DVD Review: ROH Eliminating the Competition – 2.27.09

Video Wire

Make sure you watch the February 10, 2009, February 17, 2009 Video Wires before watching this show. It covers the entire goings on leading up to this show, and it’s totally free.

Danbury, CT

ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness is backstage sans belt. He mocks his opponents for tonight, and promises to retain the title. I understand the “Geritol” for Lynn, since that is a knock on him being old, but why “Tylenol” for Black? Is he saying that Tyler Black relieves minor aches and pains? That’s not really a bad thing.

MATCH #1: Papadon vs. Bobby Fish

I love “All Along the Watchtower” as much as anyone, but it’s not very good entrance music. They start it off with some chain wrestling, and I don’t think the crowd is particularly familiar with either of them. Prazak and Leonard talk about the first round of TV tapings that are taking place on the successive days after this show, making this the first stand-alone DVD since July of 2006. Fish uses his power and agility, and Papadon cheats. The crowd picks up on this and acts accordingly. They do some stuff and some more stuff, and Fish hits a leaping knee strike to get the pin at 8:40. Yawn.
Rating: *

MATCH #2: Kenny King & Rhett Titus vs. Erick Stevens & Bobby Dempsey

The crowd is way into Dempsey. King and Titus attack their opponents before the bell but the good guys quickly turn the tables. We settle down and wind up with Stevens and King starting the match proper. Stevens overpowers King and grinds away with a headlock. King breaks it and knocks Stevens down with a shoulderblock, and stays move for move with the big man. He avoids a clothesline by rolling to the floor and the crowd appreciates him. Back in the ring Stevens hits a tilt-a-whirl slam for two, and then tags in Dempsey. You know, Dempsey’s been training for over three years and he still stinks. I mean he just looks clueless in there. Titus tags in and he gains control of Dempsey with a headlock. Dempsey escapes that and hits some elbows. King tags in and he isn’t sweating Dempsey. This is just all back and forth; no one has really gained control for a long period of time. King and Titus double team Stevens and isolate him in their corner for a little bit. Stevens makes the comeback and makes the hot tag to Dempsey. Titus tries to prove that the thrust is a must, but Dempsey disagrees and throws him around. Stevens comes back and in gets double teamed some more but the YRR can’t quite put him away. The match breaks down into a brawl, and Stevens tries the Doctor Bomb on King. Ever resourceful, King reverses it to a cradle and uses the ropes for extra leverage to get the pin at 12:26. Titus is coming along and King looks like he’s close to being ready for a big push. The match was decent, and would have been a lot better if Strong or Albright was Stevens’ partner.
Rating: **¼

Backstage, Tyler Black says he wants to be the World Champion, but his first goal for tonight is actually to eliminate Jimmy Jacobs.

MATCH #3: Brent Albright vs. Claudio Castagnoli

They show clips from their match at Motor City Madness, which Claudio won by disqualification. They do some back and forth wrestling early on, and Albright monkey flips Claudio to the floor. Albright follows him out with a slingshot dive. Back in the ring Claudio regains control and tries a monkey flip of his own, but Albright blocks it. Claudio cuts him off with a hot shot. He remains in control, wearing Albright down. The battle spills to the floor, where Claudio throws Albright into the guardrail. Back in the ring Albright tries to fight back, but Claudio thwarts his attempts. Albright finally comes back with a neckbreaker for a two-count. Claudio responds by aggressively backing Albright into the corner, and Albright counters that with a powerslam for two. Albright hits the Air Raid Crash and then goes to the top rope. He misses a cross body block and Claudio hits a catapult into the turnbuckle and a bicycle kick to the back of the head. Albright blocks the Riccola Bomb and tries the Half Nelson Suplex, but Claudio blocks that and hits the Alpamare Water Slide for two. Claudio tries the Springboard European Uppercut but Albright counters with a Crowbar. That gets reversed but Albright counters again with a release German Suplex and then launches snot rockets. Albright puts on the Crowbar, and then turns it into the Crossface. Claudio rolls that over and pins Albright, but taps out at the same time for a draw at 14:02. That was a decent match but the finish was super contrived. Albright wants five more minutes, but that never works.
Rating: **½

MATCH #4: Sweet & Sour Inc. (Chris Hero & Eddie Edwards) vs. Kevin Steen & Jay Briscoe

The show clips from Final Battle 2008, when the American Wolves attacked Jay & Mark Briscoe and injured Mark’s knee. Steen and Jay hit the ring immediately and send the Sweet & Sour duo reeling to the floor. The good guys aren’t going to let them rest, so they follow them out and throw them into the barricades. Back in the ring Steen and Jay work together, although a bit hesitantly. Even with their trepidation, the good guys are able to pretty handily control Hero and Edwards. Finally Edwards boots a charging Jay in the face, and he and Hero take control now. They work Jay over on the floor, while the referee restrains Steen. Jay makes a quick comeback and tags Steen, who hits the Cannonball on Edwards for two. Sweet & Sour uses some shady tactics to take control on Steen now. Hero goes after Steen’s knee, which he’s had surgery on before. Steen takes several minutes of abuse to the knee before he powerbombs Edwards and then makes the tag. Hero was tagged in as well, but it’s all Jay. Sweet & Sour double team Jay but can’t put him away. They try a Doomsday Device but Jay avoids it and Victory Rolls Hero for a two-count. They go to the floor, and Hero tries to hold Jay for a dive by Edwards, but Jay moves out of the way and Edwards nails Hero. Steen follows them out with a somersault over the top rope, wiping them both out. Hero and Jay get back in the ring and Jay goes for the Jay Driller, but it’s blocked. Jay hits a Superkick instead, and then sets up for the Doomsday Device but Steen can’t climb up there with his injured knee. Mark Briscoe comes out to lambaste Steen. Meanwhile, Hero gets off Jay’s shoulders, and Sara Del Rey gives Hero his loaded elbow pad. Jay avoids it and tries the Jay Driller again but Hero avoids it. Another series of reversals leads to Jay and Steen hitting the Doomsday Device to get the win at 19:12. That was a really fun tag team match, but the finish would have made more sense if Steen and Jay lost because Steen couldn’t do the maneuver, not thinking he couldn’t do it, and then doing it.
Rating: ***

Kyle Durden is backstage with Sami Callihan, who cuts a generic Indy Guy promo. He yells a lot and spits. I’m not sold.

Ring of Homicide 2 Trailer

Back in October, Homicide returned for a double shot with his TNA tag team partner Hernandez. This show features LAX vs. The Briscoes, Jerry Lynn vs. Tyler Black, Brent Albright vs. Chris Hero, and much more. Check out my review.

MATCH #5: Bryan Danielson vs. Delirious

These two had a pretty memorable program during Danielson’s title reign in 2006. Delirious is of course accompanied by Jimmy Jacobs. They start off cautiously, and Danielson takes it to the mat as quickly as possible. Danielson targets the wrist, and Delirious takes a minute to regroup on the floor. He continues to dominate until the match spills to the floor, where Jacobs helps Delirious gain the advantage. Back in the ring Delirious works Danielson over for several minutes. Danielson comes back with some of his usual stuff. Neither guy seems particularly inspired tonight. Delirious comes back with two Panic Attacks but can’t get the pin because Danielson is under the ropes. Jacobs instructs him to go up for Shadows over Hell, but Danielson avoids it and moments later has Cattle Mutilation locked on. Delirious counters with the Cobra Stretch, but Danielson powers up and Delirious tries the Cobra Clutch Suplex. Danielson lands on his feet, and ties Delirious up in a small package to get the pin at 15:51. That was technically sound but totally uninspired. After the match Jacobs berates Delirious, and it appears as though Delirious has finally had enough. Jacobs takes the high road and makes nice with Delirious, and they hug it out.
Rating: **¾

Jacobs makes it backstage awfully quickly in order to cut his promo about the main event tonight. He really outshines everyone in this company when it comes to promos.

MATCH #6: Austin Aries vs. Sami Callihan

Aries cuts a promo cutting down the crowd, and calling this a “B show.” He also insults his opponent, and I can’t really blame him for any of it. I know people think this stuff is funny, but that’s exactly the problem: he’s trying to be too entertaining to be taken seriously as a heel. They take it to the mat, trading holds and such. Callihan challenges Aries to wrestle him amateur style, and Aries is forced to go to the ropes and he’s not happy about it. Aries takes a brief powder, but Callihan herds him back to the ring and hits a dropkick for a one-count; Aries goes to the floor again. Callihan pulls Aries back to the ring by his ears, but Aries drops Callihan’s neck across the top rope. Aries tries to suplex Callihan to the floor, but can’t hit it. He does knock Callihan to the floor though, and follows him out with a double axe handle off the apron. Back in the ring Aries stays in control, using various heel tactics to subdue Callihan. Eventually Callihan comes back with a flurry of offense and both men are down. They get back to their feet and exchange blows. Callihan hits a belly-to-belly suplex for two. He hits a few more moves for a close near-fall. Todd Sinclair kicks Aries’s hand off the top rope for some reason, rather than breaking the hold like he should. What a dick. Callihan hits a Northern Lariat and a snap back suplex for two. Aries comes back and hits the shinbreaker/belly-to-back suplex combo. He follows with the dropkick in the corner, kick to the head, and the brainbuster to score the pin at 11:43. That was a little too long for what they accomplished. I really don’t see anything in Callihan.
Rating: **

Jerry Lynn cuts his usually weak promo backstage, promising to win the ROH World Title from Nigel. You think after 20 years in the business Lynn could cut a decent promo, but he kind of can’t.

MATCH #7: Anything Goes Street Fight – Necro Butcher vs. Brodie Lee

This is their third match in ROH: Necro won the first match at The French Connection by disqualification, and the second one at Motor City Madness 2009 ended in a double-countout. Also, Necro teamed with Jerry Lynn to beat Lee & Delirious at the Caged Collision pay-per-view. Obviously this one starts out with punches and kicks, and quickly spills to the floor. Chairs, guardrails, and tables are all fair game here. They get back to the ring and bring the plunder with them. Lee hits a nasty German Suplex into the barricade. He sets up two chairs and Necro sits down and invites Lee to do the same. Lee seemingly isn’t stupid though, as he kicks Necro in the face to knock him out of the chair instead. He continues to control the action, throwing Necro’s head into the guardrail and hitting a clothesline for two. He sets two chairs down and sets up for a Tiger Driver. A reversal series sees Lee hitting the Black Hole Slam on the chairs for two. Lee goes up top and Necro slams him down, landing on the chair. Necro hits a bulldog right onto the guardrail for two. The chair slam gets another two-count. Necro hits the big punch to the face and goes for the Tiger Driver. Jimmy Jacobs and Delirious run down and start beating on Necro. Daizee Haze follows to try and talk Delirious out of it, and he piefaces her down! Good for him. Jacobs tries to spear Necro but accidentally hits Delirious instead. Necro then dispatches of Jacobs and CLOBBERS Lee with a chair shot to get the win at 12:06. That was decent and all, but I didn’t get the feeling it was “monster versus monster,” but just “guy versus guy.”
Rating: **½

The French Connection Trailer

ROH debuted in Montreal back on November 7 of last year. The main event features Nigel McGuinness defending the ROH World Title against El Generico, Go Shiozaki, and Kevin Steen in a four-way elimination match; Bryan Danielson & Austin Aries vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black; Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards; and much more. Check out my full review right here, or check out Andy Mac’s review.

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Four Way Elimination Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Tyler Black vs. Jimmy Jacobs

Nigel has been the champion since 10.6.07, and this is his thirty-fifth defense. Each of his challengers tonight has gotten a title shot previously during this reign. (7:52)Jacobs and Black start the match, but Jacobs quickly tags out to Nigel before even making contact. Black then tags Lynn. Nigel tags Jacobs. Then Jacobs tags Black, and he and Lynn start the match proper. They trade some holds and then Nigel tags himself in for Black. The champion beats up Lynn for a while and then Jacobs comes in to battle the veteran. Lynn tries a bunch of pinfalls but can’t put Jacobs away. Black tags in for Lynn and Jacobs runs over to the corner to tag Nigel. They trade some holds and Nigel quickly tags Lynn back into the match. Nigel holds the ropes open as Lynn runs towards them, sending Lynn crashing to the floor. Nigel throws him into the guardrail, and tags himself into the match. The champion goes to work on Lynn’s arm. Lynn comes back with a powerbomb for two. The match breaks down to a brawl, and Lynn goes to suplex Nigel back into the ring, but Jacobs grabs Lynn’s foot and Nigel falls on top to get the pin and eliminate Lynn at 12:33. The crowd is actually unhappy. Poor sport Lynn hits the Air Raid Crash on Nigel, and then hits a slingshot dive over the ropes onto Jacobs. Meanwhile, Black hits the champion with a Frog Splash but Nigel kicks out at two. Jacobs gets back in the ring and takes Black down with a choke. The World Champion also takes his chance to abuse Black, hitting a lariat for two. Black comes back with a Pele Kick, but Nigel tags Jacobs, who drops elbows on Black’s back. Nigel and Jacobs try to double team Black, but he’s able to counter them. Black hits the springboard lariat on Nigel, and then hits the Paroxysm on Jacobs for two. Nigel and Black have an impressive reversals sequence that leads to Black hitting the Buckle Bomb. When he goes for the Superkick, Jacobs hits a Spear for a two-count on Black. Jacobs and Black start trading punches, while the champion recuperates on the floor. Black tries to suplex Jacobs back in the ring and Nigel tries the same thing Jacobs did, but this time Todd Sinclair notices and won’t count the pin. Jacobs and Nigel argue, and Black rolls up Jacobs for a two-count. Black charges at Nigel but gets hit with a forearm and the Tower of London to the floor. Jacobs dives through the ropes to wipe out Nigel, and then puts him in the ring and locks on the End Time. Sinclair pays no attention to that move, because Black is legal, not McGuinness, so he’s counting Black out. Black almost makes it back in the ring but Jacobs dropkicks him back down and Black is counted out at 22:30. Nigel grabs Jacobs and hits the Jawbreaker Lariat to eliminate Jacobs and retain the title at 23:04. I’m not sure why Nigel pinned Jacobs so quickly, but other than that it was a fun, although not particularly memorable main event. Black attacks Jacobs after the match and Delirious runs out to aid his leader.
Rating: ***¼

The Pulse:

This is a passable but totally forgettable show. Focus most certainly was on the TV tapings that took place on the two consecutive days after this show, and it definitely feels like an afterthought. The main event and the tag match are pretty fun, and nothing besides the opener sucks, so it’s not a bad show, just one no one will remember.

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