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 (3, 10)
2) Austin Aries (1, 4)
3) Low Ki (NR, 1)
4) Alex Shelley (2, 3)
5) Claudio Castagnoli (NR, 1)
BG says: Dark Colt Cabana wasn't on the last couple of shows because Commissioner Jim Cornette had him cool off. He did a lot of thinking during his cool-off period, and he reflected on his life. There are certain dates he'll always remember, like his birthday, his debut date in wrestling, and the day Homicide almost murdered him. He runs through other men that were murdered in a wrestling ring, proving that what Homicide did to him was far from a joke. Now he doesn't sleep, eat, shower or groom himself. He just stews over his feud with Homicide. He got on the plane this morning wanting to wrestle Homicide, but Homicide didn't show up because of his shoulder. Now Cabana will take it out on another Rottweiler. A voice, obviously CM Punk's, comes from off-camera and tells Cabana that they need to talk.
JZ says: The show begins with Colt Cabana, talking about how he missed the last two shows due to a mandatory "cooling off" period. He then goes into some of the most memorable days of his life, which includes what happened at Final Battle 2005, when he was almost murdered. He actually lists a few instances of wrestlers dying in the ring. He says that he will face whoever Homicide wants him to fight tonight, since he can't fight the real thing. A visitor then surprises Cabana and tells the camera man to turn it off. That voice sounded familiar.
MATCH #1: Mitch Franklin vs. Pelle Primeau
BG says: Adam Pearce comes down after the opening bell to address the crowd. He knows that a big surprise is supposed to take place tonight, a surprise so good that a rematch will be offered after the third match for fans who don't feel like sticking around. He also doesn't think anyone wants to see a student match and tells them to leave. Primeau cuts a shockingly decent promo, cutting down Pearce until he wipes them out.
JZ says: Mitch Franklin's choice of music is not good for him. Jimmy Bower is joining Lenny Leonard on commentary, since Dave Prazak was amongst the group that could not make it to tonight's show due to inclement weather. That group also includes Alex Shelley, Jay Lethal, Low Ki, Homicide, Matt Sydal, and Claudio Castagnoli. Adam Pearce comes out and stops the match before it even starts. He compares Franklin and Primeau to the Mulkey Brothers. Primeau grabs the microphone and says that he and Franklin are not afraid of Pearce. He insults Pearce and we have an impromptu match.
MATCH #1: Adam Pearce vs. Pelle Primeau & Mitch Franklin
BG says: Pearce hits a piledriver on Primeau for 2 when Franklin saves. He hits a back bodydrop on Franklin and then hits a big splash from the top onto both men for the win. I think it's time to give Pearce a real match.
After the match Pearce gets on the microphone and says he's going to sit at ringside so that he doesn't miss a chance to seize an opportunity.
JZ says: Pearce drills Franklin with the microphone and then kills Primeau dead with a piledriver. Pearce sets them up side by side and hits a big splash off the top rope onto both of them to get the double pin at 0:50. That wasn't much of a match but I really like Adam Pearce, who proves me right by continuing his promo from before. He says he's going to sit ringside tonight and "watch the magic happen."
Ring of Honor Top 5
5) Low Ki
4) Jimmy Rave
3) Alex Shelley
2) Christopher Daniels
1) Roderick Strong
BG says: The top 5 is shown. Low Ki is at number 5 despite no longer being in the company, which I think is silly even considering he won 2 matches in January.
The Embassy Update
BG says: Prince Nana isn't depressed because Alex Shelley's flight was canceled, ruining his chance to wrestle Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Championship. Jimmy Rave wants to take his spot, but Nana says to wait until the next show because he has a big surprise for Danielson tonight.
JZ says: Nana laments the fact that Alex Shelley will not get his title shot tonight, but Nana promises a big surprise for Bryan Danielson. He says that even Rave will be surprised. I think Rave really wanted his title shot though.
BG says: J-Train and the Grim Reefer call out Colt Cabana for their match. Cabana's music plays, but it's cut off by a familiar drum beat. CM Punk comes through the curtain to a nice pop. He steals the microphone from J-Train and frustrates them out of the ring. He has no love for the Rottweilers but he does have love for Colt Cabana. He starts talking about how things have been hard for him with the WWE when Adam Pearce attacks him. Cabana runs out and makes the save. Prince Nana comes out and laughs at Punk as Pearce walks to the back. Punk can't find a heterosexual way to tell Cabana he loves him. He wants Cabana to lighten up because his friends and family are worried about him. Cabana doesn't want Punk getting into his business now that he's out of ROH. He tells Punk to go to the back so that he can take his frustration out on Grim Reefer. Punk agrees, but challenges anyone who has a problem with him to fight him later tonight.
JZ says: Julius Smokes finds it necessary to cut a promo challenging Colt Cabana to a match that he's already agreed to. Cabana's music starts, but then it cuts off and who should appear at the top of the ramp but OVW Superstar CM Punk. There are definitely some girls shrieking in the audience. Punk says he has no love for the Rottweilers, but he does love Colt Cabana. What a racist. Punk goes on about how he doesn't have any friends. Pearce them jumps Punk and Cabana makes the save. Cabana, despite not bathing anymore, has managed to find himself some snappy new gear. Punk tries to get the old Cabana back, and Cabana basically tells Punk to mind his own damn business. I notice how clear the voices sound on the microphone now, and they may have finally gotten the microphones hooked up to the cameras. Punk says he brought his gear and will fight someone tonight if need be.
MATCH #2: Colt Cabana vs. Grim Reefer
BG says: Reefer attacks Cabana from behind before the bell. Cabana shoves him down and hits a backdrop. He hiptosses Reefer out of the ring and follows him out. J-Train distracts him and Reefer comes off the top with a somersault dive. Cabana comes back, ramming Reefer into the barricade. Cabana beats him on the floor for a while before rolling him back into the ring. Cabana hits a series of elbow drops for 2. He puts on a chinlock and hits a butt-butt in the corner but Reefer comes back with a back heel kick. He puts on a crossface but Cabana powers up and dumps Reefer over the top to the floor. Cabana hits a dropkick but Reefer comes back with a second rope DDT for 2. He kicks Cabana's face but Cabana fires up and hits a lariat for the win. Reefer got way too much offense here.
JZ says: Reefer attacks Cabana from behind and Cabana will have none of it. Bower says that Grim Reefer is making his in-ring debut for ROH, but that's not true. He actually made his debut back at Tradition Continues in October of 2003. Reefer is actually getting in quite a bit of offense here and doesn't look too bad. Cabana tires of this game eventually and hits a big lariat to get the win at 8:16. That was a fine match, especially given that I expected less than nothing.
MATCH #3: Ricky Reyes vs. Kid Mikaze
BG says: ROH was REALLY hedging their bets on Punk here, as the first three matches were all basically jobber matches. Reyes unloads with kicks to start. Mikaze hits a running knee and an inverted lung blower for 2. Reyes hits an overhead suplex and a stiff kick to the back. He hits a knee lift and a sit-out powerbomb for 2. J-Train jabs Mikaze with a baseball bat with the referee's back turned. Mikaze hits a back heel kick and a faceplant for 2. Reyes ducks a knee and puts on the dragon sleeper for the win. Just another Reyes squash.
JZ says: The crowd chants "30 seconds" at Mikaze. The plucky underdog actually gets some offense in and kicks out from a powerbomb at two. Smokes hits Mikaze in the face with his baseball bat. That sure makes Reyes look like a pussy. Reyes then locks in his dragon clutch to get the win at 2:17. That was a little better than the last several months of Reyes squashes.
MATCH #4: ROH Pure Title Match Nigel McGuinness vs. Austin Aries
BG says: I guess this is ROH's way of rewarding people who didn't ask for a refund. This is Aries' first attempt at becoming the first triple crown champion in ROH. They lock up and Aries grabs a wristlock. Nigel tries to escape but Aries finds different ways to keep it on. Nigel hits a back elbow putting Aries on the mat. Nigel ducks the springboard elbow but Aries hits a Japanese armdrag into a wristlock. Nigel backs in him to the corner and uses his first rope break. Nigel blocks the corner elbow and puts on a headlock. Aries puts on a legvice but Nigel slips out and hits a legdrop for 1. He puts on a legvice and hits a mini piledriver. He blocks Aries' dropkick reversal and puts on a modified STF. Aries comes back with a clothesline and hits a knee to the gut. Nigel hits a vertical suplex for 2. Aries hits the dropkick he was looking for earlier and Nigel bails. Aries follows him out with a low suicide dive. Back in the ring he hits a slingshot senton and an elbow drop for 2. Nigel punts his back and clubs him down for 2. He rams Aries' arm to the mat for 2. He puts on a chinlock and hits a hammerlock DDT for 2. He suplexes Aries across the ring by his arm for 2. Nigel goes for a few more pins and Aries has to use his first rope break to stop him. Nigel rams Aries' shoulder into the bottom turnbuckle for 2. He shoots Aries to the floor and then brings him back in with a suplex attempt. Aries dodges it and hits a side suplex. Aries kicks Nigel's chest and hits a roaring forearm. He hits the power drive elbow for 2. He hits the corner elbow and a Finlay roll. He climbs the ropes and hits a frog splash for 2. Nigel crotches Aries on the top rope and brings him down with a hard clothesline for 2 when Aries uses his second rope break. Aries hits a chin breaker but Nigel comes back with the rebound clothesline for 2. Nigel hits a running European uppercut and gets a roll up for 2. He sets Aries up top and hits the Tower of London for 2 when Aries uses his last rope break. Aries goes for a suplex but can't lift Nigel up, so he drops him on his face. He turns over on a front facelock and Nigel uses his second rope break. Aries climbs the ropes but Nigel cuts him off and hits the Tower of London again for 2. Aries gets a roll up for 2. He hits a dropkick off of Nigel's hand stand fake and then hits a brainbuster for 2 forcing Nigel to use his last rope break. Aries climbs the ropes and hits the 450 splash for 2. Nigel catches Aries with TAS out of nowhere, and since the ropes are worthless now he has to tap out. I have a few thoughts here. It was obvious that these two went out there with the idea that they'd rock the shit by pulling out all the stops to make up for the fact that all other scheduled matches had been canceled. The action was heavy, but their low place on the card made this feel more like they were kicking out of each other's moves for the sake of it rather than really wanting the title. I mean, it was their first match against each other and they're already killing each other's finishers. Aries selling also bugged me a bit, but at least he tried. Not the best Pure title match that it was billed as, but still pretty good.
JZ says: This match has a lot of hype so let's see if it can live up to it. My wrist is really killing me now so don't expect much in the way of commentary. Aries could make history tonight in two ways if he wins the Pure Title he would be the first Triple Crown Champion (I refuse to call it the Grand Slam, because there are three titles that they count, not four), and the first man to hold two titles simultaneously (he is co-holder of the Tag Team Titles with Roderick Strong). Nigel eventually locks on an inescapable arm submission and since Aries is out of rope breaks he has no way out and he taps at 18:54. That was certainly a tremendous match and definitely one of the best Pure Title matches yet, but my favorite is still a different one with a different British guy against a different Generation Next guy. Still, that was the best match of Nigel's reign by far.
Unscripted Moment #2
BG says: Roderick Strong, the current number one ranked wrestler in ROH, comes to the ring. Strong wants to know when he gets his title shot against Bryan Danielson. BJ Whitmer answers instead and complains about being passed over for years. He's taking the turmoil the company has been going through lately as a sign that he needs to step up and challenge Strong for his number one contender's spot. Strong accepts, but Danielson comes out and takes the microphone. He was thinking of giving Strong his shot tonight, but decides to just beat him down instead. Prince Nana comes out again and announces that he's brought back Xavier to take Abyss' title shot against Danielson.
JZ says: Roderick Strong is out to ask World Champion Bryan Danielson when he will get his World Title shot, since he's #1 in the rankings. This brings out BJ Whitmer, who is not ranked in the top 5. Whitmer asks Roderick to put his title shot on the line later tonight. This brings the champion out to see what all the fuss is about. Strong says it would be an honor to put his shot on the line against Whitmer. Danielson balks at facing Strong again, since he's already beaten him twice. He teases giving Strong a shot tonight, then says fuck him and slaps him in the face, and the brawl is on. This brings out Prince Nana, who reminds Danielson that he has a title defense tonight. He is disappointed that he couldn't get Shelley over from Ghana, so he has a replacement ready former ROH Champion Xavier!
MATCH #5: ROH World Title Match Bryan Danielson vs. Xavier
BG says: Xavier is looking jacked. Danielson puts him on the mat to start. They knuckle up and trade kicks. Danielson pins Xavier for 1. Xavier hits a monkey flip but Danielson comes back with a big slap. He dumps Xavier to the floor and follows him out with a plancha. Back in the ring Danielson grabs a hammerlock. Xavier reverses to his own and puts Danielson on the mat. Danielson comes back with a dropkick but Xavier nails him with a springboard dropkick. Danielson falls to the floor and Xavier follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring they trade forearms. Danielson levels him with an uppercut and then works him over in the corner. He stomps on Xavier's thighs and Xavier bails. Danielson follows him out and gets rammed into the barricade. Xavier goes for a move after jumping off a chair but Danielson drops him onto the barricade. Back in the ring Danielson hits the neck wrench suplex and climbs the ropes. Xavier dodges the headbutt and hits a strong knee strike for 2. He puts on the Tazzmission but Danielson fights away. Xavier hits a back elbow for 2. Danielson hits a European uppercut and sets Xavier up top. He hits a superplex for 2. Xavier reverses a knee strike to a powerbomb for 2. He hits a face buster and a German suplex. He puts on a cross armbreaker but Danielson gets to the ropes. He hits the pumphandle faceplant and climbs the ropes. Danielson dodges the 450 splash and hits a roaring forearm. He hits a German suplex for 2 and puts on the Cow Killer. Xavier gets ready to tap but Jimmy Rave runs in and attacks Danielson, drawing a disqualification. Lousy finish aside this was quite the war of attrition. Xavier looked pretty good, and I wouldn't mind seeing him back if he could keep that up.
Rave continues the beat down on Danielson until CM Punk runs out for the save. Adam Pearce comes out to get another shot at Punk. Punk and Danielson end up beaten down as Nana declares that he runs ROH. On his way out of the ring Nana gets pegged in the face with a roll of toilet paper and sells it like a champ. Back on their feet Punk challenges Pearce and Rave to a tag match for later in the night. Luckily for Punk and the fans, what they want and what he wants happen to be the same thing so he'll join the team.
JZ says: This is Xavier's first title shot since losing the belt to Samoa Joe at Night of Champions on March 22, 2003. Ironically, the event Xavier won the title at was the original Unscripted on September 21, 2002. It wasn't yet a World Title when he had it, but he did make successful defenses against Jay Briscoe, AJ Styles, and Paul London (twice). They're having a pretty competitive, hard-hitting matchup here, with Xavier really surprising me. Xavier hits Kiss Your X Goodbye, setting up for the 450 Splash. Danielson moves out of the way and hits the roaring forearm, a German suplex, and locks on the Cattle Mutilation. Jimmy Rave runs out and kicks Danielson, drawing the disqualification at 12:57. That was a fun little match they had going there. CM Punk then runs out to save Danielson, but Adam Pearce comes out to take out Punk. Nana gets on the mic and talks trash to the fallen heroes. Punk eventually gets up to run his big fat mouth, asking Bryan Danielson to team with him to take on Jimmy Rave & Adam Pearce later tonight. Danielson eventually agrees.
BG says: Back at Dissension Jim Cornette cut a promo about his missing front tooth and how much he hates CZW wrestlers. He declares war on CZW while getting himself ever closer to that inevitable burst vessel in his brain.
JZ says: In a segment taped back at Dissension, Commissioner Jim Cornette cuts an angry promo about his problems with anger management. He promises that there will be no hardcore matches of any kind. He addresses his missing tooth and goes off on a rant against the CZW hardcore boys. That was pretty intense.
MATCH #6: Four Corner Survival Jimmy Yang vs. Azrieal vs. Jerrelle Clark vs. Jason Blade
BG says: I think the outcome here is a no-brainer. Clark and Azrieal start the match and have their usual FIP match. Blade decides to say nuts to the rules and missile dropkicks Clark into Azrieal. That was pretty gross. He pulls Yang into the ring so that two illegal guys can get the spotlight. Azrieal hits a big powerbomb on Blade to get some revenge. Blade starts to dominate Azrieal so Clark comes in for him. Clark hits an awesome dropkick to Yang's knee and gets the first convincing 2 count of the match with a standing shooting star press. Everyone dives onto everyone on the floor and then Clark hits a handspring elbow on Blade for 2 in the ring. He hits the power driver on Azrieal for 2. Yang picks up the win with Yang time out of nowhere on Clark. This had some fun stuff but overall was kind of a mess.
JZ says: I'm guessing that Brad will really love this four way match with absolutely nothing on the line. Azrieal looks like he's gone back to his Special K roots. Jimmy Yang quite clearly outclasses everyone in this ring. The offense comes from everyone fast and furious. They do a bunch of four-way stuff and high spots until Yang hits the Yang Time on Clark to get the win at 13:58. That was fine for what it was and who was in it.
MATCH #7: #1 Contender's Match BJ Whitmer vs. Roderick Strong
BG says: This is the third time that I can think of that Whitmer has replaced Low Ki in a match, the first two being against Mark Briscoe at Beating the Odds and against Homicide at Main Event Spectacles. They lock up and Strong powers Whitmer to the corner. Whitmer returns the favor and then teases a cheap shot. Whitmer grabs a wristlock but Strong reverses to his own. Whitmer gets to the ropes. Strong hits a pair of armdrags into an armbar and then stomps on Whitmer's elbow. He hits an armbreaker and goes back to the armbar. He hits a kneedrop for 2. He puts on a headlock and hits a Manhattan drop. He forearms Whitmer to the floor and follows him out with a plancha. Back in the ring Strong gets 2. He hits a butterfly suplex for 2. He shoots Whitmer back to the floor where he hits an Olé kick. When Joe's away the next best thing will play. He hits another but Whitmer comes back with a neckbreaker on the floor. Back in the ring Whitmer gets 2. He hits another neckbreaker for 2. He puts on a camel clutch but Strong gets to the ropes. Whitmer hits a forearm to the back of the neck for 2. Strong hits a springboard crossbody for 2. Whitmer hits a snap suplex for 2. He puts on a chinlock but Strong fights out. Strong gets a sunset flip for 2. He gets a roll up for 2. He goes for the Stronghold but Whitmer gets to the ropes. Whitmer goes to the eyes and hits a DDT for 2. He hits a bodyslam and climbs the ropes. Strong dodges the frog splash and chops away. He hits a clothesline and a back elbow. He hits a dropkick for 2. He hits the uranage backbreaker for 2. Whitmer hits a big boot and a running knee for 2. Whitmer blocks the gutbuster and hits a powerbomb for 2. He climbs the ropes but Strong cuts him off with a dropkick. He brings him down with a superplex for 2. Whitmer blocks the half nelson suplex and hits a lariat for 2. Strong comes back with the gutbuster, the Sick Kick and a tiger driver for the win. Started slow but picked up intensely by the end. This is the spot on the card that Aries and Nigel could have used to help their match.
The Briscoes are coming back! This video package sure makes them look bad ass. I don't see any way possible that they'll be back for long without winning the tag titles.
JZ says: Jimmy Bower gives some diplomatic reason why Low Ki isn't here tonight to face Strong. I think he was scared. Whitmer is a suitable replacement for sure. Strong dominates the early going, even hitting a plancha to the floor. Then he steals the Ole Kick, since Joe isn't at the show tonight. The commentators note how Strong has dominated, but Whitmer fights back and hits some chops and a neckbreaker. They trade heavy power moves back and forth for a while. Whitmer nails a wicked lariat but it only gets two. Strong then gets the win with the Tiger Driver (but Strong calls it the Gibson Driver; lame) at 20:11. The finish came a bit out of nowhere but both guys looked good and the action was good all the way through.
Coming Soon The Return of THE BRISCOES. The hype video for the return of Jay & Mark Briscoe is pretty great.
MATCH #8: Bryan Danielson & CM Punk vs. Jimmy Rave & Adam Pearce
BG says: Pearce and Danielson start. They lock up and Danielson slaps Pearce across the face. Pearce tries to return the favor and gets slapped again. They knuckle up and Danielson powers Pearce down. Pearce comes back with a headbutt to the gut and an armdrag into an armbar. Danielson hits a dropkick and tags to Punk. Punk wants Rave so he tags in. Rave immediately tags out and Pearce walks into a wristlock. Punk forces Pearce to tag and then hits a hiptoss on Rave for 1. He hits a snap suplex for 1. Danielson tags in and chops away. He hits a snap suplex and climbs the ropes. He hits the diving headbutt for 2. Punk tags in and puts on a wristlock. Rave hits a chin breaker and tags to Pearce. Punk puts an armbar on Pearce and tags to Danielson. Danielson hits a running forearm and a stiff kick to the back. He gets Pearce halfway into the Mexican surfboard and Punk comes in to tag Pearce with a dropkick for 2. Punk tags in and they hit a double dropkick for 2. Punk hits a stiff kick to the back for 2. Rave tags in and fights with Punk to the floor. Back in the ring Rave grabs a headlock. Punk kicks his thigh and Rave bails. Punk follows him out and beats him to the ramp. Danielson and Pearce get involved and Punk tosses Pearce into the barricade. Danielson and Rave brawl through the crowd. Back at ringside Danielson tosses Pearce into the barricade and Punk rolls Rave back into the ring. Rave begs Punk for mercy so Danielson comes from behind to slap him. It gets 1 for Punk. Danielson tags in and they sandwich Rave with kicks for 2. Pearce distracts Danielson and Rave knocks him to the floor. Rave sends Danielson into the guardrail and rolls him back into the ring. Pearce tags in and hits a neckbreaker for 2. Rave tags in and hits a vertical suplex for 2. Pearce tags in and cuts off Danielson's tag with an elbow drop. He puts on a cravat and tags to Rave. Rave wrenches the neck and hits a back bodydrop for 2. Pearce tags in and puts on a chinlock. Danielson fights off his opponents but Pearce catches him with a clothesline for 2. Pearce and Rave hit the Doomsday Device for 2. They go for another but Danielson rolls through. He hits roaring forearms on Rave and Pearce and then makes the tag to Punk. Punk cleans house and hits a running knee on Pearce. He hits Welcome to Chicago on Rave. He drops Pearce over the top rope to the floor and then follows him out with a suicide dive. He dumps Rave into the crowd and Danielson springs off the ropes onto them. Back in the ring Punk gets a sunset flip for 2 on Pearce. He puts on the Anaconda Vice but Rave breaks it up. Rave hits a gutbuster and sets Punk up top. He superplexes Punk and Pearce comes out of nowhere with a top rope splash. It gets 2 when Danielson saves. Rave dumps Danielson and hits another gutbuster on Punk. He hits a DDT but Pearce is legal. Pearce hits a vertical suplex and tags to Rave who gets 2. Rave puts on a butterfly hold but Punk reverses to an STO into the Anaconda Vice. Danielson puts Pearce in the Cow Killer, stomping on Rave's head on the way over. Rave gets his foot on the bottom rope. Punk and Danielson set Rave up top and go for a double superplex. Pearce breaks it up and Rave hits Greetings from Ghana on Danielson. Pearce hits a spinebuster on Punk and Rave follows it up with a running knee for 2. Punk fights them off and hits an ugly hurricanrana on Pearce. Rave goes for Greetings from Ghana but Danielson cuts it off with a top rope dropkick. Punk hits a flatliner on Rave and locks in the Anaconda Vice. Danielson keeps Nana and Pearce from the ring and Rave taps out.
Punk's had quite a few little sloppy moments in there. I guess OVW hasn't taught him to stop trying things he can't do. That aside, this was a great old-school tag team match that capped off the show quite nicely. Rave looked weak going under given that he's getting his title shot on the next show, but I can forgive it because he and Pearce seemed so natural as a team and Danielson did little to abandon his heelish ways while teaming with the ultra babyface Punk.
JZ says: This seems to be an odd combination of guys, but they set it up earlier in the show pretty well, especially given how little time they had to come up with a new card sine so many guys couldn't make it. Adam Pearce "it's okay that they know." Just watch it and hear him say that, it's worth it. Danielson and Pearce start the match off, and the Champ mostly handles him. Punk gets tagged in and it's his first time in an ROH ring since August 13, 2005. Rave avoids Punk, but Pearce has no problem getting in the ring with him. Punk and Rave fight briefly, with Rave trying to get away, and then Pearce comes back in and gets beat up by both guys. I don't like how Danielson does the "uh oh" before the surfboard. The battle spills to the floor and when it gets back to the ring it's Punk and Rave again, with Rave begging off. Eventually it comes down to Rave and Danielson, who will fight for the World Title in two weeks at the Fourth Anniversary Show. Raven and Pearce actually hit the Doomsday Device on Punk. Punk eventually fights back and is able to lock Rave in the Anaconda Vice while Danielson puts the Cattle Mutilation on Pearce. Both heels reach the ropes and the holds are broken. Rave then hits the Champ with Greetings From Ghana. Punk hits a lousy looking hurricanrana from the second rope on Pearce that may have injured Pearce. Good to know that Punk is still trying to do shit he can't do. Punk gets the Anaconda Vice on Rave again and he taps at 29:02. Well I would have rather that Pearce take the fall since Rave is getting a title shot on the next show. That match was fine but it didn't really do anything for anybody. It seemed to make the fans in attendance happy though to see Punk one more time.
BG says: Punk's farewell music plays after the match. Danielson gets on the microphone and talks about the folks who missed the show because of the snow. He puts over Punk for coming back to bail the company out and working his ass off while doing it. He tells Punk that if he ever decides to come back to ROH he'll give him a shot at the only belt that means anything to him. Punk then goes off on the one fan who called him a sell out. This goes on entirely too long. Man, Punk is looking a lot bigger than he did when he was working for ROH regularly. He says there's a lot of people he needs to thank for letting him work the show tonight (apparently a lot of people are still pissed that it happened), and that he wants to say good-bye to his fans on the East Coast. He then teases that one fan again and runs out into the snow in his tights.
The ROH school students train under the tutelage of Austin Aries. Aries looks into the camera and tells Matt Sydal that he and Roderick Strong are going to put the belts on the line. He says that Sydal and Styles are going to face the consequences of this decision.
JZ says: Punk soaks in the cheers of the fans, and Danielson gets on the microphone to put Punk over. He says that Punk wrestled like a ROH wrestler, not a WWE wrestler. I think he wrestled like CM Punk. Danielson says that if Punk ever wants to get out of the entertainment business, he will gladly give Punk a shot at the title. Danielson puts Punk over huge, and then Punk makes fun of a guy in the crowd. I've already lost interest in this. Punk just keeps rambling and saying stuff. Oooh, he's making fun of an internet fan, how original. Punk runs out and makes a snow angel while someone yells snowball fight.
Austin Aries is with his students, but stops to cut a promo an Matt Sydal, who along with AJ Styles will challenge Aries and Roderick Strong for the ROH Tag Team Titles at the Fourth Anniversary Show.
BG says: Bryan Danielson, for having two really good matches on a night when the company really needed them.
JZ says: Nigel McGuinness, for being in the best match on the show and finally having that standout Pure Title match that's been waiting for months.
THE FOLLOWING MATCH IS NOT ON THIS DVD
BONUS MATCH: Strong Style Challenge Roderick Strong vs. BJ Whitmer, FIP Fallout Night Two, 11.13.04
BG says: Strong defends Florida's honor against the naughty words that Whitmer said about it. Strong powers Whitmer into the corner and gives him a clean break. Whitmer grabs a headlock. Strong turns it into an armbar but Whitmer makes the ropes. Strong goes back to the armbar as the commentators overrate matches from the night before. Whitmer goes to the corner to break the hold and then pokes Strong's eyes. Strong hits him with a leg lariat for 2. Whitmer blocks a blind charge in the corner and gets a headlock takedown. Strong back suplexes out and gets 2. Whitmer catches Strong on the apron and pulls him in with a swinging neckbreaker. He hits another neckbreaker in the ring for 2. He puts on the figure four head scissor lock, called by Mark Nulty. Strong makes the ropes. Whitmer chokes him in the ropes and the referee calls for the break. He hits a snap suplex for 2. He puts on a headlock but Strong fights out. He hits a big boot to the face and Strong crawls to the apron. Strong climbs to the top rope but Whitmer dodges the missile dropkick and gets 2. He hits a back elbow for 2. He puts on a sleeper hold but Strong fights out. Whitmer goes to the eyes to stay in control. They trade hard chops until Whitmer slugs Strong down and chokes him on the bottom rope. He catapults him into the bottom rope for 1 when Strong gets his foot on the ropes. Strong dodges a kick and hits a backbreaker. He hits a clothesline and a dropkick for 2. He hits a uranage backbreaker for 2. He goes for a half nelson backbreaker but Whitmer reverses to a German suplex. Strong gets a roll up for 2 but Whitmer comes back with a powerbomb for 2. He goes for he wrist-clutch exploder but Strong blocks. Strong hits a desperation powerslam for 2 and follows up with his rib breaker for the win. This was a really good hard-fought match.
JZ says: Oh crap, it's Mark Nulty on commentary. I thought I had rid myself of him forever. Whitmer is coming off a FIP title shot against Homicide last night. Both guys hit extremely hard, and aren't shy about doing it in front of this tiny crowd. I've watched a little FIP (not nearly as much as Brad), and it has a very different feel than ROH. This is kind of interesting to go back to this time (about a year and a half ago) and see where both guys were at. Whitmer starts hitting some big moves like a powerbomb but Strong is able to kick out at two. Strong comes back and hits a powerslam followed by a "double gut-buster" (Nulty) to get the win at 14:14. The finish was a bit on the weak side, but other than that this was a very solid and fun match.
Coming soon will be our review of FOURTH ANNIVERSARY SHOW!
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The 411: BG says: This felt a lot like what an FIP show would feel like if it went three hours. Jimmy Bower even slipped up at one point and said the show had an anything goes format. That being said it was much better than I was expecting after live reports crapped all over it. Half the show was Punk talking, but the other half included four ***+ matches, and that pretty much speaks for itself.
JZ says: Given how many guys didnt make it to this show that were supposed to, I think ROH did a very good job putting a show together. The Pure and World title matches were both very good, and Strong and Whitmer had a really good match as well. I wasnt interested in seeing Punk in ROH again, but Im probably in the minority there. This is a very solid, if unspectacular show.