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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor – Testing the Limit

July 27, 2006 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor – Testing the Limit  

Ring of Honor — Testing the Limit (08.07.04)

  • From Philadelphia, Penn.
  • Your hosts are Jimmy Bower and CM Punk.

  • “Good Times, Great Memories” from ‘Chicago.’ Colt Cabana welcomes his guest Prince Nana. Nana declares that Jimmy Rave is the inventor of the Rave Slash, which was shamelessly stolen by AJ Styles as the “Styles Clash.” Nana also talks about working with the Outcast Killaz. Cabana is disphoric to find out that Big Boi is dead.
  • John Walters vs. Nigel McGuiness.
    Winner gets a Pure Title shot. The fact that the title shot will be in Boston might give the ending away. Walters quickly makes things chippy by slapping McGuiness in the face. McGuiness works in the corner handstand into a DDT. McGuiness goes after the arm and neck with an armscissors/neck crank, but Walters makes the ropes. They both work in variations of the Ace Crusher. The ending sees McGuinness lock in a hammerlock, but Walters rolls him over onto his shoulders for the win at 5:40. Surprisingly short. **1/4

  • Roderick Strong vs. Izzy (w/Becky Bayless & Special K).
    GenNext has been quickly replacing Special K as the dominant faction in RoH. Izzy frustrates Strong early, but he goes for a rana off the apron, and Strong slings him into the crowd barrier and then the ringpost. Sickening. Izzy reverses a whip, but Strong catches him with (what else) a backbreaker. Izzy gets a DDT but goes for another rana, and Strong counters to a backbreaker. Strong turns Izzy around into a Necktie Spinal Shock or the win at 6:30. Lots of ranas. Lots of backbreakers. Not much else. **

  • Allison Danger reminds us that she still owns Maff & Whitmer’s contract, so she can put them with any crazy individuals she wants.
  • The Carnage Crew vs. Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer.
    The Carnage Crew tell Danger they hate listening to their wives at home, let a lone coming to work and having to listen to another nag. Even without the bounty on their head, these two teams try to kill one another. Loc counters the Burning Hammer to a side suplex. Maff avoids the moonsault and gets two off a lariat. Alison sneaks back to ringside and crotches Maff on the top. The Carnage Crew hits Maff with the spiked piledriver for the win at 5:39. *1/2

  • Four-Corners Match: Alex Shelley (w/Roderick Strong) vs. 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Jay Lethal vs. Ace Steel.
    Shelley gives Lethal one more chance to join GenNext, but Lethal says he doesn’t want to take any more shortcuts. Of course, that triggers a big brawl between the two. Scorpio and Steel (two NOAH alums) contest their manliness in every way short of whipping them out and measuring them. Then again, according to Mick Foley’s first book, that would probably go to Scorpio hands down. Lethal winds up playing the part of the plucky young lion that takes a respectful hazing from the vets. Scorpio starts double-crossing everyone and hits the Tumbleweed on Lethal. Steel makes the save, so Shelley jumps Lethal and hits the Shellshock for the cheap win at 14:58. It was odd watching Scorpio play the big dog in the match, given that the last time I saw him wrestle regularly he was dancing with the Funkettes. After the match, Lethal challenges Sheley to a one-on-one match. Scorpio puts of Ring of Honor. ***

  • The Briscoe Brothers vs. Low Ki & Homicide (w/Julius Smokes).
    Homicide picked a fight with both Briscoes at “Survival of the Fittest.” Low Ki returned and joined old buddy Homicide, forming the Rottweilers stable along with the Havana Pitbulls. The Briscoes do well for themselves until Smokes trips up Jay from the outside to give Ki and Homicide the advantage. The crowd is evenly divided, irking Bower. Long heat segment on Jay doesn’t even work because the fans still love Low Ki. Jay thrusts kicks Low Ki and makes the hot tag to Mark. Mark cleans house on both guys with a springboard double clothesline. The Briscoes go for the Springboard Doomsday Device, but Homicide pulls Mark down off the apron. Mark comes in and hits Ki with a Sambo Suplex and goes up for the Shooting Star. The ceiling is too low, though, so Homicide is able to shove Mark’s head into the overhang! Well, that’s using your surroundings as an advantage. Plus, it has the added bonus of helping out the drywall union. Ki goes for the Ki Krusher on Jay, but Jay counters to a small package for the win at 12:43. They do a shoot angle that makes it look like Ki was screwed over like Bret Hart, so he refuses to shake hands and knocks Jay out with a kick. Samoa Joe runs down to attack Ki, and that brings out the whole locker room to break things up. Even Punk leaves the announce position to break up the brawl, but it just makes things worse as he and Homicide get into it. They wind up tearing down the set until the Rottweilers are thrown from the building. Joe and Mark go after them in the parking lot and have to be pulled off again. This was like something out of Continental only with more “cocksuckers” thrown around. **3/4

  • Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship: The Second City Saints (w/Ace Steel) vs. The Havana Pitbulls (w/Julius Smokes).
    So after everything gets settled down, we get this match. Punk comes out alone, worried that he can’t find Cabana. Ace Steel interrupts Punk’s entrance and says it’s inappropriate to come out to AFI or Barry Manilow, so Cabana enters to Rick James “Superfreak” (James having died the same week). Of course, things are already chippy because Homicide and the Pitbulls are homies. The Pitbulls are one of the sharpest tag teams in terms of how tightly both guys work. This one breaks down early as both teams take it to the floor. The Saints take over on Romero. Punk botches a Mexican Surfboard, so he tries another one. Reyes comes in, but Cabana takes him down. Punk calls for him to do a surfboard too, but Cabana can’t figure it out so he rides Reyes like a surfboard! That gets the Pitbulls good and pissed. Punk misses a corner charge, and they take over on him. Romero goes doggedly after Punk’s arm (no pun intended). Punk powers out of a cross armlock and slams Romero down. Reyes cuts off the tag by pulling Cabana off the apron. Punk ducks a lariat and rolls into that hot tag! Cabana cleans house on the Pitbulls, and the Saints get the Second City Stretch. Punk is exposed, so Romero runs in and takes him down with that cross armlock again. Cabana breaks it up with the frogsplash, taking the ref out as well. They work in a twist on the old Rock ‘n’ Rolls vs. Midnights ending as the Saints dump Reyes and try to doubleteam Romero, but Rocky counters a backdrop to a small package. Punk tries to save Cabana, but Reyes returns and takes him out. Romero rolls up Cabana for the win and the titles at 19:07. ***1/2

  • In the back, Maff & Whitmer ask Allison Danger to let it go. It was nothing personal, and she can still chose to stay away from them. This is her final warning. Maff calls her “Kathy,” so you know it’s a shoot!
  • Highlights of Samoa Joe vs. Trent Acid. Acid suffers an ankle injury early, and the match never really gets off the ground, plus we have a long main event, so this is just clipped to Joe killing Acid dead with the Island Driver.
  • 2/3 Falls: Austin Aries vs. Bryan Danielson.
    First Fall: These two polished off the “Survival of the Fittest” main event, a match that really put Aries on the map as a wrestler. Now all things are equal. Aries refuses to shake Dragon’s hand because Dragon broke open his chin last time. Each fall has a one-hour time limit, so this could theoretically go three hours. It won’t. Still, this match is a throwback to the days of the old NWA where you could have a Jack Briscoe and a Dory Funk Jr. go a full hour. Briscoe and the Destroyer once went 90 minutes over the NWA Title. You don’t see that kind of endurance these days — either from the wrestlers or the fans. The last major match I can think of without the Ironman stipulations was that epic Flair vs. Steamboat 2/3 Falls at the Clash. Punk returns to the announce position and explains the difference between wrestling in a 2/3 falls match and a regular match, including wrestling a defensive match and planning 4-5 moves ahead. Danielson varies his offense, working different parts of the body in different ways to gauge Aries reaction to them. Aries is a little more aggressive, trying to win the first fall with strikes early. Danielson takes him up top and hits a press gutbuster off the top to put him at a disadvantage. Dragon dropkicks him off the apron twice. Back in, Danielson stays on the ribs with a rope-assisted abdominal stretch. That’s highly out of character for Danielson. Aries fights out of it, but Dragon drives his shoulder into the ribs and hits a knee to the gut. Punk points out a nice, subtle strategy from Dragon as Danielson puts Aries in the seated abdominal stretch. He doesn’t have Aries’ leg hooked the way he did when he got Punk to submit. Maybe Dragon realizes that he can inflict more punishment for future falls if he doesn’t make Aries submit right away? Aries finally turns the tide with a backdrop, dumping Dragon on his head on the outside. Back in, Aries stretches Danielson with a hammerlock neck crank, but Danielson bites his way out of it! Danielson hits Aries with a slingshot suplex (perhaps a play on the Blanchard-Douglas anti-classic in ECW?). He follows it up with the Anaconda Vice and an airplane spin. The ceiling gets involved again as Danielson has to adjust his swandive headbutt, and Aries is able to avoid it. He gets two off the Golden Gate Swing and explodes with the rolling slam into a moonsault block into a cradle! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Danielson catches Aries going up and hits him with a superplex. The crowd chants “please don’t die” because of the low ceiling, but Danielson responds, “I don’t give a f*ck if I die!” Danielson goes for a super backdrop suplex, but Aries reverses in mid-air. They take turns reversing each other’s rollups, and Aries hits a Crucifix Bomb into the Rings of Saturn. CATTLE MUTILATION BY ARIES! Danielson taps to his own hold at 42:08.

    Second Fall: Aries hits a Kobashi Neckbreaker early, but Danielson catches him going up and shoves him to the floor! Danielson sandwiches Aries’ leg in the guardrail and kicks it. He also gives him a shinbreaker on the timekeeper’s table as Bower recalls that this is the same strategy he employed when he lost the first fall to Paul London at “Epic Encounter.” Back in, Danielson really wrenches the leg with an Elevated Indian Deathlock. Aries turns it over, but Danielson stays on top with the Harley Race “Trailer Hitch” version. Aries makes the ropes. Things go horribly wrong as Dragon goes for a tope and catches his foot on the ropes, knocking himself unconscious. Aries complains that there are no countouts in Ring of Honor and asks the ref to do something. The ref gives Danielson a lot of leeway, but Aries drops an elbow on him. Danielson keeps things outside where Aries misses a charge, ramming his forearm into the ringpost as we hit the one hour mark. Back in, Danielson locks in Cattle Mutilation then drives it over into a crucifix at 63:16.

    Third Fall: Do they have anything left after a hold-for-hold first fall and a brutal, toll-taking second fall? Aries hits Danielson with a top-rope DDT but can’t put him away. Dragon takes a page out of their “Survival of the Fittest” match with a series of bodyslams and a bearhug. Aries reverses it, but Dragon reverses it back and turns it into that Liontamer maneuver that got him the win at “Survival of the Fittest.” Aries blocks that, so Danielson gives him the backdrop superplex he was looking for earlier. CATTLE MUTILATION! Aries makes the ropes and goes for the 450-splash, but Dragon moves out of the way. Aries gets a TRIO of brainbusters and avoids the overhang on the 450-splash to pick up the win at 76:10! Well, there’s really nothing more that I can say that hasn’t already been said. Danielson’s heel act was probably the best way to go for the match, even considering Aries is a member of GenNext. There were a few flaws in the third fall, like Aries ignoring the psychology of the leg and the ribs, but that’s a forgivable sin, considering each man’s work in the first two falls. I don’t know if I would call it as strong a MOTYC as some, especially considering how competitive 2004 was, but it’s definitely up there with the best of the year. ****1/2

  • The 411: Although there is a temptation to call this a one-match show because it takes up a third of the show, "Testing the Limit" also has the Pitbull's title win and the crazy brawl between Joe/Mark and the Rottweilers. This show certainly offers a little something for everyone and is another of the "must-haves" in a series of them in 2004.

    High recommendation.

    411 Elite Award
    Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend

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    J.D. Dunn

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