Inside Pulse Wrestling » Austin Aries Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Fri, 01 Aug 2014 00:30:01 +0000 en-US hourly 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 » Austin Aries A2Z Analysiz: TNA Destination X 2012 (Austin Aries, Bobby Roode) Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:00:54 +0000 destination x 2012

For an easy-to-search archive of all my TNA DVD reviews, visit Total Nonstop Ziegler!

Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – July 8, 2012

Mike Tenay is joined by Jeremy Borash on commentary.

MATCH #1: Last Chance Match – Rubix vs. Mason Andrews vs. Lars Only vs. Dakota Darsow

All four of these men lost qualifying matches but looked impressive, so they’re getting one last chance. Only and Darsow quickly spill to the floor while Rubix and Andrews battle in the ring. Rubix sends Andrews to the floor and Only gets in the ring to take his place. Only sends Rubix to the floor and Darsow jumps in. Darsow looks good here, keeping Only isolated and wearing him down. Rubix makes his way back in and Darsow takes control of him too. The action is coming fast and furious. Andrews hits the first dive of the night, wiping out Darsow and Only on the floor. Rubix follows him out with a dive to take out all three. Back in the ring Andrews traps Rubix in a Fujiwara Armbar as Kid Kash watches on from the back. Kash will face the winner immediately after. Only breaks up the Armbar and no one can hold an advantage here. They work in a Tower of Doom spot and then Rubix drills Darsow with a coast to coast dropkick. The crowd is all about Rubix here. So of course Rubix gets taken out of the match by Only. Andrews then hits Only with a knee to the face and a an Ace Crusher to steal the pin at 8:22. That was a fine exhibition, but I think they shit the bed by not giving Rubix the win here.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #2: Tournament Match – Kid Kash vs. Mason Andrews

Kash didn’t have to beat anyone to earn his spot in the tournament because he’s a former X Division Champion. They go right to the floor and Kash is dominating. Since Andrews just went through that four-way Kash is at a huge advantage. Andrews fires back with dropkicks and a crucifix for two. Kash cuts him off with a hot shot and goes back to work. He even mocks Andrews while he beats him up, which I know would irritate Jerry Lawler. Kash kicks Andrews back to the floor and then just throws him right back in. Okay then. Kash goes up to the second rope springs tot he top for a moonsault but Andrews gets his knees up. Andrews fires up and unleashes a flurry of offense, including a missile dropkick for two. He hits a huge knee strike to the face but again only gets two. Kash comes back but before he can hit anything Andrews catches him in a quick schoolboy rollup to get the pin at 8:08. That was solid stuff, and well worked given the circumstances of Andrews working the match before as well. I don’t mind Kash in this role. Andrews is the first man entered in the Ultimate X match later on for the vacant TNA X Division Title.
Rating: **½

MATCH #3: Tournament Match – Douglas Williams vs. Kenny King

Williams is a former two-time X Division Champion, as well as a Television Champion and a World Tag Team Champion, so he earned his spot in the tournament that way. King had to defeat Lars Only. They start with some chain wrestling, which is a bold move for King to try with an expert like Williams. After some pinning combinations they stand off and the crowd cheers. Williams tosses King to the floor and tries to follow him out, but King quickly sneaks back in and hits Williams with twisting body press. Back in the ring they continue the back and forth and King shows off his athleticism. King works the arm and keeps Williams grounded. Williams catches King in the corner with an elbow, and then hits a diving European Uppercut off the second rope and a hard clothesline. King gets a quick sunset flip for two, but Williams quickly cuts him off and goes back to work. Williams hits a running knee in the corner and goes for Chaos Theory, which King blocks. King hits an atomic drop and an enziguiri. Both men are down. Back on their feet King unleashes a flurry of offense, including a nice spin kick for two. King hits a huge spinebuster for another two-count. He charges into the corner and eats boot. Williams goes up top and King joins him. That proves costly for King, as Williams shoves him all the way down to the floor. Williams wipes King out with a knee off the top rope and both men are down on the floor. Back in the ring Williams covers for two. King comes back and drops Williams’ neck on the top rope Macho Man style. He follows up with a Blockbuster for a near-fall. Williams tries a rollup using the ropes for leverage, but King is in the ropes as well. They battle on the top rope again and King shoves Williams down. Back on the mat King hits the Royal Flush to get the pin at 10:35. These two meshed better than I thought they would, and King looked really good here. I’d like to see them go again.
Rating: ***

MATCH #4: Tournament Match – Sonjay Dutt vs. Rashad Cameron

Dutt defeated Rubix to get here, while Cameron bested Mason Andrews. They start very quickly and trade maneuvers until they reach a stand off. This is what I’m talking about when I say RVD and Jerry Lynn damaged Indy Wrestling. The back and forth continues until Cameron knocks Dutt to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring Cameron covers for two. Dutt fights back with a rana that sends Cameron to the floor, and he follows him out with a baseball slide. He gets up on the apron for a maneuver but Cameron sweeps his legs out from under him. Cameron whips Dutt into the guardrail. Back in the ring Cameron covers for a near-fall. Cameron continues to control Dutt, keeping him on the mat. Dutt fights back with his unorthodox offense and he gets the crowd going. He hits a springboard splash for a two-count. Cameron is not out of it yet and they continue to exchange maneuvers. Things get a little awkward and Dutt hits an Asai DDT. Dutt goes up top and hits the Moonstomp to get the pin at 7:16. These two did not mesh as well as others in the tournament and the result was a bit underwhelming.
Rating: **

MATCH #5: Tournament Match – Zema Ion vs. Flip Cassanova

Ion earned a bye into the tournament and Cassanova had to defeat Dakota Darsow. Before the bell can even ring Ion takes it to Cassanova just to be a jerk. Cassanova fights back and sends Ion to the floor and follows him out with a beautiful dive. Back in the ring Cassanova tries a standing moonsault but Ion kicks him in the back. Ion knocks Cassanova to the floor and hits a baseball slide dropkick. Back in the ring Ion hits a slingshot curb stomp. Ion goes for a moonsault off the second rope but Cassanova gets his knees up. Cassanova gets an inverted atomic drop and an enziguiri. He follows with a springboard twisting body press for two. Cassanova slams Ion down and goes up top but misses a 630 senton. Ion hits the Hostile Makeover and then the Gory Bomb to get the win at 3:53. That was short but they sure packed a lot of action into that time.
Rating: **

MATCH #6: Bound for Glory Series Match – Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe

Joe is in second place with 27 points, and Angle is in fourth place with 20 points. Both men are former TNA World Heavyweight, X Division, and World Tag Team Champions. These two have wrestled many times over the years, so they start slowly and try to establish dominance. They take it to the mat but Joe powers Angle up and rams him into the corner. Angle’s face is dirty, so Joe washes it for him. Joe dumps Angle to the floor and follows him out with the elbow suicida. Back in the ring Angle uses kicks and stomps to wear Joe down. Joe counters with a running elbow in the corner and an enziguiri. He goes for the Muscle Buster but Angle blocks it with a headbutt and then hits a missile dropkick to the back. Angle hits a belly-to-belly suplex and puts on a chinlock. Joe escapes and makes it to the second rope for a nice leg lariat. He follows with a flurry of offense but can’t put Angle away. Joe hits the snap powerslam for two and tries a Cross Armbreaker. Angle counters to the Ankle Lock and Joe kicks his way out of it. The tenacious Angle responds with rolling German Suplexes, hitting three of them. Angle goes for the Angle Slam but Joe counters with an armdrag. Joe boots Angle in the face and goes for the Muscle Buster but Angle counters into the Ankle Lock! Once again Joe escapes and catches Angle in the STJoe. Joe hits the Muscle Buster and covers for two. He tries The Clutch but Angle once again counters to the Ankle Lock. Joe counters that into The Clutch! Angle powers out into the Angle Slam but only gets two! The straps come down but Joe is able to counteract the power of the straps and locks on The Clutch. Angle passes out at 14:36. Of course Angle sells passing out by getting right up and arguing with the referee about how he didn’t tap out. That aside, the match was great stuff between two awesome opponents. The counters and reversals were great and everything just looked smooth. These two can’t have a bad match together. Joe goes into first place now with 37 points, taking a one point lead over Storm. Angle stays in fourth.
Rating: ****

MATCH #7: Last Man Standing Match – AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels

These two fought in the main event of Destination X last year. Daniels is one half of the World Tag Team Champions of the World. Styles is riled up because of the stupid Claire Lynch storyline, so Daniels stalls in the early going to further get under his skin. Daniels literally runs away from Styles but eventually the Phenomenal One catches up to him and takes out his frustrations. This is much more of a brawl than their match from last year. They continue to fight back and forth, with Styles looking a little bit more impressive in the early going. Daniels takes control and the fight spills to the floor. He throws a chair in the ring and brings Styles back in. Daniels hits a uranage slam right on the chair. Ouch. They go back to the floor and Daniels continues to dominate. Styles is busted open. Daniels sets up the steel steps but does not get to use them yet. Back in the ring Daniels continues to work on Styles’ back. Daniels tries to use the steel chair but Styles blocks it with a kick. Styles then hits the springboard forearm, sending the chair right into Daniels’ face. Daniels rolls to the floor. Styles follows him out and hurls Daniels into the steep steps! That busts Daniels open. Daniels tries begging off up the ramp and Styles chases him. They fight on the entrance stage and they clothesline each other. Back on their feet they slug it out and Styles hits am enziguiri. Styles goes for the Styles Clash but Daniels backdrops his way out of it. Amazingly, Styles uses a piece of the set to jump off and hit the flip over inverted DDT. Kazarian shows up from out of nowhere and shoves Styles off the ramp! Styles barely makes it back to his feet. Daniels sets up a table and goes for an Angel’s Wings off the ramp! Styles luckily blocks it and shoves Daniels into Kazarian. He hits Daniels with the Pele, and then hits a Styles Clash off the ramp and through the table! That was awesome, and it’s enough to keep Daniels down for the 10-count and give Styles the win at 17:40. I actually preferred this to last year’s match, as even though the storyline was stupid it did make it seem like they had a reason to dislike and fight each other, and the hatred came through. The match was brutal and the finish was sick. Great stuff here.
Rating: ****

MATCH #8: Ultimate X Match for the vacant TNA X Division Championship – Mason Andrews vs. Kenny King vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Zema Ion

The title has been vacant since 7.5.12, when Austin Aries voluntarily relinquished it to take a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Title in tonight’s main event. This is Ion’s second time in Ultimate X, Dutt’s third, and the first time for King and Andrews. Nobody in the match has either won an Ultimate X match or the X Division Title, so they all have something to prove.

Ion talks trash and uses his hairspray at the beginning, and receives a triple dropkick for it. The action takes off and everyone battles everyone. King makes the first serious attempt at going for the belt and Dutt stops him. They fight on the apron and King kicks Dutt down. King goes for the belt and Dutt takes him down with a springboard missile dropkick. Dutt follows with a standing shooting star press. He hit his head on the bottom rope and apparently injured himself. Ion takes Andrews out and goes after the belt. Andrews and King pull him down. King hits a springboard legdrop on Ion and then goes up top. Andrews joins him and takes him down with a back suplex. Ion goes out after the belt but Andrews pulls him down. King hits Andrews with a suplex. He tries a corkscrew plancha on Ion but misses and hits the floor. Andrews then takes out both King and Ion with a dive. He goes for the belt but King takes him down with a Spear. Dutt makes his way back out King and Andrews go up for the belt and take each other down. Meanwhile Dutt and Ion climb all the way to the top of the steel structure. Ion finds his hairspray and sprays it into Dutt’s eyes. Dutt falls to the mat and Ion grabs the title at 8:48. This was weak for an Ultimate X match, with way too much laying around for a less than nine minute match. Nothing about this was overly memorable and Ion was a lame champion.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #9: TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries

Roode has been the Champion since 11.3.11, and this is his fifteenth defense. These men are the longest reigning champions ever in TNA in their respective divisions. Roode is confident in the early going but Aries is right there with him in the chain wrestling department. Aries even takes the advantage and uses his high flying skills to discombobulate the Champion. Roode avoids a missile dropkick and takes control. He wears Aries down at a deliberate pace. Roode misses a knee drop off the second rope and Aries zeroes in on the injury. Aries goes for the Last Chancery but Roode gets to the ropes. He sends Roode to the floor and goes for the Heat Seeking Missile but Roode moves! That’s a big turning point. Roode focuses on the midsection and keeps Aries grounded. Every time Aries tries to fight back Roode cuts him off. The crowd continues to support the challenger. Finally Aries fires up and refuses to stay down. Aries hits a huge discuss forearm and then clotheslines Roode to the floor. This time Aries hits the Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Aries hits a missile dropkick. Roode catches a charging Aries with a powerslam for a two-count. Roode tries a Spear but Aries blocks it with a knee and then locks on the Last Chancery! The Champ is able to rake the eyes to beak the hold. They battle on the top rope and Aries knocks Roode down. Aries misses the 450 and runs right into a spinebuster but it only gets two. Roode throws Aries shoulder-first into the ring post. He locks on a Crossface and Aries eventually makes it to the ropes. Roode goes out and grabs his title belt but the referee takes it away from him. With the referee’s back turned Roode hits a blatant low blow and Aries kicks out! Roode argues with the referee, giving Aries the chance to hit an IED from out of nowhere! Aries goes for the Brainbuster but Roode slips out and shoves him into the referee. Now Roode grabs the belt again and this time smacks Aries in the face with it. The referee rolls over to make the count and Aries kicks out! Roode goes for the Payoff but Aries counters with an inside cradle for two. Aries avoids a charge in the corner and drills Roode with a kick to the head. He follows with the Brainbuster and scores the pin to a huge pop at 22:38! There was a great story heading into this match and both men carried it through with a tremendous match. The psychology from both guys was sound, the crowd was with them, and it just felt like a huge moment. These two are great together.
Rating: ****½×120.jpg

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Rabblecast Ep. 371 – Jim Ross Contactually Done w/WWE, TNA NYC Manhattan Center Shows Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:01:03 +0000 This is a solo show for your humble host, Hernandez. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get your pro wrestling news and rumors. In this episode, The Guatemalan Bulldozer covers the recent news in WWE regarding Jim Ross and CM Punk’s contracts coming to their respective ends. Will we ever see either of these two in WWE again?

TNA Impact Wrestling is still showing their run of tapings from the Manhattan Center in NYC and they are fun to watch. The NYC fans know how to add that special something to a televised wrestling show. So much so, that TNA will be returning for another round of tapings in early August. Hernandez runs down the matches from the 7/17 show and recent happenings in TNA.


We are The Rabblecast!


Follow us on Twitter: @Rabblecast

Like, The Rabblecast Facebook Fan page!

Email us at:×120.jpg

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TNA Spoilers and Results: Bobby Lashley Wins TNA Title from Eric Young on Impact, Spoilers on X Division and TNA Power Struggle Sat, 21 Jun 2014 15:14:17 +0000 On TNA Impact Wrestling this past Thursday, Bobby Lashley won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Eric Young.

Meanwhile, the two major spoilers for upcoming Impact Wrestling episodes are that Austin Aries wins the TNA X Division Title from Sanada ahead of Destination X and MVP is removed as director of operations due to abuse of power.

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My Thoughts: TNA Sacrifice 4.27.14 (Eric Young, Magnus, Dixie Carter, The Wolves) Mon, 28 Apr 2014 02:56:47 +0000 TNA Sacrifice 2014 Header


<- I absolutely love the fact that The Wolves are being featured on an international stage. I hate that it has to be against the BroMans. The minds for tag team wrestling that The Wolves have is incredible. But now does TNA have any other tag teams to face the Wolves since Daniels & Kaz are gone?

<- The Samuel Shaw character completely jumped the shark on last week’s Impact. The whole “trip to Shaw’s house” where he lives with his “mom” and his mom is named “Christy” – it was too B-level (or more like D-level) horror movie that probably had more people rolling their eyes than anticipating their match at the PPV. The match was nothing special but I did like that Christy Hemme was the one to cost Shaw the win in the end. Oh and hey Mr. Anderson is finally wearing long trunks! It only took about 8 years to realize how stumpy his legs look on TV.

<- All I got out of this match was that Rockstar Spud was more over in the Impact Zone than Kurt Angle or Jeff Hardy and that the people in Orlando made history with their “Mary Poppins” chant.

<- Sanada & Tigre Uno might not be as good as guys like AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels but they’re what the X-Division is right now. It’s nice to see flashes of the X-Division past, TNA needs to get guys like Kenny King and Austin Aries back into this title mix. That or pick up new blood.

<- I know wrestling is a constant evolution and guys need to evolve their characters to remain relevant. But damn do I miss when James Storm was entertaining. This match was just damn violent. At least they had a strong back story to support the violence compared to recent matches.

<- So Dixie Carter is now becoming a part of the in-ring/on-screen product? Such a bad, bad idea and what a plodding & cruddy match. I expected more from these two guys, especially with the intensity they brought to the feud but everything just fell flat.

<- I like how Eric Young threw in some of his old gimmicks at the beginning of the match to “throw off” Magnus. It was a nice homage to how far Young’s character has come. What sucks is that this two men had a much better match than most of the rest of the card but received half of the TV time. There definitely needs to be a conversation on what should be more important than others. Problems such as the TNA World Championship match being shorter than Kurt Angle/Willow versus EC3/Spud. Young did look great again in his title defense so there’s that for whomever paid for the PPV and stayed awake long enough to see the main event.×120-2013.jpg×250-2014-tna-sacrific.jpg

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My Thoughts: TNA Impact 4.17.14 & 4.24.14 (Eric Young, Magnus, MVP, Abyss) Sun, 27 Apr 2014 19:30:13 +0000 TNA Impact Header - 2014


<- So I’ve been pretty much out of the loop when it comes to Impact lately. The last show I watched saw Daniel Bryan’s doppelgänger win the World Championship just days after Daniel Bryan had a career making night at WrestleMania 30. That said, I knew I needed to catch up on Impact with a PPV tonight so I figured I’d throw 2 shows in one column. Who knows if it will work but then again, when was the last time TNA worked?

Impact Wrestling 4.17.14

<- I don’t think I mentioned this is my last report but I’m glad Eric Young won the title with a piledriver since that move should be considered a match ending move with how dangerous it is. Also, I’m not against Young winning the TNA Championship. What bothered me was the rushed building of his “legitimate wrestler” push & the timing of the title change.

<- Dixie Carter invented the beard… Such a pathetic attempted cheap shot at Daniel Bryan and the WWE.

<- Annnnd now they want to do a “corporate makeover”? Good God. To think I used to love this promotion…

<- The Beautiful People were a great act for TNA during their first run when they had plenty of women to work against. They were heels but sexy as hell & still able to get heat. That’s an easy thing to do at all. This reunited version of the BP seems water downed & unable to capture the magic they had on their first go-around. I think all TNA fans had high hopes for the Beautiful People reunion but I can’t see anyone pleased with their direction thus far.

<- Samoa Joe won’t come to work because he’s “disgruntled” he’s not in the main event. If this wasn’t a work, I’d say Samoa Joe and CM Punk should just go off and start their own promotion of disgruntled pro-wrestlers.

<- So the rumor was that The Wolves turned down a WWE contract because they would have to start out in NXT whereas they would be put right into the spotlight at TNA. I don’t know about many other wrestling fans but the quality of NXT & now it’s higher visibility on the WWE Network rates NXT higher than TNA. I wonder if Eddie and Davey feel like they made the wrong choice as I do.

<- A ton of people are down on the Willow character but I say why not? Everyone knows it’s Jeff Hardy and they’re not trying to hide that fact. But Hardy DID need a reboot or anything that made Hardy fresh again. This character is completely different and I think it works BECAUSE they’re not trying to hide the fact that it’s Jeff Hardy. I guess TNA did learn something from Suicide.

<- You would think that with all of that time off, Kenny King would be better on the mic. I’m not down on the new character as it’s just ramped up from his previous persona and he’s always good in the ring. But there’s nothing that stands out about him. I’d much rather watch Tigre Uno and Sanada in a best of 7 series than a best of 3.

<- Why do wrestlers ALWAYS go for the tables hidden under the ring instead of the ones that are leaned up against the damn ring post? It always looked idiotic to me. I don’t see how Gunner doesn’t win most improved. He’s in-ring work is night and day from when he debuted as a member of a TNA “security”.

<- I understand that you want Eric Young’s first title defense be a big one and earn him an impressive win but Monster’s Ball? There’s nothing to build up to now. Hopefully this will be the last Abyss/Young match for a while. Still, very good match for a hardcore fight and another win to legitimize Eric Young as a real World Champion.


Impact Wrestling 4.24.14

<- Why did I do this to myself? TNA is bearable on a weekly basis and even sometimes pretty good but I never should have let myself watch two episodes back-to-back and then a PPV Sunday.

<- I hope we don’t get video packages showing Eric Young’s title win all night like it was the week before. If your fans are watching your show, they know what the hell happened.

<- Wait, is Abyss a babyface again now because Magnus fired him and Abyss thought they were friends? I know that there’s a lot of shades of grey in pro-wrestling and not everyone is a clear-cut “good guy” or “bad guy” but after Abyss tried to potentially kill your “good guy” World Champion the previous week, I definitely wouldn’t consider him someone to root for because his feelings were hurt during one promo.

<- The last time I think I saw someone compete in a bow tie was Howard Finkel and he was a lot more entertaining than Rockstar Spud.

<- What’s with the TNA Knockouts all wearing wrestling skirts? Even ODB wears a damn skirt for Christ’s sake! And Brittany is the new Victoria/Mickie James/Bayley super-fan that turns stalker. I know there’s only a limited supply of wrestling angles but this one is WAY too played out. (FYI: I included Bayley because I’m assuming when they want to turn her, they’ll play this card.)

<- So what’s the logic of putting a talented guy like Kenny King you’ve been promoting for weeks in a match with an already established monster like Bobby Lashley? Sure it was a somewhat competitive match but not enough to actually help King’s character. Although how the hell Bobby Lashley caught King in a vertical suplex I’ll never know!

<- It might be the talent he’s been able to work with but the MVP we’re seeing in TNA is nothing compared to what we saw in WWE. Why can’t all wrestlers take a few tours of Japan if it enhances their ring talent?

<- Why wouldn’t you hype a Beer Money reunion? Because they’re heels? Then don’t team them together and wait until you can do a “reunion” tour of (arguably) TNA’s most popular tag team instead of having them compete in a random match on Impact.

<- OK, Samuel Shaw has jumped the shark, Fonzie-style.

<- Abyss seriously just apologized to Eric Young one week after their Monster’s Ball title match… The “Monster” just apologized to his “friend”. How the hell am I going to stay awake tonight during Sacrifice?

<- Wait… the show is over? I can leave now? God I hope Sacrifice has some damn good in-ring action.×120-2013.jpg×250-2013-tna-impact.jpg

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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Supercard of Honor IV (Jerry Lynn, Nigel McGuinness) Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:00:52 +0000 supercard of honor 4

For an easy-to-search archive of all my ROH DVD reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

George R. Brown Convention Center – Houston, Texas – April 3, 2009

We open backstage with the ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness, who will defend his title against Jerry Lynn tonight. He says he’s been champion as long as he has because he hates to lose, and he loves proving people wrong, basically.

MATCH #1: Erick Stevens vs. Rhett Titus

Titus does everything he can to avoid getting hit with a chop, but ends up taking a Samoan Drop instead. Stevens is firmly in control in the opening minutes here. Titus blocks a body slam attempt and grabs onto the Mohawk. A punch to the face and a Rocker Dropper takes Stevens down and Titus is in control now. He hits a running knee to the face. A dropkick gets two for Titus. He goes up top for a flying something, and Stevens catches him in an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Stevens is all over Titus now, throwing him face-first into the canvas. He hits a shoulderblock off the second rope and goes for the Doctor Bomb but Titus goes to the eyes. Titus sets up for the Muff Driver but Stevens backdrops him and hits the Choo-Choo. Stevens hits the leg capture clothesline and that’s all for Titus at 6:48. That was a perfectly competent opener.
Rating: **

MATCH #2: Chris Hero, Eddie Edwards & Incognito vs. Kevin Steen, Jay Briscoe & Magno

The heels are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Steen charges the ring along with his partners and they send the Sweet & Sour team running to the floor to regroup. Jay and Hero start the match. Hagadorn is now the “Head of Ringside Operations.” Hero starts throwing strikes but Jay weathers the storm and hits a high back body drop. Incognito gets tagged in and Jay follows suit by tagging Magno, who promptly breaks the top rope off an Irish whip. Oh that sucks. The match quickly turns into a ringside brawl, and we end up with Incognito and Magno in the ring. They start wrestling on the mat, because what else are they going to do? Steen tags in but he’s only interested in going after Edwards, and that costs him, allowing Edwards to attack the knee and start wearing it down. All three of Steen’s opponents take turns brutalizing his knee. Steen eventually makes the hot tag to Briscoe, and he’s handling all three of his opponents. Hero comes back with an elbow strike and a sit-out powerbomb for two. He hits a series of elbows but Jay counters with a big boot and tags Magno. He hits some impressive aerial maneuvers with only the use of the second rope. He sends all three opponents to the floor and Steen wipes them all out with a dive. Magno hits a moonsault off the ring post to the floor! He and Hero wind up back in the ring and Magno hits a slam and goes to the ropes. Hagadorn distracts Magno, allowing Hero to put on his loaded elbow pad. Hero clobbers Magno with it to get the pin at 14:21. Well the rope breaking certainly didn’t help, but they managed to make the best out of a bad situation.
Rating: **¾

Backstage D-Lo Brown is wearing a t-shirt that says “Heel.” Wow, he’s so “hip” and “insider.” He cuts a brutal promo trying to establish his heel persona. His “future endeavors” thing is already old. I just don’t care about him.

MATCH #3: Roderick Strong vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima

The crowd chants “This Is Awesome” before the match even starts. I’ll be the judge of that. They trade arm drags and stuff in the early going. Of course that quickly becomes an exchange of elbows and chops, and the crowd loves it. Strong takes control with chops, clotheslines, and a suplex for two. A backbreaker gets another two. Nakajima comes back and tarts attacking Strong’s knee. Strong makes the comeback with an enziguiri and slams Nakajima down on his face. Both men are down. They rise and start throwing chops at each other. Ouch. Strong ends that with a backbreaker on his bad knee, and he sells it like a champ. He goes up to the second rope and Nakajima kicks him in the head. Nakajima hits a brainbuster for two. Strong comes back with another backbreaker. They trade more kicks and Strong hits the gutbuster, and is able to hit the running Yakuza. He finishes up with the Gibson Driver at 9:30. They sure packed a ton of action into a small amount of time and it was quite fun to watch.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #4: Sweet & Sour Challenge – Bobby Dempsey vs. Kamala

This is the second of the open contracts Larry Sweeney had in place before Bobby Dempsey left Sweet & Sour Inc. back in January. Shane Hagadorn and Kimchee are accompanying Kamala tonight. Dempsey takes off his shirt and he has the same belly paint as Kamala, thus Kamala won’t attack him. Hagadorn smacks Kimchee, so Kimchee takes a shot at Hagadorn and sends Kamala after him instead of Dempsey! Kamala squashes Hagadorn in the corner and Dempsey follows in with a cannonball. There was no closing bell, but this was obviously some kind of no-contest. Should I even rate it?
Rating: DUD

Alex Koslov is backstage cutting a promo in Russian on his opponent tonight, Bryan Danielson. I have no idea what he said.

MATCH #5: Four Corner Survival – El Generico vs. Blue Demon, Jr. vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brent Albright

No tags are needed in this one. Albright chases after Claudio before the other two participants can even be introduced. Two of the competitors in this match hold gold, as Generico is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions and Demon is the current NWA Champion, having beaten Adam Pearce for the belt back in October. Demon and Claudio start the match. They go back and forth for a bit before Claudio winds up in the ring with Albright, his nemesis. Albright is throwing punches, chops and kicks, wearing Claudio down. He charges and gets sent over the ropes and to the floor. Generico enters the ring and sends Claudio and Demon to the floor. He has three options and chooses to hit Claudio with a big dive. They wind up back in the ring and Claudio works to ground Generico, wearing him down with a chinlock. Eventually Generico makes the tag to Albright, who is more than happy to unleash fury on Claudio again. Albright hits a powerslam for two. Everybody’s in the ring now, and the masked man take to throwing chops at each other. Demon knocks Generico to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring Albright tries to put Claudio in the Crowbar but can’t do it. Claudio blocks several attempts at the Half-Nelson Suplex, and the referee gets knocked out of the way. That’s the only opening Claudio needs to hit Albright with a low blow and score the pin at 9:13. That was mostly just a jumble of moves surrounding a mid-card feud.
Rating: **

MATCH #6: Bryan Danielson vs. Alex Koslov

Koslov score the first knockdown but Danielson doesn’t seem to be sweating his Russian opponent. I hate to say it, but Danielson seems less motivated since Pearce has taken over. Outside of the Bison Smith thing, Danielson has done very little since losing the big title match to Nigel McGuinness back in November. It’s not that he’s not having good matches; he always does, but something just seems different. They do some stalling and let the crowd enjoy themselves. They engage in a test of strength and Danielson gets the first advantage, but Koslov powers back and takes Danielson down for a series of near-falls. They take it to the mat and Danielson goes for the surfboard but Koslov reaches the ropes. Danielson of course issues a clean break before the count of five. Koslov traps Danielson in a head scissors but Danielson escapes and once again tries the surfboard but Koslov powers out. Some fans are rooting for Koslov. Once again we’re back to square one with both men on their feet. Danielson locks Koslov in an armbar and starts going to work. Koslov reaches the ropes, and when Danielson breaks the hold Koslov scampers over and attacks Danielson’s knee. That was pretty clever. Koslov then destroys any good will he had built up with me by executing the Kenny Omega “stop sign” garbage. Not only should he not do it because it’s Omega’s thing in ROH, but it’s just a stupid thing for anyone to be doing. Danielson apparently agrees and makes Koslov pay with the surfboard, finally. That gets broken and Koslov suplexes Danielson from the apron to the floor, with Danielson taking a nasty bump on his tailbone. Koslov leaps from the top rope and wipes Danielson out on the floor. Back in the ring Koslov goes to work, and even puts on his little Russian hat and does the dancing kicks. Danielson doesn’t think much of that and goes back on offense. He tries Cattle Mutilation but Koslov successfully avoids it and hits an enziguiri. Some kind of alarm seems to be going off in the building. Koslov hits a Frog Splash for two. He then locks on Danielson’s own Cattle Mutilation. Koslov then takes it a step further by hitting some elbows to the face. Danielson really doesn’t take too kindly to that, and he Hulks Up! Koslov fights back with a Russian Legsweep. He covers Danielson in the Russian flag and goes up top. Koslov misses the splash and Danielson takes advantage with elbows to the face. Danielson then rolls into Cattle Mutilation and Koslov taps out at 15:15. Danielson was on autopilot and Koslov didn’t do much to impress me.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #7: Colt Cabana vs. D-Lo Brown

This is Cabana’s second match back with the company, and this is D-Lo’s third match with ROH overall. They do some back and forth, with Cabana doing the fun-loving good-time mat wrestling he’s known for. They engage in a test of strength, which D-Lo takes the first advantage in. Cabana escapes it and does more of his goofy stuff, but winds up taking a shining wizard for his troubles. D-Lo goes on offense, as the pace slows to a crawl. Cabana battles back and hits D-Lo with an Asai Moonsault for two. He hits the running butt-butt in the corner, but D-Lo comes out with a TKO. D-Lo goes up to the second rope and misses the senton. Both men get back to their feet and Cabana locks on the Billy Goat’s Curse. D-Lo taps Cabana’s leg, so Cabana thinks he’s won and breaks the hold. But since Paul Turner didn’t see it, the match goes on. That’s lame. D-Lo gets a quick small package for two. Cabana gets up and goes for the Colt 45 but D-Lo reverses it to a Sky-Hi Powerbomb. D-Lo goes up top and Cabana shoves him down to the floor. Cabana follows him out and throws him back inside. He takes his own sweet time getting back in the ring for some reason, giving D-Lo time to put on brass knuckles. Cabana jumps off the top rope and D-Lo punches him with the knuckles to get the pin at 11:04. That finish took far too long to set up and makes Cabana look like a complete idiot. Three matches in and I would be ready to pull the plug on the D-Lo Brown experiment that’s for sure. It’s not like the match was good leading up to the finish anyway.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #8: GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title Match – KENTA vs. Davey Richards

Richards is accompanied by his fellow American Wolf Eddie Edwards. KENTA has been the champion since 3.1.09, this is his third reign, and I believe this is his first defense. Richards declines the handshake and here we go. KENTA was Richards’s mentor at one time, so these two know each other very well. The tempers flare early on and the strikes are coming in stiff. KENTA takes the first advantage and lays in the kicks. Richards comes back and goes to work on the leg, which is quite the smart strategy. KENTA comes back with a flurry of offense and heads to the top rope to hit a leaping lariat for two. He’s barely selling the knee, and Prazak is all but calling him on it. Richards comes back and sends KENTA to the floor. He charges out with a running dive through the ropes and pretty much misses KENTA as he crashes into the crowd. Back in the ring Richards hits a German Suplex for two. The crowd chants “this is awesome” and Richards basically breaks kayfabe to acknowledge their assessment. Richards goes for a superplex but KENTA knocks him back and hits the slingshot missile dropkick and two running boots in the corner followed by a dropkick. A sit-out powerbomb gets another two for KENTA. He follows up with a crazy double stomp to the chest off the top rope for two. He tries a rana off the top but Richards powerbombs him down and locks on the Texas Cloverleaf. KENTA reaches the ropes, and both men get up and start trading kicks. They nail each other in the head and both men are down. They get back up and start throwing bombs again. KENTA wins that battle and hits a Tiger Suplex for two. They fight to the ring apron and KENTA hits a nasty looking Falcon Arrow to the floor. The fans chant “F*ck WrestleMania,” which is ignorant and obnoxious. Back in the ring Richards flips KENTA off and gets smacked around for it. KENTA hits the Busaiku Knee for two. Richards blocks Go 2 Sleep and locks on the Texas Cloverleaf. KENTA reverses to a rollup for two. Richards hits the alarm clock and a clothesline. He hits the D.R. Driver but KENTA kicks out at two! KENTA comes back and tries Go 2 Sleep again but Richards counters it to a crucifix for two. Richards tries the cartwheel elbow, but KENTA grabs him in a Torture Rack and hits Go 2 Sleep! I haven’t seen him do that before. KENTA retains the title at 18:17. That was definitely the best match in ROH so far this year, but Shawn and Undertaker would eclipse this match and likely every other match so far or to come this year just two days later. But hey, the crowd didn’t know it, give ‘em a brake. Anyway, Richards has become so awesome and KENTA was his usual excellent self. The crowd wants Richards to shake hands, which to my great disappointment he does, and then bows to the guy who just beat him. Richards then gets on the mic to put over Ring of Honor, and everything after that match was completely out of character for Richards and that really upsets me.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #9: Austin Aries & Jimmy Jacobs vs. Tyler Black & Necro Butcher

I feel like these guys have been wearing the same red dress forever, so to speak. Jacobs and Aries enter separately but Tyler and Necro come out together. Aries and Jacobs stall outside the ring, so Tyler dives over the referee’s back to the floor and wipes them both out. Necro joins him and goes after Jacobs, while Tyler and Aries briefly fight into the crowd. Jacobs and Necro fight in another part of the crowd. Meanwhile Aries and Tyler start the match proper in the ring. That doesn’t even last too long as Tyler knocks Aries to the floor and drops him face-first on the apron. That leaves Jacobs alone in the ring with both of his opponents, and they try to toss him through a table on the floor but Aries makes the save. Jacobs then returns the favor, and then they both avoid getting slammed simultaneously. They send both of their opponents to the floor and Aries hits the Heat Seeking Missile. He tosses Tyler back into the ring and he and Jacobs go to work on him. Aries and Jacobs come across a disagreement and start throwing hands at each other! Tyler takes the opportunity to make the hot-ish tag to Necro. The barefooted warrior throws Jacobs to the floor and hits the Necrocanrana on Aries. Jacobs breaks up the pin but Necro remains in control. The referee gets in the way so Jacobs helpfully removes him and boots Necro in the junk. He locks on the End Time, while Tyler and Aries fight on the floor. Tyler makes it back in the ring and breaks up the hold. Necro chokeslams Jacobs onto Aries, and then takes Tyler’s order to put Jacobs on a table. I thought the whole reason he left Age of The Fall was so that he didn’t have to take orders anymore? Tyler goes to the top rope and Aries knocks him down and follows him out. Aries sets Tyler on the table while Necro and Jacobs fight. Necro punches Aries off the ropes and back into the ring. Now Necro sets Aries on the table but Jacobs stops him before any damage can be done. Jacobs goes for a tornado DDT but Necro blocks it and tries a chokeslam. That gets blocked, and Jacobs tries a back suplex. Aries dropkicks them both through the table, leaving him and Tyler to go one-on-one. He tries the dropkick in the corner but Tyler catches him and hits an F-5. Tyler sets up for the Buckle Bomb but Jacobs intercepts him with a spear, and Aries lands right on Jacobs’s head. Aries hits Tyler with the kick to the head and the brainbuster to get the pin at 11:02. That was the good match you would expect from these guys, but none of it seems to be going anywhere. Jacobs and Aries try to demolish Tyler after the bell, but Necro runs them off.
Rating: ***

MATCH #10: ROH World Title Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Jerry Lynn

Nigel has been The Man since 10.6.07, and this is his thirty-ninth defense. They start the match with some chain wrestling, and Lynn goes hold-for-hold with the Champ. He wisely focuses on Nigel’s injured arms. Nigel tries to run to the floor but Lynn follows him and goes to work on the arm. Back in the ring Nigel takes a cheap shot and goes to work on the challenger. Lynn comes back with a flurry of offense, including a tornado DDT. Nigel comes back and tries the Tower of London but Lynn reverses it to an inverted DDT for two. Moments later Nigel does hit the Tower of London but Lynn kicks out. The champ then locks on the London Dungeon but Lynn reaches the ropes. Nigel sets Lynn on the top rope and goes for the Tower of London on the apron. Lynn avoids it but gets clotheslined back into the ring. That really took a toll on Nigel, but he’s still able to hit the Tower of London to the floor. Lynn barely makes the count back in before 20. He’s able to fire up and hit a Sunset Bomb for two, and then locks on a London Dungeon of his own, and Nigel reaches the ropes. Nigel gets an O’Connor roll for two, and then misses a Jawbreaker. They trade pinning combos but neither man can get the three, and Nigel locks on the London Dungeon again. Lynn reverses to his own London Dungeon again and Nigel barely makes the ropes. He then locks on a cross armbreaker and Nigel once again reaches the ropes. The challenger hits a lariat and an Air Raid Crash but still can’t wrest the title away. Nigel goes for an Alabama Slam, which Lynn reverses to a Cradle Piledriver and Nigel barely gets his foot on the ropes! Lynn goes for another one but Nigel blocks it and connects with the Jawbreaker Lariat. It does so much damage to Nigel’s arm that he can’t make the cover right away. When he does Lynn kicks out and once again locks on the cross armbreaker. Nigel reaches the ropes after being in the hold quite a while. He gets up and tries another Lariat but Lynn avoids it and hits the Cradle Piledriver to score the pin and become the eleventh ROH World Champion at 19:08. That was a shockingly excellent match, with Nigel being so crippled and Lynn being so Lynn. It really made me wish the storyline building up to the match had been more compelling and less “Jerry Lynn is Randy the Ram,” but I can still appreciate an excellent match when I see one. The crowd appreciates both men after the match, and both Lynn and Nigel cut a promo.
Rating: ****×120.jpg

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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Supercard of Honor III (Nigel McGuinness, Austin Aries) Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:00:06 +0000 supercard of honor 3

For an easy-to-search archive of all my ROH DVD reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Downtown Recreation Complex – Orlando, Florida – March 29, 2008

MATCH #1: Delirious vs. Go Shiozaki

Delirious loses his mind at the sound of the bell, of course. Shiozaki isn’t quite sure how to react to Delirious’ strange antics but the crowd is enjoying them. Delirious tries to take Shiozaki down with shoulder tackles but has no luck there. Shiozaki tries a chop and Delirious gets out of the way in a hurry. Back in the ring Delirious shows off his chain wrestling skill but when Shiozaki tries a chop again Delirious goes right back to the floor. Delirious can only avoid the chops for so long and finally he gets hit with a couple of them. Shiozaki covers for two. Delirious comes back with a clothesline off the top rope for two. He follows with a back suplex for another two-count. Shiozaki fights back with more chops. He goes to work with various strikes and submission holds, keeping Delirious grounded. Shiozaki hits a delayed Fisherman Buster for a near-fall. He slams Delirious down and goes up for the moonsault but Delirious gets his knees up. Delirious unleashes a flurry of offense now but can’t keep Shiozaki down. He hits the Panic Attack and goes up top for Shadows Over Hell but Shiozaki cuts him out of the air with a superkick. Shiozaki then hits a nice German Suplex with a bridge for two. Delirious puts on the Cobra Stretch and Shiozaki makes it to the ropes. Shiozaki shrugs off an enziguiri and hits a big lariat for two. Delirious tries an inside cradle but Shiozaki rolls through and hits the Go Flasher for the pin at 12:34. That was a good choice for an opener, as they mixed some Delirious comedy with some solid action.
Rating: ***

Backstage – Larry Sweeney and Shane Hagadorn are gloating about their private locker room. Apparently Adam Pearce and Brent Albright are on vacation on Sweeney’s dime. Sweeney says offers for Chris Hero and Daniel Puder are flooding in. He then decides that Hagadorn needs some better threads if they are going to be seen together. I miss Sweeney.

MATCH #2: The YRR vs. Bushwhacker Luke, Dingo & Alex Payne

The Young, Rich, and Ready for action is represented tonight by Sal Rinauro, Kenny King and Chasyn Rance. They have some sluts with them. King is a co-holder of the FIP Tag Team Titles and Rinauro is the FIP Florida Heritage Champion. I’m not sure why Luke, Dingo, and Payne deserve to be on a show called “Supercard of Honor” but here they are. Dingo and Rinauro start the match. They go back and forth a bit and Dingo takes the first advantage. Payne tags in and looks skinny and weak. The YRR use some questionable tactics to take Payne down on the floor and they put the boots to him. They isolate Payne now in their half of the ring and work him over. King tries a suplex on him but Payne sort of counters it to a DDT. Dingo gets the hot tag and he unloads on all three members of the YRR. The match breaks down and it turns into a pier-six brawl. Watching the YRR sell for Luke is somewhat depressing. The YRR isolates Dingo and hit him with a flurry of offense. Rinauro finishes him off with a springboard spin kick to the face for the pin at 8:13. Luke’s involvement was kept to a minimum, which kept this match in the acceptable territory.
Rating: **¼

At this point a match was taped for the upcoming Take No Prisoners pay-per-view in which ROH World Tag Team Champions Davey Richards and Rocky Romero successfully defended the belts against Ruckus and Jigsaw. Larry Sweeney then makes his way out with Shane Hagadorn for reasons unknown. Sweeney makes a pitch to have the No Remorse Corps join up with Sweet N’ Sour Inc., but Roderick Strong comes storming out and tells Sweeney for the last time that they have no interest. Erick Stevens then comes charging out and attacks! The Vulture Squad takes the tag champions to the back and the FIP Title match is on!

MATCH #3: FIP World Heavyweight Title Match – Roderick Strong vs. Erick Stevens

Strong has been the Champion since 2.16.08, and this is his third defense. Stevens dominates and chops Strong so hard that his chest starts to bleed! They make it into the ring but the referee for some reason doesn’t ring the bell. Instead both Stevens and Strong take shots at him to knock him out. The brutality escalates and they fight out on the floor, just tearing into each other. Strong wraps a chair around Stevens’ head and slams it into the ring post! Stevens is bleeding from the head now. Back in the ring Strong tries to whip Stevens into a chair but Stevens reverses and slams Strong’s head into said chair. Stevens then hits a TKO on the chair and Strong rolls back to the floor. Strong’s head is busted open now too. Back in the ring Stevens continues his domination. Stevens goes for the Choo-Choo but Strong cuts him off with a boot and a clothesline. Strong tries to follow up but Stevens grabs him in a release German Suplex. Stevens then hits the Choo-Choo and a huge lariat. Strong comes back with an enziguiri and the Sick Kick. Both men rise and they start trading hard strikes. They knock each other out with simultaneous hard forearm shots. Strong grabs the chair and CLOBBERS Stevens over the head with it. He calls Richards and Romero out and they cut Stevens’ Mohawk! That’s brutal. The crowd is pissed. I guess technically that’s a no-contest but that was one HELL of a fight, where the two guys really seemed to hate each other and didn’t care about winning, just hurting the other guy. In the context of their feud I think this was surely the right “match” to have at this time.
Rating: ****

MATCH #4: Relaxed Rules – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black

They show a nice video recap of this feud, and then Jacobs cuts a promo before the match introducing Mr. Milo Beasley, an FIP mainstay. Jacobs and Black are also accompanied by Lacey and Rain. The Briscoes charge to the ring and we’re off and running. This is actually the first time we’ve seen just these two teams against each other since Jacobs and Black took the ROH World Tag Team Titles from the Briscoes at Final Battle 2007. The battle quickly spills to the floor and the Briscoes pitch Jacobs and Black into the crowd. Mark finds a tramampoline and uses it to spring over the guardrail and wipe his opponents out. Prazak and Leonard vacate the commentary position, so I will be back when they are. After a wild brawl all over the arena featuring tons of chairs and Mark diving off the balcony to put Mr. Milo Beasley through a table, we pick it back up in the ring with Jay on his own against Jacobs and Black. Jacobs tries to put a plastic bag over Jay’s head and that doesn’t really work, but The Age of The Fall still has a two-on-one advantage. Black hits Paroxysm and Jacobs follows with the back senton for a two-count. Jay fights back with a series of strikes and hits Jacobs with a Falcon Arrow for a two-count. He hits Black with a Death Valley Driver for two. Jay goes for the Jay Driller but Jacobs kicks him in the nuts and Black rolls him up with a cradle for a near-fall. AOTF hit the Super Contra Code combo but Jay kicks out! Black goes up top for the Phoenix Splash but Mark is back and he shoves Black down. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but Jacobs actually catches Mark in mid-air and locks on the End Time! Mark is out at 15:05! The crowd chants “That Was Awesome.” It was awesome, probably the best match these two teams had against each other. The brawling around the arena was well done and the crowd was into them the entire time. Also the finish was really awesome and creative.
Rating: ****¼

Backstage – Erick Stevens Is looking worse for wear, face all bloody and Mohawk all shaved. Stevens says he’s not going to stop until he gets the FIP World Heavyweight Title.

Elsewhere – Rebecca Bayless is with The Age of The Fall, who are celebrating their victory. Black says they accomplished their first goal by beating the Briscoes. Jacobs says next up is Austin Aries will win the ROH World Title from Nigel McGuinness tonight and join The Age of The Fall. He says he has a plan. Lacey says that if his plan falls through, she has a backup plan. Jacobs looks surprised by that.

MATCH #5: BxB Hulk & Shingo vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

Shingo and Hulk represent the New Hazard faction. Generico and Hulk start the match. I expect this will get fast and our of hand relatively quickly. My prediction comes true as Generico and Hulk exchange maneuvers and the crowd is juiced. Hulk gets the advantage so Steen tags in and Hulk takes control of him too. Hulk then weirdly sells his head for some reason and tags out. Shingo and Steen try to out-power each other now. Steen sends Shingo to the floor and Generico wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring Steen and Generico start going to work on Shingo. Generico doesn’t fare too well before Shingo slugs him down. New Hazard is in control now, but they knock Generico right back into his own corner and he’s able to make the tag. Steen comes in roaring. He and Generico isolate Hulk and wear him down. Hulk fights back with dropkicks and makes the tag. Shingo is a house afire. Things start to get crazy and it’s hard to keep up with the action. This is exactly what I expected from these four guys and I love it. Hulk hits the first finisher, an EVO on Generico for a two-count. Steen tries a Package Piledriver but Hulk slips out of it. Hulk hits Mouse but Steen responds with a lariat. Shingo clobbers Steen with a lariat. Generico flies in with a cross body block on Shingo and all four men are down. Steen and Shingo knock each other to the floor. Generico hits Hulk with the running Yakuza Kick, and Steen follows with a Swanton Bomb for two. Steen misses a moonsault and Shingo grabs him in the Blood Fall for a two-count. Hulk hits Generico with EVOP for a near-fall. Shingo tosses Steen to the floor. He then puts Generico on his shoulders and Hulk knocks him off with a springboard leg lariat for two. Steen gets knocked to the floor again and Hulk wipes him out with a moonsault. Shingo hits Generico with a huge lariat in the corner. He follows with a super Death Valley Driver but only gets two! Shingo hits the Pumping Bomber but Generico pops right back up so Shingo clobbers him with another one. He then hits Last Falconry to get the win at 17:48. That was just phenomenal action from bell to bell from two great teams. Both duos have a power guy and a speed guy and they matched up really well. All the moves hit and the crowd was pretty hard for them the whole time.
Rating: ****¼

Backstage – Erick Stevens finishes shaving his Mohawk.

MATCH #6: ROH World Championship Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Austin Aries

McGuinness has been the Champion since 10.6.07, and this is his tenth defense. They start off cautiously, as this is their second title match after the classic at Rising Above 2007. Both men target the arm early on. Aries tries the Last Chancery but McGuinness wisely slips to the floor. Back in the ring Aries goes on the attack and hits a Thesz Press. Aries continues to strike and locks on the Last Chancery but McGuinness is too close to the ropes. The challenger continues to focus on the head, and looks extremely determined to become a two-time ROH World Champion. Aries makes a slight misstep and McGuinness capitalizes, going to work on the shoulder. Aries fights back with a running knee strike. He follows with a series of chops, including one off the top rope. McGuinness hits the Guns of Brixton for two. He goes back to the arm and locks on the London Dungeon but Aries reaches the ropes. Aries comes back and locks on the Last Chancery again. McGuinness rakes Aries’ eyes, and I wonder why more guys don’t do that to get out of that move. McGuinness goes back on offense and tries the Tower of London but Aries responds with an eye rake of his own. Aries hits a missile dropkick. He goes for the IED but McGuinness kicks him in the face. This time McGuinness hits the Tower of London but Aries kicks out. McGuinness sets Aries on the top rope for the clothesline but Aries ducks and traps McGuinness in a headscissors in the ropes. Aries then hits an ax handle down to the floor a la Macho Man. He follows with a vicious IED. Back in the ring Aries hits another IED, and then two more. Aries goes for the Brainbuster but McGuinness blocks it. McGuinness tries the headstand but Aries hits him with another IED. Aries tries to follow up but McGuinness cuts him off with a big lariat. Both men barely make it to their feet by the count of 10. They slap each other and then upgrade to forearms. McGuinness goes for the Jawbreaker Lariat but Aries hits a lariat first. Aries hits the Brainbuster but misses the 450. McGuinness locks on the London Dungeon and really wrenches it in. Aries counters it to a rollup and nearly pins the Champion. He then puts on the Last Chancery but McGuinness is able to slip out and put on the London Dungeon! Aries counters out of that and kicks McGuinness in the head. McGuinness tries the Jawbreaker but Aries ducks and gets a backslide for two. Aries kicks him in the head and hits the Brainbuster. He goes up top once again and this time hits the 450 but McGuinness gets his fot on the bottom rope. McGuinness rolls to the floor and Aries goes for the Heat Seeking Missile but McGuinness moves out of the way! Aries crashed into the barricade hard. McGuinness puts Aries on the barricade and hits a nasty lariat. Back in the ring McGuinness covers but Aries somehow kicks out. McGuinness hits a short-arm lariat but Aries kicks out again! The Champion tries another Lariat but Aries ducks and hits a crucifix bomb. McGuinness is able to come back with the Jawbreaker Lariat to finally get the pin at 24:43. That was a brilliant match from both guys, who stuck to their strategy for the first while and then just started throwing bombs in the last half. They played off the first match brilliantly and countered each other expertly. This match is even better than I remember it being, and it’s probably one of the best matches of 2008.
Rating: ****½

A Choice is Made

Before Aries can leave the ring, The Age of The Fall’s music hits. Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black, Lacey, and Rain all make their way out. Jacobs wants his answer right now. He gets frustrated so Lacey takes over. Lacey takes Aries by the hand, and after a brief protest Jacobs agrees to allow it. Before they can even leave the ring, Tammy Sytch makes her way out. Sytch offers herself to Aries, but he decides to leave with Lacey instead. Jacobs and Black then hold Sytch for Rain to slap across the face until the Briscoes come out and make the save.

Backstage – Nigel McGuinness declares the era of Austin Aries over. McGuinness says he’s the best wrestler in the world and the Ace of Ring of Honor. He challenges anyone to face him and promises to break their jaw.

MATCH #7: Typhoon vs. Muscle Outlaw’z

The Typhoon trio is CIMA, Dragon Kid & Ryo Saito. The Muscle Outlaw’z team is Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino & Genki Horiguchi. These are the same participants from the first Supercard of Honor match, just with CIMA and Horiguchi switching sides. Horiguchi and Saito start the match. They wrestle to a standoff and then tag CIMA and Doi into the match. After another standoff, Kid and Yoshino tag in. This should be quick. Kid sends Yoshino to the floor and thinks about a dive but Yoshino moves out of the way. Horiguchi comes in and Typhoon goes to work on him. The Outlaw’z come back on Saito and work him over. Momentum continues to shift as both teams try to establish dominance and set the pace. The Outlaw’z focus mostly on Kid, but they’re equal opportunity destroyers tonight. They dominate for several minutes and you can see the confidence building. Finally Kid hits Horiguchi with a leg lariat and makes the tag. Saito comes in fresh and ready to go. CIMA comes in and the pace is taking off. I’m starting to lose track of where everyone is at. Typhoon is clicking on all cylinders and the crowd is jacked. I would hate to be the referee in one of these matches. I can’t type fast enough to keep up with what they’re doing. The finish finally comes when Horiguchi hits Kid with the Beach Break and Doi follows with the Muscular Bomb to give the Muscle Outlaw’z the victory at 25:46. This was another amazing exhibition from six tremendous wrestlers. I didn’t think two guys switching sides would make that big of a difference but it gave the match a different dynamic than the first one. I also love the synergy of Doi getting revenge on Dragon Kid for winning the first match. It’s ridiculous what these guys can pull off while making it all look good.
Rating: ****½

Backstage – Shane Hagadorn and Larry Sweeney are celebrating after a great night. Sweeney says he’s going to make all the money and be laughing all the way to the bank.

And thus concludes one of the greatest shows in ROH history.×120.jpg

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A2Z Analysiz: ROH 8th Anniversary Show Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:00:13 +0000 8thAnnivDVD

For an easy-to-search archive of all my ROH DVD reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Manhattan Center – New York City, New York – February 13, 2010

We open backstage with Tyler Black, who is ruminating on his title shot against Austin Aries tonight. He says he’s in the best shape of his life, he’s super focused, and he’s the “ideal Tyler Black.” He says the match will not go to the judges, and he will be the ROH World Champion.

MATCH #1: Brian Kendrick vs. Roderick Strong

Kendrick’s music is great. He gets a nice ovation and a “welcome back” chant. Strong gets quite the ovation himself. Interesting to note is that this is the first match in ROH where Kendrick has been billed as “Brian Kendrick” rather than “Spanky.” They take it to the mat right away, attacking each others’ arms. Kendrick switches gears and goes after the leg. Strong doesn’t appreciate that so he starts throwing chops. Kendrick tries to cover up in the corner and gets stomped. Strong hits a backbreaker for a two-count. He continues working the back, hitting a vertical suplex for two. He hits a fallaway slam and Kendrick rolls to the floor. Kendrick tries to escape but Strong catches up with him, only to get caught with a drop toehold into the barricade. Now Kendrick is in control, so he slides back in the ring to regroup. Back in the ring Kendrick nails a dropkick for two and then locks on a Camel Clutch. Strong fights out of the Camel Clutch but Kendrick cuts him off with a neckbreaker for two. Kendrick hits a kick to the back of the head and chokes Strong against the middle rope. He goes to the second rope and Strong chops him all the way to the floor! Strong hits a leaping lariat off the apron and whips Kendrick into the barricades. He hits another chop and rolls Kendrick back in the ring. Kendrick hits a dropkick, and Strong comes back with one of his own for two. Strong hits a leg-capture backbreaker for two. He sets Kendrick up for a superplex but Kendrick fights him off and hits a side kick for two. Kendrick goes for Sliced Bread No. 2 but Strong counters it. Strong tries the gutbuster but Kendrick reverses to a crucifix for two. Kendrick hits a tornado DDT and then a beautiful Frog Splash for a two-count. He goes for Sliced Bread No. 2 again but Strong blocks it and hits the torture rack breaker. Strong hits a running boot to the face and then the Gibson Driver to get the pin at 10:25. I know he was miserable in WWE, but Kendrick has really become an excellent all-around worker since working there. This was an excellent choice to open the show.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) vs. The Bravado Brothers

The Bravado Brothers actually get promo time, and they make a game effort. They promise to make an impact tonight. Apparently the brothers Lance and Harlem are from the ROH Wrestling Academy. The Kings of Wrestling are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey. Hero and Castagnoli attack right away, tossing one of the Bravados to the floor and throwing the other one around inside the ring. Lance gets back on the ring apron and makes the tag, but the Kings shrug him off and do what they want. Del Rey gets her shots in on the floor, as Lance is just getting dominated. Castagnoli gets the tag and hits a European Uppercut for two. He tags Hero right back in. Hero hits a flying elbow in the corner, but Lance avoids the next one and hits a dropkick. Harlem gets the lukewarm tag and he takes both Kings down. He hits Hero with a split-legged moonsault, but Castagnoli dead lifts him off and suplexes him. The Kings hit the double boot to the face on Lance. Hero then throws Lance into a European Uppercut by Castagnoli. The Kings hit the KRS-One to get the win at 5:22. That was pretty squashy but the Kings of Wrestling are good enough to make it entertaining.
Rating: *

MATCH #3: No Rules Match – Necro Butcher & Eddie Kingston w/ Gypsy Joe vs. Erick Stevens & Joey Ryan w/ Prince Nana

Earlier tonight in the hotel room, the Embassy was getting ready for their match and talking trash to Necro Butcher and Eddie Kingston. Stevens and Ryan are also accompanied by Ernesto Osiris. The fight begins on the floor, with Kingston battling Ryan and Stevens battling the Butcher. The Kingston / Butcher tandem dominates the Embassy early on, but somehow Butcher is bleeding. I think Ryan is bleeding as well. Watching Gypsy Joe punch Osiris is pretty embarrassing. Kingston and Ryan wind up back in the ring. Ryan hits a powerslam for a two-count. Now Stevens and Butcher get in the ring. Stevens takes forever to set up the Choo-Choo, so Butcher punches him in the face. Bucher then executes his own version of Mr. Socko. Ryan breaks that up with a superkick, and then Kingston hits Ryan with a back fist, and then Stevens hits Kingston with a lariat. Stevens and Kingston get up first and exchange strikes. Kingston hits a Back Drop Driver. Ryan grabs Kingston with a spinning swinging neckbreaker. He knocks Kingston to the floor and then goes back in the ring to attack Butcher with his belt. He wraps his belt around Butcher’s beck, but Kingston breaks it up. Stevens and Kingston battle on the ring apron, and Stevens powerbombs Kingston on the table! The table doesn’t even break properly. Gypsy Joe distracts Ryan, allowing Butcher to put a plastic bag over his head. Ryan is done at 8:05. That was the usual Necro Butcher hardcore stuff.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #4: El Generico vs. Davey Richards w/ Shane Hagadorn

Generico is accompanied by Colt Cabana. Richards backs Generico into a corner and issues a somewhat clean break. They take it to the mat, trading holds. Richards gets Generico in a position for forearms to the back of the head, which for some reason the referee breaks. Then Richards yells out “American Wolves,” and I’m going to be keeping track of how many times he hells that out. Richards goes for the arm and locks on a cross armbreaker. Generico reaches the ropes and then takes a powder. Back in the ring Generico seems energized, as he hits a series of quick armdrags. Generico hits a side kick for a two-count. He goes up to the second rope and Richards pulls him into a modified Alarm Clock. Just over five minutes into the math I hear Richards shout “American Wolves” for the second time. Richards wastes time by jawing with the crowd and Generico tries to make a comeback. Generico hits a bodyslam and they take it to the apron. Richards yanks Generico down by the shoulder, right into the edge of the apron. He throws Generico into the barricade and then kicks him into the crowd. Back in the ring Richards viciously attacks the arm and shoulder. Generico fights back with clotheslines out of nowhere and a back body drop. He dumps Richards to the floor and follows him out with a nice Hilo. Back in the ring Generico hits a high cross body off the top rope for two. Generico hits a nasty Michinoku Driver for two. He goes for the running Yakuza but Richards kicks him first. Richards then pulls Generico out of the air with a Fujiwara Armbar, and then blocks a brainbuster with another Fujiwara. Generico reaches the ropes. He recovers and goes for the running Yakuza again but Richards catches him and suplexes him into the turnbuckle. Richards hits a big lariat for two. He spits on Generico and gets slapped in the face. He hits a series of Kawada Kicks and gets slapped by Generico again. He tries the Alarm Clock but Generico reverses it to a Dragon Screw and finally hits the running Yakuza. Generico hits a half-nelson suplex and goes for a brainbuster but Richards reverses it to one of his own and both men are down. Richards gets up first and sets up for the Shooting Star Press. Generico pops up and tries the Super Brainbuster but Richards goes after the arm to knock him down. Richards tries the Shooting Star Press but Generico moves out of the way and hits another Yakuza Kick. Generico once again goes for the Brainbuster but Richards slips out and goes for a super German Suplex. Unfortunately for Richards, Generico slips out of that and hits the Coast-to-Coast dropkick for two! Generico goes up for the Super Brainbuster again, and Richards slips out. This time Richards hits the Super German Suplex. Richards hits another German Suplex with a bridge for a two-count. He drills Generico with a kick to the head for two, and then locks on the Kimura. Generico rolls Richards up for a quick two-count, so Richards switches over to the cross armbreaker and Generico has to tap out at 21:13. They kept the no-selling to a minimum and this was an overall pretty fun match to watch. Richards goes for a handshake after the match, and gets slapped in the face instead.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #5: World Tag Team Title Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Dark City Fight Club

The Briscoes have been the champions since 12.19.09, and this is their second defense. They cut their usual promo backstage. The way they talk over each other is truly Altman-esque. Tempers flare before the opening bell even rings. Jon Davis and big brother Jay start the match. Jay takes the first advantage and backs Davis into his corner. Mark gets tagged in and blasts Davis with chops. Davis comes back with a back elbow and then makes the tag. Kory Chavis and Mark exchange strikes. Mark hits the kick to the back of the head and then tags his brother back in. Jay hits a dropkick for two. Chavis comes back with a sit-out powerslam for two. Davis gets tagged back in and he slugs away. Jay comes back with a boot to the face and tags his younger brother. Davis drills Mark with a spinebuster but doesn’t go for a cover. Chavis is back in now and he orchestrates the beating of Mark Briscoe. Jay comes in the ring illegally to knock Chavis to the floor as Mark hits a superkick on Davis. He then clotheslines Davis to the floor, while Mark hits Chavis with a somersault senton to the floor. Davis Pounces Mark into the barricade, as Dombrowski points out that the referee is basically ignoring the 20-count. Back in the ring Davis nails Jay with a powerslam, and then the DCFC hit Total Elimination for another two-count. They continue the double-teaming until Mark makes it back in the ring to break it up. Davis shoves Mark back to the floor. Jay has recovered and is now trading forearms with Davis. Out of nowhere they hit the Spiked Jay Driller to get the pin at 9:58. I was looking forward to that match but something definitely seemed off there. It just seemed like a lot of punching and kicking and then a finish out of nowhere. Maybe if they built a feud and got some bad blood going maybe it would have been more exciting.
Rating: **

Sara Del Rey comes out to distract the champions and the Kings of Wrestling come out for a big braw. The locker room empties to try and split it up, but we wind up with a three-way brawl amongst the Briscoes, Kings, and the returned Dark City Fight Club. The Briscoes knock everyone to the floor and hit a simultaneous Hilo. Mark tosses Del Rey back in the ring and she’s all by herself. The Kings save her from taking the Doomsday Device.

MATCH #6: Four Corner Survival Pick 6 Series Match – Delirious vs. (4) Kenny King vs. Steve Corino vs. Rasche Brown

This is Corino’s first ROH match since the unfortunate Fight without Honor against Homicide back at The Bitter End on November 4, 20006. Delirious is accompanied by Daizee Haze. Corino pretty closely resembles JBL physically. Delirious freaks out at the bell and concentrates on catching Corino. That leaves King and Brown to start the match. They trade holds and counters, and Brown uses his size advantage to knock King down with a shoulderblock. Brown then executes a handspring splash, which is quite impressive. King rolls to the floor and Corino knees Brown out as well. Delirious comes in the ring with a clothesline off the top rope but misses the Panic Attack. King gets back in the ring to battle the masked man, and Corino joins him, creating an impromptu team. They keep Brown on the floor and work Delirious over. This seems to go on for a while. Finally the Skullcrusher makes his way back in the ring and he takes on both Corino and King. Delirious tries to subdue the big man with a sleeper but he continues punching everything in sight. Corino and King try regrouping on the floor but Delirious dives out after them. Brown follows out with a dive of his own. Corino finally ends the alliance between himself and King by hitting a Flatliner on King for a two-count. King sets up for the double knees but Brown cuts him off with a spear. Corino hits Brown with a clothesline. Delirious hits King with the Shadows over Hell for the quick three-count at 9:09. Now Delirious is number four in the Pick 6, while King falls to number five, and Roderick Strong falls off the list. As for the match, it was pretty awkward and sloppy, but I like Delirious going over.
Rating: *½

MATCH #7: Kevin Steen vs. Colt Cabana

Cabana cuts a promo before the match, summarizing the open letter Kevin Steen wrote to him on ROH Wrestling Dot Com. Apparently Steen hates Cabana for the way he treated him in the past. Cabana tries to apologize, and Steen says he accepts it, but then sucker punches Cabana instead. Good! Cabana fires back so Steen runs to the floor but Cabana follows him out. Back in the ring they continue trading shots. Steen knocks Cabana down with a back elbow. He works Cabana over methodically. They trade gum back and forth, which is just silly and kind of takes away from the match. Cabana makes a brief comeback but misses the Flying Apple and Steen hits the Cannonball. Steen tries the Swanton but Cabana got his knees up. Cabana unloads with right hands. This time Cabana hits the Flying Apple and clotheslines Steen to the floor. Steen is holding his injured knee as the referee starts counting him out. Cabana gets on the microphone and says he doesn’t believe his knee is hurt. Steve Corino comes out and orders Steen to get back in the ring. Cabana punches Corino and tosses him to the floor. He gets back on the mic and tells Steen to stop being a bitch and start being a man. Corino slides a chair in the ring. Generico comes out to go face-to-face with his former tag team partner, but before anything can happen Corino tosses Cabana to the floor for the DQ at 9:13.Corino tries to hit Generico with a chair but Generico grabs it from him. Steen steps in front of Corino and Generico won’t hit Steen. Unfortunately for Generico, Steen doesn’t feel the same way, so he knocks Generico down and hits him with the chair. He locks on a Crossface and Cabana comes in to chase them off. The match started off pretty good but it turned into pure angle advancement, which in this case was the right move. The acting is a little cheesy but it’s the kind of storyline that lends itself to a lot of different matches and different places to go and it’s much more interesting than the average wrestling storyline. They’re also not revealing everything right away or giving everything away, so this was really well done.
Rating: **½

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black

Aries has been the champion since 6.13.09 and this is his fourteenth defense. This is Black’s ninth crack at the gold. And if my calculations are correct, this is the eleventh time these two men have met in a singles, three-way, or four-way match; Aries leads the series 7-2-1. First we introduce the judges: Kenny King (picked by Austin Aries), Roderick Strong (picked by Tyler Black), and Jim Cornette (picked by Jim Cornette). Tonight’s New York crowd seems a lot more supportive of Black than the Final Battle 2009 crowd. Austin Aries has his supporters tonight as well. Before the match, Aries gets on the microphone to defend the debacle of a main event back at Final Battle 2009. Of course Jim Cornette has to get his two cents in.

Aries sucker punches Black to start and goes to work on him. Black reverses a whip and back body drops the champ. He goes for the F-5 but Aries slips out and rakes the back, so Black punches him to the floor. Aries seems to be stalling so Strong forces him back in the ring. Black hits a dropkick and then a series of punches for a one-count. He hits the springboard lariat for a one-count and Aries rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Aries takes a timeout. Black continues to keep the momentum, thwarting Aries’ comeback attempts. Finally Aries comes back by snapping Black’s neck off the top rope, and then hitting a slingshot splash. Aries misses an elbow and Black follows up with a slingshot heel kick. Black hits the stomp to the face. Everything Aries tries, Black has a counter for. Black uses an O’Connor Roll and Aries kicks Black’s shoulder into the ring post. Now the champion dominates, working on the neck. The champ goes to the top rope and Black dropkicks him in the face. Black hits a beautiful superplex, and floats it over into an F-5, which looked really cool. Aries kicks out at two. Aries seeks solace on the apron but Black knocks him back into the crowd. Black leaps off the top rope and wipes Aries out. Back in the ring Black looks to be going for a Buckle Bomb and Aries backdrops him to the apron. Aries then hits a Death Valley Driver on the ring frame. He goes for the Heat Seeking Missile but Black moves and Aries crashes into the barricade. Back in the ring Black gets a two-count. Black goes for the Buckle Bomb again but Aries blocks it, so instead he hits a Rubik’s Cube for two. He goes up for the Phoenix Splash and Aries moves out of the way. Aries hits the IED and two rolling Brainbusters for a two-count! He goes up for the 450 but hits nothing but knees, and Black gets a cradle for two. Back on their feet they exchange strikes. Aries goes for another Brainbuster but Black reverses to God’s Last Gift but it only gets two! Black goes for the Phoenix Splash once again and King gets on the apron. Strong knocks King off the apron but also knocks Black off the top rope. Black superkicks Strong off the apron, and when Cornette jumps up to yell at him, Black superkicks him too! The crowd is hot and Black is fired up. Black hits a Superkick, the Buckle Bomb, and two more superkicks. He goes up top and hits one of the prettiest Phoenix Splashes I’ve ever seen in my life to get the pin and finally win the ROH World Title at 22:23. The babyface locker room empties as the Briscoes put Black on their shoulders to celebrate his win. That was a tremendous match and the finishing sequence was pretty perfect, literally taking the judges out of the match and giving Black the super clean win. Hopefully they have some good storyline ideas for his title reign because Tyler Black definitely deserves it.
Rating: ****

Strong gets on the mic and says that Black got a free shot tonight, and he wants the title shot Black guaranteed him. Then everyone clears out and lets Black celebrate on his own.×120.jpg

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10 Thoughts: TNA “Genesis: Part Two” 1.23.14 (Sting, Magnus, Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode) Fri, 24 Jan 2014 23:09:50 +0000 HTC 500x250 - 2014 - TNA Genesis

1. Somehow I’m still holding it together AND covering TNA. It truly is a week by week test and they’re lucky that I don’t watch the show live. If I did, I’d be watching this on my birthday and I think I’d be too resentful to ever watch the show again.

2. So THIS is the episode of “Genesis” where we get to see all the matches they’ve been hyping for the last few months. Last week was like seeing the trailer for The Empire Strikes Back for weeks & then when you sat down in the theater you got The Phantom Menace.

3. Who the hell is this attorney and why would he be discussing ANY of this with Magnus? He’s the World Heavyweight Champion but he’s not an executive with the company. He has no power or authority when it comes to business dealings. Magnus isn’t Triple H and this is just bad storytelling. Though  it’s not any better when it DOES involve Triple H.

4. It’s not a big TNA event without a pole. It still kills me how far James Storm has fallen. This guy had the promo skills, charisma and enough talent for the TNA roster to be the biggest star TNA ever created on their own. Instead he became a caricature of his own character & stuck into another tag team with another sub par experiment that TNA doesn’t want to give up on yet. Just look at the finish of this match as a perfect example. Not only couldn’t Gunner be put over clean but he’s also a babyface who had to win the #1 contender’s match contract is a cheap/fluke fashion. Way to build momentum for the new #1 contender…

5. While a lot of people see Chris Sabin & Austin Aries battling over the X-Division title as a step down, I don’t see that at all! When the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships were unified, that created a very small selection of wrestlers who can be in the championship picture at one time. What are the other main event players supposed work towards then? That is my main argument for unifying the WWE Intercontinental and United States Championships as it would automatically create the second most prestigious title in the company and allow main event players to take a “step down” to the IC title level. This is essentially what TNA has done with putting former TNA World Champions back into the X-Division. Austin Aries and Chris Sabin are two very talented wrestlers and if there isn’t any room in the World Championship division, why not return them to the X-Division? They proved again how good they are tonight (despite the shenanigans) and it HELPED build the prestige of the X-Division Championship. For once, WWE needs to take a cue from TNA and how they book their secondary title. Seriously, when was the last time Dean Ambrose defended the United States title anyway?

6. So The Wolves will be debuting the new authority figure? Dammit. I was hoping it was just a way to introduce Edwards & Richards to TNA and not have them involved in ANOTHER authority angle.

7. Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode began at a frantic only for it to come to a screeching halt when Kurt Angle once again missed a moonsault off of the top of the cage. Angle has never hit his opponent with that move (even when he was supposed it) and all it did was add an unnecessary for a guy whose body should be able to endure this punishment anymore. The “This is awesome!” chants don’t help either fans, especially when the match was good but nowhere near “awesome”.

8. This new “investor” must only kind of like Sting since he put Sting’s career on the line in this match even though he/she could have just given him a World title shot.

9. At least the WWE bailed on the Jersey/”bro” gimmick back in 2011 when they benched Zack Ryder. TNA has their “broskis” as their tag team champions. Hell, even the Jersey Shore TV show ended in 2012! Sigh…

10.  Well the rumors have already begun and now they’re really going to kick into high gear. If this was Sting’s last appearance for TNA, he was not booked in a way you would think a guy of his statue would be booked. Then again this is the same company that let AJ Styles just leave when his contract expired. I do like that they’ve already set up Magnus’ next feud against Samoa Joe. Joe seems more motivated than I’ve seen him in a long time and its damn refreshing to see. If he can keep up that intensity and if this new “investor” story-line doesn’t wrap Magnus up too much, Samoa Joe versus Magnus could be a fun feud.×120-2013.jpg×250-2014-tna-genesis.jpg

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A2Z Analysiz: TNA Genesis 2013 Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:00:16 +0000 Genesis 2013

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

Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – January 13, 2013

Mike Tenay, Taz, and Todd Keneley are on commentary.

MATCH #1: TNA World Tag Team Championship – Chavo Guerrero, Jr. & Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan & Joey Ryan

Chavo and Hernandez have been the Champions since 10.14.12, and this is their third defense. They defeated Morgan and Ryan by disqualification back at Final Resolution in December. Ryan and Chavo start the match. Chavo takes the early advantage and he works with Hernandez to wear Ryan down. Ryan comes back by slingshotting Chavo into a Morgan forearm. Momentum quickly shifts back to the Champions. Of course it does. Former Tag Team Champions Morgan and Hernandez finally square off and Ryan takes a cheap shot on Hernandez from behind to give the challengers control. After several minutes Hernandez catches Ryan with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and makes the hot tag. Chavo hits Ryan with the Three Amigos. The referee loses control and all four men are in the ring. Chavo and Hernandez send Morgan to the floor, and then Hernandez flattens Ryan with a very dangerous looking powerbomb. Seriously, what the hell was he doing? Chavo follows up with the Frog Splash to get the pin at 11:30. That was fine-ish tag team formula stuff, but I just don’t buy Chavo Guerrero, like at all. Seriously, his two big spots he ripped off from his dead uncle, give me a break.
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: Mr. Anderson vs. Samoa Joe

They jaw at each other right from the start, as apparently there is some kidn of personal issue here that I don’t recall. The brawl begins and Joe handily wins the opening battle, stomping Anderson down in the corner. Joe keeps the pressue on, beating Anderson down with a variety of strikes. Theyh take it to the floor and Joe continues to dominate. Anderson weathers the storm and is able to reverse the momentum. He focuses on Joe’s legs, always a good strategy. Joe comes back and knocks Anderson to the floor, and then follows him out with the elbow suicida. Back in the ring Joe unleashes the offense but can’t yet put Anderson away. Joe goes for the Choke but Anderson breaks it with a jawbreaker. Anderson charges into the corner and gets caught with an STJoe. Knux from the Aces & Eights shows up at ringside to distract Joe, which allows Anderson to hit the Mic Check and score the pin at 10:44. That was fine and all but not exciting, and the finish was exceptionally weak.
Rating: **½

MATCH #3: X Division Number One Contender’s Match – Christian York vs. Kenny King

Winner gets an immediate shot at the title. York beat Kid Kash to get to this match, while King got by Zema Ion. They start with some chain wrestling, and of course they wrestle to a standoff. York takes control and King rolls to the apron. King comesback in and dumps York to the outside. He tries to follow with a dive but misses and lands on his feet. York is able to connect with a headscissors. They head back to the ring and York maintains the advantage. King fights back and dumps York out. Momentum continues to shift back and forth, as neither man can maintain control for very long. King tries to cheat to get a pin but the referee catches him. Some stuff happens, and after a series of reversals York is able to hold King down in a cradle to get the pin at 10:13. I understand what they were going for in making these two look evenly matched, but the problem with those kind of matches is they don’t tend to be very interesting because there is nothing to get invested in. It’s just moves and counters for 10 minutes and then somebody wins. I can’t fault the effort involved though.
Rating: **¾

While York is celebrating, King sneaks up behind him and delivers a Coronation, because he’s a sore loser. RVD makes his way out and he looks concerned about York’s condition. York is ready to go and wants the match.

MATCH #4: TNA X Division Championship – Christian York vs. Rob Van Dam

RVD has been the Champion since 10.14.12, and this is his sixth defense. York is quite obviously the worse for wear here. RVD takes him down and hits Rolling Thunder for a two-count. He locks on a surfboard, and continues using a variety of holds and strikes. This is like a public workout for the X Division Champion. Finally York is able to get to the second rope and drill RVD with a flying knee. RVD responds with a springboard thrust kick. York grabs a quick schoolboy rollup for a close near-fall. RVD cuts him off with the stepover spin kick. He goes up top and misses the Five-Star Frog Splash, and York rolls him up for two. RVD lands a nice thrust kick, and then sets York on the top rope. He hits a thrust kick from the top rope, and then goes up and connects on the Five-Star Frog Splash this time. That’s enough to get the pin at 5:30. York got a tiny bit of offense in but RVD basically toyed with him and then pinned him. That kind of booking would make sense with a heel Champion, but with a face Champion it was just weird and counter-productive.
Rating: *½

MATCH #5: Devon vs. Joseph Park

Devon is the TNA Television Champion, but the title is not on the line here. They start off slowly, and it’s obvious that Park is nervous and Devon is confident. Devon offers Park an amateur wrestling match, and Park actually takes him down. That angers Devon and he’s able to reclaim control. Devon abuses Park outside the ring, and when they go back in he removes a turnbuckle pad. He tries to ram Park into it but Park avoids it. Devon connects with a back elbow to keep Park on the defensive. He goes to the second rope but misses a dlving headbutt. Park takes Devon down and flattens him with a splash off the second rope. That only gets two. Devon is able to slam Park’s face into the exposed turnbuckle. That bloodies Park’s nose, and the transformation begins. Park unloads on Devon and hits the Black Hole Slam! Park goes for the Chokeslam but apparently snaps back to reality and can’t complete the move. Devon rolls Park up with a schoolboy to get the pin at 11:16. While 11 minutes is not THAT long in the scheme of things, for the story they were telling in this match it was. It was a dull match with a supremely lame and unsatisfying finish.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #6: Number One Contender Gauntlet Match – Velvet Sky vs. ODB vs. Miss Tessmacher vs. Mickie James vs. Gail Kim

We start with Kim and Tessmacher. These two have a well documented feud according to Keneley. Taryn Terrell is the referee. Tessmacher controls the early going but misses the twerk and Kim takes advantage. Kim goes up top and Tessmacher knocks her down. Tessmacher unleashes a flurry of offense, including an X-Factor out of the corner for two. Kim hits Eat Defeat from out of nowhere to score the first elimination at 2:43.

ODB is next. She is one half of the Knockouts Tag Team Champions with her husband Eric Young. Kim tries to meet ODB in the aisle but she pays for it. ODB is firmly in control, throwing Kim around from pillar to post as they say. She hits a fallaway slam and then goes up to the second rope for the Dirty Dozen. Kim blocks it and poulls her down, and then hooks the “tights” to score her second elimination at 5:54.

Mickie James is the fourth entrant. Kim takes the first advantage but James is fresher and able to fight back. James sends Kim to the floor and follows her out with a headscissors. Back in the ring James tries a victory roll but Kim rolls through it and holds James down and gets her third straight elimination at 9:02.

The last entrant is Velvet Sky. Kim hides from her and then pops out to throw her into the steel steps. Back in the ring Sky tries to fire up but Kim is able to subdue her. Kim tries a pin using the ropes for leverage but Terrell catches her. That gives Sky the chance to hit In Yo Face to get the pin at 11:48, even though Kim’s foot was under the bottom rope. Gauntlet matches are generally bad, as this was just a collection of four two to three minute matches that had no time to develop into anything. The booking is again ass-backwards, as the hell overcomes all this adversity, beats three opponents, and then loses unfairly to a babyface in about two minutes. Why would I want to cheer for Velvet Sky or think she deserves a title match after that? None of this makes sense.
Rating: *¼

MATCH #7: Number One Contender Match – Christopher Daniels vs. James Storm

Winner gets a shot on the January 24 episode of IMPACT Wrestling. Daniels has his tag team partner and hetero life mate Frankie Kazarian in his corner. They start with some chain wrestling, with Storm using his size and power advantage to control the early going. Daniels takes a powder and Storm follows him out, continuing to press the advantage. Back in the ring Storm continues to dominate. Finally Daniels distracts the referee, which allows Kazarian to interfere and give Daniels the advantage. Daniels focuses on the arm, using a variety of maneuvers to neutralize it. After several minutes Storm fights his way back and hits a Side Russian Legsweep. Back on their feet Storm unleashes a flurry of offense. Storm goes up top and hits Hail to the King for two. He tries Closing Time but Daniels counters and hits a flying clothesline for two. Daniels charges into the corner and Storm avoids him. Storm pulls Daniels out with The Eye of the Stormand it gets a two-count. He hits the Tennessee Slam and this time lands the Closing Time. Storm misses the Last Call and Daniels hits Angel’s Wings but only gets two! Daniels goes for the BME but Storm gets a boot up. Storm hits a backstabber and then another Closing Time. He signals for the Lsat Call but Kazarian gets on the apron to distract him and Kazarian takes the Last Call. Daniels hits a quick STO and puts his feet on the ropes to get the pin at 13:24. This was getting pretty good and exciting down the stretch, but that finish was pretty cliché and uninspired. Daniels and Storm are two guys TNA should have pushed on multiple occasions, so this was a nice little effort but it didn’t end up meaning much in the long run.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #8: Sting vs. D.O.C.

This one starts as a brawl outside the ring before the bell can even ring. That allows other members of the Aces & Eights to attack Sting from behind and not cost D.O.C. the match. They finally make it to the ring and D.O.C. is firmly in control, both in and out of the ring. After a good long while Sting hits a mini Scorpion Death Drop for a two-count. Sting follows up with a flurry of offense, including a Stinger Splash to the back. He then hits another Scorpion Death Drop to get the pin at 5:53. That was supremely boring. D.O.C. controlled the match for four minutes, and Sting go in 90 seconds of offense and scored a pin. What was the point of putting this on PPV?
Rating: *½

The Aces & Eights come out and look ready to attack, but luckily for Sting he has some backup when Bully Ray comes out with a chain and chases the bikers off.

MATCH #9: Triple Threat Elimination Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries

Hardy has been the Champion since 10.14.12, and this is his fifth defense. Aries and Rood immediately start working together on the Champion. Hardy is able to thwart them and send both challengers to the floor. He takes Roode out with a clotheline off the apron. Back in the ring Roode hits a spinebuster for two. Roode is in control now, but Hardy makes a comeback attempt, going to the top rope. Aries makes his way back in by knocking Hardy off the top rope. Now Aries tries to capitalize but he can’t quite put Hardy away. Roode comes back in and Hardy is able to fight off both challengers, using Roode to hit Aries with Poetry in Motion. Hardy goes up top but once again gets knocked down. Aries and Roode work together to wear down the Champion. With Hardy on the top rope Roode sets Aries on his shoulders for some kind of superplex, but Hardy fights it off and takes both men down with a Whisper in the Wind. Every time Hardy tries to build momentum, one of his challengers is able to put a stop to him. The battle spills to the floor and Hardy is bale to throw Aries into the guardrail and then use the steps to hit another Poetry in Motion. Hardy then hits Roode with a House Show Dive and then throws him in the ring. He goes up top and Aries shoves him down yet again. Hardy is able to grab Aries off the apron and front suplex him right on top of Roode. He goes to the second rope and hits a big splash on Roode for two. Hardy tries Poetry in Motion again but Roode cuts him off with a Spear. Roode and Aries go back to work, and I love that these two have been laser focused on eliminating Hardy, not caring which of them actually does it. Aries hits Hardy with the IED and a Brainbuster but Hardy somehow kicks out! Roode tries to hold Hardy down for Aries to hit the 450 Splash but Roode moves Hardy at the last minute so that Aries crashes to the mat. Then Roode tries the Payoff to eliminate Aries, but he only gets two. Now Roode and Aries finally go at it. Roode goes for a Spear but Aries catches him and locks on the Last Chancery, which Roode counters to a Crossface. Aries escapes and they continue to batter each other while Hardy has a chance to rest on the floor. They battle on the top rope and Aries knocks Roode down, and follows him with a Missile Dropkick. Aries hits an IED and goes for the Brainbuster but Roode counters with an O’Connor Roll for two. When Aries executes a backslide, Hardy makes his way in and helps hold Roode’s legs down and that’s enough for the first elimination at 18:49! That was cool. Aries talks some trash, allowing Hardy time to recover. Hardy hits a Twist of Fate, and then hits another one between the ropes. I’ve never seen that before. Hardy goes up top and flattens Aries with the Swanton Bomb to get the pin and retain the title at 20:20. These three have historically had great matches together, and none of the chemistry was lost by having all three of them out there. Aries and Roode working together right until the end, and Hardy’s resilience were simple yet effective stories, and the action almost never stopped.
Rating: ****¼×120.jpg

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10 Thoughts: TNA “Genesis: Part One” 1.16.14 (Magnus, Sting, Samoa Joe, American Wolves) Fri, 17 Jan 2014 22:49:31 +0000 HTC 500x250 - 2014 - TNA Genesis

1. I’m so glad that this special “Genesis” edition of Impact Wrestling begins with a promo video featuring the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion who doesn’t have a match tonight. Also, Magnus coming out with two of the same championships? I can understand why Randy Orton still carries 2 championship belts since THEY ARE DIFFERENT! I guess since Dixie Carter couldn’t “win” the World Championship the same way Vince McMahon, Jeff Jarrett or Vince Russo did, this was the next best thing in her mind. Classy move opening the show with a few words about Mae Young though.

2. I guess Huntsville, Alabama doesn’t have rafters that Sting can hang out in so the mezzanine level had to suffice.

3. I love that TNA thought the best way to start the in-ring action of their Genesis edition of Impact was to try to feature 12 people in one clusterfuck of a “match”. Samoa Joe is the only man in the match that really came off as a star and it was fitting that he earned the submission win. Joe, when motivated, could be a massive star. Unfortunately Samoa Joe has taken the “Rikishi career path” instead of “The Rock career path”.

4. So Austin Aries stands up for Velvet Sky because of Chris Sabin’s treatment of her by suggesting she be put in a cage during their match… I feel like there’s a bit of a double standard here.

5. I remember talking about how Bully Ray was the best heel in the business. His promos were spot on, he was in the best shape of his career and his matches, more often than not, exceeded expectations. And I’m not the only one who felt that way. That’s all but forgotten since the slow death of Aces and Eights & the rise of Dixie Carter as the top heel of TNA. While I think we’re all probably in agreement that a move to WWE at his peak would have killed his momentum as well, it’s a shame that Ray didn’t have a longer run as a top guy in the company. Oh and he had a match tonight with Mr. Anderson. It was a No DQ, Bully Ray/Ken Anderson match. It was decent if somewhat sloppy which is pretty much all they’re capable of when they’re in the ring together nowadays.

6. Kurt Angle actually just said that “when you involve my family, you’ve gone too far.” This is the same guy that had a 2 year-long feud with Jeff Jarrett, the man who legitimately married Angle’s ex-wife – who was ALSO a character on the show! Not only did they focus on the divorce and remarriage but featured Angle’s real children on TNA television! And Kurt thinks this is worse? Maybe his memory is completely shot and that’s why he’s still with TNA.

7. Wait, there’s two weeks of Genesis? And this week doesn’t have a single match that they advertised last week? No Storm/Gunner for a #1 contender’s contract. No Angle/Roode in a cage. And now Magnus is facing Sting for the World Championship where Sting’s career is also on the line. Why the hell is anyone watching this show then?

8. New mommy Madison Rayne pins reigning TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim to earn her 5th championship reign. The match wasn’t anything special to say the least but when the Knockouts Division consists of 7 women with one on maternity leave and the other Gail Kim’s bodyguard, there’s only so much you can do.

9. Sting versus Ethan Carter III is headlining this show? Annnnnd now Rockstar Spud is the special referee… Not only was the match bad and completely unsuitable for a show that is billed as “special” but it also had a screwjob finish with Magnus interfering. How can anyone clear these scripts for air?

10. I can’t help but be baffled by this show. Nothing of importance happened and maybe it was just me but I felt completely mislead by what was advertised for tonight’s show. Sure it was cool to see The American Wolves in a major promotion but not only did they not wrestle but they introduced the beginning of ANOTHER new authority figure who can apparently sign new wrestlers. The “authority figure epidemic” is so ridiculous that there is a generation of wrestling fans who’ve never known a wrestling product WITHOUT a “commissioner” or “president” or “general manager” or “owner”. I’m cautiously hopeful that TNA is serious about bringing in strong, new and fresh talent but I’ve been burned so often in the past – especially by Total Non-Stop Action.×120-2013.jpg×250-2014-tna-genesis.jpg

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A2Z Analysiz: TNA Genesis 2012 Wed, 15 Jan 2014 14:00:25 +0000 genesis 2012

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

Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – January 8, 2012

Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.

MATCH #1: TNA X Division Championship 4-Way Elimination Match – Austin Aries (c) vs. Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion vs. Kid Kash

Aries has been the Champion since 9.11.11, and this is his fifth defense. The champ bails to start the match, since you can’t get eliminated on the floor. The remaining three competitors try to score a quick pinfall but no one is eliminated in the opening minute. Sorensen and Ion end up in the ring and they take it to each other. Sorensen looks like a template for a Create-A-Wrestler. He hits a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Aries trips Sorensen from the floor and hits the slingshot twisting splash for two. He tires the quebrada but Sorensen gets the knees up. Everyone tries pinning the Champion with a rollup but no one is successful. Kash knocks Aries to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Sorensen gets up on the ropes and Ion kicks his leg out of his leg. Ion goes up top and Kash joins him. Sorensen powerbombs them down in a Tower of Doom spot. Aries tires to pin each guy but only gets two-counts. He pitches Sorensen and Kash to the floor. Aries goes up top and Ion pushes him down onto Kash. Ion takes both Aries and Kash out with a twisting body press off the top rope. Sorensen then flies out with a dive to wipe out all three. Back in the ring Sorensen covers Aries for two. All four men battle in the ring. Ion hits Kash with a 450 Splash to score the first elimination at 6:05. Aries hits Sorensen with a 450 Splash but Sorensen kicks out. That’s dumb. Aries takes Ion down and sets up for the Pendulum Elbow, but he turns around into a cross body block off the top rope from Sorensen for a two-count. Sorensen hits Aries with a Suplex Crusher and Ion stupidly breaks up the cover and goes for the pin himself. Ion tries a DDT but Sorensen pushes him off and gets a small package to eliminate Ion at 8:04. We’re down to Aries and Sorensen, who both have a chance to pin each other but Ion has the referee distracted. Ion hangs around ringside and pulls Sorensen down from the top rope when the referee’s back is turned. Aries hits a nasty IED and then the Avalanche Brainbuster to get the pin and retain the title at 10:49. That was a good choice for an opener and everyone got to do some stuff. I’m not much a fan of any of the three challengers, but a format like this works for them.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Devon vs. “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero w/ Terrence & Terrell

Terrence and Terrell are Devon’s twin sons, by the way. Devon runs out and attacks right away, clobbering the Pope with strikes. The fight spills to the floor and Devon has the full court press on, according to Tenay. Back in the ring Pope begs for mercy but gets none. Devon hits a Thesz Press and a falling headbutt. He goes up top but Pope knocks him down and hits a dropkick. That’s kind of a neat spot. Pope is on offense now and he works the midsection. He also does some other stuff, because Pope isn’t known for his air-tight psychology. Pope calls Terrence and Terrell into the ring and wants them to attack their own father. They don’t do it so Pope beats both of them up. Devon channels the Ultimate Warrior and powers up. He almost kills Pope with a back body drop or a flapjack, I’m not sure what it was supposed to be. Devon hits a powerslam for two. Pope comes back with the rope-assisted neckbreaker. He goes for the D’Angelo Dinero Express but Devon avoids it. Devon hits the Saving Grace to get the pin at 10:19. That was like an iMPACT! match but twice as long. The only thing more boring than Devon and Pope as a tag team is Devon and Pope wrestling each other.
Rating: *½

MATCH #3: Rob Van Dam vs. Gunner w/ Ric Flair

This is a main event anywhere in the country, Gorilla Monsoon might say to make me feel better about watching this nothing match. They do some back and forth stuff in the early going and RVD takes an advantage so Gunner takes a powder to talk to Flair. Whatever Flair said seemed to work because Gunner goes back in the ring and takes control. Gunner dumps RVD to the floor and bodyslams him hard. RVD catches Gunner with a dropkick. He follows up with a slingshot legdrop on the apron. RVD goes up top and Gunner crotches him. Gunner goes up but RVD drops him down in a front suplex. RVD follows down with a cross body block for two. He follows with the thrust kick off the top rope. RVD hits Rolling Thunder for two. Gunner rolls to the floor and RVD goes for a dive but misses. Flair distracts the referee and Gunner delivers a DDT on the exposed concrete. Gunner throws RVD back in the ring and gets the pin at 6:50. This was another iMPACT! type match, but at least Gunner went over pretty strong. Then again, the Gunner push never went anywhere, so who cares?
Rating: **

MATCH #4: TNA Knockouts Championship – Gail Kim (c) vs. Mickie James

Kim has been the Champion since 11.13.11, and this is her second defense. Velvet Sky is going to be at ringside for this match to make sure Kim’s cohort Madison Rayne stays locked into a little shark cage called “The Velvet Touch,” which is the name of a porn shop in Kalamazoo.

The champion takes control in the early going, keeping James on the mat. James comes back with an O’Connor Roll for two. She keeps up the pressure but Kim is crafty and is able to regain control. Kim tries a cross body block but James cuts her out of the air with a dropkick. Kim goes right back in control though and uses a Dragon Sleeper. James escapes it and unleashes a flurry of offense. Kim comes back with an Octopus Hold and James breaks it with a slam for two. James dumps Kim to the floor, and the Champion gets distracted by Sky. Kim walks into a hurricanrana. Back in the ring James hits a Thesz Press off the top rope for two. Kim comes back with a backbreaker. Rayne tries to toss Kim brass knuckles from the cage but she blows it and James gets a hold of them. James hits Kim with the knuckles right in front of the referee for the DQ at 6:18. That was typical Knockouts stuff with a stupid finish.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #5: Monsters Ball Match – Bully Ray vs. Abyss

Bully avoids Abyss in the early going, likely trying to play some mind games. He brings a chair back in with him and Abyss grabs one too. They swing at each other and Bully actually wins that battle. Bully clobbers Abyss with the chair to no effect. Abyss hits a Chokeslam but Bully pops up and hits a big boot, which Abyss gets right back up from. Bully grabs his chain and Abyss picks up the chair again. This time Abyss wins the battle. Abyss goes outside and starts hurling weapons into the ring. Bully gets a couple of shots in so Abyss goes outside the ring and finds Janice. Abyss swings and Bully wisely gets out of dodge. Bully heads backstage and Abyss follows him. They quickly start fighting back towards the ring. Bully whips Abyss into a barbed wire board set up at ringside, and then throws it at him. Abyss fights back but he’s bleeding from a few different places now. He finds a bag of thumbtacks. Before he can use them he uses a cheese grater on Bully’s nut sack region. The tacks get poured out and Abyss goes for a Chokeslam. Bully blocks it and hits a low blow. He goes out and grabs a table and brings it into the ring. Bully sets up the table but it backfires and Abyss chokeslams him through it. Abyss brings a couple of barbed wire boards into the ring but Bully slams him on one of them for a two-count. Bully stacks the other board on top of Abyss and hits a senton off the second rope! Amazingly that only gets two. Bully grabs Janice but runs right into a Chokeslam onto the tacks! Abyss covers and gets just a two-count! Bully fights back with a trash can lid. He grabs a kendo stick and hits Abyss with it repeatedly. Bully then walks right into a Black Hole Slam onto one of the barbed wire boards, and Abyss gets the pin at 15:28. These two have good chemistry together and this was a well worked hardcore match. The finish came a bit out of nowhere, but still a Black Hole Slam onto a barbed wire board is pretty definitive.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #6: TNA Tag Team Championship – Crimson & Matt Morgan (c) vs. Samoa Joe & Magnus

Crimson and Morgan have been the Champions since 11.17.11, and this is their third defense. Joe and Magnus beat three teams (Douglas Williams & Robbie E, Eric Young & ODB, and AJ Styles & Kazarian) in the Wild Card tournament to earn this title shot. Morgan and Joe start the match. They’ve had some decent singles matches in the past. Immediately they start throwing hands and Joe hits an enziguiri so Morgan responds with a hard clothesline. Magnus and Crimson tag in and the undefeated one takes control, hitting a neckbreaker. Morgan tags in and hits the elbows in the corner. Crimson comes back in and whips Morgan into Magnus. He hits an exploder for two. Magnus catches Crimson with a kick and makes the tag. Joe hits Crimson with the STJoe. The challengers are in control and have Crimson isolated in their half of the ring. Meanwhile, Bully Ray is beating on Abyss somewhere backstage. Back to the match, Crimson catches Joe with a Spear and tags are made. Morgan is a house afire and throws his opponents around the ring. He hits Magnus with the Hellevator but Joe breaks it up. The challengers focus on Morgan and almost get the pin on him. Crimson and Magnus spill to the floor, so Joe takes Crimson out with the elbow suicida. Crimson whips Joe into the steps. Meanwhile, in the ring Morgan comes back and tries a Chokeslam but Magnus escapes. Crimson gets back in the ring and they catch Joe with a double-team Chokeslam to get the pin at 9:12. Joe and Magnus are a good team and this match was was more fun that it had any right to be.
Rating: ***

MATCH #7: Kurt Angle vs. “Cowboy” James Storm

Angle stalls to start to try and psychs Storm out. Storm tries an early Last Call but Angle avoids it and rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Storm continues to press the advantage and again goes for the Last Call and Angle takes another powder. Angle tries to get back in the ring but Storm knocks him right back out and follows him with a house show dive. Back inside Storm unleashes strikes in the corner. Angle comes back with a stun gun and a belly-to-belly suplex. Now Angle is in control and he keeps Storm on the mat, just like he promised he would. After a few minutes Storm catches Angle with a side Russian Legsweep. Storm follows up with a series of strikes and the crowd is firing up. He hits a lungblower for a two-count. Angle ducks a clothesline and starts the rolling German suplexes, hitting three of them. He goes up top and hits a moonsault for a two-count. Angle locks on the Ankle Lock but Storm kicks out of it, ducks a clothesline, and hits a boot to the gut and a DDT for two. Storm tries to hit the Last Call again but Angle catches it and goes for the Angle Slam, and Storm is able to slip out of that an hit an enziguiri from the apron. Angle hits a back elbow and the Angle Slam for a two-count. The straps come down and Angle signals for a Last Call of his own but Storm catches it and hits a Codebreaker. Storm follows with an Ace Crusher for two. Storm goes up top and hits an elbow drop for a near-fall. He sets up the Last Call but Angle pulls the referee in front and delivers a low blow. Angle then hits his own Last Call to get the pin at 13:42. For two talented workers that was sinfully boring and the finish was exceptionally weak.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #8: TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Bobby Roode (c) vs. Jeff Hardy

Roode has been the Champion since 11.3.11, and this is his fifth defense. The champ controls the early portion of the match, as Hardy seems slightly off his game. Just as I type that Hardy puts together a sequence of offense and scores a near-fall. Roode cuts him off with an eye rake. Hardy sends Roode to the floor and hits a clothesline off the apron. He throws Roode into the steps, and then runs and jumps off the steps to hit a leg lariat up against the barricade. Back in the ring Hardy covers for two. Hardy goes for Whisper in the Wind but Roode shoves him down and Hardy lands hard on his junk. Roode takes control now and starts wearing Hardy down. The beating takes place both in and out of the ring, as Roode just dissects Hardy. Roode goes to the second rope but takes time to mock Hardy and eats a couple of bots to the face for his troubles. Both men get to their feet and Hardy is firing up. Hardy unleashes a series of offense but then runs right into a spinebuster for a two-count. Roode puts Hardy up top and goes for a superplex but Hardy shoves him back to the canvas. Hardy looks for the Swanton but Roode rolls to the floor. Roode looks ready to be counted out but Hardy won’t allow it. Back in the ring Roode hits the Payoff but only gets two. Hardy hits a Twist of Stunner and then the Whisper in the Wind for a near-fall. He goes for another Twist of Fate but Roode rolls to the floor and tries to get counted out. Hardy pulls Roode back into the ring with the belt. Roode tries to use it but the referee takes it away. When the referee turns around he sees Roode covering Hardy with his feet on the ropes so he reprimands the champ. Hardy grabs a quick rollup and gets two. Roode asks for a timeout and then kicks the referee square in the nuts. Hardy hits the Twist of Fate but of course the referee called for the disqualification at 19:40. The match was fine and these two are decent opponents, but man that finish sucked. It led to a No-DQ match on free TV if I’m not mistaken, which is the exact opposite way that wrestling used to be booked. I miss those days. No wonder TNA is going to four pay-per-views a year, when they present stuff like this in the main event, who would buy it?
Rating: ***×120.jpg

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My Pinterest Is Piledrivers: Looking Forward To Looking Back (Daniel Bryan, Big E Langston, Antonio Cesaro) Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:00:53 +0000 MyPinterestIsPiledrivers

Hello all, and welcome to My Pinterest Is Piledrivers.  I am James A. Sawyer, and I’m still alive and kicking.  Trust me, that doesn’t sound like an accomplishment, but it is.  Find me on Twitter @todaysjimsawyer.  And find my buds @BDInsidePulse, @martyrshow and @cwsanders39.  They’re good people.

Let me bookend this column with getting personal- the geeky writer version of a “bloodfeud.”  Is it just me, or was 2013 kind of a slog?  I’m starting to think those damn Mayans were right after all, and we just had a  quiet Apocalypse.  A disturbingly high portion of people I know in my personal life faced breakups of years-long relationships, layoffs, pets dying (of old age, but still), and just assorted preponderances of misery.  Let’s not even get into the boondoggle over the Red Wedding.  Still not over it.

As of this article being published (either Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, or some time where it won’t get buried and go unread) I should be all wrapped up with chemotherapy.  It’s been a long haul since September 2012, but Loki willing it’ll soon be over.  It wasn’t fun or easy, but believe it or not I had it way easier than a lot of others in the club.  I say this because, for one, I wanted to put some positive news out there, and for two, because I wanted to illustrate how circumstances can affect perception sometimes.

I wrote a column here, wherein I was largely negative, talking about just how effectual (or ineffectual) the audience can be in today’s WWEnvironment.  And while I still think there’s a good question poised in all that cynicism regarding whether it’s possible to make your voice heard anymore, it took a lot of the commenters to make me realize that all was not dark clouds.  The year of our McMahon 2013 had a lot of good in it, and here’s a bit of it.

Daniel Bryan beat John Cena at the second biggest show of the year-clean!

I think even the most cock-eyed optimist wouldn’t have been able to predict Bryan beating Cena cleanly for the WWE championship at Summerslam.  You don’t get much more of a boost than that.  Money In The Bank cash in or no, Bryan’s the first guy to beat Cena without funny business since… The Rock?  Pretty good company.

Big E has a (metaphorical) rocket on his back!


Do you follow this guy on Twitter?  You need to follow this guy on Twitter.  For one, he recently went to Toys R Us for Toys For Tots and the goofy expressions he has are as hilarious as they are heartwarming.  Big E is another in a line of huge dudes that Vince seems to fall in platonic love with… except this guy is smart and funny.  If given enough mic time there’s really no limit to where this guy could end up.  He’s only 27 and I could easily see this guy being a world champ by 30.

People are beginning to notice Antonio Cesario!

I certainly couldn’t have predicted that the giant swing would have been what people latched onto, but whatever works!  Now once they get him out of the Real Americans, and maybe give him an awesome showing at the Rumble, he might just shoot up the card some more.

Punk is still around turning lemons to lemonade!

As cliche and hyped as this is, I still maintain that from an overall perspective CM Punk is still the best in the world.  In the ring, on the mic, on commentary, and even in booking suggestions he’s hard to beat.  Any year with Punk on the roster is a good year.  Who else would have the balls to piledrive someone in 2013?

Sure, HBK and Triple H kicking out of Tombstones like they were back body drops have sort of diminished the effect of the move, but still… good for him.

There’s a tag team division again!

How was that not on the actual PPV?  Pretty sure that might have been the match of the night.  Anyway, The Real Americans, The Wyatt Family, The Rhodes Bros, The Shield, Rybaxel and… ugh, Los Matadores are revitalizing a long-dead group.  Maybe Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston will reunite Air Boom in 2014?

This guy is nowhere near the WWE!

Seriously.  I just got douche chills.  I understand that there’s a large hesher demographic that still shops at Hot Topic, listens to nu metal, and is working on finishing high school equivalency degrees, but let’s try to move forward and not pretend like it’s still 1997, okay?

TNA is sputtering and stalling!

Far be it for me to rub my hands together in glee at a company’s potential demise, but this means that either the WWE will get some new talented people like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries and the like or, more likely, ROH will get a HUGE shot in the arm.  Win-win!

Arrested Development came back!

I mean, it’s not wrestling related but it was still pretty awesome.

See?  It’s not all that bad!  Sure, I could shake my head in exasperation at how the only memorable double-turn since Austin-Hart at Wrestlemania 13 was totally mishandled… but there’s still some good stuff out there.  So maybe in the 2014 we can all try to keep it pozzy and hope that the classic wrestling loving angel on Triple H’s shoulder keeps him focused on things like tag teams, booking longer main events, and things of that nature.

There’s some cool things kicking around for 2014.  And on a personal note, I look forward to once again exercising, going outdoors, growing hair, being employed, and contributing to the economy.  You know, the little things you take for granted.  Take it easy everyone and I’ll see you next year.×375.jpg×375.jpg

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TNA Impact Wrestling Video Highlights and Results for Thursday 12.12.2013 – Welcome to Dixie-Land, plus the Feast or Fired Match Returns, along with Sting and Madison Rayne Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:19:52 +0000 TNA Impact Wrestling Video Highlights and Results for Thursday 12/12/13 – Welcome to Dixie-Land, plus the Feast or Fired Match Returns, along with Sting and Madison Rayne


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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Final Battle 2007 (Age of The Fall, Briscoes) Thu, 12 Dec 2013 12:53:50 +0000 final battle 2007

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

Manhattan Center – New York City, NY – December 30, 2007

ROH Video Wire 12/13/07

We open with footage of Austin Aries last night after losing to ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness. He has nothing to say.

Elsewhere, and on the actual night of the show, Rebecca Bayless is with Jay and Mark Briscoe, the ROH World Tag Team Champions. The Briscoes talk about Manning Up, beating Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black, and some other mumblings.

MATCH #1: Jigsaw & Ruckus vs. Matt Cross & Bobby Fish

The Vulture Squad is accompanied by Julius Smokes. Fish and Jigsaw start the match. They chain wrestle for a bit. The pace quickens and the larger Fish keeps up with the more agile Jigsaw. The fans applaud. Tags are made. Smokes constantly doing the Vulture caw is distracting me from the match. Ruckus sends Fish to the floor, and Fish drags Ruckus out with him. Jigsaw hits the first dive of the match, and Cross follows with one immediately after. Back in the ring Fish and Cross isolate Jigsaw, That doesn’t last long and Ruckus gets the hot tag. Momentum continues to shift as the referee has little control over the action. Jigsaw catches Fish in the Jig N Tonic to get the pin at 8:02. That was a perfectly solid opener, with fast paced action and high spots but not too many high spots. Good for them.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #2: Larry Sweeney vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Sweeney is accompanied by Sara Del Rey, Daniel Puder, Bobby Dempsey, and Tank Toland. He says that Puder injured Castagnoli’s leg last night so the match is off. Castagnoli disagrees and limps his way out to the ring. Toland clips Castagnoli’s leg before the bell, and that gives Sweeney the early advantage. Sweeney attacks the leg viciously, and members of Sweet ‘n’ Sour Inc. interfere whenever they get a chance. Castagnoli fights back and unleashes fury on his former manager. He goes for the Ricola Bomb but Toland distracts the ref and Puder hits Castagnoli’s knee with a workout bar. That’s enough for Sweeney to get the pin at 2:30. That wasn’t much of a match but it was a fine way to keep the feud going. Of course the feud really should have ended here, but hindsight and all that.
Rating: *

Toland attacks Castagnoli after the bell and eats a Ricola Bomb for his troubles.

Backstage – Sweeney, Chris Hero, and Puder are celebrating the big victory.

MATCH #3: No Disqualification Match – Necro Butcher vs. Jack Evans

Necro is accompanied by Lacey. Evans gets distracted by Lacey before the bell, allowing Necro to take control. They spill to the floor right away and Lacey interferes liberally. Necro thwarts Evans’ high flying and throws him around ringside, using anything he can as a weapon. Evans fights back and tries a flying knee of the apron but Necro moves and Evans crashes into the guardrail. Back in the ring Necro hits the Chair Slam. Necro continues to beat Evans down, looking dominant. He hits a bulldog on a chair for a two-count. They take the fight to the apron and Evans hits a Code Red to the floor! I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else do that. Back in the ring Evans continues to pour the pressure on. Necro fights back with a punch to the face and a Tiger Driver for two. He follows with a backbreaker onto a standing chair and Evans kicks out again! More chairs get set up but it backfires on Necro when Evans places him across the chairs and hits a moonsault legdrop! Evans pulls Necro over to the corner and places a chair across his chest. He goes up top and Lacey gets in the ring to distract him. Smokes comes to the rescue, and that distraction is enough for Mercedes Martinez to come running to the ring and take Lacey out. Smokes takes a chair away from Necro and Evans rolls him up to get the pin at 11:16. That was decent hardcore junk with some cool spots, but really having Necro lose to Evans so soon into Age of The Fall was a huge mistake and took a lot of mystique off Necro.
Rating: **½

After the match Smokes asks what’s up, and Evans introduces Martinez as the “booty vulture.”

MATCH #4: Naomichi Marufuji vs. Davey Richards

They take it right to the mat, as Prazak talks about what a huge match this is for Richards. After some back and forth action that ends with Marufuji in control, Richards retaliates with a slap to the face. Both men are aggressive here. Marufuji goes after the leg, which is wise given how much Richards relies on kicks in his offense. Richards weathers that storm though and is able to wear Marufuji down with a variety of strikes and holds. They trade shots to the groin just for fun, and no one gets disqualified. Marufuji goes back on offense and hits a cradle suplex for two. They fight on the top rope and Richards is able to hit a missile dropkick. Marufuji fights back and they take it to the apron. Richards hits an Alarm Clock that sends Marufuji to the floor. He follows with an insanely dangerous suicide dive that lands him in the third or fourth row. Richards throws Marufuji into the guardrail. He slowly gets back into the ring and Marufuji has popped up to the top rope to deliver a missile dropkick to the side of the head. That was super contrived and Marufuji recovered way too quickly. The back and forth continues and Richards almost puts Marufuji away on multiple occasions. Marufuji is able to score a quick Shiranui to score the pin at 15:12. That was fun and all but there was no selling of any kind. Still it was a good showing for Richards against one of the top guys from Japan.
Rating: ***¼

Rebecca Bayless is somewhere in the basement of the Manhattan Center. She’s with Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs, who promise to win the ROH World Tag Team Titles tonight.

MATCH #5: Tables Are Legal Match – The Hangmen 3 vs. Delirious, Kevin Steen & El Generico

BJ Whitmer, Brent Albright, and “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. The babyface trio charge right to the ring and the fight is on. Delirious and Pearce take center stage in the ring while Steen battles Whitmer and Generico fights Albright on the floor. For some reason Bushwhacker Luke makes his wau out and he joins with Deliriosu to hit mu.tiple battering rams. The babyfaces do the Bushwhacker strut and Luke heads to the back. They follow with three simultaneous dives to wipe out thei Hangmen. The brawl continues and the good guys continue to dominate. Steen hits Whitmer with a belly-to-back suplex to break the first table. Albright breaks the next one on purpose so he can crack Generico in the head with it. That’s clever. The Hangmen take control now and focus on Generico. Delirious and Steen make their way back in but get quickly dispatched again. The Hangmen work Generico over and set him up on a table on the floor. Hagadorn climbs the ropes and Delirious comes to the rescue with some mist. Pelle Primeau then runs out and puts Hagadorn through a table with a hurricanrana. Primeau pays for it though and gets suplexed on his head by Albright. The match continues at a breakneck pace, with offense coming from every direction. Bodies are flying all over the place and it’s hard to keep up. We end up with Delirous and Pearce in the ring. Delirous sets up a table on the top rope and he fights Pearce on it. Hagadorn grabs Delirious’ leg, allowing Pearce to hit a piledriver off the table and through another table to get the win at 18:23. That was a ton of fun, a good garbage brawl that never stopped and an awesome, memorable finish.
Rating: ***½

INTERMISSION – Rebecca Bayless gets a word with the Hangmen 3, who are celebrating their huge victory tonight. Pearce promises to unmask Delirous after the Dog Collar match in Chicago on January 26.

MATCH #6: Rocky Romero vs. Ernie Osiris

Osiris is the current Top of the Class Trophy holder. This match is being taped for Romero dominates in the early going with his strikes. Osiris hits a modified gourdbuster for one. Romero goes right back on offense and locks on the Cross Armbreaker for the win at 1:09. There’s nothing wrong with a match like this being on first after intermission.
Rating: ½*

Nigel Makes a Choice

ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness is banged up after last night’s defense against Austin Aries. He was supposed to defend tonight in a four-way elimination match against Chris Hero, Bryan Danielson, and Takeshi Morishima, but he was too injured to do so. Thus a four-way match was made with those three challengers and Austin Aries to determine the next challenger. A majority of the fans chant “drop the belt,” since it’s the second time during his short reign that he has had to miss a title defense. He says that maybe he should drop the belt, that someone who is able should defend it tonight. Then he gets angry an indignant with the fans, talking about his sacrifices and that’s why he deserves to be Champion. That actually turns the crowd back to his side.

MATCH #7: FIP World Heavyweight Title Match – Roderick Strong vs. Erick Stevens

Strong has been the Champion since 11.10.06, and this is his twenty-seventh defense. SInce this is an FIP sanctioned match, there is a 20 count on the floor, and the title can change hands via countout or disqualification. Things get heated between these two rvials right away when Strong spits in Stevens’ face. Stevens controls the opening minutes, absorbing Strong’s hard chops. Strong battles back with hard kicks to the face. They go to the floor and Strong abuses Stevens’ back. Back in the ring Strong stays in control and trie sto keep Stevens off his feet. They take it to the apron and Strong knocks Stevens down, and then wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring Strong maintains the advantage. After several minutes Stevens is able to fire up and hit the Choo-Choo and a powerslam. Both men are down. Back on their feet Stevens seems to gain a second wind. Stevens lands a shoulder tackle off the second rope for two. A full nelson slam also gets a two-count. Strong comes back with an enziguiri and a Samoan Drop for two. He takes Stevens up and hits a superplex for a near-fall. They go back to the ring apron and Stevens knocks Strong down and then takes him out with a shoulder tackle off the apron. Back in the ring Stevens hits a TKO for two. Stevens hits a pop-up powerslam for another two-count. He takes Strong up top but that backfires when Strong knocks him down and comes down with a Sick Kick. Strong hits the gutbuster and a Hurricane DDT for two. He goes for the Gibson Driver but Stevens shoves back and they both tumble to the floor. They fight up on the entrance ramp and Strong hits the Gibson Driver! The crowd helps Stevens will his way back to the ring at the count of 19. Strong unloads with chops but that just fires Stevens up. The Champ drops Stevens on his head but can still only get two. Strong goes for the Gibson Driver but Stevens blocks it and hits a release German Suplex and the clothesline slam. He hits another release German Suplex and two lariats. He follows with the Doctor Bomb to get the pin and win the title at 21:00. A lot of guys could learn from this match. These two powerhouses kept throwing bombs at each other, but they weren’t “finishing” moves per se, so no one’s finisher got killed in the attempt to create drama. Stevens and Strong were just natural opponents with an effortless chemistry that came through here.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Number One Contender’s Four Way Elimination Match – Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries vs. Chris Hero

Hero has Larry Sweeney, Tank Toland, Sara Del Rey, and Bobby Dempsey in his corner. Danielson attacks his arch nemesis Morishima betfor the bell can ring and we’re underway. It’s always electric when Danielson and Morishima are in the ring together. Morishima hits Danielson with a side slam and bowls him over. Hero tags himself in and takes advantage of the weakened Danielson. Aries and Morishima get tagged in and Aries shows no fear of the monster. Hero continues to pick his spots, only getting in the ring when someone is at a disadvantage. Of course when a fresh Morishima gets in the ring Hero wants no part of that. Hero scurries over and tags Danielson, who is happy to unleash fury on Morishima, who is looking unstoppable in the early going here. Danielson and Aries try double-teaming Morishima but even that proves difficult. They finally take him down with simultaneous elbow and knee strikes. Hero comes in the ring and does his little somersault routine so Danielson dumps him to the floor. Danielson and Aries hit a double belly-to-back superplex on Morishima, and then Danielson stomps his face in. Aries hits the 450 Splash and all three men cover him to eliminate him at 10:36.

Hero tries to celebrate with Aries and Danielson, and then quickly double-crosses them. He sends Danielson to the floor and then goes to work on Aries. Hero continues to take cheap shots whenever he can, and actually does a good job controlling both Danielson and Aries with his unique offense. Unfortunately for Hero he gets too cocky and Aries rolls him up for the second elimination at 14:18.

Now we’re down to Aries and Danielson, one more time. They shake hands and here we go. Obviously they go right down to the mat and chain wrestle. Aries is able to send Danielson to the floor and follows him out with the Heat Seeking Missile, landing in the front row. Danielson gets back in the ring first and wipes Aries out with a springboard dive into the third row. Back at ringside Aries whips Danielson into the guardrail and hits the IED. In the ring Aries hits a series of back elbows to the face. Danielson fires back with a running kick to the face. He takes Aries up for the belly-to-back superplex but Aries lands on top for two, and Danielson rolls that over for his own two-count. Aries gets a backslide for two and then kicks Danielson in the head. He tries the Brainbuster but Danielson reverses to a Tiger Suplex for two. Danielson rolls that into Cattle Mutilation, which morphs into the elbow strikes to the face. Aries escapes and kicks Danielson in the head. He hits the Brainbuster for two and then locks on the Horns of Aries. Both men reverse each other multiple times and are just leveling each other with strikes. They slap each other in the face. More reversals leads to Danielson locking in a triangle choke. Aries won’t give up so Danielson adds elbows to the head and referee Todd Sinclair stops the match at 22:48. I liked that match a lot, even with Hero’s goofy shenannigans. I didn’t buy Hero as a top contender at this time but he was a good foil to the seriousness of everyone else. Danielson and Aries working together to eliminate Morishima after the big man dominated was great, and then of course the two of them tearing into each other at the end was as good as it always is between the two. Aries refuses to shake hands after the match.
Rating: ****¼

Backstage – Erick Stevens is beat up, but he says none of that matters because he is the new FIP World Heavyweight Champion. He’s very proud of himself (and he should be).

MATCH #9: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black

The Briscoes have been the Champions since 3.30.07, and this is their twentieth defense. Jay and Mark are accompanied by Daizee Haze, while Jacobs and Black have Lacey in their corner. The Briscoes surpassed Austin Aries and Roderick Strong in both longevity and number of title defenses (19) last night, making them the most successful tag team Champions in ROH history to that point. They even would have had 20 defenses had Mark not injured himself during WrestleMania weekend and have to be replaced by Delirious for one match. Their title defense record still stands, but the Kings of Wrestling surpassed them for longevity with their second reign from 2010-2011. The Briscoes by far though still have the most days total as Champions, with 732 days spread over seven reigns to go along with 35 total defenses.

Jacobs and Jay start the match. Jay is on fire from the get-go, so Jacobs rakes his eyes and makes the tag. The Briscoes continue to dominate the challengers. This is the first time the combination of Jacobs and Black have faced Jay and Mark. The fight spills to the floor and the referee threatens to throw the match out if they don’t get back to the ring. Jay and Mark comply and continue to control the action. They go for the Doomsday Device early but Jacobs breaks it up with a Spear. Now the challengers are in control. After a few minutes Jay hits the Flatliner into the buckles on Black. Mark gets the hot tag and he unleashes the Redneck Kung Fu. He goes for a moonsault but Black pushes him down and Mark ends up in the Tree of Woe. The challengers hit a simultaneous dropkick on Mark for two. Black hits Paroxysm for two. Mark catches him with an exploder suplex. The Briscoes hit the double-team neckbreaker for two. Jay hits Black with a Falcon Arrow for two. Jacobs and Mark take the fight to the floor. Jay goes for the Jay Driller but Jacobs breaks it up and hits Jay with a neckbreaker. Jacobs goes up top but Jay knocks him down. Jay goes for a Super Jay Driller but Black breaks that up and the challengers hit the Doomsday Rana for two. Black puts Jay in a torture rack and Jacobs hits a back senton off the top rope, and Black slams Jay down. Jacobs then locks on the End Time and Mark breaks it up with a springboard double stomp. Mark and Jacobs slug it out now and Mark ends that battle with a powerbomb for two. The referee loses control and all four men are in the ring. Black dumps Mark to the floor, but moments later the Briscoes hit Black with a Doomsday Device on the apron! Holy shit indeed New York City. Mark hits Jacobs with the Cutthroat Driver but amazingly it only gets two! The Briscoes are not real happy with the referee. They hit Jacobs with the springboard Doomsday Device and Black makes the save! Out on the floor Black hits Jay with a powerbomb into the barricade. Meanwhile Mark and Jacobs battle on the top rope. Black joins them and helps Jacobs hit a Super Contra Code! Black follows with a Phoenix Splash and we’ve got new ROH World Tag Team Champions at 18:54! These teams have good chemistry and the crowd was pretty hot for this one. As usual with the Briscoes they did some wicked cool spots, and the finish was good too. They would go on to do better but this is a great start.
Rating: ***¾×120.jpg

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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Final Battle 2009 (Tyler Black, Austin Aries) Wed, 11 Dec 2013 14:00:07 +0000 Finalbattle2009forwebcopy

Manhattan Center – New York City, New York – December 19, 2009

PRELIMINARY MATCH: Alex Payne vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge

This is Ridge’s highest profile match to date. Payne tries to control the action with a headlock, but Ridges escapes. Undaunted, Payne continues to hold the advantage, staying one step ahead of Ridge. They somehow manage to blow a back body drop spot, and Payne tries to cover it up with a dropkick. Payne gets a La Magistral rollup for two. Ridge fights back with a couple of nasty kicks for a two-count. A big boot to the face and a running kick to the face gets another near-fall. Payne comes back and tries a German Suplex but Ridge reverses it to an O’Connor roll and grabs a handful of tights to get the pin at 2:49. I don’t know what they expect the students to learn if this is all they get. It’s the preshow, let them go nuts and get all their stuff in.
Rating: ½*

The show opens with a really good highlight package starting with Final Battle 2008, when Tyler Black and Austin Aries battled in a Number One Contender’s match. They show quite a few highlights from the three-way match at Manhattan Mayhem III where Aries won the title, as well as clips of the show on HDNet. Whoever put that together deserves a raise; that was a great setup for the main event tonight.

Dave Prazak and Eric Santamaria are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Pick 6 Series Four Corner Survival – (6) Kenny Omega vs. Rhett Titus vs. (1) Claudio Castagnoli vs. Colt Cabana

Castagnoli is accompanied by Prince Nana and Mr. Ernesto Osiris. Omega defeated Castagnoli in a singles match at least year’s Final Battle. Cabana and Titus opened the last New York show, Glory By Honor VIII with a singles match, so there’s plenty of history here. Omega and Cabana reprise their tag team by going after Castagnoli, and merely threatening Titus. Their lack of a killer instinct gives Castagnoli and Titus to take control. Cabana and Omega are too smart for them though, and they come back with dueling atomic drops to send their opponents to the floor. We wind up with Omega and Castagnoli wind up in the ring, and when Castagnoli tries to backdrop Omega to the floor, Omega lands on the second turnbuckle and hits a moonsault to the floor on Titus! Cabana is in the ring now and he hits a headscissors on Castagnoli and then dumps him to the floor. Omega gets back in with a rolling prawn hold on Cabana for two. Cabana throws Titus back in the ring, while Castagnoli throws Omega into the barricade. Back in the ring Titus hits Cabana with a dropkick. Castagnoli goes back to the floor to ram Omega into the barricade again. He gets back in the ring and hits a double suplex with Titus. Omega gets back in the ring with a cross body block on both men. Cabana tries to give Omega the Stop Sign, but Omega hits him with an enziguiri and then a uranage for two. Titus throws Omega to the floor, but then Castagnoli executes the UFO on him. Omega gets back in the ring with a missile dropkick on Titus and then a dragon suplex on Castagnoli for two. Omega and Cabana battle on the rope and when Omega knocks Cabana down, Titus takes the opportunity to hit the Super Sex Factor. Cabana then locks Titus in the Billy Goat’s Curse, which Castagnoli breaks up with a bicycle kick. Castagnoli then hits Titus with a German Suplex with a bridge to get the pin at 6:17. That was brief but certainly energetic and was a good choice to open.
Rating: **½

Before the next match we cut back to Chicago on December 5, when challenger Tyler Black talked about his path towards his ROH World Title match tonight. He takes unnecessary shots at WWE as he promises to win the ROH World Title. The promo ends with “we’re taking over the world,” but it’s unclear who he means by “we.” Does he mean him and his fans maybe?

MATCH #2: Delirious & Bobby Dempsey vs. Bison Smith & Erick Stevens w/ Prince Nana & Ernesto Osiris

Necro Butcher was originally scheduled for this match, but I believe couldn’t make it due to travel difficulties caused by the Asshole Snow Storm, so Delirious starts the match by himself! He gets double-teamed and beaten down pretty quickly by his larger opponents. The battle spills to the floor, where Delirious gets dumped into the crowd. Smith charges and dives over the guardrail to wipe Delirious out. Then some music hits and Pelle Primeau comes from out of nowhere to make his ROH return. Primeau unleashes a flurry of offense on Stevens, but Smith comes in and clobbers him with a clothesline. Smith military presses Primeau to the floor. Bobby Dempsey’s music hits and now he’s here to be Delirious’ partner. He hits a powerslam on Stevens for two. He makes the tag to Delirious and apparently we’ve got a real match here. So why was Primeau involved – just to build to Dempsey coming out? Smith breaks up a pin attempt and pitches Delirious to the floor, where Nana and Osiris take free shots while Dempsey stupidly distracts the referee. Now the Embassy takes control of the masked man. Santamaria points out that both men who came to Delirious’ aid are ROH students, and Delirious is the current head trainer. After a few minutes Delirious makes the hot tag to Dempsey. The fat man is a house afire, bringing Stevens down in the corner. Delirious charges in with a Panic Attack and Dempsey follows with a Cannonball. Both Stevens and Smith are on the floor now, and Dempsey and Delirious follow them out with simultaneous somersaults, although Delirious’ came from a much higher altitude. Back in the ring Delirious goes for Shadows over Hell on Smith but Stevens pushes him to the floor. With Dempsey on his own, the Embassy hits a Claw Slam / Backbreaker combination. Stevens appears to have injured his knee. Smith goes for a powerbomb but Dempsey backdrops his way out of it. He comes back with a lariat for two. Smith then connects on a powerbomb to get the win at 9:41. I like Smith and Stevens as a tag team, but the match was nothing special. I don’t get the Pelle Primeau thing.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Fight without Honor – Chris Hero vs. Eddie Kingston

Hero is accompanied by Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn. Does Del Rey really have a purpose in ROH at this point? I know she’s a good wrestler, but when was the last women’s match? Kingston meets Hero in the aisle and the fight is on. I think this is going to be a lot of kicks, punches, and forearms. Hero gets the first advantage and finds a chain. He whips Kingston with it, and then wraps it around his throat and mouth. He throws Kingston into the guardrail, taking out a camera man in the process. Back in the ring Hero continues using the chain to abuse Kingston. Hero hits an elbow and Kingston kicks out at one. Back up Hero hits headbutts and a boot to the face. Kingston is bleeding from the forehead. Hero tries a Liger Bomb but Kingston counters with a headscissors and a uranage. Kingston hits an enziguiri and a Northern Lights Bomb for two. Hero comes back with a series of elbows for two. They rip each other’s shirts off and trade chops. Hero hits another elbow for two. He goes outside and brings one of the barricades in the ring. Back in the ring Hero hits a Saito Suplex. Hero and Hagadorn set the barricade up horizontally in the turnbuckles. He sets Kingston up on the top and then climbs on the barricade, and ends up hitting a powerbomb off the top rope and onto the barricade. Kingston kicks out at two. I call bullshit. Hero goes back to the chain and wraps it around Kingston and tries the Death Blow, but Kingston reverses to a straight jacket suplex. Kingston wraps the chain around his arm and hits a lariat for two. Hagadorn and Del Rey interfere, and Del Rey takes a leg capture suplex for her troubles. Hero puts on the golden elbow pad but Kingston ducks a shot and hits the Back Drop Driver. Kingston tries the spinning back fist but Hero ducks and hits a low blow. Hero then kisses Kingston on the head and then hits a rolling elbow for two. Kingston gets up and hits two spinning back fists but Hero kicks out at two. He takes Hero’s golden elbow pad and hits a rolling elbow to get the pin at 15:09. If you’re into this feud and this style of match you’ll probably love this, but it went astray for me when Kingston kicked out of that ridiculously sick powerbomb. Some moves should just finish a match.
Rating: **

MATCH #4: Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The Young Bucks

These two teams met at both Contention and Aries vs. Richards, with Steen & Generico getting the win both times. The video packages tonight have been pretty great across the board. Steen is noticeably hobbling on his way to the ring, and he looks despondent. Generico and Nick start the match. They wrestle on the mat briefly before taking it to the air for some of the high flying both men are known for. Steen asks to be tagged in and gets his wish, so Nick tags in Matt as well. Matt takes the advantage and it’s obvious that Steen is not 100%. Things get personal when Matt offers to help Steen up and gets spat at. Matt counters by spitting his gum at Steen, who picks it up off the mat and puts it in his own mouth just to spit it at Nick on the apron. Both men knock each others’ partners off the apron, but Generico sneaks in the ring and helps Steen gain an advantage, and he hits the front flip legdrop. Steen then knocks Nick off the apron and blasts him with a snot rocket. The former ROH World Tag Team Champions isolate Matt in their half of the ring and work him over. Matt comes back with a standing Sliced Bread and makes the tag. Nick comes in a house afire, knocking Steen off the apron and hitting Generico with a springboard swinging DDT for two. Now the Bucks isolate Generico. After a few minutes of abuse, Generico makes the hot tag. Steen is all over both Bucks, taking them both down with a simultaneous clothesline. He hits a cannonball on Matt and then an Orton DDT on Nick for two. The match breaks down a bit, with people coming in and out of the ring. Steen hits Nick with the pumphandle neckbreaker for two. He goes for a powerbomb but Nick flips out and hits a kick to the head. Matt gets tagged in and Generico gets knocked to the floor. The Bucks double-team Steen and get a near-fall. Steen comes back with a Codebreaker and he tags Generico, who hits a high cross body off the top rope on Matt for two. Generico gets trapped in the corner and Nick hits him with a running knee and the springboard X-Factor. When Nick tries that flip to the floor thing he does in every match, Steen catches him and powerbombs him on the ring apron. Back in the ring Matt hits Steen with a superkick and then Generico catches Matt and suplexes him into the turnbuckle. Nick comes back in and pitches Steen to the floor. He then wipes Steen out with a dive over the top rope to the floor. Meanwhile Matt hits Generico with the Diamond Dust, and then the Bucks hit a moonsault/splash combo for a close two-count. The match breaks down and Steen dumps Matt to the floor. Generico hits Nick with a running Yakuza kick and a half-nelson suplex. Steen follows with a frog splash, but it only gets two! He sets up for the Package Piledriver but Nick escapes it. After a couple reversals, Steen powerbombs Nick and traps him in the Sharpshooter. Matt tries to break it but Generico cross bodies him to the floor. Steen’s knee gives way and he has to release the hold. Matt rams Generico into the guardrail. Steen once again tries the Package Piledriver but Matt breaks it up and hits a superkick. The Bucks hit More Bang for Your Buck but Steen kicks out at two! Why are we killing finishers on an already injured wrestler? The Bucks each hit two superkicks and then a double superkick to finally get the pin at 17:10. That was the usual pretty good tag team match between the two teams, but the Bucks pretty much do the same stuff in every match, and really don’t understand why Steen had to kick out of their finisher only to get beat by superkicks just seconds later.
Rating: ***¼

Steen gets on the microphone as the crowd chants his name. The sound on this DVD is horrible; I can barely understand what he’s saying. It sounds like he’s cutting a goodbye promo from what I can hear. Steen hugs Generico. You know how I know those guys are gay – because they’re holding each other ever so gently. Steen then swerves us all by telling Generico he “hates his fucking guts,” and then pulls a Chris Jericho and kicks Generico in the balls. He grabs a steel chair and cracks it over Generico’s head. Colt Cabana comes running out to question Steen’s actions, so Steen kisses him on the lips and bails. It sounded like a great promo; I wish I could have heard it better. After three years teaming together in ROH and one World Tag Team Title reign, I’d say Kevin Steen & El Generico are over.

MATCH #5: Pick 6 Series – (4) Roderick Strong vs. Kenny King

They lock up and Strong grabs a wristlock. King comes back with a takedown and then locks on a side headlock. He knocks Strong down with a shoulderblock, but when he gloats Strong makes him pay with a spinning heel kick for two. Strong hits a chop and puts the boots to King. He maneuvers King to the floor, and then takes him down with a clothesline off the apron. He hits a chop, rams King into the edge of the ring frame and hits another one. King blocks a whip into the guardrail and takes Strong down with a twisting senton off the barricade. Now King takes advantage of the outside, ramming Strong’s head into the barricade several times. Back in the ring King gets a two-count. It’s all King now. King hits a spin kick for two. He gives Strong a taste of his own medicine with a backbreaker. He tries a springboard legdrop but Strong moves out of the way. King hits a few strikes in the corner and then dances to celebrate, giving Strong the chance to unleash a backbreaker of his own for two. Strong hits a dropkick for two. King counters with a spinebuster for two. Strong goes for the Stronghold but King reverses out of it and hits an enziguiri. King follows up with a clothesline for two. They take the fight to the apron and Strong hits King with the back suplex right on the ring frame. King comes back with a sunset flip, and a series of reversals ends with King hitting an enziguiri for two. He sets Strong up on the top rope and they slug it out, and King pulls Strong out with the Royal Flush for two! King goes for the double knees but misses and Strong hits the torture rack backbreaker for two. Strong goes for a crucifix but King rolls through with a schoolboy rollup for the pin at 10:27. This was technically proficient but not terribly exciting. King extends his hand, and Strong spits on him.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: Rocky Romero vs. Alex Koslov

This match is courtesy of the AAA promotion in Mexico. I’ve yet to see what others see in Alex Koslov, so this should be interesting. Romero gets on the mic to announce that Jack Evans and Teddy Hart are not here, so instead of the tag team match we get this singles match. The crowd is not pleased, so hopefully Romero and Koslov can get them into it. They take it to the mat and wrestle to a couple of quick stalemates. They’re working cautiously, since apparently they know each other very well from Mexico. The crowd seems to be with them now, which is good. The pace quickens and Koslov does the stupid stop sign just like Kenny Omega, and Romero just stops. Both guys stand there for a few seconds and then Romero hits a low dropkick. Romero is able to lure Koslov into crashing to the floor, and then he wipes him out with a dive that sends him all the way into the crowd. Back in the ring they decide to exchange strikes. Romero hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but then falls victim to a kick to the back of the head by Koslov. That gets a two-count for the agile Russian. Koslov hits the Russian Legsweep and puts on his little hat. He hits the kicks to the head, which Romero no-sells. Romero hits a rana, and Koslov counters with a drop toehold. Koslov ties Romero up in a surfboard using the ropes, which looks really cool. Back in the ring Romero hits a flurry of offense and then he puts on the hat and does some dance moves of his own. Romero hits a swinging DDT for two. The fight spills to the floor and Koslov chops Romero into the crowd. Koslov leaps off the top rope and wipes Romero out. Back in the ring Koslov tries a splash off the top rope but Romero gets his knees up. Romero hits a reverse enziguiri for a two-count. Koslov comes back with a vicious superkick for two. He goes up top again and Romero pops up and locks on the Diablo Armbar and the bell rings at 11:19. The crowd is rightfully pissed because Koslov didn’t actually tap out and the bell rang out of nowhere. The match was a terrible mess of guys just hitting moves and not selling a damn thing. I understand what they were going for in trying to make up for Jack Evans and Teddy Hart not being there, but it just didn’t work for me. Plus the messed-up finish, which the commentators gloss over, didn’t do the match any favors.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #7: World Tag Team Title Match – American Wolves w/ Shane Hagadorn vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe

The Wolves have been champions since 4.10.09, and this is their tenth defense. This feud began one year ago at Final Battle 2008. This is the Wolves’ first title defense since Ladder War II almost three months ago. Richards and Mark start the match. They chain wrestle for a bit, and then Edwards gets tagged into the match. Edwards and Mark trade kicks to the back and Edwards tags back out to Richards. Mark subdues Richards with a headlock and then goes after his leg. They trade some holds and wrestle to a stalemate, and then tag their partners. Edwards kicks Mark right off the ring apron just to be a dick. Richards gets tagged back in and Jay returns the favor by kicking Edwards to the floor, and then the Briscoes level Richards with a double tackle, sending him to the floor. The Wolves attempt to regroup on the floor while the crowd chants “Man Up.” Back in the ring it turns into a pier-six brawl, with everyone kicking each other in the face and head. Mark hits Edwards with a t-bone suplex and Jay follows up with a boot to the face for two. The challengers are cutting the ring in half and working Edwards over. The Wolves use some clever double-teaming to target Mark’s knee and take advantage on him. Mark comes back with an Ace Crusher on Edwards and makes the tag. Jay is all over both Edwards and Richards. He drops Edwards with a spinebuster for two. Edwards appears to be injured, while Richards throws Mark into the guardrail and kicks him into the crowd. In what should come as a shock to no one, Edwards was playing possum, and the Wolves hit Jay with the Superkick-German Suplex-Jackknife Pin combination for a two-count. The Wolves work Jay over for several minutes. Jay comes back with a Death Valley Driver on Edwards and both men make tags. Mark is on fire with his redneck kung fu. He hits Richards with an Iconoclasm for two when Edwards breaks it up. Mark hits Richards with a missile dropkick, and then the Briscoes execute the Sidewinder (!) for a near-fall! I love that move. Jay sets Richards up for the Jay Driller but Richards escapes it. Edwards gets tagged in and he exchanges strikes with Jay. He hits an enziguiri and then charges into a big boot. He fights back with the Backpack Chinbreaker for two. Edwards hits a super Frankensteiner and Richards hits a running kick to the chest. Richards follows up with a DR Driver but it only gets two! Edwards has a Half Crab locked on Jay, while Richards has a Texas Cloverleaf on Mark. The Briscoes counter them both with small packages for two-counts. Mark gets dumped to the floor and the Wolves hit the double-team Alarm Clock and a powerbomb/lungblower combination for two. Edwards locks Jay in the Half Crab and he reaches the ropes to break it. The Wolves try a Doomsday Device but Mark breaks it up and the Briscoes throw some suplexes. Jay turns Edwards inside out with a lariat for a two-count. He goes for the Jay Driller but Edwards fights it off. The Briscoes hit Edwards with a double superkick for a two-count. Jay hits Edwards with the Jay Driller, which only gets two. I hate how that move doesn’t mean the end of a match. The Briscoes nail Edwards with the Doom to get the pin and their sixth ROH World Tag Team Title at 22:52. I think they could have cut a few momentum shifts out of the early going and had a much tighter match at 18 minutes or so, but this was still really a very good match. It does make me wonder though why didn’t they move the titles over to the Briscoes back in September when Edwards got hurt, and then you could have done the rematch here? That way the title wouldn’t have sat dormant for three months and the same result is achieved.
Rating: ***½

While the Briscoes are celebrating, Claudio Castagnoli comes out and gets in the ring. Meanwhile Chris Hero sneaks up behind Jay and hits an elbow! The Kings of Wrestling then hit Mark with the KRS-One and hold up the tag belts as the crowd chants “Kings of Wrestling.” I’m all for this.

MATCH #8: Jack Evans vs. Teddy Hart

Bobby Cruise is in the ring to announce the main event, but the lights go out, and when they come back on Jack Evans and Teddy Hart are in the ring with Julius Smokes! Evans proposes that he and Hart face off in a singles match. There’s no referee so there’s no opening bell, so I don’t think this really counts as an official match. Evans busts out an early Super Space Flying Tiger Drop. He hits a springboard 450 and goes for a cover but there’s no referee. Hart comes back and hits some wicked head-dropping maneuvers to the delight of the fans. J-Train has stepped in as the referee. Hart tries a Shooting Star Press but eats knees. Evans tries a 630 but also meets knees. Hart hits an amazing back suplex into a powerbomb. He hits another piledriver variation for a two-count. Evans comes back and this time hits the 630 senton for the three-count around six minutes in. This was definitely not an official match so I’m not going to give it a rating, but the fans got to see Jack and Teddy do a bunch of crazy spots in a short amount of time, so I think they did the best they could, weather considering.
Rating: *

MATCH #9: ROH World Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black

Aries has been the champion since 6.13.09, and this is his lucky thirteenth title defense. The champ immediately bails to the floor and wastes some time. Back in the ring Black takes Aries down in the corner and stomps away, so Aries bails again. Aries bails a third time. They wrestle on the mat and Black hits a mini piledriver, so Aries bails again stomps on Black sliding back in the ring. Black hits some mounted punches and the crowd barely cares. Aries takes Black down with another headlock. This is just brutal. They take it to the floor, where Black chops Aries into the crowd. Speaking of the idiots in the crowd, they’ve brought Twinkie back. Another part of the crowd chants “shut the fuck up” while Aries literally runs away from Black, very slowly. They go back to the floor and Black hits Aries with a moonsault off the guardrail. Aries continues trying to escape Black on the floor. Half the crowd is just actively booing Tyler Black. Aries takes he advantage and works on Black’s left knee. They’re about 15 minutes in but it feels more like 45. Aries takes forever to try the pendulum elbow, so Black comes back with a kick to the head and a flurry of offense. Black knocks Aries to the floor and follows him out with a running moonsault, on his badly injured knee. Back in the ring Black hits the springboard lariat for two. He gets an O’Connor Roll for two, and then lands a running knee to the face for two. He misses the Quebrada but hits the standing shooting star press. Aries slips out of paroxysm and hits the shinbreaker / belly-to-back suplex. He goes for the IED but Black blocks it with a boot to the face. Black sets Aries on the top rope, but it’s Aries who’s able to hit Black with a Super DDT for two. Aries then locks on the Last Chancery but Black gets out of it. Black comes back with an IED and Paroxysm for two, and then locks on the Last Chancery. Aries elbows his way out of it. Black goes up for the Phoenix Splash but Aries shoves him down to the floor. Aries follows him out with the Heat Seeking Missile. A few minutes later Black tries the Phoenix Splash and misses, so Aries goes back to work on the knee. Aries locks on the Figure-Four Leglock and Black turns it over. The hold is broken and Black goes on offense to the seeming chagrin of the crowd. Black puts Aries up on the top rope, but Aries counters the superplex into a super gourdbuster. Before he can capitalize, Black jumps up and kicks Aries in the head, sending the champ crashing through the timekeeper’s table! Thirty minutes have gone by. Aries simply recovers and goes back on offense. Black reverses a whip and sends Aries into the barricade. Back in the ring Black gets a two-count, and Aries bails again. Aries tries the brainbuster but Black reverses it to a gourdbuster and sets up for the superkick, so Aries bails AGAIN. That takes the fight to the apron, and Aries hits a Death Valley Driver on the edge. Aries then shows he was playing possum with his arm injury. So what was the point of the table spot anyway? The chants are dueling, but the Austin Aries chant is murdering the Tyler Black chant. Aries hits knee strikes and then locks on the Last Chancery and Black is able to reach the ropes. Now Aries tries to keep Black on the floor and win by countout. This goes on FOREVER. Black finally has enough and fights back and this time Aries bails. The crowd chants “we want wrestling.” I don’t blame them. Now they’re chanting “this is bullshit” about 40 minutes in. Aries continues trying to run away and Black chases after him. He actually goes back to the locker room and Black follows him. A sizable group chants “don’t come back,” and then they boo when it happens. Black is carrying Aries on his shoulders and hits an F-5 on the ramp. He convinces the referee not to count them out, turning himself into an even bigger accidental heel. Aries has been busted open. Black carries him back to the ring and locks on the End Time. Aries rolls that into a pin cover for two. We’re past the 45 minute mark here and the crowd is fairly hostile.

Aries once again tries to run away so Black Buckle Bombs him onto a chair on the floor and follows up with a superkick. He quickly rolls Aries back in the ring but the champ grabs the ropes before a three-count can be made. Black goes for a Phoenix Splash and misses, and both men are down. Aries goes up the ramp again and this time he’s able to hit Black with a Brainbuster on the ramp. Now Black is busted open. The challenger barely makes it back to the ring as we go north of 50 minutes. Aries locks on the Last Chancery, and then decides to straight up choke Black and not break on the count of five, but he doesn’t get disqualified. He hits a blatant low blow, but Black begs him not to call for the DQ, so the match will continue. Aries pulls a turnbuckle pad off and rams Black’s head into it, but Sinclair still won’t disqualify him. He hits a Russian Legsweep into the steel turnbuckle. He hits a perfect 450 Splash but Black reaches the bottom rope. Aries goes back to the Last Chancery and Black elbows his way out. So Aries goes to the floor and brings the belt into the ring and the referee tries to stop him. This distraction allows Black to come back with a schoolboy rollup for two and then a kick to the head. They trade punches as 55 minutes have elapsed. They trade kicks and Black is able to take Aries down with Cattle Mutilation. Black then rolls that into Bryan Danielson elbows and back to the Cattle Mutilation. The crowd doesn’t seem amused. Aries escapes the hold and hits a brainbuster for a close near-fall. One minute remains now as they duke it out. Black hits God’s Last Gift but Aries kicks out. Before anything else can happen, the bell mercifully rings at right around 60:00 (a little short by my clock but after Injustice II I’ll take it). This whole match was just a big bowl of wrong. This was just the worst match they could have possibly put on for this crowd under the circumstances. The crowd turned on it in a number of ways and I don’t blame them. This was an absolute disaster in every sense of the word. Hopefully this doesn’t set a bad omen for 2010.
Rating: DUD

Aries and Black continue brawling. Black knocks Aries out with the World Title belt. Meanwhile, the Briscoes and the Kings of Wrestling are brawling around the building as well.×120.jpg

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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Final Battle 2006 (Bryan Danielson, Homicide) Tue, 10 Dec 2013 07:41:04 +0000 final battle 2006

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

Manhattan Center – New York City, NY – December 23, 2006

Ring of Honor Video Wire December 14, 2006
Ring of Honor Video Wire December 21, 2006

Some students come out in Santa suits handing out ROH merchandise. The Briscoes storm the ring to destory them, and then demand a rematch with the Kings of Wrestling TONIGHT.

MATCH #1: Four Corner Survival – Christopher Daniels vs. Davey Richards vs. El Generico vs. Jimmy Rave

Daniels has Allison Daner in his corner, and he is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions. Generico and Richards start it off. They chain wrestle back and forth, with neither getting a strong advantage. Generico uses a series of armdrags and a dropkick to send Richards to the floor. Back in the ring Richards tags Daniels, who for some reason came to the ring without his Tag Team Title belt. Daniels and Generico chain wrestle a bit and then Rave tags in to take his shot at the Fallen Angel. The pace is quick and aggressive between these two, and when Daniels makes the tag to Richards, Rave immediately bails. Rave and Richards had a series of matches earlier in 2006 that did not go well for Rave, by the way. Richards and Daniels seem to form a bit of a unit, tagging in and out and working on Generico. Eventually Richards gets his hands on Rave and dominates. Rave quickly tags out but Richards has no problem fighting Generico either. Richards dominates but can’t quite put Generico away yet. Daniels tags himself in and hitsa tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and the uranage slam. He hits the Best Moonsault Ever and Generico breaks up the cover. The offense is coming from all over the place now. Rave has been hiding for quite some time, which is pretty smart strategy. Richards goes up for the Shooting Star Press but a momentary disctraction by Daniels allows Generico to pop up and hit the Top-Rope Brainbuster. Rave blind tagged himself in and he snags Generico in the Heel Hook to get the tap out win at 17:49. That was a great opener, with fast-paced action and enough from everyone to look good. I loved the finish, as it makes Rave look both smart and tough, and it made the crowd pissed at him. Rave was underrated.
Rating: *** ½

After the match Rave gets on the mic and talks some trash so Nigel McGuinness comes out to fight him. Rave gets cracked in the jaw and he bails.

MATCH #2: Adam Pearce vs. Ricky Reyes

Pearce is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn, who is accompanied by his Top of the Class Trophy. “Scrap Iron” talks some trash about Homicide before being interrupted by Ricky Reyes and Julius Smokes. Of course Smokes has a retort. I don’t really care what he says and then Reyes attacks Pearce to start this apparently impromptu match. Reyes controls the opening minute and then Pearce catches him with a spinebuster to take the advantage. Momentum shifts back and forth between two of the duller in-ring competitors ROH had at this time. Reyes locks on the Dragon Sleeper but the referee is distracted by Hagadorn and Smokes brawling on the floor. Pearce then levels Reyes with brass knuckles and the referee turns around to count the pin at 3:22. After the match Pearce and Hagadorn beat up Reyes and Smokes some more. Not much to see here match-wise, but it did put some heat on the main event so at least it served a purpose.
Rating: *½

MATCH #3: BJ Whitmer & Colt Cabana vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Brent Albright

Jacobs and Albright have Lacey with them, while Whitmer and Cabana counter with Daizee Haze. Cabana and Whitmer attack Albright and Jacobs from behind to start the brawl. Albright gets pitched to the floor so Jacobs gets double-teamed by his hated rivals. Tide quickly turns when Albright gets back in the ring to join Jacobs in the fight. The referee has had no control of this match whatsoever yet. All four men spill to the floor. Whitmer sets up a table between the apron and the guardrail, but Albright is able to stop Cabana and Whitmer from using it. Mortal enemies Jacobs and Whitmer end up in the ring together but they quickly take it back to the floor. The action in this one has been non-stop. Jacobs and Albright slow it down and isolate Whitmer, keeping him in their half of the ring. Eventually Whitmer makes the hot tag and here comes Boom Boom. Cabana dominates both Albright and Jacobs briefly, but soon falls victim to a 61Knee and a Spear for a near-fall. Whitmer comes in and catches Albright with a spinebuster, and then hits Jacobs with the Exploder. Cabana covers for two. Whitmer tags in and hits Jacobs with a brainbuster for two. Cabana and Whitmer try a Doomsday Device but Jacobs avoids it and hits Cabana with the Contra Code and Whitmer with the headscissors. Albright then powerbombs Whitmer from the ring through the table on the floor! That looked nasty. Albright then hits a series of rolling German Suplexes on Cabana, and Jacobs follows with a hard senton bomb to get the pin at 13:49. I had almost no memory of that match and it definitely surprised me. The action was non-stop and he crowd was rocking with them for the duration. They worked the formula but threw in some good big spots too just for icing on the cake.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #4: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Kings of Wrestling

Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli are accompanied by Larry Sweeney. The Briscoes start off hot, eager to avenge last night’s loss. Mark hits a dive off the top rope into the aisle to wipe out both Kings before the bell can even ring. Speaking of the bell, it seems to ring rather arbitrarily. I question Bryce Remsburg’s judgment here. The Briscoes fly all over the place and keep the Kings reeling. After a few minutes the Kings are able to come back on Jay and cut the ring in half. Jay fights back and catches Hero in a Fisherman’s Buster, but the Kings use chicanery to prevent the tag. Hero and Claudio continue working Jay over, putting him in a bad way. Eventually Jay makes the hot tag and Mark is a house afire. I have no idea who this is on commentary with Prazak, by the way. Mark goes for a springboard splash but Hero gets the knees up. Claudio tags in and hits the Riccola Bomb but Mark kicks out at two. Jay tags back in and hits Claudio with a gourdbuster for two. Claudio is able to tag out and Hero hits a cravat suplex out of the corner for two. The momentum shifts back and forth multiple times as neither team can stay in control for very long. The Kings hit Power & Glory’s old finisher but it only gets two. The Briscoes isolate on Castagnoli but can’t quite put him away. Then in an amazing spot, Claudio is able to carry both Briscoes for a variation of the Giant Swing. I love Claudio. The referee has totally lost control of this one, with all four guys fighting in the ring. Jay hits Hero with the Jay Driller, Claudio hits Jay with the Alpamare Water Slide, Mark hits Claudio with the Cutthroat Driver, and all four men are down. Hero and Jay are up first and they strike back and forth. Sweeney distracts the referee and Claudio brings in the Halliburton briefcase, but he accidentally hits Hero! The Briscoes then hit a simultaneous shooting star press (Mark) / guillotine legdrop (Jay) for the pin at 16:02. That was great tag team action that almost never stopped and the crowd was moist for it the entire time.
Rating: ****

After the match Castagnoli reveals that he is staying in ROH (he had signed with WWE but was let go after something like a week I think). Castagnoli says the Kings of Wrestling will be dominant in 2007. Larry Sweeney disagrees. Sweeney says that Castagnoli killed the Kings of Wrestling when he decided to leave, and he can’t un-decide. Castagnoli thinks Hero will choose him over Sweeney. Unfortunately for Castagnoli, he is wrong, and Hero goes with Sweeney without a physical altercation. That’s weird.

Before Castagnoli can leave the ring, Samoa Joe makes his way out. Joe is angry and tells Castagnoli to beat it. He wants to face the best NOAH has to offer on February 16 when ROH returns to New York City. Nigel McGuinness objects, and offers to kick Joe’s ass himself. Jimmy Rave comes out and attacks McGuinness from behind. Joe slaps Rave in the face for fun, and then suggests McGuinness versus Rave.

MATCH #5: Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Rave

Rave aggressively attacks to start and McGuinness is ready for him. McGuinness starts to attack the arm, no doubt looking to use the London Dungeon. The fight spills to the floor and Rave is using his surroundings to his advantage. Back in the ring Rave keeps McGuinness off his feet and continues to wear him down. McGuinness fights back and goes to the arm again. Rave ducks a lariat and hits a Spear. McGuinness rolls to the floor and Rave levels him with a running knee strike from the apron. Rave tries to keeps McGuinness reeling, but the feisty Brit comes back with his first Lariat. McGuinness goes on offense, even hitting the Tower of London for a two-count. Rave hits a nice tornado DDT for two. He hits Ghanarrhea for a near-fall. Rave gets the Greeings from Ghana and McGuinness kicks out at one! McGuinness is fired up but Rave puts that fire out with From Dusk Till Dawn. Luckily for McGuinness he’s able to reach the ropes. Rave hits a back suplex but McGuinness pops back with the Rebound Lariat for two. McGuinness is able to connect with a Tower of London on the ring apron! He covers but Rave kicks out! McGuinness sets Rave on the top rope and hits a huge lariat but it only gets two! He tries the Rebound Lariat again but Rave ducks it and locks on the Heel Hook and McGuinness taps out at 16:58! Thi is an unfairly forgotton feud, as the hatred between these two seemed very real. They went back and forth and gave each other their best shots. Rave going over clean via submission gives McGuinness reason to seek a rematch, and makes Rave a huge threat.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #6: Dragon Gate Rules Match – Austin Aries, Roderick Strong & Delirious vs. Matt Sydal, CIMA & Shingo

I don’t expect to do much play-by-play for this one. Delirious and Sydal start the match with some fast-paced back-and-forth chain wrestling. They quickly tumble to the floor so Strong and Shingo take their place. They try to out-power each other and Strong wins that battle with a chop. Shingo rolls to the floor so CIMA comes in. CIMA knocks Strong out with a dropkick so Aries takes his place. The two team captains go back and forth and Aries proves why you should never put him in a headscissors. CIMA rolls to the floor and Aries wipes everyone out with a twisting body press. Back in the ring Team Aries isolates CIMA from his partners. CIMA takes out Strong and Delirious and makes the hot tag to Shingo. Strong and Delirious try to double-team and the referee loses control. Shingo and Sydal offer a lot of awesome together as a team. Aries gets isolated now as Team CIMA keeps him in their half of the ring. Finally Aries is able to connect with a quebrada on Shingo and CIMA and make the tag. Strong is a house afire and Delirious joins him in kind. CIMA gets trapped in a corner and Strong hits a running forearm, Aries follows with the IED, and then Delirious hits the Panic Attack for a two-count. Delirious traps Shingo in the corner and hits the Roots Clotheslines. Shingo comes back with a TKO for two. Bodies are flying all over the place and Sydal takes everyone out with a beautiful moonsault to the floor. Aries and CIMA are first back in the ring and CIMA controls the action. Team CIMA runs like a well-oiled machine with some impressive triple-teams. Strong comes back with a superplex on Shingo and the Sick Kick. CIMA hits Strong with Venus, but then runs into the Bizarro Driver from Delirious for two. Sydal hits Strong with an amazing neckbreaker for a two-count. Aries kicks Sydal in the head and Delirious hits Chemical Imbalance II for a near-fall. The action is coming way too fast for me to keep up with. Strong hits Sydal with a gutbuster, Delirious hits Shadows over Hell, and Aries lands the 450 but CIMA breaks up the cover. Shingo hits Strong with the Pumping Bomber. CIMA and Shingo hit Aries with a Doomsday Cross Body, and then Shingo hits a gutwrench suplex for two. Delirious traps Shingo in the Cobra Stretch and CIMA breaks that up. CIMA hits Delirious with a superkick and Schwein but only gets two. He follows up with the Crossfire to finally get the pin at 24:02. What a ton of fun. All six guys went 100 MPH through the whole match and everyone was spot-on with their moves. It didn’t feel nearly as long as it was.
Rating: ****

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

Danielson has been the Champion since 9.17.05, and this is his thirty-ninth defense. Homicide has promised to leave Ring of Honor if he does not win the World Title tonight. They start off cautiously, taking it to the mat and trading holds. Danielson goes after the shoulder. He uses the surfboard, and then stomps Homicide’s knees into the canvas. Homicide fights back with strikes to take the advantage briefly but Danielson cuts him right off. They take it to the floor and that’s Homicide’s element. Homicide throws Danielson into the barricade and then back in the ring for a chinlock. Danielson breaks it with a chinbreaker. Homicide responds with the Three Amigos and then goes for the Frog Splash but Adam Pearce and Shane Hagadorn come out and throw him down for the DQ at 10:50. The crowd is furious. Julius Smokes comes out to make the save, as does another random dude. Referee Todd Sinclair decides that there is no way the match can end like that and we’re underway again!

Homicide is rejuvenated and he takes it right to the World Champion. He hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for two. Danielson cuts him off and goes right back to the shoulder. He this a roaring elbow for a near-fall. Danielson goes up for a diving headbutt but Homicide catches him with an Ace Crusher! Homicide fires up and suplexes Danielson to the floor and follows him out with the Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring now Homicide targets Danielson’s also injured shoulder. Danielson fights back with a European Uppercut off the second rope. He goes up top and hits the diving headbutt for two. Danielson follows with a bridging German Suplex for two and Homicide kicks out and then turns it into an armbar! The Champ gets to the ropes and then they start trading strikes with each other. Homicide spears Danielson through the ropes and then goes for a baseball slide, but Danielson catches him and dumps him over the guardrail. Danielson follows with the springboard dive, appearing to take a pretty nasty fall. Back in the ring Danielson hits a missile dropkick. Danielson tries the belly-to-back superplex but Homicide turns the momentum in mid-air and gets a two-count, and Danielson rolls that over for his own near-fall. Back on their feet Danielson tries a lariat but Homicide catches him with an exploder. Homicide goes up top but this time Danielson hits the belly-to-back superplex and Homicide kicks out at two. Danielson hits the series of elbows and then turns it into the Crossface Chicken Wing with a body scissors. Homicide is able to reach the ropes but Danielson refuses to let go. Sinclair won’t disqualify the champ so Homicide has to power out of the move. Homicide hits a butterfly suplex and a dragon screw leg whip. He then locks on the STF and Danielson has to rake the face to break it. Danielson comes back with Cattle Mutilation and turns it into a Tiger Suplex for two, and then turns it right back into Cattle Mutilation. Homicide won’t quit and is able to get a Bret Hart rollup for two. Back on their feet Homicide ducks a roaring forearm and hits the Cop Killa! Danielson reaches the ropes to break. Homicide goes for the ring bell but Sinclair is able to stop him. Danielson delivers a low blow and gets a small package but it only gets two. Homicide then lands a huge lariat to get the pin and win the title at 18:34! That was a bit on the long side but the emotion and the crowd heat helped sustain it, and the pop for the win was enormous. I’m not a big Homicide fan but he’s definitely an important figure in ROH and they built up to this moment very well and it felt huge. The locker room empties to see Danielson hand the belt over and to celebrate with the new Champ. Homicide revels in the moment for sure.
Rating: ****

Road of Homicide

This is about a five-minute video package on Homcide’s ROH career to date. It covers all of his biggest matches and moments, including tonight’s title win, so it’s really well done.×120.jpg

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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Final Battle 2004 (Austin Aries, Samoa Joe) Fri, 06 Dec 2013 14:00:09 +0000 final battle 2004

Pennsylvania National Guard Armory – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – December 26, 2004

Jimmy Bower and CM Punk are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Trent Acid vs. Jimmy Jacobs

They start with some shenannigans and quickly transition into mat wrestling. Acid delivers a couple of armdrags and then taunts Jacobs and pays for it. Jacobs knocks Acid off the apron and wipes him out with a suicide dive. Acid comes back by powerslamming Jacobs into the steel barricade. Back in the ring Acid tries to keep Jacobs on the mat. Jacobs fights up and tries the Contra Code but Acid blocks it and hits a superkick. Acid follows with a Falcon Arrow for a two-count. The crowd HUSSes Jacobs back into the match. Jacobs misses a Big Boot and Acid hits a Yakuza Kick for two. Acid pulled Jacobs up for some reason. He goes for the Shovel Driver but Jacobs slips out and hits the Contra Code to get the pin at 6:00. That was okay for a match with no build of any kind, but I don’t understand why it was necessary for Acid to pick Jacobs up from that last cover. It kind of makes Jacobs look bad. Other than that this was fine.
Rating: **¼

Acid is so disgusted with his recent losing streak and inability to beat that goof Jimmy Jacobs, so he profanely quits Ring of Honor. I think that really was his last appearance with the company.

MATCH #2: Lacey & Deranged vs. Becky & Angel Dust

I believe this is ROH’s first mixed tag team match. The men start it off. They chain wrestle and the girls take cheap shots when they can. The pace quickens and the action gets a little too fast to call. Angell Dust drops Deranged on his face and then hits a double stomp to the back of the head. Deranged fights back with a modified tornado DDT and a slingshot springboard double stomp to a standing Angel Dust. Lacey gets a tag and she’s not she about going after Angel Dust. Deranged goes for a super hurricanrana but Angel Dust shoves him down and hits a double stomp to the face. The women get the tags and it’s Cat Fight time. Becky takes advantage and Deranged has to pull her off a cover. She slaps Deranged and gets knocked on her ass for her troubles. Angel Dust comes to her rescue and takes out all the Special K members at ringside with a dive. Meanwhile, Deranged trips Becky up, allowing Lacey to hit the Implant DDT to ge the pin at 7:40. That was solid and well put together given the participants.
Rating: **½

After the match Special K looks to attack Lacey, but Dunn & Marcos make the save and beat up on Cheech. They rocked him like a hurricane.

MATCH #3: Homicide vs. Josh Daniels

They start with some chain wrestling, but things get heated and both men throw some strikes into the mix as well. Daniels takes the early advantage and grinds on Homicide with a headlock. He hits a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Homicide fights back and targets the left arm. He goes up to the top rope and misses a diving headbutt. Daniels capitalizes with a hard clothesline and a back body drop. He tries his own diving headbutt but he also misses. Homicide tries the Lariat but Daniels ducks and hits a German Suplex for two. Daniels tries another Northern Lights Suplex and Homicide counters with an Ace Crusher for two. Homicide goes back to the arm but Daniels grabs a Dragon Suplex for a two-count. Moments later Homicide traps Daniels in a Key Lock and Daniels has to tap out at 10:19. That was a solid showing for Daniels, as Homicide gave him a good amount of offense. Homicide also worked the arm throughout the match and won with an arm submission, so good on them.
Rating: ***

MATCH #4: ROH Pure Title Match – John Walters vs. Jimmy Rave

Walters has been the Champion since 8.28.04, and this is his fifth defense. Rave is accompanied by Prince Nana and The Outcast Killaz. These two faced off at All-Star Extravaganza 2 just a couple of weeks ago, where Walters won via countout. Rave takes control early and throws the first punch, earning a warning from referee Todd Sinclair. Walters fights back with chops and takes Rave down with a side headlock. He locks on a particularly painful submission hold right near the ropes and Rave is forced to use his first rope break. Rave responds by hitting a spinning vertical suplex. He takes control now, keeping Walters grounded, and poking him in the eyes when he tries a comeback. Rave dumps Walters to the floor, where there is a 20 count during Pure Title matches. He hits a flying knee off the apron and Walters makes it back to the ring at the count of 19. Rave covers right near the ropes and Walters uses his first rope break. Walters gets fired up and unleashes a flurry of offense, including Snake Eyes and a huge clothesline for two. He covers again and this time Rave uses his second rope break. Walters hits the Hurricane DDT for another two-count. He goes up top but Rave knocks him down. Rave goes for the Rave Clash but Walters escapes. The Crown Jewel of the Embassy puts on a guillotine-like submission and Walters uses his second rope break. Rave then locks on a Crossface and Walters uses his third and final rope break. Walters comes back and locks on a Sharpshooter. Rave uses his third and final rope break. The ropes are in play now for both men. Rave uses an O’Connor Roll with the ropes for leverage but only gets two. He goes up top but Walters knocks him down and ties him up in a submission hold. Walters is outside the ring during the hold, so he is risking countout. For some reason Rave holds on until 19 and then taps out, giving Walters the win at 11:31. I have a hard time buying that Rave could hold on for 19 seconds in the hold bu wouldn’t wait one more second to win the title. I appreciate points for effort on a creative finish, but it didn’t work for me. The match was solid stuff but not quite as good as their previous encounter.
Rating: ***

Nana gets in the ring and puts over Rave and his efforts tonight. He then switches gears and offers Walters a spot in The Embassy. Walters is convinced and he joins! Good for him, Nana made a convincing case.

MATCH #5: Fight Without Honor – Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer vs. The Carnage Crew

Loc pairs off with Whitmer while Maff and DeVito do battle in the early going. They all take it to the floor and engage in various levels of brutality. Maff is the first one to use a chair, and he also brings out a ladder. More brawling and hardcore activity continues with little rhyme or reason. Loc and DeVito take control for a good amount of time and use plenty of weapons to their advantage. Ladders get set up and all four men climb up and slug it out. Maff and Loc fall down crotch first on the top rope, and DeVito takes Whitmer down with a Side Effect. All four men are down. Mick Foley makes his way out to take the attention away from the wrestlers. He cuts a promo to reveal a Christmas stocking full of thumb tacks. DeVito hits an Ace Crusher pretty close to the tack pile for a two-count. Things get crazy when Loc delivers a neckbreaker to Maff, from the apron through a table on the floor. Back in the ring Whitmer hits the Wrist-Clutch Exploder on a pile of tacks for the pin at 14:48. That was lightly better than the Boston Street Fight, but mostly more of the same. Foley coming out there was just weird and unnecessary, it just felt forced.
Rating: *½

The Foley – Steamboat Confrontation

Foley gets on the mic to put everyone over, and the wrestlers shake hands and return the favor to Foley, the Hardcore Legend. Ricky Steamboat, fresh off the announcement that he will be returning to WWE as an agent, comes out to tie up the loose end of the hardcore wrestling versus scientific “feud” the two legends had. Foley appeals to Steamboat’s past hardcore matches with the likes of Wahoo McDaniel and the Hollywood Blonds, among others. He says that ROH doesn’t always stand for Ring of Hardcore, but he wants Steamboat to admit that it sometimes does. Foley takes unnecessary shots at Heidenreich, Snitsky, and Luther Reigns. Steamboat agrees that hardcore wrestling is okay in small doses. Then they shake hands. Wow, what an exciting climax for the feud. Foley then calls out Samoa Joe, the ROH World Champion. He says that when Ric Flair punches him in the mouth he deserved it for disrespecting a legend, and he wants to offer Joe a chance to apologize. Foley talks down to Joe and offers a handshake. Joe makes nice and then sucker punches Foley! That makes Foley angry and it looks like they’re going to fight but Steamboat stands in between them. Joe tells Foley to call him when he’s ready to wrestle. Sadly, the Foley versus Joe match never happened.

MATCH #6: Jay Lethal vs. Weapon of Mask Destruction #2

WMD #2 attacks right away and they trade control a bit in the opening minute. Lethal hits the first big strike with a dropkick. WMD #2 comes back with a back elbow smash. He drills Lethal with a dropkick to the back of the head for two. WMD #2 keeps Lethal on the mat and uses his generic (the he) offense to wear him down. He goes up top and misses a moonsault. Both men are down. Back on their feet Lethal fires up and tries the Dragon Suplex but can’t connect. Lethal can hit a big clothesline though and that gets two. He hits a leaping DDT from the second rope for another two-count. WMD #2 comes back with a Fisherman Buster for two. Lethal responds with the Dragon Suplex to get the pin at 6:22. That was another solid win for Lethal and a fine way to come back from intermission.
Rating: **

MATCH #7: CM Punk & Steve Corino vs. Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong

Punk and Corino have Traci Brooks and some random students with them. I believe this Corino’s first match since defeating Homicide in a Barbed Wire match last November at War of the Wire/i>. Corino and Strong start it off and they wrestle on the mat and trade strikes. Whenever Corino tries to tag Punk in, Punk stays in for a matter of second an tags back out, exposing Corino’s poor endurance. On the third try Corino ducks, leaving Punk in the ring to battle Generation Next. Punk and Corino continue their shenannigans while Shelley and Strong try to win the match. Generation Next is able to isolate Punk in their half of the ring. After several minutes of abuse Punk is able to hit the Pepsi Twist. Corino gets the hot tag and he is a house afire. Strong cuts him off with a backbreaker for a two-count. Shelley misses a Frog Splash and Corino makes the tag. The referee loses control and all four men are in the ring, and all four men get taken down. Back on their feet Punk hits Shelley with Welcome to Chicgo Mutherfucker for two. Punk follows with a Mule Kick and an enziguiri for another two-count. He puts on the Anaconda Vise but Shelley escapes with Strong’s help and hits Shellshock for two. Corino and Strong take the fight to their floor. Strong comes back in to hit Punk with a backbreaker and Shelley covers for two. Corino comes in and Shelley tries a Tornado DDT but Corino catches him and Punk flies in with the Hart Attack. Punk then locks on the Anaconda Vise and Shelley taps out at 17:32. That was a solid formula tag match with some neat stuff at the beginning and a hot ending.
Rating: ***¼

Austin Aries comes out to talk to Shelley, who hasn’t been around much in recent months. Aries says he’s going to take the top spot in ROH by defeating Samoa Joe later on to win the ROH World Title. He says that he also wants Shelley’s spot, and offers him five seconds to leave. Aries sucker punches Shelley and Strong pulls him off. Strong then hits Shelley with a huge backbreaker! Aries officially kicks Shelley out of Generation Next and takes his place as leader!

MATCH #8: Bryan Danielson vs. Low Ki

Ki is accompanied by Julius Smokes. They aggressively wrestle on the mat to start. Ki takes the first sustained advantage as the match stays on the mat, much like their first singles match in ROH at Round Robin Challenge. He focuses on Danielson’s left arm and viciously attacks it. Danielson fights back with a series of kicks. Ki cuts him off with a dropkick right to the arm. Danielson tries to fight back but only has use of one arm at this point. Finally Danielson has had enough and he gets angry. Danielson attacks KI’s knee, which should help subdue his kicks. He brings Ki up to the top rope and hits a superplex. Ki tries to use the Dragon Clutch but Danielson airplane spins him and both men spill hard to the floor. They fight into the crowd, where Danielson executes a roving Airplane Spin. As they get close to the entrance, Homicide and Julius Smokes bust out and interfere. Homicide uses a chair to beat on Danielson, and Jay Lethal comes out to brawl with Homicide. Danielson gets helped to the back, while Ki threatens the referee to declare him the winner. Ki knocks Hanson out and then chokes him with a belt. I never heard a closing bell, but I think it was a no-contest around 20 minutes in. This was similar yet different from their aforementioned match in 2002, as this one was much more hate-filled. The finish being inconclusive was kind of a bummer, but ROH very rarely used something like this (and I think they later changed it to a DQ win for Danielson), so that at least helped the match feel unique.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #9: ROH World Title Match – Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries

Joe has been the Champion since 3.22.03, and this is his thirtieth defense. Aries starts off hot and attacks Joe right away. Joe fights right back and plants Aries on the mat. Jay Lethal is in Joe’s corner and Roderick Strong is in Aries’ corner. Aries and Joe take it down to the mat and trade holds. Joe uses his power to dominate and tries the Big Joe Combo but he misses the knee. Aries goes back to the headlock, trying CM Punk’s strategy. Joe also uses a headlock. They criss-cross the ropes and Aries lands a dropkick to the knee. Aries zeroes in on the knee, which is pretty good strategy. He tries the shinbreaker / belly-to-back suplex combo but Joe blocks the suplex and hits an enziguiri. Joe goes to work with strikes and hits the Face Wash. Aries tries to fight back but Joe cuts him off and sends him to the floor. Joe goes for a dive but Aries avoids it and goes for one of his own, but Joe catches him with an enziguiri. The Champ hits the Ole Kick twice, but misses his third attempt. Aries knocks Joe back into the chair and hits an IED. Back in the ring Aries hits the slingshot elbow but Joe catches him in the Choke! Aries escapes out of that but runs right into a snap powerslam for two. Joe tries a powerbomb but Aries reverses to a rana for a near-fall. Aries hits a running dropkick that sends Joe into the corner, and then hits two IEDs in a row. On the third attempt Joe catches Aries and hits the Island Driver but it only gets two! The crowd cheers for both men, but when they cheer for Aries it just irritates Joe. They fight up on the top rope and Aries knocks Joe down and hits the 450! Joe kicks out at two! Aries gets knocked to the apron but comes back in with a sunset flip for a two-count, and then locks on the Samoan Crab! Joe powers out of the move, but Aries is tenacious and locks on the Fish Hook. That’s an illegal hold so he has to break it. Aries goes for the Brainbuster but Joe blocks it and sets Aries on the top rope. Joe unleashes a series of strikes and goes for the Muscle Buster but Aries counters with a crucifix bomb. Aries hits a series of strikes and kicks Joe down to his knees. He lands a kick to the head, the Brainbuster, and a 450 Splash to get the pin and become the fourth ROH World Champion at 17:29! This one holds up really well, with great strategy and emotion from both guys and a hot crowd to match. It was a fitting end to Joe’s epic, company-defining title reign. Ever the company man, Joe goes out of his way to put Aries over after the match, even strapping the title on him as the crowd chants “ROH.”
Rating: ****½×120.jpg

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**SPOILER** TNA Championship Changes Hands At Impact Taping Sun, 24 Nov 2013 17:24:21 +0000 **DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DO LIKE SPOILERS**


Austin Aries defeated Chris Sabin to become the new TNA X Division Champion at last night’s Impact tapings in Orlando. The match will air on Thursday, December 12th.×120.jpg×250.jpg

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A2Z Analysiz: TNA Turning Point 2011 (Bobby Roode, AJ Styles) Wed, 20 Nov 2013 14:00:46 +0000 turning point 11

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

Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – November 13, 2011

Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.

MATCH #1: TNA Television Championship – Eric Young v. Robbie E. w/ Robbie T.

Young has been the Champion since 5.26.11, and this is his third defense. I don’t care for Eric Young or his shenannigans. Despite my dislike, Young controls the early part of the match and the crowd is behind him. Robbie takes a powder and Robbie T interferes to give Robbie E the advantage. The challenger controls the Champion for a while with his boring offense. Young fires up and pulls his shorts off, just wrestling in trunks now. He is al fired up, unleashing a flurry of offense. Young hits Hail to the King for a near-fall when T pulls E to the floor. An irritated Young pulls off his trunks and has a pair of smaller trunks underneath. Okay then. Young wipes the Robbies out with a cross body block off the top rope to the floor. Robbie T takes a cheap shot, sweeping Young’s legs and causing him to crash down on the apron. That is actually enough for Robbie E to get the pinfall and win the title at 7:49. Nothing about this was particularly interesting, and the finish was hella lame.
Rating: *½

MATCH #2: TNA World Tag Team Championship – Mexican America (Anarquia, Hernandez & Sarita) w/ Rosita v. Ink Inc. (Jesse Neal, Shanon Moore & Toxxin)

Hernandez and Anarquia have been the Champions since 8.18.11, and this is their third defense. Moore and Anarquia start the match. The challengers take the early control and look motivated here. Hernandez tags in and immediately uses his power advantage. Momentum shifts back and forth in the opening minutes, but the challengers are probably ahead on points. Finally the Champions gain the advantage and focus on Neal, keeping him isolated from his more experienced partner. After a few minutes Neal avoids a charge in the corner and hits Hernandez with a Spear. The women get tagged in and the crowd loves it. Toxxin is a house afire and the match quickly breaks down. Neal and Anarquia are left in the ring, and Neal joins forces with Toxxin for some double-teaming. Rosita distracts Toxxin, allowing Sarita to hit her with one of the belts to get the pin at 8:34. That was better than I thought it would be, even though the women did very little until the finish. This worked well enough for what it was, but these being the two top teams at the time is a little unfortunate.
Rating: **½

MATCH #3: X Division Championship – Austin Aries v. Kid Kash v. Jesse Sorensen

Aries has been the Champion since 9.11.11, and this is his third defense. Kash and Aries have promised that this is going to be a handicap match, and that certianly holds true in the early going. Sorensen does his best to fight off both opponents and ends up throwing them both to the floor. He wipes them out with a dive and then throws Aries back in the ring. Sorensen goes go the top rope for an attack on Aries but Kash shoves him down. That’s the numbers game for ya. Finally some dissension in the ranks of Aries and Kash allows Sorensen to mount an attack. Unfortunately for Sorensen it is short lived and the double-team resumes. Kash pulls Sorensen to the floor and whips him into the guardrail. He holds Sorensen in place and Aries comes flying in with the Heat Seeking Missile, absolutely clobbering Sorensen. Back in the ring Aries covers for two. Aries covers again and this time Kash breaks it up. They keep it together though and both go to the top rope. Aries tries a Frog Splash and Sorensen gets his knees up. Kash misses a moonsault and all three men are down. Sorensen gets up and finally has some sustained offense, but can’t put anyone away. He goes up to the second rope, and for some reason Kash somersaults right into a clothesline. I hate how Kid Kash thinks spots like that are cool. Sorensen goes up top and Kash brings him down with a superplex. Kash hits the Money Maker and Aries sneakily puts Sorensen’s foot on the bottom rope. While Kash argues with the referee, Aries comes in and rolls him up for the pin at 12:53. That match was better in theory than in practice, as it may have worked better with someone who doesn’t suck as much as Kid Kash. Aries played his role to perfection, and Sorensen was still green but did a good job too. It just seemed to go on a little long and had some awkward spots.
Rating: **½

MATCH #4: No Disqualification Match – Rob Van Dam v. Christopher Daniels

Daniels gets on the mic before the match and tries to make this a straight wrestling match rather than a No Disqualification bout. RVD agrees, so let’s see how this goes. They chain wrestle and RVD gets the advantage so Daniels powders. Back in the ring RVD continues to dominate. RVD goes up top and tries a sunset flip but Daniels blocks it and takes control. After a few minutes RVD fights back with his usual offense. The match spills to the floor, where RVD is able to hiptoss Daniels on the entrance ramp. RVD drapes Daniels over the guardrail and this a legdrop off the ramp. That was cool. Back in the ring Daniels shoves the referee into RVD, allowing him to hit an STO. Daniels then grabs a steel chair and jams it into RVD’s gut. He hits the uranage slam on to the chair for a two-count. Daniels is frustrated and goes outside the ring to find a screwdriver. RVD blocks him from using it and then hits the Van Daminator. He goes up top and hits the Five-Star Frog Splash to get the pin at 11:15. There was nothing really wrong with that match per se, but it just never kicked into a higher gear. Daniels did some stuff, then RVD did some stuff, and then it was over.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #5: Crimson v. “The Blueprint” Matt Morgan

They start off slowly, feeling each other out to start. Morgan strikes first with a huge clothesline. He ries an early Carbon Footprint but Crimson avoids it and hits a clothesline. Crimson can’t follow up though and Morgan reclaims control, sending Crimson to the floor. Outside the ring Morgan is able to kick the steel steps into Crimson’s knee, and that gives him a pronounced advantage. Morgan hits the series of elbows in the corner and that just fires Crimson up. Crimson unloads with a flurry of offense now, throwing Morgan around, which is no small feat. Morgan fights back and hits a Chokeslam for two. He tries the Carbon Footprint again but misses, and Crimson hits a Spear for two. On the third try Morgan connects on the Carbon Footprint and Crimson wisely rolls to the floor. Morgan rolls Crimson back in but by then Crimson is able to kick out at two. Crimson hits Red Sky and Morgan rolls toward the ropes. By the time Crimson pulls him back to the center of the ring Morgan kicks out. Both men get to their feet and trade strikes, trying to out-man each other. The referee tries to get in between them and gets shoved out of the way for the double-DQ at 12:05. I understand why they went with the double-DQ and I’m not even opposed to the feud continuing in this manner, it’s just the way they went about the actual finish that was kind of lame. There also didn’t seem to be any fire when they were trading punches, just like they were doing it for the sake of doing it. It looked weak and awkward.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #6: Mr. Anderson & Abyss v. Immortal (Bully Ray & Scott Steiner)

Anderson and Bully start the match. Aces & Eights explode! Oh wait, wrong year. The early parts of the match go to Anderson on points. Bully fights back with a back suplex. Steiner tags in and the Immortal duo use some shady tactics to take control and wear Anderson down. Anderson is able to hit a spinning neckbreaker and both he and Bully are down. Abyss gets the hot tag but Steiner had the referee distracted so it’s not going to count. Steiner hits the Super Samoan Drop and Anderson is in big trouble. Bully comes back in and Anderson catches him with a quick DDT. This time Abyss gets the hot tag and it totally counts. Abyss is a house afire, decimating his former Immortal brothers. Bully and Steiner try to double-team the Monster but to no avail. Anderson tags himself back in, unbeknownst to Immortal but knownst to us. He comes flying off the top rope with a high cross body on Steiner for two. Meanwhile Abyss and Bully clothesline each other on the floor. Steiner comes back and hits the Steiner Flatliner for a near-fall. He follows with a Frankensteiner from the top rope but this time the referee won’t count because Abyss tagged Anderson from the floor and not anywhere near the right corner. Abyss surprises Steiner with the Black Hole Slam to get the pin at 11:47. That was a bogus tag that Abyss made, and that makes me hate the finish. Aside from that the match was fine, standard IMPACT Wrestling stuff.
Rating: **

After the match Bully Ray and Scott Steiner put Abyss through a table, but The Monster pops right back up! Steiner bails immediately and Bully soon follows, looking stunned.

MATCH #7: Knockouts Championship – Velvet Sky v. Gail Kim (w/ Madison Rayne & Karen Jarrett)

Velvet has been the Champion since 10.16.11, and this is her first defense. Gail and Madison are the current Knockouts Tag Team Champions. Velvet attacks right away and she has a lot of fury. The experienced challenger weathers that storm and takes control, wearing Velvet down. Velvet tries to mount a comeback but Gail has an answer for everything she tries. Eventually Velvet does make the comeback and unleashes her terrible looking offense. Velvet hits In Yo’ Face but Karen Jarrett has the referee distracted. Madison sneaks in the ring and hits an awful looking Rayne Drop. Gail crawls over to make the cover but only gets two. She goes up top and tries a back senton but Velvet moves out of the way. Velvet covers for two and Gail counters that to a cradle for her own two-count. Madison distracts Velvet again and this time Gail hits Eat Defeat to get the pin at 5:52. Gail is now a two-time Knockouts Champion. The match unfortunately was not so very good, and it’s not Gail’s fault. I feel bad knocking Velvet because it looks like she’s really trying, but she’s just not so good.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #8: Jeff Hardy v. Jeff Jarrett (w/ Karen Jarrett)

Jarrett is the current AAA World World Heavyweight Champion. Hardy charges the ring and hits an immediate Twist of Fate and gets the pin in six seconds! Jarrett is pissed, and he wants to go again. Hardy agrees and here we go. Jarrett goes right to work and keeps Hardy grounded. Hardy fights back and hits a gourdbuster for two. He goes for Whisper in the Wind but Jarrett shoves him down. Hardy tries to fight up again but Jarrett catches him in a Sleeper. The tenacious Hardy is able to fight his way out and hit a back suplex. Both men rise and trade fisticuffs. Hardy gets the better of it. A series of reversals ends with Jarrett trying the Figure-Four Leglock and Hardy turns it into an inside cradle to get his second pin at 5:44. As Hardy walks up the ramp, Jarrett grabs a steel chair and blindsides Hardy with it. Jarrett drags Hardy back to the ring and delivers The Stroke. He and Karen demand one more match and they get it for some reason. Jarrett covers and gets two, as Hardy rolls him over into a crucifix to get his third pin at about 20 seconds. These two have never had good chemistry as opponents, and this match was no different. It was a short, awkward exercise that made Jarrett look like a doofus and Hardy like a guy who beat a doofus.
Rating: *½

MATCH #9: TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Bobby Roode v. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles

Roode has been the Champion since 11.3.11, and this is his second defense. AJ is aggressive in the early going so Roode tries to avoid him. The tenacious challenger is able to get a hold of Roode and he sets out to systematically wear him down. Roode fights back and cuts AJ off with a hard clothesline. After a brief time AJ avoids a charge and Roode crashes to the floor. AJ follows him out with a flying forearm off the apron. Back in the ring Roode uses the referee to help him take a cheap shot, and they go back to the floor. Roode dominates and keeps up the pressure back inside the ring. AJ comes back with a superplex and both men are down. Back on their feet AJ is in total control, working the Champion over. Things get a little awkward briefly but they recover well enough. Roode hits a big spinebuster for two. AJ comes back with a hammerlock back supelx. He tries a springboard 450 but Roode avoids it. Roode then counters the Styles Clash into a Crossface. AJ is able to escape with a tiny little powerbomb. He follows up with the springboard flying forearm for a two-count. The referee gets in the wrong spot and Roode delivers a low blow to AJ, which also makes contact with the ref. Roode covers but only gets two. AJ gets a quick inside cradle for two, and then drills Roode with an enziguiri. They trade punches and AJ wins that battle. Roode tries to beg off but AJ will have none of it. AJ knocks Roode to the floor and tries to follow with a dive but he misses and lands hard on the floor. Back in the ring Roode hits the Payoff but only gets two! Roode goes for another one but AJ avoids it and hits the Pele! AJ goes for the Styles Clash but Roode sweeps the legs and rolls AJ up with a handful of tights to get the pin at 19:32. These are two very talented wrestlers and they had a mostly good match. The crowd wasn’t so into it for the most part, and a few very awkward spots knocked this one down a few pegs. Overall it was an effective victory for Roode and the finish lends itself to a rematch, so all’s well that ends well.
Rating: ***¼×120.jpg

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Top 5 Best Moments In TNA History Fri, 15 Nov 2013 17:44:20 +0000 HTC Wrestling Pulsecast

Matt, Cam and Justin reunite this week to discuss the BEST moments in TNA/Impact Wrestling history. That’s right… the BEST MOMENTS! Sure a few bad ones slipped in there but for the most part remained positive. Why not rack your own brains and come up with your Top 5? Post them in the comments below.×120-2013.jpg×250-wrestling-pulsecast.jpg

]]> 1 AJ Styles,Austin Aries,Awesome Kong,Bully Ray,cm punk,Gail Kim,HTC Wrestling Pulsecast,Hulk Hogan,impact wrestling,Jeff Hardy,Kurt Angle,TNA Yup. Best. ( Matt, Cam and Justin reunite this week to discuss the BEST moments in TNA/Impact Wrestling history. That's right... the BEST MOMENTS! Sure a few bad ones slipped in there but for the most part remained positive. Why not rack your own brains and come up with your Top 5? Post them in the comments below. Inside Pulse Wrestling no 1:22:49
The View From Down Here – Fare Thee Well Mon, 04 Nov 2013 11:00:01 +0000 I don’t think I can do this anymore.



After 6 years of writing for Pulse – 4 of those years in the wrestling section – I can’t do it anymore.


I can’t struggle through television shows that are just not fun any more.


I can’t justify paying for PPVs that even my 8 year old son can’t sit through.


I can’t handle seeing talented athletes used in ways that belittle all they can offer.


I can’t handle seeing people promoted beyond their ability, while those with ability are left to fester in the under ranks.


I am sick of storylines that don’t lead to satisfying conclusions, or if they do have the conclusion people want as consumers, it’s done in such a way as to still leave people annoyed.


I am sick of style over substance.


I am sick of wrestling writing on television that insults the intelligence of even children under the age of ten.


I am sick of the same over-hyped and over-exposed wrestlers being constantly shoved down our throats.


I am bored with the stylistically similar matches being forced down our throats as well.


I am sick of watching the so-called elite of the sport botch move after move.


I am sick of the fans of wrestling taking it so seriously that it leads to threats of violence and ridiculous wars of words.


I am sick of opinions being treated as facts by the denizens of the internet wrestling community/fandom.


I am annoyed that I get more enjoyment out of wrestling shows 10, 15, 20 years old than the modern product.



I am sick and tired of wrestling.



This is going to come as a surprise to even the bosses here at Inside Pulse, but I need to get out, for the sake of my sanity. We’ll call this a break. It might be for a month, two months, a year. I don’t know. I need to get my enthusiasm back, to get my love for the sport I have grown up watching back. Because, simply put, I just can’t do this any longer.


I know I won’t be missed. I’m just one of the thousands of voices, voices that all get lost in the maelstrom of online ‘thought’. My columns get very few hits (and hence readers), partly because I tend not to write about things happening in the here and now (which the ADHD-like modern Internet reader demands of their written consumables), partly because I write columns that are quite long and (again) that collective ADHD of the masses can’t handle it, and partly because I like to think I write in a style that is at least a little intellectual, which I have gathered by looking at other wrestling sites is something many (though not the regulars here at Pulse) struggle with when it comes to this pseudo-sport.


Having saud that, I might well miss writing for this place, though.


And if that happens to be the case, the odd column might appear from me from time to time. There might even one day be a Monday when I’ll be back and just continue on as if nothing has happened.


So what’s happened? Why the sudden quitting when wrestling’s been crap for a long time? Part of it, I know, is that fact that I can’t wrestle any longer. When I had that outlet, I knew what I saw on television would be something I could overcome by going to a local indy show. But because I can’t get in the ring (be it through politics or injury – both are factors in my case) when I go to a show I feel like I should be out there (I was certainly better than a number of locals I see in the squared circle) and I just can’t enjoy it.


Part of it is also the fact that October was such a shitty month for wrestling. Three PPVs, all of them shit. TV shows that just rubbed our noses in the shit. And I can’t see it getting any better in the short term. Or the medium term for that matter. And I doubt the long term is going to provide any relief. I cannot for the life of me see a light at the end of the tunnel. October was really the straw that broke the camel’s back.


And part of it is that I am over 40 years old with a young family and my third career is now starting to really take off. For those who don’t know, I am now a writer by trade. Horror predominantly, as well as fantasy, science fiction, humour and even some poetry – it all pads my CV. If you are interested, I can be found at and then you can even help support a struggling “artist” (term used in its loosest possible sense).


For those who enjoy wrestling –good on you. I hope it continues to give you what you need.


For those who don’t – there’s other things out there. There really is. Get out from behind your computer and go watch something else. In fact, here’s something – try parkour. Trust me – it’s awesome. We were doing a basic form of it in the 1980s, but what they do now is just beyond anything I could ever hope to have done.


And finally, as this is my last column for a while, I’m going to get some things off my chest.


- It’s only wrestling! For fuck’s sake stop arguing over it like it means something!


- If I had my own wrestling company and unlimited funds, the only wrestlers I would use from WWE and TNA are: (singles) Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Samoa Joe, Magnus, Austin Aries, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Dean Ambrose, Antonio Cesaro, Sami Zayn; (tag teams) Bobby Roode & James Storm, the Usos, the Rhodes family, the Shield; (females) Gail Kim, Natalya. I would also consider Chris Sabin if I could reform MCMG, Curtis Axel (and I would use him as Joe Hennig, grandson of Larry), and maybe AJ Lee at a push. Daniels and Kazarian could be a tag team as well. But that’s 25 out of two entire rosters. Everyone else I would use would be from the indys.


- The best female wrestler is still Savannah Summers. Now she has gone to the USA and has come back with some very positive reviews, I hope she can go that next step.


- The best wrestler in the indys is Elliot Sexton. If Matt Silva can make it into WWE developmental, then Sexton should be on NXT now, or headlining TNA.


- The authority figure storyline has beaten into the dirt. Both WWE and TNA are doing it, the indys do it, hell even RCW here in Adelaide is doing it. Enough! Nothing good ever comes of it, the authority figure ends up still in authority, and even if the good guy wins, it will involve them putting aside all his past with the authority figure in order to keep functioning in that wrestling promotion. It makes no sense, it’s never new or innovative, and it’s boring as all bat-shit.


- HHH sucks. Ken Anderson/Kennedy sucks. Randy Orton sucks.


- The Undertaker was never a great worker, his Wrestlemania matches are all over-rated, and his character is one that defies all logic. He started as a fucking zombie-lite type of creature, for God’s sake! And he’s still got that aura about him. He’s an average at best wrestler whose best matches involved him being carried by far superior workers, who has gained this mystique because fan-boys cream over a 6 and a half foot tall guy who can walk on the ropes if some-one holds his hand. And I don’t care what you say, you’re never going to change my mind. He sucks. I’ve enjoyed some of his matches, but they were all made by his opponents. ALL of them.


- John Cena is just Hulk Hogan for the 21st century. Pathetic, predictable, boring and marketed to kids. To rely on him constantly shows a marked lack of imagination and a hell of a lot of desperation on the part of WWE.


- I reckon TNA will be dead by the end of next year, WWE will buy it up, it will be a mercy killing, and it will make WWE even more staid, boring, predictable and unwatchable. Wrestling will suffer. Well, suffer even more than it already is.

- I recently put together a mix-tape type of thing of my favourite wrestling matches that I own on DVD and video. 20 matches. 7 from the 1980s, 8 from the 1990s, 4 from 2000-2005… and only 1 post-2005 and that was from Riot City Wrestling (and was also the only women’s match on the tape). That means that in the past 10 years not one televised match has excited me enough to move it into my top 20. NOT ONE. Wrestling has sucked for a long time.


- Match of the year this year is Sami Zayn v Antonio Cesaro, 2 out of 3 falls match, WWE NXT. Simple.




The following match is better, more realistic and has better selling than 75% of anything WWE or TNA have put out on TV this year, and is better than anything Ethan Carter III could ever hope to pull out of his over-hyped arse.



I mean Palin vs the lion. Though the Penguin scene is still better than a EC3, Ken Anderson or Sheamus match as well.


Does this seem like I’m bitter? Well, it should, because I am. From the day I first saw a wrestling match in 1980, from my first live show in 1982, from my debut in 1988, I have enjoyed professional wrestling. But that enjoyment has been ripped away from me by a crappy product and a public that don’t give a shit. Well, I give a shit. And that’s why I have to walk away.



So, don’t agree with something I’ve written here?


Bad luck. I am now beyond caring. Leave messages, I’ll probably respond, or I’ll act like a troll (I’ve been doing that a bit lately, but in a battle of wits online I feel like I’m fighting unarmed men). I may still respond to occasional posts here. Not even sure if I’ll do the Roundtables as I’m not on Facebook at the moment either, so apparently that means I can’t be contacted, and, besides, I won’t know what’s going on anyway.


Whatever it is, adieu. It’s been a fun-filled ride. I hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve offered. I’ve tried to be different – even unique – in what I’ve presented.


Hopefully I’ll be back. If you want me, I’ll be on the other side of the world.


Fare thee well.

]]> 9
Random Number Of Thoughts on TNA Impact – October 31 2013 Fri, 01 Nov 2013 07:49:10 +0000  


Okay, I’m going to admit, I’ve come into this having read no spoilers, and holding out hopes that it would be a good show even after last week’s debacle.


Come on, TNA – entertain me!


(This is recorded straight after last week’s show in Salt Lake City, so I hope we get more than last week’s 20 minutes of wrestling “goodness”.)


1. AAAND we open with Dixie Carter. Oh… goody. She runs down Styles, says he no longer exists and announces an 8-person tournament starting next week for the apparently vacant title (even though AJ is defending it in AAA). She announces the first 7 of the combatants – James Storm, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode and Chris Sabin.


2. The little videos showing how each combatant won their first title after being introduced was a nice touch. Very nice touch. But Joe’s a one-time champ only? Really? Talk about underusing your assets.


3. Out comes Bully Ray to complain about not being in the tournament while Dixie announces that tonight there will be a “gauntlet match” that will determine the 8th entrant! My money’s on Gail Kim. Dixie cuts Bully down by blaming him for the problem for losing to AJ Styles twice. Lights go down and… oh shit. Anderson comes down. We have a ‘brawl’. And yet again Anderson is gassed after 5 punches.


4. Apparently during the break Anderson was led away by security, Brooke yelled at him and Bully attacked him from behind. They blur Anderson, so my guess is it’s not actually him. The person there is certainly selling better than Anderson.


5. Something happens with Knux and Bischoff Jr.


6. Wow! 20 minutes in and we get a wrestling match! Yay… Shit. It’s Storm & Gunner vs Bromance for the tag team titles. Please make this the shortest title reign in TNA history.


7. Bromance suck. Don’t give me that ‘they look good’, ‘they’re improving’, ‘they’re funny’ – they don’t, they’re not, and they’re not. They’re shit. I thought Gunner had potential. Oops. Looks like he reached it already. And again Storm can’t carry 3 slugs to a good match. Not bad (apart from the members of Bromance still needing to learn how to throw strikes, clotheslines and how to sell properly), but dull. And, dammit, Bromance retain. Double dammit, Storm gets pinned with the Wrestlemania V Rude-Warrior-Heenan finish. (5 minutes)


8. Backstage and Dixie talks to Sting, giving him a spot in the gauntlet. I think he accepts. He channels the Ultimate Warrior in response anyway, and Dixie actually responds well. (“Yes? Does that mean yes?”)


9. Bad Influence dressed as a pair of Sherlock Holmeses to investigate the Case of the Off-again On-again Monster Abyss, with British accents. Fun. (“Elementary.” “Junior high.”)


10. Match 2: Ethan Carter III v Norv Fernum, rematch from Bound For Glory. Let’s see if Fernum can carry Carter like last week’s scrub.


11. He can’t. EC3 in 3 mins. And EC3 is gassed again. That was crap.


12. Roode with the medic backstage talking about Angle’s injuries, and he wants Angle checked medically. I liked this one as well.


13. Hey! Sting is walking!


14. ODB gets a rematch for “her knocked-up title” and the BI Holmeses arrive (“I believe I know what ODB stands for – Overly Developed Bosoms.”) to check her out, but WEric Young turns up and reminds them it’s Hallowe’en, a monster’s favourite holiday. Again – fun.


15. The “Gauntlet” Battle Royal. Uhh, TNA, I don’t think ‘Gauntlet’ means what you think it means. This is just a mini royal rumble. First out Sting, second is Kazarian. Third is Knux (where is Bischoff? They just said he was going to be there!). Fourth is Eric Young. BORING! Fifth is Christopher Daniels, and the audience reminds him he used to be Fallen Angel. Manik is sixth, after a commercial. Magnus is seventh. And that’s it? And no eliminations so far? What the…?


16. And then they must have been reminded it’s eliminations. Manik eliminates Knux, Kazarian eliminates Manik as Taz says Aces & 8s sucks! WTF?! Kazarian eliminates Eric Young. Magnus eliminates Daniels, then Sting and Kazarian at the same time to win. Sting doesn’t look happy at Magnus doing the right thing. That was 20 minutes and it was as dull as dishwater.


17. Angle is cleared by the doctor. Whew! Glad of that. The tension was unbearable as to if he’d be able to come up or not.


18. Impact have a world tour in Michigan and Ohio!


19. Knockouts Title: ODB v Gail Kim (with Lei’D Tapa). Kim only wins because of Tapa’s interference and crap. Look, fine, dandy, but the referee must be not only blind but stupid. And it was another dull match… but match of the night so far. (6 mins) Way to make your women’s champion look like a chump, TNA. One of the best female wrestlers today, and she needs… AUGH!


20. Bad Influence are going to tell the world how they solved the Mystery of the Monster Abyss (which sounds like a Scooby Doo movie).


21. And after the previous entertaining segments, this one is dying a horrible death out there. And it goes on so long. Then Young comes out dressed as Joseph Park, Bad Influence beat him up, Abyss comes out and he beats Bad Influence up, and then helps Eric Young. 10 minutes of crap.


22. And now Dixie is backstage with Hardy and Sabin and she has a… oh for fuck’s sake! A wheel! Spin the wheel, make the deal! The Wheel of Dixie! And they spin up a Full Metal Mayhem Match! Every match in this tournament is going to be a gimmick match!? You have some of the best wrestlers on TV and Jeff Hardy in this tournament and you’re making it all gimmicks all the time?! FOR FUCK SAKE… WHY?!


23. Recount of the Roode/Angle rivalry. Makes it look more intense than it actually was, so it did a great job.


24. Next match – Bobby Roode v Kurt Angle – The BFG Rematchening!


25. Okay, this started off as a really good television match. Better than their Bound For Glory match, and that was MOTN for that PPV. These two have some insane chemistry together. The suplexes, the story being told of what body parts they were going for, all of it – well done. It was a genuine wrestling match, the sort we just don’t see enough of. And then we come to the ending. Angle hits a sort of suplex/Angle slam thing off the top rope, can’t stand up, the 10-count is made, Roode wins in 16 mins. Medics come out and Roode even looks concerned as we fade to black.




Okay, first things first – far better show than last week. But if it was worse I’d’ve put my fist through the screen.


Positives: 50 minutes of wrestling! Yay! The Roode-Angle match was a good one. The Bad Influence stuff before they hit the ring was entertaining.


There. Positives.


But it was a dull show. Boring and dull and weak. Anderson is gassed after punching some-one. EC3 is gassed after a pathetic 3 minute squash. Bully Ray has been emasculated. Abyss is back the same as always. Bromance should be in developmental. Storm is looking unmotivated, and who can blame him? We had a dull, misnamed rumble. And to top it all off – we have a freakin’ wheel!


Well, TNA, you’ve won. I hope you’re happy.


WANTED: New TNA recapper for Inside Pulse. Must have a strong stomach or be a complete sycophant.

]]> 5
A2Z Analysiz: ROH Glory By Honor VII (Briscoe Brothers, Austin Aries, Necro Butcher, Age of The Fall) Tue, 22 Oct 2013 13:00:25 +0000 GBH-7

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

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

ROH Video Wire 9/16/2008

New ROH World Tag Team Champions Kevin Steen & El Generico are backstage. Steen says it took them four years of wrestling in the United States to get to where they are today. He has a chance for double gold tonight, as he takes on Go Shiozaki for the FIP World Title. Generico also has a shot at double gold, as he gets another shot at Nigel McGuinness for the ROH World Title.

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

We close with another highlight video, with the goofy slow motion and fast motion; as if this show wasn’t long enough as it is.×120.jpg

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A Random Number Of Thoughts on TNA Bound For Glory,Oct 20 2013 Mon, 21 Oct 2013 12:19:33 +0000 I missed the preshow, but believe BroMans won that tag team thing.


Bonus Thought: WHY????


Oh, and:
Seriously, this is when Bully Ray is coming out. LOOK AT THAT CROWD!!!


1) Interesting opening AJ Styles montage. Followed by a not as interesting Bully Ray one.


2) Opening with the Ultimate X Ladder Match is probably a good choice. But I’m gonna go with commenter Incognito here – the idea of an Ultimate X match is that ladders were banned. You used the ROPES. Man, only TNA could screw up the one good idea they’ve held onto consistently.


3) X-Division title match: Jeff Hardy v Austin Aries v Chris Sabin (with Velvet Sky) v Samoa Joe v Manik. This is Sabin’s 17th Ultimate X match?! And he’s won 6 already?! Wow! Anyway… Let the spots begin!


4) Hardy’s sort of powerbomb suplex thing on Aries was a glorious move.


5) The ladder adds nothing. Having said that, this is a good match.


6) And then the ending comes and screws it up. Velvet Sky distracts Jeff Hardy so Sabin can rush up the ladder and weasel his way to the title. He used the ladder? Who booked this? Anyway, I called it. Oooh, this does not auger well for the PPV


7) Apparently on the pre-show it was announced that the AJ Styles/Bully Ray match is no DQ, no count-out. I smell screw-job.


8) Recap of AJ Styles defeating Jerry Lynn with Ricky Steamboat the referee to win the X-Title in 2002. Nice memory.


9) AJ Styles is here. And…?


10) Bad Influence come out. They whinge about not winning the gauntlet. To be honest here – they SHOULD have won it. I said it in my last Impact review – we are looking at the latest Daniels de-push. Already TNA’s booking is looking dodgy. They demand to be inserted into the tag match, but Eric Young interrupts. He tells them they created a monster and should run. The crowd understands what’s going on. But Bad Influence attack Eric Young… and out comes Abyss. Oh… goody. He destroys them. So Abyss, a one-dimensional wrestler at best, singlehandedly embarrasses two of the best things TNA has going for them.


11) Jeremy Borash is backstage. ‘The Modern Day Viking’ Gunner (yeah…) and James Storm come out to talk about the Bromance and their match.


12) Tag Title Match: Jesse and Robbie E (with Mr Olympia) v Gunner and James Storm. And Bromance try to jump-start the match and that goes about as well as you’d expect. Leads to a real nice double team move by Gunstorm.


13) Now, I’m a huge fan of James Storm, but not even he could carry 3 useless ‘wrestlers’ like this into a good match.


14) A Hart Attack leads to Robbie E pinning James Storm for the win. New champions: BroMans/Bromance/Crappy and Crappier. Remember when TNA had the most awesome tag team competition in all of wrestling? Well, those days are now well and truly gone. Who is booking this crap?


15) Highlights from the 2013 Hall of Fame Dinner. Well, there’s something else WWE does better than TNA.


16) The official induction of Kurt Angle into the TNA Hall of Fame, and Sting gets the honours. Sting does a very nice speech, and the crowd cheers for Kurt when he comes out. After more nice words, he declines the induction because he has not lived up to the standards he has set for himself. Well, that was… a huge f’n letdown. I get what they were going for (“Let’s make TNA the greatest!”) but they failed. Dismally. Who booked this?


17) Another AJ Styles moment – No Surrender 2009 when he defeated Kurt to become world champion. That was a good match. I miss good matches.


18) Dixie backstage selling AJ merch and talking to her ‘nephew’ Ethan Carter 3. The acting here is… almost Bella-standard (the new low in professional wrestling acting ability). Almost, but at least the Carters change their facial expressions.


19) One hour in, match 3: Knockouts Title: Gail Kim v Brooke (not Tessmacher) v ODB. Brooke’s selling issues aside, this started off as a really good match, a reminder of when the best women’s wrestling was in TNA.


20) That was an awesome ref bump.


21) And out comes Lei’D Tapa. ODB attacks her, but Tapa boots her down. Brooke jumps at her, it caught and powerbombed over the top tope into the ring where Kim pins her. So Kim has aligned herself with Tapa. I get it in that you want to be on her side, but I want to see them go at it. Still, a bit of a letdown ending from what was a pretty impressive match. So who is booking this?


22) Some new backstage guy is with the three BroManses and they celebrate with protein shakes. Yeah. They did.


23) Bobby Roode is with JB and he delivers a fine promo. Since hanging with Daniels his delivery on the mic has really improved.


24) Recap of the Angle/Roode lead-up. I’m still underwhelmed by this.


25) Match 4: Hall of Fame Grudge Match: Bobby Roode v Kurt Angle. Well, let’s see how TNA can mess this one up, shall we?


26) Back and forth match that finally woke up what up till now has felt like a dead crowd. Some good moves, and Bobby Roode actually matched it with Angle for the most part.


27) What a bizarre ending. Angle hits a top rope Angle Slam, both men are down and out, Roode is up at the 9-count, and then falls on Kurt for the 3-count and the anti-climactic pinfall win. Again, I get what they were going for, but really… who is booking this? Still, your MOTN. By a mile.


28) Post-match Angle shuns a stretcher after being clinically dead for a while and walks to the back. He looks like shit. Who is booking any of this crap?


29) Hey! Was that Scott D’Amore?


30) Next AJ video recap is also from 2009, AJ defeating Sting to retain the TNA Title. Not as good a match as the Angle one.


31) Backstage AJ’s hands are getting dressed.


32) Bully Ray talking to people we don’t see about a club resurrected. Not good… We should have pulled back and seen him talking to a mirror. That would have been better. Anything would have been better. Oh, except showing Bromance as the new Aces & 8s members.


33) Ethan Carter III v Norv Fernum. Crowd looks bored as all f**k. Norv is a local scrubber. Because what we need on the biggest PPV of the year is a squash match that would struggle to find a place on Impact. Crapcrapcrap. And I ask again – who is booking this shite?


34) JB is with Magnus and he delivers a passionate promo, and this leads to a rather good video recap.


35) Magnus v Sting. Not a bad match, but it really lacked emotion. Part of it was probably the dead crowd, part of it was probably following Angle, and part of it was that Sting looked like he was phoning it in for a good portion of the match. Not bad… but not great. Still, the ending saw Magnus get the clean win with a cloverleaf type submission. This should have been a bigger deal than it was. Crowd helped kill this one. Hey – something booked well! Wonder if Sting books his own matches?


36) Post-match Magnus celebrates, then gives Sting a sort of half-hearted handshake thing and fobs him off. Don’t turn the guy heel. The crowd wants to like him. That’s not how this match should have ended. This was a passing the torch match. This was the match supposed to make Magnus! Okay, now I can ask – who is booking this crap?


37) Next AJ video – earlier this year when he defeated Magnus in the final of the BFG (FMF?) series. He’s aged well for a wrestler.


38) JB is with Bully Ray, and he delivers a good promo, leading into a video recap of the match which is actually well done.


39) Match 7: TNA World Heavyweight Title: AJ Styles (with Pink and Black rights… a secret alliance with Bret Hart?) v Bully Ray (with Brooke ‘Loser’ [not Tessmacher]). This match is a brawl from the word go. And then AJ takes the manliest bump ever, springboard 450 to the outside but Bully Ray moves and he eats table. OUCH! Taz gives Bully Ray a knife so he can cut up the ring, and then he calls for ‘the boys’, but out comes Dixie Carter instead. And cue the overbooking!


40) Carter stops the ref from counting after a springboard 450? Okay, I can get the idea behind it, but the delivery is just terrible.


41) Those chair shots from Bully Ray looked stiff, but AJ hits a Pele kick and then the spiral tap for the 3 and the win! Thank God for that! I was genuinely worried they were going to copy WWE and have the title held up for months… Of course, we have Impact on Thursday so it could still happen.


42) And so it ends. Carter is unhappy (I think; with her acting, she could have been having an orgasm for all I could tell), Bully Ray is unconscious and AJ celebrates in the “crowd”.



43) Yay! It’s over!



Well, if that wasn’t the most underwhelming PPV I’ve seen… It wasn’t actively bad. But it was not good. Still Angle/Roode and AJ/Bully are definitely worth watching.


Where to from here, TNA?

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