Monday, September 29, 2008

7/26/08 ROH: New Horizons

Star rating key:
(negative stars) = Huh?! (BS finish; most squash matches)
DUD = Boring match (or could not enjoy the match)
1/4* to 3/4* = It had watchable moments.
* to *3/4 = Average match.
** to **3/4 = Above average match.
*** to ***3/4 = Great match; usually saved for PPVs
**** to ****3/4 = Match of the year candidate
***** = The rarest of all matches. A classic.

7/26/08 ROH: New Horizons
The Briscoe Brothers vs. Mitch Franklin & Silas Young: This match might have only been about two to three minutes, but it was extremely action-packed. Mainly just one-sided though, so that hurt the rating. *1/4

Erick Stevens vs. Delirious vs. Ruckus vs. Shane Hagadorn (Four Corners Survival Match): Rules are two guys start and you gotta tag to get legally involved. First fall wins. Yet another action-filled match. Midway though I forgot who were the legal men in the ring. Again, just five minutes...but an action-filled five minutes. **

Kevin Steen vs. Necro Butcher (No-DQ match): This was basically a street fight on the outside of the ring at the start. This might not have been the fastest-paced match or the most technically-sound match, but it was a good fight. SICK spot with the Michinoku Driver on the chair. I seriously thought that was it right there, but it wasn't. Other than the Michinoku Driver, there wasn't really anything noteworthy. Match went about nine minutes...a little too short to gain three stars. **1/2

Roderick Strong & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Chris Hero & Go Shiozaki: There were just a ton of chops in this one...LOUD chops. I like how these guys don't use a lot of rest holds to slow the match down. This is just action upon more action. All four men took a ton of punishment. Very intense back-and-forth action. Excellent match that went about 12 minutes. And to think, this match, in my opinion, could have easily gone four stars or more if given about five more minutes with more near falls. ***1/2

Nigel McGuinness vs. Claudio Castagnoli (ROH World Title): I loved the start to tease if we would have a new champ. Good brawling on the outside. It was clearly a pro-Claudio crowd. Excellent balanced attack from Nigel; he has just so many moves, it's amazing. Nigel is great at drawing heel heat. Nice comeback by Claudio. Great suicide dive by Claudio, and even well before he did that, the crowd was going nuts. Nice false finish with Claudio kicking out of the Tower of London. That was the longest Big Swing from Claudio I've ever seen. Just amazing stuff from jaw just dropped at the stuff these guys did. I have heard louder crowd reactions though, and I could tell the crowd felt let down when Nigel pulled it out. Match was about 19 minutes. ****

Brian Danielson vs. Tyler Black: Again, I love the fast start. Hard kicks from Danielson...just LOUD echoing kicks. Danielson has an amazing ability to combine submission moves with technical wrestling. Danielson just took apart Black's left arm and bent it in some real sick positions. Nice "This is wrestling!" chants from the crowd. Outstanding back-and-forth action. I loved the moonsault by Black from the top to the floor on Danielson. Black's mind games were great. Cattle mutilation got a ton of pops. Marvelous chain of pinning combinations with Black getting a sleeper after all that. I just had to chuckle at how Danielson had the cross armbreaker and turned it into a Triangle Choke. Black then threw Danielson in one of the corners and BROKE the top rope in that area. The sick part was that the metal turnbuckle actually snapped back and hit Danielson in the back of the head. Well-deserved "This is awesome!" chants. Nice finish with the MMA repeated elbows. Match went a little over 25 minutes and was a perfect main event. ****1/2

I vote for Danielson vs. McGuinness again...REAL soon. It seems like an ROH match is a shoo-in for at least three stars if you give it enough time and/or enough big spots. Extremely solid card.

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