A Modest Response

A Modest Response this week comes to you with a reaction to criticism of the ROH Pay Per View and a four person roundtable on ROH’s invasion of Japan!

News of Honor

Respect is Earned, the first ROH PPV, is now on TVN

Dish and TVN subscribers, let us know what you think at hbk826@aol.com.

ROH heads to Japan on 6/16 and 6/17

Check below for full previews.

Danielson challenges Morishima August 25 in the Manhattan Center

Call this a hunch, but this will be taped for the PPV since the first two PPV’s lead up to this match perfectly.

This Week on Inside Pulse

Andy Mac runs through the major indies. This is absolutely must read! See if there’s an indy in your area and lend your support!

The Top 100 Wrestlers of the Modren Era Continues.

Puro Pulse, your source for all your Puro needs, returns!

Brashear discusses a relatively recent Flair-Edge feud.

Phil Clark discusses how the TNA Heavyweight division has overtaken the X-Division, which is somewhat of a foregone conclusion when the best X-Division guys move up and the remainders are booked like a joke. I also am impressed with the former AMW, particularly James Storm. I didn’t realize quite how talented they were as individual performers and I’m absolutely thrilled to eat crow on that one.

Hevia shows us Mabel without a shirt. Yay.

Chris Biscutti wants Kane to be World Champion. I disagree. Edge is more talented, more over, and wasn’t immediately pushed to the moon. Keep the belt on Edge. Or, ya know, Matt Hardy, because I wouldn’t be allowed back into the IWC if I didn’t mention that.

My friend Ed Schacherer reviews Tenchu Z.

Rye is, as always, totally insane but makes great points about why the X-Box 360 is costing Microsoft more goodwill than it’s garnering.

Lucard continues his Director’s Cut of the Top 30 RPG Countdown and stops to say Don’t Play Hoshigami.

Vinny Truncellito and Andy Wheeler both reviewed the ROH Pay Per View. Naturally, they had criticisms and, since this is A Modest Response, naturally, I had to respond.

A Modest Response: Explaining the Criticism of ROH’s first PPV

I won’t be discussing the production values. Andy Mac is outright better at that, so we’ll await his response, but here, in nicely bulleted points is each criticism (followed by which writer said it) and its response.

1. Lack of Psychology/ No Stories (Vin)

This is a bit of a hasty criticism. The show had five matches. The first was Morishima vs. BJ Whitmer, which was basically a squash to establish that Morishima is indeed a beast. More on that later. Next was Romero vs. Marufuji. This was pure psychology with Marufuji working the leg, while Romero attacked the arm. When Romero proved tough enough to use the leg, Marufuji went with speed, knowing that no matter how tough Romero was, he couldn’t keep up when hurt.

The Briscoes vs. Claudio and Sydal had a simple story told in fast forward. The Briscoes do not sell a lot. Their gimmick is that they’re so tough they’re just nearly impossible to keep down and they work so well together, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them. Well, Claudio and Sydal are members of other great teams and might have the power/speed combination to give the Briscoes fits, but the Briscoes, being brothers who always and only team together, are simply better at the double teams and timing so no matter how much trouble Sydal and Claudio give them individually, the Briscoes have the fall back of working with each other.

Delirious and Strong I’ll get to later.

The Main Event was based around establishing everyone’s relationship with one another. Danielson and KENTA have a sportsman like rivalry that heats up quickly and is based on counters, while Nigel actually hates Danielson, but respects Morishima. Morishima hates KENTA and wants to crush him, but keeps ending up with Nigel, who’s in his way, while Danielson keeps ending up with KENTA when he really wants Nigel, the only man in his way for a title shot. That’s why Danielson works so hard to injure Nigel and why Nigel, even to the point of taping his arm, refuses to stay out of the match. The ending sequence is a play off the previous KENTA Danielson encounters, this being the first time KENTA is facing Danielson at full strength in quite awhile. Still, KENTA hates Morishima and Danielson is an evenly matched obstacle in the way of that.

Stories are present, as is psychology. They simply aren’t told in conventional WWE style, which leads us to the next point.

2. No heat segments, hope spots, or overcoming the odds (Vin)

ROH is often considered American Puro. Puro matches don’t have as much of one guy dominating usually, they go far more back and forth. There are heat segments, like KENTA being worked over in that match, or Romero and Marufuji battling to hurt each other’s limbs more, but they aren’t as cut and dry and a hope spot will more often lead to that opponent controlling for a few minutes.

Hope spots, heat segments and the like are used, but they’re used more rarely to increase the effect. When you get it in every match, it simply becomes formula. It’s effective usually, but when you see it used properly and rarely, it means so much more. How often in WWE or TNA does the hot tag even pop the crowd anymore? Too much of anything makes it lack meaning. Cena overcomes the odds every week, so doesn’t that just make him the favorite? Nigel and BJ Whitmer have had some hard luck of late. When they finally manage to get theirs, it will now mean so much more.

3. Too many high spots/too little selling with an overabundance of finishers (Vin)

There’s a theory on why light and middleweight boxing matches are more entertaining than the heavyweights. Because little guys have less force behind their blows, they need to do much more in order to get the victory. NJPW juniors used this to explain why they were so innovative and the main event so slow, as did the WCW cruiserweights. Now ROH uses the same thing. The bigger men simply need to do less because they have so much more power behind everything. The smaller guys must go all out and really put their bodies at risk more often to deliver the same impact.

The selling of the Briscoes was addressed earlier, as was the selling in Romero vs. Marufuji. BJ Whitmer, as always, sells nearly everything like Morishima is destroying him, hence being chosen for that spot. We’ll get to the main event, again, in a moment.

There simply was not an overabundance of finishers. Guys have trademark moves that are flashy, but not finishers. Jericho rarely finished with the multiple powerbombs and Malenko almost never won with the tiger driver. They’re trademark moves, flashy, powerful and popping the crowd. You’ll learn which of these are finishes and which are just effective for wear down and popping the crowd as you watch the product more.

4. There was a defined heat segment on KENTA in the main event tag team match, but it still took far too much offense to finish him, making The American Dragon’s “cattle mutilator” submission hold look far less impressive in the process. When Danielson tied up KENTA in that move and hit the flip to cinch it in, that should have been the end, but KENTA escaped and survived a few minutes longer before Danielson locked him the submission hold a second time, finally forcing KENTA to tap out at 26:31, about four minute more than necessary. (Vin)

I wanted to address this one specifically. This is obviously a major event between top guys who are the main event talent of the entire promotion. Building to that finish does two things.

First, it allows us to question who will win for a bit longer and what it will take to finish the match. Nigel’s Jawbreaker lariat and KENTA’s Go to Sleep can both be hit practically out of nowhere, meaning that every extra moment of survival is an extra moment that they could turn the tide. This obviously increases dramatic tension.

Next, it builds the importance of the match. The Cattle Mutilation (not cattle mutilator) is built as a huge deal, but that alone cannot finish KENTA, who has lost exactly once prior to this in a ROH ring. This doesn’t hurt the move. Think back to how many times the first application of the Ankle Lock, Figure Four, or Crippler Crossface would finish a match. It almost always took at least a second application for a main event match. The moves aren’t hurt, but the quality of opponent is established by this, and since the drama is heightened by forcing you to question the finish (unless you read spoilers), it really doesn’t hurt the match any.

5. Not treading new ground with gimmicks/ (Vin)

Ring of Honor doesn’t attempt to simply make their wrestlers gimmicks. They mostly have easily assignable gimmicks to help identify who’s who, but these guys, for the most part, actually have personalities. That’s the innovation, not the gimmicks. Depending on the situation, a large portion of the roster can work either face or heel without hurting their personality. Besides, the emphasis is on in ring prowess, not innovation. Ring of Honor doesn’t advertise itself as the innovative new ECW. They advertise themselves as the best wrestling you’ll find anywhere. You’ll care about the matches, because you’ll care about the people, not the caricatures they represent and so find and root for your favorites regardless of the situation.

6. Morishima is an attempt to replicate Joe’s reign (Vin)

While most of the roster can play face or heel, Morishima clearly falls to the heel side of that alignment far more often than not. Joe was a big face, a dominating man who was dangerous, but beloved by the fans as one of them. Joe had/has a connection with ROH fans born of being the man in the company when it nearly died and carrying the torch as it was revived into a success. It’s a feeling not many can match and that was what made Joe and his reign so special, not that he was a big guy, no one could beat. Besides that both are fat and agile, Joe and Morishima aren’t booked alike and don’t really work alike in the ring. It’s an easy comparison to make, but not the correct one. At any rate, even if the false comparison is made, most of the PPV audience didn’t see Joe as ROH champion, so while they may have heard of it, it’ll still be new viewing to them.

7. Early card confrontation leads to Main Event – That the Main Event was a Tag Match (Both)

This confrontation happening on camera on the show is a way to make you care about what is going on. Remember this doubles as a Pay Per View and a story advancement show. No amount of video packages will make you care about a match as much as seeing these guys interact in the ring and letting them air their grievances. That creates a storyline that the PPV audience has seen develop and will have a vested interest in.

Once you’ve ordered, you might be at first disappointed that the main event is a tag match, but the quality of that match will eventually turn that around and leave the customer wanting to see more of these men against each other. That match quality keeps a satisfied customer for this show, while the thought of seeing these guys go at it in different combinations will make the customer come back for the next PPV.

By the way, the next PPV features a major Match of the Year Contender between Danielson and McGuinness. One of the better matches of the last several years which will only mean more now that the time was taken to establish their roles and make the audience care to see the match.

8. ECW should get slack ROH doesn’t (Wheeler)

It at first seems like ECW had it easier than ROH, but it doesn’t hold up well. ECW had a major financial backer, WWE, which ROH lacks. ECW also had a fanbase that was starved for good wrestling and some of the top talent in the world when they got their PPV and TV show. TNA has raided ROH for a lot of major talent before ROH got a chance to showcase and make a name off of them. TNA, where much of that ROH talent ended up, also has a much smaller name value than WCW, where that ECW talent ended up. ROH was mentioned once on WWE TV by Matt Hardy. ECW got an entire Invasion angle. ECW was partnered into the biggest wrestling website at the time and had a boom period in wrestling to help it at its peak. It’s not cut and dry by any means, but to say without a doubt that ROH had it easier is simply not looking at everything fairly.

9. Why a BJ beatdown and not BJ vs. Jacobs (Wheeler)

At the time when BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs was blown off, ROH didn’t know that they would get Pay Per View. Jimmy Jacobs also badly needed knee surgery at that point, so extending the feud wouldn’t work and, since he’s hurt, starting the PPV with this wouldn’t work either.

The lack of a bloody brawl was a calculated risk. ROH does not want to come off as a second rate ECW. ECW, many feel, limited it’s growth by being so violent and out there. Many were turned off by this and ROH wants to replicate the ECW feel without endangering themselves with that level of criticism. Another ECW rip-off has no legs and making it seem, from the first match in the first PPV like an ECW rip-off would not help.

I’m not in love with the choice of first match, but BJ’s reputation makes Morishima seem more credible. If ROH is all about the titles, then making a champion seem credible is a major component to the show, as is giving him a title match, squash or not.

This will also lead to an angle by BJ Whitmer, nearly guaranteed, and while this angle being a success is not necessarily a sure thing, at least give it time before you judge it harshly. There’s a reason Gabe is looked on as the best booker in the business. Watch and see.

10. Larry Sweeney is bush league (Wheeler)

Yes, in much the same way Bobby Heenan was bush league. You’re going to hate Larry Sweeney. You’re going to want to pay to see him get his ass whooped. He’s a cocky, flashy jerk in the mold of Freddie Blassie and Bobby Heenan. He’s one of the best old-school promo’s in the business. Dislike him for his first impression? That’s fine. He’ll be back and, whether you care or not now, you’ll learn to hate him.

11. Delirious vs. Strong didn’t click (Wheeler)

I agree completely. Delirious is the true character of the roster and his antics are fun and keep the crowd involved usually. For whatever reason, he tones it down against Strong, much to the detriment of his appeal. Also not helping matters is the fact that these two have no in ring chemistry whatsoever. The single portion of their feud is being blown off this weekend, thankfully. This match is an indy mainstay from ROH to FIP to IWA-MS and I’ve never seen it truly work. Gabe thankfully noticed and not only is this feud quietly blown off, but at the next PPV the focus of the NRC vs. Resilience feud is shifted back to it’s original point of interest. Trust me, you’ll be pleased with the direction this feud has taken in the ring and out after the next PPV. Of course that doesn’t help now, but there’s enough else here to get you to spend another $10 anyway.

12. Adam Pearce talks too much (Wheeler)

He’ll never be the company’s Raven. He lacks that in ring credibility and always will. He likely will have a lesser role next time and continue to try and give BJ Whitmer direction. You’ll likely hate him too, but in a less prominent role. This story is far more likely to be about Whitmer than Pearce.

13. The face-heel dynamic felt lacking (Wheeler)

That’s on purpose. As stated earlier, ROH let’s you chose who you like and want to follow. Danielson is a tweener, leaning towards a heel, but he’s a good part of the audience’s favorite wrestler. Nigel is one of the biggest faces in the company, but when he defended NOAH to Joe, he was a heel for that feud. It’s about characters, not faces and heels. Everyone wants the title, faces and heels, so the situation and how they react resolves whether most are faces or heels at the moment. There are current exceptions like Resilience, the NRC, Sweet and Sour, Inc, and Pearce, but for the most part, the roster will fill in whatever slot their personality requires. Remember the inspiration is more Puro than classic American wrestling, so who they are is what really matters and rarely will you find yourself utterly unable to find redeeming features in anyone.

That’s all and I look forward to replies from both readers and the esteemed Andy Wheeler and Vinny Truncellito. Find me at hbk826@aol.com with your thoughts and comments, or just sign up and comment below. On to the ROH Previews!

Ring of Honor Previews: July 16 in Tokyo and July 17 in Osaka

Ring of Honor is running this Monday and Tuesday in Japan. Monday’s Tokyo show is in concert with Pro-Wrestling NOAH, while Tuesday’s show is being run with the help of Dragon Gate.

This week joining Andy Mac and I on predictions are the new ROH DVD reviewers Ollie Sutherland and Chris Sicoli. Ollie has reviewed Respect is Earned and an older ROH show Honor Invades Boston. Starting next week he’ll be reviewing The Milestone Series, a landmark series of ROH Shows.

Chris is just about to begin, and he isn’t starting lightly. He’ll be beginning his reviews with the Summer of Punk and, well, if you don’t know what that is you have to read his reviews for one of the most interesting portions of ROH history.

July 16 in Tokyo

ROH Title Match: Nigel McGuinness vs. Takeshi Morishima ©

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: This could easily be another match of the year candidate for Nigel McGuinness, he has put together a string nearly as impressive as the Briscoes. I really can’t see Morishima losing in his home country in front of his home fans.

Winner- Takeshi Morishima

Ollie’s opinion: I see this being like their first singles match (at Fighting Spirit, 4/14, which was excellent) but better. Gabe has been heavily building this at ROHwrestling.com, and in the past, whenever he’s heavily built a big match like this it’s always turned out amazing. ‘Shima for the win, for we still haven’t had Shima vs Dragon for the title, and there’s no way Shima’s losing on his home turf.

Winner- Takeshi Morishima

Chris Sicoli: This should be one helluva rematch, that’s a definite. Realistically, this is going to be Nigel’s only title shot for a long time, unless Danielson were to win the belt soon (since these two have an on/off rivalry), so Nigel really needs the win here. However, even after giving Morishima all he’s got, it’s obvious that Morishima won’t go down…especially considering he’s the future heavyweight in NOAH and needs to look like it. Although honestly, I’m still in the air if Shima would be allowed to lose if he was booked to look strong…nah, I’m going with my
gut, Shima takes it following two backdrop drivers.

Winner- Takeshi Morishima

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: I badly want Nigel to win it here. I enjoy Morishima, but the upcoming title matches- vs. Claudio, Albright, and Danielson- are all considerably better matches with Nigel as champion. This is, however, Morishima’s home turf and the biggest dog in the yard isn’t losing in his own yard.

Winner- Takeshi Morishima

The Briscoes and Naomichi Marufuji vs. Ricky Marvin, Matt Sydal, and KENTA

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: I doubt I am the only one wishing for a Kotaro Suzuki/Ricky Marvin vs. Briscoes rematch for the RoH tag straps this time, but this match will be just as good. It is nice that they have a six man match like this acknowledging a lot of the typical card make-up that NOAH shows present. I will go with Marufuji scoring the pinfall for his team.

Winners- The Briscoes and Naomichi Marufuji

Ollie’s opinion: This will rule. Own. Rock the school. Rock the House. Whatever. This’ll be like all the other great ROH 6 man tags (eg the Dragon Gate involving one at Final Battle 2006) throughout the company’s history. Sydal and the Briscoes have great chemistry, as do KENTA and Marafuji. I guarantee this will be nothing short of amazing. I see the Briscoe’s team going over, to continue their tag team dominance.

Winners- Naomichi Marafuji and the Briscoe Brothers

Chris Sicoli: Second hardest pick of the show, because really, it could go either way. Obviously, with all the talent involved, this could steal the show and blow away the NOAH audience with how talented the Americans are. In the end, KENTA and Marvin have a weak link on their team named Sydal who’s never stepped foot in an NOAH ring before, and probably never will again, so he’ll take the fall and give the win to Briscoes/Fuji the win.

Winners- Briscoe Brothers & Naomichi Marufuji

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: I’m getting sick of the Dragon Gate 6-Man formula, but luckily this is a NOAH 6-man and will be sick. I’m a very big fan of Marvin and am hoping something interesting happens with him here so that he comes to the states for ROH. The best possible scenario is Marvin pinning a Briscoe then brining his regular partner, Kotaro Suzuki, to America for a title shot against the Briscoes. Since I like that idea so much, it’s what I’ll predict.

Winners- KENTA, Marvin, and Sydal

Bryan Danielson vs. Go Shiozaki

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Danielson has slowly been building one of the more impressive gaijin reputations in NOAH recently. Since this is a RoH show odds are the best wrestler in the world will get a win.

Winner- “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson

Ollie’s opinion: I’m really not very sure on this. It could be excellent, or just a bad clash of styles. I haven’t seen much Go, but from what I have seen, he’s like a mini Kobashi. Now I’m not that sure how Kobashi vs Danielson would work. Danielson has the ability to have a great match with anyone though, so this’ll probably deliver. Dragon to go over, continuing to build him as a world title challenger.

Winner- Bryan Danielson

Chris Sicoli: This is the match I’m looking forward to the most for ROH’s Japan shows. Honestly, if both men bring their A-game (hell, Danielson could bring his C-game) and work well together, this is definitely going to be a true MOTYC. The real winner is going to be wrestling fans, but if I had to pick someone actually in the match, it’s got to be Danielson. Not only is Danielson THE guy in ROH, but he’s also just challenged whoever may be ROH champion for the next NYC show, so he needs the momentum. Go is a major guy in NOAH, but he’s like Abyss in TNA; the main event jobber, so him taking the loss is no big deal.

Winner- Bryan Danielson

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: Mini-Kobashi vs. Dragon should be very interesting, especially with rumors of guys like Misawa and Kobashi coming over. Danielson is the obvious choice to face these invaders since Samoa Joe is gone and a win here would be a nice way in beginning to set that up. The match will be awesome, which sure doesn’t hurt.

Winner- Dragon

Fight without Honor: Delirious vs. Roderick Strong

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: I hope that this ends the feud between Delirious and Romero. Especially now that Aries is back that should be the focus of Roderick Strong and the NRC. I truly hope that this turns out as a win for Delirious, but Roddy’s win-loss record this year has been too good to bet against. I’m still picking the man from the edge of sanity.

Winner- Delirious

Ollie’s opinion: Their match at ‘Respect is Earned’ was very good, and with a stipulation that adds to the intensity of the feud this should be something good. ROH has always delivered with Fights without Honor, so I’m pretty sure they’ll deliver here, on a big stage. I see Delirious going over, getting the big babyface win to end the feud.

Winner- Delirious

Chris Sicoli: To be honest, I didn’t know this match was happening until like two days ago, and I religiously check back for news and updates when it comes to ROH shows. Lack of attention, or lack of hype? I’m going with the latter. Anyway, Strong’s not losing this, as he’s a main event guy in ROH and the current FIP champion. Plus, what better way to get him over than
absolutely destroying the playful, fun-loving Delirious in a way that NOAH has never seen? If they make it a real ROH-style Fight Without Honor, I expect some fans to be shocked. Either way, Strong takes the win, no questions asked.

Winner- Roderick Strong

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: First, let me reiterate that I hate these two together. They have zero chemistry. That said, this should be a reasonably fun brawl with Roderick winning. Delirious is essentially an undercarder in Resilience, so if he can take out Roddy, who would need Aries? Since Aries is a big deal, Roderick will win.

Winner – Roderick Strong

Jack Evans and Kotaro Suzuki vs. Davey Richards and Rocky Romero

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Once again I wish Suzuki was teaming with Marvin against the Briscoes, but this match should be very good. I think the NRC will get the win here especially if Roderick loses to Delirious.

Winner: Davey Richards and Rocky Romero

Ollie’s opinion: This should be good. 4 high energy wrestlers in a tag match with a solid heel/face structure. Probably won’t be a masterpiece, but will be damn fun for sure. I see the NRC going over, to make them loom strong going into their big tag match the next night (vs CIMA and KENTA)

Winners: The NRC (Davey Richards and Rocky Romero)

Chris Sicoli: This is a very tough match to call. On one hand, you have the NRC, who both have NOAH exposure and work more cohesively as a team, who’ve been dominating their opponents left and right. On the other hand, you have a NOAH native in Suzuki that has a home field advantage and Evans has been dying for a big win over his rivals. I think it’s going to be a bit of an upset as Evans gets the pin on Richards following the 630, ‘wow’ing the crowd. I
mean, Richards been pinned in every single NOAH match he’s been in over the past month, so what makes this show any different other than it’s labeled ROH?

Winners- Jack Evans & Kotaro Suzuki

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: I honestly don’t care much for this match-up, but it should be solid to good. It’s a card filler and will likely follow standard tag formula. Jack’s team should win here, to keep Jack strong for the next night and when he begins his stable.

Winners- The Jack Attack

BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Rave

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: It seems that BJ is slowly making a turn towards a ore heelish persona. It doesn’t make a ton of sense that he is facing one of the best heels of the last 18 months, but maybe this will be the chance that Rave needs to get back on the winning track at the expense of BJ’s continued frustration.

Winner- Jimmy Rave

Ollie’s opinion: I’m not sure why ROH has chosen to kick off their weekend with 2 of the blandest wrestlers in ROH today one on one. Maybe something interesting will come out of this. I see Rave winning, to continue Whitmer’s losing streak/frustration angle.

Winner- Jimmy Rave

Chris Sicoli: Whitmer wrestles the NOAH style (pretty much a less-talented version of Jun Akiyama), and needs a win desperately to have his inevitable heel turn mean anything important. Rave, unfortunately, is pretty much useless these days, especially on this show. It’s a guarantee that Whitmer walks away with the win…let’s just pray it’s better than their last singles match.

Winner- BJ Whitmer

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: I love Chris’s Whitmer to Akiyama comparison and will likely steal it regularly from here on out. I disagree totally on Rave, who I absolutely love and could get monster heat for destroying BJ’s legs. This should be quite good, if built right, and Rave should win, he’s too good to continue wasting though.

Winner- Rave

July 17 in Osaka

ROH Tag Team Title Match: The Briscoes © vs. Shingo and Susumu Yokosuka

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: As much as I would love a win for the Dragon Gate team win which would bring back Shingo and bring in Yokosuka, the Briscoes are not losing. Odds are that this will continue in the streak of great tag team matches in RoH, though.

Winners- Jay and Mark Briscoe

Ollie’s opinion: YAMATO was originally scheduled to be Shingo’s partner, but he was taken out due to injury. BxB Hulk was said to be a replacement, but he broke his jaw! Now, breaking kayfabe (Susumu is part of Dragon Gate’s Typhoon faction, Shingo is part of New Hazard, both factions are rivals) Susumu is Shingo’s partner. Susumu is awesome, and better than both of Shingo’s previous partners. This match will be awesome, no question about it. I don’t see the Briscoes losing to a Japanese team again, and they are currently in a long tag title run, so those straps ain’t goin’ nowhere.

Winner-: Jay and Mark Briscoe

Chris Sicoli: Y’know, a month or two ago, Chris Hero and Eddie Kingston teamed in JAPW together, but since they hated each other they kept hitting each other when they had the chance. Why do I bring this up? Shingo and Susumu belong to rival ‘gangs’ New Hazard and Typhoon, and I think it’d be cool to see them turn on each other yet still work together to try and win the belts. Just my two cents on the matter. Aside from wishful thinking, I’m expecting this match to be the best on the card, as all four men involved are awesome, and there’s an added dynamnic as the Briscoes are much smaller than the powerhouse duo of Shingo and Susumu. However, size doesn’t matter when the Briscoes are involved, so they’ll pick up the win by pinning Susumu following a springboard Doomsday Device.

Winners- Briscoe Brothers

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: This might be the best match of the weekend were it not for Nigel and Morishima the previous night. Yokosuka is awesome and Shingo is, at absolute worst, familiar with the Briscoes and able to have a great match with them. This should seriously threaten for match of the year if everything breaks right, but the Briscoes were upset by DG wrestlers once before and won’t be again.

Winners- Briscoes

KENTA and CIMA vs. Davey Richards and Rocky Romero

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: I almost wish that KENTA and CIMA had better opponents than Davey and Rocky, but the match should still be awesome. Romero was great against Marufuji and reports say he was great against KENTA, and Davey has been awesome so far in ’07. The Puro dream team is winning however.

Winners- KENTA and CIMA

Ollie’s opinion: This should be very good. All 4 men have very similar styles, and can work well with each other, as we’ve seen in the past, in ROH. I don’t see anyway the Japanese dream team are jobbing, there’s just no way it would happen.

Winners- CIMA and KENTA

Chris Sicoli: The match should be great and I’m really interested to see the exchanges between KENTA and Richards, along with the interactions between KENTA and CIMA, I just honestly don’t care about the match that much, pretty much because I’m tired of CIMA and KENTA in ROH at this point. Too repetitive, no longer special…you get the idea. Either way, the dream team isn’t losing, not a chance in hell, but while they’re at it they might as well try and steal the show (which this could definitely do).

Winners- KENTA & CIMA

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: CIMA AND KENTA? Really? Yeah, no one in ROH would beat that team. If we’re lucky one will somehow disrespect the other post match and we’ll get to see them battle each other in the states.

Winners- KENTA and CIMA

Dragon Gate Rules: Matt Sydal, Ryo Saito and Dragon Kid vs. Delirious, Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Trios action is one of Dragon Gate’s specialties, and the addition of the ongoing Sydalirious rivalry should make this match that much better. I am predicting that Delirious gets another big win on his way to becoming a big star in Japan.

Winner: Delirious, Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino

Ollie’s opinion: Sydal is a heel teaming with faces, and Delirious is a face teaming with heels. Sydal has always been face in Dragon Gate though, and is part of the Typhoon faction that his team mates are also part of. The match should be fast paced and exciting, as is usually the case with all these 6 competitors. I’m not sure who’ll go over – wither team could win it really. I’ll give the heels the duke, for faces are all winning the previous matches on this card.

Winners: Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Delirious

Chris Sicoli: What makes this different from any other 6-Man Dragon Gate match to ever take place? There’s two people wearing a mask instead of one…other than that…absolutely nothing. Unless this is done as a DG six man, where things are almost always done differently while still following a similar pattern, instead of an ROHDG six man where it’s pretty much the same damn thing, I have no interest in the match. It’s the hardest one to call since it doesn’t matter who wins, but I’m going with Sydal’s team to pick up the victory since he recently joined SnS Inc and has more DG experience. Plus, he has Dragon Kid, and I love Dragon Kid.

Winners- Matt Sydal, Ryo Saito & Dragon Kid

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: I really like the Delirious team a lot here, but at this point something other than 6-man exhibitions needs to be done with these guys. Sydal is a major player in DG and as such I see his team likely winning.

Winners- Sydal, Dragon Kid, and Ryo Saito

Jack Evans vs. Roderick Strong

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Their FIP match is awesome. Their All Star Extravaganza 3 match was very good. This hopefully will fall somewhere within that range.
Roddy will get another win though.

Winner- Roderick Strong

Ollie’s opinion: Considering the previous 2 matches which will most likely be slow and (dare I say it) boring at times, expect this to be very spotty. These 2 have had some great match in the past – I think they could have their best match here, especially since it has such a strong feud behind it (Strong and his buddies have attacked Jack a lot in the past). I see Jack getting the win via help from a member of his new faction (he currently has no members in the faction he said he’s form), to finally get Jack’s faction going.

Winner- Jack Evans

Chris Sicoli: Strong is being built as a dominant, yet at times cowardly, main eventer. So when he steps into the ring with Evans, he’s going to toss him around like a ragdoll while Evans flips around and does his thing to try and beat his rival. As far as match quality, if thinks gel then it could steal the show, and if they don’t then this could be something you want to skip. Whether the match ends up good or not doesn’t change the fact that Strong is going to continue his hot streak by showing Evans absolutely NO REMORSE!

Winner- Roderick Strong

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: These two had a near classic in FIP, then a very good match at All Star Extravaganza 3, then a good match Good Times, Great Memories. That’s not a good trend. Roderick has won every encounter and will continue to do so. This should either be great or totally missable.

Winner – Roderick

”The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. Jimmy Rave

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: Dragon is not tapping to the heel hook, thus he is not losing.

Winner- “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson

Ollie’s opinion: This has potential to be really good. These 2 had an awesome match last year at ROH’s Fourth Anniversary show, and I can see them having a match that caliber again. Dragon can make any match good/interesting, so Rave’s blandness shouldn’t be much of an issue here. Dragon for the win, to keep him strong in the world title picture.

Winner- Bryan Danielson

Chris Sicoli: Traveling to the other side of the world isn’t going to save Jimmy Rave from being ROH’s whipping boy, especially when placed against Danielson. Danielson wins by elbowing him into another dimension.

Winner- Bryan Danielson

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: I’m calling an upset. Rave needs a direction and beating Dragon immediately gives him one. It also allows for him to challenge for the title 8/24 since he’ll have beaten the man getting the 8/25 title shot. This should be great either way.

Winner- Jimmy Rave

Nigel McGuinness vs. BJ Whitmer

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy-pinion: I like that this show has more of an RoH feel than the NOAH show as more matches are traditional RoH matches. This is about as traditional as it gets. Also this is a first time match in RoH as far as I know. Both men are products of HWA so they must know each other well, and I think this match will surprise people and could even be the best non-Jacobs singles match BJ has ever had.

Winner: BJ Whitmer

Ollie’s opinion: Again, I’m not sure why ROH is putting one of its blandest wrestlers in the opener (BJ Whitmer). This pretty much spoils Shima/Nigel for me, because if Nigel does win, this will most likely be a world title match. BJ Whitmer has had too many title shots in the past few months (compared to how many matches he’s won), and he won’t get another one. This should be stiff and competitive though, with Nigel going over to keep him strong.

Winner: Nigel McGuiness

Chris Sicoli: McGuinness loses to Morishima the night before, so what better way to pick
yourself up then beating a guy that hasn’t won a match in months? Obviously, McGuinness takes the win in what could be surprisingly good or painstakingly boring.

Winner- Nigel McGuinness

Pulse Glazer’s Modest Response: I think this will be better than anyone gives it credit for. The two HWA alum might make Allen Noah cry by hitting each other too hard, but the match should be great. If BJ is to turn, turning on Nigel would be a great way to quickly garner a lot of heel heat. Not likely to happen this soon, but it’s something to keep an eye out for.

Winner- Nigel

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned to Pulse Wrestling for all the best ROH Coverage, DVD Reviews, and More!

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