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

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

    Final Battle 2010
    Fight Without Honor
    Kevin Steen vs. El Generico



    At last, it all comes down to this. The Steenerico feud finally comes to an end, once and for all. Never again will these two former friends collide. Ever. Anywhere. Ever.

    I've been putting off rewatching this forever. I'm fond of this match for being a very satisfying conclusion to a very well-booked feud, which comes full circle a year later in a literary way - ending with the way it began. But I also remember that it goes heavy on the big spots and finisher kickouts, that I think I have less tolerance for now than in 2010. The excitement for this blowoff and the need for this match to deliver likely made me disregard any of that, but now I've slept on it for 9 and 1/2 years so I hope I don't sour on one of the biggest, most anticipated matches in ROH history.

    A match this personal, it's only natural it gets the Mask vs. Career stipulation because how could you buy the idea of them co-existing in ROH after this feud? Kevin Steen wears one of Steenerico's old shirts to rub it in El Generico's face. Generico's entrance is precluded by a melancholy piece of piano music, which is something I remember not actually digging. I think it's meant to signal the appearance of a new, dark, all-black Generico but it has a bit of pretention about it, I feel, and I don't think it was clear what they were going for. But the idea itself of Generico wearing all black, I approve, and this came about from Steen stealing his usual mask. Generico breaks the staredown by spitting on Steen and we get a hot start. This feud has seen Generico's personality evolve to show more of an aggressive edge, so he's going for weapons right away. Steen is already bleeding 2 minutes in from a chain-assisted Yakuza Kick. I'm fine with them going to weapons right away, that makes complete sense for the type of feud this is, but I wish they built up more before blading because it's not as impactful like this. Steen at least gets some "You Sick Fuck!" mileage out of it by wiping his blood over Generico.

    I'm a bit torn on Steen so far. On the one hand, his fan interactions are completely consistent with the character he's always been, but on the other, it's bugging me that in this feud-ender his attention is 50-50 between the fans and Generico. In the year-long feud, they've done a great job at saving Generico finally beating Steen in singles, so I'm fine with Steen being confident and taking his time torturing Generico but it seems off that he'd be taking his eyes off him since Generico has proven plenty times by now to be a formidable foe. Steen tears Generico's mask open at the eye and mocks him with the stolen mask. The visual of Generico bleeding through his twisted, torn mask is great and sells his struggle as we see him getting put through Hell. Steen is doing everything he can to be the ultimate heel and sometimes it works, sometimes it comes off as trying too hard. If he's gonna get away with it anywhere, it might as well be this match. Spots like him taking a Michinoku Driver on the edge of a ladder do work great though when they interrupt him being an asshole, so I can't fault that instance. It's insane the damage Steen has taken from ladders over the years, the Half-and-Half Suplex onto one is never not cringe-inducing.

    New York, although usually ROH's biggest crowd, was also one of its poorest during those post-Gabe years. They're not being their usual wanky selves here, they appreciate this feud as much as anyone, but the work Steenerico are doing deserve much louder and longer-lasting reactions. I think it's partly why Steen probably feels the need to play to them as much. Just when I near the point where I think they're making Steen look too superhuman by kicking out of a big ladder/table bump, a Package Piledriver and a Brainbuster on the apron, the latter actually has Steve Corino run in for the save. Yeah, it wouldn’t make sense for him and Colt Cabana to not have any involvement at all. It's short and sweet with them anyway. Todd Sinclair takes a table bump and Bryce Remsburg is KILLED by a Package Piledriver, big points toward trying to make this the most messy and chaotic match they can. Generico kicks out of another Package Piledriver, through a chair this time. Yeah, at this point it's getting to that overkill feeling for me. A nearfall that I do love though, because it's been teased for the entire feud, is Generico finally delivering a Brainbustah! to Steen (a gnarly one too, since they both tumble onto the floor) but Steen kicks out! Generico's reaction through his fucked-up mask really puts it over and they get a great pop. This takes us to the only other suitable conclusion for this feud, the favour returned for that chairshot. They don't milk it for as long as I thought they might’ve, which I'm glad for. The moment is given the weight it needs without lingering too long on Generico pausing for thought, because there's nothing to think about. It's just a last desperate, bullshit plea from Steen to delay the inevitable. No holding back, Generico whacks him good with the chair for the win. We all had the same idea how it would go down, but sometimes the predictable ones are predictable because they're simply the best.

    I forgot in the aftermath that Generico put the real mask back. That does feel more appropriate than the final images of this feud being him in a mask he only wore this one night. It's an emotional celebration, though I wouldn't put this quite on the level as when they won the tag belts, which surprised me. I think part of it is that for the match we just saw, Generico’s post-match selling didn’t feel on point. I think he should’ve stayed down for much longer. He collapses for about 10 seconds, then regains his adrenaline and pops back up. I wanted to see the epic brutality sold for much longer before the celebrating. It's an odd vibe where I think it was a smark crowd showing their appreciation for a lengthy, well-told story being concluded, rather than marking out and being totally sucked into the drama. I wonder if this had to be a year later in New York and if they could've gotten away with doing this same payoff on an earlier iPPV somewhere like Chicago, which I think is one of the hotter and a bit less smarky ROH crowds. Bookending this feud 1 year later on the same PPV in the same city with the same spot is all very nice and OCD, but I think if this feud lasted 9 months instead it would've felt less stretched out with extra gimmick matches towards the end, and still have been a classic with a maybe hotter blowoff. Were the details of being New York and Final Battle really that important?

    Thankfully, apart from one or two spots near the end, this wasn't as bonkers OTT as I worried it might be. It features enough drama and intensity that I can't accuse it of only being spots, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't totally engaged emotionally until right at the end. They absolutely nail the finish. The most important elements are Dark Generico, Generico fighting with a torn mask, Steen getting a Brainbustah!, and the climactic chairshot - everything else could've been changed a number of ways and probably not made much difference to me. But this achieved its purpose and didn't come close to tripping at the finish line of a classic feud. It wraps up the story of Generico overcoming the ultimate betrayal of his best friend, both emotionally, physically and competitively - with the help of genuine best friend, Cabana. Steen's story carries on as his own issues clearly go beyond just hating Generico. ROH got a couple of good matches out of revisiting this again later, but I never thought it necessary and it was just hollow. A creatively-troubled time for ROH resorted in them going back to what worked in the not-too-distant past. The Fight Without Honor is the true finale. You don't need Steen vs. Generico again in ROH.
    Last edited by Marketh; 05-25-2020 at 08:36 AM.

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

    6th Anniversary Show
    Austin Aries vs. Go Shiozaki




    https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1D7411p7eL

    The interesting thing about this thread to me is that the intention was to mainly revisit the most significant matches from ROH's history - for good or bad - or ones that I think deserved more attention. Austin Aries vs. Go Shiozaki is just a special attraction ROH vs. NOAH match that I remember nothing about except that I loved it. It has no real long term impact other than being another guaranteed 4*+ match to sweeten a card and keep up ROH's "best wrestling in the world" brand, but I'm looking forward to being reminded why I enjoyed it so much.

    Aries had a fairly disappointing 2007. The TNA run as campy Austin Starr and a hot return to ROH quickly petering out as leader of the lackluster faction The Resilience, which despite being a babyface he was booked to abandon his young lions. But by the end of the year, a quality Best of 3 series with Bryan Danielson and MOTYC with Nigel McGuinness seemed to reinvigorate Aries and he was back to form as the company's ace. Now we're in early 2008 and emerging NOAH favourite, Go has just made his US debut the night before with impact, dominating a one-night tournament and chopping the Hell out of El Generico and Necro Butcher on the way.

    Aries is obviously a short guy, but Shiozaki dwarves him. Aries is aware of Go's deadly chops, so keeps avoiding them and even tempts fate by hitting his own until Go shoots him down with a single chop. It's fun seeing Aries in this dynamic, where they're playing up the size disadvantage, but Aries is smarter, so once he can get the advantage he knows how to keep it. When the momentum is on Go's side, his non-chop offence is quite bland and we get a resthold fairly early into the match. I think what doesn't help the blandness is how generic Go's look was during this time: plain black trunks, white boots and short black hair. Aries cleverly escapes a Tree of Woe with upside-down kicks to the face and soon we're on the apron where Aries is able to Back Suplex Go on it...almost. Go bumps off the edge and pretty much takes it on the floor in a nasty bump. Think when Roddy Strong does this, except Aries picked up Go on the wrong side so there was no way they'd both fit on the apron on this landing. As I expected, Aries' comeback makes the match exciting again with that bump and a Heat-Seeking Missile. It's fast-paced and hard-hitting and Go's moveset is much more interesting now, especially a big Deadlift German Suplex, everything more impactful thanks to the size difference.

    The crowd's been with them most of the match but really comes alive in this finishing stretch. There's not much to get into besides describing nearfalls, but it's great action and they keep up showing the difficulty Aries has dealing with Go. It's not that Aries can't lift him up or knock him down, it's that Go is simply much stronger so Aries has to work fast and do multiple attempts at the same moves because Go recovers quickly, while everything from Go is big, devastating and comes close to 3-counts. It's a common spot now, but I think this was the first time I'd seen it - Go attempts a Brainbuster, but Aries knees him in the head while being held upside down and Go buckles. That was a WOAH moment back then, great counter. Go recovers back to his feet without letting go and drops Aries with a Fisherman Brainbuster, I guess you'd call it. Hottest nearfall so far. Go can't believe it and after some brutal strikes, Aries comes out with a flash Crucifix Bomb and winning combo to put Go down for good.

    Apart from a dull heat section that felt like them both going "let's just get this bit over with and do our epic finishing stretch", this was great stuff. Definitely more action than story driven, I think they could've mined more drama out of Go being this stronger obstacle for Aries, but what we got was still very enjoyable and it is quality action, some great moves in this. Aries did well to sell the urgency, but Go has a real lack in personality until he gets to fire up in the second half, a critique I had about him for most of his ROH run, I think. I probably enjoyed this more at the time, but I'd say it holds up very well and is worth a watch if you've not seen this before.
    Last edited by Marketh; 05-29-2020 at 08:36 AM.

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

    i love this match!!! its been years since i watched it. Maybe i'll pop it in tonight. But i remember the whole speed vs strength dynamic. Good review!!!


    Though this washt my first time seeing the knee to the head to avoid suplex/brainbuster( it was probably ROH 2004) but i popped for it. Its a brilliant reversal.
    Last edited by indyfan; 05-29-2020 at 10:18 AM.
    ROH 2003 - end of 2008 = best years of wrestling ever

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

    Supercard of Honor VII
    Michael Elgin vs. Jay Lethal




    https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV15J411n7M8

    I'm trying to cover every year up to 2015 and 2013 is the year I'm having the most trouble with. It's just slim pickings as far as matches that are significant and still appeal to me. I wanted to do Briscoe vs. Briscoe for the world title, but couldn't find it. Jay Briscoe winning the world title is certainly an appropriate moment to revisit, but I've covered a lot of Kevin Steen so far, which is also a reason I don't feel like doing SCUM vs. Team ROH in Steel Cage Warfare either. ROH themselves don't even offer up many 2013 options from Throwback Thursday, so this is coming off like one of the weakest years in their history as far as big matches and angles go. I don't think that's me simply being cynical about this era either, because I still feel spoiled for choice in the other 2011-2015 years, even if not quite as much as Gabe's run. So, in similar fashion to the last Aries/Shiozaki review, I've opted to go with a big workrate match.

    This is one I've thought about revisiting forever, mainly because it got a lot of praise when it happened and I really just didn't see it. I was never a big fan of Jay Lethal until the heel turn and the appeal of Michael Elgin was waning on me the more I was exposed to him. I do recall this being quite hot in the closing moments, but thinking I've either been zoned out and missed most of a great match or these other ROH fans have been tricked into thinking they saw a MOTYC because an awesome ending made them forget everything else was average. So let's figure this shit out.

    A recap reminds us that Elgin and Lethal recently lost in title matches to Steen, so now we have this #1 Contender's match between basically two failures? Lethal slips over the ropes during his entrance - he plays it off with dignity, Elgin tries not to laugh, Kevin Kelly stays silent because if he doesn't acknowledge it then we'll never notice. Split crowd for both, but we also cut to a crowd shot with some guys on their phones so it's not exactly Rock/Hogan. I'm not as bothered by "This Is Wrestling!" chants as some, but we get this before anything noteworthy even happens, so it's just wanky. Even the workers actually look bothered by it. It's generally quite slow paced and not long before we already get a resthold, but a portion of the crowd is really into this. On the one hand, it'd be good if everyone was as enthusiastic as them, but I also think it's a pretty underwhelming match so far. New York needs to remind you how awful a crowd they are by chanting for Chris Benoit during a Crossface.

    The first lively sequence is Lethal hitting his three Suicide Dives in a row, all of them looking like shit as usual, the diving gentle push. Lethal goes for a Savage Elbow, but hotdogs and grandstands during the Macho Man chants too long. Both men do a lot of pausing for suspense like this when setting up for moves, but I feel no anticipation building, just a slow match lacking urgency. Elgin hits his Deadlift Superplex which gets the best reaction so far and a "Holy Shit!" chant. Great move, but hard for me to get too excited when I'm not getting a sense of any story being told by these guys and it's pretty much just back and forth. After some big moves and more big moves, the crowd is along for the ride, though sadly I can't relate. What they're doing just feels hollow to me, it's spots and sequences that I'd probably love in a better context, but here there's no attempt at drama or character or any dynamic between the two of them. There is a genuine moment that made me sit up and become interested again when Elgin Fighting Spirits back to his feet right after a Lethal Injection. It gets a big reaction for a couple seconds beacause it is completely unexpected, but Lethal immediately puts him down again with a Lethal Combination. If a Fighting Spirit spot is done for the pop and goes nowhere, is it fair to just call it no-selling?

    Anyway, what they're doing still works for this crowd and Lethal does hit a great Savage Elbow, much better and more impactful than how he normally does it. They wind up on the top rope and Elgin hits a huge Avalanche Powerbomb. He puts Lethal through his Bucklebomb and Elgin Bomb combo to make sure he's down for good. My thoughts on this haven't changed at all. It was an exciting final two minutes, but the rest of the match meant nothing to me. I'd say it's one of those matches that just doesn't translate from the live experience to viewing at home, but plenty of people considered this a MOTYC for ROH, so really I'm just in the minority there. My theory would be that in the state ROH was, fans were clamouring for anything workrate-based and willed themselves into believing anything like that was of the same standard as the golden years. I felt like I was watching two blank slates go out there and do some crowd-pleasing moves without attempting to tell any story. Thank God Lethal eventually grew a personality when he turned heel. Revisiting a lot of these older ROH matches has reminded me that even if all you're given is "You both want a title shot. Go.", if you have strong characters then you can turn that into a story beyond the basic premise. Aries/Shiozaki had even less of a story going into that match, and while they didn't make The Godfather, they got something decent out of it that enhanced the big moves they did. It didn't even feel like Lethal and Elgin were building their spots to that climax, just killing time until then. Whatever the appeal of this match is, it was lost on me then and still lost on me now.
    Last edited by Marketh; 05-30-2020 at 05:31 PM.

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

    I've tackled at least one match from every year I wanted to cover, so now I've got my next lineup of matches chosen from requests and recommendations so far, plus my own choices. But it's a good time to make more requests if anyone has any. I might consider revisiting more feuds and rivalries like I did with Steen/Generico and Joe/Punk, but I'll mainly be sticking to the individual matches and trying to keep a variety of wrestlers and eras. I also have way more singles matches than tags and multimans, so I'd wanna balance that more. And it doesn't have to be greatest hits either, I have some in mind for being notoriously bad or controversial.


    Manhattan Mayhem II
    ROH World Championship
    Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson



    In 2007, this new mark for ROH is suddenly Bryan Danielson's new #1 fan. I'm not watching every DVD yet, just grabbing whatever matches I could get a MegaUpload link for, so that's plenty of the likes of Dragon, Nigel McGuinness, The Briscoes and KENTA. But this NOAH guy, Takeshi Morishima, with his silly pimp coat, cowboy hat, long hair and HE'S FAT! - is the champ and working squash defences and dominating my new favourites. I haven't had a good look at him yet, other than on the ROH Video Wire, but I already don't like him and neither do a vocal section of the fanbase who I'm absorbing tastes and opinions from as a newbie. Now Dragon is now back in the title picture, to reclaim what's rightfully his and put the championship back in the hands of a real wrestler. Maybe he'll get a decent match out of Morishima too.

    LOUD "You're Gonna Get Your Fucking Head Kicked In!" chants and no Code of Honor on Morishima's part. It's a total 100% Dragon crowd and they'll stay hot for the whole duration, great atmosphere. Much like me in 2007, the character of Dragon doesn't think much of Morishima, arrogantly smirking while he takes wee shots at his leg. Like CM Punk with the headlocks on Samoa Joe, this is Dragon's clear and focused gameplan to stick-and-move with these leg kicks. He keeps it up for the majority of this match and it grows from a nuisance to a legit threat. What we maybe don't realise in the moment, but is now part of Daniel Bryan Danielson's legend, is that when Morishima finally catches him and starts clubbing him in the head and face, his retina detaches. I think I knew this story by the time I saw this, but wasn't sure what point it happened. Either way, it makes you appreciate this match more to know because how the Hell do you work through that kind of pain and distraction? (After a quick Google, I only now realise that apparently there's no pain associated with a detached retina, but still.) From that point on, any of the numerous head strikes from Morishima make me wince, especially when you see Dragon grabbing his eye - which is often. Morishima's offence is basic big-man brutalising with stomps, boots, forearms and clubbing blows but the size and strength difference and Dragon's selling make it all feel much more damaging and urgent. He's far away from the cockiness he showed in the beginning. This forces Dragon to go big quite early with his trademark crowd dive.

    After taking a big risk to get the momentum back on his side, it's back to the leg attacks and it's great seeing the commitment to this tactic even between Morishima destroying him with forearms and an inside-out Lariat. He even powers out of a Heel Hook to give Dragon a BIG German Suplex - but when Dragon recovers he always goes for the leg again. Dragon is in survival mode at this point, he's just doing what's available to him in each moment to get the win, not necessarily trying to outwrestle Morishima. We get a lot of people's favourite moment of the match and a wonderful payoff to the legwork when one kick is the straw that broke the camel's back and Morishima lets out a mighty scream, as he's chopped down like a giant redwood. A crowd that's been hot for the entire match gives an especially good response for this. It's not like Morishima hadn't already been knocked down in ROH before, or even in this match, but it was a rare moment of weakness for him to show that agony and made Dragon look like such a badass.

    Dragon fulfils that promise from earlier and kicks Morishima's fucking head in before applying the Cattle Mutilation. This part is a flaw in the psychology for me, as much as I love this match, because I do truly think this needed to be a Heel Hook. I've never bought the Cattle Mutilation as a nearfall here, but a leg submission after Morishima collapsed because he couldn't stand the pain in his leg? And then surviving it? It would've been so perfect and Morishima would've looked stronger. Me and the crowd are both still in the moment though, so it doesn't hurt things too much. The final turning point is Morishima reversing a top rope Back Suplex and landing right on top of Dragon's face, then another wicked inside-out Lariat, Dragon not looking at all like he had control of that bump. Then finally a Backdrop Driver to end it all. After some initial booing, the respect for Morishima comes through as he gets chants for the first time in this match. But being a dastardly heel, sarcastically brushes it off.

    I wouldn't be surprised if I've watched this more than any other classic ROH main event. I don't know how high I'd rank it among the best, but I do think it is a flawless match except for a glaring one. Cattle Mutilation attempt aside, I have no other negatives to highlight. There are plenty other matches that have higher emotional and dramatic highs, and better action, but everything about this is done well. It's basically two stories - a psychological one where both workers underestimate each other and get humbled: Morishima thinks he just needs to catch Dragon and beat the fuck out of him; Dragon is the world class wrestler who thinks the monster is all hype; and these lead to each of their downfalls and they have to adapt. Dragon is clearly more desperate in his movements and Morishima is perhaps more aggressive than usual. The other story is a competitive one where, despite Dragon realising how intimidating and deadly Morishima is, he has a gameplan and commits to it intensely. 90% of Dragon's offence up until he takes him down is leg kicks. Unfortunately, it wasn't really followed through beyond that moment but that payoff is so satisfying to watch after being built to so much. And this match sold me on Morishima. He played his part very well, looked great in his biggest win so far and provides a new dynamic for Danielson matches. Samoa Joe would wrestle him, but Morishima was beating, slamming, crushing him, really making him an underdog. I thought of this match instantly when Bryan made Brock Lesnar collapse under his leg as well. So yeah, it's easily one of my favourite ever Danielson matches. A step below the most elite ones, but it's up there.



    BONUS:


    Man Up
    ROH World Championship
    Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson


    https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1pt411V7Uc

    Following the detached retina, we're introduced to the Pirate Dragon look, proving he can pull off anything he wants. This was a fucking joy to watch. It's an emotional performance from Dragon - he's going into this one pissed off, no Code of Honor offer this time. He took it personally when Morishima injured his eye, so what we get is him initiating an urgent, aggressive fight. Completely atypical Dragon match, there is nothing pretty or tactical, just the two of them slugging it out and Dragon's offence wasn't as smooth as normal. He overshoots a bit on a Suicide Dive, his MMA elbows look shit, but it kinda makes sense and enhances the experience, does it not? He's rougher and less precise because he has one good eye and his thirst for revenge has overcome him. Eventually his actions push Morishima over the edge, leading to Morishima ripping the eyepatch off and deliberately elbowing the shit out of his bad eye! He's big, Dragon's small, he's strong, Dragon's injured. So when he's just furiously going to town on that eye, it's like The Mountain crushing Oberyn's skull. Dragon probably takes more damage in under 15mins here than in the previous, longer match. It's such a brutal finish and a fitting way to cap off a tight match filled with desperate hatred and no rest. Again, Morishima and Dragon in a departure from what we're used to from them, driven by anger and trying to injure each other quickly before the other has a chance to do so first. It's the start of a very unique blood feud with some short but incredibly heated matches all about Dragon completely losing his self-control.

    If you've only ever seen the MMII match, get on this ASAP.


    Glory By Honor VI Night 2
    Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima


    https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1mk4y167RP

    Dragon's eye is apparently healed by now. It's a similar approach to the last match, Dragon throwing reckless abandon at Morishima before the bell - attacking him with a chair, throwing a table at him with no regard for the front row fans. As soon as the bell rings, Morishima fights back and goes into beast mode, pummeling Dragon with the same intensity as the finish to the last match. You get the sense this time that Morishima takes more pleasure now from beating Dragon up and throwing him around. This makes the match a little less fast and furious once Morishima takes over, more focus on building heat for Dragon to make a comeback. Dragon even goes for Morishima's eye with the ring bell hammer, which Morishima powers out with a Backdrop Driver on the floor. Somehow Dragon starts bleeding from the forehead from this, which is confusing. I think it's a bladejob too since you briefly see him reach into his wrist tape and the cameras are off him for a bit. So this spot makes no sense to me why he's drawn blood. I love this next sequence of Morishima repeatedly ramming Dragon off the apron and into the guardrail. It's not long, but it gets the crowd into a frenzy, begging for Dragon to overcome. Morishima's got a lot of good heel heat as a result and when Dragon does his comeback, he is just in his peak popularity here. 2007 might have to be the year he was the most loved by ROH fans and getting his best reactions, now that he's got several years of respect earned from consistent classic matches, great moments and working through injuries. In the finish, Morishima attacks the eye again and Dragon just goes "fuck it" and lowblows him several times for the DQ. Now it's time to punish him and Dragon stomps on Morishima's balls over and over! A spot that I remember as being fucked up and one of the most memorable parts of this feud doesn't work nearly as well for me in retrospect, because Morishima doesn't come close to selling this as much as he should. He should've been at his most vulnerable, frantically trying to block Dragon or escape but he's just sorta taking it with very little facial reaction then walks away. This had nowhere near the impact a spot like this deserves and it's very frustrating because it becomes a weak finish to a very hot, dramatic match. If we took out the blood (I don't think it added much to this anyway) and Morishima sold being stomped in the balls like...being stomped in the balls, this might've been better than the Man Up match.

    Very enjoyable, heated match with potential to have been something more special.


    Rising Above
    Relaxed Rules
    Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson


    https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1G7411H7eh

    Well this is a treat, because I didn't remember them having another match before the Fight Without Honor. I stumbled upon this by accident when looking for that. This time it's Morishima attacking before the bell, bloodying Dragon quickly with the announce table. This is Muta Scale level this time, Dragon's chest, arms and legs get covered in it, it's a pretty horrific visual that definitely adds more to the drama than blood did in the last match. It's a white hot pro-Dragon crowd again, always making his comebacks feel even more powerful. Basically, this is a repeat of their last match, just tighter and the roles reversed in the beginning and end. This time, it's Morishima getting DQ'd for repeated lowblows to Dragon. I don't think Dragon sold this particularly great either, but his reaction is still more effective. I just think repeated groin attacks from someone that much bigger and stronger than you should just have you out for the rest of the show, but Dragon's participating in the post-match brawl. We do get a great visual out of it though, with Dragon attacking Morishima's eye with the hammer again and screaming in his face while everyone tries to pull them apart. Seriously, watch this if you miss seeing Dragon just losing his mind with hatred. Bryce Remsburg also got CRUSHED by a gigantic Backdrop Driver. I love the heat in these matches, I love the rage and violent streak in Dragon's performances and willingness to bump like fuck for Morishima. If there was a match that's inessential to the story though, I'd say it's probably this one. You could pretty much combine the key events with the Glory By Honor match. It's no wonder I forgot about this, they blend together - same attires, same venue, same type of crowd, similar structure. As far as individual match quality goes, I think I'd still lean toward this one over the latter.

    Achieves a lot in little time and successfully keeps the fire burning hot for this feud and creating more chaos, even if it doesn't exactly advance the story much.


    Final Battle 2008
    Fight Without Honor
    Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson


    Spoiler:

    Coming in 2021

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

    Road to the Title
    Amazing Red vs. Low Ki




    https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1eW411r7ym


    Been looking forward to this one. I first saw this many years ago, but have rewatched that sequence a thousand times.

    The opening is of course probably one of the best and hottest opening minutes of a match ever. Amazing Red, despite being the clear underdog, has the guts to strike Low Ki first right after the Code of Honor, then what follows is is a supremely well-choreographed exchange of lightning-fast strike attempts and blocks and dodges that look like something out of a kung-fu movie, hence Steve Corino's brilliant call "Holy Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon! What was that?!" The crowd rightfully goes ballistic for the "Matrix Minute". It's fucking impressive and makes way more sense to me than sequences like that famous Ricochet/Ospreay one, which I hated for looking so much more like a ballet display. You wouldn't see Red/Ki's sequence in real life either, but it at least looks like Ki isn't giving Red time to block or dodge, relying on Red's own speed and smoothness. This still hasn't gotten old for me.

    I always really liked 2002/3 Red and he has great chemistry with Ki (and I think everyone else I saw him face from this time). I really like that he can take a beating and the way he bumps for Ki's kicks, especially when Ki hits him with a Capo Kick that nearly sends him flying out of the ring. Red actually took this better in a TNA match they had where he did fall out the ring. Awesome editing in one spot where Ki goes for his corner Handspring Kick and we don't see Red until he comes out of nowhere with a perfectly timed dropkick counter off the turnbuckle. It's not all perfect though, as Ki completely misses a flashy kick, but then we get a cooler spot when he then recovers with a Capo Kick that Red takes a nice, big bump on the floor and guardrail from. Red's such a good seller, everything from Ki hits him like death and he doesn't just forget it while he makes a comeback.

    It's a brief match, just over 10 minutes and ends with an avalanche Ki Krusher. Not perfect since there's a couple of botches, but gets a well deserved standing ovation and the Matrix Minute would ensure that no one would remember those moments of sloppiness anyway. I know they went on to have matches elsewhere and even in the last few years, but it's a shame this is their only ROH match because this was very cool to watch. Short, memorable, classic.

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

    i love this match and its one of the matches i used to use to show people ROH. the kung fu movie stuff blew me off my couch. Fun as hell match!!!!


    if you re taking recommendations...i recommend Aries vs Strong from ROH Undeniable 2007
    ROH 2003 - end of 2008 = best years of wrestling ever

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

    I feel like these two matched up in various indies at the time doing a similar match, but this was clearly the best iteration of it. Maybe Red's best match off my head?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by King Steventon View Post
    I feel like these two matched up in various indies at the time doing a similar match, but this was clearly the best iteration of it. Maybe Red's best match off my head?
    I cant say its his best. he had some tags with AJ Styles vs Briscoes that were really great.

    I find his match vs Ospreay amazing though. i dont think youd agree with that lol
    ROH 2003 - end of 2008 = best years of wrestling ever

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

    Quote Originally Posted by indyfan View Post
    I cant say its his best. he had some tags with AJ Styles vs Briscoes that were really great.

    I find his match vs Ospreay amazing though. i dont think youd agree with that lol
    Prefer the Ki match but that's also good.

    Have you seen this match? This was 2001 CZW and was regarded as a pretty mind-blowing spotfest for the time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb2zbv18zC4

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

    I can see why. Not to my tastes, but I enjoyed watching it for some crazy spots. But stuff like Red and XL’s dual backflips at the start was awful

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

    Undeniable
    Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries




    https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1V7411M7vw


    Surprised I've taken this long to get to a Roderick Strong singles match. I've definitely got more in mind, including some I'm embarrassed to have never checked out before. I can't remember if I've seen this or just clips of it. I definitely remember there's a table spot. I haven't ever really been keen on Roddy versus former partner feuds - this one with Austin Aries that was really more just a part of Faction Warfare was quite meh and derailed by Aries' hiatus in TNA. Then the Davey Richards turn never actually amounted to a full-blown feud, more of a rivalry of matches I always found overrated even while I was still a Davey fan. And I can't remember a single thing about any of the Michael Elgin feud. But I'm optimistic this could be a gem, since it's featuring Aries after as he regains his momentum towards the end of a lackluster 2007.

    I forgot the "ROOODERIIICK!" chants were a thing. Roddy's lucky he had this going for him, because he was never truly convincing as a heel, so he could at least feed off those. Like their feud as a whole, it doesn't feel that personal in the opening minutes as they make this about who the better wrestler is than Roddy's betrayal. They do throw in some heated spots like Aries bitchslapping Roddy at one point and it does feel a bit like Aries is more into punishing him, but not so much vice versa. Roddy's chops and Backbreakers offence is brutal as usual, but it just feels like he's working his standard heel match. Whatever drove him to turning on Aries in the first place hasn't shown up in the first half of this yet. The closest to a mean streak from him has been teasing a Gibson Driver on the exposed floor.

    It may not be as story-driven as I'd like, but it's still pretty decent action with some big Backbreakers and I still think Aries is delivering on making this feel like a heated fight when he's on offence. Things like hitting repeated elbows to the head when he'd normally use one, and his facial expressions. It's a bit hard to buy into the nearfalls while Chekov's table is already bridged between the apron and guardrail, but the crowd's very into it regardless. A fun sequence of spots gets us to the apron and Aries delivering a Brainbuster through the table like a hot knife through butter. Pray for Roddy, I don't think that table lessened any impact and it might as well have been a straight Brainbuster to the floor. No mistaking for a Suplex, definitely some head and neck impact. Awesome spot that was at least something to elevate the violence into something more appropriate for a personal feud. Aries wastes no time and sets up Roddy for a second 450 Splash, but Roddy's way too close to the corner so his ribs take Aries' knees. Definitely not a fun minute for Roddy.

    It's a good match with a great finish - I just wanted more out of it, unfortunately. But the reality is, this feud was never booked as seriously as it should've been. Maybe because Roddy's not a strong enough heel character to pull off this type of angle? It certainly felt that way during this, at least. The storytelling efforts were one-sided. Aries' body language and decisions made it clear that even though they chose to go the competitive route with this match than a bloody brawl, he still clearly wanted to hurt Roddy. Roddy, apart from maybe introducing the table, did nothing I wouldn't expect from him in any other match or really reciprocate Aries' aggression. So we get this clean and decisive finish, putting this feud to bed, but it feels like no one benefits much since the story all along was Roddy felt he was in Aries' shadow - this just confirms what fans already think, that Aries is better.

    (I have since seen that this wasn't the feud-ender and they fought a couple months later in a 30min Iron Man...where Aries won again anyway.)

    But yeah, I enjoyed this and Aries' performance, plus the crazy table bump was a big highlight. Just thought there could've been much more done to complement the angle and their history.

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

    That table spot is mental. i thpught he killed him and still gets me everytime. I enjoy shooting you these odd matches. its not the typical go to matches in ROH history.

    The Iron man match is simply good. That whole weekend was fucked. the following night was Unscripted 3.

    if you are feeling inspired and want to check out a rarely talked about match. Check out Mike Quackenbush vs Bryan Danielson from Death Before Dishonor 5 night 2. its not an all time classic but a fun technical match. Or if you want a sick ass match check out the 8 man street fight tag main event.

    Quote Originally Posted by King Steventon View Post
    Prefer the Ki match but that's also good.

    Have you seen this match? This was 2001 CZW and was regarded as a pretty mind-blowing spotfest for the time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb2zbv18zC4
    Thanks for this. ill check it out on my next wrestling watching night( probably tomorrow night)
    Last edited by indyfan; 06-10-2020 at 05:33 PM.
    ROH 2003 - end of 2008 = best years of wrestling ever

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

    Yeah, I owned both DVDs from that year's Death Before Dishonor so I remember that streetfight and Dragon/Quack well. Fun, but not a classic is how'd describe it too.


    Wrestlerave '03
    Fight Without Honor
    Trent Acid vs. Homicide




    https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1N4411b7cG?p=11


    I know very little about Trent Acid, other than his untimely passing, that he was in the Backseat Boyz and that I've seen this match bigged up every once in a while. I also know nothing of what led to this being a Fight Without Honor, so I'm very much going in cold here.

    Acid's entrance is pretty strange, with fans giving him cash for some reason. I wonder what his look would be if he was around today, because the silver binbag trousers and dreads are such an early 2000s look. Even the tape all the way up the forearm is something you don’t see as much anymore. A hot start with Acid jumping Homicide during his entrance and providing our first holy shit moment: an Asai Moonsault where he easily takes the brunt of it. Shins on the guardrail, face on the floor. Like the Steve Corino match, Homicide is a fun and effective ass-kicker here, but only at first. I was pretty surprised at how much he took from Acid in this. So much happens early on, there's no point keeping track - both guys are very game for taking bumps with chairs and ladders and it's wild. My next holy shit moment is the safest move of the match when Johnny Kashmere interferes and Julius Smokes takes him out with a pretty decent dropkick! This whole time, I've never seen Smokes ever actually get physical in a match. Acid and Homicide are struggling on the top rope, commentary putting over that whoever can put their opponent through the table in the ring is probably gonna win by this point. EXCEPT! Homicide does a huge Ace Crusher through another table on the floor instead! Didn't actually see that coming at all, so props for that and for taking such a massive bump on an unprotected gym floor.

    In a really good sequence, they trade Yakuza Kicks that looked pretty damn stiff, with Acid getting put over strong by actually winning the strike exchange. Again, I don't know enough about Acid, but I'm assuming part of the story they're telling is the ol' prettyboy proving he can hang with the fighter angle. Homicide lays a huge ladder on the guardrail (worryingly poking over into the front row) and eats shit from a missed Tope Con Hilo, breaking through the ladder. He kicks out at two, but is up rather quickly after to get into the next striking sequence, when I think he ought to be selling a huge spot like that much longer. Almost (because it's a bit sloppy) out of nowhere, Acid is able to roll up Homicide for the upset win. I get what the idea was and it doesn't bother me too much, it just feels weird to have that kind of finish in a bumps and weapons match, especially a Fight Without Honor but then I don't think it's been established as a feud-ending stipulation yet.

    I really enjoyed this. It was a very loose structure - not the standard wrestling formula - but didn't feel like a mindless spotfest either, although it's undeniably spot heavy. That's not much of a criticism though, I liked most of the spots and moments like the Ace Crusher to the floor and Yakuza Kick sequence were great. It felt odd seeing Homicide being less aggressive and ruthless than I'm used to in hardcore matches, but then I don't know the context of this feud - I wish the commentary got into that more. So maybe it wasn't appropriate for Homicide to be as sadistic as he was with Corino. It was especially surprising that Homicide was willing to accept the loss, although clean, and offer Acid a respectful handshake...which brings me to the aftermath...

    This was too bizarre to leave out. The lights go out for such a long time and rave music hits. Eventually Special K come out with their entourage but it's impossible to see anything in the strobe lighting, but we get just enough to see the Backseat Boyz get put through a table. Then we're left with the chaos of everyone dancing, the girls making out, Special K stomping on Acid and Kashmere, all while the lights flashing and the camera is shaking all over the place. And I think I saw a guy with a jumprope made of glowsticks? I can't tell if I hated this or thought it was OK. If they managed to get the crowd to join in and actually created a rave vibe, it could've been amazing. But they're heels, so they didn't, and it was awkward, but...mission accomplished?

    So this was a very entertaining fight. Not on the level of the Homicide/Corino match for me, because that felt like a much deeper story with more drama and more shocking violence, but this was well done too. I was quite impressed by Acid, I might be willing to check out some more of his singles ROH stuff.
    Last edited by Marketh; 06-12-2020 at 09:13 AM.

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

    i also liked this match a alot and i need to revisit it as well. Trent , at some point after this, had a small angle where he was king of the multiman matches. Trent and Kashmere's gimmick was kind of male strippers. They were a good tag team.

    When he passed, i remember Cena donating to his family
    ROH 2003 - end of 2008 = best years of wrestling ever

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

    I think "really good but not Homicide vs Corino" is pretty fair. Acid was more of a CZW guy, I'm struggling to remember the context of why ROH ran this match when I am pretty sure most of their fued was in another promotion (I could be wrong about that). I'm pretty certain they had atleast one really good match there too as well as a second FWH in ROH.

    Acid was a good talent if flawed. He was lumbered with Kashmere who was pretty crud, but when given the chance in big singles matches he delivered. I remember there being a real good Hero vs Acid match from CZW around this time.

    ROH around this time had no problem bringing in fueds from other promotions onto their shows, such as the TEW vs HWA (or whatever promotions they were) fued.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by indyfan View Post
    Trent and Kashmere's gimmick was kind of male strippers. They were a good tag team.
    That makes some more sense than what I thought, that they were a boyband gimmick - like a more hardcore 3 Count.

    Quote Originally Posted by King Steventon
    I'm pretty certain they had atleast one really good match there too as well as a second FWH in ROH.
    I'm glad you mentioned that, because I didn't realise they had a rematch at Beating the Odds, which was actually just a normal match but did get quite violent with Acid getting cut near his eye and him seemingly breaking Homicide's nose with an elbow. It was good too, but weird to follow the FWH. Felt like the finishes should've been swapped. Acid gets the rollup in a regular match, then Homicide wins with the Cop Killa in the FWH.

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

    I thought the second match was also Fight Without Honor?

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

    Nope, there was a chair and low blows but all of that while the ref was distracted. Commentary also referenced the previous match.

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

    Death Before Dishonor VIII
    ROH World Tag Team Championship
    No Disqualification
    The Kings of Wrestling vs. The Briscoes




    https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1zt411n7B6


    So looking forward to this one. This was easily my favourite from the Briscoes/KOW feud and a 2010 MOTYC. One of the main highlights from the reunited KOW's run and is the second match I've reviewed from Death Before Dishonor VIII, one of the best post-Gabe PPVs.

    The pre-match is one big tease that The Briscoes have no-showed due to being held at Canadian customs. Watching this live, I could've gone either way whether to believe it or not, because this did actually happen to them at their previous Canada show, if I recall. Jim Cornette and others too. So it was plausible that they'd still have KOW go out and cut a promo to make an angle out of it and maybe some local-ish team like the Super Smash Bros. could get a shot or they'll scramble to put something else together at the last minute. But after a short promo, Jay and Mark Briscoe come through the crowd to jump KOW and kick things off to a hot start. Claudio Castagnoli gets busted open instantly, which is a rare sight. I can't recall many other times he bladed. That obnoxious, screeching woman is in the crowd is in peak form with her favourite chant of "THEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE BRISCOES!" but at least some noble hero replies "SHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT THE FUCK UP!" Alas, she would not.

    It's not long until Mark is bleeding too and Claudio attacks the cut with elbows. Soon followed by Hero, then Jay, who's the only one that actually bleeds from a dramatic spot, when Shane Hagadorn (whose fan nickname "Fagadorn" doesn't age well) smacks him with a chair. So we're in a bloodbath now with four crimson masks. That dastardly Hero ties Jay by the neck to the corner post, then inside they steal The Briscoes' finish with an Uppercut Doomsday Device. Referee Paul Turner desperately tries to untie Jay and succeeds, but I'm not sure why he feels obligated to in a No DQ match. So...we didn't get much out of that spot then.

    During The Briscoes' comeback, we get maybe one of my favourite spots ever. They go to do their double hiptoss to Claudio through a cornered table, but Claudio being an athletic machine, flips out of it onto his feet. He then turns around only to get double shoulder blocked through the table anyway. Excellent playing with expectations there and executed well by all three. We get a surprising kickout by Jay from Hero's Loaded Elbow, but this is shortly followed by Hero putting the pad on his foot for the Big Boot during a Giant Swing, for the win. The Loaded Elbow was so protected while Hero had this gimmick that, even in this blood feud, I think they could've figured out some other big nearfall instead that wouldn't chip away at the move's credibility.

    It's definitely a very entertaining match with a lot of good action and a hot crowd. It continues the feud well and suitably takes the violence up a couple notches after Hero concussed Papa Briscoe and Sara Del Rey ate a Jay-Driller, making things more personal. But it's another case of things feeling more epic in retrospect than in the present. I like this a lot, I'd still call it a great match, but I'm less sure of it having been a MOTYC now. The blood felt a bit wasted, I've said this about a couple matches in these reviews now but I don't think the visual of blood is enough unless it's going to play more into the story - like the struggle with it getting in your eye, or the increasing likelihood of passing out from blood loss. Or even just as the result of a particularly brutal or ruthless spot, which wasn't the case for 3 out of 4 bladejobs here. They just sorta happened offscreen during some brawling. But moving on from that, it wasn't the most dramatic storytelling, but they still did a good job with some creative spots and keeping the crowd fired up throughout. As per, it's a comfortably great Briscoes brawl, but also good to see KOW, especially Claudio, in this environment.

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