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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,Knockouts Division,Kurt Angle 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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Inside Pulse TNA Bound for Glory 2013 Live Coverage Report: AJ Styles, Bully Ray Sun, 20 Oct 2013 16:32:48 +0000 BOUND-FOR-GLORY

Welcome to Inside Pulse’s Live Coverage of TNA Bound for Glory 2013! Keep it here for all the match-by-match updates, with the latest update in ITALICS!

Follow Pulse Wrestling’s Quick Quips tonight on Twitter!


We already know that The BroMans have the advantage as the last team in, and a backstage drawing determined that Eric Young & Joseph Park will enter third, which means that Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez will face Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels & Kazarian) in the opening round.

Both of the beginning teams have been two-time TNA World Tag Team Champions. Chavo and Hernandez take the early control and dominate Bad Influence as we go to commercial. Back from the break Hernandez and Kazarian are in the ring and both men are down. Tags are made and Chavo is a house afire. The referee loses control and bodies are flying all over the place. Chavo hits Daniels with the Three Amigos. He goes up top and Kazarian pushes him down right into a rollup by Daniels to score the first pin.

Bad Influence will now face Eric Young & Joseph Park. Everyone brawls in the ring and the fresh team is in control. That doesn’t last long and Bad Influence isolates Park in their half of the ring. Time for another commercial break. When we come back Eric Young is in the ring and is in control. Daniels cuts him off with a uranage slam but can’t hit the BME. Park grabs Daniels and hits a Samoan Drop, and that’s seriously enough to get the pin. Daniels and Kazarian are bad sports and they destroy Young and Park after the bell.

Jessie Godderz and Robbie E have Mr. Olympia with them for some reason. Robbie covers Young and thinks he’s got it, but Young kicks out. Park is absent, having been so he injured he had to be taken to the back. Amazingly the BroMans can’t put Young away right away. Young is showing fortitude but the BroMans cut him off with a Flapjack. They follow with the Hart Attack to get the pin and earn the Tag Team Title shot.

WINNERS – The BroMans (Jessie Godderz & Robbie E)


Sabin is accompanied by Velvet Sky. The action is predictably fast and all over the place. Everyone in this match has been the X Division Champion except for Jeff Hardy. Sabin has been in an incredible 16 times. Manik seems to be most focused on Sabin, as they have had issues lately. Aries makes the first serious attempts at grabbing the X but he can’t come down with it yet. The high spots start coming fast and furious, while Joe primarily counters with his size and strength advantage. Hardy tries to use a ladder to take down the belt and Joe joins him up there. Joe shoves Hardy down and Aries dropkicks Joe down. Manik and Aries go up the ladder now and Sabin pushes them over. Hardy takes advantage on Sabin and Sabin shoves Velvet into the ring to distract Hardy. That gives Sabin the chance to climb up and come down with the belt. Sabin is now a seven-time X Division Champion.


Bad Influence make their way out despite being eliminated in the gauntlet match. The Tag Team Title match is supposed to be happening right now. Kazarian and Daniels talk about how awesome they are and how they keep getting screwed over. They want to be added to the Tag Team Title match tonight. Eric Young makes his way out to retort. Daniels and Kazarian attack him, and The Monster Abyss comes out to make the save! This is the first Abyss sighting since Slammiversary.

Backstage – Jeremy Borash is sporting a weird haircut and talking about social media. The Tag Team Title match is next, so he gets a word with the Champions. Storm and Gunner speak confidently about their chances tonight.


The Champs start off hot, taking the fight right to their challengers. Gunner and Storm control the first couple of minutes, and the challenger use some somewhat dubious tactics to take control. The isolate on Gunner for several minutes. Tenay and Taz are trying to get “Modern Day Viking” over as a nickname for Gunner. Eventually Storm gets the hot tag and he’s a house afire on the BroMans. The referee loses control and all four men are brawling in the ring. Storm is able to hit Robbie with an elbow drop off the top rope for two. He tries the Eye of the Storm but Robbie escapes and hits an Implant DDT for a near-fall. Gunner takes Jessie out and then drills Robbie with a powerbomb. He then powerbombs Robbie onto Storm’s knees. Luckily Jessie is there to break up the pin. The crowd is into it. Storm hits Jessie with the Codebreaker but can’t put him away. Robbie grabs one of the title belts and distracts the referee with it. The BroMans then hit Storm with the Hart Attack to pick up the perfectly clean win and become the new Tag Team Champions.

WINNERS, and NEW TNA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS – The BroMans (Jessie Godderz & Robbie E


The 2013 inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame is Kurt Angle. He joins Sting as the first two entrants into the hallowed Hall. Out in the ring Jeremy Borash welcomes Sting, who will induct Angle into the Hall. Angle cuts a promo about how grateful he is, etc. He talks about how he’s been letting everyone down by not living up to his potential and to the standard that Sting has set for the Hall of Fame. Angle respectfully declines the induction. Well I certainly didn’t see that coming.

Ethan Carter the Third is backstage and gets a pep talk from his aunt Dixie. Apparently he will make his in-ring debut tonight.


All three of the women take some control in the opening minutes. Gail gets knocked out, leaving Brooke to battle ODB in the ring. Gail gets back in the match with a ring post Figure Four on Brooke. She gets knocked right back out of the match and ODB takes it to Brooke. They all go up top amd ODB tries to superplex both of her opponents. Gail knocks her down and hits a missile dropkick. Brooke follows down with an elbow drop on Gail and all three women are down. Back up they continue to trade control and the referee gets bumped to the floor. ODB throws both women around but there’s no referee to make any count. Lei’D Tapa’s music hits and she stares ODB down. ODB goes out after her and they fight on the entrance ramp. Tapa boots ODB in the face and makes her way toward the ring. Brooke tries a cross body block off the top rope but Tapa catches her and powerbombs her back in the ring! That looked nasty. Gail steals the pin to become a three-time Knockouts Champion.


Tapa presents the belt to Gail and raises her hand. It appears that there is some sort of alliance here for some reason.

Backstage – The BroMans are celebrating their huge upset win with some protein shakes. They douse the new guy on the announce team and hug each other.

Elsewhere – Jeremy Borash is with Bobby Roode, who is about to face Kurt Angle. Roode says he is more Hall of Fame worthy than Angle. He also promises to make Angle tap out.


They mat wrestle back and forth and Roode actually seems to have the upper hand early on. Angle goes for a quick Ankle Lock but Roode slips out. Roode is able to take control for quite some time, as Angle may be battling ring rust. He focuses on Angle’s neck, which is the best strategy against Angle. Eventually Angle unleashes the rolling German Suplexes. Roode cuts Angle off with a spinebuster for two. Angle responds with the Ankle Lock. Roode kicks out again and avoids a charge, sending Angle shoulder-first into the post. Roode switches his focus to the shoulder now, locking on a Crossface. Angle reaches the ropes. They go up top and Angle knocks Roode back to the canvas. Angle tries the moonsault but misses and Roode goes back to the Crossface, which Angle is able to reverse into an Ankle Lock. Roode re-counters and puts on the Crossface. They roll into pinning attempts but the tenacious Roode puts on the Crossface for the third time. Angle powers up with an Angle Slam! That was cool. They trade punches and Angle hits more rolling Germans. Roode repositions the referee and hits a low blow. He follows with a Death Valley neckbreaker for two. Angle gets the Ankle Lock again and adds a grapevine. Roode stays in the Ankle Lock for a long, long time and it looks like he is out. The referee raises the hand and when it comes down Roode grabs onto the rope. The hold must be broken. That’s a weird thing. Angle takes Roode up top for a super Angle Slam. Both men are down for the count of nine, and Roode barely gets back to his feet and falls on top of Angle to get the pin.

WINNER – Bobby Roode

Angle is barely moving after the bell and medical people come down to check on him. A stretcher is brought out. They are really playing this up as a serious injury. Angle then gets up off the stretcher and walks up the entrance ramp.

Backstage – Bully Ray is talking about the resurrection or the rebirth of the Aces & Eights. It is not revealed who he is talking to.


The hand picked opponent is Norv Fernum, some local scrub. ECIII is dominant, throwing around his diminutive opponent. Fernum gets some token jobber offense, and then ECIII finishes him off with the headlock driver. Thanks for Coming.

WINNER – Ethan Carter III

Backstage – Jeremy Borash gets a word with Magnus, who calls tonight the biggest night of his life. He promises to defeat Sting and make his mark.


Sting is wrestling with his t-shirt on, showing how seriously he took this show. They chain wrestle back and forth and Sting sends Magnus reeling to the floor. Magnus comes back and knocks Sting to the floor. He holds the ropes open just as Sting did for him, but then Magnus does the smart thing and sucker punches Sting. Magnus beats on Sting for a while until the big comeback. Sting hits the Stinger Splash and then locks on the Scorpion Death Lock. Magnus escapes and both men clothesline each other at the same time. They get up and Sting tries to unload but Magnus gives Sting a taste of his own medicine. Magnus hits a Stinger Splash and the Michinoku Driver for two. Sting gets up and no-sells everything and hits another Stinger Splash. He puts on the Scorpion Death Lock again. Magnus escapes and hits his own version of the Scorpion Death Drop. He hits the elbow off the top rope for two. Magnus goes back up for another one but Sting sort of moves out of the way. Sting goes for the Scorpion Death Drop but Magnus fights him off with a series of elbows. Magnus looks like he might be pussing out so Sting tells him to bring it. For real. Magnus puts on the King’s Lyn Cloverleaf and Sting eventually taps out.

WINNER – Magnus

After a prolonged celebration, Sting offers Magnus his hand and Magnus sort of sarcastically shakes it. Nice.

aj bully

This is a no-countout, no-disqualification match. As soon as AJ starts taking control, Garett Bischoff comes out to distract him. Meanwhile Bully has found himself a hammer. AJ blocks it but Bully still takes control. Bully beats on AJ for a while but AJ will not stay down. AJ shrugs off Bully’s offense and starts going to work but this time Knux makes his way down while AJ is on the top rope. AJ jumps off and Knux catches him in a huge Chokeslam. Bully covers but AJ kicks out! The Champion continues his assault, keeping AJ down. Bully goes to crack AJ in the head with a hammer but AJ avoids it and hits an enziguiri. AJ picks up the hammer but chooses not to use it. He sets Bully on the table and goes for a springboard 450 and misses it! That was a nasty bump. Taz gives Bully a box cutter so Bully can dismantle the ring. Dixie Carter makes her way out and hands Bully a steel chair. AJ comes flying in with the forearm to send the chair back into Bully’s face. AJ hits the springboard 450 and covers but Dixie tells him not to count. With the slowest count ever, Bully is able to kick out. AJ goes for the Styles Clash but Bully backdrops him onto the exposed wood of the ring. Bully goes up to the second rope and hits a back senton for a near-fall. The Champ destroys AJ’s back with a vicious chair shot, and then hits another one. AJ avoids a powerbomb and hits the Pele. Both men are down. Back on their feet AJ cracks Bully in the face with the chair. He goes up top and hits Spiral Tap and this time Hebner makes the count and Styles is the winner.


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A2Z Analysiz: TNA Bound for Glory 2012 (Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries) Sun, 20 Oct 2013 13:00:12 +0000 bfg12

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

Grand Canyon University Arena – Phoenix, Arizona – October 14, 2012

MATCH #1: TNA X Division Championship – Rob Van Dam vs. Zema Ion (c)

Ion has been the Champion since 7.8.12, and this is his sixth defense. For a while there was a weight limit on the X Division Title, but then they just kind of stopped that because it’s dumb. RVD controls the early going and sends Ion reeling to the floor. Back in the ring Ion fights back and shows off some of his unique offense. Ion gets too cocky and RVD makes him pay for it, kicking him to the floor. The champ gets back to the apron and leaps in with a swank tornado DDT for a near-fall. Ion continues to dominate, hitting a missile dropkick for two. The crowd wills RVD back into it, and he hits a pop up dropkick. RVD hits Rolling Thunder and then lands the Five-Star Frog Splash to get the pin and win the title at 8:04. That was solid and all, and Ion’s heat segment really worked. But the finish was just kind of abrupt. Putting the belt on RVD sadly didn’t help make the X Title more prestigious.
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: TNA World Television Championship – Magnus vs. “The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe (c)

Joe has been the Champion since 9.27.12, and this is his second defense. This is a feud based on hatred, so they start with some chain wrestling. Joe takes the first control and starts wearing Magnus down. Magnus repositions the referee so he can poke Joe in the eye. He takes control now and almost puts Joe away with a Michinoku Driver. Joe comes back with the Big Joe Combo for two. He follows with the snap powerslam for another two-count. Magnus tries a leap frog but Joe catches him in a powerbomb for two and then Joe turns it into the STF. Joe turns that into the Rings of Saturn and Magnus just makes it to the ropes. They fight up on the ropes and Magnus knocks him down with a knee. Magnus goes up top and hits the Top-Rope Elbow Drop. He covers Joe is able to kick out. Joe gets fired up and unloads with a series of strikes. He locks on the Choke and Magnus turns it into a cradle for two. Joe goes right back to The Choke and Magnus breaks it this time with a jawbreaker. Magnus takes out the knee. He goes for a figure-Four Leglock but Joe counters it and locks on The Choke with a body scissors to get the win at 9:15. These two had surprising chemistry as partners and have shown the same as opponents. This was a bit on the short side but they worked it smart and the finishing stretch was hot.
Rating: ***

MATCH #3: Street Fight – “Cowboy” James Storm vs. Bobby Roode

Senior Official Earl Hebner is handling the action in the ring, while some guy named King Mo is the outside enforcer. Storm is the aggressor early on. They quickly spill to the floor and they battle each other under Mo’s watch. Roode is able to avoid taking the Eye of the Storm and he catapults Storm into the ring post. That of courses busts Storm open. Roode brings some weapons into the ring but Storm is the first one to use the kendo stick. Storm takes Roode over to the entrance walkway and delivers the Orton DDT! That’s sick. A fan hands Storm a crutch, so he makes that fan’s night by using it as a weapon. They then trade shots with a trash can lid, just destroying each other. Storm wins that battle and levels Roode with a trash can. He charges at Roode but gets caught in a huge spinebuster. Ouch. They fight over to the announce table and Roode spears Storm off and through another table. They make it back to the ring and Roode covers but only gets two. Roode gets in Hebner’s face about it and Mo comes to the rescue. A shoving exchange gives Storm the chance to hit Roode with a big Codebreaker. Storm drills Roode with the Last Call but it only gets two! He goes for another one but Roode catches it and throws Storm face-first into a chair for a two-count. Roode even had a handful of tights there. He goes out and grabs a chair to hit Storm with, and then he produces a bag of thumb tacks. Roode goes for a superplex onto the tacks but Storm pushes Roode down into them instead! Storm hits a flying elbow but Roode kicks out! Roode is able to hit a low blow and then he brings a six-pack of beer bottles into the ring, but Storm repays the favor with a low blow of his own! Storm breaks a bottle on Roode’s head and then destroys him with the Last Call. Roode lands on the tacks and Storm gets the pin at 17:32. That was a terrific brawl and a fitting end to the feud. They were doing big spots and kicking out of each other’s finishes because their feud had been built up over a year and they HATED each other, it wasn’t just two guys going out there and doing it to pop the crowd. Matches like this prove that Roode and Storm should be on top of TNA.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #4: Joey Ryan vs. Al Snow

Joey Ryan participated in the Gut Check and 87% of TNA fans polled wanted him to be offered a contract. So TNA did not offer him a contract, so he has to fight Al Snow to get his deal. How does that make Ryan the heel in this situation? Snow dominates the early going by showing off that he’s a wily veteran. Ryan fights back and shows some fire, according to Taz. Snow of course makes a quick comeback and hits the trapped headbutts. He hits the Snow Plow and Ryan kicks out at two. He goes outside the ring and grabs a mannequin head. The referee stops him from using it and Ryan shoves Snow directly into the idiot referee. While the referee is down the enormous Matt Morgan comes out and drills Snow with the Carbon Footprint. Morgan shoves Snow back in the ring and Ryan gets the pin at 8:27. That was an okayish TV-style match, but I don’t know if they ever bothered to explain why Morgan would help Ryan in the first place.
Rating: **

MATCH #5: TNA World Tag Team Championship – Chavo Guerrero, Jr. & Hernandez vs. Kurt Angle & “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian (c)

Daniels and Kazarian have been the Champions since 6.28.12, and this is their fourth defense. This is likely to be action packed. AJ and Chavo start the match. Angle and AJ take the early control, even thwarting the rule-breaking attempts from the Champions. Chavo and Hernandez work on AJ briefly, and then Kazarian tags himself in. Many tags in and out happen as all three teams try to set the pace. Finally the Champions successfully cheat to gain an advantage on AJ, and they isolate him from his partner and their other two opponents. After several minutes Angle gets the tag and he is a house afire. The referee loses control and bodies are flying all over the place. After a series of dives to the floor, the only one unaffected was Chavo, so he tries to take advantage. Angle hits him with the Angle Slam but Hernandez breaks it up. The action continues coming from everywhere and I don’t know how the referee has kept track of the legal men. Hernandez tags himself in at an opportune time and hits Daniels with the Border Toss. Chavo follows with the Frog Splash to get the pin at 15:33. That was good fast-paced action from three solid-good teams. Styles and Angle were clearly slumming it, but they did manage to class up the match just by being there.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #6: TNA Knockouts Championship – Tara vs. Miss Tessmacher (c)

Tessmacher has been the Champion since 8.16.12, and this is her second defense. Things get heated between the two combatants in this student versus mentor match. Tessmacher scores a little bit of early offense but Tara withstands the punishment to deliver plenty of her own. After a few minutes Tessmacher is able to catch Tara in a tornado DDT. Tessmacher unloads with a flurry of maneuvers and the crowd is sort of getting into it. The champion goes up top and hits a nice hurricanrana. Tessmacher goes back up top and this time misses the big elbow. Tara hits the Widow’s Peak and gets the pin to win the title for the fifth time at 6:21. Tessmacher has gotten passable in the ring but this never got much chance to develop and then it just ended.
Rating: **

Tara gloats about her win and finally introduces her “Hollywood Boyfriend” and it’s Jesse from a show called Big Brother. I have no idea who this guy is. I mean I do now that he’s been in TNA, but before that I have no clue. The crowd chants “Who Are You?”

MATCH #7: No Disqualification – Sting & Bully Ray vs. Aces & Eights

The masked, unidentified members of the Aces & Eights (I think it’s Mike “Knux” Knox and Luke “D.O.C.” Gallows) bring their hostage Joseph Park with them and handcuff him to the ringside barricade just to be jerks. Sting and Bully jump them on the floor and away we go. The brawl continues out on the floor, with Bully and Sting each paired off with a different gang member. Bully and Sting dominate and the crowd wants tables. The rather sizable A&8s are able to absorb the punishment and they focus on Sting in the ring, keeping him away from Bully Ray. After several minutes Sting hits one of them with the Scorpion Death Drop and the hot tag is made. Bully is a house afire. He tries to use a chair but a third masked member of the group comes out (probably Wes Brisco) and hits Bully in the nuts. The third man spits on Joseph Park, and that makes Park so angry that he rips the handcuffs right off!Park gets in the ring and unloads on the third man, chasing him to the back. Meanwhile, back in the ring Bully and Sting hit a Doomsday Device. Bully and Sting then hit Stinger Splashes on the other one. Sting tells Bully to get the tables. Before they can use said table a fourth member of the group comes out and slams Bully through the table, and that’s enough to get the pin at 10:53. That was an okay garbage brawl, but not knowing who Sting and Bully were fighting kind of dulled the impact.
Rating: **¾

More Aces & Eights come out to continue the beating, so of course Hulk Hogan comes to the rescue and starts taking out everyone with a simple punch. They focus on one of the masked guys, and are able to unmask him to reveal Devon. Yep, that’s it. Devon’s contract had supposedly run out a few months back so he left quietly and vacated the TV Title, so this was supposed to be a big surprise. But it’s just Devon.

MATCH #8: TNA World Heavyweight Championship – “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries (c)

Aries has been the Champion since 7.8.12, and this is his second defense. The crowd actually seems to be more behind Aries than the conquering hero challenger. They start out on the mat but it’s pretty clear that there is some tension between these two. The momentum shifts several times in the opening minutes. Whenever Hardy goes on offense the crowd mostly boos, as they are solidly behind the Champion. Aries takes control and acts ultra cocky about it, angering his challenger. Hardy kicks the middle rope as Aries is getting in the ring. He takes control now and sends Aries back to the floor. Hardy appears comfortable heeling it up a little. He works Aries over on the floor, even hitting Poetry in Motion. Back in the ring Hardy misses Whisper in the Wind and Aries hits an elbow drop from the top rope. Aries controls the match now, thwarting Hardy’s comeback attempts for several minutes. He goes for the Brainbuster but Hardy counters with the sitout gourdbuster. Aries quickly squashes Hardy’s advantage, but then Hardy comes back with an Alley-Oop powerbomb. That looked awesome. The pace quickens and Hardy is just a step ahead of Aries, looking like the next TNA World Champion. But Aries isn’t done yet. Hardy hits (sort of) Whisper in the Wind for a two-count. They spill to the floor and Hardy tries a house show dive but misses. Aries follows with the Heat Seeking Missile, and then hits another one. Back in the ring Aries tries the pin but Hardy kicks out. Aries puts on the Last Chancery and Hardy reaches the ropes. They fight up the entrance ramp and Aries goes for a Brainbuster. Hardy avoids it and tries the Twist of Fate, but Aries is able to avoid that and take Hardy down against the ropes. Hardy’s neck snapped awkwardly there, so Aries follows up with an elevated neckbreaker right down on the ramp. That was cool. Back in the ring Aries hits a missile dropkick and then goes for the IED but Hardy gets a boot up. Hardy is able to connect with the Twist of Fate but Aries kicks out! The challenger goes up top and Aries knocks him down on his junk. Aries goes up top and delivers a super hurricanrana! The Champion is locked in now and he drills Hardy with an IED. Aries hits the Brainbuster but Hardy kicks out! He goes for the Warrior’s Way of all things but Hardy avoids it. Hardy hits a Stunner out of the corner and then another Twist of Fate. The Charismatic Enigma heads up top and hits the Swanton Bomb to get the pin and win the title at 23:03! The crowd made this pretty interesting with the mixed reactions, but Hardy did get a pretty sizable pop for the win so I think the crowd did appreciate the match for as good as it was. Both guys wrestled liked they legitimately NEEDED to beat the other guy, and this felt much bigger than I thought it would when I first heard this match announced. They won me over.
Rating: ****¼×120.jpg

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CB’s Slant: TNA Bound for Glory 2013 PPV Preview: Final Card and Match Predictions (AJ Styles vs. Bully Ray, Ultimate X, More) Sat, 19 Oct 2013 16:45:12 +0000 Welcome to my TNA Bound for Glory preview for Sunday 10/20/13! I’m your host CB, and like my good friend and fellow columnist Steven Gepp and long-time commenter Incognito, I have been watching all of the episodes of TNA Impact leading up to tomorrow’s big show.

Below you will find the final list of matches for TNA’s biggest PPV of the year, along with my own thoughts and predictions for each contest.

Let’s get to it!

Bad Influence vs Joseph Park & Eric Young vs The BroMans vs Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez

I like it when both WWE and TNA use their preshow matches in a logical way that sets up something on the main show to come. In this case, we have a tag team gauntlet match to determine who will face GunStorm for the tag titles on the actual BFG PPV. There is no way that the nod doesn’t go to Bad Influence here, as Christopher Daniels and Kazarian have already been feuding with Storm and Gunner and, well, they just deserve the spot the most. I don’t expect much from BroMans and Park/EY other than comic relief (if that), and when it comes down to it Chavo and Hernandez should have broken up a long time ago. The apple martinis will flow after this one, as Bad Influence will be victorious.

Winners: Bad Influence

James Storm & Gunner (c) vs. Preshow Match WinnersBad Influence

I actually think that the GunStorm tag team has been a good re-launching point for the Gunner character. On the other hand, this was a huge step down for James Storm, who really should be more useful at this point. I am hoping that Bad Influence wins the tag titles here because they have been the most cohesive (and actually hilarious) tag team in TNA for awhile now, and I’d love to see the celebration that would ensue after they won.

As for GunStorm, they could go one of three directions if they lose: 1. Have Gunner take the pin and turn James Storm heel (it could happen but I wouldn’t be sold on this); 2. Have Storm take the pin and turn Gunner heel (not likely considering the amount of stops and starts Gunner has already had); or 3. Have them stay together, lose their rematch against Bad Influence and then dissolve as TNA forgets about them for weeks or even months before we see either of them again (this is the most likely scenario in my opinion). Either way…

Winners and NEW tag team champions: Bad Influence

ODB (c) vs. Gail Kim vs. Brooke Tessmacher

I expect ODB and Gail Kim to handle the bulk of the workload for this match, at least that’s what I’m hoping. As much as I’ve liked ODB over the years for her sheer energy and commitment to her character, I like Gail Kim a whole lot better as Knockouts Champion and the face of the TNA Knockouts division. Besides, Gail Kim as Knockouts Champ with Lei’D Tapa waiting in the wings might be the most compelling Knockouts feud since Kim vs. Kong.

Winner and NEW Knockouts Champion: Gail Kim

Austin Aries vs. Manik (c) vs. Chris Sabin vs. Jeff Hardy vs Samoa Joe

This will easily be the match of the night. Regardless of all of the ways TNA has managed to screw things up over the years, Ultimate X still stands tall as one of their most innovative accomplishments. I never get sick of seeing the kind of athletic display that Ultimate X demands, and I like the fact that everyone in this match is capable of delivering the goods. In fact, the current X Champ Manik is probably the weakest of this very strong lot, and that’s not really a knock on TJ Perkins considering the competition he’s up against here.

At the end of the day, I don’t like Manik’s chances of retaining the title here. I have no idea which of the four opponents will come out on top, but I actually think giving Samoa Joe the nod here would work out pretty well. Therefore…

Winner and NEW X Division Champion: Samoa Joe

After all, if you can leave Bound for Glory with Bad Influence (Daniels and Kazarian) as the tag champs, Gail Kim as the Knockouts Champ, Samoa Joe as the X Champ, and AJ Styles (as I predict, more on this later) as the World Champ, that will definitely leave the long-time die-hard TNA fans with a sense of satisfaction and gratification since a lot of their favorites left Bound for Glory with these titles.

TNA Hall of Famer Kurt Angle vs. E.G.O. Hall of Famer Bobby Roode

This will be Angle’s weekend to shine, and I think that holds true for this match. While Bobby Roode and E.G.O. have made this match a little more entertaining, I don’t think the outcome was ever in doubt.

Winner: Kurt Angle

Magnus vs. “The Icon” Sting

I couldn’t care less about this match or its outcome. Magnus hasn’t ever really impressed me, and while I can appreciate the whole “pass the torch” sentiment, I feel like this one is a waste of time. Magnus will likely win and turn heel, or lose and turn heel after a feigned sportsmanlike handshake, or something like that.

Winner: Magnus

AJ Styles vs Bully Ray (c)

I just want to say that for all of Aces and 8s’ faults and for all of the glaring mistakes TNA has made, Bully Ray has done a simply amazing job as the top heel in the company. His run as the TNA World Heavyweight Champion — Chris Sabin footnote aside — has been absolutely incredible to watch.

That being said, it’s time for TNA to back to its roots, and it’s time for AJ Styles to once again become both the TNA World Heavyweight Champion and the Company’s top face.

I expect this match to be pretty good until it reaches its inevitable conclusion that will feature a completely overbooked finish, perhaps with Dixie Carter pulling out all of the stops to prevent AJ Styles from winning before all of the people that Bully Ray has stepped on in the past come back to exact their sweet revenge.

And I’d be shocked if that brigade wasn’t led by, you guessed it, a returning Mr. Anderson. Not saying I want that to happen, but you have to know it’s coming, right?

Either way, AJ Styles will win this match and leave Bound for Glory as the TNA World Champion who still doesn’t have a new contract. Sound familiar?

Winner and NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion: AJ Styles

What do you think of my Bound for Glory picks and predictions? How would YOU book the show? Sound off in the comments section below!

That’s all from me — CB.

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A Random Number of Thoughts on TNA Impact Oct 10 2013 Sat, 12 Oct 2013 04:37:41 +0000 Well, I’m back from my holiday, and what do I find when I get home but a disc from one of my friends. “Promised you some wrestling you might have missed,” he wrote on the top. All right, I thought, the Battleground PPV! So I slipped the disc in and his smiling face peers at me. “I know we couldn’t let your dozens of readers miss out on your profound thoughts,” his handy-cam focused image chortled. And then it cut to…


Impact Wrestling.


Bastard. Well, revenge will be sweet, my friend.


[Addendum: Mysteriously, this afternoon, a knock sounded at my door and when I went out I found a large box. I unwrapped it and found a pile of newspaper. Inside was another box, then more newspaper, box, newspaper… six times. And in the middle another disc marked ‘Battleground’. And a note: “It’s hardly worth this much trouble. Shit show. But you’ll enjoy the Rhodes/Shield match.” Well, we shall see.]


So… Impact.


Hang on, before I go on, to commenter Incognito: Yeah, some people would have liked the EGO segment, and that’s why I wrote YMMV. It just did nothing for me, that’s all. And good to read your comments. When you disagree with me, you make your points clearly and with no abuse. I enjoy getting your feedback; it seems we’re the only 2 people left on the Pulse who can watch TNA objectively (though I hardly blame others if they feel burnt out by the whole TNA watching experience).


Let’s make an Impact!


1) Oh, goody, we’re starting with Dixie Carter. Way to drive those ratings up, TNA!


2) Apparently Hogan is a fringe player, and is now ‘nameless’. She ignores the crowd and addresses the camera. The crowd is booing her, though, so that’s something. She has been established as a heel. But she doesn’t need “a Vince”, a “has-been Eric Bischoff” or even a “Mr Stephanie Laveck” (her pronunciation) which should actually make her a face, but whatever. Now she threatens AJ Styles and Bully Ray can pick whatever match he wants with AJ. Sting interrupts. But she now threatens him. See, Magnus and Sting are going to face Kazarian and Daniels, and if they lose, then their match at BFG is cancelled. Mind you, it takes her three tries to actually get this concept across. This goes on too long. Her delivery grates on me, and this did nothing for me. It’s been done before and so much better (see: McMahon, Vince).


3) Austin Aries’ inner monologue is interrupted (seriously; he said so) and he then delivers a pretty good promo at Jeff Hardy.


4) AJ also delivers a nice promo.


5) Austin Aries v Jeff Hardy is a good match that involves Tenay and Taz talking about the upcoming Bellator fights and Frank Shamrock documentary. But the match drags them back into it because it really is a good one. And, to my shock, Aries wins with a brainbuster off the second rope! Clean pin, catch this match. Hardy is getting some of his old fire and skill back into his working boots.


6) Samoa Joe now comes out and inserts himself in the X-Division title ultimate-X match at Bound For Glory, and now I really want to see it. Another good promo in a series of them tonight.


7) And we go backstage to the Bromance having problems and the good promos crash to a staggering halt.


8) Eric Young and Joseph Park earlier today with JB getting ready for the road trip to San Diego. The best thing about this is that it will hopefully keep them out of the ring until then.


9) Back in the ring, Bromance call out ODB and she comes out with EY. I spoke too soon. So it’s a match between some people. Not sure who exactly. Everyone’s fighting and this is a comedy match that’s not funny or a serious match that’s not serious. Lei’D Tapa comes out and kills ODB. That saves this whole thing. Almost. This was not a match, just a series of things that happened.


10) Bully Ray is going to have a Revenge match with AJ tonight. Whatever the hell that is. Now he’s confronted by the remaining 2 members of Aces & 8s and he blames Ken Anderson for everything that’s gone wrong.


11) Sting and Magnus bond over their match tonight and their clash at BFG.


12) Now we’re with EGO and nothing of note is said.


13) Now we run down, very briefly, Bound For Glory.


14) NOW we have a Kurt Angle promo video.


15) AND NOW Kazarian and Daniels come out dressed like orange and blue versions of the Monopoly man. The ring is decked out with a throne and lectern. It’s throw-back Thursday or something. They call out Roode and praise him up with a video. I know it was supposed to look faked, but it was just… This drags and is not funny and is painful. There’s 10 minutes of my life I’m never getting back. After 10 minutes Roode finally gets to the point – Kurt Angle shouldn’t be in the TNA Hall of Fame at the expense of Bobby Roode. All this crap for that? Seriously? And finally – finally! – Kurt Angle comes out to shut everyone up. He looks good, for what it’s worth. He suplexes Angle and Kazarian and then Roode escapes an ankle lock. And he challenges Roode at Bound For Glory. He does it in less than 10 words. Not more than 10 freaking minutes!


16) Knockouts are shown backstage.


17) Roode yells at the camera and Angle and he’s allegedly angry.


18) Impact WRESTLING, everyone. WRESTLING!


19) Velvet Sky (with Chris Sabin covering her up as she poses, and with taped ribs) v Brooke (no longer a Tessmacher apparently). Number one contender’s rematch after Lei’D Tapa interfered last week. This, I should point out, is the second proper match of the night. And it’s a dull, heel v heel match (and what is it with Brooke pre-selling every back bump move?! Is Ken Anderson teaching lessons now?). It ends with Sabin’s ‘help’ backfiring so Brooke wins with a roll-up. This time I don’t blame Taz and Mike for talking about the upcoming Frank Shamrock documentary.


20) Sting and Magnus are ready backstage.


21) An Ethan promo. The same one we saw last week, but with an added shot of him at the end, and he now has a real name – Ethan Carter III, or EC3. I’m still as excited as a cucumber grower at a rose farm about this.


22) BFG run-down. Looks good.


23) Kazarian and Daniels v Sting and Magnus in a Foregone Conclusion Match. Third proper match. Way to go, TNA Impact WRESTLING. Face miscommunication and this match is clearly going to see quality sacrificed for the sake of the storylines. Surprisingly lacklustre match that sees Sting pin Kazarian with the scorpion Death Drop, and then there is dissension in Main Event Mafia. Why do we need a heel-face dynamic in their match? Face v face can be great (see Hogan/Warrior I; WM6).


24) Dixie is pleading with AJ Styles that he doesn’t have to do anything. She offers him money to not fight tonight nor Bully Ray at BFG. Her list of things he could do with the money is pretty funny, really. AJ, of course, being the virtuous babyface, refuses. He tears up the cheque and she says she didn’t sign it anyway.


25) The Revenge match. This a handicap match, AJ Styles v Knux and Bischoff of Aces & Eights. Bully Ray comes out and he kicks Mike Tenay out of the commentary booth and joins Taz.


26) Bischoff mucks up taking a clothesline (I mean, Ken Anderson bad) and Knux miscues a timing thing and this match is not a good one. And the commentary is awful. Remember nWo Souled Out when they had all the heels treated as gods and the faces as goofs, and the commentary did things like call Eddie Guerrero a Mexican jumping bean? That was ten times better than Taz and Bully Ray. AJ pins Bischoff with a rollup after heel miscommunication and thank God that match is over. Now all the Aces & Eights are beating up on AJ Styles, Bully Ray with a chain. I’m calling a Ken Anderson save.


27) No, I was wrong. Just three guys beating up AJ Styles until the show goes off air.




One good match.


That’s it.


Sure, it’s a very good match, but it happened at the start of the show, leaving me with another hour and a half of…


Was not impressed this week.


[And cue the abuse in 3… .2…]

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Random Number Of Thoughts on TNA IMPACT OCT 3, 2013 Sat, 05 Oct 2013 01:51:59 +0000 Okay, let’s give this another go.


Random numbers of thoughts are awesome!


1) I actually like their “previously… on TNA” as it just admits that this is a TV show, and gives you a recap that you can accept as being from a TV show.


2) AJ comes out. He has no contract, but he still has an entrance, so that’s okay, right?


3) He’s not here to talk about Hogan or Dixie, but Bully Ray. And talk he does. Rather well, until the aforementioned Bully comes out to interrupt, accompanied only by his pet Brooke, and delivers a fine promo that goes on a little long. Then we have duelling promos for a bit and AJ announces that it’s Bully Ray v Samoa Joe tonight. Look, not a bad opening, but I am over the 10 minute opening mic segments. Not just from TNA but also WWE. And why have AJ announce Bully’s opponent? And where were the rest of Aces and Eights?


4) Backstage and Dixie kicks AJ out after saying that BFG will be his last obligation for TNA. So… does that mean they’re going to recycle another WWE storyline – the Punk leaves with the title one when he doesn’t have a contract? Goody.


5) Austin Aries joins us on commentary for Kenny King and Chris Sabin v Manik (“I’d say he’s the best looking guy in this match.” – Aries) and Jeff Hardy. This could be fun.


6) With Taz and Aries mutually verbally fellating one another on commentary, Tenay barely able to call the match between plugging the Jeff Hardy fitness app and dealing with his co-workers, I so wanted to turn the volume down to deal with this one.


7) In a nice nod to continuity, last week’s cut on King opens up again and Aries makes note of how he did it.


8) It breaks down, Manik hits King with an odd but great looking move and Hardy hits the senton on King for the pin. Really good match.


9) Post-match Sabin attacks Hardy and Manik, Aries makes the save and then calls for a 4-way – Sabin, Aries, Manik, Hardy – at BFG. No King? But Hardy has a better idea. He’s never been in an Ultimate X match, so he wants that. The crowd cheers, Aries likes it, Sabin hates it, and we have a match that should be well worth seeing at BFG.


10) Sting and Hogan reminisce about Bischoff going mad with power and comparing him to Dixie. “After 35 years in this business I didn’t think anything could be worse than Bischoff, but she is.” (Hogan) A gift arrives from Dixie. “She is worse than Bischoff. He never gave me anything.” (Hogan) So sue me, I enjoyed this backstage bit, and TNA does this so much better than WWE.


11) Recap of Magnus v EGO, and so he is challenging the three EGO members to a gauntlet match series. They are really going out of their way to build up Magnus.


12) First up is Daniels. Really strong back and forth match until Magnus gets the boot up on a BME attempt and then gets the pin. Then we have Kazarian and Magnus jump starts it. Another good match that ends when Magnus turns the fad to black into a cloverleaf for the submission win. So finally it’s Bobby Roode, and he takes his time coming to the ring, giving Kazarian a chance to clip the knee of Magnus, and if you didn’t see that coming, how long have you been watching wrestling? Roode works the knee over in a textbook working the body part manner, and Magnus sells it perfectly. These two are doing some old school goodness here, because even Roode’s crossface makes sense as Magnus can’t use his leg to push himself to the ropes. Roode eventually locks in the ankle lock and Magnus has to give up. Wow, so he went through all of that and still came up short? Interesting development.


13) Magnus is upset and Sting comes out. Magnus says he doesn’t have “it”, no  matter what Sting, Angle and Joe say. They have a back and forth about Magnus’ career and then, “Flair put you on the map. Who’s gonna put me on the map?” (Magnus) “Me! Me!” (Sting) Sting and Magnus at BFG. Make that 2 matches that could make BFG worth watching. They shake hands afterwards.


14) Aries visits Hogan backstage and they have a D&M and it feels… right. Christ, for all the crap TNA gets, their work backstage is so much better than WWE. For the most part.


15) The recap of Hogan’s time in TNA, including when he took the company from Dixie and put it up against Sting. Every little thing is mentioned, including Brooke Hogan ‘marrying’ Bully Ray. Interesting video package.


16) Sabin isn’t going to be ringside for Velvet’s match because he has to think about himself. This heel persona is actually growing on me.


17) We have an EGO backstage segment where Roode will be the first inductee into the EGO hall of fame and… not all backstage bits are winners. Clearly.
(This is definitely a YMMV situation, though.)


18) Number one contender’s match for the Knockouts title at BFG – Brooke Tessmacher v Velvet Sky. But Lei’D Tapa comes out and just slaughters Velvet Sky. And she’s a screamer. No match? So we don’t get to see Velvet wrestle? Tapa is automatically a face in my book after that. She’s big and she’s strong and she bears an unfortunate resemblance to her uncle (the Barbarian), and her moves looked nice and strong. So what happens with the women’s match at BFG? Will it be a 3-way? A 4-way? A pillow fight battle royal Buff Bagwell on a pole match? Who cares?


19) The Ethan vignette is awful. “There better be lions.” Really?


20) GunStorm promo package, mainly to remind people that TNA has tag team champions.


21) BFG run-down. Tag team gauntlet match, winner to face Gunstorm, X-Division Ultimate X, Sting v Magnus, Bully Ray v AJ. Card looks good so far. And then we have a Kurt Angle video package. Just to remind people that they also have Angle.


22) Bully Ray v Samoa Joe. Basic match, back and forth in nature and the crowd is into it. Not a masterpiece, but certainly watchable. And then we get the ref bump, Bully taps with no ref, Joe checks on the ref, Bully loads up a chain, the ref sees it, Bully is DQ’ed, Joe wins. Again, if you didn’t see that ending coming, how long have you been watching wrestling? Bully continues to attack Joe after the match, lifts up the mats to piledrive Joe on the concrete and sets him up. AJ Styles runs out of the crowd and makes the save, then runs back through the crowd to escape security. Crowd goes nuts for AJ.

22a) Again – where were the rest of the Aces and Eights?!


23) Hulk Hogan v Dixie Carter, The Ultimate Showdown Of The Century, This Is It, We Really Mean It This Time, Main Event Promo! Carter’s delivery has improved, I’ll give her that much. “Are you ready to take a ride on the Dixie train?” But how in the hell can Carter take Hogan to the next level? What next level is there for the man who slammed Andre the Giant [who weighed 1549 pounds] in front of 237,500 people at the Pontiac Superdome, who single-handedly saved wrestling when he and he alone formed the New World Order, and who went into the ring knowingly full well that Verne Gagne had told Iron Sheik to not only break Hogan’s legs but then shoot him through the head with a gun hidden in his pointy-toed boots? The crowd is firmly behind Hogan here, anyway. He talks very briefly… and then he quits. Just like that. Carter tries to talk him out of it, but he fobs her off. She grabs his leg like a high school Scarlett O’Hara in their year-ending version of Gone With The Wind, and then when that doesn’t work she yells that’s fired anyway. If this is real and he hasn’t signed a contract, what an odd way for Hogan to go out. If this is kayfabe, then next week the new masked General Manager – Mr Yellow America Rider Machine – will make his debut!


Okay, I’m going to say this and then shake my own head in disbelief – this was quite the watchable episode of Impact. After a couple of weeks when it was a chore, this was actually a bit of fun, the story-lines were pushed in the right direction and it didn’t outstay its welcome. BUT… 3 matches? Okay, one was a long gauntlet match which could count as three separate matches, but, realistically, 3 matches on a wrestling show? At least throw a squash match in somewhere to give us something. And this was an episode that could be used to teach a course in Wrestling Clichés 101.


Not sure if I’ll catch next week’s Impact (!), but I’m actually looking forward to Bound For Glory on October 20. I know, I know… I’ll hand in my IWC membership card on the way out. (If there is an IWC…)

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Thoughts on TNA Impact Sept 26 2013 Sat, 28 Sep 2013 05:13:28 +0000 1) Recap of last week’s show made it seem better than it really was.


2) Sting and Dixie sort of talk in the back and I ask again – why isn’t Sting appearing in films? If he can keep a straight face when faced with her, he can out-act Cena by a country mile.


3) Bully Ray with Miss Tessmacher come out, but no leash this time. He then delivers a promo. Pro-Dixie and anti-AJ until he is interrupted by the remaining Aces and Eights. Knux’s little promo is a good one and to show how good a heel Bully Ray is, this is actually turning the rest of As&8s into almost faces. Apparently it’s A&8s v MEM tonight, and if A&8s lose, one of them gets put out of the club.


4) Jesse and Robbie E (the Bromans… not Bromance, though they pronounce it Bromance…) and Gail Kim v ODB, Eric Young and Joseph Park. Count the suck in the ring at the moment. ODB v Gail Kim would not be a bad match, but then you add… the others.


5) After 6 minutes of… stuff that feels like it lasts for an hour, Park hits a second rope splash, EY hits a flying elbow and ODB hits a running splash all on Jesse for the ODB pin. Well, at least it’s over now.


6) Hulk Hogan backstage says he’s here to fix the crap. The crap. Well, if anyone would know about crap, it’s HH.


7) Austin Aries comes out to cheers. He delivers a promo about Austin Aries until he is interrupted (quelle surprise!) by Kenny King. Back and forth between them until King jumps AA, who is obviously a face now. Aries calls for a match, and King tries to weasel out but can’t and that’s a way to start a match.


8) That is a nice blade job from the youngster King. And I can say that because we haven’t seen blade jobs every week, so it makes its impact that little more intense.


9) Aries wins in a good match. Maybe a little basic, but that’s okay because they told a story in the ring. Well, Aries told a story and King went along for the ride.


10) Lei’d Tapa promo video airs. She could be an interesting addition to the Knockouts roster.


11) Sabin runs into Aries backstage and it sort of foreshadows a match without really foreshadowing. Okay.


12) Recap of last week’s AJ-Dixie thing leads to Hulk Hogan coming out to the ring and, damn!, that guy can still get a reception from a crowd that is phenomenal. The pop is not a little one, but is there any pop greater? And he delivers a promo that has the crowd on side from the word go. He promises to bring AJ and Dixie out and he has the crowd looking forward to an interview?! As much as I grew up disliking the guy, there is no doubting the reasons he resonated so much with the public from the time he stepped foot in the ring with Rocky Balboa.


13) Is it just me, or is Taz only playing the role of heel announcer now when talking about Aces & Eights?


14) Video to hype the return of Kurt Angle to TNA at Bound For Glory. And he’ll be… doing what exactly?


15) AJ doesn’t say much about Hogan backstage.


16) X-Division championship, Chris Sabin (with Velvet Sky) v Manik. Thank God Sky’s just a valet now and not actually attempting to wrestle. I wonder if Manik and Suicide are brothers – they have similar costumes, after all.


17) Manik retains with an interesting roll-up, and then Sabin attacks Manik after the bell. Aries makes the save. Another good match. More actual wrestling than a spot-fest X-Division match and Sabin has a good heel persona going on now. And if this sets up Sabin v Aries, I’m all for it. I’m not a big fan of the champion being used like this, but at least he won, and at least the new feud doesn’t involve the belt. Mind you, I thought we’d have a reveal afterwards of Aries being under the mask, so at least they didn’t go that route.


18) “[Magnus] is really good at losing, probably better than anyone else.” “Come on, maniacal laugh! It’s how bad guys laugh.” Kazarian and Daniels are so damn entertaining. But foreshadowing abounds tonight.


19) Aces & Eights v Main Event Mafia. Seeing these 2 teams, add in EGO, Hernandez, Chavo and Homicide, and maybe another group… I wouldn’t mind seeing a 6-man title in TNA. It’d be different and new.


20) The match takes 2 minutes to break down completely. EGO take out Magnus (as foreshadowed already… sigh) but Sting and Joe still win against three, with Briscoe eating the pin. Not a bad match, and I think Bischoff has actually improved in the ring… which puts him one up on Anderson. Two up, if you count the fact Bischoff has a job. So, of course, Bully Ray comes out afterwards to kick Briscoe out of As&8s. Knux and Bischoff refuse so Bully Ray does it himself. We almost get a break up of the group, but not quite. Just kill it already.


21) Hogan comes out and calls out AJ Styles. He offers Styles a contract. Out comes Carter. Apparently Hogan is just an “employ”. She abuses AJ and rips up the contract. Hogan looks perturbed. AJ is kicked out of the ring. Seriously, he just leaves, like any good ‘rebel’ would. Emasculation is the new weapon of choice, obviously. Dixie then rips on the people and the 99% of people who don’t live in her world. An interesting promo. Not necessarily a good one but interesting, channelling her inner Vince McMahon. But the channel clearly has a problem with static. And once AJ goes, man does it drag. After the rest of the show, it drags. So… I’m seeing the same thing on WWE and TNA, and the acting on WWE is actually better? Next week Hogan has to make a decision.


My son, who loves wrestling in all its myriad forms, lasted until about a minute into the first match, then went to play with Lego. He came down at one point, entering in time to see the X-Division match, and watched till the end, then hung around for the next match until Bully Ray came out to rip Briscoe a new one. He came back as Dixie entered the ring, left, came back again and asked, “Is she still talking?”


TNA could not hold the interest of an 8 year old who has watched Wrestlemania 4 at least four times. Yes, that whole tournament has held his attention better than a two hour television show. He can even handle a three hour Raw on most occasions. But not this Impact. I asked if he wanted to watch next week with me and he gave me the look only an 8 year old who thinks his father is a moron can actually give.



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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Death Before Dishonor VII Night One (Austin Aries, Lance Storm, Bret Hart) Mon, 16 Sep 2013 13:00:08 +0000 2009_07_24

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

Ted Reeve Arena – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – July 24, 2009

MATCH #1: El Generico vs. Sonjay Dutt

Dutt is over in Toronto for some reason. Generico gives Dutt a pre-match hug, and we’re underway. Dutt immediately busts out the Jeff Jarrett strut, and Generico counters with the Jackie Fargo strut. They play to the crowd some more, and make first contact about two minutes in. Generico takes Dutt down to the mat with a headlock, and they trade holds on the mat a bit. The pace quickens a bit and they trade holds, and this time it’s Dutt taking the advantage with an armbar. Generico escapes and puts on an armbar of his own. Dutt breaks it with a closed fist, drawing the ire of the crowd. Generico comes back with an armdrag and a leg lariat. The masked man continues controlling the Bollywood superstar. Dutt comes back with Déjà vu for a two-count. He continues working Generico over and acting like a jerk at the same time. After several minutes Generico is able to bait Dutt into flying over the top rope and crashing to the floor. Generico follows him out with a somersault dive over the top rope. Back in the ring Generico goes up top and hits a high cross body block for two. Generico goes for the running Yakuza but Dutt blocks it. Dutt hits a DDT and a Red Star Press for two. Generico avoids the quebrada and hits a Michinoku Driver for two. Once again Generico tries the running Yakuza but Dutt moves and hits a slingshot hurricanrana for two. Dutt hits an Asai DDT but Generico kicks out at two. Both men are down. Bobby Cruise announces one minute left as Dutt punches away on Generico. Dutt hits a running elbow in the corner and Generico fires right back with the running Yakuza as we’re down to less than 30 seconds. Generico goes for the Super Brainbuster and the time limit expires before he can hit the move at exactly 15:00 (good job Giuseppe). The crowd wants five more minutes but Dutt denies them. That was actually a pretty good opener, and if Dutt would stop taking shot after shot at TNA he would be a lot less annoying. I also don’t understand Generico’s selling sometimes, but that’s probably my problem.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Super Smash Brothers

This is Mark Briscoe’s return from knee surgery. Jay Briscoe and Player Dos start the match. They go back and forth and Dos is able to hold his own with the eldest Briscoe. Jay makes the tag to Mark Briscoe, who immediately overpowers Dos. Uno gets tagged in and Mark can’t shove him around as easily. They take it to the mat and Mark goes after the arm. Uno escapes, hits a chop to the chest, and then makes the tag to Dos. The Briscoes quickly take over and bowl Dos over with a double shoulder tackle. They can’t hold the advantage though, and the Smash Brothers go back on offense. Jay quickly recovers and the Briscoes work on Uno. No one has held control for a sustained period of time. Uno comes back by using referee Paul Turner to his advantage. Both men make tags and Jay plants Dos with a hard spinebuster right away. Now the Briscoes are in firm control and work Dos over with a variety of offense and quick tags. Dos comes back and makes the hot tag. Uno is a house afire, nearly pinning Jay with an O’Connor Roll. Jay comes back and hits Uno with a big boot to the face for two. He puts Uno up top and gets knocked down, but Mark is able to sneak in the ring and hit a Super Ace Crusher for two. Dos breaks up the pin and Mark tosses him to the floor. The Briscoes set up for the Springboard Doomsday Device but Dos superkicks Mark in the face. The Smash Brothers have Jay alone and hit an Alabama Slam Lungblower for a near-fall. The Briscoes recover and hit Dos with the regular Doomsday Device to get the win at 12:38. That was a solid tag team match, but it would have been more interesting if Mark’s knee (or perhaps fear of injuring the knee again) would have prevented him from executing the Springboard Doomsday Device and that cost the Briscoes the match. That creates some kind of intrigue; the Briscoes overcoming the odds for the millionth time and beating everyone does not. I love the Briscoes but they’ve pretty much become the John Cenas of Ring of Honor.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #3: D-Lo Brown vs. Frankie the Mobster

I’m not sure what it is about Frankie that makes him a mobster. He looks and acts more like a steroid freak on cocaine. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. They stall for the first little bit, as we come to the conclusion that Toronto loves D-Lo Brown. Then Brown stupidly turns his back on Mobster, but it doesn’t much matter, as he comes back and “goes Kobashi” on Mobster. Brown stays in control until Mobster is able to grab him and ram his shoulder into the ring post. Mobster controls briefly until Brown comes back with a Shining Wizard. Both men rise and Brown takes control. Brown hits a high back body drop and then a Ski-Hi for the pin at 6:19. Given how lame that match was and how long both guys were around after this, I’d say this was pretty pointless.
Rating: *

MATCH #4: 8-Man Elimination Match – Necro Butcher, Brent Albright, Colt Cabana & Grizzly Redwood vs. Jimmy Rave, Joey Ryan, Claudio Castagnoli & Bison Smith

It’s pretty sad how Butcher went from fearsome monster to comedy act, but I guess it’s good for his health. Albright and Ryan start the match for their respective teams. They trade holds back and forth, but when Albright slams Ryan down by the beard, Ryan runs over to the corner and tags in the Crown Jewel, Jimmy Rave. No real contact is made, and then Smith and Butcher get tagged in. They trade strikes and Smith hits a little harder this time. Smith backs Butcher into the corner and tags Castagnoli. Butcher comes back with a monkey flip, atomic drop, and a headscissors, of all things. Cabana and Rave are tagged in next, and Cabana immediately takes Rave down to the canvas for a two-count. Rave wastes no time and goes to the corner to tag Smith. Before any contact is made Rave tags himself back in. Cabana immediately takes advantage, wrestling circles around Rave. Redwood gets the tag and he knocks Smith off the apron! I think he caught Smith napping there. Smith tags into the match proper and Redwood avoids him momentarily. Of course it doesn’t last, as Smith catches Redwood and gorilla presses him all the way to the floor! Redwood’s team tries to check on him but the Embassy is there to run interference. Smith rams Redwood into the barricade, and the littlest lumberjack is busted open. He blasts Redwood with a chair. Back in the ring Smith launches Redwood into the turnbuckles. Smith throws Redwood around a little more and then tags Ryan in. Castagnoli also gets a shot at Redwood, who is just getting brutalized here. Eventually Redwood hits an Enziguiri and almost makes the tag, but the Embassy pulls all his partners to the floor! Redwood tries a bodyslam, which obviously goes nowhere. Smith finally finishes Redwood off with a Powerbomb and then the Bisontennial for the first elimination at 13:05. Redwood just got destroyed there.

Smith continues to attack Redwood, so Cabana sneaks in the ring and schoolboys him for a quick pin to even the odds at 13:26. Castagnoli attacks Cabana from behind and the match continues to be a big brawl. Cabana gets knocked to the floor and Albright takes his place. Albright hip tosses Castagnoli to the floor and then follows him out with a suicide dive. Butcher goes to wipe everyone out with a dive, but Rave cracks him with a steel chair. That doesn’t much hurt Butcher, who turns around and punches it back in Rave’s face. Now Rave is bleeding, and the babyfaces work him over in their half of the ring. Rave gets a schoolboy out of nowhere on Butcher to eliminate him at 17:10. Albright tries to pick up the fight but Butcher doesn’t like that he’s out, so he attacks Rave and dumps him into the crowd. The referee counts Rave out at 18:31.

Castagnoli and Albright get in the ring and renew their rivalry. Albright goes up top and Castagnoli kicks him down to the floor. That allows the Embassy to wear Albright down in their half of the ring. They work him over for several minutes, but when Castagnoli goes up top Albright meets him up there and superplexes him down. Cabana gets the hot tag and he unloads on both Embassy members. He gets a couple of near-falls but can’t put Castagnoli away. Castagnoli comes back with a one-armed powerbomb for a two-count. The Embassy hits simultaneous kicks to Cabana’s face and Albright breaks up the cover. Cabana makes the tag and Albright is all over Castagnoli. Albright locks on the Crowbar but Castagnoli reaches the ropes. Castagnoli comes back with a diving European Uppercut off the second rope for two. He executes the Giant Swing and then looks to put Albright away. Albright counters with a backslide for two. He then locks on the Crowbar again but Castagnoli escapes with a roll-up for two. Albright then connects with a Half Nelson Suplex to get the pin at 28:55. Ryan immediately blasts Albright with a superkick to eliminate him at 29:04. Cabana then gets in the ring and hits a shoulderbreaker for two. Nana interferes and Ryan gets a rollup for two. Cabana comes back but Nana interferes once again, tripping him from the floor. Meanwhile behind the referee’s back, Ryan hits Cabana with a foreign object to get the pin and win the match for his team at 30:23. That could have been a little shorter but the action was good and it furthered a couple of feuds.
Rating: ***¼

The Hitman Comes to ROH

Bret Hart comes out and cuts his standard ROH promo, thanking the fans, thanking Ring of Honor, and thanking the city of Toronto. His countrymen are very appreciative of the Hitman, and he of them. Hart shakes a lot of hands on his way back to the locker room.

MATCH #5: Kenny King vs. Kenny Omega

King attacks Omega from behind before the bell, which is good strategy. He controls the first minute or so before Omega comes back and lands a spin kick to the side of the head and King powders. Titus distracts Omega but it winds up backfiring, as Omega dumps King over the top rope and onto his partner. Omega blasts King with a dropkick through the ropes. Back in the ring King distracts the referee and Titus interferes once again, allowing King to take control. That goes on for a while, and then Omega comes back with his usual stuff. King comes back with a spinebuster for two. He wears Omega down with a reverse chinlock. Omega avoids a charge in the corner and goes for a suplex and winds up hitting a nasty DDT. Both men are down and when they get up Omega unleashes some Polish Hammers and a cross body block off the top rope. A Northern Lights suplex gets two. Omega goes up top and Titus tries to hold him back but gets kicked back into the barricade. That gives King the chance to recover, and he kicks Omega right out of the air, and then hits the shotgun knees for two. Omega comes back with an unnecessary flip and then the Stop Sign Enziguiri. He hits a Dragon Suplex, called a Tiger Suplex by Leonard. You’re fired, Lenny! Once again Titus tries to interfere and it almost backfires. King hits the Royal Flush for a two-count. He sets up the Coronation but Omega avoids it, and then King just stands there waiting to get kicked. Omega hits a reverse rana and then a version of the Polish Hammer to get the pin at 11:39. I don’t understand the appeal of Kenny Omega’s character at all, not to mention that there were multiple times in this match where he looked lost waiting for a spot. King was on though, as he usually is, and he did a good job holding the match together.
Rating: **½

MATCH #6: Lance Storm & Kevin Steen vs. Chris Hero & Davey Richards

Storm gets a nice reception. Steen and Hero begin the match, and it’s clear that Hero has his sights set on Storm. They start off with some mat wrestling, which obviously Hero controls. Steen comes back with a leg lariat and tags Storm, so Hero bails and tags Richards. Storm and Richards take it to the mat and wrestle to a standoff as the crowd chants “you still got it.” They engage in a test of strength and once again wrestle to a standoff. Storm is able to take both Richards and Hero down, sending the duo powdering to the floor. Steen wipes them both out with a suicide dive and then throws Richards back in the ring for a two-count. Storm and Richards exchange strikes, which Storm wins with a dragon screw leg whip. He traps Richards in an O’Connor Roll for two. Richards kicks Storm right into Hero, who cracks Storm with an elbow for a two-count. Now Hero gets in the ring with Storm, putting the boots to him. Richards and Hero take turns working Storm over, keeping Steen outside the ring. After a few minutes though Storm is able to make the tag, and Steen goes right after Richards with a flurry of offense. Steen hits Richards with a Cannonball for two. Hero breaks up a Package Piledriver attempt but then gets pitched to the floor. Steen hits a powerbomb and then almost turns it into a Sharpshooter but Richards reaches the ropes. Richards makes a blind tag and Hero blasts Steen with a rolling elbow to the back of the head for two. Hero uses the Half Crab just to raise the ire of Storm. Now Steen is the one getting worked over by the former Sweet N’ Sour Inc. (what do you call the guys in that stable now that they’re under Hagadorn?). Hero and Richards use cleverly modified American Wolves’ tag team maneuvers. Steen hits a DDT out of nowhere but still can’t quite make the tag. Hero gloats too much and pays for it, as Steen is able to get the hot tag. Storm hits Hero with a leg lariat for two but then gets dumped to the floor. Richards tries a Missile Dropkick but Steen catches him and locks on the Sharpshooter. Storm recovers and locks Hero in the Sharpshooter as well. Both Hero and Richards make the ropes. Steen and Richards go tumbling to the floor. Hero hits a boot to the face for two. Storm reverses a rolling elbow and locks on the Maple Leaf. Hagadorn tosses Hero the green elbow pad, and Richards breaks up the hold. Hero accidentally levels Richards with the green pad. Storm and Steen then hit Hero with the Hart Attack to get the win at 20:02. That was a rather enjoyable tag team match, and they kept up quite a pace given that one of the participants hasn’t wrested regularly for almost half a decade.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #7: ROH World Title Four Corner Survival – Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Nigel McGuinness

Aries has been the champion since 6.13.09, and this is his second defense. This is Lynn’s rematch. Black immediately goes after Aries and they take it to the floor. Lynn and McGuinness go at it in the ring, as Leonard reminds me that this is the first time these two have been in a ring together since Lynn beat McGuinness for the title in Houston. Anyway, Lynn takes McGuinness down with a tornado DDT, and then they go to the floor as Aries beats on Black in the ring. Black goes for an early Buckle Bomb, which gets countered, but Black counters back with a dropkick to the face for two. McGuinness pulls Black to the floor while Lynn hits Aries with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Lynn hits Aries with the guillotine legdrop and then a slingshot splash for two. Aries comes back and hits Lynn with the shinbreaker/belly-to-back suplex combo. He hits the IED for two. The champ hits a Gourdbuster and locks on the Last Chancery, but McGuinness breaks it up. McGuinness knocks Aries to the floor and goes after Lynn’s shoulder. He locks Lynn in the London Dungeon but Aries breaks it up. McGuinness tosses Aries right back to the floor and hits Lynn with a hammerlock Divorce Court. Once again McGuinness locks on the London Dungeon and this time Black breaks it up, but McGuinness tosses him right back out onto Aries. McGuinness goes for the Tower of London but Aries breaks it up. Aries goes up to fight Lynn on the top rope, and McGuinness grabs him too. Black comes back in to hit a superkick on McGuinness, who conveniently falls with a double Tower of London, and Black covers McGuinness for two. He covers Aries for two, and then covers Lynn for another two-count. Black fights off both Aries and McGuinness, sending Aries to the floor and wiping him out with a dive. Lynn hits McGuinness with an inverted DDT, and then Black hits Lynn with a leaping enziguiri. Black hits Lynn with the F-5 for two. McGuinness tries the Tower of London on Black, who reverses it to a Paroxysm for two. Black hits Lynn with the Buckle Bomb for two. Aries sneaks back in and gets rolled up by Black for two. Black hits him with a kick to the head but then McGuinness hits Black with the hammerlock Divorce Court and then locks on the London Dungeon. Aries breaks it up and then gets put in the London Dungeon himself. Lynn breaks it up by going to the top rope, and McGuinness makes him pay with a Tower of London through the official’s table! It looks like Aries and Black will settle things one-on-one. Just as I type that Aries wipes McGuinness out with the Heat Seeking Missile, and Black follows with a back flip over the top rope to take out Lynn and McGuinness. Aries grabs the ROH World Title belt and bashes Black in the head with it behind the referee’s back but Black kicks out at two! McGuinness gets back in the ring and aims a Jawbreaker Lariat at Aries but hits Black instead for a two-count! Aries goes for the IED on McGuinness, but it gets awesomely countered to a Tower of London attempt. Lynn breaks that up. The champ locks on the Last Chancery but Lynn pulls him out with a Cradle Piledriver and McGuinness breaks up the fall. Lynn hits McGuinness with the Cradle Piledriver, and Black superkicks Lynn to the floor. Black goes up top for the Phoenix Splash but Kenny King runs down and hurls Black into the barricade. Aries goes to the top rope and hits a somersault legdrop (I’m guessing he was intending to hit the 450 Splash) to get the pin and retain the title at 16:09. I’m not a big fan of the finish, but the match was pretty much non-top balls to the wall action and I can appreciate that.
Rating: ***¾×120.jpg

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