Views from the Hawke's Nest: Free ROH Matches Part 2
Posted by TJ Hawke on 03.10.2013
Austin Aries vs. Sami Callihan happened in ROH?
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.
Austin Aries vs. Sami Callihan from Eliminate the Competition 2009
Sami is just one of those dudes that should always have his hair long. Aries was just transitioning into his A Double character at this time. Aries was using A Double tactics early on, but he struggled to get a decisive advantage. Finally, after Aries dumped Sami to the floor, Aries was able to get control of the match. He worked Sami over for a while. The crowd was less than impressed by the action. Sami eventually came back with some kicks and an Ace Crusher. Sami got a nearfall with a belly-to-belly suplex. Sami got another nearfall with an exploder. Aries came back with a rolling elbow and the shinbreaker/back suplex combo. Aries then hit a dropkick, a punt to the head, and a brainbuster: 1...2...3.
This was just a very flat match, as the crowd was not into any aspect of the match. Aries's heel transition in 2009 was rough, as the crowd took a really long time before they got into his matches again. Sami would do much better for himself if he got a shot in ROH now. Match Rating: **1/2
KENTA vs. Nigel McGuinness from the 2009 Anniversary Show
This match is for Nigel's ROH World Championship. Nigel had been champion for around 500 days at the time of this match. Nigel had two torn biceps at the time of this match.
Nigel had already dropped a lot of weight by this point, and he was looking great. KENTA scored with some slaps in the early goings. KENTA then went after Nigel's arms. KENTA was in complete control, and Nigel was whimpering in pain. Nigel couldn't get anything going. Nigel got draped on the ropes. Nigel avoided a double stomp, and he then managed to hit a Tower of London to the floor. I like that a desperate Nigel went for his biggest weapons early. Especially since his injuries took away the lariat. Nigel started to go after KENTA's left arm. Nigel was in control for a while because of his work on KENTA's left arm. KENTA managed to come back with some strikes and a suplex. KENTA hit a diving lariat for a nearfall. KENTA locked in a kimura. Nigel escaped. Nigel went for another Tower of London, but KENTA avoided it and hit a Yakuza and a snap powerslam. Nigel crotched KENTA on the ropes. Nigel went for the lariat, but KENTA avoided it. Nigel managed to send KENTA to the floor. KENTA hit a Yakuza that sent Nigel into the crowd. KENTA draped Nigel on the barricade and then hit a top rope double stomp. Jee. Zus. Nigel managed to avoid being count out. KENTA then hit a springboard dropkick, two Yakuzas, and then a dropkick in the corner. KENTA got a nearfall with a Fisherman buster. KENTA hit the Busaiku Knee for a silent nearfall. They traded pinning combinations, and then Nigel locked in a London Dungeon. KENTA made the ropes. Nigel hit a Tower of London: 1...2...no. No one bought that nearfall. KENTA came back with the super Falcon Arrow: 1...2...NO! Good nearfall. KENTA called for Go-2-Sleep, but Nigel avoided it. KENTA got a nearfall with a bridging German. Nigel teased the Jawbreaker, but KENTA managed to hit the G0-2-Sleep: 1...2...FOOT ON THE ROPES! Nigel managed to come back with a Tower of London onto the ring apron. They almost got counted out, but both men got in at 19. Nigel went for the headstand kick, but KENTA got him up for the Go-2-Sleep. Nigel blocked the knee strike and hit a Go-2-Sleep of his own: 1...2...NO!!! London Dungeon! KENTA reversed it into a rollup for a nearfall. Nigel went for the Dungeon again, but KENTA escaped. Nigel hit a Divorce Court, and he then locked the Dungeon again. Nigel then pulled back and held KENTA on his knees as he held onto the Dungeon! KENTA TAPS OUT!
While this match didn't have the atmosphere of a lot of Nigel's best defenses (ROH was pretty cold by this point), I have a soft spot for this match that probably makes me overrate it slightly. While Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, and probably even CM Punk had more celebrated reigns as ROH World Champion, my favorite ROH champion ever was Nigel McGuinness. I think he was the perfect champion and had a number of excellent feuds as champion, which were all seemingly going on at the same time. So, to see the broken champion fight on here smartly and with honor was an awesome story to see unfold. He lost his main weapons (his arms), but he still managed to defeat one of the best wrestlers of the last twenty years in a believable fashion. Just an excellent match. Check it out. (BTW: I will go to my grave believing KENTA should have won the belt here.) Match Rating: ****
Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli (Antonio Cesaro) from Tag Title Classic 2009
This match is the typical great undercard comedy match from Colt Cabana, and Claudio proved to be a very good opponent for this style of match. The only problem I have with the match itself (besides the bullshit finish, but oh well) was that it reminds me how ROH is stupid for ceasing to use Cabana, and for how wasted Claudio was in ROH during 2009 compared to how he finished his ROH run in 2011. Both of these men deserve to be the WWE. Match Rating: **3/4
All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) vs. Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Player Dos) from Never Say Die 2009
ANX actually didn't have their name at this time, and they had not quite found their stride yet as a team. SSB had the early advantage, as they hit stereo suicide dives 3 minutes in. ANX cut them off after King kneed Dos when he was going for another suicide dive. After a heat segment, Dos came back after he did a double Pele kick. SSB hit some goofy (in a good way) moves as they are wont to do, and the match broke down into a tornado tag. King hit the shotgun knees on Uno and ANX followed that up with a Doomsday Blockbuster for the win. This was a really fun match. I wonder what these teams would be able to do now, in 2012? It would probably be pretty great. Match Rating: **1/2
Colt Cabana, The Necro Butcher, & Grizzly Redwood vs. The Embassy (Claudio Castagnoli, Jimmy Rave, & Ernie Osiris) from Contention 2009
Colt pretends to not be doing well, so in an attempt at team unification, Colt takes off his shoes. The three of them start kicking ass and rubbing their feet in The Embassy's faces. The babyface then celebrate with DANCING~! That was the best spot in years. Prince Nana was OUTRAGED at these transgressions. Rave ran away from Necro; Necro chased him but ate a boot from Claudio, which allowed the Embassy then got some heat. Eventually Colt got a hot tag and ran wild on Osiris. Necro chased Rave away with a chair. Grizzly took out Claudio with a tornado DDT! Colt hit a lionsault and locked in the Billy Goat's Curse on Osiris to get the win. This was a super fun comedy match. Match Rating: **3/4
El Generico vs. Davey Richards from the 2010 Anniversary Show
Shane Hagadorn came out with Davey. Generico was in the very beginning of his feud with Kevin Steen. Colt Cabana came out to the ring with Generico. Davey was a god to the crowd at the time.
Davey was not willing to follow the Code of Honor. Generico was a little hesitant at the start. Davey was in control at the start. Cabana pumped Generico up, and Generico was then able to get some offense in. Davey and Generico traded some strikes. Davey managed to send a Generico arm into the ring apron and a ringpost. Davey then hit a Yakuza that sent Generico into the crowd. Davey brought Generico back in the ring to work over Generico's injured arm. Generico was eventually able to dump Davey to the floor, and he then took him out with a tope con hello. Back in the ring, Generico got a nearfalls with a diving crossbody and a michinoku driver. Generico went for a DDT, but Davey reversed it into a armbar. Generico escaped, but Davey got another armbar. Generico escaped again. Generico went for a Yakuza, but Davey caught him with an exploder into the corner. Davey then got a nearfall with a lariat. Generico blocked an Alarm Kick. Generico then hit a Yakuza and a half-nelson suplex, but Davey came back with a brainbuster. Davey went for a shooting star, but Generico avoided it and came back with a Yakuza. Generico called for the turnbuckle brainbuster, but Davey fought back with head buts. Generico got Davey caught him in the Tree of Joey Lawrence. Generico then hit the coast-to-coast somersault dropkick: 1...2...NO! Davey came back with a middle rope German and a bridging German: 1...2...NO! Davey then hit a Buzzsaw Kick: 1...2...NO! Davey got a kimura, but Generico reversed into a pin for a nearfall. Davey then got a cross armbreaker! Generico taps out!
Davey went to shake Generico's hand after the match, but Generico just slapped him in the face. Davey seemed to respect that. Plus, it gives Generico some much needed edge as his feud gets under way with Steen (and the Wolves were pretty douchy to Generico in 2009).
I love this match to death. The crowd wasn't as molten as I expected given their response to Davey's entrance, but these two put on an excellent match to honor (see what I did there!?!?!?) ROH's spirit on their anniversary show. At the time, these were two of the best wrestlers in the world, and they showed why here. With that in mind, it's really unfortunate to see how much Davey's stock has fallen since this show. A lot of that was self-inflicted, but ROH really blew it with him in a lot of ways. Match Rating: ****
Roderick Strong vs. Homicide from the 2011 Anniversary Show
Roderick had attacked El Generico after his match with Roddy's fellow House of Truth member, Michael Elgin. Homicide then came out to chase Roddy off. Homicide wanted the title match to start now, but Roddy seemed hesitant. Homicide then wiped him out with a tope con hello. Todd Sinclair decided that was a good enough reason to start the match.
Homicide and Roddy started brawling in the crowd. I believe this match was a No DQ match. I just noticed that Dave Prazak was still commentating at this time. They made their way towards the ringside area. Homicide was mostly in control Prazak pointed out that this was Homicide's first attempt to regain to the ROH World Championship since he lost the belt to Takeshi Morishima in 2007. Roddy eventually cut Homicide off with a backbreaker on the ring apron. Roddy was in control for a while. Roddy brought the action back into the ring. Homicide came back with some suplexes and by repeatedly sending Roddy into some chairs. Homicide then got a weak nearfall with a bridging exploder suplex. Roddy came back with a knee strike for a nearfall. Roddy set up a table in the corner. Roddy tried to send Homicide into the table, but Homicide avoided that and hit Roddy with a swinging DDT into the table. Truth Martini started to interfere. Homicide tried to hit him with a Cop Killa, but Michael Elgin ran in. Homicide hit Roddy with a super Ace Crusher and a Lariat. Truth saved Roddy and gave Homicide a low blow. Homicide came back with an Ace Crusher on Truth. Roddy then hit Homicide with a Sick Kick and an Orange Crush Backbreaker: 1...2...3
This was a perfectly fine match. There was a lot of hoopla at the time about the quality of this match. I remember seeing a lot of reviews bemoaning how this match did not live up to the legacy of ROH World Title matches. While that is true, anyone that expected a better match out of Homicide at the time of this match was a complete fucking idiot. Homicide looked awful during most of his second run in the company. This was as good as it got. The booking of the match got the crowd into a cold title program and a flat World Champion. I give this a Thumbs Up. Match Rating: ***1/4
The 411: This collection that I posted is a bit stronger than the first ROH collection I posted. KENTA vs. Nigel and Davey vs. Generico are absolutely worth watching. If you're not sure what Colt Cabana brings to the table, then I would strongly suggest that you watch his matches too. The Aries/Callihan match isn't all that good, but they had a brutal crowd to work with.