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ROH – Fifth Year Festival: Finale DVD Review

July 3, 2007 | Posted by Garoon & Ziegler
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ROH – Fifth Year Festival: Finale DVD Review  



BG says: The Video Wires for this weekend’s shows are just clips from last weekend’s shows. Included are clips of the Briscoe Brothers winning the tag titles, clips of Morishima’s matches against BJ Whitmer, Homicide & Samoa Joe and the ovation Joe got in Chicago. ROH has been advertising these video wires as ten minute TV shows, but this was just a six-minute recap of the weekend. Even WWE’s most useless shows have more content than that.

This show picks up where the last one left off, with Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer brawling in the dark. They’re only back in the light for a second before Whitmer shoves the camera away.

The Briscoes are in the basement upset that they lost the GHC Jr. Heavyweight titles and the ROH tag titles, both on their first defenses already this year. They’re getting soft and it’s time to man up. They shove each other around to get psyched up for their match against each other tonight.

JZ says: Apparently BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs have been fighting sine the end of the last show all the way up until now. That requires a bit too much of a leap in believability.

The Briscoe Brothers are very upset with themselves. They decide that they’re getting soft since they’ve lost both the GHC and ROH Tag Team Titles, so they will man each other up tonight.

MATCH #1: Delirious vs. Colt Cabana

BG says: Cabana’s entrance is baby-centric, which I don’t really understand. A little research shows me that he’s impersonating a fat, British wrestler named Big Daddy whose character was based on the Harvey Pollitt character from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He freaks out at the opening bell, angering Delirious. Finally the match gets started as Cabana overpowers Delirious. He sends Delirious to the floor with a belly bump. Back in the ring he puts on a wristlock and blinds Delirious. Delirious rolls up the referee and Cabana counts two. This happens a couple of times. Delirious realizes it’s the referee when he feels how fat he is. The referee is offended at Delirious’s name calling and shoves him over a kneeling Cabana for 2. The referee gets involved in a couple more spots before Delirious takes Cabana down with clotheslines for 2. Cabana goes after the mask. It draws boos from the crowd so he stops and apologizes. He hits a swinging suplex for 2. He hits the Flying Asshole but Delirious comes back with a roll up for 2. He gets a backslide for 2. He gets a crucifix pin for the win. A third of the match was stalling, half was comedy and the remaining sixth was all the wrestling we got. That’s right, I can figure out fractions. Enjoyable stuff, as its nice to see Cabana move on to something new after the Jacobs feud and put over the next big comedy wrestler in ROH.
Rating: *¾

Roderick Strong reminds Davey Richards that he made the FIP Heavyweight Championship a world title. Tonight he’s going for double gold against Shingo and Naruki Doi, and Richards is looking for his first taste of gold in ROH. Their promo is cut short as Jacobs and Whitmer brawl through the room.

JZ says: I don’t really understand Cabana’s entrance at all. Maybe because it’s 3:04 in the morning and I’m drunk, but point remains. Cabana then steals Delirious’s gimmick when the bell rings. Prazak and Leonard explain that Cabana’s entrance was paying tribute to Big Daddy, but I have no idea who that is, so my first sentence still stands. They stall during the opening with some comedy stuff. They switch it up to some mat wrestling but are still trying to be funny. Delirious gets blinded and thinks Todd Sinclair is Colt Cabana and he rolls him up for some near falls as Cabana counts for him. Sinclair narrowly avoids being pinned by the confused masked man. That’s pretty funny. They do some more stuff for a while and Delirious gets a rollup out of nowhere to get the surprise pin at 11:43. Some people may enjoy that more than I did, but aside from a cute spot or two I didn’t think it was that funny and almost literally nothing happened. Who is this Big Daddy character?
Rating: **

Roderick Strong and Davey Richards are backstage to talk about their surprise World Tag Team Title shot against Naruki Doi & Shingo, who won the titles from Jay & Mark Briscoe just last night. Whitmer and Jacobs interrupt by fighting through the backstage area.

MATCH #2: Jetta & Eden Black vs. Sara Del Ray & Allison Danger

BG says: Jetta & Del Ray start. Del Ray grabs a wristlock and slaps Jetta. Black and Danger tag in. Danger goes for a monkey flip but Black counters to a jackknife pin for 2. Black hits a knee to the gut and tags to Jetta. The Brits sandwich Danger with kicks for 2. Jetta hits a northern lights suplex for 2. Danger hits a hard forearm and rolls Jetta up for 2. Jetta goes to they eyes and tags to Black. Black hits a legdrop and a dropkick. She puts on the triangle choke but Del Ray breaks it up. A rolling cradle ends with no pin attempt. Del Ray and Jetta tag in. Del Ray boots Jetta down and hits a northern lights suplex for 2. A crucifix bomb gets 2. Danger hits a facebuster and a running knee on Black. Jetta dumps Danger and rolls Del Ray up for 2. Del Ray comes back with the Royal Butterfly for the win. Sloppy match, as SHIMMER tag matches in ROH have tended to be.
Rating: *½

JZ says: The British ladies get pretty solid boos, and this is their home country so they must be big heels. Del Ray and Jetta start and do some mat wrestling, with Del Ray taking the very early advantage. Del Ray brings the aggression and Black is tagged in. Danger tags in too and Eden has some pretty odd gear. They do some stuff and I’m not really interested. But then again it’s 3:28 in the morning and I’m drunker than I was before. Del Ray uses the butterfly lock into a slam to get the pin at 6:28. That’s nice for the women that they got to showcase themselves on such a big stage, but it didn’t really do anything for me.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #3: Falls Count Anywhere Match – Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer

BG says: As the women congratulate one another Jacobs and Whitmer brawl through the crowd. Bobby Cruise announces that their Falls Count Anywhere match will start now.

Jacobs goes to the eyes to gain the advantage. He rams Whitmer into the steps and drags him up to the balcony. Whitmer shoves Whitmer onto the bar and slides him across it. Jacobs comes back with a fire extinguisher shot but Whitmer chops him down the stairs. He tries to powerbomb Jacobs off the balcony but Jacobs blocks. Whitmer gets him over the edge but Jacobs manages to scramble back to safety. That was nuts. Whitmer knocks Jacobs down more stairs but Jacobs comes back with a hurricanrana off a stool onto the floor for 2. Jacobs goes back to the top of the balcony and dives off of it onto Whitmer for 2. Jesus Christ. Jacobs runs down a row of chairs to hit a flying elbow for 2. Jacobs lays Whitmer on the apron and hits a dropkick to the head. Back in the ring he hits a second rope elbowdrop for 2. He pulls the spike from his boot and jabs Whitmer with it. Needless to say Whitmer is busted open. Jacobs jabs him again and wipes Whitmer’s blood on himself. He jabs Whitmer a third time and then goes for mounted spike jabs. Whitmer counters by putting Jacobs on his shoulders but Jacobs hits another spike jab and hits a reverse hurricanrana. He goes for the Contra Code but Whitmer counters to the Adrenaline Spike for 2. They trade chops in an exchange that forces Jacobs to the floor. They fight up to the ramp where Jacobs swings from the entrance to hit a dropkick. Whitmer blocks the spear with a dropkick and hits a brainbuster on the ramp for the win. These guys are crazy. The match was short and violent and a great precursor to the war they’d have in Detroit.
Rating: ***¾

Jimmy Rave recaps the history of his feud with Nigel McGuinness. Apparently Rave hates toilet paper more than anything else in the world. I certainly hope he takes a lot of showers then. He starts shouting like crazy and punches a hole in the wall before leaving. I just want to note that that hole was already in the wall the night before during the Dangerous Angels promo and Rave’s punch was just a cool camera trick.

JZ says: The brawl continues as these two guys bust out from the back and the match just starts now. This one is naturally a big brawl all over the crowd. They fight all over the building and Jacobs uses a fire extinguisher on his nemesis. Whitmer attempts a powerbomb off the balcony but Jacobs blocks. Whitmer then tries to simply toss Jacobs off but to no avail. They get down to the arena floor and Jacobs hits a sweet hurricanrana on Whitmer for a two count. Jacobs then climbs back up the stairs to hit a nice cross body on Whitmer for a two count. I swear that guy is crazy. This has been going on for quite a while and they are just now getting to the ring. Jacobs gets the spike out and nails Whitmer in the head with it and he is busted open. A second shot makes him bleed even more. Jacobs gets Whitmer’s blood all over himself and he is one sick mofo. He encourages Whitmer to bleed on him. Whitmer tries to come back but Jacobs hits him with the spike again and hits a reverse hurricanrana and Whitmer is in really bad shape here. Jacobs tries the Contra Code but Whitmer reverses it to the Owen Driver for two. Both guys get up and trade chops. They battle up the entrance ramp and Whitmer tries a powerbomb. He can’t; hit it and Jacobs uses the entrance way to his advantage, only to get kicked in the face and Whitmer delivers a brainbuster and that gets three at 12:32. That was an intense brawl with some creative spots and a good, solid finish. This has been a really great feud so far and these guys continually find ways to bring out the best in each other, as good opponents do.
Rating: ***½

Jimmy Rave is backstage to talk about how angry he is at Nigel McGuinness for throwing toilet paper at him. They have a Fight without Honor tonight, and Rave says he will leave McGuinness bloodied and crippled. He demands his respect!

MATCH #4: PAC vs. Matt Sydal

BG says: They trade holds to start and Sydal grounds PAC with a front facelock. PAC comes back with fancy armdrags but Sydal responds in kind. PAC hits a leg lariat so Sydal returns the favor. Professor Farnsworth always told me that perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything. Sydal hits a backdrop and his running corner combo. He puts on a seated abdominal stretch and hits the cannonball legdrop for 2. He dropkicks the knee and rolls PAC up for 2. PAC botches a hurricanrana but the crowd doesn’t get on him too badly. Sydal hits a dropkick and the slingshot dropkick for 2. He puts on a bow and arrow and then switches to a chinlock. PAC gets to the ropes. Sydal sets him up top but PAC dodges a hurricanrana and Sydal gets crotched. Sydal hits a chinbreaker but runs into a forearm. PAC kicks Sydal’s chest and hits a dropkick. He dropkicks Sydal to the floor and follows him out with a twisty McFlippy dive. Back in the ring PAC hits another twisty McFlippy for 2. Sydal hits the snapmare driver and the standing moonsault for 2. Someone should definitely use the snapmare driver as their finisher. PAC hits a hurricanrana for 2. He hits a roundhouse kick and a tiger suplex for 2. Sydal catches PAC on the top rope with a hurricanrana and hits the shooting star press for the win. Not the astonishing performance that PAC had against Strong considering the goofs and reliance on flips, but he still impressed. For his part Sydal was as crisp as ever.
Rating: ***¼

JZ says: Sydal is still the Open the Brave Gate Champion for Dragon Gate. Both guys are showing their agility early on with some impressive athletic maneuvers. Sydal is able to take the advantage and acts like a cocky jerk at the same time. Prazak puts over how success has gone to Sydal’s head. PAC gets a few hope spots in but doesn’t quite get the advantage until cleverly avoiding Sydal’s top rope rana attempt. PAC then fires up and unloads on Sydal. Sydal tries to cut him off but PAC invents some new moves to try and keep the advantage. Sydal hits a sick snap mare driver and a standing Moonsault for two. Sydal is finally able to subdue PAC long enough to hit the Shooting Star Press to get the victory at 11:25. They packed a lot into a short amount of time and that was pretty enjoyable. I think PAC should get a serious look stateside in ROH.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #5: Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe

BG says: These two vowed never to wrestle each other again after their reunion match at the One Year Anniversary Show, but when you need to man up there’s nobody better to do it against than your brother. They come to the ring together, Jay wearing black shorts and Mark wearing white shorts. They lock up as the crowd chants for both brothers. They trade holds until Jay slaps Mark across the face. They knuckle up and Mark slaps Jay across the face. Chain wrestling leads to Jay putting on a leglock. Mark gets to the ropes. Mark puts on a headlock and holds on through a back suplex. He kicks Jay’s back but Jay returns fire with a Cactus clothesline. They trade strikes until Jay hits a bodyslam on the floor. Mark rams Jay into the barricade. He hits a moonsault off the barricade and hits a vertical suplex on the ramp. Back in the ring Jay hits a Manhattan drop and a hurricanrana. Mark hits a leg lariat and a kneedrop for 2. He puts on the Mark Nulty Special and hits a kneedrop for 2. He sets Jay up top but Jay chops him down on a springboard Ace Crusher attempt. Mark recovers and hits a slingshot double stomp. He hits a senton for 2. Jay counters a northern lights suplex to a big DDT. He hits a bodyslam and a legdrop for 2. He puts on a strangle hold and stomps the back of Mark’s head. He hits a knee to the gut and a dropkick for 2. Jay hits a clothesline but Mark comes back with an exploder for 2. He goes for another but Jay blocks and hits a stunner. He hits a Yakuza kick for 2. He puts on the Stretch Plum but Mark gets to the ropes. They trade slaps and Mark hits a superkick. Jay dropkicks Mark to the floor to block a springboard maneuver and then follows him out with a big topé. Back in the ring Jay climbs the ropes and hits a frog splash for 2. Mark hits some yelping offense and sets Jay up top. He hits the springboard Ace Crusher for 2. He hits a climbing knee and a yelping dropkick. He hits the yelping splash for 2. He sets Jay up top again but Jay counters to a super facebuster. He hits the Screwdriver for 2. He puts on the Stretch Plum and hits a lariat for 2. Mark hits two exploders for 2. He shoves Sinclair down and then jumps off his back to hit a leg lariat on Jay, sending both Briscoes to the floor. Back in the ring Mark gets 2. Jay hits the Jay Driller but can’t make the cover. They trade strikes and both brothers look exhausted. Mark hits the cutthroat driver but can’t make the cover and both guys get counted down, giving us a draw. The finish makes sense in that neither guy is used to being in a match for as long as they were without having someone to tag to. On the other hand I can think of a bunch of reasons to despise it. Before the finishers neither guy really brutalized his opponent. If Mark was able to get up from the Jay Driller at 8 why couldn’t he answer the count after hitting an offensive move? The bulk of the match was great, but that finish didn’t fit at all and was just a lazy way of getting out of declaring one Briscoe better than the other. The big argument for the finish seems to be that the Briscoes were never going for the win, they were just manning up. That’s all well and good but then why did they go for all those pin attempts throughout the match? Either it’s silly or it’s inconsistent, but either way it rubbed me wrong.
Rating: ***½

Nigel McGuinness came up short against Joe last night but he got the respect of the fans. He pulled his groin and still came back for more (only to get completely jobbed out) so tonight he’s taking this newfound pride and taking out Jimmy Rave once and for all.

JZ says: The Briscoes come out together, which I think is an awesome touch. This should be a million different kinds of great, as Jay and Mark have decided that they re are getting soft and they now need to man each other up. They start off with some mat wrestling but that doesn’t last too long. They exchange slaps and then start chopping each other. They go outside the ring and abuse each other some more. These guys show each other no mercy, hitting all kinds of big moves on each other in the early going. This one is just very fun for me to watch so I’m not going much play-by-play. Both guys are pulling out everything in their arsenals. Mark hits a flurry of offensive moves but can’t pin his older brother. Mark tries a nasty headscissors off the referee’s back to the floor, and that was a crazy bump. Back in the ring they fight some more and Jay hits a Jay Driller and both men are down for nearly a 10-count. We get another 10-count and both guys are able to get up again. Mark is able to hit the Cutthroat Driver and we get another 10-count. This one actually gets to 10 and referee Todd Sinclair calls for the bell at 27:05. I know Brad didn’t like the finish, but I think it’s cool because that has rarely (if ever?) been used to finish a match, so it lends some credence to the referee always making the 10-counts when both guys are down. Aside from that, this was just a kick-ass hard-hitting match featuring two of the best workers in the business today, and I thought it was pretty sweet.
Rating: ****¼

Nigel McGuinness is looking off to the side to cut a promo and that pretty much makes me tune out. I really hope they cut that out real soon.

MATCH #6: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – Naruki Doi & Shingo vs. Roderick Strong & Davey Richards

I started reviewing the show without saving, and when I was half was through the main event my computer shut itself down. Auto recovery didn’t save anything so it’s back to half assery for the next three matches.

BG says: With Dragon Gate champions this match is under Dragon Gate rules, which I believe makes this the first two-on-two scrambled egg match in ROH history. This match wasn’t as good as the tag title match from the night before what with the botched spots and the match taking longer to kick into high gear. Still, they put on a hard-hitting, high flying, spot-tastic match, which is what we were all expecting in the first place. Doi picks up the win with the Doi 555 off the top rope on Richards. Richards is now ten matches into his losing streak.
Rating: ***¾

JZ says: Doi & Shingo have been champions since 3.3.07, and this is their first defense. Richards and Shingo start if off, as Prazak and Leonard ruminate on the implications of all ROH Titles being in the hands of part time ROH wrestlers, who all come from Japan. This match is held under Dragon Gate rules, so no tags are necessary. I wish DOI would be in ROH all the time. The Champions take the early advantage with some tremendous double team maneuvering. The challengers get their chance to go on offense too, and even though they act like pricks some of the Brits still cheer them. Both teams exchange hard hitting offense for periods of time. Doi is finally able to get the pin on Richards with a Super Doi Fives to retain the titles at 19:34. The Dragon Gate duo will now carry the Tag Titles into Detroit at the end of the month. This was a really good tag team title match and I actually kind of thought they were going to hot shot the belts over to Strong & Richards to give the No Remorse Corps a lot of credibility, so the finish was a pleasant surprise too. Richards and Strong work really well as a team and are very much over as heels, which is something ROH has sometimes lacked.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #7: Fight without Honor – Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Rave

BG says: The first sign of greatness in this match was Rave casually kicking a chair into Nigel’s knee as a means of making his way to the heel hook. Much of this match involved a section of the barricade being draped between the rest of the barricade and the apron. Notable spots included Nigel hitting a flapjack on the barricade, catapulting Rave into the barricade, a backdrop on the barricade and the Tower of London on the barricade. The finish sees Rave hit a spear and Nigel come back and break Rave’s jaw with the Rebound Lariat for the win. This match was brutal and helped Nigel redeem himself after his devastating loss the night before.
Rating: ****

JZ says: These two have met many times over the years in ROH. The first time was at ROH Reborn Stage Two back on 4.24.04 when Nigel won a four-way that included Rave, Austin Aries, and Rocky Romero; the next time they were in the ring together they were on the same team at Gut Check on 8.26.06, as the two of them teamed with Sal Rinauro to beat Delirious & Irish Airborne in a six-man tag; the next time was at The Bitter End on 11.04.04, when Nigel & Samoa Joe teamed up to beat Rave & Bryan Danielson; Nigel beat Rave in their first one-on-one match at Dethroned on 11.25.05; Rave beat Nigel in the rematch at The Chicago Spectacular Night One on 12.08.06; the next night they were on opposite sides of an eight-man elimination tag team match; Danielson beat Homicide, Rave, and McGuinness in a four-way match at International Challenge on 12.22.06; Rave beat McGuinness at Final Battle 2006 on 12.23.06; Rave beat McGuinness in an “I Quit” match on 1.27.07 at Battle of the Icons; and that brings us to where we are today. That puts Rave in the lead by a comfortable 3-1 margin, though I’m going to say 3-2 since Nigel made Rave tap out in their first ever meeting in the four-way. Rave eliminated Nigel from the eight-man elimination match, but Nigel’s team eventually won, so that sounds like a push I think. Nigel pinned Rave in the tag team match with Joe and Danielson, and neither of them won the four-way with Danielson and Homicide. Whew, that was exhausting, but I think it shows that both guys have been pretty evenly matched in this feud. And just for fun, the previous Fights without Honor were Low Ki beating Samoa Joe at Glory by Honor on 10.05.02; Trent Acid over Homicide on 6.28.03 at WrestleRave ‘03; John Walters over Xavier at Final Battle 2003 on 12.27.03; Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer beat The Carnage Crew at Final Battle 2004 on 12.26.04; Low Ki over Jay Lethal on 9.17.05 at Glory by Honor V; and Homicide over Steve Corino at The Bitter End on 11.04.04.

Nigel is aggressive in the early going but Rave is trying to avoid him. He slaps Nigel but then takes a big lariat for his troubles. Nigel dominates and the fight spills to the floor in short order. Nigel becomes the first man to introduce a weapon, a steel chair, but Rave is ale to use it to his advantage instead. Rave takes over by going after the leg, which will help him as he goes for the Heel Hook. They fight outside the ring and Nigel regains control and busts Rave open using the steel barricade. They get to the point where both guys are hitting past and current finishers and just generally brutalizing each other. The guardrail comes back into play, and both men feel its wrath. Nigel hits a sick looking Tower of London on a steel chair and Rave actually kicks out. There’s no way that’s ever a viable finisher anymore, as if it hadn’t been devalued enough by this point. Rave locks on the Heel Hook but Nigel blocks it and knocks the referee out. The guardrail comes back one more time and Nigel hits the nastiest looking Tower of London ever right on the steel. That looked so brutal. A few moments later, Nigel hits the grossest looking Rebound Lariat ever (which I think is what broke Rave’s jaw) to get the pin at 21:17. I used the words “grossest” or “nastiest” quite a bit here and there’s something to be said for that. Rave got the crap kicked out of him by NOAH McGuinness and comes out looking pretty tough by killing Nigel’s Tower of London dead for good. This is probably one of Rave’s top 3 or 4 singles matches ever.
Rating: ****


BG says: The final Fifth Year Festival video focuses on the ROH World Championship. Bryan Danielson and Homicide have their reigns highlighted. Low Ki, Xavier, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, CM Punk and James Gibson have theirs glossed over. That’s okay for Ki and Xavier since their reigns were before the belt became a world title, but what gives leaving Joe, Aries, Punk and Gibson out? The video ends with a slew of ROH moments being sucked into a picture of Takeshi Morishima holding the title belt.

JZ says: This is mostly footage of Bryan Danielson, since he was the champion for almost an entire year. He won the title on 9.17.05 and made thirty-eight successful title defenses before dropping the title to Homicide on 12.23.06. The very last image is of Morishima holding the belt. He has been champion since 2.17.07, and he has made two successful defenses thus far.

MATCH #8: Samoa Joe vs. Homicide

BG says: Jimmy Bower announces that Morishima successfully retained the ROH World Championship against KENTA at NOAH’s Navigate for Evolution 2007 show. For the record I gave that match ***. I’ll pick up play by play here where my computer gave out. Homicide catches Joe with a sunset flip for 2 and a swinging DDT for 2. He hits a kneedrop off the second rope and puts on a chinlock. He hits a hurricanrana and they fight to the apron. Homicide hits an Ace Crusher on the apron, but really that puts more damage on him than it does on Joe. Back inside Homicide gets 2. He goes back to the chinlock but Joe comes back with the ugliest rolling cradle ever for 2. He hits a lariat but Homicide comes back with a chinbreaker. Joe hits a powerslam for 2. He hits a knee strike off the second for 2. Joe hits the STJoe for 2. Joe climbs the ropes but J-Train cuts him off and Homicide brings him down with a superplex. He hits a pair of neckbreakers and a piledriver for 2. He climbs the ropes and tries to come down into a hurricanrana but Joe counters to a double powerbomb and puts on the STF. Homicide gets to the ropes. Joe sets him up top but Homicide catches him with a DDT off the second rope for 2. He hits a lariat to the back and the Ace Crusher for 2. He dodges the Muscle Buster but runs into the choke. J-Train distracts Joe by climbing the ropes so Joe releases the hold and slams J-Train down. Homicide hits Joe with the ring bell for 2. Joe gets right back up and hits the Muscle Buster for 2 when J-Train drags the referee to the floor. Joe goes out and gives Smokes the Olé Kick. He goes for a second but Homicide cuts it off with the topé con hilo. Back in the ring Homicide hits the lariat for 2. They fight up top where Joe hits a second rope Muscle Buster for the win. The action in this was more consistent than in their match from January, but this match was considerably sloppier than that one, not to mention unnecessarily overbooked. It didn’t matter who went over here since Homicide was largely on his way out of the company as well, but the whole match was just way too self congratulatory for my tastes, and nobody really benefited from Joe’s departure.
Rating: ***¼

After the match Joe gives his big, final farewell promo in the ring as the roster watches on from the ramp. I still have a problem with guys like Jacobs and Whitmer putting their differences aside to stand near each other and listen to Joe’s speech. He reads off of his wrist tape the pre-written speech he wrote for the occasion. It’s pretty funny stuff. Then he puts over the company and the fans and then says goodbye for good.

The DVD winds down with a video chronicling Joe’s ROH career. He was much slimmer and blonder when he debuted. All of his big moments are in there, including his title win, his matches against Punk and Homicide and hits career-maker against Kobashi. There’s even some footage from other companies in there. Lots of clips of his signature moves are in there. It ends with a clip of his promo from Chicago.

JZ says: These two have wrestled each other a ton of times in ROH, and I really wish Joe’s last opponent would be against somebody of whom the opposite would be true. This will be Samoa Joe’s final match in Ring of Honor. Due to the magnitude of the match, Jimmy Bower joins the booth to put over how much Samoa Joe means to Ring of Honor. He also announces that Morishima retained the title by defeating KENTA at Budokan Hall in Japan, so he will back to defend the title in April. Joe and Homicide do some mat work to start. Joe gets knocked to the outside and he walks all the way back to the bar and grabs a beer. Homicide gets on the microphone and tells Joe to get back to the ring. That was weird. Everyone gets back in the ring and they’re having their usual match. If these guys don’t hate each other at the time their matches lack a certain spark. Go back and watch the ones from 2004 and you’ll see what I mean. Julius Smokes has to interfere for some reason. Why would they pay for this guy to fly over to England? Joe tries the Muscle Buster but Homicide blocks it and hits a DDT off the top. They do some more stuff and Joe hits the Muscle Buster, but Smokes pulls the referee outside the ring. Why are they doing this? Joe throws Smokes into the guardrail and gives him the Ole Kick and Smokes has no idea how to sell anything. Homicide tries a hurricanrana off the top rope but Joe reverses it to a Muscle Buster off the top rope to get the pin at 23:01. That was a fine match in some regards, but the needless Smokes interference, a few awkward spots (Joe going to get a beer?), and the ultimate meaninglessness of Joe going over Homicide one more time leaves this one as just okay. Joe won basically every match on his Farewell Tour, so no one (although some will argue for Nigel) really got put over on his way out. It all seemed very masturbatory, especially when compared to Punk’s final months in the company, which did a lot for a lot of guys and was one of the best storylines in the history of the company.
Rating: ***

Joe makes one last farewell speech, as the entire roster stands in the entranceway to listen. Whitmer and Jacobs fought for like 23 straight hours but they can put aside their hatred for this? Anyway, Joe gives a nice, short goodbye speech thanking the fans and thanking ROH. The fans show their appreciation and so do the wrestlers. Joe kisses the mat. He walks down the aisle but comes back for an encore.

We close with a highlight video of Joe’s entire time in ROH. It’s really well done and includes so many of his great moments. I can’t think of one they missed.


BG says: Nigel McGuinness, for coming back from a bad loss the night before and reminding us why he’s going to be the next face of ROH.

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 ALL STAR EXTRAVAGANZA III!

The 411BG says: Now that the Fifth Year Festival is over I think we can safely say that it didn’t measure up to the Milestone Series. Sure it had more title changes and ended with two good shows in England, but the Milestone Series was great match after great match and introduced NOAH and Dragon Gate as partners with ROH. Joe’s farewell tour also left a lot to be desired, as he went over everyone in singles matches very decisively and didn’t really give the rub to anyone in a big way on his way out. I don’t know what the motivation behind that booking was, but it doesn’t really matter. The show itself is good, as the majority of the matches are over *** and the Fight Without Honor is exceptional. I’d recommend getting this just for the novelty of it having Joe’s last match in ROH and the great performance from Nigel.

JZ says: After the first two matches this show sails right on through with one good match after another. The Fight without Honor and Briscoe vs. Briscoe really stand out, but the Jacobs/Whitmer brawl and Sydal vs. PAC matches were both pretty sweet. The main event I’m not wild about for a variety of reasons, but the post-match speech and highlight video were really good, so alls well that ends well. Now that Joe is gone I think it will actually be good for ROH, as it will give other guys like Roderick Strong, Nigel McGuinness, the Briscoes, and others a chance to really shine. In the end, I don’t think the Fifth Year Festival matches up to the Milestone Series, but there were a lot of major events and some great matches, so it was still a good run of shows.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend

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