|Ring of Honor — Double Feature: Tag Title Classic|
by J.D. Dunn
April 18, 2009
From Markham, Ontario.
Your hosts are Lenny Leonard and Dave Prazak.
Opening Match: Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli.
The usual wacky stuff from Colt, which is refreshing except for it comes at the expense of Claudio who was building some good momentum against Brent. Lots of European counters and Dusty Rhodes elbows from Colt. Colt starts to dominate, so Prince Nana and Dirty Ernie Osiris come out to distract him. Oh, but Colt's running buddy Brent Albright runs down and attacks Ernie. Claudio gets hit with the shoe instead, and Colt rolls him up for the pin at 10:21. Just some filler to draw Cabana into the feud and solidify the pairing with Brent. **1/4
Roderick Strong and Jay Briscoe have some male bonding time. Both men think they're going to come out victorious tonight.
Austin Aries, Rhett Titus & Kenny King vs. Kevin Steen, El Generico Dos & Kenny Omega.
Well, at least Omega getting the pin on Aries makes more sense now. Generico Dos is Canadian wrestler Stupefied or Player Dos of the Super Smash Bros.. Generico Uno is suffering from the knee injury caused by the American Wolves. Great moment as Aries gives Generico a heartfelt get well and puts him over for busting his ass… and then kicks his crutch out from under him. Steen is PISSED! Big brawl to start, and Steen can't work in the cannonball because someone always saves the other guys. Oh, that's gotta payoff by the end. Omega puts a STOP to the Thrust being a Must. Generico Dos gets caught in the heel corner. He's a good face-in-peril. Steen eventually gets the hot tag, and it's a donnybrook, a fracas, a scrum. Aries tries to use the crutch but gets knocked around. Generico gets caught by Titus and King, and King Titus busts out the sickest finisher in a while – the double-stomp spiked piledriver. That's almost as bad as the double-stomp Cop Killah. Obviously, that gets the win for Brother, Brother, Why I Gotta Be a Brother at 12:28. High marks for the finisher and the work from Generico Dos, both of which dragged this above the usual tag formula. **3/4
In the back, Delirious attacks Jimmy Jacobs during an interview. That leads to…
Markham Street Fight: Delirious vs. Jimmy Jacobs.
Black and red tonight for Delirious, so you know shit just got real. They fight all the way around the arena and up to the ring. Jimmy grabs a stack of chairs and throws them in. That goes badly for him as Delirious tosses the chair in his face and comes off the top with a chair smash. Back in, Jacobs recovers and suplexes Delirious through a chair. Jimmy goes up, but Delirious catches him with the huracanrana onto the chairs. SHADOWS OVER HE-NO! Jimmy gets out of the way, sending Delirious crashing onto the chairs. END TIME! Delirious slips out, slams Jimmy facefirst, and slaps on the COBRA STRETCH! Jimmy squirms out of it and SPEARS DELIRIOUS THROUGH A TABLE! Both guys are out of it, so Daizee Haze runs down to check on Delirious. Jimmy accosts her with the spike and threatens to stab her in the face if Delirious doesn't give up. Instead, Delirious spews THE BLACK MIST! Oooh, that's the one that blinds. Daizee grabs the spike and stabs Jimmy in the face. Jimmy is helpless, so Delirious takes him down into the Cobra Stretch with the spike. That's enough for the submission at 13:50 (with another 2 minutes of brawling). I'd be okay with never seeing another Jimmy vs. former AotF member match again, but this was pretty damned good. Loved the twists with the chairs and avoiding each others offense, and I liked the fact that it escalated instead of shooting its wad early in the match. ***1/2
Roderick Strong vs. Jay Briscoe.
Can it live up to Stylin' and Profilin'? It starts a little slower, but then it would have to, wouldn't it? Roddy comes off the apron for a dive, and they HIT THE CHOPS! Jay takes over on the floor. Back in, Roderick makes the ropes to avoid submitting to the Stretch Plum. More chops, but Jay hits a Yakuza Kick. The fans chant, "This is awesome!" and "This is wrestling!" Roderick superplexes Jay, and they do the double-pin spot. Roderick gets frustrated and tells Jay to stay down. SLUGFEST! Roderick wins and goes for the Boston Crab, but Jay reverses to a small package for the win at 13:40. Pretty freakin' sweet, but not quite as good as their previous match. These two have surprisingly good chemistry in singles matches. ***1/2
ROH Tag Team Titles: The American Wolves (w/Shane Hagadorn) vs. Bryan Danielson & Tyler Black.
Extended feeling-out period leads to chippiness from both teams after Richards takes a cheapshot at Black. TENSION~! Danielson spits in Richards' face. Things calm down, and the faces take over on Edwards. Fairly lengthy heel-in-peril spot. The challengers tease stereo dives to the floor, but the Wolves dart out of the way. The fans don't appreciate that much. The Wolves isolate Black. You know it's going long because it lasts for nearly ten minutes. Danielson gets the hot tag and cleans house. TRIANGLE CHOKE ON EDWARDS! Black puts Richards in the sleeper to keep him from interfering. Edwards makes the ropes anyway. The challengers then team up to hit the worst Hart Attack you will ever see. Worst in the world! Worst in the world! The fans are politely muted after that one. Edwards hits a backpack chinbreaker on Black, and Black goes back to the face-in-peril role. Two face-in-peril segments by one wrestler? It doesn't last too long as Danielson tags in. The match breaks down as Tyler sets up for the Phoenix Splash, but Edwards hits him with a flying kick to knock him through a ringside table. That leaves Danielson alone in a two-on-one. He tries to kick his way back into it, but Edwards catches his leg long enough for Richards to sneak in with a kick to the thigh. Cool spot. Danielson weathers the storm until Black makes it back in. They go outside for the requisite dives. Richards' out-of-control rolling suicida will kill someone in the crowd one day… not that I mind. Danielson adds a springboard plancha, but Edwards bangs his leg against the barricade. Back in, now Black has to fight in a two-on-one, and *he* weathers the storm. This is very All-Japanish storytelling. Danielson puts Richards in the CATTLE MUTILATION, but Edwards comes off the top onto his leg! Awesome strategy there. Black hits the Bucklebomb and superkick! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Foot on the ropes. Fans thought that was it. The Wolves put the challengers in the Texas Cloverleafs. Cloverleaves? Both guys make the ropes, though. DOUBLE TRAPPED ELBOWS! DOUBLE CATTLE MUTILATION! Only 30 seconds, though! The Wolves don't tap out. GOD'S LAST GIFT! But time expires at 45:00 before Todd Sinclair can count the pin. The champs escape with their titles. Loved the All-Japan style of match down the stretch with first Danielson and then Black having to go it alone and then a series of brutally close last-second saves. Not quite a serious MOTYC, but more than enough reason to buy the DVD. ****1/4