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Review: Dragon Gate “Dead or Alive 2011” Pay-Per-View

by on May 24, 2011

By Dean Knickerbocker

Since the beginning of 2010, one can make an argument that New Japan Pro Wrestling is the top wrestling company in the world when one looks at a combination of match quality, filling the arena and crowd reaction to the product itself.  But not far behind NJPW is Dragon Gate.   Dragon Gate puts on excellent high flying wrestling matches from top to bottom of every card and has a loyal and rabid fan base that makes every Dragon Gate show exciting and enjoyable.  And for 2011, the promotion has been firing on all cylinders with great wrestling and compelling angles.

I will admit that I was not always the biggest Dragon Gate fan.  I much preferred a more deliberate and psychological based style, such as All Japan in the 1990’s.  Often the failure to even remotely sell a high impact move and move rapidly from one high spot to another truly prevented me from completely enjoying  the product.  But in 2011, I have religiously watched every episode of Infinity and truly enjoyed the television and the wrestling and angles.  In fact, I would say that Infinity 208 (PAC vs Naoki Taniaki and Mochizuku/Fuji vs Horiguichi/Saito) may be the greatest hour of television wrestling I
have ever seen.  2011 has featured hot angles, such as the formation of Blood Warriors, disbanding of World-1, return of Shingo Takagi and the creation of the new elimination/revival tag format.

All of this leads us into the first major PPV show of the year for Dragon Gate’s Dead or Alive 2011. I wont give a detailed match by match review of the card.  I am sure you can find those in multiple places if you look.  But rather than that, just download the show and watch it.  You won’t be disappointed.

1. Super Shisa & Syachihoko Machine vs. Super Shenlong II & Takuya Tomakomai
A standard opener.  Equal parts wrestling and comedy. Enjoyable.
2. Don Fujii & Kenichiro Arai vs. Naoki Tanizaki & Metal Warrior
Good, fun, short, brawling-style match.

3. Susumu Yokosuka vs. Yasushi Kanda
Another fun intense match between enemies in the midst of a feud.

4. Open the Brave Gate Title: PAC © vs. Naruki Doi
Amazing match. What you would expect between these two and then some; brawling, mat wrestling and high flying.  This and the Dream Gate Title bout were the matches of the night.
5. Open the Twin Gate Unified Tag Title:
Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi ©vs. Masato Yoshino & BxB Hulk
Very good, but too short in my view.  I was looking forward to this match more than any other. Horiguichi/Saito are the best tag team in the world in my view.  The emotion at the end by the loser would go a long way towards making wins and losses matter in a promotion such as WWE.
6. Captain’s Fall Loser Revives Survival Elimination Match
Blood WARRIORS vs. KAMIKAZE: CIMA, Gamma, Dragon Kid (Captain), Ricochet vs.Shingo Takagi (Captain), Cyber Kong, Taku Iwasa & KAGETORA
Great match.  Crazy fun.  Tons of spots.  But the end was not all that realistic and not how I would have done it.  Still a great, great match.  The only thing this lacked was the in-match scorecard like they show on Infinities.
7. Open the Dream Gate Title: Masaaki Mochizuki © vs. YAMATO
– Amazing match between two of Dragon Gates best. Lots of psychology and storytelling in this one.  I loved every second of it.
What are you waiting for?  One of the best Puro shows of the year.  If you haven’t already, start downloading it now!!
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