Friday, 31 July 2009

ROH Stylin' & Profilin' - DVD Review

We're stepping into Ring of Honor territory once again, mainly because they've sent me quite a few DVDs to review. So this time we're going back to March 13th of this year, with Nigel McGuinness defending the ROH World title against Brent Albright, and an appearance from "Nature Boy" Ric Flair at "Stylin' & Profilin'". Commentary is handled by Dave Prazak and "The Living Legend" Larry Zybyszko.

The show begins with Jay Briscoe facing Roderick Strong. It's a good solid opener from the former tag-team champion, with both men putting on a great display of technical wrestling, mixing it up with a little hard hitting action. It's a tremendous match. Plenty of near falls towards the end of this one, with Strong getting the roll up after a fast series of moves. A nice way to begin the show.

The first of two title matches follows, with Daizee Haze challenging MsChief, accompanied by Jimmy Jacobs & Delirious, for the Shimmer Championship. No Divas in this one, just plenty of great action from two women who know each other so well. Tons of great action, but there was also a story on the outside with Delirious none too happy when Jacobs interfered. This went on when Jacobs interfered twice more, and if it hadn't been for that interference then MsChief wouldn't have retained the title, taking out Haze with her Desecrator DDT. Afterwards Jacobs warned Delirious about their match later in the evening, as well as warning Haze about her future conduct, telling her to stay out of the masked man's business. A very good match here, with a few nice plot twists as well.

Next up, a four corners survival match featuring Claudio Castagnoli, Austin Aries, Kenny Omega and Silas Young, with the first man to get the fall winning. This one had a very interesting start, with Aries and Castagnoli insisting on starting the match, and forming a mutual appreciation society as they exchanged holds and moves, until Omega and Young got fed up with their little games and took matters into their hands. The exchanges between the two baby faces were a lot better. So after all of that there was a ton of great action, with all four men putting in a good showing, and Castagnoli once again standing out above the rest, although Aries wasn't that far behind him. Plenty of four way action towards the end here, with Aries pinning Omega after taking him down with the brain buster, ending an awesome match.

In ring segment time, with Dave Prazak interviewing the guest of honour, Ric Flair. Needless to say that Flair's time in the spotlight is interrupted, by none other than the champion himself, Nigel McGuinness. My fellow Brit starts off by complimenting the Nature Boy, before quickly changing tact and insulting the legend. It's the usual kind of stuff you get from retired legends these days.

Back to the action, with Chris Hero and The American Wolves, accompanied by Larry Sweeney and Shane Hagadorn, taking on Kevin Steen, El Generico and Bobby Dempsey. At least Hero's got rid of that beard since the last ROH show. Some nice performances from all six men here, with Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards showing just how far they've developed as a team, and just why they're the top contenders to Steen and Generico's titles. Hero and Dempsey also played their part in this entertaining match, which featured almost twenty minutes of top notch action, and more liberal amounts of outside interference, as Richards submitted teen with a sharpshooter after Sweeney had stopped his moonsault attempt by clobbering his injured knee with a steel chair. Sweeney and his buddies continued their assault after the bell, until Generico cleared house with a steel chair of his own. Steen had to be helped backstage afterwards.

The tag-team action continues with Irish Airborne facing Kenny King & Rhett Titus. It's a relatively short match, lasting around ten minutes, and it's basically a way of putting the ever blossoming team of King and Titus over. But that being said, King and Titus once again proved how far they've come as a team, putting in a great effort with some well executed double team moves. Irish Airborne played their part well, but in the end they fell to King & Titus' block buster power bomb combination, ending another great match for a team that I'm really becoming a fan of.

Then came the match I was really looking forward to, with Bryan Danielson taking on Bison Smith. Obviously this wasn't going to be the usual Smith squash match, given the nature of his opponent. It certainly is a very interesting match, pitting the technical skill of Danielson against the power and brawling style of Smith, and it made for a nice little match, with Danielson throwing everything he can at the big man, with Smith taking it and delivering tons of punishment. The match eventually went to ringside, with Danielson using a baseball slide dropkick to knock Smith into the front row. The referee made his count as the two men continued to brawl, and just as the ref was about to make the twenty count, Danielson made it back into the ring, ending a very good match, and given that the American Dragon could only beat the big guy by count out, it will be interesting to see if they're matched up together again.

Then it was back to tag-team action, with The Age of the Fall team of Jimmy Jacobs and Delirious going up against Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black. By now long-time readers will realise that I'm a big Jerry Lynn fan, so you could probably tell that this was one of the matches I was looking forward to. It's another great example of 21st century tag-team wrestling, with four great performances. Once again Lynn defied Father Time by putting in an excellent performance, showing the younger guys a thing or two, with Black again showing that he could become a player in the future. For their part, Jacobs and Delirious showed what a good team they are as the ongoing dissention storyline between them continued. Jacobs cost his team the win, accidentally clobbering Delirious with a chair after Black ducked out of the way. As Lynn took care of Jacobs, Black got the pin on the fallen masked men, giving his team the victory. After the match, Jacobs began to berate the fallen and bloodied Delirious, taking out his trusty railroad spike, before Daizee Haze came into the ring in an attempt to stop him. Jacobs then used the spike on her, and was about to use it on Delirious when the masked man stopped him and attacked his now former mentor. A series of running knees left Jacobs stunned in the corner, before Delirious and Haze hugged in the middle of the ring, completing his face turn. Well, the match was good, and the aftermath was well played out, so you'll get no complaints from me.

Main event time, with Brent Albright challenging Nigel McGuinness for the ROH World title, with Ric Flair watching the match from ringside. An excellent wrestling contest to end the show with. McGuinness and Albright put together a great match, with the champion working over the challenger's arm for the early part of the match, and showing off to Flair as the match went on. It soon turned into a back and forth affair later on, with McGuinness even doing the Flair bump off the top rope. A few moments later, after the referee took an accidental hit, McGuinness took Albright out with his London Dungeon through the ringside table, but still couldn't get the job done. Albright soon made his comeback, and it looked like he was going to get the win with numerous crowbar submission attempts, until McGuinness' fellow European Claudio Castagnoli ran in and attacked the challenger, giving Albright the immediate disqualification win. As the two heinous heels began to double up on Albright, Flair took off his jacket, delivered a few chops, and sent McGuinness and Castagnoli running for cover. A nice way to end a great match.

The usual extra, the ROH Newswire, completes this release.

In conclusion - I think you can tell what I'm going to say here. This is another great release from Ring of Honor. There isn't one bad match here, and it's topped off nicely by the excellent main event between McGuinness and Albright. This is definitely one release you should add to your collection, if you haven't already.

With thanks to the powers that be at Ring of Honor for supplying a copy of this release.

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