BG says: ROH reminds you to watch the ROH Video Recap on the main menu before watching the event. In it are teaser clips from the no-rope barbed wire match from Dayton. Homicide tries to cut a promo but it is censored by the commissioner’s office. That’s hilarious. Davey Richards’ dream is to be NOAH’s GHC Jr. Heavyweight champion, so he’s thrilled that KENTA has chosen him to be his American protégé. Lacey assures everyone that it’s none of their business whether or not she was in the rockin’ car with Colt Cabana. A history video for the Joe/Danielson match is shown, hyping their match at Fight of the Century. Roderick Strong and Austin Aries are going to finish off the Briscoes once and for all in Liverpool, England, but first they have to get through six teams in two Ultimate Endurance matches.
Samoa Joe kicks off the show by talking about his history with AJ Styles. After mixing a few metaphors Joe talks about beating Styles in 2003 and promising to do it again tonight. He then challenges Bryan Danielson to look him in the eye tonight before their huge match tomorrow night.
The camera spies on Lacey flirting with someone on the phone. She boycotts her promo in protest.
JZ says: Samoa Joe is here to talk about his main event match against AJ Styles tonight. He harkens back to three years ago when they wrestled each other for the first time. He says that the result will be the same tonight as it was then. He then moves on to Bryan Danielson, whom he will challenge tomorrow night for the ROH World Title.
Lacey is on the phone with somebody. Jimmy Bower says she has a promo right now, but she says that she is busy and storms off.
MATCH #1: Bryan Danielson vs. Jack Evans
BG says: This is a rematch from the first Survival of the Fittest where Danielson stretched out Evans and didn’t allow him any offense. Evans claims Danielson isn’t putting his title on the line here because he’s afraid of him. They lock up and Danielson gets an armdrag. Evans returns the favor and dances around. Danielson puts on an STF but Evans reverses to a front facelock. Danielson slaps him across the face and puts on a strangle hold. Evans counters to a roll up for 2. Nice continuity from their first match there. Evans gets a headlock and slaps Danielson across the face. Danielson unloads with strikes and puts on the Mexican surfboard. He stretches Evans as only Evans can be stretched and chops his face. Evans hits a Koppo kick and the Ong Bak kneedrop for 2. He this a handspring elbow and a springboard dropkick for 2. Danielson puts on a leglock but Evans gets to the ropes. Danielson hits a series of bodyslams for 2. He hits a hiptoss and a dropkick for 2. He ties up Evans’ limbs and kicks his back. Evans hits a back flip butt splash and Danielson bails. Evans follows him out with a springboard 450 and rolls him back into the ring. He hits a springboard spinning kick for 2. He hits an inverted falcon arrow and climbs the ropes. Danielson crotches him and hits a superplex for 2. He puts on the Cow Killer but Evans gets to the ropes. Danielson falls to the floor and Evans hits him with a diving knee off the apron. He gets back into the ring only to miss the Space Flying Tiger Drop. Back in the ring Danielson gets the airplane spin and a roaring forearm. He follows up with an intense STF for the win. Evans is just worlds better than he was two years ago when he faced Danielson. This slowed down a bit before Evans’ final stretch of offense, but it was still much more balanced and enjoyable overall than their first encounter.
JZ says: Evans says that Danielson is afraid of him and that’s why he won’t put the title on the line. I could see that. These two met once before, back at the original Survival of the Fittest. It was an 11 minute squash, and Brad and I took heat for not giving it a really high rating. Go figure. Evans is about a thousand times better now than he was then, so this should be interesting. It is odd to see the World Champion in the opening match, but I think it works. Danielson teases a dance, but then flips the crowd off instead. Danielson starts stretching Evans right away. Evans gets a little bit in, but then Danielson just takes over and starts beating him up and stretching him out. Evans comes back with some acrobatics and a nice springboard dropkick. Danielson is back in control before too long. Danielson reminds the referee that he has till five, and a few people chant “same old shit.” I love when Danielson plays heel and gets actual heel heat. He continues to dominate Evans here. I do hate spots when a guy gets the ropes and the referee doesn’t break the hold, but at least Prazak points that that the hold should be broken. Evans comes back and hits a springboard 450 to the floor. Springboard 540 kick gets a two count, and an inverted Michinoku Driver follows. He heads up for the 630 but gets knocked down. Superplex by Danielson looks nice and pretty and gets a two count. Cattle Mutilation follows and Evans reaches the ropes. Evans comes back and goes for the Sasuke Special but Danielson sidesteps it. Back in the ring Danielson executes the airplane spin. Roaring elbow is followed by a sick looking STF and Evans taps at 13:38. That was a really fun opener that highlighted both men’s strengths.
MATCH #2: Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal vs. Irish Airborne
BG says: Sydal is a tag team whore. He starts with Dave Crist. They fight on the mat and then do some aerial chain wrestling. Jake and Danielson tag in and Danielson gets a headlock takedown. Jake puts on a hammerlock and hits a hurricanrana. Daniels hits a leg lariat and tags to Sydal. Sydal hits a dropkick for 2. Daniels tags in and they hit a double bodyslam. Daniels slams Sydal onto Jake for 2. He hits an elbowdrop for 2. Sydal tags in and hits a fisherman suplex for 2. Daniels tags in and they hit a double back elbow for 2. Sydal tags in and hits a springboard back elbow as Daniels hits a back suplex for 2. The Crists fall to the floor and Sydal follows them out with a no hands dive. Back in the ring he gets 2. He hits a clothesline in the corner but Jake slams him off the top. Dave tags in and hits a back elbow for 2. Jake tags in and hits a boot to the face. He hits a bodyslam for 2. He hits another after tagging to Dave who hits a standing moonsault for 2. Jake tags back in and hits a back suplex for 2. Dave tags in and they hit a double Alabama slam. Dave hits a moonsault press for 2. He puts on a chinlock and tags to Jake. Jake hits a dragon suplex for 2. That felt so out of place. Sydal hits a hurricanrana off the top and tags to Daniels. Daniels cleans house with his flatliner/DDT combo. He hits the Arabian press for 2. The Crists double-team him for 2. Jake tosses Sydal onto Dave’s knees but Sydal catches Dave with an enziguiri. Daniels and Sydal hit a guillotine legdrop on Jake for 2. Dave hits a springboard dropkick on Sydal. The Crists hit a double neckbreaker on Daniels. Sydal catches Dave coming off the top rope with a leg lariat. He hits Jake with the standing moonsault and Daniels follows with the triple jump moonsault for the win. That’s an awesome finishing sequence for those two. This is the kind of match I love because it makes it feel like ROH has a deep tag roster. It took them a little while to reel me in and the Crists still seem unsure of themselves, but the effort was there and it was a decent amount of fun all the way through. Again, extra points for the two-moonsault finisher.
JZ says: Sydal is the whore of the tag team division, having had so many partners. I believe this is the Crist brothers’ first time on the East Coast. They take control of Sydal early on, using their teamwork. Sydal recovers and tags out to Daniels. He and Jake trade moves for a bit, with Jake looking impressive. Sydal is back in and he and Daniels take control. Prazak mentions the Prophecy, harkening back to the early days of ROH. The Airborne are sent to the floor, and Daniels backdrops Sydal onto them. Back in the ring and the Crists take control with their aeronautic assault. Dave and Sydal trade blows. The Irish go to work on the back of Sydal. Sydal comes back with a nice hurricanrana and makes the hot tag to Daniels. He takes care of the Irish boys and hits a nice Arabian press for a near fall. All four are in the ring now. Sydal seems to be hurt as Allison Danger checks on him. He’s soon back in though, as all four men are still in the ring. The referee has completely lost control of this one. Assisted cannonball legdrop by Sydal gets a near fall. Irish Air Raid attempt is broken up by Daniels, and Sydal hits a leg lariat to knock Dave out. Sydal hits a standing moonsault and Daniels follows with the Best Moonsault Ever to get the win at 13:34. That had some good stuff but was mostly a paint-by-numbers tag team affair.
In It to Win It
BG says: Nigel McGuinness says that he doesn’t need to resort to cheap tactics like going under the ring to win a match like Bryan Danielson. He’s adding Delirious to his list of defeated opponents tonight and then he’s unifying the belts.
JZ says: The reigning ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness is here to talk about that window licker Bryan Danielson. He says he doesn’t have to use cheap tactics to win the way Danielson did to him. He promises to kick Delirious’ ass tonight.
MATCH #3: Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli
BG says: Cabana clarifies Claudio’s situation, stating that he’s no longer hanging out with the CZW contingent and since he’s a ROH contracted wrestler he’s one of the best in the world. Since there’s no hostility he wants to have a technical match. Claudio grabs a wristlock but Cabana creatively reverses to his own. Claudio puts on a legvice and the referee gets his arm caught in the hold. Cabana calls for the break. He puts on a leglock but Claudio gets to the ropes. Claudio hits a bodyslam for 2. Cabana hits an inadvertent low blow when he kicks out. He gets a roll up for 2. He hits a very interesting hurricanrana for 2. He gets a backslide for 2. Claudio gets a roll up but Cabana crawls away. Cabana gets another roll up for 2 before both men back off. Claudio European uppercuts Cabana to the floor and then slams his arm against the post. Back in the ring Claudio gets 2 and puts on an armbar. He stays on the arm but Cabana fights back with jabs and elbows. He hits a moonsault press for 2. He hits the Flying Asshole but Claudio rolls him up for 2. Claudio goes for a La Magistral but Cabana counters to his own roll up for the win. Claudio and the referee were pretty much just props for Cabana here. This was the same type of match that Cabana would have with McGuinness except that Claudio’s gimmick right now is that he’s on a losing streak since coming out of the CZW feud so he didn’t get to shine nearly as much.
JZ says: The audience gives Claudio a hard time, but Cabana gives him the benefit of the doubt and asks for a good wrestling match. Claudio shakes on it and here we go. They do some chain wrestling to start, with both guys feeling each other out. I can’t for the life of me figure out why neither of these guys has been signed yet. The crowd starts a “polka dots” chant in honor of Cabana’s ring gear. They trade wrist locks. The referee somehow gets caught up in one of Cabana’s submission holds in a funny spot. Claudio comes back and goes to work on the leg. Cabana reverses the hold, but Claudio reaches the ropes and we’re back to square one. Claudio tries to pin Cabana several times in a row and takes an “accidental” shot to the groin. Cabana involves the referee again, and we get a series of pinning combinations by both guys, reminiscent of the Cabana / Nigel matches of 2005. Claudio tires of the shenanigans and knocks Cabana to the floor and goes to work on Cabana’s hand. The crowd chants “shut the fuck up,” but I’m not sure at whom. Someone must have dared to express themselves. Back in the ring Claudio continues to go to work. Prazak mentions Cabana’s upcoming match with ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson, and I just got myself all excited about a potential Danielson vs. Claudio match. Cabana comes back with a quebrada and hits the flying asshole. They exchange pinning combinations again, and Cabana is able to hold Claudio down and get the three count at 10:21. That was a fun exhibition of sorts, but the finish was really abrupt and there was no build. I liked what I saw though, and I’d love to see a rematch.
Main Event Hype
BG says: AJ Styles talks about losing to Joe in their first match and in the four corner survival match at Better than our Best. He wants to leave ROH on a high note, by beating Joe once and for all.
JZ says: AJ Styles and his high price tag are here to mention his history with Samoa Joe. He says he’s leaving Ring of Honor for a few months, and he wants to go out on the high note of beating Samoa Joe. Good luck!
MATCH #4: ROH World Tag Team Title Ultimate Endurance Match – Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Homicide & Ricky Reyes vs. BJ Whitmer & Adam Pearce vs. Jimmy Rave & Sal Rinauro
BG says: Pearce & Whitmer are a shaky alliance right now to say the least given how they each feel about Homicide. I love how ROH feuds intermingle throughout the card. Historically I haven’t liked Ultimate Endurance matches. They’ve mostly gotten worse with each installment, with the last one at Fate of an Angel being pretty much unbearable. The first fall is a scramble match but Homicide and Pearce start brawling before the bell. Whitmer tries to separate them so the match can begin. Rave and Reyes start. Rave spits in Reyes’ face but Reyes comes back with kicks. Sal comes in and dodges the kicks to hit a hurricanrana and a dropkick. He hits a crossbody for 2. Reyes hits an overhead suplex and Strong comes in. Strong hits a dropkick and trades strikes with Whitmer. He hits an inverted lung blower but Whitmer comes back with a hurricanrana. He hits a leg lariat and Aries comes in. Aries hits a dropkick to the head and follows Whitmer to the floor with a low suicide dive. Sal follows them out with a springboard dive. Strong slingshots himself out as well. Pearce climbs to the top rope and Homicide shoves him onto the pile. Homicide hits his trademark dive onto everyone before the Embassy starts taking liberties with Reyes. Everyone hits their finishers on Rinauro but all the pin attempts are broken up, probably to frustrate me. The commentators at least attribute it to big egos. Sal’s misery is ended when Homicide eliminates him with the lariat.
The next fall is a submission match. Homicide and Pearce brawl until Homicide falls to the floor. Reyes dropkicks Pearce’s knee and puts the pressure on it. He puts on a leglock but Whitmer breaks it up. Whitmer hits a neckbreaker and puts on a front facelock. Reyes comes back with a cross armbreaker but Whitmer fights out. He goes for a bodyslam but Reyes grabs a triangle choke. Whitmer counters to a cloverleaf but Reyes gets to the ropes. Reyes puts on the dragon sleeper but Pearce comes off the top rope to break it up. Pearce and Homicide tag in and slug it out. Pearce hits a Manhattan drop but Homicide comes back with an Ace Crusher. Pearce blocks the lariat with a chain-wrapped fist and gets his team disqualified.
The match is now officially for the tag titles. Strong and Reyes fight on the mat as Homicide convalesces on the floor. Aries tags in and gets hit with a neckbreaker. He comes back with a knee to the gut and tags to Strong. Strong holds a delayed vertical suplex as Homicide gets back on the apron. Strong drops Reyes on the top rope for 2. He puts on the leggy nelson and rolls Reyes up for 2. Aries tags in and hits an ugly slingshot splash for 2. Reyes hits a pumphandle suplex and tags to Homicide. Homicide hits a back bodydrop and an overhead suplex for 2. He hits a swinging DDT on Strong for 2. I guess everyone’s legal now. Homicide hits the Three Amigos and climbs the ropes. He misses the flying headbutt and gets double-teamed by the champs. The Rottweilers come back by playing the numbers on Aries for 2. Strong hits a running powerslam on Reyes Homicide catches him with a DDT. Aries ducks the lariat and hits a roaring forearm. He hits the corner dropkick for 2. He hits a bodyslam and climbs the ropes. Homicide cuts him off but Steve Corino runs out and hits him with a roll of quarters. Strong and Aries hit the powerbomb/missile dropkick combo for the win.
I like the way the Homicide/Cornette feud was integrated into the match. Unfortunately, much like at The 100th Show Aries & Strong couldn’t keep the match interesting against Reyes and Homicide. The final fall was pretty disastrous after the first two falls entertained. Still, the finish engaging if overbooked and the match was at least on par with the best Ultimate Endurance matches of the past.
After the match Aries gets on the microphone and points out that he and Strong don’t have their tag team belts. Apparently someone stole the belts and Aries suspects the Briscoes are to blame. He demands that they be returned by the time the Ultimate Endurance match starts tomorrow.
JZ says: I haven’t loved any of the Ultimate Endurance matches so far (and the last one was just brutal), so hopefully this one can change the trend. Aries and Strong have been tag team champions since 12.17.05, and this is their fourteenth title defense, but for some reason they don’t have the belts with them. This is the first time Whitmer and Pearce have teamed together, but Pearce is Jim Cornette’s Lt. Commissioner, so I figure that’s how he got this title shot. Homicide and Pearce brawl right away to start, but they kind of calm them down to start the match proper. The first fall is under scramble rules. Rinauro and Reyes start off. Strong and Whitmer are in next and they take it to each other. Aries comes in and he takes it to Whitmer. Aries hits a dive and Rinauro tries to follow up but no one catches him and he eats a face full of barricade. Pearce tries one but Homicide pushes him off the rope and he hits the Tope Con Hilo. That leaves Reyes and Rave in the ring and that leads to Prince Nana and Julius Smokes almost getting in an altercation. I like Jimmy Rave’s gear. Then everyone starts hitting moves on everyone. I don’t understand why people would break up pins or submissions; I would think the first elimination would be to everyone’s advantage. Speaking of eliminations, Homicide kills Rinauro with a lariat to eliminate the Embassy at 5:44. Now we’re into the second fall, a tap out match, and the Rottweilers go to work on Pearce and Whitmer, going for submissions. Reyes goes for a lot of submissions, and every time Homicide and Pearce get in the ring they go nuts on each other. Homicide hits the Ace Crusher, but then the referee catches Pearce using a steel chain and disqualifies him (in a match where you can only win by tap out) at 9:45. That leaves Homicide and Reyes to challenge for the ROH Tag Team Titles. I realize we’ve seen every combination of singles matches between these four guys except for Strong versus Reyes, and they look to be working pretty good together right now. Jared David says Homicide may have a concussion from the steel chain spot, but the way he’s handling the champions I would say not. Everyone is hitting big moves on everyone, I can hardly keep up. Homicide sets Aries on top for a superplex, but Steve Corino runs in out of nowhere and hits Homicide with a roll of quarters, and the champions hit the powerbomb / missile dropkick combination to get the pin on Homicide and retain the titles at 18:57. That was really fast paced and even seemed a bit rushed at times, but was still the best Ultimate Endurance match I’ve seen so far and the re-introduction of Steve Corino is important. Austin Aries gets on the microphone after the match to remind everyone that they are still the tag team champions, even if someone did steal the belts. He thinks the Briscoe Brothers did it.
BG says: Bryan Danielson isn’t going to look Joe in the eyes tonight, but tomorrow night he’s going to tear his knee apart. He’s also up for wrestling Nigel McGuinness one more time to unify the titles.
JZ says: ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson says that he calls the shots around here, not Samoa Joe. So he will not meet him face-to-face tonight. He will do his talking in the ring tomorrow night. He then accepts ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness’ challenge to unify the World and Pure Championships.
Steve Corino Returns
BG says: Alex Payne is ready for a match but Steve Corino comes back out to explain his presence. Payne takes offense and starts attacking him so Corino hits him with a northern lights bomb. He rips into the fans for being spoiled virgins. He says that Jim Cornette called him and told him about the Homicide situation. He calls Homicide out and it doesn’t take long for the brawl to be on. Pearce runs out to save Corino and it looks like Homicide is in trouble. Whitmer runs out and questions Pearce’s motives. Pearce explains that he’s only in ROH to please Cornette. Homicide gets some revenge by slugging Pearce down with a foreign object and brawls with Corino. A tag match seems inevitable.
JZ says: ROH student Alex Payne is in the ring for what Prazak explains was going to be a dark match for the fans in attendance, but Steve Corino comes out and gives him the Old School Expulsion. He says “don’t you know who I am,” so the crowd chants “who the fuck are you?” That’s pretty funny. Corino says things about the fans that many have said before, but it gets them riled up. He says that if there’s one person in the building hated more than him, it’s some guy with a green lantern shirt on. Then he calls out Homicide, making some gay references. It doesn’t take much for Homicide to come out and attack him, which brings Adam Pearce out as well. The crowd chants for BJ Whitmer, and that makes me happy. He comes out to question Pearce’s actions. He says he only works for Jim Cornette, not the ROH fans. Homicide is somehow able to sneak behind Pearce and lay him out. Corino and Homicide fight on the floor now. Corino bails and the crowd calls him a pussy. This should be a good tag team match. Where did BJ Whitmer go?
MATCH #5: ROH Pure Title Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Delirious
BG says: Delirious had racked up a couple of wins, including one over the persistent Pure title contender Claudio Castagnoli to earn this shot. Delirious uses his first rope break right away to escape a front facelock. See, he was zoned out when the rules were being explained. He uses his second rope break immediately after to escape a hammerlock. He uses his final rope break to escape a wristlock. He grabs a headlock and hits the Never Ending Story clotheslines. He finishes up with a clothesline to the head. Nigel gets a takedown for 1. Delirious grabs a wristlock and Nigel accidentally uses his first rope break. Delirious hits an armbreaker for 2. Delirious grabs a hammerlock and Nigel accidentally uses his second rope break. Nigel hits the corner combo for 2. He hits a short arm clothesline for 2. Delirious hits a back elbow and a leaping clothesline. He hits a dropkick to the back and the Panic Attack. He climbs the ropes and hits Shadows Over Hell for 2. He puts on the cobra stretch but Nigel uses his last rope break to escape. Nigel bails and walks towards the back. He dares Delirious to follow him out and then beats him up on the floor. He hits a big clothesline and gets back into the ring at 16. Delirious makes it back at 19. Nigel hits a running European uppercut and blocks the Shadows for 2. He hits the Tower of London for 2. Delirious hits an armdrag and puts on the cobra stretch. Nigel escapes and climbs the ropes. Delirious slams him off and climbs himself. Nigel crotches him and hits the Tower of London for 2. So much for that move as a finisher. Nigel crotches Delirious on the top rope and clotheslines him off for 2. Delirious gets a roll up for 2. He hits a hurricanrana but Nigel catches him with the rebound lariat for 2. He follows up with the Cow Killer for the win because the ropes were in play. While Delirious’ rope breaks made sense Nigel’s did not. Why would someone who has been champ for over a year suddenly start using the ropes to steady himself while in a hold. I’d heard that this match was an argument for not unifying the Pure title with the World title but to me it just felt like a longer version of their average match from Tag Wars 2006. It also killed the Tower of London, a move that should be a match killer from the looks of it. I think the match did a lot more to make Nigel’s moves look weak than to make Delirious look strong, a mistake heading into a huge match with Danielson in England.
JZ says: Nigel has been champions since 8.27.05, and this is his seventeenth defense. I’m not sure what Delirious did to earn this title shot, but I’m looking forward to this match anyway. These two met in a non-title match back in January at Tag Wars 2006, but Delirious has received a substantial push since then so this is a much bigger match (not to mention because it’s for the title too). They also worked in a three-way match along with Kikutaro at How We Roll in May. Delirious uses his first rope break early, perhaps because he couldn’t understand Todd Sinclair’s explanation of the rules. He uses the second one in short order as well. A wristlock by Nigel is enough for Delirious to use his third rope break. The ropes are now in play for the champion. Delirious puts Nigel in the corner and hits the Roots Clotheslines. Nigel can’t defend himself, and good thing, because we all know how much ROH fans hate it if you try and defend yourself. Nigel accidentally/questionably uses his first rope break and is mad about it. He then takes a DDT for a near fall, and Nigel uses the ropes to get back to his feet and Sinclair charges him his second rope break. Nigel tires of Delirious’ antics and goes to work, hitting a big clothesline. Delirious keeps fighting back though. He hits the Panic Attack and goes for Shadows over Hell and hits it for two. Cobra Stretch follows and Nigel uses his third and final rope break and then takes a powder. Nigel lures Delirious outside and throws him over the barricade. Nigel hits a clothesline on the floor and Nigel thinks its over but Delirious is able to get back into the ring. Delirious tries Shadows over Hell again but eats a European uppercut for a near fall. Nigel hits the Tower of London but Delirious kicks out at two. He tries another Tower of London but Delirious reverses it into the Cobra Stretch. Nigel is able to get out of the hold. Another Tower of London hits but Delirious kicks out again. Big lariat by Nigel gets two. Inside cradle gets a near fall for Delirious. He fights back with a headscissors, but Nigel hits the Rebound Clothesline and Delirious kicks out again. Nigel then puts on the Cattle Mutilation and Delirious puts his foot on the ropes but it doesn’t matter and it’s over at 17:24. That was a good back and forth match and the finish is both effective and puts heat on the upcoming Pure versus World Title unification match. However, as Brad said I do think that they shouldn’t have killed Nigel’s finisher before heading into the biggest match of his career.
Lacey’s Angels Update
BG says: Lacey explains that Jimmy Jacobs isn’t on this weekend’s shows because he was more concerned with Lacey’s personal life and singing songs than he was with winning matches on the last two shows. Songs won’t impress her, winning matches will.
JZ says: Lacey is finally ready for her promo. She says that Jimmy Jacobs is at home being punished for butting in to her personal life last weekend. Then she mocks him singing his song for her in Cleveland. She says the only thing that impresses her is wins.
MATCH #6: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. KENTA & Davey Richards
BG says: This match stems from KENTA getting caught up in the Briscoe’s feud against Austin Aries & Roderick Strong. Davey Richards is pretty much just along for the ride for now. Richards and Mark start. Richards puts Mark on the mat with a headlock and then floats into a wristlock. Mark comes back with a headlock but Richards gets a backslide for 2. Mark goes for a wristlock so Richards kicks his arm. KENTA and Jay tag in and KENTA hits a big boot. They trade strikes and Jay hits a leg lariat. Mark tags in and gets stuck in a headlock. Richards tags in and opens up with strikes. He hits a back elbow for 2. KENTA tags in and kicks away. Jay tags in and hits a dropkick for 2. He hits a snap suplex and tags to Mark. They hit the double shoulder tackle for 2. KENTA slaps Mark to block a sunset flip for 2. Richards tags in and hits a snap suplex for 2. He puts on the Mark Nulty Special and tags to KENTA. KENTA hits a pair of elbowdrops for 2. He hits a stiff kick to the back for 2. He hits the afterthought kick but Mark slaps him back. Jay tags in and puts on a dragon sleeper. KENTA gets to the ropes. Mark tags in and hits a clothesline for 2. He hits a gutwrench suplex and a kneedrop for 2. Jay tags in and hits a back elbow. KENTA comes back with a powerslam and tags to Richards. Richards hits a German suplex for 2. He sets Jay up top but Jay fights him off and hits a big splash for 2. Mark hits a knee strike from the apron and tags in to hit a double stomp for 2. He hits a crossbody for 2. Jay tags in and hits an elbow for 2. Mark and KENTA tag in and KENTA cleans house. He hits a springboard dropkick onto both opponents and hits Mark with a boot in the corner. He hits a seated dropkick in the corner for 2. Mark hits a forearm out of the corner but KENTA comes back with a flurry of kicks. He hits a fisherman suplex for 2. Richards tags in and gets hit with a guillotine legdrop for 2. KENTA tags in but its Richards who puts the Briscoes down. They attack Mark in the corner and Richards hits a suicide dive on Jay. KENTA hits Mark with a tiger suplex for 2. Mark hits a head and arm suplex on KENTA but Richards hits him with a handspring kick. KENTA hits the Busaiku knee kick on Jay but Mark catches him with a leg lariat for 2. He sets KENTA up top but gets hit with a doomsday knee kick for 2 when Jay saves. Jay hits a DVD on KENTA. Richards hits a DDT on Jay. He misses the shooting star press but gets a roll up for 2. The Briscoes come right back with the spike Jay Driller for the win. This started to feel very choreographed near the end with everyone waiting for everyone else to get in position for complicated sequences. The action was great in parts but the total package was less than what I was expecting. Maybe I’m as spoiled as the Long Island fans.
JZ says: This should be awesome. Richards and Mark start it off with some mat wrestling. KENTA gets tagged in and starts doing what he does. The Briscoes soon take over and start going to work on KENTA’s arm. Richards tags back in and he hits some strikes and tags back out to KENTA. The Briscoes take over and double team the undefeated NOAH superstar. KENTA comes back and hits his springboard kick to the face, but Mark gets up and slaps him in the face and tags his brother Jay. They work over KENTA for a minute until he hits a powerslam and tags Richards back in. He goes for a superplex but Jay knocks him down and hits a splash off the top for two. The Briscoes continue to work on Richards with their awesome offensive attack. Richards fights back and makes the tag to KENTA, but the Briscoes go right to work on him. He comes back with a springboard missile dropkick on both men. KENTA dominates with kicks and stuff, and then tags Richards in. The Briscoes hit a decapitation legdrop off the top rope for two. Mark goes for the Cutthroat Driver but Richards blocks. He and KENTA are soon double teaming the Briscoes to great effect. KENTA hits a Tiger Suplex for two. All four start kicking each other in the face for a while and everybody’s down. People get up and everyone gets beat up again, and Jay hits that awesome military press into a Death Valley Driver on KENTA. Davey hits a nice DDT on Mark and goes up top but misses the Shooting Star Press. The Spike Jay Driller follows a few moments later and the Briscoes are victorious at 19:15. That started slow but picked up towards the end. No team ever really had control for more than a minute or two at a time, presumably because there will be more matches between these four, but it did hurt the flow of the match a bit.
MATCH #7: Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles
BG says: Styles said in his promo that he’d be back in a few months but the commentators make it pretty clear that this is his last match in ROH for the foreseeable future. He attacks before the bell drawing boos. Joe comes back with shoulder blocks but Styles hits a hurricanrana. He hits a dropkick and a backbreaker for 1. He goes for the Styles Clash but Joe blocks. He kicks at Joe’s head and hits a DDT for 2. He hits a kick to the back and puts on a Mutalock. He knocks Joe to the floor but Joe sweeps his legs off the apron. He chops Styles to the floor and sets him up for the Ole Kick. Styles jumps over the barricade but Joe has seen this before and doesn’t take the bait. Styles climbs back over the barricade so Joe takes the opportunity to slam him into it and hit the Ole Kick. Back in the ring Joe hits a leaping enziguiri for 2. He ducks a kick and hits a boot to the back of the head. Styles falls to the floor and baits Joe out. He rushes back in and dives out with a somersault plancha. Back in the ring Styles hits a springboard forearm for 2. He hits a hammerlock suplex for 2. Joe comes back with an Ace Crusher and a lariat for 2. He hits a powerbomb for 2 and puts on an STF. He switches to a crossface but Styles gets to the ropes. He misses an enziguiri and Styles hits the inverted DDT for 2. Joe hits a powerslam for 2. He sets Styles up top and goes for the muscle buster but Styles counters to the Styles Clash. It gets 2 when Joe gets his foot on the bottom rope. Styles puts on a sleeper hold but Joe jumps onto his back to escape. He puts on a sleeper of his own and hits a sleeper suplex for the win. This was a lot more like their TNA matches than their first ROH match, which is a good thing. Having Joe put Styles away so quickly was a great way to cap off a great build to his title match the following night, and Styles didn’t need to look great since he’s not going to be around after this.
JZ says: This will be AJ Styles’ last match in ROH for the foreseeable future. Styles attacks right away and the battle is on. He hits a nice dropkick and Joe sells it awesomely. Styles hits a backbreaker and gloats about it. He goes for the Styles Clash but Joe blocks it. He hits a DDT instead and gets two. Jared David mentions that ROH is not the New York Yankees of professional wrestling, and this leads to them talking about how Styles is asking for too much money. Good for them for talking about it in plain terms, seriously. Styles has had plenty of great matches, but ROH can certainly get by without him. Joe goes to the outside and Styles tries a dive but Joe blocks it and takes control. He sets up a chair and you know what’s coming next. Styles tries to avoid it but Joe isn’t taking no for an answer on the Ole Kick. The crowd chants Holy Shit, but Joe clearly didn’t make contact with his face. Back in the ring and Joe continues to control the action. Jimmy Bower enters the booth to talk about saying goodbye to AJ Styles and what an emotional event it is. Joe goes to the floor and Styles hits a somersault plancha. Styles hits the springboard forearm for a near fall. Styles tries a springboard but Joe hits the Ace Crusher and follows with a lariat for two. Powerbomb into the STF by Joe, but Styles reaches the ropes. Styles comes back with an inverted DDT for two. Powerslam by Joe gets two. Joe tries the Muscle Buster but Styles reverses it to the Styles Clash but Joe reaches the ropes. Joe hits a couple of strikes and goes for the Choke, and throws Styles with a suplex, and that’s it at 11:56. That was surprisingly short but the action was good and Joe looks dominant going into tomorrow night’s match against the ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson.
The History of AJ Styles in ROH
BG says: A video package of AJ Styles’ career in ROH is shown after the match. It’s a nice video that makes Styles look great. I was never a huge Styles fan and he certainly hadn’t been consistent since his return in 2005 but I can certainly understand why ROH would want to send him off with a nice farewell.
JZ says: This is a good video package showing a lot of his highlights over the last four and a half years in ROH (minus that year or so because of that one thing). My favorite AJ Styles match in ROH is definitely the one with Paul London at Night of the Grudges, and he had a lot of other really good ones too.
BG says: The Briscoes brag about beating KENTA and Davey Richards, calling KENTA all hype and Richards a flash in the pan. As per Jim Cornette’s request they’re going to tear Homicide apart and win the tag titles in Ultimate Endurance tomorrow night. These guys cut perfect promos for their gimmick.
Joe is disappointed that Danielson wouldn’t meet him in the ring, but tomorrow he’s going to take back the ROH World Championship. He walks out of the building and runs into Cabana making out with someone between two Ryder trucks. Cabana scurries off, concealing his lady friends’ identity. Joe follows him like some kind of perv.
JZ says: The Briscoes collectively tell KENTA, Davey Richards, Homicide, and ROH Tag Team Champions Austin Aries & Roderick Strong to man up. That’s pretty impressive that they can feud with that many people at one time.
Samoa Joe is pissed that Bryan Danielson would not meet him face to face tonight. Joe once again promises to regain the ROH World Title tomorrow night. Joe then walks outside and sees Colt Cabana groping an unknown woman, and he tries to get his attention but to no avail.
COMING SOON – ROH IN THE UK
BG says: This is a tough one as there weren’t really any stand out performances. I’m going to give it to Jay Briscoe for being in the match of the night and cutting a great promo as well. It’s the little things sometimes.
JZ says: I’ll say Jack Evans, because it’s great to see how much he has improved between his two matches with Bryan Danielson.
Coming soon will be our review of FIGHT OF THE CENTURY!
The 411: BG says: This was the very definition of a placeholder show. Joe and Danielson blow through opponents on their way to their anticipated match. Nigel gets lost in the shuffle and devalued against a challenger who, at the time had no business taking him to the limit. Daniels and Sydal premiered as a solid team and the big tag match was solid, but there’s nothing here to really go out of your way for. Solid enough for a mild recommendation, but with all the shows ROH has been putting out lately this one is largely skippable.
JZ says: There’s nothing great here, but the opener and the main event are very solid, and there’s some good stuff in between and some good angle advancement, like Corino coming back and more with Cabana and his mystery lady. You can do without it, but there’s enough good stuff for a mild recommendation.