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Downtown Recreation Complex – Orlando, Florida – March 29, 2008
MATCH #1: Delirious vs. Go Shiozaki
Delirious loses his mind at the sound of the bell, of course. Shiozaki isn’t quite sure how to react to Delirious’ strange antics but the crowd is enjoying them. Delirious tries to take Shiozaki down with shoulder tackles but has no luck there. Shiozaki tries a chop and Delirious gets out of the way in a hurry. Back in the ring Delirious shows off his chain wrestling skill but when Shiozaki tries a chop again Delirious goes right back to the floor. Delirious can only avoid the chops for so long and finally he gets hit with a couple of them. Shiozaki covers for two. Delirious comes back with a clothesline off the top rope for two. He follows with a back suplex for another two-count. Shiozaki fights back with more chops. He goes to work with various strikes and submission holds, keeping Delirious grounded. Shiozaki hits a delayed Fisherman Buster for a near-fall. He slams Delirious down and goes up for the moonsault but Delirious gets his knees up. Delirious unleashes a flurry of offense now but can’t keep Shiozaki down. He hits the Panic Attack and goes up top for Shadows Over Hell but Shiozaki cuts him out of the air with a superkick. Shiozaki then hits a nice German Suplex with a bridge for two. Delirious puts on the Cobra Stretch and Shiozaki makes it to the ropes. Shiozaki shrugs off an enziguiri and hits a big lariat for two. Delirious tries an inside cradle but Shiozaki rolls through and hits the Go Flasher for the pin at 12:34. That was a good choice for an opener, as they mixed some Delirious comedy with some solid action.
Backstage – Larry Sweeney and Shane Hagadorn are gloating about their private locker room. Apparently Adam Pearce and Brent Albright are on vacation on Sweeney’s dime. Sweeney says offers for Chris Hero and Daniel Puder are flooding in. He then decides that Hagadorn needs some better threads if they are going to be seen together. I miss Sweeney.
MATCH #2: The YRR vs. Bushwhacker Luke, Dingo & Alex Payne
The Young, Rich, and Ready for action is represented tonight by Sal Rinauro, Kenny King and Chasyn Rance. They have some sluts with them. King is a co-holder of the FIP Tag Team Titles and Rinauro is the FIP Florida Heritage Champion. I’m not sure why Luke, Dingo, and Payne deserve to be on a show called “Supercard of Honor” but here they are. Dingo and Rinauro start the match. They go back and forth a bit and Dingo takes the first advantage. Payne tags in and looks skinny and weak. The YRR use some questionable tactics to take Payne down on the floor and they put the boots to him. They isolate Payne now in their half of the ring and work him over. King tries a suplex on him but Payne sort of counters it to a DDT. Dingo gets the hot tag and he unloads on all three members of the YRR. The match breaks down and it turns into a pier-six brawl. Watching the YRR sell for Luke is somewhat depressing. The YRR isolates Dingo and hit him with a flurry of offense. Rinauro finishes him off with a springboard spin kick to the face for the pin at 8:13. Luke’s involvement was kept to a minimum, which kept this match in the acceptable territory.
At this point a match was taped for the upcoming Take No Prisoners pay-per-view in which ROH World Tag Team Champions Davey Richards and Rocky Romero successfully defended the belts against Ruckus and Jigsaw. Larry Sweeney then makes his way out with Shane Hagadorn for reasons unknown. Sweeney makes a pitch to have the No Remorse Corps join up with Sweet N’ Sour Inc., but Roderick Strong comes storming out and tells Sweeney for the last time that they have no interest. Erick Stevens then comes charging out and attacks! The Vulture Squad takes the tag champions to the back and the FIP Title match is on!
MATCH #3: FIP World Heavyweight Title Match – Roderick Strong vs. Erick Stevens
Strong has been the Champion since 2.16.08, and this is his third defense. Stevens dominates and chops Strong so hard that his chest starts to bleed! They make it into the ring but the referee for some reason doesn’t ring the bell. Instead both Stevens and Strong take shots at him to knock him out. The brutality escalates and they fight out on the floor, just tearing into each other. Strong wraps a chair around Stevens’ head and slams it into the ring post! Stevens is bleeding from the head now. Back in the ring Strong tries to whip Stevens into a chair but Stevens reverses and slams Strong’s head into said chair. Stevens then hits a TKO on the chair and Strong rolls back to the floor. Strong’s head is busted open now too. Back in the ring Stevens continues his domination. Stevens goes for the Choo-Choo but Strong cuts him off with a boot and a clothesline. Strong tries to follow up but Stevens grabs him in a release German Suplex. Stevens then hits the Choo-Choo and a huge lariat. Strong comes back with an enziguiri and the Sick Kick. Both men rise and they start trading hard strikes. They knock each other out with simultaneous hard forearm shots. Strong grabs the chair and CLOBBERS Stevens over the head with it. He calls Richards and Romero out and they cut Stevens’ Mohawk! That’s brutal. The crowd is pissed. I guess technically that’s a no-contest but that was one HELL of a fight, where the two guys really seemed to hate each other and didn’t care about winning, just hurting the other guy. In the context of their feud I think this was surely the right “match” to have at this time.
MATCH #4: Relaxed Rules – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black
They show a nice video recap of this feud, and then Jacobs cuts a promo before the match introducing Mr. Milo Beasley, an FIP mainstay. Jacobs and Black are also accompanied by Lacey and Rain. The Briscoes charge to the ring and we’re off and running. This is actually the first time we’ve seen just these two teams against each other since Jacobs and Black took the ROH World Tag Team Titles from the Briscoes at Final Battle 2007. The battle quickly spills to the floor and the Briscoes pitch Jacobs and Black into the crowd. Mark finds a tramampoline and uses it to spring over the guardrail and wipe his opponents out. Prazak and Leonard vacate the commentary position, so I will be back when they are. After a wild brawl all over the arena featuring tons of chairs and Mark diving off the balcony to put Mr. Milo Beasley through a table, we pick it back up in the ring with Jay on his own against Jacobs and Black. Jacobs tries to put a plastic bag over Jay’s head and that doesn’t really work, but The Age of The Fall still has a two-on-one advantage. Black hits Paroxysm and Jacobs follows with the back senton for a two-count. Jay fights back with a series of strikes and hits Jacobs with a Falcon Arrow for a two-count. He hits Black with a Death Valley Driver for two. Jay goes for the Jay Driller but Jacobs kicks him in the nuts and Black rolls him up with a cradle for a near-fall. AOTF hit the Super Contra Code combo but Jay kicks out! Black goes up top for the Phoenix Splash but Mark is back and he shoves Black down. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but Jacobs actually catches Mark in mid-air and locks on the End Time! Mark is out at 15:05! The crowd chants “That Was Awesome.” It was awesome, probably the best match these two teams had against each other. The brawling around the arena was well done and the crowd was into them the entire time. Also the finish was really awesome and creative.
Backstage – Erick Stevens Is looking worse for wear, face all bloody and Mohawk all shaved. Stevens says he’s not going to stop until he gets the FIP World Heavyweight Title.
Elsewhere – Rebecca Bayless is with The Age of The Fall, who are celebrating their victory. Black says they accomplished their first goal by beating the Briscoes. Jacobs says next up is Austin Aries will win the ROH World Title from Nigel McGuinness tonight and join The Age of The Fall. He says he has a plan. Lacey says that if his plan falls through, she has a backup plan. Jacobs looks surprised by that.
MATCH #5: BxB Hulk & Shingo vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
Shingo and Hulk represent the New Hazard faction. Generico and Hulk start the match. I expect this will get fast and our of hand relatively quickly. My prediction comes true as Generico and Hulk exchange maneuvers and the crowd is juiced. Hulk gets the advantage so Steen tags in and Hulk takes control of him too. Hulk then weirdly sells his head for some reason and tags out. Shingo and Steen try to out-power each other now. Steen sends Shingo to the floor and Generico wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring Steen and Generico start going to work on Shingo. Generico doesn’t fare too well before Shingo slugs him down. New Hazard is in control now, but they knock Generico right back into his own corner and he’s able to make the tag. Steen comes in roaring. He and Generico isolate Hulk and wear him down. Hulk fights back with dropkicks and makes the tag. Shingo is a house afire. Things start to get crazy and it’s hard to keep up with the action. This is exactly what I expected from these four guys and I love it. Hulk hits the first finisher, an EVO on Generico for a two-count. Steen tries a Package Piledriver but Hulk slips out of it. Hulk hits Mouse but Steen responds with a lariat. Shingo clobbers Steen with a lariat. Generico flies in with a cross body block on Shingo and all four men are down. Steen and Shingo knock each other to the floor. Generico hits Hulk with the running Yakuza Kick, and Steen follows with a Swanton Bomb for two. Steen misses a moonsault and Shingo grabs him in the Blood Fall for a two-count. Hulk hits Generico with EVOP for a near-fall. Shingo tosses Steen to the floor. He then puts Generico on his shoulders and Hulk knocks him off with a springboard leg lariat for two. Steen gets knocked to the floor again and Hulk wipes him out with a moonsault. Shingo hits Generico with a huge lariat in the corner. He follows with a super Death Valley Driver but only gets two! Shingo hits the Pumping Bomber but Generico pops right back up so Shingo clobbers him with another one. He then hits Last Falconry to get the win at 17:48. That was just phenomenal action from bell to bell from two great teams. Both duos have a power guy and a speed guy and they matched up really well. All the moves hit and the crowd was pretty hard for them the whole time.
Backstage – Erick Stevens finishes shaving his Mohawk.
MATCH #6: ROH World Championship Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Austin Aries
McGuinness has been the Champion since 10.6.07, and this is his tenth defense. They start off cautiously, as this is their second title match after the classic at Rising Above 2007. Both men target the arm early on. Aries tries the Last Chancery but McGuinness wisely slips to the floor. Back in the ring Aries goes on the attack and hits a Thesz Press. Aries continues to strike and locks on the Last Chancery but McGuinness is too close to the ropes. The challenger continues to focus on the head, and looks extremely determined to become a two-time ROH World Champion. Aries makes a slight misstep and McGuinness capitalizes, going to work on the shoulder. Aries fights back with a running knee strike. He follows with a series of chops, including one off the top rope. McGuinness hits the Guns of Brixton for two. He goes back to the arm and locks on the London Dungeon but Aries reaches the ropes. Aries comes back and locks on the Last Chancery again. McGuinness rakes Aries’ eyes, and I wonder why more guys don’t do that to get out of that move. McGuinness goes back on offense and tries the Tower of London but Aries responds with an eye rake of his own. Aries hits a missile dropkick. He goes for the IED but McGuinness kicks him in the face. This time McGuinness hits the Tower of London but Aries kicks out. McGuinness sets Aries on the top rope for the clothesline but Aries ducks and traps McGuinness in a headscissors in the ropes. Aries then hits an ax handle down to the floor a la Macho Man. He follows with a vicious IED. Back in the ring Aries hits another IED, and then two more. Aries goes for the Brainbuster but McGuinness blocks it. McGuinness tries the headstand but Aries hits him with another IED. Aries tries to follow up but McGuinness cuts him off with a big lariat. Both men barely make it to their feet by the count of 10. They slap each other and then upgrade to forearms. McGuinness goes for the Jawbreaker Lariat but Aries hits a lariat first. Aries hits the Brainbuster but misses the 450. McGuinness locks on the London Dungeon and really wrenches it in. Aries counters it to a rollup and nearly pins the Champion. He then puts on the Last Chancery but McGuinness is able to slip out and put on the London Dungeon! Aries counters out of that and kicks McGuinness in the head. McGuinness tries the Jawbreaker but Aries ducks and gets a backslide for two. Aries kicks him in the head and hits the Brainbuster. He goes up top once again and this time hits the 450 but McGuinness gets his fot on the bottom rope. McGuinness rolls to the floor and Aries goes for the Heat Seeking Missile but McGuinness moves out of the way! Aries crashed into the barricade hard. McGuinness puts Aries on the barricade and hits a nasty lariat. Back in the ring McGuinness covers but Aries somehow kicks out. McGuinness hits a short-arm lariat but Aries kicks out again! The Champion tries another Lariat but Aries ducks and hits a crucifix bomb. McGuinness is able to come back with the Jawbreaker Lariat to finally get the pin at 24:43. That was a brilliant match from both guys, who stuck to their strategy for the first while and then just started throwing bombs in the last half. They played off the first match brilliantly and countered each other expertly. This match is even better than I remember it being, and it’s probably one of the best matches of 2008.
A Choice is Made
Before Aries can leave the ring, The Age of The Fall’s music hits. Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black, Lacey, and Rain all make their way out. Jacobs wants his answer right now. He gets frustrated so Lacey takes over. Lacey takes Aries by the hand, and after a brief protest Jacobs agrees to allow it. Before they can even leave the ring, Tammy Sytch makes her way out. Sytch offers herself to Aries, but he decides to leave with Lacey instead. Jacobs and Black then hold Sytch for Rain to slap across the face until the Briscoes come out and make the save.
Backstage – Nigel McGuinness declares the era of Austin Aries over. McGuinness says he’s the best wrestler in the world and the Ace of Ring of Honor. He challenges anyone to face him and promises to break their jaw.
MATCH #7: Typhoon vs. Muscle Outlaw’z
The Typhoon trio is CIMA, Dragon Kid & Ryo Saito. The Muscle Outlaw’z team is Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino & Genki Horiguchi. These are the same participants from the first Supercard of Honor match, just with CIMA and Horiguchi switching sides. Horiguchi and Saito start the match. They wrestle to a standoff and then tag CIMA and Doi into the match. After another standoff, Kid and Yoshino tag in. This should be quick. Kid sends Yoshino to the floor and thinks about a dive but Yoshino moves out of the way. Horiguchi comes in and Typhoon goes to work on him. The Outlaw’z come back on Saito and work him over. Momentum continues to shift as both teams try to establish dominance and set the pace. The Outlaw’z focus mostly on Kid, but they’re equal opportunity destroyers tonight. They dominate for several minutes and you can see the confidence building. Finally Kid hits Horiguchi with a leg lariat and makes the tag. Saito comes in fresh and ready to go. CIMA comes in and the pace is taking off. I’m starting to lose track of where everyone is at. Typhoon is clicking on all cylinders and the crowd is jacked. I would hate to be the referee in one of these matches. I can’t type fast enough to keep up with what they’re doing. The finish finally comes when Horiguchi hits Kid with the Beach Break and Doi follows with the Muscular Bomb to give the Muscle Outlaw’z the victory at 25:46. This was another amazing exhibition from six tremendous wrestlers. I didn’t think two guys switching sides would make that big of a difference but it gave the match a different dynamic than the first one. I also love the synergy of Doi getting revenge on Dragon Kid for winning the first match. It’s ridiculous what these guys can pull off while making it all look good.
Backstage – Shane Hagadorn and Larry Sweeney are celebrating after a great night. Sweeney says he’s going to make all the money and be laughing all the way to the bank.
And thus concludes one of the greatest shows in ROH history.
Tags: Austin Aries, Dragon Gate, Nigel McGuinness, Ring of Honor, Supercard of Honor