Ring of Honor: Kevin Steen – Ascension to the Top

Disc One

B-Boy vs. Kevin Steen
”Do or Die IV” – Elizabeth, NJ – 2.19.2005

This is Steen’s debut match in ROH. Steen cleanly breaks a lock-up in the corner. They teach a stalemate on the mat. B-Boy puts on a hammerlock to break Steen’s headlock. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver. B-Boy slips out. Steen rolls out to the floor after ducking the Shining Wizard. Steen gets in some strikes when he re-enters the ring. B-Boy back elbows him in the corner. Steen rolls out to the floor again. B-Boy follow with a forearm to the back of his head. They fight on the apron. B-Boy gives Steen a reverse DDT onto it. He gets two back in the ring. B-Boy snapmares Steen into a Dragon kick. B-Boy evades a dropkick and boots Steen in the face. B-Boy stomps on Steen’s chest repeatedly for two. Steen punches B-Boy and delivers a neckbreaker. Steen Dragon kicks B-Boy twice. He neck snaps B-Boy for two. Steen striahgt-jackets B-Boy’s arms. B-Boy escapes but takes a Side Russian leg sweep. Steen legdrops B-Boy twice before hitting a flipping variation for two. Steen’s Michinoku Driver also gets him two. A strike exchange ends with Steen hitting an enzuigiri. B-Boy responds with a lariat, leaving both men laying. Steen comes in from the apron with a reverse STO. Steen hits a moonsault for two. He also hits the Go Home Driver for two. B-Boy suplexes Steen into the corner. B-Boy double stomps Steen’s face in the corner. B-Boy gets two with a Saito suplex. Steen hot shots B-Boy on the ropes. Steen sunset flips B-Boy. B-Boy hits a Shining knee for two. Steen blocks a Shining Wizard and delivers the Package Piledriver. B-Boy wisely rolls to the floor. Steen manages to roll him back in the ring for a two count. B-Boy knees Steen in the face to counter a suplex. B-Boy goes from a tornado DDT into a cross-arm piledriver. He follows that with the Shining Wizard for the pin at 13:52. That was fun but had a move-to-move structure to it without giving you much to sink your teeth into. You could tell Steen had talent but needed the right platform to harness and showcase it. **3/4

El Generico vs. Kevin Steen
”The Homecoming” – Philadelphia, PA – 7.23.2005

This match was left off “The Homecoming” DVD when it was released back in 2005. The DVD is the first time this match is seeing the light of day. An exchange of holds leads to Steen shoulder blocking Generico twice. Steen’s head hits Generico in the crotch as Generico attempts a leapfrog. Steen chops Generico to block a hip toss. Generico fights out of a full nelson. He delivers an armdrag and a toreador. Steen punches Generico when Generico tries to hit the ropes. Generico goes for a tornado DDT but Steen reverses it into a backbreaker. Steen stomps on Generico’s back for two. Steen catches Generico’s crossbody and delivers another backbreaker for two. Steen stretches Generico’s back out across his knee. Generico punches Steen from the apron. He tries to slingshot in but is caught with an Ace Crusher from Steen for two. Steen charges at Generico as Generico lays on the middle rope. He goes for another charge an ends up crotching himself. Generico quebrada’s onto Steen as Steen dangles on the middle rope. Generico delivers a leg lariat and backbreaker of his own. Generico sends Steen to the floor. He follows Steen out with a springboard moonsault. Generico tries to bring Steen in from the apron. Steen instead comes in with a Complete Shot for two. Steen goes for a powerbomb. Generico slips out and lands a tornado DDT for two. Steen blocks the yakuza kick. Generico manages to hit it the second time, as well a half-nelson suplex for a two count. Steen headbutts Generico off the top rope. Steen misses a moonsault. Generico attempts a springboard huracanrana. Steen catches him with a powerbomb for two. Generico blocks the Package Piledriver. He backslides Steen for the win at 10:45. Not sure why this was left off the Homecoming DVD originally. It was totally fine and actually a pretty good exhibition bout for both guys. They would go on to become much more well rounded and interesting, but this was a fun look back at where both these guys were at the time. **3/4

The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
”Fifth Year Festival” – Philadelphia, PA – 2.17.2007

This would be Steen’s first match since “Dragon Gate Invasion” in August 2005. Generico was gone for awhile too, but was in a couple matches at the end of 2006. The opening handshake leads to the Briscoes throwing forearms. They send Steen to the floor and double hip toss Generico out of the corner. They both clothesline Generico and hit him with double boots. Steen brings Mark out and throws him into the barricade. Steen and Jay throw forearms back in the ring. Steen elbows Jay and chops him in the corner. Jay Cactus clotheslines Steen and himself to the floor. Generico comes off the top with a clothesline to Mark. Mark back elbows him to block a yakuza kick. He tope con hilo’s onto Steen over the ring post. Mark whips Steen into the barricade while Jay chokes Generico on the bottom rope. The Briscoes beat down Generico in their corner while Steen recovers. Generico snaps off a toreador and leg lariat on Jay for two. Steen tags in and headbutts Jay in the back. Steen gets two with a backbreaker. Jay escapres their grasp by giving Generico a chinbreaker. Mark comes in with a springboard dropkick to Generico. He sends Steen out with some redneck kung-fu. Mark applies a headscissors to zap Generico’s energy. Generico gets the ropes to break it. Mark gets two with a belly-to-belly suplex. The Briscoes once again team up on Generico. Jay disrespects Generico by choking him with one of the tag ropes in the process. Mark tries to give Generico an Ace Crusher off the second rope. Generico reverses it and gives one to Mark instead. Generico goes through Jay’s legs to tag in Steen. Steen missile dropkicks Jay and slams Mark. Steen cannonball sentons Mark. He trades forearms with Jay. He sends Jay to the floor with Mark. Steen sentons off the top rope onto them. Generico dives through the ropes and tornado DDT’s Mark on the floor. Steen Swantons onto Jay back in the ring for two. Steen gives Jay a fisherman’s buster on his knee for another two count. Jay blocks the Package Piledriver. He yakuza kicks Steen. Generico half-nelson suplexes Jay. Mark spinwheel kicks Generico but gets powerbombed by Steen. Steen and Jay trade forearm strikes again, knocking each other down. Mark and Generico tag in. Generico boots Mark to block a corner attack. Mark picks up Generico for the Redneck Boogie. Steen rids of Jay though, allowing Generico to sunset flip Mark for two. Mark buckle bombs Generico, then gets two with a half-nelson suplex. The Briscoes successfully hit the Redneck Boogie. Steen shoves Jay onto the pin to break it. Steen powerbombs Jay on the ring frame. Mark avoids Steen’s moonsault. Generico yakuza kicks Mark and then dives onto Jay on the floor. Steen hits a frogsplash on Mark for two. Mark gives Steen the Cut-Throat Driver. Jay hits a top rope leg drop while Mark hits a shooting star press at the same time. That gives them the pin at 18:03. That was a lot of craziness and a great showcase for Steen and Generico in their re-debut. They would go on to have many better matches later, but considering this was supposed to be a one-off and turned into one of the best feuds ROH ever had, you can’t understate how important this match was to both teams’ careers. ***1/2

Jay Briscoe & Erick Stevens vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
”Fighting Spirit” – Edison, NJ – 4.14.2007

This match was supposed to be a Briscoes vs. Steen & Generico rematch. Mark Briscoe however hurt his neck after taking a nasty shooting star press to the floor at “All Star Extravaganza III”. Erick Stevens will take his place. Stevens was recruited the night before by Austin Aries to join his new stable, The Resillience. That feud is currently embroiled with the No Remorse Corps, a faction consisting of Roderick Strong, Davey Richards and Rocky Romero.

Steen and Jay shove each other before the bell, but its Jay and Generico who start the match. Jay does get in a few shots to Steen on the apron. That distraction lets Generico get in a few strikes. Stevens blind tags in and Jay tope con hilo’s onto Steen. Stevens lariats Generico after absorbing some chops. Generico armdrags Stevens twice before landing a toreador. Stevens gets two with a backbreaker. Generico drives Stevens to the corner so Steen can tag in. Steen chops Jay off the apron. He and Stevens trade blows. Jay ducks another one of Steen’s blows. Generico punches Stevens in the kidney when he tags back in. Generico boots Stevens to block a corner splash. Stevens hits the Choo Choo and delivers an overhead suplex. Stevens helps Jay hit some of the usual Briscoes tandem offense. Jay forearms Steen when he has the chance. Generico tags in Steen after giving Jay a jawbreaker. Steen DDT’s Jay for two. Rocky Romero distracts the referee so that Roderick Strong and Davey Richards can powerbomb Stevens off the ring apron and onto the metal barricades! The No Remorse Corps bail. As Stevens is carried to the back, the match becomes much easier for Generico and Steen. Steen mocks Jay for not having a partner, standing on the apron and asking for a tag and shadow boxing a partner that is not there. Jay of course does his best to fight off both men, but with such a disadvantage it seems like a foregone conclusion that he will eventually come up on the losing end of the bout. That is until Mark Briscoe hops over the apron in his street clothes and gets on the ring apron for a tag! The fans go nuts as ROH staff try to talk Mark out of it. The Briscoes parents are in the crowd trying to talk some sense into him as well. Jay shoves Steen to the corner to crotch Generico on the top rope. He drops Steen and tags in Mark to a big ovation. He springboard dropkicks Generico and backdrops Steen. Mark lays in redneck kung-fu to Generico. He sets up for a suplex. Generico elbows Mark in the head to break free. Mark rolls out of a yakuza kick’s trajectory. He suplexes Generico who then tags in Steen. Steen enzuigiri’s Mark. Jay big boots Steen. Jay gives Steen a backbreaker. Mark flies in with a knee drop for two. Jay’s fisherman buster gets him two. Generico grabs Jay’s leg while he’s on the top rope. Steen shoves Mark out to the floor. Generico yakuza kicks Jay as he’s on the top rope. Generico looks for a super Ace Crusher on him, but Mark springboards in to deliver one of his own. Jay frogsplashes Generico for only a two count. Generico runs the ropes into a tornado DDT on Jay. Steen delivers a fisherman’s buster across his knee. He follows up with a Swanton bomb. Generico pins Jay, but Mark shoves Steen onto them to break the pin. Mark sets up Generico for the Cut-Throat Driver. Generico slides out and delivers a yakuza kick. Mark fires up after taking a half-nelson suplex. Generico boots him again and hits another half-nelson suplex. Mark clotheslines Generico to block another yakuza kick. Steen throws Mark head first into the barricade. Jay does the same to Steen. As Jay checks on Mark, Steen spears Jay into the barricade. Back in the ring, Steen gives Mark a Package Piledriver. He rolls Mark to Generico for a brainbuster. Generico pins Mark at 24:45.

This has always been a criminally underrated match in this feud. This brought everything to the next level. Stevens starting the match, getting taken out by his foes, Mark jumping in injured, taking a severe beating to the head, fighting back from it anyways only the be thwarted in the end was thread together flawlessly. The only gripe was that the middle portion with Jay in their alone was quite slow. Steen’s tactics were hilarious, but if that segment was shorter this would have been rated much higher. As it was, it was still tremendous and elevated these teams hatred for one another to the next level. ****

After this match we gut to ROH’s first Pay Per View: ”Respect Is Earned”, which took place on May 12th 2007 in New York City. The Briscoes had just defeated Claudio Castagnoli and Matt Sydal to retain the ROH tag titles. Generico and Steen make their way out asking when they are going to get their shot. They then charge the ring and get in a brawl with the Briscoes. Tons of officials and students come out to break up the fight. They bring the Briscoes to the floor. Generico and Steen right off those holding them back in the ring. Generico then dives onto The Briscoes from the top rope. The brawl ends up backstage. Steen gets the upper hand on Mark. Officials finally are able to keep them separated. Steen vows that they will become the next tag team champions.

Mark Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen
”A Fight at the Roxbury” – Boston, MA – 6.8.2007

Both men throw punches as soon as Mark enters the ring. Mark lands a spinwheel kick. Steen ends a forearm exchange with an eye rake. Steen back elbows Mark. Mark pops up and superkicks Steen to the floor. Mark follows with a dive over the top rope. Mark somersault sentons off the second turnbuckle to the floor. Mark whips Steen into the barricades. Mark comes off the apron looking for a huracanrana. Steen catches Mark and powerbombs him on the apron. He then powerbombs Mark into the crowd! Don’t worry, they moved and he landed in some chairs. Steen and Mark brawl near the bleachers. Steen suplexes Mark on the floor. Steen teases climbing up a light scaffold, but instead just stomps Mark. Steen brings Mark ringside. Mark catches Steen on the barricade and slams him on the floor. Mark delivers a standing moonsault. He brings Steen back in the ring and hits a slingshot double stomp for two. Steen enzuigiri’s Mark. He gives him a fisherman’s buster over his knee for two. Mark gets up his knees to block Steen’s Swanton bomb. Mark gets two with a half-nelson suplex. Mark snaps Steen’s neck on the top rope. Mark goes up top after a springboard dropkick. Steen catches Mark and follows him up. Steen throws Mark off the top and through the timekeeper’s table. Steen feigns concern over Mark. He rolls him back into the ring where Mark uses the ropes to get to his feet. Steen hits the Package Piledriver for the pin at 9:44. This made Steen look like an absolute crazed man who’s primary objective above winning is to hurt people. In that, this accomplished a lot for Steen’s character. The brawl itself was pretty standard but the hot crowd elevated it. ***

Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
”Domination” – Philadelphia, PA – 6.9.2007

Generico sits down on Jigsaw’s leg. This comes after a wristlock exchange. Jigsaw escapes and controls Generico’s arm. He tags in Quackenbush. Quackenbush grabs a double knuckle lock. Generico trips Quackenbush up, so Quackenbush pops up into a monkey flip. He Northern Lights suplexes Generico. Generico is frazzled as Quackenbush kips up. Steen and Jigsaw tag in. Jigsaw’s shoulder tackles do nothing. Steen back elbows Jigsaw and kikcs him in the back. Jigsaw armdrags Steen a couple times and headscissors him to the corner. Generico tags back in. Steen forearms Jigsaw from behind which even Generico does not seem cool with. Steen tags himself back in so he can bully Jigsaw some more. Steen does it right in front of Quackenbush to mock and insult both of opponents. Jigsaw manages to enzuigiri Generico. He brings him down with a tornado DDT. Both Quackenbush and Steen tag in. Quackenbush headbutts Steen in the chest. He hits a corner seated senton and a running elbow strike to knock Steen off his feet. Quackenbush ducks and Steen goes for the Package Piledriver. Jigsaw superkicks Steen into a jackknife cradle from Quackenbush for two. Quackenbush gets two again after a DDT. Steen throws Quackenbush off the top rope. Quackenbush rolls through. Steen powerbombs Quackenbush and Generico hits a top rope splash for two. Quackenbush turns a full nelson on Generico into a facebuster. Jigsaw tags in. He comes in with a splash. Generico gets his knees up. Jigsaw evades a yakuza kick, which hits Steen instead. Jigsaw gives Generico a rack bomb. Quackenbush hits a somersault senton off the top. Jigsaw delivers a leg drop. Quackenbush comes off the top again with a double knees. Jigsaw pins Generico but Steen pulls him out of the ring. Steen shoves Quackenbush away and tags in Generico. Steen gives Quackenbush a gut buster. He misses a moonsault. Quackenbush palm strikes Steen on the top rope. Jigsaw goes for the Leap of Faith, but Steen holds onto him allowing Genrico to come in with a coast-to-coast dropkick. Steen super powerbombs Jigsaw and Quackenbush breaks the pin. Generico sends Quackenbush to the floor and dives onto him. Steen gives Jigsaw the Package Piledriver. He rolls him into Generico’s brainbuster.Steen pins Jigsaw at 13:05. Steen’s bullying of Jigsaw was absolutely fantastic. Even his partner, a fellow masked wrestler thought Steen was being too harsh on him. Quackenbush did a fantastic job becoming angrier at Steen’s pure arrogance on the apron. Steen shoving Jigsaw out of the ring post match when going to shake hands was icing on the cake. That story aside, the action was excellent and got the crowd whipped into a frenzy. This is another one of 2007’s more underrated matches. ***1/2

Boston Street Fight
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) (Champions) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

”Death Before Dishonor V – Night 1” – Boston, MA – 8.10.2007

The brawl starts outside the ring. I’ll do my best to do play by play, but with many camera cuts and brawling it will be pretty difficult. I’ll at least cover the bigger spots. Jay and Steen face off in the crowd while Generico and Mark fight ringside. Generico brings a table over the barricade and sets it up. Mark dives off the top rope and into the crowd onto him! Steen attacks and powerbombs Mark through the table. Jay levels him with a chair. Many more chair shots and suplexes and given in the crowd. Ringside, Generico delivers a tornado DDT off the barricades to Jay. Mark gives Steen an Ace Crusher off the barricade. The Briscoes pull Generico off the ring to prevent him from doing a moonsault. They throw him back first into a barricade. Jay boots Steen’s head into a barricade. In the crowd Generico gives Mark a Michinoku Driver on top of one of the barricades. Jay suplexes Steen through the ringside table. Generico gives Mark a DDT on the barricade. Steen suplexes Jay onto the floor. Steen and Jay slug it out in the ring. Steen gouges Jay’s eyes and bites him in the forehead. After busting Jay open further with headbutts, Steen wipes his blood all over his forehead. Generico and Mark come into the ring with springboard dropkicks to Jay and Steen respectively. Steen powerbombs Mark, leaving everyone laying. All four guys stand up with chairs in hand. They look as if they’re going to play nice and put the chairs down, but suddenly everyone is hit with one and is once laying on the mat. Mark suplexes Generico onto his head. He and Generico fight next to two upright chairs. Jay hits Generico in the back with a chair. The Briscoes toss Generico up in the air, causing Generico to land on the chairs. Steen breaks up Jay’s pin with a chairshot. Steen gives Mark the pump-handle neck breaker through the chair for two. Steen climbs the ropes, only to be pushed off the top rope and through a table on the floor by Jay. Generico yakuza kicks Jay and looks for the top rope brainbuster. Mark comes up to help out Jay. The Brsicoes hit a Super Redneck Boogie. Steen pulls the referee out of the ring, so Mark dives onto him. The Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device. Steen breaks the pin just in time. Steen brings a ladder into the ring and sets it up in the corner. Mark backdrops Steen onto it to block a powerbomb. Mark climbs the ladder. Generico gives him a springboard Ace Crusher off the ladder. Jay goes for the Jay Driller on Steen after hitting him a ladder. Steen kicks Jay in the groin and delivers the Package Piledriver onto the ladder! That’s enough to get Steen the victory at 22:12. Well that was absolute craziness from bell to bell. These guys all but killed one another in this match and it paid off in the form of a tremendously entertaining brawl. I think this rivals the Ladder War in terms of the best match of their feud and is not as well regarded for whatever reason. Seek this out if you have not seen it before. ****1/4

ROH Tag Team Championship; Steel Cage Match
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) (Champions) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

”Caged Rage” – Hartford, CT – 8.24.2007

Steen slams the cage door into Jay’s face from the floor. Steen and Generico toss Mark in the ring. Steen throws the door into Jay’s head again. Mark dives out onto Steen and throws punches at Generico. Mark hits a standing moonsault on the floor. He tries to climb up the cage. Steen catches him and powerbombs him into the crowd. Jay runs towards Steen and ends up backdropped into the crowd. Steen hops off the side off the cage onto both of them. Jay trades blows with Generico. Jay boots Steen in the head. Mark slams a chair across Generico’s back. Jay hits Steen’s head with one. The Briscoes pummel Generico down in one corner. Steen is now in the cage alone. The Briscoes enter the cage and pummel Steen with punches and knees in the corner. Generico enters. He and Jay pair off while Steen and Mark go at it. Steen DDT’s Jay. Mark throws Steen into the cage. Steen throws Mark face first into the turnbuckle. Steen and Generico suplex Jay into the cage. Steen ducks a roundhouse kick from Mark. He slingshots Mark into the cage with an assist from Generico. Generico gives Jay a Michinoku Driver for two. Jay and Mark take control. They double hip toss Generico into the cage. Mark suplexes Generico and drops a knee. Jay chokes Steen with his boot. Generico backdrops Mark against the cage. Steen boots a bloody Jay in the side of his head. Generico gives Mark a chin breaker. Generico throws Mark face first into the side of the cage, as does Steen to Jay. Steen German suplexes Jay. Jay side steps a charge and throws Steen into the cage. He boots Steen. He and Mark superkick Generico. Jay boots Generico into a clothesline from Mark for two. The Briscoes clothesline Steen in the corner and follow up with double boots. Generico goes for a brainbuster on Jay. Jay fights free and ends up tossing Generico in the air with Mark’s help. A double shoulder tackle takes Steen down. Generico takes the Redneck Boogie for two. Steen throws Jay through the cage door. Steen powerbombs Mark for two. Generico yakuza kicks Mark in the corner. Steen holds him up for Generico’s yakuza kick. Steen gives him a fisherman’s buster over his knee for two. Jay brings Steen to the floor and whips him into the barricades. Mark uses some redneck kung-fu on Generico. Jay press slams Generico into a Death Valley Driver for two. Mark heads to the top of the cage. Generico meets him but gets shoved to the mat. Steen climbs up to get rid of Mark’s balance. Jay climbs up to help him out. They knock Steen off the cage and through the timekeeper’s table. Generico throws Jay into the cage. He and Mark fight on the top rope. Jay grabs Generico allowing the Briscoes to hit a Doomsday Device. They then hit the Spike Jay Driller for the pin at 16:25. This had some cool spots, but lacked the emotion or story their other encounters had. The crowd was good at times, but couldn’t be bothered with some of the random action. This was a solid cage match, but hardly comparable to their other battles. ***1/4

ROH Tag Team Championship; Ladder Match
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) (Champions) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

”Man Up!” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 9.15.2007

Mark launches a ladder in the ring as they make their way out. Both teams fight on the floor before the match officially begins. Jay and Generico spill into the crowd. Steen throws Mark into some chairs as Jay hits Generico with a chair. Guys are thrown into rows of chairs several times. A few chair chots are thrown to the face and head, including one from Generico to Jay when they come back to ringside. Mark gives Steen an ace Crusher off the barricade. Generico fights off both Briscoes who notice Generico climbing the ladder in the ring. Generico misses a charge with the ladder in the corner. Generico dropkicks Jay on the top of his head. Mark stops Generico from climbing the ladder again. Generico throws Mark into the ladder. He climbs again but Jay gives him a gord buster. Steen comes in and fights Jay for their finishers. Steen ends up dropping Jay across his knee with a fisherman’s buster. Mark springboard dropkicks Steen off of the ladder. Mark almost has the belts when Steen grabs his foot. Steen knocks Mark to the apron and throws the ladder in his face. Mark takes down Steen in the corner. He and Jay double hip toss Generico onto a ladder in the corner, bending the damn thing in half. Steen throws Mark face first into the barricade. Steen shove Jay off a ladder onto the ladder in the corner that Generico was put through. Steen suplexes Jay onto a ladder. Mark gets kicked in the nuts just for going after Steen. Generico hits a split legged moonsault onto Mark on a ladder. Steen places a ladder between the edge of the ring and the barricade. Mark spinwheel kicks Steen. Jay fires away with forearms to Steen. Generico throws a ladder at Jay. Generico yakuza kicks a ladder into Jay’s face. Steen powerbombs Mark on the ladder positioned between the ring and barricade. Steen is climbing the ladder when Jay shoves Generico into it. Steen falls off and Generico gets suplexed onto his head. Mark finally recovers. He missile dropkicks a ladder into Steen’s face. He then suplexes Generico onto a ladder. Jay gives Steen a Death Valley Driver onto the upward side of the top of the ladder. Mark suplexes Generico and puts a ladder on top of him. Mark does a shooting star press onto the ladder. Jay legdrops Steen through the timekeeper’s table. Mark has his fingers touching the belts when Generico knocks the ladder out from him. Jay calls for the much taller maintenance ladder in the crowd. Some kind fans bring the ladder to him. The Briscoes set up the ladder. Mark dives through the ladder to give Generico a Doomsday Device. Steen slams a ladder into both Briscoes’ faces. He sets up the ladder on the rung of the maintenance ladder and the second turnbuckle. Mark superkicks Steen twice. Mark begins to climb the ladder. Steen follows him up and delivers a Package Piledriver through the ladder he set up! Generico climbs up the ladder. Jay throws a ladder at Generico when Generico has his hands on the belts. He too sets up a ladder between the maintenance’s ladders rung and the second turnbuckle (on the opposite side of the ring). Jay sends Generico through the ladder with a Jay Driller! Steen and Jay end up slugging it out on the top of the maintenance ladder. Jay punches Steen off and onto one of the crumpled ladders. Jay unhooks the belts for the win at 27:22.

What is there to say about this match that you haven’t heard? Heck, I’m sure most of you reading this have seen the match, likely multiple times. Ladder War is an extremely apt name as these four went absolutely nuts on one another. The violence and big moves escalated as the match progressed and the crowd reached its peak by the finish. There was no more satisfying way to end this violent feud and is must see viewing for any wrestling fan. ****1/2

ROH Championship
Takeshi Morishima (Champion) vs. Kevin Steen

”Honor Nation” – Boston, MA – 10.5.2007

Steen attacks Morishima as Morishima gets in the ring. The larger Morishima is unaffected by Steen’s shoulder blocks attempt. Steen sends him out with one after an enzuigiri. Steen pescado’s out after him. Steen throws Morishima face first into the ring post. Back in the ring, Steen slingshot sentons in for two. Steen trips Morishima into a somersault legdrop for two. Morishima delivers a hip attack in the hopes of reversing the momentum. Steen however trips Morishima and slams his legs against the ring post. Steen even hits one of Morishima’s legs with a steel chair. Steen does more damage to Morishima’s leg on the ring apron. Steen throws the leg into the barricade. Steen wisely focuses his attack on Morishima’s injured leg back in the ring. Morishima begins to fire up as Steen throws some kicks. Steen comes off the ropes and gets caught with a side slam. Morishima brings Steen to the floor and throws him into the ring post. Morishima hip attacks a seated Steen into the barricades. In the ring Morishima cartwheel splashes Steen in the corner. Morishima bowls over Steen. He chokes Steen on the middle rope. Morishima yakuza kicks Steen. He pummels Steen as Steen is seated. Steen grabs the ropes to block the Backdrop Driver. Steen springboards off the top into a crossbody for two. Steen blocks Morishima’s boot. He gives Morishima a dragon screw leg whip to his bad leg. Morishima lands on Steen when he does so. Morishima German suplexes Steen and heads up top. Morishima misses a missile dropkick. Steen goes for the sharpshooter. Morishima fights him off initially, but Steen gets it locked on. Morishima grabs the bottom rope to escape. Morishima crumples to the mat when Steen tries to Irish whip him. Steen smiles and kicks out Morishima’s leg. Steen lands a superkick, a Swanton bomb and frog splash but only gets a two count. El Generico is now ringside to cheer on his partner. Steen misses a moonsault. Morishima boots him and nails a lariat for two. Steen is able to manage a superplex. Morishima fires up. Steen quickly hits a spinebuster for two. Steen tries the Package Piledriver. Morishima backdrops Steen and sits on him for two. Steen throws a few shots in, only for Morishima to hit another lariat. Morishima hits another one for another two count. Morishima hits the Backdrop Driver for the pin at 18:32. This match took place right before Nigel was going to face Morishima for the title, so its a testament that the fans in Boston got as wild for some of the nearfalls as they did given Nigel winning the next night was practicially a foregone conclusion. Steen’s leg work with Morishima was excellent and made the sharpshooter seem even more fatal. However, Morishima basically ignored selling it for the rest of the match which was really annoying. This was one of Morishima’s weaker defenses, but certainly not bad. ***1/2

Disc Two

Street Fight
Kevin Steen vs. The Necro Butcher

”Proving Ground” – Boston, MA – 1.11.2008

Each guy wildly throws punches to start the match off. Lacey is in Butcher’s corner. Steen kicks down Butcher in the corner and hits a cannonball senton. Steen throws more punches on the floor. Butcher throws a chair into his mid-section and Steen does the same. Butcher whips Steen into the barricades. Butcher rolls up Steen in some of the floor mats. Butcher splashes onto the mats from the top rope. In the ring, Butcher gives Steen a chair-assisted slam for two. Butcher throws a chair at Steen’s mid-section. Steen blocks a chair shot by giving Butcher a Code Breaker. He then hits a flipping legdrop on the chair into Butcher’s face for two. Butcher fights back and sets up Steen on his shoulders n the ring apron. Steen slips off back into the ring. Butcher gives him a right hand. Steen kicks the middle rope into Butcher’s groin. An enzuigiri sends Butcher to the floor onto some chairs Butcher had set up. Steen goes for a tope con hilo and ends up landing on the chairs! In the ring Butcher gives Steen a neckbreaker onto a chair for two. Butcher gives Steen a backdrop onto two set-up chairs. Steen kicks out at two to the fans delight. Butcher brings Steen up top with a chair nearby. Steen bites Butcher to gain control. After a few punches, Steen tosses Butcher off the top and onto the chair. Steen puts a chair onto Butcher’s chest and swanton bombs onto it. Butcher kicks out. Steen hits two superkicks but they don’t faze Butcher. Steen slams a chair into his head which does nothing. Steen kicks Butcher in the groin and gives him a Package Piledriver onto a chair for the pin at 14:41. This was a very effective brawl that made Steen seem just as tough as one of ROH’s craziest competitors. Then again we learned that from The Briscoes’ feud. Nonetheless, the crowd ate it up so much that it caused a rematch the next time ROH was in Boston. It was surely fun while it lasted. ***

#1 Contendership for the ROH Championship Tournament; Semi-Finals
Kevin Steen vs. Bryan Danielson

”Eye of the Storm” – Long Island, NY – 2.22.2008

In the Quarter-Finals, Danielson defeated Rocky Romero and Kevin Steen defeated Delirious. A short exchange on the mat gives neither man the advantage. Danielson stands on Steen’s arm. They get back to their feet after switching out of each others’ holds. Danielson puts on a head vice to do some damage to Steen’s ear. This came after Danielson got in a couple shots to Steen’s ear. Steen goes for a sunset flip. Danielson claps his legs against Steen’s face. Danielson ends a shoving contest by slapping Steen in the air. Steen responds with a flurry of punches. Steen throws Danielson’s leg in the ropes and kicks the rope into Danielson’s groin. Danielson’s leg gets trapped and stretched out in the ropes. Steen wisely decides to focus his attack on Danielson’s leg, which Romero attacked in his match with Danielson earlier on. Steen mockingly sings “The Final Countdown” as he sits down on a half crab. Steen gets a two count with a flip senton onto Danielson’s leg. Danielson reigns down on Steen’s head with multiple elbows. A few forearms lead to Danielson giving Steen a suplex. Danielson rolls up Steen to prevent his leg being picked apart again. Steen pops Danielson into a powerbomb for two. Steen looks for a sharpshooter. Danielson kicks him away. Steen tries for the Package Piledriver. Danielson delivers a sole butt. He throws strikes at Steen’s ribs before putting on an armbar. He throws more elbows at Steen. Steen comes back with a superkick and a pump-handle neckbreaker over his knee for two. Steen delivers a cannonball senton while Danielson is in the tree of woe. He goes for the sharpshooter. Danielson punches him in the ear to try and stop him. Steen stomps on Danielson’s head and finally locks on the hold. Danielson taps out at 14:40. This was awesome story telling. I remember being very surprised with the result at the time as Danielson had a title match the next night, but it did a lot for Steen as a singles competitor. This was simple, wonderful storytelling. ***1/2

#1 Contendership for the ROH Championship Tournament; Semi-Finals
Kevin Steen vs. Go Shiozaki

”Eye of the Storm” – Long Island, NY – 2.22.2008

Earlier in this show, Go Shiozaki defeated Necro Butcher and El Generico. A forearm and chop battle begins the bout. Steen runs through a chop to deliver a shoulder tackle. Steen brings Shiozaki to the apron. Shiozaki ends up giving Steen a DDT. Steen whips Shiozaki into the barricade. Steen charges after, but Shiozaki moves and causes Steen to crash into them himself. Steen and Shiozaki trade strikes again. Shiozaki whips Steen back into the barricades. Back in the ring Shiozaki delivers a DDT for two. Shiozaki takes a page from Steen’s book and begins to work over his leg. Steen bites Shiozaki’s thigh. For that, Shiozaki superkicks him in the side of the head. Steen gives Shiozaki a neckbreaker. Steen clubs on his neck then puts on a crossface. Shiozaki grabs the ropes, so Steen bites his neck before releasing the hold. Shiozaki dropkicks Steen’s leg out to stop Steen from doing more damage to his neck. Steen gets sent to the apron and snaps Shiozaki’s neck across the top rope. Ha, take THAT Go! Steen whips him into the barricade again. Steen frogsplashes off the barricade, but it does some damage to his knee as well. Back in the ring Steen kicks Shiozaki in the side of the head. Shiozaki chops Steen on the top rope. Steen blocks a superplex. He takes a super huracanrana which doesn’t do anything to Steen. Neither does a fishermans buster. Steen German suplexes Shiozaki onto his head. Shiozaki and Steen throw stereo lariats multiple times. Steen lands an enzuigiri. Shiozaki nails a big lariat and a German suplex for two. Shiozaki hits a moonsault for two. Shiozaki throws a few chops. Steen kicks Shiozaki and hits the Package Piledriver for two. Steen delivers two lariats before hitting a second Package Piledriver for the pin at 15:26. Much like the previous match, this also told a good story. These two got the crowd into an even louder frenzy than the previous match which is quite the accomplishment since it was each guys’ third match of the evening. Kudos to both guys and to Go Shiozaki impressing in his first night of his US ROH run. ***1/2

El Generico comes out to celebrate with Steen. Shiozaki seems hesitant at first, but does end up shaking Steen’s hand at the end.

Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi
”Dragon Gate Challenge II” – Orlando, FL – 3.28.2008

Doi and Yoshino boot Steen and Generico after shaking hands. Steen withstands Doi’s shoulder blocks. They reach a stalemate on the mat. Generico and Yoshino tag in. Generico toreador’s Yoshino and holds onto his arm. Yoshino uses the ropes to escape. Yoshino legdrops Generico after a snapmare for two. Doi tags back in and boots Generico in the stomach. He back elbows Generico for two. Generico backs Doi to the corner and tags in Steen. Steen chops and punches Doi in the corner. Steen back elbows Doi for two. Generico tags back in with an axe handle to Doi’s back. He slams Doi for two. Doi elbows Steen off the apron and gets kicked by Generico. Doi key locks Generico’s legs and tags in Yoshino. Yoshino and Doi wishbone Generico’s legs. Yoshino and Doi turn their attention to damaging Generico’s arm. Yoshino dropkicks Generico in the groin while Doi has him in a Boston Crab. Yoshino chokes Steen in the corner while Doi puts on an abdominal stretch. Generico keeps getting beaten down by Speed Muscle until he gives Yoshino a Blue Thunder Bomb. Steen gets the tag and immediately knocks Doi off the apron. He dropkicks Yoshino. He kicks the middle rope into Doi’s groin and enzuigiri’s him to the floor. Steen powerslams Yoshino for two. Doi stops Steen from going up top. Doi traps Steen’s arms in the ropes and dropkicks him. He follows with a somersault senton to Steen as he dangles from the middle rope. Doi elbows Generico and hits Dai Bosou on Steen. Generico crossbody’s onto Yoshino for two. Yoshino gets his knees up to block Generico’s moonsault. Yoshino drops him with a headscissors into a reverse DDT. Doi gives Generico the Doi 555. Steen superkicks Doi to block the Bakatare Sliding Kick. Generico runs the ropes to give Doi a swinging DDT. Steen’s pumphandle neckbreaker across his knee only gets a two count thanks to Yoshino breaking the cover. Yoshino locks Generico in From Jungle. Steen breaks Generico free. Doi and Yoshino stop Steen with a flapjack/bulldog combo. Yoshino missile dropkicks Steen into a senton onto Generico. Yoshino fires up as Generico throws boots. Yoshino drops him with the Torbellino. Doi hits the Bakatare Sliding Kick. Steen again breaks the pin. Steen clothesline Doi and Yoshino simultaneously. He powerbombs Yoshino, then Doi. Generico pops Yoshino onto Steen’s shoulders as Steen is on the top rope. Generico then yakuza kicks Doi. Steen gives Yoshino a super gut buster. He follows that with a Swanton bomb. Generico splashes Yoshino for two. Generico looks to give Yoshino the super brainbuster. Doi instead puts Generico on his shoulders. Yoshino Sling Blades Generico off of Doi’s shoulders. Steen sends Doi to the floor and dives onto him. Yoshino goes for the Lightning Spiral on Generico. Generico half-nelson suplexes him for two instead. He hits the brainbuster for two. Generico again goes for the top rope brainbuster. Yoshino shoves him off. Steen brings him down with a Package Piledriver. Generico hits a normal brainbuster for the pin at 17:37. This was exactly as fun and exciting a match as you would expect these two teams to have. There’s really not much else to say, except for I really want Steen and Generico back in Dragon Gate (Japan) something fierce. ****

ROH Championship
Nigel McGuinness (Champion) vs. Kevin Steen

”Injustice” – Edison, NJ – 4.12.2008

Winning the “Eye of the Storm” tournament earned Steen this very title match. Steen blows snot into McGuinness’ hand when he asks for a handshake. This leads to a forearm battle. Steen ducks a rolling lariat and hits a clothesline of his own. He legsweeps McGuinness and goes for the sharpshooter. McGuinness gets to the ropes before it can be applied. McGuinness throws a few strikes. He goes for the Jawbreaker lariat, but Steen just walks out of the way. He mocks the move before pitching McGuinness to the floor. Steen flies onto him with a tope con hilo. McGuinness elbows him in the face and throws him shoulder first into the barricades. McGuinness does his usual routine of picking apart his opponents arm and shoulder to capitalize on his barricade attack. Steen lifts McGuinness into a powerslam for two. Steen elbows McGuinness in the back and hits a flip legdrop for two. In the corner, McGuinness kicks Steen in the back and clotheslines him to the mat. This allows McGuinness to go back to work on Steen’s arm. McGuinness mocks Danielson while throwing strikes. McGuinness throws Steen shoulder first into the ring post, sending Steen to the floor. In the ring McGuinness does damage in the corner. Steen kicks the ropes into McGuinness’ groin and delivers a missile dropkick for two. Steen dragonscrew leg whips McGuinness. A cannonball senton in the corner gets Steen fired up. He hits a second one and goes for the sharpshooter. McGuinness kicks Steen in the face to stop him. McGuinness hits a running European uppercut and a lariat for two. Steen comes back with a top rope crossbody for two. McGuinness throws Steen back to the mat by his arm. McGuinness looks for the London Dungeon but Steen gets his feet on the ropes instantly. Steen throws McGuinness off the top rope. Steen blocks a boot and finally locks on the Sharpshooter. McGuinness grabs the ropes to break it. McGuinness gives Steen the Tower of London for two. McGuinness applies a ton of pressure to Steen’s hurt arm. Steen gets the sharpshooter on and again McGuinness breaks with the ropes. McGuinness gives Steen a Tower of London onto the floor! Back in the ring McGuinness goes for a third Tower of London. When that fails he tries for a superplex. Steen ends up landing on top of McGuinness and gets a two count. Steen superkicks McGuinness. He gets two with a Swanton bomb. Steen boots McGuinness to the ropes. McGuinness looks for the Jawbreaker Lariat. Steen trips him and puts on the sharpshooter, which makes the fans go nuts. McGuinness reaches the ropes to break it which the fans do not love. Steen gives him a pump-handle neckbreaker across his knee. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver. McGuinness turns it into a folding press and grabs the ropes so that Steen can’t kick out. This gives McGuinness the win at 21:33. I know I’ve talked about storytelling a lot in this review, but this may have been my favorite story of the bunch. Steen had not lost a singles match since his last World title match against Morishima. He almost bested the current champion multiple times and lost because of cheating. It was a smartly worked match that made the fans angry in the right way and gave good cause for a rematch. ****

ROH Championship
Nigel McGuinness (Champion) vs. Kevin Steen

”Northern Navigation” – Toronto, ONT – 7.25.2008

This is actually Steen’s third shot at the ROH Championship against McGuinness. His second shot at “Return Engagement” was left off this collection for whatever reason. Steen earned this shot by making McGuinness tap out during the “Up For Grabs” tag team tournament the previous month. This match is a big deal for Steen as he has the opportunity to win the ROH World title in his home country.

Steen breaks a lock-up cleanly against the ropes. McGuinness does the same, using Bryan Danielson’s quip about “having til five”. McGuinness stretches out Steen’s arms on the mat. Steen rolls up McGuinness for two. McGuinness puts on a cravate. He turns it into a chinlock. McGuinness thrusts Steen’s throat in the corner. McGuinness and Steen go forearm for chop. Steen simply moves out of the way of the Jawbreaker lariat. Steen gets in a few shots. McGuinness rolls to the floor to regroup. Steen drapes McGuinness with the Canadian flag and punches him in the face. Steen whips McGuinness into the barricade. Steen stands on the barricade for a dive. McGuinness throws him back first onto the ring apron. McGuinness then sends Steen into the barricade. McGuinness uses some attacks on Steen’s back. He traps one of Steen’s arm, then bends the other one with his back. McGuinness whips Steen back first to the corner for two. Steen feels major discomfort each time he kicks out. McGuinness stretches Steen’s back out across his knees. He turns that into a bodyscissors. Steen kicks McGuinness only to eat a lariat. Steen kicks out at two. McGuinness whips Steen back first into the barricades again. McGuinness uppercuts Steen who looks completely worn down. Steen musters up the strength to throw some strikes back McGuinness’ way. McGuinness throws his face into the seat of a chair. McGuinness uppercuts Steen back in the ring. Steen ducks a clothesline and hits a flying elbow. Steen throws a flurry of punches and stomps to McGuinness. Steen cannonball sentons him, which of course inflicts some damage on himself. Steen lariats McGuinness for two. Steen goes for a Package Piledriver. McGuinness blocks it but takes a powerbomb for two. McGuinness catches Steen on the top rope. He goes for the Tower of London. Steen takes out McGuinness’ legs and locks on the sharpshooter. McGuinness grabs the ropes immediately. McGuinness rakes Steen’s eyes from the floor. He gives Steen the Tower of London from the ring apron to the floor. Steen kicks out back in the ring. Steen gets a boot up to block an uppercut. McGuinness turns it into a lariat for two. McGuinness flips off the fans before hitting the Tower of London again. Steen miraculously kicks out. McGuinness insults Steen by putting him in the sharpshooter. Steen desperately grabs the ropes. McGuinness goes to lariat Steen off the top rope. Steen shoves McGuinness to the floor. He comes off the top with a somersault senton to the floor. McGuinness gets his knees up to block a swanton back in the ring. Steen puts McGuinness in a sharpshooter. McGuinness crawls to the ropes. Steen lets go looking exhausted. Steen superkicks McGuinness and gives him a fisherman’s buster over his knee for two. Steen misses a moonsault. McGuinness goes for the Jawbreaker lariat. Steen meets McGuinness with a lariat of his own. Steen finally delivers the Package Piledriver, but McGuinness kicks out at two. Steen clotheslines McGuinness for two. McGuinness escapes a second Package Piledriver attempt. He lariats Steen for two. McGuinness’ short arm lariat has the same effect. McGuinness slaps the piss out of Steen. Steen elbows McGuinness. Finally McGuinness hits the Jawbreaker lariat. Steen finds a way to kick out causing the fans to go wild. Steen desperately small packages McGuinness. McGuinness lariats Steen, hangs him on the top rope, then lariats him off for the pin at 30:57.

This was a tremendous match. Steen had the hometown advantage and wisely was able to out maneuver McGuinness at the start. He got a little too caught up and got thrown back first on the apron which allowed McGuinness to take control. Steen was exhausted and all hope seemed lost, but he kept finding a way to persevere and keep going. McGuinness would use Steen’s own submission on him as a point of embarrassment, so he did the same. Steen even kicked out of the Jawbreaker lariat, something few guys could say during Nigel’s reign as champion. This was really was a special match, where two guys told a simple story and didn’t need smoke and mirrors to make an emotional, memorable contest. ****1/4

Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin)
”Death Before Dishonor VI” – New York, NY – 8.2.2008

Steen and Shelley get in a shoving match when Steen refuses to shake his hand. Sabin and Generico exchange wristlocks. Sabin armdrags Generico and stands off with him. Shelley tags in. He takes Generico off his feet a few times, then puts him in a bow and arrow. Generico flips out of it. He huracanrana’s and dropkicks Shelley. Generico snapmares Shelley into a headlock. Shelley bites Generico’s hand to escape. Sabin joins in the biting and gets tagged in. He jumps over Shelley and delivers a double axe handle. Steen tags in. Sabin avoids his chop. Steen holds ground when Sabin attempt some shoulder blocks. Steen gets Sabin off his hi feet, but gets headscissored to the corner. Sabin throws Steen into Shelley’s boots. Steen throws Sabin into them an enzuigiri’s Shelley. Steen throws Sabin into Generico’s boot. Steen hits a senton legdrop to Sabin’s neck after Generico trips him. Steen and Shelley throw snot rockets and spit at one another as Steen prevent Sabin from tagging out. Shelley interjects and trips Generico. He and Sabin put him in a full body stretch. Steen comes in to break it. Shelley enzuigiri’s Steen and pitches him to the floor. Sabin Skayde schoolboys Generico for two. Sabin dropkicks Steen off the apron. The Guns kick Generico in the chest and back at the same time. The Guns wear down Generico as Steen looks on. Generico is able to trip Sabin so that his face lands in Shelley’s crotch. Generico kicks Shelley to the corner, but Sabin trips Steen off the apron to prevent a tag from being made at that moment. Generico does however send Shelley back to the floor and prawn holds Sabin so that he can tag in Steen. Steen backdrops Sabin. He kicks the middle rope into Shelley’s groin. Steen double clotheslines the Guns. Steen backpacks Sabin and sentons Sabin onto Shelley. He hits the Go Home Driver on Sabin for two. Steen powerbombs Sabin for two. He transitions into the sharpshooter. He lets go when Shelley comes in. He superkicks him and reapplies the hold. Generico tope con hilo’s onto Shelley. Sabin gets the ropes to break the hold. Sabin forearms Steen on the top rope. Shelley stands on Sabin’s back (who’s holding Generico) to give Steen a super chinbreaker. Sabin crucifix powerbombs Generico onto Steen in the corner. The Guns give Generico the ASCS Rush for two. The Guns set up for another tandem move. Generico crotches Sabin on the top rope and gives Shelley a Michinoku Driver. He yakuza kicks both Shelley and Sabin separately. Sabin yakuza kicks Generico as well. Stee stops Sabin from hitting the Cradle Shock on Generico. He drops Sabin across his knee with a fisherman’s buster. Shelley gets two on Steen with the WA4. Generico and Sabin fight on the top rope. Shelley enzugiri’s Generico allowing Sabin to huracanrana Generico onto Steen. Shelley frog splashes Steen for two. The Guns set up for Made in Detroit. Steen cannonball sentons Sabin and puts him in the Sharpshooter. Generico hits the top rope brainbuster on Shelley. Sabin taps out at 19:49. This was quite the excellent dream match. Both teams performed to the level of quality you expect, but it wasn’t totally mind blowing either. It’s hard to describe. It was very enjoyable and excellent, but they didn’t completely kill themselves or burn out the crowd. I’m thrilled ROH was able to put on this match, as it was the Machine Guns’ final appearance in ROH. ***3/4

Kevin Steen vs. Jigsaw
”Age of Insanity” – Cleveland, OH – 8.15.2008

Oh look, it’s Jigsaw without the mask. Insert Eddie Kingston insult about how stupid Jigsaw’s face is here. Steen breaks a lock-up in the corner. Steen does it a second time and comments how cute Jigsaw is without his mask on. Steen shoulder blocks Jigsaw three times. Jigsaw rolls up and armdrags Steen across the ring. Jigsaw nails a leg lariat for two. Steen pops Jigsaw into a powerbomb. Steen clotheslines him for one. Steen chops Jigsaw in the corner. He pokes him in the eyes and does a mocking Fargo strut. Steen lands a flipping legdrop for two. Jigsaw throws a couple clotheslines with no effect. He then nails an enzuigiri. Jigsaw musters up the energy for a tilt-a-whirl DDT for two. Steen sets up Jigsaw for a superplex. Jigsaw turns it into a torture rack bomb for two. Steen blocks a boot and gives him a pump-handle neckbreaker across his knee for two. Jigsaw superkicks Steen. He goes for a Yoshi Tonic but Steen turns it into a backbreaker. Steen hits a Swanton bomb across Jigsaw’s back for the pin at 7:38. Steen pretty much manhandled Jigsaw the entire time. Not necessarily a Best Of match, but am I going to complain about seeing Steen kick ass for seven and a half minutes? No. **

Kevin Steen vs. Kenny King
”Night of the Butcher II” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 8.16.2008

Steen swipes the back of King’s head while applying a hammerlock. King swipes the back of Steen’s head too. Steen slaps him in the face. King slaps him back. Steen gives King a noogie in a headlock. King withstands a shoulder block. Steen trips King and goes for the sharpshooter. King kicks Steen away but finally gets knocked down with the shoulder block. Steen lands a back senton when King drops down. King snaps Steen’s neck across the top rope. Steen ducks a clothesline and forearms King to the mat. King responds with a spinebuster for two. King blocks a clothesline from Steen. He gives Steen a backbreaker for two. King jumps off the second rope for a legdrop. King gets a little too arrogant whilst talking to the camera, allowing Steen to hit a cannonball senton. Steen pops King up into a powerbomb for two. King rakes his eyes to block the sharpshooter. Steen bits King’s forehead as they fight on the ropes. King enzuigiri’s Steen back to the canvas. King hits a flying blockbuster for two. Steen comes back with a fisherman’s buster across his knee. King backdrops out of the Package Piledriver. Steen turns King right into the sharpshooter. King taps out at 7:25. That was solid and everything but certainly a curious choice for this collection. King would grow into a much more well-rounded wrestler while Steen’s stock in ROH continued to grow. **1/2

ROH Tag Team Championship
The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black) (Champions) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

”Driven 2008” – Boston, MA – 9.19.2008

Both teams throw fists at each other. The Age of the Fall bail to the floor. Generico starts with Jacobs. Jacobs backs Generico to the corner so Black can tag in. Generico backs Black to the corner so Steen can tag in. Steen gets in a few strikes before applying a hammerlock. Black punches Steen to reverse a wristlock. Steen throws Black face first into Generico’s boot. Generico kicks and chops Black. Black rakes Generico’s mask. Jacobs blind tags in. Generico catches him coming off the top rope with a clothesline. Steen tags back in. Steen targets Jacobs’ back. Generico trips Jacobs into a somersault legdrop from Steen. Steen powerbombs Generico onto Jacobs for two. Black knees Generico in the back from the ring apron. Jacobs and Black each get in a few shots before Generico backdrops Black for a two count. Steen stomps and chops Black once he tags in. Steen gets two with a back elbow. Generico slams Black and goes up top. Jacobs grabs his foot. Generico fights him off and goes for a crossbody. Black catches him and tosses him out to the floor. Jacobs punches Generico in the head before throwing him back into the ring to Black for two. Black and Jacobs go to work on Generico. Black throws Generico out to the floor a few times so Jacobs can get some cheap shots in on the floor. Funny enough, it’s on the floor where Generico mounts a comeback. He manages to throw Jacobs into the barricade and side step an attack off the apron from Black. Steen tags in and immediately dives onto Black and Jacobs. He powerbombs Jacobs on the ring apron. He gives Black a fisherman’s buster across his knee for two. Steen misses a moonsault. Jacobs puts on the End Time. Generico yakuza kicks Jacobs and the momentum gets Steen in a pinning position. Jacobs kicks out at two. Black enzuigiri’s Steen from the apron. Jacobs spears Steen and Black delivers a frog splash for two. Steen fights off Steen and Jacobs from the top rope. Black goes for a superplex. Generico helps out Steen and whips Black across the ring into Jacobs. Generico pops Black onto Steen’s shoulders and yakuza kicks Jacobs. Steen gives Black a super gut buster. Steen comes off the top again with a swanton. Generico splashes Black for two. Steen looks for the Package Piledriver. Black slips out. He hits God’s Last Gift but Generico breaks the pin. Generico and Jacobs fight on the floor. Generico whips Jacobs into the barricade. Steen evades Black’s Phoenix Splash. Generico yakuza kicks Black. He looks for the top rope brainbuster. Jacobs crotches Generico on the middle rope to stop him. Steen cannonball senton’s Black. He pulls him to the middle of the ring in a sharpshooter. Jacobs double axe handles Steen but Steen elbows him while keeping the sharpshooter on. Generico sends Jacobs to the floor and tope con hilo’s onto him. Jacobs comes back in and bites Steen to break the sharpshooter. Generico half-nelson suplexes Jacobs. Jacobs puts him in the End Time. Generico escapes and goes for a brainbuster. Black springboards in with a clothesline and accidentally hits Jacobs. Steen superkicks Black. Generico yakuza kicks Jacobs. Steen gives Jacobs a package piledriver and rolls him into a brainbuster from Generico. That gives them the pin and the titles at 20:28. The false finishes in this match and the crowd’s reaction were some of the best I have seen from ROH maybe ever. The fans desperately wanted Steen and Generico to win the titles and could not have been happier when they did. Everything about this match was top notch and a heck of a way for Steen to win his first ROH title. ****1/4

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