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[2005-12-03-ROH-Steel Cage Warfare] Alex Shelley & Jimmy Rave & Abyss & Prince Nana vs Austin Aries & Roderick Strong & Jack Evans & Matt Sydal


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  • 2 years later...


Steel Cage Warfare

Prince Nana, Abyss, Jimmy Rave, & Alex Shelley vs. Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Jack Evans, & Matt Sydal
This was a great blowoff to the feud, complete with hitting every appropriate spot and tying up everything that had been building for a year. Nana did a great job when he was the last member of the Embassy to come in, celebrating as his crew worked on GeNext. Abyss did a great job of showing off his power and taste for hardcore. I loved every elimination in this match also. Abyss, Sydal, and Evans were taken out by multiple finishers, super variations of finishers, and/or multiple members of the opposite faction.
Other little things (before I get to the things I really wanna focus on) that stood out are Strong coming in to be a great house of fire, and finally getting a gutbuster on Abyss after being unable to do so for four months, and Jade Chung returning and baiting the Embassy out of the ring so that Evans could sneak in and climb up the cage to do a ridiculous million degree senton on them. Unfortunately, Evans landed on his head and it's amazing that he was able to manage getting the rest of his portion of the match over with. I don't know how he didn't die.
The most important individual in this entire match was Alex Shelley, because this is how it all started. He had many chances to get eliminations on his former stablemates, but his bitterness and ego, the desire to prolong and milk the vengeance, cost him and his faction ultimately in the end. He did an absolutely fantastic job of being a completely psychopathic, vindictive douche-bag, showing that despite how cold it was what happened to him a year earlier and in the first half of 2005, his former faction had actually found some decency since then, whereas he stooped to even lower levels. His skull-fuck spot to Aries on a steel chair, busting open the former ROH Champion, was absolutely perfect storytelling.
Also perfect was to have Aries & Strong take out Rave & Shelley simultaneously, Strong on Rave via numerous backbreakers, Aries on Shelley via a brainbuster on a chair. That left Aries & Strong, the #1 contenders to the Tag Titles, alone with Nana, who finished him off in quick but brutally satisfying fashion, bringing the feud of the year for ROH to its appropriate conclusion.
This was the culmination of so many different stories that ended up interlocking by August. Shelley being booted by GeNext. Sydal being betrayed by Fast Eddie in favor of joining the Embassy. Rave & Shelley showing natural chemistry as potential partners on the same night that Aries told Nana to fuck off when given a horrendously mistimed business proposal. Shelley then jumping on the opportunity to finally have a unit to be by his side and showing what a son of a bitch he was. Sydal being the parallel of replacing him in GeNext so he could get help against the Embassy. Daizee Haze betraying GeNext to sell out to the Embassy. And then Chung getting the last laugh, united in celebration with GeNext and using Rave as a footstool.
Post-match, Aries says to the camera that with this chapter behind them, he and Strong are now focused on the Tag Titles. This post-match felt very similar to when CM Punk finished off Rave inside the cage at Nowhere to Run.
Perhaps most amazing is that as great as this match is, I suspect looking at the lineup of the next show that this won't crack my top ten for the year.
Rating: ****1/4
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  • 8 months later...

Ditto to all of the positives mentioned above. The downside was the monotony of the punching and stomping in between people coming out. The draw of this feud to me was the exciting, innovative, and intense matches these guys would have.


There was too much downtime between the next wrestler being called out. This was exacerbated by guys not really trying to get pins or submissions early on. It telegraphed the overall pace of the match rather than have it be a surprise. It doesn't drag by any means and there's tons of good stuff but, the pacing was not up to par with other Embassy-Gen Next bouts.


Overall, it was more of an PPV style event than a match but, hey that's what ROH was shooting for I guess... top favorite moments: Abyss' overhead suplex on Roddy, Shelley smashing Aries' face, and Roddy's backbreaker party on Jimmy Rave

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  • GSR changed the title to [2005-12-03-ROH-Steel Cage Warfare] Alex Shelley & Jimmy Rave & Abyss & Prince Nana vs Austin Aries & Roderick Strong & Jack Evans & Matt Sydal

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