Onto the show!
Mercury Rising opened with Lenny Leonard voicing over footage of the contingents of WORLD-1 and WARRIORS preparing for their main event six man tag team bout tonight. Leonard promised we would see a style of wrestling that we have never seen on PPV before - Dragon Gate six man action.
We went to a shot of the ring and a graphic identified we were in Phoenix, Arizona. The building looks WAY better on television than it did live.
Genki Horiguchi vs. Shingo
Horiguchi is accompanied by Dragon Kid, CIMA and GAMMA from the Warriors. Shingo, representating Kamizake, came out alone. A fan tossed a lonely red streamer for Shingo. Fans chanted for Shingo.
Lenny Leonard is handling the commentary solo this time around.
Shingo grabbed a side headlock early and powered him to the mat with a headlock, then shoulderblocked him down. Shingo's power was too much for Genki early. He caught Genki attempting a leapfrog and slammed him down. He drilled Genki with a series of elbows but was caught with a dropkick. Genki tied up Shingo on the mat. Genki slammed him and went for a moonsault but Shingo got his knees up. Shingo was nailed with a DDT and a leaping back senton. He began beating down Genki and garnered a two count. Fans began dueling chants.
Shingo brought him down with a chinlock, then chopped his bald head. Shingo suplexed him over and ran him into the turnbuckles. Genki fought back but was mauled with an elbow and collapsed in the corner. Shingo peppered him with a punches. Genki tried to leap over but was caught with an exploder suplex for a two count. Shingo locked on a side bearhug, using Genki's own arm to force the leverage.
Genki used a Lucha armdrag to escape but was caught with a powerslam for a two count.. Shingo locked on an Anaconda Vice but Genki made it to the ropes. Genki comes back with head scissors. Genki kicked off a charge. He nailed an inverted DDT, but Shingo popped up. Genki reversed a suplex.
Shingo caught an attempted cross body, but Genki changed position with an inverted DDT out of a Death Valley Driver. He then came off with a missile dropkick to the back. Genki fought to get Shingo off his feet. He went for the backslide from heaven. Shingo turned it into a powerbomb but Genki turned it into a rana.
Shingo caught him with a charge in the corner and powerbombed Genki. Shingo caught him with a running clothesline in the corner, then nailed a death valley driver off the ropes for a two count. They exchange strikes. Shingo clotheslines him. Genki catches him with the backslide from heaven but Shingo kicks up.
Shingo drops oGenki n his head with a back suplex, a lariat and hits his "Made in Japan" Package Michinoku Driver for the pin.
Your winner, Shingo!
Good solid opener with some fun exchanges and hard-hitting action.
We go to a quick video feature with Leonard explaining the feud between Jimmy Jacobs and Brian Kendrick. We are told each has brought in a partner, with Kendrick picking former WWE Tag Team championship partner Paul London and Jacobs picking "Dragon Gate veteran" Jack Evans. In order to end the feud, the loser of the fall has agreed he will leave DGUSA. That made a lot more sense than the Teddy Hart promo that set this match up live in Phoenix, let me assure you!
Brian Kendrick & Paul London vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Jack Evans
The match started in progress as Kendrick and London were working over Jacobs on the floor. Evans came charging out of the back. dropkicking Kendrick. He dove off the elevated platform the ring was on into the crowd on London, then hit a cartwheel into headscissors on London.
Evans returned to the ring with London and nailed a dropkick as they rang the bell. Kendrick jumped on Evans and whipped him into the corner. Evans was up and over. Evans came off the top with a glancing kick on London. London worked over Evans but Jacobs grabbed him with a guillotine choke. Kendrick threw Evans out of the ring and kicked Jacobs in the back of the head.
London nailed a kick to Jacobs' face, then drilled him with a back elbow for a two count. Kendrick and London exchanged tags and worked over Jacobs' arm and elbw. Kendrick cinched in a Fujiwara armbar as the crowd rallied him. Jacobs escaped and fought off Kendrick with a series of rights. Kendrick refused to let loose, tagged in London and held Jacobs as he was nailed by a London double stomp. London scored a two count, then cinched in a rear chinlock to wear Jacobs down.
Jacobs escaped with a chinbreaker but his legs were sweeped by London when Jacobs went for a pin. London nailed a standing shooting star press for a two count, then a butterfly suplex for another. Kendrick came off the top with an elbow to the rib cage. London went to the top with another double stomp. London began kicking away at Jacobs' face, which fired up Jacobs.
Kendrick nailed Jacobs from behind, setting up London beating Jacobs with a series of rights. Jacobs escaped a suplex and made the hot tag, then rolled out to the floor. Evans cleaned house with a series of dropkicks. London cut him off with a kick. Evans threw London out of the ring, then ducked a Kendrick charge, sending him through the ropes to the floor. Evans hit a space flying tiger drop over the top to the floor on the former WWE Tag champions.
Evans hit a springboard 450 splash on London for a two count. Kendrick and London nailed a double suplex. Jacobs hit the ring and speared Kendrick. London went for a powerbomb but Jacobs nailed a rana. London kicked off a charging Jacobs and nailed a double stomp for a two count. The fans did dueling chants for London and Jacobs.
London went for a suplex but Evans came off the top, reversing the momentum and allowing Jacobs to hit a DDT. Kendrick broke up a pinfall attempt. Evans head scissors Kendrick over the top to the floor, leaving London alone with Jacobs. London drilled Jacobs into the ring face-first, then kicked him in the face.
London went to the top rope but was kicked in the face by Evans. Evans went to the top and went for the 630 splash. London got his knees up so Evans crashed and burned and rolled outside. Kendrick was waiting for Jacobs to return to his feet, but Jacobs battled back with a series of punches. Jacobs missed a spear and ate the corner. Kendrick attempted the sliced bread #2 but failed. He caught it on a second attempt for a near fall.
Jacobs locked in a camel clutch and began beating Jacobs' face with punches while he was trapped. Jacobs appeared to be out as Kendrick kicked and taunted him verbally. He told Jacobs to say goodbye to his job but Jacobs surprised him with a rollup for a near fall. Kendrick was caught in the guillotine choke. London hit the ring to save him but Evans nailed a springboard dropkick to stop him. Kendrick finally submitted.
Your winners, Jimmy Jacobs & Jack Evans!
Brian Kendrick must leave DGUSA. Fans sang "Hey Hey, Goodbye" before DGUSA went to a plug for their website www.dgusa.tv.
Much better match on PPV than it came off live in the building. The camera angles caught the action at just the right places to enhance the moves that didn't come across perfectly live. The match was a lot more fun to watch with the simpler set-up and it was all crazy spot, spot, spot tag team action. Solid.
They went to footage from the Fearless PPV in Chicago, which hadn't previously aired, "due to the contractual obligations" of Tommy Dreamer. Moxley was in the ring and said Dragon Gate USA was going to start the PPV off right. He said he was going to cut to the chase. He said there was a man in the building who sickens him and makes him want to stab himself. He said that while Tommy Dreamer says he made a career out of innovating, he really made a career out of losing. Moxley said that if he "made a career out of getting the crap kicked out of me, I'd call myself hardcore, too."
Moxley called out "Mister Extreme" and said he can't be fooled like all these people. They showed clips of Moxley calling out Dreamer at the Fearless event with Brian Kendrick telling him that he doesn't need to prove anything. Kendrick said Dreamer lost all his passion and fire when he sold his soul ten years ago. Kendrick said Dreamer has a wife and kid and responsibilities, so he sold his soul and that will be his excuse. Moxley demanded Dreamer fight him but Kendrick said he would never do it, because he's office, not a wrestler anymore. Good promos from both.
We went back "live" to Phoenix, where Tommy Dreamer was standing in the ring. He's dropped some more weight since leaving WWE and added MMA gloves to his ring attire. Fans chanted "ECW" at him, then chanted his name. Dreamer thanked the fans and told them he appreciated the chants. Dreamer joked that he wasn't going to cry and was very happy.
Dreamer said this weekend (the PPV was taped Wrestlemania eve) was very important to all wrestling fans and that as someone who was at the first Wrestlemania with his father, he wanted to thank all the fans who were in Phoenix supporting every event that was taking place that weekend. He said there are a bunch of men and women who don't work for WWE who bust their ass for the fans and thanked the fans for supporting all of them. He said the memories of this weekend would last for a lifetime.
Dreamer said that he wrestled Yoshihiro Tajiri in Japan last night, then flew from Japan to Los Angeles "in a middle seat", joking that he thanked Tajiri for that. He said he then flew right to Phoenix without sleeping and is going to fly right out after this match He commented that since he has "some stroke" with the promoter, he wanted to kick it old school and asked for a throwback No Rules, Anything Goes, Tommy Dreamer "violence." The place chanted "Thank you Tommy."
Jon Moxley vs. Tommy Dreamer - Anything Goes
Moxley came out with Christina Von Eerie of AAA and PWG fame. I got the impression Leondard didn't know who she was, as she was pretty much called "Moxley's girl." They went back and forth with some wrestling, then faced off. They began shoving each other and went nose to nose. Moxley began chopping Dreamer and kicked him in the gut. Dreamer fired back with punches into the corner. Moxley nailed a leg lariat for a two count. Moxley mounted Dreamer and began choking him.
Dreamer came back and clotheslined him over the top to the floor, then hit a sliding kick through the ropes. Dreamer hit a cannonball off the elevated platform to the floor. Dreamer grabbed the ring bell and nailed Moxley in the head. He placed it on Moxley's nether regions and rang it. Dreamer spit water in Moxley's face, blinding him.
Dreamer dragged Moxley to the fans, and took a crutch from a fan, then nailed Moxley. Fans chanted "ECW." They brawled into a dark segment of the venue before Dreamer dragged him back towards the ring. The referee tried to tell them to return to the ring. In an Anything Goes match? Dreamer grabbed a fan's beer and nailed Moxley with it. They returned to the staged area, where Dreamer suplexed Moxley over.
Dreamer went backstage and returned with a trash can that had some other sort of trash bin in it. He nailed Moxley with the smaller one in the head several times. Dreamer tossed Moxley back in the ring, then tossed a second can in as well. Dreamer elbowed Moxley across the throat. Dreamer went to the ropes but Moxley crotched him. Moxley drilled him several times with the can, buisting Dreamer open hardway in the head. Moxley choked him on the ropes, then hit a superplex for a two count. Fans chanted for Dreamer.
Dreamer went for a slam but Moxley slipped out and locked on an STF. Dreamer fought his way to the ropes but Moxley stomped on his fingers. Moxley went for a missile dropkick but was caught and turned over into a Texas Cloverleaf. Dreamer let the move go when Moxley made it to the ropes, then clotheslined him down for a two count.
Dreamer grabbed a chair and slammed it over Moxley's back. He set up Moxley but Moxley reversed it and nailed a drop toehold into the chair on Dreamer, who hit the back of the chair face-first. Dreamer nailed a spinebuster and slammed Moxley backwards by the hair into the chair.
Christina hit the ring and broke it up. Leonard asked who she thought she was dealing with. Dreamer grabbed her for a piledriver but the referee broke it up. Leonard said the ref just saved her life. Dreamer nailed the referee. Christina slapped Dreamer. Dreamer piledrove her.
Out of nowhere, Open the Dream Gate champion YAMATO hit the ring and attacked Dreamer. He began choking Dreamer out. Shingo hit the ring and nailed Dreamer with a Death Valley Driver. Moxley covered him but Dreamer kicked out. The fans chanted, "Let's go Tommy." Moxley was pissed that didn't get the job done. Moxley missed a chairshot. Dreamer kicked Moxley in the guy, then piledrove Moxley for a two count.
Moxley locked on a sleeper after evading the DDT. Moxley went up on Dreamer's back. Dreamer pulled him into an attempted Spicoli Driver but Moxley slipped out and DDT'd Dreamer on a chair for the pin.
Your winner, Jon Moxley!
Moxley celebrated with YAMATO and Shingo as a bloody Dreamer laid on their feet. The announcer didn't speculate as to why they helped Moxley.
Fun Tommy Dreamer-style brawl. The blood was absolutely hardway as you can see it start to run down Dreamer's face after he's caught with a piece of the trashcan. Obviously, Moxley is a project here and having him get put over by Dreamer gives him some "street credibility" with the fans.
Moxley nailed a DDT and pinned Dreamer.
Your winner, Jon Moxley!
A video feature noted that tonight would be the first time an Open the Dream Gate championship bout would take place on DGUSA PPV. Lenny Leonard said it would make headlines from England to Japan.
Open the Dream Gate champion YAMATO vs. Susumu Yokosuka.
Some fans chanted "You screwed Tommy" at YAMATO. They noted YAMATO had won the title less than a week ago in Tokyo. Yokosuka rode YAMATO to the mat early. He controlled the match early. The crowd seemed tired by this point (and considering the day they probably had, who can blame them?) but the work was very good here early. YAMATO tried to keep the momentum of the bout slow in the early going. Yokosuka grabbed a waistlock but YAMATO reversed it. Yokosuka rode him to the mat and tied up his legs.
YAMATO escaped a front facelock and they did some nice counter-wrestling early. Yokosuka used a top wristlock to force him down to the mat. They exchanged shoulder tackles. YAMATO nailed a shoulder tackle but Yokosuka turned it into a rollup. He went for a slam but YAMATO drilled him with elbows. Yokosuka clotheslined him over the top to the floor. YAMATO was almost counted out while recovering from the bump.
Yokosuka nailed him with a series of stomps. He snapmared YAMATO over and cinched in a rear chinlock. They battled to the outside, where YAMATO beat down Yokosuka in the aisle, then tossed him against the guard rail. Yokosuka grabbed a fan's water and spit it in YAMATO's face.
When they returned to the ring, YAMATO worked him over as the crowd rallied them. YAMATO worked over his arm, then picked up for an over the knee backbreaker. YAMATO locked on a hammerlock on the mat as Yokosuka used knee strikes to fight his way out. He returned to his feet but YAMATO held onto the move. He kicked the arm and began stomping Yokosuka's back as he was down in the corner. YAMATO cinched on the shoulder with an armbar, forcing him down to the mat with leverage on the collarbone.
YAMATO continued to work on the arm, tearing at it and using a pumphandle. Yokosuka escaped and locked in a choke sleeper. Yokosuka got kicked low, which the referee missed. Yokosuka went for an exploder superplex but YAMATO escaped. Yokosuka caught him with another. They went back and forth with exploders. The crowd loved that.
YAMATO looked out on his feet as he got back up. YAMATO went to the top but was caught by Yokosuka. Yokosuka nailed an exploder superplex for a two count. Yokosuka's lariat was blocked and YAMATO kicked it. They went back and forth with strikes. Yokosuka slammed him knee-first into the mat, then put him in a figure four leglock in the center of the ring. YAMATO fought and fought and finally reversed it.
YAMATO came back to grab a guillotine choke and armbar at the same time before turning it into a Fujiwara armbar. Yokosuka made it to the ropes, forcing a break. YAMATO stalked him in the corner, charging with a leaping forearm. YAMATO placed Yokosuka in the corner and attempted a superplex. Yokosuka fought back and caught YAMATO on his shoulders while on the ropes. He dove into the ring with a death valley driver off the second rope. YAMATO immediately popped up (dumb) and began fighting him off with forearms. They exchanged strikes with Yokosuka getting the better of the exchanged.
YAMATO was caught with several lariats and a roaring elbow for a two count. They continued battling until Yokosuka caught YAMATO with another Death Valley Driver. Both men were tired and ragged as Yokosuka drilled the champ with a lariat. YAMATO was able to sustain a second one as Yokosuka's arm was hurting. YAMATO went into a series of rapid fire elbows on Yokosuka's arm but was caught with a running lariat for a two count.
Yokosuka drilled him with a second but went down grasping his hurt arm. He finally made the cover but YAMATO kicked out at two. The crowd began to rally Yokosuka. Yokosuka went for an over the shoulder backbreaker into a slam and nailed it for a two count. YAMATO catches him with a choke sleeper but Yokosuka nails a German suplex. YAMATO, who must feel no pain, was back up with another choke sleeper. YAMATO nailed a sleeper suplex for a two count.
YAMATO cinched Yokosuka for a suplex but was kicked in the head. YAMATO nailed a brainbuster for another near fall. Good back and forth bout at this point. YAMATO finally nails a package Michinoku Driver and scores the pin.
Your winner and still Open the Dream Gate champion, YAMATO!
YAMATO went to the back and fans chanted for Yokosuka after the bout.
They again plugged the www.dgusa.tv website, which usually has some sort of weekly sale going on, so check them out if you are looking for DVDs.
Good but not great match. These guys were hitting each other with everything you could think of but the problem here is they were back up on their feet like the moves meant nothing far too often for my taste. When YAMATO, the obvious heel, is no selling a German suplex to jump up like the Hulkster, I have to throw up my hands. The sequences where Yokosuka's arm was being worked on were very good. I give them credit for taking a lukewarm, tired crowd and getting them really into it as the match went on.
Open the Freedom Gate champion BxB Hulk & Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi vs. Gamma & CIMA & Dragon Kid.
I am saying right now that if you think I can recap everything in this match, you are quite a deluded soul. I don't know how THESE GUYS can keep up with what they do mentally while in the moment, so I expect this will be more of an overview of six man lucha lunacy.
They had full entrances for everyone involved in the bout. Yoshino and Kid started out. Kid used a Lucha armdrag takeover and headscissors early. GAMMA taggs in and worked over Yoshino. Hulk dropkicked GAMMA to the back of the head. CIMA and Hulk had some great back and forth sequences.
Hulk hit a standing twisting moonsault, then cinched in a rear chinlock. WORLD-1 nailed CIMA with a double hiptoss. Doi worked over CIMA, who tagged out to Kid. Kid began working over Doi's arm but Doi countered it into a headscissors. CIMA and GAMMA traded sentons on Yoshino for a near fall. CIMA worked on Yoshino with a surfboard type submission.
The Warriors came back with a double dropkick. GAMMA began working on Hulk in the corner, then nailed him with a running dropkick to the mush. Kid nailed a double kneedrop across Hulk's throat but Doi broke up the pinfall. Hulk began chopping away but was kicked in the jaw. Doi and Kid worked over Hulk with some unique offense. They drilled the champ with a triple dropkick for a two count.
GAMMA grabbed a kendo stick and came off the top with a shot to the groin while the referee was arguing with Yoshino to get out of the ring. It was insane, as the other members of WORLD-1 held Hulk upside down spread Eagle. OUCH. Hulk started to come back with a series of kicks,. Kid went for a springboard missile dropkick but Hulk kicked him in mid-air and made the tag to Doi.
GAMMA grabbed the kendo stick and they did some comedy spots with Doi getting it and cracking Doi in different places. Pretty funny. Kid came over the ropes with a stunner on Yoshino, then nailed a chinbreaker for a two count. Yoshino went for a forward roll but was shoved off. He missed a 619 and went for a reverse frankensteiner, only to be slammed down into the ring.
Doi and the Warriors started beating the crap out of Dragon Kid to build heat for a long time. Kid tried to fight back against Hulk but was chopped down in brutal fashion. Yoshino came off the top with a double stomp into a sideslam. Kid came back with a hurancanrana on Hulk and tagged CIMA. CIMA nailed a double stomp, then suplexed Doi while having Hulk's legs tied up. Doi dropkicked them both. Kid nailed a beautiful twisting head scissors with a series of revolutions.
Kid and Yoshino ended up in the outside. Doi and GAMMA battled back and forth with strikes. Doi nailed an enziguiri but GAMMA came back with a dropkick between the eyes. GAMMA powerbombed him for a two count. He went for a Razor's Edge but Yoshino kicked him in the gut. WORLD-1 hit a flapjack into a bulldog.
CIMA was kicked off by Yoshino as charged him in the corner. CIMA nailed a running dropkick and a clothesline for a two count. Yoshino cinched in an Octopus. Dragon Kid grabbed Hulk in one. He and Yoshino traded chops while they had their opponents locked in.
DGUSA went into insane highspot mode, at which point I tap out. It's the most insane flurry of aerial wrestling foreplay you can believe. Tons of dives and reversals and highspots and stiff kicks and other things dreams are made of. If you think you can follow it, you can do the coverage! It was ridiculous as they weren't even looking to see if the other guys were in position, they were just doing their thing and letting the match flow. It's insane how uncannily perfect some of the stuff was. One second off in timing and it would all fall apart. Kind of like the classical music version of pro wrestling - one beat off and it's ruined.
BxB was sitting on Yoshino's shoulders on the top rope and Kid nailed a revere Frankensteiner, which is sheer out institutional lunacy and Hulk KICKED OUT. There was no way that shouldn't have been the finish but who am I to tell these guys anything. Kid did the revolution around Yoshino before catching him in a crucifix for a two count. Lots of near falls and break-ups.
Fans began chanting "Please don't stop." More insanity. More near falls. More me shaking my head. CIMA and GAMMA worked over Yoshino in the corner but Doi made the save. GAMMA and Hulk battled with a series of kicks and strikes. Yoshino tied up GAMMA in a submission. Kid tried to interfere but Hulk stopped him. Hulk then killed CIMA as he tried to interfere. GAMMA finally fell unconscious.
Your winners, CIMA & Dragon Kid & Masato Yoshino!
The fans chanted, "That was awesome" and "Dragon Kid." Lenny Leonard thanked everyone for ordering the PPV and said they would see the viewers in Toronto.
The fans chanted "Arigato" at the teams as they recovered.
Masato Yoshino took the mic and challenged BxB Hulk for the Open the Freedom Gate championship. Hulk asked him if he was serious. Hulk looked to the crowd. Hulk agreed and said he would get his title shot in Toronto. They started going back and forth in Japanese on the mic.
Doi took the mic and asked them if they were both sure and they were. He said that he wished his partners a good match. He then asked the crowd if they enjoyed the show. They did and he thanked them for coming, then led a Dragon Gate chant.
Backstage, we found Jon Moxley, YAMATO and Shingo talking in the hallway. Moxley said that if people want to talk about dangerous people, they are talking about YAMATO and Shingo. He said they were forming a friendship here. He began putting them over for being dangerous wrestlers. He promised that the fans haven't seen anything yet. YAMATO and Shingo cut promos in Japanese. They ran subtitles underneath, which was a great touch. They announced they were now a trio known as Kamikaze U.S.A.
DGUSA PPV Notes: Very Good show overall and you won't be let down if you invest your time here. The PPV was MUCH better edited than it came off live...Moxley is going to be a real gem in the coming months...Watching the six man tag, I was sorry I felt ill and left the show early as it was probably one of the best matches over Wrestlemania weekend...There were times it seemed the ring music was overpowering the audio, so that's something DGUSA may need to address....Kendrick was able to appear on the PPV as he hadn't signed his TNA deal yet. That deal necessitated Kendrick being written "out" of the company storylines....The next DGUSA PPV "Uprising" will debut in July.