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185 ROH Return Engagement 4/19/2008

ROH 185 – Return Engagement – 19th April 2008

Tonight is a show named after two massive main event rematches. At the top of the show we’ve got Nigel McGuinness defending the World Title against Kevin Steen for the second time in a week, after shafting him out of the belt in Edison. But the one everyone will be buzzing about is the rematch almost a year in the making – tonight it’s Briscoes/Machine Guns II. After their MOTYC epic at Good Times, Great Memories in Chicago last year, with the announcement that Shelley and Sabin were coming back for a few shows, it was only natural ROH would book these two teams to go again. The rest of the card is spear-headed by Kota Ibushi’s farewell appearance for this tour, with him facing off against El Generico still looking for his maiden victory. Lets get to Chicago Ridge, IL.

ROH VIDEO WIRE (16/04/2008) – See Tag Wars 2008 (ROH184) review for details.

Chris Sabin promises that the Machine Guns have been watching their Briscoe tapes and vow to wind up on top tonight. Shelley chimes in with some redneck jokes, and desperately wants to prove that HIS team are the best in the world.

Elsewhere the Briscoes promise to go 2-0 against the Machine Guns tonight to prove beyond any doubt that it’s them who are the top tag team in world wrestling.

Silas Young vs Austin Aries

I would imagine this is nothing but an enhancement match for Aries, who’s involved in a storyline with Age Of The Fall right now. For Silas it’s a chance to prove he deserves more opportunities with Ring Of Honor, and after a bit of a horror show last night he probably needs a decent match.

The match starts with a couple of minutes of nice back and forth wrestling between the two. Aries changes up his offence by escaping a headscissors and brutally kneeing Young in the face instead of the usual dropkick. Heat Seeking Missile follows quickly after that. Silas recovers by evading a missile dropkick attempt. Tilta-whirl gutbuster gets Young a 2. Repeated elbows then a knee to the side of the head from Austin. Second time around he NAILS the missile dropkick. Impact Explosion Dropkick next. But Silas escapes the Brainbuster and hits a sweet backbreaker/lariat combo for 2. He looks for the Arabian Press but plummets into Aries’ knees. Aries finishes it with the Brainbuster rolled into the Last Chancery (formerly known as the Horns Of Aries). It’s over at 5:52.

Rating – ** –
Generally forgettable but I’d say that both wrestlers could head back through the curtain pretty satisfied with their nights work. Silas had a pretty awful match with Rhett Titus last night, but rebounded here with a decent little performance. He made Aries look commanding in victory, but still did some entertaining stuff himself. Not much more either man could do in less than six minutes.

Jimmy Jacobs comes to the ring to confront Aries. He congratulates Austin on joining Age Of The Fall, but warns him off Lacey. Aries calls him a pussy and says he’d never join AOTF. Instead he convinced Lacey of all the things ‘he could do for her’…implying she’s left Age Of The Fall to join him.

Next up we’re all set for an annoying students match between Alex Payne and Mitch Franklin. I was all ready to whine about sticking these two on the pre-show, but thankfully Jimmy Jacobs comes back out after less than a minute of their match. He sends Necro Butcher to the ring with a chair and a barbed wire wrapped first to beat the hell out of them. Payne is soon bleeding after a flurry of barbed wire punches by Necro. Vicious chokeslam on the chair on Franklin. Apparently this became a (very shot) handicap match…but it was basically a way for Age Of The Fall to send a message to Austin Aries and Takeshi Morishima (who Necro faces when ROH debuts in the Hammerstein Ballroom).

Adam Pearce/Brent Albright vs Claudio Castagnoli/Pelle Primeau

This feels like more filler, but there is at least some back story behind it as we all know Claudio’s history with Sweet’n’Sour Inc. Double C needs to gain some momentum going into the next Manattan show as, after winning last night, he’s now pencilled in for a World Title match on that day. On the other side, the real story is whether Pearce, Sweeney and Hagadorn can control Albright, who despite being a self-proclaimed ‘gun for hire’, doesn’t seem to have enjoyed selling out and joining Sweeney.

Pearce is still brandishing that mysterious suitcase which convinced him to join Sweeney. Courageously he demands to start with Primeau rather than Castagnoli. Pelle tries to use his speed but winds up getting dropped on his neck by an unsympathetic Pearce. Claudio helps him out and elevates him into a headscissors. Backbreaker from Pearce then an Air Raid Crash from Albright put Primeau on the back foot again. Big powerbomb next as Pelle desperately tries to mount Scrap Iron in the corner. Albright hits a nice backbreaker/fallaway slam combo to press home his team’s dominance. Ocean Cyclone suplex gets him 2 before he opts to drag Pelle off the canvas. Pearce lands the Superfly Splash for 2 as well. I love how Pelle keeps trying to fight back only to be slapped in the mouth by Pearce. Finally Primeau does evade both men and get the hot tag to Castagnoli. Giant Swing on Albright but Brent escapes the running uppercut. Match Killer instead but Adam breaks the fall. Primeau tosses him out and nails a missile dropkick off the apron. Unfortunately Hagadorn distracts the referee…which prevents him from seeing Pearce inadvertently strike his own partner with that briefcase. Castagnoli capitalises with the Riccola Bomb and wins at 09:18.

Rating – ** –
It was really only there to further Castagnoli’s push going into the Hammerstein and his title match, alongside the dissension in Sweet’n’Sour Inc. To that end, it was fine. Pelle took a good beating, Castagnoli hit a few popular spots and won. If you skip the filler there’s nothing much for you to take your remote of Fast Forward for though…

Albright angrily storms out on his associates…

In a pokey little gym Kevin Steen is ‘training’ for his match tonight and decides to hit the treadmill (‘what’s incline??’ – awesome line). He says he saw in Edison how far Nigel was willing to go to retain the belt. Tonight he’s going to show far he will go to win it.

Ashley Lane vs MsChif vs Daizee Haze vs Lacey

SHIMMER four corner action in Chicago, home of the SHIMMER promotion…no real surprise. I believe it’s Lane’s ROH debut (certainly on the main show at least). MsChif’s stock is really on the rise in SHIMMER so I’d expect to see her booked a lot more. Ashley uses Paramore’s ‘Misery Business’ as her entrance music which is cool…and then topped by Lacey returning using her usual Disturbed entrance theme after leaving Age Of The Fall. I believe Lacey and Daizee might have wrestled before.

Lane starts in the ring but quickly dives into the ropes as MsChif screams at her. Ashley looks noticeably sloppier than MsChif, and gets clubbed in the back of the head as a result. Lacey refuses a tag, so Ashley has to wrestle Haze as well. Sadly those two in the ring together becomes even messier. Daizee tries to work Lane’s arm only to be kicked in the ribs by Lacey. She kicks her in the back too, distracting her for long enough to enable Ashley to get an advantage…at which point Lacey gladly tags in for the first time. She collapses trying to run the ropes though and quickly tags out again, nursing a supposed knee injury. That means once more it’s MsChif and Daizee working Lane over. MsChif clubs Ashley down with another lariat and tags an oddly rejuvenated Lacey back in. At last MsChif and Daizee get a chance to tee of on Lacey. It’s MsChif that gets 2 with a standing moonsault. Pretty unique version of a facecrusher does more damage to Lacey. Ashley walks into the Heart Punch into Yakuza Kick from Daizee. She turns into Lacey’s TKO, who subsequently walks into MsChif’s bridging roll-up for 2. Three women to the outside…and MsChif climbs to the top for a CROSSBODY TO THE FLOOR! Back inside Lacey and MsChif both go for their finishers unsuccessfully. Ashley comes in with a crossbody for 2. MsChif is ridiculously flexible so tries to bridge out of something by Lane…only for Ashley to elbow drop her. Not a big problem though, MsChif recovers sufficiently to nail the Desecrator and win at 10:31.

Rating – ** –
Noticeably longer than most ROH women’s matches get, and you know what, it wasn’t bad. MsChif is a pretty unique competitor and was a refreshing change of pace from the stuff we’re now painfully used to seeing from the same old trio of Daizee, Lacey and Del Rey. In fairness, Lacey and Daizee played their parts in the feud that never ends well too. Ashley was certainly a few steps behind the rest in terms of quality and, I imagine, will need to go away and hone her skills before she gets another call up.

The victorious MsChif leaves the ring…and out comes Jimmy Jacobs to confront Lacey. He wants her to say that Aries was lying earlier. She confirms that they’re going their ‘separate ways’ and walks out where she’s met by Austin Aries in the aisle. They kiss…leaving Jimmy sobbing in the ring. Matthews, Black and Allison have to come from the back to comfort their inconsolable leader.

Chris Hero vs Delirious

This match could go one of two ways. The new “serious” Hero and the oddball Delirious could mesh really well and have a decent match, or alternatively they could bore the tits off of everyone. Both are talented guys so lets hope for the former rather than the latter.

Delirious starts mocking Hero, who’s all business now and reacts by right handing him in the mouth. But Delirious is more than capable of holding his own and the first two minutes are very even. He goes for one headlock too often though, allowing Hero to stomp him in the head. Delirious responds by using his head, repeatedly headbutting Hero from a variety of positions. Finally Hero lands a spinning elbow smash as Delirious is distracted by Larry Sweeney. Huge atomic drop gets Hero a 2-count. Nice chaining sequence ends with Hero dropping a standing senton for another nearfall. Again Hero presses him his advantage with multiple stomps, kicks and forearm smashes, foregoing any kind of more elaborate offence. He goes for a second rolling elbow but Delirious meets him with a headbutt this time. Strikes from Delirious then the Heart Punch, taking a page from the Daizee Haze playbook. Flying headscissors from the top rope scores but Hero counters the Panic Attack with two rolling elbow smashes. That floors Delirious, allowing Hero to pick up the win at 09:50.

Rating – ** –
An exhibition of the new “serious” Chris Hero rather than a genuine match. The whole show thus far has focused more on storyline and character development over decent wrestling, so this match definitely slotted into that pattern.

Motor City Machine Guns vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe

The premise is nice and simple here. These two are considered two of the best teams in the world, and last year they were thrown together and put on a storming match. Some people had it as their 2007 MOTY – not something I agree with personally. Off the top of my head I can think of a number of ROH matches that topped it (Danielson/Nigel from Driven, Danielson/Shiozaki from Tokyo, Danielson/Morishima from Manhattan Mayhem 2 and the Ladder War from Man Up for instance)…but certainly top 10 for 2007 level. With the Machine Guns back in town for another few shows, the opportunity for a rematch was too good to pass up. Once again the Briscoes are Tag Team Champions, although this time the belts are not on the line. Can they top last time round?

Sabin and Mark start, feeling each other out tentatively. Mark hits a tumbling senton from the second rope and tags in his brother, but Sabin responds quickly by rolling Jay up then snapping into an arm wrench. Nice combo from the Machine Guns as Shelley rolls into a clutch on Jay, allowing Sabin to hit a basement dropkick. Shelley works an abdominal stretch on Jay, leading into an awesome four way nearfalls segment. Sabin sweeps Mark’s legs as he tries a springboard then sprints into another dropkick to Jay’s face as Alex holds him exposed for it. But soon it’s the Briscoes’ turn to hit a combo move, running into the double football tackle on Shelley. Sabin assists his partner by pulling the ropes down and causing Jay to fall out of the ring. He back suplex Alex into a moonsault onto Mark…then awesomely fakes out the Briscoes by backflipping off the ropes, distracting them for Shelley to hit a flying knee strike from the apron. Sabin winds up in the front row as he vaults over the referee into a SOMERSAULT PLANCHA to everyone on the floor. Jay gets a blind tag and drops the probably winded Chris Sabin with a clothesline that puts the ROH Tag Champions in charge. He whips Sabin into a martial arts kick from Mark coming from the second turnbuckle. Sabin hits a big enzi on Jay which enables him to make the hot tag to Shelley.

Codebreaker on Jay, then a tornado DDT on Mark. Poetry In Motion dropkick from the Machine Guns to knock Jay off the apron…but Mark gets knees up as Alex looks to land a frog splash. Sabin drops Mark with an Ace Crusher, allowing Shelley to slap on the Border City Stretch. OCTOPUS STRETCH by Sabin prevents Jay from saving his brother, who has to fight free for himself. SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT PRESS by Mark wipes out both opponents. Shelley looks for an Air Raid Crash but Mark saves his brother. Jay Driller blocked…DVD on Shelley instead! This is getting too fast to call now. Sabin grabs Mark’s leg to stop him jumping into the Springboard Doomsday Device. Shelley rolls Jay into the SKULLF*CK! YAKUZA KICK BY SABIN! He holds Jay across the knees allowing Shelley to hit a somersault senton. Sabin tries to win with a bridging suplex…BROKEN BY MARK dropping his own partner onto him with the urinage. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA BY MARK! Jay escapes Cradleshock and nails the JAY DRILLER! SABIN KICKS OUT! SPRINGBOARD DOOMSDAY DEVICE! SHELLEY BREAKS THE FALL! Mark looks for the Shooting Star Press and MISSES! Sliced Bread #2 gets Shelley a nearfall. Jay lines up an avalanche Jay Driller…SABIN SAVES WITH A ROPE-RUN GERMAN SUPERPLEX! Shelley has Mark…TOP ROPE SLICED BREAD #2! The Machine Guns win at 23:38.

Rating – ****1/2 –
I’m going to say that quality-wise the first one was marginally better and you’re getting a lot more wrestling for your money from the Good Times match…but I loved the pacing of this one. As it was MUCH shorter it just felt like non-stop action. Both these teams are so good that you really can’t see them ever having a bad match together. If anything, they left me wanting more when the finish came, which can only be a good thing after 25 minutes. I’d definitely be up for round 3 if anyone wanted to book it. Fantastic match. MCMG have been superb this weekend.

Deserved standing ovation from the fans for that one. Unfortunately the Briscoes don’t have too long to bask in it because they’re attacked by Age Of The Fall. Jimmy Jacobs uses the railroad spike and gets Mark right in his injured arm. The Briscoes escape but the damage to Mark has already been done.

INTERMISSION – Dave Prazak tries to get a word with the Briscoes, but they’re already on the way to the hospital to get Mark seen to.

Kota Ibushi vs El Generico

This is the last night of Kota’s mini-tour of ROH. He has had some wonderful matches since he’s been here, but is desperate to return to DDT with a win. Thus far he’s suffered defeats against Davey Richards, Claudio Castagnoli and the Briscoes. Can he finally score that illusive victory here today?

Ibushi is understandably quite tentative from the bell, with Prazak and Leonard playing up his desperation to go back to Japan with at least one win to his name. Fans start perhaps the most tuneless ‘Ole Ole’ chant of ALL TIME to try and rally El Generico. Kota jumps about 8 feet in the air to hit a dropkick, the first significant moment of the match. With Generico down he peppers his pale frame with kicks. Generico ducks a kick attempt from Ibushi…who floats seamlessly into a standing moonsault, but Generico GETS THE KNEES UP! That was RVD/Jerry Lynn levels of awesome there. Generico stomps on Kota’s ribcage to capitalise on those knees. A springboard crossbody finds the mark but Ibushi kicks out at 2. Split-legged moonsault scores next as Generico really looks to focus on his opponent’s midsection. But, as we know, Kota is just desperate to get the win here. He pops up out of nowhere to land a hurricanrana. Generico cuts off his momentum with a tilta-whirl backbreaker. He climbs the ropes…HANDSPRING BACKFLIP KICK BY KOTA! SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! It’s not exactly offence that sells his ribs, but man, those two spots just came from nothing. Generico goes to the ropes again and goes for a sunset flip…COUNTERED INTO A DDT! STANDING CORKSCREW MOONSAULT FOR 2! This time Generico did not get the knees up. He does hit a Blue Thunder Driver for 2. Ibushi blocks the Yakuza Kick, but runs right into a MICHINOKU DRIVER! But still Ibushi blocks the Yakuza. THEY STAND FACE TO FACE. MATRIX NIP UP UNDER THE YAKUZA KICK! BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX! GENERICO KICKS OUT! Incredible stuff! But Generico catches Kota on the top rope. He refuses to fall victim to the brainbuster. MOONSAULT MISSES…STANDING MOONSAULT INSTEAD! GENERICO UP AND HITS THE YAKUZA KICK! Flying body press gets 2 for the Generic Luchador. Brainbuster blocked and Ibushi floors him with a spinning heel kick. He goes for a sunset flip powerbomb but Generico ROLLS THROUGH and hits a dropkick. YAKUZA KICK! He goes for the Brainbustah again. Ibushi fights it…REVERSE SUPER RANA! GENERICO STILL KICKS OUT! PHOENIX SPLASH! IBUSHI WINS! 16:02 is your time.

Rating – **** –
Probably my favourite match from Ibushi’s tour. These two meshed well as opponents and the stuff they were out there doing was just unreal. I know Kota got some criticism for doing the same spots over and over during these four shows, but the way they worked them into this one was a joy to behold. I loved how Generico countered one of his trademark standing moonsaults, then went after the ribs like a motherf*cker. Grinding down a body part isn’t necessarily Generico’s normal game, but he did a great job of tailoring his usual offence to suit that purpose. Had Ibushi actually bothered to sell it at all we could genuinely having been talking about adding an extra half star onto things. Still, a mind-blowing match, and to produce something that gripping coming off the back of another Briscoes/Machine Guns classic takes some real doing. Hopefully Ibushi continues to improve because he’s a special talent. Someone that can wrestle like KENTA yet also fly like Jack Evans is extremely rare. If he’s nurtured properly, looked after and developed in Japan, he could well be one of the outstanding Junior Heavyweights of his generation. Bring him back too, it’d be interesting to have him return in a year or so’s time and demonstrate what improvements he will have doubtlessly made.

Ibushi does his best to high five everyone in the building as he receives a deserved standing ovation, not just for his match tonight, but for his superb couple of weeks in Ring Of Honor.

Backstage Larry Sweeney tells Adam Pearce that his defeat tonight was all Albright’s fault. Brent busts in and demands to know what’s in the briefcase.

Tyler Black/Joey Matthews/Zach Gowen vs Jack Evans/Ruckus/Jigsaw

These two factions clashed last night when Jigsaw defeated Joey Matthews in somewhat of a shock result. They’ll meet again tonight, in a multi-man match which you have to figure suits the high flyers in the Vulture Squad far more than trying to wrestle singles matches against the likes of Matthews and Black. I imagine Gowen is filling in for Jacobs, who has gone off at the deep end after seeing Lacey and Aries earlier, sending Mark Briscoe to the hospital with a stab wound to the hand in the process.

Jack does his usual breakdance skit, which Matthews amuses me by completely no-selling. He quickly uses his superior power and mat skills to keep Evans down and stop him from taking to the skies and quickening the pace. Jack tries a backflip headscissors but Matthews catches him and punts him square in the chest. Ruckus in and he flips Tyler down onto his own partner. Red Star Press from Evans forces Joey to bail. Together Jigsaw and Ruckus assist Evans in hitting a moonsault on Black for 2. Tyler responds by distracting the referee to allow Matthews and Gowen to do a number on Jigsaw in the corner. Jig tags out to Evans who hits a springboard corkscrew kick on Joey. He goes for another springboard move but Gowen and Black grab his legs and pull him off the apron to give AOTF the advantage again. Springboard somersault senton gets Zach a nearfall. Matthews plants Evans flat on his face for 2 then applies an abdominal stretch in the centre of the ring. Springboard backflip elbow out of nowhere from Jack, who then backflips under a boot attempt from Tyler and gets the hot tag to Ruckus. He hits a running moonsault to wipe out Matthews and Gowen on the outside. Jig floors Tyler with a superkick then dives into a somersault plancha of his own. SPRINGBOARD 450 TO THE OUTSIDE from Evans to round things off. Matthews drops Jigsaw with the Double Arm DDT. Gowen springboards into a moonsault on Ruckus then eats a Blockbuster from Jack. Tyler catches him and powerbombs him into the corner. Small Package Driver wins it for Black at 11:39.

Rating – ** –
Mildly disappointing actually. There were lots of good moments, but also lots of moments of sloppiness and incohesion. Coming off the back of the ultra-fluid Briscoes/Machine Guns and Ibushi/Generico, these issues were made all the more apparent. I’m glad Age Of The Fall won because as a heel faction, they’ve got a lot more legs in their gimmick than the Vulture Squad. Considering the talent involved I was expecting a better match though.

Out comes Jimmy Jacobs again and he calls out Austin Aries for a fight. Aries willingly obliges and they go at it in the middle of the ring. He then dives out into the rest of Age Of The Fall to take them out too. Finally the numbers get too much though, and the rest of AOTF hold Austin exposed for Gowen to crack him in the ribs with his cane. Jimmy pulls out the railroad spike again which brings Lacey from the back to help Aries. Instead he grabs her and we get an absolutely stunning visual of him threatening her with the spike and screaming ‘TELL ME WHY’ right in her face. He can’t stab her though, and walks out of the ring again, much to the confusion of Black, Matthews and Gowen.

Nigel McGuinness vs Kevin Steen – ROH World Title Match

I am loving this rivalry by the way. Nigel the abusive, arrogant jock vs Steen the chubby, spotty everyman. He pushed McGuinness to his limit last week at Injustice, causing him to cheat for the victory and to escape with the belt – thus giving the show it’s name. Ring Of Honor officials were quick to grant Steen a rematch, and here it is. He and Generico came up short against Nigel and his chosen partner Claudio Castagnoli last night (when McGuinness also attacked Steen’s shoulder after the match was over), but tonight is when it really means something.

Steen punts Nigel right in the nutsack during his normal ring entrance, living up to his promise earlier to do whatever it takes to win the belt tonight, much as Nigel did whatever it took in Edison last week. The bell rings and Steen has an immediate advantage over the champion. He controls as they brawl around ringside, then dropkicks McGuinness out of the ring again as he tries to end things earlier with the Jawbreaker Lariat. Big splash off the apron scores for the rampant challenger. Finally McGuinness responds by kicking the middle rope into Kevin’s testicles, then launching him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Next he puts the arm in hammerlock position and throws Steen into the barricade, doing more damage to the already injured arm. Indeed, it’s hurting Mr Wrestling so much now that as he tries to mount a comeback, even a mere forearm smash to his shoulder causes him to drop to his knees. Cobra Clutch applied, forcing Steen to expend lots of energy he may not have trying to escape. Out of nowhere he looks to turn Nigel into the Sharpshooter, and the champion dives to the sanctity of the ropes. He tries to follow it with the cannonball in the corner but Nigel evades it and he eats turnbuckle. McGuinness tries to pin using the ropes again but this time the referee spots it. Sharpshooter locked in, but again it’s too near to the ropes. Hammerlock DDT into the LONDON DUNGEON! This time it’s Steen finding the ropes in a hurry. Running powerslam from Mr Wrestling and he follows it with the cannonball senton second time of asking. SUPER MCLARIAT gets Nigel a 2. Another McLariat finds the mark, but it’s still not good enough. London Dungeon again…COUNTERED to the Sharpshooter. Kevin nails the pumphandle cradlebreaker then the STEEN-TON BOMB. Frog splash scores as well but not enough to win the belt. Both men look knackered now as they trade big forearms. Nigel goes for the Jawbreaker Lariat but rolls straight into a superkick. Now Steen tries to pin using the ropes but only gets 2. PACKAGE PILEDRIVER! NIGEL IS IN THE ROPES! Mr Wrestling tries to piledrive McGuiness through the timekeeping table, but Nigel counters and CLUBS Steen down and through it. MCLARIAT AGAIN! TWO COUNT! Nigel tries to steal Steen’s finisher and almost gets rolled up as a result. Nigel goes to the eyes to break another Sharpshooter attempt. JAWBREAKER LARIAT whilst his eyes are blurred. PIN WITH THE TIGHTS! Nigel cheats to victory again at 18:08.

Rating – *** –
The last 10 minutes were good stuff, but I thought they were all over the place in the early going. It was like they had the two loose thematic ideas that Steen would be more aggressive than last time because Nigel cheated, whilst McGuinness would work the arm he injured yesterday. But, armed with those two story-telling devices, they seemed to rush through everything. The opening 10 was a rushed blur of finisher attempts, vague story-telling and rather aimless back and forth stuff that only works when you’ve got the crowd in the palm of your hand. Credit where credit is due, they picked it up as the match moved into the it’s second half, and I’m glad the finish leaves the door open for a final match because I really like these two in the ring together. Somebody needs to tell them to calm the f*ck down and pace themselves next time though.

Delirious tries to cut a promo but still seems out of it from Hero’s elbow smash earlier. Daizee Haze tries to loosen him up with a massage…which sends him slightly insane and scares her away.

Tape Rating – *** –
Not a great show but it WAS, however, a pretty good. Granted there are lots of filler/forgettable matches, but by and large there is a storyline purpose behind all of them. We finally saw the escalation of the Jacobs/Lacey/Aries angle that’s been brewing up for some time. Plus “serious” Hero, the strange briefcase Adam Pearce is carrying around, dissension between Albright and the rest of S’n’S Inc. and the injury to Mark Briscoe. All are important developments to their respective angles, so from a story-telling point of view, this is a show you should be looking at buying. Of course, it helps when you’ve got two of the best teams in wrestling putting on a clinic (if you’re interested, I preferred the first Briscoes/Machine Guns match, BUT tonight was a worthy successor) and a super-exciting Jr. Heavyweight clash on the undercard. The World Title match at the top of the show turned into a decent bout too. Once you’ve picked up all of the “big name” shows of the year, I’d say that from the vast amount of secondary shows ROH runs, this is one of the better ones. In fact, I’d suggest that, if you’ve got the cash, picking up both of this double shot is a smart move. Better wrestling on Tag Wars 2008, entertaining, storyline driven show tonight in Chicago.

Top 3 Matches

3) Nigel McGuinness vs Kevin Steen (***)

2) Kota Ibushi vs El Generico (****)

1) Motor City Machine Guns vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe (****1/2)

Top 5 Tag Wars 2008/Return Engagement Weekend Matches

5) Nigel McGuinness/Claudio Castagnoli vs Kevin Steen/El Generico (**** – Tag Wars 2008)

4) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Austin Aries/Kota Ibushi (**** – Tag Wars 2008)

3) Kota Ibushi vs El Generico (**** – Return Engagement)

2) Motor City Machine Guns vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe (****1/2 – Return Engagement)

1) Jimmy Jacobs/Tyler Black vs Motor City Machine Guns (****1/2 – Tag Wars 2008)

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