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Philadelphia, PA – August 11, 2007
It’s a cold open right to the arena tonight. Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Falls Count Anywhere – Mark Briscoe vs. El Generico
The match actually starts with all four men brawling in the aisle, but Jay and Steen quickly brawl their way to the back. Mark and Generico battle around ringside, and Mark hits a perfect shooting star press off the top rope to the floor for a two-count. Back in the ring Mark hits a Samoan Drop for two. They go right back to the floor and Mark tries a leap off the apron but Generico sidesteps him. Mark comes back with a bodyslam and tries to balance on the barricade. Generico joins him up there and actually hits a suplex down to the floor! That’s different. It gets a two-count. Back in the ring Generico hits a cross body block off the top rope for two. Generico hits a split-legged moonsault for another two. Briscoe comes back with a Merosault and then some patented Briscoe Karate. He hits a springboard missile dropkick that sends Generico to the floor. He hits a baseball slide dropkick and then goes up to the apron. Generico recovers and hits a belly-to-back suplex off the apron for a two-count. They battle up the aisle and Generico hits a running boot to the face for a two-count. Briscoe comes back with an exploder on the ramp for a near-fall. Steen comes running out with a ladder and tries to hit Briscoe with it, but he eats a superkick instead. Generico then leaps through the ropes to grab Briscoe in an impressive swinging DDT on the floor to get the pin at 8:19. That was a great opener with a couple of spots I don’t believe I’d ever seen before. They probably had a few more minutes in them.
Jay comes out to battle Steen but gets thrown into the guardrail. Steen and Generico then make their way to the back.
Backstage the No Remorse Corps is getting ready for their Philadelphia Street Fight tonight. They’re making a, let’s call it “interesting” fashion statement. As usual Davey Richards is treated like the whipping boy of the group.
MATCH #2: Jack Evans vs. Deranged
This is Deranged’s first appearance since the disaster at Unforgettable that didn’t even make the DVD. Before the match can actually start a crazed fan jumps over the guardrail, screaming about Project 161 into a megaphone. Security throws him out and the match commences in the ring. Evans controls the early part of the match, hitting the handspring elbow and a springboard knee to the back of the head for two. He tries another handspring elbow but Deranged avoids it and hits a kick to the face. Deranged then hits a springboard double stomp to send Evans to the floor, and he follows him out and an Asai Moonsault. Back in the ring Deranged gets a two-count. Deranged hits a delayed vertical suplex for two. Evans tries to fight up but Deranged hits a rana and a running knee strikes to the face. Deranged hits a springboard tornado DDT for a near-fall. He tries a Code Red but somehow manages to drop himself on his head. Evans tries to cover their blunder with a kick to the head, but I saw it. He hits a twisting senton for two. A running knee strike gets another two-count for Evans. Then Evans goes up top and Deranged joins him there. A contrived little sequence ends with Evans hitting the Tree of Woe double knees to the chest. Evans finishes the match with the 630 Splash at 6:51. Other than the botched Code Red and the little bit at the finish there, this wasn’t a terrible match, but it certainly didn’t win Deranged his job back either.
MATCH #3: Nigel McGuinness & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Hero & Jigsaw
Hero is accompanied by Larry Sweeney, Tank Toland, and Bobby Dempsey. This is the first time either of these two teams has been a team. Castagnoli and Hero start the match, thus Hero stalls for a while and then makes the tag to Jigsaw, so Castagnoli makes the tag to McGuinness Jigsaw tags Hero back in. Whew. McGuinness goes to work on the arm and Hero responds by showing off his athletic skill. While Hero is distracted McGuinness tags Castagnoli, who scares Hero to the floor. Back in the ring Jigsaw gets tagged in once again. They take it down to the mat and then Castagnoli tags McGuinness. This match has finally gotten going after a bunch of stalling. They continue on with the pattern of Hero avoiding Castagnoli. After a brief exchange Jigsaw tries to bail to the floor but Castagnoli grabs him and pulls him all the way over the top rope and back into the ring for a European Uppercut. That was awesome. Castagnoli hits the rope-walk elbow drop for two and then makes the tag. McGuinness hits a huge lariat for a two-count. He sets up for the Tower of London but Hero breaks it up and now Hero will tag in to the match. Hero and Jigsaw work on McGuinness’s arm while Dempsey does jumping jacks and Sweeney talks on his cell phone. Finally after several minutes McGuinness makes the hot tag. Castagnoli hits Hero with the Match Killer, and then uses the Giant Swing on Jigsaw. He hits Hero with a pop-up European Uppercut and the Alpamare Water Slide for two. He sets Hero on the top rope and then misses a step up enziguiri. Jigsaw climbs onto Hero’s shoulders and hits a legdrop, and Hero follows with a double stomp for two. McGuinness broke up that pinfall and then blasts Hero with a lariat. He hits Jigsaw with the Tower of London and then kicks him to the floor. He throws Jigsaw into the barricade. The referee gets distracted and Hero hits Castagnoli with his Race to the Top Trophy to get the pinfall at 15:00. That took its sweet time getting going, but three of these guys are amazing so they sort of won me back.
After the match Sweeney holds Castagnoli’s head against the trophy and Hero double stomps it off the top rope! Castagnoli is busted open. McGuinness comes back to make the save for his European Union tag team partner.
Backstage Bryan Danielson is sporting a black eye. Tonight he is taking on Mike Quackenbush. He promises that Quackenbush will be just another stepping stone on his way to regaining the Ring of Honor World Championship.
MATCH #4: SHIMMER Title Match – Sara Del Rey vs. Lacey
Del Rey has been the champion since 6.2.07 (defeating Lacey) and this is her second defense. The champion starts the match aggressively, throwing Lacey around the ring and working the arm. Daizee Haze is watching and studying from the entrance. Del Rey kicks Lacey in the chest to send her to the floor. She chases Lacey around the ring and hits her with a forearm. Lacey gives it right back to her but Del Rey wins that battle with a rolling elbow. Del Rey tries a somersault off the apron but Lacey moves out of the way and Del Rey lands with a thud. Back in the ring Lacey gets a two-count. The challenger is firmly in control now, working the champion’s back. She hits the Rain Drop for a two-count. Del Rey fights back with a big powerbomb out of nowhere and both women are down. I don’t understand why Haze keeps shaking her head while she’s watching the match. Anyway Del Rey is unleashing a flurry of offense now. She hits a back senton for two. She tries the Royal Butterfly but Lacey escapes and goes right back to the back. Lacey goes for the Implant DDT but has to settle for a lungblower for a couple of near-falls. Del Rey avoids the Implant DDT and gets a schoolgirl rollup for two. Lacey comes back and hits an elevated swinging neckbreaker for two. Del Rey comes back with a hard German Suplex with a bridge for a two-count. She sets Lacey up on the top turnbuckle, and Lacey flies off with a sunset flip. Del Rey rolls through that into the Royal Butterfly into a slam to get the pin at 12:37. They got enough time and were able to tell a solid story, which rarely happens in ROH women’s matches.
Backstage Brent Albright says tonight is the night he’s been waiting for. He promises that Morishima will either have to get out or tap out.
MATCH #5: Bryan Danielson vs. Mike Quackenbush
Oh goody, a Mike Quackenbush match. Danielson goes right after the arm, but Quackenbush counters and they find themselves locked in a simultaneous headstand. Quackenbush goes after the arm as well, but Danielson breaks his hold and hits a dropkick. It doesn’t do much damage though, so Quackenbush hits a series of armdrags, frustrating Danielson more than anything. Danielson backs Quackenbush into the corner and hits a series of kicks, and then lands a snap suplex with a bridge for two. Now Danielson is going after the neck. He hits three knee drops to the face for a two-count. Danielson hits a series of slaps to the face, which Quackenbush takes exception to. Danielson weathers the storm and goes right back to work. He tries the surfboard but can’t quite lock it in before Quackenbush reaches the ropes. He hits a series of kicks to the chest for a two-count. Now Danielson goes back to work on the arm. He locks on a rather painful looking submission hold but can’t quite get the submission. Once again Quackenbush puts on his angry face and fires back. Quackenbush knocks Danielson to the floor and follows him out with a somersault dive. Danielson appears to have injured his shoulder. Back in the ring Quackenbush hits the Black Tornado Slam and locks on a submission. That one doesn’t get a submission so he tries another one. That one doesn’t work either and Danielson goes back on offense, hitting a Tiger Suplex with a bridge for two. He locks on the Cross Face Chicken Wing, but Quackenbush is able to reach the bottom rope. Quackenbush comes back with a Cross Face Chicken Wing of his own but Danielson quickly breaks it. He gets a quick pinning combination but Danielson rolls it into the Cattle Mutilation. Danielson rolls that into a cradle for two. Quackenbush gets up and hits Paroxysm for two. He goes up top and hits double knees for a two-count. He then locks on the Stretch Plum and then turns that into a Cross Armbreaker, but Danielson reaches the ropes. Back on their feet they exchange strikes. Quackenbush gets an inside cradle for a two-count. Danielson pops up and locks on the triangle choke and hits elbows to the head and the referee stops the match at 17:07. That was well executed and Quackenbush kept the nonsense to a minimum. Danielson was on a roll at this point, as if he ever wasn’t.
Bill Apter is backstage with the Resilience, who is also making an interesting fashion statement. They’re joined by Delirious for the big eight-man street fight tonight.
MATCH #6: Lights Out Match – Jay Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen
The rules of a Lights Out match are the same as for a Last Man Standing match. The fists immediately start flying. Steen knocks Briscoe to the floor with a forearm and follows him out with a somersault over the top rope. They continue brawling on the floor, trading control, hitting each other with punches kicks and forearms. Back in the ring Briscoe goes up top for a missile dropkick. Briscoe is just all over Steen, kicking him all over. Steen pops out of the corner with a superkick and then hits a cannonball. They get back to their feet and exchange forearms and then slaps. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver but Briscoe fights it off and hits a rana, only to get grabbed in a pumphandle neckbreaker for a two-count. They take the fight to the top rope and Steen knocks Briscoe down. Steen goes for a Swanton but Briscoe gets the knees up. Briscoe locks on a Stretch Plum and then pulls him up for a lariat. He knocks Steen to the floor and hits a slingshot dive. Back in the ring Briscoe hits a guillotine legdrop. They take it back to the floor and Briscoe goes for a Jay Driller but Steen counters with a backdrop. Steen then launches the back of Briscoe’s head into the barricade. Briscoe makes it back to his feet and they battle on the ring apron. He hits Steen with a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron and both men are down. Back in the ring Steen locks on a sleeper and Briscoe counters with a release German Suplex. Steen comes back with a step-up enziguiri and a Package Piledriver! Briscoe gets up at eight so Steen goes for another one and Briscoe slips out and hits the Jay Driller! Steen makes it back to his feet, and then Generico sneaks in the ring and hits the running Yakuza Kick. Generico hits another one and Steen follows up with another Package Piledriver and Briscoe’s Lights are Out at 14:11. That was another good brutal match in this feud. These four just had crazy chemistry together as opponents.
MATCH #7: ROH World Title Match – Takeshi Morishima vs. Brent Albright
Morishima has been the champion since 2.17.07 and this is his fourteenth defense. They immediately start throwing bombs, and Morishima takes his challenger down. Albright tries a dropkick but it gets shrugged off, so he bodyslams the champ instead. He solo clubbers Morishima down in the corner and then knocks him into the guardrail. Outside the ring Morishima tries a clothesline but Albright ducks and he hits the ring post. Like a shark smelling blood, Albright goes right to work on the arm back inside the ring. After several minutes Morishima fights back with a side slam and Albright rolls to the apron. Morishima knocks him off the apron into the guardrail. You know, tit for tit. The champ goes outside the ring and runs Albright’s head into the barricade. He sets Albright up in a chair and then runs ass-first into him. Back in the ring Morishima hits the cartwheel avalanche and Albright crumples down to the mat. Morishima goes up top and hits the missile dropkick for two. He bowls Albright over with his girth and gets another two-count. Albright shows fighting spirit and hits a powerslam. Both men are down. They get back up and Albright hits a couple of chops, and then catches Morishima on a butt-butt attempt and hits a German suplex for two! That’s a great spot. Albright locks on the Crowbar and Morishima reaches the ropes. The challenger foolishly tries a sunset flip and Morishima crashes down on his chest for a two-count. Morishima hits a big boot to the face and goes for the Back Drop Driver but Albright falls on top of him for a two-count. Albright once again locks on the Crowbar and the crowd is buying it. Morishima powers out of the hold and hits the Back Drop Driver but Albright kicks out at two! The champ goes up top again and Albright meets him there to hit a superplex. Morishima pops right back up and Albright has to hit two Half Nelson Suplexes to keep the big man down for a two-count. The crowd chants “that was three.” Albright goes for one more Half Nelson Suplex but Morishima blocks it. Morishima hits a cross body block for two and then comes charging right into a belly-to-belly suplex. He ducks a clothesline and hits a release German Suplex and a big lariat for two! Morishima then hits one more Back Drop Driver and Albright is counted down at 15:15. That was another great title defense by Morishima, who had an uncanny ability to make it look like anyone MIGHT be the guy to beat him even though he was so huge. That’s quite the achievement, especially with cynical ROH fans. Speaking of them, they give Albright a standing ovation.
MATCH #8: Philadelphia Street Fight – The Resilience & Delirious vs. No Remorse Corps & Matt Sydal
Roderick Strong gets on the microphone and says that they eliminated Austin Aries last night, so he gives Matt Cross, Erick Stevens, and Delirious the option to not go through with the match lest they want to get beaten up. Aries runs in out of nowhere and hits Strong, Sydal, Rocky Romero, and Davey Richards with a weapon. The fight quickly spills to the floor. Strong pairs off with Stevens, Delirious with Romero, Sydal with Cross, and Richards with Aries. They’re fighting all over the arena, clearing fans out of their way. Cross leaps to the top of the bleachers and Sydal joins him up there. Everyone else migrates over to the bleachers for some reason. Cross knocks Sydal off the bleachers onto the six bodies below, and then runs up the wall and dives onto everyone! The first two back in the ring are Cross and Sydal. Delirious and Romero are battling by the barricade not too far away. Cross and Sydal go right back to the floor and Richards gets in the ring. Richards hits a slingshot dive onto a pile of chairs stacked on top of Cross. Sydal brings a ladder in the ring and quickly falls victim to a Panic Attack from Delirious. Romero hits Delirious with a flying knee strike for two. Aries and Stevens recover and bring a rake into the ring to take the advantage.
Stevens hits a Choo-Choo on Romero and Strong stacked up in the corner, but misses on his second attempt and crashes into the ladder. Richards pulls Aries to the floor and they brawl. In the ring Delirious hits Strong with the Cobra Clutch Suplex onto a ladder. Romero hits Delirious with a Tiger Suplex and a knockout kick, but Cross breaks up the pin by throwing a chair. Cross hits Romero with a Death Valley Neckbreaker and then double stomps Romero into a chair for two. He goes for the same move on Sydal, but Sydal moves out of the way and hits a fisherman buster on a chair. Stevens comes in and hits Sydal with a TKO on a ladder. He avoids Richards’s stupid handspring spin kick and throws a chair at him. Out on the floor Strong hits Stevens with a powerbomb. Inside the ring Aries kicks Richards in the balls and DDT’s him on a chair. Strong breaks up the cover there with a huge kick to the face. Back outside the ring Strong battles with Delirious, and Sydal jumps from the top rope over the guardrail to knock Delirious off a table. Richards and Aries fight by one of the camera scaffolds with a table set up. Aries throws powder and sets Richards up on the table. Cross hits the Flag Pole Press on Richards to break the table. Aries drags Strong back to ringside and the others follow.
In the ring Richards hits Aries with a powerbomb for two. Strong and Richards double-team Aries while Delirious battles Sydal on the floor. Stevens tries running off the apron at Strong but gets swatted out of the air with a chair, and then cracked in the skull with the chair again. Back in the ring Aries hits Richards with a brainbuster on a chair. Aries goes for another brainbuster on Strong, but instead hits him with the Stroke. He goes up top and Richards hits his injured ankle with a chair. Stevens is busted open from the chair shots. Strong and Richards now double-team Stevens in the ring. Stevens recovers and powerslams Richards off the apron and through a table. Strong and Stevens are back in the ring slugging away at each other. Stevens hits a modified powerbomb for two. Strong comes back and hurls a ladder into Stevens’ face. He sets up two chairs and puts the ladder between them. He goes for a Gibson Driver but Stevens avoids it and hits a release German Suplex and a lariat for two! Strong and Stevens fight up on the top rope and Strong hits a half nelson backbreaker off the top rope through the ladder and then locks on the Stronghold and Stevens is done for at 33:50. That was an insane brawl throughout the arena. They probably could have cut it down five or six minutes, but these guys did some insane spots and this felt like a big feud ender. That’s just too bad for the Resilience.
The Pulse: Much like last night, the last two matches are the best on the show, but the undercard of this one is much better than the previous night’s, making for an overall better show. The main event was great, and this felt like one of the biggest shows of the year. I forgot how much I liked Takeshi Morishima, and his match with Brent Albright was surprisingly excellent. I highly recommend this show.