Weekend of Thunder: Night One
American Dragon vs Jushin Liger
January 30, 2005 by Thomas Kilduff
I was looking forward to watching this match, cause you know, Liger~!
ROH booked Liger on two shows over a weekend in November 2004, which
caused a big stir amongst ROH fans, as it was assumed that two match
of the year candidates (MOTYC) would be produced.
For those who don't know who Liger is, where the f**k have you been"
He wrestled for WCW in the early 90s, becoming the focal point of
their fledgling Light-heavyweight division, producing two quite
memorable matches with Brian Pillman (R.I.P.), one of which is still
considered by many to be the best opening match of a show ever.
Ultimately, the division tanked, as the title was put on people who
could not really wrestle the style (case in point: Scotty Flamingo aka
Raven). Anyway, Danielson is a staple of the U.S. indy scene, and is
considered to be the best wrestler outside of the WWE. Very similar to
Chris Benoit, and is a top junior in NJPW, who push him as the new
Dynamite Kid. Dragon had just come off a fantastic match with Samoa
Joe at Midnight Express Reunion, which had set up the match for the
next night; Samoa Joe & Liger v Danielson & Low-Ki, which is another
match I am looking forward to watching.
Massive pop for Liger, who I assume will be face in this match (partly
due to him wearing his classic red and white power rangers type
outfit, you see EVIL Liger wears a black outfit). Danielson forces
Liger into the corner off the lockup, which gets a clean break. Liger
gets the advantage off the second tie up, with a headsissors on the
mat, reversed into an STF into a crossface by Dragon, reversed into a
camel clutch. Good sequence. Dragon gets a couple of Dragon screws on
the mat, how apt, as Liger reaches the ropes. Danielson establishes
himself as the heel by giving the ref a lesson on when he has to break
for a hold.
Third lockup leads to Dragon grabbing the arm, which Liger reverses
with some GYMNASTICS, and grounds Danielson. Crowd is surprisingly
split at this point. Liger controls the knuckle lock, on overpowers
Dragon. Danielson hits the ropes, but cant knock Liger down, so he
goes under on the third attempt, and attempts a surfboard stretch.
Since that is Liger's own move, he powers out, and slaps one on
To the ropes, Liger gets a tilt o'whirl backbreaker as Danielson goes
to the floor, followed out by a Liger plancha.
Back in, Dragon goes all strong style, and chops Liger into the
corner, and chokes him down. Outside again, Liger gets thrown all over
the rails, as the crowd turns on Dragon. Into the ring again, as
Danielson HITS a…. chinlock, turned into a grounded abdominal stretch.
Crucifix pin off that gets only 2, and a butterfly suplex also gets 2.
Back to the chinlock, and he tries to take off Liger's mask. Heel heat
for that, I've always felt that is and effective, if cheap way of
drawing heat for heels against masked wrestlers. European uppercut in
the corner on Liger, an Irish-whip is reversed, but Dragon picks him
up into an airplane spin as Liger is YOUR dizzy masked wrestler.
Diving headbutt misses from Dragon, and Liger misses one too for the
double knockout. As good as Benoit and Danielson are, Dynamite was so
much better than them, his matches still hold up today.
U.S. strong style exchange from the two, which Liger gets the better
of, and hits a PALM STRIKE~! Another PALM STRIKE~!! in the corner, and
a top rope hurricarana gets a 2 count.
German suplex attempt reversed, and Dragon gets a dropkick to the arm,
that's physiology for ya! Dragon's attempt at a Dragon suplex (hope
that makes sense) is blocked, but hits a quick German (suplex that is,
not an actual German person) for a two count. Danielson roles into the
Cattle Mutilation (double underhook stretch), but Liger will not tap,
so he roles into a crucifix for another 2 count. Nice spot. Roaring
forearm into a Dragon suplex for 2, and again into Cattle Mutilation.
I love that move so much. Crowd comes alive again, as Liger fights off
a suplex for a brainbuster. Another palm strike, but an attempted
Liger bomb is blocked, but he follows up with a wicked looking compo
kick. Fuck yeah! Successful Liger bomb gets two.
Liger posts him on the top rope, as Dragon fights with some headbutts,
but Liger comes back, and hits a brainbuster from the top rope (!) for
the pin. ***3/4. Not as good as I had anticipated, but some nice
exchanges make this match enjoyable. The crowd were really quite
during the match, which did hurt Dragon's heat segment a bit.
by Thomas Kilduff ..
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