After becoming one of wrestling’s hottest promotions thanks to its highflying action and eccentric characters, Dragon Gate looked to expand beyond its home country of Japan by forming another sub-organization in the United States in 2009. Aptly-named “Dragon Gate USA”, the competitors of DG would travel to the States to mixed it up with each other and their American counterparts. One year after DG USA’s formation, the company had built up a great reputation thanks to putting together pay-per-view quality cards featuring the likes of Bryan “Daniel Bryan” Danielson, the future “Dean Ambrose” Jon Moxley as well as DG stars such as CIMA, Shingo, and Dragon Kid. Even the future of wrestling was featured constantly. The men and women of DG USA looked to continue that trend of greatness during the company’s return to Chicago. Lets find out if “Untouchable 2010” is a classic.
September 25, 2010
1. BxB Hulk defeated Mike Quackenbush and Akira Tozawa
2. Brodie Lee defeated Da Soul Touchaz
3. Shingo defeated Dragon Kid
4. Jon Moxley defeated Jimmy Jacobs
5. Chuck Taylor defeated Drake Younger, Johnny Gargano, and Rich Swann
6. CIMA & Ricochet defeated Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi
7. Bryan Danielson defeated YAMATO
Never Gonna Stop: The Open the Freedom Gate champion BxB Hulk (pronounced “B-B Hulk”) looked to entertain the masses as he always did with incredible dancing to match his phenomenal style of wrestling, only to be attacked by his fellow dancer/valet for the evening. Why? Because the Jon “Dean Ambrose” Moxley-led Kamikaze USA faction wanted to take out Hulk. The low blow Hulk’s lady connected with set the stage for an entering Akira Tozawa (another member of the Kamikaze group) to attack the stunned Hulk. But this wasn’t a simple one-on-one match. CHIKARA Pro founder Mike Quackenbush followed Tozawa, taking him down with a mixture of European style grappling and lucha libre influenced dives.
The fans were going crazy as Hulk recovered and eventually downed Quackenbush. All three men, realizing it was easier to deal with one man at a time, would toss out an opponent before focusing on the remaining competitor. For example, “Lightning” Mike, after being pitched to the floor by a recovering Hulk, waited for Tozawa to level the champion with strikes so he could tie up BxB in submission holds following a throwing of Akira to the outside. Eventually the strategy of keeping one opponent in at a time worked in the favor of BxB Hulk. Taking advantage of all the body work Quackenbush unleashed on Tozawa as the champ stayed on the outside gave Hulk enough strength to dispose of “Lightning” with his FTX pumphandle slam variation. Akira, eventually stunned by quick kicks, was left prone for Hulk’s EVO maneuver and the champ’s follow up pin.
A hot opener to say the least that set the tone for the evening while showcasing how mentally and physically tough BxB Hulk was. The only problem with the match was, outside of the pin and submission break ups, it really didn’t feel like a Triple Threat match as you rarely saw all three men in the ring at the same time. But even with that “problem”, it didn’t hurt the match’s quality.
Friendship? Friendship, Again: Shingo and Dragon Kid found a common bond, creating a tag team that would dominate both Dragon Gate and DGUSA promotions. But at the “Fearless” event, Shingo had a change of heart. Deciding to join Kamikaze USA, Shingo attacked his friend and tag team partner. Shingo followed his unnecessary attack by injuring the masked wrestler during their match at “Uprising”. Finally in good health, Dragon Kid returned to America to take on Shingo for the first time in the country.
Though things started off somewhat comically with the popular Dragon Kid break dancing in front of his equally popular opponent, the battle of Shingo’s power and Kid’s speed came into play early as Dragon had to survive the sternum and back cracking holds of Shingo before taking him down with a head scissors. Just when things were going well for an excited Kid, Shingo stopped his 619 attempt to hit a side slam across the ring’s edge. Shingo would spend the next several minutes mixing strong strikes like knee drops with his leg-based body scissors to cut off the air flowing through Dragon Kid. Shingo even used a sleeper hold to big swing Kid for a two count.
Shingo, a little too confident, allowed Kid to get his legs moving in a forward motion. The hit & run approach of Dragon Kid began to pay off as his hurricaranas set up even bigger attacks such as asai moonsaults and dropkicks aplenty. The momentum began to swing back and forth when the match reached its home stretch. For Kid’s Ultra-Rana, Shingo paid him back with the Stay Dream super Death Valley driver. It would take an offensive barrage from either man to put the other down. The fans were split down the middle both men gained near fall. Having taken less punishment and being stronger than his opponent, Shingo was able to hit his Pumping Bombing-Made in Japan combination. The near fall that followed was only a sign of the inevitable. Kid was out on his feet when Shingo popped him in the mouth, giving his old partner a chance to muscle Dragon onto his shoulder for the Last Falconry and a three count.
An excellent David vs. Goliath style battle where Kid bounced around like a super ball during Shingo’s offense. And when Kid made his roaring comeback, the fans were into every near fall; believing that Kid could do the seemingly impossible. In the end, Dragon Kid fell to his old partner, but neither man looked bad in victory and/or defeat. A true DGUSA gem.
You’re Just Like Me: Jimmy Jacobs saw a lot of himself in Jon Moxley, especially after Moxley almost clotheslined Jacobs’ love’s – Lacey – head off to make a statement/fight his inferiority complex. Challenging Moxley to a Chicago Street Fight, Jacobs promised to do something he thought he’d never do again. Before the match, Jimmy Jacobs came out sporting the coat he wore when he hung Jay Briscoe above the ring and drank his blood. Underneath the coat was Jacobs’ old berserker “Huss” gear.
They were throwing down in Chicago, fighting all around the building; but the action was barely seen thanks to the poor lighting. When the lights finally caught up to the battling men, Jacobs had had taken control with a series of chair-assisted attacks. Even Moxley’s valet couldn’t help her man turn this match around in Jon’s favor, accidentally getting kicked in the face by Moxley. Shockingly, in the ring was were Moxley needed to be, surviving the End Time submission before executing his Moxicillen release suplex
Moxley didn’t need weapons to ground Jacobs, but enjoyed battering Jacobs with the chain a berserk Jacobs wore to the ring. That chain usage would come back to haunt Moxley, feeling his own blood leave his body and run down Jon’s forehead thanks to a pair of stabbing railroad spikes.
For the first time in this bout, interference actually helped Moxley. YAMATO of Kamikaze USA attacked Jacobs, causing a near fall in favor of Jon. Thankfully for Jacobs, Brodie Lee ran out to beat YAMATO to the back. But the damage had been done and Moxley was able to finish Jimmy by hooding his head with his own jacket and wearing the barely mobile Jacobs out with chair shot after the chair shot. The pin fall was elementary in favor of Jon Moxley.
An interesting brawl that definitely signified the beginning of a barbaric rivalry. Though they didn’t hold too much back, you could tell they were setting the foundation for something greater.
Freestyle Flow: The Four Way Freestyle (featuring lucha rules where anyone could enter when another person exited the ring) that followed the rather barbaric Street Fight wasn’t just a simple match featuring four individuals looking to impress. At “Enter the Dragon”, Johnny Gargano attacked Drake Younger when Younger tried to make a plea for any DGUSA stable to take him in. The friendship of Gargano and Chuck Taylor caused the downfall of Younger when Taylor dropkicked an apron-standing Drake into Gargano’s You’re Dead (a lawn dart style catapult maneuver). Rich Swann, seeing the writing on the wall, took the fight to both men by diving on top of the celebrating duo. And like Younger, it was a quick thinking Taylor that knocked Swann into Gargano’s attack.
With a bloody Younger at ringside, Gargano and Taylor took their time at attempting to pick apart Swann. Counters of Rich’s moonsaults and head scissors almost ended his night in favor of both Johnny and Chuck whenever the two were out of the ring recovering. The solidified force of Gargano and Taylor dissolved when their double team almost put Swann’s lights out and both men went for the pin.
Swann started doing anything he could think of such as a springboard shooting star press on Chuck Taylor. Even Swann flubbing the standing 450 splash ended with him knocking the wind out of Gargano. Swann seemed to be on the verge of victory when Drake Younger finally slipped into the ring and started slamming Gargano around. Taking advantage of Johnny’s kicks and elbows aimed at Drake’s head, Chuck Taylor shoved Gargano off the top rope before executing the Awful Waffle on Younger to pick up the three count on Drake.
A solid bout that made more usage of a Triple Threat environment than the opening contest mostly thanks to Drake Younger spending most of the match on the floor. The story of Younger having his chance at revenge stolen thanks to Gargano’s fellow faction-less American wrestler Chuck Taylor worked while giving Taylor a 2-0 record in Four Way Freestyle matches.
Prove Yourself, Kid: The practical crown jewel of Dragon Gate (both the original promotion and its United States version) and Warriors International faction leader CIMA was looking for a tag team partner and a potential new member for his group. After being hounded by Johnny Gargano for the spot, CIMA opted to choose Ricochet – someone who CIMA believed was the best high flying wrestler in the world though Ricochet hadn’t proven himself in the company. Opposing the new team was none other than Open the Dream Gate champion Masato Yoshino and his World-1/Speed Muscle partner Naruki Doi.
The opening minutes were relatively tame for fans used to the frenetic pace the DG wrestlers usually set early. CIMA had the fans behind him as he tried to outwrestle Doi. But the crowd wanted to see Ricochet test himself against the best in the company. Yoshino quickly asserted his dominance, but Ricochet did a great job going move for move with the believed fastest man in wrestling. Seemingly not used to the tag team environment, Ricochet lost the momentum for his team and had to rely on CIMA to save him. Sadly for Ricochet, even CIMA failed in his intentions, being caught in a head scissors and dropkicked out of the ring by Speed Muscle.
Smartly, Speed Muscle went after the legs of Ricochet with Yoshino rolling and wrenching his opponent around the ring by his legs while taunting the awaiting CIMA. But the one thing Yoshino and Doi seemingly didn’t expect was Ricochet’s heart. Fighting to his feet, Ricochet kicked his way to a fired up CIMA so CIMA could clean house. That’s when everything broke loose.
For the next several minutes, all four men went crazy with action almost too fast to keep up with. Sasuke Special by Ricochet downed both opponents; a recovering Yoshino turned a CIMA clothesline attempt into the Slingblade clothesline; Doi almost drove Ricochet through the mat with his Rydeen Bomb; CIMA stopped the rope-scaling Doi with his Iconoclasm to set up his partner’s running shooting star press. Every result from the aforementioned maneuvers was a near fall. CIMA, seeing his partner hurting, refused to let his body give out on him after feeling a series of running Speed Muscle back elbow strikes and Yoshino’s super senton splash. Saving his partner from Doi’s Muscular Bomb, CIMA disposed of the champion before ordering his partner to fly. Ricochet, barely able to balance on the top rope, jumped from his perch to execute a double rotation moonsault! The impress maneuver landed perfectly on Naruki, allowing Ricochet to gain the upset pin fall victory for his team.
Post-match, CIMA put over Ricochet as the next big thing in highflying wrestling; officially making him a member of Warriors International. Johnny Gargano made his presence known by returning to the ring. Rather than start a fight, Gargano apologized for his actions and hoped CIMA would respect him like he did Ricochet.
An insane match topped by one of the most spectacular maneuvers you’ll ever see in a pro wrestling ring. Seriously, a double rotation moonsault! Who comes up with that, let alone actually does it? This was a near star-making match for Ricochet who was surrounded by genuine stars and actually looked natural around them. Just an incredible tag team match.
The Final Countdown: The summer of 2010 was a tumultuous time for Bryan Danielson. After spending time in World Wrestling Entertainment as “Daniel Bryan”, Danielson found himself unemployed again – journeying through various independent promotions. Before the wrestling world knew it, Danielson had been rehired by WWE and actually won one of the company’s secondary titles – the United States Championship. WWE, looking to not disrespect promoters and fans alike, allowed Danielson to finish up his pre-rehiring arranged bookings.
Bryan Danielson entered the arena to an incredible ovation that seemingly shocked YAMATO to the point he couldn’t muster the intelligence to keep up with the US champ’s incredible grappling ability. Or maybe that mat wrestling inferiority had less to do with YAMATO’s smarts and more to do with Bryan Danielson being one of the best grapplers in professional wrestling. YAMATO figured he had only one option to turn this bout around: trickery. Sneaking under the ring and slipping behind the searching Danielson, YAMATO was able to attack his unsuspecting opponent and slammed him into the guardrails. Bryan Danielson felt the submission skills until, like Popeye, couldn’t stands no more – literally elbowing YAMATO until his opposition was heading for the hills (a.k.a. the crowd). And, not surprisingly, followed by a flying “American Dragon” sailing off the top rope to splash YAMATO. The attack, while effective, also took something out of Danielson; leading to a back and forth battle of wills where both men would use a big attack such as a German suplex to set up a submission hold. Danielson, switching from his old finisher (the Cattle Mutilation) to triangle chokes, couldn’t stop YAMATO’s explosive counters, pinning combinations and his reliance on the sleeper hold. Being a true thinking man’s wrestler, Danielson eventually figured out YAMATO’s strategy before elbowing YAMATO into oblivion. Hooking YAMATO in the Lebell/Yes Lock finally gave Danielson a hard-fought victory in one of his last independent wrestling shows.
An absolutely phenomenal match, as you’d except from two great wrestlers. The crowd was into everything and seeing Danielson win almost sent them into a frenzy. This is a must-see match to say the least.
I’m Comin’ For Dem Japs: Chicago-based quartet of Da Soul Touchaz (Marshe Rockett, Acid Jaz, Willie “Da Bomb” Richardson and their manager C-Red) decided they wanted to test the tag teams in DGUSA. Instead, C-Red and his boys got an answer from Brodie “Luke Harper” Lee. What resulted in the open challenge was a three-on-one mugging where the one decimated all three opponents. While the match made Lee look great by destroying three men (especially a man the size of Richardson), Da Soul Touchaz were and still are so much better than being sacrificial lambs. Lee, after pinning Jaz and laying out C-Red, made his intentions known that he’d be coming after some Japanese wrestlers in the near future. A disappointing segment only because of Lee’s victims.
Is It A Classic: Is it a perfect show? Not completely. But it is a fantastic event featuring an incredible mix of high flying, brawling, and technical wrestling accenting small storyline advancements and preparation for the next show. There are also two bonus matches included on the DVD that could’ve been put on the main show; and that’s saying something knowing how good the rest of the card was. “Untouchable 2010” earns a glowing recommendation – making it an event that deserves to be seen.