Ring of Honor Report: Take No Prisoners, 3/16/08

Welcome to Philadelphia, birthplace of ROH and site of the sixth Pay Per View, “Take no Prisoners.” Let’s get to the show.

Not for PPV Match 1: Dingo vs. Davey Richards

This is Dingo’s East Coast ROH debut as he had a fairly generic match with Davey, who looked like a star. Davey was intense and all over Dingo, who had everything he could handle attempting to stay ahead and hit a few moves. Eventually Dingo took a tombstone and the keylock finished.

Davey Richards defeats Dingo (Submission, Key Lock, * ½)
Davey was showcased here, but considering how good he looked, I’d have hoped he’d have been used better on the actual PPV.

Not for PPV Match 2: Sara Del Rey vs. Kylie Pierce

Death Rey smash. Kick to the head and the champ wins impressively.

Sara Del Rey defeats Kylie Pierce (Pin, Kick, dud)
So short as to be wholly pointless.

PPV Taping, Match 3: Four Corner Survival: Go Shiozaki vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Delirious vs. Tyler Black

The winner here gets a title shot tonight! This was your average back and forth, fast paced match. Go and Claudio had fun spots with chops and European uppercuts respectively, while the rest was spot after spot. The match at Man Up was better. Tyler Black stole the match with a Phoenix Splash.

Tyler Black wins the Four Corner Survival (Pin, Phoenix Splash on Delirious, **)
It was just kind-of there. I guess they are saving Claudio vs. Nigel for down the line.

PPV taping, Match 4: Kevin Steen vs. Roderick Strong

This was a stiff, force vs. force match and Steen’s best singles encounter in ROH in awhile. Both men went to war with stiff strikes and power moves, trying to wear the other down, but eventually Steen’s brutality was too much for Roderick who fell to the Package Piledriver.

Kevin Steen defeats Roderick Strong (Pin, Package Piledriver, *** ½)
A good hard-hitting heavyweight affair. Looks like Steen should get a FIP title shot for beating the champ. Will he?

Non-PPV, Match 5: Jigsaw and Ruckus with Julius Smokes and Mercedes Martinez vs. BJ Whitmer and Adam Pearce with Shane Hagadorn

The winner here gets a tag title shot in Orlando.

The heels worked over Jigsaw for ages until a comeback featured Ruckus flip 42 times for one elbow. Eventually Jigsaw got the pin off a roll up on Whitmer. That was slow.

Ruckus and Jigsaw defeat Whitmer and Pearce (Pin, Jigsaw roll up on Whitmer, *)
Featuring the most boring heat segment ever. Jigsaw also looks like a Special K kid sans mask: not a good thing.

Post match Kingston, Sabian, Joker and Robbie Moreno brawl with the Vulture Squad, minus Ruckus who looks on and shakes his head at his Blk Out mates. There needed to be a lot more intensity there for that to have lived up to the hype. Kingston really should have gotten a mic.

PPV Taping Match 5: Street Fight: The Briscoes with Daizee Haze vs. Necro Butcher and Joey Matthews with Lacey

They did a wild brawl through the arena here, with Mark, as usual, being insane and breaking the side of his head open. He is kind of a mess from there on, even messing up the Springboard Doomsday Device on Matthews. Mark eventually dives off the entranceway through Matthews on a table, while Jay finishes with a Jay Driller on a chair.

The Briscoes defeat Necro and Matthews (Pin, Jay Driller on Necro, no rating)
I had too much trouble seeing to rate this, but I’m sure it’ll come off quite well on PPV. The Briscoes and Necro excel at this kind of match.


Non-PPV Match 6: Shane Hagadorn vs. Bushwacker Luke

This was a long, dull straight match when it should have been a quick comedy match. Luke won with an elevated DDT after far too long.

Luke defeats Hagadorn (Pin, DDT, Dud)

The Larry Sweeney Show Starring Larry Sweeney

Larry says he’ll be taking over ROH buy signing guys then selling them to Vince. He calls out the Hangmen 3 who he buys into SnS, Inc. Erick Stevens comes out, saying he wants to fight Puder. Puder isn’t there, but Albright is, so he gets that match instead.

Match 7: Erick Stevens vs. Brent Albright

Stevens and Albright go power game, and with guys this size it’s really impressive. Albright manages control due mostly to an early advantage while Stevens was distracted, but Stevens, as usual, manages to fight back. As he is ready to finish, Sweeney distracts him and he gets caught in a half-nelson suplex and Albright wins.

Brent Albright defeats Erick Stevens (pin, half-nelson suplex, **1/2)
Angle advancement, but inoffensive.

BJ Whitmer refuses to join SnS, Inc, so he is jumped out by all but Albright (who leaves). It turns out Whitmer is now out of ROH indefinitely.

PPV Taping Match 8: Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries

These two went at it on the mat early. Surprisingly a lot of their standard offense worked early on, as they had set up for their bigger moves more, which would later be countered. This meant that Danielson was able to hurt Aries arm badly, where Aries would normally have fought that off, while Danielson’s neck is hurt by Aries. This works out well as neither man stopped selling for a moment and the heat grew as their exchanges intensified. Aries was unable to finish with the Horns of Aries and a second rope brainbuster, while the Cattle Muttilation and Triangle Choke weren’t enough for Dragon. Dragon was early on, better on the mat, and that paid off with a seated fujiwara armbar. Aries had nowhere to go and was forced to tap.

Bryan Danielson defeats Austin Aries (Submission, Seated Fujiwara armbar, **** ¼)
Not as good as match 1 or 3 of their series last year, but really, this was very high class stuff. They had a ton of amazing series here, including stuff never shown by the two before against each other. Add in that this is among the best selling from both men ever and you have a must see match that might even be better on DVD.

Aries refused a handshake post match.

PPV Taping Match 9: ROH World Title: Nigel McGuinness © vs. Tyler Black

Tyler is absolutely destroyed by Nigel, who posts Tyler’s arm the instant the match starts. From here it’s an all out assault as Tyler sells like a champ. This eventually lead them to the floor where Tyler finally got a touch of offense, but as he tried to follow it up with a dive, Nigel was waiting and teed off on him with a chair. The crowd though that was it when they were back in, but it was just a two.

From here the match picked up in a huge way as Nigel tried everything he could from the London Dungeon to the entire array of lariats to put Tyler down, but simply could not. As Nigel got more frustrated, Tyler began to step up his offense, even hitting the vaunted Small Package Driver for a near fall, but unfortunately whiffing on the Phoenix Splash. There were an absolute ton of near falls in this match, and while that won’t always work, it was absolutely perfect for the underdog. After a Jawbreaker Lariat escape, though, Tyler had nothing left and no way out of the London Dungeon.

Nigel McGuinness defeats Tyler Black (Submission, London Dungeon, **** ¼)
This won’t even work again, but the match built entirely around near falls was a very fun change and had the entire building jumping up and down for the previously relatively unknown Tyler Black. Welcome to Stardom Tyler. Hope ROH remembers this and the push stays huge!

Overall the PPV portion of this was great and build perfectly. The last two matches are absolutely must see, high-class perfection in the ring. Don’t Miss It! Highest Recommendation to Order on PPV!