5/30 ROH “Take No Prisoners” PPV: Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries, Nigel McGuinness defends the ROH Title against the winner of a four-way match
Taped March 16 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Debuted on PPV on May 30, 2008
The slick ROH graphic appeared on the screen with an "ROH" crowd chant in the background... With wrestlers already in the ring, Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard introduced the show and announced that they were back in the ROH birth city. A brief shot aired of the promotion's first show on Feb. 23, 2002.
Prazak thanked viewers for joining them and a brief shot aired of Nigel McGuinness watching a backstage monitor. Leonard stated that the winner of the opening four-way match would face Nigel for the ROH Title later in the show. The announcers introduced the four wrestlers who were already in the ring...
Powell's POV: The spotlight was too bright on the announcers and it was hard to see their faces. The ring was well lit, which is the important thing, but the building looked dark and wasn't visually appealing. In other words, they've run in buildings that looked better on pay-per-view in the past.
1. Tyler Black defeated Claudio Castagnoli and Go Shiozaki and Delirious in a four-way survival match to earn an ROH Title match later in the show. McGuinness sat in on commentary during the match. At 9:31, Black hit the Phoenix Splash on Delirious for the win. Black smiled at ringside afterward while Nigel said he wasn't expecting to face him. There was a small "Tyler Black" chant.
Powell's POV: Good match. The live crowd seemed cool with the outcome, but I didn't get the sense they were dying to see him challenge McGuinness. It will be fun to see whether he wins people over...
A highlight video set to Ministry's "Watch Yourself" aired with some really good in-ring footage and ringside shots of Daniel Puder and Tammy Sytch...
In a breaking news segment, it was announced that Takeshi Morishima has been suspended from appearing on ROH pay-per-view for attacking the referee on the last PPV. He will be allowed to appear on shows, but he will not get camera time on PPV. They also updated that ROH Tag Title changes that took place between this and the last pay-per-view...
The breaking news segment was interrupted by an Age of the Fall segment. Jimmy Jacobs cut a promo while Zach Gowen and Allison Wonderland stood by in an undisclosed location. Jacobs exchanged text messages...
A backstage camera set up in what must be the kitchen area of the building showed Tyler Black pumping himself up while Lacey was more concerned with exchanging text messages with Jacobs. There was no audio, but music played in the background. Necro Butcher and Joey Mercury entered the picture, congratulated Black, and headed off with Lacey...
2. Kevin Steen pinned Roderick Strong in 11:10 in a non-title match. Steen took control and asked the crowd, "Who wants to see him die?" Later, Strong scored a couple of good nearfalls, but Steen came back with a package piledriver for the win. The crowd counted along with the three count. "That was for you, mom," Steen said afterward.
Powell's POV: Very nice match. Good back and forth action with some good nearfalls down the stretch. The live crowd was happy with the outcome and expressed appreciation for the match.
In an undisclosed area, Jacobs held court for a group of his followers along with Gowan and . He got a text message during his sermon and sent instructed the cameras to head to the ring for the next match...
3. The Briscoes (w/Daizee Haze) vs. Necro Butcher and Joey Matthews (w/Lacey) in a Philadelphia Street Fight. The two teams brawled all over the building at the start. Necro hit Mark with a shovel and he bled from a gash on the back of his head. They eventually made their way into the ring. Haze and Lacey fought in and out of the ring and eventually disappeared. Necro and Matthews set up two chairs in the ring, placed a third flat chair on top of the other two, and then slammed one of the Briscoes onto the three chairs.
The Briscoes teamed up to hit a pair of sick chairshots to Butcher's head. Later, Butcher took another chairshot to the head at ringside. The Briscoes performed a sloppy springboard Doomsday Device. The announcer yelled, "Nailed it." Um, not quite.
Moments later, they tried the Doomsday Device again and this time Necro punched Mark in the face when he went for the clothesline. Nice spot. Mark climbed to the top of the scaffolding on the entrance area and dove onto Butcher, as both men crashed through a table. Back in the ring, Jay hit his finisher on Matthews and scored the pin. The announcers hyped that the Briscoes are 6-0 on pay-per-view...
Powell's POV: A wild garbage brawl. Everyone involved worked hard and the live crowd ate it up. The fans stood for the entire match and popped for the finish. I counted at least five chairshots to Necro's head. Totally unnecessary.
A shot aired of Black standing outside the building... An ad aired for the ROH website... Backstage, the camera closed in on a giant gash on the back of Mark's head. Jay pointed at the gash and said that's what "Take No Prisoners" is all about...
Powell's POV: Isn't that what ECW was all about?
In the ring, Larry Sweeney hosted his talk show while Bobby Dempsey stood by and held onto a briefcase. Sweeney said he was going to continue to sign talent to Vince (McMahon). He introduced the Hangmen. Adam Pearce and Shane Hagadorn were happy to announce they were part of the Sweet and Sour family. B.J. Whitmer and Brent Albright didn't appear to be so happy.
Erick Stevens walked to the ring. Sweeney said he'd be willing to sign Stevens to a minimum contract. Funny. Stevens wanted to fight Daniel Puder, but since he wasn't there he demanded that Sweeney give him a match. Albright attacked Stevens from behind...
4. Brent Albright (w/Sweeney, Dempsey, Pearce, Hagadorn, Whitmer) defeated Erick Stevens in 6:00. Albright controlled the offense early. Stevens fought back later in the match and hit a nice shoulder block off the second rope. He followed up with a release German suplex.
Stevens continued to control the match, but became distracted by Sweeney and the others at ringside. He still managed to nail a powerslam for a nearfall. Stevens reached over the ropes and grabbed Sweeney by the hair. Albright took advantage of the situation and hit a half nelson suplex for the win.
Powell's POV: Good match between two of ROH's bigger wrestlers. Stevens lost on the last pay-per-view because he allowed himself to be distracted by Puder. Hopefully this is the last distraction loss. It came off like a rookie mistake last time. It worked again this time, but he'll look like a dimwit if it happens too many times.
The show cut to Orlando for the next match...
5. Rocky Romero and Davey Richards defeated Ruckus and Jigsaw for the ROH Tag Titles in 8:40. At 7:20, Romero performed a Frankensteiner off the top rope on Jigsaw and caught him in an arm bar as they hit the mat. Great spot. Jigsaw broke up the submission attempt for his partner. The crowd chanted, "This is awesome." Jigsaw caught Richards in a backslide for a good nearfall. Moments later, Romero and Richards hit the spike DR Driver on Jigsaw for the win.
Powell's POV: Fun, crowd-pleasing match. We didn't learn anything about the personalities of the wrestlers involved, though, because there was no setup for the match on the pay-per-view. Nevertheless, very good action.
In the kitchen area back in Philadelphia, Black continued to pace in anticipation of his ROH Title match... A shot aired of Nigel sitting in his locker room staring down at the ROH Title belt...
Highlights aired from Orlando of Pearce and Hagidorn performing a spike piledriver on Whitmer. Prazak said Whitmer was rushed to the hospital with an apparent injury...
6. Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries in 17:00. Aries worked over Danielson's neck early with a variety of holds and moves. At 11:00, Danielson gained control and targeted Austin's left shoulder by ramming it into the ringpost and then locking on a couple of submission holds. Aries reached the ropes to break the hold.
There was a cool spot where Danielson ran into the corner and flipped his way off the turnbuckle to avoid Aries. However, Aries chased Dragon, clotheslined him out of the ring, and followed up with a heat seeking missile at ringside. Danielson regained control and went back to work on the shoulder and threw in a missile dropkick. A short time later, he locked in Cattle Mutilation. Aries escaped and hit a belly-to-back.
Later, Aries went for a brainbuster, but his arm/shoulder was too sore. He continued to sell the injury as the match continued. The announcers reminded viewers that each wrestler targeted a specific body part and stuck to it throughout the match. Dragon locked in a triangle choke over the ropes and broke the hold at four.
Aries hit the brainbuster for a nearfall. They took turns exchanging knee strikes and elbows. Eventually, Danielson sat on Aries' shoulder and wrenched back on it until he tapped out.
Powell's POV: Excellent match. The strategy was explained well by the announcers and both wrestlers told the story well themselves. I think the match may have been different had they been in the main event slot. I could be wrong, but it seemed like they were conscious of the pace and not showing up the main event. They worked at a slower pace, focussed on submissions, and it really clicked.
Jacobs spoke to his followers about Tyler Black bringing in the ROH Title to the Age of the Fall. He said it was the biggest platform they could hope to achieve in ROH...
Powell's POV: I don't get it. The Age of the Fall has had its share of really good moments, but Jacobs raving to a group of followers doesn't make me want to see him wrestle or look forward to the next chapter in his storyline. Let me know what I'm missing ROH diehards.
7. Nigel McGuinness defeated Tyler Black to retain the ROH Title in 22:00. Before the match, the announcers referred to Black as a Cinderella story and said no one expected to see this matchup. Nigel shook Black's hand, then attacked to start the match the moment he turned around. McGuinness controlled the early action and taunted the crowd in between moves. He targeted Black's shoulder and worked a slow, cocky, entertaining style.
Black performed a springboard dive from the ring to the floor, but dove right into a chair Nigel held up. The referee checked on Black at ringside. The announcers pointed out that the referee ordered McGuinness to remain in the ring, as Black struggled to get to his feet on the floor. Once back inside the ring, Black rolled up Nigel for a good nearfall that popped a few people in the crowd.
Nigel continued to control the bulk of the action and became frustrated when he couldn't put Black away. Black superplexed Nigel and then rolled right into a second move. He went for the cover and popped the crowd by nodding his head as the referee counted. Nigel kicked out at the last possible moment and the crowd erupted with "That was three," chants. Good spot.
Nigel came back and scored a nearfall of his own. He put it over huge by acting shocked as though he didn't pin the challenger. A short time later, Nigel placed Black on the ropes and then struck him with a Lariat. However, he only scored a nearfall. "This is awesome," the crowd chanted. Nigel struck Black with a lariat and the challenger kicked out again, driving Nigel and the crowd into a frenzy. Black kicked Nigel, who came right back with a jawbreaker lariat for yet another nearfall.
The champion put over the challengers efforts again by showing frustration over not being able to finish him off. Black stood up and Nigel nailed him with another lariat. He locked in the London Dungeon finishing hold and Black finally tapped out to give McGuinness the win. "Thank you, Tyler," chanted the live crowd...
Powell's POV: Wow, that was a fun match. Nigel was absolutely brilliant. His reactions to the nearfalls he scored on Black were spectacular. Mission accomplished when it comes to getting Black over. Overall, not my favorite ROH pay-per-view. Plenty of good matches, but repetitive Jacobs segments didn't do much for me. It was good to see them slow down again and avoid the temptation to hold a "let's get everyone onto the pay-per-view" match.
A solid 7.5 out of a possible 10. Good to great matches all around. I enjoyed the pace of this event more than the frantic pace of the previous show. As much as I enjoyed this main event, it just couldn't top the amazing Nigel vs. Aries main event from last month. The show is totally worth the $14.95 they charge on my system, and you might be able to find it cheaper via your cable or satellite provider.
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