More Detailed ROH Death Before Dishonor VI Report 08.02.08 – New York, NY
Credit: Ryan Mulligan & WrestlingObserver.com
The Briscoes defeated Ruckus and Jigsaw (with Julius Smokes) of the Vulture Squad. The returning Mark Briscoe got a well-deserved “Welcome back!” chant, as the match got underway. This was a fun, fast-paced, spot-oriented opener that went about five minutes. Since Ruckus was involved, there were consequently flips. The VS almost got the win following the Gin-N-Tonic, but, ultimately, the Briscoes were victorious following a springboard doomsday device on Jigsaw.
Cue Larry Sweeney, who said he’a big fan of the Briscoes’ work and would like them to join Sweet N’ Sour Inc. The Briscoes responded by leaving.
Chris Hero (with Larry Sweeney, Eddie Edwards and Bobby Dempsey) of Sweet N’Sour Inc. defeated Delirious. I may be biased because these two are my two least favorite wrestlers in ROH, but this match failed. Hero cut a promo prior to it proclaiming himself “The Knockout Kid,” with his new gimmick being that he’s now serious and is no longer interested in being entertaining. Shades of the former Y2J. The problem is that Hero’s never had an impressive move-set, and so he winds up delivering “devastating” roaring elbows like they’re Misawa-level. Needless to say, Bobby Dempsey was ten times more over than anyone else involved here. After less than ten minutes of less-than-stellar action, Hero pinned Delirious following a roaring elbow, which Delirious sold like death, needing to be helped to the back. No buys.
Eddie Edwards (with Sweeney, Hero and Dempsey) of Sweet N’Sour Inc. defeated Roderick Strong. Much better match, of course, with the crowd slowly but surely warming up to Edwards. Strong killed him with numerous chops early on and numerous backbreakers towards the finish. Strong eventually fell prey to yet another roaring elbow from a cheating Chris Hero, followed by a moonsault from Edwards for the three-count.
Brent Albright defeated Adam Pearce (with Sweeney, Dempsey, Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Ray) of Sweet N’ Sour Inc. to become the NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Here’s where the show took a major turn for the better. I can’t say these two had a classic battle or anything, but dear God was Albright over here, and that heat translated into quite the spectacle. The match was largely wrestled old-school style, with Pearce busting Albright open and being a killer heel. The tide turned when, following much inferference from Sn’S, Roderick Strong returned and kicked a chair right into Sweeney’s face to a monster pop. He then chased Hagadorn to the back. Albright later went to the top, but was shoved off and through a ringside table in a brutal spot. Albight eventually got the momentum and unleashed a series of 5 German suplexes, prior to getting Pearce to tap to the Crowbar for the title to a TREMENDOUS pop from the crowd. I was up in the balcony and people were literally jumping up and down and celebrating. It was like at the level of Rick Steiner’s TV Title win at “Starrcade ’88”. Awesome stuff.
Austin Aries defeated Jimmy Jacobs and Necro Butcher of the Age of the Fall in a 3-way dance. Despite Necro shoving Jacobs off a ladder through a table last weekend, the two came out together, but the story of the match was their gradual disintegration. Jacobs continually forced Necro to assault Aries, but Necro finally had enough after an Eddie Guerrero-esque spot from Aries where he hit Necro in the back with a chair and then tossed it to Jacobs, who became the culprit in Necro’s eyes. This led to Necro punching Jacobs out and leaving the match, and that led to Aries owning Jacobs with the brainbuster/450 combo. More of a storyline-match than a technically good one, but the story was good enough to keep it entertaining. Wicked mohawk on Jacobs, by the way.
Delirious called out Daizee Haze. He finally got the courage to ask her out, but he was rudely interrupted by “Addicted to Love” Rhett Titus, who has the best theme song this side of “Biscuits and Gravy.” Titus said that the Haze is used-goods and then proceeded to reveal her face on the back of his pants. Shades of Rick Rude and Cheryl Roberts. Hilarious. After he left, Daizee broke Delirious’s heart by saying that she’d just like them to remain friends, which drew massive heel heat. She even broke out the “It’s not you, it’s me” routine, before leaving to boos-aplenty. The long-awaited heel-turn is complete.
Naomichi Marufuji defeated Go Shiosaki of Sweet N’ Sour Inc. in an awesome match. Despite being a heel due to who he aligns himself with, Go worked as a face here, encouraging the crowd at numerous points to rally behind him. Among the many highlights of the match were Marufuji giving Go a brainbuster from the floor to the apron. Seriously. He also nearly ended Go’s life with a Shiranui off the apron to the floor. Go connected with the Go Flasher, but Marufuji eventually defeated him with the Pole Shift. Great match.
Kevin Steen and El Generico defeated the Motor City Machine Guns Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin in another awesome match. I don’t think it lived up to the hype, but realistically it probably couldn’t have. The Guns began the match as faces, but the crowd eventually turned on them, chanting “Fuck TNA!” In the least tasteful spot of the night, Steen and Shelley traded spit and snot-rockets. The Guns worked over Generico for much of the match, utilizing their innovative double-team moves, but Steen eventually got the tag and went nuts on them. I should note that the match was billed as “Scramble Rules,” but that tags were required throughout anyway. Whatever. The finish came when Generico annihilated Shelley with the BRAINBUSTA~! and Steen made Sabin tap to the sharpshooter.
ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness defeated Claudio Castagnoli, Tyler Black and Bryan Danielson in a four-way elimination match to retain the title. I was there for the Danielson/Aries/Morishima/Hero four-way back in December, and this match was somehow even better. Nigel has perfected the art of the dick-heel, as he constantly tagged in and out when most convenient. For some reason, the fans were totally anti-Claudio throughout, and once he was eliminated by Dragon, he made them pay for it by turning heel in most impressive fashion. He killed Dragon with a Ricola Bomb and stomped a chair on his head. Security and pre-show wrestlers tried to stop him, but he threw one of them across the ring and continued his assault. Nigel clapped for all of this, and finished Dragon off shortly thereafter with a lariat. This left Nigel and Black, and they did their best to recreate the vibe of the main event of the “Take No Prisoners” ppv, with Black refusing to be pinned following numerous lariats, a Tower of London, etc. Nigel eventually got the win following two brutal, successive lariats. The crowd responded by throwing garbage in the ring. Nigel said that he’s now beaten everyone and nobody can stop him. At this point he spotted Marufuji, who had come out to watch Nigel and Black, and the crowd chanted “Marufuji!” as the show ended. This was the best match of the night, with tremendous heat throughout, particularly in the form of face-heat for Black in the final stretch. Black once again looked like a star, with his standing flips on dropkicks gone awry and his Phoenix splashes. It seems weird though that the Age of the Fall is comprised of a killer heel, a guy who often works babyface and a tweener.
All in all, this was a MUCH better show than the last Hammerstein show, and definitely the best NYC ROH show in a long time. Besides the Hero/Delirious failure, pretty much everything else delivered, with a huge surprise in the form of a thoroughly captivating Albright/Pearce match and three awesome matches in a row to end the show. For all of the complaints leveled at ROH, from time to time they’re still able to put on amazing shows like this one to remind people just what they’re capable of.