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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Eye of the Storm

April 15, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Eye of the Storm  

Ring of the Year — Eye of the Storm
by J.D. Dunn

  • February 22, 2008
  • From Deer Park, N.Y..
  • Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.

  • Sadly, for the second time in a couple of months, blizzard conditions derailed most of the talent and audience. The result is, for all intents and purposes, Unscripted IV. A handful of good talent was able to make it, though, so at the opening of the show, ROH announces that the show will feature a #1 contender’s tournament.
  • Opening Match, Quarterfinals: Bryan Danielson vs. Rocky Romero.
    Well, this was a good start. They go with a sort of hybrid MMA-traditional style. Romero kicks at Danielson’s taped leg and draws first blood (not literally), knocking Danielson off his feet. Danielson comes back with a series of strikes and knocks Romero upside the head for a knockout tease. Romero responds with a roundhouse kick and mounts Dragon, but Danielson reverses to a half-crab. Romero reverses a Mexican Surfboard to an anklelock. Rocky goes back and forth between the leg and arm, which is a small blight on the match. He hits another roundhouse kick and locks in a guillotine choke, but Danielson reverses to elbows. MANLY! Romero reverses that back to the guillotine choke. MANLIER! Danielson makes the ropes and takes Rocky down into a stepover armbar for the submission at 9:55. Excellent striking and counter-wrestling in this one. Danielson was submission-oriented throughout while Rocky seemed to hang back and look for openings for his offense (explaining why he worked both the arm and leg). ***1/4

  • Quarterfinals: Delirious vs. Kevin Steen.
    And from that to this. Delirious is back to his old fun-loving self after the Hangm3n feud. This is total comedy with Steen playing the straight man to Delirious’ antics. They do the test of strength thing. Steen wins, of course. They do a shoulderblock battle. Steen wins, of course. Funny moment as Delirious stops to scream and gets poked in the eye, so he avoids Steen’s pescado and pokes him right back. Delirious tries to slam Steen a few times, but he can’t get him up. Steen: I guess eating all that pizza paid off! Finally, Delirious does manage a bodyslam. Steen squashes him and goes for the Swanton. Delirious gets his knees up, but Steen blocks Shadows over Hell. That leads to a cannonball in the corner, and Steen finishes with the Swanton at 9:48. Different from the opener, but nearly as fun because of the comedy stuff. ***

  • Quarterfinals: Austin Aries vs. El Generico.
    Aries had been teasing a heel turn in the weeks prior to this. He grounds Generico with a headlock early on. Aries knocks him to the floor and works in the Mach 10.0 suicide dive. Back in, Aries applies a stump-puller. Generico catches him with a sick Michinoku Driver for two. Aries gets two off the Brainbuster and goes up for the 450-splash, but Generico catches him going up. Aries shoves him down and hits a diving headbutt. That sets up the Horns of Aries. They trade forearms, and Generico busts Aries’ nose open. Aries punts him right in the face off a backslide attempt, but Generico surprises him with a schoolboy rollup at 12:51. Surprising upset finish here, but it would set up Aries’ descent into self-loathing. **3/4

  • Aries receives a standing ovation after the match, but he appears unmoved.
  • Quarterfinals: Necro Butcher vs. Go Shiozaki.
    Shiozaki is making his stateside debut. It seems odd to put him in with a garbage wrestler instead of someone who can wrestle a good solid match with him. This match definitely allowed Shiozaki to showcase his hard-hitting strikes, though. They chop it out on the outside, and Shiozaki wins that battle. Butcher grabs a shoe and beats on Go with it. Go chops his way back into it. He’s not above fighting as dirty as Necro as he chops the Butcher right in the throat a few times. He delivers a German Suplex on a chair and gets two. The moonsault finishes Butcher off at 9:23. Go looked solid, but not worthy of a lot of the fawning he gets. **

  • The Larry Sweeney Show

    Sweeney runs down random members of the crowd in lieu of a monologue. I wish Leno would do that. His very special guest is Shane Hagadorn. Mostly, it’s just an excuse to berate and abuse Bobby Dempsey, which is a noble purpose. Sweeney does, at one point, tell Hagadorn to give Adam Pearce his business card because they have something to discuss. That would set up the eventual hostile takeover.

  • Semi-Finals: Bryan Danielson vs. Kevin Steen.
    Danielson already had a title match scheduled for the following night, so he didn’t really have much to gain by winning. This is pretty mundane stuff until Danielson nails Steen in the ear, pissing him off. Steen unleashes a flurry on him and ties Danielson’s injured leg in the ropes. Steen locks in a half-crab and mocks “The Final Countdown.” Ha ha! Steen continues working on the leg with a front flip legdrop on the leg. Danielson desperately locks in that stepover armbar, but Steen doesn’t submit. Steen fights back and applies the Sharpshooter for the submission at 14:40. The announcers sell it as Danielson tapping to preserve his title shot the following night, but this was a dominating performance by Steen. I’m not sure that ROH fans will ever buy him as a legitimate main eventer, but he definitely showed he can hang as a wrestler. ***

  • Semi-Finals: El Generico vs. Go Shiozaki.
    Generico’s actions early on do not exactly scream “strategist” as he tries to chop Shiozaki in the chest. Even Prazak and Leonard note that chops seem to be Shiozaki’s strong suit. Generico doesn’t have much luck there, so he tries to take Shiozaki’s legs out from under him. That works much better. A flying splash and a DDT get two. Shiozaki catches Generico’s boot on a Yakuza Kick and chops his ankle. Cool. Generico hits it on a second try and calls for the Turnbuckle Brainbuster. Shiozaki fights out of it and lariats Generico to the mat. ORANGE CRUSH! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Generico ducks the Burning Lariat and schoolboys Shiozaki for two. Shiozaki pops up with another lariat and finishes with the Go Flasher (Orange Crush with an elbowdrop) at 13:29. Like Morishima and Shingo before him, Shiozaki shows solid skills, but it will probably take a while for him to develop a personality. ***

  • Rebecca Bayless catches up with Rocky Romero. Rocky doesn’t seem to care much about the loss, but he asks Becky to stop by his hotel room. Becky stammers through a rejection. ACTING~!
  • Four-Corner Survival: Human Tornado vs. Jason Blade vs. Pelle Primeau vs. Mitch Franklin.
    The crowd loves Tornado. Blade, who is a big heel in FIP, starts with Tornado and gets headscissored to the floor. Pelle tags in but can’t reach Tornado’s hand for a test of strength. It starts to boil down into Blade and Franklin against Pelle and Tornado. Blade knocks Pelle silly with a dropkick. Tornado tags in and cleans house on Blade, though. Franklin ranas Tornado into the buckle, but he’s not legal. Pelle gets tossed but skins the cat and Thesz Presses Franklin. Blade and Tornado slug it out, and Blade gets knocked to the apron. Tornado launches Pelle into him and then follows them both out with a somersault plancha. Blade sidesteps him, though, and nails Franklin with a flying lariat and the Cradle DDT for the win at 10:08. Tornado is money personified if he can progress as a worker. Blade also has a lot of potential if he develops an identity outside of “rich schmuck.” **1/4

  • Human Tornado says he’s not here to win titles. He’s here to bring in more women to ROH. He says he thinks Lacey is a fine piece of ass. Lacey objects to Tornado’s objectification of women. She tries to slap him, but he just ducks, making her look like an idiot. Finally, Jimmy Jacobs runs down, pulls out his knife and threatens to stab Tornado in the eye. Tornado bails and tells him not to push him or Lacey might get something else jabbed in her eye. Jimmy introduces the newest member of the Age of the Fall – Zack Gowan. O-kay.
  • The Vulture Squad (w/Julius Smokes & Mercedes Martinez) vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Zack Gowan (w/Lacey).
    Apparently, Gowan is joining the Age of the Fall because society shuns cripples. This is the Jigsaw and Ruckus version of the Vulture Squad. Jigsaw does most of the wrestling, playing face-in-peril. He does show good mechanics, trying to hook the leg on a cover. Unfortunately, he’s covering Gowan, and there’s no leg to grab. Other than that, Gowan doesn’t really show any grasp of psychology. Then again, neither does Ruckus. Gowan applies the Koji Clutch on Jigsaw at one point. Jigsaw ducks under Jacobs’ legs and tags Ruckus. For whatever reason, the match just has no flow. Ruckus does the roll-through Fisherman’s Buster into a powerbomb by Jigsaw. Jimmy assists Gowan with a Tornado DDT, but it only gets two. Jacobs falls victim to the moonsault legdrop from Ruckus at 13:05. Too long for what they had to offer. There was surprisingly little energy from everyone but Lacey. **

  • In the back, Becky Bayless asks Austin Aries how the nose is doing. The nose is broke, and he has no thoughts on the Age of the Fall trying to recruit him. See, he’s moody like that.
  • Finals: Kevin Steen vs. Go Shiozaki.
    Earlier, someone in the crowd shouted that Steen’s music is awful, so the crowd now sings along with it like they do with Danielson’s theme. Steen is the first guy to stand up to Shiozaki’s chops. They take it to the floor, though, and Go whips him into the post. Back in, Shiozaki works Steen’s leg with a legbar and an anklelock. Steen bites Go’s leg to come back and applies a Canadian Crossface. Go chops away at Steen’s leg to turn things around again. That leads to an STF, but Steen rolls to the ropes. To the floor again, Steen whips Go into the barricade and frogsplashes him off the crowd barrier. Back in, Go huracanranas Steen, but Steen uses FIGHTING SPIRIT! He drops Shiozaki on his head with the German Suplex, but Go shows FIGHTING SPIRIT! They lariat each other, but nobody budges. Go tries again and lariats Steen down finally. That sets up another German Suplex and the moonsault. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Steen blocks a back chop and hits the Packaged Piledriver. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Steen hits a big lariat and another Packaged Piledriver for the win at 15:25. I’m not really a fan of “fighting spirit,” so the ending didn’t do much for me. I like that Steen was able to suck it up and act like a powerhouse instead of a comedy act in the finals. He has a similar problem to Colt Cabana in that he’s a big guy who is good at comedy, so it’s important that he knows when to be funny and when to be serious. **3/4
  • The 411: This is another one of those recent shows that is solidly in the middle of the road. Like a lot of late '07 early '08 shows, there is nothing wrong with it, but it starts to drag by the end. If you like Kevin Steen – and really, who doesn't? – then this is a good pick-up for you. Steen looked like he could take that final step up to main event status here.

    Neutral feelings on this one.

    Final Score:  6.0   [ Average ]  legend

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