expect but it was fun including some big aerial spots and double-teams and the right guy got beat (Taylor). The "unlikely partners" trope didn't really pop and in a co. dominated by factions I couldn't discern the issues amongst guys but the action was good.

1 comment:

Geo said...

Love Tozawa. Timely post considering we're going to Indy to see these dude in like two weeks~!