PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By James Caldwell, PWTorch.com assistant editor
ROH Caged Collision PPV Report
April 17, 2009
Taped in Chicago, Ill.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Missed the first 15 minutes of the PPV thanks to the wonderfully crappy Comcast DVR. Apparently the opening match was Sugarfoot Alex Payne defeating Silas Young and Kenny King. We'll pick it up mid-match on the second match with Kevin Steen vs. Claudio Castagnoli.
1 -- KEVIN STEEN vs. CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI
Crowd was hot for an exchange of power offense between the two big men. The hard camera was set up to shoot really wide, which looks good to create a "big arena" feel. Nice touch. In the end, Larry Sweeney came to ringside and tried to run a distraction, but El Generico came to ringside and chased him off. In the confusion, Claudio grappled Steen and gave him a sit-out powerbomb for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Claudio Castagnoli. Didn't see enough of the match to give a fair rating, but both men worked well to set a nice hard-hitting, physical tone for the PPV.
Video package: They showed the history of dissension in the Age of the Fall. ... Backstage: Kyle Durdin brought in Sugarfoot, who wanted to celebrate a victory, but Nigel McGuinness jumped him and tossed him into a locker room door. Nigel called him a disgrace to the wrestling business, then cut a heel promo ahead of his title match on the PPV.
2 -- BRODIE LEE & DELIRIOUS (w/Jimmy Jacobs) vs. NECRO BUTCHER & JERRY LYNN
The big men, Brodie and Butcher, had a mid-ring exchange early on, then Lynn tagged in and tried to run circles around Brodie to wear him out. Ref looks like one of the Highlanders, by the way. Delirious put Lynn in a mat hold and they went to an overhead camera shot to provide a unique perspective on the hold. Lee tagged in, but missed with a corner boot and spilled to the floor. Lynn tried to make a tag, but Lee yanked Necro off the ring apron. Lynn eventually made the tag a few minutes later and Necro came in hot on Lee for some power offense. They switched from a ringside handheld shot (grainy video) to a nice overhead corner shot (sharp video) to completely throw everything off. For a viewer, it's difficult to go from crappy handhelds to really sharp overhead HD shots without being taken out of the action.
Action spilled to the floor when the ref lost control of the match. Necro then took Lee through a table with a leg drop from the apron that excited the crowd. Back in the ring, Lynn smashed Delirious with a cradle Piledriver for the win. I don't believe Lynn was legal, but the match lost any semblance of rules when it was booked. Post-match: Jacobs just shook his head in disgust. Meanwhile, Lee riled on the floor selling pain. Lynn and Necro celebrated, then Jacobs approached Delirious in the ring. Jacobs berated him for losing, then he pulled out a chain. Suddenly, Daizee Haze showed up to protect Delirious. Jacobs dared her to use the Spike on him, then she accidentally spiked Delirious when Jacobs moved. Haze cried out in anguish over her mis-step as Jacobs berated her for screwing up.
WINNERS: Lynn & Necro in 13:00. Fine, exciting tag match. Not too much over-the-top gimmickery for a Necro match so they didn't kill the rest of the card. Post-match angle was fine, but seems like so two months ago. Hard to keep track of all these storylines with ROH serving four different masters - live event, DVD, PPV, and TV. (**3/4)
Video package: They focused on the Jacobs vs. Aries feud, Tyler Black's involvement, and Aries's eventual heel turn.
In-ring: Austin Aries cut a promo about the ROH fans being the most fickle fans in all of wrestling. Someone tried to chuck a streamer toward him. "Nice try, but you missed," he told him. Aries said he's done trying to please the fans by sacrificing his body for their instant-gratification "oh my!" moment. Aries said that The Star is finally here and the show can begin. Jimmy Jacobs, then Tyler Black, then Bryan Danielson came out. Danielson said he can't trust anyone, so he proposed a four-way match to determine the #1 contender to the ROH Title.
3 -- BRYAN DANIELSON vs. JIMMY JACOBS vs. TYLER BLACK vs. AUSTIN ARIES
At-the-time-of-the-PPV-taping ROH champion Nigel McGuinness joined the "commentary booth" for a look at the potential contenders to his title. Aries played the cowardly heel on Black early on, which was awesome. Aries is very much in-tune with his heel character. Danielson and Black then battled mid-ring as the commentary booth of Dave Prazak and Nigel suggested Black isn't championship material. Effective build of some adversity for Black to overcome and prove them wrong. Aries eventually got in the ring with Black, who nailed him with a dropkick and tagged in Danielson. Aries then escaped to the floor, but he ran into an elbow from Danielson back in the ring. Danielson then landed a European Uppercut and Aries flipped over the top rope to the floor and into the front row. Aries so great being over-the-top.
At 10:00, Black took a tag and cleaned house on everyone. Black ran across the ring with clotheslines on Aries and Jacobs, but Danielson surprised him with a leaping clothesline from the top rope. Danielson made his fiery comeback and scored a nearfall on Black before slapping on Cattle Mutilation. Black was able to escape, though, and he nailed a spinning back slam from the reverse DDT position for a two count. Aries then tripped up Black from behind and nailed a suicide dive on Jacobs on the floor. Aries was consumed talking trash, then he looked up to find Black coming toward him with a top-rope splash. Suddenly, Danielson soared over the guardrail with a splash onto some folks. The crappy camera captured a replay, then an overhead shot showed all men out cold on the floor.
Suddenly, the hand-held cameraman was bumped on the floor. Bison Smith was the perpetrator and he grappled Danielson to give him a powerbomb on the floor. Bison walked around ringside acting tough after taking out Danielson. Back in the ring, it was a three-way match with men breaking up pin attempts. Aries and Jacobs then tried to double-pin Black, but he kicked out. A&J started double-teaming Black to wear him down, then they tried another double cover, but Black kicked out again. At 20:00, Aries and Jacobs started arguing, which led to Aries dumping Jacobs over the top rope into Cary Silkin's lap. Aries lost his focus, then Black snuck up from behind and rolled up Aries for the three count. Nigel was beside himself wondering how many times he has to face Black, who has lost his chances. In the ring, Aries was shocked at his loss. Great facial expression of doom.
WINNER: Black in 21:00 to become #1 contender. Excellent match with some nice sequences between four of ROH's top stars. Set up an angle with Danielson and Smith that seems old, though. It is fun going back in time to see Aries's development with the heel character. Very entertaining aspect of the match. (***1/2)
Backstage: Kyle Durdin brought in Jerry Lynn with a black eye. Basic interview with Lynn.
4 -- ROH champion NIGEL MCGUINNESS vs. EL GENERICO -- ROH Title match
Before the match could even start, Nigel blasted Generico with the title belt to begin an easy offensive attack. When action officially started, Nigel knocked Generico to the floor looking for a count-out victory. Kevin Steen then showed up to urge Generico to get back in the ring and not give up so easily. Generico made it back, then Nigel pointed toward Steen to tell him to stay out of his business. Generico fought back with a springboard enziguiri, but Nigel yanked him to the floor and rammed Generico head-first into the guardrail. Nigel again tried to win by count-out for an easy night at the office, but Generico got back in just before a 20 count.
At 5:00, Nigel stomped down on Generico's wrist to begin a methodical, time-consuming beat down on the challenger. Nigel then tried a rebound lariat, but Generico had it scouted and he nailed a boot to the face. Nigel shook it off, though, and went back to Generico's shoulder to cut him off and pick up his attack again. Nigel re-focused on the shoulder with an aggressive knee strike, but Generico suddenly pulled out a springboard huracanrana that took Nigel to the floor. Generico then measured Nigel and nearly broke his neck going for a double springboard moonsault to the floor when he slipped on the top rope.
At 10:00, action returned to the ring where Generico nailed a cross-body block for a two count. Generico tried to follow with a running Yakuza kick, but Nigel blocked and hit the Tower of London for a close two count. Nigel hung Generico on the top rope for the big Lariat smash, but Generico blocked with a kick strike. He missed with a running Yakuza kick, then Nigel gave him the Tower of London to the ring apron. Non-crappy overhead camera gave us a better look. Generico then avoided a 20-count by diving head-first back into the ring at 19. Nigel was beside himself looking for a 20 count to leave Chicago with the win.
At 15:00, Generico, inspired, made a comeback with a brainbuster, but it was only good for a two count. Generico finally nailed the Yakuza kick, then he wanted a top rope brainbuster, but Nigel blocked and knocked him off the top rope with a lariat. Nigel then sat down on the London Dungeon submission to take advantage of the shoulder work, but Generico escaped into an inside cradle for a two count only. Both men came to their feet and Nigel smashed him with a lariat before slapping on the Dungeon one more time. Generico had no choice but to tap after a few moments.
WINNER: Nigel McGuinness in 17:00 to retain the ROH Title. Excellent title match. Nigel worked very well to make Generico look good by selling fear of losing the title near the end. It's what Kurt Angle talked about today in making the opponent look better than when he came into the match. Generico looked good in his own right. Solid title match. (***3/4)
Post-match: Tyler Black showed up to announce himself the #1 contender to the ROH Title. He can exercise that title shot anytime he wants. Crowd wanted it right now. Black said he can't think of any better time than right now to cash it in. Suddenly, Austin Aries and Jimmy Jacobs jumped Black from behind to cut off Black's proposition and deliver a beat down. Necro and Lynn made the save for Black, but Nigel had already high-tailed it away from ringside.
Videos: They recapped the feud between Larry Sweeney's henchmen and the five babyfaces assembled to face Team Sweeney in the cage match main event tonight. Davey Richards and Roderick Strong were the first ones in the ring for this War Games/Lethal Lockdown-format match.
5 -- TEAM SWEENEY vs. TEAM RANDOM BABYFACES -- STEEL CAGE WARFARE MATCH
Richards and Strong battled in the ring to start things off. We found out Team Sweeney has the man-advantage, as Tank Tolland made a surprise return as the second member of Team Sweeney. Ace Steel then came out as the second man for Team Random Babyfaces. Eddie Edwards came out third for Team Sweeney and sort of stared at the cage unsure of what he wanted to do. He opted to grab a steel chair instead of getting into the cage. Next out for TRB was Jay Briscoe. Jay fired up the crowd, but Sara Del Rey suddenly jumped Jay from behind. Action broke down on the floor and Edwards smashed Jay with a chair shot to the knee. Edwards entered the cage with the chair, then Bobby Dempsey came out for Sweeney's team. He gave Jay a light forearm to his head out of obligation and with no real conviction. Pretty comical. Strong was opened up in the ring, then Erick Stevens came out for TRB. He cleaned house, but Sweeney took control again when Adam Pearce slowly made his way into the cage as a surprise entrant. At least, that's how it could have gone down, but Stevens tossed Pearce into the cage wall and TRB took control. Finally, Brent Albright stormed the ring for TRB to round out the field.
Pearce took a blow into the cage wall, then Steel cracked him over the head with a steel chair blow. TRB was standing tall as Strong cracked Toland over the head with a chair shot to the head. Strong went nuts with the chair before cornering Dempsey, who begged off. Stevens then chucked Edwards through the cage door. Tolland took a similar fate, followed by Richards. Pearce and Dempsey were the last two men in there for Team Sweeney. Pearce, busted open, couldn't avoid a triple-team beat down. Match spilled outside the cage where all heck broke loose. Strong went nuts with more chair shots to the head, this time using some seats from the front row. Pearce came back with a chair shot on Stevens, then Jay Briscoe limped back to the scene selling an injured knee. He decided he wanted to go nuts, so he climbed inside the cage, to the top, and flew onto everyone below with a big splash to pop the crowd. After a pause, Pearce found himself back in the cage with Stevens and Albright, who tore him up before Albright nailed a half-nelson suplex for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Team Albright in 18:00. I hated the chair shots to the head aspect of the match, but everything else was good. I've just seen way too many chairshots to the head this week. I imagine it won't get any better on Sunday with TNA Lockdown. In any event, a satisfying match for folks ordering the PPV. Delivered action, moves, a giant brawl, some crazy highspots, and a closing moment to make it feel like you got your $15 worth. Good cage match. (***)
Overall thoughts: Good, but not great PPV event. The production value continues to steadily increase, even though the grainy handcam shots look bush-league on the same PPV with sharp, HD-quality overhead and corner-post shots. It's also frustrating trying to keep up with ROH storylines when TV, live event, DVD, and PPV are not in sync and there's no way for the announcers to make sense of the storylines without tying everything into knots.
As for the in-ring action, ROH delivered some good PPV-quality matches, including an ROH Title-worthy match between Nigel and Generico. The cage match was take-it-or-leave-it with the chair shots and violence, but effective for giving the PPV buyer a blow-off match in the Sweeney vs. Albright & Stevens feud. Meanwhile, Austin Aries is a man amongst boys in the character-development, entertainment, and in-ring action triple threat department. Aries's heel character is a stand-out aspect of ROH programming right now.
Is the PPV worth the $15 price tag? Depends on what you're looking for. For ROH fans, there might be a better DVD release out there, but if you want to watch ROH on TV, then it's a good way to spend $15 and two hours and walk away satisfied with the PPV order.
We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for an "ROH PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**