Ring of Honor Live Report; Hartford, CT “Caged Rage”, 8/24/07

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Ring of Honor Live Report; Hartford, CT “Caged Rage”, 8/24/07

This was without a doubt one of the best shows Ring of Honor has ever put on in the hallowed halls of the Connecticut Expo Center, but I doubt the violence in the ring could compare to the drunken idiots fighting at the Rascal Flatts concert next door. This is in no way a slight against Ring of Honor, but a commentary and idiotic drunken country music fans. I kid you not. I work as security at a concert venue, and on back to back nights we had Trace Adkins and a host of other country acts followed by Marilyn Manson and Slayer the next night. The country show had about ten times as many fights and altercations as the “Satan inspired” music of the other to acts. Yet I digress, despite my late arrival it was an awesome show, and here are my thoughts of what I saw mixed in with a bit of Pulse Glazer’s opinions on the goings on of the first part of the show which I missed in transit.

Two important notes from the pre-show:

1. Candice LeRae made her debut, and I know she has or had an association with Human Tornado in PWG, so maybe the forecast calls for the Tornado in RoH.

2. Mitch Franklin won the Top of the Class Trophy from Pelle Primeau, which I think cements Pelle as a full time roster member.

Opening Match: Chris Hero w/ Sweet and Sour Inc. vs. Hallowicked

I missed this one, but Aaron basically said this: “A duh duh duh duh, duh duh, blah blah, duh duh.”

Get it, he’s stupid. Just kidding. He said it was a fun match and Hero won. Glazer gave it **3/4.

Chris Hero over Hallowicked; **3/4

Special Challenge Match: Jimmy Jacobs vs. Rhett Titus

Aaron said that Jacobs beat the holy hell out of poor Rhettski the human Jet ski. He won with a DDT into a choke for the tapout victory. I am upset that I missed Jacobs return to RoH, but he will be wrestling tonight in Manhattan. Glazerino gave it *1/2.

Jimmy Jacobs wins via submission; *1/2

Four Corner Survival: BJ Whitmer vs. Nigel McGuinness vs. Adam Pearce vs. Delirious

All reports were that this was a decidedly average four corner survival but it was the antics afterwards that made it worthwhile. Also this was taped for what I can only assume will be the third Pay per View that will be broadcast.

Nigel won this match, but afterwards Adam Pearce with new ally Brent Albright started attacking Delirious and Nigel. It looked that BJ Whitmer was going to come out to make the save, but instead allied himself with Pearce, Hagadorn and Albright by administering a beat down to Delirious and stapling his mask to his face. Oh and it was apparently a ***1/4 star affair.

Nigel McGuinness win; ***1/4

This is where I come in, and I can give you my legitimate thoughts on the matches from here onward.

Six Man Tag Team Challenge: Jason Blade, Eddie Edwards, and Pelle Primeau Davey Richards vs. The Resilience of Austin Aries, Erick Stevens and Matt Cross

Davey Richards beat down poor, young Mr. Primeau before the match and inserted himself. This was not Pelle’s night. Richards also added the stipulation that if he pinned Aries then the Resilience would have to split up.

This was a great match, and after the rough week I had, and the unbelievably annoying drive this was just what I needed. I did not see the street fight from Philadelphia at Death before Dishonor V night 2, but to me this was the first time that the Resilience looked like a stable and not just a conglomeration of wrestlers. They were crisp and in sync and hit a lot of awesome double/triple team maneuvers.

It was pretty clear that Aries and Richards were ahead of the class so to speak in this match, but everybody came out looking good. Eddie Edwards is about to break out, and I think being added to Jack Evans stable would be a good way to do so. He had great chemistry with everyone from the Resilience, especially Stevens, and he needs to drop “Generic” Jason Blade and show what his best stuff.

This was a pretty back and forth match that did not fall quickly into tag formula, and it may even be the best non-gimmicked six man match in Ring of Honor history. Cross was way over with the Connecticut fans, and it seems that flippy guys are the most over in New England compared to other places.

Towards the end of the match Richards just flat out bailed on his teammates, which I thought was a nice touch and a good addition to Davey’s character, as he did it without looking like a coward or looking weak, just looking like he didn’t care about Blade or Edwards, a sentiment that is shared by many RoH fans. The Resilience won the match after a Aries and Stevens held Jason Blade up for a double stomp from Cross.

The Resilience wins via Triple Team Double Stomp; ****

Pulse Glazer only gave this one ***3/4, but I thought that it was worthy of being bumped up to four stars, and I think that this also has to be my match of the night.

Special Challenge Match: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. PAC

I still think that PAC has a terrible name. I hope it is his initials like his name is Patrick Allen Chatsworth or something like that. Either way I think the young Mr. PAC must have owed American Dragon money because Danielson beat the holy hell out of him. PAC got in almost no offense. His brief control segment featured a lucha sequence with some arm drags and all the accoutrement that go with Mexican wrestling. I guess his Chikara experience is paying off. He also got in an impressive shooting star Shadows over Hell, for lack of a better phrase, but it was nowhere near enough to put down Bryan Danielson.

American Dragon, for his part, used a lot of unique submissions to wear down PAC, but none of it was done in a way to truly hamper the high flying offense of young British grappler. The finish came when Dragon grabbed PAC by both of his hands and then repeatedly kicked him in the face; you could just see PAC’s dues being paid. Dragon then locked in a triangle choke for the tapout victory.

American Dragon via submission with a triangle choke; ***

I agree with Aaron on the star rating for this match. Dragon makes anyone look good, and I think it tells a good story of his intensity building towards his match the next night with Morishima. RoH almost always run double shots, but it is rare that events build from one night to the next with any subtlety. Unless a match is booked based on actions from night one to night two, or a guy says something about his next night’s match in his after match celebration, rarely is there that subtle build. Tonights show really seems to be complementing Manhattan Mayhem II, which is of course tomorrow. Almost every match seemed to have some impact on something happening tomorrow, which is really how the first half of a double shot should work.

Elimination Ring of Honor World Championship Match: Takeshi Morishima © vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brent Albright

Albright now comes out in a weird executioner’s hood gimmick, which is kind of silly to me, but he was way over with the crowd upon his entrance. He may have gotten the biggest reaction of all three competitors, but I personally would rather see Claudio or Morishima face each other alone. Which is what I got at the end, and that was not surprising at all.

The match was a pretty solid big man triple threat match. It did resort a lot to the old stand by of: one many being down while the others fight, that WWE has trained fans to expect from a three way match. It was still better than most WWE three-ways. They did a good job of keeping the match fresh, and Claudio easily looked the most motivated to win at any cost which really should have been Albright’s role. Albright was more concerned with trying to get rid of Claudio to have Morishima to himself, while Morishima was just hitting people in the face with his ass.

Morishima eventually got put out of the ring for an extended period while Albright went to work on Claudio locking in the crowbar. Castagnoli was able to reverse it however and pin Albright to eliminate him from the match.

The Most Money Making Man and the Japanese Behemoth did not capture magic they had from their singles encounter again. Morishima did try to add some new moves to his arsenal mostly in the form of double stomps. He was a bit sloppy in this, and this may have been the worst extended Morishima match yet. I still did enjoy it, though. Morishima won after a single back drop driver making Claudio basically the only person who has not kicked out of the move at least once.

Takeshi Morishima over Claudio Castagnoli via Back Drop Driver; ***

Aaron claims the three stars are “generous,” I think it is a pretty accurate rating. It was not a bad match, but there was nothing bad about, just nothing great. It was a bit of a disappointment considering the last matches involving these men, but still it was a solid outing.

Loooooooooooooooong intermission while they set up the cage.

Steel Cage Match: Jack Evans vs. Roderick Strong

I had a feeling this match was going to go something like this: flippy, chop, backbreaker, no-sell, flippy, rinse, repeate. It was actually much more deliberate than that. Roderick spent most of the early goings stretching the lack of spine of Jack Evans and throwing him into the cage whenever he felt like it. Jack tried his normal array of spinning kicks and such to make a comeback. Jack was actually pretty tame compared to his normal steel cage antics from his experience at the first Scramble Cage, Scramble Cage Melee, the Steel Cage Warfare match, and even the batting cage he jumped off of onto Abyss, but tonight it was a pretty mild match.

Other than the fact that the cage played into the finish, the wrestling in this match did not seem cage match worthy. These two men who it has been well established do not like each other one bit, did not show the hatred that cage matches usually bring about. That is not to say that there were not some stunning moments. The most spectacular moment was Jack hitting the tree of woe double knees from the top of the cage.

The finish came when Jack went up again presumably for the 630, or maybe the 1080 leg drop he won Scramble Cage Melee with. Alas it was not to be as Roderick mounted the cage and three Jack off with a Splash Mountain Bomb and hit a top rope elbow for the three count.

Roderick Strong wins via top rope elbow; ***1/2

I think this match ended early due to possibly an injury to Mr. Evans. There have been no reports of it, so perhaps not. It was odd to see Roderick win with the flying elbow, but I guess since it was preceded by a Splash Mountain from atop the cage it makes perfect sense. In all logic that should have been the finish, but stranger and more violent moves have been kicked out of in RoH before. Glazer gave the match a “generous” *** acknowledging the possibility of the finish not being the one that was planned. Still, it was a very good match.

Steel Cage Match for the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Titles: Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico

This was a very good steel cage match. Predictably, the hatred between these two teams shone through from even before the opening bell. Before the Briscoes had a chance to enter the ring, Kevin Steen kicked the door in their faces and the first part of the match involved fighting on the floor. Jay Briscoe was bleeding very early on, and thankfully it was not as bad as the blood letting that took place when Jay was in the cage across from Samoa Joe.

Steen hit an impressive dive from off the cage to the outside before the things settled into an actual cage match within the confines of the steel. They did a good job of isolating one wrestler and going to work without ever relying on tags. There were some instances where one man would be out of the cage while the other team would take control, but mostly it was four way tag team brawling, and very entertaining to watch.

This did not fall into the usual format of a Briscoes match which is typically 8 to 10 minutes of double team finishers and implausible kick outs. That only happened once when Steen hit his pumphandle driver onto his knee. Mark kicked out and it just seemed like too much, as Jay was outside of the ring unable to help.

Eventually Mark went to the top of the cage and it seemed like Generico was going to hit him with the brainbuster, but it was not to be. Steen climbed the cage from the outside and it seemed that something bad was going to happen to Mark, but it ended up being Steen who went through a table on the outside from the near top of the cage, reminiscent of Shawn Michaels in the first Hell in a Cell match. This left Generico alone to succumb to the Briscoes. And succumb he did. El Generico was hit with the doomsday device and then the spike Jay Driller to be put away for the three count.

Jay and Mark Briscoe win via the spike Jay Driller; ****

Aaron actually only went ***1/2 for this one, I enjoyed it, but there were some moments that took me out of it. It was far from the best cage match in RoH history. It does not compare to Punk/Rave, Punk/Raven from Conclusion, Joe/Jay, and especially not Whitmer/Jacobs. It was still a very, very good match, and puts a ton of heat on the two out of three falls match tonight.

After the match Kevin Steen went back in the ring and attacked both Briscoes, hitting Jay with the package pile driver and hitting Mark with the pumphandle driver onto a chair. He then went to the back by himself and closed the door on El Generico while he was exiting.

Jay Briscoe then got on the mic and said the he and Mark will win in two straight at the Manhattan center to close out the show.

In Conclusion

I gave two matches on this show **** while Aaron gave none. I think I may have been in a mindset to enjoy wrestling more than he was, or I just liked it more, or he is just wrong. I actually don’t think the last one. His review and insights will more than justify his ratings. He is far more critical in terms of star ratings, while I tend to focus more on how much I enjoyed the match.

The show was good despite two of the last three matches not delivering all that they should. It was far from disappointing.

Updated Card for Manhattan Mayhem II

There will be a six man tag team match replacing Nigel McGuinness vs. BJ Whitmer. It will now be Nigel McGuinness, Delirious, and Pelle Primeau vs. BJ Whitmer, Brent Albright, and Adam Pearce. Delirious was described as “absurdly insane” by Gabe Sapolsky on the RoH message board. This should be a very interesting match.

Mitch Franklin will be rewarded for his Top of the Class Trophy win by getting a match with Jimmy Jacobs on the main show.

There will be a “big announcement” about the Glory by Honor weekend at the show. Signs point to it being the heavily rumored Ring of Honor debut of Mitsuhara Misawa.

The Briscoes have guaranteed that they will win two straight falls in their match with Kevin Steen and El Generico.

You can credit all of these updates to Gabe Sapolsky and the Ring of Honor message board.

That’s all for now, and

I’ll see you next time