Inside Pulse Wrestling » Jake Ziegler http://wrestling.insidepulse.com Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:37:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Inside Pulse Wrestling no Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Inside Pulse Wrestling » Jake Ziegler http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://wrestling.insidepulse.com A2Z Analysiz: WWE Survivor Series 2008 (Chris Jericho, John Cena) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/18/a2z-analysiz-wwe-survivor-series-2008-chris-jericho-john-cena-2/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/18/a2z-analysiz-wwe-survivor-series-2008-chris-jericho-john-cena-2/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 14:00:31 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168960 sur ser 08

For an easy to navigate archive of my many WWE DVD reviews, please visit World Wrestling Reviews.

Boston Gardens – Boston, Massachusetts – November 23, 2008

MATCH #1: Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match – Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Great Khali & Cryme Tyme vs. JBL, Kane, MVP, The Miz & John Morrison

MVP and Mysterio start for their respective teams. Mysterio gets the early advantage and tags in JTG. They double team MVP, but he quickly reverses the momentum with a dropkick to JTG’s knee. He then hits a variation of the Shining Wizard and JTG is eliminated at 1:40. MVP celebrates and doesn’t notice Khali enter the ring. He turns around and gets leveled with a chop to the head and MVP is eliminated at 1:56. Kane enters next and the two behemoths slug it out. Khali gets the advantage and the crowd chants his name, so I would just like to point out that I started that bandwagon. Khali knocks Kane down and tags in Mysterio. He goes up to Khali’s shoulders and hits a splash on Kane to eliminate him at 3:27. Morrison comes in but Mysterio has counters for all of his offense. He tags in Shad, who uses Mysterio as a weapon against Morrison. Shad press slams Morrison and then charges at him in the corner. Morrison avoids it and tags in the Miz. They double team him in their half of the ring. Shad comes back with a double clothesline and several more after that. The double teaming of Miz and Morrison eventually catches up with him though, and Miz hits the Reality Check to eliminate Shad at 6:31.

Michaels makes his first appearance in the match and Miz takes control of him. JBL even gets in on the action, as they keep Michaels isolated from his partners. Michaels finally makes the comeback and makes the hot tag to Mysterio. He hits the 619 on Miz and a top-rope splash to eliminate Miz at 11:46. Morrison is in next but JBL makes a blind tag and shoulder blocks Mysterio down. JBL and Morrison work on Mysterio’s back, and keep him isolated from his fresh partners. Mysterio is able to block a superplex attempt and hit a moonsault, and then makes the tag to Michaels. He brawls with JBL and they take it to the floor. Michaels almost hits Sweet Chin Music, and while JBL breathes a sigh of relief, Michaels gets back in the ring before the 10 count and JBL is counted out at 17:53. Morrison tries to superkick Michaels but he ducks it and nails Morrison with one to eliminate him and win the match at 18:13. That was a fun enough opener.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Smackdown vs. Raw Divas Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match – Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Candice Michelle & Jillian vs. Michelle McCool, Maria, Maryse, Natalya & Victoria

Thankfully Santino Marella comes out with the Raw Divas. Women’s Champion Phoenix and Divas Champion McCool start the match. Phoenix uses her power and McCool uses her agility. Maryse tags herself in and then knocks her own partner McCool off the apron, triggering a brawl between them that their teammates have to break up. Before Maryse can make any contact she tags out to Maria, whom Phoenix immediately manhandles. Maria comes back with some kicks and a head scissors. Kelly tags herself into the match and she and Maria do some very staged looking wrestling. Victoria tags herself in and Kelly hits a rana and is able to hold Victoria down and eliminate her at 2:56. Maryse comes in and hits a spinning backbreaker on Kelly to eliminate her at 3:24. The best part of that is Maryse totally groped Kelly’s boob on the cover. Mickie comes in now and Maryse tags out to McCool. She gets a cover and Maria tries to break it up but accidentally hits her own partner. Mickie then hits a DDT to eliminate the Divas Champion at 5:08. Maryse then rolls Mickie up and eliminates her at 5:27. Candice and Natalya enter the ring for the first time. Natalya takes her down and puts on the Sharpshooter. Jillian breaks that up, which distracts Natalya long enough for Candice to spear him and get a jackknife pin to eliminate Natalya at 6:47.

Maria and Jillian are in the ring now. Jillian hits a Samoan Drop but Maria kicks out at two. She hits a cartwheel elbow, but Maria comes out of the corner with a victory roll to eliminate Jillian at 7:45. Candice then hits Maria with a Northern Lights Suplex to eliminate her at 7:56. We’re down to Phoenix and Candice against Maryse. Maryse puts Candice in a leg submission and she’s eliminated at 8:27. Phoenix comes in and Maryse nails her with a kick to the back of the head. Phoenix kicks out and whips Maryse into the turnbuckle. She eats an elbow coming in, but catches Maryse in a leap off the second rope. Maryse sneaks out and gets a rollup for two. She tries a DDT but Phoenix reverses it and hits the Glam Slam to win the match at 9:40. That was really short and truthfully wasn’t too bad. I didn’t realize Maryse got entertaining.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Casket Match – Undertaker vs. Big Show

Their last two matches on pay-per-view were very good; let’s hope this one follows suit. Show attacks right away, but Undertaker is almost able to dump him into the casket right away. They battle on the floor, with Show in control. He whips Undertaker into the barricade and continues throwing punches everywhere. He tries to do something involving the ECW announce table, but Undertaker counters by hitting him in the face with a monitor. That knocks Show out long enough for Undertaker to hit a leg drop to the back of the head, breaking the table. They head back to the ring and Undertaker starts working the arm. He goes up for Old School but Show knocks him down and hits a nice suplex. Show whips Undertaker into the turnbuckles and follows up with a side slam. He rolls Undertaker into the casket, but refuses to close the lid himself. That’s rather silly. He argues with the referees about it, giving Undertaker more than enough time to recover. Undertaker hits a series of punches and the flying clothesline. He runs at Show in the corner and eats a back elbow. Show goes up to the second rope in a Vader Bomb position, but Undertaker recovers and Choke Slams him down to the mat. He boots Show in the head and that sends him into the casket. He tries to close the lid but Show locks it and escapes. Back in the ring Show hits a Choke Slam of his own. He then tips the casket over and starts walking towards the back. Undertaker magically conjures up a wall of fire to keep Show from going to the back. He follows Show up the aisle and gets taken down. Now some druids come out with another casket. Show stands the casket upright and runs Undertaker’s head into it. He sets it up again, but this time Undertaker whips him into it, and it the momentum knocks it over and the lid shuts at 12:44. This lacked the intensity of their other two matches, and the gimmick handicapped them somewhat as well. I mean, it’s a good thing that Undertaker has druids who appear to bring him caskets whenever he needs one.
Rating: *½

MATCH #4: Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match – Batista, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth & Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, William Regal, Shelton Benjamin & Mark Henry

I like that the Intercontinental and U.S. Champions are on the same team. Punk attacks Regal right away and hits the Go to Sleep and eliminates the Intercontinental Champion in just 0:11! U.S. Champion Benjamin tries to get a quick rollup on Punk but he kicks out at two. A replay shows that Layla threw her shoe at Punk after he pinned Regal. Punk tags in Kingston. He and Benjamin had a feud over the summer in ECW that produced some good matches. Kingston hits a dropkick for two. Benjamin comes back with a forearm to the face and tags in Henry. He pounds on Kingston and then Rhodes gets tagged in. Kingston recovers and tags in Hardy. He gets a few shots in and tags Truth. He also gets a few shots in and then tags Batista. Rhodes scurries away and then tags Benjamin back in. Batista dominates the U.S. Champion as Striker falsely claims that Batista and Orton have never faced each other one-on-one. Hardy gets tagged in and Benjamin catches him charging into the corner with an elbow. He tags in Orton, who gets caught with a bulldog for two. Hardy hits a bodyslam but misses the moonsault. Orton tags Henry, who slugs away on the man he lost the ECW title to. Rhodes gets tagged in as Hardy continues to be abused in the corner. A double knockdown leads to Benjamin and Truth getting tagged in. Truth quickly gets a rollup for two and then another kick for another two-count. Truth hits some twisting maneuver that I don’t think another human being could pull off even by accident. What was that? Benjamin doesn’t know either, but he hits Paydirt anyway to eliminate Truth at 7:39. Kingston comes in the ring with a flying body press for two. He’s all over the U.S. Champion but can’t quite put him away. Henry stops his momentum with a shot from the apron, and then he gets tagged in. He abuses Kingston for a minute and then tags Orton. He delivers the Garvin Stomp to Kingston, which is somehow vintage Randy Orton. He hits the elevated DDT and Kingston is gone at 10:45.

Punk comes in and goes on the attack. Orton quickly tags out to Rhodes, who lands a nice dropkick and a drop toe hold. He wrenches Punk’s arm. Punk comes back with a cross body block for two. He follows up with a swinging neckbreaker for another two. The running knee in the corner and bulldog combo also gets two. Punk goes to the top rope and Manu distracts him. Rhodes is able to dump Punk down to the mat. He hits a DDT and Punk is gone at 13:10. Hardy comes in and hits the Side Effect for two. Rhodes fights him off and tags Henry. He charges Hardy in the corner but misses. Hardy hits the Side Effect on Henry but it only gets two. He leaps off the second rope but gets caught in the World’s Strongest Slam and Hardy is gone at 14:21. Now Batista is all alone, so his first order of business is to hit Henry with a Spear and eliminate him at 14:32. Benjamin comes in the ring and gets caught with a spine buster. Batista follows up with the Batista Bomb and the U.S. Champion is gone at 15:05. Rhodes tries to attack the Animal but takes a huge clothesline and a powerslam for his troubles. Manu gets up on the apron to distract, giving Rhodes the chance to try his DDT. Batista blocks it and hits the Batista Bomb. However, Orton was able to make the blind tag, and he sneaks in and hits the RKO to eliminate Batista and win the match at 16:12, and gets a pretty good pop for it. The rapid fire eliminations in the final stretch were interesting, but I liked the overall structure of the eliminations, and having Orton and Rhodes survive was right.
Rating: ***

MATCH #5: Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship – Edge vs. Vladimir Kozlov vs. Triple H

Triple H has been champion since 4.27.08 and this is his eleventh defense. The crowd chants “We Want Jeff” right away as HHH and Kozlov chain wrestle. It doesn’t take long for “boring” chants to pop up as well. I have to say I agree with them there. The champion mostly dominates his challenger in the early minutes. HHH hits a spine buster and the crowd perks up a bit. He goes for the Pedigree but Kozlov blocks it and hits the battering ram right to the chest. He then whips the champion into the corner, who goes all the way to the floor. Kozlov follows him out and rams HHH’s back into the apron a couple of times. Back in the ring HHH tries a cross body block but takes fall away slam for his trouble for a near-fall. A running power slam also gets two. The challenger continues working the back. A spine buster gets two. Triple H finally comes back and hits a Pedigree. Both men are down, and Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero comes out. She says this will be a triple threat match after all, and exclaims “he’s here!” She of course means Edge, who hasn’t been seen since SummerSlam. The crowd pops pretty big for him. He hits the ring and nails HHH with a Spear. Then Jeff Hardy really does run out, and he goes after Edge. He winds up hitting both HHH and Kozlov with the chair, and then Edge spears him. That gives Edge the chance to cover Triple H and pin him to win the title for a third time at 14:21. While it was exciting to see Edge come back, the match itself was duller than dishwater. I’m all for giving new guys chances to shine, but Kozlov proved that he doesn’t yet have what it takes to be a major player.
Rating: *

MATCH #6: World Heavyweight Championship Match – John Cena vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho has been the champion since 11.3.08, and this is his first defense. The pop for Cena’s entrance is HUGE, no surprise given that he’s a Boston are native. It’s funny how they’re selling this as such a huge comeback for Cena, but he was only gone about three months. He tries an early FU but Jericho avoids it and bails. They go back to the ring and Jericho tries wearing Cena down with a headlock. He hits a shoulder block to knock Cena down, and the challenger bails this time. Cena comes back in all kinds of fired up. It looks like he wants to win the match early; perhaps he doesn’t trust his stamina after three months away. The champion weathers the storm and work’s on Cena’s injured neck. Cena comes back by reversing an Irish whip and hitting a clothesline. He body slams Jericho and drops an elbow for two. He whips Jericho into the turnbuckle but Jericho moves and goes right back to work on the neck. Cena fights back with a kick to the gut and then the Throwback. He thinks about going to the top rope but thinks better of it, and when he comes back in the ring Jericho kicks him and this a double-arm DDT for two. The announcers helpfully point out that Cena would be wary about going to the top rope since that’s where he got injured. Jericho places Cena’s head against the ring post and delivers a solid boot. Cena makes it back in before the 10 count, but he gets dumped right back to the floor and thrown into the ring steps. They go back to the ring and anytime Cena starts building any momentum Jericho cuts him right off.

Jericho puts on the full nelson. Cena briefly escapes but Jericho puts the hold right back on. The challenger once again powers out and then avoids Jericho’s bulldog. Cena hits a couple of shoulder blocks, but Jericho flips out of the Protoplex and hits the bulldog this time. Jericho tries a Lionsault but Cena avoids that and this time hits the Protoplex. He tries the Five-Knuckle Shuffle but Jericho grabs the legs and puts on the Walls of Jericho. Cena powers his way out of it but gets leveled with a clothesline. Jericho once again puts on the Walls of Jericho, right in the center of the ring. Cena crawls his way to the ropes to break the hold. Jericho argues with the referee and then runs right into an FU. Cena can’t make the cover right away so Jericho is able to kick out at two. Jericho is able to elbow a charging Cena in the corner, and then he drags Cena to the top rope with him. Cena ends up slamming Jericho down, and this time he goes to the top rope to hit the leg drop to the back of the neck. Cena tries another FU but Jericho elbows his way out of it and hits the Code Breaker and Cena kicks out at two! Jericho knocks the challenger right back down with a clothesline. The champion bides his time, and tries another clothesline but Cena avoids it and hits a drop toe hold right into the STFU! Cena breaks the hold before Jericho can reach the ropes, and Jericho is able to get a small package, which Cena reverses into the FU! That’s enough for Cena to get the pin and score his first World Heavyweight Championship and fourth World Title overall at 21:20. That wasn’t quite as good as their matches in August ’05, which is surprising since they’re both much better workers now. But still the psychology was solid and the crowd was really into the hometown boy.
Rating: ***¼
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A2Z Analysiz – ROH Glory by Honor XII: Champions vs. All-Stars (Adam Cole, Michael Elgin) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/15/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-xii-champions-vs-all-stars-adam-cole-michael-elgin-2/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/15/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-xii-champions-vs-all-stars-adam-cole-michael-elgin-2/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 14:00:43 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170664 GBH12

For an easy to navigate archive of all of my Ring of Honor DVD reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Frontier Fieldhouse – Chicago Ridge, Illinois – Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kevin Kelly does commentary solo for the preshow matches, and Nigel McGuinness joins him for the main show.

PRESHOW MATCH #1: The Romantic Touch vs. Will Ferrara

Touch kisses Ferrara’s hand after the handshake, and then he kicks Ferrara in the gut. Ferrara fights back but Touch cuts him off with a nice dropkick. Touch continues to beat Ferrara down with some basic offense. Ferrara comes back with some babyface fire and he heads up top. He misses a big cross body and Touch struts around the ring. Touch hits a Fisherman’s Buster to get the pin at 3:23. The Romantic Touch doesn’t do much for me as a character, but introducing him on the preshow is fine I guess. As for the match, it was a perfectly acceptable squash.
Rating: *½

PRESHOW MATCH #2: MsChif vs. Kasey Ray w/ The H.O.T.

Ray has Truth Martini and Scarlett Bordeaux in her corner. The smaller Ray actually slams MsChif down at the start. She pays for it though, as MsChif overpowers her and goes to work, stretching Ray out. Bordeaux gets on the apron to distract the referee, so MsChif kicks her down into Martini’s waiting arms. Ray takes advantage with a rollup for two. MsChif goes to run off the ropes but Martini and Bordeaux trip her up. Ray hits a Superkick and a standing moonsault for two. MsChif shrugs it off and hits a vertical suplex for a two-count. She hits the Eye of the Hurricane for another near-fall. MsChif goes to the ropes again and Martini grabs her leg, so MsChif screams at him and then pulls him up to the apron. Ray does a multiple handspring back elbow, and then hits a bulldog. She does more unnecessary flipping and hits a standing frog splash for two. MsChif decides she’s all done selling for that and hits the Desecrator for a two-count. A series of reversals ends with MsChif hitting a Choke Bomb to score the pin at 3:14. I know they only got three minutes, but MsChif looked completely disinterested in having a match with Kasey Ray, and Kasey Ray did some flips and not much else.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #1: Mark Briscoe vs. “Pro Wrestling’s Last Real Man” Silas Young

They brawl to start and quickly spill to the floor. Young hits a back body drop and goes for a suplex, but Mark reverses it and suplexes Young right on the edge of the ring frame. Mark follows up with a dropkick through the ropes and then takes Young out with a moonsault. Back in the ring Mark stays on offense, wearing Young down. Young gets himself back into it by back dropping Mark over the ropes and to the floor. He brings Mark back in the ring and hits a gourdbuster for two. Young is trying to work Mark over but Mark doesn’t seem interested in selling anything for poor Silas. Finally Young is able to come back and hit the backbreaker/clothesline combo for a two-count. Of course it doesn’t last and Mark sends Young back to the floor. Mark follows him out with the Cactus Elbow. Back in the ring Mark continues to beat on Young with his unique offense. Mark goes up top but Young avoids him. He charges into the corner and Young avoids him and gets a rollup with his feet on the ropes to get the pin at 9:02. That was an odd match, as Mark sold almost nothing and was on offense almost the entire match until Young cheated to win. How is that supposed to help Silas Young get more over? Does Mark need to be protected that much? After the bell Mark attacks and Young beats him down. Young takes off referee Todd Sinclair’s belt and whips Mark with it, and a gaggle of officials have to break it up.
Rating: **

MATCH #2: Jimmy Jacobs Trial Series Match #4 – “Zombie Princess” Jimmy Jacobs vs. Adam Page

There seems to be some tension here, as Page is likely still upset with Jacobs about the whole S.C.U.M. thing for some reason. Jacobs clotheslines Page to the floor and goes for a dive but Page cuts him out of the air with a kick to the face. Page then wipes Jacobs out with a shooting star press off the apron. Back in the ring Page hits a cross body from the top rope for two. Page works Jacobs over for some time, and then Jacobs is all like “eat it, rookie,” and goes on offense. Jacobs hits the old Colt Cabana tornado vertical suplex for a two-count. Page fights back and hits a powerslam for a near-fall. Jacobs responds with the diving Ace Crusher for two. Page hits a Falcon Arrow for a two-count. He tries a springboard moonsault but Jacobs hits him with a dropkick. Jacobs nails the Contra Code but it only gets two. Momentum continues to shift and Page finds himself on the top rope. Jacobs joins him and after a struggle is able to bring Page down with a Super Contra Code to get the win at 10:59. That was a fine back and forth match but with Jacobs coming in with a 1-2 record in a five-match series essentially facing a job guy, there wasn’t a whole lot of drama to it. Still, they did solid work.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #3: Battle of the Piledrivers – “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen vs. Michael Bennett w/ Maria Kanellis

Punches are thrown right from the get-go and these two are eager to prove who has the more effective piledriver. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver early, but Bennett is able to escape and seek solace in the arms of his girlfriend. Back in the ring Steen keeps control so Bennett rolls to the floor again. Steen throws Bennett around ringside, into the barricades and crotch-first into the ring post. He slams Bennett’s boy parts into the post again, just to be a jerk. The crowd chants “one more time” so Steen goes for it, but Bennett blocks and throws Steen into the barricade. The brawl continues on the floor and the referee has no control over anything. Bennett misses a big punch and Steen follows through on ramming him crotch-first into the ring post. Back in the ring Steen goes up top and tries the Swanton Bomb but Bennett gets his knees up. Bennett hits the Box Office Smash for a two-count. He stays in control, keeping Steen grounded. Steen comes back and tries the Sleeper Suplex but Bennett avoids it. Bennett charges into the corner and Steen moves, sending Bennett shoulder-first into the post. Steen follows with a swank tornado DDT for a two-count. A series of reversals ends with Steen hitting a Codebreaker. More reversals end with Bennett hitting a Superkick for two. Steen tries the Sleeper Suplex again but Bennett hits a chinbreaker. Bennett charges in and Steen grabs him for a pop-up powerbomb. Steen hits a back senton for a two-count. He hits Go To Sleep and Maria throws her shoe in th erring to break up the count. Not sure why the referee wouldn’t just keep counting. Steen chases Maria and runs right into a Bennett TKO. Bennett then hits the Piledriver for two. He goes for a superplex but Steen shoves him down and hits the Swanton Bomb for a near-fall. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver and Maria distracts Steen again. That allows Bennett to hit a second piledriver and get the pin at 12:24. That was well-paced and the internal story of who has the better piledriver gave the match a solid directive. Maria interfered just a little too much down the stretch for my liking, but that’s kind of their deal.
Rating: ***

After the match Bennett goes for a piledriver on the ring apron, but Lisa Maria Varon comes out and attacks Maria! Steen recovers and the fight with Bennett is back on. They brawl and security and officials have to break them up. Steen wipes out Bennett and a bunch of the job squad with a huge dive off the top rope. He then helps Varon hit Maria with the Widow’s Peak. You’d think that would lead to a mixed tag team match at Final Battle, but it didn’t.

Steve Corino replaces Nigel McGuinness on commentary for the second half.

MATCH #4: “Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jesse Sorensen

Sorensen comes out without his football, so it’s already a step up from his TNA days. They start with some back and forth and Sorensen looks confident. Momentum shifts a few times and both men land strikes. Ciampa is able to send Sorensen to the floor and he follows him out. He exposes the floor and goes for a suplex, but Sorensen avoids it and takes Ciampa out with a house show dive. Back in the ring Ciampa gets the momentum back on his side and he goes to work. Sorensen won’t give up though and he fights back with a variety of offense. Ciampa catches him and drops him in an inverted-type Attitude Adjustment for a two-count. He gets Sorensen prone in the corner, and hits him with two running knee strikes sans knee pad. Ciampa goes for a Super Air Raid Crash and Sorensen reverses to an ugly Sunset Bomb, dropping Ciampa’s spine on his knees. That gets a two-count. A series of reversals ends with Ciampa locking on the Sicilian Stretch and Sorensen taps out at 9:57. That was the usual Ciampa goodness and a solid showing for Sorensen in his ROH debut.
Rating: **½

MATCH #5: Outlaw Inc. (“Notorious 187” Homicide & Eddie Kingston) vs. Adrenaline RUSH (ACH & TaDarius Thomas)

Kingston and ACH start the match. They chain wrestle and ACH uses his agility and Kingston uses his size advantage. ACH sends Kingston to the floor and goes for a dive, but when Kingston moves ACH is able to flip himself back in the ring. Back in the ring Outlaw Inc. take control and start wearing down ACH, keeping him away from his partner. After just a short time ACH is able to make a tag. Thomas comes in guns blazing but he’s quickly cut off by Kingston. Momentum shifts back and forth and all four men get various chances to shine, albeit briefly. The referee loses control and Outlaw Inc. are able to hit the old Steiner Brothers bulldog to get the win at 11:22. That was not great, as they never established any kind of rhythm and it just went back and forth seemingly at random. Outlaw Inc. is pretty terrible.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #6: “Intrepid Traveler” Paul London vs. “Mr. ROH” Roderick Strong

This is a first-time ever match I do believe. They start off with some mat wrestling to feel each other out in the early going. London strikes first with a dropkick and Strong bails to the floor. When London tries to follow him out with a dive, Strong catches him with a knife edge chop. Strong continues throwing London around ringside, but London is able to hop up on the guardrail and hit a moonsault! They head back to the ring and Strong brings London in with a backbreaker! That was neat. Strong is firmly in control now and he is assaulting London as only he can. London starts to fire up but both men cross body block at the same time and knock the wind out of each other. Back on their feet London fires up and unleashes a flurry of offense. Strong cuts him off and they fight on the apron. London is able to knock Strong to the floor with a dropsault, and then wipes him out with a somersault plancha. Back in the ring London hits a springboard missile dropkick for a two-count. Strong responds with another backbreaker and then a superplex for a near-fall. He puts on the Stronghold and London counters it with a rollup for two. The pace gets fast and they trade reversals, ending when Strong tries the gut buster but London counters it into a double stomp! I’ve never seen that before. They slug it out and London wins that battle with a nasty Superkick. London hits the Waffle Face for a two-count. He goes for the Shooting Star Press but Strong rolls to the apron. London goes for the double stomp just like Richards did to him back at Border Wars, but Strong avoids it and hits a half-nelson backbreaker onto the edge of the ring frame! Sick. Back in the ring Strong hits the gutbuster and the Sick Kick but London kicks out at two! Back on their feet they trade reversals and such, and Strong is able to land a knee strike and the Gibson Driver for two. Strong turns that into the Stronghold and London reaches the bottom rope! London rolls to the apron and is able to headscissor Strong into position for a Tombstone Piledriver on the floor! Back in the ring London hits a double stomp to the back, and then lands the Shooting Star Press for the win at 16:52! What a tremendous match between two of the best to ever come through ROH. Their styles just clicked together and they did some really unique spots and built up to one hell of a finish. They kept up a torrid pace and made sure the crowd stayed with them. I really wish they would have been able to do the rematch in San Antonio, but life happens.
Rating: ****

MATCH #7: ROH Champions vs. All-Stars – ROH World Champion Adam Cole, ROH World Television Champion Matt Taven & ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal and C&C Wrestle Factory (Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander)

In a somewhat surprising move, Elgin and Cole start the match. Before any contact is made Cole runs away and then tags Taven. Lethal tags in as well, and that kicks off the tag parade, as everyone gets a chance in the ring during the opening minutes. The All-Stars team takes the first control, so the Champions regroup on the floor. It doesn’t do them much good though, as Taven gets beat up by Elgin and Lethal for a bit. Taven is able to force Lethal back into the wrong corner, and O’Reilly tags in. The tag teams get a chance to battle, and the All-Stars take control on Fish. All four All-Stars work Fish over in their corner, focusing on his arm. Fish survives the onslaught and is able to stave off elimination. The Champions go to work on Alexander, and we see Outlaw Inc. out in the crowd causing a ruckus. Elgin and Cole get tagged in at the same time and Cole bails in a hurry. Taven comes in instead and Elgin throws him around. Elgin beats up the Tag Team Champions as well, but Cole is the one he wants. The referee loses control and chaos erupts with a brawl outside the ring. The Champions get the better of the fight and the match settles back in the ring. Homicide and Kingston are causing trouble on the floor, getting into a heated argument with Fish. Elgin fights back and destroys all of his opponents, leaving himself alone in the ring with Cole. The ROH World Champion tries to beg off and offers a handshake but Elgin will have none of it. Everyone gets in the ring again for a big brawl and this time it’s the All-Stars in control. When the match settles back down again the Champions resume control, isolating Lethal. Cole and O’Reilly have a cool little Future Shock reunion with some awesome teamwork. We’re approaching the 30-minute mark and there have been no eliminations yet. Eventually Lethal gets the hot tag to Alexander and he is a house afire, taking it to all four of his opponents. Alexander sends Cole to the floor and goes for a dive but Cole cuts him off with a kick to the face. Coleman comes to his partner’s aid, and then reDRagon goes after Coleman. Homicide and Kingston jump the barricade and go after reDRagon. Everyone tries to break that up and Taven takes out the crowd with a dive. Alexander follows with another dive and security is finally able to run Homicide and Kingston off. Back to the ring, Alexander tries a springboard dive but Cole catches him with a Superkick to score the first elimination at 33:11.

Elgin comes in and goes after Cole, but Lethal takes offense to that because he wants to eliminate Cole himself and earn a shot at the ROH World Title. Lethal and Coleman work together on Taven until Scarlett Bordeaux peddles her wares in front of Lethal to distract him. Even so, Lethal is able to hit Taven with the Lethal Combination! Lethal goes up top and Kasey Ray climbs up to stop him. Taven hits Lethal with a Superkick and both Lethal and Kasey crash off the top rope and through the timekeeper’s table! Coleman takes advantage and goes after Taven. The TV Champion comes back and hits Coleman with the Climax, but Cole had made a blind tag. Taven and Cole argue briefly, but it doesn’t escalate to fisticuffs. Cole then hits Coleman with the Florida Key to score the second elimination at 38:10. The Champions have a huge advantage now and they go right after Elgin, beating him down. Lethal has been injured and is down and out at ringside, leaving Elgin at a four-on-one disadvantage. This goes on for several minutes, but Elgin never gives up and he’s able to blast O’Reilly with a spinning back fist and a short-arm lariat to eliminate the first Champion at 46:38. Elgin continues to fight off all three of his remaining opponents while officials try to herd Lethal backstage. Lethal will have nothing to do with that though, and he gets up on the apron! Elgin makes the hot tag and Lethal is fully recovered and ready to go. Lethal goes crazy, taking everyone out including Truth Martini! He locks Taven in a half crab but Taven is able to make the tag. Cole sneaks in and kicks Lethal in the back of the head. He follows with the suplex into a neckbreaker to get the win and officially eliminate Lethal at 51:29. We’re down to three-on-one in favor of the Champions now. Taven goes for the Climax but Elgin counters to the Crossface and Taven taps out at 52:51. The commentators are really pushing the fact that Fish has never been defeated since coming back to ROH about a year ago. Cole and Fish beat Elgin down for several minutes, but the resilient Elgin stays strong and gets rid of Cole. Elgin is able to hit Fish with the Buckle Bomb and the Elgin Bomb to get the pin and take it down to one-on-one at 57:30.

Before leaving, Fish gets in the ring and decks Elgin with a chair. Cole immediately covers but he only gets two! Elgin powers up and takes it to the Champion, throwing him around with suplexes. He sends Cole to the floor and tries to grab on to him, but Cole delivers an enziguiri. Cole hits a Shining Wizard for a two-count. He hits a couple of superkicks but again only gets two. Elgin catches Cole charging in with an STJoe, and then kills him with a lariat for a near-fall. Cole rolls to the floor. Elgin joins him but it backfires when Cole hits him with the Florida Key! He barely makes it back to the ring at the count of 19, and Cole immediately traps him in the Figure Four Leglock. Elgin reaches the ropes. He then traps Cole in the Crossface and this time it’s Cole barely making it to the ropes to break the hold. Elgin hits the Buckle Bomb and goes for the Elgin Bomb but a series of reversals force him to settle for hitting a vicious spinning back fist. They fight up on the ropes and Cole hits a super rana and then follows with the Panama Destroyer but Elgin kicks out! They fight up on the ropes again and Elgin brings Cole all the way down with a super Elgin Bomb to get the pin at 71:34. Cole’s shoulder definitely came up; I think he landed badly on his head and got a concussion. That was certainly long, but it didn’t really feel it. Besides, to register seven falls on Ring of Honor Champions and All-Stars should take a long time, so there’s no issue there. Elgin eliminating all four members of the opposing team may have been a little bit much, but at least they were pushing someone hard and really going for it. The action here was great and everyone got a chance to shine, obviously Elgin in particular. It was a great showcase for the top stars and teams in the company (and Taven), and a worthy main event for one of the biggest shows of the year.
Rating: ****

While both men are down and exhausted, Jay Briscoe makes his way out with a mystery bag. Elgin gets up and gets in Jay’s face. Jay hits Elgin with the bag, and then blasts Cole with it as well. He reveals the contents of the bag – his own customized “World Title” belt.
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A2Z Analysiz – ROH Glory By Honor XI: The Unbreakable Hope (Kevin Steen, Michael Elgin) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/14/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-xi-the-unbreakable-hope-kevin-steen-michael-elgin-3/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/14/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-xi-the-unbreakable-hope-kevin-steen-michael-elgin-3/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 14:00:49 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170660 GBH11

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International Centre – Mississauga, Ontario – October 13, 2012

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary. They welcome everyone to the show and run down the card to get everybody hype!

MATCH #1: “Caged Hostility” Rematch – The Bravado Brothers vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander

I really enjoyed their first match together (which Coleman and Alexander won) so I look forward to this. It seems like a good choice for an opener. Harlem and Alexander start the match. Lance attacks Alexander from behind and Harlem knocks Coleman off the apron, just to be jerks. That’s a good way to make sure the fans understand the dynamics of the match. Alexander quickly fights back and I expect a lot of momentum changes in this match. That prediction holds true early on as both teams try to establish the pace. The Bravados are able to focus on Alexander and isolate him from his more experienced partner. After several minutes Alexander uses his speed to take both brothers out and make the tag. Coleman comes in a house afire. He this Harlem with rolling Northern Lights Suplexes and even adds one for Lance on the third! That was awesome. The Bravados seek sanctuary on the floor but Alexander wipes Lance out with a dive. Harlem follows with a moonsault off the second rope to wipe Alexander out. Coleman then follows with a dive to wipe out everyone. Back in then ring Coleman covers Harlem for two. Coleman misses a charge in the corner and Harlem hits an Unprettier for two. Lance hits a huge lariat for another two-count. Coleman comes back with a springboard cross body block and makes the tag. Alexander hits a spin kick off the ropes for two. Coleman and Alexander show some impressive double-teaming but can’t put Lance away. The Bravados make the comeback and the match breaks down. Lance got his mouth busted open somewhere along the way. He gets thrown to the floor and C&C hit Harlem with Total Elimination to send him to the floor. Lance is back in and Coleman hits him with the pop-up rana and Alexander follows with the Frog Splash to get the pin at 12:17. That was a hot opener and just as good as their first match. I just wish they’d give these teams an actual issue to feud over.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #2: Grudge Match – Mike Mondo vs. Mike Bennett

This feud has been built around the fact that Mondo forced himself on Bennett’s girlfriend several times, and basically threatened to rape her. Somehow he’s the babyface in this scenario. Said girlfriend Maria Kanellis is in Bennett’s corner tonight. Mondo is the kind of guy who says “Boom.” He’s such a tool. Mondo starts off hot, throwing hands and making eyes at Maria. He goes outside and hides under the ring, and then surprises Bennett with a shoulder tackle into the barricade. Mondo tries leaping off the apron but Bennett catches him in a powerslam. Bennett throws Mondo into the barricade and Mondo lands badly on his leg. I think that’s where he got injured. Bennett follows up with a spear. Back in the ring Bennett continues the assault. They battle on the top rope and Mondo shoves Bennett down. Before Mondo can follow up Bennett charges in and knocks him back to the floor. Bennett rams Mondo into the barricade, and then Mondo rams Bennett into the same barricade. Mondo then throws Bennett into a barricade, but a different one. He charges and Bennett catches him in a spinebuster on the ring apron. Back in the ring both men cross body each other at the same time, rendering the spinebuster on the apron moot. Why even do it then? They go back to the floor and slug it out up in the aisle. Bennett goes for a piledriver but Mondo backdrops him. Mondo throws Bennett around a bit and prevents referee Gino Colucci from counting Bennett out. He goes back out to the aisle but is limping pretty severely. Mondo climbs up on the scaffolding and jumps off it to wipe Bennett out, likely further legitimately injuring himself. What a stupid spot to do in the second match on the card. They get back to the ring and Maria jumps up on the apron. Mondo avoids a charging Bennett and gets an O’Connor roll for two. Bennett kicks Mondo off and Maria catches him with a slap to the face. That debilitates Mondo long enough for Bennett to hit the TKO and get the pin at 10:51. Very little of what these guys did in the match made sense for the feud they have. Spots like the spinebuster on the apron and Mondo jumping off the scaffolding had little impact in the match and they would have been better off just keeping it an intense brawl. This just failed on every level except for Maria being a really hot distraction.
Rating: *½

MATCH #3: Grudge Tag Team Match – Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. Rhett Titus & BJ Whitmer

At least this match concentrates three of my least favorite people in ROH into one match. Haas and Benjamin attack before Titus and Whitmer can even make their entrance. They take Titus out and bring Whitmer into the ring. Titus comes to the rescue and I don’t think the bell has even rung yet. He sends Haas to the floor and Whitmer wipes him out with a dive. That leaves Titus and Benjamin in the ring and finally the bell does ring.

Titus has control and this a bulldog for two. Meanwhile Haas drops Whitmer back-first onto the ringside barricade. Haas then brings Titus to the apron and eventually the WGTT are able to dump Titus to the floor. Back in the ring Haas and Benjamin go to work. Benjamin tries the super belly-to-belly throw but Titus shoves him down and hits a high cross body block. Both men are down. They get to their knees and slug it out and do the same on their feet. The crowd is actually supporting WGTT here for some reason. Benjamin and Titus clothesline each other and both men are down again. Tags are made and Whitmer is a house afire all over Haas. Whitmer tosses Benjamin to the floor. He and Haas then trade boots to the face and curse at each other. They trade German Suplexes and Haas wins that battle. Haas hits an Olympic Slam for two when Titus breaks up the pin. The referee has completely lost control. Somewhere in all the brawling, Haas and Benjamin hit Whitmer with the double powerbomb for the pin at 10:12. That was a decent tag team brawl, especially given how little I care about anything Titus or the WGTT do.
Rating: **¼

Kelly and McGuinness recap the events of last week’s Killer Instinct main event, which saw Jay Lethal go crazy on Kevin Steen after Steen spit on his mother. Backstage, Lethal threw Jim Cornette over a table, “injuring” Cornette and removing him from ROH.

MATCH #4: “Survival of the Fittest 2012” Finals Rematch – Jay Lethal vs. Davey Richards

Lethal gets on the mic before the match, and he’s still mad at Kevin Steen for spitting on his parents in Rahway, and tells Steen he can kiss his ass. He says he put Jim Cornette in the hospital and the crowd cheers. Good for them. Lethal blames ROH for him developing a Killer Instinct, and says that ROH can also kiss his ass. He does have respect for Davey Richards though, but he has a lot of anger in him so tonight Richards is just the wrong person at the wrong time.

These two have had good matches in the past, so with Lethal’s new attitude this could be pretty good. They feel each other out in the early going, as neither guy seems to be in a hurry. Down on the mat Richards takes the early advantage with a couple of submission holds, trying to wear Lethal down. Lethal responds with a slap to the face, angering the American Wolf. Things escalate now and Lethal hits the hiptoss/dropkick combination for a one-count. Richards comes back and goes to work on the arm. Momentum continues to shift back and forth as these two appear very evenly matched. Lethal has sure come a long way. Richards hits a dropkick that sends Lethal to the floor, and he follows with the running kick to the chest on the apron. He continues using kicks, even hitting his version of the Ole Kick to take Lethal’s head off. Back in the ring Richards hits a missile dropkick for two. Richards continues to control the action, keeping Lethal on the mat. Lethal fights back and hits the Jericho dropkick to send Richards to the floor. He follows with a suicide dive to wipe Richards out. They fight on the apron and Richards kicks Lethal in the head. Richards tries the running kick again but Lethal ducks it and hits an Ace Crusher on the apron! That was neat. Back in the ring they slug it out and Richards hits the Alarm Clock. Lethal strikes back with a superkick and hits the Lethal Combination and then locks on the Koji Clutch. Richards reaches the ropes. He lands a knockout kick and a bridging German Suplex for a two-count. Lethal comes back with an inverted suplex into a face slam for two. They fight up on the ropes and Richards connects with a superplex. Richards tries to hang on and deliver another move but Lethal grabs an inside cradle for two. They trade reversals and Richards hits an Ace Crusher. Richards follows with an Ace Crusher and a brainbuster for two. He goes up top and hits a huge double stomp but again only gets a two-count. Richards tries the Ankle Lock and Lethal escapes that, only to get drilled with a kick to the chest. Lethal kicks out at one! They trade strikes again and Lethal hits two superkicks for a near-fall. Back up on the top rope they slug it out some more and Lethal goes for a Sunset Bomb through a table but Richards blocks it. Lethal is tenacious though and kicks Richards in the head to send him through the table at ringside. Richards barely makes it back in the ring before the count of 20, and Lethal drills him with Hail to the King for a two-count. Lethal follows with a dragon suplex for another close near-fall. He goes for the Lethal Injection but Richards avoids it and puts on the Ankle Lock! Lethal rolls through and puts on the Parachute Hold. Richards rolls through that into an inverted cloverleaf. Lethal breaks free and hits a superkick to the back of the head. He then hits the Lethal Injection but it only gets two! Lethal locks on the Koji Clutch and Richards passes out at 23:31. That was an awesome contest that perfectly displayed both men’s present characters. It was also a key win for Lethal on his way up the card. Good for Richards for making Lethal look as good as he did. Richards even raises Lethal’s hand after the match in a show of respect.
Rating: ****

Kevin Kelly announces that Mike Mondo may have possibly fractured his ankle, and to go to ROH Wrestling Dot Com for more information.

MATCH #5: Special Challenge Match – Roderick Strong vs. TaDarius Thomas

Roderick Strong comes out in street clothes with Truth Martini chasing after him looking distressed. Strong refers to being in the first match after intermission and wrestling “this guy” is bullshit. He says tonight he officially quits the House of Truth. Strong is going to grab a seat in the front row and watch Michael Elgin fail in his attempt to win the ROH World Title later on. Referee Brian Gorie decides to count Strong out of the ring, but Martini brings RHINO out as a replacement opponent for Thomas. RHINO does not look happy to be there.

They start off slowly since neither guy was prepared to face the other. In fact RHINO only has one knee pad on. That’s just crazy. Martini runs to the back for some reason as Thomas shows off his unique style of offense. RHINO comes back with a hard TKO for a two-count. Martini had retrieved RHINO’s bag of stuff so RHINO starts taping his wrists in between pounding on Thomas. RHINO throws Thomas to the floor and Martini takes some cheap shots right in front of the referee. Even RHINO tells Martini to back off. Back in the ring RHINO continues the abuse. Thomas fights back with some unorthodox punches and kicks. Martini gets on the apron and Thomas knocks him down. RHINO hits a belly-to-belly suplex and sets up for the GORE. Martini trips Thomas instead, and RHINO is none too please about it. RHINO sets up for the GORE again but Thomas avoids it and kicks RHINO in the face. Thomas then scores a La Magistral cradle to get the pin at 5:56. That was fine for storyline purposes and it’s nice to see Thomas get a win but it wasn’t really much of a match.
Rating: *½

An angry RHINO grabs Martini and heaves him into the guardrail, slicing both Martini’s pants and leg open. That’s just mean.

MATCH #6: World TV Title Match – Adam Cole vs. Eddie Edwards

Cole has been the Champion since 6.29.12, and this is his third defense. This match has been granted a 30-minute time limit. These two teamed up on the last show, so this should be a friendly yet competitive match. They wrestle on the mat to start and come to standoff. It goes back and forth several times with both guys scoring multiple pinning combinations for two-counts and trying their submission maneuvers on each other to no avail. Edwards throws Cole to the floor and goes for a suicide dive but Cole cuts him off with an enziguiri. Cole gets up on the apron and Edwards kicks him down and this time hits the suicide dive. Back in the ring Edwards goes to work. Cole hits a basement dropkick. Edwards responds by also going after the knee. They get up to trade forearms and chops. The fight spills to the apron and Cole hits another enziguiri. Cole then hits a nasty looking slingshot DDT and both men are down on the floor. Back in the ring Cole hits a Superfly Splash for a two-count. Cole hits a Death Valley Neckbreaker for another near-fall. Edwards sells for about a second before coming back with the Chin Checker for two. The challenger goes back to the leg and then hits a double stomp off the top rope to the back. Edwards puts on the Achilles Lock and adds some kicks to the back of the head. Cole kicks his way out of it and then locks on the Figure-Four Leglock from a very unique position. Edwards reaches the ropes. Cole goes for a superplex but Edwards counters with a Death Valley Driver (sort of) to the floor! I don’t think that’s what they were going for but that’s what it looked like. Back in the ring they trade kicks to the face. Cole hits a suplex into a neckbreaker and then kicks Edwards in the back of the head for two. He follows up with the Florida Key to get the pin at 19:10. Both guys seemed to be going all-out to have a great match and I appreciate that. However they just kind of went from one sequence to another without anything tying it together. The action was fun and it didn’t feel as long as it was, it just never reached levels of greatness.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #7: World Tag Team Title Match – S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe

Corino and Jacobs have been the Champions since 9.15.12, and this is their third defense. These two teams met back at Boiling Point and the Briscoes earned a victory that night. The Briscoes attack before the bell and away we go. It doesn’t take long for the fight to spill out to the floor. Mark and Jacobs battle on one side of the ring while Corino and Jay fight on the other side. They make it to the ring and the Briscoes are firmly in control. The challengers wear Corino out for several minutes until Corino is able to hit Mark with the Colby Shock. Jacobs tags in and Mark quickly tags Jay and the Briscoes are right back in control. Corino uses a roll of coins to deck Mark and knock him off the apron. S.C.U.M. takes control now with essentially a two-on-one advantage. Jacobs and Corino isolate Jay and wear him down. Jay grabs Corino and hits a Flatliner into the middle turnbuckle. Moments later Mark is back on the apron and Jay makes the tag! Mark unleashes the Redneck Kung Fu and is generally a house afire. He hits Jacobs with the Iconoclasm for two. The Briscoes hit the Sidewinder but it again only gets a two-count. The match breaks down and offense is coming from all over the place. All four men are down. They rise and start trading punches. Jacobs sends Jay to the floor and then hits Mark with the Contra Code. Corino hits the Eternal Dream and Jacobs covers for two. Jacobs goes up for the senton as Jay hits Corino with a Death Valley Driver on the barricade! Mark gets his knees up! Jay gets the tag and hits a Death Valley Driver on Jacobs. Mark follows with the Froggy Bow but somehow Jacobs kicks out. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but Corino pushes Mark off the top rope and kicks Jay square in the nuts. Jacobs gets a victory roll for the cheap pin at 13:59. That was the usual good but not great match between these guys. Is it possible the Briscoes have done all they can do as a team?
Rating: ***

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Kevin Steen vs. Unbreakable Michael Elgin

Steen has been the Champion since 5.12.12, and this is his eleventh defense. Elgin earned this title shot almost a year ago by winning Survival of the Fittest 2011. This is the first time two Canadians have been fighting for the ROH World Title, and they’re in Canada no less. Steen cuts a promo before the match, talking about his confrontation with Jay Lethal and his family last week in Rahway at Killer Instinct. He also runs down his list of demands for agreeing to this match – he will never fight Jay Lethal again, he will get a new ROH Championship belt, and the Package Piledriver is legal again. Elgin then comes out, sans Truth Martini.

They start slugging right away. Elgin scores the first big blow with a Boss Man Slam. Steen tries to powder and Elgin follows him out to continue the abuse. They trade whips into the barricades, and then Steen chokes Elgin with the Canadian flag. Elgin reverses another whip into the barricade and then he returns the flag favor. Back in the ring Elgin covers for two. Elgin hits a delayed vertical suplex for another two-count as the crowd starts to really get behind him. He continues working on Steen and tries going to the top rope but Steen pulls him down and hits the Orton DDT. They go to the floor and Steen hits the powerbomb on the edge of the ring frame. Steen hits a Frog Splash off the apron. Back in the ring Steen covers for two. Steen keeps up the pressure and keeps Elgin off his feet. Elgin fights back with an enziguiri and both men are down. Back on their feet the pace continues to be quick given the size of both men. Elgin hits Diamond Dust for a near-fall. Steen tries the Package Piledriver but Elgin reverses and hits White Noise for two. Elgin tries a powerslam but Steen slips out and pulls the back of Elgin’s head onto his knee. Steen then hits the Cannonball in the corner for two. Elgin tries a corkscrew senton off the top rope but Steen gets his knees up. Steen charges but Elgin pulls down the top rope and Steen crashes to the floor. Elgin follows with a somersault dive to wipe him out. Strong distracts Elgin from his ringside seat and Elgin pulls him out and hurls him repeatedly into the barricades and then throws him back behind the curtain! Take that Roderick! Elgin then powerbombs Steen into the ring post! Back in the ring Elgin goes up top again and this time hits the corkscrew senton but it only gets two! Steen comes back and locks on the Sharpshooter. Elgin reverses to the Crossface and Steen reaches the ropes. They go to the apron and slug it out. Steen puts on a Sleeper so Elgin runs and jumps off the apron right onto a table! That was awesome. Both men barely make it back in before 20. They clothesline each other but no one goes down. Elgin runs off the ropes and Steen throws him into the air for a sit-out powerbomb! Somehow Elgin kicks out! Steen goes for the F-Cinq but Elgin counters to the Crossface, and Steen counters that with a cradle for two! Elgin gets an O’Connor Roll for a very close near-fall. He follows with an impressive dead lift German Suplex for two. That’s ridiculous. Elgin hits knees to the face. Steen hits a Codebreaker but Elgin drops him with a lariat for two. Elgin hits a Buckle Bomb but Steen pops out of the corner with a big clothesline and both men are down. Back on their feet Steen hits the F-Cinq but it only gets two! Elgin puts on the Crossface again and Steen reaches the ropes. Steen hits a Sleeper Suplex and the Package Piledriver but Elgin kicks out! While Steen argues with the referee Elgin rolls him up for two! Steen tries the Cannonball but Elgin catches him and hits a powerbomb! That’s awesome. Elgin hits the Buckle Bomb and the Spiral Bomb but somehow Steen gets his shoulder up! They fight on the top rope and Steen is able to put Elgin in position to hit a Super Package Piledriver! Finally that’s enough for the win at 31:31. Best match of either guy’s life and the ROH Match of the Year, hands down.
Rating: ****¾

After the match Roderick Strong comes out and delivers a Sick Kick to Elgin! That’s just rude. Then a mysterious package arrives for Steen, and Nigel McGuinness delivers it to him. The crowd knows what’s in the box. Steen pulls out El Generico’s mask! I think the main event for Final Battle 2012 is set.
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor X (Davey Richards, El Generico) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/13/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-x-davey-richards-el-generico-4/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/13/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-x-davey-richards-el-generico-4/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 14:00:22 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170656 GBH10

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Frontier Fieldhouse – Chicago Ridge, Illinois – November 19, 2011

Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak are on commentary.

PRELIMINARY MATCH: Andy “Right Leg” Ridge vs. Mike Sydal

Sydal is Matt’s shoot younger brother. Kevin Steen shows up to sit ringside and watch the action. Ridge and Sydal go back and forth as Steen heckles them, drawing the attention of the crowd. Jim Cornette and Cary Silkin come out and try to make Steen leave, but since he bought a ticket they can’t force him. Meanwhile, Ridge is in control of the less experienced Sydal, working on his arm. Steen and Cornette continue to keep the crowd distracted while Sydal has somehow made a comeback. Ridge comes back with kicks. He follows up with the slingshot Ace Crusher to get the pin at 6:19. It’s a little hard to rate that given that they didn’t show a lot of it due to Cornette and Steen, but I don’t think we missed much.
Rating: *¾

After the match Jim Cornette comes down to confront Steen again, and the crowd is totally on Steen’s side. Cornette makes some lame jokes and homophobic remarks and then heads to the back.

MATCH #1: Four Corner Survival Match – “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett vs. Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin vs. Grizzly Redwood

Bennett is 222 pounds and is from Boston, Massachusetts. Elgin, with Truth Martini, is at 245 pounds and hails from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Cole weighs in at 202 pounds and is wrestling out of Panama City, Florida. Redwood is a sparse 140 pounds and comes to us from Yukon, Canada. Cole and Bennett start the match. The crowd is on Bennett’s pace right from the get-go. Redwood and Elgin tag in and take one guess how that goes. Just as he did last night at Survival of the Fittest 2011, Elgin uses his power to throw everyone around. Bennett finds himself a target, likely because he’s been such a giant douche bag since debuting in late 2010. The pace in this one is fast and furious, making it a good choice for an opener. Redwood traps Bennett in a Sleeper but can’t hang on to it. Cole comes in and hits Redwood with a nice wheelbarrow suplex. Elgin throws Redwood on top of Cole, and then throws Redwood right into a DDT on Bennett. He then powerslams Redwood on top of Bennett and covers, but referee Paul Turner won’t count because Bennett isn’t legal. I love it. Elgin then Buckle Bombs Redwood right into Cole. Bennett cuts Elgin off with a spinebuster, but then turns into another Redwood DDT. Redwood hits Elgin with an enziguiri and then tries a Cannonball, but Elgin picks him up and powerbombs him over the ropes and onto Bennett on the floor! Cole tries a sunset flip but Elgin powers out of that too, only to eat a superkick. He hits an enziguiri and another superkick, but Elgin still won’t go down. Elgin responds with a big lariat and the spinning sitout powerbomb to get the pin at 9:25. Counting his victory in a Four Corner Survival and the main event of Survival of the Fittest last night, Elgin has gone over 11 fellow wrestlers in two nights. That’s a good run, and his use of Redwood as his own personal weapon made this great fun.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Singles Action – Jimmy Jacobs with Steve Corino vs. Tommaso Ciampa with The Embassy

Jacobs is 181 pounds and wrestles out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He cuts a quick promo, taunting Steen for not being able to fight him tonight. The Embassy is in full force tonight, with Prince Nana, Mia Yim, R.D. Evans, and Ernesto Osiris accompanying “The Dominant Male” to the ring. Ciampa is 211 pounds and hails from Palermo, Sicily. Jacobs lets himself get distracted by Steen and Ciampa puts the boots to him. When Jacobs comes back with the headscissors, he rolls right to the floor to confront Steen. Corino talks him back into the ring, and with referee Todd Sinclair distracted, the Embassy interferes to give Ciampa the advantage. Ciampa hits a big lariat for two. He continues to work Jacobs over, but Jacobs fires back and executes a cannonball in the corner. Ciampa rolls to the floor and Jacobs wipes him out with a dive. Steen throws a beverage at Jacobs, so Corino and Jacobs pull Steen over the barricade and the brawl is on! This is ruled a no-contest at about 5:00. Ciampa and Jacobs had solid chemistry together and I’d like to see them do a rematch. This was good angle advancement, not much of a match though.
Rating: **

The brawl goes outside the building, which we see on the picture-in-picture, while the Embassy issues an open challenge. Harlem Bravado answers the challenge.

MATCH #3: Impromptu Match – Tommaso Ciampa with The Embassy vs. Harlem Bravado

Harlem gets in the ring and Ciampa immediately hits him with a running knee lift and then Project Ciampa to get the pin at 0:18. I like Ciampa.
Rating: DUD

MATCH #4: Special Challenge Match – Eddie Edwards vs. Kyle O’Reilly

O’Reilly weighs 204 pounds and hails from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Edwards is 211 pounds and is wrestling out of Boston, Massachusetts. This is a big singles match for O’Reilly. Tonight’s match stems from a tag team match back at No Escape, when Edwards continued to abuse O’Reilly after the bell because he didn’t hear it. The match was great, by the way. They start off on the mat and chain wrestle back and forth. The crowd supports both men, but the chants for Edwards are definitely louder. Both men try to out-Wolf each other with hard strikes. O’Reilly hits two rolling Butterfly Suplexes but Edwards blocks the third one and drops O’Reilly directly on his head. Wisely, O’Reilly rolls to the floor to regain his sense. Edwards follows him out and throws him into the barricade. Back in the ring Edwards looks confident as he works O’Reilly over. O’Reilly is able to counter with a hard DDT and both men are down. He runs at Edwards and gets hit with a hard chop, but is able to persevere and grab a cross armbreaker. O’Reilly turns that into a Crossface and Edwards is able to reach the ropes. Edwards fights back and goes for a double stomp off the top rope and misses, and O’Reilly drills him with a kick to the head for two. O’Reilly unleashes with kicks to the chest and Edwards gives it right back to him. They each throw superkicks at each other, and this is getting heated. Edwards hits a couple of brutal chops to the face and gets a two-count. He goes back up top and this time hits the Double Stomp. Now Edwards tries a powerbomb and O’Reilly turns it into a guillotine choke. Edwards turns that into the Die Hard, and then hits a second one. He locks on the Dragon Sleeper and O’Reilly has to tap out at 15:21. These two have good chemistry together, and O’Reilly has been booked really well on his way up the card.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #5: Tag Team Challenge Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Young Bucks

The Bucks weigh a combined 402 pounds and hail from Los Angeles, California. Jay and Mark Briscoe weigh in at 470 pounds and are wrestling out of Sandy Fork, Delaware. Nick and Matt Jackson act like jerks before the bell, so Dem Boys attack and take the fight right to the floor. Mark takes Matt into the ring and then throws him right back out. Meanwhile Jay is using the barricades to abuse Nick. The Briscoes are beating the Bucks like they owe them money. It takes almost four minutes for the Bucks to get any offense in whatsoever, as they knock Jay to the floor and focus on Mark. For some reason Matt is wrestling this match with a t-shirt on. Not that I don’t see enough shirtless men on a wrestling show, but that’s what makes it curious. Pretty much right as I type that he takes the shirt off. Okay then. Eventually Mark makes the tag and Jay is a house afire. Jay hits Nick with a Falcon Arrow for two. The Bucks cut Jay off and double-team him, despite referee Paul Turner’s objections. Nick hits a 450 Splash for a two-count. Mark pulls Matt to the floor and levels him with a clothesline. He then illegally gets in the ring to hit Nick with an exploder suplex. Mark legally tags in and hits the Iconoclasm for two. He goes up top but Matt pushes him off right into a Superkick from Nick. Now Matt takes in and they go for More Bang for Your Buck, but Mark was able to make a blind tag. The Briscoes try the Doomsday Device but the Bucks break that up. Mark settles for a Death Valley Driver and Jay follows with a Froggy ‘Bow for a near-fall. All four men are in the ring and the referee has lost all control. The Briscoes send Nick to the floor and hit Matt with the Doomsday Device to get the pin at 12:16. Jay and Mark are arguably the best thing going in ROH today, and the Bucks more than held up their end too. This seemed a bit short but I assume there will be more matches between the teams so it’s wise not to give it all away.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #6: Proving Ground Match – World TV Champion Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong with Truth Martini

Strong is an even 200 pounds and is wrestling out of Tampa, Florida. Lethal, the TV Champion, weighs in at 215 pounds and is also wrestling out of Tampa. If Strong wins or lasts the 15-minute time limit, he earns a guaranteed shot at the TV Title. They start with some fast-paced chain wrestling, which the crowd appreciates. Strong takes the early advantage and hits an early backbreaker. Lethal comes back with a slingshot senton and then kicks Strong to the floor. When Lethal throws Strong back in the ring, Martini takes his opportunity to interfere, giving the advantage back to his charge. Strong resumes targeting the back. He hits the dropkick but only gets two. Lethal looks to be in rough shape at this point. Apparently I’m wrong though because Lethal unleashes a series of chops, but Strong cuts him off and drives him back into the corner. Strong charges right into a boot and Lethal hits the lag lariat. Both men are down. Up on their feet Lethal goes on offense but he can’t put Strong away. Bobby Cruise announces three minutes left. Strong comes back with a modified Chaos Theory for a two-count. He hits the gutbuster for two as Cruise announces two minutes left. Now Strong locks on the Stronghold and Lethal reaches the ropes. Another gutbuster gets another two-count for Strong as one minute is left. Strong wisely decides to start running now, which is smart strategy. Lethal catches up with him though and puts on the Figure-Four Leglock with 30 seconds remaining. Strong is able to withstand the hold and the time limit expires at an even 15:00.

The fans and Lethal ask for five more minutes, which brings Jim Cornette for a ruling. Cornette says that Strong has earned his shot at the TV Title no matter what, and also that Strong is a pussy if he doesn’t take the five more minutes. Strong acquiesces and here we go! They slug away at each other and the crowd is amped up. Strong hits the Sick Kick for a two-count. Lethal counters with the Lethal Combination for a two-count of his own. Strong locks on the Stronghold but Lethal kicks out of it and grabs an inside cradle for two. Lethal shrugs off a gutbuster and hits a superkick and a handspring Ace Crusher and that’s enough to get the win at 2:05 (17:05 total match time). Strong is pretty automatic at this point and Lethal has been a good addition to the roster since coming back.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #7: World Tag Team Title Match – Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas) vs. The All Night Express

Benjamin and Haas have been the champions since 4.1.11, and this is their sixth defense. The champs weigh in at 509 pounds combined. Kenny King and Rhett Titus weigh a combined 458 pounds. They earned this title shot by beating the Briscoes in Ladder War III at Death Before Dishonor IX. Haas and Titus start the match. The champions take the early control and work Titus over. Benjamin still has his ribs taped up, so I expect that to be a target. A few seconds after I type that Titus does attack the ribs and then is able to make the tag. Benjamin and King go back and forth a bit, cautiously. King takes a powder to regroup. Back in the ring the challengers isolate Benjamin and focus on his injured ribs. Eventually Haas gets the tag and the crowd goes mild. Haas hits a couple of German Suplexes and an Olympic Slam before putting on the Haas of Pain. King breaks that up. The champs focus on Titus for a while before the tag is made to King. This match has just been all back and forth, like every WGTT match – no real story. The referee loses control and all four men are in the ring. At least the crowd is getting interested. King knocks Haas to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Titus tries a Frog Splash but Benjamin gets his knees up and hits Paydirt but Titus kicks out at two! Tags are made and Haas and King throw punches. For some reason Haas finds it necessary to stick up both middle fingers at King and scream “FUCK YOU!” I dislike him a great deal. Benjamin knocks Titus to the floor and WGTT then hits King with the Leap of Faith and a double powerbomb to get the win at 22:03. Haas and Benjamin just aren’t interesting enough to go more than 20 minutes, or really to be in ROH at all. I just don’t like anything about them. King and Titus clearly outshined them.
Rating: **½

Backstage – The ROH World Tag Team Champions cut a promo putting over the ROH tag team division and the All Night Express. Benjamin declares the tag division the best in the “universes.” He also says, and I quote: “Donald and Daffy came out on top to show you there’s no ducking you.” Seriously, get these guys off my show.

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Davey Richards vs. El Generico

Richards has been the champion since 6.26.11, and this is his fourth defense. They chain wrestle to start and both men have their game faces on. Richards hits a dropkick and Generico powders. Back in the ring Generico unleashes a flurry of armdrags and now Richards takes a powder. When Richards gets back inside they continue to go back and forth and Generico takes the advantage. Richards fights back and dumps Generico to the floor and drills him with a running kick to the chest. The champ then wipes Generico out with a suicide dive. Now Richards is firmly in control. He wears Generico down with a series of submission holds and strikes. Generico fights back with a low bridge to send Richards to the floor, and then he wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring Generico hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two-count. Generico follows up with a Michinoku Driver for two. Richards sells those moves for about 10 seconds before coming back with a kick to the chest for two. He follows with a running knee strike in the corner and a superplex for another near-fall. They trade forearm shots now and Generico wins that battle with a kick to the face. Generico tries the Brainbuster twice but Richards avoids it and hits the Alarm Clock. Richards hits a running forearm in the corner and Generico comes right back with a running Yakuza kick. Generico tries the Brainbuster again but Richards reverses to one of his own for two. Richards puts on the Ankle Lock but Generico won’t tap out. The champ tries the handspring but Generico dropkicks him in the face, then hits a running Yakuza Kick and the Half-Nelson Suplex for a close two-count. They take the fight to the apron and Generico hits a SICK Brainbuster on the apron. That’s nasty. By the time Generico is able to get Richards back in the ring to cover him, Richards is able to kick out at two. Of course he is. Generico takes Richards to the top rope but Richards counters and hits a Dragon Superplex. Richards follows up with a running kick and German Suplex with a bridge for two. The Buzzsaw Kick gets another two, and then Richards puts on the Ankle Lock again. Generico rolls out of it and hits the running Yakuza Kick and a Half-Nelson Suplex, and then he locks on a Sleeper. Richards escapes but Generico catches him in the Ankle Lock. The champ escapes out of that too and hits a lariat for two. Another brainbuster by Richards gets another two-count. Richards hits a trio of kicks to the head (similar to how he won the title from Edwards) to finally get the pin at 30:01. The crowd was pretty into it because they love Richards, but I believe no one really bough that Generico could win the title. As a result the match just felt long and the selling came and went as they saw fit. It was a good match, but anyone who reads me knows I’m just not into Richards’s style as much as most ROHBots.
Rating: ***¼

Kevin Steen makes his way out from the crowd and attacks the worn-down Champion. The locker room empties to try and keep them apart, and Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs make their way out to attack Steen. Steen gets chased out of the building and Richards cuts a promo that’s hard to hear because they show Steen getting removed from the building on the picture-in-picture.
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor IX (Tyler Black, Roderick Strong) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/12/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-ix-tyler-black-roderick-strong-2/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/12/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-ix-tyler-black-roderick-strong-2/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:00:34 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170652 GBH9

For an easy to navigate archive of my many ROH reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Manhattan Center – New York, New York – September 11, 2010

The opening video package focuses on the Kings of Wrestling versus Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas, the chain match between Kevin Steen & Steve Corino and Colt Cabana & El Generico, and the ROH World Champion Tyler Black defending his title against Roderick Strong.

Kevin Kelly and Joe Dombrowski are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Jay Briscoe vs. Kenny King

The tension between these two is palpable as they aggressively chain wrestle in the early going. They quickly start trading slaps and Jay takes control, unloading on King with a flurry of offense. King comes back with a hard clothesline for two and goes to work now. A beautiful leg lariat gets a near-fall. King goes for the shotgun knees in the corner but Jay catches him and drops him dangerously on his head. Jay follows up with a hard spinebuster for two. He continues on offense, hitting a huge boot to the face for two. King’s partner Rhett Titus makes his way out to ringside to distract Jay. That gives King the chance to miss a clothesline as Jay takes Titus out with a somersault dive over the ropes! That was neat. Back in the ring a series of reversals ends with King hitting an enziguiri and the Royal Flush to get the pin at 7:39. That was a good choice for an opener.
Rating: **¾

Titus and King continue beating on Jay after the bell, so brother Mark runs out and the Briscoes go nuts. Referee Paul Turner is able to get the match under control and the next match is underway!

MATCH #2: Mark Briscoe vs. Rhett Titus

The partners remain at ringside as Mark controls the early part of the match. Titus comes back with a dropkick and ditches the bowtie, so you know he means business. He keeps Mark on the canvas for a few minutes before drilling him with a big kick to the face and then the Zack Attack for a two-count. The fight spills to the ring apron, and Mark knocks Titus to the floor and then follows him down with a somersault senton off the second rope! Mark is crazy. Back in the ring he gets a two-count. Mark goes up top and Titus joins him, only to take a super Ace Crusher and both men are down. They get up and trade strikes until Mark wins that battle with a t-bone suplex. Titus recovers and they trade a bunch of pinning combinations for a series of two-counts. King tries to interfere so Jay takes him out. Mark drills Titus with a Superkick and the Cutthroat Driver to get the pin at 9:30. That was even better than the opener. These four have great chemistry.
Rating: ***

MATCH #3: Ballz Mahoney & Grizzly Redwood vs. Erick Stevens & the Necro Butcher

The Embassy team is accompanied by Prince Nana and Ernesto Osiris. They take it right to the floor as the crowd chants “ECW.” Mahoney hits Stevens with beer cups while Butcher and Redwood fight on the other side of the ring. Back in the ring Redwood and Mahoney continue to work together on Stevens, showing impressive cohesion for a first-time team. Redwood tries a cross body block off the top rope but Stevens catches him and pitches him to the floor, and Butcher punches him in the face on the way down! That was neat. Now the Embassy takes over on Redwood, which is good strategy. Nana and Osiris get their shots in outside the ring as well. Butcher hits Redwood with multiple chokeslams and a clothesline for two. Stevens tries a suplex but Redwood is able to slip it into a Sleeper. Redwood hits a rana off the second rope and makes the hot tag. Mahoney is a house afire and the referee quickly loses control. Redwood and Stevens take it to the floor, and Mahoney lands a Superfly Splash on Butcher and Nana has to physically stop the referee from counting to three. Mahoney pulls Nana into the ring and the distraction allows Stevens to hit Mahoney with Ghanarrhea to get the win at 7:45. That was brisk and fun enough. This was the end of this version of the Embassy.
Rating: **½

MATCH #4: Double Chain Match – Kevin Steen & Steve Corino vs. El Generico & Colt Cabana

Cabana and Generico win the coin toss and get to decide who is chained to whom for this match. The babyfaces dominate the early going with some synchronized offense. Steen and Generico battle in the ring while Cabana and Corino fight outside the ring. They trade places and it looks like Steen is the first one busted open. It doesn’t take much longer for Corino to join Steen in the bloody forehead club. All four men brawl in the ring as Generico and Cabana continue to control. They focus too much on Steen though, and that gives Corino the chance to hit both of his opponents with the chain and now Corino and Steen take control. Cabana is busted open, and Corino throws him to the floor while Steen chokes Generico with the chain. This is getting pretty nasty. Steen hits Generico with a superkick and then locks on a chain-assisted Sharpshooter! That’s cool. Cabana makes the save and all four men are in the ring again. Generico and Cabana come back, and Cabana traps Corino in the Tree of Woe for Generico to hit the Coast to Coast dropkick into a chair but Steen blocks it so Generico wipes him out with a somersault dive instead! Cabana instead dropkicks the chair into Corino’s face but it only gets two. They go back to the floor, where Cabana and Generico set up a table. Unfortunately for Generico, that backfires when Steen pulls him off the top rope and through the table! Cabana takes control of Corino while Generico uses everything in his power to hold Steen back. Steen calls for Colby Corino, who comes out and cuts Steen’s chain loose. Back in the ring Steen hits Cabana with the Pumphandle Neckbreaker. Corino frees himself as well, and they use the chains to tie Cabana to the ropes with his arms outstretched. Steen hits a superkick and Corino goes for a chair shot but Generico has recovered and he breaks it up! Generico tries to untie Cabana but can’t do it, as Steen pulls him to the floor and powerbombs him onto the apron. Corino again ties Cabana up and signals for the chair shot, but Generico covers his partner up to a chorus of boos. Finally Steen blasts Generico with a chair shot to the back but they still can’t hit Cabana. Generico will not stay down, and while the referee unties Cabana, Generico knocks Steen to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Cabana recovers and sets up the steel chair for a powerbomb, and then locks Corino in the Billy Goat’s Curse to get the win at 19:45. The fight continues after the bell and Steen is able to pull Generico’s mask off! Cabana hurries Generico to the back so that no one sees his face. The match was a pretty brutal brawl, though I think they teased Cabana getting hit with the chair a bit too long. But it was a good idea for a spot and the rest of the match was really intense and the crowd heat was with them the entire time.
Rating: ****

A few days ago, Jim Cornette sat down with Davey Richards, who is about to leave on a tour for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Cornette asks about the comments Richards made in regards to retiring at the end of this year. Richards talks about his life and his history with wrestling, and gets deep into details about his family. He says that he is not going anywhere because being a wrestler is what he was born to do, that wrestling chose him, stuff like that. Richards says he needs the ROH World Title. Cornette thanks him for his time and we head back to the ring.

MATCH #5: World TV Title Match – Eddie Edwards vs. Shawn Daivari with Prince Nana

Edwards has been the TV Champion since 3.5.10, and this is his sixth defense. Daivari is also accompanied by Ernesto Osiris. They trade chops and strikes in the early going, with Edwards appearing to have the upper hand. That lasts until Edwards charges Daivari in the corner but misses and he crashes into the ring post and down to the floor. That looked like a hard fall. Daivari follows the champion out to the floor and continues the punishment. Back in the ring Daivari wisely follows up on the shoulder injury. Daivari goes up top and Edwards knocks him down with a kick to the head and then follows him up for a huge superplex. Edwards sends Daivari to the floor and follows him out with a dive. Back in the ring Edwards stays in control, unleashing a flurry of his signature offense. Edwards hits a superkick but then runs right into a clothesline for two. Moments later he comes back and locks on the Achilles Lock so Nana gets on the apron but is quickly knocked off. Edwards then puts on the Achilles Lock again to get the submission win at 7:42. That was a decent back-and-forth title match, but I don’t see what anyone ever saw in Daivari. Nana’s dreams of gold have been put on hold.
Rating: **½

MATCH #6: Battle of the Best – Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels

As is his tradition, Aries cuts a promo before the match, spouting off the usual, and then proposes that he and Daniels “steal the show” and “may the best man win.” They start off with some chain wrestling and Aries is in control. Daniels fights back as the crowd chants for both men. They continue to go back and forth, showing how evenly matched they are. Aries knocks Daniels to the floor and follows him out with an elbow off the top rope. Back in the ring Aries goes to work on Daniels. The crowd works in a “F#ck TNA” chant for some reason, and then chant a more appropriate “ROH.” Meanwhile Daniels fights back with a neckbreaker, and then a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two-count. Daniels clotheslines Aries to the floor and tries the Arabian Press but Aries avoids it and hits the Heat Seeking Missile. That’s a good spot. Back in the ring Daniels goes right back on offense. Well that spot on the floor was sure a waste then. Aries fights back with a crucifix bomb and a Brainbuster for two. He goes up and hits the 450 Splash but Daniels kicks out! They battle up on the top rope and Daniels is able to hit a super Angel’s Wings to get the pin at 13:06! That was a fun back-and-forth with a great finish.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #7: Non Title Special Dream Tag Team Match – The Kings of Wrestling with Shane Hagadorn vs. Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas

Haas comes out wearing a skullcap, so you know he’s cool. Benjamin and Haas are just announced by their names, not yet “Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team,” and they come out to “TNT,” which is pretty bush league. Get some real music. The crowd dishes out dueling chants before the match even begins. Claudio Castagnoli starts the match with Benjamin. They lock up intensely and Benjamin wins that battle with a vertical suplex. Chris Hero tags in and they take it to the mat. More tags are made and momentum shifts back and forth multiple times. The Kings try an early KRS-One but that gets countered to that one signature move WGTT have, but Castagnoli pulls Hero to the floor to avoid that. Good spot there. Back in the ring the champions take control and wear Haas down in their half of the ring. Haas fights back with a t-bone suplex and makes the tag. Benjamin appears to be on fire but Hero immediately low bridges the ropes to send Benjamin crashing to the floor. That’s awesome. Now the Kings work on Benjamin, showing supreme tag team skills. Finally Benjamin makes the hot tag and Haas is all over the Kings. Referee Paul Turner loses control and all four men are brawling in the ring. Castagnoli launches Benjamin right into an elbow strike from Hero but that only gets two. The crowd bought that one hard. Hero hits another elbow strike to the back of Benjamin’s head but once again it gets only two! Benjamin fights back with the spin kick and makes the tag to Haas. This time Benjamin and Haas hit that one move (someone give it a name) but it only gets two. Hero comes back and blasts Haas with an elbow to the face. The match breaks down again and Benjamin hits Castagnoli with the pop-up super belly-to-belly suplex. Haas then locks Castagnoli in the Haas of Pain. Hagadorn distracts the referee while Hero puts on the loaded elbow pad and knocks Haas out with it. Hero rolls Castagnoli on top to get the pin at 20:41. The finish was a little lazy, but the work leading up to it was fantastic. I think it’s actually clear how much better the Kings of Wrestling are than Benjamin and Haas. After the match Benjamin and Haas get their heat back by stripping Hagadorn and whipping him with his belt.
Rating: ****

MATCH #8: ROH World Title No-Disqualification Match – Tyler Black vs. Roderick Strong with Truth Martini; Terry Funk is the special ringside enforcer!

Black has been the champion since 2.13.10, and this is his eighth defense. He of course is greeted with a chorus of boos, since he’s on his way to WWE (FCW). The crowd chants “NXT” at him, which is pretty clever actually. This is Strong’s sixteenth chance at the ROH World Title. Jim Cornette joins the commentary team. These two have had awesome matches in the past, so I’m excited for this. Despite Black’s impending departure, he still has enough supporters for a dueling chant early on. They trade holds and Strong hits a leg lariat to send Black to the floor. Strong follows him out and continues the abuse. Black counters and drops Strong chest-first on the ring apron. Back in the ring Black maintains control and the crowd stays hot. Momentum shifts back and forth several times as Martini tries to encourage Strong from ringside. Black controls for several minutes before Strong can fight back with a Falcon Arrow for two. Momentum continues to shift, and Black takes control with a gutbuster. Black tells the crowd that They Can’t See Him and then locks on the STFU! That’s awesome. Martini tries to interfere but Funk backs him off as Strong breaks out of the hold. Black hits superplex and tries to roll through for God’s Last Gift but Strong counters with a vertical suplex into a backbreaker for a near-fall! The crowd is hot. Strong hits a gutbuster and goes for the Sick Kick but Black pulls referee Todd Sinclair in the way and Sinclair gets blasted! What a bump. Funk comes in the ring and throws Sinclair to the floor, officially taking over as referee. Black hits Strong with the Book of Truth and then god’s Last Gift but it only gets two! They fight up to the top rope and Black hits the Warrior’s Way but Strong catches him and locks on the Stronghold! Black counters with an inside cradle for two. Strong immediately kills Black’s face with a superkick but it only gets two! House of Truth members Josh Raymond and Christin Able come running out in their wrestling gear for some reason, and Funk easily dispatches of both of them. Martini gets in the ring and Funk throws him back to the floor. Black hits Strong with a superkick and two Buckle Bombs, then two more superkicks, and then Strong spits in his face so Black gives him another one! He goes up for the Phoenix Splash but misses and Strong hits an enziguiri, a torture rack backbreaker, a gutbuster, and the Sick Kick to finally win the ROH World Title at 15:04. That was phenomenal, great stuff from both guys again. They’re great opponents.
Rating: ****¼

The crowd chants “Thank You Tyler” and Strong extends his hand, but Black gives everyone the finger and walks away. Then the lights go out in the building and Homicide’s music hits, and the crowd goes BALLISTIC. Strong gets in his face and they yell at each other to close the show.
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A2Z Analysiz – ROH Glory By Honor VIII: The Final Countdown (Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuinness) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/11/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-viii-the-final-countdown-bryan-danielson-nigel-mcguinness-4/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/11/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-viii-the-final-countdown-bryan-danielson-nigel-mcguinness-4/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 14:00:56 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170648 GBH8

For an easy to navigate archive of my many ROH reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Manhattan Center – New York City, New York – September 26, 2009

~DISC 1~

MATCH #1: Rhett Titus vs. Colt Cabana

I’m shocked, shocked I say, that Cabana decides to start the match with some comedy. An angry Titus is having none of it, and he goes right after his adversary. Cabana comes back and Titus snakes between the ropes to take a breather. Back in the ring Cabana continues the comedy, and even uses referee Paul Turner to his advantage. Titus comes back with a nice dropkick to the face. He stays in control, hitting a Thrust Buster for two. Cabana comes back with a sunset flip for two. Titus responds with a kick and a bodyslam. He goes up top for a double axe handle and Cabana hits a punch to the midsection. Cabana hits a flurry of offense, including the Flying Apple. Titus tries another dropkick but Cabana avoids it and locks on the Billy Goat’s Curse to get the submission win at 6:33. That was exactly what you would expect from these two. They ended up with a nice little mini-feud when Cabana busted Titus’s head open a couple of shows ago, but they didn’t really do much with it. That’s a shame.
Rating: *¼

MATCH #2: Dark City Fight Club vs. Cheech & Cloudy

Jon Davis and Cheech start the match. Up In Smoke actually use their speed and quickness to gain an early advantage. Naturally that doesn’t last long, as the DCFC take over and start working Cheech over. Cloudy gets a tag and he gets beat up worse than Cheech was. This is pretty much a slaughter until Cloudy makes a hot tag. Cheech shows off his agility, and Up In Smoke uses some teamwork to get a short advantage. The match spills to the floor, and when Cheech thinks about going for a dive, Davis levels him with a Pounce, period. Cloudy tries a headscissors on Davis, but Davis catches him with a powerbomb. Davis then lifts Cloudy up and the DCFC hits the Greater Good to get the pin at 9:46. That was a fun tag match, and I really like what the Dark City Fight Club brings to the tag division.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #3: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kenny Omega

They trade glove slaps and Omega immediately earns my ire by hitting the Stop Sign Enziguiri. The match quickly spills to the floor and Castagnoli takes control. Back in the ring Castagnoli goes to work, and Omega tries to counter with flippy stuff. Castagnoli hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Omega tries the Frog Cross Body Block, but Castagnoli catches him and turns it into a Samoan Drop for two. Everything Omega tries, Castagnoli has a counter for. Omega finally comes back with the Thrust Buster, the same move Rhett Titus used in the opener. He unleashes a flurry of offense, including a nice Dragon Suplex that sends Castagnoli to the floor. He follows Castagnoli out with a Tornillo, and then whips him into the ring post. A series of reversals ends with Omega hitting a moonsault off the turnbuckle. Omega then throws Castagnoli back in the ring and follows him in with the Frog Cross Body for two. He goes for the Electric Chair but Castagnoli reverses it to the UFO for two. The crowd popped big for that. Castagnoli hits the Pop-Up European Uppercut and then goes for the Ricola Bomb, which Omega reverses to a small package. That only gets two, and Castagnoli comes back with another Pop-Up European Uppercut for another two. Castagnoli goes for a Bicycle Kick but Omega blocks it with some video game crap. Omega follows that up with a reverse Frankensteiner and once gain goes for Croyt’s Wrath. Castagnoli grabs the referee, and is able to hit a low blow behind his back and then hits a European Uppercut to finally get the pin at 9:35. Omega isn’t my thing but the way Castagnoli dominated and Omega had offense in short bursts really worked for them.
Rating: ***

MATCH #4: Four Corner Survival – Delirious vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Grizzly Redwood vs. Roderick Strong

Dutt immediately goes after Haze, so Delirious goes out to defend her honor, leaving Redwood and Strong alone in the ring. Redwood actually gets a bit of offense in before Strong throws him around. Delirious comes in the ring to battle Strong, and I feel like this one is going to be fast paced. That notion is proved right in short order. Redwood hits the first dive of the match, on Strong. Dutt takes advantage of Redwood’s gloating and kicks him in the back. He also works in the Jarrett strut, as if we haven’t seen him do that a billion times yet. Everyone gets back in the ring for the requisite Tower of Doom spot. The crowd is getting behind Redwood. The offense is coming fast and furious, and from everyone. Delirious clotheslines Dutt to the floor, once again leaving Strong and Redwood in the ring. Strong tosses Redwood to the floor. Delirious gets back in and hits the Cobra Suplex and the Panic Attack. He goes for Shadows over Hell but Dutt breaks it up. Dutt hits a Super Asai DDT and Delirious breaks up the pin. Delirious goes for a clothesline and Dutt tosses him to the floor. Dutt then pulls his tights down and Strong hits him with a backbreaker, running Yakuza kick, and the Gibson Driver to get the pin at 11:54. That was a really fun four-way, and they had the right amount of storyline injected into it with Delirious and Dutt. Strong going over was the right call too.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #5: Ladder War II ROH World Tag Team Title Match – The American Wolves vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

The Wolves have been champions since 4.10.09, and this is their ninth defense. Edwards is coming into the match with a broken elbow that he received in a street fight with Steen last night in Boston. The battle quickly spills to the floor. Steen and Generico are dominant in the early going. Edwards is definitely the weak link due to his injury. It doesn’t take long for a ladder to get involved and be used as a weapon, mostly by the challengers. Generico tries to climb up for the belts, but Richards stops him with a steel chair. The Wolves back body drop Generico on a ladder, bending it in half. Hagadorn hands Richards a pair of handcuffs and he handcuffs Steen’s hands behind his back. The Wolves then run a ladder into his face, and are just having their way with him. Hagadorn pulls out a table, and Generico returns to the ring a house afire. The Wolves put that fire out by hitting a German Suplex through said table. Richards has a chain now and wraps it around his foot before delivering the Kawada Kicks. Edwards tries to climb up for the belts but Steen knocks him over. Generico rejoins the ring with running Yakuza kicks for all. He grabs Hagadorn and steals the handcuffs key, and then unlocks his partner. He then sets up another table, and a ladder. Steen also sets up a table. Richards comes back with a tornado DDT through a table on the floor to Steen. Richards and Generico climb the ladder, with tables on either side of them. Generico hits a sunset bomb off the ladder through a table. He climbs back up the ladder and Edwards meets him up there. Edwards back body drops Generico off the ladder through the other table! The ladder falls over and Edwards falls as well. Hagadorn brings out a bigger ladder and Edwards sets it up. Generico dives through that ladder and over the top rope to wipe out Richards on the floor! Steen wallops Edwards in the head with a chair and starts climbing. Edwards recovers and shoves the ladder over, sending Steen through a table on the floor. He climbs up the big ladder, and Generico meets him there. Edwards pulls Generico’s leg through the ladder, and Richards hits him with a weak chair shot. He locks Generico in a half crab, and Richards retrieves the belts at 23:55. Of course it wasn’t as good as the first one, but props to Edwards for giving a hell of an effort. It’s hard to be innovative in ladder matches these days but they did cool spots and only a few of them were contrived.
Rating: ****

MATCH #6: Grudge Match – Chris Hero vs. Eddie Kingston

Eric Santamaria joins Prazak for commentary, since Hero is otherwise occupied. These two hate each other for reasons that I don’t quite buy. Kingston immediately goes on offense, slugging at Hero and throwing him around. The fight spills to the floor and Hero throws Kingston into the guardrail. Hero puts Kingston under the mat and hits a senton off the apron. Back in the ring Hero stays in control. Hero hits an elbow to the head for just a one-count. A regular senton gets a two-count, as does a big boot to the face. Hero tries another senton but Kingston catches him. No matter, Hero counters with a slam and a kick to the head. Kingston avoids a rolling elbow and hits a release German Suplex and both men are down. They get back to their feet and trade shots, and Hero hits a big elbow to the head. Kingston responds with a lariat that sends Hero to the floor, and then follows him out with a suicide dive. They continue fighting on the floor and Kingston is in control now. Kingston hits a big headbutt and Hero is busted open. Back in the ring Hero comes back with a big elbow. Kingston comes back with a uranage and a lariat for two. Hero comes back with a blockbuster for two. He hits the Liger Bomb for another two. Kingston fights back with a Northern Lights Bomb for two. He follows up with a Dragon Suplex for another two-count. Hero fights back with a rolling elbow and then the Death Blow, but Kingston kicks out at two. He stomps away at Kingston’s head, but that only serves to fire him up. They both exchange suplexes and do some “fighting spirit.” Finally both men are down, but Kingston gets up first. Kingston grabs Hero’s green elbow pad, and Hagadorn jumps in the ring to save Hero, taking a spinning back fist. Hero produces a gold elbow pad of his own and hits the rolling elbow for the win at 16:09. Following the ladder war would be tough for anyone, and since I don’t buy this feud from the beginning, they had a huge uphill battle and couldn’t quite climb it.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #7: ROH World Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Petey Williams

Aries has been the champion since 6.13.09, and this is his seventh defense. The “Austin Aries Lucky Lottery,” or “A Double L Double” has been a staple of the ROH TV show, but this is its DVD debut. The first name he draws is Bret Hart. Petey Williams comes out to answer the challenge, which is incredibly lame since he was the only guy who was booked for the show and didn’t have a match. Aries takes a cheap shot and the match begins. He gloats and Williams gets a quick schoolboy rollup for two, and then a punch to the face. The chap then takes a powder and gets back on the mic, trying to back out of the title match. Senior Referee Todd Sinclair won’t budge, and starts counting the champion out. Back in the ring Aries takes control and goes after the arm. They trade holds and counters, with Aries especially avoiding the Canadian Destroyer and the Sharpshooter, and he rolls to the floor again. Williams follows him out and pays for it, as Aries knocks him down and hits the top rope axe handle. The crowd is intermittently chanting “Twinkies,” just to be obnoxious smarks. Aries is firmly in control here, working Williams over. He goes for the pendulum elbow, but Williams counters and tries the Sharpshooter, and Aries attacks the eyes. The Twinkies chanting is getting out of hand. Williams fights back and hits a chinbreaker and a bulldog for two, as Hero comes back to the booth to relieve Santamaria. Aries comes back and this time hits the Pendulum Elbow for two. He motions for the Destroyer himself, but Williams counters it with a Sharpshooter and Aries reaches the ropes. Williams pulls Aries off the ropes and goes for another Sharpshooter but Aries avoids it. They trade counters and reversals until Aries ends up with the Figure-Four Leglock. Williams turns it over and Aries once again reaches the ropes. The crowd chanting for Twinkies is taking away from Aries locking on the Last Chancery. Aries hits the IED and the Brainbuster, but Williams kicks out at two. He sets Williams on the top rope, only to get knocked down. They trade holds as the crowd continues to chant for Twinkies. Williams hits the Canadian Destroyer but Aries reaches the ropes. He locks on the Sharpshooter and Aries counters by sending him to the floor and following him out with the Heat Seeking Missile. Aries hits the IED out on the floor. Williams barely beats the 20 count to get back in the ring. Aries immediately locks on the Last Chancery and Williams reaches the ropes. He sets Williams on the top rope again but Williams blocks it and hits a Super Canadian Destroyer! Aries rolls to the floor to avoid being pinned. Williams goes out to try and throw Aries back in the ring, but Aries counters his attempts with a brainbuster. Aries rolls back in the ring to win the match via countout at 20:00. The crowd did their best to ruin the match, and they did a pretty good job of it. Aries also did his best to no-sell the Canadian Destroyer and ruin that finisher and make Williams look like a non-threat. The countout win is pretty lame too. All in all I would classify this match as a minor disaster.
Rating: *¾

~DISC 2~

MATCH #8: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Young Bucks

The Briscoes beat the Bucks a week ago in Dayton. Mark and Nick Jackson start the match, likely because they’re the uglier members of their teams. Nick uses his agility to combat Mark’s superior power. He tags his brother Matt, and they tag each other in and out to work on Mark’s arm. Mark comes back with a spin kick on Nick and then tags his brother. The Bucks take control soon after, and then the Briscoes reclaim it. No team has claimed a sustained advantage in the early going here. The brothers Jackson actually gain the first advantage, working Jay over in their half of the ring. Jay fights back with some strikes and tags his brother Mark. They grab Nick and double-biel him over the turnbuckles and onto his brother. Obviously the Briscoes are in control now. Nick fights back with some strikes and tags Matt. I’ve noticed that the Young Bucks rarely make tags without somersaulting their way into the corner. The match breaks down and the Bucks are in control; the fast pace suits them. Mark hits Matt with a Super Ace Crusher for two. Nick gets the tag but he gets abused right away. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but Nick avoids it. The two teams trade double-superkicks and all four men go down. They get back to their feet, and Nick gets the first offensive maneuver with a slingshot X-Factor. Matt hits a 180 Diamond Dust on Mark for a two-count. Man these Bucks are flying all over the place. Mark comes back with an exploder on Nick and an enziguiri to Matt. Jay gets the tag and goes for the Jay Driller but Matt reverses it. He lands it on the second attempt but Nick breaks up the pin. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device again but the Bucks counter it and toss Mark to the floor. The Bucks then hit Jay with More Bang for Your Buck to get the upset win at 17:03! The selling sort of came and went but this was a crowd pleaser for sure. The Bucks definitely took a step up with a win over the most successful team ever in ROH, and now with one win apiece a rubber match is inevitable.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #9: Main Event – Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson

They lock up and McGuinness gives Danielson a clean break. In no great shock they take it to the mat with some chain wrestling. Danielson takes the first advantage and viciously attacks McGuinness’s arm. The crowd shows their appreciation for both men throughout the match. McGuinness responds by also attacking Danielson’s arm in unnatural ways. I’m going to miss these guys. Danielson comes back with a bitch slap and then puts McGuinness in a surfboard position in order to punch him in the ear. Hero works in a Chad Collyer reference on commentary, and now I just miss Chad Collyer. In the meantime McGuinness has regained control. Danielson comes back with a boot and a leaping European Uppercut. He takes McGuinness down and hits a diving headbutt off the top rope for two. He goes up top for a missile dropkick and McGuinness blocks it, only to find himself quickly trapped in a triangle choke. McGuinness reaches the ropes, but as everyone knows, Danielson has till five to break. They do the fish out of water spot, and the crowd just loves everything that they’re doing. Danielson hits a running clothesline and then sets McGuinness up top for the belly-to-back superplex. McGuinness blocks that so Danielson settles for the Tree of Woe. That sufficiently softens McGuinness up for the belly-to-back superplex, and that gets two. Danielson tries Cattle Mutilation but McGuinness counters it into a Tower of London, which Hero calls the London Bridge for some reason. McGuinness takes Danielson out to the apron and tries another Tower of London, but Danielson avoids it and pushes him into the crowd. McGuinness uses a ring attendant to block Danielson’s dive, but when he gloats about it Danielson hits him with a running knee strike off the apron, which once again sends McGuinness into the crowd. Danielson this time follows him out with the springboard dive. He gets up on the barricade and McGuinness pushes him right into the ring post, effectively busting Danielson’s head open. McGuinness is in control now, hitting a big Tower of London on the floor now. He then returns an old favor, pulling Danielson’s already bloody head into the ring post a couple of times. Back in the ring (barely) McGuinness hits a Tower of London on the apron. He hurriedly throws Danielson back in the ring for a two-count, and then locks on the London Dungeon, but Danielson reaches the ropes. McGuinness tries for a lariat but Danielson avoids it and hits a missile dropkick. Danielson hits a running knee strike but McGuinness comes back with a Jawbreaker Lariat! It only gets two, so McGuinness immediately applies the London Dungeon. He even traps Danielson’s legs, but Danielson rolls through and hits some elbows, but McGuinness counters with elbows of his own. Danielson simply powers out of them and hits some forearm strikes. They run the ropes and knock heads. That inspires them to trade sickening headbutts. McGuinness tries the Jawbreaker again but Danielson counters with a small package for two. On the next attempt McGuinness does hit the Jawbreaker but can’t make the cover right away, so it only gets two. Danielson’s momentum rolls over and he locks on the Cattle Mutilation. He rolls that into the elbow strikes for a two-count. Danielson hits a series of kicks to the head, and then locks on the triangle choke and accentuates that with elbow strikes, and Sinclair calls for the bell at 28:23. Well these two certainly had a lot to live up to, and while it wasn’t as good as the matches in the prime of their feud, they did show why they are regarded as two of the best in the world, and two of the most important wrestlers in the history of Ring of Honor.
Rating: ****¼

BONUS MATCH – ROH World Title vs. Pure Title – Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness, Weekend of Champions Night Two, 4.29.06

I haven’t seen this match in about four years, so this should be interesting. McGuinness has been the Pure Champion since 8.27.05, and this is his eleventh defense. Danielson has been the World Champion since 9.17.05, and this is his nineteenth defense. Senior Referee Todd Sinclair explains the rules and away we go. Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard are on commentary. They chain wrestle in the early going, and the crowd seems split on who to root for. Danielson tries to channel Antonio Inoki, but it doesn’t quite work for him. They trade holds back and forth, with neither man gaining a clear advantage. Danielson tries grounding McGuinness with a side headlock and he has some success with that. McGuinness makes it back to his feet so Danielson switches it up to the cravat. A nice sequence of reversals keeps the crowd into it, but Danielson retains control. McGuinness finally gets so fed up with the cravat that he uses his first rope break to get out of the hold. He responds by using a closed fist without getting caught by the referee, and when Danielson responds in kind, the referee sees it and gives Danielson a warning. While Sinclair is telling the ring announcer, McGuinness delivers another closed fist, and when Sinclair turns around Danielson punches back once again, and this time it costs him a rope break. That was awesome. McGuinness is doggedly going after Danielson’s arm. He locks on a submission hold and accentuates it with elbows to the head, causing Danielson to use another rope break to get out of the hold. Danielson tries to come back with a modified sleeper hold, but McGuinness goes right back to the arm. The World Champion escapes and hits a solid dropkick to the face, but the Pure Champion comes back by once again attacking the arm. Finally Danielson escapes a hold and goes for the Surfboard, but settles for stomping McGuinness’s knees into the mat. McGuinness responds by snapping Danielson’s arm once again, and then sending him to the floor. He tries to suplex Danielson back in the ring, but Danielson counters with a release German Suplex. Both men are down, and McGuinness reaches his feet first. Danielson is firing up with a big lariat and a running forearm in the corner. He follows up with a suplex and a diving headbutt for a two-count. Then he locks on the Crossface Chicken Wing, and McGuinness uses his second rope break. Back to their feet the rivals exchange slaps, and McGuinness hits the headstand mule kick. McGuinness then hits the Tower of London, and Danielson avoids getting pinned by putting his foot on the ropes, and thus is now out of rope breaks. He goes for another Tower of London but Danielson counters with the Cattle Mutilation! McGuinness puts his foot on the bottom rope for this third rope break, and now the ropes are in play across the board. They battle on the apron and McGuinness suplexes Danielson to the floor! McGuinness throws Danielson into the guardrail and then clears the table to use it as a weapon, but Danielson makes it back into the ring at the count of 19! Prazak notes that we are about 22 minutes in and that a 60-minute draw is a possibility. I think that’s a bit presumptuous. In the meantime, McGuinness hits the Jawbreaker Lariat for a two-count, and then Danielson rolls over into the Cattle Mutilation. The ropes mean nothing at this point. McGuinness slides to the floor to break the hold. Danielson follows him out with a suicide dive, and both men are down. They get up and McGuinness charges, so Danielson throws him over the barricade and into the crowd. Danielson follows him out with the springboard dive, which given that Todd Sinclair was at the count of 17 or so and the Pure Title changes hands on a countout, was a pretty stupid move on Danielson’s part. Also, unfortunately for Danielson, McGuinness gets a chair up in his face. McGuinness is able to get back in the ring before the count of 20 and wins the match at 28:34. Bobby Cruise mistakenly announces McGuinness as the New ROH World Champion before Sinclair corrects him – the World Title can only change hands on a pinfall or submission. That was an awesome match that made great use of the Pure Rules and had a clever finish that would lend itself to future rematches. This is the kind of Gabe Booking that I miss.
Rating: ****½
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor VII (Briscoe Brothers, Austin Aries, Necro Butcher, Age of The Fall) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/10/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-vii-briscoe-brothers-austin-aries-necro-butcher-age-of-the-fall-2/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/10/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-vii-briscoe-brothers-austin-aries-necro-butcher-age-of-the-fall-2/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:00:22 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170644 GBH7

For an easy to navigate archive of my many ROH reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

New Alhambra Arena – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – September 20, 2008

MATCH #1: Jerry Lynn vs. Kenny King

The set looks awesome, by the way. This is a good choice to open the show, given Lynn’s history in this area. I’m getting tired of Prazak and Leonard always referring to “the original ECW” or “the real ECW” whenever they mention those three letters. Both men are cautious early on, doing some basic counter wrestling. Lynn stays one step ahead, scoring a sunset flip for two. A schoolboy rollup also gets two and Lynn goes to the headlock. He says in control so King rakes the eyes and tosses him to the floor. Lynn apparently is the only man in wrestling not affected by an eye poke, since he doesn’t sell it and avoids a dive attempt by King. He then hits the somersault off the apron. King comes back and slams Lynn’s back into the ring apron. Back in the ring the much younger King takes control. A spinebuster gets two. King continues working on the back. Lynn makes a comeback and uses some of King’s own dirty tactics against him. He hits a swinging DDT for two. He tries the Cradle Piledriver but Lynn avoids it. King tries a cradle with his feet on the ropes but the referee catches him. The ensuing argument allows Lynn to hit a top-rope rana and this time connects with the Cradle Piledriver to win the match at 10:20. That was a solid opener and the crowd is into Lynn so good for that old, old man.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #2: NWA World Heavyweight Title Match – Brent Albright vs. Adam Pearce

Albright won the title on 8.2.08, and this is his fifth defense. They show footage of the match, which is a nice touch. These two definitely over-performed in their last match, so I’m very curious to see how this one goes.

Both men start aggressively, with the champion overpowering the challenger. Pearce tries to powder but doesn’t pay attention and Albright follows him out and throws him around for quite a while. Referee Paul Turner for some reason starts his count over when he gets close to 10, because in NWA Title matches there is a 10-count on the floor. Well why is he re-starting his count? And there are also disqualifications under NWA rules, so why was Albright not disqualified for using a chair? This match is already irritating. Shane Hagadorn distracts the referee, allowing Pearce to throw Albright over the top rope. He follows the champion out and hits a suplex on the entrance ramp. Pearce at least goes slides under the bottom rope for a second to restart the count, which Albright couldn’t be bothered to do. Back in the ring Pearce takes over with his usual boring offense. Sweeney gets a cheap shot in behind the referee’s back. Pearce hits the Superfly Splash for two. He undoes his wrist tape but Turner catches him before he can use it. While they stall for a ridiculous amount of time, Hagadorn sneaks in the ring and takes forever to wedge a chair between the top and middle turnbuckle. A contrived spot leads to Pearce taking the chair to the skull and both men are down. Albright gets up and gets a suplex for two. Pearce tries a cross body block for some reason, but Albright (with an injured arm) catches Pearce and hits a swinging backbreaker. The challenger recovers and tries the figure-four but Albright gets a rollup for two. He then conveniently jumps right into position for the Air Raid Crash for two. They fight over a Half-Nelson Suplex and Pearce gets a low blow and then hits the move for two. He tries the Piledriver but Albright reverses it and hits one of his own for a near fall. Pearce goes up top again and appears to be going for a Pepsi Plunge. Albright fights it off, and then Sweeney distracts the referee so Hagadorn throws both men off the top rope to the floor. Why would he do that? They make it back to the ring and hit simultaneous clotheslines. Albright puts on the Crowbar but Pearce rolls out of it. The champ tries a Half-Nelson Suplex but Pearce blocks it and Pearce locks on his own Crowbar. Albright actually taps out and Pearce regains the title at 13:56.

The crowd is pretty shocked, and not in the good way. I’m sure NWA politics figured in to it somehow, but since that was Pearce’s last match in ROH to date, that’s a pretty strange way to end this feud. The match, by the way, was filled with so much garbage and internal logic conflicts that it drove me crazy. It’s pretty crazy that a little over a month later Pearce would become the booker of this company.
Rating: **

Bryan Danielson, the new GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion, has a lot of things going on right now. In addition to being the GHC Junior Champ, he’s feuding with Claudio Castagnoli, and chasing ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness. He promises that he will not go down no matter how hard his challenger, Katsuhiko Nakajima, kicks him.

MATCH #3: FIP World Heavyweight Title Match – Go Shiozaki vs. Kevin Steen

Shiozaki has been the champion since 8.23.08, and this is his first defense. They also show footage of Shiozaki’s title win from Heatstroke ‘08. These two wrestled back in February at Eye of the Storm, Shiozaki’s first show as a regular member of the roster.

They stall a bit to start. They try to out-power each other, but neither man will budge. They continue running into each other until Steen sidesteps Shiozaki and dumps him to the floor. He’s able to hit a somersault from the apron to the floor and the crowd approves. They fight out on the floor, where for FIP Title matches there is a 20-count instead of 10. Steen throws Shiozaki back in the ring, but then Shane Hagadorn distracts him, allowing Shiozaki to dropkick the knee. He continues working on the injured body part, which thankfully doesn’t stop Steen from slapping Hagadorn in the face. Steen fights back and hits a legdrop with his non-hurt knee. He follows up with a dropkick off the second rope into a jackknife pin for two. Shiozaki comes back and drops Steen’s neck across the top rope. He tries a knee drop off the top but misses, and Steen hits a flying forearm. Steen now works on Shiozaki’s leg, tit for tit I guess. Shiozaki avoids the Package Piledriver and hits a Fisherman Buster. He misses a moonsault and Steen hits one of his own, but Shiozaki kicks out at two. Steen is selling off and on here, which is kind of annoying. He goes up top and tries the Swanton but Shiozaki gets the knees up. Shiozaki locks on a Dragon Sleeper but Steen reaches the ropes. The champion comes back with a couple of lariats for two. He hits mounted chops to the neck and Steen appears to be out. Steen comes back with a German Suplex, which Shiozaki no-sells. The challenger follows up with a Sky-Hi Powerbomb for two, and then rolls Shiozaki into the Sharpshooter. Shiozaki powers out and then hits two Go Flashers to get the pin and retain the title at 15:21.That was better than the previous match, but the selling and psychology of the match came and went.
Rating: **½

Before Steen can leave the ring, ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness comes out and delivers a DDT onto Steen’s Tag Team Championship belt. The champ cuts a promo about how nobody is good enough to beat him.

MATCH #4: GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title match – Bryan Danielson vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima

Danielson has been champion since 9.14.08, and this is his first defense. Of course they show footage of his title victory six days ago. They aggressively lock up and Danielson narrowly avoids a kick to the head. They take it to the mat and trade holds and do the standoff. Danielson gets an early advantage and works over the arm. Nakajima is only 20 years old, but he’s been training since he was about 14. He lands a kick to the chest and tries to back Danielson into the corner, but the champion fights out and goes right back to the arm. The challenger fights back with kicks and Danielson continues focusing on the arm. Danielson abandons the arm to lock on a surfboard, which seems designed to injure Nakajima’s kicking legs. Nakajima fights back with an enziguiri and goes to work on the champion now. Danielson comes back with a flying forearm that sends Nakajima to the floor. He hits a baseball slide dropkick and then tosses him over the barricade into the crowd. He hits the springboard dive to the floor, much to the delight of the crowd. Back in the ring a little bit of back and forth ends with Nakajima dragon screw leg whipping Danielson into the ropes, and they go outside. Nakajima works on the leg and hits a kick to the chest. Back in the ring the challenger continues working over the leg. Danielson makes a brief comeback but Nakajima cuts him off with a DDT for two. The champ gets a German suplex with a bridge for two. They do the stupid spot where they trade suplexes and then sell them afterward. I know, they do it in Japan, and Nakajima is from Japan, but it’s still stupid. Nakajima gets the advantage and both works on the leg and hits a series of kicks. He locks on an Ankle Lock but Danielson reaches the ropes. Danielson almost fights back, but Nakajima hits a brainbuster for two. The German Suplex also gets two. A series of kicks knocks Danielson down, but he gets up before the 10 count. Danielson gets a quick small package for two. He hits a release German Suplex and begins kicking Nakajima’s head in. He then locks on the Triangle Choke and Nakajima reaches the ropes. Danielson goes for the super back suplex, but he abuses Nakajima in the Tree of Woe first. Then he hits the suplex. Danielson tries the Cross-Face Chicken Wing and the Cattle Mutilation but can’t lock on either of them. He hits a series of elbows to the face and a Tiger Suplex for two. He holds on and now locks on Cattle Mutilation and Nakajima taps out at 23:02. There was that one annoying bit of no-selling but other than that this was yet another great match from The Best in the World, Bryan Danielson.
Rating: ****

Jerry Lynn is backstage trying to channel Randy “The Ram” Robinson. I always give Lynn points for effort, but he’s no Mickey Rourke. He says almost beating Nigel McGuinness in June lit a fire under his ass and he wants a shot at the title now.

MATCH #5: Erick Stevens vs. Rhett Titus

Shockingly I think Titus has more heat at this point than Stevens. Titus tries a headlock but Stevens gets out of that and hits a shoulder block. It doesn’t knock Titus down, but a second one does, and a Samoan Drop does more damage. Stevens hits a chop and then clotheslines a kneeling Titus for a two-count. Titus fights back with his own flying shoulder tackle and it gets a one-count. He tries to keep the momentum going but Stevens forces him into the corner and unloads on him with chops and forearms. Apparently Stevens’ nose is busted open and he’s not happy about it. Titus comes back with a dropkick, and then continues to attack the nose, just to be a jerk. He goes for mounted punches in the corner and Stevens slips out. He catches Titus jumping off the ropes with a suplex and hits the Choo-Choo. He finishes it up with the powerbomb lariat and the Doctor Bomb for the win at 3:24. The broken nose provided the match with its only real excitement and that was accidental.
Rating: *

Larry Sweeney comes out after the match and has a contract offer for Stevens. He guarantees that if he takes the offer, in six months he’ll be moved on to somewhere else making more money, though what Sweeney really wants is no more Stevens in ROH. Stevens is smart enough to see through the offer and refuses. Sweeney tries to get him to reconsider, so Stevens blows his bloody nose on the contract. That angers Sweeney so he slaps Stevens, and when Stevens tries to beat up Sweeney the rest of Sweet & Sour run out and beat him down. Jobbers from the back try to help Stevens but they get held off. Go Shiozaki hits a knee drop off the second rope to the back of Stevens’ head that’s resting on a steel chair. Roderick Strong hits the ring and somehow he and the Vulture Squad clear the ring. It appears as though we have an impromptu match on our hands.

MATCH #6: Roderick Strong & The Vulture Squad vs. Sweet & Sour Inc.

Jigsaw and Ruckus represent the Vulture Squad, while Sweet & Sour is made up of the motley crew of Chris Hero, Eddie Edwards, and Shane Hagadorn. Strong starts the match in control, working over Chris Hero. Jigsaw and Ruckus get their shots in too. Hagadorn gets tagged in and he gets beaten up too. Sweeney finally get s chance to interfere and that gives his team the advantage over Jigsaw. He gets beat up for a while and then makes the tag to Strong, who takes out all three of his opponents. The match basically becomes a scramble from this point on, with everyone getting in and out of the ring and going for big moves and stuff. Hero hits Strong with the loaded elbow pad to score the pin at 11:08. The action was decent but of course had little rhyme or reason. And “That Young Knock-Out Kid” does nothing for me as a gimmick.
Rating: **

MATCH #7: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Sasaki’s GHC Heavyweight Title is not on the line here. Castagnoli outmaneuvers Sasaki in the early going. Sasaki beat former ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima to win his current title, which also made him the only man to hold all three major Japanese Heavyweight Championships: the GHC Heavyweight Championship for NOAH; the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for New Japan; and the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship for All Japan. Castagnoli tries a headlock early on but Sasaki winds up hitting a chop and Castagnoli regroups. They come back out with a Greco Roman Knuckle Lock, and Sasaki wins that exchange as well. Sasaki hits a series of chops and Castagnoli powders. Back in the ring they have a strike exchange and Castagnoli uses an eye rake to take the advantage. It doesn’t last long though, as the GHC Champ is soon in control with a clothesline and a suplex. Castagnoli comes back with a hot shot for a near fall and puts him in a front chancery. Jimmy Bower makes a special appearance in the booth, and it’s oddly fitting that he did that since it would be the last DVD he would produce. So long Jimmy Bower. This match is going nowhere fast. Sasaki eventually grows weary of Castagnoli’s rest holds and runs him into the corner and hits a series of chops. It’s all Sasaki now. Castagnoli tries fighting back with European Uppercuts and Sasaki fights back with chops. Sasaki gets a judo throw and a powerslam for two. Castagnoli comes back with the Alpamare Water Slide for two. He tries the Ricola Bomb but Sasaki blocks. He settles for an inverted atomic drop and a running European Uppercut for two. He goes up top but Sasaki thwarts him and hits a nice rana off the top. He follows up with a clothesline off the top for two. Castagnoli comes back with a bicycle kick, but when he tries another one Sasaki catches him and powerbombs him. He then locks on an arm/neck submission but Castagnoli reaches the ropes. Castagnoli hits a springboard European Uppercut and then drives his knee to the chest from the second rope. He hits another Bicycle Kick for two, and a Ricola Bomb also only gets two. Sasaki comes back with a Half Nelson Suplex, a Northern Lariat, and two more lariats to take him down for a two-count. Sasaki then hits the Northern Lights Bomb and that’s enough for the pin at 14:44. That match never really developed any kind of story, and the crowd didn’t seem too invested.
Rating: **½

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. El Generico

McGuinness has been the champion since 10.6.07, and this is his twenty-sixth defense. They start off cautiously with basic chain wrestling, and Generico breaks that up by chopping the World Champion up against the ropes. McGuinness comes out shoving and lands a chop of his own. He switches to European Uppercuts and he immediately goes into wear-down mode, focusing on the arm. Generico comes back with a leg lariat for one, and hits some mounted punches in the corner. He also hits a rana off the top rope for two-count. McGuinness comes back with the mule kick in the corner and goes right back to the challenger’s arm. The battle spills to the floor where McGuinness stays in control. Back in the ring it’s more of the same, with the champion dismantling the challenger. Generico comes back and hits a Blue Thunder Driver for two. He avoids several of the champion’s lariats, but does fall victim to a Tower of London. He kicks out at two. McGuinness hits another Tower of London, this one on the apron, and that only gets two. He puts on the London Dungeon and Generico makes it to the ropes. Generico lures McGuinness to the top rope and tries the Super Brainbuster but McGuinness avoids it. And now Generico has entered his standard “barely selling the beating he’s taken for so long” phase of the match. He avoids a lariat and hits the brainbuster for a near fall. They trade holds and McGuinness hits a DDT, and then he undoes the turnbuckle pad off, and while referee Paul Turner tries to reattach it, McGuinness attempts to use his belt as a weapon. However, Kevin Steen is there to stop him and he hits a superkick. That gets a near fall (Turner’s hand actually hit three times), and the crowd is hot now. Generico hits the running Yakuza Kick and sets up for a Super Brainbuster on the exposed corner but McGuinness pushes him down and gets a jackknife pin to get the win and retain the title at 20:59. The crowd is pissed, but they were pretty quiet for most of the match until Steen interfered. That was the usual good match from the Champion, but Generico’s selling is starting to get out of hand.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #9: Steel Cage Warfare – The Briscoe Brothers & Austin Aries vs. Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black & Delirious vs. Necro Butcher

I would be much more excited for this match if we didn’t know what Necro Butcher would do, but since he already turned on Jacobs we know he’ll go after the Age of the Fall team. The video package detailing this feud is actually pretty awesome. It’s probably one of the best ROH has ever done. Thanks, Jimmy Bower. This is a regular cage setup except there’s no door. This is just like War Games, except with three-minute intervals and elimination rules. Age of the Fall won the coin toss so they will have the man advantage. Austin Aries drew number one, and Tyler Black is number two. The fight actually starts on the floor, with Aries in control. They get into the ring and Aries pretty much has control there too. Three minutes have gone by and Jimmy Jacobs makes himself entrant number three. The former two-time ROH World Tag Team Champions go to work on Aries, busting him open. The wild card Necro Butcher comes in at number four, and he cleans house on Jacobs and Black. He even goes after Aries. Necro and Black fight on the floor, and Jay Briscoe and some steel chairs come out at number five. Some are brawling in the ring, some are outside. Jay is busted open as well. Number six is Delirious. Everyone is brawling, and the first real sick spot of the match comes when Aries and Jacobs take turns blasting Necro in the head with steel chairs. Jacobs then hits a spear, and Aries follows with the kick to the head and the brainbuster, and Jacobs joins him to cover Necro and eliminate him at 14:09. Well that “wild card” was pretty wild, I guess. The crowd isn’t happy with his elimination. Soon after Mark Briscoe comes out at number seven and that’s everyone. Mark is coming armed with a barbed wire table. They do some more meandering brawling and the crowd is sporadically interested at best. The Age of the Fall dominate for a bit, and Delirious is able to hit three straight Panic Attacks on Aries, and then Jacobs locks on the End Time to eliminate Aries at 21:52. The crowd chants “We Want Necro” at this point. Jacobs wants Delirious to spike Jay, but Daizee Haze runs out and tried to talk him out of it. Jacobs of course takes offense and gets in on the argument, and Delirious decides to spike Haze! I should do that to girls who reject me. The bloodthirsty crowd really enjoyed that. This gives Mark a chance to recover and the Briscoes have had enough. They hit the Doomsday Device on Delirious to eliminate him at 25:49. Now we’re down to Jacobs and Black versus the Briscoes. Jacobs and Black take control briefly and each of them nail a Briscoe in the head with a steel chair, but they just no-sell it and finish off the Age of the Fall with a Jay Driller and a Cutthroat Driver, respectively, at 27:09.

That certainly didn’t live up to the standard of the first Steel Cage Warfare, or even live up to the potential of everyone involved. I know former booker Gabe Sapolsky has written at length about the struggles he had surrounding this match so I don’t feel like I need to expound on it much, but this was certainly a huge disappointment. Beyond that, it didn’t even end the Age of the Fall versus Briscoes feud, so the whole thing really doesn’t mean much.
Rating: **¾
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor VI Night 2 (The Age of The Fall, The Briscoe Brothers) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/09/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-vi-night-2-the-age-of-the-fall-the-briscoe-brothers-3/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/09/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-vi-night-2-the-age-of-the-fall-the-briscoe-brothers-3/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 14:00:00 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170640 GBH6-2

For an easy to navigate archive of my many ROH reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Manhattan Center – New York City, New York – November 3, 2007

Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard are on commentary.

This Is ROH

We open with a video package highlighting the hard-hitting, fast-paced in ring style that has defined ROH. I don’t remember if this video was made for any specific reason, but it’s a good collection of clips. It includes a highlight reel of past stars, legends, and foreign talent that have made appearances.

MATCH #1: El Generico vs. Chris Hero

Hero is accompanied by Larry Sweeney, Bobby Dempsey, and Sara Del Rey. My goodness Hero’s gear was so ridiculous at this point. That being the case, he goes right after Generico’s arm. Generico responds in kind and takes it down to the canvas. Hero comes back and takes Generico down and the masked man simply nips up so Hero takes a powder. He then makes Bobby Cruise announce that what Generico did was not impressive. Back in the ring Generico tries to knock Hero down with a shoulderblock but has no luck. Generico hits a chop instead and avoids a Hero armdrag, and then hits an armdrag of his own into an armbar. Hero backs Generico into the corner. That doesn’t get him too far and Generico locks on an armbar again. Hero powers his way out of it and locks on a headlock. Generico pushes him off into the ropes and Hero comes out with a couple of forearms to the back of the head. Hero then shows off his agility with all those little flips and stuff. I wasn’t much of a Hero fan at this point. Back in the ring Generico hits yet more armdrags. Hero uses referee Todd Sinclair as a human shield and that allows him to take control. Actually it doesn’t last long as they run the ropes and Generico throws Hero over the top rope. Hero successfully skins the cat and celebrates about it, so Generico clotheslines him to the floor for real. Generico goes to the apron and Dempsey distracts the referee while Sweeney grabs Generico’s leg. Hero grabs Generico and pushes him off the apron and into the barricade. Sweeney takes a few cheap shots while he can. Hero takes control for real now and even finds time to abuse Dempsey. Back in the ring Hero gets a two-count. Hero hits a senton off the second rope for a two-count. He goes for a ridiculously long guillotine legdrop and doesn’t quite make it, landing hard on his posterior. That’s a clever spot; I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in another match. Generico goes on offense and hits a pop-up rana off the top rope for a two-count. He goes up top for a cross body but Hero rolls it into a Cravat. Hero hits a Cravat Neckbreaker and then a move that Prazak describes as “drives him down to the canvas.” Come on just call it something. How about an inverted suplex into an Ace Crusher? It’s not like you’re doing this live. Generico comes back with a backslide (which is how he beat Hero in the semifinals of the Race to the Top Tournament) for two. He then hits a big swinging DDT for two. Hero comes back with a neckbreaker out of the corner and then goes up top. Generico simply pops up and goes for the Brainbuster on the turnbuckle but Hero shoves him to the canvas. Hero somersaults over Generico and winds up in the opposite corner, otherwise known as the perfect position for the running Yakuza kick! It gets a two-count. Generico goes for a diving headbutt and Hero catches him with a Cravat Suplex. Hero then hits the Hero’s Welcome to get the revenge win at 14:25. It felt longer than it was but solid opener otherwise.
Rating: **½

The Hangmen 3 (Brent Albright, BJ Whitmer, and lackey Shane Hagadorn, once again without leader Adam Pearce) come out to attack Generico, and they set up a table on the floor. Albright powerbombs Generico from the ring through said table. They seem pretty happy with themselves. Finally Kevin Steen comes out to save his partner (what took him so long?). The crowd chants for Delirious and they get what they want to start this impromptu tag team match.

MATCH #2: Kevin Steen & Delirious vs. Brent Albright & BJ Whitmer

Steen and Whitmer fight on the floor while Delirious and Albright start off in the ring. Delirious hits Albright with a leaping lariat as Generico gets carried out. He chokes Albright with his ring jacket and then makes the tag. The oddball team of Steen and Delirious effectively cut the ring in half on Albright. Delirious hits a drop toehold and a senton to the back. He goes up top and Whitmer grabs his leg. That allows Albright to catch Delirious coming off the top with a spinning slam. Whitmer officially tags in and the Hangmen go to work. He goes for a superplex but Delirious pushes him down and hits a missile dropkick! However Delirious is unable to make the tag and the Hangmen abuse him some more. Albright hits him with a belly-to-belly suplex and Whitmer follows up with a frog splash. Delirious is able to kick out at two and Albright tags back in. The former Gunner Scott hits a snap powerslam for a two-count. Albright goes up to the second rope and tries a jumping something but Delirious headbutts him in the midsection. Finally Delirious makes the hot tag and Steen is a house afire. He knocks Albright to the floor and signals for a dive but Whitmer cuts him off. Whitmer then foolishly whips Steen to the ropes and Steen hits that dive he was looking for. Delirious gets back in the ring to keep Whitmer at bay. Steen comes back in to hit the pumphandle neckbreaker. He tries to talk quick strategy with Delirious but they don’t have experience teaming together so Albright gets back in the ring and breaks them up, throwing Delirious to the floor. Albright hits the 61Knee and Whitmer follows with a bridging German Suplex for two. Delirious dumps Albright to the floor and they take Whitmer down in the corner. He hits the Panic Attack and Steen follows him with a Cannonball. They follow that up with a Shadows Over Hell/Swanton combo, and Albright breaks up the cover. Both Steen and Delirious throw one of the Hangmen to the floor. Delirious hits a dive to wipe them both out and then throws Whitmer back in the ring. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver but Hagadorn snakes in and hits a low blow and gives Whitmer a chair. While the referee is distracted with Albright and Delirious on the floor, Albright hits Steen with an exploder on the chair to get the pin at 11:00. That was another rock solid match featuring some smart work by odd couple partners Steen and Delirious.
Rating: **¾

After the match Shane Hagadorn gets on the house mic. He sends Albright and Whitmer, saying he’s “got it from here.” He says that Adam Pearce can’t stand New York and that’s why he’s not here. Then he issues an open challenge, in honor of Pearce of course. Unfortunately for him, Austin Aries answers the call.

MATCH #3: Austin Aries vs. Shane Hagadorn

Hagadorn attacks before the bell and rakes the eyes. He actually hits a Death Valley Driver and Aries kicks out at one. He hits a charging knee in the corner and a series of right hands. He hits his one move – that kick to the face in the corner that he does. Then he celebrates too long and Aries blasts him with the IED. Aries follows up with a kick to the head, a brainbuster, and the 450 Splash to get the pin at 1:14. That was the right length for the participants involved.
Rating: ½*

Continuing a trend, Aries gets on the mic after the match. He has a big announcement to make. A few people boo and Aries says “if you think you’re more talented feel free to step into this ring any time.” Yeah well if he did that security would stop him you dolt. I hate it when wrestlers tell fans to get in the ring as a comeback. Especially for ROH, when they’re all “cheer and boo whoever you want, we love the fans, etc.” but anytime a fan says something unpopular one of the wrestlers gets all uppity about it. Anyway, Aries disbands the Resilience, leaving Erick Stevens and Matt Cross on their own. He says that he has no time for Faction Warfare while he’s trying to become the first ever two-time ROH World Champion. Speaking of, current ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness comes out. He says he respects Aries. He also laments his injury, and a fan says something rude (didn’t catch exactly what). Nigel then shows Aries the proper way to show disgust with the fans, interacting with them in a way that enhances his character and furthers the angle rather than just blindly throwing out the “yeah well then you get in the ring” junk. The champ promises to put the title on the line against Aries on December 29.

MATCH #4: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Naomichi Marufuji

This is a first-time ever singles match. It’s surprisingly low on the card. The fans shout “Hey!” to support Claudio. They also shout it for Marufuji, so both men have their support. This is ROH vs. NOAH, Europe vs. Asia, Switzerland vs. Japan, and two really talented wrestlers facing each other. They go back and forth with some respectful chain wrestling in the early going. Claudio wears Marufuji down with a headlock, and Marufuji tries to go to the eyes. Marufuji powers up and breaks the headlock, only to get dumped to the apron. He actually comes back with a springboard Iron Claw. Claudio fights back with a claw of his own. This match pretty much gets five stars for that. The height advantage works out for Claudio, as he wins the Claw battle. Marufuji powers out and the pace quickens. They wrestle to a standoff and the crowd is quite appreciative. They engage in a test of strength and once again the taller and stronger Castagnoli wins the battle. It’s probably more because his pants sparkle like Edward Cullen. Just because I’ve seen it doesn’t mean I like it. Marufuji pops up and leaps to the top rope. Claudio shoves him down to the apron but Marufuji grabs his leg and hits a Dragon Screw Leg Whip between the top and middle ropes. Marufuji viciously attacks the knee with a variety of holds. He locks on a Figure Four Leglock. Claudio turns it over and they roll into the ropes. He comes back with a modified flapjack out of the corner, and then hits the Les Artes Lift. He hits a Perfect Plex but can only use one leg to bridge so Marufuji kicks out at two. He tries a back suplex but Marufuji slips out and hits a Codebreaker, and then Claudio catches him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Claudio hits a vertical suplex with a bridge. You don’t see that every day. Marufuji comes back with an enziguiri and a clothesline. He hits another clothesline for a two-count. Claudio avoids a dropkick and hits an impressive bridging German Suplex for two. He tries the Ricola Bomb but Marufuji avoids it. Marufuji can’t avoid the Bicycle Kick though, and that gets two. Claudio goes to the top rope and Marufuji dropkicks him down. Marufuji hits a superplex but Claudio kicks out. Back up Marufuji hits a superkick and goes for Shiranui but Claudio blocks and dumps him all the way to the floor. Back in the ring Claudio hits a diving European Uppercut off the top rope for two. Claudio tries another one but Marufuji blocks it and tries a powerbomb, but Claudio counters that with a Giant Swing. He then blasts Marufuji with another European Uppercut but he kicks out! Back on their feet Marufuji fights back and stomps Claudio’s face into the mat. Marufuji hits a superkick and the Shiranui, but Claudio is able to get his foot on the bottom rope! Claudio kicks Marufuji in the gut and tries the Ricola Bomb but it leads to a series of reversals and Claudio gets an O’Connor Roll with a bridge (for a second I thought he was going for the Chaos Theory for the huge upset victory at 18:41. What a terrific midcard match and a big win for Claudio Castagnoli.
Rating: ***½

Larry Sweeney and Chris Hero come out to attack Claudio. Sweeney hits a top rope elbow drop, and then says that whenever Claudio has something to be proud of, Sweet & Sour Inc. will be there to reign on his parade.

MATCH #5: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – The Briscoe Brothers vs. Necro Butcher & Jimmy Jacobs

The Briscoes have been the champions since 3.30.07 and this is their sixteenth defense. The champs don’t waste much time getting into the ring and taking it right to the challengers. They send Jacobs to the floor. Then they turn their attention to Necro. Jacobs comes back in with a steel chair. But misses and gets tossed into the air. Necro brings another chair in the ring and Mark picks up the first one. They swing at each other and the referee calls for a double disqualification at 0:40. The crowd is obviously not happy with this finish.
Rating: DUD

MATCH #6: Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima

Danielson dives onto Morishima before he can even enter the ring. This is the third singles match and Morishima has won both of them. Danielson has caught the big man completely off guard. He throws Morishima and goes up top, but Morishima catches him and hits a suplex. Morishima takes Danielson down in the corner and kicks away at him. The intensity between these two is awesome. Morishima hits a series of elbows to the head for a two-count. The beating continues, as Morishima keeps Danielson down. He hits the cartwheel avalanche, and then a missile dropkick that sends Danielson to the floor. He hits an Ole Butt-Butt, and when he goes for another one Danielson moves and clotheslines him into the crowd! Danielson goes up to the top rope and wipes out Morishima with a dive. He grabs the ring bell and the hammer and goes after Morishima’s eye! Morishima panics and nails Danielson with the Back Drop Driver on the floor! Danielson crawls back up to the apron and Morishima knocks him right back down into the barricade, busting him open. Once again Danielson is able to crawl back onto the apron, and he drives a shoulder into the midsection and gets a sunset flip for two! Morishima flattens him with a lariat. He goes for the Back Drop Driver but Danielson lands on his feet. Danielson tries a series of roaring elbows but Morishima shrugs them off so he dropkicks the knee. He unloads a series of kicks to the chest and then the elbows to the head! He picks Morishima up for a bridging German Suplex but Morishima kicks out at two! He then unleashes the kicks to the head and locks on a triangle choke. Morishima picks him up and powerbombs him down. Danielson immediately hits another dropkick to the knee, and then runs into a lariat. Morishima unloads with more forearms, aggressively targeting Danielson’s injured eye. Danielson escapes with a low blow, and then unleashes repeated kicks to Morishima’s nuts. Referee Paul Turner tries to stop him and Danielson hurls him into the corner for the DQ at 11:40. The fans are pissed at the DQ, but in this case I actually think it’s a great finish to a hot match. It lets the feud continue, and this feud brought the awesome on a regular basis.
Rating: ***¾

ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness comes out to scold Danielson, and winds up getting kicked in the injured arm for his trouble. Well it serves him right for interfering in someone else’s business.

It’s intermission time and Rebecca Bayless catches a word with Bryan Danielson, who is not at all ashamed about what he did tonight. Nor should he be. He also tells Nigel McGuinness that he’s coming after the ROH World Title.

MATCH #7: Tyler Black vs. Alex Payne

Black wastes no time going after the youngster Payne. He knocks him to the apron and Payne get s a shoulder to the midsection and a sunset flip for two. Black doesn’t much care for that and hits a Buckle Bomb and God’s Last Gift to get the pin at 1:08. That was obviously not much, but a good squash.
Rating: ¼*

The Briscoes come out to run Black off, and they challenge the Age of The Fall to a real match, TONIGHT! They want unsanctioned, no disqualifications, and they’ll put the belts on the line!

MATCH #8: No Remorse Corps vs. The Vulture Squad

The Squad charges the ring and the fight is on. Strong and Ruckus battle in the ring as I get the sense that this one is going to be hard to keep up with. Romero and Jigsaw replace Strong and Ruckus in the ring. They go to the floor and Richards and Evans take their turn. Jigsaw wipes out the entire NRC with a dive. The Vultures take Romero into the ring and triple-team him. Richards comes in and gets the same treatment. Strong makes his way in and finally the NRC is able to take control and the match settles into a regular six-man tag. The NRC take turns working on Jigsaw, keeping him grounded. After several minutes Jigsaw avoids stereo kicks and makes the tag to Ruckus. The match breaks down and the referee decides to count pinfalls for anyone regardless of who’s legal. The match returns to how it started, with bodies flying all over the place. Strong and Evans wind up in the ring trading shots. The other four rejoin them in the ring briefly, and then they all start tumbling to the floor again so that people can start hitting dives. Once again we’re left with Strong and Evans, the two leaders, in the ring. Evans knocks Strong to the floor with a handspring elbow. He tries the Space Flying Tiger Driver but Strong moves. Strong moves the ring mats and hits Evans with a HARD Gibson Driver on the floor. He throws him back in the ring and locks on a sick Stronghold and Evans is done at 14:35. That was fun for a scrambled egg type match.
Rating: **¾

The Age of The Fall (sans Necro Butcher) is outside a Toys ‘R’ Us store to cut a promo about childhood innocence. This relates because there’s a strip club right next door.

Back at the arena, Sweeney, Hero, Dempsey, and Del Rey make their way back out and complain about Claudio Castagnoli. Hero also says that he should be the ROH World Champion after last night. He also complains about Austin Aries being the number one contender. That brings Aries out. He challenges Hero to a match RIGHT NOW. Of course, Aries wrestled less than 90 seconds against Shane Hagadorn and Hero wrestled 15 minutes against El Generico, so I’d say that Aries has the advantage here. Sweeney wants Aries to put his title shot on the line. Aries agrees, but also adds the stipulation that if he wins, Sweeney will have to face Claudio Castagnoli on December 30 at Final Battle. Everyone agrees, and the match is on.

MATCH #9: Austin Aries vs. Chris Hero

Hero attacks from behind and away we go. Aries absorbs Hero’s attack and hits a dropkick, so Hero takes a powder. Hero tells Bobby Cruise to ask Aries for a do-over. He gets back in the ring and Aries attacks his arm. Hero reverses the hold and takes Aries down to the mat. After a few minutes of that Hero goes into his little flipping routine that I hate so much. He loses his towel so Aries wipes it on his nuts. Hero then shoves the towel into Dempsey’s mouth just to be a jerk. Back in the ring Aries hits the slingshot senton and an elbow drop for two. Hero does more flipping stuff for some reason, so Aries dumps him to the floor. Aries goes for the Heat Seeking Missile but Hero pulls Dempsey into the way. That takes Aries off guard and Hero delivers a big boot to the face. Hero throws Aries into the barricade and then back into the ring. He starts working the arm, trying to keep Aries down. After several minutes Aries fights back with a running clothesline. Both men are down briefly, and when they get up Aries is firmly in control. Aries throws Hero over the top and Hero tries to skin the cat, but Aries dropkicks him down to the floor and this time hits the Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Aries hits a slingshot corkscrew press for two. He tries a quebrada but Hero gets his knees up. Hero hits a cravat slam for two. Aries catches a boot and hits the shinbreaker/back suplex combo but misses the IED. Hero hits the release vertical suplex for two. He hits a roaring elbow and Aries hits one of his own before they both fall down. Back up they trade strikes and Hero catches Aries with a cravat suplex. Hero hits a big boot and goes for the Hero’s Welcome. Aries blocks it and tries a backslide. Hero reverses that backslide for two, and then Aries rolls through and kicks Hero in the head. Aries hits a brainbuster and then locks on the Last Chancery, or as Prazak calls it, “that bridging submission.” Sweeney sneaks into the ring and tries to pull Hero to the ropes, but Castagnoli comes out to chase Sweeney off. Meanwhile Aries hits Hero with repeated knee strikes and wrenches the Last Chancery to get the win at 16:06. Like Hero’s other match tonight this felt really long and they never really got into a good flow. They could have saved this match for Reckless Abandon or Unscripted III rather than have two guys work twice on a three-hour plus show.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #10: GHC Heavyweight Title Match – Mitsuharu Misawa vs. KENTA

Misawa has been the champion since 12.10.06 (his third reign) and this is his seventh defense. It would also turn out to be his last before dropping the belt to Takeshi Morishima in March. Oops, SPOILER ALERT! This is the second time the belt has been defended in ROH.

They immediately trade forearms and kicks. KENTA gets an armdrag and Misawa reverses to a headscissors and KENTA escapes. They standoff as the crowd goes banana. KENTA goes after the arm and then takes Misawa down for a chinlock. Misawa powers up and fights back with a hard forearm. KENTA fights back with slaps and that just angers the legend, so he strikes KENTA down with great vengeance and furious anger. Misawa hits more forearms and KENTA fights back with a series of kicks. KENTA drapes Misawa over the top rope and hits a knee drop to the back of the neck. He hits a back elbow and then takes Misawa down to the mat for a headscissors. Misawa rolls to the ropes to break the hold. Back on their feet they trade forearms, and KENTA takes Misawa down for more kicks. KENTA uses a reverse chinlock to wear Misawa down and gets a two-count of it. Misawa reverses a whip and forearms KENTA down to the floor. He follows KENTA out and whips him into the barricade. Back in the ring Misawa kicks KENTA down and hits a senton for two. Misawa wears KENTA down with a variety of strikes. KENTA fires back but Misawa cuts him right down. Misawa charges into him and KENTA hits a powerslam and both men are down. KENTA gets up first and hits a leaping forearm and more kicks. He goes up for a springboard missile dropkick for two. He goes for another springboard maneuver but Misawa knocks him to the floor and hits a dive. Back in the ring Misawa hits a Tiger Driver for two! Misawa goes up top and KENTA pops up and kicks him in the face. KENTA goes for the Falcon Arrow, twice, but Misawa forearms him down both times. Misawa jumps off the top rope but KENTA gets a knee up in his gut. KENTA follows up with a running knee strike and a Tiger Suplex for two. Misawa comes back and tries a Tiger Driver but KENTA counters with Go 2 Sleep but it only gets two! KENTA goes for another one but Misawa elbows his way out. They trade strikes and Misawa hits the Emerald Flowsion but KENTA kicks out at two! KENTA comes back with the Busaiku Knee and both men are down. They get up and Misawa hits a combination of elbows for a two-count. Misawa then hits a modified Emerald Flowsion to retain the title at 18:31. That was better than I remembered it. It was hardly a classic, but they worked a solid story and having great heat always helps make a match more entertaining. I probably should watch more of Misawa in his prime.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #11: No Disqualification ROH World Tag Team Title Match – The Briscoe Brothers vs. Necro Butcher & Jimmy Jacobs

Here’s a question for everyone. ROH’s website only lists one title defense for the Briscoes on this day, even though both matches with Jacobs & Necro were labeled as title matches. I thought maybe the first one wouldn’t count because it was a no-contest, but ROH says “Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Necro Butcher went to a Double DQ in New York, NY on 11/3/07.” If we count only one title defense, they tie with Aries and Strong for most title defenses, but if they get two on this day they actually hold the record, so that’s why this matters. What do y’all think?

The champions charge the ring and the fight is on. It gets to the floor pretty quickly and Mark hits the shooting star press on both Jacobs and Necro. Jay takes Jacobs in the ring while Mark works on Necro on the floor. Jacobs comes back on Jay but then gets taken out by Mark’s karate. Necro gets back in and throws a chair at Mark. He hits the chair slam for a near-fall. Jacobs tries a dive to the floor but Jay moves out of the way and Jacobs crashes into the barricade. The Briscoes bring Jacobs back in the ring just to throw him back outside and into the barricade again. Lacey gets involved and Haze takes care of her just like she promised to do. Haze then goes up top and wipes out the entire Age of The Fall with a dive. She and Lacey fight to the back. The brawl continues both in and out of the ring. Necro traps Mark under the ring mats and dives off the top rope onto him. Jacobs is busted open, but that doesn’t stop him from delivering a senton from the top rope to the floor on Jay! In the ring the challengers double-team Jay, suplexing him onto a pile of chairs for a two-count. Jacobs locks Jay in the End Time and Mark makes it back in the ring to break it up. Now the Briscoes take control with some creative brutality. The crowd is kind of listless as the Briscoes continue to work Jacobs and Necro over. The Briscoes hit Jacobs with a springboard blockbuster onto some chairs but Jacobs kicks out. The champs slam Necro off the top rope onto a chair, and then throw Jacobs from the top rope through a table on the floor. They blast Necro with sick chair shots and then Jay hits the Jay Driller for the pin at 17:44. After the long show the crowd just couldn’t get engaged more than popping briefly for the sick spots. This was disappointing.
Rating: **½
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor VI Night One (Misawa, KENTA, Marufuji, Morishima) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/08/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-vi-night-one-misawa-kenta-marufuji-morishima/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/08/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-vi-night-one-misawa-kenta-marufuji-morishima/#comments Sat, 08 Nov 2014 14:00:23 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170408 GBH6-1

For an easy to navigate archive of my many ROH reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Pennsylvania National Guard Armory – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – November 2, 2007

ROH Video Wire 10/12/07

Rebecca Bayless is in the building, reporting that new ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness is suffering from a torn bicep. He describes the extent of his injury

The Age of The Fall is outside Independence Hall talking about the similarities between the American Revolution and their current revolution. The only problem is I have no idea what they’re revolting against.

MATCH #1: Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. BJ Whitmer & Brent Albright

Whitmer and Albright are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. The Hangmen 3 attack Steen and Generico right away and throw them to the floor and into the barricades. They throw Generico in the ring and double-team him. Generico comes back with a dropkick on Albright and a leg lariat for Whitmer as the referee restores order. Steen gets back on the apron and they double-team Whitmer for a bit. Whitmer comes back with a couple of hard chops to Generico and then tags Albright. Now it’s the Hangmen 3 who cut the ring in half to work Generico over. After a few minutes of that Generico makes the hot tag and Steen is all over the Hangmen. The referee loses control and all four men are in the ring. Albright tosses Generico to the floor and then hits Steen with a belly-to-belly suplex. Whitmer follows with a frog splash for a two-count. Generico comes back and takes Albright out on the floor, and then hits Whitmer with a nasty swinging DDT. Steen hits Whitmer with the pumphandle neckbreaker and Albright breaks up the cover. Generico once again dumps Albright to the floor, and then hits Whitmer with the running Yakuza Kick in the corner. He wipes out Albright with a dive. Meanwhile Steen hits the Swanton to get the pin on Whitmer at 8:54.

After the match Hagadorn sneaks in the ring and throws powder in Steen and Generico’s eyes, and the Hangmen lay waste to them. It was a good idea for the Hangmen to make a statement since their leader Adam Pearce was not on the show. As for the match, it was a solid opener, as Steen and Generico made such a great babyface team.
Rating: **½

Backstage the Hangmen 3 are bragging about winning the war rather than the battle. They say that Delirious is next.

MATCH #2: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Hallowicked

The fans try to pound the guardrails along to Claudio’s music, but they can’t get in sync. New York City has no rhythm! They take it right down to the mat and trade holds. Then they start having a CHIKARA match right before our eyes. Hallowicked lands a kick to the side of the head for a two-count. He puts Castagnoli on the top rope and slams him down for another two-count. An armdrag and a legdrop score another two-count for Hallowicked. Castagnoli comes back with a bicycle kick. He bodyslams Hallowicked and hits the crab walk elbow off the second rope. Hallowicked catches a European Uppercut and hits the Sky Hi powerbomb for two. He hits a Mafia Kick for two. He runs off the ropes and Castagnoli catches him in a kind of inverted Samoan Drop. Castagnoli hits a European Uppercut to get the pin at 5:57. That was decent while it lasted.
Rating: *¾

Larry Sweeney comes out and offers to get Castagnoli another deal with WWE. For the life of me I can’t figure out why WWE couldn’t find a use for a tall, jacked guy who can speak several languages and is generally all around awesome. Anyway, Castagnoli turns Sweeney down.

MATCH #3: Delirious vs. Davey Richards

They take it down to the mat aggressively right at the start. Delirious has some unfinished business with the No Remorse Corps, hence this match. He tries the Cobra Stretch but Richards avoids it and slides to the floor. Back in the ring they trade holds and neither man can gain a sustained advantage. Richards throws Delirious to the floor and whips him into the barricade. He bodyslams Delirious and jaws with the fans. Back in the ring Richards continues the offense, knocking Delirious down with a clothesline. Delirious avoids a charge in the corner and tries the Roots Clotheslines but Richards shrugs them off and hits a Thesz Press. Richards goes to work on the arm now. After a few minutes Delirious comes back with a drop toehold and the Panic Attack. Delirious runs all over the place and finally hits a leaping lariat for two. He follows up with the Here It Is Driver for another two-count. Richards comes back and drives Delirious into the corner. He hits a running forearm, an enziguiri, and a bridging German Suplex for a near-fall. He then locks on the Chimera and Delirious reaches the ropes. Richards tries the handspring spin kick but Delirious headbutts him in the midsection. Delirious follows up with the Cobra Clutch Suplex for two, and then locks on the Cobra Stretch. Richards rolls him over for a two-count. Delirious goes for Shadows over Hell but Richards avoids it and hits a Tombstone Piledriver. Richards then locks on the Chimera and Delirious taps out at 13:33. That one was just all over the place and they never really got a rhythm going.
Rating: **

Now we see more from the Age of The Fall, as Jimmy Jacobs decries the existence of Wal-Mart and how they put Mom and Pop out of business. I don’t really understand how this relates to Ring of Honor, or really wrestling at all.

MATCH #4: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – The Briscoe Brothers vs. Roderick Strong & Rocky Romero

The Briscoes have been the champions since 3.30.07 and this is their fifteenth defense. Strong is the current FIP Champion, and he wears that belt with pride. Romero and Mark start the match. They exchange a series of holds and reversals. Mark hits a solid knee strike to the chest and they’re at a standoff. Jay and Strong tag in, and Jay quickly takes the advantage and tags back in to his brother. Mark hits a vertical suplex and then tags again. This is what the Briscoes do best. Strong comes back with a chinbreaker and makes the tag. Romero and Jay slap and chop each other and Jay wins the battle. Mark tags back in and Romero backs him into the corner and tags Strong. The FIP Champion hits a dropkick for a two-count, and then Mark backs him into the corner and makes the tag. The Briscoes double-team Strong, kicking his face off in the corner. Seconds later Strong backs Jay into the corner and makes the tag. Is that all these guys are going to do? Romero and Jay have another strike battle and this time Romero wins. He hits a knee drop for a two-count. Strong tags back in. For crying out loud, Jay backs Strong into the corner and tags again. Prazak notes that neither team has been able to cut the ring in half for an extended period of time. Mark unleashes his Redneck Karate on the challengers, but they soon overpower him and start wearing him down. Strong hits a unique Tree of Woe Backbreaker, and then hurls Romero over his head to deliver a dropkick. That was cool. After a few minutes Mark makes the hot tag to Jay. Well that didn’t last long. Jay is all over both challengers, hitting a gourdbuster on Romero and a Death Valley Driver on Strong for a two-count. He goes for the Jay Driller on Strong but Romero kicks him in the head and Strong delivers an Alabama Slam. Romero tags back in and hits Jay with a DDT and then a running knee strike for two. The referee loses control, with all four guys in the ring. Jay hits the military press Death Valley Driver on Romero and Mark hits Strong with a super Ace Crusher. Romero comes back and locks Jay in the Ankle Lock, but Jay reaches the ropes. Strong hits him with the gutbuster and Jay no-sells it to hit a clothesline. Romero is on the top rope but Mark holds him back. The Briscoes hit Romero with the assisted neckbreaker. Mark tags in legally and goes for the Cutthroat Driver but Strong blocks it. They exchange chops and Mark wins it with a leg lariat. Mark follows up with a moonsault for a two-count. Jay kicks Romero to the floor, and then they hit the Springboard Doomsday Device to get the pin on Strong at 17:58. That seemed longer than it was because the first 10-12 minutes was very redundant, but the picked it up after that.
Rating: ***

The Age of The Fall (Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black, and Necro Butcher, with Lacey) comes running out to attack the ROH World Tag Team Champions. Even Lacey gets in on the action, hitting both Jay and Mark with low blows. Strong and Romero get to their feet and now they want a piece of Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black, and the Necro Butcher. This brings out the Vulture Squad (Jack Evans, Ruckus, and Jigsaw), and it’s a gang fight!

MATCH #5: The Age of The Fall vs. The Vulture Squad

The No Remorse Cops and the Briscoes fight to the back, leaving the Vulture Squad and the Age of The Fall to battle it out. Prazak says this one is under scramble rules, which would explain why there are bodies flying all over the place. Necro starts throwing knockout punches, taking the Vultures out for the time being. Jacobs and Jigsaw end up in the ring, and Ruckus soon joins them to take the advantage. Black jumps in the ring to rescue Jacobs, and now they go to work on Ruckus. This one is hard to keep up with, as everyone is going a mile a minute here. Jacobs tries the Contra Code on Jigsaw but it gets blocked. Black comes in to make the save and Jacobs is able to lock Jigsaw in the End Time to get the win, complete with Necro ringing the bell, at 6:32. That was a ton of fun while it lasted.
Rating: **¾

The Briscoes and the No Remorse Corps make their way back out and the giant brawl continues. Lacey gets on the mic and tries to get Age of The Fall supporters to stand up, and that every woman in the building should be on their feet. Well that will give them about two supporters. Is Age of The Fall a feminist group too? I don’t understand where they’re coming from. She calls everyone’s mother a whore, and then Daizee Haze comes out to shut her up. Delirious comes out to join the fight, followed by the Hangmen 3 and then Kevin Steen & El Generico. This is just a massive fight, and of course the dives have to come in to play. The Vulture Squad ends up standing tall in the ring.

It’s intermission time, and Rebecca Bayless is backstage for something. The Briscoe Brothers bust in yelling about the Age of The Fall, and Daizee Haze joins them to tell them she’ll take care of Lacey.

MATCH #6: Top of the Class Trophy Match – Mitch Franklin vs. Ernie Osiris

Franklin won the trophy on 8.24.07, and this is his second defense. Both guys look aggressive early on as they wrestle to a standoff. Franklin takes Osiris down with a headlock and turns it into a front facelock. Osiris reaches the ropes and then goes after the arm. He hits a headscissors, a dropkick in the corner, and then a flapjack. He hits a vertical suplex and then the twisting suplex that Goldust does but it only gets a two-count. Franklin comes back with a gut wrench suplex for a two-count. He sort of hits a head scissors off the second rope (he more powerbombed himself). He charges but Osiris catches him and hits a wheelbarrow suplex and then a standing shooting star press to the back to get the pin and win the trophy at 2:58. I had no idea that Dirty Ernie could do a standing shooting star press.
Rating: ¾*

MATCH #7: Best of Three Series, Third Match – Austin Aries vs. Bryan Danielson

Obviously they are tied at one win apiece in this best of three series. Aries defeated Danielson in the first match at Honor Nation in Boston, and Danielson won the second match in San Francisco at Chaos at the Cow Palace.

Everyone is chanting so loud for both men that I can barely hear the bell ring. They take it down to the mat and exchange holds and counters. As the pace quickens, Aries hits a series of armdrags and controls the arm. Danielson comes back and whips Aries into the corner. Aries tries the springboard back elbow but Danielson catches him and tries the Cross Face Chicken Wing, only for Aries to use his momentum to throw Danielson to the floor. When Aries tries the Heat Seeking Missile, Danielson gets a knee into his face. These two men know each other very well, obviously. Danielson wears Aries down, focusing on the neck. Aries tries to come back with a running knee to the face but Danielson catches it and locks him in a half crab. The versatile Danielson continues wearing Aries down with a variety of awesome moves. He ties Aries up in a Tree of Woe, and Aries kicks him in the head and then comes out with a swinging stunner. That was cool. Aries fires up and hits the Stroke and an elbow drop to the back of the neck for two. He shoves Danielson to the floor and hits the Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Aries tries a quebrada but Danielson gets his knees up and then traps Aries in a Triangle Choke! Aries makes it to the bottom rope. Danielson goes to the airplane spin but Aries slips out and hits the shinbreaker/back suplex combo. Aries tries the IED but Danielson kicks him right in the face. They take the fight to the apron and exchange forearms. Danielson wins the battle and goes up for a missile dropkick. He hits it and nips up to his feet. Aries no sells the dropkick and nips up to his feet, and then both men knock each other out with forearm strikes. They get back to their feet and Danielson hits the running knee strike to the chest. Danielson tries the super back suplex but Aries falls on top for a two-count and Danielson rolls that over for a two-count of his own, and then locks on the Cattle Mutilation! Aries powers his way out and hits a series of elbows to the face. Danielson pops out of the corner with a sort of Tiger Suplex for two, and then rolls that into the elbow strikes! He tries Cattle Mutilation again but Aries falls on top for a two-count. Back on their feet Aries tries a backslide but can’t keep the shoulders down. Aries instead hits a kick to the head and then a DDT. He locks on the Last Chancery (how he won the first match) and accentuates it with knee strikes. He picks Danielson up and Danielson gets a Small Package (how he won the second match) for two! Aries counters that with the brainbuster and then the 450 Splash to get the pin and win the series at 17:19. Danielson is the guy who brings out the best in Aries and this match was no exception. They did cool offensive maneuvers, countered each other awesomely, called back to their previous matches in this series, and just generally rocked it.
Rating: ****¼

We go back to the Age of The Fall. Jacobs is still talking about the ills of society, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I don’t understand how getting the ROH Tag Team Titles will allow them to fix anything. I’m as big a fan of Jimmy Jacobs as anybody but the Age of The Fall had trouble getting off the ground because no one understood the message.

Before the main event can start, Larry Sweeney comes out with Chris Hero, Sara Del Rey, and Bobby Dempsey. Sweeney says that since Hero won Survival of the Fittest, he is owed a title shot. He put a clause in the contract that says Hero gets the shot whenever and wherever he wants it, and he wants it RIGHT NOW. This actually would have been a great time to put the belt on Hero for a short run and then give it back to Nigel as soon as he was ready. He still could have done the same angle and same heel turn that he did. Anyway, Nigel makes his way out in street clothes. He starts talking about how upset he is that he can’t wrestle tonight on this once in a lifetime show. The crowd starts to turn on him for being injured. Dicks. Sweeney makes Hero attack Dempsey to show Nigel what he would do to him. He repeatedly calls Nigel a “fluke,” goading the champion into accepting the match!

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Chris Hero

McGuinness has been the champion since 10.6.07 and this is his second defense. Hero hits a big boot and almost gets a pinfall right off the bat! Nigel rolls to the floor and Hero goes right out after him and viciously attacks the arm. Hero mocks Nigel by putting his t-shirt on, and then continues to focus on the injured arm. The challenger is awfully confident. Hero misses a charge in the corner and Nigel kicks him in the back and hits a lariat with his non injured arm. He can’t sustain any offense though and Hero goes right back to work on the arm. Hero hits a Blockbuster for two, and then jumps off the top rope to lock on a Cravat. Nigel fights out of it and hits a European Uppercut. He charges into the corner and Hero gets a boot up. Nigel fights back with a right arm lariat for two. Hero rolls to the floor and Nigel follows him out. Nigel hits another lariat and a couple of chops up against the ring post. Sweeney distracts him, allowing Hero to right back after the arm. Back in the ring Hero locks on an arm submission and the crowd smells a new champion. The idiot referee is out of position and doesn’t see Nigel’s foot on the bottom rope, so when Nigel taps out he declares Hero the new champion at 7:25. Turner then turns around and sees the foot on the rope and declares that the match must continue. Nigel has some time to recover, and he hits a Tower of London on the floor! He then throws Hero’s arm repeatedly into the barricade. Back in the ring Nigel hits a huge lariat and then locks Hero in the London Dungeon and Hero taps out at 9:05! That was a tremendous performance from the injured champion, and the crowd appreciates him for it.
Rating: **¾

Backstage Sweeney and Hero are apoplectic about the loss. They are equally pissed at Nigel McGuinness and referee Paul Turner. Now it’s time for the main event for real.

MATCH #9: Mitsuharu Misawa & KENTA vs. Takeshi Morishima & Naomichi Marufuji

In the interest of full disclosure, I have not seen a lot of Japanese wrestling, so while I understand what a legend Misawa is and how cool it is to have him in the United States it doesn’t personally do a lot for me, if that makes sense. The match was a 30-minute time limit.

KENTA and Marufuji start the match and immediately trade forearms. They go 100 miles per hour briefly, and then pull back to reassess the situation. KENTA grabs a single leg and takes Marufuji down to the canvas. Marufuji reverses to a headscissors and KENTA rolls to the ropes. He backs KENTA into their corner and tags Morishima, who calls out the legend. Misawa officially enters his first American ring to thunderous chants. It takes a couple of shots to knock Morishima off his feet, and the former ROH World Champion rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Misawa takes Morishima down and locks on a chinlock. Misawa backs Morishima into the corner and tags KENTA, who reprises the chinlock. I’m surprised that Morishima is taking the heat. Just as I type that Morishima powers KENTA into his corner on the top rope and tags Marufuji, who hits a dropkick to the face. Marufuji works a sleeper, but KENTA breaks it with a back suplex and tags Misawa back in. Misawa continues working on Marufuji’s head and neck, and then levels him with a forearm for two. KENTA comes back in and he works Marufuji over with kicks. He drapes Marufuji over the top rope and hits a flying knee to the back of the head for two. He takes Marufuji back down and locks on a headscissors. Misawa comes back in and hits a monkey flip. Ten minutes have gone by.

KENTA switches up the strategy on Marufuji, taking him down into a leglock. Morishima comes in illegally to break it up. KENTA pays him back with a sizable kick to the face. Finally after a long time of getting beaten up, Marufuji makes the tag. Morishima blasts Misawa with a missile dropkick but only gets two. He signals for the Back Drop Driver but Misawa blocks it and the trade forearms. Misawa takes Morishima down with a spinning kick and then tags out. Morishima absorbs a couple of KENTA’s kicks and hits one of his own. KENTA comes right back with his own boot to the face and a leg lariat for a two-count as 15 minutes have gone by. KENTA tries a bodyslam but Morishima falls on top of him. Marufuji comes flying in from out of nowhere with a Frog Splash and then throws KENTA to the floor. He whips him into the barricade and hits an Ole Dropkick. Morishima goes to the floor as well and hits an Ole Butt-Butt. Back in the ring Marufuji and Morishima wear KENTA down and keep him away from tagging his partner. We cross the 20 minute mark as Morishima hits a side slam for two.

KENTA finally comes back with a hard kick to Morishima’s chest and finally makes the tag. Misawa goes up top for a diving forearm on Morishima and sets up for the Tiger Driver. Morishima blocks it and hits a Butt-Butt. Marufuji tags in and he gets some offense in. He hits a superkick and signals for the Shiranui but Misawa blocks it and hits a butterfly suplex. KENTA tags back in and he’s in control. Marufuji and Morishima regroup and send Misawa to the floor so they can double-team KENTA. It sort of backfires, but when KENTA tries a German Suplex, Morishima crashes down on him with all of his weight. Misawa gets back in the ring but Marufuji immediately nails him with a superkick to send him to the floor. The match is breaking down as 25 minutes have gone by. KENTA hits Marufuji with a Tiger Suplex for a two-count. Everyone hits a move on someone and all four men are down, as the time limit is winding down. KENTA and Marufuji are left in the ring and they trade kicks. Marufuji wins the battle and kicks KENTA’s face down in the canvas, and then nailing him with a hard superkick. He tries the Shiranui but KENTA counters it and hits Go 2 Sleep! Marufuji gets his foot on the bottom rope. Marufuji comes back with the Dragon Screw leg whip for a two-count. KENTA comes back with backslide for two, and an inside cradle for two as we’re down to a minute left. They exchange a series of pinning combinations but neither man can get the three-count. Tags are made and the big men trade forearms. Morishima hits a big lariat for two. Misawa comes back and sets Morishima on the top rope, and the 30:00 time limit expires. The crowd is not impressed with that finish, and neither am I. Why book a 30 minute draw in a one-off main event? Why couldn’t Marufuji job to Misawa or even KENTA? Other than that the match was pretty solid but nothing spectacular. The real draw of the match is Misawa’s mere presence, so if that does it for you, you’ll probably enjoy the match more than I did.
Rating: ***¼

We close with more footage from the Age of The Fall. Now they’re at the Liberty Bell, and Jacobs bemoans the fact that you have to pay to get in to see it. A great symbol of freedom has been reduced to a mere tourist attraction.
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor V Night 2 (Bryan Danielson, KENTA) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/07/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-v-night-2-bryan-danielson-kenta-5/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/07/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-v-night-2-bryan-danielson-kenta-5/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 20:00:46 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170403 GBH5-2

For an easy to navigate archive of my many ROH reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Manhattan Center – New York City, New York – September 16, 2006

ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson opens the show by standing outside by Madison Square Garden, where tonight’s special guest Bruno Sammartino made his legendary name. This is followed up by a brief video package for tonight’s main event.

Dave Prazak and Jared David are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Jack Evans vs. Davey Richards

This one starts off with a tense lockup. Richards tries to overpower Evans but that power advantage is negated by Evans’s speed and agility. Evans dropkicks Richards to the floor and then teases a dive but Richards moves. Back in the ring Evans continues to use his agility. He hits a flipping kick to the head and then the handspring elbow in the corner. Richards shrugs off the kick and knocks Evans to the floor. He follows Evans out and whips him into the barricade. Back in the ring Richards tries a suplex but Evans knees his way out, so Richards hits him with a gutbuster. Then Richards tosses Evans onto the top rope and he bounces off the top rope and (accidentally) breaks a table on the floor! Back in the ring again Richards tries to keep Evans grounded. Evans comes back with a rollup for two and then the springboard flipping elbow. Richards rolls to the floor and Evans follows him out with a Space Flying Tiger Driver! Back in the ring Evans goes up top and goes for the 630 Senton and Richards gets his knees up! Richards hits a running powerslam for a two-count. He locks on the Stretch Muffler or Horse Collar, whichever you prefer (I hate both names) and Evans reaches the ropes. Richards goes for a Liger Bomb and Evans counters with a rana for two. They exchange kicks, with Richards landing a series of Kawada Kicks and then the Alarm Clock. Richards then this a powerbomb and again locks on the Horse Muffler to get the submission win at 7:35. That was short and sweet, and a good opener to get the crowd going.
Rating: **¾

Backstage Nigel McGuinness is ruminating on the meaning of life and how important tonight is to his career. If he would stop chewing his gum so loud I would be much happier with this promo. Other than that it was good.

Bruno Sammartino

The entire locker room is around ringside to hear what Bruno has to say. Bruno appears to be in excellent shape for 71 years old. The crowd chants “Bruno” and “Welcome Home.” He talks very softly, but he puts over ROH and the wrestlers involved. He thanks the fans, and then makes his way back to the locker room. On the way back, Samoa Joe and Takeshi Morishima bump in to each other and Joe immediately gets in the ring and challenges Morishima to join him. They fight briefly and the crowd goes ballistic. The rest of the wrestlers separate them. Man that was a hot segment all around.

MATCH #2: Delirious vs. Adam Pearce

Pearce attacks Delirious before the bell and chokes him with his own tassels. He throws punches until Delirious comes back with a headbutt to the midsection. Delirious gets a small package for two and then a crucifix pin for another two. The popular masked man is in control now, and he actually crawls under the ring and comes out on the other side and knocks Pearce over with a somersault off the apron. Back in the ring Pearce hits a spinebuster and then military presses Delirious to the floor. Pearce follows him to the floor and whips him into the barricade. Back in the ring Delirious fights back (really?) and hits a series of chops in the corner. Pearce comes back by going after the eyes. He hits a backbreaker and then goes up top. He tries a Superfly splash but Delirious gets his knees up. Back on their feet Delirious takes charge and hits a leaping lariat. Delirious hits the Roots Clotheslines (60 of them!) and then a bulldog for two. He goes up and hits a missile dropkick and then the Panic Attack. He goes up top and Pearce distracts the referee, allowing Shane Hagadorn to come out and clock Delirious with a pair of brass knuckles. Pearce then hits a Piledriver to get the pin at 8:17. I’m not the biggest Pearce fan, and this match didn’t win me over.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Three-Way Match – Christopher Daniels vs. Colt Cabana vs. Jimmy Jacobs

Jacobs is so upset about what’s going on between Lacey and Cabana that he actually CRIES before the match starts. As a result, Daniels and Cabana start the match while Lacey yells at Jacobs to go help Cabana. Of course Jacobs does exactly what she says. Cabana works himself into situations where he gets to touch Lacey’s boobs and then look up her skirt, much to Jacobs’s chagrin. Lacey gives the marching orders and Daniels realizes he’s pretty much in a handicap match at t his point. Jacobs tries to attack Cabana with a headlock but Lacey yells at him to stop, so he goes after Daniels instead. Prazak and David wonder why Jacobs would keep listening to Lacey since Cabana keeps humiliating him every chance he gets. Only in wrestling can someone act the way Cabana is acting towards Jacobs and keep getting cheered for it. Jacobs goes for a Spear but Daniels moves out of the way and Jacobs hits Cabana with it. With Cabana out of the picture Daniels goes to work on Jacobs. Daniels hits an STO for a near-fall. Jacobs comes back with a chinbreaker and a series of forearms. He hits a fisherman neckbreaker for a two-count. Daniels counters the Contra Code with a uranage slam and then hits the Best Moonsault Ever but Cabana breaks up the cover. Cabana hits a butt-butt in the corner and tries a lariat, but Daniels catches it and locks on the Koji Clutch. Lacey yells at Jacobs to save Cabana but luckily Cabana reaches the ropes. Meanwhile Daniels goes for the Angel’s Wings but Cabana backdrops him to the floor. Cabana follows him out with an Asai Moonsault. Back in the ring Cabana goes for the Colt 45 but Jacobs hits him with a low blow and then hits the Contra Code for the pin (and a nice pop) at 11:07.

It was more or less a handicap match but it was awesome for storyline advancement in the Jacobs/Cabana/Lacey love triangle. Jacobs is excited that he won the match since that’s what Lacey always wanted him to do, but she didn’t want him to do it at the expense of Cabana’s nuts.
Rating: **½

Commissioner Jim Cornette

The ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette makes his way out with the brothers Briscoe. He talks about his ongoing feud with Homicide. He goes off on a rant about how New York City and its fans all suck and are terrible people to go with their terrible city. He announces that Homicide will get his shot at the title on December 23 in this building … provided that he and Samoa Joe can win the match tonight.

MATCH #4: Homicide & Samoa Joe vs. The Briscoe Brothers

Joe and Homicide charge the ring and the fight is underway. They backdrop the Briscoes to the floor and then follow them out with stereo dives! Jay and Mark get a chance to recover and we start the match proper with Homicide and Mark. They go back and forth and Joe tags in. He whips Mark into the corner and causally walks away when Mark tries a springboard cross body block. Jay makes the tag, and these two have some history for sure. Joe takes him right into the corner and punches him right down. He hits the Big Joe Combo, which will always make me think fondly of Brad Garoon. Joe bodyslams Jay and then makes the tag. Homicide comes off the top rope with a splash for two. He distracts the referee so Smokes can take a cheap shot. He hits the Three Amigos for a two-count. Joe comes back in and hits Jay with an enziguiri. Jay is just getting destroyed here. Homicide puts Jay in the Tree of Woe and hits the Chris Sabin hesitation dropkick for a two-count. Finally Jay makes the comeback with a low blow and then tosses Homicide to the floor. Mark immediately pounces on Homicide and slams his head into the barricade multiple times. He legally tags in and the Briscoes go to work on Homicide now. After a few minutes of abuse Homicide is able to make the tag and the crowd thinks Joe may do something illegal to Mark. The youngest Briscoe is unafraid, taking it right to Joe. Unfortunately for him, Joe catches him with the Big Joe Combo #2. Joe hits the Face Wash and Smokes barks in Mark’s face. He levels Mark with a spinning back fist but Mark recovers with a spin kick and makes the tag. The Briscoes go to work on Joe now. Joe hits a flapjack out of nowhere and Homicide tags in. Homicide hits Jay with a belly-to-belly suplex and a flying back elbow. The referee loses control as both Briscoes are in the ring. Even so, Homicide is able to control both of them with seeming ease. The battle spills to the floor and Mark drops Homicide on the ring apron, and then wipes him out with a dive. Jay sends Joe to the floor, and then Homicide gets in the ring and hits Jay with an Ace Crusher. Homicide signals for the lariat but Mark breaks it up, and then Joe kills Mark with a lariat of his own. Joe tosses Mark to the floor and then he and Homicide double team Jay but can’t put him away. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but Joe breaks it up by puling Mark to the floor and hitting an Ole Kick. Meanwhile Jay goes for the Jay Driller but Homicide reverses it and tries the Cop Killa. Jay reverses that and tries a military press but Homicide slips out of that and kicks him in the back of the head. Homicide then hits the Cop Killa to get the pin and earn his title shot on December 23 at 17:59.

They could have cut a couple of minutes of but for the most part it was all go-go-go with tons of action and a hot finish. Cornette comes out and says that he will grant Homicide his title match, but between now and then he’s going to make his life a living hell.
Rating: ***½

Gary Michael Cappetta is backstage with Lacey and Colt Cabana at intermission. Jacobs busts in and is excited about his win. Lacey makes him apologize for hitting Cabana in the nuts. She is appalled that Jacobs would use a low blow, but it’s not like she’s ever been a virtuous babyface.

Elsewhere, KENTA is stretching in preparation for tonight’s main event.

And somewhere else, Bruno Sammartino gives a pep talk to ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson and GHC Heavyweight Champion Naomichi Marufuji. That’s a nice moment.

MATCH #5: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli

Aries and Strong have been the champions since 12.17.05 and this is their nineteenth defense. The crowd is heavily in favor of the longest reigning tag team champions to date. Aries is still sporting taped ribs, which is no doubt a bulls-eye for the challengers. Hero and Castagnoli decline the handshake and attack the champions before the bell.

The champs are ready for them though, and they fight right back with vicious chops. The Kings quickly take a powder to avoid the fired up champions. The dust settles and Castagnoli and Strong start the match proper. They engage in some mat wrestling and it looks like Strong has the advantage. Strong dominates and tags Aries into the match. The champions control the pace and work Castagnoli over. Strong picks Castagnoli up for a delayed vertical suplex and drops him across the top rope, and then delivers a leg drop from the top rope for a two-count. Aries tags in and goes to the top rope, but Hero knocks him down from the apron and the Kings take control. They immediately and wisely go to work on Aries’ injured ribs. The challengers really dominate Aries, working over his ribs with an assortment of cute double-team moves. It’s amazing how much different (and better) both Hero and Castagnoli are now. After many minutes of abuse Strong can take no more and comes in illegally to kick Hero in the face. Moments later Strong enters the ring legally and goes b-a-n-a-n-a-s on both Kings. He sends them both to the floor and Aries follows them out with the Heat Seeking Missile. Aries holds them in place and Strong wipes out both Kings with a twisting plancha and lands on his feet. Back in the ring Hero reclaims control on Strong. He tags Castagnoli, who hits the Alpamare Water Slide for two. Aries breaks up the cover and Hero comes in to thwart him. The Kings take the opportunity for more double teaming on Strong. Aries hits Hero with the IED out of nowhere, and Strong follows up with the Sick Kick. The champs hit the chop/brainbuster combo. Strong hits a backbreaker and Aries goes up top. Hero and Strong distract the referee, allowing Castagnoli to hit Aries in the ribs with his briefcase. The Kings double-team Strong to send him rolling to the floor. Aries gets back in the ring and the Kings are able to hit him with the KRS-One and we have NEW ROH World Tag Team Champions at 21:32. The crowd is split on whether to cheer or boo, but either way that was a terrific tag team match and I shudder to think how much better it would be today.
Rating: ***½

BJ Whitmer cuts a promo from his couch about how Jimmy Jacobs put him on the shelf. He gives Jacobs credit but says he did not get the job done.

MATCH #6: GHC Heavyweight Title Match – Naomichi Marufuji vs. Nigel McGuinness

This is the first time the GHC Heavyweight Title has been defended outside of Japan. Marufuji has been the champion since 9.9.06 and this is his first defense. That’s a pretty big deal. They go back and forth a bit as Jimmy Bower invades the booth to thank NOAH officials for allowing this match to happen in ROH. Marufuji goes after the leg as he takes the first sustained advantage of the match. Nigel escapes a Figure Four Leglock by getting to the ropes and then he rolls to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring Marufuji continues going to work on the leg. After several minutes Nigel avoids a charge in the corner and Marufuji hits his shoulder into the ring post. Nigel takes control and relentlessly attacks the now injured shoulder. After a few minutes of abuse Nigel hits the first lariat of the match for a two-count. Nigel wisely goes right back to the arm. Marufuji fights back with a dropkick to the knee and a sliding clothesline for a two-count. Nigel comes back with another hard lariat for a two-count. He hits the headstand mule kick for a two-count. He tries the top rope lariat but Marufuji avoids it, only to get the top rope snapped back in his eyes. Nigel joins Marufuji on the apron and Marufuji is able to catch him in a Shiranui all the way to the floor! Back in the ring Marufuji covers for a two-count. Marufuji sets Nigel on the top rope but it backfires, as the challenger hits the top-rope lariat and it only gets two! Nigel hits the Tower of London but Marufuji hits the Shiranui before he sells the move, and now both men are down.

They get back to their feet and Nigel is in control with a series of forearms. Nigel hits the Jawbreaker Lariat but Marufuji kicks out at two! He sets Marufuji up top and hits the Tower of London onto the apron! Once again both men are down on the floor. They get back in the ring and Nigel covers for two. They trade slaps and then blast each other with superkicks. Marufuji wins that battle and gets a two-count. Nigel tries the headstand but Marufuji kicks him in the face. Marufuji sets Nigel in the Tree of Woe and hits the corner to corner dropkick. He follows up with a super Shiranui to get the pin at 22:32. It was obvious Marufuji wasn’t going to drop the belt, but Nigel made quite the go of it. This was a big match in establishing Nigel’s credibility, and it was really good from start to finish and the crowd was with them the whole way.
Rating: ****

MATCH #7: ROH World Title Match – Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA

Danielson has been the champion since 9.17.05 and this is his thirty-fourth defense. The crowd is white hot for this match from the get-go. KENTA backs Danielson into the ropes and slaps him across the face. They engage in a test of strength and Danielson wins that battle by locking in an arm submission, and when KENTA gets to the ropes Danielson knees him in the face. KENTA responds by kicking Danielson’s injured shoulder and the champion bails. Back in the ring KENTA once again goes after the arm and Danielson responds with fury. Naturally KENTA comes back by going after the injured shoulder. Danielson takes KENTA down to the mat while trying to protect his injured shoulder. He hits KENTA with a dropkick that sends him to the floor. He tries a slingshot dive but KENTA moves out of the way and maliciously attacks the injured shoulder. Back in the ring it’s more of the same as KENTA wears Danielson down, focusing especially on the shoulder. Danielson makes a brief comeback and tries a sunset flip but KENTA slaps the taste out of his mouth. KENTA goes right back to the arm. Danielson comes back with a knee to the midsection and then a cravat suplex. He lands a series of kicks in the corner and then hits a vertical suplex and then chokes KENTA for funsies. He goes for the Mexican Surfboard but can’t pull KENTA up because of his injured shoulder, so he stomps his knees into the mat. Danielson follows up with the Figure Four Leglock and uses the ropes for leverage. KENTA makes it to the ropes but Danielson isn’t letting up at all, catapulting KENTA’s neck into the bottom rope. Danielson whips KENTA into the corner and KENTA comes out with a vertical suplex and then a dropkick. The challenger wisely goes back to work on the champion’s badly injured shoulder. KENTA whips Danielson into the corner but the champ runs up the ropes and flips over KENTA. Danielson locks on a half crab and KENTA reaches the ropes. The champ hits some forearms and then hits a superplex for two. Danielson locks on a Crossface Chicken Wing and adds the body scissors, but KENTA is still able to reach the ropes.

The champ bodyslams KENTA and goes up top for the diving headbutt but KENTA kicks him in the face! KENTA goes for a springboard maneuver but Danielson dropkicks him out of the air and both men are down. They get up and exchange strikes and then up the ante to suplexes. Danielson hits a hard forearm and KENTA comes back with a hard clothesline and both men are down again. Back up once again KENTA clotheslines Danielson to the floor. KENTA charges and Danielson delivers a belly-to-belly suplex. Danielson knocks KENTA into the crowd, and then goes up to the top rope and leaps into the crowd to wipe KENTA out. Back in the ring Danielson hits a missile dropkick and goes for a roaring elbow but KENTA catches him in a Fujiwara armbar! Luckily for Danielson he reaches the ropes. KENTA tries a back suplex but Danielson slips out and lands on his feet. Danielson goes up to the second rope and leaps off, but KENTA catches him in the Fujiwara armbar again, and again Danielson reaches the ropes. KENTA tries a series of strikes but Danielson catches him in a Regalplex for two. Danielson takes KENTA up top for the super belly-to-back suplex and then locks on Cattle Mutilation! KENTA reaches the ropes. Danielson hits a front chancery suplex and goes up top. KENTA tries to hop up for the super Falcon Arrow but Danielson pushes him down. Then Danielson jumps right onto KENTA’s shoulders (what move was he even going for?) and gets hit with the Go 2 Sleep. I guess Danielson was going for a cross body block? Anyway Danielson is able to get his foot on the bottom rope at two and the crowd is going ballistic. KENTA hits a couple of knee strikes, and then Danielson is able to grab him in an O’Connor Roll with a bridge for two! Danielson bounces off the ropes and KENTA kicks him right in the face. KENTA goes for Go 2 Sleep again and Danielson counters with a crucifix for two! Danielson hits the elbows to the head but KENTA fires up! The champ tries Cattle Mutilation but KENTA rolls through for a two-count! Danielson pulls him back up and hits the Tiger Suplex for two! He’s then able to lock on the hold and KENTA finally taps out at 33:00!

What a match. KENTA went after the shoulder but when Danielson wouldn’t give up he abandoned that strategy and focused on hitting the Go 2 Sleep instead. Danielson’s strategy all along was pretty much just to survive with the title intact and he did. There was almost no slowing down for the duration of the match and the crowd was with them the entire way. This is the best KENTA match I’ve ever seen and one of the best matches in Ring of Honor history.
Rating: *****
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A2Z Analysiz – TNA One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown (Gail Kim, Velvet Sky) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/07/a2z-analysiz-tna-one-night-only-knockouts-knockdown-gail-kim-velvet-sky/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/07/a2z-analysiz-tna-one-night-only-knockouts-knockdown-gail-kim-velvet-sky/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:00:17 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170739 Knockouts Knockdown

For an easy to navigate archive of my TNA reviews, please visit Total Nonstop Ziegler!

Impact Wrestling Zone – Orlando, Florida – Friday, September 6, 2013

Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Gail Kim vs. Alyssa Flash

They take it down to the mat and trade holds. Both women are aggressive in the early going, eager to set the tone for the match and the show. Kim strikes first with a dropkick. Flash fights back with a release German Suplex that sends Kim reeling to the floor. Kim tries to get a breather but Flash follows her out and gives chase. Flash tries to swing Kim into the barricade, but Kim counters and pulls Flash into the steel instead. Back in the ring Kim goes to work, keeping Flash on defense. Kim goes up and hits a missile dropkick for two. They trade some submission holds but neither woman is ready to tap out yet. Flash is able to catch Kim in a Samoan Drop, which Tenay calls a fallaway slam. Thankfully Taz corrects him, but then Taz tries to say that there’s no such thing as a Fallaway Slam. So both of the idiots manage to be wrong about pretty basic wrestling moves. They are just the worst duo, ever. Anyway, Flash fires up and reels off a series of offensive maneuvers. Flash goes up top for a missile dropkick but is not able to get the pin. Kim avoids a charge in the corner and hits Eat Defeat from out of nowhere to get the pin at 8:27. That was a solid opener, good back and forth stuff. They are both capable of more, but knowing that no one is watching these shows I don’t blame them for not doing it.
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: Lei’D Tapa vs. Ivelisse

Tapa immediately uses her size and power advantage to take control. Ivelisse survives the early onslaught and uses her speed and striking ability to take Tapa off her feet. Tapa cuts her off and continues to thwart Ivelisse’s comeback attempts. She presses Ivelisse over her head and slams her hard to the canvas. Tapa follows with a legdrop for a two-count. She continues to keep Ivelisse on defense, but she misses a charge and walks right into an enziguiri. Ivelisse goes up top and (sort of) hits a rana that sends Tapa to the floor. She goes up top again and wipes Tapa out with a cross body block. Back in the ring Ivelisse goes up top again and is able to lock on a guillotine choke. Tapa escapes that with a hard side slam and that’s enough to get the pin at 6:14. Ivelisse looked great, flying around the ring and hitting good looking strikes. Tapa looked a bit lost at times, but she mostly did the bruiser role just fine.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #3: Tara vs. Mia Yim

Tara has Jesse in her corner. The idiots on commentary argue about how to pronounce Yim’s last name, which has all of three letters in it. I hate these guys so much I can’t even articulate it. Tara uses her strength advantage to throw Yim around, and she looks supremely confident about it. Yim fires back with a flurry and Tara takes a powder. Back in the ring Yim unloads with chops and a dropkick from the second rope. Tara takes another powder, where Jesse comforts her. Yim gives chase, and when she goes to get back in the ring Jesse hooks her leg, allowing Tara to put the boots to her less experienced opponent. It looks like Jesse is supposed to interfere but he blows it, so Yim tries to cover for him and they all look a little silly. Tara goes for the Jigglesault but Yim gets her knees up. Yim unloads with a series of strikes and a nice quebrada that she somehow injures herself on and can’t cover. She hits a German Suplex for two, which Taz calls a “Japanese influence.” Tenay calls him on that idiocy. Yim takes Tara down and goes up top, but Jesse distracts her. Even so, she tries a corkscrew press but Tara avoids it. Tara hits the Widow’s Peak and that’s enough to get the pin at 6:33. There were a few awkward spots, and I know both of them are pretty solid wrestlers so that’s a shame. They still had a fine match but it was too short to really get going into anything memorable.
Rating: **

MATCH #4: Miss Tessmacher vs. Santana

Both women try to get the crowd a little fired up, but that’s an uphill climb. Santana looks green as grass but even so she’s able to control the opening minutes with a variety of strikes and holds. She misses a cross body block from the second rope, and Tessmacher sees the opening. Tessmacher unleashes a flurry of offense, including the ass to the face. Santana fights back and tries a moonsault but Tessmacher gets her knees up. Tessmacher picks Santana up and slams her on her face for the pin at 4:28. That was pretty lousy, as Santana looked lost and Tessmacher was not the one to help her find herself.
Rating: *

MATCH #5: ODB vs. Trinity

They start off with some stalling and then it turns into brawling. ODB knocks Trinity down and Trinity takes a powder. There’s no rest for Trinity though, as ODB follows her out and continues the abuse. Back in the ring it’s like nothing ever happened and they stall some more. ODB misses a charge in the corner and that gives Trinity the opportunity she needs to beat on ODB for a bit. That doesn’t last long and ODB is right back on offense. ODB hits the BAM to get the pin at 6:15. They spent a lot of time stalling, nothing interesting happened, and then it was over. Blech.
Rating: *½

MATCH #6: Taryn Terrell vs. Jackie Moore

Terrell is feisty right from the start, attacking the veteran Moore and backing her into a corner. Moore fights back and uses her power and veteran know-how to put a beating on my favorite Knockout. She keeps Terrell grounded for a short time, and then Terrell powers up and both women clothesline each other. Back up on their feet Terrell is able to unleash a flurry of offense, including a dropkick and a vertical suplex for a two-count. Terrell hits a cross body block from the second rope and a Spear for a near-fall. She tries a bulldog from the second rope but Moore shoves her away. Moore hits a basement dropkick to the face to get the pin at 5:06. That was brief but at least both women were on point with their offense. The finish was a little weak though.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #7: Three-Way Match – Taeler Hendrix vs. Sojo Bolt vs. Hannah Blossom

Bolt and Hendrix appear ready to work together against Hannah, who is without her twin sister Holly tonight. That’s exactly what happens from the get-go. Hannah is a plucky babyface and fights back. Bolt and Hendrix put on a double submission and for some reason the idiot referee tries to break it up. I don’t understand that at all. Of course Hendrix and Bolt realize that only one of them can actually get the win so they start fighting each other. Hendrix gets the better of it and sends Bolt to the floor. Hannah has a chance to recover and continues trying to fight back but Bolt and Hendrix continue to beat on her in between fighting each other. Bolt holds Hannah for Hendrix, but Hendrix accidentally decks Bolt instead. Hannah drills Hendrix with a big boot to the face to score the upset pin at 4:55. That was decent for the time they were given, and at least it was a different type of match than another singles bout.
Rating: **

MATCH #8: Velvet Sky vs. Jillian Hall

They go back and forth to start, slugging away at each other. Hall takes a cheap shot but that just fires Sky up. Sky rams Hall’s head repeatedly into the turnbuckles and hits a bulldog for two. She spears Hall through the ropes and they both tumble to the floor. Sky goes for a whip into the steps but Hall reverses it. Back in the ring Hall goes to work, keeping the former Knockouts Champion Sky on defense. Hall goes for a suplex but Sky counters to a face plant. Both women get back to their feet and Sky gets a second wind. Sky hits a headscissors and a monkey flip for a two-count. Hall fights back and tries an inverted victory roll but she’s got her hand on the ropes and the referee catches her. Sky then hits In Yo’ Face to get the pin at 6:44. That was not bad at all, which I didn’t exactly expect from these two. They kept it simple and Sky won with an actual finisher instead of a transition move like others have tonight.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #9: Mickie James vs. Serena

The competitors share a hug and a handshake before taking it to each other. They wrestle on the mat and exchange holds in the early going. More mutual respect accompanies the back and forth battle between these two, and neither of them can gain a sustained advantage over their opponent. They engage in a test of strength and James takes control. James hits a basement dropkick that sends Serena to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring Serena unleashes a flurry and sends James to the floor with a back elbow. Serena holds the ropes open for James and then double-crosses her on her way back in. Rude. Serena keeps James on defense until she misses a charge in the corner. That gives James the chance to hit a hangman’s neckbreaker. Back on their feet they slug it out. James takes the advantage there and hits a Thesz Press from the top rope. She follows with the jumping DDT to get the pin at 10:54. That was easily the match of the night so far, with a unique story and two very solid wrestlers both respecting each other and doing what it took to get the win.
Rating: ***

MATCH #10: Knockouts Gauntlet Match

TNA “gauntlets” are just like the Royal Rumble except it goes to a traditional singles match with pins and submissions when it’s down to the last two. Hannah Blossom drew #1, and Gail Kim picked #2. Kim attacks right away and dominates her far less experienced opponent. Hannah survives the onslaught and busts out some offense, but Kim cuts her off and sends her to the apron. Kim drops Hannah across the second rope and then knocks her to the floor for the first elimination. Lei’D Tapa is entrant #3. Kim wisely attacks right away but Tapa uses her size and power to wear Kim down. Tara is #4 and Tapa immediately shifts focus to her. Kim and Tara work together but are not able to eliminate Tapa just yet. Next up at #5 is Mickie James, who goes right after Tapa, the largest competitor in the ring. Tapa fights back on all three of her opponents but they are able to work together to eliminate her. Now Kim and Tara work together on James as Miss Tessmacher comes out at #6. Tessmacher takes it right to her former Knockouts Tag Team Championship partner Tara, and they roll around slugging at each other. Jackie Moore is entrant #7. Tessmacher aggressively goes right after Moore. Random brawling from all five women in the match continues as we await the last two participants. ODB is #8 and she takes a swig of liquid courage on her way into the ring. She spits some in Moore’s eyes and eliminates her just as Velvet Sky makes her way out at #9 to complete the field. So the winner will be one of ODB, Gail Kim, Velvet Sky, Tara, Miss Tessmacher, or Mickie James. ODB and Sky take their battle to the apron and exchange chops. Sky wins that battle and kicks ODB to the floor. Moments later Kim eliminates Sky and we’re down to the final four. Tessmacher is next to go, courtesy of Tara. James kicks Tara in the midsection to send her to the floor. Now it’s James and Kim fighting to determine the Queen of the Knockouts, or whatever vague, unofficial title they’re bestowing on the winner of this thing. James hits a Thesz Press from the top rope for a two-count. She pulls Kim off the second rope and Kim lands awkwardly on her knee. Kim appears to be injured and James is apologetic. A trainer gets in the ring and tries to help Kim out. Of course it’s all a ruse, as Kim surprises James with a schoolgirl rollup to get the pin at 20:40. That was pretty long and nothing at all memorable happened leading up to the clichéd and played finish. Now Kim is the prestigious “Queen of the Knockouts,” and Madison Rayne comes out to put a crown on her best friend’s head.
Rating: *½

That was one of the worst pay-per-views TNA has ever put on, but it was still better than Hardcore Justice.
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor V Night 1 (KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, The Briscoes) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/06/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-v-night-1-kenta-naomichi-marufuji-the-briscoes/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/06/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-v-night-1-kenta-naomichi-marufuji-the-briscoes/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 17:00:10 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170399 GBH5-1

For an easy to navigate archive of my many ROH reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

East Windsor, Connecticut – September 15, 2006

The Briscoe Brothers are backstage to start the show, and they want KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, Samoa Joe, and Homicide (their opponents this weekend) to MAN UP.

I believe this is the second ever ROH show to take place under a tent. Dave Prazak and Jared David are on commentary here.

MATCH #1: Dunn & Marcos vs. Rhett Titus & Pelle Primeau

Marcos and Primeau, the smaller man from each team, start the match. Primeau scores with a headscissors and tags Titus. Marcos slips out of a double suplex attempt and makes the tag. Dunn is all over both Primeau and Titus. Primeau stops the momentum with a headscissors on Dunn and Titus follows with a dropkick for a one-count. Titus hits Dunn with a big clothesline for two. The students try to double-team Dunn but Marcos makes a blind tag and the RCE drops Titus and Primeau. Dunn and Marcos hit Titus with an assisted senton to get the win at 2:03. Why not keep that as a preshow match?
Rating: ½*

Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli, the Kings of Wrestling and the CZW Tag Team Champions, come out from the crowd. Hero challenges Dunn and Marcos to a match while Castagnoli stands there all weird with long hair. The RCE accepts they challenge.

MATCH #2: Dunn & Marcos vs. Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli

They hit the unprepared Kings with simultaneous dropkicks off the second rope. The Kings roll to the floor and the RCE wipe them out with dives. Back in the ring Dunn goes to work on Castagnoli. Hero makes a blind tag and hits a nasty back suplex. Hero knocks Marcos to the floor. Her hits Dunn with a chop and then tags Castagnoli for a double big boot to the face. The Kings are fully in control as Jimmy Bower joins the commentary team and talks trash about Hero. Meanwhile the Kings are dismantling Dunn. Finally Marcos makes a hot tag. Marcos hits Hero with a DDT and then hits Castagnoli with an inverted DDT. The referee loses control and the Kings hit Marcos with the KRS-One to get the victory at 5:20. The Kings get solid momentum going in to their big title match tomorrow.
Rating: *

Christopher Daniels cuts a promo backstage about how Nigel McGuinness is stealing his spotlight and he doesn’t like it.

McGuinness gets a retort, promising that he will get the job done and win tonight. He also does that weird thing where he sniffs really loudly at the end of the promo. Why do so many wrestlers do that as a promo technique? It’s so weird.

MATCH #3: Four Corner Survival – Colt Cabana vs. Jack Evans vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Ricky Reyes

Jacobs is accompanied by Lacey. Why is Reyes shaking hands and high fiving fans on the way to the ring? That’s not heel behavior. This was during the time that Jacobs was in love with Lacey but Cabana was fooling around with her. Since it’s wrestling, Cabana was the babyface in the deal.

Evans and Reyes start the match, and the first move is to put Cabana over by leading the crowd in a “Colt’s a Pimp” chant. Poor Jacobs is depressed in the corner. Reyes and Evans go back and forth for a bit and then make tags. Cabana, being the nice guy that he is, mocks Jacobs before he gets in the ring. He tries to get Jacobs to shake his hand and he continues to mock him. An angry Jacobs spits on Cabana, and then gets trapped in a headlock. Cabana lands a series of hiptosses, and continues to interact with Lacey. Jacobs is so angry that he basically trips over himself trying to get at Cabana. Reyes tags back into the match and he goes to work on Jacobs, hitting a dropkick. Finally Jacobs fires up with a flurry of offense and then goes to work on the arm. Lacey gets up on the apron and tries to convince Jacobs and Cabana to work together. Jacobs agrees because he loves Lacey, Cabana agrees so that he can continue to humiliate poor Jacobs. After a few minutes of (sort of) double-teaming, Reyes makes the tag to Evans. The high flyer is doing what he does best. The match breaks down and the referee loses control. Jacobs and Cabana try to work together, but Cabana “accidentally” clotheslines Jacobs. Reyes sends Cabana to the floor and hits Jacobs with a German Suplex with a bridge. Cabana pulls Reyes to the floor, and then Evans hits Jacobs with a sick 450 legdrop off the top rope to get the pin at 13:06. That picked up in the last couple minutes, but was storyline heavy through most of the match. Not that I’m complaining about that, because the Jacobs / Cabana feud was one of the most relatable and engaging feuds ROH ever ran.
Rating: **½

MATCH #4: Nigel McGuinness vs. Christopher Daniels

They take it down to the mat and exchange arm holds. Of course they wrestle to standoff after some pinning combinations and the crowd voices support for both men. Nigel goes back to the arm and but Daniels quickly comes back with a hiptoss and an armdrag. Unfazed, Nigel takes Daniels right back down to the mat and targets the arm. Daniels just can’t get anything going here. Finally Nigel tries the stupid headstand and sits there waiting for Daniels to slap him in the face. Now Daniels goes to work on the neck. After a few minutes of that, Nigel catches Daniels with the Divorce Court and they’re both down. Back on their feet Nigel whips Daniels into the corner for a running European Uppercut. Nigel follows up with the Jawbreaker Lariat but Daniels kicks out at two! He follows up with the headstand in the corner and this time he’s able to hit a mule kick for two. He goes for the Tower of London but Daniels escapes and puts Nigel up top for an Iconoclasm, but Nigel kicks out at two. Daniels goes for the Angel’s Wings but Nigel avoids it and tries another Jawbreaker, which Daniels avoids and hits the STO into the Koji Clutch. Nigel rolls Daniels’s shoulders down for a two-count to break the hold. Daniels goes for the Best Moonsault Ever but can’t because of the tent and Nigel scores a couple of rollups for two. Nigel then lands another lariat but Daniels kicks out again. He sets Daniels up for the top-rope lariat but Daniels avoids it and hits a back elbow. Daniels tries the Arabian Press but Nigel gets the knees up and then suplexes him gut-first on the top rope. Nigel then hits the Tower of London for the win at 16:44. Daniels is usually pretty reliable for a good match and Nigel was really coming into his own at this point. They worked well together.
Rating: ***½

Samoa Joe is backstage to talk about his history at the Glory By Honor event. He faces Roderick Strong tonight, since Strong pinned him in St. Paul at Epic Encounter II. Then they do the stupid thing where they “cut” the promo but the camera keeps rolling. Takeshi Morishima is at the show as a guest, and he introduces himself to Joe through an interpreter. There is already tension between them, which would set up their match in New York during the Fifth Year Festival in February 2007.

MATCH #5: Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards

Aries is one half of the ROH Tag Team Champions along with Roderick Strong. He was originally scheduled to face Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Title, but with Danielson’s injury they wanted to rest him for the match with KENTA tomorrow night, so Davey Richards got subbed in. Aries has a giant bulls-eye on his ribs, which are heavily taped.

They take it right down to the mat for some aggressive mat work. Jimmy Bower comes into the booth to apologize to everyone for the show being in a tent and it’s starting to rain. Meanwhile Aries and Richards decide to play “lets kick each other really hard and not sell it for fun” game. Richards begs for it, and Aries wisely wins the battle with a headlock. Aries controls the match and goes for the slingshot senton but Richards moves and hits a back elbow. Now Richards wisely goes to work on the injured ribs. He tries the stupid handspring spin kick but Aries dropkicks him out of the air. Aries is in control now and he keeps Richards off guard with a variety of strikes and submission moves. Richards fights back and they trade forearms. After a few forearms they clothesline each other and both men are down. They get back up and trade forearms and kicks again. Aries levels Richards with a forearm as David and Prazak mention that two guys beating each other up in a tent is representative of the history of the business. Richards kicks out at two. Aries picks Richards up and dropkicks him in the knee for some reason, and then Richards hits the springboard spin kick. Richards suplexes Aries onto the top rope, and then dropkicks him to the floor. He follows Aries out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Richards unleashes hard kicks to the chest. Aries catches a kick and hits the shinbreaker/back suplex combo. He follows up with the IED for a two-count. He tries the Crucifix Bomb but Richards counters to a gutbuster. Richards hits a sit-out powerbomb (it’s only a Liger Bomb if you run, Prazak) for a two-count. He goes to work on the leg now and locks on the Horse Collar. Aries reaches the ropes. Why wouldn’t Richards work on the ribs? Anyway Richards hits more kicks and tries a German Suplex. Aries lands on his feet and kicks Richards in the head. He hits a gourdbuster and then another kick to the head. He then hits the brainbuster and it looks like a three-count (you know, because Richards never got his shoulder up) but I guess it was only two. Richards gets a small package and a backslide for two-counts. Aries comes out of the backslide with another kick to the head and another brainbuster to get the pin at 17:15. The psychology was all over the place and the selling was non-existent.
Rating: **

It’s intermission time as Gary Michael Cappetta is with Lacey, Jimmy Jacobs, and Colt Cabana. Lacey says it’s all about getting wins for Lacey’s Angels. Cabana seems to be on board only to get some from Lacey. Poor Jacobs is just getting dumped on left and right.

MATCH #6: Delirious vs. Shane Hagadorn

Hagadorn is the holder of the Top of the Class Trophy, having defeated Derrick Dempsey at Destiny on June 3 in this very city. Delirious loses his mind at the opening bell, as per usual. Hagadorn avoids Delirious at first, and then backs him into the corner. They engage in a test of strength, and of course Delirious wins that battle. Delirious takes Hagadorn down to the canvas and they get tangled up in the tassels and the hold is broken. The masked man regains control rather easily and embarrasses Hagadorn with a couple of trips. He hits a headbutt to the midsection and a leaping clothesline. He throws Hagadorn into the buckle but runs into a boot, and then receives another kick to the face. Hagadorn goes to the bottom rope to deliver a Bret Hart elbow for a one-count. Delirious comes back with a drop toehold into the turnbuckle and then the Panic Attack. He goes for the Cobra Suplex but Hagadorn backs him into the corner and elbows him. Hagadorn hits a running knee and a side Russian Legsweep for two. He then locks on a Crossface but Delirious reaches the ropes. Hagadorn hits a headbutt to the midsection and then mocks him. Delirious doesn’t take too kindly to that, and comes back with a Cobra Clutch Backbreaker and then the Cobra Stretch for the win at 6:22. That was fine for a post-intermission match.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #7: Samoa Joe vs. Roderick Strong

Strong is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions with Austin Aries. They start off cautiously and Strong takes Joe down to the mat with a hammerlock. Joe rolls out of it and both men get back to their feet. They lock up and Strong backs Joe into the corner. Strong tries a chop but Joe blocks it and trips Strong (almost the STJoe) as a bit of a warning. Joe takes Strong down with a single leg and lands a couple of elbows to the head before Strong gets to the ropes. Back up Strong once again backs Joe into the corner and this time connects with a couple of stinging chops. Strong hits a side suplex and a double underhook suplex for a one-count. He tries a dropkick but Joe avoids it and hits a modified flapjack. Joe unloads with a series of kicks to the chest and then the Big Joe Combo for a two-count. He keeps Strong on the canvas and wears him down. Strong escapes a modified Dragon Sleeper with a Back Drop Driver, and then he is able to hit a cross body block off the second rope. He follows with a clothesline, an enziguiri and a Falcon Arrow for a two-count. He charges at Joe in the corner and this time suffers the full effects of the STJoe. Now Joe is in control, taking Strong down in the corner and hitting the Face Wash. Joe works on the head and neck area, which is smart given Joe’s finishing moves. Strong powers up and engages Joe in a forearm battle and it’s going poorly for him until he introduces chops. He then catches Joe in a backbreaker and gets a two-count. He unleashes a flurry of offense on Joe, ending with a leg lariat but once again only gets two. Joe escapes the Stronghold attempt but Strong dropkicks him to the floor and follows him out with a twisting plancha.

Strong throws Joe back in the ring for a two-count. Joe comes back with the powerbomb for two and then turns it over into the STF. Strong reaches the ropes. Joe comes right back with a snap powerslam for another near-fall. Strong comes right back with a Half Nelson Backbreaker but Joe kicks out at two. He sets Joe up on the top rope and hits a massive superplex but once again it only gets two. Joe comes back and tries a big running boot but Strong avoids it and locks on the Stronghold, sort of. Strong hits a gutbuster but when he tries to follow up Joe sweeps his legs out from under him. Joe goes for the Muscle Buster but Strong avoids it and hits a big boot off the ropes. Strong tries the Gibson Driver and is able to hit a modified version but Joe kicks out. He sets Joe up on the top rope and goes for another superplex but Joe reverses it and hits a Super Death Valley Driver for the pin at 19:14. What an awesome power match and a great showing from Strong. They both just tried to outhit each other and Joe was able to connect with the bigger hit. Strong looked on Joe’s level throughout the match.
Rating: ****

MATCH #8: KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji vs. The Briscoe Brothers

This match came about after the Briscoes and KENTA got into skirmishes at both Throwdown and Chi Town Struggle in Detroit and Chicago, respectively, in June. The Briscoes then defeated KENTA & Davey Richards at Time to Man Up in Long Island on August 4.

Marufuji starts the match with Mark. They start with some mat wrestling and wrestle to a standoff. Mark targets the leg and Marufuji counters by going after the arm. Jay and KENTA tag in and KENTA hits a back elbow for a two-count. He starts in with the kicks and then locks on a front facelock. Jay forces KENTA back to the Briscoe corner and makes a tag. KENTA fights back and makes a tag of his own. No team has gained a sustained advantage in the early going. Both teams just take turns beating each other up for a while. The Briscoes take control of Marufuji about 10 minutes in. After a few minutes Marufuji comes back with a drop toehold and makes the tag. KENTA hits a hard kick to the back for a two-count. Now the NOAH team works Jay over for a bit. Jay fires back and trades strikes with Marufuji and then they clothesline each other. Tags are made and Mark hits KENTA with a Northern Lights Suplex for two. The referee has completely lost control of this match. Bodies are flying all over the place and the offense is coming fast and furious. The referee gains a control and tags are being made, but the pace has hardly slowed down. Marufuji blasts Mark with a clothesline and then makes the tag. KENTA and Mark battle in the ring while Jay and Marufuji fight on the floor. Jay comes back in and hits KENTA with a pop-up Death Valley Driver, and then Marufuji comes in for a superkick on Jay. Marufuji then hits the Shiranui but Mark hits him with a springboard missile dropkick, and KENTA follows with the Busaiku Knee Kick and all four men are down. Back on their feet KENTA hits Mark with a big running boot in the corner and then goes up top with him. Jay breaks it up and puts KENTA on his shoulders, but KENTA slips out and hits Jay with a Tiger Suplex. Mark still tries the springboard move but KENTA kicks him out of the air. KENTA and Marufuji hit Poetry in Motion and then kick his head off but Jay breaks up the cover. Moments later KENTA hits Mark with the Go 2 Sleep for the pin at 20:25.

They didn’t quite establish a rhythm in the early parts of the match – it was all just moves, moves, and moves. But when they got to the home stretch they rocked it, and KENTA getting a good clean pin was necessary since he challenges for the title tomorrow night. The other NOAH guests come out to celebrate with their countrymen.
Rating: ***½
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Survival of the Fittest 2011 (Michael Elgin, Kyle O’Reilly) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/06/a2z-analysiz-roh-survival-of-the-fittest-2011-michael-elgin-kyle-oreilly-2/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/06/a2z-analysiz-roh-survival-of-the-fittest-2011-michael-elgin-kyle-oreilly-2/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 14:00:58 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168942 survivalofthefittest2011

For an easy to navigate archive of my ROH reviews, just Click Right Here!

Montgomery County Fairgrounds – Dayton, Ohio – November 18, 2011

Dave Prazak and Kevin Kelly are on commentary. This is the first show in Dayton since World’s Greatest in February.

MATCH #1: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Bravado Brothers

Both members of the winning team advance to the finals. The Briscoes were in the 2004 and 2006 Survival of the Fittest events, with Mark going to the finals in ’04 and both making it in ’06. This is the debut for the other brother tandem. The Bravados actually beat the Briscoes back in July, so #DemBoys are eager for revenge. Mark and Harlem start the match and it goes about how one would expect in the early going. The Bravados use cheating to gain control. They work Mark over in their half of the ring, focusing on the left knee. After a brief period Jay gets the hot tag and unloads on both Harlem and Lancelot. The referee loses control and the Briscoes hit Lance with the Doomsday Device to get the win at 6:14. That was pretty squashy.
Rating: **

Jay gets on the mic to proclaim that the brothers will be the last two men standing in the Survival of the Fittest night, and that he won’t hesitate to whip Mark’s ass.

MATCH #2: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Kyle O’Reilly vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge

O’Reilly lost to Kevin Steen at last year’s event, and this is Ridge’s debut. These are two very hard kickers. They take it down to the mat and exchange holds. Ridge hits the first collection of kicks for a two-count. O’Reilly strikes back with his own kicks and a two-count of his own. The momentum continues to shift, and O’Reilly catches Ridge with the rolling butterfly suplexes and turns it into a cross armbreaker. Ridge gets to the ropes. They get up and trade kicks back and forth and the crowd loves it. Ridge hits more kicks and a slingshot Ace Crusher, or “the big one” as Kevin Kelly calls it, but he can’t get the pin yet. O’Reilly fights back with kicks and locks on a guillotine choke and Ridge taps out at 7:10. That was a lot of kicks and not much else.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #3: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Eddie Edwards vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett

Edwards beat Chris Hero en route to winning it all last year, while this is Bennett’s debut. Bennett is rolling sans Brutal Bob tonight. Both of these men are from Boston, if that’s something that interests you. They strike back and forth in the early going, because Bennett doesn’t do much else. Edwards traps Bennett in the Tree of Woe and delivers a hesitation dropkick and then a sliding kick to the head for two. Bennett comes back with more punches. Really dude? I like how the commentators try to sell that fans hate Bennett because they’re jealous. No, we hate him because he sucks. Edwards tricks Bennett to the floor and wipes him out with a suicide dive, the same move that he injured his shoulder with at last year’s Survival of the Fittest. Nice continuity there. Back in the ring Edwards locks on an STF and Bennett reaches the ropes. Bennett comes back with a spinebuster but only gets two. They blow whatever move they were trying next and it results in Prazak saying “plants him.” That’s the laziest commentary move in the back and I’m sick of it. Edwards hits a powerbomb and puts on the Achilles Lock. Bennett reaches the ropes again. Bobby Cruise announces three minutes left in the time limit. Bennett tries a top rope Box Office Smash but Edwards flips out of it and locks on a Dragon Sleeper to get the win at 12:48. Edwards gave it a good try, but what are you gonna do with Bennett?
Rating: **¼

Backstage – Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly reflect on O’Reilly’s win and the upcoming finals. Richards mentions Michael Elgin, giving away the result of the next match. Thanks Davey.

Elsewhere – The Embassy is getting fired up for Tommaso Ciampa’s qualifying match, which we already know he’s losing thanks to Davey Richards. You can hear a match going on in the background. ROH really needs to make promos look more professional. Come on, it’s been almost ten years, get it together.

Somewhere else – The All Night Express are talking about their respective qualifying matches tonight. Last year King was the last man eliminated by the winner Eddie Edwards. Tonight he’s in a four-way qualifier. What is Rhett Titus doing? Titus has a rematch with Roderick Strong, who beat him in a qualifying match two years ago. He says this year will be different.

MATCH #4: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Kenny King vs. Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Elgin is accompanied by Truth Martini in his Survival of the Fittest debut. Ciampa is also debuting tonight, while King was involved in 2009 and 2010 (when he made it to the finals), and Cole also made it to the finals last year after defeating Steve Corino. King and Ciampa start the match. After a little back and forth Ciampa tags Cole. Elgin tags himself in at King’s expense, and Cole almost gets a quick pin with an inside cradle. The Unbreakable one quickly takes over with his power, but Cole counters with speed and agility. Ciampa tags in and Cole once again gets a quick rollup for a near-fall. Elgin doesn’t want to leave the ring so he just dumps Cole out. Ciampa and Elgin fight and King decides to come in and get a piece of the action. The referee has lost control less than five minutes into the match. King tries a springboard move but slips on the top rope and almost breaks his neck. That was scary. Elgin picks up King and Cole simultaneously for a combination Samoan Drop/Fallaway Slam. The action continues and Cole knocks Ciampa to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. King tries to follow but Cole kicks him in the face. Cole hits Elgin with a missile dropkick. Ciampa tries to hit Cole with Project Ciampa but King takes the opportunity to hit a Blockbuster, much like he does with his partner Rhett Titus. The referee pays no attention to any sort of legal man rule, so there’s action all over the place. Ciampa gets tied up in the Tree of Woe, and Elgin picks up Cole and hits a Buckle Bomb right into that corner. Elgin then hits Cole with the spinning sitout powerbomb to get the win at 9:58. They packed a ton of action in there and it was a lot of fun to watch.
Rating: ***¼

Backstage – Eddie Edwards talks about his chances of winning back-to-back Survival of the Fittest matches. He says he doesn’t know who the five guys are he’s facing, even though four of them have been determined. He promises to the best last man standing, because he is Die Hard, and this year is the year of history. I fail to see what everyone sees in this guy. I’m looking at you Jim Cornette.

MATCH #5: Special Challenge Match – Steve Corino with Jimmy Jacobs vs. El Generico

Jacobs cuts a quick promo before the match to remind Corino that he’s not a pussy and gets him fired up. Generico wisely neglects to shake Corino’s hand, which is smart given everything that Corino did to him during the Kevin Steen feud. They keep it civil during the opening exchange of holds but Generico still seems wary. Corino goes for another handshake but Generico won’t bite, slapping him in the face instead. The formerly evil Corino resists Generico’s taunts to return to his evil ways, instead preferring to keep it a wrestling match. Corino even teases the Thumb in the Bum but thinks better of it. Generico responds by hitting a Michinoku Driver for two. He keeps up the offense on the man who tormented him for the better part of a year. Corino fights back and hits Colby Shock for two. Generico responds with a Blue Thunder Driver for two. Corino hits two lariats and then goes for the Eternal Dream but Generico catches it and rolls him up for two. Generico hits a jawbreaker that sends Corino to the apron, and then Yakuza Kicks him to the floor. Cruise announces three minutes left in the time limit. Back in the ring Generico hits a half-nelson suplex for two. Generico follows with a brainbuster for another two-count. He hits another Brainbuster as Cruise announces one minute left and Corino kicks out again. Generico hits a running Yakuza Kick in the corner and Jacobs gets on the apron and appears ready to throw in the towel but Corino waves him off. That distraction allows Corino to hit the Old School Bomb as the time limit expires at 15:00. I’ve really grown to like the Corino storyline and this was an effective match in telling that story.
Rating: ***

Jim Cornette makes his way down to help Jacobs convince Generico that Corino is a changed man. Generico finally agrees and shakes Corino’s hand. That’s a good moment that really didn’t need any involvement from Cornette. Corino gets on the mic to hype his match with Kevin Steen at Final Battle, saying that for one night he will be evil again.

Backstage – Jimmy Jacobs tries to convince Corino that his efforts tonight did not go unnoticed. Corino is unsure of himself still.

MATCH #6: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Roderick Strong vs. Rhett Titus

Strong is accompanied by Truth Martini. He’s a veteran of Survival of the Fittest, having appeared in every tournament except 2010, even winning it all in 2005. This is Titus’s third straight appearance, and he made it to the finals last year. They exchange holds early on, with Titus eager to show that he’s in Strong’s league. Titus starts building some momentum so Strong takes a powder. Outside the ring Strong throws something at Titus that I can’t quite indentify. That gives Strong control back in the ring and he pounds away. Strong keeps Titus down for a bit before the inevitable comeback. Titus brings out all of his big guns but he can’t put Strong away. For the third time tonight Cruise announces there are three minutes remaining. Strong fights back and starts hitting all his big moves, including the gutbuster and a superkick for two. He takes Titus up for a superplex but Titus counters by dropping Strong face-first on the mat. Titus goes up top and hits a Frog Splash but Martini distracts the referee. The distraction allows Strong to hit a big knee to the face, several kicks to the face, and then the Sick Kick to get the win and advance to the finals at 14:34. Titus is getting better as a wrestler, now if he could get his promos to come along he’d be really good. Strong was his usual solid self here.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #7: Champions Challenge – ROH World Champion Davey Richards & World TV Champion Jay Lethal vs. World Tag Team Champions Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas

What’s with this rash of people being announced as “wrestling out of [whatever city]?” I don’t get why they have to say that, just say where they’re from. Richards is still one half of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions along with his old No Remorse Corps stable mate Rocky Romero. Lethal and Benjamin start the match but before any contact is made Lethal tags in the World Champion. The crowd enjoys that. Benjamin still has taped ribs but it looks like just about the worst tape job in history. Even so Benjamin is able to keep pace with Richards as they battle back and forth. Tags are made and that puts my least favorite wrestler in ROH in the ring. I’ll leave you to guess which one I mean. Before anything can happen Lethal takes a powder to confer with Richards. It doesn’t do him much good, as back in the ring Haas dominates Lethal on the mat. As Lethal makes the comeback Benjamin gets the blind tag and the Tag Team Champions resume control. Haas and Benjamin go for the Leap of Faith but Richards illegally breaks it up. It backfires though, as the champs put Richards on top of Lethal and hit the move on both of them. Lethal is able to scurry up to the second rope and hit Benjamin with a leg lariat. Richards gets the tag and hits Benjamin with a missile dropkick. He follows up with a superplex for two, and then puts on the Ankle Lock. The referee loses control a bit as Lethal hits both tag champs with a flip dive over the top rope. Back in the ring Richards and Lethal double-team Benjamin and Richards puts on the Ankle Lock again. Lethal then puts Haas in the Crossface, and Richards turns the Ankle Lock into the Texas Cloverleaf. Benjamin reaches the ropes as Lethal pitches Haas to the floor. Richards and Lethal continue to work Benjamin over in their half of the ring. Eventually Haas gets the hot tag and he’s all over Lethal. The match breaks down once again and offense is coming from all over the place. All four men knock each other down and the crowd is rockin’. They all get up and start throwing hands, Benjamin with Richards and Haas with Lethal. Benjamin gets dumped to the floor and the singles champs use kicks to wear Haas down. Richards hits Haas with a diving headbutt and Lethal follows with the Top Rope Elbow and Benjamin breaks up the count. For some reason Richards chokes Benjamin out on the floor while Haas avoids a Lethal missile dropkick. Lethal tries a hurricanrana but Haas blocks it and puts on the Haas of Pain. Benjamin dispatches of Richards and Lethal taps at 23:23. That was almost non-stop action the whole way, especially down the stretch, and the crowd was into it.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #8: Survival of the Fittest Final Elimination Match – Kyle O’Reilly vs. Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe vs. Michael Elgin vs. Roderick Strong vs. Eddie Edwards

There is a trophy on hand for the winner. The House of Truth is accompanied by Truth Martini. This is O’Reilly’s first appearance in this match, Jay’s second time, Mark’s third time, Elgin’s first time, Strong’s fourth time, and Edwards’ second time. Both Strong and Edwards are former winners. Other winners, for the curious type, are Bryan Danielson, Delirious, Chris Hero, and Tyler Black.

Edwards and Jay start the match. Jay and Mark work together to keep Edwards on the mat. Elgin gets tagged in and immediately shows off his power. Strong and O’Reilly tag in, and the House of Truth work together. Edwards tags in, and there’s still some tension between him and O’Reilly. They go back and forth a bit and then the Briscoes get tagged in. They choose to attack everyone else rather than fight each other. I seriously love these guys. The match resettles with the Briscoes wearing down O’Reilly. Fortunately for O’Reilly he’s able to survive long enough to make a tag to Edwards. The referee loses control as all six men get in the ring. The two tag teams get rid of the other two guys and they duke it out. The other guys make it back in with a pair of missile dropkicks, and that leaves Edwards and O’Reilly in the ring. Everyone spills to the floor and there’s some awkward brawling going on. Elgin of all people takes everyone out with a moonsault from the top rope. Everyone starts making their way back in the ring and offense is coming from everywhere. Edwards traps Jay in the Die Hard to score the first elimination at 18:21. He then quickly grabs Mark in the Dragon Sleeper and both Briscoes are gone at 18:36. The House of Truth focuses on Edwards while O’Reilly gets a rest. Edwards comes back and O’Reilly goes to the top rope. Meanwhile, Martini jumps up on the apron, and when Edwards kicks him down he pulls the rope and O’Reilly crashes through the timekeeper’s table! After some miscommunication between Elgin and Strong, Edwards is able to trap Strong in a schoolboy rollup to eliminate him at 20:41. Elgin then blasts Edwards with a lariat to eliminate last year’s winner at 20:57.

Now we’re down to Michael Elgin versus Kyle O’Reilly for a future shot at the ROH World Championship, currently held by Davey Richards. Elgin is in much better shape and bullies O’Reilly with his strength. O’Reilly valiantly fights back and is able to lock on a guillotine choke. Elgin powers his way out of it. The persistent O’Reilly finally hits a tornado DDT and goes back to the guillotine choke as Davey Richards has shown up at ringside. Elgin once again powers his way out with a side slam but O’Reilly kicks out at two. He goes for the spinning powerbomb but O’Reilly hits a revere rana and a Regalplex for a very close near-fall. O’Reilly puts on the cross armbreaker but Elgin powers out of that too. The adrenaline is flowing through both men as they rise to their feet and go nose to nose. They trade strikes and Elgin wins that battle with a lariat for a two-count. Elgin hits a Rikishi Driver but O’Reilly is able to get his foot on the bottom rope. They take it to the floor, where O’Reilly hits a belly-to-back suplex. O’Reilly follows up with the awesome running dropkick off the apron and the crowd is collectively hard for him. Back in the ring O’Reilly goes for a rana off the top rope but Elgin catches him and hits a Buckle Bomb. Elgin follows with the spinning sitout powerbomb to become the Fittest at 32:00. The eliminations came together very quickly but I like how they were structured, and the action was great from bell to bell. It’s good to see two new faces going at it in the end, and I think both Elgin and O’Reilly’s stock soared with their performances here. This was good stuff.
Rating: ****
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor IV (AJ Styles, Jimmy Rave, Mick Foley) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/05/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-iv-aj-styles-jimmy-rave-mick-foley-4/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/05/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-iv-aj-styles-jimmy-rave-mick-foley-4/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 17:00:12 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170395 GBH4

For an easy to navigate archive of my many ROH reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Lake Grove, New York – September 17, 2005

~DISC ONE~

Jimmy Bower (for the first match only), Lenny Leonard, and Dave Prazak are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Fight Without Honor – Jay Lethal vs. Low Ki

The show starts with Lethal in the ring, and he challenges Low Ki to come out and fight him. Julius Smokes comes out instead and challenges Lethal to agree to reinstate Low Ki if Ki beats him tonight. But Lethal doesn’t have hiring and firing power. Lethal agrees to the stipulation and Ki attacks him from behind.

Obviously Ki has the early advantage but Lethal weathers the storm and makes the comeback. Lethal hits a back body drop, a bodyslam, and an elbow drop for two. He unloads a couple of chops and Ki is in pain. A belly-to-back suplex gets another near-fall for Lethal. They spill to the floor and Lethal has to run Smokes off. Back in the ring Ki comes back with some chops of his own. Ki hits an inverted atomic drop and then dropkicks Lethal to the apron. He joins Lethal there and they trade chops. Ki wins that battle and follows up with a body slam on the floor. He rams Lethal into the barricade and pulls up the mats at ringside for another bodyslam. He sets up a table against the guardrail and goes for the Ki Krusher but Lethal avoids it and tries the Lethal Injection. Ki avoids that and dropkicks Lethal into the table and then slams his head into it. Lethal is busted open now. Ki uses the broken table to further open the cut. Back in the ring Ki is just dismantling Lethal here, actually finger painting on a table with Lethal’s own blood. He tries the Warrior’s Way but misses and Lethal hits a leg lariat off the ropes. Lethal is still hurt but he hits a gut wrench suplex and the running vertical suplex. He hits the diving headbutt for a two-count. He goes for the Lethal Injection and Smokes gets on the apron to distract him. Ki tries to hit Lethal with a chair but Lethal takes it away from him, only for Ki to dropkick it right back in his face for a two-count. With Lethal down and out, Ki goes up to the top rope for a double stomp and Lethal kicks out! Ki then blitzes Lethal’s midsection with a steel chair. He sets the chair on Lethal’s midsection and hits another double stomp, and that’s enough for the pin at 16:22. I was never either guy’s biggest fan but they had good chemistry together and this was a good, hate-filled match. I’m not sure why Lethal didn’t go over here to end the feud, but whatever. Ki offers Lethal his hand and then tells him to f*ck off instead.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #2: Austin Aries vs. Azrieal

This was between Aries’ reign as ROH World Champion and his run as Tag Team Champion with Roderick Strong. Aries pretty much controls the early going, though Azrieal gets an early flurry, showing off his speed and agility. Azrieal hits a slingshot senton for a two-count. Aries comes back with a Death Valley Neckbreaker over the knee and then goes to work on the neck. For some reason Lacey is up by the entrance taking notes. Aries actually uses the Torture Rack and then turns it into a Finlay Roll. He hits an elbow drop for a two-count. Azrieal fights out of a chinlock and hits a belly-to-back suplex. He unleashes a flurry of offense but can’t put the former ROH World Champion away. He hits a springboard clothesline for another two-count. He hits a double stomp to the back of the head but Aries once again kicks out. Aries comes back and hits the IED for a two-count. He goes for the brainbuster but Azrieal reverses it to a DDT. Azrieal tries another double stomp but Aries avoids it and drop toeholds Azrieal into the bottom turnbuckle. Aries follows up with the kick to the head, brainbuster, and then the 450 Splash to get the pin at 11:18. That was competent but not the least bit exciting.
Rating: **½

MATCH #3: ROH Pure Title Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Roderick Strong

McGuinness has been the champion since 8.27.05 and this is his first defense. He’s really over as a heel at this point, and gets lots of heat for requesting that the fans respect referee Todd Sinclair, and then stealing Bret Hart’s catchphrase. I’m not sure what Strong did to earn a Pure Title shot. In fact, they did that a lot – just gave Pure Title shots for no reason. I guess pinning Matt Hardy counted for something.

They start with some chain wrestling, and Nigel effectively blocks Strong’s first chop attempt. Nigel takes Strong down with a headlock. Strong escapes it with a backbreaker. Nigel responds with the headstand mule kick, which I always thought was kind of a stupid move, so Nigel should really try it in TNA, I bet it would get over. The champ goes back to the headlock and Strong uses his first rope break. This makes Strong angry and he goes after Nigel in the corner, but the champ weathers the storm and takes Strong right back down with a headlock. Strong fights his way up again and then uses his second rope break. What a maroon. Strong hits a lungblower and a series of chops. He hits a big dropkick for a two-count. He hits a big boot but Nigel uses the momentum to hit the Jawbreaker Lariat for at two-count. Nigel tries the headstand again but this time Strong boots him in the gut for a two-count. Strong hits another backbreaker and then goes for the Stronghold but Nigel uses his first rope break. He takes Nigel up for a superplex, which gets a two-count. He hits a gutbuster and Nigel hangs on to the ropes. Sinclair tries to pull Strong off and while his back is turned to him, Nigel pokes Strong in the eyes. Strong responds with a closed fist, and while Sinclair is telling the announcer about the warning Strong just received and once again has his back turned, Nigel punches Strong square in the mouth. Nigel follows up with the Tower of London for a successful first title defense at 12:15. As is the case with a lot of earlier ROH matches, these two would go on to do better, but this was a fun midcard match between two guys clearly on the rise.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #4: Colt Cabana vs. Homicide

Cabana messes with Homicide and Julius Smokes in the early going. It seems more like stalling than anything else. Finally Homicide gets in the ring and takes it right to the plucky babyface. Homicide is mad at Cabana for saying a word he shouldn’t have said, so he fights him angrily. Cabana comes back and quickens the pace with his unorthodox offense. Smokes does what he does best by taking attention away from the wrestlers in the ring. Homicide grabs Cabana’s singlet and hurls him to the floor. He distracts the referee so smokes can take cheap shots on the floor. Smokes throws Cabana back in the ring. Homicide quickly dropkicks Cabana back to the floor and then follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Homicide hits a tornado DDT for a two-count. He goes up top for a diving headbutt and Cabana moves out of the way. They get to their feet and Cabana hits a vertical suplex. Cabana goes to the second rope for an elbow drop but Homicide moves out of the way. Homicide hits an exploder for two. Cabana fights up with right hands and an elbow to the head. He hits a running lariat and Homicide begs off, asking for a time out. Cabana doesn’t give it to him, but Homicide is still able to counter with an Ace Crusher. Homicide goes to the floor and grabs a steel chair and tries to hit Cabana with it but he moves. Cabana hits a capture suplex for two and then goes for the Colt 45. Smokes gets up on the top rope and distracts Cabana, and gets slammed down to the mat for his troubles. As soon as Cabana turns around, Homicide throws the chair into his face for the disqualification at 14:30. That was a solid match on its own, but as a bigger piece of the feud it’s a great beginning.
Rating: **¾

Homicide and Smokes continue to beat Cabana up, and the rest of the Rottweilers, including Low Ki, come out to join them. Samoa Joe comes out to make the save, and he and Cabana chase Homicide and Smokes to the back. Ki calls out Joe but gets Jay Lethal instead. Lethal wants to fight Ki again!

MATCH #5: Jay Lethal vs. Low Ki

Prazak calls it “Fight Without Honor Part Two” so I assume this is under FWH rules. The crowd is going crazy as these two take it to each other with ferocity. They fight in and out of the ring and Lethal is in control. He hits a vertical suplex for a two-count. He kicks Ki in the spine and that just makes him angry. Ki gets to his feet and slaps Lethal HARD across the face and then delivers his own kick to the spine. Lethal responds in kind, getting back to his feet and engaging Ki in a chop war. He wins that battle and hits a superkick but Ki kicks out at two. Lethal bodyslams Ki and goes up for the diving headbutt but there’s no water in the pool. Back on their feet Ki hits the shotgun dropkick for a two-count and then locks on a Dragon Sleeper. Lethal fights out and goes for the Lethal Injection but Smokes gets up on the apron to distract him. Joe takes care of Smokes, kicking the crap out of him just for funsies. Meanwhile Ki hits a vicious Warrior’s Way as Homicide and Ricky Reyes come out to fight Joe. Lethal kicks out at two. He ducks a clothesline and tries the Lethal Injection, but Ki escapes. Ki goes for the springboard spin kick but Lethal catches him and finally hits the Lethal Injection! Cabana is back to help Samoa Joe as Ki kicks out at two. Lethal goes for the Lethal Injection again but Ki uses momentum to break the hold and send Lethal to the floor. Ki goes to the top rope but Cabana whips Homicide into the ring post and Ki falls down on his groin! Lethal gets back in the ring and delivers a Super Lethal Injection to finally defeat Low Ki at 9:20. I actually liked that match even more than their first one tonight. I love the chaos on the floor, I love the finish, and I actually love that feud.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #6: Davey Andrews vs. Eric Matlock

Andrews is trying to impress people with his little black towel and his little black skull cap and his little black t-shirt and his little black trunk and his little black knee pads and his little black boots. He came from the ROH Academy and pretty much tried to work the style Davey Richards would wind up getting over with. I have no idea who Eric Matlock is.

They wrestle aggressively on the mat to start. Matlock hits a shoulderblock and then a vertical suplex. Andrews comes back and tries a springboard missile dropkick but Matlock avoids it and gets the Courtesy Flush for a two-count. Matlock drops an elbow for another two-count. Andrews comes back with a release German Suplex and then the Eye of the Hurricane. He finishes Matlock with the Death Stretch (Stretch Plum) at 2:28. I don’t care for Davey Andrews.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #7: Four Corner Survival – Adam Pearce vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Samoa Joe vs. Ricky Reyes

This is Pearce’s ROH debut. Whitmer is one half of the Tag Team Champions here, but his partner Jimmy Jacobs isn’t even booked on this show. Why wouldn’t you want a tag team title match on one of your biggest shows? There is obvious heat between Joe and Reyes from the Ki/Lethal match.

Whitmer and Reyes start the match. They take it down to the mat and exchange holds, wrestling to a standoff. Whitmer tags Joe and Reyes tags Pearce so we’re back to a fresh start. Pearce incessantly jaws with the fans, preventing any contact from being made. Finally he engages Joe in a test of strength. Pearce takes Joe down and winds up getting kicked in the ball sack. He takes a breather on the floor and then gets back in the ring and yells at Joe, so Joe slaps the taste of his mouth. Pearce pokes Joe in the eyes and then chokes him on the second rope. A belly to belly suplex only gets a one-count. Pearce locks on a Camel Clutch and breaks it for a forearm. He hits a vertical suplex for another one-count. Pearce manipulates the referee and uses some dirty tactics to maintain the advantage. Joe makes the comeback with an enziguiri and both men are down. Back on their feet Joe takes control and hits the Big Joe Combo for two. Pearce fights back and tags Reyes, and they work together on Joe. Reyes covers and only gets two. He hits a solid knee drop and then stomps away at Joe. Pearce tags back in as Lacey is taking notes up by the entrance. He goes up to the second rope for a fist drop which gets a two-count. Whitmer is getting antsy to get in the ring. Reyes and Pearce are working on Joe’s knee. Finally Joe sweeps Pearce’s legs out from under him and hits a senton to the back. Pearce tags Reyes and Joe finally tags Whitmer. But it’s not a tag match. Either way Whitmer is on fire and Joe actually tags himself back in on Reyes. Whitmer tries a charge but Joe catches him with the STO. Reyes grabs Joe with a DDT, and then Whitmer hits Reyes with an exploder. Pearce hits Whitmer with a piledriver, and then Joe levels Pearce with a lariat. All four men are down now. Everyone gets up and Whitmer battles Joe while Reyes battles Pearce. The referee has completely lost control. Reyes clotheslines Pearce to the floor, and then Joe catches Reyes with the Muscle Buster. Joe waits for Whitmer to get up and hits him with a series of slaps. He takes Whitmer down and hits a series of knee strikes to the head. Whitmer fires back but Joe grabs him in the Choke and Whitmer is out at 18:39. The last few minutes were fun, but leading up to that was a boring tag match between partners that didn’t make sense.
Rating: **¼

~DISC TWO~

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – James Gibson vs. Bryan Danielson

Gibson has been the champion since 8.12.05 and this is his fifth defense. Danielson is making his first ROH appearance since losing a title match to then-champion Austin Aries in Chicago at Nowhere to Run. He debuts “The Final Countdown” as his entrance music to make his big return. Jimmy Bower replaces Lenny Leonard on commentary for this match.

They start off cautiously, since I believe this is the first ever one-on-one match between these two. They trade arm holds, and Danielson breaks one and tries the dropkick but Gibson avoids it. Neither man can get a sustained advantage. When they wrestle into the ropes we get a clean break and then they shake hands again. Good sportsmanship is hard to find. They trade more holds and Danielson connects with a dropkick and a knee drop. He tries an early Cattle Mutilation but Gibson gets to the ropes and rolls to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring they engage in a test of strength and exchange slams while still locked together. Danielson breaks it up and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a bodyslam. He hits another knee drop and then grinds his knee into Gibson’s face. He locks on a headlock and Gibson powers out. Gibson hits a back suplex for a two-count. He works Danielson over and tries an abdominal stretch but Danielson hip tosses his way out of it and forearms Gibson to the apron. They battle on the apron and Gibson suplexes Danielson to the floor. Gibson follows Danielson out with a flying knee to the face off the apron. He hits a chop to the chest and then whips Danielson into the barricade. Back in the ring Gibson stays in control, working on the midsection and ribcage area. Gibson hits a backbreaker for two and then locks on a submission hold. He aggressively works Danielson over, showing how much he wants to retain the ROH World Title. Danielson fights back and flips over Gibson in the corner and hits a spin kick to the face. Now the challenger is in control, hitting a slingshot suplex for a two-count. Danielson utilizes the airplane spin and then goes up for the diving headbutt but he misses it. Gibson gets a rolling prawn hold for two, and then locks on the front guillotine choke. Danielson suplexes his way out and both men are down.

Gibson tries a sunset flip but Danielson Earthquakes him and then hits the diving headbutt for a two-count. Danielson then victory rolls Gibson to the floor and skins the cat back in. He then follows Gibson out with a suicide dive. He works Gibson over on the floor, and then back in the ring he hits a double dropkick right to the arm. He viciously attacks the arm until Gibson comes back with a Samoan Drop. Both men are down and when they rise Danielson hits a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Danielson then immediately goes back to the arm. Gibson is able to reverse it into the Texas Cloverleaf! That was awesome. Danielson reaches the ropes. Danielson tries a Tombstone Piledriver but Gibson reverses it into a Tombstone of his own! Gibson goes up top and hits a guillotine legdrop but Danielson kicks out at two! He then locks Danielson in the front guillotine choke. Danielson breaks it and sets Gibson on the top rope, but Gibson pops right out with a tornado DDT and the Tiger Driver but Danielson kicks out again! Gibson hits a couple of knees to the side of the head, and it wakes Danielson up! Danielson catches Gibson coming off the ropes with a roaring forearm. He hits the Dragon Suplex but Gibson barely kicks out. He then locks Gibson in Cattle Mutilation! Gibson powers out, but Danielson hits him with a Tiger Suplex and Gibson kicks out again! Gibson kicks out of the hold and into a cover (a la Bret Hart at WrestleMania VIII) but Danielson kicks out. Danielson goes for Cattle Mutilation and Gibson fights it off, but Danielson turns it into a Crossface Chicken Wing and hooks on the body scissors, and Gibson is forced to tap the title away at 32:24. That match was awesome in just about every way. It never felt that long, they both had strategies that they used effectively throughout the match, and the crowd was with them the whole way. It was just one of those matches that clicked from the beginning. It’s too bad we never got to see a rematch.
Rating: ****½

MATCH #9: Anything Goes Finishers Match – AJ Styles vs. Jimmy Rave

The first person to hit the Styles/Rave Clash wins the match, and the loser can never use the move again. Mick Foley comes out with Styles to even the odds. Styles is the current TNA X-Division Champion, but obviously the title is not on the line here.

Rave attacks before the bell and Styles quickly fights back. Both guys are wearing red gear, which seems like if it’s not a wrestler faux pas it should be. Styles takes control, whipping Rave all over the ring and then throwing him to the floor. Foley neutralizes Nana while Styles hits a slingshot dive on Rave. Back in the ring Styles goes for the Styles Clash but Rave avoids it and takes a powder. Styles hits a baseball slide to Rave’s face. He goes outside and whips Rave into the barricades. Back in the ring Rave fires back with punches to the face. Styles throws Rave into the air and hits a couple of elbows. The X-champ is dominating here. An unidentified assailant jumps into the ring to try and help Rave but he gets KILLED with a lariat by Styles. That slight distraction though allows Rave to take control. Rave hits a reverse suplex as Foley gets on the mic and asks the crowd to chant “Jimmy Likes Balls.” They oblige him of course. Rave stays focused though, and takes Styles to the floor to throw him into the barricades. They fight up to the entrance ramp and Rave goes for the Rave Clash but Styles backdrops his way out of it. Styles charges but Rave sidesteps him and rams him into the ring post. Back in the ring Rave stays in control until Styles hits the kip-up rana. Rave comes back with a low blow and Ghanarrhea. He goes outside the ring and brings a table in. He sets Styles against the table and hits the running knee strike. They fight over a suplex and Rave wins that battle. They fight on the ropes and the apron, and end up suplexing each other through a table on the floor. Back in the ring Styles goes for the Styles Clash but Rave blocks it and hits the running knee strike again. Rave sets up a chair but Styles reverses the momentum and suplexes Rave on the chair. Styles sets up another table and a bunch of Nana’s Weapons of Masked Destruction come out and Foley fights them off with a chair. The distraction allows Rave to hit Styles with a clothesline. Rave takes Styles up to the top rope, but Styles counters him and hits Rave with the Styles Clash through the table to get the win at 18:39, but I didn’t hear a closing bell (or an opening one for that matter). Even though that was the blowoff, that somehow lacked the spark some of their earlier matches did. It was an effective blowoff though, so points for that.
Rating: ***

After the match Foley cuts a long promo, talking about how much he loves ROH but he’s going back to WWE now. He beats up Nana a bit and leaves to the cheers of the crowd.
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Survival of the Fittest 2010 (Eddie Edwards, Kenny King) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/05/a2z-analysiz-roh-survival-of-the-fittest-2010-eddie-edwards-kenny-king/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/05/a2z-analysiz-roh-survival-of-the-fittest-2010-eddie-edwards-kenny-king/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 14:00:57 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170718 SOTF10

For an easy to navigate archive of all of my Ring of Honor DVD reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

The Ford Community & Performing Arts Center – Dearborn, Michigan – Friday, November 12, 2010

Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Colt Cabana vs. Rhett Titus

This is Titus’s second time in the tournament, and the fourth time for Cabana (who has made it to the finals all three previous times he’s been entered – 2004, 2005, and 2009). Titus eschews the traditional handshake and attacks Cabana with a big boot. Cabana makes the quick comeback and sends Titus reeling to the floor. Back in the ring Cabana uses his unorthodox antics to flummox poor Titus. They trade momentum back and forth, and as usual Cabana holds the crowd in the palm of his hand. Cabana puts some offense together, but Titus is able to grab the ring bell behind the referee’s back. Titus puts the bell on the middle buckle and delivers a drop toehold. He then rolls Cabana up and grabs a handful of tights to get the upset pin at 8:21. That was fine enough and it didn’t overstay its welcome. Titus still had a long way to go at this point and Cabana just did his usual thing.
Rating: **

MATCH #2: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Claudio Castagnoli vs. Grizzly Redwood

This is the third appearance in Survival of the Fittest for Castagnoli, and Redwood’s first. Castagnoli is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions, and he has Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey in his corner. He tries to intimidate Redwood early on, but the plucky lumberjack refuses to oblige. Redwood sends Castagnoli to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring Castagnoli catches Redwood with a hard powerslam and he goes to work on his much smaller opponent. Castagnoli legally murders Redwood with a Chokeslam but it only gets two. Redwood uses his speed and agility to get a little bit more offense in, including a sleeper hold. Castagnoli cuts him off with a bicycle kick for two. Redwood makes one last gasp, but Castagnoli ends him for good with a hard European Uppercut and the UFO to get the pin and advance again at 5:05. That was a fine little squash and Redwood got just the right amount of offense in.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Kevin Steen vs. Kyle O’Reilly

This is Steen’s second time in the tournament and O’Reilly’s first. Steen attacks right away and takes it to the newcomer. He brings O’Reilly to the floor and uses his gross-out tactics to disgust the crowd and embarrass his opponent. O’Reilly fights back with kicks and knee strikes that send Steen to the floor. He tries a dive but Steen avoids it. O’Reilly lands on his feet and spits at Corino. When he tries to get back in the ring Steen brings him in the hard way with a DDT. Steen mostly dominates but the plucky O’Reilly fights back with strikes and a suplex. O’Reilly avoids a charge in the corner and Steen rolls to the floor to find a chair to sit in. That’s a pretty obvious setup for O’Reilly to hit the running dropkick off the apron, but the crowd always pops for that move. Back in the ring O’Reilly hits a missile dropkick for two. Steen comes back with the popup powerbomb for a near-fall. O’Reilly targets Steen’s arm and locks on a Cross Armbreaker, but Steen reaches the ropes. Steen catches O’Reilly with a superkick and the F-Cinq. He goes for the Package Piledriver and is able to hit it with just one arm. He covers but lets O’Reilly up at two. Steen puts on El Generico’s mask and hits a Brainbuster to get the pin at 10:19. O’Reilly put up a good showing there but was ultimately overpowered by the maniacal Steen. Good back and forth stuff here.
Rating: **¾

After the match Steen goes to attack O’Reilly with a chair but Corino talks him out of it, asking Steen to stay focused on El Generico at Final Battle 2010. The crowd antagonizes Steen with “Ole” chants and with one guy wearing a Generico mask. Corino calms Steen down and then calls out Adam Cole for their qualifying match.

MATCH #4: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Steve Corino vs. Adam Cole

Both men are making their SOTF debut tonight. Corino punches Cole in the face before the bell to start the match. Cole quickly fires back with a flurry that sends Corino to the floor, and he follows him out with a rana off the apron. Back in the ring Cole goes to the top rope but Steen grabs his leg. The persistent Cole goes up top and hits The Cross Body Block That Beat Davey Richards but it only gets two here. Cole goes after the arm, using a Fujiwara Armbar to soften Corino up. Momentum shifts between these two disparate wrestlers while Steen watches on from ringside. Steen gets on the microphone to encourage Corino, who decides to jam his thumb into Cole’s butt. That backfires when Cole turns the abdominal stretch into a cradle to get the pin at 6:46. That wasn’t much of a match, more of a backdrop for Steen and Corino acting crazy. At least they kept it short.
Rating: *½

Steen and Corino attack Cole after the match and El Generico (dressed in all black) runs out to make the save. Generico takes Corino out with a half nelson suplex and then drills Steen with the running Yakuza Kick. He goes for the top-rope Brainbuster but Corino breaks it up, and Steen is able to deliver a Michinoku Driver through the ringside table!

MATCH #5: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Chris Hero vs. Eddie Edwards

This is Hero’s third appearance in Survival of the Fittest, and he’s been to the finals twice, even winning it all in 2007. Edwards is making his SOTF debut. Hero is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions, and he has Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey in his corner. Edwards is the current ROH World Television Champion. They begin with some chain wrestling, going back and forth with each other on the mat. Momentum shifts multiple times between these pretty evenly matched competitors, so Hagadorn interferes to give Hero control. Hero goes to work, wearing Edwards down with a variety of holds and strikes. Edwards tries to fight back but Hero just clobbers him back down, almost knocking him out. They take the fight up to the top rope and Edwards brings Hero down with a rana. Edwards knocks Hero to the floor and follows him out with a suicide dive, separating his shoulder in the process. They make it back to the ring and Edwards quickly finishes the match with the Achilles Lock at 13:40. Obviously they had to go home quickly there, but they had a decent match going before that.
Rating: **½

MATCH #6: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – El Generico vs. Kenny King

Generico is making his SOTF debut while King is appearing in his second tournament. King has the pretty obvious advantage here after the beating Generico took from Steen and Corino earlier in the evening. Even so, Generico shows lots of heart in fighting back, but he’s very clearly just not at 100%. King focuses on the injured rib area, which will continue to make it hard for Generico to get the oxygen he needs. Generico fights back and turns it into a slug fest. He hits the Blue Thunder Bomb for a near-fall. A Michinoku Driver gets another two-count. Generico goes up top but leaps right into a spin kick to the ribs. King hits the Shotgun Knees and that’s enough to keep Generico down for the count at 7:53. That was on the short side, but given Generico’s injuries they worked the right match, and King looks wise for focusing on the injury until Generico couldn’t take any more.
Rating: **½

MATCH #7: Trial Series Match No. 3 – Andy Ridge vs. Homicide

They start off slowly in this first-time ever matchup. Ridge tries wearing Homicide down with armbars and headlocks in the opening minutes. Homicide fights back and sends Ridge to the floor, which is where Homicide does his best work. He throws Ridge around ringside, and then brings him back in the ring for more punishment. Ridge makes a comeback with a series of strikes but he misses a charge in the corner. Homicide hits a hangman’s neckbreaker for two. He tries the Cop Killa but Ridge escapes and boots him in the face. Ridge goes for a superkick but Homicide catches it and hits the Ace Crusher. Homicide follows with the big Lariat to get the pin at 9:51. Ridge looked okay here but there was only so much that could be done with Homicide at this point. The Trial Series on its own is not a bad idea, but it became pretty obvious as soon as it was over that they had no plans for Ridge so the whole thing was pretty pointless.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #8: Six Man Tag Team Match – Christopher Daniels & The Briscoes vs. The House of Truth

Tonight the House of Truth is represented by ROH World Champion Roderick Strong, Michael Elgin, and Zach Gowen. Elgin and Gowen have made sporadic appearances in ROH in the past. They have Truth Martini in their corner of course. Daniels and Strong start the match, but Strong decides to let Elgin get in there instead. Elgin uses his power to battle Daniels and the Briscoes, and multiple tags are made on both sides in the early going as both teams try to set the tone. The HOT focus on Daniels for a bit, and the Daniels team responds by going after Elgin. While Jay is working on Elgin, Strong surprises him with a suplex on the edge of the ring frame to give his team the advantage once again. Strong, Gowen, and Elgin isolate Jay in their half of the ring and keep control. After several minutes Mark gets the hot tag and he is a redneck aflame. Mark takes out everyone and then tags Daniels, who picks up where Mark left off. Strong comes back with a low superkick on Daniels for two, and then locks him in the Stronghold. Daniels reaches the ropes. They trade chops and Strong wins. Strong goes up top but Daniels catches him with a palm strike and the Fall From Grace. The HOT breaks up the cover and the referee loses control. The brawl goes to the floor and Mark takes everyone out with a moonsault from the top rope. Mark goes after Truth, but Elgin cuts him off. The action migrates back to the ring and the referee still has little control of the match and the brawling continues. The Briscoes try the Doomsday Device on Elgin but he fights it off. Elgin picks up both Briscoes and hits a Samoan Drop/Fallaway Slam combo. Daniels goes after Elgin, and he’s helped by Gowen accidentally hitting his own partner with a missile dropkick. That gives Daniels the opportunity to hit Gowen with the uranage slam and then the Best Moonsault Ever to score the pin for his team at 20:57. Elgin looked great here, but he was an unknown commodity and Gowen has never had a strong presence in Ring of Honor (sadly), so there seemed to be little doubt that the Daniels and Briscoes team would triumph. Especially since Daniels was scheduled for a title shot the following night in Mississauga. Still, they worked a fun six-man tag and kept the action going, so it was good just not particularly memorable.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #9: Survival of the Fittest 2010 Final Match – Rhett Titus vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kevin Steen vs. Adam Cole vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Kenny King

Castagnoli is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions, and he has Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn in his corner. Steen has Steve Corino with him. However, before the match can begin, El Generico comes out to attack Steen and Corino! Generico has to be dragged away by security and the job squad. The match officially starts and Castagnoli drills Steen with a bicycle kick to the face and Steen gets eliminated at 0:10! That’s by far the fastest elimination ever.

We’re down to five men now, and two of them – King and Titus, are a regular tag team so they work together on Castagnoli. Cole gets a tag and he takes on the task of fighting off both members of the ANX and he does a pretty good job of it. The numbers advantage takes over though, as the ANX isolates Cole to wear him down. Edwards comes in to wrestle Cole for a bit, but it’s very obvious that he’s a one-armed man here. We go back to the ANX and they resume their beat down on Cole, the youngest man in the match. Cole fights back with a superkick on Titus and both men are down. Castagnoli feigns trying to tag Cole, but drops off the apron instead. He then tags himself in and clobbers Cole with a lariat to score the elimination at 9:18. Both members of the ANX come in to battle the Tag Team Champion, and they double-team him right away. That works for a short time, but Castagnoli is able to create some separation and he drills Titus with Swiss Death to get the pin at 12:17. Edwards comes in and Castagnoli quickly sends him retreating to the floor due to his injured shoulder. The medical staff sends Edwards backstage to deal with his injury. Castagnoli has his back turned and is waving goodbye, and that gives King the opening to hit a springboard Blockbuster for a two-count. King follows up with a spinebuster for another two-count. He tries another springboard but this time Castagnoli catches him and starts suplexing him around the ring. Castagnoli hits a European Uppercut and then tries a bicycle kick but King catches him in a cradle suplex for two. King tries a spin kick but Castagnoli ducks and executes the UFO for a near-fall. On the next try King hits the spin kick but Castagnoli responds with an immediate lariat for a two-count. Edwards makes his way back out just as King hits the Coronation on Castagnoli to get the pin at 17:49. Now we’re down to King versus Edwards. They trade strikes and kicks, and Edwards uses repeated headbutts to win that battle. Edwards tries a knockout kick but King catches it and puts on a half crab, which Edwards escapes out of and puts on the Achilles Lock! King taps out at 19:48, and Eddie Edwards is the 2010 Survival of the Fittest winner. Obviously Edwards was really gutting it out there so I think this match had be truncated somewhat, but even so everything about it just fell flat. It seemed like the best time to put Castagnoli over but they didn’t for whatever reason, and the final showdown between Edwards and King was (understandably) underwhelming. This is quite clearly the worst Survival of the Fittest match and event.
Rating: **
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A2Z Analysiz: WWF Survivor Series 1991 (Hulk Hogan, Undertaker) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/04/a2z-analysiz-wwf-survivor-series-1991-hulk-hogan-undertaker-2/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/04/a2z-analysiz-wwf-survivor-series-1991-hulk-hogan-undertaker-2/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 20:00:13 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168958 sur ser 87-91

For an easy to navigate archive of my many WWE DVD reviews, please visit World Wrestling Reviews.

Joe Louis Arena – Detroit, Michigan – November 27, 1991

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are on commentary. The show opens with a recap of Jake Roberts attacking Randy Savage with a King Cobra, and Jack Tunney announcing that Savage was reinstated and would face Roberts at Tuesday in Texas. Thus Roberts and Sid are out of their elimination match tonight and it will go on as a six-man tag.

MATCH #1: Survivor Series Elimination Match – Ric Flair, Ted DiBiase, the Mountie & the Warlord vs. Bret Hart, Roddy Piper, Virgil & the British Bulldog

DiBiase is the Million Dollar Champion and has Sensational Sherri with him. Mountie has Jimmy Hart, Warlord has Harvey Wippleman, and Flair has Mr. Perfect. That’s a lot of people on a side, but this year all the managers are not allowed to stay at ringside except Sherri for some reason. Bret is the current Intercontinental Champion. DiBiase and Piper start the match. Piper pulls Sherri into the ring and she climbs on his back and gets kissed for her troubles. The referees make Sherri leave now, so that’s why she was out there. The babyfaces take over on DiBiase and Virgil of all people gets an enormous pop when he tags in. They go back and forth a bit and the crowd comes unglued when Piper and Flair tear into each other. Piper takes it to the floor to continue the beating, so back in the ring Flair tags Warlord. The referee has some trouble controlling all right men at once. Bulldog hits Mountie with a Running Powerslam but DiBiase and Warlord come in to break up the count. When Piper, Bret, and Virgil try to jump in the ring the referee tries to force them back to the apron, allowing Flair to hit a first to the back off the top rope to get the pin on Bulldog at 10:56. The match continues at a pretty fast pace, with momentum shifting multiple times back and forth. Warlord traps Virgil in the Full Nelson, but Piper creates a diversion and Bret hits Warlord with a forearm to the back of the head. Piper then steals the pin at 17:00. They continue going back and forth until Piper comes in and sets off a big brawl amongst all six remaining competitors. Piper knocks Flair to the floor, and as the brawl continues the referee disqualifies everyone in the ring at 22:47, which means that Flair is the sole survivor! That was a terrific match with a bunch of talented guys with a clever and unique finish. I love it.
Rating: ***¾

Before the next match, the newly reinstated Randy Savage comes out to the platform for an interview with Mean Gene Okerlund. Savage is furious with Roberts and promises vengeance when they get to San Antonio in six days. Gene wants to know how Elizabeth feels, so Savage says to ask her, and she’s in the building! She says she’ll be watching her husband get his revenge. That’s the second Survivor Series in a row where Savage got to cut a promo instead of work a match.

MATCH #2: Survivor Series Elimination Match – Sgt. Slaughter, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Texas Tornado & El Matador vs. Col. Mustafa, the Berzerker, Hercules & Skinner

Mustafa is accompanied by Gen. Adnan and Berzerker has Mr. Fuji with him. Hercules is a replacement for Big Bully Busick, while on the other team El Matador is replacing Ricky Steamboat and Sgt. Slaughter is replacing Jim Neidhart. Matador and Skinner start the match. They do some back and forth and then Berzerker and Tornado get tagged in and it gets ugly. Hercules and Hacksaw are the next two to get a shot. Duggan gets worked over by all four members of the team. He comes back with a suplex on Mustafa, and then makes the tag to Slaughter. The Sarge is a house afire, and quickly eliminates Mustafa with a clothesline at 7:58. Somehow one of the top turnbuckle pads has been removed, but Monsoon and Heenan don’t seem at all concerned with it. Duggan dominates Berzerker and gets a few shots in at Skinner and Hercules on the apron too. This match is just ugly as sin. Matador and Hercules get tagged in and Matador hits El Paso del Muerte to eliminate Hercules at 12:06. Skinner and Slaughter get tagged in but Skinner doesn’t know it so Slaughter gets a quick schoolboy rollup for the pin at 13:31. Berzerker is facing quite the odds now. Duggan hits him with the Three Point Stance to get the win at 14:18. For only the second time in history a whole team has survived, but oy that match was rough.
Rating: *¼

Now Jake Roberts gets time for a rebuttal to Savage’s earlier promo. He makes some cryptic remarks and says that Tuesday in Texas is the End of the Beginning for Savage and Elizabeth.

MATCH #3: WWF Championship Match – Hulk Hogan vs. Undertaker

Hogan has been the champion since 3.24.91. He tries to hurt Undertaker early on but has trouble doing it so he takes a powder to regroup instead. Back in the ring Hogan still can’t get untracked and Undertaker looks dominant. Everything Hogan tries Undertaker has an answer for. The battle spills to the floor and Undertaker rams Hogan’s face into the steps. Back in the ring it’s more Undertaker on offense; it’s pretty much been a squash for the first 10 minutes. Finally Hogan fights back but gets taken right down with a clothesline. Undertaker hits the Tombstone but Hogan no-sells it! As Hogan Hulks Up, Ric Flair makes his way down to ringside. Hogan hits a bodyslam and goes for the Legdrop but gets distracted by Flair. He goes outside and decks Flair, and then turns his attention back to Undertaker, hitting a Big Boot. Paul Bearer then distracts Hogan and the referee, allowing Undertaker to punch Hogan in the throat. Flair then slides a chair in the ring and Undertaker Tombstones Hogan on it to get the pin and win his first WWE Championship at 12:44. That was an extended squash, but good for Hogan because it made Undertaker look like a million bucks, even with no-selling the Tombstone and needing a chair to win. It’s wrestling.
Rating: *½

MATCH #4: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Beverly Brothers & the Nasty Boys vs. the Rockers & the Bushwhackers

The Beverly Brothers are accompanied by the Genius, and the Nasty Boys are joined by Jimmy Hart. Butch and Brian Knobs start the match. Their respective partners get involved pretty quickly and the Bushwhackers take them both out with double clotheslines. The Beverly Brothers try their luck but it doesn’t go well for them either, as they get hit with the Battering Ram. The Rockers add a double dropkick to the Nasty Boys, and the babyfaces appear to be having a good time. Knobs and Luke end up in the ring together and Knobs hits a clothesline off the second rope for the first elimination at 5:20. The teams trade momentum back and forth a bit until Butch gets caught alone in the ring with the Beverly Brothers and they hit a sort-of flapjack to eliminate him at 10:14. Even at a four-on-two disadvantage, the Rockers are able to handle both of the Beverlys for a bit. Beau cuts Michaels off and goes to work on his back. Then from out of nowhere Michaels snags a backslide to eliminate Beau at 13:54! Michaels is worn down though and needs to make a tag. He dropkicks Jerry Sags to the floor and then hits a flying clothesline off the apron. Michaels also finds time to hit Knobs with Sweet Chin Music. He tries to reenter the ring via the top rope but Sags punches him out of the air. Finally Jannetty gets the hot tag and he’s all over everyone. He gets cut off and the heels take control for a bit until the hot tag is made. Michaels is a house afire, and the match soon turns into a pier-six brawl among the remaining five wrestlers. Jannetty picks up Sags for a bodyslam and accidentally swings his legs into Michaels’s face and Knobs rolls him up for the pin at 19:41. Michaels and Jannetty argue about what just went down and the crowd sounds concerned. Jannetty fights valiantly but is facing difficult odds. He wipes out both Nasty Boys with a dive from the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring he gets Sags in a small package but Knobs rolls it over and Sags gets the pin at 23:04. That was okay but went on a little too long. The stuff with the Rockers was very well done. For some reason Gorilla Monsoon has trouble understanding that Michaels was pinned; he thinks Michaels bailed and got counted out.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #5: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Legion of Doom & Big Boss Man vs. the Natural Disasters & I.R.S.

Jimmy Hart is with the Natural Disasters. Legion of Doom are the current World Tag Team Champions. The default team captains start the match. Boss Man dominates so IRS tags Earthquake and Boss Man tags Animal. They exchange power moves and then make tags to Hawk and IRS. Typhoon comes in and shows off his power too. The captains wind up back in the ring together and Boss Man is dominant. The referee gets distracted and IRS hits Boss Man with his briefcase to eliminate him at 6:24. A few minutes later IRS tries to hit Hawk with the case but he ducks and he hits Typhoon instead! Hawk scores the pin at 9:39. Earthquake is very upset; in fact he’s so upset that he leaves with his partner back to the locker room and gets counted out around 10:48. The tide has turned and now it’s IRS at a disadvantage. The Taxman puts up a good fight, wearing Hawk down in and out of the ring. The hot tag is made and Animal hits a powerslam. The champs hit a double clothesline and IRS starts walking to the back. Unfortunately for him, the Big Boss Man meets him in the aisle and forces him back to the ring! Animal suplexes IRS back in the ring, and Hawk follows with a Top-Rope Clothesline to get the win at 15:22. That’s a curious choice for a main event, but looking at the results of the other matches I can see why they had to go with it. But then why not keep Roberts and Savage involved if you want it to go on top?
Rating: **
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor 3 (Ricky Reyes, Rocky Romero, Dan Maff, BJ Whitmer, Mick Foley) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/04/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-3-ricky-reyes-rocky-romero-dan-maff-bj-whitmer-mick-foley-3/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/04/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-3-ricky-reyes-rocky-romero-dan-maff-bj-whitmer-mick-foley-3/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 17:00:23 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170391 GBH3

For an easy to navigate archive of my many ROH reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Rex Plex – Elizabeth, New Jersey – September 11, 2004

My boy “Sugar” Shawn Price starts off the show backstage all excited about Mick Foley making his ROH debut tonight. He then turns his attention to Dunn & Marcos, who will not be competing tonight due to injury. Lacey and the rest of Special K show up to mock the Ring Crew Express. Dixie comes out and yells at them to be more serious because they need to end their losing streak.

Jimmy Bower and CM Punk are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Dixie vs. Jimmy Rave

Rave is the centerpiece, or Crown Jewel, of Prince Nana’s Embassy. Dixie takes Rave down to the mat. They trade holds back and forth as the pace quickens, but Rave slows it right back down with a hard clothesline. Rave takes control now, working Dixie over on the mat. Dixie fires back with a series of forearms but Rave catches him in a uranage suplex. Rave whips Dixie into the corner and charges in, but Dixie gets a boot up and hits a swinging DDT. Dixie hits a leg lariat but only gets two. Rave comes back with the not-yet-named Ghanarrhea for a two-count. Dixie comes back and tries a series of pinning combinations for two-counts. Nana gets on the microphone to encourage his Crown Jewel. It works, as Rave hits the running knee and then the Rave Clash to get the pin at 5:40. That was decent for an opener, and it was really fun to watch how over Rave was getting at this time.
Rating: **

After the match Nana gets on the microphone and tries to introduce the newest member of the Embassy, Mick Foley. When Foley doesn’t come out, Nana says he’ll bring him out later.

MATCH #2: Jay Lethal vs. Matt Stryker

If Stryker loses tonight, he loses his plane ticket to East Coast shows. If Lethal loses, he will be dropped from the roster. Stryker is the immediate aggressor, as Punk notes how East Coast fans hate Stryker and how he hates them right back. Lethal makes a brief comeback and Stryker cuts him off with a sort of superkick for a two-count. Stryker goes for the Death Valley Driver but Lethal counters into a gut wrench suplex for a near-fall. Lethal hits a back suplex for another two-count. He misses a dropkick and Stryker traps him in a jackknife pin for two. Stryker hits a leg lariat for two. Lethal comes back with a real lariat for a two-count of his own. Both men rise and trade chops. Lethal unloads with a flurry of them, and Stryker cuts him off with an eye poke. Stryker hits a big boot to take Lethal down and then locks on the Ankle Lock. Lethal counters it with an inside cradle for the win at 4:24. The crowd is absolutely vicious on Stryker. The match was pretty solid for that short amount of time.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Six Man Mayhem – Ace Steel vs. Angeldust vs. Fast Eddie vs. Izzy vs. Kahagas vs. Trent Acid

Eddie and Angeldust start the match. It doesn’t take long for bodies to start flying all over the place and the referee loses control. When Eddie and Azrieal go to the floor, Kahagas and Steel take over for them. Kahagas brings Izzy in the ring and throws him at Steel, who catches him and powerbombs him. Eddie and Acid hit missile dropkicks on Kahagas and Steel, respectively. The two of them trade shots now and Acid wins that battle. Special K members turn on each other as Izzy knocks Angeldust to the floor. Izzy then hits a ridiculous dive to the floor on Steel, Angeldust, and Kahagas. Acid follows with an Asai Moonsault. Punk leaves the booth to go get ready for his upcoming match against Austin Aries. Finally Eddie completes the dive cycle with a twisting somersault off the top rope. The Special K guys are the first two back in the ring and they take it right to each other. Kahagas and Steel take their place and Kahagas hits him with the Osaka Street Cutter. Acid rolls to the floor and Steel comes in to hit a huge implant DDT on Kahagas for two. This one is getting tough to call. Eddie puts Angeldust on the top rope for the fallaway slam but Acid stops him and adds a reverse rana to it for a Tower of Doom. Izzy hits Acid with a reverse rana but Steel breaks up the cover. Steel and Izzy go up top and Steel hits a Super Spinal Shock. Kahagas hits the Here It Is Driver on Steel but Eddie breaks it up. Acid boots Kahagas in the face. Angeldust hits Eddie with a backbreaker. Acid grabs Angeldust and hits the Shovel Driver to get the win at 7:16. Six man mayhem matches are all roughly the same save a few notable exceptions.
Rating: **

MATCH #4: CM Punk vs. Austin Aries

They start off trading arm holds, with Punk taking the early advantage. Aries briefly fights back but Punk tenaciously hangs on to the arm. He tries to escape a headscissors with his dropkick but Punk had that move scouted and he goes right back to work on the arm. Finally Aries escapes the arm hold and hits a dropkick to the face, and then another one. Aries tries the IED but Punk moves out of the way. Punk rolls to the apron and Aries knocks him down. Aries dropkicks Punk into the barricade and then follows Punk to the floor. He kicks Punk in the ribs and throws him back in the ring. He tries the slingshot senton but Punk gets the knees up and goes right back to the arm. Punk dropkicks Aries to the floor and tries a slingshot dive but Aries moves and Punk crashes into the guardrail. Aries knocks Punk back to the floor again and follows him out with a twisting slingshot plancha. Back in the ring Aries hits a big elbow drop for a two-count. Aries goes to work on Punk’s ribs. He hits a Perfect-Plex for two. Punk tries to fight back but Aries cuts him off with a DDT for two. Aries hits an elevated stunner for another near-fall. Punk finally fights back with a missile dropkick of all things. They get back to their feet and Punk hits an enziguiri for two. Aries blocks a Shining Wizard and then Punk goes right back to the arm. He locks on a submission and Aries reaches the ropes. Aries fires back with a gutbuster. He then hits the Power Drive elbow, with his injured arm by the way. He hits a brainbuster but Punk kicks out at two. He goes up for the 450 but Punk cuts him off. Aries tries a sunset bomb but Punk rolls through and hits the Shining Wizard. Punk hits Welcome to Chicago and locks on a Fujiwara Armbar. Aries gets the ropes and moments later the referee takes a bump. Roderick Strong and Jack Evans of Generation Next come out to attack, and Ace Steel runs out to make the save. With Steel distracted by Strong and Evans, Alex Shelley comes out to interfere. From out of nowhere Steve Corino arrives to make the save. Aries gets distracted and Punk rolls him up for the pin at 18:55. A majority of that match was Punk working the arm, and then the finish was silly and the cameras didn’t even catch the pinfall.
Rating: **¼

Punk tells Generation Next they have to mess with his friends too. Then, Homicide (too injured to compete tonight) comes out with Julius Smokes. He goes on and on about how much he hates Steve Corino, and pretty much hates everything else too. Then he wants to shake Corino’s hand. Punk doesn’t want Corino to do it, and he doesn’t. Homicide throws a fit on the floor, throwing tables and chairs around ringside. I never really got into Corino versus Homicide.

MATCH #5: Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer vs. Slash Venom & Chicano

Venom and Chicano are Allison Danger’s handpicked team from Puerto Rico. Before the handshakes can be made, Danger gets on the mic to yell and distract Maff and Whitmer, allowing Venom and Chicano to attack them from behind. They all fight on the floor and chairs get involved. Punk rejoins the commentary team. Venom hits a triple jump dive to the floor to wipe out Maff. Back in the ring Chicano misses a Swanton and Whitmer hits an Exploder onto a chair to get the pin at 3:05. That was brief.
Rating: ½*

The real event takes place after the match, as Danger yells at her team for a while and then gets threatened by Maff and Whitmer. Then Mick Foley comes out and makes some self deprecating jokes. Foley calls Danger “moderately attractive” and then makes her get out of his ring. The Embassy of Prince Nana, Jimmy Rave, and the Outcast Killaz come out to welcome Foley into their group. Of course Foley isn’t joining the group, so Nana sends the Killaz after him. Nana gets punched out, and then Rave hits Foley with a low blow. The four-on-one beat down begins, and Generation Next comes out to make it eight-on-one. Dan Maff and BJ Whitmer come back to make the save and clear the ring. Foley cuts a promo about why he loves ROH and stuff, putting over the company big time.

MATCH #6: Bryan Danielson vs. Alex Shelley

They start with some chain wrestling and Shelley backs Danielson into the corner for a slap to the face. Bower notes that Shelley injured his arm during the Foley attack, so he’s coming into this match at a disadvantage. Danielson gives Shelley a receipt with a hard slap to the face. Danielson knocks Shelley down with a shoulderblock. Shelley comes back up and attacks Danielson’s arm with a hammerlock and Danielson escapes. They go back to chain wrestling and Danielson targets the leg. Shelley comes back with a monkey flip and then he starts wearing Danielson down, working on the neck and the leg. He knocks Danielson to the floor and follows him out to slam Danielson’s face on the apron. He hits a unique neckbreaker and then throws Danielson back in the ring. Shelley hits the Skull F*cker for a two-count. Danielson kicks his way out of the corner and goes back on offense. He works on Shelley’s arm with a variety of holds. He locks on Cattle Mutilation and Shelley reaches the ropes. He goes for the super back suplex and Shelley rolls through to a cover for two, and Danielson rolls through that and gets a two-count of his own. Danielson goes right back to the arm. Shelley avoids a forearm and hits a superkick. Both men are down. Shelley is first up and he tries a vertical suplex but he can’t connect due to his arm. Danielson tries Cattle Mutilation but Shelley blocks it and hits a backpack stunner for two. Shelley tries an Irish Whip but Danielson reverses it and catches Shelley in an Airplane Spin for a two-count. Danielson hits a diving headbutt but once again Shelley kicks out. Shelley avoids a forearm and grabs Danielson in the Shellshock! Danielson kicks out at two so Shelley locks on the Border City Stretch and Danielson gets to the ropes. Shelley goes right back to work on the neck. He tries a 2K1 Bomb but his arm is too injured. Danielson gets up to the second rope for a diving European Uppercut. He locks on Cattle Mutilation but Shelley counters it with the Border City Stretch! Danielson powers out of the Stretch and hits a vicious leg capture suplex. He then locks on the Cattle Mutilation and Shelley is forced to tap out at 19:19. That was a really good back and forth technical exhibition with a nice clean finish. They would go on to do even better in 2006.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #7: ROH Pure Title Match – John Walters vs. Nigel McGuinness

Walters has been the champion since 8.28.04, and this is his first defense. They begin with some chain and mat wrestling, mostly arm work. It’s amazing to see how different Nigel was at this time than he is now. They wrestle to a standoff and the fans show some love. Nigel goes after the neck with a cravat. Walters breaks that off with a hard forearm to the face. He hits a butterfly suplex for a two-count. He goes back to the arm. McGuinness uses the ropes to flip out of an armbar, and referee Todd Sinclair calls it a rope break. Walters comes back with a nasty electric chair drop for a two-count. He hits a backpack stunner and locks on a modified surfboard, then a camel clutch. Nigel tries to fight back but Walters counters with an inverted body scissors and Nigel uses his second rope break. Walters continues focusing on the arm with a seated Cobra Clutch. He pulls Nigel into a lariat and then goes right back to the hold. Nigel reverses it to a Crossface and Walters uses his first rope break. He hits Walters with a Divorce Court and then locks on That Arm Submission and Walters has to use his second rope break. He baits Walters into the Artful Dodger and then hits a European Uppercut and a Superkick for a two-count. He goes up top and Walters knocks him down and then hits a hurricanrana. Walters hits a devastating lariat for two. He goes up top and this time Nigel knocks him down. Nigel goes up top and Walters joins him to deliver a superplex. Walters goes for a not at all graceful looking splash off the top rope but Nigel moves out of the way. Nigel traps Walters in the Tower of London for a two-count. He goes back up top and Walters rolls to the floor to stand there and wait for Nigel to dive onto him. Back in the ring Walters hits three rolling Necktie Lungblowers and hangs on to the Necktie to force Nigel to give up at 16:10. Good first defense for Walters, and McGuinness put on a good showing as well. In fact it was so good he earned a full time roster spot soon after this. The rest is history.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Samoa Joe vs. Doug Williams

Joe has been the champion since 3.22.03, and this is his twenty-fourth defense, the second against Williams, which was Joe’s first defense way back in April of 2003. This is a battle of future TNA X-Division Champions. Along with Alex Shelley and Jay Lethal that’ four future X-Division Champs on this show.

The Code of Honor is followed and both men take it right to each other with a series of strikes. Joe takes Williams down with a shoulderblock and Williams takes a powder. Back in the ring Williams tricks Joe into a body scissors. Joe breaks out with a forearm and a slap to the face. Williams goes after Joe’s ankle, which is smart strategy when dealing with a man bigger and stronger than you are. Joe breaks out of another hold, this time with a kick. He goes after the challenger’s arm, but Williams outwrestles Joe and goes back to the leg. Joe gets back to his feet and they engage in a test of strength. Williams takes Joe down for a two-count. He whips Joe into the corner and charges in, only to get met with the STJoe for two. Joe hits the Big Joe Combo for another near-fall. He continues to wear Williams down, and the action spills to the floor. Williams blocks the first Ole Kick attempt but Joe hits an enziguiri and then connects with the Ole Kick. Back in the ring Joe gets a two-count. Williams rolls to the apron and Joe hits him with an enziguiri that sends him to the floor. Joe goes for a dive but Williams cuts him off with a series of knees to the face and then a cross body block off the top rope for two. Williams hits a bunch of European Uppercuts but misses a knee and Joe powerslams him for two. Joe hits the powerbomb and tries to turn it into the STF but Williams counters it and takes Joe down with a flying knee. Williams goes up and hits the Bomb Scare but only gets two. He goes for the Chaos Theory but Joe blocks it, so Williams locks on a sleeper with a body scissors. Joe powers out of it and tries a Torture Rack but Williams just kind of falls out of it, and then Joe hits a hard clothesline for two. Williams tries a jumping something or other, but Joe catches him and hits the Muscle Buster and Williams kicks out! Moments later Joe levels Williams with another clothesline to get the pin at 17:53. Joe really dominated there, and I never thought Williams actually had a chance. Luckily both guys are good enough to still put on an entertaining match.
Rating: ***

MATCH #9: Ultimate Endurance for the ROH Tag Team Titles – Ricky Reyes & Rocky Romero vs. Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer vs. Roderick Strong & Jack Evans vs. The Carnage Crew

Reyes and Romero have been the champions since 8.7.04, and this is their second defense. The first fall is a Tap Out Match. Maff and Loc start the match. They go back and forth a bit until Strong blind tags himself on off Loc. Strong unleashes with a series of chops. Lovey tries to say Strong didn’t tag, but I saw it. Maff comes back with a bunch of his own chops, and Strong crawls over and tags DeVito. Whitmer tags in as well and DeVito hits those crossface forearms he does. He hits a Northern Lights suplex into the turnbuckles and Reyes tags himself in, much to DeVito’s chagrin. Reyes traps Whitmer in a triangle choke and Maff breaks it up. Strong tags Reyes, and he and Evans double-team Whitmer with a series of strikes. Everyone beats on Whitmer while Maff keeps coming in to rescue him. Finally Whitmer hits Loc with an exploder and then they both make tags. Maff goes nuts on everyone, causing a brawl on the floor. He hurls Evans from the ring to the floor on top of everybody. Back in the ring Loc traps Whitmer in a guillotine choke and Maff hits him with a chair. Loc has the audacity to shrug off a chair shot directly to the head. Fuck you Loc. Maff responds with another chair shot to the head. Reyes, Romero, Evans, and Strong are fighting on the floor while the Carnage Crew battles Maff and Whitmer in the ring. Maff and Whitmer trap DeVito’s legs on either side of the ring post and they both hit him with chairs right on the injured knees. Back in the ring Maff and Whitmer lock on a double Boston Crab and DeVito taps out at 10:16.

The second fall is a tag team scramble. Strong and Whitmer start it off and Strong hits a half nelson backbreaker. Maff comes in and hits Strong with a half nelson suplex. The champs come in to double team Maff. Everybody goes to the floor and Evans tries a dive but there’s no water in the pool. Back in the ring Maff hits Evans with the Burning Hammer to get the pin at 12:47.

The final fall is a straight up ROH Tag Team Title match. The champions attack right away and go to work on the worn down Maff and Whitmer. Romero takes Maff to the floor and works him over while Reyes wears Whitmer down inside the ring. Reyes hits three rolling German Suplexes and bridges on the last one for a two-count. The champs hit the Decapitation Knee Drop and Maff breaks up the cover. Romero hits Whitmer with a series of kicks and a vertical suplex. Apparently Maff takes Smokes out with a back drop on the floor but the camera doesn’t catch it. He gets in the ring only to hit a dive on Reyes on the floor. Meanwhile Whitmer rolls up Romero but only gets a two-count. Whitmer hits Romero with an Exploder but Romero kicks out. Both men get up and trade slaps. Whitmer takes off his knee and elbow pads. Romero avoids Whitmer and blasts him with a kick to the head and then a jumping knee to the face to get the pin and retain the titles at 19:23. The crowd was kind of deflated by that finish (luckily they had more in store for them). The match was nonstop action with a hot crowd most of the way.
Rating: ***

The Pitbulls attack Maff and Whitmer after the match, and both the Embassy and Generation Next make their way out to join in on the attack. Mick Foley comes out and cleans house with a fire extinguisher, which Lovey thinks is a tribute to NYC Fireman, it being September 11 and all.
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Survival of the Fittest 2009 (Tyler Black, Roderick Strong) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/04/a2z-analysiz-roh-survival-of-the-fittest-2009-tyler-black-roderick-strong/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/04/a2z-analysiz-roh-survival-of-the-fittest-2009-tyler-black-roderick-strong/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 14:00:10 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168938 SOTF09

Indiana State Fairgrounds – Indianapolis, Indiana – October 10, 2009

PRELIMINARY MATCH: Bobby Dempsey, Kyle O’Reilly & Ricochet vs. Aaron Scott, Tommy Mercer & Shawn Schultz

Looks like O’Reilly and someone from the other team starting the match. My apologies, but I don’t know who Aaron Scott, Tommy Mercer, and Shawn Schultz are. O’Reilly takes control and makes the tag to Ricochet, who hits a variety of armdrags. The guy who is in the ring for the other team makes a comeback and tags the guy who has “Everybody Knows” on the back of his trunks. Thankfully, Mercer has his name on his tights so I know which one he is. He gets tagged in and continues to pound on Ricochet. The crowd is itching to see Dempsey in action. Eventually Ricochet makes the hot tag to Dempsey and the crowd loves it. Dempsey is a fat house afire, throwing everybody around. The match breaks down to a bit of a brawl, until Dempsey and Everybody Knows are the only two left in the ring. Dempsey hits him with the Death Valley Driver to get the pin at 6:03. That was a fine preshow match.
Rating: *½

The video package shows Austin Aries abusing Daizee Haze on his way to retaining the World Title last night, and then briefly shows videos of the past Survival of the Fittest winners. Dave Prazak is once again handling the ring announcing duties.

Jim Cornette Address

He says most of the same things he said last night, about how ROH is great, the other two companies suck, etc. I love how he keeps saying ROH gives the fans what they want. I don’t remember an outpouring of support for Jerry Lynn winning the ROH World Title and they did that anyway. He then turns his attention to Austin Aries and the Austin Aries Lucky Lottery. He talks about the match he made last night between Aries and Delirious, and since Delirious was impressive last night, he has earned himself a bye into the Survival of the Fittest match tonight. I also think it’s funny that right after talking about a guy named Delirious, who wears a mask and speaks gibberish, he says that Ring of Honor isn’t sports entertainment.

Earlier tonight, Claudio Castagnoli put over his own awesomeness, and promises that he will win Survival of the Fittest tonight. He then crushes some popcorn as the promo goes off the rails a little bit. He’s still the best thing going in ROH.

MATCH #1: The Young Bucks vs. House of Truth

Truth Martini gets a little bit of mic time to put over his boys and establish the fact that they are heels. Josh Raymond and Matt start the match. They’re a little cautious early on, feeling each other out to start. Matt explodes with some high flying maneuvers and takes the first advantage. He makes a tag to Nick so Raymond scurries over and tags Christin Able. Nick picks up where his brother left off and the HOT can’t get anything going. Moments later the HOT use some teamwork to take control; Able hits Matt with a nice belly-to-belly suplex. Able takes Matt over to his team’s corner and they isolate on him. After a few minutes Matt shrugs off their beating and starts flipping around with his brother executing double team moves. The Bucks try More Bang for Your Buck on Able but Martini stops Nick on the top rope. Able hits him with the huge Alabama Slam and rolls into a jackknife cradle for two. The HOT works Nick over in their half of the ring. Able pulls the fishnets down, so you know he means business. He hits a spinebuster, and then tags Raymond for a Demolition Decapitation Moonsault. That’s cool. Nick gets dumped to the apron and he comes back with a slingshot X-Factor. He fights off both Raymond and Able and makes the hot tag to his brother. Matt is a house afire, and the match breaks down to a brawl with all four men flying in and out of the ring. The referee gets distracted and Martini comes in the ring to try and hit Matt with his boot, but he misses and hits Raymond instead! Martini then throws his boot down in frustration and hits his own foot, and then stumbles through the ropes and to the floor. That was awesome. That’s also enough to leave Raymond prone to More Bang for Your Buck, and the Bucks get the big win at 12:07. The Bucks get the crowd into it no doubt, but I prefer the House of Truth. That was a good opener, and they should try to do some kind of program with these two teams.
Rating: ***

Earlier tonight Colt Cabana was backstage talking about how seriously he takes the tournament tonight. He says he’s a big fan of Jonny Fairplay so he brought him here tonight, but turns out it was only Alex Payne. Cabana is the Adam Sandler of ROH.

MATCH #2: Qualifying Match – Kevin Steen vs. Colt Cabana

This is Steen’s first Survival of the Fittest tournament appearance. Cabana made it to the finals in 2004 and 2005, defeating Trent Acid and Ricky Reyes in qualifying matches to get there. Both men are coming off losses last night, although Cabana wasn’t pinned in the four-way match he was in. They stall, and then they hug, and then Cabana focuses his offense on touching Steen’s butt. Cabana then takes it to the mat and grounds Steen with a headlock. Steen recovers and they trade holds as Hero talks about how he beat six men in Survival of the Fittest 2007, but that’s impossible since he definitely did not pin himself. Cabana continues with his usual comedy routine, and Steen comes back with a missile dropkick. Steen seems to have hurt his injured knee again, but he still hits a cannonball in the corner, though not at full strength. He hits a DDT and then climbs to the top rope for a Swanton Bomb. Cabana gets his knees up and actually gets the pin at 6:48. That match was a whole lot of nothing, but it seems like they’re going somewhere with Steen so let’s see what happens.
Rating: *

Earlier tonight Roderick Strong talked about how he’s not been able to win the ROH World Title yet. He promises that he will win the ROH World Title in the near future.

MATCH #3: Qualifying Match – Rhett Titus vs. Roderick Strong

This is Titus’s first Survival of the Fittest appearance. Strong helped Austin Aries qualify in a tag team match in 2004; beat Jerrelle Clark on his way to winning the whole thing in 2005; teamed with Homicide in a losing effort to Jay & Mark Briscoe in 2006; and beat Brent Albright in a qualifying match in 2007. That makes Roderick Strong the only man to appear in every Survival of the Fittest tournament. Titus takes a sucker punch before the bell, and follows up with a body slam and a knee drop for a one-count. Strong comes back with a leg lariat and an early backbreaker for two. Titus drops to the floor to avoid taking a chop. Unfortunately for him he turns his back and gets kicked down. Strong joins Titus on the floor now and lights him up with a chop. Titus uses Giuseppe di Lorento as a shield and then levels Strong with a clothesline. Back in the ring Titus gets a two-count. Titus works Strong over for a bit, effectively cutting off Strong’s comeback attempts. He goes for the Sexy Suplex and Strong counters with an inside cradle for two, and then a schoolboy for two. Titus hits a neckbreaker and goes up top, only to get a midsection full of fist. Strong hits an enziguiri in the corner and both men are down. Back on their feet Strong hits a couple of chops and he’s on fire now with a combination of strikes. Strong hits the big dropkick for a two-count. He goes for the Gutbuster but Titus avoids it and tries the Thrust Buster, but Strong counters that with a Falcon Arrow for two. Strong tries a charge in the corner but Titus gets the boot up, and then hits the Thrust Buster for two. Titus then hits a standing blockbuster for a two-count. Strong then puts himself in position for the Super Sex Factor, which gets two. Titus goes up top and Strong kicks him in the head and then lands a big superplex. Strong hits a running clothesline, enziguiri, gutbuster, and an odd looking Gibson Driver to advance to the finals at 8:29. Titus got to get all his moves in, but no one thought he had a chance of winning. The match was serviceable.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #4: Qualifying Match – Tyler Black vs. Kenny King

This is the first Survival of the Fittest appearance for both men. Hero makes me laugh for the first time in his ROH commentary career when he says “Unfortunately it [the fireball thrown by Austin Aries] did not burn off the entire face of Tyler Black, otherwise he would have something else to be sad about.” Black starts the match with a running kick to the face and then stomps away in the corner. King quickly bails to regain his composure, but Black will have none of it as he hits a slingshot cross body to the floor, and then whips King into the barricade. Black tries to whip King in for a third time but King reverses it and throws Black to the steel instead. King bangs Black’s head against the guardrail a few times, and then brings the match back in the ring. Black fights back with a lariat and then hits a knee to the face for two. He hits a series of forearms for another two. He follows up with a stomp to the face, and then gouges at his face. He winds up for presumably a big lariat but King pulls referee Paul Turner into the way and takes a cheap shot to take control. That doesn’t last too long before Black hits a slingshot spin kick and goes for the running forearm in the corner but King cuts him off with a spin kick. King is firmly in control and goes right after Black’s neck. The battle spills to the floor and King rams Black’s head into a chair. Back in the ring King continues attacking the neck, but Black comes back with a flying clothesline and the F-5. Black hits a quebrada for two. That’s amazing: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Black match where he hits the quebrada instead of flipping out of it and hitting a standing shooting star press instead. King fights back with a spin kick to the head. He goes for the Coronation and can’t hit it, but he can hit a spinebuster for a solid two-count. Black rolls out of the way of a charge in the corner and clotheslines King’s neck off the top rope, Randy Savage style. He goes for a springboard something, but King catches him and hits the Royal Flush for a near-fall! They fight back to their feet and trade hands in the middle of the ring. Then they trade kicks to the head and both men are down. King gets up first and goes for a Cradle Piledriver but Black backdrops his way out of it. Black goes for the Buckle Bomb and King avoids it, and then Black avoids the shotgun knees in the corner. King gets to his knees and Black lands a superkick right to the jaw to get the pin at 12:32. That was a good showing for Kenny King – I’m sure there will be more Tyler Black versus Kenny King matches in our future.
Rating: ***¼

Earlier tonight, Petey Williams was exercising whilst bemoaning the fact that Claudio Castagnoli has hosed him the last two times they’ve been in the ring together. He promises that he will get his revenge on Claudio, win the Survival of the Fittest match, and become the next ROH World Champion.

MATCH #5: Qualifying Match – Petey Williams vs. Claudio Castagnoli

This is Williams’ Survival of the Fittest debut. Castagnoli got by Davey Richards in 2007 on his way to the finals. He is accompanied by Mr. Ernesto Osiris. First things first, they engage in a test of strength, which Castagnoli wins easily. Williams comes back with his agility and hits a flying mare and they stand off. He asks for another test of strength and this time comes out of it with an armbar. Castagnoli overpowers Williams and holds him on the mat for a series of two-counts. Williams comes back with a sunset flip for two, and then the dropkick to the back of the head. He hits a running forearm in the corner and tries a bulldog, but Castagnoli blocks it and hits a dead lift release German suplex. Castagnoli hits a fallaway slam, which according to Hero is a “Blockbuster Suplex.” Williams tires a leapfrog but Castagnoli catches him with a backbreaker, and I can’t even decipher what Hero calls that. Finally Williams comes back with a headscissors, a 619 armdrag, and a low bridge to send Castagnoli to the floor. Williams follows him out with a slingshot into a Frankensteiner. Back in the ring Williams hits a high cross body off the top rope and the double knees. Williams tries a kick but Castagnoli blocks it and hits a European Uppercut for two. Castagnoli goes for the UFO but Williams counters with a Victory Roll for two. This time Castagnoli lands a bicycle kick and then executes the UFO for a close near-fall. Williams comes back and tries the Canadian Legsweep, which Castagnoli initially blocks, but then Williams is able to hit one while Castagnoli is on his knees! A step-up enziguiri to the face gets another two-count for Williams. Williams tries the Canadian Destroyer again but Castagnoli blocks it and hits a European Uppercut for two. Castagnoli tries the Ricola Bomb but Williams counters with another enziguiri. Williams goes for the Canadian Destroyer, but Castagnoli grabs the referee’s leg, and causes him to fall. With the referee’s back turned Castagnoli lands a low blow and a European Uppercut for the win at 9:48. That was a solid big man versus little man match, and I love how Claudio keeps winning matches by cheating, because it doesn’t feel like he’s doing it because he thinks he has to, but he’s doing it because he’s good at it and he can. That’s the quality that makes him a good, credible heel.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: Qualifying Match – Chris Hero vs. Kenny Omega

This is the Survival of the Fittest debut for Kenny Omega. Hero beat Karl Anderson to make it to the 2007 finals, where he eliminated Roderick Strong, Rocky Romero, Austin Aries, Claudio Castagnoli, and Human Tornado to win the tournament and be the only man to eliminate all five of his opponents in the match. Eric Santamaria joins Prazak on commentary while Hero wrestles. Hero is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. He scores the first takedown and immediately goes to work on Omega’s leg. Omega quickly turns the tables as they trade holds back and forth. Hero resumes going after the leg, but Omega is able to keep pace and winds up sending Hero to the floor. Omega joins Hero on the floor and goes to work on him. He maintains control, and back in the ring hits a quick armdrag. Hero blocks the next armdrag attempt and resumes control. Omega fights back with a spin kick and a bodyslam. He hits a running dropkick to the side of the head for two. He whips Hero into the corner and when he charges Hero catches him with a tailbone drop and pitches him to the floor. Hero follows him out with a baseball slide dropkick. He drops Omega face-first on the ring apron. Back in the ring Hero stomps away. He boots Omega in the head a couple of times and gets a two-count. He hits a big elbow to the head but Omega kicks out at two! He hits another one in the corner, and then ignores the stop sign to hit another one. Omega is persistent and finally hits the stupid stop sign enziguiri. He hits a frog cross body off the top rope and goes for a Northern Lights suplex, which Hero reverses to a Liger Bomb attempt, which Omega actually reverses to the Northern Lights suplex this time for a two-count. Hero reverses a whip to the corner and winds up nailing Omega with a rolling elbow to get the pin at 12:49. That was solid and all I’m just not sure what they were going for in terms of a story.
Rating: **½

MATCH #7: Special Tag Team Challenge – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Davey Richards & Austin Aries

Richards is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions, and is also accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Aries is the current ROH World Champion. He gets on the mic to remind everyone that he got out of defending his title against Richards tonight by offering to replace the injured Eddie Edwards in this Dream Match of Dream Matches. Richards and Mark start the match. The ROH World Tag Team Title history in this match is astounding: the Briscoes have held them five times; Richards has held them twice with two different partners (Rocky Romero and currently with Edwards); and Aries was part of the longest title reign along with Roderick Strong. Mark takes Davey down to the mat and locks on a headlock, but Richards quickly escapes, and Mark quickly re-counters. I expect a lot of that in this match. Mark attacks Richards’s arm, causing Richards to roll to the floor and throw a fit. They do a choreographed looking exchange and then an Indy standoff. I thought we were past those. Mark makes the tag to Jay and Richards makes the tag to Aries. Jay gets the upper hand and Aries quickly tags Richards back in. The Briscoes take control of Richards and tag in and out, working him over. Richards recovers and tags Aries. The Briscoes control for a bit, but Richards and Aries use some shady double-teaming to take control. Despite Richards being after Aries’ title, they’re working very well together as a team. Aries and Richards play a little “Can You Top This,” allowing Jay to recover and make the hot tag to Mark. The younger Briscoe is a house afire, setting Richards up on the top rope and hitting an Ace Crusher off the second rope for two. The match breaks down to a brawl. Aries tries the IED but gets kicked in the face and clotheslined to the floor. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device on Richards, but Aries breaks it up. With both Briscoes on the floor, Aries hits the Heat Seeking Missile to wipe both of them out. Back in the ring Richards hits Jay with a missile dropkick, the Alarm Clock, a lariat, and a bridging German suplex for two. Aries tags himself in and tries another IED, but Jay catches him with a Death Valley Driver. Richards saves Aries, who then hits a brainbuster for two. Mark and Richards wind up in the ring and Richards hits a handspring spin kick. Aries responds with a handspring elbow. The team of champions argues some more and some miscommunication leads to Aries hitting the IED on Richards. Aries grabs his title and walks toward the back, but Mark wipes him out with a dive over the top rope. Back in the ring Jay hits Richards with a falcon arrow for two. The Briscoes set up for the Doomsday Device again and this time they hit it for the win at 18:31. That was a pretty exciting tag team match with an interesting subplot with Richards and Aries.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #8: Survival of the Fittest Finals – Delirious vs. Roderick Strong vs. Tyler Black vs. Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Hero

Survival of the Fittest matches have taken place in Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland (I was in attendance), and Las Vegas. Castagnoli is accompanied by Mr. Ernesto Osiris. Hero is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Good thing both of those guys trained to be wrestlers. Delirious is accompanied by Daizee Haze. I have to admit that I’ve missed this match and I’m glad ROH brought it back. Strong, Delirious, and Hero have all won this match in the past. Delirious freaks out at the sound of the bell, and when he’s calmed down Black joins him in the ring to start the match proper. They exchange holds for a bit before Cabana gets tagged in and he chain wrestles with Delirious. Strong gets tagged by Delirious, and Castagnoli tags Strong before any contact can be made. Cabana tags to Hero, and now it’s the Kings of Wrestling facing off. They lock up and trade holds, including the full nelson. Castagnoli tenaciously goes for the full nelson, and Hero breaks by going to the ropes. Hero takes Castagnoli down and goes after his legs. Moments later they both make tags, to Delirious and Cabana, respectively. Cabana gets the advantage, so Delirious tags out to Strong. In a move I wouldn’t advise, Cabana hits a chop, but successfully avoids Strong returning the favor, but only briefly. Cabana misses the Flying Apple and Strong hits a kick to the side of the head for two, so Cabana goes over and tags Hero. Strong traps Hero in a quick victory roll for two. Hero gains control and drags Strong over to Castagnoli’s corner and tags him. Well, Hero and Castagnoli are former ROH World Tag Team Champions. The Kings work over Strong’s hand, and then Hero makes the tag to Delirious, who executes a spinning toehold and seems to be targeting the leg instead. Delirious makes the tag to Black, who continues the leg work. Strong drives Black to the corner, and Castagnoli makes the tag. Black slugs away at Castagnoli, but Castagnoli cuts him off with a stiff European Uppercut. Castagnoli makes the tag to Hero, who goes after Black’s neck. The Kings hit a double boot to the chest but Black won’t stay pinned for longer than two seconds. Castagnoli knocks Cabana and Strong down before going for another cover. Now I think that’s stupid because the guys Castagnoli kicked down also want to win the match, and it wouldn’t it be to their benefit if Castagnoli just went ahead and eliminated the guy? So why would he bother to knock them off the apron when he could have gone right for the cover? The Kings hit the Giant Swing/Dropkick combination for a two-count on Black. Hero and Black trade small packages, and then Hero reverses a God’s Last Gift attempt into a vertical suplex for two. Castagnoli tags back in Black quickly tags Delirious. The masked man gets the advantage and goes for Roots clotheslines, but Hero breaks that up. Sadly for Hero he winds up taking the clotheslines, while Cabana comes in to deliver the elbow version. They toss the Kings to the floor and they both follow them out with baseball slide dropkicks. Black and Strong then follow everyone out with dives over the top rope and everyone is down. That was cool. Back in the ring Delirious hits a leaping lariat on Castagnoli for two. Delirious tries the Cobra Suplex but Castagnoli blocks it and hits a bicycle kick for two. The Kings of Wrestling work together on Delirious. Castagnoli hits a super hip toss but can’t get a three-count. After several minutes of abuse Delirious comes back and is able to tag Cabana into the match. Cabana outmaneuvers both Kings of Wrestling and is able to bait Hero into nailing Castagnoli with a rolling elbow and Cabana backslides him to eliminate Castagnoli at 22:59. Delirious comes in the ring and instantly schoolboys Cabana to then eliminate him at 23:05!

Strong comes in the ring and Delirious traps him in the Cobra Stretch, and then pulls him up for a Cobra Suplex. Delirious goes for the Panic Attack but Hero kicks him in the face instead. Hero follows up with another elbow, this one for Delirious, and it gets a two-count. Delirious comes back with a headscissors off the top rope. Black tags himself into the match and kicks Delirious in the head and goes for the springboard lariat, but Delirious headbutts him in the midsection. Hero goes for another rolling elbow but Delirious headbutts him as well, and both Hero and Black are down in the same corner. Delirious hits a double Panic Attack, but turns around right into a running kick to the face by Strong and that’s enough to eliminate the 2006 Survival of the Fittest winner at 24:59. Hero quickly hits Strong with a rolling elbow but Strong is able to grab the bottom rope before the three-count. A Liger Bomb gets another two-count for Hero. Back on their feet a chop war ensues, and just guess who wins that one. Hero counters with an elbow instead, and then throws Strong to the floor. Black lands a kick to the head from the apron and then schoolboys Hero for two. Hero hits a couple of elbows for a two-count. Strong reenters the ring and goes right after Hero. He hits a backbreaker for two. Hero comes back with the rip cord elbow for two! Strong rolls to the apron. Hero hits some elbow strikes but Black comes back with a superkick, a Buckle Bomb, and God’s Last Gift to eliminate Hero at 28:37.

Strong and Black waste no time tearing into each other with chops. Black lands the first big shot when he hits Paroxysm for two. He slams Strong down and hits the Savage Elbow. A series of counters ends with Black hitting the F-5 for another two-count. Black tries the standing shooting star press but Strong moves and hits a kick to the face. Strong follows up with a uranage backbreaker for two. Another backbreaker gets another two-count. Strong locks on the Stronghold and Black reaches the ropes. They fight out to the ring apron and then to the floor. Black dropkicks Strong into the barricade, and then hits a Bryan Danielson dive into the crowd. They make it back to the ring and Black lands a kick to the head and the springboard lariat. Black does the stomps to fire himself up and Strong makes him pay for wasting time with a brutal kick to the face for two. Strong hits the gutbuster and goes for the Gibson Driver but Black reverses it to the Buckle Bomb. Black tries the superkick but Strong counters with the Stronghold. When Black tries to escape the hold, Strong sits down for a two-count. Black counters with a couple of nasty kicks to the head, and hits God’s Last Gift but Strong kicks out! He goes up for the Phoenix Splash and Strong knocks him down. Strong hits a brutal enziguiri and hits a backbreaker on the turnbuckle! Black rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Strong gets a two-count. The crowd is pretty much universally in support of Roderick Strong, honestly. Strong hits a boot, a gutbuster, a backbreaker, and another running boot to the face but Black kicks out! He goes for the Gibson Driver, which Black counters with a jackknife pin for two. Black hits the Buckle Bomb and three superkicks, but Strong still kicks out! He lands another superkick and this time referee Paul Turner barely counts three, right before Strong kicks out at 39:55. The crowd boos. This was a really well put together match, and the final sequence between Black and Strong was ridiculous. This is the best Survival of the Fittest match since the first one.
Rating: ****½

Black cuts a promo thanking Strong for the match, and that the future is now in Ring of Honor. He also tells the crowd they’re as much a part of the “ROH Revolution” as anyone. Before walking to the back he admits that he owes Roderick Strong a rematch.
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A2Z Analysiz: WWF Survivor Series 1990 (Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/03/a2z-analysiz-wwf-survivor-series-1990-hulk-hogan-ultimate-warrior-2/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/03/a2z-analysiz-wwf-survivor-series-1990-hulk-hogan-ultimate-warrior-2/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:00:15 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168956 sur ser 87-91

For an easy to navigate archive of my many WWE DVD reviews, please visit World Wrestling Reviews.

Civic Center – Hartford, Connecticut – November 22, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper are calling the action. This year will feature the first-ever Survivors Final Match, as well as the hatching of a giant egg. No, really.

MATCH #1: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Perfect Team (Demolition & Mr. Perfect) vs. The Ultimate Warriors (Texas Tornado, Road Warriors & Ultimate Warrior)

Demolition is accompanied by Mr. Fuji, while Perfect has Bobby Heenan accompanying him. Warrior is the current WWF Champion, and Texas Tornado is the Intercontinental Champion. Animal and Smash start the match with some intense brawling. The Warriors quickly dominate and go to work on Smash. Tornado locks Ax in the claw and then tags the captain. Warrior hits a shoulder block, a flying tackle and a big splash for the first elimination at 3:23. The remaining members of Demolition respond by beating the WWF Champion down. Hawk gets tagged in and the Perfect Team cuts the ring in half on him too. When Hawk makes the comeback and lands a clothesline from the top rope on Smash, Crush comes in to break up the cover. All four men brawl and both Smash and Hawk take a shot at the referee and all four men are disqualified at 7:36. That leaves Perfect at a distinct disadvantage against the Texas Tornado and the Ultimate Warrior. Both Perfect and Heenan are abused by Warrior and Tornado, until the Intercontinental Champion misses a charge in the corner and cracks his shoulder on the post. Moments later Perfect hits the Perfect-Plex to eliminate Tornado at 11:02. Perfect tries an immediate Perfect-Plex on Warrior but it only gets two. He works Warrior over until the inevitable comeback. Warrior hits a flying tackle and a big splash to get the pin and become sole survivor at 14:20. That was an adequate opener because the crowd got fired up, but the action was just okay.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #2: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware & the Hart Foundation) vs. The Million Dollar Team (Rhythm & Blues, Ted DiBiase & Undertaker)

Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart are the current World Tag Team Champions. Sadly, Bret’s brother Dean passed away just the day before this event due to kidney disease; Piper mentions that Bret is dedicating this match to him. This is a famous match because it’s the debut of the Undertaker, and he’s accompanied by Brother Love. Undertaker starts with Bret, but neither the Hitman nor the Anvil can phase the big man. Koko tags in and immediately gets hit with a Tombstone Piledriver for the first elimination at 1:43. Now Rhythm & Blues and the Hart Foundation work a mini tag team match. Bret wisely makes a blind tag to the Anvil, who hits Honky with a powerslam to even the odds at 4:23. The Dream Team is clicking now, working over DiBiase like a well-oiled machine. Virgil intervenes, tripping Neidhart from ringside and DiBiase levels him with a clothesline to get the pin at 5:56. Undertaker gets back into the fray and just dominates. He goes up top and hits a double axe handle on Rhodes to eliminate the team captain at 8:31. Brother Love takes a few cheap shots and Rhodes goes after him, so Undertaker comes to the rescue of his manager and gets counted out at 9:23. Monsoon tries to sell the idea that Undertaker was the legal man in the ring but since Valentine and Bret were wrestling the whole time this was going on, that’s just erroneous. Speaking of, Valentine goes for the Figure-Four but Bret gets an inside cradle to even up the odds at 10:01. Bret tears into DiBiase, atomic dropping him to the floor and following him out with a dive. The Hitman is absolutely on fire here, having a great showing in the Survivor Series for the second year in a row. He almost pins DiBiase with an O’Connor Roll after feigning a knee injury, and again with a schoolboy rollup after Virgil’s interference backfires. A resilient DiBiase is able to absorb a cross body block and roll through it to get the quick pin at 13:59. There was a lot to like about that match, with the debut of one of the biggest superstars of all-time, as well as a one of the hottest closing sequences to any Survivor Series match to date.
Rating: ***

MATCH #3: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Visionaries (Rick Martel, Power & Glory & the Warlord) vs. The Vipers (Jake Roberts, the Rockers & Jimmy Snuka)

The Visionaries have the “Doctor of Style” Slick in their corner. Warlord and Jannetty start it off. That goes the obvious route ads Jannetty tries to use his speed and Warlord counters with his power. Michaels and Martel go next and as soon as Roberts tags in, Martel bails. Roma, Snuka, and Hercules all get tagged in as well as both teams look to establish momentum for their side. Warlord strikes first, nailing Jannetty with a powerslam for the first elimination at 5:18. Michaels is the next target and the Visionaries keep him in their half of the ring. Snuka gets a hot tag and takes it to the Model. He goes for a cross body block off the second rope but Martel rolls through and grabs a handful of trunks to get the pin at 9:43. Roberts survives long enough to make a hot tag to Michaels as the Vipers really need to eliminate someone. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen, as Power & Glory hit Michaels with the Power-Plex to eliminate him at 15:19 and give Roberts insurmountable odds. Amazingly he’s able to drill Warlord with the DDT, but the referee gets distracted and Martel tries to spray Arrogance in Roberts’s eyes. Roberts grabs Damien and chases Martel to the back and gets counted out at 18:05. That’s the first time in Survivor Series history that a whole team has survived. The match was perfectly acceptable and it was around this time that Shawn Michaels really started to stand out, so that’s fun.
Rating: **½

MATCH #4: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Natural Disasters (Earthquake, Dino Bravo, Haku & the Barbarian) vs. The Hulkamaniacs (Tugboat, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Big Boss Man & Hulk Hogan)

Duggan and Haku start it off. This one will probably feature a lot of brawling, if I had to guess. They go back and forth and then Boss Man tags in and gets drilled with a dropkick. Boss Man then reverses a whip and hits the Boss Man Slam to eliminate Haku at 3:15. Duggan gets triple-teamed, and then Hart pulls the ropes down, causing him to tumble to the floor. That’s all Duggan can stand, so he brings his 2×4 into the ring and cleans house with it, and gets rightfully disqualified at 6:11. Hogan comes in fired up on Earthquake, but soon gets slammed down to the mat. Bravo tags in and continues the punishment until Hogan catches a quick inside cradle for a three-count at 7:59. Boss Man tags in and takes it to Earthquake. It doesn’t last long though, as Earthquake comes back and squashes Boss Man with an elbow drop at 9:08. Hogan comes back in and Earthquake beats him down but misses a splash and Tugboat gets the hot tag. They take the battle to the floor and Earthquake and Tugboat brawl until they are both counted out at 11:31. That just leaves Hogan versus the Barbarian. Gee I wonder who’s going to win. Even as a kid I thought a matchup like this was predictable. Barbarian dominates for a bit and hits the Top-Rope Clothesline, but Hogan Hulks Up. Hogan hits the Big Boot and the Legdrop to get the win and be sole survivor at 14:49. That was the usual Hogan formula stuff.
Rating: **

MATCH #5: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Alliance (Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana & the Bushwhackers) vs. The Mercenaries (Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukov & Orient Express)

The Bushwhackers hit Zhukov with a double clothesline. Santana also strikes quickly, eliminating Zhukov with the flying forearm at 0:49. Tanaka accidentally kicks Sato when Santana moves out of the way, and Butch goes to work. The Bushwhackers hit Sato with the Battering Ram to eliminate him at 1:48. Tanaka is next to go, when Santana hits him with the Flying Forearm for the pin at 2:12. Slaughter is now facing four-on-one odds. He weathers Volkoff’s offensive storm and hits him with an insanely weak looking elbow drop for his first elimination at 5:25. Luke comes in and goes up top for a splash and misses. Slaughter follows up with a gutbuster for his second elimination at 6:32. Moments later Slaughter makes it an even matchup after pinning Butch with a clothesline at 6:55. Santana brings the fight to Slaughter right away. The referee takes a bump and General Adnan sneaks in the ring to hit Santana with his flag pole, but the referee was pretty much looking right at him. Slaughter locks on the Camel Clutch but the referee calls for the DQ around 10:31 (no closing bell, argh). That was rather brief and not all that interesting.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #6: The Survivors Final Match – Rick Martel, Power & Gory, the Warlord & Ted DiBiase vs. Hulk Hogan, Tito Santana & Ultimate Warrior

Before the match, Warrior cuts one of his classic promos, standing right in front of Santana, and then referring to the power of “Arribaderci.” (3:52)Even with Warrior’s complete lack of regard for him, Santana is able to hit Warlord with an immediate Flying Forearm to eliminate the massive man at 0:30! That’s a big pin for the babyface team. DiBiase comes in and avoids the Flying Forearm, and then catches Santana with a Stun Gun for the pin at 1:53. The heels turn the attention to Hogan and work over his back. Power & Glory hits the Power-Plex, but Hogan no-sells it and eliminates Roma with a clothesline at 5:38. Martel comes in and Hogan finally makes the tag to the WWF Champion. Warrior is on fire and tags back out to Hogan, who clotheslines Martel to the floor and Martel takes the countout at 7:16. DiBiase is next to go, as Hogan hits the Big Boot and the Legdrop to pin him at 8:38. Warrior tags in and hits Hercules with a shoulderblock and a big splash to win the match at 9:09. The crowd was hot but the action was just completely meaningless.
Rating: *½
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor II (Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/03/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-ii-christopher-daniels-samoa-joe-3/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/03/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-ii-christopher-daniels-samoa-joe-3/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 17:00:39 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170387 GBH2

For an easy to navigate archive of my many ROH reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Murphy Recreation Center – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Saturday, September 20, 2003

Chris Lovey and CM Punk are handling the commentary. This is the final show ever at the Murphy Recreation Center, a very important building in ROH history. They show some of the top highlights from past shows at the Murph throughout this double-disc set.

MATCH #1: Field of Honor Match – BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Rave

The Field of Honor was a concept that sounded good on paper but pretty much ended up as a big flop. Basically it was two blocks of four guys wrestling each other in round robin style matches, spread over many shows. The two guys with the best record in each block would face each other in the finals. This sounds all well and good until Matt Stryker won it.

Rave is 0-1 in the FOH, while this is Whitmer’s first match. They start off with some chain wrestling, with Whitmer going after Rave’s arm. Punk immediately buries both guys. Whitmer gets the first big move with a Saito Suplex for two. He hits a back elbow for two. He locks on a chinlock and when Rave fights out of it, he flattens him with a lariat for a two-count. He continues the assault, hitting a brainbuster for another two-count. Rave avoids a charge in the corner and starts going after the arm just like his mentor AJ Styles told him to do. Whitmer counters with a dragon suplex for two. Rave fires back with chops and forearms, including a big running forearm. He hits a Divorce Court from the apron to the floor and then follows up with a running knee. Back in the ring Rave hits a rana off the top rope and then locks on a Cross Armbreaker. Whitmer breaks free and kicks Rave twice in the back. Rave comes back with a capture suplex and both men are down. Back up on their feet Rave grabs Whitmer and hits a Northern Lights Suplex into the turnbuckles. Rave puts Whitmer on the top rope but ends up paying for it as Whitmer powerbombs him down to the mat to get the win at 9:24. They were both young here and they appeared desperate to get over, so it was all moves and no selling. That usually works as an opener to get the crowd into it but that’s about it.
Rating: **

MATCH #2: Field of Honor Match – John Walters vs. Xavier

This is part of the other block. Xavier is 0-0 and Walters is 0-1. For some reason, both Lollipop and Allison Danger are at ringside. I have no recollection of this. Danger wants Xavier back in the Prophecy, but Xavier turns her down, officially leaving the Prophecy.

They take it right down to the mat. I know – I’m shocked too. They go back and forth, trading armdrags and such. By going hold for hold they show that they are evenly matched. Next they engage in a test of strength and that once again leads to a standoff. Walters gets a quick flurry in with a dropkick, some chops, and a hammerlock backbreaker for a two-count. He charges at Xavier in the corner and Xavier catches him and suplexes him to the floor. Xavier goes up top and hits a 450 body press to wipe Walters out. Back in the ring Xavier goes to work. Walters slips out of a suplex and get s a rolling prawn hold for a two-count. Xavier cuts Walters off with a knee to the gut, and then almost brains himself on an Arabian Press to the back. He follows up with a springboard knee drop, which is pretty cool. He locks on a Cobra Clutch and Walters breaks it. Xavier goes up top and Walters crotches him and then hits a super lungblower! Both men are down and when they recover they attack with fervor. Walters hits a Spear for a two-count. They do the fish out of water spot but obviously no three-counts are made. Walters reverses Kiss Your X Goodbye and hits a Hurricane DDT but Xavier kicks out! Xavier goes up top and hits a kind of Super Kiss Your X Goodbye but Walters gets his leg on the bottom rope to break the pin. Walters catches Xavier with a uranage backbreaker for a two-count. He goes for a German Suplex but Xavier distracts the referee long enough to hit a low blow. Xavier gets a rollup for the pin at 10:46. That was a pretty solid back and forth match and it kicked off an entertaining three-month feud culminating in a Fight Without Honor at Final Battle 2003. After the match Walters gets on the mic and chastises Xavier for using a low blow.
Rating: **½

MATCH #3: TJ Wilson vs. Teddy Hart

Wilson is of course better known these days as Tyson Kidd. Hart is better known as “that guy who is an idiot.” They take it to the mat and things quickly get heated. Lovey shows how important this match is by going over the Code of Honor as Hart controls Wilson’s arm. Wilson comes back with an armbar of his own. Hart breaks that and they trade punches, but Wilson wins that battle with a spin kick. Wilson continues on offense as Lovey and Punk talk about his match with Terry Funk and Raven’s match with Steve Corino that will happen later tonight. Hart comes back by going after the leg. Why should I pay attention to this match if Lovey and Punk aren’t even making an effort? Lovey says they need to get back to the match but goes right back to talking about Funk. Meanwhile Hart hits a DDT off the top rope. Hart goes up and finishes the match with a beautiful shooting star press at 7:42. That was sloppy and spotty and Lovey and Punk completely buried it.
Rating: *¼

MATCH #4: Raven’s Rules Match – Raven vs. Steve Corino

I hate Steve Corino from this era more than I hate the current day Corino. The match starts slowly and Corino scores first with a couple of shoulderblocks to keep Raven off guard. Raven comes back with four shoulderblocks of his own to send Corino to the floor. Back in the ring Raven tosses Corino right back to the floor. Raven chases after him but nothing happens and they get back in the ring. He throws Corino right back outside and whips him into the guardrails. Back in the ring Raven kicks Corino in the back and hits a vertical suplex for a two-count. Raven tries a charge in the corner but Corino gets his boot up and kicks him in the face. Now Corino is in control, working over Raven with his boring offense. He puts a chair in between the top and middle turnbuckle and whips Raven into it. After a few minutes Raven comes back with a superkick and they’re both down. Back on their feet Raven hits the discuss clothesline and the Raven Comeback. He hits the drop toehold onto a chair but Luscious comes in to break up the pinfall. She receives a spanking for her trouble and CM Punk is so agog that he leaves the broadcast booth to go to ringside. Meanwhile Corino locks Raven in the Cobra Sleeper but Raven is able to break out of it and hit the Raven Effect! Punk pulls the referee to the floor and Raven chases Punk. As soon as Raven gets back in the ring Corino decks Raven with a superkick to get the pin at 13:08. That was pretty much what you would expect from these two at this time. I’m not a big fan of either.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #5: Four Corner Survival – AJ Styles vs. Chris Sabin vs. Colt Cabana vs. Matt Stryker

Styles was the NWA World Champion at this time. He and Stryker start the match aggressively. This match will have big ramifications on the Top 5 Rankings. Stryker tags out to Sabin and the two TNA superstars take it down to the mat. Styles then tags out to Cabana, and he gets the quick advantage on Sabin. They go back and forth and Cabana knocks Sabin to the floor. Cabana teases a dive and then hits a double ax handle of the apron. Styles baseball slides Cabana down, and then Stryker hits Styles with a springboard cross body block for two. Sabin flies in from out of nowhere with a springboard spin kick on Stryker. Cabana gets back in the ring and tries a Frog Splash but he hits no one. All three try to cover Cabana but the only get two-counts. The action is getting fast and furious between Styles and Sabin. Styles levels Sabin with a dropkick to the face. Cabana tags in and goes to work on Sabin, and then tags Stryker back in. Stryker hits Sabin with a powerslam for two and then locks on a rear chinlock. Sabin comes back with a straightjacket suplex but can’t hold the bridge. Cabana tags back in and attacks Sabin’s neck. They go up top and Sabin is able to reverse the momentum and hit a super neckbreaker! Both men are down and when they get up they make tags. Styles is on fire but everyone else is keeping pace with him. Stryker comes back on Styles with a shoulderblock but Styles kips up into a rana. Styles tries a monkey flip but Stryker catches him in a suplex. Cabana tags in and works on Styles’ neck. Stryker comes in and sort of follows up on that strategy. He wanders too close to the corner and Sabin tags himself in. Sabin lifts Styles for a delayed vertical suplex for a two-count. Cabana tags back in and locks Styles in an abdominal stretch. Sabin comes in and grabs Cabana in a submission, and Stryker puts Sabin in one. That’s cute. Styles breaks free and superkicks Cabana, and then hits the flipping inverted DDT on both Stryker and Sabin simultaneously. He levels Stryker with the discuss clothesline. The referee has lost control as all four men are in the ring at the same time. Stryker hits Styles with a flip over German Suplex, and then hits Cabana with a Thesz Press and a quebrada for two. Sabin hits Cabana with a reverse rana. He goes for an Alabama Slam on Styles, but it gets reversed into a flying piledriver. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before or since. Sabin kicks out. Moments later Cabana hits Stryker with the Colt to get the pin at 18:55. That was a lot of action but they went on a little too long.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: Qualifying Match – Special K vs. The Carnage Crew

AJ Styles & Amazing Red were the previous tag team champions, but Red got injured so the titles had to be vacated. We’re starting out with a six-man tag team match, as Special K’s Hydro, Deranged, and Angeldust (accompanied by Becky Bayless) are taking on the Carnage Crew’s Loc, DeVito, and Justin Credible. The match starts out as a big brawl, which the Crew dominates of course, whether inside the ring or outside of it. Becky interferes from ringside, allowing Special K to take control. Punk says he’s going to start numbering the Special K kids. Anti-Semite. After several minutes of Special K offense, Credible hits a superkick out of nowhere on Deranged. Loc tags in and throws all three members of Special K around. The match once again turns into a big brawl, and Credible stops the referee from making a three-count at one point. Credible wants to deliver a super piledriver and a bunch of Special K members come out to interfere and they drop straps in the ring. The Crew picks up the straps and they get disqualified at 9:02. How the hell can Special K interfere right in front of the ref and not get disqualified but then the Carnage Crew get DQ’d for using straps? At least Lovey calls it questionable officiating, so kudos for acknowledging it.
Rating: *

MATCH #7: Gauntlet Series for the Vacant ROH Tag Team Championship

Special K drops down to Hydro and Deranged to take on the Briscoe Brothers. The action is incredibly fast paced from the beginning, and the Briscoes give Special K a lot of offense. Mark hits a springboard Ace Crusher on Hydro for two. Deranged breaks up the pin and hits Mark with a nasty looking Code Red for two. The Briscoes throw some suplexes, and then finish Hydro off with the Spiked Jay Driller at 2:48.

Next up is Dunn and Marcos, the Ring Crew Express. They cut their little promo and the Briscoes take immediate advantage before the bell even rings. Dunn & Marcos come back with an assisted Sliced Bread #2, and then they celebrate. Mark makes them pay with multiple head drop suplexes. Moments later the Briscoes hit Dunn with the Springboard Doomsday Device to eliminate them at 1:42.

Dixie and Izzy, the second team from Special K, are out to battle the brothers from Delaware. The Briscoes attack them right away and go to work on them. They hit Dixie with a springboard Decapitation Knee Drop. They don’t even go for a cover and just keep beating on Dixie. Lovey makes a disparaging comment about Lucy and Punk leaves the booth. Ray Murrow comes in to replace him. In the meantime Special K gains control and works on Mark. Other members of Special K interfere from the floor. Mark finally comes back with a spinning body press off the top rope and makes the tag. Jay is on fire, and Mark gets in on the action with a moonsault off the top rope. Cloudy pulls Jay to the floor and another one of them distracts the referee. Angeldust hits a blockbuster on an unawares Mark, and the referee turns around to count the pin at 5:25.

The Backseat Boyz come out and they are the final team in the gauntlet. They attack Special K right away with their fancy double-team moves. The Backseats hit the Dream Sequence and at the very end of it Izzy springboards into the ring right on top of Kashmere. Trent Acid and Izzy go back and forth, and Izzy hits a reverse rana for a two-count. They do more ridiculous moves and Special K goes for the T-Gimmick on Acid. Kashmere breaks it up and the Backseat Boyz hit the T-Gimmick to get the pin and win the vacant titles at 3:54.

Special K attacks the Backseat Boyz after the bell and tries to ruin their moment. The Briscoe brothers come out to make the save, and for some reason Teddy Hart comes out and hits an insane dive onto everyone on the floor. As far as the gauntlet, the Briscoes are the only team I care about at all in this thing, and the matches were all too short (except the first one, which sucked anyway) to really mean anything. ROH would go on to get much better tag teams after they started building the division around the Briscoe Brothers right after this.
Rating: *

MATCH #8: Alexis Laree vs. Hijinx

This starts out as Gary Michael Cappetta interviewing Alexis Laree, who has just signed her contract with WWE. She thanks ROH fans and stuff as the fans chant “please don’t go.” I’m sorry, but I don’t remember her doing ANYTHING memorable in Ring of Honor. Special K comes out to interrupt, and Joey Matthews makes the save. But it’s a swerve, as she kisses him and he responds with a clothesline! Matthews picks up a chair and Slugger comes out and makes the save for real. He’s followed by Julius Smokes and Benny Blanco. They take out Special K.

Then for some reason Smokes decides that Laree needs to wrestle Hijinx and he needs to be the referee. Laree dominates in the early going, hitting a headscissors and a sloppy rana for two. Hijinx avoids an enziguiri and drops an elbow to the back. He hits a backbreaker and goes for a spinning senton off the second rope but Laree moves. He gets up and tries a DDT but Laree slips out and hits an inverted DDT to get the pin at 1:16. No seriously, can someone remind me what she actually did in ROH?
Rating: DUD

MATCH #9: CM Punk vs. Terry Funk

Punk cuts his customary awesome promo before the match. They trade slaps before the bell and away we go. Funk gets the first advantage with an armdrag, and Punk rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Punk attacks while Fun is trying to get back in the ring. Funk comes back and goes after the arm. He hits a hangman’s neckbreaker and Punk once again rolls to the floor. Funk follows him out but once again Punk rolls back in the ring and takes advantage. Punk punches Funk to the floor and follows him out for more punches. He gets on the mic and announces that this is now a hardcore match. That announcement only serves to fire Funk up, and they trade shots on the floor now. Funk whips Punk into the guardrail and hits him with a chair. They fight on the timekeeper’s table and Punk hits Funk with a chair now. Back in the ring Punk continues throwing punches. Funk falls to the apron and Punk tries to suplex him back in, but Funk instead suplexes Punk through the timekeeper’s table. He then slams Punk’s head into the table repeatedly. Back in the ring Funk goes for the moonsault but Punk moves out of the way. That injures Funk’s knee and Punk attacks it like a shark smelling blood. Lovey is aghast that Punk would attack the knee, saying Punk should have more respect than that. Funk comes back with a Stunner out of nowhere. Punk attacks the knee with a spinning toehold and then a Figure Four Leglock. Funk rolls it over and they roll to the ropes. Punk grabs a chair and assaults Funk’s knee with it. He once again locks on the Figure-Four Leglock. Funk reaches the ropes again. Punk pulls him back out to the center of the ring and goes for it again but Funk punches his way out of it. Funk uses the spinning toehold but Punk counters it and once again locks on the Figure Four. Once again Funk reaches the ropes. Punk puts on the Figure Four again while Funk is still in the ropes and Punk will not break the hold so referee Paul Turner disqualifies him at 15:47.

Colt Cabana comes out and yells at Punk, but then HE puts Funk in the Figure Four Leglock. Raven finally comes out to make the save. Tommy Dreamer comes in from out of nowhere and forces Cabana back to the ring so that Raven can hit him with the Raven Effect. Funk then hits Cabana with a Stunner. You know, I love Terry Funk as much as the next guy, but he really had no business being in the ring by this point. The match was pretty dull and the finish sucked. If you’re going to put Punk over, put him over. If you’re not, don’t book the match.
Rating: *½

MATCH #10: ROH World Title Match – Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels

Joe has been the champion since 3.22.03 and this is his seventh defense. Daniels is accompanied by Allison Danger. The champ kicks Daniels straight in the face and almost gets a pinfall right off the bat. He kicks Daniels in the corner and then throws him into the opposite corner for a running forearm. Daniels ducks a clothesline and hits a couple of armdrags and a dropkick. Joe cuts him right off. He hits the Big Joe Combo, coming down on Daniels’s shoulder. Daniels comes back with a leg lariat and a Russian Legsweep. He follows up with an Arabian Press for a two-count. Joe fires back with a spinning back fist. He traps Daniels in the corner and hits the face wash. He nails a backbreaker and then locks on a Boston Crab, and then turns it into a Samoan Crab. Danger helps Daniels reach the ropes and she holds on as Joe drags Daniels back into the center of the ring. Joe tries to face wash Danger but Daniels shoulderblocks him to the floor. Daniels follows him out with an Arabian Press. He tries to hit the Ole Kick but Joe cuts him off and shows him how it’s done. Back in the ring Joe uses the rolling cradle to score a two-count. Daniels ducks a lariat and hits a release German Suplex. Both men get back to their feet and Joe hits a snap powerslam for two. Daniels blocks a kick and hits two enziguiris and a Flatliner. They get up and Daniels hits a Samoan Drop. How dare he! Daniels hits the uranage slam and lands the Best Moonsault Ever but Joe kicks out at two! Joe comes back with the STO for two. He hits a couple knees to the head and a lariat for another two-count. The champ looks winded. Daniels hits the Flatliner and locks on the Koji Clutch but Joe reaches the ropes. The challenger stays on the champion, hitting a Blue Thunder Driver for two. He sets Joe on the top rope for the Iconoclasm but Joe blocks it, so Daniels instead hits a super rana. Daniels hits the Angel’s Wings and the bell rings but Joe actually kicked out! The crowd is pissed. Daniels tries Last Rites but Joe reverses it to the Choke, and Daniels reaches the ropes! Joe is pissed and he hits an enziguiri and the Island Driver to retain the title at 15:01. That certainly blew away the rest of the card with a great story and fast paced action all the way through. They would go on to do better later on.
Rating: ***¾
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Survival of the Fittest 2007 (Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/03/a2z-analysiz-roh-survival-of-the-fittest-2007-chris-hero-claudio-castagnoli/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/03/a2z-analysiz-roh-survival-of-the-fittest-2007-chris-hero-claudio-castagnoli/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 14:00:12 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170691 SOTF07

For an easy to navigate archive of all of my Ring of Honor DVD reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada – Friday, October 19, 2007

Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Roderick Strong vs. Brent Albright

Strong is the current FIP World Heavyweight Champion, and he has been in all three prior Survival of the Fittest tournaments, winning it all in 2005. Albright is making his SOTF debut and he has Shane Hagadorn in his corner. They start off with some chain wrestling and Albright chases Strong to the floor. Back in the ring they continue with the aggressive chain wrestling, going back and forth on the mat. Albright targets the arm, which is not a bad strategy against a guy known for backbreakers. He keeps Strong on the defensive, using a variety of offense on the leader of the No Remorse Corps. Strong is able to fight back, and Albright is one of those guys like Jerry Lynn that thinks he can’t let someone just take hear on them without coming back all the time. At any rate, Strong hits an enziguiri and a falcon arrow for two. They’re trading moves and near-falls now, and Strong lands a gutbuster. Strong then rolls Albright up and grabs a handful of tights to score the pin at 8:59. This was just nine minutes of stuff with nothing tying it all together and an abrupt finish. Not much to see here.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #2: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Chris Hero vs. Karl Anderson

This is Anderson’s ROH debut, and both men are making their debut in the Survival of the Fittest tournament. They take it right to the mat. Hero stalls and does all his flippy-flip nonsense. Anderson fights back with hard strikes. He hits a powerslam and a knee drop for two. Hero responds with strikes and starts targeting the neck. Anderson fights back and hits the spinebuster but only gets two. He follows with a gourdbuster and a kick to the head for a two-count. Hero comes back with the Hero’s Welcome and then locks on the Hangman’s Clutch for the tap out win at 7:02. That was mainly an exhibition for Chris Hero, and that’s fine, but the match was not at all exciting due to the foregone conclusion aspect.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Rocky Romero vs. TJ Perkins

For some reason Perkins makes his entrance with a water bottle sticking out of his mouth. It looks weird. Both men are making their SOTF debuts. They start off at a fast pace and take it right to the mat. Strikes come into play early on as well, and Perkins is able to take the first real advantage. Eventually he misses a knee drop and Romero quickly goes on offense. Now it’s Romero keeping Perkins grounded and assaulting him with kicks. Romero uses an Octopus Hold to almost earn the tap out, but Perkins fights on. The cocky Romero shows no signs of concern. Perkins fights back with a nice neckbreaker and both men are down. Back on their feet Perkins lands some kicks and a leg cradle Falcon Arrow for a near-fall. Perkins slams Romero and goes up top but Romero avoids the strike. A series of reversals ends with Romero destroying Perkins with knockout kicks to get the pin at 6:28. That was brief but they certainly packed a lot of action into that short time. I would have enjoyed to see more.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #4: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Austin Aries vs. Delirious

This is the fourth time Aries has been in Survival of the Fittest, and he has gone to the finals all three times and been the last man eliminated twice. Delirious debuted in the tournament last year and went on to win it all, last defeating Matt Sydal. So there is some impressive pedigree on display here. Delirious does his usual right from the start, and Aries counters that with a side headlock and a shoulderblock. The pace stays fast, and Aries targets the arm. Delirious fights back and things get heated pretty quickly. They trade control back and forth, as both men have a lot to prove in getting back to the finals. Both men utilize their signature moves but both men continue to fight back. Delirious pulls out a Cobra Clutch Suplex with a nasty landing but Aries kicks out at two. Now Delirious puts on the Cobra Stretch but Aries escapes and hits the kick to the head, Brainbuster, and Last Chancery combination. Delirious is forced to tap out and send Aries to the finals at 12.16. In some cases these move-move-move matches irritate me, but I read it as wanting to show both guys on the same level, and they had similar motivations for getting back to the finals so this worked for me.
Rating: ***

MATCH #5: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Claudio Castagnoli vs. Davey Richards

These two start off hot, trying to end the match quickly. Castagnoli executes the Giant Swing, and I admit that I had to stop myself from typing Cesaro there. Richards comes back and goes to work on the left leg, softening up the lanky Castagnoli. It doesn’t take long for Castagnoli to fight back and fire up the crowd with some of his signature spots. Castagnoli goes for the Riccola Bomb but Richards counters with a rana. Richards goes back to the leg and locks on a Stretch Muffler. Castagnoli fights out and executes the Alpamare Water Slide for a near-fall. He puts Richards on the top rope but Richards is able to score a sunset bomb and a running kick for a two-count. Castagnoli looks a little messed up here, so Richards kicks him in the head again. I think Castagnoli realizes he’s in trouble so he digs down and blasts Richards with a European Uppercut, and then plants him with the Riccola Bomb to get the pin at 8:04. This was another match a bit on the short side, but I love how the finish played out, with Castagnoli realizing he was in danger and pulled through to hit his big finish and get the win. Good stuff.
Rating: ***

MATCH #6: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness

This is McGuinness’ first match since becoming ROH World Champion, but the title is not on the line here. These two have wrestled each other many times, so there is a definite familiarity there. They take it down to the mat and exchange holds, both men trying to establish dominance and set the pace. McGuinness goes after the arm and Danielson goes after the leg in the early going. We cross the 10-minute mark and they have been trading control back and forth, battling on the mat. No one else in Ring of Honor can have the kind of unique mat battles that these two have and it’s a lot of fun to watch. They finally start throwing out some strikes as the time limit starts to become a factor. Both men are worn down but they refuse to quit fighting. McGuinness busts out the Tower of London, which Danielson counters, but McGuinness re-counters to the Divorce Court for a two-count. The Champ goes for the Jawbreaker Lariat but Danielson dropkicks him low and puts on a half crab. McGuinness reaches the ropes. Danielson hits a suplex and then goes up top for the diving headbutt and hits nothing but boot. The pace quickens and both men are pulling out the big guns now. Time is running out as Danielson brings McGuinness to the top rope McGuinness sets up for the Tower of London but the time limit expires at 20:00. Both men are eliminated from the tournament now. I love watching these two wrestle, as they can make a 32-year old lifelong wrestling fan who has a pretty good understanding of how the business works believe that they are really battling each other in there. Both men came into this match with a well-defined strategy and they stuck to it, and both guys’ selling was spot-on throughout the match. The time limit draw is fine here, as it wasn’t the main event and it helps to build to a title match between these two down the road.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #7: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Three Way Match – Shane Hagadorn vs. Human Tornado vs. Tony Kozina

This is a last-minute qualifying match so that there won’t be a weird five-way finals again. You know what’s interesting about Tony Kozina? Nothing. Everyone in this match is wearing red gear. Things start off fast, with everyone trying to grab that last available spot in the finals. Tornado is quite over with the crowd and he gets them going with his unique offense. Hagadorn takes himself out of play by running into the steel ring post, and Tornado catches Kozina with a half nelson suplex to get the pin at 3:28. Not much they could do with three minutes and 28 seconds, but Tornado kept it pretty fun while it lasted.
Rating: *½

MATCH #8: Street Fight – The Briscoes vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Necro Butcher

The Briscoes are the ROH World Tag Team Champions but the titles are not on the line here. No one wastes any time in getting this brawl going. The fight immediately spills to the floor and into the crowd. They battle all over the building, and make their way up to the staging area, where Necro is able to Chokeslam Mark off and through a table. Eventually Necro and Jacobs take Jay back to the ring and continue to double-team him while Mark recovers from taking that Chokeslam. Necro finds some chairs and things do not look good for the Briscoes. He hits the Chair Slam for a two-count, and then the Tiger Driver on the chair for another near-fall. Mark crawls his way back to ringside but has a hard time getting back to the ring. Jay gets a second wind and attacks, sending Necro to the floor. Mark is back and hits Jacobs with a chair. Necro responds by hitting Jay with a chair. That leaves Mark and Necro to duke it out, and Mark wins that battle. Mark is all fired up with his Redneck Kung Fu, but Necro and Jacobs are able to fight back. Jacobs and Necro set up a chair and try to slam Jay through it, but Jay hits Jacobs with a Stunner and then slams Necro off the top rope right on top of said chair. The Briscoes then drop Necro on the chair right on his head, and Jacobs has to break up the pin cover. Jay and Mark continue to dominate, using chairs and double-teams but they are not able to score a win. Necro takes Jay out and holds him back as Jacobs hits Mark with a DDT on a steel chair. Jacobs locks in the End Time for the win at 12:43. That was a good brawl and it had definite reason to exist given the blood feud between these two teams. It made much more sense than just having a regular match. Jacobs and Necro also went over clean so that’s a good bridge to a title shot.
Rating: ***

MATCH #9: Survival of the Fittest 2007 Final Six Way Elimination Match – Roderick Strong vs. Chris Hero vs. Rocky Romero vs. Austin Aries vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Human Tornado

Aries and Romero start the match, and Strong attacks from behind to give the No Remorse Corps team an early advantage. Meanwhile, Hero is working out up by the entrance to avoid Claudio, his hated rival. Aries knocks Strong and Romero to the floor and wipes them out with the Heat Seeking Missile. Claudio then traps Hero in the ring and goes to work on him. Hero bails and tags in the Tornado, who dumps Claudio to the floor and then wipes everyone out with a dive. Hero gets in the ring and hits a celebrating Tornado with an inverted suplex and the Hero’s Welcome to score the first elimination at 3:59. Claudio and Strong battle each other now. Aries works with Claudio as a way to counter Strong and Romero working as a unit. The makeshift duo isolates Romero for a bit until Romero is able to avoid a brainbuster and tag Strong. Hero is back up by the entrance, sitting in a chair watching the match. Aries is able to survive long enough to tag Claudio, who shows No Remorse to Romero and Strong. Claudio and Strong fight up the ramp while Aries and Romero go back and forth in the ring. Hero hides up by ringside now. Aries hits Romero with the Brainbuster and then hits the 450 Splash. Hero blind tags himself in and grabs Aries off the cover and powerbombs him onto Romero for the second elimination at 13:33. Aries and Strong battle in the ring now after Hero bails again. Hero makes another blind tag, this one on Strong, and is able to roll Aries up for another elimination at 15:38. Sweeney pays off Strong to work with Hero, and they go to work on Claudio. Strong hits Claudio with the Gibson Driver and Hero double-crosses Strong, hitting the Hero’s Welcome to eliminate his fourth opponent at 19:49. Hero then takes the money back from Strong and hands it to Sweeney.

It’s all Hero as he tries to become the first man to eliminate everyone in a Survival of the Fittest match. Claudio tries the Riccola Bomb but Hero reverses it and hits a big boot to the face for two. Momentum continues to shift as both men know each other’s moves from their history together as a tag team. Claudio goes for the Alpamare Water Slide but Hero avoids it and hits a rolling elbow and a cravat suplex for two. The pendulum shifts again as Claudio hits a Bicycle Kick and the German Suplex for a near-fall. Claudio goes for the Riccola Bomb but Hero lands on his feet and hits a forearm strike and the Hero’s Welcome but Claudio kicks out again! Hero puts on the Hangman’s Clutch and Claudio makes it to the ropes. Claudio comes back and hits the Riccola Bomb but Hero kicks out of that! He runs right into a boot, and then Hero hits a cravat neckbreaker off the second rope. Hero goes up and hits a double stomp and then locks on the Hangman’s Clutch again. Claudio passes out at 27:40. So far this has really been the only Survival of the Fittest match to try something a little different, and it actually worked really well and turned out to be pretty memorable.
Rating: ***¾

BONUS MATCH: Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black vs. Mitch Franklin & Ernie Osiris, Honor Nation, 10.5.07

This match is on the 10/12/07 edition of the Video Wire. Jacobs and Black attack right away and destroy the students. All four men are in the ring at the same time and the referee has no control. Osiris gets dumped to the floor and Black follows him out, while Jacobs continues to abuse Franklin in the ring. Black sets Osiris on a chair and Jacobs wipes him out with a dive. Franklin tries a dive to the floor but Black catches him and hits a vicious Buckle Bomb into the barricade. Back in the ring Jacobs puts Osiris in the End Time and Black hits Franklin with the God’s Last Gift to get the pin at 1:50. That was a nice, effective squash for Jacobs and Black.
Rating: ½*
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A2Z Analysiz: WWE Survivor Series 1989 (Ultimate Warrior, Andre the Giant) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/02/a2z-analysiz-wwe-survivor-series-1989-ultimate-warrior-andre-the-giant-3/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/02/a2z-analysiz-wwe-survivor-series-1989-ultimate-warrior-andre-the-giant-3/#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 20:00:00 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168952 sur ser 87-91

For an easy to navigate archive of my many WWE DVD reviews, please visit World Wrestling Reviews.

The Horizon – Rosemont, Illinois – November 23, 1989

Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura are on commentary. This is the first year with team names, and they’re down to four-on-four rather than five-on-five.

MATCH #1: Survivor Series Elimination Match –The Enforcers (Big Boss Man, Bad News Brown, Rick Martel & Honky Tonk Man) vs. The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, Tito Santana & the Red Rooster)

Jimmy Hart and Slick are accompanying the Enforcers. Santana and Honky start the match with some chain wrestling. Martel tags in and takes advantage of his former Tag Team Championship partner. That doesn’t last too long before the teams come to a face-off and the referee has to restore order. The Enforcers isolate on Beefcake in their half of the ring. The Rooster gets much of the same treatment. Martel and Santana end up back in the ring together and Santana gets an O’Connor Roll but Martel rolls it over and holds the tights for the first elimination at 9:17. The yet-unnamed Sapphire is watching on from ringside. The Dream Team tries to apply the pressure but the numbers game soon takes over and the Boss Man uses his size advantage. Brown unwillingly gets tagged in but he makes the most of it. He works over Rooster for a bit until Boss Man accidentally slugs him and the Enforcers are exploding! Much like last year, Brown takes a walk and gets counted out at 15:27. The odds are once again even. Honky and Beefcake go back and forth and Beefcake hits a High Knee to eliminate him at 17:25. Martel comes in and keeps Beefcake on the mat. Beefcake gets kicked to the ring apron but he’s able to come back in the ring with a sunset flip to eliminate Martel at 20:14! Boss Man is at quite the disadvantage now. Rooster tags in and runs right into a Boss Man Slam and he’s gone at 20:59. Rhodes and Beefcake make quick tags and Rhodes is able to hit a cross body block to pin Boss Man and get the win at 22:02. Boss Man immediately gets his nightstick out and handcuffs Rhodes to the ropes and beats him until Beefcake gets his hedge clippers and runs them off. That was a serviceable opener with enough going on to get the crowd amped up.
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The King’s Court (Randy Savage, Greg Valentine, Dino Bravo, & Earthquake) vs. The 4×4’s (Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Bret Hart, Ronnie Garvin & Hercules

Earthquake is a replacement for Barry Windham. Duggan’s team all carry 2×4’s to the ring with them. It’s incredibly sad to note that half of the participants in this match are no longer with us. Two of them, Hercules and Savage, start the match. Valentine quickly tags in and the 4×4’s go to work on him and make quick tags to keep a fresh man in the ring at all times. Bravo is the next target of the babyface team, but he’s able to withstand Hercules’s attacks and reverses a whip into the corner. Earthquake gets tagged in and hits the Earthquake Splash to score the first elimination at 3:58. Valentine and Garvin go back and forth, as their issue had been simmering for a few months now. They trade hard chops and Duggan gets a blind tag and surprises Valentine with a clothesline to eliminate him at 7:32. Garvin comes back in and executes the Garvin Stomp on Bravo, but he can’t lock in the Sharpshooter. Incidentally, the Hitman quickly tags in after that, and Savage wants no part of him. Garvin tags back in and Bravo is able to catch him with the Side Suplex to get the pin at 11:19. Savage comes in and Hart and Duggan cleverly double-team him. The tide turns back to the King’s Court as they isolate on Hart. Savage lands the Macho Elbow to eliminate the Hitman at 19:07. That puts Duggan at a severe three-on-one disadvantage. He actually fares pretty well for himself, throwing everyone into Earthquake and clearing the ring! The King’s Court pretty much comes back in to triple-team Duggan. Earthquake hits a bodyslam and the big elbow drop for a two-count. Duggan fights back on Savage and goes to bounce off the ropes but Sherri pulls the top rope down and he crashes to the floor. Earthquake makes sure he stays down and gets counted out, giving himself, Bravo, and Savage the win at 23:24. I don’t understand why they couldn’t have just pinned Duggan, but odd finish aside there was a lot of fun to be had in this one, particularly when Savage and Hart were in the ring together.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #3: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Million Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase, Powers of Pain & Zeus) vs. The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts & Demolition)

Demolition is the current World Tag Team Champions. Hogan and Zeus start the match and the crowd is juiced to see it. The epic confrontation doesn’t go Hogan’s way, as Zeus no-sells all of his offense and goes after the neck. Zeus chokes Hogan in the middle of the ring and the referee can’t break the hold so Zeus is disqualified at 3:22. DiBiase wisely takes advantage of a weakened Hogan, continuing the work on the neck. Hogan is able to get a boot up in the corner and makes the tag to Roberts, who is a house afire. Roberts clotheslines DiBiase to the floor and follows him out. Demolition gets their licks in as well, giving Hogan time to recover. The Hulkamaniacs are clicking now. Ventura calls bias from the referee, noting how quickly Zeus was disqualified, and Monsoon gets the line of the night in by noting “You can’t put your hands on the referee, I don’t care whether you got a Z on the side of your head or not, that’s not legal.” DiBiase makes the comeback on Ax, and the Powers of Pain wear him down. Fuji trips Ax from the floor and Warlord drops the elbow to eliminate him at 9:52. Smash comes in and immediately goes to work. The Powers of Pain and DiBiase come back and isolate on Smash. DiBiase makes a blind tag to Barbarian just as Smash is making a comeback and Barbarian lands a huge clothesline off the top rope to eliminate Smash at 13:43. That leaves Hogan and Roberts at a three-on-two disadvantage. Roberts gets absolutely dominated by the Million Dollar Team, isolated far away from Hogan. Eventually Barbarian misses a flying headbutt and the hot tag is made! Hogan unloads on all three opponents, clearing the ring. The Powers of Pain double-team Hogan in the ring while Roberts and DiBiase battle outside the ring. Warlord and Barbarian deliver a spiked piledriver and the referee disqualifies both of them at 19:42! Ventura is furious with that decision. DiBiase tries to take Hogan out with a Million Dollar Dream and Roberts has to break up the hold before Hogan’s hand falls for the third time. When DiBiase locks it on again Hogan is able to break free and make the tag to Roberts, who goes right to work on the neck. Roberts hits the short-arm clothesline and Virgil jumps up on the ring apron and takes a DDT for his trouble! With Roberts prone, DiBiase hits a fist drop and puts his feet on the ropes for leverage to eliminate Roberts at 23:51. DiBiase still has the advantage though due to how worn down Hogan is. Hogan fights back and the both clothesline each other. Back on their feet DiBiase hits a back suplex but Hogan no-sells it. Hogan unloads with punches, the Big Boot, and the Legdrop to get the pin at 27:31. That was actually a bit on the long and dull side, and three disqualifications in one match seemed like a little bit much.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #4: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Rude Brood (Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect & the Rougeau Brothers) vs. Roddy’s Rowdies (Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka & the Bushwhackers)

Before the match, Ventura notes that there has been some extreme tension in the Heenan Family locker room, and then Heenan is not in Rude’s corner for this important match. Perfect and Luke start the match, but as is normally the case with these early Survivor Series matches, everyone gets a chance to show off in the opening minutes. Superfly shines the brightest though, hitting Jacques with the Superfly Splash to score the first elimination at 4:02. The Rude Brood is having trouble getting on track here. The dominance by Piper’s team continues, as the team captain himself is able to pin Raymond after a piledriver at 7:39. Even with the four-on-two disadvantage, Perfect perseveres and traps Butch in an O’Connor Roll to eliminate him at 10:45. Rude gets a timely tag and drills Luke with the Rude Awakening to even the odds at 12:15. It’s a regular tag team match now, and after a series of exchanges by Perfect and Snuka, both men make tags and the captains tear into each other. Piper and Rude tumble to the floor and both get counted out at 18:35. Perfect and Snuka have a nice exchange now, with Perfect trying to win with wrestling holds and Snuka countering with strikes. Snuka makes a rookie mistake by dropping his head, allowing Perfect hits the Perfect-Plex to get the win at 21:27. That was solid all the way through and I like the final exchange between Perfect and Snuka a lot.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #5: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Heenan Family (Andre the Giant, Haku, Arn Anderson & Bobby Heenan) vs. The Ultimate Warriors (Ultimate Warrior, Jim Neidhart & the Rockers)

Warrior is the current Intercontinental Champion. Tully Blanchard is nowhere to be found, and it looks like Heenan is replacing him himself. The brawl starts before the Warrior even makes his way out, and when he finally does Warrior is sprinting towards the ring! Warrior immediately clotheslines Andre to the floor and the Giant gets counted out at 0:28! That gives the Warriors a distinct advantage, but even so Haku is able to catch Neidhart with a thrust kick to the back of the head to eliminate him at 3:31. Haku and Anderson battle the Rockers and pretty much keep Heenan out of the action. Warrior gets his shots in on Haku and then tags Jannetty back in. Heenan tags in for about 1.3 seconds, and then Anderson drills Jannetty with a knee to the back from the apron. Haku then delivers a thrust kick for a two-count. Heenan tags in and delivers some kicks and a big knee drop, and then pins Jannetty with a handful of tights to give his team the advantage at 8:50. Warrior and Michaels work well as a team though, and Michaels is able to catch Haku with a high cross body off the top rope to eliminate him and even the odds at 12:52. Anderson is more-or-less on his own at this point. He lands a hard Spinebuster to eliminate Michaels at 15:39. Warrior is technically in a handicap match but it matters not. He hits the Gorilla Press Slam and the Splash to the Back to eliminate Double A at 18:18. Warrior beats Heenan unmerciful, and won’t let Heenan run away back to the locker room. Back in the ring Warrior hits a flying tackle and big splash to get the win at 20:28. I’m not sure why this was the main event rather than the Hulkamaniacs versus the Million Dollar Team, but people like seeing Heenan get beaten up so there’s that. Otherwise though, this match wasn’t much.
Rating: **
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor (Christopher Daniels, Doug Williams) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/02/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-christopher-daniels-doug-williams-5/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/02/a2z-analysiz-roh-glory-by-honor-christopher-daniels-doug-williams-5/#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 17:00:43 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170383 GBH1

For an easy to navigate archive of my many ROH reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Murphy Recreation Center – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Saturday, October 5, 2002

Jeff Gorman and Chris Lovey are the hosts tonight.

MATCH #1: Tag Team Scramble – Divine Storm vs. Homicide The SAT vs. Special K

Izzy and Dixie are representing Special K tonight, with Elax in their corner. Divine Storm is Chris Divine and Quiet Storm, and the SAT is the brothers Joel and Jose Maximo. Homicide is Homicide. He’s wrestling solo tonight because at Unscripted last month the Carnage Crew injured his Natural Born Sinner partner Boogalou. Everyone goes after Special K and Divine bodyslams Elax to keep him down for a Trinity moonsault. Trinity then carries Elax to the back to make this a fair match.

Izzy and Joel start the match proper and I don’t expect it will remain one-on-one for very long. They have a nice little back and forth and then Jose and Storm tag in. These two engage in a very contrived looking sequence and tumble to the floor. Homicide and Divine take their places in the ring. The match breaks down and the SAT traps Dixie in the Taffy Machine. Everyone ends up on the floor, and Izzy and Joel are the first to get back in the ring. They stand up on the top rope and Joel clotheslines Izzy down to the mat. That’s actually a pretty cool spot. Joel hits the Maximo Explosion for at two-count. Dixie comes in with a floating DDT. Joel rolls to the floor and Divine rolls in. Homicide and Storm battle next, and then Homicide hits the Tope Con Hilo onto a bunch of guys on the floor. Storm hits the next dive, followed by Dixie. Everybody gets back in the ring for a super duper (and dangerous) Tower of Doom spot. Moments later Divine hits Dixie with a dragon superplex. More spots happen and we’re left with Izzy and Homicide in the ring. Izzy misses a moonsault and Homicide hits him with an Alabama Slam. Homicide follows up with the Cop Killa and then locks Dixie in the STF for the win at 13:53. Scrambles were fun and different at the time but they’re not the kind of match that ages well.
Rating: *¼

The Backseat Boyz come into the ring from out of nowhere to a loud “CZW” chant. Trent Acid gets on the mic to announce that ROH and CZW are going to be working together. He proclaims the Backseats the best tag team in the world. He challenges Homicide to a tag team match since he just won that scramble. Homicide agrees and asks for a partner from the locker room, and Steve Corino answers the call.

MATCH #2: Homicide & Steve Corino vs. The Backseat Boyz

The Code of Honor is followed in this interpromotional match. Corino and Homicide take cheap shots to start the match and it turns into a brawl between all four men. Homicide hits Acid with a Super Ace Crusher to send him to the floor, leaving Corino and Johnny Kashmere in the ring. Kashmere hits a couple of satellite headscissors on Corino, and then Acid joins him for some double-team moves on the King of Old School. Outside the ring Homicide drop toeholds Acid into a chair and then kicks the chair back into his head. Meanwhile back in the ring Corino hits a suplex. Homicide hits Acid with a Tope Con Hilo. Kashmere looks to go for a dive but Corino cuts him off with a superkick and a Northern Lights Bomb for a two-count. Corino hits Acid with the face wash. Kashmere comes back with a Spear on Corino, and then one for Homicide as well. Corino locks Kashmere in the Cobra Clutch. Acid breaks it up with a Yakuza Kick for a two-count. Homicide goes for the Cop Killa on Acid, but it gets blocked to a Blue Thunder Driver. I think it’s funny how Lovey keeps saying this may be the only time we get to see Ring of Honor versus CZW. The Backseats bit Corino with the Dream Sequences and Homicide breaks up the pin. Acid goes up top and Corino takes him down with a super fisherman buster and Homicide follows with a Superfly Splash. Homicide covers but Corino pushes him off and goes for the cover himself but Kashmere breaks it up. Then Homicide accidentally hits Corino and then goes for a Cop Killa. Corino doesn’t take kindly to getting hit and nails Homicide with a superkick. The Backseats then hit Homicide with the T-Gimmick to get the pin at 6:44. That was all just brawling with no tags or any real story. It did kick off the Homicide versus Corino feud that would carry on to 2006 though.
Rating: *½

MATCH #3: Joey Matthews, Christian York & Alexis Laree vs. The Christopher Street Connection & Allison Danger

The CSC is made of up Buff E and Mace. They’re accompanied by the Japanese Pool Boy. The match starts with a triple goose. That of course sets off a big brawl, with Matthews, York and Laree taking control. Pool Boy interferes from the floor to give the CSC the advantage. Buff E and Mace work Matthews over in their half of the ring. After several minutes of abuse Matthews makes the tag to his girlfriend Laree and she fights both Buff E and Mace off with some awkward offense while Lovey fawns all over her. Matthews goes to the top rope and Pool Boy shoves him to the floor. Danger takes some cheap shots on Laree and then runs from her. Buff E and Mace hit Laree with the Gay Basher and Danger gets the cover for the victory at 4:48. The CSC leaves Japanese Pool Boy to get beaten up by Matthews and York. They did as much as they could for five minutes.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #4: Tony Mamaluke vs. James Maritato

This match is for the rights to the FBI gimmick. I hate wrestling angles that acknowledge they’re just doing gimmicks. Mamaluke attacks Maritato when his back is turned. They take it down to the mat and exchange holds and counters. Maritato is wrestling with his t-shirt on for some reason. The mat wrestling continues, with Mamaluke focusing on the knee and Maritato going after the arm. Mamaluke hits a double-arm DDT and rolls it into a front chancery. Maritato fights his way out and hits the Sicilian Slice for a two-count. He goes up again and hits a missile dropkick for another two-count. He tries the Kiss of Death and they blow it but Lovey covers up for him. It still gets a two-count. They go back up top and Mamaluke is able to hit a superplex and lock Maritato in the Front Chancery for the win at 8:30. I’m not a big fan of either guy, but at least they went for a different style by wrestling almost the entire match on the mat. Maritato would be with WWE before the end of the year.
Rating: **

MATCH #5: Ikuto Hidaka vs. Amazing Red

Both men get plenty of support from the crowd. They wrestle to a standoff, both men showing off their athleticism early on. Hidaka gets the first shot in with a dropkick to the back of the head. Lovey says that the team of Hidaka and Dick Togo will be back with ROH sometime in 2003, but he’s a liar! Meanwhile Hidaka and Red trade chops and then take the battle to the floor for some more chops. They agree to get back in the ring out of respect, and the crowd courtesy pops. They wrestle to a standoff once again, showing how evenly matched they are. Red hits a swinging DDT and Hidaka slides to the floor. He tries a slingshot dive but Hidaka dropkicks him out of the air. Back in the ring Hidaka takes control. Red tries to fight back but Hidaka cuts him right off with a DDT. Hidaka goes to the apron and tries a slingshot but Red kicks him to the floor. Red goes for a suicide dive to the floor and he barely makes contact, hitting the guardrail instead. Hidaka sells it anyway. Back in the ring Red locks on a Cross Armbreaker and Hidaka reaches the ropes. Red misses the Red Star Press but connects on a roundhouse kick. He charges into the corner but Hidaka avoids him and throws him up into the air for a dropkick. Red tries another DDT but Hidaka counters with a “falling spinning legbreaker.” Hidaka hits the knee with a springboard missile dropkick and a German Suplex, floating over into a leg lock. Red reaches the ropes and then hits an enziguiri. They do the fish out of water spot and of course no one gets a pin. They up the ante for an even more impressive series of reversals but still no one gets the pin. They each clothesline each other and both men are down. Back on their feet Hidaka catches Red with an Ace Crusher for two. Red comes back with a 718 to the midsection and hits a sunset bomb for two. He goes up top and hits the Infrared and the Red Star Press to get the win at 13:42. A close-up shows that Red really nailed Hidaka in the face with the Infrared. That’s a fun match and a definite product of its time.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #6: ETW Television Title Match – Fast Eddie vs. Don Juan

They start with some basic chain wrestling, with champion Eddie taking control. Juan avoids a charge in the corner as Lovey tells us that Eddie is legally blind! Anyway Juan drops Eddie’s neck on his knee from the second rope for a two-count. Eddie comes back with a release German Suplex for two. Juan fights back with a sloppy satellite headscissors and a hard forearm knockdown. He charges but Eddie moves and Juan crashes to the floor. Eddie follows him out with an Asai (which Lovey can’t pronounce) Moonsault. Back in the ring Eddie tries a springboard but Juan knocks him down on the top rope and hits an Ace Crusher for two. Juan goes up top and Eddie knocks him out with a flip knee to the face. Eddie then hits the Super Fallaway Slam to retain the title at 3:23. They drove 26 hours one way to wrestle three minutes? Michael Shane and Biohazard come out to destroy Juan and Eddie. The match was fine for the time it got I guess.
Rating: *½

Steve Corino comes out to taunt Rudy Boy. I don’t remember the exact origins of this feud, but I just know I do not want to see Rudy Boy wrestle. Rudy Boy hits Corino with the microphone to unofficially start the match.

MATCH #7: Texas Death Match – Steve Corino vs. Rudy Boy Gonzalez

Despite my wishes, here we go. Rudy Boy takes the early control due to the microphone shot that busted Corino open. He hits a superkick to get an early pin but Corino has until 10 to get back to his feet. Of course Corino gets back up and they take it to the floor. Corino takes the advantage and slams a chair across Rudy Boy’s back. They make it back to the ring and Corino continues the beat-down. Then they go back to the floor for more brawling. They go back in the ring and this match goes on. Corino locks Rudy Boy in a Cobra Sleeper to knock him out. The bell rings but the match isn’t over until there’s a 10-count. Speaking of that 10-count, there it is at 8:05. That wasn’t the slightest bit interesting or exciting.
Rating: ¼*

Corino offers a handshake but Rudy Boy refuses, so Corino, Shane, and Biohazard beat him down some more. Paul London comes out with a ladder to make the save. The Group leaves but London runs up the ladder and dives onto all of them, looking like he took a nasty bump on the guardrail.

MATCH #8: Fight Without Honor – Samoa Joe vs. Low Ki

This is Joe’s ROH debut and a bit of a legendary match in Ring of Honor. It’s also the first Fight Without Honor. Joe is the hired assassin of Christopher Daniels and the Prophecy here, and Ki is coming off dropping the ROH Title to Xavier on the last show. Both men are cautious early on, going for some light strikes. They take it down to the mat and continue striking each other. The camera man is right there on top of the action. Joe goes after Ki’s ankle, locking on a half crab variation. Ki tries to chop his way out of a hold and Joe looks annoyed so he slaps him. They get back to their feet and trade strikes. Joe hits several big kicks to the chest to take Ki down. He misses a big boot in the corner and Ki unloads on him, landing a roundhouse kick to the head. Ki hits the Koppo Kick for a one-count. He hits Joe with some more strikes and Joe absorbs them and comes back with a big lariat. Joe hits some kicks to the chest and a vertical suplex for a one-count. He locks on a Cross Armbreaker and then rolls it over into a Crossface. Ki powers up but Joe cuts him off with chops and an enziguiri. Joe hits a German Suplex and hangs on, going for a Dragon Suplex. Ki breaks out of that and locks on an arm submission I don’t know the name for. Joe slips out but he’s hurt, and Ki capitalizes with chops and kicks. Ki drops Joe with an enziguiri for a two-count. He continues to strike at Joe, who comes back with slaps to the face. Ki responds in kind and then hits another enziguiri to knock Joe down. These guys are crazy. Joe whips Ki into the corner and hits a Drive By, and then the Face Wash. He hits the powerbomb for two and then rolls it into the STF, which he turns into a Crossface. Ki reverses it to a Cross Armbreaker and Joe gets the ropes. He locks on another submission hold, which Joe strikes his way out of. Ki hits a Back Drop Driver, dropping Joe right on his head for a two-count. He goes for the Dragon Clutch but Joe powers his way out of it and hits a Death Valley Driver! Joe hits an Island Driver for a two-count when Ki gets his foot on the ropes. Ki blocks a headbutt and kicks Joe in the back of the head. He snap mares Joe down and kicks him across the back. Joe just gets angry and gets back up to slap Ki in the face. He returns the favor, and Ki rises. They take off the wrist tape and pull down their knee pads. They knock the crap out of each other and Joe wins the battle with a lariat. Ki responds with Kawada Kicks and knee strikes. He lands a couple of elbows to the back of the head and finally Joe is down for the pin at 16:27. That match was a huge deal at the time because it was so different from anything that we were seeing on TV. It’s still fun to watch today, and it really bums me out that ROH never pulled the trigger on a one-on-one rematch, especially when Joe was the champion.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #9: Prince Nana vs. Elax

I think it was wise to let the crowd cool down after that last match. Nana dominates, squashing Elax in the corner and then hitting the flying ass. He hits a senton and then loads up his crown for a headbutt. He finishes up with a double underhook DDT for the win at 0:57.
Rating: DUD

After the match Dunn & Marcos come out to talk about how they’re the best team in Ring of Honor, and a large, mysterious man comes out of the crowd and decimates the Ring Crew Express.

MATCH #10: Insane Clown Posse vs. The Outcast Killaz

The crowd is not particularly pleased to see Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope in a Ring of Honor ring. I forget which one is which. Despite the crowd’s hatred, one of the clowns hits one of the Killaz with a DDT and a guillotine legdrop to get the pin at 0:44. What the point of that was, I do not know.
Rating: DUD

MATCH #11: Xavier vs. Jay Briscoe

Xavier is the ROH Champion, but the title is not on the line here. Simply Luscious handles the introduction for the champion. They take it down to the mat and trade holds. It’s funny to watch Jay wrestle such a technical style. Jay focuses on the arm and keeps the champion a bit off guard. He hits a back elbow, a double stomp, and a senton. He lands a big boot to the face for a two-count. Xavier fights back with a solid clothesline. Now the champion is firmly in control, hitting a belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count. He hits a superkick for another two-count. A Torture Rack Samoan Drop gets another two-count, and then he chokes Jay. Moments later Jay fights back with a hard Death Valley Driver. Jay clotheslines Xavier to the floor and tries to follow him out with a leap off the top rope, but Xavier moves and Jay crashes into the guardrail. Xavier whips him into the guardrails and then rolls him back in the ring. He sets Jay on the top rope and hits an inverted DDT for a two-count. Moments later Jay fights back with a German Suplex with a bridge for a two-count. Both men are down now. They rise to their feet and trade chops and forearms. Jay takes the advantage and hits a seated gourdbuster. He goes up top for a guillotine legdrop but it only gets two. Then he goes for the Jay Driller but Xavier blocks it and locks on a Cobra Clutch and turns it into a suplex but Jay kicks out! The match is clipped to Jay trying a Jay Driller but Xavier reverses it to a powerbomb. When Xavier tries another powerbomb Jay reverses it to the Jay Driller to get the important victory at 13:20. Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe come out and punish Jay Briscoe for his victory. The match was okay but Xavier didn’t have much of a personality and neither did Jay at this point. Low Ki and Doug Williams come out to make the save.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #12: Falls Count Anywhere Match – Da Hit Squad vs. The Carnage Crew

This would be a pretty tough battle to pick my least favorite guy amongst these four. I think Monsta Mack is the last outwardly obnoxious. The match, such as it is, is lots of brawling and head drops in the early going. I love hearing Lovey try to justify this garbage. The fight makes its way into the crowd. They hit each other weapons and stuff. Finally after what seems like forever the Carnage Crew hit Mafia with the Carnage Driver through a table to get the win at 6:58. The match was the usual hardcore nonsense between these four.
Rating: ½*

Somewhere backstage, Joey Matthews is on drugs!

MATCH #13: Triple Threat Match – Spanky vs. Michael Shane vs. Paul London

Spanky jumps Shane right at the bell and London quickly gets in on the action with a sort of dropsault. London and Spanky briefly work together before they get annoyed with each other and start fighting. Shane wisely picks his spots and dumps Spanky to the floor, then turns his attention to London. He works London over with clotheslines and a flapjack for a two-count. London comes back with two rolling Northern Lights Suplexes and a Blizzard Suplex for a two-count. He knocks Spanky off the apron, giving Shane the opportunity to reclaim control. Shane hits a neckbreaker for a two-count. He tries to knock Spanky off the apron again but Spanky hits him with a dropkick instead. London jumps off Spanky’s back for a shooting star press on Shane for two. He goes up top and Spanky knocks him to the floor. Spanky goes for a dive but Shane cuts him off with a clothesline. Shane tries to suplex Spanky to the floor but he blocks it and sends Shane to the floor, and then Spanky hits a dive to wipe him out. All three men are on the floor now. They brawl around a bit and then make their way back to the ring. London goes for a Shooting Star Press but Spanky moves and hits him with Sliced Bread #2. Just to be a jerk, Shane superkicks Spanky and takes the pin to eliminate London at 9:20.

Now we’re down to Spanky versus Michael Shane. They take it to the floor and Shane throws Spanky into the guardrail and generally abuses him. Back in the ring Shane sends Spanky back to the floor in short order. Shane is firmly in control on the floor. He charges but Spanky ducks and backdrops him into the crowd. Back in the ring Spanky goes up to the top rope but Shane catches him out of the air with a dropkick. Shane locks on a sleeper, which Spanky reverses, but then Shane back suplexes him. He goes for another sleeper but Spanky counters to Sliced Bread #2, but Shane pushes out of it and hits a Northern Lariat. He goes up to the second rope and hits an elbow drop for two. He goes for a German Suplex but Spanky slips out and his Sliced Bread #2 but he can’t cover right away so Shane kicks out. Spanky hits Shane with a hard forearm and both men are down. Shane rakes the eyes but Spanky comes back with a springboard missile dropkick. Spanky hits a knee to the face and an enziguiri for a two-count. He hits a Northern Lights Bomb and then a beautiful Frog Splash but it only gets two. He goes for Sliced Bread #2 but Shane blocks it and hits a floating DDT for two. Spanky gets a quick backslide for two and then goes for another Sliced Bread #2 but Shane blocks it and hits a superkick. Shane goes up top and hits the Picture Perfect Elbow to get the win at 19:27. I’m a big fan of Spanky and London but this match was just kind of sloppy all around.
Rating: **½

MATCH #14: Doug Williams vs. Christopher Daniels

If Daniels wins, Williams can never again shake hands in Ring of Honor. If Williams wins, Daniels will be forced to shake hands. They start off with some back and forth mat and chain wrestling. Both men appear pretty evenly matched from a technical standpoint. Williams attacks the leg early on, while Daniels counters by going after the arm. Daniels takes a powder and when Williams gives chase, Daniels slides back in the ring and Luscious grabs Williams’ leg to distract him. That allows Daniels to suplex Williams back in the ring. Daniels is firmly in control now, keeping Williams on the mat. Williams comes back with a backslide out of nowhere for a two-count. He then tries the Chaos Theory but Daniels blocks it and hits a Stunner. Daniels hits a Flatliner for a two-count. Williams comes back with a forearm and tries the Chaos Theory but Daniels counters. He counters back and hit a floating DDT for two. Williams hits the Bomb Scare for a two-count. He hits a spinning Fisherman Buster but Daniels kicks out again. He tries the Chaos Theory for a third time but Daniels counters with an STO. Daniels follows up with a Blue Thunder Bomb for another two-count. He hits the Uranage Slam and the Best Moonsault Ever but Williams kicks out. Williams comes back and catches Daniels with a belly-to-belly suplex. They both rise and trade pinning combinations but neither man can get a three-count. Williams finally hits the Chaos Theory but Daniels is able to grab the bottom rope! Daniels then scoops the legs and puts his feet on the bottom rope for leverage to get the pin at 12:28. After the win Daniels taunts Williams and his inability to shake hands, so Dick Togo and Jay Briscoe come out to run him off. The match was technically solid but also kind of lifeless, especially for a main event.
Rating: **¾
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Survival of the Fittest 2006 (Matt Sydal, Delirious) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/02/a2z-analysiz-roh-survival-of-the-fittest-2006-matt-sydal-delirious/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/02/a2z-analysiz-roh-survival-of-the-fittest-2006-matt-sydal-delirious/#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 14:00:04 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=170633 SOTF06

For an easy to navigate archive of all of my Ring of Honor DVD reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Cleveland Grays Armory – Cleveland, Ohio – Friday, October 6, 2006

Dave Prazak and Jared David are on commentary. I’m sitting somewhere in the crowd.

MATCH #1: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Davey Richards vs. Matt Sydal

They start with some chain wrestling in what I believe is a first-time ever matchup. Richards takes the early control with his powerful kicks, and he focuses on the neck and back area. Sydal fights back and sends Richards to the floor, and then wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring Sydal keeps Richards off balance with a variety of offense, including a standing moonsault for a two-count. Richards comes back and goes for a Liger Bomb but Sydal counters with a rana. Sydal goes up top but Richards catches him on the way down in a gutbuster. Richards then connects on the Liger Bomb but it only gets two. He goes up top and Sydal catches him on the way down with a spinning heel kick. They trade strikes and get back to their feet. Sydal appears to win the battle but Richards catches him with a handspring spin kick. Richards hits a discuss clothesline but that’s still not enough to keep Sydal down. They fight up top again and Sydal knocks Richards to the mat. A series of reversals and pinning combinations ends with Sydal hitting Fade to Black to score the pin at 12:23. That was a fun opener and a good way to kick off the tournament.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Delirious vs. Jimmy Rave

They go back and forth to start and it takes little to no time for Delirious to engage in shenanigans, testing Rave’s patience. Rave is rolling sans Prince Nana and only has Daizee Haze in his corner tonight. Delirious gets the better of the crown jewel of The Embassy and Rave takes a powder. Back in the ring they chain wrestle a bit and then Rave catches Delirious with a knee lift to the breadbasket. Rave wears Delirious down for a while, and then Delirious makes the big babyface comeback. Delirious hits a leaping lariat for a near-fall. He tries the Cobra Stretch but Rave powers his way out of it, only to be dropkicked into the middle turnbuckle. Delirious charges and Rave cuts him off with a Spear! They fight to the apron and Rave takes Delirious down with a clothesline. Back in the ring Rave tries to put Delirious away with the Greetings from Ghana but Delirious avoids it, but he can’t avoid a huge knee to the face. Rave covers for two. He tries Greetings from Ghana again but Delirious once again avoids it. Delirious kicks Rave in the face and hits the Cobra Clutch Backbreaker. He locks on the Cobra Stretch and Rave taps out at 10:23. That was okay enough but lacked spark and it just felt like two guys doing stuff until the finish.
Rating: **½

MATCH #3: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels

Daniels has Allison Danger in his corner. Aries cuts an unnecessary promo for the second year in a row, this one about how the airline lost his luggage. Ugh, no one cares dude. Both of these men were in the finals last year, so only one of them can repeat. For Aries it would be a three-peat. Anyway, Aries controls Daniels with a side headlock, and Daniels responds in kind. Daniels tries a headscissors and is miraculously able to avoid the dropkick. Craziness. Daniels takes a brief powder and when he gets back in the ring it’s more headlockery. Daniels starts to build momentum so this time Aries takes the powder. After a series of reversals Aries hits Daniels with a dropkick that sends The Fallen Angel back outside. Aries follows him out with a Heat Seeking Missile. Back between the ropes Aries is dominating, wearing Daniels out with a variety of offense. Daniels catches Aries with a Death Valley Driver and Aries rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Daniels applies the pressure, keeping Aries grounded. Aries fights back and hits the twisting slingshot splash for two and then a quebrada for two. Momentum continues to shift with reversals and counters, and Daniels ends up with the Koji Clutch. Aries reaches the ropes. Daniels hits the uranage slam, and then another one. He tries the Best Moonsault Ever but Aries avoids it and hits the crucifix bomb. Aries hits an IED for two. He goes up to the top rope and Daniels joins him to try a super Angel’s Wings. Aries knocks Daniels back to the mat and lands the 450 Splash to get the pin at 17:11. With Aries and Daniels it’s going to be hard to get a bad match, but this just felt heatless, and there didn’t seem to be much on the line even though there was.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #4: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – The Briscoes vs. Homicide & Roderick Strong

Jim Cornette is with the Briscoes, and he cuts a long, rambling promo before the match that I don’t care about in the slightest. Homicide and Strong have no real reason to be teaming together that I can recall. Strong and Mark start the match with chain wrestling. Homicide and Jay tag in and things get a little more heated in this SOTF 2004 rematch. Jay gets knocked to the floor so Mark responds by knocking Homicide to the floor and wiping him out with a dive. The brawling continues and everyone fights on the floor. Referee Todd Sinclair stops Homicide from using a chair. They make it back to the ring and Strong and Homicide work well together to keep Jay isolated in their half of the ring. Jay fights back and the Briscoes use their superior double-team abilities to keep Homicide away from his partner. After a few minutes Homicide makes the tag. Strong is a house afire, tearing into the younger Briscoe brother. Now Strong and Homicide tag frequently, keeping a fresh man in the ring. Once again the Briscoes reclaim control. No team has stayed in control for very long, as the momentum has shifted multiple times. Guess what? Strong makes the tag and Homicide comes in guns blazing. Prazak announces that there are two minutes left in the time limit as everyone starts busting out the big strikes to try and get the win. The referee has lost total control. One minute remains and the action is still chaotic. Jim Cornette comes out and hands Mark Briscoe the tennis racket, and he distracts the referee. Mark catches Homicide coming off the top rope with the racket to the chest, and that’s enough to get the pin at 20:01 by my clock, or one second over the time limit. At any rate, this was an okay tag team match but the control kept switching back and forth so often that it was hard to buy anyone as ever being in any real danger. They kicked it up down the stretch, which is always a nice way to finish, but Cornette being involved was kind of deflating.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #5: Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match – Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe

Danielson is the ROH World Champion, coming off perhaps his greatest title defense against KENTA just a few weeks ago. The title is not on the line in this match though. He is wearing odd trunks and boots and no knee pads, so his luggage must have gone missing too. They start off slowly, as they know each other so well that neither man wants to make an early mistake. Momentum shifts back and forth in the early going, as both men try to establish dominance over their rival. Joe has Danielson well scouted and he takes early control, catching Danielson with an STJoe. Danielson goes to the floor to regroup but Joe gives him no rest, following him out and throwing him repeatedly into the barricades. Joe tries the Ole Kick but Danielson avoids it and goes back to the ring. Danielson tries to get Joe up in the surfboard but he can’t do it, so he stomps on the legs instead. The Champ continues to keep Joe on the mat and works him over, focusing on the legs. After several minutes Joe is able to catch Danielson leaping off the second rope with an Ace Crusher. Joe hits a snap powerslam for a two-count. He tries attacking Danielson’s injured shoulder and he goes for a Muscle Buster but Danielson fights it off and hits a missile dropkick. Danielson goes back up top and hits the diving headbutt for a near-fall. Joe fights back and hits the powerbomb for two and then turns it into an STF. Prazak announces the two-minute warning as Danielson counters to Cattle Mutilation. Joe reaches the ropes. One minute remains as they continue to battle. Joe hits a big boot and goes for a senton splash but Danielson gets his knees up. Back on their feet Joe is able to connect with an enziguiri. Joe puts Danielson in the Choke but time runs out at 20:08. Both men are eliminated from Survival of the Fittest. I have no problem with a 20-minute draw here, as they weren’t able to beach each other in 60 minutes back at Fight of the Century so I see why 20 wouldn’t cut it. It’s Danielson versus Joe, of course this was good, but it didn’t feel like they were really fighting for something important.
Rating: ***¼

Everyone wants five more minutes, but Danielson attacks Joe with the title belt and tells the crowd they can kiss his ass. I love heel Bryan Danielson.

MATCH #6: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – The Kings of Wrestling vs. Colt Cabana & Jimmy Jacobs

Cabana and Lacey dance to Cabana’s music, and when Cabana tries to help Jimmy out and get him a little dance, Lacey freaks out and berates Jimmy for not being focused. Jimmy is heartbroken. I really liked this angle a lot. Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli have been the Champions since 9.16.06, and this is their first defense. They are also the CZW Tag Team Champions. #DoubleGold! Hero and Jacobs start the match. They begin slowly, with Jacobs eager to please Lacey after getting yelled at. Hero tries to use his size and power advantage but Jacobs picks up the pace and uses his agility to take an advantage. Cabana tags in and tries to get Jacobs to double-team Hero, but Jacobs just goes to the apron. That allows Castagnoli to tag in. Cabana and Castagnoli chain wrestle and the challengers take control. Despite being their first time teaming together, Jacobs and Cabana are doing a nice job against the Champions. The Kings use some dubious tactics to finally take control and they isolate Jacobs in their half of the ring. After several minutes of abuse Jacobs is able to make the tag and Cabana comes in a house afire with a little flip, flop, and fly! Jacobs tags himself back in and he takes Castagnoli out and goes for the Contra Code on Hero but gets caught. The Kings double-team Jacobs but are unable to put him away. Jacobs and Cabana use some creative double-team moves on Castagnoli, but Jacobs accidentally spears Cabana, and the Kings send Jacobs to the floor. The Kings hit Cabana with Au Revoir to get the pin at 17:29. Cabana and Jacobs definitely had their own thing going on here, and the Kings were just kind of there, which is odd to say about the Tag Team Champions. The match was good formula stuff though, and with the added bonus of the Jacobs/Cabana dynamic it worked well enough for me.
Rating: ***

An injured BJ Whitmer comes charging out after the bell and attacks Jacobs, but Cabana breaks it up and herds Jacobs to the back. Lacey is angry of course.

MATCH #7: Survival of the Fittest 2006 Final Five Way Elimination Match – Matt Sydal vs. Delirious vs. Austin Aries vs. Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe

Aries is making his third appearance in the Survival of the Fittest finals, and Mark is in it for the second time. Everyone else is a first-timer. Delirious gets all fired up at the sound of the bell, as per usual. He starts the match with Sydal, and these two know each other very well. They chain wrestle back and forth for several minutes, with neither man really taking control. Aries and Jay tag in and they’ve faced off many times in 2006 in tag team matches with Mark and Roderick Strong, respectively. Jay and Mark work together and clear the ring of everybody, and use their double-team skills to control the flow of the match. They focus on Sydal for several minutes and wear him down. Sydal is able to make a desperation tag to his former Generation Next mate Aries, and Aries is able to befuddle the Briscoes, albeit momentarily. The Briscoes catch Aries with the springboard Doomsday Device and Jay scores the first elimination at 11:19. That happened a lot sooner than I would have guessed. The brothers from Sandy Fork clear the ring of Delirious and Sydal, and the two non-Briscoes in the match decide that they will need to work together and we’ve got a makeshift tag team match on our hands.

Delirious and Sydal form a pretty impressive unit, but are quickly overwhelmed by the tag team badassery of the former two-time ROH Tag Team Champions. Jay and Mark focus on Sydal and put a beating on him both in and out of the ring. Delirious tries to come to the rescue but referee Todd Sinclair won’t have it. The Briscoes try the springboard Doomsday Device but Sydal ducks and traps Jay in a victory roll to eliminate the eldest Briscoe at 19:06! Delirious and Sydal continue to work together on Mark in the hopes that they can wrestle each other to decide who is the Fittest. Mark fights valiantly and almost eliminates Sydal with a springboard Ace Crusher from the top rope but Delirious makes the save. Delirious hits Mark with the Panic Attack and Sydal follows with the Sydal Press for his second elimination at 23:08. We’re down to Matt Sydal versus Delirious to decide this year’s winner.

Delirious charges at Sydal with a cross body block and both men tumble to the floor. They fight over a suplex and Sydal connects but both men land on the floor with a thud. Back on their feet Delirious charges at Sydal against the barricade but gets back dropped into the crowd! Sydal follows him out with a moonsault from the top rope! The crowd is loving all of this. Sydal brings Delirious back to the ring and covers him but only gets two. He goes for a standing moonsault but Delirious gets the boots up. Instead Sydal hits the Here It Is Driver but again only gets two! Delirious counters Sydal’s aerial tactics and hits two Panic Attacks and the Bizarro Driver but Sydal kicks out! Both men have the same idea and take each other out with a big boot to the face. They get back to their feet and Delirious takes Sydal down into the Cobra Stretch! Sydal reaches the ropes. Delirious goes up top and hits Shadows over Hell for another near-fall! He immediately goes into the Cobra Stretch but Sydal is able to counter out and they trade pin covers for two-counts. Sydal hits the standing moonsault for two. They fight up on the top rope and Sydal hits the moonsault belly-to-belly suplex, the move he has beaten Delirious with twice before, but this time Delirious kicks out! The crowd is going banana. Sydal goes up top and Delirious pulls him down into the Chemical Imbalance II but it only gets two! They fight up on the top rope and Sydal goes for the Sydal press but nobody’s home. Delirious rolls him up for a two-count. A series of reversals culminates with Delirious locking on the Cobra Stretch and Sydal finally taps out at 34:51! This started off a little awkward with five guys in instead of six, but they made it unique by turning it into a tag match pretty quickly, and the final stretch with Delirious and Sydal was great stuff. Both guys were pretty well set as upper level guys in Ring of Honor after this, and rightfully so.
Rating: ****
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A2Z Analysiz: WWF Survivor Series 1988 (Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Big Boss Man, Akeem) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/01/a2z-analysiz-wwf-survivor-series-1988-hulk-hogan-randy-savage-big-boss-man-akeem-2/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/11/01/a2z-analysiz-wwf-survivor-series-1988-hulk-hogan-randy-savage-big-boss-man-akeem-2/#comments Sat, 01 Nov 2014 16:00:31 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168950 sur ser 87-91

For an easy to navigate archive of my many WWE DVD reviews, please visit World Wrestling Reviews.

Richfield Coliseum – Richfield, Ohio – November 24, 1988

MATCH #1: Survivor Series Elimination Match – Ultimate Warrior, Brutus Beefcake, Sam Houston, the Blue Blazer & Jim Brunzell vs. Honky Tonk Man, Danny Davis, Greg Valentine, Ron Bass & Bad News Brown

Warrior and Beefcake are co-captains, as are Honky and Valentine. Beefcake and Valentine start the match. Davis quickly tags in and Beefcake quickly eliminates him with the sleeper at 1:19. Valentine comes right back in. More tags are made and we end up with Brown and Brunzell in the ring. Brown evens the odds by delivering the Ghetto Blaster to eliminate Brunzell at 5:13. Houston comes in and Valentine tries to help Brown double-team him but ends up blasting him with a forearm to the face. Brown shoves Valentine and bails on his team, taking the countout at 7:49. Houston again tries to give his team the advantage but the Outlaw is able to keep him grounded. Bass hits Houston with a powerslam to eliminate him at 10:11. Warrior comes in for the first time and cleans house. Blazer comes in and flies all over the ring. Valentine comes in and they blow a leapfrog, of all things. Blazer goes up top and Honky pushes him off, giving Valentine the chance to lock on the Figure-Four Leglock and Blazer is gone at 12:22. Beefcake and Honky get in the ring now and Beefcake is all over him. He locks on the Sleeper and they tumble to the floor, and Beefcake again locks on the Sleeper and they both get counted out at 15:41. That leaves Warrior at a two-on-one disadvantage. Even so, Warrior fights back and drills Bass with a Polish Hammer to eliminate him at 17:27. Moments later he hits Valentine with another Polish Hammer to get the win at 17:50. I don’t remember Warrior using that as a finisher, ever. This was solid for an opener and I really like how they used Bad News Brown.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Survivor Series Elimination Match – Demolition, Los Conquistadores, the Brain Busters, the Rougeau Brothers & the Bolsheviks vs. Powers of Pain, the Rockers, the British Bulldogs, the Hart Foundation & the Young Stallions

Team Demolition is accompanied by Mr. Fuji, Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, and Slick. This may be an even better collection of teams than last year’s tag teams match. Davey Boy Smith and Jacques Rougeau start the match, but you know with 20 guys out there no one is going to stay in very long in the early going. Ventura’s inability to tell the Rougeau Brothers apart is truly mind boggling. It’s worth noting that Bret Hart gets a sizable pop when he enters the fray. The crowd is right to be excited, as Hart quickly traps Raymond in a small package to eliminate the Rougeaus at 5:38. The crowd also gets jazzed when the Powers of Pain and Demolition get in the ring together. Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy watching Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard? It’s ridiculous. Marty Jannetty is awesome at this point too. The action is coming fast and furious and never stops. Jim Powers tries a cross body block off the second rope on Boris Zhukov but Zhukov rolls through and gets the pin at 15:35. My, how far the Young Stallions have fallen in a year. Bodies continue flying all over the place, and Jannetty is able to pin Zhukov with a sunset flip at 18:19. After about another 10 minutes of continuous action, Hart delivers a German Suplex to Blanchard, but he neglects to lift his shoulder and Blanchard does exactly that to eliminate the Hart Foundation at 27:07. The Busters and the Rockers get into a four-way brawl pretty quickly after that and both teams are disqualified at 28:08. We’re down to two teams apiece now. The Bulldogs use their power to dominate the Conquistadores, and the Powers of Pain follow suit. Dynamite goes for the diving headbutt on Smash but misses, and Smash flattens him with a clothesline to eliminate the Bulldogs at 36:17. The powers of Pain get worked over and Fuji gets on the apron for some reason. Smash goes to bounce off the ropes but Fuji holds the ropes open and Smash crashes the floor and gets counted out at 39:47. Ax gets in Fuji’s face about it, and shrugs off Fuji’s cane shots. Smash throws Fuji into a bodyslam on the floor before they make their way to the back. Meanwhile the match is down to two teams. The Powers of Pain come over to check on Fuji and they appear to have adopted them as their manager! This is one of the more famous double-turns in WWE history. Fuji then trips one of the Conquistadores with his cane, and Barbarian hits a falling headbutt to finish the match at 42:23. That was rather lengthy but with all the great action and the awesome double-turn at the end it was more than worth it. It wasn’t quite as good as last year’s version but it’s pretty close.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #3: Survivor Series Elimination Match – Jake Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Ken Patera, Tito Santana & Scott Casey vs. Andre the Giant, Dino Bravo, Harley Race, Mr. Perfect & Rick Rude

Roberts and Duggan are the co-captains of their team, while Andre and Bravo are the co-captains of the opposing team. Bobby Heenan and Frenchie Martin are with the Andre/Bravo team. The main feuds here are Roberts versus Andre and Duggan versus Bravo. I don’t recall any of the other participants being engaged in a feud. Patera and Rude start the match. As is the case with most Survivor Series matches, they don’t last too long as lots of tags are made and everyone gets a chance to go in the early parts of the match. After some back and forth between all 10 guys, Rude taps Patera in the Rude Awakening to get the pin at 8:21. Moments later Bravo catches Casey with the Side Suplex to eliminate him at 9:30 and give his team a five-on-three advantage. Santana gets worked over for a bit but he’s able to catch Race with the Flying Forearm for their first elimination at 13:19. Andre comes in and immediately wears Santana down with strikes and chokes. Santana foolishly tries a sunset flip and Andre sits down to eliminate him at 14:42. Duggan comes in and clotheslines Andre, tying him up in the ropes! I love how Andre loved doing that spot. Roberts comes in and is quickly overwhelmed by the numbers game. Finally he makes a hot tag to Duggan, who goes to work on Bravo. Martin grabs Duggan’s leg from the floor and he tumbles out. Duggan gets pissed and brings his 2×4 in the ring and blasts Bravo with it right in front of the referee for the DQ at 21:22. Roberts is facing ridiculous odds at this point. Team Andre uses the numbers game and keeps a fresh man in on Roberts at pretty much all times. Rude takes their advantage a little too lightly, and Roberts catches him with a quick DDT to eliminate him at 28:45. Andre immediately comes in and chokes Roberts in the corner, and doesn’t break at the count of five, so the referee disqualifies him at 29:32. Roberts is pretty much lifeless at this point and Perfect comes in to pick the bones and win the match at 30:01. That was a little bit long but I love the structure of the eliminations and I really dig the finish.
Rating: ***

MATCH #4: Survivor Series Elimination Match – Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Koko B. Ware, Hercules & Hillbilly Jim vs. Big Boss Man, Akeem, Ted DiBiase, King Haku & the Red Rooster

The Twin Towers’ team has Slick, Bobby Heenan, and Virgil in their corner. The main feuds here are Hogan and Savage versus Boss Man and Akeem, and Hercules versus Ted DiBiase. Savage and DiBiase start the match, and they wrestled many times in 1988. They go back and forth briefly and when Hercules gets tagged in DiBiase bails and tags the Rooster. More tags are made as everyone gets a chance to show their stuff in the early going. Rooster gets isolated and Hogan bodyslams him, putting him in perfect position for Savage to hit the Macho Elbow and score the first elimination at 6:12. Hogan and Savage work over Haku for a bit. More tags are made and Akeem is in there with Hercules. Akeem misses an elbow and Hercules makes the tag to Hillbilly. After a brief flurry Akeem knocks Hillbilly down and hits the 747 to even the odds at 9:56. The Mega Powers’ team goes right to work on Akeem, trying to eliminate the big man. Ware comes in but falls victim to the size advantage of Akeem. Boss Man gets tagged in for the first time and hits the Boss Man Slam to eliminate Ware at 11:47. Hogan comes in and this is the matchup the fans paid to see! It takes a while for Hogan to knock Boss Man down, but eventually he bodyslams him. Hogan then celebrates, allowing Boss Man to hit a huge spinebuster. The heels work on Hogan for a bit, but when DiBiase tags in, Hogan powers up and makes the hot tag to Hercules! This is the other match fans wanted to see here. Virgil trips Hercules from the outside, allowing DiBiase to hit a knee to the back and a rollup to eliminate Hercules at 16:36. DiBiase jaws with Hercules, and Savage sneaks in for a quick rollup to eliminate the Million Dollar Man at 16:59! That was quick thinking by on Savage’s part. Unfortunately for the Mega Powers, the Twin Towers team takes over on Hogan and wears him down using their size and power. Boss Man hits the Boss Man Slam but does not go for a cover for some reason. He goes up top but misses a big splash! That allows Hogan to make the hot tag, and he’s a house afire. Slick grabs his leg and trips him up, giving control back to the Boss Man. Then the Doctor of Style tries to manhandle Elizabeth and Hogan comes to her rescue. Akeem and Boss Man come out to save their manager and it’s a melee. The Twin Towers handcuff Hogan to the bottom rope and Boss Man gets counted out at 23:24! The referee tries to subdue Akeem but gets shoved out of the way and Akeem is disqualified at 24:59! Imagine how much more intimidating Akeem would be at this time if he was still the One Man Gang. What a weird decision. That gives the Mega Powers a two-on-one advantage but they have been severely worn down. Haku works on Savage but can’t quite put him away. Eventually Hogan knocks out both Slick and Heenan, and Elizabeth recovers the key! Haku hits Savage with a splash off the top rope but Savage kicks out! Back on their feet Haku foolishly kicks Savage right into his corner and Hogan gets the hot tag! Hogan immediately hits the big boot, a bodyslam, and the Legdrop to get the pin and win the match at 29:11. Like the last match that was a bit long but not quite as interesting because of the anticlimactic ending. I do like how this match advanced the Mega Powers/Twin Towers angle.
Rating: **¾
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