End of an Age

Frontier Fieldhouse – Chicago, Illinois – Saturday, June 27, 2009

Misawa Ten Bell Salute

Everyone is at ringside for a 10-bell salute for the recently departed legend Mitsuharu Misawa. KENTA and ROH owner Cary Silkin stand in the ring with a framed photo while the crowd respectfully observes the 10-bell salute and a moment of silence. I admit I’m not as well versed in the career of Misawa as many of my contemporaries are, but the circumstances of his death are no doubt sad, and he was definitely a legend in the business.

MATCH #1: Six Man Mayhem – Rhett Titus vs. Delirious vs. Sami Callihan vs. Silas Young vs. Egotistico Fantastico vs. Alex Payne

I have no problem admitting that I really hate Alex Payne. I’m also not that fond of Sami Callihan or Rhett Titus. On the other hand I’ve only seen two Egotistico Fantastico matches, Silas Young I think should be given a chance to get over, and I’m a big fan of Delirious. I wish they would come up with a storyline for Delirious. Delirious and Payne start the match. As is the case with most Six Man Mayhem matches, I don’t expect to do a lot of play-by-play. Hey, you know who sucks? Alex Payne. You know who else sucks? Sami Callihan. Of course we get the spot where Titus gets his pants pulled down and we have to see his ass for a while. Eventually we wind up with Fantastico and Callihan in the ring. They do some stuff and Callihan goes to the floor, so Young replaces him in the ring. I definitely think they should try to push Silas Young and see if he can get over. He and Ego go at it for a while, and Young hits a big German suplex off the top rope, so Ego rolls to the floor. Payne comes in the ring to battle his nemesis, and Young slides to the floor to avoid him. Titus gets in the ring to battle his fellow ROH student. He goes for the Muff Driver but Delirious breaks it up and he and Payne hit a double Sexy Suplex, and they work together on everyone, sending them all to the floor and following them out with stereo dives off the top rope. Ego gets back in the ring and goes for a somersault plancha, which pretty much misses all five guys but they sell it anyway. Back in the ring they work in the requisite Tower of Doom spot, which involved everyone except Titus. So naturally Titus goes for a cover on everyone but can’t get a pin. Moments later Titus hits a pop-up Super X-Factor on Payne, which is pretty impressive. Delirious works in a Here It Is Driver in honor of Evan Bourne. The match totally breaks down with everyone going for finishers and big moves. Eventually it’s Delirious hitting Young with the Shadows over Hell that finally gets the pin at 11:33. That was pretty decent for an opener and everyone got to show their stuff. Delirious puts over Payne at the end of the match.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #2: Erick Stevens vs. Rasche Brown

They take it to the mat to start, which is a bit of a surprise. Then they get up and bring the power game into play. Brown scores the first knockdown with a big shoulderblock, and then he hits a Pounce! Man, I miss Marcus Cor Von. Back up on his feet, Stevens starts trading blows, and Brown is going step for step with him. Stevens comes back with a clothesline to send Brown over the ropes and to the floor. He follows him out with a suicide dive through the ropes. Back in the ring Brown resumes control, hitting a side slam for two. Brown hits a modified Jackhammer for a two-count. Stevens tries to recover with a bodyslam but Brown falls back on him for a two-count. Brown then locks on the Camel Clutch. Stevens powers up and lifts Brown onto his shoulders for a Samoan drop. The crowd is into it. Stevens hits a shoulder tackle from the second rope, but Brown shrugs it off and hits a Spear for two. They continue to struggle with each other until Stevens hits a nasty looking German suplex and the Choo-Choo. Once again Brown shrugs him off and hits a Chokeslam for two. Brown tries a charge in the corner but Stevens levels him with a clothesline. Stevens follows up with the Doctor Bomb to get the hard fought win at 9:12. That match was all about getting Rasche Brown over as a tough, powerful guy, and Stevens was game. They got the crowd into it, so I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch actually. The selling was pretty much non-existent, but I get what they were going for.
Rating: **½

The Nature Boy Comes to Chi Town

“Ric Flair used to own [name of city]. He used to party a lot in [name of city]. ROH is really good. Thanks for paying me money to be here. I’m going to phone it all in, but since I am who I am I can get away with it and you are all a bunch of suckers. Sincerely, Ric Flair.”

MATCH #3: Petey Williams vs. Kenny King

King is accompanied by his tag team partner Rhett Titus. They bring the chain wrestling to start, with both men appearing evenly matched. King takes the first advantage and powders so that he can gloat. Back in the ring King gets another advantage and shows off his Michael Jackson dance moves, and Petey takes offense so he hits a dropkick and steps on King’s lower nut sack region. King bails again and is consoled by Titus. Back in the ring Petey is all over King, hitting a variety of maneuvers and scoring a couple of near-falls. Petey hits a rana to send King to the floor, and then he follows him out with another one on the floor. The crowd is appreciative of Petey’s efforts. Back in the ring Petey continues to dominate until King reverses the momentum with a hot shot and a big clothesline. King hits a spinebuster for a two-count, and then locks on a rear chinlock. Titus makes sure to interfere when the referee’s back is turned. Petey tries a quick Canadian Destroyer but King wisely counters it with an Alabama Slam into the turnbuckles. Ouch. That gets a two-count. King drops Petey throat-first on the top rope Randy Savage style, but when he tries a slingshot maneuver Petey dropkicks him out of the air. Both men are down and when they get up Petey hits the slingshot Codebreaker and a backbreaker. Petey follows up with the Side Russian Legsweep and goes for another Canadian Destroyer but King once again blocks it. King tries the double knees in the corner but Petey avoids it and hits a bulldog. An enziguiri to the face gets a two-count for Petey. King comes back with a spinning backbreaker for two. He tries a charge in the corner but Petey gets the boot up and he goes up top. Petey takes too much time and King knocks him down and hits the Pele kick. King hits a spinning uranage but Petey kicks out at two. He sets Petey on the top rope, and Petey rolls through with a sunset bomb. Petey tries another Canadian Destroyer but King once again blocks it, but Petey reverses that to a DDT, and then hits a tornado DDT on top of that. He tries the Canadian Destroyer once again and King blocks it, so he locks on the Sharpshooter instead. Titus hops up on the apron so the referee doesn’t see King tapping out. Petey turns his back to yell at Titus, so King hits the shotgun knees to the back. King then plants Petey with the Coronation to get the big win at 14:39. Titus jumps in the ring as they try to double-team the beaten man, but Petey recovers and nails King with the Canadian Destroyer, much to the delight of the crowd. That was a good solid match, as King continues to climb the ladder.
Rating: ***

MATCH #4: KENTA vs. Tyler Black

KENTA is the GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion, but the title is not on the line here. I expect a lot of offense in this one. Black hits the first big move, a nice dropkick to the face. KENTA comes back and stomps Black down in the corner. They continue to trade offense with neither man gaining a clear cut advantage in the opening minutes. KENTA uses a bevy of kicks, and Black absorbs them and tries using fast paced strikes and high flying maneuvers to gain an advantage. The first 10 minutes has been pretty back and forth, but I’d probably give it to KENTA on points. As I write that KENTA hits a superplex, and moments later hits a sick double stomp for a two-count. Moments later Black comes back and bodyslams KENTA all the way to the floor, and then follows him out with a somersault dive. Back in the ring Black hits an F-5 for two. The Paroxysm gets another near-fall. He goes for the Buckle Bomb but KENTA counters and hits a bridging Tiger Suplex for a two-count. They trade finisher attempts and it ends with Black hitting a weak looking DDT. He picks KENTA up and pays for it as KENTA hits the Go 2 Sleep but Black kicks out at two! Black responds with a superkick out of nowhere and then hits the Buckle Bomb. He goes for another superkick but KENTA blocks it and hits another Go 2 Sleep to get the victory at 17:49. That was non-stop action by two incredible athletes.
Rating: ****

AS KENTA makes his way to the back we hear more screaming over the loud speaker and men dressed in black rush the ring to attack Tyler Black! Soon Jimmy Jacobs comes out to join them and he motions for a hook to come down from the ceiling. He tries to hang Tyler just like they did to Jay Briscoe back at the Man Up! pay-per-view, but Kevin Steen and El Generico make the save! Black recovers and hits Jacobs with the God’s Last Gift. He attaches Jacobs to the hook as Delirious raises him into the rafters! Black emphatically declares that the Age of The Fall is dead, and I believe that was a fitting ending.

MATCH #5: Chicago Street Fight – Colt Cabana & Brent Albright vs. Joey Ryan & Claudio Castagnoli

Ryan and Castagnoli are accompanied by Prince Nana and Dirty Ernie Osiris. Sweet, Albright wears a backwards camouflage hat to the ring so I know he’s a cool guy. Given the stipulation of this one it’s likely to pretty much be a big brawl. The good guys bring a table into the ring within the first minute, and they’re totally dominating. The fight spills into the crowd as the commentators bail. If they’re not going to call the action then neither am I! Unfortunately minutes later Prazak and Leonard return, so I’m back as well. They’re back in the ring and Albright locks Castagnoli in the Crowbar and Cabana locks Ryan in the Billy Goat’s Curse. Nana and Osiris run in to break up the holds and the good guys give chase. The Embassy takes their four-on-two advantage and beat Cabana and Albright down. That doesn’t last too long before the good guys take control again and bring in another table. Nana and Osiris interfere again to give the Embassy the advantage. Claudio and Albright fight on the floor while Ryan and Cabana battle in the ring. They set up a pile of chairs and Cabana goes for a superplex, but Ryan reverses it to a moustache ride but can’t get the pin. Referee Paul Turner removes the chairs from the ring, which makes no sense since it’s a street fight. Albright knocks Claudio into the crowd and follows him out with a dive from the top rope. Back in the ring Nana tries to attack Cabana and pays for it. Cabana goes for a Colt 45 but Ryan rescues him. Moments later Cabana hits Nana with the flying asshole, and then hits one on Ryan through the table and that’s enough for the win at 15:33. That seemed longer than it really was but it was mostly fine for a garbage brawl right after intermission.
Rating: **

MATCH #6: D-Lo Brown vs. Roderick Strong

I feel bad for Roderick Strong, getting saddled with D-Lo Brown here. The match starts with an immediate chop battle, and Strong ends it with a leg lariat that sends D-Lo to the floor. Strong follows him out and works him over with more chops and things. Back in the ring D-Lo takes control and tries to out-chop Strong again. The crowd is into D-Lo, but since it’s his hometown I’ll give them a pass. D-Lo continues to control the match with his boring offense. He hits a diving lariat for two. A delayed vertical suplex gets another two-count. Eventually Strong recovers and hits a superplex for two. A jackknife cradle gets another near-fall. He goes for the Gibson Driver but D-Lo reverses it to a pinning combination for two. D-Lo hits a nice TKO for two as the crowd chants his name. Strong recovers and hits the gutbuster and the running Yakuza kick for two. He goes for another Gibson but D-Lo blocks it and falls into a pinning combination and uses the ropes to 9:17. I really don’t think D-Lo Brown adds anything to the roster, and his matches have all been ridiculously dull so far.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #7: The American Wolves vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

The American Wolves are the ROH World Tag Team Champions, but the titles are not on the line in this match. If Steen & Generico win, they get a title rematch and get to pick the stipulation. But if the Wolves win, then Steen & Generico will never get another title shot. While that makes pretty good logical sense, it does kind of telegraph the finish. Steen and Generico are the aggressors early on, as they have the most to prove here. They first pick on Richards, working him over in their half of the ring. That doesn’t last too long, as the Wolves take over on Steen and start wearing him down with kicks. Steen comes back with a DDT on Richards and makes the tag to Generico. The Wolves use some sneaky tactics to overtake Generico and work on his injured knee. That’s just smart strategy. After several minutes of abuse Generico makes the hot tag, and Steen just murders the tag team champions. He throws both of them around with reckless abandon, but can’t manage to put one of them away. Generico gets tagged back in and hits Edwards with a high cross body off the top rope for two. He follows up with a Michinoku Driver for two. The Wolves use some clever double-teaming to reclaim advantage on Generico, and Edwards hits a big powerbomb for two. The champs follow up with a powerbomb/lungblower combination, and then Edwards locks on a half crab. Steen breaks up the hold. Generico valiantly fights back, and somehow Edwards’s wrist gets cut open. Steen gets the hot tag, and he and Generico are on fire here. The referee gets slightly bumped and Richards nails Steen with one of the belts, but it only gets two! The Wolves set up for the Doomsday Ace Crusher but Steen slips out and nails Edwards with a superkick, and then makes the tag. Generico goes for the Super Brainbuster, but Richards knocks him back and goes for the Shooting Star Press and misses! The Generic Luchadore hits the running Yakuza in the corner and then this time hits the Super Brainbuster! That’s enough to get the pin at 14:07. Even with the obvious result they still managed to go out there and put on a hell of an exciting match.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Nigel McGuinness

Aries won the title on 6.13.09, and this is the first defense of his second reign. This is Nigel’s rematch after losing the title to Jerry Lynn back in April. These two had a couple of incredible matches in late 2007 and early 2008, so I’m curious to see if they can come close to matching them here. They trade non-descript promos before the match can get underway. I also hate how when ROH has dueling promos the two guys have to share the microphone; it just looks bush league. Even after the bell rings Aries gets on the microphone to talk trash. Ugh. They chain wrestle to start, with Nigel attacking the arm and Aries just trying to withstand the attacks. Aries mostly stalls and plays to the crowd. He takes a powder and pays for it, as Nigel outsmarts him and throws him into the barricade. Back in the ring Nigel continues to control the champion. After several minutes of arm work, Aries dodges a headstand and dropkicks Nigel to the floor. Aries follows him out with a double ax handle off the top rope. Back in the ring Aries goes to work wearing Nigel down. After a few not exciting minutes Nigel takes over. They trade some holds back and forth, and when Nigel locks on the London Dungeon Aries immediately gets the ropes. The pace finally picks up considerably and both guys go for big moves on each other. Nigel hits a Tower of London to the floor, and the referee starts his count. They make it back to the ring and Nigel goes for another Tower of London but Aries avoids it. Nigel hits a lariat instead, but it only gets two. He goes for another London Dungeon but Aries avoids it. They trade finisher attempts, and Aries lands the kick to the head, and then hits the brainbuster go get the sudden pin and retain the title at 20:16. That took forever to get going, the finish came out of nowhere, and I’m just not that interested in either guy at this point.
Rating: **¼

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