THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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It saw the opening round of Tag Wars 2010, as well as the highly anticipated World title encounter between Tyler Black and Kevin Steen at Ring of Honor’s Salvation, held in Chicago Ridge this past July.
The show began with the first Tag Wars opening round match as Erick Stevens and Necro Butcher faced Rasche Brown and Grizzly Redwood.
It looked very weird seeing Necro in Jimmy Rave’s old ring coat. Sadly his new threads didn’t improve his performance. Stevens was clearly the best man in Prince Nana’s team.
Brown and Grizzly’s big man/small man combo looked good at times, but it wasn’t enough to get the win. After taking Stevens down with a Chokeslam Brown began to run the ropes, preparing for a suicide dive until Stevens recovered and pinned Brown with a roll-up. A nice enough match, but the Butcher still sucked.
Women’s action followed as Sara Del Ray went up against Amazing Kong. Sara was accompanied for this one by Shane Hagadorn and the Kings of Wrestling.
Every time I see Kong in an ROH ring it reminds me of how TNA screwed up big time by letting her go.
It was another awesome performance (pun intended) as both women went all out for victory, and not even a kick to the head from Claudio Castagnoli could stop Kong from getting the win, countering Sara’s finisher with a roll-up for the win.
Tag Wars continued as the Briscoe Brothers went up against the House of Truth, accompanied by Truth Martini.
This was certainly better than the previous tournament match. Once again the Briscoes looked great, while Martini’s men, Josh Raymond and Christian Abel, are starting to grow on me, even though their ring attire still leaves a lot to be desired. Mind you, Raymond’s shooting star spear from the top rope had to be seen to be believed.
The end came after a series of inventive near falls, with Jay taking Raymond down with his Jay driller to advance to the next round.
Truth Martini quickly returned as his man Roderick Strong defended his number one position in the Pick 6 series against Austin Aries.
Now this was a great heel versus heel battle. It began with some solid enough action, but got even better when Martini was sent to the back for attempted interference.
The former partners matched each other move for move and hold for hold. It made for great viewing, and even though they fans didn’t root for anyone in particular they did show a great deal of appreciation.
Strong came out on top in the end, taking Aries down with one of his many back breaker variations before getting the pin after his running boot.
Afterwards, Aries grabbed the microphone and praised Strong’s performance, before claiming he was a batter manager than Martini, offering his own managerial services to Strong.
Then, like Martini before him, Aries made a quick return as the All Night Express faced Jerry Lynn and Delirious in the next Tag Wars opening round match. Keep in mind that in a previous six man encounter involving these teams Aries ended the evening carting Daizee Haze away over his shoulder.
Shortly after the match began Aries actually left the ringside area, only to return moments later dressed like the abducted Haze, attempting to get in the mind of Delirious.
The tactics didn’t work at first as both teams put on a great match. Once again Kenny King and Rhett Titus looked tremendous as a unit, and Lynn and Delirious were more than able to keep up with them.
Then Aries’ tactic suddenly worked. After Lynn had taken out King and Titus with a dive over the ropes he held his man in place so delirious could do the same. The only problem was that Delirious changed his mind and took out Aries before dragging him into the ring as King and Titus threw Lynn into the barricade.
Seconds alter it was all over. ANE stopped Delirious from taking Aries out from the top rope, before taking him down with their back breaker/top rope leg drop combination for the winning pin.
Delirious tried to attack Austin again after the bell, only for the attack to be foiled by King and Titus, with all three heels running for cover when Lynn grabbed a chair.
The final Tag Wars opener saw the American Wolves taking on Colt Cabana and El Generico.
Awesome stuff throughout this match. As usual Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards put in a tremendous effort, which was easily matched by Cabana and Generico.
This one looked like it could go either way, and the result came as something of a surprise. While Generico was taking out Richards with a brain buster onto the top turnbuckle Edwards tapped out to Cabana’s billy goat’s curse.
As Cabana and Generico celebrated their win in the ring Shane Hagadorn finally made an appearance when he confronted the Wolves in the aisle. Richards wasn’t too happy with what his manager had to say and ended up laying Hagadorn out with a kick to the gut before Edwards ushered him away to the back.
The penultimate match saw ROH Tag Team Champions the Kings of Wrestling taking on TNA’s Generation Me in a non-title affair.
As with their match against the Wolves Max and Jeremy Buck showed that they can offer far more than what TNA allows them to show. They took Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli to the limit, and then some.
It was an exciting back and forth affair with tongs of great action, with the champions finally taking their foes down with their great double team power bomb type thing. Great stuff.
The main event saw Kevin Steen challenging Tyler Black for the ROH World title.
As is the ROH way the title match proved to be the longest on the show, and the best.
We were treated to over twenty-five minutes of top notch action. Steen was at his maniacal best, epitomised by the moment when he smeared Black’s blood over his own face.
Each man pulled out their big moves, kicking out of each other’s finishers, and then using their opponents moves as they attempted to put each other away.
It was this tactic that ended the match. After getting busted open himself Steen finally succumbed to one of his favourite submissions, tapping out to Black’s sharpshooter, ending a tremendous match.
Bonus features come in the form of three editions of the ROH Video Wire.
In conclusion – ROH have done it again. Seven great matches and one so-so encounter and what you have here is another stacked DVD release in the form of Salvation.
Match of the night for me was the Black/Steen encounter, although I’m still left to wonder why a certain member of the Embassy is still allowed to put in sub-par performances.
So does ROH Salvation get the thumbs up? Hell yes, and next on the ROH review agenda will be…..well, I guess you’ll have to wait and see.
With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. ROH Salvation is available to buy online at www.rohwrestling.com.