Freedom Fight 2011 – 13/11/11 Review By Adam Timmins

Posted: November 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Looks like this is going to be another DG:USA show wrestled in the near-dark. Those with bad eyesight might want to skip this one.

Brodie Lee vs. BJ Whitmer – a fairly spirited opener, and in the end a fairly short one given that the match has been building for a few shows. Whitmer does the job, but Lee has to work to put him away: a big boot and the black hole slam sandwiched by two Liger bombs put Whitmer down for three at 7.40.

Caleb Konley & Scott Reed vs. Uhaa Nation & Jon Silver – at least The Scene actually made it onto the main card tonight. Silver looks pretty good again here (he had a decent match at EVOLVE 9 with Tony Nese), but his size works against him. Nation was used sparingly in this match, which I actually think was quite smart, as the longer he’s in there the more exposed he gets. The Scene get a much needed win with their wheelbarrow DDT/ German suplex combo at 9.04.

Rich Swann & Chuck Taylor vs. BxB Hulk & Akira Tozawa – before the match Gargano tells Taylor to give the OTFG belt back to YAMATO. Taylor says he’ll do it later. The match was fun, but enjoyment was hampered by peering at it through the gloom. I have to say I still think Rich Swann could do with a touch of seasoning, even though he has come on leaps and bounds in the past twelve months. BxB and Tozawa are two of the best in the business at the moment; BxB’s return this weekend made me realise just how much DG:USA has missed him in the past 12 months. Taylor hits the Awful Waffle on Tozawa and Swann hits the standing 450 to give Ronin a big win at 15.49. After the bout Brodie Lee and CIMA run in the deliver a beatdown, and Yoshino and Gargano run in to make up the numbers. And in one of those coincidences that seem to happen an awful lot in DG:USA, CIMA and Yoshino just happen to have a bout scheduled….

CIMA vs. Masato Yoshino – as you’d expect from two guys that have wrestled each other a fair few times, this is a super-slick 20 minute effort, with both men countering each other’s signature holds like there’s no tomorrow. There was one slightly odd moment though, when CIMA kicked Yoshino in the gut and the latter went down like a ton of bricks and screamed in agony. The match essentially stopped for a minute, as it looked like Yoshino was seriously injured….then he got up and carried on as normal. Weird. After two Torbellinos, Yoshino locks in Sol Naciente. CIMA escapes, only for Yoshino to apply Sol Naciente Kai, and CIMA taps at 21.38. It’s always a big deal when anyone beats CIMA in a singles bout, and said win was probably given Yoshino in return for putting Tozawa over at Revolt!

PAC vs. Ricochet – PAC and Ricochet may have had a hell of a program in Japan, but their attempt to replicate it in DG:USA never really caught fire though. So this one was a pleasant surprise, as they finally had a very good collision. There’s a segment on the outside that takes place in total blackness: according to online reports Ricochet hit a top con hilo off the bar and a rana off the rail by the restaurant booths. If they sold this DVD at the regular price, that’s disgraceful I’d say. As with the CIMA/Yoshino bout before it, there was much countering of each other’s moves. Ricochet gets the win, but needs about five finishers to do so, with the Regalplex and a kick to the head getting it done at 22.35. I was slightly surprised that Ricochet on this feud; I suspect it was a case of Gabe knowing PAC would be off up north sooner rather than later.

YAMATO vs. Johnny Gargano – surprising this isn’t the main event, but there you go. This was a damn fine effort, but again, peering through the gloom to view it takes some of the shine off. Slow build, with both men enjoying extended spells of dominance. Around 20 minutes in the referee gets bumped, YAMATO low blows Gargano. Chuck Taylor runs out with the OTFG belt, but accidentally hits Gargano with it instead of YAMATO. Gargano kicks out of the cover though. YAMATO hits Galleria, but Gargano kicks out for a HUGE      near-fall. Gargano hits the Hurts Donut and floats over to lock in the GargaNo Escape. YAMATO taps at 26.49 to a huge reaction. If you want an exemplar of how to get a guy over in a company, look no further than how Gargano has been booked in DG:USA in 2011. Everyone he’s worked in 2011 – CIMA, Doi, Hulk, Aries (to a point) YAMATO – has done their best to make him look like a player. Obviously none of this would count of anything if Gargano didn’t have the talent himself; which he does, in spades. So yeah, the correct result, and the culmination of a year’s booking and hard work.

A.R. Fox, Jon Davis & Sabu vs. Sami Callihan, Pinkie Sanchez & Arik Cannon – Extreme Warfare – Gabe does commentary with Lenny Leonard, reminding everyone why ROH hired Prazak and Leonard to take over from Gabe in the first place. As a hardcore match, you couldn’t argue with the effort all six guys put in. Much blood is spilled, and some insane stunts, including a couple of bumps onto the guardrail. Fox gets powerbombed onto a guardrail onto the outside, but kicks out in the ring! Callihan smashes a beer bottle over his head to put him down for the three count at 14.01. A good main event to round off the year.

Overall – a really good show, one of the best cards I’ve seen all year.

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