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Dragon Gate USA: Bushido - Code of the Warrior
by Samoa Rowe
October 29, 2010
I am taking my already self-indulgent hobby of writing these wrestling reviews/recaps for my own satisfaction and turning it up a notch. A year ago this month, one of my best friends passed away unexpectedly. AEW star, Brodie Lee, died suddenly, although there is evidence that his friends and family knew he was ailing. I am taking some time to revisit this forgotten show in the DGUSA library because I attended this event live with my late friend, Lee was a part of the card, and ten years later, 2010 suddenly feels like ancient history. I have very fond memories of this show and haven't ever rewatched it, so if it seems as if I'm wearing rose-shaded glasses, it's because I am.
From the PAL Hall in Fall River, Massachusetts. Our host is Lenny Leonard.
Ricochet (with CIMA) vs. Arik Cannon vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Chuck Taylor
I've already spotted myself and one of my friends in the crowd, so I'm going to be hella distracted during this PBP. Taylor and Ricochet begin with a spirited exchange. Ricochet scores a rana, but Cannon interrupts his dive. The match breaks down into a shameless spotfest and the live crowd is overreacting to everything (which feels refreshing in 2020). Taylor catches Gargano and Cannon with a plancha into the fans. Ricochet follows with a springboard corkscrew senton. Gargano lawn darts Ricochet into Taylor, but turns around for a Cannon lariat. Ricochet counters Cannon into a Destroyer, but Taylor interrupts with a powerbomb. Another breakdown leaves them on the mat for a round of applause. They resume shamelessly hitting finishers and breaking up pin attempts. Ricochet comes across as the star of the match, but it's Taylor who counters Cannon into a piledriver and wins at 8:50. Great energy and chaos in this opener, which I admit I'm overrating due to nostalgia and the red hot crowd, ***¼.
Winner: Chuck Taylor
Jon Moxley is done messing around and vows to make Jimmy Jacobs beg for mercy. The live crowd chants "We can't hear you."
Rich Swann vs. Homicide (with BxB Hulk)
I look so goofy chanting "Homicide" but, whatever,I was having fun. Oh, to be young-ish again. Bell rings and they feel each other out by exchanging wrist holds. They quicken the pace, effectively portraying Homicide as the crafty veteran and Swann as the hungry up and comer. Homicide prepares a running boot, but Swann cuts him off with a dropkick. Springboard high crossbody by Swann gets 2. Running forearm by Homicide gives him the lead again. Homicide feels disrespected by Swann's resiliency and roughs him up on a beatdown. Swann rallies and gets himself over with the fans with his athletic moveset. Homicide answers with an Ace Crusher for 2, and menaces the ref. Homicide's straps come down, but Swann blocks the Cop Killa. Enziguri by Swann, but Homicide blocks the split legged moonsault. Lariat by Homicide ends it at 11:30. Good match, and something of a coming out party for the relatively unknown (at the time) Swann, ***.
Swann is still stumbling to his feet when he's joined unexpectedly by Austin Aries. Crowd is beyond jazzed to see Aries, I honestly can't remember if he had been advertised or not. Aries brushes off the crowd support and puts over Swann's performance. He explains that his soul searching has lead him to believe that pro wrestling is on a downswing, but events like tonight prove that it's still real. Aries pontificates for a while about how scummy the wrestling industry is and vows to make it better. Aries orders Swann to watch his match.
Austin Aries vs. Open the Dream Gate Champion Masato Yoshino
They kick things off with some urgent chain wrestling. They run the ropes and trade deep arm drags. They each brake to avoid a collision and restart with a knuckle lock. Yoshino counters into a sick arm scissors to force a rope break. Aries answers with a neckbreaker in the ropes, followed by a targeted dropkick to the knee, and flying axe handle. Aries knees the spine and hits a diving elbow for 2. Aries tucks Yoshino's head between his legs and rolls back to hyperextend his leg. Yoshino fires off slaps, but Aries puts him into a cool looking reverse cloverleaf. Yoshino sprints into a Sling Blade and then collapses to sell his injuries. They reach a stalemate, and restart with Aries hitting repeated single leg atomic drops, but Yoshino counters a suplex into a crossbody for 2. A slapfest leads to an Aries military press and Last Chancery! Yoshino survives and leaps off Aries' own shoulders to hit a missile dropkick to the chest! Aries answers with a super rana. Aries gets a pair of nearfalls and reapplies the Last Chancery. They trade stiff shots and Yoshino swings him down for 2. Aries ducks a missile dropkick and hits a belly to back suplex. Brainbuster by Aries gets 2! Yoshino goes supernova and applies a Triangle Choke to win at 18:06! Overwhelming solid match between two workhorses, ***½.
Winner: Masato Yoshino
Rich Swann offer a hand to Aries, but then pulls back to let him fall on his ass. Swann gleefully retreats while the crowd chants "You got Swann'd." Aries' rage turns into amusement.
Johnny Gargano is mad that despite all his hard work, he hasn't earned CIMA's approval.
Music video highlighting the vicious rivalry between Moxley and Jacobs.
"I Quit" Match:
Jon Moxley vs. Jimmy Jacobs
Moxley enters first and is so full of rage, he doesn't see Jacobs perching in the balcony like Robin Hood. Jacobs dives onto Moxley, and the crowd LOVES HIM for it. Moxley is forced to use his size advantage to muscle out a lariat. Jacobs escapes a Sharpshooter and hits a spear on the apron! Moxley regains his advantage and jams a steel spike into Jacobs' forehead. A bloody Jacobs refuses to quit, so Moxley counters into a deep armbar. Jacobs escapes and finds his second wind, but Moxley blocks his spear. Jacobs ducks a lariat and hits the spear. Guillotine choke by Jacobs, but Moxley reverses into an Alabama Slam! Double underhook facebuster by Moxley, and a crossface chicken wing! Jacobs spits in the face, so Moxley hogties him. Hands ties, Jacobs blocks a chair shot with a drop toe hold and applies a guillotine choke! Moxley slams free and goes nuts pummeling Jacobs with the spike until the ref throws him off. Still tied up and losing blood, Jacobs desperately kicks Moxley in the groin. Jacobs finally frees himself and scores some big chair shots. Jacobs unleashes a flurry of spike shots, and then stabs Moxley in the groin to force him to quit at 12:54! This was a compact, nasty, creative bit of business, and I loved it, ****.
Winner: Jimmy Jacobs
I join the fans in giving Jacobs a standing ovation and I'm amused to see myself wearing a Wrestlemania 26 Chris Jericho t-shirt. Jacobs cuts a short promo putting over his redemption arc.
Backstage, Sami Callihan cuts a deranged promo. Nothing ever goes right in his life, so he's putting Dragon Gate and the fans on notice.
The Osirian Portal (Amasis and Ophidian) vs. Brodie Lee and Akebono
Yeah, that's the same Akebono who faced Big Show in a sumo match at Wrestlemania 21
, and the same Brodie Lee who tragically passed away in 2020 after reinventing himself as the Exalted One of the Dark Order. Lee already has his Luke Harper wardrobe and towers over both members of Osirian Portal, neither of whom want to start. Ophidian hits an ineffective chop, so Lee chops him down. Ophidian handstands on the buckles to throw Lee off his game, and hits a rana. Lee catches Ophidian in a dive and throws him back into the ring. Running boot by Lee, but Akebono tags himself in. Amasis unloads a series of body shots with zero effect and Akebono drops him with a shoulder block. Akebono lets the Osirian Portal run into him for double shoulder blocks. Ophidian hypnotizes Akebono into a trance, forcing him to knock Lee through the ropes. Akebono is forced to dance with the Osirian Portal, thus proving that the business has been killed long before AEW existed. Lee tries to help but boots Akebono, and they trade blows. They manage to hit stereo slams on Amasis and Ophidian to win at 4:48 and then resume their brawl. This wasn't "good" but it made me smile. Rest in peace, Brodie.
Winners: Brodie Lee and Akebono
The locker room empties to pull Lee and Akebono apart.
Backstage interview with Homicide, who feels good to be free on the independent scene, and things are heating up in DGUSA. He announces he's joined World 1, but gets ambushed by Jon Moxley, who wants a piece of him at the next show.
Akira Tozawa and YAMATO vs. Genki Horiguchi and CIMA (with Ricochet)
Yamato and Horiguchi start with the standard opening sequence. CIMA and Tozawa tag in and run the ropes. Tozawa teases a dive, but then gets caught in Horiguchi's ankle lock. Tozawa doesn't like being kicked in the head by CIMA and chops him into a tag to Yamato. CIMA makes a quick tag, but Yamato snapmares Horiguchi by his ponytail to remain in control. Horiguchi suffers some indignities like having his hair plucked, but eventually CIMA storms in on a hot tag. Crowd approves of CIMA's chops. CIMA puts Tozawa in a painful looking bow and arrow until a rope break. Tozawa suffers a double suplex, but is alive enough to trade strikes with Horiguchi, who then hits a spike piledriver. I'm amused to see myself move out of the way as CIMA goes into the crowd so he can leap the rails onto a draped Tozawa. The beatdown continues until Tozawa hits Horiguchi with a string of counters, including a Shining Wizard, and wretched villain, Yamato, gets a hot tag. CIMA and Yamato light each other up and trade tight running attacks. Yamato puts CIMA in an ankle lock. CIMA escapes and unleashes a flurry of offense, including a rolling senton, and flying double stomp. CIMA catches Tozawa with the Iconoclasm and the match breaks down. Tozawa comically misses consecutive falling head butts before catching Horiguchi with a back senton. Yamato throws Horiguchi into the buckles, and Tozaway helps with the doomsday clothesline. CIMA hits a modified Blue Thunder Bomb for a great nearfall and the fans reward them with the "This is awesome" chant. Match continues with Yamato surprising Horiguchi with a sleeper, and then a superplex. CIMA superkicks Yamato into Horiguchi's backslide pin, but Tozawa saves the match. Match breaks down again, and Tozawa counters CIMA into a makeshift Meteora. Horiguchi survives some sick German suplexes, and Tozawa wipes CIMA out with a dive into the aisle. Yamato's Brainbuster on Horiguchi only gets 2, so he hits a piledriver for the win at 24:06! Nobody would have blamed them for going out there to have a house show match (well, maybe Sapolsky) but they busted out an authentic Dragon Gate match for the intimate crowd, ****¼.
Winners: Yamato and Akira Tozawa
Johnny Gargano returns to plead for CIMA to draft him. Before CIMA can respond, Gargano drops him with a superkick! Rich Swann and Chuck Taylor run in to beat up Ricochet. Taylor brands the new trio as "RONIN" and they put the boots to CIMA, who summons his new muscle, Brodie Lee, to chase them out.
Austin Aries complains to Lenny Leonard that the RONIN guys are not men of honor, but mere punks. Aries wants them in a six man tag on the next show.
DGUSA Open the Freedom Gate Championship:
BxB Hulk © (with Masato Yoshino) vs. Shingo Takagi
Shingo explodes with a shoulder tackle. Hulk cartwheels and almost floats around Shingo to dropkick him to the floor. Shingo stalls long enough to lure Hulk into a slam onto the rails. Shingo seats Hulk for a running boot to the face. Hulk wraps Shingo's arm in the rails for some easy attacks to gain some momentum. Hulk continues targeting the bad arm, but Shingo eventually answers with a desperation backbreaker. Shingo takes his turn by targeting the head and chest with various power moves. Hulk desperately counters into a Destino onto the ring apron! Baseball slide dropkick by Hulk sends Shingo into the crowd. Hulk slumps him on the rail for a top rope moonsault into the crowd! Back to the ring, Hulk hits a springboard missile dropkick and sweeps the legs for a standing corkscrew senton. Rock Bottom by Hulk and running SSP only gets 2! Hulk is sweating buckets but manages a series of unreal spinning kicks. Well timed SPEAR by Shingo gives them a breather. Shingo knocks some sense back into himself and delivers a Saito suplex. Buckle bomb by Shingo and a wild overhead belly to belly. Decapitation lariat by Shingo but HULK KICKS OUT! Superplex by Shingo, who rolls through to hit a Jackhammer for a great nearfall! Hulk looks dead after taking a KO kick, but answers with a brutal heel kick to the head. They slug it out and Hulk pops up from a lariat to hit a nasty heel kick before collapsing himself. Shingo no-sells a series of slaps and nails Made in Japan, but HULK KICKS OUT!!! Hulk flies out of a top rope attack and hits an avalanch power slam for only 2! Crowd chants "Dragon Gate!" Hulk blocks a Burning Hammer and superkicks the face, setting up the Phoenix Splash! SHINGO KICKS OUT, so Hulk hits H-Thunder for the win at 26:12. Simply incredible main event, these guys had insanely great chemistry together. This built to an incredible crescendo with excellent nearfalls that tore the house down, ****¾.
Winner and still Open the Freedom Gate Champion: BxB Hulk
Yamato tries to ambush Hulk, but Yoshino has his back. Yamato lives to fight another day, he'll see Yoshino in action on the next show.
Final Thoughts: I sometimes forget that DGUSA was actually a great product, the problem was that they seemingly couldn't get anyone to watch or care. This was a tremendous show that has aged well. I'd be lying if I said my favorite part though wasn't seeing my friends and I hanging out together and looking like we were having a blast. Sentimental Thumbs Up.
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