Ring of Honor PPV Report: Rising Above 3/7/2008

– Brent Albright vs. Delirious
– Age of the Fall (Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs) vs. El Generico and Kevin Steen vs. BJ Whitmer and Adam Pearce vs. Jack Evans and Ruckus
– Lacey vs. Sara Del Ray vs. Daizee Haze
– Davey Richards vs. Erick Stevens
– Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Hero
– Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson
– The Briscoe Brothers (C) vs. No Remorse Corps (Roderick Storng and Rocky Romero) (2/3 Falls Match)
– Nigel McGuinness (C) vs. Austin Aries (MOTYC)

The show opens with Brent Albright and Adam Pearce in the ring cutting a promo on Kevin Steen and El Generico. The camera quickly cuts to Kevin Steen and El Generico in the locker room, and they cut a promo on Pearce and Albright. The camera cuts back to the ring where Pearce then rips Delirious apart, showing clips from the past events and Pay Per Views of Hangmen’s Three beating him to pieces. He goes on to challenge Delirious and the man that will face him is none other than Brent Albright.

Match One: Brent Albright vs. Delirious

Brent Albright is sporting Delirious’ old green mask which is torn and barely fits over his head. Delirious runs down to the ring in his red and black attire and goes nuts. He pulls his old mask off of Albright and is proving he has what it takes to step up against Hangmen Three. Ruthless aggression. Albright cut off his momentum with a two backbreakers and a full nelson suplex. He doesn’t go for the pin. Albright continues destroying Delirious after reversing one of Delirious’ moves into a belly to belly suplex which caused Delirious to land on his head. Albright goes right back to working on ripping off Delirious’ mask which once again makes Delirious snap.

Delirious crashes onto Albright after the Shadows Over Hell. He tries to finish him off with Cobra Stretch, but Albright reversed it into the Side Armbar. After reaching the ropes, Albright went for a powerslam but Delirious turns it into a small package for the win.

Delirious beat Brent Albright after Delirious gave Albright a small package. (**)
This wasn’t that bad for an opener. It did its purpose: It got me excited for the rest of the show. It was a bit sloppy, but it told the story of how much hate Delirious has for Albright and his crew.

The rest of the Hangmen Three came down to the ring to beat on Delirious. Kevin Steen and El Generico came down to the ring to even the numbers. All while this is happening, The Age of the Fall come down to the ring and cut a promo on how they are going to take the ROH Tag Team Division by storm. They represent everything that Ring of Honor isn’t, and they are proud of it. The Vulture Squad run out to add to the madness.

Match Two: Age of the Fall (Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs) vs. El Generico and Kevin Steen vs. BJ Whitmer and Adam Pearce vs. Jack Evans and Ruckus

This match was absolute havoc and was very hard to follow. Each team came in and cleaned house, but the last team left standing was El Generico and Kevin Steen. Their celebration didn’t last long as The Hangmen Three ambushed them. Once again, all hell breaks loose and we have a ton of moves from each team until Jimmy Jacobs is left with Adam Pearce. Pearce gives Jacobs a Piledriver and does the Flair Flop. Everyone is down and out.

BJ Whitmer and Jack Evans get some time to work and Evans surprisingly holds his own. He takes Whitmer down with a running knee strike and executes a very perrty 630 Splash. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver on Evans but Jacobs breaks it up and throws Steen out. El Generico avenges his partner and staggers Jacobs long enough to give Jacobs the Top Rope BRAIIINBUSTAAH! But no, Evans stops it and Generico gives Tyler Black a Tornado DDT. Steen gives Black the Package Piledriver and Generico tops it off with the Brainbuster for the win.

El Generico and Kevin Steen beat Age of the Fall (Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs), BJ Whitmer and Adam Pearce and Jack Evans and Ruckus when Generico gave Black the Brainbuster. (** ¾)
Honestly, this was a big mess. It sure was pretty to watch, don’t get me wrong. But it was hard to follow and completely buried the very effective promo The Age of the Fall just cut, not only on the Ring of Honor Roster, but the Ring of Honor Fans. Plus didn’t Generico and Steen get their title shots already?

We then cut to the Briscoe Brothers backstage talking about how much they hate the Age of the Fall. These guys need to learn how to put some emotion in their interviews.

Match Three: Lacey vs. Sara Del Ray vs. Daizee Haze

This was my favorite match up to this point. These women put on a spectacular female match and represent women wrestlers everywhere very well. Lots of choppy Lucha action happens in the beginning, but they grew away from it and went back to basics. A quick camera cut to the time keeper’s table shows that Tammy Lynn Sytch is at ringside. A nice triple girl submission takes place here which has everyone tangled up in a mark-out spot. Del Ray had the momentum until she missed a kick and was taken out of the three woman equation when Lacey and Haze knocked her out after a backbreaker/Mindtrip/Yakuza Kick move sequence. Daizee gives Lacey the Mindtrip, which makes her 2-0 in PPV appearances.

Daizee Haze beat Sara Del Ray and Lacey when Haze gave Lacey the Mindtrip. (** ½)
I mean, what can I say? I was pleasantly surprised by all three of these girls and they put on a great match.

After a rohwrestling.com commercial, we are shown a clip of Erick Stevens getting injured by No Remorse Corps.

Match Four: Erick Stevens vs. Davey Richards

Quite the hard hitting matchup, this bout went back and forth frequently. In a funny spot, Davey had Stevens set up in the Tree of Woe, ran toward him and stopped. Then Davey just slapped Stevens in the junk. HI-larious. This is when Davey really started to run away with the match. He used his heel tactics and began to cheat to take control. Whenever it seemed as if Stevens was about to take control, Daniel Puder (sitting in front row) would distract him and let Richards attack Stevens from behind. Richards got a near fall after 3 headbutts, a sunset flip and a running kick, really nice looking combo. Stevens, once again has the momentum, but turns his back to Richards and starts gabbing at Puder. Richards knocks Stevens down with a top rope dropkick and locks on the Kimura Stretch, forcing Stevens to tap.

Davey Richards beat Erick Stevens after Richards made Stevens submit to the Kimura Stretch. (***)
Cool match. Hard hitting, and very angry. That Erick Stevens just can’t concentrate on one thing though.

After the match, Stevens verbally abuses Puder and out comes “Super Agent” Larry Sweeney. Sweeney sweet-talks Puder by letting him come into the private Sweet N’ Sour Locker Room to discuss a deal. Sweeney knows the last thing Puder wants to do is sit with all these New York SCUM BAGS. The crowd cheers, but they aren’t cheering for Sweeney. They’re cheering for Castagnoli whose about to clobber Sweeney in the head from the back. Castagnoli chases Sweeney to the ring and is cut off by Sweet N’ Sour and Chris Hero.

Match Five: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Hero (If Hero wins, Sweeney takes Castagnoli’s Contract)

Castagnoli is already worn down and this gives Hero a chance to show off his skills. Hero chokes, cheats and forearms his way to heeldom here. Castagnoli gets back at Hero with a nice short and sweet six second big spin. Castagnoli had Hero set up for the Ricola Bomb, but Hero reversed it into a spiked hurricanrana pin for a two count. Castagnoli goes for the Waterslide, but Hero once again reverses it into one of his own. This time, the Cravate Vice. Castagnoli powers his way out of it and finally pulls of the Ricola Bomb for the three count.

Claudio Castagnoli beat Chris Hero after Castagnoli gave Hero the Ricola Bomb. (*** ¼)
I love the Lucha work these two always pull of together. Hero played the amazing heel and Castagnoli fit right in as the beloved face. The finishing sequence was awesome, especially the Cravate Vice. Altogether a nice match.

While a video shows the Briscoes working out in a nice locker room, Age of the Fall cuts a promo about how they have the same locker room as the rats do: The Basement.

Match Six: Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima

This was an all out brawl from the start. Morishima cutoff Danielson’s entrance which led to a brawl around ringside. Morishima threw a table at Danielson, legit busting him open. Blood is just seeping out of Danielson’s forehead. Danielson took the fight back to the ring where he is at his best, and slapped on the triangle choke. Too early in the match for that move as Morishima powers his way out of it. Morishima gives Danielson a lariat, a backdrop driver and another lariat only for a two count. The crowd is hot for Danielson.
Danielson turns the tables for a brief moment as he unleashes his elbows on Morishima. Morishima is ready for this and turns it into elbows of his own. After exchanging elbows for quite some time, Morishima nut shots Danielson. The referee warns Morishima, and he shoves the referee away. DQ!

Bryan Danielson beat Takeshi Morishima by disqualification. (*** ½)
It was just a brawl.

The Ring of Honor officials are out and try and pull Morishima off of Danielson, but he shoves them away too. Morishima grabs hold of a referee and gives him the Backdrop Driver! But wait a minute, that’s not just ANY referee… it’s BRYCE REMSBURG! Morishima turned his attention away from Danielson for a bit too long, and Danielson attacks Morishima from behind. He has a HAMMER! He corners him and claims he’s going to take Morishima’s eye out.

Match Seven: The Briscoe Brothers © vs. The No Remorse Corps (2/3 Falls Title Match)

First Fall: No Remorse Corps heel it up throughout the first fall with a lot of stiff shots and talking to the crowd. The Briscoe Brothers seemed to have control of the first fall until Rocky Romero gave Mark Briscoe a sweet tornado DDT. The tag to Jay didn’t help any as the NRC just took turns on beating Jay in their corner until Rocky gave him a knee strike and Strong gave Jay a Gibson Driver for the first fall.

Second Fall: NRC drag Mark to their corner to do more damage. Rocky tries to take the match with another knee strike, but Mark kicks out. Mark makes the hot tag to Jay and he cleans house with his KARATE/JUDO/MARTIAL ARTS. A corkscrew press gives Jay a near fall, and Jay is taken to the outside by Rocky. Roderick is about to give Jay the Gibson Driver to take the belts, but Mark rolls him up for the three!

Third Fall: Once again, Mark becomes victim to multiple beatings and all Jay can do is look on and hope for a tag. Roderick is up top and out of nowhere comes a top rope Ace Crusher from Mark! Jay is in and they pull off the Spike Jaydriller for the three to take the third fall, and more importantly retain their belts.

The Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark Briscoe) beat The No Remorse Corps (Roderick Strong and Rocky Romero)
X Roderick Strong pinned Jay Briscoe with a Gibson Driver
X Mark pinned Roderick Strong with a rollup
X Jay Briscoe pinned Roderick Strong after a Spike Jaydriller (****)
(The Briscoe Brothers retained the Ring of Honor Tag Team Titles)

These four men actually made me think that NRC were about to take the belts here. It didn’t take too long to get to the third fall and the action flowed together very fluently. They brought all they could to the table and surpassed expectations. The NRC are awesome heels and I hope to see them as tag champions on PPV sometime.

Match Eight: Nigel McGuinness © vs. Austin Aries

Nigel is walking into the match not caring about what the fans think of him. All he wants to do is secure his spot as Ring of Honor Champion. His left shoulder is taped up and he’s sporting a left elbow pad. During the introduction, the crowd gives a mixed reaction for Nigel (mostly boos) and he smiles… awesome. Crowd is 60%/40% in Aries’ favor.

The opening sequence saw Aries work on Nigel’s left arm a lot, and then having Nigel run off to the corner much to the fan’s disliking. Nigel kept on yelling at a fan near the entrance way (not Puder) and it distracted him so much that he ran out of the ring to yell at him. Seeing his opportunity to take control, Aries runs at Nigel and executes sick suicide dive, knocking Nigel’s head into the top of the guardrail! Nigel is dazed and confused, looks like he has no idea where he is and has a deep cut above his right eyebrow. Apparently when Nigel sees blood, he goes NUTS.

Nigel brought Aries in ring and started to work on Aries’ left arm with various arm wrenches and stretches. Nigel had Aries figured out and blocked two of Aries Headscissors escape headstand dropkicks. Walking away from the second blocked dropkick, Nigel grew an ass-hole smirk which was perfect. Nigel goes right back to work on Aries arm, but Aries reverses it into a stretch of his own, and in the process kicks Nigel’s concussed head.

Aries gives Nigel a stalling backbreaker and a Rings of Saturn, but Nigel quickly escapes. Aries then threw Nigel to the corner, who stopped himself with his left elbow, sold it, and did his turnbuckle headstand. Aries caught Nigel with a sick yakuza kick, sending Nigel to the floor. Aries went for the suicide dive and got cut off by a European uppercut and then a Tower of London to the FLOOR.

Nigel drags Aries into the ring to try and finish him off. He gives Aries a Lariat and grabs his arm right after. Waiting too long to pin him, he only gets a two count. Aries reverses a Tower of London, but can’t reverse the second. Nigel tries to end the match with his Arm Submission but Aries reaches the ropes. Aries blocks one Jawbreaker Lariat with his elbows and cuts off Nigel in the process of the second with a cross body block over the ropes. The two brawl outside, and when the action is back in the ring Aries is in control.

Aries gives Nigel a massive amount of corner elbows, only to receive a lariat. He rolls to the outside and they brawl some more out there. Aries gives Nigel a Brainbuster on the top of the guardrail…. Wow. He drags him back into the ring and only gets a two count. The crowd is hot. He goes for the 450 Splash, but Nigel lifts his knees in time. Nigel gets Aries in a weak Arm Submission, he pulls through and gives him another Brainbuster. He locks on the Horns of Aries and the crowd wants a title change. Nigel reaches the ropes and the two men faceoff in the middle of the ring and exchange various strikes. Nigel goes for a Jawbreaker Lariat, but Aries cuts it off with one of his own lariats for a two count. Nigel locks in another Arm Submission, and once again Aries pulls through and kicks Nigel’s head. With Aries’ back to Nigel, Nigel winds up for another Jawbreaker Lariat and connects right when Aries turns around! Aries lands on the TOP OF HIS HEAD. 1…2…3.

Nigel McGuinness beat Austin Aries after Nigel gave Aries a Jawbreaker Lariat. (**** ¾)
(Nigel McGuinness retained the Ring of Honor World Title)

I walked into this match not knowing a thing about how much Aries wanted the title, or how McGuinness was making his slow transition into a heel. These two told a story like no one else before. If Aries was going to work on Nigel’s left arm, you could bet Nigel was going to work on his. It was little “revenge” things like that that made this match what it is. Aries was ready for Nigel’s Jawbreaker Lariat and reversed almost every single one except the last. Nigel reversed Aries’ signature headstand dropkick and got in the head of Aries. All these tiny stories added up to a bigger one… just an amazing match.

We then cut to Age of the Fall and The Briscoe Brother meeting up and brawling in the lobby of the arena. Vulture Squad and Hangmen Three join in to make it an all out brawl. Necro picked up a plant and used it as a weapon… awesome. The commentators say their goodbyes and the PPV closes with a zoom in on Nigel’s cut. It’s brutal. His eye is purple… but he is still the Ring of Honor World Champion.

Final Thoughts: The PPV started off very weak. I actually texted Glazer and told him how much it sucked. But the Ring of Honor Tag Title match made up for the suckiness of the previous matches. And McGuinness/Aries surpassed my expectations and is MOTY so far. Definitely worth getting on PPV or on DVD, if anything just for the World Title Match. 7/10.

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