ROH – MILESTONE EVENT #5 – SUPERCARD OF HONOR – CHICAGO RIDGE, IL – 3.31.06
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, 14)
2) Austin Aries (2, 8)
3) KENTA (NR, 1)
4) Christopher Daniels (NR, 1)
5) Adam Pearce (4, 3)
BG says: I'm starting to wish they'd just named these Milestone Series shows Milestone Series Part X instead of these jokes of titles we're getting. They could even subtitle the first one Fourth Anniversary Show and the last one The 100th Show, but this and the next show have awful names.
At the end of Dragon Gate Challenge Jim Cornette found out who knocked his tooth out in Ohio, and now he reveals that it was in fact Low Ki. He bans Low Ki for life from ROH, which was a decent enough way to explain his absence from ROH.
We get a video chronicling the history of Bryan Danielson's feud with Roderick Strong, hyping the main event title match tonight. It's a pretty good video all around.
Earlier today Chris Hero taunted ROH fans waiting in line to get into the building. When a woman misses him while attempting a slap he rightly declares that now she has to kiss him. She doesn't kiss him however, thus violating a centuries-long treaty between children worldwide.
CIMA and Blood Generation say some rather unintelligible stuff into the camera. At least I could understand what they were saying on the last show.
JZ says: Jim Cornette is backstage to reveal that the man who knocked his tooth out was in fact Low Ki. He says that Ki makes ridiculous demands and is a whiner and a crier. He whacks Ki with a lifetime suspension from Ring of Honor. That's a fine way to get Low Ki out of the company. He had good matches at times, but he isn't really necessary. He says he's going to go change his clothes while we see some other promos, but we'll see him in the ring in a bit.
We get a cool video package to set up Round Three of the Roderick Strong versus Bryan Danielson series for the ROH World Title, which is tonight's main event. The first two matches are tremendous, and this one felt pretty good live, so I'm anxious to see how it looks on tape.
Earlier today, Chris Hero was outside the building insulting ROH fans, one of whom takes a swing at him. He starts to cut a promo but we don't see the rest of it.
Blood Generation is back tonight. They say that Dragon Gate is on the cutting edge of pro wrestling today. Tonight will be Blood Generation versus Do Fixer in a six-man tag team match.
ROH March Top 5 Rankings
5) Samoa Joe
4) Alex Shelley
3) Christopher Daniels
2) Jimmy Yang
1) Roderick Strong
Jim Cornette Addresses the Crowd
BG says: Bobby Cruise announces that Colt Cabana will not be able to compete in his Fight Without Honor due to injury, and then brings out Jim Cornette and BJ Whitmer. Cornette announces that the attendance this evening is the largest in the history of the venue. He backhand compliments WrestleMania, which was to take place two days later and then pimps ROH to the new fans in attendance. He says that Whitmer, who is on crutches, was injured by CZW wrestlers after the show the night before. Then he rambles on and on about ultra violent wrestlers, saying he's worried that he hasn't given them a chance. So he found a couple of them at a peep show and brought them to the show. The wrestlers are Pelle Primeau and another ROH student wearing masks. Cornette taunts them for entirely too long and then brings out Samoa Joe and Adam Pearce to face them.
JZ says: Bobby Cruise makes the unfortunate announcement that Colt Cabana will not be able to compete tonight due to a concussion suffered last night in Detroit. The crowd quickly forgives Cruise when he introduces the ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette, who is coming out with BJ Whitmer on crutches and a baseball bat. He wants to know how many ROH Virgins are in the audience, as well as those who are not. He asks the old guys to say hi to the new guys. The building is absolutely packed. He mentions WrestleMania (not by name) and the crowd boos. I'm sure 90% of the people in this crowd either watched WrestleMania 22 on pay-per-view or have gotten it on tape or DVD. And if you haven't you should, because it was a good show. But I'm off track. BJ Whitmer has a broken ankle and will not be competing tonight. Cornette says his ankle was broken by a CZW attack. Now I watched the match BJ had the night before this with Jimmy Jacobs, and he took a huge fall off the top rope and was limping, and took his boot off immediacy after the match, so I'm more inclined to believe he hurt his ankle there. I understand why they would say that CZW injured him, but after the footage I saw last night it doesn't sit right. Cornette says that perhaps he's been too hard on the CZW hardcore guys, and maybe they deserve a chance. He calls out the two hardcore guys he found, and it looks kind of like Dunn & Marcos under hoods. It's probably students though. Cornette says he found two guys who are willing to wrestle these clowns, and it turns out to be Samoa Joe and Adam Pearce. That's an intimidating team. We have an impromptu match.
MATCH #1: Two Masked Hardcore Guys vs. Samoa Joe & Adam Pearce
BG says: Joe and Pearce attack before the bell. Joe beats on the bigger guy in the blue mask while Pearce works over the masked Primeau. Joe hits the muscle buster on Primeau and Pearce finishes the match with a top rope splash for the win. I felt that this coupled with the opening promo was a pretty lousy way to start the show live, and it didn't come off any better here.
JZ says: I feel bad for those two masked boys there. Pearce and Joe kill them and Joe hits one of them with the Muscle Buster and Pearce finishes with the super splash at 1:00 flat. That was a big squash. I think on the live show Cornette talked more after this, but thankfully we just cut to the next match.
MATCH #2: Four Corner Survival – Ricky Reyes vs. Delirious vs. Flash Flanagan vs. Shane Hagadorn
BG says: This is pretty much the epitome of a worthless four way, but at least I know it leads to something relatively important. Delirious freaks out at the sound of the bell but it's Flash and Reyes that start the match. They wrestle around on the mat until Delirious comes in to run laps around them. Flash shows some nice psychology by helping Hagadorn to not be sunset flipped by Reyes, but the crazy Delirious screws that up by knocking Flash to the floor. Delirious taunts Hagadorn for a while until Flash and Reyes knock him down and everyone beats on him. Everyone starts hitting big moves on everything else until Reyes picks up the win with the dragon sleeper on Delirious. This was actually quite a bit better than I remembered it being, but I remembered it being garbage. After the match Reyes reapplies the dragon sleeper to Delirious and then gets on the microphone to tell him that he doesn't belong in ROH with his gimmick.
JZ says: Shane Hagadorn is replacing Jimmy Jacobs in this match, since he is taking BJ Whitmer's place in the three-way later on with Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe. This is Flash Flanagan's ROH debut. So that leaves us with a very rag-tag foursome of guys. Dave Prazak welcomes us to the show proper. He is joined by Lenny Leonard as always. Flanagan has been wrestling for the last several years in Puerto Rico. He actually wrestled in ROH once before, as Slash Venom back at Glory by Honor III. He teamed with Chicano to take on Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer. Delirious' antics confuse everybody. They do some stuff and Delirious hits his Shadows Over Hell on Flanagan. He hits what I believe is called Chemical Imbalance on Hagadorn for two. Reyes comes in and locks the dragon sleeper on Delirious to get the victory at 6:53. That was short and uneventful, but I think I know where it's heading and I'm cool with it. Julius Smokes attacks Delirious for no good reason. Reyes joins in and puts the dragon on again. He gets on the mic. Smokes calls someone in the audience an Oreo Cookie. Reyes just swears too much, I'm not interested in what he has to say. Reyes rips at the dangly things on the back of Delirious' mask.
First Blood Hype
BG says: Chad Collyer laughs about bloodying Ace Steel the last time ROH was in Chicago. Tonight they have a first blood match. Collyer's never bled in his life so he's winning tonight for sure.
Ace Steel wanted to wish Punk a fond farewell after his last scheduled match in ROH, but Collyer bloodied him worse than he'd ever been bloodied in his entire life. He guarantees that he's going to make Collyer bleed and bleed hard. I hate this guy's promos so much.
JZ says: Collyer, with his hair fully grown back, is here to talk about his upcoming first blood match with his hated rival Ace Steel. Ace Steel comes back and talks about what the match means to him. I don't want to hear him ever. Or see him, for that matter.
MATCH #3: Jimmy Rave & Alex Shelley with Prince Nana vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Jimmy Yang
BG says: Claudio and Shelley are both sort of in competition for the Pure Title, and Rave started an issue with Yang at Best in the World when he and Prince Nana verbally assaulted Yang's friend Taimak. Shelley and Yang start. Yang grabs a wristlock and pins Shelley for 2. Rave tags in and gets stuck in the wristlock. Claudio tags in and grabs a headlock. Rave reverses to his one of his own but gets outmatched on the mat. Claudio chops both Rave and Shelley but gets distracted by the referee and hiptossed. He outsmarts the Embassy and has them kick, chop and backdrop each other. Yang hits a scary tiger flip on Rave and we get a Brokeback moment with the Embassy. Shelley tags in and gets taken down with kicks from Yang. Claudio tags in and they hit a double back elbow. They hit a European uppercut/faceplant combo for 2. Claudio mocks the Embassy and then hits a springboard back elbow for 2. Yang tags in and gets dropkicked. Rave tags in and slows the match down. Shelley tags in and gets kicked around the ring. Yang hits the post on a blind charge and falls to the floor. Rave rams him into the barricade and rolls him back into the ring for 2. He puts on a full nelson but Yang fights out. Rave hits a back elbow and tags to Shelley. Shelley hits a spinebuster and an Asai moonsault for 2. Rave tags in and they hit a clothesline/spear combo for 2. Rave climbs the ropes but gets kicked in the face on his way down. Shelley tags in and sets Yang up top. Yang fights him off and hits a missile dropkick. Rave tags in and gets enziguirid. Claudio gets the hot tag and cleans house. He hits a dropkick and a back European uppercut for 2 on Rave. He hits the Match Killer for 2 when Shelley saves. Shelley hits a dropkick to the top of the head of Claudio and a superkick on Yang. Yang dropkicks Shelley out of the ring and then runs off Claudio's back to dive onto him. Rave gets a roll up on Claudio for 2. Claudio sets Rave up top but gets rolled up for 2. They trade roll ups until Rave gets one for the win. I didn't care for that finish at all and the match struggled to keep my attention, but there was a solid amount of fun and innovative stuff in the middle.
JZ says: Shelley proclaims that he and Jimmy Rave are back on track, and they will win tonight just like they did last night over World Champion Bryan Danielson & Delirious. Shelley sells getting hit in the shoulder with a roll of toilet paper like a gunshot. Shelley rules. Daizee throws like a girl. They show clips from Claudio's awesome match with Alex Shelley back at This Means War. The Code of Honor is followed. Shelley and Yang start it off. I think this is the first time these two have ever wrestled. The crowd is just all over Jimmy Rave before he's even done anything. Castagnoli and Yang dominate with clever double teaming. Rave and Shelley cheat to gain an advantage though. Yang hurts his shoulder and the Embassy smells blood in the water. They work on Yang for a while until Claudio makes the hot tag and cleans house. Rave and Claudio do a rollup sequence that ends up with Rave getting a pinning combination that holds Claudio down to get the win at 16:04. Even though I think all four of these guys are really good, this match just never clicked, went on too long, and the finish sucked. Still, given the talent they all have it wasn't bad, just very flat.
BG says: Chris Hero runs out and grabs a microphone. He bitches about Claudio not siding with him and CZW, ignoring their friendship. He says that he's coming for him and starts throwing chairs wildly until the usual gang of nobodies takes him out.
JZ says: After the match, Chris Hero grabs the microphone and starts cutting a promo, but the crowd is all "fuck you Hero," literally. He tells Claudio that he has a bulls eye on this chest and that his guys are coming for him. Hero throws some chairs towards the ring, and I think one of them hit some lady.
MATCH #4: First Blood Match – Ace Steel vs. Chad Collyer
BG says: I was worried with the Milestone Series that I'd lose my feeling of Internet wrestling fan cynicism, but I remember this match being such a lame end to such a lame feud so it should give me some material to poop on. This match had been building since August when Collyer embarrassed and bloodied Steel on CM Punk's supposed last night in the company. Steel wanted to celebrate with his student, but couldn't because of what Collyer did to him. What followed was a series of lame promos where Steel promised to chase Collyer around the Midwest and kill him. The feud would have been tolerable if it weren't for Steel's completely unbelievable crazy guy character and cartoonish promos. Steel grabs a section sign and runs into the ring. He launches the sign at him and Collyer bails. He grabs a chair to defend himself and nails Steel with it. They struggle on the mat and fight to the floor. Nothing happens out there so they go back into the ring. Collyer hits a series of headbutts and then slugs away. He hits a bodyslam but misses a second rope kneedrop. Steel hits a dropkick and Collyer bails. Steel follows him out with a suicide dive. He rams his head into the barricade and a table but Collyer is able to take control back with a bulldog onto the folded table. Collyer grabs a section of the barricade and sets it up in the corner of the ring. He suplexes Steel from the apron to the mat and hits an elbowdrop. He hits a hiptoss to the barricade in the corner and then rams his head into it. Steel comes back and rams Collyer into the barricade piece. He brings a chair into the ring but Collyer blocks and dropkicks the chair into Steel's face. Collyer wraps the chair around Steel's head and climbs the ropes. Steel tosses him to the mat and then hits a tombstone piledriver onto the barricade. He smacks Collyer across the face with a chair and that's enough to bust him open. After the match Steel hits him with the chair again. Like most first blood matches this was dull and lacked drama. This wasn't even particularly violent, filled more with Steel shouting about killing Collyer than actually attempting to do so. And I hate to sound like a vampire, but Collyer barely bled, which is a lame payoff after how disgusting Steel bled at the beginning of the feud.
JZ says: I so do not want to see this match. This is the first match of its kind in ROH history. They brawl to start and Ace hurts his hand. Too bad this isn't a first-hard-injury match. They do more brawling and throw each other into stuff and try to make each other bleed. Steel gives Collyer a tombstone piledriver on the steel barricade in the ring. Ace levels him with a steel chair shot at Collyer is bleeding at 11:50. Well that was certainly dull and tedious. The best thing I can say is at least this feud is over. Ace gives Collyer one more chair shot after the bell.
BG says: Dave Prazak tells Homicide that his match with Colt Cabana has been cancelled because of a concussion that Cabana suffered due to Homicide's brutality the night before. Homicide says that means the feud is over. Yeah, we'll see about that.
JZ says: Dave Prazak is with Homicide and Julius Smokes. They talk about how the match with Colt Cabana is cancelled due to the concussion he sustained last night. They proclaim the feud to be over. Smokes says "pop goes the weasel" and declares Cabana is dead.
MATCH #5: AJ Styles & Matt Sydal vs. Austin Aries & Jack Evans
BG says: We get a video package hyping the Sydal/Styles vs. Aries/Evans match tonight. Sydal was brought into Generation Next to help against the Embassy, but since that feud ended Sydal hasn't turned out to be the loyal member that Austin Aries thought he would be. Sydal went after the tag team titles with Styles and lost, but now he wants another shot.
I believe the last time Aries and Evans teamed up as a two-man team was World Title Classic, and things didn't work out very well for them that night. Sydal and Evans start. They work the mat and then flip around beautifully until Sydal hits a dropkick. Styles tags in and tosses Evans to Aries and demands a tag. Aries tags in and forces Styles into his corner. Sydal tags in and gets taken to the mat. Sydal grabs a hammerlock and hits a Japanese armdrag. Aries hits a pair of armdrags and puts on an armbar. He catches Sydal with a headlock but Sydal uses Aries own strategy and hits a dropkick to escape. Aries hits a kick to the chest and demands that Styles tag in. He does and they lock up. They dodge each other's offense and Styles unloads with forearms. Sydal tags in and hits the enzirana. Styles tags in and hits a kneedrop for 2. Sydal tags in and goes for a standing moonsault but Aries gets his knees up. Evans tags in and hits a double stomp for 2. He hits a dropkick for 2. Aries tags in and hits a fisherman's neckbreaker for 2. Evans tags in and comes off the top with a double stomp. He hits a bodyslam and Ong Bak kneedrop for 2. He makes my day by actually shouting out Ong Bak before hitting it. Aries tags in and they hit a double shoulder block. Aries tosses Evans into a splash on Sydal and hits the powerdrive elbow for 2 when Styles saves. Evans tags in and hits a running knee for 2. Sydal hits a scary German suplex and tags to Styles. He rocks Aries and Evans with forearms and hits a military press spinebuster for 2. He hits a delayed vertical suplex for 2. He hits a backbreaker for 2. Sydal tags in and hits a guillotine legdrop for 2. Evans comes back with a handspring elbow. Sydal blocks a springboard clothesline with a leg lariat for 2. Styles tags in and puts on a Mutalock but Aries breaks it up. Styles hits a neckbreaker for 2. Sydal tags in and hits a double neckbreaker with Styles. He puts on a bow and arrow lock but Evans rolls away. Styles tags in but Evans squirms away and tags to Aries. Aries hits the corner elbow on Sydal and the corner dropkick on Styles. He hits the Finley roll on Sydal and Evans follows up with a big splash for 2. Evans hits a Koppo kick on Styles but then gets enziguirid down. Aries hits Styles with the crucifix bomb. Sydal hits the pumphandle piledriver on Aries. Evans hits a spinning kick on Sydal. Sydal's nose is all messed up and bloody. Evans dropkicks Styles to the floor and goes for the Space Flying Tiger Driver into the hurricanrana but Styles catches him and hits the Styles Clash on the floor. Aries hits Styles with the low suicide dive but it's bad timing as Sydal is able to hit Evans with a shooting star press for the win. This was a fantastic match. They worked off the knowledge from prior matches with each other and churned out one heck of a fast-paced contest.
Aries shows compassion for Sydal's busted nose after the match, I guess indicating that he's still a member of the group. This kid's going to end up being more trouble than he's worth to Generation Next.
JZ says: We get a nice video package detailing the events leading up to this match. It really makes Sydal and Styles look like lovers. Aries and Evans haven't worked as a two-man tag team since Third Anniversary Celebration Pt. 2. Evans and Sydal start and do a really fun wrestling sequence. Sydal gets the advantage and he tags out to Styles. AJ tosses Evans over to his own corner because he wants to wrestle Aries. The crowd really likes Aries here. Styles tags back out to Sydal. These two had a pretty good match at Arena Warfare. Aries and Sydal do some cool stuff and Aries returns the favor from Styles by throwing Sydal right over to him to make the tag. Evans and Sydal get back in the ring and Sydal almost kills Evans with a German suplex. Then I remember that Evans can't be killed and I'm no longer worried. Styles is just brutal to Evans. Evans finally makes the hot tag and he's on fire. Evans hits a big splash off the top rope on Sydal, not flipping even once. It gets two. AJ goes for the Styles Clash on Evans but Aries breaks it up with a crucifix bomb. Sydal hits Aries with the Here It Is Driver. Evans hits a spinning kick on Sydal, who appears to have had his nose broken. Evans goes for the Space Flying Tiger Driver into the rana on the floor to AJ, but he gets caught and nailed with the Styles Clash and thrown back into the ring. Aries dives out onto AJ, leaving Evans prone for Sydal shooting star press that gets the win at 17:47. That had some awesome tag team stuff in it, as all four guys know each other really well and have wrestled before. Sydal's shooting star is a thing of beauty, and this is the second straight win for Styles & Sydal.
BG says: Allison Danger is excited about the women wrestlers being able to show their talents in the six woman mayhem match. Christopher Daniels is excited about finally beating Samoa Joe in a singles match. Now Daniels wonders when he'll shake a man's hand in ROH. At this point I have to say that the handshake gimmick is pretty much a non-issue, and a lousy thing to base an angle around.
JZ says: Christopher Daniels and Allison Danger are here to talk about their recent good fortune. Danger says that the six woman mayhem match tonight will be awesome, in so many words. Daniels talks about how great it was to defeat Joe last night in Detroit. He says that people are asking the question of when he will shake hands. I really don't think anyone is actually asking that question.
MATCH #6: Dragon Gate Grudge Match – Blood Generation vs. Do Fixer
BG says: Genki gets the crowd behind him before the bell. He and Yoshino start. They fight on the mat to a stalemate and then knuckle up. Doi and Dragon Kid come in and Kid takes over with his quickness. Genki and CIMA come in and CIMA hits a dropkick. He knocks Doi off the apron by mistake and gets taken down with the head scissors. Saito and Yoshino come in and Yoshino does his rope running madness. Saito hits a side slam and holds Yoshino for a Dragon Kid top rope elbow. Kid hits a kneedrop for 1. Genki and Saito hit a double clothesline on Yoshino. They do some great double-teaming on Yoshino and tag to Dragon Kid. Doi comes in and hits Kid with a bodyslam. He hits a vertical suplex for 2. CIMA tags in and tosses Kid across the ring with one hand before hitting a double stomp. He hits a bodyslam and a senton for 2. Kid hits a back heel kick and tags to Saito. Saito hits a back elbow and a bodyslam. He hits a legdrop for 1. He puts on a chinlock but Doi breaks it up. Doi and Saito trade chops and Saito wins the exchange. Kid and Genki come in to triple-team Doi in awesome fashion for 2. Doi pulls on what's left of Genki's hair and tosses him across the ring. Yoshino and CIMA follow suit. Yoshino grabs the From Jungle and rolls Genki up for 2. Doi tags in and hits the Dai Bosou. Blood Generation does some great triple-teaming themselves for 2. Doi puts on a seated abdominal stretch but Genki gets to the ropes. CIMA hits a nasty dropkick to the tailbone and then Blood Generation does some more triple-teaming for 2. I wish these three were still a team. CIMA puts on the Turkey, I think, but the crowd gets behind Genki and he hiptosses out. Doi comes in and gets suplexed. Saito gets the hot tag and hits an overhead suplex on Doi. Kid hits the Déjà vu on Yoshino and Genki dives onto Doi on the floor. Kid follows suit as CIMA and Saito fight in the ring. Saito hits a powerbomb and the Fisherman Express for 2. CIMA hits a crazy double stomp and calls in the troops. They hit a double bulldog on Kid and Saito for 2. Yoshino hits an inverted DDT on Kid and climbs the ropes. He hits a standing double stomp for 2. Dragon Kid hits a stunner absolutely out of nowhere on Yoshino but gets faceplanted by Doi. Genki goes for a moonsault but it hits knees. He reverses the Doi 555 to a DDT for 2. Doi then hits the Doi 555 for 2. Saito catches Doi up top with Kid hits the highest super hurricanrana ever, and then follows it up with a giant splash for 2. Yoshino dropkicks an upside down Kid but gets hit with a missile dropkick from Genki. CIMA hits him with a superkick but gets hit with a DDT. Doi hits Genki with a spinebuster but walks into a hurricanrana. Saito hits a German suplex on Yoshino for 2. Kid hits a dragonrana for 2. CIMA hits the Venus on Kid but Saito catches him with a German suplex aided by a sunset flip from Kid. Genki hits CIMA with the Beach Break for 2. He climbs the ropes but gets crotched and dropkicked by a forced Saito. Blood Generation triple-teams Saito and then CIMA hits a lungblower on Genki. He hits the Schwein on Kid for 2. Doi hits a big boot on Kid for 2. The crowd chants "please don't stop" and I agree with them. Kid hits a top rope Ace Crusher and a dragonrana on Doi for the win. I dare anyone to find a more smooth and innovative match than this. It's simply good enough for me to confidently feel that nobody can. It was a complete spotfest, but still I don't see much else coming close to beating this match out this year. I'm almost tempted to go all the way here, but the match rules sort of made Do Fixer look stupid and it was too much of an exhibition to get a full five rating. It gets the same rating as the night before, but was definitely a better match. Wrap your heads around that one kids. I can't wait for their matches against Generation Next and the Embassy on the next DVD.
JZ says: Blood Generation is CIMA, Naruki Doi, and Masato Yoshino; Do Fixer is Ryo Saito, Genki Horiguchi, and Dragon Kid. If you think I can keep up with this you're nuts. The crowd is pretty excited for this one. Tomorrow night CIMA & Doi get a ROH Tag Team Title shot at Austin Aries & Roderick Strong. Blood Generation has some of the coolest double and triple team moves I've ever seen. At one point the two leaders, CIMA and Saito are in the ring together and the crowd is going nuts. This match is just sick. Dave Prazak says this action speaks for itself and I think they're done trying to call this one. This match has the best false finishes, because everything is so sick looking. The crowd chants "please don't stop," which I think is a new one. Dragon Kid gets a super ace crusher and a dragon rana to get the pin on Doi at 20:32. This is your reason to buy the DVD right here. That's one of the top 5 matches in ROH history. The appreciative crowd chants "Dragon Gate" for all six guys. The goofy "no tags needed" rule coupled with the fact that the babyface team still made "hot tags" and stuff keeps this one from going the Full Monty, but damn if it isn't this close.
BG says: Now available at ROHWrestling.com is FIP Heatstroke Night 1. I'll have a review of it up sometime in the near future I'm sure.
Nigel McGuinness is in Japan with NOAH. He's not in Chicago because he's defending the Pure Championship all over the world, which makes his belt the real World Championship. He's beaten enough people to call himself the best. He's even beaten Samoa Joe twice. The only other person who's done that is Austin Aries and he's beaten him too. But Bryan Danielson's name keeps getting brought up as the better technical and pure wrestler. But Danielson hasn't defended his belt all over the world like Nigel has, and he hasn't beaten the people that Nigel's beaten. The promo goes on a bit longer, but I have to say it was the perfect thing to push Nigel up into the main event as the post-Milestone challenger for the World Title.
JZ says: Full Impact Pro DVD's are available at rohwrestling.com. I think Brad has reviewed a few of these shows or something.
Nigel McGuinness is live via satellite from Japan, where he is working for NOAH. He says that he's the real World Champion because he's defending his title everywhere. As far as I know he didn't actually defend the title over there. Wrestling Information Archive shows almost exclusively tag team matches for him over there. Nigel points out all the guys he's beaten, and shifts his attention to World Champion Bryan Danielson, who some people say is better than Nigel.
END OF DISC ONE
MATCH #7: Six Woman Mayhem – Lacey vs. Daizee Haze vs. Allison Danger vs. MsChif vs. Rain vs. Cheerleader Melissa
BG says: Everyone goes for roll ups on everyone to start. It's a bit silly. Haze grabs a headlock on MsChif and hits a head scissors takedown. She boots Lacey in the face but Lacey comes back with a backbreaker. Danger comes in and hits the Curb Kick on Lacey. Rain hits Danger with an inverted DDT. Melissa takes Rain out and wants MsChif. She hits her with a Samoan drop. Danger has a wardrobe malfunction as she attacks Rain. Lacey hits an Uncle Slam on Danger and holds her for a dropkick from Rain. Things get complicated with linked submissions, and somehow I feel like I've seen all this before. MsChif drop toeholds Melissa and hits a series of double stomps to the back. Everyone brawls to the floor so MsChif dives off the top rope onto them. Haze follows suit with a moonsault. Back in the ring Haze hits Danger with the Mind Trip. Lacey hits a roundhouse kick on Haze. Melissa hits a back suplex on Lacey. Rain hits a clothesline on Melissa. MsChif hits a spinebuster on Rain. Danger hits the Shimmering Warlock on MsChif. MsChif hits the Code Green on Danger for 2. Lacey hits an implant DDT on MsChif for 2. Haze hits the heart punch and a big boot on Lacey for 2. Rain hits the Acid Rain on Haze for 2. Melissa hits the Air Raid Crash on Rain for 2. MsChif hits a standing moonsault on Melissa for 2. Melissa puts an inverted cloverleaf on MsChif and rams her own foot into her head. It takes two big boots from Haze to get her off. Melissa hits a pair of dropkicks on MsChif but gets misted when she attempts a third. MsChif then hits the Desecrator on Rain for the win. This was almost as good as the four way from Best in the World in my own humble opinion.
JZ says: I've worked with both MsChif and Rain before, in IWA-MS. Daizee promises to smoke all these girls like she smokes everything, right to the dome. That is so incredibly lame. Cheerleader Melissa doesn't appear to be any kind of cheerleader at all. This one starts off with a series of flash pin attempts. MsChif is very agile and flexible. Daizee ain't too bad herself. First fall wins this one. Jimmy Bower invades the announce booth to put over the SHIMMER DVDs. Lacey and Rain double team Danger, since together they comprise the Minnesota Home-Wrecking Crew. They do a contrived five-way submission spot that gets broken up by Lacey. I love it when Prazak and Leonard imitate Prince Nana. MsChif hits Danger with the Code Green but Lacey sneaks up and hits her with the Implant DDT. Haze hits Lacey with the heart punch and Yakuza kick, but Rain breaks it up and hits Daizee with a nice Acid Rain. Cheerleader Melissa breaks that up and hits the Air Raid Crash, but MsChif breaks that up and hits a standing moonsault for two. Melissa puts on the inverted cloverleaf and makes MsChif kick herself in the head. If she said out loud "stop kicking yourself! Stop kicking yourself," it'd be even cooler. MsChif gets revenge though by spitting green mist in Melissa's face. Moments later she nails Rain with the Desecrator to get the win at 8:44. That had some fun stuff in it, but it was nowhere near the four-way from Manhattan.
MATCH #8: Homicide vs. Mitch Franklin
BG says: I guess this was the new chapter in the story of the Rottweilers that Homicide was talking about. I guess if beating up students works for his buddy Reyes it should work for him. Homicide dominates the entire match with the exception of a top rope crossbody that Franklin hits for 2. Homicide comes back with a faceplant and an exploder suplex for 2. He hits a bodyslam but misses a diving headbutt. Franklin tries to come back but Homicide hits him with the Cop Killer for the win. This was just a match to get to the next segment.
JZ says: Well, this shouldn't take long. There's a guy in one of the front rows wearing the Puerto Rican flag as a t-shirt. I mean the actual flag, that's how big it is. This is the replacement match for a Fight Without Honor between Homicide and Colt Cabana. The crowd chants Cabana's name anyway. Homicide misses a diving headbutt but hits the Cop Killa to get the win at 2:35. Franklin actually got a move or two in.
MATCH #9: The War Continues – Colt Cabana vs. Homicide
BG says: Colt Cabana stumbles out from the back, unwilling to let the feud be over. He rushes the ring and they brawl. Cabana hits a butt butt and a big boot. Homicide goes to the eyes but gets slugged down. They fight to the floor where Cabana dominates. He backdrops Homicide through a table at ringside and they go back into the ring. Cabana hits a missile dropkick and a gutbuster. He goes for the Colt 45 but gets distracted by J-Train. He goes for the Colt 45 on Smokes but Homicide smacks him with a chair. Homicide sets the chair up in the corner and rams Cabana's head into it. He brings a ladder into the ring as Smokes works on a cut on Cabana's head. Homicide DDTs Cabana on the ladder and, just like the night before, wedges his head inside the ladder and hits it with a chair. This time he does it repeatedly. He gets on the microphone and tells Cabana that the feud is over and that if he sees him again he'll kill him. See, unlike Ace Steel, I believe it when Homicide can pull off a murderous gimmick.
JZ says: Colt Cabana comes out of the locker room dressed in his gear. The crowd is going nuts. Cabana says they're going to end it right now. They're brawling in the ring and I don't hear any kind of bell so I don't think this is an official match. Homicide tries to bail but Cabana will have none of it. Homicide gets backdropped through a table to the floor. Back in the ring and Cabana hits a missile dropkick. He goes for the Colt 45 but decides to grab Smokes and throw him in the ring instead and give it to him. This allows Homicide to grab a chair and waffle Cabana in the head with it and throw it at him. Homicide brings a ladder into the ring and DDT's Cabana onto it face first. He does the same thing to Cabana that he did last night with the ladder and a chair. Smokes says that Walter Payton would be rolling over in his grave, though for the life of me I can't figure out what Walter Payton has to do with this match. I know he played for the Chicago Bears, but so did a lot of people. Homicide gets on the microphone and berates Cabana and the crowd. Since this wasn't a match, I'm not going to rate it.
MATCH #10: The War Continues – Adam Pearce vs. Necro Butcher
BG says: Chris Hero and Necro Butcher rush the ring as Cabana gets helped to the back. Adam Pearce and Claudio Castagnoli come out to try to clear the ring but have some trouble. Pearce gets frustrated and dumps Necro to the floor with an overhead slam. It was a pretty sick bump. They brawl into the crowd where Necro takes over with chair shots. Pearce suplexes him onto a bunch of chairs and then smacks him with a few. This and the Cabana/Homicide feud are absolutely killing the method of selling chair shots. Back in the ring Pearce bites Necro's forehead. He tries to suplex him through a table but Hero comes back and hits him with a chair. Necro finishes things off with a side legsweep from the apron through the table. Jim Cornette comes out with his baseball bat and hits Necro so hard it looks like he crapped himself. Hero puts Cornette in an armbar but Samoa Joe makes the save. BJ Whitmer and a chair keep Hero from leaving through the locker room so he's forced to take his beating like a man. Cornette gets on the microphone and introduces Pearce, Whitmer and Joe as team ROH. That was an effective way to solidify the ROH side in the CZW war, and it also leads right into our next match.
JZ says: While Cabana is being taken to the back, Hero and Necro come back out and Hero tries to cut a promo but I can barely hear him over the crowd. Adam Pearce and Claudio Castagnoli come out and we have another pseudo "match" but I didn't hear a bell. Pearce tosses Necro to the floor and he lands with a splat. They fight through the crowd and it's pretty dark out there. Necro gives Pearce what looks like a Russian Legsweep from the apron through a table on the floor. Jim Cornette comes out and hits Necro with a baseball bat, but Hero puts an arm submission until Samoa Joe comes out to the rescue. Hero tries to run, but BJ Whitmer forces him back to the ring and Pearce levels him with a steel chair. Whitmer does the same to Hero outside the ring. Cornette says to take out the trash, while Team ROH celebrates in the ring. Cornette, Pearce, and Whitmer leave the ring, and Joe steals Roddy Piper's line from "They Live" and wants to start the three-way match.
MATCH #11: Three Way Match – Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Jimmy Jacobs
BG says: Jacobs is taking Whitmer's place in this match due to Whitmer's injury in their match together the night before. That's Darwinism in wrestling form I suppose. The amount of cell phones shining during Jacob's entrance has increased twenty fold at least. Lacey gets on the microphone and tells Jacobs that beating Joe and Daniels is the best way to make her proud. Joe and Daniels are only interested in each other, so they brawl and shrug Jacobs off. Jacobs steps on both their feet and dropkicks them. He dropkicks Joe again and hits a seated dropkick on Daniels. He hits an elbowdrop on Daniels and puts on a headlock. Daniels comes back with a leg lariat but Joe takes him down. Daniels fights off Jacobs and Joe and then uranages Jacobs onto Joe. He hits an Arabian press on Joe for 2. Joe comes back with the STJoe on Daniels. Joe dodges a crossbody from Jacobs and kicks him down. He hits a jumping kneestrike and Jacobs bails. Daniels and Jacobs fight on the floor so Joe hits them with a suicide dive. He hits an Ole kick on Daniels and rolls Jacobs back into the ring. Jacobs dodges a blind charge and goes for the Top 8 mounted punches but gets knocked down into Daniels. Daniels goes for a DVD but Joe boots him down with Jacobs on his shoulders. Joe hits a senton on Daniels for 2. Lacey gets on the apron and Joe goes after her. Jacobs comes to her rescue and slaps Joe. Daniels comes in with a roll up on Joe for 2. Jacobs goes to check on Lacey as Daniels hits an enziguiri on Joe. He hits a blue thunder bomb for 2. Joe hits a powerslam for 2 and goes right into a cross armbreaker. Daniels gets to the ropes. He hits a uranage but misses the triple jump moonsault. Jacobs hits Daniels with a spear and a Joe with a double stomp. He hits the top rope senton on Joe and an STO on Daniels. He hits Lacey's implant DDT on Daniels for 2. Daniels comes back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Jacobs reverses the Angel's Wings to a hurricanrana. He goes for the Contra Code but Daniels shoves him off into Joe's choke. Joe lets go to superkick Daniels out of the ring. Jacobs goes for the Contra Code on Jo but Joe blocks and puts on the choke for the win. They fit a ton of cool stuff into a really short match here. This could have gone a lot longer at the same pace I believe.
JZ says: Lacey cuts a promo while Jacobs shields her from Joe. Daniels is coming out sans Danger. The graphic for the match says this is a three-way dance, but it's not elimination rules. Jacobs proclaims that he and Lacey is the match of the year, not Joe and Daniels. Joe and Daniels treat Jacobs like a minor nuisance in the early going. Daniels executes an inverted DDT on Joe while throwing Jacobs onto Joe's chest. Prazak mocks Jacobs' stature. That's just not nice. Jacobs goes for the Top 8, which is of course eight punches in the corner. Prazak singing the words to Jacobs' song is funny. Joe goes after Lacey so Jacobs slaps him in the face. Lacey gets knocked off the apron so Jacobs goes to check on her so Daniels and Joe are left alone in the ring. Jacobs comes back into the ring with a spear on Daniels and a double stomp to the back of Joe. Senton on Joe and a chokehold STO to Daniels gets two. He hits the Implant DDT on Daniels for two. That's Lacey's finisher, by the way. Daniels goes for the Angel's Wings on Jacobs but he reverses it to a rana on Daniels and he goes for the Contra Code but Daniels flips him over and Joe is right there to grab him with the Choke. He has to break it to superkick Daniels, so Jacobs goes for the Contra Code but Joe reverses to the Choke and this time Jacobs taps out at 9:13. That was a fun little sprint, but they had at least five more minutes in them. Lacey is upset at the loss, so Jacobs tries singing to her to calm her down. It doesn't work.
Need More ROH?
JZ says: ROHVideos.com has a lot of exclusive content and footage from yet-to-be-released DVDs, and it's all free. Also, the ROH Merchandise shop sells stuff from lots of wrestling companies, not just ROH.
MATCH #12: ROH World Title Match – Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong
BG says: This would seemingly be the big blow off to this feud where I'd do a history lesson. However, I believe there's at least one match left in the feud so I'm not going to write up anything here in hopes that that is true. Danielson shoves Strong away immediately after shaking his hand. They knuckle up and Strong hits an armdrag. Danielson grabs a headlock and they trade holds. Danielson puts on a surfboard stretch but Strong shoves him away. Danielson gets cocky so Strong chops him down and hits a dropkick. Danielson acts unsportsmanlike so Strong armdrags him into an armbar. Danielson completely out powers Strong on a knuckle lock and attempts a monkey flip. They knuckle up and Danielson goes for the pin. Strong hits a monkey flip and chops Danielson to the floor. Danielson gets tired of the fans' comments and starts to walk to the back. Strong gets on the microphone and says naughty things to goad Danielson back to the ring. Well, they edited out Strong's stuttering, I just wish they'd cut out that entire little segment. Danielson slaps Strong down and stands on his neck. Strong hits a back bodydrop and goes for the Mexican surfboard. Danielson breaks away and they lock up. Danielson goes for the Mexican surfboard but Strong powers out. Strong goes to work on the arm and puts on a rather nasty hammerlock. Danielson hits a dropkick and then powers Strong to the mat. He hits a kneedrop and a stiff kick to the back. He hits another kneedrop for 1. He puts on a stranglehold and lays back. Strong's reaction just before Danielson wrenched it in was awesome. Strong reverses to his own stranglehold but Danielson gets his back on. Strong whips out and chops away. Danielson puts on an STF and then floats into a bow and arrow lock. Strong gets to the ropes. Danielson ties him up in those ropes and hits a dropkick to the back for 2. He hits a double kneestrike to the face and kicks away. Strong hits a leg lariat and a spinning backbreaker. He hits a clothesline for 2. He puts on the Mexican surfboard and puts Danielson on the mat for 2. He hits a back heel kick and a sunset flip for 2. They trade roll ups then Strong chops Danielson down for 2. He sets Danielson up top but Danielson fights him away and hits a European uppercut. Danielson puts on the Mexican chinlock but Strong struggles free.
Danielson hits an atomic drop when a fan calls him Bob Backlund. He hits a bodyslam and climbs the ropes. He hits the diving headbutt for 2. He puts on an abdominal stretch and uses the ropes for added leverage. The referee sees this and kicks his arm away and Strong hiptosses out. Danielson quickly puts it back on and rolls Strong up for 2. He hits a cheap shot and stomps on Strong's thighs. He goes for the Cow Killer and rolls Strong up for 2. He hits a kneedrop for 2. He hits another and a bodyslam before climbing the ropes. Strong dodges the headbutt and gets a roll up for 2. He gets another for 2. He hits a capture backbreaker for 2. He sets Danielson up top and hits a superplex for 2. He puts on the Stronghold but Danielson gets to the ropes and bails. Strong hits a diving forearm off the apron and rolls Danielson back into the ring. Danielson hits a German suplex for 2. He hits two more for 2. He puts on the crossface chicken wing but Strong gets to the ropes. Strong gets hurts his knee on the second rope and Danielson goes after it. He drives it into the mat and puts on a leglock. He floats into a modified octopus stretch but Strong gets to the ropes. Danielson, true to form, claims he's too tied up and can't let go of the hold. Strong comes back with a powerbomb into a backbreaker. His knee craps out and he can't capitalize. Danielson puts on the figure 4 leglock but Strong gets to the ropes. Strong reverses a dragon suplex to a roll up for 2. Danielson dropkicks the knee and sets Strong up top. Strong fights him off but gets dropkicked on his way down. Danielson puts on a Boston crab but Strong powers out. Strong puts on the Cow Killer but Danielson gets to the ropes. Danielson shoots Strong to the apron but ends up getting suplexed to the floor. Strong follows him out and chops away. Danielson lies up against the post and baits Strong into chopping it. The sound it made was sick. Back in the ring Danielson stomps the hand repeatedly. He puts on a wristlock but Strong gets to the ropes. Danielson hits a back heel kick and slaps and chops away knowing Strong can't return fire. Strong starts chopping with his left hand, forcing Danielson to bail. Strong follows him out but gets pitched into the crowd. Danielson goes back into the ring and then comes off the top rope onto Strong in the crowd with a diving elbow. Back in the ring Danielson comes off the top with a dropkick. He gets a crucifix pin for 2 and goes for the elbows but Strong powers out and hits the gutbuster. He hits a big boot and the Sick Kick. He hits a tiger driver for 2. He hits the half nelson backbreaker twice and an over-the-head backbreaker for 2. He goes for the Stronghold but Danielson gets to the ropes. Strong climbs the ropes but Danielson crotches him. He hits the back superplex for 2. He puts on the Cow Killer but Strong escapes to the ropes. Danielson drives his knees into Strong's head and hits a roaring forearm. He hits a dragon suplex and locks in the crossface chicken wing. Strong gets to the ropes. He crotches Danielson on the top rope and brings him down with a super gutbuster for 2. He puts on the Stronghold but Danielson reverses it to a roll up for the win.
Had the crowd not just sat through close to four hours of wrestling before this match they would have been molten throughout the entire contest. This was, in my humble opinion, as good as their match from Vendetta, my match of the year for 2005, albeit an entirely different style of match. They worked the mat almost the entire time but kept me interested for close to an hour. The way they played off of their past matches as well as the events that occurred during the match floored me. I'd have preferred that Strong not talked on the microphone but aside from that this match just proved that these two can have a phenomenal match with each other under any circumstances.
JZ says: This is Strong's third shot at Danielson and fifth shot at the World Title overall (challenged CM Punk on 7.9.05 and James Gibson on 9.2.05). Danielson has been champion since 9.17.05, and this is his fourteenth defense of that belt, all in ROH. Danielson makes Bobby Cruise announce him as "the best wrestler in Chicago this weekend," since the WWE WrestleMania is in the same city two nights from tonight. They start off nice and slow, since they have wrestled twice before so they know each other very well. Prazak gives a good, detailed history of the matches leading up to tonight's match. Jimmy Bower comes into the booth to put over the name of the show, the lame "Supercard of Honor." He actually has news though, as he announces that tomorrow night Lance Storm will face the winner of this match tomorrow night in this very building. Strong's chops are just brutal. Danielson walks toward the back, so Roderick gets on the mic and swears to get Danielson back in the ring. I hate it when people get on the mic during matches, especially a guy who's not good at cutting promos. I'm not doing much commentating on this match, but I'm enjoying it a lot and I can tell you why – it's just two guys going out and trying to prove that they are the best. I think that's true from both a storyline and legit perspective; it feels like Strong and Danielson legitimately want to one-up each other, and that's what makes their chemistry almost tangible. Even though I don't particularly like it when people say "this is wrestling as a sport" or whatever, this is the kind of match that they're talking about. Even though nothing spectacular happens, it is never boring and the time just flies by. Prazak takes another dig at WrestleMania at the same time as some fans try to quiet some other fans that are not enjoying this match. Prazak says those fans will probably enjoy John Cena's match on Sunday. And to that I say so what? I just watched that match and it happens to be very good. It's not as good as this match or even good in the same way really, but I hate all the digs that ROH takes at WWE, it just comes off as very arrogant. We get up to the 55-minute mark and I think most in the crowd are sensing a time-limit draw. Strong puts on the Strong Hold but Danielson gets a rollup out of that to get the win at 56:02. The finish was awesome and keeps both guys strong for perhaps one more match down the line. The whole match was a brilliant technical exhibition that tops their first match, but doesn't quite measure up to their second. The show is finally over after almost five hours.
BG says: Lance Storm congratulates Danielson on his win, but says that as though as his match was, his match with him tomorrow night will be even tougher. He's not coming out of retirement like other wrestlers do, he has a purpose. That purpose is to take the ROH World Championship.
Dave Prazak catches up with Colt Cabana who just rants over and over that his feud with Homicide has got to end.
TO BE CONTINUED… Only two shows to go!
JZ says: Lance Storm cuts another promo about how hard he has been training and how important it is that he came out of retirement to challenge Danielson. I'm pretty excited to see how this match turns out.
Dave Prazak is trying to get a word with Colt Cabana. He doesn't much feel like talking, but he can be heard mumbling "it's gotta end Homicide."
TO BE CONTINUED…
BONUS MATCH – Jerrelle Clark vs. Erick Stevens, Full Impact Pro Wrestling, Crystal River, Florida – 4.8.06
BG says: This was the first part of a gauntlet match to decide the number one contender to the FIP title. Stevens puts Clark on the mat to start. He puts on a front facelock but Clark comes back with a head scissors takedown. He hits a hurricanrana and Stevens bails. Stevens pulls Clark to the floor and hangs him up on the barricade. Back in the ring he hits a pair of elbowdrops for 2. Clark comes back with dropkicks and a diving forearm. Stevens hits an insane overhead suplex and puts on a camel clutch. He hits a back suplex for 2. He hits a kneelift for 2. He hits a side Russian legsweep and puts on and octopus hold. Clark escapes but Stevens cuts him off with a back elbow. He hits a neckbreaker for 2. Clark low-bridges Stevens to the floor. He goes for a hurricanrana but Stevens catches him and swings him into the post. Back in the ring Stevens gets 2. He hits a bodyslam but misses a senton. Clark blocks a DVD and hits a seated leg lariat. He hits a handspring moonsault for 2. Stevens hits a TKO for 2. Clark hits an armbreaker and puts on the Clark Bar. He hits a springboard tornado DDT and puts on an armbar but Stevens gets to the ropes. Clark hits a back heel kick but Stevens comes back with a clothesline for 2. He hits a German suplex for 2. They fight to the top where Clark hits a hurricanrana. Clark climbs up top but gets crotched. He manages to fight Stevens away and hits the 630 senton for the win. I don't know if it's the haircut or what, but somewhere between the FIP DVDs I've reviewed and now Erick Stevens has improved immensely. This was one of the more enjoyable bonus FIP matches they've put on an ROH DVD.
The other bonus feature on this DVD is the Jimmy Jacobs music video. My thoughts on this can be found on our Best in the World review.
JZ says: Okay this may be confusing because Brad and I have been adding bonus matches to our reviews, stuff that's not on the ROH DVD but that we have elsewhere. This is a bonus match from FIP that IS on the DVD Supercard of Honor. Dave Prazak and Jimmy Bower are calling the action here. This match is just to give ROH watchers a small taste of what FIP is all about. I've seen a little bit of FIP, but not as much as Brad. I think he's done some reviews or something. These guys are doing some good stuff. Clark has always been hit and miss with me, but Stevens looks like he might get solid. I believe this match was part of a gauntlet series. Stevens takes an awesome bump off a top rope rana. Clark hits the 630 to get the win at 13:40. That was a really solid match and makes me want to see more of them, which was the design of picking this match to be on this DVD!
Also included as a bonus feature is "The Ballad of Lacey" music video, which previously appeared on the Best in the World home release. It's also available on ROHVideos.com, so if you haven't seen it yet, there are plenty of places to do so! So do so!
BG says: Roderick Strong. Everything he did in his match was perfect. Well, not the little promo he cut, but I've complained about that enough. I could watch Strong and Danielson matches forever I think.
JZ says: It's the first ever six-way tie, as I cannot just give it to one of the guys from the Dragon Gate match, so they all get it.
THE FOLLOWING MATCH IS NOT ON THIS DVD
BONUS MATCH: Strong Style Challenge – Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong, Full Impact Pro "With Malice" from Lakeland, Florida on 3.25.05
BG says: They knuckle up and Danielson gets a stranglehold. Prazak argues that the Insane Dragon didn't actually get pinned by Aries in the last match, and I have to agree, the finish was screwy looking. Strong reverses the hold but Danielson goes to the corner for the break. He takes Strong to the mat with a hammerlock but Strong makes the ropes. He gets a headlock takedown but Strong powers out. Strong hits a shoulder block but Danielson comes back with a leglock. Strong makes the ropes. He hits Danielson with a hard chop and Danielson bails. Back in the ring Danielson gets a single leg takedown and puts on a Mutalock. Strong makes the ropes. They trade chops and forearms and Danielson bails again. Back in the ring Danielson gets a fireman's carry and puts on an armbar. He pins Strong for 2. He hits an armbreaker and puts on a wristlock. He stomps on Strong's elbow and then relentlessly destroys the arm. Strong tries to defend himself but can mostly only cower away. Danielson tries to put on the Mexican surfboard but Strong gets to the ropes. Danielson kicks at his chest but Strong comes back with chops. He hits a stiff dropkick for 2. He hits a delayed vertical suplex for 2. He puts on a surfboard stretch and the crowd starts HUSSing for the second time in the match. Danielson fights out of the hold and puts on his own. He turns it into a stranglehold and stomps on Strong's neck. He goes for the Cow Killer but Strong makes the ropes. He goes back to kicking Strong's chest and then hits a back kick to the face. It gets 2. He blocks a sunset flip and hits a butt splash for 2. He works a butterfly hold but Strong reverses to the uranage backbreaker for 2. He hits a leg lariat and a back bodydrop for 2. Danielson comes back with the airplane spin and does it for a very long time. In his dizzy state he dives to the floor. Back in the ring he calls for another airplane spin but Strong blocks and hits another backbreaker for 2. He unloads with chops but Danielson comes back with the Regalplex out of nowhere for the win at 18:36. Strong pretty much got dismantled in this technically sound if unexciting match.
JZ says: Danielson still has that wacky beard at this point. And he weighs 185 pounds, not 207. This would be a full seven months before their first ROH meeting. Danielson channels Lex Luger in the early going and dominates the early going. Danielson continues to dominate actually, but Strong gets a little bit of offense in. They trade some chops and this is a battle Strong can win. Danielson lands a 37-revolution Airplane Spin and he spills to the outside himself. Danielson gets the pin with the Regal-plex out of nowhere at 18:36. I didn't say much about that match; sorry about that. It was good and all but it just didn't quite catch the spark that their later stuff in ROH would. It's still nice to see the precursor though.
Coming soon will be our review of BETTER THAN OUR BEST!
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The 411: BG says: While it takes a little bit to get going this DVD is a must buy. From the Generation Next tag match on it’s mostly golden. The main event and the Dragon Gate match are both absolute must see matches. The Homicide/Cabana feud gears up for its finale and the CZW/ROH feud gets a little more organized. Get this now.
JZ says: Brad and I were talking about this Milestone Series and how it’s going to ruin our credibility with all of these stars getting thrown around. But the stuff really is this good, and this show is very good. The problem is that it’s way too long and the first half goes by too slow. I understand the “Supercard” concept but I also understand the “really long wrestling show” concept, and sometimes less is more. However, there is no way to really complain about a show with two ****1/2+ matches and another dangerously close to cracking **** and some good angle development and one of my favorites, Jimmy Jacobs, got to be in the semi main event. Buy this show now.