Monday, 27 May 2013

Bryan Danielson & Jay Lethal v Austin Aries & Roderick Strong (ROH Tag Wars, 1/27/06)

I thought this was a legitimately tremendous match. Like, I'm not sure I can recall a US tag match that I'd say is better since. I mean, I'm probably overrating it and it'd come down some if I watched it again in a day or two, but fuck it, I had no real expectations going in and if anything was iffy about watching it to begin with since I knew it was going half an hour...and it blew me away. Danielson and Lethal were so great here. Just an awesome pair of douchebags. Danielson and Strong are in the middle of their feud and Danielson wants no part of Strong's chops, or Strong in general for that matter. He gives him a little slap before the bell, not to hurt him, but just to mock him. Then he kind of back pedals like a shithead and laughs about it. First time they lock up Danielson back him into the corner, cheapshots him, then bolts over to tag in Lethal. I don't think I've ever enjoyed Lethal more than I did in this. At one point Aries has Danielson in an air-plane spin (Aries and Strong pass him between each other for about 40 rotations) and Lethal actually does the bit where he runs into Danielson's legs and gets cracked in the mush! I don't want SERIOUS WRESTLING Davey Richards horse shit, I want THAT. Match is about as close to a traditional southern style tag as I've ever seen in an ROH ring. They don't "feel out" or "work even" at the start as opposed to Danielson/Lethal acting like tools while Strong/Aries act like guys that are trying to have a title match. They structure it and it feels like a tag match with actual control segments and PERIL. We get a Strong in Peril segment first and Lethal is just great at winding Aries up from his side of the apron, getting up on the ropes and flipping him off to draw him in, then jumping off the top with a double axe handle while Danielson has Strong in a surfboard. Danielson is motherfucking kingsized and I'm already thinking he might be challenging Finlay for 2006 WOTY once I get through all this stuff again (I'm now convinced I have to re-watch every Danielson match from 2006). There'll be one or two points where Strong will seem to want to do some cool shit or fight back like he's not a face in fucking peril and this is 2010 ROH and Danielson will be all "NO, you are in fucking PERIL and you're not tagging out yet" by just raking his eyes or something similarly awesome. Lethal follows suit with this and good fucking grief please tell me there's a ton of Danielson/Lethal tags, because they're working this like someone dropped Eaton and Koko into the 21st century. You know that pendulum elbow drop Aries does? Well, Lethal mocks him and does it to Strong and it was grade A. Aries comes in off the hot tag and works house of fire for a while, then he goes face in peril and Danielson and Lethal continue to rule it with the workovers. Aries is also better than Strong and realises this is supposed to be a god damn heat segment and milks the shit out of it and lets Eaton and Koko fuck him up good and proper. Danielson does the running Ric Flair kneedrop out of the corner and he's already better at working as touring NWA champ than Helmsley. Second hot tag leads to the HOT FINISHING RUN and at no point was I thinking it was getting ridiculous. Never even came close.Honestly, this feels like one of the best tag matches of the decade, at least from the US.