DVDs - VGames - Books RADICAN'S DGUSA DVD REVIEW SERIES: "Open the Freedom Gate" - Doi & Yoshino vs. Shingo & Dragon Kid, Yamato-Richards
May 19, 2010 - 5:00:38 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
RADICAN'S DVD REVIEW SERIES
DGUSA "OPEN THE FREEDOM GATE"
NOVEMBER 28, 2009
DGUSA released the "Open the Freedom Gate" PPV back in January with one of the matches filmed during the main show cut. Some of the entrances and post-match angles were also cut. With the "Open the Freedom Gate" DVD release, DGUSA has added in some extras that were shot during the filming of this release, but this time around it's the bonus disc that adds a ton of value to the DVD release. There's a "previously in Dragon Gate USA" segment button on the main menu as well if you want to see the important happenings on the last show that lead into this release. This show featured a one night tournament to crown the first ever Open the Freedom Gate Champion.
All of the matches that were included on the PPV are also included on disc 1 of this two disc set. The two best matches from "Open the Freedom Gate" were Davey Richards vs. YAMATO in a hard-hitting contest and the Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino vs. Shingo & Dragon Kid tag.
The only new match included on disc 1 is the Jigsaw-Eddie Kingston contest that was edited off the PPV edit. The Kingston-Jigsaw match is solid, but unspectacular. When Kingston is given a chance to cut a good promo and be in a program, he's one of the better promo guys on the independent scene. Kingston didn't get to show off his verbal skills here, so if you're unfamiliar with him, he didn't come off as a spectacular performer in this 10 minute contest.
I'm a big fan of Jigsaw, but he's someone that needs to be able to cut a promo to reach the next level. The finish here was well-done, but the matches that were included on the PPV were all better than the Jigsaw-Kingston contest, so DGUSA made the right choice when they decided to edit it off, although it's a solid edition to this edit of the show.
The bonus disc is really strong on this release when it comes to the extra matches that are included. The Kyle O'Reilly-Adam Cole match is short, but it's a really good match that features some hard-hitting action and slick exchanges. This match was taped during the pre-show. O'Reilly seems to have the in-ring tools to be a star on the independents, but he needs to work on having a defined character to draw more attention in 2010. The other pre-show match features B-Boy taking on Jon Moxley. They had a fun match with the crowd solidly behind B-Boy. Moxley is a compelling talker and commands your attention when he's on the mic, so he's someone to keep an eye on as well in 2010.
DGUSA also included the Fray match from the 2009 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup. This was the best Fray match to date. The time allotted between new wrestlers entering the match was cut way down, which really sped the action up. Most of the Fray matches usually have lasted around a half hour, but this one went about 20 minutes or so and really held my attention from start to finish. The fans were also really into the action as well, which contributed greatly to the in-ring action. Brad Allen and Flip Kendrick really stood out during this match, but the finish of the match with Drake Younger and Scotty Vortekz going one-on-one really ignited the crowd and set the atmosphere for a great finish. I would rate this match at ***1/2.
The semi-main event of the bonus disc features BxB Hulk & Yamato taking on Jay Briscoe & Roderick Strong in FIP from Sept. 26, 2007. This match started slowly, but really heated up during the second half. It's fun to see how far Yamato has come in the last few years. He's clearly grown leaps and bounds as a performer when looking back at this match, which I had at ***1/4.
The main event of the bonus disc features a really fun Six Man Tag, which took place on Aug. 18, 2009 in Aichi Japan. The match features BxB Hulk & Pac & Masato Yoshino taking on Akebono & Don Fuji & Masaki Mochizuki. This match was built around Hulk, Pac, and Yoshino working together to take down the massive Akebono. The match builds and builds around Akebono being an unstoppable behemoth. I really liked the finish of this match and I rated it at ***3/4. Pac, who is from the U.K. is a fantastic high-flyer and a blast to watch.
There are two major angles included on the DVD version of the show that weren't included on the PPV. The first is the Young Bucks challenging Doi & Yoshino to a tag match after they had just beaten Shingo & Dragon Kid in an excellent tag match. Matt Jackson shows some promising promo skills during this segment that he hasn't gotten to show in TNA yet.
The other major angle that's expanded on is BxB Hulk's post-match celebration. The PPV cuts out right away, but here you get to see the fallout from Hulk's Open the Freedom Gate Championship celebration. There's also a post-match confrontation between Hulk and Davey Richards, which leads to some interesting developments when it comes to the Open the Freedom Gate title picture. This segment also serves to set up the Hulk-Dragon Kid match on the next PPV.
There is an option included to turn the commentary off for the "Open the Freedom Gate" show as well as the matches on the bonus disc. I like Lenny Leonard's commentary, so I generally leave it on, but it is fun to turn off the commentary and listen to the crowd react to some of the spots.
The packaging looks fantastic once again. There's a sharp picture of YAMATO on the front that looks like a sharp poster for an upcoming major motion picture. The DVD folds out and there are two great pictures of Shingo & Dragon Kid on one side and Doi & Yoshino on the other to commemorate their fantastic tag match. As usual, the poster that was released to hype the PPV is included in the center.
Overall recommendation: (9.0) The PPV features a fun overall tournament, but the bonus features boost the score of this show from the rating I gave the PPV. DGUSA puts a lot of effort into making these releases well-worth your money and this one has the best bonus disc to date with a fantastic highlight package from the PPV and several really good matches at three stars or above. The Six Man Tag from Dragon Gate in Japan is really good and well-worth checking out. I highly recommend this DVD, as you won't get better value for your money anywhere else on the independent scene these days on a single release.
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