DGUSA Uprising opened with Johnny Gargano cutting a promo thanking everyone for ordering the PPV. He said that ever since Jon Moxley joined Kamikaze USA, every Japanese stable wants an American to be their mouthpiece. Gargano said that makes him the hottest free agent in DGUSA and after he watches the show, he'll decide who he's going to represent. The audio seemed low but beyond that, the promo was fine.
We go to the ring where fans are feverishly banging thundersticks.
AKIRA TOZAWA vs. MAASAKI MOCHIZUKI
This is Tozawa's PPV debut. The announcers set this up as the elder Mochizuki vs. the young Tozawa. Mochizuki controls Tozawa early with several shoulderblocks and a kick between the shoulder blades. Tozawa comes back with a dropkick that sends Mochizuki to the floor and then scores with a tope suicida. He slams Mochizuki into the post at ringside. Mochizuki fought back and charged Tozawa with a knee strike outside, but Tozawa moved and Mochizuki nailed the ringpost with his knee. Tozawa began working over Mochizuki on the floor and tossed him back in the ring. Mochizuki came back, tossing Tozawa to the floor and beating him with kicks on the floor. They battle to the apron, where Tozawa is dropped onto the corner of the apron with a shinbreaker. Mochikuzi nails a running kick to the ribs. Mochizuki cinched in a leglock. Tozawa tried to kick free but his other leg was captured and turned into a Sharpshooter variation. Tozawa made it to the ropes.
Fans began chanting for Mochizuki. Tozawa went for an enzigiri but Mochizuki ducked and locked in an ankle lock. Tozawa fought to get to the ropes and finally made it. Tozawa fought back but was caught with a kick to the chest as he came off the center turnbuckle. Both men rallied up. Tozawa ran Mochizuki into the corner turnbuckle but missed a headbutt. He finally nailed a rolling senton. He charged Mochizuki but Mochizuki nailed him with a big boot. Mochizuki nailed a running kick to the chest for a two count, then nailed an enziguiri from the top rope.
Tozawa came back with a surprise German suplex into a bridge for a two count. Tozawa goes for another but Mochizuki lands on his feet and peppers him with kicks. Tozawa rolls him up for another two count. Mochizuki kills him with a kick to the head. Great sequence. Mochizuki charges and knees Tozawa with kicks as he's laid up in the corner. They were just brutal. Mochizuki goes for a Dragon suplex but Tozawa fights him off. Mochizuki finally drills him with a kick to the head and Tozawa is out and is pinned.
Your winner, Maasaki Mochizuki!
Really stiff opener. Great stuff here and a hot as hell crowd.
Backstage, Lenny Leonard and Chikarason preview the rest of the PPV card.
No DQ: JON MOXLEY vs. JIMMY JACOBS
Moxley had some disheveled woman that he dragged around with him. Moxley shoved her into Jacobs then attacked him, choking Jacobs against the ropes. Moxley kicked Jacobs in the head but Jacobs screamed, then clotheslined Moxley. Moxley came back with a series of rights in the corner, beating Jacobs. Jacobs came back, stomping the hell out of Moxley in the corner. Moxley whipped Jacobs into a clothesline. He charged Jacobs, who dropped down and Moxley went over the top to the floor. Jacobs went for a dive but missed. Moxley worked him over outside the ring, slamming him into the ringpost and chopping away at him.
Moxley yanked Jacobs arm, trying to wrench it across the ringpost. He told his woman to bite Jacobs and she did, on the ear. Ouch. They continued to brawl around the ring. Jacobs grabbed a plastic trashcan and charged Moxley, slamming it into his head. Moxley came back with a chop and slammed Jacobs into the ringpost. Moxley grabbed several chairs and flung them into the ring. Moxley tossed Jacobs into the ring. He went to the top rope but Jacobs threw a chair into Moxley's face. Moxley went to the floor. Jacobs hit a dive through the ring but Moxley caught him. Jacobs turned it into a guillotine choke but was dropped crotch first on the guard rail. Moxley went to grab Jacobs, who slammed a fan's seat into his face. Jacobs jumped over the barricade, cracking Moxley with an elbow.
Jacobs tossed Moxley back into the ring and grabbed a wrench from the timekeeper's table. Moxley took him out and grabbed wrench. He used it to choke Jacobs, then slammed Jacobs down. He used the wrench on Jacobs' nose and mouth. Moxley missed a charge with the wrench and Jacobs kicked him in the gut. He grabbed the wrench and nailed Moxley in the head. Jacobs went to grab Moxley, who tried to charge, but Jacobs locked in the End Time choke. Moxley suplexed him over to escape and scored a two count.
Moxley cinched in a STF on Jacobs, while the fans rallied him. Moxley caught Jacobs with a DDT as Jacobs got up but only received a one count. Moxley went for a powerbomb but Jacobs escaped and nailed a springboard Ace Crusher. Jacobs went for a spear but was nailed with a chair for a two count. Fans began chanting for Jacobs. Jacobs used a forward roll for a two count. Moxley ducked a clothesline and went for a move but was caught with End Time. Moxley called his woman into the ring to break it up. Jacobs went to spear Moxley, who shoved her into the path of destruction. Jacobs caught Moxley with sliced bread #2 but YAMATO and Shingo hit the ring and mauled Jacobs. Moxley scored the pin.
Your winner, Jon Moxley!
They continued beating Jacobs after the match. BxB Hulk cleared the ring and rescued Jacobs. As Jacobs recovered, Hulk tried to recruit Jacobs into the WORLD-ONE group but Jacobs walked out, saying he was his own man.
Fun little brawl that basically consisted of them exchanging shots and moves. It makes sense Jacobs wouldn't want to accept an invitation right away given his past as a character.
MIKE QUACKENBUSH & JIGSAW VS. PAC & NARUKI DOI
Pac is a British star making his PPV debut. Everyone shook hands in a show of respect before the match. Fans were chanting for Jigsaw. Pac and Quackenbush started out going back and forth with some nice counter-wrestling. After some sweet wrestling, Pac nailed a series of flips and dropkicks to control the match. Pac went for a sunset flip but Jigsaw nailed a flying bodypress. Quack and Jigsaw worked over Naruki Doi. Doi shoulderblocked Jigsaw down. They went back and forth with some armdrags and then faced off as the crowd went nuts. Great stuff.
Doi began to work over Jigsaw's arm and elbow. Doi and Pac double teamed Jigsaw. Pac hit a slingshot legdrop into the ring for a one count. Pac cinched Jigsaw with head scissors. Jigsaw leaned back trying to trick Pac into a pinning combination. Doi locked on a figure four leglock while Pac held the head scissors. Quackenbush argued with the referee. Doi nailed a corkscrew press off Pac's back. Quack hit the ring and began chopping away. Doi went to help Pac but ended up chopping his own partner. Quack caught Pac with a twisting DDT. Jigsaw came off the top with a dive for a two count. Jigsaw locked in a short arm scissors. He locked on a Gori Guerrero Especial as Quack came in with a rolling senton. Team CHIKARA worked over Pac's arm with a double stomp to the arm.
The CHIKARA team continued to control the flow of the match. Pac comes back with a series of kicks and dives to Doi to make the hot tag. Quack went for a dropkick but Doi tricked him into nailing his own partner in the corner. He slammed Quack atop olf Jigsaw then splashed them. CHIKARA went to the floor, where Pac nailed a springboard twisting press onto both. This is one hell of a match. Quack is tossed back in the ring. Doi trapped him in the ropes, nailing him with forearms and dropkicks. Doi nailed a top rope senton across Quackenbush's back. Quack was elevated and dropped into a sitdown bomb by Doi for a two count. Quack rolled out as Jigsaw dropkicked Doi out.
Pac hit a springboard clothesline on Jigsaw. He went for another but was caught and hit with an enziguiri, then a rack bomb. Doi broke up the pinfall attempt. Quack began chopping away. Quack came back with a series of rapid fire slaps and chops. Doi nailed a sunset flip but Jigsaw kicked him and drilled Doi with a brainbuster for a two count. Jigsaw went for a back suplex on Doi but Pac came off with a shooting star press for a two count. Quack nailed a package bomb on Pac for a two count but Doi superkicked him. Pac hit a shooting star into a dropkick on Jigsaw. Doin destroyed Jigsaw with a insane running kick and scored the pin.
All four shook hands after the match. I can't tell you how much I loved this. You had crazy dives, stiff kicks, fast action and it was all held together with some great mat wrestling. Fans like to chant "This is awesome" at every headlock these days, but if there was ever a match that deserved such a chant, this was it. Great stuff.
Your winners, Pac & Naruki Doi!
Quackenbush took the mic and said that after a match like that, he and Jigsaw have nothing but respect for Pac and Doi. He said that since they are talking respect, he wants to call out someone who he has none for - YAMATO. He said YAMATO attacked them from behind in Windsor and they have been having problems since the debut DGUSA event. He challenged YAMATO to assemble his men and battle CHIKARA. Before YAMATO could respond, his allies from Kamizake USA attacked Jigsaw and Quack from behind. YAMATO lowblowed Quack as the others held him, then did the same to Jigsaw. They continued the assault on Quack and Jigsaw. They are helped out of the ring by DGUSA officials.
Uh, where are those great guys Pac and Doi who respected CHIKARA 30 seconds ago? With friends like them, who needs enemies? Beyond that small hole in logic, a good angle to set up the big multi-man match at the DGUSA Anniversary show.
Backstage, they showed BxB Hulk warming up.
Elsewhere, Jimmy Jacobs was screaming from across a room that he didn't need anyone and would take out Jon Moxley and Kamikaze USA one by one. It was so far away that I didn't even realize it was Jacobs at first. I guess they were trying to be artsy.
In the ring, Lenny Leonard thanked everyone for their support and announced several wrestlers who made an impression during the training seminar earlier in the day would get a chance to kick off the second half of the PPV.
RIP IMPACT vs. JOHNNY WAVE
Impact is a thin long haired guy. Wave looks like Justin Bieber. Before they could start the match, Brodie Lee hit the ring and killed everyone, including the referee. It was awesome destruction. Lee took the mic and said he's the biggest and baddest in the locker room and would take on anyone, anywhere, anytime. He threw Impact rudely out of the ring. This was a nice angle to get over Lee as a monster.
They plug the www.DGUSA.tv website.
Backstage, Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw are in a bathroom. Jigsaw is mad they were attacked again. Quack promised they were going to end it and told YAMATO to bring everyone he has to the battle.
YAMATO & SHINGO vs. CIMA & DRAGON KID
Kid and CIMA were having fun with the fans before the bell. YAMATO and Kid started off. YAMATO sort of remined me of Raven with his look tonight. They go back and forth trying to get control of the other's arm. Kid turned a hiptoss into an armdrag. YAMATO went to the floor. Kid teased a tag but tagged in CIMA instead. Shingo caught him with a kick to the rib. Shingo worked him over in the corner but CIMA escaped and dropkicked Shingo. Shingo nailed a belly to back suplex. They caught CIMA with a double kick to the gut. Kid and CIMA choked out YAMATO in the corner. Kid came off the ropes with an elbow on YAMATO. Kid dropped a knee across YAMATO for a near fall.
CIMA and Kid tagged back and forth with kicks and shots on YAMATO. Kid came off CIMA's shoulders with a senton, then CIMA nailed one of his own. CIMA tied up YAMATO on the mat, then turned it into a Sharpshooter. Shingo hit the ring and raked CIMA's face. Shingo locked in a rear chinlock, forcing his weight down over CIMA's shoulders. He beat CIMA down with rights. CIMA fired back but was caught with a Mongolian chop. CIMA and Kid go to the floor. They work over Shingo. CIMA came off the guard rail with a double stomp as Kid held him.
Back in the ring, Kid nailed a hestitation dropkick on Shingo. Shingo came back with a slam and a kneedrop. YAMATO tagged in and slides his boot over Kid's face, then dropkicks him in the head for a near fall. Kid goes to the outside, where Shingo picked him up and dropped him chest first on the apron. CIMA goes after Shingo but is nailed with a chair. All four brawl around on the outside. When it settles down, YAMATO and Shingo continue their assault on Kid. They pick him up for a double atomic drop. Shingo uses his boot on the face of Kid. Kid begans to fire back but Shingo is too powerful. They exchange kicks but Shingo chops Kid down.
Shingo military presses and slams Dragon Kid. YAMATO runs in to prevent CIMA from attacking Kid. Shingo chops away at Kid. Kid finally reverses a whip but Shingo held onto the ropes and drilled Kid with an elbow. Kid kicks off Shingo, nails head scissors and makes the hot tag to CIMA. CIMA and Kid dropkick Shingo to the apron. Kid nails a 619, then a Bermuda Triangle. CIMA nails YAMATO with a stiff kick to the chest. He went for a suplex but YAMATO escaped. CIMA nailed a codebreaker and the Perfect driver for a two count. CIMA is shocked he didn't get the win.
YAMATO locked in a choke sleeper but CIMA freed himself. Kid catches Shingo in an Octopus submission. Shingo makes his way to his feet and sideslams Kid down. Fans began chanting "This is awesome." Shingo chopped Kid. Kid reversed an elbow, springboarded off the ropes and nailed a stunner. Shingo drilled him with a hard back elbow, then powerbombs him. CIMA makes the savem then kicks YAMATO in the face. CIMA went for a springboard dive but YAMATO got out of the way. Shingo and YAMATO worked over CIMA. They whipped CIMA into the corner and each nailed a running charge. They hit CIMA with the Overbomb for two count.
YAMATO drilled CIMA with a brainbuster but he kicked out at the last minute. Shingo is put on CIMA's shoulders and Kid nailed a supercanrana off the top on him. YAMATO breaks up the pin. Lots of great spots here. Shingo began beating down Kid, who grabbed him with a crucifix. CIMA dropkicked Shingo, who went down for a two count. CIMA kicked in a guillotine choke into a DDT. YAMATO speared CIMA and held him for Shingo. CIMA and YAMATO kept reversing positions so Shingo kept starting and stopping so he didn't nail his partner. In the end, he nailed YAMATO anyway. That was pretty humorous. Kid hit the Ultra hurancanrana but Shingo kicked up at two.
Kid went for a Dragonrana but Shingo moved and Kid landed on his feet. Shingo nailed Made in Japan but CIMA broke it up. CIMA began checking on Kid as he was out. Shingo deposited him to the floor. YAMATO locked on a choke outside the ring. Shingo began stalking Kid, who was out on his feet. Shingo nailed a running clothesline. Shingo went to the ropes with Kid in a Fireman's Carry position, drilled him and scored the pin.
Your winners, Shingo and YAMATO!
Another really strong match. Great back and forth hard-hitting tag.
CIMA checked on his fallen partner and carried him out on his back. Fans chanted for Kid and then chanted "That was awesome."
Johnny Gargano, with better audio, said "That one Japanese guy hit that other Japanese guy with that move." He said he had so many decisions to make and would, but first, he would watch the main event.
DGUSA OPEN THE FREEDOM GATE CHAMPION BxB HULK vs. MASATO YOSHINO
They had Lenny Leonard in the ring doing professional ring introductions for the title match. They went back and forth early with some really good mat wrestling and exchanges. Hulk caught Yoshino with a dropkick and a boot to the chest. Hulk nailed several knees to the face and elbows across the back. Yoshino kicked off Hulk and began working on Hulk's arm. Yoshino charged and dropkicked Hulk in the back. Yoshino continued to torque Hulk's arm, wearing him down. Hulk made it to the ropes and broke the hold.
Yoshino grabbed Hulk, rolled through and cinched in a submission, tying up his arms and scissoring the legs. Hulk finally made it back to the ropes to break it. A slow, methodical style so far. Yoshino came off the top with a double stomp across the arm. Hulk fought back and came off the top with a springboard missile dropkick. Hulk measured Yoshino with a series of kicks. Yoshino hit a standing moonsault press for a two count. Hulk tried to pick up Yoshino but his arm was killing him. Yoshino caught him with a Slingblade, nailing a two count.
Yoshino locked in submission. He turned it into a sunset flip but Hulk rolled through and kicked Yoshino in the head, then hit the BxB Press for a two count. He went for a moonsault but Yoshino made it out of the way. Yoshino hit a missile dropkick for a two count. They went back and forth and lots of crazy stuff. Yoshino did a head scissors into an armbar. Hulk came back with a jackknife cradle for a near fall. Hulk hit the FTX for a two count.
They battled on the ropes. Yoshino shoved Hulk off but he came back. He hit the Thunder off the ropes for another near fall. I really thought that was it. Hulk missed a kick and Yoshino rolled him up for a two count. He nailed a crucific bomb for another. Hulk nailed a series of kicks to the head, then the EVOP and scored the pin.
Your winner and still Open the Freedom Gate champion, BxB Hulk!
Jon Moxley immediately came to the ring with the mic and said there is no time for celebration. He said it was time for Kamikaze USA to show they can make an impact. He told Hulk he was a target as champion, that they were going to get him and he would never see it coming. The other members of Kamikaze USA attacked Yoshino and Hulk from behind. It became a three on one beating on Hulk. Jimmy Jacobs hit the ring and attacked Moxley, hitting a dive out of the ring on him. They brawled off. They continued working over Hulk. CIMA hit the ring with a broom but was overwhelmed. Dragon Kid made the save, although he was hurt. In the end, CIMA and Kid ran off Kamikaze USA.
CIMA picked up Hulk's championship and fit it over his waist. CIMA took the mic as fans chanted for the promotion to come back. He thanks Toronto for coming. He asked the fans if they enjoyed themselves and the fans popped and chanted his name. He led them in chanting Dragon Kid's name instead. He said that they love Toronto and asked everyone to listen to his "excellent English." He said they hope and promise to come back to Canada. He asked the fans if they wanted DGUSA to return here and the place popped. He led a Dragon Gate chant to end the evening.
A good showing for the company with no bad matches. I felt there was a stronger attempt to build characters and rivalries here than in the past, where it sometimes felt like a collection of talented guys doing similar matches and spots every month. While that is entertaining, it also can mesh together. One thing that really stood out watching the show is that the switch to stronger stables and storylines definitely helped the promotion make this show stand out. Easily worth the price of admission.