Wiswell already covered the storylines for the weekend’s shows, so I’ll instead cover what to expect from the matches. We’ll start with Manassass, VA as a warmup to the big show Manhattan Mayhem III from NYC.
Friday in Virginia
Non-Title: Jerry Lynn Vs. Tyler Black
This is pretty clearly an excuse for Tyler to get a win over Lynn. I’d also guess this is something of a final tryout for Tyler as he’ll either win the belt at the next TV taping, or Aries will in NYC. I’m betting Tyler has a suitably impressive performance and wins the title next week, though that certainly makes this match a formality.
Kevin Steen & El Generico Vs. The Young Bucks
The Young Bucks are PWG regulars who are branching out. They’re indy darlings because regular Dragon Gate work has turned them into one of the better teams in the states. Steen and Generico can take a loss here to build the Bucks with the ROH audience, but its not likely. This should be match of the night.
Austin Aries Vs. Roderick Strong Vs. D-Lo Brown Vs. Eddie Edwards
If they just took D-Lo out of this one I’d be so much happier. I’m expecting some fun spots and interactions from Aries, Roderick and Edwards, but D-Lo just doesn’t seem to fit.
Davey Richards Vs. Jay Briscoe
Jay is on a roll in singles and Davey has become a surefire star. This is a potential show stealer, though it might not get the time to really shine.
Bryan Danielson Vs. Kenny King
This is always a good match and should be one here, as well. King reminds me of a young RVD still and their previous match is a hdiden gem.
Jimmy Jacobs Vs. Sonjay Dutt
Sonjay really feels like Matt Cross to me and nothing has really changed my mind about that, so I’m not excited. The switch to more traditional booking has hurt Jacobs more than anyone, as his unique character really stood out. Now he’s still at the top of the card, but lost what made him so special.
Jimmy Rave, Claudio Castagnoli & Ernie Osiris Vs. The Necro Butcher, Colt Cabana & Grizzly Redwood
Filler, pure and simple.
Worth it: The tag match will be awesome, but that probably won’t carry the show. A lot depends on how much time the Danielson match and the Davey match get. If they go long, the show will rule… with current booking, however, I don’t expect it.
Saturday in New York City
ROH World Title Match: Jerry Lynn ( c ) Vs. Austin Aries
I want this to be the title change; Aries has to have more serious matches as champion, but he won’t get the belt here. It surely seems earmarked for Tyler and new ROH has been nothing if not predictable with the booking. I’d expect the NYC crowd to turn Aries face and Jerry heel here, which should carry two vets to another level. Besides a Roderick rematch, this is the Lynn match that should be best.
ROH World Tag Team Title Submissions Match: The American Wolves w/ Shane Hagadorn ( c ) Vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
I don’t like submission matches with teams- they jsut become break up the submission filled beyond belief and will slow down too fast-paced teams. These guys are too good for the match to actually be bad, but a normal match would be better than the gimmick, which defeats the purpose.
First Blood Match: Jimmy Jacobs Vs. Tyler Black
First blood is just as bad as submission tags. Tyler has shown no inclination to have the intensity needed to pull this off, another reason he shouldn’t be champion. A return to Whitmer feud era Jacobs in the ring would carry this, but with Jacobs being cowardly, I just don’t see it.
Bryan Danielson Vs. Colt Cabana Vs. Claudio Castagnoli Vs. D-Lo Brown
This is comedy filler that’s again far better without D-Lo. Still, the extra comedy here as compared to the night before should keep it fun.
Jimmy Rave w/ Prince Nana Vs. The Necro Butcher
Rave is hatable as can be, while Necro is as over as can be in NYC. This will be an awesome brawl and awesome beating that can make the crowd happy with any result (so Rave should win since Necro won’t be hurt, but we’ll see).
Jay Briscoe Vs. Guido Maritato
The return of Little Guido to where he had his best match (a tag with the FBI against Tajiri and Whipwreck from ECW). Given that and that he is now cut free for his biggest audience since WWE, expect a very good, if short match.
Roderick Strong Vs. Sonjay Dutt
Roderick vs. Fliers is good and since Sonjay is being showcased, this will get time. So long as Roderick goes over, I want him to be champ, but that’s a subject for a later blog, this will be satisfying. It should be really good either way if Roddy just follows his usual flier formula.
Rhett Titus & Kenny King Vs. The Young Bucks
Titus and King are really coming together, even if it is mostly because King is a budding star, but with the Young Bucks, they face the best new team on the indies. This should open and keep the crowd hot for the night.
Worth it: The Manhattan Mayhem tag gives this a lot to live up to, but the card just doesn’t seem like it can. The booking lately has actually felt a lot early 2004 (pre-Reborn era), where it’s a company finding its way and coming together with one great, but not quite blowaway match per card and everyone else figuring out their roles as they go. It makes for fun cards, but those you can usually skip besides the main event. Doesn’t matter, I suppose, I’ll be there with coverage anyway- the girlfriend really wanted to go. Hope the company and the show live up to their legacy!