This week, Booking the Hammerstein.
This Week on Pulse Wrestling
If you missed it, A Modest Response featured the top three from ROH Weeklyâ€™s Top 15 Breakouts. Speaking of which, hereâ€™s that last match review I promised.
ROH Breakout: Bryan Danielson vs. Tyler Black
The early portion of the match is Tyler showing up Danielson at all of his major skills, be it mat wrestling, athleticism, or striking, and ending each sequence with a mush to the face, pissing off the â€œBest Wrestler in the Worldâ€ while showing how great he can be. Tyler eventually loses one exchange and Danielson destroys him with slaps, gaining revenge, but Tyler ducks the ring and takes his time, attempting to dictate the pace.
Back in and Danielson begins to focus on counter wrestling. Tyler canâ€™t handle this and Danielson, being fought all the way, grabs the surfboard. Danielson feels better and gets his revenge, taunting Black as he beats on him. Black escapes a hold and tries to pie face Dragon, again, but itâ€™s a bad idea without control and Danielson smashes him back. His anger, however, causes him to run the ropes for momentum when he shouldnâ€™t and Tyler follows, dumping Dragon to the floor.
Tyler has an advantage and presses it on the floor, then in the ring, mixing brawling with his athleticism. After a beating, Tyler goes back to slapping Danielson and, now, thatâ€™s a mistake as Danielson gets mad and strikes Tyler into oblivion then dive onto him on the floor. Pissing off Dragon? Bad idea.
Danielson again gets overaggressive and eats a suplex to the floor, then takes a big dive. It turns out that Tyler can capitalize on Danielsonâ€™s mistakes, but that works both ways. Unfortunately for Dragon, Tyler is way better than he seemed prepared for, however, Tyler makes enough mistakes to leave openings for Danielson. Tyler with control, again slaps and works over Danielson.
Taking too long on a corner charge, Danielson regains control and immediately curbstomps Tyler. Danielson fights for the chickenwing, but Tyler still fights all holds and manages to escape. They go with reversals for quick pins, with Tyler barely ahead still, and then lariat each other into a double count.
They rise with a strike war, and an angry Danielson is too much for Tyler. Tyler still has a speed advantage and uses it for a near fall. Dragon nails Cattle Mutilationâ€¦ barely, but with little sustained setup, Tyler actually regains his feet. He canâ€™t regain control though and takes a belly to back superplex. Danielson, knowing his striking has been strong all match, goes with the elbows, but that doesnâ€™t work, so since the back is now more hurt, he goes for Cattle Mutilation again. Tyler refuses to give up, flips out of a Tiger Suplex and hits a Pelle. He uses his speed to set up kicks and goes to work on Danielsonâ€™s head. A reverse DDT leads to a sick, sick Phoenix Splash, but Danielson grabs a small package out of that and Mr. Small Package strikes again!
Bryan Danielson defeats Tyler Black (Pin, Small Package, **** Â¼)
That was some awesome, awesome cocky heel work. Tyler took it too Danielson, showing he could hang in every way, but allowing his cockiness (what caused him to take the match to begin with) to get the better of him and give Danielson too many openings. Ultimately, though his talent was on par, Danielsonâ€™s skill proved a touch superior, showing it still pays to be the vet.
Check our interview with Sara Del Rey and Larry Sweeney.
Welcome back Eric S.
Raw Coverage a la Marshall, with my thoughts on Punk vs. Jericho.
The Fool in the Stands: Booking the Hammerstein
The Hammerstein Ballroom seats about double the fans that the Manhattan Centerâ€™s Grand Ballroom would. In order to fill this, ROH will need one hell of a show. More, even if it is filled, without one great show, then the next time the Hammerstein is run, it will bomb, so the show must be both stacked in terms of the card and worth returning for. Hereâ€™s how Iâ€™d book the Hammerstein, using only contracted talent (though assuming everyone is available), along with Marufuji, Morishima and Shiozaki, who was already booked. This column will also assume Aries went heel and joined the Age of the Fall. I reserve the right to edit this is more talent are announced, or Aries isnâ€™t really in AOTF.
Round Robin Challenge of Grudge Matches: Nigel McGuinness vs. Morishima vs. Danielson
This is the only possible main draw I can think of that achieves everything needed. Morishima, the GHC Champion, will likely need a win back on Nigel, who defeated him for the title. So, opening with a GHC title match, brutal, but won by Morishima (getting his win back), makes perfect sense. It also makes the card feel huge and keeps the fans into it right away.
Danielson needs to blow off his feud with Morishima next and really, really needs a win to make that work out. NOAH will not let their champion job to a junior unless, perhaps, coming off another grueling match, heâ€™s worn down. NOAH had Morishima lose this way recently to Marufuji after beating Akiyama. Ring of Honor should pull the same trick to blow off this feud, though Danielson should be bloody and concussed (in kayfabe) by the conclusion.
The NOAH fans in the audience will cry foul at the GHC Champion losing at all. The ROH fans might cry at Danielson’s tainted win, but they fail to see the signifigance of a junior of Danielson’s standing beating the GHC Champion, even in these circumstances. It’s extremely unlikely Danielson would be allowed a win in an meaningful way but this, and this is only a possibility due to NOAH’s incredible loyalty to ROH. WWE, last year, wanted to talk to Morishima and were refused due to loyalty. Shutting down the biggest company and moneymaker in the world for loyalty is quite notable and is the only reason this is a possibility. Thanks to Mulligan for helping with that portion.
The finale should be a ROH World Title match where Danielson vs. McGuinness sees Nigel take the big win over an already hurt Danielson. Danielson lost the last time these two faced off, but that was because he refused to attack the head due to his word, while Nigel didnâ€™t. This time Danielson is coming in badly beaten and concussed. No way he can hang with the champ that way, though heâ€™d try valiantly, coming off better in defeat.
ROH World Tag Team Title Match: Rocky Romero and Davey Richards Â© vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico
Steen and Generico are due a tag title push and win, and really, one title needs to change on this historic show. Steen and Generico could get worked over by the heels, before making the crowd happy with their big win.
FIP Title Match: Roderick Strong Â© vs. Go Shiozaki
Roderick and Go are both known for extremely hard chops. Itâ€™s time to put them to the test against each other in NYC. The FIP champion would come out ahead, but this one would be a war.
FIP #1 Contenderâ€™s Match: Erick Stevens vs. Necro Butcher
Both men are top FIP title contenders. Stevens lost the belt and needs another shot, but that should be in FIP. Necro faces Strong in Edison this weekend, where a good showing would earn him a potential shot. Here they face off to see who gets their shot first in a stiff brawl the crowd would eat up.
ROH #1 Contenderâ€™s Match: Tyler Black vs. Marufuji
Tyler put in a great showing against Nigel at the sixth PPV, while Marufuji beat Nigel two years back in a GHC title defense. Marufuji isnâ€™t a ROH regular, so has to earn a shot, while Tyler is a rising star who can only be elevated by an awesome match with Marufuji. This would carry the midcard and Marufuji, as usual, would win.
No DQ Grudge Match: The Briscoes vs. Austin Aries and Jimmy Jacobs
It isnâ€™t NYC without a huge Briscoe match. The Age of the Fall have tormented the Briscoes. In NYC itâ€™s time for new member and longtime Briscoe rival Austin Aries to get in on the action. The Briscoes will go to war with two long time, hated enemies and the heat will be off the hook.
Special Challenge Match: Delirious (red) and Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Hero and Brent Albright
Claudioâ€™s feud with SnS is never ending, while Albright was a member of the Hangmen who Delirious went blood red for. Give them a shot to take down their rivals together, since both are now in SnS, inc. Between hey, bah, and all the Hero chants, the crowd would love this and itâ€™s perfect to go on after the first of the Round Robin matches.
Special Challenge Match: The Vulture Quad vs. Blk Out
This should be a wild brawl, likely ending in disqualification due to Blk Outâ€™s excessive violence. Kingston has to be booked in NYC. A bit of mic time for Kingston to set this up and what we have is pure gold in creating a heated feud.