So, it has come down to this. Jimmy Jacobs spent months trying to recruit Austin Aries, but it backfired big time when Austin seduced Lacey out from under the Age of the Fall.
June 28, 2008
From Chicago, Ill.
Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.
We open in a parking lot (apparently near the airport). Jimmy Jacobs and Allison Wonderland are getting mentally prepared.
Opening Match: Rhett Titus & Delirious vs. Alex Payne & Silas Young.
Titus and Delirious are an awkward couple in that they're both trying to bone Daizee Haze. Rhett, for some reason, has gone back to his sleazy gimmick, but at least he wants to make nice with Delirious and form a tag team. He calls out Daizee to stand at ringside with them. In a hilarious moment, Rhett waits for the bell to ring and then spazzes out like Delirious. The dynamic basically goes like this: Rhett plays heel when he's in, but when Delirious tags in, Payne and Young are heels. Payne is really starting to resemble William Katt. Silas is just kind of the random badass with no personality, which is sad because I think he's pretty good in the ring. Then again, I used to think the same thing about Rhett Titus, and he's developed into one of the more entertaining wrestlers on the roster. Delirious gets a hot tag and cleans house. He sunset flips Alex Payne, but Titus jumps over the top of him and steals the pin at 7:12. I think we all suspected Rhett was still a douchebag deep down, and this match just went to reinforce that. Delirious doesn't like it, but he leaves with Daizee and Rhett anyway. **
Austin Aries refuses to cut a promo to hype his match tonight.
Erick Stevens vs. Jay Briscoe (w/Mark Briscoe). Nigel McGuinness is on commentary, rooting for Stevens because Stevens has Danielson's number. Mat wrestling to start, and Stevens starts swinging for the fences early with the locomotion suplexes and Russian Leg Sweep. That sets up a reverse bearhug. Jay comes back with a crossbody and the Flatliner into the turnbuckle. He misses a boot, though, and gets Choo-Chooed. That sets up a release German. Jay fights out of another one and hits a DVD. That sets up a superkick, but Stevens MANS UP and finishes with the Doctorbomb at 8:49. Jay and Erick respect the Code of Honor after the match. Jay has gone from taking advantage of his singles tenure to waiting Mark's injury out. This was okay, but they were just exchanging moves until the finish. **1/2
Roderick Strong and Brent Albright get pumped up. Strong threatens to kill Davey Richards when he gets back from Japan. Whoa.
Lights Out Match: Chris Hero (w/Sweet 'n' Sour Int'l.) vs. Pelle Primeau.
Hero hits a couple of roaring elbows right off the bat, getting an eight count. Hero slaps him upside the head for another close count. Pelle comes back with a multi-rotation headscissors to send Hero to the floor. Cool spot as Pelle tries a pescado but gets caught, so he improvises an armdrag into the barricade and nearly gets the win. Back in, Hero gets clotheslined and tied in the ropes. That allows Hero to kick him in the head for another count. Hero kicks Pelle in the head again and then trips him up as Pelle staggers to his feet. Referee Todd Sinclair doesn't buy it and starts the count over. That sends Sweeney into a tizzy, distracting Sinclair long enough for Brent Albright to run in and give Hero a Half-Nelson Suplex. It appears that Pelle is going to pick up the win if he can get to his feet because Sinclair is counting them both. Instead, Hero just makes it up at nine, and Sara Del Rey sneak attacks Pelle with an Axe Kick to keep him down for the count at 8:27. Hey, this was pretty good. Usually, I tune Pelle Primeau out as often as possible, but this match was really set up to allow him to shine and possibly get a screwy win. The most enjoyable Pelle singles match in recent memory. ***
Tyler Black & Necro Butcher (w/Allison Wonderland) vs. El Generico & Kevin Steen.
Steenerico jumps the heels before the bell. It settles down after a brief brawl. As you might expect, Tyler and Generico have a spiffy little aerial battle, but Necro comes in and takes over with a right cross. Generico plays tecnico-in-peril. Tyler and Necro work pretty well together, considering they're not the usual AotF combination. Necro cuts off a tag by punching Steen right off the apron. Steen gets pissed and yanks Necro to the floor. Generico rolls into the hot tag. Hot finish sees the AotF go for a Doomsday Device on Generico, but Steen chops Black off the top and dropkicks Necro's knees out from under him. Generico hits Necro with the Yakuza Kick. That sets up a Swanton, but Necro gets his knees up. Steen goes for the Sharpshooter, but Necro punches him to block. Allison distracts the ref while Necro pushes Steen into a Tyler Black chairshot. That leads to a Necro rollup for the win at 11:30. Steen is almost like Homicide back in 2006 where he keeps getting screwed and there is this ticking clock over his head constantly counting down on his promise. This match just served to run out more time on that clock as Steen will have to claw and scratch just to get a title shot again. The hot finish really elevated this one. ***
Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli. Nigel McGuinness joins the announce crew. He hates both guys, but he spits most of his venom at internet fans, which is pretty funny. Long – and good – feeling-out process to start. Lots of mat wrestling and reversals until Danielson gets the Airplane Spin in. Claudio shakes it off and turns it into a Giant Swing. Neither man can do the kip-up afterwards. Funny stuff. Funnier still: Danielson gives Todd Sinclair the Airplane Spin, and then when Claudio goes for the Giant Swing, Danielson says, "No. That's too much." Finally, the match resumes with Danielson wrenching Claudio down into a Mexican Surfboard. Danielson kicks the crap out of him, but Claudio shakes it off. Danielson backdrops him over to block the uppercut, though, and hits a tope. Back in, Danielson takes him down into CATTLE MUTILATION! Claudio is so tall that he's able to get his legs under him and power out, though. Danielson armdrags into a counter of the Apomari Waterslide and goes into the trapped elbows. Claudio powers out and hits the Waterslide anyway. That gets two. Claudio comes off the top, but Danielson pinpoints his uppercut arm with a dropkick. Awesome! Danielson hits a German Suplex! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Danielson locks in the Triangle Choke, but Claudio makes the ropes. Both guys are up for a slugfest now. Claudio wins and gets two, but Danielson reverses the follow-up Ricolabomb to a small package! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Danielson bounces off the ropes but runs right into a bodypress into an uppercut at 24:04. As usual, good stuff from both guys. Claudio seemed to present a lot of matchup problems for Danielson because of his height and mat-wrestling ability. ***1/2
Sara Del Rey vs. MsChif vs. Daizee Haze.
Sara is looking truly bizarre these days. She is still pissed about losing the SHIMMER title to MsChif, so she goes after her early. Daizee jumps Del Rey, and they give her a double-team Wakigatabreaker. Del Rey ducks to the floor, but MsChif wipes her out with a flying crossbody. Daizee tries the same thing, but she accidentally takes out MsChif. That allows Del Rey to toss Haze into the barrier. Back in, Del Rey puts the boots to MsChif. Daizee comes back in with a missile dropkick to knock Del Rey over in the middle of a slam. Daizee hits a cool monkey-flip facebuster on Del Rey, but MsChif jumps her and knocks her cold with the Desecrator (arm-scissor DDT). Del Rey tosses MsChif, allowing her to finish Daizee with the Royal Butterfly at 4:17. Good while it lasted. *3/4
Brent Albright & Roderick Strong vs. Adam Pearce & A Mystery Partner (w/Larry Sweeney & Johnny Fairplay).
Sweeney introduces Go Shiozaki as the newest member of Sweet 'n' Sour. But that's not all! No. Sweeney introduces "The Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All Time" -- The Honky Tonk Man! Honky wants to sing, but Sweeney says the money isn't right. The fans are now in love with Roderick Strong, which just goes to show that he is just an okay-ish heel, but a great babyface. Shiozaki plays heel-in-peril early. Actually, he doesn't do much that is heelish. What ever happened to the Japanese dickishness of a Shinjiro Otani? Strong lays in his chops, but Pearce distracts Strong long enough for Go to counter a superplex. Strong assumes the face-in-peril role as Go NAILS him with a lariat. Strong ducks a running chop and hits an enzuigiri. HOT TAG TO BRENT! Albright cleans house until Go catches him with a wicked thrust kick. Strong catches Pearce going up and hits a superplex. That leads to a double slugfest! Cool. Strong takes out Go, and that allows Albright to take Pearce down into the trapped knees for the submission at 14:49. I'd like to see Go be a lot more heelish. Here, he was just wrestling like he had for the first few months of his tenure only on the heel side. Roderick looked much more comfortable as a babyface, and Bretn Albright was even generating some support. Part of the problem I have, though, is that this is really trying to wedge in a feud from outside (Albright and Pearce have been feuding for nearly a year over the NWA Title out west) to align ROH with the NWA. The match was fun, though. ***
After the match, Albright takes out all of Sweet 'n' Sour, but Pearce lights a fireball in his face!
Non-Title: Nigel McGuinness vs. Jerry Lynn.
Nigel thanks Lynn for helping him out when Nigel was first breaking into the business. So now he's going to give Lynn an opportunity – the opportunity to leave without getting his jaw broken. Lynn says he knows he's over the hill, but he's seen men like Nigel come and go while Lynn is still standing. Lynn comes out hot, but he appears to mess up his shoulder on a dropkick. Oh, but he was just pulling a Bret Hart and small packages Nigel when he moves in. Nigel accuses Lynn of cheating, but then when he has the chance, he unties Lynn's boot and then points it out to him. When Lynn looks down, Nigel nails him with the uppercut. You wouldn't think an adult would fall for the old "Your shoes untied" line, but you'd be wrong. Nigel goes to work on Lynn's arm and shoulder with a hammerlock and then snaps his arm on the top rope. To the floor, Lynn backdrops a charging Nigel over the barricade and leaps over the top on him. Lynn blocks a lariat and counters to a Tornado DDT. That sets up a flying crossbody and a spear. Nigel counters the Cradle Piledriver to a Divorce Court, but Lynn counters his Jawbreaker Lariat to the German Suplex. Nigel hits the Tower of London! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Lynn catches him going up, though, and dropkicks him. That sets up the Lungblower. They fight on top, and Lynn hits the SUNSET POWERBOMB! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Lynn sees the Jawbreaker Lariat coming and hits his own lariat! TKO! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! The fans think that was a three count. Lynn bounces off the ropes – right into a lariat. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Lynn kicks out! Nigel hits another, but Lynn kicks out again. Lynn gets two off a surprise rollup, but Nigel nails him with the lariat. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Lynn rolls him up for two, but Nigel traps his legs and rolls him up at 19:38. Lynn definitely looked good here for a guy nearly a decade past his prime. Nigel couldn't put him away with the lariat or the Tower of London and, in the end, had to resort to what amounts to a fluke to get the win. ***1/2
Grudge Match: Austin Aries vs. Jimmy Jacobs (w/Allison Wonderland).
This one is several months in the making as Jimmy tried to recruit Aries for the Age of the Fall, but it backfired big time when Aries stole Jimmy's girl, Lacey, away from him. Jimmy "did something" to Lacey, turning this into a blood feud. Before the match, Jimmy offers a stipulation that the winner of this match is able to make the match the next time they come to Chicago. Jimmy makes with the mind games early, demanding a wrestling match and then kissing Aries during an argument. Aries gets pissed and flies out on top of him with an elbow. They brawl all the way up to the wall where Jimmy grabs the End Time. Aries slams him into the wall to break the hold and then tosses him off the bleachers. Back to the ring, Jimmy pulls the ref in the way, and that allows him to cheapshot Aries. To the floor, Jimmy sets Aries up in a chair and flies out on him with a plancha. That rips open Aries' back and gives Jimmy the opening (no pun intended) for the rest of the match. He rakes and bites Aries' back and even rips at the wound with a foreign object. Aries fights out of the tree-of-woe to come back. Aries fights back from the apron, but Jimmy spears them both out into the guardrail. Back in, that sets up a senton from Jacobs. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Aries kicks out. Aries reverses the End Time to the Last Chancery, but Jimmy rakes the eyes to get out of that. Jimmy sets up for the Contra Code, but Aries blocks and hits the DVD on the apron. Jimmy fights back and hits the Contra Code on the floor. Back in again, they stagger to their feet and slug it out. The IED misses, and Jacobs locks in the End Time. Aries powers up and blocks the Contra Code. That sets up the Last Chancery. Jimmy signals for reinforcements. Down comes Tyler Black and The Necro Butcher, but The Briscoes intercept them. Out of nowhere, MsChif appears and breaks up the Last Chancery with the doublestomp. Aries goes after her but takes the GREEN MIST! I would have been happy if the match ended there, but instead Jimmy goes for a spear. Aries nicely backs away from it and catches Jimmy in a Brainbuster! SWEEEEEET! That segues to the Last Chancery, but Jimmy reverses to the End Time. Aries fades and nearly passes out, but he suddenly lurches over into the Northern Lights Cradle. That gets two, and Jimmy is forced to release the hold. That sets up Aries hitting SIX (6!) IEDs. Jimmy is knocked silly, so Aries is able to finish with the 450-splash at 26:39. I was puzzled by the booking at first, because usually you want to have your "Wronged Badass" fail in his first attempt to stack the deck before the ultimate showdown. The method to Gabe's madness would be revealed, however. The match itself is awesome. It's as good if not better than Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (the only comparable recent grudge match). Palpable hatred and good storytelling make for a fine match. ****1/4
After the match, Aries reminds Jacobs that he gets to make the next match, so he announces it will be "No DQ." Well, that's lame. Oh, "No DQ"… between Jimmy Jacobs and the Necro Butcher! Poor Jimmy, constantly hoisted on his own petard.
The 411: Damn fine show here with the big grudge match being the big draw. The undercard holds up its end well too, though, with Lynn proving he does, indeed, "still got it." Claudio and Danielson might be a little disappointing for those expecting a MOTYC. Jacobs versus Aries more than makes it worth the purchase, though.