Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:19 am

Mr. Mojo Risin wrote:Excellent work as always from you supersonic. Man, you really got me thinking of that Briscoes vs. Doi/Shingo match. I had such high expectations of that match going in considering I really dug the Briscoes vs. Sydal/Daniels match at the Chicago show. I have nothing but contempt for that match. It fucking sucked.. You know I tried to find some semblance of an actual story from that match and this is what I came up with. The Briscoes, who returned one year previous, finally, after several failed attempts regained the ROH World tag titles. However, they underestimated their opposition in their first title defense and spent the entire match scrambling to try and desperately put them away and couldn't. Kind of like when a sports team wins the big one and blows their first game back in the following season against a subpar team. That is about the only logic I can extract from that shitshow of a match. It is easily the worst match I have seen The Briscoes in.
Worse than the Red & Styles trilogy and KENTA & Richards?

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Mr. Mojo Risin » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:36 pm

supersonic wrote:
Mr. Mojo Risin wrote:Excellent work as always from you supersonic. Man, you really got me thinking of that Briscoes vs. Doi/Shingo match. I had such high expectations of that match going in considering I really dug the Briscoes vs. Sydal/Daniels match at the Chicago show. I have nothing but contempt for that match. It fucking sucked.. You know I tried to find some semblance of an actual story from that match and this is what I came up with. The Briscoes, who returned one year previous, finally, after several failed attempts regained the ROH World tag titles. However, they underestimated their opposition in their first title defense and spent the entire match scrambling to try and desperately put them away and couldn't. Kind of like when a sports team wins the big one and blows their first game back in the following season against a subpar team. That is about the only logic I can extract from that shitshow of a match. It is easily the worst match I have seen The Briscoes in.
Worse than the Red & Styles trilogy and KENTA & Richards?
I actually liked the Red & Styles trilogy. KENTA & Richards was below average for sure but not as bad as Shingo & Doi.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:33 pm

All Star Extravaganza III – March 30, 2007
Taped from Detroit, MI

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ROH Video Wire – March 16, 2007



Important news/footage in the above video:
JIMMY JACOBS. BJ WHITMER. CAGE MATCH. SUPERCARD OF HONOR II IN DETROIT. OH FUCK YES~! This is definitely the end that I saw coming for many months.

A nice video package for Dragon Gate stars CIMA, Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito, Naruki Doi, Shingo, Maasaki Mochiuzki, Susumu Yokosuka, and Yamato airs. I’ve high expectations for their trios and 8-man tags.

In a four-way opener involving Chris Hero and Matt Sydal, Adam Pearce gets the victory by using brass knuckles on Colt Cabana’s face.

FIP star Erick Stevens makes his ROH debut, squashing Alex Payne in 30 seconds. Although there are reservations about Stevens since he’s not proven to be the most interesting as a come-from-behind type of babyface, he just had a tremendous **** match against Roderick Strong in the final of the FIP Florida Heritage Title tournament.

The Briscoes have fun talking about their singles match from Liverpool, but are happy to get the Tag Titles back from tonight from Shingo & Naruki Doi. They assume it happens and thus have an open contract out for any tag team to challenge them. They vow 2007 will still be their year.

Davey Richards will team with the newest member of the No Remorse Corps tomorrow against Jack Evans & Naruki Doi.

Bruno Sammartino’s speech is interrupted by Sweet & Sour Inc. Larry Sweeney goes through the pleasantries, then threatens for Chris Hero to kick his ass. This would be far more epic with Tank Toland’s place being filled by Claudio Castagnoli. Nigel McGuinness comes to clean house, allowing Sammartino to punch Sweeney, and then has the crowd give the HOFer a standing ovation. Even with McGuinness being groomed to become a top babyface, I certainly wouldn’t have programmed him against Hero. A feud against Jimmy Jacobs once the Michigan native returned from inevitable knee surgery would’ve been much better.

Christopher Daniels reminds Homicide in a backstage promo that a year ago on this date, in this very building, he finally pinned Samoa Joe. Daniels gloats about himself further, saying he’ll prove himself as the #1 icon in the company.

Lacey & Jimmy Jacobs vs. Daizee Haze & BJ Whitmer serves as a good brawl between the men, not so much between the women. Lacey saved Jacobs from a Super Powerbomb to the outside, while Jacobs attacked Haze and finished her off with a spear so devastating, her shoes flew out int the crowd. Lacey is proud of Jacobs, especially since she got the pin fall. She thinks it’s time to reward him for all his hard work. The crowd hilariously chants “Show your tits!” We’ve come a long ago in the past decade when it comes to misogyny. She rewards him with a hug. She says if Jacobs finishes Whitmer off in the cage, there will be more to come. Whitmer chases them off with a barbed-wire baseball bat. Very good go-home segment.

Jack Evans is pissed off going into tonight’s encounter against Roderick Strong, citing all the shit he’d done just for fun, so imagine what’s coming tonight.



The Shingo & Naruki Doi vs. Briscoes rematch is a disappointment, but in a much different way than their Liverpool match. Mark Briscoe landed badly on the concrete on a Shooting Star Press attempt, and Jay mustered up enough to get the job done on his own.

The budget must’ve been tight, as there’s no other excuse for not having the Motor City Machine Guns work a match on this card against another team. Oh wait, that’s what happens when booker Gabe Sapolsky clears out the division and splits up BOTH the Kings of Wrestling and Austin Aries & Roderick Strong.

DEFINITELY amped up for the match, but inexcusable not to book MCMG for these shows in Detroit since they weren’t scheduled elsewhere.

Yamato makes quick work of Pelle Primeau in a cross-promotional students battle. Good effort from Primeau.

Homicide vs. Christopher Daniels

Very good match that’s surprisingly not on any compilations yet. Daniels was just miserable and got the early advantage, but Homicide weathered it, gaining control on the outside. But Daniels would stoop to anything to get the upper hand, including a chair shot to the back, eye pokes, and even chokeholds. He was equally awesome in his misery when delivering the Best Moonsault… Never.

There were a couple times when it seems like they came close to not being in sync, but they recovered just quickly enough not to expose the business. Homicide was great in his big comeback, hitting a T-Bone Suplex and then a Tope Con Hilo. After some more good stuff, a Kudo Driver was evaded and Daniels hit the Angel’s Wings for an incredible near-fall. But then moments after that, the former ROH Champion blocked the Last Rites, hitting a snapmare and jackknife cradle for the victory.

Pearce & Shane Hagadorn immediately arrive to ambush Homicide, and then former ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette makes his return to have in on the fun! I shouldn’t be in favor of this, but I’m open-minded after the goodwill of the Homicide vs. Daniels match and insane Detroit audience. Homicide gets the upper hand,, scaring off Cornette and about to use his belt. Brent Albright then arrives to give Homicide a Half Nelson Suplex and then the Crowbar submission. Colt Cabana then arrives to save the day along with other babyfaces. Cornette gets some belt licks in before scurrying away with the heels. Colt Cabana has been very forgiving of Homicide in the year since their issue was put to rest. I don’t know if Pearce’s actions earlier were enough to justify the two helping each other out like this (compared to Samoa Joe warming up to Homicide after helping out against CZW), but there’s at least a common enemy. Not completely sold on it, but whatever.

Rating: ***3/4

Jack Evans vs. Roderick Strong

The long wait was totally worth it. Like his stable-mate Richards, Strong was very thin-skinned, allowing the audience to bother him with various taunts, which made the match far more competitive than it really should’ve been. But that made for a classic match between two completely different styles that had previously complimented each other as a tag team. Strong was merciless to his former stablemate, tossing Evans around and stretching him to his limits, including tea-bagging him at one point just like Shelley and Bryan Danielson had done in the past.

Evans put up a tremendous fight, having brief flurries of offense to stay in this one. His lack of experience in marquee singles matches seemed apparent in that he lacked conditioning at times, but this was a major improvement compared to his past encounters against Shelley and Danielson. For every bomb he took, including backbreakers aplenty, being tossed back-first into a ring post, dropped off the apron to the floor, you name it, Evans absorbed the punishment and refused to not come back with his acrobatics.

Evans brought plenty of highlights into this as expected, all of them appropriately timed. From the Sasuke Special, to a cartwheel evasion on the apron to prepare a head-scissors, to a Reverse Hurricanrana, to a Handspring Moonsault Double Foot Stomp onto Strong, Evans certainly left everything in the ring for the most personal, important match of his career at the time.

Despite his cockiness, Strong just had too much of an experience and size advantage to go down on this night. Once he avoided a 630 splash about 20 minutes into this classic, everyone knew the writing was on the wall for Evans. Just like had been done to PAC a few weeks earlier, Strong unleashed a running boot, Tiger Driver, and then a vicious variation of the Liontamer, showing no remorse as appropriate.

An absolutely outstanding match that resulted in Evans getting a well-deserved standing ovation. Why the FUCK is that not on a compilation a decade later?

Rating: ****1/4

Becky Bayless reports that Mark Briscoe will be okay to wrestle in the future, but is doubtful for tomorrow due to a concussion.

CIMA, Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito, & Susumu Yokosuka vs. Delirious, Austin Aries, Rocky Romero, & Claudio Castagnoli

Typhoon gets their own Japanese introduction, followed by Bobby Cruise for Team ROH. This feels fucking epic as each individual gets recognized, and even Delirious, who ignored CIMA’s peeing dog taunting, relishes the crowd’s adulation when it’s his turn.

There isn’t much to say about this match. It’s one of the most disappointing along this journey. This isn’t a prejudiced towards Dragon Gate talent. On WrestleMania 22 weekend, they put on some of the most psychologically sound, state-of-the-art spotfests I’ve ever seen, including with the Generation Next trio of Aries, Strong, & Evans. So language barriers can’t be used as an excuse.

To call this a video game match would be giving it too much credit. Video games would adhere to the rules. As proven in the trios match at Battle of the Icons, had the match unfolded in a Dragon Gate Rules styles with tag legalities changing either via traditional tagging or rolling out to signal for a partner to enter the ring, I could’ve easily worked with that.

There was no rhyme or reason to this match. That there were FIP portions for Dragon Kid and Aries only made the second half of this main event all the more irritating. Why did the referee even bother making Team ROH a “default babyface” team by admonishing them for illegally entering, only for halfway in the match stop caring?

I can only imagine Jim Cornette’s reactions during this low-level at a spectacle as he sat in the back or in the crowd and watched this unfold. Any negative reactions he would’ve had are completely reasonable.

In addition, not once do I recall, after meticulously rewinding at certain points throughout to stay on top of tag legalities (which obviously turned out to be a futile exercise), CIMA and Castagnoli ever going at it. That’s pretty disappointing considering I don’t believe they’ve ever been on oppostie sides other than on this night. Maybe one day WWE and Dragon Gate can work something out on a Japan tour or in a global tag team tournament.

Rating: less than ***

The DVD closes with a “Prom Night” promo from Jimmy Jacobs, one of the best of his career. He reflects on the whole saga with Whitmer, who had said “I love you little brother” after their matches when they teamed up. He can’t believe Whitmer ditched him when he fell in love with Lacey, reflecting also on all the bloodbaths, the attacks on Lacey, and Dragon Gate Challenge. Jacobs says his innocence has been lost, suffering through sleepless nights while visualizing how to end this and hurt Whitmer. Jacobs puts the blame on Whitmer for bringing this down to a cage match. A pin fall won’t end this, only finishing one another will. There will be no hug or handshake, no respect earned.

“BJ, it’s prom night. It always ends the same. The villain gets what’s coming to him, and the hero gets the girl. I love you big brother.”

What a fantastic finish to this DVD after such a messy, disappointing main event.

Main event aside, there are plenty of fun (even though questionable) directions on this show, and the Detroit crowd really takes it up a notch, making me wish I had booked a flight a decade ago to be in Motown for WrestleMania 23 weekend. Homicide vs. Daniels exceeded my expectations considering both were directionless after their title reigns ended, and Evans vs. Strong is a forgotten classic that needs to be seen, a true breakthrough performance by Evans as he served as a perfect foil to Strong’s newfound mean streak.

Considering the two matches that delivered aren’t on compilations as of yet and the closing promo from Jacobs, this gets an incredibly strong recommendation. The Jacobs vs. Whitmer saga simply isn’t complete without that “Prom Night’ promo at the end.

At long last, another final chapter arrives. It’s a match that when deeply revisiting the Gabe Sapolsky era of ROH, turned out to actually be 4 years in the making, not just 2. That’s right, this cage match between Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer isn’t the end of a saga that started 2 years ago when they first teamed up at Best of American Super Juniors Tournament and captured the Tag Titles that were declared vacant after Dan Maff’s excommunication.

No, this saga started much earlier than that, before Jacobs ever even stepped foot in ROH. But that’s to chronicle in a well-deserved retrospective.

That’s not all to look forward to. For the first time ever, Strong and Aries go at it, with Strong putting the FIP Title on the line. Typhoon and Muscle Outlaw’z attempt to recreate the magic from a year ago between Do Fixer and Blood Generation. That’s a triple main event of epic proportions, one that runs parallel to the one taking place at Ford Field on this magical weekend.

It’s here. It’s the end of one of the greatest feuds of the 21st Century, on one of the greatest events in ROH history.

Up next – Supercard of Honor II
Matches will include:
Jay Briscoe & Delirious vs. Matt Sydal & Christopher Daniels
Jack Evans & Naruki Doi vs. Davey Richards & ???
Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer
Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries
CIMA, Shingo, & Susumu Yokosuka vs. Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito, & Masaaki Mochizuki
Last edited by supersonic on Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:49 pm

Supercard of Honor II – March 31, 2007
Taped in Detroit, MI

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The DVD begins with a final Jimmy Jacobs promo. Jacobs says that Whitmer fights for the fans’ acceptance, aiming for a prideful, self-absorbed desire. But tonight, Jacobs fights for the cause that great minds such as Socrates and William Shakespeare contemplated. Jacobs compares this war to the Biblical battles between God and Lucifer. “At the end of the day, love conquered all.” Jacobs believes the two of them will both be six feet under in a few years. Thank goodness that didn’t turn out to be true. Jacobs says that his love for Lacey overrides whatever Whitmer’s legacy will be. Jacobs wants to reclaim his purity and innocence, and with Lacey in his corner, he also is accompanied by love, invincibility, and eternity. “You’ve already lost, big brother.” Lacey says this could be the night for Jacobs to reclaim her.

A year later to the date, Dragon Gate brings six of their best to recreate the historic magic from Supercard of Honor. Excellent highlight package of one of the defining matches of the 2000s decade.

Tag Champion Jay Briscoe begins the live audience portion of the show. Mark is out of action tonight, so they cannot defend the belts against former champions Matt Sydal & Christopher Daniels as originally scheduled, but vows once Mark returns, they’ll be fighting champs. Daniels is none too pleased, completely miserable as he comes to the ring with Sydal. Daniels says to grab the crippled Mark and honor the title match. Jay says that’s impossible since Mark is currently hospitalized, so Daniels says “you two accidental prone bastards” should fuck off and just crown Sydal & Daniels as champs. Jay declines and says he has a partner, saying if Sydal & Daniels get the job done, maybe they get their rematch down the line.

Jay Briscoe & Delirious vs. Matt Sydal & Christopher Daniels

Before the opening bell, Delirious cuts a great gibberish promo, ending with that it’s time to man up.

This had one very minor tag legality, so that’s the one nitpick out of the way. Sydal & Daniels didn’t tag at one point in front of referee Paul Turner, but they may as well have done so. They cut the ring in half on Delirious once it settled down after being an early outside brawl, and Daniels was delightfully prickly as usual throughout the month.

Sydal & Daniels did such a great job making Delirious be the FIP unlike in most actual Briscoes tag matches; once the hot tag was made, the crowd actually gave a shit. Jay was a very good house of fire with various bombs. It came down to Delirious vs. Sydal, paying off Daniels saying before the match to Sydal that he had his number based on past singles victories. With Delirious this time getting the victory on Sydal with the Chemical Imbalance 2 after taking out Daniels with a knee to the skull, it’s arguable that Sydal & Daniels should now be out of title contention, but looking at the thin division, maybe not so.

This was a much more interesting tag match than the one involving Davey Richards in the Black Friday Fallout main event. This had the heat of Sydal & Daniels not getting their Tag Titles rematch against the Briscoes, Sydal now being a cocky prick that had just gotten a cheap 2/3 falls victory earlier in the month against Delirious, Daniels now a miserable prick rooted in his TNA tenure, and instead of being the closing match of a totally lackluster B-show, this was the opener, and a damn good one at that, of one of the biggest shows of the year.

Rating: ***1/2

BJ Whitmer says things have gone too far, and that he may have created an uncontrollable monster in Jimmy Jacobs. He doesn’t wanna take him out, but he has to.

Yamato vs. Claudio Castagnoli is a decisive win for the Switzerland native, although not a complete squash. Would LOVE a rematch today.

Jacobs & Whitmer are shown winning the Tag Titles. Not a fan of this and Cage of Death getting sporadic video highlights spread throughout. Have an epic pre-match video like Homicide vs. Colt Cabana got.

Erick Stevens earns another easy victory, this time over Mitch Franklin. Slow and steady with his push please. Don’t insert him into any big angles soon. Be patient like WWE would be with Braun Strowman in 2016.

The No Remorse Corps come out to introduce the mystery partner for Davey Richards. For those paying attention at the card a decade ago, it was pretty obvious. First, Roderick Strong vows to elevate his FIP Title by taking care of Austin Aries later tonight. The mystery partner was pretty obvious for those looking at the lineup a decade ago.

Jack Evans & Naruki Doi vs. Davey Richards & Rocky Romero

Very good match, much better than either of Doi’s matches in Liverpool. Tag legalities were adhered to at all times. While this didn’t serve as Evans getting the ring cut in half on him extensively like I would’ve expected, it instead was just a competitive match between the Muscle Outlaw’z and NRC. At this point, Richards was really starting to come across as a try-hard as a heel. At some point, it’d be interesting if he portrayed an introverted, all-business heel, rather than creepy smirks and excessively talking shit.

Everything was on point in this one, leading to a surprising finish. Evans actually finished off with the 630 splash. This seems like a mistake when establishing Romero as a new NRC member. Romero should’ve gotten the victory, and on Doi via submission to boot to establish himself. Evans was sticking around unlike Doi, who was a former Tag Champ in the company, so logic dictates him doing the job.

Rating: ***1/2

At intermission, Austin Aries is seen watching Erick Stevens during his brief promo. God fucking dammit, booker Gabe Sapolsky is pulling the trigger way too fast. Aries in 2007 is no Alex Shelley in 2004 to get a new faction over with unproven personalities.

Cage Match
Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer


Lacey and Daizee Haze accompany their appropriate men respectively. The Michigan crowd pretty much instantly makes it known they’re behind Jacobs, chanting “Please don’t die!” at him during his entrance and before he did anything remotely dangerous.

Jacobs does a suicide dive to Whitmer on the outside before the opening bell, kicking this off with an outside brawl. Absolutely love it – no pussyfooting around in this feud-ender. They also waste no time getting into the caged ring.

Whitmer gets the upper hand early, repeatedly tossing Jacobs face-first into the fencing. In a unique formatting, weapons get introduced when the participants request it. Once Whitmer has a chair, Jacobs futilely tries cutting off Whitmer, only to get it dropkicked in his face. However, he scouts Whitmer coming again, delivering a big boot for the successful cutoff.

Whitmer scouts an elbow drop, allowing his former partner to fall on the chair and then give him a spinebuster on it for good measure. Jacobs eats a chair shot to the head, although he had a hand up which hopefully was legit protection. The Michigan native sells his mouth so Whitmer works on it, but gets fed face-first into the chair via a drop toe hold.

Lacey demands more weapons for Jacobs, and his spike gets introduced, but Whitmer has one too in his boot. They then bring back memories of the all-time classic between Tully Blanchard and Magnum TA from Starrcade 1985, stabbing each other and now bleeding as the crowd chants for more! They then repeatedly stab each other as Detroit erupts! So beautiful, so unforgettable, and yet so disgusting a decade later.

Jacobs then stabs his own forehead a few times for an adrenaline rush! Whitmer gets the upper hand on a strike exchange, powerbombing Jacobs in the corner and hitting a follow-up big boot. The selling of blood loss is impressive by both men, not being able to instantly keep the punishment coming. But we’re not close to down, as a barbed-wire baseball bat comes into the fold. Jacobs avoids it but Whitmer is still in control.

Whitmer mistakenly calls for another forearm smash in the elbow, and he pays for it dearly as Jacobs strikes his face with the baseball bat! Jacobs keeps the punishment coming with it, then sticks the barbed wire in his own mouth and in his hair, the top half of his face a crimson mask as Detroit rallies behind him. He then digs into Whitmer’s flesh on his left bicep, triggering “You sick fuck!” chants. He then tops it by licking Whitmer’s crimson mask and spitting the blood back in his face, then uses both spikes to fuck him on the face and left bicep even more! This is fucking amazing.

Whitmer’s face gets shoved in the barbed-wire bat, then driven into it when Jacobs smashes the chair to the back of his head! Jacobs keeps up the carving on the same body parts, but collapses to sell his blood loss, unable to sustain extended digging. In a piece of great storytelling, as Whitmer struggles and crawls around, Jacobs talks shit and headbutts his former tag partner. The blood loss is just disgusting.

As they get back up, they have another strike exchange with Whitmer evading a spear. This causes Jacobs to hit the chair in the corner and then eat an Exploder suplex. Once again though, Whitmer’s blood loss is taking its toll, as he’s unable to go for the cover. This allows for another strike exchange with Jacobs getting the upper hand temporarily; his jumping head-scissors would be countered by Whitmer, getting driven head-first into the fencing.

Whitmer delivers a receipt, striking the torso of Jacobs with the barbed-wire baseball bat and triggering “This is awesome!” chants. As Jacobs is seated on the chair, he gets his forehead carved up with the bat, but then eats a brainbuster on the chair after a brief struggle! Detroit is just going apeshit, but Jacobs kicks out!

Whitmer opts to win via exit, but Lacey slams the door in his face and that’s followed up by Jacobs charging at his face with the bat again. A senton splash gets a near-fall, and the crowd energy is just off the charts in this classic. Whitmer’s forehead takes even more damage, a spike being driven into it. Jacobs wastes time blowing kisses, so Whitmer blocks a Super Hurricanrana. In an obvious nod to Dragon Gate Challenge, they tease the botch, but Whitmer gets underneath and just drives Jacobs face-first into the top turnbuckle, then follows up with a German Suplex, Dragon Suplex, and Powerbomb with a jackknife pin near-fall. Whitmer can’t get proper form, allowing this to be a near-fall.

A table gets brought into the ring at Lacey’s request, and this pretty much signals we’re in the third and final act of this masterpiece. They tease the infamous botch again, but a Top Rope Powerbomb is countered with a Hurricanrana; they unintentionally just a paid somewhat of an homage to Rey Mysterio’s WCW PPV classics against Psychosis and Eddie Guerrero. Seconds later, Jacobs goes for the Shiranui, only to eat a Jumping Owen Driver for a near-fall.

Lacey inserts himself, only to eat a Jumping Owen Driver for her trouble. Whitmer doesn’t waste much time celebrating as the crowd chants for him, instead going to the top of the cage. He misses the Super Frog Splash, but kicks out of a successful Shiranui. Jacobs is really feeling the pain in his sore left knee that’s been plaguing him in recent months, but Detroit breaks out some more “This is awesome!” chants. As Jacobs checks on Lacey, he orders the table be placed in the ring.

Jacobs has given his all, limping very visibly. Whitmer gets placed on the table, but has had enough recovery time to thwart whatever Jacobs has in mind on the cage. Jacobs causes Whitmer to be crotched, and once again as he limps, places Whitmer back on the table. The creep climbs to the top of the cage and delivers a Super Senton through the table, bringing this work of art and epic saga spanning for multiple years to its proper conclusion.

Jacobs is thanked by Detroit, as is Whitmer. The former is in VERY bad pain in his left knee, reminding me of Shawn Michaels at Taboo Tuesday 2004, but checks on his crush while Haze checks on Whitmer, who has yet to move. Jacobs is so badly hurt that the referee takes a look; Lacey selling Whitmer’s punishment is amazing storytelling; at long last, she sacrificed herself for the man that had sacrificed so much for her, not out of her own self-interest, but because she was finally falling for him.

She has to be carried away as Jacobs gingerly shifts out of the ring to a standing ovation. He refuses assistance once he’s on his feet, but doesn’t return the love as he limps away. Whitmer receives a standing ovation as he finally gets up.

This is simply the greatest cage match in ROH’s 15-year history. There’s no other in the company’s rich history that comes remotely close to this. The storytelling was perfect to bring this fantastic storyline to its conclusion, they sold their characters perfectly, they sold their blood loss perfectly, and absolutely thrived as the plunder got gradually brought into this unforgettable battle.

Major kudos for the right move, which was for Jacobs to go over. It didn’t matter that he would get surgery after this and that Whitmer would still be active; Jacobs had to get the elusive major victory to win Lacey’s heart. Why this didn’t close out the event is still a mystery; perhaps there was hesitation due to the legit knee injury Jacobs had coming into this, as compared to the Dragon Gate match being so highly anticipated after the show-stealer provided by that company a year ago. Nonetheless, this was the real main event, and it delivered in spades, bringing a story with multiple years behind to its emotionally satisfying conclusion.

This isn’t just the greatest cage match in ROH history. It’s the greatest match in the careers of Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer. Good lock to the rest of ROH 2007 in topping this.

Rating: *****

We go from a battle of former tag partners to another one. There’s no breather segment in between, which is definitely a mistake. Jacobs vs. Whitmer wasn’t just a timeless classic; it was also the end of such a lengthy arc.

FIP Title Match
Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries


Aries dominates early at every turn, eventually causing Strong to take a powder as the crowd taunts him. Of course, he can’t milk the powder like Bryan Danielson had done to him and Samoa Joe since FIP Title rules include a 20-count. Aries targets Strong’s neck, which is perfect to set up for the brainbuster, Crucifix Bomb, and Last Chancery. This should theoretically marginalize a significant chunk of Strong’s offense as well and prevent him sustaining control later.

Even when Strong corners and knees Aries in the gut, it looks to be for naught, but Strong survives furious chops to finally have control despite the crowd’s taunting. Aries blocks Strong’s trademark chops with some of his own, cutting off the champion. The storytelling less than 5 minutes into this is absolutely brilliant, with both men having each other so fantastically scouted and paying off teased counters such as a dropkick to the head by Aries.

Aries avoiding Strong’s chops early is the most brilliant piece of storytelling; this strategy paid off in the past for Danielson and CM Punk against Strong. The storytelling magnificence continues when Strong counters a springboard back elbow with a boot to the back of Aries, playing right into his strengths for what would undoubtedly come. He also finally gets a chop landed on Aries after an eye poke, but like before against Punk and Danielson, there’s no extended crowd pop since he’s the heel. Aries doesn’t allow Strong to deliver much punishment to his back, breaking submissions rather quckly only to see his comeback attempts be cut off and turn out to be hope spots.

That finally gets Strong in position to deliver extensive back punishment, but Aries has some quality pin counters on display. Strong allows the crowd to rattle him, but the punishment continues including his trademark brutal chops and ruthless tactics not seen from him in 2 years. Aries makes a comeback after an Irish Whip, giving himself time to recover as the Detroit crowd breaks out in dueling chants. Aries furiously delivers chops aplenty and has an answer for every Strong cutoff attempt.

Strong pays dearly for evaiding the slingshot senton, instead rolling out and immediately eating a Suicide Dive and Slingshot Corkscrew Press. However, Strong brilliantly scouts the Quebrada, kneeing the abdomen of Aries to set up for the gutbuster. Aries doesn’t allow the latter to happen though, cutting off Strong to regain control. Strong shoves Aries into the corner on a brainbuster attempt and then immediately hits his first backbreaker of the match for a near-fall. Aries has the Liontamer scouted, immediately reaching the ropes. Chris Jericho would be so honored by this match, and hopefully he feuds with both these men before he’s done.

Aries back to working on Strong’s head and neck, hitting a Quebrada on that area as Strong draped over the middle rope. The champion deadweights a brainbuster attempt, only for Aries to scout the Half Nelson Backbreaker, so Strong drives him into the corner and drops him gutfirst -on the top turnbuckle, then hits a Super Fall Away Slam for a near-fall. Awesome. Strong calls for a backdrop suplex on the apron, which is stupid to let Aries know is coming. This allows Aries to duck a chop and drop Strong just like Punk at Death Before Dishonor III, a Death Valley Driver on the apron, leading to a count out false finish. This is just fantastic wrestling.

Strong surprises Aries to regain control, only to get cut off and eat a brainbuster. Strong shoves the ref in the ropes to crotch Aries on a 450 splash attempt. As they battle on the top turnbuckle, Aries falls and crashes through an outside table, hurting his back, obviously playing perfectly to Strong’s offense. Strong keeps it up, tossing his former best friend into guardrails. He then tops that with a Release Tiger Driver onto another guardrail to go for a count out victory!

The crowd erupts when Aries breaks the count; that’s what happens when the FIP Title rules have had a few months to get established. Aries goes for a desperate small package near-fall, only to get a boot, Half Nelson Backbreaker, and another Tiger Driver, before being placed into a Boston Crab, which Strong transitions into a gorgeous Liontamer. Aries passes out to bring this classic to a finish, and Detroit is none too happy. Strong goes for another Liontamer afterwards, but is chased away by Delirious.

These two had quite the act to follow, which would be an understatement. They managed to bring another MOTYC to the card in a match that’s a bit under-appreciated. The storytelling in this was off-the-charts with terrific scouting all over the place and incredible strategies on display. Simply put, to find a superior match in this rivalry would be a struggle, and it’s doubtful that the rematch to come 6 months later on PPV could measure up to this.

Rating: ****1/2

As Haze consoles Whitmer, whose head is bandaged, he simply laments on his failure and leaves the building. Simply but effective.

Dragon Gate Rules
CIMA, Shingo, & Susumu Yokosuka vs. Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito, & Masaaki Mochizuki


Yet another Dragon Gate match in ROH that just can’t measure up to Blood Generation’s work of art trios matches in spring 2006. Once again, this match failed to have the cream-of-the-crop rules adherence to seamlessly blend in with the breathtaking fluidity of nonstop action defined by Dragon Gate. With that said, while this is another disappointing match to revisit a decade later, it still has its charming upsides.

This is a bit better than the trios match at Final Battle 2006, but cannot honestly be considered superior to the forgotten one at Battle of the Icons. The exchanges between Shingo and Mochizuki brought back memories of Low Ki vs. Samoa Joe, and modern-day fans of talents such as Katsuyori Shibata and Tomohiro Ishii would likely enjoy it too. Yokosuka and Kid had obvious chemistry, one comparable to Kalisto and Alberto Del Rio.

The action was crisp throughout despite the failure to adhere to the very simple rules, resulting in Detroit going insane as expected. However, there was a missed opportunity to have Kid play a genuine FIP role with Typhoon playing utter jabroni heels, manipultating the rules in their favor and getting in Saito and Mochizuki’s heads. This would’ve really enhanced the finish that was blatantly a sequel to the Do Fixer vs. Blood Generation masterpiece finish, Yokosuka scouting Kid’s Springboard Hurricana Pin and winning with a Susnet Flip counter.

This match does have some charm, but doesn’t measure up to its MOTYC legacy handed out at the time, and certainly doesn’t belong in the same conversation as Blood Generation against Do Fixer and Generation Next. There were simply too many psychological holes in this one for that. At least it got a positive reaction though, with the Detroit fans wanting a return from the Dragon Gate stars.

Rating: ***1/4

The DVD closes with Jacoba and Lacey consoling each other backstage, not asying a word as Becky Bayless tries to get a comment from them. They are too physically and emotionally traumatized, but they have each other as Lacey embraces the arms of Jacobs. Brilliant finish to the DVD to follow up the night before, and the message is clear: Jimmy Jacobs was THE star of this weekend for ROH, not anyone else.

This is certainly a fantastic show. Most will still give the closing match MOTYC reviews even though it’s not deserving of such distinction. Even if it had managed to reach that level though, the main event clearly should’ve been Jacobs vs. Whitmer. It didn’t matter that Jacobs was hurt. It didn’t matter that Do Fixer vs. Blood Generation won the 2006 Match of the Year in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards. This was the cage match to end a saga that had its seeds unknowingly planted 4 years earlier through a sequence of events, coming to its first chapter 2 years earlier, and then unfolding from there.

Any show that has the greatest cage match in company history, plus a fantastic technical wrestling match to compliment it, and a couple fun tags, plus a trios match that most will adore, gets the strongest recommendation. But had the trios match been the pre-intermission main event, with the FIP Title and cage matches serving as the 2 closers, then this would be as well remembered as Better Than Our Best and Glory By Honor V Night 2, while having a double closer compared to Unified and the latter.

Those looking for a dissection of the Jacobs vs. Whitmer saga, be patient. A special 10-year retrospective is imminent. What a journey it has been.

After a month away, Takeshi Morishima returns with the ROH Title. Who will be able to step up and get the job done now that Samoa Joe is gone, and the likes of KENTA, Homicide, and BJ Whitmer have failed?

A rebirth unknowingly looms for the company. But before then, faction warfare hits its next chapter. Does this particular portion hold up well a decade later? Or will it succumb to being as limp as everything in the storyline so far that has preceded it?

It’s also the advertised farewell tour of a company legend. Other stars are also finishing up in the company as eluded to with the unforeseen “rebirth.” But what no one knew a decade ago: the return of a former Pure Champion would mark his final weekend ever in ROH.

Up next – This Means War II
Matches will include:
Delirious vs. Colt Cabana
Brent Albright vs. Homicide
The Resilience vs. No Remorse Corps
Takeshi Morishima & Chris Hero vs. Doug Williams & Nigel McGuinness

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Mike Adamle » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:31 am

Are you not reviewing This Means War II and Fighting Spirit?
BlackLesnar wrote:Seriously though, I completely agree with Mike.
Mr. Mojo Risin wrote:
Mike Adamle wrote:Should've named this show "Masters of the Roll Up"
This is the best post ever by Adamle. I laughed my ass off at this.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:52 am

I reached burnout.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Mike Adamle » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:03 am

Too bad, I quite liked 2007, although not these shows as much
BlackLesnar wrote:Seriously though, I completely agree with Mike.
Mr. Mojo Risin wrote:
Mike Adamle wrote:Should've named this show "Masters of the Roll Up"
This is the best post ever by Adamle. I laughed my ass off at this.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:10 pm

Hoping to have this caught up by Saturday, as well as a retrospective too of arguably the greatest tag match in ROH history to hype its rubber match.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Fri May 12, 2017 10:54 pm

This Means War II – April 13, 2007
Taped from Long Island, NY

Image

ROH Video Wire – April 7, 2007



Important news/footage in the above video:
April 13 in Long Island – Brent Albright vs. Homicide; No Remorse Corps vs. Matt Cross, Austin Aries, and a mystery partner in a Survivor Series Style Elimination Match
April 14 in New Jersey – Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness for the ROH Title. OH FUCK YES~!

The reviewed matches were saved on the hard drive, so C&P treatment yet again from Jake Zeigler & Brad Garoon.

And we start with a C&P doozy in the post-match of El Generico vs. Jason Blade vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Erick Stevens.
Austin Aries comes out after the match. He congratulates all four guys on a match well fought, and then berates someone in the crowd for expressing his opinion. He calls Stevens back into the ring and offers him a spot in his horribly named group, The Resilience. Stevens accepts the offer and Aries compliments his haircut. I really don’t find Aries funny. Roderick Strong comes out and Stevens for joining Aries’ group, and then the rest of the No Remorse Corps come out and we’ve got a pier-six brawl, to set up for the six-man elimination tag match later tonight.
GOD FUCKING DAMMIT BITCH jabroni BASTARD BULLSHIT

Booker Gabe Sapolsky is already reaching not just with Matt Cross in the Austin Aries-led Resilience, but the newcomer Erick Stevens. Even though Stevens is just a month removed from a **** match against Roderick Strong in FIP, he’s otherwise shown very little charisma on the microphone and when selling underneath as a babyface.

There’s the what if scenario had Cross & Stevens been left jerking the curtain until they truly proved themselves. You know who already had and would’ve been far superior recruits for Aries? One of them in that very fucking match that just took place, Kevin Steen & El Generico! Or how about recruiting Edwards since Aries is impressed by what he’s seen since his debut a few months back, a debut that was against the former Generation Next leader actually? Instead we’ve got Sapolsky going with handpicked choices instead of the outsiders that crushed the deck stacked against them, and I demand better from ROH. Handpicked bullshit already makes audiences suffer in WWE and TNA, as well as the deceased WCW. This is supposed to be a legitimate alternative, not a low-rent version of what’s on cable.

Delirious vs. Colt Cabana

Not quite on par with the Liverpool match, but another quality comedy match nonetheless. Highlights include Cabana scaring the shit out of Delirious by wearing a Matt Classic match, followed up by Delirious wearing that mask while Cabana wore a Delirious mask, and numerous spots involving referee Todd Sinclair, who was sensational with his timing in this match.

Regarding Sinclair, he saw himself got shoved down, rotated around to literally kick Cabana’s rear end, and even be used by Delirious to give Cabana a Manhattan Drop. As mentioned, all of the timing in Sinclair’s spots were on point, adding to his resume as a top contender for greatest referee of the early 21st Century.

With this serving as the beginning of Cabana’s farewell tour since he had just signed with WWE, business was done the right away unlike a couple months earlier, with Delirious going over. It is absolutely critical that Delirious manage to get over with the range of character work to blend in with his comedy to fill Cabana’s void, unless Sapolsky intelligently were to bring in Human Tornado of course.

Before and after the match, Cabana got “Please don’t go!” chants, and unlike his best friend in the business, gave a much more satisfying farewell moment for these Long Islanders, hugging those in the front row before heading to the back.

Rating: ***

Claudio Castagnoli defeats Tag Champion Jay Briscoe in singles competition, and there are a couple post-match directions.
After the match Claudio challenges the Briscoes to a tag title match. Mark accepts on behalf of his brother. He says Claudio will have his tag title shot as soon as he heals up. Kevin Steen and El Generico rush the ring. Steen talks about almost beating the Briscoes and teases Mark for missing his shooting star press. He wants a title shot too. Mark’s says his memory may be screwed up since he bumped his head, but he remembers beating Steen and Generico cleanly. He doesn’t think it’ll be hard to beat them again so he grants their shot too. He calls Steen fat, so Steen hits his head. Mark goes down like a rock so Jay and Claudio brawl with Steen and Generico. This angle is great.
Brent Albright vs. Homicide

This was simply about 15 minutes of nothing special. While nothing was mechanically bad in this match apart from Albright very briefly mistiming his selling of a strike, there was just no starch to anything whatsoever in this match. While the audience popped at times, particularly for the crowd brawling, there was never much of an engaging story told throughout this contest.

I was glad to see Julius Smokes tossed out when he attacked Albright, a rarity to see for the babyface side in this business. But it didn’t matter, because whatever advantage there could’ve been for Albright to tell an engaging story in setting Homicide up for the Crowbar submission, he failed to target the shoulder that struck a ring post in the finishing stretch.

That Albright won clean proved to be mute. Shane Hagadorn attacked Homicide immediately in the post-match, drawing out Smokes to even the odds. The Rottweilers then gave Hagadorn a spike piledriver on a chair to leave with the last laugh. For all of Albright’s weaknesses, there was no good reason to take away his heat from the clean victory here, no matter how lukewarm it may have been, and with the company in dire need of new top talent now that Cabana is on the way and Samoa Joe is gone, it’s imperative that big upset wins like this are treated with the utmost care to get them over. Either go all the way in or just play the safe hand with Homicide winning. Dare I say… burnout?

Rating: less than ***

Survivor Series Style Elimination Match
The Resilience vs. No Remorse Corps


Really pleasant surprise here with much of this match being simply too good for this storyline. The weakest part would be the middle as Cross played the face-in-peril to pay his dues and get Aries over for the hot tag. But that turned out to be a mistake. Before Stevens got eliminated via multiple finishers, he was a fantastic house of fire in the same vein as Roman Reigns during the days of the Shield, busting out bombs left and right aplenty. Not only was the audience fully engaged, but they were connecting with him, chanting “Choo choo!” right along with him and even in anticipation as well.

The NRC getting a clean sweep was a good idea since it was 3 established stars against Aries and 2 newcomers that had done nothing of note yet. Aries was fine playing the 3-on-1 underdog, although once again in hindsight on this night, with how over Stevens got, it would’ve been best to have him as a bad ass that just didn’t have enough to take down the hottest faction in ROH at the time (that’s not high praise.)

What wasn’t a good idea? Delirious making the save for Aries in the post-match to unmercifully continue his program with Strong that nobody gave a shit about.

This match definitely deserves inclusion on a compilation at some point, and while Stevens still needs to prove himself quite a bit more as a personality, he delivered in this big spot. It’s too bad that I only care about some of the individual parts in this program, rather than the actual whole.

Rating: ***3/4

Takeshi Morishima & Chris Hero vs. Doug Williams & Nigel McGuinness

Good main event taken down a bit when McGuinness mysteriously became legal in the last few minutes. Before that though, the Brits did a good job breaking down Hero, specifically targeting his left arm. Considering how much time was spent on that, I’d have strongly preferred for McGuinness to have finished him off with the London Dungeon on that shoulder rather than the rebound lariat that had recently broken Jimmy Rave’s jaw.

Morishima didn’t contribute much standout content in this match. Williams failed to make the save when Hero pinned McGuinness after a backdrop driver, thus failing to protect Morishima’s finisher as McGuinness had to kick out since that wasn’t the planned finish. That took the match down a bit further. The highlight would be the Towers of London, first on Morishima when Williams prevented him from landing a missile dropkick, and Hero eating one later in KRS-One fashion.

The post-match is generic with Morishima and McGuinness going face-to-face for tomorrow night’s main event, and McGuinness threatens that the rebound lariat can get the job done. Yeah, I’m looking forward to him dumbing down his offense to lariat spamming, putting the health of both himself and his colleagues at further risk, rather than a much safer, far more cerebral shoulder submission story that could pay off with the London Dungeon. As stated in the Unified review, Steve Austin got over at WrestleMania 13 by just lying on his belly while in the Scorpion Deathlock, as he didn’t need to take a crazy bump to make Bret Hart look like a million bucks.

Rating: ***1/4

Recommendation to avoid overall. The trios match is worth seeing but everything else is only a must for the most diehard of ROH consumers.

This is it. At a time when everyone was focusing on Cabana’s farewell tour, and something else brewing behind the scenes that had yet to hit the public, it’s the final ROH match ever for Doug Williams. It’s also time to get the ball rolling on the feud of the year, and does the main event still hold up as a classic, or is it just another good match that doesn’t stand out in any special way?

Up next – Fighting Spirit
Matches will include:
Rocky Romero vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Jay Briscoe & Erick Stevens vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
Doug Williams vs. Colt Cabana
Jack Evans & Delirious vs. Davey Richards & Roderick Strong
Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Fri May 12, 2017 11:11 pm

Fighting Spirit – April 14, 2007
Taped from Edison, NJ

Image

The DVD begins with the wonderfully returned SIDEVIEW PROMO from Nigel McGuinness. He compares the importance of tonight’s main event, challenging Takeshi Morishima for the ROH Title, to perhaps the biggest, greatest match in UK history, that being Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith at SummerSlam 1992. That classic he experienced in person at Wembley Stadium inspired him to pursue the dream of being a pro wrestler, and here he is 15 years later. He’s paid his dues and made his sacrifices, proud to now be a pro wrestler, and now the next dream is to become ROH Champion to build his legacy. In what rings very true a decade later, he questions how much longer he can do this since his body is beginning to break down. That makes his goal that much more important – no longer to just be in great matches, but to actually win those great matches. Tonight is special. Credit to McGuinness for overcoming the awful camera angle choice and getting me to take this match seriously.

Claudio Castagnoli blames himself for the Kings of Wrestling losing the Tag Titles 5 months ago, citing that he was negotiating to leave. Now that he’s stuck around and was offered an olive branch by ROH, he’s gonna take advantage and improve. He’s happy to now have a Tag Title opportunity in the bank, but says the mystery remains who he’ll pick as his partner. Fucking boring as a solo babyface.

Rocky Romero vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Good stalemate early, and Castagnoli would rub Romero’s arrogance back in his face, mocking his lack of height. In retaliation, and perhaps showing Castagnoli shouldn’t have succumbed to such trolling, Romero kicked his legs, leaving the taller Swiss man prone to be knocked down with a shoulder charge. Romero was very good in using his submission expertise to counter Castagnoli’s power move attempts, including evading the Alpamari Waterslide.

Castagnoli relied primarily on press-ups and uppercuts to keep him in the match. That wasn’t enough for him ultimately though, because Romero once again countered for the finish, this time with an inside cradle after about 10 minutes of good but nothing special action.

Rating: ***

Jay Briscoe & Erick Stevens vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

A match of 3 easily distinguishable acts. The first would be with Stevens involved, which was fine stuff and showed he had decent chemistry with Jay as a tag partner. It would prove ultimately meaningless when the No Remorse Corps attacked him to take him out of the equation. Davey Richards truly comes across as an artificial extravert, rather than playing the more natural introvert we saw out of Chris Benoit during his days as a Horsemen that I believe he’s far better suited for. This wasn’t an effective way to take Stevens out of the match either. Instead of the NRC severely targeting a body part, they just shoved him into the guard rail and made his back sore. This is the kind of shit that got Roman Reigns even more heavily booed in the 2016 Royal Rumble match – we’ve seen too many gutsy efforts under far more trying circumstances to accept that THIS is enough to take someone out of battle. The story would’ve been more effective with Stevens having his knees fucked up by the NRC, taking away his ability to stand and walk, and that could’ve played into future matches for him as well since he’s so reliant on power moves.

The second act would be Jay having to play solo against Steen & Generico, and he put forth a good effort. Steen continued to be a marvelous troll, mocking that Jay was outnumbered, while Generico was simply focused on just winning this competition and nothing more. But it became clear after several minutes that unlike when he and his brother had the numbers advantage against Colt Cabana at Death Before Dishonor II Pt. 2, he wouldn’t be able to get a fall on his own.

The third and by far hottest act would be Mark arriving from the crowd in street clothes to be his brother’s impromptu partner, despite their mother protesting the decision. The crowd was totally into this, and he was tremendous playing a wounded yet still fresh substitution to the match. The concussion storyline was incredibly effective, with the crowd not caring for Steen or Generico doing any damage to his head at all, and Mark sold it incredibly well. One would hope that the concussion was being exaggerated, although considering this was 2 months prior to the 9/11 of pro wrestling, it very well may have been real and it was decided to incorporate that dangerous reality into the match.

This finishing stretch had some brilliant stuff in it, including Mark preventing Generico from hitting a Super Ace Crusher, instead hitting one himself on the Generic Luchador. Steen had definite malicious intent when he brought Mark to the outside and threw him around, drawing out Jay to be driven hard into a guard rail to be taken out of the equation. This left the damaged Mark all alone to eat a Package Piledriver and immediate brainbuster for an excellent finish.

In the post-match, Generico plays the good sport in showing concern for Mark, while Steen is quite callous and nonchalant. Tremendous dichotomy at play between the two here. This was excellent tag team wrestling in front of a hot crowd and obeying tag legalities, which ELEVATED the drama in the match and proved why that’s such an essential component to being an expert tag team competitor.

As for the concussion angle, which was pushed on commentary as LIFE-THREATENING, it’s difficult to really gauge how much criticism it deserves. Considering this DVD release was available prior while Benoit was still alive, such commentary proves that everyone knew better. But at the same time, progress is a difficult path to embark on – as Bruce Wayne stated in Batman Begins, “People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy.” This has personally applied to me in becoming far more concerned about the negative impacts of my own choices once I had them clearly on display for me to see.

Rating: ****

Doug Williams’s Final ROH Match and Colt Cabana’s East Coast Farewell
Doug Williams vs. Colt Cabana


Good comedy match for Williams to have as his swan song. The comedy highlights were Cabana having Williams standing split-legged over the middle rope and when the referee idiotically put himself in the same position to tell Cabana to step back, both of them were victims to a crotching by the former Tag Champ; and Williams bridging himself as Cabana sat on him, finally wiggling himself to break Williams down for the cover, only to be countered into a crucifix pin.

In addition to the comedy, the actual wrestling was top-notch technique. That some of the spots appeared to be sloppy told the story that Cabana wasn’t gonna allow himself to so easily fall prey to the cream-of-the-crop mechanics of Williams. There were pin counters aplenty in this one, but eventually Cabana ran out of ways to use his technique, leverage, and positioning to keep himself at an even keel with Williams, succumbing to the Chaos Theory. I was very glad this wasn’t a near-fall and then a flatter finish following up as was seen in the first night Williams had in ROH against Bryan Danielson at Road to the Title.

Nobody knew at the time this was the end of an era for Williams, so he shook hands and then left Cabana to cut a promo since he was the one advertised to be out the door. More on the former Pure Champion that also participated in the first-ever ROH Title match at the end of this review.

Cabana is clearly bothered by someone in attendance, showing perhaps a very brief peak at what may be a irrationally contemptuous viewpoint that Scott Colton has for wrestling fans just like his best friend in the business that he references in this promo. He says he isn’t moving up or down in reference to WWE, just that he’s moving on, and compares it to Burger King vs. McDonald’s. He somewhat contradicts himself by then saying ROH is a mom-and-pop operation and that he’s “moving up,” but the point was effective as he put over ROH as the best pure product in the business. Even with all of ROH’s growing on-screen flaws, considering that TNA had dumbed itself down with Vince Russo on the booking team, WWE having its head generally up its ass in the talent hiring department, PWG still quite a way’s away from becoming what it is today, the UK scene not even close to booming yet, and NOAH no longer having the peak championships prestige or up-and-down card consistency of its first 6 years, ROH deserved to be patted on the back by Cabana here.

Rating: ***1/4

Kevin Steen interrupts Chris Hero & Tank Toland’s intermission interview with Becky Bayless. He cuts an awesome promo putting himself & Generico over, who is awesomely sporting an lWo shirt. They demand their “well-deserved” shot at the Tag Titles. Hero dismisses their claim due to being “brand-new.” God fucking dammit why have we still a decade later never gotten the Kings of Wrestling vs. Steen & Generico?

Jack Evans & Delirious vs. Davey Richards & Roderick Strong

Another quality tag match for this card, with it starting as a brawl. It eventually broke down correctly into Evans playing the Ricky Morton role; he’s superior at selling, while Delirious is the superior house of fire utilizing his insanity persona. The NRC were vicious to Evans, tossing himself in and out of the ring and delivering various blows, but once again Richards just comes across as way too much of a try-hard expressionist with his mannerisms instead of even playing a Dean Malenko-like role that would likely better suit him and get him over as a truly cold motherfucker. (For evidence on how effective Malenko was, turn on Spring Stampede 1999 and listen to Tacoma’s reaction to just him simply standing on the ropes totally stone-faced to delay the beginning of his match.)

Evans would finally manage a comeback with a springboard back elbow on the NRC, and I was pleasantly surprised to see tag legalities adhered to in the finishing stretch. Evans did his best to keep Strong at bay, including a Sasuke Special, while Delirious was to deal with Richards as the legal men in the ring. If there’s one real lowlight to the match besides Richards over-expressing his heel persona, it was when he hit a low blow on Delirious for a near-fall to a lukewarm reaction.

That Delirious would kick out of that and need to eat a chair shot to the head before being finished with a Butterfly Driver is foolish on multiple levels; first of all, taking the chair to the head of course. But with Cabana on the way out and just giving the rub 24 hours earlier to Delirious clean in the middle of the ring, the Lizard Man should be getting groomed to fill the frequent comedy role on the card that provides variety and a refresher between all the serious business matches that ROH is largely founded upon. If there’s any valid excuse to strongly push Delirious as an upper mid-card babyface instead of Cabana’s comedy void replacement, it would be to bring in Human Tornado pronto to fulfill that void. We shall see if that actually happens.

Rating: ***3/4

ROH Title Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness


Morishima totally dominates the first few minutes, not being thwarted by the challenger’s strikes whatsoever, instead driving him to the outside with a shoulder tackle and then tossing him around ringside. The champion is relentless, further showing the lesson he learned in his debuting defeat against Samoa Joe. But the challenger proves himself having learned from his series against Bryan Danielson, weathering the storm and capitalizing on the brief time he had to hit a spinning apron lariat to gain control and then sustain it, even pulling out a rare splash from the top rope to the champion on the outside.

McGuinness even baits Morishima into attempting a comeback, causing the champion’s left arm to strike the ring post on a clothesline attempt, and the challenger targets that joint like white on rice. That’s the shit I wanna see from McGuinness – showcasing why he’s easily the second-best technician in ROH, instead of spamming strikes as hard as he can. But he fucks up going for a sunset flip on the outside, which Morishima blocks and then sits on his sternum to regain the heat.

Morishima comes across as a total natural in his brief expression of heel mannerisms, a staple of puroresue at least throughout the 2000s. His agility is even more impressive than Joe’s and Steen’s, being a bigger body and delivering top-rope moves like very few his size. Gabe Sapolsky appears on commentary and delivers great news, which is that Austin Aries will challenge the winner of this match for the ROH Title when Minnesota hosts the next event in 13 days. OH FUCK YES~!

The champion mistakenly went for a handspring corner splash, making it easily scouted by McGuinness for a Tower of London near-fall. There was no reaction to that near-fall, but in this case, the move wasn’t marginalized; it simply wasn’t believable that Morishima had taken enough punishment yet for anyone to buy into a title change. They eventually have a strike exchange that Morishima wins when he counters a rebound lariat with a side slam. But the champion takes too long going to the top rope, so McGuinness hits a Superplex, which only gives the champion fighting spirit. That’s for naught though as McGuinness shrugs off a big boot and hits a nice lariat that takes them both down.

The crowd is fairly behind McGuinness as he drives Morishima to the floor via an apron Tower of London. This could possibly backfire since there’s no count out and a title change only takes place in the ring. Rather than exploit the rules, Morishima roles in to be a fighting champion and the backdrop driver is blocked, but his fighting spirit returns as McGuinness continuously superkicks him, then he knocks the challenger down with a lariat and successful backdrop driver.

That proves to be a near-fall and the crowd is buying into McGuinness, although there doesn’t seem to be the level of electricity that indicates a genuine belief that history will be made. McGuinness absorbs a shotgun missile dropkick using fighting spirit once again, thus giving this event its official name. He immediately hits a lariat for another near-fall that nobody bought. Nonetheless, the stock of McGuinness is definitely rising here.

They have another strike exchange with Morishima landing a hip attack and McGuinness uses the momentum to hit a furious rebound lariat for a near-fall that the New Jersey crowd finally bought into. The reaction to this one is just tremendous, with the fans now convinced McGuinness would finally reach his culmination. He goes for the rebound lariat again only to eat some blows from the champion for a near-fall, and the crowd is getting hotter. McGuinness absorbs a backdrop driver, goes for a rebound lariat, gets blocked, and falls victim to another backdrop driver, having spent all his energy by trying to hit his new finisher after just eating Morishima’s. Everyone knows that’s the finish, which indeed it is.

Tremendous main event, although nowhere near an all-time classic. The match definitely justifies the name of this event and elevated the stock of McGuinness, who had the crowd chanting his name as he congratulated on a hard-fought title retention. Morishima also showed his resilience, not falling to the early work on his left arm and absorbing the challenger’s blows, showing a greater abundance of fighting spirit to continue his reign of terror. Morishima vs. Aries should be a doozy.

Rating: ****

The DVD closes with the No Remorse Corps having a verbal circle-jerk over winning all of their matches this weekend. Strong initiates a 3-on-1 assault on a ring crew member. This is such a poor man’s version of the Rottweilers, as Richards has nowhere near the magic of being vocal like Julius Smokes, nor does he come across as frightening as Low Ki. Strong is no Homicide either; although a certified bad-ass, he doesn’t induce the chaotic terror of the Notorious 187. Pathetic way to end this event for the DVD viewing audience after a great main event that capped off a very good night of wrestling.

Strongest recommendation possible for 2 great matches, as well as 2 tag matches that showcase that it’s not difficult to have a gripping match while adhering to the essential components of drama and psychology that are a part of that genre’s foundation. This also has the historic impact of being the final ROH appearance ever for Doug Williams.

If there’s anyone that truly defines the term “under-appreciated” in the history books of ROH, there is truly no better candidate (among many) than Doug Williams. In and out of the company for 5 years, he was never around enough to be a franchise player or get involved in substantial storylines. What he managed to accomplish and contribute though more than made up for that.

For anyone who became an ROH consumer in the past decade, they never got to experience what was special about Williams, how he was a key contributor in defining ROH’s identity. The best comparison to make would be Jushin Liger’s time in WCW. Like Williams, Liger was never a full-timer, but he made a tremendous impact, including winning championship gold.

More often than not, when Doug Williams was scheduled for ROH, fans knew they were destined to see one of the finest technicians on the planet. What he lacked in the personality department, he made up for by using his grappling to troll, frustrate, and piss off opponents, especially cocky, arrogant heels such as CM Punk, Homicide, Alex Shelley, and Christopher Daniels.

When Williams made his debut at Road to the Title in June 2002, booker Gabe Sapolsky wasted no time in showing the audience that this was a player to take seriously, having him go over Jay Briscoe in the opening quarterfinal round, and then pulling off the upset of the evening later on the card by going over established main-eventer Bryan Danielson. This then thrust Williams to headline Crowning a Champion the following month, competing in a unique four-way 60-minute Iron Man match against Low Ki, Daniels, and Brian Kendrick to determine the first-ever ROH Champion.

All four men would have a spectacular performance, even with the closing minutes coming down to Ki vs. Daniels since they were the top storyline focus for the company’s first year. It was a masterpiece of a match, never once getting dull as the Murphy Rec Center felt the summer heat, all 4 competitors certainly dropping plenty of water weight throughout the hour-long classic.

That would not be the only meaningful contribution for Williams in ROH though. Just like Liger was integral in WCW with establishing the Lightheavyweight Championship, Williams was chosen to fulfill the vacant role as Pure Champion, an important role to be slotted in after AJ Styles had chosen to stick with TNA and forfeit the title in light of Rob Feinstein’s ephebophilia scandal. Williams would win a qualifier four-way to get into the vacant Pure Title match, then went over Alex Shelley in the show-stealing classic at Reborn: Completion. For the next several weeks, Williams would have a brief but effective reign as Pure Champion, having quality technical wrestling matches against Shelley, Aries, and John Walters, who would defeat him at Scramble Cage Melee.

The mentioned title match classics weren’t the only great matches Williams had on his resume in ROH. Perhaps the most under-appreciated match in the entire 15-year history of ROH would be the work of art against Christopher Daniels at Night of Champions in March 2003. An event that’s far more remembered for Samoa Joe dethroning Xavier for the ROH Title as well as the junk spotfests pitting Low Ki against Jody Fleisch as well as Styles & Amazing Red against the Briscoes, anyone with the proper mind for the business knows that Daniels vs. Williams was the true gem on the card.

A rematch to their disappointing main event at the inaugural Glory By Honor, the two ring generals went above and beyond to make up for it, this time competing for the FWA Title and the right to an ROH Title match. It was technical at its absolute finest, with Philadelphia being lit up by the breathtaking submission work on display. The only criticism that can be thrown at the match, and it is arguably an unnecessary nitpick, was that neither provided a maximum engagement with the crowd to blend in emotional energy to go with the state-of-the-art mat work and body part targeting in the ring. Williams would win the match, becoming FWA Champion, earning a match for the ROH Title, and also erasing their first ROH match, which had forbidden Williams to follow the Code of Honor.

The other outstanding ROH match for Williams would be a surprising show-stealer against Homicide at Nowhere to Run. In reality, it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Homicide had a very good match several months earlier against Nigel McGuinness at Midnight Express Reunion, playing the perfect chaotic, irrational foil to the mat work of McGuinness and then being on the wrong end of a huge upset. So it made sense that Homicide would have even better chemistry with Williams in yet another under-appreciated match for the former Pure Champion. Williams would not succumb to the mind games of Homicide, keeping himself even-tempered, but having learned from losing to McGuinness, the leader of the Rottweilers played dirty to get the much-needed victory after having just losing his program against Danielson 24 hours earlier.

Williams would also be featured on ROH’s debut weekend in the United Kingdom, although neither match of his contributed much of significance. The tag match in Liverpool was a sloppy disappointment considering he was going up against SUWA & Go Shiozaki, but at least his match in Broxbourne against Jimmy Rave would be fun, and also had the historic significance of being the end of Prince Nana’s epic tenure as the greatest manager in company history.

When Williams returned for what turned out to be his last ROH weekend in April 2007, he was nothing more than a depth attraction. There was at least one fan on the original ROH message board that stated he bought a ticket as soon as Williams was confirmed. And why is that?

It’s because of the fact that while Doug Williams is far from the first name that comes to anyone’s mind when discussing the bygone golden era of ROH, he was always someone that when his name was added to a card, everyone knew that he fucking belonged. He was simply good for business, as his cream-of-the-crop technique personified ROH’s primary identity at the time as being legitimately the finest pro wrestling company on the entire planet as pointed out by his final ROH opponent Colt Cabana in what was his own farewell tour promo after their contest at Fighting Spirit.

Since April 2007, Williams has associated with ROH, even challenging Jay Lethal for the ROH Title. But those were on co-branded events with Preston City Wrestling, and it’s that company which holds the video and historical rights to those events. So in the history books of ROH’s event, Doug Williams unknowingly walked into the curtain, never to step foot in an ROH ring again after he shook Cabana’s hand in New Jersey at Fighting Spirit.

If Doug Williams ever reads this, thank you for your part in establishing the ROH Title as a belt to be respected from its very inception. Thank you for stepping up in a very trying time to be Pure Champion and delivering matches that completely smoked the disappointment of CM Punk vs. AJ Styles when the belt was first established. Thank you for providing quality doozies to ROH and playing a key supporting role in showcasing the company as the best damn in-ring product provided on the planet throughout the Gabe Sapolsky era. Thank you for being a reliable hand that could be counted on to bring his working boots.

And thank you for being the most under-appreciated contributor in the 15-year history of ROH.

Doug Williams’s 10 Greatest ROH Matches
1. Doug Williams vs. Low Ki vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Christopher Daniels – Crowning a Champion ****3/4
2. Doug Williams vs. Christopher Daniels – Night of Champions ****3/4 (William’s greatest ROH match)
3. Doug Williams vs. CM Punk – Second Anniversary Show ***3/4
4. Doug Williams vs. Jay Lethal vs. John Walters vs. Nigel McGuinness – Reborn: Completion ***1/2
5. Doug Williams vs. Alex Shelley – Reborn: Completion ****
6. Doug Williams vs. Alex Shelley – Death Before Dishonor II Pt. 1 ***1/2
7. Doug Williams vs. Austin Aries – Death Before Dishonor II Pt. 2 ***3/4
8. Doug Williams vs. John Walters – Scramble Cage Melee ***3/4
9. Doug Williams & Colt Cabana vs. Chad Collyer & Nigel McGuinness – The Final Showdown ***1/2
10. Doug Williams vs. Homicide – Nowhere to Run ****



As if the unexpected finale of Doug Williams wasn’t enough for April 2007, we got some more roster shakeup coming before the end of the month. It’s time for swan songs aplenty and a game-changer to be thrown at Sapolsky. Whether it’s the advertised farewell weekend for Cabana, or perhaps departures that are a bit more sudden, history is about to be made once again.

Up next – The Battle of St. Paul
Matches will include:
Jack Evans vs. Delirious vs. Erick Stevens vs. Rocky Romero
Roderick Strong vs. Christopher Daniels
Takeshi Morishima vs. Austin Aries
Last edited by supersonic on Wed May 31, 2017 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Sun May 14, 2017 4:06 pm

The Battle of St. Paul – April 27, 2007
Taped from St. Paul, MN

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ROH Video Wire – April 18, 2007



Important news/footage in the above video:

A brief video packaged titled “Steen & Generico have arrived in ROH.” No shit they have.
Colt Cabana’s farewell weekend is tagging with Homicide against Brent & Albright & Adam Pearce at The Battle of St. Paul, and then a singles swan song against Pearce in their hometown of Chicago. Looking forward to the latter.

Another so-so event before the closing 3 matches, so C&P yet again from Jake Ziegler & Brad Garoon.

A very generic grappler named Michael Elgin has his first ever ROH match against Rhett Titus, but it’s meaningless when Jimmy Rave spoils it. Elgin gets a bit of offense but is quickly dispatched by Rave.

The Briscoes defend the Tag Titles in an Ultimate Endurance against a number of debuting Chikara talent. Opponents include Incoherence, Jigsaw & Mike Quackenbush, and Mitch Franklin & Pelle Primeau.

Jack Evans vs. Delirious vs. Erick Stevens vs. Rocky Romero

Fun four-way match with Romero as the odd man out, having pissed the others off as a member of the No Remorse Corps. The early story was him avoiding everyone and playing the opportunist, including taking advantage of the idiocy of Evans to turn his back to him, kicking him right in the hamstring to marginalize his acrobatics. Stevens was once again the real star of the match, having a good slap exchange with Romero and busting all numerous power moves.

As expected, legalities got thrown out about halfway into the match; while making this a free for all would’ve just allowed for pure insanity, adhering to legalities could’ve enhanced drama and created opportunities, such as Evans playing a Sasha Banks or Rey Mysterio role to hit sudden high spots, or Romero taking advantage of an emotional babyface questing the referee to blindside someone with more devastating kicks. Considering that the obvious goal seems to recapture the Rottweilers via the NRC, it was no surprise to see Romero win.

Rating: ***

FIP Title Match
Roderick Strong vs. Christopher Daniels


Good match between two quality hands, although it severely needed more personality from both. While Strong was mechanically terrific controlling most of the match, making Daniels the default babyface, it didn’t serve either’s direction very well. The count out finish as well, with Daniels getting his foot caught in a detached part of a barricaded guard rail, came very flaw to the Minnesotans in attendance, showing that neither should’ve been cast as the default babyface in this contest. It didn’t help that there wasn’t dramatic count out teases earlier in the match either.

The match deserves credit for being one that all aspiring wrestlers should study for mechanical reasons, but it should be studied in the downfalls of not maximizing personas. With Strong a cocky jock faction leader and Daniels a cranky red-ass at the time, this would’ve been far better suited as a matchup between two brash trash-talkers attempting to one-up each other and pissing each other off in the process, resulting in numerous cheap shots and blatantly physical blows. In short, this needed to be chippy and testy, with the crowd perhaps rallying behind Daniels by default when he’d join along in mockingly chanting the champion’s name to get in his head.

As stated, still a good match that could’ve been very good or possibly even excellent had this been a battle of two assholes trying to prove whose dick is bigger.

Rating: ***1/4

ROH Title Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Austin Aries


The match starts with Aries using his same strategy from Final Battle 2004, an immediate house of fire on the champion. This didn’t have the same impact on Morishima, who was only a couple months into his reign, not having anything close to the mileage Samoa Joe had after 21 months. This allowed Morishima to easily weather the challenger’s flurry, gaining the heat.

Morishima had an extensive heat segment as Minnesota was firmly behind the man that been introduced as having trained in the Twin Cities (and thus making his ROH debut to have NOT been at Reborn Stage 1 a few years earlier a missed opportunity.) It would be several minutes before Aries made any real hope spots, but the real story here and throughout the rest of the match was that no matter what, he was not gonna fall prey to the backdrop driver.

That story in fact allowed Aries to make a comeback when Morishima tried deadlifting him off the apron for another backdrop driver attempt, only for Aries to sandbag it. He ear-clapped the champion and eventually got him to the outside, then capitalized immediately with a perfectly timed suicide dive to get the Twin Cities crowd erupting. But Aries in control would be short-lived on the outside when he attempted to Irish Whip Morishima into a barricade, instead it being reversed. Morishima hit a hip attack to a seated Aries, but mistakenly went for it again, displaying too much cockiness in own strategy instead of changing shit up to avoid Aries picking up on any habits.

That allowed Aries to avoid the second hip attack and then once again channel Final Battle 2004, hitting a dropkick on the seated Morishima. Back in the ring it became a bit even with Aries also hitting a crucifix bomb, but struggling to execute a brainbuster which would allow Morishima to regain control. Aries pulled out some more of his arsenal from his historic ROH Title acquisition, kicking Morishima in the head multiple times to finally deliver a brainbuster and then follow-up 450 splash for an outstanding near-fall.

Aries had also made the mistake of running the ropes to add fury to his discus forearms that had helped dethrone Joe; it wasn’t a mistake due to Morishima scouting it, but because it allowed Morishima to cut him off with a lariat. Although Aries was not present at Fighting Spirit, he should’ve studied the raw tape of Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness that way he would’ve known to at least duck when Morishima went for the lariat cutoff.

His fatal mistake would be going for another top rope maneuver, for now Morishima had it scouted. A Super Backdrop Driver would be delivered, although Aries landed on his side instead of his neck and shoulders, so it’d result in a near-fall. Morishima dealt another blow than a standard backdrop driver, and everyone knew that was the ballgame.

Excellent main event that is must-see with a clear story, partisan audience, signature moves being teased and then delivered, and a dramatic closing few minutes. It was the correct booking call to have Aries get his title match during Morishima’s reign here, but got the story over that it was far too early to recapture the magic of the day after Christmas 2004.

Rating: ****

Gonna recommend this one due to a great main event, a semi main event worth studying for its mechanics, and a four-way that others will get more mileage out of, along with some debuts that make for nice trivia.

And now, another big one. A card that at the time delivered in all but one match, which was just a quick squash. It’s time for swan songs aplenty, it’s time for a puroresu dream match, it’s time for some killer promos, and it’s time for what could damn well be the absolute greatest tag team match in the 15-year history of ROH. Lest we forget – the game is about to change for ROH too.

Up next – Good Times, Great Memories
This show was so fucking good and consistent a decade ago that it’s getting the same treatment as Better Than Our Best and Glory By Honor V Night 2. That’s right, it’s getting reviewed in its entirety.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Mon May 15, 2017 10:38 pm

Good Times, Great Memories – April 28, 2007
Taped from Chicago, IL

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The DVD begins with Becky Bayless showing the crowd lined up for Colt Cabana’s farewell.

Jimmy Jacobs speaks for several minutes about the past 4 weeks of his life. The cage match against BJ Whitmer has changed him forever, causing a partial tooth loss and requiring major knee surgery, and he shows the physical price. But Lacey also offered one night of sex for him winning the big one, which he rejected. Unlike the rest of the locker room, he’s put in all the time, blood, sweat, and tears because he loves her, not just lust. He senses love will come soon for the two of them. Very good promo to get over how frustrated he is that others don’t understand his goals.

Mike Quackenbush vs. Jigsaw vs. Delirious vs. Hallowicked vs. Pelle Primeau vs. Gran Akuma

Not on par with Primeau’s six-way a couple months earlier in Dayton, but others will get more out of this. Once again, while the action was all pleasing to the eyes and largely smooth, it had the flaws of the established tag legalities being completely thrown out the window, as well as coming nowhere near as smooth as what Blood Generation and Do Fixer did in this building 13 months earlier.

The Chikara talents got “Please come back!” chants which are understandable, but in hindsight, this match shouldn’t have happened. To make this THE sexiest card of 2007, throw out the lone squash match later on the card involving Tank Toland so that Primeau vs. Akuma can fill that role. This opening match would then be a guaranteed ***+ as Incoherence battles Jigsaw & Quackenbush.

Although this doesn’t crack ***, it’s recommended for getting over the Chikara talents and having enough highlights that are worth seeing, including Delirious adding his child-like marking out for the uber-serious Quackenbush, and Akuma helping Quackenbush deliver a Doomsday Suicide Dive, which I don’t recall seeing at all in ROH up to this point.

Rating: less than ***

Good Times, Great Memories:
Night of the Butcher


Just Cabana annoying CM Punk in the car on the night of their double debut match on a cold, snowy night in Philly, causing his friend to walk instead of carpooling.

Erick Stevens vs. Christopher Daniels

Good match here that went to an unestablished 15-minute time limit. Before that, Daniels played the ring general by targeting the midsection of the younger Stevens thanks to suplexing him into a seated chair. Stevens wasn’t very compelling while selling for Daniels, not to the level of the comparable Roman Reigns, and certainly not to the level of all-timers in that regard such as Jeff Hardy and Bryan Danielson. But his comebacks were great thanks to his power moves, and perhaps it’ll turn out as the year continues that he should have just been heavy hitter like Shingo and Michael Elgin.

Daniels was tremendous as the prick, including spitting on the rules by stepping on the midsection of Stevens and using one hand a time on the top rope for leverage, forcing the 5-count to restart. His strategy ultimately paid off when Stevens couldn’t break the leverage Daniels had in blocking the Doctor Bomb, causing the time limit to expire. That the 15 minutes weren’t established prior to the opening bell is the biggest flaw.

The takeaway is in the post-match as Stevens wants 5 more minutes, but Daniels plays the veteran card because he has something to get off his chest. Stevens respects his request to leave while Allison Danger is baffled by what Daniels is doing. Daniels says he should’ve never returned, because he bent over backwards to do so and is now unappreciated. He feels taken for granted by the company and the fans, now seen as irrelevant. He cites that instead of even getting recent opportunities to earn ROH Title shots, he’s placed in filler matches to tread water. He’s also pissed that he and Matt Sydal weren’t taken seriously as Tag Champs, knowing the fans wanted that reign to end so quickly.

Daniels wonders if his TNA status caused him to fall off in the fans of ROHbots. He says he still busted his ass all the time in ROH despite that; only the fans believe there’s a rivalry between the two companies, not the office or the wrestlers. He says he’s never been restricted and feels penalized for leaving 3 years ago; in hindsight, he’d do it all over again saying it was the correct decision. He pulls the bank statement card to make his case, citing a six-figure salary and millions of weekly viewers in TNA.

He says chants like “This is awesome!” don’t do shit to feed his family, nor does rating matches. This is just a fantastic “you’re not in the business” promo. He refuses to fully commit and not be used up in ROH like Samoa Joe, saying TNA pulled him away to protect him. Daniels feels the fans are too demanding and just move on to the next toy, also citing CM Punk and that they’ll also forget Colt Cabana. Daniels says he’s fucking off and will no longer be bled dry by the ROHbots.

His farewell tour starts right now and ends once he reaches the curtain, stating this is final ROH match. He even shoves down and berates Danger. That’s finally enough for the fans to stop appreciating this great promo and give him some actual heel heat as he rants while leaving.

FUCKING FANTASTIC PROMO that got chicken salad out of the chickenshit booking Daniels had gotten over the past 6 months, complete with twisting things to ensure he was ranting. Obviously, he had put in some phoned-in efforts since his 2005 return, including matches against Christian, Matt Hardy, and Samoa Joe, and his tandem with Sydal should’ve never resulted in a title reign. Without mentioning his name, this angle actually put booker Gabe Sapolsky on blast for how he had so badly misused Daniels for months, and was a perfect swan song for the Fallen Angel.

Why in the fucking fuck is this match and promo not on a Daniels compilation yet?

Rating: ***1/4

Good Times, Great Memories:
Reborn Stage 2


Cabana interrupts Punk’s self-importance promo to celebrate them winning the Tag Titles.

Brent Albright vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Homicide vs. BJ Whitmer

Like the six-way opener, tag legalities were forgotten but without any of that match’s spectacular charm. This was just four guys in creative limbo thrown together to do a match of no consequence, a poetic placement on the card to immediately follow Daniels ranting. Whitmer took a bump on the top of his head from Albright on a half-nelson suplex for the finish. Yeah, nobody cared and this should’ve been Homicide wrapping up loose ends against Rocky Romero instead.

Rating: less than ***

Good Times, Great Memories:
Third Anniversary Celebration Pt. 1


Colt Cabana shrugs off Austin Aries in their cage match for the ROH Title, then hits a springboard moonsault from the top rope.

The Briscoes say it’s time to man up tonight in their dream match for the Tag Titles against the Motor City Machine Guns. It truly is a dream match considering their ties to NOAH and Zero-One.

Austin Aries vs. Rocky Romero

Good match with Romero controlling most of it to get him over in defeat. For once he had a sound strategy, targeting the left arm and shoulder of the Southpaw Aries. This would pay off near the end when Aries was on the top rope but Romero jumped up to yank him down a cross arm breaker attempt. The submission couldn’t be kept on but Romero’s intended rise was on display.

For all of Romero’s great strikes and submission work, he had no answer when a roll-up pin left him prone to a kick to the head, followed by a brainbuster and 450 splash. But this was his best effort without the Tiger Mask persona against an established top guy in the company. In the post-match, Roderick Strong attacks Aries only to be chased away by a chair-sporting Delirious.

Rating: ***1/2

Good Times, Great Memories:
Night of the Grudges II


Shown is the beginning of the feud-ending “Soccer Riot Match” between Cabana and Nigel McGuinness.

ROH Title – Dream Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Shingo


Shingo dominates early, using his power and explosion to take Morishima off his game. Unlike Aries the night before, Shingo wasn’t looking to be a house of fire out of necessity; he just used natural abilities to get the upper hand at first. Morishima would eventually use his superior size though, including Ole Ole style hip attacks on the outside.

This was really a story of Shingo not succumbing to the size difference. On numerous occasions he found fighting spirit to keep coming back and looking for power-based hope spots, including a successful superplex that had the Frontier Fieldhouse rocking deep into the match. They teased the Last Falconry and then delivered it later, paying that off with an excellent near-fall as well.

The huge mistake Shingo made was thinking he had enough strength to let Morishima be upright to take more strikes, failing to realize that it was an opportunity for the champion to hit his surprise lariat. While a sound, confident strategy, Shingo should’ve first attacked Morishima’s legs to take away the monster’s base, then go for the various strikes to knock the champion down.

Shingo’s attempt at the backdrop driver was also just a standard backdrop suplex too due to the size difference. That was another sign that Morishima was the superior combatant. The final mistake was Shingo going for a powerbomb, only to get flipped over and sat on. Once he got back up, he didn’t have enough to escape a lariat; his kick out spent his last energy, leaving him prey to the backdrop driver.

They got a standing ovation as they also engage in respect, and the champion leaves first to allow Shingo to have an adequate curtain call with the fans. This was a terrific once-in-a-lifetime match that considering its political implications, elevated the ROH Title, and served as a splendid finale to Shingo’s excursion. Damn a rematch would’ve been awesome.

Rating: ****

Good Times, Great Memories:
Dragon Gate Invasion


Shown is Cabana getting Gibson’s trademark guillotine choke locked on in their ROH Title match, as well as some action that spilled outside the ring. This is nowhere near a highlight for either man in ROH, as it was mis-booked as serious business instead of Gibson going back to his Jamie Noble roots to make it more of a comedy match.

At intermission, the Motor City Machine Guns say they’ve been looking forward to tonight’s dream match against the Briscoes tonight for quite some time. They cite this as a North vs. South match, and Alex Shelley threatens the champions that they’ll be sent to the hospital.

The Tank Toland segment is fucking horrendous. While this served its purpose in kicking off the Bobby Dempsey saga, this didn’t belong on such a historic show. This belonged on the next event, a totally obvious B-show in Hartford. This segment along with the multiple-man singles matches keep this show a far distance from challenging Better Than Our Best and Glory By Honor V Night 2 when ranking the greatest events in ROH history.

Good Times, Great Memories:
Fourth Anniversary Show


Shown is Colt Cabana refusing to forfeit his I Quit match against Homicide.

Jack Evans vs. Roderick Strong

Nowhere close to the Detroit match a month earlier, but still quite good. Evans had great comeback transitions including a springboard moonsault back elbow, but the story was that he’d take too much punishment to sustain control. Just being rag-dolled around by Strong and taking so much to the back couldn’t allow him to exploit his superior acrobatics.

Just as a fuck you when Evans clearly had nothing left as he reached the ropes to break up a Boston Crab, Romero kicked him in the head. Strong then picked the bones and hit a Splash Mountain Ace Crusher, then the No Remorse Corps attacked Evans with a chair. Once again Delirious chased them away, and his involvement is wearing thin. Although he was tremendous in his series against Danielson, Delirious isn’t a top guy and should be treated as Cabana’s comedy replacement, not trying to also replace Cabana’s occasional serious business against Homicide.

Rating: ***1/2

Good Times, Great Memories:
Gut Check


An excerpt from the sensational closing stretch of Danielson vs. Cabana airs.

Tag Titles – Dream Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. Motor City Machine Guns




Note: the above video has none of the traditional but effective post-match.

Before the match starts, Chris Sabin mocks Mark’s recent injury, so the two of them begin the match. One of the major takeaways from this match is that teaming with Alex Shelley brought swagger to Sabin that had taken several years. Sabin truly felt like a legitimate star in this match, at a level he could never reach on his own, and moving on with the same kind of confidence sometimes as the man that had inspired Shelley, that being Chris Jericho.

While this was far from a traditional type of tag team match seen during the heyday of Arn Anderson and Ricky Steamboat, this belongs in that conversation. Perhaps an MCMG staple considering prior work in PWG, tag legalities were never an issue, which was refreshing. This truly felt like a major league match from every angle, belonging in WWE or NOAH a decade ago as a result of the work, storytelling, timing, and tag legality adherence.

In a surprise, the totally babyface Briscoes would be the first to gain a lengthy advantage, cutting the ring in half on the cocky Shelley. Despite the roles not being typical, this was totally engaging, even though Shelley was far from sympathetic like Ricky Morton was in popularizing the FIP role in a tag match. Perhaps this was engaging not just because Shelley is capable of selling at length even though he’s more natural as a cutthroat douche-bag heel, but it was a bit of karma for most of the time Shelley had spent in ROH from 2004 to 2006.

Shelley wasn’t sympathetic at all in this match, in fact tricking Jay by playing the faux mercy card like Ric Flair before spitting water in his face. MCMG were also terrific in consoling each other, adding to their default heel roles for the match. This is probably why when Sabin got tagged in, it wasn’t treated as a hot tag but he was definitely on point with his offense on Mark. This would lead to MCMG cutting the ring in half on Mark, which was also a splendidly effective segment, complete with Shelley blowing his snot on the younger Briscoe.

Shelley mixed in a Jericho homage with a Quebrada and “King of the World” pose before tagging in Sabin. Their crisp double-team offense was so smooth and capped off with the two marking out over their work, coming across as total stars. Why exactly were they paying dues still on the underground instead of killing it against the Hardy Boys and Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin a decade ago?

Mark’s hot tag to Jay didn’t get a memorable reaction but that was fine since MCMG didn’t work their control segments quite like the Revival. Instead at this point, the rest of the match was amazing stretch of action. Shelley prevented the Briscoes from playing the numbers advantage on Sabin, yanking Jay out. Instead MCMG would have the advantage on Mark, taking turns on him as he was in the Tree of Woe, then tossing Jay out to deliver stereo suicide dives on the champions.

MCMG’s advantage on Jay was short-lived thanks to Mark, who failed to break a Texas Clover Leaf with karate chops, instead being placed in the Border City Stretch, but then breaking it and saving his brother. Shelley would be taken out, allowing the Briscoes to take advantage on Sabin but he still broke up a near-fall attempt. He then saved Sabin again, this time with fingers to Jay’s eyes, just pissing off the older Briscoe. With Shelley taken out again, that made Sabin prone to more Briscoes double-teaming.

Sabin would make a comeback by evading a spear from Jay, taking him down with a Tornado DDT and kicking Mark while in the air. That allowed a hot tag to Shelley, who almost saw his momentum backfire when Jay reversed his crossbody. This only fueled Shelley to be a house of fire on the champions, but would then get crotched on the top rope. Whatever Jay had in mind to take advantage was for naught, as Shelley gave him a Super Manhattan Drop. Shelley then had Sabin jump off him to dropkick Mark off the apron, only further making a program against the Hardyz at the time all the more appetizing.

MCMG once again brought their crisp double-teaming back into the match on Jay. Their chemistry was truly state-of-the-art here, completely polished above every tag team in the business a decade ago. Jay would finally get a hot tag after avoiding corner moves and ramming Sabin’s head into Shelley’s crotch via a drop toe hold. Mark was an awesome hour of fire himself, but Shelley still had plenty of gas left in the tank to tag in Sabin, who immediately ate an Overhead Uranage Suplex. With Shelley knocked off the apron by Jay, the champs double-teamed sabin for another terrific near-fall after an assisted neckbreaker.

Shelley delayed Mark on a Springboard Doomsday Device attempt, allowing Sabin to clothesline Mark in midair, then giving Jay a Reverse Hurricanrana. Mark continued taking punishment, including an assisted Standing Shiranui for an awesome near-fall. Sabin assisted Shelley with a top rope splash but Jay made the save. Chicago then erupted and with good reason because this is fucking fantastic shit.

Mark blocked Shelley’s Air Raid Crash attempt and the Briscoes took turns with dives to the outside on the challengers to another brief round of applause. “This is awesome!” breaks out for obvious reasons as Shelley blocks Jay’s double underhook piledriver, not once, but twice (the second time with a back heel to Jay’s face); likewise Jay blocked a superkick and delivered a Military Press Death Valley Driver, which was then followed up by Mark with an outstanding timed Shooting Star Press. That’s masterfully broken up by Sabin and Chicago is on its feet as ROH chants break out.

The action continues between Jay and Sabin, hot and heavy as has been the trend in this match. Jay gets taken out so Sabin looks to go for a moonsault on Mark, but that proves near-fatal. Mark goes for a Super Cutthroat Driver, only for Shelley to strike him from behind, forcing the younger Briscoe to eat a Doomsday Missile Dropkick, superkick, and Air Raid Crash for a fucking phenomenal Holy-fucking-shit-why-didn’t-I-fly-to-Chicago-to-experience-this? near-fall.

Shelley cannot believe that was a near-fall, but wastes very little, instead hitting the Shell Shocked (Sister Abigail) on Mark, but Jay comes to the rescue just in time. Sabin yanks Jay out as Shelley goes for a Shiranui on Mark, but he gets driven into the turnbuckle, and a cutthroat driver is yet another excellent near-fall. Shelley showed tremendous grit here, having to kick out as Jay kept Sabin from the save. As the crowd continued erupting, Jay took Sabin out with an Irish Whip to a barricade, allowing the champions to retain when Shelley ate a simultaneous combination of guillotine leg drop and Cutthroat Driver. Holy shit this was exhausting for all the right reasons.

All four men obviously get a post-match standing ovation, and why not? This is in the conversation for the absolutely greatest match in Frontier Fieldhouse history, right up there with Joe vs. Punk II, Danielson vs. Strong II, and Do Fixer vs. Blood Generation. The respect has been earned, with the fallen challengers taking a moment in front of the crowd as there are “Please come back!” chants. Damn right we need more of this, Chicago. The MCMG shake hands and then grab the belts away, opting to snap them on the champions for such a well-deserved victory, then all four pose together, knowing they put on a masterpiece for the ages.

There is no debate: with this match having no flaws, building to its finishing stretch, top-notch tag legality adherence, engaging control segments, and tremendous character work as well, move over Low Ki & Samoa Joe vs. Homicide & Kenta Kobashi; this is the greatest tag match in ROH history.

That the greatest tag match in ROH history wasn’t just a special attraction, but for the Tag Titles, only further enhanced the prestige of the championship. The MCMG gave absolutely everything to win the big one and earn full-time returns, and Shelley had to be extra motivated considering how much tenure he had in the past without ever winning gold.

There have been quality tag matches aplenty in ROH up to this point. As mentioned, there was the previous greatest tag match in ROH’s history, that being the main event of Unforgettable. There was the third chapter in the Briscoes against Aries & Strong when the company makes its UK debut at Unified. There was the company’s Beantown return when Aries & Strong collided against KENTA & Davey Richards in a match belonging on a much grander NOAH stage.

To say that this chef d’ouevre belonged on a major league stage is an understatement. Fuck that.

This match should’ve taken place 4 weeks earlier in front of what would’ve been an incredibly partisan crowd in favor of MCMG. This belonged in front of approximately 80,000 spectators inside Detroit’s Ford Field at WrestleMania 23. That is the biggest compliment given to any ROH match up to this point. Think of all the works of art that covers.

Perhaps since then this match has been topped as the greatest tag team contest in ROH history. It certainly wasn’t anything the Wolves would do, for even their best match had obvious flaws. It wasn’t the dream match that would come later for MCMG, for that would have a shitty finish. Maybe it was the Manhattan Center contest for these same titles when ROH got brought back into the inter-promotional game in May 2014. However, although yours truly has yet to see that match, it’s difficult to imagine it as surpassing the first-ever meeting between the Briscoes and Motor City Machine Guns, for while it has been universally praised as a terrific match, it has not been so in terms of an all-time classic that deserved consideration for the Wrestler Observer Match of the Year. This definitely deserved that.

Is this ROH’s match of the year over Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer, the greatest cage match in ROH history? To say with confidence would be a lie, but leaning towards yes. We shall see if this is topped by anything else, including what ending up winning the Wrestling Observer Match of the Year.

Rating: *****

Good Times, Great Memories:
Fifth Year Festival: Chicago


Cabana is shown winning the feud over Jacobs, getting the last laugh over his former tag partner as well as the sociopathic Lacey.

Strong & Romero brag about what they did to Evans, with the former warning Delirious to stop fucking with him. Strong isn’t alone in wanting Delirious to stop feuding with him.

Colt Cabana’s Independent Farewell
Adam Pearce vs. Colt Cabana


Cabana gets a ridiculous amount of streamers, which Pearce says to keep in the ring. This backfired on Pearce when Cabana wrapped them around his ankles, then easily pushed him down to the canvas. I’d have strongly preferred for Cabana to use the countless wrapped streamers like ropes, tripping Pearce down to truly embarrass him.

As expected, this was a pure comedy match and nothing to gush over. It perfectly served its purpose though, with Shane Hagadorn eventually being thrown out as Cabana outsmarted him, taking a page out of Eddie Guerrero’s book and pretending that he’d been attacked with a chair so that the scrub would be ejected from ringside. Pearce was then no match, especially since he wasn’t smart enough to avoid falling for Cabana’s comedic manipulations.

This was no squash match though, as Pearce brought Gold Bond powder into play to pay homage to the Gold Bond Mafia (something the Chicago natives called their clique several years earlier along with Dave Prazak and CM Punk). That backfired on Pearce as Cabana used it to take control. After some control by Pearce, he eventually succumbed without hesitation once in the Billy Goat’s Curse, tapping with the same rapidity as Mr. Perfect at SummerSlam 1991 and Dave Finlay at Judgment Day 2006.

Cabana puts Pearce over, saying he’s a major reason why he succeeded in moving on to WWE, but Pearce chooses to spit in his face and fucks off. Many babyfaces come out along with Cabana’s parents. Cabana puts over the entire company, and says that he’s proud of the stardom he achieved in ROH. He also states that no matter what happens for him in WWE, he still has the goal of becoming ROH Champion. I love that statement, as it shows how important that belt is and that in storyline, it’ll always eat at the on-screen character. Little did he know how true that statement would become too.

This segment wasn’t just a farewell for Cabana, but proved to be Allison Danger’s final appearance in ROH of her career, while also being a swan song of sorts for Shingo and Homicide. Marvelous, very high-class farewell segment, concluding with Cabana spending time with front row fans while Billy Joey’s “The Entertainer” blares from the speakers. Awesome stuff.

The DVD has one more extra:



This failed to be on par with Better Than Our Best and Glory By Honor V Night 2. To think of that as a criticism would be stating that a PPV didn’t quite live up to Great American Bash 1989 or WrestleMania X-Seven.

Let’s get the faults out of the way. By early next year, I will host a podcast in which I (and hopefully at least 1-2 other contributors) rebook ROH 2007. At this time, I will share how I would’ve perfected this card, because there was forgettable stuff on here.

As mentioned, the Chikara six-way is scrapped. I’d mentioned Incoherence vs. Jigsaw & Quackenbush plus Primeau vs. Akuma as a glorified squash instead. But I’d actually turn everything but the triple main event (Pearce vs. Cabana; Briscoes vs. MCMG; Morishima vs. Shingo) upside-down.

Chikara would’ve been showcased in the opener as a four-way, including everyone that was in the six-way except for Quackenbush and Primeau. The latter wouldn’t be on this card at all, and in fact there would be no squash matches either. This card is getting stacked to the fucking gills.

As for Quackenbush, he would compete in a dream match against Aries. Homicide would be against Romero to tie up that loose end, and since a game-changer was about to force Homicide out, Romero goes over in a huge upset over the former ROH Champion.

The Strong vs. Daniels match wouldn’t be in Minnesota, but on here as the swan song for Daniels. Strong’s physicality and being a superior asshole would be the final straw for Daniels, who’d be left broken and having a post-match adrenaline rush as he finally lashed out and fucked off. Stevens would face Evans on the undercard. (In place of Strong vs. Daniels in Minnesota, Daniels would’ve faced Quackenbush in another dream match on that card.)

So in simple form, here’s the perfect card using the same pieces that were available:
1. Jigsaw vs. Delirious vs. Hallowicked vs. Gran Akuma – Free For All
2. Jack Evans vs. Erick Stevens
3. Mike Quackenbush vs. Austin Aries – Dream Match and Possible Swan Song for Aries
4. ROH Champion Takeshi Morishima vs. Shingo
5. Roderick Strong vs. Christopher Daniels – Swan Song for Daniels
6. Homicide vs. Rocky Romero – Homicide’s In-Ring Swan Song
7. Tag Champions Briscoe Bros. vs. Motor City Machine Guns
8. Adam Pearce vs. Colt Cabana – Cabana’s Farewell and Main Event

In addition to Shingo, Homicide, and Cabana, this also would’ve been Pearce’s swan song. Simply put, there’s nothing interesting left for him in ROH to justify his position as a full-time roster member, and he’s one of the absolute last performers I want with the company now expanding to national PPV. He can be brought in for occasional undercard spots and nothing more. Also as shown on that lineup, no Albright, Rave, or Whitmer.
There just isn’t room for them on this card.

With all of that said, what Good Times, Great Memories brought in reality was fucking tremendous and earns my strongest recommendation. Historic swan songs all over the place, including what might be the greatest promo in the storied career of Christopher Daniels. The greatest tag match in ROH history. A dream match for the ROH Title that would be impossible to fathom happening elsewhere, and being a doozy of a swan song to boot. A farewell match that lived up to everyone’s emotional expectations.

Throw in a couple quality undercard matches and an opener that most will appreciate a bit more than I do, and this is easily a contender for ROH’s 10 greatest shows ever. The best comparison to it so far? I’ll go with Ring of Homicide.

This didn’t turn out to be quite the overnight end of an era as expected a decade ago, as that came after Glory By Honor V weekend. But major changes are here nonetheless, and as shown in the PPV video, BRYAN FUCKING DANIELSON IS BACK~!~!~!~!~!~!~!

Not only is Danielson back, but so are some regular special attractions. It’s time to see the game-changer that was moving to cable PPV, but not in the game-changing way that everyone had hoped, especially booker Gabe Sapolsky.

Up next – Reborn Again
Matches will include:
No Remorse Corps vs. Matt Cross, Erick Stevens, & Bryan Danielson
Matt Sydal vs. Naomichi Marufuji
KENTA vs. Delirious
Briscoe Bros. vs. Takeshi Morishima & BJ Whitmer

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Tue May 16, 2017 10:06 pm

Reborn Again – May 11, 2017
Taped from Hartford, CT

Image

ROH Video Wire – May 5, 2017



Important news/footage in the above video:
Larry Sweeney gets marquee attraction treatment for ROH’s imminent rise to PPV, and Bryan Danielson gets a nicely done return package as well.

As a result of ROH’s move to PPV and now signing numerous talents under contract, Good Times, Great Memories wasn’t just the swan songs for Shingo, Colt Cabana, Allison Danger, and Christopher Daniels, but also TNA’s Homicide and Austin Aries.

Shane Hagadorn & Adam Pearce make a mockery of Danielson’s return, so he arrives and beats the fuck of them in consecutive singles matches. The first evidence that Pearce should’ve been gone as well.

The No Remorse Corps attempt to recruit Danielson, which if the company had been loaded with hot top babyfaces, maybe wouldn’t have been the worst idea in hindsight (Danielson could eventually usurp Roderick Strong as the NRC leader, which would be karma for the events involving Aries and Strong both at Final Battle 2004 and Fifth Year Festival: NYC.) He of course declines and then gets backed up by the diet version of Jack Evans & Roderick Strong known as Matt Cross & Erick Stevens.

No Remorse Corps vs. Matt Cross, Erick Stevens, & Bryan Danielson

Quality trios match with NRC cutting the ring in half on Cross. While his spots were spectacular, he proved himself the Diet Jack Evans while selling, for he could not use the cream-of-the-crop body language and facial expressions to generate sympathy. Meanwhile when Stevens got play a bit of the Roman Reigns role, he also proved himself the Diet Roderick Strong, because his spectacular power of moves as a house of fire lacked the explosive malice.

There was very little action from Danielson in this one, and those in Hartford had to be disappointed after he just had consecutive meaningless singles matches that combined for just over 5 minutes. Perhaps the company was just being cautious returning from such a major injury, as obviously the next day at the Manhattan Center was the higher priority.

The NRC were the real stars in this, not surprisingly getting the victory. While watching them display quality chemistry was enjoyable, they felt like a template to be improved upon years later when WWE debuted the Shield. As mentioned numerous times, Davey Richards just felt unnatural being a chatty shit-talker unlike Seth Rollins years later. If anything, Rocky Romero was already available to fill that position for the NRC.

Rating: ***1/2

Matt Sydal vs. Naomichi Marufuji

The expected good match between two quality workers. Marufuji proved to be superior with his experience in major matches as well as being a former GHC Heavyweight Champion. His submission work was more extensive, he was better at capitalizing in brief moments to do so for comebacks and cut offs, and most importantly he avoided the Here It Is Driver.

Sydal’s failure to act quickly cost him in the end. After shrugging off a Shiranui, he went for a Moonsault Hamstring Takedown, but his second of hesitation was all Marufuji needed to be successful on another Shiranui attempt. Someone should book this rematch sooner rather than later, and this belongs on a compilation, but ROH continues to pussy-foot around with releasing one about either’s body of work.

Rating: ***1/2

KENTA vs. Delirious

Mechanically fine but a total waste of a KENTA appearance and his performance felt very phoned in. This never reached a fever pitch and why Hartford gave them a standing ovation afterward is a mystery. None of the near-falls were ever taken seriously. Delirious should’ve been way down at the bottom of future KENTA opponents, with no consideration whatsoever until much more fitting workers available on this card such as Jimmy Rave, Kevin Steen, El Generico, and Claudio Castagnoli faced the ROH 2006 juggernaut first. KENTA vs. Steen sounds like the perfect match actually for KENTA to kick the shit out of the arrogant breakout. Instead we got 20 minutes of nothing special, comparable to Aries vs. Richards the year before also in Connecticut.

Rating: less than ***

Tag Titles Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. Takeshi Morishima & BJ Whitmer


Morishima was to team with Nigel McGuinness, who had earned this along with Cabana by defeating the Briscoes at Fifth Year Festival: NYC. McGuinness is suffering from an injury so he’s being preserved for the next night. Whitmer is a terrible replacement for star power.

Another quality match on the card, making for a solid trio of matches that couldn’t come close to overcoming such a filler B-show. Whitmer chose to be default heel along with Morishima, even making wisecracks to shit-talking fans. This match wasn’t much to write about – all of it mechanically good, decent pacing, Morishima protected by not taking the pin, and tag legality adherence from start to finish. Worth seeing but not a must.

Rating: ***1/2

The lack of detail given into the matches reviewed on this show reflect the effort put into this card. No matter how historic the next night was, there was no excuse for repeating many of the same mistakes from International Challenge. Like that show, this was in Hartford on the eve of a far more historic event at the Manhattan Center. This also featured two quality puro imports. This had some new blood brought in too. But this had the advantage of Danielson’s first match since Final Battle 2006, and instead of it being treated as a historic moment to truly convey the Reborn Again name, it was executed with as much meticulousness as his return from injury on WWE TV in January 2015.

That the only match reviewed on here available on a compilation is a phoned-in effort from KENTA is insulting. This show will get a mild recommendation for delivering 3 ***1/2 matches, but they should’ve all been on compilations by now so customers don’t have to bother spending money on this show, or even the fossil fuels involved in having it delivered to their physical mailboxes.

Moving on, it’s time to make history. There will be a different format in reviewing PPV events. Considering that PPVs were a major portion in analyzing ROH’s booking, the entire PPV portions will be reviewed. Anything else beyond that will just be the quality stuff.

A decade ago, Respect is Earned was the precursor to the PWG staple that has become Mystery Vortex. All that was known at the time was the talent list; everything beyond that would be found out when the event took place. So that’s how this will be too.

Up next – Respect is Earned
Matches will include:
The entire PPV portion
All of the reported good shit taped for DVD, including a farewell bid

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Sun May 21, 2017 12:22 am

Respect is Earned – May 12, 2007
Taped from New York, NY

Image

Respect is Earned (PPV) – Aired July 1, 2007

The broadcast begins with BJ Whitmer in the ring as the Manhattan Center goes crazy, stoked to be a part of history. Whitmer welcomes everyone to ROH and says the wrestling does the talking, then lays down an open challenge.

A brief opening package airs before the open challenge is answered.

ROH Title Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. BJ Whitmer


The crowd is completely behind Morishima as he unloads on Whitmer. The challenger gets some offense in, including the exploder suplex for a near-fall, and then even knocking the champ down with a lariat. That’s followed by a frog splash as the crowd now engages in dealing chants. Morishima blocks the wrist-clutch exploder suplex and takes some blows without falling down, then busts out his signature lariat counter. He gets too cocky after a couple more blows, then thinks a lariat is enough. When that proves false, he finally gets it down with the backdrop driver.

In the post-match, Nigel McGuinness appears and puts the champion over. He wants the next shot at the ROH Title, any time, any place. Bryan Danielson then arrives and although the crowd reacts awesomely, this feels like the one-at-a-time cliché used on WWE TV every week. In a smart move for new viewers not familiar with the product, Danielson brags about his 15-month ROH Title reign, bragging about taking down McGuinness, Homicide, Lance Storm, and Samoa Joe. Danielson states this is why he deserves to jump ahead of McGuinness while laying his finger on him, so McGuinness warns him to not do it. They have a melee with Morishima attacking McGuinness and helping Danielson out. There are obvious tensions as Danielson grabs the belt and claims it’s his, so Morishima fucks off before Danielson takes a powder to end the segment.

The crowd enjoyed the opener but it was the wrong direction to go in for numerous reasons that’ll be detailed in the future on the Rebooking ROH 2007 podcast.

For God knows what reason, Brent Albright gets a video package to hype him up for a future PPV appearance. There has been nothing shown from him in the past 6 months to make him worthy of such an investment, and his run on SmackDown the year before was a cup of coffee.

Rocky Romero vs. Naomichi Marufuji

Romero is caught off-guard early when Marufuji outdoes him with quickness and counter mat wrestling, but then they trade different version of the Abdominal Stretch along with pinning combinations. They reach a stalemate too that earns some applause. The commentary strongly pushes that this company is focused on wrestling and championship matches.

Romero gives up on a cross arm breaker he had locked in, instead opting to follow up with various strikes and kicks to Marufuji’s left shoulder before locking it back on. Marufuji counters into near-fall attempts, so Romero mounts the former GHC Heavyweight Champion to give him some face slaps. Marufuji makes a comeback by giving him a springboard shotgun dropkick to drive him off the apron.

Marufuji targets Romero’s left knee to marginalize his kicks and ability to lock on the cross arm breaker. This is bringing back memories of Paul London’s strategy against AJ Styles at Night of the Grudges, although this is obviously nowhere near the spectacular work of art as that match. Romero can do nothing to stop Marufuji, not having enough time to regain control after briefly stopping Marufuji with a back elbow.

Marufuji relentlessly stays focused on Romero’s left knee, showcasing why he’d been on top of the puroresu world just several months earlier. He takes too long when Irish Whipping Romero, which allows the former Tag Champ to cut him off with a spin kick and tornado DDT counter. Romero then throws out the psychology by using his left leg for offense, but Marufuji blocks a dropkick only to get countered with an Enziguri. Romero is slightly selling his left leg again as he’s back in control.

Marufuji cuts off Romero after landing on his feet on a Tiger Suplex attempt, then inspires Chris Jericho’s finisher of the past decade by hitting the Codebreaker. (Will we ever get Jericho vs. Marufuji?) Romero gets the upper hand on a strike exchange, only for Marufuji to cut him off when running the ropes. Romero blocks Marufuji on the top rope and locks on the ross arm breaker for some quality drama and the crowd’s happy the ropes were reached.

Romero kicks with his right leg, showing good psychology, and then hits a surprise high kick with his left leg to bring them both down. That’s actually good psychology as it sells how much energy Romero is mustering to use his damaged leg. There’s also not enough power in that limb to keep Marufuji down, making him prone to the more successful star’s arsenal, including a Coast-to-Coast Dropkick.

The Shiranui is blocked with Romero turning into it into a successful Tiger Suplex and then mistakenly using his left leg for offense. Since it doesn’t have enough power, Marufuji easily blocks it to deliver a roundhouse kick and Shiranui, bringing this undercard gem to its conclusion and receiving a standing ovation. This was an excellent match with Romero actually doing a stellar job in selling his left leg and Marufuji selling its lack of firepower, and would’ve been better served kicking off the show over the glorified squash and sports-entertainment “set up tonight’s main event” post-match.

Rating: ****

With Tank Toland by his side, Larry Sweeney brags about his managerial process in a fantastic promo. Sweet ‘N Sour, Inc. has signed another free agent, that being Sara Del Rey. That’s a wet fart to follow up Chris Hero, as the women’s division has been borderline horrendous throughout most of its existence. Toland then shows off the obese Bobby Dempsey and that he’ll mold the ROH Wrestling Academy graduate into an “all-nature superior athlete,” having him do squats. Toland then gets sexist towards Del Rey, who lays down a squatting challenge to him personally. This is definitely entertaining as Dempsey collapses and Toland berates him, and a nice change of pace to the match that just happened.

The camera cuts to ringside as Morishima and Danielson are double-teaming McGuinness, who gets saved by KENTA to the crowd’s delight. KENTA and McGuinness get the upper hand to set up tonight’s obvious dream partner tag team main event.

Tag Titles Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. Matt Sydal & Claudio Castagnoli


For whatever reason the challengers don’t get an entrance. Castagnoli has absolutely dreadful gear on that rivals Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series 2002. This match was earned by him defeating Jay at This Means War II and hand-picking Sydal, who had defeated Castagnoli to win the Tag Titles at Dethroned, as his partner tonight.

The first several minutes were competitive, only slightly blemished by Castagnoli and Jay almost fucking up a La Magistral cradle, but they quickly fixed it. Eventually the Briscoes would cut the ring in half on Sydal, taking turns on him and displaying an intelligent strategy. His performance was just as impressive as at Anarchy in the UK, but the hot tag was not just existent here, but tremendously timed after he tossed an overzealous Mark to the outside and then countered Jay’s Yakuza kick by using the momentum to seat and then delivering an ear clap head-scissors.

Castagnoli was a tremendous house of fire for about a minute before getting cut off by Jay and then eating some offense from Mark. With him down and Sydal getting overzealous himself, it became divide and conquer for the champs, giving both challengers a Beal. But the challengers were resilient, taking advantage of opportunities for various counters and sustain control. This allowed Sydal & Castagnoli to cut the ring in half on Jay, who thought that aggression could provide him more than just hope spots.

Despite Mark’s efforts, the challengers kept control over Jay, including Castagnoli busting out the giant swing for a near-fall, sparking ROH chants from the audience. It would take a double superplex attempt for Jay to make a comeback, including a Buff Blockbuster before the hot tag to Mark, who equaled Castagnoli with his house of fire effort. The Briscoes would monkey flip Castagnoli to the outside with Jay hitting a follow-up Somersault Plancha. This match is just off the charts at this point.

Mark blocked some corner offense, including having the ear clap head-scissors scouted. I didn’t like Sydal having his head ducked for a sunset flip, but the action was quick enough to breeze past such a blemish. Mark hit some more offense including a Buckle Bomb and Exploder Suplex, then the champions took Sydal down with a side slam and guillotine leg drop combination for another quality near-fall.

Castagnoli managed to bail Sydal out to get tagged in. He busted out an amazing top rope head-scissors and Bicycle kick of his own, softening up Mark to eat Sydal’s acrobatic offense. But Mark wouldn’t be victimized for long, quickly cutting off Castagnoli to tag Jay. The spectacular action would peak again with Castagnoli hitting a springboard twisting uppercut and then Sydal falling off Castagnoli’s shoulders to deliver knee strikes to the champions on the outside.

Mark had two tremendous near-fall break-ups, first after a Ricola Bomb, the second after a gorgeous Shooting Star Press from Sydal. Jay would Sydal a Military Press Death Valley Deiver for yet another tremendous near-fall while Mark gave a Plancha to Castagnoli on the outside. Then the match’s top highlight came into play when Sydal countered Jay’s Butterfly Piledriver with a Frankensteiner, only for second later to eat a Springboard Doomsday Device for the finish.

The Manhattan Center gives all four competitors a well-deserved standing ovation for providing the match of the night, then the broadcast turns to Dave Prazak & Lenny Leonard in a production moment paying homage to the original ECW. As they put the company over and the crowd breaks out in ROH chants, Kevin Steen & El Generico interrupt. Steen wonders when they’ll get their Tag Titles match that they earned at Fighting Spirit.

A pull-apart brawl then starts in the ring between the Briscoes and Steen & Generico, a fucking fantastic one at that. Generico doesn’t come across as much of a babyface by attacking the champions with Steen after such a hard-fought title defense, but the crowd is just marking out and wants to see chaos. Steen & Generico beat up some students, then continue the brawl with the champions on the outside when Generico dives at them with a Plancha off the top rope. It spills to backstage, ending with Steen taking Mark out with a chair shot and then mocking his recent head trauma.

A tremendous match, a tremendous post-match, the Tag Titles seeming important throughout this entire segment. Zero complaints here especially with zero violations of tag legality adherence.

Rating: ****1/4

Delirious vs. Roderick Strong

A good match but seeing Delirious in a serious business storyline is tiring, even with the audience reacting well to this. With Colt Cabana gone and Human Tornado apparently not being brought in, where’s the comedy performer to bring variety to the card?

As malicious as Strong was in this match, he simply could not be as compelling playing a cocky heel against Delirious as Bryan Danielson was just 364 days earlier. This lacked the bipartisan ROH and CZW audience that brought such prickly magic out of Danielson at Ring of Homicide, as the mocking “Roderick” chants just couldn’t be anywhere near on par.

It appeared Delirious would pull off the upset after about 15 minutes, but he fell into a Half Nelson Backbreaker, leaving him prone to a Yakuza kick and Tiger Driver. In the post-match, the No Remorse Corps set up a barricade platform, allowing Strong to inflict more damage with another Tiger Driver to Delirious on it. Erick Stevens took out Davey Richards & Rocky Romero before taking Strong out with a pop-up power slam. The crowd doesn’t seem to care much about Stevens.

Rating: ***1/2

In easily the worst segment on the entire PPV, Adam Pearce cuts a promo somewhere in the Manhattan Center. This is fucking boring bullshit as he monotonously rambles about BJ Whitmer’s recent run of bad luck, citing the CZW and Jimmy Jacobs feuds. Whitmer’s spirit is crushed after losing the Jacobs feud and now on the wrong end of the first match in ROH’s PPV history. Pearce then consoles Whitmer. Who was expected to actually care about these two anymore? There was nothing left for Whitmer after Supercard of Honor II, and there was nothing left for Pearce after Good Times, Great Memories. This has serious potential to be the worst angle of the year, and very ill-timed to boot for the PPV era.

Takeshi Morishima & Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA & Nigel McGuinness

Quality main event with every matchup delivering, the best one being Danielson vs. KENTA. There was a definite blemish when Danielson and McGuinness had a strike exchange and KENTA just mysteriously feel down. Somebody botched something there, but the outstanding finishing stretch would bail them out to make this a great match to close out the PPV broadcast.

This was nowhere near the Unforgettable main event pitting a heavy and a junior against a heavy and junior, and for large reason because Morishima and McGuinness didn’t have the over-the-top dynamic as Samoa Joe and Kenta Kobashi. However, the match really kicked up when those two went at it on the outside and McGuinness took an unnecessary dive into the crowd, fucking up his left elbow. That allowed the ROH Champions Club to double-team KENTA.

After McGuinness desperately got his left elbow taped, he came in to have a battle with Morishima. The ROH Champion once again got cocky and took a rebound lariat, perhaps assuming that the left arm used by McGuinness would be too damaged to hurt him. Morishima was incorrect. With those two down from that rebound lariat, Danielson and KENTA had a sensational closing stretch.

From KENTA countering the Crossface Chickenwing with the finishes from Bret Hart’s matches at WrestleMania VIII and Survivor Series 1996 for a near-fall, to Morishima bailing out Danielson after a Go to Sleep, this was just awesome stuff. The best part was KENTA absorbing the elbows to the head and lifting Danielson to eat another Go to Sleep, but the Hall of Famer had it scouted this time. In a repeat of what happened at Glory By Honor V Night 2, KENTA finally had no choice but to tap out to the Cattle Mutilation as Morishima attacked the left arm of McGuinness to prevent any submission break.

In the post-match, Danielson puts the ROH Title on his shoulder, so Morishima gives him the backdrop driver for being so arrogant. In contrast, McGuinness hands the belt to Morishima and respectfully says he’s coming for it, only to also be attacked and the champion left as the only one standing in the ring as the PPV broadcast concluded.

Rating: ****

BONUS MATCH

Davey Richards vs. Erick Stevens

Fucking hard-hitting match here that belonged on the PPV. Richards tried getting the early advantage by declining the Code of Honor and just striking Stevens, only to get mauled for the first couple minutes, including on the outside. Stevens showed his lack of experience on this stage though, taking a moment to bask in his glory and allowing Richards to cut him off, complete with Richards Yakuza kicking him off the apron towards the nearby barricade.

They had a botch that actually ended tremendously when Stevens bounced back in the ring instead of being suplexed outside, taking a bump on the canvas. Richards fucked up by going for it again, so Stevens just reversed it before they’d have a strike exchange. Stevens would win it with a Release German Suplex counter, followed up by a Choo Choo corner splash and TKO. Even with Richards getting some offense in, it was short-lived thanks to a lariat and Pumphandle Powerbomb near-fall from Stevens.

What really allowed Richards to withstand the bigger Stevens was blocking a suplex attempt and then hitting a springboard missile dropkick from behind. He killed a hope spot by Stevens with backdrop suplexes and applying the Kimura Lock on the Resilience member’s left arm. That’s intelligent to take away the power asrenal of Stevens, continuing to focus on that joint.

This paid off when Richards hit a tornado DDT and put the Kimura Lock on again, forcing Stevens to tap out clean in the middle of the ring. This is the result of Richards having much more substantial matches on his resume against the likes of KENTA and Low Ki. Good effort by Stevens though and his workrate is up to snuff, now he’s just need to put some real stank on it to be the next Roderick Strong that booker Gabe Sapolsky so obviously belongs he can be.

Rating: ***1/2

Exclusively on Homicide: The Notorious 187

Homicide’s Farewell Speech

Why this wasn’t included on the original DVD release in 2007 is a mystery. What’s a shame is that because this footage took so long to be released, Homicide’s entrance to the ring is excluded, robbing the home viewing audience of seeing his hometown pop to the tune of Beanie Sigel’s “The Truth.”

This was a classy speech with Homicide doing his best to disarm the irrational resentment from the ROHbots towards TNA. Why exactly should TNA have been blamed at all for pulling its talent. Besides that, Sapolsky was running on empty for Homicide’s creative direction. Homicide puts him over as “the next Bill Watts” and vows this company will be #1 in the future. A decade later that still isn’t even close to being true in ANY category in terms of metrics, footprint, and aesthetics, but nobody had any idea that for that last category, the company had already peaked.

He also puts over fellow TNA-contracted colleagues Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, and Austin Aries, who’s unable to appear and bid farewell. He’s thankful for 5 years in ROH and all the support he received, then has a final embrace with Julius Smokes. Like Allison Danger 2 weeks earlier, this should’ve been the swan song for Smokes.

So why wasn’t Aries on this event at all? Let’s take a look back.

From his Wikipedia page:
On April 18, 2007, Starr was suspended for ninety days. On May 7 it was reported by The Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the suspension stemmed from TNA asking Austin to tape promo vignettes on a day he believed to be his day off. Starr did ultimately agree to do the vignettes but TNA saw this as a bad attitude and was reason for his suspension.
F4W Newsletter #620 – May 14, 2007
Homicide and Austin Aries were both pulled, the latter of which was irate since he's already suspended for 90 days by TNA.
Obviously, neither were gone from ROH forever, but it’s a story to be chronicled throughout this journey.

While there were alternate matches and directions to have taken with this PPV (and that will be detailed in a future podcast,) one cannot argue that what was delivered is a strongly recommended event. Three excellent matches plus a couple more good ones and a hot angle make this an easy recommendation along with its historical significance. Homicide’s farewell speech released exclusively on his compilation is a requirement as well for both his fans and those who lived through the fantastic first run he had in the company.

While everything NRC-related feels like a creative anchor, and Claudio Castagnoli lacks the pizazz as a singles babyface that he had alongside Chris Hero, this PPV provided 2 directions to look forward to: the Briscoes against Steen & Generico and Morishima’s inevitable ROH Title clashes against Danielson and Morishima.

Up next – A Fight at the Roxbury
Matches will include:
Jimmy Rave vs. Bryan Danielson
Mark Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen
Chris Hero vs. Mike Quackenbush vs. Nigel McGuinness vs. Claudio Castagnoli
El Generico vs. Matt Sydal
No Remorse Corps vs. Matt Cross, Delirious, & Erick Stevens
Takeshi Morishima vs. Jay Briscoe

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Tue May 30, 2017 9:36 pm

The following is also available on:
Reborn Again
From Love to Hate: The Jimmy Jacobs Story




The following is also available on:
Respect is Earned
From Love to Hate: The Jimmy Jacobs Story








The big takeaway: the true colors and intentions of Jacobs come through in his “stay at home” comment and facial expression after finally bedding Lacey. Not just a creepy motherfucker, but a sexist one at his core that played the long game to mold her into his fantasy; unfortunately for him, she’s failed to live up to his expectations, but he’s succumbed to the sunk cost fallacy now that he realizes he’s got her in the palm of his hand, so why not exploit her after allowing himself to have been exploited by her for the past year and a half?

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:10 pm

A Fight at the Roxbury – June 8, 2007
Taped from Boston, MA

Image

ROH Video Wire – May 29, 2007



Important news/footage in the above video:
Delirious crashes the locker room looking for Roderick Strong at an FIP event. Instead, he runs into Tyler Black, making his canon debut for ROH.
June 8 in Boston – Takeshi Morishima vs. Jay Briscoe for the ROH Title
June 9 in Philadelphia – Briscoe Bros. vs. Kings of Wrestling for the Tag Titles in 2/3 Falls
June 23 in Chicago (PPV) – Briscoes Bros. vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
In their promo also filmed in Florida, the Briscoes vow to take care of Morishima and Steen in Boston, sweep the KOW 2-0 in Philly, and then handle Steen & Generico in Chicago. All quality matches on paper, that’s for sure.

In discussing their trios match tonight against Matt Cross, Delirious, & Erick Stevens, the No Remorse Corps claim Austin Aries is hiding behind his TNA contract. They also perv on Becky Bayless.

Bryan Danielson is unhappy that he had a grueling ROH Title match against Jimmy Rave last year at the Fourth Anniversary Show. Tonight, it’ll be quick, no classic match.

Daizee Haze calls out Lacey, but Jimmy Jacobs answers instead. Haze won’t let him cut much of a promo, grabbing his walking cane. Lacey then arrives to help Jacobs, giving Haze a Lungblower. She’s far more concerned about Jacobs, who has much more confidence now as displayed in his apparel and body language. At his request, Lacey finishes Haze, but is still focused on his well-being. Just a segment to display how the roles had been reversed for Lacey & Jacobs since their dates.

Jimmy Rave vs. Bryan Danielson

Very good and much shorter match as promised by Danielson. He targeted Rave’s previously broken jaw to dominate most of this match. In addition, for everything Rave pulled off, Danielson would have an answer, including faking a dive to psyche out Rave and then hit a running forearm. All that jaw work came into play at the end during some crucifix pins, as Danielson used the positioning to finish Rave off with elbows the head.

In the post-match, Danielson tells Morishima that he’ll suffer the same fate. We shall see about that.

Rating: ***3/4

Mark Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen

Steen declares himself the future of ROH during his entrance. He’s right on the money there.

This was just a totally awesome match that started in a hurry, Mark wasting no time engaging in fisticuffs in the ring to kick it off. They’d go to the outside, with Mark eating 2 powerbombs, first on the apron, then being tossed into the crowd onto some chairs. It’d continue into the crowd, my favorite moment being Steen teasing a dive off a camera post, then just so arrogantly choosing not to follow through on it. Once they got back to ringside, Steen took a moment to gloat, paying for it by taking the trademark Ric Flair bump on the floor when Mark press slammed him.

The match was equally sensational back in the ring with Steen gaining the upper hand after a step-up Enziguri. However, his Swanton would backfire when Mark put his knees up. Once Mark went up top though, Steen cut him off, then shoved the Tag Champion off the turnbuckle and onto a nearby table as well as some chairs. After feigning concern, Steen brought Mark back in the ring to finish him off with the Package Piledriver, bringing this piece of chaos to its conclusion.

In the post-match, Steen cuts a promo at the camera, telling his mother that he’s a winner. He tries to dish out more punishment with a chair, but Jay arrives to stop that shit to an incredibly pop, then Generico shows up to keep Steen out of anymore trouble. Tremendous stuff here.

Rating: ****

ROH Title Shot Match
Chris Hero vs. Mike Quackenbush vs. Nigel McGuinness vs. Claudio Castagnoli


Hell of a match that would’ve been tremendous had the officiating not been so atrocious. Officiating will be harped on because as in any sport, when it’s shoddy, the most well-versed, objective viewers of them are going to point that shit out. KOW actually worked together, although Castagnoli didn’t get along with Sweet & Sour Inc. The real star of the match was Quackenbush as KOW cut the ring in half on him for about 10 minutes.

Once Quackenbush got the hot tag to McGuinness, the match looked to kick up a notch, but that’s when referee Todd Sinclair became forgetful of tag legalities. This was especially dubious because at one point, he used that very reason to not make a pin in Castagnoli’s favor, but did so against him later. This could’ve actually been an opportunity with a booker NOT burned out like Gabe Sapolsky for the commentary to push that perhaps there was STILL resentment towards Castagnoli for betraying ROH in favor of CZW; while that may seem far-fetched, imagine how much additional historic emphasis that would’ve placed on such a special saga.

Sinclair should be pleased that Castagnoli ended up winning the match, because any other result and Castagnoli would’ve had more than a fair case to make about being screwed. This actually only makes the decision to have split away from Chris Hero all the more foolish, because Larry Sweeney could’ve been lobbying for him had such an injustice occurred. In fact, this match would’ve been better served as reuniting KOW anyway and having Castagnoli welcomed into SNS, since they were already scheduled to reunite the next day against the Briscoes for the Tag Titles. There’s nothing wrong with fixing a mistake, but Sapolsky was just too burned out at this time to figure that out. Castagnoli could’ve then earned his ROH Title shot by different means later.

Now as for the finish, it capped off what was supposed to be an excellent match based on the action. After such highlights like Hero eating a rebound lariat from McGuinness on the outside, Castagnoli hitting a surprise rolling uppercut to McGuinness, and Quackenbush pulling off all kinds of spectacular counters, many of them arm drag variations that’d make Ricky Steamboat blush, the bar had been set. In this case at the finish, Quackenbush did multiple head-scissor rotations around Castagnoli’s head, drove him down, then turned him over for a crucifix pin near-fall. Quackenbush attempted to then finish Castagnoli off via a backslide pin, over the backslide to be reverse and Castagnoli instantly hitting an uppercut that Quackenbush sold like a million bucks for the finish.

In the post-match, SNS is none too pleased as Tank Toland tells Sinclair he’s fat like Bobby Dempsey.

Rating: ***1/2

At intermission, BJ Whitmer has nothing to say to Becky Bayless, but Kevin Steen is more than happy to cut a fantastic promo without her around. With Generico by his side, he says his partner will defeat Matt Sydal tonight, then boasts his actions towards Mark Briscoe. “I enjoyed it so much… You know what I’m gonna do with that DVD? I loved it so much, I’m gonna use it as if it were pornography.” He then vows that they’ll dethrone the Briscoes for the Tag Titles later. Fuck, how much I would love for KOW to dethrone the Briscoes so that KOW vs. Steen & Generico can happen. Just once is all I ask for.

Eddie Edwards gets a standing ovation in his hometown of Boston after defeating Pelle Primeau. Enough pussyfooting, push the motherfucker and make him cut off those dreadful dreadlocks too.

El Generico vs. Matt Sydal

The show-stealing MOTN, feeling like it was straight from a PWG All Star Weekend or Battle of Los Angeles card. Sydal played the cocky, more successful shit while on offense early, and had plenty of terrific counters to cut off Generico’s hope spots. Perhaps he got trips from CIMA to explain him tugging on Generico’s mask tassels, although he proudly states he has experience doing that when referencing his series against Delirious.

Generico was equally terrific with his counters to cut off Sydal too, the peak being deep in the match on the outside when he gave Sydal no time to escape the through-the-ropes tornado DDT. Before that though, they had a strike exchange that the Boston crowd was totally into as Sydal gained the advantage, ending it with a top-rope double knees press near-fall. Sydal also brilliantly evaded many of Generico’s signature moves, including the various Brainbusters.

Generico showed his inexperience at this level when he wasted time running the ropes, allowing Sydal to drive them both out of the ring. Perhaps that ultimately explains why Sydal won this contest, even though this moment allowed for the through-the-ropes tornado DDT that had Beantown rocking. Generico managed to surprisingly hit his trademark Double Pumphandle Vertical Suplex Powerbomb for a near-fall. But Sydal was on point, blocking the Yakuza kick, sweeping Generico, and hitting a Standing Moonsault for a dramatic false-finish.

Sydal’s attempt at the Flux Capacitor could’ve easily been turned into a Top Rope Brainbuster, but instead Generico just shoved him off. Sydal’s Ear Clap Headscissors backfired as Generico rolled through and hit the Yakuza kick to another good near-fall. However, Sydal would NOT allow a Brainbuster, using the momentum to hit a Frankensteiner pin for the victory.

As mentioned, a terrific match that had Boston rocking, paid off teased signatures, and told a layered story. Sydal would NOT allow Generico to hit a Brainbuster, and this strategy plus superior ROH experience got him the victory when Generico kept going back to that well. In the process though, Generico’s stock took an upswing in defeat by taking Sydal to the limit. This is EXACTLY what motherfuckers fucking demand from 205 Live. How is it so fucking difficult?

Rating: ****

No Remorse Corps vs. Matt Cross, Delirious, & Erick Stevens

A total fucking mess of a trios match. For one, it was idiotic to have Stevens play the FIP; this is an incorrect route to take if the goal is for him to fill the powerhouse void left by Samoa Joe, or even to be an evolved Roderick Strong. That’s especially true with the significantly smaller Cross and Delirious on his team to play that role. Stevens was nothing more than a hard-hitting powerhouse at this time and had not shown the sympathy charisma whatsoever in ROH or FIP up to this point to be in this role.

The action itself was perfectly executed. There were no actual botches. The crowd even loved it. But the crowd was looking at this through layman’s eyes. There have been many exciting contests in other sports that to the layman, one not looking through an analytical lens, comes across as a classic. To those pundits though that can identify shoddy coaching and officiating, the games simply don’t measure to such acclaim.

This match is a wonderful example. For whatever reason, this was not referee Todd Sinclair’s finest night of performances. Having already tainted what should’ve been a classic four-way earlier on the card, he wasn’t done shitting it up. In this one, he did nothing to enforce tag legalities whatsoever, and for as much of a well-oiled machine the NRC was, they weren’t the Rottweilers or Generation Next deliberately confusing him. It looked like Davey Richards would help pacify this piss-poor officiating by channeling the days of Jim Crockett Promotions and slapping his hands to audibly signal tags, but that didn’t strategy was dropped as well.

The officiating wasn’t the only part of this match that sucked shit. As mentioned, shoddy coaching can prevent a contest from truly being worthy of acclaim. In this case, since this is a worked performance art, the coaching inefficiencies would fall on booker Gabe Sapolsky.

THERE. IS. NO. GOOD. FUCKING. REASON. WHATSOEVER. FOR. RODERICK. STRONG. TO. TAKE. A. CLEAN. FALL. HERE. THE. EVE. TO. HIS. ADVERTISED. ROH. TITLE. MATCH. ESPECIALLY. WITH. THE. DEFENDING. CHAMPION. SO. OBVIOUSLY. BEING. THE. MONSTROUS. TAKESHI. MORISHIMA. WHAT. THE. FUCK. IS. THIS. GODDAMN. BULLSHIT. BOOKING? WHY. DIDN’T. CARY. SILKIN. FIRE. SAPOLSKY. RIGHT. AFTER. THIS?

As stated, had Strong just taken a fuckload of bombs, perhaps it’s explainable. It can even be explained that he had gotten so cocky since forming the NRC that his arrogance cost him, a stern reminder the night before facing Morishima. After all, similarly happened to Morishima just 4 months earlier. However, with how exciting the NRC was in pacing their work and having been established as the company’s top faction at this time, a booker NOT burned out would’ve seen the money in having them go undefeated in trios action until the time was right to finally pull off the upset. Such a defeat needed to mean something and resonate, rather than the show just jumping to next segment seconds later after the match’s conclusion.

Don’t believe me? Go on the WWE Network. Pull up the June 14, 2013 edition of SmackDown. Tune into the main event of The Shield vs. Team Hell No & Randy Orton. Then compare it to this horseshit.

Rating: less than ***

An outstanding segment arrives to take the viewer’s mind off the booking and officiating disaster just witnessed. SNS force Bobby Dempsey to run laps with Chris Hero on his shoulders at a nearby indoor track, with Tank Toland vowing to turn him from fat and flab to natural superior athleticism. Dempsey collapsed as Toland goes drill sergeant on him, then Hero berates him as he continues trotting to the delight of Toland and Larry Sweeney.

ROH Title Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Jay Briscoe


Good close to the show with Jay putting on a surprising performance considering how dominant Morishima was at this time. However, it shouldn’t have been when reflecting back on Jay’s matches against Samoa Joe a few years earlier. Morishima immediately went after Jay and took it the outside, then delivered an Ole Ole Hip Attack. His mistake was arrogantly going for another one, allowing Jay to cut him off with a Yakuza kick and an apron splash, bringing the action back into the ring as the crowd was behind him.

This match was far more competitive than it should’ve been in kayfabe, and that’s thanks to the already mentioned arrogance of Morishima. He seemed to forget that he was a marked man, no matter how much of a successful monster heel he was a decade ago. Everyone was gunning for him to capture the title and knock him down a peg, to do what only the iconic Joe had been able to pull off so far. On the other hand, it’s a testament to Jay that he made this more than a glorified squash, and in fact, I’ll be a peacock displaying my feathers right now: I was the ONLY motherfucker a decade ago that pitched the idea of Jay dethroning Morishima for the ROH Title. Jay Briscoe as ROH Champion? Didn’t sound so plausible a decade ago.

Jay’s fatal flaw after a commendable effort was going for his Butterfly Piledriver, failing at that, and then thinking he could hit a Sunset Flip on the superheavyweight, getting sat on for his trouble. Although he’d hit a Superplex on the champion, it was immediately a kick out by Morishima, who got an adrenaline rush as Jay kept decking him. Jay mistakenly ran the ropes, leaving himself open to eat Morishima’s standing lariat and then the backdrop driver for the finish.

Kevin Steen immediately comes to attack the fallen Jay, with Mark Briscoe then making the save. Generico shows up to even it, leading to a brawl that went backstage to close out the show for the live audience. This brawl happening at this point of the show seems to telegraph the main event of Boston’s next ROH event, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

Rating: ***1/2

Brent Albright nearly puts me to sleep by claiming he’s coming for the ROH Title. After 6 months, he’d yet to deliver a ***+ match, so why exactly wasn’t he tossed aside after Good Times, Great Memories?

Sweeney comes back to the indoor race track. Toland claims that after 20 minutes, Sweeney had to finish a lap, while Hero had already done 5 and is now running circles around him. This is just incredible stuff as Sweeney giggles with such glee. Really hope these segments were included on Ring of Hero, and incredibly glad this closed out the DVD instead of that ennui-inducing Albright promo.

Five quality matches, including two terrific show-stealers make this an easy recommendation. This is also a tremendous night to look back at to see that the writing was on the wall for booker Gabe Sapolsky. He was fucking toast, done, running on fumes. Such a shame that a fresh replacement wasn’t in charge so that the booking could’ve matched up with the workrate and put this show in the same breath as similar in-ring quality events like The Final Showdown.

Up next – Domination
Matches will include:
Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
Briscoe Bros. vs. Kings of Wrestling
Takeshi Morishima vs. Roderick Strong

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:32 pm

Domination – June 9, 2007
Taped from Philadelphia, PA

Image

Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

Phenomenal match here that got going when Steen individually decided to cut the ring in half on Jigsaw, mocking the need for a hot tag. Quackenbush was also brilliant when he got baited in the ring, drawing referee Todd Sinclair’s attention; instead of bitching, Quackenbush just stood there to keep Sinclair from counting a pin fall in Steen’s favor. Now that’s veteran tag team psychology from a babyface, a rarity. The hot tag to Quackenbush would finally come after Jigsaw hit a step-up Enziguri and gorgeous tornado DDT counter.

Once Quackenbush came in, he was the appropriate house of fire as Steen also got tagged in. Anyone that appreciated the Daniel Bryan era in 2013-14 would love Quackenbush’s arsenal here. Eventually the match would return to being even with Steen giving Quackenbush to signature Ric Flair counter, that being the press slam off the top rope, but Quackenbush rolled through it, only to eat a Pop-Up Powerbomb and Generico splash for a great near-fall. Once Jigsaw was tagged back in, he ate knees to the gut on a splash attempt, but avoid Generico’s Yakuza kick, which struck Steen instead. In what could’ve been a highlight in a normal match, Jigsaw took Generico down with a Torture Rack Sit Down Powerbomb Drop, followed by a Quackenbush Swaton, followed by a Jigsaw Guillotine Leg Drop, followed by Quackenbush Double Knees Drop. Steen brilliantly yanked Jigsaw out for what would’ve been the surefire finish, then got the tag after putting Generico back in the ring.

Quackenbush seated Steen on the turnbuckle and Jigsaw went for a Hurricanrana, but Steen blocked it. Generico hit a Van Terminator to take advantage, then Steen followed up with a Super Sit Down Powerbomb. When Quackenbush broke it up, that was the true highlight as the crowd erupted for this timeless classic. With Generico taking a down to the outside, that took out Quackenbush. Jigsaw was then prone to a Package Piledriver and Brainbuster for the finish, leaving the crowd in amazement to deliver a standing ovation.

In the post-match, all four men shake hands but the Chikara tandem is weary of the abrasive Steen. He proves them right when he tosses Jigsaw out and then takes a powder from Quackenbush, who is pissed. Steen awesomely says that he followed the Code of Honor, but Jigsaw took too long to break the handshake.

Absolutely fantastic piece of business here that has fallen under the radar for God knows what reason. Perhaps we should’ve known this would be off-the-charts since it marked Steen & Generico’s return to the very building where they finally earned their full-time spots. Sensational tag team wrestling.

Rating: ****1/4

In a four-way match, Brent Albright earns an ROH Title match. Time for him to finally deliver when that happens, as he’s been a disappointment so far with more than half a year spent on the roster.

Tag Titles – 2/3 Falls Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. Kings of Wrestling


While Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli are cordial, they’re certainly not best friends again, as Castagnoli has little patience for Sweet ‘N Sour, Inc. and gets chastised when he tries hazing Bobby Dempsey by Tank Toland. Meanwhile the Briscoes are treated like total rock stars and Hero is drawing mega heat, no surprise with this being Philly. Makes me think this may have been the best night to have booked the KOW vs. Steen & Generico dream match that’s yet to happen a decade later.

The dueling chants at the start are amazing, perhaps indicating CZW fans have been hooked into the product after the white-hot 2006. Dave Prazak pushes on commentary this is Castagnoli’s reward for having a show-stealer alongside Matt Sydal against the Briscoes at Respect is Earned. That’s an odd explanation for this, but whatever.

The rivalry between these 2 teams peaked here for the time being, smoking their acclaimed encounter at Final Battle 2006. This one had far deeper storytelling and tag team psychology, with the impressive dynamic of this being another clean 2-0 sweep for the Briscoes and the second fall being treated so seriously by the Philly crowd. While the Briscoes hot tag didn’t get quite the reaction hoped for after Mark had the ring cut in half on him by the obnoxious KOW, Jay was a tremendous house of fire to hold up his end of the deal.

Although not pushed on commentary, the narrative looked to be that after Hero took the first fall thanks to Jay’s Butterfly Piledriver, he’d be out of the ring unconscious and Castagnoli would have to channel Colt Cabana’s inspiring performance from Death Before Dishonor II Pt. 1. However that would not be the case as Hero did regain consciousness in time to turn this into a barn-burner, perhaps the greatest 2/3 falls match to ever end in a 2-0 sweep. Hero perfectly timed a dive to the outside and turned it into a front somersault to land on his feet and take Mark out with a Yakuza kick, leaving Jay to eat Castagnoli’s Alpamari Waterslide for an excellent near-fall.

The writing was on the wall there as Mark countered Hero’s Irish Whip on the outside and Jay this time had the Ricola Bomb scouted. But as Jay went for the Butterfly Piledriver again this time with Mark in motion to help, SNS grabbed Mark’s leg, so the younger Briscoe took them out via an Asai Moonsault to Philly’s delight, landing on his feet just like Hero minutes earlier. Castagnoli would hit a springboard uppercut and Ricolo Bomb this time, but Mark arrived to break it up, then they surprised Castagnoli with a sudden Springboard Doomsday Device to bring this timeless classic to an end, matching the other tag team classic earlier on the card, and making me further wish KOW vs. Steen & Generico had happened. (WrestleMania 34, pretty please!)

In the post-match, Hero and the rest of SNS display disgust with Castagnoli, as if he has solely responsible for the clean sweep. Such a shame that booker Gabe Sapolsky saw this in the long-term as just another means to advance the Hero vs. Castagnoli program that never got over, rather than bringing the team back together after such an excellent match.

Rating: ****1/4

The semi main event of the evening would be taped for PPV and not available on this home video release. Live reports at the time indiciate that the PPV announcement cranked up Philly even more. That would then be heightened when Larry Sweeney revealed to Nigel McGuinness his mystery opponent for the evening, none other than Bryan Danielson, with the winner earning a future ROH Title match.

Since the match would only be available on the event known as Driven 2007, there will be no spoilers or discussion of Danielson vs. McGuinness V here. However, those in attendance said that had the match been included, this is an easy show of the year contender. With that in mind, this show will be assessed as a home video release in this review, and then with Danielson vs. McGuinness included in the Driven 2007 review for full live report assessment, with both versions being considered for the end of year awards as well.

The assessment that can be provided is this: Sapolsky wanted Danielson vs. McGuinness to be on the second PPV, but wanted that show in Chicago for whatever reason. He also wanted the KENTA vs. Danielson rematch to happen in Chicago, and that was the only Chicago event all year that both KENTA and Danielson would both be booked on. That’s what I call a recipe of stubbornness with a lovely dash of burnout flavor.

In hindsight, this Philly event should’ve just been the fucking PPV taping since the third PPV would be in Chicago anyway. Spread the brotherly love, motherfucker. If Driven 2007 is entirely filmed on June 9 in Philly, then KENTA vs. Danielson can still be in Chicago as desired. However, if Chicago on June 23 just HAD to be a PPV event even though that market was hosting the following PPV a few months later, then just book Danielson vs. McGuinness to happen there rather than being a previously recorded add-on. KENTA vs. Danielson can then take place the next time they’re both available for ROH, which would be Glory By Honor VI Night 1 on November 2 in Philly, and when including their NOAH encounter, pushed as a huge rubber match the night before their huge matches that’d turn out to be against Mitsuharu Misawa and Takeshi Morishima.

And now, the actual main event both in person and on home video.

ROH Title Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Roderick Strong


Yet another tremendous match to close out the show. Strong managed to give an effort just as admirable as Shingo, Austin Aries, and Nigel McGuinness, topping Jay Briscoe from the night before; perhaps he was humbled by taking the fall to Delirious, although that wasn’t mentioned whatsoever.

Strong seemed to have everything scouted. The backdrop driver, the standing lariat, the sit down crush, he evaded all of Morishima’s signature moves and found a way to get back into this after being dominated in lengthy fashion by the champion. Morishima was equally resilient albeit arrogant as always, going straight at Strong to start the match and paying for it, but weathering that storm.

What bit Strong was that he fell into the trap of Morishima’s signatures after having successfully scouted them earlier. Despite all the punishment he managed to deliver to Morishima, including a side slam on the outside to soften Morishima’s back, a superplex, and even delivering a gutbuster that had been teased earlier, nothing could keep the monster down for long enough. After the suplex, Morishima kicked out at one and took care of Strong with a lariat. At this point I saw a strategy that someone needed to implement, and it’ll likely take a smaller opponent to do so: when Morishima stands like a statue, instead of just hitting upward strikes, a challenger should go for his legs instead to surprise him and bring him down to size; this will also allow the challenger to evade Morishima’s standing lariat.

It was surprising to see Strong get his arm on the ropes to break a pin after eating a backdrop driver, but it only made the Philly crowd even hotter after sitting through a tremendous live event. However, once the second backdrop driver was hit with Strong landing in the middle of the ring, that was all she wrote. Outstanding main event as mentioned.

Mentioned in commentary is that the next event will be headlined by Morishima teaming up with Naomichi Marufuji to take on Danielson & McGuinness. OH FUCK YES~!

Rating: ****

As a home video release, this gets an easy recommendation since it also includes a good match between Bryan Danielson and Jay Lethal from FIP to make up for the absence of Danielson vs. McGuinness. That along with the Briscoes vs. KOW classic makes for the exclusive stuff not anywhere else as of yet; for those who don’t bother with compilations, the other two excellent matches in Morishima vs. Strong and Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Steen & Generico make this one of the best shows of the year event without the acclaimed PPV match.

Now had that PPV match been included, would it have topped the best contenders so far in 2007 such as Fifth Year Festival: Finale, Supercard of Honor II, and Good Times, Great Memories? Perhaps, but difficult to really say since half of this show was just disposable filler. This was definitely a great show though and will be in consideration at the end of the year, with the live report assessment in a couple weeks only enhancing it.

The time for uncertainty is done with. A question is about to be answered. A dream partner tag match has arrived stemming from the events of Respect is Earned. All on the eve of a crazy PPV taping and rematch everyone’s been dying to see for the past 9 months.

Up next – United We Stand
Matches will include:
Matt Cross & Erick Stevens vs. Davey Richards & Roderick Strong
KENTA vs. Rocky Romero
Takeshi Morishima & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness
Briscoe Bros. vs. Matt Sydal & Claudio Castagnoli

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:04 pm

United We Stand – June 22, 2007
Taped from Dayton, OH

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Matt Cross & Erick Stevens vs. Davey Richards & Roderick Strong

A well-paced match that fell apart since nobody could be bothered to remember tag legalities, not even referee Todd Sinclair, who has proven to know better. For those who deem this to be nit-picking, this is a genre of entertainment in which the viewer is supposed to suspend disbelief, in which we are to buy into this being a legitimate contest. That includes officiating being up to par. How important is officiating to upholding the true value of a contest? Well this is being written the night of Game 4 in the 2017 NBA Finals, and based on social media, that game was severely tainted by officiating problems.

The real takeaway is the post-match as Austin Aries sat front row and Strong called him out. Quite obvious that Aries got his release granted by TNA and is now back. Cross has negative charisma when verbally standing up for Aries as the Resilience leader, supposedly not allowed to do more than be a spectator, dares Strong to take this issue outside the building. Good on TNA to do the right thing, and it might be the only one that company did in 2007.

Rating: less than ***

At intermission, Larry Sweeney reveals that Chris Hero has now signed an ROH contract, and Sweet ‘N Sour Inc. forces Bobby Dempsey to perform jumping jacks. Sweeney is astonishingly magnetic here.

KENTA vs. Rocky Romero

Very good match here with Romero showing plenty of counters to go along with his cockiness. His trademark arrogance though should’ve honestly been toned down against the former GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion, because KENTA isn’t someone to fuck with for someone on Romero’s level. The Dayton crowd absolutely loved this as Romero managed to get the cross arm breaker on a couple times, including one off the top rope and another as a counter to a cross arm breaker by KENTA.

Romero’s stock went up by kicking out of the Busaiku knee, but his fatal mistake was on KENTA’s first Go to Sleep attempt. Instead of hitting a crucifix move like Austin Aries or Bryan Danielson would do in the same position, Romero countered with a traditional roll-up that led to the cross arm breaker counter. This allowed KENTA to eventually lift Romero up while in the submission, hitting the Go to Sleep on the exhausted former ROH Tag Champ for the victory.

In the post-match, Davey Richards arrives so the NRC can feign respect, only to sucker KENTA before getting chased off by Delirious, Cross, and Stevens. Get Delirious out of this shit ASAP.

Rating: ***3/4

Takeshi Morishima & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness

Danielson & McGuinness showed quite the chemistry here. Once Team NOAH got the ring cut in half on Danielson, there had to be some concern based on how easily Danielson cozied up to Morishima just 6 weeks earlier. But the faith Danielson had in Morishima would be justified, ending up with a hot tag after Danielson ate plenty of offense in his first in-ring action against the ROH Champion.

Everything in this was just crisp, and the ROH dream team was on point, bailing each other out when the time called for it, whether it was Danielson in a neck-and-shoulder submission that had been used by Jay Lethal at Manhattan Mayhem (someone book Lethal vs. Marufuji at some point btw), or Morishima needing to be missile dropkicked by Danielson to not hit the backdrop driver on McGuinness. The last several minutes in particular were off the charts, especially for the finish.

In a moment 4 months in the making, the monstrous ROH Champion finally ate his first loss since his debut against Samoa Joe, but of course the company realizes that was a fuckup so the commentary pushes this as Morishima’s first defeat in ROH. McGuinness went for all kinds of lariats but like always, Morishima wouldn’t go down. It’d take a superkick by McGuinness to be the final blow to stagger Morishima, with a Marufuji superkick giving McGuinness the momentum necessary to land the victorious rebound lariat while Danielson kept the former GHC Heavyweight Champion at bay. Just an excellent match with a rousing standing ovation afterwards, and Morishima vs. McGuinness II should be a doozy.

Rating: ****

Tag Titles – 2/3 Falls Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. Matt Sydal & Claudio Castagnoli


A definite stepdown from their show-stealer the month before as well as the 2/3 falls match involving ¾ of these men a couple weeks earlier. This never came close to a fever pitch, with the first fall’s solid story being everyone going for a quick fall, which the Briscoes were successful with after isolating Sydal. Out of desperation, Castagnoli chose to forgo the rest period and go right after the champs in what turned out to be a lengthier second fall. However, there was no drama here unlike the prior match and real main event – everyone knew this would be a sweep after the Briscoes’ quick first fall, and fans even called it at the beginning of the match.

There’s something to be said for booking such dominant champions, and in fact it was because of both the Briscoes and Morishima that the prior show was called Domination. So with that in mind, the main event on this show should’ve just been Morishima & Marufuji vs. Danielson & McGuinness, as McGuinness going over Morishima would’ve been a tremendous way to close out the show. Oh yeah, in addition, it was explained that this was Sydal cashing in on entitled rematch after the show-stealer at Respect is Earned. That shows the confidence Sydal had that if the Kings of Wrestling would’ve dethroned the Briscoes he could’ve found someone else, and who could blame him after he and Christopher Daniels had already gotten the job done against them?

Rating: ***1/4

The DVD closes with a very brief Brent Albright promo, who’s salivating now that Morishima’s proven to be vulnerable and looking forward to cashing in his ROH Title match.

Recommended for the triple main event, although it may be better just to get the compilations they’re on, including KENTA, Danielson vs. McGuinness, and Creating Excellence respectively. Nothing of else on this show is worth the money.

And now, perhaps the best pro wrestling PPV of 2007, along with an anticipated rematch.

Up next – Driven 2007
Matches will include:
The entire Driven 2007 PPV broadcast
Chris Hero vs. Nigel McGuinness
KENTA vs. Bryan Danielson

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:57 pm

Driven 2007 – June 23, 2007
Taped from Chicago, IL

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Driven 2007 (PPV) – Aired September 21, 2007

Dave Prazak kicks off with a rah-rah promo in front of the rabid Chicago audience, but gets interrupted by Matt Cross, Delirious, & Erick Stevens, who want the No Remorse Corps right now. After the PPV intro, the challenge is answered.

Apparent Scramble Rules Match
No Remorse Corps vs. Matt Cross, Delirious, & Erick Stevens


The commentary mentioned midway through this frenzied opener that referee Todd Sinclair was being lenient and seemed to opt for scramble rules. That was perfectly timed because the established tag legalities went out the window immediately afterward, having been adhered to up to that point. The makeshift babyfaces got the upper hand at first until Delirious played the Ricky Morton role, but it was too brief to build up to much of a hot tag, not that it mattered with this becoming a scramble spotfest.

Chicago absolutely loved the insanity in this one, and why ROH hasn’t released a Trios Matches DVD yet with this included (as well as its equally hot post-match) is a mystery. With this being a glorified spotfest, that allowed Cross to shine the brightest thanks to a perfectly timed Sasuke Special and also a Reverse Hurricanrana to Davey Richards. But perhaps that was the poetry with Richards finally finishing off Cross with the Butterfly Driver, just moments after Cross failed to finish Romero with a Corkscrew type of press.

Austin Aries arrives from the crowd and chases off the NRC to prevent the usual post-match attack, then cuts a tremendous rah-rah promo putting ROH over as THE wrestling company at the time, and signs his ROH contract. Immediately once he signed it, a graphic appeared with his name in a nice instantaneous touch, and as the crowd welcomed him back, so did company owner Cary Silkin in a handshake.

Rating: ***

An advertisement for the company’s Japan debut aired from Tokyo and Osaka, having been filmed prior to this PPV broadcast. The production looks top-notch and had I been in charge, Tokyo would’ve been the PPV over this Chicago event.

Matt Sydal vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Quality match between the two with chemistry akin to Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero and Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio. At some point, it’d be nice to see Cesaro vs. Evan Bourne in an opportunity to have the classic they’re capable of pulling off together. Like before, Castagnoli was the perfect base for Sydal’s feisty quickness and bomb-like counters.

The major highlights were Sydal using the momentum of a Castagnoli power counter attempt and pressing off to hit a twisting head-scissors, a gorgeous one at that, as well as some good storytelling. Sydal hit a Spike Hurricanrana pin for a near-fall, a move that had been Castagnoli down back in November 2006. Not only did Castagnoli have the werewithal to kick out of this, but he managed to then counter it for the finish, rolling over for a jackknife pin.

Castagnoli was an idiot in the post-match. Sweet ‘N Sour, Inc. arrived with Larry Sweeney offering Sydal a contract, and Castagnoli tore it up. Who the fuck is he to make a career decision for someone else like that? Sydal was justifiably pissed and decided to join them anyway, attacking Castagnoli as they all left him laying alone.

Rating: ***1/2

A highlight reel for Jimmy Rave airs, with ROH having offered him an ROH Title match for God knows what reason, and he’s cashing in tonight. Fucking wretched booking.

BJ Whitmer vs. Naomichi Marufuji

Good mechanics, not the least bit interesting as a matchup. Considering that Chris Hero was involved in the prior segment, how about just having him stay in the ring and Sweeney tells Marufuji to get his ass into the ring to face his top signing? To nobody’s surprise, Marufuji won after a competitive match with the Shiranui, and the lack of frenzied audience engagement spoke volumes that nobody was dying to see these two collide.

Rating: ***

Brent Albright vs. Pelle Primeau

Just a squash match in Albright’s favor. Although the idea is obvious to get Albright over, this would’ve been the perfect for him to face Takeshi Morishima after having earned an ROH Title match a couple weeks earlier at Domination.

Tag Titles Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico


Very good match only held back by not substantial hot tag moment, although there were times that Jay and Generico were isolated. The real takeaways of the match came in the last several minutes, not that the first dozen minutes or so weren’t quality stuff. Steen’s dive on Jay was topped with a diving response from Mark on him; Mark had also hit a moonsault off a barricade to Generico.

There’s an argument to be made that a title change should’ve been booked here when Generico got hot, Yakuza kicking Jay and feeding him to Steen for the Package Piledriver. It also seemed like that may be the case when Generico had a dramatic kick out, but once the Spike Butterfly Piledriver was implemented after Mark had driven Steen through a table, there was no going back.

In the post-match, Steen attacks the champions with a ladder, telegraphing a ladder match on the next PPV. He tells Generico this is the kind of ruthless aggression he should be displaying before blowing snot on the Briscoes. There’s still plenty of juice left in this feud for sure.

Rating: ***3/4

A tremendous Sweeney promo airs gloating about Hero and Sydal, promising the latter many great financial opportunities. Tank Toland berates Bobby Dempsey on an ab machine in a segment that I really hope is on Ring of Hero. Just fantastic stuff all around. Some food for thought: considering that Toland was ashamed of Dempsey’s obesity, what would he have to say about Kassius Ohno today?

ROH Title Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Jimmy Rave


Just a few minutes, but Rave got in his fair share of offense and evasions; this was surprisingly an enjoyable glorified squash, and a much more engaging match than Rave’s ROH Title match against Homicide a few months earlier. The crowd was totally into both, and thus it made it official: Morishima was now genuinely over.

The commentary claims to be “out of time” or such bullshit, saying they have a special match to show that’s airing from Philly. Nobody is fooled by this false attempt to be multi-location like Starrcade 1985, WrestleMania 2, and Starrcade 1986. So here’s a copy and paste of the convoluted decision of booking this PPV main event 2 weeks earlier in the City of Brotherly Love.
The semi main event of the evening would be taped for PPV and not available on this home video release. Live reports at the time indicate that the PPV announcement cranked up Philly even more. That would then be heightened when Larry Sweeney revealed to Nigel McGuinness his mystery opponent for the evening, none other than Bryan Danielson, with the winner earning a future ROH Title match.

Since the match would only be available on the event known as Driven 2007, there will be no spoilers or discussion of Danielson vs. McGuinness V here. However, those in attendance said that had the match been included, this is an easy show of the year contender. With that in mind, this show will be assessed as a home video release in this review, and then with Danielson vs. McGuinness included in the Driven 2007 review for full live report assessment, with both versions being considered for the end of year awards as well.

The assessment that can be provided is this: Sapolsky wanted Danielson vs. McGuinness to be on the second PPV, but wanted that show in Chicago for whatever reason. He also wanted the KENTA vs. Danielson rematch to happen in Chicago, and that was the only Chicago event all year that both KENTA and Danielson would both be booked on. That’s what I call a recipe of stubbornness with a lovely dash of burnout flavor.

In hindsight, this Philly event should’ve just been the fucking PPV taping since the third PPV would be in Chicago anyway. Spread the brotherly love, motherfucker. If Driven 2007 is entirely filmed on June 9 in Philly, then KENTA vs. Danielson can still be in Chicago as desired. However, if Chicago on June 23 just HAD to be a PPV event even though that market was hosting the following PPV a few months later, then just book Danielson vs. McGuinness to happen there rather than being a previously recorded add-on. KENTA vs. Danielson can then take place the next time they’re both available for ROH, which would be Glory By Honor VI Night 1 on November 2 in Philly, and when including their NOAH encounter, pushed as a huge rubber match the night before their huge matches that’d turn out to be against Mitsuharu Misawa and Takeshi Morishima.
Before getting to the main event from Philly, a promo by Adam Pearce airs that I cannot fathom a single fucking person on the planet giving a single solitary shit about a decade ago. This was just the drizzling shits booking by Gabe Sapolsky. Absolutely fucking pointless and horrendous.

Of course you care about that, so here are the details: Pearce talks about satisfying need before approaching a depressed Whitmer and striking him, then Albright appears besides Pearce. Just riveting stuff here, folks. To quote Dave Meltzer in a 1998 newsletter: “Hold off your votes for Feud of the Year.”

ROH Title Shot Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness

Taped June 9, 2007 @ Domination

An absolutely stellar match here to put the Domination live event over the top (recall that card already had 3 existing ****+ matches included on its DVD release) and bring this PPV to a close. For anyone that loved the atmosphere of the John Cena vs. AJ Styles trilogy, they need to hear the Philly audience in this one as it was a fever pitch at the beginning.

The big criticism is obvious, in that after a few minutes of mat work at the beginning, it became largely a strike-fest which ultimately shortened their careers. Rather than display the state-of-the-art technical wrestling that these two had displayed at Weekend of Champions Night 2, Generation Now, and The Epic Encounter II, they went with the Unified big match direction, which should’ve been left alone for their own long-term career value.

That’s not to say that the strikes were dramatic and excellently timed. Perhaps had the match even focused a bit more on throwing bombs instead of strikes, it wouldn’t have been so traumatic for their careers while also being equally dramatic. They deserve credit for the incredible heat on a half crab false finish, Danielson struggling to reach the ropes. With that said, such a safe move like that generating so much heat further emphasizes the incorrectness of not relying on mat wrestling as the primary story.

Another tremendous moment in this instant classic was McGuinness struggling to lift Danielson up for a Tower of London, finally being able to do, collapsing from exhaustion, and the crowd erupting as McGuinness didn’t have the energy to go for a pin fall. Perhaps no moment in this match told the ultimate takeaway coming out of this match – after 5 ROH Title matches and 2 PPV main events, McGuinness had yet to win a major match in the company. He simply just wasn’t on Danielson’s level yet, and in fact pushed Danielson to the max, something only KENTA and Roderick Strong could also claim in the past couple years.

For both positive and negative reasons, the legitimate headbutts following the slap exchange became the biggest takeaway from this match in the short and long term. Undoubtedly, these dangerous decisions brought Philly to a frenzy, allowing the match’s final couple minutes to close out with a bang. On the other hand, there’s the obvious fact a decade later that both are retired with this match playing a significant reason as to why. As for the past couple minutes, it was insane (again both good and bad) to see a bloodied Danielson (that we’d find out the next day in PWG was also concussed) have the drive to go for the Cattle Mutilation.

McGuinness would use the momentum of the Cattle Mutilation to get a sensational near-fall on Danielson, only to succumb to the elbows to the head just like at Unified. As stated before, McGuinness was in canon becoming known as someone who needed a career-defining victory on his resume, even with him on an obvious ascent to soon become ROH Champion. But having gotten the victory over Morishima at United We Stand, his opportunities were far from expired, and now both of these ROH icons had guaranteed shots at the ROH Title.

Rating: ****1/2

BONUS MATCHES

Chris Hero vs. Nigel McGuinness

Good match although never reached anything special. While Hero was certainly over in this role as well McGuinness, looking back it did a poor job of grooming McGuinness for his obvious ascension. This was a definite step down after his Pure Title reign and program against Jimmy Rave. This was an easy story of McGuinness dominating early due to Hero being too cute, SNS helping Hero gain the advantage, Hero daring McGuinness to have a strike exchange to allow a comeback, and McGuinness eventually wins.

Rating: ***1/4

KENTA vs. Bryan Danielson

Phenomenal main event and a bit better than the Philly match placed on the PPV portion of this event. The lone criticism will be acknowledged right now: while KENTA’s head pain selling in the post-match displayed that the last minute or two was him weathering it all to finally pin Danielson in an ROH ring, there’s preference for KENTA to have sold the Go to Sleep implemented on him just a bit more, perhaps with both collapsing in exhaustion to sell it, and then having one last closing exchange afterwards.

Even with that said, there’s so much to love about this rematch. Danielson’s suicide dive being blocked by a KENTA kick that connected with the previously injured right shoulder and teasing a retelling of their Glory By Honor V Night 2 story; Danielson answering that by giving an overhead belly-to-belly suplex off the apron and forcing KENTA to land on the padded floor; Danielson scouting the Busaiku knee after having already been brought down by it, and turning it into a beautiful O’Connor Roll; KENTA’s Cattle Mutilation being turned into a Tiger Suplex that ironically lost its bridge on Danielson’s right shoulder, allowing for a kick out. This was just simply breathtaking to watch.

These two gave so much that when KENTA landed the Buckle Bomb on Danielson, it caused the former GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion to continue flinging forward with Danielson and having to take a dive out of the ring to save himself. Thankfully KENTA landed just fine as the Chicago audience applauded for this masterpiece of a wrestling match. Another bright spot was Danielson going for aggressive forearm smashes, reminding me of AJ Styles getting furious on Low Ki at Honor Invades Boston. Anything that reminds me of that classic match is a definite thumbs up.

As for the finishing stretch, there was Danielson applying the Go to Sleep as mentioned for a hot near-fall, and then going for the elbows to the head. Had Danielson ever gotten to face Brock Lesnar, this match gives a pretty good idea of what would’ve happened had he gone for the elbows to the head while in position to eat an F5 from the Beast Incarnate: like KENTA here, Lesnar would’ve withstood the pain and kept his eyes on the prize against his fellow Hall of Famer.

After all the strikes to Danielson’s head, and the fact that KENTA was mustering everything to not succumb to the same, the inevitable became reality as the Go to Sleep inventor applied his finisher, finally securing the victory over the face of ROH for the first time on this side of the Pacific Ocean since Best in the World 2006.

The post-match is also textbook yet so effective, receiving a standing ovation as they shake hands and bow towards each other in respect. KENTA is welcomed back anytime by the Chicago audience, and why wouldn’t they, considering this topped his classic that took place just 364 days earlier in this very same building against Aries? Just like that match, this one makes the KENTA compilation worthy every penny too.

Rating: ****3/4

Firstly, a word on Domination as an entire live event now that Danielson vs. McGuinness has been reviewed. It’s a definite show of the year contender in that the good shit REALLY makes up for the useless shit, including Danielson vs. McGuinness, Briscoes vs. Kings of Wrestling, Morishima vs. Strong, and Steen & Generico vs. Jigsaw & Mike Quackenbush. Does it deserve show of the year so far? That’s difficult to say since it wasn’t consistent, but it’s in the running.

Taking out Danielson vs. McGuinness, the Driven 2007 live event gets an easy recommendation, even though the 3 Chicago matches that truly matter are on their own compilations, but others will absolutely salivate over the action-packed opener along with its molten post-match angle, and there’s the novelty of finally seeing Morishima be truly over after 4 months as the top champion. Undoubtedly, this was an excellent show on its own.

When factoring it how the PPV was formatted and then adding the live event bonus matches, this one’s a no-brainer for the reasons listed in the previous paragraph. It doesn’t matter that both Danielson matches are compilations; this was the most highly-sought DVD of 2007 at the time of its release due to the novelty of having 2 incredible matches, displaying 2 of Danielson’s greatest rivalries every.

The company now makes its Japan debut, but there is a tragedy that must be addressed.

The 9/11 of pro wrestling was happening the nights of these particular events in Dayton and Chicago. Nobody could’ve seen the horrors that were about to be discovered in Atlanta. While it won’t be a part of this project, there WILL be a retrospective on the events surrounding the man that inspired more wrestlers on the 2007 ROH roster more than anyone else, that being the Hall of Famer Chris Benoit. Every wrestling fan a decade ago lost pieces of their soul that are never coming back, and with fresh eyes the experience deserves to be revisited to truly understand what we learned from it.

Up next – Live in Tokyo
Matches will include:
Go Shiozaki vs. Bryan Danielson
Briscoe Bros. & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Ricky Marvin, Matt Sydal, & Atsushi Aoki
Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness

Mr. Mojo Risin
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Mr. Mojo Risin » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:16 pm

I binge read this. I totally agree with you about Gabe's booking at this time. I remember on the forum at the time guys were calling Gabe out for some of this shit and he was deleting posts. Ahh, I miss those days.

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