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RADICAN'S DGUSA "FREEDOM FIGHT 2012" iPPV REPORT: Virtual-time coverage of Gargano's near-five-star title defense

Nov 4, 2012 - 8:16:11 PM

By Sean Radican, Torch columnist

NOVEMBER 4, 2012


EITA was out first to a good reaction from the fans in attendance. It’s hard to tell how many people are in attendance, but they seem enthusiastic thus far. Jon Davis came out next to some light boos. I like Davis’s new deliberate entrance to the ring where he stares down fans. Davis has taken nearly three minutes to get into the ring. Arda Ocal is in on commentary once again for Lenny Leonard.

1 - - EITA vs. JON DAVIS

Davis just sat in the corner and stared at EITA after the bell. EITA told Davis to bring it. Gabe Sapolsky came in on commentary and thanked the fans for coming to the show after the storm that impacted the area last week. Ocal said the conditions driving to the show were sub-par. Davis dominated early, but EITA avoided a leg drop from Davis and went for several pinning combinations, but Davis countered a small package into a delayed vertical suplex. Ocal said he still wasn’t sure if Gargano could compete tonight due to the damage done to his back by Davis the last two nights. EITA and Davis exchanged some huge chops. EITA ended up sending Davis to the outside and he hit a huge moonsault to the outside and the crowd went nuts. Ocal read fan tweets as EITA hit a missile dropkick off the top for a 2 count. Davis countered EITA and hit a series of big moves capped by a lariat for the win.

Winner: Jon Davis – This was an impressive win for Davis. It was almost a squash, but EITA got some offense in. Davis has a real presence in the ring and he’s going to be someone to watch in DGUSA going forward. He comes across like someone you don’t want to mess with in the ring.

The Scene came out to the ring next. Trina was almost dressed appropriately tonight wearing business casual. Dallas, Konley, and Reed grinded on Trina while the fans jawed at them. Dallas motor boated Trina and some of the fans booed. Tony Neese and Papadon came out next to a solid reaction.

2 - - THE SCENE (Scott Reed & Caleb Konley) w/Trina & Larry Dallas vs. TONY NEESE & PAPADON

Papadon got the better of Reed and tagged in Papadon. Ocal mentioned that EVOVLE 18 would be back on Dec. 8 on iPPV. Reed fired back and tagged in Konley, but Papadon nailed him with a back breaker. Ocal said Pinkie Sanchez was out of action due to suffering a concussion. Marti Belle came out and distracted Dallas, who held Trina in front of him. Reed and Konley attacked Neese on the outside and went back to work on him in the ring. Belle stayed in Neese & Papadon’s corner. Ocal read hate tweets from fans talking about the Scene. Ocal said Neese hadn’t been in DGUSA since 2011 honing his craft in other independents. He failed to mention Neese had been in TNA. Reed went for a swinging DDT, but Neese blocked it and hit a hurricanrana off the top. Neese made the hot tag to Papadon, who ran wild on the Scene. Papadon hit a forearm off the second rope on Konley, but Reed broke up the pin.

Papadon and Neese continued to work together on Konley. They hit a buckle bomb/enzuguri combination, but Konley kicked out. Konley fired back on Papadon a short time later and hit a German with a bridge for a 2 count. The action broke down and Konley and Papadon were left alone in the ring. Trina got up on the apron, but Belle dragged her down to the floor. Reed broke up a sunset bomb off the top on Konley, but Neese ran in and kicked him to the mat. Neese then hit a 450 on Konley for the win.

Winners: Tony Neese & Papadon

Star rating: (**1/4) – This was a solid tag match. The action was fine while it lasted, but I was surprised the Scene didn’t pick up the win.

Belle ended up alone in the ring after the match. Konley and Belle hit a back chop/powerbomb combination on her while Dallas counted the pin. Callihan and Cannon finally ran down to save Belle. Callihan and Cannon checked on Belle and helped her to the back.


ACH sent Cannon to the outside and went for a dive. Cannon cut him off, but ACH sent him to the outside again and nailed him with a dive through the ropes. ACE missed a split-legged moonsault to the outside, but landed on his feet only to take a superkick to the gut from Cannon. ACH sprung off the apron and used his momentum to hit a hurricanrana. Cannon cut ACH off and put the boots to him in the ring. ACH fired back and hit a kick on Cannon as he was draped over the ropes. ACH leapt off the ropes and hit a nice DDT. He went up top, but Cannon cut him off. ACH went for a hurricanrana off the top, but Cannon caught him and hit a buckle bomb. Cannon followed up with a big lariat, but ACH got the ropes. ACH caught Cannon with a reverse hurricanrana out of nowhere, but Cannon kicked out. ACH missed a 450. They went back and forth. Cannon hit a couple of big strikes and a brainbuster for the win.

Winner: Arik Cannon – ACH just went for high-flying moves the entire match and didn’t do much beyond that. He needs to bring more to the table if he’s going to cement a spot in a company like DGUSA.

4 - - FIRE ANT & JIGSAW vs. THE SUPER SMASH BROS. (Player Uno & Player Dos)

Jigsaw put on Uno’s shirt and grinded Rick Rude style. Fire Ant tried to take off his shirt, but acted like it was attached to his body. The bell finally rang with Uno and Fire Ant kicking things off. Uno teased doing the shell shock on Uno, but Fire Ant managed to counter it into a hurricanrana. Uno ducked fire and nailed him with the video game punch. Dos and Jigsaw tagged into the match and went at it. Jigsaw finally took control by hitting a big gut buster after bouncing Dos off the top rope. Jigsaw and Fire Ant tagged in and out to work over Dos. Dos finally fired back and hit the double Pele kick. He made the hot tag to Uno, who ran wild. The fans have been dead for this match. Uno isolated Jigsaw and worked him over before tagging in Dos. Uno and Dos continued to work over Jigsaw. Some fans tried to rally behind Jigsaw, but it was short lived. Jigsaw tried to fire back on Uno, but Dos tagged in and nailed him with a running kick.

Fire Ant caught Dos with a kick to the face from the apron. He went to work on Dos. Uno ran in, but Fire Ant ducked a splash. Fire Ant thwarted a double team attempt. Jigsaw and Fire Ant then hit dives on opposite sides of the ring. They went to work on Dos back inside the ring and hit a double brainbuster for a 2 count. The fans woke up and tried to rally behind Dos. Uno ran in as the action broke down with everyone exchanging kicks. Uno punched Jigsaw into a code red from Dos. SSB continued to run wild with double team maneuvers on Fire Ant, but he kicked out of a spinebuster/double knees combo at the last second. Jigsaw and Fire Ant fired back and sent SSB into the corner. Jigsaw and Fire Ant went up top and hit stereo coast-to-coast dropkicks on the SSB. The action continued at a rapid pace. Dos got sent out of the ring. Uno fired back on Fire Ant and Jigsaw with a DDT/Flatliner combination. SSB went for the flat liner and Jigsaw tried to break it up, but Uno held on to Fire Ant. SSB then hit the flatliner on Fire Ant for the win.

Winners: The Super Smash Bros.

Star rating: (**) – The match just didn’t seem to click most of the way. The crowd was absolutely dead for the most part, which didn’t help things. There were some good exchanges towards the end of the match, but the crowd really dampened the atmosphere.

5 - - CHUCK TAYLOR vs. RICH SWANN – No DQ match

Swann ran into the ring and went right after Taylor. Swann put the boots to Taylor in the corner. Taylor fired back and began working Swann over. The action spilled to the outside. Swann got a foreign object and drove it into Taylor’s crotch. Taylor fired back and dropped Swann over the guardrail. Taylor drove a pair of pliers into Swann’s forehead before tossing him to the floor. Swann got the upper hand on the outside and tossed a bunch of chairs into the ring. He then nailed Taylor with a chair to the back. Taylor fired back and hit a DDT onto the concrete on the outside and both men were down. Taylor got a screwdriver and dug it into Swann’s mouth inside the ring. Taylor dominated the action for several minutes. Swann tried to fire back with a slap, but Taylor sent him back to the mat. The crowd tried to rally behind Swann, but Taylor continued to dominate. Swann flipped Taylor off, so Taylor bit his finger and then attacked it with the pliers. Swann finally hit a springboard ace crusher out of nowhere and both men were down.

Swann got a crutch from under the ring and nailed Taylor with it. He then nailed Taylor with a chairshot to the back. Taylor fired back and went for a piledriver, but Swann blocked it. Swann then hit a scissors kick onto the chair for a 2 count. The fans chanted for Swann, who set up a chair in the ring. The Colonel came down to the ring, but Swann nailed him with a superkick. Swann charged at Taylor, but ate a Rock bottom through a chair for a nearfall. Taylor got a belt from the Colonel and began whipping Swann with it. Taylor set up for an awful waffle through the chair, but Swann fought out of it. Taylor went up top, but Swann hit a hurricanrana that sent Taylor through the chair. Swann nailed Taylor with a chair to the head and hit a spinning kick. Swann followed up with the standing 450 for the win.

Winner: Rich Swann

Star rating: (***) – This was a good hardcore match. They didn’t resort to using blood, but the use of weapons was effective here. The crowd heat was lacking and took things down a notch, but this was enjoyable overall.

Callihan was out next for his match against CIMA. He didn’t get much of a reaction. CIMA got a nice pop coming out.


The fans chanted for CIMA once the bell sounded. They exchanged chops and kicks before going face-to-face. CIMA hit a huge top, but Callihan grounded CIMA with a headbutt and put the boots to him in the corner. CIMA got up and took Callihan down. The fans chanted for CIMA as he nailed Callihan with a back cracker after a fast-paced exchange off the ropes. CIMA dominated the action and set Callihan up for a surfboard. Callihan tried to stick his fingers into CIMA’s mouth but the ref made him break it. CIMA applied a surfboard, but Callihan bit his fingers to escape it. Callihan fired up and exchanged strikes with CIMA before hitting a DVD. Callihan then mocked CIMA’s pose before hitting a snap back splash off the ropes for a 2 count.

Callihan hit a springboard diving lariat to send CIMA off the apron to the outside. He then hit a dive through the ropes and the fans applauded. Callihan tied up CIMA’s legs and applied a trailer hitch variation on the mat back inside the ring. Callihan adjusted the hold and applied a double fishhook, but CIMA got the ropes. The fans tried to rally behind CIMA as Callihan continued to target his leg. CIMA countered a suplex attempt and eventually connected with a huge dropkick on CIMA. CIMA followed up with a perfect driver for a 2 count. The fans applauded with both men down on the mat. CIMA tied up Callihan in the corner and nailed him with the double knees in the corner. He then stomped on Callihan’s chest before covering him for a 2 count. Callihan fired back and hit a dragon screw before applying a figure four. CIMA struggled but got the ropes. The crowd fired up as CIMA tried to get back to his feet while Callihan stalked him. Callihan nailed him with a lariat in the corner, but CIMA hit superkick out of nowhere. Callihan fired back with a huge clothesline, but only got a 2 count.

Callihan set up CIMA for a piledriver, but CIMA fought out. Callihan hit a pump kick and a sit out powerbomb, but CIMA kicked out. Callihan immediately applied the stretch muffler and the fans chanted for CIMA not to tap. CIMA teased tapping and Callihan wrenched the hold further. The fans chanted for CIMA, who struggled for the ropes. CIMA finally got the ropes and the fans applauded. CIMA fired back and went for a suplex with a bridge and landed it for a 2 count. CIMA hung Callihan upside down and nailed him with a coast-to-coast dropkick. CIMA followed up with the shwine, but Callihan kicked out. CIMA went up top and hit the meteora for the win.

Winner: CIMA

Star rating: (***3/4) – Just an awesome back and forth match with both guys building drama and putting together some great exchanges. The finish was dramatic with Callihan nearly having CIMA submitted after working over his leg most of the match. This result will likely bring about questions about Callihan’s future in the company given his recent WWE tryout.

After the match, Ricochet confronted CIMA and told him to stay out of his business. CIMA said something in reply, but I didn’t catch it.

El Generico and Samuray Del Sol came out to a good reaction. It’s hard to tell how many people are in the building, but once Generico’s music died down there wasn’t much of a response from the fans. Horiguchi & Saito came out to H-A-G-E chants from the fans.


Horiguchi and Generico went at it before coming to a stalemate. Generico looks like he’s a foot taller than Horiguchi. They went at it again, but came to another stalemate. The crowd chanted H-A-G-E and Horiguchi tagged into the match. The fans then chanted for Del Sol to get the tag and Generico obliged. Horiguchi and Del Sol went at it. Del Sol did a handspring over a leg sweep attempt and took down Horiguchi drawing applause from the crowd. Generico tagged in and continued to work over Horiguchi. Generico went after Horiguchi’s ponytail and he yelled for Generico not to touch it. Horiguchi drove Generico into the corner and tagged in Saito, who went after the tassel on his mask. Saito hit a big slam and then dropped a big elbow on Generico. Horiguchi tagged in, but Generico grabbed his ponytail and tagged in Del Sol.

Del Sol tied up Horiguchi’s legs and locked in a submission, but Horiguchi got the ropes. Horiguchi fired back out of an abdominal stretch with a hip toss. Saito got the long elastic to put on Del Sol, but Generico broke it up. Generico put the elastic in Horiguchi’s mouth. He stretched it out into the crowd before snapping it back into his face. Horiguchi hit a big back drop on Del Sol and Saito tagged in. Saito ran wild on Del Sol after knocking Generico off the apron. Saito hit three fisherman suplexes, but only got a 2 count on Del Sol. Saito and Horiguchi continued to work over Del Sol as Horiguchi hit a slam and Saito came off the top with a doublestomp for a 2 count. Del Sol fired back and hit a double springboard elbow. All three men were down in the ring. Del Sol finally made the hot tag to Generico, who ran wild. Generico went for a dive, but Saito tripped him. Del Sol sent Saito to the outside and nailed him with a crazy splash over the top to the outside.

Generico hit a blue thunder powerbomb on Horiguchi inside the ring for a nearfall. The crowd clapped as Generico set up for a running Yokuza kick, but Horiguchi got his leg up and hit a tornado DDT out of the corner. Del Sol broke up the pin and went at it with Saito. They traded kicks, but Saito caught Del Sol going for a springboard and turned it into a German with a bridge for a nearfall. Del Sol fired right back a short time later and hit a standing sliced bread #2 for a 2 count. Del Sol and Generico hit an insane monkey flip/450 combo on Saito, but Horiguchi made the save. Horiguchi and Generico exchanged blows in the middle of the ring. Horiguchi did a sunset flip on Saito, which in turn became a German attempt on Del Sol. The action went at a rapid pace with all four guys going back and forth. Generico hit a big running kick on Horiguchi after kicking out of a back slide. Del Sol then hit the rising sun on Horiguchi for the win.

Winners: Samuray Del Sol & El Generico

Star rating: (***3/4) – The match was a little slow during the first half, but the last half of the match was outstanding. The crowd woke up for this one as well and were really into Generico & Del Sol. Both teams hit some crazy double team maneuvers and put on a fantastic tag match.

Fox and Ricochet both got big ovations coming out for the main event. Ricochet didn’t get much of a reaction. The fans were pumped to see Gargano and he got a big chant from the fans. Gargano looked like he was hurt, but was moving around like it wasn’t too bad.

Arda Ocal did the formal ring introductions. Fox got a small ovation. Ricochet got some boos and then a small chant. Tozawa got a big pop from the fans. Gargano got a nice pop, but Davis attacked him and drove him into the ring apron several times. Several officials tried to stop Davis, but he slammed Gargano into the ring apron again. The ref called for the bell with Gargano still down on the outside.

8 - - Open the Freedom Gate Champion JOHNNY GARGANO vs. RICOCHET vs. AKIRA TOZAWA vs. A.R. FOX – Fatal Four-way Elimination Open the Freedom Gate Title match

Ricochet and Tozawa began the match working together against Fox. Fox fired back and went to work on Ricochet nailing him with a split-legged corkscrew senton for a 2 count. A ref checked on Gargano as the action continued in the ring. Fox had Ricochet set up for a twisting brainbuster, but Tozawa broke it up. Fox fired back on both men. Tozawa nailed Fox with a knee to the face and went after Ricochet, but Ricochet took him down. Ricochet took turns attacking Tozawa and Fox in opposite corners. He nailed them both with nice twisting clotheslines. Ricochet then mocked Gargano after getting some chants from the fans. An official tried to help Gargano to the back. Ricochet got in on commentary and mocked all of his opponents saying they aren’t on his level. Gargano ran in and tossed Ricochet to the mat as he set up for a dive on Fox. Gargano fought off Fox and Tozawa, but ate a kick to the back from Ricochet. Tozawa nailed him with a big boot, Fox hit a brainbuster, and Ricochet nailed him with a standing SSP, but Gargano kicked out. Ricochet hit a standing SSP on Gargano, but Fox dragged him out of the ring.

Tozawa tried to cover Gargano, but he kicked out. Fox and Ricochet went at it on the outside with Tozawa and Gargano in the ring. Tozawa took Gargano’s shirt off and whipped him with it. Gargano has his back heavily taped. Ricochet ended up stacking all three of his opponents up in the corner and he nailed them with punches. He hit Ricochet and Fox with punches, but when he got to Gargano, Gargano fired back with a big forearm. Gargano nailed Fox with a kick on the apron and he landed on Ricochet’s shoulders on the outside. Gargano then came through the ropes for an unintended doomsday device on Fox. Tozawa then wiped out Gargano with a dive through the ropes. Ricochet set up a ladder on the outside. Tozawa hit a brainbuster on Fox back inside the ring, but Ricochet took him out with a springboard clothesline. Ricochet set up Tozawa for a big move off the top, but Gargano shoved him to the outside. Gargano hit Fox with a springboard DDT from the apron after he nailed Tozawa with rolling thunder, but only got a 2 count on Fox.

The fans clapped as the action slowed for a moment. After a big exchange, all four men were down following a Gargano clothesline on Ricochet. The crowd went nuts as all four men tried to recover. Several fans appeared to be on their feet. Gargano slowly tried to lift Ricochet to the top. Ricochet pulled Gargano off and went after Tozawa. Tozawa fought him off, but Ricochet got right back up. Gargano joined them up top, but Fox hit a springboard tower of doom and everyone was down. Wow! Fox tried to cover Gargano, but he kicked out at the last second. Fox hit a springboard code breaker on Ricochet, but he kicked out at the last second. Fox and Gargano went at it, but Fox caught him with a springboard ace crusher for a 2 count. The crowd fired up and chanted for Gargano. Some of the fans chanted for Fox as he went back after Gargano. Gargano countered Fox in the corner, but Ricochet flew into the picture with a dropkick. Gargano countered a standing SSP from Ricochet, but Fox flew right into the picture with a springboard 450 for a nearfall. Fox set up Ricochet up top for Lo Mein Pain, but Tozawa grabbed him as he went for a springboard and turned it into a German with a bridge. Ricochet then broke it up with a SSP off the top on Tozawa for a nearfall and the crowd went nuts again.

They went to a big exchange on the apron. Gargano and Tozawa traded kicks on the apron. Ricochet hit an insane corkscrew dive over them and wiped out Fox on the outside. Gargano and Tozawa went at it and Tozawa wiped out Gargano with a running kick that left both men down as the crowd went nuts. Ricochet hung up Fox’s knee in the ladder on the outside and nailed his knee with a couple of chairshots. The crowd began clapping with Ricochet going after Fox inside the ring. Ricochet went for an Irish whip on Fox, but he collapsed. Fox countered Ricochet in the corner and went for another code breaker off the turnbuckles, but Ricochet caught him in a Texas cloverleaf. Ricochet punched at Fox’s leg and forced him to submit for the elimination. The crowd fired up as the three remaining competitors squared off in the middle of the ring. Ricochet and Tozawa began working together on Gargano. Tozawa hit a belly-to-back suplex for a 2 count on Gargano. Ricochet choked Gargano with his tape as Tozawa distracted the ref. The crowd tried to rally behind Gargano as Ricochet and Tozawa continued to work together. Ricochet did a big back rake on Gargano. Ricochet and Tozawa took turns kicking Gargano’s chest and back. Ricochet covered Gargano, but he kicked out.

Gargano fired back and turned around so Ricochet ate a kick from Tozawa. He then hit a DDT/Bulldog combination on Tozawa and Ricochet after Ricochet went for a springboard that left all three men down. The crowd fired up as all three men tried to recover. Tozawa fired up on Gargano, but Gargano suplexed him into the turnbuckles. Ricochet ran in and suplexed Gargano into the turnbuckles, but only got a 2 count. Ricochet went up top. Gargano got out of the way, but Ricochet landed on his feet and hit a double Pele kick on Gargano and Tozawa. Ricochet set up Gargano and Tozawa and went up top. He nailed both men with a phoenix splash, but they kicked out. The crowd chanted for Ricochet after that spectacular maneuver. Ricochet set up Gargano and went up top, but Gargano cut him off. Ricochet fought off Gargano, but Tozawa nailed him with a German off the top. Tozawa then hit a straightjacket German on Ricochet to eliminate him. Gargano and Tozawa were slumped in opposite corners. The crowd chanted for Tozawa and then Gargano.

Ricochet and Gargano squared off and began exchanging blows. Gargano caught Tozawa coming off the ropes and hit the lawn dart. Gargano then hit a huge superkick for a nearfall. The fans chanted for Tozawa after he kicked out. The fans then chanted for Gargano. They went to a big exchange of counters. Gargano hits the hurts donut. Tozawa got up and hit a suplex. Gargano got right up and hit a superkick, but Tozawa no-sold it and hit a delayed German. Gargano kicked out at the very last second and the fans went nuts. Tozawa went for another German suplex, but Gargano fought him off. Tozawa hit a running kick and went for another German. Gargano countered and hit hurts don’t it off the ropes. He hit another hurts don’t it, but Tozawa kicked out. Gargano applied the Gargano escape. The fans were split on whether or not Tozawa should tap. The fans then loudly chanted for Tozawa not to tap. Tozawa escaped and rolled up Gargano, but he kicked out at the last second. Gargano caught Tozawa in the hurt’s don’t it again and Tozawa finally tapped out.

Winner: Johnny Gargano to retain the Open the Freedom Gate Championship

Star rating: (****3/4) – This was just a ridiculously awesome match. The crowd went mental several times during the match as all four men went all-out here. There were some amazing exchanges during the first half of the match when nobody had been eliminated. The best part of the story was the jeopardy they put Gargano in throughout the weekend only for him to somehow retain his title. This is a must-see match.

Big Gargano chants after the match. Gargano tried to shake Tozawa’s hand, but he blew him off. Gargano got on the mic and the fans chanted his name. Gargano said he wasn’t sure if his back would hold up, but he knew that the people would give just as much effort as he did. Gargano said no matter how much damage the storm caused, they came out and gave it their old. Gargano said Long Island just doesn’t quit. The fans applauded. Gargano said everyone in DGUSA was so grateful to entertain the best fans in the world. Gargano said they look forward to giving the fans their all every DGUSA weekend. Gargano said this was the last DGUSA weekend of the year. The fans booed and Gargano got them to start a Dragon Gate chant. Gargano said DGUSA would be back in January running more shows after EVOLVE in December. Gargano said this weekend was special because he won the title at Freedom Fight 2011 one year ago. Gargano said he’s not only the first ever American to be the Open the Freedom Gate Champion, but he has now also lasted a year as champion. Gargano said he had defended the title everywhere including Long Island. Gargano said he will give the fans his all no matter how he’s feeling. Gargano said he’s all heart and as long as his heart is beating the title is going nowhere. The fans started another Gargano chant.

Ocal signed off and said you have to wonder where Jon Davis looms after this weekend.

Overall thoughts: (8.5) – I’ll have more thoughts later on. The first half of the card was slow, but the second half of the card blew the doors open. CIMA-Callihan and Del Sol & Generico vs. Horiguchi & Saito were close to reaching the four star level.

This show is all about the amazing main event and how Ricochet, A.R. Fox, Akira Tozawa, and Johnny Gargano lit the crowd on fire with an amazing match built around whether or not Gargano could beat the odds given Davis’s attacks on him all weekend. The match started with a Davis attack on Gargano and played out nearly perfectly. The eliminations in the match never felt cheap either and all four men were in the ring for a long period of time, which led to some of the crazier exchanges I’ve seen in DGUSA in quite some time.

The crowd really got behind Gargano down the stretch, but they were also into Tozawa. Both men went to a series of really good exchanges and also some fighting spirit spots that set the small crowd on fire. The crowd may have been tepid most of the night, but they came alive for the main event. It’s a shame they didn’t give the same amount of heat to some of the other matches on the card because they were deserving of their attention. Order this show now if only to see the amazing main event.


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