April 21, 2012
Never Hand Over
ROH Fight of the Century
1) Colt Cabana v. Sal Rinauro- 3
2) Shane Hagadorn v. Bobby Dempsey (Trophy Match)- 1
3) Christopher Daniels v. Nigel McGuiness v. Claudio Castagnoli v. Jay Lethal- 5
4) Austin Aries/ Roderick Strong v. Irish Airborne v. Matt Sydal/ Jack Evans v. Brisco Brothers (ROH Tag Title Ultimate Endurance Match)- 7
5) BJ Whitmer/ Homicide v. Adam Pearce/ Steve Corino - 2
6) KENTA v. Davey Richards -6
7) Bryan Danielson v. Samoa Joe (ROH Title Match)- 6
Colt breezes right through this comedy match with ease, he knows the spots down pat by now, Rinauro is all energetic when taking the goofy spill to the outside while Jimmy Rave watches on in his best attempt at looking like a little boy in a grownup American Eagle polo shirt. 2nd match is basically nothing as Hagadorn KO's lovable tub Dempsey out during instructions. Creative heel spot, i'll be damned to know why they gave it to this idiot. I swear he's wearing the same jackoff outfit Credible sported during his WWE run. 4 Corners match was clearly led by Daniels and while the athleticism and fun moves you come to expect from ROH were all packaged nicely together, didn't feel any emotion at all. Even Daniels, who was supposedly pissed off about Claudio, really didn't make me believe their hatred was anything more than scribble from the BIC fountain pen of Gabe Sapolsky. I continue to not buy into the Lethal hype, but love watching Nigel use the same spots he gets over with huge now that he did then. I remember watching him way back in '01 at HWA showcases, in a cramped little empty building, working the bottom of the barrel talent in Southwestern Ohio and never being impressed, but he has molded himself into one hell of a wrestler.
I usually detest these giant tag scenarios, especially when they have the TNA-esque rules, where it takes more than 30 seconds to explain them. They're usually overblown and overbooked and merely a way to get all the regulars on the show. This started out much the same way, including a ridiculous dive spot where everyone had to get their rocks off by flinging their bodies over the top rope onto a pile of humanity below. Reminded me of a bunch of penguins absentmindedly diving into the mini pool they have at the zoo enclsoure. 1st round ended with a shocker though, as the Irish boys (how many trueblood Irish guys have ICP tats on their ribcages?) upset the Briscoes. Crowd hated this and chanted "Bullshit" for a good while, but I didn't mind it because the double team finish they used looked like it could beat anybody, really creative move. 2nd round was a Tapout only match (???) but turned into a little slice of peach pie for me. Strong and Aries basically worked over Jake Crist like men performing an autopsy, slicing and picking him apart with quite a few nasty shots thrown in for their pleasure. As I think has been mentioned before, met him in a working environment years ago and proved himself to have an ego well beyond his years, so it was really fun to see him get worked over so badly here. 3rd round become a stunt show from the Sydal/ Evans team but a true blue tribute to Vader from Roderick who obliterated Jack with every move he did. One of the most intimidating performances I've seen from him and upped his stake in my eyes ten fold. Awesome finish to this match too. I was quite surprised how much I liked this.
Corino resembles what should be the newest member of "the Heartbreak Express." He's hit up way too many fried potatoes at Cracker Barrel over the years. He's joined with perennial idiot Pearce here. This match was more or less a waste of time; crowd brawl was boring except for Corino's facials. Him trying to take realistic bumps was more laughable than any of the "Real Housewives" shows. Homicide's punches were downright pathetic here, only ones I liked were the fast exchange he had with Corino. BJ was just there and Pearce only served as the fall guy. Next. Richards and KENTA was fast paced, extremely hard hitting and had the fans on the edge of their seats; all those reasons make it recommendable. But, not legendary. They largely kicked their way into the finale which saw about 100 moves and 50 near falls, all death defying, but could have been stretched out into a great match, not a fine finishing run. Experience would have taught them that; Then, after they take every move known to man leading to the finish, as soon as the match is over, they get up and shake hands and stuff. Completely unbelievable. I'm a fan of both guys, but the way they portrayed all that was really irritating.
Main looks to be epic; the crowd is crowning and are about to erupt. Joe has a superstar presence in ROH that you don't see anywhere else, certainly not the buffoonic cretin with the bad eyemakeup you see in Orlando every week. Here's he's a god and every thing he does gives off an aura. Danielson is a master worker, but they sort of let the first 30 minutes happen with any major incident. Danielson slowly, methodically tries to pick away at Joe, legs, ankles, anything to gain an advantage. Joe rebounds every so often with a big power move, but is largely ineffective. I find myself watching him very closely though, seeing how the wisps of hair on his head resemble thorny brambles in a bush, the way he drops his right hand every single time he throws a leg kick and the stutter step he uses to bound into the ropes. Right about the halfway point, Danielson makes a breakthrough and it's a pivotal moment in the match. Okay, I want to point out some overall themes going on here: 1st the glaring one that slaps me in the face is how badly Danielson whips Joe's ass. I mean, he controls him with submissions and holds the whole 60 minutes, every time Joe gets one offensive move, they set up the next spot for Dragon to take it back. The only time Joe really stages the big "I"m pissed off now!" front is within the last minute. The last 30 contain some botched spots galore, and Joe looks incredibly winded and tired, he also forgets to keep selling his leg near the end. But, one neat thing I liked about this that stands it apart was it was all about the submissions. Joe doen'st get a lot of near falls, and even the ones that happen are awkward pin attempts that look like some Rally's Chili Cheese Fries: a big mess. So instead of near falls, usually when Joe gets the advantage, he locks on a submission, which more often than not, he does extremely well. Some good facials in the 2nd half as well, but Dragon again proving he's a workhorse, and pretty much what he says he is: the best in the world.