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Cook’s ROH TV Review 4.8.22

April 11, 2022 | Posted by Steve Cook
Ring of Honor ROH Honor Reigns Supreme Cary Silkin ROH TV Logo Image Credit: ROH
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Cook’s ROH TV Review 4.8.22  

Hey kids! Today we’re looking back at Classic Title Matches from the era where Cary Silkin owned Ring of Honor. Looks like a pretty interesting mix of talent we’re familiar with today, so let’s hook em up!

Cook’s ROH TV Review 4.8.22

ROH Pure Championship Tournament Final: AJ Styles vs. CM Punk (w/Tracy Brooks) (Second Anniversary Show, 2/14/04): The entirety of the Pure Championship Tournament took place during the Second Anniversary show. Punk had a classic moment early in the evening when he came out to Christopher Daniels’ music wearing the Fallen Angel attire, one which he would reprise later in WWE with Jeff Hardy. It was good times. Styles & Punk talk some junk and linger a bit on the handshake. Punk dives for Styles a couple of times, but Styles evades him. Punk with an arm wringer, Styles reverses with one of his own. Punk uses the ropes to flip out of the arm wringer, but referee Gary Moyer declares that to be a rope break! Not sure if I’d go along with that, but referee’s decision is final. Styles takes advantage of Punk discussing this with the referee, rolls Punk through into a Styles Clash attempt, Punk rolls through into an attempted Achilles’ Lock and Styles quicky finds the ropes. This rope break thing was new to ROH at the time, so it’s not surprising the wrestlers would have difficulty adjusting to it. They go into a tieup around the ring, tumble to the floor and continue the tieup. As Ray Murrow points out, there is a 20 count in addition to the rope break rule. ROH didn’t have countouts at all prior to this night. They criss cross on the ropes, but Styles rolls out onto the floor and starts attacking Tracy! The Tracy Brooks I know wouldn’t hurt a housefly, much less a pro wrestler unless she’s booked in a match against them, so I don’t know what AJ’s deal is. Punk takes advantage of AJ’s insanity and dives over the top rope onto him. Styles hits a dropkick on the floor, a questionable decision even if he wasn’t working a leg injury from earlier in the night. Styles leapfrogs the barricade on an Irish whip by Punk, Punk follows him into the crowd! Back into the ring, Styles goes for a nip-up rana, Punk reverses it into a Boston Crab. Styles has to use his second rope break. We go to commercial.

Styles & Punk exchange forearms as we return. Styles hits a discus lariat, knocking Punk out of the ring. Tracy checks on Punk, who manages to make it in at the 14 count. Punk shrugs off the spinning DDT, hits a Shining Wizard for a two count. Punk forearms Styles in the corner, delivers a chop and tunes up the band. Apparently both men used their remaining rope breaks during our commercial. Styles blocks, goes for the flipping reverse DDT, Punk blocks that then Styles goes for a German suplex. Punk blocks that, and hits a piledriver. Didn’t get all of that he wanted to, but Punk still hooks Styles into a modified Texas Cloverleaf. Styles goes to the ropes, which he climbs up and kicks his way out of the hold. Punk with a chop block, goes for another Shining Wizard but Styles blocks and hits the Styles Clash for 2! I feel like that didn’t happen often at this point, but I could be wrong. Punk hits a DDT for 2. Sends Styles into the corner and gets ready for the Pepsi Plunge…Styles starts exchanging forearms with Punk, then hits a Pele that knocks Punk out. Styles sets Punk up…Styles Clash off the second rope! That ends it.

Winner: AJ Styles (16:36 via pinfall)
Match Rating: ***1/2

We saw about twelve minutes or so. Some sloppiness that can be excused by both men working multiple matches that evening and being relatively young in their careers. Still, a pretty darn fun thing to watch if you’re into seeing pro wrestling superstars before they became legends.

ROH World Championship Match: Bryan Danielson (c) vs. Delirious (Ring of Homicide, 5/13/06): Delirious has the microphone and gives Danielson what for before attacking him with forearms! Bryan still has the belt on, the fans chant about it being awesome as they run around forearming like crazy people. Danielson ducks outside when he finally gets a chance. He gets into it with some of the ringsiders. Delirious taunts Danielson from the ring, saying some unkind things about the American Dragon’s mother. How rude! Danielson gets up in Bobby Cruise’s face while planting the ROH World Championship on the timekeeper’s table. Some of the CZW fans in attendance this evening chant “Overrated” at Danielson while the ROH fans politely ask them to be quiet. Danielson finally re-enters the ring and the two men tie-up. Danielson goes for Cattle Mutilation, but Delirious fights it off. Kick to the spine and a knee drop by Dragon, who asks the fans who’s overrated now. Dragon works the arm and stretches Delirious in the center of the ring. Goes back to that Cattle Mutilation, but Delirious’s feet reach the ropes as we go to commercial.

Danielson head up top as we return, he jumps into a Ace Crusher from Delirious. They both get back up and strikes are exchanged. Delirious gets a two count with a dropkick. Some standing switches lead to a crucifix from Delirious into the Cobra Stretch! Danielson reaches the bottom rope. Delirious runs into a boot in the corner, and Danielson hits a European uppercut off the middle rope. Danielson with some running forearms followed by a clothesline for two. Masterlock applied, and Delirious fights out but it’s still Danielson on the offensive. A dragon suplex gets two on Delirious. Danielson goes for the crossface chickenwing, locks it in the middle of the ring. Delirious manages to reach those ropes. Danielson looks like a man possessed. He places Delirious up top for the belly-to-back superplex, Delirious counters it into a crossbody! Delirious dropkicks Danielson into the corner, and hits the Panic Attack! Delirious goes up top…Shadows Over Hell! The splash to the bent over Danielson’s back gets two. Back to the Cobra Stretch! Danielson reaches the ropes. Danielson blocks the SOH this time and locks in the Cattle Mutilation. Delirious inches his way over to the ropes. Now some elbows by Danielson, but Delirious powers out. He punts Danielson a couple of times, but Mr. Small Package strikes again, rolling Delirious up for the three count!

Winner: Bryan Danielson (24:50 via pinfall)
Match Rating: ***

It almost feels unfair rating this one, as we saw nine minutes or so of a twenty-four minute match! What we saw was fun though, and reminded me of Delirious’s qualities as a pro wrestler. We tend to forget about that these days, as he’s more associated with ROH’s writing/booking over the past decade or so. I was a big fan of his persona & wrestling back in the day, it’s a shame he didn’t get to go further with it than he did.

ROH World Championship Match: Austin Aries (c) vs. Tyler Black (Eighth Anniversary Show, 2/13/10): Aries & Black had a sixty minute draw at Final Battle prior to this, which as I recall Ari Berenstein liked & nobody else did. Aries gets on the microphone and talks about how he wrestled the match he wanted to last time. This time, he’s being forced to wrestle the match people want to see. He’ll win this one too. Jim Cornette grabs the microphone and says he wants the people to like this match. There are judges at ringside in case this goes to a draw or some other thing requiring judges to rule. Aries attacks Black right away, leading to Black gaining the upperhand while Aries still has his pink fuzzy jacket on. Some reversals lead to Black slapping Aries silly. Aries bails outside, Roderick Strong, who happens to be one of the judges, takes exception. Aries goes back into the ring & gets dropkicked by Black for two. Joe Dombrowski explains that the judges are Strong, Kenny King & Jim Cornette, and Black & Aries both got to pick one of the judges. (BTW, when were he & Dave Prazak an announce team? 2010 was a weird time period for ROH.) Black with some punches in the corner. Aries takes a whip into the buckles, Black vaults over him onto the apron and hits Aries with a springboard clothesline. Count of 1 before Aries rolls back outside. Aries rolls back into the ring and talks things over with the judges as we go to commercial.

Aries dives backwards into a suplex for a near-fall. Black misses a stomp on the mat, Aries jacks his jaw on the top rope and hits a flipping senton on Black. Aries misses an elbow drop, Black rolls onto the apron and jumps back in with a spinning heel kick for two. Black stomps Aries down in the corner. Black slams Aries, hits the stomp this time. They exchange near-fall attempts until Aries gets kneed in the head. Rollins rolls Aries up, then gets sent into the ring post by Aries. Aries with the double axe handle on the floor. He works Black over on the apron, then hits a neckbreaker down to the floor for a two count. Aries kicks Black’s spine for a two-count. Aries locks Black in a Boston Crab, but Black gets to the ropes. Aries hits a Rude Awakening for two. Missile dropkick by Aries gets two as we go to commercial.

We return with Aries & Black on the turnbuckle. Black hits the superplex into an F-5 for a two-count. Black hits some forearms & chops on Aries. Whips into corners by Black. Aries ends up on the apron, and Black sends him into the barricade. Aries ends up in the front row and Black dives into him! Strong apparently cursed about it. Black rolls Aries back to the ring. He sets Aries up for the Buckle Bomb, but Aries backdrops Black to the floor. Aries then hits a Death Valley Driver on the apron, which as we know is the hardest part of the ring. Aries tries the tope suicida, but Black moves and Aries hits the barricade! Black covers Aries in the ring for two, but Aries blocks the Buckle Bomb. Aries bites Black in the corner, but Black hits the Rubik’s Cube for a two count. Black goes up top, Aries avoids the Phoenix Splash. Forearm exchange. Black blocks the brainbuster, Aries dropkicks him in the corner and hits two brainbusters for two. Aries goes up top, and his 450 hits Black’s knees. Black cradles Aries for two. Slap fight like it’s 2022! Black hits the kick, Aries kicks back, Black hits God’s Last Gift for two. Kenny King gets up on the apron while Black prepares himself on the turnbuckle for another Phoenix Splash. Strong jumps up and kicks King down, but the reverberation on the ropes knocks Black back into the ring. Black superkicks Strong off the apron, can’t say he didn’t deserve that one. Jim Cornette isn’t happy, so Black superkicks him off the apron! Well, if that doesn’t get this NYC crowd 100% behind Black, nothing will. Aries misses the rollup, Black superkicks him, hits a Buckle Bomb, two more superkicks & the Phoenix splash for the three-count.

Winner: Tyler Black (22:13 via pinfall)
Match Rating: ***

We saw about eighteen minutes of this. I must admit that A-Double was not my favorite stage of Austin Aries’ career. They should have pulled the trigger on Black at Final Battle instead of drawing it out to this show. 2010 booking criticism aside, this was pretty decent. A lot of stuff, not a lot of psychology, but the fans seemed to like it.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Even though these three matches happened under the same ownership, we saw three different eras of ROH on display. It was an interesting ride through ROH's mid to late 2000s.

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ROH TV, Steve Cook