Big Andy Mac’s RoH DVD Review: The French Connection

No Gene Hackman as Popeye Doyle, but the show takes place in a part of Canada that typically speaks French so the title somewhat makes sense. This is also the first officially post Gabe, RoH show and it features the advent of the countout applying to all matches. That is enough introduction, despite my long absence due to coaching high school wrestling. Away we go.

The show starts with backstage interview Kyle Durden trying to get interviews from Nigel McGuinness and Erick Stevens, but he is not successful.

Opening Match: Eddie Edwards with Bobby Dempsey and Shane Hagadorn vs. Erick Stevens

I am glad that Eddie Edwards is getting a serious run in RoH, and I am a big Erick Stevens fan so my hopes are reasonably high for this match. Both of these guys are hard hitters, and that is pretty much what the match is all about. Both of these guys really need some character development. Stevens has great facial expressions, Edwards has great timing. Between the two of them, they could make one pretty awesome wrestler. It takes two awesome wrestlers to make an awesome match, though. This one as it stands was just OK. Stevens wins after a Doctor Bomb.

Winner: Erick Stevens via pinfall; **

Kyle Durden tries to interview Rhett Titus, and even Titus pretty much shoots him down.

Kenny Omega and Kenny King vs. Jay and Mark Briscoe

Omega comes out to a thunderous reaction from his Canadian country men, but is perplexed when his music is interrupted by Kenny King. Their teaming is not off to a good start. Everyone in this match is capable of some pretty impressive stuff. The match is pretty standard fare, fun, exciting, but not memorable. If anything this match is more of two simultaneous handicapped matches which makes for an interesting dynamic. It is no surprise that Kenny King bails on Kenny Omega. As impressive as Omega is, he is no match for the Briscoes who despite the best efforts of the Manitoba native put away Kenny Omega. Kenny King spends most of the short remainder of the match making fun of Kenny Omega with his new friend Rhett Titus. This match was more of an angle, but still not bad.

Winner: Jay and Mark Briscoe via pinfall; **

Omega again fails to interview someone. This time its Jerry Lynn.

Necro Butcher vs. Brodie Lee

Necro coming out to “Won’t Back Down” is just freaking awesome. Nigel joins the commentary team for this match and not since CM Punk has a wrestler gone into the RoH booth and added so much to the commentary. These guys punch each other a lot. Then they do some more punches. The a couple of other punches for good measure. This eventually ends in a shmozz DQ for the Necro Butcher. The Age of the Fall just kind of beat on the Necro Butcher for a while. These guys have a good thing building, but this match was not the best effort from either guy.

Winner: The Necro Butcher via disqualification; *1/2

Nigel McGuinnes then makes his way to the ring to confron the Necro Butcher who is his opponent the following night. Nigel runs down the crowd and refers to himself as “The best there is. The best there was, and the best there ever will be.” For some reason this angers the Canadian fans.

Delirious with Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jerry Lynn

This is my first time watching more evil Delirious. While he loses some of his appeal, the mean streak he displays is quite refreshing. This is a pretty standard match. It is fun, but there is absolutely nothing special about it. Nigel is on commentary again, and that is pretty awesome. Lynn wins with the cradle piledriver. Meh.

Winner: Jerry Lynn via pinfall; ** ( I am noticing something of a trend)

We are treated to a hype video of the last year on Pay per View, which, truth be told, is pretty damn solid.

Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards with Eddie Edwards and Shane Hagadorn

Davey comes out to Japanese style entrance music, which is cool…I guess. These both go after each other, but the match doesn’t quite have the hatred that you would expect. This more seems like a professional rivalry than the blood feud that it should be. The crowd is really eating this match up which makes it more fun. The best way I can describe this match, and you can take this as a compliment or insult, but in a lot of ways it seems like a match from like 03/04 RoH where the action was good, but it didn’t seem to mean a whole lot. The intensity does pick up at the end, but it is ruined by interference from Richards’ compatriots which leads to his victory. Still, thus far, this is easily the best match on the DVD.

Winner: Davey Richards via pinfall; ***1/2

After the match, Sweet and Sour go to work on Roderick Strong, but he he is saved by Erick Stevens.

Austin Aries and “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. The Age of the Fall of Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black

These guys are all awesome, and have awesome chemistry together, so hopes are extremely high for this match. Their previous encounter from Respect is Earned II is one of my favorite matches of 2008. The match is all about the slow build which is in stark contrast to the rest of the show. This is tag team formula at its…while not finest, but pretty awesome, nonetheless. Aries ends up getting the win for his team with a Last Chancery on Jimmy Jacobs. This is now the best match thus far on the DVD.

Winner: Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson via submission; ***3/4

After the match, Jacobs and Black have a lovers quarrel on the outside.

Prior to the main event we get a hype video showing all of the combatants in other competitions aginst one another.

Fatal Fourway World Title Elimination Match: Nigel McGuinness © vs. FIP Champion Go Shiozaki vs. RoH Tag Team Champion Kevin Steen vs. RoH Tag Team Champion El Generico

The hometown boys, Steen and Generico, are not surprisingly very over with the partisan crowd. In an interesting side note, these four men were in a match together at the Up for Grabs tag team title tournament just like the competitors in the previous match. The dynamic is interesting as Steen and Generico are of course partners, yet while they never wrestle each other neither do they spend a lot of time double teaming the other two. The first elimination takes a while, but eventually Nigel kicks El Generico’s leg out from underneath his leg allowing Go to hit the Go Flasher to oust the Generic Lucahdor. Does anyone else think that the Go Flasher sounds like the weapon Megaman would get if he defeated Go Shiozaki? Maybe it’s just me. In the time it took me to ponder that, Steen made short work of Go Shiozaki with the sharp shooter. It is down to Steen and Nigel who have had many great matches earlier in the year. This one is short and sweet though. Nigel tries to get the win by any means possible, but when the referee gets distracted Generio tries to win the match for Steen. It is no good and Steen gets struck down with the Jawbreaker Lariat. This was certainly a fun match.

Winner and still Champion: Nigel McGuinness; ***1/2

After the match Steen talks to the crowd about Ring of Honor, and how despite losing he and Generico are still the tag champs. He then tells Generico to thank the crowd for coming. Generico then says “Je suis un tapette.” Which roughly translates to “I’m a homosexual.” Oh that Kevin Steen!

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy Final Thoughts: My triumphant return to DVD review is not the best show RoH ever produced, but it is certainly a fun show. If this were one of the upcoming TV tapings that would be a damn good TV show. Nothing was blowaway, but nothing actively bad either. This show is somewhat of a curio/collector’s item for it being the first show under the new regime. You can decide how much that makes the show worth to you.

I’ll see you next time…

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