ROH – Arena Warfare DVD Review
ROH – MILESTONE EVENT #2 – ARENA WARFARE – PHILADELPHIA, PA – 3.11.06
Review by Brad Garoon and Jacob Ziegler
JZ says: I’ve been using the top 5 as voted on by the ROH message board. After each show (or double shot weekend), go to The ROH Message Board and vote for the top 5. In parentheses after a guy’s name is his position in the last Honor Roll, and how many consecutive weeks he has been listed.
ROH WORLD CHAMPION: Bryan Danielson (since 9.17.05)
ROH PURE CHAMPION: Nigel McGuinness (since 8.27.05)
1) Roderick Strong (1, 12)
2) Austin Aries (2, 6)
3) Adam Pearce (NR, 1)
4) Homicide (NR, 1)
5) Alex Shelley (4, 5)
BG says: We continue the Milestone Series, picking up right where the Fourth Anniversary Show left off. Christopher Daniels is outside the Murphy Recreation Center. Daniels was at the first ROH show, which happened in that building. He’s had some of the toughest matches of his career in that building. No matter how great the shows were in that building however, they were always asked when ROH would run a show in the ECW Arena. Allison Danger drives Daniels the few blocks over to that building, where tonight’s show is being held. It’s an afternoon show before a CZW evening show in the same building. Daniels talks about ECW for a bit, and about the companies that have tried to fill their shoes. Some did better than others, but none have measured up to ECW. Now ROH is going to give it a try, with their own style of wrestling in the ECW Arena. Daniels had to ramble a bit to fill the time it took to drive the distance between the two buildings, and from the outside the New Alhambra Sports & Entertainment Center looks like just another ROH venue. I’m swimming in the irony of the building having sports and entertainment in the title, given how dirty ROH likes to tell us those words are.
The entrance ramp looks great. The big screen and big ramp set up make this feel like a much more big time show. It’s a shame that ROH can’t have CZW’s screen all the time, or invest in one themselves, because I think it does a lot for the look of the company.
JZ says: We’re where we left off on the last show, with Christopher Daniels outside the Murphy Recreation Center, where Ring of Honor ran a lot of its early shows. He gets in a car and starts talking about the ECW Arena, getting all nostalgic. This is dragging on and on. That didn’t really accomplish much.
MATCH #1: Tag Team Scramble Match – Dunn & Marcos vs. Homicide & Ricky Reyes vs. Jason Blade & Kid Mikaze vs. The Briscoe Brothers
BG says: The Briscoes beat the Rottweilers in 2004 in their last match before leaving the company for over a year, and a clip of that match is shown. A riot between the teams after the match “put them out” for that time. I was hoping we’d seen the last of Dunn & Marcos, but alas here we are. Winner here gets a tag team title shot at ROH’s 100th show. Mikaze and Marcos start. Marcos goes for roll ups but Mikaze blocks. Dunn has better luck with Blade but walks into a springboard kick. Homicide comes in and hits Blade with a back elbow. He and Reyes double-team Blade and Reyes hits a butterfly suplex. Mark tags Reyes out hard and dominates Blade. Mikaze comes in and helps Blade hit a double Japanese armdrag for 2. Jay, looking much more intimidating wearing trunks instead of a singlet, takes control over Mikaze. Mark hits a sick double stomp on Mikaze for 2. Reyes tags Mikaze out but Mark puts both Rottweilers on the floor with a dropkick. Mikaze dives onto them and Dunn cuts off Mark’s dive with a clothesline. The Ring Crew Express hit the stage dive. Blade keeps Mark from diving off the top and hits a moonsault onto everyone on the floor. Now that the crowd has been sufficiently left waiting Mark finally hits the shooting star press on the group. Back in the ring Mark hits a leg lariat on Reyes. He hits an overhead suplex and a stiff kick to the back. Reyes comes back with kicks and an exploder. Jay hits a big boot and a blockbuster neckbreaker on Reyes. He hits a second rope overhead suplex on Homicide and climbs the ropes. Marcos shoves him to the floor and hits a crossbody on Homicide. Blade and Mikaze hit a double-team inverted lung blower on Marcos. Dunn breaks up the pin with a flying elbow drop. He hits the Gory bomb on Blade and the Stacker Senton for 2 when Mark saves. The Briscoes hit a springboard Doomsday Device on Dunn for 2 when Homicide saves. Reyes puts the dragon sleeper on Jay but Mark breaks it up. Reyes hits a super bomb on Mark for 2 when Jay saves. Homicide cuts off the Jay Driller with a lariat and then hits Marcos with the Cop Killer for the win. Lots of fun spots and nothing blown means I enjoyed this scrambled egg match.
JZ says: They show a clip of Jay Briscoe pinning Low Ki at Testing the Limit back in August of 2004. The arena looks cool, and they even have an ROH graphic on the big screen. The winner of this one presumably gets a Tag Team Title shot. The Briscoes have existing heat with the Rottweilers, as this one gets started right away. Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard are hosting tonight, as usual. Dunn, Marcos, Blade and Mikaze do their stuff at the beginning. Jimmy Bower comes on commentary to talk about the joint show, which features CZW running a show after this one. He says that the ROH guys are ready to fight if CZW so chooses. Mark hits a nasty springboard double stomp on Mikaze. The real story here is the Rottweilers versus the Briscoe Brothers, and the crowd wants to see it. The Ring Crew Express hits the Stage Dive on everyone except Mark and Blade. Blade hits a big moonsault to the floor. Mark then hits the Shooting Star Press, and everyone is on the floor now. Back in the ring and the Briscoes and Rottweilers take turns killing each other. Jay hits a neat flipping neckbreaker off the top rope. Blade and Mikaze hit a sick double team move on Marcos. Dunn breaks up the pin and hits the Gory Bomb on Blade. Dust in the Wind senton gets two as Mark and Jay break it up. Briscoes hit a springboard Doomsday Device on Dunn but Homicide breaks it up. Reyes puts a bad looking dragon sleeper on Jay until Mark breaks it up. Reyes and Homicide hit a super bomb on Mark but Jay breaks it up but eats a lariat from Homicide. Homicide then hits the Cop Killa on Marcos to get the win at 11:55. That was a pretty good scramble match, and the heat for Briscoes versus Rottweilers made this one fun.
BG says: BJ Whitmer comes down to the ring and gets on the microphone. A large portion of the crowd, CZW fans we assume, warns Whitmer that Necro Butcher will in fact kill him. Whitmer is angry that he didn’t get to complete his match with Christopher Daniels on the last show. Necro answered his open challenge to any CZW wrestler, so he wants him out there now. Whitmer sure likes the F bomb. Necro doesn’t come out, so Whitmer reluctantly leaves.
JZ says: BJ Whitmer comes out as the Rottweilers make their way to the back, the crowd chants “Necro’s gonna kill you.” He’s mad about the CZW invasion from the Fourth Anniversary Show that ruined his chance to get revenge on Daniels. This seems to be a very pro-CZW crowd. He calls out Necro Butcher, who fails to show up.
ROH March Top 5 Rankings
5. Samoa Joe
4. Alex Shelley
3. Christopher Daniels
2. Jimmy Yang
1. Roderick Strong
MATCH #2: Jimmy Yang vs. Roderick Strong
BG says: Both of these guys are in the top five, so this match is just loaded with ramifications. Ramifications for everyone! They lock up aggressively to a stalemate. Strong takes Yang to the mat with a waist lock but Yang comes back with a headlock. Strong grabs a wristlock but Yang reverses to a full nelson. Strong hits a leg lariat for 2. They trade chops and Strong puts Yang down. Yang hits a dropkick and Strong bails. Yang quickly follows him out with an Asai moonsault. He rams Strong into the barricade and then rolls him back into the ring for 2. He puts on a hammerlock but Strong comes back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He chops Yang down for 2. He puts on a sort of octopus hold and then trades chops with Yang. He hits a butterfly suplex for 2. Yang charges but hits the post and falls to the floor. Strong follows him out and drops him over the barricade. Back in the ring Strong hits a slingshot splash for 2. He hits a backbreaker for 2. Yang hits a leg lariat and a clothesline. He hits another clothesline and a back bodydrop. He hits a second rope leg lariat for 2. Strong hits the uranage backbreaker for 2. Yang blocks the half nelson backbreaker and hits another leg lariat for 2. Strong chops away but Yang comes back with the tiger flip. Strong hits the Sick Kick for 2. He hits the gutbuster for 2. Yang blocks a butterfly suplex and hits a moonsault press for 2. He sets Strong up top and goes for a hurricanrana but Strong reverses it to a Boston crab for the win. Kind of a plodding match that was very disappointing when compared to their match from Enter the Dragon. They couldn’t get the crowd into it and the match suffered as a result.
JZ says: Strong comes out without his Tag Team belt and he looks a little drunk. I don’t think he is, but he just looks it. And I think he should come out with the belt even if this is a singles match. This is an interesting battle, as it’s #1 vs. #2 from the ROH Top 5. Roderick looks fairly dominant here, but Yang gets in some offense too. Jimmy Bower is back again to address the CZW fans here to give ROH wrestlers a hard time. This match is technically sound but lacks spark. Strong finally makes some sparks fly by NAILING Yang with a big boot to the face. That was sick. They fight some more and Strong puts on the Boston Crab and Yang taps at 12:52. That was a solid match but not as good as their initial encounter. The crowd may have something to do with that.
BG says: Colt Cabana is in the main event this evening, a three way dance. He wanted a match against Homicide, however. They aren’t going to meet in the ring tonight, but Cabana is commissioning the cameraman to film a fight between the two of them after the show.
Alex Shelley remembers a lot of firsts in his life, including the first time Generation Next came to ROH to take the top spots in ROH. Bryan Danielson is in the top spot now, and Shelley bought Sliced Bread #2 from Spanky to take out Danielson’s neck and win the title.
JZ says: Cabana says he has a big three-way tonight, but he’s pissed that he can’t wrestle Homicide instead. Cabana says he’ll take the camera man with him and he will meet Homicide anywhere after the show.
Alex Shelley talks about how everyone remembers their firsts. He says that tonight he will attack Danielson’s neck tonight and fulfill his original Generation Next promise of winning the ROH World Title. The camera man says “cut, go to the ring” and I wonder what’s about to happen.
MATCH #3: ROH vs. CZW – BJ Whitmer vs. Necro Butcher
BG says: A quick cut to the ring shows BJ Whitmer interrupting Bobby Cruise’s announcements to demand that Necro Butcher come out. This time Necro answers and the brawl is on. They fight on the apron where Whitmer teases the infamous (by indy standards) exploder to the floor, but Necro blocks it. Whitmer knocks him off the apron and celebrates until Super Dragon runs out and hits him with the Curb Stomp. Whitmer fights back but Necro regains his senses and Whitmer can’t overcome the odds. Dragon hits a double stomp to the head from the top but a million little jobbers, and the Briscoes, make the save. Whitmer promises that this isn’t over. I’ll say this about Necro Butcher: the bit with him whipping off his shoes during his entrance is awesome. Also Super Dragon is looking kind of fat.
JZ says: Whitmer is back and channels James Gibson, and challenges Necro Butcher to come out once again. He actually comes out this time and the crowd is chanting for him, but a few “BJ” chants can be heard too. Whitmer knocks Necro off the apron with a big knee to the face and the crowd is behind him now. Super Dragon comes in and attacks Whitmer from behind and hits the Curb Stomp. Finally some ROH wrestlers come out to chase Necro and Super to the back. Necro hits himself fin the head with a chair several times. There was no real match there to speak of, so no rating, but the angle was hot. Whitmer says that it’s far from over.
MATCH #4: Austin Aries vs. Matt Sydal
BG says: Sydal decided after his tag title challenge that he wasn’t done teaming with AJ Styles, so Aries is going to try to beat some sense into his stable mate here. They lock up and Aries takes Sydal to the mat. Sydal gets a roll up for 1. Aries grabs a headlock but Sydal reverses to a wristlock. Aries blocks the takedown until Sydal uses the turnbuckle for momentum. Aries hits the springboard elbow and puts on a headlock. Sydal goes back to his own headlock but Aries reverses to a legvice. Sydal makes the mistake of putting on his own legvice but is smart enough to keep Aries from reversing to the dropkick for as long as possible. Aries eventually gives up on the dropkick and puts on a front facelock. Great segment there. He puts on a headlock but Sydal reverses to his own. Aries hits a back suplex but Sydal comes back with a hurricanrana. He dropkicks Aries to the floor and follows him out with a no-hands plancha. Back in the ring Sydal hits a second rope legdrop for 2. Aries hits a chin breaker but Sydal comes back with a leg lariat for 2. He hits a bodyslam and climbs the ropes. Aries knocks him to the floor and follows him out with the low suicide dive. He kicks Sydal’s chest against the barricade and then rolls him back into the ring. He hits a slingshot senton and an elbow drop for 2. They trade chops and Aries hits a faceplant. He puts on a chinlock and hits a kneedrop. He reverses a sunset flip to a dropkick for 2. He hits the Finlay roll and a frog splash for 2. He sets Sydal up top but Sydal kicks him away. He catches Aries with a DDT and hits a clothesline. He hits another clothesline and a roundhouse kick to the chest. He hits a butt drop, but we all know he was going for a hurricanrana. He takes out Aries’ knee and hits a standing moonsault for 2. Aries hits the corner elbow and the babyface dropkick for 2. Sydal blocks the brainbuster and hits the pumphandle piledriver for 2. Aries dodges the shooting star press but gets rolled up for 2. Sydal gets a backslide for 2. Aries has enough and it’s stiff kick to the head, brainbuster and 450 splash for the win. I love when he ends matches that way. It got a little shaky near the end there, but aside from that this was a lot of fun with some smart work thrown in.
The Briscoe Brothers attack after both men after the match. Roderick Strong comes out to help and Generation Next is able to fight them off.
JZ says: Generation Next explodes! Aries comes out with his title, making me happy. They chain wrestle to start as Prazak notes that Super Dragon “died” at a ROH “Do or Die” event. Sydal holds his own in the early going, as it looks like Aries might be a touch over-confident. Sydal takes control and hits an awesome dive to the outside. Back in the ring they trade chops but Sydal maintains control. Aries comes back and hits some of his signature stuff, but Sydal keeps kicking out. Aries hits a beautiful frog splash but it only gets two. They blow a top-rope Rana and the notorious Philly fans don’t let them get away with it. Sydal fights back and hits a standing moonsault for two. Aries hits a big dropkick to the face for two. Aries is getting frustrated that he can’t put Sydal away. Sydal hits the Here It Is Driver but it only gets two. Sydal goes for the shooting star press and lands on his feet as Aries had rolled out of the way. Sydal gets a few pinning combinations until Aries is all like “fuck this” and kicks Sydal super hard in the head, nails the brainbuster and the 450 splash and gets the win at 16:50. That started off slow with a lot of cool “they know each other well” stuff and escalated into awesome by the end. The Briscoes come out to attack them, but Roderick Strong makes the save.
BG says: The Scoopster is outside with the Rottweilers. He tells Homicide about Cabana’s challenge. Homicide says he’ll be waiting for Cabana behind the building in the street. All the Rottweilers will be there, so Cabana can bring anyone he wants with him. J-Train says he gets his manhood from rappers on TV, which is ridiculous. Luckily the Scoopster reiterates the important parts of Smokes’ inane rambling. Hate and death.
ROH Videos dot com has matches and interviews you won’t see on DVD, as well as clips from upcoming, yet-to-be released DVDs. Everyone should really check it out, as those videos are the only way to really stay up to date on the angles these days.
JZ says: GMC is with The Rottweilers, and he informs Homicide of Cabana’s challenge. Homicide is wearing a Jerry Lynn t-shirt. He accepts the challenge and GMC says he’ll deliver the message. Julius Smokes cuts a rambling promo where he yells a lot. GMC says that “hate” and “die” are two words he understands. That’s weird.
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MATCH #5: Irish Airborne vs. Sal Rinauro & Tony Mamaluke
BG says: Sal and Dave Crist start. They trade wristlocks and Sal takes Dave to the mat. Dave puts on a hammerlock but Sal reverses to an interesting hold. Dave pins him for 2 but Sal comes back with a wristlock. Dave hits a knuckled up armdrag and puts on an armbar. Jake tags in and they double-team Sal for 2. Jake hits a neckbreaker for 2. Sal comes back with an inverted lung blower and tags to Mamaluke. They hit a neckbreaker/legsweep combo for 2. Jake puts on a headlock and springboards into a headlock takedown. He tries for another but Mamaluke blocks and hits a back suplex for 2. Sal tags in and hits a drop toehold onto Mamaluke’s knee for 2. He hits a hurricanrana and rolls Jake up for 2. He hits a leaping forearm for 2. Mamaluke tags in and hiptosses Sal onto Jake for 2. They trade headlocks and Dave tags in. Dave hits a springboard dropkick for 2. He gets a roll up for 2. Jake tags in and they hit a double spinebuster. Dave hits an Asai moonsault getting 2 for Jake. Sal tags in and clotheslines Jake onto Mamaluke’s knees. He hits a leg lariat for 2. He hits a moonsault press for 2. He hits the Matt Morgan uranage for 2. Mamaluke tags in and they hit a double faceplant for 2. Jake fights them off and tags to Dave. Jake lifts Mamaluke up to his shoulders and Dave comes off the top rope with a double stomp to the head. He puts up his knees and Jake DVDs Mamaluke onto them, getting the Irish Airborne the win. That sequence was awesome and needs a name. The Irish Airborne looked good, but the Italian shit heads didn’t. This match served a good purpose; it brought in the Irish Airborne on a semi-regular basis and knocked the Italians out of the company.
JZ says: Mamaluke has a bit of history in this arena. This is the main show review of Jake and Dave Crist, who wrestled as Crazy J and Lotus on a Preshow on one of the shows before this (Fourth Anniversary I think?). The Irish guys control the early going. Jake has the blond hair and Dave has the brown hair. Mamaluke looks ridiculous with his headband around his neck. Jake does a really cool springboard headlock takeover. The Crist brothers get a double team move to get the big upset win at 9:17. That was definitely a post-intermission match, but the Irish Airborne looked like they might be a solid midcard team.
MATCH #6: ROH World Title Match – Bryan Danielson vs. Alex Shelley
BG says: This is a rematch from Glory by Honor III. Shelley is the last member of the Embassy to use his trios tournament match to get a title shot. Shelley thinks that Sliced Bread #2, which he learned from Spanky, can beat Danielson because Spanky beat Danielson with it. Once, and it was a super Sliced Bread #2. The logic is flawed however, as Danielson kicked out of the move many times. Just to name a few; Spanky hit it in the very same match that saw him beat Danielson. Spanky hit it again at Best of American Super Juniors Tournament and then Marufuji hit it at Final Battle 2005. Oh well, a kid can dream. Shelley is getting crazy heel heat here. Danielson gets mixed cheers and boos, as his issue with Chris Hero was what started the issue between ROH and CZW. He berates the fans for cursing after seeing a little girl in the crowd. That is, until the little girl flipped him off, making him want to punch her in the face. He brings up Shelley’s tenure in CZW, and notes that he’d never lower himself to working for that company and that the ECW Arena doesn’t deserve him. With that in mind he claims that he’s going to put on the best match ever in the building, doing so while calling himself better than Chris Benoit and Eddy Guerrero. He then goes on an insecure rant about how all the fans together couldn’t beat him up. If you’re not digging Danielson’s character then it’s working on you. They knuckle up and Shelley begs off. He gets upset when a fan claims that he’s gay, declaring his love for vaginal sex. He starts using the fans as an excuse to keep from knuckling up with Danielson and then he grabs a microphone. He heels on the fans as well for critiquing his wrestling style. Now that everyone hates everyone the match can truly begin.
They go back to the knuckle lock where Danielson overpowers Shelley. He hits a monkey flip and gets a series of 1 counts. Shelley puts on a front facelock as fans start chanting boring. Shelley gets back on the microphone and invites the heckler into the ring. The crowd approves and asks him to enter as well. Danielson gets a headlock takedown but Shelley quickly escapes. He puts on a legvice but Danielson reverses to a leglock. He puts on a wristlock and floats into a chinlock. Shelley bites the thumb to escape and puts on a wristlock. Danielson hits a dropkick and Shelley bails. Back in the ring Shelley slaps Danielson across the face. Danielson tries to return the favor but Shelley ducks and slaps him again. Shelley puts on a full nelson but Danielson reverses to a pair of slaps. Shelley bails to the floor. He worries his ears are damaged so Nana tests them out. Best manager in the business folks. Back in the ring Shelley goes for Sliced Bread #2 but Danielson blocks and slaps him again, forcing Shelley to the floor. Back in the ring Danielson puts on an abdominal stretch. He uses the ropes for leverage so Shelley rips at his ear and nose. Shelley hits a hard forearm and goes to work on the leg. He hits a KneeDT and puts on a leglock. Danielson pulls on Shelley’s leg to add some of his own pressure and they trade strikes. It becomes a battle of mounted forearms and then Danielson hits an overhead suplex. He sets up for the Mexican surfboard and pulls on Shelley’s nose. There’s no way this crowd this getting the surfboard so he stomps on Shelley’s thighs. He hits a slingshot suplex for 2. He puts pain over his disdain for the crowd and puts the Mexican surfboard on but Shelley powers out. He stays on Shelley’s thighs and shouts for him to grab the ropes. Shelley wisely powers out before doing so. Danielson is all “fuck that” and stomps on Shelley’s thighs anyway. He puts on a figure 4 leglock but Shelley gets to the ropes. Danielson hits the neck wrench suplex and climbs the ropes. He hits a diving headbutt for 2. Shelley gets a roll up for 2. He hits an enziguiri and a swinging DDT for 2. He gets a sunset flip for 1 but Danielson reverses to a roll up for 2. Shelley hits a dropkick and goes for Sliced Bread #2. Danielson blocks it but eats a superkick. It gets 1 for Shelley when Danielson grabs the ropes. Shelley hits a series of neckbreakers and then goes to work on the arm. He puts on the funky hold that Rinauro was using earlier but falls into the ropes. He dropkicks the neck and then distracts the referee so Nana can take a cheap shot. Shelley back suplexes Danielson over the top rope to the floor. He goes for a suicide dive but takes out Nana by mistake and splats his face against the barricade. Danielson tosses Shelley and Nana into the crowd and rolls back into the ring before diving back out with his springboard somersault. Back in the ring Danielson hits a missile dropkick. He hits a German suplex for 2. He puts on the Cow Killer but Shelley gets to the ropes. He sets Shelley up top but Shelley fights him off and hits a frog splash for 2. He hits a superkick and a brainbuster. He hits the 2K1 bomb for 2. He puts on the Border City Stretch and rolls Danielson up for 2. Danielson blocks Sliced Bread #2 and hits a back superplex for 2. Shelley rolls through the Cow Killer to get a great 2 count. They trade forearms and Shelley goes down. Nana distracts the referee and Shelley goes low. He hits the Shellshock for 2. He puts on the Border City Stretch but Danielson gets to the ropes. Danielson hits a roaring forearm but Shelley comes back with a superkick. He hits a clothesline and Sliced Bread #2. Or so it would seems as Danielson rolls through the move, puts on the Cow Killer and rolls Shelley over for the win.
Well, Shelley should have known better, as I think Danielson has actually taken that move more than anyone else in the history of wrestling and would know how to reverse it. The fact that Shelley’s overconfidence in the move and lack of knowledge of Danielson’s history with it cost him the match earns this extra points. The rest of the match was some of the best heel vs. heel wrestling you’ll ever see, as the crowd hated both guys going in but were made to stay interested in everything. Shelley, like Rave, never really seemed like a threat to the title, but I think that comes more from being an upper midcard heel act than actual problems with the match. Interesting to note is that it’s only two months after the trios tournament and all three of the Embassy’s matches are now over, which is interesting because last year the Rottweilers didn’t use all of theirs up until for nine.
Danielson gets on the microphone after the match and tells everyone who thought that the match was boring to stick around for the CZW show because they’ll love it. For everyone else with half a brain he says to continue to support ROH.
JZ says: I love how the crowd doesn’t know any of the words to Danielson’s intro song until the guys says “it’s the final countdown.” Both men are heels, but the crowd chants for both of them anyway. Danielson gets on the microphone and chastises the crowd for using foul language while there is a little girl in attendance. The crowd is fully against Danielson now, even chanting for Hero a little bit. Said little girl flipped Danielson off with both of her fingers. The crowd chants “she’s hardcore!” Danielson threatens to Collyer the little girl. Danielson mentions that Shelley used to wrestle for CZW, to which half the crowd chants “CZW” to and the other half chants “sucks.” Danielson says that Hero ran away to Mexico with his “buddy” Claudio Castagnoli. Danielson says he will put on the best technical exhibition this arena has ever seen. The crowd REALLY gets on Danielson’s case now, chanting “overrated” at him. That’s pretty gutsy, I like it. Danielson gets angry and I suddenly fear for Shelley’s life. After all this we get the intros and the match is underway.
Now the crowd is chanting “Dragon.” They can’t seem to make up their minds. Alex Shelley claims to love vaginal sex. The crowd heckles Shelley so he cuts a great promo on them. These two are trying to out-heel each other and I love it. Leonard informs us that Samoa Joe’s plane has landed late and he is just on his way to the arena now. Danielson says that Shelley loves the cock. This has been a pretty vulgar show, which befits the surroundings. The crowd continues to heckle Shelley so he cuts another promo on them that causes the crowd to chant “let’s go fat guy.” Well, I can cross that off the list of “chants I never thought I’d hear at an ROH show.” They chain wrestle to start, naturally. This is Danielson’s first match in this arena. Danielson will surpass six months as champion if he gets by Shelley tonight. Danielson takes the advantage so Shelley bails. Back in the ring and Danielson dominates with his stuff. Shelley comes back and dumps Danielson to the floor, where Nana holds Danielson for Shelley’s dive, but Shelley hits Nana and biffs his face against the guard rail. That looked nasty. Danielson throws Nana and Shelley over the guard rail and hits an RVD-esque flip from the top rope onto both men. I believe this match rules. Shelley hits the 2K1 bomb for two, and rolls Danielson into the Border City Stretch. Shelley goes for Sliced Bread #2 but Danielson counters it to a big back suplex off the top rope. Nana distracts the referee so Shelley kicks Danielson in the nuts and hits the Shellshock for two. Then he locks on the Border City Stretch again but Danielson reaches the ropes. Shelley no-sells a roaring forearm and hits a superkick and a lariat before going for Sliced Bread #2, which Danielson reverses to the Cattle Mutilation and rolls Shelley over for the three-count at 32:28. That finish ruled. That was phenomenal, and my favorite Danielson defense besides the second one against Roderick Strong. I could watch this all day. Danielson gets on the microphone and once again insults the fans.
MATCH #7: Three Way Dance – Colt Cabana vs. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels
BG says: The idea here is that in honor of the building ROH is paying tribute to the original three way dance between Shane Douglas, Sabu and Terry Funk. The match starts with two wrestlers, the third coming in after fifteen minutes. If someone is pinned before the fifteen minute mark then the third wrestler enters at that moment. Word around town was that Joe hadn’t made it to the building yet, so I guess they were lucky that the match they were paying tribute to had these rules. Dave Prazak stupidly fails to make this connection and repeatedly apologizes that Joe is late, even while saying that the match is in fact an homage to the 1994 match. Jimmy Bower would chime in during the match to tell us when Joe arrived to the building, so now we can rest assured it was a company decision to ignore the legacy. What the hell ROH. Fuck all that, we’re reviewing this as if they had never mentioned Joe was late.
Cabana and Daniels start things off here. Daniels grabs a headlock but Cabana comes back with a hiptoss. Daniels bails. Back in the ring Cabana grabs a wristlock. Daniels reverses to a headlock but Cabana gets a legvice. He does some push ups while keeping the hold on, probably training for his fight with Homicide later. They work the mat for a while more and Cabana ends up in control with a chinlock. Daniels comes back with an armbar but Cabana goes back to his mid-2005 form and reverses to an armbar. He hits a hurricanrana and a monkey flip. Daniels hits an inverted lung blower. Finally, Prazak puts together that this match and its 1994 counterpart are accidentally falling under the same rules, but makes a small error in saying that it was only a five minute interval to start the match. Jimmy Bower gushes over Prazak’s note, making me SO ANGRY that nobody in ROH pow-wowed over that point before laying down the commentary track. Daniels hits a knee to the gut for 2. He blocks a sunset flip and hits an elbow drop for 2. He puts on a seated abdominal stretch but Cabana comes back with a crucifix pin for 2. He hits a back bodydrop and gets all surly. Daniels reverses an armdrag to an abdominal stretch but Cabana hiptosses out. Daniels dodges a blind charge and gets 2. He hits an Arabian press for 2. He goes back to the abdominal stretch but Cabana fights out and hits an Asai moonsault. He hits a bionic elbow and a butt-butt. He hits a lariat for 2. He hits a gutbuster for 2. Daniels comes back with a blue thunder bomb for 2. He hits a DVD for 2. Cabana dodges the triple jump moonsault and blocks a blind charge. He climbs the ropes and hits a missile dropkick for 2. Daniels goes for the Angel’s Wings but Cabana blocks and then blocks a roll up attempt to one of his own to put Daniels out of the match. Joe comes down to the ring immediately in street clothes. He fights off Daniels who he has an issue with, hitting him with an overhead suplex. He hits a Manhattan drop and a big boot on Cabana. He hits a senton for 2. Cabana hits him with a lariat for 2. He climbs the ropes but Joe cuts him off and hits the muscle buster for 2. That’s right, Cabana kicked out of the muscle buster. Joe puts on the choke but Cabana gets to the ropes. Joe hits the Thousand Hand Slap but Cabana fires back. He goes low but gets tagged with a kick to the head. A second muscle buster is too much for Cabana to handle and Joe gets the win. This was a good amount of fun and made Cabana look amazing. The stuff with Daniels felt a little stretched so that Joe could get to the building and ready and all that, but I probably wouldn’t have noticed had the COMMENTATORS NEVER SAID ANYTHING!
JZ says: Joe has not arrived yet, so we’ve got a one-on-one contest here, and then Samoa Joe will face the winner. Cabana dominates in the early going and is really showing his serious side. Jimmy Bower gives us the update on Joe (that he will take on the winner of this match), and says that CZW had no affect on them tonight. Prazak explains how this is a tribute to the original three-way dance between Terry Funk, Sabu, and Shane Douglas. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with this match, but it just can’t live up to what I just watched. I really like how Daniels’s Death Valley Driver looks. Daniels goes for the BME but Cabana rolls out of the way and Daniels lands on his feet. Cabana comes back with a missile dropkick for two. Cabana gets a folding press to pin Daniels at 13:43. This brings out Joe for the second part of our main event.
Joe is wearing his street clothes but he looks ready to fight. He even takes Daniels out. Joe hits the Muscle Buster but Cabana kicks out, and then he locks on the choke but Cabana reaches the ropes. That’s pretty impressive. Joe goes nuts on Cabana but Colt won’t stay down. He hits a low blow but Joe kicks him in the head and hits another Muscle Buster and that one is enough to get the win at 2:45. That was a good showing for Cabana, but it looked funny with Joe wrestling in his street clothes and working less than three minutes.
BG says: After the match a fan throws toilet paper at Joe. He goes after him and tosses him off to a security guard who takes him from the building. BJ Whitmer comes out and says that he can tell that Joe is ready for a fight. He calls out CZW. This ends up being a mistake because the entire CZW locker room comes out to fight. ROH tries to even the score, and they get the upper hand for a while. Then it all goes to shit when John Zandig comes out with a barbed wire baseball bat and the Wifebeater runs to ringside with a weed whacker. Whitmer gets duct taped to the ring ropes as most of the fight spills to the parking lot. Zandig staples what looks like tickets to the CZW show to Whitmer’s forehead, back and stomach. He spray paints “CZW” on Whitmer’s back and over the ROH logo on the mat. Super Dragon chokes Whitmer with a Ring of Honor T-shirt and then rubs it on his crotch. Zandig gets on the microphone but Jimmy Bower screams that they should cut to black rather than let him speak.
We get another cliffhanger message to end the DVD. This will probably be a running theme throughout the Milestone Series.
JZ says: BJ Whitmer comes out, and a fan throws something at Joe, who jumps the barricade. Joe literally picks the guy out of the crowd and has security remove him. Whitmer once again challenges CZW to come out and fight him and Joe. Necro is out along with some other CZW guys, but Generation Next come out and we’ve got a huge brawl on our hands. The rest of the ROH locker room comes out and CZW is being dominated now. More guys from CZW come out now with some sadistic weaponry, like a barbed wire baseball bat and a weed whacker. They chase the ROH guys away, leaving Whitmer alone in the ring with some CZW scumbags. The brawl is going on outside the building. Whitmer is taped to the ropes and abused with the bat and a staple gun. The CZW letters get spray painted over the ROH letters as the fight continues outside the building. CZW stands tall in the ring. Zandig cuts a promo into the camera that I believe contains more spit than words. I think I see Fast Eddie! Zandig says that if he doesn’t get a microphone he’s going to kill BJ Whitmer. As soon as Zandig starts talking, Jimmy Bower tells says “cut” and we fade to black. To be continued…
BG says: BJ Whitmer gets it for pretty much having a star making turn on this show, despite not having a match. Danielson gets honorable mention because he had an amazing match in which he heeled it up the way he should have against Jimmy Rave.
JZ says: It’s a really tough choice, because Bryan Danielson and BJ Whitmer had phenomenal nights too, but I have to give the nod to Alex Shelley, who wrestled like he had something to prove.
THE FOLLOWING MATCH IS NOT ON THIS DVD
BONUS MATCH: ECW The Night the Line Was Crossed – Shane Douglas vs. Sabu vs. Terry Funk, 2.5.94
BG says: Here’s the original three way dance I was bitching about earlier. Funk was the champion going into this match and thus gets the advantage, coming out either after a pin ball occurs between Sabu and Douglas or after fifteen minutes of action. Paul E. Dangerously attacks Sensational Sherri before the match. Douglas goes after him so Sabu attacks Douglas from behind. Douglas blocks a blind charge and hits what I assume is a back suplex but the camera missed it. He hits a backbreaker and a knee lift. He hits a vertical suplex for 2. He puts on a chinlock and then tries ramming Sabu’s head against the turnbuckle. That never works well for anyone and Sabu comes back with a leg lariat. Douglas bails and Sabu follows him out with a baseball slide. Back in the ring Sabu hits a bodyslam. He hits a springboard senton for 2. Remember, this was 1994. He puts on a nerve hold but Douglas reverses to a neckbreaker. He misses an elbow drop and Sabu puts on a cross armbreaker. He stays on the arm with an armbar but Douglas powers up and flips Sabu over. Sabu hits a leg lariat to the arm for 2 and goes back to work on it. Douglas reverses an armbar to the earliest occurrence of Ghanarea I’ve ever seen. He hits a Manhattan drop and a thrust kick. He hits a big boot for 2. Sabu stays on the arm so Douglas shoots him to the floor. He rushes him into the barricade but ends up getting dumped into the crowd. 911 Gives Sabu a table on which he places Shane Douglas. He goes for a springboard moonsault from the ring ropes but Douglas moves and Sabu goes through it himself, hurting his leg. Douglas rolls Sabu back into the ring and hits a shinbreaker. Terry Funk comes down to the ring thirty seconds early, because nobody tells him how to wrestle.
Sabu powders out to recover as Funk tosses Douglas to the floor. He shoves him into the crowd where they brawl. Back in the ring Douglas slaps on a bear hug. Funk fights out and shoots Douglas back to the floor. He hits a piledriver on the floor, but we don’t really get to see it because this is only filmed with the hard camera. Back in the ring Funk hits a DDT. He hits another for 2 when Sherri puts Douglas’ foot on the bottom rope. They fight back to the floor where Funk slugs Sherri and hits a DDT on Douglas. He tosses chairs into the ring and asks the fans to throw them in as well. The subsequent chair riot is really weak compared to the ones that would come later. He piles up a bunch of chairs in the center of the ring and hits a DDT onto them, hurting his own back in the process. Douglas climbs the ropes and hits a headbutt to the back. He hits a back suplex for 2. They fight to the floor where Douglas rams Funk into the barricade. They fight over to a wall where Douglas rams Funk’s head into a ladder. He bodyslams Funk on the floor and then they waddle back to ringside. Funk deliriously clotheslines the post and Douglas nails him with Sherri’s shoe. Back in the ring Douglas hits a DDT for 2 as we see that Funk is bleeding. Funk gets a roll up for 2. He goes for the spinning toehold but Douglas rolls him up for 2 and hits a clothesline. He works over the cut and Funk knocks out the referee. Douglas pull off the turnbuckle pad and rams Funk’s head into the steel over and over again. Funk reverses a charge to the steel knob and rams Douglas’ head into it. He hits a back elbow and dumps Douglas to the floor. They go into the crowd as the ring announcer tells us that thirty minutes have elapsed in the match. Funk hits an atomic drop and then crotches Douglas on the barricade. Back in the ring Funk chokes Douglas with his wrist tape. Douglas shoulder blocks Funk to the floor.
Sabu makes his way back out to the ring and chases Douglas around ringside. Meanwhile Funk wanders over to the commentators table and swears at his opponents to meet him there. Only problem is that the microphone he’s shouting into only plays for ECW Home Video, and not over the speakers in the building. Finally all three men fight it out in the ring. Funk ducks a clothesline from Douglas and puts the spinning toehold on Sabu. 911 comes into the ring and threatens the referee while Paul E knocks out Funk with his phone. Funk hits a neckbreaker on Douglas and one on Sabu for 2. Sherri chokes Funk as Douglas works over Sabu’s leg. He puts a chinlock on Sabu so Funk puts one on Douglas. Douglas loses his senses and lets go of Sabu, but then fights out of Funk’s hold and clotheslines him to the floor. He puts a figure 4 leglock on Sabu but Paul E comes in and helps Sabu break free. Sabu bodyslams Douglas and goes for an Arabian press but screws it up. He could have played it off as selling the leg but instead he repeats the spot. He climbs the ropes but Sherri runs in and distracts him. He chases after her as Douglas beats on Funk with a chair on the floor. Axl and Ian Rotten come out to save Funk so Douglas goes back to beating on Sabu. He hits a fisherman’s buster for 2. Sabu goes for a hurricanrana but screws that up too. The Rottens take Funk to the back again as Sabu hits a slingshot legdrop on Douglas. He puts on a camel clutch until the Rottens come out with steel chairs. They beat on Douglas and Sabu, hitting a drop toehold/legdrop combo on Douglas. Sherri runs in and rakes Ian’s back and Douglas knocks him to the floor. Axl and Sabu fight to the floor and into the crowd. Sabu fights him off and then gets back to the match with Douglas. What a joke this has turned into. Terry Funk comes out again, just a few minutes after being taken to the back. This is so dumb. Paul E knocks out Ian Rotten with his phone with the aid of 911. As this is going on the three actual competitors in the match brawl to an area that the hard camera can’t shoot and most of the fans can’t see. Funk knocks out the referee again and low blows Shane Douglas. Joey Styles declares the match over on commentary, but the ring announcer says that fifteen minutes remain.
Sabu clotheslines Funk and Douglas down and hits and botches more moves off the ropes. He climbs the turnbuckle and hits a moonsault, with Funk helpfully moving into place. Sabu bodyslams Douglas and moonsaults his legs. Funk covers Douglas but the referee is still out. Douglas hits a piledriver on Funk and then drops Sabu onto him. Then he pins Funk for 2. Sabu splashes Funk a couple times for 2. Douglas hits a legdrop on Funk and then suplexes him, mostly onto the referee. Sabu splashes both guys when they’re down for 2. He puts a camel clutch on Funk and Douglas puts one on Sabu. Funk goes for the spinning toehold on Douglas but Sherri jumps onto his back. Funk hits her with a vertical suplex and then puts the spinning toehold on her. Douglas breaks it up with a clothesline. He hits Sabu with a back suplex. Sabu blocks a piledriver but Funk low blows him with Sherri’s boot. He puts the heel into Douglas’ ear and everyone fights to the floor. Back in the ring Funk goes for a pin on Sherri as Douglas hits a crossbody on Sabu. Yep, this is how they chose to wrap up a sixty-minute match full of nothing. Funk franticly goes for a cover on an actual opponent but the referee is nowhere to be found. Douglas holds Funk for Sherri but Douglas hits her by mistake. The last few seconds of the match sees everyone rolling around the mat, covering each other without any reason or rhyme until the time limit mercifully expires.
The crowd gives them a standing ovation, although for the life of me I can’t think of a single solitary reason why. This was one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen in my life. Styles gushes over it like it was the most amazing match he’s ever seen after complaining throughout the match that it had turned into a mess. I’ll hand it to ECW – they fooled a lot of people into thinking this was good by making it long. The fact is that only Douglas was in there the entire time, and even he needed the Rottens to bail him out for a while. Sabu went for a million high spots, but the two he actually hit occurred in the first fifteen minutes of the match. The pacing was lousy, as the only worthwhile portion of the match occurred before Funk got into the ring, and the following forty-five minutes were slow and full of garbage. This was before ECW went extreme mind you, but this is a solid template for everything that was wrong with the company. Somehow the participants of this match remember it fondly on the Forever Hardcore DVD, but I wouldn’t be surprised if none of them have ever actually watched it and are simply going by the crowd’s reaction after the bell. Keep in mind that although they got a standing ovation when the match was over, there was probably never more than ten people making noise at a time in a crowd of reportedly 1,000 fans. To make matters worse, after the match Funk cuts a promo, crying over his match and how WCW and WWF were belittling the business at the time. Okay, I dare anyone to put this match up against anything the Harts were doing in the WWF at the same time, or anything Flair, Steamboat, Vader and Sting were doing in WCW around the same time because it exposes this as the garbage that it is. The more I think about this match the more I think about things that were wrong with it. I need to stop ranting, but this was seriously just three guys doing random crap for an hour.
JZ says: I’ve never watched this match all the way through, so this should be interesting. Terry Funk is the Eastern Championship Wrestling Champion at this point. The match starts off with just Douglas and Sabu, and I can barely hear Joey Styles’s commentary. Five minutes in and I’m all “yeah that’s great, can we get going I’m bored as shit back here.” If there is no fall in 15 minutes then Funk comes out and it’s a three-way. If there is a fall the winner faces Funk one-on-one. Ten minutes gone by and it’s been a lot of nothing. Funk comes out early and we’ve got three men in the ring all against each other for the first time, or something. But we don’t because Sabu took a bump through a table and has been taken to the back. Funk gives Douglas a DDT onto a pile of steel chairs. They’re brawling on the floor the crowd is barely interested. Thirty minutes have gone by and I’m bored out of my mind. Sabu comes limping out a few minutes later to finally make this a three-way for real. Forty minutes in and I think my eyeballs are bleeding. Sabu blows a springboard moonsault so he repeats the spot. Sherri jumps into the ring and then gets out. Ian and Axl Rotten come out now and beat up Sabu and Douglas. This is just insipid trash. The Rotten brothers are already disgusting at this point. Apparently we’re now forty-five minutes into this alleged three-way. Funk is on his way back now. Paul E. Dangerously and 911 are beating up Ian Rotten outside the ring. We’re 50 minutes in and Styles is just shitting all over the “match” at this point. Some in the crowd are openly booing. Time finally runs out and this match is mercifully over. A few in the crowd boo and then comes the most underserved standing ovation I’ve ever seen. These guys dicked around like green rookies for 60 minutes and it was embarrassing to watch. Funk cuts one of the dumbest promos ever, about how WWF and WCW are ruining wrestling. By the way, he would go on to work for both companies in years after this. This set the framework for a lot of what ECW would come to be about. So yeah, WWE, is bringing THIS back?
You can pick up this show, as well as all other ROH shows at ROH Wrestling Dot Com.
Coming soon will be our review of BEST IN THE WORLD!
Have any thoughts, comments, or concerns? Like how we’re doing our reviews? Let us know!
The 411: BG says: I rated a Roderick Strong match worst of the night. That makes me feel dirty. Actually, that match wasn't too bad and this show flew by. The matches are all solid at worst and the CZW storyline that ran throughout has jumped into a new plane of intensity. The Homicide/Cabana feud also continued well, with both men having good showings in matches away from each other. You also get a heel vs. heel match that puts Corino vs. Punk to shame, so I think it's safe to say that the Milestone Series is continuing on nicely. Solid recommendation.
JZ says: Danielson versus Shelley is reason enough alone to get this DVD, but there’s some other good stuff here too. BJ Whitmer totally becomes a star and the CZW angle continued nicely. Easy recommendation here.
|Final Score: 8.0 [ Very Good ] legend|