100 Percent Fordified: Ring of Honor - Ring of Hardcore
Posted by Kevin Ford on 01.30.2013
Or, "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Barbed Wire."
Boston Massacre Match
Da Hit Squad (Dan Maff & Monsta Mack) vs. The Carnage Crew (HC Loc & DeVito) “Honor Invades Boston” – Wakefield, MA - 8.24.2002
Maff was still only known as Mafia at this point. Mack overhead suplexes Loc. Maff and DeVito fight on the floor. Maff sends DeVito into a guardrail and then German suplexes Loc back in the ring. DeVito punches Maff with a hand full of barbed wire. Maff comes back with a boot to the side of his head. He wraps the barbed wire around his arm and throws some punches and elbows. Loc rakes Mack’s head against the guardrails. DeVito dropkicks a chair into Maff’s face as he lay against the guardrails. Mack digs barbed wire into Loc’s head. The Crew takes control with multiple chair shots in the ring. Da Hit Squad retreat to the back. They retrieve giant plywood boards with barbed wire on them. DeVito and Maff set them up in corners next to each other. They both avoid being thrown into the boards. Mack gives Loc an enzuigiri to avoid being put through one. Mack misses a frog splash. DeVito whips him back first into one of the boards. DeVito tries hitting Mack with a hub cap. Mack ducks and spears DeVito through the other barbed wire board. Maff gives Loc the Burning Hammer for the pin at 11:03. Garbage wrestling from garbage wrestlers. Lots of logic leaps in this one, and violence for the sake of violence. Not a great way to kick this comp off. *1/2
No Rope Barbed Wire Match
Homicide vs. Steve Corino “War of the Wire” – Framingham, MA – 11.29.2003
Homicide is in his Natural Born Sinners gear. Aside from the barbed wire wrapped around the ropes, a table wrapped in barbed wire is also present in the ring. Both men are tentative when going to lock-up. Corino actually falls out of the ring, under the wire. Homicide mounts Corino and goes after the ear he smacked at their previous match. Both guys avoid being thrown into the wire. Homicide goes for some quick roll-ups. Corino throws Homicide armpit first into the wire. Corino digs a barb into his forehead. Corino bites the open wound. Corino slingshots Homicide into the wire. Corino picks up a barbed wire bat. Homicide ducks it and hits Corino with a chair. He DDT’s Corino onto the chair. Homicide pulls out a fork from his boot and jabs Corino in the forehead repeatedly. On the floor, Homicide punctures Corino’s ear with the fork. In the ring Homicide stomps the bat into Corino’s face. Homicide rakes his forehead into the wire. Homicide swings the bat across the top of Corino’s head. Corino monkey flips him into the wire! From the floor, Corino puts Homicide in a tree of woe in the wire. Corino punches Homicide in the crotch. Homicide sends Corino to the corner. He knees Corino into the wire, but also gets caught in it himself. Corino gets two with a body slam. He puts on a Cobra Clutch. Homicide backs Corio through the barbed wire table to escape it. Homicide then gets two with an Ace Crusher. Homicide throws a guardrail in the ring which hits Corino in the head. Corino whips Homicide leg first into the wire. Corino’s crew set up the guardrail on top of four chairs. Julius Smokes chases them off. Corino suplexes Homicide through the guardrail. Roger kicks out Corino’s leg and hits a Shining Wizard. He puts on the STF. Guillotine LeGrande pulls out a bottle of rubbing alcohol and throws it in Homicide’s face! Corino felt some of that too. While they’re recovering, LaGrande and Julius Smokes get in a fight. Corino gets one with a clothesline. He gives Homicide two piledrivers. Corino puts on some protective gloves and applies a barbed wire assisted Cobra Clutch. Smokes thinks about throwing in the towel. Homicide tells him not to just as Corino puts on a bodyscissors. Smokes throws in the towel at 20:52, giving Corino the win. I dig the symmetry between this and the “Bitter Friends” finish. They didn’t do the best job filling all twenty minutes even if the spots were cool. This was only the slightest step down from their previous match, which given the stipulation is slightly disappointing. Side note: the commentary team should be commended for portraying the brutality of the match and the hatred between the two men. ***1/2
ROH World Championship – Steel Cage Match
Samoa Joe (Champion) vs. Jay Briscoe “At Our Best” – Elizabeth, NJ – 3.13.2004
Jay goes right for the cage door. Joe hip tosses him back to the center of the ring. Joe holds onto his arm while tossing him about. Jay trips Joe and goes for the door again. Joe stops him but gets booted to the mat for his troubles. Jay ducks a clothesline and goes for the door. Joe grabs his legs. He folds Jay up in a German suplex. He tosses Jay head first into the cage. While Jay is down, Joe kicks the cage door into Mark Briscoe’s face and locks the cage door with a chain. Jay is now busted open. Joe drops a knee for two. Blood is left on the cage as Joe rubs Jay’s head into it. He facewash kicks Jay into the cage twice, causing blood to go to the floor. Jay fights up and boots Joe to the mat. Jay climbs the cage. Joe follows and gives him a super Saito suplex! Joe lights him up with strikes in the corner. Jay gives Joe his own Saito suplex. Joe follows him to the top rope. Jay brings him down with a super Ace Crusher! When he recovers, Joe looks for a Dragon suplex. Jay kicks him in the crotch to block, so Joe gives him an enzuigiri instead. Jay gets up first and goes to climb out of the cage. Joe of course follows. Jay is able to kick Joe down, but he also loses his balance and falls back to the mat. Joe gives Jay such a hard Ole kick that the cage is broken. That works for Jay though, as he is close to climbing out of the cage through that opening. Joe stops him and powerbombs him into the STF. Joe lets go when Jay refuses to quit. Joe gets blood all over himself by throwing slaps. Jay successfully delivers the Jay Driller but is too worn out to make the most of it. Mark Briscoe looks to climb the cage to help out Jay. However, AJ Styles comes out and gives him the Styles Clash on the floor. Joe stops Jay from climbing out the cage. He gives him a super Muscle Buster for the pin at 14:23. Years later this is still a totally sick match. Watching Jay bleed so much that it clots is one of the most disgusting, brutal sights I’ve seen in wrestling. It added so much to the match and got the crowd going totally ballistic. Joe’s super Muscle Buster was a killer finish. This was a sight to see. ****
Scramble Cage Match
The Carnage Crew (HC Loc, DeVito, Masada & Justin Credible) vs. Special K (Izzy, Dixie, Deranged & Angel Dust) “At Out Best” – Elizabeth, NJ – 3.13.2004
This match is under War Games rules. Loc whips the crap out of Dixie with a belt. He also uses the belt to send Dixie into the cage walls and to choke him. Dixie throws powder into Loc’s face. DeVito comes in and gives Dixie a side Russian leg sweep off the top rope. He and Loc toss him into the side of the cage and hit the Carnageplex. Deranged enters and does some obnoxious flexing. He armdrags Loc and gives DeVito a Frankensteiner. Loc powerbombs him into the cage. Masada comes in with a ladder. Credible gets in a brawl with a bunch of the Special K members. Izzy climbs to the top of the cage. Masada meets him up top after propping the ladder on the cage. Izzy dropkicks Masada to the ring, moonsaulting back onto everyone the floor! Izzy then comes in legally, but gets suplexed face first into the ladder in the corner. All of Special K and Credible come into the ring. Dusty Rhodes makes his way to the ring to help the Crew dispose of the Special K kids. Ox Baker comes out to bring Rhodes to the floor. Loc throws Deranged into the cage. Credible cleans house with a kendo stick. The fight spills to the floor, leaving Masada in the ring with Slim J and Deranged. J does sky twister press off the cage onto everyone on the floor. Masada does a 360 splash onto everyone right after. Two tables are set up on top of each other in one corner of the ring. Angel Dust gets powerbombed through both tables from DeVito. That gets the Carnage Crew the win at 12:13. Mindless spots, bleeding for no reason, and incredibly random appearances from Baker and Rhodes do not make for a great blow off. I’ll give them that the dives off the top of the cage and the finish were really cool, but otherwise there is no merit to this. Both stars I am graciously giving this are for the big spots alone. **
Chicago Street Fight
The Second City Saints (CM Punk & Ace Steel) vs. BJ Whitmer & Dan Maff “Death Before Dishonor II, Night 2” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 7.24.2004
Whitmer and Maff drag the Saints to the floor and throw them into the barricades. Back in the ring they beat down Steel while keeping Punk out. Punk pulls Whitmer out and throws him into the barricades. He and Steel throw punches and bionic elbows at Maff. Punk catches Whitmer coming off the top rope with an exploder suplex. Punk dives onto Maff. Whitmer uses a chair to stop Steel’s suicide dive, then throws it at Punk’s head. They bloody both Saint members on the floor and whip them with their belts back in the ring. Steel does a good job fighting them both off. He throws Maff face first into the barricades. Whitmer puts a table in the ring. Steel throws him into the barricades too. Punk dives in from the crowd onto Maff. In the ring Steel dropkicks a chair into Maff’s. Punk facewash kicks Whitmer thrice. As Whitmer sits in the corner, a table is set up so one edge is near his throat. Steel places a chair on his face. Punk slides a ladder into the chair into his face. He busts Whitmer open further with a belt buckle. He uses a barbed wire 2x4 on both Whitmer and Maff. Whitmer uses it to give Punk a side Russian leg sweep. Maff hits it into Punk’s crotch. He does the same thing to Steel. A barbed wire board is brought into the ring. Punk and Whitmer fight for a suplex onto it. Punk goes for a tornado DDT and gets tossed into the wire instead! Steel prevents Whitmer from hitting an exploder suplex. Maff moves the board so Steel only suplexes Whitmer onto the canvas. The board is set up in the corner. Whitmer cuts off Punk from sending Maff into it. Maff sends Punk through it with a cannonball senton! Steel then breaks the barbed wire board by throwing Maff into it. He gets two with a Tiger Driver. Everybody stands in the ring with a chair in hand. Punk and Steel take the first shots. Although reeling, then hit Whitmer and Maff back. Maff and Whitmer fire each other up and throw back more shots. Steel breaks his chair over Whitmer’s chair. Punks shot sends Maff to the floor along with Whitmer. The crowd begins to throw all their chairs into the ring. The two teams brawl on top of the sea of chairs. Maff suplexes Punk on top of them. He then suplexes Maff. Steel and Maff spill out to the floor. Maff places a ladder between the barricades leading down the aisle. He places Steel on top of it. Whitmer poises for a dive, but Punk throw him into the chairs. Steel rams the ladder into Maff’s face. He places Maff onto the ladder and Punk successfully dives onto him! In the ring, Steel hits Whitmer with a chair. They fight over who will go through a table. Steel ends up putting Whitmer through it with a tombstone piledriver off the second rope! That gives Steel the pin at 27:41. This felt like a big time feud blow off. These teams bled and killed each other for our amusement and succeeded in doing so. It was super intense and felt very real. Crazy stuff. I think it's very smart that the Saints were the staples for the first two Chicago Ridge ROH shows and had two major victories in main events. ****
Boston Street Fight
BJ Whitmer & Dan Maff vs. The Carnage Crew (HC Loc & DeVito) “Weekend of Thunder Night 1” – Wakefield, MA – 11.5.2004
Whitmer saves Maff from taking the Carnageplex. Loc brings Whitmer to the floor. DeVito dropkicks Maff out. Whitmer drop toe holds Loc into the barricades. Maff throws DeVito’s had into the barricades multiple times, busting him open. Loc crossbody’s Whitmer into the crowd. DeVito suplexes Maff onto the entrance ramp. Loc uses a spike to bust Whitmer open. DeVito stomps a chair onto Maff’s head. Loc beats down Whitmer in the ring. He boots Maff when he gets tossed back in. Maff German suplexes DeVito and Loc breaks his cover. Maff gives both Crew members chair shots. Whitmer and Maff get two counts on both members of the Crew. They fire each other up when they notice Allison Danger with two garbage cans outside the ring. She messes up throwing one of those cans into the ring. Maff hits the Crew with a chair again. He throws a chair at Danger, because hitting women with weapons is cool! Whitmer chases her off as the Crew double suplex Maff off the second rope. They hit him two trash cans simultaneously for the win at 7:50. Total crap. DUD
Fight Without Honor
BJ Whitmer & Dan Maff vs. The Carnage Crew (HC Loc & DeVito) “Final Battle 2004” – Philadelphia, PA – 12.26.2004
Whitmer and Maff send the Crew into the guardrails. Allison Danger is ringside. Loc uses the ring bell against Whitmer’s head. He then suplexes Whitmer onto the entrance ramp. Maff kicks a ladder into Loc’s face and rams it into DeVito’s mid-section. In the ring, Loc slams a chair into the side of Maff’s head. Whitmer sends a bloody DeVito into the barricades. Loc gives him a reverse DDT. The Crew slam two trash cans against Whitmer’s head. Although it got them the win in Boston, Whitmer is able to kick out. DeVito tries throwing a ladder into Whitmer’s face. Maff saves him by giving DeVito a chair shot, but then Loc throws a chair at Maff’s face. A table is propped up in the corner. DeVito moonsaults Whitmer onto a ladder. Maff is given a spike piledriver. Whitmer hits DeVito with a Kendo Stick. Loc Saito suplexes him and pins Maff for two. Whitmer suplexes Loc through the bottom part of the previously propped up table. Both teams climb ladders next to each other. They slug it out, leading to Loc and Maff being crotched on the top rope and DeVito bringing Whitmer down with a sit-out uranage. Mick Foley makes his way ringside. He dumps out a pile of thumb tackes from a stocking. Maff and DeVito rip off each others’ shirts. They hit each other with kendo sticks. DeVito gives him an Ace Crusher near the tacks but not onto them. Maff kicks out. Whitmer gives Loc a butterfly DDT for two. Maff pitches Loc to the floor. Loc however gives him a swinging DDT through a table. Whitmer gives DeVito a wrist-clutch exploder suplex onto the tacks for the pin at 14:47. Certainly this was a lot better than their previous match, but not super interesting. Once the tacks came into the play the energy picked up significantly. Maybe the least memorable Fight Without Honor ever. **1/2
Chicago Street Fight
Homicide vs. Colt Cabana “Better Than Our Best” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 4.1.2006
Homicide fails at jumping Cabana at the bell. Cabana chokes him with his ring jacket. He throws Homicide to the floor where he keeps control. Back in the ring, Cabana punches Homicide to block a hip toss. He misses the Flying Asshole but connects with a boot. Cabana pounds on Homicide in the aisleway. Back in the ring Homicide leg lariats Cabana. Back on the floor he whips Cabana into the barricades. Homicide brings back the coat hanger for the 4th Anniversary match. This time around however it’s Cabana who does the choking. Homicide throws Cabana to the floor and tope suicida’s after him. Cabana takes control on the ring apron. He brings a ladder out from under the ring. Cabana waterwheel slams Homicide before see-sawing him into the ladder in the corner. Cabana dumps the ladder on top of him. Homicide recovers and gives Cabana a tornado DDT onto the ladder. On the floor Homicide sends Cabana into the ring post. Cabana lands on the timekeeper’s table. Homicide splashes Cabana through the table. Julius Smokes gets in his own headbutts. Homicide pulls out a barbed wire board from under the ring and slides it into the ring. Homicide slams the ladder onto Cabana. Cabana suplexes Homicide onto it, bending the ladder in half. The fight over who will go into the barbed wire board. Nobody does…for now. Cabana becomes fired up from Homicide’s punches. He throws his own punches while Homicide covers up. Cabana pulls Homicide’s fork out of his boot and digs it into his forehead. Cabana wipes some of his blood on his face. He even goes after Homicide’s eye. Homicide manages to pitch Cabana to the floor. He grabs Draino from under the ring, which he poured in Cabana’s throat at “Final Battle 2005.” Cabana sees it and begins throwing punches to Homicide in the corner. Cabana gives him a rope-assisted TKO. Cabana pours rubbing alcohol into Homicide’s wounds, causing Homicide to lose his mind on the floor. Homicide begs for mercy when he gains his bearings. Cabana refuses, so Homicide kicks him low. Homicide tells the fans to throw their chairs in the ring, causing the ring to be filled with them. Both guys stupidly get hit with chairs. Cabana brings Homicide to the top rope. Cabana superplexes him into the sea of chairs for a two count. Back on the top rope they go. Homicide gives Cabana the Pepsi Plunge onto the chairs. Cabana kicks out. Homicide gets two with a lariat. Homicide holds Cabana for Julius Smokes. Smokes ends up body blocking Homicide. Cabana takes Smokes down and suplexes Homicide. Smokes gets tied to the ring ropes. Both Homicide and Cabana brings tables into the ring. Cabana sets his up on top of the barbed wire board. Homicide throws a chair at Cabana. He brings Cabana to the top rope. Cabana blocks a Frankensteiner and powerbombs Homicide through the table and onto the barbed wire board! Homicide kicks out. Cabana gets two with a lariat also. The Colt .45 puts Homicide away at 26:33. That was a tremendous finish to this blood feud, and one of my favorite ROH rivalries of all time. This had elements from all their other matches, including Cabana using some of Homicide’s old tactics against him. I personally though the powerbomb through the table should have been the finish but Cabana winning with his own move was pretty nifty too. Definitely one of my favorite ROH street fights. ****1/4
Cage of Death
Team ROH (Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer, Adam Pearce, Ace Steel, & A Mystery Partner) vs. Team CZW (Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Necro Butcher, Nate Webb, & Mystery Partner) “Death Before Dishonor IV” – Philadelphia, PA – 7.15.2006
I lieu of play by play, I'm going to recap the backstory of this feud, because context is key for your enjoyment level.
Since Ring of Honor's first show of 2006, they and Combat Zone Wrestling have been at war. It started out simple enough with Bryan Danielson defending the ROH title successfully against CZW stalwart Chris Hero. From there, things got wild and turned into a giant company vs. company battle. Throughout the months, CZW invaders would come to ROH shows looking to start fights and cause chaos. Eventually, sanctioned matches between the two sides occurred, mostly in ROH, though ROH wrestlers did make sporadic appearances on CZW shows during the time period.
While CZW had ROH's number in the majority of the matches, one ROH star stood above the pack as the one guy who could handle and defeat CZW's guys: Homicide. At the same time, Homicide was getting fed up with Ring of Honor feeling that they had done him wrong too many times. In June, referee Todd Sinclair stopped his ROH World title match with Bryan Danielson when he felt Homicide could not continue. Homicide saw that as a slight. He then would get a match with Nigel McGuinness for the Pure Championship where he got counted out (thanks to Nigel stalling and forcing Homicide to be far away from the ring). Those two events frustrated Homicide enough that he quit the company. This was a serious problem for ROH, because they knew they needed Homicide if they wanted to be successful in the Cage of Death match. Dave Prazak even flew out to Florida during an FIP weekend to ask Homicide what would convince him to come back to ROH. Homicide says he would consider returning if Jim Cornette (acting ROH commissioner) would grant him three wishes. The day of the show, Bryan Danielson ended up convincing Cornette to make him the fifth man on the ROH team since he A) has never lost to a CZW wrestler and B) is the ROH World champion. That explanation, along with there being no guarantee Homicide was around, is reason enough for Cornette to grant Danielson the fifth and final spot on team ROH.
Then comes the match itself. The Cage of Death works like War Games; the match starts with one member of each team. Every few minutes a member from one of the teams comes to join the match. ROH won the coin flip, so they will get a new team mate first. The match can only end when all members of both teams have entered the cage. The big question here is who the fifth CZW teammate is. Is it Homicide? If not, will we see him during the match?
Samoa Joe and Claudio Castagnoli start. Joe is able to whoop on Claudio for awhile and BJ Whitmer joins him. Chris Hero comes out to turn the tide in his and Claudio's favor. Bryan Danielson enters next and tells Samoa Joe to go for the Muscle Buster on Hero. As he is doing so, Bryan clips Joe's knee! Jim Cornette is flipping out as Danielson hits Joe's knee with a chair. It turns out Danielson only wanted in this match so he could injure Joe. The reason he wanted to do this is because Joe has a shot at his ROH title in a few weeks. He does not care about the ROH vs. CZW feud. He only cares that he holds onto his title. Danielson leaves, and Joe is too injured to compete any further, so this leaves Whitmer alone with Hero, Claudio, and now Nate Webb.
Ace Steel, Adam Pearce, and Butcher join the fray. Then it's time for Chris Hero to introduce CZW's final teammate. Steel wipes him out with a trashcan, but Hero is able to recover and fight back to make the announcement. Hero decide to put aside his personal hatred for this man in order to get help for this match. The fifth teammate is none other than Eddie Kingston. Before I continue, I need to point out that I thought this was silly and a bad hiccup at the end of this feud. This feud was a Ring of Honor feud. CZW by and large ignored most of this feud (save for a few shows) and the issue was not at the crux of any of their major storylines. The Hero/Kingston feud was 100% CZW and many of the fans in attendance for this match seemingly had no clue who Kingston was. I know when I first watched this show I did not. Even if every fan knew who Kingston was, introducing him into the feud at the very end is just poor planning.
At this point, the match was 5 on 3 with ROH looking totally hopeless. Just as Hero and Kingston begin to argue, Homicide's music hits. He breaks a wooden board over Kingston's hand and hands out ghetto forks to all of his teammates. This is turning point in which the ROH team takes control. While CZW is able to get the upper hand again for a moment or two, the majority of the post-Homicide portion of the match is the ROH team standing tall. Everyone gets wiped out on the floor except for Homicide and Nate Webb. Homicide is able to hit the Cop Killa onto Webb through a barbed wire board to pick up the victory for Team ROH at 40:36.
It's a shame the Danielson/Joe angle (which was so great) took place that early in the match, because it left a huge chunk of time where it was just the CZW team beating the crap out of Whitmer, Pearce and Steel. Once Homicide came in, things picked up tremendously. This was an absolute, total war. These guys beat the living hell out of one another to fight for the side they firmly stood on. This not only was an incredible ending to the feud but helped set up a lot of what was to come in the future. If this match was not the all out war it ended up being, ROH fans would not revere the ROH/CZW feud as one of the best in the company's history. If you have not seen this match, do so by all costs. This is easily one of my favorite Ring of Honor matches ever. ****1/4
No Rope Barbed Wire Match
BJ Whitmer vs. Necro Butcher “War of the Wire II” – Dayton, OH – 7.28.2006
There are boards covered in barbed wire already in the ring. They trade waistlocks and headlocks looking to shove each other into the wire. They evolve into a chop battle when neither man goes into it. Butcher avoids being sent into the wire with a drop toe hold. Whitmer gives him a belly-to-back suplex. Butcher drives him chest and arms first into the wire and hits him in the back with a chair. He uses that chair to assist with a slam. He then rubs one of the barbed wire strands into Whitmer’s forehead. Butcher then digs his back into it. Whitmer forearms a chair into his head. He whips Butcher back first into the wire twice. Whitmer gets a two count from a piledriver. Same with a brainbuster. He goes for a powerbomb, but Butcher slips out and punches him in the face. Both men fight over a pair of wire cutters. Whitmer gets them after a knee strike. He cuts free the wires on one side of the ring. A barbed wire board is propped onto a table ringside. Butcher ends up putting Whitmer through it with a sit-out Tiger Driver. It takes multiple personnel to get them back to their feet. Back in the ring he tries to suplex Whitmer on a chair. Whitmer instead suplexes him through the chair for two. He dumps thumbtacks onto the canvas. Butcher gives him a Tiger Driver onto them! Whitmer kicks out. Butcher side slams Whitmer onto the tacks and Whitmer kicks out again. He throws tacks into Butcher’s face and drops his feet onto them. He then hits an exploder suplex onto the tacks for two. Butcher gives Whitmer a Death Valley Driver though a barbed wire board! His back is lacerated like crazy. Butcher picks up the other board. Whitmer kicks the non-wire end into him, then drops the wire covered portion onto him. Whitmer repeatedly uses chair shots to drive the barbed wire board into his body. Whitmer climbs a ladder and splashes onto the board! Somehow Butcher kicks out after that. Whitmer puts him away with an exploder suplex onto the tacks at 26:09. This was a stellar outing from both men. It gave us the blood and violence expected out of a match like this in spades. Truly the best match singles Whitmer had in the company up to this point, the best for Butcher ever, and a step above the first War of the Wire outing. ****
Steel Cage Match
Homicide vs. Adam Pearce “The Chicago Spectacular Night 2” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 12.9.2006
After trading punches, they try throwing each other into the cage. They block each other from doing so. They splash one another in opposite corners. Pearce kicks Homicide in the groin and suplexes him for two. Homicide responds with Three Amigos. He asks for a fork. A fan tosses one in and Todd Sinclair tosses it right out for no good reason. Shane Hagadorn brings out a leather strap, as this was originally scheduled to be a strap match. Homicide goes after Hagadorn. Hagadorn slams the door into his head, busting him open. Pearce throws Homicide into the cage after that. Homicide slingshots him into the cage. He punches Pearce with the strap around his hand. He digs Pearce’s head into the cage. Both men fight on the top rope until Pearce ends up crotching himself. Homicide accidentally knocks down Sinclair. He finds a fork from inside his pocket and jabs it into Pearce’s head. He uses it on Pearce’s wounds to bust it further open. Pearce powerbombs him into the side of the cage. He uses the fork on Homicide and hip tosses him off the top rope for two. Homicide comes back with a swinging DDT, also for two. Pearce hits a spinebuster. After a figure four he brings Homicide to the top rope. Homicide however takes him down with a superplex. Pearce flapjacks him face first into the cage. As Pearce ascends to the top rope, Homicide hits him with the strap. He once again brings Pearce to the mat with the Hamachan Cutter. Two lariats get him the pin at 15:23. That was a decent brawl, but at this time Homicide was invincible and none of his matches had any drama. He was just biding his time between Cage of Death and his title win against Danielson. ***
Last Man Standing Match
BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs “Battle of the Icons” – Edison, NJ – 1.27.2007
Whitmer delivers a chair shot from behind as Jacobs comes down the aisle. He hits him with another chair shot in the ring. Lacey is in Jacobs’ corner. Jacobs’ bridges the top rope which sends Whitmer out. He clotheslines Whitmer into the crowd and throws chairs at him. Whitmer fights back and also throws chairs. When they make it to the ring, Jacobs hits Whitmer in the head with a chair. He props a chair up in the corner. He drives his railroad spike into Whitmer’s head. When Whitmer stands up, Jacobs throws even more spikes shots. He accidentally spears the chair he had set up. Whitmer gives him a spinbuster onto two chairs. He breaks a chair by giving Jacobs a brainbuster. Jacobs makes it up just in the nick of time, leaning against the tunrbuckles. Lacey grabs Whitmer’s ankle as he stands on the apron. Jacobs spears him into the barricades. Whitmer recovers. Jacobs props up a table in the corner. Jacobs goes for a spear but gets stopped with a chair shot. Whitmer sets up Jacobs for a powerbomb when Brent Albright runs in. He suplexes Whitmer through the table and blows not onto him. Another boot from Alrbight keeps Whitmer down for ten seconds, making Jacobs the winner at 15:46. I actually thought the finish worked and kept the feud going. It was suitably violent, but the crowd was too quiet for it to stand out in the grand scheme of things. ***1/2
Philadelphia Street Fight
The Resilience (Austin Aries, Erick Stevens & Matt Cross) & Delirious vs. The No Remorse Corps (Roderick Strong, Davey Richards & Rocky Romero) & Matt Sydal “Death Before Dishonor V, Night 2” – Philadelphia, PA – 8.11.2007
The NRC and Sydal enter first. Delirious, Cross, and Stevens stand in the aisle. Aries sneaks in from behind and attacks everyone with a cane. Romero and Delirious fight in one portion of the building while Strong and Stevens fight in another. Sydal and Cross end up fighting atop some of the bleachers. We get some brief glimpses of Richards beating down Aries by a different set of bleachers. Sydal carries Cross across the building while choking him with a towel. They fight atop another set of bleachers. Everyone ends up brawling around them. Sydal wants a piledriver, but ends up getting shoved down onto everyone below. Cross does a kick flip off the wall and sentons onto them! Cross ends up kicking Sydal back in the ring. Richards hits Cross with a chair from the floor. A pile of chairs is placed onto Cross, and Richards slingshot sentons to the floor and onto him! Sydal puts a ladder in the corner. Delirious dropkicks him into it, then hits the Panic Attack. Romero knee strikes Delirious into it. He holds the ladder while Strong slingshots Delirious into it. Aries and Stevens low blow both of them with a rake, then literally rake their backs. Stevens splashes Romero into the ladder, but misses it with Strong. Delirious Cobra Clutch suplexes Strong onto the ladder. Romero kicks Delirious in the side of the head. Cross throws a chair at him to break the pin. He stomps Romero’s head into a chair. Sydal gives Cross a brainbuster onto the chair. Stevens gives him a TKO on the ladder. Richards goes for the Damage Reflex. Stevens evades it and throws the chair at him. Aries DDT’s Richards onto a chair. Strong kicks Aries to break up the pin. A table is set up on the floor. Delirious and Strong fight on top of it. Sydal leaps off the top rope, clotheslineling Delirious. The table gives way under their feet and they fall to the floor. Everyone else is fighting by the hard camera scaffold. Cross does a flagpole press of it onto Romero through a table! Aries and Stevens end up with Richards and Strong in the ring. They deliver punches in the corner. Richards shoves Stevens out and powerbombs Aries off the second rope for two. Richards and Aries take damage on a ladder in the corner. Strong nails Stevens with some chair shots. Aries gives Richard a brainbuster. Strong pokes Aries in the eyes as he approaches. Aries comes back the with the Stroke onto the ladder. Richards prevents him from hitting the 450 splash. Strong Pillmanizes his leg with a ladder and chair shots. Sydal and Strong set up a table ringside. Cross and Romero are back fighting in the crowd. Stevens fights off Strong and Richards by himself. Strong kicks him in the groin. Aries drives Sydal’s back into the barricades. Delirious chokes him with some caution tape. Richards and Stevens fight on the apron. Stevens powerslams Richards through the ringside table! Delirious and Sydal fight to the back. Aries retreats up the ramp. Stevens and Strong are left to trade strikes in the ring. Strong hits the Sick Kick for two. Stevens blocks a second-one with a leg capture slam. Strong tosses a ladder into the side of his face. Stevens throws a lariat. A ladder is propped up onto two chairs. Stevens wants to get in a super Doctor Bomb. However, Strong turns it into a super half-nelson backbreaker through the ladder! He puts on the Strong Hold, causing Stevens to tap out at 33:50.
What a war. Everybody came out guns a-blazing and put on a very fun match that didn’t feel overbearing despite its length. They did a reasonable job eliminating everyone from the match, though at times there were moments of dead space that weren’t filled. Despite that, this was a major spectacle and what should have ended the feud. ****1/4
ROH Tag Team Championship; Ladder Match
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) (Champions) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico ”Man Up!” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 9.15.2007
Mark launches a ladder in the ring as they make their way out. Both teams fight on the floor before the match officially begins. Jay and Generico spill into the crowd. Steen throws Mark into some chairs as Jay hits Generico with a chair. Guys are thrown into rows of chairs several times. A few chair chots are thrown to the face and head, including one from Generico to Jay when they come back to ringside. Mark gives Steen an ace Crusher off the barricade. Generico fights off both Briscoes who notice Generico climbing the ladder in the ring. Generico misses a charge with the ladder in the corner. Generico dropkicks Jay on the top of his head. Mark stops Generico from climbing the ladder again. Generico throws Mark into the ladder. He climbs again but Jay gives him a gord buster. Steen comes in and fights Jay for their finishers. Steen ends up dropping Jay across his knee with a fisherman’s buster. Mark springboard dropkicks Steen off of the ladder. Mark almost has the belts when Steen grabs his foot. Steen knocks Mark to the apron and throws the ladder in his face. Mark takes down Steen in the corner. He and Jay double hip toss Generico onto a ladder in the corner, bending the damn thing in half. Steen throws Mark face first into the barricade. Steen shove Jay off a ladder onto the ladder in the corner that Generico was put through. Steen suplexes Jay onto a ladder. Mark gets kicked in the nuts just for going after Steen. Generico hits a split legged moonsault onto Mark on a ladder. Steen places a ladder between the edge of the ring and the barricade. Mark spinwheel kicks Steen. Jay fires away with forearms to Steen. Generico throws a ladder at Jay. Generico yakuza kicks a ladder into Jay’s face. Steen powerbombs Mark on the ladder positioned between the ring and barricade. Steen is climbing the ladder when Jay shoves Generico into it. Steen falls off and Generico gets suplexed onto his head. Mark finally recovers. He missile dropkicks a ladder into Steen’s face. He then suplexes Generico onto a ladder. Jay gives Steen a Death Valley Driver onto the upward side of the top of the ladder. Mark suplexes Generico and puts a ladder on top of him. Mark does a shooting star press onto the ladder. Jay legdrops Steen through the timekeeper’s table. Mark has his fingers touching the belts when Generico knocks the ladder out from him. Jay calls for the much taller maintenance ladder in the crowd. Some kind fans bring the ladder to him. The Briscoes set up the ladder. Mark dives through the ladder to give Generico a Doomsday Device. Steen slams a ladder into both Briscoes’ faces. He sets up the ladder on the rung of the maintenance ladder and the second turnbuckle. Mark superkicks Steen twice. Mark begins to climb the ladder. Steen follows him up and delivers a Package Piledriver through the ladder he set up! Generico climbs up the ladder. Jay throws a ladder at Generico when Generico has his hands on the belts. He too sets up a ladder between the maintenance’s ladders rung and the second turnbuckle (on the opposite side of the ring). Jay sends Generico through the ladder with a Jay Driller! Steen and Jay end up slugging it out on the top of the maintenance ladder. Jay punches Steen off and onto one of the crumpled ladders. Jay unhooks the belts for the win at 27:22.
What is there to say about this match that you haven’t heard? Heck, I’m sure most of you reading this have seen the match, likely multiple times. Ladder War is an extremely apt name as these four went absolutely nuts on one another. The violence and big moves escalated as the match progressed and the crowd reached its peak by the finish. There was no more satisfying way to end this violent feud and is must see viewing for any wrestling fan. ****1/2
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. The Age of the Fall (Necro Butcher & Joey Matthews) “Take No Prisoners 2008” – Philadelphia, PA – 3.16.2008
This fight actually begins in the back and spills into the arena. Lacey and Daize Haze are also brawling in the crowd. Mark and Butcher fight amongst the fans while Jay and Matthews fight in the bleachers and towards the entrance stage. Mark cut up the right side of his head somewhere. He dives off the barricades onto Butcher in the crowd. Matthews blasts Jay in the head with a chair after locking his arms in the ring skirt. Lacey and Haze are fighting in the ring. Jay busts open Matthews while Butcher keeps on top of Mark. Haze gives Lacey the Heart Punch and a German suplex. Butcher bulldogs Jay on a chair inside the ring. He and Matthews double chokeslam Jay through some chairs. Jay recovers and sends Matthews face first into the turnbuckles with a Complete Shot. Both Briscoes throw a chair at Butcher’s head. Mark dumps Matthews onto Butcher’s head while he is laying on a table ringside. The table does not budge. In the ring they hit a Doomsday Device onto Matthews, though Mark trips on his way down. Jay superkicks Butcher. Butcher punches Mark mid-air to block a Doomsday Device, and victory rolls Jay for two. Jay clotheslines him into the crowd. While he and Mark fight in the crowd, Matthews sets up weapons in the ring. Mark is climbing the entrance structure. Jay drives Matthews through a table in the corner with a Death Valley Driver. Mark splashes onto Butcher through a table! Jay hits the Jay Driller on Matthews for the pin at 14:24. This was about as good as all the other Briscoes/Age of the Fall brawls at the time. ***
No Disqualification Match
Necro Butcher vs. Jimmy Jacobs “Take No Prisoners 2009” – Houston, TX – 4.4.2009
Butcher has control from the get go. He beats Jacobs ringside before taking him into the crowd and up into the bleachers. When they end up back in the ring, Jacobs nails Butcher with a screwdriver. He digs it into his forehead and then goes for a chair. Butcher punches it out of his hands and pummels him in the corner. He throws the chair at his crotch and then uses the chair in a bodyslam. He throws the chair at his head, sending Jacobs to the floor. Jacobs lays out Butcher on a chair propped up between the ring apron and barricades. It ends up that Jacobs superplexes Butcher to the floor with no table underneath. It takes multiple officials and staff to get Butcher back in the ring. Despite that, Butcher is able to kick out of Jacobs’ pin attempt. Jacobs gives him a few chair shots. Butcher shrugs them off and throws a flurry of chops and punches. He bulldogs Jacobs onto the chair for two. Butcher puts him through the ringside table with a Death Valley Driver. Butcher goes to slam Jacobs onto some chairs in the ring. Jacobs counters with the End Time. Butcher fights out and drives Jacobs’ back into the corner. Jacobs goes for the Contra Code. Butcher blocks and hits a Tiger Driver for the pin at 14:49. Absolutely nothing special given what these two are used to doing. At this point the feud was so drawn out that it was impossible to care about anything they were doing. **1/2
No Disqualification Match
Jerry Lynn vs. Kenny King “From The Ashes” – Phoenix, AZ – 3.26.2010
King has a chair in hand. He loses it when Lynn brings him to the floor. They throw each other into the barricades. Lynn hits a pescado. King pulls out a ladder and gets it dropkicked into him. He misses a legdrop on the ladder in the ring. King kicks a chair into his face. Lynn hops over King in the corner. King kicks him head first into a chair that was propped up in the corner. King puts a table in the corner as Lynn puts a ladder in the opposite corner. Lynn is busted open now. King sends him into the ladder. He misses double knees but back flips off the ladder. The ladder falls, allowing Lynn to give him a bulldog onto it. Lynn sets up the ladder again. King suplexes him onto it for two. King puts Lynn’s head between some ladder rungs and rams the ladder into the corner. Lynn shoves King to the floor to avoid the Coronation. Lynn huracanrana’s him off the top rope and hits a TKO. King sends him head first onto a set up chair. He sends Lynn through a table with double knees. Another table is set up in the ring. Lynn delivers a sunset flip onto it, but the table does not break. Lynn puts him through the table with a piledriver at 13:00. I was just not into this match at all. Just moves and stuff happening with no rhyme or reason and a graveyard silent crowd. **
Steel Cage Match
El Generico & Colt Cabana vs. Kevin Steen & Steve Corino “ROH on HDNet Episode 80” – Philadelphia, PA – 8.21.2010
Steen slams the door into Cabana’s face. Generico sends Corino into the barricades and delivers a yakuza kick. Corino throws Cabana head first into the barricades while Steen chokes Generico. Steen has referee Todd Sinclair lock the four of them in the cage and steals the key. Cabana and Generico throw some punches and send Corino and Steen into each other. They block being thrown into the cage. They also duck a yakuza kick. Cabana ducks a double clothesline and Generico lands a crossbody. They send Steen into the cage. Corino is sent head first into the cage numerous times. Steen sends Generico back first into the cage a few times before powerbombing him. Steen slingshots Cabana into Corino’s boot. Steen pulls on Cabana’s mouth to form a smile for the camera. Corino digs at Generico’s face too. Corino and Steen end up crotching themselves on the top rope when fighting Cabana. Generico yakuza kicks both of them into the cage wall. He runs the ropes and gives Corino a tornado DDT. Cabana hits Steen with the Flying Asshole, then feeds him to Steen for a Blue Thunder Bomb. Generico yakuza kicks Corino into Cabana’s Billy Goat’s Curse. Steen shoves Generico into them. Generico sends him to the corner with a half-nelson suplex. Steen superkicks Generico. Cabana moonsaults onto Steen. Corino lariats Cabana. Generico half-nelson suplexes Corino and yakuza kicks Steen. He yakuza kicks Corino too. Cabana encourages Generico to go to the top of the cage for a splash. Steen shoves Cabana into the cage, causing Generico to dangle. Steen shoves Cabana causing him to knock Generico to the floor. He is now locked out of the cage. Corino spikes Cabana with a fork. Steen hits Cabana with a pipe of sorts that he had hidden in the turnbuckle. He puts Cabana in a crossface while Corino digs a fork into his head. Todd Sinclair calls for the bell at 13:10. That was fun, but a far cry from what they did during most of their feud. I was upset they left this off of Steen’s "Descent Into Madness" comp, but now I understand why. It was good, but unremarkable by comparison. ***
Ladder War III
The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) “Death Before Dishonor IX” – New York, NY – 9.17.2011
The winner of this match is the first team to grab the contract hanging above the wing. The contract is for a shot at the ROH Tag Team Championship on November 19th in Chicago, IL at “Glory By Honor X”. The Briscoes attack the ANX from behind. Mark pitches Titus to the floor and helps team up on King. Mark dropkicks Titus and bring a ladder into the ring. Titus brings Jay to the floor and King sends Mark out as well. Jay hits Titus in the back with a chair. King sends Jay into the barricade with shotgun knees, but then gets backdropped through a table by Mark. Jay sets a ladder between the ring and barricade. Jay and Mark team up on Titus back in the ring. Jay throws Titus face first into a chair in the corner. Titus avoids being backdropped on the ladder and instead suplexes Mark onto it. Titus then tope’s onto both King and Jay on the floor. King and Titus dropkick a ladder into Jay’s crotch. Titus splashes Jay on the ladder. King kicks Mark off the ring apron. They put the ladder on Jay’s neck and shove the ladder into the corner. King slingshot dives onto Mark who has a piece of table in his hands. Mark throws a chair at Titus whose face is covered in blood. Mark throws a chair at King’s shoulder. Jay tosses King shoulder first into the barricade while Titus shoves a ladder into Mark’s head in the ring. King moonsaults onto Jay from the barricade. Off screen Jay suplexes Titus on the entrance ramp. Mark somersault sentons off the apron onto King. Jay sets Titus on a ladder on top of two chairs and sentons off the apron onto him. Jay hits King with a chair from the floor and Mark suplexes him. The Briscoes double hip toss King onto a ladder in the corner. Jay then throws a chair right into King’s head. Jay dropkicks the chair into his head as Titus brings a broken piece of table into the ring. Titus pushes Mark off the top rope and through a table to block a Spike Jay Driller to King. King slams the chair into Jay’s head. The ANX put Jay through a table with the One Night Stand. Titus begins to climb the ladder. Mark dropkicks it out from under him. The Briscoes pull out an even taller ladder. They beat down Titus and place him on a table in the entrance way. Mark splashes off the ladder onto Titus through the table. King and Jay fight in the ring while their partners recover. King hits a shooting star press. King and Jay fight atop of the ladder. King grabs the contract for the victory at 27:54. I think this was an awesome capper to what I believe to be ROH’s best feud of 2011. The fact that nobody even attempted to climb the ladder for about twenty minutes I really dug, as no team was close to giving up that early on. Titus and Mark were taken out in a way that didn’t seem contrived and King’s grabbing of the contract cemented himself and Titus as one of the top teams in ROH. ****
The 411: This is far and away the most uneven compilation ROH has released yet. You have some absolute classic must see matches (Cage of Death, both Ladder Wars, the Chicago and Philadelphia street fights, etc.) and some absolute clunkers (anything with the Carnage Crew and Lynn vs. King). If your collection lacks some of the classic matches, you absolutely need to buy this set. If you own most or all of them, you can feel totally OK not seeing what the rest of the set has to offer. You can pick up this DVD from Ring of Honor's store. You can check out all of my ROH, DGUSA, and other reviews over at the 100% Fordified blog.