Sunday, May 1, 2011

ROH Clash of the Contenders (10/9/09)

Preshow Match: Grizzly Redwood vs. Tony Kozina - 1
1. Kevin Steen vs. Roderick Strong - 4

2. MsChif vs. Nicole Matthews - 3

3. Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Petey Williams vs.  Ace Steel - 3

4. Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The House of Truth - 6

5. Davey Richards vs. Kenny Omega - 7

6. The Young Bucks vs. Kenny King & Rhett Titus - 3

7. Tyler Black vs. Chris Hero - 6

8. Austin Aries vs. Delirious - 6

ROH by this time had its fair share of naysayers and while their product had lost some of its original sizzle to discount them entirely would be a grave sin. This event was, overall, rather enjoyable and even though when I watched it was over fourteen months old, I still found myself sucked into the excitement and found myself routinely on the edge of my seat more than I am during the majority of recent major league pay-per-view offerings.

Pre-show bout was very short, Kozina was working some sort of clumsy gimmick, but it did gave us a wild Fuerza Guerrera-like bump through the ropes to the floor. The first three matches to start the evening were all rather bland but inoffensive enough to get things moving along. The four-way was troubling due to far too many guys we couldn't take seriously, be it Cabana's stooging, Petey's unreliable offense, or Steel's perpetual rust.

I really liked Briscoes vs. House of Truth, enough so that I bumped the score up a point just now when mentally recalling it. Briscoes controlled a lot, not yet giving HoT the real rub, but I feel like this was (or near) their breakout as a team with them going toe-to-toe with the Briscoe boys, and getting a few "holy shit" moments including Raymond's Shooting Star Press onto a standing opponent.

Omega and Richards was so much fun. Richards was over the top, even more so than normal, just mugging and soaking in the crowd's energy, both men busting out all their top shelf offense, counters, etc. It had more momentum switches than you could count. No guy really got the upper-hand for long and the finish materialized out of nowhere and just worked.

The Bucks' bout with the All Night Express was fine but felt more like an early show bout as the crowd was completely uninterested which made the Bucks' unbelievable offense seem even more unnecessary and jarring. Black and Hero was all about Hero dishing out a large dose of his best strikes, including lots of elbows, and seeing if Black could survive the onslaught. It went perhaps a minute or three too long, as pace-wise it never really changed gears, just lots of methodical pummeling by Hero. It did, like the earlier Omega vs. Richards fight, have a lot of the ROH style nearfall madness which can get exhausting.

Main event was pretty good, used story a bit more and better than the earlier work-heavy matches. Delirious, at times, is a chore to watch but I've found I do enjoy him when he's in big match scenarios. Aries took a great bump off of a "Panic Attack" tumbling to the floor from the ring. Austin also ate some bumps into the guardrail with zest. The finishing stretch was satisfying, Aries, rebounding off the ropes, shot under a Delirious clothesline only to hit his "Heat Seeking Missile" dive onto Daizee Haze who was on the floor rooting on her man. This distraction allowed Aries to give Delirious a Brainbuster on the floor and guarantee himself a victory. Overall, a good, at times very good, overlooked show from ROH's maligned '09 season.


Geo said...

It has begun!

Aries vs. Delirious surprised the hell out of me -- Delirious main eventing! BAHBAHBAHBAH!

Jessie said...

you nailed it....most times exhaustive finishing sequences....gets to be too much....great kick off to Every Day May!

Jessie said...

don't know House of Truth...but just saw their match and i'm a fan...excited to finish the rest of thsi show

Brian said...

House of Truth are damn good.. have a real strong reputation amongst hardcore fans.. - they're all over the AAW shows Geo and I have burned and consumed for BMD, too..