137 ROH Fifth Year Festival: Chicago 2/24/2007
ROH 137 – Fifth Year Festival: Chicago – 24th February 2007
Anybody that says tag team wrestling is dead needs to take a look at this show. In an 8-match card I count a whopping four tag matches. Ring Of Honor’s fifth birthday party arrives in Chicago, and they’ll be hoping to put on a show after relatively disappointing efforts in Philadelphia and Dayton (although I liked the Philly show). Top of the bill is Samoa Joe’s farewell to ROH in the States. He teams with Homicide against the NOAH team of Takeshi Morishima and his apparent spokesman Nigel McGuinness. Colt Cabana tries to settle the score with Jimmy Jacobs in his hometown. The Briscoes finally get their shot at the Tag Titles and Austin Aries picks someone to help him combat the newly formed No Remorse Corps. We’re in Chicago, IL. Not the usual venue in Chicago Ridge but a new, more central location. Unfortunately the complex appears to be surrounded by numerous other indoor sports facilities so a barrage of whistles and general sports noise can be heard throughout the show. It’s a little distracting. Hosts are, of course, Dave Prazak and Leonard Leonard.
ROH VIDEO WIRE (22/02/07) – See Fifth Year Festival Dayton (ROH 136) review for details. Not that you’d need to. There’s no new material on there.
Continuing from last night, it turns out Aries was talking to…Matt Cross, CJ Otis and Trik Davis. Does he really want/need ANY of those three to fight the NRC? Aside from M-Dogg these guys are total nobodies, and Cross has barely secured a roster spot himself. Anyway, Aries is watching their match.
Claudio Castagnoli vs Brent Albright
This is an intriguing way to start the show. It’s a first time match between two of the bigger guys on the roster. It’s not like either are slouches in the wrestling department either so we could be in for another solid opening match. Albright is being paid by Larry Sweeney to beat up Claudio tonight.
So despite yelling at fans all the way to the ring, I suppose Castagnoli is a babyface in this, but has to deal with Sweeney at ringside as well as his formidable opponent. Larry seems to be pissing Albright off as much as he’s annoying Double C though. Finally Claudio tries to attack Sweet’n’Sour, which allows Brent to take him down on the floor. The hired gun then slows everything down to a snails pace as he takes a methodical approach to beating on Claudio. The silent crowd makes all the whistling from the neighbouring gymnasium even more irritating. Five minutes in and Larry Sweeney has been more fun to watch than the match. He grabs one of Castagnoli’s boots to distract him as he looks to mount a comeback against the dominant Albright. The Shooter starts working chinlocks which isn’t exactly exciting but at least draws a hint of crowd interest. Castagnoli breaks and unleashes a series of Euro uppercuts then gets 2 with the Match Killer. Brent looks for the Crowbar but Claudio blocks it with the Alpamare Water Slide. He tries to finish with the Riccola Bomb but this time Albright does lock in the Crowbar. Despite Sweeney’s best efforts Double C does find the ropes. 619 knee nailed, followed by a swinging neckbreaker but Claudio kicks out. Castagnoli knocks Albright back with a springboard uppercut. He escapes the Crowbar again and hits the Riccola Bomb…for 2. Sweeney again distracts Castagnoli allowing Albright to hit the KOBASHI-PLEX! Albright wins at 11:38.
Rating – ** – I think I’m being pretty generous with that rating. Until the decent last few minutes that was hella-dull. They achieved what they needed to from a storyline point of view, that being furthering the issue between Larry Sweeney and Claudio, but this could’ve been an engaging and fresh match as opposed to the snoozefest we actually got.
MsChif/Serena Deeb vs Dangerous Angels
This is the second time during the Fifth Year Festival that we’ve seen the Dangerous Angels (Allison Danger and Sara Del Rey) used in SHIMMER exhibition action. They beat Daizee Haze and Alexa Thatcher in barely a minute in New York, a match which marked the ROH debut of their team. Tonight they have MsChif (making her first ROH appearances since Wrestlemania weekend 2006) and the debuting Serena. I’ve only seen one of her SHIMMER matches thus far (I’m a little behind on my reviews of that promotion) so I can’t tell you a great deal about her.
Lenny Leonard is impressed with the initial chaining of Deeb and Del Rey, with Serena in particular looking pretty smooth in what is a big match for her. She dishes out numerous armdrags on both Angels in an impressive opening stint in the ring. Danger and MsChif go to town with stiff forearms until Allison takes her green opponent over with a Lovelace Choker for 2. Del Rey boots MsChif so hard she is almost launched backwards into the ropes. Allison dishes out a bean Curb kick, then has Sara hold Chif in the ropes allowing her to hit a running spear to the exposed midsection. MsChif hits Code Green on Del Rey and makes a hot tag to Serena. Rolling cradle between her and Danger until they get stuck in the ropes. Del Rey DESTROYS Deeb with a Samoan drop then gives her the Royal Butterfly. Danger is fighting MsChif so that’s enough for a Dangerous Angels win at 07:27.
Rating – ** – Again, that’s probably a generous rating but the crowd were more into this than they were with Albright/Castagnoli so it deserves an equal rating. In truth it was solid but nothing memorable. Basically like every other SHIMMER special attraction match. Until they let two of these women go at it in a 15-20 minute SHIMMER-style match people will continue to not care about female wrestling in Ring Of Honor, and it will continue to be nothing more than forgettable filler.
Cut to Colt Cabana delivering perhaps the longest and most boring promo in Ring Of Honor history. Essentially he reflects on his issues with Jimmy Jacobs and vows to end it tonight. I get the feeling I was supposed to be impressed by this, but it almost put me to sleep.
CJ Otis vs Trik Davis vs Matt Cross vs Shingo
I doubt Shingo is ecstatic about coming halfway across the world to wrestle these guys. Trik has been ROH’s designated Midwest jobber for around a year now and hasn’t looked like breaking out. I just watched some of Otis’ stuff in another promotion and he’s actually not bad. Long way before he’s ready for ROH though. Cross put in another solid showing in last night’s show-stealing Six Man Mayhem and is as likely as anyone to catch Austin Aries’ eye (remember, Austin is watching them).
Cross misses a standing moonsault on Davis before we go to Shingo/CJ. It’s actually Otis that gets the better of that exchange before tagging out to M-Dogg again. Shingo drops Cross and Trik with a flatliner/DDT combo. He and Otis isolate Davis in the ring, making Trik like a total b*tch in the process. Eventually Trik nails a tornado lungblower on Shingo and edges over for a hot tag to Cross. Davis gets into a fight with Shingo, but the Japanese competitor is miles too powerful and gets 2 with the Gallon Throw, despite neither being legal. M-Dogg springs off the ropes before flinging Trik out to the floor onto everyone else in the match. SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP wipes out all three of his opponents. But CJ recovers quickly and drops Matt with a Saito suplex. Shingo is in as well, and he assists Otis in hitting a chop German suplex. Last Falconry gets 2 before Otis breaks the fall. SHINGO LARIATO on Davis as Cross and Otis fight each other. M-Dogg gets 2 with a springboard double stomp. SHINGO LARIATO for CJ, but Davis knocks him out of the ring for a tope suicida. M-Dogg is on the top rope. CROSSFIRE on Otis. He wins at 11:04.
Rating – * – Had some exciting moments but it was boring for the most part and looked rubbish at the end with a total disregard for the legal man, with Trik Davis in particular looking miles out of his league with somebody like Shingo. Jason Cross’ Crossfire is miles better than M-Dogg’s too.
Matt Cross impressed Austin Aries with his performance, so Aries asks him to join his group to fight the No Remorse Corps. He agrees…and promptly has to fight off the NRC as Strong and Richards try to sneak attack the pair of them. Delirious appears to go after Strong too…
Jimmy Rave vs BJ Whitmer
Apparently this one has come about because Rave made BJ tap to the Heel Hook last time we were in Chicago (during the big 8-man tag on Night 2 of The Chicago Spectacular). In reality both these two are focused on other things. BJ Whitmer still has Jimmy Jacobs to worry about, whilst Jimmy Rave ends his feud with Nigel McGuinness in Liverpool at the end of the Fifth Year Festival.
Rave knees Whitmer off the apron during his entrance which is fine since BJ’s entrance takes way too long anyway. He then uses his needless ring vest to choke on him. It doesn’t take Whitmer too long to recover though, tossing Rave around as the match hits the ring for the first time. He looks like he’s working the back/neck but the commentators have lost interest and are making a few predictable jokes about British weather and fish and chips ahead of the Liverpool shows. Jimmy regains control and slows the pace down even further without doing anything of particular interest. Whitmer tries to get the fans interest with some crowd-pleasing chops and an exploder suplex that leaves both men down. Rave blocks a brainbuster but stumbles through the ropes, allowing Whitmer to hit a tope suicida. He pulls the mats aside to expose the concrete floor but Jimmy takes advantage by back body dropping him onto it. The spear and Ghanarea get 2. Whitmer fights off Greetings From Ghana and catches Rave coming off the top rope with another exploder for 2. He thinks about a super powerbomb, which is AWESOME psychology because that’s how he beat Jimmy Rave way back in 2003 at Glory By Honor 2. Rave blocks it this time but Whitmer comes off the top for a regular powerbomb anyway. Heel Hook blocked, so Rave rolls him up with feet on the ropes for a cheap win at 10:51.
Rating – * – Holy cow that was boring. If Colt’s promo earlier didn’t put you to sleep this could’ve done. I know this wasn’t a “big” match for these two, but that was a totally phoned-in effort. Both these two are men that need something to make the fans care about them (Nana for Rave, BJ has had hardcore brawling, feuding with the likes of Jimmy Jacobs etc) otherwise they get treated with absolute silence, and that’s what happened here. In the end nobody cared about the match at all – not the fans, and not the wrestlers either. But for that sweet bit of psychology you’d be looking at a DUD.
Christopher Daniels/Matt Sydal vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe – ROH Tag Title Match
Lets give credit where it’s due. Despite being labelled part-time champions and generally criticised, thus far Daniels and Sydal have had a decent run as champions. After ending the reign of the Kings Of Wrestling they’ve fought of Dragon Gate teams (featuring CIMA, Shingo and Jack Evans) and the most successful ROH Tag Champions ever in Aries and Strong at the start of the Fifth Year Festival. Their next test is the team that many feel should be Tag Champions – the Briscoes. They’ve been staples in the tag division for years (when they’ve been on the active roster) and have never looked better than this year. Having already won GHC gold in 2007, they’re looking to win the ROH Tag Titles for a third time tonight. But let’s not forget they have a long history of failing to win the big match. They’ve had three notable Tag Title rivalries down the years and in that time they’ve failed to unseat AJ Styles and Amazing Red, CM Punk and Colt Cabana or Austin Aries and Roderick Strong.
Jay starts on fire against both the champions until Sydal takes him down with a springboard armdrag. Mark and Daniels get involved as well leading to a sweet, fast-paced exchange then a stand-off. Referee Todd Sinclair is understandably pissed off about all four men being in the ring at once. The champions try to isolate Jay and gain the first significant advantage of the match. Mark helps his brother out before too much damage can be done though. It’s pretty even for a while, and I’ll use this opportunity to point out how awesome super-arrogant Matt Sydal is. Finally the Briscoes utilise some of their fluid tandem offence to attack Chris Daniels and trap him in the ring. Jay slaps on the Stretch Plum following a slingshot double stomp from his brother and we’re almost at 10 minutes. Leg drop/sidewalk slam from the challengers get 2 as they continue to keep the Fallen Angel well away from his partner. Inevitably Daniels eventually does get the tag though, allowing Sydal to score 2 with a standing moonsault on Jay…then hitting the floor with a wild RUNNING MOONSAULT PRESS on Mark. That offensive flurry from Sydal has allowed the champions to go after Jay again and this time they do a better job of keeping away from his brother. Sydal shows more awesome cockiness by telling the Briscoes that his team’s leg drop/sidewalk slam combo is better since his is a Cannonball leg drop. Daniels abdominal stretches Briscoe, and his partner takes advantage with a slingshot dropkick to the exposed ribs. It seems the LOTR are targeting that particular body part of Jay Briscoe.
Sydal gets suplexed because he got too cocky, but is still able to stop Jay making the crucial tag out. Daniels sets him up for the Fall From Grace but it’s blocked. Briscoe hits the super gourdbuster on Sydal and edges closer to Mark on the apron. He gets the tag and Mark takes out Daniels with the awesome-tastic DOUBLE SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT PRESS. Springboard twisting splash gets 2, meanwhile the crowd are totally behind the Briscoes now. Daniels hits the Arabian press after some assistance from Sydal. The champions inadvertently clock each other though, and Jay is on hand to capitalise with Yakuza kicks. SPRINGBOARD ACE CRUSHER gets Mark a 2. Sydal runs into the urinage suplex and needs Daniels’ help to stop the Briscoes totally destroying him. He frankensteiner’s Daniels into a double clothesline on their opponents. Standing moonsault off Jay’s back nailed for another nearfall. BME misses and Jay catches Daniels with a Stunner. Daniels catches Mark as he goes for the springboard Doomsday Device…DVD/SNAP RANA SIMULTANEOUSLY! SPIKE ANGELS WINGS ON JAY! MARK SAVES! (That would’ve been more dramatic had Sydal not yelled ‘come on Mark’ right into the camera). CUT-THROAT DRIVER drops Daniels. Sydal tries one standing moonsault too many and gets kicked in the throat. CUT-THROAT DRIVER FOR SYDAL TOO! LEG DROP/SSP COMBO! New champions at 24:58.
Rating – **** – Ring Of Honor’s ability to produce high quality tag team encounters like this is something that really sets them apart from any other promotion in the US right now. The way they have capitalised on teams like the Briscoes, Aries and Strong and (to a lesser extent) the Kings Of Wrestling or Daniels/Sydal to revitalise tag team wrestling has been one of ROH’s calling cards over the past year. This was another top notch bout that started slowly before building to the typical Briscoes’ spot-packed match. They slightly mistimed the finish but it didn’t really hurt the match at all since it still looked pretty devastating. Daniels and Sydal’s run as champions ends and I think they’ve had an underrated reign. Their matches with the KOW, CIMA/Shingo, Aries/Strong and this one were awesome. They’re unlikely to get the credit they deserve and have come a long way as a team since their sloppy and awkward debut match with Irish Airborne at Time To Man Up last August.
INTERMISSION – Rebecca Bayless interviews Lacey and Jimmy Jacobs (AGAIN). Lacey doesn’t care if Jimmy wins tonight, she just wants him to injure Cabana.
Roderick Strong/Davey Richards vs Austin Aries/Matt Cross
Aries has been waiting for an opportunity to get his hands on Strong and Richards since they kicked his ass and formed the No Remorse Corps last weekend in Manhattan. Earlier tonight he recruited M-Dogg to help him battle his enemies and this is the resulting tag match.
This is a grudge match after all, and Aries wastes no time launching an attack on the NRC. Strong plays a chickensh*t and leaves Davey alone to take a pasting from both opponents. M-Dogg hits Roddy with the Flagpole Press regardless, but it’s still Richards who’s left to take the brunt of the babyface offence. Davey beats down Aries so Strong is more willing to tag in. Hilariously Aries fights back, so Strong quickly tags out again. What is it with bland babyfaces becoming much cooler as heels? First Sydal now Roddy too. Double A and M-Dogg go back to working over Davey Richards, including a couple of vintage Aries/Strong double team moves. Cross eventually misses a missile dropkick (after distraction from Strong) and the tide quickly turns to allow the NRC team to work him over. They hit a wicked double team Alarm Clock kick, then Richards rips on Austin’s Power Drive Elbow for 2. Credit to Davey and Roderick, they’re looking good as a team on their first night together, and are solid as a heel unit working the traditional babyface in peril segment on Cross. Strong draws heat from the fans by refusing to deliver one of his trademark mega-chops. M-Dogg manages to drop him with a tornado DDT and gets the hot tag to his partner. Roderick immediately runs out of the ring, but this time Aries is able to fight past Richards and chase him with the Heat Seeking Missile. He turns his attention back to Richards though, and Strong takes the opportunity to sweep his legs. Handspring Enzi from Davey, but Cross manages to trip him to the floor. Aries escapes Death By Roderick as M-Dogg tries to climb to the top…only to be shoved off by Richards. Saito suplex on Strong. CORKSCREW ASAI MOONSAULT BY CROSS! He totally killed himself on the guardrail on landing their – just like he did at the Chicago Spectacular. Aries polishes Richards off with the Brainbuster/450 at 14:39.
Rating – *** – That was solid stuff, but you could tell they held a lot back since this is only the first match in what presumably will be a lengthy feud. The highlights were the numerous teases of Strong/Aries violence. I think we’re all eagerly awaiting that singles match as and when it does happen. Hopefully Matt Cross didn’t injure himself on the railings this time. Last time he got a big chance like this in a tag match (Chicago Spectulacar Night 2) he wiped out on a guardrail and needed time off to recover. He did himself no harm with another solid performance in this match.
Austin tries to help his new tag partner to the back but they’re attacked by Strong and Richards. They show NO REMORSE by giving M-Dogg a Gibson Driver on a guardrail segment – just like Delirious.
Jimmy Jacobs vs Colt Cabana – Windy City Death Match
This one has been months in the making. Jimmy was devastated when he walked into a shower in St Paul and found out that Cabana and Lacey were having an affair. But so consuming was his love for Lacey, rather than go for revenge, he tried to make her happy by forming a team with Colt. But it turned out CC and JJ formed an unlikely friendship. When Cabana had finally had enough of Lacey’s annoying ways (at Irresistible Forces), he tried to help his new friend and take him away from her manipulative ways. But Jacobs turned on Colt, allowing Lacey to stamp on his special place with her high heeled shoe. That started a bloody war which has raged ever since. Just last week in Philadelphia we saw Jacobs use a heeled shoe to jab Cabana in the throat, and in Dayton last night he tried to throttle Chicago’s favourite wrestler with guitar strings. It all gets settled here and now.
Cabana is in full-on hometown suck up mode, wearing a ‘Chicago’ shirt and proudly waving the Chicago flag. He kicks the sh*t out of Jacobs, who barely gets in any offence at the start of the match. Lacey tries to stop Colt hitting a plancha to the floor, and naturally that distracts him. Jacobs snatches the opportunity to chopblock the knee. Lacey tries to hit Cabana in the nuts again but Daizee Haze runs in and drags her to the back meaning we’ve got a one-on-one match. Colt drags a ladder out from under the ring only to get it dropkicked into his face. Luckily he’s hidden some scissors in his elbow pad, and he busts Jimmy open with repeated elbows to the head. With blood pouring down his face Jacobs grabs a chair and nails Cabana with it. He goes for his spike…but somehow Colt has already got it. He uses it to do more damage to Jimmy’s bloody head. In a neat homage to the Irresistible Forces break up of their team, Jacobs uses the middle rope to crotch Cabana and finally take the advantage. The crowd aren’t impressed when he starts using the Chicago flag as a weapon on his opponent. He breaks the flagpole and starts using the jagged pieces of wood to make Cabana bleed. 10 minutes in and both these guys are covered in blood. Jacobs does his chest trampoline spot, but this time after placing a chair on the exposed torso first.
He goes for the Contra Code but Cabana blocks and STABS Jimmy in the head with his scissors. He thinks it’s over and prepares for the Colt 45…but Brent Albright comes in to give Cabana the HALF NELSON SUPLEX! Incredibly Cabana kicks out at 2. BJ Whitmer appears to even the numbers…and he buys Cabana some time by brawling with both Albright and Jacobs on the floor. Cabana capitalises with an ASAI MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! He pulls out a hammer tries to hammer the spike into Jimmy’s head…except he misses and just whacks him in the head with the hammer. He moonsaults a chair into JJ’s chest for a nearfall. A table is set up on the floor but it buckles under the weight of both men brawling on it. Instead Colt props up a ladder between ring and guardrail. The table malfunctions mean this spot is taking an eternity to set up. Eventually Jacobs does locate a decent table…and as Cabana tries to put him through it Lacey reappears to shove him off the top rope. She holds Colt on the table as inside the ring Jacobs starts climbing the ladder. SENTON OFF THE LADDER THROUGH THE TABLE! Incredibly Cabana still manages to kick out at 2. He steps aside as Jimmy tries to spear him through a table so it’s Jacobs that eats wood. Lacey charges in with a high heel, but Cabana grabs it and attacks Jacobs’ throat with it. COLT 45 ON JACOBS! COLT 45 ON LACEY! He pins them both at 22:54 to end the feud.
Rating – **** – This was a terrific and enjoyably overbooked feud ender with enough blood shed, whacky spots and run-ins to make you feel like you were watching a weird, demented pantomime. It was a WWE-styled match that proves ROH can throw all types of pro-wrestling at you and do it well. Literally my only complaint is the amount of time it took to set up for the big ladder senton spot. Really that was a total blast and a real showstealer. Jimmy’s best ROH singles match to date in my opinion.
5TH YEAR FESTIVAL VIDEO – Great moments of the past year – Mark Briscoe’s crazy high-flying, GeNext’s farewell, Jack Evans almost dying at the Fourth Anniversary Show (that was great?), Joe’s crazy top rope enzi in the cage against Danielson, the chair riot at Ring Of Homicide, Homicide and Cabana’s Chicago Street Fight, Christian Cage and Lance Storm appearing, AJ’s last match, Konnan in Philly, Pelle crowd surfing, Homicide winning the World Title, the stars of Dragon Gate, JJ Dillon and all the Cage of Death mayhem, Bruno Sammartino, Joe and Morishima’s brawl, the Whitmer/Necro barbed wire match. This is probably my least favourite of these video recaps.
Takeshi Morishima/Nigel McGuinness vs Samoa Joe/Homicide
This is Joe’s farewell to Ring Of Honor fans in the USA, and he is so over it’s unreal. He started the Fifth Year Festival with a superb match with Morishima in New York, and next week has a big singles match with Nigel McGuinness in his home country, so this match in effect allows him to get more of Mori, and a preview of what we’ll see in Liverpool. Homicide will also want more of Morishima since it was the Japanese invader that beat him for the World Title on February 17th in Philadelphia. This is the last time you’ll see the World Title belt until April by the way, since Mori is going back to Japan.
Bobby Cruise has to wait minutes to introduce Joe since the crowd won’t stop cheering for him. It’s quite an emotional scene and Joe looks really moved by it. He starts on the apron though as it’s Homicide and Nigel that get is underway. Eventually Morishima steps in though and once again effortlessly sends Homicide to the mat. Joe tags and the big men continue where they left off in NYC. McGuinness stops Joe hitting the elbow suicida so Homicide knocks him off the apron. STEREO dives from Cide and Joe…except Joe got his feet caught in the ropes and lands flat on his face. He still brawls out into the crowd with Mori, then returns to ringside for a customary Ole Ole Kick. After all that it looks like Homicide and Nigel are going to be the legal men again. He and Joe team up to cut the Brit off from his Japanese partner. But eventually Nigel tags Homicide with a McLariat and gets the tag to the World champion, who promptly catches Homicide and suplexes him with ease. RUNNING ASS ATTACK gets 2, then Mori dumps Homicide out of the ring allowing McGuinness to get some cheap shots in. It’s a real shame that we’re never going to see Joe/Morishima 2 since some of the best moments of this match are flashes of heat between those two mansters.
McGuinness is working on Cide’s arm and shoulder, which is smart since the shoulder is almost always a sore point on the Notorious 187. He tries the bridging chickenwing but Joe marches in and almost cuts him in half with a big kick. Morishima comes in and tries to snap Homicide like a twig in an abdominal stretch. Finally Cide nails an Ace crusher on Nigel and gets the ULTRA-hot tag to Joe. DVD ON MORISHIMA! He almost made that look easy. He can’t lift the World Champion into a powerbomb though, and Mori sits on his chest to kill all his momentum. Homicide leaps in with a flying headscissors on McGuinness. Second rope DDT follows that, then a Randy Savage elbow for 2. ROLLING neckbreakers into a piledriver, and that necessitates Mori coming in to make the save for his partner. MASSIVE MISSILE DROPKICK on Homicide. Homicide blocks the Sambo suplex but Morishima just shoulder blocks him down instead. Tower Of London gets 2 before Joe breaks the pin. Shortarm McLariat on Joe. Homicide blocks the Rebound Lariat and hits his own Lariat on Nigel. Morishima clobbers Homicide with HIS lariat, and Joe rounds it off with a LARIATOOOOO on Mori. Running boot stops Nigel doing a headstand as Morishima takes repeated boots from Cide and refuses to go down. BACK DROP DRIVER! SIDEWALK SLAM ON JOE! He goes to the top again…BUT JOE DRAGS HIM OFF WITH THE MUSCLEBUSTER! Nigel blocks the ST-Joe. REBOUND LARIAT! Nigel wins at 23:10…and the crowd just DIES.
Rating – **** – It lacked some of the excitement of the Briscoes tag, and lacked the violence of Cabana/Jacobs, but some of the best story-telling of the night came in this match. Morishima once again looked great in his role as the dominant giant, and the way they kept the heat between him and Joe going was really awesome. I swear, if Joe ever leaves TNA (or goes to NOAH) we’ve GOT to see a rematch of that. Not for the first time though, I have real problems with the booking of Joe in his farewell tour though. Putting Nigel over here meant nothing (since it was a tag match), so it was a waste – accomplishing nothing but sending the fans of Chicago home a little disappointed that Joe (who was crazy over) lost. Joe needs to be doing the job to Nigel next week to give him a big singles victory in his home country. If McGuinness had to win here, then why not put him over Homicide? If Joe HAD to job here, why not let Morishima pin him and get some heat back from the job he did in New York? I really believe TNA is having a massive say in what Joe does during this final run.
McGuinness gets on the stick and says that since he got the win for his team, he wants a shot at Morishima’s World Title when he returns in April. He then leaves to let Joe deliver another inspiring farewell promo with the locker room emptying to support him. Does anyone else see Whitmer and Albright sitting next to each other quite happily?
Roderick Strong promises to reveal who attacked Jack Evans…next week in Liverpool.
Tape Rating – *** – The show started slowly, with the first half of the card being totally forgettable crap. Fortunately the last four matches all delivered exactly what they were supposed to and are worth checking out. Despite the fact that half the card sucks I’d probably say this is the second best of the four 5YF shows thus far. It’s worth checking out just to see Cabana and Jacobs tear each other apart (although talk of that match being an MOTYC is a little off).
Top 3 Matches
3) Takeshi Morishima/Nigel McGuinness vs Samoa Joe/Homicide (****)
2) Christopher Daniels/Matt Sydal vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe (****)
1) Colt Cabana vs Jimmy Jacobs (****)