Brent Albright and Erick Stevens vs. Chris Escobar and Damian Wayne - (ROH Full Circle) - 3
This was a show opener and kind of fun in a real Southern, old school way; I mean, I'm not saying this was the second-coming of the South, but it didn't feel so much like a typical ROH tag match. Escobar, who looked like one of the Children from the Corn, and Wayne, in their control sections didn't do much to Stevens, but, they kept him in their portion of the ring and did a lot of basic stuff that'd rile up small, rowdy Southern crowds. When Albright got in after a hot tag, he ran through them and came off like a legitimate powerhouse.
Dan Severn vs. Jesus Castillo - (WWE Shotgun Saturday Night 9/12/98) - 1
It's funny hearing Cornette and Ross on commentary building up Dan's "no holds barred fighting" background. Severn looks real bad on transitions. Castillo surprised me with a real tight German suplex out of the corner. Severn uses a lot of short kicks, knees, etc. Severn wins with a standing Dragon Sleeper and does a good job facially making it look fierce, but upon a close-up, it's crystal clear his arm's not under the chin thus making the "submission" null.
Vader vs. Cactus Jack - Texas Tornado Match - (WCW Worldwide 4/30/94) - 4
I'd heard this match lead to Jack's imminent quitting of the company. Tony Schiavone says, due to "liberal" political correctness, they can't use the word "death", thus, its a Texas Tornado match. Nope, that doesn't mean a bunch of Kerry Von Erich spots, and in fact, later Schiavone says something even more ridiculous, citing it should now be dubbed the "Orlando Chair match". A lot of the meat of this takes place out on the floor, Jack's punches don't look too good but Vader's trying to eat them. Jack does a somersault off of the apron into Vader and the results aren't pretty. The end comes when Race smacks Foley in the face with a chair, leading to an utterly stiff powerbomb on the floor by Vader.
Tigers Mask and Jushin Liger vs. Tiger Mask and Great Sasuke - (12/23/08) - 3
This starts off real sort of exhibition-like. Nice to see Sasuke and Liger in there together to start, but, they do some real tame mat stuff with no hate or determination displayed. I was hoping Tiger Mask was the original, but instead it's IV, although he did bust out a nice suicide dive right in Liger's face on the floor. Sasuke sold one low-blow by blabbering and spitting up like an infant. Tigers hit some nice strikes on Sasuke, as well as a German suplex. Tigers gets disqualified for using this Big Boss Man nightstick and this file goes directly to the trash bin.
Matt Morgan vs. Sting - (TNA Slammiversary '09) - 3
I liked this early as Morgan's improved personality-wise, really jawing it up with the ringside fans as he was bullying Sting out on the floor. Instead of playing Abyss' soft friend, now they're letting Matt just be an arrogant jock and it works. I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed him making quips at the fans. Unfortunately, in the ring, the match started falling apart. Sting looked like Skeletor late in this, face paint chipped off until it resembled a skull, hair receding faster than our economy, etc. As much as Sting has presence, and has been one of the better guys on the microphone in TNA this year, it's about time to hang up the boots, go fishing with the Black Scorpion, and wait until WWE calls to get his involvement on a three-disc career retrospective DVD. They botch a major spot, where Sting was supposed to escape a Morgan power move, slide behind him and go directly into a Scorpion Death Drop. They tried to improvise but by this point I'd already put up the white flag, went to White Castle for some sliders and a Big Red soda, and surrendered.
Amigo Suzuki vs. Satoshi Kajiwara - (Ultimo Dragon Produce "LUCHA FIESTA 2009") - 2
This kicked off Ultimo's love letter to lucha, now, when I want produce, I want it fresh and crisp, but this opener didn't fit the bill. Amigo starts by controlling Satoshi with a headlock, this section is preceding by a random display of strong style, as they go all Kobashi/Misawa and start forearming each other in the face and I'm perplexed. So, we graduate from the simplest, most basic of mat moves, into a slugfest? The young boys need seasonings as does some good zucchini. I think I'd rather be grocery shopping.
Brad Attitude vs. Austin Aries - (ROH Proving Ground - Night Two) - 4
Aries' makes this match, his performances, especially as of the '09 character evolving, have been a real joy to watch. He bumps around like a pinball, sort of in the image of Hennig/Michaels, does weird, unpredictable things like Pillman, and comes off like a real sleaze ball unlike anyone that's came before. Attitude is a relatively fresh-faced good guy, a FIP regular, and mechanically isn't bad, he even has this little aerial spot I've never seen before I sort of dig, where from the apron he'll hop up knees-first onto the top rope, then somersault off onto an opponent. I was going to compare him to Chase Tatum, former member of WCW"s horrid No Limit Soilders faction, but then found out Tatum died of a drug overdose not too long ago so let's steer away from that one. Brad holds up his end of the bargain, but honestly, Austin could be wrestling just about anyone and I'd be glued to my monstrous plasma TV. Highlight being Austin's Heat Seeking Missile dive as he drives Attitude backward violently and they crash into the guardrail pushing it about three-foot into the crowd.