I should note that the extras feature a 10-bell salute to the late Mitsuharu Misawa who died earlier in the day.
June 13, 2009
From New York City, N.Y..
Your hosts are Lenny Leonard and Dave Prazak.
Rhett Titus and Kenny King talk about punking out the Young Bucks later on tonight. Titus could bring it down SEVERAL THOUSAND NOTCHES and still be obnoxious.
Austin Aries starts us off proper by making a thinly veiled reference to 9/11 before swerving us and talking about last September. Oh, that clever Austin Aries. He introduces his protégés for the opener.
Opening Match: Rhett Titus & Kenny King vs. The Young Bucks.
The Jacksons look to finish early with More Bang for Your Buck, but King knocks Matt to the floor. Matt plays face-in-peril for a while before hitting King with the springboard Throwback. YOU CAN'T SEE ME! Nick gets the hot tag and springboard dropkicks King before catching the leapfrog Fameasser from Titus. Matt wheelbarrow facebusters Titus but gets nailed by the shotgun knees from King. The Jacksons go nuts with superkicks and finish with More Bang for Your Buck at 8:50. The Bucks evoke memories of the Hardys and Rockers. They're not quite the performers that those teams were, but give it time. King & Titus were in the place I always thought they'd be stuck at the bottom of a logjam of good heel teams. **1/2
Necro Butcher vs. Jimmy Rave (w/The Embassy).
Just how I like my Necro Butcher matches short. Necro destroys everyone with his ORGANIZED CHAOS before taking a cheapshot to his knee. Jimmy dives right on the knee and works it over, looking for the heel hook. Instead, Necro reverses to a small package to get the win at 6:06. Lame. After the match, Jimmy and the Embassy try to break his leg, but Colt Cabana makes the save. Whatever happened to the Jimmy who was horribly outmatched but used his sleazy attitude and cheating to get ahead? *
Ric Flair comes out to put over ROH and hit on the women in the crowd.
Roderick Strong vs. Sonjay Dutt.
Both guys are babyfaces, although Sonjay is inching toward a heel turn. They do the typical respectful exchange of maneuvers until Strong catches Dutt slingshotting in and counters to (sit down for this) a backbreaker. Strong methodically works over the back for a while before Dutt blocks a charge. Sonjay gets two off the quebrada but stops to play to the crowd. Roderick goes back to work on the back but can't put him away even after several backbreakers. To the floor, Sonjay hits his springboard off the railing into a Tornado DDT on the floor. Back in, Sonjay works in a goofy whirlybird counter of a Tombstone. You know, there's something to be said for simplicity. Roderick catches him going up and drags him off into a gutbuster. That sets up the exploding backbreaker and the Tiger Driver for the win at 12:44. Sonjay either clicks or he doesn't. Here, he didn't really do it for me and came off like a generic indie wrestler. Roderick and his "all back, all the time" psychology held things together, though. **1/2
First Blood Match: Tyler Black vs. Jimmy Jacobs.
Jimmy jumps on Tyler before he can even get down to the ring. They brawl around ringside, and Tyler works in both the springboard clothesline off the railing and the moonsault off the railing. Prazak questions the wisdom of these moves, considering it's a First Blood match. Jimmy puts a screwdriver in his pants and stabs Tyler in the face as Tyler goes for a suplex. The match officially starts, so Jimmy hauls Tyler's head up and rips at the cut again. S'Blood at 0:13. All angle, no match. [N/R]
After the match, Tyler UNLEASHES THE FURY on Jacobs and sends him packing to the back. Tyler is pissed and says he wants his redemption one way or another, so he's cashing in the title shot he's been carrying tonight!
Four-Corner Survival: Bryan Danielson vs. Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. D-Lo Brown.
As per usual, they divide into heel and face teams. Cabana is the first to break the alliance, though, as he rolls up Danielson from behind. They're still cool, though. Rather mundane match until Danielson ducks a swing and wipes out D-Lo with the tope. D-Lo busts out the Shining Wizard on Danielson to break up the trapped elbows. Cabana blocks D-Lo's senton by getting the knees up, though. That sets up the Billy Goat's Curse at 9:56. Well, this was surprisingly tame. I'm used to a flurry of covers and saves. It just didn't cut loose like I'd hoped/expected. **1/2
ROH World Tag Team Titles, Submission Match: The American Wolves (w/Shane Hagadorn) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico.
The champs play keepaway early on and refuse to lock up. The challengers catch up with them, of course, and IT'S TIME TO PLAY THE FEUD! Steen avoids Richards' missile dropkick and puts him in the Sharpshooter. Edwards saves. The challengers work Richards over for a while until the Wolves get their act together and isolate Steen. As usual, they target Steen's knee. Generico gets the hot tag. Cool spot as he tries that Guerrero-ish run up the ropes into the armdrag but thinks better of it and wipes out Edwards on the floor with the cannonball. That sets up a series of dives that ends with Richards hitting the shooting star press to the floor. Back in, Richards charges right into the Michinoku Driver but blocks the running Yakuza kick and counters to a Dragon Screw. Steen and Edwards recover, and it's a donnybrook. Edwards accidentally knocks Richards silly with the superkick. STEREO SHARPSHOOTERS! The Wolves make the ropes, though. Generico sets up for the Turnbuckle Brainbuster, but Richards slams his knee with the bell. That sets up the half-crab from Edwards at 18:39. Not as crazy good as their HDNet match, but a fine addition to the feud. Steen promises to continue making the hunters the hunted. ****
Jay Briscoe (w/Mark Briscoe) vs. James Maritato.
The ROH fans welcome Maritato back for the first time in seven years. If you've only seen Maritato wrestle as "Nunzio" then you've never really seen him wrestle. He's an excellent amateur and shoot-style wrestler, and he goes with that route early until going full heel with a mule kick. Briscoe escapes the tree-of-Joey Lawrence and hits a spinebuster. Back to the floor, Maritato takes the Russian Legsweep to the barricade. Maritato slips out of the DVD into an armbar, but Jay rolls through to the Jaydriller at 7:31. The fans give Guido a standing ovation after the match. Hopefully, he sticks with wrestling because I think his style is one that can really bridge the gap between UFC and pro-style wrestling. **1/4
ROH World Title, Three Way Elimination: Jerry Lynn vs. Tyler Black vs. Austin Aries.
Aries comes out to Flair's music just to piss people off. There was some controversy about Flair leaving before he was supposed to and leaving ROH in the lurch. Then again, he's pretty old. Maybe he had to poop. Nigel McGuinness takes Flair's place as the special enforcer. Lynn gets into it with a non-fan at ringside. Dude, he doesn't have to like you. Just let it go. Both guys go after Aries as Black chases him right into Lynn's somersault off the apron. Turns out YOU CAN'T HEADSCISSOR TYLER BLACK! That dynamic gets broken up as Tyler turns his aggressions on Lynn. Aries yanks Black off the apron and puts him in a cool ringpost figure-four variation. Nigel makes him break it, though. With Black out of it, Aries comes back in but gets whipped into the Flair Flip. WOOOOO! Lynn catches him with the bodyslam off the top. Aries takes too long with the pendulum elbow, and Black is able to recover with the springboard lariat. Both Aries and Black battle on the top rope, so Lynn climbs up and bulldogs them both to the canvas. Lynn takes a breather and allows Aries to lock in the Last Chancery. Tyler makes the ropes, so Lynn hits the Cradle Piledriver. ONE, TWO, THRE-foot on the ropes. Aries looks to finish Black off for good with the 450-splash, but Lynn jumps him with a superplex. All three guys are out of it. Aries recovers and goes for a DDT, but Black kicks him. Aries hits the DDT on the way down anyway. That sets up God's Last Gift at 14:30. Big pop for Lynn's elimination. Aries goes back to Tyler's knee. Black fights through but misses the Phoenix Splash. Aries goes into the Joe Killer Sequence, but it only gets two. FIGURE-FOUR! WOOOOO! Nigel breaks it up, drawing the ire of Aries. Black uses the opportunity to roll Aries up for two. He goes for the Bucklebomb, but his knee collapses. Good psychology there. That sets up the punt to the head and the Brainbuster at 20:02. Aries becomes the first-ever two-time champion, and Tyler is once again a bridesmaid. Kenny King and Rhett Titus celebrate with the new champ. Aries was the best choice for the new champion. Lynn's "just glad to be here" reign wasn't cutting it creatively, and Aries has been one of the best heels in wrestling in 2009. ***1/2
The 411: This show pretty much cements Tyler Black going over Austin Aries for the title at Final Battle (Edit on 12/20/09: Shows what I know). The show was fairly disappointing considering it's a big Manhattan show, a place where they usually deliver in spades. The two title matches delivered, though, and the angle with Black came off pretty well.
Mild thumbs up.