ROH 246 – Eye Of The Storm 2 – 18th December 2009
This show took place on the eve of Final Battle 2009, but travel problems winded up decimating the original card, with scheduled talent either arriving at the building late or not getting there at all. The majority of the show was re-written on the fly, with the resulting show not ranking amongst ROH’s best. Perhaps with the mediocre sales figures for recent releases like Boiling Point and Reverse The Curse ringing in their ears, ROH made the decision to scrap an individual DVD release, instead opting to package this event as a free ‘bonus show’ with Final Battle 2009. Considering how much of the ‘core’ fanbase would already have purchased Final Battle 2009 once via iPPV, it’s also a generous move to give those fans an incentive to invest in the DVD release as well. The execution of this idea is a little weird though. Final Battle 2009 arrives as a 2-disc set. Fair enough you’d say, one DVD per show – job done. Well not quite. Disc 1 features the first two matches from the Eye Of The Storm 2 event, as well as the majority of the Final Battle card…whilst Disc 2 features the majority of the Eye Of The Storm show, as well as the Final Battle main event? Confusing right? Anyway, tonight we’re in Manassas, VA. Talent that has made it to the building includes Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Tyler Black, the Wolves, the Briscoes, the Young Bucks, Steen and Generico…as well as talent from Mexico as Alex Koslov and Rocky Romero both make returns to ROH tonight. Commentary is from Dave Prazak and Eric Santamaria.
Adam Pearce/Matt Classic vs The Set
This one reeks of panic booking. Adam Pearce steps out from behind the booker desk and puts on his tights for the first time in a while…whilst Colt Cabana pulls double duty to don a mask and bring his mysterious ‘Matt Classic’ persona from Wrestling Society X (more of that promotion when I take a break between ROH 2009 & 2010) to Ring Of Honor for the first time. The Set have made a couple of HDNet appearances, with Lance Lude most recently taking a beating from Steve Corino.
Cabana’s ‘mysterious’ Matt Classic voice is amusing as hell. He floors Lude with a shoulder tackle then heads to his corner for some push ups. Somehow Lance sends both opponents to the floor, then hits the ropes in front of J-Sinn for an assisted BACK BODY DROP SENTON to the floor. Double team spear combo from The Set, then Sinn swings Lude into a big leg drop for 2. Pearce in to decapitate Lude with a clothesline, then effortlessly drop him with a backbreaker. Classic tags to work some more basic holds as Prazak teases talking about WSX before saying Matt has television experience ‘from the 50’s when it was black and white’. Amusingly he starts coaching Adam from the apron, helping him work more devastating submission holds on the hapless Lance Lude. SWINGING IRON CLAW! Finally he misses a Stinger Splash and gets the hot tag to J-Sinn. Neckbreaker gets 2 before Classic breaks it with an inadvertent elbow drop on his own partner. Assisted swinging DDT gets The Set another nearfall after Pearce accidentally shunts Matt out of the ring. SNAPMARE LEG DROP! Then Sinn drops off the second rope with a big splash to give The Set victory at 09:12
Rating – ** – Amusing stuff, although it went a little long. I guess that’s understandable considering they were obviously stalling for time to wait for more workers to get to the building. It’s a shame Cabana had to bring the Matt Classic persona to ROH under these circumstances. I’ll go into more detail during my WSX review, but Cabana under that hood is so much fun – here he pulls double duty and didn’t get to explore the character of the out-dated, masked catch-as-catch-can guy as he did on MTV a few years ago.
Sonjay Dutt vs Grizzly Redwood
We come into this fresh off Dutt’s best ROH match thus far – his losing effort in the most recent ROH on HDNet where he pushed Tyler Black to the limit in their Pick 6 match. He’ll look to get back to winning ways against Grizzly tonight. Redwood, as an ROH Academy graduate, will be fighting for the honour of Daizee Haze – a trainer at the ROH school and someone who Dutt has abused a fair amount on recent shows.
Dutt jumps Redwood before the bell and takes the fight to the Littlest Lumberjack without even taking his do-rag off. Grizzly knocks Sonjay out of the ring with a shoulder tackle. Back inside they botch an atomic drop spot, but Dutt saves things quickly by clobbering Grizz with a big clothesline. Snapmare from Dutt, which gets a big pop from Manassas following the events of the last show in this building – Contention. The pops for that move annoy Sonjay, so he teases a third one in succession before aborting it to lock in a cravat. He then steals Redwood’s straps, fastening them to his own attire in another unpopular move. Redwood quickens the pace with a sliding bulldog for 2. Sonjay rolls in the ropes to hit a kick, and follows it with a guillotine leg drop in the ropes and a springboard splash for 2. Quebrada nailed, and Dutt is now actively declining to cover Redwood and go for victory. That cockiness comes back to haunt him as Redwood surprises him with a roll-up for 3 at 07:44
Rating – ** – They kept it short, and Dutt was pretty fun in his heel work which meant the match never felt dull. The finish also gave Grizzly Redwood a popular victory (and one he deserves given some of his recent performances) without necessarily weakening Sonjay all that much.
Dutt is a sore loser and puts Redwood in the Camel Clutch after the match. It’s not enough to take the smile off Grizzly’s face when the referee finally gets to raise his hand in victory though.
Kenny Omega (6) vs Rhett Titus – Pick 6 Series Match
It’s been covered when Kenny King was challenging for a spot in the Pick 6, but the goal for either he or Rhett Titus when to get into the Pick 6 is to block one of those spots off, effectively reducing the number of competitors able to go after their mentor, World Champion Austin Aries. Omega will be desperate for a rematch with Aries after his epic challenge at The Omega Effect, so needs to keep his #6 spot with a win here.
Omega starts by working the strangest Fujiwara armbar I’ve ever seen. Seriously, it involves convulsing, hand licking, simulated masturbation and more. Great counter-wrestling from Titus moments later to avoid one of Kenny’s trademark devastating suplexes. He then shows knowledge of Kenny’s usual rope-run spots, opting to hold off before stomping the Canadian in the face. Omega blocks the Sexy Suplex in response to rattle off a flurry of big chops. The moron at the bottom of the hard cam holding up a ‘SNAPMARE’ sign is really pissing me off by the way. Kenny hiptosses Rhett out of the ring then dives through the ropes into a baseball slide dropkick. Simulated oral sex from Kenny, then a snapmare/huge pop/dropkick to the neck combo for 2. Titus hides behind referee Todd Sinclair, hopping out from behind him to hit his big dropkick. Catapult into the bottom rope follows and suddenly Rhettski has Omega on the rack. Kenny tries some stiff kicks only to get thumbed in the eyes and throttled over the ropes again. HOTSHOT sends him over the ropes for the third time in quick succession and gets Titus a close nearfall. MAFIA KICK AGAINST THE RINGPOST! The crowd are being dicks and arguing amongst themselves, which is a shame because they’re missing a great match here. Titus continues to focus on the neck by grabbing the hair and using it to toss Kenny into an overhead belly to belly suplex. Having hit some high impact stuff, he slows the pace right down to work chinlocks and grounded headscissors, attacking the neck and giving him some time to pose for the ladies at ringside. The headscissors nearly turns into a bad decision as Omega rolls him over going for Croyt’s Wrath, but his neck is too damaged. Vicious dropkick fells Rhettski and both men take their time on the mat recovering now. Canadian Hammers from Omega, then a delayed spinning heel kick for 2. Titus misses his Thrustbuster, allowing Omega to counter with his version – the Leapfrog Bulldog. Croyt’s Wrath attempted….but once again Titus grabs the official, this time using the distraction to kick Omega in the nuts. FLIPPING NECKBREAKER…FEET ON THE ROPES! Kenny STILL manages a kick-out. He fires back with a springboard dropkick, then the HEAD DROP DRAGON SUPLEX FOR 2! Frog Crossbody…COUNTERED WITH THE ROPE RUN SUPER SEX FACTOR! Titus thinks about a Muff Driver from the turnbuckles, but Omega gets away and hits the HADOUKEN STRIKE! CROYT’S WRATH! Kenny retains his spot in the Pick 6 at 15:42
Rating – *** – I know everyone is already picking guys like Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Tyler Black or Kenny Omega for 2009 breakout star…but I’d also put Rhett Titus in that bracket. Sure he’s not as far up the card as those guys, but then he started from a lot further back. At the end of 2008 he’d just started his team with Kenny King, and was still struggling to get the stink of ROH student off him. This year we’ve seen him morph into an outstanding midcard wrestler. His grasp of his character just gets better and better (check out his Glory By Honor 8 match with Cabana for proof of that), and so does his wrestling skill. Here the negative circumstances (weather and travel problems) gave him a chance to work a much longer match than he probably would have done otherwise, and he totally delivered. Had we cut out a couple of little miscommunication errors, had a less annoying crowd, and seen Omega even try to sell the neck Titus had spent several minutes working over I’d have been happy to give him his first 4* singles match. Of course Kenny is an exciting athlete and is deservedly getting a whole lot of exposure around the world right now and he was obviously busting his ass to help Rhett look good – but Titus was the story here. Superb performance from him. He’s already the undisputed crown jewel and prize graduate of the ROH Wrestling Academy. I’m looking for he and King to continue to climb the tag ranks in 2010, and hopefully get a few more singles matches too.
Erick Stevens/Bison Smith vs Kevin Steen/El Generico
Tonight The Embassy are represented by arguably the most powerful tag team unit ever assembled in ROH. Stevens recently defected to join Nana’s troops as some added muscle for the group – and having secured Bison for a couple of shows at the end of the year, you’d almost consider them the favourites considering the fact that one of their opponents (Kevin Steen) is reportedly being affected by such bad knee injuries he will be announcing his retirement at Final Battle tomorrow night.
Steen limps heavily just coming to the ring, which gives you an idea of his physical condition coming into this. And given that Generico still competes wearing a heavy knee brace after his knee problems earlier in the year, you have to fear for their safety against their sizeable opponents (although Stevens had already started dropping weight at this point). Stevens tries to shut down all the Ole chanting in the early going, and after taking a few armdrags, he steamrolls through the luchador with a big knee to the gut. Bison tagged, and even though Steen wants the tag, Generico opts to protect his partner and face up with Smith himself. He tries shoulder tackles, much to Kevin’s dismay, and gets nowhere. Blind tag from Steen who runs in behind Generico and finally does manage to take Bison off his feet. But Steen’s knee is already hurt, and when he powers Smith up for a vertical suplex, he comes up screaming and hopping in pain. Generico tagged, and immediately gets thrown out of the ring by Smith where Stevens, Nana and Ernesto are all waiting to attack. GUARDRAIL LEAPING FOOTBALL TACKLE BY SMITH! Meanwhile Erick kicks Steen’s knee out from under him. He then tags in to get 2 on El Generico with the Embassy Elbow. Just like in his recent match with Necro Butcher, he tries to wear his opponent down with a Bear Hug. Tag to Steen who delivers a missile dropkick then a LIMPING cannonball senton. Generico wipes Bison out with a pescado as Kevin does more damage to his own leg with the pumphandle cradlebreaker. STEEN-TON into Stevens’ knees, so Generico tags in with the rope run tornado DDT for 2 instead. Prince Nana and Ernesto interfere to damage Steen’s knee again, leaving Stevens to line up the Choo Choo. YAKUZA KICK BLOCKS! Smith saves Stevens from the Brainbuster and they hit a DOOMSDAY TACKLE! DOCTOR BOMB! Embassy win at 10:31
Rating – *** – Pretty basic, but it continued the story of Steen’s knee falling apart before our eyes, and kept The Embassy’s momentum going after picking up a few victories. I thought the power duo of Stevens and Smith were surprisingly fun too.
Chris Hero (3) vs Colt Cabana – Pick 6 Series Match
At the end of Reverse The Curse Jim Cornette promised Colt he’d get him a Pick 6 Match as soon as possible to make up for the tremendously disappointing nature of his loss to Aries in their Steel Cage Match. The HDNet Executive Producer has lived up to his word and given Colt a shot at the #3 ranked athlete here. And given that Chris Hero is preparing for a Fight Without Honor with nemesis Eddie Kingston in New York tomorrow, his mind may be on that match and provide Colt with a real window to sneak into the Pick 6 standings at his expense.
It’s someone in the crowd’s birthday, so Colt retrieves party hats for he and Todd Sinclair. Chris Hero wants no part of that obviously. Todd then checks Colt’s knee pads and pulls out a suspiciously placed Matt Classic mask. Hero tries to throw an elbow and immediately gets captured in some of Colt’s European-style chain wrestling. It’s not like Hero is a slouch in that style, but Cabana’s proficiency, coupled with his knack of irritating his opponents takes Chris totally off his game. Five minutes in and it’s been all Colt Cabana thus far. Finally Shane Hagadorn gets involved and trips Cabana, allowing Hero to take advantage with a Flash Kick in the ropes. He goes to his usual routine of pummelling his opponent with an assortment of big strikes, heckled by this unpleasant Manassas crowd with chants of ‘Hero’s Boring’. Roaring Elbow blocked though, and Cabana goes into a flurry of pinning combinations which nearly draw him the victory. Big Daddy Splash gets 2 as well. Billy Goat’s Curse blocked though, and Hero sends Cabana to the floor with a Flash Kick out of the corner. Hagadorn is waiting out there to lay in some cheap shots before tossing Colt back inside the ring. Rolling Elbow rattles Cabana’s skull and gets Hero a nearfall…but when he tries it a second time Colt is in place to counter with a leaping ass strike. Second rope butt butt next…but Shane stops him hitting the Flying Asshole. FLYING ASSHOLE BLOCKED WITH THE LOADED ELBOW! Hero wins at 12:40
Rating – *** – Fought at an extremely slow, methodical pace…I highly doubt this will be everyone’s cup of tea. However, I thought that, slow as it was, they told a really logical story out there and I really dig that in a wrestling match. Colt’s comedy stuff took Hero off his game, Hero evened the score with his striking ability…and in the end they were evenly matched necessitating Hagadorn’s intervention and the Golden Elbow Pad to finally put Cabana down. This is a free bonus feature show, I’m not expecting MOTYC-level classics on this event…so I actually found myself entertained with this match.
Young Bucks vs Austin Aries/Kenny King
We’ve seen Aries team with Rhett Titus quite a lot, so I’m looking forward to changing things up and watching him team up with the Pretty Boy Pitbull here tonight. King has been on a roll as of late – even taking into consideration his Pick 6 defeat to Delirious this week on HDNet. The Bucks meanwhile are preparing for their third crack at beating Kevin Steen and El Generico tomorrow night. Having previously lost to them at Contention and Aries vs Richards, they are desperate to defeat the former ROH Tag Champions and have challenged them to a third and final rematch.
Aries gets on the stick and accuses the Young Bucks of stealing his spotlight with their highspots and 80’s ring attire. To that end, he and Kenny King have matching ugly 80’s trunks to oppose them here tonight. He wants to beat the Jacksons and leave quickly so he isn’t snowed in and stuck in Manassas. This is all mixed in with him calling them ‘Tito and Jermaine’ then joining Kenny in mocking the Young Bucks trademark poses. He starts with Matt Jackson, stealing one of his boot tassels to further mock the Bucks. That comes back to haunt him as Matt grabs the tassels from their new hiding place in Austin’s trunks to start choking him with them. Kenny tagged, and he falls victim to the usual quickness of the Bucks. I mark out hard as Aries rushes the ring and breaks up the machine gun tags/top rope double stomp spot the Jacksons do in every match to hand his team the advantage once again. But he inadvertently lays out his own partner with a flying knee strike…and before long both Aries and King have retreated to the floor. The Jacksons hit the rapid tagging double stomp then the backflip/stereo dropkick combo…then the neckbreaker/backbreaker sequence all in quick succession. Thankfully Aries stops them hitting another ‘we do it in every match’ combo when he low bridges and stops Matt doing the somersault dive through Nick’s legs to the floor. STEREO CARTWHEEL STOMPS by Aries and King. Kenny then gets 2 by dancing into a big clothesline in the corner on Matt. HULKAMANIA COMBO from the World Champion’s team, before Matt finally hits back with the springboard corkscrew blockbuster on King. Hot tag to Nick, and this time they do land that somersault senton combo to leave everyone lying on the floor dazed. Slingshot facebuster gets 2 on Kenny, before the Bucks get another nearfall with a double stomp/inverted DDT. More Bang For Your Buck blocked with the Back Rake from Aries. SHOTGUN KNEES…IED FOLLOWS! MODIFIED MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK blocked by Matt, and Aries ends up flooring his own partner with the IED. MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! Matt pins Kenny King in 12:54
Rating – *** – I know every DVD show is technically a house show now ROH has TV and iPPV, but this felt very much like a house show match. All four guys were working well within themselves, but covered that up by using lots of clever shortcuts and comedy spots which meant they still entertained the hell out of me. Had the Bucks come along earlier I think a 2008 Team Work vs Young Bucks match could have been really special, but even now I thought Aries had great chemistry with the Jacksons. His arrogant, deliberately low key wrestling style is such a natural contrast to the all-action, spot-heavy style of the Bucks that they worked very well opposing one another.
Aries and King get into a major argument as they leave the ring…
Roderick Strong vs Tyler Black
Although the DVD cover implies this is a Pick 6 Match, it’s not introduced as one by Bobby Cruise. Instead these guys are getting a 30-minute time limit, since working within the confines of (most) Pick 6 Matches and the 20-minute time limit meant these two rivals could only manage a draw at The Omega Effect recently. Black defeated Strong in the finals of Survival Of The Fittest, but only after a controversial pinfall, and that’s a win Roddy is still desperate to avenge. Tonight may be his chance as Tyler HAS to be distracted by the prospect of cashing in the title shot he win at SOTF tomorrow night in the main event of ROH’s first ever iPPV.
As you’d expect, these two are very familiar with each other now, and that leads to a slow paced opening exchange as they feel each other out with some basic wrestling holds. Roderick steps it up first, pinning Black in the corner to deliver a big series of chops and forearms. He’s right on the back with a camel clutch but he isn’t able to pin Tyler down in the hold for an extended period of time. Grounded abdominal stretch next, working that body part without taking any major risks which could lead to an opening for Tyler to capitalise on. Back to the camel clutch, with Prazak pointing out that Roddy is wrenching back on the neck – another well-documented weak spot on Tyler. This dickhead crowd are ignoring the solid body part work to chant ‘fallaway slam’ for no reason. Credit to them for braving the adverse whether, but they’ve been trying to get themselves over with unfunny sh*t like that all night and it’s really distracting. Tyler makes a comeback but takes too long in the corner and gets dropped on his back once again with a big powerslam for 2. With Black now suitably beaten down, Strong finally feels comfortable hitting a few backbreakers, before going right back to the grounded stuff with a rear bear hug. Finally Black fights free, ducks under Roddy’s jumping heel kick and breaks out something new – a SHINING WIZARD to put him down.
Then he blocks Strong’s enzi in the corner spot, catching him for an Alabamaslam for 2. Springboard Lariat blocked…so is the urinage backbreaker though, and Tyler knocks Strong to the floor with a dropkick. He flies out after him seconds later with a somersault plancha, but takes a long time recovering from that thanks to the damage done to his back. Cradle backbreaker from Strong when they go back inside, then the urinage backbreaker for 2. REGALPLEX nailed for another nearfall from Strong. Peroxism countered into a Side Effect, dropping Black on that back again. But Tyler fires back out of nowhere with the Black Star Press…only to come up clutching his own ribs. Despite the pain he thinks about the Phoenix Splash, only for Roddy to catch him in the corner. Springboard Lariat instead, and then the F-5. Buckle Bomb blocked though, and Strong turns it into another urinage backbreaker then a splash mountain cutter for another nearfall. Death By Roderick…SICK KICK BLOCKED WITH THE PELE KICK! GIBSON DRIVER ON STRONG GETS 2! TORTURE RACK BACKBREAKER nailed and Roderick responds with devastating force. BACK SUPLEX ON THE APRON! But still Tyler refuses to stay down! GOD’S LAST GIFT ON TYLER! Tyler retorts with another Pele Kick…THEN GETS FLOORED WITH SICK KICK! ROLLING GIBSON DRIVERS! Roddy finally beats Tyler at 21:07.
Rating – **** – For spontaneous excitement the Survival Of The Fittest finale was better, but I marginally preferred this to The Omega Effect…and all three are well worth checking out. What I loved about this is that it felt like these guys had wrestled a bunch of times before. There were lots of counter spots, lots of times where both men were trying different holds to those which they usually work to try and damage an opponent who has all their usual stuff scouted. The finisher theft stuff was cool, and (even if it was slightly botched) the rolling Gibson Drivers were a pretty sick pay-off to Roderick spending 21 minutes decimating Tyler’s back. Crowd was absolutely terrible though. I have been moaning about quiet crowds on HDNet and at recent live events. I’d MUCH rather fans were silent and watched the matches than this environment where segments of fans act like total pricks. I was SO glad Roddy didn’t bow to fan pressure and hit a fallaway slam just to spite them.
Davey Richards/Eddie Edwards/Alex Koslov vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe/Rocky Romero
I’m sure this wasn’t the originally scheduled main event, but even in these thrown together circumstances I’m slightly puzzled by these teams. You have Koslov, a guy who is patriotically Russian and carries a Russian flag to the ring somehow teaming with the AMERICAN Wolves, whilst you have Rocky Romero, a guy who has had multiple issues with the Briscoes in the past teaming with them against Davey Richards – a guy he once held the Tag Titles with. It’s not like Richards turned on him when the No Remorse Corps broke down…although clearly Rocky is feeling pissed off that Davey broke up their group, found a new partner and left Romero out of ROH altogether. Koslov and Romero are being brought in from Mexico which is their base at the moment, and were initially being brought in along other international, Mexican-based guys Jack Evans and Teddy Hart. Travel problems have stopped Hart and Jack making their returns tonight, with their status for tomorrow night in question too. Apparently Koslov and Romero have a rivalry in Mexico though, so they will provide a comfortable supplement to this – a prelude to the big Wolves/Briscoes Tag Title showdown tomorrow night in Manhattan on iPPV.
Eddie Edwards, in his first match since Ladder War 2, comes in with his fractured elbow in a heavy brace. Rocky and Davey don’t take long to face off, with Romero clearly bitter about the way their team fizzled out thanks to Richards. They start the match together in kickboxing stances, dancing round the ring and throwing initial kick attempts at each other. Davey then makes himself de facto babyface by taking him over with a snapmare. Rocky retaliates with his own snapmare and sends Richards all the way out of the ring. BIG SLAP knocks Davey back and Romero follows up with a big kick then floats into a cross armbreaker. COUNTERED TO THE TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! But Rocky small packages out of that and they go to an RVD/Lynn-style near-miss kick sequence before vacating the ring. Mark and Edwards in next, Mark still bitter about the injury the Wolves gave him a year ago which caused him to miss six months of competition. Koslov/Jay next, with Alex calling out the commies in the building with a big ‘Russia’ chant. TRIPLE THREAT FALLAWAY SLAMS from the babyface team, and the stupid minority of fallaway slam fans in Manassas go wild. Davey grabs his belt, puts on Koslov’s hat then leads his team in a walkout. Finally they come back, and Richards immediately wishes he hadn’t as he gets isolated in the ring by Rocky and the Briscoes. He tags Edwards, who storms into the ring with Koslov to focus on Mark. Dragon screw in the ropes from Davey to Mark, then Alex pounces on him to deliver more damage to that body part. Richards back and he heels it up by teasing a snapmare, aborts it then throws Mark out of the ring where Eddie is waiting to toss him into the railings instead.
Briscoe goes for the urinage suplex only for Richards to roll through and lock in an INVERTED cloverleaf. REDNECK KARATE…then the hot tag to Jay. He lays both Wolves out in the middle of the ring, allowing Romero to dive onto both of them with a double crossbody. Jay Driller blocked though, and Koslov distracts Briscoe for long enough for Richards to recover and kick him in the face. Edwards catches Jay in the corner but doesn’t manage to pull of the Backpack Stunner and allows Jay to turn it round into the turnbuckle flatliner at 15 minutes. Babyface triple team spots on Eddie now, and together they cut him off from his partners for a couple of minutes. Cut-Throat Driver blocked…then Richards arrives for the Double Alarm Clock. Koslov is here too, for a DOUBLE SUPERKICK/GERMAN SUPLEX COMBO! STRIKE DUEL between Eddie and Mark. URINAGE SUPLEX…NO SOLD! LARIATOOOOO! Tags all round mean that at last Romero and Koslov get to renew their rivalry on American soil. Everyone lays out everyone else one after another, and we find ourselves with six bodies strewn across the canvas in a heap. The Briscoes and the Wolves are the first four men up, having a big slug-out then eliminating each other from the match by fighting all the way to the back. Koslov dons his hat for COSSACK STOMPS that draw a 2-count on Rocky. Reverse enzi kick from Romero flips Alex inside out and draws his own nearfall. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA UP THE AISLE BY KOSLOV! FROG SPLASH GETS 2! He then nearly decapitates the former ROH Tag Champion with a superkick but still can’t win. Russian Leg Sweep countered with a German suplex. KNOCK OUT KICK! Romero wins at 22:54
Rating – **** – Super-fun main event match. Granted the Romero/Koslov ending, having taken the ROH guys out, felt a little flat, but everything before that was done at such a quick pace and with such precision, you couldn’t help but have a good time. Considering this was a thrown together, emergency main event, I think it delivered beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. I possibly wanted to see more ‘heat’ between the American Wolves and the Briscoes considering they have a big title match tomorrow, but that’s a minor quibble. Throwing a match like this out for free as a bonus feature is a real classy move by ROH.
The Briscoes return to the ring and ominously grab the ROH Tag Titles. Alex Koslov skulks away, angrily demanding he gets a singles match with Romero tomorrow night in New York.
Tape Rating – *** – As a standalone this maybe isn’t quite 3*. Most of it is really solid stuff, but nothing jumps out as must-see. The main event was fun, but thrown together and Final Battle gets the big matches in those feuds with Briscoes/Wolves and Romero/Koslov set for New York. And the Strong/Tyler match was good too, but their Mississauga match was on a better show (The Omega Effect) and their SOTF finale exchanges were better making it the least signicant of the three. HOWEVER, considering this is a show being given away for FREE, I’m bumping the rating up. Anyone expecting this show to rattle off classic after classic is obviously going to be mistaken. If that was the case, this show would be getting it’s own DVD. Honestly, I thought it would have to be absolutely terrible to convince ROH that there was no merit in selling it whatsoever…and truthfully I was surprised by how good it was. There’s good comedy (the two Cabana matches in particular), Omega/Titus was Rhett’s best singles match to date. The Team Aries/Young Bucks tag match was entertaining as hell, and the two main events emphatically delivered. Honestly this is a much better show than Unscripted 3 or Eye Of The Storm, and both of those events got their own DVD’s. This is a great way for ROH to give back to fans who purchased both the iPPV and DVD release of Final Battle 2009…make sure you check it out.
Top 3 Matches
3) Kenny Omega vs Rhett Titus (***)
2) Roderick Strong vs Tyler Black (****)
1) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe/Rocky Romero vs Davey Richards/Eddie Edwards/Alex Koslov (****)