Is the PPV with the greatest name for a PPV ever, also the greatest PPV ever?
The Steenerico/Briscoes feud for the tag titles was an interesting feud (especially in retrospect) for ROH in 2007, and it culminated at the Man Up PPV in the first ever ladder match in ROH. The two teams had competed in every type of gimmick match possible, so the only way to end the feud was with the most brutal and violent ladder match that most fans have ever seen (it was so brutal that Gabe Spolsky refused to ever book another ladder match and Dave Meltzer refused to rate the match). Oh yeah, and if that's not enough of a reason to buy this show, Bryan Danielson wore a fucking eye patch in his match: BUYS.
Lenny Leonard and Dave Prazak opened the PPV at ringside which helped to distinguish the PPV from just a regular DVD show...an Age of the Fall (the stable had still yet to debut...) geek (I think it was Tyler Black)interrupted Prazak & Leonard and they cut to an awesome opening video package with Gimme' Back My Bullets playing in the background
Nigel McGuinness vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Naomichi Marufuji vs. Chris Hero (w/ Larry Sweeney, Bobby Dempsey, Tank Tolland, & Sara Del Ray): ****...I'm pretty sure that the winner of this match was guaranteed a world title shot...Sweeney cut a fantastic promo before the match...RIP Alex Whybrow...Hero did some awesome, wacky gymnastic flips and rolls to the delight of the crowd (and me!)...this match was also a continuation of the Claudio/Larry Sweeney feud...Nigel did a great top rope dive into the crowd onto all three men...Nigel got the win after the Rebound Jawbreaker Lariat...just a great match with awesome action throughout...Nigel was heavily pushed at the start of the PPV era but this was his first PPV win..the match also continued the Claudio/Sweet 'n' Sour feud
Backstage: Bryan Danielson cut an awesome promo with an EYEPATCH discussing how Morishima detached his retina and how that affected his family...Dragon was amazing during his 2007 run where he was convincingly a babyface against Morishima but still a heel against Nigel...fan-fucking-tastic promo
The next three matches were a best of three singles series between the No Remorse Corps and the Resilience
Rocky Romero vs. Matt Cross: **1/2...Cross looks ten years older here then he did on the 2011 Tough Enough season...an impressive compact match, which was heavy on cool moves and light on selling...it was the right match for this crowd though, so I can't really complain...Rocky won after a stiff kick to the head...Cross did a lot of cool gymnastic stuff in the match
Davey Richards vs. Austin Aries: ***...Roddy acted like he was willing to face Aries now, but it was a fake-out and Aries had to wrestle Davey instead...in 2009 this was a 4 star match but this match did not have a lot of time and Davey's singles matches were not quite as polished at this time...it's funny how hated Davey was at this time considering that he is now showered with "Best in the World" chants at every ROH event...the fans were definitely hot for the match but they knew A Double was winning to set up a rubber match between Stevens & Roddy...good, crisp action but the inevitable Aries win kind of killed the drama
Roderick Strong vs. Erick Stevens: ***1/4...this was the start of the Stevens/Strong never-ending singles feud in ROH (although they may have already been feuding in FIP at the time)...I think I was always in the minority in thinking that the series of matches between these two were very overrated but I do have to give these two credit for beating the shit out of each other for the fans' entertainment...finish was pretty damn great though as Roddy hit Razor's Edge off the top rope, followed up by the Gibson driver
Backstage: they show highlights of Adam Pearce with Albright and Hagadorn stapling Delirious's mask to his forehead...B.J. Whitmer acted like he was going to save Delirious but he sided with Pearce and they formed the HANGMEN 3~! (plus Hagadorn!)
Takeshi Morishima(c) vs. Bryan Danielson (ROH World Title Match): ****1/2...this was Shima's first real title defense on PPV for ROH as the first two PPVs saw him squash B.J.Whitmer (Respect is Earned) and Jimmy Rave (Driven)...the storyline was basically that Shima, as a sportsman, did not attack the eye at first but Dragon was too hard to put away so Shima heeled up and went at the eye for the win...that decision from Shima is how this feud transitioned from a world title rivalry to a blood feud...this is probably one of the most underrated matches in ROH history; the work was fantastic and the crowd was dying to see Dragon slay Godzilla, so it created an incredible atmosphere...Dragon was unresponsive after Shima was elbowing his eye repeatedly so Paul Turner ended the match...fans were not used to this finish apparently because they chanted "Bullshit" (or maybe they were just genuinely angry that Dragon did not win)...either way, this was a great, great match
Briscoes(c) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico (ROH Tag Titles, Ladder Match: ****3/4...after this match, Gabe Sapolsky wrote that he would never book another Ladder match because he was afraid that wrestlers would eventually kill themselves trying to outdo each other...Adam Pearce eventually booked another Ladder Match at Glory by Honor 2009...a great video package of all the carnage in this feud set to Gimme' Back My Bullets really set the mood for this match...Generico receives unprotected chair shot #1...followed quickly by another received by Steen and then Mark received two by himself (this happened a few months after the Benoit family tragedy btw)...too many unprotected chair shots to count actually so I'm just gonna stop...the Briscoes double hip-tossed Generico onto a ladder for the first excruciating painful looking maneuver...Mark did a shooting star press onto Generico who was under a FUCKING LADDER...Jay Briscoe got the fans to "body surf" the biggest fucking ladder I have ever seen...that ladder led to one of the matches most infamous spots where Mark Briscoe did the doomsday device through the giant ladder...a package piledriver propped up on a ladder and the turnbuckle was actually probably the safest spot in the match because Steen took the entire bump on his ass...Jay had some trouble getting down the belts so Steen (I'm guessing) ad-libbed a last minute chase for the belts...fans chanted "Match of the Year" which was well deserved because it was one of the greatest matches of the last decade probably...the match was more of a street fight than the more tradional WWE-style ladder matches and far more intense then the spotty TNA ladder matches
Leonard and Prazak were signing off but the Age of the Fall showed up...Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs confronted the Briscoes and then the Necro Butcher with Lacey jumped the Briscoes from behind...Necro screamed at the camera, "I TOLD YA, IF YOU LET ME OUT MY CAGE, I'M GONNA PILE THE BODIES TO THE SKY!"...Jacobs hung Jay up by his feet on the chain that was holding the belts and the show turned to black...
The story was that Jacobs then drenched himself in Jay's blood that was pouring out of his forehead as he was hung upside down...Gabe cut it from the PPV feeling that it was too graphic...Gabe has also since wrote that he regretted doing the angle
Final Show Thoughts: I think this show is still widely considered the best ROH PPV ever and for good reason as the opener and the two title main events are all great matches...however, I do really feel that the 3 match series between the NRC and the Resilience holds this PPV back to an extent as none of those matches did much for me...however, this is the defintiion of a MUST SEE show so go buy it now at ROHwrestling.com for only $10
In fact, the show can be purchased here: http://www.rohvideos.com/results.php?vid=149