ROH 156 – Death Before Dishonor 5: Night 1 – 10th August 2007
The Death Before Dishonor events have a strong legacy going back over the years of ROH. The first one in 2003 is one of the best shows the promotion has done, with Paul London’s farewell, Punk/Raven, Jeff Hardy stinking the joint up, a crazy head-drop-filled four corner survival, the last match in the Briscoes vs AJ/Red trilogy and more. The Death Before Dishonor 2 weekend remains one of ROH’s best ever double shots with LOADS of good stuff on both shows. Death Before Dishonor 3 featured CM Punk’s amazing title win as well as the ROH returns of Chris Daniels and AJ Styles, whilst last year saw the resolution of the ROH/CZW feud in the Cage Of Death. Both DBD shows this weekend have strong line-ups that are certainly capable of living up to their predecessors. Tonight Takeshi Morishima defends the World Title against Race To The Top Tournament winner Claudio Castagnoli. The Briscoes/Steen-erico war continues in a Street Fight. Nigel McGuinness and Chris Hero have a Pure Wrestling Rules match, plus Danielson/Sydal, another NRC/Resilience tag and other stuff you may or may not care about. This was taped in Roxbury Crossing, MA.
ROH VIDEO WIRE (01/08/07) – Wow…this newswire actually has more than just highlights. Claudio Castagnoli is in training for his title match but talks us through his big RTTT tournament victory. He looks about as comfortable hosting the Video Wire as I was doing maths back at school.
The Briscoes are in a jovial mood because they get to hurt Steen and Generico in a street fight.
Davey Richards vs Jack Evans
Jack still has problems with the No Remorse Corps, despite the fact he still hasn’t started any kind of faction to watch his back. He got a big win over Roderick Strong in Osaka, went to the semi-finals of the RTTT Tournament and wants to keep his momentum going with a big win over fellow RTTT semi-finalist Davey Richards. Does that make this match a Race To The Top Tournament 3rd place play-off?
Davey puts the boots to Evans as he does his breakdancing, then chops his head off with a ‘Die Wigger’ clothesline. Jack blocks the DR Driver and hits back with a series of kicks. He goes for a springboard rana but Richards blocks it with a powerbomb. Outside the ring Evans lands an enziguri off the guardrail. Standing moonsault off Richards’ chest gets 2. Davey puts some offence together again, but Evans is a durable athlete and sends him to the floor with a double jump flying headscissors. But he takes way too long setting up for the Space Flying Tiger Drop and gets clobbered by Richards. The NRC member has focused his assault on Evans’ back which, as Prazak points out, negates his ability to hit the 630 senton. Jack manages a moonsault elbow strike and gets himself some breathing space. Springboard corkscrew enzi knocks Richards out of the ring. SPRINGBOARD CORKSCREW MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! Jack ate ring apron on that one though. Richards evades the 630 but Jack counters the DR Driver into a small package for 2. HEAD DROP GERMAN SUPLEX…for 2. STRAIGHT-JACKET GERMAN…2 again! Davey gets annoyed with the referee for not making a 3-count and Evans capitalises with a reverse rana. Ong Jak knee drop nailed, and he looks set to hit the 630. Roderick Strong runs out and shoves him off the ropes, causing a DQ at 11:19.
Rating – *** – The DQ finish was a disappointment of course, but this was an entertaining opener which really got the crowd going. Jack’s improvement as a singles wrestler from when he first started is remarkable. In all likelihood he’ll never be an ROH Champion, but he’s become very adept at playing a charismatic underdog for other guys to beat on and look good doing it. He’s been putting in some terrific efforts recently.
Roderick (wearing a Generation Next t-shirt) and Rocky Romero attack Jack until The Resilience arrive to make a save. Jack doesn’t seem too pleased though, he says he doesn’t need them.
Lacey vs Daizee Haze
It’s time for the gajillionth chapter in this apparently never-ending feud. Last time they met they had a 10-minute draw at Domination. The stakes are a little higher this time round though. The winner gets a shot at Sara Del Rey and the SHIMMER Championship tomorrow night. Daizee has an on-going rivalry with Sara too and Lacey had already had a couple of memorable title matches with the Death Rey by this point in time.
Haze wastes no time going to work on Lacey, prompting Lacey to leave the ring. Daizee hits a baseball slide and Lacey’s head hits the guardrail at a pretty sick angle. Sara Del Rey is on the ramp watching the action. The Haze gets nearfalls with bridging suplexes then kicks Lacey out of the ring again. She thinks about a top rope plancha but gets cut off and guillotined over the ropes. Lacey kicks at the back but misses a running knee strike. Sidewalk slam does score and gets her a 2-count. Yakuza kick blocked and Lacey hits a Bubba Bomb. Royal Butterfly applied just to piss Del Rey off. She gets too cocky though, letting Sara distract her and Haze uses it to comeback. She hits some STIFF forearms, and blocks the Implant DDT before getting 2 with a German suplex. Heart Punch nailed but Lacey counters the Mind Trip with a lungblower. Implant DDT nailed and Lacey wins at 08:10.
Rating – ** – It was the usual standard of match between the two. Probably a tad better than 5th Year Festival Dayton or Domination, but still not a patch on the quality of their SHIMMER work. I’m glad ROH didn’t do the predictable thing of having Daizee go over and wrestle Sara again. We’ve seen that more than enough. Lacey/Del Rey is a fresh match (for ROH audiences), and since they’re both better wrestlers, the quality should be higher for the first ever SHIMMER title defence in an ROH ring.
Chris Hero vs Nigel McGuinness – Pure Wrestling Rules Match
This feud rumbles on and Chris Hero still hasn’t scored a victory over Nigel McGuinness. He lost at Supercard Of Honor 2 and he became the first man to lose to McGuinness’ Tower Of London in a thousand years when he was defeated at the Driven ppv taping. Nigel’s reign as Pure Champion was what finally got him over with the ROH fans. After initially being very unpopular having taken the belt from Samoa Joe, he went on to have the only truly memorable reign of the Pure Title’s existence. He became an expert in manipulating the Pure Wrestling rules (something Hero will have to contend with here) and had some fantastic matches against the likes of Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli and more.
Larry Sweeney tries to add a few rules to the match. Nigel is forbidden to interrupt Hero’s ‘athletic displays’, being British leads to a forfeit of all rope breaks, no touching of Larry Sweeney is permitted, neither are closed fists or clotheslines (i.e. lariats). I think those rules are optional. Hero takes advantage of them anyway by launching into his first athletic display of the night. The lights then go out and a voice proclaims that ‘Project 161 is coming’. Prazak tries to play it down and ignore it. Hero says that Nigel used all his rope breaks whilst the lights were out, unfortunately the referee doesn’t buy it. Five minutes in and the match actually begins for real. Obviously both guys are extremely proficient technicians, and they begin by chaining, trying to bait their opponent into giving away a rope break. McGuinness works the arm, and eventually Larry Sweeney has to distract the ref so Hero can use the ropes to escape a hold. He traps Nigel in a hammerlock…and Tank Toland drapes Nigel’s foot on the bottom rope, costing him his first break. That’s cheating! Hero then gets Bobby Cruise to inform everyone that that the move was ‘only a hammerlock…therefore a waste of a rope break’. Undeterred by the games played by Sweet’n’Sour Inc., Nigel goes after the arm again with a bridging chickenwing. That forces Hero to utilise his first break so we’re tied at 1-1. Hero punches him in the head behind the ref’s back…and Nigel smacks him back, drawing a warning from the referee. Unfortunately Hero does the exact same thing again, and when McGuinness foolishly retaliates, he costs himself his second break. Nigel gets pitched to the outside where Tank forces Bobby Dempsey to drop an elbow on a hapless McGuinness. Hero goes for the Hangman’s Clutch near the ropes but it’s blocked at this stage. He applies a half crab instead, and physically puts McGuinness’ foot on the ropes, trying to trick the ref into taking the former Pure Champion’s last rope break from him. McLariat ducked but the spine kick/chest lariat combo does score for 2. Now it’s McGuinness that voluntarily takes the match to the floor. He grabs Dempsey, then throws him INTO Hero…who then becomes stuck under his large body and almost gets counted out. Cravat Buster gets Chris a 2 but Nigel is still too aware and blocks the Hangman’s Clutch again. Tower Of London nailed…and Sweeney puts Hero’s boot on the ropes to break the fall. It’s 2-2 on rope breaks now though. Jawbreaker Lariat blocked and Hero gets 2 with a roaring elbow…thanks to Sweeney putting the foot on the ropes again. Nigel is out of rope breaks, and now Hero locks in the Hangman’s Clutch. Nigel, out of rope breaks, taps at 19:59.
Rating – *** – It was never exciting and spot-filled (like the Claudio/Generico RTTT final for instance), and it probably went a bit long, but that was, for the most part, incredibly entertaining. Chris Hero and Sweet’n’Sour Inc. were just made to be funny and play games with the Pure Wrestling Rules. If the Pure Title still existed, I think Hero would definitely be the guy wearing it at the moment. The only bad part of the match for me was that it made Nigel look like a bit of an idiot. This is a guy who used to manipulate the Pure Wrestling rules on every single show. Surely he’d be able to see through Hero’s closed fist bating and not give away a rope break. And failing that, they could’ve had Nigel piss Hero off by playing a few dirty tricks of his own – just like he did back when he was Pure Champion. After idiotically picking enemies Delirious and Roderick Strong to be on his team for the $10,000 Challenge at the last show, McGuinness didn’t really need to be made to look dumb for the second show running. Still, as a LONG comedy match, I thought it was good natured fun. Glad to see Hero get a big win too. He’s over enough to be World Champion any time ROH decide to pull the trigger on him, but he needs to retain some credibility by getting decent victories like this every once in a while.
After the match Nigel takes out his frustration by giving Bobby Dempsey the Jawbreaker Lariat as the rest of S’n’S Inc. flee up the ramp.
El Generico is lacing Kevin Steen’s boots as Mr Wrestling discusses their match tonight. He understands why ROH officials don’t want the titles on the line, so tonight is just about punishment. Generico then wheels him to the bathroom in a wheelchair.
Jigsaw vs Pelle Primeau vs Eddie Edwards vs Matt Cross vs Brent Albright vs Delirious
I absolutely loathed the Six Man Mayhem from the last show so I’m hoping this one is an improvement. Jigsaw, Primeau and Edwards are nothing more than jobbers who flesh out the bottom of the card right now. Eddie always looks like a solid hand when he gets into an ROH ring though, so I’d definitely like to see more of him in the future. Matt Cross is barely anything more than a jobber himself. Delirious is over but is growing more and more stale with every show that passes. I’m really finding it difficult to care about him right now. Albright has a World Title match tomorrow night and will be hoping to rebound from his defeat to Jack Evans in the second round of the RTTT Tournament.
Primeau and Edwards start off with a surprisingly well-executed sequence. Both looked really impressive there. M-Dogg hits a sloppy hurricanrana on Jigsaw, then makes way for Delirious who ties Jig into knots with his chain-wrestling skills. Albright comes in, but he struggles to come to terms with Delirious’ mind games. Finally he hits an armbar DDT and starts to work over the arm in preparation for the Crowbar. Delirious blocks the press slam/Crowbar and tags to Primeau. Brent swats Pelle’s missile dropkick away, but Cross succeeds with the same move. CRAZY PRIMEAU DROPKICK OFF THE APRON! Cross then stands around like an idiot, waiting for his cue to hit a somersault plancha to the floor. Tilta-whirl facebomb takes out Pelle before Edwards drops him on his head with a powerbomb for 2. Delirious headbutts Eddie in the chest then nails the Panic Attack/Shadows Over Hell combo. Jigsaw hits a suicide dive to the floor as Albright plants M-Dogg on his face. Primeau tries the springboard Thesz press but has to settle for an armdrag instead. BELLY TO BELLY INTO THE TURNBUCKLES! HALF NELSON SUPLEX ON JIGSAW! Edwards breaks that fall. HALF NELSON SUPLEX FOR EDDIE! Delirious distracts Albright, who chases him to the back. Cross sneaks in with the shooting star leg drop and pins Edwards at 10:46.
Rating – ** – I thought Brent Albright was the star of this match. He showed more charisma than he has in ages during his exchanges with Delirious and did a fine job of looking like a monster with Primeau, much as he did on the Driven ppv. He should’ve won too, given that everyone else in the match was basically cannon fodder and he’s got a World Title match tomorrow, which he really doesn’t appear to have earned at all. Still, it’s hard to argue that M-Dogg didn’t need a win too. He’s been the NRC’s b*tch for months. I’m still not a big fan though. Outside of flippy high spots the guy just offers nothing. His strikes look lame, his wrestling is substandard and he seems void of charisma too. At least Six Man Mayhem’s like this hide his weaknesses and let him show off his good stuff though. I’d take Eddie Edwards over him any day of the week.
Roderick Strong/Rocky Romero vs Austin Aries/Erick Stevens
Since returning at Driven, Aries has been desperate to get his hands on Roderick Strong. Despite being booked in the same match with him on both nights at the Race To The Top weekend, Strong was able to give him the slip. Tonight he teams with Erick Stevens, who has endured months of getting his ass kicked by the No Remorse Corps whilst waiting for his leader to return from TNA.
To the surprise of absolutely no-one, Strong dives out of the ring and has no intention of locking up with Aries. Double A has to be content with Rocky Romero…but it doesn’t take long for him to drag Roderick off the apron and brawl with him on the floor. He appears to injure his leg/ankle out there somewhere and all of a sudden can barely walk. Strong profits and kicks the middle rope into his groin. That leads to an obviously-injured Aries being cut off from his partner and worked over by the NRC. He tries to forearm his way through to his corner only to be cut off by a volley of vicious kicks by Romero. Finally he hits the Stroke (with added Jeff Jarrett pose) before making the hot tag to Stevens who uses his power to wear Rocky out. Strong grabs the Mohawk to stop him hitting the Choo Choo. The tide turns again and the Strong/Romero tandem start to dominate the bigger man. Stevens presses Romero into a powerslam and edges towards a tag. Aries is limping less now, and lays into Strong with great relish. Shinbreak back suplex scores on Romero, but the injury stops him hitting his running corner dropkick properly. Stevens squashes both opponents with the Choo Choo and scores 2 with a Jackhammer. Austin drags himself to the top rope but takes far too long and Strong cuts him off before he can execute the 450. Rocky gets 2 with a springboard DDT on Stevens. Sick Kick from Roddy, then Death By Roderick. He hauls Aries to the top rope for Romero’s DIABLO ARMBAR. Aries rolls through into a pin for 2. BRAINBUSTER! 450 SPLASH! Aries wins at 18:05.
Rating – ** – Obviously Aries’ injury didn’t help, but the match felt so lifeless and dull. Given the injury, perhaps they should’ve shaved five minutes or so from the match time, because a lot of people were bored by this rigid, formulaic affair. Austin Aries has just returned from TNA, the crowd should’ve been BEGGING him to kick Roderick Strong’s ass, but the heat just wasn’t there. That’s indicative of the NRC/Resilience feud as a whole. Some of the matches have been really good (I’m thinking particularly of the 6-man’s at This Means War 2 and Reborn Again, and Strong/Aries at Supercard Of Honor 2) but something just hasn’t clicked with the audience. Maybe people aren’t getting behind the NRC as heels (although I think Strong and Richards have done pretty well with their roles). Maybe people are struggling to buy Matt Cross and, to a lesser extent, Erick Stevens as genuine threats to the more established trio of enemies they oppose. It didn’t help that Austin Aries, the star of the feud, was taken away for months. For whatever reason, it just hasn’t come together like it should’ve done. I’m hoping that the big NRC vs Resilience Street Fight in Philadelphia is good tomorrow, and basically closes the curtain on the feud between the two factions – outside of Aries and Strong obviously needing at least one more match.
Davey Richards and Matt Cross appear from nowhere, leading to all three NRC members getting to beat on the entire Resilience line-up. Jack Evans emerges to return the favour from earlier in the show.
Shane Hagadorn cuts a promo declaring his homosexual love for Adam Pearce. Despite Pearce’s lack of appearances in ROH recently, we’re in a calm before the storm apparently.
Matt Sydal vs Bryan Danielson
There wasn’t a whole lot of back story here, fortunately Larry Sweeney interjects and creates one before the match. He claims Bryan Danielson still hasn’t paid Matt Sydal his third of the money they won in the $10,000 Challenge at the last show. Dragon claims to have invested it as a retirement fund for Sydal. Eventually agrees to hand over the cash if Sydal beats him tonight. But if he wins, he gets to keep Matt’s cash.
Sydal tries to go to the mat with Danielson which is just a huge mistake. Dragon has him cowering on the apron inside of a minute. Sydal just isn’t in Danielson’s league when it comes to straight wrestling, but finally he manages to quicken the pace and manages to send Dragon to the floor after a series of armdrags. He hits a running double knee strike that shotguns Dragon all the way into the corner. Enough of that, Danielson drives an aggressive headbutt into the throat then catapults Sydal into the bottom rope, making it incredibly hard for him to breathe. Mexican surfboard applied now Matt has been worn down, which changes into Danielson trying to snap him in half. Next he peppers poor Sydal with a barrage of kicks, forearms and palm strikes. The demolition continues with a lengthy half crab, then a couple more savage kicks to the spine. Sydal tries to fire back only to be slapped down to the canvas. Sydal strings a couple of offensive moves together, kicking Danielson out of the ring for good measure. RUNNING MOONSAULT OVER THE ROPES! That’s the kind of risk he needs to take if he’s going to overcome the Dragon here. He tries to take another risk, but it doesn’t pay off and he dives off the top rope into a dropkick. Next up he attempts a sequence of running strikes in the corner. Dragon almost takes his head off with a running enzi, then gets 2 with a German suplex. Cattle Mutilation locked in but Sydal finds a rope. Jumping frankenstiner blocked but Sydal swats Danielson’s missile dropkick aside and lands his standing moonsault for 2. Danielson drops down to escape the Slice and hammers Sydal with a roaring elbow. MMA ELBOWS…COUNTERED TO THE HERE IT IS DRIVER! Sydal Press gets knees…TRIANGLE CHOKE MMA ELBOWS! The referee has absolutely no choice but to stop the match at 16:40. Dragon keeps the money.
Rating – *** – I really enjoy midcard killer Danielson. He’s made little tweaks to his game, making his matches fresh and engaging once again for anyone that was burnt out on him after his long run with the ROH World Title. The increased use of strikes, the violent submission stretches and the ability to hit MMA elbows from any position are all wonderful additions to his repertoire. The match was a bit one-sided to get a higher rating. Sydal (who, I think most people realised, was on his way out of the company by this point) was basically dismantled for 15 minutes, getting a few spots in along the way before being elbowed into oblivion. Danielson gets his World Title shot in Manhattan.
After the match Sydal and Sweeney have a big bust up in the middle of the ring but they end up making nice with a hug on the ramp. Larry has an INSANELY sweaty back.
Takeshi Morishima vs Claudio Castagnoli – ROH World Title Match
In my big run down of the Race To The Top Tournament, I basically said that I didn’t buy Claudio Castagnoli as a main eventer just because he won it. To me this is the big match that determines whether he’s got the potential to be a top guy in the future. I’ve got no doubt that it will be a good match. Of course it will. But can Claudio carry a top line match such as this, and make people BELIEVE he’s better than an established international star like Takeshi Morishima? To that end this is a far bigger match in Castagnoli’s career than the RTTT final against El Generico. Anyway, he won this title shot in a great four corner survival match at the last Boston show. The last time Mori was in ROH we were in Tokyo where he successfully defended against McGuinness for the second time.
Morishima’s new haircut makes him look like a very big, very scary girl. Claudio takes him off his feet in record time with an armdrag but the World Champion pops right back up and flies into a massive shoulder tackle. Cartwheel avalanche scores but Castagnoli drops to a knee to block the Back Drop Driver. He tries to powerbomb Morishima off the apron, but settles for avoiding his big ass then delivering a European uppercut to the neck. GIANT SWING ON MORISHIMA! The crowd pops like crazy for that and it gets a 2-count. Claudio doesn’t have anywhere near enough strength to get him up for the Riccola Bomb though and Morishima takes advantage with a sidewalk slam. To the floor where the champion lands the Ole Ole butt strike, knocking Double C straight out of his chair. The challenger is really struggling at this point and Mori makes his plight worse by dropping all his weight down on him in a rear chinlock. He launches a flurry of uppercuts, then kicks Mori out of the ring for a TOPE SUICIDAAAAA! They just broke the guardrail! Randy Savage elbow drop gets 2 but he still can’t get Shima up for the Riccola Bomb. ALPAMARE WATER SLIDE…for 2. He just couldn’t get enough height to hit the move properly. Morishima wails away on him in the corner then climbs the ropes himself. MISSILE DROPKICK OF DOOM! Castagnoli kicks out and hits a springboard uppercut. RICCOLA BOMB…NO! MORISHIMA SITS DOWN ON HIS CHEST! TWO COUNT! Mori climbs again, this time getting met with a running enziguri. Superplex nailed by the challenger, then more uppercuts. RICCOLA BOMB! MORISHIMA KICKS OUT! The fans seriously thought the title was changing hands then. Claudio tries more uppercuts, then runs straight into a clubbing lariat from the champion. GERMAN SUPLEX! MORI NO SELLS! EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! Castagnoli runs into Morishima’s ass, then gets rocked by another lariat. BACK DROP DRIVER! Mori wins at 15:30.
Rating – **** – I’ve seen people give out much higher ratings for this match which seem a little off, but it was a great match. I give all the credit in the world to Claudio. I admit that I’m sceptical about whether he’ll ever be good enough in singles matches, and I do fear he’s destined to remain the Colt Cabana to Chris Hero’s CM Punk (if you get what I mean). But these last two matches have been the biggest of his ROH career, and he’s delivered in both of them. This was probably my third favourite Mori ROH match (behind Morishima/Joe and Morishima/Aries). Claudio showed absolutely amazing strength to lift the big man up for various moves. He’s so used to being the bigger man in matches (he’s one of the biggest guys on the roster) but he made the transition to being the smaller man superbly well. If he can work to that standard every time out, he could definitely be a future World Champion. My sole criticism of the match would be that the finisher came a bit suddenly. The crowd were red hot and desperate to see a new champion. Finishing Claudio off with just one Back Drop Driver, after he’d unloaded almost every finisher he has on Mori, caused an audible gasp of disappointment.
Brent Albright congratulates Morishima on his latest victory, but thinks he knows he’s got what it takes to get his hands on the World Title tomorrow night. That was Albright’s best promo to date. I’m still at a loss to explain why it is that he’s got a title shot. But it’s his biggest ROH match and I’m hoping we’ll see the Brent Albright that had some great matches with the likes of CM Punk and Ken Doane (Kenny Dykstra) back in OVW.
Kevin Steen/El Generico vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe – Street Fight
This is non-sanctioned and the belts aren’t on the line tonight. The issue between these two is so heated that, even without the Tag Titles in play, the four men just want to hurt each other. The last time they met was at Driven, when Steen-erico got their long-awaited title shot, and lost in a hard-fought match. Steen didn’t take losing well and laid the Briscoes out with a ladder after the match. If they want another title shot anytime soon they’ll need to prove they deserve it with a win here. They’ve lost clean to Jay and Mark twice this year.
Everyone is in street clothes for this fight. Jay back drops Steen into the crowd and the match is underway. Prazak and Leonard sign off so this match gets the no-commentary treatment. Kevin Steen catches his breath by sitting on a fan, whilst Generico severely breaches health and safety laws by throwing a table into the crowd, I guess at a Briscoe. Mark is on the top rope…CRAZY PLANCHA INTO THE FRONT ROW! He’s shaken by that, and Steen profits by POWERBOMBING HIM THROUGH A TABLE! Steen is f*cking hilarious. He buries Mark under a pile of chairs then starts hitting him with a woman’s purse. Mark hits back by moonsaulting a chair into his abdomen. Elsewhere in the crowd Jay leg drops a chair across Generico’s throat. Mark tries to help out…only for Mr Wrestling to attack him with someone’s shoe. In between all the action I’m describing all four are dishing out some absolutely wicked chair shots. FISHERMAN BUSTER INTO AN OPEN CHAIR ON MARK! Generico hits a RUNNING DDT OFF THE GUARDRAIL! Despite that, Jay manages to block the Yakuza kick and level him with a superkick off his own. Steen tries to rejoin the action, but Mark grabs him for a SPRINGBOARD ACE CRUSHER OFF THE RAILS! Generico thinks about more craziness but the Briscoes stop him from hitting a springboard moonsault then break another guardrail with his body. I’m not sure how but Jay has been busted open. ‘You ain’t gonna see this sh*t on ECW’ – fan. That guy is damn right. Jay has Steen – BACK DROP DRIVER THROUGH A TABLE! Other side of the ring now, with Generico DDT’ing Mark into a piece of railing. Steen tries a Package Piledriver on the floor but Jay blocks it and rolls into the ring. Generico flies in with a crossbody on him, only for Mark to springboard into a thrust kick on ElGen. Mr Wrestling powerbombs Mark, leaving all four down in a heap. I’m already exhausted by this match. FOUR WAY CHAIR DUEL! Mark drops Generico on his head with the urinage suplex then opens up two chairs. Jay arrives…MEGA PANCAKE THROUGH THE CHAIRS! Steen grabs Mark now. HERE IT IS DRIVER THROUGH A CHAIR! He thinks about his moonsault, only to get shoved off the top rope THROUGH A TABLE! YAKUZA KICK BY GENERICO! Turnbuckle Brainbuster blocked and Mark lifts Generico. TOP ROPE SPLASH MOUNTAIN NECKBREAKER! Steen drags the ref out of the ring before he can make the three count so Mark jumps at him with a wild suicide dive, landing on his face in the process. SPRINGBOARD DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Steen dives in to break the count. Mark has pretty obviously been hurt by that suicide dive and is now holding his neck, as Kevin drags a ladder out from under the ring. It comes back to bite him in the ass though because Mark ends up back dropping him through it. Mark climbs…GENERICO WITH A SPRINGBOARD ACE CRUSHER OFF THE LADDER! Jay thinks about a Jay Driller on Steen but he blocks it with a kick to the balls. PACKAGE PILEDRIVER ONTO THE BROKEN LADDER! STEEN WINS! It’s over at 22:13.
Rating – ****1/2 – That was some seriously sick sh*t. Bell to bell craziness, right up there with the TLC-era WWF stuff. These guys just went crazy with wild spots from the opening bell, and only got more and more mental over the following 20 minutes. The scary part is, this feud isn’t even over yet. It’s hard to imagine how they’ll ever top this one. I don’t see anything else winning feud of the year.
Steen gets on the mic after that match and challenges the Briscoes to a Steel Cage Tag Title match in Hartford, CT. The thought of these four in a steel cage is a little alarming.
Tape Rating – *** – It was a pretty inconsistent show but overall the good easily outnumbers the bad. The main event is an absolute must-see, and is the best match thus far in the fantastic Briscoes vs Steen-erico war. Claudio Castagnoli turned in a top notch performance in the biggest match of his ROH career thus far, Hero/Nigel is a whole lot of fun (if a little long), Danielson/Sydal was good as a Dragon exhibition match, and the Richards/Evans opener was an explosive way to get the show going. The real low point of the show was the disappointing NRC/Resilience tag. That feud is floundering right now, and hopefully when the two factions collide in the second Street Fight of the weekend tomorrow night it’ll be given fresh impetus. Still, even with that, this show is easy to recommend.
Top 3 Matches
3) Chris Hero vs Nigel McGuinness (***)
2) Takeshi Morishima vs Claudio Castagnoli (****)
1) Kevin Steen/El Generico vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe (****1/2)