ROH 010 – Scramble Madness – 16th November 2002
For the first time ROH runs two shows in a month (two shows in two weeks no less), and the promotion ventures away from the Murphy Rec for only the second time. It’s back to the Boston market for this event with a solid card. The Prophecy hold the power so no titles are on the line. However, AJ Styles defends his #1 Contenders Trophy against Christopher Daniels, as you’d expect given the title of the show, we have a mega 10-man Scramble match, a Briscoe vs Briscoe dream partner tag match, the first ever Homicide/Samoa Joe match and a 30-Minute Iron Man to main event. Chris Lovey and the surprisingly good Jeff Gorman continue on the mics. We’re in Wakefield, MA.
The Prophecy are here gloating that they’re not defending the belts. More face-pulling cheekiness in the background from Samoa Joe. Xavier’s promo-skills suck. Simply Luscious reminds Xavier that last time he was in a non-title match he lost. Daniels says he’ll win the #1 Contenders Trophy then not take the shot, thus ensuring The Prophecy NEVER lose the title. Joe tells Daniels that he doesn’t pay him enough to break the Code of Honor and is only concentrating on beating up Homicide for forking HIS friend Steve Corino at the last show. Dunn & Marcos interrupt to rock the Prophecy…LIKE A HURRICANE. They get punished for insolence with a handicap match against Joe later.
Jay Briscoe and Amazing Red are already in the ring. Jay demands his ‘faggot brother’ gets to the ring. Christopher Daniels is Mark’s partner. It seems Mark has joined The Prophecy…
SIDENOTE – learning from the Honor Invades Boston event in the same venue, tonight we do have a hard camera. It’s not the best hard cam view ever but it’s better than nothing.
Jay Briscoe/Amazing Red vs Mark Briscoe/Christopher Daniels
We’re out of Philly which is why Mark is wrestling tonight. The Briscoes had a classic at the last Boston show as they continue their sibling rivalry. Mark is still jealous of Jay’s success, and they got the chance to pick dream partners for this match. Jay has pulled out Red, the man he’s faced twice this year and clearly has a lot of respect for. Mark has joined The Prophecy, falling under the control of the maniacal Christopher Daniels. That’s an extra insult to Jay, who’s spent the last couple of months getting his ass kicked by The Prophecy – especially Xavier. Being in this match means both Red and Daniels are voluntarily pulling double-duty tonight.
Mark clobbers Jay rather than follow the Code just to prove his Prophecy allegiance. Mark hits a spinning heel kick but Jay comes back with a Yakuza boot then makes the tag to Red. He and Mark to a lot of nice fast-paced stuff. Mark wins out with an overhead suplex. Daniels runs into a satellite headscissors and the stepping dropkick in the corner for 2. Jay and Mark come in together and again show off their super-fluid back and forth wrestling exchanges. Mark shows off his submission skills by floating between an anklelock and an STF, until Jay counters to his own STF. ELEVATED tornado faceplant DDT by Red and Jay, but Daniels back drops little Red to the floor then tosses him into a chair. He throws Red out again where Mark can do more damage whilst the referee is distracted. The Prophecy team start to do a number on the little guy, Daniels instructing Mark to use the ropes to choke on him. He’s passing on his heel knowledge! Daniels applies a half crab and talks trash on Jay at the same time. Jay tries to attack him leading to the old-fashioned heel switching places strategy.
Red tries a small package but this time it’s Mark occupying the official so he can’t count. I’m loving the heel-ness. They switch to a big move/tag-out formula which gives Red quite the beating. Mark applies a surfboard and stands on Red’s neck as well. Daniels uses the BME to get a 2. SPRINGBOARD ACE CRUSHER from Mark gets 2 as well. Finally Red manages a satellite inverted DDT but goes to the wrong Briscoe and doesn’t get the tag. Mark punishes that mistake by giving him a powerbomb. FLYING headscissors on Daniels and this time he does get the hot exchange. Jay beats on Daniels with Mark hesitant to get in there. A fisherman buster gets 2 before Mark makes the save. Jay gives him a big DDT for that. Daniels prevents the Jay Driller with a stepping enziguri. The Briscoes are brawling on the floor so it’s Red and Daniels going at it. Corkscrew enzi nailed by Amazing. CODE RED for 2. He goes for another flying headscissors but Daniels catches him with LAST RITES. The Prophecy get the win at 15:55.
Rating – *** – And that would overtake Daniels/Dragon from Round Robin Challenge as the best opening match ROH has done. It started a little bit slowly but there was a great heat segment on Red with Daniels and Mark providing not only an awesome heel dynamic but they put in some nice teacher/pupil stuff to really add credence to the new Mark/Prophecy development. Red is always good as the babyface in peril, and Jay gave his showing for a couple of shows (whilst he was facing Xavier).
Special K are all high. Izzy and Dixie need reminding about what happened last week because they’re high. Alexis Laree yells at Joey Matthews for being high. But Special K are too high to care. Dixie brings in some new friends who are, unsurprisingly, equally high.
Mace vs Alexis Laree
Alexis has been feuding with the Christopher Street Connection and Allison Danger for some time. Last month she beat Danger in a singles match, but then Mace kicked her ass post-match. Since Christian York has gone and Joey Matthews has decided he likes drugs more than hanging out with her, there was nobody to help her out.
Mace gets slapped in the face then takes a headscissors as well. Apparently Buff E. has left Mace and ROH. Tope lame-icida continues Laree’s dominance. Essentially all Mace does is comedy gay offence. Laree testicular claws him then comes off the top rope with a swinging DDT. It’s over at 02:37. Allison Danger goes for a kiss so Laree floors her as well. Lovey promises that ‘this feud is over’.
Rating – DUD – Time to ditch the gays me think. They’ve gotten Alexis more over than she has any right to be (at this point she was still so green herself) and, without Buff E. there’s hardly any act anyway. He was always the funny one anyway. Sh*t comedy match again…
Steve Corino cuts a promo from the locker room of the Murphy Rec. Homicide has f*cked up his eye by stabbing him with a fork at the end of the last show. He quits ROH because he gets no respect. He has a full-time job in Japan anyway.
Jeremy Lopez vs Xavier
Since AJ is the #1 Contenders Trophy holder obviously this is non-title. Lopez is making his second ROH appearance after debuting in a nothing match against fellow Dean Malenko-trainee Tony Mamaluke at Crowning A Champion. Apparently he’s off to Osaka-Pro in Japan soon. Xavier showed some signs of improvement against Jay Briscoe at All Star Extravaganza but mostly he still blows and the only ability he displays is the ability to under whelm and disappoint.
Lopez looks determined to cause an upset with some intense matwork. Xavier grabs a wristlock and starts slamming him from that position. Jeremy comes back again with armdrags and a dropkick. Xavier avoids a second dropkick and gets 2 with a running kick to the sternum. Knee strikes in the corner followed by a belly to belly. He’s grasping that he needs to wind the crowd up to get heat again which is good. Three minutes in and he’s already visibly slowing though. Therefore he applies the WWElock (chinlock) to catch his breath. Luscious grabs Lopez’s leg as he tries to hit Xavier. The ROH Champion takes advantage by taking the match to the floor and driving Jeremy into the ringpost. Back inside he lifts Lopez into that torture wrack into an inverted Samoan drop. Lopez slaps on an anklelock to show he’s still in the match. He follows that with a big boot and a neckbreaker. He does the KENTA tornado guillotine then nails a missile dropkick for 2. Tornado DOUBLE UNDERHOOK DDT rolled through into a TIGER DRIVER for 2! Xavier catches Lopez and drops him with a gutbuster. COBRA CLUTCHPLEX gets 2! X-Breaker blocked with a chickenwing DDT but Lopez takes too long to cover. Xavier knees the back some more then hits the X-BREAKER! 450 Splash wins it for the champion at 10:49.
Rating – ** – Again a slow start, and it annoys me how the commentators always shill Xavier as being in terrific shape when he always looks knackered after 5 minutes. However, I really liked the way he focused his offence on the back/midsection here. It was pleasing. He showed he was developing the ability to get heat in a non-sh*t wrestler sense at All Star Extravaganza, now he displays some in-ring improvement to match. This is my biggest problem with the Xavier title reign. It’s not like he wasn’t improving as a worker and it’s not like he doesn’t deserve to be in ROH. I simply reiterate what I said after his match last time – he should be making his improvements in the midcard.
Tony Mamaluke/Matt Thompson vs Da Hit Squad
Thompson is the weirdest looking wrestler you’ll ever see. He’s almost 7ft tall, but he’s incredibly lanky. There are obese toddlers that probably weigh more than him. Mamaluke is here for the first time since he told James Maritato that he’d get serious after their match at Glory By Honor. DHS…well, they’re still big and they’re still violent.
Thompson actually looks like mutant version of Tony Mamaluke. Mamaluke is SHOOTAH SERIOUS and latches onto Monsta Mack’s leg like a really angry Chihuahua. Thompson gets the blind tag and hits a springboard lanky crossbody then a clumsy ass tilta-whirl headscissors. Jesus Christ this guy is skinny. He f*cks something up so Mack gives him an extra-stiff lariat. Take THAT tall boy! Matt tags out after that. Mafia stomps Mamaluke down in the corner for the cannonball senton. How’s that for serious gerbil-face? OCEAN CYCLONE LARIAT for 2! Mack busts out a sweet military press fallaway slam. Lovey makes a crack about Nunzio. Thompson hits a diving clothesline off the apron. Mamaluke gets 2 with a top rope leg drop. The crowd chant tag because they want to see anyone, even a big lanky freak, as opposed to Tony Mamaluke. He drops Mack with a springboard swinging DDT and the biggest pop of the night goes to Thompson as he tags in. 6’8 GANGLY LIONSAULT! Mamaluke puts Mafia in a dragon sleeper. Matt gets hauled off the top rope…BURNING HAMMER! That gets 3 at 09:55, even though Mamaluke has Monsta Mack tapping to the front choke.
Rating – DUD – Well, that was pretty awful, but provided more comedy than anything Mace was capable of in the “comedy” match earlier. Matt Thompson is pretty crap, and looks hilarious. But then again, this was apparently only his fifth match ever. Mamaluke sucks and how over his ridiculous tag partner got in one match really shows that. Nobody cared when he had a gimmick people wanted to see (clinging to the FBI). Now he’s ditched that and gone SERIOUS people will like him even less.
Special K vs SAT/Divine Storm/Amazing Red – Scramble Match
This is 5-a-side, therefore the biggest Scramble thus far. Representing Special K are Joey Matthews, Izzy and the debuting trio of Slim J, Deranged and Angeldust. They were the extra druggies Dixie brought in earlier. Dixie got injured in the scramble last week and is on crutches. Special K were formed when Brian XL went to find a new posse to hang out with rather than the SAT/D-Storm/Red crew so, there’s heat there even though I think XL has been dropped by now. Expect lots of botches, sloppiness and completely…SCRAMBLE MADNESS! Mmmm…wordplay.
Deranged and Jose Maximo drift through an extended sequence of matwork with no conviction, intensity or attempt to make their stuff look good. Deranged is nothing but a spoilt punk kid apparently. Him and Jose are botching things now. Slim J (the Eminem look-alike) and Red do some flippy stuff, but at least it’s better than Jose/Deranged. Izzy shows fat Joel how do a running rana. He tries a springboard move and Maximo kicks him off the ropes. Angeldust and Divine take centre stage despite there being action all over ringside now. They end up breaking the turnbuckle. Joey Matthews provides the early high point by pissing everyone off and applying a headlock. The babyfaces get pitched to the floor with Special K left inside. DUELLING SOMERSAULT PLANCHAS…THREE WAY TOPE SUICIDA! Izzy and Deranged were the guys doing somersaults. Joel is the first to no-sell that by clobbering Deranged with a lariat. Red and Jose hit him with a version of Revelations. Deranged hung in the corner for all the babyfaces to hit basement dropkicks. FIVE MAN BASEMENT DROPKICK! Poor Deranged, now Divine almost murders him with a brainbuster. Lovey makes paedophile jokes about Joey Matthews. Oh the irony! Special K try a four-person enziguri…except Angeldust is so moronically late it isn’t even funny. Somehow he and Divine mess up something else before Slim gets in for a swish rope-running corkscrew senton. INVERTED STYLES CLASH by Red! Izzy gets 2 on Red with the moonsault dropkick so Jose lays him out with a powerbomb facecrusher. Quiet Storm brings the mini-Misawa elbows then SPINAL SHOCK! Divine Storm and SAT catch the druggies on the top rope. SUPER PILEDRIVERS FROM ALL FOUR CORNERS! About 2 seconds later all the guys that should be dead from top rope piledrivers go back to the top for FOUR CORNER MOONSAULTS! Red Star Press misses Deranged. 718 on Slim J before Quiet Storm grabs him! STORM…CRADLE…DRIVER! That’s goddamn crazy! Deranged botches a corkscrew enzi on Jose. Luckily for the Maximos Joel comes in. ROLLING POWERBOMBS…MAXIMO EXPLOSION! Spasticdust eats the DOOMSDAY DDT! INFRA-RED! SAT, Red and Divine Storm win at 17:53.
Rating – ** – You know what, there were some absolutely mind-blowing spots in there. You’ll notice that from how much MARK-OUT CAPS LOCKING there was. But there was also some mind-blowing screw-ups, some incredible ignorance and some frankly appalling exposing of the business. If you love the scramble fun then you’ll like this more than my rating. Then again, if you hate them and think it’s nothing but bastardised pseudo-lucha done by a bunch of green kids who’ve got no business getting into an ROH ring, then you’ll like it less. I think my rating adequately reflects the fun of some great spots compared with the frustration of the shocking lack of mat basics all 10 of these athletes display.
Dunn & Marcos vs Samoa Joe
We saw how this handicap match came to be. Dunn & Marcos interrupted a Prophecy promo to demand a Tag Title shot. Chris Daniels was so outraged he set his hired weapon onto them. Joe has Homicide later but he’s getting paid so he’ll work double duty.
The Ring Crew try to double team him but Joe just kinda ignores it. He pulls Marcos’ shirt up over his head and clobbers him with a lariat. Island Driver on Dunn wins it at 01:51.
Rating – DUD – Good booking and I assume this was primarily taped for High Impact TV anyway. It establishes the RCE as comedy losers, and keeps Joe over as a legit monster (which is important considering the result of Joe/Homicide later in the show).
Paul London/Rudy Boy Gonzalez vs Michael Shane/Bio-Hazard – Street Fight
In my opinion the London/Shane feud should’ve been ended at the last event. Paul got the big babyface win in the epic blow-off (the Street Fight at Unscripted). Michael Shane got his heat back and the fans still got a happy moment at All Star Extravaganza when he decked London only to take a DDT from the legendary Tommy Dreamer. I’d also like to know which idiot booked Rudy Boy in another match following that big fat oaf’s terrible match with Steve Corino at Glory By Honor.
Bio and Shane jump their opponents before the bell, and therefore it takes less than a second of the match for London to be whipped through a guardrail. Thankfully we move away from Rudy Boy and Hazard on the floor to watch Paul connect with a dropsault on Shane. Does anyone else think Gonzalez would be a better ROH Champion than Xavier? London back flips off RBG’s back into a splash for 2. Rudy botches a 619 because he’s such a lame-o. On the floor London gives Bio a standing moonsault. Paul is the only thing saving this from total sucktitude. Rudy has Shane in a Tarantula which the ref counts even though it’s a street fight. Paul decimates about 5 railing segments with Bio’s body – ouch. Shane takes advantage by DDT’ing Gonzalez through one of the sections. Hazard does that flipping neck snap. That and random head drops are his only moves. Get some new ones kid…and a decent haircut. It’s not cool to dress like a retarded Sub Zero wannabe either. There’s no point in doing serious pbp on this now. It’s just aimless brawling with some mild spotwork. Hazard lifts London into a…random head drop. London bridges the ring and rails with a ladder. He walks to the middle and crotches himself. Rudy Boy dropkicks Shane off the top rope through a table. Thankfully Bio manages to heave his immense ass into a snap suplex on the ladder. Paul is back from slipping on the ladder…to moonsault a chair into Hazard’s stomach. Sweet Chin Music by Rudy to the LONDON STAR PRESS. Shane kicks out to prolong the agony. Sweet Shane Music gets Michael 2. London feeds Bio to the fat Mexican on the top rope for a superbomb. Red Star Press by London wins it at 14:31.
Rating – DUD – And that would be the worst match of the night right there. Who the hell thought that 15 minutes of these guys would be a good idea? London is good, so is Shane, but they got dragged down by their terrible partners, and the fact that there’s nothing else for them to do to each other in a Street Fight. This really achieved nothing other than stretching out a good feud a show too far. Maybe Rudy Boy actually is booked to prove that there ARE worse guys around than Xavier.
Carnage Crew vs Alex Arion/Fast Eddie/Don Juan
This is a 6-man. The Carnage Crew have added a third member here. His name is Masada, he’s yet another TWA graduate – much like opponents Don Juan and Fast Eddie (aka ‘that blind wrestler’). Arion made his ROH debut last time we were in the Boson area, then made his way to Philly at Unscripted to kick Prince Nana in the face. This is the Carnage Crew’s first “normal” match.
Masada’s a big guy but judging from the way he starts with Fast Eddie, he’s pretty agile too. Arion hits a nice body press on DeVito as Team Bland take control. ASAI BLINDSAULT by Eddie, almost killing himself on the railings. Juan drops a leg on Loc but the Crew member comes back with a Saito suplex. Masada powerbombs Don then brings DeVito in for a northern lights to the turnbuckles. Masada hits the top rope for a nice leg drop, only to be out-done by the DeVito moonsault. Arion gives DeVito a spinebuster as Eddie drops Loc with a swinging DDT. Flying body splash on Masada but the referee is busy so Loc mashes him with a chair. The Crew take Eddie upstairs for the SPIKE PILEDRIVER! Carnage Crew win at 07:29. Next show they have Homicide and Abdullah.
Rating – * – Pure filler but it wasn’t all bad. Fast Eddie provided entertainment because he’s blind and walks a fine line between crazy and constantly screwing up. The Carnage Crew were fun in the way they beat the crap out of Don Juan (who I don’t like anyway), and Masada looked like the best product of the TWA school since the Dragon/Spanky/London/Shane group.
Samoa Joe vs Homicide
This is Cide’s first singles match incidentally. Joe is pissed off at him because he’s friends with Steve Corino, and Homicide ended All Star Extravaganza by stabbing Corino in the eye with a fork. Joe also choked out Homicide at the climax of the exciting 6-man tag match at the same show.
Joe might be pissed off but he’s still an honourable man and the way this match starts shows that it won’t be a weapon-filled spot-splurge like the London/Shane tag earlier. He rocks Homicide with Kawada kicks then starts raking at his eye. Next he bites it as his quest for revenge continues. Joe is actually working the eye now, using the bootscrapes to do so. Homicide tries the STF but Joe bails. TOPE CON HILO! Now it’s Homicide raking the eye, then utilising corner offence (like Joe’s facewash) with running knees. STO SLAM with stink on it! Homicide has to roll out after that. They take it turns to wipe out guardrail sections. Joe gets 2 with a sick dragon suplex. He makes the mistake of climbing the ropes for some reason and Cide capitalises with a frankensteiner. LARIAT COMBO gets 2! It’s cool seeing that years before he started using the lariat as a finish. Joe drops him on his head again with a DVD, then flattens him with his own lariat take. Homicide pops back up…HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX! That is sickening. To make it worse he starts booting Joe square in the face. Joe puts Homicide into the STF from the powerbomb…THEN THE CHOKE! Homicide has learned from All Star Extravaganza and rolls to the ropes. SLAP DUEL! Homicide pulls it out with a roll-up at 10:00.
Rating – *** – That was flat-out awesome, and only the brief length and the roll-up finish take away from the final rating. Psychologically it was immense, with both men attacking the eye, referencing previous matches, move theft etc. Even the roll-up ending has a purpose – establishing a theme which goes on to be key in Samoa Joe’s ROH career: he is vulnerable to the quick pin. Oh yeah, don’t forget some cringing head drops and the fact that every strike is savage. That’s MOTN thus far.
AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels – #1 Contenders Trophy Match
I think this is the only time that a holder of the trophy actually had to defend it before getting his title shot. AJ won it by beating American Dragon in an epic match a week ago. Chris Daniels wants to win it to act as a blocker for Xavier. If he holds the trophy then he can defend that and ensure that Xavier never has to defend the ROH Championship. Daniels was also the man that eliminated AJ from the ROH Title tournament at Road To The Title in June, bloodying him up in the process.
They work the mat, probably with Daniels feeling his way in after wrestling once already tonight. I wish the spotmatch workers would watch these two and learn how to throw a proper armdrag. Better yet, watch Ricky Steamboat. We get a mid-air collision on simultaneous crossbody attempts, then Styles lays Daniels out with a heel kick. He gets 2 with a swinging neckbreaker. Daniels comes back by monkey flipping him into the turnbuckles. The match goes to the floor where Daniels tries to use the guardrails to make Styles bleed like he did at Road To The Title. BARRIER LEAP SUPERKICK by AJ! Muta Lock applied, then rolled over to an inverted version. He does the rear gourdbuster by itself – the only time I’ve seen him do that. He tries the Spiral Tap but Daniels pulls him down into an on the fly DDT. He’s feeling his back after some of the stuff Styles has done and can’t get him up for a suplex. He goes to the eyes, and when AJ tries his dropkick thing for the second time in the match he counters it with a back suplex. Daniels gets 2 with a neckbreaker then prepares for the BME. Styles moves but Daniels plants him with a flatliner straight away. Suplex neckbreaker from AJ and both men are down. AJ is first up with a Sayama kick in the corner then a discus lariat. Brainbuster gets him another 2. He tries a handspring elbow and gets punished for stealing Tajiri’s spot with Daniels’ blue thunder driver. Daniels scores with an awesome STO then the BME, but takes too long to make the cover. Daniels blocks the Phenom DDT but AJ switches out of the Last Rites that beat him last time into a straight inverted DDT. Daniels sunset flips into the STYLES CLASH! AJ wins at 15:18.
Rating – *** – Not their finest work together by any stretch of the imagination, but for the second time in ROH, they come together having already wrestled once in the show already. Essentially it was the usual array of smooth interchanges that they usually do, but there were a couple of clever references to the Road To The Title match which were most welcome. AJ challenges Xavier next show…
Xavier and Mark Briscoe join Christopher Daniels to triple-team AJ. Jay Briscoe tries to help out but gets beaten down as well. In the end it’s Amazing Red and SAT who run The Prophecy off. STYLES CLASH ON XAVIER!
Bryan Danielson vs Doug Williams – 30-Minute Iron Man Match
The caption introducing him calls him ‘American Dragon’ Bryan Danielson, so that makes it the first time ROH are acknowledging his real name. This is a rematch from the mat clinic they put on at Road To The Title. There it was Williams who walked away the victor, and went on to be the glue that held the Crowning A Champion Iron Man together.
Williams stretches Dragon’s legs only to get thrown through the ropes. We continue the theme they established in the first match that is Doug is a superior wrestler to Danielson and forces him to wrestle defensively. Danielson ties up the legs and rakes at the face perhaps out of desperation, then uses a deathlock instead. Williams escapes that with some hard elbows. Williams shows a cool way to hit a clothesline – running behind Danielson then nailing it as he turns round. So attacking the legs didn’t work, Danielson goes after the arm instead. No dice there either it seems. He switches again to a cravat on the head and I love the way they jostle for position, all the while maintaining that hold. Williams counters to his own cravat and Dragon battles to escape that. Williams uses his judo background to start throwing Danielson around, but the American competitor is smart to it and does the same thing right back. They’ve been even so far and they spend the next couple of minutes countering everything back and forth just to hammer that point home. Dragon has had limited success by using headlocks to drain his bigger opponent of energy. Williams tries the same clothesline fake he did earlier and this time gets elbowed in the jaw. A strike war ensues and Danielson wins it by chopping the neck he’d started working with the headlocks. We’ve now passed the halfway stage and it really feels like they’ve barely even gotten started. Williams Gory special’s Dragon into one turnbuckle only for his opponent to do the same thing right back, then start stomping on the neck. Danielson hits the first big move of the match and gets 2 with a superplex. There’s a series of standing switches ending with Danielson hitting a DRAGON SUPLEX! He takes the first fall at 18:32.
After the rest period he immediately goes for Cattle Mutilation but Williams counters it with a reverse suplex. Doug shows his desperation by repeatedly striking AmDrag, rather than using the wrestling as before. TOPE SUICIDA! He gets 2 with one of his trademark knee strike sequences. He has less than 10 minutes left now, but his neck is hurting and he struggles to follow up on a German suplex. SWINGING cobra clutch is next, but again it takes the Brit a while to capitalise. Danielson hits a snap suplex then scales the ropes for the Benoit headbutt. Williams tries Chaos Theory but Dragon counters by diving through the middle rope. That’s awesome! The fight to the top rope again where Williams uses the mid-air swivel to counter a back superplex. Dragon suplex countered this time into a pin for 2. Revolutions DDT scores but the fatigue and neck pain are all taking their toll now. CHAOS THEORY…FOR 2! Dragon kicks out of EVERYbody’s finisher! He’s still 1-0 up with three minutes left, and starts stalling for time by lying on the canvas and grabbing the ropes. BOMB SCARE KNEE DROP! ROLLING GERMANS…THEN CHAOS THEORY! Dragon is in the ropes though! Williams is decimating Danielson’s neck, but still can only get 2 despite a brainbuster. Dragon dropkicks Doug in the neck with a minute left. BACK SUPERPLEX! Williams goes for a desperation CRIPPLER CROSSFACE! Dragon holds on to win it 1-0 as the 30-minute mark is crossed.
Rating – **** – To be honest, it’s a really good match but it could, and perhaps should have been even better. The first 10-15 minutes are so beautiful in that it’s a superb display of mat wrestling with two superb technicians just going back and forth on each other. But it went on too long, which would’ve been fine if they were going 60, but at 30 minutes it was a stretch. My favourite portion of the match was after Danielson had taken the 1-0 lead, and Williams just threw everything at him to get a fall back. It was like a football (soccer) match, with one team holding the 1-0 lead and doing everything possible in a resolute defence of it. If slower, grounded matches aren’t your thing then you won’t like it as much as me. For instance – it would absolutely tank if WWE or even TNA ran it. To be honest, I don’t even think the ROH crowd enjoyed it. But then again, it was quite a subtle match for the most part…and subtlety isn’t always a US crowd’s forte.
We get post-match comments from both men. Danielson says nobody beats him twice, but offers Williams a rematch somewhere down the line. Doug is a little more upset about things, but challenges him to a 2/3 falls match. We’re still waiting on that by the way!
Daniels is all set to celebrate a good night for The Prophecy but Luscious is on the phone to Corino. He asks Joe where he was when the SAT, Red and AJ were beating them up. Joe says he didn’t pay for that and walks out.
AJ Styles asks Alexis Laree to watch his back during his title match to counteract the interference of Simply Luscious. She agrees, then they both get jumped by The Prophecy.
Tape Rating – *** – There’s no out and out MOTYC but there’s some good stuff peppered up and down the card. There’s a great opening tag, a memorable Scramble then the three matches at the top of the card all deliver. I think a different person might view certain matches on this show differently to me, but still come out with the same impression of the overall event. For instance I’m sure some might not like the main event as much as I did, but will think the big Scramble is much better than I rated it. Same as usual with ROH year 1 shows there’s some really bad filler but the good outweighs the bad and there’s a LOT of good to enjoy.
Top 3 Matches
3) Christopher Daniels/Mark Briscoe vs Jay Briscoe/Amazing Red (***)
2) Homicide vs Samoa Joe (***)
1) Bryan Danielson vs Doug Williams (****)