DVDs - VGames - Books RADICAN'S DGUSA DVD REVIEW SERIES: "United Finale" 1/30 - Hulk vs. Tozawa, Gargano & Taylor vs. Yoshino & Doi
Nov 3, 2011 - 5:58:41 PM
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RADICAN’S DGUSA UNITED FINALE DVD REVIEW
UNION CITY, N.J.
JANUARY 30, 2011
Differences between PPV and DVD
This show was originally called “United We Stand” on PPV. The DVD edit features two extra matches with Brodie Lee vs. Rich Swann and Pinkie Sanchez vs. Rexx Reed being added to this release. The show also features extra footage that wasn’t included in the PPV edit of the show.
This was one of DGUSA’s better looking shows when it debuted on PPV back in March and the DVD has been re-edited with good sound and picture quality throughout the show.
Review of show
1 - - BRODIE LEE vs. RICH SWANN
Swann taunted Lee during the early going and peppered him with strikes, but Lee cut him off with a superkick. Swann fired back and took Lee down. He followed up with a rolling frog splash for a 2 count. Lee caught Swann with the truck stop for the pin moments later.
Winner: Brodie Lee
Star rating: (*1/2) – This was a showcase of Lee in the ring and looking at where Swann is now he’s come a long way from being cannon fodder for Lee.
The Blood Warriors came out and CIMA told Lee to destroy Swann. Ronin tried to help, but they were held back by the Blood Warriors. Lee ended up choke slamming Swann off the apron and onto Gargano and Taylor. Ricochet got on the mic and said the Blood Warriors wouldn’t fight each other in a Open the United Gate Round Robin match. He said they were going to take the night off and CIMA agreed with him. The Blood Warriors were about to head downtown to party when Jimmy Jacobs came out. Jacobs said he had an open challenge to Japanese talent. Ricochet challenged Jacobs to get three partners and they would have an 8 Man Tag match. CIMA asked Jacobs if he had any friends and laughed at him. Jacobs accepted the challenge.
2 - - A.R. FOX vs. CHEECH HERNANDEZ
Cheech dominated the action during the early stages of the match and a got a nearfall with an STO. Fox fired back with a bulldog. Fox hit two stunners moments later and Cheech fell to the outside. Fox hit a flip dive over the top and the crowd went nuts. The finish saw Fox impressive fly nearly all the way across the ring with a code breaker off the top for the pin.
Winner: A.R. Fox
Star Rating: (**) – This was a solid opener with some good back and forth action. I enjoyed Fox’s high flying and Cheech is another wrestler I enjoy watching. Fox’s finisher was really impressive. If he develops some personality, he could have a bright future in DGUSA.
-A video package aired narrated by Lenny Leonard on YAMATO capturing the DGUSA Open The Freedom Gate title from BxB Hulk at United: New York.
3 - - AKIRA TOZAWA vs. BxB HULK
Reby Sky came out before the match started and convinced Jon Moxley to go to the back with her. The match started with some back and forth exchanges on the mat until they came to a stalemate. Hulk tried to pick apart Tozawa with flashy kicks, but Tozawa got a crazed look on his face and fired back on Hulk with some kicks of his own as the crowd went nuts. Hulk fired back and dominated the action for several minutes, but Tozawa cut him off and sent him to the outside. Tozawa hit two consecutive suicide dives to the outside and the crowd popped huge and chanted for another dive. Tozawa got another crazed look in his eye and hit a third suicide dive to a huge ovation.
They built up to a spot where both men nailed each other with running boots to the face. Tozawa smiled after each kick from Hulk, who eventually caught Tozawa with a rollup for a nearfall. Hulk nailed Tozawa with the E.V.O., but he kicked out. Hulk nailed Tozawa with a kick, but he no-sold it and landed a German on Hulk for a nearfall. Tozawa held on to Hulk and finished him off with a straightjacket suplex for the pin.
Winner: Akira Tozawa
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was an excellent match that capped off an incredible weekend for Tozawa. He really showed great personality here and Hulk was as impressive as I’ve seen him in a long time. Tozawa’s facial expressions were spot-on and both men connected with the crowd. The match built up to a high point and climaxed at just the right time when the heat from the crowd had reached a peak. Tozawa is someone DGUSA can build around in 2011.
-A video package on the Homicide-Jon Moxley feud aired. DGUSA’s video packages were much better than I can ever recall on this PPV.
-Austin Aries came down to the ring. Jimmy Jacobs interrupted his entrance and asked him to be his partner against the Blood Warriors tonight. Aries agreed to be Jacobs’s partner. Jon Moxley then came out with Reby Sky and offered YAMATO to team with Aries and Jacobs. He said he wanted to get rid of the Blood Warriors, which was why he was offering to give them YAMATO for the tag match. Homicide then ran out and attacked Moxley to start their match.
4 - - HOMICICDE vs. JON MOXLEY – No DQ
They brawled all over the building and there wasn’t a lot of heat from the crowd. At one point Moxley got on the mic and told Homicide to quit, but he refused. Homicide broke a beer bottle and went after Moxley with it, but Moxley nailed him with a low blow. Moxley followed up with a powerbomb into the wall behind the stands. They ended up in the ring and Sky came down to the ring, but mailed Moxley with a low blow. Homicide sent Moxley out of the ring a few minutes later and nailed him with a tope con hilo. Moxley came up bleeding. Homicide followed up with a super ace crusher, but Moxley kicked out and taunted Homicide. Moxley continued to taunt Homicide and told him he couldn’t beat him. Homicide finally nailed Moxley low and hit the cop killa. Homicide then pulled Moxley over himself and the ref counted the pin.
After the match, Homicide tried to cut off Moxley’s tongue with a pair of scissors, but Tozawa made the save.
Winner: Jon Moxley
Star rating: (*1/2) – This match never clicked and didn’t have a lot of heat. The crowd didn’t respond at all to the finish. The idea was Homicide didn’t care about whether or not he won or lost and that he just wanted to hurt Moxley. This was disappointing given all the time spent on the buildup to this match.
4 - - PINKIE SANCHEZ vs. REXX REED
Reed hit some chops in the early going. Sanchez fired back with a basement dropkick and a flying knee to the Reed’s head. Reed went to the outside and Sanchez hit Reed with a dive. Sanchez went for a springboard off the apron, but Reed caught him and slammed him into the apron. Sanchez fired back with a kick off the apron and a springboard elbow for a 2 count. Reed cut Sanchez off. Moments later he lifted Sanchez over his head and dropped him down on his knees for the pin.
Winner: Rexx Reed
Star rating: (*3/4) – This was short, but good. Sanchez sold well for Reed to make him look powerful.
5 - - JIMMY JACOBS & YAMATO & AUSTIN ARIES & SAMI CALLIHAN vs. BLOOD WARRIORS (Ricochet & CIMA & Naruki Doi & Dragon Kid)
They did full introductions for the match with the Blood Warriors heeling it up with the crowd. Callihan ran down and agreed to be Jacobs’s fourth partner. The match started off with the Blood Warriors giving the crowd a lewd gesture, which Jacobs’s team turned into arm submissions. All of the Blood Warriors got their arms snapped over the top rope to begin the match. The Blood Warriors eventually got the heat on Callihan and targeted his legs while the ref was distracted by Jacobs’s team protesting the Warriors continual cheating. Aries eventually got the hot tag and ran wild. All of the Blood Warriors ended up in submissions at the same time, but CIMA escaped and broke them all up.
The action broke down with men battling inside and outside of the ring. Jacobs hit the contra code on Kid at one point for a nearfall. A few minutes later CIMA, Kid, and Ricochet his stereo coast-to-coast dropkicks on Jacobs in the corner. Everyone ended up on the outside moments later and Ricochet wiped everyone out with an insane dive into the crowd. Jacobs ended up isolated with Doi in the ring. He caught Doi in the end time, but Doi countered it into the Doi 5’s. Doi then nailed Jacobs with a sliding kick for the win.
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was a fantastic tag match. It was a bit hard to follow towards the end with everyone brawling inside and outside of the ring, but the match established the Blood Warriors as heels in the promotion with their constant cheating and playing the numbers game with Lee interfering from the outside. I really enjoyed Callihan’s performance in this match. His selling was good and he showed great intensity on offense.
A video package aired with highlights from the Open the United Gate Title Tournament.
5 - - RONIN (Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano) vs. WORLD 1 (PAC & Masato Yoshino) – Open the United Gate Tournament Finals
They did formal introductions before the match began. World 1 got the heat on Gargano early and worked over his arm. Taylor got the tag and eventually drove PAC into Gargano’s feet for a 2 count. Taylor teased a standing moonsault, but ended up simply flopping backwards onto PAC. They worked over PAC for several minutes until PAC finally mounted a comeback and hit a dropkick off the second rope onto Taylor. Yoshino tagged in, but Gargano ran in and cut him off. Taylor ended up accidentally hitting Gargano and Yoshino nailed him with the sling blade.
Yoshino and PAC isolated Taylor. PAC hit a standing corkscrew press on Taylor for a 2 count. Gargano ran into the ring and Taylor jumped off his back for a blockbuster on PAC. Ronin then hit a razor’s edge into an ace crusher on PAC, but Yoshino broke it up. A few moments later, Gargano wiped out Yoshino with a dive and Taylor hit the awful waffle on PAC, but he kicked out and the crowd gasped.
Gargano locked in a variation of the border city stretch on PAC. Yoshino tried several times to break it up, but Gargano wouldn’t let go of the submission. Yoshino eventually locked Taylor in the sol naciente and Gargano let go of his submission to save Taylor. They built up to a big finish with Gargano and PAC. Gargano nailed PAC with a full nelson suplex, but PAC got right up. After a series of counters, PAC caught Gargano with a nasty German suplex as he came off the ropes for the pin.
Winners: PAC & Yoshino to become the first Open the United Gate Champions
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was an excellent tag match. It was a bit hard to follow at times with all of the men in the ring and the ref seemed to just give up on taking any measure of control on men entering and leaving the ring. If you enjoy non-stop, crisp, athletic action, you’re going to love this match.
Taylor and Gargano shook hands with Yoshino and PAC after the match. PAC put Yoshino over on the mic and handed the mic to Yoshino. Yoshino asked the crowd if they enjoyed the show and promised DGUSA would come back to New Jersey. They shook hands with the crowd after leaving the ring.
The show closed with Moxley and YAMATO backstage. Moxley was looking for Tozawa. Tozawa came into the picture and glared at him. Tozawa told YAMATO they didn’t need Moxley anymore in Japanese that was translated on the screen. YAMATO ended up jumping Tozawa from behind and then beat him down with Moxley. Moxley told Tozawa he wasn’t good enough for Kamikaze USA.
The bonus features are solid for this release. There’s a nice highlight package featuring all the big spots from the matches on the show. There’s another highlight package included here that was used to hype the excellent Hulk vs. Tozawa match. There’s also a bonus match featuring Naruki Doi defending the Open the Dream Gate Championship against Susumu Yokosuka from Oct. 25, 2009 in Japan. The match is really good and included English commentary from Lenny Leonard.
Overall thoughts: (8.0) – I enjoyed this show a lot. The Tozawa-Hulk, 8 Man Tag, and Ronin-World 1 matches were all matches that not only delivered in the ring, but were part of a larger ongoing storylines in the promotion.
The matches added to the show weren’t great, but they gave Brodie Lee and Rex Reed a chance to showcase their offense in front of the live crowd.
The Tozawa-Hulk match is worth going out of your way to see. Tozawa really broke out here and showed a ton of personality. He seemed to bring the best out of Hulk, who hadn’t captured my attention in DGUSA in quite some time. DGUSA has someone to build around in Tozawa. I really enjoyed the 8 Man Tag match as well, as it played into the Jacobs storyline. Jacobs suffered his third straight loss in the match, but I enjoyed how Aries, YAMATO, and Callihan agreed to team with him to take on the Blood Warriors, who everyone in the promotion sees as a big threat.
The main event was a really good match, but it didn’t measure up to some of the other outstanding matches in the Open the United Gate tournament. The three shows taped during this weekend make a nice collection, as the tag title tournament delivered a number of memorable matches and the Blood Warriors turned heel during the course of the weekend setting up their long-term feud with the Ronin stable of Swann, Gargano, and Taylor. This show was just as good as the last show and I recommend picking it up along with “United: Philly” and “United: NYC.”
I highly recommend ordering the show. There’s a lot of good storylines going on in DGUSA. This was the best looking DGUSA event I’ve seen to date. Everything was well lit and the sound was fine. I like that DGUSA booker is taking his time to tell stories and I think the storylines set in motion on this show are going to pay off down the line. The only disappointment was the Moxley-Homicide match, but everything else on the show delivered.
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