This is a review of a live show; now keep in mind, most shows, especiall ROH play differently live than they do on home video or digital disc, so these scores and opinions could vary from a viewing of this show at home. Let's get into it!
1) Sugarfoot Alex Payne v. ?- 2
This was indy shlock at it's finest. Payne was a scrawny cocky kid that looked fresh from a Junior High school swirlie. The only thing of note was a spinning back fist that would make Shonie Carter envious.
2) Shane Hagadorn v. "Rhettski the Jettski"- 3
Hagadorn is bald, but he ain't stiff! Rhett looked like someone who just stepped off of a Wave Rider game in a local arcade and decided to transform his life into that person. They did some fun armdrags and basic stuff and actually had a fe near falls, but it only lasted probably 6 minutes or so. Rhett's character stands out among ROH's stable of bad asses and wannabe's.
3) Kevin Steen/ El Generico v. Hangmen's 3 (Brent Albright/ BJ Whitmer) - 5
Steen was really over and BJ was really broken out with acne. The crowd ate up Steen although he rarely got in the ring with Albright, who are both big bruisers. Generico and the heels built up a great first few minutes of the contest. This was an exciting tag match that had a ton of near falls and built pretty well toward an ending. There was some miscommunication when everyone was in there and a lackluster finish stopped this one dead in it's tracks on it's way to an above average score.
4) Claudio Castanogli v. Hallowicked- 3
Claudio has a really out there look and he's got a very peculiar build but it all works for him. He took the masked goofball through some good matwork and sequences throughout the first few minutes, but after that, the match kind of fell flat and finished early. Hallowicked didn't have any power or stank on anything he was throwing and Claudio's uppercuts could use some polish.
5) Davey Richards v. Delirious- 5
I'm a fan of Richards, even though he isn't the most botch proof guy in the fed. Delirious can be good but his offense against these stacked powerhouses looks so forced. They had some really good counters for each other's offense but the pointless ringside area brawl was as meandering as a path in the forest. I loved the clean submission finish and the key lock Richards used looked like it could break adamantium.
6) Briscoe Brothers v. Rocky Romero/ Roderick Strong- 6
I don't get the challenger tag team at all; you got vanilla skinned Roderick who looks like he only shops at American Eagle, then you got Romero, who looks like he was an extra in a really bad Jet Li movie. But, they were both in shape. This match was pretty exciting, as both teams exhibited some deadly double team moves. I wish the Briscoes would stick with some patented double team moves; seems as if they have something different every match, which I give them points for being innovative. NRC's knees in the corner spot was as brutal as anything I've seen lately, with the exception of Stallone's "Driven." Jay's karate man chops are entertaining, but have no effect on anyone. This match also didn't drag out like a lot of Briscoe matches, but I don't think they have the chemistry with this team that would have helped garner this a higher grade.
7) The Age of the Fall v. The Vulture Squad- 3
This was really fun while it lasted while at the same time being completely devoid of any psychology at all. It was just a good old fashioned spot fest. The Age's ring music is bloodcurdling and awesomely original. I actually thought there was a women being raped, probably the only one in the crowd or backstage who wasn't willing (if you saw some of the fans I did, you know what I mean) The Age had some fantastically innovative double teams that were just wowing me and Ruckus was just flying all over the ring as if on a Hollywood stunt wire. Evans was grounded mostly and Black and Jigsaw were largely invisible. And then there is Necro Butcher; This guy is an act not to be missed! His punches are freakin' hilarious because they are pretty real looking but slower than Harley Race on Perkisets. He was pretty stiff and fun to watch. As far as the late 2000-ECW spot fest of planchas that took place afterwards, me and my buddies shit all over it. What a bunch of shit that we've seen so many times before and just gets old; it was as worn out as Sara Del Ray's jaws after sucking off Gabe Sapolsky's little chubby.
8) Mitch Franklin v. Ernie Osiris- 1
I know I saw this on the card but did it even happen? There was exactly no spots, little selling and it went about 4 minutes long with a title change for a sports store trophy. What a waste.
9) Austin Aries v. Bryan Danielson- 7
Danielson came out of the curtain to a true star's welcome. He is my pick for Wrestler of the Year and he and Aries,who can be hot or cold, had a tremendous match. Danielson is one of the best wrestler's to counter another's top moves and it's so fun to watch. Aries long hair doesn't really work for him, but Danielson's facial expressions work wonders for him. He was in Terminator mode in this one. A great last few minutes, including the 2 finishers Aries hit to get the upset. The only thing that holds this back is the length, going barely 15 minutes. It could have had that Match of the Year feeling if it was given more stock.
10) Nigel McGuiness v. Chris Hero- 1
This match can deep throat my balls. Hero is a shitty backyarder with vinyl trunks. His little flabby gut and zombie-white skin couldn't possibly make any woman horny, maybe the mindless, grease filled, fat ass, chicken dinner, pudgy, blowhole that sat behind us and yelled loud, stupid, insignificant chants all night (Ex. 30 seconds into the Main Event, he yells "Match of the Year") but that guy would be it. Hero has no psych because he didn't even go after Nigel's arm, just kicked him for 7 minutes on the ground. Nigel had to feel like shit; he's the new champion and he basically got shit all over for the 108th guy to use his initials with the Superman logo on them. Very original. The Dusty finish with Hero winning had me regretting the almost 10 hour drive it took us to get to Philly but made the CZW fan boys around us soak their panties with delight. All we wanted was to see Misawa, not this WWE-lite bullshit.
11) Noamichi Marufuji/ Takeshi Morishima v. KENTA/ Mitsuharu Misawa- 8
This was why we drove through three states, to see the Green and White wearing Warrior do battle on American soil. Misawa was a man we had watched for 10-15 years on videotapes from all the usual suspects of tape pirates on the net and now we had the chance to see him. He was definitley not in his prime, but he was right in front of us and it was awesome. We actually were searching for a while for a hotel and quickly pulled into an ugly little shitbox called the Summit. Why? It was painted (years ago) in peeling white and green décor. It was a sure tell sign it was meant for us. I digress….
Speaking about the match, it was mostly all about KENTA v. Marufuji, and they were absolutely on fire, like it was NBA Jam in '93! They were the stars of the match and I see this rivalry being the Misawa v. Kawada feud that ruled All Japan for so many years. Morishima was pretty Beastly in this as well, absolutely crushing KENTA in a reversal of a German where he basically sat down on the young man's stomach. It was devastating. Misawa worked very snug and took some of Morishima's best shots. He didn't look very spry but he was definitley up to the task. The Draw gimmick worked in some ways and didn't work in others, as being very telegraphed. The fans chanted "Bullshit" after a legend in Japan flew some 18-20 hours to come to America and fight in front of 1500 fans when he's used to 40,000. Yeah, I guess that was bullshit of him. Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed the match and thought it was really stiff in a fun way and lived up to the hype. If you're looking for us on the home video release, Brian, myself, and Didge (in that order) sat right on the aisleway and slapped the backs of all the hard workers that night. Long live Misawa.