We begin last night, as Kenny Omega cut a promo after his victory over Katsuhiko Nakajima. He says heâ€™s going to stop until he proves that he belongs in ROH.
MATCH #1: The Young Bucks vs. The Flatliners
I have no clue who the Flatliners are. The bald Flatliner, who I believe is called Burns, starts the match with Nick Jackson. Nick takes the control and he and Matt make quick tags in and out of the ring. They take control on Burns, and give Asylum the same treatment. The Flatliners try to regroup on the floor, but the Bucks simply fly out of the ring and wipe them out. Nick hits Asylum with the slingshot facebuster for a two-count. The Flatliners come back with some double-teaming to take advantage of Nick. Burns is tagged back in and gets a two-count. They continue to work Nick over, keeping him in their half of the ring. This goes on for a while as the crowd tries to will Nick into a comeback. He eventually does and makes the hot tag to Matt. The Bucks are totally in control now. Matt hits an always-impressive twisting Diamond Dust from the top rope. The Flatliners come back and hit Matt with what Hero calls a â€œspinebuster DDT,â€ but I feel like those are conflicting ideas. In all the chaos the Bucks hit Asylum with More Bang for Your Buck to get the win at 9:41. The Flatliners were decent but I donâ€™t expect theyâ€™ll earn a full time spot or anything, and the Bucks are always a good choice to open the show because the crowd loves them.
Earlier tonight Claudio Castagnoli cut another amazing promo, this one about how he lost his spot in the Pick 6 last night because of Chris Hero. Luckily tonight he has a chance to get back in because two of his three opponents in the Four Corner Survival tonight (Colt Cabana and Delirious) are ranked in the Pick 6. Castagnoli is the best thing ROH has going right now.
MATCH #2: Four Corner Survival â€“ Claudio Castagnoli vs. Colt Cabana vs. Grizzly Redwood vs. Delirious
Castagnoli is accompanied by Prince Nana and Mr. Ernesto Osiris. I expect a lot of comedy in this one. True to my prediction, Cabana steals Castagnoliâ€™s glove and slips it on Deliriousâ€™ hand just before the bell rings. An upset Castagnoli tries to walk away, but Cabana and Redwood bring him back to the ring. Cabana, Delirious, and Redwood try to triple-team Castagnoli but heâ€™s able to handle all three of them. Delirious finally hits Castagnoli with the glove, and then he passes it off to Redwood, who hits a chop off the top rope with it, and then Cabana takes the glove for a shot of his own. Castagnoli recovers and sends Delirious to the floor, and then tosses Redwood down on him. Cabana and Castagnoli exchange holds, giving Redwood time to get back in the ring. Redwood uses his speed to overwhelm the much larger and stronger Castagnoli. He tries a sunset flip, but Castagnoli blocks it, so Redwood reverses that to a Frankensteiner! Cabana launches himself at Castagnoli with the Flying Apple, and then Delirious hits the Panic Attack. The match breaks down to a brawl now as itâ€™s every man for himself. Redwood hits Castagnoli with a tornado DDT for two. He goes up top and Cabana knocks him down. Castagnoli catches Delirious with a bicycle kick and then the UFO. Cabana sees an opportunity by throwing Redwood into the dizzy Castagnoli, and he steals the pin on Delirious at 6:24. That was surprisingly short and it was tons of fun while it lasted.
MATCH #3: Rhett Titus & Kenny King vs. The Super Smash Bros.
This is a rematch from Never Say Die. The Super Smash Bros. are hoping to get their win back here in their home country. Both teams are coming off losses last night, so they both need a win here. Player Uno is the masked one, Player Dos is sans mask. The commentary track gets all scratchy and unlistenable for this match (Iâ€™ve never heard a DVD make the sounds this one is making), so I had to turn the commentary off. Titus and King attack their opponents before the bell, sending Uno to the floor. Dos comes back with a dropkick to both men at the same time, and the SSB take control on Titus. King gets tagged in but he gets the same treatment. Titus interferes from the apron and King gains control on Uno, going after his leg. King and Titus try to double-team, but the SSB are prepared, and they send them both to the floor and then follow them out with stereo dives. Back in the ring Titus uses referee Paul Turner as a shield, allowing him to take control of Dos. After many minutes of abuse Dos makes the hot tag to Uno, who is a video game character afire. The Smash Brothers work King over but canâ€™t put him away. King comes back with a swinging backbreaker, and holds Dos in place for Titus to hit a knee drop from the top rope. Uno breaks up the cover. The referee has lost all control of this one. King low-bridges Dos to send him to the floor, and then he and Titus hit Uno with the Powerbomb / Blockbuster combination for the big win at 9:33. That was serviceable formula stuff, as the main goal of making King and Titus look good was accomplished.
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MATCH #4: El Generico vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima
Nakajima neglects to follow the Code of Honor, and the crowd rightfully boos. He takes Generico down to the mat early on with an armbar. Generico makes a brief comeback and sends Nakajima to the floor. He goes for a dive but Nakajima cuts him off with a missile dropkick. Generico rolls to the floor but Nakajima shows him no surcease, hitting him with hard kicks to the chest. Back in the ring Nakajima unleashes more kicks, and then wears the masked man down with a chinlock. Generico tries to escape but Nakajima cuts him off with a dropkick. Nakajima backs Generico into the corner and absolutely unloads with kicks to the chest. Heâ€™s just mean. Generico avoids a charge and dumps Nakajima to the floor, and then hits him with a moonsault over the top rope and to the floor. That man can fly. Back in the ring Generico hits a cross body off the top rope for two. Moments later Generico lives up to his reputation of almost killing Japanese wrestlers with his Michinoku Driver with a particularly nasty looking one for just a two-count. Generico misses the running Yakuza Kick, and then gets hit with an enziguiri. Nakajima follows up with a running forearm, a suplex, and a vicious kick to the chest for two. He hits another missile dropkick for another two-count. He sets Generico up top and hits a superkick, and both men fall to the floor. Generico recovers and hits that awesome through-the-turnbuckle DDT. Back in the ring Generico hits a T-bone suplex into the turnbuckle and then finally lands the running Yakuza Kick. He follows up with a half-nelson suplex, and then goes for a Brainbuster. Nakajima reverses it out of nowhere and gets a two-count. Both men are down now. They get up and trade running boots in the corner, and Generico wins that battle. Generico then hits the Brainbuster but it only gets two! Nakajima responds with a Saito Suplex, and both men are down. The first to rise is Nakajima, and he goes up top. Generico meets him up there and they battle over whoâ€™s going to Brainbuster the other. The answer is neither, and Nakajima settles for a diving knee drop. Nakajima hits a couple of kicks for a very close near-fall. He then lands a series of superkicks but still only gets two. Nakajima finally finishes Generico off with a bridging German Suplex at 14:14. That was just like Nakajimaâ€™s match last night, where it was fun watching them kick the crap out of each other, but there was no real psychology or story to speak of.
MATCH #5: Pick 6 Series Match â€“ Tyler Black (2) vs. Roderick Strong (3)
These two absolutely tore it up in the Survival of the Fittest 2009 finals, so I hope for more of the same here. Itâ€™s a tense lockup to start and Strong complies with a clean break. They take it to the mat and wrestle to a standoff. Black grabs a headlock and takes Strong down. Strong battles up and gets to the ropes, and this time Black breaks clean. They trade moves and once again come to a standoff. Theyâ€™ve been pretty evenly matched thus far. Strong hits a leg lariat but only gets one. He unleashes a couple of chops, and when Black tries to chop back he gets chopped down. Hero calls Strongâ€™s chops â€œpunctual.â€ So what, theyâ€™re on time? I donâ€™t get it. They continue to trade holds and strikes, with no one gaining a prolonged advantage. Strong wears Black down for a bit before he fires back, but one chop takes Black down. Black absorbs a few stinging chops and then hits a Tornado DDT. He creatively works Strong into the Tree of Woe and hits a running dropkick to the face for two. He goes to the apron and hits a springboard lariat for two. Strong comes back with a snap powerslam for two. He hits a Half-Nelson Backbreaker for two, and then a Falcon Arrow for two. Black counters a gutbuster with a Frankensteiner, and then hits the Paroxysm for two, and then actually hits the quebrada for two! He usually misses that and hits a standing shooting star press, so kudos. Strong sends Black to the floor but gets kicked in the face for his troubles. Black goes for another springboard maneuver, but Strong dropkicks him out of the air for two. After a few more maneuvers, Strong locks in the Stronghold and Black is forced to reach the ropes. Strong tries the Gibson Driver, but Black reverses it to an F-5 for two. They fight over on the apron and Strong is able to hit Black with a belly-to-back suplex right on the ring frame. Black fights back with a hard kick to the face and both men are down. They get back in the ring and start trading shots. They step it up and trade kicks, and both men are down. They both go for finishers and Black hits Godâ€™s Last Gift but Strong kicks out at two! Black goes for the Phoenix Splash but Strong knocks him down and hits the torture rack backbreaker for two. Strong hits the gutbuster and big kick for two. They both hit big maneuvers and once again theyâ€™re both down, and time expires at 20:00. It wasnâ€™t quite as electric as Indianapolis, but these two obviously have chemistry and theyâ€™re doing a good job at making them appear evenly matched as the top two babyfaces on the roster.
MATCH #6: Erick Stevens & Joey Ryan w/ Prince Nana & Mr. Ernesto Osiris vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe
Stevens and Ryan are accompanied by the lead of the Embassy, Prince Nana, and his lackey Mr. Ernesto Osiris. The Embassy attacks the brothers from Sandy Fork, Delaware before the bell and the fight is on. Jay clotheslines Ryan to the floor and goes out there with him. In the ring Mark hits Stevens with a T-bone suplex. Everyone is on the floor now and the Briscoes are dominant. Jay and Ryan end up back in the ring and weâ€™re under control now. The Briscoes dominate Ryan, working him over in their half of the ring. Stevens paces on the apron, chomping at the bit to get his hands on the Briscoes. Speaking of Stevens, he interferes from the apron and then tags in. The Embassy takes control now, working Jay over. After a few minutes Jay makes the tag to his younger brother. Mark sends Stevens to the floor, and then backdrops Ryan right out onto him. He follows them both out with a tumbleweed dive off the top rope. Back in the ring Mark goes up top but Nana pushes him down and Stevens catches him with a belly-to-belly suplex and the Embassy is back in control. Man, thereâ€™s just nothing interesting about Joey Ryan. When the referee has his back turned, Nana and Osiris take cheap shots. While Mark is getting worked over, Hero powders to go get ready for his match with Kevin Steen, which is next. Stevens goes for a superplex but Mark pushes him down and hits a huge cross body off the top rope and makes the tag to Jay. Itâ€™s house afire time for Jay now, as he works both men over. The match breaks down as the referee stops enforcing any kind of legal man rule. Stevens pulls Mark to the floor and throws him into the barricade. Inside the ring Jay and Stevens exchange forearms. Stevens gets the better of it and hits Jay with the Choo-Choo. Ryan follows with a big kick, and then Stevens hits a lariat but it only gets two. Now Mark pulls Stevens to the ropes and whips him into the guardrail. Meanwhile, Jay puts Ryan up on his shoulders for the Doomsday Device, but Osiris grabs Markâ€™s leg, and the delay gives Ryan the chance to trap Jay in a schoolboy rollup to get the victory at 12:32. Give the assist to Osiris on that one, and he pays for it with a Spiked Jay Driller. That was a solid tag team match, although this new Embassy is definitely missing a Crown Jewel.
Earlier tonight, Kevin Steen was backstage to cut a promo about his opponent tonight, Chris Hero. I love the way he pronounces the word Almonds. Itâ€™s my favorite part of the promo by far.
MATCH #7: Pick 6 Series Match â€“ Chris Hero (1) vs. Kevin Steen
Eric Santamaria joins Prazak on commentary. Hero is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Both men are cautious early on, but quickly go for finishing maneuvers, but of course neither man can connect. They lock up again and Hero starts working a wristlock. Steen reverses and Hero powders once again. Back in the ring Steen stays one step ahead of the man with the highest ranking in the Pick 6 Series. Hero comes back and starts going after the back of Steenâ€™s head, likely to set him up for a knockout blow. Steen comes back with a back body drop and a leg lariat, so Hero powders once again. This time Steen hits a dive over the top rope to wipe Hero out. Steen follows Hero to the floor with a Swanton bomb off the apron. He rams Hero into the guardrail a couple of times. Back in the ring Steen tries going to the top rope, but Hagadorn grabs his leg to distract him, and Hero knocks him down to the floor. Hero hits an elbow on the floor before pitching Steen back into the ring for a two-count. He goes for a senton but Steen counters with a belly-to-back suplex. Steen goes for the somersault legdrop but Hero avoids it and hits a kick to the face for two. Hero hits a rolling elbow, knocking Steen back to the floor. He goes back out to the floor for more elbows, but when he turns his back Steen attacks. No matter, as Hero cuts him off with a big boot to the face. Steen is backed up against the ring post and Hero goes for an elbow but Steen moves! That looked painful. Hero wisely takes the fight right to Steen but is having trouble with his now injured arm. Well, not that much trouble, as he hits an elbow and then just shakes his arm, so itâ€™s all better now I guess. What was the point of the ring post spot then? Anyway, Steen comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex. Both men rise to their feet and Steen hits a Stunner, and then moments later hits the Orton DDT. Steen follows up with the cannonball for two. He goes for the pumphandle neckbreaker but Hero blocks it and hits more elbows with his injured arm. Hero goes for the Death Blow but Steen blocks it the first time, only to get leveled the second time. Steen falls back to the floor as Hero sells his injured arm. Hero goes for a baseball slide to the floor, but Steen catches him and swings him into the guardrail. Steen then applies the Sharpshooter on the floor! He breaks the hold, and immediately goes for it again once theyâ€™re back in the ring but Hero counters with an inside cradle for two. Back on their feet Steen hits a superkick for two. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver, but Hero reverses it to a hard kick to the face, and then hits a kick to the back of the head for two. Hero hits a rolling elbow, but Steen comes back with a powerbomb and then locks in the Sharpshooter again. Steen rolls out of it and locks on a Crossface. Hagadorn helps Heroâ€™s foot get to the ropes and the hold has to be broken. Steen makes Hagadorn pay with a snot rocket. Hero hits the Rip Cord Elbow but Steen once again kicks out. He takes the elbow pad off and goes for the Death Blow but Steen counters with the Package Piledriver! Thatâ€™s enough to get the pin at 19:16. We have a new #1 in the Pick 6 Series, and I believe Hero falls to #2. I understand the idea that since Heroâ€™s arm was injured his elbows werenâ€™t as effective and thatâ€™s why Steen didnâ€™t get knocked out, but I think it would have made more sense if Hero didnâ€™t keep hitting elbows and selling it half the time, and instead tried another method of attack, like working over Steenâ€™s already injured knee, which he didnâ€™t do at all. The match was still pretty good but I feel it could have been better.
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MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match â€“ Austin Aries vs. Kenny Omega
Aries has been the champion since 6.13.09, and this is his eleventh defense. Omega is currently ranked #4 in the Pick 6 Series. Aries cuts a promo that I donâ€™t at all understand, talking about people he choked out on TV or something. Both men start off cautiously, and I expect another long match here because I know how ROH likes to do things like that (give the champion two long matches in one weekend). Aries puts on an early fishhook and Omega escapes. Omega comes back and puts on a fishhook of his own and the champion powders. He flips around a lot and tries a Frankensteiner but Aries simply powerbombs him and gloats about it. I like how Omega sold the powerbomb like an armdrag. What I mean by that is that I donâ€™t like it. They engage in a test of strength and Omega backs Aries into the corner and issues a clean break. Aries comes back with a back elbow off the second rope and he gloats by running around the ring and he almost trips. Back in the ring they lockup and Aries cinches on a headlock. Omega comes back with a headlock of his own and they wrestle to a standoff. Now they take it to the mat and Omega locks on a headscissors. Aries tries to headstand out of it but Omega blocks it with a mini piledriver. He tries another headstand and this time Omega counters with a sunset flip for two. That was cool. The crowd is fully supportive of the challenger. Omega uses the crowd energy to take control of Aries with a variety of offense, this time hitting the Frankensteiner. He then clotheslines Aries to the floor and follows him out. He throws Aries into guardrail, and then holds him so that a little kid can take a shot at the Champ. Omega sets up a chair and hits an inverted atomic drop, causing Aries to sit down. He charges in but Aries cuts him off with a forearm. Omega brushes it off and throws Aries into the guardrail. He goes back in the ring and levels Aries with a nasty baseball slide dropkick to the face, sending Aries to the guardrail. Aries shrugs it off and starts working Omega over. He charges and Omega backdrops Aries into the crowd. Omega tries the moonsault but Aries sneaks back in the ring, full recovered, and drops his neck on the top rope. Aries follows him down to the floor with the double axe handle. Back in the ring Aries maintains control. He channels Big Bully Busick and locks on a Stump Puller. He gets Omega down and then stalls for a while, allowing Omega to recover. Omega tries the Stop Sign enziguiri, which Aries blocks, but Omega ducks the slap and slaps Aries, and then hits the enziguiri. He hits a series of Polish Hammers for two. He hits a bodyslam and a second rope Moonsault for two. He goes for the Dragon Suplex but Aries avoids it and hits a neckbreaker off the second rope, sending Omega to the floor. Aries hits the Heat Seeking Missile. He sets up a chair, and Santamaria is aghast even though Omega did the same thing earlier. Aries goes for the Brainbuster, but Omega slips out and delivers a bulldog right on the chair. Omega then sets Aries on the chair and hits running knees to the champâ€™s face. Aries crawls back into the ring and Omega follows him in with a springboard, which Aries avoids and hits a dropkick to the knee. Now Aries goes to work on the leg, completely brushing off the bulldog on a chair and the knees to the face. He goes for a spinning toehold but Omega rolls him up for two. Now Omega hits a dropkick to the knee. Aries gets up and takes Omega down into a half Boston Crab. He continues to work the leg, locking on a Figure Four Leglock. Omega breaks that with a series of headbutts. He tries the stupid Stop Sign again, and Aries hits him with the shinbreaker/belly-to-back suplex combination. Aries goes for the IED but Omega counters with the Hadouken. Omega goes for Croytâ€™s Wrath, which Aries blocks, but Omega is still able to throw him to the floor. He once again tries the Moonsault and Aries blocks the same way he did before, but this time Omega counters that and hits the move instead. Omega then hits a missile dropkick to the back and Aries once again rolls to the floor. He hits a kick to the face, sending Aries reeling, and then follows him out with a somersault dive. Omega took a nasty bump on that. Back in the ring Omega hits the frog cross body for two. They both get up and go for big moves but the other guy is able to counter everything. Aries is able to throw Omegaâ€™s shoulder into the ring post, and he follows up with the IED. He then locks on the Last Chancery, but Omega is able to reach the ropes. The champion goes up top and Omega pops up and joins him. Omega is able to hit a Super Blue Destiny! Aries somehow kicks out at two. Omega goes for Croytâ€™s Wrath and canâ€™t hit it, but he does connect with the Dragon Suplex. He goes for another Croytâ€™s Wrath and hits it this time, but Ariesâ€™ hand is right under the bottom rope. The champ got lucky on that one. Aries rolls to the apron and Omega tries to suplex him back in, but Aries reverses it and suplexes Omega to the floor. Omegaâ€™s face bounced off the timekeeperâ€™s table. Aries goes outside and dumps Omega into the crowd, going for a countout win. Omega makes it back in at 18. Aries immediately starts hitting knee strikes to the head, which Omega brushes off. They trade forearm shots, and Omega ends that battle with a superkick. Omega goes for Croytâ€™s Wrath, which Aries counters with a victory roll, and he grabs the ropes for leverage. Unfortunately the referee spots him and breaks it up. Omega gets a quick schoolboy for two, and a backslide for another two. Aries rolls out of that and hits a kick to the head and the IED. He hits the Brainbuster and Omega kicks out at two! Aries hits another Brainbuster and then rolls over into the knee strikes. He locks on the Las Chancery and the referee calls for the bell at 34:53. This was the kind of match thatâ€™s fun for the live crowd, but watching it on DVD you can see how little either guy sold, and how no story made its way throughout the match, just a bunch of stuff happened. They also were obviously stalling in the early going just for the sake of going over 30 minutes, trying to force an epic feel out of the match, and it didnâ€™t work for me. It was still good, just far short of great.
Aries cuts a promo after the match talking about how great he is, despite all the people that have doubted him. He promises to beat any one of the Pick 6 contenders.
PRELIMINARY MATCH: Alex Payne & Bobby Dempsey vs. Michael Von Payton & Ethan Page
Page and Payne start the match. Payne dominates, and that stays true when Von Payton gets tagged in. Page & Von Paytonâ€™s manager (Iâ€™m sorry I donâ€™t know his name, anybody fill me in?) distracts Dempsey on the apron, allowing Von Payton the chance to hit Payne with a flatliner, and then make the tag to Page. Payne is in a bad way now, as Page hits a spinning side suplex for two. Sugarfoot comes back with a crucifix on Von Payton for two, but canâ€™t make the tag. Eventually Payne makes the hot tag, and Dempsey is a house afire. He throws Page and Von Payton around, hitting Page with a t-bone suplex. The manager gets back on the ring apron, only to get knocked down by Von Payton. Dempsey hits Von Payton with an Alabama Slam, and Payne follows with the Alabama Jam for the victory at 4:27. That was perfectly harmless preshow fluff.
November 24, 2009
The Pulse: Everything on the main show is between **Â¼ and ***Â¾, so this is a very solid if unspectacular show. Some will probably like the main event and the Generico versus Nakajima matches more than me, so this could be a must buy for some folks. No storylines were furthered so it felt a bit like a throwaway show but itâ€™s solid throughout. You can purchase it Right Here.
Tags: Austin Aries, Kenny Omega, Ring of Honor, ROH World Title