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ROH – Manhattan Mayhem II DVD Review

January 6, 2008 | Posted by Garoon & Ziegler
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ROH – Manhattan Mayhem II DVD Review  

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ROH Presents – Manhattan Mayhem II – Manhattan, NY – 8.25.07


BG says: This weekend’s Video Wire starts with a promo from Larry Sweeney. He’s rented out Boston’s best athletic facility for Tank Toland. Toland plans on beating Bobby Dempsey into shape. Next up is hype for the cage match between Roderick Strong and Jack Evans. Evans comes off looking like an afterthought to the No Remorse Corp vs. Resilience feud. Evans must feel the same way because he resents the Resilience for their help. Back at the athletic facility the rest of Sweet N’ Sour Inc. has joined the party. Dempsey accidentally pulls out a bag of chips and a bottle of diet cola with his workout equipment. The fact that he put his name on the chips is enough to get a laugh out of me. As punishment Toland sits in a wheelchair and has Dempsey pull him around the track. That lasts all of three seconds before Dempsey collapses and Toland falls onto him. Next up is hype for the many upcoming matches between the Briscoes and Kevin Steen & El Generico. Sweeney has finally gotten a deal he feels is appropriate for his client Chris Hero to wrestle Claudio Castagnoli. The match is coming up. Meanwhile Hero and Toland shower Dempsey in ice and dunk his head under water. Next up are clips of Takeshi Morishima’s title defenses against Castagnoli and Brent Albright. Both matches were very close so now Morishima has to defend the belt against both of them in a triple threat match. If he gets by them he’ll have to wrestle Bryan Danielson in Danielson’s title rematch.

Adam Pearce and Brent Albright watch on as BJ Whitmer shaves Shane Hagadorn’s head. Pearce antagonizes Delirious, saying it doesn’t matter that he’ll have Nigel McGuinness as a partner tonight because he’ll be brutalized anyway. Whitmer makes his intentions towards Pelle Primeau known as well.

JZ says: Backstage Adam Pearce, BJ Whitmer, and Brent Albright are shaving Shane Hagadorn’s head. Hagadorn has a really creepy weird look on his face. BJ says he wants Pelle. This whole thing had a weird homosexual vibe to it.

MATCH #1: Matt Cross & Erick Stevens vs. Jigsaw & Mike Quackenbush

BG says: Stevens overpowers Quackenbush to start. Quackenbush puts on a headlock but Stevens escapes and shoulder tackles him to the floor. Back in the ring Quackenbush steps on Stevens’s foot and hits a double kneedrop for 2. He puts on the Cristo but Stevens casually walks to his corner and tags to Cross. Jigsaw tags in and trades holds with Cross. Jigsaw goes after Cross’s arm, dropping his knee on it and hitting armdrags. He gets a roll up for 2. Cross hits a legsweep and an elbowdrop. He hits a spinning facebuster. Stevens tags in and hits a back elbow for 2. Cross tags in and they ram Jigsaw into the corner repeatedly. Stevens holds Jigsaw up for a double stomp to the back from Cross. Cross hits a dropkick for 2. Jigsaw gets a small package for 2. Cross hits a clothesline for 2. Stevens tags in and hits a vertical suplex for 2. Cross tags in and dropkicks Jigsaw out of Stevens’s arms for 2. He goes for a split legged moonsault but Jigsaw blocks it with his knees. Quackenbush and Stevens tag into the match. Quackenbush hits a leaping elbow. He tricks Cross into chopping Stevens. The CHIKARA guys attack their opponents in opposite corners. Jigsaw takes Stevens off the second rope with a hurricanrana and Quackenbush follows with a top rope senton bomb for 2. Quackenbush hits Stevens with a backbreaker. Jigsaw tags in and misses a top rope legdrop. Cross tags in and hits a sunset bomb after Stevens saves him from the Jig N’ Tonic with a lariat. Cross and Stevens double-team Jigsaw in the corner. Stevens hits a back suplex and Cross comes off the top with a corkscrew moonsault for 2. Quackenbush tags in and in a contrived fashion hits Stevens and Cross with a DDT and a reverse DDT, respectively. He hits Cross with the BTS for 2. He puts on a cross armbreaker. Stevens hits Quackenbush with a shoulder tackle. Jigsaw hits Stevens with an enziguiri. Stevens counters a superkick to a lariat and hits the Doctor Bomb for the win. The tag team rules mostly got thrown out the window but this was the right kind of match to get the crowd fired up for the show.
Rating: ***¼

JZ says: Stevens and Quackenbush start it off, and Stevens overpowers him to start. Quack counters with his speed and agility and ties up Stevens in an Octopus-like hold, but Strong is able to power his way to the corner and tag Cross, so Quack responds in kind by tagging Jigsaw. They trade holds to start with Jigsaw’s unique style confusing his opponent. Cross comes back by countering a headscissors by dropping Jigsaw on his face and then tags out to Stevens. They double team Jigsaw and cut the ring in half with frequent tags. Cross and Jigsaw both make tags and Quack is able to take Stevens down, so Cross comes in illegally and the Resilience try to double team him. This one breaks down to a brawl and Paul Turner loses track of the legal man. Jigsaw tries the Jig N’ Tonic but Stevens creatively breaks it up. The teams brawl for a few more minutes until Stevens is able to hit the Doctor Bomb on Jigsaw to get the pin at 12:25. That was a fun opener and both teams looked good.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Jimmy Jacobs vs. Mitch Franklin

BG says: The New York crowd is very excited to see Jacobs back in the ring. Franklin gets a headlock takedown to start. He hits an armdrag and Jacobs bails. Back in the ring Franklin hits a dropkick to the leg. He dodges a blind charge and climbs the ropes. Jacobs catches him coming down with a lariat. He goes to the floor and dropkicks Franklin’s head against the post for 2. He puts on a surfboard and slams Franklin to the mat over and over again. Franklin gets a crucifix pin for 2. He hurricanranas Jacobs into the corner for 2. He hits a facebuster for 2. Jacobs hangs him in the Tree of Woe and hits a hip check. He hits a momentum kick and climbs the ropes. He hits a big senton. He puts on the guillotine choke for the win. Franklin got in way too much offense, but I guess it’s a little forgivable since he’s at the top of the class.
Rating: *¾

Jack Evans is excited about the triple threat match amongst all of the remaining founding members of Generation Next. Because Strong and Aries have back up Evans went out and found someone to support him tonight. Julius Smokes makes bird calls off-screen.

JZ says: Franklin earned the opportunity to face Jacobs by winning the Top of the Class Trophy from Pelle Primeau last night. Franklin actually gets a few moves in early on and Jacobs takes a powder. Back in the ring Franklin hits a dropkick to Jacobs’s knee and the crowd boos. I’m booing too, but it’s because Franklin is getting any offense in at all. Franklin tries a move off the top rope but Jacobs catches him coming down. He hits a dropkick into Franklin’s head up against the ring post. Jacobs is in firm control now. Franklin gets a few pinning combinations in. Jacobs finally decides he’s had enough and hits the back senton and then locks on the guillotine choke to get the win at 5:14. That was a fine little match but Franklin got WAY too much offense here.
Rating: *½

Backstage, Jack Evans is hyping the three-way match tonight between himself, Austin Aries, and Roderick Strong. He says we will learn who the best member of the original Generation Next really is. He also says he found someone to join his group that can take him to the next level. Apparently that person thinks he is a bird, and it’s pretty obvious who it is, and that makes me sad.

MATCH #3: BJ Whitmer, Adam Pearce & Brent Albright vs. Nigel McGuinness, Delirious & Pelle Primeau

BG says: Hagadorn reveals the worst haircut ever here. Whitmer should stick to wrestling. Before the match Pearce cuts a promo about Whitmer joining his group. Delirious rushes the ring and attacks. The numbers catch up to him briefly before his partners even the odds. Delirious and Pearce start the match proper. Delirious hit a series of clotheslines. McGuinness tags in and they hit a double back elbow. McGuinness follows Pearce to the floor and rams him into the barricade. He hits a running European uppercut and Primeau comes off the apron with a dropkick. Primeau tags in and hits a DDT for 2. Delirious tags in and hits a series of elbows. Pearce hits a chokeslam and tags to Whitmer. Whitmer hits a vertical suplex for 2. Albright tags in and hits a vertical suplex. Whitmer tags in and goes to the eyes. He puts on a chinlock. He slams Delirious to the mat by his tassels. Albright tags in and puts on a chinlock. Delirious gets a sunset flip for 2. Albright hits an overhead suplex. Pearce tags in and hits a kneedrop. He puts on a nerve hold. McGuinness tags in but the referee doesn’t see it and therefore doesn’t allow it. He does for whatever reason allow Albright to be in the ring despite not seeing him tag in, which is why I think that spot should be retired. Albright hits a vertical suplex. Whitmer tags in and runs into a boot. Delirious hits a head scissors takedown and tags to McGuinness. McGuinness cleans house, hitting a short arm lariat on Whitmer and a backdrop on Albright. He suplexes Pearce onto Whitmer. Hagadorn sneaks into the ring so McGuinness hits him with a lariat too. He hits Whitmer with a running European uppercut. He hits Albright with the corner combo. He hits Whitmer with another lariat for 2. Delirious takes Pearce to the floor. Primeau hits Whitmer with a spear. He double stomps Whitmer into the Tower of London for 2. Albright takes Primeau out with a forearm. He hits McGuinness with the half nelson suplex. Delirious hits Albright with the Panic Attack. Pearce hits Delirious with a rack bomb. Primeau hits Pearce with the Thesz press and a double stomp. Whitmer hits Primeau with the Adrenaline Spike for the win. The opener + strong heels + an extra partner to each team = this match.
Rating: ***½

After the match Whitmer continues to beat on Primeau. Pearce encourages the brutality so Whitmer really lays in the shots. Whitmer hits a powerbomb, revealing that he’s busted Primeau open. Pearce hits Primeau with a powerbomb as well. Albright hits him with the half nelson suplex. That should be enough to put Primeau out of action for a while. McGuinness chases them off with a chair.

ROH President Cary Silkin and NOAH representative Ryo Nakata come to the ring. They shake hands to represent the agreement that KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji and ROH Champion Takeshi Morishims will all appear in ROH for Glory by Honor VI weekend. Oh, and some guy named Mitsuharu Misawa will be debuting.

In a storage room Delirious cuts a promo. I understand the following: BJ Whitmer, Adam Pearce, Brent Albright, staple staple staple, Pelle Primeau to the hospital. That’s more than I can make out of most of his promos.

JZ says: This is an interesting combination of babyfaces to say the least. Delirious doesn’t even wait for his partners to start the match, as it’s a big fight with all six guys in the ring at one time. The fight goes in and out of the ring, with everyone getting a chance to fight everyone. Pelle Primeau looks like he belongs in the ring with these guys, which speaks volumes about how he’s the most talented ROH student ever. Pearce, Albright, and Whitmer isolate on Delirious and go to work on him, keeping him in their half of the ring. Delirious finally makes the tag to McGuinness, who cleans house on all three of his opponents. Hagadorn tries to comically sneak into the ring and he gets clobbered with a lariat too. Primeau gets in on the action as well, adding a double stomp to Whitmer’s back as McGuinness hit him with the Tower of London. Albright breaks that up. The referee has lost control of this movie a long time ago. In all the chaos Whitmer is able to hit Primeau with the adrenaline spike to get the pin at 11:32. That was a fun brawl, but they might as well have called it a scramble or a no-DQ match or what have you, since the legal man was never adhered too and it was all mostly a brawl. Whitmer continues to abuse Primeau after the bell, hitting a huge powerbomb. Pearce follows with one of his own. Primeau is bloody and battered.
Rating: ***¼

ROH President Cary Silkin and NOAH representative Ryo Nakata come to the ring to shake hands, thus sealing the deal that the legendary Mitsuharu Misawa will be appearing in ROH on November second and third. I’ve actually never seen a Misawa match.

Delirious is somewhere in the catacombs of the building to cut a promo about tonight’s events and what he’s going to do to Adam Pearce, Brent Albright, and BJ Whitmer. Those three could use a catchy name.

MATCH #4: Davey Richards vs. Pac

BG says: This match has gained a certain amount of infamy. Richards powers PAC to the ropes to start. They trade holds until Richards starts pummeling PAC with strikes. The crowd has already turned on the match, though nothing bad has happened. They fight on the mat until Richards goes to the ropes. Richards gets a headlock takedown, stating he’s going to keep PAC from flying. PAC hits a dropkick. Richards retreats to the ramp to keep PAC from diving after him. Back we find the crowd has completely written the match off. PAC hits a back bodydrop. He hits a running forearm. He hits a basement dropkick in the corner for 2. He hits a legdrop for 2. He backdrops Richards to the floor and follows him out with a corkscrew bodypress off the top. Back in the ring PAC hits a back flip double stomp for 2. He gets a roll up for 2. Richards slams him into the corner and hits a running forearm. He hits a lariat. He hits a German suplex for 2. He hits a straight jacket suplex for 2. He sets PAC up top but PAC fights him off and hits a Shadow star press. That was about as contrived as it gets. Richards puts on the 14:59 but PAC rolls him over for 2. PAC hits an enziguiri and a reverse hurricanrana for 2. Richards catches him coming off the top rope with a powerbomb but PAC comes right back with a hurricanrana for 2. Way to leave no question that the spot was botched. PAC avoids a German superplex but Richards catches him with a tombstone piledriver. He puts on the 14:59 for the win. PAC’s execution was awkward but this was hardly the travesty it was made out to be. Certainly not the worst match of the year. Not by a long shot.
Rating: **½

JZ says: They wrestle on the mat to start, with Richards taking the first advantage with a series of forearms to the back of the head. Pac wears a mouth guard for some reason. Pac tries to use his agility but Richards is able to counter him. Richards takes a powder and when he gets back in the ring Pac takes control with some unnecessary flips and somersaults. Richards makes a brief comeback but Pac dumps him to the floor and hits a spinning dive from the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring they continue to exchange holds, with Pac continuing to do high flying stuff. If you can’t tell, I’m not really interested in much that either guy is doing. They do some more moves and Richards hits a tombstone piledriver and then locks on the Chimera Lock to get the submission victory at 12:38. This was little more than an exhibition, and Pac didn’t look good at all. And why would someone need to hit a big head drop move before locking on an arm submission? That’s Davey Richards I suppose.
Rating: **

MATCH #5: Three-Way Match – Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries vs. Jack Evans

BG says: Before the match Evans introduces Julius Smokes as his new manager. Smokes dubs Evans group-to-be the Vulture Squad. They show clips from Trios Tournament 2005 when these three wrestlers teamed and got to the finals.

Strong sends Aries to the floor and beats on Evans. Aries comes in with a slingshot senton on Evans. Evans and Aries team up and hit Strong with a double hiptoss. Aries holds Strong for a dropkick from Evans before hitting the Powerdrive elbow. They take turns striking Strong, sending the NRC leader to the floor. Evans hits a cartwheel kick on Aries. Aries comes back with a shinbreaker. He hits the Stroke but Evans blocks a figure 4 leglock. Strong catches Evans with a powerbomb on the floor. He rams Aries into the barricade and sets up a table between the apron and the barricade. He tries to hit Aries with the tiger driver through it but Aries blocks. Back in the ring Aries rolls Strong up for 2. He kicks Strong’s chest for 2. Strong hits a flapjack for 2. Evans hits Strong with a cartwheel kick. He hits both opponents with a springboard dropkick. He hits them both with a standing corkscrew press for 2. Aries comes back with a forearm. He swings Evans into Strong and then hits a DVD onto Strong for 2. He sets Evans up top but Strong catches him with a back suplex. Evans crotches Strong on the top rope and dropkicks him down. Strong bails so Evans goes for a dive but Aries cuts him off with a lariat for 2. Strong hits Aries with a bodyslam for 2. He tries to powerbomb Evans through the table but Aries saves him. Strong hits Aries with the gutbuster. He puts on the Stronghold but Evans breaks it up with a reverse hurricanrana for 2. Aries clotheslines the referee by mistake. Evans kicks Aries to the mat. He climbs the ropes but Aries cuts him off and hits a super brainbuster. Aries climbs the ropes but Strong tosses him off the turnbuckle through the table. Richards runs out and helps Strong beat up Evans. Smokes gets on the microphone and calls out the “chocolate member of the Vulture Squad.” Ruckus rushes the ring and flips around until Strong and Richards are laid out on the floor. Evans follows them out with a springboard 450. The Vulture Squad celebrates as Aries gets back in the ring. J-Train tells his charges to attack Aries so they do. Cross and Stevens make the save. Stevens hits Evans with The Original. Cross follows the brawl to the floor with the Space Flying Tiger Drop. Aries blocks a chair shot from Strong and they brawl. Strong hits a low blow and lays Aries out with the chair. He hits the Sick Kick. Stevens hits Strong with the chair and Aries follows that with the Aries Flurry. Stevens gets the referee and Aries picks up the win. After all that insanity I’m shocked that there was a finish to that match. I have to say I really enjoyed the chaotic debacle I just watched. This had a very ECW vibe to it.
Rating: ***¾

JZ says: Evans gets on the microphone and officially starts his new crew by introducing, of all people, Julius Smokes. I hate his guy and think he takes away much more than he adds to anybody. The crowd disagrees with me though, thus showing why he’s there in the first place. Smokes names the group “The Vulture Squad,” which shows how terrible ROH is at naming groups. Evans and Aries actually work together in the early going to send Strong running to the floor. Evans this a few moves on Evans and Aries counters by imitating Jeff Jarrett. Please stop doing that. They fight outside the ring for a few minutes, and Strong sets up a table between the apron and the barricade. He and Aries fight over who gets to put who through said table. Neither man goes through it yet, so they fight back in the ring. They do some creative spots involving all three men, and eventually they go back to teasing someone going through the table. Referee Paul Turner accidentally gets in the way of an Aries clothesline, and he goes down. Aries delivers a second rope brainbuster to Evans and goes up for the 450. Strong stops that by pushing Aries off the top and Aries finally crashes through the table. Strong motions to the back and Davey Richards comes out to help Strong put the boots to Evans. Smokes gets on the microphone and invites another member of the Vulture Squad, the debuting, Ruckus, down to the ring. He takes out the NRC and Smokes continues to be a distraction on the mic. I guess the referee can’t hear any of this. Is the match still going on? Aries protests Ruckus’s existence in ROH, and ends up taking a beating for it. This brings out the rest of the Resilience, Erick Stevens and Matt Cross. In the middle of all the mayhem Strong brings a chair into the ring but Aries stops him before he can use it. Stevens ends up using it on Strong, giving Aries the chance to hit the Joe-Killer combo to pin Strong at 14:38. All the shenanigans ruined what was a pretty entertaining three-way match; that stuff could have all happened at the end of the match. Also, Evans aligning with Julius Smokes and Ruckus doesn’t do much for me.
Rating: ***


BG says: Rebecca Bayless’s boobs (try to convince me that’s not the only reason she has a job) catch up with Jimmy Jacobs backstage. Jacobs has had a rough five months being away from wrestling, but Lacey got him through it. This weekend was a lot of fun, and soon the fans will find that he has a new purpose in ROH.

The Resilience gets some promo time. Aries says they’ve had enough of getting laid out by the No Remorse Corp. He’s proud of Stevens for hitting Strong with that chair. When he was ROH Champion he played dirty, so he’s going to go back to what worked for him. The NRC and the Vulture Squad are on notice.

JZ says: Rebecca Bayless is backstage talking with Jimmy Jacobs, who made his return to Ring of Honor from a five month absence. He says he got through it with the help of Lacey’s love. He says that Jimmy Jacobs has a new purpose in Ring of Honor, and we will soon find out what that is.

The resilience is hanging out backstage, and they’re preparing for a promo, and Aries annoyingly asks the camera man if he’s ready. I thought they stopped doing that.

MATCH #6: Ruckus vs. Eddie Edwards

BG says: I have to say I’m impressed that Ruckus was able to secure himself a match in ROH after interfering in a sanctioned match just moments ago. Edwards hits a cheap shot to start. Ruckus flips around until he hits a head scissors takedown. He hits another sending Edwards to the floor. He follows Edwards out and hits him with a big boot. He hits a shooting star press off the apron, getting 2 back in the ring. He misses a handspring elbow and Edwards hits a backpack stunner for 2. Edwards hits a clothesline for 2. He hits a delayed vertical suplex for 2. He puts on a chinlock but Ruckus comes back with a kick to the head. They slug it out until Ruckus hits a pair of double stomps. He hits a twisting bodypress for 2. He hits a back rake and a bodyslam. He climbs the ropes but the Gangsta Guillotine is countered to a roll up for 2. Edwards hits a facebuster for 2. Ruckus comes back with a rolling fisherman suplex so nice it made B-Boy look foolish. It gets 2. Ruckus climbs the ropes and hits the Gangsta Splash for the win. Ruckus is a spot monkey, but he hits those spots dead-on. Sadly for the Vulture Squad J-Train is a camera hog.
Rating: **

JZ says: Ruckus does a lot of flips in the early going. The battle soon spills to the floor, where Ruckus lands a Shooting Star Press off the apron onto the floor. Back in the ring Edwards is able to take control with a backpack stunner for two. Edwards continues to control the match, using his size and power advantage. Ruckus counters with a flipping kick to the back of the head. They trade some more stuff, big moves trying to get the crowd to pop, which they do. Ruckus hits a rolling Fisherman’s suplex for two. Ruckus hits a corkscrew press off the top rope to get the pin at 6:09. I see why this match had to be on the show, but neither guy does much for me.
Rating: *½

MATCH #7: Chris Hero vs. Claudio Castagnoli

BG says: Hero stalls to start so Castagnoli goes after him. Hero hits a cheap shot back in the ring. Castagnoli hits a shoulder tackle and Hero bails. Castagnoli drags him back over the top rope and lets him fall to the mat. Hero bails again. Back in the ring he hits a dropkick. Castagnoli comes back with a European uppercut. He hits the Crabwalk elbowdrop for 2. They fight to the floor where Castagnoli rams Hero into Bobby Dempsey. Being fluffy running into Dempsey leaves Hero unharmed, allowing him to hit Castagnoli with a big boot. Del Rey kicks Castagnoli’s chest. Daizee Haze walks out to keep an eye on Sara Del Rey. Back in the ring Hero hits a pair of sentons for 2. He hits a roaring forearm and a boot to the face. He hits a lazy (by design) senton for 2. He throws Castagnoli to the floor and follows him out with a double axe handle. He drops him on the barricade and rolls him back into the ring. The crowd starts chanting for Dempsey. Hero crotches Castagnoli in the corner and hits a big boot. Castagnoli comes back with a dropkick. Hero falls to the floor so Castagnoli follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Hero hits another boot. Castagnoli blocks a double axe handle and hits the giant swing. He hits a European uppercut for 2. Hero hits a neckbreaker. He hits the cravat neckbreaker for 2. Castagnoli hits a diving European uppercut. He hits the Alpamare Waterslide for 2. He hits the Match Killer. Hero blocks the bicycle kick and hits a German suplex. He hits the release vertical suplex for 2. Castagnoli sets Hero up top and brings him down with the head scissors. He hits the bicycle kick for 2. Hero blocks the Ricola Bomb. They trade strikes and fight over a backslide. Neither of them get it. Hero hits a second rope cravat neckbreaker. He climbs the ropes and hits a big double stomp for 2. Castagnoli blocks the Hero’s Welcome and hits a diving European uppercut. He hits the Ricola Bomb for the win. It was great to see the crowd get so involved in this match. However, unlike the triple-threat match the extracurricular activities distracted from this match, as a one-on-one encounter with minimal interference would have been preferred here. This was obviously structured to be the first match of a few. After the match Hero abuses Dempsey to make himself feel better.
Rating: ***¼

Backstage Castagnoli lets it be known that he’s the better from the Kings of Wrestling. He declares that his issue with Hero is over.

JZ says: Hero attacks Claudio early, and as soon as Claudio recovers Hero bails to the floor. Claudio drags Hero back in by his hair and drops him on his face. Claudio throws a few forearms so Hero bails again. Claudio gives chase and gets low dropkicked back outside the ring. Hero does his little display of agility, giving Claudio the time to come back into the ring and throw some forearms at him. The battle spills to the floor and Hero is able to take advantage and boots Claudio over the guardrail into the crowd. Claudio tries to get back into the ring, but Larry Sweeney and Sara Del Ray both interfere, which brings Daizee Haze out to ringside. Back in the ring Hero takes over with his usual offense. Hero controls for a few minutes before Claudio can make a comeback, and he dropkicks Hero to the floor and hits a dive through the ropes, slamming Hero up against the barricade. Back in the ring Hero tries a double ax handle off the ropes but Claudio counters with the Giant Swing. A big European Uppercut follows and only gets two. Hero recovers and hits a Cravat Neckbreaker for two. Hero goes for a big boot but Claudio counters with a springboard European Uppercut and the Alparmare Water Slide for two. They trade more maneuvers but neither man can score a three-count. Claudio tries the Ricola Bomb, but Hero counters and they trade forearms. Claudio is finally able to hit a top rope European Uppercut and the Ricola Bomb gets the pin at 16:00. That was a really fun match with good back and forth action, though I am a bit surprised to see Claudio go over so cleanly this early in the feud.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson

BG says: Danielson goes for leg kicks to start. They lock up and Danielson hits leg kicks in the corner. They knuckle up and Morishima tries to clobber Danielson down. Danielson remains evasive, closing in only for leg kicks and then backing away. The match becomes a contest between those leg kicks and Morishima’s clubbing blows to the back. Danielson’s kicks take over and he’s able to abuse Morishima in the corner for a while. Morishima corners Danielson and slugs him in the face over and over and the crowd hates him for it. He stands on Danielson’s throat and washes his face. He hits a Yakuza kick in the corner and the butt lariat. Danielson tries to hit leg kicks from his back but Morishima just kicks him back and throws him to the floor. He shoves Danielson into the barricade and hits another Yakuza kick. He hits the Olé Butt Splash but gets caught going for it a second time and Danielson throws him over the barricade. Danielson gets back into the ring and dives onto Morishima with a springboard forearm. He puts Morishima’s leg on the barricade and hits it with a chair. Back in the ring he climbs the ropes and comes down with a dropkick. Morishima won’t go down so Danielson goes back to the leg kicks. Morishima casually fires back with a lariat. Danielson counters the backdrop driver to a crossbody for 2. He tries slapping Morishima but gets elbowed down. Morishima goes for a butt butt but Danielson kicks his leg out and then puts on a nasty anklelock. Morishima comes back with a German suplex and the uranage suplex for 2. He climbs the ropes but Danielson swats away his dropkick and puts on a heel hook. Morishima gets to the ropes. He hits a Thesz press but Danielson counters Morishima’s mount to a half crab. Morishima uses his free leg to kick Danielson’s face to escape. Danielson counters the backdrop driver to a small package for 2. He sandwiches Morishima with forearms and rolls him up for 2. Morishima blocks a sunset flip by sitting on Danielson’s chest for 2. Danielson ducks a lariat and hits a German suplex for 2. He lays in the unprotected elbows and then goes back to the trusty old leg kicks. They finally make Morishima crumble so Dragon stomps on his face repeatedly for 2. He puts on the Cow Killer, and when Morishima shows that he’s not out the crowd responds with boos. Danielson sets the champ up top but a back superplex is countered to a scary looking crossbody. Morishima strikes Danielson’s face repeatedly and hits a huge lariat for 2 and the backdrop driver for the win. Danielson’s game plan was good, but not close to good enough. Going after Morishima’s leg made him prone to the Cow Killer by knocking him off his feet, but there were very few moments when it seemed like Danielson had the match won. Morishima’s brutality was far more than Danielson could handle. The match was excellent and the MMA flavor thrown in was quite entertaining. Like in MMA this is the kind of thing that happens when guys from different weight classes fight, and Danielson’s broken face and screwed up eye illustrate that very well.
Rating: ****½

Backstage Larry Sweeney says that the issue between Sweet N’ Sour Inc. and Castagnoli is far from over. He claims he’s got Castagnoli right where he wants him.

JZ says: Morishima has been the champion since 2.17.07, and this is his sixteenth title defense. Danielson starts by kicking at Morishima’s legs, while the champion tries to grab a hold of his challenger. Morishima finally gets a hold of Danielson and unloads on his face. Danielson’s eye is seriously messed up and Morishima continues to abuse him. Danielson tries going after the legs but the champion overpowers him. They go to the floor and Morishima continues pounding on Danielson until the challenger avoids a charge and dumps Morishima over the barricade so that he can go back into the ring and dive on him from the top rope. Everything Danielson does seems to hurt his eye. Back in the ring Danielson tries a missile dropkick but the champion absorbs it and comes back with a big clothesline. Danielson comes back and goes right back to the legs. Morishima withstands the attack and comes back with a uranage slam for two. Morishima tries the missile dropkick and misses, but does hit the Thesz Press. Danielson rolls through that into a half Boston Crab but Morishima kicks him in the face to break up the hold. Danielson gets a series of near falls with some pinning combinations. Danielson then hits a German Suplex for two and follows up with elbows to the face. He follows that with a series of kicks to the face for a two count. He puts on Cattle Mutilation and the crowd is going crazy. The champ refuses to quit and reaches the ropes. They each exchange big strikes but it’s Morishima’s that have the bigger effect. He’s finally able to land the Back Drop Driver to pin Danielson at 20:16. That was a tremendous match that the crowd enhanced by being so into everything. This is easily Morishima’s best match to date.
Rating: ****½

Larry Sweeney is backstage and he’s al fired up about Chris Hero’s loss to Claudio Castagnoli tonight. He says not to underestimate him, basically.

MATCH #9: ROH World Tag Team Title 2/3 Falls Match – The Briscoe Brothers vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

BG says: Everyone brawls to the floor to start. Mark hits Generico with a snap suplex onto an upright chair. He throws the chair at Generico’s head. Generico comes back with an overhead suplex into the barricade. Steen whips Jay into the barricade and follows with a cannonball. Mark hits Generico with a bodyslam. He saves Jay from Steen with a dropkick off the apron. The Briscoes wrap part of the barricade around Steen and kick it. Back in the ring the Briscoes hit Generico with a double uranage. Mark slugs Generico down in the corner. He hits a vertical suplex for 1. He hits a gutwrench suplex and a kneedrop for 2. Jay tags in and hits a dropkick. He hits a legdrop for 2. Mark tags in and hits a back suplex for 2. Jay tags in and hits a backbreaker. Steen hits Jay with a dropkick and a snot rocket. He tags in legally and goes to the eyes. Generico tags in and hits a bodyslam for 2. Steen tags in and hits the somersault legdrop. He hits it again for 2. He wipes Jay’s blood on his own face. Jay comes back with a neckbreaker. Mark tags in and hits a kneedrop and the yelping splash on Steen. Jay hits an elevated legdrop for 2. He tags in legally and runs into a spinebuster. Generico tags in and hits a top rope crossbody for 2. He hits the swinging DDT and Steen hits the fisherman neckbreaker for 2. Jay hits Generico with the press DVD and Mark follows with a moonsault before diving onto Steen on the floor. Jay hits Generico with a top rope splash to win the first fall.

The Briscoes throw Generico onto Steen on the floor. Back in the ring Steen slaps Jay and blows snot on Mark before getting beaten down. The Briscoes hit the double shoulder tackle for 2. Steen and Mark trade strikes until Mark puts Steen down with a big boot. Jay tags in and hits a bodyslam. Mark tags in and hits a double stomp for 2. Generico sends Mark to the floor and Steen dives out after him. Jay knocks Generico off the apron with a big boot. He hits Steen with the DVD on the apron. Generico dives through two sets of ropes to hit Jay with a DDT on the floor. Mark dives over the top rope to hit Generico with a hurricanrana to the floor. I’ve only ever seen Mark do that to Generico. Back in the ring Mark and Steen trade shots until Mark hits a leg lariat for 2. Jay and Generico tag in and throw elbows. Jay hits a facebuster and climbs the ropes. Generico cuts him off and goes for the BRAINBUSTAH. Mark saves Jay by hitting a springboard Ace Crusher and Jay follows with a legdrop for 2. Generico gets a victory roll on Jay for 2. He hits the Yakuza kick for 2. Steen tags in and goes for a Swanton Bomb but it hits Jay’s knees. Mark tags in and drags Steen to the floor. He goes for a hurricanrana but Steen counters to a powerbomb on the apron. Steen powerbombs Jay into the barricade. Back in the ring Generico comes off the top with a big splash. Steen hits the Swanton Bomb for 2. Generico hits the Yakuza kick on Mark and dives onto Jay on the floor. Steen hits Mark with a lariat. He climbs the ropes but misses the moonsault. Mark hits an exploder but Steen pops up. Jay runs in and the Briscoes sandwich Generico with clotheslines. They hit a double superkick and the Doomsday Device for 2. Steen hangs Mark in the Tree of Woe (why is he up?) and Generico hits the corner-to-corner dropkick. Steen hits the package piledriver and rolls Mark to Generico. Jay pulls Generico to the floor to keep him from hitting the brainbuster. He hits Steen with the Jay Driller and Mark hits the Cutthroat Driver (he just took the package piledriver!) for the win. The first wall wasn’t anything special outside of the work on the floor but the second fall was a blast. This was a lot like the street fight between these two teams as they threw everything at each other and sold almost nothing.
Rating: ****

With the feud over the crowd demands the losers shake the champions’ hands. Generico does, pissing off Steen. Generico asks the crowd to encourage Steen to shake the Briscoes’ hands. Steen does it but then hits both of them with low blows. He grabs a ladder from under the ring and makes Generico help him knock them out with it. They pose with the tag titles and walk to the back with them.

JZ says: The Briscoes have been the champions since 3.30.07, and this is their twelfth defense. Generico and Mark start inside the ring while Jay and Steen are outside. Mark and Generico soon follow suit and it’s a big brawl on the floor. Back in the ring the Briscoes double team Generico and the referee has no interest in restoring order, but it just naturally happens. Generico takes a beating for a few minutes before tagging out to Steen, and now the challengers are in control. They beat on Jay for a while, even making him bleed. Jay comes back with a modified blockbuster on Steen and finally makes the tag to Mark. It looks like Steen tags out to Generico but I guess he doesn’t, and Mark unloads on Steen. The Briscoes hit the Sidewinder for a near fall. The challengers recover and hit a few of their big moves on Jay but still can’t get a pin. Jay takes out Steen outside the ring, and Mark hits a springboard splash on Generico to get the pin and go up 1-0 at 11:03. Right after the 30-second rest period the champions continue to assault their nemeses. Generico gets laid out in the aisle way, so Steen takes a double team pounding from Jay and Mark. The challengers use some chicanery to take a momentary advantage, and Jay responds by hitting a Death Valley Driver on Steen on the ring apron. Generico uses the same DDT he used to pin Mark in Philly. Jay hits an amazing rana from the inside of the ring to the outside while Generico was standing on the apron. Everyone’s up pretty quickly from these huge moves. The referee once again has no control and everyone is fighting everyone. Generico tries a super brainbuster but can’t hit it, and instead suffers a springboard Ace Crusher and a guillotine legdrop but is able to kick out. The Briscoes try the springboard Doomsday Device but Steen breaks it up and Generico gets a near fall with a victory roll. A big boot to the face also gets two. Steen tries a Swanton but takes knees to the back. They go back to the floor and Steen hits a powerbomb on each Briscoe. Back in the ring the challengers get a near fall. The moves these guys hit on each other are just sick. The springboard Doomsday Device on Steen only gets a near fall. I think that’s the first time anyone kicked out of that. The challengers try their double team finisher but the Briscoes counter it and Jay hits the Jay Driller and rolls Steen into the Cutthroat Driver from Mark to get the pin at 13:39 of the second fall, and 24:42 total time. They try to get the challengers to shake the champions’ hands, which Steen reluctantly does and then kicks both of them in the balls. He pulls a ladder out from under the ring and hits both Briscoes in the face with it. Generico is reluctant to destroy the Briscoes, but does so at the urging of Steen. He and Generico steal the title belts and bring them to the back with them. There was little to no selling for the entire match but it was stiff as hell and the crowd was into it, and it was the kind of match the feud between these two teams had promised.
Rating: ****


BG says: Danielson gets it, mostly because I feel bad for him. His eye got knocked loose in his match and he still managed to have the match of the night.

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 MOTOR CITY MADNESS 2007!

The 411BG says: The show ends with two matches at **** or higher, so I can recommend it on that alone. But luckily I don’t have to because the Vulture Squad debuts after a fun chaotic mess and the rest of the show is made up of really good matches and squashes. A worthy sequel to the Manhattan Mayhem that came preceded it.

JZ says: This is a terrific show from top to bottom, with good matches all over the undercard and two great ones on top, so the show is structured really well. The World Title match was out of control good and worth going out of your way to see and enough to recommend the show on it alone, and the tag team title match is chaotic and brutal. It may not be as good as the first Manhattan Mayhem, but it’s damn close.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  9.0   [  Amazing ]  legend

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