It's not so much that I don't like high-flying; it's that I prefer heavy mat work. High-flying, if used artfully, can add to the rhythm of a match. What I have resented is the overuse of high-flying antics, and their use to minimize the contact between wrestlers. Now, having watched Dragon Gate USA's Uprising 2011 from beginning to end once--and two or three matches twice or more--I have decided that if I'm going to watch high-flyers wrestling, I am going to watch Ricochet, 5'10", 163#. The man is amazing, daring as a trapezist, yet lethal as a ninja. Other men climb the ropes, some men walk on the ropes, but Ricochet dances on the ropes, and his dance is malevolent and deadly. This is high-flying I can get behind.
These shots show Ricochet in a three-way match against two men who are no slacks: PAC, 5'8", 171#, and Rich Swann, 5'6", 165#. And he demolishes them. Everybody's surprised by this, even the DGUSA fanboys who've seen it all, even (especially) the godlike PAC. On the weight of this match alone, the main event of Uprising 2011, I am forced to reassess my previous prejudice against Dragon Gate, my assumptions that it was pretty but not tough and fast but not intense. I must admit that I was somehow under the impression that DGUSA was for kids, ages 10 to 15, perhaps. I thought that it was all Chikara-like characters in Pokemon suits and G-rated baggy britches, not that there's anything wrong with any of that, but that there would be precious little skin and muscle on display. I was wrong. So wrong.
Even the name "Ricochet" suggests what's at work here. "A shot or hit that rebounds one or more times off a surface." Not simply "moving through the air," not just "moving suddenly or quickly," but hitting stuff and bouncing against and off it, like bullets. A ricochet is risky. It's wild, unpredictable, perilous. The word apparently even originated as military jargon, in reference to weapons and martial tactics.
I had seen a lot of Ricochet in matches before ... when he was younger, boyish, cute, but not dangerous, safe for your ten-year-old daughter to develop a crush on. I hadn't seen much of him since he turned mean, arrogant, manly, and sexy ... oh, God, so sexy. The man is a living, breathing cum shot. And the man is looking for a fight, too. I get the sense that he's looking for a fight all the time, even when he goes on picnics, if he ever goes on picnics. He seems 100% bad-ass. Ricochet, PAC, and Rich showed me something I had not seen before--and I have seen a lot over the years, though admittedly not everything--I have even seen a lot of the stuff they were doing, just never so artfully and excitingly done.
So, see, I'm open to new things. I'm willing to give second chances to things I once thought of as not to my tastes. I won't go so far as to say that I'm a Dragon Gate fan now, but I am definitely interested in seeing more of its stuff. And I'm definitely interested in seeing more of Ricochet's matches.