RADICAN'S TAKE RADICAN'S DGUSA DVD REVIEW SERIES: "Uprising" 6/4 - PAC vs. Ricochet vs. Swann, Tozawa vs. Fox
Feb 28, 2012 - 3:21:23 PM
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RADICAN’S DGUSA “UPRISING” DVD REVIEW
TAPED JUNE 4, 2011
DEER PARK, N.Y.
Note: This show originally aired on PPV. It was the last show DGUSA would present on cable PPV before switching exclusively to DVD and iPPV airings.
Rich Swann cut a promo backstage to hype his main event match against Ricochet and PAC. Swann said he’s the main event tonight. Swann built up his opponents PAC and Ricochet. Swann then talked about himself and said one thing Dragon Gate needs to know is he’s the king of freestyles. Swann quickly did some beat boxing and said, “Ronin baby” to close the segment.
1 - - SAMI CALLIHAN vs. JON DAVIS vs. CALEB CONLEY vs. PINKIE SANCHEZ vs. SCOTT REED vs. FLIP KENDRICK vs. LOUIS LYNDON vs. ALEX COLON – 8 Way Freestyle match
During the late stages of the match, Davis hit a jackhammer on Sanchez, but Colon broke it up. Davis manhandled Colon and tossed him over the top rope to the floor. Davis hit a spinning powerbomb on Sanchez, but Callihan fell into the ref to break up the pin. Callihan locked in the stretch muffler on Konley while kicking away at his head. The ref checked on Konley and called for the bell.
Winner: Sami Callihan
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was an exciting opening match with a lot of cool spots. The announcers said this was a match to showcase the athletes in DGUSA. The match featured a lot of cool moves and crowd pleasing spots. Out of all the wrestlers, Davis stood out the most with his power moves.
Masaaki Mochizuki cut a promo backstage that was translated. He said he would kill Cannon with kicks.
Radican’s thoughts: I wish DGUSA would do this more often with the Japanese talent. At the very least, it gives them some personality, as Mochizuki showed some charisma addressing his match with Cannon.
2 - - TONY NESE vs. BRODIE LEE (w/Blood Warriors)
Lee’s music cut out as he made his entrance, so Lee turned around and then came back out to no music. Lee ended up tossing a chair into the ring. I guess the sound guy from Revere the previous night made the trip. Lee’s music eventually came back on. Nese went up top during the late stages of the match, but Ricochet distracted him and Lee nailed him with a butterfly superplex. Lee hit two running kicks in the corner and the truck stop, but Nese kicked out and the crowd applauded. Nese countered Lee up top and hit a top rope hurricanrana. Nese kicked Aries off the apron, but missed a 450 on Lee. Lee then hit a sit down powerbomb for the win.
Winner: Brodie Lee
Star rating: (***) – This was much better than I expected. The crowd totally brought into Nese having a chance to win by the end. The nearfall when Nese kicked out of the truck stop from Lee took the match to another level as the fans got into the action even more. The Blood Warriors interference ultimately led to Nese losing the match, but Nese went up a few notches in my eyes with this performances. This was well-done to get a new talent over. In fact, it wasn’t long after this show was taped that Nese signed a contract with TNA.
Lee got on the mic and yelled about his music saying the next time he came to this building, his music better be ready. Austin Aries got on the mic and the crowd booed. Aries was hard to understand at first. He said nobody in the locker room belonged in the ring with the Blood Warriors. The fans continued to heckle Aries. He told Blood Warriors to go to the back because he didn’t need their help. The fans started chanting for Aries. Some fans booed as well in response. Aries stalled and asked the fans if they were done. Aries then called out Susumu Yokosuka.
3 - - AUSTIN ARIES vs. SUSUMU YOKOSUKA
After a lengthy back and forth battle, Aries hit the IED in the corner, but Yokosuka kicked out. Aries set up for the 450, but landed right on his knees when Yokosuka got out of the way. Aries caught him with a lariat, but Yokosuka got right up and nailed him with a big lariat. Aries countered a move, but ate another lariat. Yokosuka followed up with the implant buster for the win.
Winner: Susumu Yokosuka
Star rating: (***1/4) – They did the slow build early, but quickened the pace when Aries hit a brainbuster out of nowhere and went on the attack. Aries was good here getting the crowd riled up and playing his heel role to perfection. It seemed like the match was missing another chapter when Yokosuka got the pin. I certainly wasn’t expecting the finish there.
Callihan and Cannon were shown outside the venue drinking. Callihan said tonight would be a D.U.F. ass kicking party. Callihan told Cannon to take care of Mochizuki later tonight.
Radican’s thoughts: The last two shows have done a good job of building up Callihan and Cannon’s personalities. I liked the bonus D.U.F. video that was included on the “Fearless 2011” DVD. Callihan carries himself well and comes across as authentic, which makes him stand apart from other wrestlers on the roster.
4 - - DGUSA Open The Freedom Gate Champion YAMATO vs. MASATO YOSHINO vs. JOHNNY GARGANO vs. CIMA - Non-title Four Way Freestyle match
The match had some very good fast-paced action leading into the finish. Gargano hit the lawn dart on YAMATO. He followed up with diced bread. Gargano then applied the Gargano escape. YAMATO screamed in pain. CIMA noticed on the outside and sprinted to the top rope before nailing Gargano with a missile dropkick off the top. CIMA hit the shwine, but YAMATO kicked out. CIMA followed up with the meteora for the win. That was really good.
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was really good with Yoshino and CIMA coming across really as big personalities in the ring. Gargano and YAMATO had some big moments, but I was surprised YAMATO didn’t play more into his dynamic personality here. Gargano looked to have the champion pinned until CIMA stole the win in the end. They had some big moves and fast-paced action here. The finish came across well building up CIMA for a title shot against YAMATO. I liked how the announcers emphasized that CIMA had just pinned the champion.
CIMA got on the mic after the match. He told YAMATO he wanted a shot at the Open the Freedom Gate title.
5 - - PAPADON vs. ALEX REYNOLDS
Reynolds and Papadon are NYWC regulars. NYWC uses this venue to run shows, so that’s how they ended up on this card. Papadon hit a kick and rolled through into a clothesline on Reynolds for a 1 count during the early going. Reynolds fired back with a slingshot cross body for a 1 count. Reynolds got his knees up in the corner moments later to cut off Papadon. Reynolds applied a Japanese stranglehold, which Papadon eventually fought out of. Reynolds ended up dodging a diving headbutt and won with a knee to the head out of the fisherman’s suplex.
Winner: Alex Reynolds – Neither guy did much to impress. They moved slowly at times to set up spots and the crowd was dead outside of a brief flurry of offense from Papadon.
Gargano and Swann were backstage. Gargano was upset that he had come so close to submitting YAMATO. YAMATO said he knew he could beat YAMATO. Swann pumped Gargano up and said the next time Gargano got in the ring with YAMATO, he would win. Gargano said he thought Swann could win tonight. Swann fired up and said he believed he could win too because he’s from “Ronin baby!”
6 - - MASAAKI MOCHIZUKI vs. ARIK CANNON – non-title match
Mochizuki is the Open the Dream Gate champion in Dragon Gate. He immediately hit a running kick on Cannon once the bell rang. Mochizuki kicked the crap out of Cannon, but Cannon fired back with several strikes. Late in the match, Cannon went for another dragon screw, but Mochizuki nailed hit with a kick to the head. Cannon set up for a charge, but Mochizuki nailed him with a running boot. Mochizuki nailed Cannon with two big roundhouse kicks to the head, but Cannon kicked out at 2 and the crowd clapped. Cannon countered Mochizuki with a big kick and hit a brainbuster for a nearfall. Cannon stalked Mochizuki before nailing him with a running clothesline. Cannon went for a moonsault, but Mochizuki rolled out of the way and nailed him with a springboard missile dropkick. Mochizuki followed up with a nice running kick to the back of the head for the pin.
After the match, Callihan and Cannon ended up taking out Mochizuki and Yokosuka. Callihan said the next time they wrestled, they would beat them.
Winner: Masaaki Mochizuki
Star rating: (***) – This was a good way to establish Cannon as a credible threat to a top Japanese star. Cannon is really growing in the ring while working in DGUSA and it showed during this match with his work on Mochizuki’s leg and his ability to go strike for strike with the Open the Dream Gate Champion. The post-match angle also was a nice way of giving D.U.F. some credibility heading into their tag match against Yokosuka & Mochizuki the next night.
7 - - A.R. FOX vs. AKIRA TOZAWA
They paced things to go slow at the start, but then kicked things into a higher gear during the middle and later portions of the match. During the late stages of the match, Fox went up top, but Tozawa nailed him with a running kick. Tozawa then nailed Fox with a top rope German suplex and the crowd went nuts. Fox got nailed with another running boot. Tozawa followed with a release German, but Fox kicked out at the last second. Tozawa went for another German. Fox tried to fight free with a series of elbow. Fox hit a code breaker, but missed a kick. Tozawa hit a German and then held on with a straightjacket German suplex for the pin.
Winner: Akira Tozawa
Star rating: (***3/4) –I’ve been really impressed with Tozawa this year. Fox was impressive here, but he needs to improve his connection with the fans to be a main event player.
Lenny Leonard was in the ring to do the formal introductions for the main event. Swann came out rapping the Ronin theme song. Ricochet got a lot of boos when he was introduced. PAC got a nice ovation from the crowd as did Swann.
8 - - PAC vs. RICH SWANN vs. RICOCHET – 3 Way Freestyle match
Naylor quote: “This match needs an air traffic controller. It doesn’t need a referee”
This was simply crazy action from start to finish. Late in the match, the crowd clapped as Ricochet stood tall in the ring. Ricochet went up top, but Swann cut him off. PAC lifted Swann onto his shoulders, but Ricochet recovered and nailed him with a dropkick. The momentum carried Swann into a reverse hurricanrana and the crowd went nuts again. This match should get these guys jobs in TNA or WWE.
Naylor quote: “My God Lenny Leonard, this is just crazy!”
After a flurry of spots everyone was down on the mat as the crowd went crazy. I liked how the announcers got out of the way here and let the crowd atmosphere shine through. This is some amazing stuff. Swann missed a springboard, but went right into a German from Pac for a nearfall. PAC went up top, but Ricochet kicked him to the outside. Ricochet then nailed Swann with a 630 for the pin.
The crowd booed Ricochet at the finish. Ricochet got on the mic and told PAC he’d proven he’s the best. He then kicked PAC in the face and landed several punches before Yoshino made the save. PAC got on the mic and told Ricochet he was still second best. He said Yoshino would deal with Ricochet tomorrow. The show closed with PAC and Yoshino thanking the crowd. It was hard to understand what PAC was saying at times on the house mic.
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was a really good main event. All three men established themselves in the ring. They did the standard one guy on the outside while two guys went at it in the ring for the middle portion of the match. Then all three men built up some amazing exchanges together that had my jaw on the floor. The thing I liked most about this match is that the crowd booed Ricochet at the finish.
(1) Alternate Angle highlight video: This was fun to watch again as they replayed some of the key spots from the various matches on the card from different angles. These are always a welcome addition to the DVDs. They also showed a Mochizuki kick on Cannon in slow motion. The sequences from the main event are also a lot of fun to go back and revisit.
Overall thoughts: (8.0) – The DVD edit of “Uprising” has a really nice picture and sound, although the in-ring mic is hard to hear at times, especially during portions of Aries and PAC’s in-ring promos. I dug the small, intimate atmosphere of this show. The only noticeable addition to the show from the PPV edit was the addition of the Papadon-Reynolds match, which wasn’t very exciting. The Gargano backstage promo with Swann after he failed to beat YAMATO in the Four Way Freestyle was also moved to a different spot on the DVD edit.
I was skeptical going into the show that all of the Freestyle matches would work, but they managed to pull it off in entertaining fashion. The encouraging thing is that all of these Freestyle matches built someone up going forward. Callihan got momentum winning the opening 8 Way Freestyle. Later in the show, CIMA pinned Open the Freedom Gate Champion YAMATO to set up their upcoming title match in the fall.
In the main event, Swann, Ricochet, and PAC put on an amazing display of athleticism in the ring. They built the match nicely and told a good story. Again, the PAC-Ricochet feud had more fuel put behind it. All three men came out of this match looking good. I was most impressed with Ricochet drawing boos, despite displaying some amazing moves in winning the match. I also enjoyed the enthusiastic commentary during the main event, which blended perfectly with the non-stop action in the ring.
I recommend purchasing this show if you like high-flying and hard-hitting action. My jaw literally dropped at times during the show and overall this was a very entertaining PPV that fits in nicely with the ongoing DGUSA storylines. The usual problems that hamper DGUSA still existed during the period when the show took place in that there isn’t that one top guy that’s pushed heavily in the promotion. The show is doing a better job at pushing storylines and ties together nicely, so in that sense this show fit in well and tied into the storylines that carried through the end of the year.
You can purchase “Uprising” at DGUSA.TV
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