The first number in parentheses represents the position each wrestler was in on the last Honor Roll, and the second number represents how many consecutive Honor Rolls they have been listed.
ROH TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Austin Aries & Roderick Strong (since 12.17.05)
1) The Briscoe Brothers (3, 2)
2) Irish Airborne (4, 2)
3) Jimmy Rave & Alex Shelley (1, 2)
4) Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli (2, 2)
5) Homicide & Ricky Reyes (5, 2)
BG says: ROH reminds you to watch the ROH Video Recap on the main menu before watching the event. In it Homicide drinks a beer in the ring and reflects upon his career in ROH. We get clips of important feuds (Steve Corino, Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Colt Cabana) and his inability to win an ROH title (mostly because of controversial decisions). He promises to leave ROH if he doesn’t win a title by the end of the year. BJ Whitmer then chimes in from a farm in Ohio and talks about all the damage his body has taken during the feud with CZW. But he’s not scared of Cage of Death or the no-rope barbed wire match against Necro Butcher. The video runs down the Cage of Death line up; Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer, Adam Pearce, Ace Steel & ??? VS. Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Necro Butcher, Nate Webb & ???. NWA legend JJ Dillon will be the Keeper of the Key. The video wraps up with Dave Prazak in Florida asking Homicide if he’ll be the fifth man on team ROH. He’s been screwed over so many times that it’s going to take Jim Cornette granting him three wishes to get Homicide in Cage of Death.
Adam Pearce shows off the big scar that he was given at The 100th Show. When he looks at the scar he thinks of the CZW feud, which ends tonight. He’s not a death match wrestler but tonight ROH becomes ultraviolent.
A flashback to Hell Freezes Over is shown. The CZW feud started with a match between Chris Hero and Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Championship. Danielson has since completely removed himself from the feud.
JZ says: Adam Pearce opens the show by talking about the significance of tonight’s Cage of Death match, in concurrence with the H-shaped scar on his head. There’s clearly a match going on in the arena when this promo is being cut, you can hear the crowd chanting for something. He says that the H in his head stands for “Honor,” as in “Ring of Honor.”
We flash back to January, when Chris Hero made his ROH debut challenging Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Title at Hell Freezes Over.
MATCH #1: Seth Delay vs. Delirious
BG says: Shingo Takagi was originally scheduled to take on Delirious here but he hurt his hand in FIP the previous weekend I believe and had to cancel. The crowd is HOT for Delirious. He freaks out at the bell but it gets him stuck in a wristlock. He comes back with a series of holds but settles on a butterfly hold. Delay hits a shoulder block and gets a sunset flip for 2. Delirious comes back with a crucifix pin for 2. Delay hits a dropkick and Delirious goes to the floor. Delay dives out onto him but nearly misses and hurts his butt. Back in the ring he gets a roll up for 2. He hits a leaping forearm but Delirious comes back with twenty clotheslines and a bulldog for 2. He goes for the cobra stretch but Delay fights out and gets a roll up for 2. He hits a leaping forearm and a quick Edge-o-Matic for 2. He climbs the ropes but his back flip senton misses. That was pretty insane. Delirious takes advantage and hits Shadows Over Hell before putting on the cobra stretch for the win. Delay has improved greatly since the matches I’ve seen of his from FIP. Couple that with Delirious’ ability to get the crowd all fired up and the result is a very fun opener.
JZ says: Dave Prazak is joined by Jared David, still filling in for Lenny Leonard. This is Delay’s ROH debut; he has wrestled a bunch of times in FIP. Delirious gets a few streamers for his entrance. Delirious of course dominates in the early going. Delay executes a nice leapfrog right into a sunset flip, and even hits a nice dive to the outside. It’s not too long before Delirious hits the Roots Clotheslines followed by a bulldog for two. Delay goes for a twisting something off the top rope, but Delirious moves. He hits Shadows over Hell and locks on the Cobra Stretch to get the win at 4:48. That was a fun little opener, and Delay looked much better than I thought he would.
Main Event Hype #1
BG says: BJ Whitmer can still feel the pain of staples, barbed wire and tables when he lies in bed at night. Even after all the abuse he’s taken in the feud he’s not intimidated by CZW. After Cage of Death he’s going to finish off the Necro Butcher for good in Dayton.
Another flashback to Tag Wars 2006 sees Jim Cornette lose a tooth while trying to help remove Chris Hero and Necro Butcher from the building.
JZ says: BJ Whitmer is here to talk about his feelings on tonight’s main event. He says that he’s not intimidated by the Cage of Death, and he singles out Necro Butcher, whom he will have a barbed wire match with in Dayton on the next show.
We now flash back to Tag Wars 2006 on 1.27.06, when Chris Hero and Necro Butcher crashed the event and made Jim Cornette mad.
MATCH #2: Colt Cabana & Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Rave & Sal Rinauro
BG says: Prince Nana stands in the middle of the ring to introduce Alex Shelley’s permanent replacement in the Embassy. Daizee Haze escorts a shrouded man to the ring in a moment reminiscent of when Jimmy Rave joined the Embassy. Nana reveals that it’s Sal Rinauro and demands that he act as the new footstool for Jimmy Rave. For as much as I like Rinauro it might as well have been Haze as the new active member of the Embassy. Lord knows she’s just as good in the ring as he is.
Rave and Lethal start. Lethal grabs a wristlock band they trade holds. Sal tags in and gets stuck in a wristlock. Cabana tags in and keeps the wristlock on. Sal wants to tag out but Rave says no. Lethal tags in and Rave pulls him to the floor. Rave slaps Sal out of disappointment. Cabana and Lethal hit a double hiptoss on Sal for 2. Lethal hits a hiptoss and a dropkick for 2. Cabana tags in and hits a hiptoss and mimics Lethal’s actions. Lethal tags in and hits another dropkick. Cabana tags in and hits another dropkick. Lethal tags in and tosses Sal into the air. Rave hits Lethal with a clothesline to the back. He tags in and slugs away for 2. He hits a back suplex for 2. He hits a vertical suplex for 2. He puts on an abdominal stretch and hits a clothesline. Sal tags in and hits a legdrop. He hits a dropkick for 2. Rave hits a clothesline from the apron and tags in. He hits a bodyslam and tags to Sal. Sal comes off the top with a flying elbow for 2. He stands on the second rope and suplexes Lethal into the ring from the apron for 2. Rave tags in but Lethal fights them off and tags to Cabana. Cabana cleans house, hitting a double noggin knocker and an Asai moonsault onto both opponents for 2. He hits the Flying Asshole on Sal and a lariat on Rave for 2. Lethal comes off the top with a DDT on Rave for 2. Sal hits a stunner on Cabana and Rave follows up with the running knee for 2. Lethal hits a back flip kick on Sal and a vertical suplex on Rave. He climbs the ropes but Sal crotches him and hits a top rope bulldog. He hits Cabana with a superkick and Rave follows up with a superkick for the win. I expected nothing out of that match and it ended up being extremely entertaining. I already like the combination of Rave and Sal better than Rave and Shelley due to their interesting unequal dynamic.
JZ says: Prince Nana is in the ring to talk about the trashiness of Philadelphia. He introduces Daizee Haze and the newest member of the Embassy, who turns out to be former ROH and FIP Tag Team Champion Sal Rinauro. We learn that he is nothing more than a foot stool for Jimmy Rave. That’s pretty funny. He also acts as a shield for Rave, and Rinauro could be good in this role. Lethal is making a rare ROH appearance. Rave and Lethal start off. Sal comes in and Lethal goes to work on the arm. Cabana comes in and follows suit. Cabana and Lethal go to the outside and Rave slaps Rinauro in the face in the ring. I like this dynamic a lot. Cabana imitates Lethal’s offense, and they’re working well as a team. Rave takes a cheap shot on Lethal and goes to work on him. Cabana goes over and gets into an argument with the referee and Daizee Haze as Lethal gets beat on inside the ring. I just remembered that Lethal feuded with the Embassy back in late-2004 and early-2005, facing multiple Weapons of Mask Destruction. Nana gets in a cheap shot. Cabana gets the hot tag and cleans house on Rave and Rinauro. Cabana is so crazy over with the crowd. Both teams get a series of near falls. Lethal hits a disgusting kick to Rinauro’s face. He goes to the top and goes for the diving headbutt on Rave, but Rinauro blocks it and hits a top rope bulldog. Superkick by Rinauro followed by a spear from Rave and that’s enough to pin Cabana at 11:38. That was an awesomely high energy tag team match right out of nowhere.
Main Event Hype #2
BG says: A flashback to the 4th Anniversary Show shows Samoa Joe trying to deal with the Hero problem. At Arena Warfare a gang of CZW wrestlers beat BJ Whitmer down until ROH producers cut off the feed.
JZ says: We flash back to the Fourth Anniversary Show when Samoa Joe kicked the hell out of Chris Hero. They also show the CZW beat down on BJ Whitmer from Arena Warfare.
MATCH #3: ROH Pure Title Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Roderick Strong
BG says: Strong made Nigel tap out to the Stronghold in a tag title match at In Your Face to earn this title shot. Nigel goes on a nonsensical rant pre-match that Strong ends with a hard chop. Nigel blocks a chop and puts on a hammerlock. Strong unloads with chops and hits a backbreaker for 2. He puts on the Stronghold but Nigel uses his first rope break to escape. Nigel slams Strong’s arm to the mat and zones in on it. He puts on a cobra clutch but Strong ducks the succeeding lariat and gets a crucifix pin for 2. He hits an enziguiri and a falcon arrow for 2. He goes for the Stronghold again and Nigel uses his second rope break to prevent it. Nigel slams Strong’s arm to the mat again for 2. He hits a lariat for 2. He hits a hammerlock DDT but Strong comes back by tossing Nigel upside down into the turnbuckle. He hits a clothesline and a forearm. He hits a back suplex and a dropkick for 2. He hits a tiger driver for 2. He puts on the Stronghold and Nigel quickly uses his last rope break to escape. Nigel goes to the eyes but Strong catches him in the Stronghold. Nigel gets to the ropes but he’s out of rope breaks. He crawls to the floor to escape, just as he did against Danielson and the Cow Killer. Strong follows him out with a forearm from the apron. He rolls Nigel back into the ring but Nigel snaps the top rope against his face. I can’t believe I’ve never seen that done before. Strong hits a back suplex on the apron and chops away. Nigel asks for more, as the count gets higher. Nigel dumps Strong into the crowd and gets back into the ring at 15. Strong gets back in at 19 and gets hit with the punt/elbow combo for 2 when he uses his first rope break. Nigel hits a running European uppercut but gets caught with the Sick Kick when he goes for the handstand. Strong hits the gutbuster and another Sick Kick. Nigel comes back with the rebound lariat for 2 when Strong uses his second rope break. He climbs the ropes and goes for a senton but it hits knees. Strong goes for the second rope gutbuster but Nigel uses the referee to block and hits the Tower of London for 2. They fight to the floor and Nigel tries to hold Strong for a double count out. Strong gets close to the ring so Nigel hits a DDT and gets back into the ring at 19, winning by count out. The story of the match was great as Nigel was already afraid of the Stronghold because he tapped to it at In Your Face. After that he threw everything he had at Strong, powering through all of his offense to hit his own finishers. When all of that failed he went with what worked against Danielson and Homicide to win the match. This was worlds better than their match at Glory by Honor IV.
JZ says: This is actually the second time Strong has gotten a shot at Nigel’s pure title, the first was a not-so-impressive match back at Glory by Honor IV. He earned this shot by making Nigel submit in a tag team title defense back at In Your Face. Nigel tries to tell the crowd what to do, so Strong starts hitting chops and here we go. Nigel uses his first rope break early on when Strong goes for the Strong Hold. Nigel comes back and goes to work on the arm. Strong is just coming back from a tour of Japan where he and Austin Aries successfully defended the titles against both Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi and Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi, making the ROH Tag Team Titles now World Tag Team Titles. Strong comes back and makes Nigel use his second rope break. Nigel goes back to work on the arm and hits a lariat. Strong comes back with a big dropkick. Strong puts on the Strong Hold, and Nigel resists using his third rope break and is able to roll to the floor. Strong hits a nasty back suplex on the ring apron. He follows it with some of the loudest chops you’ll ever hear. Nigel says bring it on, so Strong brings it. Nigel tosses Strong over the guardrail hoping for a countout victory, but Strong makes it back in. Nigel hits a kick to the back and final cut off the turnbuckle and goes for the pin, but Strong uses his first rope break. Nigel goes for the Tower of London but Strong hits the double gutbuster and Nigel goes for the Rebound Clothesline but Strong hits a boot, then Nigel hits the rebound clothesline and Strong uses his second rope break to escape the pin. Nigel hits the Tower of London but Strong kicks out. Outside the ring they go, and Nigel tries to hold Strong outside the ring to get counted out. He winds up hitting a disgusting DDT on the floor, recalling the awesome Jake Roberts versus Ricky Steamboat feud. Strong tires to get back in the ring, which he shouldn’t be able to do, so Nigel pulls him back and sneaks in under the 20-count to get the win and retain the title at 15:43. Strong should have just laid on the outside for the finish, but other than that the match was super hot and fun as hell.
Main Event Hype #3
BG says: A flashback to Supercard of Honor and Better than Our Best shows us Adam Pearce’s attempt to fend off CZW on his own and Claudio’s deception while pretending to be a Ring of Honor loyalist.
JZ says: We flashback to Necro Butcher and Adam Pearce brawling at Supercard of Honor, as well as a brawl from Better Than Our Best, when Claudio was still on the side of ROH.
ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette
BG says: Commissioner Jim Cornette comes out to the ring to announce that KENTA will return to ROH when ROH returns to Philadelphia. He also announces Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA for September 16th in New York City during Glory by Honor V weekend. He says that although he desperately wants Homicide on Team ROH he will not grant him the three wishes he demands to be on the team. Bryan Danielson comes out to the ring and says that though Homicide is the CZW killer a CZW wrestler has never beaten him. He offers to be the fifth member of Team ROH and Cornette lets him on.
JZ says: Cornette first mocks the CZW fans and then thanks everyone for being there. He mentions the revived ECW, to which the crowd boos. Why is he talking about Vince McMahon, he has nothing to do with this show or ROH at all. I really hate that. He announces that KENTA will be in Philadelphia on November 4. He also announces that KENTA gets a World Title shot on September 16 in New York City. He’ll get the shot at no matter who is champion. He moves on to tonight’s Cage of Death main event. He mentions that JJ Dillon is here, and then moves onto who the fifth member of Team ROH will be. He denies Homicide’s request for three wishes, and says that plenty of guys are willing to join the team. This brings out ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson. He says that nobody from CZW has beaten him and that he is the ROH World Champion and all. He offers himself for the team, and says that no favors are necessary. Cornette likes that idea and shakes Danielson’s hand on being the fifth member of Team ROH.
Main Event Hype #4
BG says: A flashback to The 100th Show forces us to revisit the match that saw Super Dragon put BJ Whitmer through a table with a Psycho Driver and Claudio Castagnoli turn on ROH. We also see the aftermath with Adam Pearce’s open “H” gash.
JZ says: We flashback to events of The 100th Show that gave CZW the upper hand in the whole war, specifically Claudio Castagnoli defecting and the H in Adam Pearce’s head.
MATCH #4: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Irish Airborne
BG says: Jay and Dave start. Dave grabs a wristlock but Jay comes back with a front facelock. Mark tags in and puts on a chinlock. Dave counters with a head scissors takedown but Mark quickly puts on a wristlock. Dave hits a hiptoss and tags to Jake. Mark hits a stiff kick to the back and puts on a headlock. Jay tags in and puts on a headlock. Jake comes back with a springboard headlock takedown. Mark tags in and hits a leg lariat for 2. He hits a running suplex for 2. Jake hits a facebuster and a neckbreaker for 2. Dave tags in and puts up his knees for Mark to be German suplexed on. He puts on the body scissors but Mark comes back with a front facelock. Mark hits a kneelift and a gutwrench suplex. He hits a kneedrop and tags to Jay. The Briscoes hit the double shoulder tackle and Jay hits a dropkick for 2. Dave hits a springboard moonsault press and tags to Jake. They set Jay up top and Jake hits a top rope hurricanrana. Dave hits a springboard elbowdrop getting 2 for Jake. Jake hits a bodyslam and tags to Dave. Dave slams Jake off the top rope onto Jay for 2. Jay hits a back elbow for 2. He drop toeholds Dave onto the second rope and Mark hits a running knee on the apron. Mark tags in and hits a double stomp on the apron for 2. He hits a back suplex for 2. Jay tags in and they clobber Dave down. He hits a pancake and a neckbreaker for 2. Mark tags in and hits a springboard leg lariat for 2. Jay and Jake tags in and Jake hits a top rope clothesline. They hit a double spinebuster and Dave hits a springboard hurricanrana. Jay bails and Dave follows him out with a baseball slide. He rams Jay into the barricade but gets hit with a shooting star press from Mark. At the same time Jake hits a shooting star press on Jay. Back in the ring Mark hits a head and arm suplex on Jake. He powerbombs Jake into a neckbreaker from Jay for 2. Dave hits a springboard dropkick on both Briscoes. He hits an Ace Crusher for 2. Jay comes back with a DVD for 2. The Irish Airborne hit their double stomp/DVD combo on Jay for 2 when Mark saves. Mark then dumps Jake to the floor and hits the cutthroat driver on Dave for the win. There were a few awkward moments here but both teams got to show off plenty of cooperative maneuvers and the result was the Crists getting to display what they’re all about and the Briscoes getting to plow through another team.
JZ says: The commentators speculate on who the fifth member of Team CZW may be, as the Briscoes control the early portions of the match. Both teams are brothers, incidentally. The Irish get a little offense in the beginning, but the Briscoes mostly deliver the punishment. The Crist brothers keep fighting back with their high flying attack, managing to catch the Briscoes a bit off guard. Jay and Mark come back with their hard-hitting stuff. They even clubber a little bit. The battle spills to the floor and Mark and Jake hit simultaneous shooting star presses onto the opposing brother. They go back in the ring now and trade blows. Mark hits a nasty Saito Suplex. Powerbomb / neckbreaker combo by the Briscoes gets two. Jake springboards onto Jay but he caught in a sick Death Valley Driver for two. The Airborne hit their finishing move on Jay but Mark makes the save. Mark hits the Cutthroat Driver on Dave to get the win at 15:07. That was good tag team action with lots of offense and made the Crist brothers look good. The Briscoes win their fourth tag team match in a row.
Main Event Hype #5
BG says: Ace Steel talks with a fake southern accent while holding a cowbell about being recruited to Team ROH because Chris Hero and Necro Butcher hassled him during his match against Sterling Keenan. Steel plays the kind of crazy that Mick Foley is always complaining about. You know, the guy who talks about how crazy he is all the time.
A flashback to the weekend of champions chronicles BJ Whitmer taking a muscle buster at the hands of Claudio Castagnoli. He gained a measure of revenge by putting Super Dragon out of the feud with an exploder from the turnbuckle through a table on the floor.
JZ says: Ace Steel is here to cut a promo, and for some reason he’s talking in a voice that’s not his own. He goes through his history with CZW, and you can hear a cowbell ringing in the background. This is the worst fucking promo I have ever seen. He is so not believable as “crazy.” If he was called “Irritating Bumblefuck Dipshit” Ace Steel then I would believe him.
We flashback to the Weekend of Champions shows at the end of April, where the violence got out of hand and BJ Whitmer gave Super Dragon his receipt.
MATCH #5: Davey Richards vs. AJ Styles
BG says: They fight on the mat to start and Styles gets a slam. Richards goes after the leg but Styles gets to the ropes. Richards breaks a wristlock with a kick to the arm. They trade thigh kicks and stare each other down. Richards hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a snap suplex for 2. He puts on a chinlock and hits a knee to the gut. He hits a kick to the chest for 2. Styles puts on a leglock but Richards reverses to a cross armbreaker. Styles gets to the ropes. Richards hits a backbreaker and sets Styles up top. Styles fights him off and takes out his knee with a dropkick. They fight to the floor where they trade kicks. Styles hits a shinbreaker and rolls him back into the ring. He gets a roll up for 2 and puts on a legvice. He hits a bodyslam and a kneedrop for 2. He goes for the Styles Clash but Richards blocks. He goes for a springboard dropkick but Styles cuts him off with a kick to the face. Styles goes for a baseball slide but Richards catches him and hits a hanging DDT on the floor. Back in the ring Richards hits a back elbow and a back bodydrop. He hits an overhead suplex and a springboard dropkick. He unloads with kicks and hits a boot to the face. He hits a German suplex for 2. Styles hits a hammerlock back suplex for 2. He hits a German suplex but Richards rolls him up for 2. Richards hits the handspring kick but goes to the well again and gets hit with a torture rack powerbomb. It gets 2 for Styles. Styles climbs the ropes but the Spiral Tap hits knees. Richards hits a running forearm and a gutbuster. He hits a powerbomb and puts on the stretch muffler. Styles gets to the ropes. He hits the Pele kick for 2 and then hits the Styles Clash for the win. The second half of the match saw Styles and Richards going at half speed, which made sense in Styles’ case but not Richards’. Richards kind of wrestled like a heel at the end as well which was perplexing. There match didn’t have a consistent build either, it was really just spurts of quickness, then a bit of miscommunication before bouts of confusion.
JZ says: The crowd goes all nutty for AJ Styles. Personally I find him stale. This is just Richards’s fourth match in ROH, and the first not involving Jimmy Rave. They trade kicks to try to see who the manliest is or something. Richards controls the action for a few minutes, and then Styles comes back and tries to work on the knee. The battle spills to the floor and Styles goes nuts on Richards prompting a fan to ask “what did he do to you AJ?” Back in the ring Styles continues to work on the leg. Richards rolls back outside the ring, and Styles goes for a baseball slide but Richards hits a contrived DDT to the floor. Richards hits a springboard dropkick and nips up before hitting a series of kicks on Styles. For the love of shit, Styles has been working on his leg for like 10 minutes and he does all that without any sort of limp at all? Wow, you’re so cool Davey fucking Richards. Someone should steal his shoes. Not like I’ve never seen AJ Styles stop selling as well, so perhaps these guys deserve each other. Richards hits a springboard spin kick and goes for the butterfly brainbuster. He goes for the springboard again but Styles blocks it and hits the rack bomb for two. Styles goes for Spiral Tap, but Richards blocks it with his injured knees. He hits more moves involving the legs, and then hits a powerbomb followed by the stretch muffler. Styles reaches the ropes. A convoluted sequence leads to AJ hitting the Styles Clash to hand Richards his first loss in ROH at 17:02. That match was full of so much no-selling and they really didn’t look like they wanted to cooperate with each other.
Main Event Hype #6
BG says: Samoa Joe is tired of CZW going after his weak knee in sneak attacks. Tonight in the cage nobody on Team CZW will be able to escape him. When he’s done with Team CZW he’s going after Bryan Danielson.
At Ring of Homicide, the tide finally started to turn when Homicide put his pride aside and joined the anti-CZW bandwagon.
JZ says: Samoa Joe is here to talk about the main event tonight. He threatens to take his revenge on the CZW guys, and when he’s done with them he’s coming for Bryan Danielson.
Now we flashback to Ring of Homicide, the night Homicide joined the fight and took out Necro Butcher. That was one of the loudest pops in ROH history.
MATCH #6: ROH World Title Match – Bryan Danielson vs. Sonjay Dutt
BG says: Although CZW had already used their open contract Bryan Danielson asked to face the one CZW wrestler who’d made a name for himself elsewhere for the title on this show. Dutt slaps Danielson instead of shaking his hand. He stalls at the bell and cavorts with the CZW fan section. Back in the ring Danielson goes for a cheap shot and gets slapped again. Danielson slaps him back and slams him to the mat. They start playing to their respective supporters until Danielson grabs a wristlock. He hits a dropkick and Dutt bails. Back in the ring Danielson gets a headlock takedown. A chain wrestling sequence ends with Danielson leveling Dutt with a forearm. Danielson puts on the Mexican surfboard and rolls all over the ring with it before hitting the thigh stomp. Dutt tosses him to the floor and follows him out with a no-hands placha. He rams Danielson into the barricade and rolls him back into the ring. He hits an elbowdrop for 2. He hits a vertical suplex and an Arabian press for 2. He puts on a chinlock but Danielson comes back with a fall away slam. Danielson hits a dropkick for 2. He blocks a blind charge but a crossbody is met with a dropkick from Dutt. Dutt dropkicks the knee and hits an enziguiri for 2. He hits a standing shooting star press for 2. He counters the back superplex to a crossbody for 2. He hits a spinebuster but Danielson catches him with a German suplex for 2. Danielson puts on the crossface chicken wing but Dutt escapes and hits an inverted DDT for 2. Danielson hits a roaring forearm and puts on the Cow Killer. Dutt gets to the ropes. Danielson goes for pin falls but they only get 2. Dutt hits a sunset bomb for 2. He hits a superkick and climbs the ropes. He hits a moonsault stomp for 2. He puts on a camel clutch but Danielson gets to the ropes. Danielson hits the back superplex and lays in the unprotected elbows for the win. He unloads with more after the referee calls for the bell to show that he’s fired up for Cage of Death. The match itself was really nothing special as Danielson was “saving” his good stuff for the main event.
JZ says: The crowd thinks that unfavorable things are afoot for a certain Mr. Dutt. Danielson proves that pretty quickly, and different parts of the crowd seem to hate both guys equally. It’s a pretty interesting dynamic. This does lead to a lot of stalling. Danielson hits a wicked dropkick to the face and Dutt takes a powder. Back in the ring Dutt tries some fancy stuff but Danielson is just not having it and he dominates. Jimmy Bower invades the booth to hype the Cage of Death match. The challenger does actually get some offense in, and the crowd is on both men almost constantly. German Suplex gets two for Danielson. He goes for the cross face chicken wing, but he can’t lock it on. Asai DDT by Dutt gets two. Danielson comes back and gets Cattle Mutilation, but Dutt reaches the ropes. Up top they go, and Dutt blocks a superplex and this a sunset bomb for two. Moonsault stomp off the top rope gets two, and then Dutt puts on a camel clutch. Danielson gets out of it and goes up for the top rope back suplex. This leads to the elbows to the face and Sonjay can no longer protect himself at 18:48. Danielson continues to hit elbows on him to show what a CZW killer he is. That match was more interesting than good, but I was never bored.
Dave Prazak and Jared David sign off before the match even begins, because the action is going to speak for itself.
BG says: The Scoopster catches up with Nigel McGuinness at intermission while the cage is being set up. He questions the means that Nigel has used to remain Pure champion for so long. Nigel gloats that he’ll do whatever it takes to be the best champion in the world. He’d be a tag champion right now if he had a dependable partner. The camera cuts in on Colt Cabana and Lacey. Lacey quickly scampers off as Cabana argues about who the weak link was in their team in New York. He challenges Nigel to a Pure title match to prove once and for all who the better wrestler is. Nigel accepts. That promo actually accomplished a lot.
JZ says: Gary Michael Capetta is with Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness, who is bragging about his victory tonight and talking about what a great champion he is. He blames not winning the ROH Tag Team Titles on an undependable partner. Cabana happens to be within earshot (talking to Lacey, of all people … wonder where that’s going?), so he comes over and tries to make peace with Nigel. He challenges him to a Pure Title match on July 28 in Cleveland, and Nigel accepts.
Main Event Hype #7
BG says: A flashback to In Your Face shows Homicide reconciling the fact that he lost to Danielson and taking out the new CZW Champion Chris Hero. At Chi-Town Struggle Claudio Castagnoli took out Samoa Joe’s knee after his match with Delirious.
JZ says: We flashback to In Your Face, when Homicide beat Chris Hero, the second of CZW’s big guns that he defeated.
Next is Claudio and Necro beating on Samoa Joe at Chi-Town Struggle
MATCH #7: Cage of Death – Team ROH of Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer, Adam Pearce, Ace Steel & A Mystery Partner vs. Team CZW of Chris Hero, Necro Butcher, Claudio Castagnoli, Nate Webb & A Mystery Partner
BG says: The big questions here are who Team CZW’s fifth man is and whether or not Homicide will get involved in one way or another. The flashbacks and promos throughout the DVD have told the story of the feud well enough, so let’s get straight to the match. It’s under WarGames rules so the match can only end when all members of both teams have entered the cage. The cage itself is a yellow-wired and surrounds the ringside area. All sorts of weapons surround the ring. Keeper of the Key and Team ROH coach JJ Dillon wins the coin toss for his team. If you ask me it’s a bit of a conflict of interest to have ROH’s coach control the door, but it is ROH’s show.
Samoa Joe and Claudio Castagnoli start for their teams. Claudio evades Joe and hits a dropkick to start. He sets Joe up top and goes for a muscle buster but Joe blocks it. Joe punts him to the floor and follows him out with a suicide dive. He kicks a trashcan into Claudio’s face and hits the Ole Kick. Claudio rams him into a ladder and rolls him back into the ring. He opens up with European uppercuts but Joe catches him with a forearm in the corner and a Pele kick. Joe washes Claudio’s face clean out of the ring. Joe rams him into the cage and throws a ladder on him. BJ Whitmer enters the cage and hits a leg lariat on Claudio. He hits a snap suplex and Joe hits the STJoe. Joe and Whitmer hit a double shoulder block just before Chris Hero enters the cage. He pokes both opponents in the eyes and hits a dropkick on Joe. Hero boots Whitmer off of Claudio’s shoulder just before Danielson enters the cage. Danielson takes the Kings of Wrestling down with forearms and atomic drops Hero into a big boot from Joe. Danielson hits a kneedrop on Hero and Joe follows up with a senton. Joe hits a running knee on Claudio and Danielson follows up with a second rope European uppercut. Danielson tells Joe to go for the muscle buster on Hero and then takes out Joe’s knee! That selfish BASTARD! Jim Cornette flips out as Danielson hits Joe’s knee with a chair. Nate Webb comes in next for CZW as Cornette gets both Danielson and Joe out of the cage.
So now it’s Webb, Claudio and Hero all beating on Whitmer. Webb hits a moonsault from one corner to another, dropkicking a chair and a trashcan into Whitmer’s face. Whitmer starts bleeding as Pearce makes his way to the cage. Pearce single handedly gets the advantage back for his team and helps Whitmer to his feet. The numbers eventually catch up to Team ROH and the bad guys take control again. Claudio catapults Pearce into the cage just before Necro Butcher makes his entrance. Necro throws a trashcan into Whitmer’s head as the crowd chants for Homicide. Hero claps a pair of trashcan lids on Pearce’s face and Necro hits the chair-assisted bodyslam. Claudio hits an elbowdrop on Whitmer and Necro jabs Pearce with a ladder. Hero puts a cravat on Whitmer until Ace Steel breaks it up with his cowbell. Hero stops Steel’s shenanigans and Claudio rams him into the cage. Necro chokes Pearce with the cowbell strap and Hero gets on the microphone. He introduces Eddie Kingston as the last member of Team CZW, but not before being interrupted by Ace Steel’s trash can shot to the head. Nice touch there. Claudio hits Pearce with a superplex off-camera and Kingston enters the cage. Considering the Kingston/Hero issue is strictly a CZW feud it was pretty silly for Hero to go on and on like he did to introduce him.
So now it’s 5-on-3 with no hope in sight for Team ROH. A bloody Necro beats on Steel with a trashcan lid as Kingston works on Whitmer and Webb takes care of Pearce. The crowd starts chanting for Homicide again as Hero and Kingston get into it with each other. They should have taken advantage of the time they had in control because Homicide’s music hits and the crowd goes crazy. JJ Dillon lets him in the cage and he breaks a piece of wood over Kingston’s head. Necro charges Homicide with a chair but Homicide throws tacks at his bare feet and in his face. Whitmer hits him with an exploder for 2. Homicide pulls out forks and gives them to the rest of his team. Team CZW gets opened up as Pearce, Whitmer and Steel get to feel what it’s like to be Homicide. Pearce hits a piledriver on the floor on Claudio. Whitmer wraps bared wire around Necro and Pearce press slams Webb through a table on the floor from the ring. Steel hits a top rope stunner on Webb as he’s hitting a guillotine legdrop on Kingston. Steel goes for a dive on Kingston but ends up hitting a table. Pearce hits the scariest backdrop driver I’ve ever seen on Webb on the tacks. Homicide suplexes Kingston through a table but the rest of Team CZW has taken control of the match. Homicide goes for an Ace Crusher on Hero through a chair but ends up taking most of the chair himself. Pearce hits a flying elbowdrop on Webb for 2. Homicide smacks Necro and Claudio with a piece of wood and Whitmer hits an exploder suplex on Kingston on the floor. Hero and Claudio try to escape the cage but Pearce brings Claudio down with a legsweep through a table. Homicide hits his tope on Webb and Hero jumps off the cage with a moonsault onto everyone. Back in the ring he gets 2 on Homicide. Whitmer hits a brainbuster on Hero on a set up chair for 2. Whitmer and Homicide hit a double back suplex on Necro through the chair for 2. Whitmer suplexes Necro off the apron through the barbed wire table in a teaser spot for their match in Dayton. In the ring Homicide clotheslines a chair into Webb’s face and hits him with the Cop Killer onto a barbed wire board for the win.
For as little offense as CZW got near the end of the match they probably could have stood to cut 5-10 minutes off. As for Homicide scoring the winning pin being unfair to CZW, after the moonsault Hero went for a pin on Homicide and the CZW referee counted it, so as far as I’m concerned that alone put Homicide in play. The rest of the match was unadulterated violence for the sake of it and a perfect way to wrap up the feud. Danielson lets his team down just as he let ROH down throughout the feud by pretty much starting it himself and then not helping out the whole time. The absence of Joe and the numbers advantage put ROH’s win in question and then Homicide put all of his pride behind him to help the company he’s been with since the beginning win. The part of the match between Danielson’s attack on Joe and Homicide’s entrance was a little goofy, but aside from that I cannot imagine a more fitting end to this feud.
JZ says: I assume that everyone knows the rules, because I don’t feel like typing them all. JJ Dillon is here to flip the coin to see who gets the man advantage. ROH wins said coin toss, and the first man out is Samoa Joe. Claudio Castagnoli will start the match for CZW. The crowd is immediately red-hot. Joe dominates in the early going, because he’s super kick-ass and everybody likes him. He gets the Ole Kick around the cage. Claudio does get his shots in, and many in the crowd are supporting him. Joe comes back with a Pele Kick and the Face Wash. Claudio tries to take advantage, but BJ Whitmer comes out as the second man for Team ROH, so it’s two-on-one. Joe and Whitmer work as a team to decimate Claudio. Chris Hero is number two for the CZW team. Hero and Claudio are able to take advantage on the tired ROH team, but Bryan Danielson comes in as the third man for Team ROH, and he kills Hero and Claudio and the crowd is going nuts for him. He and Joe work as a team in an odd sight. That only lasts for a few minutes though, as Danielson reveals his true motive for wanting to be in the match when he clips Samoa Joe in the knee when he has Hero up for the Muscle Buster. That is some dastardly shit right there and I love it, phenomenal booking. Nate Webb comes out next for Team CZW, and Danielson leaves and Joe is injured, so it’s currently three-on-one in favor of CZW. The Champion and the Commissioner have words as the Champ goes back to the locker room. Whitmer is bleeding as Adam Pearce comes out as the next man for the ROH squad. CZW still has the one man advantage though, so they dominate Whitmer and Pearce. Necro Butcher is out next, so CZW is up 4-2. The crowd chants for Homicide, but he is nowhere to be found. Ace Steel is out next for ROH and he takes everyone out with his cowbell. Necro really takes the brunt of that weapon. Necro is busted open, but he does take possession of the cowbell and beats on Steel with it. Hero gets on the mic to try and lead a “CZW” chant. He also is introducing the fifth member of his team, a guy that he hates. Eddie Kingston is the fifth man, because he hates ROH as well, even though from what I understand his group and Hero’s group are feuding in CZW. Pearce is busted open, and Kingston is way over. The crowd chants for Homicide. Team CZW is dominating, but then Hero and Kingston get into some kind of dispute and start pushing each other. That’s when Homicide’s music hits and the crowd goes absolutely ballistic. That’s what Homicide does when he gets in the ring, and it soon comes down to him and Necro left standing. Homicide dumps out some thumbtacks and this thing just gets out of hand. Homicide brought forks with him, and he gives them to his ROH brethren. Everyone’s brawling around a lot now, and CZW still has a one man advantage because Joe is gone. Necro and Hero take some sick bumps on their heads. Whitmer and Necro take center stage for a minute to hype their upcoming barbed wire match. They take a sick bump to the floor through a barbed wire table at ringside. Homicide and Webb are alone in the center of the ring, and Webb takes a disgusting Cop Killa onto a barbed wire board and Team ROH wins the match at 40:36. I’m surprised Samoa Joe didn’t come back at all. That may have run a little bit long, but the booking was some of the best you’ll ever see within a single match and the bumps were absolutely sick. What a great payoff the seven month long feud – it was worth it.
BG says: After the match Jim Cornette has Team CZW carried out of the building. Whitmer and Steel are congratulated and leave. Homicide and Pearce are asked to stay. Cornette thanks Pearce for being his eyes and ears in ROH during his absence and thanks Homicide for leading Team ROH to victory. He decides to give Homicide his three wishes and asks what they are. Homicide wants a match against Steve Corino. Cornette gives it to him. Homicide wants a match for the World title. Cornette gives it to him. Homicide wants Cornette to reinstate Low Ki. Ki knocked out Cornette’s tooth and he won’t grant that wish. He says that’s a wish for Ki but he’ll grant any third wish for Homicide. All Homicide wants is Ki reinstated so Cornette questions his heterosexuality. Homicide calls him a lair and spits in his face. Cornette responds with mace treatment and JJ Dillon locks the cage door. J-Train tries to climb over the cage to help and gets mace in the face as well. Pearce and Dillon handcuff Homicide to the turnbuckle and Cornette whips him with his belt. Pearce and Dillon keep the students and security from entering the cage as Cornette finishes up his punishment. That was a HOT post-match angle.
JZ says: Jim Cornette comes out to brag, and the students come out to drag the CZW guys away from the ring. He thanks Adam Pearce and Homicide specifically for their contributions. Cornette says he wants to grant Homicide’s three wishes. The first one is that he wants a match with Steve Corino. Cornette complies. Homicide then asks for a guaranteed ROH World Title shot, which Cornette also agrees to. His third wish is for Cornette to reinstate Low Ki, an idea Cornette does not like but the crowd does. Cornette says that he wants to do favors for Homicide, not Low Ki, and does not grant that wish. Homicide spits on Cornette, so Pearce attacks him and Cornette throws powder in his eyes. JJ Dillon locks the cage door, so that the three of them can beat up Homicide without J-Train getting involved. He tries to climb over the cage, but Cornette sprays something into his eyes. Homicide is handcuffed to the corner, and Cornette whips him with his belt. The crowd chants for Low Ki, but I’m telling you, he’s not there. The students try to get in, but Pearce and Dillon are warding them off. The sigh of Jim Cornette beating up Homicide is indeed an odd one. That sets up for the “evil Commissioner versus underdog babyface just trying to get a title shot” storyline that I’m sure they can milk a few months out of.
BG says: Homicide gets it this time around as the entire main event revolved around him and was carried out brilliantly.
JZ says: The success of the main event basically did fall on Homicide, and in that case it worked out perfectly, so I’m going to second Brad’s notion.
THE FOLLOWING MATCH IS NOT ON THIS DVD
BONUS MATCH: Cage of Death – Team Zandig vs. HIV, CZW Cage of Death 5: Suspension, Philadelphia, PA, 12.13.03
BG says: This match has different rules and is structured completely differently than its ROH counterpart. Here there are two rings, one filled with thumbtacks and the other surrounded by the Cage of Death. Going from the stage, over the thumbtack ring and to the Cage of Death is a scaffold. The goal is to get from the stage, over the scaffold, to the Cage of Death and back without touching the floor. If a wrestler touches the floor he is eliminated. There are six members on each team and they come out according to a random drawing. This means that the match could end up being 6-on-1 at some point. From what I can gather the winning team is the first to either get back to the stage or eliminate all their opponents.
Zandig and Kashmere start. Kashmere has on a bulletproof vest and a motorcycle helmet. He hits a spear and rams Zandig’s face into the scaffold. Zandig fights back and hits a bodyslam. He opens Kashmere up and then throws him into the caged ring. Messiah and Trent Acid come out next. Why HiV gets to have two guys come out and once is beyond me. Zandig tosses Kashmere into a gate in the ring but the numbers catch up to him and Acid hits him with a serving tray. B-Boy comes out next to make it 4-on-1. He doesn’t make it to the cage however, because New Jack comes out immediately after and threatens B-Boy with his knife. The action completely stops for a while and then New Jack turns on Zandig. LOBO runs out and clotheslines everyone down. Ian Knoxx follows suit when LOBO goes down. B-Boy and Knoxx fight on the scaffold as New Jack cuts up Zandig. Knoxx throws B-Boy into the ring full of tacks and then follows him down with an elbowdrop. That’s pretty insane. Nick Gage comes out next and tries to even the odds for Team Zandig. Adam Flash comes out and goes after Knoxx in the ring of tacks. We find out the B-Boy was eliminated off camera. Knoxx tries to climb back onto the scaffold but Flash brings him back into the tacks with a top rope spear. B-Boy pulls Zandig to the floor to eliminate him as Wifebeater crosses the scaffold. Flash jumps off the scaffold into the cage onto Gage with a legdrop. Someone puts Zandig on a table on the floor and New Jack jumps off the cage onto him, eliminating himself. Nate Hatred enters the cage and brawls with former partner Gage. Acid boots Knoxx off the scaffold through a table on the floor, eliminating him. Hatred cuts up Wifebeater’s face with a cheese grater as Acid carefully knocks Gage into the ring of tacks. LOBO hits a DVD on both Kashmere and his manager Dewey Donovan off of the cage through a table on the floor, eliminating both himself and Kashmere. Acid dives off the scaffold onto Gage, driving them both into the tacks. Flash hits a spear on Wifebeater while wearing the helmet. HiV tries to hang Wifebeater from the scaffold with a chain but can’t get the job done. Gage hits a chokeslam off the apron of the ring of tacks on Acid to eliminate him. He and Hatred go at it as Flash runs back across the scaffold to the starting point. Wifebeater follows suit but then both men fight back to the scaffold. Wifebeater hits a snap suplex and a side slam into the ring of tacks. He hits a Cactus clothesline to the floor, but the commentators say that it doesn’t matter because they’d already gone back to the stage. Messiah and Hatred set Gage up on a table and climb to the scaffold. Hatred then turns on Messiah as Gage puts tacks on the table. Gage and Hatred hit a double slam off the scaffold through the table of tacks on Messiah. They dump Messiah to the floor to eliminate him and the match is awarded to Team Zandig.
This was a total stunt show with very weak brawling in between the insane spots. Now don’t get me wrong, the some of the spots were great to watch, but this match was completely mindless. The finish doesn’t make sense because Hatred was still a member of HiV, even if he turned on them. If anything the match ended in a draw because each team had four men eliminated and two men score points for their team. I guess CZW loyalists would argue that New Jack and Nate Hatred traded teams but that’s pretty far out there. Anyway, this does get some points for the sheer extent of the spots.
JZ says: I have no idea what the back story to any of this is, we’re just using this as a bonus match because it’s the only other Cage of Death match that any either of us or our roommate has. I also remember it being a big deal for one reason or another when it happened, so let’s take a look. It’s a very impressive structure really. John Zandig explains the rules, and he will start the match for his team, while Backseat Boy Johnny Kashmere will start it for HIV. The match starts on the ceiling, which looks extremely unsafe. You are eliminated when you touch the floor, I’m told. Messiah and Trent Acid come out next, so Zandig is outnumbered 3-1. B-Boy is the next guy out, and now it’s four on one. A few seconds later, Team Zandig finally gets its second member, which is New Jack. The crowd goes absolutely nuts for him. He enters the cage and promptly turns on Zandig, making it five on one. Lobo is the next guy out, to finally give Zandig backup. Ian Knox follows soon after. He tosses B-Boy throw one of the side partitions into a second ring (not surrounded by the cage) filled with thumbtacks. He follows it up with a ridiculous flying elbow. Nick Gage comes out next. Adam Flash is out next and he goes after Knox in the thumbtack ring. B-Boy has been eliminated. Knox takes a sick spear from the side partition onto the tacks. Zandig is eliminated as Wifebeater comes out. Nate Hatred is next out. Knox takes a Yakuza Kick from Acid off the walkway and he’s out. The commentators keep talking about getting back to the starting point, and I have no idea what they’re talking about. Lobo hits a Death Valley driver on two guys at the same time from the top of the cage through two tables on the floor. Someone else gets eliminated. Somebody turns on somebody and I’m just lost at this point. The Hate Club reunites and the bell rings at 27:45, though I guess the match isn’t over. They push Messiah to the floor and win the match for real at 28:38. I guess if I was watching CZW at the time and knew about the storylines, this may have been interesting, but I had no idea who anyone was or what the feuds were, so everything in between the big spots was pretty meaningless to me. I will give them credit for the outlandish dangerousness of everything they did, but it had no flow or build whatsoever.
Coming soon will be our review of WAR OF THE WIRE II!
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The 411: BG says: A rundown of the show sees a fun opener, a surprisingly fun tag match, a great Pure Title match, another tag match with spotty goodness, disappointing but respectable matches from Richards, Styles, Danielson and Dutt and a delightfully violent main event. The post-match angle really puts this show over the top in the must-buy category. What everything really comes down to is that if you’ve invested any time in the engaging CZW angle there’s no reason you shouldn’t own this DVD.
JZ says: Some of the stuff on this show I did not expect to be that great (like most of the undercard) that turned out to be really good, and the main event was perfectly booked mayhem and a GREAT way to cap off arguably ROH’s biggest feud ever, so this DVD is certainly a must-have.