LENNY LEONARD INTERVIEWS JIMMY JACOBSz - Great! Jimmy dismisses the speculation that he is going to join one of the Dragon Gate stables, who are now looking to add Americans to counter Moxley joining Kamikaze USA (which is apparently the stable that formed in the big angle back at the end of Fearless. Lenny says that Jimmy seems like an obvious recruit due to his history with Moxley, but Jimmy says that he’s spent so much of his career in stables and tag teams, and “it never ends well.” Jimmy says he is one of the best wrestlers in the world and is going to show everyone that by standing on his own, and he’s going to make everyone take note when he beats CIMA tonight.
One of those things that I just have to comment on happened in this promo. When Jimmy was talking about having spent so much of his career in tag teams and stables, he actually added in “and a couple,” and then trailed off just briefly enough to be noticeable but not enough to really interrupt the flow of his promo. Yes, Lacey has been relevant in DGUSA, but being in a couple is not the same as a tag team or a stable so it doesn’t quite fit the theme… and yet, for Jimmy Jacobs, it works, because the storyline with Lacey was such a big part of his character, and Jimmy found a way to make that work within this story in this entirely different promotion. I absolutely love the fact that Jimmy Jacobs finds ways to make his character feel like the same person with a consistent history from one promotion to the next, and, quite frankly, he’s one of the best promos of all time that the vast majority of wrestling fans will, unfortunately, never get to see.
HISTORY OF MASATO YOSHINO VS. DRAGON KID VIDEO PACKAGE, PART 1 - Fine, I guess
KAMIKAZE USA (Akira Tozawa & Gran Akuma) vs. CHIKARA SEKIGUN (Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw) - 7.75/10
Another GREAT effort early on the card by Quacken-Saw. They’re actually the wrestlers whose matches I’ve started looking forward to the most. Quacken-Saw pick up another win, then get jumped by the rest of Kamikaze USA. With Moxley strolling out last, with a blonde chick in tow. Moxley taunted Quackenbush with his FIP World Heavyweight Title, then the whole group headed to the back.
HISTORY OF MASATO YOSHINO VS. DRAGON KID VIDEO PACKAGE, PART 2 - Fine. Open the Untouchable Gate was taped over half a year ago, and aired close to six months ago. There is absolutely no excuse for the entire backstage segment they showed here to not have subtitles. This was a lot of Yoshino ranting in a language your target audience doesn’t speak, followed by Dragon Kid coming in and yelling in a language your target audience doesn’t speak, then everyone yelling in a language your audience doesn’t speak, followed by Yoshino cutting a short promo in a language your target audience doesn’t speak. Why did you only subtitle the last part and not the entire segment?
FIP WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
Jon Moxley(c) (w/an unnamed blonde) vs. Phil Atlas - 6/10
Moxley was pretty rough with his female companion, yanking her around and pulling her hair and that sort of stuff. He also used her as a human shield at one point, just like he did with Christina Von Eerie back at Open the Ultimate Gate in that backstage segment with Shingo. Speaking of CVE, Lenny Leonard seems to have learned her name between this show and the previous show, so that’s good.
Moxley won a match that was more competitive than I was expecting it to be. Shingo and YAMATO interfered towards the end, but Moxley had the advantage before they came out, so this was just heels interfering to be assholes and hurt someone.
JIMMY JACOBS vs. CIMA - 8/10
Lots of great stuff here, with Jacobs playing something of an underdog who you want to see prove himself. Lost the match, but it was close enough that he felt like he proved his point about being a top-level wrestler anyway. At least that’s how I felt about Jimmy’s performance, and CIMA felt that way, too, because he offered Jimmy a handshake after the match. Jimmy, on the other hand, apparently didn’t feel like he had proved himself, because he kicked CIMA’s offered hand away and left angrily.
JOHNNY GARGANO TRIES TO BRIBE HIS WAY INTO STABLES - Very bad. This happened before the Dpi vs. Mochizuki match started. Gargano came out in a Quail-Man t-shirt and Ninja Turtles backpack like he was seven years old. He presented them with gifts a nine-year-old would think were great like Angels in the Outfield, or some sort of goofy doll. He said this was a Japanese tradition of bringing gifts when you lobby someone to try to join their stable. Neither wrestle was impressed by this (although Doi was slightly more polite about it than Mochizuki was). This made Gargano look like a HUGE f*cking goof.
MASAAKI MOCHIZUKI vs. NARUKI DOI - 7/10
Mochizuki worked the knee. They had an exciting- if abrupt- finish.
CHIKARA SEKIGUN PROMO - Good. They’re tired of being jumped by Kamikaze USA. “Rally your troops! It’s time we finish this.”
BRAD MARTIN & XTREMO vs. JON BOLEN & TYSON DUX - 6.5/10
A fine showing from the local guys.
2 OUT OF 3 FALLS MATCH:
Dragon Kid (w/Naruki Doi) vs. Masato Yoshino (w/Masaaki Mochizuki & CIMA) - 8/10
This definitely got to the point where I’d call it awesome, but it disappointed in that it didn’t feel like it justified all of the hype they put into it. It just didn’t feel like the blow-off to this huge feud, and also didn’t feel like the like stipulation was. If you’re going to make a match two out of three falls, it needs to go at least twenty-five minutes (this went just under twenty). Otherwise, it didn’t feel like the long, epic thing that two out of three falls between two top names should feel like.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. There’s that mutual showing of respect after the match that they’ve been building to in order to cap off the story.
WORLD-1 (BxB Hulk & Pac) (w/Naruki Doi) vs. KAMIKAZE USA (Shingo Takagi & YAMATO) (w/Akira Tozawa) - 8/10
This was an awesome brawl in the Dragon Gate style. Kamikaze USA pick up the win with YAMATO hitting his awesome finisher for the win.
STUFF HAPPENS BACKSTAGE - Mostly good. The only flaw in this was that it started with a Japanese interviewer interviewing Masato Yoshino in Japanese, on a product intended primarily for non-Japanese speakers… WITH NO SUBTITLES.
Anyway, Jimmy Jacobs walked by so Yoshino asked him for any insights he might have into BxB Hulk, whose Open the Freedom Gate Championship Yoshino is challenging for tomorrow night. Jimmy blows him off, saying he’s tired and just wants to leave right now. The camera inexplicably leaves the interview to follow Jimmy Jacobs, who then gets attacked by Moxley. Moxley says that this attack was for Kendrick, and tomorrow he’ll get revenge for himself.
This was a GREAT show from DGUSA, with quality wrestling all up and down the card. The only bad bit here was the stupid Gargano segment. The show definitely feels small, but if you’re going to have a B-show, making sure it’s got quality wrestling and some solid little storyline bits on it is exactly how you make it still feel like a worthwhile watch.