hostility

Vanderbilt University Memorial Gym – Nashville, Tennessee – Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard are on commentary.

MATCH #1: The Briscoes & Kenny Omega vs. Kenny King, Sal Rinauro & Rhett Titus

King versus Omega is the feud here, the rest are just along for the ride. The Briscoes attack right away and the match turns into an instant brawl outside the ring. Omega gets the crowd all fired up with a big dive over the ropes onto all three opponents. Back in the ring Titus finds himself on the wrong end of a Briscoe brotherly beating. Omega gets in on the action too. The YRR use some dirty tactics to gain the advantage on Omega, and they start working him over in their half of the ring. They tag in and out and all take turns abusing Omega, effectively cutting him off from his partners. Titus is so very close to completely shedding the student label. Omega finally recovers and tags both Briscoe brothers, which shouldn’t be accepted as legal. They throw all of their opponents around and generally look like tough guys. They tag back to Omega, who hits a missile dropkick on Rinauro. He follows up with the wheelbarrow German suplex with a bridge to score the pin at 8:38. That was a solid opener, and I really see big things for Titus and King.
Rating: **½

Daizee Haze comes out to confront Rhett Titus about the things he’s been saying about her. She wants him to admit that he was lying, but Titus will do no such thing. Then for some reason Necro Butcher comes out and forces Titus to admit that he is in fact, a virgin. He apologizes to Daizee, and then she kicks him in the nuts. If that was the payoff to the entire angle I’d call it pretty anti-climactic.

MATCH #2: Delirious vs. Alex Payne

Delirious is accompanied by Age of the Fall leader Jimmy Jacobs. I wonder why some wrestlers think it’s cool to sing their own entrance music. Delirious loses his mind at the sound of the bell, and Payne is able to take the early advantage because of it. Payne is getting a lot of offense here. Delirious goes to the floor to regroup, and Payne goes to the top rope for a dive. Unfortunately for him he hits nothing but the ringside mats. Delirious goes to work on the back now, and throws Payne back into the ring. He continues working on Payne’s back, and the camera crew is actually getting some close-ups on faces now, which is awesome. Payne avoids a Panic Attack but gets hit with a headbutt to the midsection instead. Delirious has a counter for every one of Payne’s counters, and thus he stays in control. He hits a Rock Bottom but pulls Payne up at one. Payne finally makes the big comeback and the crowd is actively booing him for some reason. Not that I blame them, since he’s gotten WAY too much offense in tonight. He hits a terrible looking elbow off the top rope for a two-count. He follows with the Sweetinsteiner for two. He sets up for the Sweet Spot but can’t execute it. Delirious now finally hits the Panic Attack and follows up with Shadows over Hell for the win at 8:11. I know ROH wants to get something out of their students, but Payne simply got way too much offense in here. Some guys are jobbers, and Payne should just be one of them.
Rating: *

MATCH #3: Daizee Haze vs. Sara Del Rey vs. Ashley Lane vs. Serena Deeb

Ashley Lane is now better known as Madison Rayne in TNA. Del Rey and Deeb start the match, but unbeknownst to them, both Lane and Haze make quick blind tags and now it’s their turn. They trade some arm drags and Del Rey tags herself in at Haze’s expense. She hits a suplex on Lane for two. Deeb tags in and she and Del Rey are resuming their feud from SHIMMER. They do some stuff for a bit until Layne makes a blind tag on Deeb. She tries a cross body block but Del Rey sort of catches her with a powerslam. Prazak says that SHIMMER Champion MsChif was supposed to be in this match but she’s out with an injury so Lane took her place. Deeb comes in and tries to spear Del Rey but hits Lane instead. Del Rey tosses Lane to the floor and sends Haze out as well. She then hits the Royal Butterfly on Lane to get the pin at 5:56. That was quick and inoffensive, and I was impressed with Serena Deeb. If they ever have an actual women’s division beyond random four-ways and Sara Del Rey versus Daizee Haze matches I think Deeb would be a good addition.
Rating: **

MATCH #4: Brent Albright & Erick Stevens vs. Sweet & Sour Inc.

Davey Richards and Bobby Dempsey are the representatives for Sweet & Sour tonight. Referee Todd Sinclair tries to banish Sweeney to the back, but he has something to say about that. He decides that since it was Dempsey’s “fat fault” that they aren’t “facing the Japs” in New York City, he’s going to take his place in the match tonight. Albright and Stevens waste no time in attacking their Sweet and Sour adversaries. They double team Richards and generally manhandle him in the early going. Prazak and Leonard are trying to sell this as Sweeney’s wrestling debut in ROH, but he’s wrestled twice before, at Bedlam in Beantown and Final Battle 2007. Prazak says that last one didn’t count, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t. After several minutes Richards fights back on Stevens but ends up getting pummeled with forearms. Sweeney interferes from the apron and Richards recovers and tosses Stevens to the floor, where Sweeney gets his shots in. Back in the ring Richards continues to work Stevens over for a bit. He finally tags Sweeney into the match, who wrestles for about a minute before bringing Richards back in. Stevens makes the comeback but the referee misses the hot tag because Sweeney was distracting the referee. Richards regains control and goes to work on the arm. Stevens finally makes the hot tag, and most of the crowd is booing him, so Nashville is on my good side. Richards tags in Sweeney, who gets ping-ponged for a bit. They give the same treatment to Richards, and the good guys are firmly in control. We somehow wind up with Richards and Albright as the legal men and the referee gets knocked down in the corner. Sweeney brings a chair into the ring and accidentally wallops Richards with it. The referee recovers in enough time to see Albright covering Richards and counts the pin at 11:17. That was essentially a handicap match, so Richards looked pretty good in controlling both of the opponents for a while. The match really accomplished nothing in terms of any sort of bigger storyline, but the work was fine.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #5: Irish Airborne vs. Grizzly Redwood & Bushwhacker Luke

Do Grizzly Redwood and Bushwhacker Luke really need separate entrances? That must have irritated Jake and Dave Crist too, because they attack before the bell. Even so, Luke and Redwood recover and toss them to the floor. Redwood and Luke execute a modified poetry in motion to the floor. Back in the ring Redwood chops Dave down to size, and both teams make tags. The New Bushwhackers do some alleged comedy spots and continue dominating the Irish brothers. Redwood chases Dave on the floor, giving Jake a chance to hit a clothesline and the Crist brothers take control. They beat on him for a few minutes before Redwood makes the “hot tag” to a chorus of boos. Moments later they hit the Battering Ram and the New Bushwhackers get the win at 8:02. Well I guess if they’re going to stick these four guys anywhere the first match after intermission is the place to do it.
Rating: ½*

MATCH #6: Austin Aries & Necro Butcher vs. The Age of the Fall

Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black are representing the Age of the Fall tonight. It’s a good thing Aries and Jacobs ended their feud a couple weeks ago so that they could fight in this meaningless tag match. Necro punches Tyler right in the face and he and Jacobs regroup on the floor. Jacobs throws a chair into the ring and Todd Sinclair confiscates it from Necro at the insistence of the very man who threw the chair into the ring in the first place. Black and Aries will start the match proper, one night after their singles match that Black won. They continue the mat wrestling they were doing last night with both guys taking turns putting the other in holds. Black executes a head scissors and avoids Aries’ dropkick attempt. Aries changes it up and hits a big knee to the face, and Black crawls over to tag Jacobs. Necro tags in as well, so Jacobs tags right back out to Black. He no-sells a kick from Black and knocks him down with a big punch. Aries and Necro successfully double-team Black in their corner for a bit. Jacobs tags in and attacks Necro from behind, but Necro comes back with punches and chops. Necro hits a bulldog and Jacobs rolls to the floor. He goes go the top rope but Black pulls him down to the canvas. Jacobs gets back in the ring and works on Necro now. Of course anytime Necro poses a threat Jacobs makes Black do the dirty work. Jacobs tries the Contra Code but Necro avoids it and makes the tag to Aries, so Jacobs tags Black right back in. Aries is on fire, hitting the Power Drive Elbow for two. He goes for another cover, and Jacobs accidentally delivers a Senton to Black when Aries moves. Black recovers and hits an enziguiri, but when he charges Aries throws him to the floor right onto Jacobs. Aries follows them out with the Heat Seeking Missile. Necro follows them out with a somersault off the top rope. Jacobs and Necro brawl on one side of the ring, while Aries and Black brawl on the other side. Sinclair counts both teams out at approximately 13:36 (I never heard the bell ring). What the hell was that? The match was tremendously boring and had a finish that didn’t do anything for anyone, wrestlers and fans alike.
Rating: *½

MATCH #7: No DQ Match – Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli

They waste no time going right after each other. Danielson goes for an early surfboard but settles for pulling at Claudio’s face and driving his knees into the mat. Claudio comes back and pulls Danielson’s t-shirt over his head and pounds on him. Danielson recovers and uses the shirt to choke Claudio. He dropkicks Claudio to the floor and follows him out with a suicide dive, sending him over the guardrail and into the crowd. Danielson pulls him back to the ringside area and whips him into the guardrail. He follows up with another suicide dive through the ropes. He uses a chair and whips Claudio into the guardrail again. Now he sets Claudio up on the chair and hits the Ole Dropkick. Prazak’s heel commentary is just not good. Danielson tries a third dive through the ropes and this time Claudio gets a chair up in his face, and then whips Danielson into the barricade, busting his head open. Claudio is firmly in control now, going after the laceration on Danielson’s head. They make it back to the ring and Danielson looks in rough shape. Claudio gets a two-count and then grabs the timekeeper’s hammer and the ring bell to further abuse Danielson. He removes a turnbuckle pad. Danielson is able to avoid having his head slammed into it, and he fires up a bit. Claudio cuts him off with a Dragon Screw and goes right back to work. He pulls referee Paul Turner’s belt off, and whips Danielson with it. He once again tries to use the exposed turnbuckle but Danielson once again avoids it. Danielson powers up and hits a running elbow but Claudio reaches his feet first. He takes a shot but Danielson is ready for him and hits a running forearm in the corner and a suplex. He kicks Claudio across the back and heads up to the top rope for a missile dropkick. A leg lariat gets two for Danielson. Claudio comes back and hits a bicycle kick for two. He tries the Riccola Bomb but Danielson slips out. He charges at Claudio, who hits a pop-up European Uppercut and Danielson kicks out! Claudio sets Danielson on the top rope but Danielson once again slips out and he knocks Claudio down and hits the super belly-to-back suplex. Both men are down, and they make it back to their feet at the count of eight. They trade European Uppercuts and Danielson gets a slight advantage. He bounces off the ropes but Claudio found Turner’s belt and he catches Danielson around the throat and begins choking him out. Danielson won’t surrender! He powers out and gets control of the belt, as Claudio begs for mercy. He whips Claudio unmerciful, and then misses a charge in the corner and finally hits the exposed turnbuckle. Claudio hits the Riccola Bomb, and I totally bought that as the finish, but Danielson kicks out. Supremely frustrated, Claudio brings a steel chair into the ring and tries to stomp Danielson’s head in. Danielson cleverly traps Claudio’s leg in the chair and locks on Cattle Mutilation. He rolls that over to the Elbow Strikes but then stops. He picks up the belt again, cinches it up on Claudio’s neck and stomps on his head, and then locking on the Triangle Choke to get the victory at 20:20. I didn’t hear a lot of hype about that match, but I thought it was really well done, had believable false finishes and a great real finish.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Jerry Lynn

Nigel has been the champion since 10.6.07, and this is his thirtieth defense. They start off slowly, with both men showing off their chain wrestling skills. Lynn of course is able to keep pace with the ROH World Champion. Nigel tries going after the arm, but Lynn hits an early tornado DDT for two. The champion stalls some more, and is able to really take control when the match spills to the floor. Back in the ring Nigel continues working on the arm. Nigel controls most of the action but Lynn of course gets in a bunch of hope spots. Lynn hits a reverse DDT for two, but soon falls victim to his first lariat. Nigel gets a near-fall off that. The champ goes for a Piledriver, but Lynn reverses to the Air Raid Crash for two. Nigel comes back with a Tower of London to the floor, and he appears content to go for the countout win. Lynn makes it back in at 17, and then kicks out at the count of two. Nigel hits another Tower of London and Lynn kicks out. Lynn ducks a lariat and hits a German Suplex for two. Nigel tries the Jawbreaker but Lynn ducks it. The champion then tries a rana but Lynn counters with a powerbomb for two. Nigel would never try that move unless he was wrestling Lynn, just so Lynn could hit that move. I hate that. Lynn goes up top but Nigel knocks him down and hits a superplex. That also only gets two. Lynn fires up and clotheslines Nigel to the floor and follows him out with a dive. He hits a DDT on the floor and Nigel’s nose is bloody. Lynn rolls back into the ring, and Nigel tries to take the countout, but Lynn forces him back to the ring. A sunset bomb gets two for the challenger. The fight spills back to the floor. Nigel tries to trap Lynn with a table, but the challenger makes it back in at 19. Back in the ring Lynn is fired up, and hits the Cradle Piledriver and the champion kicks out at two! Nigel tries a Jawbreaker Lariat but Lynn counters with one of his own and hits the TKO for another two. Lynn tries another Cradle Piledriver but Nigel sweeps the legs into a folding press, and holds the ropes for leverage to get the pin at 22:02. I absolutely hate that finish. I know the idea is to “keep Lynn strong,” but this is wrestling, and it’s a show, and sometimes people have to lose. This was one of those times. If they’re going for the “veteran wrestler doubts himself but gets one last chance at glory” it would be a lot more compelling if Lynn didn’t have to appear on even ground with all of the young guys. It makes the whole thing hollow if the champion needs to cheat in order to beat Lynn. If Nigel had beaten Lynn clean, the post-match promo would have a lot more resonance and would make Lynn’s redemption in the end a lot more satisfying. The match itself was fine, but had all the usual things about a Lynn match that irritate me.
Rating: ***½

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