Dragon Gate Challenge Review

This event was a part of the Ring of Honor Milestone Series. There will be three matches that will be Dragon Gate vs. Ring of Honor and the team with the most wins will win the Dragon Gate Challenge. We also have an epic main event in Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe. This should be a brilliant show so let’s take a look at it now:

Colt Cabana vs. Homicide

Cabana comes out and says there is a match that cannot wait any longer, he says tonight it will be a Falls Count Anywhere Match! Homicide comes to the ring with Julius Smokes and Homicide and Cabana go at it straight from the bell. Cabana gets the upper hand and the pair end up in the crowd almost instantly. The crowd flee their seats and Homicide suplexes Cabana onto some chairs but Cabana comes back with a chair shot of his own. Cabana brings a ladder into the ring and sets it up in the corner, he then slingshots Homicide face first into it. Homicide reverses another attempt and hits an Ace Crusher, he then puts Cabana’s head in between the ladder and smashes it with a steel chair. Homicide goes for the cover and gets the win. Wow, wasn’t expecting that. Considering this was meant to be the blow off to the feud, the match lasted just five minutes. It was a good five minutes of brawling but very disappointed with the end. They wrestled the following two nights too so I guess it’s understandable but still.

½

Ricky Reyes vs. Chad Collyer

Reyes comes to the ring with Julius Smokes who is definitely earning his money tonight. Reyes wins the ‘Looking most like Low Ki’ award. Collyer starts better and almost hits a baseball slide but Reyes manages to evade it after advice from Smokes. Reyes cuts off Collyer getting back in the ring and hits a DDT to Collyer who was hung on the second rope. Reyes gets some kicks in but Collyer comes back with a bridging German suplex for a two count. Reyes then reverses a scoop slam into a triangle choke, very nicely done. Collyer struggles out of it and turns it into a cloverleaf but Reyes manages to get to the ropes to break the hold. Collyer goes for a sunset flip but Reyes quickly locks in the Dragon Sleeper which is sort of a reverse guillotine choke. After a brief struggle, Collyer taps out. This was meant to be the opener and it got the crowd into the show. It was a decent match and they crammed quite a lot of stuff into 7 minutes. Good effort.

 ★ ★ ½

BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs

This match is between two former tag team partners and former two-time ROH Tag Team Champions. We see video of when Whitmer turned on Jacobs at Dissension and Whitmer takes the upper hand from the opening bell. The action spills to the outside and he whips Jacobs no less than three times right into the barricades at ringside. Jacobs comes back into it and under the instructions of Lacey, he dropkicks Whitmer’s head into the steel ring post. Jacobs takes too long going for a back senton off the top rope and Whitmer is able to get the knees up. He follows up with a great exploding suplex. Jacobs goes for the Contra Code but Whitmer reverses it and hits a German Suplex followed by a Dragon Suplex for two. Whitmer attempts to suplex Jacobs out of the ring but he half blocks it and both men end up on the outside. Jacobs goes for a jumping hurricanrana on the outside but Whitmer holds on and powerbombs Jacobs into the barricades. Action back in the ring and a brainbuster and running boot combo get Whitmer a near fall. Whitmer goes to the top rope but is cut off, after a brief struggle, Whitmer goes for a powerbomb but slips backwards and slams Jacobs down which sees his head hit the top rope and the ring apron. One of the sickest bumps I’ve ever seen, for sure. Back in the ring, Whitmer goes for the cover but Jacobs somehow kicks out. Jacobs gets up and hits the Contra Code but Lacey gets on the apron and says she wants him to put Whitmer through the table. She sets the table up but Jacobs takes up too much time blowing kisses to Lacey. Whitmer cuts him off and hits an exploder suplex off the top rope followed by a devastating lariat for the victory. Brilliant match, some really awesome spots mixed in with good storytelling and great moves. Great showing by both men in a very entertaining encounter with the scariest/sickest bump I’ve ever seen.

★ ★ ★ ★

Ryo Saito vs. Jimmy Yang

This was the first of our three Dragon Gate vs. Ring of Honor matches. It’s the only singles match of the three match series and Yang welcomes Saito to ROH with a big slap. Saito came back with a nice series of moves before a bit of comedy from Saito as Yang attempts to lock-up. Saito continues his dominance with some open handed slaps in the corner which are heard perfectly due to the crowd being almost silent. They were so into the last match that it was going to be tough to keep them interested for another bout. Yang goes to work on the leg of Saito and then hits a couple of nice kicks for two. Saito gets back in with it courtesy of his second belly-to-belly suplex of the match. He then hits two fisherman suplexes followed by a fisherman buster that gets him a near fall. Yang hits a brainbuster and then goes to the top rope for the Yang Time but Saito somehow kicks out again. The Dragon Gate man gets the advantage again and after dodging an attempted moonsault, he hits the Premium Bridge (bridging full nelson slam) for the win. Not a bad match-up at all, Saito looked very good and had a nice moveset. Was a bit sluggish at times and the crowd weren’t that into it unfortunately. It got a lot better towards the end.

★ ★ ¾

Bryan Danielson & Delirious vs. Alex Shelley & Jimmy Rave

Shelley and Rave are accompanied by fellow members of The Embassy, Prince Nana and Daizee Haze. They are met by Rave’s usual welcome of toilet paper instead of streamers. Danielson was ROH World Champion at the time and told Nana he could pick his partner for him and he got Delirious. Delirious starts out with his usual antics which freaks Shelley out and he escapes the ring to regroup. Delirious gets blinded by an eye rake and Rave comes into the ring and drapes the Ghana flag over his head. Delirious fights out of it though and puts the flag in his mouth which leads to chants of “Eat it!” which were quite funny. Danielson finally gets tagged in and “The American Dragon” locks in a couple of submission moves on both Rave and Shelley. Delirious comes back in and does an aeroplane spin on Rave, Danielson gets back in and does an aeroplane spin of his own. Delirious comes into the ring and does laps of the ring whilst this is happening, genuinely funny stuff here from both Danielson and Delirious. The Embassy aren’t here to mess around though and Shelley slaps Danielson but gets two back for his troubles. For the next few minutes, The Embassy control the match by isolating Danielson in their corner and utilising frequent tags. Danielson finally gets Delirious into the match after reversing a double team move. Delirious hits the Panic Attack on Rave but Shelley sneaks back in and hits a vicious superkick.

Danielson gets in the ring and locks in the Cattle Mutilation on Rave as Delirious uses the same move on Shelley. Both members of The Embassy get to the ropes and then Danielson hits a suicide dive on Rave. Nana and Daizee Haze distract Delirious which allows Shelley to hit the Sliced Bread No. 2. Danielson tries to break the pin but Rave cuts him off and The Embassy pick up the win. I liked this match a lot, it wasn’t a classic but has all the ingredients. Good heels, good faces, hot tag and a good ending. It went a good twenty minutes and made The Embassy look great. Plus some really awesome victory dancing by Prince Nana.

★ ★ ★ ½

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Shane Hagadorn

Hagadorn comes out with this ridiculous haircut and shouts “Come on you retards!”, hmmm, OK then. Claudio comes to the ring in a terrible outfit and he has hair! Hagadorn tried to get a reaction from the crowd but gets a chant of “Who are you?”. Hagadorn tried a kip up and fails miserably so Claudio shows him how to do it which gets him a slap to the face. Hagadorn controls the next couple of minutes until Claudio hits a reverse springboard elbow which takes Hagadorn down. Claudio takes control with a number of European uppercuts and gets a two count with a diving European. Castagnoli ducks a clothesline and then hits an inverted angle slam for the victory. A squash match that made CC look good. I can see why Hagadorn is used strictly as a manager now.

½ ★

After the match, Chris Hero and Necro Butcher hit the ring and Hero tells the crowd about he and Castagnoli’s past. He says Claudio turned on him and asks Claudio to join them on behalf of CZW to take out Ring of Honor. Before he can answer, BJ Whitmer hits the ring but takes a beating. Claudio teases that he’s going to attack Whitmer but then hits Necro with a European uppercut as he and Hero escape through the crowd.

Dragon Kid & Genki Horiguchi vs. AJ Styles & Matt Sydal

This is the second match in the three match Dragon Gate vs. Ring of Honor series. Dragon Gate are up 1-0 thanks to Ryo Saito. For the first five or so minutes, the match is contested mainly on the mat with Styles and Sydal dominating proceedings with an array of submission moves. Dragon Kid finally gets into the match and sends Styles out of the ring. He follows up with a springboard moonsault off the second rope. Horiguchi joins him by hitting a suicide dive on Sydal. Both teams get near falls and Sydal gets the advantage with a nice standing moonsault. Dragon Kid comes out of nowhere though and hits another springboard moonsault as he and Styles battle it out. Dragon gets on the top rope and hits The Dragon Runner on Styles for the two count. Sydal back in it and launches Dragon out of the ring with a head scissors and then follows up with a diving move. Styles and Horiguchi are left in the ring, they both go for impact moves but after a couple of reversals, Styles delivers the Styles Clash which gets his team – and Ring of Honor– the win. Took a good five or so minutes to really get going but once it did, it was very enjoyable. Some nice work by both teams and they really complimented each other. The score is now Dragon Gate 1 – 1 Ring of Honor.

★ ★ ★¼

Generation Next (Austin Aries, Roderick Strong & Jack Evans) vs. Blood Generation (CIMA, Naruki Doi, & Masato Yoshino)

This is the decider in the Dragon Gate vs. Ring of Honor challenge. Strong and CIMA start the match and  exchange plenty of chops and arm drags but neither man can get the advantage. Jack Evans comes in with Doi and sends him out of the ring and he follows up with a springboard somersault on the outside. Generation Next started to dominate Yoshino and hit a nice mix of moves which saw all three men involved. Aries performed a knee drop on Yoshino’s face and then did it again in slow motion, very funny from Double A. Yoshino is absolutely rapid, one of the quickest I’ve ever seen in the ring. Blood Generation get back in to it and much like Generation Next did, they isolate one member of the opposition, this time it’s Evans. Some more excellent teamwork from the Dragon Gate stars sees Evans take a couple of double stomps. Evans uses his speed to finally tag out and Aries and Strong go after CIMA with an elbow drop/splash combination from the top rope. Blood Generation come back and take out Evans, after three moves in the corner, they lift him up for a mid-air double stomp. Strong and Doi are the legal men and Strong hits the Gibson Driver but only gets two. It’s hard to keep up with the action at this point as there’s just so much going on! Evans is down in the corner and CIMA and Yoshino hit a double coast-to-coast dropkick to his face. A brief intervention by Strong isn’t enough as CIMA gets Evans up and hits the Schwein (sort of a modified side walk slam/piledriver) for the three count. This match was insane, so much going on that at times, it was very hard to keep up with it. Each team got a lot of offense in and the Dragon Gate stars were very impressive. They crammed a lot of action into that 15 minutes or so and for a six-man tag match, it was absolutely terrific. Dragon Gate win the Dragon Gate Challenge 2-1.

★ ★ ★

Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe

Before the match, we see a video package of the rivalry which goes all the way back to 2002. Daniels comes to the ring with the TNA X Division title around his waist which doesn’t get him a great reaction. Joe goes for the Muscle Buster early in the match but Daniels reverses it into a head scissors. Daniels has control of the match for the first few minutes and keeps him grounded with a variety of kicks. Joe starts to fightback and Daniels walks straight into an STJoe. Action spills to the outside and Joe delivers two kicks to the side of Daniels’ head which drive him straight into the guardrails at ringside. Joe again goes for the Muscle Buster but Daniels escapes and slams Joe down to the mat. Daniels gets the advantage and hits a nice spin-out powerbomb for the near fall. Joe can’t be kept down though and after a big running kick to the face, Joe catches Daniels with a powerslam followed by a powerbomb for two. The crowd are really getting into this one now and Daniels hits the Angel’s Wings but Joe kicks out. Daniels then hits three moonsaults and gets the victory. This was a good match between the two but considering it was supposed to decide who was the better man, I was expecting a little bit more. I like the fact that it took three BMEs to beat Joe but it wasn’t given enough time and the six-man tag match really overshadowed it. Maybe I’m being a little harsh because it was still a very good match, just not as good as it could have been.

★ ★  ½

Chris Hero & Necro Butcher hit the ring again and they challenge Daniels but Allison Danger begs him not to bother and he doesn’t. Joe gets back in the ring and takes them both on but soon succumbs to the numbers game. Out of nowhere, BJ Whitmer hits the ring and hits both Necro and Hero with sick chair shots to the head. They are both escorted out of the ring as Joe gets the mic and declares war on CZW.

Overall, this was a very good show. All the big matches delivered and I have it down as five matches over three stars which is damn good. You can pick up the DVD here:http://www.rohstore.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=42. It’s definitely worth your money, you won’t be disappointed.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Steven Coney

"Stuff Pants" Steven is the co-owner and editor of ROHWorld.com. He founded the website in February 2011 with Harry. Last spotted trying to take down ROHCast with his SCUM faction.

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