Thanks to Jake Mulligan (JMULL on the ROH Message Board) for sending us this great review!
Awful traffic on the way to the show, which made it all the more suprising that for the first time I can remember, the show started exactly at 8 PM. Return Date is 1/11/08, and I as usual will be front row for that one. Just as a note, Pearce’s pre-show announcing deal is great. “5 minutes have elapsed in this contest *Titus puts on a chinlock* 10 minutes have elapsed in this contest…”
-Show opens with the Hangmen 3, with Shane Hagadorn, entering. Albright looks really horrendous with the streaks in his hair and was actually playing chickenshit heel for a while, he has lost any and all edge he had. Match was Pearce/Albright vs. Cross/Stevens, and was passable, long heat segment on Cross and Stevens was a great house of fire babyface. Stevens is definatly growing on me, in the MOOVS~! portion of this match he had some beautiful power stuff and I’m starting to buy into the hype. After some interferance, Cross was down on the outside, allowing Pearce and Albright to wrangle Stevens into a half-nelson suplex, with Cross just missing the save to give the “Hangm3n” the win. Match was probably **1/2 range. Afterwards, BJ cut a standard “I don’t care bout you fans no more” promo, leading to…
Delirious vs. BJ Whitmer. And, after all the talk of Delirious “changing” after the attack in Hartford, there was no hate here, no anger, just standard Delirious fare. BJ on offense for a WHILE, then Delirious goes crazy, grabs a chair, which the ref took from him with Delirious allowing it with no argument. Of course. Delirious went up top, got crotched by Pearce, and brought down with the Adrenaline Spike (Owen Driver ’97) for the win for BJ. About **.
The screams hit the speakers and the Age of the Fall, of Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black, entered. They cut the same promo from the video wire (Jacobs was still wearing the blood stained coat too). Main point was that Tyler would not wrestle in some pointless 4-way. Good, that makes sense. Jay ran out, and they brawled to the locker room.
Nigel McGuinness vs. El Generico vs. Hallowicked. Sadly, Hallowicked looked REALLY bad here, botching a lot. Generico was SUPER over relating to the crazy street fight in Boston less than two months ago, and Nigel really does come off as a star. Hallowicked seemed to have his fans at the start, myself included, but he kinda lost everyone as the match went on. It was pretty good, and I’ll give them credit for doing almost completely 3-way stuff rather than one guy out, 2 in, but it definatly lost the crowd. Finish was Generico going for his dive through the middle-bottom ropes into a tornado DDT, but Nigel caught him with an uppercut while he was in the ropes, then hit a Tower of London that looked to hurt him legit. He then rocked Hallowicked with a lariat and a Tower of London that seemed to hurt him too, for the finish. **1/2
Chris Hero vs. Claudio Castagnoli. Also relating to the last show, Claudio came out like a superstar, red streamers, Swiss flag in the crowd, the whole 9. Hero did LOTS of heel stalling, and it went from entertaining to unnecessarily long to just plain uncomfortable. Once the match got started, this was the one match I felt guys were holding back for PPV. This was their traveling indy match, basically the same as PWG match, CZW, ect LONG heat segment for Hero, followed by Claudio comeback with uppercuts and such. Catcall’s of “Take it home!Ã¢â‚¬Â and asking when the time limit was up, this legit felt like 30 minutes. Eventually, after failing the Avalanche Waterslide, Claudio hit a running uppercut for the clean pin. Bobby Dempsey was the most over man here. **3/4-***
As Bobby was announcing show dates and such, Necro and Jay come brawling out of the back, REALLY intense. They brawled all the way around the crowd, with Necro doing his rapid fire chair throws and chair assisted bodyslam. They got into the ring, when Bobby announced this was an anything-goes match to a big pop, and brawled mainly around a number of chairs Jay threw in the ring, with bumps onto them by both men. DIFH ran out and distracted Jay, eventually, which led to Mark coming out with crutches. They beat down Mark, and Jay turned around into a RIDICULOUS, concussion-riffic chairshot, then the backdrop onto two set-up chairs for the pin. Jay almost fought a man in a bandanna on his way to the back. The whole thing was probably ***1/4 range.
At Intermission I met Necro Butcher outside the show, who is a great man. Talked some baseball, traffic, and life in general. The image of Necro, barefoot, no shirt, bleeding, pot leaf tattoo, and SPECTACLES will stay with me forever. Awesome dude. As I got back to my seat a fan in a bandanna was being ridiculed by a man sitting next to me, who challenged Mr. Bandanna to a fight, calling him an “Age of the Fall FaggotÃ¢â‚¬Â. Someone takes there ROH too seriously. The instigator was a bit small, and this drew a “Small Man SyndromeÃ¢â‚¬Â chant, which got a chuckle out of me. On another note it seemed everyone was fairly down on the show at intermission, not a good sign.
Mitch Franklin and Ernie Osiris came out, and I really couldn’t take a student match at this point. Luckily, DIFH came out and KILLED THEM DEAD. This was awesome. The spot of the match (and the night) was Tyler Black powerbombing Mitch into the guardrails with a long, fast running start. Brutal. Double finish with Jimmy choking one geek out with a guillotine while Tyler killed the other with what I can only describe as a Small Package Brainbuster. Jay came out after, ran them out, and cut an abbreviated version of the now-famous Video Wire promo.
Austin Aries vs. Bryan Danielson. Streamers for both men, crowd is still really hot. Lot of great mat work here, they even held onto dueling leglocks and rolled to the outside while still keeping the hold. This got more and more hateful as it went on, which I loved. Both men came VERY close to winning with signature holds, Dragon got Cattle Mutilation and the Elbows while Aries got multiple kicks to the head, a brainbuster, and attempted the 450 which Dragon got the knees up for. Finish was Dragon locking in the triangle choke, Aries rolling out of it into his neck wrench submission, however, Dragon WOULD NOT TAP. Aries put his face down and ROCKED Dragon with knees to the face, then re-applied the wrench for the submission. Big pop, great match. ***3/4
Vulture Squad vs. No Remorse Corps. BIG pop for the Squad, they were all very over. Ruckus smoked on his way to the ring, which led to a funny moment with Evans requesting a hit, taking it, then Jigsaw requesting one, attempting, before realizing he had no access to his mouth. Match was super-fast paced to start, Jigsaw and Ruckus were super smooth and looked great as a team. It’s worth noting that the Squad were all in red and black and looked/acted way more like a team in their first match than the Resiliance ever has. No Remorse Corps eventually singled Jack out and got some good heat, definatly didn’t go on too long. Crowd was pissed, yelling “Scramble rules!Ã¢â‚¬Â, but it’s Lucha rules and Jack never touched the floor so it’s fine with me. Once he got the hot tag, it all broke down into a great DG style tag that escalated with every move and was really great. Tons of great nearfalls with each topping the last, ending with Jack pinning Rocky with a 630. Big “Vulture Squad!Ã¢â‚¬Â chant after the match, and big ovation for Jiggy. ****
Takeshi Morishima vs. Kevin Steen. Steen came out like a total face, and immediately went to work on the leg for a WHILE, but it was all great. Pulled some Guerrero-esque cheating with a chair, as well. He also bit him, pulled down the knee pad, kicked the hell out of it, everything under the sun. So after this, how does Morishima make his comeback? A running ass and a cartwheel, of course. I’m really souring on him. Eventually Steen went back to work on it and the crowd was super hot for the sharpshooter, but Morishima got the ropes and continued to no-sell. They did some strike exchanges and after a double knockdown, Generico came out to rally the crowd. They did your regular Morishima finish, with Steen’s big nearfall being a combo Swanton/Frog Splash. Mori escaped the Piledriver, and hit a LOT of brutal lariats and a backdrop to finish. ***1/4. After the match Generico consoled Steen, only to be pushed away and have water poured on him. Generico looked PISSED too.
The Inside Pulse
Damn good show, second half totally saved it. Not to the levels of Death Before Dishonor but I’d put it up there with the 6/8 show. Definatly sounds like the best pre-PPV show so far, and the crowd was really hot again for Boston.
Pearce/Alright d. Stevens/Cross after Albright pins Stevens, **1/2
BJ Whitmer d. Delirious after an Adrenaline Spike, **
Nigel McGuinness d. Hallowicked and El Generico, pinning Hallowicked with a Tower of London, **
Claudio Castagnoli d. Chris Hero with a running European Uppercut, **3/4-***
Necro Butcher d. Jay Briscoe with a slam onto two chairs, ***1/4
Jacobs/Black d. Franklin/Osiris after a shitkicking, N/R
Austin Aries d. Bryan Danielson with a neck wrench, ***3/4
Evans/Ruckus/Jigsaw d. Strong/Richards/Romero when Evans pinned Romero after a 630, ****
Takeshi Morishima d. Kevin Steen with a backdrop, ***1/4