ROH - Race to the Top Tournament Night 1 DVD Review
Posted by Garoon & Ziegler on 11.02.2007
Who will win the race?
ROH – RACE TO THE TOP TOURNAMENT NIGHT ONE – DEER PARK, NY – 7.27.07
BG says: This weekend’s Video Wire starts with a recap of ROH in Japan. After a mellow montage they show a clip of the match of the weekend, Bryan Danielson vs. Go Shiosaki. While the clip plays there is also an advertisement for Respect is Earned on PPV. If I were a new fan I might assume that this match was on that PPV, which it wasn’t. Next up they run down the brackets for night one of the tournament. A trip to Osaka shows the formation of the Danielson/CIMA/Naomichi Marufuji team and the reason for their match against the No Remorse Corp. Clips of that match are shown, as are clips of the ROH World Championship match from Tokyo between champ Takeshi Morishima and challenger Nigel McGuinness. They do a great job of making the World Championship match look exciting. They run down Morishima’s upcoming defenses, against Claudio Castagnoli, Brent Albright and Danielson, and then show a confrontation in Tokyo between Danielson, Morishima and McGuinness where Danielson goes down and Morishima finally shows McGuinness respect.
Kevin Steen & El Generico kick off the show with a backstage promo. Steen says they’ve shown that they are a force in the tag division, and it’s only a matter of time before they’re the tag champs. While Steen was disappointed to learn that Race to the Top isn’t actually a foot race, but he’s sure that he will win the wrestling tournament. Generico tries to get some face time in but Steen hogs the scene as usual.
JZ says: Steen and Generico open the show, and I don’t understand Steen’s shirt. I’m guessing that makes me the doofus. Steen’s excitement about this being a wrestling tournament and not a running tournament is tremendous. So is his not letting Generico take one second of spotlight.
MATCH #1: First Round Match – BJ Whitmer vs. Pelle Primeau
BG says: Primeau is back to looking like a jobber with a bad haircut. He dumps Whitmer to the floor to start. He follows Whitmer out with a dropkick from the apron and rolls him back into the ring. He hits a springboard hurricanrana for 2. Whitmer tosses Primeau into the air and helps him hit the mat. He throws Primeau onto the top rope and hits a running knee for 2. He hits a backbreaker and a fall away slam for 2. He chops Primeau in the corner and hits a snap suplex for 2. He hits a bodyslam and climbs the ropes. He gets distracted by Rhett Titus who is working security and Primeau knocks him off the top and rolls him up for the win. That’s got to be the last straw for Whitmer, who is now just making ridiculously stupid mistakes and losing to the lowest man on the totem pole. After the match he stops Primeau from crowd surfing and destroys him with a turnbuckle powerbomb and a big boot. He also hits a brainbuster and beats up on Titus.
Claudio Castagnoli has always been told he has what it takes to get to the top of ROH. In this tournament he’s going to prove those who said that right. He’s also keeping an eye on Sweet N’ Sour Incorporated.
JZ says: Primeau avoids a charge early and Whitmer goes to the floor and gets distracted by Rhett Titus. That allows Primeau to hit his missile dropkick on the floor and throws Whitmer back in the ring and this a hurricanrana for two. Primeau tries an Irish whip but Whitmer blocks it and starts tossing Primeau around. Whitmer tries going to the top rope but gets distracted by Titus again and Primeau crotches Whitmer and rolls him up in a small package to get the pin at 3:39. Obviously this was just to continue Whitmer’s losing steak, it’s not like they had any time to get anything really going. After the match Primeau tries to crowd surf but Whitmer pulls him back to the ring and delivers quite the ass-whipping, The crowd chants “BJ blew it,” which is cool.
Claudio Castagnoli promises that he is going to prove that he can and will take it to the top. After he wins the tournament he is coming for Sweet ‘n’ Sour Incorporated.
MATCH #2: First Round Match – Davey Richards vs. Jigsaw
BG says: They lock up and Richards powers Jigsaw to the ropes. Jigsaw puts on a hammerlock but Richards counters to a takedown and hits crossface forearms. Jigsaw blocks the arm kick and hits a pair of armdrags. He hits a hurricanrana and a back bodydrop. He hits a dropkick and Richards bails. Jigsaw goes for a dive but wipes out when Richards dodges it. Back in the ring Richards unloads with kicks for 2. He hits a pumphandle shoulderbreaker for 2. He puts on a headlock and hits a clothesline for 2. He rams Jigsaw into the turnbuckle and hits a dropkick to the back for 2. Jigsaw comes back with an enziguiri. His left arm is crap but he uses his right to elbow Richards down and then hits a leg lariat for 2. Richards goes to the arm but Jigsaw stays in control with a double stomp to the back. He hits a DDT for 2. He gets a roll up for 2. Richards hits a chinbreaker and blocks a victory roll for 2. He hits an enziguiri and a German suplex for 2. He finishes Jigsaw off with the 14:59 seconds later. This was short paced and action packed. Very good for a short match and it was nice to see Jigsaw’s great selling lead directly to the finish.
Austin Aries gets the Resilience together for an on-camera pep talk. He’s been watching them getting their asses kicked the last few months so he knows they can take punishment. Tonight he wants to see then advance in the tournament. He also promises to take Roderick Strong’s FIP World Heavyweight Championship away from him.
JZ says: Richards trips on his way out, which I always enjoy. He’s also wearing a vest over his t-shirt, which seems like a faux pas of some kind. They start with some mat wrestling, with Richards gaining control. Jigsaw is prepared for some of Richards’ offense, and he’s able to counter it and take control. A dropkick sends Richards to the floor and Jigsaw tries a dive but eats nothing but floor. Richards brings it back into the ring and acts like a jerk. He hits a series of kicks and the crowd is actually behind him. Come on, let him be a heel. Jigsaw tries to fight up but Richards keeps kicking him down. Richards tries a brainbuster but Jigsaw counters with an enziguiri and both men are down. Jigsaw hits a series of moves but can’t hold Richards down. Richards comes back and tries the DR Driver but Jigsaw counters it and tries a victory roll, so Richards sits on Jigsaw’s face. It looked pretty gay. A German Suplex gets two for Richards. He rolls out of that into the Kimura Lock and Jigsaw taps out at 7:28. That was pretty solid for the time given. I haven’t seen much Jigsaw but I like what I’ve seen so far.
Backstage Austin Aries is lecturing Resilience members Matt Cross and Erick Stevens. He makes a super, super lame joke about the size of his balls. He’s just reminding me of how little I’ve missed him.
MATCH #3: First Round Match – Claudio Castagnoli vs. Hallowicked
BG says: They lock up and Castagnoli puts Hallowicked on the mat. He puts on a toehold but Hallowicked counters to a headlock. They criss cross and Hallowicked gets a takedown. He hits a very creative armdrag and a roll up for 2. Castagnoli hits an armdrag and but Hallowicked responds in kind. Castagnoli hits a diving European uppercut for 2. He hits a bodyslam for 2. He puts on a seated abdominal stretch but Hallowicked fights out. Hallowicked counters a leap frog to a roll up for 2. Castagnoli forearms him down for 1. He hits the giant swing for 2. He hits the Karelin Lift for 2. Hallowicked catches Castagnoli up top and hits the Iconoclasm. He hits more armdrags and a head scissors takedown. He hits a big boot for 2. Castagnoli hits the Match Killer for 2. He hits the Alpamare Waterslide for 2. He hits a kneedrop to the gut but Hallowicked comes back with the Rydeen Bomb for 2. He puts on the octopus stretch and gets a crucifix pin for 2. He gets a sunset flip for 1. Castagnoli rolls into it and hits the Ricola Bomb for the win. Another fun match here, much in the same mold as the one it followed.
JZ says: Claudio goes for the leg early on, and Hallowicked is able to keep up at the onset. They trade maneuvers involving armdrags and flipping a lot. Castagnoli gets the first big move with a European Uppercut out of the corner for two. He uses his various offensive moves on Hallowicked, and gets a few near falls. Hallowicked comes back with a version of the Iconoclasm and both men are down. He hits a few moves but Castagnoli comes back with the Match Killer for two. He follows that with the Alparmare Water Slide and that only gets two. Castagnoli tries a bicycle kick but Hallowicked moves out of the way and hits a sky high powerbomb for two. Hallowicked locks on an abdominal stretch and then turns it into a bit of an octopus and gets a crucifix out of that for two. He tries a sunset flip next but Castagnoli rolls through and hits the Ricola Bomb for the win at 7:02. The finish was cool in theory, but they both looked like they were moving in slow motion for that. Rest of the match was just okay.
MATCH #4: First Round Match – Matt Sydal vs. Mike Quackenbush
BG says: Before the match Larry Sweeney reveals that he has put Matt Sydal in touch with TNA, WWE and Japanese companies, so he’s not long for ROH. He says that Quackenbush is an easy opponent and takes the entourage to the back. Sydal stalls to start. Back in the ring he puts Quackenbush on the mat but Quackenbush comes back with a hammerlock. He puts on a surfboard but Sydal counters the hold. Sydal puts on a chinlock but Quackenbush easily escapes. Quackenbush gets a roll up for 2. Sydal gets a head scissors takedown and hits a side slam. He hits an elbowdrop for 2. Quackenbush hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. He throws Sydal over the top rope to the floor and then dives out onto him. Back in the ring Quackenbush ties Sydal up but releases when Sydal won’t tap. Sydal hits a leg lariat for 2. He puts on a bow and arrow and then hits a pair of bodyslams. He hits the cannonball legdrop for 2. He chops Quackenbush down and hits his corner combo. He hits the momentum kick for 2. He puts on a seated abdominal stretch but releases and gets caught in a roll up. He puts on a chinlock but Quackenbush gets to the ropes. Sydal’s standing moonsault hits Quackenbush’s feet and Quackenbush hits a vertical suplex. He hits a headbutt to the chest, a clothesline in the corner and a bulldog. He hits a springboard double knee kick to the chest, driving Sydal to the mat. He hits a facebuster and rolls Sydal up for 2. He drags Sydal up top but Sydal brings him down with a hurricanrana for 2. Quackenbush hits a backpack stunner for 2. He hits another facebuster and rolls Sydal up for 2. He slaps Sydal across the face but Sydal comes back with an enziguiri and a DDT. He hits the standing moonsault for 2. He hits the pumphandle piledriver for 2. He climbs the ropes but misses the shooting star press and Quackenbush hits the Black Tornado Slam for the win. This really wasn’t what I expected from these two. Not quite as fast paced as I thought it would be, but still entertaining for what it was.
JZ says: Sydal is now a member of Sweet ‘n’ Sour Incorporated, and the whole group is out with him, sans Chris Hero of course. Sweeney cuts a promo to put over Matt Sydal, noting all the companies who are in competition to sign Sydal. He assigns jobs for each member of the group, and they leave Sydal to wrestle the match on his own. Sydal stalls to start, much to the chagrin of the Deer Park crowd. Back in the ring Quack goes after the arm right away and tries to ground Sydal. Sydal responds by going after the leg. Sydal hits a side slam and gets a two count. Quack comes back by launching Sydal over the top rope and Sydal lands on his feet so Quack follows him with a dive. Back in the ring Quack stays in control until Sydal lands a leg lariat for a near fall. Sydal goes right back to the leg. The crowd tries to get behind Quack, so Sydal tells them to “shut the quack up.” That’s something. A cannonball legdrop by Sydal gets two. Quack comes back with a suplex and hits a flurry of moves on Sydal. I don’t think I really like Quack’s gear. La Magistral cradle gets two for Quack. Sydal comes back with a headscissors off the top rope for a near fall. Quack comes back with a chinbreaker for two. Sydal hits a capture DDT and the standing Moonsault for two. The Here It Is Driver only gets two as well. Sydal quickly hops to the top rope and tries the Shooting Star Press but lands on his feet when Quack moves out of the way. Quack is able to hit the Black Tornado Slam and roll Sydal up for the upset at 14:12. That was a pretty solid back and forth match, but it didn’t really have any ebbing or flowing.
MATCH #5: First Round Match – Chris Hero vs. Erick Stevens
BG says: Either Sweeney is worried that Hero will fall into the same trap that Sydal did or he considers Stevens a bigger threat than Quackenbush because he and the rest of the entourage stay at ringside. Stevens mocks Hero’s shenanigans so Hero stalls. They lock up and Hero grabs a headlock. Stevens comes back with a wristlock but Hero counters to a toehold. Stevens puts on a headlock and then grabs a toehold. Hero fakes a shoulder tackle and kicks Stevens’s gut. He flips around the ring and the ringside area, leaving him open for a shoulder tackle from Stevens. Stevens hits a powerslam but Hero comes back with a trip and a stomp to the chest. He hits a big boot and stands on Stevens’s throat. Tank Toland, Sweeney and Sara Del Rey get a few cheap shots in and Hero hits a dropkick to the face. He puts on a leglock but Stevens rolls him over to escape. Stevens hits a forearm but Hero responds with one of the roaring variety for 2. Stevens gets fired up and hits the TKO. He hits a back elbow and a clothesline. He hits the Choo Choo Avalanche but Hero blocks a vertical suplex. Stevens hits a back bodydrop and the Jackhammer for 2. Hero blocks a blind charge but Stevens catches him with a sit-out pumphandle slam for 2. Hero hits a hanging Cravat Cutter for 2. He climbs the ropes and hits a double stomp for 2. Stevens counters the Hero’s Welcome to a German suplex and the Sarasota Screwdriver for 2 when Sweeney distracts the referee. Stevens chases the entire entourage around the ring, distracting him long enough for Hero to hit the Hero’s Welcome for the win. This took a while to pick up but once it did they had a good thing going. The finish was pretty cheap and silly looking.
Delirious cuts a promo and these are the words I understand: Delirious, Race to the Top, Bryan Danielson, tap, Generico, walk away with the trophy. So from that I put together that he thinks he’ll win the tournament because he made Danielson tap so he can make Generico and the rest of his opponents tap.
JZ says: The entire Sweet ‘n’ Sour entourage is out once again. Hero being Hero, he starts the match with plenty of stalling. Stevens goes right after Hero and starts working on the arm. Hero comes back by attacking the leg, as Leonard points out that Stevens won a tournament in FIP earlier this year. Hero is able to thwart everything Stevens tries in the early going and then decides to perform an acrobatics exhibition. That gives Stevens all day to recover and level Hero with a shoulder block. Stevens hits a powerslam and doesn’t go for a cover. Hero counters a charge in the corner by going to the floor and tripping Stevens, and then Hero takes control. Stevens makes the comeback and he hits a TKO on Hero, who then gets up first. Stevens hits the Choo-Choo and a back body drop. A Jackhammer gets two on Hero. Stevens goes for a pump handle slam but Hero avoids it and hits a big boot. Hero takes off his elbow pad and that allows Stevens to hit a sit-out pump handle bomb for two. They go to the apron and Hero avoids taking a suplex on the edge. Hero hits a rope-assisted cravat neckbreaker for a near fall. Hero goes up top and Stevens follows him. Hero knocks Stevens down and hits a double stomp for two. Hero calls for the Hero’s Welcome, so Stevens counters with a release German suplex and the Sarasota Screwdriver. Sweeney pulls Sinclair out at the last second. Sinclair decides not to disqualify Hero, and Stevens cases SnS Inc. all around and into the ring. That gives Hero the chance to hit the Hero’s Welcome and advance in the tournament at 14:58. That was a fine little match but the finish was a bit much.
We go backstage, where Delirious is cutting a promo, in which he promises to beat EL Generico and go on to win the entire tournament. I’m pretty much over his promos I hate to say.
MATCH #6: FIP Heavyweight Title Four Way Fray Match – VS. VS. VS.
BG says: There are elimination rules in a Four Way Fray. Aries goes after Strong at the bell as Akuma and Rave lock up. Strong pulls Aries to the floor but gets chopped down. Akuma kicks away at Rave in the ring. Strong comes in and gets hit with an Akuma armdrag. Rave hits Akuma with a spear but Strong catches him with a Samoan drop. Aries hits Strong with a missile dropkick and a dropkick in the corner. Rave stops him from hitting the brainbuster and gets elbowed in the corner for his trouble. Aries misses the babyface dropkick and Rave hits the running knee. Akuma helps Aries send Rave to the floor and then Aries dives out onto Strong. Akuma dives onto Aries and Strong so the referee starts counting everyone out. Back in the ring Akuma hits Aries with a German suplex. He hits the Yoshi Tonic for 2. They trade strikes and Aries hits a shinbreaker and a back suplex. He hits a dropkick and a brainbuster before climbing the ropes. Rave cuts him off and Strong throws him to the mat. All three men pin Aries to eliminate him from the match. Strong and Rave beat on Akuma but he fights them off. He kicks Strong down but Rave catches him with the heel hook to eliminate him. Strong and Rave trade chops and Strong hits a dropkick. Rave hits the STO on the apron and a swinging DDT back in the ring for 2. Strong comes back with the Sick Kick and the gutbuster. He hits the half nelson backbreaker for 2. Rave gets a roll up for 2. Strong hits two uranage backbreakers but Rave grabs a sunset flip for 2. Strong gets a takedown and puts on the Stronghold for the win. Why they’d finish the match with two of the company’s biggest heels against each other makes no sense to me. If they didn’t want to give away Strong vs. Aries they could have done a cool underdog story with Strong vs. Akuma. As it went the crowd died down the stretch. Just a strange match all around really.
JZ says: Strong has been FIP Champion since 11.10.06, and this is his twentieth defense. Aries goes right after Strong as soon as the bell rings. This is his first match in ROH since Good Times, Great Memories. Aries and Strong go to the floor, leaving Akuma and Rave inside the ring. The action is happening pretty fast here, since no tags are necessary in a four-way fray. Aries comes back in the ring with a missile dropkick and then the running dropkick in the corner. Rave goes after Aries now. Strong and Rave are dumped to the floor and Akuma takes it to Aries in the ring. Aries tries to use the 450 on Akuma, but Strong pushes him off the ropes and all three men hold Aries down and he’s the first one eliminated. The crowd hates that but I think it’s clever. Strong and Rave take it to Akuma, who fights back with kicks. Rave puts the Heel Hook on Akuma and he’s gone in short order. Rave and Strong exchange chops now, and Strong ends that with a solid dropkick. They battle on the apron and Rave hits an STO on the edge of the apron. Rave gets a near fall and Strong kicks out and gets up to do some of his signature moves, including the big boot and the half-nelson backbreaker. He tries a uranage backbreaker but Rave counters with a small package for two. Strong hits three uranage backbreakers and a spinning backbreaker. He tries a torture rack backbreaker but Rave counters, only to run right into the Stronghold and Rave taps out at 9:38. That was extremely short and never had a chance to go anywhere. Prazak says that Strong is closing in on one year as champion, but he won it in November, so that’s over three months away.
BG says: Rebecca Bayless catches up with Jack Evans during intermission. Evans will be wrestling Kevin Steen in the tournament tonight. Evans reminds us about the impact Generation Next made when they debuted as a group. Everyone became title holder in America except for him because of the group. He had to go to Japan to achieve that kind of success, but tonight he’s going to change all that by advancing in the tournament.
JZ says: Rebecca Bayless rambles on for what seems like forever before asking Jack Evans the probing questions. Evans goes through his past with Generation Next, acknowledging how the other group members earned more success in ROH than he ever did. But that will all change when he wins this Race to the Top Tournament.
MATCH #7: First Round Match – Delirious vs. El Generico
BG says: Delirious flips out at the bell and hits a snapmare. Generico gets a takedown and puts on a wristlock. Delirious escapes and hits an armdrag before rolling Generico up for 2. Generico comes back with armdrags and an elbowdrop for 1. He hits a bodyslam for 1. He hits a backbreaker for 1. He hits another backbreaker and a split legged moonsault for 2. He goes for a crossbody but Delirious blocks it with a headbutt to the gut. Delirious hits a bodyslam and drives Generico’s head into the corner. He hits a back suplex for 2. He tickles Generico and puts on the Regal Stretch. He elbows the back of Generico’s head but Generico comes back with his swinging DDT. Delirious bails so Generico follows him out with the Arabian press. Back in the ring Generico climbs the ropes and hits a big splash for 2. He hits a blue thunder bomb for 2. Delirious comes back with clotheslines and hits the Bizarro Driver for 2. Generico gets a backslide for 2. He holds onto the tassels to put Delirious in the corner. He blocks the Cobra Stretch and gets a roll up for 2. Delirious hits a dropkick to the back and the Panic Attack. He climbs the ropes and hits the Shadows for 2. They trade forearms and Delirious hits a back elbow. Generico hits a big boot and the Yukuza kick. He hits another Yakuza kick and the brainbuster for the win. This never got out of first gear, which is a shame because I thought these two would have had tremendous chemistry.
JZ says: Generico is not sure how to handle Delirious, who freaks out at the sound of the bell of course. They chain wrestle in the early going, with neither guy gaining strong control. Delirious has some tournament experience, since he won Survival of the Fittest last year in Cleveland. Generico takes first advantage and starts to work on the back. He hits a split-legged Moonsault for two. Generico gets caught off the top rope with a headbutt to the chest. Delirious takes control now. He goes for the neck, no doubt to set up for the Cobra Stretch. Delirious actually tickles his fellow masked man. Generico fights back with a swinging DDT and he rolls to the floor. Generico follows him out with an Arabian Press. Generico hits a big splash off the top rope for a near fall. A sit-out powerbomb of sorts gets a two count for Generico. Generico tries the running boot but misses and Delirious hits three straight clotheslines. Delirious comes back with the Bizarro Driver for two. Back up Delirious goes for the Cobra Stretch but Generico blocks it and uses a backslide for two. HE then uses the tassels to hang on to Delirious. Delirious once again tries the Cobra Stretch but can’t lock it on. Delirious delivers the Panic Attack and lands Shadows over Hell for two. Generico recovers and is able to land two running boots in a row and a brainbuster and that is it at 11:19. These two seem to mesh well together, but the match never seemed to switch gears.
MATCH #8: First Round Match – Brent Albright vs. Matt Cross
BG says: Albright gets a takedown to start. He puts on a wristlock and hits a shoulder tackle. Cross gets a roll up for 2. He gets a sunset flip for 2. Albright blocks a handspring elbow but not an enziguiri. He bails so Cross hits his baseball slide and the Space Flying Tiger Drop. Back in the ring Cross gets 2. He puts on a cross armbreaker but Albright fights out. Albright hits an armbar takedown and stomps on the arm. He hits a hammerlock back suplex for 2. Cross dodges a charge in the corner but Albright dodges a missile dropkick and puts on the Crowbar. Cross gets to the ropes. Albright hits a German suplex and a northern lights suplex. He hits the half nelson suplex for 2 when he lifts Cross up. He hits a press slam into the Crowbar for the win moments later. Squash-a-doodle-do.
JZ says: Albright uses his power early on, and Cross tries to counter with his agility. They trade arm bars. Cross gets a few pinning combinations for two. He tries a handspring elbow but Albright catches him with a suplex. Cross lands on his feet and hits an enziguiri and Albright bails. Cross hits the kick through the ropes and a big fancy dive. Back in the ring Albright takes over with his usual stuff. He goes for the Crowbar but Cross reaches the ropes. He hits the Half-Nelson suplex but pulls Cross up at two. He military presses Cross up and drops him into the Crowbar for the submission at 5:25. He doesn’t release the hold right away for some reason. I’m not really sure why Cross had to get jobbed out so badly there. Plus I don’t really care for Albright. Why does he wear that stupid mask to the ring?
MATCH #9: First Round Match – Jack Evans vs. Kevin Steen
BG says: Steen kicks Evans during his pre-match dance. He kicks Evans again at the bell and goes for the package piledriver. Evans blocks it and hits a spinning kick. He hits mounted punches in the corner until Steen shoves him off. He hits a head scissors takedown and a handspring elbow, knocking Steen to the floor. Evans runs back in to the ring and dives out with a suicide dropkick. Steen drops his face on the apron and rams him into the barricade. He hits a cannonball splash against the barricade and rams his head into it again. He rips off Evans’s shirt and chops him. Evans fights back with a corkscrew moonsault press off the barricade. Back in the ring Evans hits a twisting splash for 2. Steen hits a back bodydrop and a bodyslam. He chops Evans down and hits a back elbow for 2. He punts Evans’s ribs and does crunches. He hits a double stomp to the chest but Evans comes back with a back flip elbow. Evans hits a double stomp to the head and a springboard roundhouse kick for 2. He climbs the ropes but Steen turns a crossbody into the Go Home Driver for 2. He climbs the ropes and hits a Swanton Bomb to the back for 2. He climbs again but Evans crotches him and knocks him into the Tree of Woe. He hits the Ong Jak for 2. He climbs the ropes but Steen cuts him off. Evans squirms away and hits a sloppy reverse head scissors takedown. He follows that with the 630 senton for the win. This was a lot of fun albeit very short and a little messy.
JZ says: Steen’s disruption of Evans’s pre-match routine is hilarious. Evans starts the match proper on fire, hitting various acrobatic moves and keeping Steen off balance. Steen takes advantage on the floor and tries to powerbomb Evans, who avoids it and hits a sort of rana. Back in the ring Evans gets a near fall but Steen recovers and drops Evans on his face. Steen lands a spinning stomp on Evans, just to mock him. Evans makes a comeback but can’t hold Steen down. Steen comes back and goes up top but Evans stops him and tries a superplex. Steen blocks it and drops Evans face first and then hits a Swanton right on Evans’s back. That only gets two. Steen goes up again but this time Evans knocks him down and hits the Ong Bak for two. Evans goes back up but this time Steen knocks him down. Evans hits a very unsafe looking reverse type rana on Steen. He follows that up with the 630 and that gets the pin at 9:19. That was a pretty decent power vs. speed match, and so much of the last few minutes took place on the ropes. Steen shakes Evans’s hand, but makes sure we all know he had his fingers crossed.
A cool advertisement for FIP’s Cage of Pain makes me want to buy that show. I’m sure Brad will throw in a link to his review.
MATCH #10: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness
BG says: It’s the return of Milk & Nice Young Ladies. They’re getting this shot on the strength of their win over Naomichi Marufuji and Takeshi Morishima. Mark and McGuinness start. Mark puts on a wristlock and Jay tags in to hit a big boot. He hits a dropkick for 2. Mark tags in and the Briscoes hit the double shoulder tackle. Danielson tags in and hits a judo throw. He gets a wristlock takedown and puts on a half crab. Mark gets to the ropes. Jay tags in and Danielson puts him on the mat. Jay comes back with a wristlock but Danielson escapes and hits a dropkick. He puts on a cross armbreaker but Mark breaks it up. The Briscoes hit a double uranage and a senton/legdrop combo for 2 when McGuinness saves. Danielson accidentally sends Jay into McGuinness and then Mark follows McGuinness to the floor with a crossbody off the top. Jay hits an inverted falcon arrow on Danielson as McGuinness hits Mark with the rebound lariat on the floor. Danielson hits a back suplex on Jay and tags to McGuinness. McGuinness gets a takedown and tags to Danielson. Danielson goes after the leg and puts on the Mexican surfboard. He tells McGuinness to come in and hits a dropkick on Jay, so McGuinness does just that. It gives Danielson 2. Danielson hits a hammerlock suplex for 2. He hits a European uppercut and tags to McGuinness. McGuinness suplexes Jay by his wrist and then puts on his modified Rings of Saturn. He hits a short-arm lariat and sets Jay up top. He hits the Tower of London for 2 when Mark saves. Danielson tags in and slaps Jay around. He sets Jay up top and hits a back superplex for 2. He puts on the crossface chicken wing but Mark breaks it up with a springboard forearm. Mark tags in but misses a crossbody. He hits superkicks on both opponents and the yelping splash on Danielson for 2. He hits a moonsault press for 2. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but McGuinness helps Danielson escape and put Mark in the Cow Killer. Danielson lays in the unprotected elbows and goes back to the submission hold. Jay breaks it up with a big splash off the top. McGuinness and Jay tag in and McGuinness gains the advantage with strikes. Mark cuts off his running European uppercut with the yelping kick. McGuinness uppercuts Mark into Jay and then hits Mark with his corner combo. He hits Jay with a lariat and crotches him on the top rope. He brings him down with another lariat for 2 when Mark saves. Danielson dumps Mark but wipes out trying to dive after him. McGuinness sets Jay up for another Tower of London but Mark hits him with a superkick and helps Jay hit an elevated legdrop for 2. He ducks the Jawbreaker Lariat and hits an exploder for 2. He hits a double stomp to McGuinness’s head just before Jay hits a DVD. Mark quickly follows that with the yelping splash for 2. He hits a snap suplex and climbs the ropes. Jay climbs too but Danielson cuts him off and hits a superplex. At the same time McGuinness blocks Mark’s shooting star press with his knees. Everyone trades forearms but the challenges knock the Briscoes too close to each other and Danielson ends up knocking McGuinness out with a roaring forearm. Mark takes advantage and pins him for the win. The Briscoes were in top form here, looking like an unstoppable team against two guys having trouble gelling with each other. Just great stuff all around here. After the match Danielson congratulates the Briscoes and blows McGuinness off.
JZ says: The Briscoes have been champions since 3.30.07, and this is their tenth defense. The fans are banging the guardrails to no real pattern, as usual. It’s nice to see Jay and Mark have their belts back from the airlines. Nigel and Mark start it off and the champs take the early advantage. Danielson offers to take care of this for Nigel, showing that these two may not be the most cohesive team. Nigel does tag him in though, s now it’s Danielson and Mark squaring off. They mat wrestle for a brief period, and then the Briscoes take over on Danielson as well. Their continuity is really carrying them in this one. They’re able to counter just about everything, except for the rebound lariat on the floor by Nigel. That allows Danielson to recover and suplex Jay, and then tags Nigel in. The challengers now take over on Jay. Nigel tries the Tower of London but Jay blocks it the first time, only to eat canvas the second time. Mark makes the save on that one. Mark ends up getting tagged in and he’s on fire. The champs try the Springboard Doomsday Device but the challengers counter and Danielson winds up locking in the Cattle Mutilation. Danielson uses the elbows to the face and then goes back to Cattle Mutilation. Jay breaks it up with a splash off the top rope. This one breaks down with everyone hitting big moves on everyone. The Briscoes hit a few combos on Nigel but can’t put him away. All four are in the ring now and a miscommunication occurs and Danielson hits Nigel with a roaring elbow and Mark rolls Nigel up for the pin at 17:50. That was awesome action and a great dynamic to build the feud between Nigel and Danielson.
BG says: Mark Briscoe. He shined in a fantastic main event.
Coming soon will be our review of RACE TO THE TOP TOURNAMENT NIGHT 2!
The 411: BG says: The first round of the tournament left a little to be desired, but most of the matches weren’t given much time. That’s the problem when you have ten matches on one show. The FIP title match was a huge waste of time as well. Evans vs. Steen was a good time and the main event was a great exhibition for the Briscoes, so there is definitely some stuff worth checking out.
JZ says: The tournament matches were all at least decent or short, and the main event was quite good, so this is an easy show to get through. It’s all setup for the following night obviously, so without seeing it yet I kind of feel like that would be more the show to buy.