Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:21 pm

Generation Now - July 29, 2006

Image

The DVD begins with footage of Samoa Joe doing bench press in California, supposedly 225 pounds but it looks like 135 to me. Whatever. I love the idea of building up the match with Bryan Danielson but it does make tonight's main event really seem secondary when it really isn't at all.

Speaking of the main event, Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness reminds us all that Danielson took a cheap countout loss to hold onto the ROH Title at Weekend of Champions Night 2. Of course McGuinness won't mention that he screwed himself using a chair on Danielson, wrongly assuming that the ROH Title could change via Pure Title rules despite nobody stating so beforehand. But he'll be the first double champ tonight to prove he's the top champion and best wrestler in the world.

Delirious vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Every promoter's dream of an opening match. This was fun, tons of it. Coming off of Cage of Death, the crowd loved to heckle Castagnoli and were behind Delirious from start to finish as they should've been. The match had great character work, highlighted by Delirious escaping a headlock, Castagnoli being oblivious to it, and then trying his best to no-sell it once it dawned on him that Delirious outsmarted him.

The match also had a really good story with Castagnoli working on the left knee of Delirious. Delirious would manage to get his hope spots/segments in, but Castagnoli kept going after it with various submission and slams (both on the mat and into the turnbuckles), my personal favorite being a single-crab giant swing. Fucking amazing. Another highlight was Delirious going for the Shadows Over Hell but instead eating a perfecly timed European Uppercut. However, Castagnoli was very cocky in this match, allowing Delirious to make various comebacks. That ultimately got him to be pinned by a rollup. Not a good start to his next ROH chapter after the CZW feud.

Rating: ***1/2

Danielson isn't ashamed of his actions inside the Cage of Death, stating he chose to be a "capitalist" instead of a "socialist." That's actually a very good heel explanation for what he did to Joe and the rest of Team ROH in such a historic moment for the company. He claims he'll earn a Pure Title shot tonight to later on unify the belts and he'll take care of Joe next weekend too.

Jay Briscoe vs. Jimmy Jacobs

Lacey comes out by herself to cut a promo but the viewer can't make out any of the dialogue due to the shitty acoustics. Jacobs interrupts from the balcony and walks down to the ring, providing a live performance of "The Ballad of Lacey" to the crowd's amusement. It's really amazing seeing Jacobs pull off this gimmick; while of course the crowd knows this is good shit, they're also laughing at how pathetic he is towards Lacey using his immature feelings for her and he's totally oblivious to that too.

The match itself is pretty good as I had remembered. Jacobs worked on Jay's neck to set him up for the Shiranui, which Jacobs attempted numerous times throughout the match. Unfortunately, when Jay got the dominant heat later, he didn't really sell the neck, taking the match down a bit from "very good" territory. Highlights in the match include Jay gorilla pressing Jacobs and dropping him with a Death Valley Driver as well as tossing him on the outside. Jacobs was taking unreal bumps on the guardrails, hitting his head/shoulders on the metal sheets, then flipping over and bumping on the same region on the concrete floor.

The finishing sequence was a nice one, with both men finding ways to evade and counter their finishers, the highlighting counter being a jackknife pin attempt by Jacobs. But because ROH booking was practically clicking on all cylinders here, Jacobs took another loss, falling to the double underhook piledriver and further establishing Jay as a bad ass as he and his brother Mark still aimed for the Tag Titles.

Speaking of the Tag Titles, the Briscoes remind everyone they're still coming for them and they don't give a shit about Generation Next's final chapter. What a crazy concept, a tag team hammering it home how important the tag belts are.

Rating: ***1/4

I don't care one iota about the mediocre Mark Briscoe vs. Homicide match, so I'll just mention the Briscoes attacked Homicide to close out the segment. I don't remember or care if it was after the match or not, but it's important to mention for later.

Dragon Gate Rules - Generation Next's Last Stand
Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Jack Evans, & Matt Sydal vs. Irish Airborne, Davey Richards, & Jerrelle Clark


The commentators mention that the referee has Dragon Gate on his resume, so that should help here.

This was just total nonstop action to a fucking tee. Not quite as breathtaking as the MOTYC trios matches from WrestleMania 22 weekend or the show-stealing work of art from Generation Next as this was missing the charismatic layers and overall psychology of those matches, but this was a fitting finale for the greatest faction in company history. It really was just nonstop great shit, and the rules of the match truly benefited the rising stars team.

I can't go through all the moves in this match, but most of them were crisp and on-point. The highlights of the match to me were Evans temporarily getting the ring cut in half on him, plus of course all the dives to the outside at the end, leaving Evans to be the last one to finish that sequence. But he was alone with Richards, who cut off Evans and finished him off with the double underhook DDT to continue his quickly rising momentum just a couple months after debuting.

I know I mentioned the finish, but with great spotfests, I tend not to get too detailed with going through these types of matches segment by segment. This is an excellent, action-packed, must-see match, and even I lost count of who was legal, but because Gabe Sapolsky had the courtesy to make this Dragon Gate Rules, I don't have a problem with it. One can never truly know who the next breakout stars will be, but it's a shame only one of the rising stars went on to develop enough of a reputation to work in the puro big leagues and end up on American cable television.

Post-match, Aries reminds everyone that this isn't a breakup, Generation Next is unnecessary because all four men have won championships and gotten booked in Dragon Gate. They leave their GeNext T-shirts in the ring as a sentimental symbol, but then the Briscoes come soil them and shit on the moment, then take a powder once GeNext gets back in. The Briscoes eat a chair from Homicide, retaliating for what happened earlier in the evening.

Rating: ****

We see Joe doing leg lifts with 135 pounds on each side to show his knee is okay after Cage of Death.

Lacey is continuing to be frustrated with Jacobs, as he's overly focused on his infatuation for her and failing to channel that into victories. Jacobs mentions he's heard rumors about a car rocking with Colt Cabana, but Lacey cuts him off and dodges the issue.

Christian Cage vs. Christopher Daniels

Christian's pre-match get-up pants were just ludicrous back in the day, straight out of Teddy Hart's wardrobe. They have an amusing pre-match with Christian giving a delayed obliging to Daniels requesting a five second pose.

The match itself wasn't awful, in fact structured pretty well, but needed some polishing. Christian needed more time in ROH's smaller ring to adjust to it and there were a couple botches the crowd noticed. Daniels also didn't sell his ribs as best as he could, specifically when he would bridge up and hit signature moves later such as the Angel's Wings and Best Moonsault Ever. Daniels gets the win, making Christian's time in ROH meaning far less booking-wise than Matt Hardy a year earlier, as it was just a TNA guy putting over another TNA guy. As mentioned, Christian was even sloppier here than Hardy, and I have to believe his asking price was too high to get booked again and adjust to ROH. The company probably could've used his star power for depth later on in 2006 though.

Rating: less than ***

ROH Title Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness


Just beautiful mat wrestling in the first 15 minutes here. Danielson worked on the left leg of McGuinness, while the Pure Champ worked on Danielson's left arm. There were just all kinds of awesome counters and evasions in this. Danielson was wonderful in his work on the left leg with so many attacks and submissions, but also going for his signature Cattle Mutilation or Crossface Chickenwing if the opportunity presented itself. Meanwhile, McGuinness was also wonderful working on the left arm, especially working on the Kimura Lock, only making me antsier at the thought of Danielson potentially being put in that hold at a certain event to come at Levi's Stadium.

The match was also perfectly paced, as after the mat wrestling to establish their advantages on one another, they started going for the strikes and big moves such as headbutts, palm strikes on the chest, clotheslines, lariats, elbow strikes, roaring elbows, and Tower of London. Everything was timed perfectly, my favorite counter segment being when McGuinness ducked a clothesline and smacked Danielson with a lariat that would make Bradshaw proud. However, when they mixed in the submissions again, both men targeted the wounded limbs they had worked on earlier to complete this great story they were telling.

It would all be moot though. After being crotched and eating another lariat that would also make Bradshaw proud and certainly had Danielson down for the count, he intelligently rolled out and went underneath the ring. Seconds later, he crawled out from underneath the other side, sucked up whatever pain he had from the crotched lariat, and suckered McGuinness with a small package for the win! Great match that would've been even better if Danielson had sold his left arm a little more (kinda feels like the theme of the night actually), but I can't complain especially if they didn't wanna blow their in-ring load yet.

Post-match, McGuinness hesitantly shakes Danielson's hand, having to eat the fact that he was out-deceived exactly three months later in the exact same venue, and Danielson has Bobby Cruise proclaim him to be "Mr. Small Package." Fucking brilliant and a fitting chapter for the greatest rivalry in ROH history.

Rating: ****

Aries & Strong are pissed about the Briscoes ruining the sentimental Generation Next farewell, but have to focus on next weekend as they're defending the Tag Titles on back-to-back nights in a couple Ultimate Endurance matches against three teams each night. Not my favorite gimmick match but I'll review the good ones.

Joe dismisses Danielson for using trickery to hold onto the title. Whatever, it was within the rules and I'd hate to see Joe's reaction if he lined up on the gridiron against a team coached by Bill Belichick. He says he's finally gonna regain the title next Saturday at Fight of the Century.

Yeah, get this fucking show. Four enjoyable matches, two of them outstanding, a historic one, and of different flavors. There's something for everyone on this show.

I now reach what would be another final chapter for many years, this one unadvertised and unknown at the time of the event; it's the end of a simply phenomenal era in ROH's history. Fuck, it's a shame we didn't get KENTA vs. AJ Styles on the one card they were appeared on, but hindsight is 20/20.

Up next - Time to Man Up
Matches will include:
Bryan Danielson vs. Jack Evans
Nigel McGuinness vs. Delirious
Briscoe Bros. vs. KENTA & Davey Richards
Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles
Last edited by supersonic on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Wilson » Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:45 pm

Nothing stops the Good Shit. Always commendable stuff. Reading through your series has bestowed upon me some serious DVD envy.

Just a note:
One can never truly knew how the next breakout stars, but it's a shame only one of the rising stars went on to develop enough of a reputation to work in the puro big leagues and end up on American cable.
Maybe: "One can never truly know who will fulfill the acclaim as the next breakout star,"

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:03 pm

Thank you for pointing it out.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Mr. Mojo Risin » Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:10 pm

Just wanted to say, although I'm a new to the site, I've been reading your reviews for awhile now. I'd like to give you props because I find them insightful and entertaining. I no longer possess these DVD's so it's great to relive them in your reviews.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:20 am

Time to Man Up - August 4, 2006

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ROH Video Recap - August 2, 2006



Important news/footage in the above video:

Homicide's promo about Jim Cornette gets censored and cut off.
Davey Richards is aiming to eventually win NOAH's GHC Jr. Title.
Lacey, obviously just being done engaging in hankey pankey, tells the fans to quit worrying about her personal life, and she's still focused on making Jimmy Jacobs successful.
Solid highlight package of the past Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe matches to hype up their highly anticipated match @ Fight of the Century
A sloppy promo from Tag Champs Austin Aries & Roderick Strong about knocking off the Briscoes for a third time coming up on August 12 in Liverpool, after first getting through six teams in a couple Ultimate Endurance matches. While not delivered very convincingly, especially from Strong, this promo at least made Aries/Strong vs. Briscoes III seem important, as well as further highlighted the tag straps. I'm hesitant to be excited for this because although the first match was right below the greatness border, the rematch was a mess.

This is another B-show in which I kept just the good shit on my external hard drive, so I'll once again be using the dual review from Jake Ziegler & Brad Garoon for any little important storyline details I didn't keep.

Bryan Danielson vs. Jack Evans

Solid opener and extended squash here. It was still a mismatch, although not quite as much as their spectacle at Survival of the Fittest 2004. While this won't be getting a sexy star rating from me, this is something that would be perfect to introduce anyone accustomed to the sports-entertainment flavor of pro wrestling as much like their 2004 match, both men's personas were highly emphasized to mix in with their differing wrestling styles.

Before the match even starts, Danielson does a standing moonsault to show-up Evans as an acrobat. Evans responded with his usual breakdancing routine which the crowd ate up. The crowd I must say was exceptional here, reacting appropriately to everything. In particular, they antagonized Danielson when he hit a scoop slam with "Same old shit" chants, so he did it again several more times to Evans as a middle finger to them while also causing additional pain on the back of Evans to marginalize his daredevil tactics. In addition, the audience at the beginning had requested Danielson to do a responsive dance to Evans, so he teased it and then refused to deliver it, for he would not be told how to perform inside the ring by anybody.

Evans of course put up a much better fight than in 2004; however, Danielson had improved as well, becoming much more aggressive when the mood struck depending on the night, crowd, and opponent. So while Evans wasn't completely dominated here like he was before, being able to get some heat segments here and there, this was still a mismatch as mentioned because Danielson was just clicking on all cylinders at this point.

One of my favorite moments in this match was Danielson locking on an STF early, but Evans was so flexible that he was able to position his way out of it quite easily. Another highlight was Evans giving Danielson a slapping receipt in the first act, which got a great pop from the crowd. There was also of course Danielson tea-bagging Evans, taking full advantage of the Dragon Gate star's flexibility. And the finish was perfect - Danielson went back to the STF, locking it in a much meaner fashion for the victory, sending a message to Joe.

This isn't a ***+ match, but here's the important question: Am I ever willing to watch this again? You bet your ass I am for all the details I just went over, and if I was a pro wrestler, that'd my top priority in connecting with the audience and viewer. A shame I can't say that about another match I'm reviewing on this show.
BG says: Nigel McGuinness says that he doesn’t need to resort to cheap tactics like going under the ring to win a match like Bryan Danielson. He’s adding Delirious to his list of defeated opponents tonight and then he’s unifying the belts.
...
JZ says: AJ Styles and his high price tag are here to mention his history with Samoa Joe. He says he’s leaving Ring of Honor for a few months, and he wants to go out on the high note of beating Samoa Joe. Good luck!
Here's another storyline tidbit during the Ultimate Endurance post-match:
After the match Aries gets on the microphone and points out that he and Strong don’t have their tag team belts. Apparently someone stole the belts and Aries suspects the Briscoes are to blame. He demands that they be returned by the time the Ultimate Endurance match starts tomorrow.
JZ says: ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson says that he calls the shots around here, not Samoa Joe. So he will not meet him face-to-face tonight. He will do his talking in the ring tomorrow night. He then accepts ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness’ challenge to unify the World and Pure Championships.
OH FUCK YES~! Of course, let's hope McGuinness isn't looking past his challenger tonight and neither does Danielson against his challenger tomorrow night.

Pure Title Match
Nigel McGuinness vs. Delirious


Good wrestling with some genuine amusement thrown in here. Not completely comprehending the rules due to being zoned out before the match as part of his routine, Delirious cost himself his rope breaks on the most basic of submissions. McGuinness would later on lose a couple rope breaks as well, although that was for simply using the ropes just to get up off of his knees, something I always hated with the officiating in this type of match. McGuinness even pointed it out that he wasn't using the ropes to request Delirious to break a pin or submission attempt; however, it can be argued that this was karma on him for all his bullshit during this title reign.

My favorite spot in the match was when McGuinness got a very strong rebound lariat on Delirious, causing a great pop; what made it so great was so simple, as they had teased it earlier in the match. All wrestlers should be able to grasp that, but I digress. Another highlight was Delirious going for a Shadows Over Hell, only for McGuinness to land a perfectly timed European Uppercut on him.

If there was any flaw in this match, I'd say it was Delirious kicking out of the Tower of London twice (right after ROH on this very DVD started building to a unification match). Sure, Delirious had seen his stock rise tremendously throughout 2006 thanks to his matches against Danielson, but he still wasn't a big enough star in the company to kick out and not protect a finisher with such a major match being planned.

I appreciated that one of the Tower of London attempts was countered into a Cobra Stretch, as that elevates Delirious and creates anticipation of an upset title change without diminishing McGuinness. And like the opener, I loved the finish, as in the end this was a mismatch since McGuinness was too familiar with this environment and Delirious, despite a great effort, didn't have enough clicking upstairs to pull off the upset. McGuinness locked in the Cattle Mutilation as a message to Danielson, with Delirious passing out since he was out of rope breaks.

I could see why the time had come to phase out the Pure Title. Firstly, nobody was gonna be able to follow this epic reign, and secondly, I cannot think of anymore viable challengers at the time that would be in the position to put McGuinness over, or even stick around to defend the belt should he have been dethroned. Danielson, Joe, Aries, Strong, Delirious, Jay Lethal, Colt Cabana, Christopher Daniels, Claudio Castagnoli - he had gone through them all. It was time to bring this amazing chapter to an end. I'll detail it further when I catch up to the official retirement of the Pure Title.

Rating: ***1/4

Briscoe Bros. vs. KENTA & Davey Richards

A disappointing clusterfuck if I've ever seen one here. Now let's dig in to find out why I reached such a strongly negative assessment.

Let's get the highlights out of the way real quick: Jay and KENTA having a heated slapping exchange early in the match, making me wish we had gotten to see a singles match between them. I also appreciate the Doomsday Busaiku knee near the end of the match as well.

Now we get to the negatives.

I'll start with the unprofessional pet-peeve that I catch watching tag matches in TNA and the indies: in the third act, which was admittedly starting to get a bit hot to potentially save this sham of a tag match, the referee just counted a pinfall attempt regardless of who was legal. But that's not even the biggest problem with this match.

Before the match even started, KENTA got right in the ring to get in the Briscoes' faces, while Richards was outside sucking up to the crowd before getting in the ring to be beside his partner. Now in storyline, that could be explained that Richards had yet to interact with the Briscoes, while KENTA had heat with them based on what happened at Throwdown and Chi-Town Struggle. But perhaps in reality this was a sign that these two men were not on the same page.

I had recalled Bryan & Vinny pointing out that KENTA & Richards weren't on the same page, so I kept my eye out for that. Needless to say, I would NOT have ever needed to hear them point it out to notice it here, as it was so fucking obvious. But I have been listening to the B&V reviews of these shows again before writing each review just to see if there was something I didn't notice, and they brought upon a viewpoint in why KENTA was largely to blame for this match sucking so badly.

So the Briscoes were getting the heat on Richards, who then started to make a comeback to get the crowd behind him and build to a hot tag, but right as he started it, KENTA fucking tagged him. KENTA then came in and realized he had to step aside to let Richards get his shit in on the Briscoes. Now I had thought at first Richards was probably at fault, being a green wrestler still at the time and just having to get his shit in. But Bryan & Vinny made me realize that KENTA was the one who fucked up by not realizing that Richards was making a comeback.

That's completely unacceptable for a tag match involving KENTA, and for him to be the one at fault to boot. KENTA has NEVER been an indy geek, having been brought up in the pro wrestling business through the big leagues. There was no excuse for him to allow many of the indyriffic flaws to take place in this match, especially after being established as such a great tag team wrestler himself between 2003 and 2005, and there was especially no excuse for him to not grasp what Richards was going for in the Ricky Morton role.

I must also mention there were quite a few botches in this one, most memorable being when Richards tried to crotch a Briscoe, and they didn't necessarily move forward from that botch all that smoothly. These men just didn't gel with each other at all on this night, and I'm not quite sure why the crowd gave these men a standing ovation when Mark got the pin on Richards. But you know what? I can understand some botches, because maybe these guys were hurting and perhaps KENTA was jet-lagged if he was just coming in from overseas.

I have to give credit where credit is due: unlike the Briscoes' match against Strong & Evans at Best in the World 2006, the booking was perfect here. The Briscoes pinned Richards to keep them strong for their upcoming Tag Titles shots, while protecting KENTA for his ROH Title shot on September 16 in NYC. This also helped avoid any perception that Richards was being overpushed, even though he was being put in strong positions.

As for the work of this match itself, just a clusterfuck. This match had very visible botches. This match had lack of tag legalities being enforced. This match had a comeback for a hot tag being fucked up by the big league star. This match built to absolutely nothing. This is easily the worst KENTA performance I've ever seen.

At the time of this show, I had a subscription to PWInsider and remember listening to Mike Johnson's review of this show from attending it live. He had said this was a weak show but this match was a hot show-stealer. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is further evidence to never trust the cunts on that website about anything they have to say about assessing the business.

Will I ever watch this again: fuck no. And when this review is posted, I will immediately delete this match from my external hard drive, then have AVG kindly shred it out of my Recycle Bin.

Let's hope KENTA vs. Richards holds up better than this.

Rating: less than ***

The Last ROH Match of AJ Styles
Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles


A shame it wasn't confirmed this was the end of an era prior to this show occurring, but of course as we enter 2015 perhaps it's poetic that AJ Styles didn't get the full bells-and-whistles sentimental farewell and classic match on his way out.

This was a good match between these two, although one I could've gone without in hindsight which I'll get into. Styles went right after Joe early, hungry to get a victory over him; remember that their rivarly went beyond ROH, as they had headlined the first ever PWG event and had been engaged in one of the most heated programs in TNA history. So it made sense for Styles to be merciless at the start and wanna leave ROH with a victory over his nemesis Joe, the #1 contender to the ROH Title.

There's not a lot to go over in this match, as it was 10-12 minutes of really good action, feeling like a mid-card match on a much bigger show or a TV main event, but there are a few things that stand out to me. I loved Styles trying to avoid the Ole Ole Kick, hopping over the guardrail and waiting for Joe to approach him. So Joe did so, got the upper hand, dazed Styles, and then landed the Ole Ole Kick as quickly as he could, much quicker than his usual speed.

Everything in the match also landed properly unlike the match right before this. Another highlight was Styles evading an elbow suicida from Joe, who was able to sniff the evasion and stop himself; that's actually brilliant because Richards had used that move already on the card, and Joe had explained the importance of not repeating certain moves during his shoot interview masterpiece with CM Punk in 2005.

I also breathed a sigh of relief when Joe gave Styles a rear-naked choke suplex, but Styles landed flat on his front side instead of taking a head bump. The more often wrestlers can get the same aesthetic effect with less wear-and-tear on their bodies, the better.

The finish was a bit flat with no dramatic nearfall finishing stretch, but that makes Joe look like a bad-ass going into the match against Danielson, and Styles has always been a team player. While as a fan I of course would've preferred a classic for Styles to depart with, it protects him as a TNA asset not to have a match that intense, and Joe's body gets protected as well.

Post-match, ROH airs a highlight package of the Phenomenal One's time in ROH from 2002 to 2006. It is a great package and very classy move, thanking him for his time in the company. That's the least I can ask for.

Rating: ***1/4

So this is definitely a B-show, with something unexpectedly historic going down due to AJ Styles parting ways with the company. But for a number of reasons, that's not enough reason to recommend this show.

I know from TNA's refusal to let Punk beat Daniels clean the year before, as well as another major match involving their contracted talent years down the road, that it can be a pain in the ass to get their guys to job at times. So I'm sure that's why Styles put Joe over on the way out.

But I had of course mentioned before that it's a real fucking shame KENTA vs. AJ Styles never happened, especially on the one card in which they would both actually appear (Styles had also been booked for Final Battle 2005, but got hurt days earlier and it wasn't the right time for that dream match yet.) When seeing how sloppy KENTA's match was on this night, that only makes me pine even more to have had that match take place, and I firmly believe they would've had excellent chemistry, a fitting farewell for Styles at the time and further strengthening KENTA's road to September 16.

Or how about Styles going for the Pure Title, a belt he had never actually been defeated for, and putting over McGuinness in what was a dream match at the time for his farewell? So what I've mentioned here are two alternative fresh matches for Styles to leave out on, with both matches being against men with guaranteed shots at the ROH Title, rather than against Joe, who he had faced many times before and would have the chance to do so again since they were both in TNA at the time.

As pointed out in the review, I still liked the Joe vs. Styles match as well as McGuinness vs. Delirious and Danielson vs. Evans. But Joe vs. Styles and McGuinness vs. Delirious can be found on compilations, and as much fun as the opener is, it's not strong enough to make this show a must-have on its own. The other highlight, that being the AJ Styles video package, is something I expect to be included on the next Styles compilation that should be getting released sometime in 2015.

Avoid the tag match on here at all costs. Just a mess as I detailed earlier and severely brought this show down far worse than I had remembered it.

I will NOT be busting out my usual gimmick for the finale of a major ROH star. Of course, had I gotten around to rewatching this show just a little over a year ago, I'd have been happy to make a Top Ten list for AJ Styles; the man certainly has fucking earned it.

But we can thank the incompetence of Total Nonstop Action for losing his services, allowing him to return to ROH, where he had actually worked first (by a couple months); to also have a career resurgence, winning a world title in a company that actually fucking matters, perhaps cracking the door open to leave behind a recognized legacy of excellence; and maybe one day be put back on the ballot to become elected into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.

And here we are, the long-awaited rematch of a timeless classic. I know this match had some polarizing opinions back in the day, but I'm open-minded and hope this match lived up to ROH's hype.

Up next - Fight of the Century
Matches will include:
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Briscoe Bros. vs. Irish Airborne vs. Jack Evans & Matt Sydal
KENTA vs. Davey Richards
Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe
Last edited by supersonic on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:46 pm

Fight of the Century - August 5, 2006

Image

Fans are shown in line outside the building with the title "They are lined up to the witness... the fight of the century." Not exactly something that makes tonight's main event feel as major league as it really is.

Samoa Joe says tonight he proves that Bryan Danielson's fantastic reign as ROH Champion comes to an end, making Joe THE greatest champion in company history. Danielson cuts a pretty green promo in terms of delivery and confidence, one that would make Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn wince and bury him permanently to the mid-card if he was ever this sloppy on Raw. The substance of the material was really good though, as it was based on being the champion, better competitor, and the best wrestler in the world. That makes this sloppy promo digestible.

Jay Lethal's Last ROH Match
Nigel McGuinness vs. Jay Lethal vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Claudio Castagnoli


Saw the lineup for this and decided it's worth another look. I made the correct decision and this is MUCH better than another flavor of fourway I'm reviewing on this same show.

Simply put, every matchup possible in this one looked interesting on paper, and despite how short this was, every single interaction delivered. As readers can see on the back of the DVD cover, McGuinness carried himself like a fucking STAR that could've been a potential game-changer in the big leagues had he protected his body better (I'll be chronicling that in greater detail starting with the next ROH event of course.) Daniels as always wasn't far behind in superstar presence as well.

Everyone shakes hands before the match starts, leaving Daniels and Castagnoli as the final handshake, which the latter offers in condescending fashion, knowing he made a mockery of Daniels with his choices at The 100th Show. Daniels of course rejects the gesture and goes to work on him, causing the future Cesaro to tag in McGuinness, who then teases he'll tag Castagnoli back in after some nice mat wrestling, only to just be a troll and stay tagged in.

There was nothing truly standout about the actual mat wrestling in this due to the short length of the match (the entrances were almost as long actually), but it was all professionally executed and I'd tell my students to study it if I was a trainer. The match really earns my rating in the closing minutes as it became a hot little spotfest, WITHOUT anybody neglecting to remember tag legalities.

As every match should be, the highlight was in the conclusion: Daniels went for the Angel's Wings on Castagnoli, but had to let go to duck a clothesline from McGuinness. That was all for naught, as McGuinness turned around and instead dropped Daniels with a lariat. McGuinness then ate a European Uppercut from Lethal, who then ate a more intense one from Castagnoli; McGuinness however used his momentum bouncing off the ropes to finish off Castagnoli with the Rebound Lariat! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to book the next confirmed challenger to the top prize in the company.

Just a few more notes about this match:

- The match needed at least a few more minutes as it would've allowed more time for the different matchups, specifically Lethal vs. Castagnoli, which to date has never been booked as a singles match. This also would've allowed McGuinness more time to shine for his unification match next week.
- Referee Todd Sinclair's count on Castagnoli at the end was a fast one, which the commentators fail to mention. Very subtle retaliation from Sinclair towards the CZW turncoat.
- Not predicting it'll happen, but if Cesaro at some point becomes Claudio Castagnoli again, someone please book that singles dream match against Lethal. We all know it'd be outstanding.

Rating: ***1/4

Tag Titles - Ultimate Endurance Match
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Briscoe Bros. vs. Irish Airborne vs. Jack Evans & Matt Sydal


Aries & Strong are once again without their stolen tag belts. First fall is a Scramble, second fall is Tap Out, third fall is standard tag.

This was a lousy match. Tag legalities were only partially enforced, there was hardly enough time between the eliminations for each fall to truly click with the audience, and unlike the prior match, the booking in this was truly head-scratching. Although the double-team finish in doing so was nice, the decision to have IA eliminate the Briscoes AT ALL in this match was a really bad one and one that booker Gabe Sapolsky should've figured out beforehand. Rather than elevate IA, the crowd rejected the Briscoes being eliminated first; but even more important, whereas McGuinness got the win a week before his big match, the Briscoes were shoe-horned into this and did the clean early job when they also had a big standard style challenge for the tag belts coming up next week. Wretched booking.

I did like that one week after Generation Next had its last stand, it came down to the four men that had retired that stable name. But they should've just been booked against each other in a regular tag anyway; and while the spots looked pretty on the surface, nothing actually resonated and there was no huge build to a hot tag, no heat segment, nothing of substance. The last fall was just guys doing moves and putting more hell on their bodies. And in the post-match, Aries & Strong are made to look like dumbasses threatening whoever stole the tag straps, when it was clearly obvious to anyone with the simplest of instincts that it was the Kings of Wrestling.

This match really brought out a problem that Sapolsky was having, one that wasn't completely his fault. In August of 2006, ROH had SIX events booked without any kind of TV deal to promote them. Now let this sink in as well: from July 15 to August 26, ROH had NINE events booked, none of them more than 13 days apart. That included four double-shots; upon further breakdown three of those double-shots were back-to-back-to-back weekends, with a trip across the Atlantic among them. When considering this, it's where I can see why Sapolsky may have been showing some real signs of burnout and putting together a card like this that had a disappointing, hollow gimmick match in the mid-card, rather than three very obvious matches that could've been booked instead.

With a guaranteed title shot in a regular match just a week away, the Briscoes once again go over IA in VERY convincing fashion, basically a glorified squash that lasts no more than 10 minutes. We also have two quality singles matches, pitting Aries against Evans for the first time ever while Strong faces Sydal in a rematch of their PWG classic a few months earlier. These are THREE quality matches that accomplish different goals: keep the Briscoes' momentum strong and delivering a fantastic undercard.

Instead, what we got here was a match that had the very hot #1 contenders to the tag straps doing a job to a couple curtain-jerkers who hadn't clicked yet, rushed eliminations, and nothing of substance being built to, with tag legality inconsistencies as well. This match only tempers any anticipation I may have had about Aries & Strong vs. Briscoes III even more.

Rating: less than ***

At intermission, Colt Cabana's promo is interrupted by Lacey, who's upset about rumors in the locker room and says he better not be spreading them, but of course she doesn't elaborate on what they are and he has a huge smirk while he denies saying anything. As she walks away, Cabana has the camera look at her so the viewer can check her out.

KENTA vs. Davey Richards

Much, much, MUCH better than their bullshit tag match the night before.

This wasn't just a match that elevated the stock of Richards, but was his singles breakout as well. Sure, nowhere near Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa or the Aries vs. Danielson portion at Survival of the Fittest 2004, but he was put into a pressure situation just a couple years into the business and held up his end of the deal exceptionally well.

While Richards was still green of course, specifically in fluidity and selling, this match was also perfectly structured to his natural strengths, as he was able to use the power in his compact muscular frame to slow down KENTA's signature furious offense early. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker specifically took down the NOAH superstar, allowing Richards to work in submissions to bring pain upon various parts of his body. Of course, Richards got his kicking shit in, although when they were on the outside, that just pissed KENTA off, giving him an adrenaline rush and they had an exchange in which KENTA got the upper hand and kicked off his first heat segment.

KENTA was vicious as usual with his kicks inside and outside the ring, but Richards tried to give himself an adrenaline rush while on his knees, egging on more kicks - that didn't work out for him. A potential cutoff from Richards is immediately sabotaged as KENTA gives him kicks to the torso and a flying knee to the back of the head; KENTA follows that up with a body-scissors submission, which I love because it wears down the green Richards and only softens him up more for the additional physicality sure to come. However, Richards gets his chance to regain the heat when he counters an Irish Whip with a knee to KENTA's gut.

KENTA attempts to cut off the heat of Richards quickly, but his Yakuza kick attempt is countered with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. KENTA goes to the outside, so Richards gets right back to work by charging via a Tope Suicida. At this point the crowd finds itself in dueling chants, confirming that Richards is gaining credibility. After some kicks and a German Suplex pin attempt from Richards, he goes for the Butterfly Driver, but KENTA blocks that and regains the heat when he counters a flying Richards with an Ace Crusher.

KENTA gives Richards a trademark receipt of various kicks and a springboard missile dropkick. Moments later, he blocks a boot from Richards in the corner, kicks his hamstring, and then puts him in position similar to Goldust setting up a Shattered Dreams. Instead, KENTA hits a charging boot then a slap for a near-fall, and the crowd is getting more into this. They exchange boots to the face, with that ending when Richards finds enough adrenaline to block one and dump KENTA with a Saito Suplex. KENTA counters a running powerbomb with a head-scissors, but Richards tries to maintain the heat.

KENTA does indeed get the heat back though when he blocks a charging Richards in the corner with a boot, snaps his throat on the top rope... and then Richards regains the heat by countering a springboard move with a powerbomb, followed up by a Stretch Muffler. KENTA of course uses the ropes to break the hold, but it was a brilliant submission in attempting to take out one of his legs, such a lethal weapon in his arsenal. They then exchange Kawada kicks and slaps, then have an awesome little sequence straight out of NOAH's juniors division that has the crowd applauding them. It ends with a Busaiku knee from KENTA, but he's too worn out temporarily to go for the cover.

They have another awesome little sequence, this time ending with a lariat from Richards for a hot nearfall. A Butterfly Driver attempt has Richards finding it countered and in position for the G2S, but he gets out of that, only for his clothesline attempt to be turned into a butterfly suplex for another nearfall. KENTA signals for the G2S, but his moment in running the ropes for additional momentum on a strike allows Richards to give him a fireman's carry gutbuster (although not as spectacularly as Strong's.) Richards then follows that up by delivering on the running powerbomb teased earlier for another great nearfall.

Richards goes for the Shooting Star Press, but KENTA has it sniffed out and tries to counter the attempt with a Super Falcon Arrow, only for Richards to knock him back to the mat. Richards does the highspot spectacularly but KENTA's knees are planted straight into his ribs upon impact. This allows KENTA to hit a Busaiku knee for a nearfall, which I'm not the biggest fan of.

A G2S attempt is blocked for a Butterfly Driver attempt; KENTA cuts off Richards with a kick moments later and goes for the G2S, but Richards counters that with a Crucifix Pin for another tremendous nearfall. When Richards runs the ropes, that's all KENTA needs. He cuts off Richards with an Ace Crusher, and then finishes off his protege finally with the G2S.

This was really good shit. Moves were teased and then delivered, the counters were highly professional, it gave KENTA more momentum going into his shot at the ROH Title on September 16, and this was the delivered breakout of Richards as expected. Just a bit more seasoning on Richards and treating the Busaiku knee as a finish rather than nearfall, and this would be in the excellent territory. Really curious to see these two go at it again with Richards having more experience.

Rating: ***3/4

ROH TItle Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe


Phenomenal atmosphere during the pre-match of course. After all, this match isn't just four months in the making, but last time they went at it in singles, it was a ***** masterpiece at Midnight Express Reunion. Now does this one measure up?

It doesn't, so let's start with the negatives and detail why this was is simply an excellent one hour Broadway, rather than a genuine masterpiece that's so hard to put together. Joe did some work on Danielson's back in the middle of the match, and I was disappointed that the champ didn't really sell it for more than a few seconds. Sure, Joe has never had the backbreaking gimmick of Strong, but he's still a very big, very aggressive man applying pressure on the back - that has to be sold in order for suspension of disbelief to not stall.

There were also some moments of dead time as these men stretched this to go an hour, which was the biggest complaint of the match for those live. But that happened in Joe's first one hour Broadway against CM Punk at World Title Classic, and like that classic, this had more than enough greatness to not be taken down too much by this.

The most disappointing factor was in the beginning, not that Danielson kept taking powders to stall and stretch this out for the time limit, but that unlike his ***** masterpiece against Strong at Vendetta, he didn't troll Joe or the crowd whatsoever while on the outside early. The trolling is what made the Vendetta work of art seem significantly shorter than its 47 minute length, while also engaging the crowd more instead of having them sit there bitching about how the time limit draw is so easily predictable.

Of course, there are a couple things to consider regarding Danielson's lack of trolling during his early powders. For one, Joe had been to the top of the mountain and therefore in kayfabe would NOT succumb to Danielson's baiting tactics like Strong had done. In addition, perhaps for the sake of avoiding redundancy, Danielson opted not to be a troll right away, as that dynamic was already used up by Steve Corino & Adam Pearce earlier in the night in their plodding excuse of a tag match. Danielson still should've trolled the audience though and attempted to do so to Joe too, as it would've made the early segments far more entertaining while killing time.

With that out of the way, let's go over why this is a tremendous match that while not quite up to par with its Fight of the Century event title, is still worth going out of your way to see.

Danielson as mentioned takes early powders when Joe gets the advantage on the mat and various strikes, including knees and kicks. The crowd at one point chants "PUSSY" at Danielson, thus making me question the lack of trolling from him even more. After a few powders, Danielson finally gets an advantage going to work on Joe's left knee, which Danielson targeted in the Cage of Death at Death Before Dishonor IV. Joe's cutoff attempts would be short-lived due to Danielson's resiliency in going after the left knee, and I especially loved Danielson going to the eyes when Joe tried chopping his way out of a leg submission.

When Joe is about to make a comeback, Danielson immediately powders to escape a boot, controlling the pace of the match but once again not trolling the audience. When he gets back in the ring, Joe gets the advantage, causing Danielson to take yet another powder, but at least this time Danielson is showing frustration and throwing down a chair, but he still doesn't engage the crowd with his mouth to make this match more heated. When he gets in the ring, a headlock on Joe is eventually countered with an Electric Chair style backdrop, but the champ begs off and then headbutts Joe's gut to cut off any comeback.

Danielson works on Joe's face and right arm/shoulder, setting up the challenger for a potential Cattle Mutilation or Crossface Chickenwing. He also chokes Joe's throat on the middle rope, taking advantage of the five count and being arrogant about it. But running the ropes costs him, as Joe moves out of the way and goes to work on the crotched champ with kicks and forearms to regain the heat. Danielson prevents the running boot scrapes with a forearm of his own, regaining the heat and then arrogantly going for the running boot scrapes himself. But Joe of course gets up and clotheslines him down, causing another powder for the champ while Joe stays inside the ring, not playing into the mind games.

Danielson gets back in the ring and this time targets Joe's left arm with a Hammerlock that he then keeps locked in while he adds more pressure, smacking his own body on the mat for that effect. While keeping the Hammerlock on Joe, Danielson turns that into what is visually very similar to a cross armbreaker, but targeting Joe's left arm and shoulder rather than his right from earlier in the match. This is very intelligent of the champ because it can sabotage Joe from planting him with an Island Driver or musclebuster, or even just a trademark move like the powerbomb. Danielson then turns it over, keeping the Hammerlock on but working the arm.

Danielson goes to work with punches in the corner after a rope-break, but that pisses Joe off, who channels his work against Kenta Kobashi with furious vengeance and regains control. After a snapmare, Joe places a knee on Danielson's back while holding the left arm, and kicks the champ's spine. Danielson cuts off a sleeper, but Joe then immediately cuts him off with a powerslam. After the nearfall, Danielson spins and kicks Joe's face, following up on it with stomps and grinding. A flying headbutt gets a two-count, but the champ goes to work on Joe's back via an Anchor Hold; Joe tries to turn that around but Danielson uses the momentum to get right back into it, then puts Joe in a Straight Jacket Submission around the throat to cut off his oxygen and test his endurance.

Joe regains control with a leg sweep and working on Danielson's right leg, via kicks to the hamstring, a Dragon Screw Leg Whip, and Figure Four Leglock. Danielson turns that around, putting pressure back on Joe's left knee, but that's not enough to keep Joe down after the rope-break. The challenger keeps firing back with strikes and the champion stays in the game with his own strikes; a series of strikes stuns Joe and Danielson regains control. He goes back to work on Joe's left arm/shoulder, but Joe turns him over and kicks him in the back, then drops him with a backbreaker as I had mentioned earlier. He follows that up with his trademark variation of the Boston Crab, and Danielson doesn't sell the back much after the rope-break.

Joe does have control still though until that's cut off with a Roaring Forearm, but an attempt at the Mexican Surfboard is blocked by Joe, who's simply too heavy and determined. Danielson still keeps control, this time talking trash while slapping Joe in the corner, but Joe manages to land a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall. Joe keeps control now, but his strikes and a Senton is only enough for another nearfall. Joe goes back to work on Danielson's left shoulder, but Danielson briefly gets control back, only to sniff out an attempted musclebuster.

Danielson gets the crowd going with a charging European Uppercut and then chop-blocking Joe's left knee, then channels Lethal's attack from Steel Cage Warfare. He smacks Joe's left leg on a ring post, then smacks the leg onto the ring post with a steel chair; like Lethal, Danielson didn't get disqualified as he should've since he still had the champion's advantage. FINALLY, Danielson taunts the crowd since he clearly has control, and some fans are chanting "BEST IN THE WORLD!" at him. Danielson gives Joe a knee crush on the left knee, following up on the left knee with more work. Joe is doing a great job of selling that knee.

Danielson applies another submission, getting nearfalls out of it while Joe is laid on the mat in agony at times. Joe does the hope spot of trying to punch his way out, but Danielson turns it over and does a Lex Luger pose to rub it in. Joe continues to sell the left knee after a rope-break, clutching it and that indicates to Danielson to keep going after it as he taunts the crowd. Joe is struggling to stand up due to the work on his left knee, and one has to consider his weight as well, especially when that knee is hit with a running dropkick while tied up in the ropes.

Danielson applies his own Figure Four Leglock of course, once again being a troll since he has clear control now about 40 minutes into this classic. Joe continues to sell the pain, not just with his body language selling the struggle of standing and getting up, but the pain in his face as well, especially when he briefly reverses the established finisher of the Nature Boy. Joe is able to free his leg in the corner and punch the champ, getting enough momentum to now hit the running boot scrapes. However, the challenger falls down immediately, the adrenaline having worn off and feeling the pain in his left knee.

Seeing the opportunity, Danielson goes right back to work on Joe's left knee since he didn't receive the full impact of the boot scrapes. Danielson returns the Dragon Screw Leg Whip favor and goes for another submission I don't know the name of, then adds more pressure with a beautiful arch. He then does an STF variation, almost like a Regal Stretch, but that gets a rope-break. The commentators do a fabulous job of pointing out how much pain Joe is feeling in his left knee, and Joe's hope spots are for naught in the corner.

With Joe down on the canvas, he counters Danielson with either a neckbreaker or Ace Crusher - it wasn't pretty, but it got the job done and that's fine with me. Joe is struggling to walk and run the ropes, but he sucks it up to hit the champ with an Elbow Suicida on the outside, getting a decent crowd pop. They brawl on the outside, and Joe once again sucks it up to deliver the Ole Ole Kicks, but of course uses his right foot to attack Danielson's face. His attempt at another Ole Ole Kick gets cut off by a forearm from Danielson, who isn't gonna be taken out for very long as he knows how to absorb pain. Danielson brings out more trolling, hitting Joe with an Ole Ole Dropkick to the crowd's approval.

They keep brawling on the outside, with Joe landing a running boot to Danielson's face on the guardrail, but that gets cut off when he follows the champ. Danielson climbs the top rope and does a front flip plancha to Joe in the audience, getting a good crowd pop, although not the epic I would've wanted putting my body on the line if I'm Danielson. Danielson throws Joe back in the ring and lands a Missile Shotgun Dropkick, then teases a running forearm that gets countered with a Uranage Slam. Joe follows that up with a nice Rolling Clutch pinfall atempt, and the crowd is starting to pick up.

A Rolling Cradle from Joe gets another nice nearfall, but he's really worn down and can't immediately followup. The crowd is at least behind him though, giving him energy to have a strike change with Danielson, but the champ plants him with a Dragon Suplex for a nearfall. Danielson goes back to the Regal Stretch variation, but Joe turns that into a rear-naked choke for a hot near-submission. Joe goes for that again, but Danielson channels Bret Hart's pinning finish at WrestleMania VIII and Survivor Series 1996 for a nearfall.

When Joe goes for another Uranage Slam counter, Danielson is smart enough to use Joe's right arm and position him for the Cattle Mutilation, paying off some of the work on Joe's arms and shoulders earlier, but that's too close to the ropes for a finish. Danielson rolls Joe in the middle of the ring to lock it again, and the crowd is happy for another rope-break. Danielson goes for it a third time, but knowing how difficult it is to make Joe tap, the champ uses that positioning to roll him up for a hot nearfall. Crowd is now firmly behind Joe but Danielson has his supporters too.

Joe had countered some of Danielson's charging offense earlier in the match with Manhattan Drops. But this late in the match, in order to avoid causing further pain to his knees, he changed his mind while having the champ in position for that move, instead dropping him knees-first on the mat. With Danielson's knees now hurting, Joe turned him over for a Half Crab for another hot pop from the crowd, desperate to see the first title change for ROH in 2006. But Danielson turns that into a pinfall attempt as well, and the crowd is feeling this.

They exchange strikes and Joe is continuing to excellently sell his agony, but takes down the champ with a lariat. Unfortunately, he's so worn down that instead of going for the pin, he falls down and rolls over, allowing the match to be even as both men get up simultaneously. Danielson goes to work on Joe in the corner, although he is showing some (not as many, but some) signs of fatigue too, unable to lift Joe by the legs and going for a running dropkick on the seated challenger. He gets cocky again as Joe is down in agony, but Joe cuts off an Irish Whip with his trademark powerbomb and STF combo, then turns that into a Crippler Crossface and the crowd is getting antsy. This is phenomenal shit.

Danielson manages to roll Joe back for another nearfall, then counters a powerbomb with a head-scissors, but Danielson's left knee is in pain from the Half Crab. Danielson is fatigued and rests in the corner, then eats a knee and is positioned for the musclebuster. He fights his way out, falling on the canvas, then turns another attempt into a crucifix pin nearfall, drawing another "THIS IS AWESOME~!" chant from those in attendance. Danielson kicks at Joe's left knee to stall him and seats him on the top rope, but Joe throws him off and hits a flying knee for a nearfall as the match has 5 minutes remaining, causing the crowd to get antsier.

A brainbuster from Joe is another nice nearfall, but not enough of course. Joe kicks at Danielson, but the champ grabs his left knee and tries to cradle him for a pin, only for Joe to use the momentum against him for another great nearfall. Joe uses his left knee for another knee strike attempt, and Danielson counters that with his own Half Crab for a near-submission. Danielson looks to have found another wind, but Joe takes him down with another lariat and goes for another musclebuster, which he delivers this time. But here's the brilliance of this match: due to the pain in Joe's left knee, he couldn't position very far from the corner, so Danielson was able to break the pin easily by touching the bottom rope. Crowd is really appreciating this now.

Joe wants to hit another musclebuster, but Danielson gets underneath and gives him a Super Backdrop Suplex for another nearfall. It looks like the entire crowd is standing. Danielson hits the elbows, but Joe absorbs them and tries to hulk up. Danielson locks in the Crossface Chickenwing, but Joe elbows out of it, then Danielson goes for an O'Connor Roll. Joe turns that into a rear-naked choke and Danielson struggles to reach the ropes as the match is less than 30 seconds from being a draw.

The crowd is going insane here, clapping, stomping, cheering, wanting the first title change of the year so badly. But as referee Todd Sinclair goes to drop Danielson's arm three times for the submission, the 60 minute time limit expires, making this a draw as so many in the audience could see coming. The crowd and Joe want five more minutes, but of course Danielson refuses, as he senses that Joe may have him figured out.

As Danielson is leaving, KENTA comes through the entrance and motions he's coming for the belt. I'm all for building anticipation for matches, but tell the audience to expect Danielson not to lose the title until September 16? The Briscoes ambush KENTA from behind to continue their issue, then Homicide comes after the Briscoes and those three hit the ring. Joe comes to help Homicide out despite the match he just had, and the unthinkable happens: Joe & Homicide agree to team up to face the Briscoes the same night that KENTA gets his ROH Title shot, as Joe says he is now Homicide's ally after what the Notorious 187 did to help out against CZW. I'm definitely looking forward to that September 16 card in NYC.

Rating: ****1/2

Strongly recommended show for a star power fourway hidden gem featuring Lethal's finale during the Sapolsky era, KENTA giving Richards his singles breakout, and an excellent main event.

The DVD closes with a look at ROH's setup in Liverpool. I will be reviewing the matches that are listed across the screen of course, and this is another one that I'm amazed I finally reached. I will analyze both main events, the positives, the negatives, and what they did for both the participants and ROH's title belts both short-term and long-term.

Up next - Unified
Matches will include:
Jimmy Rave vs. Davey Richards
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Briscoe Bros.
Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness in a TITLE UNIFICATION~!
Last edited by supersonic on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:15 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Mr. Mojo Risin » Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:25 pm

Dude, I got to tell you, I love your reviews. I used to own the vast majority of the DVD's you review, but some like Fight of the Century I did not. It's nice to have those gaps filled. I also pretty much agree with your match assessments. I was so looking forward to the Briscoes vs. Kenta/Richards. That match was pure tripe. I also respect when you call out Gabe's sometimes overlooked booking decisions. More times than not Gabe is canonized for being a flawless booker. Your assertion that you saw early signs of Gabe burnout was spot on.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:57 am

He really could've used a consultant at the time, but I'm not sure who was both reliable and available back then.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:37 pm

Unified - August 12, 2006

Image

ROH Video Recap - August 9, 2006



Important news/footage in the above video:

Liverpool on 8/12 is a night of Round 3's. Jimmy Rave gets a third crack at Davey Richards. Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness collide in what promises to be a historic nailbiter as they are unifying the ROH and Pure Titles, with the unification being GUARANTEED and both titles this time being held under Pure Title Rules. Also, the Briscoes get their final shot for the Tag Titles against Austin Aries & Roderick Strong.

Nigel McGuinness, just like in the Video Recap, carries himself as a total star on the DVD's opening promo, vowing to make history tonight in his home country and prove he's the very best.

Davey Richards sees his promo on Jimmy Rave interrupted when Austin Aries & Roderick Strong go into a room to find their Tag Titles, with a note saying that the thieves will be winning them soon. So obviously it was the Kings of Wrestling.

Speaking of KOW, and to make it even more obvious, Chris Hero makes his return to the company to spoil the night and gets runnoft by Colt Cabana.

Jimmy Rave vs. Davey Richards

Much like many of PWG's overrated, supposed undercard classics, this went longer than it needed to, although was still quite good. The story of the match was that Rave was ultimately no match for Richards, often losing mat wrestling battles. Richards did have some flaws here for such a long match against someone like Rave, who was good but not elite, in that his hope spots when selling were very minimal and lacked fire to keep the crowd engaged. But the finishing sequence was splendid with the two men countering each other until Richards took Rave down with the Butterfly Driver and did so with complete finality. Take some time off or have Richards do better hope spots and this may have been the undercard classic that these guys wanted it to be.

Rating: ***1/4

The Briscoes claim they got cheated in their first match against Aries & Strong, while the second was luck. I'm sorry that the Briscoes just aren't accustomed to the quality officiating of the first match.

Tag Titles Match
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Briscoe Bros.


This match stayed away from the traditional hot tag formula, and you know what? This match proves that the formula isn't always necessary, although I'd be curious to see how this crowd would've reacted to it. While the Briscoes did do some cutting of the ring in half on the champs, they never got an extended advantage to build to a hot tag. Instead, the first dozen minutes or so established that despite all the high-impact moves these four men inflicted, this was an extremely even matchup on this particular evening.

The match's second half became a spectacular spotfest, one of the best I've seen for an indy tag. It was one crisp move after another, almost everything connecting beautifully and the crowd eating it up. This was a true back-and-forth matchup, and if looking for a sports comparison, the first one to come to mind for me would be the New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round from January 2012. The Briscoes did finally manage to get a true advantage when Mark won a battle against Aries on the entrance ramp, blocking a brainbuster and dropping the former ROH Champ with a brainbuster.

That caused Strong to eat a Doomsday Device AND spike double-underhook piledriver, resulting in an incredible nearfall, and through fate, actually turning out to be great booking for what was to come the next day in Broxbourne. Aries would finally get to the ring to help out Strong and they'd eventually regain the advantage thanks to Mark eating a Yakuza kick from Strong. This allowed the champs to double-team Jay after he ate a botched reverse hurricanrana from Aries. They then would give him a half-nelson backbreaker, powerbomb, and then topped that off with a 450 Splash, complete with the champs making sure Aries would be the legal man.

With the exception of one very minor tag legality disconnect (something that came as a VERY pleasant surprise to me), I have no complaints about this match unlike Bryan & Vinny. I don't see any need for every tag match to have a comeback formula in order to be a nail-biting classic; I even cited a back-and-forth matchup from the gridiron to prove my point, as there's nothing wrong with using a different formula to build up drama, which the Liverpool crowd made quite clear they were in agreement with. Although I'd be really interested to see the traditional comeback and hot tag formula from these four men in front of this audience, I'm very pleased with the final product, and after all these years, the ROHbots consensus is spot-on: this is in the all-time upper echelon of ROH tags and did a phenomenal job in building up the prestige of the Tag Titles.

Rating: ****1/2

World Title and Pure Title Unification - Pure Title Rules
GUARANTEED UNIFICATION

Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness


The match has a really sweet video package chronicling both men's epic reigns, leaving behind a laundry list of top names on the indies and puro juniors division in their wake. What a crazy concept, have two bad-asses run an almost year-long gauntlet, then have them collide.

McGuinness of course gets the hometown hero's welcome in his native country. They exchange arm twists early with Danielson eventually getting the advantage on the left arm of McGuinness. He hits a Butterfly Suplex then turns that into a cross armbreaker to cause the first rope break for McGuinness, then taunts the crowd as they rally for the Pure Champ. McGuinness moments later cuts him off with a back elbow, followed by a kick to the spine and falling forearm to the chest. McGuinness keeps attacking with various strikes such as forearm scrapes and European Uppercuts. He follows up on Danielson's left arm (having dropped it a minute or so earlier) with a Cobra Clutch, but the future HOFer manages to get out without using a rope break, ducking a short-arm clothesline and dropping him with an enziguri.

Danielson teases a Mexican Surfboard but instead stomps both knees, trolling the audience while working on his taller opponent's base. He follows that up with a superplex and diving headbutt for a nearfall, then hits the Cattle Mutilation to force a second rope break for McGuinness. Another aerial attack is cut off by McGuinness, planting Danielson with a Tower of London, causing a rope break for Danielson. McGuinness locks on a Cattle Mutilation as the crowd is completely glued, but Danielson reaches the ropes with his right foot. At this point, each man has a rope break remaining.

Danielson is on the outside and McGuinness follows him to brawl, but that's cut off. Danielson slams McGuinness on a nearby table and stands on his throat and chest, uses the table's edge to choke McGuinness some more. Danielson gets back in the ring, but McGuinness manages to get back into the ring before the 20 count to the crowd's delight, but not quite the epic reaction as nobody expected a finish there. They then exchange forearms as the crowd is having dueling chants; Danielson gains the advantage and goes for a roaring forearm, but that's ducked and McGuinness lands a clothesline for a nice nearfall. McGuinness is visibly bleeding in the mouth at this point.

McGuinnesss does a corner handstand and gets dropkicked, then Danielson hits the roaring forearm. Danielson follows that up with the Crossface Chickenwing, then leverages down the Pure Champ to lock on the body-scissors. This causes the third and final rope break for McGuinness as Danielson continues taunting the Liverpool audience. He drops McGuinness with a German Suplex and wastes time taunting the audience when going for another diving headbutt. McGuinness plants a boot in his face for his troubles as the crowd continues to rally behind their native Brit.

McGuinness starts making a fiery comeback and they have a phenomenal slap exchange, a battle of true pride. Danielson gets the advantage to the crowd's disapproval, then does a leaping forearm. A Dragon Suplex is blocked and Danielson is crotched, then lariated as the crowd chants "ROH!" Danielson uses his third and final rope break. McGuinness goes to the top rope but is cut off by Danielson, but he fights off another superplex attempt. Danielson is headbutted off, but he comes back and hits a dropkick. He then gets behind McGuinness on the top to lock on the Crossface Chickenwing as the crowd is begging for the UK native not to tap out. McGuinness frees himself and drops Danielson with another Tower of London for a nearfall, and the crowd just keeps rooting for him.

Now we get to one of the dumbest moments I've ever seen in wrestling, and I'll cover the consequences once I'm done reviewing the aesthetics of this masterpiece. McGuinness grabs Danielson and forces his shoulder to hit a ring post, but Danielson then blocks another one. McGuinness then is rammed forehead-first into the fucking ring post FOUR TIMES, busting himself open hardway. Danielson follows that up with a top rope dive to McGuinness in the audience as the crowd is chanting "HOLY SHIT!" and "THIS IS AWESOME!" Objectively speaking and for aesthetic entertainment value, this certainly is.

They crawl to the ring and have a struggle, with Danielson kicking McGuinness back into the audience around the count of 12. With a crimson forehead and his fellow Brits rooting him on, McGuinness finds it in himself to get back in before the count of 20, then channels Steve Austin's iconic moment while in the Scorpion Deathlock at WrestleMania 13. McGuinness is not in a submission hold refusing to tap out though; instead, as soon as he rolls into the ring and the audience is celebrating, McGuinness finds the fighting spirit, feeding off the frenzied audience to give himself an adrenaline rush.

We get another decision of stupidity as they headbutt each other in what I believe are genuine strikes, but the drama cannot be denied. McGuinness hits a delayed rebound lariat after a headbutt to a wonderful reaction and he crawls over for a fantastic nearfall, but Danielson uses his rolling leverage to lock on the Cattle Mutilation once again. McGuinness cannot use the ropes to break, so the audience gives him an adrenaline rush to not tap out; he turns Danielson over, and when Danielson goes to lock it again, McGuinness rolls him over for a nearfall. Danielson then has enough and knocks McGuinness, who now has a visible hematoma from the earlier stupidity, the fuck out with numerous elbows to the head, finally unifying the titles and standing tall above his greatest rival, a true conqueror like Brock Lesnar is today. (I certainly wouldn't mind this version of Danielson feuding with Lesnar btw.)

Post-match, Danielson gives McGuinness tremendous credit for the effort and offers another title shot, to which McGuinness, who is geniunely battered, agrees. The crowd absolutely eats this up, and I cannot blame them one bit.

Let's stick to the positives first, that being the aesthetics. Bryan & Vinny are correct in that THIS is how to build up a world champion and elevate the prestige of the title. There was no doubt when this match concluded that Bryan Danielson was the very best, most bad ass motherfucker on the ROH roster, even more so than Homicide. But just as if not more important, McGuinness was successful, like Austin was on that magical night against Bret Hart in 1997, in becoming a genuine main-eventer thanks to his performance in this match. There was no doubt after this work of art that McGuinness would be ROH Champion at some point and become the face of the company.

Now the unfortunate negatives. It's quite timely that I get around to this match right when Danielson gets pulled from a European tour due to a concussion. I'm glad he understands now that much like the ROH vs. CZW feud, these two men went a bit too far to add drama to this match. That doesn't take away from this match's excellence, but it's a lesson to be learned from. As for McGuinness, it's a shame that his idea to get over like Austin was to do something that didn't come anywhere near as safe. While Austin was bladed open by Bret, McGuinness instead chose to get color here by ramming his forehead into a steel ring post, to the point of hardway bleeding and developing a hematoma. While the intent is very obvious and appreciated, in that he wanted to channel Austin as I mentioned, he went about it in a completely idiotic way, and he's now suffering the consequences for it rather than being a cornerstone of the WWE like he should be.

As a fan, I do look forward to the drama of watching the rest of the main event run of McGuinness. But I shudder at what atrocities he inflicted upon himself are to come as I continue revisiting the glory days of ROH.

The Pure Title didn't just go out with a bang, but easily its greatest match. More on that in the show's review.

This match is a true masterpiece and work of art - that it went a bit too far doesn't take away from its electric atmosphere and off-the-charts drama, just like it wouldn't for matches involving Chris Benoit and Mitsuharu Misawa. This is even better than I had remembered so many years ago, and is truly one of the greatest matches in ROH history. The end of year picks for me are looking to be pretty difficult as this project continues, and damn I'm looking forward to revisiting more of this epic rivalry.

Rating: *****

Gabe Sapolsky announces that Aries fucked up his ribs on the botched reverse hurricanrana, so he's off the Broxbourne card, thus cancelling Aries & Strong vs. Doug Williams & Jody Fleisch.

The DVD closes with McGuinness all fucked up including a portion of his lips being blue. I can't deny what he said here in that he gave everything out of love for the sport, but holy shit I hope nobody ever goes this far to get over again, especially if they're as skilled and charismatic as him.

Strongest recommendation possible for two main events that truly delivered as MOTYCs, the latter being a contender for best match in company and indy wrestling history, one that turned a participant into a future face of the company. Both matches are critical in seeing how exactly to make belts matter as well.

The Pure Title went through some serious ups and downs during its two and a half years of existence. From a terrible tournament final on its first night, to having to re-crown a champion in light of the Rob Feinstein scandal, to having to abruptly move it off of John Walters in early 2005, this belt certainly didn't have much prestige going for it during its first year of existence. Doug Williams and John Walters did their parts to make this belt mean something, but it wasn't truly enough yet, not even with the latter becoming a chickenshit heel brought into the Embassy.

It looked to be that this title would become much like NJPW's IC Title is today when Samoa Joe won it from his then-protege Jay Lethal in a classic during the company's Manhattan debut. In particular, Joe's first defense against James Gibson was truly excellent, dripping with amazing psychology and fantastic crowd drama. But Joe's reign still wouldn't truly elevate the title, even as he slayed top names to hold onto it.

When Nigel McGuinness dethroned Joe with underhanded tactics, nobody could've seen the epic reign over the next year coming. Through his heel tactics including cheating, smug taunting, and incredible promo work, McGuinness saw his star rise within the company, slaying one top name after another, but continuing to pile it on for much longer than Joe. Through his presence, antics, promos, and sheer in-ring talent, he made the Pure Title one that truly mattered and had fans genuinely invested in a rivalry with the ROH Champion.

There were many great matches McGuinness had as Pure Champ, but as time went on, it became obvious that nobody was gonna be able to follow his reign. So after finally hitting the ****+ level in sizzlers with Bryan Danielson and Roderick Strong, booker Gabe Sapolsky knew the time was right to unify the belts, and use such an opportunity to reward McGuinness for all of his hard work, giving him a match that made him a top star on the indies in his home country. It was time to bid farewell to a belt that had become so important in providing depth to the card and giving upper midcarders something worth fighting for.

It was only appropriate for the Pure Title to go out with its greatest match, with the defender being in his home country. There was not an event, market, champion, or challenger that would've been more suitable. I say thank you to Nigel McGuinness for being the cornerstone of ROH's midcard during the aesthetic peak of ROH, and without further adieu, I present...

The 10 Greatest Pure Title Matches in ROH History
Doug Williams vs. Alex Shelley - Reborn: Completion ****
Doug Williams vs. John Walters - Scramble Cage Melee ***3/4
John Walters vs. Jay Lethal - Third Anniversary Celebration Pt. 1 ***3/4
Jay Lethal vs. Samoa Joe - Manhattan Mayhem ****
Samoa Joe vs. James Gibson - New Frontiers ****1/4
Nigel McGuinness vs. Austin Aries - Unscripted II ***3/4
Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson - Weekend of Champions Night 2 ****3/4
Nigel McGuinness vs. Homicide - Chi-Town Struggle ***3/4
Nigel McGuinness vs. Roderick Strong - Death Before Dishonor IV ****
Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danelson - Unified *****

Up next - Anarchy in the UK
Matches will include:
Doug Williams vs. Jimmy Rave
Briscoe Bros. vs. Matt Sydal & Davey Richards
Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:51 am

Anarchy in the UK - August 13, 2006

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Doug Williams vs. Jimmy Rave

This match is made because the Embassy wanna make the UK fans miserable due to the toilet paper treatment. This was good thanks to Williams as well as the excellent crowd, who serenaded Rave with chants about him being sodomized. Williams went to work on Rave's left arm early, but once Rave got the heat, while it was really good, he neglected to sell that limb. Therefore, when Williams got the heat back and returned to working on the left arm, it meant nothing. They exchanged plenty of nice moves, ending with Williams blocking the Pedigree and finishing Rave with the Chaos Theory to make his native UK fanbase happy.

Considering the crowd heat towards Rave during this UK weekend, I wonder if Gabe Sapolsky had that in mind for Rave's next feud.

Rating: ***

Briscoe Bros. vs. Matt Sydal & Davey Richards



Like the Tag Titles match the night before, this didn't follow the hot tag, FIP formula. And despite Bryan & Vinny once again bitching about it, as well as the spectacular closing several minutes, that's totally fine. I'm not going to give this the usual detailed recap, but there was all kinds of great shit in this match. Had the referee bothered to enforce tag legalities during the eye candy third act, this would've been a genuinely great match as it was destined to be.

Richards did seem to get tired quite easily, often tagging Sydal in, and perhaps Sydal should've played the FIP; I certainly don't think the formula, while not required, would've decreased the aesthetic value of this match. The Briscoes of course got their usual high elevation double Beal toss on Sydal, thus reminding me how badly I wish he had been fed to Brock Lesnar as a rag doll during his last couple years in WWE. In the finishing stretch, there were all kinds of amazing spots, including a back elbow suicida, spike double underhook piledrivers, a gorgeous moonsault to the outside, a Steiner Screwdriver, a Yakuza kick being blocked and turned into a modified overhead belly-to-belly suplex, just to name a few. The crowd absolutely loved this and ultimately that is what matters.

This incredibly fun match concludes after Richards is taken out and then Sydal is finished off with a double-team guillotine legdrop and cutthroat driver. All four men get a standing ovation for the spectacle they just presented. Had this match gotten the tag legalities enforced, this would be a borderline classic, but as is, it's not quite in the league of Sydal & AJ Styles vs. Austin Aries & Jack Evans at Supercard of Honor, a truly great and much crisper, more logical match that had tag legality enforcement problems.

Rating: ***3/4

ROH Title Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong


This is Danielson's second defense of the evening, having defeated SUWA in a disappointing match, but also getting a bad cut on his head due to a chair shot. That would of course be gushing by the end of the match.

This just couldn't be the classic that their prior ROH matches were for understandable reasons. But what these men did was go out there and bust their asses to provide a condensed version of their MOTYCs earlier during Danielson's reign. Strong didn't have to go through the adversity this time of landing chops, but in terms of storytelling, I was happy to see him not play into Danielson's mind games this time when the champ slapped him at the beginning and took a powder.

The crowd was truly behind Strong, wanting to see a title change, but I can't imagine they believed that was gonna happen yet. When the crowd momentarily got quiet, Danielson revived his trolling, pointing out to Strong that the crowd had given up on him; simple yet effective, as that woke the crowd up to rally behind the challenger. On such short notice and considering Danielson's scalp gash that hadn't yet gotten the medical attention it needed, it was quite amazing to see these men go out and keep the crowd engaged to provide a quality main event.

Every strike exchange was good, every blocking of a move was good, every submission was good. But in the end, Danielson unleashed the elbows that Strong was the first to experience, the same move that had led to Danielson winning his unification match the night before too. Strong tried to shrug it off like KENTA and even he himself had done at Supercard of Honor, but it wasn't enough. Danielson's elbows were on target, way too vicious when considering the forearms he laid on Strong's face earlier, causing Strong to be knocked out once Danielson locked in the Cattle Mutilation for a second time.

Considering that their earlier matches had finished with an abrupt submission hold, the elbows to the head, and a submission countered into a rollup, I really appreciate this match having not just a different finish, but being to Danielson's first established finisher. There was no doubt that Danielson was the king of ROH, that he was clearly superior to Strong, and Strong would no longer be getting title shots during this particular reign. I am surprised Danielson doesn't seem to care about getting another shot at the Tag Titles, since this is his second victory over Strong during that particular reign, but there's great news.

The commentary mentions that Danielson will defend the title against Nigel McGuinness in a 2/3 falls match on the next event, and then title or not, will face Colt Cabana the next night. I imagine that's when Cabana was initially going to get his one and only shot against Danielson as I've mentioned before. I'm definitely interested in these matchups.

Rating: ***3/4

Not my strongest recommendation, but the top three matches were fun in their own different ways and the double main event is worth seeking; at some point the tag match has to be placed on a compilation as many SBG era fans will be much more impressed than me. I only wish we had gotten Strong vs. Williams as Strong really excels against an elite technical wrestler that targets limbs, but I can blame PWG for not booking that also when they had a triple-shot weekend a year later to do so.

Up next - The Epic Encounter II
Matches will include:
Delirious vs. Matt Sydal
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Samoa Joe & BJ Whitmer
Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Sat May 02, 2015 1:43 am

The Epic Encounter II - August 25, 2006

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ROH Video Recap - August 18, 2006



Important news/footage in the above video:

Highlights of Unified and Anarchy in the UK
An exclusive post-match segment is shown via raw footage between Bryan Danielson and Colt Cabana from Chi-Town Struggle. Not sure why this wasn't just included on that DVD release, but whatever. Cabana was pissed that Danielson won via small package and said that was a cheap victory. He makes a terrible case of him being due another title shot because he beat CM Punk the year before. This had to be masterful politicking on the part of Cabana, otherwise he can fuck off. A small package pin is a clean victory. He also got his first shot at the ROH Title via a rollup pin on Samoa Joe in 2004, and in fact that is also how he beat Punk in the match he pointed out. Danielson agrees to grant one last title shot for Cabana next time ROH comes to Chicago on August 26. I suspect Danielson vs. Cabana wasn't originally planned until the August 26 event, and that Super Dragon would be getting the shot at Chi-Town Struggle, so this was a cheap angle to get to a rematch.
There will be clarification about the Pure Title on the next Video Recap.

The matches I'm reviewing are on my external hard drive, so I'm once again doing a C&P of important angles courtesy Jake Ziegler & Brad Garoon.
Jimmy Jacobs kicks off the show by grilling Lacey about the rumors that are all over the locker room implicating her in the Colt Cabana’s sexual exploits. Lacey blows off the question by telling Jacobs that she’s booked him in a match against Homicide to impress her and Jim Cornette. She wants him to impress Cornette to get title shots and to take out BJ Whitmer tomorrow night in Chicago. He says he’ll do whatever she wants but whiningly keeps hounding her about Cabana.
Colt Cabana is backstage to talk about Bryan Danielson, whom he will face for the ROH World Title (if Danielson retains tonight) tomorrow night in his own hometown. Jimmy Jacobs comes in and wants to talk about the rumors that Cabana and Lacey were a-rockin’ in the car together. Cabana sings part of Jacobs’s song and tells Jacobs that his self-esteem is too low, in a way.
Delirious vs. Matt Sydal



Fun match that ultimately built to nothing, and having just listened to Steve Austin talk about selling devastating moves, I couldn't help but notice the lack of doing so in this one. The Twin Cities crowd woke up for this one, as it was definitely an entertaining spotfest and had some good mat wrestling, but there was no real purpose to it. It wasn't insulting, and I did appreciate Sydal being protected by putting Delirious down with a Flux Capacitor for his big match the following night.

Rating: ***1/4

Tag Titles Match
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Samoa Joe & BJ Whitmer


This is an opportunity for the challengers as a reward for getting the CZW invaders to fuck off. Another match that woke up this puro-like crowd, although I don't sense this audience was quiet for the same reasons as those in Japan would be. Aries has his ribs taped up from the botched reverse hurricanrana at Unified. He and Joe had a brief but great segment of evading each other's strikes, putting over their documented history as this was their 10th (and would turn out to be final) time facing off in ROH. Aries in the first act did a great job selling the pain of taking bumps on his ribs, but that really didn't go anywhere later in the match.

The action in this match itself was fine, but this ultimately felt like a main event on present day SmackDown! and lacked the intensity I'd expect for Joe, who had made it known he wanted to be ROH's first ever Triple Crown winner, going for the one championship that had eluded him in the company. He and Strong had nice exchanges as expected, but again lacked a remarkable pace to be anything memorable. In the end, the ref forgets that Whitmer is the legal man, counting finishes involving Joe, including when Strong put him down in the end in a nice finish. Mentioned in commentary is that Sydal & Christopher Daniels are getting a Tag Titles shot tomorrow night. Looking forward to that.

At this point, it was becoming very clear that Joe's role in ROH was similar to John Cena's role in WWE in 2014. He was a big name to move tickets and have occasional big matches, plus would always be protected, but his focus was primarily towards TNA for understandable reasons. While it didn't mean much on the surface, I appreciate him putting over Strong for not just the long-term future of the company's main event scene, but also because it was perfect for Strong immediately coming off of being eliminated from ROH Title contention.

Rating: ***1/4
BG says: Christopher Daniels talks about his lack of direction in ROH. He clears things up by saying that he wants to be a champion in ROH again. He and Matt Sydal are going to accomplish that by beating Aries and Strong for the tag titles. Jimmy Jacobs approaches to ask Daniels if he’s seen Lacey. Daniels has but he doesn’t want to be the bearer of bad news so he just points Jacobs in the right direction. Jacobs walks into the shower and finds Lacey and Cabana making out. He breaks down as Lacey beams about Cabana being the new member of Lacey’s Angels. Cabana doesn’t seem to be on the same page as her. Jacobs’ reaction there was priceless.
ROH Title - 2/3 Falls Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness


Another excellent match here, although I'm not gonna go into as deep of a segment-by-segment breakdown as I tend to do for this rivalry. Not because of the match going for a full 60 minutes, but this match to me was about something else. Let's be quite honest: while nobody would snub at this headlining an ROH event, this was not just the fourth ROH Title shot for McGuinness, but his third in a month. Their first match had a screwy finish, the rematch had deception leading to a small package, and the last one was a fucking war in front of an electrifying partisan UK audience. How could these men seriously be expected not just to pull out something fresh, but to do so for 60 minutes by the booker? Oh and of course, just like Strong on the show prior to this one, this is the fourth and final opportunity McGuinness has during Danielon's reign.

Now add in that this wasn't the usually rowdy audience ROH had grown accustomed to during its aesthetic golden period. The crowd was extremely quiet at times, like they were literally inside of a library. But leave it to Bryan Danielson to emotionally engage this audience in the safest manner possible. After an early powder and trying to play mind games with McGuinness, the champ put him in one headlock after another, grinding on the challenger and obviously stalling for time. Now in this case, a fan got fed up and voiced his boredom.

Danielson: "That's right. All my offense is boring. So fuck off!"

Danielson continued to taunt the audience while working on the head and neck of McGuinness via headlocks, chinlocks, and various head-scissors, even threatening them with "No way... I'm not leaving this headlock for 60 minutes!" This not only got the audience to pop for the headlocks when McGuinness thought he had escaped, but got them to WANT it minutes later, only for Danielson to tell them to fuck off again and kick the challenger in the spine. This segment right here is not only evidence against those that claim Danielson lacks main-event personality, but that he needs to utilize crazy bumps to engage an audience.

McGuinness of course would get some hope spots in at times. When he finally gained the advantage, his focus was on Danielson's left shoulder, including drilling it into ringside barricades. He was of course masterful in going after that limb, and the champ would also make sure to get his hope spots in to keep this from being tediously lopsided. McGuinness really seemed to enjoy working submission Danielson's left shoulder, including an Anaconda Vise and going for numerous Ki Locks.

When Danielson regained the advantage, he added focus on the left leg of McGuinness, including a leg whip, figure four leglock, and just drilling the knees when teasing the La Tapatia surfboard. All of this work on the neck and left leg paid off tremendously, as it allowed Danielson to capture the first fall via a Small Package. Now that's brilliant storytelling. Minutes later, McGuinness would tie it up with a lariat followed by a modified Kimura Lock on the left arm, only further reminding me of the ultimate dream match that still eludes Danielson to this day.

The rest of the match was quality stuff that emotionally peaked in the last five minutes thanks to Bobby Cruise announcing the remaining time. The audience became unglued and I was stunned that they bought into McGuinness actually standing a chance to win the title, despite that this was the Twin Cities instead of his native UK, plus Danielson had a few more big challengers lined up including KENTA, Homicide, Samoa Joe, and Colt Cabana. That is a testament to the chemistry between Danielson and McGuinness.

It was insane to see McGuinness get an adrenaline rush this time while eating Danielson's elbows to the head, digging down deep as this was his final chance during Danielson's reign. The audience totally bit on it and McGuinness managed to gain the advantage, giving the champ a taste of his elbows-to-the-head medicine. Right when it looked like Danielson may finally lose the title via knockout, the time limit expired. An insane finish to a very unappreciated match that was dripping with storytelling and saw these two men overcome some booking and crowd obstacles so gracefully. This also showed that as Danielson neared the one year anniversary mark as champion, the reign was truly starting to take a toll on him, as he was seconds away from cleanly losing the title for the second time in the month. While he had eliminated his two greatest challengers in Strong and McGuinness on back-to-back events, doing so was coming with a price and this reign wasn't getting any easier.

In the post-match, Danielson is down for awhile, either selling the elbows at the end, or legit knocked out from a spot in which he charged at McGuinness in a corner like a ram. Once he can speak, which is still a struggle for him, he puts McGuinness over and says the Pure Title still belongs to him, bringing the saga to an official end on-screen. It was time to bring that title to an end, and as much as I love this rivalry, I am glad to be getting a break from it so that I'll be overjoyed when it returns on this project.

It also turns out that Twin Cities native and PWTorch founder Wade Keller was in attendance for this event. While I’m currently unable to find the issue with his live report on his website’s archive, he’s stated on numerous occasions he was backstage at the end of this match and that once Danielson knew all marks were out of sight, he stopped selling and grinned. Considering Danielson’s concussion history, that makes this match a bit easier to revisit and enjoy.

Rating: ****1/4

Strongly recommended for the main event, which was very different from the rest of the Danielson vs. McGuinness rivalry, and I believe most will get more mileage out of the other two matches I reviewed as well. Don't let the quiet crowd ruin the main event, although they definitely were a sign of what was about to come for the company. Then again, that's what happens when the owner gets greedy and spreads both his booker and roster thin.

Up next - Gut Check
Matches will include:
Briscoe Bros. vs. Homicide & Davey Richards
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Matt Sydal & Christopher Daniels
Bryan Danielson vs. Colt Cabana
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Sun May 03, 2015 1:50 am

Gut Check - August 26, 2006

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The matches I'm reviewing are on my external hard drive, so I'm once again doing a C&P of important angles courtesy Jake Ziegler & Brad Garoon.
Jimmy Jacobs watches on helplessly as Colt Cabana flirts with Lacey. Lacey is excited that Cabana will bring the World title to Lacey’s Angels but Cabana wants to keep business and pleasure separate. That pisses Lacey off so she turns her attentions to Jacobs. He’d better take out BJ Whitmer once and for all. Jacobs sulks but still wants Lacey to love him so he’ll go as far as killing Whitmer. She just wants him hurt.
After the match Jacobs hits Whitmer’s ankle with a chair and then knocks him down with a shot to the face. He takes Whitmer’s ankle apart with the chair and then sandwiches it between a few chairs. He climbs the ropes and hits a senton onto the chair pile. That was a great visual. Dave Prazak decries Jacobs’ actions unconvincingly. Lacey is only mildly impressed and the crowd hates her. The crowd smarty and correctly blames Lacey for Jacobs’s actions.
Briscoe Bros. vs. Homicide & Davey Richards

Solid midcard match and it was nice to see the thrown-together babyfaces troll the Briscoes early to cut the ring in half on Jay. That made sense since the Briscoes are irrational characters and Homicide is more than happy to use underhanded tactics as the antihero of the company. The Briscoes eventually gained the advantage to cut the ring in half on Richards, and the action got really good when he made the hot tag to Homicide. I also appreciated the referee enforcing tag legalities - I wonder why that's so hard in every tag match. Of course, Richards eats the pin as there was no way Homicide would be jobbing unless absolutely necessary at this time.

Mentioned in commentary is the Briscoes vs. KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji on the next show, September 15 in Connecticut! Despite the clusterfuck at Time to Man Up, I have to say... OH FUCK YES~!

Rating: ***
BG says: Dave Prazak catches up with Jimmy Jacobs at intermission. He tells Jacobs that Whitmer is on his way to the hospital, which pleases Jacobs. Jacobs says the power of love was strong than Whitmer’s ankle and the connection between Lacey and Cabana. He leaves the building while screaming a song.
Tag Titles Match
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Matt Sydal & Christopher Daniels


Match of the night here and I'm still waiting for this to be placed on a compilation, as this would be a huge favorite in modern-day ROH. Strong and Sydal did good back-and-forth stuff early, then it got really good when Aries and Daniels were tagged in. Sydal & Daniels went to work on the ribs and abdomen of Aries, cutting the ring in half on the champs. The arsenal was quite impressive, including various abdominal stretches and Sydal doing acrobatic maneuvers on that body part, complete with Aries getting his occasional hope spots in.

Once Aries got the hot tag to Strong, the action kicked up a notch as Strong was an amazing house of fire. The teams traded aerial attacks on the outside, as Aries continued putting his body on the line with a beautiful frogsplash on Sydal for a nearfall. Daniels prevented extensive double-team work on Sydal, only to get some for his troubles. As the match was ending, Sydal & Daniels did a combo of Uranage Slam, standing moonsault, and BME on Aries but Strong broke it up, then drew Sydal to the outside.

Aries and Daniels went at it in the ring with the latter getting an advantage, but Strong took out Sydal by throwing him Gorilla Press style on the outside towards a ring post. This allowed Strong to save Aries from eating the Angel's Wings, which would have been devastating on his ribs. Aries & Strong then went to business as usual, continuing their awesome reign by putting Daniels down with a half-nelson backbreaker and 450 splash. Had everyone's selling been on par with that of Aries, this would've been really great, and like the other tag match I reviewed on this show, I was happy to see no tag legality issues.

I must also mention that everyone in storyline continues to be dipshits, still wondering who had temporarily stolen the Tag Title belts earlier in the month.

Rating: ***3/4

ROH Title - 2/3 Falls Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Colt Cabana


The Chicago crowd is hot for this, going for dueling chants between the champ (because he's fucking excellent) and the their hometown boy getting one last shot. The first several minutes is good stuff with Danielson trying to play mind games when being out-wrestled, and he loses his cool, especially after poetically losing the first fall to a sudden Colt 45 as quickly as he put down Cabana at The 100th Show. This leads to him going in and out of the ring, and we find out just how much the business can really fucking suck. Danielson goes for a shoulder charge at Cabana, who evades it, only for Danielson to spill to the outside, crashing with his right shoulder on the floor. I'm certain that made him susceptible to him going out of action in WWE many years later.

Danielson gutted through and finished the match, giving this events its title, although he really should've had this wrapped up within a half hour if they wanted to minimize the damage while delivering a quality main event. I'll analyze that aspect after going through the actual match. While this injury obviously hindered the quality of the match, his performance here was just as exceptional as Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV, having no choice but to sell his very fresh, real pain.

Despite the injury, they managed to have a good match with all kinds of good mat work as expected, but not as consistently explosive as would be expected under normal circumstances. Danielson targeted Cabana's left leg, but that ultimately didn't help him retain the title, as 45 minutes in Cabana was still up 1-0. At this point they went to the outside and had a great brawl, calling back to the feuds they had with Homicide. It really went all over, and I couldn't believe Danielson with that fresh injury did a springboard dive towards Cabana in the crowd. Near the end of the brawl, Cabana made sure to get his highspot in too, hitting a modified Asai Moonsault towards Danielson in the crowd.

It started to sink in for Danielson that he NEEDED to get a fall with several minutes left, otherwise his epic reign would come to a screeching halt, and doing so being down 0-1 after going the full 60 minutes would be unacceptable for a man that was being compared to the likes of Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, and Jack Brisco. But no matter what, perhaps due to his injury, he just couldn't manage to keep Cabana from reaching the ropes during submissions or put him down for the 3 count. So with about 30 seconds left, he requested the ref to check the time with Bobby Cruise, then used the opportunity to kick Cabana in the nuts and tie it 1-1 via a small package, then allowed the time limit to expire to hold on. Combined with Cabana's opportunity against Danielson in FIP, this would be his fourth shot during this reign, thus putting him with Strong and Nigel McGuinness in being eliminated from ROH Title contention until Danielson gets dethroned.

Two ways of looking at this booking - back-to-back 60 minute draws, coming just three weeks after one against Samoa Joe, not only helped Danielson draw comparisons to the great iron men of the sport, but had him showing vulnerability as the champion as his reign got closer to its one year anniversary. That is perhaps extremely critical for what was to come for him on the next double shot for the company. Ultimately, I'd have preferred Danielson to just finish Cabana off in 30-40 minutes as Cabana, despite whatever he may have done on the smaller indies, didn't seem to quite click doing a 60 minute Broadway. Plus, my pick up to this point for the greatest match in ROH's history is Danielson vs. Paul London at The Epic Encounter, a 2/3 falls match that went a tad over 40 minutes, thus proving going 60-75 minutes wasn't a necessity.

On the other hand, going the distance for Cabana, even though he was screwed, solidified his position on the roster. While it didn't appear he'd ever win the top prize in the company, this series against Danielson as well as getting the last laugh on Homicide put him in the position that he could believably be placed in the main event of any ROH show and he could pass on that rub to Jimmy Jacobs, who he'd obviously just started a program with. That too is critical in making sure the roster is stacked with a variety of different top talents that can be slotted up and down the card, rather than relying too much on a select few.

For the sake of his health, and now considering the evidence I laid down for why this match would've actually been better having half or third of it condensed, Danielson should've called the audible. Going the distance was ultimately not worth it, even if the effort and intention is admirable. He also didn't need to prove that he was an iron man, and Cabana likely would've come out of this just as if not hotter losing a more intense 30-40 minute scorcher. This is a good match, but definitely my pick for the coldest 60 Minute Broadway in the company up to this point.

Rating: ***1/2

As the disc closes, an unknown voice makes the announcement about Danielson's injury, and he is opting not to get surgery. Instead, he will continue to defend the title, and it's not getting any easier. His next challenger is someone that has pinned him twice, and now Danielson has a shitty injury to deal with to boot. This is also a historic event for the company, the biggest in its history up to this point. And if there is anything that can top the London vs. Danielson masterpiece I mentioned as the best match in company history, this might very well be it, assuming the champ can dig down deep and find a way to work around an injury against one of the most relentless bastards in the business.

September 16, 2006. The company making its Manhattan Center debut in downtown New York City. Glory By Honor V Night 2. Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA for the ROH Title.

OH FUCK YES~! OH FUCK YES~! OH FUCK YES~!

But that is for night 2. Before I get too excited, there is another event to revisit, and its main event is nothing to overlook. And it features someone that is having a very important match several days prior to this historic weekend.

Up next - Glory By Honor V Night 1
Matches will include:
Jack Evans vs. Ricky Reyes vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Colt Cabana
Nigel McGuinness vs. Christopher Daniels
Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards
Roderick Strong vs. Samoa Joe
Briscoe Bros. vs. KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji
Last edited by supersonic on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Thu May 14, 2015 7:53 pm

Glory By Honor V Night 1 - September 15, 2006

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ROH Video Recap - September 1, 2006



Important news/footage in the above video:

Footage of the Pure Title retirement as well as an update on Bryan Danielson
Glory By Honor V Night 1: Roderick Strong vs. Samoa Joe; Briscoe Bros. vs. KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji; Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries for the ROH Title
Glory By Honor V Night 2: Briscoe Bros. vs. Samoa Joe & Homicide; Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Kings of Wrestling for the Tag Titles; Nigel McGuinness vs. Naomichi Marufuji; Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA for the ROH Title; an appearance by the iconic Bruno Sammartino and ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette
Delirious also wants bigger matches
OH FUCK YES~! OH FUCK YES~! OH FUCK YES~! OH FUCK YES~! OH FUCK YES~! OH FUCK YES~!

Posted by Jimmy Jacobs on September 12, 2006



ROH Video Recap - September 13, 2006





Important news/footage in the above two videos:

Part 1
Post-match footage from the Fight of the Century main event involving Bryan Danielson, KENTA, Homicide, Samoa Joe, and the Briscoes
Naomichi Marufuji has defeated Jun Akiyama for the GHC Heavyweight Title. Therefore, for the first time in that title's history, it will be defended on American soil. Marufuji vs. McGuinness for the top prize in all of puroresu at Glory By Honor V Night 2. OH FUCK YES~!

Part 2
As has been the story of his career it seems, Bryan Danielson is taking a pass on much-needed shoulder surgery, instead choosing to be a fighting champion and prove he's the very best in the world against KENTA in the historic Manhattan Center at Glory By Honor V Night 2. That KENTA has twice pinned him means nothing. That he has torn tendons in his chest and shoulder means nothing. He will have to be beaten to near-death to not leave New York City with the top prize in indy wrestling. No mention of the scheduled defense against Aries, so it looks like he's getting the night off to be as ready as possible for one of the biggest matches in company history. I hope Cary Silkin went ahead and paid Danielson for both nights anyway as a sign of appreciation for what Danielson is doing for the company.
With the ROH Title shot Aries earned with his pin over Danielson at War of the Wire II postponed, he is now slotted against Davey Richards for Glory By Honor V Night 1. Another huge opportunity for ROH's favorite prospect. Also that night is Nigel McGuinness vs. Christopher Daniels. Can't complain about either of these matchups. I do wonder if Richards was gonna be elevated by warming up McGuinness though had Danielson not gotten hurt. Oh well.
"There is no need for hype. These are the shows of the year!" Um, bigger than the UK double-shot? Bigger than the WrestleMania 22 weekend triple-shot?! We'll see about that.

Due to last-minute issues at Sports World, this show has been moved inside of a tent. Didn't hurt Generation Next whatsoever, so this should be fine.

In their final appearance, Dunn & Marcos make quick work of a couple students, then are quickly taken care of by the Kings of Wrestling, who are sporting tag belts from Chikara, which look totally amateur.

Christopher Daniels wonders if he's getting the Nigel McGuinness that loves to go for cheap tactics like in their first match at Weekend of Champions Night 1, or the valiant version that gave it his all last month against Bryan Danielson. McGuinness retorts that it doesn't matter as he's gonna carry momentum into his historic shot at the GHC Heavyweight Title tomorrow night against Marufuji. If McGuinness looks past Daniels again like he did in their prior match due to having a more marquee opportunity the next night...

Jack Evans vs. Ricky Reyes vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Colt Cabana

Nothing special but that wasn't the purpose of this match, which is why for once I didn't even bother paying attention to tag legalities. Reyes was literally just a faceless body to have, while Evans at least provided entertaining acrobatics, but his most noteworthy contribution was at the beginning of the match. Before the opening though, Cabana had Bobby Cruise make the following announcement:

"We would like to clear something up. He and Lacey did not reach third base in the bushes 40 minutes ago." Great crowd reaction and Jacobs was priceless as the pathetic creep sulking in his misery. Cabana also pats Lacey in the ass for good measure and mocks Lacey's scolding towards her client.

Evans after the opening bell: "Now I don't even like this man that much, but yo, Lacey's a catch. Let's give it up for him. Colt's a pimp!" The crowd then does a brief "Colt's a pimp!" chant. Awesome.

Lacey ordered Jacobs to work together with Cabana, not caring at all when Cabana worked on Jacobs earlier. Cabana then proceeded to humiliate Jacobs, pulling the body of Reyes when teasing they'd perform a double-team move. It was really obvious that getting the pussy was causing Cabana, a man who had almost dethroned Danielson and been through a war against Homicide (and I believe him winning that feud, along with his cocky and comedic demeanor, was highly attractive to Lacey), wasn't taking this creepy Jacobs seriously, just like he hadn't done when interviewing the Notorious 187 a year earlier.

I'll go out on a limb and say that based on how Jacobs had performed in battles against BJ Whitmer and Alex Shelley, that history will repeat itself on Cabana, especially with Jacobs having a creepy crush as his sole motivation now. It's also stunning to see Cabana fail to remember that the performances of Jacobs against Generation Next had impressed him and brought them together to come to Bobby Heenan's aid at All Star Extravaganza II. In the end, Jacobs got pinned by a nice springboard somersault leg drop by Evans, who was hindered by the low ceiling of the tent from going for the 630 splash in the corner.

Post-match, Lacey scolds Jacobs for losing once again while Cabana mocks him. Cabana leaves solo to the crowd chanting his name, telling a kid in front row "We'll talk about the birds and the bees when you're older, alright." Meanwhile, Jacobs once again allows himself to be pussy-whipped, which the crowd chants, without even being granted a slight glance at it by Lacey, and holds the ropes open for her, completely defeated. Home run storyline advancement here.

Nigel McGuinness vs. Christopher Daniels

They had nice mat wrestling early in front of the divided crowd. McGuinness eventually got the advantage going after the left shoulder of Daniels. He also targeted the left knee, but didn't put in enough work for that to have any substantial effect. Working on the left shoulder though via various takedowns and submissions, including a top-wrist takedown, seated hammerlock variation, and Cobra Clutch, was really intelligent work. He also added in an overhead suplex, using the damaged left shoulder for leverage to force Daniels to rotate. That not only would make Daniels more prone to being pinned for the three-count as well as tapping out to anything causing damage to that limb, but potentially marginalize the Angel's Wings and Iconoclasm. Keep in mind the BME would already be hindered by the tent ceiling too.

When Daniels gained control after slapping the face of McGuinness, whose headstand was hindered by the low ceiling of the tent, he targeted the neck. This was equally intelligent to the strategy of McGuinness, for while it wouldn't hinder much of the former Pure Champ's offense, it would make his neck prone to more damage when delivering the Angel's Wings, Iconoclasm, and especially reverse STO into Kofi Clutch combo. Daniels was great in selling the pain in his left arm, but favored working on McGuinness with the neck vice repeatedly, while also applying a swinging neckbreaker and Crippler Crossface.

McGuinness cut Daniels off with a hammerlock takedown of course on the left arm, then they teased a striking battle with McGuinness getting the upper hand. I loved Daniels ducking a left forearm in the corner, knowing it was coming after taking many of them, only for McGuinness to use his momentum to deliver a right elbow. With Daniels dazed in the corner, McGuinness landed a running European Uppercut. But Daniels used his momentum going forward from that blow to block McGuinness with a right elbow of his own, causing McGuinness to bounce back for a rebound lariat, but that would be a nearfall. For the sake of building McGuinness up for tomorrow, I'd have ended the match there.

But the match was still really good. Daniels blocked being crotched on the top rope, sniffing out the Tower of London. Instead, he got the trademark combo of a spinal kick and driven forearm to the chest, then ate the headstand heel kick teased minutes earlier for a nearfall. Daniels still evaded the Tower of London once being crotched, hitting a palm thrust and follow-up Iconoclasm for a nearfall and still selling his left arm. I really loved the sequence that followed.

McGuinness evaded the Angel's Wings and swept the left leg of Daniels. Daniels ducked a clothesline and kneed McGuinness, causing another rebound lariat attempt. But Daniels used that momentum to deliver his reverse STO and Koji Clutch combo for a very nice false finish as McGuinness rolled over for a nearfall. Daniels planted McGuinness with a Uranage, realized the BME would be hindered, and then got school-boy pinned for a nearfall. Daniels went for a scoop slam but McGuinness got a couple more nearfalls with a small package counter and clothesline. Crowd was feeling it here.

McGuinness crotched Daniels for a lariat, but the Fallen Angel ducked and hit a springboard back elbow then went for the Arabian Press. McGuinness got the knees up, hitting the abdomen, then lifted Daniels back overhead to land ribs-first on the top rope. He then finished off Daniels with the Tower of London, this time with Daniels just on the top rope selling his ribs rather than being planted in the corner. Quality professional wrestling here with the correct guy going over for obvious reasons. Why isn't this on a compilation yet?

Rating: ***1/2

Samoa Joe cuts a backstage promo, indicating he doesn't realize both of these shows are making up a Glory By Honor V double-shot. He vows to prove Roderick Strong's pinfall over him at The Epic Encounter II was a fluke. After the producer yells cut, Joe is introduced to Takeshi Morishima. "Welcome to Ring of Honor... hope you can hack it." Has Joe not done his homework and studied anything from NOAH?

Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards

The positive in this match is that the pace picked up more as it went along with the crowd enthusiasm increasing appropriately. But this match had no story going for it and built up to nothing. With Aries still having his ribs taped up, I was really hoping that Richards targeting it about halfway in would pay off, but nope. They just went back to a masturbatory routine. On top of that, either Richards or the referee fucked up, as the referee counted three with Richards done entirely after a brainbuster, but claimed it was a nearfall. Those who have seen Kurt Angle vs. The Rock at No Way Out 2001 would be familiar with this kind of fuck-up. They repeated the same sequence to bring this disappointing match to an end. After seeing his stock elevated against KENTA, Richards took a back step here.

Rating: less than ***

At intermission, Gary Michael Cappetta interviews Lacey, Jimmy Jacobs, and Colt Cabana. He asks if the two men are teaming up, and Lacey is referring to them as "Lacey's Angels," talking about getting wins, while Cabana has a funny face when hearing that and says "I'm about getting somethin'." Lacey berates Jacobs while Cabana checks her out, and Cabana is hilarious mocking the situation, throwing in a sarcastic "jerk" for good measure. Once the interview is done, Lacey and Cabana talk about going on a date right in front of Jacobs, who is told to "hit the gym or something" by his crush. Awesome.

Roderick Strong vs. Samoa Joe

Strong drives the bigger Joe in the corner when they lock up at the beginning, then they exchanged working on each other's left arms, with Strong winning that little battle too, getting a hammerlock pin attempt in. He wins another lockup battle but gets taken down somewhat by a Uranage-esque trip. Joe evades a chop and goes to deliver elbows when mounting Strong but that's just a tease as Strong quickly reaches the ropes. Strong wins another lockup battle, but Joe reverses him and goes for a chop, only for Strong to evade it and start delivering his own. Strong hits more forearms then drives Joe down via a side slam, getting started on his back work.

Strong follows that up with a butterfly suplex and then clubs Joe's back, but Joe evades a dropkick and then gains control by countering a leapfrog, pancaking Strong. He follows that up with kicks to the chest, which Strong does a great job of selling. Strong attempts a cutoff but Joe prevents that with a headbutt, then goes for his signature combo of seating Strong, chopping the back, kicking the chest, and hitting a knee drop to the crowd's approval. Joe continues working on Strong with chops, giving the Tag Champ a taste of his own medicine.

Strong breaks out of a submission via a Saito Suplex, dumping Joe on his head and regaining control. He shows off his incredible strength, hitting a crossbody, forearm, enziguri, and modified butterfly suplex, throwing Joe around like a fucking rag doll. But Joe cuts him off in the corner to regain control himself, planting Strong with a Uranage Slam when going for a running forearm in the corner. Joe hits a leaping forearm then a nice Pele kick, and then gives Strong some boot scrapes, which the crowd requests to see again. Joe happily obliges, dazing Strong as he's seated in the corner.

Joe continues working on Strong, going after the head and neck to set him up for the musclebuster and Island Driver. Strong attempts a comeback with elbows to the midsection and then a follow-up half-nelson backbreaker, but Joe shrugs him off and hits a back elbow, then follows that up with a neck vice. Strong looks to make another comeback in the same fashion, but Joe elbows him when attempting a Uranage backbreaker and then just delivers a slap to knock him down for a nearfall.

Joe goes back to working on the head and neck, planting a chinlock while also having Strong in a hammerlock, trying to sabotage an elbows-to-the-midsection comeback attempt, but that doesn't work. They they have a brutal strike exchange, just absolutely beautiful like they're performing in front of a sold-out arena in Tokyo or Osaka. Strong finally regains control when he counters a running boot with a backbreaker, although he really hurts his right knee in the process. Strong keeps delivering blows on Joe, knowing he can't afford to rest.

Strong's attempt for a Boston Crab or Liontamer is evaded as Joe uses his leg strength to shrug him off. Strong cartwheels out of that and then goes after Joe to the outside with a twisting dive to the crowd's approval. Strong delivers more chops and forearms and runs the ropes, but whatever he had in mind is countered when Joe just drops him pancake-style. Rejuvenated, Joe goes for another combo he loves, that being a powerbomb and STF. He then puts Strong in a Crippler Crossface, reminding me of a dream chop battle that Strong will sadly never get to have. I must note that Joe is using two of the same submission moves (neck vice and Crippler Crossface) that Daniels used earlier in the evening, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Strong looks to regain control with a boot to the face, but that's a hope spot as Joe counters whatever he had in mind running via a powerslam nearfall. But Joe runs the ropes and gets a half-nelson backbreaker for his trouble, and his scream of pain is just unreal. I've no idea if that was legit or selling, and I'll explain once I finish reviewing this match. Strong crotches Joe and hits a chop followed by a superplex which amazes the crowd, but of course that's just a nearfall as Joe is in severe pain.

Joe attempts a cutoff but Strong evades a running boot, then plants the former ROH Champ in a Liontamer. Joe is too thick for Strong to hold on, so the Tag Champ shows off his strength once again, putting Joe in a fireman's carry and hitting a gutbuster, but making sure that his knees don't take too much impact to stall his momentum. Strong runs the ropes and gets his legs swept, causing Strong to land on his left knee, which he is kind enough to sell. Joe plants Strong in the corner but Strong sabotages him and knocks him back with strikes and a boot to the face. Strong doesn't have enough in both of his knees to hit a Tiger Driver, although I'm sure Joe dead-weighted that knowing it put him down a few weeks earlier.

Strong instead hits a modified butterfly suplex and plants Joe in the corner to go for another superplex. Joe tries to shove him off but gets a forearm and strike for his trouble. While Strong tries to find balance, Joe punches him in the gut and puts Strong in the fireman's carry, then finishes Strong with an amazing climax, that being a Super Death Valley Driver, and Joe is down in pain, either selling the back or dealing with something legit. Crowd fucking loves that finish as they should.

This was an excellent match with great cutoffs and teases, along with the expected stiff blows and strikes. What makes this match even more impressive was Joe's performance at the end, as at some point he landed badly and got sciatica. It was so bad he had to be walked to his car according to PWInsider's Mike Johnson. That was a great match under normal circumstances only more amazing due to Joe's injury; a classic between two great workers that could've easily headlined any ROH event in any era; and also kept Joe strong since he was still in ROH Title contention. Match of the night here.

Rating: ****

Briscoe Bros. vs. KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji

I really appreciated tag legalities not being forgotten in this one, and I imagine that's thanks to the big-league tandem of KENTA & Marufuji. I should mention that the former GHC Jr. Tag Champs are accompanied by Morishima, Mohammed Yone, and Takashi Sugiura. Would've loved to have see Sugiura work ROH, and speaking of guys who we're still waiting to see work for ROH, Jared David mentions in commentary that this is a reunion for KENTA & Marufuji in this dream match, as Marufuji had moved onto singles obviously as the reigning GHC Heavyweight Champion, while KENTA was regularly teaming with Katsuyori Shibata. Come on NJPW, let's get it done already.

Before the match, Marufuji has no issue following the Code of Honor with the Briscoes, but KENTA refuses after the events at Fight of the Century, which is understandable. As for the match, I mentioned that tag legalities were followed, automatically making this a work of art compared to the bullshit tag match involving Richards instead of Marufuji at Time to Man Up. While this isn't a work of art though, and even when not comparing it to an awful match, this was really good stuff that lived up to expectations. This was back-and-forth in the same vein as the classic the Briscoes had against Aries & Strong at Unified, although not quite as spectacular and lacking the off-the-charts heat of the Liverpool crowd.

While I would've liked to have seen a build to a hot tag and a breakdown of matchups, particularity the vicious physicality of Jay vs. KENTA compared to the spottier Mark vs. Marufuji, I really don't have anything negative to say about this beyond that. That really isn't even a criticism either, as I had pointed out in the Unified Tag Title classic that not every tag match has to be structured a similar way. Every move hit was crisp and it was good to see the Briscoes work against a team that had not only achieved far more significant success than them, but would gladly play just as dirty too. Of course, the match truly peaked with the puro tag finishing sequence, which was a ton of fun and booked perfectly considering where these men were being slotted the next night.

After all kinds of great signature shit that was broken up, trademark double-team moves, and evasions of trademarks, Marufuji threw Jay out. Mark evaded a G2S but would eat a Busaiku knee and then fall to KENTA's finisher anyway, keeping him as strong as possible going into one of the most important matches in company history. Marufuji didn't need to be put over, so this was perfect booking. It also showed that although the Briscoes were clearly about to be the faces of the tag division in ROH (although it could be argued they already were by this point), they had a ways to go against cream-of-the-crop tandems such as Aries & Strong and KENTA & Marufuji. (And dammit, why didn't we ever get that dream tag either?)

This wasn't blowaway, but it was crisp, had great crowd heat, well-paced, a ton of fun, and booked logically. I have no complaints about this match whatsoever and it's too bad we never got to see a rematch in front of an A-grade market like NYC or Chicago.

Rating: ***3/4

Not a show of the year contender as booker Gabe Sapolsky advertised beforehand, but strongest recommendation possible for three quality but very different matches, plus awesome storyline advancement for Lacey, Jacobs, and Cabana. The booking on this was really top-notch, both for the short-term of being a go-home show for arguably the most important event in ROH history, and also for the long term for not just the Lacey/Jacobs saga, but even the Briscoes as well. I can only imagine if Danielson vs. Aries had been able to occur as advertised too. Do NOT skip this show just because it's outshined by the following night.

And here we are, folks. Once again, I can't believe I've made it this far.

ROH debuts at the Manhattan Center, home to so many historic events prior to this point thanks to ECW and Raw. The venue that saw Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect tear the house down as the Nature Boy bowed out of the WWF to go back home. Where ECW briefly invaded the WWF in an attempted counter to the nWo's profitable invasion of WCW. Where Raw made its historic debut. Where ECW had its final PPV. Where WWE had resurrected ECW for a truly magical night. Right next door to the New Yorker Hotel, and in the shadows of the iconic Madison Square Garden.

For special appearances, there are already a number of NOAH talents, most notably the touted future face of puroresu Takeshi Morishima. But there is also the man synonymous with pro wrestling in Manhattan, that being the iconic Bruno Sammartino.

We also have the follow-up 24 hours later of Jimmy Jacobs failing to impress Lacey as she focused on making Colt Cabana shine brightest. Will Jacobs finally be able to give Lacey the one thing she's demanded of him, that being a victory?

In addition, there are FOUR matches on here that could easily headline any "normal" ROH event. And two of them are from the ashes of the climatic feud against CZW.

First, as a result of the war against CZW, Homicide & Samoa Joe form the dream team that nobody could've thought possible two years earlier, going up against the Briscoes, who are coming off of a humbling defeat. ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette is sure to have something to say as well.

Next, the Kings of Wrestling finally get their shot at the Tag Titles against Austin Aries & Roderick Strong after signing an open contract and playing mind games via temporary theft of the belts. After so many quality defenses against the Briscoes, Samoa Joe, Jay Lethal, Nigel McGuinness, CIMA, Naruki Doi, Matt Sydal, Bryan Danielson, and Christopher Daniels, can Aries & Strong continue their legacy as the greatest Tag Champs in ROH history, or will the KOW find a way to end their prestigious reign, proving themselves as the dominant tag team on the indies, and securing Chris Hero a spot on the ROH roster after being banished?

For the first time in its history, the GHC Heavyweight Title, which has been contested for in absolute wars involving Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, Jun Akiyama, Yuji Nagata, Yoshihiro Takayama, and many others, will be defended on American soil. Can Nigel McGuinness pull off the upset and make up for his bittersweet, career-defining defeat to Bryan Danielson the month before on the other side of the Atlantic, or will Naomichi Marufuji prove that his victory over Akiyama a week earlier wasn't a fluke, and that junior heavyweights can hack it in the main events?

And last but certainly not least, Bryan Danielson must defend the ROH Title against KENTA, a man who has beaten him twice and yet to be defeated in ROH since debuting at Final Battle 2005. In addition, Danielson is going into this just three weeks after fucking up his right shoulder. Does he have what it takes to dig down deep and finally slay the juggernaut, thus securing himself alongside Joe as the only men up to this point to go a full year as ROH Champion? Or will KENTA fulfill his destiny in a company that was tailor-made for a man of his skills and in-ring style?

Is Danielson vs. KENTA, after all these years and what these men have gone on to achieve since, still the defining performance of Danielson's career? Is this the greatest ROH Title match of all-time as many tout it as being? How will this compare to Danielson's series against Strong and McGuinness? To the Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk trilogy? To Joe vs. Kobashi? To the Cage of Death? To Do Fixer vs. Blood Generation? To AJ Styles vs. Paul London?

Will Danielson vs. KENTA end up STILL being my pick for the greatest match in ROH history, eclipsing Danielson's work of perfection against London at The Epic Encounter?

And in a year that included what I already touted as the greatest overall show in ROH history, will Glory By Honor V Night 2 end up eclipsing Better Than Our Best?

I have my doubts about that last question, but there is only one way to truly answer it.

Up next - Glory By Honor V Night 2
A show this historic deserves better than to be partially revisited. For only the second time, and like before could be the last time on this project, I'm watching and reviewing the entire fucking show.
Last edited by supersonic on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Tue May 19, 2015 7:37 pm

Glory By Honor V Night 2 - September 16, 2006

Image

ROH Champion Bryan Danielson is on the corner of W 34th St and 8th Ave, across the street from Madison Square Garden. With the iconic venue in the background, the champ mentions it is where Bruno Sammartino, who is in attendance tonight, made his legacy. "This place is where legends are made." He walks northwest on W 34th St and finally stops after about 40 seconds, right across the street from the Manhattan Center. He says KENTA will need to kill him to dethrone him, and that "this is the building where I make MY legacy."

That promo is immediately followed by a sweet video package highlighting the devastation that both participants in tonight's main event have laid upon the roster, ending with both of KENTA's successful Go to Sleeps that have put Danielson away followed by a zoom-in of the ROH Title belt. Simple and oh so effective. It is not difficult to book both a credible challenger and champion, folks.

Jack Evans vs. Davey Richards

This match is a result of Richards defeating Evans in Generation Next's last match together at Generation Now. Super fun opener here. There were times when Evans seemed to catch Richards by surprise and frustrate him, which made sense due to Evans having more experience plus a unique acrobatic ability. But when Evans took time to hype himself and the crowd up after a somersault elbow, Richards gained control by kicking him off the apron.

Richards followed that up by tossing Evans into a guard rail. Evans teases a hope spot when he knees Richards in the face during a vertical suplex attempt, but Richards cuts that off with a gut-buster and then following that up by planting the abdomen of Evans on the top rope. He hits a backbreaker on Evans for a nearfall, trying to take away the acrobats and keep him grounded. But Evans still manages to make quite the easy comeback during a sleeper, elbowing the more muscular Richards and hitting a Quebrada 360 degree elbow.

With control regained by Evans, Richards goes to the outside to get his shit together, but Evans makes him pay for that and has the crowd going apeshit due to an awesome corkscrew Sasuke Special. Back in the ring, Evans goes for the 630 splash but takes too long, so Richards goes up to cut him off. However, Evans wins a striking battle up there and goes for the 630 splash, only to eat the knees of Richards. With Richards in control now, he hits a running forearm and running powerslam for a nearfall, then locks in the Stretch Muffler, but Evans unsurprisingly reaches the ropes, having proven himself to have an inhuman pain threshold.

Richards goes for a running power bomb which is countered with a hurricanrana by Evans, who is unable to to hook the legs for a pin due to being exhausted. This allows Richards to kick out and then hit Kawada kicks, but Evans ducks a roundhouse and hits his own kicks, only to eat a kick to the gut, powerbomb, and another Stretch Muffler, having no choice to tap out clean in the middle of the ring. Give this the same focus with double the time and I believe this could've been one of the finest openers in company history.

Rating: ***

Nigel McGuinness has a backstage promo, indicating how quick life can be, and that it is truly defined by rare moments that can some so quickly. Tonight's match for the GHC Heavyweight Title against Naomichi Marufuji embodies that.

ROH Shows Appreciation For Bruno Sammartino

Many of ROH's stars are at ringside, as are NOAH stars Takashi Sugiura, Mohammed Yone, and Takeshi Morishima. Sammartino is given an absolutely wonderful ovation, complete with a "Welcome home!" chant from the Manhattan audience. He takes the time to put over the ROH product for its traditional approach to pro wrestling, although he's a bit ignorant that the company gets just as violent as WWE. He doesn't do anything to shit on those who enjoy the WWE product, just that he appreciates ROH and its roster.

Sammartino leaves with the wrestlers following him through the entrance aisle, and Morishima and Samoa Joe almost bump into each other. They motion for one another to go and bump into each other, then they get in the ring and have a pull-apart brawl that has this crowd going fucking apeshit. They're being held back by the wrestlers as the crowd chants for Joe and begs for the fight to happen. This is just as fantastic as the pull-apart brawl between John Cena and Brock Lesnar in 2012. I'm looking forward to Joe vs. Morishima after this.

Delirious vs. Adam Pearce

Easily the worst match of the night and not due to the performance of either man. It is all due to the booking that fucking reeked of the horrid era to come in 2011 and 2012, and this keeps this event as a whole from the gold standard set by Better Than Our Best despite having higher peaks than that show.

The match itself was fine and nothing special, just standard stuff. But Shane Hagadorn interfered and hit Delirious with brass knuckles, allowing Pearce to get a cheap finish that nobody could have possibly cared about. Pearce then announced Hagadorn as his man-servant, a direction with as much game-changing impact and entertainment value as Horace Hogan colliding with Ed Leslie on a 1998 episode of Nitro.

Of course, I know the reason for this booking. Booker Gabe Sapolsky had plans for Delirious coming very soon to recover from this, while Pearce was getting groomed for the eventual job to Homicide before the end of the year. That's fine for a B-show, but not this event, in this venue, in front of this Manhattan audience, especially since it was incredibly obvious the next Manhattan event wouldn't have Homicide vs. Pearce on the card anyway. This show deserved better, these wrestlers deserved better, and most importantly, the fans who paid their hard-earned money in attendance deserved better.

Jimmy Jacobs vs. Colt Cabana vs. Christopher Daniels

Like the match night before involving Jacobs and Cabana, this won't get a special rating because this match's purpose was to be just awesome storyline advancement. Daniels was literally just a body in this one, making him a waste on this particular card, but I'll go into further detail on that in a moment. In this one, Cabana once again fooled Jacobs into believing they'd work together at Lacey's request. He also had two great back-to-back comedy spots, "accidentally" putting his hands on her chest and then taking a phantom bump to look up her skirt.

Jacobs was out for a bit, but then kicked Cabana in the nuts from behind, following that up with a Shiranui on Cabana for his first victory in quite some time. But that would be for naught, as Lacey cares more about Cabana being unavailable for plans later in the evening than Jacobs winning, which confuses him. She absolutely refuses to congratulate and celebrate with Jacobs, berating him about it.

So now this is the end of the undercard. Before going into the quadruple main event, here's what the undercard lineup should've been to truly make this the greatest event of all-time for ROH:

Davey Richards vs. Christopher Daniels
Jack Evans vs. Delirious
Jimmy Jacobs vs. Colt Cabana vs. Adam Pearce

Richards vs. Daniels would have the potential to be the greatest opener in company history, with Daniels being the ring general and thus helping Richards learn while guiding him to the best singles match of his career up to that point. Richards could potentially go over for a huge moment to kick off the show, and Daniels may even play a subtle heel, questioning if the younger, greener Richards was truly the future of the company, and thus being cocky would cost him.

Evans vs. Delirious would just be all-out fun, with all kinds of great back-and-forth banter to pop the crowd as proven during their Comedy Match of the Decade also involving Samoa Joe and Ebetaroh at The Final Showdown. This match brings something different to follow the workrate-heavy opener and Delirious could use the win to build him up for what was around the corner for him. Of course, these two would be able to pack in enough action and focus to hold its own as a wrestling match too.

Jacobs vs. Cabana vs. Pearce is a perfect matchup for what was planned. Pearce is the perfect generic body to allow for angle advancement, and could've possibly added to the dynamic involving Lacey, Jacobs, and Cabana. Imagine him telling Lacey to fuck off and thus pissing off Jacobs. Imagine him completely shitting on Jacobs, being an emotional bully but also showing ass to him. Don't forget about the history outside of ROH between Cabana and Pearce as well that would play into this. Hagadorn could still get involved too and take a post-match bump to give Cabana back some heat after jobbing to Jacobs.

This would've saved us that tedious booking at the end of Delirious vs. Pearce, given Delirious and Daniels something substantial to do, been a great opportunity for Richards to go under the learning tree and get put over very strongly, allowed Evans to show off both his personality and acrobatics, and provided three different undercard matches, all of them highly entertaining, yet being very unique from another.

And now, the quadruple main event, starting with the pre-intermission main event.

ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette comes to the ring with the Briscoes and cuts a perfect promo for this Manhattan audience, although a sign of something tedious to come for ROH is unfortunately mentioned here. After paying lip service that he really has no issue with anyone in ROH or attendance except for Homicide, he then does a 180 and says anyone not supporting him against Homicide is now an enemy of his. He also cuts a fantastic heel promo on NYC, listing all kinds of reasons he hates that city, and then chastises the audience for loving those characteristics of their city. Hearing him bitch about trash piling on the streets though, I was wondering if he was confusing NYC with Detroit. (Full disclosure: I say that based on the Motor City's reputation, as I've yet to visit that market.)

He then makes a reference to LAX, specifically Konnan, and the discrimination card that they've been playing, and cuts a borderline racist promo telling immigrants to fuck off from America, then puts over his hillbilly region in the Smoky Mountains that he loves so much. Many don't care to see this type of card played in pro wrestling but this is ultimately, as Danielson mentioned at the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, a work of fiction. What makes this dynamic work here is that Cornette, although many of his points were irrational, was 100% correct in shitting on LAX for playing the discrimination card. Cornette is also a MUCH better fit for delivering this type of promo based on his home region, his accent, and his history in running a wrestling federation than Triple H was during that God-awful shoehorned direction during his feud against Booker T. in 2003.

But this talking segment ultimately serves a purpose beyond generating great heat. Homicide is being granted his ROH Title shot when the company returns to the Manhattan Center on December 23 for Final Battle 2006... OH FUCK YES~! BUT, Homicide & Samoa Joe must be victorious in their match against the Briscoes tonight, otherwise Homicide's shot is being held off until 2007, thus fucking him out of his goal to be champion before the end of 2006, and having to hold his word that he would thus leave the company.

Briscoe Bros. vs. Samoa Joe & Homicide

They brawl in-ring to kick off the match to a great pop, but the Briscoes get taken to the outside. So the dream team then do stereo dives of their own, Homicide with a tope con hilo and Joe with an elbow suicida, to an absolutely outstanding pop. Even with a flawed undercard, this is already giving me my money's worth.

The match of course calms down to a standard tag and I was happy to see tag legalities being remembered at all times, no matter how crazy this match got. Unfortunately, Joe couldn't give a consistent "big match" performance that would be expected due to the sciatica triggered the night before, as he had to take careful bumps and got fatigued more quickly than usual. This pretty much killed any chance of building up to a white-hot tag that this match on this show in front of this audience really should've had, but of course there's no guarantee an ROH tag would be structured that way anyway.

All the action was really good in this one, with it of course getting crazy in the third act due to all the awesome cut-offs and blows. But one of the scariest bumps I've ever seen takes place, even more so all these years later in light of Mitsuharu Misawa's death. With Mark temporarily taken out due to an awesome lariat from Joe, Jay takes a hideous bump due to a combined clothesline and back-drop suplex that saw him land on nothing but his scalp. Thankfully Jay didn't kick out, instead Mark breaking the count.

Jay got a brief adrenaline rush and picked up Homicide for a springboard Doomsday Device, only for Joe to cut Mark off and take him out via Ole Ole Kicks on the outside. In the ring, Jay dropped Homicide with a release German Suplex, but can't follow up right away due to the head-drop moments earlier. This allows Homicide to block an attempted double underhook piledriver and evade the military press Death Valley Driver, finishing Jay off with an enziguri and Kudo Driver, which was perfect after that scary bump Jay had just taken.

That finish actually paid off the neck damage on Jay from the scary bump. He couldn't follow up right away after the German Suplex and didn't have enough strength in his central nervous system to overcome Homicide dead-weighting his finisher, then had gas poured on the figurative fire with that Kudo Driver. Loved the crazy structure of this match and it's a shame Joe went into this so freshly injured.

Post-match, Cornette vows to make Homicide's time up to Final Battle 2006 a living hell. Whatever, this segment was one of the highlights of such a disappointing feud.

Rating: ***1/2

At intermission, Gary Michael Cappetta interviews Lacey & Cabana, the latter still nursing his genitals. Jacobs interrupts to brag about his victory, but Lacey doesn't give a shit whatsoever. She demands Jacobs apologize to Cabana, and the request is begrudgingly obliged. Cabana asks Lacey to give him a glorified handjob. Awesome.

KENTA is shown preparing for tonight's main event. Sammartino puts over Danielson and Naomichi Marufuji as champs, although he's ignorant about the GHC Heavyweight Title as well as Marufuji himself. I guess it's the thought that counts.

Tag Titles Match
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Kings of Wrestling


This was a good match for the historic reign of Aries & Strong to go out on. With his ribs still taped, Aries found himself playing the Ricky Morton role so that a hot tag will be built for Strong to be a house of hire. That's how this match would best be structured under normal circumstances, but the injury only made it even more logical. KOW also got great heat in this one and the reaction was outstanding when the title change took place. That's what happens when titles fucking matter and are elevated by such great performers.

This match had its flaws though. It's very obvious why Dave Meltzer was unimpressed with KOW in this match, as they got way too cute doing double-team choreographic moves. I'd have had them channel the Shield or Generation Next, just throwing beautiful bombs and matching, if not exceeding, the pace of Aries & Strong, not only to make this match hotter and crisper, but give them some real credibility to follow such an outstanding reign.

KOW aren't the only ones to blame for this match to not meet its potential of being an all-time tag classic in company history. Aries did a fantastic job of selling while playing the FIP, but failed to deliver enough hope spots to keep the crowd fully charged emotionally. The hot tag to Strong still achieved its crowd-popping goal especially because Strong is a natural at the house of fire act, but the work before that didn't maximize what it could've been.

Like I said, have KOW beat Aries & Strong at their own game. They can still cheat, use the briefcase Castagnoli brought to ringside (and hopefully he gets a certain briefcase in the big leagues at some point) and troll the audience, but give them some real credibility to make this match the white-hot classic it should've been. Booking their historic title win this way also sends a message loud and clear to the ROHbot zealots that thumbed their noses at anybody with ties to CZW, that not only would they truly deserve to be a part of ROH, but are worthy of the tops spots in the company. It's no wonder the way KOW worked their matches that they managed to have such a disappointing reign following Aries & Strong, when it had the potential to be somewhat of a diet version of CM Punk's ROH Title reign. Still a good match, but definitely a flawed one.

Rating: ***1/2

A pre-taped BJ Whitmer promo airs, still resting his damaged ankle, and vows once healed he's coming for Jimmy Jacobs. OH FUCK YES~!

GHC Heavyweight Title Match
Naomichi Marufuji vs. Nigel McGuinness


The champ is accompanied by Yone, Sugiura, and Morishima. Bobby Cruise reads the pre-match GHC declaration, and this also got the standard GHC sound bite before both participant's entrances as well. THIS is how to present a thrown-together dream match as a major contest.

They have some quality mat wrestling to start, and McGuinness makes it obvious that he'll be targeting Marufuji's left arm and shoulder. With the early advantage, he cuts off Marufuji during an attempted control change with a headlock then goes back to work on Marufuji's left arm and shoulder. After Marufuji reaches the ropes, they exchange forearms and Marufuji gets control with a spin kick. McGuinness flips him over during a running attack, so he lands on the apron and gains the major advantage when delivering a dragon screw leg whip to the former Pure Champ's left leg on the middle rope.

Marufuji did a great job following up on that, using the middle rope in the corner to bring more pain to the left knee of McGuinness and even kicked the rope when letting go of a submission. McGuinness looks to take an ugly bump on his head when he's lifted from the corner and to the middle of the ring. Marufuji continues stomping the left leg, then drives it on the nearby ring post. Back in the ring, Marufuji plants a figure four leg lock on McGuinness and baits him into a slap exchange, as Marufuji drives back to give more impact on the submission. McGuinness reaches the ropes and goes to the outside, doing a great job of selling. Marufuji gives him a baseball slide when he steps up on the apron, then drives his body weight on the left knee some more when draping that limb on the bottom rope.

McGuinness finally gets a break when he evades a charging Marufuji in the corner, causing the champ's left shoulder to collide with the ring post. Marufuji does a great job selling that shoulder and McGuinness continues selling his own left knee when going to work on Marufuji on the outside, driving the champ's left shoulder into a guard rail. Back in the ring, McGuinness keeps the focus on Marufuji's left shoulder, including an overhead knuckle lock suplex. He then gives Marufuji a top wrist lock takedown and forces some near falls to exhaust the champ.

McGuinness maintains the focus, giving Marufuji a hammerlock takedown and then following up with a hammerlock submission that stretched both shoulders. Marufuji rolls out and looks to get a leg submission on McGuinness, only to get kicked in the face. McGuinness is selling the left leg, as his submission work required him to put leverage on it. With control maintained, he puts a Cobra Clutch on Marufuji and delivers a short-armed lariat, then goes back to the Cobra Clutch, staying zeroed in on Marufuji's left shoulder.

Marufuji ducks another short-armed lariat though, which McGuinness should've known would happen. Marufji regains control when he ducks another lariat and dropkicks the left knee of McGuinness, then follows that up with a running forearm for a nearfall, but still sells his left arm and shoulder. He hits a running back elbow in the corner, but McGuinness elbows out of a waist-lock, only to get cut off by a clothesline by the champ. McGuinness goes for a comeback with double-thrusts and another lariat for a nearfall.

Marufuji fails to scout the headstand mule kick, but still manages to kick out. McGuinness crotches him on the top rope but the champ ducks the follow-up lariat. However, right as he's about make a comeback, McGuinness snaps the top rope in his eyes and goes onto the apron too, only to get super-kicked. Marufuji digs down deep and tells his left shoulder pain to fuck off, giving McGuinness a Shiranui to the floor. This wouldn't be a GHC Heavyweight Title match without at least one stupid bump to pop the audience.

That results in a great false finish as McGuinness poetically beats the 20 count but has to extend a bit more energy kicking out afterward. Marufuji sits McGuinness on the top rope but is fought off and gets crotched again on the top rope, this time eating the trademark lariat from the challenger. This results in an awesome nearfall that had the crowd buying a potential title change, and the crowd is now having dueling chants. McGuinness follows up with a Tower of London, but Marufuji finds another adrenaline rush in himself to land a Shiranui using his right shoulder. Both men are immediately down of course, selling each other's finishers.

They both get an adrenaline rush when back up and exchange strikes. McGuinness wins that battle, getting the champ in the corner and hits a back elbow followed by a running uppercut. Marufuji elbows him to try cutting off his momentum, only to eat a perfectly-timed rebound lariat for another outstanding nearfall, resulting in a well-deserved "This is awesome!" chant. McGuinness then gives Marufuji a Tower of London on the apron for another great pop, but of course both men are down extensively on the outside, thus preventing him from going for a pinfall in the ring until they finally both get back in around the count of 15.

They exchange slaps and then superkicks, but Marufuji wins that battle with a roundhouse and superkick to McGuinness. Crowd is going crazy at this point. That's a nearfall though of course and they're getting a standing ovation. McGuinness goes for the headstand mule kick this time, but Marufuji knows it and thus hits another superkick on him as soon as he gets in headstand position. This allows Marufuji to hit a Van Terminator for yet another great pop. Marufuji then finishes McGuinness off with a Super Shiranui, and of course gets a standing ovation.

That was an absolutely awesome match that was more than worthy of the GHC Heavyweight Title, in fact adding prestige to it. This had great submission work, tremendous cut offs, fantastic nearfalls, an outstanding audience, and built beautifully to its climatic finish, resulting in both men coming out as total studs. I would've just liked to have seen the submission work pay off a bit more in the crazy finishing stretch, but this is definitely a classic that stands the test of time.

Rating: ****1/4

ROH Title Match
Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA


For the first time on this project, I revisited this match twice. I'll detail why when I get to what took me out of this match at first.

Danielson of course has his right shoulder taped due to the injury sustained at Gut Check. The demeanor of everyone including the audience is giving off the vibe that this could headline a major PPV event. Of course, there are dueling chants before they even lay hands on each other.

KENTA wins a lockup early, putting Danielson against the ropes, but the champ ducks a lethal kick. They have another lockup with KENTA winning once again, and he decides to slap Danielson. Moments later, Danielson returns the favor but uses his left hand to protect his injury. They then have a knuckle lock that ends with Danielson countering a waist-lock into an arm submission, and the champ knees the challenger in the face when reaching the ropes. That is obviously being done not just to set KENTA up for Danielson's various submissions, but as a means to marginalize any possible Super Falcon Arrows or the very move that had put Danielson away twice in NYC, that being the G2S.

KENTA gains an advantage and kicks Danielson's right shoulder, causing the champ to take a powder as he sells the pain. KENTA patiently waits, not giving the champ any chance of cheap-shotting him on the outside. Back in the ring, KENTA kicks Danielson's right shoulder again, but the champ striikes him with slaps, a headbutt, knee to the face, snapmare, and kick to the spine. That just pisses KENTA off, who gives Danielson a receipt with his own snapmare and spinal kick. Danielson continues selling his right shoulder which KENTA goes after again, but the champ cuts off the challenger with a headlock and takes him down. KENTA counters that with a head-scissors, but the champ of course manages to get out of that and lock on a Regal Stretch style Camel Clutch, pulling the challenger back down and working the neck, but the challenger of course reaches the ropes.

Danielson goes back to the left arm but that's moot as KENTA cuts him off with a couple kicks including one to the right shoulder, then KENTA goes to the right arm with an arm twist. Danielson tosses him off and takes him to the outside via a dropkick, then slingshots himself and misses the challenger. Danielson pays for that dearly as KENTA uses that opportunity to kick Danielson's right shoulder a few more times, then throws him shoulder-first into the guardrail, much like McGuinness in the prior match. KENTA stays focused, stomping that right shoulder before throwing the champ back in the ring.

KENTA wraps Danielson's right arm around the top rope a couple times, then just continues kicking it and Danielson's yelps of pain are second-to-none. KENTA works more submissions on it and Danielson's attempts to get out of that work are quite futile, including trying to roll KENTA over for a flash pin. KENTA drops his knees on Danelson's right arm and even grinds them on that shoulder joint too, just absolutely relentless as he should be, for this is for the top prize in all of independent wrestling. KENTA then gets a bit too cocky though, sling-shotting himself and disrespectfully planting the sole of his boot on Danielson's scalp, then posing.

That only pisses Danielson off of course, who gets up and takes advantage of KENTA wasting time posing and takes the challenger down. But that doesn't work out for Danielson, as he finds himself in a body-scissors Kimura Lock on the right arm, hopefully something we see a certain Beast do to him in the future. Danielson gets some adrenaline and slaps KENTA and also delivers a head-butt, then goes for a Sunset Flip in the middle of the ring, but his comeback fails as he couldn't get KENTA out of standing position due to his shoulder injury, and the challenger bitch-slaps him to a great pop. KENTA goes back to work on Danielson's right arm and shoulder. Danielson tries to counter with a mounted choke but KENTA rolls him back down in position, then follows up with more kicks to that right shoulder.

Danielson ducks a Yakuza kick and knees KENTA in the gut, then hits a Cravate suplex to finally gain some real control as the crowd engages in dueling chants. Danielson delivers kicks of his own, including a spin kick, showing off his arsenal despite his shoulder injury. He looks to pin KENTA but referee Todd Sincalir realizes it's a choke attempt and refuses to count the pin, so Danielson just rubs KENTA's eyes across the rope. Danielson goes for the Mexican Surfboard, but his right shoulder prevents him from lifting KENTA all the way up. The crowd says he fucked up, so he says he never fucks up and drives KENTA's knees on the mat. Awesome.

Danielson then goes to work on KENTA's left knee, hoping to take away the Super Falcon Arrow and especially the G2S. Keep in mind also that KENTA had been using his left leg to attack Danielson's injured shoulder, showing the brilliance of the champ's strategy here. With the referee's back to him, he uses the ropes for leverage which KENTA attempts to point out. KENTA eventually rolls Danielson over and gets a rope break, and Danelson conveniently says he can't get his legs unwrapped from the submission, smirking ever so smugly. Danielson slingshots KENTA's throat on the bottom rope, then takes in the crowd's adulation to give him some adrenaline.

After some nice counters, KENTA blocks a boot and kicks Danielon's right hamstring to regain control, but can't follow up immediately for a pinfall or submission work due to the damage he had faced. But Danielson's work on the left knee would be all for naught, as KENTA went back to work delivering left kicks to Danielson's injured shoulder, then hits a spring missile dropkick for a nearfall. Now at first, that could be interpreted as just blatant no-selling. But after discussing this with former ROH reviewer Aaron Glazer, a man that had a huge influence on me, it was pointed out that KENTA would been booked like a Terminator or Undertaker, in fact a juggernaut as I've often described his run in ROH. This showed that Danielson, in the face of injury adversity and knowing he'd lost twice to KENTA, was gonna have to rely on something besides his state-of-the-art submission wrestling if he wanted to be the one to slay the juggernaut and hold on to the top prize in the company. That all that submission work on KENTA's left leg had only managed to fatigue KENTA for about a minute had to be of major concern to the champ as he had been trying to protect his right shoulder and take away the challenger's finishers.

Danelson blocks a fisherman's suplex and arm submission, so he eats a butterfly suplex and cross arm-breaker on the right shoulder, but reaches the ropes. His selling is truly exceptional here as KENTA stomped on that limb. Danielson manages to regain control and gets a half-crab on KENTA's left leg, hoping that strategy will pay off. KENTA reaches the ropes and the champ delays letting go, so KENTA hits him with an enziguri. KENTA makes his first attempt at the G2S but the champ escapes and hits a couple strikes, then places the challenger on the top rope. He slaps KENTA to keep him dazed, then plants the challenger with a Superplex, causing further pain to his own injured shoulder and preventing himself from going for the pinfall right away.

KENTA gets placed in the Crossface Chickenwing but reaches the ropes. Both men are exhausted and unable to go right to work on each other, but Danielson gets a scoop slam on him. The future HOFer goes for a diving headbutt only to eat KENTA's boots. KENTA goes for a springboard move but gets a receipt, this one being a dropkick to the gut, and both men are down in pain and exhaustion again. When they get back up, they exchange strikes, and Danielson has to use his left hand. Danielson hits a few head-butts, while KENTA goes for kicks to the face. Danielson's head-butts win, allowing him to drop KENTA with a release German Suplex. KENTA gets an adrenaline rush and hits a release fisherman's suplex that had been teased a few minutes earlier. Danielson gets up quickly to hit a desperate roaring forearm, but KENTA gets one more adrenaline rush to drop the champ with a discus lariat, and both men are down and getting a well-deserved standing ovation.

When they get up, KENTA clotheslines Danielson out of the ring and also falls out himself. Danielson reverses an Irish Whip but KENTA stops himself from hitting the guardrail. He charges at Danielson, and the champ uses the challenger's momentum to hit a release overhead belly-to-bully suplex on the floor. Danielson follows up with a baseball slide, sending KENTA into the front row. I am stunned to see, no matter how important this match is for the company, that Danielson once again went for a top rope dive towards KENTA when considering his injury. That couldn't have been fun at all, but the audience did go crazy for it.

KENTA gets back in and eats a shotgun missile dropkick, and the champ still kips up despite his injury. Danielson takes a major risk, confident he has control, and goes for a roaring forearm with his right arm. That investment doesn't pay off, as KENTA counters it with a Fujiwara Arm Bar on that right shoulder, resulting in an excellent false finish. In the corner, Danielson cuts off KENTA with a boot and goes for a top rope elbow strike, but KENTA counters that with an Ace Crusher and they have another excellent Fujiwara Arm Bar false finish on that right shoulder.

KENTA goes for a Tiger Suplex, but Danielson uses his stronger left shoulder to block it. KENTA gives him strikes and goes for a spinning back fist, but Danielson catches his arm and plants him with a gorgeous Regalplex for another very nice false finish. With both men exhausted, the crowd is getting antsy with dueling chants and the champ rips the tape off his right shoulder. He plants KENTA on the top rope and his a super backdrop suplex, willing to punish his right shoulder more. He goes for a pin, and he seems like he knew KENTA would roll over to kick out, as Danielson brilliantly uses KENTA's position to put him in a Cattle Mutilation for yet another excellent false finish. I'm really impressed that while earlier in the match they would roll out and counter each's submissions, at this point they're going for rope breaks, truly selling the exhaustion and putting over how devastating their finish attempts are.

Danielson follows that up with a front chancery suplex and goes for the diving headbutt. KENTA sees him up there and finds the energy to take advantage, cutting Danielson off and going for the Super Falcon Arrow. Danielson blocks it and pancakes KENTA then goes for an aerial move, only to be caught in the fireman's carry position. Crowd is fucking APESHIT at this point as they know what's coming. KENTA hits the G2S to a phenomenal pop. One, two...

AND DANIELSON GETS HIS LEG ON THE BOTTOM ROPE!!! That results in one of the greatest reactions in company history, with the crowd chanting for the company and these men have got them in the palms of their hands now.

KENTA kicks at Danielson's right shoulder again and hits a Busaiku knee on the back. He knee strikes a draped Danielson on the bottom rope and goes for another Busaiku knee, only for Danielson to counter that with an O'Connor Roll for yet another phenomenal false finish. The atmosphere for this is just totally unreal.

Danielson runs the ropes and KENTA capitalizes with a big boot, then motions he's going for another G2S. But Danielson counters with a crucifix pin for a nearfall, then gets ferocious on KENTA's head with elbow strikes. KENTA reacts in a manner that I see Brock Lesnar doing should he ever eat Danielson's elbows too, feeding off the crowd and trying to ignore the painful strikes for an adrenaline rush, but the champ goes for a Cattle Mutilation. KENTA still has enough awareness to roll Danielson over for another phenomenal false finish.

Danielson keeps the arms hooked and hits a Tiger Suplex for a false finish, then rolls KENTA over for a Cattle Mutilation again. KENTA's feet almost reach the ropes, and Danielson has the ring presence to let go and strike KENTA's head with more elbows. He plants the exhausted KENTA with the Cattle Mutilation yet again, and KENTA is unable to move his body. Reality finally sets in for KENTA, and the juggernaut submits, finally slayed and allowing the champ to go a year as champion!

The crowd is just in love with Danielson afterwards and of course thanks KENTA for what I imagine is the greatest match many in attendance will ever get to witness live. Both men, just like Marufuji and McGuinness, are respectful afterwards, following the Code of Honor, even though KENTA is so visibly disappointed, having gone through an up-and-down roller-coaster and surely believing he'd pin the champion, coming into this with a major injury, for a third time for the top prize in the company.

I revisited this twice due to the no-selling of KENTA's left leg that I mentioned earlier. It was because of that aspect I was left seeing this as a phenomenal work of art, but not the true cream-of-the-crop to measure up to the works of perfection taken place earlier in the year, let alone in company history. My friend Glazer though pointed out the story of KENTA being the juggernaut, and when considering that he had specifically put Danielson twice away with the G2S, plus the dynamic of Danielson's injured right shoulder, I decided to give this another try.

This is a truly perfect work of art that more than lived up to expectations and just piled onto the ROH Title's layered prestige. It capped off the other golden piece of booking for Gabe Sapolsky in 2006, when Danielson got his foot on the ropes after KENTA planted him with a G2S, the move that had put him away twice in front of the NYC audience. That was one of the finest pieces of crowd manipulation in the history of the business, right on par with Samoa Joe putting his feet on the ropes when trying to finish off CM Punk at All Star Extravaganza II. Such simple but holy shit oh so effective booking.

This also told the story of Bryan Danielson cementing his legacy as one of the absolute finest performers in the history of the business. How many people with his injury would be able to take the pain in such a physical war like this one and manage to pull off this kind of magic? He also cemented his legacy as ROH Champion, putting forth his most impressive performance when considering that injury.

Is this the defining performance of Danielson's career? Is this his greatest match? I'm not sure about the former, but for the latter I'm leaning towards no. That is not a criticism of this match, but stick a gun to my head, I'm leaning towards his blistering roller-coaster against Roderick Strong at Vendetta as his greatest title defense, and I say that without any live bias. I also would still pick Danielson vs. Paul London at The Epic Encounter as the greatest match in company history, but that's because I prefer London's selling in that one, still the gold standard in ROH a dozen years later, to the storytelling of KENTA being booked as a juggernaut. One can't go wrong with picking either match.

Is this KENTA's greatest match ever? It's certainly his greatest in ROH, which speaks volumes considering his body of work in the company. I do know he has another huge match to come in 2006 which I'll be comparing to this one, so I'll hold off on stating if this his greatest match or not. But it's certainly in the conversation.

Is this the ROH MOTY for 2006? I'm now leaning towards yes, but there are other candidates to choose from, none that one would be wrong picking. Do you prefer the fluid, nonstop action of CIMA & Speed Muscle vs. Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito, & Genki Horiguchi at Supercard of Honor? The flawless sports-entertainment segment that closed out Ring of Homicide? How about the climatic, emotional, back-and-forth piece of chaotic art as ROH and CZW closed out their feud inside the Cage of Death at Death Before Dishonor IV? How about Nigel McGuinness solidifying his future to one day become the face of the company in his native UK, doing so in a historic match that also solidified Danielson's position as the true champion of the company at Unified? Or does one prefer the simpler story, of a champion digging down deep to cement his legacy with a very real injury against the juggernaut that had put him down twice, and had also slayed Low Ki, Mark Briscoe, Davey Richards, Austin Aries, and Roderick Strong, and doing so at such a historic event like Glory By Honor V Night 2?

In a year that had ROH presenting so many matches that defined the 2000s decade, I'm gonna say this one stood out above the rest by the slightest of preferred hairs. And I really regret not booking a flight and hotel for the Tri-State area for Glory By Honor V weekend. Experiencing this one match alone inside the intimate, historic venue that is the Manhattan Center would've been worth every penny spent.

Rating: *****

As mentioned in my undercard rundown, that portion keeps this from topping Better Than Our Best as the greatest event in company history. This also didn't have the start-to-finish consistency of that event but did have higher peaks.

This show still gets my absolute STRONGEST recommendation. It is quite historic. The opener is fun. A slam-dunk, first-ballot HOFer arrives to show appreciation for the company, with a pull-apart brawl afterwards between two heavyweights that had the Manhattan crowd BEGGING for their collision. There's more awesome angle advancement involving Lacey, Jacobs, and Cabana. Cornette cuts a blistering promo on the NYC crowd. The quadruple main event manages to all deliver quality matches, with the dual main event eclipsing Danielson vs. Lance Storm and Homicide vs. Cabana, although just a shade below Aries & Strong vs. Briscoes III and Danielson vs. McGuinness III. But this show also has the advantage of a historic title change, historic title match, and one of the defining matches of the 2000s decade to cap it off. Oh yeah, huge kudos for the commentary provided by Dave Prazak & Jared David during the double main event too, putting over the importance of each title and the stories being told in the ring.

There were certainly some signs indicating that ROH was about to fall off from here, quite disappointing compared to Better Than Our Best leaving the company with every single direction being interesting. That's the largest reason why I'll be taking about a year-long break from revisiting ROH, PWG, TNA, and FIP. Cornette talking shit about Konnan of course indicates Konnan will be a part of Homicide's journey to the top spot in the company. There was also the tedious direction of Pearce & Hagadorn. KOW put on a performance that while good, indicated their reign would lack the crisp consistency and thus be a downgrade following Aries & Strong's reign. In addition, there's no way Danielson will be able to deliver such scorchers as frequently and will have to preserve himself for the lone major event remaining in the year. Add to that there is no secondary title to be given the chance to headline events while Danielson is protected working the undercard.

In addition to ROH hitting a lull after this show, there are other reasons to take a hiatus from the project. PWG had just peaked its 2006 two weeks prior to this with its annual Battle of Los Angeles tournament and TNA would gain a proven WrestleMania headliner (who still had plenty of gas in the tank despite all of the concerns about his well-being) the weekend after this. With life getting busier too, it's time to step away for now, but it's also time to revisit Kurt Angle's work before TNA acquired him and even more importantly, finally jump on the NJPW bandwagon.

I must also mention that I considered making an awards section for what is considered to be the greatest 365 day period in company history. That period spans from Glory By Honor IV on September 17, 2005 all the way to Glory By Honor V Night 2 on September 16, 2006. But there are simply just too many fantastic matches to compile such a list, with an astounding SEVEN of them hitting the full monty during that period. That's a ***** match every 52 days on average. Perhaps even more impressive than the drama and workrate of the matches during this period are the feuds and storytelling. This period had it all. Special attractions. Farewells. Historic title reigns that elevated the belts. Crossover talents. A historic series of landmark events including an off-the-charts triple-shot on the biggest weekend of the year for the business. So many hot feuds, none shining brighter than the interpromotional war that gets my pick for best feud in the history of independent wrestling.

Every fan of pro wrestling owes it to himself to experience this period. It is a period that will NEVER be duplicated in combining so many wonderful elements, no matter how much more consistent the workrate has been in NJPW the past 2-3 years or how many stars from the indies and Japan that WWE acquires.

This is not the end of this project, no way in Hell. When I return to this in 2016, I still have much to look forward to even though it ultimately will not measure up to the 365 day period I just described. Jimmy Jacobs continuing to lose his mind over his infatuation with Lacey~! Homicide's career-defining moment~! Shingo~! A monster from Japan running roughshod over the roster. Another semi-rebirth due to going on PPV that results in the exodus of four key TNA talents, plus a very special match involving two Motor City natives from that company. A couple Quebecers getting one more chance to make an impression. The continued rise of McGuinness. And a special talent one year down the line finally coming in, one that would go on to make history at WrestleMania.

For those who have followed this project on the Observer forum, ROHWorld forum, FAN forum, Craphole forum, and Wrestling Forum community, thank you. I sincerely appreciate you for taking the time and reminding me that there are indeed fans that not only enjoy a rewarding professional wrestling product, but love to both listen to and discuss what exactly assembles and distinguishes the Good Shit from the forgettable and utter shit.

Up next - Survival of the Fittest 2006
Matches will include:
Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe
The 2006 Survival of the Fittest Elimination Match
Last edited by supersonic on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:22 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Tars Tarkas
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Tars Tarkas » Wed May 20, 2015 1:19 pm

Wonderful review. I actually cannot believe the depth you go into. Really brings back the excitement of this period and makes me want to revisit it myself on dvd. Just an amazing period and your reviews and analysis really do it justice. Thanks for doing this. Really appreciated by this fan.

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Robareid
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Robareid » Thu May 21, 2015 2:01 am

I think I've said it before, but it bears repeating, this thread is a complete highlight for this board

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Wilson
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Wilson » Sun May 24, 2015 12:35 pm

Congrats to you making it all the way to your original goal. That sort of obsessive passion is rare and in its own way speaks of the specific quality of the Golden Era. I sincerely appreciate these entries.

I know I'll be sure to revisit, when it all begins again.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by PoyzunTiiiger » Mon May 25, 2015 2:31 pm

Your reviews are awesome 2007 is my favorite era in ROH History I look forward to your reviews because these were the years where Gabe showed he had that Paul Heyman-esque ability to create stars and elevate established names to fill the slots of the greats who had gone on. I love how he elevated Roderick Strong, Davey, Claudio, Generico and Steen to the top tier of indy wrestling in his last years and it all begins in 2007.

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supersonic
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Tue May 26, 2015 12:30 am

Wilson wrote:Congrats to you making it all the way to your original goal. That sort of obsessive passion is rare and in its own way speaks of the specific quality of the Golden Era. I sincerely appreciate these entries.

I know I'll be sure to revisit, when it all begins again.
FANTASTIC FIND~!

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supersonic
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Tue May 26, 2015 12:31 am

Wilson wrote:Congrats to you making it all the way to your original goal. That sort of obsessive passion is rare and in its own way speaks of the specific quality of the Golden Era. I sincerely appreciate these entries.

I know I'll be sure to revisit, when it all begins again.
FANTASTIC FIND~! Added to the Era of Honor Begins post.

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