From Justin on Myspace - one of the best wrestling reporters around!!
here's is one fan's thoughts of the 9/16 ROH debut at the Manhattan center
the crowd was very hot for the show. I'm bad at guessing crowd size but i would say they easily had over 1,000 people there. they had 4 sections around the ring that went 7 rows deep that were packed, a general admission section that had around 100 seats in it that were filled and balcony seating that went 4 rows deep that was also jammed.
before the show started there was a brief altercation involving the green lantern fan. i can't say for certain what happened but he was getting yelled at by a lady, security got involved and everyone in the arena chanted "fuck green lantern" for a minute. good times.
the show started with Davey Richards against Jack Evans. solid opening match. Evans hit his usual crazy high spots, Davey was hard hitting winning with a submission(i believe the move is called "stretch muffler")
next up the ring was surrounded by NOAH and ROH wrestlers as they honored Bruno Sammartino. the crowd was very appreciative of Bruno chanting "thank you Bruno", and "welcome back" making a reference to him having his best matches in new york at Madison Square Garden. the crowd was very silent when he spoke. he said that he does not approve of wrestling today(no shock there) however he was very impressed with Ring Of Honor and feels they are bringing wrestling back. ROH has Bruno's stamp of approval(note: this is a big deal considering Bruno's son doesn't have it).
as the wrestlers were walking back stage Samoa Joe and NOAH's Morishima started fighting and had to be broken up. with Kobashi out it looks like they're setting up a future Joe vs Morishima match (duh)
the second match was Delirious vs Adam Pearce. Pearce wins with help from Shane Hagadorn. the best spot of the match was delirious hitting 50 lariats in the corner on Pearce, taking 3 seconds to catch his breath, then hitting 10 more. chant of the night was for delirious during the match with the crowd chanting "bah bah bah bah clap clap clapclapclap".
next was a tree way between Jimmy Jacobs w/Lacey against Christopher Daniels and Colt Cabana. the back story of the match was Jimmy discovered Colt and Lacey having sex and was very distraught since he loves Lacey. however Lacey ordered Jimmy to team with Colt during the match and take out Daniels. a few comedy spots with Colt looking up Lacey's skirt and "stumbling" and grabbing Lacey's chest to keep himself up. the finish of the jabobs/cabana/daniles 3 way was a low blow from jacobs to cabana for the pin. after the match Lacey was furious with Jimmy for disobeying her and he left the ring dejected.
Jim Cornette came to the ring with the Briscoe brothers and cut an anti- new york promo. he felt that he was a minority in new york being a white middle aged man. he also said that homicide would get an ROH world title shot at the next show in Manhattan if him and Joe win the match.
next up was homicide and Samoa Joe vs the Briscoe brothers. the crowd went crazy for homicide and was firmly behind the "hometown hero" solid match, plenty of stiff shots from Joe and the Briscoes. match ended with homicide hitting jay Briscoe with the "cop killa" for the victory. Cornette returned to ring side saying that he's gonna make homicide's life a "living hell" the rest of the year.
intermission time. the line to meet Bruno Sammartino was huge also NOAH was selling shirts at the show with the proceeds going to Kobashi as he recovers from kidney cancer. a big seller at the merch table was the "hero's of world class/von erich documentary" dvd. when i went to purchase it, it was sold out. another big seller was shows featuring C.M. Punk.
the second half featured only title matches.
the first was the kings of wrestling(Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli) against champs Austin Aries and Roderick Strong. the kings came out to "we are the champions" and made their way through the crowd. the match was very good featuring great tandem moves from both teams. it looked like Aries was going to hit his 450 splash when Castagnoli hit Aries in the ribs with his briefcase( I.R.S anyone?). Aries tried making a "superman comeback" but the kings hit the KRS-1 on Aries for the victory becoming (in the Howard Finkle voice) NEW ROH world tag team champions. the crowd was very hot for the match. the fans had a "battle chant going" with one side chanting "kings of wrestling" and the other side chanting "shut the fuck up". this lasted after the match and went on for awhile. also this means that Chris Hero is now a part of the ROH roster.
Chris hero tangent: this guy has incredible heat. the fans that don't like him absolutely hate him. the fans that like him will chant till their red in the face for him. personally i think this is a cool move. behind homicide no one else got a bigger reaction at the show and if your paying your (to borrow a Jim Ross quote) hard earned money to boo the man how can it not be a great idea on ROH's part to bring him in.
the second title match was GHC Heavyweight Champion Marufuji against Nigel McGuinnes. this was a big deal because this is the first time the GHC title has been defended in the united states. this was the surprise match of the night. Marufuji hit some insane spots including a shiranui on McGuinnes to the floor. halfway through the match the fans chanted "this is awesome". McGuinnes hit his spots including "tower of london" but Marufuji won the match after going corner 2 corner(a van terminator without the chair) followed with a super shiranui from the top rope. the match was excellent and after it the fans again chanted "that was awesome".
for what it's worth Nigel Mcguinnes has been the best independent wrestler this past year. he's had classics with Bryana Danielson and had a great run with the ROH pure title. he reminds me of cowboy Bob Orton(i may be the only guy) in that he makes really complicated moves and holds look so easy to execute(which has been said of Orton).
the main event of the evening was KENTA against ROH world champion Bryan Danielson. the crowd was behind Danielson strongly because he was wrestling the match with a separated shoulder. the match had a very "big fight" atmosphere to it. while i was waiting to get in the arena i was asking people who they thought was going to win and it was 50-50. people were sure KENTA was going to win or were sure Danielson was. tons of submissions from both KENTA and Danielson and plenty of near falls. Kenta hit "go to sleep" and the crowd erupted when Danielson put his foot on the rope at 2. Danileson won the match with cattle mutilation and is still your ROH world heavyweight champion.
the show went from 8:00 to about 11:30/11:40. the show felt just right time wise, the intermission helped. also stacking the second half with three title matches didn't hurt either. the best match of the night in my opinion was Marufuji and McGuinnes however Kenta and Danielson was also excellent. the only reason I'm picking Marafugi and McGuinnes was because it really surprised me and everyone in the building with how great it was. as for worst match there really wasn't a bad match on the card. if i have to say it would probably be Delirious and Pearce however it served it purpose and I would have no problem watching it again. .
the two biggest reactions went to homicide and the kings of wrestling.
overall i thought this was an excellent show. ROH hyped it to be their biggest show ever and they didn't disappoint. the Manhattan center made for a great venue and the crowd was very hot from start to finish. the only bad note was the security at the Manhattan center was gawd-awful. they were real ass-bags and from what i hear were taking away streamers from the fans. despite that the show was excellent and i recommend the purchase when it comes out on DVD.