4/17 Powell's ROH "Caged Collision" PPV review: War Games-style main event, Nigel McGuinness defends the ROH Title against El Generico, Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Tyler Black
Taped January 29 in Chicago Ridge, Ill.
Debuted on PPV on April 17, 2009
The pay-per-view debuts today on DirecTV and tonight on most cable and satellite systems at 9 p.m. CT.
Dave Prazak introduced the show from inside the ring... Backstage, Kyle Durden introduced Jimmy Jacobs and Austin Aries. They spoke about their history, and how they didn't want Tyler Black to get a title shot. Aries took a cheap shot at Durden and knocked him down, then flashed a big smile. Funny... An ROH video package aired...
Powell's POV: The building looks good on television and the lighting is solid by ROH standards. Honestly, this looks much better than The Arena looked during the initial HDNet television tapings.
1. Alex Payne defeated Silas Young and Kenny King in a three-way in 7:15. Lenny Leonard is on play-by-play. Good action early, Payne hit a missile dropkick on both opponents, but the live crowd didn't seem unanimous in their support of him. It's never a good sign when a wrestler pumps his fist to excite the crowd and is greeted with more boos than cheers. In the end, Payne hit a huracanrana on Young and hooked his legs for the pin...
Powell's POV: Solid opener, but the live crowd didn't seem to care about the finish. Payne got a nice push on the last pay-per-view when he helped Bryan Danielson. This was a step back for him and the live crowd's reaction to him was not encouraging.
A video package previewed the Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kevin Steen match...
2. Claudio Castagnoli beat Kevin Steen in 9:00. Steen mocked Claudio's "Hey" bit before the match and they never shook hands. Late in the match, Steen caught Claudio in the Sharp Shooter. However, Larry Sweeney ran out and distracted Steen, who released the hold. El Generico ran out and ran off Sweeney. Meanwhile, Claudio low-blowed Steen and hit the Ricola Bomb for the win...
Powell's POV: Solid match. Nothing particular memorable, but entertaining nonetheless.
A video recapped the Necro Butcher's feud with Jimmy Jacobs and Delirious...
Backstage, Durden tried to interview an ecstatic Payne about winning his first pay-per-view match. However, Nigel McGuinness showed up and took out Payne with a forewarm. Nigel cut a good promo about his match with El Generico...
3. Jerry Lynn and Necro Butcher beat Delirious and Brodie Lee (w/Jimmy Jacobs) in 11:30. Lynn was sporting a black eye. He did a fun comedy spot early by having Lee chase him out of the ring and back inside it a couple times. Late in the match, Delirious missed a top rope splash on Lynn, who came back with a cradle piledriver for the win.
Good look of arrogant frustration from Jacobs afterward at ringside. He climbed inside the ring and scolded Delirious. Jacobs attacked Delirious and told him he was doing so because he cares. He pulled a chain out of his tights and wrapped it around his fist. Daizee Haze entered the ring and stopped Jacobs, who responded by shoving her to the mat. She got up and threatened to hit Jacobs with a spike. He begged her to do it and then shoved her again. She ran at Jacobs with the spike and tried to hit Jacobs, but Delirious pulled him out of the way and ended up taking the spike to his own head...
Powell's POV: Awkward partner combinations. Good action when Lynn and Generico were in the ring, and fun brawling from Necro and Lee. That said, nothing screams minor league more than one guy wrestling barefoot in cutoff shorts and a t-shirt against another guy wrestling in jeans. I guess it works for Necro, but not so much for Lee, who needs to improve his look. Good post-match angle, albeit somewhat predictable.
A video recapped the history between Aries and Jacobs...
In the ring, Aries cut a promo in which he told the crowd not to chant his name. He said he knows they don't really mean it. He said he and Jacobs tore each other apart for eight months and the fans cheered them on. Aries said the fans didn't care about him, they just wanted their "Oh my God" moment...
Powell's POV: Solid promo. Nothing we haven't heard from Mick Foley in the past, but Aries plays his part well.
Ring introductions for the Bryan Danielson and Tyler Black vs. Jimmy Jacobs and Austin Aries tag match took place. Danielson cut a promo and suggested they make it a four-way match since no one could be trusted...
Powell's POV: Why didn't they just book it as a four-way all along? That's a much more appealing match than a tag team match with the awkward stipulation they had been pushing.
4. Tyler Black defeated Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson and Jimmy Jacobs in a four-way to become the No. 1 contender to the ROH Title in 19:45. Nigel McGuinness joined in on commentary. A slow-paced start gave way to the great action you'd expect from these four. At 15:00, Danielson springboarded off the top rope with a dive onto his three opponents at ringside.
Suddenly, Bison Smith showed up out of nowhere in street clothes and attacked Danielson. Smith left him lying with a powerbomb. Smith exited through the crowd as the match continued. Aries and Jacobs ended up pushing and shoving, only to work together a few seconds later by teaming up on Black.
In the end, though, Jacobs tried to spear Black, but ended up spearing Aries instead. Black rolled up Jacobs and scored the pin. McGuinness complained that Black keeps getting title shots, but can't get the job done. A shot aired of Danielson still lying at ringside following Smith's attack...
An old school Nigel McGuinness video aired. This was like something you'd see on the old NWA Worldwide television show in terms of music and look...
Powell's POV: Good match with fun tension between Aries, Jacobs, and Black. The Smith attack was nicely done, although it did seem odd to see Danielson still laid out at ringside minutes later when others have taken similar punishment and got right back in the ring. I'm all for making less mean more, though, but the company has to be more consistent with this.
Backstage, Durden interviewed Jerry Lynn, who said he wasn't going to let Nigel's head games get to him. He recalled Nigel saying he was going to kill someone earlier and mocked the line by saying, "Lighten up, Francis"...
Powell's POV: Sure, it's a dated line, but Stripes is a timeless flick. Gotta love it.
5. Nigel McGuinness defeated El Generico to retain the ROH Title in 17:10. The referee took the belt and was showing it to Generico when Nigel attacked his masked opponent to start the match. Nigel worked over Generico's shoulder. Generico was on the verge of being counted out less than two minutes in when Kevin Steen came out and delivered a pep talk that helped his partner beat the count.
The announcers did a nice job of telling the story that Generico was working the match with one arm. Nigel continued to work over the arm/shoulder at various times throughout the remainder of the match. At one point, Generico went for a tornado DDT, but Nigel shoved him off and continued to work on the shoulder. Cool spot.
Later, Generico was nearly counted out when he ran and did a summersault through the ropes to stop the ref's count. He fired up and then delivered his best offensive flurry. Nigel came back with a clothesline that knocked Generico off the ropes for a near fall. Nigel locked in the London Dungeon submission hold, which Generico turned into pin situation for a near fall. A short time later, Nigel reapplied the hold and earned the submission win.
Powell's POV: Good match with Nigel working over the shoulder and Generico selling it well and slipping in some nice hope spots. Generico always plays a great underdog, and Nigel's heel persona was tailor made for his role in this match. Steen came out to ringside way too early, though. It would have meant a lot more had he come out and rallied his partner during a more meaningful portion of the match. The match was entertaining, but it wasn't a classic ROH Title match. The live crowd never really bought into the possibility of Generico capturing the title.
As Nigel was leaving the ring and heading toward the entrance, Tyler Black walked through the curtain and stopped him in his tracks. Tyler said he can cash in the title match he just earned anytime he wants. He delivered a speech that insinuated he was about to cash in when Austin Aries and Jimmy Jacobs attacked him from behind. Jerry Lynn and Necro Butcher ran out for the save...
Powell's POV: Nice tease for the title match, but attack by Aries and Jacobs was quick and ineffective. Nevertheless, the crowd was as hot for Black as they were for anyone on the show.
A video showcased the wrestlers involved in the Caged Collision match...
Backstage, Durden interviewed Larry Sweeney, who boasted about assembling the most dominant faction in ROH...
Powell's POV: Forgettable promo that didn't really set up the cage match. Just random boasting from Sweeney, whose delivery was strong, as usual...
The ring announcer ran through the War Games-like rules of the cage match. Two men start and a new wrestler enters every three minutes. No pinfalls allowed until everyone entered the match...
6. Roderick Strong, Jay Briscoe, Brent Albright, Erick Stevens, and Ace Steel defeated Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Tank Toland, Adam Pearce, and Bobby Dempsey (w/Larry Sweeney) in 17:40. Strong and Richards started the match. Toland came out next so the heels had the advantage.
Ace Steel came out and it didn't seem like they were living up to the three-minute time intervals that were listed, but life goes on. Edwards was in next. Jay Briscoe came out only to be jumped by Sara Del Rey. Edwards hit Briscoe with a chair and left him lying in the entrance area. Edwards brought the chair inside the cage with him.
Bobby Dempsey came out next and delivered a soft cheap shot to Briscoe. Funny. Once inside the cage, the timid Dempsey tried to stay out of the way, but was encouraged by his partners to attack Steel, so he kicked him softly and then punched him. Erick Stevens was in next. He hit three heels with shots and then Dempsey took a dive rather than take the shot from Stevens, who continued to clean house until Edwards caught him with a shot.
Adam Pearce came out next accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Stevens attacked Pearce and rammed him into the cage. Strong was bleeding by this point. Albright came out about a minute later. Pearce bled. The babyfaces dominated, as Stevens hit multiple opponents with the chair. The babyfaces threw three heels out of the cage through the door and took turns working over Pearce, who was powerbombed off the top rope. Albright followed up with an elbow off the top rope.
The brawling continued at ringisde, as the babyfaces joined the heels on the floor. Lots of sick chairshots and a brawl into the crowd. Suddenly, Briscoe's music played and he hobbled to ringside with a heavily taped knee. Briscoe slowly entered the ring as Dempsey stood by too afraid to do anything. Briscoe roughed up Dempsey and then climbed to the top of the cage for a big summersault dive onto a group of wrestlers on the floor. "Who does he think he is, Mark Briscoe?" asked Leonard.
Albright and Steel ended up inside the cage with Pearce and a bloody Dempsey. The babyfaces worked over Pearce. Others reentered the cage, but the babyfaces dominated Pearce and Albright eventually pinned him.
After the match, Sweeney entered the ring and bickered with the referee. Sweeney turned his attention to Dempsey and slapped him twice and then spat in his face. Dempsey finally struck back. The remaining babyfaces took turns running Sweeney into the cage. Dempsey ripped his shirt off as the crowd cheered. The babyfaces whipped Sweeney into Dempsey, who followed up with a cannonball in the corner.
Dempsey picked up the bloody Sweeney and nailed him with a Death Valley Driver. Leonard spoke about how Dempsey has been abused by Sweeney and his stablemates for two years. "Finally, right here in Chicago, Bobby Dempsey has become a man," Leonard said. Dempsey played to the crowd as the babyfaces applauded him.
Powell's POV: Fun brawl. The live crowd was into the action and delivered the obligatory "Holy shit" chants, but they didn't pop for the finish. However, they were definitely excited to see Dempsey finally snap and attack Sweeney. A fun way to close the show.
Final Thoughts: Overall, I give the show a 6.0 out of a possible 10. There were no dull moments, but the show lacked the true standout moments we've seen on past ROH pay-per-views. The matches were solid after the forgettable opener, but there were none that people will be raving about like the last pay-per-view that featured the insane Jimmy Jacobs vs. Austin Aries match, and Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness. It's a solid show that lacked the "must see" feel that past ROH pay-per-views have delivered. While it's definitely worth the asking price, it's also ROH's most forgettable pay-per-view to date.
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