DVD Review: ROH Driven 2008 – 09.19.08

Reviews, Wrestling DVDs

Video Wire

Be sure to watch the 9/16/08 edition of the Video Wire, which is live to tape from Cleveland and Chicago. You can find it either on the DVD or right here. It covers Delirious joining the Age of the Fall, a Daizee Haze video package and promo about what Rhett Titus did to her, an ad for New Horizons on pay-per-view, and the end of Night of the Butcher II.

MATCH #1: Austin Aries vs. Delirious

Aries starts the show in the ring and calls out the Age of the Fall. He wants to finish the feud with Jimmy Jacobs RIGHT NOW! Jacobs comes out to answer him, and while he’s distracting Aries, Delirious runs out and attacks Aries from behind and we have an impromptu match, with Jacobs staying at ringside. Aries of course doesn’t let Delirious have control for very long, I mean he can’t look weak or anything. He misses the dropkick in the corner and Delirious resumes control. Delirious tries the Panic Attack but Aries blocks it and is able to lock on the Last Chancery, so Delirious pokes him in the eye to break the hold. He tries the Cobra Clutch but Aries uses momentum to toss Delirious to the floor, and then hits the Heat Seeking Missile on both Delirious and Jacobs. Aries hits a neckbreaker on the second rope for a near-fall. He tries the brainbuster for Delirious blocks it and bites him. Delirious hits a nasty looking Cobra Clutch suplex and connects with the Panic Attack not once not twice but thrice. Jacobs orders one more, and of course that gives Aries all the time he needs to recover, which is not much time at all. He hits the dropkick in the corner, the brainbuster and floats over to the Last Chancery and Delirious submits at 6:46. Way to kill one of Delirious’s finishers, Aries. He hit the Panic Attack three times in a row and Aries basically got right back up and without selling it at all. I love when ROH fans complain about John Cena’s “superman” comebacks and then talk about how much they love Aries. Give me a break.
Rating: **

Jacobs and Tyler Black hit the ring to triple team Aries. Jacobs sets him up on a table at ringside and bites his bloody head. Black tries to talk Jacobs out of it since they have a main event World Tag Team Title defense later on, but Jacobs doesn’t listen and hits a Senton from the top rope through the table.

Now the show can resume its regular schedule, so we start with the video package. We come back to Sweet & Sour Inc. standing in the ring. Larry Sweeney, Chris Hero, Adam Pearce, Eddie Edwards, Shane Hagadorn, and Sara Del Rey are present tonight. Sweeney announces that he procured a match for Del Rey tonight.

MATCH #2: Sara Del Rey vs. Jessie McKay

I have no idea who McKay is. Del Rey hits a boot to the chest and otherwise abuses her opponent. She hits kick to the chest on a seated McKay, and follows up with the Butterfly Slam to get the pin at 0:40. Again I ask what the point is, but I’m sure that makes me sexist or something.
Rating: DUD

MATCH #3: Brent Albright & Erick Stevens vs. Sweet & Sour Inc.

Adam Pearce and Eddie Edwards are representing Sweet & Sour here. Sweeney gets back on the microphone to challenge Brent Albright and Erick Stevens to a match, and they run right out and the brawl is on. Pearce and Edwards withstand the early attack and knock Albright to the floor and take control on Stevens. Then Pearce accidentally clotheslines Edwards and Stevens makes the hot tag. It’s all Albright as he tries the Half-Nelson Suplex on Pearce but Edwards breaks it up. All four men are in the ring now, with the good guys in control. That doesn’t last long though, as Sweet & Sour cuts him off. Albright catches Edwards on a quebrada attempt with a powerslam for two. He tags in Stevens and Edwards takes control. They go back and forth as this match is just all over the place. Stevens hits a powerslam for two. It breaks down to a brawl again and Stevens and Strong execute a double ping-pong spot. The fight spills to the floor, and it’s Stevens and Pearce who get back in the ring. Hagadorn and Hero interfere, and then Stevens back drops Edwards over the top rope and onto both of them. Albright tags himself in and Stevens hits a dive to the floor. Pearce didn’t see the tag though, so Albright sneaks up behind him and hits the Half-Nelson Suplex to get the pin at 6:05. The match was just back and forth with no build to anything.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #4: Jerry Lynn vs. Chris Hero

Before Hero can make it to the back, Jerry Lynn comes out and cuts his usual goofy-sounding promo. Think Roderick Strong here. Lynn is angry at Hero for his disrespect of Lance Storm. His mocking of Hero’s nickname makes me happy though. Lynn charges the ring and pulls Hero out and throws him into the guardrail. Prazak and Leonard mock the current ECW for no real reason. The bell rings as both guys finally get in the ring and Hero is able to take control. He goes after the arm, and Lynn escapes and does the same. Hero uses an elbow strike to escape and he’s right back in control. Lynn makes a brief comeback so Hero attacks him in the face to keep the advantage. He tosses Lynn to the floor and follows him out. He removes one of the ringside mats and bodyslams Lynn on the exposed concrete floor. Hero tries to suplex Lynn from the ring down to the floor but Lynn blocks it and dropkicks Hero down to the floor. He follows him out with a somersault off the apron. Hero responds by getting up and slamming Lynn’s back into the apron. He rolls Lynn back inside and hits a couple of sentons for two. He hits an atomic drop throw for another near-fall. Hero tries a slam but Lynn reverses it to an inverted DDT. Lynn goes after Hero’s eyes and hits a back body drop followed by three sentons. Both men get up and Lynn backs Hero into the corner and hits the mounted punches. A swinging DDT gets two. Hero counters the Cradle Piledriver and hits Snake Eyes and a rolling elbow for two. Lynn recovers and tries another Cradle Piledriver and Hagadorn jumps up on the apron. The referee is distracted so Del Rey gives Hero a loaded elbow pad and he nails Lynn with it to get the pin at 9:19. The match never really established any flow, and it was just two guys doing moves back and forth, much like the previous match.
Rating: **

MATCH #5: Three Way Elimination Match – Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Go Shiozaki

A brief video package sets up the significance of this match. Basically, Danielson has to beat everyone that Nigel McGuinness has beaten on pay-per-view to earn another shot at the title. He and Castagnoli are also embroiled in a bitter feud. The two of them start brawling right away and Shiozaki wisely hangs back. He does get in the ring at an opportune time, knocking Castagnoli to the floor and locking Danielson in a headlock. Danielson quickly escapes and soon goes for the surfboard, and Castagnoli breaks that up. Shiozaki targets Castagnoli, and takes a driving knee to the face for his trouble. Danielson has recovered and he and Castagnoli go right back at it. Danielson aims a kick at Castagnoli but hits Shiozaki instead, and he goes to the floor. That leaves Danielson and Claudio in the ring, with Danielson in control. Castagnoli comes back with a pop-up European Uppercut, and starts throwing punches in the corner. Referee Paul Turner tries to break it up and takes a suplex for his trouble, so Castagnoli is disqualified at 4:56. Before he goes though, he hits a Ricola Bomb and then brings a chair in the ring. A bunch of guys from the locker room come out to try and stop him, and he keeps throwing everybody around. Finally they get him to the back and we’re down to Danielson versus Shiozaki. Prazak is sure to stress that Danielson beat Castagnoli by disqualification, which seems a bit cheesy. Shiozaki is the more rested of the two, so he takes first control. He hits a big clothesline for two. Shiozaki tries something off the second rope and Danielson catches him with a European uppercut. That doesn’t deter Shiozaki for very long though. Danielson gets a burst of adrenaline and tries an armbar submission. Shiozaki wriggles out but Danielson hits the repeated elbows and then locks on Cattle Mutilation. He almost reaches the ropes but Danielson pulls him back out and hits more elbows to the face. Shiozaki is able to reach the ropes on the other side of the ring though, so the hold is broken. Shiozaki makes an unrealistic comeback and scores a couple of near falls. He hits a series of mounted chops to the head. They get up and Danielson hits a step-up enziguiri which Shiozaki simply no-sells and hits a superkick. He goes up to the top rope to try the moonsault but it misses and Danielson locks on a triangle choke. Danielson adds elbows to the top of the head and Shiozaki is out at 13:59. The match was fun when Castagnoli was in there, and was pretty good when Shiozaki was on offense. As usual though his selling disappeared down the stretch but I still enjoyed most of the match. Danielson officially challenges the winner of tonight’s ROH World Title match, since they’ve both been ducking him (he says).
Rating: ***

MATCH #6: Tag Team Scramble – The Briscoe Brothers vs. The YRR vs. The Vulture Squad vs. Necro Butcher

Kenny King and Jason Blade represent the YRR, while Ruckus and Jigsaw represent the Vulture Squad. Necro has no tag team partner. Jigsaw and Blade start the match, and I don’t expect to keep up with the action for much longer. The YRR cheat to gain an advantage on Jigsaw, so Ruckus comes in and sticks up for his partner. King takes Ruckus out so the Briscoes come in and start working King over. Jay and King take the fight to the floor and Necro comes in to beat up Blade and Mark. He even takes out both Ruckus and Jigsaw. ROH have had many occasions where one guy is in a tag team scramble against teams. I can think of three right off the top of my head – Homicide, AJ Styles, and CM Punk. Anyway, everyone is on the floor and Necro hits a dive from the top rope to the floor on everyone. The Vulture Squad and the YRR end up in the ring and King takes a double stomp / Jig N’ Tonic combo but the pin gets broken up. The Briscoes stack a bunch of chairs on each other, and then toss Ruckus and Jigsaw off a top rope each. Jay goes for the Jay Driller on Blade but Necro breaks it up. He hits Blade with a Tiger Driver and Jay breaks that up with the help of a steel chair. The Briscoes throw Necro to the floor and knock him off the apron onto the pile of chairs. Then they hit the springboard Doomsday Device on Blade to score the pin at 6:37. Well they kept it short, and as far as scramble matches go it wasn’t half bad.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #7: ROH World Title Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Roderick Strong

McGuinness has been the champion since 10.6.07, and this is his twenty-fifth defense. They show a quick video package that tries to make it seem like these two are in some kind of feud, but they’re really not. They did have a pretty good match back in January in Chicago though. They shake hands uneasily and away we go. They start with chain wrestling in the early going, with the champion seeming to have the advantage. Strong gets an early flurry so McGuinness rolls towards the ropes to break his momentum. They come back to the center of the ring and McGuinness targets the arm and shoulder. Strong fights back with his signature chops. A backbreaker gets two. He goes to the second rope but McGuinness stops him and takes him down with a hammerlock bodyslam and Strong rolls to the floor. The champion follows him out and continues working over the arm. He hits a running European uppercut against the guardrail and the champ is firmly in control. Strong once again fights back with chops but McGuinness withstands them. Back in the ring McGuinness stays in control of the arm. Strong tries to fight back but the champion hits him with a hammerlock DDT. The headstand mule kick in the corner actually works, but it only gets two. Strong tries chops again but McGuinness hits a rolling elbow and Strong is down for an eight-count. Now if he’s knocked out for eight seconds why not just pin the guy? The match spills to the floor and Strong finally takes advantage, hitting a running forearm off the apron. He hits another chop and gets a two-count in the corner. A leg-cradle backbreaker also gets two. A pump-handle backbreaker gets another two. The champion avoids a charge in the corner and hits the kick to the back / clothesline combo for two. Strong comes back with the gutbuster and a running Yakuza kick for two. McGuinness comes back with what I think is his first big lariat of the match, but Strong kicks out at two. He tries the Tower of London and Strong avoids it, but can’t avoid another lariat, which again gets two. The Tower of London also only gets two. He tries another lariat but Strong ducks it and hits a slingshot powerslam for two. He hits a couple of clotheslines in the corner and sets McGuinness on the top turnbuckle and hits a unique backbreaker for two. Moments later another backbreaker gets two. McGuinness comes back and sets Strong on the top rope and hits a lariat for two. He follows up with a Tower of London right onto the edge of the apron. He tosses Strong back into the ring and once again it only gets two. Strong comes back with a Yakuza kick, beats Nigel to the clothesline, and hits a Tiger Driver for a very close near fall that the crowd bought hard. He brings the champion to the ropes, but he winds up taking a big lariat for yet another two-count. The crowd bought that one too, but in the opposite way. McGuinness hits a couple of lariats and another Tower of London. That’s enough to finally put Strong away at 24:20. Much like their match back in Chicago this was really good, with a couple of new moves I’ve never seen before, and good psychology and selling throughout.
Rating: ****

MATCH #8: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – The Age of the Fall vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black have been the champions since 6.6.08, and this is their third defense. They actually won the titles by beating Steen and Generico in a tournament final in Hartford at Up For Grabs, and this is finally the rematch. All four men start the match in the ring and the challengers soon clear the champions out. Jacobs and Generico start the match proper, and Jacobs quickly tags out to Black. Steen also gets tagged in pretty quickly. Black and Steen trade holds and the challengers take control. The crowd is heavily into the challengers. Jacobs makes a blind tag but Generico is able to thwart him anyway and the challengers remain in control. Black takes a cheap shot and he and Generico trade maneuvers for a minute until Steen gets tagged back in. They isolate on Black and then Jacobs in their half of the ring and make some quick tags. Black kicks Generico in the back when he bounces off the ropes and he gets tagged in and goes on offense. He tries a headlock but Generico reverses it to a back suplex for two. Steen hits a lariat for two. Generico goes to the top rope and Jacobs grabs his ankle. The momentary distraction allows Black to take control of the situation. He and Jacobs work Generico over in their half of the ring, and even outside the ring as well. Keeping Generico from making the tag is the primary concern of the ROH World Tag Team Champions. Generico avoids their attacks and makes hot tag to Steen finally. He nails Jacobs with a powerbomb onto the ring apron. Back in the ring Steen hits a pump-handle neckbreaker for two. He tries the moonsault but misses, and Black tags Jacobs in. Jacobs comes right in and locks on the End Time. Generico breaks it up with a big boot and Steen rolls over with a jackknife pin for two. The champions regain control, and a combo ending with Black hitting a frog splash gets two on Steen. The match breaks down to a big brawl with all four men doing essentially whatever they want. Generico tossing Black into the air right onto Steen’s shoulders was pretty awesome. Steen hits a Swanton and Generico follows up with a superfly splash for a near-fall. He tries the Package Piledriver but Black avoids it and hits God’s Last Gift for two. Jacobs and Generico fight outside the ring, while Black misses a Phoenix splash inside the ring. Generico comes back in and hits the running Yakuza and looks to try a super brainbuster. Jacobs forcefully dissuades him from that idea. The champions set up a top-rope Contra Code but Generico fights out of it. Steen locks the Sharpshooter on Black, but Generico can’t connect with the super brainbuster. Generico clotheslines Jacobs to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Meanwhile Black can’t quite reach the ropes but luckily Jacobs makes it back in the ring and breaks up the hold. Jacobs and Generico get tagged in and Jacobs takes a suplex right on his neck. Generico goes for the Yakuza but Jacobs catches him with the End Time. He reveres it to a brainbuster attempt, which doesn’t quite work out for him. Some miscommunication on the Age of the Fall side leaves Jacobs taking the Package Piledriver followed up with an immediate brainbuster and we have new ROH World Tag Team Champions at 20:29. It’s too bad these teams didn’t have a longer series of matches against each other. This match was even better than the one at Up For Grabs, helped a great deal by the super hot crowd that was rabid for the challengers to unseat the champions.
Rating: ****½

BONUS MATCH #1: Chasyn Rance vs. Mitch Franklin

Franklin is doing a lumberjack gimmick now, which is right up there with one of the dumber things ROH has ever put together. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise calls Franklin “Manny Redwood” (I think), so I guess he’s not quite grizzly yet. He tries to tell the story of his character transformation but the crowd doesn’t want to hear it. He wants to use his real name, which is of course Grizzly Redwood. I mean, seriously how can Leonard and Prazak mock the current ECW and then try to put this over? Redwood’s offense now consists of different variations of the ax handle. The more fickle than usual crowd is immediately into Redwood’s offense, mere minutes after asking him not so politely to “shut the f*** up.” And the fans wonder why I have no respect for them. They do some stuff back and forth until Kenny King interferes behind the referee’s back, and that allows Rance to hit the Sensational Spike for the win at 4:32. Grizzly Redwood irritates me to no end, but I’m all for seeing more YRR in ROH. Just hopefully not in any more matches like this.
Rating: *¼

BONUS MATCH #2: Daizee Haze vs. Madison Eagles

For wanting to be taken as a serious wrestler and not eye candy Haze shows a lot of unnecessary skin. I’m just sayin’. Eagles attacks right away and this a big kick to the face which doesn’t even get one. A suplex gets two and Eagles stays on top of Haze with forearms. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two two-counts but she can’t keep Haze down. She tries another backbreaker but Haze reverses it to a swinging DDT. She follows up with the Heart Punch. Eagles avoids the Yakuza but Haze is able to hit the Mind Trip to score the pin at 2:06. Poor Eagles came here all the way from Australia and she got two minutes and six seconds.
Rating: ¼*

BONUS MATCH #3: Josh Daniels vs. Rhett Titus

Daniels is wearing the same gear here that he wore in 2004, which is just sad. Leonard says Daniels was a “mainstay” in 2004 and 2005, but that’s just not true. He was the original crown jewel of Prince Nana’s Embassy though. They trade holds and maneuvers; Titus of course cheats every chance he gets. Titus controls a majority of the match. Daniels makes the comeback but Titus cuts him off with a dropkick to the face. They blow the finish when Daniels tries a rollup and they awkwardly roll on each other until Titus is basically on top for the win at 5:35. There’s really no reason to protect Josh Daniels there, and Titus cheating to win doesn’t do that much for him here. Everyone already knows he cheats; he can do that against anyone. This would have been the perfect match to give Titus a finisher, so that when he’s in a match with someone who matters (sorry Josh Daniels) there’s more potential for drama. Talk about a wasted opportunity.
Rating: *½


ROH has an excellent track record on pay-per-view and this show keeps that going. The undercard left a little to be desired, but in a two-hour show if you can get two great matches on top that’s an easy recommendation right there.

I grew up and now I write for Inside Pulse. Oh, and one time I saw a blimp!