Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Briscoe Brothers: Sandy Fork Originals - DVD Review

They're a pair of good old fashioned redneck boys who like nothing more than kicking ass and winning titles, and that's something they've been doing in Ring of Honor for over a decade now.

Now ROH have paid tribute to "dem boys" once more with another DVD compilation in the form of The Briscoe Brothers: Sandy Fork Originals.

And as is the custom with these things we're starting right at the beginning with....

Disc One
March 2nd, 2008
Our boys have travelled into Pro Wrestling NOAH territory as they challenge Naomichi Marufuji and Takashi Sugiura for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Titles at the Second Navigation 2008.

For me this was a timely reminder that I should follow NOAH more closely, because to put it simply this was a hell of an encounter.

For nearly thirty minutes these two teams put on a tremendous back and forth effort. All four men gave a good account of themselves, and while the NOAH contingent looked good individually the Briscoes looked the more polished unit.

All four men took it in turns to take the punching bag treatment, and it was during these segments that I was really impressed with Sugiura's performance. I don't recall seeing him before, but his array of power moves was pretty impressive, although his best moment came when he shrugged off a couple of Jay's superkicks while applying an ankle lock to Mark.

The best part of the match was the mass brawl segment as they pulled out the stops to get the win, with the best being saved for the end. After the brothers had taken Sugiura out with the doomsday device they looked to do the same with Marufuji, but as Mark launched himself off the top rope Marufuji caught him and took him down with a Spanish fly-like move.

Marufuji then went for the pin, and as the referee made his count Jay hadn't realised what had happened, thinking that Mark was getting the title winning pin instead of being on the receiving end of Marufuji's title retaining pin. Sadly that's when this footage ended, so we didn't get to see Jay's reaction.

July 25th, 2008
Our boy Jay teams with Austin Aries as they face Tag Team Champions Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black of the Age of the Fall in a non-title no disqualification match at Northern Navigation.

From technical excellence we went to an all out brawl, and a very entertaining one at that. With Mark having been injured at the hands of Jacobs' crazy gang Aries stepped in to aid Jay in his battle, mainly because he'd had his own issues with Jacobs, and these two teams started battling all over the place as soon as the bell rang as they clobbered each other with anything they could get their hands on.

Things looked to be going Jay and Aries' way until the Necro Butcher came down to help his buddies, and with this being a no DQ match there was nothing the referee could do, so in effect this became a handicap match, until we got a surprise appearance from Mark that is, and despite his wrist injury he joined Aries and his brother in dishing out an ass whopping.

But when the Butcher took him down with a bulldog through a table he was carried away, turning this into a handicap match again, until we got the dramatic moment a few moments later.

Jacobs crazy plan was to take Aries' eye, but the Butcher refused to do his bidding, and as leader and lackey argued Black tried to intervene. It didn't work because the Butcher left his allies and walked off, evening the sides once again.

It was just what Jay and Aries needed, because a few moments later they took the upper hand once more and dispensed their own brand of Shield-like justice when they took Black out with the doomsday device and finished him off with a Jay driller for the winning pin.

August 2nd, 2008
It's back to normal action for our boys as they face Julius Smokes' Vulture Squad boys Jigsaw and Ruckus at Death Before Dishonor VI.

Fast-paced action was the order of the day in this short and sweet show opener. We had some nice exchanges early on between the maskless Jigsaw and Mark before the bodies began to fly over and from the top rope.

Back in the ring the speedy exchanges kept on coming until the boys took Jigsaw out with the doomsday device for the winning pin.

October 25th, 2008
Our boys go up against one of the best TNA teams in recent years in the form of Homicide and Hernandez, the Latin American X-Change, with Julius Smokes in their corner, at Ring of Homicide 2.

Originally it was meant to be the brothers against the Motor City Machine Guns, but when they were withdrawn because of other commitments the LAX boys took their place and proved to be a more than suitable replacement, because what we had here was a great example of tag team wrestling.

Homicide and Hernandez dominated the early going when they used both Jay and Mark for target practice, with Homicide swelling and bloodying Mark's right eye after a hard headbutt. He soon made his way back to his corner though, where the tag to his brother caused a change in momentum.

As the match went on it became a very intriguing affair. If anything the LAX boys looked a lot better in ROH than in TNA, and although we got to see many of their trademark moves we got to see a different side, a different style to their game.

Of course the all hell breaking loose segment brought out all the big moves, and once again big Super-Mex impressed as he threw the boys around the ring before taking them out with a running dive over the top rope, landing on his feet in the process.

Eventually something had to give though, and it took both brothers to superplex Hernandez before they connected with a top rope splash/leg drop combo from opposite corners to get the winning pin.

December 27th, 2008
Our boys face Japanese opposition once more as they take on GHC Heavyweight Champion Kensuke Sasaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima at Final Battle.

This one proved to be a great back and forth action filled with even greater performances. All four men put in tremendous stints here, especially Sasaki's protégé Nakajima.

Indeed, it was the up and coming star who impressed early on as he showed that, despite his young age, he wasn't at all fazed about being in the ring with the likes of the Briscoes, and while he may have taken a great deal of the punching bag treatment he certainly put on a show.

The highlight for me though was see Sasaki in action again. The only man to have held the main title in all three of Japan's major promotions looked as solid as ever.

Once again the all hell breaking loose segment provided us with some highlight reel moments, such as when Sasaki used Nakajima as a weapon in a tilt-a-whirl kind of way, while the brothers gave it their all with their never say die attitude, taking everything the Japanese stars threw at them and more.

But in the end it was the young Nakajima who fell when Jay took him down with his driller for the three count and win.

However, before they could celebrate their win Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards of the American Wolves attacked, hand cuffing Jay to the ropes before doing further damage to Mark's injured knee before El Generico and Kevin Steen ran in for the save.

April 18th, 2009
With his brother injured our boy Jay moves into the singles ranks as he takes on Roderick Strong at Tag Title Classic.

Although he'd had a few shots at the World title Jay was known primarily as a tag team wrestler, but if anything this match showed that he was as equally adept at both.

These two matched up together pretty well, and the exchange of holds early on made for great viewing. As the match progressed Jay showed he could match Strong in every department. Well, almost every. When Jay instigated a chopping contest Strong was the easy winner.

Both guys pulled out the big moves towards the end, and it looked like they were going for the knockout as they traded forearms, but when Strong went for his stronghold finisher Jay countered with a roll-up for the pin.

May 9th, 2009
With his brother Mark in his corner our boy Jay challenges Jerry Lynn for the World title at Validation.

Jerry Lynn is one of those wrestlers I could watch all day. He's one of those guys who could have a good match with anyone, and I was chuffed to bits when he won the ROH World title. I was even more chuffed when I saw that this match was a part of this collection.

It may not be remembered as one of the "big" World title matches but it will be remembered for the solid efforts of both champion and challenger. It wasn't overly spectacular, but it was a good old fashioned solid encounter with two good performances.

Lynn looked as good as he ever had, while Jay looked even more comfortable as a singles wrestler. Their exchanges throughout were a joy to behold. They may not have taken each other to the limit, but they certainly put on a good fight.

Both guys came close to getting the win with their respective finishes, only for Jay to kick out after the cradle piledriver and for Lynn to kick out after the Jay driller, and when Jay went for his move again Lynn back dropped his way out of danger before taking his man out with a cradle tombstone piledriver for the title retaining win.

ROH on HDNet Episode 25
Our boys get some television time as they face old rivals Kevin Steen and El Generico.

Fast paced action was the order of the day in front of the television cameras as these two units put on another enjoyable encounter. From start to finish it was filled with great back and forth action, and it was also a timely reminder of just who good Steen and Generico were as a team.

All the stops were pulled out in this one, and there were many impressive moments here, but just when it looked as if Steen and Generico were going to get the win Tag Champs the American Wolves made their presence known again, attacking Steen and Generico. The referee called for the bell immediately, but it wasn't long before the brothers joined their opponents in sending Edwards and Richards packing.

September 18th, 2009
Our boys face another set of brothers in the form of Nick and Matt Jackson of the Young Bucks at The Final Countdown Tour: Dayton.

Highly entertaining would probably be the best way to describe this encounter. The Briscoes looked like they were underestimating their opposition early on, but they soon found out what the Jacksons were made of with their fast tags and impressive array of double team moves.

The thing that impressed me the most here was the overall display of the Bucks. For me their ROH matches are a hell of a lot better than their TNA bouts, and they were able to show a lot more here than they ever did in the Impact Zone.

Sadly for them this impressive performance wasn't enough to take them to victory. Just as they were about to put Mark away with their more bang for your buck finisher the toothless on raised his knees when Nick came off the top rope and Matt crashed and burned. They then took Matt out with the doomsday device for the three count.

December 19th, 2009
Our boys go for the gold once more as they challenge the American Wolves for the Tag Team titles at Final Battle.

This brought back some really fond memories of their rather heated rivalry back then, and it was another example of how well these two teams worked together. However, it must be said that the heat was rather lacking from this match. It just didn't feel like a match between two teams that had been beating the proverbial out of each other for months.

With that being said nothing else about this match can be faulted. Both teams put in great performances, and the double team moves, particularly from the Wolves, was excellent as always. But perhaps what was most surprising was that the Wolves' manager Shane Hagadorn didn't even try to interfere.

As for the ending it was the brothers who came out on top, taking Eddie Edwards out with the doomsday device for the title winning pin.

But before they could celebrate Claudio Castagnoli arrived on the scene, and as he stared the brothers down in the ring Chris Hero hopped the guardrail and attacked them from behind. They then laid the brothers out and held the title belts aloft, signalling the return of the Kings of Wrestling.

Disc Two
ROH on HDNet Episode 48
There's more television time for our boys as they face the Young Bucks again, this time in a Tag Team title defence.

Now this was even better than their previous encounter on this collection, and although there were a lot of similarities to that match it also had enough differences to make it better.

The Briscoes dominated the early going with their wide array of moves as both Jacksons played the part of the punching bag, and the mass brawling saw all four men flying and putting together a great string of double team moves.

As in the last match Mark managed to counter the Jackson's more bang for your buck finisher, but they weren't as easy to put away this time around. There was still quite a bit more fight in them as they sought to win the title before the Briscoes finally put them away with the doomsday device for the title retaining pin.

May 8th, 2010
It's the first of four encounters between our boys and the All Night Express team of Kenny King and Rhett Titus at Supercard of Honor V.

The brothers were back to opening match duty in this short and sweet encounter against a team that looked very polished but nowhere near as shiny as they did a year or so later.

King took an early battering from the brothers until he got the hot tag to the ladies man, and from there the All-Nighters put together some good sequences as they tried to take Mark apart one move at a time.

Eventually Mark managed to get the tag to his brother, and although King and Titus made a couple of brief comebacks the Briscoes soon took them out with the doomsday device for the winning pin.

June 19th, 2010
Our boys look to regain the gold as they challenge Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero of the Kings of Wrestling for the Tag Team titles in a no disqualification match at Death Before Dishonor VIII.

What we had here was nearly twenty minutes of utter brutality, beginning with the brothers attacking the champions from behind. It wasn't long before all four were wearing the crimson mask as they beat the proverbial out of each other, with the Kings' manager Shane Hagadorn giving them a helping hand now and then.

Things got way worse when the Kings tied Jay's neck around the ring post so they could deliver some more brutality to Mark. But no matter what they did they just couldn't put him away for that winning pin. Eventually the referee managed to free Jay, and that's when the brutality meter went up a few points further.

They hit each other with everything they could, and still they couldn't get the pin, even after Castagnoli was put through a table and Jay was clobbered by Hero's loaded elbow pad.

Eventually something had to give, and as Castagnoli swung Jay around the ring Hero put his loaded elbow pad on his foot and connected with a dropkick to Jay's head. That was it, and a three count later the Kings had retained their title.

July 22nd, 2010
Our boys face the American Wolves once more, this time at the Bluegrass Brawl.

This is the beauty about these compilations. You can go from a blood-strewn brawl right into a technical masterclass, and this is what we had here.

With Shane Hagadorn nowhere in sight these two teams were left to put on a great back and forth encounter, and their previous history made this seem a lot more than a simple game of one-gunmanship.

All four men put in a solid performance, and although the Wolves are this time were becoming nothing more than a shield to the Kings of Wrestling they still looked great, particularly when they were working over Jay's left knee.

Naturally the bug guns came out during the all hell breaking loose moment. Nearly all the big moves were there, but neither team could put the other away until the brothers combined to put Edwards away with a spiked Jay driller for the winning pin.

December 18th, 2010
It's six man action for our boys as they team with their Papa Mike against Tag Team Champions the Kings of Wrestling and their manager Shane Hagadorn at Final Battle.

I have to admit that I had my doubts about this one, mainly because of the two non-wrestlers in the match, but having seen this now I can safely say that this match was kind of fun.

I know I say this quite a bit but this really was a great piece of storytelling. The sequences between the Kings and the brothers were, as always, flawless, and the contributions of Hagadorn and Papa were kept to a minimum, and when they were in the ring it only added to the overall drama.

For me the real surprise was Papa Mike. His performance was the best thing about this match as he proved that he was a tough old so and so, just like his boys.

Indeed, the old man played a pivotal role in the ending. Having been taken out by Chris Hero's rolling elbow he recovered enough to help Jay take Hagadorn out with the doomsday device. Yep, you read that right, the old man could fly! And with that it was enough for his team to get the pin.

April 1st, 2011
Following their brutal attack after losing to the All-Night Express our boys are now sitting on the other side of the fence as they face a pair of up and comers in the form of Future Shock's Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly at Honor Takes Center Stage Chapter 1.

This was another of those very enjoyable encounters, and if both teams were looking to impress possible new fans drawn to the area by a certain massive wrestling show then they definitely succeeded here.

The brothers put on their usual solid performance, mixing in a few underhanded blows to keep in line with their turn, while Cole & O'Reilly looked great as a team. Their double team moves were just as good as their opponents, and having seen them in action again it seems a shame that they weren't given a longer run as a team.

But despite the fact that they gave the brothers a run for their money they couldn't get the job done as they took Cole out with the doomsday device for the winning pin.

That wasn't the end of their night's work though. Having been thrown out of the building following an earlier altercation Kenny King and Rhett Titus appeared on the scene with their fists taped up, which meant only one thing, a big fight, and not even countless security guard could separate them at times.

April 2nd, 2011
It's one day later as our boys continue their heated rivalry with the All Night Express at Honor Takes Center Stage Chapter 2.

Blood was most definitely spilled in this encounter, which began when the brothers attacked the All Nighters from behind. They then began brawling all over the place, and the action got so out of hand that a second referee came down to the ring to help out.

The first blood letting occurred soon afterwards when the boys sent Titus head first into the ring post before they used him for target practice, but when Titus eventually made it back to his corner it signalled the start of the all hell breaking loose moment, and if there was a way of doubling that particular saying then I probably would, because that was when they started kicking the proverbial out of each other.

Jay soon joined the blood letting brigade when Titus put him through the time-keeper's table, but that didn't stop him from continuing to kick you know what. In fact he seemed to get even stronger as the crimson flowed, and it wasn't long before he was taking Titus down with the Jay driller for the winning pin.

May 21st, 2011
The rivalry continues as our boys face the All Night Express once more, this time in a Chicago street fight at Supercard of Honor VI.

The premise for this one was simple. It was a fight, with four guys beating the hell out of each other with anything they could get their hands on. We had tables, ladders, chairs, chains, fire extinguishers and pieces of the guardrail, and it was bloody, with four out of the three wearing crimson masks at one point.

It may have looked brutal, but it made for great viewing. All four men went over the limit as far as their performances were concerned. The brothers were at their brawling best, while the All Nighters showed that they were far more than a couple of pretty boys with fancy moves.

As for the finish it looked like it could have gone either way right up until the final seconds, because after the brothers took Titus down with the doomsday device King threw a chair into Jay's head before Mark barged him over the top rope, the momentum sending him crashing as well. Then, as Jay staggered around the ring he fell on top of Titus. The referee made his three count, and that was it, the brothers had another victory over their rivals.

September 17th, 2011
With the heat still at an intense level our boys face the All Night Express once more, this time in Ladder War III at Death Before Dishonor IX.

With a contract for a shot at the tag titles hanging high above the ring these two teams took the brutality to an even higher level, and that's something I never thought I'd say having seen their previous encounters.

These four were beating the proverbial out of each other within seconds of the start, and it wasn't long before the blood was flowing when Titus was busted open.

From there they once again clobbered each other with anything they could get their hands on as the Briscoes proved they could bleed even better than Titus. They threw each other through tables, they clobbered each other with chairs, and slammed each other on ladders. And you know what? I enjoyed every minute of it.

The holy you know what moment came when the brothers introduced a massive ladder into the equation, setting it up at ringside and placing a bloody Titus on it. Crazy Mark then climbed to the top, which was as high as the balcony, before splashing Titus through the table, leaving both in a heap on the floor.

This left Jay against King, and when our Kenny connected with a shooting star press on Jay it looked all over bar the shouting. But as an aching Kind climbed the ladder. Jay managed to "man up" though, and when he joined King on the top of the later they jockeyed for position until King sent him crashing so he could grab the title contract and win the match for his team.

November 19th, 2011
It's the final match of the collection as our boys face the Young Bucks again at Glory by Honor X.

This was meant to be the big return for the Jackson boys after their stint in TNA, but the Briscoes weren't exactly in a welcoming mood as they gave them the woodshed treatment for the first few minutes.

The Bucks soon worked their way into the match though, putting their new-found mean streak to work as they doubled up on Mark to good effect. It wasn't long before he managed to get the tag to his brother though, and together the Briscoes took the Bucks down with their usual array of moves, and although the Jacksons came close to getting the win they soon found themselves in the receiving end of the doomsday device as the Briscoes took the pin.

In conclusion - well, after over six hours of action and over four thousands words you're probably wondering what my final verdict is

This collection is the perfect advertisement for the Briscoes. It doesn't matter what kind of their match they're on, from regular contest to street fight to ladder matches they can do anything, and do it extremely well.

But it was while I was watching this collection I began to wonder why neither of the "big two" had ever signed these boys up. These guys are so versatile they can do anything in any kind of match, and although it would be a big loss to ROH it would be nice to see them getting their chance on the big stage.

So with all that being said there's just one more thing left to do, and that's to give this collection the thumbs up.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. The Briscoe Brothers: Sandy Fork Originals is available to buy online at

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