In the back, The No Remorse Corps scopes out a ringrat for the celebration after they win the tag titles. Davey Richards, of course, gets cockblocked.
Delirious cuts a very Phantom of the Opera-ish promo from atop the scaffolding.
Opening Match, Ultimate Endurance Qualifier: Austin Aries & Brian Danielson vs. Erick Stevens & Jay Briscoe.
Mark Briscoe wanted revenge on Joey Matthews from the previous night's chairshot, so Jay decided to team up with Stevens and go for the tag titles. Stevens and Aries are still chippy with one another, but everyone else is amicable. It's back and forth until Danielson proposes he and Aries work as a team. Aries tags in and asks what Danielson has in mind, so Danielson yells, "Hiptoss!" Indeed, they do hit a double hiptoss and receive a chant of "teamwork!" from the fans. Stevens gets the hot tag and plays honorary Mark Briscoe as he and Jay team up to shoulderblock Aries and toss him across the ring with a hiptoss. They team up (teamwork!) for a Doomsday Shoulderblock, but Aries saves. Jay gets trapped with kneestrikes and elbows, and that allows Danielson to get the pin at 17:08. Aries refuses to shake hands again. It was a fun match, but it was mostly to establish the dream team of Danielson and Aries as a force to be reckoned with. ***
Shane Hagadorn vs. Pelle Primeau.
Pelle really shouldn't be in any condition to wrestle, considering the beatdown he took the night before. Hagadorn actually busts out a leapfrog and a crossbody for two. Hagadorn catches Pelle and gives him an FU. He teases the crowd with a "You Can't See Me" pose. Pelle gets two off La Majestral, but Hagadorn shoves him into the ref, pulls something out of his tights, nails Pelle, and gets the pin at 4:52. Decent little jobber match. *
Sweet 'n' Sour Inc. are out. Sweeney calls last night's cage match result an atrocity. More importantly now, though – ROH has refused to recognize the Intergender Tag Titles. To prove their worth, Sweeney has arranged a tag match between the Intergender champions and some qualified challengers.
Intergender Tag Titles: Chris Hero & Sara Del Rey (w/Sweet 'n' Sour Inc.) vs. Kyle Durden & Alex Payne.
Payne and Durden are both guys, but Payne looks a little like a woman. Plus, Sweeney calls him "Sugartits" instead of "Sugarfoot." True to form, Durden is not a beautiful and unique snowflake. The Intergender Tag Champs make quick work of the jobbers, finishing with stereo roaring forearms at 2:32. 1/2*
Sweeney proclaims the IG Titles the most prestigious in ROH. Daizee Haze objects and says the only title worth anything in the S&S stable is Del Rey's SHIMMER title. Sweeney is about to sick Hero on her, but Jigsaw makes the save. That sets up (non-title, of course)…
Chris Hero & Sara Del Rey (w/Sweet 'n' Sour Inc.) vs. Jigsaw & Daizee Haze.
The Vulture Squad really got derailed by injuries, considering they were coming off what was essentially *their* show. Jigsaw uses Haze as a weapon, but he winds up playing face-in-peril. I think the fun ridiculousness of the whole Intergender Tag Titles angle is that Del Rey is easily portrayed as the strength of the team. She brawls with Jigsaw on the outside as Haze takes Hero down with a tilt-o-whirl headscissors. Haze goes for the Mind Trip on Del Rey, but Hero LEVELS her with a roaring elbow. Jigsaw goes up but gets crotched by Sweeney, allowing Hero to put him away with the Cravat Countdown (sitout cravat bomb) at 7:56. I guess the other fun ridiculousness of the angle is having Hero beat up women, which is, admittedly funny in a perverse way. **
Claudio Castagnoli vs. El Generico.
This is a rematch of the finals of the Race to the Top tournament. Test of strength early, won by Claudio. Generico seeks to ground the match with a side headlock. It's like Joe vs. Punk. Claudio, Flair-like, gets a shinbreaker out of a headlock, and that leads to him working over Generico's leg. Generico continues to use his aerial moves, but Claudio finally just yanks him off the ropes by the leg. Claudio works the leg like he owns it. Knee DDT. Anklelock. Half-Crab. Stump-puller. Dropkick to the knee. Generico hiptosses Claudio over the top, but he can't push off the knee for a pescado. Instead, he comes off the top with a front flip and wipes Claudio out. Back in, Generico powers out of a Giant Swing but misses an enzuigiri. Claudio applies the Horse Collar (Argentine Kneerack). Generico makes the ropes. Claudio sets up for the Ricolabomb, but Generico flips over his shoulders into the Code Red. That gets two and a well-deserved "That was awesome!" chant. Generico hits a Tornado DDT for two, but Claudio responds with the one-legged Giant Swing. Sick! That leads back to the Horse Collar. Generico holds out and makes the ropes again. Claudio goes up but gets crotched. He sets up for the Top-Rope Ricolabomb, but Generico reverses to a huracanrana. YAKUZA KICK! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Claudio comes out of it with another Horse Collar, but time expires at 20:00 (and it's actually 20 minutes). Well, this just came out of nowhere. Claudio's work on the knee was excellent. There were a few lapses where Generico forgot about it (the Yakuza Kick would have been a great place to bring it back), but nothing egregious. The final few minutes were incredibly hot with reversals that could have gone either way, so they were believable. Yep, that's actually important. Good stuff. ***3/4
In the back, Claudio and Generico agree to a rematch.
Joey Matthews (w/The Age of the Fall) vs. Mark Briscoe.
Before the match, Jacobs offers Austin Aries a spot in the Age of the Fall. The fans chant for "Nitro." Matthews stalls *a lot* to start. He slaps Mark in the face, and that just pisses Briscoe off. Mark tackles him and pummels him like a third grader on the playground. To the floor, Matthews tries to toss Mark into the post, but Mark blocks. Back in, Mark goes up, but Matthews pulls the ref in the way to block and then shoves a hesitant Mark over the top to the floor. Matthews starts working Mark over with his WWE-style offense, pissing off the crowd. He drops Mark on his head with a Double-Arm DDT, but it only gets two. Mark comes back with the springboard Ace Crusher. SHOOTING STAR PRESS! ONE, TWO, THREE! Mark picks up the win at 14:36. The Age of the Fall loses again. I would say that this is all leading to Austin Aries joining and turning their movement around as a messiah, but I just don't see him hanging out with these guys. It's too bad budget cuts restrict Matthews' use because his measured style generates real heel heat with the fans. **1/2
A shorn Dave Prazak catches up with Nigel McGuinness. Nigel says Roderick disrespected him back in Vegas by interrupting his speech.
Dog-Collar Match: Adam Pearce (w/Shane Hagadorn) vs. Delirious.
This is the blowoff to the long feud between the Hangmen and Delirious. Delirious wins a slugfest, but he stops to wrap the chain around his fist, so Pearce is able to recover and knock him down. To the floor, they take turns smashing each other with chairs. Hagadorn tries to interfere and takes an elbow to the face. The chain gets threaded through the ropes, and they take turns yanking each other into the post. Pearce gets cut open pretty badly, and Delirious hangs him by the collar. Delirious goes up, but Pearce just yanks him off the top to the floor and chokes him out with the chain. Back in, Pearce chills out on the top rope, but his own arrogance gets the better of him as Delirious is able to come back and pummel him with the chain. Pearce piledrives him, though, and chokes him out with the chain again. Delirious turns over and charges, but Pearce lowbridges the ropes, sending Delirious to the floor again. Pearce and Hagadorn rip up the ringside mats and set up for a piledriver, but Delirious backdrops him. Back in, Pearce goes up, but Delirious crotches him with the chain. COBRA STRETCH WITH THE CHAIN! Hagadorn runs in and hits Delirious with some wussy chairshots (even Prazak points it out). Delirious quickly dispatches him, sets Pearce on a table and SPLASHES him through the table for the pin at 20:22. This was appropriately violent for a blowoff. I like that, for the most part, they cut down on the high spots and just went for beating the hell out of one another. It could have used a little more of that, though, and less moving from chain-spot to chain-spot. ***
ROH World Tag Titles, Ultimate Endurance: Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black (w/Lacey & Allison Wonderland) vs. BJ Whitmer & Brent Albright vs. Rocky Romero & Davey Richards & Bryan Danielson & Austin Aries. Scramble Fall: Albright has new doublet-style tights for those who care. It's chaos early as everyone hits moves and mocks Romero's "azucar" dance. The Age of the Fall doubleteam Danielson. The Hangmen hit a sloppy Decapitation Reverse DDT on Romero, but it only gets two. Black hits the Pélé (it just comes out of nowhere!) on Albright, setting up the End Time. In all the chaos, Richards kicks Tyler in the head and pins him with the O'Connor Roll at 7:09. They should just rename them "The Age of Taking the Fall."
Submission Fall: The Age were the tag champs, so we're guaranteed new champs. The Hangmen isolate Danielson and work his injured hamstring. The No Remorse Corps simply drop off the apron and let the other two teams fight it out, which is smart because there's nothing really to be gained from this fall. Danielson reverses a Whitmer half-crab to the Triangle Choke. Albright takes Rocky down into the Crowbar. Richards slaps the Texas Cloverleaf on Aries. Danielson and Whitmer are the legal men, though, so Danielson gets the only submission that counts at 11:48.
Tag Title Fall: The NRC pick up where the Hangmen left off, isolating Danielson and working his leg. Aries breaks up a Mexican Surfboard, and Danielson ducks the stereo kicks. HOT TAG TO ARIES! Aries cleans house and hits the corner dropkick on both guys. Richards breaks up the Brainbuster, and Romero knees Aries into a German Suplex. The NRC go for a Doomsday Kneestrike, but Aries counters to a huracanrana. Danielson tags back in and traps Romero with the elbows. Richards breaks it up, and Romero takes Danielson down with a SICK Diablo Armbar. Richards neutralizes Aries with the Chimera! Danielson makes the ropes, though. They tie Danielson in the tree-of-woe, and Richards tries to launch Romero into a dropkick, but Danielson pulls himself up to avoid it. Danielson belly-to-back superplexes Richards. Aries gets another hot tag. Richards tries to powerbomb him, but YOU CAN'T POWERBOMB AUSTIN ARIES! Now, we get a mirror image of the earlier spot with Aries locking in the Horns of Aries while Danielson neutralizes Richards with the trapped elbows. Aries calls Danielson over, and they pound Richards into oblivion with knees and elbows. Aries sets up for the Brianbuster, but Richards steps through and rolls him up for the win at 22:58. The No Remorse Corps justify their existence by claiming the tag titles. The final fall was, as they say, "da bomb." Well, that's what they say in 1994. The second fall nicely led into it with the Hangmen Three working over Danielson's leg to set up the psychology of the final fall. The first fall seemed like it was just there to get rid of the Age of the Fall. I guess it did its job. I'm not a big fan of hotshotting the title onto the Age of the Fall and then onto the No Remorse Corps, who haven't done anything in months. But, given that the direction of ROH has changed tremendously over the past few weeks it makes sense in retrospect. ***3/4
Richards gives his greatest victory promo ever (although that's admittedly few): "I'm gonna get laid. I'm gonna get laid."
ROH World Title: Nigel McGuinness vs. Roderick Strong.
Roderick tries to open with chops (of course), but Nigel MANS UP and asks for more. Roderick wipes him out with a running plancha. Nigel goes to work on the arm, though, with an armscissors and a hammerlock. Nigel hits a running uppercut in the corner, but Strong catches him in a Half-Nelson Backbreaker. To the floor, Roderick gives him a backbreaker on the railing. Back in, Roderick lays in some CHOPS and blocks the Tower of London. Roderick gets two off a superplex, but he gets caught going up and eats a Tower of London. Nigel sets up the handstand, but Roderick NAILS him with a dropkick. Nigel staggers around but rebounds with the LARIAT! They trade blows, and Roderick hits the Tiger Driver. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! To the apron, Roderick goes for the belly-to-back suplex on the apron edge, but Nigel crotches him on the top rope and hits a flying lariat. Strong kicks out and hits the belly-to-back on the apron anyway. To the floor, Strong blocks a lariat, but Nigel gives him the Tower of London on a chair. You broke his nose, Angus! Back in, Strong hits a powerbomb backbreaker and a big boot! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Strong charges but eats lariat. Strong boots him again, but Nigel rebounds and hits the Jawbreaker Lariat at 16:27. This is one of those recaps that kind of speaks for itself. You knew Nigel was going to use a lot of lariats and hard-hitting moves. You knew that Strong was going to use a lot of backbreakers and chops. That's pretty much what you got. Outside of the one Tiger Driver, though, I never thought Nigel was in jeopardy. ***1/4
Jimmy Jacobs assures us that the Age of the Fall is still in control despite losing every match and the tag titles over the weekend.
The 411: A solid card from top to bottom. Nothing earth-shattering in the way of quality, but everything outside of the squash matches was good. I was a little let down by the Delirious-Pearce blowoff, but I'm not a big fan of chain matches anyway, so you can probably chalk that up to personal preference. The NRC title win does nothing for me. I don't have anything against them, but the booking for so long has been sort of a rock/paper/scissors battle where the Vulture Squad defeats the NRC, the NRC defeats the Age of the Fall, and the Age of the Fall defeats the Vulture Squad. It was the same with the Resilience. Add in the Hangmen Three, and you have one great big circle jerk. It just becomes an impenetrable din of a midcard. A pecking order would be much more effective, and it looks like that problem may have been solved in recent weeks by none other than Sweet 'n' Sour himself. Anyway, this is an easy thumbs up.