Big Andy Mac’s RoH Live Review: Manassas, VA 6-12-09

Ring of Honor makes its return to the Capital Region with a show in Manassas, VA that has nothing outstanding on paper. There aren’t any title matches, there aren’t really any people feuding fighting head to head, but there is the Nature Boy, and there are a whole bunch of talented wrestlers, so maybe something can be salvaged. Read on to find out if this show’s destiny is as a hidden classic or as another forgotten Friday…

There were a couple of short fun pre-show matches. Brandon Day beat a Ninja and Bobby Dempsey, Atsushi Sawada, Jon Kermon, and Bobby Dempsey beat Bobby Shields and the Set (who had on furry boots).

Opening Match: Colt Cabana, Grizzly Redwood, and The Necro Butcher vs. Claudio Castagnoli, Jimmy Rave, and “Dirty” Ernie Osiris with Prince Nana

This match was pretty much all comedy, all the time. Colt and his crew brought the humor and the Embassy were great playing their role being completely exasparated by it. At one point Colt removed his boots to match his tag team partners and gave some “sole food” to Ernie Osiris. I should also point out that Colt and Rave rolled over a wasp during a spot, Colt gave the fallen insect to Necro who promptly ate it, and grossed everyone in the ring and the venue out. Beyond the comedy the match was just a standard six man tag team match. It was fun, but nothing special. It got the crowd big into the show which is exactly what they were out to do. The crowd stayed pretty hot all night as well. Colt got the win for his team after a standing springboard moonsault and the Billy Goat’s Curse inverted Boston Crab. The match could have used more Jimmy Rave.

Winners: Colt Cabana, Grizzly Redwood, and the Necro Butcher via pinfall,**

Shawn Spears vs. Alex “Sugarfoot” Payne

This was a surprisingly even match as Sugarfoot probably got more offense in here than at any other point in his career. That does not bode well for Spears if he wants to make an impact. The match was ok if totally unremarkable, much like Shawn Spears. He won after with a running Death Valley Driver.

Winner: Shawn Spears, *

Ric Flair makes his entrances and talks a bit about how great the RoH fans are. He also talked about how few ladies were in the audience, and how much he likes to party. It also seemed like he may have started the party a little early, but it was unbelievably awesome to see Ric Flair in an RoH ring.

Kenny King with Rhett Titus vs. “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson

Now would be as good a time as any to mention that RoH is now using their license free music for all of the wrestlers. This is an excellent idea. While many wrestlers are associated with their popular music themes, you need to be consistent and really the themes aren’t any worse than any other wrestling themes done by license free music. The match itself was a lot of fun. There was a section in the crowd that for whatever reason marked out for snapmares. Dragon and King were the first of many to play into this bizarre fascination. The fans played along and cheered for Dragon’s version of the move and booed Kenny Kings. Fan interaction like that is one of the things that make going to an indy show truly awesome. It doesn’t help the DVD sale any but it is fun to see. Rhett Titus also got involved in the match singing his theme song to distract Danielson. Rhett has his character stuff down better than almost anyone. The distraction was for naught as Dragon got the win after a small package. This was an excellent match and King is really coming into his own.

Winner: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson via pinfall, ***1/2

Kevin Steen and El Generico vs. The Young Bucks of Matt and Nick Jackson

Steen starts te match off by mistakenly referring to the Young Bucks as Matt and Jeff. Hilarious. I have to say, this is my first time seeing the Young Bucks in action in any way. I had heard they were pretty great and know they have a decent following. But man, these guys are awesome. They are fast, crisp, and fluid. They may be a bit spotty, but those spots are awesome. The match was just two teams at the top of their game going after each other. I feel like I should write more about this match, but it was just a great match. This was easily the match of the night. Steenerico took the win after the package piledriver/brainbuster combo. The Young Bucks got a standing ovation and the requisite “Please come back!” chants afterwards.

Winners: Kevin Steen and El Generico via pinfall, ****

Intermission, at the end of intermission Bobby Cruise made fun of a fan for wearing a TNA shirt, he gave him a Ring of Honor shirt for his troubles.

Nigel McGuinness, now sporting a shaved head, came out to address the fans. He gave a series of backanded compliments to all of the other championship contenders, but was interrupted by A-Double himself, who is fast becoming one of my favorite things in wrestling. He talked about how awesome he was and the said he had an insurance policy for his four way match in the form of D-Lo Brown. Brown came out, then so did the rest of the competitors which led to…

Four Corner Survival Match: Austin Aries vs. D-Lo Brown vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong

Not surprisingly this match is three against one for most of the early goings. Roderick does a great job of holding his own. Aries was great as the cowardly heel puppet master too. The tenuous alliance breaks down, though. How, you ask? If you said: someone had the unmitigated gall to go for a pinfall, you are absolutely right. Aries even turned on D-Lo after crotching him on the top rope while he was going for the frog splash. Roderick Strong actually steals the win after a sick kick and the Stronghold on Austin Aries. D-Lo gets a great reaction from the fans after the match. This was fun yet unremarkable, but I would love for it to lead to bigger and better things from Roderick.

Winner: Roderick Strong via submission, ***

Jimmy Jacobs vs. Sonjay Dutt

Sonjay Dutt thrusts his pelvis too much. Jimmy Jacobs looked more like a shore whore from New Jersey than his usual tortured soul. This match was just kind of there. It was alright, but wholely unneccesary and didn’t benefit either guy. Jacobs got the win after the End Time. Jacobs is really directionless right now. He was so much better when the Age of the Fall was in full swing as his little cult of personality.

Winner: Jimmy Jacobs via submission, **

Grudge Match: Davey Richards with Shane Hagadorn vs. Jay Briscoe

This match was very very stiff. Davey Richards threw a whole lot of spin kicks to the gut. Jay was his usual violent self. This match was good and the crowd ate it up, but for whatever reason didn’t really click for me. There was nothing technically wrong with it. In fact it was a pretty damn good match. There was just something undefinable that it wasn’t exceptionally enjoyable to me. Your mileage will almost certainly vary though. They had some great exchanges and built a simple story around wanting to beat each other up: Davey because he is just a jerk, and Jay to get revenge for Mark who was conspicuous by his absence. Jay eventually got the win after reversing a Flair pin into a sunset flip. Like I said, this was a good match, but did not “click” with me.

Winner: Jay Briscoe via pinfall, ***

Main Event Non-Title Match: RoH Champion Jerry Lynn vs. Tyler Black

Normally when the champ is in a non-title match with a top challenger, especially a plucky babyface one, the result is a foregone conclusion. The result of this match was pretty well expected, but they were able to suspend disbelief throughout the whole affair. They also traded a whole ton of snap mares to please that one section of the crowd. Black even teased a Super Snap Mare. Lynn was significantly more over in this match than his last appearance on RoH on HDNet. Blak got the win in surprising fashion after the turnbuckle Power Bomb and a super kick. I really did not think that was going to put Lynn down. The Champ lay on the mat for a few minutes afterwards and the refs came out to make sure he was ok. He got on the mic and put over the RoH fans and told them to keep supporting RoH. Aries also appeared on the ramp and applauded Lynn in a very sarcastic fashion. I would be shocked to see the champ lose twice in one weekend, so Aries will most likely not be getting the title tonight. This was a very good match, and probably my second favorite of the night.

Winner: Tyler Black via pinfall, ***1/2

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy Final Thoughts: This was a fun show. One of the best times I have had at RoH in my past few visits, but I have a feeling that this show will also be instantly forgettable. The live experience was awesome, but I am not sure if that will translate to the DVD. Steenerico vs. the Young Bucks, the main event, and Dragon vs. King are all really good matches, but I don’t know if that is enough to put this DVD in your collection when it comes out. If you have the means, though, I do highly recommend trying to get to an RoH show live as they are all memorable experiences.

I’ll see you next time…

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