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ROH – Driven DVD Review

November 28, 2007 | Posted by Garoon & Ziegler
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ROH – Driven DVD Review  

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ROH – DRIVEN – CHICAGO RIDGE, IL – 6.23.07

DISC ONE – The Pay Per View

Introduction

BG says: The usual ROH/G-Funk images and Dave Prazak promo start the show. Prazak hypes up the fans for the show until Delirious, Matt Cross and Erick Stevens stroll down to the ring. Stevens gets on the microphone and tells the No Remorse Corp to come down to the ring for a six-man tag right now. Delirious grabs the microphone and I understand the following works; Chicago, Illinois, & No Remorse Corp.

Clips from the first Pay Per View play over Wolfmother’s Another Dimension as the opening video for this show.

JZ says: Our host Dave Prazak welcomes us to the show and says he and Lenny Leonard will be calling the action tonight. He puts over the name of tonight’s show and gets the crowd hyped. During his speech Delirious, Erick Stevens & Matt Cross come out to challenge the No Remorse Corps to a six-man tag team match RIGHT NOW. That leads to a hype video for the show, which then segues into the opening match.

MATCH #1: Six Man Tag Match – Roderick Strong, Davey Richards & Rocky Romero vs. Erick Stevens, Matt Cross & Delirious

BG says: Strong, Richards and Romero rush the ring and a huge brawl erupts. Our heroes take control and the NRC bails. Delirious crossbodies Richards to the floor so Strong and Stevens come in. Strong hits a dropkick and Stevens bails. Strong throws Romero onto Stevens. Cross hits Strong with a head scissors takedown and Strong bails. Delirious climbs the ropes and dives onto everyone. Back in the ring Delirious hits a back suplex on Romero. Romero comes back with a knee to the gut and a kick to the back. Richards tags in and hits a clothesline. He hits a snap suplex and tags to Strong. The NRC triple-teams Delirious for 2. Prazak notes that like the night before Austin Aries is in attendance tonight. Richards knocks Delirious onto Strong’s knees and Romero hits a slingshot kneedrop for 2. Richards tags in and gets hit with a headbutt to the gut. Strong and Stevens tag in and Stevens cleans house. He hits a backdrop on Richards and a full nelson slam on Strong. He hits an overhead suplex on Richards and a clothesline on Romero. Cross hits a handspring elbow on Romero and Stevens hits the Choo Choo Avalanche on Richards. Delirious hits the Panic Attack on Strong and Stevens follows that with the TKO for 2. Cross hits the Space Flying Tiger Drop on Romero and Richards. Stevens hits The Original on Strong for 2 and dumps Romero to the floor. Richards hits a missile dropkick on Stevens but Cross stops him from hitting the D.R. Driver on Delirious with a reverse hurricanrana. Delirious hits Romero with the soccer kick and a leaping clothesline. Strong hits the gutbuster on Cross and Romero comes off the second rope with a DDT for 2. Strong and Stevens trade chops and Strong hits a clothesline in the corner. Stevens catches him with a one-armed powerbomb. He holds Romero for a double stomp from Cross for 2 when Richards saves. He hits a German suplex on Richards and Delirious follows with the Shadows. Cross looks to finish with a shooting star press but Romero breaks up the pin. Strong hits Delirious with a back suplex on the apron as Cross hits an enziguiri on Romero. Richards hits Stevens with a swinging DDT on the floor. Cross hits a neckbreaker and a twisting body press on Romero for 2. He counters an anklelock to a roll up for 2. Romero comes back with buzzsaw kicks and Richards hits the D.R. Driver for the win at 11:29. This was insane stuff and one of the best openers in the company’s history. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now; ROH really doesn’t need Dragon Gate guys to have great scrambled egg matches.
Rating: ****

The NRC beat down continues after the match until Austin Aries jumps the rail and takes them out single-handedly and they scatter. The commentators are pretty annoying with their comments about this not making air. Aries gets on the microphone, looking like a handyman from the ‘80s. He pulls out a Ring of Honor contract and says that once he signs it he’ll be part of the greatest professional wrestling company in the world. Fans throw him pens and he signs the contract on the turnbuckle. What I liked about this was that it focused on Aries signing with ROH and not tearing up a TNA contract. That’s why ROH only grows, because they don’t obsess over other companies. To new fans I’m sure this made Aries seem like a very big deal.

The Briscoe Brothers cut a short promo backstage. They’ve come a long way and they’re really excited to go to Japan with ROH. Clips of ROH’s upcoming tour of Japan (what kind of timeline is this?) is shown over the Wolfmother song. The issue between Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuinness and Takeshi Morishima is especially highlighted in the video.

JZ says: The No Remorse Corps accept the challenge and it’s a big brawl to start. The babyfaces dominate the first minutes, so the NRC bails and recollects themselves outside the ring. Richards and Delirious start the match proper, but that doesn’t last long. This one is more like a tag team scramble, with everyone hitting some moves to the floor and a few dives being tossed in. Delirious and Romero wind up in the ring with Delirious in control. Romero fights back with some kicks and tags out to Richards. Richards and Strong take over on Delirious and tie up the referee so they can triple team the masked man. The NRC keep Delirious in their corner and work him over. Delirious counters with a headbutt to Richards but still can’t make the tag. He does avoid Strong and tag in Stevens, and he is on fire on the NRC. The good guys take control now with some signature moves but can’t put their rivals away. Prazak notes that this is more of a scramble match, which I noted like a bunch of sentences ago. Everyone is coming in and out of the ring, hitting big moves on whoever’s in sight. The NRC hit a series of big moves on Cross but his partners break up the pinfall. Strong and Stevens are fighting inside the ring, everyone else is outside. The good guys give Richards three big moves but that pinfall gets broken up as well. It’s hard to follow all of this. Richards hits a swinging DDT off the apron to the floor on Stevens. Richards sneaks in and hits Cross with the DR Driver to get the pin at 11:00.
Rating: ***¾

After the match, Austin Aries runs in from the crowd and does what three men couldn’t just do, and beats up all the No Remorse Corps. Prazak and Leonard act like it’s ROH in 2002 and wonder what a TNA contracted wrestler is doing at this show, since he “bought a ticket,” but think it’s okay because “this won’t make air anyway.” Why do they feel the need to do that WHEN IT CLEARLY MAKS THE TAPE. Aries then signs his ROH contract, officially returning to the company after a less than two month absence. Too bad the sound guy didn’t have Aries’ mic synced up to the camera properly.

ROH World Tag Team Champions The Briscoe Brothers are backstage to brag about their performances in Japan, which segues to a highlight package of the ROH shows there. This is a bit of weird timeline, since the Driven show was taped before the Japan shows, but didn’t air until after.

MATCH #2: Matt Sydal vs. Claudio Castagnoli

BG says: The story here is that Sydal blamed Castagnoli for the loss to the Briscoes at the first Pay Per View and wanted a shot at him on this show. They lock up and Castagnoli hits an armdrag. Sydal hits an armdrag for 2. Castagnoli hits a monkey flip but Sydal comes back with another armdrag. Castagnoli throws him across the ring for 2. He hits a bodyslam and a legdrop for 2. He hits a delayed vertical suplex for 2. He hits the giant swing for 2. He hits a gutwrench suplex for 2. Sydal takes out his legs and Castagnoli falls to the floor. Sydal dives out onto him and goes for the corner combo back in the ring. Castagnoli stops him from finishing it but Sydal hits a leg lariat for 2. Castagnoli hits the Match Killer for 2. He hits a spinning Alpamare Waterslide but can’t get Sydal’s shoulders down. Sydal blocks a bicycle kick and hits a dragon screw. He rolls Castagnoli up for 2. He hits a hurricanrana for 2. He hits the standing moonsault for 2. He hits a spike DDT for 2. He climbs the ropes but Castagnoli cuts him off with a European uppercut. He brings Sydal down with an enziguiri and hits the bicycle kick for 2. He hits another European uppercut for 2. Sydal beautifully flips all over the place before hitting a head scissors takedown. He jumps off of Castagnoli’s shoulders to block a powerbomb and hits a hurricanrana for 2. He hits an enziguiri but Castagnoli rolls through a hurricanrana in a way I’ve never seen before to a sunset bomb for the win. This was the very best that Sydal has to offer and one of the best short matches you’ll ever see.
Rating: ***¾

Sweet N’ Sour Inc. comes out to the ring. Larry Sweeney says it’s time for him to make a big move. He digs at Castagnoli and then offers Sydal a contract with Sweet N’ Sour Inc. He promises to turn Sydal’s losses into victories. Castagnoli tries to talk Sydal out of signing by calling Sweeney a scumbag and ripping up the contract. He hits European uppercuts on Bobby Dempsey and Chris Hero and goes to do the same to Sweeney but Sydal attacks him from behind. Hero hits Castagnoli with the Hero’s Welcome and puts on the Hangman’s Clutch. Sydal embraces Sweeney and leaves with the entourage.

A Jimmy Rave video package airs, I guess trying to make him seem like a credible challenger to Morishima and the World Championship. That’s easier said than done.

JZ says: These are former partners who couldn’t unseat the Briscoes as ROH Tag Team Champions, so they’ve taken to fighting each other. These two bring it to each other full bore in the early going, with each guy moving quickly trying to take the other guy down. Claudio takes the early advantage with a Giant Swing and a gut wrench suplex. Sydal fights back by sweeping Claudio’s legs to the outside of the ring and hits a leg lariat back in the ring for two. Claudio comes back with the Match Killer for two. The Alparmare Water Slide gets two. Claudio tries the bicycle kick but Sydal blocks it with a dragon screw leg whip and the La Magistral cradle for two. They trade pinning combos for near falls and Sydal hits a standing Moonsault for two. Sydal hits that capture DDT he’s been using for two. Good luck trying that in WWE dude. The bicycle kick gets two for Claudio. A European Uppercut can’t finish Sydal either. They trade a few more moves and Sydal goes for a rana but Claudio rolls through it get the pin at 8:20. That was as much action as well executed as you will ever see in that amount of time.
Rating: ***½

After the match Sweet ‘n’ Sour Inc. comes for Sweeney to put them over. He offers Sydal a spot in his group, and says he can make Sydal’s losses turn into wins. Claudio urges him not to do it, because Sweeney is a scumbag, which Prazak thinks is the funniest thing ever. Claudio urges Sydal not to do it, and Claudio cleans house until Sydal attacks him, and apparently he has taken the offer.

A promo video for Jimmy Rave airs, and he sounds like such a little nerd when he talks. He faces Takeshi Morishima for the ROH World Title tonight. He promises to make Morishima tap out and he will be the next ROH World Champion. I really believe it.

MATCH #3: Naomichi Marufuji vs. BJ Whitmer

BG says: Marufuji grabs a wristlock to start. Whitmer counters the hold but Marufuji gets it back on. They trade armdrags and go for dropkicks at the same time. They trade strikes and Whitmer hits a leg lariat. Marufuji bails so Whitmer follows him out with a suicide dive and gets 2 back in the ring. He hits a vertical suplex for 2. Marufuji hits a drop toehold and a dropkick to the face. He hits a slingshot DDT on the apron and gets 2 back in the ring. He hits a butterfly suplex and puts on a cross armbreaker but Whitmer gets to the ropes. He puts on a cravat and hits a back elbow in the corner. He climbs the ropes but Whitmer cuts him off and hits a superplex. They trade chops and Whitmer hits a German suplex. He holds on to hit a dragon suplex and goes for a powerbomb. Marufuji blocks it so Whitmer hits him with a boot to the face and a knee to the head for 2. Marufuji hits a straight jacket suplex for 2. He falls back and drives his knee into Whitmer’s chest for 2. Whitmer blocks a superkick and hits a powerslam for 2. A clothesline from Marufuji doesn’t do damage but his chasing clothesline does and gets 2. Whitmer hits a brainbuster for 2. He climbs the ropes but Marufuji knocks him into the Tree of Woe and hits a corner to corner dropkick for 2. He hits a superkick and blocks a dragon suplex before hitting another superkick and the Shiranui for the win. This was a lot of good back and forth with very little selling. ROH is doing a great job of making Marufuji look like a middle of the card star.
Rating: ***¼

Rebecca Bayless hypes upcoming live ROH shows from the crowd. If I were ROH that’s the only thing I’d have her do and I’d leave the interviews to someone with talent for it.

JZ says: This is an interesting matchup. They start with some mat wrestling, with both guys going after the arm in the opening moments. Whitmer powers him into the corner and they break. Whitmer knocks Marufuji to the floor and hits a dive on him. He tosses Marufuji back in and goes for a cover but can’t get three. Marufuji fights back with a dropkick to the head. They struggle near the ropes and Marufuji hits a jumping DDT right on the edge of the apron. Back in the ring Marufuji goes for the arm and Whitmer goes right to the ropes. Whitmer recovers and hits a combination of moves but can’t get the pin. Marufuji recovers and hits a big lariat for two. Whitmer fights back with a brainbuster for two. Marufuji comes back with the corner to corner dropkick for two. Whitmer gets back to his feet and Marufuji hits a Superkick and tries the Shiranui but Whitmer blocks it with an exploder attempt. Marufuji lands on his feet, hits another Superkick, and the Shiranui to get the pin at 10:58. That was fun enough but never felt like much more than an exhibition.
Rating: ***

Rebecca Bayless is in the crowd to annoy me. She’s trying to sell upcoming live shows to the audience, so at least that’s some kind of purpose.

MATCH #4: Brent Albright vs. Pelle Primeau

BG says: Primeau hits a dropkick to start but Albright doesn’t go down. Albright forearms Primeau down and then beats him in the corner. He throws Primeau across the ring and then hits an ocean cyclone suplex. He hits a head-and-arm suplex and the half nelson suplex but lets Primeau up at 2. All that’s left is to hit a military press slam into the Crowbar for the win. That was a fun squash, and made Albright look good and scary.
Rating: ¾*

ROH advertises ROHWrestling.com by showing a video montage of all the WWE, TNA, Japan and old timer stars that have appeared in the company to that same Wolfmother song.

JZ says: Primeau is the Top of the Class Trophy holder, and this is his pay-per-view debut. I think it’s Albright’s too; I don’t think he ever made it to WWE PPV. Primeau attacks Albright early on and Albright no-sells it and hits a series of forearms. Albright follows that with a big biel out of the corner. Primeau tries to fight back again bu Albright follows it with a few suplexes, including a Half Nelson suplex, from which he pulls Primeau up at two. Albright declares that he wants to break Primeau’s arm, so he presses him over his head and tosses him down into the corner, and Primeau taps out at 1:41. I suppose it’s an effective squash, I just still don’t care for Albright.
Rating: ½*

MATCH #5: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

BG says: Jay and Generico start. They lock up and Jay powers Generico to the corner. He puts on the head scissors but Generico gets to the ropes. Jay puts Generico on the mat and hits crossface forearms. He hits a hiptoss and puts on a headlock. He hits a hurricanrana and puts on a front facelock. Generico comes back with armdrags and tags to Steen. Mark tags in and hits a springboard elbow. Steen hits a back elbow and hits an enziguiri. Mark hits a leg lariat to the back and tags to Jay. Jay hits an avalanche and the Briscoes sandwich Steen’s face with kicks in the corner. Jay hits a leg lariat for 2. Steen throws Jay into Mark and hits Jay with a neckbreaker for 2. Generico tags in and hits a drop toehold. Steen hits the somersault legdrop, getting 2 for Generico. Generico hits a bodyslam for 2. Steen tags in and chokes Jay in the ropes. Generico tags in and hits a leg lariat for 2. Jay hits a chinbreaker and a neckbreaker. Mark tags in and hits a Manhattan drop. Jay hits a big boot, getting 2 for Mark. Mark hits a vertical suplex for 2. He hits an elbowdrop, a fistdrop and a kneedrop for 2. Jay tags in and hits a legdrop off the second rope for 2. He puts on the Stretch Plum and then stomps on the back of Generico’s head. Mark tags in and hits a kneedrop off the second rope for 2. He hits a Samoan drop for 2. He tags to Jay who knocks Steen off the apron. Generico dodges the double shoulder tackle and dumps Jay to the floor. Steen dives out onto Jay so Mark dives onto Steen. Jay this a Cactus clothesline on Generico and Mark hits Steen with a moonsault off the barricade. The Briscoes hit the double toss on Generico on the floor, throwing him into rows and rows of chairs. Steen powerbombs Mark into the crowd before dragging Generico into the ring so he can tag in legally. He hits a sit-out powerbomb on Jay for 2. Mark stops Steen from hitting the package piledriver but Generico tosses him to the floor and dives out onto him. Generico hits the Yakuza kick on Jay and throws him to Steen who hits a fisherman neckbreaker. Steen hits a Swanton Bomb on Jay for 2. Generico tags in and they go for their finisher combo but Mark breaks it up with the yelping kick on Steen. Generico hits Mark with the swinging DDT but Mark blocks the Yakuza kick and dives onto Steen, who was conveniently on a table on the floor, with a double stomp. Jay hits the military press DVD on Generico for 2 and the Briscoes follow that with the Spike Jay Driller for the win. This made the first match between the Briscoes and the Canadians look like a sissy fight. This was incredibly intense and would have been a perfect way to end the feud… however Steen isn’t satisfied and takes the Briscoes out with a ladder after the match.
Rating: ****

Sweet N’ Sour Inc. is in a work out facility with new member Matt Sydal. Sweeney is ready to market Sydal for big dollars. He says he has Castagnoli exactly where he wants him because he’s never going to get his hands on any members of Sweet N’ Sour Inc. until the money is right and the conditions are to his liking. Sydal starts working out as Toland berates Dempsey while working out his abs. He baits Dempsey with chocolate cookies but then shares them with everyone except the fat man.

JZ says: The Briscoes have been the champions since 3.30.07, and this is their seventh defense. Jay and Generico start it off, with Jay being the aggressor and Generico flailing his limbs around. It doesn’t take long for Jay to start unloading with some bigger maneuvers and keeping Generico down. Generico comes back and pushes Jay into his corner and tags out to Steen, who lands a few chops on Jay before falling victim to some Briscoes’ double-teaming. Steen gets a few moves in but Jay is able to take control. That doesn’t last too long, as the challengers take over with some various dirty tactics. Jay comes back with a neckbreaker and tags out to Mark, and now the champions work together on the Generic Luchadore. The action gets out of control with the battle spilling to the floor and bodies flying this way and that. Back in the ring Steen hits a sit-out powerbomb on Jay for a near fall. I’m not sure if they were the legal men, but I can’t remember. The challengers hit a combo of moves on Jay but can’t keep him down. This one has gotten too fast for me to call. The champs finally are able to hit the Spike Jay Driller on Generico to get the pin at 16:08. That was just nutty action for the last half, and this was one of those matches where the challengers looked good in losing.
Rating: ***¾

After the match Steen attacks the Briscoes with a ladder, just to be a dick. He then slaps Generico around, just to continue to be the best heel on the roster.

Backstage, Larry Sweeney, Chris Hero, and Matt Sydal are gloating about the great night that they had. He says Claudio won’t be able to get their hands on any of them until the money is right. They’re in a workout facility, and Tank Toland is trying to get “Sally” Dempsey to perform exercises. They try bribing him with cookies, but they just eat them themselves. This group is great.

MATCH #6: ROH World Title Match – Takeshi Morishima vs. Jimmy Rave

BG says: Morishima attacks Rave before the bell. He pounds Rave down in the corner and shoves the referee away. He tosses Rave to the floor where Rave whips him into the barricade. Back in the ring Rave stomps on Morishima’s face and hits the spear. He climbs the ropes but Morishima catches him with an overhead suplex on his way down. Morishima climbs the ropes and hits a dropkick. He hits the handspring avalanche for 2. He hits a lariat but Rave avoids having his chest sat on. Rave hits the running knee for 2. He goes for the Pedigree but Morishima counters to a backdrop. Rave puts on the heel hook but Morishima gets to the ropes. Morishima hits a sidewalk slam and a lariat for 2. He hits the backdrop driver for the win to end this squishy squash.
Rating: *½

The production crew was anticipating that the World Title match was going to go longer so there’s air time left to show the number one contender match between Nigel McGuinness and Bryan Danielson from Philadelphia. But before that Adam Pearce has some words of wisdom for Shane Hagadorn. Hagadorn responds with words of respect. Pearce looks into the camera and talks about the different things that ROH wrestlers need. Things like championships, exposure and wins. He says that BJ Whitmer needed the acceptance of the fans, so he destroyed his body for them. Because of that need his spirit is broken and he’s on a losing streak. He says that soon everyone will understand how Pearce satisfies his own needs, and then walks over to Whitmer. He gives Whitmer a little pep talk and a hug before punching him in the face. Brent Albright walks by and points at Whitmer before leaving with Pearce.

JZ says: Morishima has been champion since 2.17.07, and this is his tenth defense. He attacks Rave right away and pummels him in the corner. They go to the floor early on and Rave actually gets a few strikes in. He hits a spear and heads to the top rope and tries a flying something only to get caught and nailed with a belly-to-belly suplex. It’s all Morishima for a minute until he tries a butt splash and misses, allowing Rave to hit the running knee for two. He goes for the Pedigree and Morishima back body drops him and runs toward Rave and gets caught in the Heel Hook. The champion reaches the ropes. Rave comes charging in and Morishima hits a Boss Man Slam and a big lariat for two. A Back Drop Driver follows and that is all at 3:56. That was a fun little sprint, and pretty much Rave’s last hurrah in the company.
Rating: **¼

Prazak and Leonard are shocked at how short that match was, so to fill the pay-per-view time we’re going to check out the #1 Contender’s match from June 9 in Philadelphia, Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness. That’s all well and good, but they announced well ahead of time that the match would be on pay-per-view.

In the arena, Shane Hagadorn is sucking up to Adam Pearce, who wants to talk about how everyone in ROH has needs. He focuses on BJ Whitmer, and how he’s given so much to the ROH fans, and for nothing. He talks about satisfying his own needs as well, and then walks over to Whitmer and hugs him. That’s kinda gay dude. But then he makes up for it by punching Whitmer in the face. Brent Albright points and laughs at Whitmer as he and Pearce walk away.

MATCH #7: #1 Contender’s Match – Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness

BG says: This match took place two shows back at Domination but was saved for the Pay Per View and replaced with an FIP match between Danielson and Jay Lethal. McGuinness goes for a takedown to start but Danielson blocks it. Danielson puts on a wristlock and counters the head scissors to a toehold. He turns that into the bow and arrow but McGuinness flips over for 2. Danielson gets a takedown but McGuinness blocks his punches. McGuinness puts on the kimura but Danielson rolls into the ropes. Danielson slaps McGuinness across the face and kicks his back. He hits a kneedrop and kicks McGuinness’s chest. McGuinness fires up and hits the handstand kick. He hits a hammerlock takedown and puts on an armbar. Danielson comes back with a stranglehold but McGuinness escapes and hits a short-arm lariat. Danielson bails so McGuinness follows him out and hits a running European uppercut. Danielson strikes him back and throws a chair and a table at him. McGuinness hits the floor version of the Jawbreaker Lariat and then gets back into the ring to dive off the top rope onto Danielson. Danielson comes back with a forearm and then hits a vertical suplex onto the barricade. He suplexes McGuinness back onto the floor and rolls him into the ring. He drives his knee into McGuinness’s back repeatedly and then puts on a crossface. He tries to crush McGuinness’s nose and kicks his back. McGuinness fires up through Danielson’s slaps and hits another short-arm lariat. He hits a running European uppercut and a superkick. He hits a third short-arm lariat for 2. He hits the corner combo and tries to set Danielson up top for the Tower of London but his back is too messed up. Danielson hits a back heel kick and a buzzsaw kick for 2. He hits a European uppercut and climbs the ropes. McGuinness crotches him and goes for the Tower of London but Danielson attacks his neck to block. Danielson goes for a hurricanrana but McGuinness counters a powerbomb for 2. He puts on a half crab but Danielson gets to the ropes. Danielson blocks the handstand kick with a dropkick and kicks McGuinness’s back. He hits a back superplex for 2. He puts on the crossface chicken wing but McGuinness gets to the corner. He uses both of Danielson’s arms to hit a reverse suplex into the Tower of London. That was genius. He sets Danielson on the top rope and hits the second rope lariat for 2 when Danielson gets the one limb that McGuinness didn’t tie up on the bottom rope. Danielson hits an enziguiri and they trade headbutts. McGuinness hits his fourth short-arm lariat and Danielson pours blood from his forehead. Danielson hits a roaring forearm and blocks the Jawbreaker lariat with a forearm. He hits a tiger suplex for 2. He goes for the Cow Killer but McGuinness flips over for 2. Danielson lays in the unprotected elbows and locks in the Cow Killer for the win. There was nothing traditional about this match, which I loved. The feeling out process was unique and everything after that was epic. McGuinness’s selling was great, and the fact that he was only able to hit the moves that would use his back was by countering moves from Danielson was brilliance. For the first fifteen minutes this was on par with their amazing match from Unified and then in the final ten McGuinness brought it to an entirely different level.
Rating: ****¾

JZ says: They shake hands and immediately start mat wrestling, and the crowd is just going ballistic already. They battle to a few stalemates early on, with neither guy gaining a clear cut advantage. They continue to go back and forth and I’m having trouble saying much because I’m very engrossed. Nigel starts working on the arm and the shoulder. They fight on the outside of the ring with Nigel remaining in control. Danielson fights back with some brawling tactics, including tipping the timekeeper’s table over on Nigel’s head. Nigel comes back with a rebound lariat sending Danielson over the guardrail into the crowd. He goes up top and hits a huge dive over the rails. Danielson fights back with a nasty looking suplex on the guardrail. He suplexes him back in as well. Back in the ring Danielson continues to work on the back, driving a series of knees to the back. Nigel powers up and takes a series of strikes to the face before fighting back with a big lariat but can’t make a cover. Nigel fights back with a Superkick and another lariat for two. Danielson fights back and Nigel tries the Tower of London but Danielson avoids it and they have an awesome sequence of reversals that ends with Nigel hitting a powerbomb for two. Nigel follows that up with a half Boston Crab. Nigel tries the headstand but Danielson hits a dropkick and a super back suplex for a near fall. He tries the Chicken Wing but Nigel escapes. Nigel tries the Tower of London and both men are down. They exchange a brutal series of headbutts and Danielson is busted open. Danielson delivers the elbows to the face and locks on Cattle Mutilation and that match is over at 24:31. I tried for a few minutes to think of a reason not to give this match five stars, and nothing comes to mind.
Rating: *****

DISC TWO – Bonus Matches

MATCH #8: Lacey & Rain vs. Daizee Haze & MsChif

BG says: Rain and MsChif start. MsChif controls on the mat. Haze tags in and they hit a double vertical suplex. MsChif throws Haze into a splash on Rain. Lacey tags in only to get her back kicked after Haze hits Rain with a clothesline. Haze puts Lacey in a modified Mutalock but Rain breaks it up. Rain tags in and they hit a double Japanese armdrag and a double STO for 2. Rain puts on the bow and arrow but Haze flips out of it and gets 2. Haze gets a sunset flip for 2. Lacey tags in and hits a drop toehold. Rain hits an elbowdrop and Lacey puts on a reverse bow and arrow. Jimmy Jacobs blows cigarette smoke in Haze’s face. Lacey hits a knee kick and tags to Rain. Rain keeps Haze from tagging out. She and Lacey work over Haze’s neck. Haze gets a jackknife pin for 2. MsChif tags in and cleans house. She hits a back fist on Lacey and then puts both opponents in submission holds. Haze helps out with a camel clutch on Rain. MsChif hits a clothesline and Haze hits an elbowdrop. MsChif hits a standing moonsault for 2. Lacey hits MsChif with the lungblower and then tags in. MsChif rolls her up for 2. Rain hits a cheap shot and Lacey hits a neckbreaker. The Crew hits a double-team Tomikaze for the win. This was sloppy and chaotic. It was nothing compared to the women’s tag match that would occur on the bonus half of the next PPV taping.
Rating: **

JZ says: Jimmy Jacobs accompanies the Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew to the ring. Rain and MsChif start off, and Rain is a little wary around the bizarre MsChif. You see, MsChif screams, which I guess makes her awesome or something. Go Women’s Wrestling! MsChif controls Rain on the mat. Haze gets tagged in and they double team Rain for a two-count. Rain recovers and tags out to Lacey. Haze takes control as Prazak extols her scientific skills. Rain interferes, causing Haze to be distracted and the Crew takes over on her in the corner. Leonard calls Jacobs “smarmy” for smoking a cigarette at ringside, which isn’t really the word he’s looking for there. Jacobs blows smoke in Haze’s face, which shouldn’t really bother her at all, but it’s a cool heel thing to do. Jacobs rules. Haze makes the comeback after several minutes of abuse and tags out to MsChif, who works on both of her opponents. She gets both opponents in one of those contrived double submissions, and Haze joins in. That doesn’t last long as the heels take over once again. MsChif takes a double Un-Prettier and that’s all at 8:40. I won’t fault the effort, but much of it was sloppy or looked over-choreographed.
Rating: **

MATCH #9: Grudge Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Chris Hero

BG says: They lock up and Hero grabs a cravat. He puts on a wristlock but McGuinness counters the hold. Hero escapes and dances around the ring. McGuinness hits a back elbow and a kick to the back. Hero bails and trips McGuinness. He slingshots back into the ring with a stomp. He ducks the handstand kick but McGuinness rolls him up for 2. Hero goes for the handstand but McGuinness calmly knocks him down onto his entourage. He follows Hero out and hits a pair of European uppercuts. Tank Toland shoves Bobby Dempsey into McGuinness, drawing his attention away from Hero who hits a dropkick. Back in the ring Hero gets 2. He hits a kneedrop and a legdrop for 2. He puts on a front facelock but McGuinness escapes with a wristlock takedown. He hits a hammerlock takedown and Hero rolls to the apron. Hero hits a big boot. He puts on a Boston crab and Sweeney adds a little extra pressure. McGuinness gets to the ropes. Hero hits a double legdrop to the back. They trade strikes until McGuinness hits a short-arm lariat. He hits the corner combo and a back bodydrop. He hits a running European uppercut for 2. He hits a lariat for 2. Hero ducks a clothesline and hits a capture suplex. He hits the cravat neckbreaker for 2. McGuinness kicks his back and sets him up top. Hero blocks the Tower of London and comes off the top with a dropkick. He hits a second rope cravat neckbreaker for 2. McGuinness bails so Hero follows him out and punches his gut. McGuinness hits the rebound lariat on the floor. He hits a running European uppercut and follows Hero back into the ring. Hero counters the handstand kick with a dropkick and then comes off the top rope with a double stomp for 2. He puts on the Hangman’s Clutch but McGuinness gets to the ropes. He goes for the Jawbreaker Lariat but the entourage pulls him to the floor. Castagnoli runs out and chases Hero’s boys to the back. McGuinness hits Hero with a short-arm lariat and the Tower of London for the win. This had some high peaks and some very low valleys. The match could have lost five or so minutes but the finish was a lot of fun. They’d go on to top this match in a much more lighthearted Pure Wrestling rules match.
Rating: ***

JZ says: The crowd is super hot for Nigel. They shockingly start off the match with some mat wrestling, while Bobby Dempsey does some jumping jacks outside the ring. Hero does his athletic exhibition which I don’t really understand the point of. Nigel comes back with a big kick to the back and Hero rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Hero takes the advantage. Nigel tries the headstand and Hero doesn’t fall for it. Hero duplicates the headstand, and Nigel pushes him to the floor onto Dempsey and Sweeney. Hero cheats to regain the advantage and goes back to work on Nigel with the stuff he does. Nigel comes back and starts working on the arm. That doesn’t last too long, as Hero comes back with a Boston Crab. Hero taunts Nigel, so he comes back with a lariat and both men are down. Back to their feet Nigel whips Hero to the corner and hits a back body drop. Hero is in the corner again and Nigel hits a series of strikes. Nigel tries another lariat but Hero blocks it and hits a leg cradle suplex. Nigel tries the Tower of London but Hero blocks it. He follows that with a missile dropkick and then a second rope cravat neckbreaker for two. They fight to the floor and Nigel takes a short to the pills before coming back with a rebound lariat. He recovered from that way too quickly. He follows with an Ole European Uppercut. Back in the ring Hero takes control and lands a double stomp off the top rope for two. Hero locks on the Hangman’s Clutch and Nigel reaches the ropes. Nigel tries the jawbreaker lariat but Toland and Dempsey pull him outside the ring. This brings Claudio Castagnoli out and he chases Toland and Sweeney to the back. Hero is chagrined, and that gives Nigel the opportunity to hit a lariat and the Tower of London to get the pin at 18:21. Some of that was fun, but mostly it just felt like they were wrestling in circles and Nigel was not really in the mood to sell.
Rating: **½

MATCH #10: ROH World Title Match – Takeshi Morishima vs. Adam Pearce

BG says: Pearce grabs a headlock to start but Morishima shoves him off. Morishima runs through a chop and tackles Pearce hard. He hits the handspring avalanche and climbs the ropes. He hits a missile dropkick for 2. Pearce hits a leg lariat and goes for a vertical suplex. Morishima is too big so Pearce goes to the eyes and dumps him to the floor. He doesn’t do much out there but gets 2 back in the ring. He hits the vertical suplex and climbs the ropes. He hits a legdrop off the top for 2. He goes for the big splash but Morishima moves and then hits the butt lariat. He sits on Pearce’s chest for 2. Pearce goes to the eyes again and puts on the Repo Man mask. Morishima hits a lariat and the backdrop driver for the win. This was pretty bad, even compared to the squash from earlier in the evening. After the match Shane Hagadorn attacks Morishima and gets wiped out with a butt butt and the backdrop driver. Morishima pins him for good measure.
Rating: ½*

JZ says: Morishima has been champion since 2.17.07, and this is his eleventh defense (second of the night). I have no idea what Pearce did to earn a title shot. The crowd chants “Repo Man” at Pearce, who does bear a resemblance to Barry Darsow. Pearce gets on the microphone and insults the crowd. He says at the last Chicago show he chased Colt Cabana out of Chicago forever. He then proceeds to renounce Chicago as his hometown. He makes an open challenge, which the ROH World Champion is happy to answer. I guess less than four minutes with Jimmy Rave didn’t satisfy him. The crowd chanting “you fucked up” at Pearce for that is pretty funny. Pearce tries to outmuscle Morishima early on, which expectedly does not go well for him. He gets a brief spat of offense and tosses Morishima to the floor. Back in the ring he hits a guillotine legdrop for two. He goes up for a splash but Morishima moves. The champ uses his ample posterior to take control. Pearce recovers and channels Repo Man, which I thought pissed him off, and it doesn’t take long for Morishima to hit the Back Drop Driver at get the pin at 5:25. That was long and not as much fun as the match with Rave. Hagadorn tries to attack the champ so he takes a Back Drop Driver and the referee counts three, which doesn’t actually count as a World Title defense.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #11: Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA

BG says: They knuckle up and Danielson gets a takedown. They fight on the mat and Danielson grabs a hammerlock. He twists KENTA’s hand into an unnatural position and pins him for 2. KENTA slaps Danielson across the face so Danielson goes back to the arm. He slaps KENTA across the face and they trade strikes. KENTA hits a dropkick and Danielson bails. Back in the ring KENTA hits a back elbow for 2. He kicks Danielson’s back and puts on the Mark Nulty Special. Danielson counters to a toehold and then goes for a sunset flip but KENTA blocks it with another slap. KENTA hits the afterthought kick and puts on a chinlock. Danielson hits a dragon screw and then stomps on KENTA’s ankle. He kicks KENTA’s back and puts on a dragon sleeper. KENTA gets to the ropes so Danielson puts on a cross armbreaker. KENTA gets to the ropes so Danielson stomps on his elbow. He hits an armbreaker and stretches out KENTA’s arm. He hits a European uppercut and puts on the Mexican surfboard. He leans back and pins KENTA for 2. They trade kicks and KENTA hits the Ace Crusher. KENTA hits a flying kick and the springboard dropkick for 2. He hits a leg lariat for 2. Danielson hits a German suplex for 2. He goes for the crossface chicken wing but KENTA blocks it. Danielson hits a backbreaker and catches KENTA coming off the ropes with a dropkick. KENTA bails so and blocks a suicide dive with a kick to the face. They fight on the apron where Danielson hits an overhead suplex to the floor. Back in the ring Danielson gets 2. He puts on the crossface chicken wing but KENTA gets to the ropes. Danielson unloads forearms for 2. He puts on the Cow Killer but KENTA gets to the ropes. They trade pin attempts and Danielson hits an overhead suplex. KENTA hits a side suplex but Danielson comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex. KENTA hits another side suplex and they tiredly trade slaps. The exchange wakes them up and KENTA hits the Busaiku knee kick. He gets a crucifix pin for 2 and puts on the Cow Killer. He turns the hold into a tiger suplex for 2. He hangs Danielson on the top rope and climbs the ropes. Danielson cuts him off but KENTA stays in control with a running turnbuckle powerbomb. He hits a running knee for 2. He hits another Busaiku knee for 2. Danielson counters a third knee to a roll up for 2. KENTA grabs a sleeper hold but Danielson counters it to a spot on Go2Sleep. KENTA no-sells it and puts Danielson in the Cow Killer. Danielson quickly escapes and lays in the elbows. KENTA powers up and goes for the Go2Sleep but Danielson blocks it and hits a tiger suplex for 2. He goes for the Cow Killer but KENTA escapes. Danielson goes for the elbows again but KENTA powers up and hits the Go2Sleep for the win at 25:33. This didn’t really have the drama that their first match, probably because nothing was on the line, but it was more dramatic than their match from NOAH, probably because of the livelier crowd. There were points when KENTA seemed off his game but the match as a whole was a very entertaining and a great main event for the live crowd.
Rating: ****¼

JZ says: They start off wrestling on the mat and neither man gets an advantage. They wrestle to another stalemate, as both guys are being very cautious. Danielson starts going after the arm and KENTA breaks it up with kicks and starts going after the arm himself. Danielson counters with a slap to the face. KENTA comes back and takes the first sustained advantage. Danielson comes back and now works on the legs and lower back. KENTA soon recovers and goes back to work. KENTA goes for kicks so Danielson counters with a dragon screw leg whip and goes back to the legs. Both men go back and forth and Danielson switches to working over the arm. Danielson controls KENTA for several minutes before KENTA can make a comeback, which he does with a series of leg attacks. They continue to trade control of the matchup. Danielson hits a nasty looking belly to belly suplex off the apron to the floor and KENTA looks dead. Danielson locks on the Cross Face Chicken Wing back in the ring, and KENTA reaches the ropes. Danielson tries Cattle Mutilation and gets the same result. They trade suplexes with neither guy selling the other guy. They get back to their feet and trade slaps. They trade a few more moves and KENTA puts the Cattle Mutilation on Danielson and then turns it into a Tiger Suplex for two. Back to their feet KENTA tries a running powerbomb but it looks like he slipped but it’s still cool looking. A big knee to the chest gets two. KENTA tries the Samoa Joe choke but Danielson won’t pass out. Danielson hits a nasty Go 2 Sleep on KENTA, who shrugs it off and puts Cattle Mutilation on Danielson, who slips out and delivers elbows to the side of KENTA’s head. KENTA fights out of it and they have an awesome series of reversals that leads to KENTA hitting the Go 2 Sleep to finally get the pin at 25:32. That was not quite as good as their last match, but the crowd was hot and the action was good for the most part and great down the stretch. There may have been a little too much no-selling (particularly KENTA with his own finisher), but hey, nobody’s perfect.
Rating: ****

MVP

BG says: The number one contender match was McGuinness’s show, but Danielson was involved in two fantastic matches on this DVD so he gets the nod.

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 DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR V NIGHT ONE!

The 411BG says: The Pay Per View portion of the show has two matches at **** and one match just shy of *****. Beyond that it had a couple entertaining squashes and a very solid Whitmer/Marufuji match. Everyone has already gone out of their way to say how great the PPV is, so the only thing left to do is let everyone know that Danielson vs. KENTA is a worthy (although not equal) successor to their Glory by Honor match and that the rest of the bonus section is mildly entertaining as well. You need this DVD.

JZ says: The pay-per-view section, or first disc, of this set is absolutely amazing and be would worth purchasing on it’s own, even with the two hour running time. Of the seven matches, five of them were three stars or higher, and the two that weren’t both lasted less than four minutes. This is one of the best pay-per-views of the year by any company. The good part is that the bonus disc has an awesome match between KENTA and Danielson, and a World Title defense. This is one of the easiest recommendations I’ve ever made – get this DVD now.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  9.5   [  Amazing ]  legend

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