Freedom Fight opened with all six competitors from the opening contest inside the ECW Arena's ring as fans chanted "Dragon Gate!" The ring announcer welcomed everyone to the PPV and announced tonight would be a tournament to crown the first Open the Freedom Gate champion. He noted that the first man to attain the pinfall in each bout would go on to the Four-Way elimination final.
DRAGON GATE USA OPEN THE FREEDOM GATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT ROUND ONE: NICK JACKSON VS. MATT JACKSON VS. LINCE DORADO VS. GRAN AKUMA VS. JOHNNY GARGANO VS. HALLOWICKED
Lenny Leonard and Chikarason are your announcers.
As you can imagine, this is all sorts of insane spots, so here's some highlights:
Jigsaw nailed a tope through the ropes on Akuma and Gargano. Matt Jackson killed Dorado with a superkick. Dorado faked a dive on him, so Nick Jackson drilled him with a roundhouse kick. Jackson went for a backslide on Gargano, who slipped out and hit an Ace Crusher. The Bucks doubled up on everyone at different points before being left alone in the ring. They teased going at it but Akuma and Gargano jumped them. They dispatched the Bucks, then went after each other. They Bucks laid them out and teasing fighting again but Dorado and Hallowicked hit missile dropkicks off the top to take them out. Hallowicked hit the GTS on Dorado, followed by a sit-down Tiger Driver for a two count.
Hallowicked went for a Fisherman's Buster off the top on Dorado but was shoved off. Dorado hit a 450 splash got a two count. Akuma broke it up. Nick Jackson hit a standing moonsault off the apron onto Dorado, smacking his feet over the railing in the process. Gargano hit Matt Jackson with an enziguiri. The Bucks worked over Gargano but Hallowicked got involved. The Bucks hit stereo superkicks then a moonsault and 450 splash. Matt Jackson covered him, but Nick pulled him off.
The Bucks began battling back and forth. Nick used a Lucha armdrag off the ropes, then a running high knee in the corner. They traded superkicks. Matt hit a sit-down facebuster but Akuma broke it up. Hallowicked went for a running powerbomb out of the ring but Dorado turned it into a rana out of the ring, then hit a dive This set of a series of awesome dives from everyone. Gargano nailed a double knee strike to Akuma's face then went to the top rope. Akuma crotches him and hits a Spider Exploder. He hits a standing moonsault on Gargano and scores the pin.
Your winner, Gran Akuma!
Crazy opener. The sequences involving the Bucks were awesome. Lots of good work here with tons of crazy athletic moves and way too much ground covered to type live. Interesting choice in Akuma going over and an interesting way to get him over to a theoretically new audience. If you liked the old days of the WCW Cruiserweights, you'd enjoy this one a lot,
Backstage, Lenny Leonard and Leonard F. Chikarason discussed Akuma advancing
DRAGON GATE USA OPEN THE FREEDOM GATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT ROUND ONE: BXB HULK VS. BRIAN KENDRICK
We get ring entrances for this one. Crowd claps along to BxB Hulk's music, but no dancing girls this time for Hulk. BOO! This was actually Kendrick's ECW Arena debut. The fans chanted for Hulk at the onset. They went to the mat early, going back and forth. Kendrick focused on his arm with knee strikes and armbars. They returned to their feet and went for a test of strength, which Hulk won. Kendrick grabbed an arm. Hulk cartwheeled to escape and Kendrick went to the floor to halt Hulk's offense. Kendrick returned to the ring and caught Hulk with a shoulderblock. Hulk retaliated with a deep armdrag. Kendrick backed off into the ropes.
Hulk grabbed Kendrick in a side chinlock, nailing knees to the face at the same time. They went to the outside, where Kendrick whipped Hulk into the ringpost. Kendrick stalked him on the outside with punches and kicks, then slammed his face into the apron. Back in the ring, he peppered Hulk with elbows and forearms. Kendrick locked in a Camel Clutch. Kendrick began using kicks, but Hulk started firing back. Kendrick cut him off with a hot shot and a kick to the face. Kendrick tore at Hulk's face, then cinched in another Camel Clutch. Hulk fought off Kendrick and hit a sweet missile dropkick. He nailed a kick to the head and a standing moonsault into a legdrop for a two count.
Hulk went for a suplex but Kendrick landed on his feet. They jockeyed for position but Hulk nailed a jumping high kick for a two count. Hulk charged but Kendrick hit a leaping leg lariat. Kendrick went for Sliced Bread #2 but was shoved off and landed brutally on the concrete floor. Hulk teased a dive but Kendrick leaped into the front row. Hulk went to the outside, attacked Kendrick and brought him back in the ring. Kendrick small packaged Hulk for a two count, then nailed an enziguiri for another.
Kendrick went back into the Camel Clutch. Hulk came back with a boot to the face. Kendrick rolled him up for a two count. They exchanged near falls, then kicks to the face. Hulk with a sideslam for a two count. Hulk went for a pump handle slam but Kendrick hit a forward roll for a two count. Hulk drilled Kendrick with a kick to the head immediately and rolled him up for the pin.
Your winner, BxB Hulk!
OK and solid back and forth match that came across much better on PPV than it did live. Kendrick seemed to be missing something, though.
The ring announcer asked an ailing Brian Kendrick to return to the locker room after the bout. Kendrick told him to "give me a minute", then took the mic and went off. He asked the ring announcer how his neck was and then went off, saying last week, he got X-Rays showing how bad the condition of his neck was and he'd take as much time as he wants, because he earned it. Kendrick said he wasn't trying to be some tough guy or some heel, but he grew up wanting to be a pro wrestler. Kendrick said he's an artist and wrestles for himself, not to make others' happy. He began going on about people's negativity, but the mic wasn't really clear.
Kendrick said he's like Picasso, and people don't understand him. He says that people claim he smoked his WWE career away, but he chose to be himself and ignore everyone else's rules. He went off on the crowd for not questioning what they are told.
Several officials came out to ask Kendrick to leave the ring. He went off on them and dared someone to make him leave the ring. Several wrestlers came out and ask Kendrick asked who was going to try and make their name off his back. The cameras focused on Jon Moxley making his way to the ring. He entered and took the mic. He said he doesn't see a lot of action and perhaps he still had some McMahon genes in his system. He said that he knows what Kendrick was trying to say, so he'll finish Kendrick's thoughts for him. He called all the fans insects and joined Kendrick in attacking all the officials and other wrestlers.
They aired a plug for www.dgusa.tv.
DRAGON GATE USA OPEN THE FREEDOM GATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT ROUND ONE: SUPER CRAZY VS. SKAYDE VS. MIKE QUACKENBUSH VS. CIMA
The storyline here was that the Four Way was a tribute to Skayde, who had a hand in each's career and was referred to as the "grandfather of Dragon Gate" by the announcers. CIMA and Quack bowed to show respect to Skayde early but Crazy was having none of it. Crazy worked over Skayde early but Swayde made a comeback.
They built into a ton of crazy Lucha spots and reversed and near-falls and if you think I'm going to break my DVD players rewinding 1000 times, you are crazy. Crazy laid out Skayde from behind and worked over his knees. CIMA went to check on his trainer but was chucked. Quack was also tossed and Crazy went on the attack on Skayde. Skayde made a comeback.
Quack tagged in but was caught in a pendulum, but CIMA broke it up with a dropkick. Quack hit an insane twisting dive to them floor. CIMA nailed Rivera with the Skayde Special for the pin. Afterwards, Crazy disappeared as CIMA was congratulated by the others. Quack made a motion with his hands that he wanted CIMA to win the belt.
This was just awesome stuff, but there was no way I was going to be able to keep up with it, but I loved this.
DRAGON GATE USA OPEN THE FREEDOM GATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT ROUND ONE: DAVEY RICHARDS VS. YAMATO
They started off with a test of strength. YAMATO powered Richards back, but got kicked in the chest. They lock up and YAMATO catches Richards with a hammerlock. Richards reverses but is driven to the mat. He escapes and locks on a heel hook. YAMATO escapes and they return to their feet. Richards cinches in a hammerlock, then a side headlock. They exchange shoulderblocks, but neither man budges. Richards goes for a cross armbreaker but YAMATO is too close to the ropes and it's broken up. Richards begins focusing on YAMATO's shoulder with elbow strikes and an armbar. Richards nails a belly-to-back suplex. He tries to cinch in a Kimura. YAMATO escapes. Richards follows to the floor. Richards and YAMATO brawl.
Richards whips YAMATO into the railing, which collapsed into the fans. Richards then hit a running boot to the face of YAMATO on the floor. Richards tosses YAMATO back into the ring. They trade headbutts. YAMATO went for a leapfrog but was caught and slammed down. He rolled outside. Richards teased a dive but YAMATO went under the ring and reemerged from the other side, returned to the ring and dropkicked Richards in the back of his legs. YAMATO began focusing his assault on Richards' legs.
YAMATO locked in an anklelock but Richards made it to the ropes. Since he had to break the hold, YAMATO drilled Richards' knee into the mat. YAMATO continued beating Richards, who started firing back. Richards hit a kick but his leg was too hurt and buckled. YAMATO kicked Richards in the face and went for a dropkick off the ropes but was kicked as he came off. Richards and YAMATO exchanged strikes. Richards caught him with an overhead belly to belly suplex. YAMATO went to the floor. Richards hit an amazing running tope through the ropes, sending himself and YAMATO over the rail and into the second row. Just plain awesome.
YAMATO was tossed back in the ring and Richards hit a Japanese style missile dropkick. Richards began drilling him with kicks to the face, then a handspring into a kick to the face. Richards grabs YAMATO for a suplex but YAMATO battles out. Richards hit a back suplex with a bridge for a two count. Richards went right into a Kimura but YAMATO eventually gets to the ropes. Richards goes for another suplex but YAMATO holds on. He kicks Richards' bad leg.
YAMATO locks in an ankle lock. Richards fights his way to his feet and attempts an enziguiri but YAMATO ducks and locks on the anklelock again. Richards finally makes it to the ropes. They slug it out in the center of the ring. Richards drills him with a series of kicks. A dazed YAMATO still hits a back suplex. Richards nails an insane lariat. Both men are out and the crowd chants Dragon Gate. Richards hits charging forearm in the corner. YAMATO responds with his own. He goes to the top but it cut off. Richards nails a superplex.
YAMATO gets to his feet but is caught with a kick, a lariat and a back suplex. YAMATO got his shoulder up at the last second and the crowd chanted, "That was three." They battled on the top rope. Richards knocked YAMATO off and hit a shooting star press but YAMATO got his knees up. YAMATO locked on a choke sleeper in the middle of the ring. Richards started to fade out but fought to his feet with elbows. YAMATO and Richards traded woozy blows. Richards nailed a flurry of blows but was kicked in the gut. YAMATO ducked a leg lariat and hit a choke sleeper suplex. He kicked Richards in the head but Richards kicked out. He nailed a brainbuster but only got a two count.
The crowd began chanting for Richards. YAMATO nailed an inverted sit-down package piledriver and scored the pin.
Your winner, YAMATO!
Absolutely awesome and insane back and forth. We have the first must see match of 2010 here. You will get the price of the PPV off this match alone. Richards is a wrestling machine and continues to carve out an incredible legacy of matches for himself.
They show the four competitors in the main event preparing for the title match backstage, similar to UFC. When they went to YAMATO, he was laying, exhausted on the locker room floor.
DRAGON KID & SHINGO VS. MASATO YOSHINO & NARUKI DOI
Kid and Yoshino started the bout, continuing their feud. Kid took him down with a fast armdrag. Yoshino rolled him up with a two count. They went back and forth on the mat with neither getting the advantage. They faced off. Fans began chanting for Yoshino, sparking a chant for Kid. Yoshino kicked Kid, sparking a speed of light series of exchanges and reversals. Shingo and Doi tagged in. They exchanged shoulderblocks with Shingo getting the better of Doi, then shoving Yoshino off the apron in the corner.
Shingo works over Doi in the corner with huge battering shots. Kid tagged in and dropped a kneedrop on Doi. Shingo and Kid tagged in and out, working over Doi. Shingo nailed a fistdrop. He chopped Doi, who retaliated with his own. Kid used Shingo as a base to swing around and kick Doi. He covered Doi but Yoshino broke it up. Kid nailed a big dropkick to Doi's face. Yoshino and Doi got over on Kid, taking turns coming off the ropes onto Kid's arm. Yoshino dropped Kid over his knees with a backbreaker. Speed Muscle continued to work over Kid, nailing a drop toehold and a dropkick to the head at the same time.
Yoshino tied up Dragon like a pretzel on the mat. Shingo tries to help but Doi cuts him off and tosses him to the mat. Kid finally makes it to the ropes but was cut off with a combination flapjack/bulldog. Kid is hit with a spinebuster by Doi before locking him into an abdominal stretch. Kid escapes and whips Doi into the ropes but Doi holds on and kicks him in the head. Kid, undaunted, still turns an attempted move into a rana takedown and makes the hot tag.
Shingo cleans house. Kid nailed a flip dive off the top onto Doi. Shingo was left with Yoshino and fought to get him over with a brainbuster. He finally nails it. Doi hits the ring and is able to take down Shingo and locks on an Octopus. Kid then locks onto on Yoshino. Kid and Doi battle while they have the other trapped. Yoshino nails Kid with a massive dropkick in the ropes. Kid comes back with a Blockbuster over the ropes into the ring.
Kid drilled Doi in the corner. Yoshino kicks off Doi, who shrugs it off and lariats him anyway. Kid hits a double stomp. Doi fights off Kid but is caught by Shingo with a burning hammer for a two count. Shingo and Yoshino battle. Yoshino gets the better of it, dropping Shingo on his head. Yoshino and Doi double team their opponents. Yoshino nails a missile dropkick on Kid, landing on Shingo with a back senton in one fluid motion.
Yoshino and Shingo battle on top. Yoshino ends up on Shingo's shoulders to nail a forward roll but Kid springboards and hits a rana into the ring for a two count. Kid catches Yoshino with a rana into a forward roll for a near fall. Kid misses a springboards but is caught with a powerbomb. Shingo powerbombs Yoshino with a Doctor Bomb. Doi begins drilling Shingo with strikes but is killed with a lariat. All four men are down and the fans chant for Dragon Gate.
Kid and Doi battled in the corner. Yoshino comes off with a Doomsday Device clothesline for a two count. Kid swings around Yoshino and catches him in a crucifix for a two count. Yoshino finally locks in a submission that ties up Kid's arms in a crossed motion and chokes him out. Kid fights and fight but finally taps.
Your winners, Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi!
Awesome, awesome, awesome match. As much as I recapped, there were 1,000 other sequences that were too fast for me. I loved this. I don't think we'll see another PPV this year with two phenomenal back to back matches like we did here. If you don't order the PPV, you should ashamed of yourself.
Outside the ECW Arena, against a gate was Jon Moxley. He cut a good promo saying he's not pulled by puppet strings and he's not computer programmed. He said everyone we'll say he's no good indy trash and a waste of talent and asked why. He asked if it's because he's not some famous guy's kid or because he asks questions. He said that when you are "this good", you don't have to listen to anyone, unless you want to. He said he hasn't lost his way, he knows who he is. He said wrestlers like him are extinct and he's a living ghost. He said you don't have to be afraid - he only wants what's his. Good promo that made me interested in seeing more about Moxley.
OPEN THE FREEDOM GATE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: CIMA vs. GRAN AKUMA VS. BxB HULK vs. YAMATO
The championship bout is being held under elimination rules.
All four faced off with each other at the same time. Akuma and YAMATO nailed CIMA with a double powerbomb. They then turned their attention to Hulk, kicking him. Hulk ducked under a double clothesline and unleashed a flurry of kicks. CIMA and Hulk nailed a double dropkicked on Akuma but CIMA immediately hit a codebreaker on Hulk. CIMA went to the top and nailed a spider exploder, then a moonsault press for a two count.
Akuma went for a Falcon Arrow but CIMA floated through. He shoved Akuma under the middle turnbuckle and dropkicked him in the back. CIMA drops down with a stomp on Akuma for a two count. CIMA gets shoved off the top by YAMATO. YAMATO nails a back suplex on Hulk for a two count. Hulk comes back with a flurry of kicks and a leg sweep. He nails a standing moonsault press but YAMATO gets his knees up. YAMATO whips him into the corner. he goes for the Galleria but CIMA drills him from behind with a kick. YAMATO hits a baseball slide into CIMA's head. Hulk gets nailed with a back suplex. Akuma kicked CIMA in the groin while the referee was distracted. YAMATO rolled up CIMA and pinned him.
CIMA is eliminated.
Akuma and YAMATO had their way with Hulk, picking him apart with strikes and kicks. They smothered him in the corner. They continued to work over with chops. Hulk tried to battle back but was soon overpowered by the heels. YAMATO sends Hulk flying upside down with a back elbow. YAMATO locks in a Boston Crab while Akuma cinches in a chinlock. YAMATO locked in a crossface. YAMATO and Akuma continued to pick their spots and punish Hulk. They battered him in the corner. There was miscommunication and Akuma kicked YAMATO to the floor. Hulk hit a springboard spinkick for a two count and a reverse kick. He went to the top rope but YAMATO returned. He was slammed down, but tricked YAMATO into dropping an elbow on Akuma.
YAMATO was tossed out. Akuma and Hulk traded kicks. Hulk nailed a reverse Frankensteiner and a Phoenix Firebird but YAMATO broke up the pin. Hulk finally dropped Akuma into a small package driver for the pin.
Akuma is eliminated.
YAMATO and hulk battled back and forth with strikes. Both are obviously spent. YAMATO catches Hulk with a scoopslam. YAMATO goes to the top but Hulk was playing possum and kicked YAMATO in the head. Hulk hit a Spanish Fly off the top for a two count. They made their way to their knees, exchanging forearms and punches. Hulk began to batter YAMATO who came back with a brilliant flash of offensive strikes. Hulk comes back with a superkick to the head for a two count.
Hulk hit an emerald frosion to score the pin.
The winner and first ever Open the Freedom Gate champion, BxB Hulk!
Hulk celebrated with the championship as the fans chanted his name. The PPV went off the air with a triumphant first champion crowned
Good match that was a lot of fun.
Overall, you can't but love a PPV that features two incredible matches at the level of Richards vs. YAMATO and Kid & SHINGO vs. Doi & Yoshino. DGUSA has built itself a nice little niche, trying to provide kickass wrestling matches and a wrestling product that is based around the opposite of what just about every other promotion is doing these days. You really can't go wrong with this show for $20 and I absolutely give it a thumbs up. I don't think this show is as perfect as the first two PPVs, but the level of wrestling alone in the top matches more than supersedes the remainder. If you can find a PPV where there's nothing terrible on it, you've got a winner. DGUSA has more than that here on their hands.