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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Race to the Top Tournament, Night Two

December 14, 2007 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Race to the Top Tournament, Night Two  

Ring of Honor — Race to the Top Tournament, Night Two
by J.D. Dunn

  • July 28, 2007
  • From Edison, N.J..
  • Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.

  • Rebecca Bayless joins us from the merchandise desk to tell us that she’ll join us later. Not that I don’t mind seeing Becky as much as possible, but that was certainly superfluous.
  • Race-to-the-Top Tournament, Quarterfinals: Chris Hero (w/Sweet & Sour Int’l) vs. El Generico.
    I really have to question the effectiveness of Tank Toland’s training regimen. More greatness from Hero, continuing his streak of being incredibly entertaining. Most of the early stuff is his self-congratulatory shtick, so there’s not a lot to recap. Sweeney distracts the ref while Toland snares Generico on the top with his exercise strap. Hero hits a reverse elbow and cravats Generico off the top. That sets up the Hero’s Welcome, but Generico counters to a backslide at 12:49. **1/2

  • Not sure what’s up with the interview segment, but it looks like it’s lost footage from a 1914 silent movie. Steen congratulates Generico and makes plans for him to hand over the Race-to-the-Top Trophy so Steen can put it in his bedroom.
  • Race-to-the-Top Tournament, Quarterfinals: Davey Richards vs. Pelle Primeau.
    Pelle breaks his Top-of-the-Class Trophy on the way to the ring. Bad omen, Pelle. Davey smacks Pelle around off the handshake, so Pelle headscissors him to the floor and hits a dropkick off the apron. Back in, Pelle gets two off a springboard crossbody. Davey comes back with a series of headbutts and a clothesline. He locks in a bodyscissors and taunts Pelle. Pelle counters the DR Driver to a small package for two, but Davey counters the flying Ace Crusher to a Tombstone Piledriver. The Chimeralock is academic at 4:27. *3/4

  • Davey’s victory promo is similarly tinted only they added a Negative Filter this time. I guess someone got a copy of Vegas Movie Studio and really wanted to work in every single app.


  • Race-to-the-Top Tournament, Quarterfinals: Brent Albright vs. Jack Evans.
    Albright just steamrolls Jack off his breakdance routine. Jack kicks out at two and hits a backflip kick. Albright grounds the match before taking Evans to the floor. He sets up for a powerbomb through a table, but Jack slips out and hits a springboard kick off the barricade. Back in, Albright pummels him and just tosses Jack over the top to the floor. Back in again, Jack gets a series of nearfalls but loses a slugfest. He hits Albright with a springboard spinkick and sends him to the floor. He follows with a somersault plancha, but Albright catches him and tosses him through a ringside table. Back in, it only gets two. Albright sets up for that Press-slam Crowbar, but Jack reverses to a rana for two. Albright kicks out and locks in that Crowbar. Jack struggles toward the ropes, but Albright drags him back in. Jack guts it out and makes the ropes this time. Albright argues with the ref, allowing Evans to recover, hit a spinning kick to Albright’s head and finish with the 630-senton at 9:43. I’d have to call this another upset. Albright’s “hulk smash” offense isn’t quite as entertaining as when Roderick Strong would fold Evans in half, but it worked for what it was. **1/4

  • Race-to-the-Top Tournament, Quarterfinals: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Mike Quackenbush.
    Lots of meaningless armdrags and snapmares to start, although it is fun to see both guys start playing to the crowd. The match gets interesting as Quack monkeyflips Claudio off the apron, over the post, to the floor. Back in, Claudio avoids Quack trying to slip over his shoulder and hits a reverse suplex. He grounds the match with a front facelock. Quack fights out and sets up for a top-rope headscissors. Claudio blocks and tries a powerbomb, but Quack is able to finish the move. The BTS gets a close two. Claudio catches him going up, but Quack rolls through his slam and hits a Jackknife Cradle for two. Claudio actually hits a top-rope headscissors and finishes Quack with the running uppercut at 12:25. **1/4

  • Rebecca Bayless hosts the $10,000 8-Man Tag Draft. Your captains are Nigel McGuinness and Bryan Danielson. Dragon wins the coin toss and tries to pick BOTH Briscoes. When told he can’t do that, he picks Mark…then Jay…then Mark. He tries to pick Jimmy Rave, but Jimmy’s injured. Larry Sweeney comes out and offers to help Dragon out. The crowd chants for Dragon to draft Bobby Dempsey, which pisses Dragon off to no end. He picks Matt Sydal instead. The picking devolves into a game of snaps with Nigel getting the verbal best of Danielson.

    The teams break down like this:

    $10,000 8-Man Tag Team Match
    Nigel’s Nasties Bryan’s Brawlers
    Nigel McGuinness

    Jay Briscoe

    Roderick Strong


    Bryan Danielson

    Austin Aries

    Matt Sydal

    Mark Briscoe

    Not that this wasn’t a fun little segment and all, but I think it would have been cooler to see it the night before to add that little bit of extra intrigue to the previous night’s main event.

  • Race-to-the-Top Tournament, Semi-Finals: Davey Richards vs. El Generico.
    Richards uses power and speed to control early. Generico takes over with chops, but he takes too long going up for the split-legged moonsault, and Davey is able to get the knees up. Richards goes about dismantling Generico with suplexes and working the arm. Generico clears Davey out of the ring, though, and hits a plancha. Back in, they trade reversals, and Davey Cradle Suplexes Generico into the corner. SUPERPLEX! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Davey floats over into the Chimeralock. Generico makes the ropes and breaks up the handspring kick with a dropkick to the face. That’s one way to do it. Davey hits the Tombstone that killed off Pelle, but Generico gets his foot on the ropes. Davey can’t believe it! He goes up, but Generico gets his knees up to block the SSP. RUNNING BOOT! TURNBUCKLE BRAINBUSTER! ONE, TWO, THREE! Generico moves on thanks to a big upset at 15:44. The crowd was on fire for the finish. Davey Richards is one of the few guys that is able to draw legitimate heel heat in ROH. ***1/4

  • Race-to-the-Top Tournament, Semi-Finals: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Jack Evans.
    Jack does a lot of gymnastics stuff early, but he gets too cute and tumbles over the top to the floor. Claudio drags him back in and get two off the Giant Swing. Jack comes back and kicks Claudio to the floor. He tries that over-the-top dropkick he’s been doing, but Claudio just gets out of the way. Jack hits a 619 and a 450-splash off the apron. Back in, Jack gets in more cartwheelie offense, but Claudio catches him with the Ricolabomb at 9:08. **1/2

  • Jack congratulates Claudio…in blue.
  • Larry Sweeney is happy with everyone but fatty Bobby Dempsey, so Toland promises to KICK IT UP A NOTCH! He arranges for a sauna and a stationary bike to torture poor Chunky Charlie. Hero is hilarious once Dempsey is out of earshot. “Five bucks says he dies!”
  • Six-Man Mayhem: BJ Whitmer vs. Jigsaw vs. Hallowicked vs. Kevin Steen vs. Matt Cross vs. Erick Stevens.
    Steen attacks everyone and isolates himself with Jigsaw… or so he thinks. Everyone teams up on Steen and tosses him. The Resilience teams up on Jigsaw. Hallowicked tags in and rolls up Stevens a few times. Jigsaw and Hallowicked go at it for a bit. We get the trainwreck spot with Steen wiping out Hallowicked, Jigsaw and Stevens. Funny moment as Steen starts counting his opponents and realizes they’re not all there. Cross works in a crazy Space Flying Tiger Huracanrana on Whitmer. The nearfalls come fast and furious, but no one can get the pin. Things calm down again with Stevens and Steen going at it. The Resilience team up for a Wheelbarrow Stomp. Cross hits it but Jigsaw knocks him silly with a big boot. Stevens makes Jigsaw pay for it with a Doctorbomb to pick up the win at 10:59. Finally, the Resilience picks up a win. The match was just what six-man mayhem is supposed to be – a wild collection of big, crazy moves. After the match, Whitmer gets pissed and tips over a table. ***

  • $10,000 8-Man Tag Team Match: Bryan Danielson, Austin Aries, Matt Sydal & Mark Briscoe (w/Larry Sweeney) vs. Nigel McGuinness, Delirious, Roderick Strong & Jay Briscoe.
    Nigel’s team starts to disintegrate right away as Delirious attacks his own partner, Roderick Strong, during the entrances. I don’t think Nigel thought this through. Nigel and Jay pull them apart, and Nigel reminds Delirious it’s about the $10,000 not petty, reptilian politics. Finally, Delirious and Sydal start. Delirious dominates, but Strong tags himself in hard. That brings in Austin Aries, but Aries doesn’t get much chance to go after his former partner. Danielson and Nigel put on a brief clinic. Nigel knocks Danielson down and tags in Mark, so Dragon scurries over and tags Jay. All the other guys drop down, forcing the Briscoes to go at it. They do a long sequence of reversals just to show that they are equal and know each other too well. They slug it out before realizing they’re the champs and there’s no reason to fight. The other guys try to keep them from leaving and get laid out. Imagine that! The World Tag Team Champs being able to handle themselves! Delirious gets caught in the wrong corner when all the smoke clears. He makes his own save and hits Dragon with the Shadows over Hell. Nigel gets the hot tag, and he and Strong smack Sydal around for a bit. Aries tags in and blitzes Strong, including a suicida that knocks Strong into the barricade. Back in, Strong and Delirious fight over who gets to beat up Aries. That triggers a brawl between the two partners, and they fight all the way to the back. Nigel is alone in a 3-on-1 now. He struggles valiantly, but it’s not long until the numbers overwhelm him. He gets in the crotched clothesline, but Sweeney gets Sydal’s foot on the rope. Aries breaks up the Tower of London and drops Nigel with the Brainbuster. He tells Sydal to finish him off, but Dragon tags himself in and shoves Sydal to the floor. Hey, he *is* the team captain. Aries shoves Danielson off, though, and finishes with the 450-splash at 20:36. This was disappointing, considering how great the match could have been with all the talent in there. However, a lot of storylines spun out of this, so the long-term booking was just fine. ***

  • In the back, it turns out that Toland’s regimen actually worked because Bobby Dempsey lost about 100 pounds. Oh, but it turns out it’s just Jeff Jarrett in a Blue Blazer mask… er, I mean, it turns out Bobby is still in the steam room stuffing his face with chocolate. Hero and Toland are so irate that they lock him in there and leave him.
  • Race-to-the-Top Tournament, Finals: Claudio Castagnoli vs. El Generico.
    I like both guys, but this is an odd choice for the finals. This would be like Bam Bam Bigelow and Don Muraco winding up in the finals at WrestleMania IV. The fans get into it right away with dueling “Ole!” and “Hey!” chants. Claudio takes over on the mat and goes for the Ricolabomb. Generico blocks but takes a Giant Swing for two. Generico isn’t getting much offense here. He finally does hulk up and knock Claudio to the floor. That leads to a springboard plancha and through-the-ropes Tornado DDT. Generico sets up for the Turnbuckle Brainbuster, but Claudio fights out of it. SUPER APOMARI WATERSLIDE! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Ricolabomb? NO! Generico rolls through to the rana for two. Claudio hits the Ricolabomb! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Claudio lays in a few uppercuts but gets caught in a backslide. Generico hulks up but catches a flying uppercut. That sets up another Ricolabomb at 18:46. Claudio earns a title shot with the win. He puts over Generico and encourages an “Ole” chant. Claudio says he gave up a lot in his home country to come here, but moments like this are worth it. ***3/4
  • The 411: I was set to go with a thumbs down before the finals. None of the matches are worth buying the DVD for, but the show has enough memorable moments both backstage and in subplots in the ring to make it a very mild recommendation.

    Lukewarm recommendation.

    Final Score:  6.0   [ Average ]  legend

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