Last year I sat across the table from this guy and we got to talking. Turns out we both appreciate wrestling and Jewish education. Not to mention we run blogs. Below is an interview with wrestling blogger Brad Garoon. Check out his site and of course Dragon Gate wrestling.
1) Tell TGR a little bit about yourself?
My name is Brad Garoon. I run Open the Garoon Gate which you can find at http://bgsays.wordpress.com/. It’s the most comprehensive Dragon Gate and Dragon Gate USA blog there is. I also record English commentary on Dragon Gate’s Japanese PPVs, which can be found at IVPvideos.com. You can also hear me talk about Dragon Gate on the Cool Kids’ Table podcast on PWPonderings.com. I also have my MA in Jewish Education, but that’s besides the point.
2) What got you interested in writing a wrestling blog?
When I was in college I lived with independent wrestler Jimmy Jacobs and got a gig writing Ring of Honor DVD reviews for 411mania.com. I ran an indy wrestling website and podcast called The Cool Kids’ Table for a while. After a while my wrestling interests became pretty solely focused on Dragon Gate, so I started Open the Garoon Gate as a place where I could keep all my Dragon Gate stuff archived.
3) Whats the coolest thing about your blog? What should readers know?
My blog is the link to everything you need to know about the history of Dragon Gate. I’ve reviewed every single Dragon Gate show ever, so for those who have trouble watching shows in Japanese because they don’t know what’s happening, it’s a good companion piece. Recently I’ve started recording English commentary over Dragon Gate’s Japanese PPVs, making them more accessible to American fans. There is Dragon Gate USA coverage on there too, giving you more information about shows featuring Dragon Gate wrestlers that you can see live in the United States.
4) Who are the top Dragon Gate wrestlers? How do they compare to the US wrestlers?
My favorite Dragon Gate wrestlers are CIMA, Shingo Takagi, YAMATO, Akira Tozawa and Masaaki Mochizuki. Those guys make Rey Mysterio and look like the big show. The things they can do in the ring really have to be seen to be believed. There’s also a fella named Cyber Kong there who has a gimmick similar to Kane’s, but wrestles a lot more like Brock Lesnar. All are well worth checking out. You can easily see a lot of their matches by going to dgusa.tv and buying some of their DVDs.
5) Favorite wrestler of all time?
My favorite wrestler ever is probably Randy Savage, but I’ve always been a massive fan of Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Ric Flair and although I’m always embarrassed to admit it, Sid. My favorite non-Dragon Gate wrestler today is Daniel Bryan. As a matter of fact, when he got fired from WWE for that whole necktie nonsense he did a short run through Dragon Gate USA and had one of the best matches of the last few years against Shingo Takagi there.
6) Best match you have ever seen?
Asking me the best match I’ve ever seen is like asking me to pic amongst my children. But I’ve watched Flair vs. Savage from WrestleMania VIII dozens of times and it never gets old. I also love Austin vs. HHH from No Way Out 2001 and Austin vs. Rock from WrestleMania X-7. I think those are the two best modern matches, and it kind of blows my mind that they happened over a decade ago.
7) Over the top Battle Royal. Who wins? Goldberg, Macho Man (alive of course), Colt Cabana, The Genius, Kane, Kurt Angel, The Genuis, or Barry Horowitz?
Since Yokozuna isn’t on that list I’m going with Randy Savage. You’re not a real wrestling fan unless you know to what I’m referring.
8) Ever use wrestling and Jewish education together?
I used professional wrestling as an example of suspension of disbelief a lot throughout graduate school and while teaching Hebrew school. I think the logical leaps we take with wrestling in order to feel entertained and overjoyed by it are similar to those we take as spiritual seekers.
Thanks to Brad for the time. We will keep an eye out for more Dragon Gate news.
And Let Us Say…Amen.
– Jeremy Fine