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218 ROH Eliminating The Competition 2/27/2009

ROH 218 – Eliminating The Competition – 27th February 2009

Although the actual line-up and quality of the show may not be up to much, this is actually a hugely significant show. Which is fitting considering that, date-wise at least, this show is almost seven years to the day since Ring Of Honor launched with a spectacular triple threat that brought them into the consciousness of a growing army of independent wrestling fans. The actual 7th Anniversary celebrations take place next month…but ROH still marks the occasion with something massive. This weekend marked the first weekend of tapings in Philadelphia’s former ECW Arena for ROH’s forthcoming ‘ROH on HDNet’ TV series. I’ll be reviewing the HDNet series by broadcast date, so this show marks the first standalone, single night ‘house show’ release since Death Before Dishonor 4 way back in 2006. With the HDNet tapings commencing in Philadelphia the two nights following this event, everyone will be looking to impress and get into top form to ensure they’re ready to shine on national television. With all the focus on Philadelphia, it’s easy to see why this one may be overlooked, but there are some decent matches lined up. Nigel McGuinness looks to ‘eliminate his competition’ by defeating three top contenders for the ROH World Title in a single swoop when he faces Tyler Black, Jimmy Jacobs and Jerry Lynn in the main event. Bryan Danielson and Delirious meet for the first time since their superb series of matches in ’06, Brent Albright and Claudio Castagnoli clash in a singles bout, whilst Kevin Steen and Jay Briscoe form an unlikely alliance to take on members of Sweet’n’Sour Inc. Lets join Lenny Leonard and Dave Prazak in Danbury, CT.

ROH VIDEO WIRE (10/02/2009-17/02/2009) – In the locker room Bobby Dempsey threatens Shane Hagadorn, making the point that he’s not intimidated by S’n’S Inc. anymore.

– Brent Albright lays down the challenge for his rematch with Double C in Danbury.

– Tyler Black cuts one of his best promos yet saying he won’t get a fair shot at the World Title with Jacobs and Aries on his case. He won’t cash in his #1 Contendership until he’s finished things with them. 2009 – the year people actively started DECLINING World Title shots…so D-Lo Brown can have them.

– Bryan Danielson is struggling with concussion after the attacks from Bison Smith, but is getting things together and is coming for him

– Kyle Durden takes a grilling from Claudio Castagnoli over his issue with Brent Albright.

– Shane Hagadorn gets revenge on Bobby Dempsey in the least convincing steel chair attack the world has ever seen.

– Jimmy Jacobs cuts a compelling promo blaming Tyler Black for turning HIS back on Age Of The Fall. ‘Instead of fighting against the masses, you started fighting FOR them’ – Jacobs.

– Part 3 of the Jerry Lynn interview talking about the Mr. JL gimmick, getting his start in WCW and ECW. Apparently Chris Candido was instrumental in convincing him it was more than a hardcore fed.

– At the Florida shows Davey Richards attacks the knee of El Generico…

A confident Nigel McGuinness welcomes us to the event. He’s beaten all three of his challengers tonight already, so isn’t sweating having to face them all at once.

Papadon vs Bobby Fish

With national TV now in place, slots at the bottom of ROH’s card are at an absolute premium. Although this may seem like an enhancement match, seasoned indy workers with decent looks like Papadon, or guys with NOAH experience like Bobby Fish may be just what ROH is looking for and to give a few more opportunities to.

Lots of oceanic pun fun from Prazak as they run through some basics. Fish starts strongly and gets the first significant nearfall off a snap suplex. He chases Papadon around the ring to deliver a series of kicks. Finally the ‘Greek God’ pulls Bobby off the top rope, giving him an ugly landing on the mat and handing the advantage to Papadon. He foolishly raises the ire of Fish by trying to emulate his kicking prowess, but thumbs the eyes before Bobby really has a chance to deliver more stiff strikes. Backbreaker into a surfboard, then chinlock as Papadon looks to wear his opponent down. Diving headbutt misses though, and Fish gets up to deliver a standing hurricanrana. Falcon arrow gets 2 for Bobby. He hits a tilta-whirl backbreaker, then lands on his feet as Papadon evades his moonsault attempt. Jumping knee strike wins it for Fish at 08:40

Rating – * –
Bland and totally forgettable. Fish looked talented and has improved a lot since his last ROH shot, and should get a few more bookings based on that. Papadon was incredibly generic.

SIDENOTE – Since ROH is on national TV now, they obviously don’t have the money to pay to license all the popular entrance themes they use. As of this DVD all the ‘real’ songs are gone and replaced by generic crap. It was to be expected if ROH wants to expand, but does take away a really unique aspect of a Ring Of Honor live event.

Kenny King/Rhett Titus vs Erick Stevens/Bobby Dempsey

Bobby Dempsey defeated King and Titus’ good friend Chasyn Rance at Proving Ground 2009 Night 1, so the team who will, in the future, be known as the ‘All Night Express’ come looking for revenge on big bad Bobby and Stevens tonight.

Titus and King get the jump on their opponents, but both struggle to combat Erick’s big chops. King and Stevens trade headlocks before allowing Kenny to demonstrate agility…by diving out of the ring. Kenny gives Dempsey a disrespectful kick to the ass, so Bobby returns fire with some Dusty Rhodes elbows to the head. Sexy headlock from Rhett but he’s beaten back with the Dusty elbows too. Brutal double flapjack gets the babyface team a 2. Titus demonstrates some genuine athleticism in his own right with a vertical leap Rocker Dropper on Erick, which Kenny follows up with a springboard leg drop. Stevens hoists them both up for a Samoan drop/DDT combo on the pair of them. Tag to Bobby, who NAILS Titus with an overhead belly to belly suplex for 2. I’ve suddenly realised that Bobby Dempsey absolutely sucks in the ring. He looks REALLY green and it’s detracting from the match. Shotgun Knee from Kenny, then a SWINGING BACKBREAKER/KNEE STRIKE COMBO gets the ANX a 2. Miscommunication leads to them getting the Choo Choo in the corner, then the fatty cannonball from Bobby. Kenny blocks the Doctor Bomb and rests his feet on the ropes to pick up a tainted victory over Erick Stevens at 12:26

Rating – * –
King and Titus are a good team, and really suited to TV since they both have a certain charisma about their body language and how they carry themselves. Bobby Dempsey looked horrific out there though. That was always the problem with this Dempsey angle. It got so over that they were always going to have to pull the trigger on a Bobby face turn at some point to pacify the live crowds. However, that support for Bobby is likely to die away VERY quickly if that’s the best he can do. He was clumsy, awkward, slow, sloppy, very obviously nervous too. Should be interesting to see what smoke and mirrors Adam Pearce can produce to keep him over but hide his shortcomings.

Tyler Black reiterates what he said in the newswire. He desperately wants to be World Champion, but his top focus tonight is to destroy Jimmy Jacobs

Claudio Castagnoli vs Brent Albright

Rematch from Motor City Madness 2009. At that show it was Double C picking up the win, but only by disqualification when Brent refused to release his Crowbar submission hold when Castagnoli made the ropes. That weekend Claudio was trying to get his ROH career back on track by scoring some major victories. Tonight it’s Albright laying down the challenge – he wants to avenge that defeat.

It’s fairly even as they work the mat, but as soon as Brent tries to increase the physicality Castagnoli heads straight outside to cool him off. He tries the same thing a second time, but on this occasion Albright gives chase, landing a pescado. Now he does catch up with the illusive Claudio, delivering an exploder suplex for 2. Claudio hotshots him over the ropes, choking him in them soon afterwards as he slows things right down and negates the power and aggression of his opponent. Les Artess Lift gets 2. Brent goes for the Crowbar but, knowing the significance of that hold after their last encounter, Double C rolls away and boots his opponent straight to the floor. More dominance from Castagnoli follows, until Albright scores with a wicked swinging neckbreaker for 2. He peppers his ‘very European’ foe with palm strikes before lifting him into the Air Raid Crash. Flying crossbody misses though, allowing Claudio to NOT execute the Big Swing, hitting the bicycle kick instead. Half Nelson Suplex countered to the Alpamare Water Slide for 2. Springboard European COUNTERED to the Crowbar. Castagnoli evades the hold again so eats a German suplex. Crowbar locked in again…and once again Claudio tries to roll away. He has Albright’s shoulders pinned to the mat…but starts tapping just as the count reaches three. The match is over at 14:01, and the ref’s ruling is a draw.

Rating – ** –
This was SO dull. Not in a bad way like the wrestling was poor. But it was so tame, uninspired and uninteresting that it was a real chore to sit through. The live crowd sat on their hands entirely and you can’t blame them – this plodded along at a ponderous pace and never really kicked into any higher gears. The work was solid, but outside of Claudio putting over the threat of the Crowbar there wasn’t any real direction to it. It just felt like two guys going through the motions. And with two big nights of TV tapings which will give this talent MAJOR national exposure over the coming days, my main concern is that a lot of talent will protect themselves and go through the motions ahead of their real chance to shine in Philadelphia.

Claudio declines Albright’s offer of five more minutes in favour of trying to attack him from behind. Brent fights him off, but somehow you feel the issue between them isn’t over yet. Brent’s new in-house entrance music is almost offensively awful…

Chris Hero/Eddie Edwards vs Kevin Steen/Jay Briscoe

Does the lack of Davey Richards on the show tonight indicate that he misses the first 6 episodes of ROH on HDNet? The pairing of Steen and Briscoe is hugely unlikely after their epic wars during 2007, but they’ve been united in the pursuit of a common enemy in the American Wolves/S’n’S Inc. The faction are responsible for putting both of their tag partners out of action with knee injuries – the Wolves having taken out Mark Briscoe at Final Battle, then jumping El Generico during the Florida weekend. Can hold it together as a team to get some retribution against their enemies tonight? This is Hero’s return from a near 2 month stay in Japan with NOAH, and he’s brought a terrific beard back with him.

Having just bashed Brent Albright’s music, first thing I’ll do here is say that Chris Hero’s new music is awesome. It’s a big brawl to start until Hero and Edwards bail. Jay and Steen go after them and give them a few wild trips into the guardrails before the opening 90 seconds is up. A recognisable tag match breaks out with the babyfaces isolating Edwards in the ring, using repeated, reluctant tags and even more reluctant double teams. Drop toehold into the somersault leg drop nailed, but rather than cover Steen and Briscoe pause to stare angrily at each other. Hero in, and he throws Jay out of the ring for Edwards to deliver a snap suplex on the floor. Apparently whilst he was in Japan Mitsuharu Misawa coached Chris Hero the art of throwing the most devastating elbow strikes possible. Jay plants Eddie into the turnbuckles with a flatliner then tags in Steen who scores with an overhead suplex then a cannonball for 2. Pumphandle cradlebreaker blocked as Hero boots Mr Wrestling from behind. He goes to the eye then feeds Steen’s leg to Edwards for a dragon screw in the ropes. Spinning toehold, then a dropkick to the knee after sweeping Steen’s partner off the apron to rule out any possibility of a tag as Edwards really starts to turn the screw. Hero hits a really nasty looking grounded shinbreaker, but it doesn’t take enough out of Steen to stop him lifting Eddie into a big powerbomb. Hot tag to Briscoe who delivers gourdbusters to both opponents for 2. Hero rakes Jay’s bloody nose to block a DVD, then comes from nowhere to hit a mafia kick. LEAPING LUNGBLOWER/ROLLING ELBOW COMBO GETS 2! S’n’S try to hit their own version of the Doomsday Device only for Briscoe to victory roll away from it. TOPE SUICIDA BY EDDIE…TAKES OUT HIS OWN PARTNER! Somersault pescado from Steen, who hits the move then rolls around on the floor still struggling with his knee. Jay lifts Hero onto his shoulders, but Kevin Steen’s leg is too hurt to hit the Doomsday Device. Mark Briscoe is here and berates Steen for not climbing. Loaded Elbow blocked…DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Steen and Briscoe win a fun match at 19:12

Rating – *** –
One thing I am liking about the Adam Pearce era thus far is that every show seems to have a really solid tag team match in the midcard. This one was one of my favourite tag matches of this year thus far (a definite ***1/2 match if I gave the halfies). The chemistry between Steen and Jay was terrific. It was good to see them continue to sell their stellar rivalry of 2 years ago in their interactions, and they carried right through to the finish which featured a HILARIOUS argument between Steen and Mark before Mr Wrestling finally agreed to risk his bad knee and hit the Doomsday Device for his team. It’s good to have Chris Hero back too. He was definitely missed during the shows we’ve seen thus far this year, and his charisma and promo skills are perfect for TV.

Eddie Edwards and Sara Del Rey try to attack the weary victors but get chased away by Mark wielding a steel chair.

Kyle Durden interviews Sami Callahan who is eagerly anticipating a chance to prove himself in ROH. Fairly awkward promo in my opinion.

Delirious vs Bryan Danielson

Lots of fans will remember the superb series of matches Bryan Danielson and Delirious contested back in 2006. Dragon successfully defended the World Title against Delirious on three separate occasions, but the lizard man did score a victory of his own at the climax of an 8-man elimination tag at The Chicago Spectacular Night 2. But now Delirious is under the control of Jimmy Jacobs and the Age Of The Fall. Will his new attitude and the tutelage of a man who has two singles victories over American Dragon on his resume in Jacobs give Delirious the necessary tools to score a win tonight…

Dragon keeps ‘The Final Countdown’ as his entrance music for tonight at least. Even from outside the ring Jimmy Jacobs pulls back on Delirious’ tassels and stops him losing his mind as the match starts. Delirious is hesitant to come too close to his adversary here, doing everything in his power to keep on the opposite side of the ring to Bryan for the opening couple of minutes. Danielson remains calm and bides his time. Eventually he does get his hands on Delirious and effortlessly wrestles him to the mat before stomping on his wrist. Cross armbreaker blocked by the masked man, who retreats to the ropes and cradles his arm momentarily. Mexican surfboard applied as the hapless Delirious continues to struggle to get any kind of foothold in the match. He goes to the floor from Jacobs, who appears to have had fake tanned himself using toxic waste…he’s THAT orange. He does manage to distract Danielson for long enough to allow Delirious to surprise him with a baseball slide. Headbutts and senton bombs to Dragon’s back, then a surfboard. Delirious distracts the ref with his own version of the ‘I have till 5’ gimmick whilst Jacobs takes a couple of cheap shots. Panic Attack countered, but Delirious grounds Bryan again with the Rock Bottom for 2. Danielson comes back with a butterfly suplex into the cross armbreaker. Back superplex countered, and Delirious gets 2 with an interesting front slam to inverted DDT move. Danielson baseball slides Jimmy, nice pay-off to how AOTF took control of this match in the first place, then flies across the ring for a TOPE SUICIDA on Delirious. Missile dropkick then a running knee to the sternum gets 2 for the former World Champion. But Delirious knocks him in the corner for REPEATED PANIC ATTACKS! Jacobs instructs him to do the move again, but he doesn’t listen. Jimmy demands Shadows Over Hell instead, but that MISSES! CATTLE MUTILATION! COUNTERED TO THE COBRA STRETCH! Danielson stands up…AND LANDS ON HIS FEET OUT OF THE COBRA CLUTCHPLEX! MR SMALL PACKAGE! Danielson scores a big win on the eve of the HDNet tapings at 15:51

Rating – **** –
Right at the bottom of the 4* scale, but I really do feel this did enough to justify sneaking in there. I liked the early parts with Delirious completely unable to even live with the ‘best in the world’ until he was helped out by Jacobs. His assault on the back was fun and purposeful in that it set up for all his finishers (I felt Danielson should have sold it a bit more actually), then the last few minutes of back and forth counter wrestling were really exciting. I liked that they managed to work the weird Delirious/Jacobs angle they’re running into the match WITHOUT detracting from the actual match itself – that’s something Adam Pearce has struggled with thus far in his tenure as booker.

Jimmy Jacobs is angry at Delirious for not listening to him and delivering more Panic Attacks during the match. Delirious shoves his leader several times, only for them to eventually walk out still united.

And in the back Jimmy Jacobs fantasises about winning the ROH World Title tonight and going into the HDNet era with Age Of The Fall in possession of the belt.

Austin Aries vs Sami Callahan

You have to feel that Austin Aries is going to be a huge part of the forthcoming HDNet series. He is SO charismatic in his new persona that he was just made for weekly TV. His new character is so easy to hate he’s been getting really strong reactions and decent matches out of basic enhancement talent squashes like his recent bouts with Silas Young and Brad Attitude. Sami will be hoping for more of the same tonight. He’s had a couple of opportunities in ROH before as part of multi-man matches. This is a chance for him to pit his skills against a former World Champion though. A good showing here will surely score him some more bookings.

Aries gets on the mic to call this another ‘B-show’ market and makes a few cheap jibes at Callahan’s expense. He makes a confident start too, out-wrestling Sami in confident fashion on the canvas. They continue to go back and forth on the mat, with Callahan getting more and more aggressive and gaining more and more success. He forces Austin to roll to the ropes in order to break a front facelock. He knocks Callahan to the floor with a knee to the back then drops a double axehandle from the apron. Gutbuster/STO combo, followed by the Power Drive Elbow. Stroke next, then the FISH-HOOK CROSSFACE! He hasn’t done that move in YEARS. Sami escapes and hit a grounded Ace Crusher. He scores with a belly to belly suplex for 2. CRADLE SUPLEX gets another nearfall. A-Double hits back with a rolling elbow, the shinbreak back suplex then the IED in the corner. BRAINBUSTER! Aries wins in 11:44

Rating – ** –
Nothing more than a lengthy squash. I went 3* on Aries/Attitude in Florida because I felt Austin’s heel act meshed well with the traditional, blue chip babyface persona adopted by Brad. This time around it felt like a rather elongated exhibition match for A-Double, which didn’t hold my attention anywhere near as well. I’d be interested to see more of Sami though. He’s got some neat spots and produced some great chain wrestling at the start of the contest too. Apparently he’s come down from over 350lbs to his current fighting condition, and with a growing reputation on the independent scene, you can’t help but feel his career in the business is progressing in a positive direction, regardless of whether he’s back in Ring Of Honor on a regular basis or not.

Jerry Lynn doesn’t care how many people he has to go through tonight, he wants to get his hands on Nigel and the World Title.

Brodie Lee vs Necro Butcher – Street Fight

The enormous Brodie Lee debuted in an attack on Necro Butcher, and they’ve been wanting to fight each other ever since. They contested one match in Montreal, and went to a double DQ whilst fighting in the crowd earlier this year. No rules to contain them tonight though, so it could get crazy.

Lee goes for a couple of big boot strikes early on but Necro manages to avoid them and deliver a cannonball senton off the apron. Why the f*ck is there some guy in the crowd dressed like some kind of alien? Who dresses like that? Anyway, Necro hits Brodie with a chairthen rips out a section of guardrail to pummel him with. Kudos to Prazak who references the great Punk/Gibson match from summer 2005 as an example of how dangerous the railing can be. He sets up the guardrail section in the corner of the ring and drills Lee into it repeatedly. Sure enough Brodie’s back is bleeding now. He still pops up with a dropkick though, then a GERMAN SUPLEX INTO THE RAILING! He uses a chair to block a wild Necro punch then scores with the big boot in the corner. BLACK HOLE SLAM onto a chair for 2. Chops and punches in the corner, and a bulldog into the guardrail. Chair Slam ON A CHAIR gets 2 for Necro. But he goes for a standing senton and winds up flinging himself into that troublesome guardrail segment again. Jimmy Jacobs and Delirious arrive to assist Brodie Lee…along with Daizee Haze who gets shoved away by Delirious as she tries to talk some sense into him. Butcher destroys Brodie with a chair to win at 12:06

Rating – * –
Nope, not a fan of that. If I wanted to watch two big guys lumbering around the ring in almost slow motion punching and kicking each other I’d watch another wrestling company. No offence to these two as I know they worked some nasty spots in there that really must have hurt. My problem wasn’t the big spots, it was just that everything around them really sucked. They had a decent little match earlier in the year so I had high hopes for this, but it was a real car wreck. I was almost glad with Jacobs, Delirious and Daizee arrived to herald finish.

Nigel McGuinness vs Jimmy Jacobs vs Jerry Lynn vs Tyler Black – ROH World Title Match

This is the third time in his ROH career Nigel has been forced to defend his championship against three other opponents in an elimination match. He bested Kevin Steen, El Generico and Go Shiozaki at The French Connection, and at Death Before Dishonor 6 managed to survive Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli before finally defeating Tyler Black to retain. But he has been beaten by Tyler this year (in a non-title bout at Full Circle), before needing the worst officiating decision in ROH history to retain the World Title in a ‘time limit’ draw against him in the following night’s rematch. BUT, having secured himself #1 Contendership again at Caged Collision, Tyler has vowed to settle his scores with Jimmy Jacobs (who also features here) and Austin Aries before cashing in his singles match. As such, whilst Black may well be Nigel’s biggest threat, the belief is that he’ll be preoccupied with getting to Jimmy. That’s unlike Jerry Lynn, who is focused on nothing but McGuinness and his belt. Although Nigel defeated Jerry at Southern Hostility, the issue between them has continued as a result of some deeply personal remarks about Lynn and the state of his career. Will Nigel escape with the belt and become the first ROH World Champion of the HDNet era?

Maybe I’m in a minority, but I REALLY like Nigel’s new HDNet music. Much better than the crappy theme they gave him to use at the ppv tapings. Black and Lynn (who have their own mini-rivalry going on) shake each others hands then split up to pursue their respective rivals. Jacobs declines the opportunity to start with Tyler. In response McGuinness declines the chance to start with Jerry. It means that Black and Lynn wind up having to face each other in a continuation of the series which has seen terrific bouts at Ring Of Homicide 2 and Motor City Madness 2009. Tyler misses the Lionsault feint into the Black Star Press (showing that Lynn has learnt from their previous matches) and we go to a stand-off. Tyler gets himself an advantage, and it’s at that point that Nigel tags himself in to get his hands on Jerry. He delivers some harsh Irish whips, then tags back out as soon as Lynn gets to his feet. Jerry scores some knockdowns on Jacobs, who turns on his heels and sprints out of the ring when the veteran brings Tyler back. And so it goes on with Nigel continuing to avoid facing Lynn then Jacobs refusing to wrestle Black. Tyler misses his springboard clothesline on Lynn then watches as Nigel sends Lynn tumbling to the outside. At last he does tag in legally, slamming Lynn into the guardrails then coming back in to deliver a wristlock suplex. Tower Of London blocked for Jerry to score with a flying crossbody then a tornado DDT.

Cobra Clutch McLariat misses and Lynn hits a Ligerbomb for 2. Jawbreaker Lariat countered, but Jacobs holds Lynn’s boot as Nigel floats into a cover to eliminate the former ECW Champion at 12:35. Lynn has a sulk and drops Nigel with the Air Raid Crash the wipes Jacobs out with a pescado on the way out. FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH gets Black a 2. GOD’S LAST GIFT! JACOBS BREAKS! He hates Tyler so much he’d rather stop him winning than see Nigel eliminated. Jacobs does a number on Black, so once again McGuinness is happy to accept a tag and pick the bones of his rival. Black hits a Pele kick, forcing Jimmy back in to double stomp trampoline on his chest at 17 minutes. He fires up and looks to take it to both opponents though. Nigel is knocked down with the springboard clothesline, before Tyler levels Jimmy with Peroxism for 2. Super McLariat countered…Jawbreaker Lariat rolled through. BUCKLE BOMB ON NIGEL! JACOBS SPEARS TYLER AS HE LINES UP THE SUPERKICK! The former Tag Champions lay into each other with right hands…and Nigel tries to help Jimmy out with the same foot-grab elimination spot that eliminated Jerry earlier. Unfortunately the ref spots Black’s feet in the ropes. TOWER OF LONDON TO THE FLOOR INSTEAD! Jacobs capitalises with End Time on Nigel. Apparently Tyler is the legal man though, and he’s counted out at 22:42. It’s the two heels for the title…and Nigel wins immediately with the JAWBREAKER LARIAT! Match is over at 23:07 – Nigel goes onto HDNet as Ring Of Honor Champion.

Rating – *** –
Not in the same league as the Death Before Dishonor 6 or French Connection fourway elimination matches I’m afraid. The start with all the enemies avoiding one another was clever, and there were some neat spots as we went along, but much as I said earlier in the evening, a lot of this felt like they were treading water ahead of the big shows starting tomorrow. It felt like they were content to progress their respective feuds, but outside of some flashes of activity, they didn’t really want to amp up the intensity of pace of the match to do so. The finish was also REALLY flat with the two guys the crowd liked being eliminated, then the final fall happening in about 12 seconds, therefore eradicating any kind of drama around who would be the new champion. It was still a solid 3* match as you’d expect 20 minutes of these four talented men wrestling each other to be. But it has to go down as a disappointing main event on a very average night.

Nigel sprints to the back leaving Jimmy Jacobs (and now Delirious) to put the boots to Tyler. Jerry Lynn returns to make the save…but all attention will now turn to Philadelphia and the first TV tapings.

Tape Rating – ** –
Bit of a nothing show really. Understandably so considering what was to come on the subsequent evenings, but it doesn’t change the fact that, for an initial release price of $20, this is incredibly underwhelming stuff that you could easily skip and miss absolutely nothing. There are 3 decent matches on the card so it’s not a total bust, but the Nigel elimination fourway style has been done better elsewhere, Danielson and Delirious have had MUCH better matches (on much better shows) back in 2006 that you should probably watch instead, whilst the Sweet’n’Sour tag match was nothing more than a solid bout with some strong story-telling. Other than that there’s lots of filler, absolutely minimal angle progression (at least that means there are less run-ins and sh*tty finishes – although the conclusion to the World Title match was very poor). Unless you REALLY loved the Danielson/Delirious series back in ’06 and desperately want to see them hook up again, you don’t need this one at all. It’s very lackluster…

Top 3 Matches

3) Nigel McGuinness vs Jimmy Jacobs vs Tyler Black vs Jerry Lynn (***)

2) Kevin Steen/Jay Briscoe vs Chris Hero/Eddie Edwards (***)

1) Bryan Danielson vs Delirious (****)

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