wrestling / Video Reviews

100 Percent Fordified: Ring of Honor Tyler Black – God’s Last Gift

February 1, 2013 | Posted by Kevin Ford

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Disc One

At the “Man Up!” PPV, after The Briscoes defeated Kevin Steen and El Generico in the first ever Ladder War (featured on Steen’s DVD), a new faction known as the Age of the Fall (consisting of Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black, The Necro Butcher, and Lacey) debuted and attacked the Briscoes. They hung up Jay upside down from the ceiling, causing blood from Jay’s head to rain down and cover Jimmy Jacobs. This would be the start of a year long feud between the two teams.

Tyler Black and Jack Evans were scheduled for a singles match. Black attacked Evans from behind. Evans was able to get control but, The Necro Butcher throws a chair at Evans and Jacobs attacks him. The Irish Airborne come in with chairs to even the odds. The Airborne challenges them to a six man tag. Evans dives onto them to kick the match off.

The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black & Necro Butcher) vs. Jack Evans & Irish Aiborne (Jake & Dave Crist)
“Man Up!” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 9.16.2007

The Airborne double team Black to start. Butcher comes in and pitches Jake out. Black dives out onto him and Butcher gives Dave a chair assisted slam. Butcher takes Evans into the crowd and throws a series of chairs onto him. Jacobs and Black beat down the Airborne ringside in the mean time. Evans fights back and does a Swanton off of some audio equipment. Jacobs stomps Dave in the ring as he hangs in a tree of woe. Two chairs are set up in the ring. Evans tornado kicks Butcher ringside. Jacobs charges with a chair to Dave’s head. Evans misses a dive and hits a chair in the corner of the barricades. He does however get Butcher set up on chairs in the ring. Butcher however gets up and gives Evans a back breaker from the second rope across the chairs. Jacobs puts Dave in the End Time while Black gives Jake God’s Last Gift. Black punches referee Paul Turner. For some reason he calls the result of this match a No Contest instead of a disqualification at 6:49. That was chaotic fun and showed us what the Age of Fall is all about. Even if it didn’t showcase Black as much as it did Necro, it was still a fun, effective debut. **1/2

The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black) vs. The Vulture Squad (Jack Evans & Ruckus)
“Undeniable” – Edison, NJ – 10.6.2007

Jigsaw and Necro Butcher brawl to the back. Ruckus sends Jacobs out with a headscissors. Black enzuigiri’s him from the apron, sending him out. Black dives onto Evans and Ruckus with a Fosberry Flop. Jacobs and Black isolate Ruckus back in the ring. Ruckus gives Black a neckbreaker so he can finally tag out. Evans kicks down Jacobs. He dropkicks Black and into a moonsault on Jacobs. He knee strikes Black in the back of the head. Jacobs spears him. Ruckus hits a back handspring kick and the Razzle Dazzle. Black stops his rolling kick. He drops him across the top rope and boots him in the side of the head. Jacobs pescado’s onto Ruckus through a chair. Evans dives out looking for a huracanrana. Black catches him and powerbombs him into the barricades. In the ring, Jacobs sentons onto Evans while Black has him in a torture rack. He then kicks Evans into an F5. He puts on the End Time, forcing Evans to tap at 5:34. That was a white hot, action packed opener. ROH always attempted to put their best foot forward with their PPV’s and there was no better way to kick off the show than this. **3/4

Tyler Black vs. Austin Aries
“Unscripted III” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 12.1.2007

Black pummels Aries in the corner. Aries rolls out of the opposite corner and delivers a back elbow. He holds onto the arm after a pair of Japanese armdrags. Black foolishly puts on a headscissors which Aries of course turns into his own dropkick. Black slams Aries onto the ring apron. Aries avoids a dropkick back in the ring. He sends Black to the floor and hits the Heat-Seeking Missile. He gets two with a DDT back in the ring. Lacey distracts Aries as he heads to the top rope. Black dropkicks him to the floor. He does some damage on the floor before bringing Aries back in. Black gives him a backbreaker for two. He goes for a springboard lariat. Aries ducks and delivers a clothesline. Aries gives him the Stroke and a Pendulum elbow. He clotheslines Black back to the floor and follows with a corkscrew pescado. In the ring Black blocks the IED with his own boot. Aries ducks a clothesline. He hits the IED for two. He goes for the brainbuster. Black counters with a backslide and kicks Aries in the side of the head. A strike exchange ends with Black hitting an enzuigiri. Aries punts him in the head right after. A brainbuster and 450 splash give Aries the win at 14:32. This was Black’s first real chance to shine as a singles competitor. He was able to match up with the former World champion and looked competent even in a loss. ***

“Final Battle 2007” saw The Age of the Fall take their first step towards domination as they defeated The Briscoes for the ROH World Tag Team titles. This would be Jacobs’ third reign as tag team champion (twice before with BJ Whitmer) and Tyler Black’s first ROH title victory. We see clips of the match here, though it is featured in full on Jimmy Jacobs’ compilation.

ROH World Tag Team Championship – Ultimate Endurance
The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black) (Champions) vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. The Vulture Squad (Jack Evans & Jigsaw) vs. The Hangmen 3 (BJ Whitmer & Brent Albright)

“Proving Ground” – Boston, MA – 1.11.2008

The first fall is under Scramble Rules meaning no tags are necessary. The Briscoes jump the Age of the Fall in the aisle. The Hangmen 3 beat down the Vulture Squad in opposite corners. Whitmer dives onto Mark and Black while Albright dives onto Jay and Jacobs. Jigsaw and Evans then dive out. Lacey and Mercedes Martinez fight to the back for no real reason. Evans does a moonsault onto Jacobs across Jigsaw’s knees. The Squad rule the ring by taking out Jay Briscoe and Whitmer. Black sends Jigsaw to the floor. He and Jacobs floor Evans with double shoulder tackles from the second rope. The Briscoes toss Jacobs into the air and double hip toss Black out of the corner. Albright and Whitmer take out the Briscoes. Black springboard dropkicks the Hangmen 3 out. A string of moves are delivered, ending with Mark giving Evans a Doomsday Device which he turns into a reverse spike huracanrana on Whitmer. Albright gives Jigsaw a half-nelson suplex to eliminate the Vulture Squad at 5:31. The second fall is under No Disqualification rules. The Hangmen 3 beat down Jay as the Age of the Fall takes care of Mark. Whitmer and Jacobs end up standing off each with spikes in their hands. They decide to go back to the Briscoes before renewing their rivalry. Both Briscoes become busted open by the spikes and Jacobs’ cane. Whitmer ends the truce with an exploder suplex to Black. Albright and Jacobs are sent out, leaving the Briscoes to pummel Whitmer. Jay throws some chairs into the ring while Mark gets out a ladder. Jay gives Whitmer a Jay Driller. The Age of the Fall are fighting Albright on the floor. Mark does a big splash off the ladder from outside of the ring onto Whitmer for the pin and elimination at 12:06. The third and final fall is a regular match for the ROH World Tag Team championship. Mark is sent to the floor. Jay has to fend for himself against both Black and Jacobs. Jay sends Jacobs into the middle turnbuckle with a Complete Shot. Mark gives Black an Ace Crusher off of the second rope. Jacobs gives Mark a spear. Jay blocks the Contra Code with a Falcon Arrow for two. Black saves Jacobs from a Cut-Throat Driver. He tosses Jay into Jacobs’ End Time submission. Jay drives Jacobs into Jacobs and nails a lariat. Mark suplexes Black on the floor. The Briscoes hit Jacobs with the Doomsday Device. Black breaks the cover. He enzuigiri’s Mark to the floor and tope con hilo’s after him. Jay goes for the Jay Driller on Jacobs. He counters with the Contra Code. Black then hits the Phoenix Splash for the pin at 19:11. That was pretty clever to have the Age of the Fall retain against the Briscoes in the same manner they defeated the Briscoes for the belts. There was a lot of good action in the first two falls, but things slowed down pretty significantly when it got to the final two teams. It was a good first defense for Jacobs and Black but them not winning either of the other two falls was a puzzling choice. ***1/2

Tyler Black vs. Bryan Danielson
“Breakout” – Dayton, OH – 1.25.2008

Danielson tries grounding Black in a waistlock but he is able to break it. He pie faces Danielson after blocking a hip toss. After avoiding Danielson on the mat again Black slaps him in the face. Danielson gets payback by breaking out of a wristlock and slapping Black silly in the corner. He blocks Black’s leapfrog by grabbing his leg in mid-air. He locks up Black’s knees and grabs at his face. Danielson locks in the Romero Special, transitioning into a Dragon sleeper. He gets two with a slingshot suplex. Black shoves Danielson to the floor and throws him into the barricades. After a suplex on the floor he does a moonsault off the barricades. In the ring he dropkicks Danielson in the corner for two. He also gets two with a knee drop and a legdrop. Danielson comes back with an uppercut. He knees Black in the stomach. Black gives him a chinbreaker. Danielson runs over the ropes and elbows him in the face. He missile dropkicks Black to the floor. A suicide dive follows. Danielson wants to suplex him back into the ring but Black ends up suplexing him to the floor. He then Fosberry Flops after him. In the ring Black hits the Wall of Death (a pop-up chest kick) for two. Danielson delivers a chest kick out of the corner. He kicks Black’s chest in before covering him for two. A series of nearfalls leads to stereo crossbody’s knocking both guys down. They trade forearms when they get back up. Black blocks a full nelson with a roll-up. Danielson ducks a clothesline and puts on Cattle Mutilation. Black escapes, so he gives him a belly-to-back superplex. Danielson drives his elbow into the side of Black’s head repeatedly. When Black kicks out, he reapplies Cattle Mutilation. He then goes for a Tiger suplex. Black lands on his feet and nails an enzuigiri. He hits Paroxysm for two. He hits the Phoenix Splash for two. Danielson rolls him up right after kicking out and gets the pin at 23:22. That certainly was Black’s break out moment, as the show title suggests. He went from being Jacobs’ partner and henchman to a singles star in one match. That’s the great thing about having a guy like Bryan Danielson in your company; even if you’re able to almost beat him, you come out looking great in the end. The finish I thought was a little silly but it accomplished the goal that both participants set out to achieve. ***3/4

ROH World Championship
Nigel McGuinness (Champion) vs. Tyler Black

“Take No Prisoners” – Philadelphia, PA – 3.16.2008

Black earned this shot by defeating Delirious, Go Shiozaki, and Claudio Castagnoli in a four corner survival match earlier tonight. McGuinness starts off by throwing Black’s shoulder into the ring post. He throws Black shoulder first to the canvas as well. He puts on a chinlock in the ropes. McGuinness throws him down by the arm again while antagonizing a fan. Black hops over McGuinness in the corner. He delivers a backdrop and a suplex. Black stomps on McGuinness’ face. McGuinness stomps on the back of his head. When Black begins throwing chops, McGuinness arm whips him back to the mat. Black gets two with a dropkick. McGuinness brings Black to the floor and whips him into the barricades. He uppercuts him into the barricades too. McGuinness picks up a chair but Black superkicks him into the crowd before he can use it. Black dives into the crowd where McGuinness catches him with a chair shot. Black manages to crawl his way back in looking totally defeated. McGuinness goes for the quick pin and Black kicks out. Black ducks a lariat and schoolboys McGuinness for two. McGuinness hits a running uppercut in the corner and lariats Black as he comes out of the corner. Black kicks out. He puts on the London Dungeon. Black gets his foot on the bottom rope to break it. Black comes off the top with a Diamond Dust. McGuinness goes for the Jawbreaker Lariat and Black blocks it with a running boot. Black ducks a lariat and kicks McGuinness in the back of the head. He hits Paroxysm for two. Black misses a corner attack. McGuinness kicks him in the back and grounds him with a lariat. McGuinness can’t believe it only gets him a two count. Black strings together a superplex and an F5 for two. The crowd loses it. McGuinness stops Black for hitting a Phoenix Splash. He gives Black the Tower of London for two. Black counters a lariat with God’s Last Gift. The fans again go wild when McGuinness kicks out. He misses the Phoenix Splash. McGuinness put him in the London Dungeon. Black turns that into a cradle and gets a two count. McGuinness lariats Black off the top rope. He kicks out again. Black spits his gum in McGuinness’ face. McGuinness turns him into a lariat. Black kicks out again. Black kicks McGuinness. McGuinness uses the momentum to hit the Jawbreaker Lariat. Black, amazingly, kicks out again. McGuinness lariats Black and puts the London Dungeon back on. Black finally taps out at 21:22

The one thing I love about the ROH main eventers is they pay it forward. Danielson put over McGuinness to elevate him to the next level and that’s exactly what McGuinness did here for Black. This was the moment where Black guaranteed his spot as a future World champion. This was truly incredible. ****1/4

Relaxed Rules
The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black) vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe)

“Supercard of Honor III” – Orlando, FL – 3.29.2008

All four guys brawl with one another. Mark lands a crossbody onto Black. The Briscoes double shoulder tackle Jacobs. Jay boots him to the floor and follows with a pescado. Mark moonsaults to the floor onto Black. Jay tosses the Age of the Fall into the crowd. Mark uses a trampoline to launch himself onto them. The fight spills out further in the crowd with chairs being used to throw and toss people into. Jacobs slides onto a production box into Jay’s mid-section. Mark gives Black a chair assisted moonsault. Jay boots Jacobs in the head when he tries using the box again. The Briscoes use chairs once again to take control. Jacobs throws a trashcan at Jay near one of the exits. Jacobs charges at Mark with a chair and gets backdropped into many chairs. He then gets double hip tossed into the chairs. Jay and Black fight on the floor as Mark and Jacobs make their way up above the exit. Jay places Black onto the table, but Milo Beasley (an Age of the Fall supporter) shoves him off. Jay puts him on the table and Mark does a Superfly Splash through the table! Jay brings Black back to the ring and calls for the Jay Driller. Jacobs tries suffocating him with a plastic bag and throws punches at him to stop it. The Age of the Fall delivers stereo dropkicks to Jay in the corner. Black hits Paroxysm. Jacobs comes off the top rope with a senton splash. Jay kicks out of it. Jay sends Jacobs into the middle turnbuckle with a Complete Shot. He superkicks and big boots Black. He gets two with a Falcon Arrow on Jacobs. He gets two on Black with a Death Valley Driver. Jacobs low blows him to stop a Jay Driller on Black. A Doomsday Contra Code only gets a two count. Mark reemerges and shoves Black off the top rope to stop his Phoenix Splash. The Briscoes give Jacobs the Doomsday Device, but Jacobs reverses it mid move and locks on the End Time! Jay taps out at 15:06. That finish was amazing and really surprising. This is one of the most fun tag team brawls I’ve ever seen. They went full throttle from out of the gate, had the fans going bonkers for everything, and threw in a lot of creative spots. Such a gem on one of the best ROH shows ever. ***3/4

Tyler Black vs. Bryan Danielson
“Southern Navigation” – Manassas, VA – 5.9.2008

It seems like they’re about to engage in a double knuckle lock when Black takes Danielson to the corner. He throws a few shots before slamming him to the floor. He sends Danielson shoulder first into the barricades. He presses his head against the ring post with his knee. Danielson fires back with some uppercuts. Black cuts him off with a dropkick. He stomps on Danielson’s face. Black tries for the Romero Special. When he can’t get it, he drops an elbow on Danielson’s lower back. Danielson comes out of the corner with a chest kick. He drives Black’s knees into the canvas. He then puts on the Romero Special, transitioning into the Dragon Sleeper and then the Cattle Mutilation. Black makes it to the ropes immediately. Danielson brings Black down in the corner with repeated punches to the mid-section. He puts on a Bow and Arrow. When he turns it into a half crab Black grabs the ropes. He puts on a Stretch Plum. He gets a two count upon release. A waistlock exchange sees Black back suplex Danielson to the floor. Black tope con hilo’s onto him. Black misses a springboard clothesline but does connect with a spinwheel kick. He enzuigiri’s Danielson from the apron and hits the springboard clothesline for two. Black goes for a springboard and gets shoved to the floor. Danielson suicide dives after him with his momentum carrying him into the crowd. He missile dropkicks Black back in the ring. Danielson kicks him in the stomach and the side of the head for two. He locks on Cattle Mutilation. Black rolls up to their feet and blocks the Chicken Wing. He flips out of a German suplex Danielson rolls through a huracanrana for two. Black rolls him into a head kick. He powerbombs Danielson into the corner after a forearm exchange. Danielson crotches him on the top rope. Black fights him off but misses the Phoenix Splash. Danielson brings him down and puts on Cattle Mutilation. He then drives his elbow into the side of Black’s head repeatedly. Black frees himself. He goes for an enzuigiri. Danielson catches his leg and puts on a heel hook. When Black tries to kick him away, Danielson grabs that leg and puts on a heel hook. Black taps out at 20:11. I actually liked this more than their first bout. Black showed a lot of growth from the first match, wisely going after Danielson at the get go rather than screwing around. They scouted each others’ moves and had a very hot crowd by the end. I think this gets the least love from their first three matches and it certainly deserves just as much. Granted, you could argue this wouldn’t be as good without the initial encounter, but I’m sticking to my guns. ****

ROH World Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals
The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

“Up For Grabs” – Hartford, CT – 6.6.2008

Both teams throw flurries of punches at each other. They go to the floor where Black backdrops Generico onto a chair and Jaocbs does damage to Steen’s knee. Black powerbombs Generico into the barricades. Steen powerbombs him onto the ring apron. In the ring he gives Jacobs a pump-handle neckbreaker across his knee for two. Generico comes in with a splash. Jacobs grabs his shoulder and brings him to the corner. The Age of the Fall work over Generico’s shoulder, to the point where Black throws him off the apron and shoulder first into the barricades. Officials and staff check on Generico and decide to bring him backstage. This leaves Steen to be picked apart by Black and Jacobs, specifically his knee. Jacobs mocks Steen on the microphone at one point telling him to “do it for his friend.” Steen powerbombs them both. He limps up the ropes. Black gets his knees up to block a Swanton Bomb. The Age of the Fall once again beat him down. Steen slides out of their torture rack/senton combo. His knee is too weak for the Package Piledriver. Black hits God’s Last Gift for two. Age of the Fall sets up for a Doomsday Shiranui when Generico comes in and yakuza kicks them both! He Asai moonsaults after Black. He yakuza kicks Jacobs into Steen’s Package Piledriver. Generico then goes for a brainbuster. Black comes in and rolls up Generico instead and gets the pin at 16:51. This really should have been when Generico and Steen won the tag team titles. The fans poured their emotions into both of them and were absolutely begging for it. That finish did no favors to either team, making it seem like the Age of the Fall had to sneak in through the back door to win the titles rather than truly earn them. The drama was good but it ended up being all for naught. The wrestling was good, even when you consider how short sided it is. The rematch at “Driven 2008” is worlds better. ***1/4

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black) (Champions) vs. Bryan Danielson & Austin Aries

“Respect Is Earned II” – Philadelphia, PA – 6.7.2008

Aries and Jacobs fight on the floor. Danielson ends up being thrown out there and Black follows with a tope con hilo. Aries and Jacobs each hit one another with chairs back in the ring, resulting in a double DQ at 0:52. Black and Danielson calm down their respective partners and Paul Turner agrees to re-start the match.

Danielson gets the better of Black in the corner. He locks Black’s leg and grabs his face. Danielson then stretches out and stomps on Black’s right shoulder and elbow. Black flips out of a suplex and boots Danielson in the face. Jacobs knocks Aries off the apron. Danielson German suplexes him for two. He misses a diving headbutt. Jacobs knocks Aries off the apron again. Black hangs Danielson in a tree of woe so he and Jacobs can deliver stereo dropkicks. The Fall does some damage and goes for a Doomsday Shiranui. Aries hits Black with the IED to stop that. He stomps Black chest repeatedly. Aries gets shoved off the top rope and Danielson gets speared, allowing the Age of the Fall to maintain control for a little while longer. That is until Danielson dropkicks Black out of mid-air. Aries tags in and throws a barrage of fists and slaps at Jacobs. Jacobs pokes him in the eyes to stop the onslaught. Aries responds with a missile dropkick and the IED. Black pulls him out of the corner. Aries pulls him up to take a spear from Jacobs. Aries delivers a brainbuster to Jacobs and then locks on the Last Chancery. Black dropkicks Aries to save his partner. Jacobs sentons Aries while he is on Black’s shoulders. He kicks Aries off of them and locks on the End Time. Danielson drops a knee to save Aries. He Tiger suplexes Jacobs and drives his elbow in the side of his head. Jacobs hits the Contra Code for two. Black goes for God’s Last Gift. Danielson counters into a Triangle Choke. Aries blocks Jacobs’ spear with the Last Chancery. Jacobs escapes the hold and back sentons Danielson to free his partner. Aries sends him to the floor and hits the Heat-Seeking Missile. Aries and Jacobs fight backstage. Meanwhile Black gives Danielson a neckbreaker. Danielson crotches him to block the Phoenix Splash. He superplexes him for two. He drives his elbow into Black’s head before applying Cattle Mutilation. Black gets his foot on the bottom rope. Danielson twists up Black’s arm. Black rolls him into a kick to the head and hits God’s Last Gift for two. He gives Danielson a second God’s Last Gift before hitting the Pheonix Splash for the win at 23:42. This was fantastic in just about every way. They did a great job intertwining Aries and Jacobs’ feud with Danielson and Black’s. It showed that Black was more emotionally stable and slowly teased him becoming “bigger” to ROH than Jacobs. There was even slight uneasiness between the challengers who had faced each other on the previous PPV. The final minutes with Black and Danielson were down right phenomenal, but the story told before that was terrific as well. Definitely a top notch first defense. ****

Disc Two

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black) (Champions) vs. Naomichi Marufuji & Go Shiozaki

“Fueling The Fire” – Manassas, VA – 8.1.2008

Jacobs spends his time avoiding Shiozaki’s chops. He has Black knock Marufuji to the floor. Shiozaki takes them both down with shoulder tackles. He finally delivers chops to both men. Black and Marufuji go back and forth. Black gets an atomic drop and stomps Marufuji in the mid-section. Jacobs gets in some shots. Marufuji kicks him in the stomach and tags in Shiozaki. He dropkicks Jacobs for two. Marufuji dropkicks Jacobs from the floor and hits a slingshot elbow right after. The NOAH team taunt Tyler Black as they wear Jacobs down. Black is able to distract Shiozaki on the top rope long enough for Jacobs to crotch him. Black knocks Shiozaki down and gives him a Perfect neck snap. The Age of the Fall now isolates Shiozaki in their corner. Shiozaki ends up giving Black a Frankensteiner and chop so he can tag in Marufuji. He dropkicks both of his opponents. He mows them both down with clotheslines. He gives Black a butterfly neckbreaker for two. Marufuji then twists his neck with his feet. Black blocks the Shiranui. He enzuigiri’s Marufuji into Jacobs’ spear. Black follows with a frog splash for two. Jacobs also gets two with a back senton thanks to Shiozaki jumping in. A series of moves knocks all four men down. Black throws repeated shots at Shiozaki. He runs through Shiozaki’s chop and gives him a big boot. Black delivers a superplex. Shiozaki wins a chop battle. He gets two with a fisherman’s buster. He puts on a Dragon Sleeper. Marufuji prevents Jacobs from breaking it. Black makes it to the ropes. Marufuji hits the Coast-to-Coast dropkick on Black. Jacobs breaks the count. Shiozaki then delivers a moonsault for two. Black tries for a small package. Shiozaki muscles him up Jacobs spears him. The Age of the Fall gives Shiozaki a Doomsday Contra Code. Marufuji breaks that pin. Black hits God’s Last Gift for two. Jacobs spears Marufuji off the apron and into the barricades! Black puts away Shiozaki with the Phoenix Splash at 23:08. There was little question as to who was going to win, but they did a great job making the Manassas crowd believe on multiple occasions that the NOAH team might just pull it off. The Age of the Fall going over international talent also gave them some credibility. Another forgotten gem. ***3/4

ROH World Championship – Elimination Match
Nigel McGuinness (Champion) vs. Tyler Black vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli

“Death Before Dishonor VI” – New York, NY – 8.2.2008

Claudio and Danielson start off. Danielson goes for the Romero Special early and Claudio gets the ropes. McGuinness blind tags in and clotheslines Danielson to the floor. Black dropkicks McGuinness out. Black dives onto McGuinness while Claudio suicide dives onto Danielson. McGuinness attacks Black back in the ring but tags out to Danielson when Black back drops him. Danielson stomps him down in the corner. McGuinness tags himself back in to do more damage to Black. When Black fights back he tags in Claudio. He goes for a couple quick pins. Black gets in some shots before tagging in McGuinness. He, Danielson, and Black all get opportunities to wear Claudio down. Claudio boots McGuinness and hits the Match Killer for two. Black dropkicks Claudio to the floor. McGuinness sends Black to the floor. Danielson missile dropkicks McGuinness to the corner. Everybody takes everybody down. Danielson puts McGuinness in Cattle Mutilation. Black crossbody’s Claudio for two. Danielson drives his elbow into the side of McGuinness’ head. Claudio lifts Danielson into a German suplex. Black hits a quebrada onto Claudio. Danielson puts him in a triangle choke. Claudio makes it to the ropes. McGuinness lariats Black off the ropes. Danielson and McGuinness are left to fight. Danielson elbows him to the floor. He dropkicks him into the crowd and springboard dives after him. Danielson goes for a missile dropkick on Claudio but gets caught in the Giant Swing. Danielson rolls him up for two. Claudio gets two with Swiss Death. Danielson immediately turns him into a cradle for the pin and elimination at 15:58. Danielson offers a handshake to show he meant no hard feelings. Claudio shakes his hand, but then hits him with Swiss Chin Music! He shoves referee Paul Turner away before hitting the Ricola Bomb. He stomps a chair into Danielson’s head. McGuinness, looking very happy with this, lariats Danielson for good measure and pins him at 19:23. This leaves champion McGuinness with Black. Black hits a springboard lariat. He gets two with a Rude Awakening. He misses a frog splash. They fight on the top rope. Black shoves McGuinness and successfully pulls off a frog splash. McGuinness responds with a hammerlock divorce court. A short-arm lariat gets him two. Same goes for the Tower of London. Black counters the Jawbreaker Lariat with a Buckle Bomb. An F5 follows and gets him a two count. Black superplexes McGuinness into the Paroxysm for two. A superkick has the same result. McGuinness lariats Black for two. He goes for the Jawbreaker Lariat again. Black catches him with God’s Last Gift for a super close two count. He misses the Phoenix Splash. McGuinness receives a few two counts from different lariats. He locks on the London Damage. Black escapes and hits an enzuigiri. McGuinness lariats him twice for the pin and the victory at 30:08. Trash fills the ring as McGuinness celebrates. It’s hard to have a bad match when you take the four best guys in the company at the time and put them in the ring together. This did a tremendous job of turning Claudio heel, kickstarting his feud with Danielson, making McGuinness look like even more of an opportunistic jerk, and made Black look like ten million dollars. Definitely one of the best matches in 2008, and possibly the ROH match of the year. ****1/2

Tyler Black vs. El Generico
“Night of the Butcher II” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 8.16.2008

Some shoving leads to a full out forearm battle. Generico sends Black out with a leg lariat. He follows with a split-legged moonsault. In the ring he gets two with a crossbody. Black blocks ten punches in the corner with a Manhattan Drop. He stomps Generico in the mid-section. Generico responds with a backbreaker for two. Another backbreaker also gets him two. Black hits a springboard lariat and throws some punches. He stomps on Generico’s face twice. Off the second rope he hits a Perfect neck snap. Generico begins to fight back but Black claws at his eye holes. Generico however comes off the second rope with a huracanrana. Black nails him with a back elbow. Generico catches him with a Michinoku Driver for two. He goes for a brainbuster, but Black counters with a neckbreaker. Black gets two with Paroxysm. Generico yakuza kicks him to cut off his momentum and get a two count. Black dropkicks Generico to the floor. He catches Generico on top rope with a super Frankensteiner! A superkick follows and gets Black two. Black misses a Phoenix Splash. Generico yakuza kicks him into a brainbuster for the pin at 14:30. This was some great action from two awesome wrestlers. It may have been a slow go in the beginning, but man did they kick things up by the end. Really fun match. ***1/2

A month later, El Generico and Kevin Steen would unseat Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black as ROH World Tag Team champions. We get clips of the match here, and it’s available in full on Kevin Steen’s “Ascension to the Top” compilation.

Tyler Black vs. Austin Aries
“Wrestling at the Gateway” – Collinsville, IL – 12.5.2008

Aries goes for a cross armbreaker early but Black gets his feet on the ropes. Black dropkicks him to the corner and stomps him down. Aries fireman’s carry’s Black and legdrops him arm. Black foolishly puts on a headscissors. Aries dropkicks out of it. They go for their big moves early but can’t get them. Black rolls out to avoid the Last Chancery. Aries does damage to the back of Black’s head. Aries works over his neck back in the ring. Black gives him a neckbreaker on the edge of the ring and tosses him head first into the barricades. He stomps on the back of his head. Black gives Aries Snake Eyes and a back suplex. He tries for a Buckle Bomb but Aries rolls through it. He jams Black’s neck between his legs. He drops him with an STO and hits the Powerdrive elbow for two. After a shin breaker/suplex combo he goes for the IED. Black catches him. Aries fights him off and gets two with an O’Conner Roll and then a second time with running knee strike. Black rolls him into a head kick. He successfully delivers the Buckle Bomb. Aries recovers and gives Black a neckbreaker in the ropes. He follows up with a Heat-Seeking Missile. In the ring he puts on the Last Chancery. Aries’ neck is too hurt to keep it on. Black hits God’s Last Gift for the pin at 15:45. Really smart work from both guys with them each going for the neck and it paying off for Black. The wrestling was very good but the overall “spirit” of the match lacked something. Importance? Freshness? Whatever it was it hurt the match only slightly. It’s good, but just as good as the three or so other singles matches they had before this one. ***1/4

Tyler Black vs. Austin Aries
“Final Battle 2008” – New York, NY – 12.27.2008

Black and Aries trade holds for the first few minutes of the match. Black evades Aries’ dropkick out of the headscissors. In a moment of embarrassment for Aries, Black is able to connect with the dropkick out of the headscissors. Chops and forearms are thrown. Aries drops him with an STO but misses the pendulum elbow. Black stomps him in the mid-section. He gives Aries Snake Eyes for two. He fires himself up in the corner. Aries shoots him across the ring and mocks his firing up method. Black gets his boot up to block the IED. Aries shoves Black off the top rope and hits the Heat-Seeking Missile. Aries takes him to the ring apron. It’s Black whoever who pulls off the F5 onto it. Black enzuigiri’s him back to the floor when he comes back in. This time he dives out with a Fosberry Flop. Aries throws some desperate strikes in the corner. Black turns Aries’ brainbuster attempt into the Paroxysm for two. Aries blocks a Buckle Bomb. He knee strikes Black in the head before putting on the Last Chancery. He tries for a brainbuster. Black rolls him into a head kick. The Buckle Bomb follows for two. Jimmy Jacobs is now watching on. Black misses a Phoenix Splash. Aries hits a brainbuster. He looks exhausted as he climbs to the top rope. He nails the 450 splash for the pin at 17:08. That was the best singles match these guys had, most in part to the phenomenal dynamic they had in front of a New York crowd who decidedly loved Black and hated Aries. ***3/4

After the match Jacobs gives Black some angry lip service. Black shoves him down. Jacobs calms Black down and then kicks him in the groin! He locks on the End Time. He traps Black’s head in a chair. Aries takes the chair off Black’s head and backs Jacobs away. He then turns around and nails Black with it! Jacobs and Aries, former enemies, throw punches at Black’s busted open forehead.

Tyler Black vs. Nigel McGuinness
“Full Circle” – Manassas, VA – 1.16.2009

McGuinness attacks Black at the start. Black however pulls off a dropkick. McGuinness rolls out of the way of a stomp to the face. He pitches Black out to the floor. Black kicks him in the head and punches him against the barricades. McGuinness locks his legs back in the ring. Black snapmares him into a stomp. He throws McGuinness into the barricades and delivers some chops. McGuinness drop toe holds Black face first, and some shoulder, into the barricades, then all shoulder into them. McGuinness targets Black’s shoulder back in the ring. He throws Black shoulder first back into the barricades off of the ring apron. Black is able to pull off an atomic drop and a standing shooting star press. McGuinness kicks him in the back and clotheslines him into the mat. Black ducks a running uppercut. He hits a tornado DDT for two. Black boots McGuinness. McGuinness uses the momentum for a Jawbreaker Lariat, but Black counters it with a neckbreaker for two. McGuinness hits a regular lariat with his left arm. Black kicks out. He avoids a lariat off the top rope. A Pele kick leads to the springboard lariat. McGuinness small packages out of God’s Last Gift. He pokes Black in the eyes and delivers Tower of London onto the floor. That only gets him a two count, so he puts on the London Dungeon. Black kicks McGuinness to escape. He blocks the Jawbreaker Lariat with a Buckle Bomb. A superkick follows and gets him the pin at 17:16. That was a good match, but a far cry from their previous encounters. The shoulder work was really smart and the crowd was fired up by the end, but it was nothing particularly memorable. ***1/4

Tyler Black vs. Jerry Lynn
“Motor City Madness 2009” – Detroit, MI – 1.30.2009

This is a rematch from “Ring of Homicide 2”, which Black won with a Phoenix Splash. We start off with headlocks from both men. Lynn gets two with a reverse DDT. He goes back to the side headlock. Black breaks it in the corner and hits a dropkick. They exchange chops until Black drops a knee across Lynn’s chest. He puts Lynn in a tree of woe and dropkicks him in the face. He tosses Lynn to block a tornado DDT. Lynn ducks a superkick and gets stomped on. He backs Black to the corner and stomps him down. Lynn huracanrana’s Black off the top rope and gets two with a clothesline. He guillotine legdrops Black on the second rope. Black DDT’s him onto the ring apron. He misses a moonsault off of the barricades. Both guys make it back in the ring right before the twenty count. Black kicks Lynn in the head. He gets two with a standing shooting star press. He gets two with Paroxysm as well. Black hits a Pele kick. Lynn responds with an Air Raid Crash for two. He jumps off the ropes and gets caught by Black’s F5. Black then superkicks him. Lynn gets his foot on the ropes to stop the pin. The one minute time warning is given when Lynn delivers a rope assisted DDT. Sure enough the 20:00 time limit expires as Lynn crawls over for a pin. That was OK. It felt a lot like stuff happened for twenty minutes and it didn’t mean a whole lot. It was good stuff at least. ***

Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards
“Proving Ground 2009, Night 1” – Coral Springs, FL – 2.6.2009

Larry Sweeney is in Richards’ corner. The opening lock up deteriorates into slaps. Richards offers a handshake to cool things down. Black obliges. After a wristlock exchange Richards slaps Black again. He asks for another handshake. This time Black slaps it away. After some leapfrogs Black snapmares Richards into a stomp. Black slaps. Richards spits at him and hits the floor. Black chases him back into the ring. Richards drops him stomach first onto the top rope. He focuses his attack on Black’s mid-section from that point on. Black takes the mount and throws some punches. Richards gives him the Alarm Clock and a diving headbutt to the stomach. Black comes back with a flurry of punches. Sweeney trips him from the floor. Referee Todd Sinclair noticed and ejects Sweeney from ringside. Black tries to ambush Richards with a dive, but Richards catches him with a kick to the face. Black drops the top rope to send him to the floor and tope con hilo’s after him. He gets two with a standing shooting star press. He goes for a springboard lariat. Richards dropkicks him in mid-air. He sole butt kicks him into the corner. Black gets the energy for an enzuigiri, leaving both guys laying. Black hits Paroxysm when he recovers but Richards kicks out. He tries for God’s Last Gift. Richards backs him to the corner to block it. Black kicks him in the face. Richards stops his ascension to the top rope. He German superplexes him down! He gets two with the powerbomb that follows, so he puts on the Cloverleaf. Black turns it into a small package for two. Richards tries for the Damage Reflex but gets dropkicked in the process. Black hits the F5 for two. Some more quick nearfalls lead to Black hitting the Buckle Bomb and a superkick for the pin at 17:34. This was just a match to show you who the next two guys in ROH were. At this point they were so close to being THE guys and this just proved they were worthy of those spots. Great action, terrific limb work, great characters, the match had it all. ***3/4

Tyler Black vs. Jimmy Jacobs
“ROH on HDNet Episode 1” – Philadelphia, PA – 2.28.2009

We get a quick lock up and then shoving from both parties. Jacobs lays in some punches. Black dropkicks Jacobs and throws some of his own punches that send Jacobs to the floor. Jacobs sneaks back in from behind and axe handles Black in the back. Jacobs takes control until Black hits a slingshot spinwheel kick. Black goes to pull Jacobs out of the corner and gets sent face first into the second turnbuckle via a huracanrana. Jacobs drops an elbow Bret Hart style from the second rope. Black makes a comeback. He climbs up the ropes but gets shoved to the floor. Jacobs spears him back in the ring and dropkicks him in the neck. He chokes Black on the mat. Black fires back with a series of punches. He drops Jacobs out of a military press and forearms him in the corner. An enzuigiri and springboard lariat get him two. He misses the Phoenix Splash. Jacobs spears him for two. Black comes back with another enzuigiri. Jacobs throws him out of the ring by his tights. He slingshots himself onto Black and onto a chair. Jacobs goes for a top rope senton but Black gets his knees up. Jacobs blocks God’s Last Gift with the End Time! Black immediately begins slamming Jacobs back first into the corners to try and break it but it does not work. He throws Jacobs. Jacobs blocks a superkick, rolls up Black for two, then reapplies the End Time. Black flips the hold so that Jacobs’ shoulders are on the mat and gets the pin at 13:47. That was a really good match to cap off the first episode of HDNet. Jacobs and Black did a lot of creative and exciting things while also giving us a finish that would allow the feud to continue on. These two had really good chemistry as partners and opponents. ***1/4

The 411: Disc One is amazing, providing an excellent look at Black's primitive days in Ring of Honor. It showed that he was able to mesh with the main eventers right away and shows how he broke out despite being put as "second in command" of a stable. The second disc starts out just as good, and even though some of the quality begins to slip in the second half, it still shows a lot of growth for Black as a wrestler and is worthy of being included. For those only familiar with Rollins/Black from WWE, you owe it to yourself to pick up this set and see what he is capable of. You can pick up this DVD from Ring of Honor's store. You can check out all of my ROH, DGUSA, and other reviews over at the 100% Fordified blog.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend

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Kevin Ford

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