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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Tag Wars 2008

June 28, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Tag Wars 2008  

Ring of Honor — Tag Wars 2008
by J.D. Dunn

  • April 18, 2008
  • From Detroit, Mich.
  • Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.

  • Outside, Jimmy Jacobs gives the Age of the Fall cattle their marching orders. He then says it’s time to revisit an old rivalry as he and Alex Shelley hook it up one more time.
  • Shane Hagadorn announces that his liege, Adam Pearce will not be able to make it to the show due to travel problems. Pelle Primeau clears him out of the ring so we can start the show.
  • Opening Match: Pelle Primeau, Mitch Franklin & Ernie Osiris vs. Danny Daniels, Michael Elgin & Michael Nakazawa.
    Nakazawa would be the “other” guy from DDT in Japan. Daniels was in ROH for several months as part of the ill-fated New Carnage Crew. Elgin is the guy who looks kind of like Rhino but now he has a buzzcut. Fairly rudimentary match. Outside of Nakazawa, the heels are all power guys. Elgin looks like a bull in there against Pelle and Mitch. Nakazawa crotches Pelle and drags his crotch along the top rope. Try explaining that one to the dermatologist. Daniels gives him an awesome swinging gutbuster. Pelle knocks Daniels to the floor and headscissors Elgin. That buys him time to tag in Mitch. Mitch uses his speed to stay ahead of Elgin, but Daniels catches him from behind and powerbombs the crap out of him. SCREW YOU, MINI-ABE LINCOLN! Pelle gets the hot tag and hits a springboard Thesz Press on Elgin. He hits a flying Stunner and rolls up Elgin for the win at 9:22. Pelle promises to come for the members of Sweet ‘n’ Sour. Hard not to snicker at that one. The match was a solid exhibition. I’d really like to see more of guys like Daniels and Elgin either in ROH or TNA, both of which have too many guys who look the same. **1/4

  • Rhett Titus vs. Silas Young.
    Silas was briefly under a WWE developmental deal. Not sure what went wrong with him because I thought he’d be a good fit (if a little small). Titus is living proof that Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin got around 20 years ago. Silas dominates early because Rhett is too buys doing his Chippendale routine. He tries a backflip but catches his feet on the rope and crashes and burns. Silas comes back, hits the Finlay Roll, and finishes with a Corner Handstand into a slingshot moonsault at 5:05. Young’s finisher looks like it takes a lot of athleticism, but it’s not exactly believable. Other than that, these two had a solid little match that felt like something you’d see from the Big Two during the early 1990s. I hope to see more of these guys in ROH or FIP. **1/2

  • In the back, Chris Hero is upset because non of the Sweet ‘n’ Sour army is there for him to spar with. Larry Sweeney offers to go get Bobby Dempsey, who has so little self-esteem that he’s bound to do whatever they say.
  • Joey Matthews (w/Allison Wonderland) vs. Jigsaw.
    Referee Todd Sinclair makes Matthews take off his necklace and give it to Allison. Matthews punches Jigsaw right in the mouth before the bell rings. Jigsaw forearms his way back but misses a dropkick and gets dumped. Matthews grabs Jiggy and tosses him across the timekeeper’s table. It’s like a bar-fight scene in a Western. Matthews traps Jigsaw’s arms in the ring apron and chops him. When did Matthews become the Fit Finlay of ROH? He calls for Wonderland to hand him the necklace, but Sinclair catches him and takes it away. Jigsaw rolls Matthews up, but Sinclair is putting away the chair and doesn’t see him. Jigsaw chops his way back and chases Matthews to the floor. He gives Joey a taste of his own medicine, tying him up in the apron and chopping his chest. He goes for a chair, but Matthews is able to escape and jump him with a neckbreaker on hi way back into the ring. Matthews goes for a lackadaisical cover, though, and Jigsaw is able to reverse to a crucifix for the win at 8:09. This was shaping up to be a squash for Matthews until the fluke ending. Matthews continues to be a solidifying presence in the midcard, having decent-good matches without risking life and limb. **1/2

  • Nigel McGuinness & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico.
    Before the match, Steen makes fun of Nigel for doing the lariats and taking months off when he has a bump on the noggin. That triggers a game of snaps that goes on for quite a while, but they manage to hype Steen’s title shot the following night. Claudio tries to make nice, but Nigel shoves him into the faces. Generico and Claudio open with their “hey, we’re both good guys havin’ fun” segment. Generico plays tecnico-in-peril as Nigel totally dicks it up. Man, he is *so* much more entertaining in this role. He bends Generico’s arms back behind him, taunting Steen and the crowd the whole time. Generico hits Claudio with a rana and gets the hot tag to Steen. Steen goes right after Nigel but gets tripped up. Generico hits the Yakuza Kick on Nigel. Steen adds a Toad Splash and nearly gets the pin. Claudio breaks it up by shoving Generico into Steen. Generico wipes out Claudio with a somersault plancha, allowing Steen to hit the Fisherman’s Neckbreaker for two. Generico gets nailed with a lariat, and Claudio comes back in to give him the Giant Swing. Generico blocks the Ricolabomb and goes for the Tornado DDT. Claudio blocks and uppercuts him in mid-air. Sweeeet. That sets up the Ricolabomb at 13:11. Nice, solid match that set up the dynamic between Steen, Claudio & Nigel. It’s important that Claudio got the pin here, not Nigel. That allows Claudio to say he’s better than Nigel. ***3/4

  • In the back, Chris Hero reminds Bobby Dempsey that he cost him the title shot. Hero says they’re even now that Hero has smacked him around a bit. Hero makes him apologize for what Hero did for him. With that behind them, Hero demonstrates his new chop technique on Bobby.
  • Falls Count Anywhere: Necro Butcher vs. Delirious.
    This is every Necro Butcher match. That’s not a huge criticism. He just does what he does without much evolution. I won’t bother to recap it, just because it’s a lot of punchery and kickery. A poor ring attendant gets brained in the whole thing. They brawl out into the crowd and back again. Zack Gowan shows up, distracting Delirious long enough for Necro to take over. He piles up a stack of chairs, but Delirious blocks the piledriver and starts tossing the chairs at Necro’s face. Necro falls over a pair of open chairs, so Delirious goes up. Gowan crotches him and threatens to smash him with the cane. Instead, Daizee Haze runs down and makes the save, laying out Zack Gowan with his own cane. Daizee chases Allison Wonderland to the back. Delirious is so smitten that Butcher is able to hit the backbreaker on the chairs and pick up the win at 13:29. Butcher is becoming like a JTTS version of Bruiser Brody, in spite of the win. I almost wish they would just start having Butcher get disqualified like Brody did in just about every major match he wrestled. The match was a chaotic brawl, though, that furthered the Haze/Delirious storyline and at least gave Necro a much-needed win. Can’t complain too much. ***

  • The Murder City Machine Guns announce their return to ROH tonight. Shelley says he’s earned everything he has. Great promo from Shelley.
  • Chris hero & Brent Albright (w/Larry Sweeney, Bobby Dempsey & Shane Hagadorn) vs. Jack Evans & Ruckus.
    Prazak’s description of Hero’s half-black/half-purple costume is hilarious. I’m not sure how that fits in with Hero’s quest to be taken more seriously. He suckerpunches Jack in lieu of accepting the dance-off. That draws some heat. Albright tags in and becomes a one-man wrecking crew, manhandling Ruckus and blocking Jack’s attempt at a comeback by slinging him into the barricade. Notice how they’ve been inching Albright toward a face turn by making him A) somewhat intelligent and B) competent. Jack plays face-in-peril as the heels work over his coccyx. Jack hits Hero with a springboard corkscrew kick. Ruckus gets the hot tag, and the V-Squad clean house with their flippity moves. A heel miscommunication knocks Albright to the floor. Jack adds the Space Flying Tiger Headscissors as Ruckus knocks Hero out with the Pélé and finishes with the corkscrew senton at 11:30. Weird decision to put the Vulture Squad over here, especially after focusing on Hero throughout the show. The match was formulaic, and I’m not sure Jack and Ruckus are the best combination considering their similarity in styles. **3/4

  • The Briscoe Brothers vs. Austin Aries & Kota Ibushi (w/Michael Nakazawa).
    Prazak notes the lack of Lacey. This is actually pretty pedestrian until Jay gets sick and tired of taking abuse from Kota. He hits a Stinger Splash and snaps Kota right into a double-stomp. The Briscoes work in their sky-high hiptoss. Kota plays face-in-peril as the Briscoes lay in stiff kicks of their own. They keep knocking Aries off the apron just for the hell of it, and he keeps getting more and more pissed. Jay goes up, but Kota hits a nice handspring Pélé to knock him off. Aries gets the hot tag and immediately knocks Mark off the apron in retaliation. He hits Jay with the Corner Dropkick and Finlay Roll and then wipes out Mark with the suicida. Mark finally just yanks Aries off the apron into the barricade to put an end to his flurry. Kota blocks the Doomsday Device and hits his missed-moonsault-into-a-standing-moonsault spot. Okay, that’s getting convoluted because it’s entirely dependent on the guy moving every time. Once in a while, the first moonsault has to hit to keep things interesting. Kota wows the crowd as Mark reverses a whip only to have Ibushi turn it into to a corner quebrada. Aries calls for the Brainbuster on Mark, but Jay makes the save. Kota comes in, Matrixes under a swing and knocks Jay silly with a kick. Kota actually does that more realistically than anyone I’ve ever seen. Mark hits him with a Redneck Chop and collapses, putting everyone down. Big standing ovation. Cool spot as Aries & Ibushi go for stereo suplexes, but Jay lands on his feet, and the Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device on Aries. Kota uses FIGHTING SPIRIT to stay in it against both Briscoes, but he falls victim to a lariat, and the Briscoes finish with the Spiked Jaydriller at 17:36. Ibushi is incredibly fun to watch, even if he is repetitive. Aries and Ibushi provided a spark in this one, and Aries pissed-off badass act is thoroughly convincing here. The Briscoes were the Briscoes, which is usually enough for a decent match when they mail it in and good enough for a great match when their opponents can hang with them. ****

  • Prazak asks Aries where Lacey is. Lacey hops the rail, makes out with Aries, and leaves with him. Prazak wonders if that means Aries is now in the Age of the Fall. Lacey would be confronted by Jimmy Jacobs and go missing not long after this. As of this writing, she *still* hasn’t been found, but her MySpace has announced you can contribute to the “Find Lacey” fund.
  • Daizee Haze tries to cut a promo, but a lovestruck Delirious interrupts and tries to ask her out. He can’t get the words out, though, so Daizee goes to shower.
  • The Age of the Fall vs. The Murder City Machine Guns.
    This is the first MCMG match in ROH since their MOTYC against the Briscoes. The hometown fans are in love Sabin & Shelley. Tyler Black isn’t in impressed and slaps Sabin the face to let him know it. Sabin escapes a wristlock and slaps him right back. Sabin and Shelley take over on Black with doubleteams as Prazak explains the history between Sabin, Shelley & Jacobs. Sabin actually put in a good word for them and got them on the main show. The rest is history. Jacobs gets the tag and tries to bite Shelley’s face off. Shelley tells him to fuck himself and kicks him in the face. Jacobs tags out and pouts, drawing heat from the crowd. Tyler shows everyone how you get out of sleeper holds and tags Jacobs back in. Shelley gives Jacobs the skullfuck into the canvas, but Black trips him up from the floor and sets him up for a Jacobs somersault plancha. Black takes himself out of the match, though, with a missed dive. The MCMG work in the catapult/superkick spot. Shelley adds a Swanton, but Black comes back in with a superkick. Superkicks galore! The Paroxysm gets two, and Shelley assumes the face-in-peril role. Lots of choking from the AOTF. They work in a double dropkick to Shelley in the tree-of-woe. A heel doubleteam backfires, and Shelley hits the DDT/Flatliner move I hate. Sabin gets the hot tag and clotheslines Jacobs out. Shelley German Suplexes Tyler, setting up a Tiger Suplex from Sabin. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Octopus Stretch from Sabin. He even has his toe hooked around Tyler’s calf. Gorilla Monsoon would be proud. Black powers him to the corner and goes for a superplex, but Shelley saves. Jacobs runs in, but his interference backfires, and the AOTF wind up stacked in the corner. Sabin hits them with the hanging corner dropkick. Shelley misses a huracanrana, but rides Black down into the Border City Stretch (which more resembles the Crippler Crossface). Jacobs saves and applies the End Time. Shelley reverses to the real Border City Stretch, but Jacobs reverses back to the End Time. Sabin makes the save by KICKING JIMMY’S HEAD OFF! The MCMG hit the uranage backbreaker into the knee Decapitation into the enzuigiri into the Shellshock. That’s quite the string. Black saves at the last second, and the AOTF hit the Doomsday Huracanrana. That one is really better in theory than execution. Black hits a frogsplash, and Jacobs adds the senton for two. Sabin saves Shelley from something, and they pepper Jacobs with kicks. He ducks and hits Sabin with the Contra Code. The AOTF set up for a senton/Burning Hammer, but Shelley slips out. Jacobs hits him with the Contra Code, though. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Jimmy’s senton finds Shelley’s knees, and the MCMG go for a Doomsday Contra Code. Black blocks. Everyone hits something, and they all knock each other out. Sabin and Shelley get up first and hit a doubleteam Dominator on Jacobs for two. The 2K1 Bomb gets two, but Black breaks it up. Sabin takes him out with Cradleshock. That leaves Jimmy alone to get tattooed by kicks for two. Sabin misses a pescado and takes himself out of the match. Shelley tries to finish with the Schwein, but Jacobs counters to the End Time for the submission at 32:41. The fans pelt Jimmy with garbage to show him how they really feel. This was a fine tag match, but not on the level of their 2007 match with the Briscoes. The match teetered on burning out with the wall-to-wall finishers at the end and dragged on a bit longer than it needed to. Still, the mini-storyline between Shelley and Jacobs was great, and the Machine Guns evoke fond memories of the Rockers when they’re at their best – which they were here. ****1/4

  • In the back, Jacobs is so happy that he wants to text Lacey to celebrate. Joey Mercury has to tell him that Lacey left with Aries. Awkward. Jimmy storms out into the night.
  • The 411: The Machine Guns are worth the price of admission, but the Briscoes/Aries & Ibushi match is almost as good. The undercard isn't memorable or anything, but it's not offensive either. That's enough for a thumbs up.


    Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend

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