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Posts Tagged ‘Rhet Titus’

A Reporter’s Reflections: ROH Commentary, Dec. 5

Posted by reimaginejournalism on December 14, 2008

By Kari Williams

For the second time this year, working with Missouri Wrestling Revival initiated me to the live experience of a class-act wrestling show I otherwise may not have attended. I was not sure what to expect upon arrival, but I got everything I could have asked for—and so much more.

Once the doors opened, I quickly scoped out the merchandise table and planned to splurge on ROH gear. However, I first needed to find Brian Kelley to discuss the website and this piece you are reading now. Upon finding him, I talked with the High Voltage Wrestling promoter, TNT Keny G, and saw many familiar faces—Pierre Abernathy, Evan Gelistico, Billy McNeil, Kurt Styles and Gary the Barnowl, just to name a few.

I soon made my way back to the merchandise table and proceeded to spend $50 on a t-shirt and a hoodie, where I ran into Greg Jovi, who designed the FIST t-shirts. He told me that he needed to find Steven Kennedy because Kennedy told him that he would be there with bells on. Greg brought bells for Kennedy. Haha.

Prior to the actual start of the show, there were two ‘dark’ matches (for lack of a better word). The first one put Hunter Matthews against Steve Anthony. As the bout began, Matthews told the fans, “No cat calls, please.” Then, only moments into Matthews’ entrance, a “Hannah Montana” chant started. Anthony ended up catching Matthews with a quick roll-up for the pin. Having  never been to a show before, the opening match opened my eyes to what ROH truly is—entertaining, enjoyable and filled with superb wrestling.

The next dark match set Dirty Ernie against Brandon Marino. This bout did not do as much as the first to make me become an active follower of ROH, but it did keep me intrigued. Ernie secured the win after choking Marino on the ropes early in the game and then after losing control, he quickly regained his dominance and secured victory.

As the show truly got under way, the announcement came that MsChif would not compete and that the SHIMMER title would not be defended. However, a bonus match came about as a replacement.

Kenny King wrestled Kenny Omega in a spectacular display of athleticism. King had the first big takedown, which was followed up by back and forth action into a standoff that produced applause from the captivated audience. Soon after this, King and Omega found their way to the outside, where King pummeled Omega into the guardrail. Once they moved back into the ring, King delivered a beautiful snap suplex that received respectable praise. Omega gave the match a bit of humor when he said, “You son of a B!” following a nearfall. After connecting with an enziguri kick, Omega secured victory with a roll-up.

Rhet Titus and Sal Rinauro took on Grizzly Grimwood and Bushwhacker Luke Williams in the first of many tag team matches. Grimwood and Williams played to the crowd, causing Titus and Rinauro to use that to their advantage; but they were quickly thrown out of the ring. As the match progressed, both teams took it to the limit to please the crowd. They also proved their worth and showed me what I’ve been missing out on. Titus stole the victory for his team with a roll-up where he grabbed the tights.

The bonus match took place next, pitting Tony Kozina versus Bao Nguyen. Many people seemed uninterested in the match, and I heard grumblings from those sitting around me that this was not a good replacement for the SHIMMER title match. Personally, I thought the match was fine. It could have been better, but then again it could have also been much worse. Nonetheless, Nguyen and Kozina wrestled a fairly even match, where Nguyen’s athleticism outweighed Kozina’s near the end. Nguyen suplexed Kozina into a bridge and earned himself a three count.

An insanely impressive tag team gauntlet followed, with the first two teams being Brent Albright and Eric Stevens and Irish Airborne (Jake and David Crist). Both of these teams amazed me with their skill in the ring. Albright and Stevens advanced to the second round of the tournatment, and faced Sweet & Sour’s Davey Richards and Bobby Dempsey. Richards’ intensity translated to the fans, who ate up his presence. However, everyone seemed to care more for Dempsey, who Richards intentionally kicked and pounded on. The two did work together long enough to make it to the next round as Stevens tried to use a boot that Larry Sweeney threw into the ring, the referee disualified Stevens.

The Briscoe Brothers, Jay and Mark, rushed to the ring and made their presence felt against the weakened Dempsey and Richards. Bringing additional, pure athleticism to the bout, the Briscoes astounded me with their skill, as I hade never seen them prior to this show. As cohesively as the Briscoes worked together, Dempsey and Richards seemed to fall apart at the seems, which more than likely caused their downfall. After Jay and Mark left the ring, Sweeney attacked Dempsey and slapped him right across the face, which, among other things, caused Dempsey to sulk to the back, bloody nose and all.

A brief intermission ensued, and then the match I deemed my personal favortie began—Jimmy Jacobs and Delirious versus Ace Steel and Necro Butcher. The moment that Age of the Fall’s (AoTF) music blared through the speakers, I was hooked. I had heard a lot about AoTF online and from other people, but I did not fully appreciate them until seeing witnessing their presence live. So much happened in this match, and I got so captivated by the match, that I did not write down the specifics of what happened. These four men battled in and out of the ring, eliciting an “ROH” chant and applause from the crowd. In the closing moments of the bout, as Jacobs and Delirious had Necro and Steel in a weakened state, Jacobs gave a foreign object to Delirious who contemplated using it. Daizee Haze then came to ring side and talked him out of doing so, ultimately costing them the match. Haze apologized to Jacobs who walked away in disgust; she then raised Steel and Necro’s hands. When everyone else left the ring, Delirious received an overwhelming applause.

Tyler Black took on Austin Aries in a classic match that had fans raving for more. Before the bell rang, Aries got on the mic and said that he wanted to put everything aside and have a classic match with Black—and that they did. Both men showed their strengths and gave the fans everything they asked for. Aries and Black battled inside and outside the squared circle, in a match with too many nearfalls to count. Impressive move after impressive move warranted a “This is awesome!” chant. In the end, Black established his dominance as he defeated Aries, much to the delight of the jam-packed crowd. Aries received a standing ovation for his work as Black walked victoriously to the back.

The highly anticipated main event put Claudio Castagnoli and the ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness against Jerry Lynn and Brian Danielson. A “Best in the World” chant rose up out of the crowd as McGuinness made his way to the ring. This was simply tag team wrestling at its best. Frequent tags, cutting the ring in half, multiple near falls and an all-together great chemistry between the teams made the match fantastic. Lynn secured his team’s fate while delivering a piledriver to Castagnoli.

After the final match, I spoke with Brian Kelley and Chuck from Slamzone, who only had positive things to say about the night. The matches were spectacular, the atmosphere was almost cult-like and everything came together perfectly. Now, I know I am not an expert, but, in my humble opinion, this show proved what wrestling is all about—pure competition, incredible athleticism and quality matches every match.

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