Best of Austin Aries – Wrestling Machine
Quickly, just to clear things up, I don’t own any of the compilation DVDs ROH have bought out. Since I have every show they’ve bought out, I have no need for them, but looking through the DVDs today, I thought to do review some of them would be a good way for people to get to know ROH’s top talent. Now there might be little clips here and there in here, or the might not be. I don’t know, but I’m just reviewing the matches.
I was going to start with The Briscoes DVD, but since Aries is the new champ, I guess a review of this one wouldn’t hurt. Austin Aries, as nearly everyone knows, defeated Samoa Joe at Final Battle 2004, to end the near 2 year reign. I don’t believe Aries was the best Generation Next had to offer, as I believe Shelley is above him, but with Shelley being with TNA, Aries was the best guy to go with.
Debut Match: Austin Aries vs. Danny Daniels – Do or Die II
The version I have of this on my ‘At Our Best’ copy it is clipped. The version is probably full on the DVD. Aries takes it with the 450. Looked in the **-*** region.
Main Show Debut: Austin Aries vs. Rocky Romero vs. Nigel McGuiness vs. Jimmy Rave – Reborn Stage Two
I already have this reviewed, so I’m lifting it from my Reborn Stage Two review:
“I like all guys in this match, especially Aries and Romero. I’m glad Romero is in here instead of Reyes. I can handle Reyes, but he just screws up a bit too much. If he were more fluent, I would like him more because I love wrestlers who work a stiff style, which explains why I like Mitsuya Nagai so much. Romero and Nigel start and work the mat to start. Romero brings the stiffness with a kick to the knee of Nigel. Rave in and gets nowhere and Romero works his arm. Aries in and gets a big reception. Aries hits Romero with his roll through to a back elbow off the second rope. Romero takes Aries down into a Crossface after using Lady in a Lake. Aries uses the ropes to escape. Rave tags in and locks Aries in a chinlock. Aries tags out and uses some Johnny Saint stuff to frustrate Rave and get 2. Aries in and catches him in a headscissors. Aries comes out of it though with a dropkick, busting Rave’s lip open in the process. With Aries, it’s amazing how fluent his offence is. Romero attacks Rave’s shoulder on the apron just because he can. Aries with a Fisherman Neckbreaker and the Rings of Aries but Rave is able to make the ropes. Nigel comes in with a hammerlock Pedigree. That’s the only name I could come up with. Things break down as Romero is in but Nigel suplexes him onto the fallen Aries. And Aries just wasn’t laying down, he was half was getting up from his knees. Rave is back with a superkick, but gets laid out with a brainbuster from Aries for 2. Romero brings the awesome with a snap rana into a Juji-Gatame. Nigel breaks it up and hits the sweeping keylock DDT on Aries. Nigel locks in a submission but gets hit with a Shining Wizard from Rave for. Romero makes the save at 2. Rave with the STO Backbreaker into a Rock Bottom on Romero, but in Aries with a Russian Leg Sweep on Rave and then the Rings of Aries. Romero saves by kicking Aries. Rave backslides Romero for 2. Romero goes for the arm of Rave but gets hit with an Aries leg drop off the top. I was hoping for Aries to use the 450, but ah well. Nigel with a single arm DDT on Rave and then his Short Arm Scissors gets the tap out victory. ***3/4. Considering Aries and Romero have received the biggest pushes after this, perhaps one of them should’ve won. None of this was boring, with great psychology being paid off at the end. (16.41).”
Generation Next Debut: Austin Aries, Roderick Strong and Jack Evans vs. Special K
Once again, I already have this reviewed, so I’m lifting it from my Generation Next review:
“Aries, Strong and Evans are in for Generation Next and Dixie, Izzy and Angeldust for Special K. It’s not the smartest decision for Angeldust to be in there because he’s still suffering from the spike piledriver off the cage through 2 tables at the At Our Best show. This is a great way to get Generation Next over with the crowd, by having them face Special K in the opener. This match also progresses Special K getting more serious. This is what you’d expect it to be, spotty. Aries targets the neck of Angeldust early but Special K make sure to get some offence in. Special K’s strategy is the only one that could possibly bring them victory, and that is attempting to wrestle smarter and avoid Gen Next’s big moves. Strong’s many backbreakers are reversed a few times, which are perhaps the most dangerous to Special K since they aren’t very big. It starts to break down a bit, but amidst the action, Evans manages to hit a shining reverse rana on Izzy. It’s every bit as beautiful as it sounds. K get a little more offence in before Strong kills Dixie with a powerbomb backbreaker. Gen Next all then set up Special K. 450, CX ’03 (Straight Jacked Widows Peak) and 630 put K down for the triple pin. **. Nice little opener, mainly showing what Gen Next had, which was pretty vital, because Aries and Strong had worked one main show before this, so needed to get over with the crowd. (7.54).”
Austin Aries, Alex Shelley and Roderick Strong vs. Matt Stryker, Jimmy Rave and John Walters
Continuing the easy review, from my World Title Classic review:
“Stryker is still covered in blood. The faces isolate Strong to start. Walters and Rave are still pissed after Gen Next attacked them at the last show, so they want revenge. Stryker tags in every now and then, keeping his stays short and sweet, but still effective. Aries is finally able to tag in but is met with chops from Rave. Gen Next show why they’re double/triple/quadruple team moves are awesome when Aries has Rave in powerbomb position, Strong in over the shoulder backbreaker position and Shelley in a neckbreaker and they all just drop down. Rave has is neck stretched in all sorts of different and painful ways. Rave is able to get the hot tag, but Gen Next distracts the ref. I like the heel tag work before it happens again. That shouldn’t be done twice in quick succession like that. Rave is able to fight back though, hit Shelley with the Shining Wizard and tag out to Stryker. Stryker is able to take Aries down with a powerslam and Shelley down with Rolling Germans, but Strong hits some on Stryker. Rave hits a rana on Shelley and Stryker with a superplex on Aries for 2. Piggyback stunner from Walters on Shelley. Rave hooks the Dust Till Dawn (tilt a whirl crossface) but Aries hits him with the 450. Rings of Aries locked in and Rave taps. ***3/4. Apparently Rave is gone from ROH, since ROH said start winning or we’ll give you you’re marching orders. But anyone who follows ROH knows what happened there. The match was great; it was sort of a mini version of the Gen Next match, except with six people. Psychology was great and Generation Next was the top heel group at this time with their heel work and Shelley rocking the mic better than HHH ever wishes he could.”
Main Event Qualifier: Austin Aries and Roderick Strong vs. John Walters and Josh Daniels – Survival of the Fittest
From my Survival of the Fittest review:
The faces go wild to start, but Generation Next are able to take over and beat on Walters. Aries really shines in this match with his heel work, as he holds Walters in the ropes with a choke and counts along with the ref. Gen Next’s game plan is simple, let Strong use his impact moves and let Aries do the flash moves. We also see a couple of the “face makes the tag but the ref doesn’t see it” stuff. This also follows the “ROH Tag Formula” as well once Walters tags out, in that each team trade signature moves in an attempt to finish the match. Walters is eventually taken out of the equation after hitting a Straight-Jacket Lung Blower, as Strong hits the Urban Legend. Daniels tries to Superplex Aries, but Strong powerbombs him down, and Aries finishes with the 450 while Strong is also down. A nice little tag match, that I’m sure people would go crazy for if they were to see it in WWE or TNA, but at the end of the day, this stuff is normal in ROH. ***”
Main Event: Austin Aries vs. “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson – Survival of the Fittest
This is just the Danielson/Aries portion of the match. Even though I believe it wasn’t its own separate match, I’m just going with that part of the review. Once again, from my Survival of the Fittest review:
“Now it’s time for the Old Guard of ROH to face the New Guard (even though Danielson is younger than Aries). Danielson starts by schooling Aries on the mat, pretty much saying “You may have taken other guys’ spots, but you’re not taking mine”. Aries finds an opening to hit his roll through-back elbow from the middle rope, but that stuff isn’t working with Danielson and he just dropkicks Aries in the back on the way down. Aries is finally able to get some real offence in, as he catches Danielson on the top with a springboard enzuguri and Danielson gets caught in the ropes, so he adds a dropkick to the back for good measure. Aries now just has to keep on Danielson and he can take this home. He hits his Slingshot Splash and hits a suplex from the apron, much like from Benoit vs. Sasuke J-Cup 94.Aries has learnt from earlier with Joe, and even though a suplex to the floor hurts a little more than the Crucifix Bomb, but the principle is the same, don’t follow up and you won’t win. And he makes sure to follow up by dropping a Cactus Jack elbow. Aries with a backdrop and tries for the 450, but Danielson moves and nails Aries with a European Uppercut and then with a vicious Lariat for 2.
He lifts up Aries and hits the Dragon Suplex for 2 and rolls right into Cattle Mutilation, but Aries is able to bridge out into the Fishhook of Doom and then into the Rings of Aries. But Danielson is able to avoid it being locked in properly at any time so he can get to the ropes. Aries is able to nail a Brainbuster after a bit of a fight, but once again the 450 is hit, this time with Danielson getting the knees up. Danielson then delivers the most vicious bodyslams in wrestling history, and does quite a few of them. Aries is able to fight back with forearms, but Danielson cuts him off with a rolling forearm. Danielson goes back to work with the body slams. Aries reverses a slam to a cradle for a big near fall, but that’s all he gets. Danielson Bearhugs Aries, and locks him in a version of the Bearhug Crab he put Evans in earlier to pay off the bodyslams and to get the win. The portion of the match before Danielson/Aries was great, but once we hit the final part, it turned this bad boy MOTYC. ****1/2″
NOTE: The match as itself is ****3/4, I’ve given it ****1/2 because of the part of the match prior to Danielson/Aries.
ROH Pure Title: Doug Williams vs. Austin Aries – Death Before Dishonor II Night 2
My first non C&P review so far and I must explain the rules of the Pure Title. They are as followed:
1 – No punching in the face. First one gets you a warning, second loses you a rope break
2 – 20 count on the floor
3 – 3 rope breaks
Aries knows he’s not going to beat Williams on the mat, so he has to get Doug angry to force him to lose his rope breaks. He punches Williams in the face when the handshake is offered, but the ref only sees Doug retaliate, causing him to get a warning. Aries problem though is that he’s not comfortable with the rules, as he uses one of his rope breaks on a standing hammerlock. Aries grabs a side headlock and continuously tells the ref Doug is pulling his hair, only for Aries to punch him in the face when his back is turned. This proves effective when Doug escapes and punches Aries in the face, only the ref notices and he loses a rope break. Aries’ main downfall is him not picking a strategy outside of the cheap tactics. Williams works the arm, but Aries is stuck just trying to get Doug to use his rope breaks, instead of attacking a body part whilst doing that. After a few attempts of trying to get Doug to use his second rope break, he finally does with a Muta Lock. To the outside and Aries hits his always beautiful corkscrew pescado. Showing both men aren’t familiar with this particular rule, they just make it into the ring at 19. When back in the ring, Doug goes straight to the arm, using a Japanese Armdrag into the corner and the Bombs Away Kneedrop onto the arm. Aries is forced to use his second rope break when Doug uses a bridging hammerlock. Both have to be cautious, yet aggressive here, as both only have one rope break left. Aries’ pretty much tells you that it’s over when he uses his Swaying Elbow on Williams. It’s not that he’s just giving up, but he’s not wrestling smart and acting like it’s all or nothing. Doug forces Aries to use his last rope break, and Aries hugging up to the ropes so Doug can’t attack further pretty much tells you what’s going on here. Aries doesn’t even get Doug to use his final rope break, as he’s put away with a Juji-Gatame in the ropes. Williams attacked the arm well, but Aries also helped him come away with the victory as well. ***1/2
Austin Aries vs. Colt Cabana – Scramble Cage Melee
Cabana is usually able to use his unorthodox comedy style to throw his opponents off and get the win, but as the title of the DVD says, Aries is the wrestling machine and that stuff isn’t going it work on him. Early on this fools Aries, but you just know he’s living on bought time unless he changes things up. Aries goes to work on the arm and tries to take out Cabana with his corkscrew pescado, but Cabana moves and the heels collide. Since the arm hasn’t been worked much, it’s not bothering Cabana too much, but when he accidentally chops the ring post he gets himself in a little trouble. Aries then burries him under the ROH sheet metal banner and comes off with a Cactus Jack Elbow. Cabana also bleeds, but not very much. The problem with that is when Cabana rolls up the ref accidentally because the blood is in his eyes. There’s not that much blood to get in his eyes. Cabana is able to get on offence and get in a signature move in, that being the Shwein Neckbreaker. The match ends for Cabana though when Aries hits the Brainbuster. It’s not over officially, but it might as well be. Aries locks in the Rings of Aries after Cabana is tripped up by Shelley for the win. A nice mix of psychology and comedy with Cabana selling the arm very well and Aries dismantling, but not squashing Cabana. ***
Post match Gen Next lay a beating on Cabana. He gets his arm sandwiched between two chairs and Aries comes off with a 450.
Austin Aries vs. CM Punk – Weekend of Thunder Night One
Punk beat Aries at Glory By Honor III with the help of Steve Corino, but can Punk do it by himself tonight? To my amusement, Punk gets in an argument with a TNA fan. The opening sequence in this match shows both are pretty much even, with Aries taking Punk down into a hammerlock, then they repeat the sequence, but with Punk coming out on top. Aries tries for his roll through back elbow but Punk school boys him. A crucial part on the match for Aries at Glory By Honor IIII was with his unorthodox arsenal, Punk didn’t see a lot of the stuff he was doing coming, but this time he does and he’s able to take over easily. Aries is able to get his dropkick out of a sunset flip in, but ultimately Punk is able to take him apart. This is evident with a neckbreaker on the top rope; with the only thing saving him were the ropes. To the outside and Punk throws him around a little, until he accidentally hits the ring post with a Shining Wizard. One thing Aries has learnt from his match with Williams is to pick apart a body part. The match is put on hold for a while as the lights go out, so until the spot light is put on Aries grabs a hold. Aries busts Punk open with a dropkick and then uses a stunner on the leg. Aries also uses his signature moves to pick apart the move, including his slingshot hilo and the Swaying Elbow.
Punk tries for the Shining Wizard again, but naturally he can’t do it properly and Aries rolls it through to a half crab. It was a stupid move, but he was in a desperate situation. Up top, Punk has to pull out all the stops and is able to hit the Pepsi Plunge but can’t cover because of his knee. When he does, Aries is able to get his foot on the ropes. Sadly, they botch the reverse version of it and they improvise. Punk tries for a Superplex, but continues to sell the knee, so Aries tries the Pepsi Plunge, and the only thing that saves Punk is he falls off due to his knee. Aries sees a real opportunity here as he hits his shin breaker-backdrop combo, with the backdrop being used into the corner and he then goes up top and hits the 450 on the bad knee. Punk has got nothing to do now and Aries cranks on a half crab to gain the victory. Aries shows that he’s truly an ROH star now, because not only can he beat one of the top stars in ROH, he can do it cleanly. He can also mix up his offence to suit the situation. I also watched the GBH III match prior to this and this match is easily superior, as it doesn’t have all the silly run ins. ***1/2