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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Double Feature, Night One

May 3, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Double Feature, Night One  

Ring of Honor — Double Feature, Night One
by J.D. Dunn

  • March 14, 2008
  • From Dover, N.J..
  • Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.

  • Rebecca Bayless lets us know that the new Darren Aronofsky film “The Wrestler” is shooting during this show, so it will be a little different. The first things you’ll notice are a steeply inclined entrance ramp and a venue that looks like a compressed Manhattan Center.
  • Opening Match, Non-Title: Roderick Strong vs. Pelle Primeau.
    Strong mauls Pelle early. Pelle, of course, comes back with his aerial moves. Roderick nearly gets the pin off a chop, but Pelle comes back with a Majestral for two. Roderick catches him with a gutbuster and finishes with an Inverted Cloverleaf with some kicks to the head added for good measure. Pelle has to tap at 5:37. If you’ve seen one Pelle Primeau match, you’ve seen them all. *1/4

  • Four Corner Survival: Nigel McGuinness vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Erick Stevens.
    Nigel makes friends with the audience members before the match. Whitmer and Stevens do a brief power sequence before the all decide to team up against Nigel for being a total tool. Claudio gives him the Giant Swing, but Whitmer and Stevens tag in before he can finish him off. Stevens hits Whitmer with the TKO, taking him out of the match. Claudio tags back in and hits Nigel with the Ricolabomb for the win at 9:18. This was pretty brisk, and it helped reignite Claudio’s ongoing feud with Nigel. Whitmer really looked like a placeholder, though, and it’s no wonder he took a hiatus not long after this. **1/4

  • #1 Contender Qualifier: Necro Butcher (w/Lacey) vs. Delirious.
    Winner of this moves on to a four-corner match to determine a #1 contender. I think that’s ROH getting a bit ahead of themselves because Kevin Steen is already the standing #1 contender. Hell, just bring back the #1 contender’s trophy concept if you’re going to have #1 contender’s matches every couple of weeks. Necro kicks Delirious in the face while he’s in stasis. Delirious fights back on the outside, but Lacey grabs his legs as he’s getting in the ring. Necro works Delirious over with his punchy offense. He even kicks out of Shadows Over Hell. He hits a chokeslam and calls for a chair, but Daizee Haze runs down and keeps Lacey from slipping it to her. A little kid runs down and starts beating on Lacey. Ha ha! KAYFABE~! In all the chaos, Delirious rolls up Necro for the win at 7:45. It served its purpose, but the whole Lacey/Daizee thing has been done to death. **

  • Bryan Danielson & Austin Aries vs. Jigsaw & Ruckus (w/Julius Smokes).
    This is the debut of the unmasked Jigsaw. My first thought was “Why is DJ Qualls in Ring of Honor?” Funny pre-match promo from Danielson as he directs the crowd to cheer for himself, Aries and Ruckus, but tells the fans to chant, “Put your mask back on,” whenever Jigsaw does anything. Take that, Aronofsky. This is one of the best regular matches I’ve seen from this version of the Vulture Squad. That probably shouldn’t be surprising, given their opponents. We see Ruckus’ regular tag partner Eddie Kingston in the crowd, yelling at Smokes. Marissa Tomei decides to head out at this point, possibly for her date with Bobby Dempsey, given her known weakness for stocky men. Oh, wait. It was stocky, bald men. Meanwhile, there’s a match happening back in the ring as Danielson works over Jigsaw’s legs. Ruckus gets distracted by Kingston, telling him he’ll talk to him after the show. Aries and Dragon avoid Ruckus’ somersault plancha, but Jigsaw hits them with a suicida. Back in, Ruckus goes up, but he gets distracted again by Kingston asking where his loyalties lie. Aries and Danielson are able to catch him and hit a double superplex. Jigsaw goes out to yell at Kingston, allowing Danielson to hit the trapped elbows. Aries finishes with the Horns of Aries at 12:09. The match was more about establishing Danielson and Aries as a dominant team and teasing a BLCKOUT reunion in ROH than actually having a good match, but it was fun on that level. I miss the days in ROH of lots of angle advancement on the card. **1/2

  • #1 Contender’s Qualifier: Go Shiozaki vs. Brent Albright.
    The fans start in with the whole John Belushi thing again. Hey, heat is heat, as long as the fans are having fun while you’re out there. Long feeling-out process to start, which is a bit surprising. Albright makes sure to avoid Go’s trademark chops early, but Go avoids Brent slipping over his shoulder and connects with a series of hard chops. Albright blocks the lariat and counters to an awkward uranage backbreaker. He takes Go to the floor and chokes him over the rail to intimidate some kids. Ah, I miss the days of terrorizing children to get heat. Back in, Shiozaki battles out of a surfboard, and they slug it out again. They exchange backdrop suplexes, and Shiozaki uses FIGHTING SPIRIT to hit a superkick and a lariat. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Albright gets one last gasp with a small package for two, but Shiozaki hits a brainbuster and a Kobashi-esque moonsault for the win at 14:09. This brought back fond memories of Kobashi’s best slugfests with gaijin in the early 1990s. I’m fervently awaiting Go Shiozaki vs. Erick Stevens just to see the second generation of Kobashi vs. Steve Williams. ***1/2

  • Larry Sweeney interrupts as Albright considers shaking Go’s hand. The fans get on Sweeney’s nerves by chanting for Bobby Dempsey, so he slaps Dempsey around for existing. Sweeney offers Albright a card, but Albright rips it up. To make matters worse for Sweet ‘n’ Sour, Sara Del Rey comes out and quits the organization. No explanation is given, but it’s pretty obvious that Sweeney knocking her regular tag partner and encouraging Bobby Dempsey to rape her is probably sticking in Del Rey’s craw. Claudio Castagnoli comes through the crowd and chases Sweeney back up the ramp.
  • Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards.
    Richards attacks before the bell, but Steen fights him back and batters him around the ring, much to the delight of the ringside fans. Steen considers tossing Davey into the crowd but thinks better of it because there’s a kid in the audience. Richards uses that opening to kick the rope into Steen’s crotch. Davey humbles Steen with a camel clutch and works in the tree-of-woe crotch shot. Steen gets revenge with a cannonball in the corner and then punches Richards in the nuts (according to Leonard) behind the ref’s back. Richards hits a missile dropkick but misses a diving headbutt. Nice spot as Richards hits a back spin kick and catches Steen in a small package on the rebound. That gets two and sets up a successful diving headbutt this time. Steen catches him with a superkick and locks in the Sharpshooter. It’s very Rock-esque. Steen lets it go and hits a packaged neckbreaker. Richards blocks one Packaged Piledriver and tries a backslide, but Steen stays with it and hits the Packaged Piledriver for the win at 12:37. The fans love every bit of Steen, and Richards is one of the few guys who can generate legit heel heat. The fans had no problem getting into this one. I like the little callback with the shot to the nuts (and Lenny Leonard’s repeated call of it). Steen has done a great job connecting with the fans without pandering. ***

  • Tyler Black & Joey Matthews (w/Necro Butcher) vs. The Briscoe Bros.
    Matthews promises there will be no tables, ladders, or chairs tonight. They’re going to have an old-fashioned, slow Southern-style match. The Briscoes jump Tyler Black and quickly isolate him. Mark goes up, but Matthews distracts him just long enough for Tyler to recover and dropkick Mark out of the air. Mark plays face-in-peril, and we actually do get a Southern-style tag match. Jay gets the tag and sets up for the Doomsday Device, but Tyler yanks Mark off the apron. Now, Jay plays face-in-peril. Prazak and Leonard point out what a solidifying presence Joey Matthews has been to the Age of the Fall, and you can actually tell the difference when he’s in the ring. Jay slips away from the Age and tags in Mark. Mark cleans house with Redneck-Fu and hits the springboard Ace Crusher on Matthews. He misses a moonsault block, though, and the Age of the Fall hit the Snapshot. Jay clotheslines Black out and DVDs Matthews. Lacey runs in, distracting Jay long enough for Matthews to DDT Mark on a chair and pick up the win at 14:23. The Age of the Fall continue the beatdown until Daizee Haze and Delirious make the save. This was a much more solid match that followed the formula. The Briscoes were limited by it, but at the same time it flowed much better than their usual matches. Mark promises that their next match will be a Street Fight. **3/4
  • The 411: At only two hours, this show flowed soooo much better than many of the recent ROH shows. No match of the year candidates or anything, but the show is just so efficient and breezy that it was easy to watch. Hopefully, Gabe's edict to keep things short and not burn out the audiences will mean more shows like this (but with better matches).

    Thumbs up.

     
    Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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