Re: The 2011 MOTYC Thread
My Weekend of catching up continues:
ROH Manhattan Mayhem IV:
LAX vs. Kings of Wrestling
Action wasn’t too bad, and the crowd was way into it. There just wasn’t enough substance here to put it over the top. The workover really didn’t build well enough to make the crowd want the big hot tag. Even when Homicide managed to get the advantage, he fell on the back suplex that he was supposed to counter into the tag. The high point in the match, however, was Hernandez’s dominance once he got the tag. The crowd was really hot here, but they died down big time before the finishing stretch. I love Claudio and all, but I don’t think the running European should be a finisher. He has like six moves that are better finishers. There was a weird “wait, that’s it?” at the end of the match. All in all, not bad, but you gotta feel like these two teams can do better.
Daniels vs. Richards
Ok, so maybe I’m the only one who remembers this, (or cares) but under old Pure Wrestling Rules, if you tied someone up in the ropes and the referee breaks it up, it does NOT count as a ropebreak, it counts as a neutral break. Ropebreaks are only used in the competitor CHOOSES to use tit to break up a pin or submission. So the first ropebreak used makes no sense at all here. Even worse is the fact that Daniels had to TELL the ref to dock Davey a ropebreak. Just weird.
Anyway, Daniels’ neckwork is very good here. He is beginning to carve his niche as the ‘neck work guy,’ in much the same way Nigel became the ‘arm work guy,’ which I really like. When you can associate a particular workover, I think it really helps the wrestlers’ persona. This neckwork leads to a two ropebreak lead. (should be one, grrr) Davey does a more than decent job selling it, and actually stops a suplex attempt during his first comeback, which was very cool.
Davey uses consecutive leg submissions to even up the ropebreak scoreboard, and seems to be gaining control when Daniels decides to begin working the Koji clutch into his offense. I think they were smart to have Davey escape the first attempt, but use the ropebreak on the second. Too often we see guys immediately grab the ropes in Pure rules matches instead of working to escape first, so I liked how this helped the story. Davey mounts another comeback and executes an insane double stomp to Daniels draped over the guardrail. Damn that was painful. Davey then executes a superplex followed by a suplex into an armbar, which I actually didn’t like at all. His neck was too hurt early in the match to do a suplex, but now, AFTER two Koji clutches, he does two in a row. I don’t like it, but it leads to the third ropebreak.
The submissions in the ropes that followed were really excellent, as both men clearly saw it as their best ways to win, and se the match apart as something different. The botch was pretty horrible all around, and clearly meant to be the finish, and took the match down big time for me. Luckily, the crowd stayed into it for the fake finish to go through, but for how many times I’ve seen Davey hit that, I just don’t get why he can’t do it all of a sudden. The match was a solid ****1/4 before the botch, but it was just too crucial of a spot to overlook in a match that already had a couple problems. (all of which were Davey’s fault) I am shocked to see so many people I respect rating this match so high with such clear flaws.
I like Davey, but I want the Davey from two years ago, when he had stories in his matches that led to something instead of the move-driven sloppy ones these days. I hate to blame Eddie again, but maybe Davey saw Eddie get over without ever telling stories in his matches, and he decided that was the way to go.
Edwards vs. Strong
25 minutes of the SAME EDWARDS BULLSHIT. Seriously, if you’ve seen one big Edawrds singles match, you’ve seen them all! No story, no workover, no control, no comeback, just him and the other guy trading moves for 20+ minutes until they decide the end it. It’s the same thing every single time, whether the other party is Richards, Suzuki, Strong, Daniels (who probably had the best effort) or anyone else. Everyone hated Petey Willliams, but this is exactly what he was doing, and at least he knew how to time a comeback occasionally! Look, I love big moves as much as the next guy, but why should I care when it doesn’t even look like Edwards has had to dig down to pull them off? Hell, he was winning the match 30 seconds ago, just to lose and regain control, so why does a big counter mean anything now? Not to mention predictability; The MOMENT Roderick pulled Eddie out to the apron, I said out loud to myself : “Gibson driver countered into frankenstiner.” I did it half as a joke, but since Eddie thinks that a frankenstiener is a comeback…it happened! I know this entire subject has been discussed to death (perpetuated mostly by myself) but I still can’t understand the hype behind Edwards when he just does the exact same thing every time and can’t tell a story to save his life. When they started trading the chops (easily the bet moment in the match) I started realizing that ROH wanted desperately for this to resemble the epic battles between Erik Stevens and Roderick. Problem is that Stevens knew how to tell a story, sold Roddy’s moves to perfection, and had some semblance of timing. In all honesty, Stevens has more actually ability than I have ever seen even in Edwards’ best work.
A lot has been made about the finish, but this is actually one thing I will not complain about. The nature of the match was that it was supposed to be a surprise victory, so I liked the surprise roll-up after a submissions struggle, especially after Eddie had just endured a big onslaught from Roddy. In was the only ‘dig deep’ moment they managed to squeeze in there. In general, even though I think Eddie is the weakest champion ROH has had since Jerry Lynn (wrestling wise, mind you) I was fine with him winning…if, for no other reason, he was OVER. (unlike Lynn) the fact is, ROH hasn’t had a good, over, babyface for a while. His main events, while flawed, are good enough to make the fans happy, and there is still enough of a buzz around him to keep what happened to Lynn from happening to him. The finish was just what his character needed.