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[2004-06-12-ROH-World Title Classic] Alex Shelley & Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs Matt Stryker & John Walters & Jimmy Rave


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Impromptu Match
Alex Shelley, Austin Aries, & Roderick Strong vs. Jimmy Rave, John Walters, & Matt Stryker
This was advertised as Shelley vs. Stryker, but in another genius moment for Gabe Sapolsky, it turned into an impromptu six man tag match after GeNext destroyed Stryker and busted his forehead open. Walters kindly responded by sloppily dropping Jack Evans onto the hardwood floor from inside the ring. I’d have politicked Walters down the card to Sapolsky had I been Evans.
This is a match that has held up extremely well. While it couldn’t measure up to the impromptu MOTYC on the prior event, this one still stands it on its own as an outstanding classic. You had cutting the ring in half for both sides once again, with the early psychological story being the babyfaces working on Strong’s knee (his selling of it later in the match was quite impressive to me), and then GeNext destroying Rave’s back in the later majority of the match.
The match got a bit out of control, but in this case it psychologically works for me because that's what GeNext does. Unlike the other heel stable of that time the Rottweilers, they didn’t just cause chaos for shits and giggles – they did so to manipulate the matches in their favor. The teasing of the hot tag was just magnificent, getting the crowd amped up and anxious for it to happen. When it did finally happen, the match turned into chaos, but remarkably no near-falls were counted by the ref except on those who were legal. The finish was also brilliant, with Aries doing a 450 to Rave as the AJ Styles protégé had a Crippler Crossface locked on Shelley, and then submitting Rave with a Rings of Saturn. Just brilliant booking, as it further cemented GeNext, gave Walters & Stryker something productive to do, and furthered the plateau that Rave had reached (he was on his last legs with being cut from the fed if he didn’t put together some victories.) Just a great six man tag match.
Rating; ****
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  • GSR changed the title to [2004-06-12-ROH-World Title Classic] Alex Shelley & Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs Matt Stryker & John Walters & Jimmy Rave
  • 2 years later...

Really liked how the babyfaces established the first control period of the match - them isolating Roddy & executing a nice number on his knee ruled. Also really liked how Gen Next came back into things by utilizing their numbers, which is something that ended up being a pretty big story in the match overall, in my eyes. Rave works a big FIP segment, in which he sells his beating very well & Gen Next do a pretty compelling job working him over, utilizing great teamwork & their numbers every time they needed to. I keep mentioning the "numbers", and I wanna say that it was indeed a 3-on-3 bout, so they didn't have more members than the babyface team or anything like that, but they were certainly more willing to come in there & use 2 or 3 men at the same time if needed, and that narrative ended up delivering some pretty big moments in the thing. Very good FIP segment w/ Rave indeed, and I really loved his big flurry before he finally tagged in Matt Stryker for that hot tag. Stryker's hot tag is solid, and the rest of the match is them going at it on the "usual" 2nd gear that matches like this usually kick into in the last third of 'em. It's good stuff, but I did prefer the first 2/3rds w/ the babyfaces looking good doing their thing working over Roddy, and then that big Rave FIP seg. Really loved all of that + the finish is also absolutely great, so this quality trios match truly ended on a high note. ***1/2

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