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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Proving Ground 2009, Night One

May 22, 2009 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
7.5
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Proving Ground 2009, Night One  

Ring of Honor — Proving Ground 2009, Night One

By J.D. Dunn
Twitter.com/jddunn411
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  • Highlights from the videowire include Kevin Steen raining on Generico’s green-screen parade but cheering him up by telling him they’ll go to Disneyworld. Also, we see part two of an interview with Jerry Lynn where he talks about wanting that one last run.
  • February 6, 2009
  • From Coral Springs, Fla.
  • Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.

  • Opening Match: Sean Osborne vs. Brad Attitude.
    I get the feeling Bison Smith will be making an appearance. This is very exhibition-y, like a Raw dark match, but they win over the fans by the end. Attitude is a decent wrestler, but it’s Osborne who has the personality. Osborne goes for a powerslam, but Attitude counters to the Attitude Adjustment (or do I have to call it the FU? It’s a slam into a Flatliner). Attitude gets the win at 7:31. Huh. No Smith. Show’s what I know. Not a bad introduction for these guys. **

  • Bison Smith vs. Sal Rinauro.
    It’s been forever since I’ve seen Rinauro play a babyface. Then again, he’s actually heeling it up, and the fans want Bison to kill him, so it looks like I’ll have to continue to wait. Sal tries gamely, but Smith has chunks of guys like Rinauro in his stool. Rinauro hits the backflip kick, but Smith catches him coming off the ropes and finishes with the Claw Slam at 2:11. 1/4*

  • Kenny King, Rhett Titus & Chasyn Rance (w/random broads) vs. Roderick Strong, Erick Stevens & Bobby Dempsey.
    Bobby is fresh off his face turn… well, official face turn. He’s way over with the crowd, which, if I know my ROH, won’t last long now that he’s actually done the face turn. Stevens plays face-in-peril for most of the match. Bobby gets the hot tag and cleans house on Chasyn. Chasyn comes off the ropes and gets caught with the Death Valley Driver at 11:33. The fans have been waiting to cheer for Bobby in the ring, so they might as well ride this out as far as it goes. **1/2

  • Bryan Danielson admits to having a concussion, but he thinks Jerry Lynn will protect him tonight.
  • Necro Butcher vs. Austin Aries.
    I forget if there’s a reason these two don’t like each other anymore. It was, after all, Aries who convinced Necro to get out of the Age of the Fall. Aries objects to Necro trying to outwrestle him and objects even more when Necro does outwrestle him! That is not Necro’s bread and butter, so he turns it into a brawl. Aries takes over after the most telegraphed sunset flip attempt in history. Butcher starts a comeback, but Delirious and Jimmy Jacobs run down. Jimmy keeps him from putting Aries through a table, and Delirious nails Butcher with a chair behind the ref’s back. That sets up the punt and Brainbuster at 12:53. Aries is getting more Randy Savage-’86ish with each passing show. **1/2

  • Jimmy Jacobs & Delirious vs. Bryan Danielson & Jerry Lynn.
    Lynn gets a big chant in his honor, although they call him the “whole f’n show.” That was the other guy. Great characterization by the heels in this match as Delirious goes all emo lizard and cries to Jacobs. Jacobs does a fine job of getting Danielson to lose his cool, which seems to be a strategy that only works on Bryan Danielson. Lynn and Dragon dominate, even getting stereo Mexican Surfboards and a Hart Attack clothesline. Jacobs knocks Lynn off the apron into the boards to take over, though. Danielson gets the hot tag and gets some righteous revenge on Jacobs for spitting on him early in the match. Jacobs puts him in the End Time, but Danielson makes the ropes. Jacobs accidentally spears Delirious. Oops. That sets up CATTLE MUTILATION on Jacobs at 17:04. The character rolls really set this apart with Delirious going back and forth between weeping and vicious and Jacobs trying his best to get inside Danielson’s head. ***1/4

  • After the match, Delirious wants to know what’s what from Jimmy. Jimmy whispers in his ear and lets him know everything’s okay.
  • Non-Title: Nigel McGuinness vs. Brent Albright.
    Nigel has the temerity to rip off Rick Rude’s entrance promo. Albright continues the trend he started early in the year by working in more technical wrestling with the brawling and suplexes. Both guys try to work the other’s arm. Nigel spends most of the match in control. He hits a better-in-theory Tower of London from the apron to the timekeeper’s table. Albright O’Connor Rolls him, but the kickout sends Albright into the corner shoulderfirst. Nigel stops to gloat but gets ridden down into the Crowbar. He has a great counter, though: trying to rip Albright’s eye out. Albright gets a German Suplex but can’t get him up for a good Military Press. Nigel gets out of the Crowbar and tosses Albright into the post. LONDON DUNGEON! Albright makes it out and turns the handstand into the Air Raid Crash for two. Nigel comes back with the Tower of London and the lariat for two. Back to the London Dungeon, but Albright reverses to a rollup and then the Crowbar. Nigel is in the ropes, but Albright refuses to break. This time, he doesn’t get disqualified as he did against Claudio, but the ref pulls him off, enabling Nigel to drag him out for the Tower of London on the floor. Nigel tries to take the countout win, but Brent just makes it in at 19. Nice spot as Brent takes Nigel down into the Crowbar and Nigel tries to rake the eyes again but Sinclair stops him. Nigel has to improvise and rolls through with a handful of tights to pick up the cheap pin at 18:18. From a wrestling standpoint, Albright proved he could hang with the best in ROH. He just doesn’t seem to be able to establish a ring presence, though. ***3/4

  • Non-Title: Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The Dark City Fight Club.
    The DCFC are making their debut, so they get no title shot. You’d think they’d want to have at least one title match on the show. Chavis and Davis attack before the bell, but Steen and Generico isolate Chavis pretty quickly. Davis gets pissed and tosses Steen through the barricade. They’re like the Carnage Crew if the Carnage Crew could wrestle. Steen plays face-in-peril for quite a while before he avoids a Davis punch on the mat and tags in Generico. Generico hits a flying huracanrana and the Yakuza to Davis. That sets up the cannonball, but Chavis makes the save. The DCFC hit TOTAL ELIMINATION (sort of) on Generico for two. Project Mayhem (powerbomb/neckbreaker combo) gets two. Steen recovers and hits the packaged piledriver on Chavis. That sets up the Brainbuster from Generico at 12:09. The DCFC looked good in the loss, and it’s not surprising that ROH decided to showcase them on TV. **3/4

  • Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards (w/Larry Sweeney).
    This may seem like an odd choice for the main event, but it’s a case where Richards and Black’s paths in FIP and ROH’s trip to Florida conveniently converged. Sweeney has a neckbrace from the assault by Bobby Dempsey at the PPV. Davey goes back and forth between being a cheating bastard and offering a handshake. All these mind games lead Black to lose his cool. Richards targets Black’s ribs with a bodyscissors and a diving headbutt. Sweeney gets caught cheating, so Sinclair tosses him. Davey says he doesn’t need any help, but Tyler makes his comeback soon after. Black hits the Standing Shooting Star Press, but his ribs are hurt and he can’t cover immediately. Good psychology there. Richards blocks the springboard clothesline with a dropkick to the ribs and hits an EXPLOSIVE SPIN KICK in the corner. He wants to win by KO, but it doesn’t happen. Slugfest leads to the Paroxysm from Tyler. Davey drives him into the corner to block God’s Last Gift. Great battle as Black goes up and has to fight Davey off three times before Davey jumps up and hits a German Superplex. That sets up the Texas Cloverleaf. Tyler reverses to a small package for two and cuts his handspring off with a dropkick to the chest. Ooof. The superkick misses, so Black hits the bucklebomb and finishes with the superkick at 17:33. This felt very much like an FIP match. I liked the psychology surrounding Black’s ribs and how it pared down his repertoire to the point where he relied on the superkick instead of the Phoenix Splash and God’s Last Gift. Apparently, the superkick is being built as his new finisher, and it worked for at least one guy, so it’s hard to argue against that. Not a great main event in the pantheon of ROH shows, but a solid way to end the show. ***1/2
  • The 411: It delivers what it promises. Several of the matches featured debuts, returns, or matches where guys had to step up into new roles (hence "Proving Ground"). Nothing really stood out in the way of wrestling, but it was all good enough that you won't have to skip much (Does anyone really "fast-forward" anymore?).

    Thumbs up.

     
    Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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    J.D. Dunn

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