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Found 41 results

  1. Oh man! These two put on a wrestling clinic. A match filled with great back and forth wrestling. Tons of fight and fire between the two. Both constantly struggling to gain control, putting everything they had on the line. Tremendous fiery performances by both. U-T's long ankle spot on Ishida was so well done; one of the few dramatic moments in this match. Ishida's striking was fantastic, especially his kicks and he his selling of the leg towards the end, and the post match, was really good. The closing stretch was all kinds of good too. The kids of Dragon Gate putting on a show. ****1/4
  2. I cannot say what exactly prompted me to explore Dragon Gate. My project from a couple months ago looking at DGUSA was perhaps the genesis (I still have one DVD to go). But, I've become a Shingo fan after the AJPW 2018 Champion Carnival . Then, I saw he is/was in this years PWG BOLA. Oh that's what prompted this! yeah, I have a mountain of older PWG DVDs to watch but, I might have check those out. So, let's get on with this! I'm going to list these in order of viewing so, you can get a better feel for what I saw and have some context for my views. Shingo Takagi vs YAMATO (Kobe Wrestling Fest 2016): Fucking radical sick match! No seriously this was a great match. YAMATO was trying to put Shingo to sleep or break his arm. That war of attrition really helped draw this out into a longer match without necessarily running through killer moves. The Y-man damaged Shingo's wing which both weakened the effectiveness of his strikes AND kept YAMATO in the fight longer than Takagi's ferocity would normally allow. I say that because this resembled a AJPW match more than Dragon Gate to me. The one con (at first glance) is YAMATO seemed sedate at the start. This was my first Y-Man match so, this could have just been ignorance of his style/mannerisms. Nonetheless, this was a fantastic singles match between my two most favorite DG guys. KAGETORA vs Dragon Kid (04/06/18): It's nice to see KAGETORA since my 2010 wXx project and Dragon Kid has been cool with me since the DG influx in ROH more than a decade ago. But, something did not click early on with me. I lost interest rather suddenly...Unlike the above match, this resembled Dragon Gate in bad way. I suppose that's shitty of me but, if it's lost me in the first few minutes, it's not worth me working through the match. It's building on a shitty foundation. BxB Hulk & YAMATO vs Ben-K & Big R Shimuzu (Kobe Fest 07/22/18): Right here I'm going to say this was my favorite match of the whole project. This was Classic tag wrestling! The Big-Ben team is such a back-to-basics team. They remind me of a late 80's AJ team who rely upon energy, effort, and stiffness. Really, the same can be said of YAMATO. BxB Hulk was the weakest participant at the start but, old-age or experience has quieted his flippy tendancies. He's traded that and his dance moves for precision kicks ala Katsu Nakajima. (Speaking of which- check the ref out! The frizzy fro and 70's stache must be a trend in Japan!? Rock it the fuck out dude!!). More about the match: Ben-K and Big R are rolling like true legendary tag machines (sans the metallic pants). YAMATO is about up top on the "Sorry I slept on this Dude" list along with Shingo. BxB is still creepy but, the dude is axe kicking brain stems and I cannot/will not hate that! Mixed this with their amazing chemistry, basic story, surprises and I'll consider this a classic contemporary tag classic. If you're watching Indy Wrestling or NJ even, you owe it to yourself to watch this bout. Shingo Takagi vs Masato Yoshino (07/22/18): So, I had high hopes for this but, yeah this was very super disappointing. It was very 1 sided and Yoshino's repeated comebacks were not believable. I might say this was comparable to the 03/26/95 Aja Kong vs Toyota WWWA match. Similarly, some people loved that and some did not. This was just too long and not very good because of that. This would have benefitted from a 2/3 falls stipulation. Instead we get a ton of kickouts and selling shit like death then popping up like a whack-a-mole trying moves at warp speed. Rysuke Taguchi vs YAMATO (NJPW 05/30/09): Best of the Super Jrs.- Tha Funky Weapon vs the Y-Man- aw yeah! The K-Hall crows is eating this up big time as both dudes are working the crowd. Taguchi starts showing 'Mato that he's NJ elite and powers past any counter attempts. Luck runs out though. Ryusuke is elbowing the Dragon Gater in the face but, YAMATO is actually smiling. Now, it gets straight violent and quiets the crowd. God Bless YAMATO! This is a great match that is truly competitive. Go see this!! Plus NJ has it on their Youtube channel so, you've got no excuses Jushin Thunder Liger vs YAMATO (NJPW 06/03/09) Again BOSJ match. A shorter fun match between these two talents. Liger is such a puro hero. Again, free and easy on the NJ YT. YAMATO & Kzy vs CIMA & Ricochet (08/11/17): Ricochet back in DG and YAMATO just wasn't enough for me to get past the first few minutes. Again, this is more of my preference than saying it's crap. YAMATO & Cyber Kong vs EITA & T-Hawk (12/28/14): A match with clear face/heel roles so, it's hard to screw this up. Both teams impressed but KONG & TOMATO were my team of choice since their stuff was simpler. Hawk & EITA did an excellent job hanging in there with their seniors but, their intensity (or sense of it) was sacrificed for a good performance. That is to say they were being careful. A very good match and Y-Man's star continues to shine. BxB Hulk vs Shingo Takagi (12/28/14): This had a nice into video showing that these 2 have history. Good enough for me! Petty Meltzer gave this ****1/2 and I could see that but, I felt it was a tad below that. It could have been slimmer but here's my take away notes. Pros: Nice Appropriate amount of stiffness (Hulk's kicks & Shingo's elbows & lariat), great execution of moves (stuff looked fought over, pulled off in a believable manner), Good pacing despite 30+ minutes Cons: That being said if this was a couple minutes shorter this would have been a Classic bout. Despite this not being what I'd call a classic (****1/2-*****), I watched this twice in a row. It is just a blast to watch and totally worth seeking out if any of this stuff appeals to you. So, yeah! Pretty awesome stuff overall. Dragon Gate isn't my favorite promotion and even from what I saw it can be hit or miss. When it hits though, it hits as well as NJPW or NOAH for me. So, it's no true surprise that Shingo has been called up to be the newest member of Los Ingobernales de Japon. I loved that promo video NJ released and to have Shingo be the man, ah that's awesome! It's not yet time for my 2018 Best Match Viewed awards but, Shingo is damn near locked to win my wrestler of the year pick!
  3. Dragon Gate USA has been a bit of a blind spot for me as I was losing interest in American wrestling (ROH & TNA) and exclusively watching puro in 2009, the year it took off. Certainly, I was interested as it featured Japanese wrestlers along with guys that I liked at the time like Bryan Danielson and Davey Richards. The problem was that I didn't really care for the style of wrestling. My cable company would have previews of the PPVs and I thought the ring, venues, and wrestling looked rinky dink. Now, I cut my teenage wrestling teeth on ECW, grew to love ROH after college, and adore 90's Michinoku Pro but, DGUSA looked like my local wrestling promotion passing itself off as something more. So, that being said it didn't surprise or please me to see Johnny Gargano or Chuck Taylor on their roster. These were dudes wrestling on Sportstime Ohio at midnight...and rightfully so. What were they doing up against the Dragon Gate talent? It seemed very budget. This was especially true when I was in my cult like devotion to AJPW and AJW at the time. It probably got even worse when I saw Tommy Dreamer was working there. I love me some Dreamer but, what the hell does he have to do with lucharesu? It really looked like Gabe S. was trying to grab at whatever he could from the ROH fallout. It just wasn't for me. Skip ahead 9 years to now, and I have only a slightly better understanding of what was DGUSA. The fact that Evolve & DGUSA were being run akin to RAW and Smackdown does not do it any favors. Its messy...like a little kid with chocolate ice cream. To get to the point, Gargano surprised the hell outta me at NXT New Orleans. The guys of 205 Live surprised the hell out of me. Tapes were on sale (DVDs) and these dudes were on them, let's give it a shot I thought! I got Revolt & Heat 2013. Sat. & Sunday shows held in Socal for Royal Rumble weekend in the Pappy Pavalion. It's a local promotion's space. It probably serves as their gym and a club/music venue by the looks of the space and bar. REVOLT 2013 Skipping the first 2 matches, they were OK I suppose. Rich Swann vs EITA: A few flubs, probably did more than they needed to but, it was fun. Samurai del Sol vs AR Fox: Very good match but, orchestrated. But fuck it, there's 50 people so, it hyped them up. It looks like it would be a blast to see in person. There is a tremendously obese guy in the front that is distracting. Um, Lenny Leonard is calling the match which does give this some prestige. He calls this a classic match but, it's not that good. It is a 205 Live main event level match though so, I'd highly recommend it. Kalisto fans, check it out Sami Callihan vs Akira Tozawa: Again, 205 Live talent in Tozawa but, more Tozawa-y since he's not in WWE. Anyhow, this was a very physical and intense match. The 205 shit goes out the window here. This felt like a fight and was more appropriate for WAR or '90 FMW. Sami was shouting curses at Akira, they were stiffing each other, and people in the crowd were uncomfortable. They came for flip dives and got a melee. They dug it though. What else? Good leg focus and selling of fatigue and the desire to win the contest. This was Champion Carnival level wrestling and a great match. Fans of either should definite see this. Match of the night 1000% Young Bucks vs Ryo Saito & Jimmy Susumu: This was pretty good as a filler between Sami/Tozawa and the Gargano/Davis main. The beginning was dry as fucking wheat toast but, the middle and end added a bit of butter and jam in typical Jackson Bros. fashion. I'd still give it a recommendation. The Bucks really deliver every match they're in. I left them off my mid year BMW list but, they are def in the running for my wrestler(s) of the year (or whatever the fudge I called that category!). Johnny Gargano vs Jon Davis: It's funny that people still call Gargano "Johnny Wrestling" long after "Johnny Football" evaporated from the Browns and the NFL. It's cool though...it's like Tenryu's Mr. Puroresu nickname. Anyhow, St. Ed's own is charismatic enough to get this semi interested crowd into this. Trust me, for most of the show it looks like Calling Hours with a ring. *rimshot* OK thank you, thank you! But seriously folks- this was a good match. The spots were unnecessarily dangerous (which is fine) and Davis' stiffness was appreciated but, the fans didn't really seem to care to the extent that they should have. It's a blood feud blow off in front of an AA meeting. Mute the TV and I think you'll enjoy it more. The quietness is uncomfortable with the level of violence. Overall a good show despite the crowd. Certainly worth the $5 paid. Let's see how the Sunday Afternoon show (!?) does. HEAT 2013 Yes, a January show called Heat. Maybe it's wishful thinking? In DGUSA's case, they probably should have called it Money... Arik Cannon vs Rich Swann: Very small time Indy feel match but, the crowd is much better. Probably did too much for an opener but, it got people pumped. Jon Davis vs Drake Younger: Also, very weird to see WWE ref Drake Younger after seeing Psycho Shooter Drake Younger. Case in point here. The man is nuts but, athletic and got heart. Frankly, I think this bout is equal to or better than Davis' match with Johnny. Good pace from the start, stiff and brutal offense, and intense throughout. These guys clicked better and Drake was willing to take sick bumps to make Davis look like a monster. Johnny's a little too pretty for that. Where's Davis now? He seems like he'd be a good fit for the Indy Big man explosion. EITA vs Chuck Taylor: A more technically advanced version of Cannon vs Swann. No rhyme or reason wrestling. The Awful Waffle is a extremely dangerous and brutal move for a wrestler of this low standing. Let alone, it has a stupid name. It's like naming your finisher, Pattycake and then you shoot the guy in the face with a magnum...and you have the physique of a high school soccer coach and your name is synonymous with a thin soled canvas sneaker. Johhny Gargano vs Brian Kendrick: This is for the Open the Whatever Gate title. This definitely has a slower title match feel to it. The focus early on is the wrestling. Kendrick truly looks like a professional by picking the younger Gargano apart. Gargano's moveset is very WWE/signature move based already which is a bit undesirable in this style of match. He goes for flash when he should go for utility. There was a ref bump and it was well played. The finish was sorta flat but, fug it! It worked and this was probably the best match thus far. Definitely recommend this bout. Again, 205 Live main event feel. Jimmy Susumu vs Sami Callihan: I'm guessing this went after the title match because of the ref bumping? Small show match from both but, the closing stretch was nice and the fans were digging it. Young Bucks vs AR Fox & Akira Tozawa: Special Dream match. I would have preferred Sami & Tozawa vs the Bucks. That would have been my dream but, this will work Typically solid Bucks heel control and cutoffs. Very nice babyface comeback sequences although spot-fu cheesy at times. But, the fans are pretty awesome at this show. So, Gabe said "give 'em what they want fellas!" Cardio dive sequence combo orgy is a go! Match of the night and a great Bucks style match. Everyone looked great and the crowd was pumped. Nice close and another feather in the Bucks cap of good stuff. The real honor is to Akira Tozawa who had the best matches on both cards. This was another very fun show and worth the time and money. All that said, DGUSA at this stage does not look long for the world and history will show that to be true. The talent is clearly there but, the fanbase is not. I've got one more 2013 DVD which features Gargano vs SHINGO (another reason I decided to look into this- based off SHINGO's awesome 'resurgence' at the 2018 Champ Carny). Depending on how that show goes, I may just go back to the early classics in the DGUSA library. Right now, the show quality are fairly priced at $5. WWN doesn't discount so deeply so, we'll see if I wanna spend the dough.
  4. Fang Suzuki vs Sumie Sakai - Chain Rope, Chair pit & ladder match (12/29/2000 JD'): Not sure if that's the official name of the match...but, it presents a helluva visual, right? This was a great match. I'll just say that right off the Louisville. There were dives, blood, moves on the chairs...it was right there with ECW, FMW, or WWF at the time, in terms of inventive gimmick and actual execution. Even better, they didn't give us the fucking tour of the arena as was the fashion of the time. I liked that then, I won't lie but, only if it seemed organic. I've seen quite a few fights where there is pretty much zero reason to traipse amongst the ticket holders. Anyhow, this was Sumie kicking ass and Fang being an excellent foil. The real joy of the match is in the surprises. They had every right to milk the stips and stomp & headbutt their way into a couple highspots and bloodlettings. I don't want to spoil this for anyone. I will say the finish wasn't my favorite but, was an emphatic end to a war. Great stuff. Susumu Yokosuka vs Milano Collection vs Touru Owashi vs Dragon Kid - 4 Way Elimination Match (08/28/04): Fantastically fun 4 man match! Although it took me a minute to figure out the gimmick w/ the turnbuckle & the hidden golden tickets. What is this Willy Wonka Wrestling!? Really cool match that was pretty crazy once things got goin' and goofy in a good way at times. The stiff lariats from Mr. "Too Many U's in my Name" really helped make this a legit match & balanced the goof troop stuff...so it was real fun, dog
  5. Ah, Dragon Gate, we meet again. I've always said Dragon Gate was fucking boring, and there wasn't a ton exciting about this match as they move through each section in very obvious fashion, but in total it wasn't half bad at all. I'm kinda surprised this match doesn't seem to have much hype to it, because it had all the ingredients of a modern classic, and did a better job at it than the praised NJPW main eventers. Heck, it may be better than the Dunne/Bate match from the same month that got a bit of talk, because unlike that match it made me actually get into on of the characters. The work here is really solid: all the moves look good and some even have a nice snap to it. Often this merely applies to the big highspots with everything between the spots looking lazy, but there is some nice basic armwork from Kzy in the match, and Susumu nearly chops his head off with a lariat at one point. Kzy looked pretty good in general, getting good sympathy and bumping like a madman spiking himself repeatedly on his head to make Susumu's moves look deadly. Sort of like a leftover T2P worker with some interesting holds and a nice dive. His selling of the neck wasn't flawless, but he did sell it and it wasn't as obvious as Jimmy sold his arm on and off. I didn't get much of a sense of Jimmy Susumu, who had a moveset lifted straight from a Fire Pro edit and not much else beside. Most importantly, they worked this at a healthy 20 minutes instead of 40. I smelt the outcome from the first minute, but they did enough interesting stuff to make me forget about it. You can nitpick this type of match to death, saying it was just a by the numbers indy match with a bunch of half assedly sold limbwork, contrived transitions and big moves thrown out which are not even followed up by cover, but all that's to be expected at this point I guess.
  6. I'm overrating this for sure (I mean, probably), but look into these eyes and you'll find no trace of a fuck to be given. This ruled. Fuji is Dragon Gate's resident bruiser and tries to out-Tenryu Tenryu by chopping him really hard and punching him in the jaw and whacking him with chairs. I fully expected Tenryu to dish out something fierce in return but he went beyond even that. The punches and Adam's apple chops were ungodly and he even hit a dive off the stage! Well, it was more of a jump, but still, off the stage! Fuji may be a bruiser among the little fellas of his home promotion, but he's a head shorter than Tenryu and made to pay dearly for his temerity. Tenryu was also great at getting into place for Fuji's offence, like setting up the shining wizard by falling to one knee after being whipped into the exposed turnbuckle, crawling around to set up Fuji's Cena-style legdrop off the top rope. It felt organic and didn't look like a guy blatantly setting up his opponent's move, which was like 70% of what Dragon Gate seemed to be by the time I threw my hands up on it (about a decade ago now). I thought the penultimate punch Tenryu threw was a corker, but my goodness did he top it with the final one. I figured Fuji's head was for getting Oberyn Martell'd all over the canvas.
  7. Talk about it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tnv1IhcwlJs&feature=youtu.be
  8. Cool 7 minute match built around swank technical stuff. If Dragon Gate still has matches like these I'd really like to know about them. Kondo does some surprisingly nifty submission stuff and SAITO has some impressive swanky headstand moves. Some moves were a little slow, altough in their defense they were doing pretty intricate stuff and things didn't get exhibition-y.
  9. After several weeks worth of delays our 2016 yearbook is out, and I like to think that it is the best thing we have ever put out. We had over a dozen contributors this year covering a wide range of topics from the history of inter-gender wrestling to the year in DDT to IWRG's match of the year, the history of wrestling tournaments, WWE financials, and so much more. We have two different PDF versions of the newsletter up, and one is essentially pre-press quality and so is A-okay for anyone who wants to print their own for whatever reason, or just wants a crisper experience. Any suggestions for future issues, feedback, and general comments would be very much appreciated as always. YEARBOOK CAN BE FOUND HERE *WWE IN 2016: NEW ERA, BRAND SPLIT, AND THE PRESIDENTIAL SWERVE BY ANDREA GREGOVICH *WWE FINANCIAL YEAR IN REVIEW WITH CHRIS HARRINGTON *THE RISE OF WRESTLING TOURNAMENTS BY DAVE MUSGRAVE *THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF THE CRUISERWEIGHT DIVISION BY TODD MARTIN *THE YEAR IN LUCHA LIBRE WITH THECUBSFAN *2016’S MOST INDELIBLE MOMENTS BY PAUL COOKE *ALL IS SEMBLATIVE OF A WOMAN’S PART: A MODERN AND HISTORICAL LOOK AT INTER-GENDER PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING BY BEN CARASS *THE 2016 PODMASS WITH JOE GAGNE *A 2016 PRO-WRES OVERVIEW WITH BRYAN ROSE *WARRIORS BY ALAN COUNIHAN *THE INDIE PURO YEAR IN REVIEW WITH IZZAC *TO PROVE ONE’S VALOUR: THE STORY OF ISHII & TANAHASHI’S 2ND G1 CLASSIC BY RYAN CLINGMAN *THE DRAGON GATE YEAR IN REVIEW WITH ANDREW PUGH *THE DDT YEAR IN REVIEW WITH JAME ‘O DOHERTY Thanks everyone.
  10. Talk about it here. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1al5dx_masato-yoshino-c-vs-masaaki-mochizuki-dragon-gate_sport?search_algo=1
  11. Talk about it here. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1aijd4_genki-horiguchi-h-a-gee-mee-c-vs-super-shisa-dragon-gate_sport?search_algo=1
  12. Talk about it here. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ajj3l_masaaki-mochizuki-vs-t-hawk-dragon-gate_sport?search_algo=1
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