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RADICAN'S ROH MAN UP! PPV REPORT (Briscoes vs. Steen & Generico Ladder War)

Nov 28, 2007 - 12:55:31 PM

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist

NOVEMBER 27, 2007

Man Up! airs this Friday at 8p.m. on TVN, The Dish Network, and Indemand.

-The show opened in Chicago Ridge, Ill with Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard standing at ringside with Naomichi Marufuji already in the ring. Prazak announced they were going to kick things off with a Four Corner Survival match. Leonard previewed the card and announced ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson for later in the evening. McGuinness walked up behind Leonard and grabbed the mic. He said his road to the title would begin in the ring tonight, as the crowd chanted for him.

Prazak talked about the Ladder War main event, but was interrupted by a fan that came out of the crowd and grabbed his microphone. The fan said, “Age of the Fall, Age of the Fall” before security tackled him. Leonard shouted for the production crew to go to the open.

-An opening video aired for “Man Up!” aired with the Briscoes music playing in the background.

-The opening video aired and Prazak was interviewing Claudio Castagnoli, who said he would get his hands on Hero and Sweeney tonight and get himself into world title contention by winning the match. Chris Hero then made his entrance. Larry Sweeney cut a promo at ringside and the crowd was all over him. Sweeney said it was their privilege to listen to him.

-Graphics appeared on the screen listing the goals for each wrestler in the match.


McGuinness and Marufuji started the match in the ring, but came to a stalemate. Hero wanted to get into the match, so McGuinness tagged him in. Hero escaped a wristlock from Marufuji and did a bunch of flips and a headstand around the ring. Marufuji tagged in Castagnoli behind his back and Hero ran to the outside where he was comforted by Sweeney and Toland. Sweeney yelled at Dempsey and reminded him to stay between him and Hero at all times. Hero tagged Marufuji back in and bailed back to the outside. The announcers mentioned the won-loss record for Marufuji on ROH PPVs. Hero tagged back in and swept Castagnoli’s leg out from under him and punched him several times from the mount. Castagnoli fired back and Hero quickly tagged out to McGuinness again.

McGuinness and Castagnoli went at it in the center of the ring and exchanged European uppercuts. They exchanged nearfalls on the mat, but neither man could get a 3 count, but the crowd applauded their efforts anyway. Hero once again took the cheap route and blind tagged himself into the match and nailed Castagnoli from behind. Castagnoli fired back again and hit a slam and a legdrop, but Hero bailed to the outside again. Castagnoli chased him to the outside and both men exchanged punches, but Marufuji took them both out with a flip dive over the top rope. The crowd called for McGuinness to do a dive, so he went up top and took out Hero and Castagnoli, who were in the front row with a big splash.

Marufuji and McGuinness exchanged forearms in the ring, but McGuinness got the upper hand. Marufuji fired back and hit a clothesline for a 2 count. Marufuji hit a big superkick and hit the sliced bread #2, but Hero broke up the pin. Hero hit a discus punch to Marufuji’s face and drove him into the mat, but Castagnoli broke up the pin. Castagnoli hit a modified Angle slam on Hero, but McGuinness broke up the pin. McGuinness hit a lariat on Castagnoli, but Marufuji broke up the pin. All four men were down on the mat as the crowd applauded.

Marufuji got the upper hand on McGuinness and hit a huge superkick on a kneeling McGuinness, but he kicked out. Marufuji went up top. McGuinness cut him off and hit the Tower of London, but Hero broke up the pin. Hero hit a cravat cutter on McGuinness out of the corner and followed up with a double stomp off the top, but Castagnoli broke up the pin by delivering a German suplex on Hero with a bridge for a nearfall. Castagnoli then hoisted Hero up and hit the giant swing and a European uppercut for a nearfall. Marufuji and Castagnoli squared off. Marufuji went for the sliced bread #2, but Castagnoli slipped out. Marufuji got the upper hand against and set up Castagnoli for the coast to coast dropkick, but McGuinness cut him off. Castagnoli wiped out McGuinness and hit the Ricola bomb on Marufuji, but Hero tackled the ref. Hero claimed he had slipped on the bottom rope and it wasn’t intentional. Castagnoli sent Hero out of the ring and hit a springboard uppercut on McGuinness, but McGuinness bounced off the ropes and hit the jawbreaker lariat for the pin.

WINNER: Nigel McGuinness

STAR RATING: (***) – The match started out slow, but delivered a good amount of action once Hero’s stalling antics were over. There were a lot of nearfalls and pins broken up towards the end that were overplayed a bit, but the match told the story that it needed to, as McGuinness moves closer to another ROH World Title shot and the Castagnoli-Hero feud heated up.

-A nice replay of the finish of the match aired from a different angle. McGuinness told the camera to listen to the people, as he had proven he was ready for a title shot.

-Bryan Danielson cut a promo backstage. He said Morishima had punched him in the face, which fractured his orbital bone and detached his retina. Danielson said his mom was crying, as highlights aired from the Danielson-Morishima match at “Manhattan Mayhem II” on Aug. 25. Danielson talked about his mom telling him his family couldn’t take the toll wrestling was having on his body. Danielson said he had talked to his dad about going back to school or going to the mills. He then said his dad turned to him and said this was always the life you wanted. Danielson said he was going to go for the ROH World Championship and bringing it home because this was the life he always wanted. Danielson said he would prove he had more heart than anyone in the sport.

-The NRC came out as Prazak said we were about to see the next chapter in one of ROH’s most heated feud. He said the NRC was going to face the Resilience in a best of 3 series of singles matches. Leonard said the NRC had won the coin toss backstage, so the Resilience would have to reveal who was representing them in the first match before the NRC revealed their participant. The goals graphics came on the screen as both teams made their entrances.

The cameras focused on both teams as they huddled on opposite sides of the rings. Aries and Stevens gave Cross some advice before he headed in the ring. Richards laughed and said they had put the gymnast in the match. The NRC decided to put Rocky Romero into the match against Cross. This segment had a very sports-like feel to it.

2 - - MATT CROSS vs. ROCKY ROMERO – NRC vs. THE RESILENCE - Match 1 of Best of 3 Series

Cross and Romero exchanged chops across the chest at the beginning of the match. Cross got the upper hand and sent Romero to the outside. Cross faked a dive to the outside, but hit a dropkick through the ropes on Romero. Cross drove Romero’s shoulder in the ringpost and hit the flagpole press off the ringpost to the outside. Romero fired back on Cross inside the ring and got the cross arm breaker on Cross in the center of the ring, but Cross got the ropes. Romero hit a dropkick off the ropes and did a dance. Romero elevated Cross, who dropped to the mat and then hit a running knee strike. Romero flipped Cross out of the corner, but he landed on his feet and took Romero down. Cross went up top and hit a split legged press for a 2 count.

Cross continued his assault with a springboard doublestomp and a standing moonsault for a 2 count. Cross went up top again, but Romero got out of the way of a twisting press. Romero hit a release German suplex and a big kick to the side of Cross’s head for the pin.

WINNER: Romero to give the NRC a 1-0 lead.

STAR RATING: (**) – This was a short match; although it was packed with action from start to finish. Cross doesn’t have much charisma, but gets crowd pops from his high-flying maneuvers, which he performed in abundance in this match. Romero has gotten better at playing to the crowd and comes across well in the ring like a cocky heel, but this match was just too short to amount to anything more than a quick does of good action.

-The announcers wondered who would face off next. Roderick Strong jumped into the ring and then jumped back out once Austin Aries came into the ring. Strong teased getting back into the ring and then Davey Richards came into the ring. They showed graphics that told the fans at home what goals Aries and Richards have coming into this match.

3 - - AUSTIN ARIES vs. DAVEY RICHARDS – NRC vs. THE RESIELEINCE - Match 2 of Best of 3 Series

Aries controlled Richards’s arm on the mat during the early stages of the match after a series of arm drags. Aries then worked a side headlock on Richards on the mat, but Richards countered and got Aries in a headscissors. Aries escaped and went for a dropkick, but Richards got out of the way. Richards went to kick Aries, but he caught his boot. Richards finally hit a running knee to Aries’s chest to get the upper hand briefly. Aries went for a brainbuster, but Richards hit a snap suplex and mimicked Aries’s swinging elbow. Aries got out of the way of the elbow drop and then hit his signature twisting elbow drop from the standing position for a 2 count. Both men battled up top, but Richards was able to toss Aries to the floor. Richards teased a dive off the top rope, but jumped down to the apron and dropped an elbow instead.

Aries tried to fire back, but Richards raked his eyes. Aries rolled out of a suplex attempt, but Richards locked in a modified crossface from the kneeling position. Aries tried to fire back again with forearms. Aries and Richards then exchanged forearms in the center of the ring. Aries sent Richards to the floor with a discus forearm and hit a suicide dive to the outside and the crowd popped. Both men ended up back in the ring. Aries had the advantage briefly, but Richards was able to hit his signature handspring kick. Richards kicked Aries in the head several times and went for the kick to the chest again, but Aries caught his boot and hit the shin breaker/suplex combination. Aries went up top, but Richards cut him off with a kick. Both men fought up top. Aries was able to push Richards off, but he got a running start and hit a release German superplex on Aries for a great nearfall.

Richards went for the DR driver, but Aries drove him into the corner. Both men exchanged blows in the corner. Aries got the upper hand and continued to pound on Richards in the corner. Aries went for a running dropkick in the corner, but Richards got out of the way and hit a big lariat. Aries escaped the DR-driver and got a black slide for a 2 count. Aries kicked Richards right in the head and hit the brainbuster. Aries then went up top and hit the 450 for the win.

WINNER: Austin Aries to even the series 1-1

STAR RATING: (***) – This was a good match based around both men countering each others signature spots. The match built nicely and the crowd heat was good, especially for the big spots with Aries’s suicide dive to the outside and Richards’s great German superplex.

-The graphics showing the goals for Stevens and Strong aired prior to their match. Strong’s goal listed was to prove he’s better than Aries.

4 - - RODERICK STRONG vs. ERICK STEVENS – NRC vs. THE RESILIENCE – Match 3 of Best of 3 Series

Stevens took Strong down early with a shoulder tackle. Stevens ran Strong into the turnbuckles and hit the Oklahoma Stampede for an early nearfall. Stevens suplexed Strong, who rolled to the outside. Stevens went to climb the turnbuckles on the apron, but Strong cut him off and dropped him back first on the apron. Strong set up Stevens around the ring post and stretched his ribs against it. Stevens fired back with a series of chops, but Strong caught him with a big dropkick as he came off the ropes. The crowd chanted for Stevens as he tired to fire up again from his knees, but Strong maintained his advantage and hit a fall away slam. Strong hit a backbreaker on Stevens and stretched him across his knee. Stevens fired back and hit a shoulder block. Stevens then hit a TKO for a 2 count. Strong tried to fire back and come off the ropes, but Stevens caught him with a powerslam for another 2 count. Strong fired back again and hit a gutbuster and then a pump handle slam for a nearfall, but Stevens kicked out. Strong went for the Gibson driver, but Stevens blocked it. Both men exchanged chops, but Stevens fired up and hit a sitdown powerbomb for a nearfall.

Stevens got back to his feet favoring his back. Stevens went for the Dr. Bomb, but Strong drove him into the corner and raked his eyes. Strong placed Stevens on the top rope and hit a superplex, but Stevens got right to his feet. Strong hit a running kick and a half-nelson backbreaker for a nearfall. Strong went up top and tired to hit a top rope Gibson driver, but Stevens blocked it and hit a series of forearms on Strong before hitting a powerslam off the second rope for a 2 count. The crowd chanted “ROH, ROH” after the nearfall. Stevens put Strong on the top rope and went for the Dr. Bomb, but Strong blocked it. Strong hit several forearms to the back of Steven’s head and went for the half-nelson backbreaker, but Stevens knocked him to the mat. Strong recovered quickly and cut Stevens off and hit a splash mountain off the top, followed by the Gibson Driver for the pin

WINNER: Roderick Strong to win the series for the NRC 2-1.

STAR RATING: (***1/2) – Stevens put on a very good performance in this match, as he took the fight to Strong early and then put on a gutsy performance in the end. The crowd was solidly behind Stevens throughout the match and there were several great nearfalls that saw Stevens kick out at the last second.

-The crowd chanted for Stevens after the match as Aries helped him to his feet.

-Footage aired from Hartford, Conn. of a Four Corner Survival featuring Adam Pearce vs. B.J. Whitmer vs. Nigel McGuinness vs. Delirious. McGuinness won the match. Then Adam Pearce and Delirious went at it, but Brent Albright attacked Delirious from behind. Pearce cut a promo on Delirious about hiding behind his mask. Pearce got a staple gun from Hagadorn. Whitmer got up and confronted Pearce. Pearce asked him if he was going to help Delirious, who had stopped Pearce from powerbombing Whitmer through a table. Whitmer shoved Pearce and it looked like there was going to be an impromptu tag match with Whitmer & Delirious taking on Pearce & Albright, but Whitmer turned on Delirious and nailed him with the adrenaline spike. Pearce then stapled Delirious’ mask to his forehead, but they didn’t show the footage. The announcer said Pearce, Whitmer, and Albright were known as the Hangman 3.

-A commercial aired for

-Kevin Steen & El Generico got a full entrance and highlight package, but I didn’t recognize their music. The Briscoes came out to their authentic ROH entrance music and got a huge pop and streamers. The crowd was read hot for the Briscoes and chanted “let’s go Briscoes” before the bell rang. Steen grabbed the belt out of the ref’s hands and posed with it as the crowd booed. Generico offered a handshake to Jay before the match, but Steen didn’t and went to the apron.

-Danielson and Morishima made their entrances. Both got a good reception from the crowd. Danielson refused to shake hands before the match.

5 - - TAKESHI MORSHIMA vs. BRYAN DANIELSON – ROH World Hvt. Title match

Danielson tried to jump Morishima, but Morishima fired back with some stiff looking kicks and Danielson ended up spilling through the ropes to the outside. Danielson tried to take Morishima down again, but was unsuccessful. Morishima continued to kick away at Danielson’s chest and head as the announcers talked about how Morishima had promised not to target Danielson’s eye. Danielson hit a couple of European uppercuts on the outside, but Morishima roared and sent Danielson to the ground with a forearm of his own. Morishima threw Danielson back into the ring and turned his back to pose for the crowd, which Danielson took advantage of by hitting a big dive through the ropes to the outside.
Danielson connected with a couple of forearms, but Morishima wouldn’t go down, so Danielson nailed him with a running kick and he finally went down. Danielson went for a sunset flip and Morishima tried to sit down on his chest, but Danielson moved and hit a dropkick. Danielson went up top, but Morishima caught him and dropped him to the mat. The ref counted the pin, but Danielson caught Morishima in a triangle choke. Morishima eventually reached the ropes, but Danielson maintained the advantage and locked him in a bow and arrow submission. Morishima struggled for a brief period of time and then shifted his weight and dropped down on Danielson for a 2 count. Danielson went for a rollup after ducking a forearm, but Morishima just sat down on his chest.

Danielson ducked a clothesline and locked in a sleeper hold. Morishima struggled and eventually dropped down to the mat. The ref checked Morishima’s arm, but he fired up and got back on his feet. Morishima tried to turn it into a backdrop Danielson flipped out of it and went for a small package, but Morishima wouldn’t go down and was able to hit a slam. Morishima missed a running boot in the corner and Danielson set Morishima up on the top rope and hit a belly to back superplex for a nearfall. Danielson then landed a series of elbows on Morishima’s head, but Morishima got to his feet. Danielson then hit a tiger suplex with a bridge, but Morishima kicked out. Danielson locked in cattle mutilation, but Morishima escaped. Danielson stood up, grabbed both of Morishima’s arms and stomped away at his head and chest several times before locking Morishima in another triangle choke. With Morishima locked in the triangle choke, Danielson began landing a series of elbows on his head, but Morishima picked him up with one arm and slammed him to the mat.

Both men struggled to get to their feet. Danielson landed a series of strikes, but Morishima bounced off the ropes and hit a big lariat for a nearfall. Morishima hit the backdrop driver, but Danielson got the ropes. The crowd chanted for both men as Morishima stalked Danielson, who struggled to get to his feet. Morishima hit a big clothesline in the corner and took off Danielson’s eye patch. Danielson stumbled out of the corner and got a small package for a nearfall. Morishima kicked out and delivered another backdrop driver. Morishima then mounted Danielson and pounded on his injured eye from the mount with a series of strikes. Morishima continued to assault Danielson’s eye from the mount and the ref stopped the match as the crowd booed.

WINNER: Takeshi Morishima to retain the ROH World Title

STAR RATING: (****) – This match told a great story and introduced a new style of wrestling into ROH in a big way. We’ve seen elements of MMA introduced into ROH, WWE, and TNA matches in the past, but Morishima and Danielson successfully simulated about as realistic of a fight as possible in what is a worked form of entertainment with elements of MMA mixed in more heavily than I’ve seen in the past. Danielson really played off Morishima well so that he came off like a monster. Morishima continues to advance his heel character by winning the match in a dishonorable manner.

-The crowd chanted “bulls—t” after the ref stopped the match.

-A really good video package aired featuring highlights of the Briscoes vs. Generico & Steen feud, including highlights from several ROH DVD releases to the tune of the Briscoes theme music.

-Dave Prazak talked about all of the wars The Briscoes and Steen & Generico had had across the ROH territories in 2007.

6 - - THE BRISCOES vs. KEVIN STEEN & EL GENERICO – ROH World Title match – Ladder War

The Briscoes threw a ladder into the ring and charged Generico & Steen in the ring. The action quickly spilled to the outside. Steen lifted up Mark and tossed him over the guardrail and into the crowd. Jay hit Generico with an unprotected chairshot, although the chair was plastic. Generico fried back and hit Jay with a chairshot to the head. Jay recovered and launched Generico into a pile of chairs with a hip toss. Steen hit Mark with a low blow and threw a chair right in his face. Jay tossed Generico over the guardrail, but Generico grabbed a chair and tossed it right into his face. Mark and Steen continued to battle in the crowd. Jay came up bleeding from the forehead at ringside. Generico had huge welts on his back from being tossed into the chairs. Generico cracked Jay over the head again with another chairshot. Steen tried to get back to ringside, but Mark got a running start and caught him with an ace crusher off the guardrail.

Generico and Steen battled around a ladder set up in the corner. Jay signaled he was going to send Generico into the ladder, but Generico fired back and hit a wicked chop to Jay’s chest and then a dropkick off the ropes that sent Jay to the floor. Mark came into the ring and attacked Generico, but he pitched him to the outside. Generico tried to set up the ladder, but Mark ran right back and pounded on Generico, who hit the ladder, which bounced off the ropes and hit Mark in the head. Generico then threw Mark into the ladder and sent him outside. Jay came into the ring and sent Generico to the outside. Steen and Jay went for their finishers, but neither man was successful. Steen finally hit a pump-handle neckbreaker on his knee on Jay. Steen climbed the ladder, but Mark wiped him off with a springboard dropkick. Mark climbed the ladder, but Steen cut him off as the crowd chanted “please don’t die!” Steen dragged Mark over to the apron and tossed the ladder at him, which sent Mark crashing into the barricades at ringside.

The Briscoes double teamed Generico and threw him into a ladder set up in the corner. That was sick and the crowd popped huge for the spot. These guys are insane. The ladder was bent in half from Generico going through it, but Jay went to the outside and grabbed a bigger ladder. Steen grabbed Mark and threw him into the guardrail. Steen then folded up the ladder Jay was climbing and tipped him over so he fell on top of the crumpled ladder in the corner as the crowd chanted “ROH, ROH.” The crowd chanted “this is awesome” as Steen looked out to the crowd before hitting a belly to back suplex on Jay on the ladder. Steen hit 2 superkicks on Mark, but he fired back, so Steen kicked him low and he went down. Generico placed Jay on top of a ladder and hit a split-legged moonsault off the top rope.

Replays aired of the more dangerous spots of the match from a different angle. Generico set up Jay in the corner with a ladder on top of him and hit his signature running boot into the corner. Steen then picked Mark up and Awesome bombed him onto a ladder that was set up between the apron and the guardrail. Steen went to climb the ladder, but Jay was able to push Generico into the ladder and Steen came crashing down to the mat. Jay then dumped Generico right on his head with a release German suplex. Jay then picked up the ladder and swung it at Steen, but Steen caught it. Mark came off the top with a missile dropkick and wiped out Steen, who was holding the ladder. Mark then hit an exploder through the ladder on Generico. Jay recovered and picked up Steen with a DVD on the jagged edge of the ladder.

The Briscoes tried to set up the ladder, but then decided to attack Steen & Generico some more. Mark put the ladder on top of Generico and went up top and hit a SSP press on the ladder. Jay then went up top and look at Generico, but then turned towards Steen, who was set up on a table on the outside and hit a big legdrop off the top to the floor and Steen went through the ladder. Mark climbed the ladder, which wobbled back and fourth. Generico then got up and pushed the ladder over and Mark spilled to the floor. Jay then pointed to a huge maintenance ladder in the back of the arena and the fans surfed it into the ring. This was the mother of all ladders and Mark struggled to set it up.

The Briscoes hit the springboard doomsday device through the ladder on Generico and the crowd became unglued again. Both Briscoes climbed the ladder, but Steen took them out with another ladder. Steen set up a ladder between the ladder and turnbuckle. Mark hit 2 superkicks on Steen and climbed the ladder, but Steen cut him off. Steen then hit the package piledriver on Mark through the ladder, which snapped in 2. The crowd became unglued and Generico stumbled to his feet and climbed the ladder, but Jay hit him with a ladder form behind. Jay set up another ladder on the opposite side of the ring between the ladder and the turnbuckle. Generico nearly got the belts, but Jay cut him off. Generico nearly hit the brainbuster, but Jay blocked it and hit the Jay-driller through the ladder.

Steen climbed the ladder and Jay came up at the same time from the other side. Both men traded blows at the top of the ladder and grabbed for the belts. They exchanged blows again and Prazak screamed “It’s time to Man Up!” Jay sent Steen crashing down onto a broken ladder set up in the corner, but struggled to get the belts off the hook. Steen climbed the ladder again, but Jay hit him with a series of right hands. Jay then finally grabbed the belts to win the match.

WINNERS: The Briscoes to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles

STAR RATING: - (*****) This is the best ladder match I’ve ever seen, but that being said, this kind of match needs to never happen again in wrestling. The style of wrestling in this match was fitting for the grudge these two teams had, but they took some incredible risks that had me cringing throughout the match. One of the saving graces for these four men was that they were hitting each other with plastic chairs and not steel chairs during the early stages of the match. ROH has never had a ladder match before and rarely introduces ladders into their matches, but this feud could really only end in this manner, as it was booked to culminate in an incredible spectacle.

-The crowd gave the match a well-deserved “match of the year” chant as more replays aired from the Ladder War. Steen pie-faced Generico and stormed to the back. The announcers said we would learn what the future of Steen & Generico is in the weeks to come.

-A woman screaming played over the sound system. There were several fans dressed in black with ski masks in the front row. The Briscoes confronted them. Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black jumped out of the crowd and went face to face with The Briscoes. The Necro Butcher then came into the ring from the other side and attacked the Briscoes from behind with his fist wrapped in barbed wire. Lacey also came out dressed in black and rooted on Necro, Jacobs, and Black as they pummeled the Briscoes. Butcher said if you let him out of his cage, he would pile the bodies to the sky. The show closed with Mark being dragged to the ceiling from the contraption that was used to hold the tag titles.

Recommendation: (10.0) This is the best PPV I’ve seen this year. I thought “Driven,” ROH’s last PPV, deserved a 10.0 rating, but this PPV is even better, as ROH found a way to top themselves once again. The first hour of the show was really enjoyable, as the matches had a sports-like feel and ROH introduced some new concepts into how they presented their product with excellent results. The NRC-Resilience series of matches was the best thing I’ve seen from this feud so far, as it came off as being very important and at the same time elevated Erick Stevens, who saw his stock rise with a gutsy performance against Roderick Strong.

The second half of the show was the best hour of PPV yet from ROH. The Morishima-Danielson match set a new benchmark for how to work a pro wrestling match. The Briscoes-Generico & Steen Ladder War is an incredible spectacle that will have you cringing. These four wrestlers took the ball and ran with it and turned the best blowoff I’ve seen to an ROH feud. Unfortunately, ROH just can’t let a match this dangerous happen again, as these men were motivated to do anything to create a match that put an incredible final stamp on their feud of the year.

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