A Modest Response

Five Guys who ROH should book so that their young roster might learn more PLUS a guest review by Chris Sicoli of what might be my favorite ROH Match ever besides Danielson vs. KENTA.

News of Honor

Click here for full Death Before Dishonor V results

The shows were great with memorable title matches and great brawls.

Besides August 25, Mike Quackenbush will take a hiatus from ROH

ROH loves Quack, but he’s been booked elsewhere for the rest of the year. He’ll be back in ’08.

Morishima, Aries, Cross, and Stevens banged up

All were banged up at this weekend’s shows. None will miss time, although personally, I’d urge Aries to rest that knee a bit.

11/02 in Philadelphia will hopefully see a major Japanese star, as will 11/03 in NYC

Mitsurahu Misawa, come on down!

Final Battle ’07 will be in the Manhattan Center

And, as usual, we will cover it!

TNA has released Jerry Lynn, Matt Bentley (Michael Shane), Damaja and Doug Basham

Lynn being let go is a bad idea. He’s a fantastic worker who never got the credit he deserved because he spent his career working with lesser workers as compared to similar contemporaries like Malenko. Bentley is a fantastic heel and should get a ROH run again.

Farewell to “Crush” Bryan Adams

Another one too young. Are we going to do anything about this yet?

Farewell to the Missing Link

Best wishes go out to friends and family.

This Week on Inside Pulse

Clark is confused about Joe’s future. He thinks Joe should return to ROH. That’d be great, but won’t happen when Vinnie Mac is waiting with open arms. A good friend of Foley and Cena, Joe just has to sign on the dotted line so Vince can show the world he can book the big Samoan better than TNA could.

Grut interviews Shimmer star Portia Perez. Grut always amuses me and Portia has a ton of potential. Check it out.

Brashear writes about something I have no recollection of, The Super Astros.

Mrs. Blatt vs. ECW as Rob has his wife help him discuss the Tuesday show.

Wheeler hates TNA. Welcome to the club Andy. They’re among the worst booked companies ever. I’m ignoring the WWE on principle. I’m ignoring TNA in the hope that they go away.

Andy Mac hits Death Before Dishonor V Night 1. I actually like most of his write-up better than mine. Plus I’m linked a lot.

This week’s Honored Column is Andy Mac’s Moments Ago in which he discusses five guys who should get another shot in ROH. Reckless being first rocks since we all know how big a Reckless Youth mark I am (and you should be). The thing that struck me though, with Reckless and Lynn on the list, is how few long time vets there are around in ROH. That’s something that can easily be fixed and draw new fans in the process.

A Modest Response: Five Veterans ROH Should Bring In

Early on Ring of Honor had a lot of veteran presence. These vets, while not roster regulars came in and provided leadership, experience and an opportunity for learning for the young regulars on the roster. In the early days it was Eddie Guerrero and Jerry Lynn. Later on Ricky Steamboat and Mick Foley lent their presence and expertise. Recently it was Jim Cornette who helped the roster out with his experience and knowledge. Here is a list of five wrestlers who could be brought in for semi-regular guest appearances and help the ROH roster grow to it’s considerable potential while drawing some interest from casual fans.

5. Stan Hansen – Not known nearly as well in the states as he should be, Hansen is the consummate monster heel. He is probably the best there ever has been in that role and to check, find any download site, or even youtube and go check out his classics in All Japan Pro Wrestling with the likes of Misawa, Kawada, Kobashi, Tsuruta, Steve Williams, and more. He’s an absolute beast and since several on the roster are attempting to follow in his footsteps, not least World Champion Takeshi Morishima, he would be an invaluable addition. Managing either Morishima or Brent Albright, Hansen would add instant credibility (and probably better matches) to these future stars. The only reason Hansen isn’t higher on the list is that he might reside in Japan and prefer to not make the trip.

4. Paul Orndorff – Paul, along with Roddy Piper, is revered as the heel who began Hulkamania. Without a strong villain to play off both in and out of the ring, no one can tell if Hulk Hogan and his boom period would have taken off the way they did. Ordorff provided the in ring foil to Hogan and was a strong enough worker to hide Hogan’s weaknesses. To see his best in ring work, just find anything early 80s and enjoy. He also could have a lot to offer since he was a trainer in the WCW Power Plant, training wrestlers like Goldberg and James Gibson. A major draw in the business and a recognizable name, Orndorff in an angle could do a lot, particularly since he’s willing to step into the ring, as a manager at least as recently as 2006. He’d add credibility to anyone he managed instantly and be able to teach a lot of the roster about different ways of working.

3. Ken Shamrock – Ken Shamrock “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” is a strange choice for this list. He has already appeared in ROH once as a referee of an amazing ***** contest between Low Ki and Bryan Danielson. Shamrock was, before this a world famous shoot fighter and has contributed some of that sports highest buyrates. He’s also easily the most successful American shooter to cross over to wrestling as he was a star during the wildly successful attitude era. Combining these two audiences in his fanbase, regular appearances in ROH would do a lot to improve the visibility of the product. Add in that he could teach members of the roster to do a worked-shoot type of match for heated feuds and great entertainment, and Ken Shamrock belongs on this list.

2. Terry Funk Terry Funk has a claim for being the best wrestler ever. A pure technician in the 70s, he innovated the death match and in his middle age high spots. He’s among the best interviews in the business and an absolute icon. Funk adds credibility and experience, still willing to lace up the boots, he faced CM Punk in 2003 ROH. He can teach promos and different styles while being a draw and adding even more credibility to ROH, just like he once did for that other promotion that grew out of Philadelphia. On the Ultimate Ric Flair Collection or ECW’s Best and Bloodiest DVD Funk has some great matches. His technical masterpiece with Jumbo Tsuruta from a bygone era is also easily found on the internet.

1. Bret Hart – It’s hard to imagine a bigger name appearing regularly in ROH. Bret Hart, a former multiple time WWF Champion and one of the biggest names in the business and most outspoken proponents for the sport of pro-wrestling would be instant mark credibility for ROH. He obviously cannot wrestle due to a stroke, but having seen many classes travel through the Hart Family Dungeon it’s difficult to imagine a better teacher. Always a great technical wrestler who was very safe in the ring, he’s an ideal man to teach the current roster about how to tell a great story and get over without having to injure themselves or others in the ring. Adding that to his status as a major draw, you have a man who is absolutely perfect for ROH. WWE has a Bret Hart Compilation available if you wish to see some of Bret’s best matches.

Upon Further Review

Chris Sicoli is one of our new ROH DVD reviewers here at Pulse Wrestling. One of our first conversations was me singing London’s praises while he failed to see the big deal. Well, I made him watch and review The Epic Encounter, Paul London and Bryan Danielson’s classic 2/3 falls match from 2003. Here’s his review in full and I’ll see you all next week with A Modest Response and ROH’s weekend previews.

Bryan Danielson vs. Paul London 2/3 Falls from The Epic Encounter

These two are the top graduates from Shawn Michaels’ Texas Wrestling Academy, and since both have come to Ring Of Honor they’ve been beating the competition left and right while putting on fantastic matches, winning over the crowd. However, these two have met in a Gauntlet match earlier which Danielson won, and a singles match which London won. They decided to settle the score and find out who the top graduate was by facing off in this 2/3 Falls match.

The two men start off by aggressively locking up, pushing and shoving and grabbing with all their might to get the ever-important early advantage. The lock ups fail, so the two take it to the mat and try to outclass each other there, trading holds and counterholds like nobody’s business. It’s not the boring, ‘let’s waste time’ matwork either, it’s really competitive and fun to watch. When neither man can get a clear advantage 10 minutes into it (although Danielson seems slightly more advanced), they stop working each other on the mat and start hitting one another with vicious looking strikes.

Danielson finally comes up with the advantage by reversing London’s headlock takeover into a backbreaker, and continues his dominance by firing off European uppercuts and forearm strikes. Danielson starts to work over the midsection of London, stretching him out and pounding away at both his neck and gut, taking the air out of the high-flyer.

A few minutes go by with Danielson continuing to focus on London’s midsection, connecting with holds like a back suplex to keep him worn down. However, at the 16 minute mark, London attempts his comeback, taking Danielson by surprise with a series of clotheslines, followed by a
headscissors over the top rope that sends Danielson to the floor. Danielson tries to get back into the ring, but London nails him with a springboard enziguri and then gets ready to give Danielson a German Suplex. The ‘American Dragon’ has none of it though as he literally sends London flying out of the ring before connecting with a big suicide dive, regaining control of the match. Danielson, out to prove he’s the better man here, shows he can even out-fly London.

Danielson takes a bit of a breather at this time, feeling cocky at showing up London in three different ways, slowly working over London yet taking his time to recover some energy. This proves to be a fatal mistake as London starts trying to catch him in tricky pinning combinations, scoring a couple of nearfalls until once more Danielson stops London’s comeback with a snap German Suplex. Danielson places London on the top rope at the 21 minute mark and attempts a back suplex, but London reverses it into a crossbody in midair, allowing himself to get the first fall of the match! London takes the first fall, but appears to be worn down and hurting while Danielson’s expression shows more confusion and frustration than anything else. He had the fall won, but his cockiness cost him to the ever fighting London.

London offers a handshake to start the second fall, and Danielson agrees…only to slap his opponent in the face and unload with a series of hard strikes…but London fights back with strikes of his own and takes down Danielson with a big clothesline. London goes for his trainer’s
signature move, the superkick, but Danielson blocks it and goes for the roaring elbow, yet London sees it coming and ducks it in time, allowing him to nail the superkick on the second try! The kick grazes Danielson, so London gives him another stiff roundhouse kick to the head for good measure.

London climbs to the top rope, but Danielson leaps to the top himself and the fight is back on like it was minutes ago, as Danielson keeps trying to take London down while London continues to strike him with everything he has. Finally, London is able to knock Danielson onto the mat and gets ready to attempt his first top-rope move of the match, however Danielson was playing possum and dropkicks London’s legs, knocking him off the top and getting him tangled in the ropes! Danielson goes absolutely wild when he sees London’s leg in the ropes and starts to viciously attack it as the ref tries to shove him away so he can un-tangle London. There is no fooling around in Danielson after it cost him the first fall.

The two men now take it to the next level as they brawl inside and outside the ring, trading control of the match with nearly every hard strike they throw, but Danielson goes after the leg of London with a dragon screw, followed with a Boston crab submission hold. London keeps trying to crawl to the ropes, but Danielson pulls him back every time and finally digs his knee into London’s head while he pulls back on the injured leg, forcing London to tap near the 28 minute mark. Each man has one fall apiece, so the final fall takes it all! Danielson has proven that when he’s focused London is no match for him.

Both men take a breather as the third fall starts, and after a moment Danielson shoots after the leg of London, only to get caught with an enziguri for his troubles! London tries to shake feeling back into the leg, but Danielson goes after it once more, however London fights him off with SICK kicks to the face, followed up with hard punches to the jaw. London avoids further damage to the leg for a few moments and ends up connecting with a big legsweep DDT on Danielson, scoring only a two count. Danielson might be better, but London is better conditioned and whenever Danielson gives way at all London has the energy to take it to him.

The strike war continues again, and just as London seems like he’s about to knock out Danielson, Danielson scores a huge hit with his roaring elbow and falls on top of London for a two count. Danielson stalks London as he gets up and connects with a running forearm and then attempts the Dragon Suplex, but London desperately rolls him up for a two count. London shows how much heart he has by slapping Danielson aggressively in the face, multiple times, but his moment doesn’t last long as Danielson kicks him in the head not once, but TWICE with an enziguri, following it up with his DRAGON SUPLEX…but he only gets the two count!

Danielson immediately goes back to the single-leg, realizing what his rest nearly cost him, using a
Boston crab, but London’s too close to the ropes. Danielson unleashes a series of strikes on London, but London fights back with a PACKAGE POWERBOMB, however he’s unable to make the cover.

London climbs the top rope extremely slowly, stumbling the entire way up, which allows Danielson time to recover and shove London off the top, who almost gets his leg caught in the ropes again! Danielson signals for the end and places London back on top, following up with VICIOUS clubbing blows to the back as he finally, on his third attempt, nails the back suplex off the top rope…but LONDON KICKS OUT! Maybe Danielson isn’t the better man after all with London able to take this kind of beating.

Danielson puts London back in the single-leg Boston crab and pulls London to the center of the ring once…twice…now the knee is digging into the head of London like it did for the second fall…yet still LONDON MAKES IT TO THE ROPES! Wow! Danielson starts to toy with London and mock him as he places him on the top rope once more, always a mistake as London fights Danielson off and pushes him to the mat.

Danielson tries to climb back up, but London connects with a HUGE tornado DDT off the middle rope, laying Danielson out. London stumbles to the top rope again as Danielson tries to get back up, but he collapses to his hands and knees, allowing London to finally nail the Shooting Star Press off the top rope, crushing Danielson’s back! London grabs his knee in pain…crawls to Danielson…rolls him over and pins him…gaining the three count! LONDON WINS AT THE 42 MINUTE MARK!

Paul London defeats Bryan Danielson 2 falls to 1 via Shooting Star Press at
42 minutes.

Amazing. Incredible. Outstanding. Wonderful. Take your pick; each of those words describes this match perfectly. Honestly, the only slight problem I had (aside from not having any sound) was the overuse of some moves, but even THAT was small and almost insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Everything about this match was just perfect. The story of Danielson being
this vicious ‘monster’ that wanted to be the top guy, while London was the fighting underdog that showed his true colors in more ways than one throughout the match. The competitiveness and aggressiveness made this seem so legitimate and real, the selling by both men were superb, especially the selling of the leg by London. That London never waits too long before a hope spot really pushes the competitiveness up another notch, the fighting underdog never giving in. Everything just fell into place and came full circle as the match ended, giving me almost a sense of joy because I got to see the underdog pull through (even though I’m a huge Danielson mark). The cockiness of the Dragon cost him both falls and even a weakened London proved resilient enough and well conditioned enough to prevail. The only other matches I’ve seen that had this much intensity and competitive spirit are the Flair/Steamboat matches, and that’s a HUGE compliment. Overall, this match is an absolutely must-see classic that I have no problem rating the full *****. Go watch this as soon as you can, and thank you Aaron for making me watch/review it.

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