ROH 196 – Age Of Insanity – 15th August 2008
Rolling off one of the strongest shows of the year in Death Before Dishonor 6 at the Hammerstein, and wedged in before the company’s second tour of Japan, tonight we’ve got Ring Of Honor’s return to Cleveland – their first show in this market in some time. In truth, it’s always been a B-show town, but it’s had it’s moments. Bryan Danielson’s first ROH World Title defence in a clinic against Austin Aries, the first Danielson vs McGuinness match, ‘Ballad Of Lacey’ live, Generation Next’s last stand and so on. And given how the landscape of ROH seems to have totally shifted this year with new talents breaking into the main event scene, guys turning heel/face all over the place and a general feeling of vibrancy replacing the malaise and somewhat predictable nature of ROH DVD releases (particularly the lesser important ones) over the last year or so…maybe I’m right to be quietly looking forward to this one. Show of the Year Candidate? Perhaps not, but the card is interesting. Nigel defends the World Title against El Generico, Erick Stevens defends the FIP Title against the newly turned Claudio Castagnoli, plus Black vs Aries, a mystery new member of Age Of The Fall to be unveiled and more. Lets get to Cleveland, OH to join Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.
ROH VIDEO WIRE (14/08/2008) – The Briscoes are in their hometown, and consider whether all the success has changed them. They think they need to stop playing to the crowd and using flashy combo moves and get back to brawling. More redneck skits ensue…
– Elsewhere Daizee Haze wants to see more women training at the ROH Wrestling School. Rhett Titus is in the corner still showing off his cellphone movie.
– Later Rhett tries to convince Bobby Dempsey and Shane Hagadorn to go for it with her since she’s easy. He then reveals the mysterious video to Delirious and the whole world. Nothing actually happens, but it still devastates Delirious. Rhett promises that after the video ended that she was ‘hooting’ and he was ‘shooting’. What a line…
Kevin Steen vs Jigsaw
Straight into the action here. As we saw after Death Before Dishonor 6 that Steen is now massively motivated to get his hands on a title belt. He wants both Generico and himself to up their games and become ‘killers’ in the ring to make that happen…
It has to be said, considering he wanted to be a killer coming off the win over the Motor City Machine Guns, Mr Wrestling seems in a rather jovial mood early on. Jigsaw cleverly uses his speed advantage to take his bigger opponent down repeatedly, but goes to the well once too often and winds up taking a big powerbomb. Now an aggressive streak comes out, keeping Jigsaw on the mat with chops, punches, boots, eye rakes and anything else that comes to mind. Tilta-whirl DDT gets Jig a surprise nearfall though. He blocks a superplex and hits an impressive torture wrack powerbomb for another 2. Pumphandle cradlebreaker nearly ends the match and once again grounds the Vulture though. Package Piledriver blocked, but Steen counters Code Red into a backbreaker. STEEN-TON to the back. Mr Wrestling seals the victory at 07:37
Rating – ** – Surprisingly engaging. It was essentially a squash, but what offence Jigsaw got in was well executed and made sense in the context of the match. In situations like this where ROH aren’t trying to make out Jigsaw is on the same level as his opponent (i.e. as a jobber), he’s very effective.
New FIP Champion Erick Stevens says that, even with all the titles in ROH, it’s his belt that means the most to him. He wants to prove the FIP Title’s value by being a fighting champion – starting tonight.
Rhett Titus vs Delirious
Rematch from Fuelling The Fire where it was Delirious that came out victorious. After being rejected by Daizee at Death Before Dishonor 6, then being shown Rhett’s controversial Daizee Haze video, Delirious isn’t in the best place and will be looking to take that aggression out on his opponent tonight.
Delirious is extremely subdued during his entrance, stalking the ring at a pensive pace and shunning all his usual craziness. Titus pounces on him before the bell even rings as well. He then strips his trunks down to display his ‘Ultimate Warrior’-style Daizee Haze trunks. Gyrating suplex gets Titus a 2. As Rhett continues to dominate Jimmy Jacobs comes to the ring with Allison Wonderland. He yells at Delirious, firing him up…to the point where Delirious flips out and punts Titus in the head. Jimmy says he knows how the shunned Delirious feels, and urges him to take revenge on Rhett. Delirious dropkicks Titus into the guardrail, busting him wide open. I mean, blood is literally pouring down his face and chest. PANIC ATTACK FLURRY! Titus is completely defenceless so the referee stops the contest at 05:10…
Rating – ** – As a match it was barely there, but you have to salute Gabe here as that was BRILLIANT booking. Delirious, complete with stale undercard comedy gimmick nearly broke through the glass ceiling in 2006 with that series of World Title matches against Danielson…and has been on the way down ever since. Having been stuck right at the bottom in a comedy feud with a rookie, he’s now used that as a stepping stone to reinvent his ROH career, turn him heel, freshen up his act…and further cement Jimmy Jacobs and Age Of The Fall as one of the most menacing, dangerous entities in ROH at the moment.
Jimmy continues to empathise with Delirious, calling him an outcast…exactly the kind of person Age Of The Fall lives to save. Daizee comes out to beg him not to join them. But it’s to no avail, and Delirious walks out with Jacobs and Allison. In the background there’s a swarm of people attending to Rhett Titus who has really cut himself badly and is absolutely covered in blood now…
Kenny King vs Bryan Danielson
This is the first time we’ve seen Kenny since the Florida shows I think. He was one of those guys who had the potential to breakout this year, but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened, and in reality he just hasn’t even been booked that much. He’s here tonight though, and has a massive chance to impress against a former ROH World Champion. I believe they already clashed at the tail end of 2007 in a brief squash…can he prove himself and earn more bookings with a better performance here?
Danielson has rather comical sunburn, earning him ‘tan of the year’ chants. Apparently King is here by himself tonight since he wants to focus on wrestling rather than ‘random broads’. Japanese armdrag by Kenny, who nips right up to give an early demonstration of his athleticism. Dragon doesn’t seem overly impressed, viciously surfboarding and chinlocking him in response…but King again hits the armdrag/nip-up sequence. Nice knucklelock exchange, but King soon has to dive for the ropes as Bryan looks for the Triangle Choke. Right hands from Kenny, only to be FLOORED by a massive European uppercut from the ex-World Champ. Dragon tries to go to the top rope but King hits a sweet running dropkick which catapults his opponent all the way to the floor. SPRINGBOARD SOMERSAULT PLANCHA OFF THE APRON! Impressive stuff from the YRR representative. He gets 2 with a spinebuster. Now it’s his turn to work a surfboard, really making Danielson work to escape it, then planting him with a back suplex as soon as he finally does break the hold. Snap suplex rolled straight into mounted forearm strikes next. American Dragon has really struggled here, and needs to hit a desperate dropkick just to get some respite. Forearm strikes then the Judo DDT for 2. Capoeira style kick from Kenny floors him again though. Strikes from Danielson, battering King down to the canvas with an unrelenting barrage of kicks. Cattle Mutilation locked in only for King to once again impress by toughing it out and grabbing a rope. Danielson continues to pummel Kenny with kicks, and the kid looks just about done. Amazingly he still manages a backflip into a double knee strike then a Blue Thunder Driver for 2. King tries to act like Danielson and deliver kicks, as Bobby Cruise announces we only have a minute left in the time limit. MMA ELBOWS! FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Dragon wins at 14:45…and maintains his grip on to the hold to send a clear message.
Rating – *** – Decent match…although it was very noticeable that American Dragon was carrying things. King still looked very green at times, filling large portions of his offence with tentative, WWF Attitude stop-gap kicks, stomps and punches. But his athleticism is really impressive, and he can do some cool things. He clearly has the potential to develop so I say it’s worth sticking with him. Gabe’s been using him in Full Impact Pro for a long time now, so it’s apparent he sees something in Kenny. I’m not sure he’s ready for a full time roster spot yet, but he certainly has more upside than someone like Ruckus who we’ll be seeing later tonight.
Sweet’n’Sour Inc to the ring next. Bobby Dempsey is wearing sunglasses because he wants to be more like Larry Sweeney…but Larry isn’t impressed. He arranges a match for Sara Del Rey, who massacres Sassy Steffy in around 15 seconds.
Adam Pearce vs Ruckus
If the Scrap Daddy wants to get back into the reckoning for a rematch with new NWA World Champion Brent Albright then he needs to rebound from that spectacular loss in New York by picking up a win against Ruckus tonight.
If you’re interested, this match officially has a longer time limit than Danielson/King. Clearly the people want to see more Pearce and Ruckus than they do of American Dragon. Ruckus hits the handspring elbow on Pearce to send him to the floor. Sweeney interrupts the Chocolate Vulture as he goes for a dive, but Ruckus shakes it off to hit a running moonsault to the outside second time around. He goes for a Red Star Press off the apron but plummets into Scrap Iron’s knees. Sara chokes him in the ropes as Pearce distracts the referee. Random backflip into a corkscrew kick buys Ruckus some time, and he follows up with a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Moonsault Leg Drop also gets 2. Ruckus attempts the Razzle Dazzle but Hagadorn hold him in the ropes, allowing Del Rey to boot him in the head. Pearce lifts Albright’s Half Nelson Suplex to wrap it up at 06:25
Rating – * – This was predictably average. I’m not saying the Vultures don’t have a place in ROH as they’ve done some good stuff this year…but I really don’t want to see any of them in singles matches to be honest. The most interesting parts of this match were Sara Del Rey (I’m loving her new gimmick by the way) and Pearce pissing Brent Albright off with the finish. Looks like we’ll be getting a rematch from that thriller at Death Before Dishonor 6.
A smiling Nigel McGuinness is delighted to have survived three challengers at the last show to remain World Champion. He had such fun beating up Steen in Canada that he’s giving his partner a chance to challenge him tonight…
Tyler Black vs Austin Aries – Age Of The Fall Rules Match
I don’t actually know what AOTF Rules are to be honest, so this one may be quite the experience. I enjoyed Aries/Black at Unscripted 3 as well though, so hopefully we’ll see more of the same from those two. Double A has been feuding with Jimmy Jacobs for some time now, and after convincing Necro Butcher to walk out on Age Of The Fall in New York, Black won’t be Aries’ biggest fan either.
Tyler gets on the mic to explain the rules. Essentially it means Aries has to agree to a scientific wrestling match and learn to control his emotions. Austin agrees to the terms so we get underway. Both men obey the rules and go at it in a fervent mat battle. Aries goes for the grounded knee strikes which he uses to set up for Last Chancery but Black has the strikes scouted and leaves the ring. We get nearly five minutes of intense, mat based wrestling. Tyler forces Aries out of the ring by countering the headscissors escape dropkick with a short piledriver. Aries goes for the Kick Of Death but is nearly swept into a pinfall. Headscissors escape dropkick misses again as Tyler showcases his impressive speed and agility. He goes for the turnbuckle bomb but Austin counters into Last Chancery. IED misses though and Tyler hits a neckbreaker. Aries sends him out of the ring for the Heat Seeking Missile! But he takes too long celebrating that and gives Black plenty of opportunity to recover. He thinks about the Phoenix Splash but it misses…and Aries runs into the IED. Kick Of Death…BRAINBUSTER! LAST CHANCERY! Black taps at 11:28
Rating – ** – The last few minutes of that one were good, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed by that. Considering these guys are two of the most explosive, exciting guys on the roster, this one was almost BORING at times. It seemed like they worked the first 8 minutes of a 30-40 minute match, then skipped half an hour to chuck an ending in. And considering what a breakout year he’s had thus far, you can’t help but feel this convincing loss to Aries somewhat hurts Tyler’s credibility.
Inevitably out sprints Jimmy Jacobs to get the jump on Aries. The former World Champion gets the upper hand until Delirious sprints out to help Jimmy. Briscoes out next…and it looks like we have the newest member of Age Of The Fall, and our next match is set.
Jimmy Jacobs/Delirious vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe
Remember like…4 years ago when Jimmy and Delirious randomly teamed together on the undercard of a Midwest show (I think it was Dayton), did ok and were given the endearing nickname of Deliri-HUSS. It’s frightening to think how little Delirious’ act has actually changed since then and how badly he needs something like a heel turn to freshen him up. He’s stepped right into AOTF’s war with the Briscoes though – Mark in particular is still massively pissed after Jacobs and his metal spike assault left him on the injured list and forced them to abdicate the World Tag Titles.
Mark stomps on Jacobs’ throat in the corner as Jay clobbers Delirious with a wild clothesline. Mark takes it to the floor and tosses Jimmy into the front row. Jay and Delirious are already in the crowd btw. We get that annoying split-screen effect that makes it almost impossible to follow any of this action. Jacobs belts Mark with one chair as Delirious and Jay brawl over by the bar. FISHERMAN BUSTER THROUGH A CHAIR! That would be the older Briscoe incapacitated for a while…as Mark jumps off the guardrails to deliver chair shot to Jimmy. Suplexes for Jacobs and Delirious, but since it’s 2-on-1 now, the numbers soon catch up with Mark and he finds himself on the receiving end of a beating from Age Of The Fall. Spear from Jacobs gets 2. Mark buys some time with an urinage suplex on Jacobs, and looks relieved to see his brother Jay return with a mafia kick then a DVD on Delirious. He ploughs through Jacob with a spinebuster as well but Delirious stops him throwing Jimmy through a table. Mark steps in to try a double stomp through the table on Delirious…except it doesn’t break! Mark looks annoyed with that, so climbs to the top rope for a TOP ROPE SPLASH THROUGH THE TABLE ON THE FLOOR! Daizee Haze is out again to stop the madness and plead with Delirious to ignore Jacobs. Allison Wonderland attacks her…then low blows Jay! Contra Code gets 2. The Haze chases Allison away as Jimmy dives into Jay’s knees. SPRINGBOARD DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Briscoes win it at 11:44.
Rating – ** – I love the booking of Delirious joining Age Of The Fall as a deranged, broken outcast. However, this match kind of blurred into the thirty other brawl through the crowd, go back to the ring for some spots, go home matches ROH has done. It felt very generic and unoriginal, with some added outside interference and a botched table spot to boot. Not a bad match and all four men were definitely busting their asses to put on a show…but it just never totally clicked into place.
INTERMISSION – Kevin Steen fires up El Generico for the main event tonight. He wants Generico to learn from his mistakes during his title matches and take the belt from McGuinness
Erick Stevens vs Claudio Castagnoli – FIP Heavyweight Title Match
As we saw in an earlier interview, Stevens won the belt after a bloody battle with Roderick Strong in Florida. But even as a champion again, it’s a competitive landscape, and just as he wanted to do at the start of 2008 by defending the FIP Title in back to back matches with Aries and Danielson, Stevens once again wants to prove his worth as a competitor and the validity of his championship by being a fighting a champion. Double C gets the first shot, with question marks over his head and a bad reaction from the Cleveland fans after his spectacular meltdown in the main event of Death Before Dishonor 6 which saw him snap and obliterate American Dragon.
As Brian May and Queen can’t be heels, now Claudio has turned, once again his entrance music doesn’t have the ‘We Will Rock You’ intro. He attacks Stevens before the match starts too, choking him with his vest (that thing is stupid anyway) as the bell rings. The FIP Champion comes back with a big powerslam and some mild racism as he hammers Claudio in the corner. Repeated body shots go deep into Castagnoli’s ribs, but the challenger escapes by hoisting Stevens throat-first over the ropes. He teases the Big Swing, but that’s crowd pleasing offence, so ditches that and opts for a regulation elbow drop. To the floor where Claudio whips Erick through the guardrails, at which point Prazak points out that the FIP Championship can change hands on a count out. Stevens gets sent through more guardrail, sending fans, chairs and trash flying sideways in his wake. He recovers to block Double C’s rope run enzi kick and comes from the second rope with a football tackle. Flapjack by Stevens, followed by an overhead belly to belly. Choo Choo into the Samoan Drop gets 2. Doctor Bomb blocked though, and Claudio doesn’t give his opponent a clean break. Inverted Match Killer gets 2. Riccola Bomb blocked…and Stevens steals the Big Swing! Obviously Castagnoli isn’t best pleased, hitting the Bicycle Kick then the Riccola Bomb…but Erick lands in the ropes. Castagnoli looks like he’s flipping out again, just like we saw in New York. He knocks Stevens senseless in the corner with unrelenting knee strikes, and when he starts throwing the referee about and refusing to give a clean break, the official has no choice but to disqualify him at 11:04.
Rating – ** – Solid enough stuff, although it seems odd that Gabe just treated Claudio Castagnoli’s heel turn with more importance than the lead title belt from the other promotion he books. The DQ finish wasn’t especially pretty, but I can see where we’re going with Castagnoli’s character so I’ll roll with it. I just question the wisdom of steamrollering his push over Erick Stevens, a guy who, just recently has started to find some form and acceptance from the ROH fans.
Castagnoli decks the referee then looks to do more damage to him with a steel chair. Bryan Danielson makes the save and they brawl to the back…
Chris Hero/Go Shiozaki vs Roderick Strong/Brent Albright
Booking 101 here, two guys team up to fight a common enemy. Strong and new NWA Champion Brent Albright both have massive problems with Larry Sweeney’s group and come together tonight in the hopes of hurting two members of said faction.
Albright hits an early suplex on Shiozaki, but it’s his team that end up on the back foot as Strong’s desperation to get at Hero costs him. Roderick tries to trade chops with Shiozaki, but after being knocked about by Hero he doesn’t have enough left to stand up to Go’s massive strikes. He gets the tag to Albright who once again goes to his arsenal of suplexes to take it to Shiozaki. The NOAH man tries to kill his momentum with a sleeper hold, turned into the Dragon Sleeper which Brent escapes with knee strikes. Tag to a rejuvenated Strong who once again tries to go after Hero, and for the second time is blind sided by Hero’s partner. Slingshot chop from Shiozaki, sending Roddy into a back suplex from Hero. Strong tries a chop of his own, but gets knocked backwards by such a devastating superkick from Go that he winds up falling to the floor. Albright tries to ambush him out there, only for Shiozaki to dump him into the barriers. BACK SUPLEX/CHOP COMBO for 2. Roderick rallies and dishes out some tasty forearms but is laid out by more violent chops and kicks. Go looks much more comfortable as a heel in this match. Missile dropkick from nowhere enables Rod to make the hot tag to Albright. German suplex on Hero, then an exploder on Shiozaki. Go turns things round with a bridging German for 2, but Strong is back up and joins Brent to hit a back suplex/neckbreaker combo. Death By Roderick countered to an Implant DDT by Go. Hero hits a Rolling Elbow in the corner, then a Blockbuster for another nearfall. Strong counters the Rolling Elbow and Albright sprints in to hit the 61-Knee on Hero. Death By Roderick into the AIR RAID CRASH for 2. Albright looks for the Half Nelson Suplex on Shiozaki, who fights it and drops the NWA Champion with a fisherman buster. Hero evades the Sick Kick and positions Roderick for the SHIOZAKI MOONSAULT! Albright makes the save! Strong rides a barrage of elbow strikes and turns Hero into the STRONGHOLD! Go breaks that, and in the melee Sweeney tosses the LOADED ELBOW PAD to Hero. ROARING ELBOW! Team Sweet’n’Sour take the win at 19:38
Rating – *** – What an uncompromising, physical wrestling match that was. I can’t say it was always pretty, but for all the critics of ROH who say it’s nothing but five foot nothing weasels triple moonsaulting all over the ring…I’d suggest they watch this. Four big guys smacking the sh*t out of each other. Go Shiozaki looked much more comfortable as a heel here than he has done in his past two outings since joining S’n’S Inc. Even though he seems to emulate the style of Kenta Kobashi in many ways, here his offence had a touch of the Kawada about him. Rather than TRYING to be unpopular, he was just an unrelenting bad ass, not doing anything flashy and stiffing the crap out of both opponents. It was definitely a more comfortable fit than trying to work a more clichéd American heel role.
Out in the parking lot Castagnoli and Danielson are still brawling (with a rather spectacular fireworks display making for a spectacular backdrop to proceedings)…
Nigel McGuinness vs El Generico – ROH World Title Match
I have to say, I can’t recall exactly what it is that Generico did to earn this title match, but it should be good so I won’t moan too much. Plus, after disposing of Steen for a third time in Toronto then going over three of his biggest title rivals in one night at Death Before Dishonor 6, McGuinness seemed at real risk of running out of potential challengers. Will Generico learn from the mistakes of his tag partner and go one better to become the shock new ROH World Champion?
Dave Prazak confirms that Nigel granted this title shot to prove that he was better than both members of the Steen-erico team rather than Generico actually earning this. Lenny Leonard actually points out that, as good as some of his singles matches have been, in big time singles matches like the Ibushi match in Chicago, or the Race To The Top final, his record is lacking. McGuinness dominates early on, comfortably outclassing his challenger. That is until Generico quickens the pace to clothesline Nigel out of the ring for a SLINGSHOT CORKSCREW MOONSAULT! McGuinness goes for the rebound McLariat to the floor, but Generico ducks and nips to the apron for a somersault senton. Clearly increasing the pace and using the high risk stuff is working for Generico so Nigel takes it back inside and brings things to a grinding halt by hitting the hammerlock DDT. The challenger speeds up again, rolling into a dropkick to the neck. McGuinness retreats to the floor, and it’s noticeable that Generico is already favouring that bad arm. He tries to chase the champion, only to get the timekeeping table shunted into his ribs. His arm is smashed against the ringpost next and at 10 minutes, Generico is in real trouble. Fighting with one arm now, Nigel is easily able to withstand a brief comeback attempt to take him to the canvas for the bridging chickenwing. DOUBLE SPRINGBOARD FLYING HEADSCISSORS SCORES! SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT UP THE AISLE! WITH ARM SELLING! Generico goes upstairs again to hit a flying crossbody for 2.
Once again the champion reasserts himself with an armwrench but Generico withstands the pain to hit a Blue Thunder Driver. Yakuza Kick misses though, and it starts to look like having to wrestle with one arm is exhausting El Generico who runs into Nigel’s headstand mule kick out of the corner. He hangs Generico on the ropes for the TOWER OF LONDON ONTO THE APRON! Prazak makes it clear that he landed right on his shoulder there. Super McLariat blocked…YAKUZA KICK for 2! Generico thinks about the Brainbuster but struggles with his arm injury. Jawbreaker Lariat countered with another Yakuza Kick! But Generico takes too long following up on that and runs into a McLariat. Tower Of London into the ring this time, then an AWESOME nonchalant McLariat for another 2. LONDON DUNGEON! Kevin Steen comes to the ring to encourage Generico to the ropes. Nigel allows himself to get distracted by Steen and eats another boot to the face. GENERICO CLIMBS! SOMERSAULT VAN TERMINATOR GETS 2! BRAINBUSTER…NIGEL GETS THE ROPES! Generico positions Nigel in the corner…but Nigel blocks the turnbuckle Brainbuster and turns it into the NECK DROP SUPER MCLARIAT! Fans go wild when El Generico kicks out there. SHORTARM MCLARIAT…GENERICO KICKS OUT AGAIN! Cleveland is going mental now! Generico slaps Nigel into the face, and kicks out AGAIN when Nigel runs into another McLariat. LONDON DUNGEON COUNTERED TO A SMALL PACKAGE FOR 2! JAWBREAKER LARIAT! LONDON DUNGEON AGAIN! Generico taps at 25:44.
Rating – **** – Awesome match. Really memorable stuff, and superb performances from both athletes there. I said when Nigel became champion that I felt he was good, and capable of having good matches when put in the ring with better wrestlers (like a Morishima, or an Aries, or a Danielson) but I cast doubt on his ability to elevate supposed lesser opponents up to his level like great ROH Champions like Samoa Joe and American Dragon have done in the past. That criticism is now falling away and he is starting to carve his niche as a great Ring Of Honor Champion in his own right. Together these men turned what should, by all rights, have been a regulation, predictable title defence into a showstealing classic encounter. Generico was NEVER winning here but they had that building absolutely rocking. Sure there were things you could criticise, but when a match was that much fun to watch, and when it gets THAT over with a live audience, who really cares about picking holes in it?
Tape Rating – ** – I think this one was always going to feel a little flat. It’s coming off one of the best shows of the year…going from one of the biggest events, in on of the most important markets, in probably the biggest arena ROH runs in to a B-show in Cleveland, probably the smallest market. And sure there were some disappointments. Black/Aries didn’t live up to expectations and I have to say I expected more from the Briscoes/AOTF tag and Stevens/Castagnoli as well. In the end, this was basically a one match show, with McGuinness/Generico standing head and shoulders above anything else on the card. So, there you have it. On paper, this was just another ROH B-show…HOWEVER, I actually have a lot of positive things to say about it. In terms of pacing, I thought the show was laid out very well. Nothing was too short, nothing went too long. Every match got decent time to develop without over-staying it’s welcome. The Delirious turn was VERY well done and for the first time in over a year, I’m actually looking forward to seeing what Delirious does at the next ROH event. Even if his match wasn’t the greatest, and I’m not sure Stevens should have been used as cannon fodder for it, I’m also liking the Claudio Castagnoli mean streak. After a while of doing the babyface ‘HEY’ thing, it’s a nice change of pace for him too, and adds extra spice to the now inevitable Danielson/Castagnoli re-rematch. Speaking of Danielson, he busted his ass to put on a decent match with the returning Kenny King, who looks a decent prospect too. The Sweet’n’Sour tag match was stiff as hell…so yeah, whilst in essence this is just another one-match B-show…I still think this one is a decent watch. And besides, if you can pick this up in a sale, Nigel/Generico is probably worth the purchase alone.
Top 3 Matches
3) Bryan Danielson vs Kenny King (***)
2) Chris Hero/Go Shiozaki vs Roderick Strong/Brent Albright (***)
1) Nigel McGuinness vs El Generico (****)