Friday, June 19, 2020

Dragon Gate USA Open the Historic Gate Review

Matches:
1.YAMATO vs BxB Hulk ***3/4
2.Ken Doane vs 2 Cold Scorpio **1/2
3.The Colony, Quackenbush, Jigsaw vs FIST, Hallowicked, Amasis ****
4.Masato Yoshino vs Dragon Kid ***1/2
5.Young Bucks vs WARRIORS-5 ****1/4
6.Naruki Doi vs SHINGO ****1/4

Thoughts:
I've spoken many times over the years about my love for Dragon Gate USA. I actually own several DVD's and want to eventually get even more. I actually am wondering if I'll be able to partake in their big sale at the end of the year moving forward if they indeed sell to WWE. Anyway, it's about time I start working through these discs and seeing how well they hold up. Above is the embedded video to watch the event. WWNLive added it recently to their YouTube channel as part of their Greatest Hit uploads.

Dawn Marie hypes us up as this kicks off and the crowd is fucking hyped.

Some familiar faces worked as a dancers for BxB's entrance for the opener. The match was great and a strong way to start the show. A steady combination of technicality and strikes, alongside quality pace. The progressed along nicely and I think it serves very well as the first official match of DGUSA. 

Sky mocked Doane with an offensive gesture that suggested Ken was gay and that it was something that'd be worth laughing at. The fans asked for Dolph to be there instead of Doane. That was about the most exciting, noteworthy stuff to be said about this one. I mean, it was overly long and generic as hell. If memory serves, this was one of the worst matches from the early years of DGUSA, for sure.

They ran a package looking at Doi backstage getting read while talking about him. They promoted the match a few times throughout the night.

Up next, a CHIKARA showcase. To this day, it still saddens me that many of the guys that graced CHIKARA that should have gotten a big break simply never did. Of the guys here, one is currently in AEW, one with WWE, and the rest are basically still in CHIKARA. Either way, this was a good spotfest that worked well to display not only why CHIKARA was worth seeing, but also how good their school is. It was a smart use of talent to fill out the card for sure and a very good exhibition getting the show back on track. It's funny that one of my favorite matches from the company actually took place in DGUSA, though, but it's fantastic stuff either way.

Skayde was praised by Quack after and then the CHIKARA owner officially challenged the DG boys. YAMATO came out, said he had no idea who Quack was, nor Skayde, and that he didn't belond in the ring. He kicked him in the dick. Jigsaw and Akuma came to check on Q but Gran and YAMATO united before powdering to the numbers.

In the four spot, the high speed rivalry of Yoshino and Dragon Kid was on full display. While not their best encounter, it was still a spirited and highly athletic affair. Maybe it's because I am remembering their other matches that enabled me to landing on this being bit less than expected. Alas, as I said, it was still pretty good and carried the momentum forward.

SHINGO and Doi stared each other down after and then Sky put over the roster and event relating it to ECW, which worked very well considering the location of the show (the ECW Arena). He pushes for a rematch between DK and the Speed Star before the segment ended.

The semi saw the Bucks of Youth take on CIMA and Susumu. Seeing the Jacksons get psyched at seeing two fans in the crowd wearing their merch not only served as reminder #542 of how old this show objectively is, but also of how far they've come. Regardless, the brothers still were crisp as hell here, of course, as was the WARRIORS-5 duo. Susumu in particular is just an underrated worker. The match itself was a truly fantastic tag match with a nice dose of drama mixed in as they built it up more and more. This is one of the matches that really helped push the Bucks to the front of the pack and well worth seeing in 2020.

After, the Bucks put over CIMA and Susumu as well as themselves.

The upstairs neighbors are having an outrageously loud party right now by the way. It is what it is, and I get that we can be very loud during the day, so I feel it's a trade off. They never tend to go too late so I am hopeful that remains the case tonight. It also rarely bugs my kids who seem capable of sleeping through just fine and my dogs are old and just don't give a fuck. I only care at all right now because I have a bit of a headache tonight. Anyway, I just felt the need to write that.

Main event time. The Open the Dream Gate Champion, Naruki Doi, took on SHINGO in non-title action. For the record, this specific belt is my favorite version of the title and my favorite design ever. The current belt, also around the waist of Doi, is my least favorite. The contest felt like a big deal for sure, either way. It is funny that Doi, coming in as the champ and being given the nod here, as good as he is, came off as second fiddle to SHINGO here. I mean, truth be told Takagi is a superior worker, but it was certainly evident here at times. Strong action throughout led to a top shelf sequence closing things out putting this one over into four star territory. Thumbs up, for sure.

Simply put, this show holds up very nicely. In fact, I still stand by my opinion that it's simply one of the best overall shows to take place here in the states. Only one match was truly underwhelming, but when you have two hours of pure action it's hard to complain much. Back before AEW and those NXT TakeOver shows, PWG and DGUSA were the kings of consistency and I think it's sad that these shows are still lost in the sauce to so many. Do yourself a favor! If you've never seen this before, click play above. If you've seen it but it's been a long time, also click play. If you don't like this show you just might not have a soul.

RIP DGUSA.

Overall Rating: 90/100%

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