ROH 81 – Unforgettable – 2nd October 2005
I told you this was a big weekend for ROH. An “unforgettable” weekend you might even say. Last night produced one of the most solid top to bottom shows ever, rivalling even Manhattan Mayhem and Nowhere To Run from earlier this year, and was rounded off by the fantastic Joe/Kobashi MOTYC. Night 2 of the Kobashi weekend has another stacked card to enjoy. The main event is a dream partner match with some really dumb booking as Kenta Kobashi and Homicide join up to take on Homicide’s friend and stablemate Low Ki, who teams with his most hated rival, Samoa Joe. Make sense of that if you can. Elsewhere, it’s James Gibson’s last night, and he’s wrestling his protégé Roderick Strong in a battle to determine the 2005 MVP. Jimmy Yang wrestles Chris Daniels in a mouth-watering clash. More Embassy/GeNext escapades, the first defence by the new ROH Tag Champions AND a new ROH Commissioner is announced. Philadelphia, PA welcomes us. Dave Prazak, Lenny Leonard and Jimmy Bower call the action.
Prince Nana and Jimmy Rave are somewhat pissed off after what Jade Chung did to them in NYC. Rave promises that Generation Next won’t even make it to Steel Cage Warfare in two months.
Claudio Castagnoli gets some promo time, which is cool. Beating Colt Cabana was just the first step on his road to the top.
Tony Mamaluke/Sal Rinauro vs Dunn & Marcos – ROH Tag Title Match
In an act of somewhat questionable booking, Team Salmaluke teamed up for the first time last show to accept an open challenge from Whitmer and Jacobs, and pulled off a shock win. Do I like Mamaluke? Not especially…but I think Rinauro’s got potential, and Tony’s performance was pretty good last night so I’ll give them a shot. I’m assuming this shot is the RCE’s reward for beating the Carnage Crew at Night Of The Grudges 2, since they haven’t really had a match that’s made a DVD since then.
Dunn starts with Rinauro and eats dropkick fairly promptish. Sal drop toeholds him into a Mamaluke gutbuster before Tony goes all shooter…so Dunn throws him to the floor ha ha. Take that rat features. Marcos sails out with a tentative looking tope suicida. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA by Dunn…and Sal goes one better with a SPRINGBOARD SOMERSAULT SENTON! Mamaluke gets 2 on Marcos with a frog splash. He dumps poor Marcos on his head with a Saito suplex too. Russian legsweep/flipping neckbreaker combo from the champs. Hot tag to Dunn off a headscissors, and he gives Rinauro the Gory driver. Mamaluke blocks the wheelbarrow headscissors double team with a powerbomb for Marcos, then Rinauro hits the swinging stunner on Dunn for 2. Assisted Shiranui on Rinauro, followed by the electric chair senton but Mamaluke makes the save. Double back suplex on Marcos before they botch their Double Rubix Cube finisher and pin Dunn anyway at 06:04.
Rating – * – It was meant to be a squash to showcase the new champions, but ironically, they came off looking a bit foolish after this. They weren’t exactly fluid all match (it’s only natural, they’re a new team) and that finish looked terrible. They’re actually better off in longer matches as opposed to spotfests/sprints like this, simply because they don’t have the continuity as a team to pull them off yet. I’m not writing them off yet, but I’d rather BJ and Jimmy still had the belts (even though they’ve beaten every team there is!).
Jade Chung cuts a promo on Prince Nana, and in a shock twist…she’s AWESOME! Seriously, that interview was shockingly good. Eloquent, impassioned, logical – everything you could ask for. She finally broke free of The Embassy’s dire clutches at Joe vs Kobashi, now it’s time for payback.
Davey Andrews vs Claudio Castagnoli vs Jay Lethal vs Nigel McGuiness
Four-way filler action here, but this is fresh even after a summer of fourways because we’ve got a lot of new talent in there. Obviously Andrews is still pretty green but there’s some talent there. Castagnoli is really making his first appearances since becoming a full-time member of the roster this weekend, whilst Jay Lethal hasn’t been in too many fourways so. He’ll be out for some revenge on Nigel for cheating to victory in their Pure Title match last night. Obviously everyone is out for a title shot so pinning the champion has to be a priority. Claudio may also be out for revenge on his fellow European since McGuiness beat him in his ROH debut at Fate Of An Angel.
The yanks start on the apron meaning McGuiness and Castagnoli can chain it up. Lethal/Andrews in now, ending in Lethal dishing out stiff chops to all three opponents. Castagnoli tries to catch him with open hand chops of his own but only ends up connecting with McGuiness and Davey. Lethal with a Lionsault onto both the Europeans for 2. TOPE ON ALL THREE GUYS…but he’s caught. ARMDRAG ON CLAUDIO! That was a crazy spot, and amidst the mayhem, McGuiness misses with the iron and smashes it on the ringpost. Back inside the Pure Champion drops Lethal with a hammerlock DDT. Castagnoli with the diving European uppercut to the neck. He goes for a stalling inverted suplex, and learns from last night when he showed off for too long with Cabana. Andrews emulates him with a stalling body slam lol. McGuiness and Claudio get into a b*tchy shoving contest on the floor as Lethal plants Davey with a diving chop off the second rope. Andrews walks into a spinebuster but Nigel blocks the diving headbutt. SPRINGBOARD EUROPEAN UPPERCUT by Castagnoli…THEN THE EURO UPPERCUT TOPE! Claudio is the sh*t! Davey hits a superplex on Lethal, and rolls it into a Final Cut for 2. HEAD DROP DRAGON SUPLEX from Lethal wins it. 09:52 is your time.
Rating – ** – Filler it promised to be and filler at was, but at least this was decent. Lots of fun comedy stuff from Claudio, and he brought the European uppercut fun as well. He’s proving to be a really decent addition to the roster and is alarmingly over already. That three-way tope into an armdrag from Lethal was as exciting a pre-planned indy dream spot as you’ll see tonight. I’m not sure how much good it does to Nigel, his heel character or the Pure Title to have him hidden away in this…but at least the interactions between him and Claudio keep that little issue going. They meet in non-title action at the next show incidentally. Lethal needed the win to keep his momentum from the Low Ki match going after losing at Joe vs Kobashi.
Matt Sydal vs Jimmy Rave
Sydal has issues with The Embassy going back to February in Dayton when his then-partner Fast Eddie turned on him to join Nana’s group. At The Final Showdown in May these two damn near stole the show in a match that should’ve earned Matt more bookings. He lost there as well, and ended up joining Generation Next at Redemption by way of being on the winning team in a 6-man tag. Now he gets another shot at Jimmy Rave as we’re on the road to Steel Cage Warfare on December 3rd. Someone calls him ‘Mr TPI’ on the way to the ring which is cool. Check out the 2005 TPI by the way!
Sydal controls the early stuff as the quicker of the two men, getting in a bunch of armdrags along the way. Rave joins Nana on the floor, but that’s no worries for Matt. TOP ROPE MOONSAULT TO THE OUTSIDE! Jimmy finally does get some offence in with a back suplex. Sydal gets dropped with a big clothesline to the back of the head then a neckbreaker for 2. The swinging suplex neckbreaker gets 2 as well. He locks in a full nelson (‘is he the master of this particular lock?’ – Prazak) then stomps on Sydal’s neck after he enziguris his way free of the hold. Back to the Masterlock but again Sydal fights it and retaliates with a corkscrew enzi. Enzicanrana scores…HERE IT IS DRIVER! That gets 2, so does the standing moonsault press. Matt comes off the second rope but Rave counters with a mid-air spear. Sydal flips out of Ghanarea and almost rolls The Embassy man up. Rave with a northern lights bomb for 2. Nana distracts the ref…but Jade Chung runs out of the audience and steals Rave’s bootlace before he can use it. Sydal takes advantage of all the distractions and rolls Jimmy up for his second defeat of the weekend at 10:02. Big win for him…
Rating – ** – Solid match, but their first encounter was far better. Then again, this did all it needed to in fairness. They had a competitive match, with Rave pissing off the fans, Sydal hitting his highspots and getting over as the face, then the Jade run in at the end to carry on the feud. She’ll be in GeNext before long. I didn’t like Sydal completely forgetting about the neck Rave had been working over for most of the match in the home-straight, but in 10 minutes, that doesn’t overly matter.
It’s time for the next Reyes killing a student match. This time Derek Dempsey is the victim, and he is choked out with the dragon sleeper at 00:28. I’m loving this angle because it’s getting Reyes over. In the last couple of months he’s really grown on me. I like his bad tempered nature and stiff kicks!
Another one of the students says Reyes has killed Dempsey…so send for an undertaker. In a surreal moment, out walks Paul Bearer (Percy Pringle if you prefer). He truly is a hideous looking man by the way. He is quite funny though, and he announces himself as the new ROH Commissioner. Jim Cornette walks out all pissed off…and after a pretty inspirational pro-ROH promo, announces that in actuality, HE is the new Commissioner. Before he leaves he calls out Julius Smokes and the rest of the Rottweiler thugs (Reyes and Reefa). He bans them all from ringside in the main event else they’re fired. Well that segment was a whole bunch of good sh*t…
SIDENOTE – Basically ROH is getting a Commissioner as a response to all the events of the summer. We had CM Punk running around as Champion with guys getting title shots not because they’d earned one, but based on personal feuds. We had Prince Nana abusing Jade Chung. We had Nana, Smokes and other Rottweilers interfering in matches. Basically, Cornette is here to restore ROH to what it used to be all about. Great wrestling, clean winners and the like. Initially I didn’t like the idea of a Commissioner, but I have to say, with someone like Cornette in the job, I can see it working. It should be interesting to see where they take this.
Roderick Strong vs James Gibson
This is it, Gibson’s final ROH appearance. He’s been fantastic all year – truly one of the promotion’s most consistent performers – but now his run is over and he’s heading back to the E. For his final match he’s selected a man he’s taken under his wing and tried to help out over the months here and both will be looking for a strong showing. Roderick comes into this on a massive roll as well. He’s beaten Matt Hardy, he’s won Survival Of The Fittest, and last night he beat Jimmy Rave. Like Gibson, he’s been on fire in 2005, and this match will go a long way to deciding who is the 2005 ROH MVP. Gibson has old HWA pal BJ Whitmer in his corner.
We start with two minutes of nice, respectful mat wrestling with neither man able to gain control. Gibson gets a couple of shots in on Strong’s knee which will damage his ability to hit backbreakers. Roderick comes back with a few chops and looks for the Stronghold early. No dice, but he does muscle Jamie into a backbreaker. Gibson off the second rope with a crossbody, then he scores with the swinging neckbreaker. Roderick to the outside where he catches Gibson’s pescado attempt and SLAMS him into the guardrails. FOREARM DUEL ON THE FLOOR! Strong puts a stop to that by shouldering Jamie into the metal sheets again. In the ring again with Roddy cranking on a camel clutch, still working the back. Gibson counters the leg full nelson by rolling into a surfboard then applying a camel clutch of his own. The Mexican surfboard is next for his protégé but Strong comes back with clubbing shots to the back. Gibson goes for a Mexican roll-up but instead bridges himself right into a backbreaker. Strong almost takes Jamie’s head off with a brutal dropkick for 2. Gibson counters the double knee gutbuster with a Texas cloverleaf. To the second rope for a diving elbow drop for 2. Rod blocks the Tigerbomb and instead eats a running knee to the head. Gibson goes for it a second time and runs into TWO CRADLE BACKBREAKERS! STRONGHOLD but Jamie manages to manoeuvre himself to the ropes.
CHOP FLURRY IN THE ROPES! Gibson drops to the floor from the brutality of those strikes. Roderick goes for another and connects with the ringpost. RUNNING KNEE AGAINST THE RAILS from Gibson! He takes advantage of Roddy hitting the post by ramming the hand against the railings, then stomping on it repeatedly. Back inside with a Gibson brainbuster for 2. Roderick can’t chop now because of his injured hand and Jamie floors him with a jumping knee strike. Strong tree of woes Gibson to counter a Tigerbomb and KILLS him with basement dropkicks. SUPERPLEX SCORES but Jamie kicks out again. Roderick goes for a second which Gibson blocks and he dives out of the corner with another knee to the head. DDT…TRAILER HITCH! STRONG STANDS UP! GIBSON WITH ROLLING GERMANS! SEVEN GERMAN SUPLEXES…BUT STRONG KICKS OUT! That was so close the timekeeper even rang the bell! HALF NELSON BACKBREAKER…FOR 2! Jamie counters a second half nelson and HITS A CRADLE BACKBREAKER OF HIS OWN! TIGERBOMB SCORES BUT RODDY KICKS OUT AGAIN! He calls for the top rope Tigerbomb – COUNTERED WITH A SUPER DOUBLE KNEE GUTBUSTER! STRONGHOOOOOOOLD! Gibson taps at 28:52!
Rating – ****1/2 – Yay, Jamie leaves us with one final MOTYC…that was awesome. Supreme story-telling throughout, and in typically classy fashion, Gibson goes out putting over Roderick in massive fashion (as Strong’s own excellent year continues). You know what you’re going to get with Strong. He’s perfected his “I’m going to kill your back and make you tap” routine, and really it’s a case of how well guys can work around it – and naturally Jamie did it damn well. He constantly beat on the neck looking for his finishers, but there were other moments, like when he attacked the knee early to show his fear of the backbreakers, or when he went after the hand to stop Strong chopping him. With a touch better selling (both guys abandoned it a little to hit the big stuff at the end) this would’ve been 5*.
Amidst ‘Thank You Gibson’ and ‘Please don’t go’ chants Gibson cuts an emotional promo thanking numerous guys. He leaves by putting over ROH as the greatest wrestling company on earth, and calls Strong the MVP. This guy is true class…and that’s something that The Embassy lack. Nana and Rave jump Roderick Strong as he walks back to the locker room. What motherf*ckers…
Top 5 – James Gibson Matches
1) Gibson vs Bryan Danielson (Glory By Honor 4)
2) Gibson vs Roderick Strong (Unforgettable)
3) Gibson vs CM Punk (Fate Of An Angel)
4) Gibson vs Colt Cabana (Dragon Gate Invasion)
5) Gibson vs Austin Aries (The Final Showdown)
INTERMISSION – GMC is in the most echoey corridor ever with Mamaluke and Rinauro. Tony cuts a typically SERIOUS promo about shocking the world. Sal promises they’re going to rebuild the tag division.
BRYAN DANIELSON UPDATE – He’s back next show against Austin Aries, and has sent out open contracts to numerous companies all over the world for title shots. Steve Corino has signed one and gets a title shot courtesy of the HUSTLE promotion.
Jack Evans vs Colt Cabana
Jack’s comeback weekend continues with a match against the arch-rival of the man he beat last night. Cabana was instrumental in that victory, as he distracted Homicide by rapping on the balcony, allowing Evans to hit a reverse rana and steal it. Cabana has had issues with Generation Next in the past too so it’s not like this is an entirely heat-less affair.
Cabana breaks out the ghetto handshake and the match begins with the inevitable dance-off. Colt almost spins Evans out of his shoes to “serve” him again. Lots of near-miss stuff ends with duelling dropkicks…except Cabana can’t nip-up like Evans can. He uses this to his advantage by baiting Jack in then kicking him in the head. A dropsault and a corkscrew enzi from Evans bring him back into the match. Handspring elbow scores, followed by a springboard knee to the head for 2. He rana’s Colt to the floor but he has the dive scouted so he runs away. Jack finally goes for a headscissors off the apron and gets swung INTO the ringpost. Cabana tries to find out exactly how far he can through his flippy opponent with repeated scoop slams. Grounded Gory special, almost stretching poor Jack in half. Then he LITERALLY bends Evans in half in a Gory stretch. ‘That’s disgusting’ – Philly. Colt 45 is blocked and Evans comes back with a standing blockbuster. Standing corkscrew shooting star for 2. Jack to the top but he MISSES the 630. Cabana lifts Homicide’s lariat again and wins at 10:11.
Rating – * – Some of the comedy was good, but by and large I really wasn’t feeling that. It went too long, exposed far too many of Jack’s in-ring weaknesses and by and large came off as dull. I would classify both of these two as men that need to be put in the ring with good opponents to produce quality matches. Together they just didn’t click and that kinda sucked which is a shame. I like both of them.
Julius Smokes comes out to inform Colt he’s a dead man, but Homicide is concentrating on the main event so he’s got a free pass for the night.
Jimmy Yang vs Christopher Daniels
I’d rate this as one of my most anticipated matches of the whole weekend. Yang had a terrific debut last night in New York. He’s not a technical wizard but he’s so smooth and clean in everything he does in the ring that it’s impossible not to rate him. Gibson was the perfect opponent to reign in his spotty style and get an awesome contest out of him, whilst at the same time allowing Jamie to showcase his abilities as more of a flying Cruiser wrestler, as opposed to the technician he’s been for most of his ROH tenure. Daniels/Yang will probably be a spottier match, but both these guys are two of the best at this kind of thing. Daniels beat Sydal and Azrieal last night and will want to continue the momentum.
‘Allison, what makes you so dangerous’ – fan. The rest of the crowd and Chris Daniels urge her to f*ck him up. Yang really works a hammerlock but gets caught in a Daniels offensive flurry. The former Jung Dragon gets beaten down in the corner then flattened with an Arabian press for 2. Yang blocks a stalling vertical suplex and captures him in a hanging headscissors. To the floor where Jimmy slings Daniels into the guardrails. Back to the hammerlock to control the Fallen Angel, who gets the ropes to break it. Awesome rolling heel kick in the corner from Yang, holding onto the ropes to skin the cat back inside. Daniels goes for a crossbody but Yang counters by dropkicking him right in the gut. Tiger Mask kick scores, but a superkick doesn’t and Chris fires back with a stepping enziguri. Yang takes a tilta-whirl backbreaker, then the blue thunder driver for 2. Daniels double jump moonsaults out of the corner…BUT YANG QUEBRADA’S ON TO HIM! Daniels goes for a springboard reverse elbow and has that countered by a spinning heel kick to the neck. Finally he does get some offence in, blocking Yang Time and scoring with a back superplex. ANGEL’S WINGS for 2. Koji Clutch locked in, but unlike last night Yang isn’t tapping. He fights it until he passes out at 12:06.
Rating – *** – There was some good, and some bad, but when it was on, this was ON. Some of Yang’s exchanges are so smooth it’s unreal. The BME-quebrada sequence rocked. They worked the typical X-Division style match which is much more over in TNA than it is in ROH…but it was decent. I liked how they played on the finish from last night with Yang refusing to tap. Cool psychology there. It’s also been good to see Daniels get a couple of wins this weekend. He needs some direction post-Punk.
Lacey holds a press conference with the other members of the Angels. She fires Deranged and Izzy for sucking…haha. Her newest Angels – BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs – walk in to beat the crap out of them. They leave to talk wardrobes. That’s cool I guess. BJ and Jimmy need something to do without the tag belts, and Lacey’s Angels will continue to mean nothing unless they get some serious talent. It would probably get Izzy and Deranged over as undercard babyfaces now if they feuded with the new Angels. It doesn’t happen…but I’m just saying. They’re better than Dunn & Marcos, or Azrieal.
SIDENOTE – I just want to b*tch about the booking for the main event right here. The official reason for it is that ROH just wanted to throw these four guys together to have the best match possible. That’s crap, I’m sorry, but just because Kobashi is here, that’s no reason to destroy ROH continuity. Homicide and Ki teaming against each other? Joe and Ki teaming WITH each other? Why not take Homicide out, team Ki with Kobashi and put Daniels, or Strong, or Lethal, or even Gibson (what better way to leave than working Kobashi?) with Joe. All of those guys make more sense and would provide as good, if not better a match. Imagine a Kobashi/Strong chop exchange. Daniels/Ki back in the ring together again. Lethal getting the crap kicked out of him by Ki and Kenta. I appreciate Homicide has done a lot for this company and deserves to team with Kobashi, but I really REALLY don’t like the booking. Plus, if Danielson wasn’t elsewhere tonight, this debate would be irrelevant. You KNOW it’d be Joe/Danielson vs Kobashi/Ki in a heartbeat.
Samoa Joe/Low Ki vs Kenta Kobashi/Homicide
OK, with complaining about the booking aside, lets get on with enjoying what should be a phenomenal match. It’s round 2 of Joe/Kobashi. After their war last night seeing more of that sh*t will rule. For the first time ever in ROH we’ll get to see Low Ki and Homicide go at it. That’s a dream match right there. How well will Joe and Ki be able to co-exist? It’d at least continue a semblance of ROH storylines if their heat is continued whilst teaming together. Homicide throws a streamer for his own partner lol. Ki will be jet-lagged like f*ck for this, having worked 1PW in the UK the night before.
Kobashi basically demands to start with Joe. Same as last night Joe fires off a series of kicks, but UNLIKE last night he doesn’t slap Kobashi in the face in the ropes. Kobashi responds by backing Joe into the corner and NOT chopping him. Joe MULLERS Kobashi with a boot to the face. ELBOW SUICIDAAAAAAAA! Back inside and it’s time for a CHOP DUEL! Joe muscles Kobashi to the corner and brings Low Ki in. Ki ninja’s up and climbs the ropes to slap on a hanging armbreaker. Kobashi clearly hasn’t been doing his homework on Ki, as he gets tagged with the bridging kick. Ki/Homicide now which everyone is jacked to see. Lots of crisp matwork from the Rottweilers with neither man able to gain a clear advantage. Joe in with the chop/kick combo into the knee drop, then a series of stiff kicks in the corner. This feud goes way back, and Homicide goes to the eyes to stop Joe. Kenta returns with more sickening chops to Joe’s already horrible chest. He facelocks the former World and Pure Champion but can’t force a submission. Joe dishes out more stiffness to Cide then tags out. It all breaks down between these two, ending in DUELING ENZIS! Homicide throws Ki to the floor where Kobashi chops lumps out of him. DDT ON THE METAL RAMP! He follows that up by chopping him into the front row. Back in the ring Cide camel clutches Ki, setting him up for MORE DISGUSTING CHOPS! Homicide goes for the tope con hilo but Ki blocks it with a JUMPING ENZI! STANDING DOUBLE STOMP SCORES but Kobashi cuts off the tag. Joe storms in to KICK THE SH*T out of the NOAH star.
Joe blocks an Ace crusher from Homicide and plants him with a DVD for 2. Ki and Joe team up to kick on Cide in the corner for another 2. Tornado DDT on Low Ki but he goes for a superplex and pays the price with THE TREE OF WOE DOUBLE STOMP! Tag to Joe, but he walks into a swinging DDT off the second rope and finally Cide gets the hot tag to Kobashi. MACHINE GUN CHOPS IN THE CORNER! KI INTERFERES…MACHINE GUN CHOPS ON HIM! MORE MACHINE GUN CHOPS FOR JOE! HEAD DROP SLEEPER SUPLEX! LOW KI GETS A HALF NELSON! Joe finally puts an end to Kobashi’s offensive flurry with his powerslam. STF for the big Japanese competitor, then a Fujiwara armbar. DANGEROUS BACK DROP DRIVER! Joe is on fire…MUSCLEBUSTAAAAAAA! KOBASHI KICKS OUT OF IT AGAIN! GHETTO STOMP MISSES! Ki lands on his feet from another half nelson attempt THEN HITS BLACK MAGIC! He looks to muscle Kobashi up for the Ki Crusha but that isn’t happening so he dropkicks him into the corner. Hanging crucifix…but Homicide breaks it with a running neckbreaker. Joe blocks Cide’s Lariat…BUT KI MISFIRES AND HITS HIM WITH THE SPRINGBOARD ENZI! TOPE CON HILO ON JOE! Kobashi neck chops out of the Tidal Krush. ORANGE CRUSH for 2 before Joe saves. Homicide wipes out Joe again with a CANNONBALL SENTON off the apron. BURNING LARIATOOOOOOOO! Low Ki is pinned at 26:21.
Rating – ****1/2 – The first half was a little off but in the second portion it really kicked into higher gear and ended up being an absolute stormer of a contest. Some of the Ki/Kobashi exchanges were magic. If Kenta ever comes back PLEASE book that match. Otherwise, it was everything you’d expect. Lots of stiffness, lots of big spots. Homicide was the weak link but absolutely killed himself (despite an injured shoulder) to entertain. Definitely not as good as last night, but it was up there with the typical NOAH Heavy/Junior tags you see. Akiyama/Williams vs Kobashi/Shiozaki from Universal Uproar was better though…and it wasn’t in the same league as Sasaki/Nakajima vs Kobashi/Shiozaki from 05/11/05 (which is right up there in my MOTY running) but an excellent main event to round off a great weekend nonetheless. I marked out big time for Ki accidentally hitting Joe with the enzi – that will get brought up again when they finally do feud once again. The references to Joe/Kobashi were appreciated too.
Everyone gets chants and a standing ovation after the match. Joe thanks Kobashi for gracing ROH with his sizeable presence and we hit Kobashi’s music to fade out.
Tape Rating – *** – Nowhere near as good a show as last night. There was a lot more openly bad stuff that you don’t really ever want to watch more than once. But, by the same token, with two matches at 4.5* and Daniels/Yang, the fourway and Rave/Sydal being decent, it’s still pretty good. This has been a tremendous weekend for ROH, what with Kobashi’s appearance, adding a shocking three more matches to their long list of MOTYC’s, James Gibson leaving, Jimmy Yang arriving etc. The eyes of the world were on my favourite independent promotion, and they certainly didn’t disappoint during their moment in the spotlight. Get both nights of the Kobashi weekend as soon as you can.
Top 3 Matches
3) Christopher Daniels vs Jimmy Yang (***)
2) Kenta Kobashi/Homicide vs Samoa Joe/Low Ki (****1/2)
1) Roderick Strong vs James Gibson (****1/2)
Top 5 Kobashi Weekend Matches
5) Roderick Strong vs Jimmy Rave (*** – Joe vs Kobashi)
4) James Gibson vs Jimmy Yang (**** – Joe vs Kobashi)
3) Kenta Kobashi/Homicide vs Samoa Joe/Low Ki (****1/2 – Unforgettable)
2) Roderick Strong vs James Gibson (****1/2 – Unforgettable)
1) Kenta Kobashi vs Samoa Joe (***** – Joe vs Kobashi)