So here we have ROH’s annual Anniversary Show, this one is from last year and is the eight year anniversary of the company. It features Brian Kendrick’s return to the company as well as a ROH World Tag Team Title match between The Briscoes and The Dark City Fight Club. The World Title is also on the line as Tyler Black tries to finally capture the title against Austin Aries. All this and more on ‘ROH: 8th Anniversary Show’:
Brian Kendrick vs. Roderick Strong
Kendrick is back in ROH, many will remember him as ‘Spanky’ and this appearance was after he was released by the WWE. Kendrick starts out with some kicks but Strong fires back with a number of hard chops which put him in control. Kendrick goes to the outside and tries to evade Strong but Roderick finally catches up with him and walks into a drop toe hold which sees him go head first into the steel barricades. Kendrick then whips him into the barricades again and when Strong gets back in the ring, he hits a jumping kick to the face to stay in control. Strong fights back again with some chops but Kendrick cuts him off with a kick to the back of the head. Kendrick goes to the top rope but Strong chops him which sees him fall to the outside. Strong follows up by throwing Kendrick into the barricades and a dropkick when they’re back in the ring. Big backbreaker by Strong but Kendrick breaks the pin with his foot on the rope. Kendrick to the top again and after a brief struggle, he hits a diving side kick to the face for two. Tornado DDT from Kendrick and he follows that up with a frog splash for a near fall. Strong reverses a Sliced Bread attempt and then drives him down for a backbreaker. He follows this up with a sick kick and the Gibson Driver for the win. This was a damn good opening contest. It only lasted 10 minutes but got the crowd going and made Strong look great, well done by Kendrick too on his return.
The Kings of Wrestling vs. The Bravado Brothers
The Kings hit both Bravado Brothers with cheap shots as they take control early on with their strength advantage. Claudio hits the Big Swing and Hero waits patiently before hitting the dropkick and even Sara Del Rey gets a cheap shot in on Lance Bravado. The Bravados got little crowd support and The Kings pick apart Lance until he finally tags in Harlem. Hurricanrana to Claudio and then The Bravados hit an enziguri/Russian leg sweep combo as the crowd boo. Split legged moonsault by Harlem on Hero but Claudio walks in and hits an impressive German Suplex. Double Kick on Lance as Claudio lifts him up and Hero hits a big elbow to him in mid-air. The Kings lift Lance up and then drive him down with the KRS-1 for the victory. A glorified squash match. The Bravados got a bit of offense in but it was mostly all Kings that made them look dominant.
Necro Butcher & Eddie Kingston w/Gypsy Joe vs. Erick Stevens & Joey Ryan w/prince Nana
This is a No Rules match and they start brawling straight away on the outside. Necro starts hitting everybody with his shoe! Joey Ryan starts bleeding due to Necro’s shoe and Necro is bleeding too despite not being hit yet. Kingston goes to work on Ryan inside the ring and Necro and Stevens brawl on the outside. Stevens and Necro back in the ring and Necro takes his sock off and locks the mandible claw in until Ryan breaks it up. Back fist by Kingston on Ryan but Stevens hits a big lariat as all four men are down in the ring. Backdrop driver by Kingston on Stevens but Ryan hits a swinging neckbreaker followed by by a suicide dive that takes both him and Kingston to the outside. Ryan gets a belt and wraps it around his fist and then hits Necro with it, he then wraps it around his throat and starts to choke him with it until Kingston stops it. Stevens and Kingston exchange strikes on the ring apron and then Stevens powerbombs Kingston through the ringside table. Ryan starts to choke Necro again in the ring but Gypsy Joe gets on the apron and Necro uses the distraction to choke Ryan with a plastic bag. This was a typical Necro Butcher brawl. It included next to no wrestling moves and stupid weapons which all added up to an awful match. Thank God he’s no longer in ROH!
El Generico vs. Davey Richards
Richards was accompanied by Shane Hagadorn as usual, Cabana was in Generico’s corner presumably so Kevin Steen or Steve Corino don’t get involved. Richards gets the upper hand early on as he dominates the ground game. Generico gets some motivational words from Cabana and he uses this to good effect as he hits three arm drags followed by the ten punches in the corner. Richards gets in control again with a belly-to-back suplex as he clashes with somebody in the crowd. The two trade strikes on the ring apron but Richards gets the upper hand and drives Generico’s arm down on the apron and then shoves it into the steel ringpost. Richards continues the assault on the outside and when they’re back in the ring he continues to work over the left arm of Generico. Generico begins to fight back with a clothesline and a back body drop, Richards runs at him but gets sent to the outside. Generico off the ropes and he hits a great hilo off the top rope and then a big crossbody when they’re back in the ring. Brief struggle by both men but Generico hits a Michinoku driver after Richards comes off the ropes. Generico goes for the brainbuster but Richards reverses it into a Marufuji armbar which Generico struggles out of.
Richards catches a Yakuza Kick and then suplexes Generico into the corner followed by a big lariat for a near fall. Both men trade blows, Generico hits a Yakuza Kick in the corner followed by the Half Nelson suplex, Richards gets up and hits a big brainbuster as both men are down on the canvas. Richards goes up top but Generico cuts him off, Richards pushes him off though but misses with a Shooting Star Press. Generico hits the Yakuza Kick in the corner and then goes for a brainbuster off the top rope but Richards reverses it until Generico gets him in the Tree of Woe. Generico to the top and hits the coast-to-coast flip dropkick, insane! Generico yet again goes for the top rope brainbuster but Richards escapes and then hits a German superplex. Richards hits a bridging German for a near fall but Richards then hits a big kick to the head for two. Richards locks in the kimura and eventually Generico taps out. I expected this to be awesome and it lived up to that. These two guys are great and they definitely had chemistry in the ring. We had the aggressive Wolf against the plucky Luchadore and it amounted to 20 minutes of brilliant action.
ROH World Tag Team Title Match – The Briscoes © vs. The Dark City Fight Club
The Briscoes take control early on until Jon Davis tags out to Kory Chavis. Chavis and Mark exchange strikes but Mark gets the upper hand with a jumping kick to the back of the head as he tags his brother back in. Jay off the ropes but he walks straight into a sit-out powerslam which impressed Dave Prazak a lot. Jay evades a clothesline and then hits Davis with a big boot, he tags Mark back in but he walks straight into a spinebuster. DCFC start to control the match by keeping Mark Briscoe in their corner with frequent tags. Mark finally tags Jay in and they take out both members of the Fight Club as Mark hits a somersault senton off the ring apron to Chavis. All four men battle it out on the outside as The Briscoes send their opponents into the steel barricades. Back in the ring and Jay and Davis battle it out until Chavis comes in the ring which allows Davis to take control. Mark comes off the top and breaks up a double team, overhead suplex to Chavis as Jay and Davis trade forearms in the ring. Jay reverses an attempted torture rack as Mark climbs to the top rope, Jay gets in position and The Briscoes hit the spiked Jay Driller for the win. After the match, The Kings of Wrestling hit the ring as all three teams brawl until The Briscoes hit a double hilo that takes out the other four men. I’ve seen better matches from DCFC but this one never kicked into second gear. Both teams are similar in terms of being mainly brawlers and it didn’t make for a very entertaining match.
Delirious vs. Kenny King vs. Steve Corino vs. Rasche Brown
Four corner survival action now. Kenny King is #4 in the pick 6 series and this will be under pick 6 series stipulations. We’re told before the match that tags aren’t necessary in this match but they appear to be going for it anyway… King and Brown start it out, King taunts Brown but he takes him out with some power moves including a handspring splash, very nice. King takes Brown out on the outside, Delirious goes after Corino in the ring. Corino and King start picking apart Delirious as the whole tag thing seems to have died a very brief death. Big boot by Corino takes Delirious down as this has turned more into a 2 vs. 2 match than anything. Corino goes to the outside and keeps the big man Brown down as King gets a two count on Delirious with a clothesline. Brown back in the ring and he takes out both Corino and King with clotheslines as Delirious locks on the sleeper hold. Delirious follows that up with a suicide dive that takes out Corino and King on the outside. Brown off the ropes and hits a big diving move over the top rope that hits all three of his opponents. Back in the ring and King connects with a roundhouse kick to Brown and then Corino floors King with a flatliner for a near fall. Brown back in the ring and spears King but Corino floors him with a lariat. Delirious to the top and he hits King with the Shadows Over Hell for the victory to take his spot in the pick 6. Not the greatest of four way matches, very sluggish and they couldn’t decide whether they needed to be tagged in or not. Could have been better.
Kevin Steen vs. Colt Cabana
Cabana apologises to Steen before the match for mistreating him but Steen just cheap shots him before the bell. They brawl to the outside soon after the bell and then get back in the ring as Steen gets the advantage. Big powerbomb by Steen which leads to him literally taking the chewing gum out of Cabana’s mouth and he starts to chew it. Cabana goes for the flying ass but misses and Steen follows up with the cannon ball running senton. Steen goes for a swanton off the top but Cabana gets the knees up as “Boom Boom” takes control with the flying ass and then clotheslines him out of the ring. Steen looks as if he has injured his left leg and Cabana gets on the mic and tells him to stop faking the injury. Corino comes to the ring and takes the mic, he tells Steen to get in the ring right now but has to roll him in. Corino keeps telling Steen to do it for him but Cabana has enough and throws him out of the ring. Cabana tells Steen that he needs to stop being a bitch and start being a man, El Generico hits the ring and he and Steen go head-to-head. Corino takes out Cabana from behind and then tries to hit Generico with a chair but he gets the chair himself. He refrains from hitting Steen but he kicks Generico in the gut and then hits his arm with the chair and then locks in the crossface. Cabana makes the save as Steen & Corino make their way to the back. This was mainly for storyline advancement and it really showed the Steen/Corino relationship in a different light. Was a decent match before the DQ ending which saw Cabana take the win.
ROH World Title Match – Austin Aries © vs. Tyler Black
We see a nice video highlights package of their previous battles. There is a 60 minute time-limit but we have three judges just in case this goes the distance. First one is Kenny King who says he’ll call it right down the middle just like FOX News. He is joined by Roderick Strong and Jim Cornette. Aries tries to cheap shot Black but ends up being sent out of the ring. Some nice stuff from Black to start off the match, a dropkick followed by a springboard clothesline keep him in charge. Aries goes for a springboard elbow but Black catches him and drives him down with a belly-to-back suplex. Black continually gets the better of the champ and gets a number of two counts until he gets sent into the steel ringpost after Aries kicked out of a rollup. Aries takes this opportunity and begins to dominate the match and locks in a number of submission moves. Neckbreaker followed up by a missile dropkick keeps Aries on top as he gets a two count on the challenger. After a brief excursion on the outside, Aries brings Black back in and hangs him on the top rope, he follows up with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Aries goes to the top rope but is cut off by Black who hits a Superplex, he holds on and delivers the F-5 for a two count.
Black goes after Aries with a flurry of chops, forearms and kicks and then sends him out of the ring and into the crowd. Black uses the top rope to hit a springboard dive to Aries in the crowd as everyone looks on in surprise. Back onto the ring apron and Aries manages to hit the Death Valley Driver on the apron which leaves Black down on the outside. Aries goes for the Heat Seeking Missile but Black evades it and then drags him back in the ring for a near fall. Black hits the Rubiks Cube and then goes for the Phoenix Splash but Aries gets out of the way as the crowd wake up. They trade blows until Aries hits two brainbusters but Black kicks out just before three. Aries sets Black up and goes for the 450 splash but Black gets the knees up and then rolls up the champ for two. Both men exchange strikes again and Aries goes for the brainbuster but Black reverses it into the God’s Last Gift but no! Aries kicks out! King gets on the apron but Strong kicks him off which sends Black off balance. Black isn’t happy and superkicks Strong off the apron and then superkicks Cornette too! Black hits a superkick followed by the Buckle Bomb and then another two superkicks. Black goes up top and then hits the Phoenix Splash for the victory. Black finally captures the ROH World Title as the ROH Locker Room come out to celebrate with the new champ. This was good, really, really good. They have great chemistry in the ring and the match was put together brilliantly. This felt special and Black went crazy, the fans followed his lead and it just shows how important the World Title is in ROH.
I’d recommend this DVD to anybody, not only do you see Black finally winning the title but you have two four star matches. Generico/Davey and the main event were both terrific matches. Granted, there were no other must see matches but a lot of storyline development meaning that you should really own this DVD.
Overall Rating: 8/10