The Burning Hammer Video Review: RoH Unscripted 2
Posted by Chris Lansdell on 09.22.2008
Snow wreaks havoc on the planned card, but RoH comes up big with a couple of surprises! Who? What? Find out inside!
Ring of Honor: Unscripted II February 11, 2006
The second of what would become many RoH shows to be disrupted by weather, this one was also affected by Low Ki's sudden departure and TNA warning their contracted talent not to get stuck at the RoH show with a PPV the next day. This was the very first RoH show I saw, the show that sold me on the brand, and in my mind a very emotional show. Let's see if it holds up 2 years and countless shows later.
Colt Cabana is backstage, telling us he was asked to stay home and cool off, instead of coming to the last show. He didn't come, but he didn't cool off either. He was thinking about life and how Homicide almost stole his from him. This was after Homicide poured Dran-O down his throat. Awesome, AWESOME promo, and proof that Cabana is not just a comedy guy. He stops suddenly and says to someone off-camera "What are you doing here?" The person replies that they have to talk. OMINOUS~!
Lenny Leonard and Jimmy Bauer are our commentators.
Mitch Franklin vs Pelle Primeau
The commentators list the people who couldn't make it, and mention that the live audience will be given a full refund if they are not satisfied after the first three matches. They also have a huge surprise planned.
Primeau and Franklin looked whiter and smaller then than they do now, if that's possible.
The bell rings and Adam Pearce is out and tells the students "Hold your horses, midgets." Apparently, nobody wants to see the Monkey Brothers wrestle, so Primeau and Franklin should probably leave. Primeau grabs the mic (!!!) and introduces himself and Franklin. They're not afraid of anyone, especially a 1970s blast from the past like him. Awww isn't that nice, now Pearce knows whose asses he's going to kick. Yup, as expected he grabs the mic and levels both hobbits.
Adam Pearce vs Mitch Franklin and Pelle Primeau
Stiff shots to both kids, jumping piledriver to Primeau but Franklin breaks the pin. Pearce slaps him so hard his mother loses a tooth, back body drop to Franklin. Keep your pimp hand strong, Pearce. Pearce lines the students up, goes up top and BIG SPLASH to both rodents. 1...2...3
Winner: Adam Pearce via double pinfall. Rating: * Fun, and it would be important in setting up the events later on. The piledriver was rather sick.
Post-match, Pearce gets the mic and says "Pleased to meet you" to the students. Apparently he's going to sit at ringside for the rest of the evening. He repo's a chair and sits right in front of Green Lantern fan!
Backstage, JIMMY RAVE~! and Prince Nana are discussing the lack of Alex Shelley and a surprise for Bryan Danielson.
Julius Smokes is in the ring with a skinny white dude who I believe rejoices in the name Grim Reefer. Yes, I am well aware that the phrase "skinny white dude" describes 75% of the RoH roster. Smokes calls out Cabana, saying Homicide is not 100% (in other words, snowed in), but his boy the Grim Reefer will take care of bidness. Copacabana hits, the lights go out...the music changes, a few people say holy shit, and HOLY MOTHER OF CRACK MONKEY-LOVING SWEETNESS! The crowd goes insane as CM MUTHAFUCKIN' PUNK!!!!!!!!! comes out!
"Lord Jesus Christ!" - Julius Smokes. "Fuck the refund!" - Long Island. The electricity being generated by the 400 people in that building is off the charts. "First of all, you fake-ass Barry Windham..." - Julius Smokes. Tremendous. Punk snatches the mic and plays keepaway. Smokes and Reefer bail, while Punk explains that he's here to back up Cabana. Punk gets jumped by Pearce who's still on the outside, and gets beaten until Colt Cabana makes the save. Pearce bails with Prince Nana, who is laughing for some reason.
Punk tries to get Cabana to stop the feud with Homicide, but Cabana doesn't want or need his help. Cabana goes to call out Reefer, but gets jumped by him from behind, leading to...
Colt Cabana vs The Grim Reefer with Julius Smokes
Reefer starts with some stick 'n' move until Colt catches him with a back body drop. Reefer's punches look weaker than RVD's forearms. Colt goes for the Flying Asshole early (although with a disturbing lack of "FLYING ASSHOLE!" yelling) but misses, then just hip tosses Reefer over the top to the floor. Cabana follows, but falls victim to the numbers game and gets waylaid by Smokes. Colt takes control with an elbow but eats a somersault senton from the top to the floor by Reefer! Nice height on that. Whip to the rail reversed by Colt and Reefer hits hard. Colt takes him across the arena and slams him into another barricade. Colt looks pissed. After some outside beatings he throws Reefer back in. A stiff chop followed by a series of elbows gets 2. Neck vice now by Colt. Whip and the Flying Asshole connects. Whatever happened to Iceman King Parsons anyway? I should email Ask 411 about that. Reefer comes out of the corner with a spinning heel kick and lays in some shots, but Colt HULKS UP and asks for more. Reefer runs the ropes and hits a Dusk til Dawn variant into the crossface. Awesome. Cabana simply stands up while in the crossface and dumps Reefer to the outside, then hits a low dropkick to Reefer's face as he tries to come back in the ring.
Reefer finally makes it back in, only to get tattooed by Colt's stiffness. Tornado DDT try but Reefer blocks and hits a top rope DDT. The difference being that Reefer jumps backwards to hit the top rope DDT, whereas Colt would have jumped and turned in mid-air. In case you were wondering. 2 count for Reefer. Colt HULKS UP again, despite strong kicks from Reefer. Whip to Reefer who ducks the clothesline and clamps on a sleeper. Colt no-sells it, flips Reefer over and nails a lariat for the win.
Winner: Colt Cabana by pinfall (lariat) Rating: ** It was OK. Reefer reminds me of Jack Evans...some nice spots, some obvious ability, with ridiculously weak-looking punches, chops and forearms. Colt calling him Homicide throughout added a nice undertone to the match, and the commentators did a great job explaining why we should care. Colt's violent side is fun.
Kid Mikaze vs Ricky Reyes
"30 seconds!" - Long Island. Reyes doesn't follow the Code of Honor, instead preferring to obliterate Mikaze with a kick. Spinning powerbomb attempt by Reyes gets reversed into a rollup, Reyes rolls through but eats a shining wizard! Leaping forearm in the corner, codebreaker and Mikaze gets 2! Whip reversed, Reyes catches him into an overhead belly 2 belly. Snap mare and a stiff spine kick, Reyes runs the ropes and ducks a spin kick by Mikaze before nailing a high knee. Spinning powerbomb hits for thre...NO! Two only! Wow, he creamed him with that and Mikaze got out. Impressive, most impressive. Reyes runs the ropes, Mikaze with an innovative mule kick then a...I have no idea. Mikaze wheelbarrows himself, then flips into a face-first pancake bomb on Reyes. Shitty description, but it's the closest I can come. It gets 2 anyway. Whip in, Reyes ducks the springboard kick and locks in the Dragon Sleeper and that's all.
Winner: Ricky Reyes by submission (dragon sleeper/body scissors)
Rating: *3/4 That was fast, but it was fast-paced. Reyes at this point was in an angle where he squashed RoH students for fun and profit, so this worked. There were some great spots for such a short match but the sheer shortness prevents it getting higher.
RoH Pure Title Match - Austin Aries vs Nigel McGuinness (C)
Nigel was still using the iron at this point. It does not matter, for he is, was and forever will be awesome. Todd Sinclair is explaining the Pure rules. I will not repeat them, Google is your friend. Typical arm ringer reversals to start. A whip by Aries is reversed. we get some counters and dodges and Aries hits a Japanese arm drag into a wrist lock. Nigel goes to the ropes and that's rope break number 1 for Nigel. Whip reversed by Aries, who charges but gets lifted over the top by Nigel. Aries lands on his feet on the apron, slingshots back in with a back elbow to Nigel in the corner, but Nigel blocks and Aries hurts his arm in the process. Good psychology, having the move scouted. Headlock takedown into a top wristlock, almost an Anaconda Vise. Aries with a headscissors to counter, then starts doing push-ups. Shades of Big Poppa Pump! Nigel tries to bridge out and gets slapped down, but Nigel manages to escape, locks up Aries' legs and lays in some crossfaces. Aries is able to escape but gets taken down by Nigel. Worst legdrop EVER by Nigel gets 1. Seriously, I've seen Hogan get more height than that. Headscissors by Nigel. Oh dear, this can't end well. Bahahahaha Aries goes for his trademark headstand escape, so Nigel just spikes the head of Aries into the mat once he gets his legs vertical! More scouting. Aries goes to the headstand again, Nigel lets him this time and just blocks the dropkick instead! Aries is OFFENDED~! so Nigel flips him the bird, for fun. Single leg by Nigel and he grapevines the legs again while ripping at the face of Aries. Snap mare, Nigel runs the ropes and eats a left-armed clothesline. Whip reversed, Aries runs into Nigel with a knee. Whip by Aries, and Nigel hits a running kick to the gut of Aries, then a vertical suplex for 2. An exchange leads to another Nigel headscissors, this time Aries doesn't delay and is able to hit his headstand-dropkick escape and Nigel bails to the floor. Tope by Aries! Nigel back in, springboard senton by Aries gets 2. Whip by Aries, Nigel with a back elbow to a charging Aries, then headstands on the top turnbuckle, looking for the mule kick. Aries runs in and tries to get Nigel in position for a powerslam, Nigel slips out, kick to the back and drives Aries with an elbow. 2 count for Nigel. Aries is selling the arm. Nigel with a wristlock takedown and 4 quick 2 counts, then a half nelson chinlock. Aries escapes, Nigel spins him around and hits Divorce Court for 2. Why did that move get to be the Divorce Court, anyway? Another series of covers, each for 2. Every time Nigel goes for the cover, he is leaving the bad shoulder open, making Aries use it to kick out. Even more psychology. Nigel hits a one-arm overhead throw for 2. A couple more covers and Aries uses his first rope break. Aries blocks the suplex, Nigel tries again but Aries floats over and tries to run Nigel chest first into the corner. Nigel drops down though, and Aries hits the corner shoulder-first. Smart. Another 2 count. They exchange some shots by Nigel hits a big knee to the jaw of Aries. Nigel throws Aries to the floor, then does nothing. OK... Aries gets back to the apron, Nigel tries to suplex him back in, Aries over the top and BACKDROP DRIVER gives Aries a chance to recover.
Aries up first and start kicking shit out of Nigel. You can almost see the imprint of Aries' boot laces in Nigel's chest. Whip by Aries is reversed, but he comes off the ropes with a roaring elbow followed by the power drive elbow for 2. DURR your arm hurts, remember? Whip by Nigel reversed, Aries comes charging and hits the springboard in-back elbow combo that Nigel blocked last time. Perseverance, thy name is Aries. Finlay Roll by Aries, he goes up top and hits a BEE-YOU-TEA-FULL frog splash for 2.9112! Aries whips Nigel and charges AGAIN, Nigel elevates him AGAIN but Aries gets crotched on the top rope! Nigel to the top turnbuckle and LARIATS Aries who is still perched on the top strand! 2 count before Aries uses his second rope break. That was very impressive visually, I remember marking the first time I saw it. Aries hits a jawbreaker as Nigel is pulling him up but Nigel comes back with the rebound lariat for 2! Man, back then he hit it so much better, and didn't try it 11 times a match. Charging European by Nigel and a jackknife cradle gets 2. Nigel sets Aries for the Tower of London...hits it! Sick. Forget about it...no! Aries gets his foot on the rope and that's his last rope break. Suplex try by Nigel blocked, a second one is blocked, Aries tries and it's blocked, then Aries hits a sloppy gourdbuster into an inverted front facelock with bridge! That looks rather uncomfortable. Nigel gets the ropes and that's his second. Aries pulls Nigel to the middle of the ring and goes up top, Nigel meets him and hits the Tower of London again! Damn, right on the face! 1...2...2.881!!! Nigel pulls Aries up....package by Aries! Two only though. Whip reversed by Aries, Nigel handstands on the turnbuckle so Aries simply dropkicks him in the face, because nothing says "You're not a fucking gymnast" like two soles to the teeth. Nice brainbuster by Aries gets 2 as Nigel uses his last rope break to survive. Aries going up top again, looking for the 450. Nigel intercepts again, and tries a submission on the top rope, legal since Aries has no breaks left. Aries fights him off and hits the 450! The shoulder hurts too much though! Aries crawls over and drapes an arm on Nigel.! 1....2...2.96613! NOBODY kicks out of that! Aries is selling the arm, Nigel locks in the wristlock submission and although Aries is in the ropes, he has no breaks left and is forced to tap.
Winner: Nigel McGuinness by submission (wristlock submission) to retain. Rating: ***3/4 The only thing that hurt this match noticeably was that Aries started selling the right arm, then switched to the left towards the end of the match. Otherwise, this had great psychology, solid action, a nice variety of moves with only minor repetition (on the part of Aries, mostly) and at no point felt like it was dragging. Top-notch effort and the chemistry they showed here would serve them well in later years...
Roderick Strong is in the ring. Wow, weird to hear him get cheered. However, he should never be allowed to hold a microphone. Roderick wants a title shot, but he gets BJ Whitmer instead. See, Roderick is the #1 contender, and BJ wants that. Bryan Danielson is out now, just in time to hear Roderick accept BJ's challenge. Danielson has already beaten Strong twice, so does he deserve a third shot? Dude, anything to stop him talking. "I was thinking, maybe I'd give him one tonight. But naw, FUCK HIM!" - Danielson, followed by a bitch slap. Danielson also believes in keeping the pimp hand strong. Fabulous! We get a TNA Special pull-apart brawl, with BOBBY DEMPSEY being one of the people doing the pulling apart. Prince Nana is out now, being golden on the stick as usual. He has a surprise for Danielson....XAVIER!
RoH World Title match - Xavier with Prince Nana vs Bryan Danielson (C)
Xavier slaps Danielson instead of the Code of Honor, and we're ready to go. This was the first and only time I saw Xavier wrestle. I know some members of the IWC hate this guy with the fire of a thousand suns, but I have no clue why. I remember the first time I saw this event, seeing Danielson come out with 2 titles and looking like a piece of chalk with burgundy trunks, and almost switching off. Glad I didn't. Standard mat work early, Danielson tries for an early chicken wing but Xavier makes the ropes. Counters, reversals and standard work out of the knuckle lock. Danielson backs Xavier to the ropes and rearranges some teeth for him. The commentators are really putting over the surprise at seeing Xavier here. Waistlock by Xavier, Danielson runs in a circle, gets some momentum and uses it to throw Xavier out of the ring, then comes over the top with a slingshot clothesline top the floor! Nana has displeasure. Xavier back in now, hammer lock by Danielson, reversed by Xavier. Danielson tries a counter but Xavier holds on. Danielson backflips out of the hammer lock, back elbows by Xavier but he runs off the ropes into a dropkick by Danielson. Whip to the corner reversed, Danielson elevates a charging Xavier over the top to the apron, but he would rather be in the ring, so he hits a big slingshot missile dropkick to the back of Danielson! Danielson to the floor, and Xavier comes flying through the ropes with an elbow suicida! Damn, he hit his head right into the barricade. That's Motrin pain. Danielson is pissed and just gets back in the ring and slaps Xavier. They exchange progressively stiffer shots until Danielson whacks him with a European. Beatage in the corner and it's time to go surfing! No! He just jumps and drives both Xavier's knees into the mat! Ouch. Xavier to the outside, and we have beatage from both men. Whip to the rail by Danielson is reversed, Xavier sets a chair and goes to jump off it with a Stinger Splash, but Danielson moves! Mouth full of metal for Xavier!
Back in the ring now, Danielson with a big European, a half-nelson suplex and then climbs the ropes...swandive headbutt misses! Couple of kicks and a BIG chop by Xavier, followed by a slingshot knee in the corner and that gets 2. Half Nelson chinlock by Xavier, Danielson escapes but eats a back elbow for 2. Danielson fights back with chops and a headbutt, whip by Danielson reversed, Danielson goes through Xavier's legs and hits a European, then hits a top-rope superplex for 2.77! Whip to the corner by Danielson, he charges for a high knee but Xavier catches him and hits a sweet powerbomb for 2! Jawbreaker on the knee, sloppy German and into a cross armbreaker by Xavier! Danielson makes the ropes, Xavier picks him up and hits a pumphandle facebuster! Nice-looking move. Xavier goes up top for the 450....Danielson moves, but Xavier rolls through! Leaping forearm by Danielson, and a HIGH German for 2 as Xavier rolls out...right into Cattle Mutilation! Jimmy RAVE~! is here to break it up! Beatage on Danielson, but CM Punk is out for the save! Shots to Rave, and now Adam Pearce is out for the save from the save! The heels do the beatdown as Nana brags on the mic. "Jimmy swallows!" - Long Island. HERE COMES THE TP! One nails Nana in the head!
Winner: Bryan Danielson by DQ (Rave-ference) Rating: **½ Meh. It was OK, Xavier did nothing to impress or disappoint me, but when you're in the ring with Danielson you normally look good, and he really didn't. The non-finish, so rare in RoH, has to lower the rating, it would in TNA or WWE, so let's be fair. I've seen much worse, and much better.
CM Punk and Bryan Danielson are recovering in the ring. Punk is on the mic, and tries to make Punk/Danielson vs Pearce/Rave for later on tonight. Danielson doesn't want to give anyone what they want, but he wants to do it himself so it's on like bad neon!
Jim Cornette goes nuts on CZW. Dude is awesome.
Jason Blade vs Jerrelle Clark vs Azrieal vs Jimmy Wang Yang
Yang is dressed halfway between his Flying Elvis gimmick and his Tajiri's Goon gimmick. This is NOT going to be easy to follow, all of these guys are sudden. Azrieal and Clark to start. Arm ringer exchanges early. Azrieal fights out, off the ropes and into a Clark dropkick! Another! He goes for the third, Azrieal dodges so Clark keeps rotating, lands on his feet and THEN hits the third. Cool spot. Arm drags exchanged, Azrieal goes for the big spin kick, Clark dodges and we have stalemate. More rope-running, Clark with a dropkick to the shins, and Blade comes FLYING across the ring with a missile dropkick to the back of Clark! Wow. Clark got hit so hard that Azrieal took a headbutt to the face. Blade goes to work on Azrieal, then brings Yang in the ring. Bad plan, as Yang paints a nice picture on Blade's chest with some ridiculously stiff chops...then EATS a tilt-a-whirl DDT! Dude BOUNCED. He fucking BOUNCED. 2 count only though. Whip by Blade, he charges....DAMN!!! Overhead belly to belly by Yang, throwing Blade INTO THE TURNBUCKLES. That hurt ME! Whip by Yang, moonsault kick in the corner, and a superkick to Blade gets 2. Kimmura now by Yang. Blade fights out, whip by Yang and a back elbow followed by a standing moonsault gets 2. Muta Lock by Yang! Turns it into a front facelock, Blade stands it up and Azrieal makes the blind tag on Yang. Ugly clothesline gets 2. Oooh a reverse chinlock. Never seen that before. Blade decides he'd rather the crowd stay awake, so he fights out only to get hit with a powerbomb for 2. Whip by Azrieal, Blade ducks the elbow and hits a springboard kick off the opposite ropes! Blue Thunder by Blade gets 2. Cena never hit it so well. Whip by Blade, runs into a boot by Azrieal but then hits a nice backbreaker for two before Clark breaks it up. Another whip by Blade, he gets a powerslam but Clark had made the blind tag and comes in with the shining wizard to the back of the head for 2. Whip by Clark and a beautiful dropkick gets 2. ANOTHER whip and a stiff back elbow gets 2. A whip reversal leads to a big kick combo by Clark for 2 before Azrieal breaks it up. Clark is pissed so he goes to remonstrate with Azrieal, who just slaps him to tag himself in and drops an elbow on Blade for 2. Smart. Azrieal fluffs...something, but gets 2 anyway. Yang tags himself in now and Blade manages to hit a dropkick for 2. ANOTHER whip and Yang counters an armdrag beautifully into a hard clothesline for 2. Whip and a spinkick in the corner. Kick to the gut then a jumping one to the back of the head. Azrieal tags himself in now and starts pounding on Blade, who fights back and hits a standing Shiranui! I can do that, I just don't feel like it. Double tag,Yang and Clark in, Yang blocks a power bomb try and goes for a back body drop, Clark lands on his feet (!!) and hits a basement mule kick. A couple of quick leg drops and a running SSP by Clark gets 2. He drags Yang to the corner and goes up for the 630. Yang stands, Clark jumps anyway and gets a heel kick for his troubles. Azrieal with a dropkick to the back of Yang, who goes to the floor. Azrieal runs the ropes, and slides under the rope to the outside with a chop. Innovative, but the crowd crapped on it. Blade comes out of nowhere with the somersault plancha! Here comes Clark...springboard moonsault, and he LANDS ON HIS FEET! Clark throws Blade back in.
Slam by Clark, handstands into the ropes and comes off with a corkscrew senton for two. That was gorgeous. Blade is whipped chest-first into the buckle, he floats over the top of a back suplex and hits one of his own, holds on and faceplants Jerelle Clark from the back suplex position! Blade goes for the cover but Azrieal comes off the top with a double stomp to Blade, then covers Clark for 2! Whip by Azrieal, Clark floats over Azrieal and goes for a powerbomb, blocked by Azrieal who tries to back body drop Clark, but he's too close to the ropes and Clark bounces off the top, comes back in and hits a NASTY high angle powerbomb! Last Train to Clarksville, according to Lenny Leonard, and he would know. 2 count before Yang breaks it up. German try by Yang, Clark flips out, kick staggers Yang into the corner, Clark charges and gets an elbow for his troubles. Yang up top...YANG TIME! Didn't catch all of it, but that's good night Irene.
Winner: Jimmy Yang by pinfall (slightly botched Yang Time) on Clark Rating: ***¼ It was quick, there were some great spots, but Azrieal dragged it down and there were too many botches. I have always been a fan of Jason Blade and re-watching this match reminds me of why. Yang looked totally different, as you'd expect, and Clark is a good little spot monkey.
BJ Whitmer vs Roderick Strong
Whitmer's a good hand, and Strong is hit or miss, as long as he stays off the mic.
Arm wringer exchanges to start. They go through a series of reversals, then some more, and a few more. Whitmer does some cartwheels and a Northern lights takedown into a top wrist lock. Impressive for a bigger guy. Strong flips out and both men are up. Shoulder tackle by Whitmer, they run the ropes and Strong hits a deep arm drag, followed by another, into an arm bar. Chop battle. Evidently Whitmer has never seen a Roderick Strong match. Boot from Whitmer and he goes with more chops in the corner, whip and charge by Whitmer but Strong moves and goes back to the armdrag and bar. Strong turns into a hammerlock and wraps up the legs for good measure, then drops a knee on the arm. HARD chop and BJ goes down. Slam and a knee drop gets 2. Strong runs the ropes, BJ goes for a leapfrog but Strong catches him with an inverted atomic, then a running forearm and BJ is out to the floor. Slingshot crossbody to the outside by Strong. On the outside, Strong sends BJ to the railing and it looks like he has a cut above the left eye. Strong throws BJ in and gets 1.5. Half butterfly suplex by Strong and they are back to the outside. Strong sits BJ in the chair, takes a run-up....OLE KICK! Mr Strong, I have a large angry Samoan on line 3. Strong drags BJ to another corner of the arena and hits an even stiffer Ole Kick! Strong goes to whip BJ into the rail, BJ reverses with an arm ringer and a neckbreaker on the floor! Damn. Whitmer lays in the boots and chops, throws Strong in and gets a 2. Hangman's neckbreaker by Whitmer gets 2 more. Rear chinlock with knee-posting action by Whitmer now, and he turns it into the Camel Clutch! Before Whitmer has a chance to fack his ass, Strong makes the ropes. He may or may not be hum-bell however. BJ goes to work with shots to the back of the neck, and gets another 2. Whip, Strong puts on the brakes and hits a kick to the gut followed by the Kevin von Erich crossbody from the second rope for 2. BJ up with a boot and a snap suplex for 2. Snap mare and into a rear chinlock. Strong is able to get to his feet, gets a sunset flip for two, then a schoolboy for 2 and tries to turn into the Stronghold but Whitmer makes the ropes. BJ with the cheap eye poke and a DDT gets 2 before Strong finds the ropes. Whitmer goes very slowly to the top, Strong catches him and goes for the superplex...BJ throws him off! Frog Splash by BJ misses! Both men are down. BJ charges but Strong avoids it and lays in the stiff chops. Clothesline, back elbow and dropkick from Strong get 2. Running elbow in the corner and a half nelson backbreaker gets 2.63. Another loud chop from Strong, Whitmer blocks the whip and hits a sick kick to the head and a knee strike for 2. Whitmer goes for a suplex, Strong with a knee to the head blocks it. Strong takes Whitmer up into the fireman's carry position, knee strikes from Whitmer get him out of it. Power bomb by BJ with the fold! 2 count only. Whip by BJ, he charges and gets elevated over the top to the apron. Forearm by BJ, he goes to the top but gets caught...dropkick to Whitmer, who is sitting on the top rope! great leap. Superplex by Strong gets 2. Some good psychology with Strong selling the neck even off his own moves. Strong goes for the half nelson backbreaker again, turned into an armdrag by Whitmer, who then turns Strong inside out with a HUGE lariat for 2.74. BJ has Strong in the rack position now, Strong with shots to escape, gutbuster from Strong! Sick kick! Gibson driver gets the 3!!
Winner: Roderick Strong via pinfall (Gibson Driver) Rating ***½ A solid, back-and-forth outing from these two with good selling, consistent offence that made sense and nothing extravagant or over-the-top. Matches likes this are where RoH needs to head, with maybe a touch more flash, instead of the spotfests with people getting dropped on their heads. That said, this wasn't an outstanding match, but there was plenty to enjoy.
A video package for the return of The Briscoes is shown. This was my first ever look at them, and I marked for the whole clip. Hey, it had a cut-throat driver, how could I not?
Adam Pearce and Jimmy Rave!!! vs Bryan Danielson and CM Punk
Jimmy Rave and Prince Nana play the snobby asshole heels so perfectly. The TP barrage is somewhat less than normal due to the smaller crowd and them blowing their wads earlier. Unless I'm very much mistaken, Punk comes to the ring in a Matt Cappotelli t-shirt. "Jimmy Swallows!" Long Island. "It's OK...it's OK that they know." - Adam Pearce. That may be the single most awesome line I have heard. "Jimmy likes balls" - Long Island. "I don't like balls at all!" - Jimmy Rave. God, this man is GOLD! More heat than a crate of habaneros.
Danielson and Pearce to start. Danielson with a couple of slaps to start, so Pearce wants a test of strength instead. Amazingly, the shorter and skinnier Danielson gains control until he gets headbutted in the gut and taken down with an arm drag. Shoulder tackle by Pearce. They lock up again and Pearce has control with an armbar, they run the ropes and Pearce with the armdrag and bar. Danielson backs him into the ropes and catches him coming off with a swank dropkick. Pearce flees to a neutral corner and Danielson tags the only man to hold both the RoH and World Heavyweight titles, CM Punk. Punk wants Rave. Rave is not so sure. After ponderous deliberation Rave tags in, ducks a couple of lock-up attempts and tags Pearce back in. Chickenshit heel extraordinaire. Punk and Pearce hook up, arm wringer by Punk, he drags Pearce over to his own corner and uses Pearce's hand to tag in Rave! Fabulous! He slingshots Rave in, hits a hip toss and a snap suplex, then drives him into the corner before tagging Danielson. Chops in the corner by Danielson, a snap suplex than Danielson goes up and HITS the diving headbutt for 2. That move makes me uncomfortable. Tag to Punk who has an arm wringer countered by a Rave jawbreaker. Rave tags in Pearce who immediately gets taken over with an arm drag by Punk. Tag to Danielson and chops in the corner to Pearce this time. Whip and a charging forearm by Danielson. Snap mare, spine tickler and it's TIME TO GO SURFING! Woooah! Wooooah! Woooaah....Danielson holds him halfway up and Punk dropkicks him! Nice spot. 2 count before Rave breaks the cover. Double team dropkick by Punk and Danielson gets 2. Punk lays in some shots, does the snap mare and tickler combo and gets a quick 2 before going back to the arm. Pearce escapes, whips Punk into the heel corner and tags Rave. Punk escapes the 2 on 1, hits a stiff chop to Punk on the outside, and gets back in the ring. After significant stalling by Rave, Punk lands a kick and they go to the outside where it devolves into a fuck of the cluster. Punk HURLS Pearce into the barrier, that was HARD. Of course, as Punk loves symmetry, he takes Pearce to the opposite barrier. They switch opponents and Danielson whips Pearce into the barrier! That has to suck for Pearce. Again to the barrier! In the ring, Rave is once again trying to stall. Danielson is behind him and Rave has no clue! BITCH SLAP! This demonstrates the value of not being seen. And of keeping your pimp hand strong. Punk covers and gets 1. Whip by Punk, high running knee! He tags Danielson, snap mare by Punk and sandwich kicks get two for Danielson. Rave with a whip, Pearce gets his knee up but Danielson no-sells it and attacks Pearce. Rave knocks Danielson to the floor and Pearce commences beatings. Danielson is thrown back in and Rave gets a 2. Rave stomps away on Danielson, and even Nana gets in a few shots while the ref is distracted. Pearce is tagged in and he goes to work with standard Pearce boredom. Neckbreaker from Pearce gets 2. Tag to Rave and he hits a suplex with a floatover for 2. Tag to Pearce who comes in with an elbow drop. Danielson tries to fight back and fails. Tag to Rave and it's rest hold time. Boy this match is kind of dragging, considering the talent in the ring. Danielson fights out with elbows, hits the ropes but Rave with the back body drop for two. Tag to Pearce again and it's back to a chinlock. Danielson gets backed to the heel corner and tries to fight off both men, only to be nailed by Pearce. Pearce lifts Danielson onto his shoulders, Doomsday Device maybe? Rave to the top...HITS IT! Punk in for the save at 2.701! Pearce throws Punk to the outside, they set up for the Doomsday again but Danielson uses the victory roll escape! Roaring elbow for Rave! Another for Pearce! Everyone except Punk is down! Punk is tagged in and he is a clothesline machine! Running high knee to Pearce. Welcome to Chicago Muthaf*cker for Rave, who does not appear to be feeling too welcome. Pearce attacks Punk from behind but gets elevated to the floor. Punk charges and hits a suicida to the outside. Rave charges him and gets backdropped into the seats. Danielson is in the ring...SPRINGBOARD TOPE CON HILO INTO THE CROWD!!!!!!!! Even Punk looks shocked. Punk throws Pearce into the ring, they do some rope running, Pearce goes for the spinebuster but Punk reverses it into a rollup for 2. Pearce kicks out and Punk turns it to the Anaconda Vise! Rave breaks the hold and hits a knee to the gut, then sets Punk for a superplex and connects. Pearce comes off the other corner with a splash! POWERPLEX baby! 2 only as Danielson breaks it up. Gutbuster into a DDT by Rave, but he's not legal so Pearce comes in and hits a suplex. Tag to Rave who comes in and covers for 2. Never understood why you would do that. Butterfly lock by Rave while Pearce stamps on Danielson to keep him outside. Punk gets to his feet but is in prime position for the Pedigree Greetings From Ghana! Rave sets but Punk escapes, STO into the Anaconda Vise! Danielson manages to get in the ring and throws Pearce out! Pearce does get back in...straight into Cattle Mutilation!!! Rave and Punk are legal, and Rave gets to the ropes. "He has til 5!" - Danielson. Punk and Danielson perch Rave on the top, Pearce interrupts the double superplex and Rave hits the Greetings from Ghana on Danielson! Spinebuster to Punk! Running Knee Strike from Rave! 2.813!! Punk is whipped to the corner by both men, catches Rave coming in with an elbow, catches Pearce with a boot, climbs up top and....oh my, that was NOT a good rana. Punk lands badly on the back of his head and drops Pearce on top of HIS head. Rave in, eats a couple of stiff slaps from Punk's pimp hand, but ducks the spinning backhand and sets for the Greetings from Ghana! Danielson comes off the top with a missile dropkick to break it up!! All 4 men are down now. Punk up and hits the slap combo, a stiff kick and a reverse STO into the Vise! Danielson plays guard, knocking Nana and Pearce off the apron, and Jimmy taps.
Winners: CM Punk and Bryan Danielson by submission (Anaconda Vise) on Jimmy Rave. Rating: *** The match started off almost poorly, but got gradually better and ended well. They managed to get in some nice exchanges and some false finishes but with a better opening half this match would have been classic.
Post match, Danielson puts Punk over and lets Punk say goodbye. Punk then puts over RoH and the fans and runs out into the snowstorm to make snow angels. No, really. In his wrestling tights.
The 411: Sadly, not as good overall as I remember it, but still a strong show, especially given what they had to work with. The main event especially suffered from my now more critical view, but the Strong-BJ match was better than I remembered. The reaction to Punk and the comedy in this show alone make it worth a look, but the strong matches in the top half of the card make it a DVD that should definitely make it to your collection