ROH Supercard of Honor III: Rematch of the great Nigel McGuinness vs. Austin Aries pay-per-view match, wild brawl between Roderick Strong and Erick Stevens, annual Dragon Gate six-man main event
ROH Supercard of Honor III
March 29, 2008 in Orlando, Fla.
The show opened with a shot of the announcer in the ring and they went right to the introductions for the first match. Announcers Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard introduced themselves once the wrestlers were in the ring. The crowd was extremely hot from the start...
1. Go Shiozaki pinned Delirious in 12:00. Delirious hammed it up early and Shiozaki played along by smiling and hiding behind the referee. Shiozaki backed Delirious into the corner. "No chops," Delirious begged. Funny. He also told the referee to DQ Shiozaki if he chopped him. The crowd laughed. Of course, it didn't take long for Shiozaki to chip him, and Delirious played them up big by acting as if he'd been shot.
In the end, Go hit his finisher and scored the clean pin. Afterward, Delirious continued to act as if he was afraid of the chops. The two wrestlers shook hands and the winner raised the loser's hand. The crowd clapped politely...
Powell's POV: Non-ROH fans might assume that Delirious is a heel based on the way this report reads, but he's actually a masked fan favorite who mixes in good comedy to go along with his good in-ring performances. The match went a little long for the opener. The live crowd was entertained, but I would have been satisfied with an eight-minute match.
Backstage, Larry Sweeney hung out with Shane Hagidorn, who said he was exchanging text messages with Adam Pearce and Brent Albright...
2. Sal Rinauro and Chasyn Rance and Kenny King defeated Dingo and "Sugar Foot" Alex Payne and Bushwhacker Luke in 8:10. Luke used Payne for the battering ram spot at one point and the live crowd had fun with it. In the end, Rinauro delivered a sweet looking springboard kick on Dingo and scored the pin.
Powell's POV: Nothing bad, but nothing you couldn't see at any indy show. This didn't need to be on the DVD. Of course, I might feel differently someday if one of the young wrestlers goes on to become a star. ROH has to do a better job of keeping first-time or casual viewers in mind. I don't think they ever explained what "YRR" (as in YRR faction) stands for, nor do I recall Sweeney mentioning Hagidorn's name. There are ways to include those things that won't insult longtime viewers.
Davey Richards and Rocky Romero were standing in the ring. Prazak explained that they had just finished a match that was taped for a pay-per-view. Larry Sweeney walked to the ring to talk with the tag champs. He put them over, but had nothing good to say about their stable mate Roderick Strong.
Strong came out and said he created the No Remorse Corps. He said it was his group and he'd already told them that they have no interest in joining his Sweet and Sour stable. Erick Stevens ran out and attacked Strong. They brawled at ringside and eventually into the ring. A referee joined them in the ring and was knocked down quickly.
Powell's POV: The YRR. The NRC. Sweet and Sour. Too many factions to follow. Hopefully they are consolidating some of the groups via Sweeney's takeover attempt.
3. Roderick Strong vs. Erick Stevens for the FIP Title never got started. They both punched out the ref early on. Strong bled from the chest. They continued to fight in the ring even though no referee was present. Good stiff brawl. Stevens, who bled from the head, continued to chop Strong's bloody chest. Stevens opened up a gash on Strong's head and then licked the blood off his hands. "You sick f---," the crowd chanted.
They traded punches and eventually punched one another at the same time. Strong fell near a chair and then smashed it over Stevens's head. Sick. Strong motioned for his stable mates. Richards and Romero came out and held Stevens, and Strong used a scissors and an electric razor to remove Erick's mohawk. Strong placed one foot on the fallen Stevens and raised his FIP Title belt.
Powell's POV: Great brawl. It was easy to forget that the referee wasn't there and that neither man could win because the brawl was so intense and entertaining. Technically, this wasn't a match, but they fought for over 10 minutes. Glad to see the mohawk go. Stevens needed a fresh look. Again, though, great brawl. This was easily the highlight of the show so far.
A video recapped the Age of the Fall vs. Briscoe Brothers feud... Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black, Lacey, and Rain (a/k/a Payton Banks) came to the ring. Jacobs cut a promo in which he pointed out a "homeless man in a wheelchair." He said the fans chose to mock the man, but the Age of the Fall bought him a ticket so that he could have one night of enjoyment in his life...
4. Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black (w/Lacey, Rain) defeated Jay and Mark Briscoe in a Relaxed Rules match in 15:15. Another wild brawl. The Briscoes found a trampoline (the building is a rec. center) and one of them used it as a springboard early. Moments later, Jacobs backdropped one of the Briscoes onto a pile of chairs in the crowd. Ouch. Insane. The announcers laid out while the brawl continued.
The teams took turns tossing one another onto piles of chairs. Lacey and Rain sought refuge by standing on the ring apron while the teams continued to brawl at ringside. The live crowd at up the action even though many probably couldn't see much. Mark Briscoe dove off the top of the balcony and drove one of his opponents through a table. EC-Dub!
The teams finally fought their way into the ring and the announcers started calling the action again. They tried to pass it off as if they were driven from their announcing post due to the brawl but they weren't very convincing.
Jacobs and Black worked over Jay Briscoe while Mark was still laid out from the big dive off the balcony. They hit the Super Contra Code on Jay, but he kicked out. Jacobs was so upset that he literally pulled hair out of his own head. Mark recovered and he and Jay went for the Springboard Doomsday Device, but Jacobs actually turned it into the End Time while he was being flipped over and got the win for his team. Great spot. Just awesome.
Powell's POV: What a brawl and I absolutely love that finish. Not crazy about the match placement. It just felt like this brawl was misplaced in that it followed the great Strong and Stevens brawl. Don't get me wrong, this was still wild, insane, and highly entertaining. Granted, it was a different style brawl in that this was more of a hardcore brawl, whereas Strong and Stevens was just a stiff brawl with only one chairshot, but I would have separated the two. Maybe that's just me.
Backstage, a bloody Stevens sat in a corner and vowed that he wouldn't stop going after Strong until he took his FIP Title... In another part of the backstage area, Jacobs and Black cut promos while Lacey and Rain stood by. Jacobs said he had a plan to regain the tag titles. Lacey cut him off and said she had a backup plan just in case his plan didn't work out...
5. Kevin Steen and El Generico vs. BxB Hulk and Shingo. BxB Hulk dance and performed for the crowd before the match and they gave him a good reaction. Nonstop action in this match, as all four men were in the ring late and they took turns hitting big spots. The Japanese team had Generico pinned a few times, but Steen broke up the pin attempts at the last possible second each time. In the end, Shingo used a lariat and something called Falconry to put Generico away while Hulk held on to Steen.
Powell's POV: As is usually the case with ROH matches, I didn't even attempt to describe all the action in this match. It was one spot after another. Very well done. The live crowd chanted, "Please come back," to the Japanese team afterward.
Backstage, Stevens stood in front of a mirror a shaved what was left of his mohawk...
6. Nigel McGuinness pinned Austin Aries for the ROH Title in 25:00. The crowd exchanged, "Let's go, Nigel" and "F--- you, Nigel" chants before the bell. The announcers pointed out that this was a rematch of the great "Rising Above" pay-per-view main event. They kept the pace of the match slow early, but things really picked up after the 10-minute mark and especially after the 15-minute mark.
At 20:30, Aries hit the brainbuster and followed up with a 450-splash. The fans chanted along with the referee, but Nigel got his foot over the ropes at the last possible second. Great nearfall. Aries went for a suicide dive between the ropes, but Nigel moved and Aries went crashing head first into the guardrail.
McGuinness picked up Aries and placed him on the guardrail, then performed a running lariat that sent Aries into the crowd. Nigel went into the crowd and dragged Aries's limp body back into the ring. He went for a cover, but Aries kicked out. Nigel hit another lariat for another nearfall.
A short time later, Nigel went for another lariat, but Aries turned it into a crucifix bomb. However, Nigel came right back with the Jawbreaker Lariat and scored the clean pin.
Powell's POV: Another excellent match between McGuinness and Aries. This wasn't as good as their pay-per-view match, but it was still damn good. Nigel should be the next big thing to come out of ROH when and if he leaves. Aries is great also, but Nigel is the total package with in-ring skill, size, a great look, and strong mic work.
It took a while for Aries to get to his feet. Once he did, the Age of the Fall joined him in the ring. Jimmy Jacobs said it wasn't Austin's destiny to win the title. He said it was his destiny to lose so that Age of the Fall could pick him up and be the crutch. Jacobs said it was time for Aries to make a decision.
Lacey interrupted Jacobs and said it was obvious that his words meant nothing to him. She said she would show Aries why he belonged with AOTF. "Come with me, Austin," she said. "Take my hand." He took her hand, but Jacobs stepped in and objected. She reassured him and gave him a kiss before starting to walk off with Aries.
Suddenly, Tammy Sytch came out and chastised Aries for entertaining the idea of leaving with "this crack whore skank." Tammy said she'd offered Aries everything from fame to sex. He walked around her and walked off hand-in-hand with Lacey. The remaining AOTF members grabbed Sytch and Rain slapped her. The Briscoes ran out and made the save...
Backstage, McGuinness proclaimed that the era of Austin Aries is done. He said he doesn't care who he faces in ROH or any other promotion. "Bring it on because I'll break your friggin' jaw"...
7. Naruki Doi and Geki Horiguchi and Masato Yoshino defeated Dragon Kid and CIMA and Ryo Saito in 26:00. CIMA was the big fan favorite during introductions, as he was introduced last and the crowd chanted his name. The announcers reminded viewers that the six-man Dragon Gate main event has become an annual tradition on the Supercard of Honor shows.
At 21:00, Doi powerbombed Kid off the top rope for a great nearfall. The live crowd didn't pop for the nearfalls, presumably because they didn't have much emotional investment in the match and because they didn't want the match to end. The wrestlers went on a series of big moves and nearfalls for the next several minutes. Finally, Doi hit a Muscular Bomb on Dragon Kid and scored the clean pin.
The announcers thanked the Dragon Gate wrestlers for coming and put over the fans who travelled to Orlando (it was WrestleMania 24 weekend). Meanwhile, the live crowd thanked the Dragon Gate wrestlers by chanting thank you in Japanese. Most of the wrestlers shook hands after the match and the crowd chanted, "Please come back"...
Powell's POV: Lightning fast action. I didn't even try to detail all the major moves or nearfalls because it was virtually impossible. TNA has been trying to put over the speed and innovation of their World X Cup tournament matches, but they don't even come close to comparing to this match. Great action with some truly innovative spots. Not much psychology in this one, but the live crowd didn't seem to mind.
Backstage, Sweeney bragged to Hagadorn about how many contacts he made during the weekend. He turned his attention to the camera. "Ring of Honor officials, the game is on," he said. He hyped his ROH takeover to close the show...
Overall DVD Thoughts: Terrific show. I could have done without the second match and I thought the first match ran a little too long, but everything that followed those two matches was tremendous. A couple of wild brawls, a fun tag team spot-fest, a terrific ROH Title match, and a wild main event. A good mix of match styles that meshed for a very strong ROH DVD offering.
If I had to criticize one thing about the show it would be the announcing. Prazak and Leonard had some ups and downs. There were times when they added very little to the matches and almost took away from them via what sounded like lack of enthusiasm.
I might be in the minority, but the most memorable aspect of this DVD was the Erick Stevens and Rodercik Strong brawl. It was just so intense and hard fought. That being said, I would understand if others felt the main event, McGuinness vs. Aries, or the Briscoes vs. Jacobs and Black stood out more. When there's that many possibilities to choose from, you know it's a truly great show.
I give the event an 9.0 out of 10. Highly recommended and available for purchase at ROHWrestling.com.
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