Welcome to A Modest Response. This week we have the full ROH previews with guest Big Andy Mac and a countdown of the best ROH Matches of the Year from # 15 to # 6. Come join us to see where you’re favorite matches ranked or, alternately, what DVD’s you might want to consider purchasing.
News of Honor
Sara Del Ray is the first Shimmer Champion and will be recognized in ROH
She’s one of the best women’s wrestlers in America so that’s good and maybe now Shimmer matches will actually step up and deliver in ROH the way they do on their own shows.
Jimmy Jacobs will be with Lacey in Boston and Philadelphia
More on this in the links section.
New ROH DVDs released are 4/13/07 “This Means War IIÃ¢â‚¬Â from Long island and 4/14/07 “Fighting SpiritÃ¢â‚¬Â From Edison, NJ
Click Here for my live thoughts on both shows. Both are recommended, but “Fighting SpiritÃ¢â‚¬Â is must see and absolutely fantastic with two Match of the Year Candidates.
For more on ROH check below with the weekend previews.
In Other News – With a contest within
Scott Steiner hurt his throat in Puerto Rico and is out after surgery
The Steiners vs. Team 3-D is off now. Team 3-D will face Styles and Daniels instead. Hot-shotting the former X-Division stars reunion should go a ways towards making up for Scott’s loss to TNA fans.
Senshi will face Joey Matthews at the Pay Per View
Joey isn’t a big enough name for this to really matter and the X-Division is crowded enough. Low Ki is a worlds better worker, as well.
WWE wasn’t going to do a draft lottery until injuries forced their hand
Raw is quite depleted, but three brands is apparently too much and talent was spread thin everywhere to begin with. Hopefully they have a better idea than reshuffling guys who were crossing brands at will anyway, but I remain skeptical.
Goldust was set to receive a big push but blew it by pulling out with a back injury
Way to support your potential employees WWE. It would have been better had he returned before ready by taking painkillers, becoming addicted, and putting his life at risk, right?
This Week on Inside Pulse
Big Andy Mac goes over the Jimmy and Lacey dates with links to the videos. His analysis is perfect and I can’t wait to see what’s next in the best storyline in wrestling today.
Brashear has an excellent article on the importance on kayfabe. I’d respond to it in depth, but why? He’s right and it’s obvious.
Kace does 5 good things about ECW, thus stealing the thunder of both Blatt and Murray. The columns are all different looks at the same product, which is quite interesting. Murray seems to be getting more and more negative toward the WWE product in his supposedly happy product. I can’t wait to see if this Saturday, Murray’s first ROH show, heals or exacerbates the problem. Luckily, I’ll be on hand live to find out!
Morse VS as we see Grut take on Raffi Shamir. Good discussion here, but damn is Grut cynical, huzzah.
Broken Dial continues being awesome. Get well soon Shawn.
I write a Tuesday Comics Nexus column, East of Gotham and a Wednesday Not a True Ending column, The Most Dangerous Gamer. Please give them a read and anyone who can tell me the link between my three column titles gets a free copy of ROH’s best show “Better than our Best.Ã¢â‚¬Â Goodluck!
Last Week’s 2 part A Modest Response was the Top 25 Matches of the Year so far. They were in no particular order and 16 of these matches were Ring of Honor matches. One match, The Briscoes vs. The Murder City Machine Guns, won’t be counted because I didn’t see it live and it isn’t out yet on DVD. For the next two weeks I will rank those 15 that I have seen, including star ratings (get well soon Shawn!) and why each places where it does. For a full review of each, check last week’s column. This week I will go from #15 to #6.
A Modest Response: #15-6 on the best ROH matches of the Year
15. Austin Aries, Delirious, Claudio Castagnoli and Rocky Romero vs. CIMA, Susumu Yokosuka, Dragon Kid and Ryo Saito 3/30/07 (****)
Why it made the list: This match was a showcase of talent. Everyone involved got to play their own role and be innovative. The company pride was at stake for each team and everyone, while hitting their spots, got to show how badly they wanted. Like any featured Dragon Gate match, the innovation factor was high.
14. Morishima and Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness and KENTA 5/12/07 (****)
Why it made the list: The heat here was incredible as these are possibly the four biggest stars ROH can throw in a ring together. On this very show they built heat for these guys by throwing them into brawls with each other. Add in the already established heat between Danielson and McGuiness, Danielson and KENTA and McGuinnes and KENTA with Morishima and you have a ton of great stuff to play off of. In building this like an AJPW match they did not have to go fast, but slowly built to a stiff climax and were able to play off each man’s previous encounters with the other.
What made it better than the match before: The previous match was a showcase of talent, as was this, but this match built serious heat into the match by playing off the prior relationships and having attacks earlier in the show. Also, the Dragon Gate style match was more spotty and faster, but could not touch the brutality or selling of the one of the best periods in wrestling history, 1990s AJPW, which our number 14 match mimicked perfectly.
13. Samoa Joe vs. Davey Richards 2/23/07 (****)
Why it made the list: This was just stiff. The young gun vs. cocky vet story was given a very good twist here with Davey, the young guy, becoming more and more dirty as the match went on to try and counter Joe. They managed to build everything here up to the climax of the match without selling short the fact that they were literally beating the hell out of each other. Davey, although he lost, came out looking great, while Joe, of course, learned to respect the upstart, even if he did cheat to try and beat Joe after all, in an interesting and famous bit of ROH history, Joe once did the same against Punk in the third match of their trilogy.
What made it better than the match before: These two were very close. Ultimately, the deciding factors were some sloppiness in the previous match, a couple of perfectly built sick spots (a viscious kick from Joe and the Muscle Buster on the apron), and the twist on the Upstart vs. Cocky Vet story being seen less often than a stealing of All Japan’s best work.
12. The Briscoes vs. Claudio Castagnoli and Matt Sydal 5/12/07( **** Ã‚Â¼)
Why it made the list: The Briscoes, Claudio, and Sydal went balls to the wall and stole the show out from under our # 14 entrant. All four men pulled out never before seen stuff and had the entire audience doing double takes. The match was actually built as innovation vs. tag prowess, but Sydal and Claudio’s inexperience lead to their innovative offense not being enough to beat a well oiled team like the Briscoes.
What made it better than the match before: The crowd didn’t want to like this one at the beginning out of disappointment that Sydal was Claudio’s partner, as opposed to the last match which had great heat because of Joe’s farewell tour. This one earned the crowd’s respect until everyone was on their feet. Both matches told their stories well, but the innovation in #12 came with sick spots and the aforementioned great story. Match #13 didn’t have the innovation, just a neat twist, and also didn’t have to work as hard to get to the same point the tag match did. Briscoes vs. Claudio and Sydal comes ahead by a hair.
11. Nigel McGuinness vs. Samoa Joe 3/3/07 (****1/4)
Why it made the list: This match started with an amazing story as Nigel’s new lariat based offense was too much for Joe and paid it off with Joe eventually having to just outright try and kill Nigel because he couldn’t stop him any other way. Nigel got to retain heat by coming back again after that and having to be killed dead a second time before he finally lost the match.
What made it better than the match before: The previous match had a good story, but this is high drama with Nigel refusing to lose against a long time rival in their last meeting. This is a major match for Nigel and marks his full transition from his old move set, with his arm submission based offense, to his new lariat based offense. That Nigel wrestled this whole match with a hurt groin adds bonus points and clearly puts this ahead of the faster paced tag match.
10. The Briscoes vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico 2/17/07 (**** Ã‚Â¼)
Why it made the list: This was a nothing tag match on the Briscoes road to the tag titles. Steen and Generico were both struggling for roster spots and while everyone knew they were good, no one realized how good a team these frequent opponents would really make. This was expected to be a giant spot fest, which held down it’s ranking, but ended up being basically the epitome of tag formula with the regular stuff escalating to insane levels.
What made it better than the match before: The second part of the Nigel-Joe match almost felt tacked on and there’s no real point where you feel that Joe might lose. That hurts a match like this, as a lot of the fun rested on Nigel finally getting the big win. In this match you just KNEW the Briscoes couldn’t lose after losing the night before on their way to a tag title shot, but there sure are points in this match where the audience absolutely swore the match was going in favor of the major underdogs. The underdog story, the build, the spots they pulled out in the context of the match, and the fact that they made two relative unknowns seem like they could beat the best tag team in ROH make this one better than the previous three, in each of which the victor was never in serious doubt, especially since the victory never should have been in doubt here.
9. CIMA, Yokosuka, and Shingo vs. Dragon Kid, Saito, and Mochizuki 3/31/07 (**** Ã‚Â¼)
Why it made the list: There’s crazy spotfests and then there’s crazy spotfests. Last year’s Supercard of Honor Dragon Gate Six Man was a ***** that came out of nowhere. This years wasn’t as good, but it was a very different match and still excellent. The lack of the surprise factor here hurts the match a bit, as does the familiarity of the audience with the workers and what they do at this point, but the Dragon Gate guys are still basically the high point in the world when it comes to crazy spotfests.
What made it better than the match before: Put simply, sometimes high expectations are more difficult to deal with than no expectations. That this match had such high expectation and no one complained even though they did a totally different match speaks volumes about the quality of match here.
8. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Colt Cabana 2/24/07 (**** Ã‚Â¼)
Why it made the list: Jacobs and Cabana really went all out here and bled more than I’ve ever seen any two wrestlers bleed in a singles match, especially without a cage being involved. The spots were crazy, the violence was insane, and they still managed to tell their story. The added emotional investment of the storyline and the telling of said story in the ring makes this a true standout and coming out party for Jacobs as an elite brawler.
What made it better than the match before: Well, we knew what to expect in each, but Jacobs and Cabana went above expectations while the last match stayed well below. The violence and heat of this match also torch the Dragon Gate 6 man. Cabana is crazy over in Chicago, where this match was held, and the storyline of Cabana, Jacobs and Lacey still held great interest, while the DG match was just a wild exhibition. Combine the two and Jacobs vs. Cabana come out ahead.
7. Jay Briscoe and
Erick StevensMark Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico 4/14/07 **** 1/4
Why it made the list: This is one of the best booked matches I’ve ever seen. Jay hates Steen at this point for attacking Mark even though Mark had a bad concussion so he goes after him every chance he gets. Erick Stevens, Mark’s fill in, gets over by looking in place with the high bar these guys set, until the guys he’s feuding with, the No Remorse Corps, take him out with a powerbomb into the guardrail. From there it’s Jay alone against Steen and Generico and he fights back valiantly, but has no hope. Eventually Mark emerges from the crowd and the timing leading to the hot tag is built to absolutely perfectly. Mark’s timing here is great and his selling is phenomenal with every shot to the head looking like it might seriously injure him. When Steen finished Mark he truly comes off looking evil. What a great in ring story.
What made it better than the match before: This match told possibly the best story I’ve ever seen and was tag wrestling at it’s finest. The booking was superb and everything built to the horrible package piledriver and brainbuster which seemingly killed Mark. Without an ounce of blood these guys made it seem more like Mark Briscoe was in serious danger, something the almost disgustingly bloody Cabana-Jacobs match didn’t manage. That takes skill, as does the build this match pulled off which reached greater heights in ring than Jacobs and Cabana.
6. Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Rave 3/4/07 (**** Ã‚Â½)
Why it made the list: Well, these two had major heat over respect. Rave continually tried to break Nigel’s leg while Nigel tried to take Rave’s head off with lariats and other high impact moves. Nigel actually broke Rave’s jaw here and when breaking a bone before your opponent can break yours is the blow off to a feud, you know you have something special.
What made it better than the match before: What happens when nearly as good booking as the Briscoes- Steenerico match meets the brutality of the Cabana-Jacobs match? A completely insane blow off to a feud and and an amazing brawl which cements two workers as Main Event quality and a Match of the Year Contender.
Stay tuned for the Top 5 Next Week.
ROH Weekend Previews for June 8 in Roxbury Crossing, MA and June 9 in Philadelphia, PA
June 8, 2007 in Roxbury Crossing
ROH World Title Match
Takeshi Morishima defends vs. Jay Briscoe
Well, Jay is one half of the tag champs and was a major contender for Joe’s world title during the Samoan one’s reign. He’s a brutal brawler who can use speed to get the better of the mammoth World Champion, Morishima in what should be a great match. The problem with just using speed to beat Morishima is the same as it was with Joe: he’s pretty fast and when he catches you, it hurts a lot more than what you just did to him. Jay is a hard hitter, but Mori’s size and ability to absorb punishment due to girth will allow him to beat the tag champ.
Winner – Morishima
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Tag team champion from southern Delaware facing off against giant ubeatable World champion. Where have I seen this before? I could just be making it up. Either way, if their interactions from RoH: Reborn…Again are any indication this should be a violent match and extremely entertaining. No ay is Morishima losing the belt to Jay, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jay came the closest to winning it of any opponent yet save maybe Nigel.
Winner: Takeshi Morishima
Six Man Grudge Match
Delirious, Matt Cross & Erick Stevens vs. Roderick Strong, Rocky Romero & Davey Richards
The NRC have completely dominated Resilience with or without departed leader Austin Aries. If Aries couldn’t make a difference, Delirious won’t either. This feud is quickly becoming boring for me due to the dominance of the heel faction and something needs to freshen this up. Delirious, who has no chemistry with Strong, surely isn’t it.
Winner – Strong, Romero, and Davey Richards
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: The whipping boys of the NRC are making one more attempt to get a win. They almost need to do so to add some interest into this feud, but there is a chance they will lose and lose until the return of Austin Aries and then the tide may turn. I think we will see more victories for the No Remorse Corps.
Winners: Roderick Strong, Rocky Romero & Roderick Strong
Special Challenge Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Jimmy Rave
This will be a great match. At the Fourth Anniversary Show Rave had a great match with Dragon. Rave is now a far better wrestler than he was then and his leg work with Danielson’s usual great technical prowess should steal this show. Rave needs a big win, but Danielson’s in the title hunt and won’t lose here.
Winner – Bryan Danielson
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: A year ago at the Fourth Anniversary Show Rave and Dragon put on a excellent showing. While that one was for the World championship this should be a great match regardless. Rave needs something to do now that he has returned from injury and Dragon is just starting to get the ball rolling on his return so expect him to get the win here.
Winner: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson
Mark Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen
When Mark had a bad concussion Kevin Steen made it a point to continually brutalize it. Mark is back healthy and wants revenge on a man that tried to seriously injure him. Adding tension is that Mark is one half of the tag champions and Steen and partner, El Generico, are chasing the titles. To add heat to their big rematch a Steen win here seems likely and a big brawl with a ton of highspots will be a load of fun.
Winner – Kevin Steen
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Oddly enough this match may be receiving the most hype of any on this card. Briscoe has said he doesn’t care about wins or losses he just wants revenge for the cheap shots taken at his expense by the so-called “Mr. Wrestling.” Steen wants to soften up his nemesis before their tag title match later this month. This match should be excellent given the interactions these two have had in the past and the white-hot nature of their feud. I think Steen gets the win here.
Winner: Kevin Steen
Four Corner Survival
Nigel McGuinness vs. Chris Hero with Larry Sweeney & Tank Toland vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Mike Quackenbush
No one in this match is less than phenomenal and everyone has history with each other. Claudio and Hero are a former team as the Kings of Wrestling and will reunite the night after to challenge for tag gold. Claudio and Nigel had a major feud when both were fairly fresh in the company over the Pure Title. Hero and Nigel currently have issue over Nigel embarrassing Hero and his manager Sweeney by clotheslining their guest, Johnny Fairplay. Quackenbush, in Chikara, has had major feuds with both of the former Kings of Wrestling and has had amazing feuds everywhere with Claudio in particular. Well, no one here needs a win and nearly anyone can take a loss, so look for Quackenbush to take the win in a great match because he’s the only one who needs it.
Winner – Mike Quackenbush
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: This is one of the more high profile four corner survivals in quite some time. Mike Quackenbush is the wildcard here. He has had great matches with Claudio and Hero in other federations. Nigel has been on a tear this year and one could argue has been the top singles wrestler in Ring of Honor. Picking a winner here is as hard as any match all weekend, but I am going to say that Claudio gets the win and he and Hero work extremely well together in the process.
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli
Special Attraction Match
BJ Whitmer vs. Brent Albright
Brent will meet the wrestler on the roster he is most similar to. Albright is basically Whitmer with less pain tolerance and more charisma, but a push for Albright to the title picture seems likely since Whitmer has already been squashed twice by Morishima. Look for BJ to take yet another loss.
Winner – Brent Albright
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: These two had a match that our own Matthew Michaels insists is a match of the year candidate; referring to their “Tables are Legal” match at Fifth Year Festival: NYC. This match may have no gimmicks but should still be awesome. These are two of the top heavyweights in RoH and both will logically be focal points of Ring of Honor in the future if they want to attract casual fans. I think that Whitmer will get the win here.
Winner: BJ Whitmer
Special Challenge Match
Matt Sydal vs. El Generico
El Generico is getting a tag push and Matt Sydal is the tag whore, always looking for a partner to face off for the tag titles with. Well, these two high flying tag workers will face off here. This will be a very fun match in all likelihood as Sydal seems to try more when he’s going to win and Generico always brings the goods, very rarely being in a bad match. Sydal will be kept strong for tomorrows match up with Bryan Danielson.
Winner – Sydal
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: These are two of the top high flyers in RoH right now, and an interesting match up. Sydal can’t seem to decide whether he is a heel or a face, and Generico is a face teamed up with one of the fastest up and coming heels in the company, so the dynamic in this match could be very unique. Generico has yet to net a high profile singles win, so I think that this could be his chance right here.
Winner: El Generico
June 9, 2007 in Philadelphia, PA
I’ll be covering this show live for Pulse Wrestling so be sure to check back for a full review.
Main Event- Either The ROH World Title or FIP Heavyweight Title Will Be On The Line
Takeshi Morishima vs. Roderick Strong
This is a strange heel vs. heel match that will feature the two most hated men on the roster facing off. Roderick is so hated at this point that Morishima will likely be the de facto face. Roddy’s chops are great and his backbreakers are too, but he couldn’t beat Joe because it takes just as much strength to lift a man that big as he is hurt by the move. This will wear Roddy down and Morishima will win.
Winner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Takeshi Morishima
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: This could be another great defense for Morishima. Roderick won’t be winning here, but he could be one of the first wrestlers to really make some headway against Morishima with his offense. I think this could be one of the few RoH World title matches with lots of interference as the NRC tries to get the top belt for their leader, but it won’t be enough. The dynamic of the match is also a wildcard as both men are certainly heels.
Winner: Takeshi Morishima
World Tag Team Title Match- 2/3 Falls
Jay & Mark Briscoe defend vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Chris Hero
These two teams tore the house down in ’06 at Final Battle and will do so here again. These aren’t the two best teams in the indies or ROH, they’re two of the best teams in the world. This should be a Match of the Year Candidate and is basically how I decided to go to this show. Look for the Briscoes to retain for a long time in great matches.
Winners Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Jay and Mark
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Their match from Final Battle is one of the best tag matches in the history of Ring of Honor until any number of great great tag matches the Briscoes have had in ’07. The Briscoes claim that they are going to win two straight in this match just like they did against Aries and Strong at “Dedicated.” I agree that they will win two straight, but they will drop the first fall. This could also supplant all other ’07 matches as match of the year.
Winners: Jay and Mark Briscoe
Special Challenge Match #1
Bryan Danielson vs. Matt Sydal
Sydal, after failing to impress against Marufuji, really had better step up for Danielson or he will face a serious de-push. Sydal has no chance of winning and Danielson will stretch him out, but a good showing by Matt will move him up the card.
Winner – Danielson
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: To the best of my knowledge this match has not happened yet in Ring of Honor, and should be great. It is interesting to see Dragon wrestling in the middle of the card during his quest to regain the title. He won’t be losing to Sydal, and I can see this match echoing the Sydal/KENTA encounter from “The Bitter End.” This could steal the show though.
Winner: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson
Special Challenge Match #2
Nigel McGuinness vs. Larry Sweeney’s Mystery Opponent
Okay here are the options: Eddie Kingston, Joey Ryan, Jimmy Jacobs, Doug Williams, and the Necro Butcher. There are a number of Japanese wrestlers rumored as well, but they’d be advertised to increase the gate. Eddie is booked for JAPW and Joey Ryan is mighty far away, as is Doug Williams. They could be the surprise, but word might get out, so it probably isn’t them. If it’s Jacobs then the severity of the injury is a huge work. I’d love that, but it doesn’t seem likely to those who saw his match with Whitmer at Supercard of Honor II. He looked really hurt.
That leaves Necro. Necro is a major hardcore wrestler and with Nigel would make one hell of a stiff dream match. Necro wouldn’t increase the gate alone, so he could be a surprise and Gabe is high on him for his FIP work. He brings an interesting dynamic to the card and is the option I’m rooting for besides this one dark horse.
Austin Aries return as a heel, throwing in with Sweeney and calling Resilience losers would be awesome. Highly unlikely, but it’s my favorite bit of fantasy booking.
Winner – Nigel over Necro
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: The big question here is just who Nigel’s opponent is going to be. Speculation has ranged from Necro Butcher to Eddie Kingston to Doug Williams to Brutus “the Barber” Beefcake. Ok well maybe not Bruti. I honestly can’t predict who the opponent will be. Necro and Kingston are booked elsewhere so I think that they are out and there are very few people who fit the bill. I would not be shocked to see the opponent be Sweeney himself. Either way I think that Nigel gets the duke over Sweeney’s Mystery Opponent, and my out on a limb pick for said opponent…Optimus Prime…everyone else has been shilling the hell out of the Transformers movie, why can’t RoH get on the bandwagon.
Winner: Nigel McGuinness
Grudge Match #1
Delirious vs. Rocky Romero
Rocky Romero messes up a spot or two every match and often just doesn’t seem to care. I’m interested in this match, but mostly because I don’t see either man caring too much so this becoming a minor train wreck. Delirious is too high on the roster currently to lose to Romero. He’d hardly seem a threat to Strong after losing to his underling.
Winner – Delirious
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Unlike the author of this column I am a fan of Rocky Romero and I think the interaction between he and Delirious will be classic. Romero will be flustered by Deli’s antics and I think it will be enough for the man from the edge of sanity to score victory, afterwards he will succumb to an NRC beatdown however, and most likely another Tiger Driver on a guardrail.
Grudge Match #2
Matt Cross vs. Davey Richards
Davey is reinvigorated as a heel and having very good matches while Cross is still looking to show he truly belongs in a high profile ROH feud. The match could be a sleeper hit and Davey will win.
Winner – Davey Richards
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Matt Cross, to the best of my knowledge, has not won a singles match in Ring of Honor. That won’t change here. He will show his resilience, because apparently in RoH resilience means “to be on the receiving end of hellacious beatings on a nightly basis.” The match should be very good though.
Winner: Davey Richards
Four Corner Survival
BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Brent Albright vs. Erick Stevens
These are four quite big names and only one has a real story- Erick Stevens as a member of Resilience. That membership means he won’t win here as it does nothing for his feud. Whitmer and Albright will likely eliminate each other, leaving Rave, the only true top carder here to take the win.
Winner – Jimmy Rave
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: This is another high profile four corner survival match. I think Jimmy Rave restores himself to his winning ways here and Albright and Whitmer cancel each other out continuing their match from last night and seguing into a full blown feud. Stevens will do his best but come up short showing his resilience. *see the above definition of resilience*
Winner: Jimmy Rave
Tag Team Action
Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw
Well, this might steal the weekend. The spots and moves these guys are capable of will be impressive and at worst this is a fun spotfest. With Steen and Generico in line for title shots, they likely won’t lose. I’m really looking forward to finally seeing Quack in person.
Winners – Steenerico
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Quacksaw has a lot of experience wrestling as a team in Chikara and Steenerico are fast establishing themselves as one of the top teams in RoH. Three of the four in the match are adept at working the Lucha Libre style. Steen will be excellent as the power man in this match, and I would love to see the Chikara boys get a win, but Steenerico need that extra little bit of heat going into their title match.
Winners: Kevin Steen and El Generico
Special “Do Or Die” card starting at 6:15pm in the same venue:
Grudge Match Main Event
Lacey with Jimmy Jacobs vs. Daizee Haze
Jimmy and Lacey’s interaction will be great and it’ll be wonderful to see Jacobs again. He’s one of my favorites on the roster. Lacey seems in line to challenge Sara Del Ray for the new Shimmer Title, so she should win here. Daizee still has yet to impress me.
Winner – Lacey
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: I am more intrigued to see what the interaction between Lacey and Jimmy will be than the match, but I hope that Lacey wins.
Do Or Die Matches
-Damien Wayne vs. Rex Sterling
This should be huge. Sterling and Wayne are both great, even if Sterling will likely never be a star. Wayne is a major sleeper favorite and these two have stolen quite a few shows before almost wherever they’ve wrestled. Wayne will win because he has higher upside, but this will still be great. I can’t wait for this on the main roster.
Winner – Damien Wayne
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Some people claim that this could be the equivalent of seeing the early RoH matches of Delirious and Sydal or Cabana and Punk. If it is then great. Wayne was very impressive in his last pre-show shot in Edison against Rhett Titus, and Sterling knows how to work, but doesn’t have the best look. Either way this match will be awesome, and I am sure they will try to prove that they deserve a spot on the main show.
Winner: Damien Wayne
-Gran Akuma & Hallowicked vs. Azrieal & Deranged
Special K was a Raver stable in early ROH and were major heels. Az and Deranged were members and are high fliers trained by Homicide. Both are solid if unspectacular, but I look forward to seeing if they developed. I hear good things about Deranged in particular. Gran Akuma and Hallowicked are Chikara guys and seem to be getting a lot of ROH and FIP bookings. They’ll win in what should be a fun lucha match.
Winners – Akuma and Hallowicked
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: It is nice to see that Azrieal and Deranged are getting another shot. They were quite good at times during their previous RoH runs, and hopefully have approved accordingly. I think they will be beaten by this Chikara team who really should be singles wrestlers if they get more main show shots in RoH.
Winners: Gran Akuma and Hallowicked
-Pelle Primeau vs. Rhett Titus vs. Mitch Franklin vs. Alex Payne in a Four Way Fray for the Top Of The Class Trophy
Pelle is the best worker of the group and honestly could be as over as anyone with a proper push. Think Mikey Whipwreck early on as that’s who his push sort of mimicks. The rest of the workers are okay and Titus is developing his character and almost ready. I’m not sure what spot Franklin has being so similar to Pelle, but he’s a good worker and he and Pelle would be a welcome regular team. Lastly, Sugarfoot seems to randomly get big pops and for whatever reason, I root for him. Pelle will win in a good, but basic match.
Winner – Pelle Primeau
Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Rhett Titus has put in the most commitment to character of any RoH student. It has been stated that Mitch Franklin is the most deserving of more main show looks after Pelle and Hagadorn. Alex Payne has the nickname “Sugarfoot” and a cult following in a few places especially Chicago and Glazer’s screen-saver. That being said…Pelle is winning.
Winner: Pelle Primeau
These shows look very good with Saturday being absolutely stacked, especially if you like tag wrestling. Night one has some sleepers, but Night two is the show to catch, especially with Do or Die as the pre-show. Check back Friday and Saturday for full coverage from yours truly, and stay tuned this week for a VS. scored by me, my Tuesday Comic Column, Wednesday Games Column, and of course, back here next Friday for more A Modest Response.