L. Anne Carrington sent this review in:
DGSA “Freedom Fight” PPV Review
For those who wanted something different from the usual drone of WWE-style wrestling, Dragon Gate USA once again offered up a five-star PPV with the latest installment, ?Freedom Fight.? Like the previous pay-per-views presented by DGUSA, this too did not fail to entertain, bringing quality wrestling by some of the finest members of DGUSA’s roster.
Match One: First Round of Open the Freedom Gate Tournament Qualifying Match
Nick Jackson vs. Matt Jackson vs. Hallowicked vs. Gran Akumn vs. Lince Dorado vs. Johnny Gargano
Furious, fast, and fantastic match with the former Young Bucks (now Generation Me in TNA) getting things started by tossing out all of their opponents. It appeared they were about to hash it out between themselves before Akuma and Gargano jumped them both from behind. The Bucks tried again, but Dorado and Hallowicked had different ideas. Lots of great action between all the contenders before the (former) Bucks hit the More Bang for Your Buck on Hallowicked, but Nick broke Matt’s pin.
Lots more back and forth action, with several near-pins until it came down to Akuma and Gargano . Akuma applied a half-nelson suplex, but Gargano managed to come back and flung him head first into the turnbuckles before Akuma somehow got Gargano into the winning pin after an amazing moonsault.
WINNER: Gran Akuma to advance to the finals of the Open The Freedom Gate Tournament
Match Two: First Round of Open The Freedom Gate Tournament Qualifying match
BxB Hulk vs. Brian Kendrick
Hulk got the upper hand at the beginning of this match before Kendrick bailed to the outside twice. Hulk got the better of yet another bout with Kendrick before he came back and locked Hulk in a firm camel clutch, using used several offense shortcuts to stay in control.. Kendrick’s dominance didn?t last long before Hulk rained down several kicks, following up with a breathtaking standing twisting moonsault leg drop, going into a near fall.
Kendrick attempted Sliced Bread #2 after blocking a couple more kicks, but Hulk dropped him out of the ring. To avoid a dive, Kendrick ran into the crowd to avoid a dive, but Hulk caught up to him and put him back into the ring. Hulk went up top, but Kendrick cut him off, rolling him into a small package for a near fall. There were several more near falls exchanged before Hulk got the advantage over Kendrick with a stiff kick before rolling him up for the pin.
WINNER: BxB Hulk to advance to the finals of the Open The Freedom Gate Tournament
Following the match, Kendrick got on the mic and cut a promo after the ring announcer tried to get him to leave the ring. He talked about his injuries and said he’d earned the right to leave the ring when he wanted. He said he was an artist and wrestled only for himself, chose to be himself, and not follow rules when he was in the WWE.
A ref came out to get him to leave again, but he refused. Several wrestlers came out to do the same, but he still continued to rant on the mic. Jon Moxley came out and grabbed the mic from Kendrick. Moxley said he agreed with Kendrick before the pair attacked other wrestlers and officials before the segment was over.
Match Three: First Round of Open the Freedom Gate Tournament Qualifying Match
CIMA vs. Mike Quackenbush vs. Super Crazy vs. Jorge Rivera
Lots more great action from all the contenders. The crowd chanted for Crazy. CIMA went to check on Rivera after he was down, but Crazy tossed him to the outside, sending Quackenbush behind him before Crazy went to work over Rivera’s knee. Rivera came back strong on Crazy before taking out Quackenbush and holding him in a pendulum submission. CIMA got Crazy with a dropkick and then Rivera locked CIMA in a leg submission before Crazy broke it up. CIMA sent Quackenbush to the outside before locking Rivera in a pinning combination for the victory.
WINNER: CIMA to advance to the finals of the Open The Freedom Gate Tournament
Match Four: First Round Open The Freedom Gate Tournament Qualifying Match
Davey Richards vs. Yamato
After both men exchanged holds on the mat, Richards was dominant and had a hold on Yamato’s arm. Richards attempted a kimura, but Yamato tried to block it before escaping from Richard’s hold. Both men rolled to the outside of the ring, duking it out on the floor. Richards sent Yamato into the guardrail and then kicked him toward the crowd. which drew a huge pop for Richards from the crowd. Richards kicked Yamato out of the ring again, but he slid under the ring and ran back in from the other side, toppling Richards with a stellar dropkick. Yamato then locked in a single leg crab on Richards, who eventually got the ropes.
This match had a lot of amazing near falls and ?ouch!? factor exchanges. Richards and Yamato then took turns holding the advantage down the stretch before Yamato finally took the win in the end. This match was one of the night’s best in my opinion.
WINNER: Yamato to advance to the finals of the Open The Freedom Gate Tournament
Backstage, we saw Gran Akuma, BxB Hulk, CIMA, and Yamato preparing for the match which would determine the very first Open The Freedom Gate Champion.
Match Five: Masato Yoshino & Naroki Doi vs. Dragon Kid and Shingo
Mike Quackenbush joined Lenny Leonard in the booth discussing the rivalry between Dragon Kid and Yoshino. The crowd was into this match as several exchanges, back and forth, nonstop action, brawling pace of the action from beginning to end. The teamwork of Yoshino & Doi was incredible, and a must-see. They worked well together facing Kid and Shingo at different times throughout the match. Another five-star contest, and the way tag team action should be done.
WINNERS: Yoshino & Doi
After the match, Yoshino and Shingo had a shoving match before the cameras cut to
Jon Moxley cutting a promo outside of the venue, saying one pulled his strings and that some would call him a waste of talent. He?d like to think and make his own decisions, he had talent in the wrestling world that only others could dream of, and didn’t have to listen to anybody. He just wants what is his.
Match Six: Four Way Elimination Open The Freedom Gate Tournament Finals
Gran Akuma vs. CIMA vs. Yamato vs. BxB Hulk
Yamato and Akuma went to work on Hulk and CIMA immediately. CIMA and Hulk worked together in the beginning before CIMA turned on Hulk with a back cracker. Yamato and Akuma isolated CIMA and Yamato got in with a low blow and Akuma rolled CIMA up for the pin for the first elimination.
Akuma and Yamato quickly took down Hulk. They posed for the booing crowd before Yamato and Akuma put Hulk in a double submission. Yamato held Hulk in a crossface, being taunted by Yamato. Hulk ducked a kick from Akuma, catching Yamato instead.
Hulk went to the top, cut off by Yamato. Hulk sent Yamato down with a well-executed spin kick, and the pair exchanged kicks in the center of the ring. Hulk got the advantage over Akuma with a reverse hurricanrana, and followed up with a phoenix splash before it was broken up by Yamato broke it up. Hulk sent Yamato out of the ring eliminated Akuma with the E.V.O.
The crowd cheered Hulk and booed Yamato. Yamato caught Hulk with a power slam, sending both contenders down on the mat. Yamato made his way to the top but Hulk got him with a spinning kick, and then a power slam off the top.
Both men exchanged forearms and blows and the crowd was on fire as Hulk fired back with a clothesline and hit the E.V.O. It looked as if Hulk wrapped up the match at that point before Yamato kicked out. He hit Yamato with a superkick, but he kicked out at the last moment before Hulk finally got the final advantage with a modified island driver and captured the championship. What a way to end the show!
WINNER: BxB Hulk to become the first Open the Freedom Gate Champion
I highly recommend ordering this show on PPV if it is available in your area for a specific amount of time. From beginning to end, I was glued to my screen, not bored for one moment. This PPV had a winning card, and though a few of the qualifying matches may not be to everyone’s taste, they were a fine build up to the main event and each match told its own original story. The post-match promo by Kendrick was a bit silly, but the overall show was entertaining while showing less fluff and more wrestling?just the way a pay per view event should be done.