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[2004-03-13-ROH-At Our Best] Jay Briscoe vs Samoa Joe (Steel Cage)


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This is a Steel Cage Match for Samoa Joe's ROH World Championship.

Jay Briscoe's crimson mask is one of the most stunning blood-related visuals that I've ever seen in pro-wrestling. It's what I thought when I first watched this match yeaaaaars ago, and it still strikes me on that same level. It's amazing & truly helps this already-totally-great match kick things up to another notch -- the Briscoes vs. Joe feud comes to its conclusion beautifully with Joe dishing out amazingly compelling punishment throughout + Jay taking it all like a champ and also delivering big time with all of times he is on the offense himself. Him hitting the Jay Driller towards the end was such a fantastic moment. To put it simply, both parties involved were absolutely on point w/ their roles in this match. It's constant, superb violence, and the big spots, such as the cutter from the top, Joe's backdrop driver from the top & that match-ending super Muscle Buster -- it's all holy-shit worthy & simply amazing stuff. This is an essential watch for anybody looking to get into prime ROH, as it really is a bona fide classic for the company. ****1/2

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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [2004-03-13-ROH-At Our Best] Jay Briscoe vs Samoa Joe (Steel Cage)
  • 2 years later...

Whoa! Now this is a Joe vs Jay title fight. Jay is treated much more appropriately than their match at Tradition Continues (2003). Joe dominated early on as Jay is just trying to survive. He makes comebacks but smartly tries to escape the cage rather than believe he can pin the Samoan. This is the great young Jay Briscoe title fight I wanted to see. It makes sense, it focuses on key spots to advance the story rather than trust the young Jay to control the match. As its mainly a spot match, I won't say its a classic. It didn't blow the roof off the building as far as a spot heavy bout either. However it was smart, violent and at times quite surprising. Great **** match.

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  • 9 months later...

Gruesome in the most gripping way. Plenty of perfectly reasonable people find bloodbaths too offputting to be worth investing in but I don't know how you couldn't be invested in Jay Briscoe's fight for survival. It doesn't have the same lasting impact as the Mania match by any means but with Samoa Joe nominally the face at the start of this match and Jay far more sympathetic by the end, I think we should be talking about this alongside Bret/Austin as one of the great double turns.

Watching this back for the twentieth anniversary I was struck both by how well it escalates and how modest a match it really is. The former comes easy enough—the mounting dread of watching Jay bleed more and more, seemingly faster all the while—but the latter is a thing of beauty. It's less than 15 minutes long, each guy hits a single finisher, I'm not even sure there's three pinfall attempts in this whole thing. It feels so unlike the mental image you have of a big ROH match but neither does it feel out of place on this show, not nearly so much as some other cage matches in the promotion's history. The emphasis on the blood and on a few dramatic moments (as well as the action itself living up to that bloodletting; this has gotta be Joe's best and most brutal avalanche Muscle Buster) gets them so far.

Probably a top 100 match ever for me. Some of that's nostalgia but god man, I can feel it in my gut whenever I watch it again. Incredible stuff.

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