Jimmy Jacobs vs. Arik Cannon
We open the PPV with Jimmy Jacobs heading to the ring in Rahway, NJ. I was at this taping live and the venue looks way better on TV than I would have expected.
Your announcers, as always, are Lenny Leonard and Chikarason. The fans chant for Jacobs when he hits the ring and he acknowledges them. Cannon hits the ring and is looking to go with no fanfare. They ring the bell. The announcers noted Jacobs' big win over Jon Moxley the night before. They lock up and Jacobs is caught in an armbar. Jacobs suplexes him over and cinches in a hammerlock. Cannon floats around and reverses it.
Jacobs makes his way to his feet but is caught in a side headlock. He shoots off Cannon into the ropes and uses a Maple Leaf style Boston Crab takeover. Cannon escapes and cinches in a modified Indian Death Lock to try and force a submission before he turns it into the Oriental Torture Device. Jacobs fights his way to the ropes, breaking the hold, but gets chopped hard for his troubles. They go back and forth battling until they face off, which the crowd applauds.
Jacobs uses a bulldog and Cannon rolls to the outside. Jacobs misses a slingshot plancha and gets a kick to the gut for his troubles. Cannon sends him into the railing and chops him. Jacobs reverses and charges down the aisle. Cannon backdrops Jacobs into the ropes but Jacobs catches himself on the ropes and bounces back down into a headscissors takeover on the floor. Nice creative spot. Jacobs then hits a dive to the outside.
Jacobs rolls Cannon back into the ring but Cannon gets his shoulder up at two. Jacobs sets him up and drills him into the mat with a curb stomp. He works over Cannon in the corner with a chop. Cannon reversed a whip and nails a neckbreaker for a two count. Good back and forth match so far. Cannon snapmares Jacobs over and dropkicks him in the back of the head for another two count.
Cannon and Jacobs battle for positioning in a suplex attempt, so Cannon just runs Jacobs into the corner. He attempts a superplex on Jacobs but Jacobs foughts him out and uses a swinging DDT out of the corner for another near fall. Jacobs unloads with some uppercuts and a headbutt to the mid-section, then drives him down head-first into the ring. Jacobs hits a charging spear in the corner for another two count. The crowd starts clapping to rally Cannon.
Jacobs sends Cannon into the turnbuckle and nails a back elbow, but Cannon grabs Jacobs as he's climbing the ropes and nails an exploder into the corner. Jacobs began grabbing at his bad knee. Cannon peppered Jacobs with a series of headbutts, busting open Jacobs, who the announcers had noted lost heavy blood the night before. Jacobs tried to rally himself as he realized he was bleeding and nailed a lariat, then an attempted sliced bread 2. Jacobs nailed an Ace Crusher and nailed a back senton splash for a two count.
Jacobs went for his End Time submission but was shoved off and nailed with a superkick and Cannon's finisher, Total Anarchy. Jacobs kicked up at the last second, Cannon nailed a brainbuster but Jacobs kicked up at the last second again. Cannon was shocked and really, that easily could have been the finish. Cannon sent Jacobs into the ropes for a move but Jacobs evades it and cinches in the End Time submission. Cannon taps.
Your winner, Jimmy Jacobs!
Good opener. The announcers did a nice job explaining the backstory of Jacobs' cut, making him the underdog here. Cannon has really come into his own over the last year and had a good showing, so the loss wasn't one that hurt him in the least. There may have been a few too many kickouts at the end, but DGUSA is about putting on the Japanese style back and forth competitive bouts and you'll see that here. Good way to kick off 2011 for the company.
We go to a promo with the newest DGUSA stable, The Ronin of Johnny Gargano, Rich Swann and Chuck Taylor. They were in a hallway. Taylor was trying to get a vending machine to work and it wouldn't. Gargano introduced them and told everyone watching "They are screwed." Swann said that it didn't matter who they were because Ronin were the only stable that mattered. I'm a big fan of the group but didn't think this was a strong promo.
BxB Hulk & Homicide vs. Jon Moxley & Akira Tozawa
Moxley and Tozawa were representing Kamikaze USA. Hulk was representing World-1 with Homicide coming in as his partner as he and Moxley are pretty much married on the independents, feuding everywhere right now. When this was taped, it was one of their first meetings. This is Homicide's first PPV appearance since leaving TNA.
Homicide and Moxley locked up with Homicide cleaning house. Tozawa attacked Hulk on the apron then went after Homicide. Homicide avoided their attack and Hulk hit a double missile dropkick. Hulk did some sweet athletic Lucha style moves and takedown to control Tozawa. He cinched in a rear chin lock and stomped on Tozawa.
Hulk cinched in a cravate, then snapmared him over. He continued to contol Tozawa and tagged Homicide. Homicide bulldogged Tozawa and Hulk dropkicked him in the head. Homicide continued the assault until Tozawa nailed a lowblow and tagged out. Moxley began choking the hell out of Homicide in the corner and worked him over. Moxley kept Homicide in Kamikaze's corner and worked him over. Tozawa began kicking the hell out of Homicide, Moxley choked Homicide against the apron. Tozawa nailed a back senton splash for a two count.
Homicide was tossed into the corner. Moxley rubbed his forearm in Homicide's face. Moxley nailed a running forearm in the corner, then dropped down for a Tozawa leaping attack. Moxley used several headbutts and forearms. Homicide began absorbing them and fired back. Moxley bit Homicide in the face and choked him against the ropes. Outside, Tozawa went after Homicide, but ate a headbutt for his trouble. Moxley covered Homicide but Hulk broke it up.
Hulk was tossed out to the floor. Homicide whipped Moxley into the corner but Moxley cut off the assault. Homicide came back with a shoulderblock off the ropes but Moxley grabbed a leglock to prevent Homicide from crawling over to make the tag to Hulk. Tozawa tagged in and dropped Homicide on his head. This pissed off Homicide, who fired up. He was taken down with a headbutt and Kamikaze USA continued the beating.
Moxley pulled Homicide up and snapped him into a superplex. Moxley didn't go for the cover, instead screaming for Homicide to get to his feet, wanting to punish him. Moxley went for a lariat but Homicide ducked and nailed an Ace Crusher. Homicide went for his own lariat but Moxley ducked. Moxley grabbed an armbar but Homicide escaped and tagged Hulk. Tozawa tagged in but Hulk sweeped his legs for a two count.
Hulk kicked Tozawa across the top of the head but Tozawa came back to run Hulk into the corner. Tozawa goes for several splashes but Hulk rolled out of the way. Tozawa went for a senton but Hulk got his knees up. Hulk went for the BxB Star Press but Tozawa escaped.
Homicide and Moxley began brawling out of the ring. Homicide dove out on Moxley. Tozawa went for a dive but Hulk cut him off and nailed a jumping kick to the head. Moxley sent Homicide into the guard rail. Tozawa and Hulk battled back and forth with forearms. Hulk nailed several kicks but was caught with a Pump Kick. Hulk came back with a lariat.
Outside, Moxley hit a Russian legsweep into the guard rail on Homicide. Hulk drilled Tozawa with First Flash and XTX for the pin.
Your winners, BxB Hulk and Homicide!
Decent tag match, although it was weird to see Hulk so early on the card. This was obviously designed to build Moxley.
Moxley took the mic and asked if that was all the great Homicide had to offer. He said that he's been watching Homicide since he was 12 years old and he's not that impressed. As this was going on YAMATO attacked Hulk and laid him out with his own Open the Freedom Gate title. Homicide seemed confused as to what he should be paying attention to. YAMATO went to the back. Homicide made sure Hulk was being helped to the back and asked Moxley if he wanted to still go.
Homicide hit the ring but was cut off by Moxley. They battled back and forth. Moxley tossed him hard out of the ring to the floor. Moxley began slamming his head into a chair and then whipped him into the railing. Homicide sent him over the rail into the crowd, then followed to continue the beating. Homicide whipped Moxley into the wall and then across a row of chairs. Homicide began tearing at Moxley's face but Moxley made a comeback and slammed him into some bleachers, then smothered Homicide's throat with his boot.
Moxley grabbed Homicide for a suplex on the floor but it was reversed. Homicide nailed Moxley with a trash can, then took the bag out and tried to smother Moxley with it, wrapping it around his throat. He then tossed Moxley onto a small set of bleachers with Moxley taking a back bump down them. Homicide came off the bleachers with an elbow. Homicide and Moxley continued battling back and forth. Moxley forced him back into the ringside area and stomped a chair on Homicide's shoulder. He then locked on a hammerlock and used the chair for more leverage as Homicide screamed and cursed at him. Moxley rammed him shoulder-first into the guard rail, then continued beating him with a chair.
Several staffers and undercard wrestlers came out to break it up but were unable to. Moxley continued beating Homicide with a chair and slammed a ring barrier piece on him before walking out, laughing. With the exception of a minute or so where they were in an area too dark to really register what was going on, a good angle. The idea here was to use Homicide as the grizzled veteran and Moxley as the younger, brash jerk who doesn't care and wants to destroy him. In other words, Moxley is who Homicide used to be. A nice first chapter.
Homicide went after a cameraman on the way out and was hurting, selling the attack.
Backstage is the debuting Austin Aries, Ricochet and Genki Horiguchi . He said that at Code of the Warriors a group of upstarts tried to make a name at their expense, so tonight, they were coming for them. Good, basic promo, getting over the background of the bout later tonight with the Ronin.
Shingo vs. CIMA
CIMA controlled his arm early but Shingo locked on a hammerlock. CIMA escaped and they went back and forth with some good mat wrestling. Shingo drilled him with a shoulderblock and locked CIMA in a body scissors. CIMA and Shingo jockey for position but CIMA kicked Shingo in the leg and began stomping him.
CIMA grabbed Shingo's leg and yanked it, then took him out with a back heel trip and cinched in a leglock. Shingo escaped and locked in a headlock, punching CIMA in the head. Shingo then nailed a kneedrop and rubbed his boot in CIMA's face.
Shingo continued the assault with a chop to the face, then nailed an Uranage into a backbreaker. CIMA rolled out of the ring but Shingo followed and whipped him into the railing. Shingo beat CIMA with a chair on the outside and tossed him onto the apron. Shingo then stepped on CIMA's back, crushing him underneath. CIMA was pinned in the corner and beaten with a series of shoulderblocks. Shingo picked up CIMA and slammed him down over Shingo's knees and nailed a back senton for a two count.
Shingo applied a camel clutch, continuing to focus on CIMA's back. Shingo tried to whip CIMA out of the corner but CIMA cut him off and nailed a double stomp out of the corner. CIMA uses a series of kicks, then uses the ropes for leverage as he slingshots himself into the ring for a short dropkick. CIMA whips Shingo into the ropes for a running dropkick. CIMA nails a rolling senton for a two count. Really good stuff here.
CIMA goes for the Perfect Driver but his back wouldn't allow it, so he goes for a guillotine choke instead. Shingo tries to fight him off but gets caught back in the choke. Shingo comes back with a Fisherman's suplex to escape. Both men struggle to recover with Shingo getting first blood when he makes his way to his feet, beating CIMA's back. Shingo was caught with a spinning kick but then nailed a sideslam. CIMA comes back and nails a sitdown Michinoku Driver for a two count.
CIMA went to the top and nails a springboard dropkick. He goes for a superplex and instead goes for and nails a Super Perfectdriver off the top. He went to the top but missed his move and Shingo drills him with a running lariat in the corner. The exhausted Shingo pulls CIMA to the top and nails a top rope Death Valley Driver for a two count. Really, what more can you do to these guys when they are kicking out of these moves?
Shingo grabbed CIMA and went for Made in Japan but ate an elbow. CIMA tried to leapfrog Shingo but was caught with a Burning Hammer and a lariat for another two count. Shingo went for Made in Japan and finally nailed it but CIMA kicked out. CIMA came back with several strikes and kicks, but only gets a two count with a superkick and a Kryptonite Krunch. OK, this is getting a little ridiculous.
CIMA came back with a glancing kick, then powerbombed and double stomped Shingo. CIMA came off the top with Meteroa, a double knee drop strike from the top and scored the pin.
Your winner, CIMA!
I want to say that live, I loved this but watching the presentation on TV, there were probably too many near falls coming off moves that should have killed the opposition. I know these are two of the top talents in the company, so they should be hard to kill, but it got to the point where you felt like they were Terminator vs. the T-1000 as they were hitting blows but nothing was the final straw. The early part of the match told a good story with Shingo working on CIMA's back but as it went on they were just drilling back and forth.
After the match, CIMA took the mic and thanked everyone for coming and announced they would be crowning their first Tag Team champions in January, Opening the United Gate.
Backstage, Jimmy Jacobs cut a promo, saying that when people speculate over who the next Open the Freedom Gate champion might be, no one thinks of him. Jacobs said that he doesn't even think people believe he's in contention. Jacobs said his comeback isn't complete until he wins his first major singles championship. He said that tonight it was hard but no one said it would be easy or something that could happen overnight. At the end of the road, though, he sees himself as the new champion. Good promo.
Rich Swann & Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano vs. Austin Aries & Ricochet & Genki Horiguchi
This is Aries' PPV return as he teams with members of Warriors. This is the PPV debut for Ronin as a group. Ronin's interactions and facial expressions as the kids that just don't care about anything is great. Big chant for Aries before the bell.
Taylor and Ricochet start off. Ricochet used a single leg takedown but was caught with a kick to the gut. Ricochet used a Lucha takedown to grab Taylor with an armbar and worked on Taylor's arm. Taylor kicked at his hip to break the move and nailed a kick, only to be caught with a rana and a big dropkick to the head.
Taylor backed off into Ronin's corner, dazed. Gargano and Horiguchi tagged in. They locked up and Gargano shoulderblocked him down. Horiguchi nailed a dropkick that sent Gargano scrambling, then challenged Swann. Swann did some dancing to try and psych out his opponent, so Genki began dancing. That popped the crowd.
Swann tried to kick Genki low but was caught. Aries tagged in but Swann ducked out of the ring and tagged out to Gargano. Aries forced Gargano into the corner and slapped his hand to Swann's chest, making a tag against their will. They explained that Aries offered Swann the chance to be his protege only to have Swann disrespect him. Swann controlled Aries with a handstand hammerlock. Aries escaped and they faced off. Aries began working over Swann's arm with a series of wringers and dropped a knee across it.
Aries continued working on the arm but Swann grabbed the hair and reversed. Swann came back with a dropkick but was shoved aside. Swann grabs a head scissors, but Aries escaped and drives Swann into Genki's boot. Horiguchi tagged in and worked over Swann with a back elbow. Swann cuts off Genki and Ronin works him over in their corner. Ronin puts the boots to him.
Genkio finally comes back with a hiptoss on Taylor and tags in Aries. Aries cleans house and drills Swann with a leaping elbow for a two count. Swann is sent to the outside and teases the heat seeking missile, but Gargano speared Aries. Swann came off the top with a frog splash for a two count. Swann choked out Aries, then stood on his back, strangling him against the ropes.
Ronin took turns working over Aries. Gargano and Taylor Beel tossed Swann onto Aries. They trapped Aries in the corner but Aries fought his way out. Aries struggled to go make the tag and makes it to Ricochet, who takes down Taylor and Gargano with several ranas. Taylor eats another head scissor. He hits a standing moonsault on Gargano for a two count but the other members of Ronin break it up.
Ricochet goes for a victory roll but is nailed with a flapjack. This leads to a crazy sequence where everyone but Swann locks on a submission all at once, which is too insane to describe. Swann finally breaks it up and it comes back to Aries and Swann. Swann hits a dive on Ricochet. Aries hits a heat seeking missile on Ronin. Ricochet hits an insane looking high flying knee strike on Gargano for a two count.
All hell is breaking loose now with fast sequences and back and forth spots. Really good but hard to follow when you are doing PBP! Aries drills everyone with forearms but succumbs to the triple team. Aries rebounds off the ropes but is caught with a spinebuster. Swann hits a running shooting star press on Aries and Taylor turns him into a Boston Crab. Aries is pinned and kicks out at two. Ronin continues to triple team him in the corner.
Warriors save Aries and its Swann left with them. He's hit with a backslide driver by Ricochet and then a kick by Ricochet. Genki hits a spinning DDT on Gargano. Aries nails Taylor with an STO. Ricochet nails a Pele Kick on Swann then hits a crazy twisting dive over the top on everyone battling on the floor. Insane.
Gargano drills Ricochet with a superkick as he charged and lawn darted him into the corner. Swann kicked him in the face. Ronin destroyed him with a sequence of triple teams and scored the pin.
Your winners, Ronin!
Ronin is officially on the DGUSA map with one hell of a six man tag. This was far and away the most entertaining thing so far on the show with just insanely innovate sequences and flurries of offense. A few years from now, we're going to look back at the talents here and know it all started at this moment. Breathtaking stuff. The show went from good to thumbs up on the back of these six.
Backstage, Moxley said that he always knew one day he'd cross paths with Homicide, but now that they've locked up. He said that after everything he's heard about how bad, how mean, how nasty Homicide is, but it really didn't mean anything when they got in the ring. He said that if Homicide is the baddest man in the barrio, what does that make Moxley, since he put Homicide on the shelf in one night. He told YAMATO to end tonight on a high note.
YAMATO vs. Masato Yoshino
Some good back and forth near falls and mat wrestling early. The storyline was that Yoshino was going to take care of YAMATO for World-1. Yoshino caught YAMATO with head scissors and began focusing his attack on YAMATO's arm. Yoshino locked in an armbar submission but YAMATO eventually got to the ropes.
They took the battle to the floor and batted back and forth. YAMATO made a comeback with chops and then focused his attack on Yoshino's legs. YAMATO began beating him down and stomping the hell out of his legs. Yoshino tried to mount a comeback but YAMATO worked him over.
Yoshino finally avoided a charge and nailed the Slingblade. He drilled YAMATO with a running dropkick, but missed a double stomp. YAMATO drilled him with a lariat but Yoshino came back and used his abdominal stretch variation. He scored a two count after working YAMATO into a pinfall combination.
YAMATO went for a superplex but was fought off and nailed with Slingblade off the top rope. Yoshino went for another arm submission but YAMATO escaped and locked on an abdominal stretch attempt, which was turned into a DDT variant.
Yoshino drilled him with a missile dropkick. He went back to the top buty YAMATO dropkicked him down and he ended up crotched. No babies tonight. YAMATO nailed a top rope superplex but Yoshino kicked out at the last moment. YAMATO nailed a brainbuster for another two count.
Yoshino kicked out of the Galleria but then caught YAMATO with a submission hold and finally got YAMATO to submit.
Your winner, Masato Yoshino!
Technically, very, very good but couldn't follow the crazy flurry that was the Ronin six man tag. Still, with an effort like this, you have to be happy. I wouldn't have placed this as the last match but that's subjective.
Overall, a very good show. Ronin are going to be a major franchise here. The influx of Homicide and Aries provides some veteran American talent and endless new possibilities here. The usual crew did their usual good job and I liked the live promos as they added a smoother feel to the show. If you are looking for a few entertaining hours of professional wrestling that's guaranteed to give you your money's worth, this will do it for you, especially if you enjoy the harder hitting Japanese style with the fighting spirit and crazy, innovative moves. Yet another good chapter in the DGUSA storybook.