ROH 63 – Stalemate – 16th April 2005
I’ll keep this brief since it’s been a while since I reviewed ROH and I’m keen to crack on with the four newest releases. We’re back in the Boston area for this show (different building again) there’s a bit at stake heading before heading into May with the big New York show and Midwest double shot. Aries defends the World Title against James Gibson, Lethal defends the Pure Title against Spanky. Samoa Joe, Alex Shelley, Nigel McGuiness and Colt Cabana are in the first ever Double Stakes Four Corner Survival to determine the next challengers for those belts, and your main event is the next in the Danielson/Homicide Best of 5 Series. This show doesn’t get a great deal of attention coming between Best of American Super Juniors, which is famous for the Danielson/Spanky low-end MOTYC and the Dragon Soldier B farce, and the huge line-up in May which I’ve gone through. What is everyone missing out on? ROH makes its Dorchester, MA debut tonight. Your hosts are Dave Prazak, CM Punk and Jimmy Bower.
GOOD TIMES, GREAT MEMORIES – Cabana wants to get title shots tonight, regardless of who he has to beat in the Double Stakes match. His guest, returning for another appearance, is Bobby Heenan. They compare British accents before CM Punk invades the show. He asks Heenan to help him out against The Embassy tonight…
Homicide blames American Dragon for not beating Austin Aries for the ROH Title in Asbury Park, and swears both revenge and victory in the series tonight in the Lumberjack match.
Vordell Walker vs Kevin Steen
Two of the more exciting prospects in pro-wrestling kicking things off. Steen is a big star everywhere else on the indy scene these days. He frequently wrestles high-profile matches for PWG, CZW, JAPW and in Canada for the EWR. It’s taken him a while longer to catch on in ROH, with just one Six Man Mayhem appearance and a Do Or Die show to his credit. Vordell, meanwhile, is ROH’s pet project. He’s pushed hard in sister-promotion FIP in Florida, and has already had a couple of big opportunities this year, facing Samoa Joe in the Third Anniversary Celebrations then teaming with Joe and Bryan Danielson in the Trios Tournament. Both times he looked promising if a little green, can he gel with Mr Wrestling here?
Walker comes out trying to out-wrestle Steen, but Steen comes back with a shoulder block and armdrags. Vordell gives him a clothesline and a wrist clutch suplex for 2. Steen gets planted again with a running STO. Steen back with a superkick before the fans start ragging on him. He gives Walker a neckbreaker over the knee then pisses off the fans some more. Walker fires up with slaps but eats an enziguri kick. Steen ends a slugfest with a flatliner which almost puts Walker away. Mr Wrestling to the top rope but Vordell enzi kicks him before he can fly. Steen pushes Walker off the ropes and scores with a crossbody for 2. Vordell backflips out of a sunset flip attempt which is pretty cool. Tornado DDT from Steen but Walker isn’t done yet. Walker blocks the Package Piledriver and hits his ‘Vortex’ swinging front slam for the win at 08:02.
Rating – ** – Walker’s best ROH performance to date but not a match Kevin Steen will want to remember. The ROH crowd really got on him and it affected his in-ring game. He’s better than the sluggish, somewhat awkward wrestler he appeared in this match. At least his unpopularity meant that Vordell got somewhat over with the fans, he responded and didn’t put a foot out of place tonight.
Embassy promo time. Nana reminds everyone that he outsmarted Jim Cornette at Midnight Express Reunion by bringing in Ricky Morton, and they’re not sweating CM Punk or Bobby Heenan tonight.
Roderick Strong vs El Generico
In similar fashion to Kevin Steen, Generico has come out of the EWR promotion and blazed into the United States scene and made himself a big star in numerous promotions. Now he’s getting his chance in ROH, as this could be a good match. Rod Strong is coming off the back of good singles bouts with Homicide and James Gibson and is proving himself one of the breakout stars of 2005 thus far. Indeed, he was arguably the MVP of the whole Best of American Super Juniors Tournament since it was him that injured Gibson which meant Dragon Soldier got an easy ride to the final and all.
Generico one-ups Strong to start with, avoiding a big chop and nipping in with some armdrags. Strong gets dropkicked to the floor and Generico sails out after him with a SOMERSAULT SENTON! Outside Generico keeps control with a drop toehold into the railings. He tries to come back in with a sunset flip but rolls right into a backbreaker from Roderick. He stretches the back of the Generic Luchador in the ropes then hits a back senton. Strong continues working the back with a surfboard and eventually rolls it into a pin for 2. Strong counters a wheelbarrow attempt from Generico with a cradle half nelson backbreaker. Out to the apron where Generico blocks a big boot attempt and rocks Roderick with a DDT. Springboard crossbody and a botched split-legged moonsault from Generico for 2. That’s followed with a blue thunder driver as Generico continues to provide pesky resistance. He looks for a big boot in the corner but eats a CRADLE BACKBREAKER. Strong follows that with a big boot of his own for 2. Springboard swinging DDT from Generico who just refuses to quit. He almost wins it by countering the Rock Bottom backbreaker, and then again with a big German suplex. Strong blocks the brainbuster and goes for his sick ass Lion Tamer submission. Generico has had his back worked all match and he taps at 11:37.
Rating – *** – I’m going maybe a little high on this but I really enjoyed it. Generico was made to look surprisingly decent and formidable without damaging the increasing credibility and aura of Roderick Strong and his back-breaking abilities. The match had a solid plot with Generico going for the flying stuff around Rod dismantling his back. Consider it a good effort from both men.
Nigel McGuiness says Colt Cabana won’t achieve anything in wrestling whilst he’s goofing around and making fun of him. McGuiness is in Double Stakes as well tonight and is looking for title shots like everyone else.
Lacey’s Angels vs Dixie/Azrieal
More of the ex-Special K guys tagging up against each other in this rivalry. Dixie and Azrieal won the Back To Basics match against Izzy and Deranged earning, then binning, the rights to the Special K name. Now Lacey, Izzy, Deranged, Cheech and Cloudy have rebranded themselves as Lacey’s Angels and are looking for some revenge. They’ll be represented by Cheech and Deranged tonight, since Izzy isn’t here.
Dixie takes Cheech down with a side headlock to start. Cheech goes for a victory roll on Azrieal but gets dumped on his face. Az sends Cheech to the floor with a dropkick, but as the ref is occupied with that Deranged gives him a low blow. He gives him another low kick which the ref argues is above the belt, then scores with the corkscrew enziguri. Deranged gets 2 with a handspring moonsault splash. Angels with some double team offence in the corner, then a third low blow of the match as Dixie jaws with the referee. Cheech with a jawbreaker and an inverted curb stomp. Azrieal gets planted with a doomsday Ace crusher and Dixie has to break the pin. Blockbuster on Cheech by Az and he makes the hot tag. Side effect on Cheech, followed by a leg drop/back suplex combo. Deranged with the Mad Scientist Bomb on Dixie, so Azrieal kicks him in the back and face. REVERSE HEADSCISSORS PILEDRIVER from Deranged, and that pins Az at 08:59.
Rating – ** – Decent formula tag stuff, decent heel stylings from the Angels, but not a match I’ll be writing home about. The Back To Basics match was better…and if you haven’t seen enough of these Special K tag matches there’s another one on the New York show next month.
Jay Lethal vs Spanky – ROH Pure Title Match
Spanky has been on a tear since returning to ROH in January. He’s put on a string of awesome matches, and after victories over Alex Shelley, CM Punk, Jimmy Jacobs and Jack Evans, has had his title petition accepted. As we saw at Back To Basics, it’ll be his friend James Gibson getting a World Title shot, so he has to settle for a Pure Title match instead. This will be Lethal’s first defence of the belt he won at the Trios Tournament, but he’s still hot after pinning CM Punk in the great Back To Basics main event, which Spanky also on the losing end of.
Lethal holds his own in the opening chain-wrestling, just as he did last month in the tag match. He goes for a camel clutch, but Spanky manages to escape. Spanky escapes a cross armbreaker attempt and tries to assert himself with an armdrag. Spanky makes a mistake by punching Jay in the face and the referee has no hesitation in giving him a warning. Lethal takes a drop toehold over the middle rope but isn’t phased and comes back with a back suplex. Spanky goes to the floor and counters a tope attempt by slamming the champion into the railings. In the ring Lethal gets 2 with a snap suplex. Inverted surfboard applied and Spanky uses his first ropebreak on that. His frustration and Lethal’s persistence causes him to punch Jay again, and that costs him a second ropebreak. Lethal continues his focus on the back with a backbreaker. Spanky goes after an arm injury on Lethal with a swinging armbar DDT and a Fujiwara armbar which gets the first ropebreak from him. Jumping heel kick from Lethal and he goes back to the back. Spanky rolls through a dragon suplex attempt.
Lethal blocks Sliced Bread #2 and goes for a Tombstone, before eventually settling for a gutwrench suplex for 2. Hard whips into the turnbuckles cause Spanky still more pain, and Lethal follows that with a running suplex. He misses the diving headbutt and Spanky nails an elbow from the second rope. He goes back upstairs for the frog splash…into the cross armbreaker. It’s 2-2 on breaks as Lethal can’t escape that. Spanky stays on the arm but this time Lethal powers out rather than using a ropebreak. DIVING HEADBUTT TO THE BACK for 2. DRAGON SUPLEX but Spanky uses his last ropebreak to kick out. Lethal looks for the dragon suplex again, but Spanky blocks. Jay blocks Sliced Bread but takes a Mafia kick off the apron. RUNNING SUICIDE DIVE FROM SPANKY! He’s slow to capitalise since that hurt the back as well. Spanky goes for Sliced Bread on the apron but Lethal blocks. He traps Spanky in a Boston crab in the ropes, and since he’s out of ropebreaks, Spanky has to tap at 16:54.
Rating – **** – Yeah, that totally ruled. Maybe Jay Lethal will make a believer out of me yet…or maybe it’s Spanky’s amazing streak of matches in 2005 continuing. The man can do no wrong at the moment. To me that was everything Pure Title matches should be – focused, enjoyable and methodical wrestling. Two guys working a body part and gradually taking away the ropebreaks. Not since Doug Williams was champion has a Pure Title match been this good.
It’s supposed to be CM Punk vs Jimmy Rave up next, but he’s suffering from an unfortunate shoulder injury after an elephant riding accident. Truly a tragedy…so what instead?
Mike Kruel vs CM Punk
‘Killer’ Kruel is a recent addition to The Embassy. I think he debuted as recently as Best of American Super Juniors in fact. Anyway, the former ECWA Champion is now the bodyguard/security/general big bruiser man of the group so it’s natural that Prince Nana would select him to take Rave’s place to put a hurting on Punk. After being blinded in Chicago, having his girlfriend taken out of ROH and having the tattoo’s on his stomach assaulted with a cheese grater, Punk will be desperate for some revenge on Jimmy Rave at some point tonight. To counteract The Embassy’s games he has Bobby Heenan in his corner…
Kruel starts with clubbering right hands and a choke on the mat. He gets 2 with a straight vertical suplex then chokes Punk in the ropes. A nice belly to belly suplex continues the assault. Right hands and a jumping heel kick from Punk. He sets up for the double underhook backbreaker but is distracted by Nana. Bobby drags Nana off the apron and Punk rolls Kruel up at 02:59.
Rating – DUD – No attempt at a match here, it’s all advancement in the Punk/Rave feud. To that end it was successful, and we’re not done yet.
Weasel raises Punk’s hand and cuts a promo that with all the respect and sympathy in the world, I can’t understand at all. Punk cheerleads for Heenan for just a little too long and Jimmy Rave comes from the crowd and attacks him. They brawl over the building because it seems it’s customary for someone to do that at every show (seriously, there’s been a crowd brawl in every show of 2005). Back in the ring Punk is all set for a Pepsi Plunge when the rest of The Embassy comes back out and gets involved. Rave leads them in wrapping a chain around Punk’s throat and hanging him over the top rope. Eventually Colt Cabana leads a babyface army out to make the save. This is a great feud, that’s done a lot to elevate Jimmy Rave, and the chain angle was great – directly referencing the Punk/Raven feud which this is so similar to. Next time in New York it’ll be a Dog Collar Match…
INTERMISSION – Austin Aries and Rod Strong are somewhere. The Champ isn’t sweating Gibson tonight or the winner of the title shot from Double Stakes later.
Alex Shelley vs Nigel McGuiness vs Colt Cabana vs Samoa Joe – Double Stakes Match
The Double Stakes Four Corner Survival has some pretty interesting rules to fill you in on. The winner of the first fall wins a Pure Title shot, eliminating the loser of the fall and leaving the match himself. Then the remaining two men battle it out for a World Title shot. Admittedly it seems like a silly premise since it entirely relies on people believing the Pure Title is as prestigious as the World Title…but with the four guys in this match it could be interesting. Shelley will be desperate to land himself a World Title match, since that means he’ll get his hands on arch-rival Austin Aries. Samoa Joe, meanwhile, won’t mind either shot. He’d love HIS ROH Title back, and in his mission to be the first triple crown champion, the Pure Title (and his protégé Jay Lethal) are in his sights. Cabana and McGuiness are embroiled in their own quasi-feud. They tried being friends, but Cabana’s shenanigans proved too much for Nigel to handle after they lost a Tag Title Match. Cabana would love another shot at Aries after being so close to the ROH Title, whilst we know Nigel is desperate for any kind of gold. Long intro, but there’s a lot of issues!
Cabana and McGuiness immediately renew their pure wrestling rivalry and chain away in typically smooth fashion. The general theme of it all is Colt hanging with Nigel despite joking around and playing to the crowd. Shelley tags himself in and likewise he tries his hand at out-wrestling Cabana. Colt fakes a low blow to work a pretty unique figure 4 stretch. Devil Lock cloverleaf from Shelley, but Cabana even finds a way out of that into a double underhook stretch. Finally Joe has seen enough and makes a tag. Shelley attacks Joe’s arm but inevitably the Samoan escapes and brutalises Alex with crossfaces. Cabana comes in and finds a measure of success chaining with Joe, but eventually walks right into the powerslam. McGuiness tags in and goes for the handstand. Colt can’t figure out how to counter…SO JOE COMES FROM BEHIND WITH A BIG BOOT! BOO-YA! Cabana riles up Joe and has to take a big enziguri kick for his trouble. Shelley with a Golden Gate Swing on McGuiness as Joe and Cabana fight on the floor. Joe in with the chop/kick combination and a knee drop. He starts knee-striking lumps out of Nigel and locks in the Choke which Cabana finally breaks. Shelley hits a neckbreaker as McGuiness is starting to get isolated now. He smacks the Brit around with big forearms but Nigel rolls off the ropes into a lariat. Tags on both sides and Cabana scores with dropkicks on Joe. Cabana avoids Joe’s powerslam but still takes some E Honda slippage. STF on Colt, and Nigel reluctantly breaks the hold. He hammerlock Pedigree’s Cabana, but gets taken out with a PESCADO from Shelley. Joe and Cabana left alone…CHOOOOKE! Shelley stops Nigel from saving and at 17:50 Cabana taps. Joe earns a Pure Title shot, Colt is eliminated. Shelley forearms McGuiness and neckbreakers him over the knee. That gets followed with another neckbreaker variant for 2. Shelley does seem to be targeting the neck, as next he attempts an octopus stretch. McGuiness tries to come back with European uppercuts. He counters Shellshock and blocks a superkick before hitting a superkick of his own for 2. Shelley blocks the hammerlock Pedigree so Nigel switches up to the hammerlock DDT instead. Shortarm Scissors on Alex, but there’s not enough damage on the arm. BORDER CITY STRETCH COUNTER! Nigel gets the ropes and goes back to the arm with a dropkick. He hits the hammerlock Pedigree at the umpteenth attempt and gets 2. Handstand again…SLINGSHOT ACE CRUSHER FOR 2! Swinging DDT from Alex…THEN SHELLSHOCK! Shelley gets himself a World Title shot at 25:23.
Rating – **** – You really can’t complain too much after 25 minutes of such great wrestling like that. Really, the only thing this lacked was another 10 or even 20 minutes to fully develop and become a classic. Clever booking made the stipulations of the match work, as Joe’s quest to hold all the titles meant that, despite being the “inferior” title, it was entirely logical that someone would want to win the first fall instead of trying to make it to the last 2 for a World Title shot. The crowd lost interest a little once Joe and Colt left the match, which is understandable but a real shame, since Shelley and McGuiness went on to put on a real little technical clinic, going after the neck and arm respectively to set up for their finishers. What a unique match concept ROH has uncovered here, and it has potential as well. Imagine having a Double Stakes Match with both the Pure and World Champions in – winner of the first fall gets the Pure Title, then it’s down to two men for the ROH Title. Hopefully they save the gimmick for a while now, and don’t go overkill on it like Scramble Cage or Ultimate Endurance.
Austin Aries vs James Gibson – ROH World Title Match
Nobody, perhaps since Austin Aries, has torn through ROH so quickly after debuting as James Gibson. Since arriving from the WWE he’s gone undefeated in ROH competition (so Dragon Soldier B doesn’t count) and has been putting on great matches left and right. Spanky, Puma and Rocky Romero have all stared at the lights for him, and that’s enough to have his title petition granted. But is he still carrying the back injury sustained at the hands of Aries’ GeNext team-mate Roderick Strong at Best of American Super Juniors? Aries is fresh of his title defence over Homicide, and of course is still travelling the US and beyond defending the belt against all comers.
Gibson strikes the first blow with a big chop which shakes Aries up. The Champion runs right into a drop toehold and that takes the contest to the mat. Gibson maintains control, keeping Aries grounded and unable to use his explosive offence. Austin finally frees himself with a swift dropkick to the face. He goes for something off the second rope but Jamie counters with a slam for 2. Aries goes outside, and Gibson goes right out after him with a SPRINGBOARD PLANCHAAAAA! He looks to force Austin into the guardrails, but he ends up taking a tumble into the metal himself, and that exposes his sore back. Gibson tries to come back through the ropes but gets hung up by Aries and takes a springboard elbow strike to the back. Aries does his heat seeking missile bottom rope tope that does still more damage to that injury. They re-enter the ring with Austin hitting a slingshot hilo to the back. Gibson with a knee to the side of the head, but he runs right into a sidewalk slam. Aries continues to work that back, countering a tornado DDT attempt with a backbreaker in one motion. He applies a torture wrack, and makes that a torture wrack backbreaker when Gibson tries to escape the hold. Now Aries tries to wear his opponent down with a cobra clutch but still Jamie won’t quit.
He gets dragged into another backbreaker and takes a swinging elbow drop in the spine as well. It’s a surfboard next, as Gibson is just being dismantled right now. He pulls a Saito suplex out of nowhere, but it doesn’t buy him a lot of respite. Aries runs into a powerslam but kicks out at 2. Just like at Best of American Super Juniors Gibson defies logic and pain to hit a guillotine leg drop off the second rope. Aries blocks a Tigerbomb and goes for a Boston crab. Gibson escapes a backslide…TRAILER HITCH! Aries has enough power to lift Gibson and he breaks the hold with an inverted atomic drop. Crossface from Austin, but there’s no opportunity to fishhook him. Gibson with a DDT…BACK TO THE TRAILER HITCH! TIGERBOMB SCORES…BUT ARIES KICKS OUT! Gibson goes for a Trailer Hitch in the ropes to do still more damage. Gibson to the top rope…MOONSAULT misses! Crucifix driver from Aries for 2. He looks for the 450 Splash but Jamie cuts him off. Aries bites him in the face to get him off AND STILL MISSES THE 450! Gibson with a brainbuster…Aries with a brainbuster. Gibson won’t die, and hits another brainbuster of his own. HEAD DROP BRAINBUSTER! But Aries gets up again and hits another brainbuster for himself. Gibson looks for the Tigerbomb again…SPINNING BRAINBUSTAAAA! Double pin, and both men have their shoulders counted down at 22:37.
Rating – **** – Does James Gibson do bad matches? That was just an incredible match, and he just gave Aries the best defence of his reign thus far. Gorgeous psychology throughout as Aries attacked the back softened up by Strong, whilst Gibson subtly attacked the neck whenever he could, readying Austin for the Trailer Hitch or Tigerbomb. So where does this lose marks? The finish just killed me. Going through all that for a draw is gutting. And the brainbusters…oh the brainbusters. Had the finish been Aries retaining after the spinning brainbuster and the 450, it would’ve worked. But after building Aries’ brainbuster up as this devastating move for months (especially in the matches with Samoa Joe), the repeated no-selling of the manoeuvre at the climax really hurts Aries long-term. Still, I can get past those failings after what went before…consider this show stolen.
The crowd go nuts when they think Gibson has won, and are pissed when the draw is announced. Naturally everyone wants five more minutes…and if both competitors agree then the ref is ready to let that go. Aries wants time to think…ALEX SHELLEY RUNS IN TO SHELLSHOCK HIM! He runs out as quickly as he arrived, but that’s ruled out all chance of a restart. Gibson is furious as Aries slithers away with the ROH Title still in his possession. Right – Aries/Shelley should be good…and there’s surely an Aries/Gibson rematch on the horizon.
EARLIER TONIGHT – Local legend the Duke of Dorchester is introduced to the fans and gets jumped by Homicide and Julius Smokes. Bryan Danielson makes the save for more heat ahead of the main event later.
Homicide vs Bryan Danielson – Best of 5 Series Match 4 – Lumberjack Match
The series is being lead 2-1 by Homicide, but Danielson won their last encounter, which was the Falls Count Anywhere match on the third leg of the Third Anniversary Celebration. Since then the feud has escalated further, as the two clashed in the semi-finals of the Trios Tournament, and Danielson attacked Smokes during Homicide’s World Title shot with Aries at Best of American Super Juniors. I’m an outspoken critic of the Chicago Falls Count Anywhere match, and I think these two talented men have sacrificed their wrestling ability to prove what “great” brawlers they are and have spent way too much time in the crowd during this feud. The idea behind the Lumberjack match is to keep them in the ring. The lumberjacks are local workers and ROH Wrestling School students…mostly (wink wink).
Homicide goes right for the kimura he scored the win with in the ‘I Quit’ Match but Danielson escapes. Cide is also the first to throw his opponent to the floor…but Dragon threatens to attack any lumberjack that comes near him. Homicide gets sent outside next, and along with Smokes and a baseball bat he scares off the lumberjacks as well. They lock-up with some intensity, then go to the floor and start fighting with the lumberjacks instead. Dragon increases the pace in the ring with a dropkick and an armdrag. He works Cide’s arm a little as we pass five minutes on the watch. Double hammerlock on Homicide, then a butterfly suplex for 2. Homicide manages to fight back with a dropkick which sends Danielson out of the ring. TOPE CON HILO CONNECTS! Lots of stomps and strikes from Homicide and a belly to belly suplex for 2. He climbs to the second rope but misses an elbow drop. Back to the arm goes Dragon, with armbreakers over the shoulder. He drives a diving headbutt right to the sore shoulder for 2. It’s Mexican surfboard time, and that gets turned into a pinning combination for a near-fall. Neckbreaker and a piledriver from Homicide because his finishing moves affect the neck. From outside Smokes shoves a table into the ring as Dragon is caught in an STF. Homicide props the table up in the corner but he can’t whip Danielson through it. Roaring elbow misses…HOMICIDE WITH A T-BONE SUPLEX THROUGH THE TABLE!
He climbs the ropes again, but Dragon goes up after him and they both end up crotched (botch?) on the top rope. They run the spot again AND IT’S A SUPERPLEX INTO THE LUMBERJACKS! Danielson has flipped, and he starts airplane spinning Homicide on the floor wiping out any lumberjack that dares to intervene. Eventually the lumberjacks get him back in the ring…and one of them gives Dragon a cobra clutch powerbomb! It’s EC Negro of the Dirty Rotten Scoundrelz…in a Rottweilers T-shirt. Smokes and Negro beat on Danielson until Samoa Joe and Jay Lethal come to make the save. Negro takes a back suplex/running STO combo. OLE OLE KICK ON J-TRAIN! Homicide gets into a barney with Joe on the floor then returns to the ring to collide in mid-air on crossbody block attempts. Second rope Ace crusher from Cide gets 2. It’s Cop Killa time, but Danielson scores with the Regalplex. NO SOLD…LARIAAAAT! Both men back up…REGALPLEX for 2. CATTLE MUTILATION…AND HOMICIDE TAPS! The series is tied at 2-2 after a wild 24:47.
Rating – *** – It started slowly but holy crap they just went nuts in the end, and that’s easily the second best match in the series. The stalling at the outset involving the lumberjacks was incredibly tedious, and certainly it wasn’t always clean, particularly with the botched superplex, but the crowd was red-hot by the end, giving the place an electric atmosphere. These two are such awesome wrestlers, and their feud is so much more enjoyable when they keep it in the ring.
James Gibson, it’s fair to say, is rather pissed off. He’s pissed off at Shelley and irate at Aries. ‘This is bullsheeeet’ – Gibson. That was certainly…sweary. WWE this ain’t.
Alex Shelley watches the ring crew take the ring down from the balcony. He was Generation Next, and it’s because of that that he’ll be your new ROH World Champion. Aries and Strong try to jump him but he fights them off and bails. It’s on in NYC!
RIP Chris Candido – 1972-2005. Nice touch…
Tape Rating – *** – Best show ROH has put on in Boston, totally underrated and unpimped…any other accolades you want to throw at it, this was a great little show. Nothing quite scraped MOTY worthy (although Aries/Gibson was going close for a while) but with three 4* matches, the fun main event, and minimal crap, you can’t really go wrong. Lethal/Spanky, Shelley/McGuiness/Cabana/Joe and Aries/Gibson make this show truly memorable, moreso than Back To Basics and that gets way more love. Everyone’s in a rush to get Manhattan Mayhem and the next Midwest double shot because it features the blowoffs of the Homicide/Danielson and Punk/Rave feuds…but don’t skip this.
Top 3 Matches
3) Jay Lethal vs Spanky (****)
2) Alex Shelley vs Nigel McGuiness vs Samoa Joe vs Colt Cabana (****)
1) Austin Aries vs James Gibson (****)