Saturday, May 3, 2008

ROH Showdown in Motown- 11/04/05

1 BJ Whitmer v. Delirious- 4

This was a perfectly acceptable opener. The pace was good, it didn't stretch out too long and had a clean finish. This was the best BJ performance I've seen in a while. He controlled the whole tempo while displaying real power over his freakish opponent. His forearms were really solid and his lariat late in the match was pretty devastating. Delirious still looked green (literally and figuratively) but kept up fine enough.

2 Derek Dempsey v. Davey Andrews v. Shane Hagadorn (clipped)- 2

This was their Top of Class Trophy belt that really sucks ass and needs to go away. Dempsey looked like he just got down filming a pornographic version of Tarzan. He pinned Hagadorn rather quickly but Andrews is really intense and brought the only fire in the match. He was definitley the deserving winner, who eclipsed BJ's clotheslines by a mile. Where is this guy now?

3 Nigel McGuiness v. Claudio Castangoli (Pure Title Rules)- 5

I'm not sure what I think of the Pure Title rules, I mean, I give them credit for doing something different and it would take a special kind of crowd to accept them, which I think ROH fans have done. It's a niche style, one that eventually faded off into obscurity. But, what we have here are two guys who love to uppercut and they were looking really mean. They were folding each other and wrapping up body parts in so many odd ways, I almost thought there was an invisible Twister mat around the ring that I couldn't see. It was a visually fun match but it didn't pan out, shorter than most of either man's encounters and I give Nigel credit for doing an Eddie Guerrero finish.

4 Chad Collyer/ Sal Rinauro v. Roderick Strong/ Jack Evans- 4

Collyer steps in for Mamaluke who is injured. This is a pretty basic by the numbers tag match. The heels keep Evans grounded for most of the match while Rinauro tries to show how much he can fly but comes off looking really sad, like those Hallmark commercials. Strong comes in at the end for a big save but Collyer nor Rinauro really seem in his league during those moments. It's kind of a hard match to buy for the most part, but is saved by the spectacular double team finish at the end.

5 Samoa Joe v. Christopher Daniels v. Jimmy Jacobs v. Adam Pearce- 4

Pearce and Jacobs were last minute replacements for Cabana and Homicide who were the first two guys out for the match but instead of participating they engaged in a wondering, sick, mutilating brawl that breathed some life back into this show. Let me take back my comments saying this feud was lackluster because this was just nuts. Chair spot after chair spot in the crowd, throwing chairs wherever they could, hitting fans, then to top it off, they did a superplex from the bleachers in the crowd through a table. Extrememly crazy bump and I give them both credit although the lighting was shittier than that of a Funeral Parlor, and I"m not talking about that innovative interview platform on WWF Superstars in '91.

Onto the match, which was basically about Joe vs.Daniels. They both ran the ring when they were in, and exchanged some good sequences, but nothing like their singles bouts. Jacobs did nothing offensively and Pearce was everybody's bitch during the match. Joe selling for him was a complete eyesore; much like Amy Winehouse's latest mugshot. Daniels and Jacobs were moving at a fast pace and the crowd was seriously loving Daniels and pretty indifferent towards the replacement guys. You would have expected this match to fit better, but it was one of least memorable of the show.

6 Allison Danger v. Daizee Haze- 3

The girls mix it up here and while they had down some good hiptoss reverals and such, it seemed strange seeing them pull off the typical ROH scientific stuff. No good punching going on at all but a little aftersell from Danger, although she was the bull dike here and ran the match. It was short but a change of pace.

7 Alex Shelly v. Austin Aries- 6

This was the best match of the night. They're styles mixed well together, like red wine and fresh salmon and my palete for wrestling action was just as cleansed. Shelly was in full heel mode, utilizing Nana on the outside and dirty tricks inside. He's not as flashy as Aries was, who did a lot more high risk stuff than usual but Shelly's ground attack was a good balance for it. This was supposed to be "Relaxed Rules" but it didn't really come into play other than Nana's persistent attempt to get his turban knocked off. Aries pulled through in the end, but I really love watching Shelly; his short strikes and unusual submission holds, combined with his oddball charisma are a great mix and with the right opponent, it goes a long way.

8 Jimmy Rave/ Abyss v. AJ Styles/ Matt Sydal- 5

The face team here is uber-athletic and just takes crazy chances during the middle section of the match. Rave actually looked competent here keeping up with both men and taking stiff forearms from AJ and stiff kicks from Sydal. Also, both guys match up well with Abyss, who will bump them all over the place and also sell their stuff realistically, even if he sells like a schizo. This was a fun, fast paced tag encounter that didn't take itself too seriously and even with AJ in it, he didn't go balls to the wall and didn't need to this time.

9 Bryan Danielson v. Chris Sabin- 5

This was a letdown, Sabin (before alien head trunks) was a dynamic performer and could work with anyone but he settles on getting worked over like a piece of frozen beef (a la Rocky Balboa) by Dragon. Sabin has a sweeeeet tornado ddt that he hits during the closing of the match and it feels like all of Dragon's arm work was a waste. While there really are no problems with their chemistry, I wouldn't advise them to take one of those compatibility tests in the mall (mostly because people don't wash their hands.) Sabin's strikes are really indy, now that I look at them, and Danielson's "I have till 5" schtick is worn out. The finish is real weak too; he uses "the Stronghold", Sir Roderick's submission fin only because he's feuding with him. That's right out of WWE's playbook and it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth like after you drink a diet cola.

This was a middle of the road show, with nothing being gruesomely ugly but nothing going out of it's way to make you remember the show. Shelly- Aries definitley could have a better match somewhere down the road.

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