Ring of Honor Live Review: Motor City Madness; Detroit, MI, 9/14/07

ROH Motor City Madness 2007

The amount of seating is less than at the WrestleMania shows. The bleachers behind the camera are gone. Attendance is probably 500 to 600. The freaky people are definitely out in force, and as determined to get over as ever.


Ernie Osiris d. Dingo

A decent showing from two quite green wrestlers, but it was rather sloppy. Still, these matches are just meant to give fans something to do while others buy merchandise.

Rating: *

Shane Hagadorn d. Kyle Durden

Yet again, a standard pre-show match, although better than the first. This could have been on the main show if given more time, but as it was, it was simply a squash for Hagadorn. Shane is quite stiff it seems, at least live, so I’m sure he’ll have a decent career in ROH.

Rating: * ½

Main Show:

Davey Richards d. Silas Young

This was definitely the standard Davey Richards match. Stiff kicks and chops, designed simply to put him and the NRC over. Young didn’t get in too much offence. This certainly wasn’t a bad match, but it was just sort of there. Certainly not the hot opener which you like to see in a ROH show.

Rating: **

YRR of Chasyn Rance & Kenny King d. Alex Payne/Mitch Franklin

Yet another by-the-numbers match. Any offence on the part of Payne and Franklin was simply to ensure length, as this was all about the YRR. The highlight was definitely Franklin’s bump towards the end. He took an enzugiri when on the top turnbuckle from Rance, and then a running boot from King, which knocked him to the floor.

Rating: **

Rance starts cutting a promo, telling us how YRR are better than the crowd because they’re young, rich, and relentless. At least they aren’t young and restless I suppose. Also, someone needs to inform Mr. Rance that driving a BMW isn’t much of a sign of wealth. It would better fit his character to talk about Hummers or Ferraris.

Then the Final Countdown plays and out comes Bryan Danielson, and, to the eternal joy of the Internet Wrestling Community, he is wearing an eye patch. He says that he needs to test his depth perception, and asks if the YRR want to take him on. King steps up for the challenge.

“American Dragon” Bryan Danielson d. Kenny King

This was, by far, the greatest match in history. King took AmDrag to the limit in a 45 minute mat classic. OK, maybe not. It was actually, surprise, a squash. King got in a little offence, but in the end submitted to a leg scissors on the head.

Rating: * ½

Dragon isn’t done just yet, however, as he asks if Rance wishes to step up as well to the greatest wrestler in the world. Obviously he does, which leads us to:

“American Dragon” Bryan Danielson d. Chasyn Rance

This was an even quicker squash than the previous match, where Dragon stomped Rance until he submitted. Very quick.

Rating: No rating

Now, with a debuting group having been officially buried by Dragon, who will face Morishima tomorrow night, we lead up to the Four Corner Survival. This is one-fall to the finish.

Four Corner Survival: Erick Stevens d. Delirious, Roderick Strong, Kevin Steen

The match started out slow at first, and was rather boring (very akin to Strong vs. Delirious at Respect is Earned in that regard), but it picked up mid-way through when all attempts at building a match were thrown out the window, and they just decided to have a good old-fashion spot fest. A ton of suplexes at that point, and not too much cowering on the outside while two men fight in the ring, which was certainly what was happening in the first half. Very dramatic finish with Delirious and Stevens facing off in the centre of the ring, exchanging forearms. In the end, Stevens took the match and will face the ROH World Champion later in the show. Oh, and he says, “choo-choo!” before doing a running splash into the corner, which is beyond stupid. Bad Erick.

Rating: ***

Jimmy Jacobs w/Lacey d. Chris Hero w/Larry Sweeny, Tank Toland, Sara Del Ray and Bobby Dempsey

I went into this match expecting Jacobs and Hero to try to tear the house down, what with it being Jacobs’ return to Michigan after being injured here back in March, but it wasn’t to be. The majority of the match came off as more of an angle with Sweet ‘n’ Sour, Inc. than any sort of real wrestling match. Hero showed off throughout the entire thing, with only any real wrestling happening in the last five or ten minutes. The finish came with Lacey being attacked by Hero, which fired Jimmy up and gave him the ability to defeat his opponent with a guillotine choke following a DDT.

Rating: ** ¾

Naomichi Marufuji d. El Generico

El Generico came out to a massive reaction from the crowd, but once the match began took a massive beating. The story was pretty basic, with Marufuji playing the better wrestler of the two, and usually dominating, and Generico being the underdog looking for an upset which could earn him a win. The match went to the outside early, and Generico was sliced open against the guard rail. Marufuji worked on the head to start, but then moved into some nice power bombs. When Generico finally manage to make his comeback, it seemed as if he might actually win, but it was not meant to be. Marufuji took the win with a Super Sliced Bread #2 from the top of the turnbuckle.

Rating: *** ¾. Marufuji phoning in pointless “psychology” does nothing for me, so the head work was really just a bore. The best part of the story was Generico, whom I wish would have won it. Going into tomorrow night’s ladder match, it would have been nice to see the challengers have some sort of momentum.

Intermission. I can’t believe how utterly meh this show has been by ROH standards. Hopefully it will pick up.

Brent Albright & BJ Whitmer with Shane Hagadorn d. Nigel McGuinness & Claudio Castagnoli

This match started with Whitmer and Albright controlling Nigel in typical heel fashion. After a short bit — not long enough of a beat down to warrant being called a hot tag — he managed to bring in Claudio. This led to the faces having a chance to extract some revenge of their own, really taking it to Whitmer. The highlight of this was definitely the double-team European uppercuts from Nigel and Claudio. Yet, as is usual, the heels managed to take control, this time with Claudio. At one point they tried to do the spot where Claudio managed to tag in Nigel and the referee did not see it, but this was blown very badly because, right after, Claudio was pushed into his own corned and, in plain sight of the referee, Nigel was able to tag him. This was, alas, not the only botch, as later in the match Albright was on the top rope and Claudio caught him with a head scissors. Albright, however, missed the timing, and flipped off a good ten or fifteen seconds after he was supposed to, which looked horribly awkward. Back to the play-by-play, the match ended with Albright catching Nigel (I think) with a surprise half-nelson suplex. Again, it was a rather standard tag-team match.

Rating: *** ½. This could have been higher, but the blown spots and overall sloppy feeling prevents me from rating it so. Yet again, I should ad, McGuinness had a poor showing in Detroit.

Street fight: Jack Evans d. Rocky Romero.

The match did not begin as a street fight, but quickly turned into one. After Romero and rushed an entering Evans from the ring with a huge kick to the face, Evans managed to fight him off and call for the microphone. He said that, since Romero didn’t “have the balls” to face him in a cage match, he wanted to have a street fight right there in Detroit. Romero responded by quickly grabbing a chair and coming into the ring. Shortly after, they both went to the outside and were fighting in the crowd. Unfortunately, I was over by the entrance area, and couldn’t see what was going on for this five or so minute period. When they came back, Romero worked over Evans’ knee, which Evans did a horrible time selling. The match ended when Evans did a flying knee drop onto a prone Romero through a table.

Rating: *** to *** ¾, as I couldn’t see everything. Evans inability to sell really hurt this match.

ROH World Title Match: Takeshi Morishima d. Erick Stevens

This was a pretty good match, in which Stevens got a lot of offence considering whom his opponent was. It began with Morishima dominating at the start, throwing Stevens around outside into the rail area. He lost control, however, when he tried to go to the top rope and Stevens pushed his attack out of the way, leading to a thundering thud upon the mat for the ROH World Champion. Afterwards, the match was very back-and-forth, with Stevens playing the underdog. It almost seemed as if he might pull the upset when he manage to nail Morishima with a delay German suplex and a power bomb. In the end, however, he fell to a quick succession of monster lariats and the back drop driver.

Rating: *** ¾. It was too short for much more, and was very reminiscent to me of Kobashi’s title defences against the likes of Bison Smith, where you knew going in that the challenger had no chance of winning, but the champion gave him just enough to where you could have an enjoyable match anyway.

World Tag Team Title Match: Jay & Mark Briscoe d. Austin Aries & Matt Cross

Finally we came to the last match of the show. I went into this with very high expectations, thinking that we might see something akin to the Briscoes vs. Aries and Strong, with Cross simply filling in. Perhaps it was solely on account of the expectations, but I was left very disappointed. True, the match was back-and-forth, and we saw some double-teams, but the match just never seemed to click. It felt like a generic Briscoes match, and was very plain. Granted, it wasn’t bad, but just not as good as the Briscoes have been doing lately, and should be able to do against the likes of Aries and Cross. I especially disliked the lack of near falls, of which the Briscoes have been doing so much lately. It hurt the match a lot, since the finish came out of nowhere really (a sick spiked Jay Driller for those interested). Not much to give play-by-play on. Watch any Briscoes tag match, and this could be it.

Rating: *** ¼

The Inside Pulse
Perhaps I was spoilt by the quality of the two WrestleMania shows, but Motor City Madness 2007 just came off as far below ROH calibre. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was just there. This is definitely an event which won’t matter at all in the future, and will be forgotten, with nothing at all standing out. Phoned in to the highest degree by ROH. If you took people who had never before seen ROH, they would have been very disappointed (and were in my case). They’re coming back on the 25th of April, and hopefully can pull of a decent show for us then. Detroit really does deserve better.


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