ROH Death Before Dishonor VI
The Briscoes vs Jigsaw & Ruckus
A fun, fast-paced, psychology-less match. I'm assuming this is the typical MOVEZ~ match of the night that gets the crowd hot and ready for the rest of the show, but is void of any storytelling or emotion. The only other thing this match did was build up The Briscoes since this is their third squash in a row. Mark continues his no-selling streak by ignoring Ruckus' Moonsault Legdrop to reverse into a rollup, even though it's pretty obvious he actually hit the move before it happened and Mark didn't even sell it afterwards. That's like a third of Ruckus' offense no-sold. So to sum up, this was fun and pretty exciting, but never really meant much and I'm assuming wasn't supposed to.
Chris Hero vs Delirious
A bit better than their last match, but not by a lot. Delirious was still doing those headbutts that look like shit and that same old short chainwrestling combo he always does. Hero was fine, just his offense while Delirious was down was pretty boring, just strikes. I don't mean his epic stiff Roaring Elbows, just ordinary punches and stomps. The match was only ever interesting at the start when Delirious did the dive onto Sweeney, Dempsey and Hero and towards the end.
Eddie Edwards vs Roderick Strong
Eddie Edwards' first big match since joining Sweet 'n' Sour Inc. and getting somewhat a push, and he doesn't dissapoint Larry Sweeney or me. That's because this was a pretty good match. A lot of people didn't approve of him going over Roderick, but I don't think it was that bad. There was SnS Inc. interference throughout the match and the only reason Edwards won was because Hero KO'd Roderick and he took advantage with a Quebrada. Nonetheless, Edwards look good all the way through and got a lot of good offense - maybe some extensive training courtesy of SnS Inc. is the reason why he's suddenly improved and why he's barely done anything since joining. Roderick still managed to make himself look good in this, so I don't think he's been harmed too much from this loss and it only builds up the feud a little bit more.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Adam Pearce vs Brent Albright
A LOT of hype going into this one, and it has yet to let down anyone I know. Damn, this blew me away! The match was simple, the atmosphere was great, both guys were over as hell. They didn't need to rely on mat wrestling, stiff strikes or fancy submissions (I'm not contradicting myself, those can make a match great too), the psychology, intensity and drama of the match made this great. Albright was the ultimate face in this, because you knew he might win but the interference from SnS Inc. and the cunning of Pearce was stopping that, and it all changed when Roderick got revenge for earlier on by booting Sweeney's face off! And Pearce was the ultimate heel, he did everything. He insulted the crowd, insulted and spat in the ref's face, bloodied Albright and bumped like a bitch for his moves, then he tapped out furiously to the Crowbar in the end. It's a shame this is Pearce's only great singles match (that I know of) in ROH, because he could've been something great, but ROH relies on more than mic skills and charisma. One thing that makes this match great is the shock value of seeing these two unlikely guys putting on a match of this quality. This is a match definitely worth seeing, especially if you're not a fan of them because you'd be amazed. Also, Sweeney's face after the match is priceless.
Jimmy Jacobs vs Necro Butcher vs Austin Aries
Like quite a few of the matches in the Aries/Jacobs feud, this was mostly storyline with a bit of brawling involved. One thing I've noticed is that Aries now actually wants to hurt Necro, which I don't really understand. A few shows ago he said he wouldn't because he doesn't have a problem with Necro, now he's attacking him. Self defence probably, but nothing says “Join my side” more than a dropkick to the face. This match was all about buildup towards Necro turning on Jimmy, with Jimmy accidentally hitting him several times, even once with a chair. He snapped and started ordering Necro to do everything he tells him to, but then Necro had enough and started punching the hell out of him and caved his head in with a chair. Aries then took advantage and got the win. This wasn’t about in-ring action, it was just a turning point in the Necro angle and a big step in Aries trying to break down Age of the Fall.
Naomichi Marufuji vs Go Shiozaki
I’ve come to the conclusion that Go is a face who happens to be taking advantage of Larry Sweeney’s opportunities. It’ll make me stop worrying about him being a shit heel and maybe I can start enjoying his matches more. They were putting this over as a match between the young rising star – Go, and the experienced star – Marufuji. The match started off with Go using his strength to take over and dominate early and give his opponent a run for his money. Being a face vs face match, it meant both guys had to look great so eventually Marufuji made a comeback, took over and started working on Go. That’s where things got interesting, as he just worked on destroying Go’s neck. He even did a Brainbuster on the apron that landed with a sickening thud! That wasn’t enough for him as he did a Shiranui to the outside! Go looked done for good but he managed to beat the ten count and counter Marufuji’s attacks to come back strong. From then on, they went back and forth, with a duel of attempting Superkicks. Marufuji managed to hit one, then get the Pole Shift for the win. The crowd wasn’t into it at the start, but once Marufuji got on offense, they were hot for the rest of the match. I must say, they’re not making Go look particularly strong in terms of wins going into his FIP title shot. He had that draw with Stevens and that’s about it, he’s lost his last couple matches. I would’ve thought that a win over Marufuji would’ve made him look great, especially with the young lion vs accomplished star angle. Nonetheless, this match was great.
Motor City Machine Guns vs Kevin Steen & El Generico
Two MCMG dream matches in a row and neither disappointed. I particularly liked the Alex Shelley and Steen interactions because they’re just so cocky and egotistical that they naturally dislike each other. They were mocking the other and spitting and blowing their noses in their faces. During the match, they took every opportunity to attack the other, with Shelley getting the one-up towards the end with an Air Raid Crash. I was expecting some sort of epic showdown between the two, but I hope with this they’ll be leading to an eventual rematch. That, and because I didn’t feel that the match was very conclusive. Generico also managed to hit the Brainbustah!!! near the finish. I would’ve marked harder if he hadn’t wasted it in a lowcard match with Jack Evans recently. Seriously, he’d been teasing that move all the way through his ROH run, then he wasted it in a forgettable match, rather than perhaps his first title shot. Either way, this match was fast-paced and exciting all the way through, and as long as I get my rematch, I’m happy.
Four Way Elimination
ROH World Championship
Nigel McGuinness vs Bryan Danielson vs Tyler Black vs Claudio Castagnoli
While not as heavily hyped as Albright/Pearce, I'd say this is almost equally as good. It had a great flow to it and I felt as if everything happened at the right time. Nigel avoiding everything he could at the start was good, building up to getting his ass kicked by everyone. Claudio's heel turn just went so well, with him practically getting screwed by losing to a small package. The aggressiveness he showed in contrast to his kinda happy-go-lucky, playing with the fans persona was what I liked. They like to keep Dragon strong and they did that well, with it taking a Ricola Bomb, getting his skull crushed by a chair, then a Lariat to be eliminated. Then it commences to the Tyler Black Kicks Out of Everything Show. I enjoy Tyler, but I don't think he has to kick out of every single move Nigel has. When he could've lost fine to springboard dive countered into a Lariat, he had to take about three more before finally getting put away and he would've gotten over huge regardless. Considering he takes so much punishment while getting in about 3 or 4 moves, I wonder what it would take for him to beat Nigel. I know that sounds like a big complaint, but I still enjoyed this a lot and thought it was great. Nigel was such a great heel as always, declaring afterwards that no one will be able to beat him.