Random DGUSA re-watch session:
Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino (Dragon Gate USA, Open The Untouchable Gate)
This was a helluva match, the epitome of Dragon Gate's mid-card style between the two of the fastest wrestlers out there. This was their second match in DGUSA, and Yoshino is looking to even the score. The pace was typical where they build to a frenzy finishing stretch, but they managed to make everything look much faster and sooo smooth. Great, simple and effective storytelling about two athletes knowing everything about each other.
Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino (Dragon Gate USA, Open The Northern Gate)
2 out of 3 Falls, their last DGUSA match. While not as great as their previous encounter, this was still very good. It's not easy to work a 2/3 Falls match that goes under 20 minutes and make everything look credible and believable in the meantime, but they did a good job there. Two relatively quick falls were booked good and looked believeable, so they worked a little bit longer 3rd fall, and created an exciting finishing stretch. With 5-8 more minutes dedicated to the first two falls, this could've been an instant classic, but there's no reason to complain really, because this shit was good.
Naruki Doi vs. Bryan Danielson (Dragon Gate USA, Open The Untouchable Gate)
Good God, this is incredible, and even better every time I watch it. It's just an amazing match between the two of the best in the world, great modern Junior match. Simple and effective storytelling with a strategy focus, good selling, great counters, defensive and offensive moves, exciting finishing stretch, etc. This match was almost perfect. The Chicago crowd was fucking great here.
Bryan Danielson vs. SHINGO (Dragon Gate USA, Enter The Dragon 2010)
Although this felt little too formulatic, it's still a hell of a match, because they're so good, and they make it work, and since this is kind of a match that happens only once, it works very well. It was nothing special until the finishing stretch, tbh, you have your basic control segments from both, but the final 7-8 minutes are fantastic, and they make everything worth waiting. Great match after all.
Bryan Danielson vs. YAMATO (Dragon Gate USA, Untouchable 2010)
This classic is always overlooked by the Dragon/SHINGO match, and it's not really fair, because this match is better. Just greatness of a match with two strong characters. YAMATO is such an awesome wrestler, I miss his heel days. Such a prick, but somehow a loveable one. Anyway, this was a time when Dragon has already returned in WWE, and he was the US Champion here, so I was both shocked and impressed with the way he worked the match. He held nothing back, and was bumping around as it was 2006. Fucking A! Another fantastic, modern Junior match. One of my favorite modern matches. The post-match attack from Moxley did a good job in building their match tomorrow night (Danielson's last DGUSA match).
Bryan Danielson vs. Jon Moxley (Dragon Gate USA, Way Of The Ronin 2010)
Danielson's last DGUSA match, and it was a very good brawl against Moxley. They had a good mini feud filled with intensity, and it showed in this match, the storytelling was really good here. There's nothing like a badass match filled with the mix of stiff strikes and painful holds. This is Danielson's weakest DGUSA match, but it's still very good shit, which tells you how stellar his mini DGUSA run was. If WWE ever decides to fully invest in these two's potential rivarly down the road, it'll be a must-see TV.
SHINGO vs. Dragon Kid (Dragon Gate USA, Untouchable 2010)
Excellent match between the former tag team partners. You'll rarely find the speed vs. power story told and executed like here. Those two formulas (tag partners collide and speed vs. power) were simple, but showcased perfectly. The pace of the match was excellent, they built things slowly, with SHINGO dominating and Dragon Kid making comebacks, the finishing stretch was awesome, and the crowd was behind them all the time.
The Spiked Mohicans vs. Speed Muscle (Dragon Gate USA, Untouchable 2010)
The was the match where CIMA selected Ricochet as his tag team partner and the new Warriors member. This is were Ricochet became a legit star in Dragon Gate. They invested in him, and it paid off eventually. The match was good, it was your typical DG tag, but not a rollercoaster as you would expect given the names. The pace was mostly steady and the action was not balls-to-the walls crazy. It was simply a very good match with the story emphasis on Ricochet.
Speed Muscle vs. SHINGO & Dragon Kid (Dragon Gate USA, Open The Freedom Gate)
Okay, I used to have this match at ****1/2, but after few more re-watches, I give this a full boat. I just can't find anything wrong with this, and I know I might get few laughs for this rating. The key to the match's success were the subplots of Kid/Yoshino and SHINGO/Doi rivarlies. This match exploited the DG tag team style to perfection, and the second half was balls-to-the–walls frenzy, dramatic and exciting. Some awe inspiring sequences and super believable nearfalls. The selling was highly acceptable too. The best match in DGUSA history, and the best modern tag team match, together with GoBashi/K-Office, XXX/AMW, DemBoys/Steenerico and AngleBenoit/EdgeRey ( I feel like I'm missing one).
YAMATO vs. Davey Richards (Dragon Gate USA, Open The Freedom Gate)
This match is overlooked by the more attractive, but not necessarily better SHINGO/Davey classic. The key difference, IMO, that makes this match better is YAMATO's superb work. Nothing against SHINGO, of course, I'm a huge fan, but YAMATO is simply better when it comes to small things. Both guys are an awesome watch, but I find YAMATO's cunning and methodic game plans and approaches more appealing and intelligent. He's one of the best storytellers out there. I miss his charismatic heel schtick, and I hope he turns again somewhere down the road. Oh yeah, this match had an obligatory Davey Richards' Crowd Killer suicide dive. God, that shit was insane, thank God he toned it down.
All those matches were sick, I can't fault you at all for giving Speed Muscle vs. Shingo/Kid 5 Stars, an absolutely incredible tag match that got overlooked in a sea of classic matches from that time period. All of Danielson's and Davey's matches were incredible no doubt and YAMATO has always been underrated in the DG pecking order (even I overlooked his run until his babyface turn admittedly). I got to go see Shingo vs. Dragon Kid again though, can't remember it as well as I'd like. Great reviews.