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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Tokyo Summit

December 18, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Tokyo Summit  

Ring of Honor — Tokyo Summit
by J.D. Dunn

  • September 14, 2008
  • From Tokyo, Japan.
  • Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.

  • Larry Sweeney introduces Davey Richards to Richards’ tag team partner for the night — Takeshi Morishima.
  • Austin Aries interrupts the opening of the show to lay out a challenge to the Age of the Fall. And that leads to…
  • Opening Match: Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black.
    Aries gets more than he bargained for early as Tyler jumps him and dominates throughout much of the match. Black looks very sharp, not only countering most of Aries’s trademark moves (like countering the IED to an F5) but finding alternatives when his own moves miss (landing on his feet off a missed Phoenix Splash). Aries roars back, though, hits his Brainbuster DDT and finishes with the Last Chancery at 11:06. Good showing from Black, even in the clean loss. Black was in control for most of the match and looked like he was going to shut Aries up before Aries stormed back. **1/2

  • After the match, Jimmy Jacobs runs down and attacks Aries. Overwhelmed by the numbers, Aries is left laying.
  • Kazushi Miyamoto vs. Eddie Edwards (w/Larry Sweeney).
    Miyamoto is a Japanese indy wrestler who was trained by Hiro Hase, according to Prazak. Good enough for me. This match is surprisingly un-Japanese. Eddie chokes Miyamoto on the ropes and goes for a 2K1 Bomb. Miyamoto blocks and knocks Edwards’ block off with a short lariat. CRAZY! Miyamoto hits a brainbuster but goes after Sweeney on the apron. Sweeney takes a swing and accidentally nails Edwards. That allows Miyamoto to roll Edwards up at 5:07. Edwards doesn’t seem to rate too high. Miyamoto looked like a guy who was trained by Hase. He was very disciplined and solid without a lot of flash. *

  • Edwards and Sweeney tease a break up before hugging it out and leaving together.
  • Bryan Danielson plans to prove he is the best wrestler in the world by winning the GHC Junior Heavyweight Title.
  • El Generico vs. Taiji Ishimori.
    Ishimori looks like an extra from Akira. Does animation have extras? Ishimori goes heelish early, threatening to walk out. They do a sloppy headscissors, but Ishimori makes up for it with a 916 taunt. Generico takes over with a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker and controls for a good portion of the match. When Ishimori does make his comeback, though, he looks really sharp. He’s kind of a poor man’s Marafuji. He has some absolutely sickening DDT combinations, but unfortunately, they don’t get the pin. His Superstar Elbow (handspring into a backflip elbow) is pretty impressive, but it doesn’t match the impact of his DDTs. The Superstar Elbow finishes at 12:22. Good stuff outside of Generico no-selling the Top-Rope Tornado DDT and a Cradle DDT. Either of those are perfectly good finishers, but the Superstar Elbow is just for show. No wonder Ishimori flopped in Toryumon. ***

  • Takeshi Morishima & Davey Richards (w/Larry Sweeney) vs. The Briscoe Bros.
    This is notable for Morishima channeling Andre the Giant early on. He shrugs off most of the Briscoes’ single offense, but they have much more success when they can doubleteam him. Richards provides most of the heel offense with his wide array of kicks. The Briscoes finally get smart and knock Morishima to the floor. That allows them to doubleteam Richards. Sweeney hops on the apron to provide a distraction so Davey can catch a breather. Davey winds up finishing Mark with an Alarm Clock (Really?) at 12:00. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be Richards’ new finisher or what. It used to be just an occasional transition move. The Briscoes’ supposedly new “ground and pound” offense looks a lot like their old offense. **3/4

  • After the match, the Briscoes are still groggy, so Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black run down and leave them laying. Jimmy sure does pick a lot of fights.
  • Nigel McGuinness says the Age of the Fall has just been lucky over the last year.
  • GHC Junior Heavyweight Title: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Bryan Danielson.
    Jeez. I remember Kanemaru when he was just a young punk. He always seemed to hang around with Kentaro Shiga. Danielson brings his KENTA/Marafuji A-game here, so this is quite awesome. Kanemaru has developed into a fantastic little wrestler, but he seems to lack the flash of KENTA and Marafuji. Danielson wrestles a really smart match, working over the wrist as much as possible and looking for an opening. Kanemaru adopts more of a “swing for the fences” mentality, looking for one big move to put Danielson away. Danielson finds his opening first, yanking Kanemaru down into the Triangle Hold. Kanemaru holds out, though. Kanemaru hits a series of DDTs and Brainbusters, trying desperately to knock Danielson out. Danielson is able to kick out each time, though. Danielson fires back with his own stiff shots and breaks up a moonsault. That leads to the Cattle Mutilation after several failed attempts. Danielson picks up the win and the title, in a pretty big moment considering these shows are really just exhibitions to expand ROH’s visibility. (20:39) Danielson looked tremendous here, not just in moves, but in ring generalship. Kanemaru always had a counter to Danielson’s submissions, but Danielson really put himself over as a wrestler by anticipating that and reversing the reversal. Great stuff here for fans who enjoy a good human chess match. ****1/4

  • In the back, Bryan Danielson celebrates his win with a press conference and offers to put the title on the line against Nakajima.
  • KENTA & Kota Ibushi vs. Naomichi Marafuji & Katsuhiko Nakajima.
    Ibushi had a good couple of weeks for ROH earlier this year. Nakajima is from Kensuke Office, and honestly, looks like Sasaki’s bastard son. He’s a judo guy, but he integrates a lot of stiff kicks and strikes too. Kenta and Ibushi work great together, although the presence of Kenta makes Ibushi’s offense seem loose and sloppy by comparison. Sometimes, he looks more like he’s performing a capoeira routine than trying to wrestle a match. Nakajima has a great, simple style in the ring. Now that I seem him over a stretch of ground, he reminds me a little of Toshiaki Kawada back in his Footloose days. Ibushi assumes the role of Marafuji and Nakajima’s bitch, and you know it’s just a matter of time before he Ricky Morton’s his way over to make the tag and bring in Kenta for some righteous ass-kickery. Kenta unleashes the fury, but he and Marafuji take their brawl to the floor. That leaves Ibushi and Nakajima alone. They unleash some absolutely BRUTAL kicks on each other. Nakajima’s roundhouse kick knocks Ibushi silly. DAMN! Nakajima turns Ibushi over into an Anklelock as time expires at 30:00. But then, in a rarity, the fans actually get five more minutes. For whatever reason, the ref allows Kenta and Marafuji to start. The overtime period is highlighted by a great sequence where Marafuji blocks the Super Falcon Arrow by Kenta only to have Ibushi cartwheel in and nail him with a handspring kick. That allows Kenta to hit that Falcon Arrow, but Nakajima rolls in to make the save. Time expires at 5:00 before anyone can get a pin, raising the question of why the fans and wrestlers don’t just ask for 10 more minutes instead of five. Anyway, outside of some sloppiness from Ibushi and the fact that it’s difficult to get behind one team or another emotionally, this was some fine wrestling. I’m really excited to see Nakajima vs. Danielson now after his tough, no-nonsense showing here. ****

  • In the back, Tyler Black tries to get Jimmy Jacobs hyped up.
  • Non-Title: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Roderick Strong.
    Oddly enough, this was the match I was most looking forward to. Roderick tries to neutralize the chops early by grabbing a wristlock, but we paid to see chops! An early chopfest erupts, and Roderick wusses out by ducking one. This one has some wacky transitions, including Strong laying a beatdown on Sasaki only to go up and sit on the top rope until Sasaki recovers and huracanranas him off. Okay, if you’re Roderick, a heavy underdog, wouldn’t you have a sense of urgency? And what’s with busting the huracanrana out like it’s 1993 again. I guess he and Scott Steiner have some sort of unspoken agreement to see who can bring it back. Roderick starts hitting his backbreakers, but Sasaki just gets angry and tackles him into the corner. Frustrating Sasaki was probably not Roderick’s best move. Sasaki hits his Tornado powerbomb and Stranglehold Gamma. Roderick holds out but takes multiple lariats to soften him up. The Northern Lights Bomb finishes Strong at 12:21. I was hoping Roderick would come closer to victory than he did to add some suspense to it, but he never really got close. Realistically, though, I think we all knew Roderick was not on Sasuki’s level and while Roderick is deceptively powerful, Sasaki is overtly powerful. **3/4

  • ROH World Title: Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Jacobs.
    This feels awfully anticlimactic, and I would have been fine with it being fourth from the top. Jacobs adopts an interesting strategy… in fact, he adopts several interesting strategies. At first, he attacks. Then, he tries mind games by walking out. Then, he tries to wrestle on the mat. Finally, he just cheats and goes low behind the ref’s back. Nigel tries to come back several times, but Jimmy keeps cutting him off. Still, Jacobs can’t get enough offense outside of his cheating to put Nigel away. Even the Contra Code only gets two. Nigel shrugs off the End Time pretty easily, but when he goes for the Jawbreaker Lariat, Jimmy hops up and rides him down into the End Time again. Nigel makes the ropes, so Jimmy busts out his chain and deftly knocks the ref aside accidentally on purpose. The chain shot only gets two, though. Nigel roars back, prompting Jimmy to spit in his face. That’s Jimmy’s last major offensive maneuver as Nigel finishes him shortly after with the Jawbreaker Lariat at 21:03. Jimmy worked a pretty smart match from his p.o.v.. He didn’t try to make it a fair fight, and, in fact, he controlled most of the way. **1/4
  • The 411: While it goes out with a whimper more than a bang, this show has two really good matches in the middle that make it worth your purchase. The crowd was a little more responsive than the previous night. Definitely check out the GHC Jr. Title match and the lengthy tag.

    Thumbs up.

    Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend

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    J.D. Dunn

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