Monday, December 31, 2012

Dragon Gate USA United: NYC Review

Dragon Gate USA performs in the heart of Manhattan!!

Dragon Gate USA United: NYC
Manhattan, New York 1/28/11

1.) Akira Tozawa vs. Sami Callihan: ***

This was a very solid opener. Tozawa & Callihan are rising stars and they definitely proved themselves here.

After the match, Jon Moxley, who was with fellow Kamikaze USA member Tozawa, knocks the NYC Crowd & Brooklyn native Homicide. Reby Sky, who is a New York Giants Cheerleader (and looking very lovely tonight) takes offense to this. She slaps Moxley and tells Tozawa to hit her but Tozawa doesn't want to. This prompts CHIKARA regular NYC Area native Jigsaw to come out and get our next match going!!

2.) Jon Moxley vs. Jigsaw: **3/4

The match wasn't as good as the opener, but it was still a decent match.

After the match, YAMATO comes out to celebrate with Moxley and taunt the crowd, which leads to Open The Freedom Gate Champion BxB Hulk coming out and getting our big title match started!!

3.) Open The Freedom Gate Title – BxB Hulk vs. YAMATO: ***1/2

This was pretty good for a Open The Freedom Gate Title Match, but I felt like the weird finish with the awkward looking finishers hurt the match. YAMATO winning the title was certainly a surprise.

Jimmy Jacobs comes out next and congratulates YAMATO on his big win, and calls out Brodie Lee for our next match.

4.) Jimmy Jacobs vs. Brodie Lee: **1/4

The rest of Blood Warriors accompany Brodie Lee to ringside. This was a short match, but like some of the other Dragon Gate USA shows, it puts over Brodie Lee as a dominant force.

After the match, Ronin (Rich Swann, Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano) come out and Taylor demand their Round Robin Tag Team Title Tournament Match start right now, and we get this thing started!!

5.) Open The United Gate Title Round Robin Tournament Match – Naruki Doi & Ricochet vs. Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano: ****

This was a very good match. Interesting to see these varying parings of Blood Warriors Stablemates. I'd say this is Match of the Night. Gargano & Taylor pick up the win & 2 points in the Tournament.

Afterwords, Swann calls out Austin Aries, and we got that match right now!

6.) Austin Aries vs. Rich Swann: ***1/4

Here we got another entertaining contest. Not sure about the first part of the match but the second part was really good. Not much else to say.

After the match...can you guess??......CIMA comes out and cuts a little promo with Ronin & we get our main event!!

7.) Open The United Gate Title Round Robin Tournament Match – CIMA & Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino & PAC: ***3/4

While this wasn't as good as the Tag Match earlier with Blood Warriors & Ronin, it was still a very good match. Good to see that PAC has immensely improved since his few ROH matches in 2007. Pac & Yoshino pick up the win and the 2 Points for World-1.

Overall: 8.0/10

This was another great show from Dragon Gate USA. It had consistent wrestling and was a great way to start off the United Weekend for the promotion. I think Gargano & Taylor definitely proved themselves here as a top tag team by winning their tournament match (Match of the Night). The other tournament match was great as well, and the undercard was overall solid. The other interesting part about this show is that there was no break at all between matches. It went match-promo-match pretty much the entire night, which isn't necessarily a bad thing since Dragon Gate USA shows run just above two hours usually. Although because of this it did drag a little bit, but it didn't hurt the match quality.

Evolve 6: Aries vs. Taylor Review

Austin Aries comes to Evolve to take on one of it's best in the form of Chuck Taylor.

Evolve 6: Aries vs. Taylor
Union City, New Jersey 11/20/10

1.) Drake Younger vs. Silas Young: **3/4

This was a fine opener, but I'm still not entirely fond of 2010 Drake Younger as I am with his 2012 version in PWG. Silas Young wins the match, officially giving Younger his first loss in Evolve.

2.) Four-Way Match – Rich Swann vs. AR Fox vs. Tony Nese vs. Scott Reed: ***

Everyone except Swann is making their Evolve debut. AR Fox has appeared in DGUSA. This was a good match. Again, I'm a sucker for good four-ways, and this was no exception. AR Fox and Swann are definitely stars of the future.

3.) Kyle O’Reilly vs. Bobby Fish: ***1/2

Funny to see these two wrestling each other two years before they would team in Ring of Honor. This was a very good match. Of course when you have guys like Fish & O'Reilly in there, you can expect it to be a good contest.

Afterwords O'Reilly thanks Fish for the fight, and Fish promises to step it up in 2011.

4.) Up In Smoke vs. The Super Smash Brothers: ***1/4

Up In Smoke are undefeated as a tag team up to this point. It was a pretty good tag team match. 

Afterwords the winners, Up In Smoke, promise a great 2011 ahead of them.

5.) Relaxed Rules – Homicide vs. Jon Moxley: **3/4

Now I've heard their are a lot of people who don't like this match, while there are some who think it's good. I'm in the middle. It was a good match, but it felt dull at parts. Obviously though, this would not be the last match between the two, so since it was building up to better things, I'm willing to be passive.

After the match, Homicide is mad at the outcome of the match, since the ref called the match when Moxley had Homicide in the Crossface Chicken Wing and Homicide didn't technically tap. He attacks the ref, which is a big no-no in Evolve. Moxley then taunts Homicide into attacking him, knowing that post match attacks are also a no-no in Evolve. He attacks Moxley with a fork and the ring bell hammer. I swear, if anyone can play a Heath Ledger Joker, it's Jon Moxley, because it certainly seemed liked he was channeling him here.

Larry Dallas comes out with Reby Sky for some "paid promo time" and apparently he's sponsoring Chuck Taylor. I don't care for Larry Dallas at all.

6.) Ricochet vs. Adam Cole: ***

This seemed to be a just ok match until it got going down the stretch. Then it definitely improved to good match.

7.) Jimmy Jacobs vs. Johnny Gargano: ***1/2

These two have wrestled each other in Evolve previously. This was probably their best encounter yet. It was a really good match. They even went up and battled via the rafters...just a great match.

Afterwords we find out Gargano is the second fighter sponsored by Larry Dallas (oh no...). Jacobs then takes the mic and says Dallas doesn't belong in Evolve. This all ends with Jacobs spanking Reby Sky.

8.) Chuck Taylor vs. Austin Aries: ****

It's Main Event Time in Union City!! This was a very good match. I gotta say I'm like Chuck Taylor more & more every time I see him. I think he's great, and he had a pretty good match here against the debuting Austin Aries. A great main event to close the show.

After the match, Aries tells Taylor that he earned his respect tonight.

Overall: 7.75/10

This was another good show from Evolve. Aries & Taylor put on a great main event and the Jacobs/Gargano match delivered. The undercard was pretty solid as well, making this a pretty good show.

ROH Take No Prisoners 2009 Review

Ring of Honor comes to Houston, Texas for what would be the last regular ROH PPV.

ROH Take No Prisoners 2009
Houston, Texas 4/4/09


1.) Rhett Titus vs. Bushwhacker Luke: *1/4

Much like the night before, this was nothing more than a nice little bonus match, this time featuring a legend in the form of Bushwhacker Luke. Fine for what it was.


1.) Colt Cabana vs. Ace Steel: *3/4

Here we get a little teacher vs. student action. They do some comedy before Steel gets a little frustrated and heels it up a little bit. 

2.) Chris Hero, The American Wolves & Incognito vs. Kevin Steel, El Generico, Jay Briscoe & Magno: ***1/4

So this was basically the same match as last expect for the added additions of Davey Richards & El Generico....and the fact that the top rope didn't break. A good match, definitely better than the match the night before.

3.) No DQ Match
Jimmy Jacobs vs. Necro Butcher: ***

Somehow there is confusion as to whether this was a No DQ match or a Fight Without Honor. Still the same thing. The match was a fun brawl. They went all over and into the stands. I gotta say it feels like Necro butcher matches are starting to blend together.

4.) Three-Way Match: Brent Albright vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Blue Demon Jr.: **

This was supposed to be an international tag challenge (Nigel & Claudio vs. Albright & Blue Demon Jr.) but because of Nigel's injury he had to pull out. Nigel comes out to explain that he won't be wrestling. Claudio is very upset by this, and turns on Nigel by attacking him. Brent Albright rushes down & the match turns into a three-way. It was ok, but incredibly short.

5.) Alex Kozlov vs. Roderick Strong: ***

Here we got another match that was short, but for what it was, it was pretty good. Not much else to say.

6.) ROH World Title - Four Corner Survival - Jerry Lynn vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Erick Stevens vs. D-Lo Brown: ***1/4

This was supposed to be a regular four-way but with the title change the night before, this is now a title match. It was another short match, but it was still a fun, energetic match that had the crowd into it.

7.) Tyler Black & KENTA vs. Austin Aries & Katsuhiko Nakajima: ****

This was a pretty good main event. Aries & Black are usually pretty good against each other, and KENTA & Nakajima are always great. Plus you got to see some unique match-ups like Aries/KENTA, Black?Nakajima, etc...

Overall: 7.5/10

Ring of Honor ends their regular-PPV era on somewhat of a mixed note, it was a slight step up from the Caged Collision PPV, but still probably one of the lesser PPV's of this era. There were still good matches on here though, and it was an entertaining show to watch.

ROH Supercard of Honor IV Review

The reign of Nigel McGuinness finally meets its end.

ROH Supercard of Honor IV
Houston, Texas 4/3/09


1.) Ernie Osiris vs. Grizzly Redwood: *

Ernie is still doing his homeless gimmick. It was ok....for a pre-show match.

Main Show

1.) Erick Stevens vs. Rhett Titus: **1/2

Here we got a rematch from Glory By Honor VII. It was a fine opener. 

2.) Chris Hero, Eddie Edwards & Incognito (with Shane Hagadorn) vs. Kevin Steen, Jay Briscoe & Magno: ***

Of course this is the infamous match from this weekend of shows where the top rope broke. Props to everyone involved for making the best of a bad situation. They still managed to pull off a good match despite the rope issues.

3.) Roderick Strong vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima: ***3/4

For the short amount of time these two were given (just shy of 10 Minutes) they were able to pull off a great match. Then again, these two are pretty good, so would you expect anything less?

4.) Bobby Dempsey vs. Kamala (with Shane Hagadorn & Kim Chee): Fun Segment

So basically Kamala answered an open contract to take out Bobby Dempsey. Dempsey however, reveals that he has Kamala's belly paint on his own belly, so Kamala doesn't attack. This leads to Hagadorn getting upset, and him getting beaten up by Kamala & Dempsey.

5.) Four Corner Survival - El Generico vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Blue Demon Jr. vs. Brent Albright: **3/4

This was a decent affair, but it felt like more of a mid-card filler than a good fatal four-way. Nice to see Blue Demon Jr. though.

6.) Bryan Danielson vs. Alex Kozlov: ***1/4

This was a decently good match but I feel like something was missing about this match. It had some fun moments but it just didn't seem to reach the level that I feel like some people were expecting.

7.) Colt Cabana vs. D-Lo Brown: *3/4

Eh....the match was just there. Seemed like they took WAAAY to long to get to the eventual finish.

8.) GHC Junior Heavyweight Title - KENTA vs. Davey Richards (with Eddie Edwards): ****3/4

These two competed in Tag Matches and once against each other (once) in 2006, but this is now nearly three years hence and Richards has improved immensely. WOW....this match was freaking AWESOME!!! If not for the Undertaker/HBK match, this one would have been the best of the whole weekend. If not for the botched-reverse GTS at the end (which was edited out to KENTA hitting Richards with the regular GTS which was about the third try after failing the reverse GTS twice), the match might have been *****

9.) Tyler Black & Necro Butcher vs. Austin Aries & Jimmy Jacobs: ***1/4

So after the amazing Richards/KENTA match, we get this one. This was a fun little brawl, pretty much what you would expect from a Necro Butcher match.

10.) ROH World Title - Nigel McGuinness vs. Jerry Lynn: ****

So Nigel has faced Lynn with the belt on the line before, but Lynn got another shot, and by this point all of Nigel's injuries have been adding up.  This actually exceed my expectation as far as the match was concerned. Lynn winning the title was a very pleasant surprise. Afterwords both Nigel & Lynn cut a promo, as one of the greatest ROH World Title reigns ever has come to an end.

Overall: 8.75/10

The World Title Match & KENTA/Richards match definitely lifted this show to a level of greatness. Since this was the first Supercard without the Dragon Gate Six-Man, they needed to do something to match those shows and they certainly did it with those matches. The rest of the card was fairly decent, with a lot of good undercard matches to compliment those two great matches.

Dragon Gate USA Way of the Ronin 2010 Review

Bryan Danielson comes to Milwaukee to fight Jon Moxley.

Dragon Gate USA Way Of The Ronin 2010
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 9/26/10


1.) Aeroform vs. Zero Gravity: **

First time I've seen Zero Gravity, but I've seen Aeroform before in Evolve. The match was ok. Both teams looked decent, but Aeroform still fails to fully impress me.

Main Show

1.) Warriors International Challenge – CIMA vs. Chuck Taylor: **3/4

This was good opener. Expected a little better from these two, but it was still a fine match.

After the match, Johnny Gargano comes out and gives Taylor props, and begs CIMA to let him be an American representative of Warriors International, but before he can get an answer Drake Younger comes out and we have the next match.

2.) Grudge Match – Drake Younger vs. Johnny Gargano: **3/4

This issue has been simmering for awhile between these two. Like the last match, it was good, but just that...good. Once again, his recent PWG matches have shown how much Younger has improved in two years....and how much weight he's lost.

3.) Six-Way Freestyle – Jimmy Jacobs vs. Brodie Lee vs. Mike Quackenbush vs. Rich Swann vs. Silas Young vs. Kyle O’Reilly: ***1/2

Here we got a very entertaining six way. Lots of fun to watch. Brodie Lee won, which continues his recent streak of dominance.

4.) Special Attraction Match – Dragon Kid vs. Arik Cannon: **3/4

Solid back & forth action in this one, but nothing really amazing. Arik Cannon is someone I'm still not sure of. He can have good matches, but then sometimes he has just ok matches, as was the case here.

5.) Special Challenge Match – Gran Akuma vs. Ricochet: *3/4

Eh....this match was ugly. There were some botched spots, it wasn't fluid....I think both guys were at fault here (maybe Ricochet more than Akuma). Definitely a step down for Ricochet after his star-making performance the night before.

6.) Exit The Dragon – Bryan Danielson vs. Jon Moxley: ****

Danielson promised this would be a fight and it definitely was. While it wasn't necessarily as good as the YAMATO, it was certainly a brutal affair. 

After the match Danielson goes to shake Moxley's hand, but is attacked from behind by Gran Akuma, another Kamikaze USA member. Jimmy Jacobs comes out for the save. Danielson thanks the fans for waiting through the issues with the ring arriving late and puts over Jimmy Jacobs.

7.) Dragon Gate Six Man – BxB Hulk, Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi vs. Shingo, YAMATO & Akira Tozawa: ****1/2

This was a great Dragon Gate Six-Man, with nonstop action that we have come to expect from Dragon Gate USA. What else can I say? These matches are usually awesome.

Overall: 8.75/10

While this wasn't necessarily as good as the show from the previous night, it's still a pretty good show. The two main events are worth seeing with the rest of the card being pretty good, led by a very good six-man scramble. If there's one thing I will say about these Dragon Gate USA/Evolve shows, it's that they go by really fast. They usually clock in under 3 Hours and sometimes just above 2. This makes them a really breeze to go through.

Dragon Gate USA Untouchable 2010 Review

Dragon Gate USA head to Chicago for a great night of Wrestling Action!!

Dragon Gate USA Untouchable 2010
Chicago, Illinois 9/25/10


1.) Arik Cannon vs. Kyle O’Reilly: ***1/4

For a bonus match, this was pretty. O'Reilly & Cannon put on a good match that was good enough to belong on the main show.

Main Show

1.) Three Way – BxB Hulk vs. Mike Quackenbush vs. Akira Tozawa: ***1/4

Hulk comes out & does his little dance pre-match but is low-blowed by his dancer, who is revealed to be in cahoots with Kamikaze USA, as Jon Moxley takes her away while Tozawa goes on the attack. Quackenbush comes out & gets this three way started. It was a pretty solid opener.

After the match Hulk says he will keep the belt and take out Kamikaze USA one-by-one.

2.) Brodie Lee vs. Da Soul Touchaz: DUD

Da Soul Touchaz come out and challenge any tag team to a match. Brodie Lee comes out, saying he doesn't need a tag team. He goes on to beat all members of Da Soul Touchaz in a squash. After the match, Lee say's he's coming for a "Japanese Man"

3.) Grudge Match – Dragon Kid vs. Shingo: ****

These two were tag team partners before Shingo turned on Dragon Kid to join Kamikaze USA. This was a very good match. The classic tale of strength vs. speed. These two put on a fantastic contest.

4.) Street Fight – Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jon Moxley: ***1/2

Jacobs comes out in his infamous blood soaked white jacket, and talked about the things he's done in Chicago. He then basically says he's going old school and reveals he's wearing his old furry boots and his "Husk" tights. The match itself was good but I think it fell just short of being great. Very violent though. YAMATO comes out to help his stablemate Moxley pick up the win, but not before Brodie Lee came down and ran YAMATO off.

5.) Four-Way Freestyle – Chuck Taylor vs. Drake Younger vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Rich Swann: ***1/4

This was a pretty fun match. I always enjoy these four-way matches. Younger didn't seem to add much to the match. The other three, however, looked pretty good. Taylor wins his second Four-Way in a row.

6.) Dragon Gate Style Tag Action – Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi vs. CIMA & Ricochet: ****1/4

So CIMA selected Ricochet as his partner tonight. This was a great match, with Ricochet scoring the winning fall over the veteran team in a huge upset with a move that involved multiple rotations. 

After the match, CIMA puts over Ricochet, making him an official member of Warriors International. Johnny Gargano comes out to put over Ricochet as well, sort of stealing Ricochet's spotlight.

7.) Main Event – Bryan Danielson vs. YAMATO: ****1/2

This match wasn't on the actual PPV, but was the main event of the evening and featured on the DVD. Danielson comes into this as the WWE United States Champion after beating The Miz the weekend before at Night of Champions. This weekend is Danielson's last on the independents. It was a really great match. What you would expect from Danielson.

After the match, Jon Moxley comes out, and he & YAMATO attack Danielson until BxB Hulk makes the save. Danielson cuts a promo, saying how he's a wrestler, not a superstar. He also says tomorrow night he is going to fight Jon Moxley.

Overall: 9.5/10

This was a very good show. The fact that the pre-show match was good enough to be on the main show is a very good sign. The Danielson match, Dragon Kid/Shingo & the Tag Team Match are all worth seeing, and everything else is just icing on the cake.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

ROH Steel City Clash Review

Ring of Honor makes it debut in the Steel City of Pittsburgh!!

ROH Steel City Clash
Elizabeth, Pennsylvania 3/20/09


1.) Shiima Xion vs. Brandon Morino: *1/2

A fine little match here. I think ROH missed a big opportunity with Xion.

2.) Grizzly Redwood & Alex Payne vs. Tony Kozina & Brandon Day: *

This match just served the purpose of having Bison Smith come out & destroy everyone. The Embassy beat up the jobbers until Bryan Danielson makes the save.

Main Show

1.) Delirious (with Daizee Haze) vs. Sterling James Keenan: **1/4

SJK is now Cory Graves on NXT. Amazing to see how much he changed his look from his 2005 appearances. The match itself was decent.

2.) Kenny King & Rhett Titus vs. Erick Stevens & Matt Cross: **1/2

So here we're getting a little Resilience reunion with Stevens & Cross. Before the match starts, Austin Aries comes out and apologizes for not being there for Cross & Stevens more often when The Resilience was around. He then apologizes for overestimating there talent, saying he's found real talent in the form of Kenny King & Rhett Titus, who jump the faces from behind. Roderick Strong comes out & chases Aries off. As for the match, it was a decent tag, though I felt like it could have been better.

3.) Bryan Danielson vs. Mike Quackenbush: ***1/2

These two had a match during Death Before Dishonor weekend in 2007. While I don't think this one was as good, it was still a very good match, both in terms of wrestling & storytelling.

4.) Three-Way Match - Jerry Lynn vs. Brent Albright vs. Claudio Castagnoli: ***1/4

Lynn is playing the third wheel in this match, as Albright & Claudio are involved in a feud. This was a solid three way. Pretty good.

5.) Falls Count Anywhere - Necro Butcher & Tyler Black vs. The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Brodie Lee): ***

This was an entertaining brawl. Certainly Necro was in his kind of match so you know it would be a good match. They brawled all over the building in a fun match.

6.) Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong: ****

These two have always had greta chemistry and they continue to do so here. Kenny King & Rhett Titus would end up costing Strong the win. Very fun match.

7.) KENTA & El Generico vs. Nigel McGuinness & Davey Richards (with Sara Del Rey & Shane Hagadorn): ***1/2

So KENTA is challenging for the World Title the next night while El Generico & Davey Richards will be in a World Tag Team Title Match, so that sets up this match. It wasn't as good as I though it would be. Davey & KENTA really stood out as the stars in this match, but I felt like it was missing something that would have made it truly great.

Overall: 7.5/10

While it seems average, this was very good for a debut show. ROH was able to accomplish it's goal of not having a single bad match, with the ones they had proving (for the most part) to be good to great. Danielson/Quackenbush, Aries/Strong & the Main Event are worth seeing.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

ROH Stylin' & Profilin' Review

Ring of Honor returns to the St. Louis Area as Ric Flair makes his first appearance for the company!!

ROH Stylin' & Profilin'
Collinsville, Illinois 3/13/09

1.) Roderick Strong vs. Jay Briscoe: ****

This has got to be one of the best, if not the best, ROH opening match ever. They packed a half hour's worth of wrestling into ten minutes, making for an awesome match. Roderick Strong & Jay Briscoe have great chemistry.

2.) SHIMMER Title - Mschif (with Delirious & Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Daizee Haze: **1/2

Jimmy Jacobs & Delirious accompany their fellow Age of the Fall member to the ring. This was fairly good for a women's match. Then again these two are some of the best out there so they usually put on good stuff.

Afterwords Jacobs warns Haze to stay away from Delirious or get stabbed by the spike.

3.) Four Corner Survival - Claudio Castagnoli vs. Austin Aries vs. Kenny Omega vs. Silas Young: ***

The antics of Aries & Castagnoli are pretty funny at the start. The match itself was pretty decent. Everyone got to hit their stuff and look good.

Out next is RIC FLAIR, who comes out to promote Ring of Honor, saying that the next Shawn Michaels could be in the ROH locker room. This brings out ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness. Nigel makes fun of Flair but Flair strikes back with some classic Ric Flair comebacks.

4.) Six Man Tag - Chris Hero & The American Wolves (with Larry Sweeney & Shane Hagadorn) vs. Bobby Dempsey, Kevin Steen & El Generico: ****

Would you ever believe that Bobby Dempsey would be in a **** match??? Well, he was. This turned out to be a pretty awesome match. Obviously the caliber of the other five guys involved made this match great, but Dempsey had some good stuff in here as well.

5.) Kenny King & Rhett Titus vs. Irish Airborne: **1/4

Nothing much to this one really. Just a match to build up King & Titus.

6.) Bryan Danielson vs. Bison Smith: **1/2

This was a decent match, though it felt weird ending by Count-Out especially since was building off the attack by Bison on Danielson at the last PPV. Though since it was a set up for bigger things in regards to the feud, I'm willing to let it slide.

7.) Tyler Black & Jerry Lynn vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Delirious: ***

The match itself was decent. Nothing out of the ordinary, pretty much what you would expect. But the events after the match are what's important here.

Jacobs once again blames Delirious for another loss (this time being this one). He pulls out his spike with the intention of showing Delirious tough love, but Daizee Haze comes out. Jacobs spikes Haze!! This causes Delirious to snap and lay out Jacobs with several Panic Attacks in the Corner!! After all this, Haze & Delirious embrace in a heartwarming moment. 

8.) ROH World Title - Nigel McGuinness vs. Brent Albright: ***

Ric Flair is at ringside to observe the title match. Claudio would eventually run down to cause a DQ, but Flair saves Albright from a Nigel/Claudio beat down. The finish (to the match) was stupid. They could have just had Claudio cost Albright the match, then do the beat down. The match itself was decent, but a little long. They could have taken some lessons from the opener and done a shorter match with more action involved.

Overall: 7.75/10

The first half of this show is really good, with two **** matches. The second have left a little to be desired as the World Title match was a disappointment. However, the appearance by Ric Flair and a major turning point in the Delirious/Daizee Haze/Age of the Fall storyline more than make up for it, leading to a pretty solid show.

Evolve 5: Danielson vs. Sawa Review

Bryan Danielson makes his last appearance for Evolve as he takes on Munenori Sawa!!

Evolve 5: Danielson vs. Sawa
Rahway, New Jersey 9/11/10

1.) Chuck Taylor vs. Mike Quackenbush: ***1/4

So apparently Taylor complained that he wasn't in the main event, so he got pushed down from the Semi-Main Event to the opening match. This actually turned out to be pretty great. A very technically sound match. It is odd that they would build up Taylor's undefeated record only to lose to Quack in the opening match, but again the match was still good.

2.) Up In Smoke vs. Aeroform: **3/4

These two met in tag action back at Evolve 2. This was a step up from that match. Things just seemed to come off better. Up In Smoke uses some less-than-noble tactics to win.

Afterwords they are questioned in regards to their tactics, but they say wins are wins.

3.) Jimmy Jacobs vs. Adam Cole: ***1/4

This one is build around the old "young up & comer vs. the veteran" story, and they did it pretty well. Both these guys seem to have good chemistry with one another.

After the match Jacobs says he just did something Johnny Gargano couldn't do...beat Adam Cole. Jacobs says he is now the guy to beat in Evolve.

4.) Sami Callihan vs. Drake Younger: ***

Rahway saw a bloody fight in this one. I'm not sure about Younger. One thing I will say...since 2010 he has definitely gotten better. Want proof?...see his PWG work.

Younger says after the match that he's shooting to become the Wins Leader in Evolve.

5.) Brad Allen vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Gran Akuma vs. Jon Moxley vs. Frightmare vs. Rich Swann: ***1/4

This was a very fun six man match. Very entertaining throughout.

After winning the match, Gargano says he is back on the winning track in Evolve and calls himself the baddest man on the planet. This brings out Homicide who flips off Gargano and tells him to get his ass out of his ring. He does, but Jon Moxley comes out. Homicide calls him one of the hottest guys in wrestling and tells Moxley he'll be keeping an eye on him. Moxley agrees with this. Homicide then says he plans to take over Evolve.

6.) WSU Word Title – Mercedes Martinez vs. Amazing Kong: **

I thought going into it that this would be good. It was going ok until Kong got DQ'ed for attacking the ref. Both Kong & Martinez brawl to the back.

7.) Kyle O’Reilly vs. Ricochet: ***1/2

These two put on a very solid match. Very entertaining stuff. It's nice to see the work of guys like O'Reilly, Ricochet, Cole, etc. before they broke out in there respective promotions. 

8.) The Main Event – Bryan Danielson vs. Munenori Sawa: ****1/4

This is Bryan Danielson's last match in Evolve. We got a very technical battle with lots of hard hitting strikes. Very good wrestling, as it shows why Danielson is one of the best.

They shake hands after the match. Danielson talks about how Evolve was his brainchild (he came up with the name). He thanks the fans for coming out & supporting him, and jokes about not playing the Final Countdown (in a funny way) before having it eventually play.

Overall: 8.25/10

This was another very good show from Evolve. I feel like this is a step up from Evolve 2 because on this show. every match seemed to be at least good with only one match that was a little below par (and that was a women's match). Everything is very enjoyable and easy to get invested in.

Evolve 2: Hero vs. Hidaka Review

Chris Hero & Ikuto Hidaka Main Event Evolve's Second Show!!

Evolve 2: Hero vs. Hidaka
Rahway, New Jersey 3/13/10

1.) Brad Allen vs. Chris Dickinson: **1/4

So Brad Allen is being built up as a big player in Evolve but is being looked down upon by veteran wrestlers like Chris Hero. Thus, Allen is trying to work his way up the ranks. Isn't Dickinson a student of Davey Richards? Anyway, the match was an ok opener. Allen makes it clear post-match that he's coming for Chris Hero.

2.) Gran Akuma vs. Brodie Lee: **

Eh...this match was short, but established Akuma as a threat, which is funny because you think they would establish Brodie Lee as a threat instead of losing to Akuma in 3 Minutes. Nothing the match was bad (it was good...for a 3 Minute Match) or that Gran Akuma sucks (he doesn't), I'm just pointing out a mismatch (in my opinion).

3.) Aeroform vs. Up In Smoke: **1/4

This was a fun little tag team match. I like Up In Smoke, but I'm not totally sold on Aeroform yet.

4.) Kenn Doane vs. Caleb Konley: *3/4

So this is Kenn Doane aka "Kenny" from the Spirit Squad. Why is he even here? Eh, this is skippable. 

Doane gets interviewed afterwords. I don't care...

5.) Kyle O’Reilly vs. Hallowicked: ***

TJ Perkins was originally scheduled to face O'Reilly but since Perkins is injured, Hallowicked is taking his place, pulling double duty in the process. This was a pretty decent match. Nothing overly exciting, but nonetheless solid.

6.) Ricochet vs. Chuck Taylor: ***1/2

So these two have had a history of great matches against each other and have wrestled each other numerous times. It definitely showed in this match, as it was pretty good. Not much else to say.

After the match, Chuck Taylor says he's going to keep his winning streak going.

7.) Claudio Castagnoli vs. Bobby Fish: ***1/2

Here we got another fine match. Never realized how good Bobby Fish really is. Now I appreciate him more. 

Afterwords Chuck Taylor challenges Claudio to a match at Evolve 3. Claudio accepts. 

Chris Dickinson comes out and apologizes to the ref for his action in the opening match (he got int the refs face). Some guys are in the crowd taunting Dickinson and Tony Kozina has to come out and restrain Dickinson. Don't know who these guys are that taunted Dickinson so I don't care.

8.) WSU World Title – Mercedes Martinez vs. Sumie Sakai: **

Not much here. Typical Indy Women's Match.

Martinez post-match asks for more competition.

9.) Jimmy Jacobs vs. Johnny Gargano: ***

This match was really enjoyable. It was short but it was a lot of fun.

10.) Four-Way Elimination Match – Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. The Colony vs. The Osirian Portal vs. Hallowicked & Frightmare: ***3/4

I was really excited about this match going into it (why wouldn't you be? It's a match with CHIKARA wrestlers). They did not disappoint. This was really fun. Exactly the kind of fast-paced action you would expect from these guys. Great Match

11.) Chris Hero vs. Ikuto Hidaka: ****

Claudio accompanies Hero while Brad Allen accompanies Hidaka. This was a great match and proved to be a quality main-event.

Overall: 8.0/10

This was my first taste of Evolve, and I gotta say I enjoyed what I saw. Though the first part of the card was a little lackluster (not saying certain matches were bad), everything from the O'Reilly match on was good to great, and really made for an enjoyable show. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ROH Caged Collision Review

The Good Guys FINALLY get Sweet 'n' Sour Inc. in Steel Cage Warfare!!

ROH Caged Collision
Chicago Ridge, Illinois 1/31/09


Rhett Titus vs. Grizzly Redwood: *1/2

Not much to this one. Pretty much what you would expect from a pre-show match.


1.) Three-Way Match - Kenny King vs. Alex Payne vs. Silas Young: *3/4

This three way really did nothing for me. Not very interesting.

2.) Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kevin Steen: **1/2

Steen makes fun of Claudio's old "Heeeeey" Chant as the match gets underway. It was a decent match. Larry Sweeney comes out during the match but El Generico runs him off.

3.) Age of the Fall (Brodie Lee & Delirious with Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Necro Butcher & Jerry Lynn: ***

This was a pretty good contest. I feel like without Jerry Lynn the match would have been just ok.

After the match, Jimmy Jacobs threatens to beat up Delirious after another defeat. This brings out Daizee Haze, but Jacobs shoves her. She pulls out the spike but Jacobs says she doesn't have it in her. She charges but Jacobs moves and she strikes Delirious by accident, causing her to freak out.

4.) #1 Contender's Match - Bryan Danielson vs. Tyler Black vs. Austin Aries vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ***3/4

This was originally supposed to be Danielson/Black vs. Aries/Jacobs, but Danielson says its sounds stupid that a tag match where the guys involved aren't going to get along will decide the #2 Contender for a singles title, so the match is changed into a four-way (much better idea). Match turned out to be pretty great. Bison Smith gets involved and costs Danielson the match. Black wins and get another title shot.

5.) ROH World Title - Nigel McGuinness vs. El Generico: ***1/2

El Generico is getting his third one-on-one title shot against Nigel McGuinness. I gotta say while this was not as good as their first match in Cleveland, it was definitely a step up from their second match in Philly.

After the match Black blocks McGuinness on his way out saying he can get his title shot anytime he wants. Jimmy Jacobs & Austin Aries then attack Black from behind & beat him up until Jerry Lynn makes the save. Nigel sneaks away during the chaos.

6.) Steel Cage Warfare - Brent Albright, Roderick Strong, Ace Steel, Erick Stevens & Jay Briscoe vs. The American Wolves, Tank Toland, Adam Pearce & Bobby Dempsey (with Larry Sweeney): ***1/2

I gotta say this was probably the most underwhelming of all the Steel Cage Warfares, but the story to this match (Sweet 'n' Sour Inc. finally get what's coming), to me, felt like it took precedent over the actual match. It was still fairly decent though. Jay was attacked by Sweet 'n' Sour as he made his way down, but came back later on to do a dive off the top of the cage. The rushed intervals and the fact that it was one fall to a finished (ala Lethal Lockdown) as opposed to the elimination style took away from it a bit. Still an enjoyable Cage Match though.

After the match Larry Sweeney berates Bobby Dempsey for the loss, but Bobby finally MANS UP and slaps Sweeney. The victorious face team, and Bobby Dempsey then all take turns beating up Larry Sweeney.

Overall: 7.25/10

While this probably ROH's worst regular (not internet) PPV, it's still not a terrible show either. Skip the opening match and everything is decent to good. This was more about the conclusion to the Sweet 'n' Sour Inc./Bobby Dempsey story anyway. If you are also into Steel Cage matches, then I'd pick this up.

ROH Full Circle Review

Ring of Honor heads to Manassas, Virginia to kick off 2009!

ROH Full Circle
Manassas, Virginia 1/16/09

1.) Brent Albright & Erick Stevens vs. Damien Wayne & Chris Escobar: **

This was ok, but it was nothing more than an extended squash for Albright & Stevens.

2.) Rhett Titus vs. Sean Denny: *1/2

The match goes on for just over 6 minutes until Bison Smith makes his ROH Debut and kills both guys. This match really had no purpose other than Smith's debut.

3.) Necro Butcher vs. Delirious (with Jimmy Jacobs): **3/4

Here we got a fun little match, pretty much what you would expect from these two. Delirious was going to use the Spike but Daizee Haze comes out and convinces Delirious to give it to her, which ends up costing Delirious the match.

Afterwords Jimmy Jacobs berates Delirious once again for being distracted by a woman.

4.) The American Wolves (with Larry Sweeney) vs. Roderick Strong & Jay Briscoe: ***

Although it could have been a little better, given the guys involved, they were able to put on a solid tag team match. Really can't go wrong with these four.

5.) Jerry Lynn vs. Austin Aries: ***1/4

I think Aries using "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" by Weezer was great. Totally appropriate. I'm also a huge fan of his "Greatest Man That Ever Lived" character, and it's cool to see the first show with him as that character. The match itself was fine.

6.) Bryan Danielson vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ***3/4

These two met in late 2007 in a match that saw Jacobs make Danielson submit to the End Time. They had a great match here as well, with Jacobs proving the first win wasn't a fluke by winning again against American Dragon.

7.) Non-Title: Nigel McGuinness vs. Tyler Black: ****

Since Black lost to Aries in a #1 Contender's Match at Final Battle 2008, this one is Non-Title. It was a really great main event. Not necessarily on the level of their Take No Prisoners match, but still a great contest. Tyler Black picks up the win, and cements his spot as a future contender

Overall: 7.0/10

Honestly, the two main event matches saved this show from being sub-par. Regardless of that fact, the show was still fairly decent. The two main events are more than enough reason to see this show. While it's not a must see, it was definitely a good start to 2009 for ROH.

Monday, December 24, 2012

ROH Final Battle 2008 Review

Ring of Honor looks to close out 2008 with a bang!!

*This was downloaded off of the old website*

ROH Final Battle 2008
New York, New York 12/27/08

1.) Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kenny Omega: **1/2

This was a very solid opening match and the upset result was a nice way to start the show.

2.) Four Corner Survival - Chris Hero (with Larry Sweeney & Sara Del Rey) vs. Necro Butcher vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Rhett Titus: ***

These four are here pretty much because they have nothing else better to do, but the match itself was actually pretty good. The Four Corner Survival entertains, as expected.

Jimmy Jacobs comes out afterwords and accuses Necro of selling out & getting soft. Since he's already out there, we get...

3.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - Kevin Steen & El Generico (with Daizee Haze) vs. The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Delirious): ***

Definitely a step up from their match in Dayton. Daizee Haze comes out to ringside, which distracts Delirious, again leading to Steenerico picking up the win.

Jacobs berates Delirious after the loss.

4.) Six-Man Street Fight - Brent Albright, Roderick Strong & Erick Stevens vs. Go Shiozaki & The American Wolves (with Larry Sweeney): ***1/2

This turned out to be a pretty good Street Fight. Lots of fun spots and hard hits. Definitely got better as the match progressed.

5.) The Briscoe Bros. vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima: ***1/2

The Briscoes won the right to face these two at the recent St. Louis show. It was pretty good. Nakajima seemed to carry the load for his team, but it still lead to a good match.

After the match, The American Wolves hit the ring. They chain Jay Briscoe to the bottom rope and attack Mark Briscoe's already injured knee with a chair. Steen & Generico come out to make the save, with Albright, Stevens & Strong also running down. Albright tells ROH Owner Cary Silkin that this is going to keep happening unless Sweet 'n' Sour Inc. was stopped, and calls for a Steel Cage Warfare Match. Cary agrees.

6.) #1 Contender's Match - Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black: ****

Although this was roughly the same as their St. Louis match (Wrestling Wise) this had more of a big match feel since it was a #1 Contender's Match. Aries seemed to be getting more & more frustrated as the match progressed. Jimmy Jacobs comes down to ringside towards the end of the match as Aries picks up the win.

Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black then have the classic Anakin/Obi Wan Chosen One shtick from Episode III. He beats down Black until Aries comes down for the apparent save. Instead, Aries attacks Black and joins his yearlong rival Jimmy Jacobs in the beat down.

7.) ROH World Title - Nigel McGuinness vs. Naomichi Marufuji: ***3/4

This was another very good World Title Match. You always know when Marufuji shows up in ROH, he will always put on a good match, but he wasn't going to win the title tonight.

8.) Fight Without Honor - Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson: ****1/2

Here it is. The conclusion to rivalry that's been going on since Mid-2007. These two fought in a brutal Fight Without Honor, probably one of the best out there. Just absolutely vicious & brutal stuff in this one. It's a must see.

Overall: 9.25/10

When your thinking about which Final Battle's were the best, this one is definitely up there. Pretty much every match on here delivers as expected, leading to a great show. It was also good to see a lot of storyline progressions on this show, definitely setting things up for the future. The last three matches are must see in my opinion, and everything else just adds to it.