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Thread: ROH Revisited: A Totally Non-Corona Related Marketh Reviews Comeback

  1. #181
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    Re: ROH Revisited: A Totally Non-Corona Related Marketh Reviews Comeback

    ROH on SBG - 9/9/15
    ROH World Championship
    Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong



    (I had to wait for old ROH TV episodes to pop up on torrents to get this because there's no video link anywhere, so if anyone wants this match I'll Dropbox the episode)

    Ahhh, very possibly the last ROH match I loved as a fan. No, this is not their one-hour draw (which I remember enjoying more than I expected to) but a rematch they had on TV shortly after that blew me away with how good it was and I had ranked as my top ROH match of 2015 before I stopped watching in November. Roderick Strong was in one of his motivated periods where he just churned out quality workrate matches and I was a mark for double champ Jay Lethal. He wasn't popular on this forum, but Lethal was a new man once he turned heel and shot up from one of my least favourites to an act who could do no wrong, in my opinion. Sure, his character basically became Ric Flair, but his promo game and natural charisma was finally being showcased and all his in-ring quirks I hated as a babyface translated better to a heel: his weak-ass diving shove Suicide Dives, his fucking slow setups to a often dreadful Savage Elbow - they just felt easier to watch when done by someone you're supposed to hate. This version of Lethal was refreshing and one of the last good things ROH had going for me. I was intrigued and supportive of running this double champ angle.

    Separating this from a lot of ROH main events of this era, we have a very hot crowd from before the bell that don't need brought to life. 50-50 chants. They kick things off with fast-paced strike exchanges, both looking to avoid this going 60 minutes again. Lethal sends Roddy to the floor and hits one of his patented diving shoves, then as he goes for his second, Roddy slides back in with perfect timing for Lethal rebounding off the ropes and nails him with one of the best dropkicks ever! I could be exaggerating a bit, but I've replayed this so many times - he just kicks Lethal perfectly right in the face, snapping his head back, which Lethal sells (I hope) like he's out on his feet and tumbles out the ring. I've often wondered what my reaction would've been if Roddy covered him for a 3-count here. Probably outrage, because that booking makes no sense, but if a match against a midcarder ended with this exact dropkick in the first minute, I'd probably love that and think Roddy looked like a beast. I wish this match was more accessible, a GIF of this and the slow motion replay needs to be shared around.

    We return from commercial (ugh) to an evenly-matched, stiff chopfest on the outside. The next 5 or so minutes are Lethal getting the heat and it's fine, nothing great but not boring, which is helped by a crowd that's still lively. Then we're already getting another break. We come back from this one to Roddy countering a Lethal Injection attempt into a Backbreaker and I'm not sure if we've just skipped right into the middle of Roddy's comeback or this is where it starts. Either way, hurts the drama and anticipation for me quite a bit. Roddy goes a bit Kobashi with corner chops before going to town on Lethal with elbows. Roddy looks pretty spent, so I think we've missed a lot. In a rare moment, after knocking Lethal to the mat countering a Superplex attempt, Roddy finds himself on the top rope, so uses this opportunity to hit a Savage Elbow of his own. And I think it's better and cleaner than most of the times Lethal does it! So I really liked that spot and how it came about by chance.

    I'm enjoying Roddy's selling here. Usually I find he no-sells quite a bit towards the end of matches and commentary always gives the excuse "Roderick Strong has the best stamina in the business!" which is lame. But here he's practically dead, saving up for some sudden bursts of energy then collapses dead again. It makes way more sense to me than him always being go-go-go BackbreakersGibsonDriversSickKicksEnziguiris. I like seeing Roddy fight through a deep struggle. We come back from our last commercial break (this is only like a 20 minute match, Jesus Christ, 3 of these?!) at another badly-timed point in the middle of an interference spot and Roddy cleaning house the ring of The House of Truth. Lethal sneaks in a belt shot where the crowd erupts with boos and pins Roddy after a Lethal Injection. But it's a 2! A section of the crowd leap to their feet and it's a brilliant nearfall. A perfect setup for what would've been an acceptable, but predictable dirty finish. I was completely worked by this the first time watching. The crowd loses their shit, unanimous Roddy chants while Lethal appears dumbfounded. After a brief staredown, one more Lethal Injection finally puts Roddy away.

    It's almost as good as I remember it, only the commercial breaks and their bad timing take away from it so I hope a commercial-free version exists but I doubt it. Now when I call this a MOTYC, we know I'm not comparing it to peak ROH years, but I do genuinely think very fondly of this. It's not just a workrate match, Roddy and Lethal are heated from the very start and going for the win, not trying to out-grapple each other. There's several great moments from the #BestDropkickEver, Roddy's elbow drop and the dramatic last nearfall and I think both men performed very well to sell this as a hard-fought contest. And as I've repeated, a great crowd to help bring this up to another level. The response for Roddy's kickout is one of my last great ROH memories. There should have been more of an effort on ROH's part to pimp this out after it aired, I found very little word about it in my search for consensus on the best 2015 matches. Brilliant match, beyond TV standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diksting
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  2. #182
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    Re: ROH Revisited: A Totally Non-Corona Related Marketh Reviews Comeback

    Joe vs. Kobashi
    Samoa Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi



    I highly doubt I'm going to bring anything new to the table on this one. One of the most celebrated indy, not just ROH, matches of all time and universally loved by those who know what they're looking at. The first time I watched this was also the first time I'd seen Kenta Kobashi and while I'm still not a puro expert compared to others like Steve here, I'm going into this with much more knowledge and appreciation for him now. I've covered a few of the big dicks of GOAT ROH matches already, time for me to see where I'd rank Joe/Kobashi among them.

    Goosebumps in the intros alone, watching Kobashi's surprise and awe at the American crowd treating him as the same icon he is in Japan. This was such a perfect crowd for this match, their response to everything is electric, especially to Joe slapping Kobashi and then all standing up after Kobashi's first chop. I love that's the direction they took, Joe showing no intimidation against a legend and baiting a proper fight. This is probably gonna be a short review because pretty sure I'm either just gonna be gushing about how great it is or I'll get too distracted by the epic atmosphere. This truly is an event.

    Aaand that's basically what happened. This was really difficult to look away from and there's no point getting specific about this match, you have to think of the experience as a whole. I think Punk/Joe III might have become my new favourite ROH match after reviewing it and while I don't think Joe/Kobashi tops it in drama and storytelling, it probably does for that intangible specialness it possesses. I'm gonna end up overusing the word "atmosphere", but it really is such a naturally occurring factor that makes this match what it is. A present-day star (in this territory) in his prime and a foreign legend who can still go, being seen in a new environment. And a crowd where this is a dream match for 100% of the room, all losing their shit for every moment. It all just came together organically and produced this epic encounter. This all elevates the match to that top-tier level, but even with a lesser crowd, it is a well-built match. The strike exchanges that demonstrate the brutality of Kobashi's chops and show Joe's toughness taking them, they all culminate in that classic rapidfire corner chops sequence with everyone going ballistic each time Kobashi fires up. Kobashi makes an underdog out of Joe for a while, physically beating him down, which we don't see as often as smaller guys like Danielson and Punk having to outsmart or outwrestle him. So when Joe makes a comeback against the legend it feels even sweeter, especially as Kobashi has to struggle to the ropes in a long submission attempt that one-by-one has Joe snatching a limb away from the ropebreak. Joe bumped like fuck for Kobashi: two Half-Nelson Suplexes and a Sleeper Suplex that all dump him on his head and neck. They're not just going out there to do the Greatest Hits of Kobashi, they worked for something that has people still talking about today.

    I also fell victim to that cliche of "you totally forget there's no commentary~!", because I did forget until one of the only quiet bits. So that's one of the best production calls ROH have had. I'm sure they've repeated this later for matches they wanted to force you to believe were epics. It's hard not to feel good from this match, it's such a WIN for everyone involved. Kobashi enters a hero, gives a top effort even though the fans would be happy seeing him phone it in. Joe, as an obvious All Japan fan, gets to have a match he probably dreamed of having with any of the Four Pillars (shame about the Misawa one). ROH get a huge showcase that furthers their brand and reputation as the place for the best international wrestling and the doors to booking more NOAH talent open. The fans get to witness a rare dream match that lives up to being a classic. It's still amazing, I'm not sure I'd call it my absolute favourite ROH match, but I definitely appreciate it more fully now than when I first saw it.

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  3. #183
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    Re: ROH Revisited: A Totally Non-Corona Related Marketh Reviews Comeback

    I was there live, sitting in the third row. I can safely say it was one of the fondest memories of live wrestling from my childhood. Only 13 at the time, I had been to numerous ROH shows in the NY/NJ area, so I quickly latched onto the hard hitting 'work rate' style of wrestling they delivered. I used to check the ROH Newswire daily when I got home from school, and when it was announced that Joe would be taking on Kenta Kobashi at the show I already had tickets for, my first thought was "who the hell is Kenta Kobashi?"

    From there, I went on ebay (using my parents credit card ) and ended up bidding and winning on a NOAH Best of Kobashi DVD. I was instantly hooked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marketh View Post
    Goosebumps in the intros alone, watching Kobashi's surprise and awe at the American crowd treating him as the same icon he is in Japan. This was such a perfect crowd for this match, their response to everything is electric, especially to Joe slapping Kobashi and then all standing up after Kobashi's first chop. I love that's the direction they took, Joe showing no intimidation against a legend and baiting a proper fight. This is probably gonna be a short review because pretty sure I'm either just gonna be gushing about how great it is or I'll get too distracted by the epic atmosphere. This truly is an event.
    The atmosphere of the venue that night is something that words cannot describe. You hit it right on the head when you said it was truly an event. The only other atmosphere I can compare it to from a live perspective was RVD/Cena at ONS in 2006, and I'm pretty sure a lot of that crowd was here for Joe/Kobashi.

    From what I recall, the entire card was pretty solid, but you could feel the buzz in the air when everyone knew it was time for the main event. I've never seen so many streamers being thrown simultaneously when Kobashi made his entrance. The match itself was one of the stiffest ones I've ever witnessed. They were literally beating the shit out of each other, the slaps sending sweat from the ring into the crowd. The match was so great and we were all into it so much that it didn't feel like 23 minutes went by when it was over. One of the few times I've ever really got lost in time while watching a match. Time stood still for everybody in The New Yorker for that match.

    Such a fun trip down memory lane for me, thanks for sharing this one. Gonna pop in the DVD tonight and watch it again.

  4. #184
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    Re: ROH Revisited: A Totally Non-Corona Related Marketh Reviews Comeback

    The no commentary stuff is a fantastic call from ROH. They could have used commentary to put over Kobashi and how much of a great he is. Instead, they rightfully knew that everyone watching knew Kobashi and his rep, so they let the atmosphere speak for itself.

    I don't think it's the best match in ROH history but it's top 10 easily.

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