After almost a year since his last title shot, Nigel McGuinness has fought his way into main event status and finally gets to challenge once again for the ROH World Championship against the current champ Takeshi Morishima! Meanwhile, the No Remorse Corps looks to continue their dominance of the weekend by sending two members, Roderick Strong and Davey Richards, to face off against people they’re having real problems with, Jack Evans and Delirious. Also, in an ironic situation, Doug Williams returns back to ROH to face a man who’s having his final east coast match at the same time, Colt Cabana. It doesn’t stop there as Kevin Steen and El Generico look to continue their hot streak by facing their rival Jay Briscoe and his partner, subsituting for his concussed brother, Erick Stevens. Plus tons more matches with talent such as Chris hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Rocky Romero, Shingo, Sara Del Ray, and many more as Ring Of Honor presents ‘Fighting Spirit’!
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Show opens with a backstage promo from Nigel McGuinness. He says to explain how important his title match tonight is to him and to Ring Of Honor, he has to take us back to Summerslam 1992 when Bret Hart faced the British Bulldog. Nigel says it was one of the best matches of his generation, and as he sat there at 15 years of age, he turned to his friend and told him he was going to be a professional wrestler. His friend laughed, and Nigel didn’t feel that serious about it at the time, but he followed his dream, paid his dues, made his sacrifices, but he ponders what’s next. What’s left? Nigel says what’s left is a legacy, which brings us to his title match tonight. He doesn’t know how much longer he can do this (meaning wrestle) Nigel says he’s not young anymore and his body feels terrible, coming home each week with a new injury. He says it’s time to stop having great matches, and time to start WINNING great matches. He continues by saying he’s not going to claim himself as the best wrestler or the biggest wrestler, because he knows what he is and he knows what he’s not. He’s just a guy with a dream that never gave up, so he wants the fans to remember this isn’t just a regular match and he’s not just a regular wrestler…this is special. End of promo, and wow. I found this to be better than his critically acclaimed promo from Unified, as it was more from the heart and close-to-home which usually makes for great promos.
Jason Blade & Eddie Edwards vs. Chris Hero & Tank Toland-
Hero starts off by toying with Edwards a little bit, so Edwards takes him off his feet with a dropkick. Blade comes in and Hero messes with him as well, which leads to Blade nailing a series of arm drags. Toland comes in and Blade tries to arm drag him, but Toland blocks it, however Blade then fakes out Toland and gives him some more nice arm drags. A double hip-toss, elbow drop, and nip-up from Blade & Edwards draws some boos from the crowd. Must be Rockers fans. Edwards tries to shoulder-thrust Toland on the apron, but Hero kicks him in the head which allows Toland to nail a springboard clothesline of sorts. Toland hits Edwards with a running clothesline in the corner, and Hero follows with a jumping knee to the chest, finished off with a big spear from Toland. Toland connects with his one-arm slam on Edwards and then distracts the ref, allowing Toland to choke Edwards with his arm-curling equipment while he does some reps. Hero slams Edwards with a chokeslam and attempts a cocky cover for a two count. Edwards avoids an attack and leaps off the top with a missle dropkick, leading to a double tag out. Blade dropkicks Toland twice and nails a back body drop, followed with a spinning heel kick on Hero. Blade tries throwing Hero out of the ring but he lands on his feet, so Blade just dropkicks him in the face. Blade and Edwards hit simultaneous dives on both Toland and Hero! Back in the ring, a blue thunder driver from Blade gets him a two count. Blade & Edwards nail a superkick/german suplex combo on Toland but only get a two count again. Hero fights both men off which lets Toland place Edwards on his shoulders, allowing Hero to give him a knee drop across the back of his neck as Toland slams him to the mat. However, Blade superkicks Hero out of the ring and then rolls up Toland for the win at 11:23.
Jason Blade & Eddie Edwards def. Chris Hero & Tank Toland via rollup at 11:23. **3/4
Good opener with some nice, well put together action throughout. This really allowed Toland and Hero a chance to demonstrate what they’re about now, and the fans loved it. Edwards looked good as usual, while Blade did his job by just being there and not screwing up. It all made for a nice little match in the end.
Backstage promo with Claudio Castagnoli. Claudio says after a lot of thinking, he realized the more you put into something, the more you get out of it. He reminceses on his tag title win and how his mind wandered off when he was set to go other places, so he lost the belt. Claudio says his departure wasn’t meant to be, and ROH called him to be on their all-star team at All Star Extravaganza III. Claudio wondered why ROH woud pick him; was it a trap or another chance? Claudio decided it was another chance so he trained harder than ever, and it paid off when he heard the reaction from the fans. He talks about beating Jay the night before, and he now gets a tag title shot with a partner of his choice, and Claudio wonders who his partner shall be.
Top Of The Class Trophy
Pelle Primeau vs. Shane Hagadorn-
Hagadorn jumps Primeau from behind during his entrance and slams him around on the outside, but Primeau shoves him shoulder-first into the ringpost and follows with a headscissors takedown into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Primeau takes it to Hagadorn with clubbing blows and slaps until Hagadorn pulls him into the turnbuckle. Hagadorn continues his assault with a tilt-a-whirl gutbuster. Primeau takes Hagadorn down with a unique armdrag and puts him in a cross-armbar, but Hagadorn escapes it and nails a russian legsweep for a two count. Primeau ducks a clothesline and an elbow before hitting a tilt-a-whirl DDT followed by a springobard senton and a standing doublestomp! Primeau charges at Hagadorn in the corner, but Hagadorn gives him a boot to the back of the head, however Primeau catches him off guard with an inside cradle for two. Hagadorn takes Primeau down into an inverted headlock (Prazak’s words, not mine), but he makes it to the ropes. Hagadorn pulls the brass knuckles out of his tights, which prompts Bobby Dempsey to run down and yell this information to the ref! Primeau nails the stunner and rolls up Hagadorn for the three count! Afterwards, Dempsey nails Hagadorn with his running cannonball in the corner, and Primeau crowd-surfs around the entire building.
Pelle Primeau def. Shane Hagadorn via rollup at 8:01 to win the Top Of The Class Trophy. **
These two guys worked hard to play their respective roles and tell a good underdog story, and while some may not enjoy it, I loved the ending since it finally had all of Hagadorn’s cheating catch up to him when he was caught in the act by the man he cheat to beat at the last Edison show. However, without the necessecary polishing, it was obvious that these guys were still students, although Primeau as always looked to be more talented, especially by saving an almost blown spot here and there. Primeau crowd surfing around the entire building was a sight to see, that’s for sure.
Rocky Romero vs. Claudio Castagnoli-
Some early matwork and reversals lead to a stalemate between the two men. More basic wrestling has both men going back and forth with control until Rocky tries to shoulder tackle Claudio, but ends up kicking his leg several times. Claudio shoulder tackles Rocky and taunts his ‘azucar’ dance, so Rocky spits at him and slaps him across the face, which leads to a series of european uppercuts from Cladio, followed by a big swing. Rocky ducks a big boot from Claudio and connects with some kicks to the leg again, before nailing two hard kicks to the back. Rocky takes control with a clothesline takedown, and then rakes at Claudio’s face. Rocky connects with a 619 and an atomic drop, but Claudio tosses Rocky face-first into the turnbuckle and follows up with a Matchkiller. Claudio tries to hold Rocky down for a pin, but Rocky springs up onto the top rope, and after a series of beautiful reversals ends up tossing Claudio to the outside and attempts a dive, but Claudio catches him with an uppercut. Claudio tosses Rocky up, but Romero lands on the apron and kicks Claudio in the face before nailing a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Claudio blocks the Kick Of Death and hits his signature Ricola Bomb for a two count! Romero quickly regains control by spinning around Claudio before taking him down with a fujiwara armbar, but Castagnoli escapes and hits an awesome flapjack uppercut! Claudio tries for the Alpamare Waterslide and a german suplex, but Rocky escapes both moves before hitting his Kick Of Death on Claudio…but Claudio fires up and takes down Romero with the bicycle kick! Rocky ducks a second bicycle kick and catches Claudio with a tilt-a-whirl inside cradle for the three count at 10:38.
Rocky Romero def. Claudio Castagnoli via insidle cradle at 10:38. ***1/4
A well-wrestled match between two technicians, who took a throw away match that no one should have cared about and had fans wanting more and more as they went on, which is why the abrupt ending was perfect since it gave Romero a lot of heat yet kept it being a good match. Claudio looked really comfortable in his new face role with new mannerisms, and the crowd is starting to finally warm up to him.
Sara Del Ray promo backstage, and she talks about Daziee Haze’s victory from last night was a fluke, so she’s going to send a message to her tonight by taking out whoever they put in the ring with her.
Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. Jay Briscoe & Erick Stevens-
Briscoe and Generico start things off, but immediately Jay jumps at Steen in the corner and lands a good forearm followed by a big boot. Generico gives Jay a few strikes and whips him into the ropes, but Jay ducks under a clothesline attempt and dives over the top onto Steen! Man, he really wants a piece of Steen tonight! Stevens enters and after a few exchanges takes down Generico with a HUGE clothesline but soon gets cut off with a series of arm drags until nailing Generico with a cradle backbreaker. Steen tags in and trades strikes with Stevens, getting the better of the exchange with a charging elbow strike that knocks down Stevens. Steen tries to attack Jay as revenge for earlier, but Jay ducks the punch and flips off Steen. Generico enters and keeps Stevens under control with some kicks to the head, but soon Stevens nails his ‘choo-choo’ running charge in the corner followed by a belly-to-belly suplex. Jay and Stevens perform the Briscoe Double Shoulder Tackle, showing that they can work together as a team, and then further proves that fact by giving Generico the double hip toss that sends him high into the air. Steen plants Jay with a DDT and regains control of the match, but suddenly Rocky Romero jumps on the apron and distracts the ref, allowing Davey Richards and Roderick Strong to powerbomb Stevens into the guardrail! That dastardly NRC strikes again! Referees help a hurting Stevens to the back, and this has seemingly become a handicap match. For quite a long time, Steen and Generico dominate Jay in the ring, making frequent tags and putting the heat on him really well by just physically disecting him without letting up. The entire beatdown period is highlighted by Steen mocking Jay for being without a partner followed by some flipping legdrops, and Generico nailing some nice basic moves such as a top rope crossbody.
Jay makes small, short comeback attempts but continues to get cut off again and again until he finally snaps, managing to give Generico a falcon arrow and a sitdown brainbuster but Steen stops him with a big powerbomb. Generico and Jay are down in the ring from this when suddenly Mark Briscoe hopes the guardrail and jumps into his brother’s corner while Mother Briscoe looks on with concern. Steen and Generico try the Doomsday Device, but Jay crotches Generico on the top and gives Steen a german suplex, allowing him to make the tag to his brother Mark! Mark springboards in with a karate kick to Generico and quickly gives Steen a back body drop. Mark cleans house with his lightning-quick karate offense as the crowd goes wild. Suddenly Generico elbows Mark in the head a few times and he slumps down in the corner. Mark ducks the Yakuza Kick from Generico and gives him the arm-trap suplex, but Steen enters and gives Mark an enziguri. Jay helps Mark to his feet and they complete their springboard knee drop/sidewalk slam combo. Jay climbs to the top but gets met with a running Yakuza Kick from Generico, stopping him in his tracks. Generico climbs up and attempts a top rope ace crusher, but Mark beats him to it by springboarding in and taking Generico off the top with an ace crusher of his own, allowing Jay to nail a big splash on Generico for a believable nearfall.
Generico gives Jay his tornado DDT and Steen follows up with his fisherman buster onto his knee, finished off by the swanton bomb for yet another believable nearfall that gets broken up by Mark. Generico sends Mark into the corner and gives him a Yakuza Kick, as the crowd just collectively gasps and ‘ooohs’, but it’s not over as Generico plants him on his head with a half-nelson suplex…but Mark fires up to his feet almost immediately! He gets met quickly with another big foot and another half-nelson suplex which has him slump into the corner yet again, and Steen throws him head-first into the guardrail! Steen destroys Jay by sending him into the guardrail and then brings Mark back into the ring, giving him the patented Package Piledriver followed by Generico’s standing brainbuster for the win at 24:47.
Kevin Steen & El Generico def. Jay Briscoe & Erick Stevens (replaced with Mark Briscoe) via piledriver/brainbuster combo at 24:47. ****
In these current days of tag team wrestling, it doesn’t get more dramatic than this. Let me start off with the one thing I hated; the beating Jay Briscoe took, or lack thereof. Yes, it was two on one for quite a while (too long, actually) and Steenerico used a lot of good moves to wear Jay down, but the problem was that Jay was constantly getting shots in and never seemed to be in any real danger, so even though Mark jumping the rail and helping his brother out was an awesome moment and had the fans going crazy, it would have been much better if Jay actually appeared to be beaten down so bad that he NEEDED a partner. Other than that, this was a really great story-driven match that’s last few minutes had the fans on their feet with the awesome action and concern for Mark’s health. You know you’re doing great when a regular elbow strike has the fans going “Ooooooh!”.
Doug Williams vs. Colt Cabana-
Cabana and Williams trade simple wristlocks in the opening minutes and constantly end up in the ropes to break the hold, until Cabana ‘forgets the rules’ and doesn’t break the hold. Referee Khener and Williams step between the middle rope to explain the rules, and Cabana lifts the rope up for a double low blow. Williams places Cabana in another wristlock and really works the arm as Cabana tries and fails to escape numerous times until dropping down to the mat and going through a series of rolls and turns to finally escape the hold. Williams escapes a wristlock from Cabana by laying on the mat and bridging up, so Cabana just sits on Williams until he breaks the bridge but Williams surprises him with a roll-up. Cabana attempts a lucha-esque monkey flip but Williams rolls though and attempts another roll-up, but Cabana crawls away. Williams brings Cabana to the mat with headlock and puts his shoulders down for a pin, but Cabana puts his arm up every time the ref tries to count. Cabana places Williams in a headscissors but Williams escapes and tries to lock on the surfboard stretch, but Cabana shouts “No, I’ve seen Dragon do this!” and blocks it. They trade some pin reversals until ending up in a double pin predicament but both kickout at the same time in a goofy manner. They go through another series of interesting pinning combinations but Cabana crawls through. Both men crawl through the ref’s legs and Cabana crawls through yet another pin attempt but Williams nails a gutwrench suplex. Williams hits two running knee strikes and goes for the top-rope knee drop, but Cabana has it scouted and shoves Williams into the corner for the Flying Asshole, and then hiptosses Williams while shouting “Flying asshole!”. Clever. Cabana hits his always amazing asai moonsault for a two count. Cabana tries for a Colt 45 but Williams blocks it and pushes Cabana into the corner. Cabana manages to send Williams into the other corner and charges at him, but Williams sidesteps him and uses his momentum to take Cabana over with the Chaos Theory for the win at 12:33.
Doug Williams def. Colt Cabana via Chaos Theory. **1/2
Well, this certainly left a bad taste in my mouth. The first half was a comedy match with wristlocks, but the problem was that you can’t hear the jokes being told by Cabana due to low audio and loud commentary, so you just get some weird motions and some mumbles and are stuck trying to piece it together yourself. The second half was a few simple holds and pinning combinations with the wrestlers crawling everywhere, until finally in the last few minutes they started to use their wrestling moves and actually try to win, but by that point nothing in the match seemed to matter so the ending was pretty flat. It was decent comedy when you could understand, and it was decent technical wrestling when it was all said and done. Definition of average.
Post-match, Cabana puts over Williams win and sells the Chaos Theory. Cabana says his and some CM-something guy’s goal was to be the best in the midwest, and if they did that, they’d be pretty pretty really really good. However they got booked in this new Ring Of Honor promotion and it suddenly took off, travelling all over the globe, and it’s not just the wrestlers and the office, it’s the fans. Cabana says he’s not moving up or down, he’s just moving on. He make a great analogy by saying this fan in the audience loves Burger King, but suddenly he stops in McDonalds and loves it, however it’s not to say Burger King stopped being good…he just found something else he likes. Obviously he’s comparing this to his trip from ROH to WWE. Cabana thanks the fans for supporting him, and says ROH is still the greatest pure wrestling company in the world, and at the moment I’m inclined to agree. Cabana says ROH is supported by the fans one-hundred percent and they should keep doing so. Cabana then leaves to a ‘Thank You Colt’ chant.
Backstage, Becky Bayless is interviewing Chris Hero & Tank Toland, who tell us Larry Sweeney isn’t here right now because he’s wheelin’ and dealin’ all over the world to make more money. Hero says they lost tonight because of too much baby oil, but Toland says that it was all natural sweat. Toland things the problem was Hero’s grip strength, and hands him a shady looking tool to improve it. Hero has the line of the century when he says “So if I do this, you won’t get pinned anymore?”. Classic. Suddenly Kevin Steen and El Generico interject to remind us that on their first time teaming in ROH, they took the Briscoes to the limit, and on the second time they beat them. Steen wants everyone that sees this to demand that they receive their tag title shot. Hero questions the decision to give Steena title shot, but then starts his hand grip training. Entertaining promo, that’s for sure.
Ernie Osiris vs. Sara Del Ray-
Osiris kisses Del Ray’s hand, so she gives him an immediate german suplex, followed with a back senton. Daizee Haze is shown in the aisle, watching the match. Del Ray gives Osiris a series of strikes and then nails a double knee drop from the second rope. Osiris gives her a back suplex, but Del Ray takes him down with a big boot to the chest, followed by the Royal Butterfly submission which forces Osiris to tap at 1:39. She still decides to give him the butterfly powerslam for good measure.
Sara Del Ray def. Ernie Osiris via Royal Butterfly at 1:39. *
It’s a squash; nothing more and nothing less.
Matt Cross vs. Shingo-
The two try to get an early advantage by trading simple arm holds and headlocks, but Shingo takes Cross down with a shoulder tackle, only to have Cross resond with a headscissors that sends Shingo to the outside. Cross fakes a swinging kick to the outside, but then hits it immediately after and quickly attempts a hurricanrana, however Shingo blocks it and swings him into the guardrail. Shingo rams Cross into the guardrail a few times, but Cross headscissors him into the guardrail in return. Back in the ring, Cross nails a snap suplex and then attempts a dive off the second rope, but Shingo catches him and uses the ropes for leverage to deliver a facebuster across his knee. Shingo lifts Cross up in a suplex position and Cross tries to turn it into an inside cradle, but Shingo blocks the reversal and plants Cross as planned wth the suplex. Cross fires off a series of chops and then a jawbreaker, but Shingo cuts him off with a gutbuster followed by a DDT and a running back senton for a two count, so he immediately puts Cross in the single leg boston crab and soon turns it into a crossface. Cross comes back with a headscissors takedown and an enziguri, finished off with a tornado DDT that sends Shingo to the outside. Cross goes to dive but fakes him out and stops himself with the ropes before finally diving over the top and onto Shingo. Cross gives Shingo a springboard doublestomp in the ring followed by a standing moonsault, and then goes for a…cross-armbar? Uhh, okay. Shingo lifts Cross up with pretty much one arm and powerbombs him down. Cross tries a crossbody, but Shingo blocks it and lifts him onto his shoulders, however Cross nails a great hurricanrana for a nearfall. Cross climbs up top and connects with a twisting moonsault for another nearfall. Cross climbs up again for a shooting star press, but lands on his feet as Shingo rolls out of the way. Shingo connects with a big lariat on Cross and tries an Air Raid Crash, but Cross turns it into a crucifix bomb. They keep trading waistlocks until Shingo’s able to lift Cross onto his shoulders and drop him with the Last Falconry at 11:18.
Shingo def. Matt Cross via Last Falconry at 11:18. **3/4
At first, the crowd was dead and these two weren’t clicking but instead going through the motions to try and keep the match going. Cross still needs to learn the whole ‘time and place for things’ aspect, but as a random spot monkey he does his job well. They really started building their spots up halfway through the match and started getting the crowd into it, and the finished product was a fun, solid match. It was made good mainly due to the big guy versus little guy aspect, and of course Shingo.
Roderick Strong & Davey Richards vs. Jack Evans & Delirious-
Delirious and Evans immediately jump the NRC and brawl, leading to Evans leaping over the top rope and dropkicking Strong on the outside, followed by a moonsault off the guardrail. Delirious sends Richards out of the ring and leaps off the top rope with a flip senton on to the No Remorse Corps. Delirious makes Richards flee from the ring after a back suplex, so Strong comes in but gets met with a few kicks from Evans followed by a double stomp and standing moonsault. Evans sends Strong to the outside and hangs on the ropes out on the apron, but before he can do anything Richards kicks him at full speed and has him drop to the floor instantly. Delirious chases the NRC around the ring until Strong cuts him off with a chair, and then throws Evans into the ringpost. Richards gives Evans a few chops in the ring and signals for the kick, but tells the fans they aren’t good enough and just stands on Evans, only to have Delirious chase him off for a moment. Strong gives Evans a fallaway slam, and then on the outside Richards beheads Evans with a running yakuza kick. Delirious tries saving Evans on the outside, but Strong beats him off. No, you perverts, I mean he hits him in the face. Sheesh.
Richards places Evans in the Gory Special back in the ring, and Strong gives him a SICK chop to the chest while in the hold. Strong brings Evans into the air for a delayed vertical suplex, holding him for quite some time, but places Evans back on his feet and just punches him in the groin. Awesome. Strong THROWS Evans into the corner with no regard for his well being, and Richards then chokes him with the ropes. Strong and Richards attempt a double team move, but Evans briefly escapes and nails a double springboard elbow on them and makes the hot tag to Delirious! Delirious cleans house with his signature moves and then gives the NRC a double panic attack in the corner, followed with a missle dropkick to the back of Richards’ head. Delirious attempts the Cobra Stretch on Strong, but he fights his way out and gets to the corner. Richards gives Delirious an enziguri and Strong follows up with his elevated gutbuster.
A fan yells something about Richards’ kicks sucking, and immediately afterwards Richards yells back “My kicks rule” as he gives Delirious a Yakuza kick. Awesome. Strong throws Delirious into the air and Richards kicks him in the chest! Evans breaks up a pin and attacks Strong with a spinning kck that sends him to the floor. Evans climbs to the top but Richards stops him, only to get caught in a tree of woe and nailed with a dropkick from Delirious followed by the double knees from Evans. Evans connects with his carthweel somersault flippy spinny dive to the outside on Strong, while in the ring Richards attempts his handspring move but is stopped by Evans. Evans spikes Richards on his head with a reverse hurricanrana and Delirious nails his Shadows Over Hell, but Strong breaks up the pin. A moonsault from the top by Evans takes Strong down as Delirious finally gets the Cobra Stretch locked on Richards. Richards low blows Delirious and small packages him…for a two count! Delirious gets Richards in the O’Conner roll, but Richards shoves him into a chairshot from Strong, unbeknownst to the ref! Richards finishes off Delirious with the DR Driver for the three count at 17:34.
Roderick Strong & Davey Richards def. Jack Evans & Delirious via DR Driver at 17:34. ***3/4
Wow, this was another fantastic tag match, but unlike the one earlier in the night this was just straight up action for 17 minutes. The physical disection of Jack Evans mixed with the constant, great heel work by the NRC made them hated by the end and had the crowd going wild when the hot tag was finally made. The heat was there, the face/heel dynamic worked perfectly, and the action never stopped without getting too spotty.
Backstage, Becky Bayless is interviewing Daizee Haze and tells her Sara Del Ray seems determined to beat her. Haze says the fact is that she beat Del Ray, fluke or not it happened. Del Ray just has to name a time and place, and Haze will be there. Was this really needed considering Del Ray already had a promo earlier?
ROH World Championship
Nigel McGuinness vs. Takeshi Morishima-
Shima takes it to Nigel early with forearms and clubbing blows, but Nigel responds with strikes of his own, however Shima wins the striking war easily. Nigel tries taking Shima down with shoulder tackles, but Shima ends up taking Nigel down and Nigel quickly rolls to the outside, however Shima dives off the apron with another shoulder tackle! Shima sends Nigel head-first into the guardrail and tries to toss him into the ring, but Nigel rebounds off the bottom rope and lariats Shima! Nigel follows with a series of forearms and elbows, finished with a running european uppercut. Nigel uncharacteristically climbs to the top rope and leaps off with a crossbody on to Shima on the outside! Nigel ducks a lariat from Shima, who ends up nailing the ringpost by mistake. Back in the ring, Nigel traps Shima’s arm and bends it in several awkward angles while also driving it into the mat. Shima rolls to the apron to avoid more arm injury, so Nigel charges at him and leaps over with a sunset flip, but Shima blocks the attempt by sitting down on Nigel’s chest! Shima tries for a backdrop driver on the apron, but Nigel blocks it, so Shima just plants him face first into the floor, followed by a suplex on the outside as well. Shima whips Nigel into the corner and connects with his handspring body splash before quickly climbing to the top rope and hitting his missle dropkick. Nigel tries to fight back and attempts the jawbreaker lariat, however Shima catches him with the jumping hip attack, and then steamrolls over Nigel with the rolling body attack…twice!
Shima attempts the backdrop driver again, but Nigel holds onto the ropes to block it. Shima goes for the handspring body splash again, but Nigel has it scouted and sidesteps it before quickly lifting Shima to the top and nailing the Tower Of London. At this point, the move is so devalued that neither the crowd nor the wrestlers cared about the move happening. Nigel nails his combo in the corner by kicking Shima in the back and elbowing him across the chest. The two trade hard forearms and Nigel once again goes for the jawbreaker lariat, but is once again cut off by Shima, this time with the side slam. Shima goes to the top rope but Nigel stops his ascension and nails a superplex, however Shima fires up to his feet and nails a big boot, but Nigel responds with a big lariat! Shima crawls out to the apron but Nigel catches him with a springboard crossbody of sorts while he’s still laying down, and then nails a Tower Of London onto the floor. Shima gets back into the ring and tries for the third time to backdrop driver Nigel, but Nigel reverses it into a sunset flip that’s blocked by Shima, however Nigel ducks the falling butt of doom! Nigel gives Shima a karate kick to the face, but it only makes Shima mad, and after a series of karate kicks, Shima decks him with a lariat, followed by a backdrop driver for a believable nearfall!
Shima connects with another missle dropkick, but Nigel rolls through the impact and lariats Shima yet again! A hip attack from Shima sends Nigel into the ropes, but he rebounds, and nails the jawbreaker lariat…for a two count! Fans are SHOCKED! Nigel tries the jawbreaker lariat again but Shima kicks his arm away and nails a lariat to the back of the head, followed by one to the front for yet another nearfall! Shima gets made and backdrop drivers Nigel, but Nigel fires to his feet and attempts the jawbreaker lariat, however Shima blocks it and nails the third backdrop driver of the match to finally win at 17:10.
Takeshi Morishima def. Nigel McGuinness to retain the ROH World Championship via backdrop driver at 17:10. ****
After watching this match the first few times, I felt it was really good, but not great. After watching it now, I have to say this match is a little bit more than great…it’s borderline awesome! Just the opening moments where on Nigel’s face you could realize he’s overpowered and also outsmarted was great, and Shima really played up his monster size by dominating Nigel in the first half (aside from the usual useless Nigel armwork). I also loved the side story of Nigel’s only real strategy being his lariats, which ended up being a bad move since Shima ended up surviving them, so he basically had nothing left which lead to his downfall. The ending had so many believable nearfalls that the fans were actually confused as to who was going to win, which made for great reactions. An overuse of the same moves stops this from being a classic, however. Nigel was determined, and Shima was a monster…just add in a touch of ‘hot crowd’ and ‘hard hitting action’ to end up with a very great match!
Backstage, the No Remorse Corps are all bragging about their victories over the weekend and the cool, dastardly things they did. Strong says it’s time to end this weekend with just a little bit more fun, so they go to the ring crew tearing down the ring and brutally assault Alex Payne with a chair, chops, and kicks. Wrong place, wrong time kid. Richards says anyone could be next, and the segment ends.
Moment Of The Night: Pretty easy pick, although there’s a close second option, the moment of the night is Mark Briscoe hopping the guardrail to aid his brother in the tag match. Great moment, great reaction.
Wrestler Of The Night: There’s a few options here, but I give the big lead to Mark Briscoe for really getting the crowd to believe his injury while fighting back like the crazy, redneck ninja he is!
Match Of The Night: Extremely close call, but I’ll just go ahead and give the clean sweep to Mark Briscoe, meaning the match of the night was Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe (replacing Erick Stevens).
The Inside Pulse
Eddie Edwards & Jason Blade vs. Chris Hero & Tank Toland- **3/4 (Hot opener, good action)
Pelle Primeau vs. Shane Hagadorn- ** (Both men worked hard to produce a good underdog match, but it was obvious they’re still students)
Rocky Romero vs. Claudio Castagnoli- ***1/4 (A well-wrestled match between two technicians)
Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. Jay Briscoe & Erick Stevens- **** (A great, dramatic story-driven match that ended with tons of action)
Doug Williams vs. Colt Cabana- **1/2 (Bad mix of comedy and wrestling; definition of average)
Ernie Osiris vs. Sara Del Ray- *(Squash; nothing more and nothing less)
Matt Cross vs. Shingo- **3/4 (Fun, solid match with some cool spots)
Roderick Strong & Davey Richards vs. Jack Evans & Delirious- ***3/4 (wall-to-wall great tag action with a hot crowd and the NRC being perfect heels)
Nigel McGuinness vs. Takeshi Morishima- **** (Hard hitting action, crazy bumps, and a big-fight atmosphere made this awesome)
The entire show runs 2 hours and 44 minutes, which puts it a bit on the short side of an average ROH show length. This show is jam-packed with lots of good stuff. The only true disappointment on the entire show is Colt Cabana vs. Doug Williams, because it was neither a fun comedy nor a technical masterpiece, it was a bad mixture of both. But at the same time, it’s Colt’s last match on the east coast in ROH and his quick speech is a nice touch, so it almost makes up for the match. Everything else on the entire show delivered, from the hot opener to the exciting and extremely hard hitting main event. Also mixed in is one of the most dramatic tag matches and moments in recent ROH history with Kevin Steen and El Generico decimating Mark Briscoe to earn themselves a future tag title shot. Considering all the re-booking that had to be done due to a plethora of injuries and pulled talent, this was a damn good show that even deserves extra points for going above and beyond in spite of missing talent and problems. Two thumbs up reccomendation for this one.