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Found 8 results

  1. Joe is coming off a huge loss to Austin Aries at Final Battle, so he's out to prove he's still at the top of the food chain. This is another opportunity for McGuinness to step-up and climb up the ladder (see: vs. Homicide @ Midnight Express Reunion). McGuinness tries to approach Joe methodically, but Joe is familiar with McGuinness' habits and he ratchets up the aggression & pace - forcing McGuinness off his game plan & on the defensive. The few moments where Joe slips-up McGuinness is able to get some hit-and-run armwork in, but he's panicky & desperate so it's not as effective and doesn't lead anywhere. McGuinness gets a little bit of a rub by kicking out of some of Joe's lower-tier finishers, but the Coquina Clutch puts him away for good. Joe was not playin' around at the end. Very good match that both raises McGuinness' profile & reestablishes Joe as a force to be reckoned with even after losing the World title. Rating: ***½
  2. This is a Four-Corner Survival match with Double Stakes ... meaning the winner of the first fall gets a Pure title match (and both the winner & loser are subsequently eliminated from the match) then it becomes a singles match between the last two competitors for a shot at the World title. Kind of a silly stipulation, and it makes the psychology of the match wonky. Why would anyone want a shot at a secondary title over the World title? Anyways. There's a lot of cool mat & limbwork here; Joe being Joe is great, as usual; continuation in the Cabana/McGuinness storyline; an interesting first time match-up between Shelley/McGuinness. Good, well-worked match with decent storytelling, but not without its flaws. Rating: ***
  3. Five good-to-great wrestlers, at worst, in the ring together and Vordell Walker. There's a lot of first time match-ups here, besides Joe/McGuinness, and Spanky/Danielson hasn't been done in so long that it's basically on that same hype-tier (if that's a word). This match had good action & psychology, but I have a couple issues: the segments where the match breaks down and everyone is in the ring together felt oddly timed ... there wasn't much of a build to those specific moments - they just go unpredictably wild, which was jarring to me; the escalation was steady, but the momentum stalled right before the finishing run & took me out of it a little; and they could've easily chopped a good five minutes off this match to tighten it up. Anyways, too much Vordell Walker, but the other five do a good enough job carrying him nonetheless. The first time interactions between Danielson/Gibson, Joe/Gibson & Danielson/McGuinness (!) ruled. McGuinness debuts the Rebound Lariat, too! Good, but flawed, match. Rating: ***
  4. This match seamlessly weaves comedy and British style chain wrestling together into something unique & entertaining. It's something that can get old real quick, but they don't overstay their welcome and the match is a breezy twelve-ish minutes or so. Rating: ***
  5. It's the much-awaited Pure champion vs. World champion and ... their partners, too? They establish hierarchy early into the match. McGuinness & Lethal are equals, Walters is a step-above them due to his Pure champion status, and Joe trumps all. The general structure of the match is similar to your 90's All Japan/2000's NOAH tag matches. Joe has no respect for the Pure championship as he believes it only exists because no one can take the World title off of him. He bitchslaps Walters around and then kicks a handstanding McGuinness' head off in two sequences that sum up Joe's goal in this match - assert dominance. And it's just an absolute joy to watch. Every time he enters the ring he swings the momentum to his favor. His preoccupation on dominating the Pure champ ends up being the team's downfall, though. McGuinness traps Lethal in That Arm Submission as Walters distracts and prevents Joe from saving Lethal. Rating: ***¼
  6. This match is a big deal for McGuinness as he's near the bottom of the pecking order in Ring of Honor, and a win over one of the top guys like Homicide would be huge in terms of establishing himself going forward. They feel each other out as these two have never wrestled each other before, and McGuinness forces Homicide into an exhibition-y, technical match-up. The announcers try to sell Homicide as an above-average matworker, and while he's better than he's given credit for, he certainly does not feel like one in the presence of someone like McGuinness - who twists him up like a pretzel as Homicide sloppily rolls around trying to escape his holds. Homicide begins to push the pace & fight dirty once he realizes he won't get anywhere trying to beat McGuinness at his game, and he gains momentum & control doing so, but McGuinness dodges Homicide on the outside and he Lariats the ringpost, injuring his right arm. McGuinness goes right after the arm, and Homicide's selling is terrific. He's a natural righty, so his left-handed strikes are weak & his right-handed strikes don't have as much juice behind him/or he struggles to capitalize on opportunites to put McGuinness away due to the pain. McGuinness counters the Cop Killa into That Arm Submission, and Homicide tries to roll-out ... but McGuinness traps him in a roll-up for the huge upset! The lack of crowd support hurt and made the match/pacing feel dull at times, but a very good match otherwise with good, logical storytelling. Rating: ***½
  7. This has always got comparisons to Danielson vs. KENTA (GBH) because the story of the match being pretty much the same - the champ coming into it with injured arm(s) against one of the most lethal offensive wrestlers around. So let's say it right away; this is definitely not as good as that match. This is certainly great, though. KENTA's targeting of Nigel's freshly injured arm was tremendous & Nigel's selling really was fantastic. I actually thought that there wasn't enough of KENTA kicking Nigel's arm stuff - all of that ruled, clearly the highlight of the match, but after a while, KENTA didn't target that arm as much as he did in the beginning stages of the match, and that brought it down a notch. Still great, but definitely had potential to be even greater. ****
  8. This was AWESOME. Featured a really good FIP segment on Bryan, and then it just built & built to the finishing stretch which was one helluva climax. ****
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