Inside Pulse » Jake Ziegler http://insidepulse.com A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:15:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » Jake Ziegler http://insidepulse.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://insidepulse.com A2Z Analysiz: ROH Death Before Dishonor XII Night 2 (Young Bucks, Briscoes) http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/24/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-xii-night-2-young-bucks-briscoes/ http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/24/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-xii-night-2-young-bucks-briscoes/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:00:15 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=5032430 4PAN1TDVDSLM

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

Frontier Fieldhouse – Chicago Ridge, IL – Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino are on commentary.

Before the main show, CHEESEBURGER, Will Ferrara & Louis Lyndon defeat Stokely Hathaway, Psycho Mike & Matt Sells at 7:20. No commentary for this match. This is a pretty typical pre-show six man tag, with everyone just trying to show off what they can do with a limited amount of time. CHEESEBURGER plays the face in peril for a bit before making the hot tag. Ferrara is a house afire and the referee loses control. Everybody gets one last move in, and Ferrara nails Psycho Mike with a Code Red to get the pin. Perfectly fun and acceptable preshow stuff here.
Rating: **¼

In the opening match, The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs & Roderick Strong) defeat Monster Mafia (Ethan Gabriel Owens & Josh Alexander) at 10:45. The Decade have their young boys Adam Page and TaDarius Thomas with them. Jacobs and Strong are the ROH veterans here, but Owens and Alexander are able to keep pace with them in the opening minutes. After the opening flurry the match settles down with the Decade in control and they’re working a classic tag team formula here. Monster Mafia show off some great teamwork but it’s not enough. Strong sends Alexander to the floor and then hits Owens with a knee strike and Death by Roderick. Jacobs follows with a Spear to get the pin. Good choice for an opener here, with rock solid tag team formula stuff accentuated by great teamwork on both sides.
Rating: ***¼

ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini) defeats Caprice Coleman at 11:46 to retain the title. Lethal has been the Champion since 4.4.14, and this is his twelfth defense. He also has his bodyguard Seleziya in his corner. Coleman dominates the early going, frustrating the Champion. Lethal accepts help from Truth to claim the advantage. They battle back and forth, with more interference by Truth and Seleziya wherever they can. In the end Lethal connects with the Lethal Injection to get the pin. Solid match here thanks to the chemistry between the opponents, but Coleman never posed a serious threat to the title.
Rating: ***

In a Four Corner Survival Match, ACH defeats Michael Bennett (w/ Maria Kanellis), BJ Whitmer, and Silas Young at 13:04. Whitmer has Page and Thomas with him. This is being contested under Scramble Rules, so no tags are necessary. The action is fast and furious from the get-go, with all four men showing off what they can do. This is a bit of an interesting dynamic because ACH is the only babyface against three heels, and he spends a lot of the match getting beaten up. There is some tension between Whitmer and Bennett stemming from when Bennett injured Whitmer with a piledriver on the apron about a year prior to this. ACH lands his big dive on all three opponents, and then lands the Hero’s Grip on Whitmer to get the pin and win his second multi-purpose match this weekend. That went on a little bit long for what they were going for, but they managed to keep the action moving along at least. Plus it’s a good win for ACH.
Rating: **¾

Adam Cole defeats Hanson at 10:33. This is a pretty distinct clash of styles going on here. Hanson refuses to be intimidated by the former ROH World Champion, and uses his power to assert himself. Cole uses his speed and mental acumen to try and subdue the War Beard but Hanson has something to prove here. The determined Cole focuses on Hanson’s knee, always a good strategy against a big man, and uses the Figure-Four Leglock. Moments later Hanson gets all fired up and looks for a big suplex, but Cole counters with a perfect inside cradle to get the pin. I quite enjoyed that match, as the differing styles of these two wrestlers meshed well together. Hanson looked good here but Cole was just better, which is correct.
Rating: ***¼

After the match, Cole mocks Hanson and is about to pay for it, but Michael Bennett and Maria Kanellis come out to tip the scales. The Kingdom takes Hanson out and Cole says some pretty rude things on the microphone, which finally brings Michael Elgin out for the save. Before Elgin can say anything, Tommaso Ciampa’s music hits! Looks like we’re going to have our World Title match RIGHT NOW.

ROH World Champion Michael Elgin defeats Tommaso Ciampa at 15:58 to retain the title. Elgin has been the Champion since 6.22.14, and this is his seventh defense. This is an absolute war, as both men are known for hitting hard and they certainly live up to that reputation. They battle both in and out of the ring, and the match almost ends after Elgin hits a Death Valley Driver off the apron and through a ringside table right around 10 minutes in. Both men are able to get back in the ring before the count of 20 and the match continues. They continue to destroy each other with strikes and brutal looking submission holds, but neither man will give in. After a series of reversals, Elgin is able to strike with a forearm to the back of the head and a brutal spinning back fist. Elgin then unleashes a series of knee strikes to the head and referee Todd Sinclair stops the match. That was unbelievably stiff and insanely brutal. There was nothing complicated about the story being told here, but there certainly didn’t need to be. Both men look like certified badasses after that fight. I love it.
Rating: ****¼

After the match Ciampa loses his mind and tries to attack Kevin Kelly, but Steve Corino and a bevy of official sand staff are able to make the save. When Bobby Cruise gets in the ring to announce the next match, Ciampa attacks him instead and destroys him with a series of unprotected knee strikes in the corner. That’s going to earn him a suspension for sure.

Adam Page defeats Adam Pearce at 8:00. Page has Jimmy Jacobs, BJ Whitmer, and TaDarius Thomas with him, as this is the second night of Pearce trying to teach the Decade’s young boys some respect. When Page accepts the pre-match handshake Pearce smacks him in the mouth. Pearce uses his veteran wiles in the early going and antagonizes the crowd quite a bit. Page shows some good fire but gets overwhelmed by the tactics of the Scrap Daddy. When Pearce goes for the Piledriver, Page is able to cradle the legs and score the pin. The match was decent but in this case it’s more important to be an effective story, and in this case it certainly was, so that’s a success. After the match Pearce goes for another handshake and Page accepts again, only to get slapped in the face. Jacobs chastises Page for being stupid, even though he won the match.
Rating: **¼

AJ Styles defeats Cedric Alexander at 17:24. Styles is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but that title is not on the line here. Even so, the Champ dominates most of the early portions of the match. Alexander shows great perseverance and is able to reverse the momentum and work Styles over for a bit. They continue to trade momentum back and forth, and Styles focuses on Alexander’s knee. Even so, Alexander is able to catch Styles with the Lumbar Check but he’s too injured to capitalize. Moments later Styles traps Alexander in the Calf Killer to get the tap out victory. This was highly disappointing. They just did some moves back and forth and it never once appeared that Alexander was a threat, which hurt. The moves they did all looked good, there was nothing wrong there. These two are talented enough to still have a good match despite that, it just never had the sizzle of a semi-main event match.
Rating: ***

In an Eight Man Elimination Tag Team Match, The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) & ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) defeat Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) at 23:04. Fish and O’Reilly are the Tag Team Champions, but obviously this is a non-title match. As anyone would expect with this many talented grapplers in the match, the action is fast and furious here and coming from eight different directions. Referee Todd Sinclair has very little control for the duration of this match. The first elimination finally comes when Daniels and Kazarian hit O’Reilly with Celebrity Rehab and then Daniels hits the Best Moonsault Ever to get the pin and eliminate the Champions at 17:20. The Young Bucks are at quite a disadvantage now, but they quickly even the odds with a spiked tombstone Piledriver on Daniels to eliminate him and Kazarian at 18:51. Now we’re down to a rematch from last night, with the Briscoes and the Bucks going back and forth at a rapid pace. Nick and Matt Jackson are able to withstand some of the Briscoes’ big moves and they polish off Mark with More Bang for Your Buck to get the huge win. That was non-stop action from four great teams that whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Watching the Young Bucks do what they do is just an unfair amount of fun for wrestling fans.
Rating: ****

A2Z Analysiz
This is actually a step below the previous night’s show but it’s still quite solid from top to bottom. The ROH World Title match in the middle of the show is the clear highlight, but the main event was tons of fun and really good stuff too. I would have to consider both Death Before Dishonor shows this year a big success.
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Death Before Dishonor XII Night 1 (Michael Elgin, Silas Young) http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/23/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-xii-night-1-michael-elgin-silas-young/ http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/23/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-xii-night-1-michael-elgin-silas-young/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 13:00:42 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=5032427 4PAN1TDVDSLM

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

Turner Hall Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI – Friday, August 22, 2014

Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, and Caprice Coleman are on commentary.

In the opening match, Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian defeat The Kingdom (Adam Cole & Michael Bennett) (w/ Maria Kanellis) at 11:17. The crowd is heavily invested in this match from the get-go, reacting to everything The Addiction does. Daniels and Kazarian dominate the opening minutes so much that Maria has to interfere to turn it around. Cole and Bennett focus on Daniels, and after a few minutes Daniels is able to make a hot tag. The match breaks down and the crowd chants “this is awesome,” proving how overused that phrase is. I mean this is a good tag match and all, but do you want “this is awesome” to mean something or not people?? The finish comes when Celebrity Rehab on Bennett and that’s enough to get the pin. Good choice for an opener here, with a clearly hot crowd and well-worked tag team formula stuff.
Rating: ***¼

Adam Pearce defeats TaDarius Thomas at 6:30. Thomas has the entire Decade in his corner – Jimmy Jacobs, Roderick Strong, BJ Whitmer, and fellow young boy Adam Page. Pearce was brought in at the behest of the Decade to teach their young boy a lesson in respect. He pretty much dominates the majority of the match, but Thomas makes the token comeback. Thomas gets distracted by the Decade on the floor, and Pearce capitalizes with a low blow behind the referee’s back. Pearce then hits the Piledriver to get the pin. This was more of a TV match, but I do like that it served a purpose for the Decade and was a nice logical opportunity to see Pearce again.
Rating: **

Tommaso Ciampa defeats Jimmy Jacobs at 6:46. They segue nicely into the next match, and as Ciampa makes his entrance Jacobs wipes him out with a dive. They fight on the floor for quite a while and Ciampa destroys Jacobs while the crowd whips out their second “this is awesome” chant. They get back to the ring finally but I still never hear a bell ring. Jacobs fights back and tries to choke Ciampa out with the End Time, which Ciampa counters with a super Air Raid Crash. That’s quite an elaborate counter. Jacobs fights back and tries to use the microphone as a weapon but Ciampa hits him with a clothesline. When Jacobs tries a last-ditch Spear, Ciampa knees him right in the face. Ciampa gets on the mic and taunts Jacobs while delivering elbow strikes to the face. He then puts on the Sicilian Stretch and Jacobs taps out. Jacobs sure made Ciampa look like a million ROH bucks with this performance, which is exactly what Ciampa needed going into a match with ROH World Champion Michael Elgin the next night.
Rating: **½

AJ Styles defeats ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O’Reilly (w/ Bobby Fish) at 17:29. Styles is the current IWGP Champion, but the title is not on the line here. Both O’Reilly and Styles show off just how good they are in the early going, with Styles appearing to be a step ahead. Fish has to interfere multiple times to give O’Reilly control of the match. O’Reilly focuses on the arm and picks it apart expertly. Styles makes multiple attempts to hit the Styles Clash but to no avail. Those two strategies come to a head when O’Reilly has Styles locked in a Cross Armbreaker and Styles powers him into a Styles Clash! That was sweet. Moments later after more hard hitting action, Styles tries another Styles Clash and O’Reilly tries to block it, so Styles hits the Hollow Point and then the Styles Clash to get the pin. What a battle. This was an amazing match, with two absurdly talented men each working a logical strategy with a high degree of intensity. They hit hard and executed awesome counters on each other throughout the match. O’Reilly looked like an absolute star here, and they need to continue bringing him along and allowing him to perform at this level. He’s a future ROH World Champion for sure.
Rating: ****½

In a Six Man Mayhem Match, ACH defeats ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini), Adam Page, BJ Whitmer, ROH World Tag Team Champion Bobby Fish, and Cedric Alexander at 9:21. The action comes from all six men, as they all try to establish dominance in the early going. They continue the torrid pace with lots of flying around and this crowd continues to be awesome, popping for everything. ACH and Lethal are left alone, and ACH is able to block a Lethal Injection and land a snap German Suplex to score the upset pin and likely earn himself a TV Title shot. This was a really fun scramble match, with some different styles and a fun dynamic between Decade members Whitmer and Page. I didn’t expect much from this but look at them go.
Rating: ***

Hanson defeats Roderick Strong (w/ BJ Whitmer) at 11:09. This one starts off fast as well, with Hanson showing off his tremendous power. But this is hardly Strong’s first rodeo, and he’s able to fight back and slow Hanson down. BJ Whitmer and Adam Page make their way out to watch the match from ringside. Page tries to interfere but it backfires on both Strong and himself. Strong hits Death by Roderick but that’s not enough to get the win. Hanson looks to have Strong pinned after a cartwheel into a lariat but Page pulls the referee to the floor. With the referee out of it, Whitmer hits Hanson with an Exploder on the floor. Strong puts Hanson back in the ring and obliterates him with a Sick Kick but only gets two! Page hands Strong a chair, and Strong refuses to use it. That allows Hanson to hit the Spin Kick of Doom for the pin. I liked the exchanges between Hanson and Strong, and I get where they were going with the Decade stuff, but it really overwhelmed an otherwise entertaining and hard-hitting match.
Rating: **¾

The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) defeat The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) at 12:46. The Superkick Party begins about a minute into the match and the crowd loves it. Things settle back down a bit into the traditional tag match, but with these two high-octane teams the pace stays pretty quick as they trade momentum back and forth. Of course it doesn’t take long for the referee to lose all control and the action gets crazy and the crowd goes banana. Jay hits Matt with a Jay Driller and Matt actually kicks out! The Briscoes follow with the Doomsday Device and that’s enough to get the pin. It’s a pretty simple formula here – take two great teams and let them go nuts for 13 minutes, and then get a good review from the A2Z Analysiz. This was just non-stop crazy action with a hot crowd to match.
Rating: ****

ROH World Champion Michael Elgin defeats Silas Young at 21:24 to retain the title. Elgin has been the Champion since 6.22.14, and this is his sixth defense. Young has to insult his hometown crowd in an effort to get them to boo him for this match. This is a hard-hitting battle right from the get-go, with both men trying to show that they are the Alpha Male. The Champ shows off his impressive power every chance he gets. Young, being a smart competitor, goes to work on Elgin’s back in an attempt to neutralize that power. These two beat each other unmerciful in a very stiff contest. Young gets frustrated after not being able to pin the Champion with a Pee Gee Waja Plunge, so he sets up a table on the floor. He goes for a piledriver off the apron but Elgin blocks it. Elgin is able to hit a belly-to-belly suplex that sends Young over the top rope and crashing through his own table. Back in the ring Elgin pretty much brushes off going through a table, which is annoying. Elgin seems annoyed with this as well, so he hits a back fist, Buckle Bomb, and the Elgin Bomb to get the pin. I was really digging on this power matchup, even though Young obviously never had a shot of winning the title, but then they did a table bump as a transition instead of a big spot and they lost me a little bit. It was still a good battle, and these two have always had good chemistry together so it was still enjoyable, they just really should have made the table spot a bigger deal.
Rating: ***¼

A2Z Analysiz
This is a really good show, with two four star matches and three more at three stars or higher. The ones that didn’t hit that mark were not terrible or served a purpose, so this is up and down a very solid show with a few obvious standouts. Go out of your way to see AJ Styles v Kyle O’Reilly for sure, and the rest of the show should keep you entertained as well.
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Death Before Dishonor XI (Adam Cole, Michael Elgin) http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/22/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-xi-adam-cole-michael-elgin/ http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/22/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-xi-adam-cole-michael-elgin/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 13:00:56 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169259 DBD11

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

Pennsylvania National Guard Armory – Philadelphia, PA – Friday, September 20, 2013

Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness, and Maria Kanellis are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young

They go back and forth with some aggressive chain wrestling in the early going. Lethal hits a leg lariat and a dropkick for a two-count. Young takes a powder and Lethal tries to dive out on him but Young avoids it and unloads with some strikes. Lethal comes back with the hiptoss/dropkick combo and that sends Young to the floor again. This time Lethal is able to hit the suicide dive, and he follows with another one, a springboard dropkick to knock Young off the apron, and then another suicide dive. Back in the ring Lethal tries a sunset flip but Young uses the referee for leverage to block it. Young takes control now and begins the beat down. It doesn’t last long and Lethal is right back on offense, hitting the Lethal Combination for two. Lethal goes up top and Young joins him, only to get knocked back to the mat. Young rolls out of the way so Lethal can’t hit Hail to the King. Lethal comes down and Young catches a quick rollup for two. Young hits the backbreaker/clothesline combo for a near-fall. He goes for the Finlay Roll but Lethal counters it and tries the Lethal Injection but Young catches him in a German Suplex for a two-count. Young hits the Finlay Roll this time but misses the Pee Gee Waja Plunge. Lethal then hits the Lethal Injection to get the pin at 9:31. That was a rock solid opener and a good showcase for two men at very different levels in Ring of Honor. Young looked good in the loss but Lethal needed the win there.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: ROH World Championship Tournament Semi-Finals Match #1 – Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Cole

Ciampa beat Silas Young and Michael Bennett to get here, while Cole got by Mark Briscoe and Jay Lethal. As soon as the bell rings Ciampa goes crazy, tearing into Cole and stomping him down in the corner. Cole fights back and kicks Ciampa to the floor. He connects on a suicide dive. Ciampa picks Cole up and rams him into the barricade. He hits a couple of running knees, then powerbombs Cole into the barricade, and then hits one more running knee. Ciampa pulls up the ringside mat and hits a suplex. Back in the ring Ciampa covers for two. Cole fights back with a low dropkick and a shining wizard for a two-count. Ciampa tries to fire back but Cole catches him with a slingshot DDT right on the ring apron. Ouch. Back in the ring Cole covers for a two-count. Cole goes for the Florida Key again but Ciampa blocks it and hits a Burning Hammer for a near-fall. Ciampa hits a series of running knees in the corner and hits a Kryptonite Krunch for two. They go back up the ropes and this time Cole is able to slip out and superkick Ciampa right in the knee. Cole is like a shark smelling blood, and he quickly locks on the ring post Figure-Four Leglock. Back in the ring Cole puts on the traditional Figure-Four Leglock and Ciampa is struggling. Ciampa turns it over and Cole reaches the ropes to break the hold. Both men rise and trade strikes. Cole goes low again and hits a running knee to the face for a near-fall. Ciampa tries to power up and finally levels Cole with a lariat. He hits Project Ciampa but that further injures his weakened knee, and it probably didn’t have full effectiveness because Cole kicks out at two. Cole hits the vertical suplex into a neckbreaker and then reapplies the Figure-Four Leglock. He adds kicks to the face and Ciampa is out for the pin at 13:50. That was a hell of a match, with both men throwing everything they had at one another, and Cole just kicking Ciampa so hard in the face he knocked him out. That’s a good, unique finish and makes Cole look super strong heading into the finals against the winner of the next match. Cole viciously attacked the knee, which both works to help his finisher and hurt Ciampa’s, so it was just great strategy and good stuff all around.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #3: ROH World Championship Tournament Semi-Finals Match #2 – “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Kevin Steen

Elgin defeated Paul London and Karl Anderson to advance, and Steen beat Brian Kendrick and Roderick Strong. These two had an incredible match back at Glory By Honor XI: The Unbreakable Hope. They are aggressive but cautious with each other in the early going, and both try a quick finisher but neither can hit it. The back and forth continues, and Elgin hits a springboard moonsault from the second rope of all things for a two-count. Steen tries to fight back but Elgin catches him in a Boss Man Slam, sending Steen to the floor for a breather. Elgin will give him no such thing, chasing Steen back to the ring. They fight on the apron and Steen hits a Rope-hung DDT for two. Steen goes up top and hits a nice cross body block for two. Elgin fights back and they run into each other, both going down. Back on their feet Elgin catches Steen with a lariat but can’t make the cover right away so Steen kicks out. Elgin delivers more clotheslines. A series of reversals ends with Elgin throwing Steen shoulder-first into the ring post. Elgin goes for the Crossface (smart) but Steen quickly gets to the ropes (also smart). Steen goes to the apron and Elgin goes for the dead lift German Suplex. Elgin gets knocked back and Steen hits the Swanton for a two-count. More reversals ends with Elgin hitting an STJoe. Elgin goes up top for the corkscrew senton but Steen gets his knees up. Steen hits the F-Cinq but Elgin kicks out! Steen goes for the Cannonball but Elgin moves out of the way. Elgin hits the dead lift German Suplex for two, and then immediately puts on the Crossface! Once again Steen is able to make the ropes. They trade strikes and Steen lands the pop-up powerbomb. More reversals ends with Elgin hitting a powerbomb. Elgin hits the Buckle Bomb and goes for the Elgin Bomb but Steen sweeps the legs and puts on the Sharpshooter! Steen can’t keep the hold on, but both men are hurtin’ for certain. Elgin puts on the Crossface again but Steen escapes out. Steen flattens Elgin with a lariat and then lands the Sleeper Suplex for a near-fall. He goes for the Package Piledriver but his injured arm prevents him from completing it. Steen instead goes back to the Sleeper Suplex, hitting two more. Elgin pops up and hits a lariat and both men are down. Steen tries the Package Piledriver one more time but Elgin awesomely counters into the Crossface and Steen taps out at 19:23! What a battle between two agile heavyweights. Of course this wasn’t the classic their previous match was, but these two did a great job with counters and reversals, and the psychology of Elgin targeting the arm and continuing to use the Crossface to get the tap out win was sound. Awesome stuff here, as these two are just well matched opponents with great chemistry.
Rating: ****

MATCH #4: IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship – Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov) vs. American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)

The Hooligans have been the champions since 5.3.13, and this is their third defense. Edwards and Romero start the match. These teams know each other well from their recent battles, as well as the fact that Richards and Romero are former ROH World Tag Team Champions when they were members of the No Remorse Corps. Richards and Koslov tag in for some more back and forth. More tags are made and momentum shifts back and forth between the two teams as they try to set the pace and establish dominance. The Wolves are able to send the Hooligans to the floor and take them out with stereo dives. That gives the Wolves an advantage and they isolate Romero in their half of the ring. It doesn’t take long for the Hooligans to fight back and go to work on Edwards. When Richards tries to make the save the Hooligans lock on simultaneous submission holds. Romero and Koslov are working like a well-oiled machine here. Edwards is able to catch Romero with an enziguiri and the Chin Checker to gain a reprieve. Richards gets the tag and he’s a house afire, drilling Romero with a missile dropkick. More kicks are unleashed and Romero is worn out. Koslov comes in to the rescue and the referee loses all control of the match. Some miscommunication between the Wolves allows the Hooligans to isolate and double-team Richards. The chaos continues and the tag rules have gone out the window. The Wolves hit back-to-back double stoms on Koslov but it’s not enough to put him away. They try the super double lungblower but Koslov avoids it. Romero takes Richards off the top rope with a rana and Koslov follows with a shooting star press! Edwards has to break up the pin. Romero sends Edwards back to the floor. Koslov picks Richards up in a torture rack and Romero flies off the top rope with a knee strike to the head and the Hooligans retain at 19:43. That was exactly the type of non-stop action you’d expect from these teams, and they went all out as usual. There wasn’t a lot of rhyme or reason to what they did, but they sure did a lot of stuff and it was never boring.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #5: Adam Page vs. R.D. Evans

Evans has Veda Scott in his corner. He was not scheduled for a match, but he has made his way out right after intermission so let’s see what happens here. They complain about the way Evans has been treated, and say they’re going to stage a sit-in. Adam Page makes his way out and issues a challenge that Evans accepts. Evans tries to attack before the bell but Page is ready for him. Page throws Evans around until Evans delivers a knee to the gut. Veda gives Evans Page’s hat, and hilarity ensues. Page takes offense and hits a powerslam and the Fade to Black to get the pin at 1:51. That was a match that happened.
Rating: ½*

MATCH #6: Special Attraction – Roderick Strong vs. Ricky Marvin

This should be a spiffy little match. They go back and forth at a fast pace and Marvin sends Strong to the floor with a headscissors. Marvin follows him out and hits another headscissors just for fun. Back in the ring they start to trade chops and Strong wins that battle. Strong hits his first backbreaker for a two-count. Marvin fights back with a flurry of offense and quickens the pace. He sends Strong to the floor and wipes him out with a cross body block from the top rope. Back in the ring Marvin runs along the top rope and takes Strong out with a dropkick. That gets a two-count. Strong comes back with an Olympic Slam for two. Strong keeps up the pressure and goes for multiple pin covers but Marvin keeps kicking out. They trade some strikes and knock each other down. Back on their feet they trade more strikes and Marvin hits a Roll of the Dice for a near-fall. Marvin goes up top and Strong joins him, bringing Marvin down with a superplex for two. Marvin comes back with a reverse rana and a clothesline for a two-count. He follows with the Snow Plow for another near-fall. Marvin goes up top for a double stomp but he misses. Strong hits a knee strike, gutbuster, and the Sick Kick for a near-fall. He follows with the Gibson Driver to get the pin at 12:02. Marvin definitely didn’t kick out after the Sick Kick, so I’m not sure why Strong picked him up for the last move. That was a nice taste of something different to see Ricky Marvin in ROH, but the match wasn’t particularly memorable. It was a solid exhibition and a good win for Strong though, and I do like my ROH cards with variety so it’s still a plus.
Rating: ***

In Ring Interview w/ “Buzzsaw” BJ Whitmer

At All-Star Extravaganza V in Toronto, BJ Whitmer received a piledriver on the ring apron from Michael Bennett and suffered a severe injury. He’s here tonight to provide an update on his condition. Whitmer thanks his trainer Les Thatcher, Gabe Sapolsky, Cary Silkin, and all the boys in the back. He also thanks the fans for their support. Whitmer says his in-ring career is over and the crowd chants “Thank You BJ!” He has one last matter of business though, and he calls out Jimmy Jacobs. Whitmer puts over his history with Jacobs and calls him a great friend. He wants Nigel McGuinness to give Jacobs a chance to earn his job back. Nigel is surprised but agrees to give Jacobs an opportunity. Whitmer and Jacobs hug and then Jacobs leaves Whitmer alone in the ring to soak in the adulation from the crowd. Very classy segment.

MATCH #7: 8 Man Tag Team Match – ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon, ROH World TV Champion Matt Taven & Michael Bennett w/ Truth Martini, Maria Kanellis & The Hoopla Hotties vs. C&C Wrestle Factory and Adrenaline RUSH

reDRagon is Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, C&C Wrestle Factory is Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman, and Adrenaline RUSH is ACH and TaDarius Thomas. Maria replaces Nigel McGuinness on commentary for this match. I expect this one is going to get crazy. Fish and Alexander start the match, but Fish tags Taven before any contact is made. For some reason Fish wants to get on commentary. The pace gets fast right away and the C&C RUSH team takes the first advantage. Things get way out of hand and it’s really hard to keep up with al the offense and all the tags going on. The team of Champions + Bennett take over with some dirty tactics and they focus on ACH. Fish keeps avoiding in-ring action to go on commentary, and Maria yells at him. Maria is pretty annoying on commentary, and Fish continuing to go out there is just distracting. Things break down and get crazy and when team C&C RUSH send their opponents to the floor and go for dives, Maria and the Hotties grab their legs. That allows reDRagon, Bennett, and Taven to roll up all four men at the same time but no pins are recorded. Offense is coming from every angle and it’s very hard to keep up with. Alexander and Coleman are able to trap O’Reilly in the ring and hit Overtime to get the pin at 12:25. That was absolute madness and very hard to keep up with. There were 14 people involved in that match if you count the referee, which is a lot. But they made the most of having that many people out there and obviously kept the crowd into it with non-stop action.
Rating: ***

After the match, Outlaw Inc. (Homicide and Eddie Kingston) come out and run everybody off. Kingston cuts a promo making it known that they are coming after reDRagon and the ROH Tag Team Titles.

MATCH #8: Main Event – ROH World Championship Tournament Finals – Adam Cole vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin

The title has been vacant since 7.3.13, and this match will rectify that. To recap, Cole beat Mark Briscoe, Jay Lethal, and Tommaso Ciampa to get here, while Elgin beat Paul London, Karl Anderson, and Kevin Steen. Former ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness gets in the ring to announce that there will be three judges in the event that this match goes to a draw. The judges are ROH Ambassador Cary Silkin, ROH CEO Joe Koff, and Prince Nana. McGuinness then rejoins Kelly on commentary.

Elgin overpowers Cole in the early going and Cole takes a powder. Back in the ring Elgin hits a nice powerslam for two. Cole gets sent back to the floor as Elgin is going to want to end this one early if he can due to the beating he took during the semifinals. Elgin fights hard, but Cole keeps him grounded and focuses on the neck just like Steen did. Cole keeps the pressure on but Elgin is able to catch him in an STJoe, which gives him a chance for a breather. A Boss Man Slam gets two for Elgin, and he tries to follow with the Dead Lift German Suplex. Cole blocks it and hits an enziguiri and a Shining Wizard for a two-count. He tries the Figure-Four Leglock but Elgin kicks him to the floor. Elgin pulls Cole back into the ring via a German Suplex for two. He hangs on and hits another one for a near-fall. Elgin delivers a German Suplex into the buckles, but Cole responds with a Death Valley Neckbreaker for a two-count. Momentum continues to shift as both men are looking quite worn down. Elgin gets a burst of energy and beheads Cole with a series of lariats but can’t put him away. They fight up on the top rope and Cole hits a Sunset Bomb and another Shining Wizard for two. Cole picks Elgin up but it’s Elgin who’s able to pick Cole up in a suplex that he turns into a sidewalk slam for a near-fall. Elgin is able to dropkick Cole on the apron, and this time he’s able to execute the deadlift, but he makes it even cooler by doing a Falcon Arrow for a two-count. He hits a Buckle Bomb, Cole responds with a Mafia Kick, and Elgin back fists him to the floor. Elgin goes to the floor and sets up a table, and he tires to powerbomb Cole from the apron through the table. He goes for a back suplex instead and Cole changes the momentum to send Elgin crashing through the table first. Cole gets back in the ring and hopes for a countout but Elgin just makes it back in. The fired up Cole hits a superkick and the Florida Key but Elgin kicks out! Cole goes for a superplex but Elgin brings him down with a super powerbomb! Elgin hits a Buckle Bomb but Cole jackknife cradles him for two. A series of reversals ends with Elgin landing several hard strikes and another Buckle Bomb. He goes for the Elgin Bomb and Cole’s feet knock referee Todd Sinclair out of position so he can’t count the pinfall. Cole wisely rolls to the floor Getting back to the ring Cole catches Elgin with a dropkick to the knee that ties Elgin’s limb up in the ropes. Cole puts on the Figure-Four Leglock and Elgin is able to make the ropes. Elgin rolls to the apron and Cole springboards over and slams his face on the apron. Cole hits a Brainbusters on the floor and rolls Elgin back in the ring for two. He hits the Panama Destroyer and Elgin kicks out! Cole is furious and almost gets himself disqualified. He tries another Panama Destroyer but Elgin counters and puts on the Crossface! Cole escapes and lands a succession of kicks. He hits two release German Suplexes and then the Florida Key to get the pin at 26:30! Adam Cole is the nineteenth ROH World Champion! That felt a little bit long and seemed to take a while to get going, but the last half or so was great stuff and Cole looks great in going over clean like that. Cole continuously attacked the neck and won with a move that targets the neck, simple but good. Elgin looks good in losing here after the beating he took from Steen, and two top guys forever now exist after this match.
Rating: ***¾

Former ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe makes his way down with the ROH World Title belt, and hands the belt over to Cole and shakes his hand. As soon as Jay turns around, Cole blasts him with a superkick to the back fo the head! Cole then hits Elgin with the title belt and stands tall.
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A2Z Analysiz – ROH Death Before Dishonor X: State of Emergency (Kevin Steen, RHINO) http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/21/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-x-state-of-emergency-kevin-steen-rhino-2/ http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/21/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-x-state-of-emergency-kevin-steen-rhino-2/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 13:00:03 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168744 deathbeforedishonorxdvdfinal

For an easy-to-search archive of all my ROH DVD reviews, Click Right Here!

Frontier Fieldhouse – Chicago Ridge, Illinois – September 15, 2012

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary.

MATCH #1: ROH World Tag Team Tournament Semi Finals Number One – Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs)

Coleman and Alexander beat the Young Bucks in the first round, while Corino and Jacobs got by the Bravado Brothers. Corino and Jacobs added the stipulation that if they don’t win the tournament they will leave Ring of Honor, effectively giving away the end result in the process.

Jacobs and Alexander start the match and both men go for quick pinning combinations to try and steal an early pinfall. Tags are made. Corino and Coleman also try some pins right off the bat. Everything looks pretty choreographed in the early going. The battle spills to the floor and Alexander wipes out both Corino and Jacobs with a dive. Back in the ring Coleman hits Corino with a high cross body off the top rope for two. That seems to indicate they are the legal men. C&C hit Jacobs with their unique version of the Hart Attack. While the referee shoos Alexander out of the ring, Jacobs low bridges Coleman, causing him to tumble to the floor. Jacobs follows him down with a Cactus Jack Elbow. Now Jacobs and Corino are in complete control. After a few minutes Coleman is able to hit Corino with a swinging DDT and make the tag. Alexander is a house afire. He hits Trouble in Paradise for a two-count. Corino cuts Alexander off with a leg lariat. Jacobs tags in and goes to work on Alexander. Coleman is able to tag in and hit Jacobs with a dropkick. Neither team can maintain momentum for very long. Coleman hits three rolling Northern Lights suplexes for a near-fall. He follows with a spinebuster and then locks on a Stump Puller. Corino breaks that up. He tags in and hits Colby Shock for a two-count. A lariat gets another near-fall. Coleman hits an almost Sling Blade for two. Alexander comes in and knocks Jacobs off the apron. C&C hit Total Elimination for a two-count. Alexander hits a full-nelson face slam and Coleman follows with a guillotine legdrop to the back of the head. Jacobs breaks up that cover. The referee has lost control as all four men are in the ring. Corino pitches Alexander to the floor. Jacobs hits Coleman with the leaping Ace Crusher off the second rope and Corino follows with the Eternal Dream for two. Alexander comes back in to break up the Contra Code. He then takes it to Corino but runs into a Spear form Jacobs on the apron. Meanwhile Coleman hits Corino with a Clawhold STO. Coleman tries an O’Connor Roll but Corino kicks off. Jacobs throws a chair right into Coleman’s face. Corino then hits a Back Drop Driver with a cradle to get the pin and advance to the finals at 12:16. The opening section of the match looked very choreographed and they just never established any kind of internal story to the match. I expected more from these four.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #2: Survival of the Fittest Qualifier – Silas Young vs. TaDarius Thomas

I really like Young and Thomas impressed me at Brew City Beatdown (as did Young). They go back and forth a bit in the early going and try to impress the crowd. Thomas kicks Young in the head, sending him to the floor. He joins Young on the floor (very creatively), but ends up getting shoved into a photographer. Young throws Thomas back in the ring for a two-count. He tries to capitalize but Thomas catches him in a sleeper on the apron. Thomas breaks the hold and hits a springboard cross body block but Young rolls through and hits a vicious backbreaker for a two-count. Young tries punches but apparently Thomas’ head is too hard. Thomas takes Young down with a leg sweep and then hits Sling Blade for two. He uses a lot of cartwheels in his offense. Young comes back and hits the backbreaker/clothesline combo for two. Thomas hits a swinging Fisherman Buster for a two-count. Young catches a jawbreaker and goes for the Finlay Roll but Thomas slips out. On the second attempt Young hits the Finlay Roll and goes for the Pee Gee Waja Plunge but misses. Thomas lands a knockout kick to get the win at 6:27. I thought that would go longer and Young would win. Shows what I know. Match was decent for the time it got.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Kyle O’Reilly vs. ACH

They take it down to the mat and trade holds. I wonder how many times in my ROH reviewing career I have typed that sentence to start a match review. They wrestle to a standoff, and I again wonder how many times I’ve typed that sentence in an ROH review. O’Reilly catches ACH in a back drop driver. ACH responds with an Axe Kick and the battle spills to the floor, where ACH hits a moonsault off the middle rope. He even lands on his feet. O’Reilly reverses a whip and sends ACH into the barricade. He then hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Back in the ring O’Reilly gets two. O’Reilly does his best to keep ACH on the ground, which is smart with someone that agile. Every time ACH tries to mount a comeback O’Reilly cuts him off with a hard strike of some sort. Finally ACH is able to put together some offense, including a rana off the second rope. He hits a kick to the face and a springboard Ace Crusher for a two-count. O’Reilly fights back and they exchange strikes and blocks. ACH hits a big tornado DDT for a near-fall. He follows with a DDT into the turnbuckles (awesome). ACH tries a second rope 450 but O’Reilly gets his knees up. O’Reilly then locks in a triangle choke to get the tap out at 9:54. ACH made a tremendous showing and I hope he comes back. O’Reilly has been on a nice role lately and I’m enjoying his ascension up the card. They should do a rematch down the line with these two.
Rating: ***

MATCH #4: ROH World Tag Team Tournament Semi Finals Number Two – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Rhett Titus & Charlie Haas w/ Shelton Benjamin

The Briscoes beat BLKOUT (Ruckus & Sabian) in the first round, while the makeshift team of Titus and Haas defeated the Guardians of Truth (the Headbangers). Titus and Jay start the match. Jay gets the first advantage and works Titus over. Mark tags in and does the same. Titus comes back with a nice dropkick. Haas tags himself in and gets a little bit of offense in but then gloats about it and pays for it. The fight spills to the floor and while Titus and Benjamin argue, Haas drops Jay back-first on the barricade. Back in the ring Haas goes to work and I’m bored. Jay comes back with the Flatliner into the buckles and makes the tag. Mark is on fire with his Redneck Kung Fu. He hits the Iconoclasm and goes up top to hit the Froggy ‘Bow for a near-fall when Benjamin puts Haas’ leg on the bottom rope. Titus tags himself back in and levels Mark with a huge clothesline for two. Mark comes back with a rolling Death Valley Driver. The Briscoes follow with a double-team neckbreaker for a near-fall. They set up for the Doomsday Device but Haas makes it back in to break that up. Titus then traps Jay in a cradle for the upset pin at 10:47. That was a standard Briscoes match but it was sort of interesting to see the Haas and Titus dynamic.
Rating: **½

Davey Richards Returns

Kevin Kelly gets in the ring to interview the American Wolf. Richards almost starts crying before he even says anything. Wuss. Richards says he has no home and his family is dead, but it’s okay because the ROH ring is his home and the fans are his family. Barf. Richards says that outside the ring he’s been a real jerk the last year. He says that starting tonight the Wolf is back. Didn’t he cut this same promo last week in Charlotte? Richards says he is entering Survival of the Fittest to face Mike Bennett.

MATCH #5: Jay Lethal vs. “Notorious 187″ Homicide

They show a recap of Jay Lethal’s new attitude in his quest to take the ROH World Title from Kevin Steen. Lethal and Homicide try to out-muscle each other in the early going. Homicide sends Lethal to the floor and teases the Tope Con Hilo but decides against it. He goes outside anyway but Lethal grabs him and rams him back-first into the ring post. Lethal then wipes Homicide out with a suicide dive. He whips Homicide into the barricades repeatedly. Back in the ring Lethal keeps up the pressure. Homicide avoids a charge in the corner and dumps Lethal back to the floor. The Notorious 187 starts collecting weapons and throwing them into the ring. Homicide tries to suplex Lethal over the ropes and through a table, and then switches it up to try a piledriver but Lethal blocks it. Back to the ring both men go for a cross body and they collide in mid-air. Back on their feet Homicide hits a sloppy tornado DDT for two. They trade reversals and Lethal hits the Dragon Suplex for a two-count. That used to be the Lethal Injection I think. Homicide comes back with a knee to the back of the head off the second rope for a two-count. Lethal hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and goes up top but Homicide knocks him down. Homicide tries a super Ace Crusher but Lethal slips out and hits a Death Valley Driver for two. Lethal comes off the ropes and Homicide grabs him in a belly-to-belly suplex. Homicide hits a Lariat for two. He follows with the Ace Crusher. Lethal responds with a superkick and a running vertical suplex. He goes up top and hits Hail to the King. Lethal doesn’t cover, instead hitting the Lethal Combination first. He covers but only gets two. Lethal hits it again but still can only get a two-count. He hits a superkick and a Fisherman Buster for two! Homicide gets right up in Lethal’s face and gets dropped right on his head with a capture DDT and Lethal finally gets the pin at 14:33. I appreciate the story in this match and how they built toward Lethal’s upcoming title shot. Used sparingly, Homicide can still be effective, which proves me wrong.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #6: Tag Team Challenge – House of Truth (Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin) w/ Truth Martini vs. Irish Airborne (Jake & Dave Crist)

Truth Martini’s hair is truly ridiculous here. He cuts a promo about how everything is cool in the House of Truth, and there is no dissension between Strong and Elgin. Jake and Dave Crist are making their first appearance in ROH since 2009, I believe. Strong and Jake start the match. They go back and forth a bit in the early going, with Strong using his strength and Jake using his speed. Dave comes in and does the same. Irish Airborne are looking good in the early going here. Elgin tags in and immediately starts displaying his freakish strength. The Crist brothers have to team up to take Elgin down. Elgin fights back with his power. He goes to make a tag but Strong hops down off the apron to avoid getting tagged in. That’s just rude. Irish Airborne double-team Elgin so he tries to make another tag but again Strong isn’t there for him. This time Elgin calls Strong on it and they argue on the floor. Jake tries a dive but Elgin catches him. Dave follows with a dive to take Elgin out. Back in the ring Jake covers for two. Elgin is able to pick up both Crist brothers for a simultaneous Samoan Drop and fallaway slam. That gets a two-count. Strong begs for the tag now but Elgin won’t give it to him! Elgin hits Dave with a huge Buckle Bomb and then the Spiral Bomb. He hits one on Jake as well, just as Strong blind tags himself in. Dave is still legal so Strong covers him and steals the pin at 8:46! I love that finish. Kevin Ford tells me that Irish Airborne have gotten really good since we last saw them in ROH, but this match did nothing to prove that. Instead, this match was all about the tension between Strong and Elgin and it did a good job of that, but they could have been facing any team out there.
Rating: **¼

Before the next match, Nigel McGuinness gets in the ring and brings out Matt Hardy. McGuinness asks Hardy what his plans are. Hardy says it’s an honor to be here and he’s having fun. He says he is specifically here to see the Television Title match. Hardy will join Kelly and McGuinness on commentary.

MATCH #7: ROH World TV Championship – Adam Cole vs. “No Fear” Mike Mondo

Cole has been the Champion since 6.29.12, and this is his second defense. Mondo challenges Cole to make this a no-countout, no time limit match. Cole readily accepts. They lock up intensely to start, even rolling out of the ring but staying locked in. Back in the ring they chain wrestle. Cole knocks Mondo to the floor with a shoulderblock. He goes for a dive but Mondo gets right back in the ring and gets in Cole’s face. They take it down to the mat again. Mondo dumps Cole to the floor and tries to follow him out but Cole kicks him in the leg. That was neat. Back in the ring Cole goes to work on the injured limb. Mondo fights back and goes after the arm. Cole recovers and forces Mondo to the floor, and then wipes him out with a dive. He hurls Mondo into the barricade a couple of times. Mondo reverses a whip and sends Cole into the barricade. He goes for a double-arm DDT but Cole fights out and hits a reverse German Suplex! Cole tries another whip into the barricade but Mondo reverses it. Way to sell that German Suplex on the floor Mike. Douchebag. Mondo crawls under the ring and comes out the other side to take Cole out with a running shoulder tackle. Back in the ring they trade punches and try to go for the epic feel. Cole lands a solid right hand for a two-count. He goes for the Figure-Four Leglock but Mondo kicks him of. Cole instead hits a superkick and a German Suplex into the buckles for a two-count. Mondo comes back with a DDT for two. He sets up to stomp Cole’s head in but hesitates. Mondo goes up top and misses a knee. Cole tries a superkick and Mondo ducks, but that allows Cole to lock on the Figure-Four Leglock. Mondo reverses the hold but Cole reverses it back for the win at 19:29. They were trying to make this a big epic match but it just felt forced. Also, Mondo sucks and his character is undefined; is he a heel or a face? If you’re not going to sell a release German Suplex on the floor, why do it?
Rating: **½

Matt Hardy gets in the ring and shakes both men’s hand. He says that Cole gets compared to him a lot, but that he was better than Cole at his age, and is much better than him now. Hardy then walks off.

MATCH #8: ROH World Tag Team Tournament Finals – S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Rhett Titus & Charlie Haas w/ Shelton Benjamin

The titles have been vacant since 7.10.12, when Kenny King split for TNA. Haas and Corino start the match. They stall a bit in the early going, because they’re veterans and they know how to work. Jacobs even falls asleep so Haas tags out. Corino goes to work on Titus’ arm, and Titus responds in kind. Jacobs tags in and Titus takes control of him too. I don’t understand why Jacobs wears that dress when he wrestles now, it seems very restrictive. Even so, he and Corino are able to cut Titus off and isolate him in their half of the ring. Haas takes a cheap shot on Jacobs and then tags himself in, much to Titus’ chagrin. He throws Jacobs around a bit but then Corino goes tit for tat with a cheap shot and Jacobs lands an Ace Crusher. Corino tags in and takes it to Haas. Jacobs and Corino try to double-team but Haas escapes and Titus tags in. Corino grabs Titus with the Colby Shock to cut him off. Jacobs crushes Titus with a senton bomb and Haas breaks up the cover. Titus fights back and decides not to tag Haas, which may come back to bite him. He hits Jacobs with the Muff Driver for two. Haas comes in and dumps Corino the floor and hits Jacobs with the Angle Slam. Corino breaks that up. The referee has lost control with all four men in the ring. Referee Paul Turner tries to get Haas and Corino out of the ring so Jacobs tries to use the spike. Titus blocks it and the spike goes flying. Titus and Jacobs collide and both men are down. Benjamin sneaks in the ring and drills Jacobs with a superkick. He tells Titus to cover but Titus doesn’t want Benjamin telling him what to do. Benjamin then decides to hit Titus with Paydirt and Jacobs has no problem making the cover and scoring the pin at 12:25. I’m not against the idea of that finish, but Turner took forever in the corner with Corino and Haas and it just seemed too put on. The dynamic of the match was a little strange too, with three heels and the crowd was kind of dead because of it.
Rating: **

Titus gets into an argument with both Haas and Benjamin after the match, and he receives a two-on-one beatdown for it.

MATCH #9: ROH World Championship – Kevin Steen vs. “Man Beast” RHINO w/ Truth Martini

Steen has been the Champion since 5.12.12, and this is his eighth defense. Of course, before the match can start, Jim Cornette has to come down and cut a promo. He takes forever to make this match an Anything Goes match. Neither Steen nor RHINO has a problem with this development and they take it to each other. The fight spills to the floor almost immediately and the momentum shifts back and forth. They battle around ringside, and RHINO hits a hard vertical suplex. RHINO tries a whip into the barricade but Steen reverses it. Steen whips RHINO into the barricade again and then they go back into the ring. RHINO hits a spinebuster for two. He keeps up the pressure and hits a belly-to-belly suplex for another two-count. Steen comes back by kicking the middle rope into RHINO’s groin and hitting the Orton DDT. He follows up with the Cannonball for a two-count. They go back to the floor and Steen throws RHINO around. Steen throws a table in the ring as Martini tries to distract him but it doesn’t work. Martini tries to hit him with The Book of Truth but Steen catches him. Steen goes for a superkick but Martini pulls Veda Scott in the way! Martini then connects with the Book and puts Steen on the table between the ring and the barricade. RHINO hits a house show dive to break the table, and back in the ring covers for a two-count. He cracks Steen with a chair and gets two again. Steen comes back and throws RHINO into a chair wedged between the buckles and rolls him up for two. He goes up top and hits a Swanton Bomb for a near-fall. Steen hits RHINO with a chair again and goes up top. RHINO stops him and hits a superplex onto the chair. That only gets two. Martini gives RHINO another table and RHINO sets it up in the corner. Steve Corino comes into the ring to try and reason with his former ECW protege. RHINO doesn’t want to hear it, and hits Corino, an interfering Jimmy Jacobs, and referee Todd Sinclair with Gores! Steen hits RHINO with a Gore of his own and gets a near-fall from new referee Paul Turner. The champ hits RHINO with the F-Cinq but can’t but the challenger away. Martini gets in the ring to interfere and takes a Package Piledriver for his troubles. Roderick Strong tries to interfere but gets dumped to the floor. RHINO hits another spinebuster. He tries a Gore but Steen kicks him in the face. RHINO tries once again but misses and hits nothing but table. Steen hits the F-Cinq once more to finally get the pin at 15:00. That was tremendous fun and a great way to cap off the show. Making it an Anything Goes match was definitely the right call.
Rating: ***¾

Michael Elgin comes down to point at the belt. He has a shot coming up at Glory By Honor XI in his home country of Canada. Elgin goes for the powerbomb but Corino breaks it up by using Strong as a battering ram. The idiot announcers can’t figure out how it happened but it was plain as day. Elgin is mad at Strong and delivers the Spiral Bomb for fun.
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Death Before Dishonor IX (Briscoe Brothers, All Night Express) http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/20/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-ix-briscoe-brothers-all-night-express-3/ http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/20/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-ix-briscoe-brothers-all-night-express-3/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 13:00:12 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=158681 deathbeforedishonorixdvd

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

Manhattan Center – New York City, New York – September 17, 2011

It’s a cold open to the arena for this very important iPPV event. Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Grudge Tag Team Match – Homicide & Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa & Rhino

Ciampa and Rhino weigh a combined 503 pounds. They are accompanied by Prince Nana, Mia Yim, R.D. Evans, and Ernesto Osiris. Homicide and Lethal weigh in at 433 pounds. Lethal is the current ROH Television Champion. Homicide and Lethal charge the ring and clear out the Embassy. Ciampa and Lethal start the match. They exchange holds a bit and Lethal takes the first advantage. Rhino tags in, and I wonder if he ever crossed paths with Lethal in TNA. They barely cross paths here, as Homicide quickly tags in. The Embassy tries to use their numbers game to put Homicide down but that’s not happening just yet. Lethal tags back in and Ciampa dropkicks him off the apron and into the barricade. The Embassy isolates Lethal in their half of the ring, keeping him away from Homicide. Rhino is in tremendous shape, by the way. He misses his first attempt at a Gore and Lethal lands a superkick so both men are down. Tags are made and Homicide goes right at Ciampa. Homicide knocks Rhino to the floor and takes him out with a Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring Ciampa takes Homicide down in the corner and hits a series of running knees to the face. Homicide responds with an Ace Crusher for two. Rhino comes back in the ring and Lethal takes him out with a hurricanrana. Homicide goes for the Gringo Killer but Ciampa counters to Project Ciampa to get the win at 10:15. That’s a solid opener, and I appreciate how Homicide has been putting Ciampa over so clean every time.
Rating: **¾

The Embassy continues the attack on Homicide after the bell until Lethal comes in swinging his TV Title belt to send them scurrying away.

MATCH #2: Special Challenge Match – Shelton Benjamin vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett

Bennett weighs in at 226 pounds and hails from Boston, Massachusetts. He is accompanied by his trainer “Brutal” Bob Evans. Benjamin weighs 248 pounds and is from Orangeburg, South Carolina. The crowd is openly hostile to Bennett before he even does anything, which I love. Bennett stalls a lot in the early going as Benjamin is the aggressor. Brutal Bob interferes to give Bennett the advantage, which is always my favorite part of any ROH DVD. Bennett focuses on the back as the crowd heckles him. Benjamin fights back with a neckbreaker and both men are down. Back up on their feet Benjamin is on fire, unleashing a flurry of offense. Benjamin hits the Samoan Drop for two. He hits a Sky-Hi Powerbomb for another two-count. Benjamin goes for Paydirt but Bennett counters with a backbreaker for two. Bennett goes up top (which is rare) and hits a missile dropkick for another two-count. He goes for the Box Office Smash but Benjamin counters with a rollup for two and then launches Bennett over his head with a release German Suplex for another two-count when Brutal Bob puts Bennett’s foot on the bottom rope. Benjamin chases Brutal Bob into the ring and hits both him and Bennett with a superkick. He then delivers Paydirt on Bennett to get the pin at 10:54. That was perfectly adequate and unexciting.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #3: Three Way Elimination Tag Team Match – Future Shock vs. The Young Bucks vs. The Bravado Brothers

One member from each team will be in the ring at all times, and a wrestler can only tag his own tag team partner. Eliminations are by pinfall or submission. The Bravado Brothers are a combined 408 pounds, and come to us from Draper, North Carolina. Future Shock weighs in at a combined 403 pounds. The Young Bucks are at 402 pounds, and hail from Los Angeles, California. The Bravados feign going for the handshake with Future Shock, but they just attack them instead. The Bucks object to this so the Bravados throw them to the floor. The action gets pretty fast pretty quickly, with bodies flying all over the place in and out of the ring. Referee Todd Sinclair actually gains control of the match, with Nick, O’Reilly, and Lancelot starting the match proper. The Bucks and the Shock work together on their annoying opponents. The Bravados get to show off their double-team arsenal, and it really is amazing how far they’ve come. That being said, Future Shock hits Harlem with the Ride the Lighting for the first elimination at 6:43. The Bucks and Shock tear into each other at a frenzied pace. Nick and Matt execute an awesome spiked Tombstone on Cole but O’Reilly breaks it up. O’Reilly dominates both Bucks and locks Nick in a Triangle Choke with elbow strikes, while Cole puts Matt in a guillotine choke. The four men collide and both holds are broken. Superkicks start getting thrown everywhere, but O’Reilly trumps everyone with a huge lariat and all four men are down. Back up on their feet, the Bucks are able to send O’Reilly to the floor and hit Cole with More Bang for Your Buck to get the win at 10:50. That was awesome in so many ways. I love the ROH Tag Team Division.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #4: One-On-One – El Generico vs. Jimmy Jacobs

Generico is at 196 pounds and is wrestling out of Tijuana, Mexico. Jacobs weighs in at 181 pounds and comes to us from Grand Rapids, Michigan. This was supposed to be Steve Corino facing Generico, but Corino was afraid that he might relapse at the sight of the Generic Luchadore, so his sponsor Jacobs is taking his place. They start off with some chain wresting, as Jacobs is eager to prove he is a changed man. Generico targets the back early on as Jacobs begs the crowd to get into it. Jacobs shrugs off a couple of chops and hits a couple of clotheslines and a neckbreaker. He low-bridges Generico to the floor, and then follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Jacobs hits a tornado vertical suplex for two. Generico fights back with the Blue Thunder Bomb for two. A Michinoku Driver also gets two. Generico hits a half nelson suplex and goes for the Ole Kick but Jacobs cuts him off with the End Time! Jacobs turns that into a rollup for two. He then hits the leaping Ace Crusher for another two-count. Generico is able to connect on his second Ole Kick attempt, and ten he goes for the Top-Rope Brainbuster but Jacobs fights his way out of it. He delivers a Spear on the ring apron and gets a two-count back in the ring. Jacobs goes up top and Generico cuts him off with another Ole Kick and once again goes for the Top-Rope Brainbuster, but Jacobs reverses it into an awesome super DDT. As both men are down, Kevin Steen comes running out from the crowd! I guess the match is a No Contest around 10:36 (no bell). Bummer that there was no real finish because the match was getting good.
Rating: ***

Steen starts cutting a promo but the mic gets cut off. Wrestlers come running out to try and get Steen to leave, and Jacobs comes after him! Steen grabs Jacobs and powerbombs him on the ring apron. Generico comes flying out of the ring to wipe out the security but not Steen. Now Steen is in the ring, fighting off security left and right. Cary Silkin gets in the ring to try and talk some sense into Steen, extending his hand. Steen shakes it, but then pulls him into position for the Package Piledriver! Security stops him before he can do it. Jim Cornette is out now and takes a swing at Steen. Security drags Steen out while Jacobs and Cornette argue at ringside. The crowd went nuts for all of this, and so did I. That was really awesome.

MATCH #5: Special Challenge Match – Charlie Haas vs. Michael Elgin

Elgin weighs 245 pounds and hails from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is accompanied by Truth Martini. Haas is also 245 pounds and comes from Dallas, Texas. His skullcap and necklace are so that you know he’s cool. Kevin Kelly tells us that Haas is missing his daughter’s third birthday to be here tonight. That just makes me sad. They quickly start in with the mat wrestling. Haas takes the first advantage and Martini quickly interferes to give Elgin the opening he needs to take control. Elgin hits a shoulder tackle off the top rope for two. He controls the action for a little bit until they clothesline each other and both men are down. They get up and trade punches. Haas wins that battle and then starts throwing suplexes. Elgin comes back from that with a series of clotheslines and strikes. Haas dropkicks Elgin to the floor but then gets whipped into the barricade. He comes right back from that with a back suplex onto the guardrail. Back in the ring Haas goes up top but Elgin meets him up there and delivers a superplex for two. Haas tries to fight up but Elgin cuts him off with an enziguiri for another two-count. Elgin goes up top but Haas springs to his feet and hits an overhead release German Superplex. Haas then takes Elgin’s head off with a lariat to get the pin at 12:42. That was proficient but dull.
Rating: **½

MATCH #6: Ringmaster’s Challenge – Roderick Strong vs. Eddie Edwards

The first fall can only be won by pinfall, the second fall only by submission, and if necessary the third fall will be a 15-minute Iron Man match. Also, the wrestlers get a 30-second rest period between falls. Strong weighs in at 200 pounds and is from Tampa, Florida. He is accompanied by Truth Martini. Edwards is 211 pounds and comes to us from Boston, Massachusetts. Having that little bit of Rocky dialogue before his music is exceptionally lame. I really enjoyed the matches between these two at Manhattan Mayhem IV and Supercard of Honor VI so I hope this one is as good. (24:49)

The crowd is a bit split, but Edwards is the slight favorite. They show off how well they know each other early on, and Strong takes the first powder. Back in the ring they trade pinning combinations for a series of near-falls. We lose the commentators as the back-and-forth action continues. They spill to the floor, where Strong has the advantage. Back in the ring Strong continues his onslaught, hitting his first backbreaker of the match for a two-count. Edwards ignores a series of strikes and hits a release German Suplex and both men are down. Audio issues have been rectified and the commentators are back as Edwards is in control. Edwards tries the Chin Checker but Strong counters out and slams Edwards to the mat for two. Strong charges into the corner and walks into a chop. Edwards follows up with the leaping Codebreaker, but Strong comes back with the vertical suplex backbreaker to win the first fall at 12:01.

They actually got 40 seconds to rest. I call shenanigans! Strong attacks Edwards right away and continues working the back. Edwards comes back and uses an STF but Strong reaches the ropes. They spill to the floor and Strong reclaims the advantage. Strong hits a backbreaker on a chair, just to be a jerk. Back in the ring Strong puts on the Stronghold, but Edwards gets to the ropes, twice. Edwards fights back and puts on the Achilles Lock and Strong taps out at 7:42 (20:23 total)! That evens things up at 1-1.

Strong takes a powder and the third fall begins with Edwards soaring through the ropes to wipe him out with a suicide dive! Edwards dominates the early parts of the Iron Man match, abusing Strong both in and out of the ring. Martini interferes to give Strong the advantage, so Strong starts working the back. Five minutes go by and there haven’t been any falls yet. Strong throws Edwards around ringside, and hits a Gibson Driver up on the entrance ramp. Edwards barely makes it back to the ring before the count of 20. Strong wisely goes for a cover but only gets two. Man, that would have been an awesome fall – Edwards expends all his energy getting back to the ring only to get pinned. Why didn’t they do that? Anyway, Edwards makes a comeback and hits the Chin Checker but Strong kicks out at two. The ten-minute mark goes by and still no one has gotten a fall yet. Edwards kicks Strong to the floor and both men look exhausted. Back in the ring Edwards hits a superplex as ring announcer Bobby Cruise announces three minutes left. They do a fish out of water sequences as Cruise announces two minutes remaining. Strong then traps Edwards in a backslide and Martini holds Edwards’s foot, allowing Strong to get the first pin at 13:21. Now they get a 30-second rest period, and during that time Martini accidentally hits Strong with the Book of Truth and Edwards hits the Die Hard to even the score at 14:08. By the time the rest period is over only 15 seconds remain and time expires at an exact 15:00 (35:23 total match time).

The official decision of the match is a draw. Jim Cornette comes out and declares that the match will continue under sudden death rules! They come to the center of the ring and start trading forearms and chops. Edwards hits a Tiger Suplex for a close near-fall. He tries to use the Achilles Lock but Strong kicks his way out of it and hits a knee strike and the Sick Kick but Edwards kicks out! Strong hits a Gibson Driver but again only gets two. He goes for a super gutbuster but Edwards ranas his way out of it and hits his own gutbuster. Strong runs right back and delivers the Sick Kick but he can’t cover right away and Edwards kicks out. They fight up to the top rope and Edwards knocks Strong to the apron with a kick to the head. Edwards follows him down with a double stomp! Back in the ring Edwards hits a double stomp to the back but only gets two. Edwards hits a powerbomb followed by a sitout powerbomb for a two-count. He hits a big lariat and then a sitout Die Hard to get the decisive win at 6:44 (42:07 total). Prazak says this guarantees Edwards a future title shot, but shouldn’t he have one anyway with the rematch clause? Anyway, this match was really good if a bit of a wankfest. I feel like it would have been more effective as a straight two-out-of-three falls match, but you can’t fault the effort of either guy.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #7: Ladder War III – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The All Night Express

The Briscoes were in the first Ladder War, successfully defending the ROH World Tag Team Titles against Kevin Steen & El Generico at the Man Up! pay-per-view in Chicago on September 15, 2007. At stake in this match is a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship on November 19 in Chicago. This feud has been really awesome. The Briscoes weigh a combined 462 pounds and hail from Sandy Fork, Delaware. The ANX check in at 463 pounds. Mark and Titus battle on one side of the ring while Jay and King battle on the other. Titus gets dumped to the floor and grabs a ladder as the fans chant “we want blood.” The war quickly spills to the floor, where King is the first one to go through a table, via a back body drop. Titus is the first one busted open, and it’s a gusher. He responds by suplexing Mark from the apron onto a ladder, and then wiping out everyone at ringside with a dive. The ANX takes control now, using ladders to their advantage. Jay is the next one busted open, and that’s a gusher too. These guys are going all out that’s for sure. Somewhere in the melee Mark has been busted open too. There’s a lot of blood out there as the violence continues. Blood is literally squirting out of Jay’s head. Oy I hope whatever they got paid for this match was worth it. The Briscoes try a spiked Jay Driller on a chair on King, but Titus pushes Mark off the top rope and through a table at ringside. Jay goes through a table next, courtesy of the powerbomb/blockbuster combination. Finally about 20 minutes into the match Titus makes the first attempt at climbing the ladder to retrieve the contract. Mark recovers and knocks Titus off the ladder with a dropkick. The Briscoes go under the ring and find an even bigger ladder than the ones they’ve already used. They set it up in the aisle next to a table and drag Titus over to set him on it. Mark goes up top and delivers a splash through the table! That was insane. The action continues and King busts out a shooting star press! I didn’t know he could do that. King climbs up the tall ladder and Jay climbs the other side. They slug it out and King punches Jay right off the ladder and grabs the contract to win the Ladder War at 27:51. The pool of blood under Jay’s head is truly sickening. This lived up to the standards of previous ladder wars, which is no small feat. I believe the All Night Express are now truly main event players in ROH.
Rating: ****¼
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Death Before Dishonor VIII (Tyler Black, Davey Richards) http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/19/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-viii-tyler-black-davey-richards-3/ http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/19/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-viii-tyler-black-davey-richards-3/#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2015 16:00:29 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=158678 DBDVIII

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

Ted Reeve Arena – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – June 19, 2010

Dave Prazak and Joe Dombrowski are calling the action.

MATCH #1: El Generico vs. Kevin Steen

Up In Smoke starts coming out for their scheduled tag team match, but El Generico comes running out from the back and he wants to fight Kevin Steen right now! Steve Corino comes out first and says that Steen would never wrestle in the opening match but Steen disagrees and comes out for the fight! This one is intense right off the bat and the Toronto crowd is behind Generico big-time. Steen weathers Generico’s initial onslaught and starts wearing him out. Dombrowski’s commentary is pretty annoying here, I actually kind of forgot about him. Generico fights back and both men take it to each other with brutal moves throughout the match. Steen hits the Package Piledriver about 15 minutes in but Generico kicks out. He goes for the Swanton but Generico gets his knees up, and then lands two Ole Kicks. Generico goes up for the Top Rope Brainbuster but Steen bites his way out of it and “accidentally” knocks the referee down. Steen grabs a wrench and bashes Generico in the face with it and then hits a super brainbuster of his own to get the pin at 16:53. That was an awesome hate-filled brawl and a great way to kick off the show.
Rating: ****

MATCH #2: The All Night Express vs. Up In Smoke

Rhett Titus and Kenny King are without their manager Austin Aries for this important match against Cheech and Cloudy, as he is preparing to face Delirious later on. King and Titus attack during the handshake to take early control. Cheech and Cloudy stick with them and fight back, and then they settle into the tag tem formula. Dombrowski calls King the Best Pure Athlete in ROH, which always worked for Billy Gunn in the WWE. The teams go back and forth a bit and the match breaks down. King and Titus are able to trap Cloudy in the One Night Stand to get the win at 8:44. It seems like Cheech and Cloudy come and go and I’d prefer if they stuck around on a more permanent basis. This was a lot of fun.
Rating: ***

After the match, King and Titus get on the microphone to brag about their success, and then introduce their manager Austin Aries for his match against Delirious. Aries talks trash about Delirious and Daizee Haze before Delirious makes his entrance.

MATCH #3: Delirious vs. Austin Aries

Delirious is in his red gear tonight, which he uses for especially heated matches. Referee Todd Sinclair ejects King and Titus from ringside before the match can start. Delirious doesn’t even freak out when the bell rings. He uses the green mist before any contact is made, giving the lizard man the early advantage. A blinded Aries almost gives the referee a Brainbuster, which is ridiculous because he’s wearing a shirt and Delirious is not. Delirious dominates in and outside the ring for the first several minutes, but Aries comes back and starts working the throat, which was how this whole feud got started. Aries tries the Heat Seeking Missile but Delirious moves out of the way! You don’t see that every day. At that point Rhett Titus and Kenny King run out to cause the disqualification at 13:02. That was going along quite fine until the abrupt finish.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #4: Toronto Gauntlet

This is the second annual Toronto Gauntlet. Last year’s included Jerry Lynn, D-Lo Brown, Sonjay Dutt, Jimmy Rave, Necro Butcher, and the winner Davey Richards. This year’s field is quite different. The first matchup is local favorite Tyson Dux versus ROH TV Champion Eddie Edwards, accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Edwards beat Dux in a non-title match last night in Hamburg, NY at Buffalo Stampede II. It’s a shame Dux hasn’t gotten a real run in ROH, he’s always looked impressive. Edwards repeatedly goes for the Achilles Lock, and eventually Dux is able to roll him up for the upset win at 11:10. That should have earned Dux a shot at the TV Title, but to date this has been his last appearance in ROH. Next out is Shawn Daivari, along with the Embassy leader Prince Nana. Daivari wisely goes right after Dux’s injured leg. Dux fights back but tries to suplex Daivari back in the ring and Nana grabs the leg and Daivari falls on top to advance at 16:50. Next up is Colt Cabana, who beat Daivari last night in Buffalo. Cabana quickly locks Daivari in the Billy Goat’s Curse and Daivari taps out at 17:45. Steve Corino is the fifth entrant in the gauntlet. These two have quite the history as part of the El Generico versus Kevin Steen feud. They brawl in and out of the ring and Corino cheats like crazy to take the advantage. Corino goes for Eternal Dream but Cabana counters with a crucifix to get the pin at 22:49. The last entrant is out now and it’s Roderick Strong. Corino continues to beat on Cabana, allowing Strong to hit an immediate Sick Kick for a near-fall. Strong of course is accompanied by Truth Martini. The fresh Strong dominates for the first bit until Cabana makes the comeback. Strong feigns an injury and when the referee is distracted, Truth hits Cabana with the Book of Truth and Strong wins the Second Annual Toronto Gauntlet at 28:28. The winner of Davey Richards versus Tyler Black later tonight will now have to face Strong in the near future. This was effective in getting Strong and Truth over as a unit, but none of the mini-matches were that strong on their own after the first one.
Rating: **½

During intermission the battle between El Generico, Kevin Steen, Colt Cabana, and Steve Corino continued, battling their way around ringside and in the ring. Generico rips off Bobby Cruise’s tie and chokes Steen with it in a nod to Bryan Danielson. Joe Dombrowski’s yelling on commentary is extremely off-putting.

MATCH #5: Pick 6 Match – Christopher Daniels vs. Kenny Omega

Both men are quite over with the crowd. Hometown boy Omega uses his impressive high flying maneuvers early on and Daniels uses his cunning to cut him off and slow the pace of the match. Daniels targets the neck and attacks it with precision. They go back and forth and the pace quickens down the stretch with lots of big moves and near-falls. Finally Daniels is able to connect with the Best Moonsault Ever to get the pin and retain his #2 Pick 6 ranking at 16:49. This was one of those back and forth matches that ROH fans eat up and the hot crowd made this a lot of fun. To date this is Omega’s last appearance in Ring of Honor.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #6: No DQ Match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship – The Kings of Wrestling vs. The Briscoes

The Kings have been the champions since 4.3.10 and this is their second defense. Bobby Cruise announces that the Briscoes have still not arrived at the building. Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero get on the mic and talk some trash, and then the Briscoes run in from the crowd and the match WILL happen! It’s a huge brawl from the get-go with the brothers from Delaware dominating. Castagnoli is the first one to bleed. Mark is the second one to get busted open, from the guardrail, and it’s a gusher. The Kings isolate on Mark for a while until the hot tag, and Jay rams Hero’s head into the turnbuckle so many times that he busts him open! Hagadorn gets involved and produces a rope for Hero to tie Jay around the ring post by his neck! Referee Paul Turner tries to free Jay from the post while the Kings just destroy Mark in the ring. Eventually Jay gets free and the Briscoes go nuts on the champions. Shane Hagadorn tries to interfere but take the Doomsday Device for his troubles. Hero hits Mark with the loaded elbow pad but he kicks out! They go to the floor and Castagnoli takes Jay down with a European Uppercut. Hero dispatches of Mark and puts the loaded elbow pad on his foot and the Kings execute the Big Swing/Dropkick to get the win at 18:16. That was awesome – full of hate and blood and the crowd was nuts for it and these two teams just have tremendous chemistry.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #7: ROH World Championship Match – Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards

Black has been the champion since 2.13.10 and this is his sixth defense. Jim Cornette has joined the commentary team, and he’s trying to sell Black and Richards as the two most “different” people in the history of the world. I mean they’re both men, and wrestlers; how different are they? The crowd is juiced up right from the opening bell, highly in support of Richards and against Black. Cornette and Dombrowski take unnecessary shots at the WWE, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon on commentary, taking me out of the match momentarily. It doesn’t take long to get back in it though as these two light each other up with kicks and strikes. Black uses his high flying skills to counter Richards’ hard strikes. He even busts out the Rubik’s Cube but Richards kicks out. Richards comes back with some of his own high-flying, taking Black out in the crowd with the dangerous dive that he does. He almost takes out a fan too. Shane Hagadorn comes out and tries to help Richards with a chair, but it backfires on him as Black superkicks the chair into Richards’ face. Richards won’t quit though, and the fight rages on. Black mostly stays in control but Richards is tenacious in fighting back. They pass the 30-minute mark and the crowd is rabid for Richards to take the gold. Richards hits a Buckle Bomb, kick to the head, and the DR Driver but Black kicks out at two! The monkeys in the crowd are already chanting “Match of the Year,” which is obnoxious. Just chant for the wrestlers. Or alternatively, they could chant “You Can’t Beat Him” at Black, which is clever and better. Unfortunately for them though they’re wrong, as Black hits Richards with a wrist-clutch God’s Last Gift to finally put the challenger away at 34:44. That is definitely my favorite match from either of these two not involving Bryan Danielson (as far as I can think of right now). The crowd amazingly stayed hot for the whole thing and both guys went all-out for over 30 minutes. This is a strong contender for ROH Match of the Year for 2010.
Rating: ****½
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A2Z Analysiz: WWE Battleground 2014 (John Cena, Roman Reigns) http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/19/a2z-analysiz-wwe-battleground-2014-john-cena-roman-reigns/ http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/19/a2z-analysiz-wwe-battleground-2014-john-cena-roman-reigns/#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2015 13:00:03 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=5031774 Battleground 2014

For an easy-to-search archive of all my WWE DVD reviews, please visit World Wrestling Reviews!

Tampa Bay Times Forum – Tampa, FL – Sunday, July 20, 2014

Michael Cole, Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler, and JBL are on commentary.

In the first Kickoff match, Adam Rose (w/ Layla & Summer Rae) defeats Fandango at 1:21. Fandango gets distracted by Layla and Summer, both of whom slap him in the face. Rose hits the Party Foul to get the pin. Layla looked amazing out there. Not much else to see.
Rating: ½*

Second up on the Kickoff, Cameron defeats Naomi at 3:12. The Funkadactyls explode! Naomi is the aggressor here, and she’s also the only competent wrestler in this match. Even so, Cameron grabs a quick schoolgirl rollup with a handful of gear to get the pin. The sooner they can move Naomi on from Cameron the better.
Rating: ¾*

In a Best Two out Of Three Falls Match, WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeat The Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) at 18:50. The Usos have been the Champions since 3.3.14, and this is their sixth defense. Rowan and Harper use their superior size and strength to dominate the first fall. Jey gets beat up for a while but eventually makes a hot tag to Jimmy, who comes in and gets drilled with a big boot by Harper and that’s enough for the challengers to win the first fall at 4:46. Harper and Rowan dominate the second fall too, showing some great teamwork in the process. Jimmy slips out of a back suplex and makes the tag, and Jey scores a quick rollup on Harper to win the second fall at 8:12. The third fall really gets crazy, with both teams picking up the pace and battling back and forth. Of particular note is Rowan being able to superplex both Usos at the same time, which is just a great spot. The crowd stays juiced throughout the third fall, especially when the Usos use double superkicks to take both Harper and Rowan down. The Usos then climb to the top rope and hit Harper with a double Superfly Splash to get the pin. This was just all good stuff, with the first two falls coming to logical conclusions after solid action, and the third fall all four men just let it all hang out. This is going to be hard for the rest of the card to top.
Rating: ****

WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee defeats Paige at 7:02 to retain the title. AJ has been the Champion since 6.30.14, and this is her first defense. Paige dominates a majority of the opening minutes, with an answer for everything the Champion tries. Things get heated down the stretch as AJ locks on the Black Widow, which Paige counters out of it. Paige hits the Paige-Turner but AJ kicks out at two. After a series of reversals AJ is able to hit a Shining Wizard to score the pin. This wasn’t one of their stronger efforts, with a couple of really noticeably blown spots. They’re still both better than the average Diva, so this was decent but disappointing.
Rating: **½

Rusev (w/ Lana) defeats Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) by count out at 9:45. Swagger starts off hot and sends Rusev running a couple of times, but the Bulgarian Brute is able to withstand the attacks and quickly take over on offense. That goes on for a little bit and then Swagger makes the big fiery comeback and traps Rusev in the Ankle Lock. Things look bleak but Rusev is able to reach the ropes and roll to the floor. Swagger goes out to the floor and puts the Ankle Lock on, and Rusev is able to use momentum to pull Swagger right into the steel ring post. Rusev makes it back to the ring while Swagger cannot, giving Rusev the countout victory. These two had really good chemistry together, and worked a solid formula match with intensity. I also don’t mind the finish because it lends itself to a rematch, and I’d like to see that.
Rating: ***

Chris Jericho defeats Bray Wyatt (w/ Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) at 15:03. I’m still not really sure entirely what this feud was about, per se. Both men have the match we’re conditioned to seeing them have, Jericho hitting all his signature spots and Wyatt relying on help from Rowan and Harper. The referee gets wise to the Wyatt Family antics and dismisses Harper and Rowan to the locker room. Can someone explain the crab walk thing that Wyatt does to me? He just does it, then flips over and goes on about his business. It’s really stupid. I kind of hate his whole character actually. They do some more wrestling and then Jericho gets the pin with a Codebreaker From Out Of Nowhere to get the pin. You know, if they really wanted to put Bray Wyatt over, they’d have him destroy Jericho, and then beat him in the rematches too, not this 50/50 booking bullcrap that everyone else gets. Now, I like and respect Jericho and his body of work is great. Jericho has been willing to put over young guys (to the extent that they allow him to), and that is admirable. But he’s been doing it off and on for a few years now and it really just doesn’t mean anything anymore. I understand Bray Wyatt v Chris Jericho sounds great on paper, but in practice it was kind of a wet fart.
Rating: **

The Miz won a 19-man battle royal over Alberto Del Rio, Big E, Bo Dallas, Cesaro, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, Diego, Dolph Ziggler, The Great Khali, Heath Slater, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Ryback, United States Champion Sheamus, Sin Cara, Titus O’Neil, Xavier Woods, and Zack Ryder to win the vacant Intercontinental Title at 14:11. The title has been vacant since 6.30.14, when Bad News Barrett had to forfeit it due to injury. Khali eliminates Woods and Ryder before being dumped out by a number of superstars. Sin Cara goes out next thanks to Bo. Axel eliminates Truth, and then Sandow eliminates Axel. Diego dropkicks Sandow out, and then Ryback eliminates Diego. Sheamus and Ryback face off, and Sheamus eliminates him with a Brogue Kick. Bo Dallas eliminates O’Neil. Ziggler gets rid of Del Rio. Cesaro strikes next, tossing first Big E and then seemingly tossing Kingston out. Kingston lands on Big E’s shoulders, and is able to finagle his way back to the ring. That ruled. Moments later Cesaro dumps Kingston out for real, and then Slater takes advantage by dumping Cesaro out. Sheamus destroys Slater and knocks him out. Ziggler is able to eliminate Dallas and then Sheamus. It appears to be down to Sheamus and Ziggler, but Miz has been hiding out on the floor for a while so he’s still in it too. Ziggler and Sheamus struggle back and forth and Ziggler is able to knock the U.S. Champion out. Miz then predictably dumps Ziggler out to win his third Intercontinental Title. This was fun enough, but the finish was pretty hackneyed.
Rating: **½

WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena defeats Kane, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns in a Fatal Four Way Match to retain the title at 18:16. Cena has been the Champion since 6.29.14, and this is his first defense. Orton and Kane are both members of the Authority, so it seems likely that they will work together. That’s exactly what happens in the first parts of the match, but Cena and Reigns fight back and end up facing off with each other. The crowd seems to be mildly entertained by that idea, but Kane and Orton break it up before anything can happen. Bummer. It doesn’t take long for Orton and Kane to turn on each other. Cena and Reigns finally square off and the crowd firmly stands in Reigns’ corner. Reigns goes through a hot streak and dishes out multiple Superman Punches and Spears, including one on Orton that sends both men crashing through the barricade. The parade of finishers sends the match to its conclusion, and Cena is able to hit Orton with an Attitude Adjustment right onto Kane (who was down after taking a Spear from Reigns), and that’s enough to pin the Big Red Machine. Cena retains, duh. I admit I wasn’t all that excited to revisit this match, but it was actually a lot of fun. It was pretty typical of most WWE Fatal 4-Way matches, but they kept the action moving and did enough signature moves and big spots to keep the crowd popping. Kane ate the pin, just like he should. I forgot how much the crowd was into Reigns here.
Rating: ***½

A2Z Analysiz
The opener rocked it, the main event over-performed, and Rusev v Swagger was a nice midcard match so I shockingly can recommend this show. I know many were disappointed in the fact that the advertised Seth Rollins v Dean Ambrose match didn’t go off quite as planned, but I liked their interaction and knew it would lead to more matches later so I’ll allow it. Had Jericho v Wyatt been any good I would have even better things to say about this show. As it is, it’s pretty solid stuff.
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A2Z Analysiz – ROH Death Before Dishonor VII: Night Two (Lance Storm, Chris Hero) http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/18/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-vii-night-two-lance-storm-chris-hero-3/ http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/18/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-vii-night-two-lance-storm-chris-hero-3/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 16:00:01 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=158675 2009_07_25

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

Ted Reeve Arena – Toronto, Ontario Canada – July 25, 2009

We open backstage with D-Lo Brown, who was talking to his wife on the phone. He cuts the usual stupid promo, making me wonder what anyone thought bringing D-Lo Brown in would do for anyone. Did he gave one good match or cut one good promo?

MATCH #1: Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The Super Smash Brothers

Steen and Player Dos start the match. They go back and forth a little bit, with Steen using his size and power to his advantage. Generico and Player Uno get tagged and it’s a battle of masked men! The back and forth continues, and once again tags are made. Steen is all over Dos, and along with Generico they double-team him in their half of the ring. The Smash Brothers creatively use the referee to take the advantage. Generico fights back with a chinbreaker and then tags Steen. The Smash Brothers work in tandem to control the much larger opponent. Steen comes back using his power, catching Dos and using him to kick Uno down, and then hitting Dos with a backbreaker. The former ROH World Tag Team Champions are dismantling Dos here. Dos ducks a double clothesline and hits a simultaneous Pele Kick. He makes the tag and Uno is all over Generico. He hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and then tosses Steen to the floor. He hits an electric chair neckbreaker for two. The Smash Brothers start throwing out double teams maneuvers but can’t put Generico away. The crowd generously chants “this is awesome.” Generico comes back with a Michinoku Driver for two. Steen gets tagged and goes for the Swanton but Does gets his knees up and Uno comes in with a double stomp to the back of the head. Generico comes in with a running Yakuza kick on Uno and then a release German Suplex, and Dos is able to land on Generico at exactly the right time with a splash. Steen grabs Dos with a powerbomb and then turns it into the Sharpshooter. Uno breaks it up and makes the tag. Steen hits Uno with a superkick but misses the moonsault and hurts his knee. Generico flies in out of nowhere and hits the running Yakuza and Steen follows up with the Swanton but Uno kicks out at two! Steen goes for the Package Piledriver but his knee is too injured. Dos flies off the top rope with Evan Bourne knees and Uno gets a jackknife rollup for the big upset victory at 15:54. That was a surprisingly good opener, as the Smash Brothers kept the cutesy stuff down and just wrestled a good tag match.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #2: Frankie the Mobster vs. Bison Smith

I do believe Frankie the Mobster is one of the weirdest wrestlers I’ve ever seen on an ROH show. Bison Smith is of course accompanied by Prince Nana. Smith immediately takes the fight to Mobster. Shockingly Mobster comes back with a clothesline and a big boot to take Smith off his feet. He also hits an exploder suplex for two. He hits a dropkick off the second rope for another two-count. A vertical suplex gets Mobster another two. Smith comes back with a big lariat. He locks Mobster in the Claw and hurls him to the floor. This is turning into a slaughter and I love it. Smith throws Mobster back in the ring, and Mobster surprises him with a dropkick to the face and a suicide dive. Both men are down in the aisle. They get back to their feet and Smith throws Mobster into the crowd and then sails over the barricade to wipe him out. The crowd is actually getting behind the Mobster here. Back in the ring Senior Referee Todd Sinclair tries to hold Smith back and gets tossed aside. Mobster then gets desperate and holds on to him as a shield. Smith doesn’t care and he chops Sinclair, causing the disqualification at 8:08. I’m not sure what the point of this was, and it’s depressing to see ROH do nothing at all interesting with Bison Smith.
Rating: *¾

Claudio Castagnoli is near a landfill, which he compares to Brent Albright, who is the biggest piece of trash in ROH. He promises to take out the trash tonight and win the European Rules match.

MATCH #3: Toronto Gauntlet – Featuring D-Lo Brown, Davey Richards, Sonjay Dutt, Necro Butcher, Jimmy Rave, and Jerry Lynn

I keep time in gauntlet matches running, for anybody who might wonder. D-Lo Brown and Jerry Lynn start it off. Brown grabs Lynn as he’s making his entrance and hits the Orton DDT. He controls the action and fights off Lynn’s comeback attempts. He hits a diving clothesline for a two-count. He goes up top and misses the Lo-Down. Lynn hits a series of clotheslines and a crucifix bomb to eliminate Brown at 3:20. That was sudden.

Sonjay Dutt is the next man out. He hits a springboard Thesz Press and a standing shooting star press for two. He does the Jarrett strut, of course. The commentators take pointless shots at Jeff Jarrett while Lynn catches Dutt in a spinning backbreaker. Dutt comes back with a slingshot legdrop and a springboard splash for a two-count. A contrived series of reversals leads to Lynn hitting the TKO for two. Moments later Lynn hits the Cradle Piledriver to eliminate Dutt at 7:19.

Next up is Jimmy Rave with Prince Nana. Despite getting pelted with toilet paper, Rave hits a running knee for a two-count. They go to the floor and Rave whips Lynn into the barricade. Back in the Rave gets another near-fall and then locks on a chinlock. Lynn slips out of a bodyslam and hits an inverted DDT. He hits a regular DDT for a two-count. He goes for the Cradle Piledriver but Rave avoids it and hits Ghanarrhea to eliminate the former ROH World Champion at 10:27.

Necro Butcher is next, and Rave doesn’t look too happy since these men have had issues. In a huge shock, the battle quickly spills to the floor with Necro in control. He throws Rave into the post. Necro moves some of the mats outside the ring and slams Rave down. He throws Rave and a chair into the ring, but when he tries to join them, Nana grabs his foot and hangs on as Necro is counted out at 13:05. Referee Paul Turner looked like he kind of didn’t know what was going on there. A frustrated Necro blasts timekeeper Giuseppe di Lorento with a steel chair and starts tearing up ringside. Meanwhile Jimmy Rave just hangs out in the ring.

The last entrant is Davey Richards. He immediately comes in and hits Rave with the handspring spin kick. This is a rekindling of Richards’ first feud in ROH way back in 2006. Richards locks on the Texas Cloverleaf. Rave reaches the ropes. Richards is bouncing off the walls here, like it’s some kind of MMA fight or something. AMERICAN WOLVES! They trade strikes and Rave hits an STO for two. Rave looks for a superplex but Richards knocks him down and grunts some more. Richards tries a dropkick but Rave catches him with a powerbomb and the running knee strike for two. Rave locks on the Heel Hook, and Richards stays in it for a while and then easily gets out, thus killing the move forever. Richards also doesn’t sell the leg at all when gets up and goes for a kick. Rave ducks and rolls him up for two, and then Richards rolls that into an arm submission. That doesn’t get a submission, and Rave rolls through and reapplies the Ankle Lock. Richards reaches the ropes. He hits a kick to the face and hops up to the top rope for a missile dropkick, really selling that leg. That gets a two-count. Richards grunts more and calls for the DR Driver. Rave slips out but gets hit with the Alarm Clock and a clothesline. Richards then hits the DR Driver, but Rave kicks out at two. Rave can’t escape the Kimura Lock though, and Richards wins the Toronto Gauntlet at 21:09. Gauntlet matches are really hard to do really well.
Rating: **½

The Nature Boy Comes to Toronto

This is Flair’s last ROH appearance. He tells some old story about Toronto and Niagara Falls. He says “Canadian Women Can Go.” He puts over The Ring of Honor and the locker room. If you saw one Flair promo in ROH you saw them all.

MATCH #4: European Rules – Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brent Albright

Castagnoli is accompanied by Prince Nana. I really don’t feel like recapping all the ridiculous rules right here (I’ll explain them when necessary). It’s basically a more complicated version of Pure Title rules, with rounds. I do find it funny when Cruise says one of the rules is “no standing eight-counts” someone in the crowd rightfully asks “what the hell does that mean?” You know Albright means business because he’s wearing his hat backwards.

They trade forearms to start round one. Albright is fully in control, countering all of Castagnoli’s attacks. Both guys look like they’re moving in slow motion. Albright clotheslines Castagnoli to the floor and follows him out with a dive. The bell rings to end round one, and now we go into the 30-second rest period and there can’t be any contact during said rest period.

Albright charges to begin round two and they back into the corner. Castagnoli hits a closed fist behind the referee’s back, which would have earned him a yellow card if the referee saw it. He peppers in a few more punches, and Albright comes back with a belly-to-back suplex. Albright locks on the Crowbar and Castagnoli reaches the ropes. They go back and forth some more, and Castagnoli hits another closed fist behind the referee’s back. Albright fires back with a right hand and gets tagged with a yellow card right at the end of round two. Castagnoli takes the yellow card in order to clothesline Albright from behind. That’s awesome.

Back in the ring Castagnoli keeps Albright grounded. Albright has a cut on his forehead. Albright catches Castagnoli with a uranage and round three is over. Well there certainly wasn’t much to say about that round.

Albright is fired up now and he unloads on Castagnoli, hitting a belly-to-belly suplex, a forearm in the corner and a lariat. Castagnoli tries a springboard European Uppercut but Albright catches him with a backbreaker. Albright hits a Half Nelson Suplex and locks on the Crowbar. Nana distracts the referee and Jimmy Rave runs out, allowing Castagnoli to get a schoolboy for the pin at 12:24. Albright gets his non-existent heat back by beating up Rave, Joey Ryan, and Bison Smith. They overtake him and then Colt Cabana, Necro Butcher, and Grizzly Redwood come out and make the save. That was a dull match with confusing rules and a lame, weak, hackneyed finish. And that’s coming from someone who thinks Claudio Castagnoli is the best thing in ROH today. What a difference a year makes for Brent Albright at Death Before Dishonor, no?
Rating: *

The camera follows Albright to the locker room to get a few words with him. He says that he proved he can beat Castagnoli in his own match, so he wants Castagnoli to face him in His match – a Steel Cage!

MATCH #5: Tyler Black vs. Tyson Dux

Dux uses Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” for entrance music, which is a great song but terrible entrance music, and I don’t get how it would relate to him at all. I like that Tyler Black is not afraid to show that he loves Harry Potter. Black was originally scheduled to face Nigel McGuinness, but he got injured last night so Dux is filling in. They start off slowly, as Dux is a newcomer to ROH and didn’t even know he’d be wrestling, and Black had prepared to face another wrestler. Dux seems a little more prepared and works on Black with a headlock. Black comes back with a bodyslam and a face stomp, or the top of the chest according to Leonard. They take it to the apron and Black tries a springboard but Dux knocks him down and Black’s midsection lands on the ropes. Then Dux knocks him off the apron entirely and Black’s midsection crashes into the barricade and he falls into the crowd. Black makes it back to the ring and Dux pushes him right back out and hits a suplex. Back in the ring Dux works over the back. Out of nowhere Black nips up and hits a kick to the face. He hits a clothesline off the second rope and then a springboard lariat for two. He snaps Dux’s throat across the top rope Randy Savage style, and then hits the top rope elbow drop. Black then does my least favorite move of his, the stomping the mat before hitting the running forearm in the corner. Dux comes back with a release German Suplex, which Black no-sells, but then Dux hits a lariat and a Death Valley Driver for two. They fight up on the ropes as Dux goes for a superplex but Black escapes and they trade victory rolls for two-counts. They trade more pinning combinations until Black lands a kick to the head. Black hits God’s Last Gift for the pin at 9:13. That was a nice little midcard match that actually could have used more time.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: No Disqualification Match – Colt Cabana vs. Joey Ryan

Cabana cuts a long-winded promo trying to be funny. The gist of it is that Cabana challenges Ryan to make it a no-disqualification match, and since both wrestlers agree, referee Todd Sinclair has the authority to make it such.

Cabana takes the early advantage so Ryan pokes him in the eye. That goes nowhere as Cabana hits Ryan with a dropkick, sending him to the floor. Ryan tries to throw Bobby Cruise’s chair in the ring, but Cabana gives it back to him. Why would Ryan just give Cabana a chair? Ryan charges in and takes a drop toehold right into the chair. He takes a powder and Nana goes to the back. Cabana brings Ryan into the ring the hard way and does his usual. Nana comes back with a hockey stick but Cabana intercepts the handoff to Ryan. That distraction allows Ryan to hit a spear. Ryan now goes to work on Cabana kicks and punches. Ryan grabs the ring bell and tries to ring it in Cabana’s ear but no luck. Cabana picks up the bell and Ryan picks up the hammer. Ryan rings the bell and both men stop as if the match is over. Sinclair has to convince them that they need to keep wrestling. Ryan resumes control but runs into a big boot. Once again Nana uses his scarf to trip Cabana, and when Ryan charges in Cabana moves and Nana crashes to the floor. Cabana unloads with jabs and rips out some chest hair. That’s nasty. Cabana hits a backbreaker and then whips Sinclair into Ryan with a flying apple. Now Cabana runs to the back to get some garbage bags. Apparently there was some kind of garbage strike going on at the time. Anyway Cabana bashes Ryan in the head with the trash bags and then pitches him to the floor like so much garbage. He sets Ryan up on the announce table and rings the bell against Ryan’s balls. He grabs Nana’s headdress but can’t connect with it. Ryan grabs the scarf and tries to choke Cabana, but winds up getting tied up in it. Cabana gets control of the scarf and wraps it around Ryan’s head, and then puts Nana’s headdress on him. Cruise then hands Cabana his chair and he cracks Ryan in the head with it to score the pin at 12:34. I understand that many are entertained by this kind of match and I respect its place on the card, but it doesn’t do much for me.
Rating: **

MATCH #7: Kenny Omega, Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Austin Aries, Kenny King & Rhett Titus

The ROH World Champion Austin Aries comes out to make fun of the fans and brag about his victory last night. He then calls out Kenny Omega to answer his challenge from last night. Aries agrees to give Omega a title match – just not yet. Kenny King and Rhett Titus run down to help Aries beat up Omega, and the Briscoe Brothers make the save. Omega cuts a brutally stupid promo, calling Aries “Anus Double” and challenging the three of them to a six man tag. The challenge is accepted.

The match starts off as a big brawl outside and inside the ring. The Briscoes are initially in control but King and Titus take Jay down and go to work on his knee. After several minutes Omega gets the tag and unloads on Titus with Canadian Hammers and a rana. Titus’ teammates try to interfere but Omega is able to thwart all three of them simultaneously. Omega spends too much time celebrating and Titus blasts him in the face with a dropkick. After several minutes of abuse, Omega blocks the IED with a boot to the face. Mark gets tagged in and he goes all Jaden Smith on the future All Night Express. The Briscoes unleash some double-teams, but the referee is having trouble controlling these six men. King and Titus come back and deliver a double-biel out of the corner on Jay. King whips Jay chest-first into the buckle and follows him in with double knees. Titus covers and gets a two-count. Aries tags in and hits mark with the Heat Seeking Missile. Jay makes a blind tag to Omega, who comes in with a cross body off the top rope for a near-fall. Aries hits a low blow behind the referee’s back and once again the referee loses control. Titus and King hit the Powerbomb/Blockbuster combo on Omega while the Briscoes hit Aries with the Doomsday Device. The tag teams slug it out now. King hits Jay with a spinebuster and King hits Mark with a clothesline. Jay recovers and hits Titus with a superkick. King hits Jay with a spin kick, but then runs right into Mark’s Ace Crusher. Whew. Mark somersaults off the top rope to wipe out King and Titus on the floor. Omega tries Croyt’s Wrath on Aries but can’t hit it. Aries hits the shinbreaker/belly-to-back suplex combo. He hits the IED and a Brainbuster, and then he pulls Omega up at two. That never ends well for heels. Predictably, Omega gets a quick small package to pin Aries at 16:09. I understand what they were going for with Omega and I’m not even against him getting the win, but that finish was just so uninspired. The match was solidly entertaining formula stuff.
Rating: ***

After the match Aries and Titus almost get into a fight with fans over the Canadian flag. Titus is trying to rip it out of some fat guy’s hand and the guy won’t let it go and gets pretty uppity about it. I kind of hate how Omega says “thanks for coming out.” Again, I understand the intent, but you’re a professional wrestler, not playing in a high school band. Nitpicky I know, but deal with it.

MATCH #8: Lance Storm vs. Chris Hero

Storm scores the first knockdown with a shoulder block. Back on their feet they trade wristlocks and other holds on the mat. Storm seems to be one step ahead so far. He hits a dropkick that sends Hero to the floor. Hero takes his time to regroup, and when he gets back in the ring he takes Storm down in a test of strength. Storm tries a springboard elbow but Hero catches him, slams him down to the mat, and then hits a senton. Hero is firmly in control now, not being intimidated by the more experienced Storm. He throws Storm to the floor, allowing Hagadorn to take a cheap shot or two. Hero tries a baseball slide but Storm moves out of the way and unloads on Hero. He tries a whip into the barricade but Hero reverses it. Hero traps Storm underneath the ring mats and hits a senton. Back in the ring Hero continues to wear Storm down. Storm fights back with a flurry of chops and a side Russian Legsweep. He hits a couple of lariats and a leg lariat for two. He hits a springboard lariat (Tyler Black anyone?) for another two-count. Hero hits a rolling elbow out of nowhere but Storm kicks out. He goes for the Liger Bomb but Storm blocks it. They run the ropes and Hero hits a flash kick for a two-count. Storm ducks an elbow and hits a superkick for two. He then locks on the Maple Leaf but Hero reaches the ropes. Hero fights back with a shoulder to the gut and then goes up top. Storm joins him up there and hits a super powerslam (don’t see that every day) and Hero kicks out. Once again Storm goes up top and this time tries a Fog Splash but Hero moves out of the way and hits a ripcord elbow for two. Hero puts on the lucky green elbow pad and Storm gets a quick backslide for a very close near-fall. Unfortunately for Storm Hero pops up and hits two rolling elbows to get the pin at 16:46. That was a good, solid match but nothing special. Not to be rude, but that’s kind of how I feel about Storm in general.
Rating: ***¼

Storm gets on the house mic to be serious for a minute. He thanks the fans for supporting him and for supporting Ring of Honor. He goes on about how great it is that Ring of Honor still has the word Wrestling in their title, but so does World Wrestling Entertainment.
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A2Z Analysiz: WWE Battleground (Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton) http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/18/a2z-analysiz-wwe-battleground-daniel-bryan-randy-orton/ http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/18/a2z-analysiz-wwe-battleground-daniel-bryan-randy-orton/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 13:00:06 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=167989 Battleground

For an easy-to-search archive of all my WWE DVD reviews, please visit World Wrestling Reviews!

First Niagara Center – Buffalo, New York – Sunday, October 6, 2013

Michael Cole, Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler, and JBL are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Battleground Hardcore Rules Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam

Del Rio has been the Champion since 6.16.13, and this is his fourth defense. RVD has Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner. I have no idea what makes a “Battleground Hardcore Rules” match any different than a regular Hardcore Rules match. Del Rio attacks right away and they are on the floor within 30 seconds. RVD hits a moonsault off the barricade. Back to the ring RVD brings a chair and hits a slingshot DDT right on said chair for a two-count. Del Rio recovers from that pretty quickly and hits a Backstabber for two. He strikes with a steel chair, and keeps RVD on the mat. RVD fights back with a spin kick and he goes to the floor to get a ladder. RVD hits the thrust kick from the top rope, and then whips Del Rio into the ladder in the corner. Del Rio crashes hard to the floor. Back in the ring RVD gets a two-count. RVD goes for the monkey flip but Del Rio avoids it and hits an enziguiri. The Champ is back in control and he brings in a trash can to beat on his challenger with. Del Rio goes to the top rope with the trash can and RVD kicks it right back into his face! RVD picks up the pace and unloads with a flurry of offense. He slams Del Rio on the ladder and hits a split-legged moonsault for a two-count. RVD goes for Rolling Thunder on the ladder but Del Rio moves out of the way. Ouch. Del Rio puts on the Cross Armbreaker and Rodriguez comes in the ring to break it up with the bucket he carries for some reason. RVD rolls Del Rio up for two, and then Del Rio dumps RVD to the floor. Del Rio yells at Rodriguez, and the ring announcer finally stands up for himself and fights back. OF course he doesn’t get too far with that and Del Rio beats him down. The distraction allows RVD to baseball slide the ladder onto Del Rio, and he follows with a Five-Star Frog Splash off the apron, crushing Del Rio under the force of the ladder. Back in the ring RVD covers for two. RVD tries the Van Terminator but Del Rio is able to avoid it. Del Rio hits a drop toehold onto the chair. He Pillmanizes RVD’s arm and then puts on the Cross Armbreaker with the chair and RVD taps out at 16:03. That was a lot of back and forth moves with not much story, but they worked in some cool spots and Del Rio went over super clean and I appreciate that.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #2: Santino Marella & The Great Khali vs. The Real Americans

Santino and Khali are accompanied by Hornswoggle, while Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro have Zeb Colter in their corner. Swagger and Santino start the match. They wrestle on the mat for a bit and Swagger takes the early advantage. Santino fights back and takes out the Cobra pretty early and Swagger bails to the floor. Back in the ring the Real Americans are able to isolate Santino and wear him down with their swank double-team moves. After several minutes a tag is made and Khali comes in a house afire. Khali hits Cesaro with the big chop to the head and Swagger has to break up the pin. Swagger gets knocked to the floor with another Khali chop and Santino takes him out with a house show dive. Cesaro recovers and goes low on Khali, putting him on his back in the center of the ring. That leaves the giant in perfect position for the Cesaro Swing! The crowd pops huge for it, and Cesaro gets the pin at 7:06. That seemed more like a match meant for Main Event, but the whole point was to put Cesaro over and I’m all for that, so this match gets a pass.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Intercontinental Championship Match – Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth

Axel has been the Champion since 6.16.13, and this is his fifth defense. He has Paul Heyman in his corner. They start off aggressively and Truth takes the first control. Truth unloads on Axel and sends him to the floor with a clothesline. He hits Axel with a clothesline off the apron and brings him back in th ering for a two-count. Axel is able to position Truth outside the ring so he can kick him back into the barricade. Axel then rams Truth into the barricade again and the Champ is in control. Back in the ring Axel gets two. Axel continues to wear Truth down, hitting a nice dropkick for two. Truth fights back and scores a victory roll for a two-count. He hits the Corkscrew scissors kick and scores a near-fall. Truth hits the Truth Conviction for another two-count. He tries the What’s Up but Axel hangs on to the ropes and Truth hits the back of his head on the mat. Axel hits Snake Eyes and then finishes Truth off with the Axehole at 7:39. That was another TV-level match that somehow ended up on pay-per-view. It wasn’t even bad, it’s just hard to believe that this is the same belt that Randy Savage fought Ricky Steamboat over.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #4: Divas Championship Match – AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella

AJ has been the Champion since 6.16.13, and this is her fourth defense. She has Tamina Snuka in her corner and Brie has her twin sister Nikki. Brie starts off with a slap to the face and she is all over the Champion. AJ goes to the floor and Tamina protects her. Back in the ring Brie continues to wear AJ down. Brie hits a dropkick from the second rope for a two-count. She ends up on the apron and AJ kicks her knee out, and then throws her into the ring post. Cool spot. Back in the ring AJ gets a two-count. AJ focuses on the arm and works on it for several minutes. Brie catches AJ with a dropkick and that creates some separation. She covers for a two-count, and then unleashes a flurry of offense. Brie looks poised to put AJ away but Tamina attacks Nikki and Brie gets distracted. AJ rolls Brie up for the win at 6:37. That was a nice little Divas match but the finish was pretty weak. Nikki isn’t some helpless dame, Brie should trust her sister to take care of herself.
Rating: **

MATCH #5: Rhodes’ Family Careers in Jeopardy – Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust

The Rhodes Brothers have their father Dusty Rhodes in their corner, while the Tag Team Champions Rollins and Reigns have United States Champion Dean Ambrose with them. The titles are not on the line, but if Cody and Goldust win they are reinstated, and if the Shield wins then Dusty loses his job. Cody and Rollins start it off, and the Rhodes brothers are wrestling like they have something to prove and everything on the line. The Shield takes a powder and regroups on the floor. The two teams and their cornermen engage in a standoff on the floor but no punches are thrown. Back in the ring Reigns and Goldust do battle and it’s still Cody and Goldust in control. Rollins fights back with an STO into the corner on Cody, and then Reigns tags in. Reigns beats on Cody for several minutes until the younger Rhodes brother is able to connect with a moonsault. Goldust gets the hot tag and he is moving around the ring like a man half his age. He misses a cross body block and tumbles to the floor. Ambrose talks trash and Goldust barely makes it back to the ring before the 10-count. Rollins covers right away for a two-count. The Shield isolates Goldust and keeps him away from his younger brother. After much abuse Goldust is able to catch Rollins with a powerslam. Cody gets the hot tag and he’s more fired up than I’ve ever seen him. He hits Rollins with a huge Alabama Slam and knocks Reigns off the apron. Cody covers Rollins for a two-count. He hits Rollins with a Muscle Buster and Reigns has to break it up. The referee loses control of the match. Cody hits Reigns with the Disaster Kick and throws him to the floor. He knocks Ambrose off the apron and gets bulldozed from behind by Rollins. Meanwhile, Ambrose and Dusty get into a brawl at ringside, and The American Dream shows Ambrose who’s the boss. The crowd loves it. Goldust takes Reigns out on the floor and Rollins rolls Cody up for two. Seconds later Cody hits Rollins with Cross Rhodes to get the pin at 13:55! The crowd goes absolutely insane as the Rhodes family celebrates. See what happens when you build an actual storyline and give the wrestlers something to fight about and the fans something to care about? You get a great, memorable match like this one. The babyface locker room empties to congratulate the Rhodes family, even further making this seem like a big deal. I love all of this.
Rating: ****

MATCH #6: Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt

Wyatt has his followers Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in his corner. Kingston is at a severe disadvantage right from the start, but he won’t let that deter him from fighting. He lands a couple of kicks and goes up top but Wyatt knocks him down. Wyatt beats on Kingston with his methodical offense while it sounds like the crowd is trying to chant for Kingston. Every time Kingston tries to put together some offense, Wyatt is able to counter him and keep on the advantage. Finally Kingston is able to hit a crucifix bomb (don’t think I’ve seen that before in WWE), and both men are down. Back to their feet Kingston unleashes his CONTROLLED FRENZY. You know Kofi is a jobber now because Cole won’t even call Controlled Frenzy anymore. Kingston hits the Boom Drop and goes for the Trouble in Paradise. Wyatt avoids it and launches himself at Kingston with ferocity. He does the little crab walk and Kingston looks alarmed. Even so Kingston is able to pull down the top rope and send Wyatt to the flor. Kingston follows with a beautiful tope to take out all three members of the Wyatt Family. Back in the ring Kingston hits a high cross body off the top rope for two. Kingston tries the SOS but Wyatt counters with Sister Abigail to get the win at 8:18. Kofi Kingston is the best Tito Santana since Tito Santana, but his matches lack drama because he never really has a shot at winning. This was a solid showing for Bray Wyatt, but nothing anyone will remember.
Rating: **½

MATCH #7: CM Punk vs. Ryback

Paul Heyman is in his client Ryback’s corner. Ryback shows off his power in the early going while the crowd chants for Punk. As soon as Punk starts to fire up Ryback takes a powder. Back in the ring Punk unloads with strikes and Ryback takes another breather. This time Punk follows him out with a suicide dive. Punk tries to leap off the barricade and Ryback catches him, but Punk slips out of that and shoves Ryback into the ring post. Back to the ring Punk hits a cross body from the top rope for two. Ryback cuts him off and starts going to work on the midsection. This goes on for quite some time. Eventually Punk fights back and builds momentum, sending Michael Cole into a Controlled Frenzy. Hey, if Kofi doesn’t get it someone should. Punk signals for the Go 2 Sleep and Heyman gets on the microphone to taunt Punk about how he beat him at Night of Champions, and that allows Ryback to take control. Ryback hits a huge powerbomb for two. He goes for another one but Punk slips out and kicks Ryback in the head. Punk just created some separation, so this is just a stellar match for Cole. Now Punk goes up top and hits Hail to the King for a near-fall. Punk goes for the knee in the corner and Ryback catches him, but Punk counters with a hurricanrana! Another series of reversals ends with Ryback hitting a powerslam for two. Heyman distracts the referee but it backfires when Punk kicks Ryback low and gets the pin at 14:47. Boy that just felt like it went on forever. These two have no chemistry as opponents, and knowing what we know now it’s obvious that Punk was phoning it in.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #8: Vacant WWE Championship Match – Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

The title has been held in abeyance since 9.16.13, and this match is designed to settle the matter. Fans in Buffalo are big fans of Bryan, as fans everywhere seem to be. Bryan and Orton take it to the mat right away, which would seem to favor Bryan. Orton fights back with his striking game as the feeling out process continues. Bryan lands a dropkick and then goes to work on the arm. Orton cuts Bryan off with the Inverted headlock backbreaker. Momentum continues to shift as both men try to find the best strategy to establish dominance. Orton takes the first prolonged advantage, hitting the snap scoop powerslam for two. He keeps Bryan on the mat as much as possible and wears him down. Bryan is able to skin the cat and send Orton to the floor with a headscissors. He follows Orton out with a nice suicide dive. Bryan continues the assualt and tries a missile dropkick going back to the ring, but Orton catches him in a nice powerbomb. Orton cinches on a Boston Crab. Bryan counters to an inside cradle for two, and then goes for the Yes Lock but Orton reaches the ropes and rolls to the floor. Orton avoids a baseball slide and throws Bryan into the steel steps. He uses everything at ringside to beat on Bryan and then throws him back in the ring for a two-count. Orton hits a big superplex just like his daddy to get another near-fall. Both men are hurt and they rise to trade strikes. Bryan gets fired up by the crowd and executes a backslide for two. He drills Orton with a kick to the head for a two-count. They battle on the apron and Orton is able to suplex Bryan all the way to the floor. Orton tries to powerbomb Bryan through the announce table but Bryan slips out and unloads with kicks. Bryan throws Orton into the steel steps. He goes up top and wips Orton out with a huge cross body block. Back in the ring Bryan lands the diving headbutt but it only gets two! Bryan unloads with multiple IEDs right to Orton’s face and the crowd is going banana. He hits more kicks until Orton catches him in an exploder suplex. Orton hits the Rope-hung DDT and goes for the RKO but Bryan avoids it. Bryan tries a kick but Orton ducks and gets a rollup for two, and Bryan counters that into the Yes Lock! For some reason the Big Show’s music hits and he runs down to the ring. Show pulls the referee to the floor and Bryan is pissed. Bryan gets in Show’s face and gets knocked out with a right hand. Show looks distraught. RAW General Manager Brad Maddox brings out disgraced referee Scott Armstrong to count the pin, but Show pulls that referee out too and knocks him out! Show gets in the ring and knocks Orton out as well. No bell but Show’s music hits at about 24:00, and all the wrestlers and referees are knocked out so I guess it’s a no-contest. As usual between Orton and Bryan, the match was tremendous stuff, but that was just about the biggest f*#! you finish they could have booked. All for a stupid Big Show storyline that went nowhere and no one cared about. Excellent match but points definitely deducted for the finish.
Rating: ***¾
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A2Z Analysiz: ROH Death Before Dishonor VII Night One (Austin Aries, Lance Storm) http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/17/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-vii-night-one-austin-aries-lance-storm-bret-hart-2/ http://insidepulse.com/2015/07/17/a2z-analysiz-roh-death-before-dishonor-vii-night-one-austin-aries-lance-storm-bret-hart-2/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 12:00:27 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=167696 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
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