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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
RADICAN’S DGUSA “UNITED NYC” DVD ANALYSIS
TAPED IN MANHATTAN, N.Y.
JAN. 28, 2011
-Akira Tozawa beat Sami Callihan (**1/2)
-Jon Moxley beat Jigsaw (**1/4)
-YAMATO beat BxB Hulk to capture the Open the Freedom Gate Title (***)
-Brodie Lee beat Jimmy Jacobs (**1/4)
-Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano beat Naruki Doi & Ricochet in an Open the United Gate Tournament match (****)
-Austin Aries beat Rich Swann (***1/2)
-Masato Yoshino & PAC beat Dragon Kid & CIMA in an Open the United Gate Tournament match (***1/2)
This was DGUSA’s debut in NYC. I had high expectations of the show going into the original airing. The Open the United Gate Title Tournament had major potential in my opinion and I was also looking forward to seeing Open the Freedom Champion BxB Hulk take on YAMATO in the first of three matches in a challenge series from Kamikaze USA.
This show aired on Go Fight Live and had a lot of production issues. I couldn’t see what was going on during much of the night, especially when the action went to the outside. Another issue I had with the show was the pacing of the show. I thought it moved too quickly and not enough time was given for people to breathe between matches.
One of the major letdowns on the show was the lack of emphasis put on YAMATO winning the Open the Freedom Gate Champion. I felt the title switch should have been the focus of the show and not an afterthought, as once YAMATO won the title, the show quickly transitioned to Jimmy Jacobs vs. Brodie Lee.
-After giving the show another viewing, I was pleasantly surprised with the sound and lighting on this show. The DVD experience was much better here than watching the show on iPPV on GFL. The production staff gets a “thumbs up” for overhauling this release.
-Blood Warriors vs. Ronin - I really enjoyed the Ronin-Blood Warriors match. It was the highlight of the night. The in-ring action during the match provided some jaw-dropping moments at times and I enjoy Ronin’s act. This match was the highlight of the show, as Gargano and Taylor shined against Doi & Ricochet.
-Rich Swann vs. Austin Aries – Swann was really impressive here taking beating from Aries while continually making comebacks. Aries appeared to injure his shoulder during the late stages of the match, but he worked through it well and put away Swann in impressive fashion. The finish of this match had the “wow” factor I enjoy from DGUSA matches.
-Yoshino & PAC vs. CIMA & Dragon Kid – I was expecting more from this match. I was into the action, but the match never told story and focused more on both teams exchanging big moves. The action did heat up during the second half, which was very good. The fans got into the match late and it built to an exciting finish. With a better first half this match would have been at least as good if not better than Blood Warriors vs. Ronin.
-Some of the matches on the undercard just didn’t click. I was expecting more from Tozawa vs. Callihan, but was letdown by the action. Moxley-Jigsaw was a solid match, but I couldn’t get into Jigsaw defending the honor of New York after Moxley ran down the city on the mic.
-It was nice to get a split-screen shot of Julius Smokes running in from the stands during Hulk-YAMATO to further the Homicide-Moxley angle. When this aired on iPPV, I couldn’t see a thing that was going on and wound up confused, but at least I was able to see this play out on DVD.
-As I said in my original report, the pacing of the show was too frenetic for my likes. This was much easier to follow with better production, but there were no backstage segments and all of the mic work was done in the ring. I was able to follow things better here thanks to the improved production, but I was surprised nothing was taped backstage to insert into the DVD release.
-I liked the addition of updated standings in the Open the United Gate Title Tournament that were shown after each tournament match. It gave me a sense of what was going on and which teams were in position to win the round robin tournament.
Overall thoughts: (7.0) I liked this show on DVD better than I did on iPPV. I had a much better sense of what was going on and some big spots that I couldn’t see before on iPPV were clear on the DVD version of this show. The bottom line here is that there are a lot of good matches on this show. B.B. King’s restaurant in Manhattan makes for a really nice venue for wrestling. I had no idea what the venue looked like on iPPV because I couldn’t see much beyond the in-ring action.
The major detractions from the show were the lack of emphasis on the Open the Freedom Gate Title change and the frenetic pacing. Since this show, DGUSA has done a better job of building around a top-tier of wrestlers, but I’d really like to see wrestlers like PAC and YAMATO pushed on a level above the rest of the roster. Sure, DGUSA has great in-ring action, but building around the personalities of PAC and YAMATO would draw more fans to the promotion.
Once DGUSA builds up the top of their card, they’ve got a really good undercard with acts like Ronin, Sami Callihan, and A.R. Fox to build around.
You can read my original roundtable review of “United NYC” on iPPV here
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