I watched Ring of Honor's Eye of the Storm. This was yet another show marred by Mother Nature in that a horrible snowstorm was going on at the time and a lot of the booked talent couldn't make it. The result is a one night tournament with #1 cont. to the ROH title on the line. It's mentioned that if people show up, they'll be put in matches themselves, but that doesn't mean anything good honestly.
We start off with the one originally booked match: Rocky Romero vs. Bryan Danielson. This was actually a, as WWE calls it, Pick Your Poison match with Nigel McGuinness - who Bryan Danielson will be challenging for the ROH title on the next show - choosing Danielson's opponent. Danielson chose Albright for Nigel, but neither could make it. The match itself it outright bad or anything, but it's not as good as their showing from 2006. It's a good affair Romero trying to destroy Danielson's leg, all for naught as Danielson forces Romero to tap out to an armbar.
Next is Delirious vs. Kevin Steen. It starts out fun, but it gets pretty dull really quick. The fun parts come from Steen and Delirious goofing off, while the dull parts come from Steen not really being awesome as a single's competitor yet. The Swanton finishes Delirious off for the Steen-win.
Austin Aries vs. El Generico is next and it's not the classic one would hope. Aries has been on a horrible run of late, ever since losing to Nigel at Rising Above. His attitude has matched his win/loss record and he's been teasing the heel turn for awhile. They give it a good go, but that's really the extent of it leading up to ultimately Generico scoring a huge upset pin that should have been more important than it was.
Next, making his US ROH debut is Go Shiozaki vs. Necro Butcher. This is an interesting encounter to say the least. Go is kind of an all arounder in that he's not a super-fast striker like KENTA, technical wizard like Naomichi, or dominant badass like Takeshi. He's just a good, solider worker - think, Arn Anderson or Barry Windham. They start off brawling around ringside and it essentially is just Go stiffing the hell out of Necro before beating him. Pretty fun stuff, if nothing spectacular.
And now: the Larry Sweeney Show. Sweeney is pretty good here, but his guest - Shane Hagadorn - leaves much to be desired. It's all about making fun of Bobby Dempsey tonight in this forgettable segment.
We head into Round 2 of the tourney with Kevin Steen vs. Bryan Danielson. They have a pretty good match here and the shocker is Kevin Steen getting the submission victory, giving him a pretty huge upset win of his own. The announcers do a good job of protecting Danielson, but it's actually at the sacrifice of what should be a huge moment for Steen. The logic they use is that with Danielson's knee being busted up, he quickly tapped so as not to be too injured going into his match with Nigel. In any event, Steen moves on to the finals.
Next in round 2 we go to Go Shiozaki vs. El Generico. This is another pretty good match that doesn't really enter anywhere near great or classic levels. Generico does a good job here as always and Go Shiozaki is game. Surprisingly, I think, Go ends up winning via the Go Flasher. I really expected the Generico/Steen match to be the finals, but c'est la vie. Match was pretty good, at least.
Intermission sees Rocky Romero and Becky Bayless stumble through an interview segment.
Next we have a Four Corner Survival with Mitch Franklin vs. Pelle Primeau vs. Jason Blade vs. the Human Tornado. Yikes. This match blows outside of anything involving the Human Tornado. Blade wins pinning one of the students (who cares which?). Afterward, Tornado sexually harasses Lacey, so of course Jimmy Jacobs comes out to defend her honor. He pulls the spike on her and Tornado hilariously responds, "You got a knife?!" This segues into the AOTF vs. the Vulture Squad (Ruckus/Jigsaw), with Jimmy Jacobs introducing the newest AOTF member: Zach Gowan. Yep. This match sucks, as well, the Vulture Squad get a win heading into their tag title match the following night while the AOTF continue to fall.
Finally the main event is Go Shiozaki vs. Kevin Steen. This is quite the spirited affair and they do their best to channel the AJPW-vibe, but it doesn't quite get there. A for the effort, though, guys. They do several "fighting spirit" moments where one guy gets hit the other with a big move only for the other guy to no-sell it and hit a big move of his own. It's easily the best match of the night, but in all honesty the finish was never in doubt. Steen gets the big win with the Package Piledriver to set up a match with Nigel down the line.
Overall, this DVD wasn't the best. It's understandable given the circumstances, I suppose, but it's nothing to rush home to buy or anything.
Match of the Day goes to Kevin Steen vs. Go Shiozaki.
"Hogan is trying to get Yokozuna into WCW. Remember, he still has a win he needs to get back" - The Wrestling Observer Newsletter: December 08, 1997