With the debut of this Friday's Rising Above 2009 PPV, ROH had several questions to answer. Would the product still maintain its level under the new creative direction? Would the much discussed production increase help the look of the shows? Would the top matches deliver? In a nutshell, these questions only have one answer - yes.
The PPV is one that is worth ordering and easily gets a thumbs up based on the strength of its top two matches, ROH champ Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson, another technical classic between those two and the I Quit Match between Austin Aries and Jimmy Jacobs, a brutal I Quit match that closed this chapter of their feud.
There's nothing terrible about the PPV though, so it's not like last week's TNA Genesis PPV where the two great matches saved the show from oblivion. ROH's two standout matches just make the overall show that much better to watch and you feel like you see some solid to good wrestling underneath before you get to the main events.
It has to be said (and I'm guessing this is the last time I ever write his name in conjunction with ROH, which is just weird), that like the company's last Hammerstein Ballroom show, you have to give the unspoken assist here to ousted booker Gabe Sapolsky for setting up the direction and circumstances for the PPV, but it's not as if the thing fell apart without him either. ROH has grown into something more than any one person can take responsibility for at this point, and it's going to be interesting to see how the company continues to evolve as that proposed HD Net TV series deal is hammered out.
So, enough of this introduction. If you are reading this wondering if the show is worth the pricetag, absolutely. If you are wondering if the PPV is worth your time, absolutely.
The Rising Above Report Begins on Page 2.