ROH 181 – Supercard Of Honor 3 – March 29th 2008
Ring Of Honor’s now customary spring time extravaganza, as usual, has a stacked card. We’ve got the traditional Dragon Gate Trios match – this time with all the six men who contested the initial 5 star Dragon Gate Six Man at the inaugural Supercard Of Honor event (although CIMA and Genki Horiguchi have switched sides). The ROH World Title is on the line with Nigel defending the belt in a massive rematch from Rising Above against Austin Aries. We’re still in Florida, and tonight we’ll also see FIP’s Championship on the line in a high profile grudge match pitting enemies Roderick Strong and Erick Stevens. Plus the Briscoes and the Age Of The Fall continue their rivalry in a Relaxed Rules Match. Lots more on the card as well so this should be a cracking show. Lets get to Orlando, Florida (from which I’ve just returned and am now battling jet lag to review this).
ROH VIDEO WIRE (26/03/2008) – See Dragon Gate Challenge 2 (ROH180) review for detail
Delirious vs Go Shiozaki
Not a whole lot going on storyline wise for either one of these two. Delirious is somewhat between projects at the moment having come out of the feud with the Hangmen 3, abandoned the somewhat interesting character potential of the ‘red’ Delirious and has regressed back to the tired undercard comedy act that people have started to grow tired of. That said, he’s one of the growing catalogue of enemies the Age Of The Fall are accumulating so maybe there’s something on the horizon for him. Shiozaki has impressed everyone with his initial showings, competing in some terrific matches. Now he’s earned his stripes to an extent, it’s time to give him a bit of direction and purpose.
Even the whacky Delirious has enough sense to know he needs to avoid Shiozaki’s chops and is very cautious in the early going. It’s actually a decent strategy that sees him avoid any significant damage at the hands of the NOAH import during the first five minutes. Finally Go lands a couple of chops and Delirious immediately collapses to the mat. Leaping Lariat from the top gets Delirious a 2-count. More chop variants from Shiozaki leave his opponent reeling again. Big fisherman buster gets 2. He thinks about the Moonsault but Delirious gets the knees up. Panic Attack scores but Go counters COUNTERS Shadows Over Hell with a superkick. BRIDGING GERMAN GETS 2! CHOPS TO THE FACE! Incredibly Delirious withstands that and traps Go in the Cobra Stretch. Monster lariat from Shiozaki gets another 2. GO FLASHER! Shiozaki wins at 12:13.
Rating – *** – Maybe I’m being generous, but that was really enjoyable. It felt like the most enjoyable Delirious singles match in some time. The pace was a little slow initially, but it featured Delirious actually working some sound psychology in with his goofing off. Go restricted his offence to basically chops for most of the match. Rather than seeming one dimensional, it meant that when he started doing other stuff (like the superkick or the German suplex – neither overly flashy in their own right) the crowd really marked out for it.
Backstage in the Sweet’n’Sour Inc locker room Sweeney and Hagadorn are in a good mood, despite being knocked back in their hostile takeover by the No Remorse Corps rejection yesterday
Sal Rinauro/Chasyn Rance/Kenny King vs Bushwhacker Luke/Alex Payne/Dingo
We saw the YRR disrespect Bushwhacker Luke during the opening of the show yesterday. This would be the Sheepherder’s chance at retribution. He probably could’ve chosen some better partners, but that said, I’ve been very impressed with Dingo from what I’ve seen.
LOTS of streamers for Luke proving that contrary to some opinions, ROH fans do have a sense of nostalgia and a sense of humour. Rinauro starts with Dingo who once again looks very crisp and fluid in his execution. Rance sweeps Payne off the apron, bringing him to the floor where he and Kenny beat the hell out of him. In the ring King hits a swinging backbreaker on Sugarfoot for 2. Flying elbow drop from Sal next as the YRR cut Payne off from his partners. He gets 2 with a German suplex. Finally Alex counters a stalling vertical suplex attempt from King into a suplex of his own and gets the tag to Dingo. Double missile dropkick from Payne as a melee ensues and at last Luke enters the fray. He uses Payne as a battering ram and takes out all of the YRR. Bushwhacker stomp by the babyfaces. But they foolishly turn their backs and get dumped out of the ring. Springboard corkscrew enzi from Rinauro to Dingo gives the YRR victory at 08:12.
Rating – ** – They wisely kept it short, they wisely didn’t let Luke into the ring for too long, they wisely let the promising heel faction of the YRR carry most of the workload. For an undercard comic relief bout, this really did all it needed to. I’d rather have seen King score the victory, and I’d rather have seen Payne staring at the lights as, I think of this bunch it’s clearly Kenny and Dingo with the most potential. Minor quibbles though. Pure nostalgic novelty value of seeing a Bushwhacker in an official ROH match.
At this point on the show the NRC/Vulture Squad Tag Title match was taped for the Take No Prisoner’s pay-per-view. We now cut to the END of that match for an in ring segment with the NRC and Larry Sweeney. I hate this and think it looks very choppy and unprofessional, and definitely not something that any first time viewers of the Ring Of Honor product would enjoy or find very accessible. Would it have killed them to tape the ppv match last night, or run this segment later in the show or whatever? Anyway, Sweeney interrupts Richards and Romero’s victory celebration and tries to reason with them without the interruptions of Roderick Strong. That swiftly brings the FIP Champion to the ring to reiterate his refusal to join S’n’S Inc. Erick Stevens charges the ring so it looks like it’s time for our next match…
Roderick Strong vs Erick Stevens – FIP Heavyweight Title Match
Stevens defeated Roddy in a memorable clash at Final Battle 2007, then came through some incredibly tough title defences on ROH cards in January before finally making it home to FIP with the title around his waist. Unfortunately he then lost the belt right back to Strong in that very first homecoming match. Their rivalry has continued to intensify so tonight they lock horns once again, with Florida’s own FIP Championship scheduled to be defended.
The Vulture Squad are on hand to escort Richards and Romero to the back ensuring that it’s a straight up fight between the two rivals. Can’t say that I heard a bell ring as they brawl around ringside. Stevens soon has Strong bleeding from the chest after a volley of fierce chops. They’re so intent on fighting each other that both men attack the referee and stop any chance of an official match breaking out. Strong seems genuinely annoyed that his chest is bleeding (whilst Erick’s looks relatively ok) and launches into a series of vicious elbow strikes. He then shoves Stevens’ headfirst into a steel chair to bust him open. But the former champion shows some guts and fights right back by sending Strong into a chair. CHOP TO THE FACE from Roddy. Stevens hoists him up for a TKO THROUGH A CHAIR! Roderick’s head is pouring blood as well now. Choo Choo blocked and Strong clubs a bloody Stevens down to the mat. German suplex by Erick…then the Choo Choo. LARIATOOOOO NAILED! Strong sprints out of the corner and drops him with the Sick Kick. Both men are weary now but put all they have into a big forearm smash duel. Both men go down and get a standing ovation from the crowd. Roderick has the fortune to fall near a steel chair and he quickly smashes Stevens over the head with it. Davey and Rocky return to the ring with scissors and hair clippers…and the NRC set about shaving the unconscious Erick Stevens’ trademark Mohawk.
Rating – **** – It’s not really a match rating because the bell never rung, but as a segment that was fantastic (aside from cutting out the NRC/Vultures match that went before it). A terrific brawl packed, with both men working incredibly well to get themselves over with ferocious intensity and some top notch brawling as opposed to repeated sick high spots. It helped that we were in Florida for this, so for the first time we saw this feud as I think Sapolsky envisioned it in his head – Roderick Strong and his NRC team cruelly dominating the courageous and popular youngster with the crowd right behind Stevens and baying for Strong’s blood. It hasn’t always worked like that in ROH’s East Coast home territories, but in Florida it worked perfectly. The fans were white hot and completely behind Stevens – making his head shaving at the end a more stark and poignant moment. In truth I think it was the Orlando crowd that ensured this piece was as memorable and effective as it ended up being.
Jimmy Jacobs/Tyler Black vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe
This is your rematch from Final Battle 2007. These two teams have been at war for countless months, and now they’re looking to settle the score at one of ROH’s biggest weekends of the year. Relaxed rules for this battle of former Tag Team Champions.
Relaxed rules meaning it’s a total slug-out from the moment the Briscoes enter the ring. Mark takes Black out with a springboard crossbody, thus allowing the Briscoes to join forces for some tandem offence on Jacobs. Mark to the top for a MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! He goes under the ring and pulls out a trampoline. This could be fun. SPRINGBOARD SOMERSAULT PLANCHA INTO THE CROWD! Jimmy appears to get the upper hand on Jay in the crowd by stealing someone’s hipflask and hitting him with it. Are you seriously allowed to bring your own scotch into ROH shows? Meanwhile Mark is still busting out the crazy with a standing moonsault down onto Tyler as he’s buried by chairs. Black gets his own back by back dropping Mark through a couple more. He then BREAKS A CHAIR over Mark’s head! On the other side of the building Jacobs fashions a mini-ramp for himself them runs up it diving into a flying clothesline on a prone Jay. The older Briscoe returns fire by launching Jimmy through an entire row of chairs. Mark has joined him now. BRISCOE BIEL INTO MORE CHAIRS! They set a table up amidst a sea of ROH fans before Mark brawls onto an overlooking balcony with Jacobs. An AOTF follower (I think it’s Milo Beasley from FIP) tries to attack Jay…so he gets laid out on the table. MARK WITH A FLYING SPLASH FROM THE BALCONY THROUGH THE TABLE! That’s ridiculous since he’s left his brother two-on-one to take out a nobody. The AOTF use a plastic bag to try to choke the life out of Jay. Tyler hits Peroxism and moves aside for Jacobs to land the Senton Bomb for 2. This is shades of a year ago in Detroit when Jay had to win the Tag Titles back from Shingo and Doi by himself. Briscoe mounts some offence but is always struggling to compete against both opponents. Jacobs stops him hitting the Jay Driller on Black with a low blow. CONTRA CODE POWERBOMB GETS 2! Black upstairs…BUT MARK RETURNS TO SHOVE HIM OFF! SPRINGBOARD DOOMSDAY DEVICE ON JIMMY…COUNTERED INTO THE END TIME! MARK IS OUT! The Age Of The Fall win it at 15:05
Rating – **** – A completely different but equally enjoyable kind of brawl to the Stevens/Strong fight previously, as this one was all about mad high spots and crowd fighting. And credit to all parties concerned. I’m not normally a big fan of wrestlers strolling through the fans brawling. It’s great for the live crowd but sucks to watch on DVD – and can also be hard to follow due to bad lighting and the sheer amount of people. But these four did lots of groovy stuff out there, and the production team avoided goofy split-screens and did well to capture the best of the action. I still maintain that Mark dive from the balcony was rendered completely worthless by the fact that he didn’t even go for it on either of his opponents. But that said, I did enjoy how they worked that spot into the match from then on. First AOTF dominating Jay, then Jimmy being able to counter the Doomsday Device and get a quick victory with the End Time due to Mark’s injuries sustained in the dive.
Backstage a camera crew tries to get a word with a bloody Erick Stevens. Even after having his Mohawk shaved and being left in a pool of blood he vows that he’s not finished with Roderick Strong.
Rebecca Bayless interviews Age Of The Fall. They want Aries to win the World Title tonight and bring it to the Age Of The Fall with him. Lacey says she has a back up plan to convince Austin if Jimmy’s methods fail again…
Shingo/BxB Hulk vs Kevin Steen/El Generico
Steen and Generico took match of the night honours on a terrific show last night after their clash with Dragon Gate stars Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino – so it’s good to see them locking up with more DG guys again tonight. Shingo and Hulk defeated Age Of The Fall last night in another cracking contest and this one has a lot of promise too. Back to back wins over Dragon Gate talent would push the ROH team right to the front of the line for a Tag Title shot I’m sure.
BxB didn’t bring the dancing girls to do his trademark ring entrance dance number sadly. Tonight he does do the dance amidst a sea of streamers. It’s not the same without the chicks though. Hulk and Generico start the match, but rather than demonstrate their speed straight away they trade a few holds on the canvas. Generico knocks BxB down and pauses to pose…and is then knocked on the ass as Hulk nips up and dropkicks him in the mouth. BACKFLIP kick by Hulk on Steen before tagging in Shingo. To the floor…DOUBLE SPRINGBOARD SOMERSAULT PLANCHA FROM GENERICO! Back in the ring the New Hazard come back as Hulk leapfrogs Generico so he charges blind into a DDT from Shingo. BxB immediately follows with a standing corkscrew moonsault. Dropkick/back drop driver combo next and Steen has to tag in to save his partner. He takes out Hulk then brings Generico back in to nail a standing moonsault of his own. Steen-erico cut the ring in half and isolate Hulk, leaving him desperate to tag in former ROH Tag Champion Shingo. DROPSAULT on both Steen and Generico (shades of Paul London there) and Hulk finally gets the hot tag. URINAGE SUPLEX ON STEEN! That’s some serious power from Shingo. Hulk gets 2 with a Red Star Press but Steen soon has him on the mat again with a powerbomb then the pumphandle cradlebreaker. Mr Wrestling lines up the Steen-ton Bomb but Shingo distracts him. Hulk is leapfrogged into the air but manages to connect with a dropkick on Kevin who is still perched in the corner. Shingo hits a cradle back suplex on Generico to put New Hazard in charge. EBO ON GENERICO for 2. Hulk evades the Package Piledriver, tries that backflip kick for a second time but is KILLED by a lariat from Steen. Speaking of lariats, here’s Shingo. SHINGO LARIATOOOOOO! FLYING CROSSBODY FROM GENERICO! All four down and the crowd are going nuts. BxB and Generico are the first up. YAKUZA KICK! HALF NELSON SUPLEX! STEEN-TON BOMB! HULK KICKS OUT!!!! The ROH guys can’t believe they didn’t win, and are even more shocked when Hulk rolls out of the way of Steen’s moonsault. Shingo in and hits BLOOD FALL for 2. He gets Generico on his shoulders for a DOOMSDAY SPINNING HEEL KICK! Steen to the floor…allowing Hulk to climb the ropes and hit a GORGEOUS MOONSAULT OUTSIDE! SHINGO WITH AN AVALANCHE OLYMPIC SLAM ON GENERICO! GETS 2! SHINGO LARIATOOO! GENERICO NO SELLS! SHINGO LARIATOOO! LAST FALCONRY! Generico finally stays down and it’s New Hazard that get the win at 17:49.
Rating – **** – Absolutely crazy action there. Another terrific tag team match involving the Dragon Gate crew – and we still have the traditional 6-man to come tonight. There’s not more I can really comment on here. You know that these guys are going to go all out with crazy spots, incredible sequences and insane finishes. It’s just amazing that even though you KNOW it’s coming, they still make tag team matches THIS good. If I’m honest I slightly preferred Steen-erico vs Doi/Yoshino from last night simply because I thought that one had more structure. If an absolute barrage of spot chicanery is your thing, you may prefer this one. When Generico hits a double springboard somersault dive early in the match, and by the end of it that spot seems relatively tame in comparison to the manic stuff that’s going on in the ring in front of you, you know a match is good. I’m slightly surprised with the booking of New Hazard going over two of Ring Of Honor’s top teams in one weekend, but after wrestling of that quality, does sh*t like that really matter? Probably not…
Backstage and we see footage of a forlorn Erick Stevens shaving off the remains of his Mohawk…
Nigel McGuinness vs Austin Aries – ROH World Title Match
Their previous World Title Match at Rising Above was one of the best matches Ring Of Honor put out in 2007. Nigel, the much-maligned ROH Champion proved he could carry the company in an epic battle, fighting concussion and blood loss to overcome the challenge of former champion Austin Aries. And fans were immediately clamouring for a rematch. Here it is then. 2008 hasn’t been the best year for Aries. His win/loss record is average, he’s looked much more surly in and about the ring, and his growing frustration has seen him courted by the Age Of The Fall. Can he win the belt this time and become the first ever two-time ROH Champion?
HUGE duelling chants of ‘Lets Go Nigel’ and ‘F*ck You Nigel’ demonstrate the massive split in the fans. In a perhaps surprising twist, it’s Aries that is trying work Nigel’s arm in the early going, not the other way round. He tries to position McGuinness for the Last Chancery early but the champion slides out of the ring. Aries goes for the Heat Seeking Missile but, unlike Rising Above, McGuinness is wise above to keep an eye on him and not get his face mangled against the rail. McLariat ducked and the challenger uses a Thesz press to take Nigel down and batter him with MMA strikes. Last Chancery applied briefly, followed by a dropkick and knee strike to the head as Aries cranks up the intensity. Power Drive Elbow gets 2. Unlike Danielson at the Sixth Anniversary Show, Aries seems intent on testing out McGuinness’ susceptibility to concussion with repeated shots to the head. Nigel has had enough, throwing Double A shoulder-first into the ringpost then pulling on the arm. We know the champion loves to pick apart his opponents arm, and that is exactly what he’s fixing to do in this match as well with nearly 10 minutes on the clock. Cobra Clutch applied but once again Aries ducks the subsequent McLariat and kicks Nigel in the face. Austin already looks slowed by his now sore arm though. He blocks the Tower Of London but has nothing in that arm to lift McGuiness for his patented Brainbuster. Nigel takes advantage and locks in the London Dungeon for a short time. Aries fights back for the LAST CHANCERY! He can’t maintain the hold because the arm his arm is screwed.
Missile dropkick from the challenger but Nigel blocks the IED with a boot to the face. Tower Of London scores this time. Super McLariat ducked through and Aries rolls into a TRIANGLE CHOKE IN THE ROPES! Nigel tumbles out of the ring and Austin capitalises in a flash with an elbow from the top turnbuckle. A running dropkick almost caves in McGuinness’ skull. Back in the ring for a flurry of Impact Explosion Dropkicks but they’re only good for 2. Nigel tries his headstand and gets dropkicked AGAIN! Aries hits the ropes and runs into a MCLARIAT! That’s the first of the match and we’re 18 minutes deep. Both men take their time to get to their feet, showing the wear and tear of this match. Roaring Elbow from Aries, then a clothesline to block the Jawbreaker Lariat. BRAINBUSTER! 450 SPLASH MISSES! LONDON DUNGEON! Aries is in a lot of pain but finally rolls out. Knees to the head…LAST CHANCERY but McGuinness is so tall he’s nearly in the ropes. He rolls it back to the London Dungeon. Jawbreaker Lariat blocked…KICK OF DEATH! BRAINBUSTER AGAIN! 450 SPLASH NAILED! NIGEL GETS A FOOT ON THE ROPES AT 2! McGuinness flees to the floor, and then he DUCKS THE HEAT SEEKING MISSILE! Unlike Rising Above, this time it’s Aries who eats the guardrail. Aries looks out of it, a situation that isn’t helped by Nigel knocking him into the front row with another McLariat. The challenger is out on his feet, and he is felled again in the ring with a Cobra Clutch McLariat for 2. He goes for one more lariat…COUNTERED TO THE CRUCIFIX DRIVER! BUT NIGEL ROLLS THROUGH INTO THE JAWBREAKER LARIAT! It’s over at 24:43 – Nigel once again survives Austin Aries and retains the World Title.
Rating – ****1/2 – Another classic from those two men. I think for human drama Rising Above probably remains the better match thanks to the McGuinness concussion, but the work that went into making this one an epic title match was just astonishing. Superb story telling with Aries attacking the arm early, almost to cockily say he can do it as well as Nigel, all the while using his trademark explosive offence to beat his opponent up and repeatedly strike the head to test those concussion problems stemming from their first encounter. But it’s Nigel that emerges from this match as a STRONG World Champion as he dominated basically the rest of the match. He was the certainly the aggressor for most of it. Wearing Aries down with his arm work, then nearly straight up knocking him out with lariats and a neat twist on the Heat Seeking Missile spot. This match didn’t feature an inordinate amount of big spots or crazy head drops, and was positioned on the card after two wild brawls and a positive insane tag team spot fest. But the “big match” feel to this was so much that they held the crowd with ease. If you’re interested I have this positioned ahead of Nigel/Danielson from 6YA but behind Danielson/Tyler from Breakout. Definite MOTYC though, and a worthy successor to their brilliant encounter. The DG Trios match will have a lot to do to steal match of the weekend honours from this one as well.
A triumphant Nigel heads to the locker room, but before Aries can follow him Age Of The Fall head through the curtain and join him at ringside. Jimmy says it wasn’t his destiny to be World Champion tonight and wants him to join their ranks. Lacey decides that Jimmy’s words aren’t enough, and tries to take Aries by the hand and lead him away to “show him” what AOTF are all about. Jacobs doesn’t look too happy about that. Enter Tammy Sytch for a last ditch attempt to change Austin’s mind. Without a word Aries and Lacey leave together. That leaves Black, Jacobs and Rain alone in the ring to do a number on Sunny until the Briscoes save her. Interesting segment there with Aries looking a step closer to joining AOTF…whilst teasing some dissension between Jacobs and Lacey.
Backstage Nigel McGuinness proclaims himself now to be the ‘Ace’ of ROH (a title Aries earned himself by winning the Best Of 3 Series with Danielson last year) and promises to continue to defeat all comers for his belt.
Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino/Genki Horiguchi vs CIMA/Dragon Kid/Ryo Saito
This is the third consecutive year we’ve seen the Supercard Of Honor show featuring a Dragon Gate Six Man. The first one, back in 2006 received universal acclaim, the coveted Meltzer 5* rating and brought in a lot of new fans looking to check out Ring Of Honor and the match they’d heard so much about. Last year saw another terrific trios clash which, as time has gone by, is actually very underrated in all honesty. Now in it’s third year, tonight we’ve got the six men who starred in the very first one two years ago returning. The sides are slightly different though as Horiguchi has turned heel and joined the Muscle Outlawz since then, whilst CIMA is now the leader of the Typhoon faction along with his partners. These six have quite the legacy to live up to!
Streamers for everybody, although CIMA gets twice as many as anyone else. Saito and Horiguchi start, next in are Doi and CIMA who execute a fast paced armdrag exchange. Kid and Yoshino are the last in and obviously everything they do is lightning fast. Dragon tries to do his usual pose after knocking an opponent to the floor but Genki cuts him off. Kid neatly headscissors’ CIMA into Doi as he is grounded on the mat. Typhoon have the early advantage, hitting a triple dropkick on Yoshino for 2. The Outlawz respond with a triple dropkick on Dragon but still struggle to work their way into the ascendancy. Saito holds Doi open for a CIMA double stomp. Finally Muscle Outlawz do gain a foothold in the match and start to isolate Kid from his partners. Yoshino gets crazy height on a double stomp to the arm. He then joins Genki in elevating DK in position for a somersault senton from Doi. Saito tries to help his partner but just ends up sandwiched in the corner with him as Naruki runs into a cannonball. Kid hits a 619 on Yoshino and gets the hot tag to Saito. CIMA with the Venus Strike into the ICONOCLASM on Horiguchi. DK sends Yoshino out with a multi-rev satellite headscissors then gives chase with a springboard moonsault. CIMA goes for the Mad Splash but flies into Genki’s knees.
DOUBLE STOMP NECKBREAKER ON DOI STRAIGHT INTO THE LUNGBLOWER ON GENKI! Saito blocks the Doi 555 but gets squashed by a super fast running elbow from Yoshino. MISSILE DROPKICK ON DRAGON INTO A BACK SENTON ON RYO! Diamond Dust from DK to Yoshino for 2. High velocity running neckbreaker brings Yoshino back into things. HEAD DROP RANA gets 2! Saito catches Genki and drops him with a German suplex. SUNSET FLIP INTO A GERMAN SUPLEX/POWERBOMB BY CIMA! PERFECT DRIVER GETS 2 ON HORIGUCHI! Genki blocks the Schwein and DDT’s CIMA. Doi and Saito trade blows ending with Doi hitting a sit-out powerbomb for 2. All six men down. CIMA hoists Doi up onto his shoulders in the corner…BUT DOI COUNTERS KID’S CLIMBING SUPER RANA WITH AN AWESOME BOMB! Springboard neckbreaker out of the corner from Yoshino then the Lightning Spiral for 2. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA TO THE FLOOR by Genki. CIMA hits a FISHERMAN SUPERPLEX on Yoshino for 2. As usual this is just crazy. Yoshino counters the Crossfire Bomb into a sunset flip. SCHWEIN BY CIMA! ULTRA HURRICANRANA BY DRAGON KID FOR 2! Doi cuts Kid off before he can hit the Dragonrana. DOI 555 FROM THE TOP! BAKETORI SLIDING KICK FOR 2! BEACH BREAK from Horiguchi to DK. Doi wins it with the MUSCULAR BOMB on Dragon Kid at 25:47.
Rating – ****1/2 – The usual dose of utter craziness from the DG 6-man. Once again it didn’t quite compare to the original because, after 2 years of having seen these guys do this sort of thing, watching the Dragon Gate guys do this isn’t QUITE as mind blowing as the first time we witnessed that spectacle back in Chicago. But, just as last year, we saw another worthy successor to it. Once again they left everything in the ring, working at breakneck speed and delivering countless jaw-dropping spots, finishing moves and unique combos. These really do need to be seen to be believed and, considering the fact that Supercard Of Honor is normally one of ROH’s best shows of the year, there’s no reason why all 3 of them shouldn’t be in your collection anyway. You must see this.
Post match both teams tease some dissension in the ranks with first Horiguchi, then Saito storming off.
Larry Sweeney and Hagadorn end the show relaxing in their suite (that doesn’t sound gay at all), promising bad things ahead in their hostile takeover.
Tape Rating – ****1/2 – Let’s cut the crap – buy this show. It stands up as one of ROH’s best ever releases. A great title match, unbelievable spotfests, brawls, comedy, blood, head shaving. All it’s lacking is a midget to be fair. Reviewing ROH is generally a great experience and you get to watch some terrific wrestling. But it’s expensive, and you sit through your fair share of B shows where, outside of a couple of matches you know you could skip it and miss very little. And then you come to DVD’s like this. It’s easily ROH’s best show in a long time. Obviously the Dragon Gate guys helped tremendously. But tonight was an ROH without Bryan Danielson, and a night when two of their longest running feuds (Strong/Stevens and Briscoes/AOTF) both delivered the goods in a stacked midcard. And perhaps most of all it should be remembered for another stellar Nigel McGuinness World Title defence. He’s had his critics but since the Aries match at Rising Above he’s been superb and the rematch tonight was another classic between the two. When I came back to ROH reviews a couple of months ago I hadn’t heard an awful lot of gleaming praise for ROH in 2008. And coming off what (to me) was an underwhelming 2007, I wasn’t filled with optimism. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised. By and large the cards have been consistently good and there have been some really memorable main events too. But even if this represents a high point and it all starts going south through the rest of ’08 – you need it in your collection. Buy buy buy!
Top 3 Matches
3) Shingo/BxB Hulk vs Kevin Steen/El Generico (****)
2) Muscle Outlawz vs Typhoon (****1/2)
1) Nigel McGuinness vs Austin Aries (****1/2)
Top 5 Supercard Of Honor Weekend Matches
5) Shingo/BxB Hulk vs Jimmy Jacobs/Tyler Black (**** – Dragon Gate Challenge 2)
4) Shingo/BxB Hulk vs Kevin Steen/El Generico (**** – Supercard Of Honor 3)
3) Kevin Steen/El Generico vs Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino (**** – Dragon Gate Challenge 2)
2) Muscle Outlawz vs Typhoon (****1/2 – Supercard Of Honor 3)
1) Nigel McGuinness vs Austin Aries (****1/2 – Supercard Of Honor 3)