Arena Results: Dragon Gate PPV taping, Chicago debut
Dragon Gate taped an upcoming pay-per-view, “Open the Untouchable Gate,” Sunday night at the Congress Theater in Chicago, and Eric, Jordan, SteveMHW and Derekstellar were lucky enough to attend. About 600 more people were at the show. Following are the results and a few thoughts on the matches. (We missed the Fray match, but whatever, you’ll read the results somewhere else. I’m sure Keith Lipinski took diligent notes.)
(1) Dragon Kid beat Masato Yoshino (14:00). This was a good match with the standard spots out of both Kid and Yoshino, but it didn’t seem like Yoshino was as speedy as he’s always pushed as (he was off the charts at the WM22 weekend shows, but he seemed a half-step slower here). Both guys kinda heeled it up here and there, too. After the usual “false” finishes (which are hardly false when no one really expects finishers to, you know, finish a match anymore), Kid won with a crucifix bomb.
(2) Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw beat Gran Akuma & YAMATO (14:00). Jordan noted that these guys seemed a half-step off as well. It was OK but not even really “good,” with Jigsaw playing Ricky Morton against, as SteveMHW called them, Baby Baron Von Raschke and Nicho El Milionairo. Quack won the match with a piledriver a la Owen Hart breaking Steve Austin’s neck, but with Akuma’s legs crossed and Quack kinda sorta cradling them. Akuma and YAMATO, being the good heel team they are, attacked Quack and Jigsaw after the match, until Hallowicked made the save.
We were then treated to a Young Bucks promo. Actually, I think Matt and Jeff Hardy showed up in a phone booth time machine from their 1995 jobber days (SteveMHW thinks Michael P.S. Hayes was their George Carlin). These guys are fucking clowns and can’t cut a decent promo to save their lives. But Gabe seems to like them, and the fans seem to be buying them. They talked about being not the team of the future but the team of the present. (Later we’d see a video of a promo of them saying the exact same thing. Dumb.) Jimmy Jacobs made his debut with Mustafa Ali at his side and tried to recruit the Young Bucks into his Something Something Army. The YBs didn’t bite, but then Genki Horiguchi & Ryo Saito jumped those plucky young buckaroos to end the segment.
(3) Naruki Doi beat Bryan Danielson (23:00). The announcer said the first man out “needs no introduction,” and Danielson literally got no introduction: no music, no lights, no announcement. It was awesome. The match was awesome. Danielson worked over the arm maliciously and meticulously as only Danielson can do. He kept going for Cattle Mutilation, while Doi hit all of his signature moves. Doi finished with the Muscular Bomb for the semi-surprising win. Then again, Doi is the champion, and Danielson is on his way to WWE, so it probably made sense. After the match, Danielson cut a classy promo about how he hoped the fans would keep supporting independent wrestling, and then put over Davey Richards as the new “best in the world.” Very nice, but oh, that wouldn’t be the end…
(4) CIMA beat Brian Kendrick (12:00). Well, something had to be the popcorn match. Kendrick got a decent reaction, with the crowd chanting “Spanky” at him, although the crowd was split. We think that was the time of the match, but we forgot to pay attention. It was weirdly short, though, for superstar CIMA and returning hero Kendrick. But it’s always fun to see CIMA play to the crowd. CIMA won with his diving double knees. (I love those types of moves of his, but check this out: You know the move where CIMA bends his opponent over and puts the man’s neck on the second turnbuckle to dropkick it? CIMA set that up, but then started undoing the drawstring on his tights and pulling them down as though he was going to fuck Kendrick in the ass. He didn’t.) Kendrick just kinda snuck off with no fanfare.
(5) Davey Richards beat Shingo (25:00). Excellent match between two very hard hitters. Shingo had his head shaved, leading the crowd to chant “Where’s your mullet?” This was the first match to spend any length of time on the outside and the first to feature a dive (Richards using the Homicide flip dive but totally overshooting Shingo; man, Shingo has a real way about not catching his opponents on those moves… ask Mark Briscoe). They traded chops, kicks and forearms throughout and grappled on the top rope a lot (one of those ventures to the top rope resulted in a Davey Richards diving headbutt… OK, we get it, you love Chris Benoit). It’s hard to do this match justice, so just watch it when it comes out. Richards hit a shooting star press and cinched in the Koji Clutch for the submission win. After the match, Richards asked Danielson, his former roommate, to come to the ring to say what he’d said earlier. Danielson called Richards a good friend and the new face of independent wrestling. Richards then attacked Danielson, saying he doesn’t need anyone’s approval. Great angle, great heel heat for Richards. Jeremy loves this guy (so do all of us), and rightfully so.
(6) Genki Horiguchi & Ryo Saito beat the Young Bucks (15:00). The Young Bucks suck. They have a couple of OK moves, but they are boring babyfaces and look cheesy as shit with their tassles and “YB” on the asses of their blue tye-dieish tights and their “COME ON, BABY!” offense. The crowd spent their entire reactions chanting “H-A-G-E!” at the bald Horiguchi (that’s how you spell “bald” in Japanese), and Horiguchi was superbly entertaining in his reactions. One of the Bucks kicked the ref to bump him (whoa, Gabe, take it easy), so the Bucks got a visual three-count. Thankfully, Horiguchi sprayed blue mist into one of the Bucks eyes (good god, man, Russo called and wants his playbook back) then hit some sort of cross-armed facebuster for the pin. Blond Buck then started crying for his brother, begging the gods to deliver him a bottle of water to rinse out his precious partner’s eyes. He bitched, pissed and moaned at the ref like a good babyface should, then the two raised their hands at the top of the ramp even though they didn’t win. Oh, go away.
Overall, a fun card but a couple of off matches. Definitely get this for the Richards-Shingo and Doi-Danielson matches.
Yeah, the Young Bucks gimmick is totally cheesy and their entrance music is “MMMBop” but they can bring it in the ring. Watch some of their Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s matches from this year( mainly DDT4) and the Dragon Gate ppv and tell me they still suck. They do remind me of a mashup of the Rockers and a pre Team Xtreme Hardy Boyz minus the mic skills. And no one started a “Shock the monkey” chant? For shame.
Awesome Dude, I desperately wanted to start a Shock The Monkey chant, but I was unsure anyone would get the reference (by that I mean the song reference). And if Young Bucks are the Tag Team of the Present, then take me back to 1995, when the only Buck in town was of the Bunkhouse variety.