Monday, June 23, 2014

Dragon Gate USA Mercury Rising 2014 Review

One of the most controversial shows of the year!

In light of the lack of Dragon Gate Talent from Japan, it was decided that the annual Dragon Gate Six Mag Tag would get changed around a little bit. It would now be a mini-Trios Tournament (much like the one ROH held many years ago). There would be six teams entered, and whoever wins the three qualifying matches will advance to the Triple Threat Main Event. Whoever wins the whole thing will get to book any matches they want in Dragon Gate USA/Evolve.

Dragon Gate USA Mercury Rising 2014
New Orleans, Louisiana 4/5/14

Main Show

1.) Trios Tournament - Qualifying Match #1 - The Inner City Machine Guns & AR Fox vs. Evolve Champion Chris Hero, Roderick Strong & Masato Tanaka: ****

The reason why a match filled with this much star power is the opener is because both Chris Hero & Masato Tanaka needed to leave so they can make it to the WrestleCon SuperShow (which I will be reviewing as well), which they would also be wrestling on. This was a very good match. The only real complaint I can make is that it was nearly a half hour match, which I think was a bit too long. Still, it's hard to not have a great match when you have these six guys involved. Rich Swann scores the pin on Chris Hero and his team advances to the finals.

Up next, we have Chuck Taylor coming out for an interview. He looks visibly upset after The Gentlemen's Club disbanded after Orange Cassidy walked out on Taylor at Evolve 28 and Drew Gulak attacked Chuck Taylor at Open The Ultimate Gate. Maxwell Chicago comes out and wants to cheer Taylor up, so it looks like we have a match...

2.) Chuck Taylor vs. Maxwell Chicago: *

This was pretty much a nothing match. Taylor didn't do much because he was so sad that he didn't want to wrestle. We got some comedy for a few minutes until The Premiere Athlete Brand come out and attack both guys. The Gentlemen's Club were supposed to face The Premiere Athlete Brand in the Trios Tournament, but with the group disbanded, that was in question. Su Yung says that Taylor can face The Premiere Athlete Brand in a 3-on-1 Match or forfeit. Taylor accepts the challenge.

3.) Trios Tournament - Qualifying Match #2 - The Premiere Athlete Brand (with Su Yung & Mr. A) vs. Chuck Taylor: DUD

Unbelievable.......Essentially, his was a complete clusterfuck. Trent Baretta, Anthony Nese & Caleb Konley spend a few minutes beating up Chuck Taylor. Then, Biff Busick comes out. He jumps on the apron and wants to be Taylor's partner. Taylor tags in Busick and he comes into the match. Then, all of a sudden, it's Larry Dallas & Teddy Hart. Once again, Hart has his cat with them. It seems like Hart is the third man for Taylor's Team, as he takes out The Premiere Athlete Brand. But then, he inexplicably attacks Taylor & Busick. I should note that Hart did botch some stuff and he hit some Project Ciampa's (Tommaso Ciampa does it better). The Premiere Athlete Brand finally score the win in this abortion of a match. This whole thing was just incredibly stupid. Nobody benefited from this at all. It really makes Dragon Gate USA looks bad. Absolutely terrible. I think at one point we got "End This Match", "Fire Russo" and "This Is Stupid" Chants. Just so dumb.

4.) Trios Tournament - Qualifying Match #3 - Open The United Gate Tag Team Champions The Bravado Brothers & Moose vs. The Colony (Fire Ant & Green Ant) & Lince Dorado: ***

It'll be hard to go forward after the last match sucked the energy out of the crowd. Despite all of that, this was still a good match. You have five guys in here who always put out good performances, and then you had Moose, who I thought worked well against the smaller guys. The Colony & Lince Dorado pick up the win and advance to the finals.

After the match, Green Ant says that, since they beat The Bravados tonight, they should get a shot at The Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles. The Bravados agree, and I guess we have a future title match. This was the most positive thing to happen to Dragon Gate USA's tag team division this weekend.

5.) SHINE Title - Ivelisse vs. Mercedes Martinez: **1/4

This is my first taste of a SHINE Match of any kind (I would really like to watch some SHINE eventually). The match was, for the most part, decent, which is surprising given that these are two of the better women's wrestlers out there. There were some sloppy spots, and the crowd was still out of it after the Teddy Hart/Larry Dallas nonsense. Ivelisse retains the SHINE Title, and Martinez needs help to the back, as it looked like she got hurt at the end.

6.) Low Ki vs. Johnny Gargano: ***1/4

Gargano comes out to a massive reaction. Essentially the crowd was giving Gargano thanks for an amazing title reign. He then cuts a promo where he turns all delusional and thinks he's still the Open The Freedom Gate Champion. He reminds Low Ki that he lost to Trent Baretta last night, and says he's putting his title on the line. As they start off, the crowd gives them "Save This Show" Chants. The match was good, but not really anything special. After losing to Baretta the previous night, there was no way that Low Ki was losing, and he eventually picked up the win. Gargano's delusional character was kind of lame here. Again, the match was at least good. 

7.) Trios Tournament Finals - Three-Way Elimination Match - The Inner City Machine Guns & AR Fox vs. The Premiere Athlete Brand vs. The Colony (Fire Ant & Green Ant) & Lince Dorado: ***1/2

This is the finals of the Trios Tournament, where the winner gets to book any match they want in Dragon Gate USA/Evolve. We get some good action in the first part of the match, when all three teams were involve. There were some pretty good spots in here as well. Though after The Colony & Lince Dorado were eliminated, the crowd seemed less interested. The last half was fine, until Trent Baretta pins AR Fox to score the victory for The Premiere Athlete Brand. The fans chant "Fire Russo" almost immediately. I thought the match was perfectly fine by itself, but after everything that preceded it, this was a let down of a Main Event.

Bonus Main Event

1.) Open The United Gate Tag Team Champions The Bravado Brothers (with Moose) vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian: ***1/4

Here we had another make good for the lack of Dragon Gate Talent. Since, at the time, Daniels & Kazarian were still under contracts with TNA, they couldn't appear on the actual iPPV. As you see above, it was eventually released on Youtube later on. It was a good, yet basic tag match. I don't think it was as good as one might think, mainly due to the crowd. They were mostly not there, again due to all the nonsensical BS that occurred earlier. Still, it was fine for what it was. Daniels & Kazarian pick up the win.

Overall: 6.75/10

Thank God for that opening match!! It saved this show from being a compete disaster. The whole Teddy Hart/Larry Dallas fiasco, and that entire match in general, is one of the worst things I've ever seen in any independent promotion. It was just so incredibly stupid, and it pretty much killed the crowd for the rest of the show. At points, the crowd even turned on the show. You know you're in deep trouble when you're getting "Fire Russo" (and Russo isn't even involved with your company), "This Is Stupid", "End This Match", and "Save This Show" Chants. Everything else following that abortion of a match suffered immensely. For all the high points Dragon Gate USA had in its first few years, this definitely has to be the lowest point in the promotion's history. Especially when you consider that this took place on WrestleMania Weekend. I don't even know what to say. Honestly, I can't believe I paid for this. Simply put, watch ONLY the opening match, and if you really want to, the Main Event. Otherwise, stay away from this at all costs.

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