Open The Golden Gate (27/1/12) DVD Review By Adam Timmins

Posted: December 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

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BxB Hulk vs. Low-Ki – What can you say? Low-Ki has tremendous ability, but his ridiculous “no-jobs” attitude, coupled with his tendency to pretend to be an MMA fighter,  makes watching his matches a fairly pointless task. Indeed, the finish pretty much encapsulates Ki in 2012; he hits the Ki-Crusher on Hulk, but doesn’t even go for the pin, as he has to get his mark doublestomp finisher in. Which he does, leading to the win at 10.51. I feel bad for Hulk, who as a former OTFG champion, shouldn’t be getting sacrificed to Low-Ki in ten minutes just to feed the latter’s ego.

Rich Swann missed his flight, so looks like Ronin vs. the Bucks is off. Taylor asks for a singles bout with either Nick or Matt. Naturally the Bucks jump him, but Scorpio Sky makes the save….

Chuck Taylor & Scorpio Sky vs. The Young Bucks – Once again, you watch the Young Bucks and think “how on earth did TNA/ WWE drop the ball with these guys?” Still, their loss is the independents gain, and they have another cracking match here. Sky is a dependable vet who can have a decent match with anyone, and Taylor was his usual entertaining self. (Incidentally why did Gabe never book Taylor when he was in ROH?) Interestingly, the Bucks go over with MBFYB on Sky at 12.02; does this presage a full-time return to DG:USA? (Yes – in 2013 – Ed).

Naruki Doi vs. Masato Yoshino – Hmm, I was sure Speed Muscle had collided in DG:USA before now, but the records suggest otherwise. Like many a Yoshino match, it was fairly pedestrian until the last five minutes or so, when things really pick up and the fans start busting out the “this is awesome” chants. Yoshino makes Doi tap to Sol Naciente Kai at 17.50 (incidentally a review I read of this show pointed out that Sol Naciente doesn’t look particularly painful, but is treated like it’s deadly, which made me chuckle). Someone opined to me recently that Doi is looking a bit stale these days, a statement I’d agree with; I tend to think he’s better as a cocky heel than a babyface, and hopefully a turn isn’t far away.

A.R. Fox vs. Sami Callihan (Tables Match) – Incidentally this show was supposed to be headlined by Ronin vs. The Young Bucks and A.R. Fox; but obviously Gargano’s injury put paid to that; so Fox challenges Callihan to a tables match. I can see why this match garnered some criticism; it was a brutal and enjoyable stunt match – but Fox took some nasty bumps in this one, and for a ten minute card-filler you have to wonder if it was worth it in the grand scheme of things. Plus Fox pretty much got squashed in this one; the Fox vs. Callihan feud is starting to resemble the one-sided NRC vs. Resilience program from ROH a few years ago (then again, one of Gabe’s weaknesses as a booker is that he never learns). Callihan powerbombs Fox from the inside of the ring onto a guardrail bridged between the apron and the rails on the outside; and then quickly powerbombed Fox through a table at 10.12.

Caleb Konley vs. John Davis – Buggy Nova accompanying Konley to ringside = winning. I guess the intent here was to make Konley look mildly competitive before he got beat, but you came away thinking that Davis should be beating guys like Konley in less than six minutes if he’s going to be a player. 3 Seconds Around the World at 6.28 sees Davis get his second DG:USA/EVOLVE win of 2012.

PAC vs. Akira Tozawa – A lot of people raved about this match; but I have to say I thought Tozawa came out of it looking a lot better than PAC. Even when Tozawa has something like a chinlock applied, you can’t take your eyes off him, whereas whenever PAC isn’t in the air you tend to tune out slightly. He also loses points for almost shattering his knee-caps on the guardrails with a ridiculous moonsault to the outside. But as with many a DG match, the finish was fun. Tozawa goes over with the High Tension suplex at 20.08.

Susumu Yokosuka & Masaaki Mochizuki vs. CIMA & Ricochet – Quite a lot has happened in Japan since the last DG:USA cards: Yokosuka now has to be called Jimmy Susumu after losing a stipulation match; and CIMA was kicked out of Blood Warriors during the Loser-Leaves-The Unit match on Infinity 247 after BW turned on him and made him lose the fall. Also, CIMA beat Mochizuki at Final Gate 2011 to become the OTBG champion again. And finally…the OTUG belts are on the line here. Cracking main event, with a good build and a tremendous finish. Mochizuki needs to be booked more in DG:USA: this was only his seventh appearance since the companies birth; the same for Yokosuka. Some might argue there were too many false finishes, but I thought they all worked quite well. CIMA eventually puts Yokosuka away with the Meteora at 24.04. One of the better tag matches from 2012 thus far.

After the match Hulk and Tozawa run in and attack everyone except Ricochet. Low-Ki comes in to get his shit in make the save.

Overall – a bit of a mixed bag to start the year, with two good tag matches, but also the start of what looks like an extended spell of Low-Ki nonsense

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