Bryan Danielson makes his long-awaited return and Mick Foley says goodbye...
ROH Glory by Honor IV September 17, 2005 Lake Grove, New York
Review by Brad Garoon and Jacob Ziegler
JZ says: I've been using the top 5 as voted on by the ROH message board. Board member Lonewolf runs the top 5, and he does a fabulous job. After each show (or double shot weekend), go to The ROH Message Board and vote for the top 5.
ROH WORLD CHAMPION: James Gibson (since 8.12.05)
ROH PURE CHAMPION: Nigel McGuinness (since 8.27.05)
1) Samoa Joe
3) Austin Aries
4) Roderick Strong
5) Colt Cabana
BG says: The Scoopster kicks off the show with Lacey sans Angels. She's suspended them for the night, and tonight she's scouting new talent. She flips out when the cameraman checks out her legs. I'm not into her character at all to be honest.
JZ says: Gary Michael Capetta welcomes us to the fourth installment of Glory by Honor. He's with Lacey, who is sans Angels. She has suspended all of them and then yells at the camera man.
MATCH #1: Fight Without Honor Low Ki vs. Jay Lethal
BG says: Jay Lethal hijacks the show and demands that Low Ki come out so that they can end their feud. J-Train comes out to Low Ki's music and asks Lethal why Ki should even bother. He tells Lethal to reinstate Low Ki if he beats him tonight, which makes no sense and the commentators say so. I guess that Ki's matches against Lethal since December have all been non-sanctioned. Lethal agrees, but he wasn't even part of the reason Ki was suspended in the first place. What a mess.
Ki attacks Lethal from behind to start. He chops Lethal round the ring but Lethal comes back with a dropkick. Lethal hits a leg lariat and a back bodydrop. He hits a bodyslam for 2. The commentators suggest that an authority figure come to ROH to sort out messy situations like Lethal somehow having the power to reinstate Low Ki. Lethal hits a snap suplex for 1. He hits a back suplex for 2. He hits a legdrop on the apron and pulls Ki to the floor. Back in the ring he gets 2. Ki hits a Manhattan drop and dropkicks Lethal to the apron. Lethal pulls Ki out to the apron where they trade chops. Ki bodyslams Lethal on the floor and runs him into the barricade. He hits another bodyslam after moving the mats out of the way. He sets Lethal up on the timekeeper's table and goes for a double stomp but Lethal moves. Ki readjusts and dives onto him. Lethal sets the table up on the barricade and dropkicks him into it. It doesn't break so he just tosses him through it. Lethal bleeds so Ki works the cut over with a piece of the table. Ki loads the ring up with weapons and then puts on a chinlock. He uses Lethal's blood to draw a little picture on a sign on a sign and then pins him for 2. He sets Lethal on the top turnbuckle and hangs him up in the Tree of Woe. He goes for a double stomp but Lethal moves. He comes off the second rope with a leg lariat and hits a gutbuster. He hits a gut wrench suplex and the running suplex. He climbs the ropes and hits the diving headbutt for 2. Lethal goes for the dragon suplex but J-Train distracts him. Lethal goes after him so Ki comes after him with a chair. Lethal gets the chair but Ki dropkicks it into him for 2. Ki climbs the ropes and hits a double stomp for 2. He jabs Lethal with the chair and smacks it against his chest. He sets the chair on his chest and climbs back to the top turnbuckle to hit the double stomp for the win. Yeah, there was no way Lethal was kicking out of that. Pretty disappointing way for the feud to end, but the last few minutes of the match were pretty insane.
They show a video of the Ki/Lethal feud after the match, because Lethal was overzealous before the match and they didn't get a chance to show it then.
JZ says: Jay Lethal is in the ring, and ready to fight Low Ki. Jimmy Bower and Dave Prazak are the hosts, as Lenny Leonard is nowhere to be found. Julius Smokes comes out to answer the challenge. Lethal is just embarrassing on the mic. J-Train proposes that Low Ki be reinstated if he can beat Low Ki tonight. Bower points out that Lethal has no power to do so. The deal is made anyway.
Ki attacks Lethal from behind and the Fight without Honor is on. Bower promises a nice video package detailing this feud, which I hope we get to see. They start off with lots of punches, chops, and kicks. This is the fifth Fight without Honor, and Low Ki is the only man to be in two of them (the others being Samoa Joe versus Low Ki from Glory by Honor, Homicide versus Trent Acid from Wrestlerave 03, John Walters versus Xavier from Final Battle 2003, and Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer versus The Carnage Crew from Final Battle 2004). Lethal gets busted open out on the floor. This is the seventh time these two men have opposed each other in ROH, by the way. Lethal gives Ki the diving headbutt from almost all the way across the ring. It only gets two. Ki gets a huge double stomp but only gets two. Ki hits a double stomp onto the midsection of Ki to get the win at 16:22. Wow, that is a horrible blow off to the feud, as the heel just cleanly beat the babyface by being the better man. So I guess Low Ki is reinstated, which should have happened before this match. Afterward they do show the video package that they promised, which seems really weird. It's a well done video.
BG says: Bryan Danielson talks about why he left ROH back in May. He was frustrated with the Rottweilers, as well as not beating Austin Aries for the ROH title. So he went overseas to wrestle until ROH called and asked for him to come back. But he's already done it all in ROH, so all he can really do is win the title. Well, he hasn't won any titles in ROH so I don't see where that claim comes from. He thinks it's great that James Gibson is sticking with ROH as long as he holds that title, but he intends to make this his last night in the company.
JZ says: The challenge for the World Heavyweight Title tonight, Bryan Danielson, is here to talk about his match tonight. He's betting on himself to win.
MATCH #2: Azrieal vs. Austin Aries
BG says: This is a rematch from the television special that played to hype up The Future is Now. They go to the mat and Aries grabs a wristlock. He hits a fireman's carry and stays on the arm. He hits a basement dropkick and puts on a headlock. He hits a back heel kick and a falling slap for 2. He hits a kick to the chest for 2 and puts on a chinlock. Azrieal comes back with a crossbody and hits a dropkick sending Aries to the floor. He hits a senton for 2. He hits a hurricanrana and a forearm in the corner. Aries hits a neckbreaker and goes to work on the neck. He hits a back suplex for 2. He goes back to the chinlock but Azrieal fights out. Aries hits a Manhattan drop and a clothesline for 2. Lacey is shown observing the match from the ramp as Aries hits his shinbreaker/back suplex combo for 2. He puts on a torture rack and then slams him down before hitting an elbow drop for 2. He hits a stiff kick to the back and goes back to the chinlock. Azrieal fights out and hits a back suplex. He hits an enziguiri and a dropkick for 2. He hits a back bodydrop and a springboard clothesline for 2. He goes to the top rope but Aries cuts him off. Azrieal fights back and hits a faceplant and a double stomp for 2. Aries comes back with a legsweep into the turnbuckle and a dropkick for 2. Azrieal blocks a brainbuster and hits the DDT. He climbs to the top but his double stomp misses. Aries hits a drop toehold into the bottom turnbuckle. Stiff kick to the face, brainbuster, 450 splash and it's over. This was pretty tame, and I think it's time to find something constructive to do with the former champion.
JZ says: Aries has new, weird entrance music that isn't as cool as "Personal Jesus." This is the epic rematch from the WB Morning Show. Lenny Leonard joins Prazak in the booth. Aries gives Azrieal quite a bit of offense in the early going. Jeez Aries hits hard, particularly on a lariat that gets two. Lacey is in the entrance ramp scouting. Aries uses the Lex Luger Torture Rack. Now all he has to do is kill one of his girlfriends. Azrieal hits an electric chair face drop and a nasty double stomp to get two. Aries hits the Joe-beating combo to get the victory at 11:16. They filled their time nicely but this was more of an exhibition of moves than a match with any real story. Not a bad way to spend 11 minutes though.
BG says: James Gibson lets us know that from day one he was in ROH to become the champion. He'd always heard that ROH had the best wrestlers and the best matches, and he wanted in. He says that in 2004 fate lead him to ROH, but I think it was steroids that brought him there. After his match tonight, they'll be asking Bryan Danielson the same questions they've asked all the other challengers: What was it like to lose to James Gibson?
JZ says: ROH World Champion James Gibson is here to talk about tonight's title match. He defended the title two weeks before this at a show in FIP against Roderick Strong, making tonight his fifth title defense.
MATCH #3: ROH Pure Title Match Nigel McGuinness vs. Roderick Strong
BG says: Nigel has new, drum-heavy theme music, befitting of a man who's beaten Samoa Joe for a title. They lock up and Nigel forces Strong into the corner. They knuckle up and Nigel begs off. The months of cheating have apparently paid off as the fans start spitting venom at Nigel. Nigel blocks a chop and puts on a headlock. Strong fights out but Nigel gets a headlock takedown. Strong gets a drop toehold but Nigel catches him with a front facelock and goes back to the headlock. Strong gets out with a backbreaker. Nigel scores with the handstand trap and goes back to the headlock. Strong uses his first rope break to escape. Strong starts pummeling Nigel in the corner so he goes back to the headlock. Strong uses his second rope break to escape. He hits a lung blower and chops away. He hits a dropkick for 2. He hits a weak Sick Kick and Nigel comes back with the rebound forearm for 2. He hits a high momentum European uppercut and one to the back of the head for 2. He sets Strong on the top rope and kicks his back. Nigel goes for the hand stand again but Strong hits him with the Sick Kick for 2. He hits the uranage backbreaker and puts goes for the Stronghold but Nigel uses his first rope break to escape. He sets Nigel up on the top rope and hits a superplex for 2. He hits his gutbuster but Nigel goes to the eyes. Strong gets caught using a closed fist but Nigel hits one undetected and nails the Tower of London on the blinded Strong for the win. That's a solid defense for McGuinness.
JZ says: This is Nigel's first defense of the Pure Title, which he won from Samoa Joe at the last show in Buffalo. Nigel's t-shirt is awesome. The crowd is really on Nigel's case, calling him a wanker. This is Roderick's first chance at the Pure Title. Nigel actually lands the big kick to the chest out of the head stand in the corner, and it looks really cool. Nigel actually has quite a size advantage here. He goes to work on the arm, so he can presumably apply That Arm Submission. Nigel shows how many variations of the European uppercut he knows. Nigel does some cheating and gets the win with the Tower of London at 12:13. Using an arm submission would have paid off all the arm work, but that was a solid if unspectacular match.
Down in FIP
BG says: They show a clip of Strong and Gibson wrestling for the ROH title in FIP. The stuff shown looks pretty solid, and I'm sure I'll have a review of it up in 2007 when the DVD actually comes out.
JZ says: This is a clip from FIP's "B.Y.O.B. Part 1" show in Arcadia, Florida on 9.02.05, in which James Gibson defended the ROH World Title against Roderick Strong. It looks like a pretty good match.
MATCH #4: Homicide vs. Colt Cabana
BG says: This match stems from comments that Colt Cabana made on Good Times Great Memories about Homicide's lifestyle, and the subsequent beat down that Homicide gave Cabana later on that night. Cabana and J-Train argue with each other at the bell and Homicide bails in protest. Back in the ring Cabana keeps jawing so Homicide attacks. Cabana hits a back bodydrop and a hip toss for 2. He gets a crossbody for 1 and a dropkick. He slingshots Homicide into the ropes and then drapes him over his knees. J-Train takes off his shirt to fan Homicide off and it distracts everyone. Cabana hits a tornado suplex for 2. He hits an elbow drop for 2 after some awkward brawling. Homicide gets a roll up for 2. He dumps Cabana to the floor where J-Train gets his chubby sweaty shots in. Back in the ring Cabana blocks an exploder. Homicide dropkicks Cabana out of the ring and follows him with a suicide dive. He sits him in a chair and then clotheslines him out of it. Back in the ring Homicide hits a tornado DDT for 2. He tosses him to the apron where Smokes rakes the back. Homicide hits a neckbreaker and climbs to the top. He misses the diving headbutt and Cabana fights back. He kicks Homicide to the apron and suplexes him back into the ring. He climbs to the second rope but misses the elbow drop. Homicide hits an exploder for 2. Cabana blocks a blind charge but Homicide slugs back. Cabana misses a butt splash in the corner but hits a clothesline. Homicide calls for a time out and hits the Ace Crusher. He rolls to the floor and grabs a chair from under the ring. Cabana dodges the chair shot and hits a suplex for 2. He goes for the Colt 45 but Smokes goes to the top rope and Cabana has to stop to toss him off. Homicide tosses a chair in Cabana's face and draws the disqualification. No big loss, as the match was awkward and disappointing before the lame finish.
JZ says: Homicide refuses to shake hands. They do lots of stalling to start. Cabana steals J-Train's headband. Cabana takes control by outwrestling Homicide. They have a really awkward sequence that ends with Cabana executing a splash of all things. The crowd is more interested in telling J-Train to put his shirt back on. The battle spills to the floor where Homicide takes control. They do some battle inside the ring, but that's not enough for Homicide, who goes to the outside to get a chair. He misses with the weapon and Cabana assumes control. He goes for the Colt 45, but Julius Smokes gets on the top rope and Cabana tosses him off. The distraction allows Homicide to throw a chair at Cabana's face for the disqualification at 14:29. The match was nothing special.
BG says: Cabana fights off Smokes and Homicide after the match but the unknown Rottweiler comes out and makes things difficult. Cabana manages to fight him off but Low Ki and Ricky Reyes come out to put an end to him. Samoa Joe makes the save and most of the Rottweilers brawl to the back with Cabana. Ki stays in the ring and tells Joe that he wouldn't have a career in ROH if it wasn't for him. Now that Ki is back in the company he wants Joe to know that the real champ is here. Joe starts to rush the ring but Jay Lethal runs out and says he wants another shot at Ki. Ki obliges, and that's fine and dandy, but now they really need to pull the trigger on the Joe/Ki rematch.
JZ says: The fight continues after the bell, and Ricky Reyes and a new Rottweiler (Grim Reefer, who's actually an old Rottweiler) come out, but Cabana keeps fighting. Low Ki comes out from behind and now it's five on one. Samoa Joe comes out to help Cabana, since he hates the Rottweilers as much as anybody. Low Ki is back in the ring and has the microphone, putting himself over and reminding Joe that he is back in ROH. Joe goes to fight Ki, and Jay Lethal (bandaged head and all) comes out, and says he wants more of Low Ki. Thus we have an impromptu match.
MATCH #5: Low Ki vs. Jay Lethal
BG says: They brawl to start and Lethal hits a back elbow. He hits a clothesline and Ki bails. Lethal follows and rams him into the barricade. Back in the ring he hits a bodyslam and Lethal slugs away. He hits a snap suplex for 2. He hits a stiff kick to the back but Ki stands right up and slaps him. He hits his own stiff kick to the back and Lethal stands right up. They trade chops and Lethal hits a superkick for 2. He hits a bodyslam but misses the diving headbutt. Ki hits a dropkick for 2. He puts on a dragon sleeper but can't hit the Ki Krusher. Lethal goes for the dragon suplex but Ki blocks. J-Train distracts Lethal on the apron so Joe takes him out. Ki attacks Lethal from behind and sets him up in the Tree of Woe. He hits the double stomp from that position as Homicide and Reyes run out and attack Joe. Ki gets 2. Lethal ducks the Tidal Wave and hits the dragon suplex for 2. Cabana runs out to help Joe as Lethal goes for another dragon suplex. Ki uses his momentum to send Lethal to the floor. He climbs to the top rope and goes for a double stomp but gets crotched. Lethal runs into the ring and hits a dragon superplex to finally pin Ki and win the feud. I understand what they were going for in splitting it up into two matches, but the Ki reinstatement didn't come off well anyway and it makes me wish they'd just gone with one match. This was on the same level as the opening match.
JZ says: Lethal is determined to get his revenge. I think it would have been much more effective to have Lethal to over in the opener, but what do I know? They spend some time fighting, and then spend some time looking at each other. The crowd is super hot for this stuff though, so good for them. These guys are chopping the shit out of each other. Lethal goes for the Dragon Suplex, which causes Julius Smokes to get up on the ring apron. Joe decides to finally take Smokes out. It's always funny to watch Joe beat that guy up. Ki hits his huge double stomp as Homicide and Ricky Reyes come out to fight Joe. Lethal hits the Dragon Suplex for two. Cabana is out to help even the odds. Ki goes to the top rope to try and jump to the outside, but he gets crotched. This gives Lethal the chance to hit the Dragon Suplex off the top rope, which gives him that elusive victory at 9:19. I liked this more than their match earlier tonight, even if I did find it unnecessary. Lethal should have just gone over to begin with. Either way he got a nice clean pinfall over Low Ki, so that's big for him.
BG says: The Scoopster is with Nigel McGuinness, and he questions him about his methods. Nigel says he wins matches in the most pure way possible. In this case he did it with the pure Tower of London. The Scoopster chalks it up to a bad point of view. Nigel blames his glasses.
JZ says: First we get to see the advertisement for rohwrestling.com
GMC is with Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness. He questions the validity of Nigel's win; Nigel claims otherwise of course. He also references Mr. Magoo.
MATCH #6: Davey Andrews vs. Eric Matlock
BG says: The commentators say that Matlock impressed with a dark match at a prior ROH show and Davey has been doing the same in student matches. They work the mat to start. Matlock grabs a headlock and switches to a front facelock. He hits a vertical suplex but Andrews comes back with a double knee strike. Matlock dodges a dropkick and flushes the toilet for 2. He hits an elbow drop for 2. Andrews comes back with a German suplex and the Final Cut and puts on a dragon sleeper for the win. Nobody looked good here.
JZ says: This is my first time ever seeing Matlock. Andrews I've refereed for, and seen a bunch of his matches. They do some stuff and Davey gets the win with his version of the stretch plum at 2:28. That was pretty pointless.
MATCH #7: Four Corner Survival Samoa Joe vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Adam Pearce vs. Ricky Reyes
BG says: Pearce comes out to Freebird, a horrible wrestling entrance song if ever there was one. Sorry Freebird fans, this just doesn't cut the mustard these days. Joe is back to his LL Cool J theme. Whitmer and Reyes start the match and work the mat for a while. The crowd is solidly behind Joe and they rejoice when he enters the ring. Pearce tells Joe that the power lies in the palm of his own hand, but is sure to stall away from a knucklelock. Pearce actually wins the test of strength but Joe knees him in the balls. Pearce cheats to get control back and he slows the match way down with his wrist tape rest holds. He goes to the eyes each time Joe tries to fight back and the crowd gets on his case. Joe finally incorporates a Three Stooges defense and stops Pearce with an enziguiri. Reyes tags in and with Pearce's help he stays in control of Joe. Lacey once again watches the match and takes notes. Pearce and Reyes continue to dominate Joe and refuse to tag in Whitmer. Joe sweeps the legs of Pearce and tags to Whitmer who beats on both Pearce and Reyes. Joe, miraculously healed, tags Reyes out and beats on Whitmer. Reyes takes offense and hits Joe with a DDT. Whitmer takes Reyes out and then Pearce hits Whitmer with a piledriver. Joe runs in and lays Pearce out with a clothesline. Pearce hits a scary second rope bodyslam on Reyes but gets clotheslined out of the ring. Joe hits Reyes with the muscle buster but doesn't cover. Instead he fights it out with Whitmer and puts on the choke for the win. This was slower than molasses to start and way too long for what they were going for. Logic would dictate that Joe gets a tag title shot now, and with that in mind Joe promises to win those belts to become the first triple crown champion in ROH.
JZ says: This is my first look at Adam Pearce, who annoys me right away by screaming a lot of profanities at the crowd. That's easy, anyone can do that. BJ Whitmer is one half of the ROH Tag Team Champions at this point. His partner Jimmy Jacobs was not booked on this show, despite the fact that the titles have not been defended since Punk: The Final Chapter. Whitmer and Reyes start. These two had a series of matches with their partners Rocky Romero and Dan Maff back in late 2004 and early 2005. Pearce tries to take on Samoa Joe, but come on, he's Samoa Joe. Pearce is getting a pretty strong heel reaction from the crowd, which is one of the things ROH sorely needs. Joe and Pearce have been in the ring for a long time now. Reyes comes in to battle Joe; those two also have some history. Lacey is out taking notes again. They do a bunch of four-way stuff until Joe gets the choke on Whitmer to get the win at 18:38. That was pretty long, but there was some good stuff in there. Joe gets on the microphone after the match to tell Adam Pearce that he sucks dick. Joe puts himself over, as well he should. Joe tells Whitmer that he will soon be a tag team champion.
BG says: Austin Aries remembers his performance at Survival of the Fittest 2004, the match that elevated him to the main event in ROH. This year he's going to actually win the thing, which would be good because he's been in bad shape since losing the title. And speaking of Aries, we get an advertisement for the ROH wrestling school staring Aries as the trainer, and it's just campy enough to be entertaining. Tryouts are in November, so this review is a little too late to get the word out.
JZ says: Austin Aries is here to talk about Survival of the Fittest, and how important it was to him last year, and how no one will stop him from winning it this year.
Go to rohwrestling.com and check out the Straight Shootin' Series. Also, if you're looking for a wrestling school, check out the Ring of Honor wrestling school, with lead trainer Austin Aries. They have a goofy (but fun) little promo to close out the first disc.
MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match James Gibson vs. Bryan Danielson
BG says: With one match to go after this one has to wonder if something controversial is going to happen here, as World title matches usually lose the main event spot when there's a chance the crowd won't go home happy. Danielson has The Final Countdown as his new theme music. He has normal hair, no beard, and he's dressed like Bob Backlund. He really didn't do anything to earn this title shot, but he quit after his last loss and said he wouldn't come back unless he got this one.
Dragon starts the match with an armdrag as Jimmy Bower makes his unwelcome return to commentary. Gibson puts on a hammerlock but Danielson reverses to a wristlock. Gibson gets a wristlock of his own but Danielson gets out and misses a dropkick. Danielson takes Gibson to the mat but Gibson goes to the ropes. They knuckle up and Danielson puts on a headlock. He shoulder blocks Gibson across the ring but Gibson comes back with a headlock takedown. Danielson reverses to a legvice but Gibson slips out and goes back to the headlock. Danielson comes back with a dropkick. He hits a kneedrop and gets a crucifix pin for 2. He gets another roll up for 2. He goes for the Cow Killer but Gibson makes it to the ropes and bails. Back in the ring they knuckle up and Danielson gets a monkey flip. Gibson hits a northern lights suplex for 2. Danielson hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a bodyslam. He hits a kneedrop and puts on a chinlock. Gibson fights out and hits a back elbow and a back suplex for 2. He hits a bodyslam and an elbow drop for 2. Gibson uses some shady tactics before putting on an abdominal stretch. The crowd gets behind Dragon as he powers out. He hits a European uppercut sending Gibson to the apron and tries to suplex him back into the ring. Gibson blocks and suplexes him to the floor and follows him out with and a kneedrop from the apron. He sends Danielson into the barricade and rolls him back into the ring. He runs Danielson hard into the turnbuckle and hits a backbreaker for 2. He puts on a chinlock and hits a neckbreaker for 2. He hits a legdrop and wins an exchange of forearms. He puts Danielson in the Tree of Woe and then pulls back on his head with a legvice. He works over Danielson's neck on the apron but Danielson comes back with a kick to the face. He hits a running forearm and a slingshot suplex for 2. He puts on the Mexican surfboard and turns it into a ridiculous chinlock but Gibson makes it to the ropes. He gets 19 revolutions off of the airplane spin. He misses a diving headbutt and Gibson gets a roll up for 2. He puts on a guillotine choke but Danielson counters with a suplex. Danielson blocks the tiger driver and hits a butt splash. He hits the diving headbutt for 2. He victory rolls Gibson to the floor and follows him out with a suicide dive. He works over his arm and rolls him back into the ring. He comes off the top rope with a dropkick to the arm for 2. He hits an armbreaker for 2. He gets a series of 2 counts but gets cocky and Gibson rolls him up for 2. He puts on an armbar and hits a shoulder block. Gibson franticly stays away from the armbar and hits a Samoan drop. Danielson hits a northern lights suplex and puts on a cross armbreaker. Gibson reverses to a cloverleaf but Danielson makes it to the ropes. He hits a tombstone piledriver and a legdrop from the top rope for 2. He puts on the guillotine choke but Danielson powers up. Gibson hits a tornado DDT and the tiger driver for 2. He hits a series of knee strikes to the head but Danielson psyches himself up. He hits a roaring forearm and a dropkick to the back. He hits a dragon suplex for 2. He puts on the Cow Killer but Gibson rolls over. Danielson hits a tiger suplex for 2. He holds onto the arms so Gibson jumps off the turnbuckle and lands on top for 2. Danielson gets in position for the Cow Killer but Gibson blocks again so Danielson puts on a crossface chicken wing for the tap out victory and the title. That was one hell of a match, and I have to say that Danielson's title win here is on par with Gibson's title win from Redemption.
Danielson takes the microphone after the match and tells the crowd how great he feels to be champion. He asks that everyone give Gibson a round of applause for being a hell of a champion. He tells him that he can have a shot at the title any time and the crowd thanks him as well. He promises that unlike the past few ROH champions, he doesn't have any ambitions to go to the WWE or TNA. He promises that all he wants from the ROH title is the freedom to defend the title like a man, and he will not go anywhere else as long as he is champion. He even puts over the upcoming main event, because it would be very safe to say that after that match the crowd might be out of gas. That's probably Danielson's best promo to date.
JZ says: Danielson is making his first ROH appearance since May, and is now using "The Final Countdown" (the music Gob uses in his magic show on "Arrested Development") for entrance music and has a Bob Backlund look going. I am a little annoyed that Danielson is getting a title shot without earning it. Jimmy Bower takes over on commentary for Lenny Leonard for this match. Bower actually addresses this title shot, and defends it by talking about Danielson's past achievements. Remember on early ROH shows when Steve Corino and Donny B would talk about how it didn't matter what you did before, but that everyone earns everything? I'm just saying. Both men are working at a methodical pace, which sometimes bothers me but it fits this match perfectly. The crowd is getting into this slowly and more so as time goes on, proving that Danielson and Gibson have them right where they want them. Danielson goes to work on the arm mercilessly, to set up for cattle mutilation presumably. Both men are bringing out the heavy guns, using all of their big moves. An awesome sequence of events leads to Danielson getting the cross-face chicken wing, making Gibson tap out. Danielson is the NEW ROH World Champion at 32:23. That was just a phenomenal match with great heat and a great finish. It's too bad I already wrote my list for Ari's Column of Honor, because this certainly would have been one of my top matches of the year. Danielson gets on the microphone and puts Gibson over huge. He says he will be in ROH to defend the title forever. He would then miss the next three shows.
Survival of the Fittest Promo
BG says: There's an advertisement for Survival of the Fittest 2005. They list the first round matches which sound mostly good.
JZ says: We get a nice little video previewing next week's Survival of the Fittest show, with clips of last year's show as well as a preview of all this year's qualifying matches. That was a cool video; I hope they have these more often.
MATCH #9: Anything Goes No Time Limit Winner Is The First To Hit The Styles/Rave Clash AJ Styles with Mick Foley vs. Jimmy Rave with Prince Nana
BG says: This match can only end when someone hits either the Rave or Styles Clash on their opponent. The loser can never use their version of the move again in ROH. A nice video package precedes the match. There are no rules or referee in this match, so Styles brings Mick Foley with him to counteract the Embassy's presence. Rave attacks from behind before the bell. Styles comes back with a hard shoulder block. He hits a back bodydrop and Rave begs off. Styles hits a pair of kicks to the chest and rams him hard into the turnbuckle. He kicks Rave to the floor and follows him out with a plancha. Back in the ring he goes for the Styles Clash but Rave bails. Styles hits a baseball slide and rams him into the turnbuckle. Back in the ring he hits an elbow drop and a fist drop. A Weapon of Mask Destruction rushes the ring but AJ nails him with a clothesline. Rave slugs Styles down and chokes him in the corner. He puts on a dragon sleeper and hits an inverted suplex. Someone throws a loofa into the ring as Foley suggests that the crowd chant 'Jimmy likes balls.' Nana pulls Styles to the floor where Rave rams him into the barricade. Nana helps Rave choke Styles until Foley interjects himself. They fight to the ramp where Rave goes for the Rave Clash but Styles blocks and hits a backdrop. Rave sends him into the post and rolls him into the ring. He crotches Styles on the top rope but Styles comes back with an enziguiri. Rave hits a jawbreaker but Styles hits the kip up hurricanrana. He hits a German suplex but Rave gives him Ghanarea. He brings a table into the ring and hits a stun gun. He hits the running knee against the table and they fight over a suplex. Rave hits a snap suplex and climbs the ropes. Styles cuts him off and they fight through a table on the floor. Back in the ring Rave hits a running knee strike. He sets up a chair and gets brainbustered through it. AJ sets Rave on a table but three WMDs try to interfere. Foley takes them out with chair shots but Nana knocks Foley down. Rave nails Styles with a clothesline and sets him on the top rope. He goes for a suplex but Styles blocks and hits the Styles Clash through the table for the win. Foley hits the double arm DDT on a chair on Nana after the match. Nothing was going to follow the ROH title match and it was silly to try, but they did put a good effort forth. This didn't have a lot going for it, and the last few minutes were pretty silly. It was actually just like the feud, solid but not memorable.
Foley, on the anniversary of his debut in ROH, announces that this will have been his last appearance on an ROH show. He tells his hometown fans not to miss him because he'll probably see them in the sleazier places in town, but bids the fans at home farewell. He talks about not signing with TNA because Vince McMahon convinced him it was a bad idea. He says the guys who've left ROH to go to WWE have raved about the small company, and he'll do the same thing. He says a lot of other stuff too, but it's boring and not worth noting.
JZ says: We start with another AWESOME video package detailing the AJ Styles versus Jimmy Rave feud. This was a great feud, and we're about to see the blow off. I'm surprised to see this get the main event slot over the World Title match, but it has been a huge feud so I'm cool with it. This music is perfect. AJ comes out wearing the TNA X-Division Championship, which shockingly doesn't elicit boos from the crowd. Lenny Leonard is back on commentary. This one starts off fast, as one might expect. This is quite the contrast from the last match. Some masked man runs out and AJ just clobbers him in the face. Prazak theorizes that it was another Weapon of MASK Destruction. That would make #4 I believe. Foley gets the crowd to chant "Jimmy Likes Balls." They do some more brawling and stuff, and I'm trying hard to get into it. They take a big bump through a table and get back up in a few seconds. Well, I guess the bump wasn't really that big. AJ hits a brainbuster onto a steel chair. A bunch of jobbers in masks come out and Foley takes them out, and then Nana actually takes Foley out. AJ finally hits the Styles Clash off the top rope through a table for the win at 18:42. Foley then gives Nana a double-arm DDT onto a steel chair. Prazak thanks Foley for his contributions in the last year, since this is his last ROH appearance. He grabs the microphone and announces that fact. He admits that he was very close to signing a contract with TNA. He goes on and on with his farewell speech, as Foley tends to do. But since he's wearing a Bruce Springsteen vest, I'm alright with it.
BG says: Colt Cabana tells Homicide that he's not the only one who can bring his friends into a wrestling ring to help him win a match. He's got friends too. Shlomo and Hermie aren't wrestlers, but his friend Steve Corino also doesn't like Homicide, and he's bringing him back to ROH.
The Scoopster is with Lacey and he asks her about the notes she'd been taking all night. Lacey says we'll just have to wait and see.
We get a Bryan Danielson music video to close out the show. It's pretty tremendous by ROH standards, and it was actually up on ROH's website for a while. It might still be, so go check and see!
JZ says: Colt Cabana is here to talk about Homicide. He talks about his friends, and says that he has friends, such as Steve Corino.
Lacey is on now, talking about the possibilities for her new Lacey's Angels.
Now they show a video for Bryan Danielson, who won the ROH World Championship from James Gibson tonight. This is a really well made video and makes Danielson look like a million bucks, which he should.
DVD BONUS Sal Rinauro vs. Tony Mamaluke vs. Jay Fury from FIP Payback (6.25.05)
BG says: I'll have a review of the show this match is from when it is released on DVD. Sal dives onto Mamaluke before the bell and Fury dives onto both of them. Back in the ring Fury gets 2. He hits a clothesline and a back elbow. He hits a leg lariat for 2. Jimmy Bower calls Tony Mamaluke a former ROH tag team champion, which is false at this point. Mamaluke hits Fury with a snap mare and a basement dropkick for 2. He hits a dropkick to the back. Sal hits Mamaluke with a springboard clothesline. Mamaluke hits Sal with a snap suplex and a northern lights suplex for 2. Fury hits a pair of rabbit kicks and an enziguiri on Mamaluke. He hits Sal with a dropkick and Mamaluke with a moonsault for 2 simultaneously. He hits a twisting suplex and an implant DDT on Sal for 2. Fury hits Mamaluke with an enziguiri but Sal catches him with a blockbuster to eliminate him. Mamaluke pulls Sal to the floor and rams him into the post. He goes to work on his shoulder and rolls him back into the ring. He rams his shoulder into the turnbuckle and hits a tornado armbreaker. He puts on a hammerlock and hits a back suplex for 2. He puts on a cross armbreaker but Sal reverses to a roll up for 2. Mamaluke goes back to the hold but Sal slugs out. Mamaluke puts on a wristlock and hits a legsweep. He puts on the royal octopus but Sal fights out. He hits a basement dropkick for 2. He goes for a suplex but his arm is no good and Mamaluke goes for an armbar. Sal hits a flying forearm for 2. He climbs to the top rope but Mamaluke uses the referee to crotch him. He hits him with a DDT from the top for 2 when Sal gets his foot on the bottom rope. Sal dodges a blind charge and goes for a springboard clothesline but Mamaluke catches him with an armbar for the win. Started a little iffy but picked up quite nicely as it went on.
JZ says: Prazak and Jimmy Bower are on commentary, which is pretty cool since I assume it'll be different than the version on the FIP DVD. I do believe that this is the first Jay Fury match I've ever seen. I'm not noting too much about this match, since it's only a bonus feature and not a part of the actual ROH show. Rinauro pins Jay Fury to eliminate him from the match, as Bower and Prazak aren't doing much play by play, just talking about various things going on in FIP and ROH, which is actually kind of nice. That leaves Mamaluke and Rinauro one-on-one, which is interesting given what happens to them in the future. Mamaluke gets the win with a version of the Fujiwara armbar at 9:29. That was fine but nothing special. Dave Prazak comes out to mock Rinauro. CM Punk and Samoa Joe come out to beat up Sal, but Azrieal and Colt Cabana come out to counter them.
BG says: Bryan Danielson for the title win and the match of the night.
JZ says: Bryan Danielson, for coming back in grand fashion and winning the ROH World Title from James Gibson in a fantastic match.
Coming soon will be our review of Survival of the Fittest 05!
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The 411: BG says: Well, this gets a recommendation based on the fact that there was a title change alone, but as with all recent ROH title changes this one was phenomenal. The rest of the show is hit and miss, as some feuds end and some begin, but nothing but the title change is incredibly significant. Don't worry, it's all you need.
JZ says: This was a mostly solid if unspectacular show, though the ROH World Title match is worth going out of your way to see. The AJ Styles versus Jimmy Rave feud is over, and the Homicide versus Colt Cabana one is just heating up, and there is a new ROH Champion and a few new faces on the roster, which is all good in my book.