A2Z Analysiz: Mercury Rising 2011 (CIMA, Johnny Gargano)

The Presidential Ballroom – Atlanta, GA – Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lenny Leonard and Chikarason are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Jon Moxley vs. Arik Cannon

Moxley has two women with him tonight, Valerie Malone and Trina Michaels. HGe attacks Cannon right away before the bell. Cannon weathers the storm and unleashes some offense, but the women interfere from ringside to give Moxley the advantage. Moxley uses a sleeper and adds a body scissors to it just for fun. Cannon fights out of that and hits a big neckbreaker complete with a hilarious sell from Moxley and both men are down. Back on their feet Cannon builds some momentum with a flurry of offense. Cannon hits an exploder suplex for two. Moxley fights back with an Ace Crusher and a Lariat for two. He tries to use a chair but Cannon avoids it and gets a rollup for two. Cannon then hits a right hand, a superkick, and the brainbuster but Valerie Malone gets in the ring to distract the referee and when Cannon turns his back that gives Moxley the chance to kick him low and wrap him up in a small package for the win at 7:31. That was adequate for the time given.
Rating: **

MATCH #2: Six Man Elimination Match – Brodie Lee vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Silas Young vs. AR Fox vs. Jon Davis vs. Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa

Ichikawa is making his debut tonight. He and Fox start the match and the crowd is introduced to his brand of comedy. I think it’s fair to say he’s in the same ballpark as Kikutaro insofar as they’re both comedy wrestlers. Lee doesn’t find him amusing though and slaps him down, which leads to a five-on-one assault. Ichikawa tries hard but continues to fail, and Davis murders him with a lariat for the first elimination at 3:20. Now it’s Lee and Davis going at it, the two big powerhouses. Lee hits a headscissors and a suicide dive to the floor. That’s just awesome. Fox and Young take over in the ring with some fast-paced back-and-forth, and Fox knocks him to the floor and takes everyone except Jacobs out with a dive. Jacobs then convinces Ichikawa to come back in the ring and try a dive, but of course he makes no contact. Everyone seems to be going after Lee, which is smart given that he’s the biggest dude out there. Jacobs is able to hit Fox and Young with a simultaneous leaping Ace Crusher off the second rope, and executes a simultaneous Contra Code. That’s enough to eliminate Fox at 8:20. Jacobs also tries to pin Young but he’s too close to the ropes. Davis comes back in the ring and asserts his power advantage. The match starts to get out of hand and Jacobs traps Young in the End Time for the tap out at 10:55. Jacobs then goes for a crucifix on Davis and Lee helps him out with a big boot to Davis’s face and Jacobs scores his third straight elimination at 11:23. We’re down to just Jacobs and Lee now. They take the fight outside and Jacobs hits a Contra Code on the floor! Back in the ring Jacobs hits another Contra Code but Lee kicks out. Jacobs goes up top and Lee is able to take him down with a super butterfly suplex. Lee then hits a big running boot to the face and the Truck Stop for the pin at 13:55. That was good clean fun and solid work from everyone involved.
Rating: ***

MATCH #3: Non-Title Match – Masato Yoshino vs. Sami Callihan

Yoshino doesn’t even come out with the Open the Dream Gate or Open the United Gate championship belt, so this is definitely a non-title match. They start out brawling at a rapid rate, which could favor Callihan. That turns out to be exactly the case in the opening minutes. Yoshino fights back with Sling Blade. That doesn’t last too long before Callihan fights back with a Zig Zag. Yoshino comes back and locks on From Jungle and turns it into a sunset flip for two. The champ focuses on Callihan’s arm, so Callihan comes back with hard strikes and kicks. Yoshino hits a perfect missile dropkick for two. Callihan fights back and drops the straps to hit a huge clothesline for two, and then a Rikishi Driver for another two-count! He then runs right into the Lightning Spiral but he’s able to kick out! Yoshino follows up with Torbellino and then locks on Sol Naciente for the submission victory at 9:28. That was a good styles clash and I’m digging Callihan in the ring if not the character outside it yet. Speaking of, Callihan gets on the mic and growls and curses a bit.
Rating: ***

MATCH #4: Open the Brave Gate Title Match – PAC vs. Akira Tozawa

PAC has been the champion since 8.29.10, and this is his sixth defense. Also, this is only the second time the belt has been defended in the United States, after Matt Sydal did it at an ROH show in Dayton against Austin Aries back on 2.23.07. They take it down to the mat, which would be a good idea for Tozawa throughout the match I’m sure. PAC gets a little bit of offense in but Tozawa mostly dominates in the early going. Finally PAC fights back by countering the diving headbutt attempt with two boots to the face. The cut on PAC’s forehead from last night has been opened back up. PAC works Tozawa over a bit before Tozawa knocks him to the floor and follows with two consecutive suicide dives. Tozawa then hits a senton off the apron. Back in the ring Tozawa hits a Saito Suplex for two, and then a Back Drop Driver for another near-fall. PAC is quickly back in control though as the crowd chants “This Is Awesome.” He this a springboard 450 but Tozawa kicks out! The offense continues fast and furious as the crowd chants “This Is Wrestling,” one of my least favorite chants. Tozawa finally hits one of his famous German Suplexes but PAC kicks out at two! He goes for another one but PAC reverses to one of his own and that’s enough to get the pin at 19:39. The finish seemed a bit abrupt but the action leading up to it was awesome, as Tozawa continues to be the best thing going in the company.
Rating: ****

MATCH #5: Danny Steel & Charade vs. the Sin City Saints

Apparently these four athletes impressed during an afternoon tryout/seminar. Right as the bell rings Sami Callihan runs out from the back and destroys the Sin City Saints, so this is a no-contest around 10 seconds in. Callihan cuts a promo loaded with curse words that I can’t totally comprehend. Arik Cannon runs out and adds more cursing. This is horrible. Cannon destroys Steel and Charade, and then they angry guys turn their attention to each other.
Rating: DUD

MATCH #6: Open the Freedom Gate Title Match – YAMATO vs. Austin Aries

YAMATO has been the champion since 1.28.11, and this is his first defense. You know, people give WWE crap about hammering home their points, but I’ve heard “first-ever in-house iPPV” a number of times on this DVD. Aries has vowed to leave DGUSA forever if he does not win the Open the Freedom Gate Title. YAMATO is accompanied by Kamikaze USA leader Jon Moxley, but before the match he tells Moxley to go to the back. Both men appear evenly matched as they show off their mat and chain wrestling skills early on. YAMATO gloats a little bit too early and Aries makes him pay with a Brainbuster for two and then a 450 Splash but YAMATO kicks out of that too! The champion wisely rolls to the floor but Aries follows him out, wanting so badly to win the title. Back in the ring Aries continues to control the action. YAMATO goes to the floor and crawls under the ring, and when Aries climbs to the top he sneaks out and tosses Aries into the guardrail. Referee Jason Harding gives a lot of leeway, as YAMATO uses a broom and doesn’t get disqualified. Back in the ring YAMATO works the lower extremities, using the Figure-Four Leglock and the Ankle Lock in his attack. Aries fights back and dumps Yamato to the floor, and then takes him out with the Heat Seeking Missile. They fight on the apron and Aries dumps YAMATO on his head back in the ring for a two-count. Aries switches up his attack and goes after the leg. YAMATO fights back with a powerbomb right into the Samoan Crab, a la Samoa Joe. Speaking of, will the Real Samoa Joe please stand up? Back on their feet they exchange strikes until YAMATO grabs a sleeper and then hits the sleeper suplex for two. YAMATO dumps Aries hard to the floor, and when they battle on the apron Aries is able to hit a Death Valley Driver! Back in the ring that only gets two. They fight up to the top rope and YAMATO goes for a superplex but Aries cradles the legs into a double-pin situation but both men get their shoulders off the apron before a three-count can be made. Aries recovers quickest and hits two straight IEDs and a Brainbuster but YAMATO kicks out! He goes up top for another 450 Splash but YAMATO avoids it and hits an enziguiri. YAMATO delivers a kick to the head and tries a Brainbuster but Aries rolls through and gets a quick schoolboy rollup for two. Aries hits the kick to the head and tries the Brainbuster but YAMATO reverses to his own and it only gets one! YAMATO goes for Galleria but Aries reverses to the Brainbuster for a very close near-fall! They trade forearm blasts now and Aries goes for another Brainbuster but YAMATO counters to Galleria and Aries kicks out! YAMATO delivers a hard kick to the face, and then one to the head. He then hits Galleria one more time and Aries is finally done at 25:23. They took a very simple story – two guys both trying to win with the same combination of moves – and created something extremely exciting and memorable, particularly down the stretch. This was one of the best DGUSA matches of the year so far. Aries will now have his last DGUSA match tomorrow night against Jimmy Jacobs.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #7: The Dragon Gate Six Man Tradition Continues – CIMA, Naruki Doi & Ricochet vs. Johnny Gargano, Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann

CIMA finds Stalker Ichikawa on his way to the ring and beats him up just for fun. He and Ricochet are two-thirds of the Open the Triangle Gate Champions along with Dragon Kid. This is the fifth match in the series of them dating back to 2006 (there was no match in 2009). Blood Warriors attack right away and take early advantage on Swann. Leonard needs to retire “Right On the Button” from his vocabulary. Gargano and CIMA get a chance to resume their battle from last night, and then everyone gets a chance as the action comes at a rapid pace. The two teams both get a chance to pick on a member of the opposing team and work him over. Swann is the unfortunate victim of the Blood Warriors, and they do a number on him. Finally Swann is able to make a tag and both Taylor and Gargano are houses afire on Blood Warriors. The action comes at a breakneck pace and everyone gets to look good. About 23 minutes in the pace really quickens so it feels like they’re headed into the home stretch. Ricochet badly blows a dive to the floor, but nevertheless it eliminates Gargano and Taylor from the match, leaving CIMA and Swann in the ring. CIMA delivers the Schwein, Meteora, and then a Muscular Bomb to finally get the win at 25:51. This is a worthy entry in the WrestleMania six-man tag series, as I continue to love any and all things Ronin. Blood Warriors continue to look dominant over the whole promotion, but I like where this is all going.
Rating: ****

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