PRE SHOW MATCH #1: Kenny King vs. Alex Payne
Itâ€™s really a shame that King has to slum with Sugarfoot here. King seems to be taking Payne lately, and Payne exploits that by grounding King with an armbar. He gets his dropkick in and goes back to the arm. Iâ€™d say thatâ€™s about enough offense for Sugarfoot now. King agrees, and comes back by hotshotting Payne on the top rope and hitting him with a clothesline for a two-count. He puts on the chinlock briefly, and then hits a spinebuster for two. King tries a delayed vertical suplex, but Payne reverses it to a DDT. Payne comes back with some more offense, including a hammerlock suplex with a bridge for two. He follows up with an elbow to the head off the top rope. A reversal sequence ends in King hitting two running knees to the back. He then finishes Payne with the Coronation at 5:12. That was decent for the pre-show, but Payne kills the business with his amazingly awful offense.
PRE SHOW MATCH #2: Irish Airborne vs. Andy Ridge & Grizzly Redwood
Irish Airborne foregoes the handshake and attacks their opponents. They charge at Redwood and Ridge against the ropes, but they duck and Jake and Dave Crist tumble to the floor. They start to regroup but out of nowhere Bison Smith comes out and attacks them, and the match is thrown out at just 0:15. Weâ€™ll never know the classic we just lost thanks to Bison Smith.
Jay Briscoe opens the show proper with a backstage promo. He tells those who doubt him as a singles wrestler that he has plenty of experience in one-on-one action, since Mark gets hurt all the time. He thinks ROH World Nigel McGuinness is disrespecting him, and is even afraid of him, and thatâ€™s why their match tonight is a non-title match.
MATCH #1: Bryan Danielson vs. Rhett Titus
I have to admit Iâ€™m curious to see if Danielson can pull a rabbit out of his hat and get to three stars with Titus. Danielson seems amused by Titusâ€™s antics. Or maybe heâ€™s smiling just picturing the stretching that will be delivered to the most successful student out of the ROH Academy. Danielson is actually on a two-match losing streak, having dropped his last two matches to Jimmy Jacobs and Jerry Lynn, respectively. It takes about two minutes for any real contact to be made. Danielson starts the stretching right away. Titus comes back by going after the arm, and does that one move that he does. You know the one. Danielson looks incredulous while Titus gloats. Titus knocks Danielson down with a shoulderblock but Danielson comes back with a dropkick and teases the Sexy Party. A frustrated Titus rolls to the floor, and Danielson holds the ropes open for him to come on back in. Danielson goes after the arm now, but he doesnâ€™t do what Titus did. Lenny Leonard â€œright on the buttonâ€ count: one. Titus comes back and tries to put Danielson in the surfboard, but when he swivels his hips Danielson gets pissed and itâ€™s on now. He abuses Titus with strikes, and wonâ€™t give him any breathing room. Danielson shows Titus how to do the surfboard, but then changes it up to a rear naked choke. Titus reaches the ropes, but Danielson is right on top of him, hitting a German Suplex for two. Danielson goes for another suplex but Titus blocks it. Titus keeps trying to get Danielson in trouble by pretending that Danielson hit him low. The distraction allows Titus to hit a dropkick for two. Titus reminds the referee that he also has until five to break an illegal hold. He actually gets some convincing offense on the former ROH World Champion. Danielson escapes a submission hold and kicks Titus in the chest. Both men are down. Danielson gets up and makes the comeback, and finally delivers the Sexy Party. Titus once again tries to convince the referee that he got hit with a low blow. This time Paul Turner was right on it though, and heâ€™s not buying it. Danielson then kicks Titus into Turner, almost delivering a low blow to the hapless referee. Titus is on the floor, and Danielson follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Danielson hits a missile dropkick and nips up. He runs into a Titus boot, and Titus follows up with a Fame-Ass-Er for two. Titus tries the Rude Awakening, but Danielson counters with an inverted atomic drop and a running knee strike. He hits some elbows to the face and then locks on Cattle Mutilation, forcing Titus to tap out at 13:40. In no great shock, that is the new best match Titus has ever had. Danielson looked to be having fun out there, which really helped make this a good opener.
MATCH #2: Austin Aries vs. Silas Young
Aries gets on the microphone and objects to the playing of Silas Youngâ€™s music. I do also, but I think for different reasons. Heâ€™s very angry at the fans for their lack of rhythm when banging on the guardrails. Or maybe thatâ€™s just why Iâ€™m angry at them. He then makes fun of Silas, since heâ€™s a much bigger star than him. He says that the fans donâ€™t care about him; they wonâ€™t take care of his family if something happened to him tonight. Aries promises to take excellent care of Silasâ€™s wife and daughter should something happen to him, and now heâ€™s crossed the line. Young charges and heâ€™s on fire. He beats on Aries for a bit, hitting a back body drop that sends Aries to the floor. Young follows him out and gives chase. Back in the ring Young tries a dropkick but Aries holds on to the ropes and Young crashes down to the mat. Aries takes time to taunt the crowd, so Young gets a quick rollup for two. He chops Aries down and stays aggressive with the former ROH World and World Tag Team Champion. The battle spills to the floor, where Aries is able to seize the advantage and put the boots to Young. Back in the ring Aries hits an elbow drop for two. Aries continues to dominate, and makes sure to mock the fans. He tries the brainbuster but Young avoids it and hits an inverted atomic drop. Young follows with a clothesline and a dropkick. He hits a cross body off the second rope for two. Aries takes a cheap shot to the eyes and once again tries the brainbuster. Young blocks it and goes for the Finlay Roll, but Aries blocks that and hits a leaping back rake, followed with the corner dropkick for two. A backbreaker/clothesline combination gets two for Young. He then hits the Finlay Roll and goes for the Moonsault, but Aries gets his knees up. Aries hotshots Young and then finally hits the brainbuster. He follows that up with the Last Chancery and we have our second straight submission victory at 9:11. Young continues to look solid, and Aries heel turn has been interesting to watch thus far.
Kyle Durden is backstage with Claudio Castagnoli, who will face Brent Albright tonight. Claudio thinks he has Albright figured out, and promises that Albright does not intimidate him. He will take care of Albright the European Way.
MATCH #3: Necro Butcher vs. Brodie Lee
Lee is accompanied by Jimmy Jacobs. He wastes no time attacking Necro as soon as he is the slightest bit in the ring. Necro fights back with right hands and kicks and chops. He hits a headbutt and Lee wonâ€™t go down. Lee goes on offense now and itâ€™s more brawling. He catches a Necro kick attempt and hits a back drop driver. He tries a running boot in the corner but Necro avoids it and hits a series of headbutts. Necro throws Lee to the floor and follows him out with a somersault dive off the apron. They continue fighting outside the ring, and Necro uses the barricade as a weapon. He also throws a chair into Leeâ€™s gut, and then removes one of the ringside mats. He motions for a piledriver but Lee blocks it and hits a back body drop. Necro comes back and throws Lee into the crowd and they keep hacking away at each other. They throw chairs at each other and both get counted out of the ring at 5:15. The non-finish presumably will lead up to some kind of â€œofficialâ€ no-disqualification match or something of that nature. Jacobs and Lee continue to beat on Necro, who valiantly fights back. They make it back to ringside, where Necro sets Lee on top of a table and goes to the top rope. Jimmy Jacobs reappears and hits a low blow, and now Delirious joins them in a three-on-one beatdown. Necro powers up and he and Lee start fighting down the aisle toward the back. Referees try to break them up, so Necro punches one of them in the face. I hope the rematch will be good; this one never really took off, obviously.
MATCH #4: Roderick Strong & Erick Stevens vs. The Age of The Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Delirious)
Jacobs gets on the mic and figures that since he and Delirious are already out there, Roderick Strong and Erick Stevens might as well join them for their scheduled tag team match. Delirious and Strong start the match. The masked man looks nervous, and he seeks comfort from Jacobs. Jacobs and Delirious take a break on the floor to regroup from all the mental anguish thus far. Back in the ring Strong takes control and doesnâ€™t wait too long before starting to throw chops. Stevens tags in and does much of the same. Delirious takes several minutes of abuse before coming back on Stevens by attacking his eyeballs. He tags in Jacobs, who tries coming off the top but gets slammed down to the mat by Stevens. Jacobs also tries going after the eyes, but his chop attempts on Stevens donâ€™t; go so well. Stevens hits a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Delirious grabs Stevensâ€™s leg from the apron and Jacobs tosses him to the floor and follows him out with a slingshot dive. Strong and Delirious fight outside the ring while Jacobs chokes Stevens in the ring. The Age of The Fall focus on Stevens, keeping him in their half of the ring and working him over. Stevens comes back with a powerslam on Jacobs and makes the tag. Strongâ€™s on fire, nailing Delirious with a dropkick. Jacobs recovers and they double-team Strong, who manages to fight them off. Strong hits a spinebuster on Delirious for two. He calls Stevens into the ring, but Jacobs trips Stevens up, and Delirious hits Strong with the Cobra Clutch Suplex. Jacobs hits a Spear on Strong for a two-count, and then rolls into the End Time. Strong powers up but Jacobs holds on. Stevens tags himself in and hits the Choo-Choo and a Samoan Drop on Jacobs for two. He motions for the Doctor Bomb, but Delirious hits an awesome Shadows over Hell and Jacobs gets a two-count. Jacobs goes to the top but Strong knocks him down. Back in the ring Stevens holds Delirious in place for a running boot to the face from Strong, and thatâ€™s enough for the pin at 13:15. Jacobs and Delirious have always worked well together as a team, and Strong and Stevens look strong going into the big Steel Cage Warfare match tomorrow night.
The Tokyo Summit Trailer
On September 14, 2008, ROH presented The Tokyo Summit in Tokyo, Japan. Featured matches include Jimmy Jacobs challenging Nigel McGuinness for the ROH World Title, Kensuke Sasaki vs. Roderick Strong, KENTA & Kota Ibushi vs. Naomichi Marufuji & Katsuhiko Nakajima, and much more.
MATCH #5: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brent Albright
Claudio doesnâ€™t want to shake hands; must be some kind of European thing. As one would expect they take it to the mat early on and do some wrestling. Albright gets a couple of pinning combinations early on, and also works on the arm. He controls for a little while until he goes up to the second rope and Claudio shoves him all the way to the floor. Good bump from Albright there. Claudio follows him out and throws him into the barricade. Back in the ring Claudio stays in control, wearing Albright down. Meanwhile, up on the entrance ramp, Sweet & Sour Inc. (Larry Sweeney, Bobby Dempsey, and Sara Del Rey) is watching the match. Albright almost gets counted out at one point, but he barely makes it back into the ring. Claudio hits a modified powerbomb for a two-count. Albright comes back with a powerslam and both men are down. Back to their feet and Albright is full of fire. And the crowd goes mild. Claudio reverses an Irish Whip into the turnbuckle and hits a bicycle kick. He starts the Big Swing but changes his mind and tries a slingshot. Albright lands on the ropes and knocks Claudio down. He blows snot on him (I hate that) and then does the Big Swing himself. Larry Sweeney comes down and gets on the apron to distract Albright. That gives Claudio the chance to try the Pop-Up European Uppercut but Albright grabs him in the Crowbar. Claudio reaches the ropes but Albright wonâ€™t let go. The referee counts to five just as Claudio taps out, but the referee awards the match to Claudio Castagnoli via disqualification at 13:30. That was decent, but Iâ€™m just not into Brent Albright.
Backstage, Jimmy Jacobs is whining about losing Necro Butcher and Tyler Black, and the problems heâ€™s having with Delirious. Daizee Haze interrupts him and pulls out a spike of her own and says sheâ€™s not scared of him. She should be.
MATCH #6: Jerry Lynn vs. Tyler Black
This is a rematch from Ring of Homicide 2. They take it right to the mat in the early going. Lynn hits a reverse DDT for not even a one-count. He stays in control, grounding Black with a headlock. Black gets up and they trade some fast-paced reversals until Black hits a dropkick for one. He goes on offense now, and actually says to the crowd, â€œWeâ€™re in Detroit, right?â€ And they cheer. Babyfaces are so dumb. Lynn makes a brief comeback but Black cuts him off. Black goes to the top rope but Lynn knocks him down and hits a rana off the top. He follows up with a clothesline for two. Lynn gets his little guillotine legdrop spot in. They battle on the apron and Black hits a DDT right on the edge of the apron. They both just barely make it back into the ring at the count of 19. Lynn tries the Cradle Piledriver but Black reverses it and they trade pinning combinations. Black breaks that up with a kick to the head. He tries a quebrada but Lynn moves and he lands on his feet. He hits a standing shooting star press for two and then Lynn rolls him into a small package for two. He tires the Buckle Bomb but Lynn counters and they trade pinning combinations again. Black hits Paroxysm for a two-count. He tries Godâ€™s Last Gift but Lynn reverses to a small package for two. Black hits a Pele kick but Lynn comes right back with an Air Raid Crash for two. Lynn goes for the Cradle Piledriver but Black avoids it, and also blocks a Tornado DDT. Black catches Lynn off the top rope and slams him chest-first down to the mat. He follows up with a superkick for a very close near-fall. Bobby Cruise announces one minute is left, and the crowd boos because they know the finish now. They pretty much do nothing in the last minute, and sure enough itâ€™s a time-limit draw at 20:00. At least they timed this one correctly. This was more fun than the usual Lynn match, and at least he didnâ€™t go over, which actually helps in his storyline.
MATCH #7: Non-Title Match â€“ Nigel McGuinness vs. Jay Briscoe
You heard Jay Briscoe talking earlier about how heâ€™s going to prove himself as a singles wrestler, and here is his chance. They start off slowly with some mat work and chain wrestling. The match eventually spills to the floor, and Briscoe takes control out there. Nigel comes back and targets Jayâ€™s shoulder to set up for the London Dungeon. Back in the ring Jay tries to fight up but Nigel stays in control by focusing on the shoulder. Jay comes back with an Ace Crusher but Nigel is right back in control, once again going after the injured shoulder. He finally makes the comeback for real, but he gets stopped when he goes to the top rope. Nigel tries the Tower of London but Jay avoids it and hits a Death Valley Driver for two. He hits a Blockbuster, also for two. He goes for the Jay Driller but his injured arm prevents him from hitting the move. He bounces off the ropes and Nigel levels him with a lariat for two. Nigel sets up for another Tower of London and Jay once again avoids it. Jay winds up knocking Nigel off the second rope down to the mat, and follows him down with a guillotine legdrop for two. Nigel tries the Jawbreaker but Jay avoids it and hits the Jay Driller. The champion kicks out at two. Nigel then snaps the rope back into Jayâ€™s face and finishes him off with the Jawbreaker Lariat at 15:53. That started a bit slowly but really picked up down the stretch. I like Jay Briscoe as a singles wrestler, but they really never push him as any kind of serious threat, just a â€œheâ€™s doing this while Mark is injuredâ€ sort of thing.
Driven 2008 Trailer
ROH returned to Pay-Per-View in September from Boston. Featured matches include Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black defending the ROH World Tag Team Titles against Kevin Steen & El Generico; ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness defending the title against Roderick Strong; Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Go Shiozaki in a three-way elimination match; plus much more! Itâ€™s a good show.
MATCH #8: ROH World Tag Team Title Match â€“ Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)
Steen and Generico have been champions since 9.19.08, and this is their fifth defense. The Wolves are accompanied by Larry Sweeney, Bobby Dempsey, and Shane Hagadorn. But then Hagadorn pushes Dempsey to the back, so I wonder why they would even have him come out at all. Steen and Richards start the match. The tempers start flaring pretty early in this one. The champions get the first advantage and the challengers take a powder. The break seemed to do the champions some good, as theyâ€™re able to take control of Steen for a few minutes. Steen makes the comeback on Edwards, and makes the tag to Generico. I love how Richards and Steen really seem to dislike each other. The Wolves soon take over, this time on Generico. They control for several minutes until Generico makes the hot tag and Steen is all over the challengers, decimating them on the floor. Back in the ring Steen this Richards with a cannonball for two. Richards avoids a moonsault and tags Edwards. Steen promptly puts Edwards in the Sharpshooter, and hangs on when Richards tries to break it. Richards finally breaks it with a headbutt. Generico and Richards go to the floor and Generico gets whipped into the barricade. Steen and Edwards slug it out in the ring, with Edwards getting the better of it. Edwards tags Richards, who gets a quick backslide for two. An enziguiri sends Steen into the corner. An offensive combination flurry culminates with an awesome Missile Dropkick by Richards on Steen for a two-count. Steen avoids a double-team move and Generico has recovered. The match completely breaks down into a big brawl. The referee gets distracted by trying to stop Edwards from using a chair on Generico outside the ring. Meanwhile, Sweeney jumps in the ring and tries to hit Steen with his boot, but Brent Albright comes out to run him off. Richards tries to hit Steen with the boot but misses and hits Edwards instead and Steen gets the pin at 19:28. The Wolves are poor sports about the loss, so Steen runs them off with a chair. The match was terrific, and itâ€™s so nice to see an actual feud for the World Tag Team Champions. The finish also lends itself to a rematch, which should be good.
The second half of the show had three really good matches, and the first half had a couple of decent ones, so I would recommend picking this one up. It definitely feels like an â€œunder the radarâ€ kind of show because it was the night before a pay-per-view, but this is solid from top to bottom and the main event was the best match. You can purchase this show right here.