Arena Reports 12/29 ROH in New York City: Danielson vs. Morishima, Briscoes vs. Strong & Romero, Delirious vs. Albright
Dec 30, 2007 - 12:15:05 PM
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Ring of Honor DVD taping
December 29, 2007
New York City, N.Y.
Report by Eric G., PWTorch correspondent
(1) Daizee Haze defeated Sara Del Rey and Lacey. Good match. Sara was either selling for most of the match or had what seemed to be a charlie horse early on. Spots of the match was Sara putting Lacey and Daizee in a DOUBLE Royal Butterfly Lock and also putting Lacey in what looked to be a modified standing Muta Lock while giving Daizee in a modified Human Torture Rack. Daizee finally threw the heart punch tonight with oomph, making it look like a good signature move. Good showing by all three, but they had to work for it, as the instant chemistry didn't seem to be there tonight, for whatever reason. Lacey's promo on Tammy after the match was the best of the night; it didn't hurt that she is also even hotter in person than in photos and on DVD.
(2) Delirious defeated Brent Albright. Delirious wasn't green tonight, wearing black and red instead. I used this time to go to the merch table and pick up the Shimmer title tournament. This match led to the Hangmen 3 coming out, and a whole mess of other guys, leading to...
(3) Kevin Steen & El Generico defeated The Hangmen 3, Age of the Fall, and Vulture Squad. I didn't think Steen and Generico would get the win, but I'm glad they did. The crowd loves Generico, and the entire room was singing his "Ole'" entrance song loudly during and after the match. Steen was also over big. The match wasn't bad, but as I only saw half of it, I can't say how the whole was.
(4) Davey Richards defeated Erick Stevens. Stevens is just not over with some fans, and that's a shame. Unless your name is Samoa Joe, some people won't ever give a stocky bruiser credit, but Stevens is getting better all the time, and he's a unique presence who is a nice asset for a company to have. Richards was solid tonight. He didn't oversell or overdo anything, and stuck to having a well-executed match. Both of these guys had an effort tonight that may have flown under the radar but should be appreciated. Daniel Puder was in the audience, distracting Stevens. Puder was sitting with a woman so beautiful, she may be able to damage retinas with her hotness. Sweeney and co. talk to Puder, Claudio comes out, chaos ensues, leading to...
(5) Claudio Castignoli defeated Chris Hero. This was the 5000th time these two have wrestled each other, or at least it seemed like it. Hero is perfect in his role as the goofy comedy heel, and Claudio is inching up to main event level if he's not there already.
(6) Nigel McGuiness over Austin Aries. Nigel retains the ROH World Championship. This was Match of the Night. The story of this match was Nigel's injury. Nigel was jawing with a pair of particularly vocal anti-Nigel fans, leaning between the top and middle ropes to argue with them. Aries takes this opening to shoulder block an unsuspecting Nigel out of the ring, and, partially due to the short span between ring and guard rails at Manhattan shows, Nigel lands badly, smacking his face onto the guard rail. He possibly got cut on the top of the thin metal ROH board used to cover the guard rail, and as soon as he hit, you knew that something was wrong. Nigel looked legit out on his feet, and I wondered if the match would continue. Nigel soon had a very ugly looking cut on his eyebrow, losing blood and was never the same after that. The match could have ended early, but it didn't. It became much stiffer and harder hitting than I think it was originally conceived as being. I went from cheering Aries to take the title to cheering on Nigel for overcoming such a wicked shot. I'm wondering how he'll feel and look for Final Battle.
(7) Necro Butcher defeated Mitch Franklin, Matt Cross, and Jigsaw in an elimination match. Necro takes out Franklin with a slug to the mush, which I thought was beautiful. At a legit five-feet even, Franklin is the little guy who takes a beating, and he served his role well tonight. Matt Cross continues to amaze with his dexterity, but some fans didn't seem to realize his great skill. Jigsaw was ok tonight, but he primarily still seems to be a Chikara-style lucha guy working in a fed that doesn't naturally match his game. Necro's wearing a Dennis Kucinich t-shirt for the match amused me.
(8) Bryan Danielson defeated Takeshi Morishima by DQ. This was supposed to be a "relaxed rules" match, whatever that means. I hate that name: I suppose it means it's not quite "anything goes" while still being able to be disqualified, but to me, I think of guys starting the match in smoking robes, slippers and sitting in a La-Z-Boy recliner. Danielson was bleeding right off the bat tonight,and I'm not sure if it was a deep blading or if he was cut hardway on a table that Morishima threw at him. Tonight seemed to be one of those nights where guys seemed to be getting hurt, and I think Danielson got knocked goofy early, which may explain why the match only lasted six minutes. The intensity was there, as it always is with a Danielson match, and his wearing the crimson mask elevated the drama, but it was short. Two Manhattan shows in a row, and we get a short Danielson-Morishima match. Oh well. I suppose it's like crack - it's good while it lasts.
(9) Jay & Mark Briscoe defeated Roderick Strong & Rocky Romero. Briscoes retain the tag belts as their "two straight" streak of pinfalls in two out of three matches is broken. The Briscoes were their typically awesome selves while Strong and Romero, in my opinion, might have taken just a little bit too much offense to them, especially when they got the first fall.
(10) Naomichi Marufuji defeated Claudio Castagnoli. Another fun match. A solid way to close out a solid show.
In summary, this was a good show that had a few unplanned rough spots and some uneven flow in places. ROH is highly recommended and stands heads and shoulders over WWE and TNA in terms of quality professional wrestling. I can't wait for Final Battle, just a few hours away.
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