Welcome to this week’s Wretro Wrestling Review. We’re taking it back to February 2006 for ROH Unscripted II. This show is the definition of a “make it up as you go along” event. Snowstorms and canceled flights ripped plans up and launched them down the toilet. ROH may have had to rely on an old friend to help them out… Let’s get to it.
Colt Cabana says that he used his time off to reflect on a few things, he doesn’t eat, drink, sleep or groom himself due to the fact that he can’t get Homicide out of his head and more importantly what Homicide tried to do to him. He will take his anger out on another Rottweiler tonight. Cabana is cut off by a very familiar sounding voice telling the cameraman to switch it off.
Adam Pearce storms to the ring to cut off a scheduled match between Pelle Primeau and Mitch Franklin. He says that nobody wants to see a student’s match. Pelle grabs the mic and tells Pearce that they aren’t afraid of him
Adam Pearce vs. Pelle Primeau & Mitch Franklin
Piledriver. Splash to both. Done.
Well that was emphatic.
Match Result: Adam Pearce defeated Pelle Primeau & Mitch Franklin via Pinfall in 0:50.
Chris’s Star Rating: 0.25 Star Match
Pearce says that he’s going to hang out at ringside so he doesn’t miss any opportunities that present themselves to him tonight.
The Embassy are backstage and Nana isn’t happy that Shelley couldn’t get a flight over tonight, but don’t worry because he has a big surprise for Bryan Danielson as to who Shelley’s replacement is for the ROH World Championship match.
J-Train and Grim Reefer come out and call out Cabana to which Colt gladly accepts. Colt is cut off however by CM Punk! Punk has his verbal way with the Rottweilers before turning to Cabana. Pearce attacks Punk as he was telling us that it’s been hard for him in the WWE. Cabana helps out his mate. Punk and Cabana have a moment in the ring. Punk tells Colt to lighten up as his friends and family are worried about him. Cabana doesn’t want to hear it, especially as Punk isn’t with ROH anymore. Cabana asks Punk to go to the back so he can take his anger out on Reefer. Punk obliges and on the way out challenges anyone who has a problem with him to a fight tonight!
Colt Cabana vs. Grim Reefer
Homicide sends one of his goons to do his dirty work for him.
The match wasn’t really important here as the very dramatic beef is with Homicide and Cabana. Reefer didn’t look too bad on his debut but no one was expecting anything different here.
Match Result: Colt Cabana defeated Grim Reefer via Pinfall in 8:16.
Chris’s Star Rating: 1.75 Star Match
Kid Mikaze vs. Ricky Reyes
We’re sticking with the Rottweilers theme here I see.
Reyes toys with him until he ends up in a sunset flip pin attempt. Reyes with a belly-to-belly throw, a snapmare into a kick to the back. Ricky ducks a kick and hits a knee to the face. A powerbomb gets a two-count. Mikaze gets a two-count off a roll through, he goes for a springboard kick but Reyes ducks it and locks in the dragon sleeper for the tap-out victory.
It’s not looking good here boys and girls.
Match Result: Kid Mikaze defeated Ricky Reyes via Submission in 2:17.
Chris’s Star Rating: 0.5 Star Match
ROH Pure Championship Match:
Nigel McGuinness (c.) vs. Austin Aries
Aries is booked on TNA’s PPV tomorrow night so it’s a bit of a surprise that he’s here with all of the snow and such. A number of talents that also work for the Orlando-based promotion haven’t traveled to this show. This match isn’t quite impromptu but it’s certainly a plan B.
We start with the wrist locks, McGuinness works a front face lock to which Aries counters out of and goes back to the wrist. Nigel with a short whip into an elbow and then an uppercut. Aries floats over, misses an elbow but does deliver a Japanese arm drag. Nigel to the ropes for this first break. Austin is snap mered over but he applies the head scissors with press-ups to show off. McGuinness bridges out but receives a nasty slap to the gut to send him down. Nigel fights to a mount position and hits forearm crossfaces. He works in a head scissors submission, Aries tries to get out with a headstand but Nige just bonks him down on his head with his knees. Austin blocks a 2nd attempt at that, Nigel flips him off. Classy blokes us Brits.
More mat stuff followed by an Irish whip sequence leads to a snap mere from Aries, Nigel with a headscissors again, Austin this time headstands out and hits a dropkick followed by a suicide dive. Rolls the champ in and delivers a slingshot elbow drop for 2. McGuiness catches Aries with his headstand kick in the corner to the back. From here Nigel uses very basic maneuvers and covers to force Aries into using his first rope break. Nice spot for this kind of match. Austin blocks a suplex goes behind, Nige sends him into the bottom turnbuckle. He puts Austin on the apron, tries a suplex but Aries lands on his feet and delivers the Saito suplex for 2. Austin with a roaring elbow followed by his pendulum elbow drop with his bad shoulder which prevents a quicker cover.
Nigel crotches Aries on the top rope and clotheslines him to the mat. Aries chin breaker, Nigel clothesline for 2 and a half. McGuinness with an uppercut in the corner, the jackknife gets 2. Sits Aries up top and connects with the Tower of London! Foot on the ropes for Aries to use up all his 3 rope breaks. Aries blocks a suplex, Nigel blocks, Austin drops him face-first and locks in an inverted front face lock submission but the champ gets to the ropes. Aries up top, Nigel gets to him, Tower of London again! 1-2-no?!
Small package by Aries! 1-2-no. McGuinness has his Irish whip reversed, corner headstand, dropkick to the chest by Aries! Brainbuster! 1-2-ropes! All rope breaks have been used now.. Aries up top again but this time he fights off Nigel and connects with the 450 Splash! He drapes an arm across for the cover for a NEAR FALL! McGuinness catches Aries in a sudden Kimura Lock, Aries gets to the ropes but that does nothing, in the end, he has to tap.
Match Result: Nigel McGuinness defeated Austin Aries via Submission in 18:54.
Chris’s Star Rating: 3.75 Star Match
What a good match that was! I wasn’t expecting both men to go all out for this but that’s what they did. The only gripe is that the opening 5 or 6 minutes were slow and very pedestrian but they kicked into high gear thereafter and the near finishes took me by surprise also. One of the best matches of McGuinness’ reign thus far.
A “Thank You, Aries!” chant breaks out. The fans know that Aries took a risk being here tonight and appreciate him for doing so. Good to see.
Roderick Strong comes out wondering where his world title shot is. BJ Whitmer comes out and challenges Strong for the spot. Danielson enters the fray and says that he was debating whether to give Strong his shot tonight but opts to beat him down instead. Prince Nana announces that taking the place of Alex Shelley and challenging for the ROH World title tonight is… Xavier!
ROH World Championship Match:
Bryan Danielson (c.) vs. Xavier
Xavier was the 2nd ever ROH champion and a former client of Prince Nana. Another shocking return tonight for the fans in New York.
They have a knuckle lock sequence to start, Bryan then goes all Bryan and chops Xavier and taunts the returning one. Danielson sends him to the floor and his a slingshot plancha. Xavier regroups and gets back in the ring. He reverses a hammerlock and rolls through a snap mere, Bryan out into a dropkick. Danielson ends up on the outside, Xavier tries a suicide elbow and nails his head on the guardrail! We have our first DANGEROUS!!! call of the year! Bryan is pissed off and delivers a European uppercut at the end of a slugfest. He teases a surfboard but instead bashes the knees into the mat. What a twat!
Nobody home off a diving headbutt. Xavier pulls him up and locks in a modified chicken wing cradle for 2. Xavier with forearms and sends Bryan’s head into the buckle. We have a chop fest ending in a Bryan headbutt. Danielson sets Xavier up top and delivers a superplex for 2. Xavier counters a running knee with a powerbomb out of the corner! A facebuster into a German Suplex then a cross-arm breaker but D Bry makes it to the ropes. The Kiss Your Ex Goodbye hits for Xavier, what a silly name for a movie that is! Calls for a 450 but the champ rolls out of the way, hits his roaring elbow then a snap German suplex for 2 but doesn’t let the challenger breath and locks in cattle mutilation! Jimmy Rave causes the DQ!
I was actually getting into this until the frustrating disqualification. I suppose if Xavier is sticking around then it gives him something to go off and sets up Rave vs Danielson. Then again, losing to the world champ is hardly a career-ending defeat. Anyway, Xavier looked great after such a long absence. Danielson is incapable of having a bad match.
Match Result: Bryan Danielson (c.) defeated Xavier via Disqualification in 12:57.
Chris’s Star Rating: 3.25 Star Match
CM Punk is straight after Rave! Pearce jumps Punk again but Punk drops him with a spinebuster! One to Bryan! Rave hits a running knee to send Punk down. The crowd isn’t happy with the Embassy and starts throwing toilet rolls, one catches Prince Nana in the face and he sells it perfectly!
CM Punk and Bryan Danielson get back in the ring. Punk wonders why he can’t hang out with his friends without getting his ass kicked! He also questions the toilet roll. Punk asks Bryan to be his partner to take on Jimmy Rave and Adam Pearce tonight. Bryan says he isn’t the guy to give the fans what they want, but it is what Punk wants. He uses some reverse psychology, at least I think he does, it’s late. He says he doesn’t give a damn what Punk wants or what the fans want but he does want to kick their ass so it’s on!
Jim Cornette cuts an old-school promo and declares war on CZW!
Four Corners Survival Match: Azrieal vs. Jason Blade vs. Jerrelle Clark vs. Jimmy Yang
It’s your classic four-corner survival match. These are always fun.
Azreal and Clark start off in average fashion. Clark. Impresses with a series of dropkicks. Blade makes a blind tag and comes off the top with a missile dropkick to the back of Clark who clashes heads with Azreal in a NASTY spot! Blade and Yang restart. Yang has his way with the newcomer until Azreal tags himself in and delivers a powerbomb for 2. Blade, still looking a bit shaky and sloppy, hits a springboard kick and a blue thunder bomb for 2. Blade with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker which almost didn’t come off. It’s more of the usual 4-way stuff which I’m not going to do play-by-play of. Azreal sends Yang outside, hits the ropes 4 times then just slides out and chops Yang? Blade with a suicide dive then Clark hits a springboard moonsault to Blade. Jerelle is back in with a handspring corkscrew senton for 2. Azreal with a double stomp to Blade. Jason with a backdrop to Clark to counter a powerbomb but Clark bounces back off the ropes to deliver a crucifix driver! 2 count. Clark lands on his feet off a German and hits a leg lariat. Yang with an elbow to set up Yang Time for 3.
Match Result: Jimmy Yang defeated Azrieal, Jason Blade, and Jerrelle Clark via Pinfall in 13:58.
Chris’s Star Rating: 2.50 Star Match
A fast-paced match which was fine for what it was. The clash of heads at the start was one of the most painful-looking spots I’ve ever seen. The usual flips and flops in here kept us entertained. Yang picks up another win without doing all that much compared to Clark and a nervous-looking Jason Blade.
#1 Contender’s Match for the ROH World Championship:
Roderick Strong vs. BJ Whitmer
This was supposed to be Low Ki vs Strong but I think Low Ki is gone from ROH now. Prazak says Ki isn’t here due to the same reasons a lot of other people aren’t here either. Hmmm. The winner gets Danielson… eventually.
The match starts off on the mat before making its way into the corner for a chop fest which Strong wins. Obviously! Strong avoids Whitmer in the corner and goes back to the arm. Both up, bodyslam then a knee to the face for 2. BJ whips out of a side headlock but jumps into an atomic drop. Strong with a forearm to the floor and a slingshot plancha. We have the obligatory whip into the guardrail spot as BJ is sent into the metal. Back in the ring with a butterfly suplex for 2. Back to the floor and Strong hits his own versions of the Ole Kick, 2 of them actually. Roddy celebrates too early as BJ recovers and hits a swinging neckbreaker on the outside. Back in and Whitmer applies a camel clutch and elbows the head. Strong is back with a kick and a crossbody for 2. A snap suplex also gets 2. Snap mere into a rear chin lock.
Strong gets a couple of more near falls before BJ goes to the eye and hits a DDT for 2. BJ fights off a superplex attempt and then misses a frog splash. Strong with a dropkick for a near fall. Running forearm and then a half Nelson backbreaker for Strong gets two. BJ with a powerbomb for 2. Back and forth we go here. They go to the top, superplex hits this time. Whitmer rolls out of a half nelson and delivers a hard lariat for 2. Strong fights off the torture rack and delivers a fireman carry gutbuster, running kick, and the Gibson Driver for a pinfall!
Match Result: Roderick Strong defeated BJ Whitmer via Pinfall in 20:11.
Chris’s Star Rating: 3.50 Star Match
Another good topsy turvy match featuring another man who I think TNA would rather not be here in Roderick Strong. A good pace throughout and a smooth encounter between two of the reliable stars on the roster. Good stuff.
CM Punk & Bryan Danielson (c.) vs. Adam Pearce & Jimmy Rave
See, I told you it was “make it up as you go along”. On paper, you would say that Pearce shouldn’t be anywhere near this match but he has a chance to show the world that he belongs in this spot. For Punk this feels like THE last hoorah.
Punk shakes Pearce’s hand after watching the big man rub himself for what felt like a lifetime. Gross. Pearce and Danielson lock it up, Bryan ducks a right and delivers a slap. Tie up, Adam crawls through Bryan’s legs then eats another slap from the champ. Bryan wins the test of strength, Pearce with headbutts and an arm drag/bar. Bryan gets shoulder blocked down. Pearce hits a side headlock, whip, under, to the arm, Bryan whips him off, Pearce shoulder block into an arm ringer. Bryan whips out and delivers a dropkick. CM Punk tags in to a good response. Rave reluctantly tags in, stalls for a minute, avoids Punk then tags straight back out. Ha. “Rave’s a pussy” chant starts. Pearce back in, Punk to the wrist and makes Pearce tag out, allowing Punk to throw Rave in and hit a snap suplex. Bryan is back in with a diving headbutt for 2. Punk is in and immediately eats a jawbreaker. Pearce comes in but he gets his tail whipped by both former ROH champs. Bryan half applies the surfboard and that lets Punk a free shot to the face with a dropkick! Rave breaks up the cover. Punk to the arm again. Makes Rave take the tag again and pulls him to the outside and waits for Jimmy inside. The fight goes back to the floor and all 4 are on the entranceway. Pearce gets
launched into the rail four times as Bryan and Punk gang up on Rave. Bryan goes for a slingshot plancha but Pearce catches him and dumps him on the rail. Rave and Pearce take charge for the first time. They deliver the Doomsday Device to Danielson! They go for it a second time but Danielson victory rolls Pearce and nails them both with the roaring elbow! Punk with the hot tag! Running knee on Pearce and the welcome to Chicago to Rave! Pearce is dumped out and Punk hits a suicide dive. Rave is thrown into the front row. Danielson springs up and delivers a somersault senton to Rave in the front row!! Punk appreciated that one! Back inside, the anaconda vice on Pearce is broken up by Rave. Jimmy with a gutbuster and then a superplex followed up with a splash from Pearce! Danielson breaks it up but CM Punk is still in trouble. Rave goes for the pedigree but Punk counters it into the Vice! Bryan with cattle mutilation on Pearce! Rave makes it to the ropes to deflate the crowd. Punk and Bryan set Rave on top. Pearce helps his partner. Pedigree from Rave! Pearce with a spinebuster on Punk as Jimmy hits a running knee for the near fall. Punk gets his boots up in the corner and delivers a hurricanrana on Pearce. Bryan with a missile dropkick on Rave! Anaconda Vice slapped on Rave! Danielson fights off Pearce! Rave taps!
Match Result: Bryan Danielson (c.) & CM Punk defeated Adam Pearce & Jimmy Rave via Submission in 29:02.
Chris’s Star Rating: 3.75 Star Match
Hell yeah! Not bad for a backup main event was it?! Punk and Danielson really are a dream team and to be fair to Pearce he didn’t look out of place in there. It was a feel-good match with the result only going one way in the circumstances. The dive from Danielson was worth a rewatch on its own! Much like the rest of the card, it’s nothing to go out of your way to watch but given the circumstances, it’s hard not to be impressed. Good main event, exactly what it should’ve been!
Afterward, Bryan does the classy things and thanks Punk for showing up tonight when he didn’t need to. He gets a couple of digs in there on the WWE and says “who cares it’s not like they’re signing me anytime soon”. That aged well! He handed the mic over to Punk who had a great time insulting the one fan who called him a sell-out. Rumour has it that the fan is still recovering from it today. Punk showed his fun side and had a laugh with the New York fans and thanked them for their support. A real feel-good way to end the show. If you haven’t seen the last promo by Punk then I recommend you see it if you enjoy Punk just being himself.
Overall Show Grade
Overall – A horrendous start it must be said but they recovered well and it turned out to be quite an enjoyable show. Many top names were missing due to the snowstorm in New York and flights getting canceled so I’m going to rate this based on the response to that and the resilience ROH showed to produce a quality evening that was basically winged. CM Punk and Bryan Danielson were really there for the company that made them stars and it’s great to see. To be fair this was better than the first 3 shows of the year that they produced with double the manpower.
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