ROH Eye of the Storm II
Manassas, Virginia 12/18/09
1.) The Set vs. Adam Pearce & Matt Classic: **
The Set is a local duo (I believe) and Matt Classic is of course (SPOILER ALERT!!) a masked Colt Cabana. This was entertaining. I only wish Matt Classic appeared more often, not necessarily as a regular, but at least making special appearances here & there.
2.) Grizzly Redwood vs. Sonjay Dutt: **
Dutt is kind of iffy on me. Sometimes he does good things, but other times it can be incredibly boring. This was one of those instances where he was boring. It was ok.
3.) Pick 6 Series - Kenny Omega (6) vs. Rhett Titus: **3/4
This was decent, but I felt like the match went a little too long for my taste.
4.) Erick Stevens & Bison Smith vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico: ***
I was actually very looking forward to seeing this match as it was a unique one. It was pretty decent. I like the idea of a Stevens/Smith tandem. The Steen knee injury storyline was played up here in a good way as well.
5.) Pick 6 Series - Colt Cabana vs. Chris Hero (3): ***
Hm....these two seem to always have good encounters with one another, but nothing overly good. This was one of those instances. A good match, but just that.
6.) Austin Aries & Kenny King vs. The Young Bucks: ***1/2
Austin Aries, as always, cuts an awesome promo before the match, making fun of the Bucks' gear & tassels. He & King reveal matching attire of their own, and Aries puts down Manassas. The match itself was actually pretty good. "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" character Aries does is one of the best in wrestling.
7.) Pick 6 Series - Roderick Strong (4) vs. Tyler Black (5): ****
These two were of course involved in a controversial ending at Survival of the Fittest 2009 and went to a 20-Minute Time Limit Draw at The Omega Effect. This was VERY good. These two seemed to put on just really good stuff here in the latter part of 2009. The series of matches involving these two would of course be a prelude for the stuff that would to come in 2010.
8.) Rocky Romero & The Briscoes vs. Alex Kozlov & The American Wolves: ****
So we've got an interesting tag team match here as this is the second time The American Wolves have teamed with a foreigner (Sylvain Grenier at The Hunt Begins). Plus we got former No Remorse Corps members (Richards & Romero) on opposite sides. This is also the first match back for Eddie Edwards since Ladder War II, now fully healed from his arm injury. A very good main event here. All six guys beat the crap out of each other...pretty much what you would expect.
While the first part of the card was rather lackluster, the second half (from the Embassy/Steenerico match onward) was pretty good, with the last three matches being especially good.
ROH Final Battle 2009
New York, New York 12/19/09
This show is the first ever ROH Internet Pay-Per-View.
1.) Pick 6 Series Four Corner Survival - Kenny Omega (6) vs. Rhett Titus vs. Claudio Castagnoli (4) vs. Colt Cabana: **3/4
A solid opener to kick off Final Battle. All four guys looked fine. The right (Claudio) won so no complaints here.
2.) Delirious & Bobby Dempsey vs. Bison Smith & Erick Stevens (with Prince Nana & Ernesto Osiris: **
So as I'm sure you guessed by the title of the Manassas Show the night before, there was snowstorm. This prevented Necro Butcher from getting to the show in time to partner with Delirious. It starts out 2 on 1 but Pelle Primeau comes out early on and is able to hit Stevens with some moves but get MURDERED by Bison Smith. This leads to Bobby Dempsey (.....seriously?) coming out to fight alongside Delirious. The match ended up being ok. Nothing to write home about.
3.) Fight Without Honor - Chris Hero vs. Eddie Kingston: ***1/2
These two went out there and literally tore each other apart. This included a particular spot that is just plain SICK!!! Definitely one of the more brutal (as far as stiffness, hard shots, stuff like that) I've ever seen in a Fight Without Honor. Good Stuff.
4.) Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The Young Bucks: ****1/4
The Bucks suffered losses to Steenerico at Contention and Aries vs. Richards and have stated they will leave ROH if they do not win this match. VERY good stuff here. This was one of the best tag team matches from ROH in 2009. The finish was really good as well.
Of course, afterwords, you got that famous promo where Kevin Steen looks like he's going to announce retirement/leave wrestling via knee injury, only to utter those famous words and kick El Generico in the balls....followed by an INSANELY SICK chair shot. You know the rest.....everyone has seen this promo. One of the most important moments in ROH history.
5.) Pick 6 Series - Roderick Strong (4) vs. Kenny King: **3/4
This match was going fine until Strong (unusually) botches a move towards the end. Still fine for what it was.
6.) Rocky Romero vs. Alex Kozlov: **3/4
So originally these two were supposed to face Jack Evans & Teddy Hart but they got delayed by the snowstorm as well and could not make it in time, so we got this match. Another decent match. These guys made the best of a bad situation.
7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - American Wolves with Shane Hagadorn vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe: ***1/2
This was a match that I expected to be really good but for some reason they didn't deliver the awesomeness like I was expected. It was still pretty good, but not great.
After the match, Claudio Castagnoli comes out to distract the Briscoes, which allows Chris Hero to come through the crowd. They lay out the new champs! Kings of Wrestling are back!!
Jack Evans & Teddy Hart show up (finally) and decide to have a match between themselves right now. Since it wasn't a scheduled match, Julius Smokes takes on officiating duties...
8.) Jack Evans vs. Teddy Hart: DUD
Less of a match....more of an extended spotfest showcase. It was....ok. Some people will not like this though...
Before the World Title Match, Aries buries the previous match and disses Tyler Black.
9.) ROH World Title - Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black: ***1/2
This was a controversial World Title Match....to say the least. Some people liked it, but most people didn't. It had some good things, like some of the in-ring action, and the great storytelling between Aries & Black. However.....the match went WAAAY to long, mainly because of the stalling by Aries via the count out. The match ended in a 1-Hour Time Limit Draw, which hurt it. Plus...Tyler Black NEEDED to win the World Title here. Probably the most prominent instance of ROH seeming waiting too late to get guys going in recent years. Black should have definitely won the belt here. They could have also accomplished this in a shorter amount of time.
This was a very odd show. You did have two throw-aways (both of which were because of weather-related issues) which was passable. The majority of the undercard was fine, with Kingston & Hero putting on a brutally good Fight Without Honor and a great tag team encounter between Steenerico & The Young Bucks, with the aftermath being a key moment in the ENTIRE history of the company. The World Tag Team Title Match was good but underperformed (the KOW return was the silver lining) and The World Title, depending on who you ask, was booked completely wrong (I see the match booking itself as more strange than wrong). However, I will say the wrong guy went over. Black FINALLY winning the belt would have ended 2009 on a high note and sent the fans home happy. They instead sent the fans home frustrated and ended it on a sour note. There is still some good stuff on this show though that make it redeemable. One of the more underwhelming Final Battles.
I'd give this a high overall just because you're getting two shows for the price of one. The Manassas Show has a serious of great matches on it, and despite it being lackluster, Final Battle does have some must see stuff on it as well.