After an opening segment in which executive producer Jim Cornette explains what’s happening in the two Pick Your Poison matches it’s on to the opening match between Sami Callihan and the masked Metal Master.
This was the quicker than usual show starter between two local guys looking to get a regular spot on the roster. It was okay, with some good spots from both wrestlers, but the ending sequences in which several near falls were exchanged looked messy at times, before the Master finally secured the win.
Prince Nana’s boys Erick Stevens and Shawn Daivari took on Necro Butcher and Rasche Brown next.
The best way to describe this would be wild brawl. It began with a fight around ringside and through the fans until the Embassy crew centred their attack on Brown’s injured ribs, taking out Necro at periodic intervals.
It wasn’t enough to put the heels away though as Brown was able to take Daivari down with a spear.
The action continued after the bell as Stevens and Daivari eventually power bombed Necro through a chair. Well, at least three out of the four wrestlers involved looked good.
The Pick 6 series continued next as number three seed Chris Hero defended his position against Petey Williams.
After two somewhat lacklustre affairs it was nice to see ROH get back to what they do best.
Despite the obvious difference in size Williams and Hero put on an incredible back and forth encounter, with both wrestlers putting in excellent performances.
Williams looked like he was going to get the win after taking Hero out with the Canadian destroyer, but interference from Shane Hagadorn stopped the referee from making the count.
The young knockout kid soon fought his way back, and after connecting with two elbow shots Hero took home the submission win with his reverse guillotine. Nice stuff.
It was back to tag team action for the next match as the Dark City Fight Club, Jon Davis and Kory Chavis, faced the American Wolves, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards.
Out of the nine matches on this disc this is the one I was looking forward to the most.
This was a great example of what tag team wrestling should be about. Despite not being champions Richards and Edwards again proved that they’re one of the top tag teams. Their performances here were just breath taking.
As for Davis and Chavis they really went out to bat here, matching their more illustrious opponents, making this a tremendous match.
The Wolves emerged victorious here as Edwards applied the Achilles lock on Davis for the submission win, and after nearly twenty minutes of action I still wanted more from these guys.
The tag team action continued as the House of Truth, Josh Raymond and Christian Able, accompanied by Truth Martini, went up against Austin Aries and Rhett Titus.
This all heel battle proved to be an entertaining affair for the most part, although early on some of Raymond’s work looked a little bit sloppy.
However, at almost twenty minutes in length it seemed to be about five minutes too long, especially as those in attendance seemed a little wasted after the Wolves/Fight Club battle.
An upset occurred here as Aries accidentally took Titus out with a pile driver before Truth Martini’s men took the former World Champion down with their unnamed finishing move for the pin. Needless to say that Aries wasn’t exactly happy with his protégé here.
The first Pick Your Poison match saw Kevin Steen and Steve Corino choosing Roderick Strong to face El Generico.
Now this was more like it, and it dawned on me why this was so much better than the previous match just a few seconds in.
Unlike the heel versus heel encounter the fans had someone to root for in this match, because both guys were baby faces, which is of course a big advantage in a match like this.
It was an excellent encounter, one of the best I’ve seen on an ROH show this year, with neither man holding anything back as they both looked to redeem themselves following their recent problems.
Strong got the win here, beginning the process with a Gibson driver and finishing him off with the big boot.
Then came the inevitable attack from Corino and Steen just as Generico was about to shake Strong’s hand. Strong just walked away as the attack began.
This immediately led to the second Pick Your Poison match as El Generico’s chosen opponents the Briscoe Brothers ran in for the save, with the match beginning as Generico was helped to the back.
Once again Steen heeled it up to perfection with his madman persona, with Corino masterfully playing the role of puppet master.
The Briscoes proved to be great opponents for them with their outstanding team work, evidence as to why WWE took an interest in them a while ago.
Our dastardly heels took the win here. Just as the Briscoes were about to take Corino down with the doomsday device Steen held onto Mark’s leg as Corino rolled up Jay for the pin.
You know, I’m really looking forward to that street fight in my next ROH review.
The main event saw Kenny King getting his first shot at the ROH World title when he took on Tyler Black.
When Danielson and McGuinness went on to pastures new many wondered who would move up to take their place.
Well this match proved that these young stars were more than capable of taking their places. King and Black put on a hell of a main event, with nearly thirty minutes of near perfect action, a joy to behold.
This was by far the best performance I’ve seen from King in an ROH ring. No dancing stuff here as he really took it to the champion.
As for Black he once again proved how he was a worthy champion, another example of why WWE have taken a chance on him.
After two God’s last gift finishers Black was finally able to put King away with a super kick. A great match, worth the price of admission alone.
As usual, the bonus feature on this disc is the ROH Video Wire.
In conclusion - you’re probably expecting me to say that this was the perfect ROH DVD release, right?
Wrong. Out of the nine matches here only six really delivered. The first two matches and the all heel tag match just didn’t do it for me. They were pretty poor by ROH’s usual high standards.
But thankfully the rest of the matches were great, with the last three some of the best ROH stuff I’ve seen all year.
So by all means get a copy of this release. Just remember not to scratch your hard too hard over some of the things here.
With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. ROH Pick Your Poison is available to buy online at www.rohwrestling.com.