Posted by The Lam | Jul 26, 2008
Ring of Honor makes its debut in Canada!

A smelly arena full of 2,000 sweating wrestling fans. The seats were filled and the fog machine was running... ROH made its live event debut in Toronto, Ontario. The event was held at Ted Reeves Arena... just 2 major intersections away from my house (a 10 minute walk, I was truly blessed).

If you're a fan of pure wrestling action, and none of that bad storytelling bullshit which is frequent to WWE and TNA wrestling, then you must watch ROH. It's raw, aggressive, and sometimes bloody battles at its very best. Their style of wrestling is a lot stiffer than what you would expect to see on national TV.

Here's a rundown of the results (winners in bold):

Chris Hero
with Larry Sweeney vs. Ruckus
This match was an excellent opener. More of a quick action and high flying short match. It was a great way to get the crowd started. Larry Sweeney and the Sweet and Sour Inc. were at ringside and were great at drawing heat.

Delirious vs. Kenny Omega
This was another fun match with lots of comedy. You can always count on Delirious to deliver high-spot action mixed with some comedy. Kenny Omega got a nice pop because of his Canadian status.

Sara Del Rey with Larry Sweeney vs. Jennifer Blake
A women's match. Nothing really spectacular. It got ridiculous at one point when Jennifer got Sara in the corner and nailed her with a series of weak looking knife-edge chops. Sara can be clearly seen laughing.

FIP World Heavyweight Champion Erick Stevens vs. Go Shiozaki with Larry Sweeney
This battle ended up in a no contest after it exceeded its 15 minute time limit. Crowd was extremely hot for this match. Erick Stevens looked a lot smaller in person than in the videos I've seen of him. With 30 seconds to go, Erick propped Shiozaki up onto the top turnbuckle for a superplex. However, by the time he executed the move, time was up and the match was over. The crowd booed the referee and we all chanted for "5 more minutes!". Larry Sweeney, Mr. Heat Generator, came out and said that we didn't deserve another 5 minutes. He continued to insult the crowd and out came Chris Hero. Hero and Shiozaki double teamed Stevens when LANCE STORM ran into the ring to save him. Lance had the biggest pop for the night. It was then time for an intermission.

Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Match of the night! There was great storytelling in this match. Danielson and Castagnoli were basically toe to toe throughout the whole match, but ended with the American Dragon with a slight edge over the swiss sensation. This was my favouriate match of the night. The only problem I had was that this weekend Claudio was facing McGuinness for the world title. It didn't make him look like a terribly strong contender given that he jobbed the night before the PPV.

Roderick Strong vs. Naomichi Marufuji
Nice back and forth match. Although Strong was supposed to be a face, the crowd was clearly an anti-Roderick crowd. It started off a bit slow, took a while for the crowd to get into the match after the intermission break. The match ended with Marufuji nailing the Sliced Bread #2 on strong. It was awesome to see this move performed live.

Nigel McGuinness defends vs. Kevin Steen
If this match were 10 minutes shorter than it was, this could have been the match of the night. That said, it was quite the epic battle. McGuinness was a heat machine. He worked the crowd so well. I'm surprised this man is not signed to one of the big brands. There were chants of "fuck him up Steen, fuck him up!". Chants of "holy shit!". Chants of "Fuck you Nigel!". The crowd was riled up. The last 10 minutes consisted of a billion near-falls and a billion of would-be finishes. It took the heat off of the real finish when it finally happened. Both men worked really stiff and played to the crowd a lot though. What was particularly interesting was how we as Canadians associate the sharpshooter as a Canadian move. I mean, when Steen at first attempted the move, the crowd went ballistic. Later on when he finally nailed it, the roof came off the house. McGuinness was a very smart man to draw heat by using it on Steen later on. He was booed so heavy and hard. Thanks to the legend that is Bret Hart, this move is so over in Canada.

Austin Aries & Jay Briscoe vs. ROH World Tag Team Champions Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black
This match was a no-DQ stipulations match. For those who are unaware, Jay Briscoe is fucking nuts. Put him in a no-DQ match and hell will break loose. When I saw this match on the card a month ago, I knew it was going to be chaos. Little did I know how much chaos it would be. They were fighting all over the crowds, blood was everywhere, chairs were flying... this was mayhem! At one point Jay suplexed Nerco Butcher (who madea run-in earlier) into the seat right in front of me. It scared me a bit because I thought I was going to be in his line of fire. Mark Briscoe made his return and the crowd popped huge. He disappeared somewhere during the match. This was certainly an exciting way to end the night.

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