Ring of Honor Take No Prisoners PPV Report
ROH Take No Prisoners opens in Philadelphia with several competitors in the ring. Announcers Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard welcome everyone to the PPV and promise that we'll find out why the ROH athletes "Take No Prisoners." A spotlight completely washed out their faces. That's the type of thing ROH simply can't afford to happen as they try to win over new fans who are accustomed to the production quality of TNA, WCW, WWE, etc.
They announced the competitors in the ring would be competing for a ROH title shot later that night. As each competitor was announced, they cut a quick promo into the camera that was in the ring. This worked far better at getting over the wrestlers' motivation than previous PPV graphic efforts. It sort of reminded me of the old UK King of Sport British wrestling episodes.
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Tyler Black vs. Go Shiozaki vs. Delirious
As they started the bout, ROH champ Nigel McGuinness joined Prazak and Leonard on commentary, saying he doesn't need anyone any more because since he's won the ROH title, everyone has turned on him and the fans boo him. He said that even the fans that cheer him, he doesn't need, because they may care about him Saturday night but they aren't there when he's in the ER on Sunday and won't be there when he's 40.
Castagnoli and Delirious start off and go into a test of strength. They do some back and forth armdrags. Castagnoli nailed a European uppercut. Shiozaki and Black exchanged forearm strikes before Shiozaki took down Black with a chop. Black returned with a dropkick and leg lariat for a two count. Black charged Shiozaki but was caught in the corner and tied to the tree of woe. He continued to assault him with chops in the corner. Shiozaki rebounded off the ropes with a big knee strike, but Black kicked up at two.
Shiozaki cinched in an abdominal stretch in the center of the ring. Delirious and Claudio attempted to double team Shiozaki but was taken down with a shoulder tackle. Black fakes out a dropkick, then nails a spinkick to Shiozaki. Claudio tags in and he and Shiozaki exchange strikes and chops. Claudio hit a springboard into a forearm strike for a two count. Claudio went for the Ricola Bomb but was blocked. He grabs Shiozaki with a double leg takdown and hits the big swing.
He bashes the dazed Shiozaki with a running uppercut, but Black breaks up the two count. Shiozaki and Claudio both miss chops, but Shiozaki nails a chop to the neck and a superkick for a two count. Delirious tags in and hits a leaping lariat off the top onto Claudio. He rolls up Claudio and turns it into a cobra stretch. Claudio escapes and nails an uppercut. Delirious works over Claudio but Black blind tags in. Delirious avoids a springboard move and sends him into the turnbuckles. Shiozaki lariated Delirious. Claudio nailed a bicycle kick. Black struck him with a leaping kick.
Delirious went to the top but Black recovered before he could hit the move and hit a running boot to the face. Black nailed a Phoenix splash and scored the pin.
Your winner, Tyler Black!
Black will challenge ROH champion Nigel McGuinness.
In the booth, Nigel McGuinness says he wasn't expecting Black to win, but he'll take him out nonetheless.
A fun, athletic opener with lots of really good exchanges and moves. The addition of the pre-match promos and Nigel in the announcer's booth did a hell of a lot more to get over the character's motivation than some of the previous PPV efforts.
A music video of ROH footage set to Ministry aired. I popped huge for the musical selection.
In a breaking news segment, it was announced that due to his attack on ROH officials on the last PPV, Takeshi Morishima is suspended from appearing on PPV as a way to send competitors a message that they aren't allowed to touch the officials. Pretty good cover story to explain Morisihima's absence since he can't do jobs and won't be as available to the company since he's the GHC champ now. They also reviewed the last ROH title changes for the Tag Team belts, explaining that the Age of the Fall had captured the belts, only to lose them to Davey Richards & Rocky Romero. They explained that the Vulture Squad have emerged as the new top contenders.
Backstage, The Age of the Fall cut a promo from an undisclosed location. Jimmy Jacobs, flanked by former WWE star Zach Gowen and Allyson Wonderland says that tonight is the biggest night of Tyler Black's life but the Age of the Fall is a movement and is more than just about wrestling. He starts texting on his sidekick and the camera switches to Tyler Black, somewhere in a pantry it appears, who is psyching himself up for his title shot as Lacey texts Jacobs back. Necro Butcher and Joey Mercury congratulate Black.
Roderick Strong vs. Kevin Steen
The graphics explaining motivation are back and they are upgraded, another good move. Steen and Strong slap and chop early. Steen mocks Strong by chanting his name the way the fans do. They exchange shoulderblocks but neither man goes down early. Strong snaps off a leg lariat to win that back and forth, then begins chopping Steen in the corner.
Strong begins kicking and forearming Steen in the corner. Steen slams Strong and nails an elbow to the back of the head. Steen hits a somersault legdrop. They noted El Generico was on tour in Europe. Strong and Steen exchanged stiff shots and forearms. Steen gets kneed in the mid-section. Strong charges in the corner but is kicked in the chest. Strong nails a big boot to Steen's head as he rebounds off the ropes.
Strong locks on a Dragon Sleeper-style submission hold. Steen gets out by grabbing Strong's face. He charges Strong in the corner but is caught with a boot in the face and a missile dropkick. Strong locks on a camel clutch. Strong nails a lariat in the corner, but meets an elbow when he charges again. Steen hurls himself into Strong in the corner with a big running splash, getting a two count.
Steen catches Roderick's legs as he attempts a kick and attempts a sharpshooter but Strong grabs the ropes. Steen nails a DDT for a two count. They battle back and forth until Strong nails a superplex for a two count. Strong was selling his leg after the move. He went for a Fireman's Carry but Steen escaped and nailed a powerbomb. Steen locked on a Sharpshooter in the center of the ring.
Strong reaches the ropes and forces a break. Steen works over Strong with chops and punches, then drills his knees into Strong. Steen goes for a swanton but misses. Strong covers him for a two count. Steen superkicks Strong, who shakes it off and nails a running boot to the face, but Steen kicks up. Steen hits the package piledriver and scores the win.
Your winner, Kevin Steen!
Solid back and forth. They beat the crap out of each other. Strong really reminds me of Ronnie Garvin.
In the unknown location, Jimmy Jacobs was holding court saying he was going to effect change in society. Gowen and Wonderland were testifying to the cause. Jacobs said they weren't waiting for a white knight, they were taking the fight up for the cause. Jacobs got a text and said that the ROH cameras had better go back to Philadelphia, because Necro and Joey just took the fight to the Briscoes.
STREET FIGHT: The Briscoes vs. Joey Matthews & Necro Butcher
We see The Briscoes brawl through doors into the lobby of the Philadelphia National Guard Armory with Necro Butcher and Joey Matthews. They brawl into the Arena, knocking over a concession table. Necro nailed Mark with a shovel, busting him open. in the back of the head Lacey and Daizee Haze brawled in the crowd as well.
Necro throws Mark into the scaffolding set up for the ROH hard camera, then whips him into a row of chairs. Jay and Joey brawled with chairs. Mark hit a springboard off the guard rail into a dive on Necro in the crowd. The blood was running down the side and back of his head and neck, so it must have been a hardway shot that cut him.
Joey slams Jay's head into the guard rail. Necro tosses Mark into the ringside area. Daizee nails Lacey with a chair. Necro slams a chair into Mark's mid-section. They tied Jay up in the apron. Necro and Mark peppered each other with punches in the ring. Joey attacked Mark. Jay returned to the fight and all four battled in the ring. The crowd chanted, "Man Up."
The Briscoes hit stereo superplexes. The brawl went back to the floor as Daizee and Lacey rolled into the ring and continued their battle. Necro nailed a backbreaker onto the guard rail on Mark. Lacey went for an Implant DDT but Daizee reversed it and nailed a heart punch. She went for a Yakuza Kick, but Lacey ducked and hit a German suplex.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, The Bricoes and the AOTF continued the brawl. Jay and Necro returned to the ring. Necro began nailing right hands and punches on Jay. Matthews wielded a chair as Necro peppered him with punches. Matthews set the chair on the apron and Necro bulldogged Jay onto it. Mark Briscoe pulled himself up onto the apron but was knocked off by Matthews. They showed some nasty close-ups of the gash on the side of his head. I think ROH is the only company left in the States that still shows those bright bloody close-ups that hark back to the day of the old Wrestling Magazines with the bug-eyed wrestlers.
Necro set up two chairs in the center of the ring and slammed Jay through them. Matthews choked Jay with his own T-shirt. Jay began fighting back and exchanged forearms by Joey. Mark was knocked off the apron again by Necro. Jay finally took Joey then, down murdered Necro with a stiff chairshot to the head. Jay tossed Mark the chair as he came off the top rope, and Mark slammed it onto Necro as well.
The Briscoes double-teamed Matthews with chops in the corner. Matthews had this great facial as the exhausted wrestler still putting up his dukes to fight. It reminded me of Dick Murdoch. Mark nails a fistdrop off the apron to the floor on Necro. Jay continued to beat and stomp Matthews in the corner. Necro was draped on the corner of a table as Matthews was backdropped over the ropes and landed on Necro, who was face-down. That was different and dangerous.
The Briscoes set up Matthews for the Doomsday Device and nailed it. Necro returned to the ring but Jay superkicked him. They went for the Doomsday Device on Necro but Necro punched Mark in the face in mid-air, then hit a victory roll for a two count.
They battle spilled back into the crowd. Jay clotheslined Necro over the railing back into the crowd. Mark tossed Necro into the ringside chairs and they brawled towards the back of the building. Mark nailed Necro with a chair to the head. Inside the ring, Matthews set a table up in the corner of the ring. He looked to be going for an exploder but Jay fought him off. Matthews came back with a clothesline. Briscoe nailed a death valley driver through the table.
Back outside, Mark scaled to the top of the ROH entrance set and dove off, putting Necro through a table. Inside, Jay hit the Jay Driller on Matthews and scored the pin.
Your winners, The Briscoes!
A really fun, gritty, bloody brawl. This was better than 90% of the Extreme Rules matches WWE has produced since castrating ECW with blood, stiff brawling, that old Fight Club feel of guys battling as the crowd swarms around them and a sick dive. The only downside to all this is watching Mark Briscoe killing himself. If he keeps it up at the pace he's going, I can't imagine how he's going to have a career filled with longevity. Still, an awesome brawl. Loved this.
Outside of the Arena, Tyler Black was alone preparing for his ROH title shot.
They plugged the www.rohwrestling.com website with clps of all the stars who have appeared in the past for the company.
Backstage, they showed a close-up od Mark's gash. Jay Briscoe said that was what "Take No Prisoners is all about."
Back inside the ring, Larry Sweeney, flanked by Bobby Dempsey, welcomed everyone to the Larry Sweeney Show. How come the show doesn't get it's own logo and graphics? Sweeney said he was declaring a hostile takeover of ROH, but wasn't targeting management. He said he was focusing on the wrestlers and wanted to sign the cream of the crop. He wanted the names that would win all the titles, so he can "sell them up the river to Vince."
Sweeney said he was signing talent from everywhere and called out his guests. Out came The Hangmen 3 and Shane Hagadorn. Adam Pearce and Hagardorn were all excited while the others didn't seem so sure. Sweeney thanked Pearce for being there and told him to feel free to make the announcement. He had Dempsey hand a bag (presumably of money) to Hagadorn.
Pearce told BJ Whitmer and Brent Albright that they were selling out to become members of the Sweet N' Sour family. They didn't seem impressed. Pearce tried to appease them as Sweeney gloated.
Erick Stevens came out and Sweeney told him that given time, he could buy Stevens' contract as well, but not now. Stevens told him to shut up because he wasn't there to sell out. He said that he challenged Daniel Puder to a match (last PPV) but because of Sweeney, Puder was nowhere to be found. Sweeney said Puder wouldn't be back until ROH agrees to Sweeney's terms. Stevens said he was there for a match and wanted one. Sweeney said he would give him a match and Albright attacked him.
Erick Stevens vs. Brent Albright
Stevens recovered from the attack and they brawled back and forth. Albright dove off the top but was caught on Stevens' shoulders and slammed to the canvas. They put over the mystery of what's in Adam Pearce's briefcase - I still think it's the NWA title belt.
Albright went for a back suplex, but Stevens reversed. Albright finally got the better of him and nailed a back suplex. Albright mauled Stevens in the corner with rights. Stevens tried to kick his way out, but was dragged from the corner and nailed with an elbow. Albright went for a facelock into a suplex, but they went back and forth with reversals until Albright struck with a wheelbarrow suplex for a near fall.
Albright nailed a snap suplex on Stevens. Albright charged with a diving move but Stevens ducked and Albright snapped into the ropes. Stevens dragged himself to his feet as the crowd chanted for him. He started cleaning house on Albright, backdropping him. He came off the turnbuckles with a flying shoulder tackle. He nailed a release German suplex.
Stevens set up for the Choo Choo and charged into the corner on Albright. Albright thumbed him in the eye but Stevens recovered and avoided a big kick. Sweeney got on the apron and Stevens went after him. The announcers noted that getting distracted cost Stevens a match at the last PPV. Stevens had Albright pinned but Stevens put his foot on the ropes. Stevens grabbed Sweeney but Albright caught him with an exploder suplex from behind and scored the pin.
Your winner, Brent Albright!
The announcers said that the hostile takeover of the company had begun.
Another good match. There is never, never anything on the PPVs that you just absolutely hate, but being able to tape and edit out anything that doesn't work certainly helps that aspect.
Coverage will continue on Page 2 at the end of the next bout.