Wednesday, May 28, 2014


The Future Has Arrived!!

Winter Park, Florida 2/27/14

Before we get into the matches, Triple H is in the ring. He basically just cuts a promo hyping up the show and talks about what NXT represents. The Future Has Arrived!

They did show a really nice video package for Zayn vs. Cesaro (either on the pre-show or the actual event itself) and it looked very good. It did a very nice job explaining the feud between the two.

1.) Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro: ****3/4

This was AWESOME!!! There's really nothing I can add. Just awesome stuff between these two guys. Nonstop action from bell to bell. William Regal added so much to this on commentary and it made it that much better. Honestly, if you haven't seen this match, I don't know what you're waiting for. Cesaro is finally able to pick up the win in a match that was one of the most exciting of the year and is without a doubt a top contender for Match Of The Year.

After the match, Cesaro comes back in the ring and shares and embrace with Sami Zayn. Awesome! Sportsmanship!! Honor Lives!! 

2.) Mojo Rawley vs. CJ Parker: **

Don't know much about Mojo's character, but he was a former NFL Player. This was an ok match. Obviously it was almost impossible to follow the previous match, but this was fine for what it was. Mojo Rawley gets the win. 

3.) NXT Tag Team Titles - The Ascension vs. Too Cool: **1/4

The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) had mystery opponents going into this, and the call was answered by Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Grand Master Sexay). I recall that while watching this live, I commented on Twitter that a bald Scotty 2 Hotty reminded me of someone. I believe it was Christopher Daniels, but I'm not sure. Anyway, the match itself was decent. Too Cool got some of their stuff in, but this was more of a showcase for The Ascension, as they got the win and retained their titles.

Before the next match, Stephanie McMahon comes out, and basically does the same thing Triple H did earlier, except she put more focus on the Divas.

4.) NXT Diva’s Title – Paige vs. Emma: ***1/2

I absolutely LOVE Paige, and Emma has quickly grown on me, so I was looking forward to this. They did not disappoint in the slightest. This was a great match. Probably one of the better Divas Matches you'll anywhere in WWE all year. Just really good stuff between these two. Paige picks up the submission victory with the Scorpion Crosslock, which is an awesome submission move.

5.) Xavier Woods vs. Tyler Breeze: N/A

You might know Xavier Woods from the time he spent in TNA as Consequences Creed, while Tyler Breeze has an interesting character to say the least. The match ends in a No Contest when Alexander Rusev comes out with Lana right as the match begins and destroys both guys. This just served the purpose of getting Rusev over.

6.) NXT Title – Ladder Match – Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville: ***3/4

Dallas comes into this match as the longest reigning NXT Champion in history. Adrian Neville, for those who don't know, was formerly known as Pac, and made his name as a top star in Dragon Gate & Dragon Gate USA. This was a very good main event. I've heard some people say that this was a very safe Ladder Match, and I would agree with that. They have some good Ladder Spots, but they didn't do anything crazy of try to kill each other. Good solid action throughout. Towards the end of the match, Neville was able to hit his finisher, Red Arrow, onto Dallas who was laid out on a Ladder!! Neville then ascends the Ladder and wins the NXT Title. He celebrates as the show goes off the air.

Overall: 8.0/10

This was not only the first ever NXT Live Special, but it was also the first live show on the WWE Network, which had launched a few days prior. On the whole, I'd say this event was definitely a success. It was exactly what it needed to be and accomplished a good deal. You had a Match of the Year Contender, a great women's match, and an entertaining main event that saw a new NXT Champion crowned. We also got to see more of the NXT Roster showcased in the mid-card, and while those matches didn't really stand out. They introduced a number of guys to people who might be viewing NXT for the first time. This show is one worth seeing for sure.

Dragon Gate USA Way Of The Ronin 2014 Review

Two big title matches headline the first stop in Brooklyn of 2014!

Dragon Gate USA Way Of The Ronin 2014
Brooklyn, New York 2/23/14

1.) Tim Donst vs. Caleb Konley: ***

This is part of the new talent initiative, where some new faces are getting opportunities. Here we have Tim Donst, famous for his work in places like CHIKARA and more recently AIW, getting a shot against Caleb Konley. I enjoyed this match. It was a pretty solid opener. The only real negative thing about this match is that Konley botched his finisher at the end. Otherwise, it was fine. Konley gets the win.

2.) Jay Freddie vs. Blake Edward Belakus: **1/4

I've sparingly heard of Jay Freddie, but this is my first time seeing Belakus, who has long hair and a beard. This was fine for what it was. Both guys got to showcase their stuff. Belakus gets the win.

After the match, Larry Dallas comes out to try & recruit both guys to The Scene, but they both turn him down.

3.) Yosuke Santa Maria vs. Ethan Page: **3/4

Good to see Ethan Page get an opportunity here. Yosuke Santa Maria is the only Dragon Gate Talent on this show, as CIMA & Ryo Saito both couldn't make the show. If you haven't seen Yosuke Santa Maria, he's a very.....flamboyant character, to say the least. I gotta say, I really enjoyed this. While this was more about the antics over the wrestling, it was still a lot of fun. Page's reactions to Yosuke Santa Maria's antics were both perfect & priceless. The crowd was really into it as well, making it all that more enjoyable. My only real gripe is that I don't think Page needed to lose to here, if they're serious on using guys like him & Tim Donst more. Yosuke Santa Maria gets the win in a very enjoyable match.

4.) Jigsaw vs. Fire Ant: ***1/4

This match was set up after Jigsaw turned on his partner after their match at Freedom Fight a few months prior. I thought the match was going along very nicely. Lots of great action between the two, exactly what you would expect from these CHIKARA regulars. Then the finish came. Essentially the last moments of the match had several big spots, the biggest of which was Fire Ant hitting a massive Beach Break on the ring apron!! Then, when they finally get back in the ring, Jigsaw quickly rolls up Fire Ant for the win. They had a great match going until that horribly booked finish. Why have them go through all of that just for Jigsaw to get a roll up victory. If they had a more suitable finish, this could have been one of the better matches of the night without a doubt. Instead, the ending killed it.

After the match, Jigsaw proclaims that he's the greatest wrestler in the world.

5.) The Premiere Athlete Brand (Tony Nese & Trent Baretta with Su Yung & Mr. A) vs. Rich Swann & Shane Strickland: ***3/4

Ivelisse comes out with Swann & Strickland. Trent Baretta recently joined The Premiere Athlete Brand during the Evolve Shows in Florida earlier in the year. This was a very good and exciting match. All four guys really got to show their stuff here and it was a great match to have before intermission. It's also pretty nice to see that The Premiere Athlete Brand got a strong victory here. 

After intermission, The Bravado Brothers & Moose come out. Harlem Bravado say that the previous match wasn't wrestling, and that it would have been thrown out five minutes in because they weren't using the tag ropes. Harlem says that when the rules aren't followed, people get hurt, like how his brother Lancelot Bravado was hurt at the hands of The Young Bucks at Evolve 27. He goes on to say that Grandma Bravado got The Young Bucks suspended, and that from now on, they will only defend the Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles under traditional tag rules, and not Dragon Gate Rules. They then introduce Grandma Bravado's Insurance Policy in the form of Moose, who is a former NFL Player. Harlem says that their will be repercussions for those who don't follow the rules, and Moose goes after the two jobbers to start this apparent match.

6.) Triple Threat Match – Moose vs. Earl Cooter vs. Xavier Fate: DUD

No sure what kind of match this was. I've seen some reviews list it as a handicap match, and others have said it was a triple threat match, but lists it as a triple threat, so that's what I'm going with. This was basically just a squash used to introduce Moose. 

After the match, The Bravados celebrate and bring up how Orange Cassidy got taken out the previous night by Moose. This brings out the rest of The Gentlemen's Club in Chuck Taylor & Drew Gulak and it's on!

7.) Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles - The Bravado Brothers vs. The Gentlemen’s Club (Chuck Taylor & Drew Gulak): ***1/4

I personally enjoy the team of Taylor & Gulak more than Taylor & Orange Cassidy. This was a fine match. Not nearly as good as the tag team match from earlier in the card, but it was still solid. Interference from Moose allows The Bravados to get the win and retain their titles.

8.) Evolve Title – AR Fox vs. Chris Hero: ****1/4

Chris Hero is coming off a set of challenge matches he had during the Evolve Shows in Florida, where he went 2-1. Fox has been Evolve Champion for nearly ten and a half months. It should be noted that Trent Baretta is watching the match from the balcony area. Simply put, this was an awesome match. Great action from start to finish. It build up and got better and better as it went long, and the latter stages of the match were especially awesome. Hero is able to lock in the Stretch Plum and is able to make Fox tap out!! Chris Hero is the new Evolve Champion!!

The crowd erupts at the title change, and Fox presents the title to Hero as the two competitors celebrate, but their celebration is short lived as Trent Baretta has the mic. He congratulates Hero in a sarcastic tone, and reminds Hero that Claudio Castagnoli is main eventing a WWE PPV tonight (Elimination Chamber). He also mentions that Hero would be in Claudio's spot if he "ate more salad". Baretta then mentions that he's been tearing it up on the indies in the past year and that Hero just can't waltz back in and basically challenges him to a match in New Orleans. This serves to be a distraction as The Premiere Athlete Brand's Anthony Nese & Mr. A come out and attack Hero! Fox tries to make the save but Caleb Konley comes out and attacks Fox!! He's joined the Premiere Athlete Brand! They either set up Fox or Hero (can't remember which) so Mr. A could hit a top rope splash, but he trips and fails miserably in one of the most embarrassing botches I've ever seen. Massive "You F'ed Up" chants erupt as the rest of The Premiere Athlete Brand lay out Fox & Hero. They stand tall in the middle of the ring.

9.) Open The United Gate Title – Johnny Gargano vs. Roderick Strong: ****

Strong was supposed to wrestle Gargano at Evolve 27 but couldn't because of his neck injury. While this wasn't as good as the Evolve Title Match, this was still a great match. Both guys are awesome in the ring so it should come as no surprise. I actually think I enjoyed this match a bit more than their match at PWG Matt Rushmore a few months prior because in this one, you have a clear face and heel. At one point, Rich Swann rallies the fans the surround the ring and pound on the mat to try and get under Gargano's skin. However, Gargano was still able to overcome this and defeat Strong to retain his title. Again, this was a pretty great match. While the fans pounding the mat wasn't exactly spontaneous (Swann encouraged them to do it), it still heightened the atmosphere and added to the excitement.

After the match, Gargano celebrates, saying he's a one-man Elimination Chamber, and that the fans should show him the respect he deserves. The fans boo him, while Swann gets in the ring ands rips into Gargano, saying that he, CIMA, and Ricochet are all going to kick his ass in New Orleans. He then leads the crowd in singing "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye" at Gargano as the champion retreats to the back. Swann then thanks the fans for coming out and says they will be back in Brooklyn in May.

Overall: 8.0/10

This was a relatively solid show from Dragon Gate USA. We got to see some new talent showcased in the undercard in some solid matches. You then had a really good tag team match and two awesome title matches. Plus you had some significant moments like Chris Hero winning the Evolve Title and Caleb Konley joining The Premiere Athlete Brand. While this show did suffer from some booking issues, the lack of Dragon Gate Talent, and that glaring Mr. A botch, I feel like the good still outweighs the bad.

Monday, May 26, 2014

ROH 12th Anniversary Show: Collector's Edition Review

Ring of Honor celebrates it's 12th Anniversary by returning home to Philadelphia!

Since this is The Collector's Edition, I'm going to review this a bit differently. I'll post my review for the actual show first, but I will go into full detail on the whole thing (like I usually do) after I go over the stuff from the Bonus Disk.

ROH 12th Anniversary Show
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2/21/14


1.) Amasis vs. Caprice Coleman: **1/4

The Funky Pharaoh is of course a mainstay of CHIKARA where he is one half of The Osirian Portal with Ophidian. This was an ok match. Pretty basic stuff for a pre-show match. Coleman gets the win.

Main Show

1.) Silas Young vs. Matt Taven: **3/4

This was a pretty solid opener. I think it could have been a little better had it gone on a little bit longer. Truth Martini joined commentary at ringside mid-match. Taven gets the win with a frogsplash.

After the match, Taven goes to shake Silas Young's hand, but Young attacks Taven. Truth Martini gets in the ring and cheers Young on. He goes to shake hands with him, but Silas blows him off and just walks by Martini. Once Taven gets back up, he chases Martini to the back.

2.) The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs, Roderick Strong & BJ Whitmer) vs. Mark Briscoe, Cedric Alexander & Adam Page: ***1/2

I really enjoyed this match. Lots of solid action in here. The second half of it was especially good. Towards the end of the match, Alexander is able to hit the Lumbar Check on Strong, but then is quickly taken out by Whitmer & Jacobs, who then hit the All Seeing Eye on Adam Page for the win. 

As The Decade were heading to the back, BJ Whitmer & Steve Corino get into a shoving match, and have to be separated.

3.) ROH World TV Title - "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. Hanson: ***1/4

Hanson won the Top Prospect Tournament to earn this title opportunity. This was a nice hard hitting big man match. It's something we don't see a lot of in ROH, so it was a nice change of pace. It was also a relatively short match, so it was pretty easy to sit through. Ciampa retains his World TV Title, but Hanson looks impressive in defeat. 

Michael Elgin comes out and explains that Matt Hardy, his scheduled opponent, wasn't at the show due to flight trouble (weather delays). He talks about how ROH has been all about giving opportunities throughout the past twelve years, and calls out Raymond Rowe to face him. Rowe accepts the challenge and we have a match!

4.) "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Raymond Rowe: ***

This was a fine match, but the crowd didn't seem to be into it as much. I think part of the problem was that we just saw a similar style match right before this in Ciampa/Hanson. Still, it was fine for what it was, but not exactly the type of quality you would expect from a Michael Elgin match. 

After Elgin won the match, Adam Cole came out to try and attack Elgin, but Rowe stops him. As Cole is caught between the two, Michael Bennett comes out and gives both Elgin & Rowe low blows. Jay Briscoe then runs out and clears the ring. He demands that his match with Bennett start right now!!

5.) "Real" World Title - Jay Briscoe vs. Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis): ***1/4

Another solid match. Fine action between both guys. Bennett, at one point, took a sick Suplex/Brainbuster on the apron. Towards the end of the match, Bennett hits a low blow on Jay when Maria & Adam Cole have the referee distracted. Then while the referee was distracted again a short time later, Briscoe hit a low blow on Bennett to return the favor. He then hits the Jay Driller and retains his version of the World Title.

6.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. Adrenaline RUSH: ****1/4

ACH & TaDarius Thomas got this opportunity after winning a Proving Ground Match at State Of The Art. Personally, I really enjoyed this. Great action between both teams. At one point, ACH has the match won after hitting a huge top rope splash on Bobby Fish, but Fish gets his foot on the rope. It didn't come off that well live as the crowd died down a bit. The last part of the match completely made up for it. ACH hit a massive dive to the outside, then rolls O'Reilly back in and goes for the top rope splash again, but O'Reilly catches him in the Triangle Choke and forces him to submit. reDRagon retain the World Tag Team Titles.

7.) "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles vs. Jay Lethal: ****1/4

This was pretty great. Comparatively speaking, I'd say this was better than the Roderick Strong match. It's funny seeing this match on an ROH Show after they both spent years in TNA. Back to the match, very solid action throughout. Styles gets the win with The Styles Clash. 

After the match, Styles & Lethal shake hands, but Lethal looks to be disappointed as he heads up the entrance way.

Before the World Title Match, Outlaw Inc. (Eddie Kingston & Homicide) come out to cut a promo. This is there return after being suspended following what went down at Final Battle 2013. Kingston says Ring of Honor & SBG have been making them starve via the suspension, and that they're angry at pretty much everyone. He claims that they're looking to recruit a new member into Outlaw Inc.

8.) ROH World Title - Adam Cole vs. Chris Hero: ****1/4

Hero won this title shot after pinning Cole in the Three Way Tag Team Main Event of Wrestling's Finest. Another really great match. This was a lot better than the match they had at PWG All-Star Weekend X: Night 2, which suffered from overbooking (I know it's sounds weird to say that but it's true). Enjoyed the back & forth action between the two very much. Lots of good stuff, plus the crowd was very much into it. Towards the end, Referee Todd Sinclair gets accidentally taken out, and Hero applies the Stretch Plum on Cole. He taps out, but the referee is out. The match goes on for a few more minutes until Cole finally gets the win over Hero. Again, really enjoyed this match.

As Cole celebrates post match, Kevin Steen comes out. They tease a fight, but Cole flips Steen off and retreats. Steen then tells everyone at ringside to leave (expect for a referee) and says that's it's no longer an ROH Show, but a Kevin Steen Show! He calls out Cliff Compton for their Unsanctioned Philly Street Fight and it's on!

9.) Unsanctioned Philly Street Fight - Kevin Steen vs. Cliff Compton: ***1/2

Some people will like these kinds of matches, but others won't. Personally, I enjoyed this. It was fine for what it was. Lots of good hardcore spots with Multiple Tables, Ladders, Chairs, Singapore Canes, and Trash Cans all involved. Actually a fitting match to have in Philadelphia, a city of course well known for it's hardcore past. Kevin Steen eventually is able to put away Compton with a Package Piledriver onto a ladder.

After the match, Kevin Steen cuts a promo similar to the one he cut at State Of The Art, saying he wants to win the ROH World Title again, and have a reign he can be proud of. Outlaw Inc. interrupt Steen by coming out on the ramp, and have a little bit of a verbal back & forth before Steen continues his promo. He promises to win the ROH World Title

Overall: 8.5/10

Bonus Disk

ROH on SBG TV Tapings
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2/22/14

1.) Jenny Rose vs. Seleziya Sparx (with Scarlett Bordeaux): *3/4

Maria Kanellis joins Kevin Kelly on commentary. This was decent for a women's match. Nothing really much, of note, to say. Scarlett distracts Rose, which leads to Seleziya getting the win.

2.) "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles: ***3/4

ROH World Champion Adam Cole is out to join Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino on commentary. As a match, this was very good, but based on a lot of people's expectations (including mine), I thought it was a little bit disappointing. There was a fair amount of good back & forth action, and the crowd was into it, but it became clear towards the end that they were wrestling to the time limit. The match ends in a 30 Minute Time Limit Draw. Adam Cole celebrates this result, but Elgin & Styles want to continue. Before they can get things going again, Cole steals the ring bell, and attacks both Elgin & Styles with the ROH World Title. Jay Briscoe & Kevin Steen come out and chase Cole off. All of Cole's Challengers stand tall in the ring as the champion escapes.


There is a lot of stuff included. We get footage from the whole event with a review hosted by Larry Mercer. The entire Arm Wrestling Tournament (which was won by Michael Elgin. No real surprise there) is included. They also have the two Q & A Panels as well as the announcement of the two Ring of Honor/New Japan SuperShows, Global Wars & War Of The Worlds, which would take place a few months later in May. The awesome trailer is included.

Overall: 8.75/10

The Collector's Edition of the 12th Anniversary Show is a pretty good bundle, despite the strange way it is physically packaged (if you get it, you'll see what I mean). As for the show itself, I thought it was pretty good on the whole. I found it very similar to Glory By Honor XII from last year in that the undercard was good but relatively average on the whole, but the bigger matches in the second half really helped elevate the show. I thought Styles/Lethal and the World Title/Tag Team Title Matches all delivered, plus I thought the Unsanctioned Philly Street Fight was good for what it was. The stuff on the HonorCon Bonus Disk is a good add on. The Arm Wrestling Tournament and Q & A Panels were all entertaining, plus having the official announcement of the ROH/New Japan SuperShows is pretty special as well. If you're looking at the bonus matches it's definitely worth it if you want the entire unedited version of Elgin vs. Styles. A pretty good package from Ring of Honor.

Ring of Honor Wrestling Volume 1: The Best of Episodes 1-100 Review

The best from the first 100 Episodes of the SBG Era!

Ring of Honor Wrestling Volume 1: The Best of Episodes 1-100

Disk 1

ROH on SBG Episode 1 - ROH World Tag Team Titles - Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) vs. The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli with Sara Del Rey & Shane Hagadorn): ***1/4

ROH on SBG Episode 2 - ROH World TV Title - El Generico vs. Jay Lethal: ***1/4

ROH on SBG Episode 23 - Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. The Young Bucks: **3/4

ROH on SBG Episode 29 - March Mayhem Finals - Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa (with The Embassy Ltd.) vs. "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis & "Brutal" Bob Evans vs. Jay Lethal: ***1/4

ROH on SBG Episode 38 - Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards: ***1/2

ROH on SBG Episode 44 - ROH World Title - Kevin Steen (with Jimmy Jacobs) vs. "No Fear" Mike Mondo: ***1/2

ROH on SBG Episode 45 - ROH World TV Title - Roderick Strong (with Truth Martini) vs. Adam Cole: ***1/2

ROH on SBG Episode 46 - "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis & "Brutal" Bob Evans) vs. Lance Storm: ***

ROH on SBG Episode 58 - 2012 Survival of the Fittest Finals - Adam Cole vs. Mike Mondo vs. Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Davey Richards: ***3/4

ROH on SBG Episode 61 - ROH World TV Title - Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly: ***1/2

ROH on SBG Episode 63 - Davey Richards vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ****

Disk 2

ROH on SBG Episode 75 - Top Prospect Tournament Finals - Matt Taven vs. TaDarius Thomas: **1/2

ROH on SBG Episode 75 - Roderick Strong & reDRagon vs. The American Wolves & "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ***3/4

ROH on SBG Episode 76 - ROH World Tag Team Titles - If WGTT lose, they must disband - The Briscoes vs. Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team: **3/4

ROH on SBG Episode 79 - Adam Cole vs. Matt Hardy: **3/4

ROH on SBG Episode 81 - ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. The Forever Hooligans: ***1/4

ROH on SBG Episode 85 - Karl "Machine Gun" Anderson vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ***1/4

ROH on SBG Episode 85 - ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly (with Bobby Fish) vs. Davey Richards (with Eddie Edwards): ****

ROH on SBG Episode 88 - Roderick Strong vs. Taiji Ishimori: ***3/4

ROH on SBG Episode 90 - The Briscoes vs. The American Wolves: ***1/2

ROH on SBG Episode 98 - ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. The Forever Hooligans: ***1/2

Overall: 8.5/10 

This is a very interesting set. Disk 1 covers the first sixteen months of the ROH on SBG TV Show, while Disk 2 covers only the first seven months of 2013. Interestingly enough, the DVD Cover advertises mostly the Disk 2 Matches, so perhaps ROH was looking to put most of the Jim Cornette Era behind them. I'd say this was a pretty good compilation of matches. Disk 1 seems to be the more consistent of the two in terms of match quality. The latter half of Disk 1 is especially good, with Adam Cole's TV Title win, Survival of the Fittest 2012, and Richards vs. Elgin being the highlights. Disk 2 is very solid as well. The highlights of that one were definitely the Six-Man Tag from Episode 75, Richards vs. O'Reilly, Strong vs. Ishimori, andThe Forever Hooligans' World Tag Team Title Win. The majority of the matches aren't very long (most are 15 Minutes or less expect for the 2012 Survival of the Fittest Finals), which makes the DVD an easy one to sit through. Once again, a very solid compilation from ROH. Lots of very good wrestling.

Friday, May 23, 2014

ROH Kevin Steen: Descent Into Madness Review

Kevin Steen turns to the dark side and clashes with his former parter El Generico in one of the greatest feuds in Ring of Honor history!!

Kevin Steen: Descent Into Madness

Disk 1

ROH on HDNet Episode 11 – ROH World Tag Team Titles – Tables Match – Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The American Wolves: ***3/4

Contention (6/12/09) – Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The Young Bucks: ***1/2

Final Battle 2009 (12/19/09) – Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The Young Bucks: ****1/4

8th Anniversary Show (2/13/10) – Kevin Steen vs. Colt Cabana: Good Segment

From The Ashes (3/26/10) – Kevin Steen vs. Kenny Omega: ***1/4

The Big Bang! (4/3/10) – Kevin Steen & Steve Corino vs. Colt Cabana & El Generico: ***

Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies 2 (4/24/10) – Come-As-You-Are Chicago Street Fight – Kevin Steen & Steve Corino vs. Colt Cabana & El Generico: ****3/4

Supercard of Honor V (5/8/10) – 34th Street Last Man Standing Death Match – Kevin Steen vs. Colt Cabana: ***1/2

Death Before Dishonor VIII (6/19/10) – Kevin Steen vs. El Generico: ****

Disk 2

Hate: Chapter II (7/23/10) – Kevin Steen vs. El Generico: ***3/4

ROH on HDNet Episode 66 – Philadelphia Street Fight – Kevin Steen & Steve Corino vs. El Generico & Colt Cabana: ***1/2

Salvation (7/24/10) – ROH World Title – Tyler Black vs. Kevin Steen: ****1/4

Glory By Honor IX (9/11/10) – Double Chain Match – Kevin Steen & Steve Corino vs. Colt Cabana & El Generico: ****

Fate of an Angel II (11/13/10) – ROH World Tag Team Titles – The Kings of Wrestling vs. Kevin Steen & Steve Corino: ***1/2

ROH on HDNet Episode 82 – Kevin Steen vs. Grizzly Redwood: *1/2

Final Battle 2010 (12/18/10) – Unsanctioned Fight Without Honor - ROH Career vs. Mask – Kevin Steen vs. El Generico: ****3/4

Overall: 10/10

Talking about this DVD Compilation is going be a bit longer compared to my other ROH Compilation DVD Review, because their is A LOT to discuss. Quite simply, this is an AMAZING set put together by Ring of Honor. I might even go as far as to say that this is the greatest Compilation DVD Set that Ring of Honor has ever put out. This two disk package encapsulates the entire Kevin Steen/El Generico feud, not just in matches, but in important promos and segments as well. So much to talk about...

The first disk actually starts during early 2009 when Kevin Steen & El Generico were ROH World Tag Team Champions. You have their Tables Match vs. The American Wolves on HDNet where they lost the titles to Richards & Edwards (a very good match that I feel like tends to be forgotten about). You then have their little mini-feud with The Young Bucks that produces two quality tag team matches. Then you have the big moment at Final Battle 2009, where everything got started. You get a ton of backstage segments from the Video Wires as well as in ring segments featuring Kevin Steen & El Generico as wells well as Colt Cabana & Steve Corino, who get involved in this situation to help support their respective guy (Cabana helping El Generico, while Corino helped Steen). There's the first tag match between the two sides at The Big Bang! where El Generico finally stands up for himself and strikes back at Steen for the first time. The disk concludes with two bloody and violent hardcore affairs (the Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies 2 Match being the highlight of Disk 1) and the first singles match between Kevin Steen & El Generico at Death Before Dishonor VIII.

The second disk starts off with a Steen/Generico rematch at Hate: Chapter II and Steen's brief break from the feud in the Summer of 2010, where he challenged Tyler Black for the ROH World Title (includes some segments on HDNet which set up the match). We then get back to the Steen/Generico feud with the Double Chain Match at Glory By Honor IX, which saw a big brawl after the actual match where Kevin Steen takes off the mask of El Generico and recreates the very gruesome T-Shirt he was wearing at the time. The rest of the second disk basically is the build up to the Unsanctioned Fight Without Honor at Final Battle 2010, where Steen's ROH Career and El Generico's Mask was on the line.

To sum everything up, if you are a fan of Ring of Honor in any way, shape, or form, you need to got out of your way to get this DVD. This DVD Set encapsulates the entire Kevin Steen/El Generico feud from 2010 in a very good matches that includes all the major matches, backstage promos, and big moments in the feud. This is a compilation that is literally worth every penny. I highly recommend it. Whether you're someone who wants to relieve the feud, or a new ROH fan who wants to see what they missed, you will not be disappointed.

ROH on HDNet: Volume 6 Review

The first Ring of Honor Television Champion is crowned!!

This is going to be a bit different compared to some of the other Ring of Honor Compilations that I have reviewed already. Since it's a one disk set, I'll actually go into my thoughts on each individual match like I would on a normal show review. More than likely, I probably will do this with any other HDNet Volumes I may get in the future. Also, I should note that the way I have the matches listed below is not the order they appear on the DVD. I did this so that I can talk about all the matches chronologically based on when they aired.

ROH on HDNet: Volume 6

Episode 43 – Tyler Black & Colt Cabana vs. ROH World Champion Austin Aries & Kenny King: ***1/4

This is sort of the outlier match compared to the rest of the matches on this set, in terms of which episode this is. Black & Cabana are an interesting pairing, but fitting as they're both from the Mid-West. I found this to be a pretty solid tag team match. The stable Austin Aries had going at the time with Kenny King & Rhett Titus was great, and it resulted in a variety of pairing and very different tag matches. Lots of good action with solid double team offense from both sides. Colt Cabana pins Kenny King to get the win for his team.

Episode 50 – ROH TV Title Tournament – First Round – Kevin Steen vs. Rhett Titus: **1/2

Here we have the first match of the ROH TV Title Tournament. Steve Corino accompanies Kevin Steen for this one. This takes place a few short months after the events of Final Battle 2009. A decent match here. I liked how Steen worked over the arm of Rhett Titus, which eventually led to a submission victory for Steen via The Crossface, but at the same time, the match felt very odd as both guys were technically heels. An ok match, but definitely the weakest of the first round.

Episode 50 - ROH TV Title Tournament – First Round – El Generico vs. Kenny King: ***1/2

This was one of the matches I was looking forward to seeing when I got this set. It didn't disappoint, as these two put out a pretty good. El Generico is someone who you'll almost never get a bad match from and King looked very impressive as well. The only thing that I would say against this match is that King spent time focusing on the arm of El Generico, when Kevin Steen had done the same thing in his match earlier in the episode. It ended up taking a Super Royal Flush for King to get the win and advance to the next round.

Episode 51 - ROH TV Title Tournament – First Round – Colt Cabana vs. Eddie Edwards: ***

Shane Hagadorn is in the corner of Eddie Edwards for this one. Here we are at that weird period in the first half of 2010 where Hagadorn was managing both The American Wolves and the newly reformed Kings of Wrestling. This was a fine match, though it never really stood out that much. The main story here was that Steve Corino came out to distract Colt Cabana and it ended up costing him the match as Eddie Edwards gets the win to advance to the next round. 

Episode 51 - ROH TV Title Tournament – First Round – Davey Richards vs. Delirous: ***1/2

Here we have another unique matchup. Shane Hagadorn is out with Richards while Daizee Haze is out with Delirious. This was a pretty good match. We were around the time when Richards was getting hot and being primed for his hunt for the World Title, so we got a lot of great action from him in the ring and the fans loved him. Delirious got in a lot of his stuff as well and it made for a very good back & forth matchup. It especially picked up towards the end. Richards is eventually able to tap out Delirious and advance to the next round.

Episode 52 – Pick 6 Series Match - Chris Hero vs. Jay Briscoe: ***1/4

This match is not only a continuation of the Kings of Wrestling/Briscoe Brothers feud, but is a part of the Pick 6 Series as well, meaning whoever wins could position himself for a future World Title Shot. Hero is accompanied by Claudio Castagnoli, Sara del Rey & Shane Hagadorn, while Jay Briscoe is accompanied by his brother Mark (The Briscoes were the current World Tag Team Champions at the time). Very solid match from these two. Chris Hero was awesome as always, and Jay Briscoe proves one again that he's a very capable singles wrester. Hero is able to score the win after a distraction from Claudio.

Episode 53 - ROH TV Title Tournament – Semi-Finals – Kevin Steen vs. Eddie Edwards: ***1/4

Here we have the first match of the second round. I actually found this to be a pretty enjoyable match. Both guys are very good wrestlers so it's not hard to think that this would be good. The big moment, however, came towards the end of the match when El Generico comes out to distract Kevin Steen, who subsequently gets rolled up into a small package and pinned by Edwards, who advances to the finals.

Episode 54 - ROH TV Title Tournament – Semi-Finals – Davey Richards vs. Kenny King: ***1/2

This was another match that I was looking forward to seeing on this set, and much like the earlier Kenny King match, it lived up to expectations. Really nice action between both guys. No surprise that Richards has had some of the best matches on this DVD. Richards gets the win and moves on to the finals, where he will face his American Wolves parter.

Episode 55 – ROH TV Title Tournament – Finals – Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards: ****1/4

It's a battle of the American Wolves with the winner being crowing the first ROH Television Champion. Shane Hagadorn is representing both guys at ringside. Obviously this was the main selling point of the DVD, as it is not only the match that decided the first Television Champion, but it is the first singles match between Richards & Edwards. I thought this was an awesome match. For it being on the TV Show, it actually got a good amount of time, and these two definitely made the most of it. Lots of great action between both guys. Amazing stuff throughout. After an exchange of submissions, Edwards is finally able to get Richards to tap out, and he becomes the first ever Television Champion!!

After the match, Davey snags the belt from Eddie, and tension is teased, but Richards ends up putting the belt on Edwards out of respect and celebrates with his American Wolves partner.

Episode 56 – Delirious vs. Austin Aries: **1/2

This match takes place after Aries lost the World Title to Tyler Black. Daizee Haze is out with Delirious while Kenny King is out with Aries. Nothing really of note to say about the actual match itself. What's important begins towards the end of the match. Aries goes to kick Delirious in the head, a move that Aries does regularly which usually leads to The Brainbuster, but it appeared that Aries kicked Delirious in the throat. Delirious looks to be hurt, and referees, officials, and Daizee Haze attend to Delirious as Aries backs off. All of a sudden, Austin Aries attacks Daizee Haze and goes after the injured Delirious!! King drags Delirious out of the ring and places him on top of the steel guardrail, allowing Aries to jump off the top rope onto Delirious, doing more damage to his throat!! As Aries and King go to leave, Jerry Lynn comes out with a chair and chases them off. Again, the match was fine, but it mainly served as the starting point for the Austin Aries/Delirious feud.

Episode 57 – The Briscoes vs. The Dark City Fight Club: ***1/4

The winners here will get a future shot at the ROH World Tag Team Titles, by order of Jim Cornette. The Kings of Wrestling had dethroned The Briscoes for the World Tag Team Titles by this point, and they're looking for another shot. It's so weird seeing Jon Davis before the.....interesting singles run he would go on to have in Dragon Gate USA/Evolve. This was a pretty good match. I've always liked the combination of Jon Davis & Kory Chavis. The Dark City Fight Club was a really solid tag team that added something different to ROH. I feel like they & The Briscoes were perfect opponents for each other, and their matches, like this one, were very solid for the most part. The Briscoes get the win and earn a future World Tag Team Title Shot.

Overall: 7.75/10

I thought that this was a very good DVD compilation. Obviously one of the key selling points of this particular HDNet Volume (and the reason I got this DVD) was the Television Title Tournament. For the most part, it was very enjoyable. You had only one match out of the bunch that was just ok, but the rest of the tournament matches were either good or very good. The finals between Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards was awesome and is well worth getting the DVD for. Nothing really stands out among the non-tournament matches, but at the same time they were all relatively solid. You also got some continuations of the Kevin Steen/El Generico feud, as well as the catalyst for the Austin Aries/Delirious feud. On the whole, I would say Volume 6 is a very solid DVD and, since the HDNet DVD's are selling cheaper on the ROH Website, it is also a very affordable one

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ROH State Of The Art Review

The continuation of the Adam Cole/Jay Briscoe feud and an All-Star Fatal Four-Way headline Ring of Honor's return to San Antonio!

ROH State Of The Art
San Antonio, Texas 2/8/14 


1.) Jessica James vs. Angel Blue: **

Maria Kanellis is out to join Kevin Kelly on commentary. Angel Blue is from Alaska, which I find very interesting. Don't know any wrestlers from Alaska so she's definitely the first. This was actually a pretty decent pre-show match. Both women got to show what they had and looked impressive. Jessica James gets the win.

Main Show

Things start off hot as Jay Briscoe, the "Real" World Champion, makes his way out. He says San Antonio came to see him whip Adam Cole's ass, and tells him to get out here right now! Cole surprisingly answers Briscoe's challenge and here we go!

1.) "Real" World Title - Jay Briscoe vs. ROH World Champion Adam Cole: ***3/4

This was going to be the Main Event, but they didn't want to wait. Jay Briscoe's version of the World Title is on the line here. Cole immediately goes to hit Briscoe with the ROH World Title but Briscoe ducks and the match starts off hot!! This was a really great match. The crowd was hot from the very beginning and I think having this go first was ultimately a good call. Lots of good action here. Eventually, after getting into it with Referee Todd Sinclair when he tried to his Briscoe with the "Real" World Title Belt, Jay is able to hit the Jay Driller and successfully defeat Cole to retain his version of the World Title.

2.) The Romantic Touch vs. Caprice Coleman: **1/2

Here we have a match where both men are looking for their first wins in 2014. Solid action here. The match was mostly ok but picked up near the end. Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino speculate that Veda Scott isn't at the show tonight because of The Romantic Touch and the "intimate interactions" they supposedly might have had. Coleman gets the win.

3.) BJ Whitmer (with Jimmy Jacobs & Roderick Strong) vs. Raymond Rowe: **3/4

Rowe is coming off being in the finals of the 2014 Top Prospect Tournament, where he lost to Hanson.  Again, another decent match, but nothing that's really worth nothing. Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino did a good job on commentary explains The Decade's views and the reasons why they're going after the young talent. BJ Whitmer gets the win over Rowe.

After the match, Jimmy Jacobs cuts a promo, explaining The Decades motivations and why they are targeting people like Chris Hero & AJ Styles, who have returning to the company, and the younger stars like Cedric Alexander and Adrenaline RUSH. He tells BJ to relax since he's done for the night, and calls out Cedric Alexander for their match.

4.) Jimmy Jacobs (with Roderick Strong) vs. Cedric Alexander: ***1/4

This took a while to get going, but when it did, it got good. It told a solid story between the younger Alexander and the veteran Jacobs. A funny moment during the match saw Strong getting into it verbally with an older gentleman and (presumably) his grandson who were sitting in the front row. Towards the end of the match, Cedric Alexander calls out Strong before he hits his backbreaker variation, the Lumbar Check, on Jimmy Jacobs. Strong gets on the apron and distracts Cedric long enough for Jacobs to hit a spear and pin him for the win.

After the match, Strong takes the mic and tells Cedric that his performance tonight didn't earn their respect. He lectures Cedric about not stealing other people's moves and then tells Cedric to unlace Jimmy Jacobs' boots. Alexander refuses multiple times so The Decade decide to kick him out of the locker room. BJ Whitmer brings out and throws Cedric's bag around and they block Cedric from going backstage.

5.) Alex Reigns vs. Weezy Woo: *3/4

Here we have a match that's being billed as a local showcase. Nothing really much to say here. Just your basic stuff. This served mainly to set up the next segment.

After Weezy Woo got the victory, RD Evans came out (in very colorful ring attire) with his own personal referee, Ramon, and quickly pinned Alex Reigns with Ramon counting the pin. He then goes to pin Weezy Woo but he kicks out. Evans quickly grabs the mic and tries to apologize by saying he just wanted to pin the other guy and got caught up in the moment. He seemingly congratulates Weezy Woo on his win but when his back is turned, Evans rolls him up and Ramon counts 3!! The New Streak continues!! RD Evans touts his success, and says he should be called Mr. ROH. This brings out Roderick Strong, who is not pleased, and leads to a match between the two...

6.) "Barrister" RD Evans vs. Roderick Strong: **1/4

Something like this would normally be seen as a squash, but RD Evans got in some offense in so I decided to rate it. This was more of a match within an overall segment that advanced both The New Streak & The Decade's storyline with Cedric Alexander, who after being kicked out of the locker room, joins Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino on commentary. Towards the end of the match, Strong spits on Cedric twice. This leads to Alexander getting in the ring, and while he goes to hit Strong, he ducks and hits RD Evans instead. Strong & Alexander brawl to the back, while a dazed RD Evans is declared the winner by DQ, thus keeping The New Streak alive at 32-0, much to the crowd's delight!!

7.) Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis) vs. Mark Briscoe: ***1/4

This was a pretty solid match. Good back & forth action between both guys. Mark Briscoe is always entertaining (he came out in a cowboy hat) and Bennett is always improving and has gotten to the point where he doesn't have bad matches anymore. Bennett would end up getting the win with the Anaconda Vice (or as he likes to call it, "Go Back To Japan").

After the match, Bennett cuts a promo with Maria in the ring. He talks about how great of a World Champion Adam Cole is and essentially challenges Jay Briscoe for his version of the World Title. This brings out Jay who goes to fight with Bennett, but it appears to be a setup as Adam Cole shows up and attacks from behind. Mark Briscoe recovers and joins the fight with his brother as Cole, Bennett & Maria retreat to the back, leaving The Briscoes standing tall in the ring.

8.) Proving Ground Match - ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon vs. Adrenaline RUSH: ****

If ACH & TaDarius Thomas get the win here, they earn a future World Tag Team Title Match. This was a great match. Started off slow, put picked up a lot in the second half and got really good down the stretch. All four of these guys are very good wrestlers so it proved to be very entertaining to watch. Towards the end of the match, ACH hits a massive dive to the outside, leading to a huge frog splash and the pin!! Adrenaline RUSH earn themselves a future ROH World Tag Team Title Shot as Fish & O'Reilly are visibly upset about losing the match.

9.) Fatal Four-Way #1 Contender's Match - Jay Lethal vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. ROH World TV Champion "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. Kevin Steen: ****

So with Adam Cole & Jay Briscoe deciding the have their match at the start of the show, that meant this was now the Main Event. Not only that, but it now a Fatal Four-Way (They called it a Four Corner Survival with Texas Tornado Rules, but dammit, it's a Fatal Four-Way) and the winner will receive a future ROH World Title Shot. I really enjoyed this. All four guys in this match are great wrestlers so it's no surprise that we got a really good Main Event. Everyone got a chance to shine, but it was seemingly Kevin Steen who shined brightest, winning the match after giving Jay Lethal the Package Piledriver on top of Michael Elgin.

After the match, Kevin Steen takes the mic to cut a promo. He talks about how, over the last year, he hasn't felt like he belonged in ROH since he hasn't been focused on what's important after dealing with S.C.U.M. and most recently Cliff Compton. He mentions how Jay Lethal & Michael Elgin have shown him what he should be like (in terms of their goals of becoming champions in ROH) and talks about the lineage of the ROH World Title. He says before he's done with ROH, he wants to win the ROH World Title back and have another reign, but this time, he wants to have a reign he can be proud of and that will live up to legacy of the ROH World Title.

Overall: 8.0/10

On the whole, I'd say that this was a relatively enjoyable show. You have a really hot opener that furthered the Adam Cole/Jay Briscoe rivalry and two top matches in the form of the Proving Ground Match and the Fatal Four-Way that definitely delivered at the top of the card. The undercard had some good to decent wrestling on it but it felt like at times that the middle of show dragged a bit. The good thing is the San Antonio Crowd was very good the whole night so it made the show easy to watch and enjoy. A solid outing from ROH.