ROH – MILESTONE EVENT #3 – BEST IN THE WORLD – NEW YORK, NY – 3.25.06
Review by Brad Garoon and Jacob Ziegler
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, 13)
2) Austin Aries (2, 7)
3) Homicide (4, 2)
4) Adam Pearce (3, 2)
5) Samoa Joe (NR, 1)
BG says: Picking up where Arena Warfare left off, Jimmy Bower tells us that they cut off the end of the show due to its graphic nature, but ROH has decided to show it to us now. John Zandig cuts a promo while BJ Whitmer is tied up and beaten. He talks down ROH and says that what happened to Whitmer is what happens when another company runs in their building. Backstage Bobby Dempsey swears a lot. This all goes on for a while. The students trying to look tough just came off as silly. Tonight in New York City ROH has invited any CZW wrestler into their ring.
JZ says: We start off with Jimmy Bower narrating over a still picture of BJ Whitmer hung up in the ring ropes, explaining that CZW took control of ROH at their last show at the ECW Arena a few weeks ago. They cut the footage from the last DVD, but after a lengthy debate, ROH officials have decided to show the footage. CZW promoter John Zandig cuts a promo but I can't understand what he is saying at all. Outside the building Bobby Dempsey is swearing at somebody. He just sounds ridiculous. Zandig gives Whitmer a powerbomb and the CZW guys just stomp on him. Bower says that Whitmer will miss tonight's event due to injury. He says that any CZW guys are invited to the show tonight to issue any challenge they want tonight, and that it will be a fair fight.
ROH March Top 5 Rankings
5) Samoa Joe
4) Alex Shelley
3) Christopher Daniels
2) Jimmy Yang
1) Roderick Strong
MATCH #1: Jimmy Rave vs. Pelle Primeau
BG says: This match is available for free on ROHVideos.com. Call me crazy but Jimmy Rave's music sounds a lot like Emperor Todd Spengo's from Mom and Dad Save the World. Rave beats on Pelle to start. Pelle blocks a blind charge and hits an ugly springboard crossbody for 2. Rave comes back with a spear and Greetings from Ghana for the win. That's a solid squash.
Prince Nana gets on the microphone after the match and says that there's nobody in attendance that can beat Jimmy Rave. Taimak, or Bruce Leroy the star of the cult hit movie The Last Dragon is targeted by Nana, but waves him off. His good friend Jimmy Yang comes out to try to make good on Nana's challenge.
JZ says: Primeau is already in the ring. Rave gets the usual toilet paper treatment, which amuses his opponent greatly. The crowd is hot right off the bat as Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard welcome us. Over 1,000 people are in attendance. The code of honor is followed, and this match is being taped for rohvideos.com. Rave dominates to start. Bruce Leroy is in attendance tonight. I wasn't sure who he is until I asked Brad. Primeau gets in some token offense before Rave hits a huge spear and hits the Greetings from Ghana to get the win at 1:58. That was what it was. Nana gets on the microphone but the crowd immediately has no interest in what he has to say. He talks shit to Bruce Leroy, who brushes him off. Nana says that no one can take Jimmy Rave out. This brings Jimmy Yang to the ring, and it looks like we have an impromptu match here.
MATCH #2: Jimmy Yang vs. Jimmy Rave
BG says: Rave attacks before the bell but it doesn't take long for Yang to take control. He hits the tiger flip and a superkick. He hits a leg lariat in the corner but Nana keeps him from skinning the cat. Rave knocks him into the barricade and rubs toilet paper in his face. Back in the ring he gets 2. He hits a neckbreaker for 2. He puts on a full nelson but Yang escapes and hits a standing moonsault for 2. He hits a vertical suplex for 2. He goes for a spear in the corner but hits the post. Rave gets 2. He hits a clothesline and sets Yang up top. Yang fights back as Nana climbs to the apron. Yang hits him with a leg lariat and slugs away on Rave. He hits a clothesline and a back bodydrop. Rave hits the spear for 2. He dropkicks Yang's knee and hits the running knee for 2. Yang comes back with a crucifix pin out of nowhere for the win. The finish was really weak but the match was good all the way through.
Rave and Nana beat on Yang after the match. Taimak will have none of it and clears the ring. This is reminiscent of WCW, but they play the Bruce Leroy theme music so I'll forgive them. Some of the crowd prefers Sho'nuff, so I think it's safe to say that bringing in Julius Carry would draw money.
JZ says: Yang dominates to start, since he didn't appreciate the way Nana and Rave were treating his training buddy Leroy. Yang is #2 in the Top 5 Rankings, but he lost two weeks ago to Strong, so he needs a win here. It's all about the ramifications. Rave takes control by cheating, of course. Rave uses some rest-holds for a bit before hitting a spear for two. Running knee to the face gets two. Yang gets a crucifix rollup out of nowhere to get the pin at 6:32. That was pretty brief, but it looks like they're setting up a feud so it's okay. Rave and Nana attack after the match but Leroy runs them off.
MATCH #3: Four Corner Survival Match – Lacey vs. Allison Danger vs. Mercedes Martinez vs. Daizee Haze
BG says: This is a SHIMMER showcase match, and although having women in here is different and I like the company they're showcasing I'm still not doing play by play for a four-corner match with nothing on the line. Lacey and Haze start, which is kind of strange as both are heels in ROH. They do a smooth mat wrestling sequence, which Lacey follows up with a tag to Martinez. Danger tags in as well and they turn the match into a strike-fest. Danger puts on a submission that is broken up by Haze and Lacey. Lacey hits a nice roundhouse kick on Danger for 2. Martinez hits a series of suplexes on Lacey and then destroys Haze with a spinebuster. Haze hits her facebuster on Martinez but Martinez comes back by shoving Haze onto Danger and Lacey on the floor. After a struggle with gravity Danger swings Haze into the barricade. Martinez hits the fisherman's buster on Lacey but Danger is the legal woman. Haze hits an ugly dropkick on Martinez, which frees up Danger to roll Lacey up for the win. The finish was executed in an awkward manner and there were more than a few strange moments in the match. Overall this was about on the level with your average men's four-corner survival match.
JZ says: This match is in conjunction with SHIMMER, the Women Athlete's promotion run by Dave Prazak. This is the ROH debut of Mercedes Martinez. The other three have all had extensive history in ROH. Haze and Danger headlined the DVD SHIMMER Vol. 1, which is available at rohwrestling.com and I highly recommend it. Prazak mentions that we will be seeing a music video from Jimmy Jacobs later on, regarding Lacey of course. That sounds interesting. Lacey and Haze do some good mat wrestling and they do the respect spot. Martinez and Danger are tagged in now. They exchange blows and Martinez wins that exchange. Danger comes back with a submission hold, which brings Daizee and Lacey in to break it up. Jimmy Bower invades the booth for a moment. Lacey is in with Danger now and she goes to work on the back. Lacey badly whiffs on a spin kick. Haze comes in and Danger takes control on her and gets a near fall. Martinez and Lacey come in and Martinez gives her a modified version of the 3 Amigos and the crowd chants "Eddy!" She then gives a huge spinebuster to Daizee. The crowd is really behind her right now. Haze hits her with a facebuster to break her momentum. All four are battling outside the ring and Danger swings Daizee into the guardrail. Back in the ring Lacey hits Martinez with a lungblower but Danger breaks it up. Martinez hits the fisherman's buster on Lacey and goes for the cover but she's not legal. Danger had made the blind tag. In all the confusion, Danger rolls up Lacey to get the win at 10:30. That was an excellent four way match and made a good case that fans should pick up the SHIMMER DVDs. That was much better then most of the men's four-ways in ROH lately.
MATCH #4: Jason Blade & Kid Mikaze vs. Chris Hero & Necro Butcher
BG says: Blade & Mikaze had put out open contracts to any tag team. That coupled with ROH's open challenge to any CZW wrestlers lead to this match. Hero and Necro attack before the bell. Necro bodyslams Blade with a chair onto the floor as Hero works Mikaze over on the mat. He puts on a guillotine choke and Mikaze taps out almost immediately. Losing to Hero like that must have cost him his job. This gets points only for the nasty bodyslam.
Hero gets on the microphone and calls Adam Pearce out to the ring. Pearce attacks him from behind and clotheslines him out of the ring. A bell rings and we have another match.
JZ says: Jason Blade and Kid Mikaze come out but Chris Hero and Necro Butcher are in the ring and the crowd is all over his case from the get-go. Some throw toilet paper at him. Hero accepts Bower's challenge for a tag team match right here and now. "Necro – kill!" It's just a brawl to start, with Hero and Necro dominating the ROH rookies. Necro kills Blade on the outside with chairs while Hero locks a very painful looking submission hold on Blade inside the ring to get the win at 0:48. That was a nothing much but a good way to get Hero and Necro on the show.
MATCH #5: Adam Pearce battles Chris Hero & Necro Butcher
BG says: Butcher knocks Pearce to the floor and tosses him into the crowd. He throws chairs at him but Pearce fights back. Pearce starts firing away with chairs and then chokes Necro with his belt. Back at ringside he rams Necro into the post and through a table. Hero attacks him from behind and rams him into the barricade. Back in the ring he hits a kick below the belt and gets disqualified. I'm sorry, it turns out the match is announced as a no-contest. ROH actually went to great lengths to make the actual participants in the match very ambiguous, although their website has it listed as being straight up Hero vs. Pearce, even though Necro Butcher fought Pearce throughout the majority of the contest. Anyway, there was some fun brawling here.
After the match Hero and Necro beat on Pearce some more. Hero gets on the microphone and calls his "best friend" Claudio Castagnoli to the ring. He wants Claudio the join in the beat down but instead he European uppercuts Hero and Necro out of the ring. He says naughty things about CZW and calls himself the next ROH Pure Champion. Only the ROH wrestlers themselves bought his allegiance to the company. Pearce leads the crowd in chanting R-O-H.
JZ says: Hero challenges Adam Pearce to come out. Pearce does just that, and clotheslines Hero outside the ring and goes to work on Necro. Necro throws him to the outside as we have a bell ring. Is this a handicap match then? Pearce knocks Necro down in the crowd and starts heaving chairs at him. Necro comes back and sets up a table, but Pearce picks him up and slams him against the ringpost, the guardrail, and through said table. He celebrates what he did until Hero attacks him from behind. Todd Sinclair arbitrarily rings the bell at 3:10 and the ring announcer says that match is a no-contest. Since I don't really know what the match was, I don't really feel like rating it. According to rohwrestling.com results section, that was a singles match between Pearce and Hero. The beating continues despite the bell. Hero gets on the microphone and says there's someone else he feels like calling out. The crowd wants that to be Joe, but Hero calls out Claudio Castagnoli instead. He has a Pure Title shot later on in this show. Claudio tears into Necro and Hero, much to their chagrin. The crowd liked that a lot, and chants Claudio's name. Claudio gets on the mic and says "Fuck CZW" and that they're looking at the next ROH Pure Champion. The crowd chants ROH. Pearce gets on the mic and challenges Hero and Necro to come back. Pearce is wearing a Human Tornado shirt, which is awesome. He says that they won't come back because now the sides are even. The crowd chants "ROH" some more. Claudio is pretty gung-ho with his support of ROH.
MATCH #6: Christopher Daniels vs. Alex Shelley
BG says: This is a ramification match, as both men are in the top 5 rankings. I want to note that as of my writing this, the top 5 rankings have once again been done away with, proving that ROH should just give up on using a contender's system as they can't get it together. They knuckle up to start and Shelley spits water in Daniels' face. He bails to the floor and trips on a chair. Back in the ring they lock up and Shelley grabs a headlock. He slaps Daniels and bails again. Back in the ring Nana distracts Daniels long enough for Shelley to cheap shoot his way into a wristlock. Daniels slaps back and Shelley bails. Shelley blocks a slingshot attempt by Daniels but falls into a huge Manhattan drop. Daniels hits a clothesline for 2 and puts on a wristlock. That was an AWESOME segment. Shelley chops Daniels hard in the corner but Daniels comes back with an armdrag into an armbar. He drops an elbow on Shelley's arm and puts on a wristlock. Shelley comes back with a stomp to the face and a dropkick to the back. He hits a neckbreaker and puts on a modified octopus stretch. He hits a clothesline in the corner and a bulldog for 2. He hits an Asai moonsault for 2. The crowd chants Y2J at him so he poses like Chris Jericho. He hits a northern lights suplex for 2. He hangs Daniels on the top rope but Daniels blocks a slingshot move and slams Shelley to the mat. He hits an enziguiri and a chinbreaker. He hits a forearm and a clothesline. He hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and an STO for 2. Shelley hits a superkick so obvious that it made Daniels look like a moron for not blocking. It gets 2. Shelley gets a roll up for nothing when Daniels reverses it to his own for 2. Shelley hits a dropkick to the top of the head but Daniels comes back with a blue thunder bomb. Shelley dodges the triple jump moonsault and gets his knees up on an Arabian press attempt. Daniels dodges a backslide and hits the Angel's Wings for the win. That finish was beautiful and the rest of the match was fantastic as well, featuring awesome reversals that you never see elsewhere. I didn't expect nearly that much from a midcard match between these two, but they really delivered.
JZ says: I've wanted to see this match for a long time. Daniels is ranked #3, Shelley is ranked #4, so this one is brimming with ramifications and implications. Shelley spits water in Daniels's eyes to start off, but that doesn't incapacitate Daniels for long. Prazak says that Necro was sliced on the leg during the last segment, and both commentators are happy to report it. Shelley slaps Daniels in the face, which leads to a chase outside the ring. Daniels is frustrated, so it looks like Shelley is in his head. Leonard wants to know how anyone with hair like Shelley could be so obnoxious. Daniels finally returns the slap and Shelley bails again. Daniels comes back and goes to work on the left arm of Shelley. Both men lost two weeks ago at Arena Warfare, so they need to win to stay in the Top 5. They do a series of go behinds and switches, and Shelley gets control and hits a dropkick to the back. Shelley hits a really nice Lionsault for two. Shelley gloats and Daniels recovers a bit, but not enough to stop Shelley just yet. Northern Lights suplex gets two. Daniels comes back with a step-up enziguiri. Flurry of offense from Daniels leads to the STO for a two-count. They trade rollup reversals for two and Shelley comes back with a dropkick to the head. An awesome reversals sequence leads to Daniels hitting the Angel's Wings to get the victory at 14:34. That was a stellar match and could have even been given some more time. The finishing sequence was great and both men came out of there looking good.
MATCH #7: ROH Pure Title Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Claudio Castagnoli
BG says: This is Claudio's last shot at the title. Nigel's cheating is the only reason he's even getting this opportunity. Nigel gets huge heat for calling referee Todd Sinclair, a man who makes Earl Hebner look like an omniscient being by comparison, the best referee in the entire world. Claudio responds to this by hitting a European uppercut before the bell. He blocks the rebound clothesline with a dropkick and Nigel bails. He follows Nigel out but gets rammed into the barricade. Nigel hits a running European uppercut and rolls Claudio back into the ring. Claudio dropkicks the knee and puts on a leglock. He turns over and holds Nigel up but Nigel escapes. Claudio hits a European uppercut to the back of the neck for 2. He puts on a stretch muffler forcing Nigel to use his first rope break. Claudio dodges the handstand fake but gets punted on the back and driven to the mat. Nigel hits an armbreaker for 2. He hits a hammerlock DDT for 2. He puts on a cobra clutch and suplexes him by his arm for 2. He puts Claudio on the apron, pulls his arm to the ropes and slings him to the floor. Back in the ring Claudio hits the Match Killer. He hits a springboard back elbow and then shoves Nigel to the floor. He follows him out with a twisting bodypress and the referee starts the count. Back in the ring Claudio hits a slingshot elbowdrop for 2. Nigel crotches him on the second rope and then comes off the top with a double stomp attempt. Claudio dodges it but Nigel nails him with a running European uppercut for 2. He hits the Tower of London for 2. He goes for another but Claudio reverses to an inverted Angle slam for 2. They trade European uppercuts and Claudio hits another inverted Angle slam for 2. He goes up top but Nigel crotches him and hits the Tower of London again for 2 when Claudio uses his first rope break. Claudio reverses a European uppercut to a backslide for 2. Nigel hits a running European uppercut and the rebound clothesline for the win. This was easily the best match between these two, as they both gutted it out and made it seem like they would fight as hard as they could to win the match and the title.
JZ says: This is Claudio's third shot at Nigel, and his fourth shot at the Pure Title overall. Nigel has been champion since Dragon Gate Invasion on 8.27.05, and this is his ninth defense. Also, this is the fifth one-on-one match between the two in ROH, and they also wrestled in a four-way and a tag team match. So there is a bit of history here. Nigel gets on the mic during the explanation of the rules to suck up to Todd Sinclair, so Claudio hits a European uppercut to start the match. They actually brawl for a bit at the start before trading some submission holds. Some in the crowd are pretty solidly behind McGuinness. Nigel goes to work on the arm. Claudio comes back with the spinning facebuster. Nigel fights back and goes for the Tower of London but Claudio escapes and hits a burning hammer variation for two. They trade European uppercuts and the crowd is into it. I think Leonard is saying the name for that burning hammer variation that Claudio does, but I can't understand him. Prazak calls it the something-something water slide. Nigel hits the Tower of London but Claudio uses his first rope break. They trade some stuff and Nigel hits a big lariat to get the win and retain the title at 12:57. I think Claudio should have taken the belt there. This was a lot like their other matches – good stuff but nothing special.
BG says: While waiting for Nigel McGuinness the Scoopster tells the ROH crew to roll the music video that Jimmy Jacobs sent in. The video, which you can see for free at ROHVideos.com, is an ultra-emo song that he wrote for Lacey. There's enough wrestling and Internet jargon in this thing to make it absolutely hilarious, and goes to show that when they want to ROH does sports entertainment as well as anyone. Rumor has it that this video saved Jacobs' job with the company, and with good reason as it looks like more effort went into this segment than any other that I can think of. Personally I could have done without the candle wax scene, but over the top is over the top.
Back in the building the Scoopster is with Nigel McGuinness. Nigel says that all the doubters need to respect him. He's going back to NOAH in Japan to make his title the real World Championship belt. He says Bryan Danielson can't do anything to change that. Good early build to their eventual title vs. title match here.
JZ says: Gary Michael Capetta is waiting for Nigel McGuinness. While we wait, GMC says that Jimmy Jacobs sent in a strange video to ROH and we're going to look at that first.
Holy shit this video may be the funniest thing I've ever seen on an ROH home release. It's an Emo song performed by Jacobs accompanied by footage of him writing the song, putting on his makeup, and crying in the rain. These locations look extremely familiar. Great lyrics include "Lacey / you're the American Beauty / and I'm Kevin Spacey" and "Lacey / put me in your top eight / when you myspace me / and never replace me." The song is called "The Ballad of Lacey."
GMC is back and doesn't comment on that video at all. Nigel proclaims his dominance as he is set to go back to NOAH in the near future. We go back to the ring for the second half.
MATCH #8: Austin Aries vs. Ricky Reyes
BG says: This was part of Reyes' bid to get the Rottweilers a shot at the tag team titles, and part of the fallout of the mini feud between the Rottweilers and Generation Next. I want to know why over 10,000 people at a hockey game can do the clap-clap-stomp thing in unison, but 1,000 people at an ROH show can't just stomp along with the beat of Aries' theme music without going too fast. Reyes starts the match off with a front facelock. He puts on a wristlock but Aries uses the ropes to sling Reyes to the floor. Back in the ring Reyes goes back to the front facelock. Aries comes back with a Japanese armdrag into an armbar. He puts on a headlock but Reyes reverses to the head scissors. He hits a mini piledriver but Aries changes things up and reverses the hold to one of his own. Reyes escapes but Aries goes back to the headlock. He goes for the basement dropkick but Reyes bails. Aries goes for it again and hits it this time. He hits a back elbow and the power drive elbow for 2. He hits a pair of bodyslams and a side slam for 2. He hits a kneedrop and then showboats before hitting another for 2. Reyes hits a back heel kick and a Golden Gate swing for 2. He hits a back suplex and a fist drop. He wrenches the neck and hits a legdrop. He hits a neckbreaker for 2. They trade forearms and then Aries knocks Reyes to the floor with a clothesline. He follows him out with a low suicide dive and then rolls him back into the ring to hit his senton/moonsault combo. Reyes blocks a brainbuster and hits a side suplex for 2. He kicks away and hits a high knee for 2. Aries comes back with a shinbreaker and a back suplex. He hits a dropkick in the corner for 2. He reverses a dragon sleeper attempt to the Finley roll. He climbs the ropes but Reyes dodges the 450 splash. He armdrags Aries into the turnbuckle and puts on the dragon sleeper. Aries gets to the ropes but Reyes won't break and gets disqualified. This was given more time than their first match and was technically a better match, but it did feel stretched out and a bit dull.
Roderick Strong and Jack Evans run out to make the save and are quickly followed by the Briscoe Brothers. The referee gets flustered and rings the bell to start their tag team match.
JZ says: This is a rematch from Hell Freezes Over back in January. This one starts slow, whereas the last one was a sprint from the beginning. Aries and Reyes trade shots with Aries mostly controlling the action. Reyes bails early on, and Aries stays on offense when he gets back in the ring. Aries does a knee drop in slow motion, which looks completely idiotic. That's the kind of stuff that makes Aries the most irritating talented guy. Reyes comes back with a neckbreaker for two. He then hits a Saito suplex with a bridge for two. Aries fights back and hits the running dropkick to the corner to get a two count. He goes for the brainbuster but Reyes reverses to the dragon sleeper which Aries reverses to a Finlay roll. He goes up for the 450, but Reyes rolls out of the way and Aries rolls through to a Reyes armdrag and he locks the dragon sleeper on but Aries is in the ropes. Reyes refuses to release the hold and he gets disqualified at 11:26. The crowd doesn't care much for that finish, and I don't blame them.
MATCH #9: The Briscoe Brothers vs. Roderick Strong & Jack Evans
BG says: This is probably the most anticipated tag team match in the history of ROH. Evans and Jay start. Mark makes a blind tag and hits a springboard dropkick. Mark looks so different than he did before his break. He puts on a headlock and gets 2. Evans gets a roll up for 2. Mark hits a vertical suplex for 2. Jay tags in and hits a back elbow for 2. He hits a spinebuster and slingshots him into Mark's boot. He hits a running knee to the back for 2 when Strong saves. Mark tags in and accidentally gets clotheslined by Jay. Strong tags in and tosses Evans onto Mark for 2. Jack tags in and hits an enziguiri. Jay pulls Strong to the floor so Evans dives out onto him with a 450. Back in the ring he gets 2 on Mark. He hits a Koppo kick and an Ong-Bak kneedrop for 2. Strong tags in but Mark gets to Jay. Jay hits a dropkick and a snap suplex for 2. Mark tags in and monkey flips Strong into a dropkick from Jay. Mark hits a senton for 2. Jay tags in but gets caught by Generation Next with a back suplex/neckbreaker combo for 2. Evans tags in and hits a leg lariat. He hits a falcon arrow for 2. Strong tags in and hits a bodyslam. He backdrops Evans onto Jay and hits a standing moonsault. Evans hits a standing twisting splash for 2. Strong hits a butterfly suplex for 2. Jay comes back with a blockbuster for 2. Mark tags in and hits a butt-butt and an enziguiri. Jay runs in and hits a big boot getting 2 for Mark. Mark hits a gut wrench suplex and a kneedrop for 2. Strong hits a backbreaker and tags to Evans. Evans hits an enziguiri and a standing 450 splash for 2. Mark slams Evans into an ankle lock but Strong pulls him to the ropes. Mark puts on a leglock but Evans gets to the ropes. Jay tags in and goes to work on the leg. He hits a Yakuza kick to the knee and then puts on a spinning toehold. Mark tags in and puts on a leglock. He hits a shinbreaker but Evans comes back with another enziguiri. Jay tags in and puts on a figure 4 leglock. Mark eggs Strong into the ring and then helps add pressure to the figure 4. The referee sees it and kicks Mark to the floor. That bugs me. In the last match the referee disqualified the heel for cheating with the ropes, but here the referee physically attacks a competitor. Can anyone imagine that happening in a legitimate sport? Evans hits a lousy version of his back flip neckbreaker and tags to Strong. Strong cleans house on the Briscoes, hitting a leg lariat on Mark and a dropkick on Jay. He hits a tiger driver on Mark for 2. He hangs Mark across the middle rope and goes to powerbomb Evans onto him but Jay trips him and Evans lands face first on the mat. Mark hits a side suplex on Strong for 2. Jay tags in and goes for the Jay Driller but Strong blocks and hits a Manhattan drop and the Sick Kick. He flips Evans onto Jay for 2. Evans DDT's both Briscoes and climbs the ropes. Mark crotches him but Strong gets rid of Mark. He superplexes Evans onto Jay for 2 when Mark saves. Mark hits a fisherman's buster on Evans and puts Jay on top for 2. Mark tags in and they hit the springboard Doomsday Device for 2 when Strong saves. Strong hits the gutbuster on Jay and the half nelson backbreaker on Mark. The stars become aligned and Strong and Evans hit Skipping a Generation for the win. This was quite simply two of the best tag teams in the world right now going out and having one crazy spot fest. The craziest part of it all is that I'm convinced they can have a BETTER match if they tone down the spots a bit and keep things organized longer.
JZ says: The Briscoes attack Aries after the bell and Roderick Strong and Jack Evans come down to make the save and their match is on! Mark almost kills himself with a dive to the floor and Evans almost kills Jay with a rana inside the ring. The Briscoes soon take over on Evans and abuse him. Roderick comes in and uses Evans as a weapon. The battle spills to the floor and Evans hits a huge dive. Evans and Strong hit a ridiculous belly-to-back suplex / neckbreaker combination but it only gets two. The Briscoes come back and go to work on Strong. Mark slaps Strong on the face and delivers a gut wrench suplex and a big knee to the face for two. Strong fights back with a backbreaker and tags to Evans. Evans hits a standing 450 splash. I didn't know that was something a person could do. The Briscoes come back and start dissecting the leg of Evans. Referee Mike Kuehner gets himself physically involved to stop the Briscoes from cheating. I hate that. Evans then makes the hot tag and Strong comes in to kill him some Briscoe. Evans and Strong double team without tagging and the referee lets Evans make a cover despite not being the legal man. I hate that. Evans sets up Jay for the 630, but Mark breaks it up. Strong then comes in and superplexes Evans onto Jay and then the four guys manage to screw something up and look goofy. Mark hits a sick fisherman's buster but Jay can only get a two count. Briscoes hit the springboard Doomsday Device but Strong breaks it up. Ode to the Bulldogs hits Jay on the face and Generation Next gets the win at 19:30. This would have been a good time to give the Briscoes a big win and give them momentum on their way to challenging Strong and Austin Aries for the belts. Even so, this was a killer tag match only hurt by a few awkward spots and some shoddy officiating.
Colt Cabana Video
BG says: Colt Cabana, who along with Homicide got injured during a brawl that wasn't captured on camera at the last show, talks about the Draino incident. He knows he can run away from this feud, but he's going to get into the ring and conquer his fear of the life-threatening situation. He's ending the feud in Detroit and Chicago. As much as I've loved Cabana's promos in this feud he used way too many examples of fear here and it dragged.
JZ says: A bearded Colt Cabana is here to talk about his feud with Homicide. The Draino incident is haunting his every move. He says that he will not back down and will face his fear of Homicide. They do some funny camera tricks here. Cabana says it needs to end in Detroit and Chicago. They show some clips of the feud while Cabana is talking, which is a nice addition. This feud is bringing out the best in Cabana.
MATCH #10: KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Bryan Danielson & Samoa Joe
BG says: ROH disappoints me by not including the promos between Joe and Danielson from ROHVideos.com that built up to this match. There's heat between Joe and KENTA here, as Joe won't shake KENTA's hand due to an incident between them at a show in Mexico just before this. Marufuji and Danielson start. Marufuji powers him to the corner and gives a clean break. Danielson grabs a wristlock but Marufuji reverses to his own. Danielson gets a headlock but Marufuji escapes. Danielson hits a dropkick but Marufuji powers him into his corner and tags to KENTA. Joe and the crowd want the tag but Danielson's a mean man and won't oblige. He puts KENTA on the mat and grabs a hammerlock. KENTA gets to the ropes and kicks Joe off the apron. Joe insists Danielson tag him in and now that there's a reason he does so. They trade kicks and KENTA slaps him across the face. Joe fires back and the crowd goes crazy. Marufuji tags and runs into the STJoe. Joe hits the Big Joe Combo and tags to Danielson. Danielson has trouble with the Mexican surfboard so he slams Marufuji's thighs to the mat. He hangs Marufuji's leg on the bottom rope and sits on it. Joe tags in and kicks the leg. He hits a jumping knee for 2. Danielson tags in and kicks Marufuji to the floor. Joe rams him into the barricade and rolls him back into the ring where Danielson gets 2. Joe tags in and they hit a double kick to the chest for 2. Danielson tags in and puts on a half crab. Marufuji tries to power out and then gets to the ropes. Danielson puts on a partial Mexican surfboard and Joe comes in to hit a kick to the chest for 2. Marufuji hits a drop toehold and a dropkick before tagging to KENTA. KENTA goes through Danielson to get to Joe who he fights with on the floor and rams into the barricade. Back in the ring KENTA hits a bodyslam and a pair of elbow drops for 2. He puts on the Mark Nulty Special but Joe breaks it up. Marufuji hits a slingshot elbowdrop and KENTA hits the afterthought kick. Marufuji puts on a cravat as the crowd begs for Joe. KENTA tags in and kicks Danielson down. He hits a fist drop for 2. Marufuji tags in and puts on a camel clutch. KENTA comes in with a kick to the chest as Jimmy Bower announces that Dragon Gate wrestlers will be appearing on the next three shows. Marufuji puts on a surfboard stretch and tags to KENTA. KENTA hits a vertical suplex for 2. He puts on a camel clutch and Marufuji hits a HIGH momentum dropkick. It gets 2 for KENTA. Marufuji tags in and dropkicks Joe on the apron. KENTA tags in and puts on a sleeper hold. Danielson comes back with a roaring forearm and tags to Joe.
Joe cleans house, hitting an overhead suplex on Marufuji and destroying KENTA with kicks. He hits a Manhattan drop and a big boot. He hits a senton for 2. KENTA hits a kick to the back and a back suplex. Marufuji tags in and hits a leaping elbow. He hits an enziguiri for 2. He goes for a bodyslam but Joe is heavy. He goes for a suplex but Joe hasn't gotten any lighter. He goes for a back suplex with the same result. He hits a dropkick but Joe comes back with a powerslam for 2. He puts on a cross armbreaker but KENTA breaks it up. Joe hits a powerbomb for 2 and goes right into the STF. Marufuji gets to the ropes. Danielson tags in and comes off the top with a diving headbutt for 2. Marufuji gets a roll up for 2. He gets a sunset flip for 2. They trade roll ups playing off their title match but Danielson can't get 3 this time. He hits a German suplex for 2. He puts on the crossface chicken wing but Marufuji gets to the ropes. He blocks a blind charge and goes for the Shiranui but Danielson is the master of that hold and reverses it to the Cow Killer. Marufuji hits a superkick and another Shiranui for 2 when Joe saves. KENTA dumps Joe to the floor as Marufuji hangs Danielson in the Tree of Woe and hits the Van Terminator. He goes for a super Shiranui but Danielson reverses to a back superplex. Joe and KENTA tag in and it is on! KENTA hits a pair of kicks to the face and a springboard dropkick for 2. He hangs Joe up on the top rope and hits a clothesline off the turnbuckle for 2. Joe blocks a suplex with a pancake and sets KENTA up top. He goes for the muscle buster but Marufuji breaks it up with a superkick. Joe hits a clothesline and tags to Danielson. Danielson kicks KENTA down and calls for Joe to get into the ring. They take turns chopping him and Danielson hits a running forearm. He hits a dragon suplex for 2. He puts on the Cow Killer and rolls KENTA up for 2. He hits the Regal-plex for 2 when Marufuji saves. Joe dumps Marufuji to the floor and follows him out with a suicide dive. Danielson climbs the ropes but KENTA catches him with the super falcon arrow for 2. Danielson gets a crucifix pin for 2 and unloads with elbows. KENTA powers through and hits Go 2 Sleep for the win. I'd heard that KENTA and Marufuji dogged it in this match, but I don't think it showed. At least not as much as it showed when Marufuji faced Danielson in December. I thought that the themes running through this match (Danielson knowing how to beat Marufuji and Joe having a serious problem with KENTA) more than made up for any slowdown in action. Great action all around here.
After the match KENTA grabs the ROH World Championship belt and Joe flips out. He throws water at KENTA and grabs the belt back. KENTA gets on the microphone and promises to be back soon. Joe tells him to remember that he's never beaten Danielson in singles, and he'll never beat Joe. KENTA responds by saying that he can't understand English. Oh burn!
JZ says: KENTA is still the GHC Jr. Champion. Joe and Danielson come out together to Danielson's music (with Joe's intro). I like special tag teams like this that come out together. KENTA appears to be the more over of the Japanese guests. The crowd is really into Joe. They like Danielson just a bit too. Joe spurns KENTA on the handshake, which I think is the result of a confrontation they had in Mexico. Danielson and Marufuji start. They wrestled each other with the ROH World Title at stake back at Final Battle 2005. They trade wrestling holds, duh. I hate it when Danielson bridges for no reason. KENTA is tagged in and Joe gets all antsy, plus KENTA calls him out, so Danielson goes over to make the tag but then decides against it. A few in the crowd chant "Fuck You Dragon," which is well within their rights. KENTA blindsides Joe with a kick to the face and this time Danielson makes the tag. KENTA slaps Joe in the face, so Joe comes back with a flurry of kicks. Danielson and Marufuji are back in and Danielson has trouble with the surfboard so he stomps on the legs. Marufuji gets tossed to the floor and Joe throws him into the guardrail. Back in the ring the ROH team dominates Marufuji, working on the back. Prazak says that Danielson's title reign may surpass Joe. Marufuji finally makes the hot tag and KENTA actually goes after Joe, even though he's not the legal man. The crowd popped big for that. KENTA turns into a real prick from here, putting the crowd solidly behind Joe and Danielson. Jimmy Bower invades the booth to inform us that six wrestlers from Japan's Dragon Gate are coming in for the next three ROH shows. Marufuji starts inexplicably working on the arm of Danielson. He then knocks Joe off the apron just to be a dick. Danielson finally makes the hot tag to Joe and the crowd loves it. Joe and KENTA really tear into each other, ending with Joe getting a senton for two. KENTA gives Joe a back suplex and tags Marufuji, who can't seem to knock Joe down. He finally does with a kick to the head for a two count. He goes for a bodyslam but can't life Joe. He then goes for a vertical suplex and a back suplex, but Joe ain't budging. Joe locks a submission on Marufuji while Danielson holds KENTA at bay. Marufuji reaches the ropes though. Danielson and Marufuji revisit the finishing sequence of their Final Battle 2005 match. Marufuji goes for the Sliced Bread #2 but Danielson floats over to the Cattle Mutilation. KENTA breaks it up so Joe throws him out of the ring. Marufuji hits Sliced Bread #2 this time and Joe breaks up the count. Joe and KENTA are fighting outside the ring while Marufuji is delivering a corner to corner dropkick on Danielson. He puts the ROH World Champion on the top rope for a Super Sliced Bread #2 but Danielson reverses it to a belly-to-back superplex. Both men tag their partners and it is ON now. Joe goes for the Muscle Buster but Marufuji breaks it up. Joe and KENTA then just knock the shit out of each other. Joe tags to Danielson, who gets all sadistic on KENTA. Danielson orders Joe in the ring, which is an odd sight. They take turns chopping KENTA. Danielson calls for Joe again, but Joe walks away. Dragon suplex gets two for Danielson. He puts on Cattle Mutilation and rolls through with a rollup for two. He goes for the cross-face chicken wing but KENTA gets back to his feet and escapes the move. He's met with a Regal-plex and Marufuji breaks it up. Joe thus tosses him to the floor and hits the dive to the floor. This leaves Danielson and KENTA in the ring. KENTA hits a super falcon arrow (which I don't think I've ever seen before) but it only gets two. KENTA hits the Go To Sleep and he is able to pin the ROH World Champion clean at 33:35. Well that match was all kinds of awesome and while I don't exactly know why Joe and KENTA have such heat, but all of their interactions were electric. They have a tense staredown and don't shake hands. Joe goes to check on Danielson and KENTA grabs Danielson's belt. This infuriates Joe, and I very badly want to see them fight one-on-one. KENTA gets on the microphone and says "what's up New York City?" He says that he'll be back soon. Joe responds by saying that KENTA can't be him on Danielson in a singles match. KENTA says he doesn't understand English. Danielson shakes hands with both men on the way out.
BG says: Lance Storm briefly mentions that a match against Bryan Danielson is something that could get him out of retirement. That was perfect! There's no better way they could have introduced Storm than that.
Prince Nana flips out to Shelley and Rave about Bruce Leroy. Shelley then blames Rave for his cancelled plane ticket at Unscripted II. Rave says that it doesn't matter because when he did eventually get his title shot he didn't win anyway. Shelley argues about who got beat worse against Danielson and who got beat worse tonight. Nana tells the cameraman to go away.
TO BE CONTINUED. All I'm going to say about that is that before the final Milestone Series DVD we'd better get "TO BE CONCLUDED" instead.
JZ says: Lance Storm says, in as few words as possible, that he will take one of Bryan Danielson's open contracts.
Prince Nana is still pissed off about what Bruce Leroy did to him earlier tonight. Shelley accuses Rave of messing with his flight back at Unscripted II. This causes a sissy-fight between Nana's two charges in the Embassy.
TO BE CONTINUED…
BG says: Samoa Joe. Never before in ROH has the crowd wanted the guy on the apron in the match more than they wanted it for Joe in the main event. He didn't wrestle the majority, but he definitely had the greatest impact on this night.
JZ says: KENTA, for acting like a total prick, which helped keep the crowd hot for the main event, and particularly his interactions with Joe.
THE FOLLOWING MATCH IS NOT ON THIS DVD
BONUS MATCH: Differ Cup Finals – Minoru Fujita & Ikuto Hidaka vs. KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji, 5.8.05
BG says: This is the NOAH team against the ZERO1-MAX team in the finals of NOAH's Differ Cup. All four of these guys have worked the American independent scene at one point or another, with Hidaka and obviously KENTA and Marufuji working ROH. As for Fujita I know he's worked for Corino's PWF and I think he did a few shows with CZW.
KENTA and Fujita start. KENTA powers him to the ropes but Fujita ducks a roundhouse kick. They trade holds and KENTA puts Fujita on the mat with a headlock. Fujita comes back with a Manhattan drop and a forearm. KENTA hits a big boot but Fujita comes back with a DDT. He washes KENTA's face and tags to Hidaka. Hidaka hits a dropkick and puts on a chinlock. He demands Marufuji tag in and he does. They do a crazy wristlock sequence to a stalemate. Marufuji goes to work on the leg but Hidaka gets a headlock. Marufuji goes for a sunset flip powerbomb to the floor but settles for dropping Hidaka's face on the apron. Back in the ring Hidaka hits an elbowdrop for 1. Fujita tags in and puts on an armbar. Marufuji reverses to the head scissors and pins him for 1. KENTA tags in and kicks away. He blocks a blind charge but falls into a powerbomb. Fujita puts on the Kayak and Hidaka hits KENTA with a dropkick to the face. Fujita hits a series of legdrops and tags to Hidaka. Hidaka works over the leg and tags to Fujita. KENTA tries to fight out of the corner but cannot. Fujita rolls him up for 2 and puts on a leglock. Marufuji breaks it up. KENTA hits a springboard dropkick and tags to Marufuji. Marufuji DDT's Fujita on the ramp and puts on a camel clutch. Back in the ring Marufuji hits a back elbow for 2. He puts on a sleeper hold and tags to KENTA. KENTA hits a big boot and washes Fujita's face. Marufuji tags in and hits a springboard elbow. KENTA follows it up with the afterthought kick. On the floor Marufuji rams Fujita into a big boot from KENTA. He puts on a cobra clutch using the post and then rolls Fujita back into the ring where he gets 2. He puts the cobra clutch back on but Fujita gets to the ropes. KENTA tags in and they hit a double back elbow for 2. Fujita and KENTA trade strikes until KENTA takes him down with a clothesline. Marufuji tags in and puts on a chinlock. Fujita gets to the ropes. Marufuji puts on a cravat and tags to KENTA. KENTA puts on an abdominal stretch and Marufuji comes in to add leverage. KENTA hits a bodyslam and climbs the ropes. Fujita cuts him off and hits a superplex. Hidaka tags in and comes off the top with a missile dropkick. He hits a tornado DDT on Marufuji and a handspring leg lariat on KENTA. He hits a dragon screw and puts on a figure 4 leglock. KENTA gets to the ropes. He hits a powerslam and tags to Marufuji. Marufuji sets Hidaka up top but his hurricanrana is blocked. He catches Hidaka with a dropkick on his way down and then sets him in the Tree of Woe. Fujita pulls him from it and they hit Marufuji with a double dropkick. Marufuji dropkicks them both but Hidaka comes back with a leg lariat. He hits a springboard dropkick to the leg and a basement dropkick. Marufuji immediately comes back with a dropkick of his own. Fujita tags in and runs off Marufuji's back to kick KENTA to the floor. He hits a tombstone piledriver on Marufuji for 2. He hits an Ace Crusher for 2. Marufuji gets a roll up for 2. He hits a dropkick to the face and tags to KENTA. KENTA kicks away and hits a big boot in the corner. He hits a springboard dropkick for 2. Fujita hits an enziguiri and a leaping forearm. He hits a running elbow for 2. He sets KENTA up top and dragon screws him down. He puts on an ankle lock but Marufuji breaks it up. KENTA hits a back heel kick but Fujita comes back with an implant DDT. Hidaka hits him with a tornado DDT for 2. Fujita comes off the top with a splash for 2. He goes back to the ankle lock as Hidaka holds Marufuji in a leglock. KENTA gets to the ropes. Fujita hits a missile dropkick and a Michinoku driver for 2. He sets KENTA up top and hits a hurricanrana. Everyone beats on everyone and then Fujita gets destroyed with kicks from his opponents. KENTA hits a German suplex for 2. KENTA hits a knee strike to Fujita off of Marufuji's shoulders for 2 when Hidaka saves. Hidaka hits a powerbomb on KENTA. Marufuji hits the Shiranui on Hidaka. Fujita hits a Michinoku driver on Marufuji and KENTA hits a tiger suplex on Fujita for 2. Fujita rolls KENTA up for 2 but KENTA comes back with the Busaiku knee kick for the win. The last ten minutes of this match were beyond frantic. This was some of the craziest tag team wrestling you'll ever see, and the reason that people get excited about Japanese juniors. I'm starting to see where the criticism of KENTA's kicky-kicky style comes from, but it didn't hurt this match at all.
JZ says: This match is from a DVD I got from the website http://www.purodvdsource.com, and it's on "The Best of 2005 Volume One." This website has a ridiculous amount of Japanese wrestling, I suggest you check it out. I admit I have no idea what the Differ Cup is, but it seems like a big deal. KENTA and Fujita start it off. They trade blows culminating with a Fujita DDT. Hidaka comes in and he wants to face Marufuji. Hidaka was on a few ROH shows back in 2002. They move very fast and it's hard for me to keep up. Hidaka takes control with a headlock. He and Fujita control the flow of the match, executing some wicked double teams on KENTA. Fujita gets tossed to the outside, and Marufuji abuses him on the entrance ramp, drawing the ire of the fans. I love Marufuji's springboard elbow drop, but not as much as I love the cocky kick to the face that KENTA does. My computer froze on me and I lost a bunch of stuff I said about the middle of this match. It's really good, just so you know. KENTA locks Hidaka in a figure-four leglock but Hidaka reaches the ropes. The action gets out of control, with everyone hitting moves on everyone. Fujita hits a tombstone piledriver on Marufuji for two. Ace Crusher gets two. Hidaka and Marufuji battle outside the ring, leaving KENTA and Fujita in the ring. Fujita hits an elevated DDT but only gets two. The crowd is getting pretty excited by this point. Assisted tornado DDT on KENTA gets two. Splash off the top ropes by Fujita gets two. Dual submission spot leads to a nice false finish. Fujita hits a Michinoku Driver for two. KENTA and Marufuji take turns kicking Fujita in the head and that gets a very close near fall. This is going too fast for me to keep up with. KENTA hits Fujita with a Tiger Suplex for two. Rollup by Fujita gets two. KENTA hits a three-kick combo to get the win at 32:47. Holy shit that match was awesome and if the rest of this DVD is anywhere close to that match it's worth a purchase. Check it out at http://www.purodvdsource.com.
Coming soon will be our review of DRAGON GATE CHALLENGE!
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The 411: BG says: You can’t go wrong with two **** matches and one just shy of that. Everything else is either good or very short, so this gets a strong recommendation. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that the rest of the Milestone Series isn’t going to disappoint given how good it’s been so far.
JZ says: Two four-star matches close out the disc and that’s a great way to end any show. I’ve heard some rumblings that it’s the equal or better of last year’s Manhattan Mayhem, and that is patently untrue. However this is still a very strong show with some good stuff on the undercard and some good CZW stuff too. This is yet another easy recommendation in the Milestone Series.