THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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It’s time to step into Ring of Honor territory again, and this time we’re going back to this past April, as Colt Cabana challenges Jerry Lynn for the ROH World title in his own backyard in The Homecoming II, with Lenny Leonard and Dave Prazak handling commentary duties.
The show begins with Rasche Brown facing the masked Egotistico Fantastico. As the old line goes, it’s the usual quick show opener, the power of Brown going up against the speed and agility of Fantastico. Once again I was impressed by Brown’s performance as he played the monster heel to perfection. He even channelled the spirit of Lex Luger at one point as he applied a torture rack. But it wasn’t to be his day, as Fantastico countered Brown’s power bomb attempt with what was meant to be a sunset flip by the looks of things, a move that didn’t exactly go to plan. Fantastico still got the pin though, and that was the only blemish on an otherwise good match.
Then it was on to tag team action, with Austin Aries and Rhett Titus taking on Silas Young and Alex Payne. Thankfully Aries wasn’t wearing those awful tights. Sadly he was wearing something a whole lot worse, and while I can heavily criticise Aries’ choice of attire, I definitely can’t criticise his wrestling. Aries put in another good performance here, and while his team with Titus isn’t as good as the Titus/Kenny King team, it’s pretty close. Young and Payne also did their part to make this a pretty good match, with Young pulling off some great moves. Plenty of back and forth action and plenty of near falls as it looked like Payne would take Titus out for the win, until Aries came in and saved the day for his team, taking Payne down with a brain buster before dragging Titus over to get the pin. After match action followed as Young attacked Payne for costing them the match. Great action throughout here folks.
Three way action followed, with the always watchable Claudio Castagnoli, Jimmy Jacobs and Roderick Strong. Strong came into this one with his head heavily bandaged, courtesy of his match the night before against Jerry Lynn, while Jacobs was still sporting his eye patch, courtesy of his previous match with Delirious. As is the custom in these kind of matches the cowardly heels doubled up on Strong whenever they could, although there was the inevitable breakdown when Jacobs tried to pin Castagnoli. It was also great to see Castagnoli’s reaction when the fans cheered for him – which was for most of the match. Once again Jacobs swooped in for the opportunist victory, throwing Double C out of the ring before applying the end time guillotine on Strong for the submission win. Afterwards Jacobs tried to cut a promo on the crowd, only to be interrupted by his former running buddy Tyler Black. It’s quite an emotional promo from Black, and probably one of the best promos I’ve seen in ROH for a while. Oh, and the match was very good as well.
We then returned to tag team action as the Dark City Fight Club team of Jon Davis and Cory Chavis went up against the Phoenix Twins, Tweak and Dash. It’s a short and sweet encounter, probably because of Davis’ wrist injury, which is also the reason why Chavis does the lion’s share of the work for his team. It doesn’t stop Davis and Chavis from using the old Eliminators finishing move to take out one of the twins before they got the pin, ending a match which achieved what it set out to do – putting Davis and Chavis over.
The singles action returned with what looked like a great match on paper as the crown jewel the Embassy, Jimmy Rave, went up against Bryan Danielson. It’s another technical master class from the American Dragon, with Rave more than holding his own in this one, with both men coming up with some rather inventive submission holds. This was one of those matches you didn’t want to end, but sadly it had to, with Danielson getting the submission win when Rave passed out to Danielson’s triangle choke, ending an excellent encounter.
Tyler Black made his second appearance of the evening next, taking on Chris Hero. Physically these two looked like mirror images of each other. Performance-wise they matched up perfectly, which made for an enthralling contest, with plenty of near falls from both men, with Black evading Hero’s loaded elbow pad and taking his man down with the God’s last brain buster, ending the second excellent contest in a row. The night wasn’t over for Black though, as Jimmy Jacobs attacked him with his trusty old railway spike as he was making his way back up the aisle. By the way, is it me or does Shane Hagadorn look like a reject from the Mean Street Posse?
The first title match of the evening followed, with the hybrid team of Kevin Steen and Jay Briscoe challenging the American Wolves, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards, for the ROH World Tag Team titles in a best of three falls match. It’s no secret that I’ve become a big fan of the Wolves over the past few months, and this match is another great example of just how good they are. For their part, Steen and Briscoe also put in a great performance, although their double team work, for obvious reasons, wasn’t as crisp as that of Edwards and Richards. That being said, Steen got the first fall for his team as Edwards tapped out to the sharpshooter. Richards evened the score his team as Steen tapped out to a cloverleaf, the Wolves’ work on Steen’s knee having paid dividends. A frantic final few minutes followed, with plenty of near falls, and Steen inadvertently kicking Briscoe below the belt, before Edwards pinned Briscoe after a doomsday ace crusher, ending the third excellent match in a row.
The final match of the show was the one I was really looking forward to, as it featured two of my favourite wrestlers, Colt Cabana challenging Jerry Lynn for the ROH World title. Now this is the thing that ROH does really well, it’s baby face versus baby face battles. Lynn and Cabana put on a hell of a match here, one of the best I’ve seen this year, a real technical classic, even better than the earlier Rave/Danielson match. Cabana once again proved why he’s one of the best in the world at the moment, while Lynn proved that there’s still plenty of life in the old dog in a thrilling encounter that saw Lynn getting the title retaining pin after taking Cabana down with his trademark cradle pile driver. Cabana then took the microphone and showed what a true class act he was by paying tribute to everyone in ROH, with Lynn doing the same moments later. An excellent way to end an excellent match.
As usual, the only DVD extra comes in the form of the ROH Newswire.
In conclusion – this may well be one of the best DVDs I’ve reviewed this year. It begins with the usual quick opener and builds up nicely to the tremendous main event. I really can’t speak too highly about this show, and if you get a wad of cash for Christmas, then why not spend some of it on this DVD. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
With thanks to the ROH powers that be for supplying a copy of this release.