*These matches are all available to watch for free (if you’re a Ringside Member) on their respective shows in the VOD Section of rohwrestling.com*
1.) ROH – It All Begins (1/15/05) – ROH World Title – Austin Aries vs. Colt Cabana: ***1/4
Aries is just coming off dethroning Samoa Joe at Final Battle 2004. This is his first defense of the ROH World Title. I thought this was a solid match, but for a World Title Match, especially in this era of ROH, I expected better. Part of the issue was that Aries kept stalling early on. Once it did get going, the match did get better, but again, it didn’t blow me away or anything. They had some nice near-falls, and they did a spot on the outside when Aries gave Cabana a Brainbuster (or something resembling a Brainbuster, it looked kind of awkward) on the entrance ramp. Cabana crawled back to the ring, but the damage had been done, as Aries soon hit a 450 Splash to retain the ROH World Title.
2.) ROH – Third Anniversary Celebration: Part 3 – Best-of-Five Series: Match #3 – Falls Count Anywhere Match – Bryan Danielson vs. Homicide (with Julius Smokes): ***1/4
This was the 3rd Match in the Danielson vs. Homicide Best-of-Five Series. Coming into this match, Homicide was up 2-0, having won the Tap Out Match (the 1st Match), and the Taped Fist Match (the 2nd Match). This one is Falls Count Anywhere, and Danielson needs to win in to keep his hopes in the series alive. I thought this was a fine match, but I didn’t think was as good as Match #1. Most of this match was spend on the outside, as these two brawled all over the Frontier Fieldhouse in Chicago Ridge. They would eventually get back in the ring, and Danielson would pick up the much-needed victory, taking the series to Match #4.
3.) ROH - The Battle Of St. Paul (4/27/07) – BJ Whitmer vs. Shingo: ***1/2
For BJ Whitmer, this is his first match since the brutal Steel Cage Match he had with Jimmy Jacobs at Supercard of Honor II. Shingo, on the other hand, has a shot at the ROH World Title against Takeshi Morishima the next night in Chicago Ridge. I thought this was a really good match. I especially joined the second half, where both guys just went all out, which is incredible, considering the match only went ten or eleven minutes. Shingo looked especially great here. It’s amazing to think that Shingo was this good almost nine years ago, and he’s still awesome today. BJ Whitmer fought hard, but in the end, Shingo would pick up the win.
4.) ROH – Transform (1/12/08) – ROH World Tag Team Champion Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jack Evans (with Mercedes Martinez): **1/2
Before the match, Jacobs is cutting a promo about The Age of the Fall, but is interrupted by Jack Evans of The Vulture Squad. Jacobs is incensed by this, and attacks Evans before the bell. The match itself was fine. It only went about seven or eight minutes, and it was perfectly solid for what it was. We saw some solid action in the short amount of time (relatively speaking) that this match got. Jacobs would pick up the win with The End Time.
Jacobs wouldn’t release the hold once he had won, and the rest of The Age of the Fall (Tyler Black, Lacey & The Necro Butcher) come out and attack The Vulture Squad (which included Jigsaw, who tried to make the save), but they’re soon run off by The Briscoes.
5.) ROH – Gold Rush (3/19/10) - Pick 6 Series – Roderick Strong vs. Kenny Omega: ***1/4
This match is part of the Pick 6 Series. I believe Strong is coming into this ranked at #1, and Omega is unranked. I thought this was a solid match, but I expected better, especially considering who was involved. The action from start to finish was good, but it just felt kind of plodding along for fifteen minutes until Strong eventually won the match. Again, it’s a good match, but not much more than that.
That's it for another edition of my Random Match Reviews Series! Look for more based around ROH coming to the blog very soon!