Make sure you watch the 10/21/08 Video Wire before watching this show. It covers the entire goings on leading up to this show, and itâ€™s totally free.
Bobby Cruise opens the show and announces that Davey Richards is too injured to compete tonight, so Chris Hero will take his place in the matchup against Brent Albright tonight. Austin Aries then storms his way to the ring and wants to fight Jimmy Jacobs RIGHT NOW. Jacobs obliges
MATCH #1: Anything Goes Match â€“ Austin Aries vs. Jimmy Jacobs
Aries meets Jacobs in the aisle way and the fight starts there. They briefly go behind the curtain but soon make their way to ringside. Aries throws Jacobs over the guardrail and into the crowd, and then hits a huge dive over the guardrail right into his chest. He tries to stand on a chair for leverage, but Jacobs pushes it over in a cool looking spot. This is the first match in a best-of-three series between the two in order to settle this feud once and for all. Theyâ€™ve got a dog collar match signed for Toronto and an â€œI Quitâ€ match in Chicago for pay-per-view. Aries makes the comeback and sets Jacobs up on a chair. He leaps from the top rope all the way down with a double ax handle. They once again go into the guardrail, with Jacobs back on offense. Aries catches Jacobs in a cross body block attempt and slams him onto some chairs, and then drops an elbow. He drags Jacobs back to ringside and chokes him with a chair. They make it back to the ring and Aries stays in control. He delivers some mounted punches in the corner, so Jacobs rightfully punches him in the groin, and then hits a spear for two. He tries the End Time but Aries dumps him over the top rope to the floor. Aries tries the Heat Seeking Missile but eats a face full of chair instead, busting his head open. Jacobs gets to beat on Aries for a bit now. Aries soon makes the comeback and brings the chair into the ring. He winds up hitting the Implant DDT, Laceyâ€™s finisher, on Jacobs, and then sets up for a brainbuster on the chair. Delirious runs out to make the save, and since itâ€™s Anything Goes itâ€™s okay. Then another, much larger man comes out and hits a big boot on Aries, and thatâ€™s Brodie Lee. I admit this is the first time Iâ€™ve ever seen him. He helps Jacobs wrap a steel chain around Ariesâ€™s neck, and then he puts on the End Time to end the match at 10:56. That was a pretty decent brawl, but they were obviously holding back (and rightfully so) for their two upcoming matches. Jacobs gets on the microphone and gloats about his victory. He calls Lee 6â€™10â€, which I think is a bit of a stretch. He issues an open challenge which is accepted by the returning Cheech & Cloudy.
MATCH #2: The Age of the Fall vs. Cheech & Cloudy
Cheech and Cloudy havenâ€™t been seen in ROH since 2005 I think. They have some real (and matching) wrestling gear now, so that puts them ahead of Deranged in the intelligence department. Lee gets the first shots in, but Cheech and Cloudy soon take over on Delirious briefly. That doesnâ€™t last too long, as Lee interjects himself once again and helps Delirious gain control. The masked men then tags in the dirty trucker and he throws Cloudy around a bit and then tags Delirious back in. He finally makes the hot tag to Cheech, and they get a little bit of offense in, including a nasty variation of the Doomsday Device where Delirious got dropped right on his head. Lee comes back in and drags Delirious over to their corner so he can tag himself in. He dominates both opponents, and nails Cheech with a big boot to the face for the pin at 4:58. Iâ€™m not opposed to seeing Cheech and Cloudy again, and Delirious & Brodie Lee look like they could be an effective tag team.
Rhett Titus comes out to the ring with Jessie McKay on his arm. I thought she turned him down? Their ring entrance is pretty salacious, either way. Titus grabs the microphone, and wants Daizee Haze to leave him alone. Calling Jessie McKay a â€œfine piece of assâ€ right in front of her is pretty awesome. Daizee Haze comes out and attacks him, so McKay makes the save. Titus likes a good cat fight so he calls for a referee and Paul Turner comes down for this impromptu match!
MATCH #3: Daizee Haze vs. Jessie McKay
Haze spends more time trying to attack Titus, who helps McKay gain an advantage on the outside of the ring. Back inside McKay hits a kick to the face and a neckbreaker for two. She whips Haze into the ropes but she slides out and goes after Titus again. The distraction allows McKay to hit a clothesline. McKay makes sure to get a little love from Titus before getting back in the ring, which allows Haze to recover. She soon hits the Heart Punch and itâ€™s over at 1:56. Titus immediately takes off for the locker room, which is pretty funny. Unlike most womenâ€™s squash matches this one actually helped serve a purpose, so good for it.
Prince Nana comes out of nowhere, with a cigarette, and once again begs Ring of Honor to hire him. This guy is so money itâ€™s sick. Security escorts him out as the crowd tries to chant â€œgive him a job!â€ I miss Nana more than I miss guys like Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, or Christopher Daniels, or Homicide.
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MATCH #4: Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The Osirian Portal
Itâ€™s a night of firsts for me, since this is my first time seeing The Osirian Portal, Ophidian and Amasis. I know this is a non-title match, but Steen and Generico should still come out with the belts. I wonder if something happened to them. Amasis and Generico start the match. They trade holds and stuff, as Prazak notes that the Portal have previously been in ROH, but only on a preshow and it certainly didnâ€™t make the DVD. They waffle over a test of strength and then decide to dance instead. Generico has moves, yo. They trade more dance moves, so Steen comes in and just kills Amasis with a chop. He gets tagged in, as does Ophidian. He rather easily overpowers his much smaller opponent and hits a short-arm clothesline. Generico gets tagged back in and the champs are firmly in control. Ophidian makes the comeback with a nice head scissors on Steen, and both men tag their partners. Steen tries to powerbomb Amasis but takes a leg lariat instead. Generico misses the running Yakuza Kick and the Portal get a chance to show off some of their unique offense. Steen recovers and clotheslines both of them down. He throws Amasis to the floor and hits a huge powerbomb on Ophidian. The champs go up to opposite corners and Amasis knocks Steen down. Generico misses a cross body block and the Portal hits a move that looks more like they both took a DDT, but it gets a near-fall on Generico. Theyâ€™re then able to hypnotize Generico, so Steen comes in and hits a Death Valley Driver on both of them at the same time. Amasis then takes the running Yakuza Kick and the pump handle neckbreaker. Steen goes up and hits the Swanton, and Generico follows up with a super splash of his own, and the champs get the duke at 9:21. The Osirian Portal didnâ€™t look entirely untalented, but some of their stuff is a little too goofy for me. Iâ€™d certainly be willing to give them another shot though.
MATCH #5: FIP World Heavyweight Title Match â€“ Go Shiozaki vs. Necro Butcher
Shiozaki has been the champion since 8.23.08, and this is his fourth defense. Necro hits the champion with his own title belt before the bell can ring, but it doesnâ€™t seem to have much effect. Shiozaki chops away at Necro, who responds by taking his shirt off and throwing back chops of his own. Of course, Shiozaki wins that battle. This is a rematch of Februaryâ€™s Eye of the Storm show. Itâ€™s all Shiozaki in the early going here. He charges into the corner and Necro gets his bare foot up and now he goes on offense, dropping an elbow for a two-count. Shiozaki comes back with a series of Kobashi chops in the corner. Necro recovers and dumps Shiozaki to the floor and follows him out. He executes a chair slam and the referee doesnâ€™t disqualify him for reasons unknown. Necro tries to use another chair, but Shiozaki kicks this one back into his face. He then slams it into Necroâ€™s face, which was up against the steel barricade. Back in the ring Shiozaki hits a Fisherman Buster for two. He uses the sleeper and Necro appears to be fading. Of course Necro wonâ€™t let his hand fall for a third time and the match continues. He hits a nice suplex to break the sleeper and both men are down. Necro tries a Tiger Driver but winds up hitting a choke slam instead. Shiozaki comes back and hits a superplex for two. They get up and trade hard punches with each other. Necro tries a bulldog but Shiozaki stops it and hits a German Suplex. He goes up for the Moonsault and Necro shoves him down to the floor. Necro follows him out and they brawl into the crowd. He piles a bunch of chairs on top of Shiozaki, and then throws referee Paul Turner over the guardrail and down to the floor. Eventually Turner recovers and starts counting both men out, and he gets to the 20-count to end the match in a double-count out at 14:08. Well thatâ€™s entirely unsatisfying. The match had some solid action but nothing overly memorable. They fight to the back and Necro gets attacked by Jimmy Jacobs, Delirious, and Brodie Lee. They bring him back to the ring and Lee hits a big boot. Jacobs gets on the microphone to berate their former member. Delirious and Lee pull Necro hard crotch-first into the ring post, because Jacobs doesnâ€™t want any more little Necro Butchers running around. Makes sense to me.
MATCH #6: Brent Albright vs. Chris Hero
Chris Hero has totally â€œGregory Helmsâ€™dâ€ his music. Hero tells Bobby Dempsey to get under the ring since the crowd is cheering for him. Albright tries to tell him that he doesnâ€™t need to do that, which gives Hero the chance for a cheap shot. It doesnâ€™t early do much though, as Albright allegedly starts the match on fire but the crowd is almost silent. They do start chanting his name for a bit, so theyâ€™re not totally dead. Hero of course stalls and gets support from Sweeney, Sara Del Ray, Davey Richards, and Shane Hagadorn at ringside. Hero takes over on offense and the crowd just dies. I donâ€™t blame them. Albright comes back with a powerslam for two. Hero throws Albright to the floor and removes the mat from ringside. He body slams Albright on the floor. They go back in the ring and try to see who can bore me more. Hero gets to kick out of the Half-Nelson Suplex. Albright returns the favor by kicking out of the rolling elbow. Moments later he grabs Hero in the Crowbar to get the win at 13:35. What did I do to deserve sitting through that match? Albright of course fights off the 7-on-1 attack and gives Del Rey the Air Raid Crash. He then cuts a horrendous promo challenging Sweet & Sour to a Steel Cage Warfare match on December 27 at the Hammerstein Ballroom. I wouldnâ€™t recommend running two of those matches in about a three-month span (or even four months, as it turned out), but I guess they have to blow off this feud somehow. The match, as it were, was brutally boring, almost offensive.
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MATCH #7: Six Man Mayhem â€“ Claudio Castagnoli vs. Hallowicked vs. Davey Richards vs. Ruckus vs. Jason Blade vs. Rhett Titus
This is Hallowickedâ€™s first appearance in almost a year, going all the way back to Glory By Honor VI Night One in Philadelphia on November 2 of last year. I could probably live without him. An angry Davey Richards comes out to the ring, apparently not too injured to compete. He starts the match with Titus and takes him right down to the mat. Titus has some trouble fighting back, but does manage to dropkick Richards over the top rope to the floor. Castagnoli immediately comes in and disposes of Titus, so Ruckus comes in. They fight for a bit, and then Blade and Hallowicked make their way in and everyone has seen action now. The fight makes its way to the floor, where all six guys brawl. Ruckus tries to dive on everyone, but only hits Blade and Titus. Castagnoli and Hallowicked are fighting back in the ring now. The action actually kind of slows down, which seems to be an anti six man mayhem way of thinking. Thankfully it soon picks back up to guys all hitting their spots. Castagnoli throws everyone around, particularly Ruckus. Prazak for some reason starts cheerleading for Hallowicked. I donâ€™t get it. Anyway, they do some stuff and Richards pins Ruckus with a German Suplex at 14:50. That felt long for a six-way match; they had that weird couple of minutes in the early going that completely slowed down. Other than that it was fine.
MATCH #8: Jerry Lynn vs. Tyler Black
I believe this is a first-time ever match. Black follows the Code of Honor by shaking hands with Lynn, for some reason. Why would anyone in Age of the Fall shake hands? They trade fancy moves and Lynn hits that contrived leg drop that he always does. They go to the floor and Lynn whips Black into the guardrail. Back in the ring they continue the fast pace, with Lynn staying in control. They soon go back to the floor and Black is able to sweep Lynnâ€™s legs out from underneath him, and Lynnâ€™s face crashes into the apron. Black whips Lynn back into the ring and follows up with a springboard lariat. He stays in control for a couple minutes, and then Lynn makes the comeback and goes right on offense, thus negating everything Black did to him. That also ends up not mattering, as Black gets control right back, and works on the arm. Lynn comes back and dropkicks Black off the apron and to the floor. He follows up with a somersault to the floor. He then clotheslines Black over the guardrail and into the crowd. He charges and leaps over the guardrail to hit a clothesline. Lynn once again charges but this time gets back dropped over the guardrail and back to ringside. Black tries jumping off the guardrail and Lynn cuts him down with a dropkick. Back in the ring Lynn gets a near fall with a DDT. He tries a TKO but Black avoids it and hits a Pele Kick and the Paroxysm for two. Lynn tries to make the comeback but Black slams him on his chest and hits a super kick to the face for two. Black misses the running boot in the corner and Lynn hits a big sunset bomb for two. They wind up on the top rope and Lynn hits a rana and follows up with a TKO but Black kicks out at two. Lynn tries the Cradle Piledriver but Black counters to the Godâ€™s Last Gift for a very near fall. I donâ€™t see any reason to not let that finish Jerry Lynn. Either way, Black hits the Phoenix Splash to get the pin at 12:28. A lot of people loved that match, and though it was all well and good, it was pretty much like any other Jerry Lynn match out there. He makes way too many comebacks and all the back and forth stuff makes it hard to build any sort of drama beyond â€œthese guys kicked out of a bunch of stuff.â€ Black cuts a pretty good promo about how change is coming, and then shakes Lynnâ€™s hand again. I still donâ€™t get why he would do that.
MATCH #9: LAX vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe
Homicide makes a special point to bring Julius Smokes out to be in their corner. Great, thanks for that. Mark and Homicide start the match with some mat wrestling and stuff. Jay gets tagged in and tries to wear Homicide down. Homicide fights out and tags in Hernandez. Heâ€™s able to hit both Briscoes with a big clothesline and then a delayed vertical suplex on Mark. That gets two. Hernandez tags in Homicide, who throws Mark to the floor and hits the Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring LAX stays in control on Mark. Homicide and Mark trade blows, and Homicide knocks him out with a head butt. He then practically drags Mark over to his own corner so that he can make the tag to his brother Jay. He briefly works over Homicide, but then falls victim to the strength of Hernandez. Mark interferes from the apron and we see that heâ€™s bleeding from the right eye as a result of Homicideâ€™s head butt. At any rate, the Briscoes take over and isolate Homicide in their corner. The Briscoes heel it up by cheating, which is a wise given the circumstances. Homicide almost makes a couple of comebacks but the Briscoes are able to cut him off. I forgot how funny it was to watch Homicide do what he calls selling. He makes the blind tag to Hernandez, and he comes in to clean house. The match breaks down to a brawl and the referee has completely lost control. Mark hits a dive to the floor on Homicide, and then Hernandez follows him out, wiping out both Briscoes and landing on his feet. Back in the ring Hernandez almost kills Mark with a modified powerbomb, and Homicide follows up with a top-rope elbow drop for two. He then locks on the STF and Mark reaches the ropes. Meanwhile Hernandez has Jay locked in a bear hug. Mark hits a discuss clothesline on Homicide, sending him to the floor. The Briscoes try to double team Hernandez but Homicide pulls Mark to the floor. Mark recovers and they hit a double superplex on Hernandez. Everyone starts pulling out finishers now but the pins keep getting broken up. Homicide misses the diving headbutt and Jay hits the Jay Driller but Homicide kicks out. Thatâ€™s preposterous. Hernandez comes in and tries the Border Toss twice but Jay blocks it and hits a Death Valley Driver. That puts Hernandez in perfect position for the Briscoes to hit the Shooting Star Press/Guillotine Leg Drop combo, and they hit it perfectly to score the pin at 23:03. That was much better than I thought it would be, and the match really got good when the Briscoes went heel. They really nailed that finish too. Homicide cuts the usual grateful returning star promo to send the fans home happy.
We cut to the parking lot, where a camera helpfully sees Sweet & Sour Inc. ambush Brent Albright and beat the crap out of him. Sweeneyâ€™s cursing here actually doesnâ€™t bother me, as this is outside the confines of an ROH show (you know what I mean), so it makes sense that he would be more uncouth.
This show will of course be remembered as the last show at which Gabe Sapolsky was in charge. Unfortunately for him, it wasnâ€™t one of his best shows. The main event was certainly good, and the semi-main was the second best match. Nothing else even reached three stars. However, I like the semblance of new direction that was already becoming evident at the time of Gabeâ€™s dismissal. The main event is the only match that went over 15 minutes, and even if the matches werenâ€™t amazing the undercard had some good flow. Iâ€™m very curious to get to the next shows, but good bad or otherwise, Iâ€™ll miss Gabe.
Tags: Briscoe Brothers, lax, ROH