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232 ROH Violent Tendencies 6/27/2009

ROH 232 – Violent Tendencies – 27th June 2009

On paper this show has a lot going for it, but I’m REALLY struggling to come up with anything overly engaging by way of an introduction. It’s Austin Aries’ first show as the only ever 2-time ROH World Champion thus far. It’s the debut of the House Of Truth, who seem like a throwaway midcard act now, but will go onto have a surprising relevance to the World Championship picture down the road. Post-TNA Petey Williams is in ROH for the first time in years, whilst a pre-TNA former World Champ Nigel McGuinness makes his return from injury. KENTA is booked for this weekend too, which instantly adds a touch of star power. And the headline act is Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black settling their feud inside a Steel Cage. It’s a strong line-up on paper, and with a new World Champ and the HDNet product starting to click too, ROH is starting to get some momentum going after a rough 2009 thus far. Setting is Detroit, MI with hosts Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard

ROH VIDEO WIRE (17/06/2009 – 23/06/2009) – Jay and Mark Briscoe discuss the evolution of the Tag division in their absence. Mark is nearly healed and will be back soon

– Speaking of the Tag division, the reigning champions Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards are up next to boast of their recent success over Steen and Generico. Until the previous champs earn it they are getting no more rematches with the American Wolves.

– Bryan Danielson starts giving away the results of major HDNet matches for the next month of shows, which, as I’ve said before, REALLY annoys me. But having lost to the American Wolves and Tyler Black on HDNet at the last tapings he’s not feeling so much like the Best In The World. He’s going to vent some frustration on Sonjay Dutt at the next tapings.

– Joey Ryan, the Embassy’s ‘hired Magnum’, gets a great promo piece. He’s being paid by Prince Nana to ‘sleaze’ all over Colt Cabana. Is that legal?

– Colt Cabana tells D-Lo that he ‘ain’t down with the brown…and nobody else is’. For some reason that made me laugh out loud. They have a Supercard Of Honor 4 rematch in Detroit.

– Back to Joey Ryan, who plans to make himself a top contender for the World Title when he wins a Six Man Mayhem featuring new champion Austin Aries.

– Kevin Steen and El Generico get to wrestle American Wolves again in Chicago, however, as we saw earlier, Richards and Edwards are refusing to put the belts on the line against them. Instead, the stipulations are that a win for Steen-erico means they get a Tag Title shot in whatever match they want, whilst a loss means they never get another title shot whilst the Wolves hold the gold.

– Claudio Castagnoli hypes his match with Nigel McGuinness in Detroit. He works hard to make every interaction they’ve ever had in ROH over the past four years seem relevant.

– Speak of the devil, Nigel McGuinness plans to take his World Title back from Austin Aries in Chicago. That’s a huge rematch as both their previous matches were classics.

The show opens with another 10-bell salute to Mitsuharu Misawa, particularly poignant as a solemn KENTA, holding a picture of Misawa, stands next to Cary Silkin in the ring. They’ve even got his theme music to play the wrestlers back to the locker room which is another classy touch.

Silas Young vs Grizzly Redwood

On recent shows we’ve seen a new, grumpier attitude from Silas Young. Gone are the days of him skipping to the ring to Journey. After years of frustration and failing to crack the regular roster he has a far more serious and unpleasant outlook. Will Grizzly be the unfortunate victim of that tonight?

No Bobby Cruise tonight, and the replacement ring announcer sounds like Bobby and Howard Finkel got together and had a retard baby. Creepy paedophile looking guy is the ref too. Did ROH leave the entire crew behind? Young punts Grizzly and piefaces him angrily but takes his eye off the ball and takes a ‘Log Roll’ legsweep. Young drops him over the ropes for 2. Tilta-whirl gutbuster comes next, but again Redwood gets a shoulder up. Leg chops and a sliding bulldog bring Grizz back into things. He wins with a flash pin at 03:45

Rating – * –
If ROH are serious about pushing Grizzly as their Spike Dudley style little engine that could, then he does have to at least pick up an occasional win. Sadly for Silas, it’s probably fitting that he plays the enhancement talent – which is a shame since he looked really good out there working his new mean streak. But with TV to think about, Ring Of Honor does need to preserve some semblance of credibility for the ‘Littlest Lumberjack’ if they want fans to invest in him.

Kenny King/Rhett Titus vs Brent Albright/Erick Stevens

This is a rematch from the 7th Anniversary Show. King and Titus are improving every time out right now – highlighted best during Kenny’s strong match with Bryan Danielson at the Contention, Meanwhile Stevens and Albright have formed an alliance going back to when they ran Sweet’n’Sour Inc. out of ppv in January. They may fancy a shot at the American Wolves, but they’ll need to pick up some wins, and they’ll need Brent to focus on this and not on his issues with The Embassy.

Impressive start by King, taking Albright down and embarrassing him with a slap to the back of the head. Brent responds by walking on Kenny’s back and socking him in the mouth. Stevens and Titus in, with Rhettski proving now match for the power of Erick. Albright exposes Titus’ behind…AND DROP TOEHOLDS KENNY INTO HIS ASSCRACK! The ANX try a double Sexy Suplex but find their path blocked, and the power guys use their brute force to take over once again. King delivers a blindside lariat to Brent on the outside as he tries to pursue Titus, giving ANX the advantage for the first time. Bow Tie Choke, then a face rake on the canvas from Rhett, pulling out some unorthodox offence to dominate Albright. Somewhere along the way the back of Brent’s head has been cut and he’s bleeding quite heavily, so makes a critical tag to Stevens. He powers through both opponents with ease whilst his bloody opponent recovers. Michael Jackson tribute dance from Kenny…leads to him getting double press slammed. Albright hits the Air Raid Crash, only for Titus to make a desperate save. Ugly double team from the ANX ends with Rhett delivering a standing blockbuster over the knees of King. In the end Kenny blocks the Doctor Bomb and rolls Stevens up using the tights to win at 12:41

Rating – ** –
The right team won so it’s hard to be too critical, but parts of this match were really sloppy and loose. Both teams suffered with some miscommunication issues which made them look pretty amateurish. I quite like the Stevens/Albright team, but pushing them would basically make them the white equivalent of the Dark City Fight Club. How many ‘powerhouse’ teams does ROH need?

Token Ric Flair segment next. He’s on both shows this weekend, one of the Canadian Death Before Dishonor shows, and that’s it for him in Ring Of Honor. He delivers the played out old sleaze/horn dog/suck up to the home town fans promo he’s done everywhere else before. Tonight he seems pretty grumpy but is very polite about the skills of the ROH roster.

Claudio Castagnoli vs Nigel McGuinness

The Video Wire had a surprisingly effective promo from Double C giving us some really detailed back story for this one. It’s Nigel’s return to ROH after a few months out rehabbing the injuries that basically cost him his World Championship. His last appearance before going on hiatus was in Houston at Take No Prisoners 2009. That night Claudio, angry that they weren’t going to be teaming, attacked Nigel. He’d go on to reveal that the attack was born of frustration going right the way back to 2005/6 when he couldn’t defeat Nigel for the now defunct ROH Pure Title, and anger that Nigel was the guy to defeat Morishima and become the first European World Champ, NOT him.

Nigel sprints to the ring brandishing a steel chair, desperate for retribution on Claudio after that Houston attack. He’s sporting a new haircut, longer trunks and looks to have gained some muscle and thickness around his trunk, despite the fact that Dave Prazak states that his biceps injuries still aren’t 100%. Wristlock suplex starts Nigel’s traditional assault on the arm, and it’s followed by a hammerlock DDT through the ropes. They work some REALLY sloppy wristlock counters before Castagnoli dives off the second rope to deliver a European uppercut for 2. Now it’s Double C attacking the arm, testing out just how healed those arm injuries of McGuinness truly are. London Dungeon locked in from nowhere but with the arms now weakened Claudio is able to easily back to the ropes. Castagnoli gets to his feet and steals the same hold…Zurich Dungeon? They battle on the apron, before Claudio leaps into the air to hit a flying Bicycle Kick which drives McGuinness into the barricades. A good minute of aimless brawling on the floor follows, with a count-out narrowly avoided on two occasions. Nigel slides in to score with another hammerlock DDT, then go for the London Dungeon again. Claudio escapes by throwing the referee at him and retreats to the outside again. He lures Nigel to the aisle where he assaults the bad arm again, driving it into the railings repeatedly. McGuinness turns it into a London Dungeon on the ramp as the referee counts them both out at 12:56

Rating – * –
Really ugly in places, with Nigel looking exceptionally rusty – understandably so after spending time away from the ring with the injuries he’d sustained. In truth, had they wrestled it well this ending would still have been pretty horrific – with the woeful last few minutes of absent-minded stumbling around and brawling on the floor making for a pretty miserable conclusion. If you saw their Pure Title Matches a few years ago, or even as recently as their New Horizons World Title clash, you’d know these guys do have chemistry as opponents…but this one just didn’t click at all.

Nigel tries to call Castagnoli back in to finish things properly, only for Claudio decides he’s done for the night and heads to the back.

Josh Raymond/Christian Able vs Kevin Steen/El Generico

For all the critics ROH has right now, it’s hard to deny the tag division looks very strong. The amazing feud between Steen-erico and the American Wolves has almost carried ROH this year, the Briscoes are set to return soon, new teams like the DCFC, Super Smash Bros., the Young Bucks, the return of Up In Smoke, formation of the Albright/Stevens unit etc…it all adds up to an impressive and deep group of teams, and in an era where the big leagues are really struggling to promote tag team wrestling properly, it becomes a real selling point for Ring Of Honor. And tonight they add another team to that. Raymond and Able have been around for a few years but never made it to ROH before. You may recognise Josh from Wrestling Society X (which I just ordered the box set of and will review when I can) though. They are flanked by their manager/’inspirational leader’ Truth Martini (hence the team name House Of Truth) who is supposedly quite the personality. His hair is chuffing ridiculous

Steen and Generico come out to ‘Smooth Criminal’ and try their hand at some Moonwalking as wrestlers continue to pay tribute to Michael Jackson. Able’s outfit is pretty ridiculous and deserves the mockery it receives from Lenny Leonard. The HOT jump Steen and Generico to get the match started, but soon find themselves on the back foot as Lenny continues to mercilessly rip on Able. The newcomers both take a bit of a beating from the former Tag Champions, who use repeated tags (and body slams) to maintain total control over Martini’s charges. GUM VS SNOT ROCKET DUEL between Raymond and Steen. On the floor Truth tries to attack Generico but fails pretty miserably, meaning Generico is free to sail in for a flying crossbody on Christian for 2. Finally Truth does manage to sweep the luchador’s legs to give his team the advantage. Able tosses Generico to the floor where Martini is waiting to deliver more cheap shots. Eventually El Generico does get the hot tag, freeing Steen to hit the cannonball senton on Josh. Swinging Air Raid Crash on Able gets 2, as does the Steen-ton Bomb. Martini gets involved again as Kevin looks for the Package Piledriver. Generico walks into a snap DVD from Able then a SHOOTING STAR SHOULDER TACKLE from Raymond for 2. That was wild, but Steen is back up to lock in the Sharpshooter on Josh. Truth saves again, allowing Raymond to score with a Lung Blower. CORKSCREW SENTON GETS KNEES! Generico hits Josh with the Yakuza Kick before they hit the Package Piledriver/Brainbuster combo for the win at 13:19

Rating – ** –
Solid match, but I can’t say that the HOT made too much of an impression on me. They looked like what they are – decent, experienced and competent but ultimately unspectacular midcard hands with an annoying manager. Being honest, these guys have been around for a while (particularly Josh Raymond and Truth Martini) and there’s a reason they’ve not been brought in before. But with ROH management being told to cut costs, use more local talent in each market, and with the roster as thin as it’s ever been in the seven year history of the company, they’ve been given a shot and they did ok. On a show where the last 2 matches have been blighted by sloppy exchanges and obvious mishaps, they certainly didn’t disgrace themselves by any means – and between Truth Martini’s antics and the wacky dress sense of Christian Able, they may well be a decent fit in HDNet era ROH. They’ll have to produce better matches than that to win me over though…

Austin Aries vs Rasche Brown vs Sami Callihan vs Joey Ryan vs Delirious vs Petey Williams

This one marks a return for the Six Man Mayhem concept, and it’s surprisingly packed with talent. Williams returns to ROH for the first time in years after leaving TNA. I always liked him in Orlando, and I’m curious to see how much of that was his good work, and how much of him was being carried by great talent like AJ Styles and the awesomeness of the Team Canada run. Ryan has already said he wants to use this match to cement himself as a top contender to the World Title, now held by Austin Aries, who makes his first appearance since winning it in Manhattan. They’re joined by Delirious who’s biggest match this weekend – a Fight Without Honor against Jimmy Jacobs – is already in the can and airs on HDNet tomorrow night. And rounding it out is Brown and Callihan – with Sami having put in some decent shows on the TV show recently and Skullkrusher making quite an impression on the last Midwest tour before promptly disappearing again for 2 months.

Aries gets on the stick and announces he’s made a deal with Joey Ryan and The Embassy to watch his back in this match. Rasche’s facial expression as Delirious ‘loses his mind’ and starts chasing him around the ring was pretty awesome too. Ryan and Aries start with some nice, low key and well-mannered exchanges with absolutely no impact moves at all since they’re on the same page for the evening. Petey comes in and immediately gets double teamed by Joey and Austin. SLINGSHOT lungblower on A-Double, followed by a Canadian Legsweep on Joey to clear the ring. Delirious comes in and has a pretty impressive, high speed exchange with Williams. Sami in for a sliding lariat on Delirious, but barely has time to celebrate hitting that move before Skullkrusher is in. He tries to kiss him (seriously), and pisses Brown off enough to send him flying across the ring with a football charge. Aries sends Ryan in to do battle with Rasche…so Joey and Nana send Ernie Osiris in instead which is pretty amusing. DOUBLE suplex from Brown to both Aries and Ryan, then a big powerslam on Williams as Skullkrusher starts to dominate. Finally Joey and Austin hold him down for Callihan to hit a sliding Ace Crusher for 2. Delirious looks for a win with the Cobra Stretch on Sami, but it’s broken in exotic fashion by Ryan. Petey in…but Aries saves his new buddy from the Canadian Destroyer. IED on Petey gets 2. CANADIAN DESTROYER ON ARIES! RYAN SAVES! Petey hits a slingshot headscissors to the floor on Callihan. Meanwhile Osiris gets in a cheapshot on Rasche, so Brown picks him and PRESS SLAMS HIM ONTO EVERYONE! Delirious ambushes Aries with the Panic Attack then SHADOWS OVER HELL! Joey saves the World Champion again so Delirious rocks him with a Panic Attack too. Shadows Over Hell on Joey, but Aries takes advantage and rolls the lizard man up for the three count at 13:36.

Rating – *** –
Nothing spectacular, but as it was harmless, inoffensive and well-executed midcard fun it was a cut above anything else on the show thus far. Aries and Joey were pretty entertaining, whilst the multi-man format was much better at showcasing Rasche’s personality and power without exposing his weaknesses too much. Everyone else contributed positively too.

D-Lo Brown vs Colt Cabana

This stretches back to Wrestlemania weekend in Houston when Brown used a foreign object to steal a win from Cabana, almost derailing Colt’s big comeback before it had really got going. Admittedly Colt got a measure of revenge at Manhattan Mayhem 3 when he made D-Lo tap to the Billy Goat’s Curse, but he wants a return singles win and has the opportunity to get it tonight.

I bet introducing D-Lo is a dream come true for Bobward Finkruise or whatever the stand in ring announcer is. Reading that joke back, maybe it’s not entirely clear I jammed Bobby Cruise and Howard Finkel’s names together there. The former WWE Euro-Continental Champion (thanks Kurt) takes his sweet time getting ready to lock up with the former WWE jobber. His somewhat cumbersome style is at odds with Colt’s European techniques, so he throws him out of the ring to do some damage out there instead. Sky High nailed for 2 – probably only 2 because he didn’t hit the needless amount of pointing and head bobbing leg drop first. Elbows from Cabana, then the tornado snap suplex for 2. He hasn’t done enough damage to put the BGC on D-Lo yet though. Generic ref bump spot sends poor Todd Sinclair sprawling, and when Cabana scores with the quebrada press, there’s no official around to count the fall. He uses the distraction to welly D-Lo with the bell to snatch an equally tainted win in 08:58

Rating – * –
These two just don’t click at all. Brown just has no agility to work the kind of matches Cabana is comfortable working, and looked outclassed comically and charismatically in this one too. I thought the finish was neat but the eight and a half minutes building up to it were total dross.

American Wolves vs KENTA/Roderick Strong – ROH Tag Title Match

Up to this point the show has been one of the worst of 2009, so there’s a huge pressure on the main events to deliver. This will be a particularly tough match for Davey Richards since both opponents really don’t like him. He turned on former NRC ally Roderick Strong last year to join Sweet’n’Sour Inc. and going back further than that (into 2007) he turned on his former mentor KENTA when the NRC tried to make their name at the NOAH star’s expense. We saw KENTA get some retribution for that at Supercard Of Honor 4 when they stole the show in a thrilling GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title bout. Can he repeat his victory there and become a champion in Ring Of Honor for the first time? Apparently this was originally scheduled to be Bryan Danielson teaming with KENTA, but he’s out injured this weekend so KENTA has picked Strong after their intense match on HDNet last week.

Intense staredown between KENTA and Richards as they look set to start. KENTA boots Davey out, so in swoops Eddie to try his hand at kicking KENTA. No dice on that, KENTA punts him then brings in Strong to deliver a massive chop. Sensational first minute right there. More kicks to Edwards, but credit to him, Eddie responds by pinning KENTA in the corner and scoring with a series of heavy body shots. He even tries to trade chops with Roderick, and doesn’t do too badly for a while. To the floor where KENTA starts kicking him again, then tosses him into a running Sick Kick from Strong. Six minutes gone and the challengers have been really impressive thus far. Finally Richards tags in and tries to establish his team in the contest for the first time. A multitude of tags and a few questionable double teams later, and the Wolves have KENTA isolated in the ring and cut off from his partner. Go 2 Sleep blocked before Davey and the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champ knock each other’s blocks off with another flurry of strikes. KENTA to the top rope, getting amazing hang time on a flying clothesline for a close nearfall. STF locked in but Eddie saves his partner fairly promptly. He hits a flurry of kicks on Davey again, then gets another nearfall with a Ligerbomb. TOP ROPE DOUBLE STOMP NAILED! But still Richards blocks Go 2 Sleep…HEAD DROP CAPTURE SUPLEX BY DAVEY! Edwards takes KENTA out of the corner into the Backpack Stunner for 2. Die Hard blocked…G2S countered, and in comes Roddy. GO 2 SLEEP/DEATH BY RODERICK IN STEREO COUNTERED TO DUELLING CLOVERLEAF/ACHILLES TENDON HOLDS! The challengers escape with roll-ups as I’ve notice the entire arena is now standing. ALARM CLOCK BY DAVEY! DEATH BY RODERICK ON EDWARDS! DOUBLE ALARM CLOCK! SUPERKICK GERMAN COMBO! KENTA SAVES! The Wolves line-up the Doomsday Ace Crusher for KENTA to save his partner again, this time with the rope-run Falcon arrow. HALF NELSON BACKBREAKER! DOOMSDAY BUSAIKU! DAVEY BREAKS THE FALL! STRONGHOLD ON EDDIE! Richards makes the save, going into a SUPER intense chop/kick duel with his former ally. SICK KICK ON EDDIE GETS 2! GIBSON DRIVER! 2 AGAIN! Edwards blocks an avalance Death By Roderick and joins Davey for a powerbomb lungblower. ACHILLES TENDON LOCK! Strong taps, meaning the champs have retained in 21:07

Rating – **** –
Amazing display of 21st century junior heavyweight wrestling right there. I can’t quite go MOTYC level on it but as a barnburning exhibition of offence, this was spectacular. Considering they were nothing more than throwaway challengers, with very little hope of actually getting the belts here, the level of intensity KENTA and Strong brought to proceedings was a joy to watch. The Wolves are always comparably serious in their approach, and it gave the match a big time feel. After a disappointing night for Ring Of Honor thus far, this felt absolutely revelatory.

Jimmy Jacobs vs Tyler Black – Steel Cage Match

This will be Age Of The Fall’s last stand, with former tag team partners colliding to settle their bitter rivalry. It was Jimmy who brought Black into ROH when Project 161 became Age Of The Fall at the Man Up ppv. They ended 2007 by defeating the Briscoes to become ROH Tag Champions, and during 2008 the significance of their movement was such that Jacobs went on an almost unbelievable streak of main eventing shows all over the ROH circuit. But perhaps that was the point, Jimmy Jacobs was main eventing and we were to be left in no doubt as to who the leader was. His leadership style first drove Necro Butcher away, and as Tyler Black’s popularity grew after a couple of memorable World Title matches at Take No Prisoners and Death Before Dishonor 6, the two seemed to be travelling down separate paths. Even with Delirious now in the fold, AOTF started to collapse – losing the Tag Titles to Steen and Generico at Driven 2008, then Steel Cage Warfare to the Briscoes and Austin Aries at Glory By Honor 7 in the same weekend. It was at Final Battle 2008 when Jimmy finally took action and kicked Black out of the group. On a night where Black’s popularity was so strong that it caused the radical personality change in Austin Aries that we now see has taken him all the way back to the World Title, Jimmy finally snapped, and blamed Tyler for caring more about the fans than about the cause they were fighting for. In truth since then, through most of ’09 thus far, their feud has been a little convoluted. They contested the first ever HDNet main event (Tyler won), had a great match in Canada on the Double Feature 2 DVD (Tyler won), with Jimmy picking up a return win at Manhattan Mayhem 3 when he attacked Black before the bell to win a First Blood Match in 12 seconds. Perhaps their most significant interaction was at the last Chicago show when Tyler made Jimmy cry by calling him a bitter, selfish disappointment…before Jacobs returned to bloody him with the railroad spike. It’s a personal rivalry which has basically seen the death of Age Of The Fall, seen Jimmy Jacobs’ ROH career crumble around him and totally derailed Tyler Black’s World Title aspirations. Tonight they settle it once and for all so they can move on with their respective lives.

Jimmy comes out wearing the bloodstained Age Of The Fall debut coat. It doesn’t take long for the fight to start, with Tyler slamming the cage door shut in Jacobs’ face, then hurling him into the mesh of the cage moments later. Jacobs is bleeding within 90 seconds of the match starting which isn’t a good sign. But he manages to crotch Black on the ropes, then fling him into the cage with a headscissors. On commentary Prazak gives away the result of the HDNet Fight Without Honor with Delirious before it’s even kayfabe happened yet which is rather irritating. Tyler hits a wild body slam into the cage which visibly hurts his former tag partner. Cage-assisted F-5 nailed for 2. Jimmy goes for a spear but gets sent into the cage again, then takes Peroxism for another nearfall. Tyler lines up the Buckle Bomb, only for it to be countered with the SPIKE TO THE HEAD! REPEATED HEAD STABS! Black is bleeding heavily now…and Jacobs celebrates that by creepily pulling his own hair out…and EATING it?? He goes for another headscissors, only for Black to counter by swinging him into the cage. BUCKLE BOMB! SUPERKICK! He could have it won there, but Tyler instead opts to go to the top of the cage. Jimmy goes up after him, much as he did with BJ Whitmer in their famous cage match in this building. BOTH MEN fall to the floor! Tyler springboards off the guardrails, and SPIDERMAN STICKS to the side of the cage before coming down into a clothesline on Jacobs.

In return Jimmy tries to swing off the cage into a crazy headscissors, only for Tyler to counter with another Buckle Bomb. Superkick evaded second time around, and countered to END TIME! Black tries a northern lights suplex to break it, but even then Jimmy rolls back over to keep hold of it. Tyler finally heaves him into the cage to break it. Jacobs turns and goes for a spear, only for Black to turn it into End Time theft. Spear nailed second time around to leave both men reeling. They start to climb the cage again, with Jimmy countering an attempted Awesome Bomb into a frankensteiner. CONTRA CODE SCORES! SUPERKICK! Tyler nearly loses the match to his own move. JACOBS STARTS STABBING HIMSELF WITH THE SPIKE! He then drags a table into the ring and sets it up in the corner. Black grabs the railroad spike now, so Jimmy simply pulls another one out from his boots. SPIKE DUEL! BUCKLE BOMB! SUPERKICK! GOD’S LAST GIFT! But Tyler starts positioning the table rather than going for the win. To the top of the cage again…SUPERFLY SPLASH THROUGH THE TABLE! Tyler Black wins the feud at 22:02. But he barely has time to have his hand raised before MASSES of masked AOTF followers storm the ring. THIS IS CRAZY! Is one of those masked guys former ROH interviewer Sugar Shawn Price? Literally dozens of masked guys swarm the ring and destroy Black, whilst Jimmy Jacobs ominously lifts the famous Terry Funk line when promising Age Of The Fall will live ‘forever…forever…forever etc’. He’s then carried out in an unbelievable scene.

Rating – **** – I’ll start by saying this was never in the league of the top cage matches in ROH history like Punk/Rave, Jacobs/Whitmer or GeNext/Embassy, but in a tough spot after their feud has really fizzled out this year, they put on a hell of a fight. Jimmy Jacobs was absolutely sensational, and if this is truly his last ROH match, it was a masterful performance upon which to go out. He simply bossed this match with his unhinged, lunatic portrayal of a wrestler. If I was to criticise anything it would be the slow first 10 minutes which weren’t special, but the second half was gripping stuff that you just couldn’t take your eyes off. And the finale, with the swarms of masked AOTF followers is one of the most memorable visuals ROH has ever produced.

Tape Rating – *** –
Most of this show is really bad, but, I think reality dictates you’re going to be buying this for the two main events, and they delivered in spades. For a last minute replacement match after Dragon was pulled, Wolves vs KENTA/Strong was a stunning, puroresu inspired encounter that positively stole the show. And the Steel Cage match was a splendid virtuoso farewell performance from Jimmy Jacobs, a worker who has meant as much to Ring Of Honor in the past two years as anyone. Much of the rest of the show was poor (although some strong personalities made the 6MM a lot of fun) but if you can pick this up at a discounted price in a sale, it’s those main events that make it a decent purchase.

Top 3 Matches

3) Austin Aries vs Delirious vs Joey Ryan vs Sami Callihan vs Petey Williams vs Rasche Brown (***)

2) Tyler Black vs Jimmy Jacobs (****)

1) American Wolves vs KENTA/Roderick Strong (****)

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