A Modest Response

This week: A spoiler free preview for Driven (with the help of Derek Kelley), a new contest, more of the PWG Chikarticles (by John Kirschner), and Notes and Opinions from every corner of ROH. Damn, I was planning on taking it easy this week too.

News of Honor (Will Contain Spoilers for PPV 3)

Driven, the second ROH Pay Per View debuts on TVN and the DISH Network tomorrow

Go to ROHwrestling.com for more information and you need go no further than just below for a spoiler free preview.

ROH PPV 3 Spoilers and Review by ML Kennedy

This is great for a new fan as ML has a lot of analysis for his greatly enjoyed first ROH show.

ROH in Detroit on 9/15 Review by Derek Kelley

Derek, on the other hand, found his show to be full of too much filler. I’m just happy for Stevens big push, which went through both shows.

Project 161 revealed as Age of the Fall consisting of Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black and Necro Butcher

Check out Gabe’s comments on them here.

ROH has footage of Age of the Fall’s debut on theirVideo Wire Here

This is violent and should make for an awesome and hot feud.

The Las Vegas Show will see a Survival of the Fittest type of tournament

Here’s hoping it’s done with Tag Teams to take advantage of all the stables currently in ROH.

This Week on Inside Pulse

Pulse Wrestling Interviews: Ken Gelman: The Man who Brought ROH to PPV. Check it out, it seems ROH is in quite good hands.

Mark Allen discusses Mark Out Moments. Here are ten recent ROH mark out moments to those that think marking is done:

1. The Debut of Age of the Fall (the recent video wire)
2. Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer’s Spike Fight (Supercard of Honor 2)
3. The debut of Ruckus/ joining the Vulture Squad (Manhattan Mayhem II)
4. Steen and Generico’s shockingly great first match (Fifth Year Festival: Philly)
5. The Briscoes take out everyone (Race to the Top Night 2)
6. Mike Quackenbush in ROH (any damn show he’s on, but best is Domination)
7. Claudio and Quack’s sequence in their four way (Night at the Roxbury)
8. Ring of Honor on Pay Per View
9. The Return of Austin Aries
10. Bryan Danielson vs. Go Shiozaki, Takeshi Morishima, or Nigel McGuinness, possibly the three best matches this year (Live in Tokyo, Manhattan Mayhem II, and Driven)
And a Bonus: Punk wins the ECW Title.

Brashear talks crappy TNA Kings of Wrestling, not great indie Kings.

Blatt vs. ECW covers the only passable WWE show.

Poor Wheeler recaps Unforgiven. I want Driven to get the same treatment and a comparison. Any chance of that Andy?

Check the Comics Nexus and read me there too please. I reviewed Captain America #30, Terror, Inc. #2, and Ant Man #12 this week.

A Modest Response: Ring of Honor Notes

There’s so much to write about from ROH this week that I won’t be just picking one topic like usual, but devoting a paragraph or two to each topic from around the company.

Well, I devoted three columns to discussing MVP Candidates (click my name up top to find them) for the Briscoes to go out and put on a near ***** match and make the point moot. Two shortlist MOTYCs (this weekend’s Ladder War with Steen and Generico plus against the Murder City Machine Guns), then two other serious MOTYC’s (vs. Shingo and Doi, Jay vs. Mark) and a whole gigantic, slew of ***1/2 and up stuff, someone will have to step up hugely to take the MVP title away from them.

The Briscoes still should have lost the belts at the Pay Per View. The Age of the Fall‘s debut will keep the Briscoes interesting and relevant. Why not keep the tag belts separate with Steen and Generico so as to develop a fresh tag scene to go with the Briscoes blood feud? Two great feuds with three great teams would be better than we have now. Expect Steen to join the Age of the Fall in time, when he turns on Generico. It’s almost too obvious not to do.

Speaking of the Briscoes, the Pay Per View, and the Age of the Fall’s debut; it sounds awesome. For those uninformed, the Briscoes were laid out, Jay was hung upside down and Jimmy Jacobs cut a promo standing under the bleeding Jay as blood dripped on him! Jacobs is really setting himself up as the go to guy for huge angles and hopefully will be rewarded with a title reign soon! The modern day Raven has arrived.

Another member of the Age of the Fall is Necro Butcher, who should be remembered by ROH fans as a member of team CZW during the CZW Wars of 2006. He is a big, hardcore brawler who is everything that ROH is not. He’s a great seller and brawler who makes fans care about his matches, but cannot less fit the ROH style. He creates a variety of interesting dream match ups since is one of the biggest names on the indies who wasn’t a ROH regular.

The third member Age of the Fall is Tyler Black. Black is a poor man’s Punk with a great moveset and a load of potential. He’s not there yet, but is really improving in FIP and PWG. He has great chemistry with Jacobs and, again, is a big name on the indies who now gets his ROH shot.

Speaking of guys who have really improved and are becoming stars, Erick Stevens is the man. I called him the next Samoa Joe if given time when he debuted and he has not disappointed. He’s been so hot lately; it’s great that fans are taking notice. He nearly stole Race to the Top Night 1 with Chris Hero, and then got a huge 6 man win at Night 2, but that was barely the start. At Death before Dishonor V Night 2, he stole the 8 man streetfight of the Resilience vs. the NRC, getting his name chanted at the end over Austin Aries, who’s a huge star and Matt Cross who put on huge spots. The big spots belonged to Cross, but Stevens delivered in a big way. In Manhattan on 8/25, Stevens wrestled with Cross against Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw, again looking golden in victory. The show was stacked and that match was a perfect opener, an easy *** ½ stars. It only gets better from there as he won a four way and got to challenge Morishima in a match reported to be better than guys like Jay Briscoe and Roderick Strong’s matches against the same, then the next night, he had a match in a class with Bryan Danielson vs. Morishima 2 at the PPV taping against Roderick Strong. He got his name chanted again at the end of that one. He’s getting better every time out. Get on board the “Choo Choo” express straight to the top.

His stable, however, has apparently lost to the NRC in every way possible. Aries has looked practically unstoppable, but any time he hasn’t been in there, his team has looked downright bad. Stevens and Cross are over from the angle, but simply have not fared well in their feud. They don’t look bad, but the NRC have beaten the Resilience down. All that remains to be seen really, is if the NRC can beat Austin Aries down. He’s had their number and really needs to beat Roderick Strong in their match for the third Pay Per View or move his stable onto something else, letting Jack Evans have his shot at Strong’s group.

Jack’s third group member will be revealed this weekend. While I’d love it if Eddie Kingston was the third man, The Vulture Squad name seems to foreshadow that it would be a high flier and the two around that would fit best, since Ruckus is already in, are Jigsaw or Riccochet. Riccochet is every bit as good as the wildly overrated Pac (see King of Europe Cup for more proof) with a fraction of the hype (and one would assume, cost) with a lot of room to grow. A regular spot where he could do a ton of flips and fit in would be great for him. Jigsaw is just as good of a flier as Riccochet, but a better wrestler all around. He’s practically Quack junior and needs to be booked with or without his mentor, but I think there is something better to do with him than the Vulture Squad.

Quackenbush and Jigsaw need the tag titles as regulars. They’ve had two (normal) tag matches in ROH, against Steen and Generico and against Stevens and Cross, and both were among the best tag formula and fit in the card matches ROH has ever seen. They didn’t steal the show, but they were great enough in their spot that they garnered a lot of attention and got hugely over while making their opponents look great. Since the Briscoes have been killing all the teams, Quacksaw is just what’s needed to rebuild the division.

Now, Morishima has basically decimated the heavyweight ranks in a similar way to the Briscoes in the tag ranks, but Morishima has left many of those he defeated looking stronger than ever. There is money to be made in quite a few Morishima rematches. Of those who probably won’t beat the beheamoth, Aries, Shingo, Claudio Castagnoli and Nigel McGuinness are all money matches. Shingo might not be back for good, but he should get a one shot against Morishima since their initial encounter was so good. Nigel and Aries are serious contenders who Morishima beat, but left looking strong, and their previous credibility carries them for at least one more defense each that fans would love to witness. Nigel faces Morishima at the fourth PPV in a match hopefully more reminiscent of their classic MOTYC at Fighting Spirit than their above average one at Live in Tokyo. Claudio seems like he’s being groomed for the belt, but beating a Danielson or Nigel for it in a classic might just do more for CC than Morishima could.

Morishima also beat Stevens and Danielson, the latter twice. Morishima contributed in making Stevens a star by all reports. Although he lost, a rededication and another shot around Final Battle where he only wrestles once in the night, instead of twice like his first chance, might be enough to help Stevens get the major victory. He’s certainly showing signs of being ready in the ring. He’s who I’d have beat Morishima at Final Battle, only to lose it to Danielson around April, then transition to Claudio in August and run a good, long Claudio with heel Nigel program. That guarantees great booking, keeps guys who should be in top spots and elevates two guys who are quickly earning it.

Danielson is another matter entirely. Morishima broke his eye once, then attacked it the second time. We still don’t know if Morishima could beat a healthy Danielson. That’ll be one hell of a rematch when the time comes, and, if possible, should go Broadway followed immediately by Morishima dropping the belt. , Danielson’s 13 minute Morishima match this weekend, however, was to make Morishima a monster heel for the PPV. He killed the guy who looked like god on PPV 1 and 2 in a heelish fashion. That’s good booking.

Of those who haven’t faced Morishima, of ROH regulars, there only really remains (of anyone close on the card) Delirious, Jack Evans, and Jimmy Jacobs. I really see Delirious having no chance and Jack spends far too much time in Dragon Gate to get the ROH belt, but Jacobs has an outside shot. He’s being booked like Raven, which means some shenanigans with mind games mixed in could make one of the smallest men on the roster a serious contender. I’d prefer someone else beat Morishima and Jacobs stealing the belt later due to his size, but he’s the most likely of the regulars to take the belt it seems.

Of non-regulars, it looks like Naomichi Marufuji is earning a title shot. He’s looked great in victories lately, only losing in a four man, and if the rumors are true about Mitsuharu Misawa‘s opponent at Glory by Honor VI night 2, then Marufuji is most likely and logical to get a title shot at Morishima there.

The rumor has it that Mistuharu Misawa will defend his GHC title in NYC against KENTA. That should be a good match, but is in America because it wouldn’t draw in Japan, where KENTA is a top junior, not a heavyweight. This makes the match slightly disappointing because, while it’s still great to see Misawa in America, I was hoping for a dream match, not a NOAH match that wouldn’t even necessarily be on top at a NOAH show. Please note- I will still absolutely mark out for one of the best wrestlers ever.

Ring of Honor, early on, was where the best wrestlers in the indies all met to ply their trade against each other. Those who were best generally got full roster spots, got over, and became stars. Over time, the quality of these guys filled up the main event with guys like Low Ki, Samoa Joe, Homicide, and CM Punk. With that kind of quality on the top of the card, ROH no longer brought in the best the indies had to offer, just those with a specific purpose (Necro and Super Dragon for the CZW War or those who were young and could grow into a greater role later (Delirious, Matt Sydal, even, at one point, Austin Aries). That made sense, since you don’t bring in a guy like Chris Hero to open shows, and he naturally has a higher price tag than some more youthful counterparts. Recently, that’s changed.

The majority of the ROH regular main eventers and high priced veterans have moved on to either WWE or TNA. The main event has opened up. Besides Bryan Danielson, Austin Aries and current champion, Takeshi Morishima, there is no one on the roster who has held the World Title. None of the rest of current roster were even really regular title contenders during Samoa Joe or Austin Aries run. That means that ROH has, again opened their doors to become to best of the various talent around the indies. Many new guys are being given a chance from Mike Quackenbush and his Chikara students, to Ruckus, Necro Butcher, Tyler Black, Kevin Steen, El Generico, and, of course, Chris Hero. With so much great new talent, the roster seems to be almost full again.

For a free DVD and a chance to be in next week’s column, who do you think are the biggest names on the indies who should be on the ROH roster? Please exclude PWG talent that is west coast based. Best argument wins, but I may post more than one. Reply either in the thread below, on the message board you found this (Hello ROH Board), or e-mail me at hbk826@aol.com. I look forward to your replies!

Guerrilla CHIKARticles (Week Two) by John Kirschner

We got a big week ahead for both promotions. CHIKARA’s Annual Cibernetico is coming up on Saturday, and we got exclusive predictions that you’ll see only here in “A Modest Response”. PWG’s has a lot of news. Let’s get into this.

CHIKARA

NEWS

1) Have you ever wanted to own Hijo del Ice Cream’s mask? How about a Larry Sweeney singlet? Maybe all of Mike Quackenbush’s books? Dream no more my friends, because CHIKARAuctions are here! Just go to the EBAY and type in “CHIKARA Exclusive” OR click this link. 9 Auctions in total. Better get on them quick.

2) November 6th 2007 will mark the release of CHIKARA’s first retail DVD titled “The Best of CHIKARA”. The matches featured on this DVD will be:
1. Shane Storm/Jigsaw/Mike Quackenbush vs. Icarus/Gran Akuma/Claudio Castagnoli
2. Chris Hero vs. Shane Storm, Milano Collection AT/Skayde vs. Chris Hero/Claudio Castagnoli
3. Allison Danger/Ranmaru/Rain vs. Daizee Haze/Mickie Knuckles/Sumie Saki
4. Angel de Fuego/Equinox/The Colony vs. Los Ice Creams/Rorshach/Crossbones
5. Eddie Kingston vs. Larry Sweeney
6. Mike Quackenbush vs. Claudio Castagnoli
7. North Star Express vs. Claudio Castagnoli/Chris Hero

Make sure to grab this one in local retail stores like Best Buy, Suncoast, and FYE. Amazon is now listing the price at $9.98, so expect the in-store price to be around $9.99, and $12.99 at FYE. Because everything is more expensive there.

3) Chuck Taylor has issued an open challenge for his YLC Trophy at “Bruised”. Last time Taylor issued an open challenge, he was given his hardest challenge yet beating Drake Younger at “Maximum Overdraft”. Expect to see someone new to debut here, or Ricochet in a mask. I’m hoping for B-Boy, you’ll read why later.

4) Moohamed, U.S.S. Rangutan, and Bolivian Squirrel were arrested on Wednesday night at the Canadian Border and will not be able to appear to the 9/22 show. Replacing the Moscow vs. Moohamed match will be Up In Smoke against The Olsen Twins.

Upcoming Events

October 26, 2007 in Reading, PA: “Bruised”. Announced Matches: Eddie Kingston vs. Tim Donst; Open Challenge for Chuck Taylor’s Young Lions Cup.

October 27, 2007 in Barnesville, PA: “New Star Navigation”. There are no announced matches for this card. The Colony, Ophidian, Tim Donst, Lince Dorado, Hallowicked, Team FIST, Mitch Ryder, Chuck Taylor and Delirious are featured on the event homepage, so they will more than likely appear.

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla

NEWS

1) It is rumored that Bryan Danielson will miss PWG’s next California Show in order to get a full recovery by the time “PWG: European Vacation” rolls around.

2) B-Boy feels that he has accomplished more than he could ever think of in the world of professional wrestling, and is set to retire by the end of 2007. No official date has been set in PWG for his final match.

3) (RUMOR) Rob Van Dam e-mailed Joey Ryan and told him he wouldn’t mind working a PWG show since it isn’t too far away from his house. But on a recent interview with Between the Ropes Radio, RVD said “There are a lot of things I’m interested in, but right now wrestling isn’t one of them.”

4) Super Dragon will also most likely miss the next California shows, to make a healthy return at “European Vacation”.

5) 3 Title matches have been added to European Vacation. In France, PWG World Champion Bryan Danielson will defend his belt against none other than Nigel McGuinness. Every time I’ve seen these two guys duke it out over on the East-Coast, it was nothing short of amazing. Expect the same here. In England, Martin Stone will challenge for Danielson’s belt. The European Vacation Finale in Germany will see El Generico face off against Bryan Danielson for the strap.

Upcoming Events

October 26, 2007 in France: PWG European Vacation II: France. Announced Matches: Austin Aries vs. Joey Ryan; PAC vs. Jack Evans; PWG Title Match where Bryan Danielson will defend his belt against Nigel McGuinness. Also Scheduled to appear: Super Dragon, El Generico and Kevin Steen.

October 27, 2007 in England: PWG European Vacation II: England. Announced Matches: Austin Aries vs. Nigel McGuinness; PAC vs. Kevin Steen; Martin Stone will challenge Bryan Danielson for the PWG Title. Also Scheduled to appear: El Generico, Jack Evans, Spud, Super Dragon, Joey Ryan, Terry Fraizer and Sha Samules.

October 26, 2007 in Germany: PWG European Vacation II: Germany. Announced Matches: Kevin Steen vs. PAC vs. Super Dragon vs. Jack Evans; Austin Aries vs. Murat Bosporus; El Generico will take on Bryan Danielson for the PWG Title. Also Scheduled to appear: Joey Ryan, Tommy End, Bad Bones, Ares and Nigel McGuinness.

CHIKARA: Cibernetico and Robin (9/22/2007) Predictions
***SEND ME YOUR QUESTIONS SO I CAN ANSWER THEM! YOU CAN FIND MY E-MAIL AND IM SCREENAME IN THE CONCLUSION SECTION. PLEASE KEEP THEM PWG/CHIKARA RELATED***

The Olsen Twins vs. Up In Smoke (Cheech and Cloudy)

I’m sure the Olsen Twins will try to pull something tricky and shady off by distracting the referee, but Cheech and Cloudy are back for redemption after their failed attempt in capturing the Campeanatos de Parejas from Team FIST back in April.

Prediction: Up In Smoke over The Olsen Twins after a Partly Cloudy with a side of Cheech.

Super Xtremo vs. Kris Chambers

Nothing special going on here in terms of background story, but I feel that this is going to be a solid match. After seeing Super Xtremo do a good job back in May at Young Lions Cup 5 I’ve been wanting to see CHIKARA give him another chance since. I haven’t seen anything out of Kris Chambers (sound familiar Miami fans?) but he has a good look to him.

Prediction: Super Xtremo over Kris Chambers.

Mike Quackenbush vs. “The American Hero” Tim Donst

OK, so his nickname isn’t really “The American Hero”. He just deserves it. This is going to be one great match. I’ve seen nothing but improvement out of Donst over the months, and I don’t really even need to mention how good Quack is. Seeing two huge babyfaces face off here is going to be a bit confusing, but nonetheless, it’s going to be amazing.

Prediction: Quack will go over with the Lighting Lock Beta.

Incoherence (Delirious and Hallowicked) vs. The Order of the Neo Solar Temple

Incoherence already has two points (In order to get a shot at the Tag Team Champions in CHIKARA, you need 3 straight wins, and each win counts as a point.) Seeing how Delirious is scheduled to appear in 2 of the next 3 shows, he may look like he might be a regular again. I was leaning towards The Order first with shenanigans, but Incoherence is just too good of a team to lose.

Prediction: Incoherence will beat The Order after Delirious’ Chemical Imbalance.

ShaneSaw (Shane Storm and Jigsaw) vs. Osirian Portal

I’m just going to go with ShaneSaw here, since I’ve never even heard of Osirian Portal. Hope they’re good though.

Prediction: ShaneSaw over Osirian Portal.

The Colony vs. BLKOUT (Eddie Kingston, Joker and Sabian)

Back in April, Joker and Sabian unprofessionally beat the crap out of Colony, in what looked to be an extremely stiff and shoot match (on BLKOUT’s part). The Colony had a sure shot to win here for revenge, but Kingston is part of BLKOUT. And when you throw Kingston into a CHIKARA match, havoc will follow. I would say BLKOUT over, but I think things are going to get out of control here.

Prediction: The Colony over BLKOUT via DQ.

CIBERNETICO MATCH

(The Cibernetico Match is where two teams of 8 (usually Rudos/Heels against Tecnicos/Faces) face off against each other in an elimination style match, and ring entry has a specific order. The tag order is the same, whether you are tagged in, or are about to tag out. The two teams battle it out until there is one individual winner. That means if there are two Rudos left standing after all the Tecnicos are eliminated, those two Rudos fight to determine the Cibernetico Winner. Eliminations occur after pins, submissions, countouts, and disqualifications.)

CHIKARA Cibernetico 2004 Teams: DJ Skittlez, Gran Akuma, Icarus, Jigsaw, Jolly Roger, Mister ZERO, Private Eye and Shane Storm (Team Tecnicos) against Crossbones, Hallowicked, Mano Metalico, Rorschach, ShareCropper, Spyrazul, Larry Sweeney and Ultramantis Black (Team Rudos).

CHIKARA Cibernetico 2004 Winner: Jigsaw (after pinning Larry Sweeney at the 76 Minute Mark)

CHIKARA Cibernetico 2005 Teams: Blind Rage, Arik Cannon, Claudio Castagnoli, Gran Akuma, Hallowicked, Chris Hero, Icarus and Ultramantis Black (Team Rudos) against Jigsaw, Eddie Kingston, Milano Collection A.T., Mike Quackenbush, Sabian, Skayde, Shane Storm and the returning Mister ZERO (Team Tecnicos).

CHIKARA Cibernetico 2005 Winner: Gran Akuma (after pinning Shane Storm at the 106 Minute Mark)

CHIKARA Cibernetico 2006 Teams: Gran Akuma, Claudio Castagnoli, Chris Hero, Icarus, Larry Sweeney, Sal Thomaselli, Vito Thomaselli, and Brandon Thomaselli (Team Rudos) against Cheech, Cloudy, Darin Corbin, Ryan Cruz, Hallowicked, Eddie Kingston, Mike Quackenbush, and Shane Storm (Team Tecnicos).

CHIKARA Cibernetico 2006 Winner: Icarus (after pinning Eddie Kingston)

CHIKARA Cibernetico 2007 Teams: Lince Dorado, Chivas 3, Chivas 4, Hijo del Ice Cream, Ice Cream Jr., Magno, Incognito, and Equinox (Team Tecnicos) against Mitch Ryder, Shayne Hawke, Larry Sweeney, Claudio Castagnoli, Chris Hero, Chuck Taylor, Icarus, and Gran Akuma (Team Rudos).

CHIKARA Cibernetico 2007 Buildup: “Anniversario!” introduced us to one of 2007’s hottest feuds in CHIKARA, Lince Dorado and Mitch Ryder. Mitch Ryder and Lince Dorado against each other in a 3v3 Trios Match, and Mitch Ryder got DQ’d for an illegal hit on Lince Dorado. The two went at it in singles action at Night 3 of the Young Lions Cup 2007, and Lince Dorado pulled off a surprise win. Ryder did not accept this one bit, as he gave Lince Dorado the beating of his life post-match. The feud stretched out to Invaders 2007 Night 2. Lince Dorado was set up against Shayne Hawke in a singles match. Lince had the upperhand most of the match, up until Mitch Ryder peered his ugly face outside the Hellertown Curtains. That was the cue for Hawke to distract referee Bryce Remsburg, and Ryder bolted down the stage into the ring and gave Lince Dorado a piledriver, then left. Shayne Hawke picked up the win while Ryder was waiting for the match to be over to come back in. He grabbed the microphone and told Lince Dorado to grab 7 of his “Mexican Hoochadores”, and Ryder will take 7 “Kings of Wrestling” and the two will fight again in a Cibernetico Match.

CHIKARA Cibernetico 2007 Prediction: This match will be, without a doubt, the MOTN, maybe even CHIKARA’s MOTY. The final blow-off of the Lince Dorado/Mitch Ryder feud is now, and you can only expect fireworks. I expect the Final-4 to be Lince Dorado, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, and Mitch Ryder. Lince will eliminate Mitch Ryder, which will lead to a Ryder beatdown. Hero walks in and pins Lince to leave only himself and Claudio. Minutes of faceoff/runaway/chasing comedy happens here, then they get down to business. Claudio will reverse a Hero’s Welcome to the CHIKARA Special to pick up the win here to become Mr. Cibernetico 2007.

LINKS, PLUGS, AND CONCLUSIONS!!!

Head to www.chikarapro.com for the latest updates on events, merchandise, and to buy tickets.

Go to www.chikarapodcast.com for a weekly video podcast of CHIKARA with hosts like Bryce Remsburg, Mike Quackenbush and the always whacky Ultramantis Black!

CHIKARAFANS is a site dedicated to CHIKARA only. Find Roster information, theme songs, results, DVD Reviews, and Tag Team Points over at CHIKARAFans. Be sure to check out their forums, because they are fantastic and funny. CHIKARA Head Office even posts there sometimes. Find them at www.chikarafans.com.

www.prowrestlingguerrilla.com is the official site of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Show results, merchandise, and Forums can be found here.

That concludes my time here on the Internet. Hope you enjoyed, and if you would like to give feedback it would be greatly appreciated. Just send your LOVE/DISGUIST for Guerrilla CHIKARticles to futureisyoung@yahoo.com or IM me on the AIM at OcopacabanaO.

Thanks John. Now we’re onto our second guest section for this week and back to ROH.

Ring of Honor: Drive Preview by Derek Kelley (with Glazer’s notes) (spoiler free)

Let’s take a look at what ROH is bringing us for their second time out on the channel which porn, boxing, and WrestleMania made famous (note: while Driven is pre-taped, I shall not make mention of the results, and so this is spoiler free).

Glazer’s Notes: Remember, I was live for this, so I won’t be pretending ignorance for spoilers, but will give you the lowdown on what to expect.

1. Six-Man Tag-Team Match: The No Remorse Corps of Roderick Strong, Davey Richards, and Rocky Romero vs. Delirious and Resilience members Erick Stevens and Matt Cross

The NRC and Resilience have been feuding for a while now, with the Resilience still trying to cope with the loss of their leader, Austin Aries. Aries, for the uninitiated, portrays Austin Starr in TNA and was pulled from Ring of Honor, despite being under suspension. Due to this power vacuum, the NRC has been given a great opportunity through which to punish their mortal enemies.

Added into the mix is Delirious, with whom Roderick Strong has been embroiled in a feud. Delirious is everything which Roderick Strong is not. Whereas Strong is a no-nonsense wrestler, determined to break the backs of every opponent whom he faces and, ideally, even cripple them,
Delirious is a fun loving lizard-man looking to climb the ROH ladder while, all along, entertaining the fans. At Respect is Earned, Delirious faced off against Strong, with the leader of the NRC gaining the victory.

With Delirious coming off of a loss to Strong, and the Resilience being leaderless, the No Remorse Corps are certainly the favorites to win this match. For those same reasons, however, you have to think that the Resilience and Delirious will be going out there and giving it everything which they have in order to even the score against their dastardly adversaries. Win or lose, this feud certainly won’t be over, but the match certainly will be exciting and a great way to start off
the show.

Whom I want to win: Resilience and Delirious, in order to even the score.

Whom I think will win: Resilience and Delirious, because the NRC will
underestimate them

Glazer’s Notes: ROH does a lot of “state of the art” stuff. This isn’t that. This is great formula with some sick spots and a great surprise. The faces are very sympathetic here. The heels are total jerks and use everything they can get away with.

2. Matt Sydal vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Last time, at Respect is Earned, these men were partners who came off on the losing end against the Briscoes. We can only wonder about what animosities have formed between these two men as they both mourned their losses. At the same time, both Claudio and Sydal are major
fixtures of the tag team scene, and will likely be looking to use this match as a way to catapult themselves into singles stardom.

Claudio, aside from having a significant size advantage, is an excellent practitioner of the European style of wrestling, giving him a great mat game. Sydal, on the other hand, is predominantly a high flyer. Will Castagnoli be able to keep Sydal grounded and use his size
to earn a win, or will Matt be able to fly around the big man and take him down with his aerial arsenal?

Whom I want to win: Claudio Castagnoli, so that he can go on to singles super stardom

Whom I think will win: Claudio, because he’s more over and is likely in line for a push and a feud against his former partner, Chris Hero

Glazer’s Notes: This is very lucha influenced, so enjoy the armdrags. Since this, Sydal signed with WWE. Claudio was, before this, signed and released. WWE got the raw end of the deal. You can clearly see the potential that will make Claudio a star here.

3. NOAH vs. ROH: Naomichi Marufuji vs. BJ Whitmer

Here we have an international showing, with Marufuji representing NOAH and Whitmer ROH. For those who don’t know, Marufuji is a former GHC Champion (which is the main title for NOAH). Whitmer, meanwhile, is coming off a bit of bad luck. At Respect is Earned, he decided to make
a name for himself by calling out ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima, but was, in the end, severely beaten. BJ will certainly be looking to show that he is not second class to the stars of NOAH when he steps into the ring this time.

Whom I want to win: BJ Whitmer, so that he can mount a comeback this year in the W column

Whom I think will win: Naomichi Marufuji, as he rarely loses in ROH and is simply the better wrestler

Glazer’s Notes: Whitmer tries to wrestle as Akiyama light, while Marufuji can get a good match out of anyone. They go slow build here, which will lose people, but it’s Marufuji, so it pays off to be patient.

4. Brent Albright vs. Pelle Primeau

Squash match most likely. Pelle is the jobbing baby face of Ring of Honor. Could be fun though, and we’ll need a break in the action.

Whom I want to win: Pelle just for the reaction

Whom I think will win: Brent Albright

Glazer’s Notes: An introduction.

5. ROH Tag Team Titles: The Briscoes vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico

When we last saw the Briscoes, they were being called out and beaten up by Steen and Generico on Respect is Earned. Now they will be facing one another, and with the titles on the line.

The Briscoes really need no introduction. They are the two of the MVPs of Ring of Honor, having been there since the start. Since winning the tag titles this time out, they have been absolutely dominant. Kevin Steen and El Generico, on the other hand, are relative newcomers to ROH. That said, they are hardly a new tag team on the wrestling scene. Having come up together from the very start, Steen and Generico have a very mixed past, during which they have been both opponents as well as team mates. Recently, however, they have teamed in So-Cal fed PWG (see above), amongst other feds. Steen is certainly the leader of the group, with Generico often left taking orders from his larger partner.

All four of these guys are outstanding workers, and this match should be anywhere from excellent to amazing. Look for Steen to be the difference maker, as his size differentiates him from the Briscoes, as well as his partner, Generico.

Whom I want to win: Kevin Steen and El Generico, so that we can see a
real feud build up between these guys

Whom I think will win: The Briscoes, but knowing Steen, his team won’t
go out quietly

Glazer’s Notes: The best spots on the card, but not a lot of selling. Annoyingly lacking in face-heel psychology, but still manages, through force of will, to be damn good.

6. ROH World Title: Takeshi Morishima vs. Jimmy Rave

You know nothing about shrimp cocktail. God how I miss Prince Nana. Now that that is out of the way, let’s get into our title match. Morishima, since winning the title, has been absolutely dominant. Rave, on the other hand, is Jimmy Rave. He’s a great heel and a high-quality wrestler, but he really doesn’t have a chance here. It will be interesting, however, to see how long he can hang with the champion.

Whom I want to win: Takeshi Morishima

Whom I think will win: Takeshi Morishima

Glazer’s Notes: Rave is always sneakily impressive, but is cast in an unfamiliar role as underdog face here. See how he does in the role against the best big man active today.

7. Main Event for the #1 Contendership: Nigel McGuinness vs. “American
Dragon” Bryan Danielson

McGuinness and Danielson have, over the last year-plus, been putting on wrestling clinics whenever they face one another in this every developing rivalry between the two men. In the previous encounters, however, it has been Nigel fighting a World Champion Am-Drag. This
time, however, Am-Drag is without the belt which he carried for a year and a half. Thus, this time, both men are on even footing, looking to earn the chance to take on ROH World Champion, Takeshi Morishima.

For those who are not acquainted with past Nigel vs. Am-Drag matches, they are, in a word, outstanding. Both men are fierce practitioners of NOAH style of wrestling, and put it all out on the line every night. If you’re into stiff striking, chain wrestling, submission holds, or seeing amazing finishes, these guys bring it all. Words don’t really do it justice.

Whom I want to win: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, so he can challenge for the title which he lost to Homicide

Whom I think will win: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, because he’s
ROH’s franchise wrestler now.

Glazer’s Notes: Match of the Year.

Also listed by ROH are appearances by Chris Hero, Sweet ‘N’ Sour, Inc., Adam Pearce, and more. If Respect is Earned was designed to accommodate people with Ring of Honor, then Driven is the show designed to show those new fans just what makes the company so special. This card looks fantastic and should not fail to deliver.

Holy Crap, 14 pages. Goodbye!

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