THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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It was the end of an era for Ring of Honor on September 26th, 2009, as Nigel McGuinness and Bryan Danielson faced each other for the last time, before moving on to pastures new in TNA and WWE respectively at Glory By Honor VIII: The Final Countdown.
The show began with what looked to be a great match on paper as Rhett Titus faced Colt Cabana. A nice little opener that sadly suffered because they didn’t get much time. Cabana broke out the comedy moments here, which raised a smile from this particular writer, as he got the win with Titus submitting to the billy goat’s curse.
Tag team action followed in the form of the Dark City Fight Club, Jon Davis and Kory Chavis, against Cheech and Cloudy, Up in Smoke. It was another impressive performance from the DCFC here as they brutalized their smaller opponents. Cheech and Cloudy had their moments, but the power of Davis and Chavis proved to be too much as they Cloudy down with their great looking power bomb/neck breaker combination to get the pin.
It was back to singles action for the next match as Claudio Castagnoli faced Kenny Omega. The man who is very European put on another great display in this match, and he is fast becoming my favourite Swiss wrestler (although I only know of one other). Omega pulled out the big high flying moves, and looked like he could get the win at times, before a low blow on the referee’s blind side set Omega up for the third European uppercut, giving Castagnoli the chance to get the pin, ending a very good match.
After an appearance by Bret Hart, it was on to four corner survival action, featuring Delirious, Sonjay Dutt, Grizzly Redwood and Roderick Strong. The main story in this one surrounded Delirious and Dutt, after Dutt had attacked the masked man’s main squeeze, Daizee Haze, on the previous show. Some nice four way action here, with, and this may surprise you, Redwood the most impressive of the four, with the little lumberjack pulling off some great moves. Dutt’s obsession with Haze proved to be his downfall. As he tried to take his tights off to impress here, Strong attacked him from behind, eventually taking him down with a Gibson driver to get the pinfall victory. Nice stuff.
The first title match of the evening followed, the big grudge match as Kevin Steen and El Generico challenged the American Wolves, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, for the ROH Tag Team titles in a ladder match. Edwards came into this one having sustained a broken right elbow at the hands of Steen the night before. This was brutal to say the least. There were tons of weapons shots, guys getting hand cuffed, as well as being thrown off ladders and through tables. It was great to watch, and Edwards’ injury clearly didn’t hamper him as, after over twenty minutes of tremendous action, Richards scaled the ladder to grab the belts, securing the victory for his team.
The grudge match action continued as Chris Hero went up against Eddie Kingston. This proved to be a good back and forth encounter, not the best match I’ve ever seen but good nonetheless. There was an interesting end to this one. After Kingston knocked out Hero’s manager Shane Hagadorn with the held of the loaded elbow pad he’d stolen from Hero, Hero took Kingston out with a second loaded elbow pad to get the winning pin. Not bad I suppose, but I’ve definitely seen better Chris Hero matches.
Then it was on to what would normally have been the main event, the Austin Aries Lucky Lottery, with our ROH World Champion defending his title against Petey Williams, although Aries actually drew Bret Hart’s name out of the hat to begin with. What followed was a highly entertaining back and forth encounter between two evenly matched wrestlers. Aries is great at playing the cocky, cowardly heel champion, doing all that he could to back out of the initial challenge that he’d accepted before really taking it to Maple Leaf Muscle. Plenty of near falls and submissions in this one. Williams’ Canadian destroyer off the top rope was a thing of beauty, but it wasn’t enough to get the win, as Aries rolled out of the ring afterwards. Williams went outside to drag him back in, but Aries sprang to life and took him down with a brain buster on the floor, before crawling back into the ring to get the count out win.
After a great segment which saw the return of Jim Cornette, it was back to tag team action as Matt and Nick Jackson, the Young Bucks, squared off against Jay and Mark Briscoe. The Briscoes looked back to their best here, pulling off some great moves, especially when they hip tossed Nick over one of the corner posts right onto his brother in the aisle. The Bucks pulled off some great moves as well, which made this a great encounter, which saw the Bucks take the win after their more bang for your buck combination.
Then it was on to the main event that everybody wanted to see, as former ROH World Champions Nigel McGuinness and Bryan Danielson faced each other one last time. These two have had some classic encounters over the years, and this one easily ranked up there with them. It was a classic, as they matched each move for move and hold for hold. It really was a joy to behold, and you really wanted this to go to the time limit draw, so both men could go out with a bit of glory. But it didn’t, with the referee stopping the action as Danielson rained down a torrent of elbows on McGuinness’ head while he applied the triangle choke at the same time, giving that final victory to the American Dragon. Afterwards, as the entire ROH roster and crew gathered around the ring, both men paid tribute to each other and everything else in the company. It really was a fitting tribute to two of the greatest wrestlers in the world today.
In conclusion – as you can probably tell by now, I really enjoyed this DVD. From the opener, right through to the main event, Glory by Honor VIII delivered in spades, with the final encounter between Danielson and McGuinness worth the price of admission alone. If you haven’t got this DVD already, then get it as soon as possible, because your collection won’t be complete without it.
With thanks to the powers that be at Ring of Honor for supplying a copy of this release. Glory by Honor VIII: The Final Countdown can be purchased online at www.rohwrestling.com.