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Kevin’s Random Reviews: ROH The Battle of St. Paul

December 7, 2018 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Takeshi Morishima ROH
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Kevin’s Random Reviews: ROH The Battle of St. Paul  

ROH The Battle of St. Paul
April 27th, 2007 | St. Paul Armory in St. Paul, Minnesota

2007 ROH is a beautiful place. It’s the time I really got invested in the company and I loved a lot of what they were doing. I’ve only seen this show once, but it comes relatively early into the year. Things were changing for the company, as Takeshi Morishima was now the World Champion despite debuting only two months prior.

The show opened with Austin Aries cutting a promo backstage. He brought up the unbeatable Samoa Joe back in 2004. He was the man who beat the dominant champion and now that he’s three years better, he has the plan to beat the new dominant champion.

Lenny Leonard and Dave Prazak were on commentary.

The Dangerous Angels (Allison Danger and Sara Del Rey) vs. The Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew (Lacey and Rain) w/ Jimmy Jacobs
I love the Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew. Lacey and Rain were excellent together and Lacey was just fantastic in general. There was a consistent rivalry in SHIMMER, and especially in ROH, between Lacey and Del Rey. In fact, they were about a month away from meeting in the SHIMMER Title Tournament Finals. From the start, it clear that the Angels were better. They outwrestled the MHWC at every turn. It is the cunning nature of the heels that gave them the upper hand on Danger. When they had it, we got to see some nice tandem offense. The heat segment didn’t last too long before Del Rey came in hot. However, she took a pair of lung blowers to nearly lose. Del Rey still showed off her power, putting both Lacey and Rain into a hanging Butterfly Lock. However, Jacob tripped Danger, allowing Lacey to use an Implant DDT to hand the Angels their first loss in 9:36. A good tag match. It was clear who the better wrestlers were, but the MHWC were the smarter team and it led them to the win. [***]

Michael Elgin vs. Rhett Titus
Wow. Elgin (pronounced L-JIN here) came out with long hair and was not very defined here. A far cry from the dude we see in NJPW now. Meanwhile, this was before Titus had a character. He was just a guy from the ROH school here. Titus did get to show a little personality with a taunt at one point. The match ended around 1:43 as Jimmy Rave returned and attacked both men. [NR]

Jimmy Rave put Titus in the Heel Hook and made him tap. He was interviewed and said he was sick of sitting at home injured (I believe this was right after Nigel McGuinness broke his jaw), so he was back to make an example of Elgin.

Jimmy Rave vs. Michael Elgin
Elgin got in a few of his signature moves from the era, like a slingshot elbow. However, this was all about showcasing the returning Rave. After all, he was just in an ROH World Title match in the Manhattan Center two months earlier. After a dropkick to the knee, he made Elgin tap to the Heel Hook in 2:53. Rave’s one night with a babyface reaction most likely. This did what it needed to. [*]

Backstage, Jimmy Jacobs attempted to give us an update on his injury. ROH school graduates came up to him to ask about how Lacey was in bed and he flipped out.

BJ Whitmer vs. Shingo
Two hard hitting tough guys. BJ won his feud with Brent Albright, but lost the one to Jimmy Jacobs. Meanwhile, Shingo has a World Title shot coming up tomorrow. A hot, fast start here, but it slowed down relatively quickly. It made some sense, as Shingo wouldn’t want to get hurt before a title shot. Whitmer attacked his leg. The pace picked up with a BJ tope and a Shingo Exploder outside. When they were back inside, Shingo picked up some near falls that the fans bit on. Shingo refused to go down on a series of late lariats, before hitting a Wrist Clutch Cradle Shock to continue his momentum at 10:02. This was a fine match. It had some slow points, but most of what we got worked. It is on the lower end of Shingo singles match I’ve seen, though. [**¾]

ROH World Tag Team Championship Ultimate Endurance Match: The Briscoes [c] vs. Gran Akuma and Hallowicked vs. Jigsaw and Mike Quackenbush vs. Mitch Franklin and Pelle Primeau
Not exactly a murderer’s row of opponents for the champions. In an Ultimate Endurance match, each fall is contested under different rules. The first fall was held under submission rules. Fans were hyped for Quack, who was apparently making his ROH debut. Quack showcased his stuff in the first fall and had a solid little back and forth with Pelle Primeau. The Briscoes mostly sat back in this fall, until coming in and taking out Franklin with the Stretch Plum at 6:34. The next fall was contested under Scramble Rules, so anyone could enter without tags. It was a shorter segment, with some wild stuff, that the Briscoes also won by hitting a leg drop/Cutthroat Driver combo at 10:43. It was down to the champs against Quack and Jigsaw in a “title match.” Seriously? What a lame final stipulation. All four men were wearing red & black, while the ring and guardrails were also red and black. It was a lot. Jigsaw was isolated here, setting up Quack for a relatively hot tag. Though Quack did well for himself, his team never truly threatened. He fell to the springboard Doomsday Device to end it in 16:34. It would’ve worked better as a straight four-way. The different falls didn’t really mean anything and nobody had a real chance of winning the titles. [**½]

Street Fight: Adam Pearce and Brent Albright w/ Shane Hagadorn vs. Colt Cabana and Homicide
It’s night one of Cabana’s final weekend before heading to the WWE. The heels attacked during Cabana and Homicide’s entrance, but had the tables turned on them rather quickly. The match went all around the St. Paul Armory. Guys brawled at ringside and in the crowd. Shane Hagadorn made sure to get involved, but accidentally clocked Pearce with a chair. These guys used tables, a guardrail, and even brought out a ladder. However, the ladder was barely even used. Albright violently swung Homicide into the guardrail, before beating Colt with a Half Nelson suplex in 13:34. Surprising result, but a fun match. It was violent and wrestled at a brisk pace, though it wasn’t as intense as you’d expect. [***¼]

Post-match, Homicide hit Hagadorn with the Cop Killa, then brought him back so Colt could hit the Colt 45.

Backstage, the lovely Rebecca Bayless interviewed the Briscoes about the Motor City Machine Guns, who they face tomorrow. They aren’t impressed by MCMG being ZERO-1 Tag Champions, since they were the NOAH Tag Champs at one point.

Delirious vs. Erick Stevens vs. Jack Evans vs. Rocky Romero
I forgot that Romero used to come out to “Suavemente.” He’s still working sporadically for NJPW, Evans is in Lucha Underground, Delirious is poorly booking ROH, and Stevens is out of wrestling now. This was all about the personalities. Delirious was his funny self, Evans and Romero enjoyed showboating/dancing in between their offense, and Stevens was the powerhouse. There was also an underlying story of Stevens joining Aries’ Resilience stable, while Romero was part of Strong’s No Remorse Corps. That led them to a decently anticipated fight at one point in the match. As you’d expect with a multi-man match, the final few minutes were pretty frantic. The finish was a bit surprising, as it saw Romero and Evans get left alone. Romero delivered a Tiger suplex and a sick looking roundhouse kick to win in 15:28. I had a lot of fun with this match. They’re not my favorite wrestlers, but they all put in a big time effort and kept things moving along nicely. [***½]

FIP Championship: Roderick Strong [c] vs. Christopher Daniels w/ Allison Danger
Danger dressed like a cheerleader tonight. This was during Daniels’ run in TNA where he painted a bit of his face and worked heel. It carried over to ROH. There’s a slow pace to this early as Daniels held the upper hand. He worked the mat, would randomly bust out something like a moonsault, and go back to a side headlock he used to control everything. They made good use of the FIP Title rules, like the 20 count outside. In kayfabe, it was Strong who had them implemented, so it makes sense for him to use them to his advantage. Strong put the focus squarely on Daniels’ back with an array of backbreakers. It helped set up the Strong Hold, though Daniels made it to the ropes. I also appreciated how the ending came from out of nowhere kind of. Daniels and Strong brawled outside and Daniels’ foot got caught in the guardrail. Danger helped free him but he couldn’t beat the count, which Roddy did, giving us our finish in 23:33. I really liked how they used the rules of the FIP Title matches to their advantage here. A lot of people won’t like that finish, but I thought it was great, especially for the kind of champion Strong was. [***¾]

Backstage, Jimmy Jacobs tried to update us again, but Adam Pearce and Brent Albright came by to ask about Lacey, which upset Jimmy again. He stormed off, leaving Pearce to cut a promo on facing Colt Cabana in his last match tomorrow. It’s a very good promo, referencing their past and how Pearce has changed.

ROH World Championship: Takeshi Morishima [c] vs. Austin Aries
Aries’ plan was to come right at Morishima with everything he had. It didn’t matter, as Morishima shrugged off his shots like nothing. From there, Morishima spent the new few minutes just beating the hell out of Aries. He threw him around in and out of the ring, completely dominating him. Aries’ comeback was expected, but thankfully was realistic. He found openings to get his stuff going. When he made a mistake, like trying to hit the Brainbuster, it bit him in the ass. Morishima showed off his athleticism, but missed a missile dropkick. Aries began going into the stuff that helped him beat Samoa Joe back in 2004, only for Morishima to cut him off. He still hit kicks to the head and brought the people to their feet by hitting the Brainbuster. 450 connected, but Morishima got his foot on the bottom rope. Amazing. That was his last hope, as Morishima put him down with a Backdrop Driver shortly after to retain in 15:03. A great main event that told the reliable David and Goliath story. Both men played their roles perfectly and it made for great drama. The false finish of the 450 was done so well. [****]

To close things out, Rebecca Bayless spoke with jimmy Jacobs, who said he didn’t like the mentality around the locker room.

7.5
The final score: review Good
The 411
The show didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, with nothing that stood out until late. However, everything is at least pretty good and even the match that wasn’t (Rave/Elgin) gave us a notable return. The show really picks up steam late, with two very good matches and a great one to cap it all off. A very enjoyable way to spend three hours.
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