238 ROH Final Countdown Tour: Boston 9/25/2009

ROH 238 – Final Countdown Tour: Boston – 25th September 2009

We’re now at Bryan Danielson’s final weekend of Ring Of Honor shows. Sure he’s got a few more HDNet appearances to make, but those are already taped and in the can so as far as live appearances go, this is it. But, even outside of the Dragon farewell weekend, these are massive shows for ROH – to the extent that the TV show has even been promoting them. Nigel McGuinness wrestles his final two ROH matches too – starting tonight against Roderick Strong. The Steen-erico/Wolves feud reaches a violent conclusion, once again starting tonight as Steen and Edwards contest an Anything Goes Match. The actual talent roster for both nights is pretty deep too, with Sonjay Dutt, Petey Williams, Young Bucks, DCFC and Up In Smoke all brought in to give a totally fresh vibe to the undercard. But, for all I’m trying to turn your attention elsewhere, there’s really only one reason most people are buying this DVD. The main event is Bryan Danielson taking on the man many (including Bryan himself) have singled out as the guy to replace him as the ‘ace’ of the independent scene, Davey Richards. It’s a match that’s received lots of praise, lots of hype and lots of MOTYC talk. Lets see if it delivers. We’re in Boston, MA obviously. Dave Prazak and Chris Hero calling the action

ROH VIDEO WIRE (22/09/2009) – Nigel McGuinness wants to use his farewell ROH bout with Dragon to prove that people should be calling him the ‘Best In The World’

– Speaking of being the ‘Best in the World’, that’s a title Davey Richards plans to take when he beats Danielson in Boston the night before. Then he wants the World Title. Eddie Edwards shows some impressive growth in his promo ability when hyping up his match with Kevin Steen

– Rhett Titus is coming for revenge on Colt Cabana after he was busted open in Dayton. He says it’s not going to be a comedy match.

– Chris Hero bemoans Eddie Kingston stealing his Emerald (Loaded) Elbow Pad on HDNet, calling him jealous of his success. They meet in New York

Up In Smoke vs Young Bucks

Two high flying acts who have gained a foothold in ROH after impressive performances on HDNet. Admittedly Cheech and Cloudy have mostly been stuck in the enhancement match mould, but they’ve still looked worlds better than they did in 2002/3 in the Special K era. The Bucks have scored some impressive wins – most recently at the expense of the Dark City Fight Club. They must be looking at getting themselves into title contention, assuming one team survives Ladder War 2 in New York.

Matt Jackson starts with Cloudy, surprisingly trying to keep things slow, but Cloudy manages to hit a basement dropkick to drive Matt all the way to his corner. Nick goes lucha on Cheech, who fires back with a ricochet headscissors. The Bucks use rapid fire tags to work the arm as they do in most matches so he tags Cloudy who comes in and ensures UIS get a stint double teaming too. Stereo backflips into dropkicks on him put the Jacksons in control again though. Neckbreaker/backbreaker combo gets 2, Cloudy now totally cut off from his partner. Inevitable tag is made after he lands a missile dropkick on Matt…and he brings Cheech in for a no hands Sharpshooter. He adds insult to injury by mocking the trademark Young Bucks pose too. Cloudy works a Stretch Plum, which given his size, isn’t an overly impressive hold, but it does trap Matt on the wrong side of the ring. Gory Special from Cheech which is much more impressive, and Cloudy one-ups it by flying OFF him at Nick Jackson as he tries to make the save. SPRINGBOARD somersault cutter by Matt leads to the hot tag to Nick. Slingshot facecrusher on Cloudy gets 2. Cheech is on the floor and eats the APRON MOONSAULT OUTSIDE! Nick then sprints back in, straight across the ring then dives again with a somersault plancha on both former Special K members. Cloudy gathers himself in time to save Cheech from More Bang For Your Buck once, but second time of asking the Jacksons hit it to win at 12:11

Rating – *** – This was very spotty, and I’m not sure if the crowd was dead or the lousy sound quality made them quiet, but the silence didn’t help stretches of this one. However, I’ve rated generously because this felt like such a fresh matches. Both teams are basically new to the roster for 2009, and after having seen a lot of the same talent for much of the 2007-2008 period, this felt new and exciting. I’d like to see the Bucks do more in a match than work their usual assortment of spots, but I’ve seen them do it in DGUSA so I know it’s not like they can’t. Cheech and Cloudy did well too. I don’t think they’re at the stage where they NEED to be on ROH shows but they definitely do their chances of future bookings any harm here either. Strong starting match for a show…

The standing ovation and ‘that was awesome’ chants would suggest that it was bad sound quality rather than a dead crowd causing the silence there.

Sonjay Dutt vs Delirious

Delirious managed to defeat Dutt in Sonjay’s debut match on HDNet. Obviously Dutt will be looking to get a win back on the lizard man who has seen a real upturn in his win ratio recently, supposedly down to the guidance and support of Daizee Haze.

Sonjay’s approach to combating Delirious’ craziness is to start Ric Flair strutting around the ring, trying to reverse-confuse the masked man. He then tosses him out of the ring, much to Delirious’ irritation. He refuses to let him back in, so he starts playing some hide under the ring mindgames, emerging to hit the top rope Leaping Lariat. Dutt hides behind Daizee, using her as a distraction to hand the advantage back to him. That lasts for several minutes until Delirious is able to land a couple of suplexes, then a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Dutt tries a slingshot leg drop in the ropes but misses, then recovers quickly to hit a spinebuster/Lionsault combo. Torpedo headbutt by Delirious who goes right into the Panic Attack. Shadows Over Hell COUNTERED with knees and Dutt hits the standing Shiranui for 2. Cobra Stretch escaped into a series of roll-ups. Eventually it’s Delirious who is able to hold Sonjay down for the three count at 11:04

Rating – *** – This was pretty basic, but I gave 2* to their HDNet match, and I thought they showed enough progression and improvement to warrant the extra star this time around. Personally I thought this was also the more entertaining of the two matches, and the finish with Delirious snatching a roll-up to play off Dutt doing the same thing on TV was great.

Sonjay doesn’t take defeat well, attacking Delirious then planting a smacker on the lips of Daizee Haze. When she doesn’t enjoy it he camel clutches her for good measure.

Claudio Castagnoli vs Petey Williams vs Chris Hero vs El Generico

Lots of talent involved here. Both Hero and Claudio come in as strong heels, with Hero in particular on a roll having beaten Lance Storm and Bryan Danielson in his last two ROH outings. On the other side you have Generico and Petey who are both popular babyface talents. Generico has had a great year thus far and is killing time tonight in preparation for Ladder War 2 tomorrow. Williams has looked good in his few ROH outings thus far this year too.

Eric Santamaria does commentary in Hero’s absence. His enthusiasm for the ROH product is evident, but his vocal tone is so so boring. The former Kings Of Wrestling share a tentative handshake, draw audible ‘Kings Of Wrestling’ chants, then leave the ring together to ensure it’s Petey and Generico starting out. Generico sprints into a dive to take Claudio out, then flies back in with a flying crossbody on Hero for 2. Castagnoli returns quickly to help Hero…and the Kings bust out the Giant Swing Dropkick combo they used during their tenure as a team to draw a nearfall on Williams. Double boot floors Generico as well. STALLING Les Artess Lift by Double C as the Kings continue to adopt a divide and conquer strategy on their babyface adversaries. Petey manages to level Claudio with the slingshot Codebreaker, and lands both members of the KOW with a double knee/senton combo. Canadian Destroyer lined up…but Claudio saves with the Bicycle Kick. FLYING HEADSCISSORS TO THE FLOOR on him by Generico as Petey nearly wins it with the Canadian Legsweep instead. SLINGSHOT RANA TO THE FLOOR! Generico back only to get clobbered by a Chris Hero elbow. Castagnoli catches him going for a tornado DDT…and TOSSES HIM into a POP-UP ELBOW! Riccola Bomb COUNTERED TO A PETEY-T FOR 2! Ligerbomb by Hero on Williams for another 2. YAKUZA BY GENERICO! Hero saves Claudio from the Destroyer now…and Castagnoli drops Williams with the Riccola Bomb to win in 09:38

Rating – *** – I’d rather have seen Hero win to carry on his momentum of recent shows, but for a throwaway midcard match this was pretty entertaining. I hated how they changed the standard 4CS rules again (this one was basically a Scramble Match) but it allowed for all four of them to go out and produce a match of perpetual motion. The KOW reunion spots were an added tease, and definitely proved there’s still a market out there for people wanting to see the Hero and Claudio team.

Bret Hart is brought out for another live appearance. As ever he looks totally awkward, uncomfortable and can barely be heard over the adoring cries from the Boston fans.

As Bret leaves we cut to the back where Kevin Steen recalls some of his own Boston memories, like beating the Briscoes at Death Before Dishonor 5 or winning the Tag Titles at Driven 2008. He can’t wait to make another memory against Boston native Eddie Edwards tonight…

Kevin Steen vs Eddie Edwards – Anything Goes Match

Just one night ahead of the eagerly awaited Ladder War 2, Steen and Edwards are ready to do little more than beat the tar out of each other, softening each other up ahead of that huge title match in New York. At the last Boston show (Never Say Die) Kevin Steen was involved in another Anything Goes Match, this time with Eddie’s partner Davey Richards. That was a wild brawl that totally stole the show, and if that’s the standard, this one is going to be nuts.

Seriously, Kevin Steen isn’t waiting…he just dragged Edwards from the locker room, still in his street clothes, to get the fight started. The brawl spills through the bleachers before coming to ringside after Steen backdrops Edwards over the railings. Eddie rallies to hit a running knee smash against the same guardrail then pelts Mr Wrestling with a steel chair. He lines up a tope suicida…AND STEAMROLLS INTO A CHAIR SHOT FROM STEEN! And there goes Eddie Edwards’ elbow by the way, I believe he fractured it absorbing that blow. Steen doesn’t pick up on that though, opting to whack the legs with the chair and go for the Sharpshooter. Eddie escapes with a chair-enforced superkick to the face. He hides behind the ref as Kevin looks for the cannonball, emerging to hit Steen in the balls…and with him down he goes for a Sharpshooter himself. Steen blocks with an eye gauge then powerbombs him into the canvas. Sharpshooter applied…but Hagadorn looks to get involved. PACKAGE PILEDRIVER ON HAGADORN…ONTO EDWARDS! Given his legit arm injury, that spot had to absolutely kill. Mr Wrestling pulls out a ladder…only for Davey Richards to run to the ring and steal it! Edwards repeatedly cracks Steen over the skull with a chair, then erects a whole stack of open chairs in the middle of the ring. But with the bad arm he’s got no chance…PACKAGE PILEDRIVER THROUGH THE CHAIR STACK! Steen wins at 14:01

Rating – *** – If I gave half stars this would definitely get an extra half. Considering that tomorrow these two are involved in one of the biggest draws in a massive weekend for ROH, the blow-off of a huge feud which has been at the very heart of ROH this year, an angle which has been one of the centrepieces of ROH on HDNet, booking them to go out there and unleash this level of brutality on each other the night beforewas a crazy idea. They delivered a hell of a violent match, and did a great job in putting on what felt like a great, heated grudge match without really taking too much away from Ladder War 2 tomorrow. But one unfortunate landing for Eddie means he’s now saddled with a serious injury putting the very fate of the big feud decider in jeopardy. Good addition to the feud, and notable for incredible toughness from Eddie to finish the match even with a serious injury. You have to question the sanity of Adam Pearce for letting them do this though. I bet he’ll be sh*tting bricks during Dragon/Davey now…

Dark City Fight Club vs Bobby Dempsey/Alex Payne

Ordinarily you’d say this should be an easy night’s work for the DCFC, however, Bobby showed in January just what happens when you push him too far by decimating all of Sweet’n’Sour Inc., a beatdown so horrific that the group was never the same again. Can he and Sugarfoot cause an upset?

Dominant start by the Fight Club. Payne courageously stands up to Jon Davis, then lands a couple of kicks to Chavis before finally getting decapitated by a Rainman clothesline. Backbreaker/leg drop combo gets 2 as DCFC systematically pick Sugarfoot apart. Super ugly flying headscissors manages to send Kory Chavis to the corner and allow Payne to get the hot tag to Dempsey. He goes mental on both opponents, finally flooring Rainman with an exploder then flattening Davis in the corner for the cannonball senton. Sugarfoot nearly falls off the top rope…as Davis hits the POOOOUUUUNCE on Bobby. Dark City Street Cutter on Payne to win in 06:42

Rating – * – Dempsey’s cameo was fun, Sugarfoot had a night to forget, and DCFC look pretty decent when squashing jobbers. In truth this didn’t really accomplish anything or provide anything that we haven’t seen before…and was complete filler so I’ve marked it down accordingly. Payne’s botches were pretty awful too…

Roderick Strong vs Nigel McGuinness

It’s billed as a ‘special challenge’ match, but in reality this is just something thrown together to give Nigel a main event level match to finish off his ROH commitments with. He has Bryan Danielson tomorrow in New York, and after giving Dragon a hell of a match at recent HDNet tapings, it’s Strong that has been chosen for McGuinness’ send off too. I don’t remember what show it was at but I remember Nigel and Strong had a really fun World Title match towards the end of Nigel’s reign so this certainly has potential.

Prazak and Hero start on an optimistic note by discussing how long into Roddy’s career it’ll be before he needs major knee surgery thanks to all the backbreakers. It’s a very cautious opening period as both guys trade holds at a pedestrian pace. That quickens as Roderick ducks a McLariat attempt and launches himself into a jumping heel kick. Camel clutch, then an elbow drop to the spine follow up, with Strong looking to work the back without necessarily trying anything as high risk as an explosive backbreaker. McGuinness hulks up and roars back with a volley of elbow smashes to put him on the mat. That Arm Submission locked in, Nigel now looking to work the arm as we’re accustomed to seeing him do. Wristlock suplex follows before he stomps the wrist into the canvas which forces Strong to retreat to the corner. Roddy looks for a chop, then a backbreaker, but finds his path blocked and Nigel ready to take him down again with an armwrench. Headstand into the mule kick draws a ‘same old sh*t’ chant, and that puts Nigel off his game for long enough to allow Strong to land a dropkick. Pumphandle backbreaker gets 2, but Strong is slow to follow as he tends to his wounded arm. Tower Of London countered to a falcon arrow. Stronghold briefly applied but the two men quickly spill outside the ring. McGuinness flings Strong shoulder-first to the railings, then brings him back in to score another nearfall with a shortarm McLariat. In a nice way to make two fairly contrived spots relevant, Nigel ducks the silly corner enzi kick Strong always does, then uses it as set up for a Super McLariat attempt. Tower Of London scores instead, into the Tower Of London which Roderick has to counter away from in a hurry. Jawbreaker Lariat COUNTERED TO THE STRONGHOLD IN THE ROPES! But as McGuinness falls out of the ring Roderick goes for a tope and gets whacked in the face. TORTURE RACK BACKBREAKER ON THE APRON INSTEAD! He thinks about the second rope Death By Roderick but finds it countered with a sunset flip bomb. London Dungeon applied, but again Strong counters to a pin. DEATH BY RODERICK! SICK KICK! GIBSON DRIVER! FOR 2! RELEASE GIBSON DRIVER! Strong picks up a huge win at 16:45

Rating – **** – Am I alone in really enjoying that? I know the crowd was pretty sullen, but I thought this was a fine technical battle. These two have always had good-but-not-great matches with each other (and again this fell squarely into that category) but this definitely felt like one of their better encounters. I was frustrated that neither seemed to be working too hard at selling the respective injuries, but they doggedly stuck to the arm/back body part work meaning much of the match moved with a purpose, and it worked into the finish with Roddy able to absorb the damage he’d taken before inflicting the final knockout blow on the body part he’d spent the match working on. I’ve not seen anyone else go this high when rating this one, so don’t shoot me if you don’t end up liking it as much as I did. But yeah, I was expecting this to be totally forgettable (much as with most of Nigel’s post-World Title ROH run) and it really took me by surprise.

Austin Aries/Rhett Titus vs Colt Cabana/Kenny Omega

There’s heat between Cabana and Titus after Colt inadvertently smashed Rhett’s eyebrow wide open on his way to defeating him during a big tag bout in Dayton last weekend. And that’s added spice to a match which already contains the World Champion Austin Aries and Kenny Omega, the guy who defeated him in Canada and has been gaining plentiful momentum as a future challenger for the belt.

Aries gets on the mic to tease an A-Double L-Double, then denies it to rag on Boston as a B-show town. Instead he challenges Cabana and Omega to prove their championship credentials. Cabana wins slapsies to he gets to start with Titus. Rhett is pissed and wants to beat the snot out of Colt, but struggles to get near him thanks to the frustrating European style. Aries comes to his protégé’s aid with back rakes, so the babyfaces hit a double back rake on the World Champ. Omega cranks up the pace on Titus, trapping both opponents in the corner in an inadvertent Bronco Buster situation. Rhett starts fighting with Cabana on the floor as Aries drops Kenny to the mat from the second rope, handing his team the advantage for the first time. Omega is stuck in the ring, dropped with the Sexy Suplex as Colt looks on from the apron. He tries a Stop Sign Enzi and gets slapped in the mouth by Aries…only to tumble away and make the hot tag to Colt anyway. Aries cuts of the Flying Asshole only to miss the IED and eat a frog crossbody from Omega for 2. Kenny is left alone in the ring, building momentum for a SOMERSAULT PLANCHA UP THE AISLE! Leapfrog Bulldog over Cabana’s knee on Titus, but Austin runs in to chopblock Kenny as he lines up the Electric Chair Suplex. ROLLING shinbreak back suplex, then the Impact Explosion Dropkick gets the champ a 2. ELECTRIC CHAIR SUPLEX ON ARIES! TITUS SAVES! Billy Goat’s Curse on him but Aries breaks it with a nut shot which allows Rhett to steal a win at 13:25

Rating – *** – solid mix of comedy and decent wrestling. Personally I thought it was a waste of Kenny Omega, and wasn’t as good as Aries/Rhett vs Cabana/Petey from Dayton, but still entertained me for nearly 15 minutes so I can’t be too critical.

Adding to the ppv-like feel of the new DVD releases, we go back to a number of replays from Steen/Edwards earlier…with Chris Hero confirming Eddie’s fractured elbow, throwing the fate of Ladder War 2 tomorrow in the balance.

Not that it matters to Davey Richards, who is in the locker room going through final prep ahead of the main event and biggest match of his ROH career thus far

Bryan Danielson vs Davey Richards

Although it’s taken a little longer for Ring Of Honor to push Richards as a main event level player (sure the Wolves have been getting a big push, but DGUSA and PWG had been promoting Davey as one of their top guys basically all year), he’s still the guy most have pegged as the guy to pick up the ‘best in the world’ mantle when Bryan leaves for the WWE. He gets his chance to stake his claim, and continue his preparation for the World Title shot he won in the Toronto Gauntlet, when he meets American Dragon in one of 2009’s most hotly anticipated bouts.

Richards hangs with Danielson in some early wrestling exchanges, and as a result gets so confident that he starts shoving him in the chest. Bryan retorts by flooring him with a single European uppercut, leaving Davey to storm out of the ring in anger. He regains his senses quickly, taking Bryan down into a Muta Lock. Danielson busts out a pretty nifty counter to that, nearly positioning himself for the Mexican Surfboard. Richards smiles at the stalemate between them, and once again shows comparable mat wrestling skills to Dragon by taking him down into a Fujiwara armbar. Danielson responds by punting the spine and viciously raking the face, which is testament to how much Davey has him rattled in the first 8 minutes. Richards lets the success go to his head though, and tries to climb the ropes for a high risk move. Dragon pursues him looking for the superplex, only for Richards to see it coming and deliver a divorce court from the second rope. In a flash Davey is all over that arm, working it hard then going to a Rings Of Saturn variant. To the top rope again, and with Danielson now injured, he stays down for long enough for Richards to leap into a diving headbutt to the shoulder.

He works a surfboard next, keeping the hold on for some time before Dragon powers out with a back suplex. Danielson starts to mount a comeback, but he fights one-armed and struggles to maintain it and gets taken down again into a cross armbreaker. Handspring Enzi follows next to draw the first significant nearfall. Bryan storms to the top again, coming off into a missile dropkick and bouncing straight up to deliver a running knee strike seconds later. To the top again, only for Davey to kick him and haul him off with a frankensteiner. Danielson tries an anklelock and although he can’t maintain the hold for too long thanks to the arm, he opens up an injury for the first time and soon has his opponent hobbled. Richards tries the Handspring Enzi again, but this time CRUMBLES and gets caught in another anklelock. LEG CAPTURE GERMAN SUPLEX! DAVEY NO SELLS AND LOCKS IN THE KIMURA! But Dragon rides it into the Triangle Choke! COUNTERED TO THE CLOVERLEAF! COUNTERED TO THE UNBREAKABLE SMALL PACKAGE FOR 2! Richards dropkicks Danielson to the floor…TOPE CON CRAZY NAILED! He winds up in Row 4, but leaves Dragon on the deck in his wake. Crucially, he comes up limping and selling that leg injury that Bryan has exposed. Both struggle back into the ring and trade strikes…with Davey going to a German suplex into the Kimura again. Bryan crawls to the apron to escape, and CATCHES Richards for a BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX TO THE FLOOR!

You know what Danielson taking it to the outside means. SPRINGBOARD SUICIDE DIVE INTO THE CROWD! John Laurinitis has an absolute seizure as he watches Dragon land ugly on a bunch of chairs right there. In the end Richards only just beats the count to get back inside to keep the match alive at 28 minutes. DUELLING KICKS! SLAPS! RUNNING ENZI BY DRAGON! CATTLE MUTILATION! But he can’t hold on that way…MMA ELBOWS! COUNTERED TO KAWADA KICKS! COUNTERED BACK TO MMA ELBOWS! KAWADA KICKS AGAIN! DRAGON SCREW! ALARM CLOCK! DR DRIVER! DANIELSON KICKS OUT! He just kicked out of Davey’s premier finishing move, so in a fit of desperation Richards takes him to the corner, thinking about an avalanche DR Driver. Danielson blocks it and nails the back superplex (and comes up still selling the arm). KICK YOUR HEAD IN STOMPS! TRIANGLE CHOKE! Davey tries to powerbomb out so Dragon picks at his elbow then floats back to Cattle Mutilation. NEVER ENDING MMA ELBOWS! He busts Richards’ nose open but still can’t put him down. Davey sends his shoulder to the ringpost…PRECISION MISSILE DROPKICK ON THE ARM! SHOOTING STAR PRESS! BRYAN KICKS…KIMURA AGAIN! DRAGON TAPS! Richards wins a classic at 36:06

Rating – ****1/2 – With a near-40 minute time allocation, this was clearly MEANT to be a classic match. That, coupled with the massive fan expectations meant these two came out under an enormous amount of pressure. They emphatically delivered the goods in a memorable, epic war which absolutely HAS to be seen. I’m not going to call it Davey’s breakout match since I think that happened as far back as the Marufuji singles match in 2007. As part of the American Wolves, he’s already been part of ROH’s best stuff in 2009, so calling this a ‘breakout’ is to belittle the amazing work he’s done with Eddie Edwards this year. But what this match did is solidify and legitimise his place at the Ring Of Honor main event table. Truthfully my only criticism comes in the uber-smarky form of selling issues…and I’ll preface that by saying that those ‘selling issues’ (i.e. both guys were pretty selective in where and when they opted to sell their respective injuries) didn’t impede my enjoyment of the match one iota. I was eating this up for the duration, but if you’re talking about taking a match from ROH MOTYC to a 5*, all time classic, I’m looking for those issues to be ironed out. But, don’t let them cloud your mind on what was an otherwise fantastically worked bout. The opening 10 minutes were all about putting Davey on Dragon’s level. He out-wrestled him, out-struck him and was the first guy to open up an injury when he started working over Bryan’s arm. Then came Danielson’s time to shine as he seized an opportunity and worked the leg with gusto. But again, it was a segment designed to get Davey over as it never felt like Bryan was doing as much damage to the leg as Richards had done to his arm. And that showed in the stretch as Davey was able to continually go to arm submissions, whilst Dragon opted to forego leg submission holds to work his usual variety of chokes and elbows. At first the crowd were pretty lousy, but only because they LOATHED Davey, didn’t seem to view him as a comparable calibre wrestler to Dragon and desperately wanted to see Bryan win as part of his Final Countdown Tour. By the end of it though, they were on the edge of their seat, and in just 36 minutes Davey went from hated no-hoper to believable conqueror of the self-proclaimed ‘Best In The World’. Mission accomplished…

Richards grabs the stick, stops fans chanting his name and says he doesn’t care about good guys and bad guys. He cares about ROH and having good matches, and calls it a privilege to perform with Danielson. And he takes the opportunity to silence the ROH doomsday theorists by proclaiming that this company is still the home of great pro-wrestling. Davey walks out to a standing ovation, and leaves the floor clear for Bryan to speak. ‘If I could make enough money to retire, honestly I’d never want to leave’ – Danielson. He calls Davey the best wrestler in ROH this year.

Tape Rating – *** – Most of the show was solid, and the fantastic main event means this joins the other two FCT shows as one of the best live events Ring Of Honor has produced all year. The main event is a total classic, and worth the price of the DVD by itself. I really liked Strong/Nigel a lot more than I was expecting to, and there was lots of other commendable wrestling, with a fresh undercard featuring a lot of performers who haven’t necessarily received the most bookings in the recent past. And we leave the show with key cliffhangers to be answered at Glory By Honor 8 tomorrow – like will Bryan actually win a match in his own Final Countdown Tour? And will Ladder War 2 even go ahead after Edwards fractured his elbow in his violent match with Kevin Steen tonight? I can’t speak highly enough for the three Final Countdown Tour DVD’s thus far, they’ve been an absolute shot in the arm to an ROH product which has seemed incredibly jaded for most of the year

Top 3 Matches

3) Kevin Steen vs Eddie Edwards (***)

2) Roderick Strong vs Nigel McGuinness (****)

1) Davey Richards vs Bryan Danielson (****1/2)

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