The Way Too Long Review of Ring of Honor: Glory By Honor VIII – The Final Countdown

Houseshows, Reviews, Shows, Wrestling DVDs

Alright, so everyone wanted me to change things up and try something outside of the WWE.  Thus, Ring of Honor.  Now to preface, I know NOTHING about the product.  I don’t follow the feuds, I don’t watch the show, I don’t even get HDnet.  That said, I’ve always believed that shows need to stand on their own.  So whatever comes of this review, it’s based entirely on the quality presented here, and not on any past performances or bias or whatever.  What you see is what you will get.  If this sounds like your kind of show, you can purchase it at the Ring of Honor store  for $20.  Right now it’s buy three DVD’s and get two for free.  Pretty sweet deal.

This is actually a two disc set.  Not sure what that’s about, but apparently there will be bonus features.  They’re not advertised on the case, so this will be a surprise for me.

Rating Reminder: Three Stars is 60% of the total possible score and thus a passing grade.

September 26, 2009 from New York, New York.  It was originally called New Angoulême but was changed in anticipation of Rudy Giuliani being elected hundreds of years later and being too dumb to pronounce it.  Now that’s foresight!

-Last night, it looked like Ring of Honor had a pretty good looking show was going down in its own right.  Sadly, living in Central Washington I doubt Ring of Honor would ever grace my neck of the woods with it’s presence, but $10 and my left pinky toe says they would draw more fans then TNA did when they came to Kennewick.  I heard it was fewer than 500 paid.  I wasn’t among them.  God knows I wouldn’t show up to watch that shit.

We’re in the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center.  At the entrance there’s a banner for Lords of Pain with a sign that says “You must be at least this retarded to enter.”

Match #1
Rhett Titus vs. Colt Cabana

Titus is so excited to make his entrance that he slips off the ramp.  Meanwhile, Colt Cabana looks like he’s just happy to not wrestle under the name Scotty Goldman.  I have this theory that the WWE made a list of one hundred of the most generic first names possible and a second list of the one hundred most generic last names possible, then drew out names at random.  “Okay, your name will be… Evan… Bourne.  Ha, good luck getting over with that kid.  NEXT!  Okay, your name is… Caylen… Croft.  Oh wow, talk about bad luck.  NEXT!”  Then “Next” caught on as a buzzword in Titan Towers and thus when the time came to create a show that contains 50% generic-named rookies, they decided to go with “WWE Next.”  Then someone told them that it wasn’t hip enough and thus they dropped the “E” because Textese is all the rage these days and thus WWE NXT was born.

Cabana cleans off Rhett’s filthy hands before offering up the handshake, and then slaps his ass.  Rhett throws the towel back at him and they brawl.  Shoot to the corner by Titus but Cabana springs over him and hits a monkey flip and a hiptoss, causing Rhett to bail to the ropes.  Lockup and we go to the corner where Rhett teases a clean break, then brawls Colt down.  Shoot to the corner but Colt catches him charging with a headscissors and kicks him off.  Double-leg takedown for two.  Colt threatens to stomp Rhett’s balls and the referee warns him against this.  So Cabana opts to slam his leg on the canvas instead.  Shoot to the corner is reversed and Rhett gets a nice dropkick for two.  Rake of the eyes, then a fan tells Titus that he sucks dick.  “So does your mom!” he yells back, drawing a nice laugh from the crowd, then a “You suck dick” chant.  To the corner where Rhett mounts some punches and then smacks his crotch in Colt’s face.  Man, under the right circumstance you could put someone’s eye out doing that.

He comes off the rope with an axe handle for two.  Cabana punches Rhett to the corner but eats Titus’ “Thrust Buster” which is basically a rocker dropper from behind.  It gets two.  Fans are decidedly behind Cabana as Rhett stalks Colt around the ring.  Kitchen sink kneelift by Rhett for two, and now a chinlock.  Cabana escapes and hits a sunset flip.  Kick to the gut and a bodyslam by Rhett, who climbs.  He goes for a sledge off the top but gets punched in the gut coming down.  Stinging jabs by Cabana and a Dusty Rhodes style elbow.  Kick to the knee and some karate stuff, then a butt splash in the corner.  Rhett tries a dropkick but Colt holds onto the ropes and it whiffs.  He slaps on his forward-facing Boston crab, called the Billy Goat’s Curse, and Rhett quickly surrenders.

*** Solid opener.  They cut a very good pace.  I was worried during the entrances that this would be little more then a comedy match, and instead it was just a really good meat and potatoes opener to get the crowd into the mood.  And shockingly Rhett is a pretty good talent.  I’m sure he’ll end up in the WWE sooner or later, complete with generic name.  “Let’s see, your name will be… Hank… Jones.  Hah!  NEXT!”

Match #2
Cheech & Cloudy vs. Jon Davis & Kory Chavis

Davis… I think… starts with one of the stoners.  I don’t know which is which.  Shoulderblocks by Davis, then the stoner flips out of a powerslam and hits a headscissors and an armdrag.  Davis shrugs off a dropkick attempt but misses an elbow and eats an armdrag into an armbar.  Tag to the shaggy looking stoner, and they hit a nice combo of a dropkick, a blockbuster, and another dropkick for two.  Tag to the headband-wearing stoner (the announcers really should say who is who) who hits a type of Lou Thesz Press.  Davis kicks him off into the corner, where Kory gets a shot in.  Stiff chop by Davis and a tag to Chavis who hits a nasty clothesline.  And finally, more then four minutes into the match, the announcer notes that Cheech is the guy with the headband that’s the face-in-peril right now while Cloudy is on the apron.  They still haven’t named the heels by name, but thankfully had a listing for them.

Tag to Davis who hits a pair of stiff scoopslams, then a slam into a backbreaker for two.  Tag to Chavis who hits a snapmare into a chinlock.  Cheech fights out and escapes getting press-slammed, falling into Cloudy for the hot tag.  Cloudy has a shot for Davis on the apron, then feather-dusters Chavis’ face.  This just pisses the heels off and they execute a Hart Attack style move for two.  Punch by Chavis and a tag to Davis.  Whip-splash in the corner and a Vegimatic for two, with Cheech saving.  He celebrates on the apron and gets clubbed for being such a douchebag.  Delayed suplex by Davis and a tag to Chavis and more clubbing blows.  Shoot-off and a back-elbow, then a knee drop for two.  Tag to Davis for some brawling and a spinebuster for two.  Stompery, including one to the hand while Cloudy reaches for the tag.  That’s heelish.  Straight punch and a tag to Davis, and they have some plan.  It’s a double-back suplex but Cloudy flips out of it and makes the hot tag.  Crossbody to both, then Chavis gets low-bridged out of the ring.  Chop block to Davis and a slingshot leg drop, then a tope to Chavis on the outside.

Cheech climbs and then cartwheels off the top to avoid getting dumped.  Kick to the gut and he loads up for a DDT, but Davis reverses and goes for a powerbomb.  Cheech clearly has gone to the Billy Kidman school of powerbomb reversal because he turns it into a facebuster.  Tornado DDT by Cloudy, then Chavis comes in and blocks a double-team move.  The Stoners get what they wanted anyway, a series of karate chops to the neck and an enziguri/superkick combo.  They go to do some double-team move, but Davis yanks Cloudy out of the ring.  Chavis charges but gets dumped, but Davis comes in and hits a huge shoulderblock.  Cloudy goes for a rana, but he gets caught and powerbombed, then lifted into a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo to give the Dark City Fight Club the win.

***3/4 Very nice tag match.  You stick close enough to the tag formula and it’s basically impossible to have a bad match.  The Fight Club have a very good “heels with power moves” tag team shtick going for them, and the Stoners were more then capable of bumping for them.  In a way I was reminded of the Russians/Express feud from back in the day, and in a good way.  Chavis and Davis were a bit gassed at the end and thus ending was a bit slow.

-Meanwhile, Kevin Steen and El Generico threaten to take the tag titles.

Match #3
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kenny Omega

I have to say, Ring of Honor has pretty decent production values as far as low-budget semi-independent territories go.  That said, they need new announcers for these DVDs.  That or they need to get them some caffeine.  It reminds me of the scene from Major League 2 where Harry Doyle gets plastered and his sidekick has to take over.
“Flyball. Caught.”  Thus, I propose that Ring of Honor increases its budget by $30 a show to supply these guys some Red Bull and assorted high-sugar products.  Failing that, they can just raid Jeff Hardy’s medicine cabinet.

Omega offers up the handshake, but Castagnoli smacks him with a glove instead.  Omega, who looks like someone shrunk Sycho Sid in the washing machine, pulls a glove out of his trunks and demands satisfaction himself.  Then he fires off an enziguri and boots Castagnoli out of the ring.  Baseball slide through the ring and Castagnoli has to regroup.  One of the announcers calls him “The Omega Man” and the other is miffed by that.  “You know, like the Nintendo game?”

Jesus Christ, guys.  The Omega Man is a movie starring Charlton Heston, based on the book I Am Legend.  They remade it with Will Smith and then fucked it all up.  If Matt Striker was sitting with you guys he would bury four and a half inches in your ass for botching that pop culture reference.  And as a Nintendo collector I’m at a loss for what game they’re confusing it with.  The closest I could figure is Low G Man by Taxan or Solar Jetman by Rare and both of which were shit.  The only game for any Nintendo system with the name “Omega” in it that I can remember is Astro Boy: Omega Factor for the Game Boy Advance, which nobody actually played despite its awesomeness.  The only game on the GBA more overlooked is Kim Possible 2.  That’s right, you heard me.  Kim fucking Possible 2.  Awesome game.  ****3/4.

Castagnoli catches Omega off the ropes and tosses him into the rail a couple times.  Back in, Castagnoli brawls Omega around and shoots him to the corner.  Omega flips out of something and goes for a rana, but that doesn’t work either.  Omega flips out of a powerbomb and blocks a clothesline but eats a shoulderblock.  Omega tries to catch Castagnoli coming off the ropes but gets caught and hit with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two.  Kicks in the gut take Omega to the corner, where Kenny fights back with some chops.  Castagnoli clotheslines him down, and then they end up in the corner again, where Omega fights him off and hits a crossbody.  Castagnoli rolls through it and turns it into a Samoan drop for two.  Light brawling by Castagnoli and a shoot-off, leading to a not-so-light clothesline for two.  Kiss-blowing elbow drop for two.  Omega bails to the corner where he gets choked with the boot.  Hiptoss off the ropes for two, and now into an armbar-facelock.

Omega tries to bail but Castagnoli holds onto his trunks.  He charges into a boot and Omega hits a weird leapfrog bulldog.  Dropkick to the knee, then a heel kick but Castagnoli won’t go down.  Norman Smiley like bodyslam, and then a moonsault by Omega for two.  Snap-rana by Omega and a sick-ass release-dragon suplex that sends Castagnoli out of the ring.  Corkscrew plancha on the outside, then a whip into the post.  Omega charges into a back-elbow, but then gets launched onto the apron where he fires off a diving moonsault.  Back in, crossbody gets two.  Omega goes for something but Castagnoli turns it into a spinning torture rack, which he calls the U.F.O. apparently.  He gets two from it, even though the fans dug it.  Castagnoli launches Omega up in the air and uppercuts him coming down, and then sets up the Ricola Bomb, but Omega turns it into a small package for two.  Castagnoli flings him for the pop-up uppercut again, then he tunes up the band for a bicycle kick.  Omega, who’s gimmick it would seem is that of a video game fan, moves his joystick from the down position into the right position and then hits hard punch, causing him to throw a fireball like he’s Ryu (only fags used Ken), then the sick-ass mother fucker fires off a Reverse Frankensteiner.  Omega loads up Castagnoli for his electric-chair suplex thingy, but Claudio yanks himself down using the referee and kicks Omega in the balls.  European uppercut finishes.  Weak finish.
***3/4 Another perfectly fine match that’s on the cusp of being special but doesn’t quite get there.  It makes me wonder if this is brilliant booking by Ring of Honor to build up to the main attractions OR if this the as good as it gets for the undercarders.  Thankfully I have more DVDs (Clash of the Contenders and AVR) to go through to find out.  This particular match was low on psychology but big on high spots.

-Meanwhile, the American Wolves threaten to keep the tag titles.

-In the ring, Bret Hart shows up, followed about nine seconds later by the left side of Bret Hart.  The fans thank Bret, and he thanks the fans and puts over the Ring of Honor wrestlers.  His favorite memory of wrestling in New York was against Owen at Wrestlemania X.  He claims Owen is up in heaven getting ready to pull a prank on him.  My inside source on the afterlife (hint, his name rhymes with Kokozuna) says that Owen already pulled a prank on Bret, involving a pothole and a bicycle.  Oh that rascal.  Bret lists off all the guys who have since croaked and puts over the Harts/Bulldogs feud.  Bret says that if had one dream left, it would be to wrestle in New York.  Assuming there is a city called New York, AZ then Bret’s wish will be fulfilled.

Match #4: Four Corner “Survival” Match (One fall)
Sonjay Dutt vs. Grizzly Redwood vs. Delirious vs. Roderick Strong

My train wreck sense is tingling.  Delirious tosses Sonjay into the rail on the outside while Redwood and Strong have a knuckle-lock sequence in the ring.  Redwood hits a rana off the ropes.  Shoot-off leads to Redwood hitting a bulldog for two.  Springboard-crossbody gets caught by Strong, who hits a backbreaker and then a toss into the corner.  Delirious in and he gets caught by Strong, but wiggles out and hits a flying forearm.  Headbutt and a swinging-neckbreaker gets two.  Shoot-off to Strong leads to him getting tripped up by Dutt, who comes in and gets taken down with mounted punches.  Clothesline in the corner by Delirious and a ten-punch, but he gets dropped on the turnbuckle.  Redwood in with a schoolboy to Dutt for one.  Low chops by Redwood, then he gets dropped on the apron.  Kneelift by Strong and they end up on the apron where Strong back-suplexes Redwood back into the ring.  Strong tries one on Delirious too but gets cut off by Redwood, who climbs and fires off a flying clothesline to both.  Dutt in with a flying knee to Grizz, then he runs around to mock Delirious.  Rake of the boot across the face, then some shoulderblocks.  He mocks the Bushwhackers, and then shoots Redwood to the corner.  Flying ass-splash and then the Jeff Jarrett strut.  Rake of the eyes and a kick to set up suplex, but Grizz gets a small package for two.  Dutt kicks Strong and Delirious away from the ring.

A trio of scoopslams to Redwood and Dutt climbs, but Strong is back in the ring with an enziguri on the ropes.  Delirious in too and they fire off a huge Tower of Doom spot.  Redwood fires off various punches.  Frankensteiner by Redwood sends Dutt to the corner for two.  Dutt misses a charge and gets dumped to the table at ringside.  Delirious tries to build up some steam but gets punched in the gut.  Redwood climbs for a sledge but it misses and Delirious gets a tilt-a-whirl slam on him.  Dropkick by Strong to Delirious and a clothesline and a forearm in the corner.  Delirious tries to fight back but he gets caught with another dropkick, causing some near falls.  Strong in to chop Sonjay Dutt’s nipple clean off into the cheap seats.  Dutt hits a superkick and a bulldog into the turnbuckle.  Springboard guillotine legdrop by Dutt to Strong.  He tries to hit a springboard something but Delirious catches it with a nasty headbutt coming down that looked like it broke his own neck.  Yeeeouch.  Tornado DDT by Redwood to Delirious, then Strong comes in and decides to just mix everything together.  He hits a gut-wrench into a Razor’s Edge into a three-quarter neckbreaker.  That was badass.  Dutt comes in with a crazy headscissor takedown and we have a four-way knockout.

Delirious is up first and fires off some forearms.  He dumps himself and Sonjay with a clothesline.  Strong misses a charge in the corner but still catches Redwood’s tornado DDT attempt.  He tries to throw Redwood feet-first to the floor, but Redwood catches his chin the ropes coming down.  Jesus fucking Christ.  I love this match.  Delirious comes in with a cobra-clutch suplex on Strong, then he follows it with a Cactus Jack knee smash.  He climbs but Dutt dumps him.  Strong is remarkably recovered from those two fairly devastating moves from earlier and we’re crossing into TNA levels of obnoxious no-selling here.  Strong loads up for a Samoan drop off the top rope, but Dutt turns it into a Super Asai DDT… for two as Delirious saves.  Yeesh.  Dutt gives him a jawbreaker and dumps him to the floor.  Dutt turns his attention away from Strong and eats a crazy exploding backbreaker.  Yukaza kick and Tiger Driver ’94 finishes for Strong.

**** I might have even gone a tick higher if not for the obnoxious no-selling by Strong towards the end of the match.  Otherwise, this was a vastly entertaining four-way.  In fact I think this is the highest I’ve ever rated a four-way.  They tend to be awful.  This one contained all the elements that make four-way matches suck, but instead of doing anything to resist it, these guys embraced it.  I expected a train wreck and I got one, but it was an entertaining train wreck, the kind that has a body count so high that CNN takes an extra day to forget about it before going back to covering the Tiger Woods sex stuff.  The illogical stuff was toned down in favor of an exhibition of high spots and chain sequences.  Best of all, every spot was hit cleanly and crisply.  Very entertaining, and major kudos to all four involved.

Match #5: Tag Team Championship, Ladder Match
(c) American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

This is officially billed as “Ladder War II” but I’m not sure what the significance of that is.  I have to give Ring of Honor credit for making me somewhat excited to see a ladder match.  It’s not that I hate ladder matches as a concept, I just hate what ladder matches have become: nothing but telegraphed spots a person who has never watched wrestling can see a mile away.  That said, I hate four-way matches too but they proved me wrong on that front.  Sadly, I’m not sure which of the American Wolves is which.  They both look similar and they’re both dressed in the same ring attire.  I figured I would know Davey Richards, who is from Othello, WA, roughly an hour from here, but apparently he never worked what limited local scene Washington has going for it.  Thankfully, Davey had the foresight to get a huge (and quite ugly) tattoo that I can hopefully use to pick him apart from his partner.  It’s ironic that the one guy in this match who doesn’t look like every single create-a-wrestler I ever made in No Mercy 64 is called “El Generico.”

To the match.  Big brawl to start.  This will be hard for me to follow.  We spill out of the ring for random brawling.  Steen gouges at Edwards’ eyes and bites at his nose, then threatens to “rip off his fucking face.”  How so?  Is he going to wait until Edwards’ face is fucking something and then rip it off, or by rip off does he mean copy his face and use it for himself while taking credit for it?  If so, too late, it would seem 50% of the ROH roster beat him to it.  Back into the ring, Edwards gets beat up by the faces.  I think they’re the faces.  Hard to tell with the Ring of Honor crowd that chants for everyone, including the referees.  Meanwhile, one of the announcers notes that “Ladder War isn’t just a fancy word for Ring of Honor’s ladder matches.”  He doesn’t elaborate on this for a bit, then notes that it’s not a “ladder MATCH, it’s a ladder WAR!”  Presumably the ladders are each handed rifles and are told to shoot ladders that are of different ethnicities… or perhaps different breeds all together.  Metal ladders going against hook ladders because the hooks sent the weaker rope ladders off into the gas chambers and did unethical experiments with them (though decades later some step ladders would deny this ever happened).  Maybe in the future such wars will be fought by cherry pickers or fire truck ladders.  Didn’t L. Ron Hubbard write about this?

Edwards is knocked to the canvas in the ring, and then the good guys (I guess) bail for some ladders.  Generico jabs Edwards with the ladder in the ring.  Richard comes in to try and get some offense in but he gets poked with a ladder and sandwiched in the corner with the ladder.  They then throw the ladder at him, and then clothesline Edwards with it.  Steen preps a ladder that is clearly too short to reach the belts and then climbs for the belts, and suddenly I remember why I hate the modern ladder match so very much.  Edwards, whose arm is busted from the previous night, fights Steen off and takes him to the corner.  Generico takes Edwards out of the ring and whips him into the rail while Steen fights off Richards in the ring.  Back suplex to Richards onto the ladder, and then Generico goes back to the short ladder to climb for the belts.  Even the dipshit announcers call him a ‘doofus’ for it.  I get that they’re building up to using the big ladder, but why bother?  It just makes all those involved look like they have a more then mild case of retardation.  The fans don’t buy it as a legitimate attempt to grab the belts and thus stay mouse-fart quiet.  Just a total lack of psychology and story crafting on display here.

Generico sends Edwards off the ropes for a drop-toe hold.  He holds it down so that Steen can slam a ladder onto him and then do a flipping leg drop.  That was nice.  Generico tosses Richards in the ring and then tips a ladder on him, but it looked like poopie.  They can cover that by saying that Richards got his hands up.  Shoot-off and the Wolves finally get some significant offense in by backdropping Generico on the midget ladder, breaking it.  The Wolves’ manager passes them some handcuff, which they use to cuff Steen’s hands behind his back.  Steen is pissed so he spits a white mist at them, which only serves to piss them off.  Oh wait, it was just spit.  Damn, I watch too much wrestling.  They prep a table in the corner, but Generico comes in and is a house of fire.  Crossbody to Edwards, and its clotheslines for all, and a dropkick to Edwards.  The Wolves fire off a superkick into a German suplex combo but their timing was a bit off and it looked not as cool as I’m guessing they were aiming for.  But hey, Generico went through a table so it’s somewhat cool, I guess.  Not really.

Generico is out of the ring and Steen’s arms are tied behind his back.  This would be the logically where the heels, who should be more interested in keeping their belts then being bullies, would fetch a bigger ladder and go for the win.  But this is a ladder match and we’re already proven that logic is about as welcome here as a black person inside a Mormon church.  So they go back to Steen, and again he spits at them.  Because that’s what you want to do with guys who have you handcuffed and can fuck your shit up.  So Richards wraps a chain around his foot and kicks Steen in the face with it a few times.  “It’s all about revenge!” says the announcer.  I can think of at least one better form of revenge: keeping the tag titles and sending Steen and El Generico back down the contender rankings, since the whole “We had to climb the ranks to get another title shot” bit was part of the hype video for this match.  They then choke Steen with the chain.  “This is a ladder.  War.” says the announcer.  Hey, then I have a crazy idea… let’s get some FUCKING LADDERS in this son of a bitch!

Steen fires off a headbutt and then blocks a couple weak looking charges by Richards with a kick, finished with a punt to the balls.  Richards is climbing for the belts, but Steen hits the step-up with a shoulderblock.  The ladder doesn’t tip over so he does another one.  Richards then falls off the ladder and gets hung up on the ropes in a spectacular visual.  Ha, as if.  He actually comes up well short of the ropes and then has to bunny hop to the ropes to hang himself up.  That was the biggest botch involving a rope since David Carradine.  Steen is bleeding while Generico comes in and fires off running boots to the Wolves, then bails to go after their manager to secure the key.  Oh come on, why would they even bring the fucking key?  Open the box with the handcuffs and then toss the fucking key out.  Maybe it would be a violation of the Code of Honor, but hell, nobody is really paying attention to that anyway tonight.  The manager, Shane Hagadorn, bails into the ring but still gets smacked down and Steen gets freed.  Here’s a thought: cuff one of the heels now and throw the key under the ring.  If it’s anything like a WWE ring, it has seven tables, three sledge hammers, four-hundred feet of black cable, eleven trash cans, and one or two Doinks under it.  That key would never be found.  Then again, it’s Ring of Honor so all that’s under there is sleeping bags for the talent to live in between shows.

Steen is kind of pissed that he was handcuffed and starts to stomp away.  That doesn’t last long before the babyfaces bail for some plunder.  They grab a couple tables and then celebrate the ball dropping in Times Square while prepping them.  Man, those running kicks by Generico must have been devastating.  We end up with a setup where the standing ladder is sandwiched between two tables.  But apparently that’s NOT what they were aiming for because Generico moves the ladder out of the way.  Why?  Because Steen had prepped a table on a ladder that is bridged between the apron and the guardrail.  Jesus fucking Christ.  It doesn’t help that Steen moves like he’s trying not to break a nail.  Generico tries to keep things from going totally comatose by throwing a chair at Edwards, but that doesn’t help that much.  Even the announcers sound like they’re bored.  It takes forever to prep this shit.  This match sucks.

Steen loads up Richards for a powerbomb over the ropes and through the table on the ladder on the outside.  He wiggles out of that but eats a Michinoku Driver from Generico.  Edwards charges but gets caught in a spinebuster type thing onto the ladder.  We get a couple replays of that while the babyfaces prep the heels on the tables.  The ladder is back into the center of the ring, but they take too much time (that’s an understatement) and Richards pushes the ladder over.  He climbs but Steen chairs his leg climbing.  Richards is okay and tornado DDTs Steen off the apron and through a hidden table on the outside.  Meanwhile, we get a camera angle that proves that the current ladder is also too short to reach the belts, which renders the entire previous sequence about as useful as trying to explain abstinence to Bristol Palin.  Either way, Generico and Richards climb and it ends with Generico hitting a murder-death-kill bomb off the ladder and through a table.  Cool spot that was hit crisp, but my heart is cold to it on the grounds that it took so fucking long to set up.

Edwards climbs and the fans chant for another one.  Generico instead loads up for a brainbuster off the top of the ladder and through a table.  Edwards backdrops him off the top and through the table instead.  Edwards falls off too, but that’s okay.  Again, a couple really neat spots but goddamn you guys have to figure out a way to set them up faster.  Steen is in the ring with a chair but Edwards superkicks it into his face.  Meanwhile, the manager puts the tall ladder in the ring.  Edwards preps it, but Generico comes in and does a flipping plancha over the brace of the ladder and to the outside, into Richards.  Steen comes in and chairs Edwards, then starts to climb.  Edwards pushes the ladder over and Steen crashes through the table/ladder bridge contraption.  He doesn’t quite hit it right and bounces off the mess of wood and metal in nasty fashion.  Damn yo, that had to hurt.  Edwards preps the ladder and starts to climb slowly.  Generico is in and rushes up the ladder, catching Edwards just as he gets a hand on the belt.  Thankfully a referee comes in to spot the ladder.  Edwards yanks Generico’s leg through the rungs, while Richards chairs him in the back.  Richards then comes up and grabs a belt for the win.  Fans are so happy they throw toilet paper in the ring.  Yea, I think the match was a bit shitty too.

* Really this match was all about four spots.  Those spots were nice, but getting to them was agony.  Practically nothing of note happened between the big ladder/table bumps, and thus we had one boring ass match.  On the bright side, the big spots were all hit either cleanly enough or violently enough to make them worth watching, which is why this match isn’t getting the DUD it actually deserved.  I know people are still impressed by guys falling off ladders.  I got my fair share of heat for DUDing the Christian/Shelton crapfest from TLC, but you can get to those spots and still put on a show in the middle.  If not, I have a possible solution.  Hear me out.

We’ll make a new type of ladder match.  We’ll call it a Contraption of Death Match.  Patent pending.  Here’s what you do.  You stack a shitload of tables, ladders, chairs, barbed, wire, chains, military-grade nerve gas, and whatever else you need for your overly elaborate spots.  You bring the participants out and you set a timer to five minutes.  The clock starts and everyone has to run around setting up their wacky bumps.  The fans can start to buzz as the wrestlers stack shit.  With this formula, you can come up with all sorts of stuff that you would NEVER have the time to set up in a ladder match.  Bring out allies and have them help you stack shit.  When the five minutes is up, the place will be the wet dream for every fan who loves to marvel at how gravity seems to work even in the middle of a wrestling ring.  Then the teams go at it.  All the shit is already prepped and then it’s just time to bring on the spots and there would be no-down time.  If you’re going to advertise guys falling through ladders with psychology being completely ignored, don’t pussy-foot around with it at the beginning of the match.  Just bring on the shit and save real ladder matches for guys who want to actually be wrestlers.

Patent pending, assholes.

So the summary of Ladder War II: boring as fuck, no psychology, too much downtime, but at least they didn’t fuck up the big spots.  I’m sure there will be plenty of crying foul, this time by loyal Ring of Honor fans and ladder match enthusiasts in general, to which I say: FUCK YOU!  Edge, Christian, Matt Hardy, and Jeff Hardy were able to put on a marvel of a match during a period when none of them were exactly good workers using the same gimmick and they didn’t have to pause for two or three minutes at different parts in the match to set up the next big move.  Of course, they didn’t use tables then either.  The truth is unless they adapt my method and/or somehow have all the tables pre-prepped, there’s no clean way to integrate tables into a ladder match.  But fans aren’t happy with just falling off ladders anymore.  They demand tables, the spoiled bastards.  We have the Dudley Boys to thank for that, which makes them the wrestling equivalent of the monkey that started the AIDS epidemic.  Thanks a ton you one-dimensional cunts.

Match #6
Chris Hero vs. Eddie Kingston

Billed as a “Grudge Match.”  What isn’t in wrestling these days?  The grudge match is a relic of the pre-cable era and the term really is due for retirement.  Kingston smacks around Hero to start, then catches him in a drop-toe hold and clubs him down.  Kingston catches a kick and hits a T-Bone suplex, leading to Hero bailing.  Hero rolls in the ring and then dropkicks him off the apron.  The mentally malnourished fans are already chanting “This is awesome” because, quite frankly, they are losers who desperately want to be part of the show.  TNA fans are the exact same way.  Just shut the fuck up, enjoy the match, and save the chants for stuff better then the opening feeling out process.  I’m embarrassed for you guys.

Hero bails and rams Kingston into the guardrail, then takes the padding off the floor.  Not sure why, as there’s plenty of spots around the ring that have no padding, but maybe that place is special.  Perhaps he sprinkled some sulfuric acid on the floor there.  He lays the floor mat on Kingston (ha, my theory might be true) and then jumps off the apron and onto him.  Kingston’s back is melting off and he’s slowly becoming the Toxic Crusader.  Hero knows better and prevents the guys in the back from drawing up Kingston a bath.  Okay, so none of the back melting, Toxie turning stuff was real.  Yet.  I’m sure Vince Russo will be all over it though.  Back in the ring, Hero fires off a couple elbows, and then stomps away.  Kingston fires off some peck-slaps, but Hero catches him with a roaring elbow for one.  Kingston swings away on his knees but Hero steps out of the way.  So Kingston gets off his knees and fires off a punch, but then falls on his ass.  Hero stomps him back down and then drops a senton for two.  Hero is so desperately trying to be like Chris Jericho circa 1998 that I feel like someone should give him a big hug and a pat on the back.

Kingston charges into a boot for two.  Another senton is caught in a waistlock, and I say ‘caught’ in a loose sense, but Hero elbows his way out of getting German suplexed and hits a waistlock takedown and a dropkick to the head.  The announcers note that Hero was Kingston’s trainer.  I’m picturing him putting in a tape of Chris Jericho’s highlights and saying “Do that.”  Which is exactly what WCW did with Sid Vicious in 1999.  Didn’t work then, wouldn’t work now.  Toe-kick by Hero sends Kingston to the ropes, where Hero dropkicks him again.  Stomps to the back of the head by Hero, then a club to the back.  They end up trading elbows, with Kingston’s being vicious looking.  This leads to what seemed like it would be a double-KO, but Hero is up first and chops away.  Kingston goes for the rolling elbow but Kingston spins around him and nearly kills Hero with a release German suplex.  Hero lands on his face doing the move.  Not that it helps this match.  It sucks.

Kingston chops away, but Hero hits another stiff elbow, then a clothesline over the ropes and to the floor.  To the outside where Kingston chops Hero across the rail, and then into the guardrail.  Hero is bleeding as he fires off a headbutt.  The announcer claims the headbutt split himself open.  Right.  Perhaps Hero has always had a big red spot on his face his whole life, like Mikhail Gorbachev, and nobody but me noticed until the very instance before the headbutt was fired.  After the ladder match that’s not the most illogical thing this show has had going for it.  Kingston bites at Hero, and then we roll back into the ring for some punching at the wound.  Big elbow by Hero, which is apparently his only comeback move, then some chopping.  Kingston fires off an uranage and a short-arm clothesline for two.  Fans are as bored as I am.  Hero fights off Kingston and hits a blockbuster for two.  He sets up for a running powerbomb, fights off Kingston’s attempts to block it, and hits it for two.  Headbutts from Hero, but Kingston hits a Northern Lights driver for two.  Dragon suplex gets two.  Hero fights back with an impressive chain wrestling sequence, capped off by a springboard snapping rana.  Ha, just kidding.  It was another elbow.  Gotta love the versatility.

Rolling elbow and then the DEATH BLOW~!!, which is really just another fucking elbow that looks no better or worse then the other twenty million he’s fired off this match.  It gets two.  Well no shit.  He’s used the elbow so many times this match that I almost thought Dusty Rhodes had gotten his stomach stapled.  Hero is pissed and starts to slap Kingston around.  Kingston chops away and hits an exploder suplex.  Hero no-sells this and hits a prolonged suplex.  Kingston no-sells Hero’s no-sell and hits a backdrop driver.  The announcers call it ‘Fighting Spirit’.  I call it two shitty indy guys that don’t have a clue how to put a match together.  It’s not as if the fans were going nuts during this whole sequence.  They clapped after it was over, but that was just to not be rude.  You see the same thing in elementary school productions across the country.  Oh, and now both guys are out.  Well Kingston isn’t really out.  He’s just sitting there, looking at Hero and huffing air.  I hate this match.  Instead of going for the cover, he crawls over and swipes Hero’s lucky elbow pad, which he uses to chop Hero’s manager down.  Apparently that’s his finisher.  Hero puts on a different pad and hits another fucking elbow, and this time it’s good for the pin.  Right, because getting hit by a padded elbow is going to be much worse then the five dozen that were solid bone shots earlier.

DUD I can’t think of one single redeeming thing about this match.  Horrible pace, no psychology, dead crowd, crappy structure.  Oh, and sorry to all you CZW fans out there (which is like 100 people tops), but Chris Hero is a horrible professional wrestler.  He doesn’t stay in the indies because he’s such a rebel or he’s too principled too work in the big leagues or whatever lame excuse.  It’s because he has no talent and nobody is going to waste their time even trying with him.  Bad indy guys like him are a dime-a-dozen.  In twelve years of wrestling he hasn’t honed his craft or done anything particularly remarkable, besides getting carried to the occasional good match by someone who actually belongs in the business.  He has a semi-clever gimmick.  Big deal.  So does everyone and their moms on the indy circuit.  Everything about him screams “wannabe” from the fact that he does the same lame variation of the same handful of moves every match in lieu of interesting storytelling to the way everything else was shamelessly ripped off from Chris Jericho, right down to the way he executes stuff and moves around the ring.  Of course, Jericho had been in the business for ten years when he was 30-years-old and had been a star in Japan, Mexico, WCW, and WWE.  At 30 himself, Chris Hero is a star nowhere, even with two more years experience then Jericho had at that stage.  If you want a prime example of a guy that’s all internet hype and has nothing to back it up, look no further.  And since I know Hero dislikes “complaining without offering solutions” then I have one for him: retire.

Kingston is harder to judge because Hero controlled the match.  He didn’t seem particularly bad or good, but just an average worker.  That’s fine you know.  Wrestling needs guys who can just go out there and move around.  I don’t expect everyone to be Shawn Michaels out there.  Though if Hero has to be a klepto, how about 1996 Shawn Michaels as your target instead of Chris Jericho back before he was a decent worker.  Anyway, horrible match, and this show has gone downhill.  Thankfully a quick peak at the lineup perks my spirits up.  Step aside, Chris, because workers have to save the show now.

-Austin Aries is out to hold his lottery to decide who gets a title shot.  The fans continue to prove their douchebaggery by chanting for the heelish Aries, because chanting for heels = rebellion or something like that.  Aries basically tells them to shut the fuck up and stop chanting, though he does so in a more polite fashion then I would.  My method would involve mustard gas and mini-guns.  He mocks how big of losers they are by noting that he basically gives them erections.  It’s funny because it’s true, but they don’t laugh because they don’t like being the joke themselves.  Once again, Ring of Honor fans, you are NOT part of the show.  You’re not the sixth man or whatever you think you are.  You’re people who paid money to watch guys pretend to fight each other.  ECW fans in the Bingo Hall were awful, bloodthirsty degenerates, but at least they had fucking TIMING!  They sure didn’t chant “This is awesome” for a match that hadn’t started yet.  Ring of Honor fans: proof positive we need strict breeding laws.

Aries gets ready to draw and asks for a drum roll.  The fans give it to him, so he mocks them some more for being sheep.  This is glorious.  The fans are like “Wait, we’re not in on that joke.  Not funny.”  Some faces are visibly hurt from his comment.  Here’s a small heads-up: they don’t just make fun of you retards in the ring.  The wrestlers mock you guys everywhere, but seldom to your faces because they don’t want to be held morally accountable when you realize your life is empty and commit suicide.  I know it’s not nice to let you guys in on that secret, but I’m trying to be a humanitarian here.  The only way you guys will ever stop being so proud of yourselves for your stupidity is to be told that it’s not charming.  Maybe then you’ll go on to be productive members of society instead of the brain-dead knuckle draggers you are today.  Then again if someone in the stands actually did kill themselves, I’ve got even odds that the fans either chant “Please Don’t Die” or “This is Awesome!”

Anyway, Aries draws and says that this should dispel rumors that he doesn’t include top talent in the lottery, because he’s facing the Best There Is, the Best There Was, and the Best There Ever Will Be…

He’s wrestling a DVD?  Whoa.  Oh no wait, he’s wrestling Bret Hart.  Or not.  Bret doesn’t show up.  I’m sure he took one look at this crowd and said “Fuck it, I’ll take my chances with McMahon again” before collecting his paycheck and asking them to lose his phone number.  Well, Bret’s not there, but another Canadian is.  Thus…

Match #7: Ring of Honor World Championship
(c) Austin Aries vs. Petey Williams

What is with the streamers?  What is this, a bullfight?  Anyway, Petey says that Bret isn’t a coward, but Aries is.  Oh wow, that’ll learn him.  Aries says that he wasn’t one of the 30 names in the hat.  He was actually 36th, “…which is about 500 spots higher then you were on the PWI 500.”  Okay, that’s it.  I’m taking up cutting.  We’re seriously bringing in the PWI 500 now?  For reals?  Here’s the problem with Ring of Honor and every other promotion that wants to be the next ECW: they’re too smart for their own good.  We get that your fans are educated towards the business, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep breaking the fourth wall down.  If wrestling fans weren’t so stupid they would realize what shameless pandering this practice is.  “Yes, you are so smart.  Here, we’ll prove it.  Here’s a PWI 500 joke!”  “Yea, I read the PWI 500!  They acknowledged that I read it!  They know what kind of stuff I read!  We’re special to them!”

Even Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart could bury their real-life hatchet in the ring without using endless winky-winky terms.  Ring of Honor has a real chance to build a new audience.  They have better distribution online then ECW could have ever dreamed of.  Just look at their website.  They put out more DVDs a year then the WWE does.  But if they keep up catering to this very niche audience, what they have now is what they’ll have until they inevitably fold.  They have all the tools to build an audience but lack the direction to do so.  Smaller promotions such as Ring of Honor are at their best when someone that follows the industry but not their particular promotion can jump in during any given show and not be lost.  But to truly build an audience you need even non-fans to be able to do that, and non-fans will hear the PWI jokes and decide they can never catch up.  I’ll elaborate more on this during my closing thoughts, but I just had to say something, because it’s kind of my thing.

Anyway, Aries is the thinking man’s wrestler so he wants to go think about his challenge.  But he’s a quick thinker and beats down Petey with the stick.  He accepts the, quote, “goddamn title match.”  Ugh, another thing I have to address, the fucking swearing.  I know I’m a cusser in these reviews and thus it would seem hypocritical to say that the wrestlers should cut this bullshit but I have to say that you guys cussing up a storm isn’t going to move the dicking meter one fucking bit, it’s just going to make you less accessible to new fans.  It’s true.  The same goes for TNA.  They ask the fans to not cuss in their chants and the fans simply can’t get why.  Perhaps it’s because, although it’s silly to make any form of language taboo, wrestling is not going to be changing our national standards.  There are a lot of people who like wrestling but don’t like cussing and they’re not likely to want to take their kids to your shows or buy your DVDs.  Hell, just censor the swearing for the DVD releases.  I know that means the average Kevin Steen match would be like a silent film, but it’s a small price to pay when you’re trying to grow an audience.  Some words aren’t bad.  Ass.  Hell.  Bitch.  Basically anything that can be said now at 8:00PM on Fox.  Guys screaming “mother fucker” in the middle of the match more often then they do actual wrestling moves is not going to win you a single fan anywhere.  Most people, even smart fans, mock you for it, because it comes across as desperate for attention.  Cut the shitty swearing and let the goddamn wrestling speak for it’s fucking self.

Okay, hopefully to the match now.  These guys are just giving me more material then I expected.  The bell rings at Aries’ request.  He disrobes and holds up the belt, which causes Williams to roll him up for two.  Aries bails and grabs the mic.  He has reconsidered and wants to bail.  The referee tells him to get in the ring, so he does.  Well that was nice of him.  Petey offers up the REQUIRED hand shake of honor, but Aries refuses.  Yea, there’s a gimmick that really means a lot.  Shoulderblock by Aries and a couple armdrags into an armbar.  Petey gets a headscissors out of this, which Aries struggles with.  Aries misses a dropkick and Petey drop-toe holds him onto the ropes and dropkicks his back for two.  Shoot-off and Petey hits a Russian-leg sweep for two.  Slam into the corner by Williams and a chop, but Aries reverses a whip and attempts to dump Petey.  Petey tries to turn this into a flip-over codebreaker but totally whiffs.  Aries, on the apron now, goes for a flip-over senton but Petey gets his knees up.  He goes for the Canadian Destroyer but Aries blocks that, then nearly gets caught in the Sharpshooter but that goes nowhere as well and Aries bails.

Aries gets distracted and jaws with a fan, leading to him eating a baseball slide.  Petey fakes a plancha and lands on the apron, but Aries saw it coming and chopblocks him.  Aries climbs and hits his huge double-sledge.  Aries better be careful with that move.  Ask the Macho Man what years of dropping the axehandle to the floor does to your knees.  Aries chokes Petey on the apron, and then fires off a sledge over the top and on the apron.  It gets two.  Corkscrew elbow gets two.  Crazy stump-puller variation by Aries, which he then leans back on for a two count.  Sick move.  Stomp by Aries and he wastes more time then I have putting this review together and Petey gets a leg sweep.  He goes for the Sharpshooter again but gets his eyes raked.  Kick to the gut by Aries and some punching.  Hard whip to the corner by Aries and some punching.  Fans aren’t really interested in this match, and that’s a shame because it’s pretty okay.  I guess if guys aren’t pausing for five minutes at a time to stack tables the fans couldn’t give a flying fuck.

Knee to the back gets two for Aries.  Stone Cold-style elbow off the second rope gets two.  And note to Chris Hero: see, you can borrow other people’s style for certain moves but not be a total klepto.  Punches in the corner by Aries and a shoot-off, but Petey reverses it and Aries wipes out sternum-first on the turnbuckle.  A double KO follows.  Petey fires off a combination of kicks and a jawbreaker, then a bulldog for two.  Meanwhile, Chris Hero is here to grace us with his presence on commentary.  Oh yea.  Aries kicks off Williams but gets loaded up for the Canadian Destroyer.  Aries backdrops him to the apron, but Williams sticks the landing and hits a codebreaker for two.  Ten punch by Petey in the corner while the fans chant something that totally escapes me.  Aries turns this into an atomic drop, a clothesline, and a swinging elbow for two.  I guess the fans are making fun of the referee with this chanting.  Wow, they really are as pathetic as I’ve been saying.  I feel bad for their families.  Aries threatens to steal the Canadian Destroyer but he gets taken down and put in the Sharpshooter.  Aries reaches for the ropes and so Petey uses a free hand to hold it back, but it causes him to lose his leverage.  Williams slings him Aries off the ropes and goes for the Sharpshooter again.  Aries tries to block and gets punched down.  Petey goes for the Canadian Destroyer again, but Aries blocks it with some shin breakers, which Petey almost turns into a sunset flip.  Aries rolls through it and slaps on a figure-four.  Petey kind of reverses this a bit too quickly for my taste but Aries makes the ropes.  Fans seem to hate hoo for some reason.  I must not possess the super-smarts ROH fans have because I didn’t see why.

Nasty neckbreaker by Aries across the ropes gets an annoying two.  Man the fans are pitiful.  They really should be lined up against a wall and smacked across the face with a shoe.  Bow-and-arrow type hold by Aries leads to Williams being loaded up for the big Brainbuster.  Petey almost turns this into the Canadian Destroyer but Aries gets a back suplex out of it.  Running dropkick in the corner and the Brainbuster by Aries… gets two.  And it turns out the Brainbuster was the WORST MOVE EVER~!! because after getting hit with it, Petey is fully recovered enough to fight off Aries in the corner and go for a sunset flip from there.  Aries counters it with a dropkick, but their match is hard to follow because the fans are more concerned with making fun of the referee, chanting “Let’s go Twinkies” at him.  Unbelievable.  I take back what I said about not driving these fans to suicide.  They’re clearly on the edge anyway.  Ring of Honor wrestlers, it’s your duty as human beings to let them know how useless they are so that they off themselves before they can breed.  Teenage suicide: DO IT!

Petey loads up the Canadian Destroyer and actually hits it… for two?  Alas, yes.  Aries got a hand on the rope.  And then the Destroyer becomes the WORST MOVE EVER~!! because Aries is fully recovered enough after it to immediately roll up Williams for two.  Oy, you can smell the stink of TNA wrestling all over this match.  It’s honestly wasn’t that bad to this point.  Williams decides to slap on the Sharpshooter.  Aries fights off of that and has the strength to send Williams out of the ring upon escaping.  Yeesh.  I guess getting dropped on your head isn’t as injury-inducing as it used to be.  No-hands suicida by Aries on the floor, and then a whip to the guardrail.  This almost leads to Williams getting counted out, with the fans chanting “Twinkies” at the referee after every count.  Yea, he’s fat.  Guess what nerds?  I bet he’s been laid before!  More then you guys ever will be.  Choke on that for a bit.  Aries preps Petey in the corner for a super Brainbuster.  The fans can’t be bothered to buzz for this because they’re still riding the referee.  Petey ends up hitting the Canadian Destroyer off the middle rope, and Aries has balls because he no-sells this enough to crawl his way out of the ring.  Fuck.  Honestly.  Then of course, the Super Canadian Destroyer, a move that’s even more devastating then a move that’s been built as the most devastating move in wrestling, has to be the WORST MOVE EVER~!! because it only takes Aries about thirty seconds to fully recover from it and fire off his Brainbuster on the floor.  Fuck me sideways and call Freda.  I am floored at how quickly this match shit all over itself.  Austin rolls back in the ring and wins via countout.

** Everything before the finish was more then solid.  And then it was decided that selling and psychology is for losers.  I can’t blame the guys for being a bit desperate.  The fans reached levels of obnoxiousness here that I’ve honestly never seen before in wrestling.  For real.  I would say the fans should all hang their heads in collective shame for absolutely ruining the match (it’s almost ALL on them) but clearly they have no shame.  I don’t either, and thus I’m going to pray to the dark god Cthulhu that all fans in attendance get cancer of the throat and fucking die in a wet diaper, unmourned and unloved by all.  I mean like today, not years from now.  Honestly, Ring of Honor, I bet that you guys make easy money playing to the New York City crowd, but if you want to show them you’re in charge, man up and don’t go back there for a couple years.  You’ll make your money elsewhere and the fans will have to go out and get lives and shit.  Anyway, what the wrestlers managed to give us here started off as fairly compelling with a good storyline and a solid workrate but it fell apart like a house of cards at the end.  Both guys can be solid workers, but this felt less like a Ring of Honor match and more like a TNA crapfest where selling is completely forsaken.  Solid match that I can’t in good consciousness give good marks to.

Here’s a thought: hire security and eject the fans that lead these chants.  You guys are still a place of business and buying a ticket doesn’t give anyone a right to disrupt your work.  Don’t fuck around with it either.  If they refuse to leave, beat their fucking asses.  Like Bill Maher had to say to the 9-11 Truthers that heckled him on Real Time on HBO, “You’re in the audience.  It comes from the Latin word ‘to listen’.”  If they can’t shut up, have the time keeper keep an eye out in the audience.  If someone leads one of these chants that has NOTHING to do with the match and they’re just trolling for attention, he points them out and you throw them the fuck out.  Can’t afford security guards?  Who cares?  You have a dressing room full of PROFESSIONAL WRESTLERS!  Grow some balls and start throwing some fuckers out!

Deep breath… Nigel/Danielson is coming.  Nigel/Danielson is coming.  Nigel/Danielson is coming.  Nigel/Danielson is coming.  Nigel/Danielson is coming.  Nigel/Danielson is coming.  Nigel/Danielson is coming.  Nigel/Danielson is coming.  Nigel/Danielson is coming.  Nigel/Danielson is coming.

-Oh hey, Jim Cornette is here to address the fans.  Oh god, let him put them in their place.  If anyone would do it, angry Jimbo would.  The fans chant “Fuck TNA” at him.  Cornette asks them to not become a mob.  Sadly, he’s not there to tell off the fans for ruining the World Title match.  Instead, he’s talking about his release from TNA.  “Sarah Palin is going to lap dance Barack Obama before I’m 100% behind Vince Russo.”  The fans chant “Fuck Vince Russo” while Cornette lays out his side of the story.  He then goes on to say he’s too principled to work for WWE or TNA and thus he wants to be in Ring of Honor.  He asks the fans a series of questions, among them “Would you like it if the creative direction to be let the fans get in the ring and wrestle?”  The fans cheer for this, despite the fact that it’s what the last two guys in the ring tried to do and you guys wouldn’t allow it.  He goes on and on and says nothing of note.  I wanted him to bust on the fans for their stupidity but I forget that Cornette is from Kentucky and thus being around a large group of people this ignorant likely makes him feel at home.  Austin Aries comes out to for more shooty comments and more cussing.  Jim Cornette, you claim to be a wrestling purest?  I call bullshit and I’ll leave it at that.  Anyway, Cornette basically double-dog dares him to stop rigging his lottery.  Then Aries goes into Cornette’s real life history with wrestling politics and AWWWUGH fuck shooty shit.  If I wanted it I would buy a fucking shoot DVD.  Which Ring of Honor happens to have a selection of oddly enough.

Disc One Bonus Feature: Ring of Honor’s Video Wire from 9/22/09.  Basically a hype video for this show.  The good special feature is saved for the second disc, which I’m moving onto now.

Match #8
Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)

This sounds good to me, but then again so did the title matches tonight.  I know practically nothing about Ring of Honor but what I’ve seen of the Briscoes is quite good.  Sadly, I’ve never watched enough to be able to tell them apart, and I’m guessing the announcers won’t be any good at helping with that.  Thankfully, one of them has shaved his head and thus that should help.  This is the first I’ve seen of the Young Bucks and they look remarkably alike as well.  Matches tights is Jim Dandy and everything but come on guys, if you look too much alike nobody will tell you apart and you’ll never get over.

Everyone actually shakes hands before the match.  I’m stunned.  I’m not so stunned that the announcers have their heads so far up their asses with their own bullshit they can’t be bothered to pay attention to the match for the opening few minutes.  Very professional, fellas.  Nick starts with Mark, I think.  Lockup and Mark gets a waistlock takedown.  Mark with a hard takedown but Nick bridges him for two.  Hammerlock by Nick, reversed by Mark who hooks in a camel clutch variation.  To their feet for a shoot-off, which Mark turns into a fireman’s carry.  Nick flips out of an armbar and hits a dropkick and an armdrag.  Tag to Matt who drops a sledge on to his arm.  Tag to Nick who goes for a double stomp on the arm but Mark yanks Matt into the path of it.  Pretty cool spot.  It goes over the heads of the fans, presumably because it doesn’t involve a table or any cussing in it.  Spinkick by Mark, and then a tag to Jay.  He chops away and hits a dropkick for two.  Scoopslam and a leg drop gets two, but a charge in the corner misses and the Bucks channel the Rockers by hitting a handspring into a dropkick on him.  Matt in now with a suplex for two.  Clubbing blows by Jay and a tag to Mark who punches away in the corner.  He loads up a suplex but Matt wiggles free and tags Nick.  Waistlock takedown and a suplex for two by Nick.  Tag to Matt and he slugs away at Mark in the corner.  Christ, these generic names are tough to keep up with.  Couldn’t these guys come up with some clever nicknames, like Fido or Pickle or something?

Matt turns his back on Mark and then turns back around just to get booted in the face.  Shoot to the corner by Matt but he charges into a flying back-elbow.  Tag to Jay, but Matt ducks a back-elbow as well and tags Nick.  Choppery by Jay in the corner and a hard whip to the corner, then some brawling.  Nick drives him into the corner and fires off some brawling stuff.  Tag to Nick he brawls some more.  Snapmare and a slingshot-senton for two.  Tag back to Matt for some punching, but this fires up Jay.  Matt sends him into Nick for a shoulderblock and tags out, but Jay clobbers Nick coming in with a clothesline, then boots Matt straight into the face.  Mark comes in and they armdrag Nick over the corner and to the floor, into his brother.  Awesome spot.  Huge distance by all involved too.  That was spectacular.  Nick comes in and gets doubled up on, leading to both guys hitting a running boot to opposite sides of his face, popping his head like a pimple on a Ring of Honor fan.  It gets two.  Mark in with a suplex for two, then a triangle choke.

Nick makes the ropes, so Jay tags in.  He takes out Matt on the apron while Mark knocks Nick down.  Double stomp by Jay to Nick, then a pancake suplex for two.  Nick tries to fight back but Jay cuts him off and drives him to their corner.  Mark tags in and fires off a suplex for two.  Corkscrew elbows by Mark and then he grinds his knee in Nick’s face.  Meanwhile, the announcers ask to name one guy who wore tassels in wrestling and was angry.  “The Ultimate Warrior?”  “He wasn’t angry, just weird.”  Oh yea?  Go up to the Warrior and say you think gays should get equal rights.  Meanwhile, Jay tags back in and a double shoulderblock to Nick follows.  Snapmare into a chinlock.  Nick fights out with some elbows and shoots off, but he runs into a kitchen-sink kneelift.  Jay charges into a boot, but he tags Mark.  Nick fights back with a pair of kicks and he tags Matt.  Stiff punch by Matt to Jay knocks him goofy.  Mark goes for a clothesline but Matt back flips to avoid it.  That was at least three variations of awesome.  He then counters a waistlock and fires off a German suplex for two.  Jay gets a clothesline to the back of Matt, but Nick comes in and kicks him off the apron.  Mark misses a clothesline on Matt and gets speared down.  Standing moonsault and a flipping senton off the ropes by the Bucks gets two.  Awesome sequence EXCEPT the spear seemed out of place.  These guys are cruiserweights and the move looks weak coming from them.  Let the big boys use it and stick with stuff that has a little more finesse.  That’s the beauty in being smaller; you get to use moves that look like they require half a brain to execute!

Matt loads up Mark for a tornado DDT, but they both fight off counters.  This ends with Matt hitting a beautiful Ace Crusher off the ropes for two.  Tag to Jay but the Briscoes lower their heads into kicks.  Nick tags in but charges into a spinebuster from Jay.  Jay is the whitest, smallest version of Faarooq I’ve ever seen, not that I’m complaining.  Military press into a Death Valley driver for two.  Briscoes load up the Doomsday Device but Nick turns it into a somewhat sloppy version of a reverse rana.  Nick seems to have tweaked his back doing the move.  Mark off the ropes with a dropkick to Nick, then Matt comes off the top with a dropkick to Mark.  Double superkicks by the Bucks, then followed by superkicks by the Briscoes leading to a four-way knockout.  Awesome lead in to that.  Mark charges and takes himself and Matt out with a Cactus clothesline.  Slingshot X-Factor by Nick, but he gets caught climbing by Mark.  Matt in to powerbomb Mark into Nick’s knees in the corner.  Yeeouch.

Nick takes out Jay on the floor while Matt fires off a diamond dust to Mark… for two?  Damn, I bought that as the finish.  Mark fights back with a nasty exploder suplex to Nick.  Mark ducks a clothesline from Matt and hits some karate stuff.  Tag to Jay who loads up a double-underhook, but Matt counters into a backbreaker.  He climbs and rolls through a drive off the top, only to get caught in Jay’s double-underhook piledriver… for two as Nick saves.  Nick gets dumped to the floor and the Briscoes load up for the Doomsday Device, but Nick stuck the landing on the floor and makes the save, setting up the More Bang For Your Buck, which is a rolling fireman’s carry into a 450 splash into a moonsault, and it gets the pin.

****1/2 Excellent tag match that saves the show after three straight underwhelming affairs.  Both these teams have the tools to be huge players in the big leagues at some point.  Unlike some matches where the workers run hot and cold when it comes to selling, here it felt more natural as the power stuff was mostly paced out, and thus they could avoid instances of worst-move-ever syndrome.  The pacing was spot-on throughout in fact, and the large variety of offense made up for the lack of fundamental psychology.  That said, most matches where neither team is clearly defined as being the heels are usually disasters.  Because of the smug New York crowd (which was fairly quiet throughout this match, presumably because they chanted themselves hoarse during the World Title match) you couldn’t tell which role was which and the announcers were about as helpful as always, which is to say not at all.  But that’s okay, because these teams were both good enough to dictate their own pace.  The Briscoes are clearly destined to be major players in the near future and a case could be made for them being the best tag team on the planet right now.  Meanwhile, the Young Bucks have a LOT going for them, and I was saddened to learn that they have since gone to TNA.  Hopefully being stuck there won’t pollute them like what’s happened to Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles, where any semblance of psychology is shunned in favor of trading one move for another and not selling anything ever.  Pray for them.  It’s like they’ve been abducted by the Taliban of Wrestling and the brain washing has begun.  Will there be anything left of them?

And now it’s time to say goodbye.

Match #9
Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson

So both guys were splitting for the greener pastures of the WWE at this point.  Then McGuinness failed his physical and the WWE passed on him.  TNA doesn’t bother with such silly stuff as health checkups or drug tests.  As long as you have a pulse, they’ll hire you, and there’s even an exception to that rule.  Reportedly it was a health issue and not drugs that caused Nigel’s WWE deal to fall through, but still, it’s pretty ominous that TNA would snatch him up so quickly, no questions asked.  More then a few fans have suggested that TNA secretly wants a wrestler to die under their employment, because every other attempt at getting mainstream attention has failed.  Nothing gets wrestling more attention like a fresh corpse.  Just look at the media circus that followed the deaths of Owen Hart, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit.  Personally, I don’t think TNA is that stupid.  They’re just desperate for talent, and so if a guy gets bounced from the WWE they don’t give a flying fuck what caused him to turn to rubber.  They just want him.  But, given the fact that the WWE does have tests and TNA doesn’t, TNA can expect a shit-storm of epic proportions if such an event occurs.  The WWE can point an accusing finger at TNA and claim with righteous indignation that they are the problem with wrestling.  What can TNA counter back with?  A bunch of retarded fans chanting “This is Awesome” or Dixie Carter pulling her “I’m just an innocent Texas girl caught up in this wacky wrestling world” shtick?  Or maybe TNA knows that if they had drug testing, half their roster would fail.  See No Evil, Hear No Evil: bad movie, a worse business policy.  Of course, TNA’s hirings did result in a flat-lining.  It was Impact’s ratings, but that still counts.

Anyway, as a heads up, I’ve never seen a match between these two and thus my rating won’t have some silly “They’ve had better matches” taint on it, like about a dozen e-mails told me it would when I announced this would be my next Way Too Long Review.  I’m a firm believer that matches stand on their own anyway, so I couldn’t care less what their past has been.  If they do callbacks to previous matches, I won’t know it, I won’t catch it.  This match will be judged on its own merits.  Hopefully the fans don’t fuck around and spend their time yelling at the referee.  They do start the match chanting something but they’re not harmonious and thus you can’t tell what it is.

Match starts and Nigel gets a full-nelson.  You can’t even concentrate on watching the match because the brain-dead fans are more concerned keeping an endless chant going with half the arena singing one thing and half the arena singing the other, so that not a second goes by where they’re not heard.  Oh sure, they can claim that they’re just supporting the wrestlers, but the obvious truth is they’re attention whores.  They couldn’t be any more transparent about it.  Anyway, the wrestlers trade snapmares and wristlocks.  Nigel takes his own wristlock and they’re both so clearly pandering to the fuckwits in the seats that I suddenly have less hope for this match now.  Fans clap for everything like they’re watching a dog show and their mom just got named best in show.  Danielson dropkicks Nigel and goes for something, but Nigel cartwheels out of it and then sucks in more clapping.  I think I’m going to cry.  I had hope for this match.

So we have a test of strength.  Danielson is down to his knees first.  He counters out and wraps Nigel up in a knucklelock, then grinds the back of Nigel’s skull.  Nasty looking wristlock by Danielson, and give the guy credit, he knows how to work a fucking hold.  Don’t worry, the WWE will beat that out of him.  He then steps down on it and forces a two count.  And now more pandering.  Big, obnoxious grins from both guys.  Lockup and Nigel ties up Danielson’s arm and drops a knee on it.  He then works the arm and ugh yikes this is tough to watch.  I seriously am winching from these angles.  This is like two demented wrestlers who watched Cirque du Soleil and a cartoon light bulb popped up in their heads.  Danielson escapes but Nigel kicks off a hold.  He celebrates and Danielson fires off a bitch-slap.  The fans take this as a cue to grab more attention and start a “You got bitch-slapped” chant.  I swear, they’re like little kids who bang their heads on a wall to get attention from their enabling parents.

So it’s only fitting that Danielson’s parental instinct kicks in and he panders to the titty-sucking fans some more.  He asks if he should do something with his fist.  Given the fact that this crowd likely masturbates to these guys’ matches, that’s a dangerous question to ask.  They’re just as likely to run down to the ring, pull their pants down, bend over, and say “yes, fist ME!”  Danielson pulls back Nigel’s nose and then beats him across the back of the head, then runs and kicks him for two.  McGuinness ends up grabbing a hammerlock, tying Bryan in the ropes and kicking the rope.  Knee across the face by Nigel.  Knucklelock by Nigel and then he fires off a suplex from it.  More pandering.  Jesus, just fucking wrestle guys.  This “match” sucks.

To the corner where Nigel chokes, then shoots Danielson to the corner.  He charges into a boot and Danielson gets a burst of energy, like he’s getting ready to make his big comeback.  Right, because all these devastating feeling-out moves would have anyone pooped.  Uppercuts by Bryan and a kitchen-sink kneelift, then a kick to the back for two.  Knucklelock and a shoot-off, but he lowers his head into a kick.  Nigel bounces off the ropes and eats a dropkick.  Suplex by Bryan, who climbs.  Flying headbutt, thankfully not at all in the style of Chris Benoit, gets two.  Good for Bryan to at least protect himself instead of catering to fans on that move.  To the corner for more uppercuts.  Shoot to the corner but he misses a charge and gets clubbed across the chest.

Up to the ropes where Nigel loads up a superplex but Danielson pushes off.  He goes for a dropkick but Nigel ends up blocking it in a pin attempt, which Danielson then turns into a triangle choke.  Nigel wiggles his way to the ropes.  They trade more then a half-dozen pin attempts, and now both guys are dizzy.  Danielson ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own, and now he’s back to pandering to the fans.  Running forearm in the corner and he loads up for a back-superplex.  Nigel knocks him off, but that only leads to him getting caught in a tree of woe.  Clubs and a baseball slide to the face by Danielson.  He then loads up for the back-superplex again and hits it this time for two.  Danielson goes for the Cattle Mutilation, but he can’t hold it, and McGuiness hits a version of his Tower of London three-quarters neckbreaker for two.  He tries one off the apron but Danielson dumps him into the crowd.  Oh poo.  I hate these spots.  Danielson wants to do a stage dive, but McGuinness holds a chick in the way.  So Danielson hits a flying knee off the apron and sends Nigel back into the seats.  And now he can do his springboard off the ring and into the seating.  Yea, I guess.

Danielson tries to climb over the guardrail and gets pushed off it and into the post, where he splits his head open.  Tower of London off the apron.  Sick bump sees Nigel pull Bryan into the ring post, unprotected, three times.  Yeesh.  Danielson is tapping an artery and nearly loses via count-out, but he breaks the count at 19.  Back in the ring finally, where Nigel hits some forearms.  Another Tower of London, this time off the corner and into the apron, gets two.  What’s the point in having finishing moves, I ask?  So now he hooks in his London Dungeon, but Danielson quickly makes the ropes.  Nigel sets up for a second rope clothesline but Danielson ducks and hits a dropkick for a double knockout.  Danielson charges into a boot to the face and Nigel goes for the Tower of London.  Right, because the first three were SO effective.  This is nothing more then a dolled up version of the crappy Chris Hero/Eddie Kingston abortion from earlier.  Danielson hits a dropkick, which sends Nigel into the ropes, but he explodes out with a clothesline from hell for two, then into his London Dungeon.  Does Nigel know any moves but his finisher?  Christ, what a wank fest.

Nigel bridges down on his move, but Danielson gets him in his elbow strike storm.  Nigel counters and starts doing it himself.  The fans hate hoo this.  Danielson starts to no-sell it and channels his inner-Hulk Hogan.  Clean break and both guys stare down.  Elbow strikes by Danielson, leading to McGuinness getting a rollup for two.  They bump heads, with McGuinness collapsing to the match.  Now it’s time to fire off headbutts.  Crazy stuff here and it ends with Danielson getting a small package for two.  There’s a small chance that McGuiness failed his physical with WWE as a result of this match.  Rolling elbow leads to another clothesline from hell from McGuinness, but it only gets two.  This leads to Danielson getting his Cattle Mutilation on.  McGuinness rolls through it for two.  Elbow-strike storm by Danielson gets two.  Trapping stomps by Danielson, then a triangle choke.  McGuinness turns it into pin attempt for two, but Danielson keeps it on and adds some elbows, causing the referee to call for the bell.

*1/2 Overrated, self-congratulatory dog shit.  I’m guessing the main problem was both guys were leaving and thus this was like a clip-show finale of their greatest moments, but as a match that stands on its own this was just garbage.  Stiff, at times cringe inducing, but still garbage.  This match had no psychology about it, no flow, no pace, no nothing.  Just a series of random moves with no rhyme or reason behind them.  I also hate any match where one of the wrestlers has nothing else going for them except to hit their quote unquote finishing move a half dozen times, because it’s easier then stringing together a series of moves that would in theory break down an opponent’s body to set them up for that finisher.  As a going away party, this would be like someone showing up with a loaded gun and threatening to start shooting bystanders at random if anyone had fun.  There was no soul here.  Just a total shitfest.  I’m very disappointed.  Hell, even going by the fans reactions you could tell about half-way through that they were like “What the fuck are they doing?  This sucks!”

After the match, the Ring of Honor dressing room empties to thank them for all the years of good work they gave to the company, which apparently ended sometime before this match.   The fans want a speech, and Nigel intended to give them one, but Danielson knocked him out and now he can’t remember it.  McGuinness gives a very heartfelt goodbye to the fans, still clearly in a lot of pain.  I wonder if he was thinking “Ah shit, when is my physical again?  God, I hope I don’t end up in TNA…”

Danielson gets the mic and the fans chant “Best in the World” at him.  He’s a humble man and says the more often then not, if you look at the matches over the past year, he says he rarely had the best match on any given card.  Some fans chant bullshit immediately.  Others take the time to think about it.  I haven’t seen any other shows but going off of tonight’s performance, I’m guessing it’s true.  He cuts off the fans and says they’re not looking at things objectively.  He puts over the American Wolves, Roderick Strong, and Austin Aries.  Cary Silkin, the owner of Ring of Honor, gets put over for pulling the company out of the rubble, which might be a dig at a certain pedophile.  He then puts over Nigel McGuinness as the best opponent he ever had.  He puts over referee Todd Sinclair, the victim of the fans hatred from earlier, calling him the best referee he’s ever worked with.  The fans have the balls to actually chant his name now.  You cocksuckers.  For real.  Drop dead, the whole lot of you.  Finally, he puts over the fans, who were awesome to him.  “Thanks for not ruining my match like you did the World Title match.”  He doesn’t actually say that but he should have.  In closing, he says that no matter where he goes or where he ends up, even if his name gets changed into something incredibly boring and generic sounding, keep supporting Ring of Honor.  A fan yells at him to punch John Cena in the ear, and he actually gets a kick out of it.  The fans chant that Cena is going to get his head caved in.  “Not if I can’t see him.”  Hilarious.  All in all, a nice send-off in front of a bunch of fans who didn’t deserve to witness it.


There’s actually a ton of them.

Sit-down Interviews with Nigel McGuiness: It runs over seventeen minutes and it’s a candid interview about his career.  You also get one from Bryan Danielson that runs about fourteen minutes.  Both are nice, laid back shoot interviews.  Just really nice additions to the DVD.  They really went all out for this set.

Les Thatcher Comments: It runs a little over a minute.  Les talks about how proud he is of both guys.

Eddie Kingston Pre-Match comments: Promotional piece to sell the DVD.  He talks about how he’s going to beat Chris Hero and not get embarrassed in his hometown.  Leave it to Hero to piss away someone’s dreams.  Runs close to five minutes.

Young Bucks Post-Match: Runs about thirty seconds.  The Young Bucks are happy they won.


Match #10: Ring of Honor World Championship vs. Ring of Honor Pure Championship
(World Champion) Bryan Danielson vs. (Pure Champion) Nigel McGuiness
4/29/06 Weekend of Champions – Night Two

Oh damn.  Wasn’t expecting this.  My guess: someone in the Ring of Honor home video department realized that the advertised main event was candy-coated crap and decided to stick this match in as an apology.  This is contested under Pure Match rules.  No closed fists, you’re limited to three rope breaks, a penalty costs you a rope break, and the titles can change hands on a DQ or a Count-out.  This is the first title vs. title match.  The Pure title wouldn’t last much longer after this.

Circle to start.  Lockup goes nowhere.  Another lockup goes nowhere.  To the ropes where Danielson goes for a chickenwing but Danielson bails.  Lockup and Nigel takes Danielson down.  Danielson acts like Antonio Inoki, fighting off McGuinness’ kicks.  Cross-armbreaker by Danielson, which Nigel frees himself from to go for the leg.  Clean break and another lockup.  Headlock by Bryan which he takes over.  Both guys work the hold, with McGuiness struggling for a bit before grabbing a headscissors.  They roll around on it the mat with it, then a few slaps to the mouth by Danielson.  He goes back to the headlock.  Both guys up, but Danielson gets another headlock takeover.  Danielson grinds his knuckle into his head.  Now a head-vise by Danielson.  McGuinness escapes but gets caught into it again, and then again.  Scoopslam by McGuinness but Danielson keeps the hold on.  McGuinness escapes but gets kicked off what he was going for and they trade cartwheel escapes before Danielson goes back to the headlock-takeover.

Bryan clamps down on it, then fires off a few uppercuts.  He keeps the headlock on.  Nigel takes him down but Danielson keeps the hold on.  McGuinness reaches for the ropes but then opts not to because it’s too early in the match.  I kind of like the psychology of this.  I never saw a match under these rules.  Nigel escapes, only to get hit with a spinning elbow, and then back to the headlock.  Nigel finally gives up fighting it and uses a rope break.  That frustrates him and he shoves Danielson.  Clean break to the corner but the referee isn’t looking so McGuinness fires off a closed fist.  Bryan uses one of his own and gets caught, getting him a warning.  He does another and loses a rope break.

McGuinness takes Danielson down and tries to put him on the ropes.  Bryan tries to block the placement so McGuinness snaps him down to the canvas.  Nice psychology on display here.  Nigel starts to work the arm with an armbreaker and some kicks on the ground.  Danielson goes back to the Inoki position, but McGuinness snatches him in an armlock, with bodyscissors.  Danielson opens his head up to an elbow storm and has to use his second rope break.  Feeling out leads to McGuinness grabbing a front-chancery, which is turned into a reverse chinlock by Danielson.  Bryan’s arm is hurt so McGuinness goes to it again, and then rips at his face.  Top-wristlock now.  Danielson tries to free himself with a headscissors, but McGuinness prevents it.  Danielson frees himself and fires off a dropkick, but he’s still got an injured arm, so McGuinness grabs another wristlock.  He turns this into a modified armbar.  Total technical exhibition going on here and I love it.

Danielson reaches for the ropes but McGuinness likes what he has going here.  Danielson wiggles free but McGuinness still catches a hammerlock with this.  Danielson ends up freeing himself without the ropes and tries to get a surfboard.  His arm won’t allow him to hook it in, so he stomps the back of the knees.  Danielson tries for something, but Nigel snaps the arm down, and then kicks Bryan out of the ring.  To the apron for Danielson, where he flips over a suplex attempt and fires off a release German suplex for a double knockout.  Hammerlock by McGuinness but Danielson flips out of it and gets a clothesline and a running forearm.  He loads up Nigel for a suplex, prevents him from blocking and fires it off.  Diving headbutt, Chris Benoit style, gets two.  I’m guessing he knows better then to try that anymore.  He then slaps on the crossface-chickenwing.  Nigel has to use a rope break for that.

Danielson fires off a bunch of bitch-slaps, then Nigel does a handstand on the ropes.  Bryan charges at him and gets kicked in the face.  Tower of London by Nigel gets two as Danielson uses his last rope break.  Nigel tries to load Bryan on the ropes, but Danielson fights him off.  He climbs but gets caught.  Danielson ends up getting Cattle Mutilation on Nigel, forcing the final rope break.  Danielson fights him to the apron but gets caught charging and Nigel suplexes him to the unprotected wooden floor.  Crazy, yo.  Uppercuts on the floor by Bryan, but Nigel sends him into the post.  McGuinness clears the table and uses it to choke Bryan, then dives into the ring.  Bryan still beats the count.

Back in, they trade uppercuts.  Bryan blocks one and hooks in a backslide for two.  Elbow by Danielson leads to McGuiness hitting his big clothesline.  He crawls to make the cover and gets two, but Danielson turns the cover into the Cattle Mutilation.  McGuinness makes the ropes but is out of breaks.  He gets ready to tap but crawls far enough under the ropes that he can fall to the floor.  I guess that’s one way to free yourself.  Both guys are pooped from that.  Suicida by Danielson hits.  Nigel tries to fight back after that, but he gets caught charging and dumped into the fans.  Danielson gets into the ring and waits to see if he’s going to win via count-out.  Nigel is up so Danielson does the stage dive off the top rope, only McGuinness blocks it by throwing a chair at him.  McGuinness makes it back to the ring just in time to beat the count, winning the match but NOT the World Title because it can only change hands via pinfall or submission.  Only the Pure championship can change hands via other means.  Copout ending…

****3/4 Awesome match.  I’m not scoring against the Dusty Finish itself, but the means to which they got to it.  After thirty minutes of technical bliss and some really amazing psychology, the ending taking place in the seats felt liked it was cut from an entirely different match.  I’m not sore over a four year-old match from a promotion I didn’t watch at the time using a screwjob finish, but maybe they could have had Danielson get DQed for a closed fist or something.  That would have had some continuity about it.  But that’s just being nit-picky.  Everything else was nearly flawless, and although it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I certainly enjoyed this by leaps and bounds more then the Glory by Honor main event.  Among other reasons, it felt like an actual match that would have ramifications, instead of a pair of guys more concerned with saying goodbye to the most obnoxious fan base this side of the laugh track from Married with Children.  Kudos to Ring of Honor for recognizing the need to place this match on the DVD set.

You get the Wrestle Wire program from 10/5/09, hyping various matches, plus a trailer for a documentary about Ring of Honor that is due to hit sometime in 2010.  Sounds neat.

BOTTOM LINE: So the much-hyped final encounter between Daniel Bryan and Desmond Wolfe turned out to be a huge letdown, but Ring of Honor more then made up for it, something they didn’t have to do (and something the WWE would never have the balls to do) by throwing in a much better match that is out of print.  Kudos to them for that.  As a whole, you get ten matches.  Six of them scored three stars or above, and two of them are worth going out of your way to watch.

Ring of Honor currently fills a niche in the world of wrestling.  Do I feel they are capable of being more mainstream?  Absolutely.  Their roster has loads of untapped talent without much of an indy tinge to it.  And shockingly, for me at least, I didn’t even get a minor league vibe from the wrestlers themselves.  The fans?  Sure.  They’re low rent all the way.  But the workers, for the most part, are solid and very capable.  Heck, I’m even going to watch a few more DVDs from them, because these guys clearly have something good going for them.  When I look past the crappy, almost embarrassing atmosphere the fans created, I found a company full of guys who belong in the big leagues, who wrestle like major league stars, and that’s a vibe I *never* got from ECW.  This was a solid set that anybody who’s not familiar with Ring of Honor, such as myself, can jump into and enjoy without having to worry about most of the stuff being lost on them.  A great production and great choices of extras makes this an easy thumbs up.

You can buy this set here.  Hell, it’s buy three, get two free.  Go nuts.

Stay tuned, because yes indeed, the Hulk Hogan review is on its way soon.  I think.  Maybe.  Actually, up next will be KayfabeCommentaries latest shoot interview, this time featuring Jim Cornette.  That review will be posted soon.

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