Views from the Hawke's Nest: Free ROH Matches Part 1
Posted by TJ Hawke on 03.09.2013
CM Punk & Daniel Bryan were always awesome.
These are some matches from Ring of Honor's Youtube channel. Sure, if you really wanted to, you could probably find a means to watch any ROH match ever for free, but everyone should strive to avoid that.
Homicide had stolen Samoa Joe's World Title. They immediately start brawling in and out of the ring. Punk back body dropped Homicide into the crowd. Punk then suplexed Homicide back onto to the floor. Back in the floor, Punk hit a Border Toss style powerbomb for a nearfall. Punk set up for the facewash, but Homicide feel to the safety of the floor. Punk decided to wipe out Homicide and Rocky Romero with a Silverking plancha. Back in the ring, Punk was in control until Romero distracted Punk and referee, Todd Sinclair. Homicide then hit a running knee and a neckbreaker on the floor. Back in the ring, Homicide went after the neck of Punk some more. Homicide locked in a Boston crab, and he then transitioned it into a STF. Homicide was in complete control of the match. Punk got a sunset flip out of nowhere for a nearfall. Homicide hit a diving headbutt for a nearfall. Homicide went to the top rope again, but Punk met him up there and hit a superplex. Punk immediately sold his neck after the landing. He's a pro. Punk then made a big comeback, which included a Welcome to Chicago Motherfucker: 1...2...NO! Belly-to-belly suplex from Punk: 1...2...NO! Homicide went for a piledriver, but Punk reversed it into a backslide for a nearfall. Homicide then connected on the piledriver, but they were too close to the ropes for a pinfall. Punk avoided a super hurricanrana and hit a short-arm lariat: 1...2...NO! Homicide hit the Cop Cutter for another nearfall. Punk avoided a Cop Killa, and he went for one of his own. Rocky Romero distracted Punk and Sinclair, which allowed Homicide to kick Punk in the balls and give him a belt-shot to the head: 1...2...NO! Great nearfall. Both men were at the top rope and Punk tried for the Pepsi Plunge, but Romero got another distraction. Homicide hit a chair shot to the back of Punk's neck, and he then hit a lariat to the back of his neck: 1...2...3
A fun brawl that was cool to go back and watch. I loved the simple story of Punk's injured neck throughout the match. Punk and Homicide played their roles great, and the crowd was into everything. This is an easy recommendation to watch. Match Rating: ***1/2
CM Punk vs. Jimmy Rave from the 2005 Anniversary Show
Rave attacked Punk from behind before the bell rang. Punk quickly cut him off and Rave looked like he might leave the match. Punk was working Rave over for most of the beginning, but Rave was eventually able to get the heat. Rave and Nana used a shoelace to choke Punk behind the ref’s back multiple times. The fans were dying for a CM Punk comeback. Without the ref realizing it, Jimmy Rave managed to choke out Punk with a shoelace for the victory. The fans chanted “Bullshit!” Todd Sinclair found the shoelace and restarted the match. Punk almost immediately won with a rollup. Punk wiped out Rave and Fast Eddie with a sommersault plancha. Punk kicked out of Rave’s finisher and the fans loudly chanted his name. Rave hit a sommersault powerbomb from the top rope and a shining wizard but Punk still kicked out. Rave sprayed some air freshener in Punk’s eyes to get the win. (Apparently Rave did the exact same thing the night before to AJ Styles to get a win)
The Embassy attacked Tracy Brooks after the match, and Rave gave her the Styles Clash. Colt Cabana ran them off with a steel chair
I didn't enjoy this match quite as much as I did the first time I watched it on the CM Punk: The Legacy Continues DVD. However, it's still a good match, and I recommend that you watch it. Rave vs. Punk was such a great dynamic in ROH, as the crowd was pretty much into everything they did in every match. They would obviously top themselves though with their Dog Collar Match and their Cage match. Match Rating: ***1/4
Samoa Joe & Jay Lethal vs. Generation Next (Austin Aries & Roderick Strong) from A Night of Tribute 2005 Part 1
The winners got a shot at the ROH World Tag Championships. Lenny Leonard and Dave Prazak did a great job of explaining all the major storylines and character motivations that were present at the time. Not much happened early on. Gen Next isolated Lethal, and they worked him over for a while. Lethal was eventually able to hit Aries with a spinebuster. Joe tagged in and ran through Aries. Joe and Lethal worked over Aries for a while. Aries tagged out to Roddy, and Roddy then ran through Joe and Lethal. This match has a weird face vs. face dynamic. Neither team is working in a particularly exciting fashion. Aries and Roddy hit Joe with a crucifix bomb/Sick Kick combo. Roddy killed Lethal with some backbreakers. Aries then hit Lethal with the frog splash: 1...2...3!
The frog splash was used because the show was a tribute to Eddie Guerrero, who had recently passed away. I found this match to be rather dull quite frankly. They tried doing some subtle stuff, but the match never really clicked with me. The better team won at least, and this win set up their title victory at Final Battle 2005. Match Rating: **3/4
Christopher Daniels vs. Matt Cross from The Bitter End 2006
Cross' gymnastics are unreal and truly make him stand out in professional wrestling. Cross had the early advantage, but Daniels cut him off with a HUGE lariat that turned Cross inside-out. Cross came back with a Pele kick variation, a standing moonsault, and a DVD-neckbreaker. Daniels cut him off again with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Cross then hit a beautiful no-hands, corkscrew plancha. Daniels cut him off again with a DVD, and he followed that up with the Angels' Wings for the win. This was a solid match that made Cross look quite good. Match Rating: **1/2
Eddie Edwards vs. Austin Aries from International Challenge 2006
This was Eddie's debut match in Ring of Honor. Eddie's dreadlocks are so ridiculous; I get trying to look unique, but this was too much. Anyway, Eddie proves capable of hanging with Aries in the ring, but he struggled with establishing a personality (I would argue it wasn't until 2011 when Eddie was able to add something besides technical prowess to his singles matches). Eddie actually got a couple of nearfalls, which surprised me. In the end though, Aries hit the kick to the head, brainbuster and the 450 for the win. This was a solid match. It's a shame these two never got another big opportunity to have a match in 2010 when both men were main eventers. Match Rating: **1/2
Eddie Edwards vs. Jack Evans from Dedicated 2007
Evans gets a "Welcome Back" chant. Eddie actually made for a very good base for Jack's flippy stuff. Great Spot: Eddie caught Jack on a dive and powerbombed him on the edge of the ring apron. Eddie got his name chanted after that spot. Eddie then got the heat. Jack made a comeback with a 450 plancha. Eventually, Jack hit the 630 splash for the win. This was a good undercard match, which established Evans as a winner and Edwards as ROH worthy. Match Rating: **3/4
Nigel McGuinness vs. TJ Perkins from the 2007 Anniversary Show
Perkins actually was able to have a lot of success early on. I don't think the crowd knew Perkins was Puma. Perkins sent Nigel to the floor. Perkins did a feint tope suicida, and he then hit a rolling senton off the apron. Nigel came back with a rebound lariat on the floor. Back in the ring, Nigel hit a short-arm lariat. Nigel went for a Tower of London, but Perkins avoided it and hit a cross-body for a nearfall that no one in the crowd bought. Nigel delivered a couple of uppercuts, but Perkins came back with a spinning heel kick. Perkins went to the top rope, but Nigel crotched him and hit a Tower of London: 1...2...NO! Hard to believe that Perkins was allowed to kick out of the Tower of London. Nigel came back with his kick to the back/lariat combo. That got another nearfall. Perkins hit a buzzsaw kick, but Nigel came back with a jawbreaker lariat: 1...2...3!
This was just a showcase for Nigel, but it was a fun one. Perkins proved how talented he is, and his inability to become a building block for several promotions continues to confuse me. Match Rating: **1/4
Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness from the 2008 Anniversary Show
This was a HUGE match in Ring of Honor's history. Nigel McGuinness had just won the world title recently, but he suffered a major concussion and missed Final Battle 2007. The fans were not pleased about that. Nigel then started to gradually turn heel. Danielson was coming off a major heel run, but he was gradually turning babyface in his feud with Takeshi Morishima. Nigel didn't want to defend the belt on this show. So, Danielson promised to not go after Nigel's head. In return, Nigel promised not to go after Danielson's eye, because Danielson got a broken orbital bone in his feud with Morishima.
The crowd is very pro-Danielson here. They even give him USA chants. Danielson was showing a lot of honor early on. Nigel went for the headstand kick, but Danielson hit an IED dropkick that sent Nigel to the floor. Danielson then hit a tope suicida and a missile dropkick. The referee, Paul Turner, was chewing Nigel out at one point. Nigel then punched Turner out. Danielson won by disqualification.
Nigel was leaving the arena, but Austin Aries, Kevin Steen, Delirious, and Roderick Strong blocked the entrance way. Aries said Nigel would have to go back and defend the title or deal with them (Roddy and Aries had a long feud in 2007, so there was some additional significance to that scene).
Cary Sikin restarted the match. Nigel promptly started to go after Danielson's left arm. Nigel was also yelling at the fans. Nigel was in control for a while until Danielson hit a leg lariat and a pair of kitchen sinks. Nigel came back with a suplex to the floor. Danielson managed to dump Nigel into the crowd. Danielson then hit the springboard dive into the crowd. Back in the ring, Danielson got the triangle choke. Nigel escaped and hit a monster lariat. Danielson started selling his eye. Danielson avoided a Tower of London and sent Nigel back to the floor. Danielson went for another tope suicida, but Nigel blocked it and hit a Tower of London to the floor. Nigel's head was busted open. Back in the ring, Nigel locked in the Cattle Mutilation. Danielson escaped. Danielson then avoided a jawbreaker lariat, but Nigel managed to crotch Danielson on the ropes. Nigel then hit the middle rope lariat. Nigel then hit a Tower of London: 1...2...NO! Nigel then locked in the London Dungeon. Danielson made the ropes. Danielson reversed another Dungeon attempt into a pin for a nearfall. Danielson then hit CHAOS THEORY! Danielson was back in control, but he still refused to go after Nigel's head. Danielson got a nearfall with a super back suplex. Danielson then locked in Cattle Mutilation! Nigel got to his feet, but Danielson hit a Tiger suplex. Danielson then delivered some elbows to the ribs and locked in an armbar. TRIANGLE CHOKE! Nigel almost passed out, but he was able to make the ropes. Danielson delivered more body shots, refusing to go after the head. Nigel then used a headbutt on Danielson's bad eye. Nigel wasn't selling any head injuries, but Danielson was selling his eye big time. Nigel then hit a BIG lariat. Nigel then hit Danielson's MMA Elbow Strikes to the eye. Nigel then locked in the London Dungeon. Danielson passed out and Sinclair called for the bell! Nigel retains!
This match is one of my favorite wrestling matches in Ring of Honor history. Everything that I like about professional wrestling came together for this near-perfect thirty minutes of entertainment. Not to mention the fact that this match is historically significant in regards to Ring of Honor. Nigel McGuinness's world title run was one of the great world title runs in all of wrestling in the 2000's, and this is the match that really allowed Nigel to reach new levels as a performer and as a champion. Watch this match now. Match Rating: ****1/2
The 411: Ring of Honor's Youtube channel is filled with some classic matches and some completely forgettable matches that no one ever needs to see. From this review, everyone has to watch Danielson vs. Nigel, and the CM Punk matches, but everything else is completely forgettable.