-Under the "I have too much on my plate" banner. I actually reviewed this and Death Before Dishonor VI a week ago but forgot to post them until a faithful reader e-mailed me. Perhaps it's my wildly successful work in the movies section with this year's "31 Years, 31 Screams." Or maybe it's my occasional column on the 411 Political blog. More likely, it's just my constant quest for cheap plugs.
-When last we left ROH, Ruckus earned a title shot in a battle royal by eliminating ROH World Champ Nigel McGuinness.
-Rhett Titus continued to show his sex tape with "you know who" around to the boys in the back. Funny exchange:
Roderick Strong: Is that…?
Rhett Titus: Yeah, I'm showing "no remorse!"
-Mark Briscoe returned to help out his brother and Austin Aries.
-Nigel McGuinness finally paid Claudio Castagnoli some respect, but Claudio refused to shake his hand.
August 1, 2008
From Manassas, Va.
Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.
Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black look out over the forests of Virginia. They say the tag belts prove they are for real and not just empty rhetoric.
Opening Match: Adam Pearce & Shane Hagadorn (w/Sweet 'n' Sour Inc.) vs. The Briscoe Bros.
The poor man-servant Shane Hagadorn doesn't fare so well in this one. Even his own partner slaps him around early. The heels take over on Mark. Pearce hits a flying splash, and then Sweet 'n' Sour hit the Demolition Decapitation. Wasn't Barry Darsow the one who usually came off the ropes with the elbow? That only gets two because Shane Hagadorn is late to cover. Mark rolls out of trouble and tags Jay. The Briscoes clean house and finish Hagadorn with the Springboard Doomsday Device at 7:54. **1/4
Brent Albright storms the ring and chases Sweet 'n' Sour away.
In the back, Rhett Titus shows Nigel McGuinness his footage. Nigel even references "2 Girls, 1 Cup."
Pelle Primeau vs. Rex Sterling.
Sterling comes out to Deadsy's cover of "Tom Sawyer." This would be the equivalent of the Arizona Cardinals versus the Atlanta Falcons. Somebody has to win. I kind of like Sterling's heel act in FIP, but he looks out of place here. When you don't have a discernible size advantage on Pelle Primeau, you're in trouble. Pelle uses his usual array of springboard moves and armdrags. Sterling gets in the Guillotine Stretch, which gets a good pop. Pelle slips out of a suplex, hits a roaring elbow and finishes with a jawbreaker at 4:08. Just a jobber match. Pelle's offense just doesn't look believable because so much of it is based on the opponent putting himself in silly situations. Then again, that's kind of a blanket complaint about indy guys. *
Delirious vs. Rhett Titus.
The goofy dubbing of the name "Rhett Titus" into "Addicted to Love" really perfects the gimmick. Titus wants a straight up wrestling match because he has nothing against Delirious. Of course, when the opportunity comes, he starts cheating. First, he uses a clenched fist to block a sunset flip, prompting Delirious to ask, "What the hell?" Then, he jumps Delirious from behind. Daizee Haze comes down, ostensibly to root for Delirious. Rhett maintains control but always stops to gyrate, allowing delirious to come back. Delirious crotches him on the top rope, but Titus bails to the floor and pulls Daizee in the way to block Delirious from coming off the top. Back in, Titus blocks a Cobra Stretch but misses a corner charge. Delirious is able to finish with the Cobra Stretch at 9:36. Rhett continues to be one of the most watchable guys on the roster thanks to his embracing of the gimmick. **1/2
Daizee Haze gets in the ring and says she really appreciates Delirious' dependability. She kisses him on the cheek. Awww. And he, in no way, is going to misinterpret that.
Necro Butcher vs. Roderick Strong.
This is a rematch from Injustice. Necro attacks at the bell, but Roderick chops him back and rips his shirt off. That proves to be a mistake because Necro just uses his shirt to choke Strong down. They take it to the floor where Necro cuts off an Ole charge with a chair to the shin. Ahhhh. Ahhhh. Ahhhh. Ahhh. Ahhhh. Ahhhh. He picks up the pretty black mat, revealing plywood and slams Strong on it. A guy in the audience screams, as only someone from Virginia can, "Git dat mutherfucker!" Okay, they can also say it in West Virginia, but it just doesn't sound the same. Necro lays in some headbutts and grabs a sleeper hold. Roderick chops back again but gets rammed into a chair. Roderick sets up Necro in the chair and hits a flying yakuza kick. HALF-NELSON BACKBREAKER ON THE CHAIR! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! The Tiger Driver finishes Necro at 11:12. It felt a lot like the Steen match from the PPV. Necro as designated punching bag is getting kind of old, so hopefully this new angle will give him a fresher direction. **3/4
Bryan Danielson & Austin Aries vs. The Motor City Machine Guns.
TEAMWORK'S~! music fails, so they redo the entrance by popular demand. A brief video insert reminds me that Austin Aries and Alex Shelley were cohorts in Generation Next before Austin turned on him and forced him out of the group. That seems like forever ago. It's Chris Sabin who catches the most hell early, though, as Danielson tries to rip his arm out of the socket and Aries continues the punishment. The Machine Guns come back by doing what they do best – doubleteam. They isolate Danielson, tie him up, and bite him just for kicks and giggles. Aries has to make the save and wipes out both guys with his suicida. Danielson hits a sloppy atomic drop, but he can't get out of trouble, and Shelley bends him in half with a modified half-crab. The Guns go into their doubleteam sequence, but Aries makes the save. Aries works in another suicida, and Danielson goes to work on Sabin's arm. Sick! Shelley tags in but winds up taking the knees to the face. He blocks the Last Chancery and reverses to the Schwein. Shelley and Sabin bust out the doubleteams again, including a convoluted dropkick into a skullfuck. Aries and Danielson use their own TEAMWORK~! to doubleteam Shelley with a stereo kick. Danielson puts Sabin in the Cattle Mutilation, and Aries ties up Shelley with the Last Chancery. The ring announcer tells us there is only a minute left, and everyone knows what that means. The Guns reverse to their own holds, but the 20-minute time limit expires at 20:00 (no, seriously). Everyone wants five more minutes, and they get it! Aries hits few quick IEDs, and Danielson starts stomping Sabin's face in. Shelley breaks that up with a superkick and goes for the Shiranui. Aries blocks, and they start blocking their signature moves. Shelley gets a surprise superkick and hits Shellshock, but Aries is in the ropes. BORDER CITY STRETCH! Aries rolls through and kicks Shelley in the face. That sets up the Brainbuster. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Aries and Shelley start reversing their submission moves until the five-minute overtime expires. Now, it's officially a draw. Pretty awesome, as you'd expect, but not MOTY level. It just seemed to lack something. ****
After the match, Austin Aries offers reconciliation, but Shelley walks out on him.
Daizee Haze says that whatever happened happened, and she's moving on. Roderick Strong approaches her but then backs off. She's confused as to why all the guys are acting weird. Who are you kidding, Roderick? The boathouse was the right time.
Brent Albright vs. Chris Hero (w/Sweet 'n' Sour).
Albright chases Sweeney around the ring but gets leveled by a waiting Hero. Hero gets cute by springboarding off the barricade, and Albright catches him and tosses him into the barrier. Finally, the match starts, and Albright gets several two counts off elbows. Hero catches him with a roaring elbow out of nowhere to turn the tide. From there, they settle into a pretty basic storyline: Hero going for the KO, Albright going for the arm submission. Albright fires off a number of suplexes but gets knocked to the floor. Albright is out, so Hero tries to pin him on the floor. It's not FCA, though, so Hero drags Albright's lifeless body into the ring. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Hero tries a springboard uppercut but hops right into a powerslam. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! The 61Knee misses, and Hero PASTES Albright with a roaring elbow. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Hero goes up but gets caught with the belly-to-belly superplex. That sets up the Half-Nelson Suplex by Albright for the win at 12:48. Pretty straight-forward match, with both guys throwing bombs at one another until one of them got caught. **1/2
After the match, Adam Pearce attacks, but Albright makes his own save.
ROH World Title: Nigel McGuinness vs. Ruckus.
Ruckus won a battle royal to set this up. Nigel wanted a night off. Early on, it looks like that's practically what he will have as he blithely grounds Ruckus and argues with the crowd. Ruckus comes back with flippity moves, though, rattling Nigel. Nigel catches him with the lariat, though. He sets Ruckus on top for the Tower of London, but Ruckus fights out of it and hits the moonsault legdrop. He tries a cartwheel, but Nigel just fires out and clips him. Nigel stomps him down but gets caught with a flipping kick. He bails and suckers Ruckus into a rope-assisted crab. That's just silly because all Ruckus has to do is straighten out his legs. Back in, Nigel tosses him around a little more and then simply finishes with the London Dungeon at 11:35. Not much to say about this one. Outside of a few flippy moves by Ruckus, this was just a dismantling. **
ROH World Tag Titles: Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black vs. Go Shiozaki & Naomichi Marufuji (w/Larry Sweeney).
Before the match, Roderick Strong chases Larry Sweeney away, thus ensuring the Japanese team will be the babyfaces. Smart move. Jimmy gives Go a weak chop and then bails before he faces a real one. That was sad. Jacobs keeps poking Go in the eyes. Marufuji and Black do a quick wrestling sequence before the Japanese isolate Jimmy. Suddenly, Go and Nao go heel with dickish moves on Jacobs. Why? Jimmy crotches Go and tags in Tyler. Tyler cleans house, but Marufuji tags in and goes to town on the Age of the Fall with clotheslines. I love his little "close the gap" spot. He runs into a spear, though, and gets frogsplashed. Go recovers and makes the save. Tyler superplexes him, though. Shiozaki hulks up and hits a few running chops. Go slaps on the Dragon Sleeper, but Tyler makes the ropes. BRIDGING GERMAN! ONE, TWO, TH-NO! Jimmy makes the last-second save. MOONSAULT! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Go lifts Black up for a suplex, but Jimmy hits a spear. The AotF hits the Super Contra Code, but Marufuji makes the save. Jimmy tosses Marufuji, and Black hits God's Last Gift! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Jimmy spears Marufuji to the floor. That allows Black to hit the Phoenix Splash for the win at 23:20. This started out pretty slow, but it picked up nicely at the end. It could have been better with more defined roles. ***3/4
After the match, Alex Shelley attacks Jimmy Jacobs, but he gets jumped by Tyler Black. Of course, that allows Austin Aries to come out and make the save. Finally, Aries and Shelley take the opportunity to make up. I love the way Aries, Shelley and Jacobs have all gone on very different paths and yet they wended their way back around through the last few shows.
The 411: The TEAMWORK versus Machine Guns match is probably the only real "draw" match (no pun intended). The main event isn't bad either, though, and this show is pretty good for a "first-night" show. Now if we could only get Titus' tape on the extras. :)