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Review of Honor: ROH Without Remorse 2008

August 24, 2017 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Nigel McGuinness ROH
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Review of Honor: ROH Without Remorse 2008  

ROH Without Remorse
January 26th, 2008 | Frontier Fieldhouse in Chicago Ridge, Illinois

Already their fourth show of a young 2008, ROH had relatively new champions in Nigel McGuinness (since October) and the Age of the Fall (since December). The Age of the Fall were in trouble, in their second Ultimate Endurance match of their short reign. For those unaware, Ultimate Endurance is basically a Three Stages of Hell match, but with tag teams. This was the last great year for ROH in my opinion.

The show opens with the No Remorse Corps talking about possibly winning every title tonight. There’s a great bit where Davey Richards is upset with Rocky Romero for not taking him to party in Roppongi with him. Davey tries hitting on one of the girls who used to hand out programs for ROH. She gets invited to the after party, but they cockblock him since Davey has to stay and watch the titles. I loved the running gag of Davey being the uncool member.

Elsewhere, Delirious incoherently rambles about Adam Pearce.

Ultimate Endurance Qualifying Match: Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson def. Erick Stevens and Jay Briscoe in 17:08
Aries and Stevens, former Resilience teammates, start and get chippy. Aries had been showing heel tendencies after a string of tough losses. Jay vs. Bryan is more technical. Honestly, everything not involving Aries against Stevens is pretty amicable. Nothing of note happens until Aries asks Danielson what they should do. Danielson yells “HIP TOSS”, so they do a double hip toss, complete with a high five. The fans chant “teamwork”, which would become the unofficial name of the short-lived duo. Jay takes some heat before Stevens comes in rather hot. He and Jay work some Briscoes spots for a pop, which help since the crowd are pro Aries and Danielson. Danielson eats a Doomsday shoulder block but Aries makes the save. Jay gets caught in a combo of Bryan elbows and Austin knee strikes before Danielson beats him with a small package. Fine opener to establish Aries and Danielson. They could’ve done more though. **¾

Adam Pearce threatens Delirious backstage. THE SCRAP DADDY!

Shane Hagadorn def. Pelle Primeau in 4:52
Hagadorn was easily my least favorite thing about ROH in this era. He surprises me with a leap frog since it’s the most athletic thing he’s ever done. Hagadorn holds serve since Pelle took a beating the night prior. Pelle’s hope spots are few and far between. Shane does the FU and the “you can’t see me” taunt. That doesn’t even get much of a reaction. Shane truly sucks. Pelle’s short comeback ends when Hagadorn knocks him out with a foreign object. About as good as it could be with Hagadorn, which isn’t good at all. ½*

Shane Hagadorn bores the crowd talking up Adam Pearce after the bell.

The awesome Sweet n’ Sour Inc. come out. Larry Sweeney, Chris Hero, Sara Del Rey, Bobby Dempsey and Tank Toland are the unit here. Sweeney is pissed that Hero lost to Nigel McGuinness last night, calling it an atrocity. He is also upset that ROH doesn’t recognize the Intergender Tag Team Titles (which Hero and Del Rey hold) as a real title. Since a team from Thailand couldn’t make it, he has the next best opponents for Sara and Chris.

Intergender Tag Team Championship: Chris Hero and Sara Del Rey (c) w/ Sweet n’ Sour Inc. def. “Sugertits” Alex Payne and Kyle Durden in 2:32
Alex Payne goes by “Sugerfoot” but since Sweeney calls him “Sugertits”, he’s the girl. They get next to no offense in. Hero and Del Rey make quick work and win via stereo forearms. NR

Sweeney gets back in, calling the Intergender Tag Titles the most prestigious belts in ROH. Out comes Daizee Haze to say the only champion and person in the ring worth anything is SHIMMER Champion Sara Del Rey. Sweeney sends Hero after her but she’s saved by Jigsaw, setting up an impromptu match.

Non-Title Match: Chris Hero and Sara Del Rey w/ Sweet n’ Sour Inc. def. Daizee Haze and Jigsaw in 7:56
Larry Sweeney says they aren’t on the international intergender rankings so it’s non-title. Sweeney was gold. Haze starts hot and is even used by Jigsaw as a weapon. Haze and Del Rey worked often enough that their chemistry was solid. Hero gets in cheap shots, allowing Sara to deliver a big boot. Jigsaw surprisingly plays the face in peril. Though Haze gets a hot tag, she is thrown around by Hero. It’s an early look at the bully role Hero would excel at years later. Haze and Del Rey go at it until Hero knocks her out with a forearm. WHAT A BASTARD! Hero hits the cravat countdown on Jigsaw for the win. Fun enough. Hero and Sara were entertaining together. **¼

Claudio Castagnoli vs. El Generico ended in a time limit draw at 20:00
Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn! These two met in the finals of ROH’s “Race to the Top” Tournament the previous July, which Claudio won. There’s a strong feeling out process where Claudio has a strength advantage, so Generico goes to the mat. It’s not their typical opening but I like it because it makes a lot of sense. The pace quickens with a series of counters and avoiding big strikes by each man. Claudio targets Generico’s knee, using all sorts of moves on it. I’m talking half crab, a KneeDT, stretch muffler and more. I just noticed how weird Claudio looks with hair. Bald Claudio/Cesaro is much better. Generico can’t springboard because of the leg work, so he somersaults off the top instead. They repeat the Ricola Bomb into Code Red counter from their first match, getting a “that was awesome” chant. Indeed. Claudio does a sick one-legged giant swing into a great stretch muffler. He wrenches on it hard. They announce that there’s only one minute left as they fight up top. Claudio blocks a super rana and tries a super Ricola Bomb only for that to be countered into a rana. YAKUZA KICK! Somehow Claudio kicks out and puts the stretch muffler back on just before time expires. These two cannot have a bad match. This wasn’t quite on the level of their two big NXT outings or the RTTP Finals, but I loved the leg work. It played into the finish and was sold well throughout. Add in callbacks to past matches and believable near falls and you’ve got a winner. ****

Backstage, Claudio and Generico agree to a rematch.

Mark Briscoe def. Joey Matthews w/ Allison Wonderland, Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey in 14:36
The more Lacey on my TV, the better. Jimmy offers Austin Aries a spot in the Age of the Fall before the match. Matthews is greeting with “we want Nitro” and “you got fired” chants. Lots of stalling from Matthews early. Each time Mark gets offense going, he comes off as frustrated due to Joey’s tactics. Joey is in firm control, hitting a swinging neckbreaker variation for two. I wish there was more to comment on but nothing of real note is happening. They fight up top where Mark is knocked off twice but still managed a springboard ace crusher. The shooting star press follows for the victory. Nothing match. Too much stalling from Matthews, the AOTF job again and it went far too long. 

Nigel McGuinness is interviewed backstage. He plans on teaching Roderick Strong respect and also makes note of chestnuts slapping on Strong’s chin. Yup.

Dog Collar Match: Delirious def. Adam Pearce w/ Shane Hagadorn in 20:22
The Hangmen Three and Delirious have been in a feud for a while. This is the blowoff. They wisely play this like a feud ender, slugging it out early and brawling through the crowd. Once back inside, Pearce dominates and talks a bunch of smack. Delirious pulls on the collar, which brings Pearce into the turnbuckle and busts him open. He wraps it around the top rope and hangs the Hangmen leader. It’s a call back to their rivalry when they did the same to Delirious. Pearce comes back, nearly winning with a rear naked choke. Delirious survives and ends up applying the cobra stretch with the chain! Hagadorn comes in with weak ass chair shots to break it up. Shane is a chump though, so Delirious still busts out panic attacks. He sets Pearce on a table and splashes him through it, ending the rivalry. About the right amount of violence considering their feud. A few spots felt contrived and it went a bit long. Other than that, this was strong. ***

ROH World Tag Team Championship Ultimate Endurance Match: No Remorse Corps (Davey Richards and Rocky Romero) def. The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black)w/ Allison Wonderland and Lacey, Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson and The Hangmen Three (BJ Whitmer and Brent Albright) in 22:58
In a cool flip, Aries and Danielson come out to their themes mixed again, but this time with Aries’ intro and Danielson’s actual theme. It was the other way around earlier. The first fall is scramble style, which sees everyone get their shit in. Albright looks oddly skinny here. He and Whitmer mock Rocky’s “Azucar” dance before Danielson takes them out with a missile dropkick and does his own sexy party. Bryan and Jacobs go at it in a call back to a match they had in this building the previous month. In a shocking moment, the Age of the Fall were eliminated first in under ten minutes when Davey rolled up Black. So they built them up to dethrone the Briscoes and then they jobbed. The second fall is under submission rules. The Hangmen duo wear down Danielson while NRC sit back and watch. Everyone came in and we got a triple submission spot. Davey and Brent think they got the eliminations when the bell rings but it was Danielson who made Whitmer tap. It’s down to NRC vs. Teamwork for the titles. Danielson gets worked over the NRC, still taking the heat. Romero even uses Danielson’s trademark surfboard stretch. Aries got the hot tag after Danielson ducked a stereo kick spot and ran wild. He eats a German and roundhouse kick but Bryan breaks the pin. They do a great job teasing Bryan tapping out before he reaches the ropes. Bryan sells the work like death. Aries got a second hot tag and we got the Cattle Mutilation and Horns of Aries simultaneously! Bryan comes over and they nearly kill Davey with a combo of elbow and knee strikes. Aries signals for the brainbuster only to get rolled up for the finish. A surprising result in a fun match. The first fall was kind of just there for the shock, while the second fall set the stage for the awesome final fall. Great tag work with Bryan as the great face in peril, the heel things bringing it, Aries being a great hot tag guy and high effort from almost everyone. ***¾

There’s a great short skit with the No Remorse Corps celebration. Davey ends it by simply stating, “I’m gonna get laid, I’m gonna get laid.”

ROH World Championship: Nigel McGuinness (c) def. Roderick Strong in 16:27
This stems from Strong downplaying Nigel’s accomplishments and saying he made the FIP Title mean more than the ROH Title. Roddy also interrupted Nigel’s first promo after winning the title. Nigel gets chopped up early so Nigel does his best to avoid them and take things to the mat. Both men have the other well scouted. Nigel powers through vicious chops and connects on two lariats for a near fall. It’s basically chops against lariats here. Neither guy takes full control with this being evenly. Strong blocks the Tower of London several times and when he finally falls to it, he manages to get a shoulder up. The closing stretch is rather strong, with several counters and close calls. Strong’s only near fall where the crowd felt it was possible was on a Gibson Driver following a sick kick but Nigel kicks out. He hits the lariat for his own near fall before eating a boot which leads to the jawbreaker lariat. Nigel retains with that. Not a bad title match but nothing to write home about. They did what I expected and never made anyone buy into a title change. ***

Jimmy Jacobs cuts a promo in the back, saying the Age of the Fall is still in control despite losing a ton on this ROH weekend.

The final score: review Good
The 411
An enjoyable show overall but it featured too many lackluster pieces to be great. The opening tag was only good, while the Briscoe/Matthews match sucked the life out of me and the main event was solid but disappointing. Hero and Del Rey didn’t have a strong match but they were entertaining. Delirious/Pearce was a good ending to their rivalry, while the Tag Team Title match was a lot of fun. Claudio/Generico stole the show and had the best match on the card. The show moved along rather quickly, helping things.