Before I begine I’d like to thank ROH for returning to the MidWest. They always put on great shows everytime they’ve been in town and I hope they return again. Personally I don’t really watch wrestling very much anymore but I always make sure to catch ROH whenever they come through as they never disappoint. However because I haven’t watched much wrestling recently I’m not as familiar with many of the wrestlers that were on the show. I will also not do a play by play as I did not sit there with a notebook recording the show, these are merely my thoughts and impressions of the event.
Show started right at 8pm with a SHIMMER Women’s tag team match which put St. Paul’s own Rain and Lacey against Sara Del Ray and Allison Danger. Wow, this was suprisingly good. Not because all of the participants were female, I haven’t seen a well done tag match in awhile and this was just solid tag team wrestling by both teams. This was a great way to open up the show and really showcased the talent of all the women involved. The finish saw Jimmie Jacobs interfer to help Rain and Lacey win.
I apologize as I forget the names of the next two wrestlers involved, but one of them was from Toronto and looked very much like a younger shaven Rhyno with the word Unreal on his trunks and the other had Titus written across the back of his robe in glitter. Titus vs Unreal never really got underway as Jimmie Rave made his return from a jaw injury (as we were told by the announcer), he came in and hit a backdrop driver on Titus and locked in a single leg crab. Then he let us know he was here because he wanted to beat people up and challenged Unreal. Unreal got some offense in, but otherwise was quickly put away by Rave. Rave recieved a pretty generous reaction, the last time I saw him he was part of the Embassy so I’m assuming he must’ve gotten some kind of push since then. Unreal was treated to a lot of Gore chants.
Next up was Shingo vs BJ Whitmer. This was to me one of the better matches of the evening. The story of the match was that they threw the stiffest high impact moves at each other to try to finish the other guy off only to get a close two count. BJ seemed to be getting frustrated after an Exploder on the outside, and a top rope version of the move failed to put Shingo away while Shingo seemed to draw some mystical power from his hair in order to survive such moves before killing BJ with a move that start as a wrist clutch fireman’s carry and ended like a michinoku driver. Good match though it felt kind of rushed.
After that was the Ultimate Endurance match. This was a four team elimination match were each fall had a different stipulation. First was a submission match, followed by a Scamble Match (tags not required), and followed by a match for the tag titles. The Teams were Hallowicked and Gran Akuma, Pelle Primeau and Mitch Franklin (who are the shortest wrestlers outside of midget wrestlers you’ll ever see), Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw, and the Briscoes. The match seemed designed to mostly get Mike Quackenbush over. He was impressive more most of the match. The Briscoes eliminated Primeau and Franklin in what was mostly a comedy match, and during the scramble Quackenbush was singlehandedly taking care of Akuma and Hallowicked even though the Briscoes scored the pin, then in the final Jigsaw played Ricky Morton and was hit by the Briscoes numerous tag team moves until making the hot tag, only there was something missed in the timing in what followed after and it kind of killed the heat of the match, which might’ve been regained except the Briscoes won using the springboard Doomsday device shortly after. It was a pretty good match, but booked oddly. If Quackenbush was supposed to get put over by this then they should’ve had him pick up one of the pinfalls earlier on, and the mistiming towards the end followed by a quick finish wasa letdown.
Anything Goes tag match immediately followed (don’t know why the first half of the show was so tag team heavy) with Homicide and Colt Cabana taking on the team of Brent Albright and Adam Pearce. Didn’t last very long in the ring. They spent a lot of time in the crowd, Homicide and Albright pretty much tore up the row I was in. Homicide certainly looked like he was having a good time at least. Once back in the ring Homicide and Colt still dominated most of it before I think it was Albright that Half Nelsoned Colt onto his head and got the pin. As everyone knew this was the second to last ROH Cabana match there was a loud Bullshit chant. That didn’t go over well.
Intermission. During which a couple of guys dressed in older WWE shirts sat nearby and would proceed to heckle through the rest of the show.
Four Corner Survival Match. Jack Evans vs Delerious vs Rocky Romero vs Erick Stevens. Delerious and Evans got huge reactions. Delerious has got to be one of the most fun wrestlers to just watch. The usual Delerious hijinks started, then Rocky proceeded to piss off everyone else off. Evans didn’t really get much time to do much in the match, though they gave a fair amount of time for Stevens to show off his stuff. Ended with Romero using a tiger suplex on Evans who landed on the top of his skull, then a buzzsaw kick to top it off. 3 count later and it was over.
FIP Title match followed with Christopher Daniels vs Roderick Strong. Was pretty much what you’d expect. Strong worked the back and Daniels did his signature moves. Finish really confused the crowd since it was a countout finish, only the count was a twenty count, and they started it over once both guys were still outside the ring. Didn’t make much sense to the crowd.
ROH title match between Austin Aries and Takeshi Morishima was the main event. Even the hecklers seemed into this one. It was all speed versus power. This match was the first I’ve seen of Takeshi and I’m not impressed. However I am more impressed with Austin Aries who not only seemed to be doing the brunt of the work, he also did a great job making the crowd really give a damn about him winning. A brainbuster and 450 later and we were convinced he won, but Takeshi picked up the win with a Backdrop Driver.
All in all the same high quality show that I’ve come to expect from ROH, but some of the finished left the crowd flat with many of the crowd favorites losing in a row or odd finishes. The last two years there has always been a blow away match, like on Reborn with the Havana Pitbulls vs the Briscoe Brothers or Nigel vs Danielson. This show didn’t really have anything like that. Of course all the shows they’ve done here have been set up shows for Chicago, this is the only show that really felt like a set up show. Then again my opinion might also have been hampered by the obnoxious guys who wouldn’t shut up. Thank you ROH for putting on a good show, and hopefully you’ll come back again soon.