Injustice II

Inman Sports Club – Edison, NJ – Saturday, January 17, 2009

MATCH #1: Brent Albright vs. Rhett Titus

Titus feigns a handshake and struts instead. That just angers Albright even further, so he gives Titus a wedgie. Titus chops Albright, who responds by chasing him around the ring. Back inside Titus is able to avoid Albright, and then gloats about it. Albright is not amused. He chops Titus and press slams him to the mat. He follows up with an impressive delayed vertical suplex. Titus comes back with some dirty tactics. He’s keeping up with Albright, and as I think about it now, I’m pretty sure Titus is the most successful graduate of the ROH Wrestling Academy. Titus gets too cocky though and Albright comes back with his power. Albright hits an impressive dropkick and an exploder suplex. He tries the Half-Nelson Suplex and Titus counters with a low blow, and then hits a dropkick for two. Titus tries the Sexy Piledriver, but Albright escapes and hits the Half-Nelson Suplex to get the pin at 7:17. That was a decent opener and much better than Titus’s match from last night.
Rating: **

MATCH #2: Four Corner Survival – Necro Butcher vs. Damien Wayne vs. Delirious vs. Sean Denny

I hate Sean Denny’s music. Necro attacks Delirious right away and takes it to the floor. In the ring Wayne and Denny finally start fighting. Necro has a chair and executes the Chair Slam on Delirious. ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness joins the commentary team. Basically two separate matches are going on right now. Denny knocks Wayne to the floor, and they finally cross paths with Necro, who hits them both with a chair. Delirious and Necro make it back to the ring and Necro is in control. Denny makes a blind tag and takes his sweet time entering the ring. That was awkward. Necro is all over Denny with punches, and Delirious makes the blind tag and takes Necro to the floor. Delirious hits a Russian Legsweep into the guardrail. He gets back in the ring and fights with Denny now. He hits a neckbreaker and Wayne makes the tag so he can go for the cover himself. He only gets a two-count. Wayne hits an elbow drop for two. He places Denny on the top turnbuckle and tries a superplex. Denny reverses it and hits a German Suplex off the second rope. Necro breaks up the subsequent pin attempt. Delirious tries re-entering the match via the top rope, but Necro stops him and hits a Super Necrocanrana. Wayne then tosses him to the floor and hits an impressive slingshot guillotine legdrop to the floor. That leaves Delirious and Denny in the ring. Delirious hits the Cobra Clutch Suplex and the Panic Attack. He follows up with Shadows over Hell for the win at 7:29. Denny and Wayne didn’t do much to impress me, and Delirious versus Necro has been another one of those “I win one then you win one” kind of feuds that never goes anywhere.
Rating: *½

Kyle Durden is in the ring to interview Austin Aries. He asks Aries for an explanation for his recent actions, specifically against Tyler Black. Aries denies the request, and goes off on a rant about the fickle bandwagon jumping fans. He then declares that he will not be taking his title shot tonight, because this B show crowd doesn’t deserve it. He punches out Durden, and then Tyler Black comes out. He says that if Aries doesn’t want the title shot, then he should get it. He then goes to attack Aries, and Jimmy Jacobs attacks him from behind. Jay Briscoe comes out to clear the ring, and now he gets on the mic. He challenges Aries and Jacobs to a three-way match and they agree.

MATCH #3: Three Way Match – Austin Aries vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jay Briscoe

Aries and Jacobs simultaneously stall to start the match, and begin circling Jay on either side of the ring. They make it into the ring and double-team Jay, which is a little strange after their months-long feud. At least they’re not all buddy-buddy about it; I think it works. Aries tries the Heat Seeking Missile on Jay, but he moves and Aries hits Jacobs instead. Jay works on Aries in the ring now, while Jacobs recovers on the floor. Jacobs recovers and trips Jay from the floor. Aries puts on the Last Chancery and Jacobs hits a dropkick to Jay’s face. That breaks the hold, so Aries and Jacobs argue, giving Jay the chance to recover. Jay hits Jacobs with a Blockbuster and Aries breaks up the pin at two. Aries and Jacobs get back to double-teaming Jay for a few minutes but they certainly don’t completely trust each other. They finally start throwing punches at each other, and that gives Jay the chance to recover, but he soon gets double-teamed again. He hits a simultaneous DDT/STO on his opponents. He goes for the Jay Driller on Aries but Jacobs grabs him in the End Time. Jay powers out of it, but Jacobs then hits the Contra Code, and Jay kicks out at two. Jacobs goes to the top rope, but Jay throws Aries into him to crotch him, and then he hits a double-stack Death Valley Driver for a double two-count. He goes for the Jay Driller on Jacobs, but Aries breaks that up. Aries goes for the corner dropkick but Jay avoids it. Jacobs comes in with a spear but Jay moves and he hits Aries instead. Jay then rolls Jacobs up for the pin at 8:45. It actually had an interesting dynamic, with Jacobs and Aries working together but not happily, and Jay trying to outlast both of them. Unfortunately, I feel a strong disconnect between what Aries said in his promo and the way he wrestles. Jacobs must agree, because he spits his gum at Aries after the match. Aries picks it up and puts it in his mouth. Okay, that was a little strange. Bobby Cruise then announces that ROH Owner Cary Silkin has granted Tyler Black’s request to challenge for the World Title tonight.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #4: Lumberjack Strap Match – Roderick Strong & Erick Stevens vs. The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)

Prince Nana really wants to be a lumberjack, and the crowd wants to see it too. Sadly, ROH doesn’t agree and he gets herded out of the arena. The lumberjacks are all pretty much jobbers. One of them looks like CJ Otis. The good guys attack before the ring introductions can be completed, and they take the early control. They beat on both Edwards and Richards in the opening minutes. I like Stevens better with his Mohawk. The Wolves just can’t get any sort of offense going here. The lumberjacks are not discriminating in who they whip with their straps. Richards finally takes over on Strong, and the Wolves go after his leg. Strong gets dumped to the floor and the lumberjacks swarm. Back in the ring Strong is able to hit a superplex. Both men are down, but then they get up and make tags. Stevens is on fire, throwing Edwards around the ring. Richards gets dumped to the floor and Strong follows him out with a dive, wiping out the lumberjacks. The referee gets distracted, and Sweeney brings a chair into the ring. Edwards waffles Stevens in the head with it to score the pin at 10:31. That was a solid match, and the Wolves have become one of the more over acts in Ring of Honor.
Rating: ***

MATCH #5: Grizzly Redwood vs. Chris Escobar

Escobar feigns a handshake and locks on a headlock instead. He takes Redwood down to the mat with it. Redwood gets a quick rollup for two but Escobar hangs on to the headlock. The littlest lumberjack reverses and puts on a headlock of his own. ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness rejoins the booth as Redwood chops Escobar down to the mat and hits a fist drop. He is adamant that Black will not win the title. Redwood uses his hand as a mock saw to “cut Escobar’s head off.” I’m sorry but I just don’t find him entertaining. Escobar comes back as the commentators talk about the main event instead of this match. And that’s fine. Escobar hits a few more moves, and then Bison Smith comes in and suplexes both guys at the same time for the no-contest at 2:56. The match obviously wasn’t much but I think it was a good use of Bison Smith, so I’m all for it.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #6: Jerry Lynn vs. Bryan Danielson

They show clips of their first encounter back in December at All-Star Extravaganza IV in Philadelphia. They take it to the mat right away, even trading some pinning combinations and they do a standoff. Thanks for that, Jerry. Lynn stays hold-for-hold with Danielson as Leonard goes on about how they are so “evenly matched.” Well then how can I get behind this storyline of Lynn thinking he might not have it anymore when he’s constantly being portrayed on an even playing field with the Best in the World? Danielson takes the advantage and wears Lynn down, specifically the arm. Lynn comes back with a chinlock. They’re just trading moves now. Danielson hits a flying knee off the top, and Lynn rolls to the floor. Lynn gets no rest though, as Danielson follows him out with another flying knee. Back in the ring Danielson hits a Missile Dropkick and a running knee strike for a two-count. Lynn comes back and hits his legdrop on the apron and Danielson falls to the floor. He follows Danielson out with a somersault senton off the apron. Back in the ring Lynn hits a cross body off the top for a two-count. Lynn tries a tornado DDT but Danielson blocks it and tries another running knee strike, but Lynn counters it to a half Boston Crab. Danielson is able to grab Lynn in a Triangle Choke and he hits some elbow strikes. Lynn reaches the ropes. Danielson presumably tries a rana, so Lynn can hit a powerbomb for a two-count. Lynn tries the Cradle Piledriver but Danielson blocks it, twice. Danielson hits a Tiger Suplex with a bridge for two, and then rolls it to the elbow strikes to the face. He locks on Cattle Mutilation. Lynn escapes so Danielson hits more elbows until Lynn kind of falls into the ropes to break the hold. Danielson sets Lynn up for the Belly-to-Back Superplex, but settles for a running dropkick in the Tree of Woe. He tries the Superplex again but Lynn fights out and tries a Sunset Bomb. Danielson blocks it into a rana and then locks on the Triangle Choke. Lynn just busts out of it and hits a Tornado DDT. He follows up with a lariat and the Cradle Piledriver to get the pin at 16:36. The finish makes no sense to me. Lynn has no reason for self-doubt, and that’s killing the effectiveness of the angle. Well, that and the inherent lameness of Jerry Lynn. On its own the match was fun though.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #7: ROH World Title Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Tyler Black

They start off with clips of their first meeting, in March of last year on the Take No Prisoners pay-per-view. Next they show clips from the four-way elimination match at Death Before Dishonor VI. Finally, they show clips from last night, when Black pinned Nigel clean in a non-title match. McGuinness has been the champion since 10.6.07, and this is his thirty-second defense.

Since Black is a babyface, he is now stupid, proven by the fact that he turns his back on the champion and pays for it in the early going. Nigel throws him to the floor and whips him into the barricade. He continues to control the action, once again whipping Black into the barricade. The champion is specifically targeting the shoulder, which sets up for the London Dungeon, which he used to beat Black at the aforementioned Take No Prisoners show. Since he is a heel, Nigel is stupid, so he turns his back to jaw with the fans and when he turns around he gets blasted with a springboard dropkick. Nigel rolls to the floor and Black gives him a taste of his own medicine by whipping him into the barricade. Black uses everything outside the ring to wear down the champion, including the ring post. He knocks Nigel into the audience, and some women in the front row show that they clearly aren’t wrestling fans. Black uses the guardrail as a springboard and hits a clothesline to knock Nigel down. I have to admit that the feel of a title change is in the air. Black gets back in the ring and waits for the champion. Nigel gets on the microphone and basically says he’s bailing on the match. Bryan Danielson comes out and defends the honor of the World Title and threatens to kill the current champion. Black herds Nigel back to the ring and the match continues.

The challenger is firmly in control now. He puts Nigel in the Tree of Woe and connects with a running dropkick for a near-fall. Nigel comes back with a thumb to the eye and throws Black to the floor. He charges at Black against the guardrail but eats a boot to the face. Black comes back in the ring with a slingshot spin kick for another two-count. He continues to wear Nigel down with a chinlocks and headlocks and stuff. Nigel counters with a head scissors but Black escapes and hits a dropkick for two. Back to their feet Nigel grabs Tyler’s arm and slams him down to the mat. The champion zeroes in on the arm that he worked on last night as well. He toys with Black a little too much and Black gets a double leg pick up and some punches to the face. He snap-mares Nigel and kicks him between the shoulders. He stomps Nigel in the face and the champion again rolls to the floor. Black follows him out, but Nigel grabs him and slams his shoulder into the ring post. Back in the ring Nigel hurls Black over the top rope and right onto the timekeeper’s table. Referees are checking on Black, and this feels like stalling. Nigel once again gets on the microphone and declares the match over. We’re around 23 minutes in at this point. Black courageously makes his way back to the ring, despite Nigel’s death threats. Nigel immediately goes for a cover but Black kicks out and the crowd is feeling it now. The champion hits his first lariat of the match and Black kicks out again! Black comes back with a running forearm, a boot to the face, and a belly-to-back suplex for a two-count. Nigel avoids a Lionsault but Black hits a standing shooting star press instead for two. Black goes to the top rope but Nigel stops him and hits a superplex for two. Nigel tries the Jawbreaker but Black avoids it and hits a neckbreaker for two. The champion comes back with a Tower of London on the floor and both men are down. Black barely makes it back in before the count of 20. He comes back with a Pele Kick out of nowhere. He goes up for the Phoenix Splash and Jimmy Jacobs is on the ring apron to distract him. Meanwhile Austin Aries sneaks up from behind and pushes Black to the floor, and hits a brainbuster on him. Now Jerry Lynn is in the ring and hits a Cradle Piledriver on the champion. Jay Briscoe is out now and he goes after Jacobs and Aries. The American Wolves join the fray, and that brings out Brent Albright, Roderick Strong, and Erick Stevens. We’re just past the 30-minute mark here. Bryan Danielson comes out to cut a promo about how this isn’t the way ROH does business in their World Title matches. Jacobs wants to hear none of that, so he clobbers Danielson from behind. This reminds me of the first segment on the first show when Da Hit Squad did a “sports-entertainment” segment with the Christopher Street Connection and Allison Danger, just to say that they weren’t going to be a “sports-entertainment” kind of company. The brawl continues on the floor, and most of them make their way into the crowd. Danielson wipes them all out with a dive from the top rope. Prazak mentions that he hasn’t heard the bell ring yet, which is the key. The original match participants are back in the ring now, while the big brawl continues in the crowd. Cruise announces that the match will continue!

The crowd is on fire for Tyler Black now. Black goes to the top rope but Nigel hits a low blow and goes for the Tower of London, which gets reversed to the Paroxysm for two! Both men are down. They get back up and Black hits another Pele. He follows up with the springboard lariat for another two! Nigel comes back with a lariat of his own for two. He tries a lariat with Black on the top rope, but the challenger avoids it. Nigel hits a Tower of London on the apron instead and once again both men are down. Both men barely make it back to the ring, and Nigel is still in control. Nigel locks on the London Dungeon but Black reaches the ropes. He hits the Tower of London and puts the London Dungeon back on. We’re just over 40 minutes in now. Black escapes with a kick to the head but Nigel comes back with the Jawbreaker Lariat and Black gets his foot on the bottom rope! Back to their feet Nigel slaps the challenger a few times, but there’s still life in Tyler Black! He gets a schoolboy rollup for two and hits another kick to the head for two. Both men rise to their feet and Black hits God’s Last Gift but Nigel kicks out! Black tries another one and Nigel counters with a small package for two. The challenger hits a boot to the face and tries the Phoenix Splash, but Nigel moves. Nigel covers for a two-count. He goes to the top rope and Black knocks him down and slams him down. Black goes up and hits a huge Frog Splash but Nigel kicks out at two! He tries God’s Last Gift again but Nigel blocks it. Black avoids a lariat and hits the Buckle Bomb and follows up with a superkick, which is how he beat Nigel last night. Then the bell rings, signifying a time limit draw at 48:09. What, you didn’t hear Bobby Cruise announce the 48:09 time limit either?

The crowd asks for five more minutes, but they’re really entitled to almost twelve. Leonard thinks something foul is afoot, but Prazak defends the champion of course. The crowd seems on to the fact that it wasn’t really 60 minutes. It’s really sad that whoever was in charge of the time can’t tell 48 minutes from 60, but it’s even worse that they tried to make some sort of story up about the timekeeper and as of this writing they have yet to follow up on it. The match, even with the interference, was really quite good, and the crowd was just rabid for Tyler Black to win. These two have great chemistry together and this would have been a great match for Tyler to win the title. The fans really thought they were going to see it, and while it’s always right to give the fans what they want, but in this case it would have been. This is the match that really Lex Luger’d Tyler Black for the foreseeable future.
Rating: ****