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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Wrestling’s 4Rs 5.09.14: WWE Monday Night Raw & Dragon Gate on iPPV Reviewed
Posted by Larry Csonka on 05.09.2014

How the 4Rs of wRestling Work!
Here is a quick explanation of the 4R's. The column will run TWO times a week. We will group our feelings on the shows in various categories: The Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous. The Right is stuff that worked very well: a great promo, a great match and so on. PuRgatoRy is a section between the right and wrong. It shows equal traits from both sides that cannot be ignored and need discussed. It is not a bad place per say, as things can get remedied or go the wrong way the very next week. The wRong is what it sounds like: bad matches, bad or boring promos and so on. The Ridiculous is stuff that had no right on TV: Stupid angles and so on. And there is always a possibility of a 5th R, which is as bad as they come. This column is supposed to be analytical, and at the right time very critical of the shows, it was the whole reason it was created. This is not a "mark" column, nor a "smark" column, our goal is to analyze the show from many different fronts, reward the good and call out the bad. We will not apologize for our opinions, they are as they are, whether positive or negative.

 photo superawesomeloopkick_zps657ebdd1.gif

It's quite hypnotic….

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Dragon Gate Dead or Alive 2014 – 5.05.14
By Larry Csonka

  • Cyber Kong and Kzy defeated (3:19 Cyber Bomb) Uhaa Nation and Shachihoko BOY [**]
  • Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!, Jimmy Kagetora defeated (5:03 Kagenui) Gamma, Yosuke♡Santa Maria{L} []
  • Tatsumi Fujinami defeated (1:49 Dragon Sleeper) Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa [NR]
  • Open the Brave Gate Championship Match: Champion Flamita defeated (13:26 Flame Fly) Jimmy Susumu (*1st Defense) [****½]
  • Open the Twin Gate Championship Match: Champions Akira Tozawa, Shingo Takagi defeated (14:26 Package German Suplex Hold) Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii (*4th Defense) [****¼]
  • Open the Triangle Gate Championship Match: Champions T-Hawk, Eita, U-T defeated (14:56 Night Ride) K-ness, Dragon Kid, Super Shisa [****]
  • Open the Dream Gate Championship Match: YAMATO defeated (22:47 Gallaria) Champion Ricochet (Ricochet fails in his 2nd Defense, YAMATO becomes the 19th Champion) [****½]
  • Steel Cage Survival 6 Way Match ~ Scapegoat Mascara contra Cabellera~: Naruki Doi vs. BxB Hulk vs. Jimmy Kanda vs. Mr. Quu Quu Tanizaki Naoki Toyonaka Dolphin vs. Masato Yoshino vs. CIMA (CIMA (22:00); Kanda (25:17); Tanizaki defeated (28:42), Yoshino (35:34); Hulk (47:15) - Doi loses the match, Kzy loses his hair) [****]

    The Tirade

    Dragon Gate proper returned to iPPV on May 5th, and to say that they knocked it out of the park would be an understatement. This show was $25 and worth every penny, and easily the best of the weekend, outdoing WWE and NJPW. The under card was just there to fill up the card, and was what it was. The opening tag was fine, although coming off a loss in a tremendous match against YAMATO, Uhaa Nation being on the losing team was puzzling. The second match was a comedy match, perfectly acceptable for what it was supposed to be. Tatsumi Fujinami made a surprise appearance, destroying Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa in under two minutes. The surprise was fun, and it didn't need to be any longer than it was.

    This card was all about the four title matches and the Steel Cage Survival match. If these delivered, the card would be a success, and they delivered big time.

    Champion Flamita defeated Jimmy Susumu to retain the Open the Brave Gate Championship. The match was an awesome athletic display, complete with amazing counters and some very creative near falls. Susumu is awesome when he wants to be, and Flamita is one of the best high flyers today in my opinion. This is the style of match you expect from Dragon Gate.

    Champions Akira Tozawa and Shingo Takagi defeated Masaaki Mochizuki and Don Fujii to retain the Open the Twin Gate titles. The match was a step below the previous match, but was still great. Mochizuki and Fuji are in there 40s and can still go. The show was heading towards awesome following the opening matches, which were just there.

    Champions T-Hawk, Eita and U-T defeated K-ness, Dragon Kid and Super Shisa to retain the Open the Triangle Gate titles. Again, this was not as good as the previous two matches, but still a lot of fun and damned good. I love watching the Millenials, and T-Hawk is quickly becoming the star of the group. Many pegged Eita as the break out star, and he is good, but T-Hawk is just on another level right now.

    YAMATO defeated Champion Ricochet to win the Open the Dream Gate Championship. The match was completely awesome, a MOTY contender to be sure. Ricochet is having a great year, but I am not a fan of taking the title off of him so soon. My best guess would be that him being announced for the New Japan Best of the Super Juniors Tournament has something to do with it. I get the feeling that Dragon Gate was worried about how he would be booked (hell have to lose multiple matches), so they took the title off of him. That's disappointing, because I loved the move of putting the title on Ricochet. Still, the wrestling was simply outstanding here and worthy of you tracking it down.

    The cage match is going to be hit or miss for a lot of people. If you're a big follower of Dragon Gate and know the storylines really well, you will likely love this match. I am not up on the full angles as I wish I could be, but from an action standpoint I really enjoyed it and figured things out as I went along. This is like the wacky cage matches that people hate LUCHA for; the scapegoat of the last competitor in the cage will lose their mask or hair. The competitors: scapegoats are - CIMA: Dragon Kid, Yoshino: Shachihoko BOY, Tanizaki: Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!, Kanda: Jimmy Susumu, Doi: Kzy, Hulk: Cyber Kong. It came down to Doi vs. Hulk, which just escalated the existing issues within Mad Blankey. Doi lost, and Kzy got his head shaved. Hulk then attacked the members of his group and left, noting that he will fight on his own. He's likely YAMATO's first challenger.

    OVERALL: Dragon Gate is not for everyone. Some feel it is too wacky, they can't follow the names and do not understand the titles and or factions. Dragon Gate isn't something you casually catch, you have to put some effort into it, but once you do, I think you will enjoy it. This show was awesome. It felt like a big time event, the crowd was off the hook for just about everything, and everything seemingly clicked. The four title matches delivered big time, the Open the Dream Gate Championship match is a MOTY contender along with Jimmy Susumu vs. Flamita, and the main event cage match is wacky and wild in all of the good ways. I had a couple of booking questions, but am willing to see where they go, but as a pure wrestling show, absolutely outstanding. To put it simply, this show rocked my fucking face and was the best PPV/iPPV of the year so far.

    Score: 9.5

    As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale…

    0 - 0.9: Torture
    1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
    2 - 2.9: Very Bad
    3 - 3.9: Bad
    4 - 4.9: Poor
    5 - 5.9: Not So Good
    6 - 6.9: Average
    7 - 7.9: Good
    8 - 8.9:Very Good
    9 - 9.9: Amazing
    10: Virtually Perfect

    As a reminder, this is not a basic "how good was the show" number like a TV show, as I have always felt that a PPV is very different from a regular show. I have always judged PPV on how they built to a match, the match quality, crowd reactions to matches and angles, the overall booking, how the PPV leads into the future, PPV price and so on and so forth. I have added this in here for an explanation since so many have asked, and I have previously discussed it on podcasts. I understand that this may seem different, but that is how I grade. Obviously your criteria may be different.

     photo wwe-raw-logo_zps506d1388.jpg
    By: Jack Stevenson

    Raw 5.05.14:
  • Sheamus won a 20 Man Over the Top Rope Battle Royal to win the United States Championship
  • Cesaro d. Rob Van Dam
  • Ryback d. Cody Rhodes
  • Rusev d. Kofi Kingston
  • Daniel Bryan d. Alberto Del Rio
  • Wade Barrett d. Big E.
  • The Wyatt Family d. The Shield

    U.S Title Battle Royal: Raw opened with Dean Ambrose being thrown into a 20 Man Battle Royal in the hope of finding someone to snatch his U.S. Championship from him. Sheamus turned out to be that man in a match that was better than most of its type, a little long and punchy-kicky in the opening stages, but pretty good and dramatic towards the end. Sheamus' win is fine, as much as I love Ambrose he barely defended that title, and maybe the Fighting Irishman and Bad News Barrett can beat the shit out of each other to unify the IC and US belts, since there's really no need for two secondary titles of equal weight any more.

    More Cool Weird Wyatt Promos: I'm up and down on Bray's promos, but I thought this was a really good one and deserved a mention. It was more grounded and transparent than his usual fare, which was a nice change, and I think giving people coherent reasons to care about this Cena angle is very important right now, the time for experimenting with muddled rhetoric and Christian hymns is over. I'm really impressed with how cleanly Bray delivers his promos as well, there's not an ounce of hesitation in him.

    Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio: I felt this was well worth separating from all the Kane nonsense, because I really enjoyed this match. It was pretty much what you'd expect a long match between Bryan and 2014 Del Rio to be- lots of near falls, some cool sequences, hints of aggression that go beyond your usual Raw midcard match. If this had featured an Alberto Del Rio that hadn't had his spirit beaten out of him by months of losing to everyone from John Cena to Sin Cara, it could have been really, really great, but it was a welcome reminder at what both men are good at nonetheless.

    Wade Barrett vs. Big E.: I really, really enjoyed the Big E-Barrett match at Extreme Rules, it was the kind of meaty slugfest Bad News specializes in. This was a stripped down but still enjoyable rematch. Barrett continues to impress, I love the way he hits the Bull hammer from a seemingly endless array of positions. Langston doesn't really deserve the boos he's getting, hopefully he can move onto a worthwhile program, maybe with Rusev, that will salvage some semblance of his late 2013 momentum.

    Colter is a lemon: Woah-ohoh-oh-oh! Woahohohohoh! I like Adam Rose from what I've seen of him. He's full of charisma, he's got his gimmick down perfectly, and there's so much you can do with the character. He can brighten up the midcard and be a better alternative to Fandango, he can tone down the comedy a bit, improve in the ring, and run at the top of the card, he can compete solely in battle royales and use his gang of possibly hallucinogenic party pals to crowd surf him back into the ring and ensure he never loses. I thought this was a fine debut, pitting him against stuffy bigot Zeb made for a strong concept and the crowd, while understandably skeptical, at least seemed to dig the entrance theme. Once New York or Chicago gets vocally behind him, he'll be set. There is no way Michael Cole enjoys him as much as he claims to though. How much of Michael Cole's soul do you think still flickers with life? I reckon 9%.

    The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family: So, which wrestling stables are or were better than the Shield? The Four Horsemen. The N.W.O? Sure, the matches were shit but they revolutionized the industry. D.X? Well they were an important part of the Attitude era, but it's not like they were totally vital to its success, and they didn't really have many great in ring moments together. It's something to think about. I think the Shield must be in the double figures for quality wrestling matches this year alone. There's this one, the three other Raw matches they've been in on my top ten list, the Match of the Year at Elimination Chamber, their first victory over the Wyatts on main event, a couple of hidden gems on Smackdown... I can't really find the words to express how much I utterly adore this stable, and how they've almost single handedly turned WWE into my favorite wrestling promotion, and how much I look forward to every single one of their matches, and how much I wish I was cool enough to pull off wearing one of their shirts in public. I don't mean to ignore the Wyatt Family, because they're fantastic as well and have made a sizeable contribution to each of the four Wyatt-Shield classics this year, but, yeah, my heart has room for but one stable and that stable is the god damn Shield. I haven't even discussed the match yet! It was great. Maaaaaybe the weakest of their four (either this or the Main Event one) but to be honest saying this is the 'worst' Shield-Wyatt match is pretty ungrateful of me considering the standard of wrestling in all four has been insanely high. At the end of the day Dean Ambrose through punches like a maniac and dove onto a mass of bodies with Seth Rollins, and Luke Harper ripped up the ringside for no good reason other than he's the closest thing 2014 has to Bruiser Brody and proud of it, and Roman Reigns was cool as fuck, and what more do you want from your wrestling? Outstanding.

    Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam: This was fine. Cesaro is much, much better than fine, 2014 Van Dam appears to be much much worse, so I guess fine was predictable. Hopefully Cesaro can move on to better and brighter things now.

    Rusev vs. Kofi Kingston: The Rusev character has undergone a slight evolution, ditching a first name and has advanced from beating up Zack Ryders to Kofi Kingstons. Meanwhile, Lana's added a more political edge to her pre-match promos, which is bad news because WWE's political opinions are almost entirely incorrect and I can't be having another three months of crushingly unnuanced jabs at Edward Snowden. I've officially decided I like Rusev though. He's got better offense than a stereotypical sinister Russian needs to have and his zombie like refusal to stay down is cool.

    Cody Rhodes vs. Ryback: The Brotherhood continues to break up and they're going to do it via a Cody Rhodes losing streak. How many times must losing streak angles prove wildly unsuccessful before WWE remember to stop doing them? There's too many around anyway, there's been, like, four already this year. It didn't help that the story wasn't advanced particularly successfully. Cody accidentally eliminating Goldust in the Battle Royal was fine, although the camera didn't really translate it particularly well, but the finish to the Rhodes-Ryback match, with Goldust being sent into the ring post and then Cody tumbling off the top rope for no apparent reason since Dustin's collision didn't move the ring even slightly, not working well in execution (obviously.) This angle continues to disappoint.

    Cinco De Mayo! How delightful!: Los Matadores wanted to celebrate Cinco De Mayo because as we all know all Latinos have the exact same cultural heritage. 3MB came out to be all "speak English!" and the crowd seemed to sympathize with them. If you spend the entirely of the noughties and late nineties carefully cultivating an audience of drunken frat boys and angry dickheads, that's what you're going to get I'm afraid. There was some stuff with Torito and Hornswoggle and it was all terribly bad.

    Bryan fears Kane! Like, REALLY fears him: If Bryan concludes the year fighting Rusev for the Intercontinental Championship in the opening match at TLC, this episode of Raw will be pinpointed as the moment where everything went wrong. Kane hates the internet, there's no wireless broadband in the more pestilential pits of hell and he can't torrent new Game of Thrones episodes and it makes him really, really angry, so he targets Zack Ryder and Daniel Bryan and ruins their careers. This was HIDEOUS. I usually reserve the 'ridiculous' section of this column for actively offensive, sexist or casually racist shit, but I nearly broke that rule to send this into its shameful depths. This angle was nearly worse than racism! The problems are multiple. Brie Bella is a horrendous actor. Daniel Bryan is barely any better. Bryan literally trying to flee the arena in his car rather than fight Kane might be entirely logical behavior for a rational human being, but for a wrestler it's a strong basis for a heel turn. He looked pathetic. I don't think this is the end for Bryan, I think the company are far more committed to him than Ryder and he's far more talented than him as well so he'll have more staying power. Any hope of him being a convincing alternative to the John Cena hegemony in the near future died with this segment though. The only redeeming feature was that the camera angles were quite cool, swerving around as if Kane was coming at any moment from any direction. It's a bad-wrestling segment that forces me to appreciate camera angles.


    Two new additions! A good week for wrestling.

    1. 2.17.14- John Cena vs. Cesaro

    2. 3.03.14- The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

    3. 5.5.14- The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

    4. 2.03.14- Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

    5. 2.10.14- Sheamus & Christian vs. The Real Americans

    6. 1.27.14- John Cena, Sheamus & Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield

    7. 4.21.14- Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett

    8. 5.5.14- Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio

    9. 1.13.14- CM Punk & The New Age Outlaws vs. The Shield

    10. 4.7.14- John Cena, Sheamus & Big E. Langston vs. The Wyatt Family

    The 411:

    This show had the Shield vs. The Wyatts for free and if you can't sit through two and a bit hours of mostly inoffensive TV to get to that then you don't deserve to see it. There's some decent stuff scattered elsewhere on the show as well- the battle royal, Bryan-Del Rio, Adam Rose's debut. It's a pity Kane's car hijinks part II was as spectacularly bad as the main event was spectacularly good, if it wasn't for that, I'd rate thie episode much higher.

    Show Rating: 6.5

    As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale…

    0 - 0.9: Torture
    1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
    2 - 2.9: Very Bad
    3 - 3.9: Bad
    4 - 4.9: Poor
    5 - 5.9: Not So Good
    6 - 6.9: Average
    7 - 7.9: Good
    8 - 8.9:Very Good
    9 - 9.9: Amazing
    10: Virtually Perfect

    The 885th edition is over…

     photo perfect-towel_zps35163b78.gif

    Absolutely… perfect.

    Have you checked out the Csonka Podcasting Network? If you haven't, you should We run anywhere from 15-20 shows a month, discussing pro wrestling, the world of MMA, the NBA, general sports, popular TV series of the past, bad movies, battle rap, interviews, MMA & Wrestling conference calls and more! Around 10 different personalities take part in the various shows, which all have a different feel; so you'll likely find something you like. All of the broadcasts are free, so go ahead and give a show a try and share the link with your friends on the Twitter Machine and other social media outlets! Running since May of 2011, there are currently over 500 shows in the archive for you to listen to.

    Listen to internet radio with Larry Csonka on BlogTalkRadio

    Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it…TO CSONKA'S TWITTER!



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