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Ricky Steamboat/Jay Youngblood vs Brisco Brothers Starrcade 83

 

This was really good. Nothing too special or anything or but a fun, fun match that managed to look really realistic for a pro wrestling match without resorting to ultra stiffness. Steamboat hits the deadlift counter out of the short arm scissors that Davey (Just how strong was Davey??) Backland and Benoit like to use so yeah even if the rest of the match sucked I would've still liked this one because that's one of fav moves ever in wrestling. It never fails to wake me up; not that this match needed to wake me up or anything.

 

And Angelo Mosco makes a terrific refferee! I marked out watching him actually keep control in the ring.

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Just watched a 2 minute USWA jobber match that was pretty unremarkable except for the fact that it was The Punisher (Taker under a mask) squashing Chris Adams' upstart graduate from the USWA wrestling school, one Steve Williams.

 

About ten years later, this was the biggest matchup in the WWF.

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Catching up on some ROH, I have 3 2005 shows that I wanted to see, then everything in 2006 from 4th Anniversary up to Destiny, without the Weekend Of Champions and How We Roll shows. I've seen 3 of the milestone series already though.

 

Saw ROH This Means War 2005 tonight, and I have to say, the show was really bad, probablyh the worst ROH show I've seen.

 

Claudio v Shelley opened up. I don't usually like these exhibition style matches but I dug this for the most part. They engaged in what turned out to be a fascinating matwork battle for the first 10-12 minutes, and it only really dropped off when they got a bit cliched towards the finish. The angle with Nigel helped, as did Shelley's great charisma. Was a promising start. **3/4

 

The Blade/Mikaze v Azreial/Andrews tag was really bland. None of the 4 bring anything different or interesting to the table, it doesn't say a lot for Azreial that his finest ROH hour was being squashed by American Dragon. Wrestling was actually OK, but nobody was interested. 3/4*

 

While it was very fun watching Reyes squash the despicable Mitch Franklin, there didn't seem to be much point in it. Especially since all his push did was set him up to lose to Aries a few times. 1/2*

 

The Kikutaru/Whitmer/Nosawa/McGuiness match was a waste. Why they continue to book these pointless bouts is beyond me- especially since they brought it two imports for this one. As 4-Ways go, this was right down on the lower end of the spectrum. There was some failed comedy, some dull wrestling, and this show is getting worse. 1/2*

 

Styles/Aries is supposedly an Indy Dream match, but I can't say it's ever popped up in any of my naps. It isn't all that good either. They don't mesh well together, and while there's a few cool things to see, it's another nothing match. I like Aries when he's doing character work, such as his grumpy ROH veteran act, but in terms of his offensive reportoire I find him rather 'indy' for my liking, for lack of a better term. Still, he's better than AJ. *3/4

 

Cabana/B-Boy was just dismal. The wrestling was stale, Cabana couldn't seem to decide on his character, B-Boy wasn't over and there was never any doubt about the result. Not especially bad, just totally boring. The after match brawl with Homicide was also pretty bad, not helped by the fact the fans cheered loudly for Homicide, when he was booked as the despicable heel. 1/2*

 

Please never let Lethal or Daniels attempt comedy again. To be fair, the crowd seemed to enjoy it, but it came accross as terrible on tape. Then again, when they got onto the wrestling it was maybe even worse. I had a forlorn hope that as Curry Man Daniels might be a bit better, but here he is, his same old self. Another waste. 1/2*

 

Dragin/Strong saved the show. Dragon is the cocky prick who thinks he's better than everyone, Strong is the young upstart with a lot of heart but whose not quite on Dragon's level. Some great moments, too many to mention, liked the struggles for the Strong-Hold, like the finish coming out of nowhere, loved Dragon flipping of the fans when they beckoned him to come and do the ole ole kick on the other side. Not a perfect match by any means, and the work they did was really simple, but it succeeded because of that. They didn't give away too much with their first match, yet told a compelling story and the time flew by. Very good, though I hope they'll go on to better things. ***1/2

 

So yeah, without Dragon/Strong this show sucks.

 

Next, it's Vendetta.

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Watched ROH Vendetta yesterday.

 

Delirious/Ace Steele v Chad Collyer/Nigel McGuiness was an acceptable enough opener. They didn't bring anything fresh or interesting, but they had a nice little story worked around Steele and Collyer, and it was at least watchable. Can't say it did a lot for me though. *1/2

 

Jimmy Jacobs v Sal Rinauro was suprisingly good. In fact, Jacobas has become one of the most watchable guys in ROH right now, with his new gimmick with Lacey. Anyway, some successful comedy, some decent wrestling towards the end, just wish ROH didn't have to have 5 nearfalls and people kicking out of finishers every match. **1/4

 

BJ Whitmer v Claudio Castagnoli didn't grip me at all. Don't get me wrong, the work wasn't so bad, but I have zero interest in Whitmer, and Claudio having a good match usually depends on him having a game opponent. 3/4*

 

I can't believe Christopher Daniels is still so over. Another depressing 'Daniels' style match, made worse by the fact he was facing the best wrestler in the world, Samoa Joe, and still couldn't produce something good. Joe wasn't at his best here, I wasn't feeling the feud, Daniels was himself. Not a car wreck, but Joe can do so much better. *1/2

 

Adam Pearce v Davey Andrews is one of the worst debuts I've ever seen. Pearce is so dull both in character and what he does in the ring, and Andrews doesn't bring anything to the table either. It wasn't even one of those fun squashes where somebody gets totally destroyed. 1/4*

 

The second Danielson/Strong match was good, but it's very overrated, and not a patch on the first. The transitions were weak and the offence switched far too ofetn. Dragon's selling was pretty crap for a lot of this: he takes a slam on the steel ramp, and 10 seconds later is back on top after a kick to the gut. It was also too long, and Dragon's smirk and heeling felt out of place 30+ minutes in to a gruelling match. The beginning was great, but at times they looked like they were killing time out there with some stuff. Sometimes this looks like a real top drawer bout, and like I said I enjoyed it. Dragon once again did some nice heeling, Strong did a good job at playing the plucky underdog, it had a lot of things going for it. But it should have been 30 instead of 47. Don't know why people prefer this to the This Means War match. ***

 

The Generation Next/Embassy 8-Man was fun. Ending was shocking, and Shelley's attack on Evans was awesome. Honestly, you will cringe at some of the stretches. Everyone was showcased pretty well, and everyone established their role, and stuck to it nicely. Pretty entertaining for the most part, even if it was just there to whet your appetite for Steel Cage Warfare. ***

 

Not one of the better ROH shows. The 2 main events are definately worth watching, and it was booked well. Better than This Means War but didn't hit the heights of the previous Dragon/Strong match with anything on the show.

 

----------

 

Also watched ROH Steel Cage Warfare today.

 

Ring Crew Express v Blade/Mikaze had some reasonable high flying action, but the problem is nobody actually cares about these teams. No structure, no character, no point. 1/2*

 

Have to admit I liked Andrews/Primeau. Perhaps because it was the opposite of the above match, but Andrews squashing him was good to watch. Extra marks for the numerous Ricky Reyes squahses after the match. *

 

Colt Cabana/Milana Collection AT v Sal Rinauro/Tony Mamaluke was fair. Serious Cabana sucks, but I enjoy MIlano, and the tag champs are serviceable at least. Won't blow your mind, but was a passable outing. *1/2

 

Dragon/Romero was really great. In fact, there's probably nothing to choose between this and the first Strong match as Dragon's best defence. It also happens to be criminally underrated, don't know why it was easily the best match on this show. Loved the work around the kicks and submissions leading to the big moves, everything felt real, an engrossing contest. SElling both through the facials and actions was good, and just an all round quality piece of wrestling. ***3/4

 

Joe/Lethal was good as well, I'd probably put it around the same level of their Manhattan Mayhem match. Action before the heel turn was good, with Lethal believably playing the underdog face, then getting frustrated when he couldn't match up to Joe and put him away, so resorting to the chair. Simple story that they played out, Joe showed why he's the best in the world by being an awesome sympathy face, a role he's not exactly used to playing. Liked Lethal going over clean. Couple of blown spots, but they don't detract from the match, it was a little methodical in the beginning, but overall it was good. ***1/4

 

Homicide/Corino was basically ruined by Cide's shoulder injury. Even then though, they managed to put on a more than watchable bout, and the attacks to the ear with the fork were both sickening and entertaining. Cide's character work came across really well, with his sadistic smiles after the attacks, and Corino at least brought some intensity and hate. Could have done without the contrived board spot at the end, but they deserve great props for pulling a decent match out here. **1/4

 

The Embassy/Generation Next Steel Cage Warfare I have mixed feelings about. As a feud blowoff, it wasn';t as good as it could and should have been. It really drags at times, a lot of the action is predictable, and it feels more like an angle than a match at some pojnts. Then again,t here are some really fun moments, most of them bring the hate, adn they had some good ideas. It was good no doubt about it, but just too long and meandering to be anything special, and it's only the third best match on the show. **3/4

 

This was better. I doubt I'll ever watch the first 3 matches again, but Dragon/Romero is worth getting the evn for a alone. Chuck in a damn good Joe/Lethal match, and two other reasonable matches, and you have a worthwhile show.

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Watched ROH Final Battle 2005, my last 2005 show before I get onto the newer stuff. Must get round to writing full reviews for these, I've only done ROH Final Showdown and a couple of random matches.

 

Anyways...

 

Rave/Milano was a good opener. Classic heel/face structure, well put together, the sort of simple match ROH needs more of on their shows. **1/4

 

Cabana/Azreial was a joke. Azreial is just useless, and Cabana isn't much better unless he's doing comedy, so as you'd expect, this sucked. 1/2*

 

Claudio/Nigel was solid. They made good use of the two referee's, told a nice little story around Nigel not being able to cheat, once again a good heel/face structure built around a decent feud. Castagnoli can be a little uninteresting, and Nigel is kind of inconsistent, but it was OK. **

 

Shelley/Corino was really a bit random. Corino is the face, but nobody really likes him and anyway, why have face or heel when you can do duelling chants? :rolleyes: The match itself was once again a solid affair, but very forgettable. Some decent arm work, Corino did a pretty great job of selling it actually, I can't fault him for that, but just seemed a bit out of place. *3/4

 

I usually hate 4-Corner Survial's, but at least Dragon/Joe/Whitmer/Lethal had some purpose, and with the variety of angles they took into the match, it was always going to be somewhat interesting. Joe was so far above the rest and it showed, and his perfornmance saved the match from mediocrity, bit too much non selling and chucking out random offence at the end, but the finish made sense and it was an altogether fun bout. **1/4

 

Strong/Aries v Mamaluke/Rinauro was good. I like Aries and Strong as a team, and they had the roles nailed down really well, with the champs having to cheat to get the advantage against the superior challengers. Mamaluke looked really good here, so not so subtle heel work, and I lvoed the multiple barricade attacks on Aries. The built well to the hot tag, and once again they got the right finish. **1/2

 

Danielson/Marafuji was good, but didn't blow me away. There were some great moments, but the match just seemed to lack direction. I wasn't digging the Eddie/Dean throwback spots either. It's the kind of match that's technically good, and you can't analytically find a lot wrong with the psychology or selling, but it didn't have a lot of depth, and ends up being just another title defence. Kobashi took Marafuji to a much better match than this. **3/4

 

Ki/KENTA kind of fell victim to its own hype. The cries of 'best match ever' and the like had me going in expecting a classic, which in all reality, it wasn't. It was nice and stiff, but after the first 5 minutes there was little to shout about up until the strecth. Low Ki busts out all his spots, Kenta busts out a few of his, there were times when this match looked great, but it didn't come together for them in the end. This is good-very good, and if you mark for stiff battles you'll probably go crazy over this. Apart from the stiffness, there isn't a lot to set this apart from a regular ROH main event. I would have prefereed gangster Ki, and some of his selling was rather dodgy at times, overselling when he hit a move, yet when Kenta was on offence his selling was pretty average. They got the big match atmosphere down nicely, and the action was good, you'll rpobably get more out of the match if you come in expecting less. ***1/4

 

Why does Christopher Daniels get a promo on DVD every show? He's an awful interview. I beg ROH to stop this happening.

 

I liked the show. Everything on the undercard beside the Cabana match was solid, and a lot of it was pretty good. Add in two main events which while they don't live up to the hype, are certainly an enjoyable way tgo spend an hour, and you've got a good show all round. Not the best show they've done, but most will like it. Solid all round.

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Now onto 2006 ROH with ROH 4th Anniversary Show.

 

The Briscoes v Mamaluke/Rinauro v Mikaze/Blade tag opener was a waste. The only point of it was to put the Briscoes over and they didn't even spend most of their time in the action. A few head drops later and they get the win. I thought they got rid of this garbage in 2002. 1/2*

 

Claudio/Pearce/Azreial/Fury was next. 4-Corner Survivals are usually pointless and average. Add 3 crap workers to the mix and they become terrible. Pearce was boring as hell, nobody cared about Fury, Claudio's gimmick is annoying as hell, Azreial is just plain awful. No need for this stuff. 1/4*

 

Joe/Lethal was decent-good. Not as good as their previous 2 matches- Lethal was leaving, and it showed, having the blowoff to a feud in the early portion of the show, and it not being a match that either put 100% into. I enjoyed it, but it was probably too long and in the long run it won't be remembered. **1/4

 

Whitmer/Daniels is a match that I don't think anybody wanted. And with good reason. The work they did was pretty uninspiring, and I found myself delighted when the bout was stopped for some excellent brawling. 3/4*

 

I actually liked Homicide/Cabana. Content wise it wasn't exactly great, but I loved the idea of the restars and thought they were carried out really well, and Cabana being willing to get killed for the sake of the feud certainly did the match some favours. More of a match to further storylines than anything else, it succeeded in that respect by getting me into the feud, and there was some nice action as well. Hate Cabana's selling though, and it's been said a million times, but the serious role does not suit him. **1/2

 

Rave/Dragon has been overhyped. It went on way, way too long, and I felt it did little for Rave. His periods of offence were really short, Dragon's selling of most of his stuff was average at best, and while they established he could hang with Dragon on the mat, it seemed irrelevant as for much of the match he was clearly treated as inferior. He never looked like winning. There was some nice stuff in the match. Dragon's offensive reportoire is somewhat repetetive at this point, but I dug Rave stealing his offence, among other things. It's hard to point to the good stuff in the match, as it was really forgettable, but it's in there, and the match is a decent title encounter, though admittedly one of the worst Dragon defences I've seen. And I have to say that was more down to Dragon then Rave. **1/2

 

Evans/Reyes was never going to be a classic, especially after Evans' late flight. It's fun seeing Jack get killed for a while, and they actually make a good job of the earlier portions, establishing the speed v power roles. I found it hard to watch after Evans landed on his head though. The botches didn't help the match at all, and Evans looked out of sorts. Still, wasn't a disaster, and it's too their credit they gave us something watchable. *1/2

 

Aries/Strong v Sydal/Styles was good. I'm not a great fan of Sydal constantly teaming with random guys against Aries/Strong, but him and Styles looked decent as a team, and in terms of tag team fundamentals, they both seemed to understand how to work the structure in their favour. The ending sequences were fun, but the match dragged in the middle, and the face/face dynamic didn't help the match at all. Good match, but not one that will live long in the memory. **1/2

 

Which pretty much sums up this show. It won't live long in the memory. After the opneing 2 disasters, the rest of the show was respectable, but I cared for little of it. Not one of ROH's better shows.

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Watched ROH Supercard Of Honor and thought I'd do a mini review.

 

Shane Hagadorn v Flash Flanagan v Ricky Reyes v Delirious

 

Who the hell picked this to open the show? Why was this even on the show? Nobody could care less about Hagadorn or Flanagan, and this match is pretty awful. No legal man rules, no action of note except for maybe two Delirious comedy spots, which make this just above a train wreck. 1/2*

 

Alex Shelley/Jimmy Rave v Claudio Castagnoli/Jimmy Yang

 

Thanks god for Shelley and Rave, who manage to make a match with the abysmal Yang and the nondescript Castagnoli interesting. It helps that a lot of the match is spent throwing Yang about who, to his credit, takes a couple of nice bumps. Worth a watch for the Embassy's heeling, it really isn't all that good, just a pleasant suprise given the participants on the face team. *3/4

 

First Blood Match Ace Steele v Chad Collyer

 

On the surface it looks like they do everything right. Both spend the entire match trying to bust each other open, making the stipulation mean something, both bring the hate, it should be a compelling battle. Problem is, it isn't. Collyer is awful most of the time, so nobody cares, Steele is a little less awful, if still a completely boring character, whose promo before the match was one of the worst I've ever seen. So yes, the match itself is good, it just makes you wish the participants were different, and actually had some character. *1/2

 

Austin Aries/Jack Evans v Matt Sydal/AJ Styles

 

The action here was really good a lot of the time. There was just too much of it. They did some nice work around each character's interaction with others at the beginning- but I didn't need to see every character facing off against every opponent. The face in peril segments were nicely done- just I didn't really need to see two of them. You get what I mean. But I'll give them credit, between the 4 of them they produced some good action, which the live crowd ate up, and did a good job of furthering the friendly Sydal/GN rivarly, even if it isn't that good of a feud. Finishing sequence stood out as being excellent, some good character work, Styles didn't really shine here, and if anyone let the side down it was him. **3/4

 

Blood Generation v Do Fixer

 

Well this isn't 5*, or even close, but it is fun. The lack of selling hurt the match, as did a complete lack of reason to care. Some of the offence was really sloppy as well. But the action flowed seamlessly along, building to an insane finishing sequence, which was nearly marred by the ridiculous chants. Not much I can say, it's been discussed to the end. It definately falls victim to its own hype, and while it's a good multiman, and probably a high end match in the style they wrestled, it wasn't really my cup of tea. ***

 

Daizee Haze v Allison Danger v Lacey v Rain v Cheerleader Mellissa v Mischief

 

This really wasn;t the best use of these ladies. Maybe they'd get over a bit more if used in a singles match or even a tag, and to be honest, I think ROH should start using the Shimmer girls a lot more, and maybe book them in some actual feuds, since they're better than a lot of the men on the roster. The match wasn't anything to write home about, but there were a few neat moments, although the action came accross as a bit too contrived. *

 

Homicide v Mitch Franklin

 

As squashes go, I've seen a lot better. Nothing much to say, but I much preferred the Reyes squashes to this. 1/2*

 

Brawling was OK, both the Cabana/Cide brawls andf the ROH/CZW brawls had enough stuff in them to make them worthwhile.

 

Samoa Joe v Jimmy Jacobs v Christopher Daniels

 

Jimmy Jacobs must be the revelation of the year. His character is suddenly brilliant and he's turned it up in the ring as well. No content with the 'Ballad Of Lacey' being the best thing on this entire DVD, he is the star of the match, and makes it great fun with some humorous touches. Even Daniels is less offensive than usual, though I could do without him using almost his entire high end moveset in the first 5 or 6 minutes of the match. Great fun. **1/2

 

ROH World Championship Bryan Danielson© v Roderick Strong

 

This was really average, and on many accounts a failure. It failed to hold my or the crowds interest. It failed in getting Strong over as Dragon's equal. It wasn't all bad....

 

The Good

 

- Some really nice sequences

 

- Actually liked quite a bit of the opening matwork

 

- They set the building blocks nicely in the early stages

 

- I felt that Strong was desperate to win the title at times

 

The Bad

 

- The length of the match was all wrong. The crowd was already worn out, it was midnight, why did they have to go so long? It didn't hold my interest at all

 

- Strong has a total lack of charisma. Therefore, stuff like the stealing of Dragon's moves in a revenge spot wasn't good at all, as he didn't have the facials or character to carry it off.

 

- Selling was really negligent throughout. Strong sold too much, and looked like he was trying too hard to be some sort of indy god. Dragon didn't sell enough, and blew most of Strong's high end stuff off.

 

- The action was far too similar to their previous matches, except Dragon was less of a dick, which made it even worse

 

- A lot of the offence became predictable. Plus, Dragon insisted on dominating 90% of the match, when he wasn't all that entertaining doing it.

 

- Dragon was wrestling the same match 50 minutes in as he was 5 minutes in. No sign of desperation, no nothing.

 

I'd have to say the match was average at best. The MOTY talk is really misguided, and while it's solid action, it lacks anything that makes it exciting, compelling viewing. The commentator gag about how people who don't like this will like the Cena match at ONS II was ridiculous as well- especially since Cena/RVD was better than this, and especially due to the fact that Cena has 20+ matches in his career better than this dull bout. **

 

This was a show that was decent for the most part, and had two matches that stood out as being good, but the problem is you have so high expectations coming into these shows that you can't not be disappointed. It isn't the best ROH show ever, it's a solid all round show that's very fun at parts.

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Watched ROH Better Than Our Best.

 

The 6-Man opener (Evans/Sydal/Crist/Crist/Steele/Jacobs) was pretty fun actually. Some good interaction between the various participants, I can't say I care for Steele or the Crist's a lot, but on the whole this was nicely watchable. *1/2

 

Reyes/Delirious was decent, if a little plodding. Reyes looked rather poor on offence, and he doesn't seem to have a lot of motivation since his push is seemingly over, but the crowd love Delirious and they really got into the match. OK. *1/2

 

The Embassy + Yoshino v Do Fixer tag is probably the match of the milestone series. Great heel work, strictured well, and combined it all with the awesome finishing stretch that the DG guys usually provide. Do Fixer are all great at sympathy selling, even if their long term selling is a little dubious, so the Embassy's control segment works well. It has some problems, but with great role playing, a believable and over face/heel dynamic and some great action, I loved this match. ***1/2

 

Joe/Styles/Daniels/Yang was good. I've seen about enough of Joe/Styles/Daniels to last a lifetime, and I hate Yang, so I was in fact suprised at how decent this match was. Joe was of course brilliant, the others were pretty much there. As you would expect, the finishing sequence stands out as being great. **1/2

 

The Aries/Strong v CIMA/Doi tag was the 3rd best match of the milestone series, and another top draw tag. It was going OK until Aries busted his nose, and then it picked up a whole lot. Blood Generation were awesome dick heels working him over, and they built fantastically to the hot tag. Thing was, everyone knew their role in the match, and with another awesome final run this is up there with any tag in the series and miles better than the more spot orientated 6 Man the night before. Aries selling towards the end could have been better, and if I never see a delayed vertical suplex again it won't be a moment too soon, bot overall this was another insanely fun tag. ***1/2

 

Dragon/Storm was like Lance Storm in a lot of ways. In that it was good all round, and very good technically, but did little to grip or excite you. They did some fair work around the veteran/youngster story, the action was perfectly good. Make no mistake about it, the second half of the match is far better than the first, and the ending is done really well. There isn't mch to say about this match, apart from that it was perfectly enjoyable yet totally forgettable. **1/2

 

Homicide/Cabana was a mixed bag. Much of the first half was filled with plodding, predictable brawling, and average strikes. They picked it up for the second half, and while a lot of the set ups for the weapons took too long and were contrived, what they did with the weapons was generally very good. Chair riot was fun, Cabana was really aggressive and brought the hate. Not sure about Cide here though, he looked a tad unmotivated at times, although his selling of the alchoghol was out of this world. I never did like this feud, but in the end they produce a good, if unspectacular match to end it. **1/2

 

This is an all round good show. It has no really bad matches on, even the ones below ** are perfectly watchable. Two awesome tags steal the show, and the two main events were fairly good in my view, and if you're a fan of any of the guys you'll probably like them even more. It might not be Better Than Their Best, but it's probably the best ROH show of 2006 up to that point.

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Finished the Milestone Series with ROH: The 100th Show

 

Christopher Daniels v Claudio Castagnoli

 

This was really bland and boring, and to be honest looked more like ballet than wrestling. Yes, it has well executed offence, good psychology and all the rest of it, but everything is hit with no passion or intensity, and the spots, instead of looking like they fit into the match, look choreographed. I'm sure they're not, but both guys look like they're going through the motions what with the static facials and limited character work. Some decent offence in there, and what they actually do would be rather good, if it was done by two characters who, well, have some character. *

 

Jimmy Jacobas v Jimmy Yang v Jimmy Rave v Delirious

 

Another one of these oh-so-annoying 4-Ways. Luckily for this one, it isn't a total waste, as it features three good characters, and a at least serviceable wrestler in Yang. That isn't to say it's any good though, as despite some good character work, the in ring action is pretty bland and poor. There doesn't seem to be any reason for the match, and therefore there's no reason to care. However, it is good at times, and Jacobs once again excels in his role. Finish was smart too. *1/2

 

Austin Aries/Roderock Strong v Homicide/Ricky Reyes

 

Talk about disappointing. What's up with Homicide in this match? He puts no effort in at all, messes up a couple of things, and is generally a shadow of his usual self. Unfortunately for him, his backup is Reyes, who while a decent worker, isn't capable of carrying his partner and making the match something good. I enjoy Aries here, Strong is so so. They try to tell a story around the Rotts brawling, but problem is the brawling in the match is pedestrian and lacking in much cohesion or intensity. It's OK at times, and Aries does his best, but not the match I was hoping for. *1/4

 

Bryan Danielson v Colt Cabana

 

This was pretty good. The interaction between Dragon and the fans made it what it was, but I was happy to see the end of serious Colt, and the ending was shocking and worked well. The action before that was pretty average, but purposely so, as they had to make the fans believe they were building to something longer. It didn't help that the fans didn't react to anything as they were so caught up in the duelling chants. More an angle than a match, but it was well executed. **

 

Derick Dempsey v Pelle Primeua

 

Pointless students match. They looked really green, and Primeua is surely never going to get over with that look, because it's horrible. 1/2*

 

Bryan Danielson v Delirious

 

The setup for this match was brilliant, and the match itself wasn't half bad. Dragon was decent taking Delirious apart, and bloody good at some parts, but the real fun came when Delirious started to look like he might have a chance. Strangely, the CZW fans added to this, although sometimes it seemed the match was less important than what was going on outside. Credit to Delirious for being such a good sympathy face, and the blood certainly did the match favours. A lot of fun. **3/4

 

Briscoe Brothers v Matt Sydal/AJ Styles

 

Man, I should have hated with. The Briscoes annoy me so much, with their mountain of high end offence, and spot based matches. I used to love Sydal as a great sympathy face with cool offence, but he had been grating on me as a goofy face recently, probably due to lack of quality heel opponents. Styles is hit and miss.

 

But somehow this is one of the best tags of the series. Had a really goos structure, some nice tag psychology by the Briscoes, and their offence was in fact excellent- high impact stuff but nothing over the top. The way they built to the hot tag was great, and when it came it got a great pop, leading into a great finishing sequence with, yes, some cool moves. This is no classic, but it's suprising how good it is, and it's probably the best Briscoes match ever, and Sydal's second best outing. ***1/4

 

Super Dragon/Necro Butcher/Chris Hero v Samoa Joe/Adam Pearce/BJ Whitmer

 

I don't love this as much as some, but this was a really good, hate filled brawl. Everyone on ythe CZW side was awesome, Necro was great at being crazy, Hero was a good chicken shit heel with awesome facials, Dragon was also a great heel, just a shame the camera didn't catch him Monkey Flipping a fan and attacking Xias. Oh well. The crowd was molten hot, and the brawling was intense as hell. Whitmer and Pearce, unfortunately, do nothing for me. Whitmer was good for a few big bumps, Pearce was good for a blade, but I don't even know why they're in this feud in the first place. Anything with Joe in was gold, with the other two, it wasn't so good. A slight complaint is that the brawling got a little repetetive. But it's actually a ton of fun, and if you've been into the feud, which I haven't that much, then you'll love it a lot more. Really good stuff. ***1/4

 

On the whole an enjoyable show. The last two matches were really good, the Dragon stuff was fun, and it was only let down by a poor beginning, which was at least bearable.

 

OK, my ten best matches of the milestone series...

 

Anarchistxx's 10 Best Matches Of The Milestone Series

 

1. Jimmy Rave, Alex Shelley, & Masato Yoshino vs. Dragon Kid, Genki Horiguchi, & Ryo Saito ***1/2 (ROH Better Than Our Best)

2. Bryan Danielson vs. Alex Shelley ***1/2 (ROH Arena Warfare)

3. AJ Styles & Matt Sydal vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe ***1/4 (ROH 100th Show)

4. Samoa Joe, Adam Pearce, & BJ Whitmer vs. Chris Hero, Necro Butcher, & Super Dragon ***1/4 (ROH 100th Show)

5. Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. CIMA & Naruki Doi ***1/4 (ROH Better Than Our Best)

6. Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, & Jack Evans vs. CIMA & Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino ***1/4 (ROH Dragon Gate Challenge)

7. Dragon Kid, Genki Horiguchi, & Ryo Saito vs. CIMA, Naruki Doi, & Masato Yoshino *** (ROH Supercard Of Honor)

8. A.J. Styles & Matt Sydal vs. Dragon Kid & Genki Horiguchi *** (ROH Dragon Gate Challenge)

9. Austin Aries v Matt Sydal **3/4 (ROH Arena Warfare)

10. AJ Styles & Matt Sydal vs. Austin Aries & Jack Evans **3/4 (ROH Supercard Of Honor)

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ROH Ring Of Homicide 13/05/2006

 

Colt Cabana v Kikitaro

 

As you would expect this is mostly comedy, and it's mostly successful in its quest to amuse. To be honest it's just a relief to have relaxed cabana back- he's more comfortable in the role, and he's a whole lot better at it. You can only see Kikitaru's comedy spots a certain number of times though, before they start to get dull, and at the moment I'm pretty worn out on the guy. Here, luckily enough, they manage to incorporate enough fresh stuff and with enough style on the execution to make it worthwhile. Not much to say really, entertaining opener. *3/4

 

Homicide/Ricky Reyes v Dunn/Marcos

 

Basically the only chance this match had of success was if it was a full on squash. Bumping is about all Dunn and Marcos are good for, so I'm guessing it would have been great fun to watch the Rottweiler's destroy them. Unfortunately, I'll never know, as this is actually a plain and forgettable bout, where the despicable Ring Crew Express actually get a pretty good amount of offence in. Seriously guys, it al looks terrible, and I completely don't buy them going toe to toe with Homicide, however well he sells their attack. Reyes is where he usually is, just sort of there, but not actually doing a great deal to impress. Dunn and Marcos shouldn't last much longer, and their opponents shouldn't be wasted on matches like this. 1/2*

 

Jimmy Rave v Jimmy Yang

 

It's credit to Jimmy Rave that he managed to take Akio to one of his best matches in his ROH run. That really isn't saying a lot though, as Akio has been pretty dreadful, and in fact this match is helped by the overbooked nature along with the heat the Embassy generates. The quickly established that Rave didn't want to go one on one with Yang, and built the early stages of the match around that. The finish kept both guys looking strong, and the match as a whole was well put together. Yang's bumping and selling are his strong point, so Rave's attack on him is pretty good- Rave's heeling also never gets old, even with the average Yang as his foil. Finish was nicely done, and the interference from Haze was probably the highlight of the entire match. Back to WWE for Yang- to be honest, good riddance. *3/4

 

ROH Pure Title Nigel McGuinness© v Jay Lethal

 

In theory this looks pretty good. You have the hometown hero Lethal as the white meat babyface, a role in which he has excelled in before. The you have Nigel, one of the best heels in the world. And in practise, this is pretty good, though nothing more. It was hard for them to produce something really good, with a lack of any past history and no storyline to build from. But they used what story they had, and it worked well. Nigel was great as the sly heel, who knew the rules better than anyone else. Lethal was good as the local face making his return. It would have been nicer if the fans were all for Lethal, but instead we got the dreaded duelling chants. You can't win them all.

 

The offence was nothing out of the ordinary, but it did the job, and it was actually one of the better builds I've seen, which culminated in some nice and believable near falls, especially on the first Tower Of London. The opening goes a long way to making the match enjoyable; instead of starting with the British matwork which would have felt really out of place, they spend time establishing roles and even throw in a few tit-for-tat revenge spots. 14 Minutes was more than enough for this match, but they made good use of it and it didn't really drag. Could have done with a bit more heeling from Nigel, a bit more charisma from Lethal and a bit more heat from the crowd. It kind of lacked the 'it' factor, but it still wound up being a nice midcard bout. **1/2

 

ROH World Heavyweight Championship Bryan Danielson© v Delirious

 

I enjoyed their match at the 100th Show, and I enjoyed this even more. Dragon put on another one of his heel displays, and was actually rather mint working over Delirious here. This was Delirious' match to make though, and he put on an excellent performance as the underdog face who is driven by revenge and his quest for the gold. A little more hate wouldn't have gone amiss, especially as it started out so heated, with the vicious brawling and the attack before the bell as a throwback to their previous match. I felt they lost some of early momentum when Dragon went to the floor though, especially as when he got back in they started to wrestle, when they were supposed to hate each other. It isn't that the wrestling was bad, just given the past storyline and how it started out, a bit more violent brawling would have likely gone down better.

 

Dragon's altercations with the CZW fans were funny, and actually did a good job of giving Delirious openings, and making his comebacks a little more believable. That was a major issue here though- it was hard to buy Delirious as any sort of legitimate threat to Dragon, takinh their past records into account. The match also overstayed its welcome- ROH have to learn that every title match and every mid card match doesn't have to go long to be good. They could have taken 5 or maybe even 10 minutes of this and it wouldn't have affected what they were trying to do or the story they were trying to tell. It didn't feel that long., but by the time we got to the finish, I'd lost a lot of the interest I'd got from the build. But make no mistake, this is good stuff. It's a good example of the underdog challenger v cocky champion story working well and getting the crowd into a frenzy, but there has to be some sort of hierarchy ROH, because a guy like Delirious shouldn't be lasting 25 minutes with your unstoppable champion. ***

 

Matt Sydal v Christopher Daniels

 

It wasn't as bad as it could have been. This had the potential to be really horrible, and while they escape that, it's still really average. Daniels is Daniels, and if you've seen him before you've probably realised his matches look like something you'd be more likely to see at the Royal Balley Company. Emotionless, effortless and far too perfect. Buy I'm quickly doing another U-Turn on Sydal. I loved him at first, then I didn't like him much, but now, he's back in my good books. His great looking offence and superb facials and selling are what keep this match alive. His character work is also very good here, as his portrayal of the desperate guy trying to get his breakthrough win is actually very believable. A couple of the intricate spots get my attention, and though I don't care for anything Daniels does, Sydal makes this at least watchable. Don't expect anything good though as it's by the numbers stuff mostly. *3/4

 

ROH Tag Team Championship Austin Aries/Roderick Strong© v Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe

 

As with the world title match this was just too long. For the first 5 or 10 minutes of this match it's totally uninspiring stuff. It lacks structure and direction, there's no reason for much if any of the offence- in short, it looks like they're killing time. Which is a shame, because one the Briscoe's start working over Aries, who is a great face in peril, the match picks up dramatically. Whatever else you say about the Briscoe's, their tag psychology has been pretty great in the recent matches I've seen, and this is no exception. There's a good number of tag teases, great heel tag offence, and they cut off the ring like they're Arn and Tully. Don't get me wrong, it isn't anything I've not seen before, but in this day and age, solid tag team wrestling is something you don't see that often.

 

Once the match breaks down and they decide to throw the legal man rules out the window, it's also good. They bring a nice number of spots to the table, without it looking like overkill, and Strong is a ton of fun as the hot tag, given his high impact offence. In fact, tags are the best use of most of these guys, because, aside from Aries, they have little charisma but can work a good bout. The Briscoe's are so much better when they're not using high end offence for the duration of their matches. Aries is the real star once again though here, his offence could do with being a bit less generic, but he has improves in leaps and bounds, and even has somewhat of an aura round him now. First 10 minutes drag this down, but otherwise it's a really solid piece of tag action. **1/2

 

Samoa Joe v Necro Butcher

 

Not much of a match really, but what they do fit in is actually more fun then nearly everything else on the entire show. Both guys are insanely over and actually give the impression of being two stars, something guys like Yang and Whitmer could never achieve. The brawling is solid, and though it pales in comparison the the next match, it's enjoyable while it lasts. I just wish the CZW guys had been booked a little stronger, as Joe is booked as being stronger than both Necro and hero together, and unless they're at a numbers handicap the ROH guys nearly always seem to have the advantage in the brawls. **

 

Homicide v Necro Butcher

 

Just an awesome brawl and a load of fun. The Homicide face turn was executed to perfection, and it brought an insane pop which transcended into brilliant heat for this match. The brawling was really tight throughout, and felt believable and vicious. Some of it was a bit too repetitive, not within this match but within the entire brawls on the shows- there's only so many times I can gasp at a chair being thrown at someone's head or a suplex on a chair, as I seem to witness them every other show if not more. But that isn't there fault as much, and while the brawl isn't as intense in the middle stages, it would be a big ask for them to keep up the electric pace and action for the full 10 minutes.

 

The chair throwing and what follows is what makes the match, and the numerous moves performed on the chair filled ring are brutal and effective. Necro doesn't really sell being buried under chairs that well, as he's back on the offence a minute later, but I guess you could put it down to his character. As a match it's good, but as a spectacle it's superb, and if you're a fan of sick bumps and hate filled brawls, this is probably for you. ***1/4

 

Overall I felt the show was very solid. Only one really 'bad' match, the rest of it was either in and around average or better. No top class match, but the world title match and the main event are both a blast.

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Jake Roberts vs Big Boss Man Wrestling Summit 4/90

 

Wow, this was a very good match. Roberts is really smart in the ring and Bossman once again brings the wrestling effort. The work from Robets comeback late in the match was done really well with Roberts knocking Bossman with several hits to the face. Bossman avoiding the kneelift was a cool spot as well. Someone so needs to make a Best of the Big Boss Man comp.

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I watched the two Straight Shootin Bill Watts DVDs.

 

I'm left with the impression that he seems to think MMA is the future of wrestling. He brings the UFC up several times on both DVDs and even Pride at one point. He doesn't outright say it but he mentions a lot that they're giving fans what they want instead of wrestling now.

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Guest CanadianChick

Last night, popped in one of my DVD's that my buddy made for me, and watched Andre vs. Stan Hansen in Japan. I believe the date was 5/18/79 if my quick research is correct. I didn't really expect much out of this match, but I seriously loved it. The action was actually pretty fast paced, and the crowd was super hot. The start of the match, which was Andre doing his over-the-top-rope entrance and with his second step over, giving a oncoming Hansen the big boot, just really set the pace for this match. THIS is how a battle of giants should be like. Balls to the walls, slugged out brawl. I just loved it and highly recommend it.

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9/23/81 is the date. Good match, no doubt, and one a lot of people like, but Andre and Inoki had a match in June of '84 that I think is even better, believe it or not.

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Guest CanadianChick

Thanks for the correction, and really? Andre and Inoki? I'll have to get my hands on that one. Thanks for the heads up Loss.

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Last night, popped in one of my DVD's that my buddy made for me, and watched Andre vs. Stan Hansen in Japan. I believe the date was 5/18/79 if my quick research is correct. I didn't really expect much out of this match, but I seriously loved it. The action was actually pretty fast paced, and the crowd was super hot. The start of the match, which was Andre doing his over-the-top-rope entrance and with his second step over, giving a oncoming Hansen the big boot, just really set the pace for this match. THIS is how a battle of giants should be like. Balls to the walls, slugged out brawl. I just loved it and highly recommend it.

 

This is one of my favourite matches of all time. The intrigue of wondering what would happen if Hanson hit Andre with the lariat alone was enough to keep me glued to my seat.

 

I've been watching a few matches lately. Some classics and even a match that's said to be one of the best of all time but there was nothing that was really hitting home with me. One of the ways I judge matches is how they make me feel. If they can make me come out of a bad mood or get me pumped up mentally than it gets some extra stars.

I was watching a few matches there last night and like I said I haven't been feeling much as of late. 3 matches into my viewing and I was worried that I was starting to become jaded to absolutely everything. One match started to bring me out of this mindset and than other totally did so and reminded me of why I love this art we call professional wrestling. Ironically, it was a match I already knew I really liked but a match that didn't hit me as hard back than as it did now.

 

That match is the Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs Eddie Guerrero/Chris Jericho bout from the Brian Hildebrand show from 1998.

 

I now think this this is the best match Benoit and Malenko ever had together. In fact, it may be the best tag team match of the various tag team combinations we had in the late 90s WCW even surpassing stuff like the Benoit/Saturn vs the Triad PPV handicap match.

Perhaps before I wasn't into the tag team formula present here as I am now. Perhaps I wasn't into the great work around the sleeper that was here. Perhaps I wasn't as happy at the offence as I am now. I don't know but what I do know now is that this match is brilliant.

 

The match is handheld and not televised. The handheld is perfectly fine but a television production would probably be better for the match as Benoit's offence at the time comes off better when you have a camera close up.

 

Jericho and Eddie are your classic heels in this and do a great job of portraying that. Benoit and Malenko are of course the faces. Everything done after that is spot on.

 

Benoit is super agressive on Eddie and he cowers in the corner.

Jericho like the coward he is takes over with a eye poke. Eddie and Jericho proceed to work over Benoit while concentrating some on the throat making the sleeper spots that more effective.

Benoit does a great face in peril job that is not predictable at all. In fact, the number of times you think he's going to get it but than ends up with Benoit not getting the hot tag is truly refreshing. I LOVED how when he got first opportunity for a tag it makes sense on why he can't get it. I loved on how when Eddie and Benoit were going to get another double tag team effort on him that Benoit than senses the urgency of the situation and than fights backs with everything he's got like only he can. The comeback spots in here were just spot on and than at the end of the face in peril segment where Eddie like a good heel does cheats on the outside by going back to a sleeper yet again. That puts the face back in the "most peril" possible before making the tag (something I always like in my tag matches) before in an awesome bad guys get what's coming to them spot Benoit gets the hot tag. Really great work in there that gets the emotions brewing.

 

Than they have a sweet ending stretch where a battered Benoit who appeared to have been taken out by Eddie on the outside comes back and makes the save. Following tht we got a nice payoff at the end where the heels get their just deserts which was a very satisfying way to end the whole bout. If I had to give a rating I would say it's over the 4 star mark.

 

I also watched Rip Rogers in a ladder match against the Hardy Boys. Lots of fun in that one as well with what looked to be a reallly banged up Rogers still bringing it in the ring like only he can.

_________________

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Watched nearly all of WWE Summerslam 2006.

 

Rey v Chavo was a solid enough opener. Nothing they did stood out especially, but it was still good action mostly. Unfortuately, the storyline is so terrible that it's hard not to let it affect you, especially with Vicki Guerrero interfering and the crowd constantly chanting 'Eddie'. There's one funny botch where Rey's mask comes off, and he has to hide his head while he picks it up and gets it back on. Inoffensive stuff, but they've had much better matches. **

 

Show/Sabu was suprisingly fun. The pace was too plodding at times, and setup times for spots, especially with Show involved, got really long and annoying. But what they did do they did well. Show was the guy with the power advantage, Sabu had to be reckless and take chances to beat him. A couple of blown spots, but then again it is Sabu, so it's pretty much a given. Boring at party, but mostly fun. **1/4

 

Hogan/Orton was suprisingly great. They basically worked a really simple match, but they added emphasis to everything they did, and held the crwd in the palm of their hand. Orton but in a very impressive display as the cocky heel, and in fact just the visual of these two guys facing off seemed to give it a big match atmoosphere. Even better, they managed not to ruin the RKO, and Hogan gave Orton much more than  usual here. WWF MOTY so far. ***1/2

 

It's no coincidence that Mick Foley's match was on after the crowd were tired from Hogan, and yet the DX match was put on after Booker/Batista, a predictably dull and boring affair, which meant the crowd would be more up for DX. Even so, after a quiet start Foley and Flair got the fans into this, but it was just too short. It could have done with about 5 minutes more at the start, and while the early barbed wirte and stuff does get across how much they hate each other, it ends up feeling rushed. The last 3 minutes are what really stops the match from moving up a level though, because when Melina comes in, the bout falls apart and it's pretty much a sorry mess. But before that it was going along really well, great emotion, great spots, the visual of the bloody Flair was great, it felt realistic. Just needed to be longer, and have a much better ending, and we'd have been looking at one of the top matches this year, anywhere. As it is, it's still the second best match of the card. ***1/4

 

Batista/Booker is predictable and dull. I simply don't get this love for Booker's heel act at all- I find it cringe worthy. To make matters worse, Booker is awful in the ring, and has been for the last few years, and he is the main reason why this match isn't better than it is. Suprisingly enough, Batista actually expands his moveset considerably here, using stuff I've never seen him use before. Shame Booker goes back to the same holds with no reason behind them, and makes no attempt to gwet the crowd involved. The only time they make any noise in this is when they're chanting 'boring'. The finish hurt the match as well, it was confusing and frustrating. Not bad a times, but this was a mostly boring affair. *1/2

 

How is it that the DX/McMahons tag gets double the length of Flair/Foley? We know who's running this company. Cheers guys. Problem with this feud is, the only people that care about it are the people who're in it, and even then HBK looks like he couldn't care less. It's overbooked, but at least at that stage it's entertaining, once it gets down to a reguar tag match it's totally average. McMahons stealing the 80's tag finishers was kind of cool, but the bout really dragged on too long, and I was just waiting for it to end. *1/4

 

I guess I'll watch Edge/Cena later tonight, but I aren't that excited at the prospect.

 

I also started to review WWE Judgement Day 2006 a couple of weeks back but I couldn't be bothered in the end, and I didn't make it past the first two matches...

 

WWE Tag Team Championship Joey Mercury/Jonny Nitro© v Paul London/Bryan Kendrick

 

It's always good to open the show with a match like this, since the crowd are instantly hot, and it'll get a lot more heat than it likely would later down the card. This is definitely the case here- London/Kendrick really aren't that over, but the crowd are solidly behind them, and that has a lot to do with it's position on the card. The match itself was a well worked formula tag. The Face In Peril sections were good- I always enjoy the not-so-subtle heeling of MNM, and at worst it got the crowd behind the face challengers. The threw in a couple of nice spots that were to my liking- the London Dropsault Press was probably the highlight of the match. The challengers were nice and fiery, both in their comebacks and the hot tags, though I could have done without them hugging each other every couple of minutes, however white meat they want to be.

 

They figured a nice way to get to the big tag, which has kind of become of fixture of MNM matches. However, I've seen them in a lot better matches than this. They were their usual selves, but I didn't think London and Kendrick did that good a job of stepping up to the plate. They kind of establish their quickness advantage, but don't really go anywhere with it, and their offence is pretty standard, if well executed. This was a nice opener, but they can do better than that. Unfortunately, we'll never know, as MNM break up after this match, in what I thought was a rather good little segment. **1/2

 

Chris Benoit v Finlay

 

If we're talking about matches looking legit, this is where it's at. Both guys just pound each other all match, and every little thing they do looks like it hurts like hell. It feels like a big, athletic struggle in many ways, and the little things these two are so good at are what make it such a good match. The grimaces, the struggles for moves, the strikes: it's all out of the top draw. Stuff like the fight for the sharpshooter, the stiff Finlay clotheslines, there's so much to love about the contest. There's one flaw: it isn't terribly exciting. While this is technically great, and flawless in many ways, they fail to lift me off my seat, and in many of Finlay's holds I find my mind quickly wandering. They don't really do a great job of building to the finish- while it fits in with the idea of a legitimate fight, I'd have liked it better if they built up with a good stretch.

 

Now these faults may not matter to some people- in fact, to a good extent I can look past them myself. I like the match. A lot. But if you like your wrestling realistic and hard hitting, you'll probably love this match. Surprisingly, it's Benoit if anyone who lets the side down. He and Regal probably worked the best US match in this style I've seen, but here, he's almost formulaic. He goes through his German's just for the pop, without any struggle, he brings little offence to the table apart from his trademark stuff, which really isn't that much in 20+ minutes. Don't get me wrong, if that means Finlay controls most of the match, it isn't entirely a bad thing, but Benoit strikes me as being really lazy here. That said, it's one of the better matches you'll see in 2006, at least in WWE, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I just didn't get the feeling I was watching a great match. ***1/4

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WP, I'd love for you to take a stab at doing the Jericho blurb at SC, even though AOA already claimed it. I know you're a fan of his, but I haven't seen you discuss him much, so your thoughts would be interesting.

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WP, I'd love for you to take a stab at doing the Jericho blurb at SC, even though AOA already claimed it. I know you're a fan of his, but I haven't seen you discuss him much, so your thoughts would be interesting.

 

Perhaps, but my reviews and thoughts tend to be positive based if I'm talking about wrestling since I feel bad about being negative when talking about individual wrestlers and matches.

 

Jericho as said before is both underrated and overrated. I don't know how he does it but he pulls it off. -_-  He managed to be underrated in the smarkschoice poll though.

 

Very charasmatic, had the Marc Rocco factor about him in the ring (wrestling looked natural to him) which I thought he improved on as his career went on. Despite having some "weak" moves at the end of his WWF run (One example of the WWE limited moveset hurting someone), I thought a good amount of them were somewhat interesting moves (especially the dropkick your opponent off the apron bit) which I believe contributed to him being overrated and underrated by everyone. That was probably also due to his varying quality in his wrestling matches.

 

And that reminds me that Jericho has several high end preformances that are terrific. Kane on Raw, Rock on PPV, Michaels at Mania, some of his matches against Benoit. However, perhaps just as impressive was that string of matches where he had on Raw against the new crippled WWE star of the day where Jericho was basically wrestling himself. I thought he got shortchanged there in the GWE poll as I bet most people weren't thinking of those matches when rating him.

 

I don't know if he was a better as a face or a heel. I thought he did well with both roles which is a compliment to him. Another compliment to him is that he gradutated to what I like to call the "fans will never turn on you or grow apathetic" factor. This is what Eddie Guerrero experienced, the Undertaker to a degree, Angle was experiencing it and Benoit is definitely there as well. When it's all said and done, that just may be the greatest accolade one can get as a wrestler. Enthusiastic respect are the words I'm looking for here and Jericho had it. The WWE hasn't been the same since he left. 

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Guest DylanWaco

 

Hogan/Orton was suprisingly great. They basically worked a really simple match, but they added emphasis to everything they did, and held the crwd in the palm of their hand. Orton but in a very impressive display as the cocky heel, and in fact just the visual of these two guys facing off seemed to give it a big match atmoosphere. Even better, they managed not to ruin the RKO, and Hogan gave Orton much more than  usual here. WWF MOTY so far. ***1/2

 

 

Wow, this is an interesting viewpoint.  I myself thought the match was pretty weak, with Hogan coming across as incredibly old even moreso than usual.  Maybe I'll try and rewatch it if it airs on 24/7

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Benoit vs Villano III Mask vs Mask Bout -- One of Benoit's best ever??

 

 

The first time I ever watched this, I was disapointed. I really liked the other Benoit vs Villano III bouts and I enjoyed this one too but I expected more. Than my buddy took a look at the match and really enjoyed it. I decided to give it another look and this time I loved it.

 

The first time I saw this, I don't think I was paying enough attention. Due to the video, I didn't even notice that Villano III was bleeding. I also thought the moves were more random than they were. Watching it the second time, I noticed the moves were not random at all.

 

It's a truly great bout and I think it passes even the Lyger vs Pegasus mask vs mask bout. The matwork in the beginning is very cool with all sorts of neat holds and counters. It's not random matwork either as one person or the other will beat down the other for awhile. Benoit gets some suspense in too hitting a submission and a similar submission that got him victories in the past.

 

From there, the bout kicks into high gear with Villano suffering an abdominal injury as well as a head injury. And that's what Benoit concentrates on for pretty much the rest of the bout. He's in total rudo mode playing to the crowd, throwing Villano's head into the cement and taking control of the bout by hitting Villano in the stomach.

There's some real nice work here with Benoit coming off the middle rope and hitting Villano in both the stomach and the head at the same time. Another great moment was when Benoit threw Villano outside of the ring, put his head into the ringpost, threw him back in the ring and than put a figure four headlock submission hold on (which I believe was more effective here than in Japan) . Just excellent work there and a move that made perfect sense.

The bout ends with Benoit seemingly changing direction due to Villano's fighting spirit and some oneupmanship. Terrific ending to the bout as well.

 

 

I realize I'm mostly talking about Benoit here but Villano was super here and it's easily visible that he has a terrific mind for wrestling. So yeah, give this match a watch. The once super rare bout is now on youtube so check it out. They cut out interviews, some past highlights, in studio discussion and the brief second fall but the rest is still there so it's not too bad. I think it's one of Benoit's better bouts.

_________________

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Wow, this is an interesting viewpoint. I myself thought the match was pretty weak, with Hogan coming across as incredibly old even moreso than usual. Maybe I'll try and rewatch it if it airs on 24/7

Don't really know why I loved it so much.

 

A lot of wrestling these days depends on the mood I'm in to how much I enjoy it. I loved the match, old school feel, they knew what they did and did it really well, only thing that could have made it better would have been Orton going over.

 

Haven't been watching anything recently though, gone off wrestling altogether apart from the odd match. Kind of got to the point where I was watching a match and analysing it, instead of enjoying it. ROH put me off a lot as well, with people kicking out of multiple finishers in the second match on the card, and other stuff like that. I couldn't get excited about the brilliant hot finishes in the main events because I'd seen all the stuff before on the undercard, multiple times in many cases. I'm pretty sure every wrestler on the roster uses the Lariat as one of their finishers.

 

Strangely enough, KENTA v Matt Sydal is the only match I'd be interested in seeing right now, I might pick up the DVD off my trader.

 

Sorry, rant over.

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Guest HTQ

Some of the highlights of my Black Friday fun:

 

Better Than Our Best:

 

Jimmy Yang vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels

 

This was a good four-way match, with Joe and Styles working very stiff with each other. Joe was the standout performer of the match. Yang didn’t take as much of a backseat as you might think considering who was involved. There were some nice spots, with Yang showing great agility and flexibility that you’ll probably not see out of him for a while, if ever again.

 

After the match, Joe called out Bryan Danielson to demand ‘his’ belt back. Danielson came out and showed why he’s such a great heel and also very underrated on the mic with how he mocked Joe, tried to get the crowd to chant against Joe and was generally a complete dick.

 

Blood Generation vs. Austin Aries and Roderick Strong

 

This was a great tag match that went around 20:00 and saw great teamwork from the BG crew and Aries take quite the beating, even suffering a broken nose.

 

Lance Storm vs. Bryan Danielson

 

This was a good technical match, with Storm working a far better than he was allowed to in WWE. If you’re a fan of Storm and want to see what he can do without restrictions, then you’ll want to see this.

 

Homicide vs. Colt Cabana

 

This was an excellent streetfight. A wild brawl with some crazy spots, this was very intense. They stayed almost entirely within the ring or the ringside area, which is actually a refreshing change from most streetfights where they go all over the building sometimes just for the sake of it. The visual highlight was sea of chairs getting thrown in by the fans. Highlights of the actual brawling saw Cabana throw rubbing alcohol into the face of a bloody Homicide which Homicide sold like a trooper and Cabana superplexing Homicide onto the sea of chairs. If you want snowflakes, I’ll go with ****1/2.

 

Time To Man Up:

 

The Briscoe’s vs. KENTA and Davey Richards

 

This was a great tag match that went around 20:00 with the Briscoe’s showing why they are a tremendous team and have improved immeasurably since their last run in ROH. The match was very stiff and very hard hitting and you really got a sense that this match was important because of how much intensity everybody showed.

 

Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles

 

A good match but not the best you’ll see from these two. Joe was probably holding back a little as he was going 60:00 the next night with Danielson. Still, this was better than a lot of what you’ll see elsewhere.

 

Unified:

 

Jimmy Rave vs. Davey Richards

 

This was good match, almost entirely down to Richards, who continued to show why he’s getting the strong push he is. If the Pure title was still around I’d see Richards was a good bet to get the belt from McGuiness, but as it is he’ll have to ‘settle’ for an ROH World title run in about twelve to eighteen months.

 

The Briscoe’s vs. Austin Aries and Roderick Strong

 

This match was fantastic. There was so much great teamwork from both teams, intensity that just grabbed your attention and a rabid crowd going nuts for everything in the home stretch. These are definitely two of the best tag teams of the year, and this is easily one of the best tag team matches of the year. For snowflakes, I’ll go with ****1/2.

 

Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson

 

This was a wrestling war. The match was fought under Pure Title rules, and the story of the match was Danielson trying to get McGuinness to use up his three rope breaks, which would allow Danielson to use the ropes freely. The match was intense like the tag match but in a different way. Whereas the tag match was both teams going all out with the big moves, this match saw Danielson and McGuinness go all out with stiff wrestling. The “ouch” moment was late in the match when Danielson pulled McGuinness head first into the ring post three or four times and McGuinness’s head hit the post full busting him open legit. The crowd was going mental at this point just going nuts for Nigel and wanting him to win, but it was not to bed and Danielson won with repeated elbow strikes to Nigel’s head as he had his arms tied up. A definite Match of the Year candidate, ****3/4 in snowflakes, and you have to see Nigel’s post-show promo in the back which has a close shot of a huge lump on his head from he hit the ringpost.

 

Epic Encounter II

 

Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness – 2/3 Falls

 

This was another tremendous match but it was totally different to their Unified match. The Unified match was William Regal vs. Fit Finlay where this match is Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair and I would actually call it a modern day version of some of the Steamboat vs. Flair matches. It featured excellent wrestling as well some great heel work from Danielson. Danielson grabbed a headlock on McGuinness and while you initially had a number of people chanting boring, Danielson not only told those fans that he was going to keep the headlock on for the whole match but after ten minutes of working in and out of the hold he had the whole crowd popping huge every time he went back the headlock. It was great. And what made it better is when he had got them popping for the headlock he teased going for it again and then went to a reverse chinlock just to fuck with them. But it gets better. When he grabs the chinlock, McGuinness actually chastises him and says, “They asked for a headlock. Know your wrestling.” Not only is the wrestling and the ga-ga great, but the story of the match is great. There are spots in it that play off of their previous matches including recreating the finish of their first Title vs. Title match and the big spot of their match at Unified where Danielson pulled McGuinness head first into the ring post. The match went the full 60:00 with each man getting a decision, with Danielson’s coming via a small package, which is how he beat McGuinness in their second singles match. The match was Steamboat vs. Flair because it was two guys going out there and wrestling for 60:00. No gimmicks, no bullshit, just two guys who wrestled and made it mean something. Snowflake time: ****3/4.

 

Gut Check

 

Jim Cornette promo

 

This is Cornette’s promo to explain his turning on Homicide at the Cage of Death match. It’s almost 20:00, but it’s a fantastic promo that sees Cornette explain in a very logical manner why he turned on Homicide and hates the fans that turned on him for it, but also why he hasn’t turned on anybody else. It’s a great heel/not heel promo because Cornette makes a credible argument for why he’s turned against Homicide and the fans who he feel turned against him but why he hasn’t turned against anyone else. It’s great because not only do the reasons make sense for the character but it’s believable as to why he would turn on Homicide and some fans but not on anyone else or the rest of the fans. Top notch stuff.

 

The Briscoe’s vs. Homicide and Davey Richards

 

Another fine tag match featuring the Briscoe’s, who may be the best tag team of the year. The Briscoe’s showed great teamwork and some fine double team moves.

 

Bryan Danielson vs. Colt Cabana 2/3 falls

 

This was Danielson’s second 2/3 falls in consecutive days and like the one with McGuinness they played off of their previous matches but the match itself told a completely different story allowing for two completely different matches. This match had the stipulation that if Cabana lost he couldn’t get another title match while Danielson was champion, but also that if the 60:00 time limit expired with only one fall taken then whoever had that fall would be declared the winner and would be ROH World Champion. Their previous title match at ROH’s 100th show saw Danielson pin Cabana in just five minutes, so this match saw Cabana score the first fall in just five minutes. Not only did it play off of their last match but it also put Danielson in the position of having to play catch up for the rest of the match as if Cabana won another fall or the match went to the 60:00 time limit then Cabana would be the new ROH Champion. The story played out for the rest of the match with some great antics from both men and also the crowd; after Danielson did his “I have till five” bit some of the crowd chanted “same old shit” and another part of the crowd responded with a “it still works” chant. The match got incredibly heated as it hit the 55:00 mark with the crowd going nuts for Cabana’s imminent title win. And then, at 59:45, it happened. Danielson distracted the referee and nailed Cabana with a punch to the groin. A small package later and Danielson tied the match 1-1 with literally seconds to go. Needless to say the Chicago crowd was pissed. The match wasn’t quite as good as the one the night before with Danielson and McGuinness, maybe around ****, but it told a very good story and Danielson did a damn good job considering he severely injured his shoulder at around the 9:00 mark.

 

Glory by Honor V – Night One

 

Samoa Joe/Takeshi Morishima angle

 

This was notable for the reaction. It was set up with everyone on the roster, including ROH and NOAH wrestlers who weren’t wrestling, surrounding the ring for Bruno Sammartino’s appearance. After Bruno had left, the wrestlers returned to the back. Joe and Morishima bumped into each other as they went to aisleway at the same time. They each offered to let the other go first but they bumped into each other again. After a few seconds of arguing, Morishima shoved Joe who, after shoving back, rolled into the ring and as he dared Morishima to fight, the crowd went completely apeshit. They went crazier for this angle, when few of them would have been that familiar with Morishima, then just about any other angle in ROH and almost any match in ROH history. It was like they knew they were seeing the start of something special, which they were, as the idea is for Joe vs. Morishima to be the big dream match in 2007.

 

Samoa Joe and Homicide vs. The Briscoe’s

 

This was a really good match with the usual intensity and physical action you’d expect from those involved. It’s almost a broken record at this point, but The Briscoe’s are probably the best tag team of the year for 2006. They have the teamwork down pat, they have the intensity, and they can have a good to great tag match with just about any team.

 

Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA

 

This was their first singles match in ROH, and it had the story going in of KENTA having two pinfall wins over Danielson, coming in a tag match and as part of a three-way. The match was great with Danielson working around his injured shoulder which also played into the story of the match. The big spot was KENTA hitting the Go To Sleep, which he used to beat Danielson the previous two times, and Danielson getting his foot on the ropes to break the count. Danielson winds up winning with Cattle Mutilation, and both men get a big standing ovation from the Manhattan Ballroom. ****1/2 of goodness.

 

Motor City Madness

 

Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries

 

This was a fine match, maybe not great, but still very enjoyable. The funniest part was Danielson, who had to wear Bob Backlund-like trunks due to his regular gear going missing, mimicking Backlund’s weird walk, where he walks across the ring while squatting. The match was enjoyable and so were Danielson’s heel antics.

 

Samoa Joe and Homicide vs. The Briscoe’s – Falls Count Anywhere

 

The match started in the ring as normal but the fight, and this is what it turned into, soon went to the floor. Chairs were flung about with wild abandon as all four men sent the crowd scattering in all directions to avoid getting hit with, only the chairs, but anything else they could get their hands on. The war made its way to the parking lot and one of the Briscoe’s did a shooting star press off of a truck onto everyone else as well as security. Joe immediately started screaming about his knee being injured and was taken away, leaving Homicide to be dragged back to the ring by the Briscoe’s who got the win with spiked Jay Driller. This was a very wild match and you can do worse than check it out.

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