ROH – Unified DVD Review
ROH – UNIFIED – LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – 8.12.06
BG says: ROH reminds you to watch the ROH Video Recap on the main menu before watching the event. In it Jimmy Rave and Prince Nana talk about their excitement over the England tour. Rave is confident he’ll finally beat Davey Richards in Liverpool. Lieutenant Commissioner Adam Pearce mediates a meeting between Nigel McGuinness and Bryan Danielson and announces that their match in Liverpool will be a title vs. title unification match. Nigel is worried that Danielson will hold onto his belt via count out like he did the first time they met. Pearce assures us that a count out or a disqualification will result in a title change for both titles this time around. Danielson demands that their be no time limit and that a double decision of any kind will result in the match being restarted. One belt will change hands! Pearce then threatens Homicide and reminds us that he’s only in ROH to impress Jim Cornette. Roderick Strong and Austin Aries are going to beat the Briscoes in Liverpool and either Team NOAH or Team England in Broxbourne. Davey Richards rounds out the video by saying he’ll beat Rave to go 3-0.
Nigel McGuinness is going to make the ROH Pure Title the most important title in wrestling by unifying it with the ROH World Championship. ROH is debuting in England and the English McGuinness hasn’t spent the last year getting dropped on his head to do anything but prove that he’s the best pure wrestler in the world.
Davey Richards is going 3-0 up on Jimmy Rave. At the same time Austin Aries & Roderick Strong find that the stolen tag belts have been returned with a note that says that the thieves are taking the belts soon. The champs aren’t fazed and they’re ready to beat the Briscoes tonight and either team England or team NOAH tomorrow night. They are curious who took the belts though.
The crowd is very large by ROH standards and the building is very nice looking. There’s a special ROH in the UK ring canvas, giving the show a special feel. The way the action is shot actually makes ROH look much more professional.
JZ says: ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness is here, confident in his abilities to unify the World and Pure Championships tonight in his home country.
Davey Richards is also here to cut a generic promo about Jimmy Rave. He gets interrupted by Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, who have had their ROH Tag Team Titles returned to them with a little note. Aries and Strong cut the usual promo.
MATCH #1: Four Corner Survival – Colt Cabana vs. Jonny Storm vs. Matt Sydal vs. Spud
BG says: Cabana gets on the microphone before the match and thanks the UK fans for coming out. The crowd singing along with Spud’s theme music is pretty great. The crowd is actually pretty great in general for having so much enthusiasm. Storm and Cabana start things off by trading holds. Cabana tags out to Spud and Storm tags out to Sydal. Spud’s offense does little to move Sydal and then things get very obviously choreographed. It’s all good fun and the crowd is into it. Storm and Sydal go for dives onto Cabana on the floor but get cut off. Spud succeeds where they fail but hurts his butt in the process. Storm dives onto both men and then Sydal dives onto everyone. Cabana finishes the segment up with an Asai moonsault onto his opponents. Cabana gets a very cool roll up on Sydal for 2. Everyone starts hitting his signature moves. Sydal hits the Slice on Spud for 2. Storm hits a superkick on Cabana for 2. He drops Spud on his but Sydal takes him out and hits the shooting star press on Spud for the win. Everyone performed well and looked good here. They brought us a fun spotty mess to start the show and got the crowd all fired up.
After the match Chris Hero makes an unwelcome return to ROH. He rushes the ring and gets on the microphone to rip on ROH and the fans. Cabana runs back out and chases Hero out of the ring. A match seems inevitable.
JZ says: Cabana is introduced first and gets on the microphone to help fire up the crowd, who were fired up to begin with. This show is gonna be fun. Spud appeared in ROH twice back in April, whereas Jonny Storm hasn’t been seen since 2003. Dave Prazak and Jared David are the hosts for this evening. Cabana and Storm start it off with some fun mat wrestling. Cabana tags out to Spud, who the crowd seems to have no love for. They do love Sydal though, and Storm tags him in. They do some stuff and then Cabana and Storm come back in four some four man work. Storm hits a nice rana off the top rope. Spud then hits a dive on Cabana outside the ring. Storm then dives onto the two of them, so Sydal jumps onto the THREE of them. The crowd chants “this is awesome,” proving that TNA fans aren’t the only ones that give out that chant like Halloween candy. Back in the ring everyone starts hitting big moves on everyone. I lose track of what everyone’s doing, but I catch Sydal getting the pin on Spud with a Shooting Star Press at 9:49. That had some neat spots got the crowd going, but with the atmosphere on this show I bet anything could have gotten them going. The crowd really appreciates the effort.
Chris Hero jumps into the ring to some serious boos. They are NOT saying Boo-urns. He says some more stuff, so Cabana comes back and goes nuts on him and Hero escapes into the crowd. Cabana says Hero’s kind is not welcome in this building.
MATCH #2: Jimmy Rave vs. Davey Richards
BG says: Prince Nana cuts a promo before the match and compares the British fans to American fans. Apparently none of us have respect for royalty. Richards takes Rave to the mat to start. He stays in control with a headlock takedown until both men get distracted by a bunch of kids in the balcony. Richards gets a roll up for 2. Rave stalls to stave off Richards’ offense but gets met with a kick to the arm. Rave gets a wristlock but Richards counters with a suplex. This being the third match between the two Richards repeatedly counters Rave’s offense to remain in control on the mat. He hits a kick to the chest for 2. He hits a kneedrop for 2. He puts on the Mark Nulty Special and hits a snap suplex for 2. He opens up with kicks but Rave comes back with a high knee and a neckbreaker for 2. Nana hits a cheap shot and Rave gets 2. Rave puts on a camel clutch but Richards gets to the ropes. Rave hits a back suplex for 2. He puts on a chinlock and slams Richards to the mat by his hair for 2. He puts on a crossface but Richards gets to the ropes. Rave bits the ear but Richards comes back with a Manhattan drop. He hits a knee to the gut and a running powerslam. He hits a second rope legdrop for 2. Rave hits a back heel kick and suplexes Richards to the floor, tumbling over the top rope himself in the process. Back in the ring Richards hits a springboard dropkick. He hits a big boot and a German suplex for 2. He hits a side suplex and a running forearm. He hits a lariat for 2. He dodges the spear but Rave hits the running knee for 2. Rave puts on a butterfly hold but can’t hit Ghanarrhea. Richards unloads with kicks and hits the handspring kick. He hits a gutbuster and a running powerbomb for 2 after goofing up once. Rave hits the spear and a northern lights bomb for 2. He hits Ghanarrhea off the second rope for 2 when Richards gets his boot on the bottom rope. Rave gets a roll up for 2 but Richards reverses to his own for 2. Richards gets a backslide for 2 and floats right into the D.R. Driver II for the win. The counters in this match were great and made perfect sense given how familiar these two had become with each other. The problem was that between those spurts of great counter wrestling there wasn’t much interesting work to fill over twenty minutes. As much as I try to look passed goofs the botched powerbomb also took away from the match. I think it’s safe to say that Richards can move past Rave now.
JZ says: Nana gets on the microphone to personally introduce Jimmy Rave. The UK fans litter the ring with toilet paper. It’s the little things that remind you of home. Rave has already beaten Rave in singles matches twice. They also wrestled in a four-way, and Richards beat Rave in a tag team match. Some little kids are shouting a lot, so the crowd tells them to shut the fuck up. I concur with that. Rave and Richards wisely wait that one out before they start wrestling again. Richards goes to work on the arm, frustrating the veteran Rave. They mat wrestle and Richards is able to maintain control so Rave powders. Back in he goes to work on Richards’s arm, but that doesn’t last long. He tries again but Richards counters him and puts on his own holds. Those damn kids keep yelling, so the crowd cleverly chants “past your bedtime.” I love dry British wit. Nana distracts the referee and Rave is able to finally gain control. Prazak notes that this UK ring is smaller than the regular ROH ring. Richards keeps trying to back but Rave successfully cuts him off. Richards connects with the Bulldog Running Powerslam. Suck up. Then, a few moments later a suplex attempt takes them both outside the ring. Back inside Richards fires up and hits a German Suplex for two. He follows with a nice Saito Suplex. Big forearm and a running lariat follows but only gets two. Rave takes momentary control, but Richards comes back with Kawada kicks. He then hits that springboard spinning kick. A Liger Bomb only gets two. Richards tries the butterfly brainbuster but Rave hits a spear and a northern lights bomb for two. Rave gives Richards gonorrhea from the second rope for a near fall. Rave tries Greetings from Ghana, but it sets up a series of reversals that culminates in Richards hitting the butterfly brainbuster to pin Rave clean once again, at 23:09. That was too long given how much they stalled in the beginning (due to a weird crowd occurrence), but this got really good by the end and is easily my favorite of the three singles matches they’ve had.
Man Up, Boy
BG says: The Briscoe Brothers think the third time will be the charm, because the first time they were cheated and the second time the champs got lucky. They hate England and can’t wait to bring the belts back to their hometown. They’re also looking forward to facing KENTA again when they get home.
JZ says: The Briscoe Brothers are backstage to say that the third time is a charm, and they will win the belts from Austin Aries and Roderick Strong tonight. They also want KENTA to man up.
MATCH #3: Claudio Castagnoli vs. BJ Whitmer
BG says: The Claudio Castagnoli comeuppance tour continues as now Whitmer gets to get his hands on the turncoat in a more intimate setting. The crowd here is weird as they chant for Whitmer before his entrance but then don’t give him much of a reception after he actually appears. Claudio attacks before the bell. He chokes Whitmer with his own ring jacket and gets a cocky pin for 1. Whitmer tries to fight back but Claudio goes to the eyes. Whitmer comes back with a dropkick so Claudio bails. Whitmer follows him out with a suicide dive. He rams Claudio into the barricade and tosses him into the crowd. He suplexes Claudio on the floor but Claudio goes to the eyes to regain control. Back in the ring Claudio gets 2. Whitmer hits an exploder suplex and a back bodydrop. He hits a snap suplex and a northern lights suplex for 2. Claudio hits the Match Killer for 2. Whitmer dropkicks the knee and hits a running knee to the face for 2. Claudio hits a European uppercut and the Ricola bomb for 2. Whitmer hits a big boot and gets a roll up for the win. The brawl on the floor was dull but the final stretch in the ring was solid back-and-forth action.
Chris Hero attacks Whitmer after the match and the Kings of Wrestling deliver a beat down. Cabana makes the save and challenges Hero to a match RIGHT NOW! Hero tries to run away so Cabana goes after him and rams him hard into the apron. He then rolls Hero into the ring and rings the opening bell himself.
JZ says: Claudio attacks Whitmer before he can even remove his ring jacket. This harkens back to the CZW feud, during which these two guys fought each other many times in various tag team matches. Claudio controls for a few minutes then the battle spills to the floor and Whitmer takes control, tossing Claudio into the crowd. Claudio takes over and chokes Whitmer with one of the ringside chairs. Claudio tries a suplex over the guardrail, but Whitmer reverses it and Claudio takes a hard landing on the wood floor. He comes back with an eye poke and some one-man clubberin’. Back in the ring Whitmer hits an exploder and keeps it coming with a back body drop. Vertical suplex / Northern lights suplex combo gets two. Claudio comes back with that spinning face slam. Whitmer hits a dropkick to the knee and a knee to the head for two. Claudio comes back with the Ricola Bomb for two. Whitmer comes back and goes for a powerbomb and Claudio flips him over, but the momentum carries Whitmer over and he gets a jackknife pin to win the match at 9:55 to finally end the CZW feud in his mind. Or so he thought, as Chris Hero runs out to attack him! Cabana comes out for the save and this leads in to our next match.
MATCH #4: Colt Cabana vs. Chris Hero
BG says: Hero boots Cabana to the floor to start. He rams Cabana into the barricade and hits a leaping forearm. Back in the ring Hero hits a bodyslam and a senton for 2. He hits a dropkick to the face and a running kick to the chest. He hits a powerslam for 2. He stomps on Cabana’s hand and puts on a chinlock. He hits a somersault senton for 2. He hits a rolling back senton for 2. He puts on a cravat and hits a neckbreaker for 2. He hits an elbowdrop and a dropkick to the face for 2. He hits a knee to the gut and climbs the ropes. He misses a moonsault and Cabana hits a lariat. Cabana hits the big elbow and a backdrop. He hits the Flying Asshole and an Asai moonsault for 2. Hero hits a roaring forearm and a back suplex. He hits a superkick for 2. He puts on a cravat but Cabana catches him with Colt 45 for the win. Very paint by the numbers match from two wrestlers familiar with each other.
JZ says: Hero uses dirty tactics to control the early going of the match. Cabana fights back but Hero cuts him off with a nice powerslam. Hero continues to go on offense and channels Tracey Smothers in a fun moment. Hero finally puts on a cravat and a neckbreaker for two. Hero stands on Cabana’s hands just to be a jerk, and then dropkicks him in the side of the head. Cabana again tries fighting back but Hero lands a knee to the midsection. Hero goes for a moonsault and Cabana moves but Hero lands on his feet, only to eat a big lariat. Cabana comes back with his comeback but Hero cuts him off again and hits a series of moves for a near fall. Hero puts on another cravat but Cabana reverses it to the Colt 45 and that’s enough to get the win at 9:37. I’m not sure why they wanted Cabana to work twice, or bring Hero over at all, but it was a fine enough match.
BG says: Bryan Danielson says the time for talking is over before doing a little talking. ROH is making history by debuting in England and unifying the World Championship and the Pure Title. Nigel has been doing a lot of talking the last few months and Danielson is ready to shut him up.
JZ says: Bryan Danielson says the time for talking is done, and he will prove to everyone, including Nigel McGuinness, that he is the best wrestler in the world.
MATCH #5: Doug Williams & Jody Fleisch vs. SUWA & Go Shiozaki
BG says: Hooray for the return of my hero Doug Williams. This is for a shot at the tag titles the following night. Shiozaki and Williams start. Shiozaki gets a roll up for 1. Williams gets roll up for 1 as well. He puts on a wristlock but Shiozaki comes back with a headlock. Fleisch tags in and gets caught in the head scissors. SUWA tags in and dicks it up. Fleisch tries to embarrass him on the mat so SUWA steps on his face. He hits a big shoulder tackle and blows snot on Fleisch. Fleisch hits a leg lariat and SUWA bails. Fleisch follows him out with a springboard shooting star press. He rams Shiozaki into the guardrail and then tags to Williams. Williams hits a kneedrop for 2. He hits a vertical suplex and tags to Fleisch. Fleisch hits a dropkick so SUWA tags to Shiozaki. Shiozaki hits a dropkick for 2. He hits a back bodydrop but Fleisch comes back with a dropkick. Williams tags in and dumps Shiozaki to the floor. He hits a flying knee off the apron and rolls Shiozaki back in the ring. He hits a bodyslam and a series of kneedrops for 2. Fleisch tags in and hits a seated dropkick. He hits a superkick and a back suplex into a facebuster. Williams tags in and puts on a modified abdominal stretch. SUWA breaks it up. Fleisch tags in and gets hit with a vertical suplex. SUWA tags in and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He crotches Fleisch on the top rope and kicks it. He hits a backbreaker and tags to Shiozaki. Shiozaki keeps pressure on Fleisch’s back and hits a high knee in the corner. He hits a fall away slam for 2. SUWA tags in and hits a bodyslam. He hits a second rope elbowdrop to the crotch and pokes the eyes. He hits a spinebuster and puts on a Boston crab. Fleisch gets to the ropes. SUWA hits a bodyslam and climbs the ropes. Fleisch catches him with an enziguiri and hurricanranas him off the second rope. Williams tags in and hits a tope rope European uppercut. He hits a gutwrench suplex and a second rope headbutt for 2. He hits a knee lift but SUWA comes back with a clothesline. Shiozaki tags in and hits a missile dropkick for 2. He hits a leaping forearm and a fisherman buster for 2. Williams comes back with a German suplex for 2. He hits a bodyslam and Fleisch hits a moonsault. Williams hits the Bomb Scare for 2. He hits a back suplex and climbs the ropes. Shiozaki cuts him off and hits a fisherman buster off the top. Williams hits a side suplex and a backdrop driver. SUWA hits him with a Manhattan drop and a dropkick. Fleisch botches the 720 DDT on SUWA and takes a dragon suplex from Shiozaki. Williams hits Shiozaki with a lariat and everyone is down. Shiozaki hits a lariat on Williams for 2. He hits a bodyslam and a moonsault for 2. SUWA dumps Fleisch but then slugs Shiozaki by mistake. Williams capitalizes for 2. Shiozaki comes back with a superkick but Williams catches him with the Chaos Theory for the win. The lack of crowd heat slowed down the first half of the match. The final stretch, with the exception of the inevitable Fleisch disaster turned things around significantly. Team England would never get their tag title shot.
After the match SUWA beats Shiozaki up with a kendo stick. Williams trips SUWA to stop his momentum and Fleisch hits him with a springboard dropkick. Shiozaki puts him down with a superkick and he runs off.
JZ says: I know nothing of Shiozaki, but I am aware that SUWA is one bad motherfucker. I wish Doug Williams could be in ROH more. Jody Fleisch I haven’t seen since about 2003, and I remember not being blown away. We get to see some clips of Fleisch and Williams’s past ROH matches. The winners of this one get a ROH World Tag Team Title shot tomorrow night. Shiozaki is a new protégé of Kenta Kobashi. He and Fleisch start, and they do some wrestling until Williams is tagged in. He does some of his stuff and Fleisch comes back in. Shiozaki then tags out to SUWA and Jimmy Bower invades the booth to mention how great it is to have these four men on an ROH show. SUWA goes to work on Fleisch with some pretty mean offense. Fleisch comes back with some flippy stuff, including a nice shooting star press to the floor. Fleisch tosses SUWA into the guardrail and gets back in the ring. Williams tags in and attacks SUWA outside the ring and tosses him back in. He drops a knee for two. Fleisch tags back in and Team UK continues working on the arm. SUWA is able to tag Shiozaki, who hits a nice dropkick for two. He continues to control the action, delivering a nasty back body drop. Fleisch comes back with a dropkick and tags in Williams. He and Shiozaki battle on the floor. Back in the ring Williams drops a series of knees and gets a two-count. Fleisch is tagged back in and hits a dropkick in the corner. Williams is tagged back in and he uses one of his cool submission holds. SUWA comes in illegally to break up the hold. Fleisch tags in and Shiozaki hits a brainbuster on him and tags in SUWA. He knocks Williams off the ring apron and goes to work on Fleisch. Team NOAH tags back and forth and continues to dominate Fleisch. SUWA diverts the referee and they hit a tag team elbow to the dick. They continue to act like jerks and hold the advantage. Williams finally makes the hot tag and is a Flat on Fire. He hits a diving headbutt for two. He and SUWA exchange moves as I dream about a singles match between the two. Shiozaki tags in and goes to work on Williams. Team UK comes back with some double teaming. Shiozaki comes back with a super fisherman’s buster. It breaks down with everyone hitting moves of awesomeness on each other. Shiozaki hits an awesome dragon suplex on Fleisch, but then eats a lariat from Williams. Williams and Shiozaki are back to their feet. Shiozaki knocks him down and hits an awesome moonsault for a near fall. Fleisch gets dumped and Team NOAH tries to double team but Williams foils them. Williams takes Shiozaki down and goes for the bomb scare but Shiozaki moves. Williams goes for the Chaos Theory, which gets reversed, but eh hits it on the second attempt to win this awesome tag team match at 23:30. I’m loving three of these four guys right now, and kinda liking Fleisch (which is more than I used to be able to say). SUWA comes in and hits Team UK with his kendo stick, then gives his own partner a few shots too. Shiozaki, Williams, and Fleisch are able to run SUWA off.
BG says: BJ Whitmer chased all his demons out of ROH by defeated Necro Butcher in a death match and Claudio Castagnoli tonight. He needs to set some new goals in ROH. He wants to get back in the hunt for ROH gold.
JZ says: BJ Whitmer cuts a promo saying how he has finally defeated CZW, after his victories of Necro Butcher back in Dayton and Claudio Castagnoli tonight. He says he needs new competition, and he wants a title around his waist.
Check out the Straight Shootin’ Series in ROH Wrestling Dot Com.
MATCH #6: FWA Heavyweight Title Match – Robbie Brookside vs. Chad Collyer
BG says: They fight it out on the mat to start. Jimmy “Gabe” Bower complains about Collyer’s inability to get over in ROH as he explains his presence on this show. I’d say he was pretty over when he and Rocky Romero were tearing it up in Chicago. That just seemed completely unnecessary and could only serve to get people less interested in this match. If ROH didn’t care about the match, and to be fair there’s really no reason why they should care, I can’t understand why they’d bother putting it on the DVD. If Bower can’t be bothered to be nice I can’t be bothered to do play-by-play. That’s right, I found another excuse to skip doing play-by-play. The match ends when Brookside hits a modified Iconoclasm to retain his title. It was a fine match, but like I said before if ROH can’t be bothered to make it seem the least bit important than I don’t see why I’m supposed to care.
JZ says: I seriously have missed Chad Collyer. I think this is the first Robbie Brookside match I’ve ever seen. Jimmy Bower is back to put over Brookside. He also explains that Collyer was released after the first blood match with Ace Steel back in March, and that this match is booked and sanctioned by FWA. He then proceeds to take a giant shit on Collyer’s inability to get over. That’s unnecessary and mean. I mean, I guess if feuding with Ace Steel doesn’t turn you into the biggest heel on the roster nothing will. Anyway, these two engage in some mat wrestling, with Collyer going to work on the arm. Collyer cheats a lot and mouths off to the crowd. The battle spills to the floor where they exchange blows. Back in the ring and Collyer takes a cheap shot on Brookside. He suplexes him back in for a near fall. He starts going to work on the legs and tries the Texas Cloverleaf. He then misses a series of elbow drops and both men are down. Prazak and David are doing Collyer no favors either. Collyer locks on the Cloverleaf but Brookside is able to reach the ropes. Brookside hits the Iconoclasm to get the pin and retain his title at 10:07. The match was fine, but the burial of Collyer made it seem like a nothing match.
MATCH #7: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe
BG says: This is the Briscoes final shot at the tag titles as long as Aries and Strong are the champions. Strong and Jay start. They trade holds and Jay gets the head scissors. Strong gets to the ropes. Jay hits a hurricanrana and tags to Mark. Aries tags in and hits a knee to the gut. Strong tags in and hits a bodyslam. Aries tags in and hits a dropkick out of the head scissors. Strong tags in and hits a big chop. Mark hits a vertical suplex for 2. Jay tags in and hits a back elbow. He puts on a chinlock and hits an elbow in the corner. He hits a snap suplex for 2. Mark tags in and they wash all the dirt off of Strong’s face. Strong fights back with chops and tags to Aries. Aries hits a vertical suplex for 2. He hits an elbowdrop for 2. Strong tags in and hits a butterfly suplex for 2. Mark dumps him to the floor but Aries keeps him from diving out with a clothesline. Somehow that makes Aries the legal man until he tags to Strong. The champs hit a double back suplex for 2. Aries tags in and hits a slingshot splash for 2. Strong tags in and hits a backbreaker. He puts on the leggy nelson and rolls Mark up for 2. He puts on a camel clutch but Mark gets to the ropes. Aries tags in and hits the corner elbow for 2. Mark hits a leg lariat and tags to Jay. Jay hits a dropkick for 2. He hits a NASTY fisherman buster for 2. Mark tags in and hits a springboard leg lariat for 2. The champs hit Jay with a double backbreaker and the chop/brainbuster combo for 2. Strong tags in and gets hit with a forearm. Jay tags in and gets hit with an overhead suplex. Aries tags in and hits a slingshot senton. He hits a kick to the back for 2. Mark hits a knee to Aries’ face on the apron and slingshots in with a double stomp for 2. Man, that was gross.
Mark hits a gutwrench suplex and a kneedrop for 2. He puts on a chinlock and slams Aries to the mat. Jay tags in and they hit the double shoulder tackle for 2. He puts on a dragon sleeper but Aries fights out. Mark tags in and drop toeholds Aries into the turnbuckle. Jay hits a running knee and Mark gets 2. Mark hits a kneedrop for 2. Jay tags in and they hit a double hiptoss. Aries hits a chinbreaker but Mark cuts off the tag in awesome fashion. He hits a legsweep for 2. Aries tosses Mark into Jay and makes the tag to Strong. Strong cleans house on the Briscoes, hitting an enziguiri on Jay and a back bodydrop on Mark. He hits a dropkick on Jay and a fall away slam on Mark to the floor. Aries hits the Heat Seeking Missile on the Briscoes and rolls Mark back into the ring. Strong hits a tiger driver for 2. The champs hit a double uranage backbreaker but Mark comes back with a sick German suplex. The Briscoes hit a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo on Strong for 2. Mark hits a hurricanrana on Strong and follows with a Yakuza kick for 2. Strong dumps Mark to the floor. Aries hits Jay with the corner dropkick and Strong follows with the Sick Kick for 2. They hit the powerbomb/dropkick combo for 2 when Mark saves. Mark dumps the champs to the floor and follows them out with a plancha. Back in the ring they hit the spike Jay Driller on Strong for 2 when Aries saves. Mark this Aries with a DDT on the ramp and runs back into the ring to hit a springboard Doomsday Device on Strong for 2. They go for the move on Aries but he ducks and hits a reverse hurricanrana on Jay. Strong boots Mark to the floor and hits the half nelson backbreaker on Jay. He hits him with a powerbomb and Aries follows up with the 450 splash for the win. This absolutely blew away the previous two matches between these teams. It’s hardly even comparable. Seriously they threw everything they had at each other and it turned into a scorching hot match. This is the first tag match of the year to be on the level of Aries and Strong’s defense against Danielson and Jay Lethal from January.
JZ says: We get a few clips of their prior matches together, at Ring of Homicide and Destiny. Aries and Strong have been champions since 12.17.05, and this is their sixteenth defense. Winners of this will face Doug Williams & Jody Fleisch tomorrow night in Broxbourne. This is the last chance the Briscoes will have at Aries and Strong. Jay and Strong start it out with some mat wrestling. Aries tags in as the champions are going to work on the arm. Mark and Aries comes in and Aries goes to the headlock. He tags out to Strong. The champs keep tagging in and out to hit chops. Strong’s are a little louder. Mark tags Jay and now they’re working over Strong. Jay drops his gum on the mat and then puts it back in his mouth. Um, that’s really gross. It seems to energize him though, and Strong is on the receiving end. Strong fights back and tags out to Aries, who hits a nice suplex. Strong is back in and Mark dumps him to the floor and knocks Aries down. He goes for a dive but Aries recovers and hits a clothesline. Aries and Strong double team Mark and take over on him. Mark makes a comeback and tags in Jay, and he once again drops his gum and puts it back in his mouth. Seriously, ewww. The Briscoes hit a springboard leg lariat on Aries, and Strong comes in to break it up, illegally of course. Why isn’t the referee stopping him? Jay tags in but Strong is ready for him and hits a belly-to-belly suplex and tags in Aries. The Briscoes soon come back and Mark gets a near fall on Aries. They continue to dominate him, tagging in and out rapidly. Aries finally makes the hot tag and goes nuts on the brothers Briscoe. They powder to the floor and Aries hits a suicide dive on them. The Briscoes recover and hit a Splash Mountain neckbreaker on Strong for two. A series of reversals leads to Jay nailing Strong with a big kick to the face for two. Aries and Strong come back with kicks to the face of their own for a near fall. The champs hit the missile dropkick powerbomb but it gets broken up. Mark hits a big dive onto both champions on the floor. They hit the Spike Jay Driller on Strong and Aries luckily breaks it up. Strong should be finished for the match. Mark and Aries battle up the entrance way where Mark goes for the cutthroat driver, and Aries goes for the brainbuster. Mark actually does connect with a DDT. The Briscoes hit a springboard Doomsday Device but Strong kicks out. They go for another Doomsday Device on Aries but he ducks it and hits a reverse rana. Strong hits a powerbomb and Aries follows with the 450 Splash to get the pin and retain the titles at 23:58. That match was pretty great, and the only problem I have with it is that Aries and Strong recovered from too many huge moves at the end far too quickly. The Briscoes come back in to shake the champions’ hands.
MATCH #8: ROH World & Pure Title Unification Match – Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness
BG says: A video is shown of Nigel winning the Pure Title back at Dragon Gate Invasion and Danielson winning the ROH World Championship at Glory by Honor IV. Clips of Danielson’s dominance are shown as well as clips of Nigel’s reign over the Pure division. The rules of the match are explained in a voiceover by Adam Pearce where he puts in plain words that there’s no way one title won’t change hands tonight as both titles can change hands by disqualification and count out. If there is a double decision the match will be restarted so that the titles will be unified no matter what. Really good video here.
As much as I hate him it’s weird not to see Todd Sinclair not refereeing a main event and even more not refereeing a match with Pure rules. They lock up and Nigel powers Danielson to the corner. Why doesn’t that count as a rope break? Danielson slaps Nigel against the ropes and puts on a wristlock. Nigel counters to an armdrag and slaps Danielson back. They knuckle up and Danielson goes back to the arm. He hits a dropkick but Nigel comes back with a stiff kick to the back. They trade holds and Danielson hits an armbreaker. He stomps on Nigel’s elbow and hits another armbreaker. He puts on a wristlock and Nigel thinks about using his first rope break until Danielson hits a dropkick. He hits a butterfly suplex into a cross armbreaker and Nigel uses his first rope break. Nigel hits the handstand fake combo and gets an armbar takedown for 2. He hits a running European uppercut for 2. He puts on a cobra clutch and then unwinds Danielson to go for a lariat. Danielson ducks and hits an enziguiri. He hits the thigh stomp and kicks at Nigel’s back. He sets Nigel up top and hits a superplex. He climbs the ropes and hits the diving headbutt for 2. He puts on the Cow Killer and Nigel uses his second rope break. Danielson climbs the ropes but Nigel crotches him and hits the Tower of London for 2 when Danielson uses his first rope break. He puts the Cow Killer on Danielson and Danielson uses his second rope break. They fight to the floor where Danielson slams Nigel’s face into a table. He chokes Nigel with the edge of the table and rolls back into the ring at 16. Nigel slides back in at 19. They trade forearms and Nigel hits a lariat for 2. Danielson dropkicks Nigel out of the handstand and hits a roaring forearm for 2. He puts on the crossface chicken wing and Nigel uses his last rope break. Danielson hits a German suplex and climbs the ropes. Nigel gets his boot up and they trade slaps. Danielson wins the exchange and hits a running forearm. Nigel crotches Danielson on the top rope and hits a second rope lariat to bring him down. It gets 2 when Danielson uses his last rope break. Nigel climbs the ropes but Danielson catches him with a dropkick and puts the crossface chicken wing on up top. Nigel fights out and hits the Tower of London for 2. They go to the floor where Danielson rams Nigel’s head into the post until it bleeds hardway. That was just gross. Danielson hits a baseball slide that sends Nigel into the crowd. Danielson follows him out with the springboard somersault dive. Danielson gets back in the ring at 12 and Nigel just beats the count at 19. Nigel is all fired up and they collide with headbutts. Nigel snaps the top rope into Danielson’s head and hits the rebound lariat for 2. Danielson floats into the Cow Killer after kicking out but Nigel rolls over for 2. Danielson casually gets in position for the unprotected elbows and beats Nigel into unconsciousness for the win and the right to unify the titles. Like the previous match this completely blew away the first two matches between these two, and for that matter this blew away most ROH matches this year. There wasn’t a single moment when this match wasn’t fantastic.
After the match Danielson tells Nigel that it was the most difficult match he’s had since becoming World Champion. He now holds the unified ROH World Pure Championship (thankfully the name wouldn’t stick). He decides to give Nigel one more title match because of how hard he fought. Nigel accepts.
JZ says: We get a really cool video package highlighting the title reigns of both Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness. It also shows highlights of their prior two matches against each other. Nigel has been Pure Champion since 8.27.05, and this is his eighteenth defense. Danielson has been World Champion since 9.17.05, and this is his twenty-ninth defense, which if he’s successful, will tie Samoa Joe most number of successful World Title defenses. Their previous two matches occurred at Weekend of Champions Night Two and Generation Now. I gave those matches ****¼ and ***¾, respectively. The buildup to this match has been awesome, and that video package really made it look good. I assume everyone is familiar with the rules. I like the extensive rules in this one, as it ensures that there will be no BS ending. They two shake hands and the referee has a sweet moustache. They start out cautiously enough. They trade slaps to the face, and Nigel is monstrously over in his home country. Nigel controls the early going by seemingly having a counter for every one of Danielson’s moves. Danielson comes back and starts working on the arm. The World Champion remains in control with a dropkick and a series of forearms. Nigel uses his first rope break. Nigel comes back with some of his signature stuff. Danielson comes back and teases the surfboard but won’t give it to the people. Danielson hits a superplex and a diving headbutt for two. Cattle Mutilation follows. Nigel escapes by using his second rope break. Nigel comes back with the Tower of London and Danielson uses rope break number one. Nigel then locks on Cattle Mutilation and Danielson quickly uses his second rope break. They go to the outside and Danielson tries to get Nigel counted out. They trade forearms and Danielson locks on the cross face chicken wing. Nigel uses his third rope break and Danielson smells blood. He hits a German Suplex and goes up for another diving headbutt. Nigel gets the boot up and both men are down. They’re up now trading slaps to the face, a battle that Danielson wins, much to the chagrin of the crowd. He goes for a Dragon Suplex but Nigel blocks it and sets Danielson on the top rope to knock him down with a clothesline. Danielson uses his third rope break to stop that pin, and both men are out of rope breaks. They’re up on the top rope and Danielson locks on the chicken wing, only to be countered by the Tower of London. That only gets two. Outside the ring Danielson grabs onto Nigel’s hands and pulls him head-first into the ring post. Nigel is busted open immediately. That was one of the sickest things I’ve seen in ROH. A dropkick sends him into the crowd, where Danielson hits a big dive off the top rope onto him. Nigel tries to fight back, but Danielson is without ruth. Nigel barely makes it back into the ring, and he’s fired up now. The crowd is coming unglued as Nigel and Danielson headbutt each other, and I can’t imagine how much pain Nigel must be in. Nigel hits the Rebound Clothesline. Nigel tries a cover but Danielson rolls over into the Cattle Mutilation. Nigel rolls out of it and almost pins Danielson. The World Champ responds with a series of elbows to the face, and the referee stops the match at 26:21. Bryan Danielson is now your ROH World and Pure Champions. The crowd is not happy with that finish, but holy shit does that match rule. It had a great build, great action, great heat, just about everything. That’s the Match of the Year so far.
Danielson gets on the microphone to put over how difficult of a match that was for him. He offers Nigel one more shot at the now unified title. Nigel accepts.
BG says: Austin Aries hurt himself when hitting the reverse hurricanrana in the tag title match and thus can’t compete tomorrow night. Where I come from that means Team England become the ROH Tag Team Champions, but here it means they lose their title shot forever and the entire card gets thrown up in the air.
A bloody Nigel McGuinness tells Danielson to be ready because when he gets his final title shot he’s going to bring everything he brought to night and then some.
JZ says: Jimmy Bower informs us that Austin Aries broke a rib during tonight’s tag team title match, putting a lot of tomorrow night’s matches in question.
Backstage, a bloody Nigel McGuinness promises to win the ROH World Title in St. Paul, Minnesota.
BG says: Nigel McGuinness for arriving as a premier player in the ROH main event scene.
JZ says: Giving it to anyone other than Nigel McGuinness would be an absolute insult.
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 ANARCHY IN THE UK!
The 411: BG says: ROH’s first England show can’t be considered anything but a huge success. Nothing dipped below **, the final two matches were both outstanding and well worth going out of your way for, and ROH pulled in its highest attendance to that point. This is a must own show based on the final two matches alone but there are some solid matches earlier in the show to make this an all around great experience. JZ says: We get two good matches in the undercard and two great matches on top, which makes this one of the easiest recommendations I’ve seen in a while. Nigel McGuinness was an absolute star tonight, and Bryan Danielson certainly solidified his reputation. The main event is worth it by itself, and with three other matches at ***½ or high, why haven’t you bought this one yet?
|Final Score: 8.5 [ Very Good ] legend|