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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Battle of the Best

December 17, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Battle of the Best  

Ring of Honor – Battle of the Best
by J.D. Dunn

  • Bonus Match: FIP Florida Heritage Title: Sal Rinauro (w/the YRR) vs. Delirious (04.26.08).
    Rinauro stalls *forever* because the fans keep taunting him for being a chicken. When the match finally gets going, it’s pretty good. Rinauro hits a move, plays to the crowd, hits a move, plays to the crowd. Delirious uses his head to come back. That sets up the Panic Attack and Shadows Over Hell, but Kenny King, Chasyn Rance and Jason Blade come out to distract Delirious. Rinauro charges but gets dumped on his cronies. Delirious keeps fighting them off, but that allows Sal to hit his springboard flying kick for the win at 16:01. **1/2

  • MsChif vs. Amazing Kong (04.07.07).
    Kong is all up in MsChif’s grill before she even gets in the ring. This looks like a great matchup on paper. MsChif has no fear, but, um, well… maybe she should. Kong rolls through a headscissors and just UNLOADS with a chop that folds MsChif in half. MsChif tries a sleeper, but Kong just reaches up and yanks her off. MsChif tries again and gets slung again. Finally, she hits a really nice DDT counter of a powerslam. MsChif beats her down in the corner but realizes she can’t move Kong. She goes for the Desecrator, but Kong powers up into the Torture Rack. Kong makes MsChif kick herself in the head. Kong is a sick, sick woman. MsChif catches Kong going up and tries an Angleslam. Kong just shoves her off and hits a missile dropkick. MsChif looks like she was shot out of a canon. MsChif tries to avoid a splash, but Kong lands on her anyway. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! MsChif comes back with a DDT, and Kong bails. MsChif comes off the top and wipes her out, though. Kong shrugs off MsChif’s blows and hits a stiff lariat. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Implant Buster! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Kong… is… pissed! SITOUT POWERBOMB! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Allison Danger says MsChif needs to think about the long-term. MsChif hits a spinning backfist and gets two, but she runs right into a fist from Kong. That sets up a spinning powerbomb at 17:20. This was like watching a Vader match circa 1992. Kong looked like a killer without hurting MsChif at all. ***1/4

  • Jimmy Jacobs recounts the history of the Age of the Fall and puts over the importance of going to Japan.
  • September 13, 2008
  • From Tokyo, Japan.
  • Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.
  • Nigel McGuinness says the result will be much the same for Danielson and Jacobs this weekend. He also reminds Danielson that Bryan won’t get a title shot on PPV until he defeats everyone Nigel has defeated.
  • Elsewhere, Larry Sweeney celebrates with Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards.
  • Opening Match: YAMATO vs. Eddie Edwards (w/Larry Sweeney).
    Yamato sounds like a really disgusting hybrid juice. His hair makes him look like the lost Jonas Brother. I like Edwards’ wrestling, but I can’t approve of the use of a faux-hawk. He’s starting to look like Matt Sydal. His wrestling style is eerily similar to Chris Benoit’s, though, right down to the way he leans into chops and kicks on a snap suplex. He’s not as bulky as Benoit, but given how that worked out for Chris, maybe it’s a good thing. Yamato tosses Edwards with an Exploder to take over. He works the leg and locks in a half-crab. Edwards makes the ropes and rolls through a sunset flip into a kick. That sets up a quebrada for two. A backpack stunner gets two. Edwards unloads with kicks, but Yamato spears him and locks in a Texas Cloverleaf. It’s a good one too, but Edwards makes the ropes. Yamato charges into a superkick and a foldover powerbomb (just like Benoit used to do). Yamato counters a suplex to a brainbuster for two. That sets up a Galleria Special (brainbuster Falcon Arrow) at 12:23. Good wrestling, but very clinical. **1/4

  • After the match, Larry Sweeney berates Edwards for losing and threatens to kick him out of Sweet ‘n’ Sour if he doesn’t improve.
  • Roderick Strong says he’s been dreaming about getting his hands on Davey Richards.
  • Ryo Saito vs. Austin Aries.
    This should be… fast. It’s actually fairly deliberate at first. Saito puts Austin in a headscissors, but YOU CAN’T HEADSCISSOR AUSTIN ARIES! Aries dropkicks him and puts him in the Last Chancery. Saito makes the ropes, though. Aries goes for the slingshot twisting splash, but Saito gets his knees up. Saito methodically stomps him down and locks in a bearhug. Aries fights out of it and hits his Mach 5.0 suicida. Back in, Saito boots Aries to block the IED. Saito presses him into a German Suplex and goes up. Aries catches him, but Saito fights him off and hits a flying splash. They trade reversals, and Saito comes out of it with a Dragon Suplex. Aries’ shoulder is off the mat, though. Aries backflips out of another German attempt and punts him in the mush. That sets up the Last Chancery at 13:30. Not as fast-paced as I thought it would be. Both guys have enough maneuvers to reverse and reverse-reverse to keep things interesting for quite a while, though. **1/2

  • After the match, Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black run down, hit Aries with a foreign object, and choke Aries out.
  • Recap of Roderick Strong turning down Larry Sweeney’s offer to join Sweet ‘n’ Sour.
  • Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards (w/Larry Sweeney).
    Sweeney’s pre-match promo starts off well with a line about going to people’s houses and not taking off his shoes. Pretty cool mirror sequence early (because they know each other). These two actually feuded over the FIP Heavyweight Title. Richards takes Roddy down and goes after the leg, but he makes the mistake of starting a chop battle. That goes very badly for him, so he grounds Roderick and gets an assist from Sweeney. Roderick snaps off a nice dropkick but misses a pescado. Davey tries a rolling suicida, but he’s going so fast that he takes out the front row. Roderick breaks kayfabe by checking on him and then selling the move even though it didn’t hit. The woman in the audience that Davey took out is okay. She’s tough. She’s a Japanese wrestling fan. Roderick chops his way back into the match but misses a charge and rams himself into the barricade. Into the ring, Roderick tries a chop again, but Davey KICKS HIS HEAD OFF! Sickening. I like it. Richards locks in a camel clutch, but Roddy powers up and falls back with him. Roderick fights his way back and hits a Malenko-ish flying kick. Strong misses a charge in the corner, and Davey awkwardly lifts him into the adjacent corner. That was… interesting. It sets up a superplex for two. Roderick goes up, but Richards bounds up and hits a German Superplex! That sets up the Texas Cloverleaf! Roddy squeals like a pig but makes the ropes. Davey does a cool hooking clothesline into a Peterson Roll for two. They chop it out. Again, Richards tries to end it with a high kick, but Roderick comes right back with a rolling elbow. Richards tries a suplex, but they both tumble to the floor. Back in, they slug it out, gaining intensity with each shot until Roderick knocks him back and hits his flying Yakuza Kick. ONE, TWO, TH-NO! Both guys reverse moves to small packages, and they go into a nearfall-exchange sequence. Finally, Roderick comes out of it with a Tiger Driver. He decides to give Davey one more for good measure and gets the pin at 25:00. This alternated between really stiff and kind of clunky. The good far outweighs the bad, though. I’m glad Davey controlled the action for the most part. He seems to be the better all-around performer (and better character). Roderick’s chops were just sickening, as were Davey’s kicks. Not only does this let Roderick get a measure of revenge, but it also nicely sets up “The Battle of the Chop” between Roderick and Kensuke Sasaki. ***1/2

  • Bryan Danielson lets us know he’s the best in the world.
  • El Generico, Shingo & Dragon Kid vs. YOSHINO, Naruke Doi & BxB Hulk.
    They do the usual pair off exhibition opening, most notable for rivals Shingo and BxB Hulk going at it. This is quite a bit slower than their other big matches for ROH, probably due to the presence of Shingo and Generico. That’s fine, though, because I actually have time to catch my breath in between moves. Dragon Kid’s version of the 619 kicks the ass of Rey Mysterio’s. BxB gets a little sloppy, slipping off the ropes on a springboard attempt, but he tries again a few minutes later and hits a spinning wheel kick. Shingo looks like a killer, overpowering the little dudes and threatening to kill them with the awesomeness of his shaved-fauxhawk-mullet. Generico just seems to be along for the ride, but he does get the win with his Brainbuster at 22:27. Time just flew by. Outside of some sloppiness, this was the usual great Dragon Gate stuff. ***3/4

  • Recap of the Danielson-McGuinness feud, which has raged on for nearly three years.
  • Non-Title: Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson.
    This is non-title because Nigel is ducking Danielson as much as possible. I was expecting more hatred, but they follow the forgotten Code of Honor. That doesn’t stop them from stretching each other in particularly nasty ways. Nigel is the first to go with the strikes, hitting Danielson with a back elbow. Danielson comes back later in the match with a series of strikes in the corner that nearly puts Nigel down for the count. Nigel shakes it off and wins a battle of slaps, albeit with a knee to the temple. The finish sees them go into a series of reversals, and Dragon catches Nigel with the surprise small package once again to establish himself as the favorite to knock off McGuinness. (22:01) Not the rollercoaster epic most of their past matches have been. It almost felt like a house show match, where they do their usual stuff and work on things they might like to do down the road. Not a must-see, really, but it’s pretty hard for these two to have a bad match. ***1/2

  • ROH World Tag Titles, Relaxed Rules: The Age of the Fall vs. The Briscoe Bros.
    This one breaks down even before the bell as the Age of the Fall attack in the aisle, and the brawl spills out into the audience. Jimmy actually drops a Cactus Elbow at one point. The fans either chant “Holy Shit!” or “Punish him!” The Briscoes take Tyler out of it with a sky high press on the concrete. That leaves Jimmy as easy pickings for the Briscoes. They corner him and beat the living crap out of him. Tyler returns at the last second to save him from the Springboard Doomsday Device, though. Mark actually kicks out of a Doomsday Contra Code and hits the Cutthroat Driver. The highlight is Black picking up Mark and powerbombing him over the barricade into the audience. Jay goes up top, but Black shoves him off into the End Time at 12:35. A surprisingly clean job by the Briscoes (and clean win by the AotF!). Still no selling or anything, guys take big moves on the concrete and pop up to make the save moments later. At least they had some cool spots, especially the powerbomb into the audience – a great visual – and the inventive finish. **3/4
  • The 411: The wrestling was just fine with a high-quality trio of matches in the middle. The crowd was even more silent than usual, though, and it detracted from a lot of the fun. It's an atmosphere more akin to a funeral than a wrestling show. If you can get past that, though, there's enough good wrestling in the middle of the show to make for a thumbs up.

    Mild thumbs up.

    Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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