ROH Respect is Earned II PPV: Bryan Danielson and Austin Aries challenge Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs for the ROH Tag Titles, Nigel McGuinness vs. Go Shiozaki for the ROH Title, Erick Stevens vs. Rockderick Strong
Taped June 7 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Debuted on PPV on August 1, 2008
The show opened with a brief shot of the crowd. Backstage, Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard introduced the show and introduced an ROH video...
Powell's POV: Great video with some amazing high spots and memorable ROH moments.
In a breaking news segment, one of the announcers recapped the tag title changes that had taken place since the last pay-per-view...
1. Kevin Steen and El Generico vs. Jigsaw and Ruckus in 9:00. Late in the match, Generico hit Jigsaw with a Yakuza kick, then Steen superkicked him. Steen performed a Swanton on Jigsaw, and then Generico followed up with a top rope splash for the win.
Powell's POV: Both teams looked good and Ruckus's offense really shined. His acrobatics made him the star of the match. Meanwhile, Steen did an excellent job of playing to the crowd. Very good opener. The live crowd was into the action. I didn't get the sense they were cheering for one of the teams as much as they were just cheering the moves.
A brief video on the Briscoe brothers aired...
2. Claudio Castagnoli pinned Davey Richards in 9:00. Prazak noted that the winner of the match would be in line for a title shot, then introduced Nigel McGuinness, who sat in on commentary. Richards worked over Claudio's left arm early and frequently. At 7:00, Richards locked in kimura and then turned it into a pin attempt. Claudio came back with a giant swing, but he released it while selling the arm injury. Claudio hit a European uppercut and scored the pin.
Powell's POV: Good match that could have been longer. It's rare that I say something like that about ROH shows, but Claudio's win came out of nowhere. The announcers did a nice job of hyping that Claudio was 3-0 in pay-per-view singles matches.
Backstage, Larry Sweeney and the rest of Sweet and Sour Inc. took turns talking and mocking Bobby Dempsey...
A backstage Brent Albright promo aired. He talked about his hatred for Sweeney and Sweet and Sour. Highlights aired of Albright powerbombing Shane Hagadorn through a table and then they cut back to the promo. Albright brought in Pelle Primeau, and Delirious as his "army." He also brought in Daizee Haze to take care of Sara Del Rey...
Powell's POV: The promo was solid early, but probably went on a little too long.
3. Brent Albright and Delirious and Pelle Primeau (w/Daizee Haze) defeated Chris Hero and Adam Pearce and Eddie Edwards (w/Sweeney, Del Rey, Dempsey) in 10:00. The heels worked over Delirious, who struggled for a few minutes to make the tag. There were a couple of good near tags that built drama. Finally, Delirious made the hot tag to Albright, who cleaned house on the heels. Eventually, Albright hit Edwards with several knees to the face and won the match for his team via ref stoppage.
After the pin, Pearce entered the ring and struck Albright with the briefcase that Sweeney has been carrying around. Sweeney revealed that he's been carrying the NWA Title inside the briefcase. He handed it to Pearce, who is the NWA Champion, and he held it high in the air...
Powell's POV: Good storytelling in the match with Delirious trying desperately to make the tag and then finally tagging in the captain of his team. The NWA Title angle didn't do much for me and the live crowd didn't seem overly excited.
A video showcased the Erick Stevens vs. Roderick Strong feud...
4. Roderick Strong defeated Erick Stevens in a fight without honor in 23:00. The match was joined in progress, as the announcers acted as if they were live and the match had started unexpectedly. They continued to brawl at ringside for four minutes and then finally fought their way inside the ring.
Strong struck Stevens with several chairshots to the knee and back. He brought a huge ladder into the ring and placed it over one of the turnbuckles and ring posts. He tried to whip Stevens into the ladder, but Stevens reversed it and Strong went face first into the ladder.
Later, both men were bloody as they fought in and out of the ring. A ladder was set up between the ring and the guardrail. Stevens heaved Strong onto his shoulders and then dropped him face first onto the ladder. Cool spot and the cameras got a great close up shot of a bloody Strong lying at ringside.
Later, both men fought to the top of the giant and now rickety ladder, which was set up in the middle of the ring. The crowd chanted, "Please don't die," as the referee tried to hold the ladder in place. There were two tables set up in the corner in the ring when Strong superplexed Stevens off the ladder and through the tables at ringside. Both men were lying on the mat when the referee started to count them both out. Strong managed to place his arm over Stevens for the win.
Powell's POV: Wow. Damn good match. It would have been nice if both wrestlers had been given a chance to set the tone of the match via some mic work. That being said, this was a a great brawl and the finish was absolutely insane. It was cool to see a winner, but I would have been cool if both men had been counted out under the circumstances.
5. Nigel McGuinness defeated Go Shiozaki to retain the ROH Title in 17:00. Early in the match, McGuinness yelled, "I'm the best wrestler in the world." The announcers chided him for using Bryan Danielson's line. The live crowd ate it up.
Nigel worked over Go's left arm throughout the match. Shiozaki made a late comeback and scored several nearfalls. Late in the match, Shiozaki superkicked Nigel, who came back with a jawbreaker and followed up with the London Dungeon for the submission win.
After the match, Bryan Danielson came out and said Nigel has been ducking him for too long. He challenged NIgel to a title match on pay-per-view and said he hoped Nigel would be man enough to accept it...
Powell's POV: Solid, yet unspectacular title match. The live crowd didn't seem to buy into most of the nearfalls. They were into the action and appreciative of the effort, but they just didn't seem to buy into the possibility of Shiozaki winning the title. I'm already looking forward to the Nigel vs. Dragon match.
A video recapped the Jimmy Jacobs, Lacy, and Austin Aries storyline...
6. Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black defeated Austin Aries and Bryan Danielsonto retain the ROH Tag Titles in 26:45. Jacobs and Aries struck each other with chairshots and the referee called for a double DQ within the first minute of the match. Danielson and Black tried to calm each other down. The referee restarted the match a couple minutes later.
At 20:00, the challengers locked the champions in simultaneous submissions and the live crowd got excited, but Jacobs broke free. Jacobs and Aries brawled to the back. The fans really bought into a couple of nearfalls down the stretch, particularly when Black came close to pinning Danielson a couple times. In the end, Black hit a superkick, a small package driver, and the Phoenix Splash on Danielson for the win.
After the match, Nigel came out and mocked Danielson. "Look at you, Dragon," he said. "You are pathetic." He mocked Danielson for losing to Black. "You don't deserve a title shot," he said. "And until you beaten every single person I've beaten, you are never getting a title shot against me on pay-per-view." The live crowd chanted Black's name to close the show.
Powell's POV: Good main event and the Tyler Black showcase continues after his breakout performance against Nigel on the last pay-per-view. It looks like we'll be waiting a while for the Nigel vs. Danielson pay-per-view match. It's good to see they are building up to that one, assuming Danielson isn't going anywhere.
Final Thoughts: The pay-per-view is definitely worth the $10 to $15 asking price. However, you have to know what you're ordering. This was a nonstop wrestling show with very few promos or backstage segments. That is a major selling point for many fans, but I know there are also fans who would consider the show too one dimensional. I'm not complaining, though. Another strong pay-per-view performance from ROH.
I give this show a 7.0 out of a possible 10. Very good wrestling from start to finish, but with no title changes or legitimate match of the year candidates, the show lacked that truly special moment. Of course, it will be hard to forget that insane superplex off the ladder by Strong and Stevens. Fun show. Highly recommended, especially for those who complain about too many backstage skits and in-ring promos.
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