A2Z Analysiz: ROH Eye of the Storm 2 – December 18, 2009

Manassas, Virginia

These matches are found as bonus features on discs one and two of the “Final Battle 2009” DVD release. Since they comprise a whole show, I thought it would just be easier to review all of these matches on their own. Dave Prazak and Eric Santamaria are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Adam Pearce & Matt Classic vs. The Set

The larger member of the Set is known as J-Sinn, and the smaller one is Lance Lude. They, along with Pearce’s partner the masked Matt Classic, are all making their ROH DVD debuts tonight. Classic and Lude start the match, which was necessitated by a terrible snow storm that caused several wrestlers to miss the show. It’s all stalling and comedy in the early going, which I’d say is the right choice given the participants. Lude hits Classic with a flying headscissors that sends him to the floor, and Pearce charges at Lude and gets sent to the floor as well. J-Sinn gets the tag and he backdrops Lude to the floor to wipe out both opponents. He sends Classic back into the ring and the Set uses some double-team maneuvers to wear Classic down, but they can only get a one-count. Classic tags Pearce, who immediately gets armdragged by Lude. Last time we saw Pearce he was getting beaten by Bobby Dempsey back in March. Pearce comes back with a big lariat. He teases a fallaway slam but hits a simple backbreaker instead, and then knocks J-Sinn off the apron. Classic enters the ring illegally and Classic hits an old-timey suplex. Pearce and Classic take turns working Lude over, using their strength to toss him around. Eventually Lude avoids a Pearce charge in the corner and makes the tag to J-Sinn. The larger member of the Set is a house afire on Pearce, and when he goes for a pin Classic tries to break it up but elbows Pearce instead. Pearce gets in Classic’s face and gets shoved and rolled up for a two-count. Moments later Pearce and Classic collide once again and Classic falls to the floor. The Set hits Pearce with a double-team DDT but can’t put him away. Pearce comes back and goes for a superplex on J-Sinn but Lude breaks it up. J-Sinn sends Lude down onto Pearce with a Super Snap Mare, and then he follows with a big splash to get the pin on Pearce at 9:13. That was perfectly inoffensive tag wrestling, and perhaps the only appearance Matt Classic will ever make, so it’s a bit of a hidden gem.
Rating: **

MATCH #2: Sonjay Dutt vs. Grizzly Redwood

Dutt attacks Redwood right away, paying no heed to the Code of Honor. He takes Redwood down and spends a lot of time posing. That gives Redwood the chance to recover, so he locks on a headlock. Redwood tries to take Dutt down with shoulderblocks but can’t do it, so he instead stomps the foot and hits a diving shoulderblock to take Dutt off his feet and send him to the floor. Back in the ring Redwood jumps off the top rope and Dutt sort of catches him with an inverted atomic drop and then a lariat. Dutt works Redwood over, and the crowd still goes nuts for snap mares. He removes Redwood’s suspenders and wears them himself. He locks on a rear chinlock. Redwood escapes and hits a flurry of offense, including the baby bulldog for two. He tires a dive off the second rope but Dutt avoids him and gets a one-count out of it. A nice springboard splash gets a two-count when he pulls Redwood up. He hits a bodyslam and a quebrada and this time doesn’t even go for the cover. He hits a second quebrada and then does the Jarrett strut. He finally goes for the cover and Redwood rolls him up with an inside cradle to get the pin at 7:45. Dutt is an extraordinarily boring wrestler and character, and the finish could be seen coming from miles away. Ever the heel, Dutt shakes hands with a fan on his way to the back.
Rating: *½

MATCH #3: Pick 6 Series – (6) Kenny Omega vs. Rhett Titus

Omega is currently ranked #6 in the Pick 6 Contender’s Series. The amount of sexual suggestiveness in Omega’s armbar on Titus is even creepier when he starts licking Titus’s hand. The crowd isn’t sure how to react and the commentators thankfully don’t mention it. Omega is one step ahead of Titus in every regard in the early going. Titus avoids a monkey flip with a kick to the face, and then goes for the sexy suplex. Omega avoids it and goes to work on Titus’s arm. They trade hip toss attempts and Omega wins that battle, sending Titus to the floor. Omega follows him out with a dropkick through the bottom and middle ropes. Titus uses the referee to distract Omega, and then lands a dropkick. He’s firmly in control now, stomping on Omega in the corner. He slingshots Omega’s neck into the bottom rope and gets a two-count. Omega tries to fire back but Titus attacks his eyes. Titus hits a hot shot and gets another count of two. He gets Omega’s head against the ring post and hits a running kick. Back in the ring Titus hits a suplex of some kind for a two-count. Titus locks on a rear chinlock and Omega breaks it, only to get slammed down to the mat by his hair. Now Titus locks on a headscissors. Omega tries to power out of it but his neck is too damaged. They trade strikes for a while until Titus hits a chinbreaker. Omega comes back with a dropkick to the face. He then hits a couple of Polish Hammers and a spin kick for two. Titus gets up and tries his version of the bulldog, but Omega counters with his own for a two-count. Omega hits a uranage slam for another two-count. He once again tries Croyt’s Wrath but Titus grabs the referee and slips out of it, and with the referee still distracted Titus hits a low blow. Titus hits a standing blockbuster and puts his feet on the ropes during the pin but Omega still kicks out. Omega comes back and hits a running elbow in the corner and then a nasty looking springboard dropkick to the back of the head. He hits the Dragon Suplex but Titus kicks out. Well there goes that finisher. Omega goes up top but Titus pops up and hits the Super Sex Factor for two. Titus sets Omega up for a Super Muff Driver but Omega escapes and hits Hadouken. Omega then finally hits Croyt’s Wrath to get the pin at 15:45. Who on earth gave these two this much time? It felt longer than it was. Just once too I’d like to see work on a body part pay off, like Omega shouldn’t hit the Croyt’s Wrath because his neck is too badly hurt and he has to rely on the Dragon Suplex or something else instead. Come on, work with me here people.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #4: Erick Stevens & Bison Smith vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

I like the idea of Stevens & Smith together as a tag team. They’re accompanied by Prince Nana and Mr. Ernesto Osiris. Generico and Stevens start the match. Both teams need a win since tomorrow night the Embassy is battling Delirious & Necro Butcher, while Steen & Generico are battling the Young Bucks. Stevens overpowers Generico early on, which is no surprise. Generico comes back with a series of armdrags and shows how much quicker he is. Stevens makes the tag to Smith, and Generico responds by not tagging out. Generico tries to take Smith off his feet but can’t do it with shoulderblocks that’s for sure. He makes the tag to Steen, who seems to be having trouble with his knee. Even so, Steen hits Smith with a vertical suplex for a one-count. Generico gets tagged back in and throws forearms at Smith to little effect. Smith tosses Generico into the air and lets him fall chest-first on the canvas. He throws Generico to the floor and Stevens hurls Generico into the crowd. Bison goes to the floor and dives over the guardrail, wiping Generico out. That was impressive. Generico and Smith get back in the ring while Stevens attacks Steen’s knee on the floor. Stevens gets tagged in and hits the Embassy Elbow for two. A few moments later, Generico rolls under a clothesline and tags Steen into the match. Steen is a house afire, leveling Stevens with a dropkick off the second rope. He hits the cannonball, and then has to fight off Smith. Generico hits Smith with a drop toehold and Steen hits the front flip legdrop, hurting his own knee. Smith goes to the floor and Generico wipes him out with a dive. Steen hits Stevens with the pumphandle neckbreaker, and once again hurts himself. He covers but only gets two. He goes up top for the Swanton but Stevens gets his knees up. Generico gets tagged in and he hits Stevens with a swinging DDT for two. Steen and Generico both go up top, but Nana pushes Steen off the ropes, causing even more damage to his knee. Generico tries a cross body on Stevens but gets caught and rammed into the turnbuckle. Stevens goes for the Choo-Choo but Generico cuts him off with the running Yakuza. Generico goes for the Super Brainbuster but Smith comes in and puts Generico on his shoulders for a Doomsday Shoulder Block. Smith hits a huge lariat and Stevens hits the Doctor Bomb for the pin at 10:31. Stevens and Smith as a team is money. The match was quite good and used Steen’s injury appropriately, ensuring that the Embassy team looked good.
Rating: ***

MATCH #5: Pick 6 Series – Colt Cabana vs. (3) Chris Hero

This is a Pick 6 Contender’s Series matchup. Hero is ranked #3, and is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Cabana goes ringside and grabs a fan’s birthday hat, much to the delight of the crowd. He asks for another party hat and puts it on Todd Sinclair. During the pre-match search, Sinclair finds Matt Classic’s mask tucked in Cabana’s jacket. They start cautiously, feeling each other out. Hero stalls a bit, arguing with a fan at ringside. Back in the ring Hero utilizes the headlock to take Cabana down. Cabana comes back with a headscissors that Hero has difficulty escaping. Hero finally does escape by getting to the ropes, and then once again jaws with fans. Back in the ring Cabana takes control with his usual stuff. Cabana goes to the second rope, but when the referee isn’t looking, Hagadorn trips Cabana up and he falls on his face. Hero is firmly in control now. He uses a variety of elbows and holds for several near-falls. Cabana ducks a blockbuster attempt, and then ducks another elbow and gets a series of pinning combinations for two-counts. He hits a series of jabs and a big splash for two. He tries Billy Goat’s Curse but Hero avoids it. He goes to the top rope and Hero joins him up there. Cabana knocks Hero down, but then Hero charges in and hits a big boot, sending Cabana to the floor. Hagadorn takes a couple of cheap shots and sends Cabana back inside. Hero hits a rolling elbow for two. Cabana comes back and goes for as many pins as possible but he can’t put Hero away. Hero comes back with another rolling elbow and once again gets two. Cabana comes back with a move Santamaria calls “flying butt scissors,” and Prazak calls it the “reverse flying ass.” I like the first one better. Either way it only gets two. Cabana goes for the Colt 45 but Hero avoids it. He goes for the Flying Apple but Hagadorn gets on the apron and gets hip tossed into the ring. Cabana dumps Hagadorn to the floor, giving Hero time to put on the loaded golden elbow pad. Hero hits Cabana in the back of the head with it, and then once more from the other side for good measure to get the pin at 12:41. That was one of the better Cabana matches I’ve seen in a while, as he wasn’t quite as goofy and Hero was his usual excellent self.
Rating: ***

MATCH #6: Austin Aries & Kenny King vs. The Young Bucks

Aries cuts an awesome promo before the match, telling the Young Bucks that their offense is weak and that wearing hideous, 1980s matching gear with tassels is lame, both points I agree with. He and King then unveil some hideously ‘80s matching gear of their own. Aries says their tassels are on back order, but they didn’t need them for a B-town like Manassas anyway. Matt Jackson starts the match with the ROH World Champion Austin Aries. The champ immediately takes Matt down to the mat and tears off one of his boot tassels and puts it down his pants. Matt focuses on getting his tassel back, and when he does he wraps it around Aries’ neck. That’s disgusting. Aries tags King into the match for the first time. King spends too much time taunting the Bucks, and Matt gets an armdrag and makes the tag to his brother Nick. The Bucks tag in and out, keeping the fresh man in the ring. Aries puts a stop to that and tags back into the match as they isolate Matt’s arm. They tag in and out just like the Bucks, just to be jerks. Naturally their uppance does come as Matt moves out of the way of an Aries flying knee and it hits King instead. The Bucks hit Aries with a double dropkick and both Aries and King are trying to regroup on the floor. Back in the ring things continue to go the Bucks’ way. They go for a double-team move but Aries low-bridges Nick, sending him crashing to the floor, and Aries and King once again go to work on Matt. They incorporate cartwheels into their repertoire to once again just be jerks. I love it. To really drive the point home about the Bucks’ ‘80s gear, Aries hits a big boot and King follows with a legdrop. After several minutes of abuse Matt hits a flipping Diamond Dust and tags in Nick. The blond Buck is all over both King and Aries. Nick hits King with the slingshot X-Factor. The Bucks continue to use double-team moves but King is able to kick out. Aries interferes and hits Matt with the IED. He and King execute their own version of More Bang for Your Buck but they can’t complete it. Aries goes for another IED but Matt avoids it and King takes it instead. Matt takes Aries out with a superkick, and then the Bucks hit King with More Bang for Your Buck for the bug upset win at 12:56! I’m normally not a huge fan of Aries but his character really worked for me tonight. He and King are a great team and the Bucks felt a little more reigned in than usual. After the match Aries and King blame each other for the loss. With all of their antics there should be plenty of blame to go around.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #7: Pick 6 Series – (4) Roderick Strong vs. (5) Tyler Black

Black has a shot at ROH World Champion Austin Aries tomorrow night in New York City. Strong is currently #4 in the Pick 6, Black is #5. They start off slowly, since this is their third time meeting in the last three months they know each other very well. Strong gets the first advantage and zeroes in on Black’s previously injured neck. He levels Black with a leg lariat and gets a two-count. Strong goes right back to the neck area, working him over with a variety of submission holds and strikes. Black punches his way out of a hold and hits a flurry of offense, including a dropkick to the face. He takes time firing up for a charge and Strong powerslams him instead for two. Black comes back with a modified Shining Wizard and both men are down. This has been a pretty even matchup so far. Black hits an Alabama Slam and a quebrada for two. He tries the Springboard Clothesline but Strong blocks it and tries a backbreaker but Black counters that and sends Strong to the floor. Black wipes Strong out with a somersault over the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring Strong comes back with a Falcon Arrow for two. Strong then hits two uranage backbreakers for a two-count. A leg cradle suplex gets another two-count for Strong. A series of reversals ends with Strong hitting a uranage slam for two. Black kicks his way back and gets a quick small package for two. He hits another kick to the head, and Strong returns the favor. Black responds with a standing shooting star press for two. He hits the running forearm in the corner and a tornado DDT for two. He goes up top and Strong stops his climb and hits a vicious chop. Black knees his way out and hits another kick to the head. He follows Strong into the ring with a springboard lariat and a superkick, and the F-5 for two. He goes for the Buckle Bomb but Strong backs him into the corner and then hits a backbreaker and a spinning Ace Crusher for two. Strong hits the gutbuster, but Black comes back with the Pele Kick. Strong tries the running Yakuza but Black counters with a Gibson Driver for two. Black once again sets up for the Buckle Bomb but can’t hit it. Strong comes back with a kick to the head and the rack backbreaker for two. They take it to the ring apron and Strong hits an enziguiri and then drops Black back-first on the apron but it only gets two! Strong goes for the Gibson Driver but Black reverses it, but then Strong reverses that to a God’s Last Gift for two! Once again Strong goes for the Gibson Driver but Black blocks it and hits a superkick and a Pele Kick. Strong brushes it off and hits the running Yakuza and then two Gibson Drivers to get the pin at 21:06! These two definitely have something special going on. This sets Strong up as a potential first challenger if Black is able to win the ROH World Title tomorrow night. What a terrific match.
Rating: ****

MATCH #8: Rocky Romero & The Briscoes vs. Alex Koslov & The American Wolves

The Wolves are the tag team champions, and they are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Tomorrow night the Wolves will defend those titles against the Briscoes in New York City. Romero and Richards are former stable mates in the No Remorse Corps and former ROH World Tag Team Champions. They lost the belts to the Briscoes. Also, Romero had many battles against the Briscoes when he was a member of the Rottweilers. So there’s plenty going on beneath the surface of this match. Richards and Romero start the match. They start off cautiously, throwing a few kicks but nothing major. They trade snap mares, and Richards bails to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring Richards straight up spits on Romero, and gets slapped in the face for his troubles. Romero hits a headscissors and then locks on a flying armbar. Richards reverses it to a Texas Cloverleaf, which Romero reverses to a small package for two. They block each other’s kicks and try a dropkick at the same time but neither can hit. Richards tags his fellow American Wolf Eddie Edwards and Romero tags Mark Briscoe. This is Edwards’s first match since Ladder War II in September. He might have a little ring rust, because the Briscoes dominate him. Edwards hits a chinbreaker and makes the quick tag to Koslov. It turns out that Koslov does the same stupid stop sign thing that Omega does. The match turns into a pier-six brawl, and the good guys hit simultaneous fallaway slams, sending all three of their opponents to the floor. Richards is so mad that he puts on Koslov’s hat and takes his belt on his way back to the locker room. Edwards and Koslov follow suit as the crowd chants “Man Up.” Then they come back. Okay. Santamaria makes a stupid crack about how both Russia and the United States are communist countries now. Shut up Santamaria. Back in the ring Jay works over Richards and makes the tag to Romero. Soon after Mark tags in and Richards backs him into a corner, and now the Wolves and Koslov triple team him. Koslov viciously attacks Mark’s knee, and Richards follows suit. Finally Mark makes the tag to his brother Jay, who is the proverbial house afire. Jay hits a splash off the top rope on Richards for two. He sets up for the Jay Driller but Richards blocks it. Edwards gets tagged in and goes for the backpack chinbreaker but Jay blocks it and hits the STO into the turnbuckle. Romero and Mark come in and kick Richards and Koslov down to the floor, and then commence the clubberin’ on Edwards. Mark hits Edwards with an exploder suplex for two. He goes to the second rope and hits a flying knee to the face for two. He tries the Cutthroat Driver but Edwards avoids it and hits an enziguiri. Richards sneaks into the ring and the Wolves hit a double-team Alarm Clock. Edwards and Koslov hit simultaneous superkicks on Mark while Richards hits the German Suplex for two. We’re left with Edwards and Mark in the ring exchanging forearms and slaps. Mark hits an exploder suplex, and Edwards responds with a clothesline and they both sell. I hate that spot. Koslov and Romero get tagged in and they go at it. The match completely breaks down as the referee loses control. The Briscoes and the Wolves take each other to the floor, while Koslov hits a fallaway slam off the top rope on Romero. The Wolves and the Briscoes fight to the back, leaving this a one-on-one match. Koslov puts on his hat and hits the dancing boots for a two-count. Romero comes back with a reverse enziguiri for a near-fall. They try to trick each other with dives to the floor, and Koslov wins that battle. Back in the ring Koslov hits a Frog Splash for two. Romero comes back with a backslide for two. Koslov responds with a brutal superkick for two. He goes for the Russian Legsweep but Romero reverses and hits a German Suplex followed by the knockout kick to get the win for his team at 22:54. The finish was a little anti-climactic but for over 20 minutes all six guys worked hard and beat the crap out of each other, which always makes for a fun main event.
Rating: ***¾

The Pulse: Since these are all bonus matches that come with Final Battle 2009, which is a regularly priced DVD, before I’ve even watched the A-show I feel like I got my money’s worth. The last three matches are really good, and without any backstage nonsense it all flows together very nicely.

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