Views from the Hawke's Nest: Dragon Gate UK: Invasion 2011
Posted by TJ Hawke on 03.05.2013
PAC vs. Shingo Takagi. DG:UK has my heart.
October 21, 2011
The DVD started with an AMAZING recap video of the 2010 events. This promotion is better than DG USA in pretty much every way. Video production may be the most glaring example of said difference in quality.
Akira Tozawa [0-0] vs. Dragon Kid [1-2]
The crowd is more than willing to boo Tozawa, which I assume is only because he has never wrestled in front of them before. This is the first time I have ever seen this matchup. I envision it being awesome.
Kid his a headscissors takedown early, which gave him brief control of the match. Kid went for a corner dropkick, but Tozawa avoided it. Tozawa then cut off Kid by driving him into a ringpost, cock and balls first. Tozawa then worked over Kid for a good while. This was an excellent way to introduce Tozawa to the UK. At one point, Tozawa murdered Kid in the corner with a Brogue Kick. Kid came back with a springboard hurricanrana, which sent Tozawa to the floor. Kid then hit him with a moonsault from the second rope. Back in the ring, Kid got a nearfall with a slingshot flipping stunner. Tozawa came back with a Brogue Kick and a saito suplex: 1…2…NO! Kid came back with another Stunner. Kid locked in Christo, but Tozawa reversed it into a side slam. Kid came back with a satellite DDT: 1…2…NO! Tozawa took an awesome bump onto the top of his head for that one. They traded pinning combinations, but neither man stayed down. Tozawa hit another Brogue Kick and then a deadlift, bridging German suplex: 1…2…NO!! Tozawa then hit the High Tension German: 1…2…3!!!
This was an absolutely perfect opener, and it was simultaneously a perfect way for Tozawa to debut in DG:UK. Both men were on point with everything they did, and I would be very interested in seeing a rematch. Match Rating: ***1/2
Gamma [0-0] vs. Naoki Tanizaki [0-0]
The crowd is very pro-Gamma and anti-Tanizaki, which continues the trend of the fans being into the Junction-III/Blood Warriors rivalry. Gamma was in control early on. They brawled throughout the arena. Tozawa eventually saved Tanizaki from an abdominal stretch. Tozawa tried to get Tanizaki a countout win, but Gamma fought off Tozawa to save the match for himself. Tanizaki then kicked Gamma in the balls. Tanizaki choked Gamma with some rope behind the ref’s back. Tanizaki then tried to send Gamma into a chair, but Gamma managed to send Tanizaki into the chair. Gamma then hit a Tenchi Crash variation. Gamma got a nearfall with a missile dropkick. Tanizaki came back with a couple of knee strikes. Tozawa interfered again. Gamma then gave Tozawa a Yakuza Kick. Gamma then hit Tanizaki with a Dominator: 1…2…NO! Gamma hit an Air Raid Crash: 1…2…3!
This match was surprisingly fun. They took a lot of short cuts, but the crowd was so molten for everything that it didn’t kill my interest too much. This show is on fire. Match Rating: ***
Marty Scurll [0-3], Lion Kid [1-2], & Mark Haskins [3-0] vs. Blood Warriors (BxB Hulk [3-0], Naruki Doi [3-0], & CIMA [0-3])
The Blood Warriors are in all-out rudo mode here. The crowd laughs at CIMA for having never won a match in DG:UK. The match starts as a brawl. Blood Warriors were in control at the start of the official match. Haskins didn’t have much success. Scurll tagged in and had much more success. He wiped out Doi and Hulk with a tope suicida. CIMA and Kid squared off. Kid and Haskins then ran through BxB Hulk. Hulk was able to tag out to CIMA. CIMA worked over Scurll. The teams went back and forth a bit more. Lion Kid eventually got triple teamed, which allowed Hulk to give his nut sack a kneeling superkick. Kid was able to hit Hulk with a Final Cut. Haskins tagged in and ran through Blood Warriors for a bit. Scurll tagged in and hit Doi with a top-rope moonsault to the floor. Hulk came back and ran through Kid. Kid came back with a super hurricanrana on Hulk and a springboard blockbuster: 1…2…NO! Kid hit Hulk with a 450 Splash: 1…2…NO! Doi and Scurll traded some strikes. Doi hit Scurll with the elevated senton. Hulk then hit Scurll with the EVO. Haskins and Scurll gave Doi a double superkick. CIMA gave Haskins a Venus and an Iconoclasm. Hulk got a nearfall on Haskins with a running shooting star press. Haskins ate ALL the kicks from Hulk and CIMA. Hulk ate Doi-5 and a Bakutari Sliding Kick from Doi. CIMA then hit Haskins with a superkick and a Perfect Driver, but Scurll made the save. Haskins hit CIMA with the Painkiller. Scurll followed that up with a Agrentine Backbreaker: 1…2…3!
CIMA is now 0-4 in DG:UK. If he gets a fifth loss, he will be banished from DG:UK.
This was pretty damn great. Haskins continues to show what a great babyface he is (especially compared to his heel work), and Scurll stepped up here big-time. While I’ve been very critical of Lion Kid in the past, he looked much better here. I think he would be better off in a tag team going forward. The DG guys were obviously on point, and I think it’s cool that CIMA has been willing to put so many people over in this off-shoot promotion. Once again, this show is on fire. Match Rating: ***3/4
Masato Yoshino [2-1] vs. Susumu Yokosuka [2-1]
Yokosuka and Shingo will have their final DG:UK battle on the next show. Here, they got to pick their opponents for the night before. Shingo obviously picked Yoshino for Yokosuka. PAC was Shingo’s selected opponent.
The match started out with a much slower pace than one would expect from a Yoshino match. Yoshino was pretty much in full control. He was working over Yokosuka’s left arm. Yokosuka eventually came back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Yokosuka was in control after that. He was going after Yoshino’s back. I genuinely wonder if the arm work on Yokosuka and back work on Yoshino will play into the finishing sequence. Yokosuka hit a DVD out of nowhere: 1…2…NO! Yoshino came back with From Jungle. Yokosuka managed to make his way to the ropes. Yoshino then hit a double stomp on Yokosuka’s injured arm. They then botched a Torbellino. Yokosuka covered for it and hit an exploder. Yoshino came back with a seated dropkick. Yokosuka came back with a super exploder: 1…2…NO! Yoshino blocked a Jumbo No Kachi attempt. Yokosuka then avoided a Sol Naciente attempt. Yokosuka then hit a pair of lariats before hitting the Jumbo No Kachi: 1…2…NO! Yokosuka then hit the Mugen: 1…2…NO! Yoshino avoided another Mugen attempt and hit a Lightening Spiral. Yoshino then hit the Torbellino. Yokosuka avoided another Sol Naciente attempt and then hit JUMBO NO KACHIGATAME: 1…2…3!
This was a rock solid match that I enjoyed from bell to bell. I haven’t been the biggest Masato Yoshino fan for a few years (at least as a singles wrestler), but I really enjoyed him here. The DG:UK crowd treats Yokosuka like a star, and he continues to deliver for them. Match Rating: ***1/2
PAC [3-0] vs. Shingo Takagi [1-2]
I am BEYOND hyped for this match. These are two of my favorite wrestlers of all time.
PAC is promoted as one of the biggest stars of DG:UK. Shingo almost caught PAC in a DVD and then in a powerbomb early. PAC was able to use his crazy athleticism to escape those attempts though. PAC was actually in control early on, which surprised me. PAC casually hit a standing corkscrew shooting star press for a nearfall. PAC went for a middle rope shooting star press, but Shingo got his knees up. PAC blocked a lariat attempt, but Shingo then gave PAC a gourd buster onto the ropes. Shingo was in control after that, and he proceeded to work PAC over. PAC was eventually able to come back with a rebound German suplex. PAC then hit a missile dropkick and a Fosbury Flop. PAC then hit a diving crossbody for a nearfall. Shingo caught a PAC moonsault attempt, but PAC then reversed it into a swinging DDT: 1…2…NO! PAC went for a slingshot move, but Shingo reversed it into a backbreaker. Shingo then hit the Alley Oop: 1…2…NO!!! This match rules. PAC came back with a buzzsaw kick, but Shingo came right back with a Argentine gutbuster. Shingo then hit a Togo senton: 1…2…NO! PAC hit a pair of enzuigiris and then a shooting star knee drop! PAC got pumped and then hit the corkscrew shooting star press: 1…2...NO! PAC rolled through a Made in Japan attempt, but Shingo then caught PAC with a pop-up DVD. Shingo then took PAC’s head off with the Pumping Bomber: 1…2…NO! Shingo then hit the Made in Japan: 1…2…NO!!! Shingo then hit another Made in Japan: 1…2…3!!!!
This match fucking ruled. Shingo and PAC are two of the top professional wrestlers in the world, and they both understand their roles perfectly. The dynamic here, as expected, was on point and the crowd made it even more awesome to experience. This DVD is worth buying just to see this match (and it’s a great DVD on top of that). Match Rating: ****1/4
The 411: I feel like I’ve written this before, but this was definitely my favorite DG:UK DVD yet. The consistency of this show was just unreal, as I got great enjoyment out of every match on this show. This show was loaded with Dragon Gate talent, which really just puts this show in a different stratosphere compared to past DG:UK lineups. Tozawa/Kid was a fantastic opener. Gamma/Tanizaki had a surprisingly fun match. The trios matches delivered. Yokosuka/Yoshino delivered a good semi-main event. Finally, PAC/Shingo delivered one of my favorite matches iN DG:UK ever. Just a HUGE Thumbs Up for this. Buy it now. Make sure you check out the DG:UK website and buy DG:UK DVDs here.