A Modest Response

A lot of computer issues meant I didn’t get to do the match reviews with the new system yet, but to make up for it, there are three full Modest Response’s within along with all the news and column commentary you’re used to and this weekend’s ROH preview. This column is stuffed to the brim. Check it out!

News of Honor

Death before Dishonor V will be the next Boston and Philadelphia Shows, August 10 and 11

Claudio and Brent Albright will get title shots. Getting shots on shows this big is an immediate bump up the card and well deserved. I’m sure it isn’t coincidental that as ROH get PPV two of the more conventional looking athletes get pushes at the top of the card. That’s fine because both can really wrestle, but not a trend I’d like to see continued.

ROH to have a 16 Man “Race to the Top Tournament” over two days- Day 1 is 7/28 in Edison

Announced talent so far includes Mike Quackenbush, Kevin Steen, El Generico, Davey Richards, and Chris Hero. A Ted Petty Invitation style tournament is new to ROH and highly anticipated.

The Full ROH July 17 Osaka lineup has been revealed

It’s a stacked show as expected and hopefully won’t take too long to be released on DVD.

4/27 “The Battle of St. Paul” and 4/28 “Good Times, Great Memories” are out on DVD

I can’t wait to get my hands on the latter. Colt’s last ROH match is the main event, but of more interest to me is the Briscoes vs. Shelley and Sabin in a major Match of the Year Contender.

In Other News

Sensational Sherri dies

She was an amazing heel and will be sorely missed by fans and family.

Benoit vs. Punk for the ECW title at Vengeance

Okay, so it isn’t news, just an announced match, but it’s a big one at that. This is a dream match for me and basically guarantees that I’ll be finding a way to see this Pay Per View.

TNA Spoiler- Samoa Joe X-Division champ

This was wasted so that Joe and Angle can be mismatched tag champs by beating the Dudleyz at the next PPV. More on this later.

Konnan and Ron Killings leave TNA

Konnan because TNA went back on a promise of financial help for his medical woes and Killings because of unhappiness at his role. Konnan’s departure will give Homicide more promo time. Homicide plus live mic equals danger.

Here’s how that full draft thing worked out (I get reader e-mails when I leave out news that I feel is obvious sometimes, so here we are):

RAW

Adds
King Booker & Queen Sharmell (from SmackDown)
Bobby Lashley (from ECW)
Gene Snitsky (from ECW)
Mr. Kennedy (from SmackDown)
Brian Kendrick & Paul London (from SmackDown)
The Sandman (from ECW)
Khosrow Daivari (from SmackDown)
William Regal (from SmackDown)
Jillian Hall (from SmackDown)

SD

Adds
The Great Khali & Runjin Singh (from RAW)
Torrie Wilson (from RAW)
Chris Masters (from RAW)
Ric Flair (from RAW)
Kenny Dykstra (from RAW)
Hardcore Holly (from ECW)
Brett Major & Brian Major (from ECW)
Victoria (from RAW)
Eugene Dinsmore (from RAW)

ECW

Adds
The Boogeyman (from SmackDown)
Chris Benoit (from SmackDown)
Viscera (from RAW)
The Miz (from SmackDown)
Johnny Nitro (from RAW)

Obviously Raw is the big winner here as they got a lot of huge talent. Cena has a ton of new opponents in Lashley, Snitsky, Booker, Kennedy and maybe Regal. That should keep him busy for at least the next year. Lashley and Kennedy are clearly meant to be big future stars being promoted, but this move will likely move both down the card so they can be protected. Orton will likely be lost in the shuffle a bit because of these moves.

After a London and Kendrick tag run against the Hardyz, Cade and Murdoch, and TWGTT, I’m thinking this move was done to get proper coverage of their Rockers-esque breakup. I’d assume Kendrick gets the heel push since he’s better on the mic and has more charisma. London should be a huge success as no one is as good at building sympathy as an underdog face as he is except Michaels and on the entire roster only Michaels, Finlay and Benoit are clearly better workers (sorry to Punk, Regal and others).

Poor Edge. Smackdown is now without any legitimate challengers besides Batista until Rey and the Undertaker return. Hopefully, this will lead to the long awaited Matt Hardy main event push.

I love the ECW moves. Johnny Nitro was going nowhere on Raw but it at least an upper midcard heel on ECW. That show needs more faces but with Benoit and Punk to work with Nitro, Cor Von, Burke, and Striker all of them should be among the better rounded heels in ring by this time next year. Now if only WWE knew how to make new faces besides shoving them in our face.

This Week on Inside Pulse

The Return of A Wrestling Tale shows again why if the WWE wants to do soap opera, they need Grut. He’s the best at this, bar none when he’s on, and this column, a dialogue between Matt Hardy and Edge, shows him being the very best.

Mark Allen has a great look back at Sherri. One day the people within wrestling will have to take this ridiculous mortality rate seriously.

Brashear takes a great look at what makes swerves work and fail. Vince Russo needs to read this.

Clark discusses the draft.

Feature of Honor: We have ton’s of Fifth Year Coverage looking back at TNA, including Flea vs. TNA, Burnside’s look back at the Tag Titles, Brashear’s X-Title History , Scott Keith’s Rant for the first TNA show, and Widro’s TNA Report.

With everyone looking back at TNA through the first five years, I think now would be the perfect time to look at what they could to right the ship from here on out. After this we’ll get to the next two AMRs.

A Modest Response: Fixing TNA’s Booking (caution, Impact spoilers within)

TNA intends to present itself as an alternative to the WWE. Right now, in doing this they are giving us Kurt Angle, the TNA Champion, and partner Samoa Joe, the X-Division champion vs. The Dudleyz, the tag champions, at the next PPV. Well, besides that three of these guys are closely associated with the WWE, this also creates a sense of Déjà vu in that WWE just did basically this angle with John Cena and Shawn Michaels leading into Wrestlemania. Yes, Angle and Joe will win and become tag champions here. How do I know? Because if either is pinned, the Dudleyz get that belt and neither member of that team will be holding the World or X-Title anytime soon. Simply re-hashing the WWE’s storylines will not get the job done here and merely makes TNA a second rate knockoff. Well, TNA have booked themselves into a corner, yet again. Here’s how they get out of it.

First, the week before the PPV, a three way match for the tag straps is needed to headline Impact (I seriously just almost wrote Nitro, with all the negative connotations that’s picked up). In this match should be Rhino and Senshi vs. LAX vs. Team 3-D. The match should go on as normal until Senshi turns on Rhino and Team 3-D to help LAX win the Tag Titles. From here LAX should work as a Freebirds type unit where each man considers himself the champion and you will wrestle a combination of two of the three.

With no time for a re-match before the Pay Per View, Senshi, Homicide and Hernandez will take on Angle and Joe for the World and X Titles. Angle and Joe, due to overconfidence and baiting by Angle, should agree to face all three members of LAX for this to give the audience a sense that the heroes might be in trouble. In a fairly clean match, LAX should manage to beat Joe (with Homicide gaining the pin and X-Title). Angle would here confront Joe about costing him the match and prestige of the tag belts, attacking Joe over the ignominy before leaving. This isn’t all though. Joe should then be attacked by LAX, who brutalize him with their most dangerous moves before leaving Joe humiliated and injured.

After this Samoa Joe should take off two months. TNA wants him to be a top guy so they should give him a raise so he doesn’t have to risk his injured back and work indies while he’s off. During the time he’s gone Angle should be built up like Cena. Various opponents arise from the TNA mid-card to chase Angle’s title, but he’s too strong as champion. Kurt wanted to be the man in a company and a long, uninterrupted title run should show how good he can do at that. During this time, off and on, a long feud with James Storm should be run, while James comes after the belt in every dirty way possible. This will overlap with Joe’s return. In the meanwhile, classic Freebirds style, LAX should dominate the X and Tag Ranks, claiming more and more power, feuding with the Dudleyz and Rhino and Spike in the tag ranks, while facing the usual X-Division wrestlers in that division, with Homicide being a fresh match for most.

Eventually, Joe will be ready to return. When he is he should give an emotional promo about how much he suffered from his injury and what he’s going to do to LAX now that he’s back. LAX can, with their new pull, demand that Joe, since he was out for so long, isn’t a contender anymore and has to work his way through the X-Division ranks to earn a title shot. During this, LAX can continually beat Joe down as he wins great matches and works his way up the card. Eventually Joe would reach Homicide and after shenanigans saved ‘Cide’s belt several times, Joe would get the big win and his X-Title back. After that, Joe should again suffer a beat down, but the Motor City Machine Guns, who were chasing the tag belts, should this time make the save.

Joe will then determine that in light of recent events, he’d be not moving on until LAX was dead, stripped of all that mattered to them and he would use his new friends the MCMG to accomplish that. At the next Pay Per View, a 6-man match should be set up for the tag belts. This time, Joe’s team should win cleanly and the MCMG should be tag champions, only to again, turn on Joe, deciding that the tag straps aren’t enough for them anymore and they want Joe’s X-Title too.

Finally, after a long enough beat down, World Champion Kurt Angle should make the save and fight off the MCMG only for Joe to reject Angle, remembering the beating he took months ago after losing the X-Title at Kurt’s hands.

From here, a three way feud for the tag belts should kick off for a few months, with occasional singles matches for the X and World title sprinkled in. Joe would team with James Storm, who would attempt to use Joe in order to gain revenge on Angle for the continued beatings. Angle’s partner could be anyone, but either Rhino or AJ Styles makes sense if they are promised a title shot after these battles finish.

This three way feud should finish with a cage match at a PPV where Sabin and Shelley retain the tag titles, but Storm should go after the last belt he hasn’t won, the X-Title and try using the same dirty tricks he did on Angle on Samoa Joe, only to once again fail. During this time Sabin and Shelley can move on and face a fresh team while Angle faces whoever his partner was (preferably AJ so they can do the face-heel dynamic) as promised.

With all of this done, Joe, steadily X-Champion should challenge Angle for the World Belt. We should be at either Bound for Glory or Final Resolution, so this can be done at a major PPV. At this point, Joe, re-established, should face Angle in a straight match with no stipulations, ref bumps, or nonsense. Both titles should be on the line and Joe should win, cementing himself as a main eventer and vacating the X-Title. Thus would end the long running Joe chase for the title in a special moment and TNA would have about a years worth of storylines and several new upper carders to keep things fresh.

Column of Honor: Moments Ago sees Big Andy Mac go through Ring of Honor and list it’s MVPs for each year. This is a great read, Andy’s best in awhile, so to highlight it, I’ll be going through ROH’s history and listing the darkhorse candidates for MVP each year.

A Modest Response: Dark Horse ROH MVP Candidates

2002

Low Ki really did his best to carry ROH during its first year of existence, but there exists two dark horses for the ROH MVP of 2002. Those two men are Bryan Danielson and Paul London.

In 2002 Bryan Danielson was in Low Ki’s first two Match of the Year Contenders with him at the Era of Honor Begins in the three way and at the Round Robin Challenge, 1 on 1 with Ki. Danielson also had a memorable encounter with AJ Styles and his singles match with Daniels was a lot better than Ki’s was. Add in to that that Danielson had a classic with Paul London, and very good matches with both Doug Williams and Donovan Morgan and you have a guy who quietly had a year nearly as good as Low Ki’s without the hype.

The other dark horse is ROH’s first home grown star, Paul London. London kicks things off with an overlooked 4* match with Spanky and an underrated match against Michael Shane. He then exploded at Unscripted with an amazing match with Michael Shane, where as far as I can tell, he invents the ladder run. The best gauntlet in ROH history saw London face Danielson, Red, and Shane, drawing huge sympathy and causing a great reaction each time. London closes the year out much more strongly than Ki with a great match against Danielson at Night of the Butcher and a Final Battle match with Xavier. Once London exploded onto the scene, every show he was on he did something special.

2003

2003 is reasonably well covered, but one major MVP candidate is glossed over: Jay Briscoe. Jay had an amazing Year as a 19-year-old. He battled Mark to open the year in an absolute classic and had an amazing match with Red against Mark and Chris Daniels. That was only the start, however, as he had a three match series with Mark against Red and AJ Styles, which was absolutely amazing, particularly the finish for the first match which saw AJ Styles monkey flip Mark into a top rope hurrincanrana from Red with Mark landing in the Style Clash. Up until now Jay and Mark had been amazing, but equal, but then Jay goes off and, as a teenager, has a bloody, brutal series with Samoa Joe, which wouldn’t conclude until 2004.

2004

Bryan Danielson, if you haven’t guessed by now, is really freaking amazing. This year, although no one noticed he had an amazing year. The very best match he had that year was Midnight Express Reunion, his absolute best match among many amazing matches with Samoa Joe. He also had a good singles match against Liger and a great tag match against him. Against Aries he went 70+ minutes and he had a classic that gets forgotten against Alex Shelley. Last, but not least, a 20 minute re-match with Low Ki. His resume matches up with any MVP from any year, save himself in 2006.

2005

Austin Aries 2005 is totally forgotten for absolutely no reason I can fathom. He spent the first half of 2005 as ROH champion, putting on classics against Cabana, Samoa Joe, and Bryan Danielson. Eventually he lost the belt in another classic with CM Punk, but that wasn’t the end of his year. He went on to more classics with Alex Shelley, Jimmy Rave and the Embassy, and as a tag team with Roderick Strong. Aries went from an indy midcarder to a perennial main eventer this year.

Roderick Strong did the same as Aries, without the title. He wrestled all of Aries opponents before Aries, even having a great match against Punk once before the title and once after. He stepped up against Gibson, Danielson and in his tag team with Aries this year too. Roddy stepped up nearly as big as his partner.

Danielson- Best of 5 with Homicide. Classics with Aries. Classics with Strong. Classic with Gibson. You know the deal by now. If you don’t, get some damn DVDs.

2006

Okay, this was unarguably Danielson’s year, but not far behind is Homicide. ‘Cide carried the violence portion and had the big storylines. Homicide was the main man of the CZW feud and the hero that chased and dethroned Danielson. He also made Cabana a serious threat in their blood feud. ‘Cide had better in ring years, but everything he touched turned to gold story-wise in 2006.

There you have it, dark horse candidates for every year’s ROH MVP. Have fun at Chikara Andy!

Two weeks ago I counted down from #15-#6 on the best ROH matches of the year. Here’s the rest of that list.

A Modest Response: #5-1 on the best ROH Matches of the Year

One more match has been added to the list and it’s in at #1A because I won’t make it #1 without seeing it on DVD first and I can’t make it lower because of how much awesome it brought. So here we have the Top 6 ROH matches of 2007. Remember, most companies go years without having this many absolutely amazing matches of this caliber. I’ll be reposting #6 from two weeks ago, since it’ll be referenced heavily in the appropriate section of #5.

6. Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Rave 3/4/07 (**** ½)

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.

5. The Briscoes vs. Naruki Doi and Shingo 3/3/07 (****1/2)

Why it made the list: If this isn’t the epitome of tag wrestling, it’s damn close. The Briscoes spent the match taking apart Shingo, but the fresh Doi managed to do severe damage to both the Briscoes. By the time Jay and Mark realized they had to take out Doi, doing so allowed Shingo to rest long enough to finish them. The storytelling at this pace is absolutely amazing.

What made it better than the match before: Wow this was close. The winner of the Nigel match was set in stone and it was the perfect culmination to a great feud. The winner of this was set in stone and it was the perfect set up to a long, dominant Briscoe reign until they lost. That they lost is what makes the match better than the one before. The story in the ring made the dominant Briscoes beatable for this night and they had the perfect opponents to take advantage of that. From the fast pace and innovative moves, it’s how the story flipped expectations on end that sets this one apart.

4. Takeshi Morishima vs. Samoa Joe 2/16/07 (**** ½)

Why it made the list: Joe and Morishima are behemoths. Joe was preparing to leave ROH, the place where he was the monster and made his name. Morishima is coming in on Joe’s territory and he and his fellow NOAH wrestlers are running roughshod over the promotion with KENTA defeating most of the roster and only suffering one loss and Marufuji successfully defending the GHC belt on a ROH show. Joe was pissed and when these two got in the ring to settle it, they just crushed each other. Joe would not and could not let the new behemoth on the block steal his thunder as he was leaving the company. He couldn’t let Morishima, beast though he is, take what Joe worked so hard to build. But he could also barely hurt Morishima. Want to see Joe go all out with a man who might be bigger, stronger and even faster than he is? Here’s your match. Joe shows here why he is so tough as he just guts out a big win.

What made this better than the match before: In a word: aura. Joe is a huge star and Morishima might be the future of Puro. When they stepped in the ring it was going to be explosive. The match had a hard time living up to the hype live, but on DVD it was perfect. Two absolute monsters doing everything they could to crush their counterpart from across the Pacific. The Briscoes match was a great story, but to me, the emotion of this one puts it slightly above.

3. Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe 3/4/07 (**** ½)

Why it made the list: Jay and Mark Briscoe lost the tag titles due to some shoddy strategy and in typical Briscoe fashion, decide they’ve gone soft and need to toughen each other up. To do so they beat the living hell out of each other in the second match from the Fifth Year Festival Finale to make this part of the list. I actually lowered this a quarter star, mostly on the feel that this is an amazing match, but not quite memorable enough to be one step below perfection. That isn’t to say that it isn’t fantastic. Jay and Mark beat the living hell out of each other. Every sick move in each man’s arsenal is nailed on each other and they don’t hold back at all. This is two guys killing each other to make themselves stronger and is a violent spectacle.

What made this better than the match before: Honestly, it probably isn’t. I have no idea which of these two matches is better. Jay and Mark got the higher rank because the moves they hit each other are sicker and that they are doing this out of love, to be stronger as a unit is a really cool and unique take.

2. Nigel McGuinness vs. Takeshi Morishima 4/17/07 (****1/2)

Why it made the list: Nigel and Morishima are, to this point, friends, but, of course, the title trumps all such considerations. Nigel’s been at the cusp of winning the World Title for the better part of a year and here he gets a shot where he likely can’t unseat the behemoth, but there is a legitimate long shot chance of a title change. These are two heavyweights and they hit each other hard. Nigel, sick of coming up short, comes up with interesting new maneuvers and variations on the old. Dealing with Morishima’s size is a constant challenge and Morishima consistently crushes Nigel beneath him. The finish of this match is hot. Knowing Nigel really probably wouldn’t win the entire crowd still exploded for the near falls. Really, great stuff here.

What made this better than the match before: This is better than the last two because of the finish and the variation on the build. Nigel busting out new moves and new ways to do things because of the importance of the title trumps the hard hitting of the previous two matches, because this one is plenty stiff too. The finish in this with the superbly done near falls also make this one top notch.

1A. Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson 6/9/07 (at least **** ¾)

Why it made the list: It’s one of the best matches I’ve ever seen live. These two managed to put the pace of their previous matches up to max speed without sacrificing any selling or psychology. It’s two masters at the top of their game and an absolute site to behold. Nigel’s new strategy speeding things up almost got him that elusive win against the Dragon, but Danielson is just too good and Nigel still has no answer for Danielson’s variety of finishers.

What made this better than the match before: Okay, this is just another plane. The aura these two men created was absurd. The pace they kept up for such a beautiful and hard hitting match is amazing. Morishima and Nigel is a classic, but this just might be perfection.

1. Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer 3/31/07 (*****)

Why it made the list: It’s one of the best blow offs to a long standing feud ever. Remember when Tully and Magnum tried to cripple each other? It’s about as good as that. This feud was violent and insane to begin with and they took it to all new levels in this without taking away any of the storytelling and drama.

What made this better than the match before: I’m entirely unsure that this or anything else is significantly better than the Dragon-Nigel match until I see it again. This blows away everything else this year. They beat each other with spikes and chairs and a barbed wire bat. They use storytelling with power vs. speed and analyze the descent into madness that Jacobs has been suffering due to Lacey throughout the match. Nigel and Morishima is amazing quality. This is amazing quality with months of specific, emotional build seen only on the rarest of occasions. This is the perfect way to end a feud.

ROH Weekend Previews: 6/22 in Dayton and 6/23 in Chicago

6/22 in Dayton

ROH All Stars vs. NOAH All Stars
Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness vs. ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima & Naomichi Marufuji

Well, the NOAH guys usually have an advantage here but Danielson and Nigel are getting a huge push to the title and both need to stay strong for when Morishima faces, and likely beats them. The match will be great either way and these guys all have a ton of history to play off of. Danielson and Nigel have both faced Marufuji and Morishima has faced Nigel for the title. Danielson and Morishima is the match this is building towards and they will use all their tools to tell a great story and continue that build.

Winners: Danielson and Nigel

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: This is probably the toughest match to call on the card. As with basically every tag team Match Morishima has been in the other three competitors all have made clear their designs on his belt. That will certainly play out in the story of this match. Nigel and Danielson have just come off a match that by all reports is an easy match of the year candidate so their alliance will be uneasy at best. I think that Morishima and Marufuji get the win here and Morishima gets his second tag team win in Ring of Honor.
Winners:Takeshi Morishima and Naomichi Marufugi

ROH World Tag Team Title Match- 2/3 Falls
Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Matt Sydal & Claudio Castagnoli

These guys stole the show at the first PPV taping and might here. Claudio and Sydal will lose in straight falls, just like the Kings of Wrestling and Aries and Strong before them, but the match won’t suffer for it. The Briscoes are the best team in the world today.

Winners: Jay and Mark

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Logic here says that the Briscoes win another two straight falls match, and I am not one to buck with logic. I tink this would be a good place for Sydal’s stalled heel turn to complete itself. Claudio and Sydal could be great opponents for one another and it would give Claudio some direction outside of Chris Hero. This match will most likely be the best on the card, but the main event is not far off. Either way its going to be the Briscoes in two.
Winners: Jay and Mark Briscoe

NOAH vs. No Remorse Corps
KENTA vs. Rocky Romero

Romero always brings it for big opponents, and KENTA seems incapable of having bad matches in ROH. This will be stiff and fast and Davey’s allegiance will be questioned and he will show he is NRC for life, but since ROH doesn’t really do run-ins, KENTA will still win.

Winner: KENTA

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: The intrigue of this match-up is of course that Davey and KENTA have a relationship from his last major run stateside. I have a feeling that the only way it will play out here is Davey siding with his NRC teammate Romero and helping him get the win. Romero did have a great match against Marufugi in New York for “Respect is Earned,” so it is safe to expect the same here, especially with Rocky and KENTA working similar styles. I think the streak will continue for KENTA winning any match that does not involve Bryan Danielson, but he will get an NRC beatdown afterwards.
Winner: KENTA

Grudge Tag Team Match
Roderick Strong & Davey Richards vs. Erick Stevens & Matt Cross

The Resilience got their win back on the NRC already so it’s time to get back to being dominated for now.

Winner: Davey and Richards.

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Will “The Resilience” ever get a win…Not likely. I think they will go into a holding pattern of losses until Aries returns, but stranger things have happened.
Winners: Roderick Strong and Davey Richards

No DQ Match
BJ Whitmer vs. Brent Albright

BJ needs a heel turn badly, but it won’t be here. Albright is being built towards a title shot and beating BJ again is in the cards here.

Winner: Albright

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: BJ seems on the verge of turning heel, but this is not the match to do it. He may use some underhanded tactics to get the win, but it is a No DQ match so it won’t really be cheating. I think Albright will get the win, however, to continue his push towards a title shot and continue BJ’s frustrations.
Winner<: Brent Albright

Gauntlet Series (series of consecutive singles matches with the winner taking on the next randomly drawn participant until only one man is left)
Competitors are in alphabetical order: Delirious, Chris Hero with Larry Sweeney & Tank Toland, Adam Pearce with Shane Hagadorn, Pelle Primeau and Jimmy Rave

This should be awesome. Everyone here is good at least and Pearce is always a fun trip. I’m rooting for him even though he has no shot. Hero or Rave, either of the superheels will get the win here, likely Rave so that he can lose to Morishima on the PPV.

Winner: Jimmy Rave

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Gauntlet series matches can either be a lot of fun or a colossal waste of time. Rarely does RoH do anything that proves a colossal waste of time, but that doesn’t guarantee that this will be fun. Other than Pelle and probably Adam Pearce, everyone has a fair shot at winning. I think the safest money is on Chris Hero or Jimmy Rave. I am going to pick Rave because he stands the most to gain from a victory.
Winner: Jimmy Rave

Special Attraction
Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. Irish Airborne

Steenerico promised to make an example of Irish Airborne, and while I’d love a surprise competitive match, Steenerico will destroy their opponents in a fun fashion.

Winners: Steenerico

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: This is a no brainer and will be a huge squash…for Irish Airborne. Just kidding. Steen and Generico steamroll the Crist brothers on their way to a title shot the next night.
Winners:Kevin Steen and El Generico

SHIMMER Action
Lacey w/ Jimmy Jacobs vs. Serena Deeb

Who is Serena? Lacey should rock her. I hope Serena is good. Maybe she can replace Daizee.

Winner: Lacey

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Serena has no shot at winning unless the Jimmy/Lacey feuds trips up the Lovely one. That interaction is more important than the match, in my opinion. Still Serena has put on good shows in the past and could again here. Lacey wins though.
Winner: Lacey

6/23 in Chicag

“Glory By Honor V: Night 2” Rematch
Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA

This is my favorite match-up possible and the reason I’m going to Chicago. These two, with Danielson’s new, faster pace, will be freaking amazing. I’m marking out just thinking about it.

Winner: The Best Wrestler in the f*cking World.

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: It seems that American Dragon is in line for another match of the year candidate. Their previous matches and their interaction at “Respect is Earned” leave no doubt that this match will be amazing. It is a shame that this match will be DVD exclusive, but I’ll still be purchasing the DVD as soon as it is released. This is a tough one to call. As it stands KENTA has three wins over Dragon in various forms: once in a tag match, once in a Triple threat and once in Japan. Dragon, only has two wins against KENTA once at “Glory by Honor V: Night 2” and at “Respect is Earned.” I say that Dragon evens up the overall series and takes the singles match lead with a true tie breaker match coming on the Japan shows.
Winner: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson

ROH World Tag Team Title Match
Jay & Mark Briscoe (if still champions) defend vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

These two teams might get ***** one day. They have unbelievable heat and chemistry and this is being taped for the PPV. Steen will likely try to injure someone to lead to the street fight.

Winners: The Briscoes

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: This is a really tough match to call. The feud is clearly continuing until at least Boston; so that lends credence to the idea of a title change. However, the Briscoes are so awesome that it is safe to bet that they can win and win handily on any given night. Either way the match will rule. I am going to go out on a limb and say that Steenerico gets the win and the title to set up a rematch down the line. Besides, a title change on a pay per view is not a bad thing.
Winners and new Tag Champions: Kevin Steen and El Generico

Grudge Match
Nigel McGuinness vs. Chris Hero w/Larry Sweeney, Tank Toland & Bobby Dempsey

Nigel and Hero will have a ton of heat and hopefully Hero heels it up big time to get Nigel over some more. I’m going with my heart over my head and saying Hero wins because he’d gain so much. (I write mine before I look at Andy’s and, yes, this is getting creepy).

Winner: Hero

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Nigel seems to only lose in title situations lately so picking him to win is a safe bet. However, I am going to go out on a limb and say that Chris Hero gets the victory here to give him some heat, he has been losing a lot lately. I really hope Johnny Fairplay does not get involved, as that was good once, but the match should be great again.
Winner: Chris Hero

Special Challenge Match
Naomichi Marufuji vs. BJ Whitmer

Marufuji is not losing to BJ freaking Whitmer, but this would be a great time for BJ to turn heel since Marufuji will be hugely over since he’s never been in Chicago. BJ is underrated, but come on it’s a former GHC title holder.

Winner: Marufuji

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: I am honestly not too excited about this match, but it should be good. Marufuji wins as he builds towards a title shot against Morishima.
Winner: Naomichi Marufugu

SHIMMER Tag Team Match
Lacey & Rain w/ Jimmy Jacobs vs. Daizee Haze & MsChif

The Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew is the best name ever and Lacey is the best heel female in the business. They win. Let’s hope Daizee doesn’t blow too much.

Winner: Lacey and Rain

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: The Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew should get the win here. MsChif is awesome and a lot of people like Daizee despite her awful entrance music, but I don’t think that is enough for them to beat the ladies from Minnesota. I have a feeling Jimmy will get too close to Rain and cause further the jealousy shown by Lacey a few shows back.
Winners: Lacey and Rain

ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima Will Defend The Title!!!

Jimmy Rave or Delirious get the shot here, to be smashed by the behemoth (my absolute favorite word for Takeshi).

Winner: Morishima

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Odds are that Morishima will defend the title against the winner of the gauntlet match from the night before. I picked Rave to win the gauntlet and that could provide for a very interesting title match. Even more interesting would be if Delirious won. The interaction between the Lizard Man and Morishima could be great until Delirious gets eaten. Either way, Morishima is not losing the belt.
Winner: Takeshi Morishima

Plus more with:
-No Remorse Corps of Roderick Strong, Davey Richards & Rocky Romero
-Claudio Castagnoli
-Matt Sydal
-Jimmy Rave
-Brent Albright
-The Resilience of Erick Stevens & Matt Cross
-Delirious
-Adam Pearce with Shane Hagadorn
-Pelle Primeau
-Plus more to be added!!!

Stay tuned this weekend for all the ROH Coverage from Pulse Wrestling!

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