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Views from the Hawke’s Nest: Dragon Gate USA Bushido: Code of the Warrior 2010 Review

October 29, 2011 | Posted by TJ Hawke
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Views from the Hawke’s Nest: Dragon Gate USA Bushido: Code of the Warrior 2010 Review  

CIMA and Ricochet are out to start the show…Ricochet was previously inducted into CIMA’s Warriors International stable at Untouchable 2010…CIMA hypes the fact that this is DGUSA’s first iPPV and Ricochet as the newest member of his stable…CIMA says that tonight, he will introduce another new member …this show was to feature a stable draft; all the Japanese stables (besides Kamikaze USA) would draft a new American member to their stable

Ricochet vs. Arik Cannon vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Chuck Taylor
Taylor had won the previous two freestyles in DGUSA…Ricochet main evented the last cable PPV, but the other three guys were still curtain jerkers at this point

This match was non-stop action and spots…a really cool sequence saw Gargano hitting a suicide dive on Cannon, Taylor hitting a big sommersault plancha on both of them, and then Ricochet hit a Corkscrew Asai Moonsault on everybody…back in the ring, the four men hit a shit ton of big moves on each other to the delight of the crowd; trying to recap everything they did would be foolhardy…the finish finally came when Cannon got hung up in the corner, and Chucky T managed to nail the Awful Waffle on him

The biggest compliment I can give this match and the promotion is that all 4 of these men will be in title matches a year later at the November triple shot, and it feels completely natural
Match Rating: ***1/2

Watch this match for yourself, as provided by Dragon Gate USA

CIMA gets in the ring and asks Chuck Taylor if he wants to join Warriors…Taylor informs everybody that he has withdrawn himself from the draft…Gargano crawls back into the ring but CIMA ignores him…

Homicide vs. Rich Swann
Homicide came out and was given a World-1 shirt by BxB Hulk…”Fuck TNA” chants break out and (unlike Christopher Daniels) Homicide does not discourage them from chanting that; Homicide was the only person at this time who was working for both Ring of Honor and DGUSA

Homicide outwrestles Swann early, but Swann used quickness to stay in the match…Swann disrespected Homicide a couple of times during the match, so Homicide wrestled with less and less “honor” as the match went on…after being made to look completely outclassed by Homicide, Swann finally came back briefly before being cut off with a RKO from Homicide: 1…2…NO!…Homicide got frustrated by the 2 count, so he went for the Cop Killa but Swann escaped and hit Trouble in Paradise…Swann went for a split legged moonsault but Homicide got his knees…Homicde takes down his elbow pad, winds up, and hits a big lariat: 1…2…3

This match was designed to make Homicide look like a guy who was levels ahead of Swann, which never really made sense to me…the crowd like Homicide well enough obviously, but Swann was the one they were cheering for after the match…if you have never seemed Swann perform before, he seems to have been specifically designed for the TNA X-Division
Match Rating: **1/4

Swann is recovering in the ring as Austin Aries makes his way to the ring in his DGUSA debut:

Austin Aries Open Microphone Segment: Aries says that after becoming a free agent, he decided to do personal soul searching, and looking into the soul of pro-wrestling…Aries says that pro-wrestling is very real, and that it doesn’t get respect because the business doesn’t respect itself…Aries says people in the business say that it is “just the way it is,” but he refuses to accept that…Aries says that as a result, he has been referred to as a “rabble rouser”…Aries says he won’t corrupt his beliefs and that he is a man of honor…Aries says he wants to challenge the rest of the locker room and the fans to be people of honor…Aries then turns to Swann (who has been in the ring for the whole promo) and offers to be his mentor because Swann proved in his last match that he is a man of honor

Hawke: One year later, this is still a very interesting promo by The Greatest Man That Ever Lived…looking at this promo from a rhetorical perspective, Aries does a real effective job of giving himself credibility as a ‘wrestling character’ and as a real person…he could have used this promo time as a means to take more direct cheap shots at Ring of Honor, but he was very careful to position himself as above the fray…as a result, Aries was able to transfer that goodwill generated by portraying his character as a man of honor onto himself, the human being…very well done

Austin Aries vs. Masato Yoshino
I remember really liking this match when I watched this show live, but that a lot of mainstream wrestling writers were down on this match…I am curious to see how I feel about the match this time…it should also be noted that Yoshino was the Dream Gate Champion at the time, which should have retrospectively given away the result of the match

They went back and forth with mat wrestling for a while’ it wasn’t especially compelling, but it did sell well that these two were fighters trying to win a match…Yoshino was in control for a little bit, but Aries was able to send him to the outside and hit the top rope axe handle to the floor…Aries started to work over Yoshino after that, including busting out the Stump Pillar and the FIGURE 8~! (Lenny Leonard explained that Aries named it that because it is twice as good as the Figure Four)…Yoshino came back with a Sling Blade and kicks in the corner…Aries tried to cut him off but Yoshino locked in the Front Jungle…Aries went to cut him off again, but Yoshino got him in a pinning position for a 2-count…Aries Military Pressed Yoshino and then locked in The Front Chancery; Aries gave him some knees to the head…Aries went for a brainbuster but Yoshino was able to escape again…Yoshino went for a suplerplex, but Aries reversed it into a sunset powerbomb attempt, which was reversed into a DOUBLE STOMP!…that got the crowd’s attention…Aries comes right back with a top rope hurricanranna, but then eats a huge boot…Yoshino goes Sol Naciente, but Aries escapes and hits a couple of rollup near falls…Aries goes for a brainbuster, but Yoshino escapes and hits the Lightening Spiral…Aries comes right back with an IED and a BRAINBUSTER!: 1…2…NO!…Aries goes for the 450; Yoshino rolls out of the way…Yoshino then hits Torbellino and locks in Sol Naciente: ARIES TAPS OUT IN HIS DGUSA DEBUT

This match was not as good on second viewing but I still enjoyed it quite a bit…Aries would go on to have better matches in DGUSA with Tozawa, Yamato and Johnny Gargano
Match Rating: ***1/2

Rich Swann goes to help Aries to his feet, but he punks him out instead…the crowd chants “You Got Swanned!” at Aries, which has sadly been the last time we heard that cheer

Johnny Gargano cuts a promo in the back about killing himself to impress CIMA, and that he just needs a shot…Gargano makes a plea to be Warriors’ draft pick

A great video package aired showing the highlights of the Moxley/Jacobs feud

Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jon Moxley [I Quit]
I was never into this feud as it was happening, but it seems better now in retrospect…unlike the Aries/Yoshino match, everyone else seemed to be think that this match was much better than I thought; so, once again, I am curious to see how I feel about this match a second time through

Moxley cuts a promo about how he has no backup and that he is going to make Jacobs say: “I QUIT”…Jacob’s music starts but he is nowhere to be seen: wait, he is in the BALCONY~!…Jacobs does a cross body from the second floor balcony into the ring on Moxley…the crowd immediately gets behind Jacobs…Jacobs attacks Moxley with his belt…Jacobs tries to follow that up with a suicide dive, but Moxley cuts him off and hits a big lariat…Moxley goes to use a spike, but he gets it caught in a turnbuckle…Jacobs hits a spear on the ring apron, which created a nice “thud” sound…Moxley cuts him off again with a powerbomb into the guard rail…Moxley pulls out another spike and nails Jacobs in the forehead…Jacobs got busted open after that…Moxley tried to make him quit with an armbar, but Jacobs escaped and got a spike to nail Moxley with; Jacobs followed that up with a RKO and a spear…Jacobs (who was losing a ton of blood) locked in End Time, but Moxley revrsed into an Alabama Slam and the Glam Slam…Moxle then tied Jimmy’s hands together behind his back, but he was still able to lock in another End Time attempt…Moxley escape again and did some Ground and Pound with a spike; the ref pulled Moxley off Jacobs (which is fairly lame for I Quit match)…LOW BLOW by Jacobs…Jaocbs chewed the belt off his hands and whacks Moxley with a chair…Jacobs then started spiking Moxley in the groin and Moxley QUITS!…Jacobs absolutely had a crimson mask by the end of the match…Jacobs says his comeback is not complete until he wins a major singles championship

I don’t think this was as great as some suggested at the time, but it was a hell of a brawl…I think the main problem with the match was that the crowd seemed to react as if this was just some random (if very well executed) brawl, instead of being emotionally invested in Jacobs getting revenge on Moxley
Match Rating: ***3/4

Sami Callihan cuts a promo in the back; he says he is finally coming to DGUSA on a main show (just not tonight)

Akebono & Brodie Lee vs. Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian)
Akebono is massive but it looks like he has Great Khali knees, because every step he takes looks so painful
The Portal both seem too afraid to start the match…that proved to be smart thinking as the Portal were not able to phsycially hang with the giant men for longer than one hope spot at a time…I specify “physically” hang with, because, the Portal proved to be far better at using ancient Snake Charming Magic in their matches:

The portal foolishly tried to use physical force again after that, which lead to their downfall…even with Akebono and Brodie Lee striking each other during the match, the Portal still fell victim to stereo pinfalls…Lee and Akebono got into a pull apart brawl after the match…that set up their singles match the next night (which I never saw, but I heard it was horrendous)
Match Rating: I don’t know

Homicide cut a promo about something (he was lucid but he didn’t seem to have a point)…he was rambling for a minute before getting jumped by Jon Moxley, who said he is not afraid of him

CIMA & Genki Horiguchi vs. Yamato & Akira Tozawa
Tozawa was already a star in PWG, but his true breakout in DGUSA didn’t really start until this weekend (and wouldn’t be cemented until his match with BxB Hulk at United We Stand)…Horiguchi was making his American East Coast debut here; he hasn’t been back in DGUSA since this weekend of shows

Warriors gain the advantage early by working over Tozawa…Yamato made a tag, and the teams went back and forth in terms of having control…Yamato & Tozawa worked over Horiguchi by going after his massive rat tail…Horiguchi fought through the double teaming and made a hot tag to CIMA (who did a great fist pump before getting into the ring)…Warriors then worked over Tozawa for a while…Tozawa then made a hot tag to Yamato (yes there was a heel hot tag; sigh…)…CIMA then cheated to stop Yamato, but Yamato overcame the 2 on 1 attack; WHAT A DASTARDLY HEEL~!…Yamato got an Ankle Lock on CIMA, but he made the ropes…CIMA double stomped Yamato and then Horiguchi took out Tozawa…it broke down into a tornado tag, and the 4 men took turns hitting big moves on each other…Tozawa wiped out CIMA with a suicida, as Horiguchi and Yamato traded nearfalls…Tozawa held CIMA down, as Yamato hit Galleria on Horiguchi for the 3 count

This match was a mess on a second viewing, which is a shame because I loved it at the time…the finishing sequence was fun, but everything before that felt like a waste of time that did nothing to emotionally engage me
Match Rating: ***1/4

Referees came down to check on Horiguchi…Johnny Gargano came out to beg for a spot in Warriors…CIMA was about to respond but Gargano superkicked CIMA, as Chuck Taylor and Rich Swann beat down Ricochet…Gargano explains that he never wanted to join Warriors…Chuck Taylor then announces that the three of them will be known as Ronin…CIMA got on the mic, and said that he already drafted a new member of Warriors: BRODIE LEE!…Lee chased Ronin out of the ring…CIMA then commanded that he, Ricochet, and “BLOODY DEE” go after them

Austin Aries cut a promo and says that he will team with Ricochet & Genki Horiguchi against Ronin at Freedom Fight

BxB Hulk© vs. Shingo [Freedom Gate Title]
Shingo lured Hulk outside early on, and the two brawled on the floor…back in the ring, Hulk was in control for a while…Shingo managed to cut Hulk off with a uranagi backbreaker…Shingo then worked over Hulk for a while…Hulk was starting a comeback, but he got caught with a draping DDT…Shingo brought Hulk on the apron, but Hulk gave him a pumplehandle powerslam on the apron for his troubles…Hulk then followed that up with a baseball slide and a top rope moonsault into the crowd (that Shingo barely caught him on)…back in the ring, Hulk hit a bunch of flippy moves, but Shingo cut him off with a huge spear and then hit him with a Saito Suplex…Shingo followed that up with a buckle bomb and Ally Oop…PUMPING BOMBER!: 1…2…NO!…Hulk blocked another lariat and hit a back heel kick for his first offense in a while…Shingo cut him off with another lariat, but Hulk immediately came back with a kneeling superkick: both men down…Shingo hit a Made in Japan: 1…2…NO!…Shingo, getting desperate went for a Super version of one his moves, but Hulk escaped and kicked him multiple times…Hulk then hit a Super H THUNDER: 1…2…NO!…Hulk hit 4 kicks in a row followed by a Phoenix Splash: 1…2…NO!…H Thunder!: 1…2…3

This match was very well done and probably the best match of Hulk’s mediocre reign…I really think Shingo should have won here but considering he hasn’t been in DGUSA since (he was initially injured but he’s been healthy for a while), so I guess it worked out.
Match Rating: ****

This show can be purchased at DGUSA.tv

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Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.

The 411: This was an important transition show for DGUSA. It was their first show after the 3 show boost that Bryan Danielson provided, it was the debut of iPPV for the promotion, and perhaps most importantly, it was the start of treating several more homegrown American stars (Gargano, Taylor, Swann, & Brodie) as equals to the Japanese stars. DGUSA could probably survive for a long time as a Dragon Gate supercard novelty in America, but the only way the promotion was going to grow was by creating homegrown, English speaking stars (I'm not being Xenophobic; pro-wrestling just needs promos that the live audience can understand from time to time). Gargano, Taylor, and Swann launched the first missile in the war between Ronin and the (Blood) Warriors groups that still rages on to this day, and that has made Ronin independent wrestling stars. While the show was important, it was not a great show. Aries and Homicide's debuts left a little to be desired, the semi-main event really does not hold up well, and the result of main event still leaves a sour taste in my mouth because it was the wrong outcome at the time. The show is definitely good, and was historically significant for the promotion, but DGUSA has much better shows in their library. I'll go with a solid recommendation. Note: the DVD version has some bonus features, but I just rewatched the iPPV replay
Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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TJ Hawke

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