ROH 102 – Weekend Of Champions Night 2 – 29th April 2006
So if you were only picking up one night of the Weekend Of Champions, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that this is the one you’d pick. On paper the card is just so much better. Obviously the marquee match is Danielson/McGuiness in a first time ever match for ROH – both the World and Pure Titles will be on the line in the same match. If that wasn’t enough it’s a rebirth of the GeNext/Embassy feud as Rave and Shelley challenge for Tag Titles. Daniels/Sydal II, Joe/Claudio, Super Dragon is in the building, and Chris Sabin even gets a rare ROH outing too. Is it as good on DVD as it is on paper? Lets cross to the picturesque Gray’s Armory in Cleveland, OH to find out. Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard are on commentary. Enjoy them whilst you can – Lenny takes some time off to get some surgery in a couple of shows and is replaced by someone who just isn’t as good.
ROH VIDEO RECAP (25/04/06) – It’s a double shot so it’s the same Recap as for Night 1. See my WOC Night 1 review if you want the scoop on what’s in it.
Lacey lays down the law to Jimmy Jacobs. Either he wins Six Man Mayhem tonight or he’s out. Jimmy doesn’t know whether he can beat five other guys.
Aries and Strong say they’re going to use tonight to prove they’re the best champions in ROH and the best tag team in the world.
BJ Whitmer interrupts Bobby Cruise running through the card to the live crowd. He says he’s here for a fight only to have Adam Pearce and Jim Cornette turn out to convince him to take the night off. JC announces officially that he’s appointed Adam Pearce as his Lt. Commissioner since he has to take some time off to get knee surgery. Nate Webb invades the ROH love-in to throw Pearce into a guardrail before running off through the crowd again.
Colt Cabana/Conrad Kennedy III vs Irish Airborne
Continuing at the bottom of the card is Colt Cabana (despite technically main-eventing last night) as he looks to work his way back up the ranks and get another World Title shot. He teams with the debuting CK3 who’s a decent technical worker from the Michigan area who works largely as a heel, and largely in Canada. Irish are undefeated in two impressive outings thus far in ROH. They look a little raw but pack some exciting things into their matches – definitely ones for the future.
Cabana headlocks Dave Crist repeatedly which completely negates all his fancy high-flying. Jake blind-tags so Colt just headlocks the pair of them. SPRINGBOARD side headlock from Jake finally stops Cabana in his tracks. Kennedy gets a tag and walks into another springboard headlock. He hits a clothesline to floor the blond Crist brother. ‘Who’s the man’ – CK3. ‘I thought Vader was the man’ – Colt. Conrad suplexes Jake over the ropes and boots him in the back for a 2. Crist tries to mount some offence but CK3 snaps his neck to stop it. Slingshot suplex gets repeated 2’s, despite Cabana coaching him from the outside. Jake avoids both his opponents and gets a tag to Dave who comes in with a SLINGSHOT MOONSAULT! He takes Cabana and Conrad down again with a quebrada press before stereo ranas by Irish send them the floor! ASSISTED SOMERSAULT PLANCHA BY JAKE! SPRINGBOARD BOTCH TO THE FLOOR FROM DAVE! They set up for the double stomp DVD but CK3 has too much left in the tank. Chump Change 2000 (hammerlock neckbreaker) on Jake but Dave keeps him occupied. GERMAN SUPERPLEX MOONSAULT ON CONRAD! Cabana saves and gives Jake the flying asshole. He gives Dave a folding powerbomb and wins at 08:47.
Rating – ** – More good stuff from Irish Airborne. They continue to screw up at times but they try so much stuff that it’s inevitable that every once in a while they’ll make an error. They’re young, have enormous potential and when they can work the errors out will be big stars in the rejuvenated tag division. Conrad looked solid and he and Cabana had a decent comedy dynamic going on. Is that folding powerbomb Cabana’s new finish – because it sucks. Why does he never just use the Colt 45 and stick with it? His lariat sucks and isn’t over as a finisher…and this won’t work either.
Delirious vs Chris Sabin
Check out Sabin getting back on an ROH show for the first time since his impressive match against Bryan Danielson in November. He was supposed to be on the Fourth Anniversary Show but his travel fell through sadly. I say it repeatedly – he is the most underrated guy in TNA. He got semi-decent matches from Kevin Nash for f*cks sake. Meanwhile Delirious needs a win to keep the momentum going after a couple of wins at the end of the Milestone Series. Since then Bryan Danielson has decimated him and he went to a time limit draw with Jimmy Rave. If he loses this he probably slides right back down the card again.
In case you haven’t seen it before, Sabin’s new haircut is dreadful. He impresses the crowd with some flipping armdrags before both men score nearfalls. Delirious does laps of the ring but still runs into Sabin’s forearm. A springboard dropkick gets the TNA guy another 2. He boots Delirious in the back of the head then grounds him with a stranglehold. Out of nowhere the masked man hotshots Sabin then floors him with a leaping lariat. HE’S BEATING HIM WITH HIS ELBOW PAD! After a high angle back suplex he straps on a chinlock which gives the fans a chance to give them the duelling chant treatment. Delirious enzis Sabin but runs into a JUMPING ENZI! Delirious hits a second rope dropkick and runs straight into the PANIC ATTACK! Sabin has the Shadows Over Hell scouted so Delirious changes in mid-air to a FLYING HEADSCISSORS! Sabin strikes back with a spinning enziguri then a LIGERBOMB for 2. He looks for Cradleshock but Delirious rolls away. Sabin leapfrogs him into the buckles for a YAKUZA KICK IN THE CORNER! BASEMENT DROPKICK! Delirious kicks at 2! Chris thinks about a superplex but no dice…SHADOWS OVER HELL! SABIN KICKS OUT! Sabin blocks the Cobra Stretch…Delirious blocks Cradleshock but runs into a Catatonic backbreaker. CRADLESHOCK COUNTERED AGAIN…COBRA STRETCH! Sabin is tapping at 11:59.
Rating – *** – Hell f*cking yeah – get Sabin back in ROH now! For a throwaway undercard match that was really good. Nothing spectacular with a slow start (save some flashy armdrags by Sabin) and at the end it got a little spot-heavy but there was some really intelligent stuff. Delirious changing up on Shadows with a headscissors was a nice touch, as was his decision to chop with his uninjured hand. The counter sequence at the end from the Cobra Stretch to Cradleshock back to the Stretch was a nice finish too. Delirious erases the memory of his drab match with Jimmy Rave last night and yet again Sabin gives both ROH and TNA a polite reminder as to his talent.
Trik Davis vs Spud vs Jay Fury vs Flash Flanagan vs Jimmy Jacobs vs Jimmy Yang
Yang goes from a World Title match to hanging with the jobbers in a Six Man in one night. Sucks to be him I guess – he put on a good show last night. He is on his way out though so. The stakes are high for Jacobs since if he loses Lacey is kicking him out of her crew. It’s second appearances for Flanagan (Supercard Of Honor), Spud (last night) and Davis (Hell Freezes Over) where they all came away winless and will want to make a better impression. Jay Fury has impressed me in his limited ROH outings so far. He NEEDS to change his entrance music though. It’s about as annoying as Steve Corino’s horrible ‘O Fortuna’ remix.
Flash appears to be in a bad mood and doesn’t shake hands. Jacobs starts with Davis and promptly rips his new tights at the crotch. He tries to get some gym shorts from the crowd quite funnily. Trik springboards into a sunset flip for 2 then hits a jumping heel kick. Yang and Jacobs appear to still have heat from the 100th Show…and Jimmy rips Jacob’s tight’s completely as a result. Meanwhile Spud sneaks in and tries to pin Yang. OCEAN CYCLONE SUPLEX OF DEATH! Poor Spud! He tries to dive at Flanagan next but in the end it takes a German suplex from Fury and a leaping kick from Yang to get the big man down. Yang BLOCKS the Jay-Trix enzi and wipes Fury out with a roundhouse kick. ASAI MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! Man Yang is on fire! SPRINGBOARD CORKSCREW SOMERSAULT PLANCHAAAAAAA BY FURY! Trik looks for a dive but Jacobs wipes him out with a spear. Spud goes to the top…SOMERSAULT PLANCHA! HOLY SPUD! Jacobs has no tights left and is practically wrestling in his underwear…AS TRIK DAVIS SUPER RANAS HIM TO THE FLOOR! EVERYONE misses top rope moves (including Flash with a MEROSAULT) ending with Jimmy missing Yang Time. Jacobs is last to go and dives into a spinning heel kick. Tilta-whirl DDT on Yang by Spud for 2. ROLLING JAY-TRIX ENZIGURI! Flanagan immediately kills Jay with a DDT though. Tornado gutbuster gets Trik a 2. Jacobs crotches Davis…AVALANCHE CONTRA CODE! Jacobs wins at 08:03 – and keeps his spot in Lacey’s Angels.
Rating – *** – One of the shocks of the year. Despite being filled with the JOB squad, that was one of the most entertaining 6MM matches yet. Jimmy Yang looked as good here throwing around the little guys as he has in his whole tenure. Spud showed ROH what he’s all about with typically brutal bumps with some wild dives. Fury showed some flexibility in the way he can hit his trademark Jay-Trix move. Flash didn’t add a whole lot again – I’d suggest he won’t be getting another shot. Trik actually impressed me with his little cameos. He’s not the finished article but in IWA he’s proved himself a smart wrestler and he busted his ass here.
‘I can’t believe you won…you never win. I don’t know what’s going on here………….put your pants on’ – Lacey providing another shock of the year and being hysterical.
Claudio Castagnoli appears on the balcony, draped in the torn remains of his ‘ROH’ jacket. He issues a challenge to Samoa Joe for tonight – since he doesn’t want a fight, he wants Joe to take him on in a WRESTLING match. Joe comes out and pokes fun at his Swiss accent but accepts the challenge.
Samoa Joe vs Claudio Castagnoli
Commissioner Cornette booked this match in attempt to seek vengeance on Claudio for turning on ROH in Philadelphia. Joe was the only man left standing on the ROH team then, and last night he wasn’t even able to fight since Claudio attacked his knee from behind then tied him up backstage so he couldn’t interject himself in the impromptu ROH/CZW brawl. Will he be able to stick to his promise simply to wrestle Double C and avoid splattering his face all over the canvas?
Joe hushes down the ‘Joe’s gonna kill you’ so Cleveland chants ‘Joe’s gonna wrestle you’ instead which is kinda cute. Claudio breaks out the wristlocks only for Joe to start pulling on his nose or fish-hooking the face. Finally Castagnoli lands a European uppercut but it gets no-sold and Joe hits a series of big strikes in return. Joe proves he can throw uppercuts as well and he’s got Castagnoli crawling around on the canvas. The crowd is so dead for this already. Joe avoids a crossbody and follows with the chop/kick combo into an elbow drop (not the usual knee drop since he’s got a lingering knee problem). Claudio starts hugging the bottom rope until he suckers Joe in to poke him in the eyes then drop him with a neckbreaker. He uppercuts the neck then hits a swinging neckbreaker for 1. Incredibly he manages to lift the Samoan up for the Match Killer. He’s not quite so lucky with the Alfa Mari Water Slide though. Joe powerslams the Swiss competitor to even things up. Double C blocks the Musclebuster and hits a diving neckbreaker from the second for 2. Joe SLAPS Claudio to the mat after absorbing a whole flurry of European uppercuts. Again he thinks Musclebuster but Nate Webb and Necro Butcher run through the crowd to force a DQ at 11:56.
Rating – ** – That was totally dull and until the last couple of minutes when some focused wrestling from Claudio and a few nice strike exchanges materialised, it was cruising for an even lower rating. Unfortunately, Joe does have a pretty banged up knee right now, and lets face it, with national TV and PPV, as well as much bigger ROH shows than this, he’s not going to be giving 100% tonight. My problem is, this match was never going to be that good and should’ve gone a lot shorter.
Necro starts wearing out Joe’s busted up knee with a chair until Ace Steel and Adam Pearce come out to save him. Pearce goes straight for Webb after what happened earlier and hiptosses him into about the fourth row. Out in the crowd Necro gives Ace the chair slam. PEARCE DRAGON SUPLEXES WEBB INTO THE TURNBUCKLES! PILEDRIVER ON THE WOODEN FLOOR! In the ring Ace turns two chairs back to back…DOUBLE POWERBOMB ON NECRO ON THE CHAIR-BACKS! Finally Super Dragon arrives to stop the madness and quickly assists in beating down the ROH boys (to a super-politically correct chant of ‘Super Faggot’). Except somewhere in the melee Ace Steel powerbombs poor Nate through a chair. BJ Whitmer very clearly hadn’t taken the night off though – he finally comes out to beat the piss out of Super Dragon, whipping him into the front row…
BJ Whitmer vs Super Dragon
Lets face it, BJ has pretty much been CZW’s whipping boy. He got massacred at Arena Warfare, Dragon has double stomped him through open chairs twice, and the most memorable moment of the epic fight at The 100th Show was S-Drag giving Whitmer the Psycho Driver through a table on the floor. He’s been in a neckbrace all weekend, and has finished the last two shows on a stretcher thanks to this guy. He’s here for some redemption…or will he just be brutalised again?
I’ll guess this one will start when Whitmer and Dragon get in the ring together and BLAST each other with stiff forearms. TOPE CON HILO BY DRAGON! He cracks Whitmer in the back with a chair then tears the protective brace from his neck. In the ring again, he drives the top of a chair into the bottom of the neck then double stomps it. CURB STOMP ON A CHAIR! He puts BJ’s head into a chair again but he comes around quick enough to crotch S-Drag on the ropes. Dragon goes for the senton bomb only for Whitmer to get the knees up. LARIATOOOOOOO! EXPLOIDAAAA! TWO COUNT! BJ preps the timekeepers table but Dragon neckbreakers him over the knee before he gets a chance to use it. He looks for the Psycho Driver once again but this time Whitmer rolls away…only to eat a springboard spinning heel kick. BLUE THUNDER SUPERBOMB…FOR 2! Super Dragon wants to kill Whitmer, and sets up two tables on the floor then takes Whitmer to the top rope! WHITMER FIGHTS BACK…TOP ROPE EXPLODER THROUGH THE TABLES! ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME!!! Incredibly BJ hasn’t killed himself in the process, and drags Dragon into the win to pin him for the win at 11:12. Pearce and Steel turn up again to dump his carcass in the street.
Rating – *** – This is the kind of match I feel really guilty about attributing star ratings to. These two guys just went out there and damn near killed each other in an incredibly violent effort and I’m only giving them 3*? It’s an amazing 10 minutes of hard-hitting action, but my rating needs to reflect the fact that the Dayton 8-man and the Philly 6-man were better matches though. Ironically, after the dull Joe/Claudio stuff this segment was amazing, from the sick Necro/Nate vs Pearce/Steel brawl to this. If you were a fan of the ROH/CZW feud before the last three shows you, like me, must be LOVING it by now. And BJ Whitmer deserves a medal for the amount of crazy sh*t he’s done to himself in 2006.
INTERMISSION – DP has caught up with The Embassy – again sans Prince Nana. Shelley says he’s in Ghana getting the party started for when they win the Tag Titles.
Matt Sydal vs Christopher Daniels
This is a rematch from the last Cleveland show, where Daniels came up on the winning end against Matt Sydal. In that match Daniels tweaked his knee and maybe they ended up not having the match they could’ve had – hence they got signed up to go at it again. Sydal is still looking for a breakthrough singles victory and, just like last time, a win over Daniels would be huge.
Immediately these two have another injury problem as Daniels tweaks Sydal’s ankle on a heel trip. That one took less than a minute…damnit. Thankfully, despite a noticeable limp Matt looks like he’s good to go on. To be on the safe side it’s a strictly chain-wrestling opening, before Sydal starts flipping to counter a wristlock. That hurt him but still he seems fine to continue. He hits a satellite headscissors followed by a dropkick to give him an advantage. Daniels cuts him off with a neckbreaker and that’s clearly the body part he’s chosen to work on, not the ankle. Matt catches Daniels on the top rope and sweeps his legs before dropkicking him off the apron to the floor. He goes after the midsection of the Fallen Angel with a seated abdominal stretch which makes sense after the big hit Daniels just absorbed. He elevates Daniels using the bottom turnbuckle and drives both knees into the stomach to do more damage. A firemans carry gutbuster gets 2, then Sydal straps on a bow and arrow. Again he sets Daniels up on the apron to dropkick him off the apron into the railings. SLINGSHOT HEADSCISSORS TO THE FLOOR! Back in again with Sydal double stomping the ribs then flowing into a Lionsault – clearly his ankle isn’t too bad.
He uses an awesome abdominal stretch variant with his leg over the head but in the end Daniels is able to counter with a roll-up. He catches Sydal on the top and press slam hotshots him. Followed up with a big clothesline and both guys are recovering on the mat. ROLLING back suplexes INTO THE BLUE THUNDER…but the ribs are too injured to cover. That’s a pretty bad-ass new sequence for Daniels. He targets the neck some more with a running STO for 2. Urinage slam sets up for the BEST MOONSAULT EVER! But he takes precious seconds writhing in pain and Sydal is able to kick out. Daniels blocks the jumping frankensteiner but Sydal just relentlessly kicks him to the floor! TOP ROPE MOONSAULT INTO THE AISLE! Sydal goes for a series of quick pins showing his desperation to get the win, but none work. TOP ROPE SWINGING DDT…FOR 2! Sydal calls for the SSP but Daniels moves. ARABIAN PRESS – SYDAL GETS THE KNEES UP! STANDING MOONSAULT! DANIELS KICKS OUT! Daniels blocks the Here It Is Driver and the enzicanrana. LAST RITES! Out of nowhere Daniels wins at 18:24.
Rating – **** – Despite another minor injury they definitely managed to kick things up a notch from their previous encounter which wasn’t a bad match either. It was a basic body-part working over premise for a match, but Daniels has shown for like the past five years how good he is at this sort of thing. Sydal looked fairly convincing attacking the ribs of his opponent, whilst Daniels neck-work was substantial enough to believe the Last Rites would finish whilst he’s been kicking out of a lot of Sydal’s bigger moves, but not so substantial that it made Sydal’s aerial offence look like no-selling. That’s a fine line and I feel like both men worked it well. I liked the series of quick pins Matt went for right before the stretch as it really conveyed his desire to get that big singles victory. He’s getting closer though.
Bryan Danielson vs Nigel McGuiness – ROH World vs ROH Pure Title Match
This is title for title, but it isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Both belts ARE on the line therefore for the first time the World Title will be defended under Pure Wrestling rules – meaning you have the usual ropebreaks, closed-fists and count-out regulations. This has been brewing for some time, since both men claim to be the best wrestlers in the world. They’ve both built lengthy and storied reigns for themselves with their respective belts and have left an all-star list of talent in their wake on their successful defence list. Now for the first time ever the Ring Of Honor World and Pure Champions collide to finally see who the better wrestler and better champion is. In theory (wink) we’ll see ROH’s first ever dual champion as a result of this.
Danielson issues a warning shot by going for the Crossface Chickenwing almost right from the bell. To the mat where both men try to lure each other into potential traps. You’ll notice the way the early pace immediately establishes Nigel as a wrestler on the same level as Danielson as every hold is a real struggle for both the man applying it and the man in it. Dragon definitely gets an advantage using headlocks and cravats to maintain control. They look to pick the ankles but both guys are capable of using a cartwheel to block that so Dragon grabs a cravat again, mixing it up with uppercuts this time. Finally Nigel is able to spin free and be PELTS Dragon with a forearm. Unfortunately the World Champion fires one in return and grabs the hold again. McGuiness eventually opts to use his first break just to get himself some respite. He backs Dragon into the corner and reels off a cheap closed fist behind the ref’s back. Danielson fires back with one of his own in front of the referee and gets a warning. One closed fist later and he loses his first break as a result. At 1-1 McGuiness hits the wristlock takedown and starts to target Dragon’s arm. One innovative way of doing this is to use the ropes for an elevated armwrench. He grabs a hammerlock with body scissors…AND MMA ELBOWS! Dragon dives to the ropes to use his second break. Danielson rolls through a lifting knucklelock and dropkicks McGuiness but Nigel immediately grabs another wristlock to make sure that’s all the offence he’ll be mounting. He uses his feet to provide extra leverage on an armbar, and when Danielson tries to go back to the headlock, this time Nigel is able to switch to a hammerlock. He looks for the Mexican surfboard but his arm is hurting him so he stomps the knees instead.
Front facelock attempted but McGuiness just wrenches the arm again. Dragon takes some time on the floor then re-enters with a German suplex which gives him still more recuperation time. He Sayama flips OUT OF A HAMMERLOCK and puts together a series of strikes then a judo DDT. DIVING HEADBUTT for 2! CROSSFACE CHICKENWING…and McGuiness takes his second break at 19:00. He headstands and Dragon runs into a hard mule kick. TOWER OF LONDON ON THE SHOULDER…Danielson uses his final break as a result. Dragon goes to the top rope again but gets crotched. TOWER OF LONDON COUNTERED TO CATTLE MUTILATION! Nigel simply has to use his final break – and is there any finishing move Dragon can’t counter with the Cattle Mutilation? McGuiness hangs off the apron but recovers to SUPLEX DANIELSON TO THE FLOOR! Both men hit the wood hard! Nigel tries to trap Dragon under the timekeepers table…and the World Champion only just beats the count-out! What a weasel Nigel is. EUROPEAN UPPERCUT DUEL! Danielson finally counters one to a backslide for 2. ROARING ELBOW BY DRAGON THEN THE REBOUND LARIAT BY NIGEL! CATTLE MUTILATION! McGuiness is in the ropes but it doesn’t matter, so he escapes the hold by dragging himself out of the ring, which you’d assume he can do because he’s weakened Danielson’s arm. Nigel staggers into the aisle…TOPE SUICIDA! McGuiness goes for an uppercut only for Dragon to heave him into the fans. He goes to the ring! SPRINGBOARD PLANCHA INTO THE CROWD…ONLY FOR NIGEL TO GET A CHAIR UP! Both men pretty dazed and this is under Pure Title rules to there’s a count. NIGEL MAKES IT BACK AT 19…NIGEL WINS! NIGEL WINS! 28:36 is your time…
Rating – ****1/2 – Once again Bryan Danielson supplies you with a MOTYC, but moreso than that, after a few years in ROH showing flashes of promise and glimpses of what he’s capable of doing – THIS was Nigel’s big coming out party. He stepped up and became a main event player with a sensational performance in this. Finally he combined cheating with the Pure rules (including using a chair to win) with technically superb wrestling and the results were great. This match was one of those great examples of an extended mat sequence where everything meant something. Every hold was a struggle, everything was done for a reason. Danielson dominated early, so Nigel used his knowledge of the Pure rules to get an advantage. But of course, Dragon is a hell of a wrestler too so, despite his busted arm this was still an ultra-even contest right to the death – and you really feel they’ve left a lot more in reserve for future rematches. I love the count-out gimmick here, but they definitely have a better stretch to a “proper” finish in them. Plus this match was all about establishing Nigel and the Pure Title and getting them over to Dragon’s level – hence McGuiness needed to dominate. Imagine a rematch where it’s Dragon forcing the pace and Nigel wrestling defensively. They can go so many places with this World vs Pure feud (probably moreso with these two wrestlers than they could’ve done with Joe vs AJ in 2004).
There’s a mixture of shock, displeasure and hysteria as the crowd think they’ve seen a World Title change. However, Bobby Cruise announces that since only the Pure Title can change hands by count-out, Danielson is still World Champion. Obviously they needed a get-out but…surely if the World Title is being defended under PURE rules then it should be able to change hands under Pure rules too? Anyway, Danielson and the fans want 5 more minutes…but Nigel does perhaps more for the credibility of the Pure Title than anyone else since the belt’s inception – he walks away satisfied that he’s retained it.
Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs Jimmy Rave/Alex Shelley – ROH Tag Title Match
This is potentially the biggest challenge Aries and Strong have ever had for the Tag belts – because these four men already have a lengthy history with each other. This is a renewal of the epic GeNext/Embassy feud which stretched through the second half of 2005, ending at Steel Cage Warfare with Generation Next coming out on top. However, in that whole feud this match never actually happened. I think it was booked for Dragon Gate Invasion but Shelley was injured and replaced by Spanky in his final ROH app. Can the Embassy redeem themselves from the loss of last December by taking home the gold tonight? The Haze quickly makes me hope not by sticking her ugly grill all up in the camera. GAAARRGHH I can’t stand her!
Rave starts with Roderick which, of course, means Jimmy goes to extreme lengths to avoid much “starting” at all. He uses the pieface and bootscrape of disrespect then scrambles to the ropes like a pussy. ‘I’m winning on points’ – Rave. Finally Strong has had enough and launches some chops so Shelley comes to his partner’s aid. Everyone in the ring leading to the Embassy getting dropkicked out. PESCADO/HEAT SEEKING MISSILE DOUBLE DIVE! They brawl around ringside with Strong and Aries laying in the big shots to both their opponents. It’s punch volleyball on Rave in the aisle before we return to the squared circle for a Power Drive elbow. SLINGSHOT Hart Attack gets 2 as the champs keep the isolation of Jimmy going. Aries slingshot hilos Rave over Strong’s knees and Alex has to create a distraction to stop his team losing. BASEBALL SLIDE TO THE CROTCH! GeNext are just having fun at their opponents expense until the Haze low blows Double A behind the ref’s back. Shelley eventually gets the tag and testicular claws his old stablemate. Rave and Shelley are in top form goofing around during the beat-down of Aries, bringing their traditional cheating antics with some moments of real hilarity. Rave starts tearing at the face during a chinlock so Roddy chops him in the back. Next Daizee assists Shelley in making an abdominal stretch even more painful. Coming straight from that the Embassy hit a nice neckbreaker/dropkick to the neck sequence for 2. Epitomising the quality of the Embassy’s isolation, Aries almost manages to fight free only have Rave drag his neck over the top rope then Shelley literally stand on him. They’ve been doing great stuff like that for the past 5+ minutes. FISH-HOOK CROSSFACE! Shelley is stealing old Aries moves now. Eventually it all goes wrong though as Daizee tries to missile dropkick Austin but ends up kicking her own man instead. That’s why you suck Haze. Strong gets the hot tag…GIBSON DRIVER ON SHELLEY! Double half nelson…CHOP BRAINBUSTER! Shelley has to make the save there. He keeps blocking Strong’s half nelson backbreaker and scores with the Air Raid Crash. Spear/neckbreaker combo then the CRAPPY WIZARD on Aries for 2. Shelley superkicks him in the jaw setting up for Ghanarea, but Roderick makes the save. Sliced Bread #2 blocked with a…SIT-OUT TOMBSTONE! Strong just killed Shelley! ROLLING HALF NELSONS FOR JIMMY! 450 SPLASH! GeNext retain at 18:09.
Rating – **** – I can see why some people were disappointed in this, because these four guys have a better match in them. In fact, I think they were probably actually planning on having a rematch down the line, but Shelley leaves in a couple of shows. Just like with Dragon/Nigel, there’s so much these four men can do that they didn’t even use here. As is, this match was memorable for two really entertaining isolation segments. The baseball stuff by GeNext rocked, and then came Rave and Shelley giving a masterclass in the old southern style of tag beat-downs. Alex is so entertaining in this role that it’s a real shame that he’s not going to be around much longer. The climax had some neat moments too. There was lots of familiarity countering (these four obviously have a long history together) and Roddy’s Sliced Bread counter was simply brutal. A nice way to round off the Weekend Of Champions.
Nigel McGuiness tells Dave Prazak that by winning the match he’s proven himself the best champion in ROH. Bryan Danielson comes in to yell at him for using a chair. Delirious comes up behind him to have a go for what he did to him at The 100th Show and Nigel takes advantage of the distraction to lay out AmDrag with the Pure Title belt. I’d say Danielson has two grudge title defences to deal with…
Tape Rating – *** – Definitely the better of the Weekend Of Champions events, much as the event (on paper) had promised. The undercard (save Joe/Claudio) was exciting with Delirious/Sabin and a fun 6MM standing out as total surprises. The latest ROH vs CZW instalment, culminating in the violent Whitmer/Dragon match was a nice way to go to intermission too. Then after the break the three top-liners all delivered the goods. Daniels/Sydal went better than their first match. Danielson/Nigel was an outside MOTYC and there’s the promise of more to come from those two. Then the main event managed the difficult task of going on after the World/Pure Title match and delivering too. After the new standards ROH has set itself via the Milestone Series, I certainly don’t think this show was quite worthy of 4*. It was better than WOC1, but ultimately will probably get the same rating. By all accounts you’ll get a better Danielson/Nigel match from the Liverpool show (ROH’s UK debut). The Tag Title match is entertaining, but the defence against Joe/Sydal the previous night was equally good if not better, whilst everything else was pretty good without really providing anything that you simply HAVE to see. Ultimately, here’s the simplest way I can assess the Weekend Of Champions. If you’ve got the money – get both, they’re solid shows. If you’re picking selectively and only getting one – get Night 2 since Dragon/Nigel is easily the best match of the weekend and the whole show is better. But really in the grand scheme of things, if you can’t keep up financially and you need to do some skipping – you can probably hop right on over these.
Top 3 Matches
3) Christopher Daniels vs Matt Sydal (****)
2) Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs Jimmy Rave/Alex Shelley (****)
1) Nigel McGuiness vs Bryan Danielson (****1/2)
Weekend Of Champions Top 5 Matches
5) Christopher Daniels vs Matt Sydal (**** – Night 2)
4) Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs Jimmy Rave/Alex Shelley (**** – Night 2)
3) Castagnoli/Necro/Dragon/Webb vs Whitmer/Pearce/Cabana/Steel (**** – Night 1)
2) Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs Samoa Joe/Matt Sydal (**** – Night 1)
1) Nigel McGuiness vs Bryan Danielson (****1/2 – Night 2)