Dragon Gate WrestleJAM
review by Reed Benson
This DVD is a collection of matches from Dragon Gate’s WrestleJAM tour, which was held in mid-July of 2006. The concept was that they were mixing DG stars with wrestlers from America and Mexico. It would have been cool if they would have brought in a bunch of locators from Mexico, but, they settled with the two Mexican wrestlers they already had on their roster (Turboman and King Shisa). The American talent that was brought in but not featured on this DVD included Azrieal and Chris Bosh. Here’s the match listing:
- CIMA, Jack Evans & Roderick Strong vs. B-Boy, Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi
CIMA, Jack Evans & Roderick Strong vs. B-Boy, Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi
This is from 7/9/06 in Saitama, the first show of the tour. Chris Bosh, Naoki Tanisaki and Gamma are in the heels’ corner. The only real psychology in his match is a brief baby face-in-peril role by Evans. Other than that, it’s all spots, some tied together well, others not so much. Tanisaki and Gamma interfere twice, but don’t do anything that really affects the outcome. Evans does a Space Flying Tiger Drop variation. There are some really cool double team combinations done by both teams. For example, Evans and Strong lift Doi up, and CIMA does a double stomp on him, then rolls through and hit’s a lungblower on Yoshino in the opposite corner. The finish comes when Doi kicks Evans into B-Boy, who then hits a Storm Cradle Driver (Quiet Storm’s move) for the pin. It seemed pretty short for a six-man. Chris Bosh did nothing but stand still.
Post-match, the heels beat on the faces. B-Boy goes for the SCD on CIMA, but Strong saves him. Austin Aries runs in and brawls with Bosh. CIMA says “F*** you” to the heels on the mic, then gives a speech to the crowd in
Triple Threat (one fall) Match: Jack Evans vs. Genki Horiguchi vs. Akira Tozawa
This is from the second show of the same day, this time in Tokyo. Most of this match would fit well on a Jack Evans highlight reel. The ring is pretty much surrounded by the combatants’ respective teammates, and they often slide in to help hold the ladder that gets involved still. Evans gets bent backwards through two holes in the ladder for a weird submission hold. He does a 360 flip off a quebrada. There’s a funny spot where Tozawa accidentally dropkicks the referee in the rear, and he falls into Jack when he’s on the ladder. One of Tozawa’s partners interferes to flapjack Evens onto Horiguchi on the ladder. Evans gets snap marred off the ladder onto the ramp way. Tozawa superplexes Horiguchi off the ladder, then goes for a splash, but misses. Evans does a corkscrew 630 off the ladder to get the
ROH Tag Title Match: Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi vs. Austin Aries & Roderick Strong (c)
Also from Tokyo. This match is mountains above the last two in the area of building up suspense for the finish. It’s also a lot longer. Aries and Strong are great as a team, very fluid and precise. Yoshino and Doi get a lot of help from their partners in Muscle Outlaw Z, and Chris Bosh actually does something. There’s a cool sequence in the middle where Aries is in the corner, and all of the heels come in to charge him one by one (including Jimmy Rave). Doi is last, and Aries moves, then the baby faces all charge Doi one by one. Doi goes for a running kick on Aries, but Strong catches him and does a backbreaker. Aries and Strong do their powerbomb/dropkick combo on Doi. Doi throws powder at Strong, but he ducks and it hits Yoshino. Strong gets a very close near fall with a Tiger Driver. Strong hits a backbreaker on Yoshino, and Aries hits the 450 splash for the win.
They show some clips from Strong and Aries defending the belts against Ryo Saito and Genki Horiguchi from 7/11 in Shizuoka. They win the same way, pinning Horiguchi.
Roderick Strong vs. Masaaki Mochizuki
From 7/10 in Kanagawa. A kicks vs. chops battle ensues in the opening minute. Strong chops the ring post outside accidentally, and Mochi works over his arm. Later, they go back outside, and Mochi accidentally kicks the ring post, so Strong attacks his leg with some unorthodox submission holds. Mochi stops selling his leg pretty quickly, and he dishes out the kicks in droves. Strong does two backbreakers in this match, plus the Tiger Driver. The finish comes after a sequence of chops, kicks, and clotheslines, and Mochi gets the win with a high roundhouse kick. Good match. Mochi and Strong hug and show respect after the match.
Austin Aries vs. Susumu Yokosuka
From 7/12 in Tokyo. They start with good mat wrestling. There’s a weird spot where Aries goes for a slow motion knee drop, but misses. Yokosuka works over that knee, and unlike Mochi, he sells it for the rest of the match. Crowd chants for Aries, so he’s over. Yokosuka does a super exploder. Aries hit’s the brain buster, followed by the 450, but Yokosuka kicks out. After a some near falls and a final burst of energy by Aries, Yokosuka gets the pinfall after a pair of lariats.
Handicap Match: MAGU-yan, The Turboman & Turbo-yan vs. Gamma & Naoki Tanisaki
Also from Tokyo. Turbo-yan is Don Fuji in a yellow Turboman suit. MAGU-yan is in a pink Turboman suit. Gamma and Tanisaki attack right after the announcements, Gamma using a cane as a weapon. They brawl outside briefly. MAGU-yan is very peculiar, and his moves have homosexual tones to them. Obviously, there’s a lot of comedy from the costumed team. Gamma gets Turbo-yan’s mask off, and he screams like he had his face removed. Tanisaki removes MAGU-yan’s mask, and he lays face down to hide his identity. Tanisaki stomps on him, and he pops his head up quickly. It’s Magnum TOKYO! Both men get their masks back on and the match continues. Turboman finally joins in, and they do a silly toilet paper spot, then a three way spitting fight with the American referee. MAGU-yan’s mask gets removed again. Turboman does a double springboard head scissors, his only offensive move in the whole match. Turbo-yan gets the pin on Tanisaki with a German suplex.
After the match, CIMA comes out in a gold Turboman mask and jokes with Turbo-yan, as Fuji is his partner in Blood Generation.
$10,000 Jam Cup Four-Way Tag Match: Roderick Strong & Matt Sydal vs. CIMA & Don Fujii vs. Ryo Saito & Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino & Jimmy Rave
Also from Tokyo. Rave comes out in Embassy attire and forces a ringside crew member to be his footstool. The fans throw massive amounts of toilet paper at him, just like in Ring of Honor. CIMA starts a “F*** You, Jimmy” chant. This match is great already. Four men can be in the ring at once, so there are a number of three and four way spots and trade-offs. Fuji and Strong do a Sumo comedy spot, and Strong does it again later with Rave. There’s a very cool spot where everyone puts a headscissors on each other, until there’s a line of wrestlers extending from corner to corner. Strong comes in and puts the man in front in a Boston crab, thus turning everyone else over. If I were to list all of the great spots in this match, it would be as long as a Senior Thesis. After a short battle between the Do Fixer and Blood Generation teams, CIMA pins Dragon Kid with a Schwein Steiner. After the first elimination, things get more serious. Strong gets Rave to submit to a Boston crab after Sydal moonsaults onto him. Strong seems to save all his backbreakers for CIMA. Sydal pins CIM with a Shooting Sydal Press. Greatness.
Sydal and Strong pose with their big check, and Strong says, “Goin’ to Disney.” CIMA thanks Strong, Sydal, Don Fuji, and BxB Hulk (who was in his corner), and also bring out Jack Evans, who is in a neck brace after being injured on the tour. Jack thanks every Dragon Gate fan around the world, and says that the new cutting edge of wrestling is in Japan. He talks about opening a new gate with WrestleJAM, and brings out all the participants of the tour. The crowd chants for Austin Aries again. Everyone poses for a group photo.
Final Thoughts: Honestly, after the first two matches, I was afraid that I might’ve bought a lackluster DVD. After the ROH tag title match, though, I quickly changed my mind. That match was great, the two singles matches were above average, the handicap match was funny, and the main event was awesome. Maybe not as good as the popular Dragon Gate six-man from Ring of Honor, but still awesome. I would’ve liked to get DVDs from all the WrestleJAM shows on the tour, but since that’s not possible, I’m satisfied with this compilation. I got mine at IVPvideos.com, but it should be noted that they still list all of their DG shows under the Toryumon name.
You can email me at Dedwyre@msn.com