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  1. Like the rest of America I have a wrestling podcast. I recap the week in wrestling. I just watch ROH and WWE programming every week and give my thoughts on it. Itunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/webs-weekly-wrestling-rant/id1212156453?mt=2 and here's the first episode Episode 0 - "Pilot" Description: Welcome to the first episode of Web's Weekly Wrestling Wrant. This is the the Pilot episode. Check in every Friday for new episodes. This week I review Raw (Hulu Version), SmackDown, Talking Smack, 205 Live, NXT and Main Event and Fastlane predictions. Please leave comments, feel free to email me at and follow me on Twitter @WebConn69 https://soundcloud.com/websweeklywrestlingwrant/episode-1-worst-main-event-ever Episode 2 - "I'm Not Booked" Description: Typo free description this week! This week, I pay tribute to Dennis Stamp, give my thoughts on the March 12th WWE MSG Show, give a ROH 15th Anniversary Show live report. Plus reviews of ROH Wrestling, Monday Night Raw, Smackdown, Talking Smack, 205 Live, NXT, Main Event and after much wait Lucha Underground on Netflix Retro Review. Please feel free to send me questions comments and concerns to and follow me on Twitter @WebConn69 Colt Cabana Art of Wrestling with Dennis Stamp: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g4Af_X9PAU Dennis Stamp, Grado, & Dick Justice VS. The Iron Curtain: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkk21FTXhas https://soundcloud.com/websweeklywrestlingwrant/episode-2-im-not-booked Episode 3 - "Randy Orton Is The Christian Slater of the WWE" Description: This Week: I make a last minute addition to last weeks Dennis Stamp tribute, I give my thoughts on the WWE showing interest in buying ROH rumor. Plus I review ROH Wrestling, Monday Night Raw, SmackDown, Talking Smack, 205 Live, NXT, Main Event and top it all off with the Lucha Underground on Netflix Retro Review. Please feel free to send me questions comments and concerns to and follow me on Twitter @WebConn69 https://soundcloud.com/websweeklywrestlingwrant/episode-3-randy-orton-is-the-christian-slater-of-the-wwe
  2. Texas and Ring of Honor don't necessarily go together on paper do they? I think of the Northeast and Midwest when thinking of ROH but, here they are in San Antonio, June 1st, 2013. The fans are enthusiastic and the wrestlers are game so, let's take a look. Kyle O'Reilly vs Mike Sydal: Matt's younger brother vs one half of the tag champion reDRagon. This is a fine opener that makes Sydal look credible and make Kyle look like a rightful champ. A local TV anchor comes out and talks a bit and Steve Corino decides its his job to give this guy a hard time. Mark Briscoe doesn't need a reason to fight and comes out to defend the fellow. This appears as an unscheduled contest but, it is advertised as Briscoe vs a mystery SCUM member. It as if there was another match scheduled but, they said 'screw it...this will count.' I've no problem with this whole setup and 'improvised' brawl...It was actually tons of fun. It's just goofy to have Kevin Kelly talk about a mystery match at the top of the show and then, a seemingly organic occurrence was in fact the booked match. It's kind of a Toto pulling at the Wizard's curtain moment. Now back to our 'scheduled' contests Barbie Hayden vs Athena: There was a real good face/heel dynamic in this match. I unfairly figured Barbie would be all looks and no talent but, that notion was a testament to her abilities as a hot shit heel. Athena conversely shined to some great reactions from the crowd. A simple but, very good match. Nice to see Women of Honor on a DVD. Eddie Edwards vs Matt Taven: This is for a shot at Taven's TV title which seems silly since Edwards was a former World Champ and shouldn't need to fight for a title shot. That issue nonwithstanding, this was a damn great contest. I dare say a classic ROH bout. The work was snug and energetic, there were good moments of crowd interaction, and the shifts in momentum felt natural. Both guys are from Boston so, I can only think they've worked with each other on the way up based on this match. It was that good. Jay Lethal vs ACH: These guys had a tough act to follow but, they answered the challenge. By engaging in a high energy game of human chess, Lethal and ACH wowed the crowd with another great match. It wasn't a classic like the Taven/Edwards battle but, it was different and exciting in it's own right. Bobby Fish vs Raymond Rowe: This was the slow down match yet it still came through with fierce strikes and suplexes. A good match. Roderick Strong vs Adam Cole: Its apparent to me now that this is a stacked card. My goodness. Here we have a ROH vet taking on the rising star Adam Cole. For those who know these two, this was exactly the match you wanted- back and forth action with both men pushing the pace and intensity. It was a near classic encounter. And that got me thinking about the overlooked list of great to all time classics of Roderick Strong. 2004-2016 in ROH (and PWG and TNA) is longer than any of his contemporaries like Danielson, Aries, Joe, Black/Rollins, Davey etc and later competitors like Cole. And because of that, Strong has been able to have a 12 catalog of great matches with the biggest talents of the last 2 generations of talent. Think about his multiman GenNext matches vs the Embassy, Aries & Strong tag champs, vs Bryan, Nigel, the Japanese talent of the later Gabe days, against Davey, Eddie, Steenerico, the Briscoes, his feud with Erick Stevens and the FIP belt blah, blah, blah it's insane really...and that's the last decade. Michael Elgin & BJ Whitmer vs Rhett Titus & Jimmy Jacobs: Wow, this was the first tag match of the night. Well, uh it was a good one despite going longer than it needed to. Still a good cool down for the main even, which given the fantastic singles match, was needed. Jay Briscoe vs Davey Richards: Title belt on the line. I was hesitant about Davey going into this. His stuff with the reDRagons left much to be desired in terms of patented Richards aggression. Seriously, I take the goofy Andy Serkis facial expressions over hammy wolf cries any day. So, I was not feeling well when this started out with PWG-like crowd participation wrestling. However, that fear was eliminated as this turned into a bona-fide slobber knocker! I mean they beat each other black & blue! Davey was in full maniac mode and Jay was his damn confident reliable self. So, I became fully engaged as both competitors are so evenly matched that the threshold of victory or defeat was razor thin. I gotta say this was another near classic match. It was the result of two peers understanding each others' strengths & weaknesses and erring on the side of simplicity. Hey this may be due to the smaller B-show crowd but, clearly there's something to be said when there's not that Big City - Big Show pressure to deliver a MOTYC. So, that being said this is a amazing show and a must see! If you are cool with old school ROH production and venue then, you ought to pick this up. It's still floating around on DVD so, get this while you can. Thanks for reading!
  3. G. Badger

    ROH - Defy or Deny 2 - 2013

    So, before I continue with the reDRagons set, I'd like to review this show from January of 2013. Now, in case you were wondering, this isn't some essential show to Fish and O'Reilly's story. It just so happens that I have a few ROH DVDs that I've been meaning to watch that fit in with this watch-project's chronology. This one has been on sale for awhile and has gotten recommendations. Plus once ROH dvds are gone, they're gone (I just can't do the streaming subscriptions, I learned from my WWE network experience). So, Deny or Defy 2 sounded like a solid show and I bought it. Let's see if it's any good! Adam Cole vs Silas Young: This was a great opener and a great match overall. Cole is a known talent but, Young should be one as well. He works a more roughneck style now but, here he's doing a more athletic style and it's fantastic. This took me by surprise! Bobby Fish vs Tadarius Thomas: This was a good quasi shoot style match while still providing Fish a chance to blow bubbles with the crowd. Very good all-around work on his part. It's a dry yet, smart match. Charlie Haas vs Rhett Titus: Interestingly, Haas is wrestling how Silas Young wrestles now. So, it's a back to basics match. The fans are engaged and Charlie is working the fans to good effect. This may be something you don't necessarily give a shit about but, it is a fun, enjoyable match. Perfect for this spot on the card. I'd rather see these guys now instead of Flip Gordon and Cheeseburger...not to name names. Just saying... The Briscoes & Jay Lethal vs SCUM (Rhino, Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs): Seeing Rhino & Corino brings back memories and it feels right to have Mark & Jay (who've been with the co. in its original post ECW Philly days) fighting them. It's like ECW never went away and that's what this felt like. Brawl heavy match with some nice moves but, it's more about the characters and a pacing & finish that leaves you wanting more. Great match to me BJ Whimer vs Matt Hardy: This is a good match but, really it feels like a cool down for the upper card. I might even say this was just OK. I think it served its purpose. Kyle O'Reilly vs Davey Richards: This was pretty intense and fits perfectly into the Dragon's story arc (although not required). I'll say that Davey is clearly into doing his schtick at this point in his career. It works in a single setting if only because he can't do tandem moves & sequences. Usually it's the opposite for folks as they can do their spots, run around and look great. This doesn't fit Davey's persona though. He's got to go back to full speed ahead ultra aggressive Davey rather than rely upon Eddie's work and throw in hammy wolves spots. So, Kyle is the star of this to me. A very good to perhaps great match. Kinda wanna watch this again now... Defy or Deny Match: Kevin Steen vs Eddie Edwards vs Roderick Strong vs Michael Elgin: Elimination matches where no long term booking or planning comes into play are best left brief. I think that is my criticism here. Now, it's a great match (**** range) but, it could have been a classic with the talent in the ring if it had been more concise. And maybe you'll watch this and think it was.That's cool because there were points I was totally thinking that too. But I felt fluff got in the way too often for this to be downright amazing. Let's just say it is a big time main event nonetheless. It certainly felt like the money match and it absolutely worthwhile. Overall this is a fantastic show and for the sale price is worth checking out. The card flows well, and certainly delivers in terms of consistent quality with 4 out of 7 matches at the **** mark or so. You will want to watch the whole thing. Also if you dig the Undisputed Era guys, this is a excellent show to see what they were doing back in ROH. Gracias!
  4. This isn't going to be a full and complete review since I chose (that's right, chose) not to watch some of the more hyped matches. Specifically, I skipped Bullet Club vs CHAOS because I've been watching wrestling long enough to know that throwing a bunch of superstars into one match does not make it good. That's some bone throwing lazy booking of NJPW talent. But, I'm guessing that ROH doesn't have a lot of say-so. Its pretty clear to this walking fart of a man that the NJPW talent is just thrown in there (Liger & Will included) for novelty sake. That's alright but, in this case the 10 man match, it seemed like a step above a Battle Royal match to me. And to have it be second to last, seems wacky considering most of these guys aren't on TV or full time. Anyways, onto the shit I wanted to see! Kenny King vs Jushin Thunder Liger - Good God yes! I loved this match especially the finish The selling by both guys made this work- just a fun, fun bout. Liger just keeps on ticking! The Briscoe Brothers vs The Addiction (Kaz & Daniels): First and foremost, I love the Briscoe's promo videos. This stuff is fantastic and iconic. They have done really well crafting their chracters over the years. They should be lauded for their characters/personas as much as their in-ring abilities. So, that being said, we've got four pillars of the 2000's independent wrestling revolution (?) in the ring and damn can these guys still go. Obviously, it's not all fireworks but, they let 'em fly for awhile until the 2 on 1 story comes into play. I'd have to say this was a great match and up there with the main event. The factor for me was that I've been watching these guys for a long time now and although maybe nothing brand new was done, they told an interesting story, got me invested, and executed it like the masters they are. I'm a sucker for tag matches but, this was great stuff without trying to one-up yourself. Sumie Sakai vs Tenille Dashwood - WOH championship is being defended by Sumie. This match impressed me. It was very competitive and aggressive. You know Sumie is tough and Dashwood wants to do well in the ring so, they put their best feet forward. It wasn't always pretty but, it was compelling and entertaining. Enjoyed the finish as well. Good match Jay Lethal vs Will Ospreay: ROH World Title on the line. I've never been a fan of Ospreay but, I respect him. I have a new appreciation of the guy after this match. He was bringing stiff chops & kicks, reduced the superfluous spins and flips, and put some more meat on his bones. He's got a more serious attitude in my beady eyes. I think that he's more stylistically in line with the NJPW Jr. greats of the 90's and it shows here versus the confident Jay Lethal. Jay is a veteran at this point and his selling and match layout was excellent here. He treated Ospreay as an equal and forced (perhaps) Will to have a World Title fight rather than a fireworks match. Lethal has never really done fireworks and I've always been a fan of his because of that. So, I can't say for certain that it was Lethal keeping Ospreay focused or if Will has controlled himself but, this combination really worked for me. I've found that to be the case with many, if not all, recent Jay Lethal matches that I've watched- he pairs very well with others. The dude is a damn fine wrestler and has very good to great matches with whomever he's in there with. The tag match with Johnathan Gresham versus Silas Young & Bully Ray on a recent ROH TV episode being a fine example: Technical underdog, big roughneck, seasoned vet yet he still looks & acts like the champ. So, this match was another very good to great match. There wasn't a ton of backstory but, the action was very engaging, they worked a story, and these two had chemistry. In fact I felt so much chemistry that they could put on a great marquee rivalry. One that ROH needs after the NXT drain. So, it was a very good way to end the PPV/show . They could have just done the Ospreay spectacle with Lethal along for the ride but, instead opted to have a interesting and engaging match that left me wanting more. Overall, this was a very good show. I'll admit I saw it for free but, I enjoy ROH's product. So, if they keep it up, I might even go to a show or get a PPV or whatever the fuck its called or does nowadays. Honor Club? Seriously, I dig the TV show as it reminds me of old WCW Thunder. They do need some better connection between the TV and major shows though. I'm not asking for WWE scripted poop but, it was weird to discover that John Gresham was in a dark match despite being in 2 great TV main events right before Death Before Dishonor. I'm glad the Ospreay bout was great but, it felt odd for that to be there instead of Bully Ray vs Lethal or a rematch from the TV tag match. A Fight Without Honor match? That have been great as well as give the impression of actual booking. But, uh maybe that WCW Thunder comparison is more accurate than I thought... I appreciate you taking the time to read! Thanks! Check the show out on the stream club network or DVD or something
  5. So, I decided to make this a 4 parter after all. There was way more NOAH that I wanted to watch than I thought. So, this installment will cover July to October. There's a ton of stuff at the very end of the year so, I figure that can have its own entry. Takeshi Rikioh & Takeshi Morishima vs Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA (07/16/06): This is a tremendously exciting match where they did a sprint without going over board with moves or sequences. Morishima vs. KENTA was of course the sweetest thing here but Rikioh was a good partner for him while Marufuji was um not as good as could as he could have been. He was best during the double team segments but his super complex spots were just silly in a hard-hitting match like this. It helped that Rikioh usually made 'Fuji pay for his trickiness. Once the match picked up both were pretty awesome in their roles as back-ups. A good way to get past Marufuji is to consider him as this generation's Yoshinari Ogawa: weak strikes but speedy, crafty & exciting. It harkens back to the late 80s/early 90s when you didn't need to kill the guy to have a great match. The main difference is that Marufuji indulges in the unnecessary or esoteric where Ogawa "Keeps It Simple Stupid." There are some cock-ups that keep this from being a classic encounter. The stuff with KENTA & Morishima was awesome. Great match Jun Akiyama & Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kensuke Sasaki & Yoshihiro Takayama (07/16/06): Takayama return dream match. Kensuke is filling in for the ill Kobashi. Everyone looked really good in this hard hitting, action filled NOAH big time tag match. They didn't exactly empty their tanks but, fantastic effort and nice Kobashi tribute spots helped make this a great match. 16 minutes in duration. This doesn't get the talk like the Kobashi return but, man this is still a nice dream bout. It delivers like Dominoes, fool! ...man, that's lame. Ah screw it, I'm going with it! Katsuyori Shibata & KENTA vs Akira Taue & Go Shiozaki (09/09/06): Shibata starts with Taue and gets all karate on the old timer. Taue is like, "Fuck yo' karate, man!" Yes! Akira Taue don't fake the funk, Shibata or not. This reminds me of when Baba would fight Tenryu in a 6 man match. Tenryu (like Shibata) would open a can of whoop ass on Baba...to the extent that Baba might get hurt. But! It would only turn Grandpa Baba into Badass Baba who would just hit some indignant mean ass chops and neckbreakers. So, yeah this is Taue. Everything is up in the air with this puppy. A slept on great match. 15 minutes of action. Jun Akiyama vs Naomichi Marufuji (09/09/2006): GHC belt is on the line. Spoiler in this review so, skip to end of this if you'd like to see this match. I've come to like this match a bit more than when I first saw it. I "get" 'Fuji now and the look on their faces after the bell is rung for the win is timeless. Marufuji is elated and Akiyama while upset has got a grin on his face like, "I can't believe he beat me without beating me." The thing is Akiyama in AJ held the same spot Marufuji does...the guy who got elevated quick and has to take his lumps in the ring but is damn athletic & damn talented. The ring work is mostly spots akin to a RVD/Jerry Lynn match so; it's entertaining and amazing but also not capable of "greatness." Akiyama is like Jerry Lynn in giving the match a skeleton from which to operate. It's more like, "Did you see that move? I can't believe he did that!" Still it's really fun and probably a neat way to start someone out on puroresu especially someone who's younger and wants to see wrestling instead of crud. It bit off more than it could chew at times but it's still quite good. Highly recommended KENTA vs Bryan Danielson (ROH 09/16/2006): ROH title match. This probably is the closest thing to prime 90's junior puroresu that we'll see in the United States. Both men brought everything to the match- intensity, stiffness, psychology, & pacing. The only reason it's not rated any higher is because there is some noticeable stalling, especially for the top rope moves. When put in comparison to the rest of that night's card & ROH in general, this flaw is barely noticeable. In an era where legends are fading away and style is valued over substance, it is reassuring that wrestlers like KENTA & Danielson are out there. This match had its goofy American-indy moments and the aforementioned stalling but, its greatness cannot be diminished. In a post-Baba, post-Misawa world, this is required viewing. Jun Akiyama vs Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (10/13/06): Jun's in his old AJ gear. This is a pretty entertaining match where Jun destroyed Kikuchi and that gravel throated bastard shows how tough he is. I'd recommend this if you're coming home after a long day at work and you wanna grab a beer, a sandwich, and some simple but, entertaining wrestling. Naomichi Marufuji vs KENTA (10/29/06): Title match ya'll. This certainly wasn't your typical NOAH main event and looked so far away from traditional AJPW it was astonishing. This style they were wrestling or maybe always wrestle with is more a derivative of Michinoku Pro or even Ring of Honor than AJPW. It's no secret that both were in the midst of their ROH touring and which direction the influence rubbed off...well, I debate that with myself sometimes. They always seem to want to go back to the spectacular spots which is unfortunately the legacy of their seniors but hopefully is not the legacy that 90's AJPW has left the wrestling world. To speak more specifically about KENTA & Marufuji, they are Junior wrestlers not apt to use deep tactics in their offense. They play with the idea but, tend to go for the high-impact moves when push comes to shove. With all of that said, this was an excellent display of skill & athleticism and even a bit of psychology. Of course, they didn't sell it once it was time to do the spots but neither did 90% of the great NJPW Jr. wrestlers. So with that in mind, like many of the great Jr. matches the work done cannot be denied it's due. Re-Watch: I'd have to say this stands up with the best Jr. matches that NJ produced. Seriously, I can only think of a couple matches that were as satisfying as this one. Granted I don't know as much about stories in NJ as I do with Noah but, from a wrestling standpoint this was pretty awesome and about as good as you can get. So, I go back to a point that I made in a post on the main page that the 2000 Juniors were more influenced by NJPW Jrs. There was a little overkill at times but they brought it back so that the finish was believable and logical. If you could shave 5 minutes of it would have been better but, as it stands it's still fantastic and one of the better matches that the 2000's had. I'd keep the rating and call it the Jr. version of Misawa/Kobashi 03/01/03. Not the BEST but, still a classic. Whew! Some heavy hitters this round! Last but not least, November and December in part 4. Thank you for reading! Hope this helps you get excited to watch wrestling.
  6. Technically, these are ROH matches but, all participants were actively working for NOAH. 2007 was a pretty solid time for Ring of Honor & NOAH's relationship. Heck, Morishima was the champ! Nigel McGuiness & Doug Williams vs Takeshi Morishima & Chris Hero (04/13/07): This was a very solid B-show tag match. The fellows went above and beyond here. Nice to see the Brit Boys team up too. Hero was fresh back from a NOAH tour and doing finisher tributes like Damien 666. This helped the Nigel vs Morishima feud gain some ground. Fun stuff! Takeshi Morishima vs Nigel McGuiness (07/16/07): This is from one of ROH's Tokyo shows. Or maybe this is only one in actual Tokyo. Nevertheless, people say this helped contribute to Gabe S.'s ousting as booker. Its neat in theory but, not in practice. Anyhow, this is some very stiff fighting between these two. Nigel is the better wrestler (legitimately & in story) but, Morishima is as big & tough as a brick house. Nice surprise to see the Tokyo crowd is behind Nigel. Overall, this was a neo Choshu type title fight. Clubbing, lariats, backdrops yet, with apron spots. I probably could have done without those moves but, I still dug the heck outta it. Nige gave 110%...in it to win it! Highly recommended title match.
  7. In true Mixed up Monday fashion, I'm going to do a whole show review which is all mixed up since, I usually just toss a couple random fun match reviews up. I bought the official NOAH DVD from Highspots. Its got English commentary. Its not very good commentary but, its not awful either. Its laughable that at every (yes, every kickout), the lead commentator asks, "Did he kickout!?" Does he mean that he literally cannot see the kickout or is that a dramatic phrase? I wonder even as I write this. It doesn't step on the matches and well, damn that's good enough. On to the show! A. Ito & I. Ota vs Ricky Marvin & Eddie Edwards: This is how you do a tag match- bring some hate, desire to win, desire to inflict pain or embarassment...something right? You've got to have some energy! 8 minutes of great shit beats 21 minutes of blech. Marvin & Edwards were flipping awesome here. Ito & Otis looked good too but, mainly vehicles to put Rick & Ed over. Fun stuff so, I'd recommend going outta your way to watch this as it's under 10 minutes. Akira Taue & Mohammed Yone vs Takuma Sano & Yoshi Takayama: Stiff as a drink. Yone channels his BattlArts days. Taue's still got it in '08. Fun match. Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa, Takashi Sugiura vs Jun Akiyama, Takeshi Rikioh, Atsuhi Aoki: Good mix of styles here. They keep is interesting without going move crazy. Haven't seen Misawa (RIP) in awhile (at the time of this viewing). Ogawa is awesome as Rat Boy here. All action inside and out of the ring, double teams, triple teams- Fast and simple 6 man where everyone looks great. Highly recommended. Naomichi Marufuji & Kento Miyahara vs Bryan Danielson & Davey Richards: NOAH is where Bryan & Davey belong...damn. Marufuji is in a goofy mood tonight but, it's all good, the gaijin team are being especially brutal. Oh shoot! That's Akira Hokuto, yay! Highly recommended? Recommended? Just a fun match? Kinda an extedned squash but, it's a blast to see Danielson & Davey in NOAH. Under 10 minutes. The Briscoe Brothers vs Katsu Nakajima & Kota Ibushi: Prematch worry: Let's see if Ibushi gets wacky. Match starts and they are pretty evenly matched. The Briscoes look fantastic with their rough house brawling. They do well in taking the Japanese team's offense...I say that considering the range in offense of their opponents. Really, both teams are leaving it all in the ring - I'm really impressed! This is 100% bananas. 16 minutes of insanity. If you're gonna do a Jr. sprint match, this is it! Classic, classic match in this style. As the kids say, OMFG! Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs KENTA & Taiji Ishimori: I don't know how anyone can follow that. It is a bit slower but, still exciting. I appreciate Kanemaru & Kotaro acting as straight heels with their second causing mayhem and cheating like a M.F. 20 minutes and it's a great match. So, I failed to mention that there's a Jr. Tag tournament and this was the last match but, both teams are tied OR they are #1 & #2 and they need to have the final TONIGHT! Either way, we get a second match. I feel this 2nd bout diminished the awesomeness of the first but, still paid off and was pretty good as a whole. If you wanna take a break between matches, that might be a good idea. In total it was 31 minutes. I tend to side toward brevity nowadays but, I enjoyed the heck out of this nonetheless. I felt KENTA was subdued here so, that could be taken as a plus or minus depending on your preference. Highly recommended stuff but, again the first was my favorite. Takeshi Morishima vs Kensuke Sasaki GHC Title Match: Stiff clubbering wrestling. Oh so many club shots and clotheslines! I wouldn't say this is a classic title match but, on a super Jr. heavy show, this was a nice change of pace & an awesome way to close out the show. You got tons of speed, fancy manuevers, and nearfalls and now...Here's the tried and true NOAH beatdown title match. Two battleships facing off for the belt. It's that intense Choshu main event style so, if done right it's an easy 4 star match for those keeping score. Great match. The 09/06/08 NOAH Shiny Navigation was an outstanding show that offered alot of fantastic matchups that really paid off. If a full show DVD is available still and you're into that kinda thing, I say go buy it. This is especially true if you were digging ROH back in the day. Lots of cross pollination at the time between the two companies and very much the style they were going for at the time. Highest Recommendation on this show.
  8. Mixed up indeed! Young Bucks & Paul London vs Scott Lost, Joey Ryan, Karl Anderson (The Dynasty International) (Express Written Consent 2009): I would consider this to be in the golden era of PWG...Like 2007-2011. It wasn't hyped to hell, still had plenty of CA state talent, shows weren't supercars etc. It was kinda ROH level but, still with comedy. Bucks were feuding with the Dynasty team so, this 6 man was nice. Anderson was already in NJPW and London was coming back from his post World wrestling release. Paul entered the ring in his astronaut jumpsuit only to reveal he was wearing a WWF tee shirt!! Hahaha, that is to say a World Wildlife Foundation tee shirt His wrestling was off just a bit this match but, he certainly made up for it. The Bucks were phenomenal and any hiccups were quickly forgotten. Trust me. One note is that they hadn't begun the super kicks yet so, if that bugs you- don't worry! The Dynasty international were great foils for the face team and Scott Lost was particularly impressive. This was a blast main event for the card. I recommend checking it out if you want to like the Young Bucks but hate their overly self aware B.S. as of late. Dalton Castle vs Jushin Liger (ROH Reloaded Tour 2016): I'm not sure on the date. Its up on their Throwback Thursday playlist so, it should be easy to track down. This is a fun little comedy match with some nice moves thrown in as well. Its a 10 minute TV match but, gave me a couple chuckles. Most importantly, its a fantastic bout to show friends and family who are non-fans...especially if you're trying to coax them into going to a live show or something! OK now the real heavy duty shit... Jun Kasai vs Takashi Iikuza (01/28/18 TAKA production): I don't know if this match had a wacky deathmatch stipulation. It was just wild fight in the crowd then eventually in the ring with chairs and Kasai brought a ladder along with a razor saw board. I mean I hope those are not shaving razors because holy shit! The last 5 minutes would be utter bananas! I loved this match...just chaotic stuff and really dangerous. We watch wrestling because we want to feel something...well, I was afraid for the safety of both guys. That and a little squeamish. There was not really a lot of blood or gore per se but, the violence was there. Having been watching early 90's FMW, this was very similar in tone and taste. Awesome 13 minute hardcore bout. I really loved this!
  9. Procrastination got the better of me regarding the final 2 matches of Day #2 of the 16 Carat Gold Tournament but, here are a few nice matches from the 2010's that are totally worth watching instead! Masato Tanaka vs Tetsuhiro Kuroda (01/28/11 Apache Army): I'm surprised that this FMW offshoot is still in operation in 2011. Here we get former partners & rivals squaring off again. Kuroda is a dude that doesn't get a ton of talk but, I think he's really damn solid. Really surprised he did not end up in Zero-1 or even NOAH after FMW folded. This match is probably just a nostalgia match but, damn it delivered! I'm not going to fool anyone and say it had any selling but, for 15 minutes, it was a blast. They ran through their moves with the best of today's star...elbows from Tanaka were my favorites. Fun ass match and recommended to fans of either. Kento Miyahara vs Super Tiger II (04/18/16 AJPW): A feeling out process with referee Wada getting involved when Miyahara won't release the hold in the corner which starts up the body of the match. This was a nice touch. Tiger is focused on Kento's arm with kicks and some great looking armbars. This was a short match so there was no drawn out selling intended, Tiger was just going for the kill. Kento fought back with his kicks and knees and this turned out to be a intense match with good strikes and suplexes in the end. Highly recommended match. Motor City Machine Guns vs The Briscoes - ROH Tag Team Championship (03/09/18 ROH): Tag team title match from the 16th Anniversary Show. Woo doggie! This was a mad rush. Holy moley the Guns still got it! The Briscoes eh..I'm not sure what their gimmick is anymore. They had a bunch of grease paint on and looked all crazy. I really don't remember too much of what they did. It was all spots and fun to watch. I wouldn't say this was the greatest match these teams have had but, damn its 2018 and these guys can still go.
  10. I got to see these matches up on ROH's site today. Its episode #344 , aired 04/20/18 for what its worth. All take place on the Supercard of Honor show from 'Mania weekend. Ok with that outta the way, we go to the fights! Kelly Klein vs Mayu Iwatami: This was pretty enjoyable. There were some flubs but, this wasn't meant to set the world on fire. I guess this was a semifinal to determine the Women of Honor champion. Kelly made a good first impression whereas I was hoping from more from Mayu. I've seen her in Stardom back in 2015 or 2016 and thought maybe she could have brought more to this. Nevertheless, this was hard hitting & competitve and A-OK in my book. Sumie Sakai vs Tenille Dashwood: Dashwood has a very good look and character. Turns out she was Emma from WWE. That means very little to me...other than I can see why her character-work is really polished. As with the previous match, this was good but, nothing amazing. The highlight was Sumie bringing some mat wrestling to the show. That's something the modern product (oh I fucking hate saying that but, I've been watching WWE Network for an hour and it gets burned into your soft brain)....Mat wrestling is something that is lacking from the modern ROH show. So, it was nice to see even a flash of it here. *So it turns out (per Wikipedia) that the previous matches were prior to the main show.* Kelly Klein vs Sumie Sakai: This is for the WOH belt. This starts out pretty heated and does really well in topping the previous two fights. It was really good and building to something but, sorta just ends. I'm not sure if it was supposed to be longer but, I liked it nonetheless. I almost get the feeling that ROH management wanted all 3 matches to be less than 12 minutes so that they could put them on an episode of TV. As in, "Keep it short, we're gonna put all of these matches on the show. Wrestle for the TV show and not the PPV or live event". Here's my gripe with that idea sorta in mind. Colt Cabana and the other commentator go out of their way to make ROH seem pro-women or "pro-feminist" by changing words around and making apologies. For instance, it's a fisherwoman's suplex or it's her-story (instead of history). These things aren't said with tongue in cheek either. Then, Colt talks about how they're making things right by finally having a championship for the women & they have Daffney, an old school ROH and Shimmer wrestler sit ringside to promote some historical-gender connection or something. It was a cool blast from the past though. Initially, I felt that this was all some marketing/sales ploy to get a couple bucks from sympathetic viewers or attract female viewers by softly riding the wave of pop feminism. I was cynical of their intentions and well, I suppose I still am BUT, I genuinely think they are trying to be supportive. Sure, allowing more than 1 of the 3 matches to be on the PPV show, giving them more than 10 minutes per match, and putting the WOH title match above one of the FOUR other men's title matches that night MIGHT be MORE supportive but, it's something...I suppose. Really, it's not much is it? It's embarrassing actually but, the real positive is putting the strap on veteran 46 year old Sumie Sakai. Clearly she's not the same in-ring but, she's got loads of experience. And that is what this group of women need in terms of stepping up their game. These wrestlers are not Charlotte Flair, Asuka/Kana, etc. They need leadership and guidance in order to approach that level. It's a gutsy thing to have the face of your Women's division not be some young "hot chick" especially when your fan base is young men. I think everyone assumed Kelly was going to get the nod because of the youth factor. It was a good move to wait on that. ROH hopefully will keep the belt on Sumie for awhile and set the tone for their division as one of competition, athleticism, and progression. If so, I'll probably watch it more regularly than WWE's women's division.
  11. G. Badger

    Spotlight: Samoa Joe

    Saw that Samoa Joe is on Smackdown now...nice! Even in 2018, I gotta say more Joe vs AJ & Danielson is always welcomed. It's a smart move too! I'm no WWE genius but, three future hall of famers working together seems like a no-brainer especially if they're gonna put Orton and Nakamura in the mix. Here's a little spotlight on Samoa Joe from 2005. If he can bring some of that magic to 2018, I might have to tune in. Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles (TNA Sacrifice 08/14/05): I thought this was a fantastic meeting of two of this generation's best wrestlers. It was really everything you could hope for in a match between AJ & Joe. Athletic, intense, and surprising. Also thought the ending was good for the match/story as well. A 100% clean finish or draw would have been preferred but, I think this match is still a classic. Samoa Joe vs Kenta Kobashi (ROH 10/01/05): This match had legitimate instensity as Joe was facing, no testing himself against Kobashi. He had to bring barbarian like intensity lest he be mauled. This was really great! I found the execution to be a little off at times especially on Joe's submission attempts, they were a bit loose. Overall it was above average though much of the match was comprised of strikes. And maybe that's a complaint some of the ROH fans have. It was very much a AJPW style match. There weren't amazing sequences, chains of moves, or the usual flashy business...just hardhitting, believable Kings Road style wrestling. Surprisingly, that King's Road or maybe Ark style (with all the macho strike-offs) was there as Joe paid homage to Kobashi's greatest foes & even the Orange Crush himself. If I can remember correctly, he did Misawa's elbow suicida & step-over facelock, Kawada's step kicks, soccer kick, & stretch plum, and even Kobashi's turnbuckle bomb. I thought that this really elevated this match above all the rest of ROH's stuff. It was great for those who didn't notice these parallels/homages but truly inspiring to those who did. This shows great judgement on Samoa Joe's part by acknowledging Kobashi's history, AJPW's history, and infusing it with his own. Re-Watch: Joe versus Kobashi is probably one of the greatest matches that has taken place on American soil in the past decade and in the decades to come. It has everythingdrama, story, crowd energy, the moves, the stiffness. It all comes together this night in NYC. Just beautiful stuff! It hits on a different level than the other 5 star matches because it is like the ultimate puro fan taking on the King of Puro and damn near beating him. Its totally for the marks but, Kobashi still has a reputation to uphold. And sweet Jesus, does he deliver! Bumping it up a half star to perfect-o! Samoa Joe vs Jushin Liger (TNA Bound For Glory 10/23/05): Amazing cool entrance by Joe and Liger's wasn't too shabby with his NJ music, full shoulder pads, and streamers. Liger, sized wise, looked like a good match for Joe. Shorter but, thick as Joe. Crowd was amped. Joe pretty much did his 'standard' TNA act here but, Liger switched it up from his 2005 routine and played it like a younger junior taking on the heavyweight. So, we got a few moments of brilliance from Liger as well as him taking to the air. The only thing stopping this from being a great match was the time it was given. It reminded me of a Fire Pro Wrestling match where you get a Critical just as you're starting to amp things up. Highly recommended match and a successful dream match in my book. Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles (TNA Turning Point 12/11/05): AJ took it right to Joe and set the tone for this match. Intense and physical as hell. It was full of nice surprises,teases, hard way blood from both guys, and fantastic pacing. Plus, the post match kept the story going setting up Daniels vs Joe. This really is a classic match alongside anything they did in ROH. Its really a testament to how TNA was mismanaged. Styles, Joe, and Daniels could have been having classics like these for the Heavyweight belt for a few years instead we got 2000 era WCW redux and all kinds of other stupidity. Here's hoping that the writers don't blow it this time around..I mean they've got Danielson and Nakamura this go around. Don't screw this up fellas!
  12. Okay, we're back from WWE to conclude Ring of Honor's Winter Warrior show in Atlanta. AJ Styles vs Bobby Fish: No belt on the line but, AJ is IWGP champion. This was a pretty good match. I researched it since I was a little groggy the first time around. It was not as awesome as it could have been. Technically nothing was wrong but, I guess I was expecting more. I'd still recommend it but, the singles match of the night honor goes to Strong vs Kyle. The Kingdom (Mike Bennett & Matt Taven) vs The Briscoes - 2/3 falls (normal match, table match, No DQ/Falls Anywhere): Well, holy crap this was awesome! Those chanting fans ARE right! The team's really beat each other up. I've never seen Bennett or Taven but, they truly impressed me. I was afraid the were going to be hokey especially with Maria as a valet but, I was wrong. They were really athletic & matched the Briscoe Boys in brawling and crazy shit. And believe you me, there was some crazy shit. It reminded me of 2006 Briscoes vs Joe & Homicide. If you dug that then, see this! Great match or perhaps a classic? A must see bout from Dem Boys in any case. As I've been on an ROH thing, I watched a couple less talked about fights from their Supercard of Honor from 04/07/18. Kota Ibushi vs Adam Page: So this is my 2nd Page match in as many weeks...and I was psyched to see what he could do with Ibushi. 14 minutes of fireworks. Perfectly executed dives, strikes, and slams. A great match that builds and concluded just at the right time. **** 1/4 star match, I'd say. The Briscoes vs Jay Lethal & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Everything looked really solid here. It was a basic smart tag match from vets. I even liked Takehashi which is saying something! The finish left something to be desired especially after their battle vs The Kingdom from above. I liked this regardless and would recommend it to fans. Edit: 04/16/18: While I like ROH's recent stuff their business leaves a bit to be desired. They've updated their website and links don't always go to where they are supposed to. I've mentioned their high shipping costs in an earlier post ($11 for 4-6 dvds). But now I can add poor customer service to the list...and I am saying this as a head online retail customer service agent for the past 5+ years. Its been 10 days since ordering 6 clearance shows. I received an order confirmation but, no updates. So, I check my status on there and and it shows "pending." Um...10 days is a little long to be pending. I'll send a nice email to their help/customer service address and they'll get me some info. I'm thinking - I ordered right before WM so maybe they got a ton of orders or Supercard of Honor maybe leaves them short staffed in someway. I don't know...I'm pretty understanding. However, instead of an email from a dedicated CS rep, warehouse staff, etc. I get an one sentence reply: "We are in the middle of relocating our warehouse therefore shipping is delayed Sent from my iPhone" Oh well, fucking thank you! 10 days after my order was placed. Of course there is no mention of this on their shop site, in the email confirmation, or social media. Any of these things would have been reassuring let alone a heads up before buying. Again, I do this for a living so, I'm not being a prick. I've gotten yelled at, cussed at, been told I've ruined birthdays/Xmas/anniversaries, been called a liar etc. in my line of work. We sell fun gag items, tee shirts, and dvds. So, nothing where any of that behavior is called for especially when we're always very understanding and appreciative of the business. So, the type of flippant response I received is really sub par as fuck. No apology for the inconvenience or delay...let alone a time line of when I'm going to get the shit I paid for. I did ask for this but, eh they couldn't be bothered. It was some chick responding from her iPhone probably on her lunch break. There was no indication who or what she is/does. I'm lucky I even got a response, I suppose. I try to put in a good word for the places I get my tapes (DVDs) from but, shit ROH dropped the ball from a fan standpoint. I know streaming is the thing but, why even sell DVDs anymore if you're going to cop an attitude for people buying them? And at $11 S&H, a little apology would be expected since a partial refund would be way too much to ask. Cuz I know 6 Dvds don't cost $11 in shipping. I'm venting rather than blowing up on the employee. Another indicator that I do this for a living, I guess I'll say this, be forewarned of ordering anything (including tickets) from ROH. Get what you can for free online and buy tix & merch at the show. If you can't make it or don't want to then, they miss out on the sales. That's on them! Update: 04/20/18- Got my DVDs, woo-hoo! Everything was in good shape but, never got an update that they had shipped. I kinda figured that would happen. 14 days for delivery...I can deal with that. I would say that if you want stuff quick or have deadline, call first. It never came to that in my case but, I gotta think you'll get more help than email. Otherwise, you might be waiting in the dark.
  13. So, ROH has this show and a ton of shows on sale for like $2-3 on their website right now. Their shipping rates are a bit steep and antiquated. It's $11 for 4-6 items but, at two or three clams a show, that still is a great deal. They've got 2015-2017 shows, nearly the whole year for this low price. I'm not trying to make this an advertisement. I just wanna spread the word in case people are getting DVDs. That's probably why they're so low...streaming man...streaming... But, more importantly, I'm really digging this ROH show from 2015. So much so that I dropped a few coin and ordered a few from 2015 & 2016. Here is the latest batch of matches from Winter Warriors- Atlanta: ACH vs Moose: This is my first ACH or Moose match. Moose had a really good entrance and Stokely Hathaway looks like a fun manager/hype man. The fans are hyped for guys and I guess Moose played for the Falcons so, there you go! My favorite moves were Moose swinging ACH into the guardrails and ACH driving the big man Death Valley style. Very good match, a lotta fun. Six Man Mayhem: Jay Lethal vs Hanson vs Will Ferrara vs Michael Elgin vs Cedric Alexander vs Tommaso Ciampa: According to Kevin Kelly, Ferrara is filling in for Jimmy Jacobs. Its all good because Ferrara was really good here. As expected, this featured all kinds of wild spots but, had some character work as well. Elgin was doing some heel shit or something but, Lethal was the best. Best probably in all aspects. His athleticism, character, and experience are very appealing in 2018. Anyhow, perfect match for its type and I'm sure worth the ticket price to see it in person! The double main event is up next. AJ Styles vs Bobby Fish and The Kingdom vs The Briscoes in a 2/3 falls match.
  14. Man, I was hoping to watch a few more matches but, I've got some business to take care of today & probably won't get the time. I did get to watch the 4th match on the card (I'm counting the Hollis/Gresham stuff as one match). I'm glad I made the time because this one is a doozy! Roderick Strong vs Kyle O'Reilly (02/21/15): This was a very dynamic & competitive match, a classic style ROH bout. This wasn't a TV match plus a little more. No, this was the hard hitting wrestling you want. Kyle was like a shark going for the kill. He was going for kicks or combinations when standing and going for armbars when on the mat. Roderick was selling this damage really well...more than just shaking the arm or holding it. He adjusted his offense because of it and when he relied upon it to power his way to a pin, it collapsed on him. Nevertheless, he was practicing what commentator Kevin Kelly said was turning a good defense into a good offense. Or something to that effect I thought this was a great match and probably a classic in the style. If you're reading this then, you'll probably dig this fight. It is exactly what you would want from these two. And for the #4 spot on a show, it over delivers without being overkill. An aggressive, masterfully paced & technically proficient wrestling match. That's hard to do in the 2010's.
  15. So, I bought this DVD during a Black Friday sale. I heard some very good stuff about it. I was also interested to get it because it was not a major event like Death Before Dishonor, Anniversary Show, Final Battle etc. They come to Pittsburgh every year...sometimes 2 times and I want to go but, never seem to remember, something else comes up etc. Kinda wanted to see how they're handling the smaller shows. Anyways, onto the show! ROH: Winter Warriors in Atlanta 02/21/15 First and foremost, the arena in Atlanta is very reminiscent of mid 2000's ROH. Crowd seems amped. I'm digging this already. Caprice Coleman vs "P-Dog" Mike Posey: Fun open as Coleman squashes the cheap heat comedy/cringey P-Dog (think J-Roc from Trailer Park Boys). C. C. has some good moves. Corey Hollis vs Jonathan Gresham: A fun minute or two before BJ Whitmer & Adam Page come out to lay a beat down. Hollis is like, "Fuck that! Let's fight!" Corey Hollis & Johnathan Gresham vs BJ Whitmer & Adam Page: ECW PPV style impromptu tag match. The crowd is loving it! The faces look really good and shiny here. Page (as a heel) does a Shooting Star off the apron to Hollis...no fucking clue, man. It looked cool but, that was goofy. But, let's ignore that because this was a fun ass match. Gresham goes all Manami Toyota and we get a no tag legality action fest. It doesn't go into overkill either. I recommend this one! Delirious vs Matt Sydal: Kevin Kelly does a good history recap here by letting us know about these fellows' back story. I felt it went a little longer than needed because I sensed they were winging most of it. I say that affectionately! They know each other so well that they did a very good job filling the time between spots. I could have done for less Delirious schtick but, its the #3 match. Besides the closing stretch is nice as the D-man eats kicks and knees. I'm never goona turn this matchup down. Its like 2005 all over again! So far, so good! Certainly, an excellent vibe thus far. This will easier to watch and review the whole show compared to the wXw stuff as I don't need to bring out the laptop for the DVD+R discs. Huzzah!
  16. G. Badger

    Spotlight: Masato Tanaka

    Masato Tanaka was pretty much responsible for me getting into puroresu. His matches in the States with ECW were eye opening to me. He was tough, intense, and innovative. I would say he, Mike Awesome, and Tajiri were the 3 guys that convinced me that wrestling in Japan was something worth seeking out. After ECW folded, so did my interest in newer wrestling at the time. It was another 5 years before I got back into it. I've never really looked at what "Dangan" Tanaka was doing in that time when I was away. Masato Tanaka vs Samoa Joe (Zero-1 2001 or 2002): There was no date on this from the Youtube video but, based on the size of Joe and his attire (cut off tee & track pants), this was pre-ROH Joe. I believe per Quebrada.net that it's from BURNING HEART League 09/15/01. All that being said, this was 8 minutes of spots but, I'll be darned if this wasn't a blast! Joe was pulling out all kinds of stuff like a Fosberry Flop dive and Pedigree type move. Obviously Tanaka was going over but, you'd be surprised. Cool finish too! vs Shinjiro Otani (Zero-1 07/31/02): A classic 16 minute tournament match. It's like in that **** 1/4 - **** 1/2 range to me. It's best described as NJPW Jrs. style with 2000 era hard hits, a hot Korakuen krowd, and tourney match urgency. Tanaka & Otani don't go for epic, they go for the win. Dangan gets busted open from a Tree of Woe baseball slide if that's any indicator. Plus, Otani's facial expressions are as top shelf as ever. He takes the drama to another level with his emoting. Totally surprised by this match since no one really talks about Zero One especially in 2018...if you're a fan of either guy, see it. It'll be one of the best bouts you'll watch this week. Tanaka & Shinjiro Otani vs Steve Corino & Low Ki (ROH 11/09/02): This was the main event to the inaugural All Star Extravaganza. Otani & Tanaka kept this a lean mean contest. Otani damn near put Ki's face into the back of his head with a kick. Not to be outdone, Dangan hit a brutal lariat and shotgun stunner. Sure, it was Philly but, no chairshots needed. Corino & Ki were excellent as well. Highly recommend checking this out. vs Mike Awesome (Zero-1 02/29/04): Holy shit...wow. For an Awesome vs Tanaka match this might be the most dangerous one. I don't know if the match quality is the tops since they really do just run through the spots but, what spots they are! Highly recommended match for those missing this rivalry. I had no clue this existed especially since their One Night Stand match from 2005 was touted as their most recent battle since ECW. But that's WWE history for ya! Go see this Zero One match and witness the brutal spots for yourself! vs CM Punk (Wrestling-1 04/09/04): I'm not 100% on the promotion title as it appears to be a US indy with affiliation to Zero-1 or a US offshoot when they were trying to do a global wrestling thing. I read in the comments online that Punk was sick at the time but, this was a very good hotel banquet hall level match. Punk focused on Masato's arm amd gave the match a good sound body. It was really solid when they could have just winged a bunch of moves. It felt good because they eventually got into a nice little finishing run. Some big moves were hit and some were countered but, they never gave it all away. These two worked really well together. vs Samoa Joe (1PW 2005?): Again, the poster didnt' put a date but, this looks around the time Joe had the bleached brown/red bit in his hair while in TNA. This was a 10 minute sprint of wonderful stiffness. If the above match was about moves, this was about hitting each other. They go bat shit with it. This pairing is really, really good and I wish there was more available. Match goes to a double DQ but then we get... vs Steve Corino: ECW rules type of match. They're in the crowd and being a little cute for the people that loved ECW back in the day. I'm sure I would have dug this at the time but, the let's take a tour without actually fighting isn't as interesting anymore BUT it's not all of that. It's brutal at times too. So, this is a 2 in 1 or Gauntlet match for Tanaka and a must-see. Dangan all the way man! Tanaka to my knowledge only wrestled in ROH the one time but, he seemed like a perfect fit for early ROH from his performances above. 2002-2004 Tanaka in ROH would have been great and is certainly fodder for fantasy bookers out there. These matches are a hint of what could have been. Next time, I want to tackle what I'll call the Tanaka revival- from my estimates late 2000s to early 2010s. I'll see what I can find on the web.
  17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4UtOsujdMQ This is both men’s UK debut, and is an ROH guest match, building on the working relationship that the two companies had built over the last year. It’s an interesting parallel as well to the year previously when Jonny Storm and Jody Fleisch had been taking their touring match to the US. I don’t think I need to go deep into the backgrounds of these two, but at this point in 2003 I believe both were aligned as part of the Second City Saints in ROH while Punk was still in the midst of his cross promotion spanning rivalry with Raven, that would also make an appearance in the FWA in 2004. Going into the match the commentators play up the two’s friendship as stablemates so the opening exchanges are based off respectful counter wrestling and one-upmanship. Colt has been pretty open about his respect and love for the British style of wrestling, and a couple of years after this would become a regular in the country to where he had honed that style completely. As you would expect with a Cabana match there are a number of instances of comedy, but what’s important is that they are always kept within the internal logic of wrestling and don’t detract from the match itself. It also happens that there are a couple of genuinely funny moments such as when Colt gets Punk to wind up for a shoulder block only to trip him. Punk is very much playing the straight man to Cabana’s humour early on and when the match is technical and being worked on the mat Colt’s greater mastery of that technique means he is largely in control. In response Punk’s approach is to try and hit more high impact moves, much of which such as the hammer lock close line and hammer lock DDT work on the head and neck. The match escalates when Punk tries a baseball slide to the outside only to get flung into the guardrail, followed up by Cabana hitting his always impressive springboard moonsault onto the outside. Unsurprisingly for two guys that were great friends and that had trained together they work really well with each other and you could already tell that through the smoothness in their transitions that they were a cut above quality wise than a number of the FWA guys on the card. Punk ends up winning a good match with his somewhat legendary Pepsi Plunge finisher (top rope pedigree) which probably for the best long term was sensibly retired. (*** ¼)
  18. This was a match given to me in the secret santo project by migs The Briscoes vs the young bucks roh honor reigns supreme 2017 tag titles 2/3falls So a two out of three falls match with a team of bullet club members vs a team of massive homophobes in roh. This could be really dreadful it has the makings of a really long boring match. First fall: this goes about ten mins, we start off with some back and forth, it is fine then we have a nose to nose stare down which looks silly when the partners join in. One of the young bucks gets worked over for a few mins, complete nothing section of the match no real sustained heat and his comebacks are not good. There is no sympathy elicited. We then quickly move into the finish of this section with the Briscoes going for a doomsday device and the bucks going for the Meltzer driver multiple times. Finish with a roll up by mark Briscoe. This fall was fine it was not all that good but it was not outright terrible as I was fearing. If this was the whole match it may be around **3/4. Fall two, this was completely stupid. This is fought under “lucha rules” but I don’t think it ever started as Jay goes to the outside and gets a mic and asks what is lucha? At this point mark hits the bucks with a chair and the Briscoes get DQ’ed bringing the teams level, WHY? You were already ahead and by what the commentators were saying the Briscoes are the faces so why do this? But on the bright side at least this means the match will be shorter. Fall three No DQ rules: jay hits a running knee to matts head in the corner into a rope hung chair. This is followed by a chair dropkick to the face. Some outside plunder brawling by the Briscoes. The young bucks hit a moonsault off the barricades followed by double apron powerbombs and stereo suicide dives. Chairs to the head of mark with no protection, there are about 7 superkicks in a round on the entrance ramp and then everybody falls down. Strike exchanges in the ring more superkicks, yet more superkicks to Briscoes on their knees. Briscoes come back with belt shots, Tiger driver 98 followed by elbow drop pin broken up by generic white guy bullet club member number 4. Ref down, 450 onto chairs 2 count, more superkicks to more refs, 2 count on more bang four your buck, tomb stone on the floor where nick Jackson tries to do a spike version but misses completely. Meltzer driver got the three. The first fall was meh the second pointless and the third was quite good, it was standard plunder brawling that you would see from someone like Kevin Owens in wwe just with more shots to the head Things took time to set up and there was not any hatred in what they were doing. There was no real sustained heat in this match or really any team that came off as the faces both teams were unlikeable. It was just there but thankfully it did not go anyway near as badly as it could of gone, the plunder stuff really saved this match. In the end maybe ***
  19. Going into the main event, things are tied between the FWA and ROH at 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw each. Daniels makes it known beforehand that he is not representing ROH, but the Prophecy. In fact, he’d actually been FWA British Heavyweight Champion just two months before this, having defeated Fleisch in October 2002. He lost the belt to Doug Williams at ROH’s Night of Champions in a match that I’d heartily recommend. Williams is actually an interesting absence from the card tonight, given his prominence in both companies, but I'm pretty sure that was because of commitments in Japan where he was part of NOAH. Fleisch was also someone appearing somewhat regularly for ROH at this time, but he’s not in his Special K guise tonight, rather as lead babyface for the FWA. Early on we get plenty of stalling from Daniels, with him threatening to walk and arguing with members of the crowd on the balcony. When Daniels finally gets in the ring, Jody’s signature gymnastics and high flying quickly sends him running for the outside again and more crowd arguing. Once the match settles down, Jody is actually the one that tries to take a more mat based approach and I enjoyed his working of the headlock to stay on top. The result is Daniels trying to up the pace which proves a mistake and Jody headscissors him and hits a quebrada. As in the AJ Styles/Jonny Storm match earlier in the night, they fight up to the ramp where Jody gives Daniels a snap suplex on the entrance platform and then disappears and returns with a chair, which he springboards off into a rana on Daniels. The spot is fun, but the fact he had to go back stage to grab a chair to then do a rana off felt very unorganic and takes you out of the moment. This was a criticism I had of some of the spots in his ladder match at British Uprising. When they return to the ring, Daniels is finally able to get some control, where he proceeds to work over the back and neck. The work is pretty consistent and I enjoyed The Best Moonsault Ever onto the back which then sets up a cross face. Fleisch gets a late flurry including a springboard Shooting Star Press, but Jonny Storm, cementing his heel turn, hits Jody with a chair as he tries a second one and Daniels picks up the win, and completes a come from behind 3-2 victory for ROH. At just under 25 mins, the match is probably too long, with lots of stalling from Daniels early on. I appreciate him trying to build heat, but you feel that comes at the expense of the match in the beginning. I actually liked Jody adopting a more methodical pace and working in some chain wrestling at times, showing versatility. There are lots of nice sequences, but a tighter match would make it feel more coherent. Even though the ending features interference I liked the story of Jonny allowing his personal jealously of Jody to get in the way of company unity, and it further escalates the issues between them which the company was looking at as one of the key storylines for the year. Further heat is added in the post match where Storm and Daniels try to piledrive Fleisch on a chair, until both locker rooms chase them off, however, Storm and Daniels take out the FWA’s acting Commissioner at that point – Dino Scarlo - with an absolutely brutal and hard-to-watch-with-2018-eyes chair shot. (*** ¼)
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