This week’s A Modest Response features the Top 25 Matches of the Year so far.
Come join Pulse Glazer with has 6 full new reviews within and special guests Scott Keith, Eric Szulczewski, Big Andy Mac, Rob Blatt, Matthew Michaels, PK, Allen Noah, and the Pulse Wrestling debut of Derek Kelley. You won’t want to miss this!
News of Honor
Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey seem to be dating
This is a totally new chapter in what has been the most well put together wrestling storyline in years. After spurning Jimmy for so long, Lacey is dating him because he took out BJ Whitmer and Colt Cabana. If you’re missing this story now, it’s like missing Raven-Dreamer a decade ago.
Ring of Honor is running a Do or Die at the Philadelphia show with Damien Wayne, Rex Sterling and Azrieal
Do or Die is where ROH takes top independent talent and gives them a shot to impress and earn a roster spot. These are always fun and Wayne is among the best on the indies so I’d expect him to stick. I can’t wait to see who else is announced.
See what happens when Delirious attacks Roderick Strong and Jay and Mark Briscoe cut a promo. Man up.
A slow news week for ROH, although they’ve announced matches for next week’s shows, but I’ll be getting to that next week with the regular full preview with Big Andy Mac.
In Other News
June 11 Raw will have a draft lottery
I’m hoping for a big shakeup here. Completely new brands for many wrestlers would greatly freshen up the product. Also, Bischoff, Heyman and Vince as GMs, with distinctly different feels to all products would certainly draw, but Vince, as ever, seems unwilling to go all the way with that.
Vince is still unsure if the Hardyz should remain a team
They sell merchandise better together than alone, they’re higher on the card together, they put on better matches together, they’ve over more together get the idea? What’s the hold-up?
RVD’s gone after One Night Stand
You should know this, but just incase, I thought it worth reporting. He’s gone unless Vince wants to spite the internet.
Christian Cage signed a new deal with TNA
He’s the most entertaining man on their show, including Joe and Angle. His Vince Vaughn-esque humor and cowardly heel shtick are absolutely great. If TNA were able to work an effective chase at this point, he’d have really broken through. As is, stunted feuds hurt him, but not much since his own effectiveness has limited how badly he’s been booked. See also, his treatment in WWE and how over he remained there.
Paul London was threatened with a firing for doing a shooting star plancha
Do it again Paul! ROH misses you!
Sabu is in talks with TNA and Triple A
If he returns to TNA their faux hardcore division should return with him. That stuff has a place and fanbase. Why ignore it?
Nitro is not in line for a push at all
That’s how you show the kids! Work hard, improve exponentially and you too can be a victim of politics and pulled from TV!
This Week on Pulse Wrestling
Big Andy Mac discusses the ROH tag scene. If I could add any one team to the scene it’d be Arrogance, the PWG team of Chris Bosh and Scott Lost. They’d work amazingly as the heel anti-Briscoes.
Murray looks on the bright side as usual, but how bright can he himself be if he’s ditching the best WWE show for his positive outlook column. Still a great read.
Brashear discusses Double J as a barber. I remember that; it was hilarious.
Clark writes a very good ROH column, but, Phil, I’m begging you, ditch the big “f*ck you.Ã¢â‚¬Â It’s tacky and you have more talent than to need to rely on that!
Broken Dial still rocks. By the way, if you’re in the New York area, KRock is back.
Check out my Games Column and my Comics Column. Also, apologies for no VS. this week, but some wires got crossed. This column is freaking huge, so hopefully that makes up for this.
This week’s A Modest Response will be in response to this List of the 25 best matches of the half year by DVDR. DVDR is a great site, but, really, Cena vs. Khali on the list? So, in response, we have the Pulse Wrestling Matches of the Half Year. I eliminated Puro from the list, because I’m just not up to date enough. Besides ROH no indy appears because their DVDs generally come out so damn slowly. So, without further ado, here we go, the Top 25, with full reviews from Pulse Wrestling’s Best!
A Modest Response: The Top 25 Matches of the 2007 So Far
These are in order of DATE otherwise this would be a countdown and the set up would make no sense
1. Cena vs. Umaga 1/12/07 – From Scott Keith’s Royal Rumble 2007 Rant
RAW World title: John Cena v. Umaga, Last Man Standing
Cena is wearing the DDP rib tape tonight. Gee, I wonder what the story of the match will be? They slug it out and Cena gets a jawbreaker, but Umaga hits him in the ribs and Cena bails. Pussy. Umaga slugs him off the apron and sends him into the steps, but sadly he’s not coughing up blood yet. C’mon, John, be a man and bite down on that condom full of red liquid! They down the aisle and Cena brings him back to ringside, but he forgets the first rule of wrestling: Samoans have hard heads. Well, maybe not the FIRST rule of wrestling, but it’s up there. Back in, Umaga headbutts him down and kicks him in the ribs again, and Cena keeps trying to run away, like little boys from Rob Feinstein…
Umaga lays him out with the clothesline, but Cena , fearing for his merchandising cut, makes it up at 7. Umaga gets the stairs as Cena beats another count and then recovers the stairs himself and tosses them at Umaga to knock him out. Oh, what a role model, using the stairs as a weapon. What a jerk. Umaga beats the count and goes back to the ribs, via a bearhug, but then stops and grabs another set of stairs. Well, Cena deserves it for using them the last time. They get set up in the corner and Cena sits against them, but the RUNNING ASS OF DEATH misses and Cena uses the stairs again. Umaga answers the count at 7. Cena goes up, but gets caught in a uranage on the way down. Hah, serves him right. Umaga goes back to the ribs, but Cena kicks him in the nuts to stop him. Just can’t fight fair, can you? Blue Thunder bomb on the stairs and both guys are down, but Cena is up first, probably by some sort of illegal supplement, and the F-U on the stairs follows. Cena, however, hits his head on the way down, showing that poor sportsmanship is never rewarded. Except in real life. Cena starts bleeding to go along with the taped ribs, and now the crowd catches onto his bad attitude and starts telling him that he sucks. Umaga slugs him down, but John fights up again. I’d test the blood dripping off his face for drugs if I was them. Cena, obviously high on goofballs, hulks up, but Umaga hits him with a samoan drop. This sets up the THUMB OF DEATH, but Cena blocks it. Umaga hangs him in the Tree of Woe, but Cena dodges a charging Umaga and goes up with a top rope legdrop, then cheats again by sending him into the post. Just to really hammer home what a dirty cheat he is, he uses a monitor, thus adding destruction of private property to his list of transgressions tonight, but Umaga is up at 8. Man, the WWE is gonna be screwed if they ever switch to LCD monitors like the rest of the world. Cena comes off the apron, but Umaga sends him into the post and it’s onto the ECW table. Umaga preps all of the announce tables, and then charges across all of them, before missing and belly-flopping through the ECW one. Now that was unique. Umaga is up at 9, however. Estrada undoes a turnbuckle while Umaga recovers and heads back in. So the entire top rope is dislodged, which seems a bit involved when just giving him the WRENCH would have sufficed just as well. Umaga, of course, misses his big chance, and Cena uses the loose rope to choke him out like the no-good cheat that he is. Umaga pops right up again, so Cena chokes him out again, adding attempted murder to his rap sheet tonight.
(John Cena d. Umaga, STFU — knockout, 22:40, ****) Oh, sure, Cena won, but at what cost? His SOUL? The lives of kids everywhere who idolize this cheating maniac? For SHAME, WWE.
OK, the match was pretty cool, though.
2. Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe 1/14/07 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Here’s one from PK’s Final Resolution coverage. This was the very last match to make the list.
Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle – 30 Minute Iron Match
Plenty of back and forth mat action for the first 10 minutes or so. Joe finally gets the Angle up on the turnbuckle and goes for the Muscle Buster, but Angle falls through and tries to lock on the Ankle Lock. Joe fights it off and locks on the Rear Naked Choke, and Angle taps to get the first fall. Angle comes back and tries to hit the Olympic Slam, but Joe slides through, only for Angle to lock on the Ankle Lock for the tap. The score is now tied. Angle goes for another Olympic Slam, Joe again slides through. They stand off and tie up, but Angle just dives at the ankle and locks on the Ankle Lock for Joe to tap. Angle 2, Joe 1. Joe tries another Muscle Buster, but again Angle slides through and tries an Ankle Lock, however Joe kicks off it. Angle nails an Olympic Slam, but Joe kicks out at 2. For a third time, Joe goes for the Muscle Buster, this time hitting it for the pin, and the score is tied. Angle then rolls up Joe for a pin, and is now up 3 to 2. Joe locks on the Ankle Lock and Angle is in a lot of pain. The clock is at 30, and Angle is holding on…holding on…holding on…and the time runs out.
Winner 3 falls to 2 – Kurt Angle
3. Joe vs. Morishima 2/16/07 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ This is from my review of the Fifth Year Festival: NYC.
Takeshi Morishima vs. Samoa Joe
Both men begin with giant forearms and the crowd explodes. The bell is rung and they brawl to the floor with Morishima using shoulder blocks to keep Joe down. The crowd is firmly behind Joe who’s getting clubbed by Morishima drawing dueling chants. The Japanese giant continues to take it to Joe through it all.
Morishima is just crushing Joe so far, not even giving Joe any offense off of escaping chinlocks. To Morishima’s credit he’s actually digging in with the move, making it look painful, even biting and clawing at Joe’s head. Whenever Joe fights back at all, it’s with strikes, which seem to have no effect at all. Morishima butt butts Joe down and hits a dropkick from the top that shakes the ring.
Morishima goes up again but Joe counters with an atomic drop, big boot and senton. Joe gets control with that combination and begins to attack Morishima with combinations, like a charge in the corner into a Pelle kick. Joe manages the facewash on Morishima and stops to sell his hurt back in a nice touch. Joe’s softened Morishima up now, so his strikes are taking their toll. Morishima is bleeding from his nose and Joe will not let up on the strikes, even pulling out the elbow suicida.
Olay Kick time! Joe sets up Morishima and kicks his face off. Joe tries another Olay Kick and connects again. Morishima is in trouble. Back in, Joe takes too long with his strikes and eats a Bossman slam.
Morishima is back in control and begins using his butt on offense. A corner Yakuza kick knocks Joe silly, but a second attempt allows Joe to counter into a STO. They begin fighting back and forth, but Joe’s combinations are too much for Morishima and he hits an enziguiri and Death Valley Driver. That gets two.
Joe uses Kawada kicks and tries to powerbomb Morishima. Morishima backdrops out and lands on Joe. Morishima goes up top and Joe follows. A big kick from Joe leads to a Muscle Buster, but that only gets a long two!
Morishima has his fighting spirit now and will not sell Joe’s assaults. A big lariat by Mori finally results in both men going down. Morishima is up first and goes with a Thesz press and then an exploder on Joe. Backdrop driver and Morishima has seemingly killed Joe, but the pin attempt only gets two.
Mori lariats Joe in the back of the head, but a second attempt turns into a half nelson suplex in a nice homage to the Joe-Kobashi match. Joe locks in the choke and won’t let go even as Morishima constantly tries to get out. Morishima is out as Joe finally hooks it in. Joe wins!
Samoa Joe defeats Takeshi Morishima (Ref stoppage, Choke out, **** Ã‚Â½)
Even better on DVD than in person. Joe did all the little selling and pacing things to make this match flow perfectly. Neither man controlled too long, but Morishima looked like a beast, refusing to be hurt by Joe’s best. The combinations softening Morishima and the learned lariat counter from the Kobashi match make this absolutely great. A clear MOTYC.
4. The Briscoes vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico 2/17/07 – From a live report of the ROH Fifth Year Festival:Philly. I lowered the rating since I’ve seen it on DVD.
Match 4: El Generico and Kevin Steen vs. Jay and Mark Briscoe
Both teams just went at it amazingly with back and forth action to where even the heat sequences on Generico built perfectly. The explosion for the long ending sequence was absolutely amazing with Steen, not a small man by any means, hitting a swanton and moonsault and Generico crawling through the turnbuckles to DDT a Briscoe on the floor. The Briscoes worked in all their usual great spots and the false finishes had everyone on their feet. No one going in thought Generico and Steen could win, but by the end, everyone bought it. The Briscoes finished when Jay hit a guillotine leg drop while Mark hit a Shooting Star Press.
Jay and Mark Briscoe defeat El Generico and Kevin Steen (Pin, Shooting Star Press and Guillotine leg drop combination, **** 1/4).
Kevin Steen needs a permanent roster spot now. That match was fantastic.
5. Samoa Joe vs. Davey Richards 2/23/07 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Here’s a totally new review by yours truly from the Fifth Year Festival in Dayton.
Samoa Joe vs. Davey Richards
The crowd is rabid for Joe here, always a good sign in a big match. Davey early is attempting to control pace and stiff Joe, while Joe cockily counters with heavy strikes and insulting slaps. They are, between strikes telling a nice young upstart vs. cocky vet story. Joe has answers to most of what Davey does, but Davey strikes hard enough to be competitive and take care of Joe’s overconfidence. The story is good, but would be better if Davey hadn’t turned heel a week prior. That and Joe being beloved have the crowd in the corner of the guy who’s essentially working heel. Joe also has one of the sickest kicks to the head you’ll ever see on Davey when Davey begins to piss him off. Right back to overconfidence, Joe waits for Davey in the ring as he rolls on the floor.
Davey, learning he can’t strike with Joe evenly, begins using his speed to keep Joe down and it works. He actually is using a lot of KENTA offense, which works since he’s KENTA’s protÃƒÂ©gÃƒÂ©. Three Olay kicks put a stop to that strategy., and Davey is now just trying to escape. A Tornado DDT on the apron from Davey finally slows Joe down significantly. Davey has the advantage using his speed to land impact moves on Joe whenever he fights back.
Joe’s own counters are not without effect, as no matter what Davey throws at him, Joe has a powerful move ready, whether it be the powerbomb combination or the choke. Davey refuses to go down in the choke, and his best not being enough, he decides to cheat and kicks Joe low to gain advantage. The combination of cheating and speed are giving Davey his best chance yet until Joe hits a Muscle Buster on the apron. Sick. That’s over.
Samoa Joe defeats Davey Richards (Pin, Muscle Buster, ****)
Davey tried to strike with Joe and failed. His speed wasn’t enough. His cheating wasn’t enough. Joe was just a force of nature. Good story, some sick spots. Great match.
6. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Colt Cabana 2/24/07 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ This was the Windy City Death Match at the Fifth Year Chicago. Here are Big Andy Mac thoughts on the bloodstained affair.
Colt Cabana vs. Jimmy Jacobs: Windy City Death Match (Colt over Jacobs; pinfall Colt 45 ****)
Jimmy Jacobs saw the culmination of an almost 8 month feud with Colt Cabana come to a close at the Fifth Year Festival: Chicago. They had been feuding because Cabana had taken Lacey’s *ahem* innocence. The match started with the standard punch-kick that many violent brawls begin with and Colt seemed to be going to his usual comedic self and delivering the Dusty Rhodes elbows, all of a sudden however Jacobs has blood pouring from his forehead. Now the elbow’s from Colt are usually result in a stunned opponent, but bloodletting…never. Colt reveals that he was hiding a pair of scissors in his elbow pad…the sadistic goon. More brawling leads to Jacobs getting control of the scissors and trying to stab Colt but lodging them in the turnbuckle pad. Violence, brawling, the spike, and Lacey’s heel all become involved and soon Cabana is bleeding as much as Jacobs. As the match wears on Jacobs brings a ladder into play in an attempt to pacify Cabana and get revenge for his perceived wrongs. Jacobs ascends to the top of the ladder and delivers a crushing senton to Cabana through a table on the outside. The time it takes Jacobs to roll Cabana in the ring for the cover is just enough time for him to regain enough strength to kick out at two shocking the Chicago crowd in attendance. A Colt 45 for Jacobs, and one for Lacey shortly afterwards is enough to sew up the victory for the Classic one. While the finish was moderately tame considering some of the near falls leading to it, this match was a fitting end to the feud between Jacobs and Cabana. No respect was earned from either side, and it would not be long before Colt made his way to bigger and “better” things. Jacobs would also top this brawl in a matter of weeks, but to this point it was one of the best matches of 2007.
7. Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Naruki Doi and Shingo 3/3/07 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Yet another totally new review of a major match by me. Hope you enjoy. This is Jay and Mark’s first defense at Fifth Year Festival: Liverpool.
ROH World Tag Team Title Match: Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Naruki Doi and Shingo
Early on this is nothing special and Mark ends up playing the face in peril.
The hot tag allows Jay and Mark to hit one of their trademark move combinations and Shingo is in trouble. The move of the match is busted out on Shingo, a split-leg moonsault into a spinning leg drop while Shingo was held in Demolition Destruction position. It’s filthy and when it happens so quickly, it’s almost unbelievable.
The double teams are constant and Shingo eventually takes both Briscoes down to be able to make the tag. Doi and Shingo finally begin to separate the Briscoes, keeping Mark outside and assaulting him while beating on Jay in the ring. They even manage to take advantage of The Briscoes aggressive double teaming, managing to cause the usually perfectly in tune Briscoes to hit each other.
Jay is left the face in peril this time and the Japanese team attacks Mark occasionally to make certain they don’t fall victim to the Briscoes team work, yet they can use their own double teams to wear Jay down.
The hot tag this time allows Mark to use his speed to take out his opponents, even using a shooting star to the floor to leave Jay in the ring with Doi. Jay fights valiantly, but Doi, who was not worked over this match, is too fresh for him and gains the advantage. Both Briscoes are worn down, while only Shingo is on the opposing side, so the Briscoes decide to isolate Shingo with tag maneuvers. This proves a mistake as Doi enters and immediately his team is able to regain control. Back and forth both teams go!
Shingo is very worn down, but both Briscoes have taken a beating. Will Doi be able to pin a Briscoe before Shingo collapses to the Briscoes double teams?
The Briscoes knock Shingo from the ring and begin to work over Doi with a Total Elimination and Razor’s Edge Neckbreaker combination. The Briscoes go for the kill with the Springboard Doomsday Device, but Shingo breaks it up. This is only enough to stop the move as the Briscoes retain control, but cannot get a pin on Doi, who’s just too fresh.
Mark goes after Shingo while Jay aims for the Jay Driller. Shingo, having rested on the floor, takes out the Briscoes, and Mark is trapped alone again. A Shingo Driver on Mark and we have new tag team champions!
Naruki Doi and Shingo defeat Jay and Mark Briscoe (Pin, Shingo Driver, **** Ã‚Â½)
The Briscoes numerous tactical errors cost them. They had Shingo worn down, but chose to go after Doi, letting Shingo recuperate while the Briscoes were active and didn’t have any time to rest. This ultimately cost the Briscoes the match. They couldn’t pin Doi, and the reenergized Shingo was able to take out Mark.
8. Nigel McGuinness vs. Samoa Joe 3/3/07 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ More newly reviewed matches from me here, this one being Samoa Joe’s second to last ROH match at the Fifth Year Festival: Liverpool.
Samoa Joe vs. Nigel McGuinness
The first exchange of the match sees Nigel tear his groin. The rest of this one he wrestles hurt. They go back and forth on the mat and Nigel works on Joe’s arm.
These two faced off many times and they consistently have counters for each other’s trademark maneuvers and the order of spots. Joe, who has faced just about everyone multiple times, has a clear advantage at this and gains control early. He uses this advantage to hit two Olay kicks, but Nigel is prepared to be tossed in the ring and rebounds with a big lariat.
Nigel and Joe beat the hell out of each other in the ring until Nigel headbutts Joe’s shoulder, giving him control. He works over the arm some more. This is pointless because nothing either man does is arm reliant. Nigel has no arm submission and Joe has no arm based attack he finishes with. Nigel could attack the arm to escape the choke or the Muscle Buster to make this valuable, but it’s doubtful. Short arm work to give Nigel a counter when Joe controls would work, but overdoing the arm work doesn’t help that either. It adds time, not content to the match.
Joe takes back control with an STO and goes to work with his regular offense. Nigel’s hurt groin is slowing down his comebacks, but his strikes are giving him an advantage, something rarely seen in someone wrestling Joe.
Joe uses counter maneuvers to fight back, and, as usual, when he hits a move, he hits in combination, wearing Nigel down. Joe, however, goes back to strikes, a mistake that allows Nigel back in the match. Nigel’s old style offense with Tower of London’s and the like is constantly countered, but when he goes for different, new offense, strike based, he has an advantage. Nigel goes to the top, but Joe catches him with a Muscle Buster on the apron and they both fall to the floor.
Nigel is helped to the back. Joe gets on the mic and demands Nigel return for a handshake. This pisses Nigel off who does return, but to slap Joe.
Nigel is in no shape to compete with Joe now and is destroyed into the Muscle Buster. While Nigel is weakened, he won’t give in and he actually kicks out of Joe’s finisher! A giant lariat won’t keep Nigel down. Another lariat and Nigel is up at one! Joe locks in the choke and Nigel turns it into a pin. Joe escapes and holds the choke. Nigel passes out and Joe is the winner.
Samoa Joe defeats Nigel McGuinness (Ref stoppage, Choke, **** Ã‚Â¼)
This had minor pacing issues because of Nigel’s hurt groin, but besides that, it was great. The story for the first half of the match really didn’t pay off, nor did Nigel’s early arm work, but the story for the first half was very good and the finish was extremely well done.
9. Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Rave 3/4/07 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Here a brand new review for the match that blew up one of the hottest and fasted blood feuds in ROH history, which concludes here at the Fifth Year Festival: Finale.
Fight Without Honor: Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Rave
These two absolutely hate each other and Nigel shows it with an insane amount of stiff moves here. Rave is, of course, up for the counters and attacks Nigel’s leg viciously. This is the perfect highlight for how far each man has come. Nigel used to work light and do arm work with no pay off. Now he works stiff and focuses on Lariats, while building to the rebound lariat. Rave always drew heat, but was slow and lacked direction in the ring. Now he attacks the leg like a beast and uses the heel hook to finish. His counter wrestling has much improved and it’s easy to count on him busting out a few big moves out of nowhere.
The Heel Hook won’t finish Nigel because he won’t quit, regardless of pain. This pays off several previous encounters as he has become less and less likely to give up as his hatred for Rave grows. Nigel hit Rave with everything to finally put him down, but Rave, fueled by hatred as well, won’t stay down, even after a Tower of London on the guardrail. The offense here was absolutely brutal and Nigel got the win with a Pendulum Lariat that literally broke Rave’s jaw.
Nigel McGuinness defeats Jimmy Rave (Pin, Pendulum Lariat, **** Ã‚Â½)
10. Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe 3/4/07 – Here’s another totally new match review from one of my favorite matches of the year. If you like stiff wrestling, check this out on the Fifth Year Festival: Finale
Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe
There was a big worry that these two would be unable to pace this. The Briscoes as a team work very quickly, almost reminiscent of Kurt Angle in his WWE heyday. That can be a detriment, making selling look bad, and these two needed to look like they were killing each other. The other major worry was that they would overcompensate and go too slow, taking away one of their main selling points. Neither worry was founded.
This is about as stiff as a straight match can be. The brothers pull out every high spot and head drop in their arsenals, including finishers like the Cut Throat Driver and Jay Driller. The selling is perfect and the match is slow, but these guys are beating the life out of each other so it works perfectly due to the sheer force they’re clocking each other with. This might have been ***** had it not gone to a double knockout, which while dissatisfying for the match is the best storytelling decision.
Jay and Mark Briscoe go to a double knockout (**** Ã‚Â¾)
11. Christian Cage vs. Samoa Joe on 3/11/07 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ This is from Matthew Michaels’ quick results of TNA’s Destination X
NWA World Title: Christian Cage vs. Samoa Joe
Joe came to the ring with his Samoan fire dancers, and the match may have been Christian’s best singles match ever, if not his best in TNA. There was no angle to strip the “NWA” name from the belt — and in fact, the title was called “NWA” several times throughout the night, including in a backstage altercation between Christian and former NWA World Champ Muta — but the ending was controversial, so it should be interesting to see how this ties into the rumored NWA/TNA split. Joe kicked out of the Unprettier, Christian kicked out of the Muscle Buster, there was a ref bump, some shenanigans, and Christian won with feet on the ropes, after reversing a kokina clutch into a roll-up. Good match, slightly disappointing ending, but Cage/Joe in a cage seems likely for next month in St. Louis.
12. Austin Aries, Delirious, Claudio Castagnoli and Rocky Romero vs. CIMA, Susumu Yokosuka, Dragon Kid and Ryo Saito 3/30/07 – From All Star Extravaganza III, it’s ROH vs. Dragon Gate. The two ad hoc teams face off to see which promotion gets bragging rights. My reviewing style doesn’t lend itself well to this style of match, so here’s Big Andy Mac:
“So One on one, Flippy, big moves, armdrags, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœranas, flippy some more, big moves again, finisher sequence, a crossfire bomb on Delirious, and CIMA wins. (****).Ã¢â‚¬Â
This was a very good match, but that about covers it.
13. CIMA, Yokosuka, and Shingo vs. Dragon Kid, Saito, and Mochizuki 3/31/07 – Here’s upcoming Game Reviewer Derek Kelley’s thoughts on the match.
The main event for Supercard of Honor II was utterly insane live. Spots flowed into one another, creating a near blur in the mind of onlookers as each breathtaking maneuver was outdone immediately after the previous had taken our breath away. It was an awesome match for all the live crowd, and even managed to turn my own dad to puroresu. If you’ve never seen it’s like before, it’s an unparalleled spot fest and absolutely the most fun athletic competition around, **** 1/4
14. BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs 3/31/07 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ This is my last totally new review for this feature and it’s my favorite match of the year so far. Jimmy Jacobs loves his manager Lacey. Lacey wants Jimmy’s brother figure BJ Whitmer to suffer, so Jacobs has been trying to kill BJ for months, even breaking BJ’s ankle at one point. This blood feud comes to a head tonight in a steel cage at Supercard of Honor II.
Cage Match: Jimmy Jacobs with Lacey vs. BJ Whitmer with Daizee Haze
Jimmy enters to “Please don’t dieÃ¢â‚¬Â chants from the crowd as he climbs over the cage into the ring. The match begins with Jacobs diving through the cage door onto BJ to gain an early advantage. This is a great feature of this feud. BJ is much bigger and uses power to control their brawls, while Jacobs always uses speed or stealth to get his advantages. BJ is sent into the guard rail and Jacobs dives off a chair onto him with an elbow.
They tease going into the cage early and go back and forth inside the cage. BJ is stronger so Jimmy’s back hits the cage first. A moment late Jimmy’s head hits the cage and BJ has control, whipping Jacobs into the cage at will. Whitmer calls for a chair and dropkicks it at Jacobs, but he tries it again and Jacobs is able to kick it back at BJ. Back and forth we go using the chair for offense and Jimmy Jacobs lost a tooth.
BJ goes for the kill early, looking for a brainbuster on the chair, but Jacobs slips out and hits a Raven style drop toe-hold onto the chair. Jimmy calls for the railroad spike. Whitmer gets a spike at the same time and they both smash each other with the spike and fall down. Both men are now busted open.
They rise to their feet and smash each other with the spikes until they collapse, bleeding everywhere. Jacobs is up and fires himself up by hitting himself with the spike, but it gives Whitmer time to get up, powerbomb him in the corner and smash him with a boot.
The barbed wire baseball bat is out now, but Jacobs stops Whitmer from using it. They’re going to build to its use. BJ begins throwing Jacobs around, but as he moves in for the kill, Jacobs gets the bat up and Whitmer takes it in the face. The stealth pays off again, but Jacobs cuts his hand in the process of holding the dangerous weapon. Jacobs then smashes Whitmer with the bat in the arm and then bites the barbed wire. He’s totally lost it.
Jacobs, totally insane, grabs the spike, licks blood off Whitmer, and spits it back at him. Jacobs, with both spikes, attacks the arm and forehead. Jacobs goes for the barbed wire bat again and a chair, with the spike in his mouth.
Jimmy sets Whitmer face down on the barbed wire and smashed the back of his head with a chair, conchairto style. That’s just wrong. Jacobs continues the assault. Whitmer is a ridiculous, bloody mess.
Jacobs sets Whitmer up and goes for a spear, but he gets a chair to the face and an exploder instead.
BJ can’t take advantage, so Jacobs goes for a top rope hurricanrana. BJ finds his strength though and turns that into a swing into the cage. Whitmer grabs the barbed wire bat and goes to work. This time when he goes for a brainbuster onto the upright chair, he hits it, but only for 2.
Whitmer makes a tactical error after this, going after Lacey, Jacobs to regain control. Jacobs nails a back senton from the top rope, but that only gets two. Jacobs tries a top rope frankensteiner, but BJ again counters, dropping BJ face first into the top turnbuckle. BJ has the advantage with a German suplex, dragon suplex, and powerbomb without releasing. Jimmy won’t stay down, even for that.
Both men are down and spent. A table is brought to ringside. BJ goes up and tries to powerbomb Jacobs from the top. This time Jacobs counters into a hurricanrana. He has momentum so he goes for the Contra Code, but BJ is still too strong and reverses into an Owen driver. That might have gotten three, but Lacey breaks it up.
BJ grabs Lacey and hits an Owen Driver on her. He arises screaming in his vengeance! Whitmer goes up to the top of the cage, but his frog splash hits no one. Jacobs takes advantage with a Contra Code, but that’s not enough and Whitmer is out at two.
Jacobs checks on Lacey while limping badly and now the table is in the cage. Jacobs is not happy with Lacey down hurt. Jacobs goes to the top of the cage, leaving BJ on the table, but Whitmer gets up and leaves Jacobs hanging off the side of the cage by his leg. Jacobs pulls himself up and slams Whitmers head into the top of the cage. He puts Whitmer on the table and Jacobs from the top of the cage hits a back senton on Whitmer through the table. That gets three and the feud is over. One of the best brawl’s I’ve ever seen.
Jimmy Jacobs defeats BJ Whitmer (Pin, Back senton from the top of the cage through a table, *****)
I believe in love’s victory.
15. John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels 4/1 – This is from Scott Keith’s Wrestlemania 23 Rant. I can’t top his review, so why not just post run with it?
RAW World title: John Cena v. Shawn Michaels
Despite an entrance where Cena (supposedly) drives a car into the arena and through the WM logo, the crowd STILL boos the guy. And Shawn Michaels is ORANGE, that’s just begging for someone to mock him, and yet even though they’re given a softball like that, the crowd still chooses to boo Cena instead. Slugfest to start is won by Michaels and appendixed with a crotch crop, and Shawn is the clear babyface. Cena tries a suplex, but Shawn dodges, ducks, dips, dives and dodges and slugs him back down. Shawn starts on the arm and takes him down with a headlock and controls on the mat, but Cena comes back with a clothesline. Shawn gets all pissed, however, and takes him down with a Thesz Press, then necksnaps him on the top. They head to the floor and Shawn gets an enzuigiri by the tables, and follows with a moonsault press. Back in, Shawn acknowledges the ref’s warning by using a forearm instead of a fist in the corner, and then blocks a kick by hammering his knee, and now Shawn has a target. Nice spot as Shawn wraps Cena’s knee around the post, but does it to the OUTSIDE of the knee to really punish it. Back in, he drops some knees on Cena’s knee and evades Cena’s strikes, giving him some de-motivational speech in the corner. Cena’s selling here is great, by the way. Shawn keeps throwing chops and Cena replies, which gives us the “Yay / Boo” thing again. Shawn wisely keeps on the knee as JR notes that a one-legged man can’t be WWE champion. Hey, what about Zach Gowen? That’s a clear discrimination case!
Shawn charges in and hits the post, drawing blood, and Cena pounces on the cut because he’s a cheap bastard. Shoulderblocks from Cena and the backdrop suplex set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Shawn escapes a potential FU. The ref is superkicked out of the ring, and another FU attempt is countered into a DDT with no ref. Now Shawn means business and he pulls the stairs apart and gets a particularly vicious piledriver on them. Cena is bleeding from the top of his head in a nice touch. They send in another ref, and that gets two. Yes, not even splitting Cena’s skull open can beat him. Shawn gets the forearm and kips up, trying to play cocky heel but getting cheered. Flying elbow and it appears to be superkick time, but Cena blocks it with a lariat. They slug it out and Cena tries the FU, but Shawn reverses to a rollup for two. Shawn tries a leapfrog, however, and Cena is able to reverse that into the FU successfully. That gets two. They head up and Cena wants one from the top, but Shawn elbows out of it and comes down with a high cross, which Cena rolls through into another FU. Shawn escapes and it’s an awesome sequence with them fighting for the STFU until Shawn rolls him up for two. Shawn misses the enzuigiri and Cena gets the STFU, but Shawn is too close to the ropes. Cena stops to argue with the ref and gets superkicked, but that only gets two. Both guys are out, but they will themselves up and Cena goes for another FU, and another STFU, and this time Shawn has nowhere to go and taps at 28:21. Shit, the one time I was cheering for Shawn Michaels and they wasted it. Cena’s best match ever, without a doubt, and probably the Match of the Year. ****3/4 It delivered everything it promised and then some.
To be continued… in Part 2.