Mike Reviews: ROH Without Remorse – 26/01/2008

Hello You!

I decided to journey back to the world of Ring of Honour (I’m English and we spell it with a “u”, soz abar me) and look at an event that featured a blow off to one of my own personal favourite ROH feuds.

As this show happened in 2008, ROH was actually still fun to watch as well, so there’ll probably be some good action to enjoy.

Anyway, less prattle, let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

The event is emanating from Chicago Ridge, Illinois on the 26th of January 2008

Calling the action are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard

We open up with a backstage promo from the No Remorse Corps of Roderick Strong, Davey Richards and Rocky Romero. Strong says he’ll win the ROH World Title tonight, whilst his boys will win the Tag Titles. Strong says they need to find some chicks for the celebration party later. This causes Richards to try and pick up a merchandise girl by saying “Hey sugar nipples”. Strong steps in to salvage things, but it ends up with Romero pulling the girl instead.

We then get a deranged promo from Delirious, as he sits upon a scaffold with a dog collar mumbling to himself.

Opening Match
Dream Partner Ultimate Endurance Qualifier
Bryan Danielson and Austin Aries Vs Erick Stevens and Jay Briscoe

Ultimate Endurance is happening later on the show, so the winning team gets to enter. ROH were making a concerted effort to push Stevens around this time, as they gave him wins over Strong, Danielson and Aries throughout December and January to try and get some steam on him. He was also the Full Impact Pro Champion during this period, having defeated Strong for it at Final Battle 2007. FIP was essentially ROH’s feeder company, and they’d occasionally defend the belt on ROH shows.

Stevens and Aries used to be in “The Resilience” together, but Aries disbanded the group and there’s been some residual heat between them since. Jay isn’t tagging with his usual partner of Mark Briscoe here as Mark demanded to fight Joey Matthews later on the show, so he’s teaming up with Stevens instead. Aries and Danielson were kind of the ROH All-Star Team due to their mutual respect for one another, and when Aries eventually turned heel in 2009 he still showed Danielson respect whilst being a jerk to everyone else, which was an interesting little twist to the character.

Stevens and Briscoe hold their own well in the early exchanges, actually getting the better of things to a certain extent to show that they are not to be trifled with by the main eventers. Aries and Danielson eventually manage to control Briscoe in their corner for a bit, with Aries even busting out a Stump Puller at one stage before turning it into a pinning combination for two. That was very cool. In a funny bit Aries and Danielson do some basic double teams like a double hip toss, which leads to some of the people in the crowd chanting “teamwork”.

Danielson and Aries take it in turns to give Briscoe aeroplane spins, with Danielson’s going on for a very long time, which gets him a big pop from the crowd. Briscoe eventually manages to make a tag to Stevens, who gets one heck of a powerslam on Aries, which gets two when Danielson breaks it up. Stevens and Briscoe do the Briscoe Brothers Biel out of the corner and then try for a Doomsday Device on Aries, but Aries fights that off and then tags in Danielson, which leads to Danielson taking the move for two.

Things turn very much into a Briscoe match now, with everyone running in to hit moves. Aries and Danielson tes off on Stevens with some elbows (Danielson) and knees (Aries) which allows Danielson to put the FIP Champ away with a small package whilst Aries deals with Briscoe.

WINNERS: BRYAN DANIELSON AND AUSTIN ARIES
RATING: ***

Fun opener. They mostly worked their spot on the card and didn’t go too nuts as the winners had to work later on in the evening. I don’t think a tag match with any combination of these four guys could potentially be bad if I’m honest.

Adam Pearce cuts his usual old school heel promo, where he threatens to end Delirious once and for all in their Dog Collar bout later on.

Match Two
Shane Hagadorn Vs Pelle Primeau

Hagadorn was currently Adam Pearce’s “personal man-servant”, whilst Primeau was your typical undersized flippy babyface. Primeau uses his speed to hit and move to start, but Hagadorn is able to cut him off with an S.T.O and starts working him over. Hagadorn isn’t a great worker or anything but he plays a good slimy heel character, whilst Primeau sells well as an underdog face, so the match tells a good story even if the work isn’t top-notch.

You can tell that Hagadorn is loving the chance to be a big bully powerhouse for once by throwing Primeau around and actually delivering an F-U to him at one stage. Primeau replies with a series of roll ups, but Hagadorn manages to kick out of them, so Primeau gets him with a satellite DDT and then follows up with a double stomp from the top rope. Hagadorn shoves the ref into Primeau however and then clocks his opponent with a concealed weapon of some kind to pick up the three count.

WINNER: SHANE HAGADORN
RATING: *1/2

This was fine for two rookies, as they had the match story down and just needed a bit more sizzle to the steak.

Hagadorn cuts a post-match promo, saying that Pearce will win later whilst BJ Whitmer and Brent Albright win the Tag Titles.

Match Three
Intergender Tag Team Titles
Chris Hero and Sara Del Ray w/ Larry Sweeny, Tank Toland and Bobby Dempsey Vs Alex “Sugartits” Payne and Kyle Durden

That actually isn’t Payne’s nickname but Nigel McGuinness started calling him that when they had a mini-feud and I always got a kick out of it. Hero and his cast of hangers on were known as “Sweet & Sour Inc” but eventually ROH would start cutting costs and would stop bringing the likes of Toland in. Sweeney grabs a mic pre-match to say that ROH refuse to recognise the belts and thus haven’t brought in an actual team to challenge for them, so he’s wrangled a couple of trainees to face the Champs instead. This means that Payne has to play the role of the woman on his team, which he takes with good humour.

This is basically just a squash, with Hero and Del Ray easily working over the “challengers”. Hero does most of the work to be honest, with Del Ray essentially just hitting a couple of strikes and then coming in for the double pin at the end.

WINNERS AND STILL “CHAMPIONS”: CHRIS HERO AND SARA DEL RAY
RATING: SQUASH

This was fine as a bit of comedy, but it felt like filler.

Daizee Haze comes down after the match to say that Del Ray is above all of this and calls Sweeney a disgrace. Sweeney sets Hero on her, which brings Jigsaw down to back her up. Haze lays down a challenge for the Intergender belts, but Sweeney says they aren’t “ranked”, so the match will be non-title.

Match Four
Chris Hero and Sara Del Ray Vs Daizee Haze and Jigsaw

Haze and Jigsaw shine on the heels to start and manage to clear the ring. Del Ray and Haze go at it in the ring proper, which leads to Haze getting a series of two counts before bringing in Jigsaw. A Hero cheap shot allows Del Ray to kick him down for the heat. Jigsaw is one of those guys who never really got a shot in WWE, although he did have some matches in Impact Wrestling I believe. He’s not bad in the ring or anything and masks tend to sell well at the merchandise table, so I’m surprised no one took a chance on him.

Jigsaw eventually manages to make the tag to Haze, who manages to get a face buster on Del Ray before getting a roll up for two. Hero eventually comes in to fling Haze across the ring with a hairmare and then sets her up on the top rope. Jigsaw rescues his partner with a superkick and then brawls outside with Del Ray whilst Haze does a cross body out onto Hero. Everything breaks down now, with Haze eventually setting Del Ray up for what looks to be a Stunner.

Hero puts a stop to that with a roaring elbow however, drawing heat from the crowd, whilst Sweeney trips up Jigsaw on the top rope. Hero gets a cravat into a sit out powerbomb type move on Jigsaw, which is enough for the heels to pick up the three count.

WINNERS: CHRIS HERO AND SARA DEL RAY
RATING: *1/2

This was kind of messy to be honest, although I did enjoy some of the exchanges between Del Ray and Haze. Hero was in a weird sort of halfway house here, where they were kind of trying to give him a serious push but he was also doing wacky stuff like this at the same time. Eventually he’d lose some weight and take on a more serious character as “The Knockout Kid” and it did wonders for him when it came to being treated like a threat.

The heels celebrate post-match.

Match Five
El Generico Vs Claudio Castagnoli

This would be Sami Zayn Vs Cesaro these days of course. Generico was still teaming up with Kevin Steen (Owens) during this period whilst Claudio was enjoying a decent run as a singles babyface after spending time previously tagging with Chris Hero. They work the knuckle lock to start, with Claudio using his power to control things so Generico wriggles out using his speed and know-how to counter it in a nice bit of storytelling.

Both men work holds on the mat and it’s fun to watch as they are both technically proficient. They go with the idea of Claudio wanting to corner Generico and start working him over with power stuff, whilst Generico tries to use holds and elusiveness to prevent this from happening. Eventually both men dodge the others attempts at a big boot, which ends in a Central American Standoff. This leads to both men throwing strikes next, with Generico getting some chops and Claudio going after Generico’s knees with kicks.

Generico does manage to get a split legged moonsault, but the move jolts his knee and that slows him down when it comes to capitalising, which allows Claudio to cut him off when he tries another move off the second rope before applying a single leg crab hold. Generico gets out of that, but Claudio continues to work the leg with Dragon Screw’s and further leg based holds. We actually get our second Stump Puller of the night. Normally I’d complain about the same hold being used, but the Stump Puller is awesome, so I’ll let it go.

Generico eventually makes a comeback and hip tosses Claudio to the outside. He slaps some life back into his knee and then gets an amazing somersault flip off the top rope to Claudio on the floor. Generico almost seemed to float in the air there, it was gorgeous. Generico heads up again once back in the ring and comes off the top with a cross body block for two. Claudio tries to respond with a Giant Swing but Generico fights that off, so he gets a German Suplex for two before transitioning into the Stretch Muffler for the submission tease. Generico manages to get to the ropes to break that though, so Claudio goes for the Riccola Bomb, only for Generico to counter that into a Yoshi Tonic for two.

Claudio tries a European uppercut, but Generico counters to a back slide for two and then comes off the ropes with a swinging DDT for another near fall. Claudio gets a cool looking half crab/Giant Swing combo move before transitioning back into the Stretch Muffler, but Generico is once again able to get to the ropes. Claudio tries heading up top, but Generico cuts him off and then tries for a brain bustah from up there. Claudio fights that off however and goes for the Riccola Bomb off the top, but Generico rana’s out of that and gets the Helluva Kick for two. Generico tries a brain buster next, but Claudio turns that back into the Stretch Muffler, at which point the time limit expires.

WINNER: TIME LIMIT DRAW
RATING: ***1/4

Nothing blow away or anything, but this was a fun wrestling match that told a good Speed Vs Power story and I enjoyed it. The draw didn’t bother me and it definitely felt like these guys had an even higher gear to kick into, which makes a re-match intriguing.

Claudio cuts a promo backstage saying that he respects Generico but he isn’t happy with the outcome as he needs wins to earn an ROH Title match. Generico comes in to offer a re-match and Claudio quickly accepts.

Match Six
Joey Matthews w/ Jimmy Jacobs, Alison Wonderland and Lacey Vs Mark Briscoe

Matthews was part of the “Age of the Fall” stable, a group which represented one of Jacobs’ many career refreshes, as he became the leader of one of the top heel groups in the company after previously being a simpering lackey for Lacey. Eventually the same cuts that hindered Sweet & Sour would befall AOTF, as Matthews, Wonderland and Zach Gowen would all be released and the group would be trimmed down to Jacobs, Tyler Black and Necro Butcher.

Age of the Fall were trying to recruit Austin Aries at the time, so Jacobs cuts a promo where he tries to coax him into joining. Eventually Aries would refuse the offer and it would lead to a big feud with Jacobs. Fans chant “you got fired” at Matthews, which considering that was a result of him having substance issues sounds like a real dick move on their part. Both of the Briscoe’s had a longstanding issue with AOTF due to Jay Briscoe getting quite literally strung up above the ring when the group first formed, so Mark is not in a good move here and is looking for vengeance.

Matthews stalls to start, looking like a huge star in the process as he saunters around ringside, so the crowd chants “We want Nitro” in a reference to Johnny Impact/Mundo/Morrison/Nitro who had been in a tag team with Matthews and was currently still in the WWE. Matthews eventually gets in the ring and we get some chain wrestling, which would normally annoy me in a blood feud but they clearly established in the early going that Matthews was slowing things down so he could wrestle the match that suited him, so I’m okay with it.

In fact, in a nice story twist, Matthews ends up being his worst enemy by slapping Mark, which fires Mark and leads to him running wild, just ruining all the effort Matthews put in with his stalling. That’s great because Matthews is a heel and it’s always fun when the heel shoots themselves in the foot due to over confidence. Matthews bails again and tries to slow things down again, eventually luring Mark to the outside where he throws him into the ring post. Mark is pissed though, so he immediately replies by throwing Matthews into the metal barricades around ringside.

Mark continues to control things inside, but Matthews uses the referee as a human shield, which causes Mark to hesitate and allows Matthews to knock him off the top rope to the floor. I like how Matthews is just straight up working this match as a devious heel and doesn’t care about doing flashy moves to pop the crowd. It’s something that you didn’t always see in ROH sometimes so I appreciate him actually doing it. It works as well, as the crowd is clearly angered at his tactics and boos him.

The fans get behind Mark, and he makes sporadic comebacks here and there until Matthews is able to cut him off again. Matthews gets a big superplex from the top rope, but it only gets him two, so Matthews tenaciously makes two more covers but Mark keeps kicking out. I do love that spot actually. I remember going to watch Pro Wrestling NOAH in Coventry years ago and Jun Akiyama did that spot where he just kept covering his opponent over and over and the guy just kept kicking out.

Mark eventually makes the comeback with REDNECK KUNG FU, but Matthews dodges a springboard cross body and gets the Paradigm Shift/Futureshock DDT for two. Matthews tries to use the ring bell as a weapon, but the referee takes it off him, so Matthews heads up instead. Mark cuts him off though and then cutters him off the second rope after a long battle. What I loved about that was that Matthews really made him work for it. Mark didn’t just stop Matthews’ move and cutter him straight down easily.

They battled for a long time there, with each countering the others’ move attempts until Mark was finally able to get the cutter. Things like that just make it feel like a genuine contest instead of a “you hit a move and then I hit a move” exhibition like some of these ROH matches can sometimes feel like. It really is the little things that you don’t even really think about sometimes that can make a match feel so much richer. Mark heads up and gets a beautiful Shooting Star Press to pick up the clean win and pop the crowd big.

WINNER: MARK BRISCOE
RATING: ***1/2

I really enjoyed that, as Matthews came into ROH and worked as a traditional heel in front of a crowd you’d think would reject such a thing and by the end they were going nuts for Mark’s big win as Matthews was such a jerk during the match that they were thrilled to see him vanquished by the baby face. That’s pro wrestling!

Mark celebrates his big win and is happy to leave it at that for now.

Dave Prazak is with ROH World Champ Nigel McGuinness, who defends the Title later against Roderick Strong. Nigel wasn’t a full on heel yet at this stage, but he was getting there. Nigel says that Strong is a wanker for interrupting his World Title victory speech and promises to teach him respect later tonight.

Match Seven
Dog Collar Match
Adam Pearce w/ Shane Hagadorn Vs Delirious

The story here was that Pearce formed the Hangmen 3 faction with Brent Albright and BJ Whitmer and one of their first acts was to try and staple Delirious’ mask to his face in a classic bit of old school wrestling brutality. Thus a blood feud began, with Delirious busting out a red and black outfit to show that he had gone to a darker place to deal with the new threat facing him. After months of feuding, this is finally the blow off, with Delirious getting a chance to secure some revenge. I was really into this feud at the time and liked the fact that they gave Delirious something to actually get his teeth into storyline wise rather than just having him be a wacky opening match comedy guy.

This is pin fall or submission only, so they’re not doing the “drag to all four corners” stipulation. Not surprisingly this is a complete brawl from the start. Pearce had hung Delirious with a chain, which is why we have this stipulation for the blow off. Delirious shows off his new more aggressive style by grabbing a chair out of the crowd like he’s playing WrestleMania 2000 for the N64, but Pearce manages to knock it out of his hands. Delirious launches Pearce into the front row and then attacks Hagadorn before following Pearce out for some crowd brawling. As this is the first time we’ve seen anything like this tonight it feels special rather than just more of the same, which is a lesson ECW and Attitude Era WWF didn’t always pay heed to back in the day.

Pearce gains control of things back inside and uses the chain to work him over, but Delirious keeps fighting back as the crowd gets behind his struggle. In a cool spot the chain gets wrapped around the ring post, which means Delirious can yank it to send Pearce back first into the turnbuckle, but Pearce soon regains control again and takes the fight outside. As a general rule I like it in chain/strap matches where the weapon is used for inventive spots that you wouldn’t see in a regular match. Savio Vega Vs Steve Austin is great for that actually.

Case in point, Delirious uses the chain to yank Pearce face first into the ring post a few times, which leads to Pearce bleeding as a result. Delirious works the cut, once again showing his new more sadistic side that the Hangmen have pulled out of him, and then puts Pearce back inside the ring for a chain wrapped punch to the face. Delirious wraps the chain around the top rope to hang Pearce like the Hangmen did to him, but Pearce refuses to submit and the match continues. Delirious heads up top for a cross body to the outside, but Pearce yanks the chain and Delirious goes flying down to the floor, which gives Pearce a chance to suplex him out on the mats at ringside.

Pearce taunts back inside the ring, clearly thinking it is just a matter of time before he puts Delirious away, but Delirious won’t give up and manages to dodge a Stinger Splash in the corner before going to the chain assisted ten punch. Pearce replies with a piledriver onto the chain though, but he doesn’t want to get the three count and instead goes to a chain assisted camel clutch. The crowd stays with Delirious though and that gives him the strength to fight out, although when he tries a cross body block Pearce low bridges him to send him outside.

Hagadorn does his best Bruce Pritchard impression by toadying for Pearce’s Vinny Mac and removing the ring mats to reveal the floor, but when Pearce goes for a follow up piledriver Delirious is able to counter with a back body drop and puts Pearce back inside the ring for the Panic Attack (running knee in the corner). Pearce blocks that and goes for something off the second rope, but Delirious yanks the chain to give him a low blow and then adds four more before going to a chain assisted Cobra Stretch.

This brings Hagadorn in with some chair shots to break up the hold before putting a table into the ring. Pearce goes to powerbomb Delirious but Delirious slips out and spits mist in Hagadorn’s face before splashing Pearce through the table for the three count.

WINNER: DELIRIOUS
RATING: ***1/4

Solid brawl there that did a good job of paying off the feud and also giving Delirious the big win by overcoming the 2 on 1 situation.

Delirious celebrates his big victory.

Match Eight
Ultimate Endurance
ROH Tag Team Titles
Champs: Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black w/ Lacey and Alison Wonderland Vs BJ Whitmer and Brent Albright Vs Davey Richards and Rocky Romero Vs Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson

So the rules here are that this is a no time limit elimination match, with the first fall being under scramble rules, meaning that no tags are needed. The second fall can only end when someone says “I Quit” and the final fall will just be a normal tag match with the Titles on the line. That seems somewhat needlessly convoluted, but the match should be good at least. Black would be better known to most of you as Seth Rollins I think, and you could already tell that he was getting prepared for big things in ROH.

First Fall – Scramble Rules
Seeing as someone simply leaving the ring allows someone else to come in, this fall is all action, with different guys coming in every couple of spots or so to give us a new combination going at it. All 8 guys are talented so plenty of fun action is delivered, with even some funny bits as the Hangmen make fun of Romero’s hips swivel, which leads to Danielson drop kicking the pair of them and doing a hip swivel of his own.

Jacobs has previously defeated Danielson in Chicago, so Danielson quickly turns serious to lay a whupping on him, but Black comes in to help his partner and they send Danielson to the outside. Interestingly we don’t really get a tease at seeing former tag partners Jacobs and Whitmer going at it, which you’d think would be something they’d want to do seeing as they had one of the bloodiest and most violent feuds in ROH history.

Eventually everyone is brawling outside, which allows Aries and Danielson to do suicide dives to the outside. Not to be outdone, Black goes for his own but Richards catches him with a kick out of nowhere before getting a roll up to surprisingly eliminate the Champs in the first fall!

Eliminated: Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black

Second Fall – I Quit Rules
Tags are needed now that the Scramble portion of the match is over, which seems kind of strange to me as I Quit matches are essentially No DQ so why would you even bother with doing tags? The Hangmen target Danielson’s leg and work it over for a bit, and as both of them are good aggressive heels it all looks good. Eventually all three members of each team end up in a submission move, with Danielson having Whitmer in a triangle choke, whilst Albright has Romero in a Fujiwara arm bar and Richards has Aries in a Sharpshooter. Whitmer uncles first and that’s it for the Hangmen.

Eliminated: BJ Whiter and Brent Albright

Final Fall – Normal Tag Team Rules
Richards and Romero waste no time going straight to attacking Danielson’s leg, and work it over for a while, illegally double teaming and just basically being a bunch of heelish heels. Danielson eventually makes the tag to Aries, who runs wild on the heels, but eventually the numbers game is too much and he gets overpowered. Danielson tags in to help out and starts delivering a series of elbows to Romero, but Richards breaks that up and sets Danielson up for a superplex.

Danielson manages to fight that off but he is soon caught in an arm bar from the top by Romero, whilst Richards goes to a kimura on Aries. Danielson manages to make the ropes, so Romero gets a DDT from the second rope, which gets two when Aries breaks up the count. Danielson manages to slip out of a Richards super back drop and delivers one of his own for a double down. Aries gets another tag and unloads on Richards, countering a powerbomb into a face buster and getting the Horns of Aries (Last Chaneory).

Danielson comes in and delivers elbows to Richards whilst Aries throws knees, but when Aries tries to finish things with a brain buster, Richards is able to counter it into a roll up to pick up the last gasp pin fall victory.

WINNERS AND NEW CHAMPIONS: DAVEY RICHARDS AND ROCKY ROMERO
RATING: ***1/4

This was good but I also wasn’t really digging the match stipulations and I actually think the match would have been better if they’d just done a straight four corners match.

Romero and Richards celebrate with their leader Roderick Strong, who says he’ll now go out to claim the ROH World Title to go along with the Tag Titles they just won.

Main Event
ROH World Title
Champ: Nigel McGuinness Vs Roderick Strong

Strong, Aries and Jack Evans had all been part of Generation Next with Alex Shelley, but when the group split they ended up forming their own factions, with Strong going heel and setting up the No Remorse Corps. Despite having a long and impressive FIP Title reign, Strong had yet to ever win the ROH Title, so this was his shot after a war of words with Nigel. Nigel was very close to going heel at this stage, as the ROH fans had turned on him for having the temerity to miss some shows through injury. Perish the thought! He ended up really coming into his own once he went heel and I would still consider him one of the very best World Champions that ROH has ever had.

We get some impressive technical wrestling to start, with both Strong and Nigel knowing their way around a wrist lock. Strong tries to throw some of his patented stiff knife edge chops, but Nigel manages to avoid it for now. True story, I was working backstage at a show in Wolverhampton about 12 years ago and Strong was working it and he legitimately used to warm up for his match by chopping the wall like he was Tong Po in Kickboxer or something. So yeah, you probably wouldn’t want to get chopped by him.

Nigel actually manages to run through a couple of Strong chops and replies by taking him down with a duo of lariats, which causes Strong to bail outside to get a breather. Nigel follows Strong outside and actually offers himself up for a chop, but Strong goes to the eyes instead like the good conniving heel he is. Nigel shrugs that off however and then starts working Strong over around ringside. Strong is able to avoid another lariat though and dives out onto Nigel before putting him back inside for some choppage.

Nigel manages to block a few of the chops and fires back with some of his own before targeting Strong’s arm with some nasty looking holds. Strong manages to reply with a back breaker, as some of the crowd is actually chanting “USA” for him, which is a pretty unusual response from an ROH crowd. Strong takes Nigel outside and drops him back first onto the metal barricade before delivering a side slam to the floor. Nigel keeps fighting back inside the ring however and goes for the Tower of London (Cutter whilst opponent rests on the top rope) but Strong blocks that and then goes back to the, err, back.

Strong gets the big superplex from the top rope, but the resulting cover only gets a two. I really wish that move was protected more as it strikes me as a move that really should be a finisher. Strong heads up top following that, but Nigel cuts him off and brings him down with the Tower of London, which gets him a two count from the cover. Strong replies with a dropkick but Nigel replies to THAT with another lariat and both men are down, as this match continues to be a real back and forth contest.

Strikes are traded and Strong gets a sit out tiger driver for two before taking Nigel out to the apron for a back suplex. Nigel slips out of that though and then hurks Strong up on to the top rope before following with a lariat for the second rope to send Strong back into the ring for two. Nigel tries to get the Tower of London to the outside, but Strong blocks it and then gets the back suplex onto the apron before putting Nigel back inside for two. Strong goes to the Boston Crab next, but Nigel is able to make it to the ropes to break the hold.

The fight spills outside, where Strong tries to jump off the barricade, but Nigel knocks him back into the front row and then gets the Tower of London back into ringside area, where a chair just happens to be there as well. Strong sells his face big after that, as Nigel puts him back into the ring for two. Both men trade roll ups, which leads to Strong getting a powerbomb onto the knees for two before following up with a Samoan gut buster, a running kick and another Tiger Driver for two. Strong tries for the Boston Crab again, but Nigel counters that into a roll up for two and then gets another lariat for another two. Jawbreaker Lariat comes next however, and that’s enough for the win.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: NIGEL MCGUINNESS
RATING: ***1/2

They were working hard there but something felt like it was missing. It was a good clean win for Nigel and there was some really good action in the match, but it also wasn’t a classic or anything. Just a well worked hard hitting bout between two excellent pro wrestling practitioners. I think they just didn’t have the sort of chemistry that they would have with other opponents.

Nigel celebrates post-match as the commentators tell us that he will face Bryan Danielson on the next show, which is the show where he officially went heel.

Backstage The Age of the Fall are unhappy about losing the Tag Titles, but Jimmy Jacobs tells Black that they are still in control and that they’ll get the Tag belts back eventually. And indeed I think they eventually did as well.

In Conclusion

You can still pick this one up on Amazon or eBay, but it’s pretty pricey so I wouldn’t really recommend it on those grounds. There’s plenty of decent wrestling but there was nothing especially blow away and there are better ROH shows from 2008 that you could hunt down instead that would be more worth the effort.

One big positive I could give to the show is that it was booked to build throughout and the result was that it peaked at just the right times, which isn’t something that always happened in ROH during this time period. The wrestling was good, but it’s overpriced for how much you would have to pay for it.