ROH PPV Review: New Horizons

Ring of Honor’s latest pay per view, New Horizons, debuted last Friday night. If you’ve never witnessed ROH on ppv, let me tell you the price is right at $9.95 to $14.95 (depending on your cable provider) and it is a full two hours of action. New Horizons is the perfect opportunity for wrestling fans who have yet to experience ROH, as there will be reruns throughout the month of October.

New Horizons was taped in Detroit, Michigan, and the ring announcers are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.

Right off the bat, Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black, ROH Tag Team Champions and members of the Age of the Fall, are in the ring. Jacobs tells us they are going to open the ppv the way they see fit. They will not defend their titles because they don’t want to. Jay & Mark Briscoe race to the ring to go after Jacobs & Black who quickly bail out. Chants of “Man Up” from the crowd don’t entice Jacobs & Black to return. Austin Aries appears and attacks Jacobs on the entrance ramp and they take the fight to the back with Black chasing after them. Prazak, sporting more hair every time we see him, tells the Briscoes there is a tag team that will face them.

Opening video for the show.

Match 1: Tag Team Match – The Briscoe Brothers vs. Silas Young & Mitch Franklin

This match is more of a beat down of Young & Franklin than a tag team match but the fans are thrilled that Jay & Mark have returned to ROH recapture their title belts.

Winners: The Briscoes with a springboard doomsday device.

Although this was not a tag team match or even a wrestling match, it was a showcase for Jay & Mark. Their return to the ring after Mark suffered a wrist injury got the fans motivated the minute the Briscoes hit the ring. A video promo of Jay and Mark drinking beer and firing guns is played.

Match 2: Four Corner Survival Match – Delirious vs. Erick Stevens vs. Ruckus vs. Shane Hagadorn

Delirious faces Stevens as the bell rings and does a good job of keeping Stevens down on the mat. Hagadorn tags himself in and goes to work on a dazed Stevens. After taking hard hits from his opponents, Shane attempts to leave but is brought back by Delirious & Ruckus. Hagadorn finds himself facing all three of his opponents until they realize there can be only one winner. Delirious delivers a Panic Attack to Erick as Shane sends Ruckus into the ring post on the outside. Delirious is removed from the action as he is tossed through the ropes. Stevens delivers the Doctor Bomb to Hagadorn and gets the three count and the win.

Winner: FIP Champion Erick Stevens, with the Doctor Bomb

I am happy any time Stevens is in the ring and a victory is just that much sweeter. This was not a long match, but it was fast paced and gave the each of the participants a little bit of time in the spotlight with Delirious showing his speed, Ruckus his agility, Stevens his physical strength & Hagedorn how fast he can run.

Austin Aries comes to the ring to call out Jimmy Jacobs and tell him they need to fight to end their battle once and for all. Jacobs obliges but brings along Black to distract Aries. The distraction doesn’t work and Tyler finds himself out on the floor. Austin again tells Jimmy to get in the ring but MsChif, the newest member of AOTF, enters the ring and catches him with a low blow. It becomes a three on one battle and Aries is bleeding. Wrestlers from the locker room take Austin to the back as Kevin Steen comes out from the back demanding a match against both Tyler and Jacobs but Necro Butcher comes out to attack Steen. The crowd chants Steen’s nickname “Mr. Wrestling” in support of the stocky Canadian. In spite of initially being attacked from behind, receiving a fall away slam and being nailed by a section of guardrail, Steen comes back strong using the ring bell to slow down Necro. One member of the audience has Kevin nearly in his lap as Butcher uses something to choke Steen. Kevin delivers a running power slam on the ramp and we have a match…

Match 3: No Disqualification Match – Kevin Steen vs. Necro Butcher

Necro is a brawler but Kevin can brawl, wrestle and perform amazing high flying maneuvers and his performance in this match makes us understand his nickname. At this point, the match makes it back into the ring and Steen shows Necro how to gouge, bite and punch but Butcher delivers a kick and hangs Kevin up on the ropes before going for a cover. Steen attempts the sharpshooter but Necro nails him with a fist before he can lock it in. Butcher tries a sleeper hold but Kevin fights out. The action returns to the floor as Steen slams Necro on a chair before delivering a splash from the ring apron. Steen drills the Butcher with a package piledriver through a chair and goes for a cover but he only gets a two. Kevin delivers a second package piledriver on a chair and this time he gets the three count for the victory.

Winner: Kevin Steen with two package piledrivers.

This was not really a hardcore match but a nice brawl nonetheless. As a hardcore wrestling fan, I felt this match was worth watching. Steen does an awesome job in a fight and is just as talented in a wrestling match. Butcher is not known for wrestling and his brawling techniques were not enough to keep Kevin from defeating him.

NWA World Heavyweight Champion and SnS member Adam Pearce delivers a video promo aimed at Brent Albright.

Match 4: Tag Team Match – Chris Hero and Go Shiozaki with Sweet ‘n Sour, Inc. (Larry Sweeney, Bobby Dempsey and Sara Del Rey) vs. Roderick Strong and Naomichi Marufuji

Larry, decked out in outfit that would put a real cowboy to shame, has the mic and before the match can begin, he asks Marufuji to join SnS. Marufuji not only declines, he flips him off and that makes an enraged Sweeney pull his wrestlers out of the match. Blocking Larry and SnS from the exit is none other than Lance Storm! The match begins and as Go and Roderick battle it out, Go attempts a cover and gets two. Strong delivers a kick to the head and tags in Marufuji. Hero gets a tag and in the baby faces deliver a superbly timed double-team to Hero. Naomichi delivers a super kick to Go and attempts a cover but Chris breaks it up. Hero gets the tag and goes for a cover but Roderick makes the save. All four men end up in the ring. Marufuji delivers a super kick to Go as Naomichi catches a rolling elbow from Hero and both men are out of the ring. Strong delivers a backbreaker, covers Hero and wins the match!

Winners: Roderick Strong and Naomichi Marufuji with a backbreaker

This match was extremely fast paced, athletic and both teams worked well together. Strong took quite a few hard hits but he held it together to get the win. Marufuji and Go did some spectacular work and Hero appears to have stepped up his game as he evolves into a serious wrestler. After the match, Lance Storm was attacked in the ring but he did have Sweeney tapping to a half crab before being taken out by SnS.

Brent Albright cuts a promo with his face covered in bandages. Pearce sent a fireball his direction in a previous match, which explains the bandages. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone in ROH use a fireball but I am disappointed that Albright isn’t going to be in action.

A Claudio Castagnoli promo airs about his championship match tonight.

Match 5: ROH World Championship Match – Claudio Castagnoli vs. Nigel McGuinness ©

I really like Claudio and the fans in attendance agree with me as his entrance is met with shouts of approval while McGuinness glares at the fans while he stalks toward the ring. Nigel is determined to hold onto that title but Castagnoli has the jaw set of a serious competitor. Claudio comes out with a big kick and goes for an early cover but McGuinness kicks out as Castagnoli continues to pour on the pressure by going for several quick pins forcing Nigel to roll to the outside. Claudio follows him and they battle it out on the floor and Castagnoli maintains control of the champ as he rolls him back into the ring. McGuinness gets his second wind and the control of the match shifts to the champ. The match goes back to the floor and Nigel find himself meeting the guardrail but Castagnoli gets his own taste of the guardrail in addition to the concrete floor. The match moves back into the ring. A lariat from Nigel sends Claudio to the mat and head scissors keep him down. McGuinness wastes time working the crowd but it isn’t long enough for Castagnoli to make a comeback and he takes more direct hits to the head before taking a DDT. Nigel goes for the pin and Claudio gets a boot on the bottom rope to break the count.

McGuinness maintains control until Castagnoli comes off the ropes with a European uppercut and follows up with a series of uppercuts that take Nigel off his feet and give Claudio a two! McGuinness takes a clothesline over the top rope and catches a full powered suicide dive through the ropes. Back in the ring, Nigel tries for the Tower of London but he can’t follow through and Claudio delivers a blow that sends Nigel back to the canvas. McGuinness gets back to his feet this time hitting the Tower of London but it’s only worth two and Castagnoli delivers a bicycle kick and then the Giant Swing but Nigel avoids the three count by getting a shoulder off the mat. A superplex by Claudio and a series of pin attempts but McGuinness continues to fight his way back. Nigel delivers the jawbreaker lariat, gets the pin, and retains his title.

Winner and still ROH Champion: Nigel McGuinness with a jawbreaker lariat.

This was a great championship match. The competitive attitude and wrestling style of both men kept me glued to the screen and there were many exciting near falls. The match flowed at a much quicker pace than I was expecting and it was worth seeing.


Match 6: Bryan Danielson vs. Tyler Black with Jimmy Jacobs

Danielson enters the arena with the fans on their feet singing along to his entrance theme. Before the match begins, Jacobs helps Black by distracting Bryan, allowing Black to blindside Danielson. The referee signals for the match to begin and Tyler uses Dragon’s own robe to choke him. A win in this match will give Danielson a shot at the ROH Championship and his determination shows in every move he pulls out of his learned bag of wrestling tricks. Tyler attempts to switch to a slugfest but angering Bryan was not a wise idea. Danielson begins work to take away Black’s use of his left arm. The match moves to the outside with Dragon’s body doing damage to the guardrails before the match moves back inside. Tyler can’t wear Bryan down enough to get a pin and again he resorts to fists in order to wear his opponent down. Danielson comes off the ropes and Black catches him in a sleeper hold and when that doesn’t work, he delivers a leg lariat and a stomp to the side of the face. Tyler is still in control with a neck breaker and a cover for two. Dragon is back to his feet and the battle continues with Danielson retaining control, delivering a missile dropkick from the top and Black rolls out of the ring to Jimmy. Bryan attempts a suicide dive that misses giving Tyler the chance to deliver a moonsault off the top that finds the mark. Black delivers loud slaps to Dragon’s face punctuated with AOTF rhetoric. Dragon comes back with Cattle Mutilation and the crowd goes wild but Tyler makes it to the ropes to break the hold while Jacobs leans on the apron screaming for Black to get up. The two men work a series of near falls and counters before Tyler catches Bryan in a sleeper hold but Danielson breaks the hold and goes back to the arm bar then switches to the triangle choke. Black gets back to his feet, lifts Dragon off the mat, throws him into the corner and breaks the top turnbuckle off the post! Not only does Danielson make it back to his feet, he comes back with a full head of steam only to get face planted and superkicked by Tyler and it’s two! Black is staggering but he manages to get a small package and Bryan kicks out to chants of “This is awesome”! Dragon goes for the repeat elbows and Black is out, the ref calls the match and Danielson is the winner.

Winner: Bryan Danielson with repeat elbows.

This match was absolutely fantastic! It held my attention throughout with no pause in the action and both wrestlers were at their best. Black keeps proving himself in the ROH ring as Danielson continues to thrill his fans. This match is a must-see.

Jimmy checks on Tyler and Aries finds him. This is not a match but it is as great as the matches thus far. These two initially battle in the ring before taking it outside as Austin misses a suicide dive and puts a dent in the guardrail. Jacobs brings chairs into play and Aries’ wounds from earlier tonight are reopened but as Jacobs sets Austin up in a chair and flies, Austin rolls out of the way with Jimmy landing on the chair. The battle moves through the audience as these two hated foes picked up anything they can find as weapons. This should have been a match as both men used all of their best moves. We are used to seeing Jacobs down and dirty vicious but Austin breaks out his best in brawl fashion to face his enemy and moves the action to a tall ladder. I can feel a HOLY SHIT! moment coming as both men climb the ladder with the crowd screaming “Please don’t jump!”. Necro Butcher comes out with a ladder and with Jimmy telling him to hit Aries and Aries telling him to not listen to Jimmy, Butcher shoves the ladder over sending both men to the floor. Even lying on the floor, Austin and Jimmy continue to battle until refs come to break it up and the show fades out.

The brawl at the end of the show kept the feud of Jacobs/Aries brewing and it was a great battle with Necro Butcher showing up to add confusion as to where his loyalties will lie in the future.

This was another fantastic Ring of Honor pay per view. If you missed the debut, don’t miss the replays.