THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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It’s time to step into Ring of Honor territory again, and following on from their excellent 7th Anniversary Show, we’re now going to go back to April 3rd, and to Houston, Texas, as we take a look at Supercard of Honor IV, with Jerry Lynn challenging Nigel McGuinness for the ROH World title. Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard are handling commentary duties for this one.
The show begins with the usual quick opener, this time featuring Rhett Titus against Erick Stevens. It’s a solid little opener, with some fast paced action and two good performances from those involved, with Stevens getting the win with a unique looking finisher, lifting his man up as if he were about to deliver an inverted atomic drop, then taking him down with a clothesline. Nice stuff.
Six man tag team action followed, with Chris Hero, Eddie Edwards and Incognito taking on Jay Briscoe, Magno, and one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions Kevin Steen. This one was nearly a disaster when the top rope broke early on, but credit must go to the wrestlers for making the best of a bad situation. Although high impact off the rope moves were out of the question, they put on a good solid match, with the two Mexicans in particular looking impressive. The heels came out on top here, getting the pin after Hero knocked out Magno with his controversial and potentially loaded green elbow pad.
Thankfully, the ring was fixed when Japanese star Katsuhiko Nakajima faced Roderick Strong. Sadly, this was another relatively short match. I say sadly because it was a hell of an encounter, a hard hitting back and forth display, with Strong pinning Nakajima after a butterfly power bomb. Impressive though this was, I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if they’d been given another five or ten minutes.
The Sweet & Sour Challenge never actually happened. This time it was the turn of Kamala to take on Bobby Dempsey, but the Ugandan giant refused to wrestle when he saw that Dempsey had the same body paint as him. This enraged Shane Hagadorn, who slapped Kim Chee, only for the big man to attack him and splash him in the corner, with Dempsey adding the coup de grace seconds later. A nice little segment this, although I was a little disappointed that Kamala didn’t actually wrestle.
Multi-man action followed this segment, a four corners survival match featuring NWA World Champion Blue Demon Jr, ROH World Tag Team Champion El Generico, Claudio Castagnoli and Brent Albright. This was another match filled with fast paced action, and I was really impressed with the Demon’s showing here. As well as some great action in the ring we also had a ton of brawling outside the ring, mainly between long-time rivals Castagnoli and Albright, and it was the Swiss who came out on top, claiming victory after low blowing Albright after the referee had been pushed out of the way.
The great action continued with Bryan Danielson facing Russian star Alex Koslov. These two were tailor-made for each other, the action was that good. Koslov put in a terrific show, and Danielson, well, was Danielson, as solid and dependable as always. Perhaps the best part of this one was Danielson’s frustration as Koslov used his signature moves. However, Danielson’s versions of the moves proved to be better, as he got the win with his version of the cattle mutilation.
D-Lo Brown’s heel turn continued next as he went up against another recently released former WWE star, Colt Cabana. This one was fought at a much slower pace than the previous matches, as Brown and Cabana proved to be good foils for one another. However, even though this wasn’t the best match I’ve seen from these two, it was still enjoyable nonetheless, with Brown getting the tainted win, clobbering Cabana with what looked to be a pair of brass knuckles as Cabana came off the top rope.
The fast paced action returned with Davey Richards challenging KENTA for the GHC Junior Heavyweight title. This was one of those matches that could literally take your breath away, a hard hitting encounter between two men who had tremendous chemistry in the ring, with the scary moment coming when Richards’ suicide dive from the ring saw him go flying into the second row. Thankfully he was soon up and running again. Plenty of false finishes in this one, before KENTA got the title retaining pin after taking Richards out with the go to sleep. Awesome match, and one I’d definitely watch again.
Sadly, I can’t say the same for the following match, a tag team affair pitting Jimmy Jacobs and Austin Aries against Tyler Black and Necro Butcher. These matches in which former Age of the Fall allies beat the hell out of each other are getting kind of predictable. As always, the Butcher was the worst man in the match with his weak looking offence, and we got the usual brief argument between Aries and Jacobs, before Aries pinned Black after his trademark brain buster. Parts of this were okay, I suppose.
The main event saw Jerry Lynn challenging Nigel McGuinness for the ROH World title. McGuinness was still hampered by his various injuries, and once again it seemed as if announcers Prazak and Leonard were trying to turn the champion face. Despite the injuries he was suffering from McGuinness once again put in a great performance, the perfect foil for the always dependable Lynn. This was one of those matches you just couldn’t take your eyes off, mainly because it got better as it went on. A new champion was crowned at the end though, with Lynn taking McGuinness down with his trusty cradle pile driver. Afterwards, as the crowd roared their approval, both men grabbed the microphone and paid tribute to each other. A nice touch of class there.
DVD extras come in the form of the usual ROH Newswire, and a bonus match between Grizzly Redwood and Ernie Osiris.
In conclusion – another solid outing for the Ring of Honor crew. The majority of the matches delivered what they set out to do, with the exception of, once again, the encounter featuring the Necro Butcher. How this guy ever gets work is beyond me, it really is. Thankfully the rest of the show made up for his continuing poor performances, and was topped off nicely by Jerry Lynn’s title win. So does this release get the Two Sheds recommendation? The answer is yes.