THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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It’s time to step into Ring of Honor territory again, and this time we’re going to take a look at the DVD release of their Take No Prisoners pay-per-view, held in Houston, Texas, last April, and featuring stars from the U.S., Japan, Mexico, Russia, and New Zealand, with Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard handling commentary duties.
The show began with one of my current favourites, Colt Cabana, against Ace Steel, the main who gave him his start in the business. The former Second City Saints partners put on an enjoyable contest here, mixing comedy with great wrestling in the usual ROH quick show opener, with Cabana getting the submission win when Steel tapped to the billy goat’s curse. Nice action here, and a good few chuckles as well.
Eight man tag team action followed, with the American Wolves, Chris Hero and Incognito taking on Jay Briscoe, Magno, Kevin Steen and El Generico. The best way to describe this one would be fast and exciting. The Mexican contingent Incognito and Mango impressed the hell out of me, and the other six guys in this one were great as well. Of course, it broke down to the inevitable mass brawl, before Magno and Briscoe took Hero out with a spiked jay driller, with Briscoe getting the winning pin.
Then came the no disqualification match between Jimmy Jacobs and Necro Butcher. This certainly was one wild brawl. You had a fight through the crowd, blood letting via a screwdriver, numerous chair shots, a death valley driver through a table, and Necro Butcher still looking bloody awful. His offence still looked as weak as hell, his DVD when he put Jacobs through a table from the ring apron looked awful, and his body block off the top rope looked even worse. Jacobs looked okay in this one, but I’ve definitely seen him in better matches. Necro got the win here with a tiger driver onto a pile of chairs, thankfully ending this match.
After an in ring segment in which Claudio Castagnoli attacked the injured Nigel McGuinness, it was on to the three way match with Castagnoli, Brent Albright and Blue Demon Jr. This was one of those three ways where one guy is on the apron and tags are needed to get into the match. A very entertaining encounter with three good performances, and some more great exchanges between heated rivals Albright and Castagnoli. The injured McGuinness stayed at ringside, and his distraction caused Castagnoli’s downfall, with Albright getting the pin after a half nelson suplex. Good match, and a good storyline as well.
The final singles match of the show saw Alex Koslov taking on Roderick Strong. There’s nothing like a good old fashioned America versus Russia encounter. This was another of those short matches filled with plenty of back and forth action. Koslov and Strong seemed tailor made for each other in this hard hitting affair, and it was a shame that they weren’t given more time. Strong got the win here, taking Koslov down with a yakuza kick before applying his stronghold Boston crab.
Then it was on to the four corner survival match, as Jerry Lynn defended the ROH World title against Bryan Danielson, Erick Stevens and D-Lo Brown. There were no tags needed to enter the match in this one, so it was basically fought under lucha libre rules. Yet another fast paced encounter with men jumping in and out of the ring all the time, pulling off their signature moves and breaking up the various pin attempts. Now while I can’t fault the performances of those involved, I was a little disappointed at the time this match was given. Lynn got the title retaining pin here after taking Stevens out with the cradle pile driver.
The main event saw KENTA and Tyler Black going up against Katsuhiko Nakajima and Austin Aries in what was described earlier in the show as a dream tag team partners match. To say that this match was awesome would be a huge understatement. While the performances of Aries and Black were great, those of KENTA and Nakajima were even better. I absolutely loved the exchanges between the two Japanese stars. I really can’t speak too highly about this one, which saw Black getting the win for his team, taking Aries out with his God’s last gift finisher. Awesome, just awesome.
DVD extras come in the form of the usual video wire, and a bonus match, in which Rhett Titus takes on Bushwhacker Luke. Yep, you read that right, a Bushwhacker in Ring of Honor!
In conclusion – this is the first time I’ve seen a Ring of Honor pay-per-view, and it certainly is different from their usual shows. It lasted about two hours, meaning most of the matches were shorter, lasting, on average, ten minutes, and although they’re action packed and the majority of the performances can’t be faulted, they just didn’t seem the same as usual, especially when the ROH World title match isn’t the main event and it lasts only ten minutes. But that being said, it was an enjoyable show and it does get the usual recommendation.
With thanks to the powers-that-be at ROH for supplying a copy of this release. Take No Prisoners 2009 is available to buy online at www.rohwrestling.com.