Big Andy Macâ€™s Big Andy DVD Review
So, the month of January is not typically the strongest month for our beloved Ring of Honor. They typically fall into a slight holding pattern after winding the year down with Final Battle before the push for the anniversary celebration and Wrestlemania Weekend. Sometimes Ring of Honor tries to buck that trend, but usually they put out mediocre shows with a few hidden gems that are worth digging for. This is one of RoHâ€™s January offers from this past January, called â€œWithout Remorese.â€ Will it have a few hidden gems, or be a classic in its own right? Read on to find out.
The show opens with the No Remorse Corps talking about winning all of the titles tonight. Davey Richards then tries to hit on the poor poster/program selling girl. He fails, and Roddy and Rocky tell him that he will have to watch the gold during the party later on in the evening. I wonder if this dynamic will ever pay off.
We also get a creepy promo from Poison Red Delirious hyping his dog collar match with Adam Pearce later on. The promo is completely unintelligible, but you know exactly what he is trying to sayâ€¦awesome.
Ultimate Endurance Qualifying Match: Erick Stevens and Jay Briscoe vs. Austin Aries and â€œAmerican Dragonâ€ Bryan Danielson aka Team Work
This was originally a dream partner tag team match to further the rivalry between former stablemates Austin Aries and Erick Stevens, but after some injuries to members of the Vulture Squad it also became a qualifier for the Ultimate Endurance match later in the show.
This match was average in every sense of the word, and I donâ€™t mean that as detraction. It was pretty basic tag team formula with the crowd getting solidly behind Aries and Dragon chanting â€œTeam Workâ€ whenever they worked together. Aries and Dragon got the win to advance into the Tag Team Title Ultimate Endurance match. Given everyone involved this could have been classic, but given its time and place on the card it did exactly what it was supposed to do, and put over Aries and Dragon as a team.
Winner: Austin Aries and â€œAmerican Dragonâ€ Bryan Danielson; **1/2
We get a promo from Adam Pearce talking about how he will end Delirious in their Dog Collar Match.
Shane Hagadorn vs. Pelle Primeau
Hagadorn and Primeau have had a firmer rivalry than any other student pairing. They had a passable little match, and made Hagadorn sure look like a jerk.
Winner: Shane Hagadorn; *3/4
Larry Sweeney comes out to say that he had scoured for the best intergender team to challenge Chris Hero and Sara Del Rey, but they could not make it to the show, therefore he found Kyle Durden and Alex Payne(playing the female). Hero and Del Rey make short work of the students, but that brings out Daizee Haze and Jigsaw leading toâ€¦
Intergender Tag Team Title Match: Chris Hero and Sara Del Rey vs. Jigsaw and Daizee Haze
Jigsaw and Hero have wrestled numerous times in Chikara. Del Rey and Haze have wrestled numerous times everywhere, so this should have been a good little match-up, and for the most part, it was. Hero and Jigsaw have awesome chemistry. Hero wins with the â€œCravate Countdown.â€ I think the one thing missing from Heroâ€™s arsenal is a true finishing hold. He has a number of moves that can end a match, but is lacking one move to really bring the fans into the finish.
Winner: Chris Hero and Sara Del Rey
Race to the Top Rematch: Claudio Castagnoli vs. El Generico
These two had an awesome surprise classic to close out the Race to the Top Tournament last summer which saw Claudio come out victorious. These two have excellent chemistry together. Claudio has proven time and again that he is one of the best bases for high flyers around. He is also adept at working a lucha libre style which of course is El Genericoâ€™s forte.
The story here was Claudio decimating the leg of Generico. In a world where selling is often ignored, especially on the indy scene, this match reminds the viewer just how important expert selling is to telling a great story. One never gets the sense that Generico is injured, but that he certainly has a bum wheel. My only downside for this match is the finish. It ended in a time limit draw. Often times, draws are a great way to keep both men looking strong, but in this match Claudio would have actually come out looking better with a loss. Allow me to explain. He spent the entire match destroying the leg of Generico, yet after repeated submission attempts and big moves he is unable to put the obviously weakened luchador. Generico looked like a hero because he withstood the best a world class athlete could offer. Claudio, however, looked like a choker, and a man who couldnâ€™t get the job done. If Generico had stolen a flash-pin victory it could have kept Claudio looking stronger. That rant over, the match was still the bees knees.
Result: Time Limit Draw; ***1/2
After the match we go to a backstage interview in which the two competitors of the previous match agree to a rematch down the line. I, for one, would look forward to seeing it.
Grudge Match: Mark Briscoe vs. Joey Matthews of the Age of the Fall
Joey Matthews has gotten his share of flak in Ring of Honor, and while he is not of the style of many RoH workers he is a solid hand in his own right. It is no secret that I am worn out on the Briscoes. With that being said, I absolutely loved this match. It is by no means a classic, nor does it even enter the four star range, but it is just simple wrestling at its best. For me now this match is the archetype for a three star affair. Joeyâ€™s ring generalship kept Mark Briscoeâ€™s craziness and lack of logic under control, and Markâ€™s craziness and lack of control kept those fans into the match that would have otherwise been bored with Joeyâ€™s more WWE style offense. This is one of those incidents where less could truly be more. There was nothing terribly flashy, save maybe the shooting star press finish. This was just a solid match. Honestly, looking at my praise alone, one might get the idea that it is must-see. It isnâ€™t. It is a fun match and should you end up picking up this DVD do not skip this match.
Winner: Mark Briscoe; ***
Intermission sees Nigel McGuinness talk about his match with Roderick Strong later on. It is a solid promo, but nothing more.
Dog Collar Match: Delirious vs. Adam Pearce
This is one of the more rarely used gimmicks in Ring of Honor. To the best of my knowledge there have only been two others when CM Punk took on Raven and Jimmy Rave respectively. Those were both classics. This wasnâ€™t. That isnâ€™t to say that this wasnâ€™t a fun little brawl, but there was very little memorable about the match. They did a good job of selling the chain as serious weapon, and didnâ€™t overdo crazy spots. Shane Hagadorn was great as usual playing Salacious Crumb (look it up). Delirious got the win after a splash through a table. This match didnâ€™t quite bring the hate that a feud ender should, but it was still fun.
Winner: Delirious; ***
Ultimate Endurance Tag Team Title Match: The Age of the Fall of Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black Â© vs. The Hangmen 3 of Brent Albright and BJ Whitmer vs. The No Remorse Corps of Davey Richards and Rocky Romero vs. Team Work of Austin Aries and â€œAmerican Dragonâ€ Bryan Danielson
First Fall: Tag Team Scramble
Like many Tag Team Scrambles this lacked a lot in the way of structure. Teams did moves, fought on the outside, dove to the outside, and fought more in the ring. The highlight was probably a series of wrestlers mocking Romeroâ€™s â€œAzucarâ€ dance. The big surprise of the opening fall, though is the fact that it ended with Davey Richards catching a surprise Oâ€™connor Roll on Tag Team Champion Tyler Black.
Result: Davey Richards pins Tyler Black eliminating the Age of the Fall
Second Fall: I Quit Match
This is really a submission match as no microphones are involved. The NRC team does a great job of hiding out on the outside while BJ Whitmer and Brent Albright target Bryan Danielsonâ€™s injured thigh. A quick note on Albright: he is wearing a singlet not unlike Kevin Steenâ€™s, and I must say that it hides some of the less desirable aspects of his physique. Out of Nowhere we get a triple submission. Dragon locks in a triangle choke on BJ. Rocky Romero gets trapped in Albrightâ€™s crow-bar, and Davey Richards hooks Aries in a Texas Cloverleaf. Danielson ends up getting the submission victory.
Result: Bryan Danielson makes BJ Whitmer submit eliminating the Hangmen 3
Final Fall: RoH Tag Team Title Match
We are guaranteed new tag team champs and they will be either Team Work or the No Remorse Corps. These two teams end up having a solid little match after all that went on before hand. Davey Richards again steals a win with a quick rollup on Austin Aries. The finish made the NRC look like hard fighting opportunists, while continuing Austin Aries losing streak frustration. It also crowned one of the weakest World Tag Team Champions through no fault of their own.
Winners and New Tag Team Champions: Davey Richards and Rocky Romero; ***1/2
After the match the No Remorse Corps celebrate their win, while Roderick Strong make his claim to victory over Nigel McGuinnes in the main event.
Ring of Honor World Championship: Roderick Strong vs. Nigel McGuinnessÂ©
This was a great exhibition of two heels going all out against each other. I honestly cannot think of a better example of heel vs. heel in Ring of Honor. This match was not two men trying to out cheat each other. It was really two cocky heels trying to out-violence one another. Roderick and Nigel have made their heel runs predicate on the fact that they were not cowards, but better and willing to go further to get their win. This is evident here. The only real downside of the match is that it never really seemed like Roderick was going to win. But that didnâ€™t detract from the match too much, because they told an excellent story without one of them reverting into a more babyface role despite the fact that Nigel had not yet reached his heely heights. Nigel got the win with the Jawbreaker Lariat to cap an excellent match and a solid show.
Winner: Nigel McGuinness; ****
Big Andy Macâ€™s Big Andy Final Thoughts : This was a solid show. I can imagine, just from observing the crowd that it was a ton of fun live. On DVD it is not the greatest show ever, but neither is it the worst. It has a lot of solid matches, but nothing that is blowaway awesome or worth going out of your way to see. It is still worth owning for the title change and seeing Ring of Honor present a couple of matches that you wouldnâ€™t normally see. It is definitely the type of DVD that would perfectly round out a buy 3 get the fourth free sale. I guess that will do it for my review, always stay tuned to the Pulse for the best RoH coverage on the net.
You can do so, by checking out Pulse Glazerâ€™s RoH Weekly and John Wiswellâ€™s Cult of RoH
Iâ€™ll see you next timeâ€¦