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065 ROH The Final Showdown 5/13/2005

ROH 65 – The Final Showdown – May 13th 2005

It’s time for ROH’s latest Midwest swing which, to be honest, I’m not enormously excited about. Main eventing both nights will be steel cage grudge matches, and to be honest, I think the match has been booked to the point of overkill in the promotion. When they booked the first one (Raven/Punk – Beating The Odds) it seemed like such a big deal. The first ROH Title Cage Match (Joe/J. Briscoe – At Our Best) is one of the most memorable matches ever. But what with the numerous Scramble Cage matches, as well as the very recent Aries/Cabana match, it just seems like they need to give the gimmick a rest. And since a big part of the draw for this weekend is settling heated feuds inside the cage, hence my lack of initial enthusiasm for this double shot. The Final Showdown tonight sees (oh yes), the FINAL SHOWDOWN between Homicide and Bryan Danielson. The final match in the Best of 5 Series will be a cage match. I haven’t loved the rest of their feud, but hopefully this will send it out on a high. Also on the bill, the big ROH Title rematch – Austin Aries defending against James Gibson, who took him to a double-pin draw in Boston. Alex Shelley and Roderick Strong collide as the Shelley/GeNext feud continues, and we’ll also see the returns of Doug Williams, Ace Steel, Matt Stryker and Ebessan to Ring Of Honor competition. It’s Friday the 13th, we’re in Dayton, OH. Hosts are Dave Prazak, CM Punk and Jimmy Bower.

Alex Shelley says he is still on a quest for revenge on Generation Next, after getting just a taste last show in Manhattan.

Homicide is outside looking at a hospital…apparently promising to send American Dragon there later.

Generation Next make their way to ringside and it appears the show will be getting underway with some promo time. Austin says Joe’s Pure Title is meaningless, and promises that Strong is finishing Shelley off. Alex Shelley interrupts proceedings and punches out all three men. He demands his one-on-one match with Roderick right now, and we have ourselves an opening match.

Roderick Strong vs Alex Shelley

Rod was involved in the initial double-cross of Alex Shelley at Final Battle 2004 so Alex will be gunning for some revenge here tonight. Surely after the competitive match he had with Aries at Manhattan Mayhem, he’ll also be desperate to get right back in the hunt for the World Title. Strong is also climbing the ranks pretty fast, and has been putting on some really good matches recently – vs Homicide (3/12), vs Gibson (4/2) and vs Whitmer/Jacobs (5/7).

Shelley seems to attempt a Strykerlock right off the bat, perhaps commemorating the return of Matt Stryker himself later tonight. He attempts a Border City Stretch too but Strong wriggles free. They slug it out like fighters, until Shelley uses his wrestling smarts and applying a cross armbreaker. We have a big forearm exchange, before Strong hits a big boot. They go through an awesome exchange where they counter each other’s trademark moves, and get a big ovation as a result. Hurricanrana from Shelley, then a spinning heel kick, using some different moves to throw off a familiar opponent. He sends Roderick to the outside with an enziguri, and flies out after him with a nice springboard somersault plancha. Strong gets whipped into the railings a few times as Shelley maintains control of the match. Roderick comes back with a hotshot over the top rope, then a big boot square to the back which his opponent doubtlessly intends to target. Alex gets slammed into the ringpost then dropped ribs-first over the guardrail for a 2 count. Shelley fights right back and goes for the Border City Stretch, but Strong finds it easier to escape since he’s worn down the back. Bodyscissors surfboard from Rod and that’ll do still more damage. Shelley again tries throw forearms and takes a dropkick right to the jaw as punishment. Shelley blocks a suplex and hits a Golden Gate Swing to leave both men in a heap. Springboard swinging DDT from Alex gets a 2. Strong kicks Shelley in the head, hanging him between the ropes for a DOUBLE STOMP to the back. Half nelson backbreaker from Roderick but Shelley kicks out. He follows that with the double knee gutbuster, but runs right into a superkick. Strong scores with a big boot for the third time in the match, but it’s still not enough. Another superkick from Shelley…SHELLSHOCK for 2! SHELLSHOCK AGAIN and this time Shelley takes the win at 15:13.

Rating – *** –
Decent opening match, but honestly I expected them to do a little more with the time they had. Rather than build a solid contest, they seemed quite content to throw spots at each other – which was fun, don’t get me wrong, but for workers of such talent it seems a little limited. Shelley’s babyface ability shone in this though, I’ll say that much. I don’t know if it’s just the Dayton fans, but he always seems miles more over as a face on these shows than anywhere else.

Aries and Evans try to jump Shelley after the match, but he’s too quick and flees up the aisle, having gotten one over on Generation Next for now.

Prince Nana and Jimmy Rave arrive in a helicopter promising to end Punk’s career in his hometown tomorrow night. Rave is apparently the ‘next big thing’…

Masked Chicago Superstar vs Matt Stryker

Poor Matt Stryker. ROH fans really don’t like him, and for his big return to the company after spending some time training in the NOAH dojo (I believe), they book him against a jobber. A jobber who is, in fact, Loc (of the Carnage Crew) in a mask. Worse still, getting into amazing shape last year, Loc looks absolutely awful at the moment.

Superstar jumps Stryker before the bell and dropkicks him in the back of the head. ‘Lets go jobber’ – Dayton. Even Stryker’s hometown fans don’t cheer for him! Loc takes Stryker to the top rope but eats a European uppercut. Stryker with a jumping neckbreaker off the top. He follows that with a Thesz press and an STO for 2. He dropkicks the knee and goes for the Strykerlock, but Superstar blocks. The masked man misses a running knee in the corner and walks right into a Mafia kick. Strykerlock is applied, and we’re all done at 03:22.

Rating – DUD –
Short and inoffensive, but it’s a DUD nonetheless. Stryker has no future in ROH, and there’s no need to book him. His whole gimmick now is being pissed off at the east coast and only wrestling in the Midwest in front of “appreciative” fans…but they just cheered for a fat, out of shape jobber over him. Sorry Matt, but you’ve gotta go…

Bryan Danielson is in his locker room staring at a Yankees jacket with intense, beard-stroking rage. He has no comment for the cameras because he’s THAT focused on the beautiful stitching…or hurting Homicide.

JAY LETHAL UPDATE – His neck was seriously injured by the Ghetto Stomp Cop Killa at the hands of Homicide and Low Ki last week and is on the shelf for a while.

Delirious vs Ebetaroh vs Jack Evans vs Samoa Joe

The Pure Title isn’t on the line here because Joe is carrying some injuries from his hard-hitting match with Jay Lethal last weekend and is having it somewhat easier tonight and tomorrow. Still, he says if anyone can beat him tonight he’ll let them hold the Pure Title belt. Evans is looking for revenge on Joe after he and Bryan Danielson brutalised Jack in a tag match at the last Dayton show. Ebetaroh appeared during the Third Anniversary as Ebessan, but since his Osaka Pro contract expired, it’s Ebetaroh now. Throw in Delirious as well and this could be a damn entertaining match.

Delirious flips out when the bell rings – he really should see someone about that. Evans starts and Ebetaroh decides he wants to out-dance him. Jack rises to the occasion so Ebessan stomps him in the head. Jack comes back with a stomp of his own and a corkscrew enziguri kick. Delirious/Ebetaroh and they trash-talk in tongues…this is weird. The ref demands they wrestle…and they oblige with SLOW MOTION WRESTLING! This is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in a wrestling ring. SLOW MOTION SHINING WIZARD FROM EBETAROH! They exchange throat pokes before Evans and Joe come in to make it mildly more serious. Jack tries to go ninja and gets a b*tchslap for his trouble. Joe kicks him out of shoes just like Part 2 of the Third Anniversary Celebrations. Delirious comes in with a flurry of clotheslines in the corner. Ebessan chips in next with a Mutoh elbow drop but hurts himself trying to work over Jack’s arm. He impersonates Ric Flair and gets press slammed off the top just like Flair always does for more comedy fun. Delirious tries to pin Evans, but Joe breaks the pin by throwing a show at him…goodness me this is bizarre. Standing corkscrew shooting star from Evans to Ebetaroh for 2. The Japanese star comes back with a clothesline/bulldog combination on Delirious and Jack. Shining Wizard on Evans, then a Juvi Driver on Delirious…before Ebessan finally makes the tag to Joe. STO Slam on Delirious, before Ebetaroh tries to take over. E HONDA STRIKES AND A JUMPING ENZI NO SOLD! JOE WITH THE CHOKE ON EBESSAN! Meanwhile Evans hits Delirious with the 630 SENTON and steals the win at 13:22. Delirious and Evans were the legal men!

Rating – *** –
Not a technical wrestling clinic, but it’ll be a front-runner for funniest match you’ve ever seen I promise you. Delirious and Ebessan damn near stole the show right there with their comedic performances. The slow-motion exchange and angry tongues yelling have me laughing out loud every time I watch this match. Evans and Joe contributed as well, and the end result is Jack getting a much needed win to compliment his recent in-ring improvements.

James Gibson is backstage with his trainer. He says he underestimated Austin Aries in Boston, and won’t be making the same mistake again. It’ll be fitting to win the ROH Title in the same building where he made his emotional debut.

BJ Whitmer/Jimmy Jacobs vs CM Punk/Ace Steel – ROH Tag Title Match

And what exactly have Punk and Steel done to earn a title shot recently? CM Punk has been jobbing to Jimmy Rave all over the place, and the last time we saw Ace Steel was in November of last year thanks to his NOAH commitments. Still, BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs made an impressive start to their title reign, overcoming the dynamic Generation Next pairing of Rod Strong and Jack Evans in a spot-tastic match in New York. As clips remind us, there is still heat between Whitmer and the Saints, stemming back to their feud when BJ was still in The Prophecy. And where does Jacobs stand? Remember he teamed with CM Punk and Ace Steel in a couple of multi-person tags against Generation Next at Midnight Express Reunion and Gold last year.

BJ refuses to shake hands with the Saints after all their history and a fight almost breaks out right there. Punk and Jacobs start with Punk showing his headlock proficiency. Satellite headscissors from Jimmy in response, so Punk snaps his leg with a deathlock. Whitmer and Steel trade some pleasantries as well. Jacobs comes in for a double team flurry on Ace for 2. The champions have isolated Steel by this point, with Whitmer powerbombing Jacobs into a senton on him. Punk eventually gets a tag and dropkicks Jimmy in the back of the head for 2. Giant swing/dropkick combo from the Saints, and Steel follows that up with a powerbomb and now it’s Jacobs desperate for a tag. Back suplex backbreaker from Ace, but Whitmer breaks a submission attempt by raking the eyes. Punk applies a Gory stretch, and Steel comes off the ropes to smash Jacobs in his exposed midsection. Jimmy goes for a sunset flip off the ropes but Ace blocks…so Jacobs scores with a hurricanrana instead. Hot tag to Whitmer and he dishes out some mean German suplexes to both Saints. He looks for a powerbomb on Ace but Punk runs up into the Shining Wizard. Jacobs dives but Punk catches him and mashes him with a backbreaker. Powerbomb/clothesline combo on Whitmer for 2. HEAD DROP head and arm suplex by Punk! He locks in the Anaconda Vice but Jacobs breaks it with the SENTON BOMB! Tope on Steel, as Whitmer gives Punk the Wrist Clutch Exploder for 2. DOOMSDAY RANA and this time Punk is counted down at 16:43.

Rating – ** –
For the talent in this match that’s disappointing. By and large it seemed like a by the numbers effort, almost a phoned-in performance perhaps, which is a shame. It was solid, and a decently worked tag bout, but never anything more than that and despite some fun spots at the end, was largely quite dull. Plus I got annoyed at the end of the match as the ref counted a near-fall from the Wrist Clutch on Punk, when BJ was CLEARLY not the legal man. I thought ROH was supposed to be clamping down on that.

The Code Of Honor is followed as Whitmer and the Saints finally shake hands putting their feud to rest once and for all. Prince Nana (and Jade Chung) come out to laugh at Punk for losing and offers him a chance to back out of tomorrow night’s cage match. Jimmy Rave jumps Punk from behind as a brawl breaks out between Nana’s security and Punk’s students. Matt Sydal and Daizee Haze come out to even the odds a little bit. SYDAL WITH A TWISTING MOONSAULT ONTO ALL THE JOBBERS! The brawl continues until we eventually get a match.

Jimmy Rave vs Matt Sydal

Sydal is out for revenge after The Embassy made him their b*tch last time ROH was in the Midwest. Fast Eddie broke up their fledgling tag team and joined Nana’s group before Jimmy gave him the Rave Clash in Dayton. Then in Chicago he lost to Eddie in a singles match. Sydal is still searching for that breakout match in this promotion. Beating the “crown jewel” of The Embassy could give him that.

Enzicanrana from Sydal, followed by a tilta-whirl front slam and a dropkick for 2. He almost decapitates Rave with a spinning heel kick as his explosive start continues. He takes to the air once too often though and flies right into a gutbuster from Rave. Sydal takes some concentrated offence to the midsection, with Rave hitting another gutbuster for a 2 count. He pokes Matt in the eyes then goes to an abdominal stretch. Jade distracts the ref allowing Nana to pull on Rave to worsen the stretch…but Daizee manages to drag the Prince off the apron. The Embassy try the same trick again and this time Haze points it out to the referee…and steals Nana’s crown. Sydal and Rave fight to the top rope, and it’s Sydal that scores some offence with a rope climbing hurricanrana. Spear right to the injured ribs by Rave and he’s in charge again. Desperation sunset flip from Sydal for 2, and he manages to sidestep another spear attempt to send Rave outside. TWISTING PLANCHAAAAAAA! But was that a stupid move by a man with injured ribs. Back in the ring he gets 2 with the inverted Rocker dropper. HERE IT IS DRIVER for 2. Sydal looks to take to the air again but Rave pulls him off the ropes then drops him ribs-first over the turnbuckles. On the floor Rave drives Matt chest-first into the railings, then tries to take him back in with a Pepsi Plunge of all things. MOONSAULT BELLY TO BELLY FROM SYDAL! TWO COUNT ONLY! He goes for the Here It Is Driver again but it’s blocked. He goes for a hurricanrana and immediately has to block the Rave Clash. CRAPPY WIZARD…RAVE CLASH! Jimmy survives – just – at 12:36.

Rating – *** –
Sydal’s best match in ROH by some distance, what an effort! Jimmy Rave is actually really good now. Not just good like over as a heel good, but actually a good wrestler. His working over of the ribs was great, and that whole match he made Sydal look like a million bucks before getting the win going into the cage match tomorrow night. Great undercard clash, which surprised people I think.

Nigel McGuiness/Chad Collyer vs Colt Cabana/Doug Williams

The Cabana/Nigel feud got more intense at Manhattan Mayhem when McGuiness managed to beat Colt after an accidental low blow. Now they’re wrestling each other again, but this time they’ve brought partners to the dance. McGuiness and Collyer are a semi-regular team, having wrestled together a couple of times prior to this, including a shot at the Havana Pitbulls and the ROH Tag Titles. Williams returns to the company for the first time since Glory By Honor 3 for this weekend’s double shot. Tomorrow night he faces the loser of Danielson/Homicide. Looks like this might be as close as we’re getting to Nigel vs Doug.

And sure enough it’s Williams and McGuiness to start and they go back and forth with neither man able to really control the match. Collyer comes in and takes Doug down with a couple of hiptosses but almost falls prey to a couple of pinning tricks. Williams stretches the hamstrings of both Collyer and McGuiness, then tags Cabana as they stretch all four of Chad’s limbs. Nigel gets in with Cabana and runs into an armdrag. Of course, McGuiness has a counter for any hold Colt tries, and he’s soon back up. Williams sneaks in to push Nigel down before the two adversaries take it back to the mat. Williams comes in and flapjacks McGuiness onto Collyer in the corner. He goes for the Chaos Theory but Nigel counters with a roll-up. Second attempt and Collyer smacks him in the face. Wristlock takedown from McGuiness before he tags Chad in to continue working the arm. McGuiness back in with a standing hammerlock but he almost gets put away with a standing sunset flip. Williams blocks a gutwrench suplex but Collyer distracts the ref meaning he doesn’t see the tag. Williams gives McGuiness an Ace crusher and this time does make a legal tag. Cabana with a quebrada press on both opponents for 2. Double wristlock takedown by the HWA guys on Colt. McGuiness into the corner headstand, but Williams grabs him and Cabana rams Collyer into Nigel’s ribs. Cabana scores with a frog splash but Collyer promptly drops him with a German suplex. Shortarm scissors from Nigel…BOMB SCARE KNEE DROP breaks that. Collyer and Williams fight outside and Cabana rolls up McGuiness to get another win in this series at 14:46.

Rating – ** –
As an exhibition and introduction to what these four are capable of this was pretty good, but the problem was that on this card, this match was never going to get long enough to really allow the guys to express themselves and put on the match they’re capable of. Therefore what we got was a lot of nice wrestling inside what ultimately was nothing more than another formulaic tag bout.

Austin Aries vs James Gibson – ROH World Title Match

Rematch from Stalemate, it’s as simple as that. On that particular show both men fought to a double pin, and there was no chance of five more minutes because Alex Shelley attacked Aries. Gibson says he underestimated the ROH Champion last time, so will he get the job done in the same building where he debuted for Ring Of Honor?

It’s a tentative start from both men, neither wanting to make a costly early mistake. Gibson starts getting the upper hand, until Aries utilises a wristlock takedown, and he furthers that by stomping on Jamie’s arm. The champ increases the pace and scores with a dropkick, but takes a baseball slide from Gibson when he tries to flee to the outside. The challenger gets 2 from a backbreaker, then slows it down again with a surfboard. Aries drags down the top rope and sends Gibson to the floor. Heat Seeking Missile tope scores, and Aries singles out Gibson’s arm by slamming it into the railings. The damage is significant and it puts Austin in prime position, as he starts using the ropes to wear down the injured body part. Aries looks for a brainbuster, but it’s too early and Gibson is able to counter with a small package. He drops Aries on his head with a monkey flip but can’t mount any significant offence because Austin rakes the eyes. Hammerlock version of the sidewalk slam from Aries for 2. He applies the Rings of Saturn in the middle of the ring but doesn’t keep the hold on long enough for a pin. Tornado armbar DDT on Gibson and the challenger is a mess at this point in the match. He hits a Samoa Joe-like powerslam out of nowhere but is slow to capitalise he’s in such pain. He gets a near fall at least with a guillotine leg drop.

The champion gets blasted with a running knee strike to the side of the head, but he fires back with a roaring elbow. Double clotheslines, and both men go down. Gibson sends Aries outside with a dropkick…and he goes for a Tigerbomb on the floor. Eventually he settles for crotching the champ over the railings then clotheslining him over them. Gibson to the top rope…SOMERSAULT PLANCHA INTO THE FRONT ROW! Aries has enough about him to block an attempted suplex back into the ring, and he snaps the arm over the top rope, and it takes that much to put Jamie on the back foot again. He refuses to be counted down after an Asai moonsault, and fights back with his swinging neckbreaker. He can’t hit the Tigerbomb though because of his arm. Front slam from Aries…450 SPLASH FOR 2! Gibson avoids the dropkick flurry in the corner…AND LOCKS IN THE TRAILER HITCH! Aries escapes AND WALKS INTO THE TIGERBOMB! TWO COUNT ONLY! Gibson is getting desperate and misses a moonsault attempt. Aries hits a brainbuster and goes upstairs…BUT GIBSON GOES AFTER HIM WITH THE TRAILER HITCH! Spinebuster out of the corner from Aries, and he’s out cold and on top of Gibson. The ref counts the pin at 23:47.

Rating – ****1/2 –
Great match, but the scariest part is, I’m sure they could do even better. Yet again the finish wasn’t great, and the crowd’s disappointment at it was definitely audible. My take on it is that it furthers the idea of Aries as the desperate champion just surviving another match and clinging to the belt. Anyway, beyond the finish, it was an epic contest. Gibson’s selling was fantastic as usual, barely using his arm from the moment Aries started working on it, and when he did (such as the Trailer Hitch and the Tigerbomb) Aries was able to counter and escape due to the injury. Chalk up another good title defence for Aries, and yet another good match for Gibson, who thoroughly deserves his label as ROH MVP right now.

INTERMISSION – Dave Prazak is with Samoa Joe. He comments on the irony of him holding the belt he used to sh*t all over. He vows to make it the most important belt in ROH, just like he did with the World Title. Alex Shelley tries to recruit Joe to be hits tag partner tomorrow night…but Joe hasn’t forgiven Alex just like everyone else.

Homicide vs Bryan Danielson – Best of 5 Series Match 5 – Steel Cage Match

With the series tied 2-2, it all comes down to THE FINAL showdown here tonight. Technically this all started over a year ago at Reborn Stage 2 with Homicide used a low blow to beat Danielson. But it was last winter when things really heated up. Danielson beat Homicide at All Star Extravaganza 2 and was then assaulted by the Rottweilers. Same deal at Final Battle 2004 after his match with Low Ki. That’s what kicked off the Best of 5 Series. Homicide went 2-0 up by winning the ‘I Quit’ Match thanks to Julius Smokes’ interference, and the Taped Fist Match thanks to taping brass knucks inside his taped fist. But Dragon fought back, winning the Falls Count Anywhere and Lumberjack matches. He also got involved in Homicide’s ROH Title match at Best of American Super Juniors, and there were skirmishes at the Trios Tournament too. This feud has been vicious, if not always fantastically interesting – now lets see it settled. The winner gets an ROH Title shot tomorrow night, assuming they can walk.

New entrance music for Dragon – Darth Vader’s Imperial Death March. We don’t get to hear it for very long though because Homicide starts the fight in the aisle, stabbing at Danielson’s head with a fork. Dragon is bleeding and the match hasn’t even started yet. After taking an absolute pasting on the floor Danielson finally gets dumped into the ring and we’re officially underway. Homicide keeps on the laceration, throwing his opponent into the cage. Danielson eventually fires back with some chops, then launches Cide into the cage a couple of times for good measure. Dragon has the fork now, and he takes revenge, scraping and stabbing at Homicide’s head to make him bleed. He gets 2 with the first wrestling move of the match – a double underhook suplex. Homicide blocks the suplex through the open chairs, and for the first time in the series he manages to suplex Danielson through them instead. Dragon fights back with slaps and knee strikes, then runs a chair into Cide’s face as the turnbuckles prop him up. It’s Mexican surfboard time but Homicide is in no mood for tapping out tonight. Judo DDT from Danielson, and he heads to the top rope. Cide chases after him and they headbutt each other on the ropes. TOP ROPE ACE CRUSHER FROM HOMICIDE…for 2. Danielson blocks the Lariat and hits the Regalplex for 2. They climb to the top rope for another fight up there. Homicide gets knocked off…AND DANIELSON CLIMBS THE CAGE! DIVING HEADBUTT OFF THE CAGE! DANGEROOOOOOOOOOUUUUS! Homicide somehow kicks out, and hits a piledriver out of nowhere. Again he climbs up top, and again it doesn’t work, as Dragon drags him back into the ring with a back superplex. Low blow from Homicide…LARIAT! It’s Reborn Stage 2 all over again, but this time Danielson kicks out. Cide pulls out brass knucks but walks into a roaring elbow. 62 (by my count) ROTATION AIRPLANE SPIN! Danielson wins at 14:13 and goes on to a title shot tomorrow night.

Rating – *** –
Not the MOTY candidate some thought it might be, but as a straight up steel cage fight, I enjoyed it. They started slowly with the fork stuff and the blood spots, and as it went on got more and more intense. I particularly enjoyed the reference to their first meeting back in April 2004, but with so much more on the line Dragon refused to let the same trick work twice. Like everyone else, I’m in two minds about the airplane spin finish. On one hand, it was quite the sight to behold, watching him keep going…and going…and going…and going. But after everything that’s happened in this feud – really, an airplane spin to finish? A fun main event if nothing else…

They shake hands and hug after the match…before Homicide heels out on Danielson with an Ace crusher. It’s moment like that that remind us all why Homicide kicks so much ass haha. He swears it’s not over…and Danielson says the first person he’ll defend the ROH World Title against will be Cide. Cue Imperial Death March – end show.

TOP 5 – Homicide/Danielson Best of 5 Series Matches

1) ‘I Quit Match’ (****) – It All Begins

2) Steel Cage Match (***) – The Final Showdown

3) Lumberjack Match (***) – Stalemate

4) Taped Fist Match (***) – Third Anniversary Celebration Part 1

5) Falls Count Anywhere Match (DUD) – Third Anniversary Celebration Part 3

Tape Rating – *** –
Standard (i.e. good) ROH fare here. I guess it’d be thumbs WAY up if you were a bigger fan of the Homicide/Danielson series than I was, since that ended tonight. Personally, as I’ve said before, I’d much rather see them wrestle than brawl, and after essentially five matches of watching two great wrestlers waste their talent and clumsily lumber all over arenas, I’m kinda glad their issue is settled. Still, in their defence, I actually only disliked one of the five matches, the other four were pretty good. I just prefer Reborn Stage 2 and All Star Extravaganza 2’s Homicide/Danielson matches. Aries/Gibson is a clear showstealer and MOTYC, but aside from that, not a lot else to write home about in terms of stand-out quality. Matt Sydal and Jimmy Rave had a really fun match, and speaking of really fun, the comedy fourway DEFINES the term ‘really fun’. Shelley/Strong was a good opener as well. Put it this way, if the WWE put on this show, I’d RAVE about it. For ROH though, they can, have, and will again do better.

Top 3 Matches

3) Bryan Danielson vs Homicide (***)

2) Jimmy Rave vs Matt Sydal (***)

1) Austin Aries vs James Gibson (****1/2)

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