The Embassy and Generation Next end their war once and for all in a steel cage.
ROH Steel Cage Warfare New York, NY 12.3.05
Review by Brad Garoon and Jacob Ziegler
The Honor Roll
JZ says: I've been using the top 5 as voted on by the ROH message board. After each show (or double shot weekend), go to The ROH Message Board and vote for the top 5. In parentheses after a guy's name is his position in the last Honor Roll, and how many consecutive weeks he has been listed.
ROH WORLD CHAMPION: Bryan Danielson (since 9.17.05)
ROH PURE CHAMPION: Nigel McGuinness (since 8.27.05)
1) Roderick Strong (1, 6)
2) Christopher Daniels (4, 6)
3) BJ Whitmer (2, 2)
4) AJ Styles (3, 3)
5) Homicide (NR, 1)
BG says: At the end of the last show Jay Lethal walked out on his mentor Samoa Joe, upset that he cost Joe a chance to be an ROH tag champ. Lethal is grateful to Joe for getting him out of Special K and teaching him so much about wrestling, in and out of the ring. He talks about winning the Pure title and defending it against Spanky, but then losing it to Joe. Everywhere Lethal goes he hears the word protégé, and he's grateful but he wants to step out of Joe's shadow. This was a good promo for Lethal, but he still had a couple of really weird moments in there.
ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette has a few issues he wants to take care of. He's upset with Nigel McGuinness for going against his winners and losers policy, so he's giving Claudio Castagnoli another shot at the Pure title in a match with two referees. He warns the Rottweilers and Colt Cabana not to interfere in Homicide's match with Steve Corino, under penalty of heavy fines. He cut this promo exactly like he would when he was the OVW commissioner.
JZ says: We open with a video package detailing the events surrounding tonight's match between Jay Lethal and Samoa Joe. Lethal says he is ashamed of his history with Special K. Then he talks about his personal history with Samoa Joe. He says he hates the word "protégé," and he will step out of Joe's shadow.
Jim Cornette is here to talk about tonight's event, as well as making a Pure Title rematch pitting Nigel McGuinness against Claudio Castagnoli, with two referees on the outside of the ring. He also wants to make sure that no one interferes in the Homicide versus Steve Corino match tonight. Cornette makes a good mouthpiece in segments like this.
MATCH #1: Dunn & Marcos vs. Jason Blade & Kid Mikaze
BG says: Here's a rematch I wasn't dying to see. Marcos and Blade start. They fight on the mat and Marcos grabs a headlock. He gets a roll up for 1 but Blade powers up. Blade hits a dropkick and Marcos tags to Dunn. Dunn pins Blade for 2 and puts on an armbar. Mikaze tags in and they hit a double Japanese armdrag for 2. Mikaze hits a spin kick for 2. Blade tags in and they hit a Manhattan drop/running knee combo for 2. Blade hits a bodyslam and a senton for 2. He hits a spinebuster for 2. Mikaze tags in and they climb the ropes. Marcos runs in and shoves them to the floor. Dunn & Marcos follow Blade & Mikaze out with the Stage Dive. Back in the ring Marcos tags in. He hits a northern lights suplex for 2. Dunn tags in and they hit a double back bodydrop for 2. Dunn hits a DVD for 2 when Blade saves. Marcos tags in and they double-team Mikaze. Marcos hits a falcon arrow for 2. Dunn comes in and clotheslines Mikaze getting 2 for Marcos. Marcos puts on a seated abdominal stretch but Mikaze fights out and then dives onto Dunn on the floor. Blade tags in and hits a crossbody for 2. He hits a blue thunder bomb for 2. Mikaze comes in and they hit a double-team inverted lung blower for 2. Dunn dumps Mikaze and hits Blade with the Gory bomb for 2. Marcos hits the Assisted Sliced Bread for 2. Mikaze pulls Blade away from the Stacker Senton. Blade hits a Finlay roll and dives onto Dunn as Mikaze hits Marcos with an inverted somersault legdrop from the top for the win. Dunn and Marcos still don't look like they care to be in the ring, but the four of them put on a match better than their original outing.
JZ says: It's the rematch I never cared to see. I've got carpal tunnel or tendonitis in my left wrist, so my comments on the matches may be briefer than usual. Lenny Leonard has a stomach virus, so Jimmy Bower replaces him on commentary. Prazak makes an offhand comment about Mark Nulty, who is the embodiment of all my nightmares. An inverted shooting star press gets the win for Blade & Mikaze at 9:54 and thus ensures them future bookings. The match was better than their first one, which isn't saying much, but it is an improvement.
Main Event Hype
BG says: Austin Aries was taught he has to know when to separate business and personal matters. Somewhere along the line things between Generation Next and the Embassy became personal. It bothers him that Nana hides behind his money and his power, but tonight in Steel Cage Warfare there will be nowhere to hide.
Prince Nana is excited to get blood from Generation Next and make them look worse than Jade Chung after her head was driven into the pavement.
JZ says: Austin Aries says he has to separate business matters from personal matters, and then promises that Generation Next will come out on top tonight. Prince Nana retorts, saying that they are the top faction.
MATCH #2: Top of the Class Trophy Match Davey Andrews vs. Pelle Primeau
BG says: Andrews misses his big kick but hits a shoulder block. He hits a big boot for 2. He hit a clothesline for 2. Pelle tries to fight back but gets slapped down for 2. Andrews hits a German suplex and a powerbomb. He puts on a head and arm submission for the win. This was nothing.
Ricky Reyes comes out, upset that the students got a match and he didn't. One by one he knocks out and taps out Mitch Franklin, Smash Bradley and the Dempseys. Andrews takes him down with a spear but Reyes comes back with kicks and then hits him over the head with the trophy.
JZ says: Primeau tries hard, but Andrews dominates, hitting a powerbomb and locking on a submission to get the win at 1:27. That was truly pointless.
Ricky Reyes comes in the ring after the match and is upset that the students got a match and he didn't. He puts over his own toughness and then beats up Mitch Franklin, Smash Bradley, a student I don't recognize, Bobby Dempsey, and Derek Dempsey. Then he takes out Andrews, presumably setting up a match for sometime down the road.
More Main Event Hype
BG says: Roderick Strong is pissed off because Jade Chung is gone, so he's breaking Jimmy Rave's back, he bloodying up his chest and he's crushing his face.
Jimmy Rave reminds us that he beat AJ Styles and CM Punk, and tonight he's cementing hits legacy by taking Generation Next out.
JZ says: Roderick Strong cuts a goofy/angry promo about tonight's upcoming match. Jimmy Rave follows it with a promo that reminds me why he has Nana do most of his talking.
MATCH #3: ROH Tag Team Title Match Tony Mamaluke & Sal Rinauro vs. Milano Collection AT & Colt Cabana
BG says: The champions put out an open challenge to set up this match. The story here is that they won the titles taking advantage of an open challenge and thus are in danger of losing them the same way. Sal and Cabana start. Cabana takes Sal to the mat with a wristlock but Sal reverses to his own. He puts on a headlock and floats into a hammerlock. Cabana comes back with a roll up for 2. He puts on a toehold and then splits Sal's legs. Sal goes back to the headlock but Cabana escapes. Mamaluke tags in and dropkicks Cabana's arm. Milano tags in and puts on a headlock. Sal tags in and gets stuck alongside Mamaluke in a half crab. Neat stuff, but Sal gets to the ropes. He hits a dropkick for 2. Milano hits a back bodydrop and ties Sal in the ropes. He hits a dropkick and tags to Cabana. Milano boots Sal into a pin for Cabana for 2. Cabana hits a bodyslam and elbow drops for 2. Milano tags in and they stretch Sal out for every section of the crowd. Mamaluke breaks it up with a dropkick from the top. He tags in and cleans house legally. He dropkicks Cabana's knee and then rolls Milano up for 1. He gets another roll up for 2. He puts on a stretch muffler but Milano gets to the ropes. Sal tags in and works over the leg. Mamaluke tags in holds Milano for a dropkick from Sal for 2. He kicks away but Milano comes back with slaps. Sal tags in and hits a flying elbowdrop for 2. He hits a leg lariat for 2. He goes for a springboard move but Milano kicks him down and tags to Cabana. Cabana fights off both champions and hits an Asai moonsault for 2. He hits a gutbuster for 2. Mamaluke hits him with a German suplex but he's not legal. Sal hits a moonsault for 2. Milano comes in with a clothesline on Mamaluke. Milano and Cabana hit a double spinebuster on Sal. Milano tags in legally and hits a clothesline on Mamaluke. He slams Sal and hits the Armani Shoe Exchange for 2. The champions come back with a hanging DDT for the win. Solid defense for the tag team champions here, though they still don't seem believable in their roll, and Mamaluke's general demeanor is starting to bug me.
JZ says: I can't remember the exact reasoning behind Cabana getting a tag team title shot, but I remember that he picked Milano to be his partner because he needed some Italian influence on his side to combat the champions. Bower talks about how Milano is going to be a mainstay in ROH in 2006, which turned out to be false. Milano simultaneously puts both champions in a half crab in a neat spot. They do some neat double team stuff and some cute spots, until the champs hit a version of MNM's Snapshot to get the win and retain at 15:22. The crowd boos. That had some very cool stuff in it, but went kind of long and I don't buy Rinauro and Mamaluke as the best team in the company.
Main Event Hype, Part Three
BG says: Matt Sydal remembers being betrayed by the Embassy when he tried to come in as part of the Air Devils. Generation Next took him in and tonight he proves that they are the best faction in ROH.
ROH tried to get comments from Abyss but the cameraman ended up in the hospital. Cute.
JZ says: Matt Sydal reminisces about The Air Devils and says that Generation Next is the future of professional wrestling. I feel bad for that camera man who tried to get comments from Abyss. I hope he recovers.
MATCH #4: ROH World Title Match Bryan Danielson vs. Rocky Romero
BG says: I don't care who the challenger is or what else is on the card, but this is way too low down for a ROH World Championship match. This is Romero's second shot at the title. He cashed in his Trios Tournament win to get it. He's in full Cuba mode here, with a boxing robe and Cuban entrance music. They lock up and then trade kicks in the corner. They knuckle up and Danielson kicks away. Romero hits a monkey flip and Danielson returns the favor. Romero puts on a cross armbreaker but Danielson gets to the ropes. He hits a high knee in the corner and a stiff kick to the back. Danielson fights back and stands on Romero's neck in the corner. He puts on a front facelock and knees Romero in the face. Romero goes back to the cross armbreaker but Danielson gets to the ropes. Danielson smacks him and kicks him down in the corner. He hits a stiff kick to the back and puts on the Mexican surfboard. Romero escapes and puts on an ankle lock. Danielson gets to the ropes. Romero stays on the leg and hits a monkey flip. He kicks Danielson's back and goes back to the leg. Danielson gets a half crab and then switches to a deathlock. He rams Romero's knee into the mat and dropkicks him out of the ring. Back inside Romero kicks Danielson down in the corner. He puts on a hammerlock guillotine choke but Danielson powers up and rams Romero into the corner. Romero hits a springboard dropkick and a tiger suplex for 2. Danielson dodges Romero's strikes and slaps him down. Romero kicks the thigh but Danielson hits a dragon screw. He goes back to the half crab and Romero taps. Not up to the standard Danielson had set on the last few shows, but appropriate in quality for its spot on the card. This is why title matches should be higher up.
JZ says: I like the Cuban motif Romero has going for himself tonight, though he is also in full Rottweilers mode, as Julius Smokes and Ricky Reyes are with him. I agree with Brad about this being too far down the card. Danielson makes Bobby Cruise call him the only real World Champion in wrestling today, and that's just not true. I mean, shit on the NWA Title all you want but it's defended overseas quite a bit, which is something Danielson has yet to do with his title. The fans of course eat this stuff up, because they think it's real or something. Danielson wins with a half crab at 15:26. This was good but not great, which is weird because Danielson hasn't been giving any less than great lately. But it makes sense since it was before intermission rather than the main event.
Plus: Lance Storm makes an appearance
BG says: After the match Lance Storm hits the ring. He has respect for what Danielson did tonight and what he stands for. He retired because he wasn't allowed to have the kind of matches he wanted to have, and that he could be proud of. His final match, against Chris Jericho, was a match he was proud of, so he at least got to end his career on his terms. He was happy with that being his final match until he saw what Danielson could do, and if he was ever going to have another match it would be against him. Danielson says he doesn't respect that Storm listened to corporate America for so long, but he does respect the contributions that Storm has made to wrestling. He asks the crowd to cheer for him for that fact. This set up their match a few months later quite nicely.
JZ says: Lance Storm comes out unnoticed at first, then he gets a good pop. He puts over his last match with Jericho, and then puts over the title reign of Bryan Danielson. The champion goes into a promo about doing things on his own terms, not those of the fans or corporate America or whoever. He shakes hands with Storm on his own terms, not Storm's. The crowd chants "one more match" and Storm's name.
Main Event Hype Final Part
BG says: Jack Evans has more to prove in Steel Cage Warfare than just getting the win, he's going to prove that nobody can use the cage like him and that he's a mainstay in ROH. And you know this.
Alex Shelley, the man who caused all this, reminds us that this all started when Aries kicked him out of Generation Next. Tonight he's going to crucify Aries.
JZ says: Jack Evans says that the steel cage is his environment, and wonders why ROH officials would do that to the Embassy. Alex Shelley cuts the best promo of any of them, perfectly setting up for the match later. Generation Next all started with him remember.
MATCH #5: Jay Lethal vs. Samoa Joe
BG says: They lock up and Joe grabs a wristlock. He puts on a chinlock but Lethal fights away. Lethal grabs a hammerlock but Joe reverses to a standing crab. Lethal puts on a chinlock but Joe gets to the ropes. They knuckle up and Joe whips Lethal across the ring. Joe grabs a headlock but gets armdragged down. Lethal ducks a kick and Joe dodges a dropkick. Lethal hits a crossbody for 1. He hits an armdrag into an armbar and then goes for a crossbody but Joe steps out of the way. He kicks Lethal around but Lethal comes back with a tiger flip. He hits a seated dropkick for 1. He hits a legsweep and a standing moonsault for 2. He hits a leg lariat and a springboard dropkick sending Joe to the floor. He follows him out with a suicide dive and rolls him back into the ring for 1. He hits a DDT for 2. He puts on a cobra clutch but Joe fights out. He hits a Manhattan drop and a dropkick. He hits a senton for 2. He hits the Big Joe Combo for 2. He puts on a chinlock and then hits a jumping knee. He hits a high knee in the corner but Lethal dodges the face wash. He goes to the floor, trips Joe and rams his knee into the post. He grabs a chair and in front of the referee unloads on Joe's knee with it. The crowd gets all over him for it. Back in the ring Lethal stays on the leg. He dropkicks the knee and then sits on it for 1. He drops an elbow on it and puts on a leglock, using the ropes for more pressure. He then pins Joe for 2. He shouts at Joe about the Pure title and ends up walking into a powerslam. It gets 2 for Joe. Joe spins Lethal around the ring and pins him for 2. He hits a lariat for 2. Lethal blocks the DVD and hits a lariat for 2. He hits the running suplex and the diving headbutt to the knee. He puts on a half crab but Joe gets to the ropes. Joe can't run the ropes but he can dump Lethal to the apron. The STJoe gets screwed up but Joe hits a German suplex. He goes for the muscle buster but his leg gives out and Lethal hits the dragon suplex for the win. That was a really great way to turn Lethal heel and immediately get him over, but the match was a bit disappointing after their superior effort at Manhattan Mayhem. Lethal attacks Joe's leg further after the match.
JZ says: I wonder if tonight's the night Jay Lethal has been waiting for. Bower mentions the great matches Joe & Lethal had against Roderick Strong & Austin Aries and CM Punk & Spanky, but doesn't mention the match that was better than both of those, against BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs. This is a good, competitive match, or as what commentator Bower calls it, "pro wrestling as a sport." The crowd is behind both men. Joe does the Big Joe Combo (Brad Garoon), and Bower calls it the "Big Combo." Almost, Brad, almost. They go to the outside of the ring and Lethal goes ballistic on Joe with a steel chair as the commentators and the crowd goes nuts on Lethal. That's a good way for a Lethal to go heel and the crowd totally buys it, chanting "fuck you Lethal." Lethal attacks the leg for a while and Joe attempts to come back, but Lethal winds up hitting the Dragon Suplex to get the pin at 20:42. The match wasn't as good as the one from Manhattan Mayhem, but since I think the heel turn was executed really well I'll give them the same rating. Lethal attacks Joe again after the bell.
MATCH #6: Grudge Match Steve Corino vs. Homicide
BG says: These two have a long history together. They teamed up against the Backseat Boys at Glory by Honor but ended up turning on each other. Corino beat Homicide at the First Anniversary Show and ended up starting a riot. Homicide took Corino's hearing in the process of beating him at Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies, and then Corino came back with a victory in a no rope barbed wire match at War of the Wire. The finishes of the last two matches were indecisive, so this should help iron things out. When Corino came back to ROH to challenge Bryan Danielson for the title he got roped into Cabana's feud with Homicide. Homicide is always looking to hurt Corino, so we have this match. Corino's ring announcer reads a poem about the feud. Anything goes in this match except outside interference.
Homicide gets a takedown and they brawl on the mat. Corino spits at Homicide so Homicide slaps his ear. They trade forearms and Homicide dropkicks the knee. He hits a Shining Wizard and Corino bails. Homicide follows him out with a suicide dive and lands HARD on the floor. A masked Colt Cabana comes out and beats J-Train with a lead pipe. Clever, Cabana, clever. Homicide's shoulder is visibly dislocated and it's quite disgusting. Corino sets Homicide in a chair and pounds on him. Homicide slaps his ear again and they roll back into the ring. Corino grabs a chair wrapped in barbed wire and then tries to handcuff Homicide to the ropes. Homicide comes back with his fork and then drop toeholds Corino into the barbed wire. Homicide takes the fork to Corino's ear, which starts bleeding along with his forehead. He wraps the barbed wire around Corino's head and then stomps it. He hits Corino with the barbed wire chair and then throws another chair at him. He puts the fork back to Corino's ear and then chops it. Corino comes back with a chair shot and rips at Homicide's ear. He tries to piledrive Homicide on the apron but Homicide comes back with an Ace Crusher through a table. Corino comes back with another chair shot and sets a Ring of Honor labeled board in the ring. He sets it over four chairs and then jabs Homicide with the fork. Corino climbs the ropes but Homicide catches him and throws him onto the board for 2. The referee gets hit with the barbed wire chair and Homicide hits an Ace Crusher on Corino. Todd Sinclair runs in to count but it only gets 2. Masked Cabana runs in and takes Sinclair out to hit a lariat on Homicide. The original referee comes to, bleeding, and counts the winning pin for Homicide. This was very violent, but pretty dull aside from the gore. It's too bad about that injury, because they were actually trying to build on spots from the no ropes barbed wire match.
JZ says: This is the fourth time these guys have fought each other in ROH. Their matches have all been violent, but I never thought they were particularly good or anything. Bower gets his "Dangerous" in early on, as Homicide hits his Tope Con Hilo. A masked Colt Cabana comes out and assaults Julius Smokes with a lead pipe, and the crowd doesn't pop at all. Homicide has dislocated his shoulder, and I don't enjoy looking at that at all. The fork and barbed wire get involved. Corino's ear gets busted open and Homicide tears into it with the fork, and that's just gross. They fight for a while and the masked man comes back to take out Sinclair and give Homicide the lariat, allowing Corino to get the win at 16:28. I usually like both guys, and I know Homicide was injured, but that match sucked. It was just a bunch of weapons and blood.
The Scoopster is with Lacey as the cage is being set up. Lacey says Lacey's Angels aren't around tonight because they've been doing so well lately and they have the night off. When they come back her eyes are on Danielson's title. She thinks she can lead them to the top.
JZ says: GMC wants to know where Lacey's Angels are. Lacey claims that her angles are on a huge winning streak, but I don't think Jacobs has actually won a match on his own since December of 2004, and they haven't won as a team since August.
MATCH #7: Steel Cage Warfare The Embassy of Jimmy Rave, Abyss, Alex Shelley & Prince Nana vs. Generation Next of Roderick Strong, Austin Aries, Jack Evans & Matt Sydal
BG says: This is the end of the feud, so here's the breakdown. Alex Shelley started Generation Next in 2004 with Roderick Strong, Jack Evans & Austin Aries. In December of 2004 Aries and Strong turned on Shelley, kicking him out of the group. Evans sided with Aries so Shelley went on a mission looking for a friend in ROH to help him get revenge. The problem was he'd wronged so many people as the leader of Generation Next that nobody wanted to team with him. At The Homecoming Shelley decided he'd had enough and joined up with the Embassy, who proved to be the only people evil enough to take him in. This resulted in a double turn, making Shelley a heel and Aries, Strong and Evans babyfaces. Nana brought in Abyss to be his ultimate Weapon of Masked Destruction and help in the feud, so Generation Next needed to recruit someone to help their side. Back at Third Anniversary Celebration Pt. 2 the Embassy got the best of Matt Sydal, who was trying to start a new team called the Air Devils. At Redemption Sydal helped Aries and Strong beat the Embassy, and thus earned himself a spot in Generation Next. The feud got all heated up when Roderick Strong convinced Embassy footstool Jade Chung to leave the group and go with him. Jimmy Rave responded by hitting Greetings from Ghana on her on the pavement outside of the building at Vendetta. On top of that, earlier in the evening Matt Sydal's valet Daizee Haze turned on him and joined the Embassy, filling the female void that Jade left and getting treated like a queen as a result. Got all that? Good, on to the match.
Two men start and another comes in every five minutes. The Embassy won an eight-man tag match at Vendetta to get the advantage position in this match. Eliminations can happen at any time and the match ends when one team has been entirely eliminated. Jimmy Rave and Austin Aries start for their respective teams. Rave tries to go out the door and over the top but Aries dropkicks him, crotching him on the top rope. Aries goes up top and elbows Rave to the mat. He hits a back bodydrop and an armdrag. Alex Shelley joins the match and brings a chair into the ring. Aries dropkicks him out the door and then hits him with a back bodydrop. He hits a chin breaker and a springboard back elbow on both opponents. He sends Rave and Shelley face first into the cage and hits Shelley with a bodyslam. He Finlay rolls Rave onto Shelley and climbs the ropes. Rave cuts him off and tosses him to the mat. They hit a spear/clothesline combo and Rave puts on a camel clutch. Shelley pulls Rave back for more leverage and then dropkicks Aries in the face for 2. They ram Aries hard into the turnbuckle and Rave drives his head into the cage for 2. Matt Sydal enters the match and cleans house. He hits a spinebuster on Shelley and drop toeholds Rave onto Shelley's knees. He moonsaults both men for 2. He hits a high knee on Rave and Aries hits a running forearm on Shelley for 2. Aries hits a bodyslam on Shelley and Sydal hits a suplex on Rave. They make Rave give Shelley a Mark Nulty Special and turn both over in bow and arrow locks. Cute but that took too long to set up. Sydal hits a hurricanrana and a leg lariat on Rave for 2. Nothing happens for a while, and then Abyss comes out. Aries and Sydal try to fight him off but Abyss hits a torture rack backbreaker on Aries for 2. He launches Sydal up and sends him to the mat getting 2 for Shelley. Shelley hits a double stomp on Aries and Abyss press slams him into the cage. Shelley cracks a chair over Aries' head and Abyss slams Sydal into the cage. Shelley hits the Skull Fucker onto a chair on Aries. He lifts up the chair and shows off that Aries has bled on it. Roderick Strong comes in and hits a backbreaker on Shelley. He lifts him off the mat for another and then hits him with the uranage backbreaker. He hits a dropkick on Abyss and knees Rave into the cage. He hits a clothesline for 2. Abyss goes for a chokeslam but Strong blocks. Abyss gives him an overhead suplex into the cage for 2. Rave bleeds as Abyss hits Sydal with the Black Hole Slam. Rave hits Greetings from Ghana on Sydal to put him out of the match.
Rave beats on Strong on the floor as Shelley and Abyss take it to Aries in the ring. Abyss hits the choo-choo avalanche on Aries as Strong chops Rave on the floor. Prince Nana rounds things out for his team. Aries gets set up in the Tree of Woe and Shelley dropkicks his face. Abyss low blows Aries as Nana struts around the ring. Aries and Strong get totally beat down until the Embassy get distracted by Jade Chung, face bandage and all, on the microphone. Jack Evans comes out, climbs the cage, hits the double moonsault onto the entire Embassy on the floor and then lands on his head. That was about the craziest thing I've ever seen. Aries and Strong regroup and start to fight back. Back in the ring Aries hits a dropkick on Abyss. Strong press slams Evans into Abyss and then hits him with the gutbuster. Strong and Evans hit Skipping a Generation from the top of the cage on Rave and Abyss to eliminate the big man. Strong, Aries and Evans take turns beating on Rave until Shelley breaks it up. Evans hits a handspring elbow and a dropkick on Shelley. He hits a fisherman's suplex but the 630 senton hits knees. Shelley catches Evans on the top rope and hits the Air Raid Crash from there to eliminate him. Aries hits Rave with a powerbomb as Shelley dropkicks Strong. Rave gets a roll up on Strong for 2. He hits him with a spear and Shelley hits Aries with a superkick. Aries blocks Greetings from Ghana but eats the Shellshock. Strong breaks up the pin. Rave hits Ghanarea on Aries for 2. Nana comes in and accidentally hits butt splashes on Rave and Shelley. Rave and Shelley accidentally attack him in retaliation. Strong five backbreakers on Rave and puts on the Stronghold to eliminate him. At the same time Aries hits a DDT and a brain buster on a chair on Shelley to eliminate him. Nana tries to go over the top of the cage but Aries and Strong drag him in. Strong hits a running forearm and Aries hits an elbow drop. Strong hits the half nelson backbreaker and Aries hits the 450 splash to pin Nana to win the feud. Jade, Evans and Sydal come back into the ring to celebrate with Strong and Evans.
I ran into a case of high expectations here, and while the match was a solid brawl that finished extremely strongly, it wasn't the violent mess I'd hoped it would be. Five minute intervals felt too long, as a lot of the first twenty minutes seemed like laying around and useless pacing to take up time. It really seemed like each guy would enter, run through a few spots and then stand around for a while. At any rate this was still pretty great, I was just hoping for something mind blowing.
JZ says: Jimmy Rave starts for the Embassy, while leader Austin Aries starts for Generation Next. This is elimination rules, and the Embassy will have the one man advantage due to their victory back at Vendetta. My wrist is killing me, so my commentary on this match will be very light. Alex Shelley is the third man out. Matt Sydal comes out five minutes later. Abyss comes out to give the Embassy a huge advantage. Aries and Sydal take a royal shitkicking until Roderick Strong comes out and it's three on three. Sydal takes a Black Hole Slam and Greetings From Ghana and he's the first man eliminated. Prince Nana is next out, and the Embassy gets a four on two advantage now. Aries and Strong are just getting dominated. Jade Chung comes out with a bandage on her face and Nana chases her. Evans comes out and the first thing he does is take a sick bump off the cage and land on his head. Evans and Aries Skip a Generation off the top of the cage and Abyss is eliminated. That was cool. Shelley gives Evans the Air Raid Crash off the second rope to eliminate him. We're down to Aries and Strong versus Nana, Shelley, and Rave. Nana goes for the big ass to the face on both Strong and Aries but winds up hitting Rave and Shelley instead. This allows Strong to kill Rave with backbreakers and make him tap to the strong hold at the same time Aries pinned Shelley. This leaves Nana alone with Strong and Aries. 450 splash by Aries gets the pin on Nana and Gen Next wins at 41:36. That match was booked really well, with the guys coming out in the right order and everyone getting their revenge in the right ways. However, it would have benefited tremendously from having shorter intervals, as it definitely felt long in spots. But this was the best way to blow off this feud and I enjoyed it immensely. Even Jade Chung gets revenge on Jimmy Rave, using him as a footstool in the celebration. They celebrate at the top of the cage in a cool image.
BG says: Samoa Joe says the ones that are closest to you hurt you the most. He asks Lethal why he'd do what he did after everything he's taught him and everything they've been through.
JZ says: Joe is very upset about Jay Lethal turning on him, and he wants to know why.
BG says: Jack Evans. He was the most entertaining part of the main event and managed to continue the match after pretty much falling off the top of the cage to the floor on his head. Give the man some credit.
JZ says: Jay Lethal, for convincingly turning heel and getting the crowd to go along with it.
THE FOLLOWING MATCH IS NOT ON THE STEEL CAGE WARFARE DVD
BONUS MATCH: No Rope Barbed Wire Match Steve Corino vs. Homicide, ROH War of the Wire, 11.29.03
BG says: Corino's cronies all have handling gloves on. Chuck LeGrande tells Bobby Cruise to skip the long intro and just get to a safe place. There is a table wrapped in barbed wire at the start of the match. They lock up and Corino shrugs Homicide away. They size each other up and Corino falls under the barbed wire to the floor. Back in the ring Homicide works over Corino's ear. They try to rub each other's faces on the barbed wire but block. Homicide gets a roll up for 2. He gets a backslide for 2. He gets another roll up for 2. Corino goes low and rams Homicide's back into the barbed wire. Corino rubs it into Homicide's forehead and Homicide bleeds. Corino digs and bites at the cut as the blood pours down Homicide's face. Corino catapults Homicide into the bottom of the wire and gets 2. Homicide grabs a chair and Corino grabs a barbed wire bat. Homicide hits Corino with the chair and DDTs him on the barbed wire bat. He pulls out the fork and jabs Corino's forehead with it, busting him open. They fight to the floor where Homicide tosses Corino into the barricade. Homicide hits Corino's ear with the fork and rolls him back into the ring. He stays on him with the fork and digs it into the ear. He sets the bat on Corino's ear and stomps on it. He bites the ear and rakes Corino's face against the barbed wire. Homicide slaps the ear and Corino goes down. He smacks Corino's head with the bat but Corino comes back with a monkey flip into the barbed wire. They fight to the floor where Corino tosses Homicide into the barricade and some barbed wire. He pulls Homicide to the ring and suplexes him onto the barbed wire ropes. Corino slugs Homicide's groin and pulls him off the wire. Back in the ring Corino goes into the corner. Homicide hits the running knee and ends up wound up in barbed wire. He goes for a suplex through the barbed wire table but Corino blocks. Homicide comes back and hits an exploder through the table for 2. Corino blocks the Ace Crusher and hits the Cradle Shock for 2. He puts on a cobra clutch but Homicide backs him into the broken table and barbed wire. Homicide hits the Ace Crusher for 2. He rolls out and tosses a guardrail into the ring, hitting Corino in the head with it. Corino reverses an Irish whip and sends Homicide into the wire. Corino's boys help him set the guardrail on top of four chairs. Corino suplexes Homicide through the mesh but Homicide comes back with a dropkick. He hits a Shining Wizard and puts on the STF. LeGrande comes into the ring and throws rubbing alcohol in Homicide's face, but catches Corino with some as well. Corino hits a clothesline for 1. He hits a pair of piledrivers and puts on handling gloves. He wraps barbed wire around Homicide's head and arm and puts on a cobra clutch. J-Train can't take watching his buddy in pain after Corino locks it in and he throws in the towel. This was actually really creative for a blood and guts match. It kept me interested the entire time and was sufficiently violent and gross.
JZ says: I actually refereed a barb wire match one time, and I did not find it enjoyable at all. In fact, it was pretty sick. Chris Lovey and CM Punk are calling the action. Corino falls out of the ring early on, because there are no ropes. The barbed wire gets involved pretty early on, and Homicide is the first one to bleed. Homicide comes back and busts out the fork, which causes Corino to bleed. The action gets so out of hand that Punk leaves the commentary position (only to be replaced by Ray Murrow). A few minutes later, Corino puts on the cobra sleeper accentuated by barbed wire and Julius Smokes is forced to throw in the towel to give Corino the win at 21:00. I don't much care for matches like this and this one didn't change my mind. But for those that love this violent stuff, this was pretty damn sick.
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The 411: BG says: This show did something I love, it got better as it went. I found the main event to be a tad disappointing given the intensity that could have been there, but there's no denying the quality. Add that to a solid heel turn and title matches and you've got yourself a mild recommendation from me.
JZ says: This show mostly gets better as it goes along, but I really didnt care for Homicide versus Corino. I know a lot of people are into that stuff, so it should at least please them. The main event was tremendous fun and almost worth it alone just so to see the blow off to all that buildup. The Lethal heel turn and Storm appearance also make this disc a worthy purchase.