Supercard of Honor IV Review

“SuperCard of Honor IV” took place in Houston, Texas on April 3, 2009.  It was the first “Super Card of Honor” show to not have a Dragon Gate six-man match on the card.  The show featured two title matches, KENTA defended the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title against Davey Richards and Jerry Lynn challenged Nigel McGuinness for the ROH World Title.  “SuperCard of Honor IV” is often remembered as being a great show and by looking at the card it appears it will be.  Let’s get to it.
The show opens with Nigel McGuinness saying his body is falling apart, but he refuses to give up.  He says as long as there is one person in the crowd who hates him that he will hold onto the belt.

Erick Stevens vs Rhett Titus

Who would have ever thought that two years after this match Titus would be in a successful tag team and Stevens would not even be on the roster?  It’s crazy how things change.  Titus attacks Stevens before the bell rings with an axe handle to the back but Stevens is able to get the advantage with a Samoan Drop.  Titus shows Stevens that “Thrust is a must” before connecting with a high knee to take the big man out.  A nice dropkick gets a two count for Titus and now he says it’s time to go to the top.  Titus tries to come off the top, but Stevens catches him in a belly-to-belly suplex.  Stevens is able to reverse the Muff Driver and connect with the Choo Choo!  He follows that up with a clothesline for the three count.

Rating: ** It was a decent little match here.  Titus and Stevens went out there and did their thing and got the crowd going.  It was a good opener, but nothing special at all.  It was fun for what it was.

Chris Hero, Eddie Edwards and Incognito vs Kevin Steen, Jay Briscoe and Magno

Hero and Edwards are representing Sweet & Sour Inc. here.  It is so weird seeing Steen as a face after his feud with El Generico.  Steen wastes no time taking the fight right to Edwards.  Hero and Briscoe start officially start the match off and Briscoe busts out a hurricarana, which is something I haven’t seen him use often.  Incognito and Magno make their way into the ring.  Magno runs hits the ropes and the top ropes breaks!  Oh my God!  This is such a weird visual.  Incognito is able to show his strength by lifting Magno off the mat while in an armbar, but he is able to break the hold.  Steen gets tagged in and he again goes directly after Edwards on the apron.  Hero gets on the middle rope, which is the top rope in this match, and lands an elbow drop for a two count on Steen.  Steen almost gets the tag he desperately needs until his partners get pulled off the apron as he reached out to tag them.  Steen needs to get a tag in the worst way as his knee has been worked over for about five minutes.  Steen hits a Code Breaker on Edwards in Briscoe, who is taking everyone out.  A powerbomb gets a two count for Hero, which is a move I think would work perfectly for his finisher.  Magno is able to hit a springboard hurricarana from the middle rope on Hero.  Magno is flying all around the ring.  Magno connects with a moonsault from the ring post to the floor!  Shane Hagadorn distracts Magno as Hero slips on the elbow pad.  Hero nails Magno with the loaded elbow for the win.

Rating: ** 1/2 This match is a hard one to grade.  It was a good match, but the top rope breaking led to some awkward moments.  They did the best they could with what happened and delivered a solid match.

Backstage D’Lo Brown says he does not care what people think about him.  He says he will do whatever it takes to beat Colt Cabana later on the show.

Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Roderick Strong

Nakajima focuses on Strong’s arm early, but Strong is able to lock in a chin lock.  The two exchange thunderous chops in the middle of the ring that is making my chest hurt.  Some stiff kicks by Nakajima gets him a near fall.  Strong is able to connect with a dropkick for two before hitting another sick chop.  A nasty backbreaker gives Strong a two count.  Nakajima targets Strong’s knee and hits a leg whip.  Nakajima continues to punish the left leg of Strong with a shin breaker.  Strong is able to fight back and both men are down.  They get back to their feet and once again exchange shots in the middle of the ring.  Strong is able to catch a kick and land a backbreaker for a two count.  Nakajima lands with one of the scariest looking brainbusters I have ever seen!  Strong kicks out!  Nakajima with the ankle lock but Strong reaches the ropes.  Strong is able to avoid another kick and lands another backbreaker.  Nakajima connects with three consecutive super kicks but is unable to take Strong off his feet.  The future ROH Champion answers right back with his famous gutbuster to running kick combination.  Strong connects with the Gibson Driver for the pinfall victory!

Rating: *** This was a very good match.  Nakajima and Strong landed stiff shots on each other all match long and packed a ton of action into not a lot of time.  The only thing that bothered me was how easily Strong was able to shrug off the super kicks, but that kind of stuff is to be expected in these kinds of matches.  It was a good, action-packed match that makes me want to see these two wrestle again with more time to work with.

Sweet & Sour Challenge Match
Bobby Dempsey vs Kamala w/ Kim Chee and Shane Hagadorn

I used to be scared to death of Kamala back in the day, so it’s pretty cool for nostalgic reasons to see him.  Dempsey takes his shirt off and has the same paint on his body as Kamala.  Hagadorn slaps Chee because Kamala won’t attack Dempsey.  Chee calls for Kamala to attack Hagadorn, so he does.  Dempsey follows that up with a cannonball on Hagadorn.  Dempsey celebrates with Kamala to end the segment.

Rating: FUN!  This was going to be an awful match if these two guys wrestled.  As a segment, however, it was a ton of fun.  It was cool to see Kamala and Dempsey has a moment that he will never forget.  I enjoyed it.

Backstage Alex Koslov says something about Bryan Danielson and Ring of Honor in Russian.

Claudio Castagnoli vs Brent Albright vs Blue Demon, Jr. vs El Generico

Demon was the reigning NWA World Heavyweight Champion when “SuperCard of Honor IV” happened.  Albright immediately goes after Castagnoli but the very European man is able to avoid him.  Castagnoli and Demon start the match off.  Demon is able to use his speed to get the better of Castagnoli.  Demon exits the ring, which allows Albright to enter the match and he beats Castagnoli down in the corner.  Generico dives over the top to take Castagnoli out.  Generico hits a hurricarana off the top on Castagnoli, but he is unable to follow up as Castagnoli uses a backbreaker to get a near fall.  Generico is able to momentarily fight back until he is met with an European uppercut.  Albright runs in illegally and jumps Castagnoli.  Albright finally gets to tag in so he can fight Castagnoli and he gets a two count with a power slam.  Demon connects with a cross body from the top on Castagnoli.  Generico and Demon exchange shots that send Generico to the floor.  Demon lands a suicide dive on Generico.  Albright goes for the half-Nelson suplex and Castagnoli reaches the ropes.  Albright pushes the referee away and that allows Castagnoli to hit a low blow for the three count.

Rating: ** This was just there and was nothing special at all.  It did nothing to make the card better and seemed to be absolute filler.  I guess the match did its job of furthering the feud between Albright and Castagnoli, but overall the match was about bland as bland can get.

Alex Koslov vs Bryan Danielson

I am going to be honest here; I am not a fan of Koslov at all.  But if anyone can get a good match out of him it will be the American Dragon.  The crowd is very pro-Danielson as one would expect.  Koslov gets an early shoulder block to take Danielson down and tries to start a “Russia” chant, which doesn’t catch on surprisingly enough.  Danielson is able to land a dropkick and starts a “USA” chant, which leads to a “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan-esque “Hoooooooo!”  Koslov wins a test of strength and goes for a series of pins, which Danielson is able to bridge out of to get his own pin attempt.  Danielson goes for the surfboard but Koslov is able to reach the ropes.  Danielson is able to counter the headscissors into another surfboard attempt and again Koslov reaches the ropes.  Danielson does not look like he is really taking this match seriously at all.  A couple of twisting knee drops gives the Russian the advantage.  Danielson is finally able to get the surfboard stretch locked in, which he turns into a painful looking Dragon Sleeper.  Koslov suplexes Dragon to the floor and then connects with a springboard cross body to the outside.  Koslov puts his fur hat on and connects with some kicks to Danielson.  Danielson is able to fight him off and lands a knee to the stomach.  Koslov fights off the Cattle Mutilation and hits a Frog Splash for a two count.  Koslov locks in a Cattle Mutilation of his own!  Danielson Hulks Up!  Literally!  It didn’t last long as Koslov hits a Russian Leg Sweep.  He drapes the Russian flag over Danielson, but misses a splash off the top.  This gives Danielson the opportunity to hit with the MMA elbows and lock in the Cattle Mutilation for the victory!

Rating: ** ¾ Danielson didn’t appear to be taking this one seriously and Koslov just does not impress me.  Still, Dragon was able to carry him to a good match.  There really isn’t anything much to talk about with this match.  It was a solid match with one of the best wrestlers in the world carrying a younger wrestler to a good match.  It was fun to see Danielson channel his inner “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, though.

D’Lo Brown vs Colt Cabana

Cabana tries to follow the Code of Honor but Brown just blows him off.  Cabana gets a quick two count as Brown scrambles to the corner to collect himself.  Brown shows off some chain wrestling, but once again Cabana gets a two count.  Brown connects with a shining wizard to take Cabana down.  Cabana gets a two count with a crucifix but Brown answers back with a leg lariat.  They exchange forearms in the middle of the ring until Brown takes out Cabana once again, this time with a clothesline.  Brown has been in control of this match for about five minutes.  As I type that Cabana makes his comeback.  Brown connects with a TKO to end Cabana’s momentum.  Brown goes to the middle rope and misses with the senton.  Cabana locks in the Billy Goat’s Curse and Brown taps, but the referee didn’t see it.  Cabana celebrates and the referee tells him he has not won yet.  Brown takes advantage of the situation and gets a roll-up for a two count.  Cabana knocks Brown off the top and the two go to the outside.  Cabana rolls Brown inside the ring and climbs to the top.  Brown puts something on his hand and connects with a punch on Cabana as he came off the top.  This led to Brown picking up the victory.

Rating: **1/2 This was a solid match between two veterans of the ring.  They went with the standard WWE-style formula of the heel dominating the match and the face making the comeback and it worked.  It wasn’t anything fancy but it was a solid match.

GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title Match
Davey Richards w/ Eddie Edwards vs KENTA (C)

KENTA was Richards’ mentor at one point, so there is some back-story to this match.  This should be nothing short of excellent.  Richards refuses KENTA’s handshake before the match.  KENTA goes for a kick early but Richards is able to avoid it.  Both men go for dropkicks and it leads to a stalemate.  Richards connects with a hard kick to KENTA’s back, but KENTA just pops up and proceeds to beat the crap out of Richards!  That was sick!  KENTA unleashes with some stiff kicks in the corner, but Richards connects with a dragon screw leg whip through the second rope.  Richards hits a variety of kicks to the injured left leg of KENTA.  Richards goes for the Figure Four but stops when the fans start cheering for it.  KENTA is able to fight back and lands a suplex.  KENTA climbs to the top and lands a lariat for a two count.  KENTA locks in an STF in the middle of the ring, but Richards is able to pull himself to the ropes.  Richards catches a kick and hits a suplex of his own that sends KENTA to the floor.  Richards picks up some speed and nails a suicide dive that sends him into the third row!  The two exchange kicks before Richards connects with a beautiful German Suplex for a near fall.  Richards goes for a superplex, but KENTA is able to fight him off and hits a slingshot missile drop kick, which he follows up with a series of running kicks.

A sit-out powerbomb gets a two count for KENTA.  KENTA connects with brutal double knees to the chest for a two count.  He goes for the slingshot missile dropkick again, but Richards counters it into a powerbomb and locks in a Texas Cloverleaf!  KENTA is finally able to make it to the ropes.  They exchange stiff kicks and strikes and they are both down after connecting with head kicks at the same time.  They exchange shots again, with KENTA hitting a Tiger Suplex for a two count and Richards rolls out to the apron.  KENTA follows him to the apron and hits a Falcon Arrow to the floor!  This match is insane!  Both men are out as Todd Sinclair starts the count.  Richards makes it back to the ring at 16.  Richards spits in the face of his former mentor and that leads to KENTA basically killing Richards with crazy kicks and strikes.  He goes for the pin and Richards kicks out!  Richards counters a Go 2 Sleep with a dragon screw leg whip and locks in another Texas Cloverleaf.  KENTA rolls him up for a two count.  Richards hits a DR Driver and KENTA kicks out!  KENTA connects with the Go 2 Sleep to retain the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title!

Rating: **** ½ That was about 10 different kinds of awesome.  They went out and killed each other with stiff kicks and strikes for nearly 20 minutes and told a great story.  Richards gave it everything he had to try and beat his former mentor but it wasn’t enough.  The fans chant match of the year and this match might have been that up until then, but it was surpassed a couple of days later at WrestleMania.  If you haven’t seen this match you need to find a way to watch it.  It was nothing less than I expected and I expected excellence.

Jimmy Jacobs and Austin Aries vs Tyler Black and Necro Butcher

There is too much back-story to get into here, but these four men have been feuding for months at the time of this match.  Jacobs and Aries refuse to get into the ring so Black dives over the top rope to take them out.  The four men fight around the ringside area and into the crowd to start the match off, although I’m not sure if the bell has rang.  Oh, there’s the bell as Black and Aries start the match off in the ring.  The action quickly spills back out and Black drops Aries face first onto the apron.  Black and Necro tease throwing Aries and Jacobs from the ring to a table to the outside, but they are unable to complete the act.  Jacobs whips Aries into the ropes to give him more speed for the Heat Seeking Missile.  Jacobs and Aries are taking turns beating down Black.  Aries goes for the Pendulum Elbow and he accidentally hits Jacobs during the set-up.  This makes Jacobs mad and they start hitting each other and Necro gets tagged in.  Necro hits a Frankensteiner on A-Double.  Aries tries to rake Necro’s back, which does not work since he’s wearing a shirt.  Jacobs hits a low blow and locks in the End Times on Necro.  Black is finally able to make the save with a stomp to Jacobs’ face.  Black climbs to the top to try and put Jacobs through the table, but Aries fights him off.  Aries dropkicks Necro and both he and Jacobs go through the table.  Aries hits a shin breaker to belly-to-black suplex combination.  Black attempts the buckle bomb on Aries but is met by a spear from Jacobs.  Aries follows it up with a brainbuster to pin Black and picks up the victory for his team.

Rating: ** ¾ This was a good tag match between two teams who do not like each other.  In reality, no matter what they did they would not be able to live up to the standards of the match before them.  They went out and had a good brawl that had a few cool spots and had an entertaining match.

ROH World Title Match
Jerry Lynn vs Nigel McGuinness (C)

The whole build-up to this match revolved around Lynn being a real-life Randy “The Ram” Robinson, the character from “The Wrestler.”  Lynn was making one last run to be world champion and here is his shot.  McGuinness is working with two badly injured arms in this match.  Code of Honor is followed to start the match.  Lynn logically goes after the champion’s injured arm in the early portions of this match.  McGuinness is able to back him into the ropes to break the hold, but Lynn immediately goes right back to the arm.  McGuiness rolls to the outside to try to bide some time and Lynn follows him to the floor.  Lynn rolls the champion back into the ring, but McGuinness is able to connect with a knee strike and sends Lynn back to the floor.  McGuinness attacks the left arm of Lynn back in the ring.  Lynn fights back with a series of shoulder blocks and a clothesline.  A tornado DDT gets a two count for the challenger.  McGuinness lands with his kick to the back and clothesline combination to regain the advantage in the match.  He goes for the Tower of London and Lynn counters it into an inverted DDT for another two count.  McGuinness is able to connect with the second Tower of London attempt and he gets a two count of his own.  He locks in the London Dungeon in the middle of the ring, but Lynn is able to reach the ropes.  McGuinness tries a Tower of London from the top rope to the floor, but is unsuccessful as Lynn fights him off.  He does, however, hit one on Lynn from the apron to the floor as both men are out on the floor.

Lynn makes it back to the ring just before Todd Sinclair counts 20.  McGuinness misses a lariat with Lynn crotched on the ropes.  Lynn hits a sunset bomb for a two count and then locks in a London Dungeon of his own, but McGuinness is able to reach the ropes.  McGuinness misses a Jaw Breaker Lariat and they go through a series of pins before the champion locks in the London Dungeon once again.  Lynn is able to counter it into another London Dungeon of his own and McGuinness is able to make it to the ropes.  Lynn reverses a Tower of London into a cross armbreaker and McGuinness once again reaches the ropes.  McGuinness is able to kick out at the last second after Lynn hits an Air Raid Crash.  Lynn connects with the Cradle Piledriver, but McGuinness gets is able to get his foot on the ropes!  McGuinness nails Lynn with a Jaw Break Lariat but is unable to immediately pin the challenger, which gives him time to recover and he kicks out.  Lynn hits a second Cradle Piledriver to pick up the victory and is the new ROH World Champion!  The 18 month title reign of McGuinness is over!  The fans show their appreciation for McGuinness after the match.  Lynn says it’s nights like this that makes everything worthwhile
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Rating: **** This was a fantastic match and a great ending to McGuinness’ title reign.  McGuinness wrestled through two torn biceps and put everything he had into this match.  Lynn went out and put it all on the line and they delivered a great match.  Everything about this match worked so well and it paid off in the end.

Show Rating: “SuperCard of Honor IV” was a very good show, although it was not up to par with the other “SuperCard of Honor” shows.  But saying that is like saying Drew Brees is not up to par with Peyton Manning, as this show was still amazing.  It had a Match of the Year candidate, a few very good undercard matches and a great main event that saw the World Title change hands.  It is easily recommended and I would give it an 8 out of 10.

Jon Shumake

Jon has been with ROHWorld since March 2011. The American Bearded Nightmare is one half of 'Team America' on ROHCast, which is available every week on ROHWorld, iTunes and Stitcher.