BONUS MATCH: Rhett Titus vs. Grizzly Redwood
Titus attacks Redwood before the bell as we renew a classic rivalry here. Redwood endures it though and tries to chop Titus down to size. He also tries to saw Titusâ€™s head off with his hand. He goes up top but Titus knocks him down and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. A gut wrench suplex gets two. Redwood comes back with some tomfoolery, so Titus makes him pay by showing him that the Thrust is a Must. Redwood drops the straps and he means business. He biels Titus by his bowtie and hits a flapjack. A double axe handle to the back gets a two-count for Redwood. Titus comes back with a nice dropkick but Redwood avoids the cover by rolling Titus over in a crucifix for two. He tries a sunset flip but Titus avoids it, only to get rolled up seconds later and Grizzly Redwood gets the upset pin at 4:50. At least they kept it short. You know, almost against all odds Titus has become someone that the fans could take seriously as a wrestler, but itâ€™s never going to happen if he canâ€™t beat Grizzly Fâ€™n Redwood.
Chicago Ridge, IL
The show opens with Dave Prazak in the ring, getting the crowd hyped up for the show. He sends it backstage to Kyle Durden, who is with Jimmy Jacobs and Austin Aries. Tonight they will team up against Bryan Danielson & Tyler Black. The winner of the fall gets a shot at the ROH World Title. Jacobs and Aries agree that Black should not be the one to get the shot. Then Aries punches Durden out just because.
MATCH #1: Kenny King vs. Alex Payne vs. Silas Young
What in the hell is Sugarfoot doing on pay-per-view? King is the only one who doesnâ€™t shake hands, so he attacks while the other two do just that and throws Payne to the floor. Payne and Young start double-teaming King until he rolls to the floor. They battle it out now while King wisely rests on the floor. Payne gets his dropkick in so he should be about done for the night. He picks his spot and nails Young with a kick to the head for two. A bicycle kick and a clothesline knock Young down, and Payne sneaks in to roll up King for two. Payne follows with a crucifix for another two-count. Young gets back his feet and hits King with a neckbreaker. He also hits him with a German Suplex with a bridge for two. He goes for the Finlay Roll but King counters with a Blue Thunder Driver for two. Payne comes in with some crappy offense and hits Young with the Perfect-Plex for two. King catches Payne with the Coronation but Young breaks up the pin. Some more stuff happens and King drops Youngâ€™s throat across the top rope, Randy Savage style. Payne hits Young with the Sweetinsteiner to get the pin at 7:11. Seriously ROH, just admit that your school sucks, and so does Alex Payne.
MATCH #2: Kevin Steen vs. Claudio Castagnoli
They show a nice little promo package before the match to show off the wrestlersâ€™ personalities and some of their athletic feats. They start off mat wrestling and the crowd is having a good time getting on Claudioâ€™s case. I donâ€™t like this referee. Claudio takes control and wears Steen down on the mat. He hits the dead lift gut wrench suplex for a two-count. The man who is â€œVery Europeanâ€ works on Steenâ€™s knee, previously injured by the American Wolves. Steen comes back with a tornado DDT and the pump handle neckbreaker for two. He tries the Swanton but Claudio gets the knees up. Claudio hits the Alpamare Water Slide for two. He goes for the Riccola Bomb but Steen avoids it and a series of reversals ends with Steen hitting a superkick. Steen follows that up with a cannonball in the corner and then locks on the Sharpshooter. Larry Sweeney comes out to distract Steen, so Generico comes out to run him off. The referee is distracted, so Claudio hits a low blow and the Riccola Bomb to get the pin at 9:05. That was a solid back and forth match and nothing more.
Before the next match they show a video package detailing the Age of the Fallâ€™s addition of Delirious and their feud with Necro Butcher.
Then they cut over to Kyle Durden, who gets words from Alex Payne. Well, not too many words, since ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness busts in and knocks him out as a receipt for the last time they were in Chicago. Nigel runs down his current list of challengers and promises to kill El Generico tonight.
MATCH #3: Jerry Lynn & Necro Butcher vs. Delirious & Brodie Lee
The match starts on the floor, with Lynn battling Delirious and Lee fighting Necro. This is Leeâ€™s pay-per-view debut. Delirious and Lynn make it back to the ring and the match starts proper. Lynn quickly tags in Necro and he starts throwing punches and monkey flips at Delirious. Lee gets tagged in and they immediately start slugging. Necro briefly wins that battle and tags Lynn, who hits a rana on the much larger Lee. Lynn makes Lee chase him in and out of the ring in an effort to wear the big man out. Jimmy Jacobs grabs Lynnâ€™s foot from the floor and Lee takes over on Lynn now. The Age of The Fall isolates the veteran Lynn in their half of the ring. Lee misses a big running boot in the corner and tumbles all the way to the floor. Delirious illegally enters the ring to prevent Delirious from making the tag. Lynn escapes a sleeper and hits a DDT on Delirious. Lee gets tagged in and Lynn is able to make the hot tag. Necro cleans house, even hitting a Necrocanrana on Lee. Lynn gets tagged back in and hits a high cross body off the top. Lee comes back with a Black Hole Slam for two. The match breaks down to a brawl, and Necro and Lee take their fight to the floor. Necro hits a legdrop on Lee through the timekeeperâ€™s table. Back in the ring Delirious tries and misses Shadows over Hell. Lynn hits him with the Cradle Piledrive to score the pin at 11:39. I donâ€™t think the Age of The Fall has ever won a match. The match was solid formula stuff.
Jacobs berates Delirious for the loss and wraps a chain around his fist. Daizee Haze comes out to stop him and Jacobs rightfully shoves her down. She reveals a spike and threatens to use it and Jacobs dares her. She charges at him but Jacobs moves and she hits Delirious instead. Daizee cries, proving that women shouldnâ€™t be allowed in wrestling. Jacobs smiles, knowing the mental advantage he now has.
That segues to a video package highlighting Austin Aries, Bryan Danielson, Jimmy Jacobs, and Tyler Black, who will compete in a tag match next.
MATCH #4: Austin Aries & Jimmy Jacobs vs. Bryan Danielson & Tyler Black
Austin Aries has the microphone in the ring. He mocks the fans for being fickle and talks more about his manifesto. Jacobs comes out next, and then Danielson and Black come out together. Danielson gets on the mic and talks about how none of these guys can trust each other. He proposes a four-way in lieu of a tag match, which is a much better way to determine the number one contender to a singles title. Everyone accepts!
MATCH #4: Four Corner Survival #1 Contenderâ€™s Match â€“ Austin Aries vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Tyler Black
ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness joins the commentary team, even though his title defense is next. Jacobs and Danielson start the match. Danielson takes an early advantage so Jacobs powders. Jacobs comes back in and tags Aries in. Aries stalls and the crowd gets on his case. They wrestle a clean match, with Aries even delivering on a clean break. Aries tags Black, and he and Danielson exchange holds and reversals. Jacobs tags in off of Danielson, and attacks Black from behind. As soon as Black starts firing up Jacobs makes the tag to Aries. Black gets the advantage on Aries and then tags Danielson back into the match. Danielson further wears Aries down. He hits a big European Uppercut that sends Aries through the ropes and over the guardrail into the crowd. Danielson goes to the top rope to jump on Aries, but Jacobs sneaks up from behind and throws Danielson to the floor. Jacobs and Aries work together to wear Danielson down now. Black makes the tag and goes to town on both Aries and Jacobs. Soon Danielson is back up and he cleans house on everyone. He locks the Cattle Mutilation on Black, who reverses it into the Paroxysm for two. The match has broken down into a tag-less fracas. Everyone spills to the floor; Aries hits Jacobs with the Heat Seeking Missile, and then Black follows them out with a flip over the top rope. Those three fight into the crowd and Danielson springboards into the crowd to wipe out all three of them. Then from out of nowhere Bison Smith comes out and powerbombs Danielson on the floor! Aries and Black are back in the ring now and they fight it out. Black goes for the Buckle Bomb but Jacobs sneaks in and puts Black in the End Time. Aries officially breaks it up and nails Jacobs with the running dropkick in the corner. Black hits Jacobs with a sort of F-5 and Aries breaks up the pin. He once again goes for the Buckle Bomb on Aries, but this time Jacobs breaks it up with a spear. Jacobs and Aries both tried to pin him on that one, but Black kicks out anyway. They continue to double-team Black, but realize that only one of them can win the match. Aries sends Jacobs to the floor, and this time Black hits the Buckle Bomb and Jacobs accidentally spears Aries. Black then rolls Jacobs up with a schoolboy to get the pin at 19:56. That was an interesting match; I really liked the dynamic between Aries and Jacobs, and the action was really well built throughout.
Kyle Durden is backstage with Jerry Lynn, who promises that if El Generico doesnâ€™t take the title tonight, he will. Then he calls Nigel â€œFrancis.â€ I donâ€™t get it.
MATCH #5: ROH World Title Match â€“ Nigel McGuinness vs. El Generico
Nigel has been the champion since 10.6.07, and this is his thirty-third defense (fourth time against Generico). This is a champion versus champion match, since Generico is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions. Nigel attacks Generico before the bell and immediately targets the shoulder. He throws Generico to the floor and hits a Tower of London! Kevin Steen comes out to support and motivate his tag team partner. Generico barely beats the count back in. He makes a brief comeback, only to have Nigel go to the floor and drag him out as well. The champion throws the challengerâ€™s shoulder into the barricade, and then locks on the London Dungeon back in the ring. Generico was close to the ropes though, so the hold has to be broken. He keeps trying to fight back but Nigel tenaciously attacks the arm. Generico makes the comeback with a springboard hurricanrana that sends Nigel to the floor. He tries to follow him out with a moonsault off the top rope, but he slips and it ends up as a cross body block instead. Heâ€™s pretty lucky he didnâ€™t land on his head there. Back in the ring Generico hits a cross body off the top rope for a two-count. A Michinoku Driver gets another two-count for the challenger. Nigel comes back and hits the Tower of London for two. Since that didnâ€™t work Nigel decides to hit the move on the apron, and both men are down. Generico barely makes it back in the ring, but heâ€™s motivated now. He hits a brainbuster for a near-fall. He goes up for the Super Brainbuster but he canâ€™t connect. Nigel lariats him off the rope and gets a two count. The champion then cinches on the London Dungeon but Generico reverses it to a cradle for two. Nigel hits a lariat and locks on the London Dungeon once again and this time Generico has to tap out at 17:01. That was a solid title defense, but it probably would have been hotter had it not been the third time around.
The champion starts making his way to the back, but before he can pass through the curtain, Tyler Black comes out and wants to exercise the title shot that he just earned! Before that can happen though, Jimmy Jacobs and Austin Aries come out to attack him and ensure he doesnâ€™t get that title shot. Jerry Lynn and Necro Butcher come to his aid as Nigel escapes through the crowd.
MATCH #6: Steel Cage Warfare â€“ Albrightâ€™s Army vs. Sweet Nâ€™ Sour Inc.
Davey Richards is the first man in the ring for Sweet Nâ€™ Sour. Roderick Strong is out first for Albrightâ€™s Team, and he charges into the cage and the fight is on. They strike each other very hard, showing No Remorse~! The next entrant is Tank Toland! This match immediately rules. They double-team Strong until Ace Steel comes out to even up the sides. Next out is Eddie Edwards, the other American Wolf. He doesnâ€™t get into the cage. Jay Briscoe is next out, and Sara Del Rey distracts him, allowing Edwards to attack him with a chair. He decimates Jayâ€™s knee and then gets in the ring. Bobby Dempsey is out next. Learn how to throw a punch dude. Erick Stevens comes out a minute later and itâ€™s basically a handicap match at this point since Jay never made it to the ring. The final entrant for Sweet Nâ€™ Sour is Adam Pearce! Iâ€™m generally not in favor of bookers wrestling, but I do think his presence in this match is necessary, so no complaints here. Brent Albright comes out last and goes right after Pearce. Even at a one man disadvantage, the good guys take control and throw everyone out of the cage except Dempsey (who cowers) and Pearce. Thatâ€™s pretty cool. Booker Man takes a series of devastating moves, and the good guys take the fight to the floor. The good guys are in total control here. Jay Briscoe limps his way out to even up the sides, but heâ€™s totally a one-legged man. He takes out Dempsey, and then leaps off the top of the cage onto everybody on the floor. Dempsey is busted open. The good guys once again corner Pearce, who gets beat up by everyone. The brutality concludes with Albright hitting a Half-Nelson Suplex for the pin at 17:24. That match was completely dominated by the good guys, even when they were down one man. It was fun and stuff but had absolutely no drama whatsoever.
After the match Sweeney berates Bobby Dempsey, who has finally had enough and slaps Sweeney. The good guys throw Sweeney around and bloody his head. They encourage Dempsey to deliver further punishment, culminating in a Death Valley Driver. Itâ€™s a nice moment I guess, but Iâ€™m just not attached to Dempsey at all.
ROH usually delivers on pay-per-view, but this wasnâ€™t one of their finer efforts. The main event was fine but not amazing, and the World Title match was very good but not great. The four-way is good stuff too, and the Age of The Fall versus Lynn & Necro match was fun. So itâ€™s a good show but not a great one. You can pick it up right here.