ROH Defy or Deny II (19/1/13) DVD Review By Adam Timmins

Posted: June 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Adam Cole vs. Silas YoungReally good opener. As I said in the Hunt for the Gold review, EVOLVE’s loss has definitely been ROH’s gain as far as Silas Young is concerned. Cole gets the victory with the criss-cross German suplex at 8.39.

Bobby Fish vs. Tadarious Thomas – This looked quite tasty on paper, but didn’t really deliver. At the start Fish was more focused on heeling it up than wrestling; then halfway through the match Truth Martini came out, which took the crowd’s attention away from the bout. Then towards the end Thomas did a spot where he injured his knee on the turnbuckle, and after a good thirty seconds of work on the leg Fish applies the Fishhook, causing Thomas to tap at 9.51.

Charlie Haas vs. Rhett Titus – Art imitates life before the match, as Haas complains that he should be wrestling Kevin Steen for the ROH title; and I want a blow-job from Ellie Goulding; but that isn’t going to happen either. As you’d expect, this was pretty much a disaster in both design and execution. Haas uses a chair on Titus on the outside, and the referee has to turn a blind eye; then Haas wheels out multiple rear chinlocks when he inevitably gets blown up mid-match. And the finish came when Titus hit Haas with a beer behind the referee’s back; went for the Frogsplash; Haas got the knees up, and rolls up Titus at 12.03. So to clarify: the babyface cheats and still can’t win, while the heel goes over clean. Fuck me. As with last night’s review, we now know Haas is thankfully history; but Titus is just in a complete tailspin – but again, we know after the fact that he’s going to change gears in a show or two.

The Briscoe Brothers & Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs, Steve Corino & Rhyno – An energetic tag bout that achieved what it needed to in terms of the SCUM vs. Briscoes/Lethal feud; but it needed up being a straightforward match as opposed to the “six man war” that was advertised. Rhyno hits the Gore on Mark Briscoe to pick up the win at 12.09. Fun stuff.

Matt Hardy vs. B.J. Whitmer – The latter is now being billed the “The Buzzsaw” – file that under the ‘arbitrary nicknames’ column. This was the opposite of the Fish/Thomas bout – a fairly unappetising match on paper that actually turned out to be quite good. The match was built around Hardy working over Whitmer’s neck due the latter landing on his head at Final Battle. I just wish Hardy would get himself in decent shape – it’s really hard to take him seriously with that gut. Whitmer kicks out of two Twist of Fates, and Hardy locks in a butterfly clutch. Whitmer refuses to quit, but Rhett Titus comes out and throws in the towel at 12.19. After the bout Hardy continued to complain about not getting a TV title shot; Adam Cole came out, and after a brief skirmish Hardy whacks Cole with the TV title belt.

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Davey Richards – Given that this one has been building for quite a while I’m surprised it wasn’t on an iPPV, but there you go. Anyway, this was a belting contest, on a par with Cole/Jacobs from last night’s show. I’ve read some reviews of the match that complained about the excess of near-falls towards the end; but for once I thought said near falls made O’Reilly look really strong before he finally got beat. Some really stiff spots throughout this one, including O’Reilly giving Richards a nasty-looking brainbuster on the apron. There was also some nice storytelling with Richards countering O’Reilly’s attempts at the Regalplex on a couple of occasions. O’Reilly kicked out of the tombstone and a top-rope doublestomp; but a second kick to the head puts him away at 18.56. I can see why some people might not like this one; but I thought was a really compelling bout.

Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong vs. Kevin Steen – Elimination Match – As with 2011’s Defy or Deny match, if you get pinned by the champion, you can’t challenge for the title as long as Steen is champion. If you pin Steen, you get a title shot. This was all-action from beginning to end, but it never degenerated into guys doing moves for the sake of moves. There was also some nice psychology with Elgin and Strong knocking seven bells out of each other every chance they got, and also with Edwards slamming Steen onto the ramp from the apron as revenge for Steen giving him the apron bomb in the opening minutes. Strong eliminated Elgin with All the Landslides Birds Have Ever Seen at 15.52; a few minutes later Edwards locked in the single leg crab on Strong – and Steen gave him the front flip legdrop while he was still in the hold, knocking Strong out at 19.38. While the referee was getting Strong out of the ring, Steen low-blowed Edwards and gave him the Package Piledriver, only for Edwards to kick out. A Package Piledriver on the apron sees Steen get the win at 21.19. I have to slightly take issue with the finish; someone kicking out of the PP should be a big deal, but with the crowd still digesting Strong’s elimination it didn’t really mean anything. A very good main event though, and a vast improvement on the fabulously dire Defy or Deny match from 2011.

Overall – As with last night’s card, by ROH’s recent standards this was a pretty good show.

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