September 17, 2011
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

ROH: Final Battle 2009
December 19, 2009
New York City, NY
Manhattan Center

ROH World Champion: Austin Aries (6/13/2009)
ROH World Tag Team Champions: The American Wolves (4/10/2009)

Due to weather conditions beyond everyone’s control, some flights have been delayed coming from several different airports from around the country, so we’ll see what sticks and what gets changed throughout the show.

Your hosts are Dave Prazak, Eric Santamaria (from the WRESTLING ROUNDTABLE~!), and LARRY FN SWEENEY.

Kenny Omega vs. Rhett Titus vs. Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli (w/Prince Nana & Mr. Ernesto Osiris)
Since I last saw him on ROHDNet, Dirty Ernie has become Mini Claudio or Claudiocito for you lucha fans out there. Titus has a Badd Blaster with him. That’s pretty SWANK~! Prazak says he’s ‘shooting off his load’. Anyways, you know I was pulling for the current reigning and defending PWG world champ Kenny Omega in this one. Early on, Cabana and Omega showed off some of their signature comedy stuff leaving Claudio and Titus to take them like a champ. This is pretty short, and before you know it, they all go into a finishing sequence that makes your head spin. Speaking of spinning, Claudio puts Titus (I believe) in an awesome INVERTED AIRPLANE SPIN. He gets Titus going so fast that he LETS GO of Titus at certain points. Pretty sweet. Anyways, everybody hits their finisher, but Claudio puts Titus away with the Dragon Suplex to pick up the win at 6:10. **½

Bison Smith & Erick Stevens (w/Prince Nana & Mr. Ernesto Osiris) vs. Delirious (w/Daizee Haze)
Necro’s stuck in Florida due to the weather, so Delirious goes into this match all alone. Sucks for him. Eventually, Pelly Primo comes out to replace Necro. He’s a little guy. When he gets destroyed, Bobby Dempsey helps out. HOT TAG TO DEMPSEY! Cannonball to Bison, Delirious takes a dive out onto Stevens. Back in, Stevens shoves off SHADOWS OVER HELL. Clothesline Sandwich on Dempsey sets up the DOUBLE TEAM CHOKEBREAKER which almost takes out Stevens. Lariat from Bison to Dempsey gets two. Not even Bison can set up Dempsey for a back superplex. Instead Bison settles for a running powerbomb out of the corner for the win at 10:10. **½

Eddie Kingston vs. Chris Hero (w/Shane Hagadorn & Sara Del Ray) – Fight Without Honor
They meet in the aisleway. When Kingston tosses Hero in, he baseball slides Kingston down. Out comes the chain. He wraps it around Kingston’s head ala Piper-Valentine. Crowd is absolutely PRO Chris Hero. In the ring, Kingston welcomes some kicks even with the chain still wrapped around his head. A busted open Kingston fires back and dares Hero on, but Hero nails him with the rolling elbow. You can finally hear Larry Sweeney’s commentary. CHAIN WRAPPED ROLLING ELBOWS! Kingston counters the powerbomb with a rana on the pile of chain. URANAGE on the chain. Northern Lights Bomb from Kingston gets two. A series of rolling elbows gains a nearfall. OFF COMES THE WIFEBEATERS! Here comes the chops. ROLLING ELBOW COMBO gets Hero another two count. Hagadorn helps Hero bring a part of the guardrail into the ring. Doesn’t work and Hero has to counter the Backdrop Driver into the Guardrail with one of his own onto the mat. Now the guardrail becomes a scaffold laid in the corner. That allows Hero to throw some elbows. He wants a powerbomb and winds up dropping Kingston’s neck on the tip of the guardrail. That gets two. Crowd has changed over to Eddie’s side. Hero wraps the chain around Kingston’s neck to set up for the DEATH BLOW, but Kingston fires back with a Straight Jacket Suplex followed by the CHAIN WRAPPED LARIAT! Cover, 1-2-NO! Del Ray comes in and kicks Kingston around, but she gets caught with a Capture Suplex. See ya. LOADED ELBOW from Hero misses. BACKDROP DRIVER, but Hero ducks the SPINNING BACKFIST and low blows Kingston. KISS OF DEATH? LOADED ELBOW gets 1-2-NO! Boy, Hero is pissed. TWO SPINNING BACKFISTS and Hero still kicks out. “Hero” chants go up. Kingston pulls off the loaded elbow pad. Whoa, LOADED ELBOW from Kingston gets the 1-2-3. (14:52) Finish makes sense in storyline terms, but a tad anticlimactic. Still a brutal fight without honor to hopefully end the feud that has spanned all over the independent scene over the last decade. ***½

Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The Young Bucks
Generico and Nick start the match. Basic feeling out process. A bearded Kevin Steen takes his turn with Matt. The beard makes him look FATTER. They trade chewing gum, which ends up in Nick’s face. Generico helps out with a drop toehold and the flipping legdrop. Steenerico cuts the ring off with Matt Jackson. Standing Sliced Bread helps Matt reach his brother. Springboard Swinging DDT on Generico gets two. Tag to Matt, DOUBLE STOMP TO THE ARM! After a bunch of OLES, Generico slips out of a back suplex from Nick and hot tags Steen. He runs the Bucks down with a clothesline. Cannonball on Matt in the corner, DDT through the ropes on Nick! Matt trips up Steen, but Generico jumps off Steen onto Matt with a somersault plancha. FISHERMAN BUSTER ON THE KNEE. That gets two. Nick enziguris away from the PACKAGE PILEDRIVER. Reverse DDT—DOUBLE STOMP combo on Steen gets two from Matt. LUNG BLOWER to Matt! Hot tag again to Generico. Flying Crossbody gets two. Nick catches Generico with a slingshot facebuster, but then Steen pulls him out and powerbombs him on the apron. Matt wipes out Steen with a baseball slide and skins the cat back in while Nick takes out Steen with a somersault plancha. Standing moonsault-springboard splash gets two on Generico. Steen shoves Generico away from a missile dropkick. Out goes Matt, YAKUZA KICK to Nick! FROG SPLASH from Steen to Nick gets 1-2-NO! Nick avoids the PACKAGE PILEDRIVER. Steen catches a superkick and swings it around into Matt. SHARPSHOOTER to Nick! Matt kicks at Steen and spits in his face. Generico takes Matt to the floor. WILL NICK TAP OUT? No, Steen’s injured knee gives out and he collapses. PACKAGE PILEDRIVER? No Matt saves with a superkick. MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! Cover, 1-2-NO! FOUR SUPERKICKS followed by STEREO SUPERKICKS give the Young Bucks the three count. (16:52) Well the Young Bucks certainly earned that one. Does that mean the Young Bucks could soon be ROH & PWG tag champs? Time will tell. Afterwards, Steen yells back at some rowdy New York fan who thinks he sucks. I love it. He thanks some people and then KICKS GENERICO IN THE NUTS! Chair shot DIRECTLY on the head. What is going on. Colt Cabana confronts Kevin Steen – who kisses him away. So much for the farewell speech? I didn’t know he was even leaving. ***

INTERMISSION: CM Punk vs. Spanky – (Third Anniversary Celebration, Part One) (2/19/05)

They trade some stuff on the mat to start. Spanky unleashes some lucha moves, but Punk cuts him off with a swinging neckbreaker. That draws some neck work from Punk. He catches Spanky with a Randy Savage running hotshot, but Spanky blocks the springboard with a dropkick to the knee. And THAT draws some leg work from Spanky. They’re wrestling a smart match, but not necessarily an exciting one. It picks up once SLICED BREAD #2 is blocked and Punk brings Spanky out of the corner with a reverse superplex. Flatliner from Spanky gets two. Frog Splash hits knees, which is bad for Punk. Shining Wizard is blocked with a superkick from Spanky for two. Punk shoves off SLICED BREAD #2. Knee gives out on the Welcome to Chicago, so Punk settles for a butterfly piledriver for a two-count. After a series of reversals, Spanky hits SLICED BREAD #2 for the win. (14:24) As I said before, they wrestled a smart match instead of an exciting one. Still solid though, just not what you think they could do. **½

ROH’s answer to Rob Bartlett is here: Pete Rosenberg from Hot 97 replaces Larry Sweeney on commentary for this next match so he can say what’s HIP HOP and what ain’t. What a retard, I say.

Roderick Strong vs. Kenny King – Pick Six Series
Strong controls to start with chops – culminating with a clothesline from the apron to the floor. King surprises Strong with a corkscrew senton off the guardrail! Back in, King hits a suplex and floats over into a barrage of rights. Spinning leg lariat gets two. Kenny hits our first backbreaker! SNAP. Springboard legdrop misses though. Kenny gets cocky and pays for it with an enziguri and a clothesline in the corner. Uranage backbreaker gets two. Strong stops a forearm exchange with chops, but runs into a spinebuster for two. They trade kicks before Strong hits a back suplex on the apron for two. Strong gets crotched off a corner enziguri and takes a ROUNDHOUSE KICK for 1-2-NO! Strong fights off a superplex, but eats a jumping enziguri. ROYAL FLUSH gets 1-2-NO! Elijah Express misses, and Strong hits a torture rack backbreaker for two. King grabs the tights for a rollup and gets the 1-2-3. (10:16) Once again, they could do better. Pete Rosenberg really murdered this match for me too. **

Rocky Romero vs. Alex Koslov
COMMUNISM EXPLODES~! Too bad Teddy Hart and Jack Evans couldn’t make it. This match is UNSCRIPTED~! Knucklelocks and monkey flips to start. Springboard crossbody followed by the HAND OF KOZLOV! RUSSIA! CUBA! With Kozlov fallen to the floor, Romero hits him with a suicide dive into the front row. Back in, they trade chops and kicks. Romero cuts him off with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Kozlov catches Romero in the back of the head with a superkick for two. RUSSIAN LEGSWEEP to Romero connects. Kozlov puts on the hat and Russian kicks Romero. Whoa. SURFBOARD IN THE ROPES from Kozlov. Romero comes back with a jumping knee and mocks Kozlov by putting on the hat. SPRINGBOARD SWINGING DDT gets two. To the floor, Kozlov chops Romero into the crowd and launches himself onto Romero. Back in, Romero catches Kozlov coming off the top with knees. Enziguri from Romero gets two. Superkick catches Romero for two. Romero stops Kozlov up top and delivers the FLYING ARMBAR! That gets the submission? (11:05) Pretty decent considering they probably had very little time to prepare. Few wrestlers can just hop in the ring with somebody at the last minute and deliver a classic unless your names end with Steamboat or Flair – and you can remember the 1970s. **½

ROH World Tag Team Champions The American Wolves (w/Shane Hagadorn) vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe
Briscoes look for their unprecedented SIXTH tag team championship reign in ROH. Stiff start as Richards busts his mouth open. Edwards yakuza kicks Mark off the apron and pays for it with a yakuza kick from Jay. Double-team shoulderblock takes down Richards to a huge pop. From there, the Briscoes cut the ring off on Edwards while they try and mess with Richards on every chance they get. Finally, Richards leg whips Mark in the ropes and *that* changes the whole match around as they work on the formerly injured knee. Tag to Jay, he runs in and double stomps Edwards. Spinebuster lands Edwards on his injured elbow while Richards whips Mark into the guardrail. In comes Davey, and Eddie’s playing possum. ALARM CLOCK sets up the SUPERKICK-GERMAN SUPLEX combo for 1-2-NO! To the floor, Richards whips Jay around and drives a chair into his knee. He even chokes him down a little bit. Back in, that gets two. More choking. Big Boot in the corner sets up a Northern Lights suplex from Davey for two. Jay comes back with a DVD on Eddie. Hot tag to Mark. He takes care of the Wolves. He dumps out Eddie so he can give Richards the Northern Lights Suplex for two. Davey gets pulled out, but Mark doesn’t let him get away as he dives out with a plancha onto the Wolves. Back in, Mark flips Davey out of the corner for two. Meanwhile, Jay wipes out Eddie with an reverse STO into the corner. SIDEWINDER to Davey gets two. Richards avoids the J DRILLER, but gets rolled up for two. Edwards nails Jay with a jumping enziguri from the apron. Eddie avoids a second DVD and enziguri kicks Jay around for the BACKPACK STUNNER for 1-2-NO! Edwards hits the SUPER HURRACANRANA while Richards hits the DR DRIVER for 1-2-NO! Edwards has the half crab on Jay, Richards has the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF on Mark! Both counter into a small package. Powerbomb-backcracker combo gets 1-2-NO! Edwards floats over into the HALF CRAB! Jay reaches the ropes. “Man UP” chant goes up. Doomsday Device from the Wolves is countered with suplexes from each Briscoe. Lariat by Jay to Edwards gets two. J-DRILLER is countered, but the STEREO SUPERKICKS to Edwards are not. J DRILLER to Edwards gets 1-2-NO! Doomsday Device to Edwards gets 1-2-3! (22:34) Chances are this will eventually lead to a Tyler Black-Davey Richards series over the ROH world title. I don’t know if it was the crowd or the quality of the presentation, but I wasn’t feeling this one. While it’s a good match, these two teams should be having a MOTYC. ***¼

Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero show up to attack the new champs. THE KINGS OF WRESTLING ARE BACK~!

And the lights go off. And they come back on. JACK EVANS, TEDDY HART, and JULIUS SMOKES are in the ring.

Teddy Hart vs. Jack Evans
IMPROMPTU MATCH~! No ref. SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP to Hart! Springboard 450 Splash! Powerbomb backbreaker to Evans. JUMPING PILEDRIVER THROUGH THE ROPES. CRADLE DDT! COBRA CLUTCH BACKCRACKER! Standing Corkscrew Senton! 630 SPLASH HITS KNEES! BACK SUPLEX INTO A POWERBOMB gets two from Teddy to Jack. DOUBLE HAMMERLOCK PILEDRIVER gets two? SPRINGBOARD DOUBLE KNEE STRIKE from Evans. Another 630 SPLASH gets 1-2-3. (5:40) Didn’t these two have a fantastic match in some indy fed here in the US already this year? Check it out on Youtube. Great exhibition that I can’t possibly rate though. However the NYC crowd LOVED this.

ROH World Champion Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black
Aries sticks with the headlock to start. Black uses one of Austin’s shticks and escapes a headscissors with a dropkick. Failed skin-the-kitten from Aries sets up some guardrail action. Aries goes on the run while the stupid NYC crowd tries to get itself over. Yankees are dumb. Aries takes a backdrop to the floor and lands his face on the apron. To the floor, Black hits a moonsault off the guardrail. This has been ALL Tyler Black. More guardrail action. Aries comes back with a swinging neckbreaker through the ropes and then drops a Double Ax Handle to the floor. More guardrail stuff. Back in the ring, Aries takes Tyler to school and works the knee. WOO! Eventually, the Pendulum Elbow gets blocked with a kick. Neckbreaker by Black! Clotheslines follow. Aries tries the Ric Flair corner flip down to the other top turnbuckle, but Black dropkicks him off to the floor for a running SSP. Springboard Clothesline gets two. Tyler blocks the shinbreaker-back suplex and hits the Shining Wizard for two. Quebrada misses and sets up the standing SSP for two. Aries flips out of PAROXYSM and hits the shinbreaker-back suplex after all. IED is blocked with a boot. SUPER DDT from Aries gets two. He changes over into LAST CHANCERY! Black pushes the BRAINBUSTER off into the corner. Aries makes him pay for it with shots. While Aries is busy mocking Tyler, he hits him with the Corner Dropkick followed by PAROXYSM into the LAST CHANCERY. Aries elbows out. As Black heads up for the PHOENIX SPLASH, Aries shoves him off and hits Tyler with the HEAT SEEKING MISSILE. Back in, a slingshot corkscrew splash from Aries gets two. SUPER BRAINBUSTER? Nope. Tyler Black sunset flips into a running powerbomb, but Aries counters with a rana. Armdrag into the corner sets up the PHOENIX SPLASH, but Tyler rolls through. Shinbreaker sets up the FIGURE-FOUR! WOO! Tyler reverses and Aries reaches the ropes. Aries headbutts the life out of Black from the apron. Black fights back with turnbuckle smashes, but Aries sends Black to the mat. Enziguri kick sends Aries falling through a needless ringside table. Black goes after Aries, but Austin fights back with one good arm. Back in, Tyler gets two. Aries stalls a little bit on the floor, but comes back in fighting with one good arm. BRAINBUSTER? Nope. Tyler sends him crashing on his arm. Aries rolls away from the seated superkick and he’s back on the floor. All of that arm stuff draws Tyler into a Death Valley Driver on the apron. While Tyler is down on the floor, Austin shows off with some jumping jacks in the ring. Back in, Aries hooks in the LAST CHANCERY. Tyler reaches the ropes – again.

I’m afraid they’re going for a heatless 60-minute draw or a 55 minute-long Tyler Black title victory. Both guys are stalling big time and that’s not good at 40 minutes into the match. On the floor, Tyler hits the somersault plancha and Aries decides to leave again – this time through the crowd. Aries tries to leave and Black brings him back out on his shoulders for an F5 on the ramp. That busts Aries open. Black runs back to the ring to stop the count at 19. Alright. Back to the ring, they counter some stuff and Aries dumps Black out after a ten-count corner punch. 45 minutes gone. Aries tries to leave though the crowd again and takes a BUCKLE BOMB on a chair over in the corner of the guardrail. Superkick to Aries! Back in, Tyler covers for 1-2-NO! WHAT. PHOENIX SPLASH misses. Aries tries to leave AGAIN and drops Tyler on the rampway with a BRAINBUSTER to bust him open. Tyler makes it back in at 19. Knee strikes followed by the LAST CHANCERY. Now Aries is trying to get DQ’ed while he’s choking and dishing out low-blows to Tyler. At Tyler’s begging, the ref WILL NOT DQ Austin. WHAT. Headfirst to an exposed turnbuckle. Ref still refuses to call for the bell. Russian legsweep into the exposed buckle. Aries hits the 450 SPLASH for 1-2-NO! Again with the LAST CHANCERY. They lead to exchanging blows on their knees. They brawl up to their feet. This goes for about a minute until they both collapse. Back up, Aries hits the Rolling Elbow. Tyler comes back with the enziguri and CATTLE MUTILATION! Tyler unloads with elbows and goes back to CATTLE MUTILATION! Aries fights out into the BRAINBUSTER for 1-2-NO! WHAT. More brawling on their knees. Back up, there’s one minute left. Tyler delivers some slaps and hits GOD’S LAST GIFT for 1-2-NO! Oh, and we have come to the time limit draw. (60:00) Not sure what happened with these two. They told a good story that could have been told with 30 minutes, but then they lost it by killing A LOT of time with Aries stalling around. I know what they were going for by having Aries try to get Black to make a mistake, but come on. If something isn’t working, DON’T KEEP DOING IT. Just goes to show that Tyler Black can put on a great 20 minutes, but don’t let the man go for an hour. He can lose a crowd like nobody’s business. Really disappointed with this one. All they had to do was give Tyler Black 30 minutes and send the crowd home happy. What was so hard about that? **¾

Meanwhile the Briscoes and the Kings of Wrestling brawl in and out of the crowd. They leave us with the newly reformed Kings of Wrestling on the run with the Briscoes and Tyler Black standing tall inside the ring.

Final Thoughts: Everything before the intermission was great, but all the main attraction stuff left me out in the cold. Some of it was out of their hands like with the AAA match all messed up because of the weather and some of it was just odd. The Briscoes need the titles why? Austin Aries and Tyler Black go to a time limit draw? Why? I’ll go with a ‘thumbs in the middle’ because the first half of the show was fun to watch (including the awesome Kevin Steen heel turn), but don’t even bother watching after the intermission. If you’re like me, you’ll be disappointed.

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