ROH – Reborn: Completion, July 17, 2004, Elizabeth, New Jersey
ROH – Reborn: Completion, July 17, 2004, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Review by Brad Garoon and Jacob Ziegler
BG says: When ROH lost some of its top starts to TNA, it went through a rebirth process. In April, ROH showcased their remaining talent. The weekend was a huge success quality-wise. ROH finishes up its rebirth tonight.
ROH presented Do or Die 3 the afternoon preceding Completion, and tacked on a couple of matches to the end of this tape. We’re gonna put it up here because we’re cool like that.
JZ says: First off, forgive me if my reviews are even shorter than usual, as I only have about a million things going on between work and school. Oh, and I watched Homicide vs. Bryan Danielson from Reborn: Stage Two, and I liked it a little bit more. I’m now comfortable giving it a full ***. Now, I’ll have to agree with Brad about Mr. Furious, as I believe he is the best ROH reviewer bar none, and his non-ROH stuff rules too. As far as this ROH show, we’ve got a huge six-man tag team main event, plus the crowning of a new Pure Champion. It could be Jay Lethal, Nigel McGuiness, Doug Williams, John Walters, Matt Stryker, Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, or CM Punk. Who will it be? But first:
DO OR DIE III – Afternoon Card
MATCH #1: Matt Sydal vs. Delirious
BG says: Delirious gets a wristlock to start. Sydal fights out and takes Delirious to the mat. He gets a fireman’s carry into an armbar. They fight over an armdrag and Delirious gets a headlock and sings. Sydal takes it to the mat again and gets a 2 count. Delirious gets a double underhook submission but Sydal promises he can get out and does. Delirious hits a big shoulderblock but misses a dropkick and gets rolled up for 2. Sydal hits a seated dropkick and a bodyslam and springboard moonsault elbow for 2. Sydal goes up but Delirious cuts him off, only to get hung up and double stomped. Sydal goes for a tree of woe dropkick but gets knocked out of the ring where Delirious hits a FAST suicide dive. Back in Delirious slaps the back works the mat leading to boot scrapes for 2. He hits a huge headbutt and snap mare into a chinlock. Sydal gets the crowd behind him and escapes. They hit mirror moves on one another and knock each other down with dropkicks. Sydal hits a hurricanrana and a giant monkeyflip. Delirious rolls out so Sydal goes up top and hits a beautiful moonsault to the outside. Back inside it gets 2. Delirious calls for in vitro fertilization, but he never hits that move and Sydal blocks. Delirious hits the Honda slaps and gets a hurricane DDT for 2. Sydal gets a pumphandle driver of some kind for 2. Delirious blocks a supercanrana and hits Shadows over Hell for 2. He takes him back to the corner and goes up but Sydal blocks and hits the belly to belly superplex for 3. This was a nice, tight spot-fest that I liked better than their first match in ROH and most of the stuff from the evening card to boot.
JZ says: I like both of these guys a lot, and it was nice to see them get a shot on the Midwest double shot in October. This would be their second match against each other in ROH, the first being in St. Paul back in April. These two know each other very well, and do a lot of cool chain wrestling and mat work, mixed in with some wicked high spots. Delirious has the coolest move names of any wrestler, with stuff like in vitro fertilization and Shadows Over Hell. Both guys really got a chance to show their stuff here, and it must have had an impact. Sydal gets the win with his awesome super belly-to-belly suplex after 13:01. A little slow in the middle but still really solid stuff.
MATCH #2: Josh Daniels vs. B-Boy
BG says: When Round Robin Challenge III was looming and everyone was wondering who the mystery opponent for Joe and new member of the Rottweilers would be, I was sure it’d be B-Boy. It was actually Reyes and B-Boy got to make his only ROH appearance here. The crowd is firmly behind B-Boy. They chain wrestle to start, just like in almost every other match on this show. Daniels picks the ankle but gets slapped. They trade forearms and B-Boy hits a dropkick. B-Boy dominates with strikes and gets 2 off an elbow drop. He gets a drop toehold and crossface forearms for 2. Daniels gets a back elbow for 2 and a snap suplex for 2. He gets the leg-scissors and a bodyslam for 2. He chokes B-Boy out in the corner but hits knees and gets blockbustered. B-Boy attacks with forearms and a northern lights suplex. He gets a Sumo palm strike and brainbuster for 2. He goes up but gets cut off and superplexed. Daniels goes up but misses the headbutt and B-Boy hits a NASTY cross arm piledriver for 2. B-Boy hits a nice enziguiri but Daniels gets the dragon suplex for 2. B-Boy gets and armdrag and shining wizard. Dropkick in the corner gets 2 for B-Boy. Daniels gets an abdominal stretch and puts it to the mat to surprise B-Boy with a pin for the 3 count. Nothing offensive, but I can see how this wouldn’t make ROH management fall over themselves to get B-Boy back.
Rating; ** 1/4
JZ says: B-Boy is crazy over, which figures since he dresses and wrestles a lot like Homicide. In fact I’m really surprised they didn’t bring him in to team with Homicide, and the crowd here really liked him. However, to give management the benefit of the doubt, he didn’t really do that much in this match to impress. He did hit a really sick piledriver on Daniels at one point though. These two styles didn’t really mesh all that well, and Daniels got the win with a really quick rollup at 10:05. Not too bad, but I agree with Brad.
BG says: And now, your feature presentation.
Sugar Sean Price is backstage and excited because he’s with Samoa Joe! Joe hasn’t been able to get people to get in Samoa Joe’s Ring because Homicide has pushed Joe over the edge. The Havana Pitbulls are from Joe’s dojo apparently, so Homicide is an evil genius for recruiting them. Joe respects the Briscoes, so he’s asked them to help him against the Rottweilers. Hydro comes in post-interview. Joe tells him to get his act together, but in more threatening words.
JZ says: Samoa Joe must have had a real impact on Hydro, because he would morph into his alter-ego Jay Lethal in time for the second match on the show. Which actually really is all for the better, because Hydro had really outgrown Special K and was ready to break out on his own.
MATCH #1: Dixie & Izzy vs. Jack Evans & Roderick Strong
BG says: Does anyone remember when Izzy & Dixie were the ROH tag team champions? Neither do I. ROH has done a great job setting up the hard camera to make the crowd look humungous. Strong and Izzy start. Izzy takes it to Gen Next but gets pounded by Strong after a hurricanrana to Evans. Izzy hits the somersault kick on Strong and the moonsault kick on Evans and hits an ugly dive onto both opponents outside. Dixie comes in and pounds on Strong. He tries a hurricanrana, and gets sloppy. Strong hits a dropkick on Dixie for 2. Izzy gets a springboard blockbuster on Strong and a big kick for 2. Special K get a double dropkick for 2 but Evans saves. Punk, who is on commentary, rips on Nutly’s commentary and thus becomes my lord and savior. All of Special K and all of Generation Next brawl on the outside until surprise, surprise – Evans gets a nutty dive onto all of them. Back in Strong beats the crap out of Dixie. Evans tags in and gets some kicks for 2. Fisherman’s buster gets 2 for Evans. Strong comes back in and gets a double underhook suplex and a flying elbow drop for 2. He hits a stalling vertical suplex and tags Evans in. Izzy comes in and gets beaten down. Strong and Evans do their awesome double-team moonsault/backbreaker combo, but it only gets 2 on Dixie. That could and should totally be their finisher. Strong comes back in and eats a tornado DDT from Dixie. Izzy and Evans tag in. Izzy cleans house and gets a nasty reverse rana on Evans. Double flapjack gets 2 on Strong. Evans hits a 630 senton on Izzy for the win after some crazy Gen Next double teaming. This was a low-rent version of the Gen Next tag match from Survival of the Fittest, but it did a good job in getting the crowd fired up. All of Gen Next beat up all of Special K post-match, including a back breaker by Rod Strong on Becky. Notable by his absence is Hydro.
JZ says: Jimmy Bauer and CM Punk are our hosts, thank goodness. Punk wastes no time making fun of people, knocking Jack Evans’s ring gear (real interesting coming from a guy who wrestles in basketball shorts), and then addresses Mark Nutly’s inability to pronounce Colt Cabana’s name. Good for him. The match is really fun, and holy crap do I feel bad for Dixie having to take so many of Roderick Strong’s chops. Jack Evans looks good in this match – he’s getting better all the time. This match would be the debut of the awesome double team move in which Strong holds the man in the torture rack while Evans does a springboard off that guy’s chest into a moonsault onto the other guy. Crowd pops huge for that, and it should have been the finisher. Evans eventually does get a big 630 splash on Izzy to get the win at 9:00. Really strong opener. After the match, a big brawl ensues, and Becky Bayless is the last person from Special K standing alone in the ring with Gen Next. Bauer says it’s “not the first time she’s been with four guys.” Ouch, that’s just mean. But to be even meaner, Rod Strong gives Becky the Back Breaking Benjamin.
BG says: Dave Prazak is backstage with the New and Improved Carnage Crew. Danny Daniels lisps his way through a promo so much that I thought he was faking it. See he’s mad because he was supposed to be the referee in the match that Loc was in that started the Carnage Crew. Masada is mad because he felt used by the Carnage Crew, I think. The feud ends tonight.
JZ says: Hey, Danny Daniels hates Loc more than anyone else in the world! I knew there was something I liked about him. Daniels and Masada had some potential as a team. But if they lose the weapons match tonight, they’re done. D’oh.
MATCH #2: Pure Title Tournament, Four Corner Survival – Jay Lethal vs. Nigel McGuiness vs. Doug Williams vs. John Walters
BG says: This is one of two four-ways in which the winners will face one another to determine a new Pure Champion. AJ Styles was stripped of the belt when he was barred by TNA to work in ROH. ROH claims that this is a different title, but c’mon. I mean, come on! Lethal is Hydro, in a drug free, super enthusiastic form. Williams and Nigel get the crowd excited when they start the match off. Walters tags Williams out before any action, much to the dismay of the crowd. They chain wrestle to a stalemate. Williams tags Walters out, and the crowd gets excited for the U.K. showdown again until Lethal baits Nigel into his corner and tags in. Williams and Lethal chain wrestle until Williams grabs a leglock. Lethal rolls out but gets decked with a shoulderblock. Nigel makes the blind tag and the Brits trade European uppercuts. They do some arm work that is simultaneously confusing and pretty. Nigel headstands on the turnbuckle and baits Williams into a rollup for 2. Nigel tries to bait Williams again but he waits for him to come down. THEN he gets a pair of rollups on Williams for 2. They do the Johnny Saint stuff that we’ve already seen, with zero variation, and Williams gets a rollup for 2. Lethal and Walters break up the monotony by tagging both Englishmen out. Lethal gets a back elbow for 2. Walters reverses a hurricanrana to a Boston crab, then a half crab and then a Mutalock. He lets go and chops Lethal down. Walters puts on the leg scissors but Williams tags Lethal out while he’s in the hold. Williams gets a strangle hold on Walters. Walters gets a Russian legsweep into a stranglehold of his own but Williams drags out. Williams levels Walters with a forearm but Lethal tags in and gets a back suplex for 2 and a backbreaker for 2. Williams comes back with a big boot. Nigel comes in and helps Williams torture Lethal, getting 2. Walters tags Williams out and gets the lung blower on Lethal in the corner. He puts on a leglock but Lethal punches out and gets a big clothesline for 2. Walters gets a big clothesline of his own for 1. Simultaneous clothelines knock both guys down. Nigel and Williams tag themselves in. Nigel gets a mini piledriver on Williams. Some extremely contrived work leads to Lethal getting dumped on his head. A springboard DDT gets 2 for Lethal on Walters. Williams hits a NASTY ocean cyclone suplex for 2 on Lethal. Nigel gets a pedigree for 2. Walters hits a lung blower on Nigel for 2. Nigel gets a nice neckbreaker for 2 on Lethal. Lethal rolls up Walters for 2. Nigel gets a backslide for 2. Walters gets a crossbody and Walters breaks up the pin with his top rope kneedrop. Walters hits the Chaos Theory on Lethal for 3, in a funny spot that saw Walters whiff while trying to break up the pin. This was all style over substance as the story completely outshined the work in the match. That and the match was pretty boring most of the way through.
JZ says: Well, Brad, the title AJ Styles held was the Pure Wrestling Title, and the one they’re fighting for tonight is just the Pure Title. That’s clearly a different title, gosh. Wow, Doug Williams is pretty crazy over here. Bauer notes that “of course Nigel McGuiness versus Doug Williams is a dream match.” Punk, being the commentary hero that he is, comes back with “that’s a dream match across the pond, nobody cares about these limeys over here.” Great stuff. Williams and McGuiness do have their confrontation, and while it should have been good, it pretty much looks like they’re just going through the motions. The Johnny Saint stuff in particular looks so lame now because it’s been done verbatim so many times already. It’s played guys, played. Punk gets in another great line during the McGuiness/Williams confrontation – “the British stuff is all the rage on the Indy scene, and these are two of the best, everybody else does it like crap.” Jay Lethal is lucky not to have broken his neck after a sick piledriver type move. A few moments later, Doug Williams forgets to kick out while Nigel is covering him, forcing Bauer and Punk to cover for that idiot Todd Sinclair. This one goes on way too long and never really gets into a groove because of the way the rules are structured two guys never really get a chance to establish anything. Williams finally gets the pin on Lethal after the Chaos Theory in 18:38. I liked it more the first time around. On the plus side, Doug Williams has a ring jacket, which is the surest way to get over in my opinion.
MATCH #3: Weapons Match – New & Improved Carnage Crew vs. Carnage Crew
BG says: The losers must disband. The New Crew jump Loc to start. Devito beats on them with a crutch. Loc beats on Daniels outside but gets whipped into the guardrail. Daniels gets dumped into the crowd. Devito bleeds, as does Daniels. DeVito uses a crutch on Masada outside. Notice the matter of fact style of writing this match is getting, because it’s never a good sign. Loc puts a wrench in Daniel’s mouth and the Carnage Crew Carnage-plex him. Badly. Onto chairs. Masada gets clotheslined down by Devito. Devito gets the big forearms on Masada but gets booted in the face by Daniels. Daniels puts Loc in the tree of woe and Masada kicks a chair into his face. Devito hits a northern lights suplex on Daniels into the corner. Masada gets suplexed into the corner by Loc. Devito chokes out Daniels as Loc kicks Masada in the back. The Carnage Crew throw a ton of stuff into the ring as I realize this match isn’t going in a direction I’m gonna like. A whole lot of nothing happens until Masada misses a 450 attempt on Loc. Daniels gets a suplex on DeVito for 2. Loc hits a swinging neckbreaker through a table from the apron. Devito gets a rock bottom on Daniels inside. Devito puts a trash can over Daniels and the Carnage Crew beat him with baseball bats for the pin. Well, there were 2 cool spots in the match, and I kinda liked the finish. The New Crew must disband. Considering the fact that I didn’t like any of their matches, I can’t say I’m too upset that they won’t be teaming anymore.
JZ says: Strange that while I like both Danny Daniels and Masada, I really didn’t like any of their matches that much either. Then of course there’s the regular Carnage Crew, and I think we all know where I stand there. Punk again brings the funny, asking if Loc and Devito would have to quit their real jobs if they lost. More talk about Loc and Devito’s shitty wives, lives, and you know the story. And hey look, it’s a weapons match, so guys hit each other with stuff, and guys bleed. That’s about it. The finish spot is kinda cool, but after 10:09 of absolute garbage I am in no mood to be nice to this match.
MATCH #4: Pure Title Tournament, Four Corner Survival – Matt Stryker vs. Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley vs. CM Punk
BG says: This is match 2 in the pure title tournament. Awesome moment as Punk throws his jacket at Shelley, so he elbow drops it. Gen Next jump Punk to start. Stryker helps out and he and Punk beat on Shelley. Punk gets dumped and the match proper starts with Stryker and Shelley. Shelley bails and Punk and Stryker go at it. They chain wrestle and thwart the attempts of Gen Next to interfere on 3 occasions. Eh, that was cool. Punk and Stryker tag Gen Next in, and I pray for them to lift the New Age Outlaws strategy (one man pinning the other) to send one of them to the finals, but instead they try desperately to tag out. They stall forever, then lock up in Stryker’s corner and pull him in while he’s not paying attention. They double team him for a while until Aries puts on a surfboard. Bauer spells out the new Code of Honor, and to say it’s lacking is an understatement. Gen Next tag up on Stryker while Punk gets frustrated and thus keeps the ref distracted. Stryker tags Punk in and he cleans house. The crowd boos Punk and it becomes apparent that the match they were trying to go for won’t work because there are no real babyfaces in it. Punk puts an abdominal stretch on Aries and tags to Stryker. Shelley comes in and takes a European uppercut for 2. Stryker goes for the Strykerlock but Shelley makes the ropes. He works the arm until Punk tags him out. Punk works the arm and slaps on a surfboard. He gets a couple 2 counts off of it. He hits a backbreaker and tags Stryker in. Stryker puts on a submission and Shelley yells that it’s his move! Punk comes back in and gets choked by Aries on the apron. Shelley tags Aries who comes in with a senton and an elbow drop. He hits a big clothesline for 2. Shelley tags in and tries to mock Punk, but his arm hurts. Cute. He gets a neckbreaker into a submission but can’t hold it because his arm hurts. Aries tags in with a legdrop. He gets a step over toehold armlock but Stryker saves. Gen Next get some cool double team stuff for 2 on Punk. Nothing happens for a while (it’s always a bad sign when I say that), until Punk tags in Stryker who cleans house. Things break down with all four men in the ring until Gen Next take Punk out. Stryker gets a gutbuster right into the DVD on Aries but Shelley breaks up the pin. Strykerlock on Shelley but Aries hits the 450 on Stryker to break it up. Punk hits the shining wizard on Aries. Everyone hits everyone with chops and forearms and things get sloppy causing the crowd to turn on the match. Both members of Gen Next try victory rolls. Punk blocks Aries with his own pin attempt but Shelley’s pin holds. The Shelley pin gets 3, I guess because he was legal. The finish was totally confusing; the legal man rule wasn’t enforced at all until the end. The match was pretty boring and sloppy with a couple cute spots thrown in. Punk whines after the match and really just sounds more desperate than anything.
JZ says: Just in case anyone’s wondering, the “new” Code of Honor basically is:
1) Shake hands with your opponent before and after each match if you respect the match they’re about to give you or the match you just had.
2) Keep the playing field fair and level.
3) Respect the officials.
Okay then. I was really hoping this match would be cool, and I kinda liked it the first time, but much like the previous Four Corner Survival, it doesn’t hold up well at all, and it just falls apart. Alex Shelley cuts a great heel promo before the match, proving that he rules. The beginning of the match has two neat spots – the Alex Shelley elbow drop, and Austin Aries yelling “put me down.” Since two Generation Next guys were in this match, they really didn’t want to fight each other. They’re also heels. CM Punk at this point is also a heel. Fans on the East Coast sadly couldn’t care less about Matt Stryker. So the crowd really isn’t sure how to react to this one. They end up settling into an almost tag team match, with Gen Next going against Punk & Stryker, which really doesn’t work at all. Alex Shelley gets his arm worked on for a while, and he sells it like a man for the rest of the show. That is one of the reasons Shelley stands out amongst Indy workers. Anyway, this match kinda drags on for a way too long 19:31, and they do that double pin spot that Brad described, and it looked kind of strange, but protected Punk I guess. Punk calls Shelley “Baby Bear” is a post-match promo (where Shelley is still selling the arm), and kinda cries over spilt milk. Not very in character CM!
MATCH #5: Falls Count Anywhere – Ace Steel & Colt Cabana vs. Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer
BG says: At Generation Next, Punk pinned Whitmer clean with the Pepsi Plunge, to seemingly end the feud. At World Title Classic however, The Prophecy was in the Ultimate Endurance match against Cabana and Steel. They beat them and pinned them, thus putting in question who the better team was. So the feud continues, only now Maff and Whitmer have dropped the Prophecy and Alison Danger. This is actually Maff and Whitmer’s first match since leaving the Prophecy. They brawl on the outside to start. Steel gets a powerbomb on Whitmer but Maff saves. Cabana puts Maff down with a clothesline. The Saints double team Maff and Whitmer in opposite corners. Some more weak brawling blesses my screen until Maff and Whitmer charge each other up and beat down the Saints. The Saints get tossed into the guardrails outside and the action spills into the crowd. Maff puts Cabana in the bleachers and slams him in the face with a water bottle. Steel eats a really nasty chair shot on the bleachers. Cabana and Maff fight on the bleachers, with Cabana coming out on top. Maff gets suplexed on the floor by Steel. All four men go up to the balcony where Cabana gets tossed off the back end. That was cleverly shot by the ROH camera crew. Maff blinds Steel with the spotlight and nails him in the face with it. Maff and Whitmer hit the con-chair-toe on Steel and Whitmer gets the 3 count. This was just the third fall from ultimate endurance minus the blood plus a more clever ending. Allison Danger gets on the mic post-match and reminds Maff and Whitmer that she owns the rights to their contracts and therefore the power to book all of their matches.
JZ says: Here’s part 8,023,567 in the never ending feud of 2004. Ace Steel keeps screaming “they’re gonna die” on his way to the ring. Bauer notes that there was no video package for this feud because “there’s too many brawls, etc.” No kidding. CM Punk returns to commentary and is very pissed off about the result of the last match, and takes some of his frustrations out on the absent Mark Nutly. That’s okay CM, I do it too. As far as the match, it’s just a big messy brawl that’s not terribly interesting. In fact, CM is saving the match due to his incredibly biased commentary, which is awesome. They fight up onto a balcony, where Colt Cabana takes a big fall, and the ROH camera crew is able to make it not look lame. Good for them. Ace Steel can’t possibly fight off both Maff & Whitmer, and falls victim to a con-chair-toe and a pin at 10:50. Good effort and Cabana’s fall was neat. Allison Danger tells Maff & Whitmer that she is still booking all of their matches. You know, I could have sworn someone else did that. Weird.
BG says: Gary Michael Capetta is backstage with Special K who are in really bad shape. Dixie says he’s tired of getting his ass kicked. Feel the dissention! Becky is left alone on the floor in pain from the backbreaker. I’m sure there’s a joke somewhere in there, but I just don’t have the time.
JZ says: Dixie’s chest is so raw and red from Roderick’s chops, it’s really disgusting. Special K has an argument, and poor Becky is left flat on her back, alone. That would be the opposite of Breaking Benjamin’s album “We Are Not Alone.”
MATCH #6: The Newest Member of The Embassy vs. Trent Acid
BG says: The Embassy, which no longer includes Josh Daniels, comes out to the ring. Nana has emptied his bank accounts to bring in the newest member of his group… JIMMY RAVE! Well, I think it’s safe to say he got taken. This segment was very well done however, and made Rave seem important.
This is actually the first singles match of the night. Rave is already crazy over as a heel. Punk reports that Cabana is shaken up but will be alright because he fell on some freeloading skateboarders. I love Edge. Acid tries to hide under the ring and catches the Embassy off guard with an Asai moonsault onto them outside. Acid dominates Rave with a moonsault and spinning legdrop. Rave comes back with a clothesline. Rave gets a climbing shining wizard in the corner and a shot below the belt for 2. He stomps the face for 2. Nana beats on Acid behind the refs back. Acid comes back with some chops and a superkick. Nana trips him allowing Rave to hit a back suplex for 2. Nana gets on the mic, cheering Rave on, but Acid hits a tornado DDT. Nana blocks an Acid top rope move and tells Rave to finish him, but Acid gets a super blue thunder driver for 2. Nana’s talking seems to throw Rave off but he manages to hit a backbreaker and a legsweep for 2. Nana starts yelling ‘clash’ on the mic but Acid hits what I believe is called an orange crush for 2. If I’m wrong feel free to drop me a correction e-mail. Acid hits the Island Driver but Nana distracts the ref. He gets a backslide for 2. Rave hits the shining wizard for 2. Big boot for Acid as the match gets sloppy. Rave hits the Styles clash for 3. This was surprisingly watchable, if completely disjointed.
JZ says: Prince Nana & The Outcast Killaz aren’t exactly the most intimidating stable around. Not that they got a lot more frightening by adding Jimmy Rave, but Rave somewhat has a name in ROH and he’s a solid worker. Acid kisses girls and takes their $1 bills on the way out to the ring. Class act. This match was just kinda there, not sucking or anything, but nothing spectacular. Punk gets in more great commentary, as Prince Nana interferes (breaking the Code of Honor), and Acid goes after him. “You don’t put your hands on Prince Nana, who does Acid think he is?” – CM Punk. Punk shows Nana love for the whole match actually. Acid, to hopefully no one’s surprise, half-asses it when he’s not on offense and the match suffers as a result. Acid kicks out of the shining wizard, but Rave finishes off with the Styles Clashh at 10:03 for the victory.
MATCH #7: Pure Title Finals – Doug Williams vs. Alex Shelley
BG says: Shelley is still selling the arm injury from earlier, which adds points to the yet-to-start match. Shelley won’t shake hands because his arm hurts. Chain wrestling to start until Williams gets a drop toe hold and a leglock. Shelley slips out and gets a sort of devil lock on Williams. Williams slips out and they chain wrestle some more, very fluidly, and unlike in the 4 way. Williams ties Shelley up and leaves him in a knot on the mat. Shelley eventually escapes, but not before Williams has some fun with him. Williams gets a headlock and Shelley bumps out. He does his sweet escape from the leglock into a headlock. Shelley gets another leglock into an STF and then turns it into a front facelock. Williams wrenches the arm to escape. Shelley stops Williams from strapping on a complex submission with a reversal that gets him a 2 count. Shelley gets a wristlock and takes Williams down for 2. Tod Sinclair almost completely redeems himself for the bad referee work in the Gen Next tag matches on earlier shows by catching all of Shelley’s cheating here and calling him on it. Williams rolls Shelley up for 2. Shelley gets an armbar but Williams reverses to the leg scissors. Williams wants a knucklelock but Shelley wisely denies but ends up getting caught in an armbar. Shelley gets sent shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Shelley uses his first rope break when Williams puts an armbar on the bad arm. Shelley bails and the ref starts the 20 count but he gets back in at 8. Williams goes back to the bad arm with a hammerlock. He keeps the hammerlock on with his shins but falls victim to an enziguiri. Shelley gets a neckbreaker and a fist drop, but closed fists aren’t allowed in Pure title matches and the ref warns him. Slingshot legdrop gets 2 for Shelley. He gets an awesome elevated stomp on Williams. Dougie comes back with a big boot and an armbar causing Shelley to use his 2nd rope break. Shelley gets a neckbreaker and an elbow drop with the bad arm for 2 whilst selling awesomely. Another neckbreaker gets 2. He knees Williams in the back of the head 15 times. Now the crowd starts to stir. Shelley gets a kick to Williams’ neck and he starts convulsing. Williams gets a shoulder breaker and the top rope kneedrop, which he’s calling the Bomb Scare. He puts on a hammerlock but Shelley slips out. Williams puts on another hammerlock and Shelley uses his final rope break. Shelley gets a DDT for 2. Williams hits a big knee for 2. He lifts Shelley off the ground with a hammerlock, sort of reminiscent of the first time Ric Flair ever submitted. Oh yeah, I went there. Shelley gets out however and lands a superkick. Williams catches Shelley with an armbar but he reverses to the Border City stretch. Williams goes to the eyes to escape. Shelley hits the double knee in the corner and just barely lands the double stomp to the head. Shellshock gets 2. Williams catches him between the ropes with a knee to the face and puts on a hammerlock with rope assistance. With no rope breaks left Shelley is forced to tap. This was definitely the best Pure title match yet, filled with all sorts of cool stuff that should always go hand in hand with pure title matches. Doug Williams celebrates with the belt and his native flag. He offers Shelley a handshake but he chooses to disgrace the British flag instead. Williams puts over the win big, making the whole thing really feel worthwhile and finally give this show some momentum.
JZ says: Oh no, Todd Sinclair refereeing a match with complicated rules. Or so I thought. Sinclair does a terrific job with this match, and that helps it tremendously, because the Styles / Punk matches were really confusing. Doug Williams coming out with a ring jacket, that’s key. Shelley is selling the arm before the match even starts, which confirms his ruling class. I love Edge. These guys do all kinds of great wrestling, none of looks contrived, and it’s all very smooth. The only thing that sort of bothered me was that Shelley used all three of his rope breaks, and Williams didn’t use any. It didn’t really figure into anything in the match, but it was only mildly annoying, and Williams sold for and put over Shelley in fine fashion. Williams gets the win at 19:21, which could have maybe even been a little longer. The match and Williams make the Pure Title look very prestigious, and Alex Shelley acting like a total dick afterwards really caps off a fantastic match.
CM Punk / Ricky Steamboat Final Confrontation
BG says: Punk and Steamboat brawl immediately, with Steamboat coming out on top. Punk hits a piledriver and goes to the top rope with a ring bell. Steamboat cuts him off and throws him off the top, Ric Flair style. He grabs the mic and stands over Punk with the bell. He recognizes Punk’s talent, but says he’ll keep kicking his ass if he keeps up the smart-ass attitude. Steamboat offers up a truce, but before anything can happen Gen Next hits the ring and attacks him. Punk grabs a mic, and teases an alliance with Gen Next. He walks the path of righteousness however, and attacks Gen Next. 4 to 1 aren’t great odds, but Steamboat gets up and the two of them clear the ring. Punk and Steamboat call Captain Planet, and all is right with the world again. This was soooo corny, but it succeeded in both cementing the CM Punk face turn and starting an insta-feud between the saints and Gen Next.
JZ says: We start off with some clips of the feud, from the CM vs. AJ match from At Our Best, the Cabana vs. Whitmer match from Reborn: Stage One, the end of Round Robin Challenge III, and the Generation Next confrontation. The crowd BOOS Gary Michael Capetta when he comes out, which just isn’t right. GMC is a very nice man. CM actually comes out to his full entrance, again. Because if I were about to get into an unsanctioned fight with a guy I hated, I’d make sure the music guys had me cued up first. Steamboat and Punk engage in a physical confrontation that makes it look at though Steamboat might actually be able to work a match. Then comes the promo, and when Alex Shelley comes out with Gen Next, he’s STILL selling the arm. That’s awesome. CM and Ricky clean house and make nice-nice. It was a little corny, but it did succeed in getting Punk over as a face and jumpstarting the Saints/Gen Next feud.
MATCH #8: The Rottweilers with Julius Smokes vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe and ROH World Champion Samoa Joe
BG says: Flashback recalling the buildup to the 6 man tag main event. ROH likes to have these big 6 man tag matches when two groups have an issue. Joe and Homicide had been warring for almost two years at this point, and with Homicide’s new faction the Rottweilers behind him, Joe needed some backup. This is billed as a 6 man war, so I’m guessing that it’s no DQ. The Rottweilers attack right away. Homicide goes for a suicide dive but Joe slaps him down. Joe goes to give Smokes an ole kick but Homicide cuts him off. Joe suplexes Homicide into Smokes and gets the ole kick on J-Train. Smokes’ expressions were hilarious there. Things calm down a bit while the Rottweilers regroup. Joe and Romero start off the match proper as Homicide takes a phone call in the entranceway. Romero lands a big kick but takes one in the face. Joe strikes Romero in the corner and doesn’t let up. Jay and Reyes come in and take it to the mat. Reyes grabs a headlock but lets go to kick Jay around. Mark comes in and shoulders Reyes in his corner. He grabs a front facelock but gets backed into the Rottweilers’ corner allowing Homicide to come in. He takes over and tags Reyes in. Reyes gets a snap suplex for 2. Mark backs him into his corner and tags Jay in. Jay grabs a headlock but Reyes counters with a stunner. He elbows Jay and tags Romero in. Bauer swoons over Punk as Romero tries to bait Jay into a trap. Mark begs for the tag so Jay tags him in. Mark examines Romero and lets pride get the better of him as he takes the hand on a dare from Homicide and gets caught in the Rings of Saturn. Joe makes the save with a big kick. Mark gets a gut wrench suplex and kneedrop for 2. He forearms Romero and Joe tags in. Romero tries to bait Joe into his trap, but he isn’t retarded so he turns Romero over and kicks the crap out of him. Joe gets the Gory special into a pin attempt for 2. He gets a surfboard stretch but Romero escapes with a Rings of Saturn. He kicks Joe, but it’s freaking Joe, who comes back with headbutts to the barred arm. Joe shoulder blocks Romero to the floor but Reyes tags in and wants Jay. Reyes gets a big shoulderblock but Jay comes back with a running forearm. He gets a superkick and tags in Mark. Reyes gets double teamed in the corner. Mark grabs a headlock but Romero kicks him off. Mark hits a northern lights suplex for 2. Joe comes in and he and Mark nail a double stalling suplex. Joe attacks Romero and Homicide on the apron and gives Reyes the Big Joe combo. Yeah, that’s what I’m calling it.
Jay comes in and nails a dropkick for 2. Romero nails Jay from the apron as Reyes gets a side suplex and tags in Homicide. Homicide gets a neckbreaker for 2. He hits a vertical suplex for 2, and the hanging DDT for 2 and tags in Romero. Jay gets caught in the Rottweilers’ corner and gets kicked a bunch. The Rottweilers triple team him and finish up with a low blow/dropkick to the face combo. Reyes hits a double underhook suplex for 2. He hits a big lariat and tags in Homicide. Homicide hits a back elbow tags Romero. Romero gets a crossface as Jay tries to get the crowd behind him. He fights out and hits a huge lariat. He hits a yakuza kick and tags out to Joe. Homicide comes in and gets powerslammed. Joe dominates both Pitbulls and Mark hits a spinning dive onto Jay after missing Reyes. Joe goes for a dive onto everyone but Homicide cuts him off with headbutts. You don’t headbutt Joe, who comes back with an avalanche and a fatmanouttacontrol dive onto everyone. Homicide goes for the tope but won’t give it to the crowd… so Mark drags him outside and beats on him. Joe catches Romero with an STO back inside for 2. Rocky gets an armbar but Joe lifts him up and Mark hits him with a springboard dropkick. Jay tags in and goes for the Jay driller but Romero fights out only to eat a big boot. Jay gets a top rope legdrop for 2. Romero gets an octopus stretch and the Rottweilers cut Mark and Joe off from making the save. Mark finds a way around and saves. Double team curtain call gets 2 for Reyes. He armdrags Jay and hits a fisherman’s buster for 2. Jay reverses a German suplex into a rollup for 2. Mark tags in and they get the doomsday device for 2 even with Joe blocking the save. They go for another doomsday device but it’s blocked and Reyes hits a German suplex. Mark goes for a springboard shooting star press but slips and lands ON HIS HEAD. That was really, really gross. Homicide comes in and beats on Mark but gets back suplexed. Romero comes in but gets taken down and Mark goes to the top again. Freakin’ psycho. Homicide thankfully knocks Mark off the top and hits a tiger driver for 2. Joe tags in and gets a nasty DVD on Homicide for 2. Romero comes in and gets planted and kneed in the face. The camera kinda misses what happens here, but from what I gathered Homicide went to throw a fireball in Joe’s face but Mark jumped in front of it and the ref calls for the bell. Joe and the Briscoes win by DQ. The ending looked really messed up due to Mark’s brains being scrambled. The rest of the match was fun, feeling like 15 minutes when it was really over 30. However, that ending from Mark’s incident on brought it down some.
Post-match Jay takes out the Pitbulls but gets knocked down by Homicide. Joe and the Briscoes get beaten down and declare that nobody can stop them. Low Ki’s music plays and the crowd goes crazy! Ki comes out talks big about respect and the ROH title. He stands between Joe and the Rottweilers… but nails Joe in the face with the belt! Ki puts Joe in a triangle choke as Homicide declares him the newest member of the Rottweilers. They beat Joe down and bury him under the ROH banner. Nicely done.
JZ says: We start off with clips from Homicide vs. Samoa Joe from Reborn: Stage One, CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe from World Title Classic, and Survival of the Fittest. This one starts off hot and pretty much remains hot all the way through. All of these guys hit incredibly hard, and don’t care how hard they get hit. Homicide is a total dick in this match, which is phenomenal. He answers a phone call partway through the match, and teases the tope but won’t give it the crowd. The crowd is just going bananas over this one. When Mark went up for the shooting star press and landed on his head, I swore his neck was broken. He somehow continued, but the match did kind of fall apart after this. Chaos reigns until Homicide throws the fireball at Joe, only to hit Mark instead, so Joe and the Briscoes win by disqualification (an ROH rarity) at 32:01. Boy Mark sure got the fuzzy end of the lollipop in that match, landing on his head and getting fire thrown at him. After the match the chaotic brawl continues, but Jay and Mark are gone as they went to the back to get medical attention for the fireballed Mark. So Joe is left alone against the three Rottweilers, until Low Ki comes out to make the save … or so we thought. Low Ki turns on Joe and joins the Rottweilers, and they cover Joe with the ROH banner as Low Ki says he is the champion, or something like that. Awesome segment, even if I don’t particularly care for Low Ki. However, most people do, and he can bring in some people for the shows he is on, so I’m all for it.
BG says: Sugar Sean is backstage with Special K. Dixie and Angeldust don’t want to party anymore, and leave without the rest of Special K.
JZ says: Dixie and Angeldust no longer have time to party. Well, that’s the end of an era I suppose.
BG says: I’m going to have to give it to Alex Shelley again, for having the Match of the Night and selling like a champ, even if he didn’t become one on this night.
JZ says: I’ll also have to give it to Alex Shelley, for having for having the best match of the night and participating in a really great segment with CM and Steamboat. And he sold that arm the entire night.
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See you soon with our review of “Reborn: Completion!”
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The 411: BG says: This reminded me of older WWF Pay-Per-Views where the under cards were brutal and the top of the card completely bailed everything out. In the case of this show, all the storylines progressed in a fun and satisfying manner. The layout of the show, however, was very much like early ROH shows, in that the main events were great but the under cards were most throwaway. If you decide to grab this one, fast forward until the Jimmy Rave heel turn, because the stuff leading up to it isn't that great, and all the stuff after is solid-really good.
JZ says: The 4-ways really drag this show down, but at least it has two great matches and a great segment to close the show, which makes it worth getting. The new Pure Champ is crowned, CM turned face, and Alex Shelley ruled. It’s not enough to make it a really good show, but it’s solid enough.
|Final Score: 4.8 [ Poor ] legend|