ROH 60 – Trios Tournament 2005 – March 5th 2005
After three great anniversary shows featuring a bundle of memorable moments and matches, it’s just one week later, and now we’re returning to ROH’s spiritual home, Philadelphia for the inaugural 6-man tag tournament. All the top factions have representatives here – Generation Next, the Rottweilers, the Embassy and the Second City Saints. There’s also a team of CM Punk’s students, a team put together by Samoa Joe, and the “indy dream team” of Spanky, James Gibson and Nigel McGuiness. The winners get to book their own matches and generally call their own shots, so there’s something at stake too. In non-tournament action, we’re getting Jay Lethal’s Pure Title rematch against John Walters, and there’s a Six Man Mayhem too. Not a lot is written about this show, but it seems to have the potential to be pretty solid, so lets see how it unfolds. We’re in Philadelphia, PA, and in the spirit of Trios, we have three commentators tonight – Jimmy Bower, CM Punk and Dave Prazak (making his ROH commentary debut)
Steve Corino is b*tching that his partners CM Punk and Colt Cabana are late…but then Cabana turns up. Colt says Punk is still having problems with his eyes, and isn’t here yet. Corino then says if he wins, he’s going to get his students more matches, get himself a raise, book himself one last match with Homicide and get himself a World Title shot…AND he’s going to book CW Anderson and Simon Diamond. That’s quite the agenda…
Dunn & Marcos cut a promo with their partner El Generico. They’re keeping their Scramble Cage momentum going tonight.
Davey Andrews/Shane Hagadorn/Anthony Franco vs Generation Next
I guess this could actually have some heat to it since Andrews, Hagadorn and Franco were all trained by CM Punk, who has an on-going issue with GeNext. Generation Next have to be the favourites for this. Hell, surely they’re part of the reason we’re having this tournament tonight, after their series of great tag matches throughout 2004. Representing GeNext is Aries, Strong and Evans of course, since they only have three members now.
GeNext jump the students from the bell and pummel away on them. Franco takes a press slam from Strong, who then gets fed Hagadorn for a half nelson backbreaker. Andrews gives Strong a German suplex, but Evans flips on top of him before he can bridge. Evans hits the 630 on Andrews, Aries gives Franco the brainbuster, and Strong finishes Hagadorn off with the splash mountain Ace crusher. That’s all the students duly destroyed at 01:11.
Rating – N/A – Complete squash to get us off and running, and it’s so short, it’s not really fair to rate it. Andrews again got put over as they best graduate in that he got one offensive move in, but beyond that, it was GeNext making a statement – they’re good bets for the tournament.
CM Punk/Colt Cabana/Steve Corino vs The Embassy
Corino is partnering his friend and sometimes tag partner CM Punk, and his stablemate Colt Cabana for their attempt to win the tournament. As Corino has suggested, he has a large agenda for winning this deal. Punk has to be irate at The Embassy after last week, when Jimmy Rave almost blinded him with bug spray, then gave his girlfriend the Rave Clash, all in Punk’s hometown of Chicago. The next episode of this feud is here and now. The Embassy are represented by Jimmy Rave, Oman Tortuga and the third Weapon of MASK Destruction (originally scheduled to be Diablo Santiago, but he’s out injured).
Punk runs up the aisle and attacks Jimmy Rave as the ring entrances begin, and the fight is on. Cabana and Oman fight in the aisle, whilst Corino and the Weapon are brawling elsewhere. In the ring the match finally starts, and the Weapon prevents Punk from attacking Rave further by chopblocking Punk’s already injured hamstring. It’s the Weapon and Punk in first, and he isolates Punk’s leg before tagging Tortuga in. He blocks a tornado DDT and gets 2 from a northern lights suplex. Rave in next, but he quickly tags out to the Mask, who dropkicks Punk in the face for 2. Pepsi Twist on the Mask, before Punk tags out to Corino. He scores with a jumping heel kick on Rave, then a DDT/Stunner combo on Oman and the Weapon. Ace crusher on the Weapon, and Cabana is tagged in. Butt-butt on Oman, before Punk tags in to go after Rave again. He pounds away at Jimmy in the corner until Tortuga helps him out. Rave inadvertently wipes Oman out, and at that point Jimmy and Prince Nana decide it’s time to run away. Punk puts the Weapon of MASK Destruction #3 into the Anaconda Vice and he taps at 04:55. He leaves the hold on to make an extra point to The Embassy, specifically Jimmy Rave.
Rating – * – A good way to further the Punk/Rave storyline, without really taking too much time away from other tournament matches. The heat between the two men was emphasised, and they got this match over and done with quickly meaning the show can go on. Sound booking, even if the match itself has hardly a joy to behold. The Weapon, in case you were wondering, was Guillotine LeGrande.
Samoa Joe, Vordell Walker and Bryan Danielson are in a corridor. Joe wants to win so he can go on to achieve his goal of becoming the first triple crown champion. All Danielson cares about is getting Homicide’s team in the semi-finals so he can get his hands on him again. Shawn Price drags them away to Jay Lethal, who’s been attacked by an unknown assailant. His eye is a mess…
Dunn/Marcos/El Generico vs Homicide/Rocky Romero/Ricky Reyes
Generico makes his main show debut (unless you count his appearance as Weapon of MASK Destruction #2) after impressing in his match at Do Or Die IV (before the first Third Anniversary show in New Jersey). Originally it was going to be the Carnage Crew and BJ Whitmer teaming up, but since the Carnage Crew are suspended for 90 days, Dunn & Marcos get their spot. The Rottweilers must be one of the favourites for this, since Homicide is always dangerous, and the Pitbulls are the longest reigning tag champions in ROH history.
Marcos and Reyes start, and Marcos scores with an early armdrag. He tries a variety of pinning combinations but Ricky keeps getting his shoulders up. Finally he rocks Marcos with a backbreaker for 2. Generico in with an axehandle to Reyes’ arm. Romero comes in and looks to work on Generico’s arm. The generic luchador comes back with an armdrag, then a jumping heel kick for 2. Dunn tags in with Homicide, and incredibly, Dunn is able to unleash a few armdrags. He floors Homicide again with a dropkick, then brings Marcos back. Homicide gives him the slingshot DDT and that puts an end to their offence. Romero wipes his feet in Marcos’ face behind the ref’s back. Marcos gets crotched against the ringpost, ready for Reyes to hit the basement dropkick right to the face, and that busts his lip open. Homicide goes to the top but misses a diving headbutt. Marcos tags Generico, who gets 2 with a crossbody. Backbreaker on Romero, as Dunn floors Homicide with a superkick for 2. Generico goes for the brainbuster on Homicide, but that’s blocked. Generico tastes a brutal LARIAT, and that’s the underdogs done at 08:44.
Rating – ** – Nothing special, but it was a solid little tag, and after the brief non-matches that opened the show, it made for a refreshing change of pace. The isolation of Marcos was well done, the Rottweilers actions kept them nice and over as heels, Generico, Dunn and Marcos got to show what they could do. Had this gone longer it could actually have developed into a really special match, but that’s not what we’re here for.
Samoa Joe/Bryan Danielson/Vordell Walker vs Spanky/James Gibson/Nigel McGuiness
Probably the pick of the first round matches, this one should be good. Joe and Danielson have some experience teaming together (from Battle Lines Are Drawn and the Dayton leg of the Third Anniversary shows), and Joe has selected Walker as their partner after apparently being impressed with him after their match last time in Elizabeth. Spanky and Gibson decided to put a team together for this after their impressive match against each other in Dayton, and Spanky found McGuiness to team with them. Since Spanky and Gibson have both stated they’re in ROH to win titles, this could be their chance.
Spanky and Walker start, with Vordell looking to milk his power advantage in the early exchanges. Danielson/Gibson next, and the crowd go nuts, since that’s just a dream match waiting to happen. Danielson uses his power in a knucklelock, before sending Jamie to the floor with a dropkick. Nigel tags in with Joe and immediately takes control using his wrestling skills. Joe finally escapes with a vicious legsweep then cranks back on a camel clutch, Spanky eventually has to break that. Danielson comes in and works the back with headbutts, but it breaks down to a sweet exchange of chain-wrestling expertise from these two. Spanky comes in to renew the old TWA rivalry, but Dragon quickly established dominance. Spanky can’t force Dragon out of a bridge, and gets caught in a monkey flip. Walker/Gibson are next in, and it’s Walker who initially is able to ride Gibson. Gibson goes to work on the leg, propping it up in the ropes then jumping down hard. McGuiness in, and he snapmares Vordell knee-first into the ropes. Walker hits some chops, but gets knocked the f*ck out with a forearm. McGuiness headstands in the corner which brings everyone piling in for a ruck. Joe attempts his running boot on Nigel, but he comes down off the ropes to avoid it THEN SCORES WITH A SUPERKICK! McGuiness with some stiff strikes, but he makes the mistake of headstanding again. JOE SENDS WALKER IN WITH A DROPKICK…and that gets 2. Walker hits the standing moonsault press for another 2. Joe and Nigel smash each other in the face with still more stiff forearms. Facewashes from Joe, then he prepares for the running bootscrape, but Gibson moves Nigel before that can connect.
Danielson with the airplane spin on Spanky, sending McGuiness flying in the process. Airplane spin on Gibson next, and it leaves Spanky and McGuiness tasting boots again. AIRPLANE SPIN ON VORDELL! Spanky is so confused he gets hit again. Dragon goes for the spin on Joe, but can’t get him up, then collapses. Joe chases Spanky around the ring, even through a photographer. Spanky walks into the powerslam, and gets a back senton splash as well. Walker gives Spanky an ocean cyclone suplex. Chop/kick combo from Joe, followed by the knee drop. Danielson comes in to trap Spanky in the Mexican surfboard and Gibson has to make the save. Walker applies a double underhook stretch but Spanky makes the ropes. He hits back with a flatliner on Danielson, and finally tags out to Gibson. Swinging neckbreaker on Walker, followed by a brainbuster. TOPE ON SAMOE JOE! Danielson prepares to dive but gets low-bridged by McGuiness. Gibson comes back into the ring to smack Vordell with a standing enzi for 2. Walker fires back with a belly to belly suplex, and gets 2 with an Asai moonsault. TRAILER HITCH…but Joe breaks with a kick to the back. Gibson dropkicks Joe in the knee then hits a running knee to the side of the head. Walker catches Gibson with a German suplex throw and brings Danielson in. Gibson rocks Dragon with a Saito suplex and tags McGuiness. Wristlock takedown scores, followed by the HAMMERLOCK DDT! Diving European uppercut from Dragon for 2. EUROPEAN UPPERCUT DUEL! LARIAT TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD FROM NIGEL! CATTLE MUTILATION…AND SPANKY BREAKS IT WITH A FROG SPLASH! Spanky hits some dropkicks on Joe, but misses an enzi…E HONDA SLAPS! Joe blocks Sliced Bread #2…CHOOOOOOOOOOOKE! Walker and Danielson are mauling McGuiness and Gibson, so Spanky has to tap at 23:49.
Rating – ****1/2 – Definitely the best 6-man tag in ROH history, that was some of the finest wrestling I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t the perfect match by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s just straight out enjoyment. Five of the best in the world (and Vordell Walker) showing what they can do for 25 minutes…it’s a classic. Walker did look pretty green on occasions, but by and large was protected well, and he was surrounded by such an ocean on wrestling talent, it really didn’t hold the match back too much. Coming out of this, I want to see any of these guys (minus Vordell Walker) hook it up in singles action. Seriously, even for non-ROH fans, this is just a match you’ll want to see. I’ve shown this to my sports-entertainment loving friends, and even they love this. All fans of wrestling will enjoy.
Trent Acid charges out to spoil the aftermath by b*tching about the fans. He says he made wrestling in Philadelphia, and they should be cheering him. Rockin’ Rebel (what is this, CZW??) tries to calm him down, but Spanky ends up getting into a fist-fight with the former Backseat Boy. The other five guys in the match have to pull them apart, and Acid bails through the crowd. Cool angle, but really, is it going anywhere?
Generation Next vs CM Punk/Colt Cabana/Steve Corino
Straight into the semi-finals then, although, these teams hardly need a rest. They barely have five minutes of ring-time combined from their first round encounters. Anyway, there’s a lot of issues floating around here. Obviously there’s the ever-present heat between the Second City Saints and GeNext, and remember when Punk brought Steve Corino in to help him out back at Glory By Honor 3? There’s also the extra issue between Colt Cabana and Austin Aries after their World Title battles. Corino and Strong still hate each other after their fun opener at Third Anniversary Celebration Part 1 too. This will also mark a rare occasion that Steve Corino is able to get his hands on the ROH Champion. He’s already stated tonight he’d love to get a shot at the belt.
By way of introduction Colt Cabana opts to list the people he’d like to have threesomes with…including ‘the black chicks from Sister, Sister’, ‘Slyk Wagner Brown and April Hunter’, and Edge and Lita – absolutely hilarious! Aries and Corino start in the ring. It’s even, until Corino scores with a northern lights bomb. Aries no-sells that and nails a roaring elbow. Corino no-sells and hits a running STO…and this time they both stay down. Cabana and Strong chain around the arm, before they BREAK THE RING coming off the ropes. One of the turnbuckles is almost snapped and bent double, meaning all the ropes are extremely slack. ‘Dunn & Marcos’ – Philly, as Rod and Colt chop it out with each other. Punk and Evans step in to the broken ring, and incredibly they decide to run the ropes. Evans is nuts and attempts a quebrada, but Punk moves. The Extreme Saints take it turns to dropkick Jack in the face, then team up to hit a three-way dropkick of total murder. Punk gets crotched and caught in a tree of woe, and Aries attacks the injured hamstring with a dropkick right on it. Shinbreaker into the back suplex from Aries for 2. Evans in, to hit the ASSISTED TWISTING PHOENIX SPLASH TO THE LEG! He goes for a handspring moonsault, but Punk catches him…THAT’S INCREDIBLE! Cabana gets the hot tag to beat on Aries and Strong. Corino beats on them as well, giving Strong the jumping enziguri. Evans flies in, so Corino kills him with FIVE straight powerbombs. Punk in…SHINING WIZARD, followed by a falcon arrow for 2. Punk goes for the Pepsi Plunge, but Aries pulls him off. Strong appears with Cabana on his shoulders. SKIPPING A GENERATION ON PUNK! Evans wins it at 14:47.
Rating – *** – Well, that was unique. The ring breaking probably put pay to any plans there might have been for a classic, but it made for a fascinating environment for these six to wrestle in. It’s a testament to their abilities (and courage) that they were able to keep the match going and actually make it fun. Using the ropes for some of those spots was immensely risky and everyone deserves credit. Lots of fun spots on offer, but not a lot of substance to back them up.
Corino is pissed off at Punk for losing, and Cabana has to pull them apart. A comic b*tchfest ensues as Steve calls Punk ‘Triple H’, whilst Punker calls him Zero-One’s ‘errand boy’. Finally Corino marches off, turning down Punk’s offer of a handshake. Is it splitsville for this team?
INTERMISSION – GMC with Jay Lethal. He doesn’t know who attacked him, but regardless, he’s determined to win the Pure Title tonight. Meanwhile Shawn Price is with Spanky and James Gibson. Gibson is pissed at losing, and wants Spanky to act more serious so they can get in line for title shots.
Homicide/Rocky Romero/Ricky Reyes vs Samoa Joe/Bryan Danielson/Vordell Walker
Just like the other semi, there’s a lot of issues burning in this. Obviously we’re in the middle of the Homicide/Danielson feud, with their Best of 5 Series currently at 2-1 in favour of Homicide. Will this match be able to contain their aggression? It’s also the first time Homicide and Samoa Joe have been in the same ring since their violent feud ended last summer. Joe’s also smacked around both Rocky Romero and Ricky Reyes in the course of the last year, will that be a factor? The winner advances to face Generation Next in the final.
Danielson and Homicide start out sparring and this is intense. Dragon has Homicide bailing to the floor after a series of stiff uppercuts. Behind the ref’s back all the Rottweilers choke Dragon in their corner, before Homicide hammers away with right hands. Romero and Reyes take their turns to wear down Danielson, as Dragon seems more preoccupied with getting at Cide than winning the match. Reyes tears at the beard, and Joe has to come in and kick him in the spine. Danielson with slaps and uppercuts to Romero, but rather than tag he attacks Homicide again. He does the exact same thing when he manages to mount some offence on Ricky Reyes. Homicide throws some more rights, but Dragon no-sells them. German suplex on Reyes, but Romero soars in with a missile dropkick. Joe finally tags in and he hits Homicide with the powerslam for 2. Walker dishes out a spinning heel kick but then gets taken out with a dragon screw. Press slam Catatonic on Reyes for 2. Danielson and Homicide spill to the outside…ELBOW SUICIDA FROM JOE! The Pitbulls have isolated Walker though, and they give him the GUILLOTINE KNEE to secure the win at 9:54 (my DVD skipped so I had to look up a listed match-time for this). Danielson and Homicide brawl off into the crowd…sigh.
Rating – ** – Sadly they gave up any hopes of putting on a good match in favour of extending the Homicide/Danielson feud, which I’m really not enjoying as much as I thought I would. It’s getting overly centred on brawling, and I’m not so into that. Still, I liked the theme of Danielson hating Cide so much he didn’t even care about the tournament. It was just a shame that with so much talent and heat on the match, we could’ve have had a better encounter. Homicide and Joe, considering they’re such hated rivals, barely got any time in the ring together at all. At least Vordell was the man taking the fall, he looked like the weak link all night. He’s got some talent, but he was nowhere near ready for the opportunity he was given.
Dixie vs Azrieal vs Kevin Steen vs B-Boy vs Izzy vs Deranged
More 6-man themed action now, as this is a Six Man Mayhem. Obviously the real heat here is between the serious side of Special K (Dixie and Azrieal) and Lacey’s guys (Izzy and Deranged). They meet next week at Back To Basics with the rights to the Special K name on the line. B-Boy and Kevin Steen are both making their main show debuts, but have quite the reputation on the indy-circuit. B-Boy is hugely over, originally from the west coast, but since relocating to the north-east is a regular with CZW, JAPW, IWA and more. Steen meanwhile is flavour of the moment, from Canada’s EWR promotion. His high-impact offence creates quite the buzz wherever he goes. They actually wrestled each other at Do Or Die IV.
Everyone else walks on the floor, forcing Izzy and Deranged to wrestle each other. Izzy sells an air-punch from Deranged like death for 2. Azrieal tries to give Deranged South of Heaven, but gets a running knee in the corner. Azrieal blocks a top rope rana, but Deranged avoids a double stomp. Dixie blocks punch attempts from Deranged and gives him a springboard swinging DDT. Jumping heel kick on Izzy, but the raver fires back with a standing Shiranui. B-Boy gives Izzy a spinning backbreaker, which then brings in Steen. Stiff forearms from these two, before Steen gives B-Boy a gutbuster for 2. Azrieal gives Steen a dropkick before he goes to the top. Izzy climbs up with him AND MOONSAULT DROPKICKS HIM TO THE FLOOR! Izzy gives B-Boy a hurricanrana, but then gets POWERBOMBED into the turnbuckles. Palm strike from B-Boy…BASEMENT DROPKICK! Azrieal gives B-Boy the cobra clutch backbreaker for 2. Steen with a somersault leg drop for 2. Deranged gives Steen the MAD SCIENTIST BOMB but Dixie breaks the pin. Izzy gives Dixie a blue thunder driver…BUT B-BOY GIVES HIM THE CROSS-ARM PILEDRIVER. STEEN WITH THE PACKAGE PILEDRIVER! Deranged comes in with a double stomp on Steen. SOUTH OF HEAVEN BY AZRIEAL! Dixie and Azrieal start fighting, but it’s interrupted by Steen who gives Dixie a SPINNING REGALPLEX! B-Boy back suplexes both Deranged and Izzy, then gets a blockbuster from Azrieal. Dixie clotheslines Izzy to the floor, as Steen gives Deranged a HEAD DROP CRADLE OVERHEAD SUPLEX! SOMERSAULT PLANCHA TO THE FLOOR! Azrieal and B-Boy in the ring. B-Boy sets up for the Shining Wizard, but Steen pulls him to the apron. INVERTED APRON DDT by B-Boy. B-Boy again goes for the Shining Wizard, but Az avoids it. DOUBLE STOMP! Azrieal gets the win at 11:07.
Rating – *** – Crazy spotfest, if you like that sort of thing. It wasn’t anything pretty or clever, just lots of silly spots and head-droppery, which surely anyone can enjoy on some level. B-Boy really seemed to win over the crowd with his performance, whilst it was Steen’s first real chance in ROH to show off his array of maniacal moves. In fact the more established guys – Izzy, Dixie and Deranged – seemed to take a backseat to these two somewhat. Azrieal has shown real improvement during this Special K split angle, and if he continues the improvement and is booked right, he could be the next down the Jay Lethal route.
John Walters vs Jay Lethal – ROH Pure Title Match
Rematch from Part 1 of the Anniversary celebrations here. Before their initial match, Lethal had to beat Jimmy Rave in a competitive match, which saw Rave work over the ribs, leaving him injured and already worn-down before he even got in the ring with Walters. Hell, during that match, Walters continually needed the help of Nana and the rest of his Embassy team-mates to sneak away with the belt. How will Lethal fare in this, the climax of his feud with The Embassy. He’s slapped them all in the face, run Jimmy Rave close twice, now can he win the big one and bring home the Pure Title?
Fans chant ‘Masters’ b*tch’ at Walters after his failure in the Masterlock Challenge on RAW. CM Punk runs out to chase off Jimmy Rave and Prince Nana meaning this is a one-on-one match. Lethal scores with a couple of early hiptosses and a jumping heel kick in the corner. He hits a missile dropkick for 2. Walters tries to take a powder but Jay chases him outside. Inverted surfboard from Lethal, and that forces Walters to use his first ropebreak. They fight on the ropes…and Walters hauls Lethal down with a TOP ROPE capture Stunner. The champion rakes at Lethal’s injured eye like a bastard. Crucifix pin from Lethal for 2. Walters blocks a hurricanrana and applies the sharpshooter. Lethal takes his first break on that move. Walters blocks the dragon suplex and nails the electric chair throw for 2. Lethal blocks a lungblower attempt and trades nearfalls with the Pure champion. Walters uses his second ropebreak escaping one of Lethal’s pinning combinations. Powerbomb from Lethal for 2. Backbreakers on Walters, followed by a camel clutch. Walters escapes…ROLLING LUNGBLOWERS! Walters sets up for a top rope lungblower, but Jay shoves him off and hits the jumping DDT for 2. Walters goes for another lungblower, but no dice and Walters eats a clothesline. DRAGON SUPLEX! Lethal wins it at 11:29.
Rating – ** – Walters’ worst Pure Title match by some distance, which is a real shame since in many ways it was his most important – in terms of putting Lethal over. They should’ve given Jay the belt in Elizabeth two weeks ago. The crowd was red hot and the match was miles better. If they were booking Lethal/Walters for this show anyway, it could’ve been a rematch – to further put Jay over. Call it disappointing, but now begins an interesting spell for the Pure Championship. By and large Walters was a flop, can Lethal prove any better?
Samoa Joe is the first to congratulate Lethal, but he’s also the first man to request a title shot.
Homicide/Rocky Romero/Ricky Reyes vs Generation Next – Trios Tournament Final
Yep, the two most hated factions in the company have made it to the final so it’s pretty interesting to see who the fans will get behind here. At a guess I’ll say GeNext, since Aries is mostly a tweener anyway, and Evans is always popular due to his wacky moveset. Remember, the winning team gets to book their own matches. Aries can block people getting title shots. Evans and Strong, or the Havana Pitbulls can request Tag title shots. Homicide could go after Aries’ ROH Title, so could Romero or Reyes for that matter. Get ready for arguably the two biggest factions in ROH to collide.
Evans and Homicide start, and Homicide can’t get near Jack to hit him. Evans starts break-dancing to further piss Homicide off, and eventually gets 2 from a crossbody block. Satellite facebuster from Homicide, and in comes Reyes. He punts Jack in the back, but Romero comes in and says he can go one better. Strong and Romero b*tchslap each other, but Roderick sends Rocky flying out of the ring with a big chop. Strong blocks a hiptoss but still gets taken down into a headscissors submission. Rope-climbing headscissors from Romero, but he runs into a Rock Bottom backbreaker. Homicide in with Strong and he throws Strong outside. Sidewalk slam from Reyes for 2. Evans in with a handspring elbow on Homicide, which he follows right away with a springboard dropkick. Aries in legally with the slingshot reverse elbow, then a running dropkick for 2. The Pitbulls maul Aries as Homicide brawls with Evans and Strong on the other side of the ring. Aries gets crotched by Romero, and Reyes follows in with the basement dropkick. Belly to belly suplex from Homicide. Reyes in with a fisherman suplex for 2. Gutbuster from Aries to Romero, into the swinging elbow drop. Standing corkscrew moonsault from Evans for 2 on Romero.
Homicide gives Evans the double underhook superplex. Alabamaslam into a backbreaker from Homicide, and Romero vaults in to deliver a knee drop. Homicide wants a back superplex but this time Jack fights free…MOONSAULT X-FACTOR for 2. Tag to Aries and everyone is in for a big fight. Aries and Homicide slug it out as Romero flies to the floor with a pescado on Strong. TOPE BY ARIES! TOPE CON HILO FROM HOMICIDE! Evans is alone in the ring…SPRINGBOARD CORKSCREW SENTON! The legal men are back in first…ARIES WITH THE BRAINBUSTER for 2. Homicide crotches Aries on a 450 attempt and drags him down with a second rope Ace crusher. LARIAAAAAT…but Aries kicks out! Strong gives Homicide the double knee gutbuster to even things up. The Pitbulls are back…GUILLOTINE KNEE
ON ARIES! EVANS BREAKS THE PIN WITH A 450 SPLASH! Reyes and Romero throw Evans out of the ring. Aries and Homicide are alone again. Brainbuster blocked – COP KILLAAAAAAAA! The Rotts win the Trios Tournament at 21:06.
Rating – **** – Good match, and after a number of sub-standard matches in this tournament I’m glad this one was given enough time to develop into something memorable. It wasn’t knock-out awesome like the earlier Samoa Joe tag, but it was solid stuff, with good heat segments on a number of people, and when it broke down at the end there was enough manic spots for everyone to enjoy. The Rottweilers winning opens up some interesting possibilities – top of the list being an Aries/Homicide ROH Title match.
Backstage the celebrations are underway. Homicide immediately states he wants to add the ROH Title to his FIP Title, so I guess that’s his match request. Romero and Reyes aren’t so sure they want Tag Title shots…interesting.
Shawn Price grabs a word with The Embassy as they head out. Nana says Lethal’s win was a fluke, but thanks to CM Punk they’re going to Ghana right now. Punk chases them off with a chair but he’s too late to get his hands on them…
Tape Rating – ** – The good final saved the show somewhat, since before that it was a one-match card. After the consistent quality of the Third Anniversary shows, this just wasn’t in that range at all. The Trios Tournament was by and large disappointing, with only two of the matches really being given enough time to shine. With the amount of talent booked in this thing, it should’ve been a lot better. And since almost the majority of the show is taken up with the tournament, that’s what it has to be judged upon. The Six Man Mayhem was fun, and Jay Lethal ended John Walters’ disappointing Pure Title run, but neither of those matches were off the chart great anyway. Until the final, this show was definitely pushing 2*. But on the positive side, the Joe/Danielson/Walker vs Spanky/Gibson/McGuiness tag match is something everyone should see, it’s that good. The final was enjoyable too. On commentary, Dave Prazak did a fantastic job, as did CM Punk. That’s four decent commentators ROH has right now (Jimmy Bower and Mark Nulty being the other ones) so they’ve even got strength in depth there. If you’re needing to catch up and can’t get every show, skip right on over this one – you’re missing nothing substantial.
Top 3 Matches
3) Azrieal vs B-Boy vs Kevin Steen vs Dixie vs Izzy vs Deranged (***)
2) Homicide/Rocky Romero/Ricky Reyes vs Generation Next (****)
1) Samoa Joe/Bryan Danielson/Vordell Walker vs Spanky/James Gibson/Nigel McGuiness (****1/2)