Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

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Indynut
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Indynut » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:07 pm

I miss the early years of ROH.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:18 pm

Live in Tokyo – July 16, 2007
Taped from Tokyo, Japan

Image

ROH Video Wire – June 26, 2007



Important news/footage in the above video:
July 16 in Tokyo – Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness for the ROH Title

KENTA is injured from his MOTYC tag the day before; he’s being replaced tonight in his scheduled trios match against the Briscoes & Naomichi Marufuji by Atsushi Aoki with Ricky Marvin & Matt Sydal, and tomorrow’s dream team with CIMA against Davey Richards & Rocky Romero is also scrapped. Aoki is nowhere near a suitable replacement.

The DVD kicks off with Nigel McGuinness arriving to the building, followed by a promo by Morishima. The production is a huge improvement, solidifying my stance that this show should’ve not just been the company’s second PPV taping, but McGuinness being dethroned by the undefeated Morishima in the main event. Even with this crowd not being anywhere near as rowdy as throughout America, one can only imagine a red-hot champion in McGuinness against the undefeated monster challenger Morishima, being a homecoming for the latter and the audience knowing this would air on PPV.

Bryan Danielson has a pre-taped promo, talking about testing Go Shiozaki to say if he’d be worthy of an ROH excursion in the future. Danielson also says he has his eye on Morishima vs. McGuinness.

Go Shiozaki vs. Bryan Danielson

This told a very simple yet so incredibly effective story. Danielson successfully targeted Shiozaki’s left arm and shoulder early, his usual target to set up for the Crossface Chickenwing. But this allowed the right-handed Shiozaki to control the match for a lengthy period with nonstop chops after evading a Danielson dive on the outside. Once Danielson managed to regain control, he did something that all of his peers need to see – he adjusted his strategy.

To marginalize Shiozaki’s overreliance on chops, Danielson targeted his right arm and shoulder, even modifying his usual positioning once he got the Crossface Chickenwing on later. But this was to be Shiozaki’s coming out party with the hopes of earning a future excursion, and his efforts with hope spots did not disappoint. His selling was also tremendous, selling both of his right limbs (the leg having tape on it coming into this match), stalling a Moonsault attempt that allowed Danielson to land a Backdrop Superplex for a near-fall.

Shiozaki would manage to reach the ropes on a Cattle Mutilation attempt, but Danielson had enough confidence that he’d worn down the relatively greener opposition and went for it again. This would pay off when Shiozaki finally had nowhere to escape, taking way too much punishment and finally tapping out. As for the best storytelling moment of the match, it came in the middle when Shiozaki went for chops again after being softened by Danielson, and those strikes were at best incredibly lukewarm, drawing cocky reactions from the Hall of Famer. It must also be mentioned though that Danielson should’ve found a physically smarter, more subtle way to pay tribute to the freshly cremated Chris Benoit than a diving headbutt just 3 weeks into the Post CB world.

Everyone needs to go out of their way to witness this classic, as it’s great studying for aspiring wrestlers, earned Shiozaki a future excursion, and made Danielson out to be a bonafide star for the ROH brand in the eyes of the puroresu audience, with him wanting the winner of Morishima vs. McGuinness.

Rating: ****1/2

Nigel McGuinness has a pre-taped promo citing that now’s his time to finally dethrone Morishima, having earned tonight’s rematch after pinning the ROH Champion at United We Stand.

Briscoe Bros. & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Ricky Marvin, Matt Sydal, & Atsushi Aoki

Good trios match that never reached a sensational peak, with the finish lacking the climactic reaction that would’ve been expected. Aoki paid some dues here but in no way was the star, and neither was Sydal, as he didn’t really get involved until the closing stretch. Marvin turned out to be the star for his team, even having a callback involving the referee to his match against the Briscoes the day before this.

Jay ate a couple nasty DDTs at different points but nothing earth-shattering, although it looked like Sydal almost had him near the end upon ducking a Springboard Doomsday Device and rolling him up with a jackknife cradle pin. But once Marufuji helped Jay lift Sydal up and Marvin & Aoki both out of the equation, Sydal had no choice but to fall victim to the triple-team Doomsday Device, although it surprised the crowd as mentioned.

Rating: ***1/2

ROH Title Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness


Very good main event that never got significant crowd heat until the last few minutes. Had it gotten heated a bit earlier, this would deserve to be regarded as high as their Fighting Spirit classic. Morishima surprisingly got some heel heat in this one, but perhaps that’s a testament to his Super Dragon style arrogant body language as well as the charisma and work ethic of McGuinness. It was refreshing to see Morishima have McGuinness scouted early, especially with the rebound lariat early, but McGuinness had the backdrop driver easily scouted too.

No matter how prepared the champion was, eventually the challenger would cut him off with a rebound lariat on the outside, but the challenger’s submission work wouldn’t prove enough at all. The champion would have 2 tremendous cut offs, one fairly early by blocking an outside Sunset Flip and sitting on the sternum of McGuinness, the other by improvising with a side slam onto the floor from the apron upon the backdrop driver being blocked.

Morishima also had the top rope lariat scouted, ducking a second one deep into the match, and perhaps that’s what helped him compensate for the surprisingly resistant native Japanese crowd; his scouting bailed him out this time, as should’ve always been the case rather than just relying on his size advantage. In the post-match, Danielson claims the ROH Title is his and slaps Morishima, only for McGuinness to be pissed and strike him for ruining their moment; in contrast, McGuinness congratulates Morishima for the victory.

Rating: ***3/4

Brent Albright to have heard Morishima is so afraid of him that the champion lobbied for their match not to happen in Japan, so that a dethroning could be avoided. But the match is happening in Philly.

The next double-shot in Long Island and New Jersey is a “Race to the Top” tournament. Lots of promising names; can this measure up to the 2001 King of Indies and annual Battle of Los Angeles?

Recommended show for the 3 quality matches, one of them an incredible MOTYC. The trios match also got yanked off YouTube recently, so this show is the only way to see it, although it’s not must-see.

Up next – Live in Osaka
Matches will include:
Speed Muscle & Delirious vs. Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito, & Matt Sydal
Briscoe Bros. vs. Shingo & Susumu Yokosuka
CIMA, Bryan Danielson, & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Davey Richards, Rocky Romero, & Massaki Mochizuki

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:19 am

Live in Osaka – July 17, 2007
Taped from Osaka, Japan

Image

So-show show here so the usual C&P treatment when applicable.

The live event kicks off with a sports-entertainment type segment to rebook the event in light of CIMA & KENTA vs. Davey Richards & Rocky Romero being scrapped due to KENTA’s injury. It’ll be a trios match of CIMA, Danielson, & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Richards, Romero, & Masaaki Mochizuki.

The airlines apparently lost the Tag Title belts. That’s wonderful but the Briscoes will still be fighting champions tonight.

Dragon Gate Rules Match
Speed Muscle & Delirious vs. Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito, & Matt Sydal


Standard good trios match that couldn’t follow its Lucha style rules, once again making for another Dragon Gate contribution in this company that cannot measure up whatsoever to the Chicago masterpiece that solidified this inter-promotional relationship. There were entertaining moments in this, as well as some unnecessary sports-entertainment interference from the Muscle Outlaw’z of Jimmy Rave & Genki Horiguchi, but this was ultimately solid.

If there’s one thing to nitpick in this match, that’d be its failure to intensify the Delirious vs. Sydal saga considering that Sydal cheated the last they faced off in Liverpool. That could’ve made this more actually meaningful instead of just a pleasant but nothing special spotfest, while upping the drama. With Sydal being a babyface in Dragon Gate too, he could’ve played the Kevin Steen heel to his partners’ El Generico babyface role while getting dirty on Delirious.

Rating: ***1/4

Tag Titles Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. Shingo & Susumu Yokosuka


Another disappointing Briscoes vs. Dragon Gate match. Not only did this lack tag legality adherence (which was unacceptable for referee Todd Sinclair since this match never came close to a breakneck pace), but even worse was that since the Briscoes were not yet established in DG, the crowd didn’t give a shit about Shingo saving Yokosuka from a Butterfly Piledriver about 15 minutes into this. In hindsight, the title defense for the Briscoes should’ve been in Tokyo since they were much more established in NOAH, while sticking them in a trios or 8-man tag for this card.

Rating: less than ***

CIMA, Bryan Danielson, & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Davey Richards, Rocky Romero, & Masaaki Mochizuki

Very good trios match that blew away the earlier one and even the Tokyo trios. Like Tokyo, tag legalities were adhered to at all times, showing that it can always be done. Danielson and Romero found themselves being the FIP victims, while the Mochizuki vs. Marufuji matchup was a nice appetizer for if that dream match ever takes place in singles competition.

Osaka was a bit of a disappointing crowd when Romero kicked out of CIMA’s Air Raid Crash, showing that perhaps the lack of pop for the Butterfly Piledriver near-fall in the prior match was their fault and not anyone else’s. Danielson almost fell victim to Romero’s various arm bar submissions thanks to his left shoulder being targeted, but CIMA would bail him out and after Marufuji got an assisted Standing Shiranui, Romero was done with a follow-up second Air Raid Crash.

Rating: ***3/4

Are you a completionist for the Delirious vs. Sydal rivalry? Do you have a copy of Danielson vs. The World? Those are the 2 questions that determine if this show is worthy of your time. A bad show overall that needed some severe tweaking on the card to stand out, and there were so many possibilities. Shingo vs. Marufuji? Yoshino vs. Danielson? Briscoes vs. No Remorse Corps? Doi vs. McGuinness?

Up next – Race to the Top Tournament Night 1
Matches will include:
Mike Quackenbush vs. Matt Sydal
Briscoe Bros. vs. Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:09 am

Race to the Top Tournament Night 1 – July 27, 2007
Taped from Long Island, NY

Image

ROH Video Wire – July 25, 2007

Important news/footage in the video:
Takeshi Morishima’s upcoming ROH title challengers are Claudio Castagnoli on August 10 in Boston, Brent Albright on August 11 in Philly, and Bryan Danielson on August 25 in NYC. OH FUCK YES~!

Horrible show here so the usual C&P treatment.
JZ says: Steen and Generico open the show, and I don’t understand Steen’s shirt. I’m guessing that makes me the doofus. Steen’s excitement about this being a wrestling tournament and not a running tournament is tremendous. So is his not letting Generico take one second of spotlight
.

Race to the Top Tournament Quarterfinal 1st Round Match
Mike Quackenbush vs. Matt Sydal


Larry Sweeney verbally fellates all over Sydal in the pre-match, cocky that Sweet ‘N Sour Inc. won’t even be needed at ringside. That ultimately backfires as the right decision is made for Quackenbush to go over, which makes sense due to Sydal flirting with WWE. The match was simple but effective – Quackenbush dominated at first, Sydal made a comeback to gain control, and then his Standing Moonsault was scouted.

Even with a second Standing Moonsault much later being successful by Sydal, he had no answer for Quackenbush’s supreme mat wrestling techniques, falling victim to the Black Tornado Slam and Crucifix Variation pin for the finish. Would’ve loved these two to rematch in the Battle of Los Angeles.

Rating: ***1/4

Jimmy Rave has an unexpected swan song in a four-way for the FIP Title involving champion Roderick Strong, Austin Aries, and Gran Akuma. There was honestly nothing left for him after losing the feud against Nigel McGuinness, and that was a miracle last substantial drop to milk out of Rave after Prince Nana had left. Although there were other circumstances, this swan song was a few months past due.

Tag Titles Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness


Long Island is really grating by failing to slap the barricades in tune with “The Final Countdown.” Starting to see why ROHbots had a shitty reputation during the Gabe Sapolsky era. Danielson has Bobby Cruise introduce him as the next ROH Champion. Great way to sell tickets for August 25 to this Tri-State crowd, but what about THIS title match?

Horrendous booking here. After a damn good 15 minutes or so for this main event, including a very creative McGuinness assist in sabotaging the Springboard Doomsday Device so that Danielson could turn Mark’s position in midair into a Cattle Mutilation, it went not just with a sports-entertainment finish, but a poorly executed one to boot.

This devalued the Tag Titles even more after the pre-match intro, as the Briscoes ducked strikes from the challengers; this caused Danielson to expose the business by having to very obviously propel forward to strike McGuinness; one of the challengers, if not both, was clearly out of position for this finish, and considering that they are BRYAN DANIELSON AND NIGEL MCGUINNESS, that’s inexcusable.

There was no need for this finish; all that had to be done was for McGuinness to eat the pin not because of poorly executed miscommunication booking, but because the Briscoes simply are the superior team over the 2 singles all-stars. Danielson still gets protected to prepare for the dream match against Morishima, as there’s no shame in a singles act admitting defeat outside his realm.

Rating: ***1/2

Get a copy of the Danielson vs. McGuinness compilation and just wait for Sydal to get one of his own with his match against Quackenbush included. Horrendous show.

Up next – Race to the Top Tournament Night 2
Matches will include:
Chris Hero vs. El Generico
Mike Quackenbush vs. Claudio Castagnoli
The semifinals and final of the Race to the Top tournament
Team Danielson vs. Team McGuinness in a $10K Tag Team Challenge Match

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:36 pm

Race to the Top Tournament Night 2 – July 28, 2007
Taped from Edison, NJ

Image

Race to the Top Tournament Quarterfinal Match
Chris Hero vs. El Generico


Very fun opener here with Hero doing all of his wacky heel antics and Generico just playing the perfect babyface foil to it. I wonder what would’ve happened if they had teamed up with their greatest partners ever to collide in a tag match at this point. (I will continue to hammer down my bloodthirsty demand for this dream match until either it happens or one of them suffers a fate like Katsuyori Shibata and thus the ship has officially sailed.)

The finish was perfect with Sweet ‘n Sour Inc. thinking that they’d cheat to win, only for Hero to see his Hero’s Welcome backfire and fall victim to Generico’s backslide pin. Tremendous pop for what appeared to be a mild upset at the time; considering that Generico had yet to obtain a substantial singles victory, that actually makes sense.

Kevin Steen forcibly talks on Generico’s behalf afterwards and talks about the Briscoes feud. Steen also claims that Generico will hand him the tournament trophy. Amusing and tremendous.

Rating: ***

Race to the Top Tournament Quarterfinal Match
Mike Quackenbush vs. Claudio Castagnoli


A nice sample of their much deeper rivalry outside ROH. Quackenbush looked to have an answer for almost everything Castagnoli brought to the table, using his technique to offset the size difference. For all of his various counters though, Quackenbush ran out of evasions, eventually succumbing to an uppercut clean in the middle of the ring for the finish. It’d appear that booker Gabe Sapolsky plans on having Quackenbush around as a roster staple.

Rating: ***

Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness have a very good sports-entertainment segment in which they pick their partners for tonight’s $10K Challenge. Besides some of the zingers thrown at each other, there’s tremendous storyline continuity here, with each picking a Briscoe to be determined later, Danielson going for Matt Sydal after being lobbied by Larry Sweeney, McGuinness picking Delirious to offset Sydal and having tapped Danielson out at The Chicago Spectacular Night 2, Danielson picking Aries to have a fellow former ROH Champion on the team, and McGuinness picking Strong to offset Aries (although not explaining that well since he was too focused on throwing shade.)

Race to the Top Tournament Semifinal Match
El Generico vs. Davey Richards


Damn good semifinal to showcase Richards significantly well in defeat while also advancing Generico as the tournament’s Cinderella story. Richards dominated, specifically targeting Generico’s left arm. This strategy started to show a payoff when Richards finally got the Kimura Lock placed on Generico for a very good false finish, but it was not to be.

The big mistake by Richards came when he overconfidently went for the Shooting Star Press. Generico kneed him in the midsection, setting up for a Yakuza kick and Top Rope Brainbuster. Generico’s struggle to regain equilibrium before going for the actual pin was magnificent, truly selling this as an intelligent act of desperation after having been manhandled.

Rating: ***3/4

Race to the Top Tournament Semifinal Match
Jack Evans vs. Claudio Castagnoli


A good but too short of an effort from Evans here to be anything special. This isn’t exactly Goldberg or Samoa Joe having an insane sprint against Brock Lesnar. This was nothing more than a simple of what could possibly be should the stars line up right. The smaller, more agile Evans against the taller, stronger Castagnoli was everything it promised, this just needed a bit more, but considering one of these guys was pulling triple-duty, it’s understandable this didn’t reach its full potential.

Sweet ‘n Sour Inc have another tremendous segment bullying Bobby Dempsey. He’s forced in a sauna suit to ride a stationary bike for up 3 hours in a sweat-inducing “box of doom.”

$10,000 Challenge Match
Bryan Danielson, Jay Briscoe, Matt Sydal, & Austin Aries vs. Nigel McGuinness, Mark Briscoe, Delirious, & Roderick Strong


All sports-entertainment and honestly questionable booking, as this fell apart due to the Briscoes fucking off and Delirious & Strong apparently not over their issue which was supposed to have been resolved already in Tokyo. That left McGuinness against Danielson, Sydal, and a babyface Aries to overcome the odds. But then Danielson gets selfish on Sydal, so Aries gives Danielson karma and takes the victory after a 450 Splash. With a booker not burned out, this could’ve been something special while sticking to storyline continuity.

Rating: less than ***

SNS come check on Dempsey and discover his smaller brother, assuming that it’s Bobby. Then they find him chowing down on chocolate candy in the room, shutting the door on him again.

Race to the Top Tournament Final
El Generico vs. Claudio Castagnoli


Confirmed as the main events for Death Before Dishonor V weekend are both hardcore matches, first in Boston will be Generico teaming with Steen against the Briscoes, then in Philly will be what appears to be a big mistake for such a position, that being the Resilience & Delirious against Sydal and the No Remorse Corps.

As for this main event, simply an incredible one. While they would go on to have their top encounter to date under the polish of WWE, this told the tremendous story of Castagnoli busting out one power move after another, but Generico continuing his Cinderella story. Castagnoli managed to avoid the Top Rope Brainbuster, which was smart to protect that finisher, but the peak came when he used the positioning to provide a fantastic near-fall after a Super Alpamari Waterslide.

With his arm and shoulder badly ravaged by Richards, Generico still gave his all here, busting out various counters, the peak being a Ricola Bombs into a Hurricanrana jackknife pin. But after sustaining so much damage already in the evening, once the Release Ricola Bomb was hit, Castagnoli’s fate going into the biggest match of his career against Morishima was sealed. What an incredible main event and atmosphere, elevating 2 names in the process that SHOULD be able to be close out more cards in the future. But with the way Sapolsky has been booking in the past year, let’s wait and see before getting too excited.

Rating: ****1/4

Not as strong as remembered, but a great show carried by Generico with him providing easily the 2 best matches of the night. Recommended.

Now we got a doozy of an annual double shot here, my friends.

Up next – Death Before Dishonor V Night 1
Matches will include:
Chris Hero vs. Nigel McGuinness
Matt Sydal vs. Bryan Danielson
Takeshi Morishima vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Briscoe Bros. vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Indynut » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:35 am

Those shows were great.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:28 am

Death Before Dishonor V Night 1 – August 10, 2007
Taped from Boston, MA

Image

ROH Video Wire – August 1, 2007

Important news/footage in the video:
Death Before Dishonor V Night 2 on August 11 in Philly – Mike Quackenbush vs. Bryan Danielson

The DVD begins with a pre-taped Briscoes promo from a doctor’s office. They claim tonight’s hardcore main event is right up their alley and they’ll have Kevin Steen & El Generico leaving in crutches.

The Resilience come save Jack Evans from a No Remorse Corps beat down, but he doesn’t show gratitude, instead vowing to get his own faction. Because that’s what everyone thought of Evans, as a leader instead of a follower.

Pure Wrestling Rules Match
Chris Hero vs. Nigel McGuinness


After referee Todd Sinclair goes over the rules, Sweet & Sour, Inc. have their own commandments:

1. Thou shalt not interrupt Chris Hero’s magnificent athletic displays
2. Thou shalt not be British or else rope breaks are forfeited
3. Thou shalt keep their limey hands off Larry Sweeney
4. Thou shalt not use closed fists or clotheslines

Entertaining enough contest although the sports-entertainment silliness was at times just nonsense, such as the Project 161 voiceover interruption. That particular viral angle does not hold up AT ALL a decade later. Did nobody learn to stay away from all mystery voiceover angles after the Black Scorpion? As for the match, Hero was entertaining including getting a standing ovation for his antics at the beginning, SNS helping him cheat, and McGuinness trying to just rely on his wrestling to win here.

In hindsight, fuck the white-meat babyface shit the company was going for with McGuinness. I’d have ended this program right here with McGuinness choosing to show he’s far superior at playing dirty in this environment, making SNS eat shit and regretting their attempts to fuck with him. Instead Hero went over here in a flat finish, while Dempsey ate a rebound lariat in the post-match.

Rating: less than ***

Kevin Steen cuts a pre-taped promo from a wheelchair while El Generico laces his shoes. Steen wishes tonight’s main event against the Briscoes was for the Tag Titles, but understands the company wants no liability for what he and Generico will do to the champions. He ends the promo by saying they’ll be leaving in his wheelchair.

Matt Sydal vs. Bryan Danielson

It’s revealed that neither Sydal nor Austin Aries have gotten their share of the $10K from the prior show, to which Danielson states that he placed it all in an interest-bearing account. Sweeney wants Sydal’s share and Danielson agrees to just put it on the line in this match.

Most of the first several minutes were utter domination by Danielson. He just put on a clinic, displaying just how overmatched Sydal was here. But Danielson was extremely cocky, rubbing in the financial share while dominating in a fashion that would make Steen proud. This extended cockiness allowed Sydal to make a comeback with strikes and eventually extend it with a dive to the outside.

Danielson still had a comfortable figurative lead though as Sydal controlled most of the rest of the match. While Sydal had tremendous cutoffs to answer Danielson’s, he never truly sustained anything close to Danielson’s early dominance. Sydal’s stock definitely rose by not giving in to the Cattle Mutilation or standard position elbows to the head, but he still couldn’t dominate, such as getting kneed in the gut on a Shooting Star Press attempt.

Once Danielson got a triangle choke locked on and delivered more elbows to Sydal’s head while in that submission, the ref ruled Danielson the winner, knowing this wouldn’t be going any farther. Danielson mocks Sydal & Sweeney in the post-match; the two of them bicker only to embrace right before reaching the curtain. Damn good match here and it’s a shame there was never a rematch.

Rating: ***3/4

ROH Title Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Claudio Castagnoli


One of the most anticipated revisits and this definitely lived up to it. Castagnoli had tremendous scouting on display early when he baited Morishima with a faux outside powerbomb attempt off the apron, drawing the champion to block it and try sitting on the challenger’s sternum, only to collapse on the canvas and be left open to an uppercut to the shoulder blades. This tease though would be paid off later when Castagnoli went for the Ricola Bomb; all of the champion’s weight went forward, allowing him a near-fall by crushing the challenger’s sternum. Then that Ricola Bomb tease would be paid off near the finish as Castagnoli learned his lesson and kept himself balanced to deliver one successfully for another quality near-fall.

The highlight had to be Castagnoli’s brief giant swing on Morishima; although brief, it was the most electrifying moment for the Beantown crowd, blown away by his strength on display. Another quality highlight would once again be in Castagnoli’s favor, as he scouted a shotgun missile dropkick, hit an Enziguri, and delivered a Superplex on the champion.

Where Castagnoli failed was that he didn’t have the champion scouted to the absolute maximum necessary. As he had momentum after various strikes, he ran the ropes only to eat Morishima’s trademark standing lariat; this also happened earlier in a similar moment when Castagnoli ate a side slam. Castagnoli needed to bring more than just uppercuts to this championship contest; perhaps if he worked on delivering lariats and elbow strikes to diversify the blows, he’d have pulled off the upset by completely destabilizing Morishima and winning the top title in all of underground wrestling.

Had the match had just one super-hot finishing stretch before the sole backdrop driver that finished it, this would’ve easily been a MOTYC rather than just a great match. But the finish paid off Castagnoli’s evasion of Morishima’s finisher throughout the match, and while this match was missing that hot stretch to solidify Castagnoli as a show closer, his stock certainly went up, especially with the wonderful reaction he got in the post-match.

Rating: ****1/4

Hardcore Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico


No commentary for this match as Dave Prazak & Lenny Leonard are afraid of the chaos. Smart choice by them and for the booking as the violence spoke for itself. Of course, although the Chris Benoit brain research results were a few weeks away, all the open chair shots still come across badly. With that said, this was truly a frenzied main event, one that’s missing from the independents today, which is honestly both a positive and a negative.

Off the top of my head, highlight spots would include: a Fisherman’s neckbreaker on a chair; a sudden Ace Crusher from behind off a barricade to the padded floor; a double-team toss in the air onto chairs in the ring; and a Super Double Team Splash Mountain Neckbreaker. The bumps taken in this chaotic classic were just outrageous, a sign of the times in how driven all of these men were to be show-stealers and break through to bigger things in the business.

Another highlight that stood out, as it seemed to have been used as the finish to Steen’s Last Man Standing gem against Dean Ambrose at Royal Rumble 2016, was Jay shoving Steen off the ropes through a table to the outside, forcing him to take a front dive in the air. (That reminds me – we’re somehow gonna get a Jay Briscoe vs. Dean Ambrose match, or even better, an actual program between them, at some point, right?)

It was a shocking near-fall when Steen kicked out of Mark’s Cutthroat Driver after eating one on a chair, but it showed that there was no way Steen would allow himself and Generico to be denied earning another shot at the Tag Titles. It was brilliant for Steen to get the finishing touch on Jay, blocking the Butterfly Driver, kicking Jay right in the nuts, and delivering a Package Piledriver on a ladder. (Very safely executed it look like, which was a pleasant surprise, and the second time a ladder has been involved in this program, signifying this program will obviously end in a ladder match.)

Having earned another shot at the titles, Steen says he wants the shot on the next show in Hartford, this time in a cage match. Sounds all good on paper. As for this match, it’s everything said at the time and all these years later, with the lack of commentary enhancing the match and allowing the Boston crowd’s enthusiasm to be clearly heard for the DVD viewer. A classic match for all inspiring to learn from in both positive and negative ways.

Rating: ****1/2

Strongly recommended for the quality triple main event, including 2 back to back classics to close it out. But if anyone has the matches already on compilations, then pass. The Briscoes, Steen, and Generico are really carrying this company creatively, as Morishima is over but not quite as much as one would hope 6 months into his excursion, and all the faction arcs are looking uglier with each event.

But faction warfare has a gem for us to headline what should be an even better event for this historic double shot weekend. And 10 months in, can Brent Albright finally live up to his hype from OVW?

Up next – Death Before Dishonor V Night 2
Matches will include:
Mark Briscoe vs. El Generico
Sara Del Rey vs. Lacey
Mike Quackenbush vs. Bryan Danielson
Jay Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen
Takeshi Morishima vs. Brent Albright
The Resilience & Delirious vs. No Remorse Corps & Matt Sydal

Indynut
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Indynut » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:33 am

2007 was an awesome year for ROH.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Mr. Mojo Risin » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:42 am

Totally agree at that time The Briscoes vs. Steen/Generico was carrying the company creatively. I think Gabe was putting way too much emphasis on the faction warfare which was an absolute dud. I liked Morishima as champion. Arguably the most underrated in the company's history.

Can't wait for your review of Man Up. I want to compare notes with your review and what it was like live at the show.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Indynut » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:56 am

In my opinion, ROH had too many factions at the time. However, I think They had great names for their factions.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:14 am

Death Before Dishonor V Night 2 – August 11, 2007
Taped from Philadelphia, PA

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The Briscoes want one of their singles gimmick match clashes against Kevin Steen & El Generico right now to kick off the show. Steen brags about beating the Briscoes so frequently, then says he made a promise to his mother about contacting her right now, so go get ‘em, Generico! Jay and Steen brawl to the back.

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Mark Briscoe vs. El Generico


Crazy opener here, but just short enough to not be an all-time classic one. Mark controlled early, including a Shooting Star Press to the outside, but Generico took him out with a suplex off the barricade to the floor. Likewise, Once Mark got control after a Springboard Moonsault Press, Generico cut him off with a backdrop suplex off the top rope to the floor. This allowed the match to be even, but Mark would sustain enough energy at the entrance ramp to hit an Exploder Suplex on the steel, however he was too fatigued and damaged to go for the immediate pin fall.

Steen would need to appear with a ladder to distract Mark, allowing Generico to pull off the victory via his trademark through-the-ropes Tornado DDT. The reaction to this matched any other time that the performer now known as Sami Zayn has executed it, with the bonus of it being the finisher thanks to the rules in this match. Post-match, Steen leaves with the upper hand on Jay in a brief brawl. Why isn’t this on a compilation yet?

Rating: ***3/4

The No Remorse Corps have an entertaining enough segment with Larry Sweeney & Matt Sydal to promote tonight’s main event against the Resilience & Delirious. BOOKER BURNOUT MOMENT: the failure of Sydal and Roderick Strong to point back to their time as Generation Next stablemates and winning the feud against the Embassy; of course, Austin Aries could’ve reminded everyone that those two didn’t do it alone.

Shimmer Title Match
Sara Del Rey vs. Lacey


Good effort although a bit sloppy and borderline business-exposing at times, lacking the crispness of their male contemporaries. Del Rey dominated early and looked to make this a squash after a hard roaring elbow, but missed a Senton on the floor. This allowed Lacey to dominate most of the match by targeting the champion’s back, but she’s no Roderick Strong as indicated by how much Del Rey mustered after a comeback and getting the victory.

Rating: less than ***

Brent Albright is excited for tonight’s ROH Title match against Takeshi Morishima, doing a great job of reminding any lapsed viewer of his 2 finishers – the Half Nelson Suplex and the Crowbar submission.

Mike Quackenbush vs. Bryan Danielson

Quality match as expected with Danielson a complete star to the Philly crowd. This allowed him to milk the crowd more upon breaking a 5-count as they said his phrase for him and he amusingly told referee Todd Sinclair “I have… a perfectly legal hold.” Then once he reminded Sinclair moments later that he has a 5-count, the crowd popped yet again; this is on par with Danielson’s crowd psychology brilliance at The Epic Encounter II.

In addition to being as over here to this audience as modern-day Brock Lesnar, Danielson pulled out excellent submission work, including a modified Dragon Sleeper. Even when his right shoulder became a problem, it just seemed that with an ROH Title match just 2 weeks away, Danielson wasn’t gonna be denied a victory on this night, no matter how much Quackenbush targeted this injured body part.

Quackenbush was terrific too, but perhaps his tendency to methodically pace his submission work was what ultimately bit him, because Danielson managed to make a comeback by giving him a one-stop trip to Suplex City. Although Quackenbush would keep the match even with his fair share of flying (something Danielson didn’t bring to this match, not that he needed to in order to obtain the victory), he lacked the killer instinct of the former ROH Champion.

Killer instinct is the perfect summary of the difference in this matchup, right there on display at the end. Once Danielson got Quackenush locked in a Triangle Choke and started laying in those elbows to the head, Quackenbush had no answer at all to break it through technique, nor the fighting spirit of KENTA or AJ Styles to absorb the blows and utilize sheer willpower.

There’s another BOOKER BURNOUT OPPORTUNITY here: Danielson cut a boring promo earlier on the show about Quackenbush, when in fact his promo should’ve been included after this match, with him saying that he’d now keep a keen eye on the Morishima vs. Albright match. Perhaps this should’ve been done as a post-match promo at ringside, as it’d give Danielson more time to connect with the crowd as they worship him for his deity-like star power, while also promoting Manhattan Mayhem II to the Philly audience and convince them to make the relatively short trip to NYC.

Rating: ***3/4

Last Man Standing Match
Jay Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen


Good storyline match with the two just exchanging bombs and fisticuffs. Memorable bombs in this one include Steen tossing Jay into a barricade via a Powerbomb, Jay blocking a Package Piledriver on the apron to instead deliver a Death Valley Driver on it, and even Jay hitting a perfectly-timed Double Underhook Piledriver to get a great pop. The finish was the most interesting though with Steen winning thanks to Generico actually interfering and giving Yakuza kicks before a Package Piledriver. So that makes Generico the Colt Cabana to Steen’s CM Punk, and it’s a shame that particular mirror image dream tag match never happened.

Announced is that in addition to their cage match on the next show in Hartford, the following night between the Briscoes and Steen & Generico will be 2/3 falls.

Rating: ***1/4

ROH Title Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Brent Albright


In what may be a surprise, it’s another of the most anticipated matches to revisit a decade later on this journey. Also probably a surprise considering the one in the contender role is that this match has stood the test of time, and without having seen any of Albright’s acclaimed OVW work, it’s difficult to imagine any of it matching, let alone topping, this classic. This is perhaps the best match of Albright’s career, and 6 months into Morishima’s reign, served as the champion’s best singles match to date. That’s the other surprise – this actually topped the prior night’s defense against Claudio Castagnoli, now regarded as one of the finest performers on the planet.

What made this a special match is that despite what an overall chore Albright had been since his debut 9-10 months earlier, the crowd was totally into him and buying into a possible title change. How that can be explained is a mystery considering that Morishima vs. Danielson was the money match and just 2 weeks away, but the audience was totally behind him. It certainly helped that Morishima made him look like a million bucks, with the champion succumbing to numerous bombs that topped what even Shingo and Samoa Joe had done to him earlier in the year. Albright also wouldn’t take no for an answer on the Crowbar submission, eventually getting in locked on multiple times, hoping he could deliver enough pain for a tap out and at least marginalize the champion. That certainly came into play when Morishima went for his standard lariats on the outside, which Albright ducked and the champion’s left arm hit a ring post.

Morishima was plenty of fun when he gained control, but he couldn’t outshine Albright in this match, who was relentless as the crowd was behind him. Having been unable to hit it earlier, once Albright hit a Half Nelson Suplex, the champion had fighting spirit so another one was delivered instantly for an EXCELLENT near-fall. The crowd actually believed it was a 3-count, buying into this hook, line, and sinker. This topped another great counter earlier in the match when Morishima went for the hip attack, only to get caught midair and dumped with a German Suplex.

When Morishima’s first successful backdrop driver was hit, it was smart for it to be out of desperation to break the Crowbar to explain it being a near-fall; that it was desperate AND a near-fall elevated Albright’s stock. His stock was elevated when he used Morishima’s rope-running against him, hitting an overhead suplex, but once he got dumped on his shoulder on a German Suplex, this was over. Albright would kick out after that and a lariat, but had nothing left to prevent the backdrop driver.

Just a sensational match with all kinds of frenzied drama and teased title changes, elevating the stock of what had been a very humdrum run so far by Albright, and showing that Morishima had the killer instinct to weather yet another storm. The post-match reaction to Albright was well-deserved, and one has to wonder if this match is just his peak, or the beginning of him finally living up to the hype he had earned from his OVW run.

Rating: ****1/2

Hardcore Match
The Resilience & Delirious vs. No Remorse Corps & Matt Sydal


Although there are definitely quite a few vacuum highlights, this was incredibly disappointing a decade later, coming nowhere near the emotional epic that a match this highly regarded should’ve been. The big takeaway, and it is definitely a positive one, is that Erick Stevens came out of this match much like Albright just did about an hour earlier, getting a standing ovation after succumbing to Strong’s Boston Crab that followed up a Super Uranage onto a ladder.

Some of the other highlights to get out of the way include Matt Cross catapulting himself off the wall to hit a Somersault Senton off the top of stacked bleachers, as well as him hitting a Flagpole Splash off of a scaffold through a table. In addition, Stevens forced Davey Richards to eat a Power Slam off the apron through a table.

But that’s the big problem with this match. This is the same building that played home to the most important ROH vs. CZW non-singles battles. Those matches weren’t just collections of dangerous highlights, but had genuine emotion. There was never once in this matchup that the audience generally gave a shit about who won and lost. There wasn’t that factor to justify this going for over half a fucking hour, nor was it one-of-the-time War Games type rules like the works of art that concluded the ROH vs. CZW and Embassy vs. Generation Next feuds.

Cut about 10-15 minutes off of this with it being an actual storyline that mattered, and this would’ve held up as tremendously as the prior night’s hardcore classic between the Briscoes and Steen & Generico. Instead, it’s a good but highly frustrating, disappointing poor man’s version of the main events from Steel Cage Warfare and Death Before Dishonor IV.

Rating: ***1/2

Only the main event is on a compilation, and one of the 4 other gems, including the surprising MOTYC, makes this a must-have on its own. Throw in a hot opener and pretty good follow-up match later on the card to advance the hottest angle since Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer, plus a quality technical affair between two of the best technicians on the underground, and this needs to be in everyone’s collection.

We are inching closer to what many consider the Match of the Year, but before then… is the ongoing Feud of the Year favorite becoming oversaturated with too many gimmick matches? And is it wise to even bother having an ROH Title match booked the night before the money encounter?

Up next – Caged Rage
Matches will include:
The Resilience vs. The Prehistoric Wolves & Jason Blade
Takeshi Morishima vs. Brent Albright vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Briscoe Bros. vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:52 am

Caged Rage – August 24, 2007
Taped from Hartford, CT

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ROH Video Wire – August 17, 2007

Important news/footage in the video:
Tank Toland & Larry Sweeney have a pre-taped segment from the same athletic facility used to bully Bobby Dempsey on the A Fight at the Roxbury DVD release, and this time they’re waiting for him to return to the scene of the crime.
Dempsey arrives with unhealthy potato chips and a bottle of Pepsi, which Toland spits in his face. Dempsey is then forced to drag a wheelchair-ridden Toland via weight machine cables, which he fails miserably at. This is just tremendous and since this edition of the Video Wire got erroneously yanked off YouTube, is hopefully included on the Ring of Hero compilation.
In another SNS segment, Sweeney confirms that after 8 months of separation, the Kings of Wrestling finally collide as Chris Hero vs. Claudio Castagnoli is official for Manhattan Mayhem II. Zero buzz whatsoever for this supposedly marquee match even with Castagnoli just having a couple hot nights of performances. As ineffective as faction warfare is, booker Gabe Sapolsky got the Austin Aries & Roderick Strong split right in how quickly their singles match finally happened (just 6 weeks afterwards); had it waited as long as this, there’d have been significantly diminished buzz for it too.
Caged Rage on August 24 in Hartford – Takeshi Morishima has a three-way ROH Title defense against Brent Albright and Claudio Castagnoli. Why bother with this the night before Bryan Danielson finally cashes in his rematch clause in a marquee Manhattan Center dream match? Speaking of, a reminder of that is shown right after Morishima’s Death Before Dishonor V highlights.

Jimmy Jacobs is victorious over Rhett Titus in his return from knee surgery.

THE BIG PAYOFF OF THE HANGMEN THREE FORMATION AS THEY BULLY THE LIZARD MAN, MOTHERFUCKERS~!

The Resilience’s Future Up For Grabs
The Resilience vs. The Prehistoric Wolves & Jason Blade


If Austin Aries loses the match, then the Resilience is done. Matt Cross or Erick Stevens get replaced in the Resilience going forward by whoever should possibly defeat them in this match. SOMEONE PLEASE BEAT ARIES PLEASE PLEASE MOTHERFUCKING PRETTY PLEASE.

Pelle Primeau is originally on the thrown-together trios team but is taken out by the No Remorse Corps’ Davey Richards, thus causing Richards to team up for the first time ever in ROH with Eddie Edwards.

Pretty fun trios match here with the Resilience willing to play dirty when Richards was on the ring, both to offset his bullshit and prove their worth to stick together. Not a completely crisp match as Cross and Blade were out of sync on a Tilt-a-Whirl Head Scissors at the beginning, but plenty of quality action to really enjoy this.

While the tag team now known as The Wolves visually looked like a natural pair more than a year before becoming an official tandem, it was Blade & Edwards as the usual partners at this time, and they played just generic babyfaces in this match. Edwards particularly looks to have some potential, but it was Stevens that came out of this looking like a star again, similar to Roman Reigns many years later.

Polish the early portion and make tag legalities a bit crisper too since there was no heat segment, and actually have a stipulation that the crowd cares about, then this would’ve been a near-classic. At least the stipulation worked with the story told in the match, making this result meaningful.

A post-match promo airs from the back for the Resilience, who feel stronger than ever. Aries stands out as being significantly improved, which obviously has to be credited to his brief time in TNA before this.

Rating: ***1/2

Bryan Danielson has an extended squash over PAC. A shame a rematch could never happen. Danielson’s post-match promo talking about Morishima for tomorrow really brings into question for Albright and Castagnoli to have an ROH Title match tonight.

ROH Title – Elimination Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Brent Albright vs. Claudio Castagnoli


Very fun match with never a dull moment. The first fall was all about highlight Albright, which was smart to do since he’d be the first elimination. He just tossed Morishima around, something Castagnoli couldn’t do, even causing the champ to take an extended rest on the outside. Morishima’s lack of scouting came back to bite him against Albright, who countered a hip attack with a German Suplex.

With the champ resting, Albright also countered a flying uppercut attempt by Castagnoli by locking on the Crowbar submission. Somehow Castagnoli was able to roll forward as it was locked in, hitting a surprising cradle pin. But the damage was done, while Morishima had plenty of time to recover. Castagnoli had an answer when Morishima countered a German Suplex by just deadweight sitting on the remaining challenger, paying off that Castagnoli had a regular one scouted earlier.

From that point on, Morishima just had his way with Castagnoli. There were double stomps aplenty, reminding me that we sadly never got Low Ki vs. Morishima. Castagnoli was valiant with his kick outs, even blocking a backdrop driver, but once one was hit, that was the ballgame. As if this result wasn’t obvious to make it official:

MORISHIMA VS. DANIELSON. ROH TITLE. MANHATTAN MAYHEM II. OH FUCK YES~!

Rating: ***3/4

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


While a good cage match, this environment actually hindered these teams from doing what they do best – beat the shit out of each without any limitations. Sure, Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer were great at brawling all over the place, but they also had the kind of hatred to wanna be caged inside eventually. So it’s to no surprise that the extended segment outside the ring before getting into the ring would be the highlight, with numerous highspots including Steen going for a Quebrada off the cage fence to the Briscoes in the front rows.

This had juice for the champions, but the match lacked the emotional juice seen throughout the East Coast for this Feud of the Year favorite. Steen falling through a table on the outside lacked the gravitas of his table bump 2 weeks earlier, even though it made sense to leave Generico as the weak link to fall prey to the Doomsday Device and Double Underhook Piledriver. But this ended flat, and it was a good call for Steen to get the heat back afterwards by pummeling the Briscoes with chairs, including a pumphandle shoulderbreaker on one.

Ultimately, a cage match should’ve never been in this feud. With a fresh mind as lead booker, there was the obvious singles match not done yet (and still hasn’t been a decade later) between Jay and Generico, while Mark and Steen could’ve had a killer rematch. There are other possibilities too had certain creative directions not taken elsewhere – perhaps kicking off a program on this card with a dream match main event of Kings of Wrestling vs. Steen & Generico?

Suffice to say, no juice for tomorrow’s 2/3 falls match coming out of this, but it’ll have heat anyway since the Briscoes are on a clean sweep throughout 2007 in that environment and the challengers are just too excellent to be too watered down by a dwindling booker.

Rating: ***1/2

Skip this show as 2 of the matches are on compilations, and just wait for the trios match to be on one or get added to the YouTube channel.

It’s that time. It’s the 2007 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Match of the Year. But is it actually the Match of the Year? Does it even belong in the same conversation as the Briscoes vs. Motor City Machine Guns and Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer feud-ending cage match? Elsewhere, will common sense come into play, and will a supposed money match overcome its incredibly flawed journey to deliver something special?

Up next – Manhattan Mayhem II
Matches will include:
Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Matt Cross & Erick Stevens
Jack Evans vs. Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong
Chris Hero vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson
Briscoe Bros. vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:59 am

Manhattan Mayhem II – August 2007
Taped from New York, NY

Image

The less said about the opening promo from the Hangmen Three, the better. WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT THIS WAS THE RIGHT KICKOFF SEGMENT FOR SUCH A HOT DVD RELEASE?

Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Matt Cross & Erick Stevens

Action-packed opener with plenty of dazzling moves. That’s not the big takeaway though. That would go to the finish, as Cross failed to appear on time to cut off Quackenbush from breaking a pin, causing Quackenbush to just stand with his thumb up his ass. No matter how much the company wants them to be, Cross & Stevens are simply not Jack Evans & Roderick Strong. Period.

Rating: less than ***

Jack Evans says he has a mouthpiece now, which is obviously Julius Smokes he’s left off-camera to make his appearance a huge reveal later. Smokes doing bird noises, as well as this entire premise, gets legitimate LOLZ from me. Who thought this was gonna draw money? If Smokes had to be brought back, perhaps even at the risk of seeming as a poor man’s Rottweilers, it should’ve been for the No Remorse Corps. Since that faction didn’t have strong talkers, he can be their violent, overbearing hype man, turning back heel, having patched things up with Rocky Romero (recall the events at Dedicated) and feeling like he got tossed aside by the company in the company’s PPV era. It’s so simple: “ROH told the greatest manager of all-time that Homicide’s gone, so there’s no place for me! BULLSHIT! NO REMORSE MOTHAFUCKAS!” In essence, Romero plays the same role of a few years earlier (this time without the deadweight of Ricky Reyes), while Strong would be Homicide, and Davey Richards would be Low Ki.

Glory By Honor VI weekend on November 2 and November 3 in Philly and back here in NYC will be KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, Takeshi Morishima, and motherfucking Mitsuharu Misawa.

On one hand, it’s Misawa in the States. On the other hand, he’s looked totally cooked and broken down, similar to Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX and 31. But can Misawa do what Undertaker would do afterward against Brock Lesnar, and have a classic or two to cap off his legacy in his twilight?

Jack Evans vs. Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong

Smokes gets quite the pop once he’s revealed. Total goodwill pop stemming from Final Battle 2006 and Respect is Earned. His promo is grating, revealing the faction name will be the Vulture Squad. Zero buys.

After a decent 10 minutes or so of action, this fell into the sports-entertainment trap, and no matter how well the Manhattan Center audience responded, came straight out of the playbook of the dying days of WCW. This had a ref bump, generic NRC beatdown, Ruckus introduced as the Vulture Squad’s “chocolate member” (a shame this angle didn’t come 5-10 years later for much superior African-American high-flyers such as Rich Swann, Shane Strickland, Lio Rush, and Cedric Alexander), the Resilience getting involved, a steel chair being used, and instead of the match just being thrown out, Aries won while Evans walked away with Ruckus, seemingly not giving a shit about the result. This was all over the place and a far cry from the chaos that closed out Midnight Express Reunion. Why is anyone supposed to be invested in any of this like they were with the Embassy vs. Generation Next and ROH vs. CZW? Terrible angle to ruin what could’ve been a show-stealing match, with no lasting value whatsoever, serving as nothing more than short-term junk candy. GIVE ME SOME ACTUAL NOURISHMENT, DAMMIT.

Rating: less than ***

Jimmy Jacobs says he has a new purpose and it’ll soon be revealed. Project 161 couldn’t be more obvious for him at least.

Aries cuts another quality heated promo. Too bad it’s for an angle that lacks any cohesion.

Chris Hero vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Good match but nothing special – the best description for these two as opponents would be to call them the underground Edge vs. Christian; they’re just simply far more special teaming together.

The dueling chants couldn’t cause this match to elevate its drama, with this feeling like a forgettable weekly TV main event instead of a marquee match on a card bestowing itself as the sequel to one of the most shaft-hardening start-to-finish shows in wrestling history. Hopefully the fact that there was never a series of dramatic counters and near-falls means that this is the end of the program as Castagnoli eluded to in his post-match promo, having finished Hero off with just one Ricola Bomb. Better yet, FUCKING PAIR THEM BACK UP AND LET THEM BE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS AND LARRY SWEENEY CAN BE THEIR JIM CORNETTE.

Rating: ***1/4

ROH Title Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHy6swAxsYA

Danielson’s strategy in this one, right from the get-go, wasn’t just refreshing, but also effective, and perhaps there was a long-term story for nobody else to do this beforehand so that’d be so special and impactful on this night, and in this match: relentlessly target the champ’s left leg.

The challenger’s early dominance was really brilliant here, throwing Morishima off and keeping him off balance, even driving him into a corner to get some forearm shots in. Never before had Morishima been challenged in this manner, and it proved Danielson’s brilliance. Nice touch also in Danielson displaying athletic swagger just like he did against Samoa Joe at Midnight Express Reunion.

After that cornering, Morishima finally picked up on Danielson’s strategy, blocking a kick and just driving the champion into a corner to deliver plenty of receipts. Unfortunately, Danielson suffered a left eye injury at this point, which would turn out to be a retina injury that as of April 2009 in Houston, had not fully healed and very likely never will. While the match quality was in no way downgraded due to the injury, it’s quite obvious that the match should’ve been stopped immediately, customer satisfaction and DVD business be damned.

Here was Danielson just 364 days after suffering his right shoulder injury against Colt Cabana, and this time putting on an equally admirable performance. Had this event not already been titled beforehand, this likely would’ve become officially known as Gut Check II. Even as Morishima dominated him on the outside, Danielson found the necessary aggression to cut him off, driving the champion into the front row, AND WITH HIS LEFT RETINA FRESHLY INJURED, taking a springboard dive into the audience, just like he had foolishly done 364 days earlier with a freshly injured right shoulder.

Danielson’s injury explains his failure to have scouted Morishima’s perfectly timed standing lariat while running the ropes, and the crowd reaction to that lariat was awesome. But Danielson still managed to avoid more of the champion’s trademark blows, kicking Morishima’s left leg again when he attempted a hip attack. He went for some great submission work, which slowed the champion when he’d make a comeback. This allowed Danielson to block Morishima’s Shotgun Missile Dropkick attempt; even as he got thrown off, he sidestepped the second attempt as the champ had delayed it due to his left leg pain.

The follow-up Stepover Toehold from Danielson was also awesome, allowing him to just moments later counter a cut off a strike exchange with a sudden Half Crab. In what had to be improvised storytelling, Morishima broke out of it by just kicking Danielson’s left side of the face. But once again, Morishima was slow to move around, allowing the challenge to block a backdrop driver attempt and go for an EXCELLENT near-fall via the Small Package! What a sensational reaction for that false finish.

These two also channeled something that’d seem likelier in a Joe vs. AJ Styles match, as Danielson ducked a lariat and hit a gorgeous German Suplex with a bridge pin for a near-fall! Had Danielson ever gotten to face Brock Lesnar, I wonder if this spot would’ve been approved as an homage and storytelling strategy. Danielson wasted no time going for the elbows to the head, but Morishima resiliently got up.

However, Morishima couldn’t actually make a comeback, collapsing on his left leg to a sensational reaction. This right here is my pick for the highlight of the match. Why is that? Because it was brilliantly safe way to tell a simple story that displayed Morishima’s vulnerability, Danielson’s technical excellence, and got over just tremendously, once against showing Danielson being one of the most psychologically cream-of-the-crop performers in the history of the business.

Danielson then followed that up with stomps to the face, but made the mistake of not just doing them until referee Paul Turner would throw the match out in his favor. Perhaps the eye injury explains that as well as some fatigue as this was more than 15 minutes into this work of art. Instead, Danielson went for the Cattle Mutilation, and once Morishima reached the ropes there dueling chants again.

Danielson made an even bigger mistake going for a Super Backdrop Suplex, which was countered with a crossbody by Morishima. Danielson didn’t have enough left, his fighting spirit immediately cut off by the champion and getting beat to the punch with a monstrous lariat, followed by the backdrop driver for the finish. And what an incredibly crazy idea: Morishima has to hit his finisher just once to get the victory.

In the post-match, Danielson disagrees with crowd telling him that he’s the best in the world, saying the ROH Champion is the best in the world, and gets thanked for his outstanding effort.

The one blemish: Morishima doing nothing when they were on the outside as Danielson set his leg up on a barricade. There should’ve been some kind of struggle and that’d have made this a perfect match, one to truly measure up to the Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer feud-ending cage match and the Briscoes vs. Motor City Machine Guns for the company’s match of the year. It’s a shame those 2 matches weren’t pimped as hard as this one was to Dave Meltzer.

With that said, this was an otherwise phenomenal match with layered storytelling, living up to everyone’s hype that had been building ever since Morishima had dethroned Homicide 6 months earlier. Once again, Danielson gets credited with the best match of a colleague’s career, while further cementing his own legacy in more ways than one. While not my pick, this was a VERY worthy choice by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter readers as the 2007 Match of the Year, and one has to wonder a decade later if ROH will ever come close to contending for that award ever again.

Rating: ****3/4

Larry Sweeney rants about Claudio Castagnoli, saying this program isn’t done. Why wasn’t Gabe Sapolsky fired at this point?

Tag Titles – 2/3 Falls Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico


While this definitely shouldn’t have been the closing match over Morishima vs. Danielson, especially with the Briscoes again getting a clean sweep instead of having the historic pop of here of that streak being broken, this was an excellent main event for sure. Perhaps the reason for this closing the show was the post-match angle of Steen faking respect and then using a ladder once the Briscoes were down after being kicked in the nuts. Get that last moment to be all about building up the company’s first-ever ladder match coming up on the next PPV.

Like the night before, this started as a really good outside brawl, but this time the in-ring portions were great, complete with respect to tag legalities. The first fall didn’t have huge drama, but the second one sure did and there were some memorable highlights, the big one being that as Generico basked in the glory on the apron after hitting Jay with a through-the-ropes Tornado DDT, Mark seized the opportunity to surprise him with a sudden jump over the ropes to hit a Head-Scissors off the apron to the floor!

Steen was his usually tremendous heel self, although this lacked the major hot tag (along with the mentioned booking flaw) to have made this the classic it deserved to be. It was a huge deal when Steen kicked out of the Springboard Doomsday Device, showing the company definitely saw him as a top singles star at some point. It was no surprise that when Generico was out due to a Beal to the outside that Steen tried going at it alone, but he got his comeuppance. That it took both of the individual Briscoes’ consecutive finishers to end this also said a lot, perhaps a compromise for not breaking the clean sweep streak gimmick. Definitely looking forward to the obvious feud-ending ladder match, although in light of the absolute Hell that took place 2 months before this, there are some obvious reservations to what these four men will do in that environment.

Rating: ****

In no way was this show deserving of its sequel name, as it was quite dreadful until the double main event. But the double main event was fucking excellent, including what was voted as the Match of the Year. For show completionists, this is recommended. For just quality match collectors, watch the Observer MOTY for free on YouTube and buy the Since Day One compilation for the 2/3 falls match.

And good Lord, why wasn’t Sapolsky fired by now? Hangmen Three? Not moving on from the Sweet & Sour vs. Castagnoli program? Vulture Squad formation? Go-nowhere sports-entertainment trash that would make Vince Russo proud to ruin a dream three-way?

Up next – Motor City Madness 2007
Matches will include:
El Generico vs. Naomichi Marufuji
Takeshi Morishima vs. Erick Stevens

Indynut
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Indynut » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:42 am

I was at this show. Danielson-Morishima tore the house down.

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AlexROH
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by AlexROH » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:31 am

Read your review about the Morishima-Albright match and immediately watched it. I've not seen a lot of Albright's work, but loved his match with Pearce in the Ballroom. This one with Morishima is on the very same level (****1/4), awesome action by these two. One of the many hidden gems in ROH's history.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Mr. Mojo Risin » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:33 am

AlexROH wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:31 am
Read your review about the Morishima-Albright match and immediately watched it. I've not seen a lot of Albright's work, but loved his match with Pearce in the Ballroom. This one with Morishima is on the very same level (****1/4), awesome action by these two. One of the many hidden gems in ROH's history.
Albright worked well with Pearce. Other than that he was pretty forgettable.

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ShaunSperling
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by ShaunSperling » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:49 am

The "Live in Tokyo" show seemed like such a big deal at the time.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by maxx_powerz » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:37 pm

I think a stable led by Jack Evans was always going to be ... different, and not particularly serious, outside of the fued with the NRC. So I kind of liked the name and Smokes as the hype man, letting him show a different character. But Ruckus and Jigsaw killed the thing dead for me. Human Tornado would have been perfect IMO.

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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by Mr. Mojo Risin » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:43 am

maxx_powerz wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:37 pm
I think a stable led by Jack Evans was always going to be ... different, and not particularly serious, outside of the fued with the NRC. So I kind of liked the name and Smokes as the hype man, letting him show a different character. But Ruckus and Jigsaw killed the thing dead for me. Human Tornado would have been perfect IMO.
Totally agree with this. I was so looking forward to this faction and it didn't amount to shit.

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supersonic
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Re: Project Rewatch - ROH: The Good Shit

Post by supersonic » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:52 pm

Motor City Madness 2007 – September 14, 2007
Taped from Detroit, MI

Image

ROH Video Wire – August 31, 2007



Important news/footage in the above video:
Bryan Danielson’s left eye could not look straight due to his injury against Takeshi Morishima so he got emergency surgery shortly after Manhattan Mayhem II. So foolish for nobody to call the match off immediately.
Why exactly is there no mention in the Video Wire that the Man Up PPV will be headlined by Morishima vs. Danielson II and the historic, first-ever, feud-ending ladder match between the Briscoes and Kevin Steen & El Generico?

Another ho-hum show overall, so C&P treatment again when appropriate, this time from JD Dunn. Very disappointing considering this is ROH’s Motown follow-up to WrestleMania 23 weekend.

[quote[The Briscoes make fun of Project 161 for “writin’ poetry on the internet.” Jay works in the word “daggone.”[/quote]

As a result of winning a four-way against Delirious, Kevin Steen, and Roderick Strong early on the card, Erick Stevens faces Takeshi Morishima tonight for the ROH Title. Can he step up and have powerhouse matches against the monster heel on par with Shingo, Brent Albright, Samoa Joe, and Claudio Castagnoli?
[Jimmy] Jacobs tells Rebecca Bayless that it’s not about tonight but about what happens next. Lacey tells us to wait and see. Hmm…
Dream Match
El Generico vs. Naomichi Marufuji


Very good match at the end to elevate Generico’s stock. Had the main portions of the match developed a bit more of a story to have Marufuji soften Generico’s neck and shoulders, this would’ve turned out to be tremendous. That’s because Generico’s resilience after the first Shiranui would’ve been more dramatic, although it’s difficult to find fault based on the monster reaction he got with his foot reaching the bottom rope, but not quite as epic as Bryan Danielson doing similar against KENTA 363 days prior to this.

Generico very obviously came out the star in this match, only being briefly sabotaged from the Yakuza Kick, absorbing Marufuji’s cutoffs and then hitting it anyway. The drama was definitely noticeable when he hit a standard Brainbuster for a near-fall; that they never teased the Top Rope Brainbuster at least is another flaw in this match though. But Marufuji having to take his game a step further with a Super Shiranui to obtain the victory spoke volumes, as well as his insistence to get the crowd behind the Generic Luchador in the post-match as they exchanged respect.

This match makes the “What if?” that never came to be even more glaring: KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico.

Rating: ***3/4

ROH Title Match
Takeshi Morishima vs. Erick Stevens


Like the other match reviewed, this was designed solely to use a puro star to elevate an ROH rookie and it worked even better despite this match not being quite as good but pretty close. Stevens winning the fans over here was quite impressive considering that the fans apparently weren’t happy of missing out on Morishima vs. Steen or Morishima vs. Strong II.

The story here was a bit simpler: Stevens absorbs the larger Morishima’s powerful blows, but keeps managing to make comebacks and avoid the backdrop driver. Once the gut wrench powerbomb was finally hit, the crowd exploded in a true career highlight for Stevens. But it obviously wasn’t enough as Morishima picked up on the repertoire of Stevens, dead-weighting and sitting on Stevens when he went for a second German Suplex.

Morishima surprisingly gave respect to Stevens, but perhaps that’s a red herring for what’s to come. Stevens has some potential by this point, but the lack of charisma is concerning. My suggestion: find a direction that will pair him up with Albright to form a powerhouse team, with the two eventually making a complete heel turn against Steen & Generico for a Tag Titles program sometime in 2008.

Rating: ***1/2

Get this DVD cheap for the 2 reviewed matches as they’re worth seeing. Now it’s the big one. It’s the end of the Feud of the Year Front Runner. It’s the first-ever ladder match in company history. And it’s the rematch of the classic that turned out to win the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Match of the Year. Plus.. the payoff to the Project 161 viral direction. And the farewell of Matt Sydal as well, capping off his underground run against his greatest career rival Delirious, plus 2 major debuts!

It’s time to simply Man Up!

Up next – Man Up
Matches will include:
The entire PPV broadcast
Lacey & Sara Del Rey vs. Amazing Kong & Daizee Haze
Delirious vs. Matt Sydal

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