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CALDWELL'S ROH "TAKE NO PRISONERS" REPORT 5/30: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of PPV #6

May 30, 2008 - 11:08:30 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist

ROH Take No Prisoners PPV #6
Taped in Philadelphia, Pa.
Originally aired: May 30, 2008


They started with Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard ringside with a giant light covering their faces. A little hot! Still couldn't see their faces as they talked about the Four Corner survival match that will determine who faces Nigel McGuinness for the ROH Title on the show tonight. Nigel McGuinness and Tyler Black cut basic promos for the ringside camera before Go Shiozaki and Delirious were introduced.

1 -- DELIRIOUS vs. GO SHIOZAKI vs. TYLER BLACK vs. CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI -- #1 Contender match to ROH Title

ROH champion Nigel McGuinness joined the announcers to complain...er...add his comments to the match. Announcers told him to be concerned about the men in the ring rather than his ego trip. Story of the match early on was Go landing hard chops on the opposition. Delirious then powered up with the panic attack knee strikes on Claudio and Black that set up a rapid-fire exchange of finishers by all four men. Black then nailed Delirious with a big boot to the face and came off the top with a corkscrew splash on Delirious for the pin and the win. Nigel was surprised on commentary. He said the fun is over now.

WINNER: Black in 10:00. Fine, but not memorable opener. Basic idea was for Nigel to promote himself and showcase Shiozaki for the first time on PPV. Black's time will be coming later in the show. (*1/2)

Video package: In rapid-fire fashion, they showed clips of the action from the previous PPV, including the epic Nigel vs. Aries match.

Voice-over: Prazak gave a news update that Morishima has been suspended from ROH for attacking referee Bryce on the last PPV. Leonard said the tag titles have changed hands twice since the last PPV, with Romero & Richards being the current tag champions as of this PPV taping. They'll show Romero & Richards defending the tag titles later in the show.

Backstage: They suddenly cut to Jimmy Jacobs standing somewhere. He cut a promo about Tyler Black's potential title victory being exactly what they need to promote their message. ... They cut to the kitchen or somewhere deep in the recesses of the PPV building showing Lacey texting updates to Jacobs while Black pumped himself up.

2 -- KEVIN STEEN vs. FIP champion RODERICK STRONG -- non-title match

Steen injected some personality into the show mocking the "Raaawdrick" chant in Strong's face to start things off. In control at 5:00, Steen surveyed the crowd if they wanted to see him die. The fans laughed, then Strong cut off Steen in the corner and nailed a superplex for a nearfall. After working on the knee, Steen slapped on the sharpshooter at 8:00, but Strong reached the ropes for a break. Strong tried to come back with a Gibson Driver, but Steen blocked and finished off Strong with a Package Piledriver for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Steen in 10:00. Nice singles victory for Steen, who could be inserted into a semi-main event slot on future PPVs. (**)

Jacobs meeting: Back to the lecture from Jimmy Jacobs to some potential Age of the Fall recruits. They're all going to make changes to society! No more athletes cast aside! No more poking fun of people in wheelchairs! No more staring at women's breasts! (Well, unless ODB grabs hers and intentionally draws our attention to them.) Jacobs suddenly received a text that something is going down back in Philly.

Backstage: They showed the Briscoes brawling with the Age of the Fall in the back of the building. Apparently a match is occurring.

3 -- JAY & MARK BRISCOE (w/Daizee Haze) vs. NECRO BUTCHER & JOEY MATTHEWS (w/Lacey) -- Street Fight

Barely even recognize Matthews (the former Mercury part of MNM) with the short haircut and without the mask. The Briscoes came up bleeding early in the match, specifically Mark. With chair in hand, Matthews got a running start and nailed Mark in the side of the head with a chair shot. Age of the Fall was in control, so the fans tried to rally behind the Briscoes with a "Man Up" chant. Suddenly, the women became involved in the ring while the men brawled on the floor. The men and women reversed roles with Age of the Fall keeping control. In the brawl scenario, Matthews showed a different side here, while Mark showed us plenty of blood spilling from the side of his head. Necro and Matthews then gave Jay a double chokeslam through two chairs. Briscoes made a comeback with dual unprotected chair shots to Necro's head. I don't care if Necro's gimmick is to take ungodly amounts of punishment, but I just don't care for unprotected chair shots to the head in any context.

At 10:00, Briscoes worked over Matthews before setting him up for the Doomsday Device and connecting. Necro prevented a pin attempt on Matthews and he took a superkick for good measure. Necro then blocked the Doomsday Device and nearly scored a pin with a victory roll of all things. Never thought I'd see Necro with a victory roll attempt. The match action returned to the floor, and then to the deep reaches of the floor seating to the back wall. Oh dear, Mark started climbing the entrance stage before splashing Necro through a table on the floor. Back in the ring, Jay gave Matthews a Jay Driller for the pin and the win to make it 6-0 on ROH PPV.

WINNERS: Briscoes in 15:00. That was a crazy match to give a certain audience their fill of brawling and stunt bump action. Briscoes pulled it off well as the tag team stars of ROH, while Necro played good fodder. Matthews was the star of the first-half of the match and he had a good overall showing returning to national TV. (**1/2)

Outside: They showed a distant shot of Tyler Black standing in darkness thinking and pacing and reflecting.

Backstage: Jay Briscoe cut a promo while standing over Mark Briscoe, who was trying to dry blood from his forehead. Jay said this is what ROH Take No Prisoners is all about.

Larry Sweeney Show: Sweeney was in the ring with Bobby Dempsey to make an announcement that is declaring a hostile takeover on ROH. He said he doesn't want to own ROH, but he wants to own each wrestler. Sweeney called for the end of Faction Warfare (thank goodness) before bringing out Adam Pearce, Brent Albright, Shane Hagadorn, and B.J. Whitmer. Pearce made an announcement that they've sold out and will join Sweet 'N Sour, Inc. Whitmer, Albright, and Albright's facial hair weren't sold on the idea, though.

Erick Stevens then walked to the ring and Sweeney talked him up an offer. Stevens screamed at Sweeney to shut up. He said he wanted a match against Puder, but Sweeney said ROH hasn't agreed to his terms. Stevens demanded a match anyways, then Albright jumped Stevens from behind to start a match.

4 -- BRENT ALBRIGHT (w/Sweet 'n Sour, Inc.) vs. ERICK STEVENS

Announcers talked about Sweeney being a sleazy agent telling his wrestlers to hold out for more money from ROH before they wrestle again. They transitioned into an underdog cry that ROH isn't the flashiest promotion in the world, but the wrestlers who make up the company love wrestling and not necessarily the almighty dollar. Sweeney became involved in the match, so Stevens tried to yank him into the ring by the hair, but Albright prevented that. Albright then finished off Stevens with a half-nelson suplex for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Albright in 7:00. Your basic mid-card singles match to promote Sweeney's hostile takeover of ROH. (*1/4)

5 -- ROH tag team champions ROCKY ROMERO & DAVEY RICHARDS vs. JIGSAW & RUCKUS (w/Julius Smokes) -- ROH Tag Title match

This was a separate match from ROH's Orlando show during WrestleMania weekend. Jigsaw, by the way, is without the mask. The challengers started off in control while the ref let the action slide. Just a bunch of spots early on, then Jigsaw and Ruckus went dual coast-to-coast on Romero, who was hung upside down in the corner. Nice spot, but it was only good for a nearfall. More spots ensued until Romero made a recovery from the previous big spot to apply the cross arm breaker off a rolling huracanrana. The challengers escaped the potential finish, but Richards finished off Jigsaw with a DR Driver for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Romero & Richards in 10:00 to retain the ROH Tag Titles. The crowd made the match, which was very spot-heavy after a brawl-heavy tag match earlier on the PPV card. Romero & Richards are a very good tag team, as evidenced by them shining in this match. (**3/4)

Backstage: They showed Tyler Black in the kitchen/deep recesses pumping himself up. Elsewhere, they showed Nigel McGuinness sitting on a bench staring into the ROH Title belt.

Voice over: They had a random video on Sweet 'N Sour + Hangmen 3 taking out B.J. Whitmer with a spike piledriver during the Orlando weekend. Announcers said Whitmer sustained a neck injury and they hope to have an update on a future show.

6 -- AUSTIN ARIES vs. BRYAN DANIELSON

All right, time for some main event-level wrestling between two of the best wrestlers in the world. Speaking of hair-dos on this show, very odd seeing Danielson with hair after watching him wrestle bald forever. The match started slow with a lot of mat wrestling, which was perfectly fine for the "feeling out" process.

At 10:00, Danielson settled into a focused attack on Aries's back. He tried Cattle Mutilation a few minutes later, but Aries escaped the hold and landed a suplex. Aries tried a wild clothesline, but Danielson ducked and slapped on a triangle choke before switching to a shoulder submission on the mat. Aries broke free, but Danielson continued his submission attack while Aries kept trying to fight back with kick strikes. Aries nailed a top rope brainbuster and tried a submission of his own, but Danielson countered with repeated elbow strikes to the neck. Aries came back with knee strikes, then Danielson with more elbow strikes before settling into a very painful-looking shoulder submission hold. Aries was forced to tap out, giving Danielson a memorable victory.

WINNER: Danielson in 18:00. Now that's the world-class pro wrestling action that ROH is built on. Just a very good showcase of a realistic style of pro wrestling that Angle and Joe took mainstream to a certain extent at the Lockdown PPV. (***3/4)

Jacobs lecture: Back to Jimmy Jacobs lecturing his potential followers on Tyler Black seeking the power known as the ROH Title. He said Black is bringing the fight to ROH tonight.

In-ring: Tyler Black walked out first for the ROH Title match main event. Nigel McGuinness then walked out with the ROH Title belt wrapped around his waist backwards to irk the fans. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise handled the formal ring intros for the match.

7 -- ROH World champion NIGEL MCGUINNESS vs. TYLER BLACK -- ROH Title match

And here's the match hopefully worth $15 on PPV. Nigel established himself as the heel by attacking Black just a split-second before the opening bell. He started working on the left shoulder, with Black already selling an injury. Nigel took his time measuring his attack on Black while exchanging insults with the crowd. Black finally had an opening to land some offensive, and he went high-risk with a springboard dive into the crowd, but Nigel smashed him in mid-air with a chair. Ah, the crafty heel strikes. Black was KO'ed on the floor, but the ref made the call to continue the match.

Black regained his bearings at 10:00 and pulled himself over the guardrail back to ringside. He even made it back into the ring where Nigel made a pin, but Black kicked out to draw applause. Nigel casually set up a lariat, but Black ducked and scored a sudden two count on a roll-up. Nigel answered right back with a lariat for a nearfall before slapping on an elbow submission working on the injured body part. Nigel tried to finish him with a jawbreaker lariat, but Black ducked and nailed a clothesline.

Both men recovered and traded control with a series of nice counters and reversals. Huge spot at 16:00 with Black trying to set up the Phoenix Splash from the top, but Nigel cut him down and nailed the Tower of London facebuster for a nearfall. Fans stomped their feet, then Nigel measured Black for a rebound lariat, but Black countered into a small package driver for another close two count. Black went for the home run with the Phoenix Splash, but Nigel moved and slapped on his deep-bending elbow submission hold. Black nearly tapped, but found an opening and slipped into a roll-up for a two count. What a match.

At 20:00, Nigel could only look around the arena trying to find a way to finish off Black. He tried a series of slaps before landing a huge lariat for another unbelievable nearfall. It looked like it was done again at 21:00 when Nigel nailed an even harder rebound lariat, but Black kicked out one more time. Black slowly moved to his feet, but Nigel cut him off with a lariat before slapping on the elbow submission one more time. Black screamed in agony and ripped his hair before finally tapping out.

Afterward, Nigel flipped off the crowd in celebration while the announcers put over Black for his efforts. Fans chanted, "Thank you, Tyler" while Nigel looked for some recognition of his own. Nigel left the ring to boos while Tyler tried to recover on the mat to close the show.

WINNER: Nigel McGuinness in 22:00 to retain the ROH Title. Wow. Sometimes you see a match where nearfalls are there for the sake of nearfalls, but this match was so brilliant in telling the story of a young wrestler making a name for himself by escaping even the most sure-bet finishing moves that it epitomized the best of pro wrestling. Wrestling is essentially competitive theater, and this followed the inspirational script of underdog resiliency where Black lasted longer against the cocky champion than he should have. Shawn Michaels is the master of applying made-for-TV storylines to pro wrestling matches, but Black and Nigel put their stamp on the art form. Beautiful, yet intense and competitive wrestling. (****1/2)

Final Thought: This was a two-match show, but it's worth sitting through the undercard to get to the final 40 minutes of the best wrestling you'll see this weekend. Nigel vs. Black speaks for itself on this PPV, as it exceeded the paper hype. This wasn't ROH's best PPV, but ROH found a fresh match-up to make two hours and $15 worth the investment. WWE can learn from this on how to rotate mid-card wrestlers into main event situations to make fresh, new stars that the audience can root for.

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this ROH PPV for an "ROH PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.


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