Ring of Honor: Rising Above, March 7, 2008
If anyone heard shrieking, screaming, swearing and breaking of household goods last night, not to worry! It was only me, myself and I when I discovered MY PAY PER VIEW PROVIDER DIDNíT PROVIDE ME WITH ROH! I missed it last night and was furious but I am trying again today.
ROH fans know the drill, right? I do not do play-by-play reviews of ROH events because it is impossible. There is no way that anyone could match the action in these matches with words alone. You have to see it for yourself to believe it.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS THE WINNER OF EACH MATCH!
IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EVENT AND DONíT WANT TO KNOW THE OUTCOME, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN THE SHOW!
The anticipation is killing meÖso on with the show!
Another A+ for Ring of Honor, the ROH Roster and ďRising AboveĒ!
Rated PG for language, A for action, and OMG for OH MY GAWD!
New York City
Announcer Dave Prazak welcomes the audience and introduces his broadcasting partner, Lenny Leonard.
Adam Pearce and Brent Albright are in the ring and you can guess who has the mic in his hand...
Lenny Leonard thanks the viewing audience for joining them and tells us that as a special feature tonight there are cameras all around the building in the backstage area. One of the cameras provides us with a view of Kevin Steen and El Generico in a hallway.
Pearce takes offense to the time spent on Steen and El Generico in the back and draws attention back to the ring Ė and himself. Pearce wants to address Delirious who has been in The Hangman Threeís sites for several months. Pearce calls Delirious out as Albright removes his hood and we see Albright is wearing the green and black mask of Delirious that was destroyed by The Hangman Three.
NOW I know how Delirious got himself into a match with Brent Albright!
Delirious Vs. Brent Albright
With Adam Pearce of The Hangman Three accompanied by Shane Hagadorn
This is one of those oh, crap! matches when you just know you will spend your time yelling at Delirious to STAY DOWN! Delirious is a fantastic wrestler but Albright is just plain brutal and has a distinct size advantage. You have to give Delirious credit for even getting in the ring with someone that could take him apart. And if it wasnít enough that Albright is such a powerful force, he has his backup with him outside the ring.
Delirious wears a black and red outfit into the ring tonight, complete with mask, as a replacement for his green and black mask. Delirious was thinking ahead, however, as he comes to the ring and blows some sort of mist into the face of Pearce before he goes after Albright. At one point during the match, Prazak calls Hagadorn, who is at ringside attending to the still blinded Pearce, a manservant. I wondered why Hagadorn was never working in the ring. It must not be part of his job description.
Delirious via pinfall
Time: 6 minutes
This match was an excellent show of what Delirious can do in the ring in spite of being outsized by his opponent. Both wrestlers showed a tremendous wrestling knowledge and worked quite well as opponents in this match. I only caught myself telling Delirious to stay down once. Albright went up to the top turnbuckle and performed a high dive but he didnít look comfortable doing so. Other than a lack of top rope balance, Albright deserves an outstanding grade for his work in the ring during this match. Great match!
After the three count, Pearce and BJ Whitmer join Albright in the ring to demolish Delirious. Itís not a pretty sight but Steen and El Generico hit the ring to put a stop to The Hangman Three. Hagadorn is in the ring but heís spending most of his time yelling at the crowd until Steen decides if Hagadorn is in the ring, then heís fair game. Generico and Whitmer are out on the floor battling it out. Pearce and Steen fight around the side of the ring and Necro Butcher, Tyler Black, Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey, all members of Age of the Fall, are now in the ring. Jacobs has the mic and he tries to get the crowd in New York to join AOF but the crowd isnít interested. Maybe it has something to do with your hair, Jacobs. The Hangman Three, Steen, Generico and Delirious are still battling outside the ring and we hear the sound of Julius Smokes and the Vulture Squad, consisting of Jack Evans, Jigsaw and Ruckus. Smokes has a mic and Smokes calls for a tag team scramble match. If I thought I was having a problem keeping up with the men in the ring beforeÖ
In response to Smokesí suggestion, Jigsaw goes over the top rope to take out Necro Butcher and we have men fighting in and out of the ring again.
Tag Team Scramble
The Vulture Squad (Jack Evans, Jigsaw and Ruckus Accompanied by Julius Smokes) vs.
The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black and Necro Butcher Accompanied by Lacey) vs.
The Hangman Three (Adam Pearce, BJ Whitmer and Brent Albright Accompanied by Shane Hagadorn) vs.
Kevin Steen & El Generico &Delirious
Is that enough players for everyone? With Lucha libre rules, when one wrestler leaves the ring, another wrestler can enter the match. They didnít think I was going to have enough trouble following the action.
Kevin Steen & El Generico via pinfall
Time: 7 minutes
Iíll try to cover everyone in this match but it was difficult to keep up with all of the action. Iím not complaining. This match kept me on the edge of my seat. There were numerous high-risk maneuvers, many close calls and everyone had a chance to take on everyone else in the match. Jack Evans and Ruckus did not disappoint their fans. They work very well as a team in the ring. Jigsaw did not get much in ring time and since I could not see all the action on the floor, I canít judge his performance in this match. The same thing happened with Necro Butcher. Most of his time was spent on the floor and I did not get to see him in action. Jimmy Jacobs was his usual fast paced maniacal self and though I had not seen Tyler Black very often in the ring, I saw enough of him in this match to want to see him again. Adam Pearce and Brent Albright are solid wrestlers and although they are well versed in wrestling maneuvers, they didnít show the audience much wrestling in this match. They were power houses in and out of the ring. BJ Whitmer did a good job in the time he was in the ring. I like BJ in one on one action but he did a fantastic job working with Pearce in this match. Kevin Steen amazes me every time I see him in the ring. Heís not small but heís quick and he doesnít mind taking risks. Steen and El Generico are a great tag team and would do well as champions if they get the chance in the near future. Delirious spent his time during his second match on the floor battling it out and I donít blame him. He took numerous hard hits during his match with Albright. The crowd was so loud during this match that I couldnít hear Lacey at ringside. And I cannot neglect to mention Julius Smokes standing at ringside flapping his wings Ė yes, his wings! Absolutely fantastic action!
NOTE: If you have seen the classic ďbattle royalĒ matches where everyone is in the ring at once, you MUST see one of these tag team scramble matches. Although they are fast paced and furious, it is an entirely different match. Instead of everyone trying to throw anyone over the top rope, the basic action in the ring is two wrestlers although it can be any two. With the no tag in rules, it can be confusing when you are trying to figure out who is the legal pair in the ring but it is a much more entertaining and exciting match.
Jay and Mark, The Briscoe Brothers, are backstage to tell the audience they are going for a 5-0 win on ROHís pay per views and then they are going after the AOF.
Womenís Three Way Match:
Lacey Vs. Daizee Haze Vs. Sara Del Rey
In my preview of this pay per view, I said it would be nice to see Sara Del Rey take on Lacey in a one on one match. Donít misunderstand me, I love to watch Daizee in the ring. She is great and even with her small size can take on the larger women, but I wanted to see Del Rey take Lacey down. I know she can do it. This was another match worth seeing.
Tammy Stych is at ringside watching this match.
Daizee Hazee via pinfall
Time: 7 minutes
I find it very refreshing to see a womenís tag team match that is actually a match. The women of ROH are true wrestlers. Their wrestling knowledge and ability is not seen on network television. They work as hard as the male wrestlers to keep the audience on the edge of their seats All three of these women have great agility and all three took hard knocks and Del Rey took a nasty hit that sent her off the ring apron and down to the floor. The referee in this match got his exercise trying to keep up with the women in the ring. There was as much action in this match as I saw in the tag team scramble.
Erick Stevens Vs. Davey Richards Of the No Remorse Corps
Stevens doesnít seem to be a crowd favorite in this match up. During the match, Prazak brings up the fact there is commotion in the audience area and asks Leonard if someone is signing autographs. Leonard brings the talk back to the action in the ring.
Eventually the camera pans the audience seating area and Daniel Puder is in the audience.
Davey Richards via submission
Time: 9 minutes
Stevens has a slight height and weight advantage but Richards has the upper hand in speed. Stevens kept stopping to look at Daniel Puder during the match giving Richards an even bigger advantage with the element of surprise. At one point during the match, Richards came off the top turnbuckle and flew all the way across the ring to the opposite turnbuckle to nail Stevens in the back with a dropkick. I donít know how Stevens withstood that hit. This match had action but after the first three matches of this pay per view, this match was easier to follow. That is not a bad thing for a one on one match.
After the match, Stevens has the mic and he addresses Puder. The audience suddenly becomes Stevens lovers and Puder haters. Stevens proceeds to challenge Puder to a match, but the manager ROH fans love to hate, Larry Sweeney of Sweet Ďn Sour, Inc. accompanied by Sara Del Rey, interrupts Stevens. Sweeney approaches Puder and introduces himself. Sweeney convinces Puder to go to the back with Del Rey to Sweet Ďn Sourís private suite so that he can watch the matches on closed circuit television and avoid being stuck out with the New York City crowd. Sweeney then tells the audience that Chris Hero will take out Claudio Castagnoli tonight and when that happens, Sweeney will own Claudioís contract. Sweeney then threatens to sell Claudioís contract outside of ROH just as he did with Matt Sydalís contract. Sweeney is abruptly interrupted when Claudio charges into the arena after him. Sweeney runs fast for a guy in a suit. Sweeney makes his way through the audience, out of the audience, around the outside of the ring, and into the ring where Claudio has him cornered. Sweeney is saved by Sweet Ďn Sourís personal trainer Tank Toland and Bobby Dempsey. Claudio takes out Toland and Dempsey, Sweeney hits Claudio in the back and as Claudio prepares to take out Sweeney, into the ring comes Chris Hero.
Claudio Castagnoli Vs. Chris Hero Of Sweet Ďn Sour, Inc. With Larry Sweeney, Tank Toland & Bobby Dempsey
Hero really does need some help getting his outfits color coordinated. This purple and green thing he is wearing hurts my eyes. The one plus about this match is that perhaps Claudio will finally get his hands on Larry Sweeney.
Time: 9 minutes
Thank goodness! I was a little concerned that we were going to be losing Claudio but, as usual, he came through! Claudio didnít get his chance at Sweeney but I can wait until the next ROH event.
Everyone knows Iím a big Claudio Castagnoli fan but Chris Hero does a great job in the ring. Watching Claudio and Hero fly around the ring is amazing. They are both agile and quick and work well against each other as opponents every time they face each other in competition. They use the ropes as easily as a smaller ring worker. They both show working wrestling knowledge and this match was nothing less than I would expect from the two ROH roster members in the ring. The match was filled with good wrestling moves and counter moves. I donít know how they took the hits in this match and got back up to keep going. This is another must see match.
The Briscoe Brothers are backstage warming up for their Tag Team Title match and via split screen we see AOF members Jimmy Jacobs, Necro Butcher, Tyler Black and Lacey. Jacobs acknowledges the Briscoe Brothers are looking for them and decide instead to take the fight to the Briscoe Brothers. Be careful what you wish for Jacobs.
Relaxed Rules Grudge Match
Look out for: Takeshi Morishima, Backdrop Driver, Size & Agility, Anger Factor, Bryan Danielson, Cattle Mutilation, Elbow Strikes, Thirst for Revenge
Takeshi Morishima from Tokyo, Japan, weighing 149 kilos
American Dragon Bryan Danielson from Aberdeen, WA, weighing 1Ö
And Danielsonís weight announcement gets cut off because Morishima goes out of the ring to meet Danielson. Rest assured that Morishima outweighs Danielson.This has all the elements for a major brawl but Morishima certainly has the size advantage in height and weight.
American Dragon Bryan Danielson via disqualification
Time: 9 minutes
I think Danielson bled for 8 Ĺ minutes of the 9 minutes of the match.
Danielson has the speed advantage, but he develops a cut on his forehead early in the match and the cut is a major bleed. Morishima took out two refs before they can get him stopped and Danielson is still going after Morishima. With all the blood on Danielsonís face, I donít know he could see anything. This was a match that started out rough and got rougher. I did want Danielson to stay down on the mat Ė there was blood everywhere and it all once belonged to Danielson -- but he was determined not to let Morishima win. Morishima is tough and fast and agile but Danielson shone throughout this match. Morishima was the one down in the ring and Danielson, still bleeding, was on his feet when it was all over. Danielson says he is the best wrestler in the world. He may not be THE best, but heís not far from it. After this match, ROH referees may be demanding hazard pay.
The Hangman Three with Shane Hagadorn are backstage. Albright is complaining about how The Vulture Squad cost them the tag team scramble earlier tonight. They go looking for The Vulture Squad who we see via split screen is in another area backstage.
ROH World Tag Team Championship Match
2 out of 3 Falls
Jay & Mark Briscoe, The Briscoe Brothers (c) Vs. Rocky Romero & Roderick Strong (No Remorse Corps)
My favorites in this match are the Briscoe Brothers not only because they are the current champions but they work as such a well-synchronized unit. Rocky Romero is excellent in the ring and Roderick Strong can hold his own against his opponents. Romero and Strong have as good a chance as anyone to become the next ROH tag team champions.
Winners: Roderick Strong & Rocky Romero via pinfall
Time: 12 minutes
Great beginning to this match with a full 12 minutes of action. There were several close pinfalls.
Winners: The Briscoe Brothers via pinfall
Time: 4 minutes
Only 4 minutes and nothing but quick and efficient in the ring action during this round. Iím breathing a little easier now that the Briscoes have won the second fall. The live audience is chanting for the Briscoe Brothers as well.
Fall 3 and Winners of the Match
Jay & Mark Briscoe The Briscoe Brothers, who retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship
Time: 3 minutes
This match was action packed, fast paced and kept everyoneís eyes on the ring. The Briscoe Brothers certainly did some of great team work in this match up. Romero and Strong gave it their best shot but the Briscoe Brothers remain one of the greatest tag teams out there today. Mega hits, mega high-risk maneuvers, constant action. This was another spectacular fast paced ROH match and a must see no matter who your favorite tag team might be.
Camera shots of the hallways and the room where The Vulture Squad is hanging out. In one hallway, we see The Hangman Three searching for The Vulture Squad. In another hallway, we see Age of the Fall searching for The Vulture Squad. I think Necro Butcher is carrying a crowbar! In another area, Nigel McGuinness and Austin Aries are facing each other with a referee in the middle keeping them apart.
ROH World Title Match
Austin Aries from Milwaukee, WI, weighing 205 lbs. Vs. Nigel McGuinness from London, England, weighing 222 lbs. (c)
I hate this! I am a fan of both of these wrestlers and I canít decide who to cheer for. I have faith in Austin but Nigel took that title belt away from Takeshi Morishima. That wasnít an easy thing to do and Austin is nowhere near the size of Morishima.
OH MY GAWD! I am SO not kidding! Aries delivered a suicide dive that slammed Nigel face first into the guardrail and Nigel suffers a cut above his eye as a result. He got back to his feet and back into the match. He should be down for the count. I thought the fans in the front row were going to be wearing the guardrail Ė thatís how far it went when Nigel hit it! Another NO! NO! NO! moment as Nigel delivers a tower of London from the ring apron sending Austin down to the floor. Those were just two of the heart stopping slams in this match.
Winner: Nigel McGuinness, who retains the ROH World Championship
Time: 23 minutes
Nigel entered this match with tape on his left shoulder. The two wrestlers do shake hands prior to the bell. During the match, Leonard tells us that Nigel had injured his left shoulder earlier. We have true wrestling holds and submission maneuvers from both of these wrestlers and the result is one exciting match. It is difficult to watch a match between two of your favorite wrestlers but their wrestling styles are so different and they are so athletic and tough, it was impossible not to keep your eyes glued to the television.
In the back, The Age of the Fall and The Briscoe Brothers meet up and we have a brawl in the hall. The Hangman Three and The Vulture Squad appear and the hall gets a little crowded but there are fists flying nonetheless. Even Lacey and Daizee Haze go after each other.
ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness with one nasty looking cut over his right eye is shown on camera before the show ends.
NOTE: If my information is correct, Nigel suffered a concussion, a broken nose, and received 14 stitches to close the gash over his right eye.
Not to leave out the other important people that worked on this pay per view, Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard did their usual informative calling the matches. The fans appreciate a running commentary that provides the different holds and maneuvers each wrestler uses as well as the backgrounds of the wrestlers in the match. The referees involved in the matches were animated and active during the matches and special kudos to the refs who took hits from Morishima during his match with Danielson. The sound system has been better during the last two pay per view events and the mat seems to have a little more give than it has had in the past. The cameramen and/or camerawomen kept the action coming to the screen.
All in all, this pay per view is definitely a must see for ROH fans. If you are not an ROH fan, check it out! You too can be chanting ROH! ROH! ROH! until the next pay per view!
For more information on Ring of Honor, visit their website!