ROH – Dedicated – Braintree, Massachusetts – January 26, 2007
BG says: The Video Wire kicks off with Danielson respectfully handing over the title to new champion Homicide. It is just now occurring to me that ROH Video Wires don’t have hosts anymore. The next clip is of the Briscoes manhandling the ROH students who came out at the beginning of Final Battle dressed as Santa Clause and elves. Next up are stills of the end of the Homicide/Danielson match at Final Battle and Homicide’s post-match celebration. Homicide’s defense schedule is shown. He has defenses against Chris Hero, Samoa Joe and Jimmy Rave lined up. Christopher Daniels catches up with Mohammad Yone and compliments him on his amazing afro. Yone tells Daniels that women love the afro. Daniels tells Yone that women love the bald head. Great segment that I hope leads to Yone coming to ROH to wrestle. Finally we get the Claudio/Hero/Sweeney segment in which Claudio announced he’d be staying in ROH and Hero dumped him for super agent Larry Sweeney.
The next Video Wire starts where the last one left off. Samoa Joe comes out to the ring and tells Claudio to hit the bricks. He challenges NOAH which draws out Nigel McGuinness. Nigel tells Joe he’ll ask the NOAH office to send someone over and then gets in Joe’s face. Jimmy Rave attacks Nigel from behind so Joe slaps him down. Next up is old footage of Jimmy Jacobs’s pitiful relationship with Lacey and the trouble it caused for Colt Cabana and BJ Whitmer. The wire wraps up with Jacobs’s newest music video. This one is much darker and less funny than the last two. In this one he drinks vodka in public, pours blood on his face and breaks a mirror. Brilliant, disturbing stuff. I get the biggest kick out of the fact that Jacobs needed to mix the vodka with cranberry juice and he still ended up puking in the pond. Bryan Danielson aside Jacobs easily is the most interesting character in the company. So apparently the Video Wire is now just for people who didn’t buy the previous DVD or people who want to follow along with ROH happenings online because there’s no original footage to be found on them anymore. Well, the music video was new but that’s about it.
The show proper starts off with a ten-bell salute to the recently departed former interim ROH owner Doug Gentry. Gentry had died earlier that day due to some sort of heart disease or infection. The show is dedicated to his memory, hence the title.
Next up Rebecca Bayless is introduced as the newest ROH interviewer. Her first task is to interview the new World Champion Homicide. Bayless makes sexually suggestive remarks at Homicide before asking him the hard hitting question that everyone wants to know; how is he feeling tonight? Homicide feels great but doesn’t get a chance to say a lot before Larry Sweeney comes out to the ring. Bayless get snippy with Sweeney but he no-sells it to talk up his charge Chris Hero. Hero will be challenging for the title tonight. Sweeney points out problems with Homicide that I’m shocked ROH would allow to be said on camera (his wearing of a shirt, lack of psychology in his matches, etc.) Hero sneaks in from behind and attacks Homicide. Sweeney attacks Julius Smokes and we have ourselves a heatless beat down. The returning Rocky Romero makes the save but then asks Homicide why he hasn’t called him in a year. Smokes doesn’t want the dirty laundry aired out in public so he and Homicide leave. Romero calls out Richards out for his match. Weird segues in that segment, and honestly Hero is the last person who needs a manager.
JZ says: Bobby Cruise is in the ring to start the show by asking for everyone to rise for the 10-bell salute to Doug Gentry, who passed away earlier in the day. I never met the man, but everyone seemed to like him and anytime someone that young dies it’s very sad, and I’m glad that ROH made mention of this despite the relationship with he-who-must-not-be-named.
We introduce the show proper with new ROH interviewer Rebecca Bayless. Great, we have to see her before Sugar Shawn Price makes his return? Bayless proves her ineptness almost the second she opens her mouth. She asks the scintillating question “how you feelin’ tonight?” He doesn’t get too far into his speech when Larry Sweeney comes out to interrupt. Sweeney outclasses everyone in that ring. He promises that Hero will win the World Title and proceeds to run down Homicide and Julius Smokes. Sweeney starts walking toward the back, and Chris Hero sneaks in from the other side and delivers a huge kick to Homicide’s face. Sweeney comes in to beat down Smokes while Hero holds up the belt. Rocky Romero, of all people, comes out to make the save, sort of. The crowd chants “welcome back.” Romero wants to know where Homicide has been. He wants to know why Homicide hasn’t called him in the last year. Smokes demands that the camera man turn it off. He and Homicide take off, and Romero is ready to start his match.
MATCH #1: Davey Richards vs. Rocky Romero
BG says: Richards acts a heel before the match, refusing to shake Romero’s hand. They lock up and Romero powers Richards to the ropes. He goes for a cheap kick but Richards blocks. Richards puts Romero on the mat but Romero comes back with a cross armbreaker. Richards counters to a half crab but Romero powers out. Richards puts on a cravat but Romero comes back with slaps. Richards puts on a headlock but Romero catches him with armdrags. He puts on an anklelock and hits a running kick. He hits a snap suplex and a bodyslam. He hits a kneedrop but Richards gets back in control with a headlock takedown. Romero kicks him down and dumps him to the floor. Richards fires back on the floor with kicks and a boot into the crowd. Back at ringside they trade strikes. In the ring Romero gets 2. Richards hits a knee to the gut and a kick to the back. He hits a bodyslam and an elbowdrop for 2. He hits a snap suplex for 2. He puts on a chinlock but Romero comes back with an octopus stretch. Richards gets to the ropes. They trade chops and Richards hangs Romero on the top rope. He sets up him top but Romero fights him off. Richards swats a dropkick away and hits a backbreaker for 2. He unloads with kicks and hits a bodyslam. He puts on a chinlock but Romero fights out. Richards hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but Romero low bridges him to the floor. He follows Richards out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Romero hits a German suplex for 2. He hits a back heel kick and a climbing knee. He hits a falcon arrow for 2. He counters a powerbomb to a hurricanrana but Richards comes back with a turnbuckle powerbomb. He hits the running powerbomb for 2. He dumps Romero to the floor and hits a bodyslam there. Romero comes back with one of his own bodyslams on the floor. Richards hits a Manhattan drop but kicks the post by accident. Back in the ring Romero goes after the bad leg. He catches it in midair and hits a dragon screw. Richards hits an enziguiri but Romero counters the D.R. Driver to an anklelock. Richards gets a roll up for 2. He hits a DDT and puts the 14:59. Romero escapes and puts the anklelock back on with a grapevine for the win. The action was good but there was no heat or drama until Richards hurt his leg near the end.
Jimmy Rave cuts a backstage promo about his new submission. It has already put down BJ Whitmer, El Generico and Nigel McGuinness three times. He’s going to make someone tap in his match tonight and when he faces Homicide for the title he’ll make him tap too. I’m not sure what he was looking at but I guess he’s starting to get camera shy.
JZ says: It’s a battle of two really hard kickers! Romero hasn’t been in ROH since Final Battle 2005, when he lost to ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson. They feel each other out in the early going, with each guy going for kicks and/or submissions. Richards should stop talking so much during his matches. They continue to mat wrestle, with Romero coming up on the winning end. Romero uses kicks and strikes and then tosses Richards to the floor and into the guardrail. Outside the ring Richards comes back and screams like a girl while delivering a running Mafia kick. Romero comes back and they trade strikes, with Romero winning that battle too. Richards comes back with some of his stuff, and this one continues to be a back and forth contest. He works on Romero’s back now, hitting a backbreaker and locking on a body scissors. The battle spills to the floor where Romero hits a dive through the ropes and spits on both referee Todd Sinclair and Richards. Back in the ring Romero hits a German Suplex for two. A knee to the face and a Falcon Arrow gets a near fall. Richards tries a Liger Bomb but Romero counters with a rana. He tries a rana off the middle rope and Richards counters that with a Powerbomb into the corner and then connects with the Liger Bomb for two. They go back to the floor and Richards bodyslams Romero on the concrete. Richards goes for a kick but Romero ducks and he hits nothing but ring post. Richards hits an enziguiri with his injured leg. Sigh. Romero puts on an ankle lock but Richards escapes and gets a small package for two. A DDT leads to the 14:59 but Romero escapes and goes back to the ankle lock. Richards eventually taps out at 18:50. That was a really good opener, despite Richards’s finicky selling at the end.
After the match Jimmy Bower comes on commentary to say that tonight’s show is Dedicated to Doug Gentry, and he says he misses him and will never forget him.
Jimmy Rave cuts a short promo backstage about how devastating his heel hook finisher is, and says that he will win the ROH World Title (his shot comes on February 16). Why in the holy hell is he looking off in another direction besides the camera? I mean, the camera has to be there in order for us to be seeing it so we’re already well aware of it and pretty cool about it I think.
MATCH #2: Jack Evans vs. Eddie Edwards
BG says: You can watch this match for free on ROHVideos.com. Edwards is using a Methods of Mayhem song for his entrance music. That has bad idea written all over it. They lock up and Edwards powers Evans to the corner. He puts on a wristlock and puts Evans on the mat. Evans hits a hurricanrana to escape. He hits a satellite head scissors takedown and a dropkick. Edwards chops him down but Evans comes back with a springboard kick. Edwards bails and powerbombs Evans on the apron. Holy crap that was hard to watch. Back in the ring Edwards gets 2. He hits a back elbow for 2. He puts on a modified STF but Evans gets to the ropes. Edwards hits a snap suplex for 2. Evans hits a high kick sending Edwards to the floor. Evans follows him out with a springboard 450 dive. Back in the ring Evans hits a double stomp twisting splash for 2. He hits a side kick and a flying knee for 2. Edwards hits a back kick and a top rope dropkick. He hits a flying knee of his own for 2. Evans hits a drop toehold into the corner but Edwards catches him with a facebuster for 2. They fight up top where Evans fights off Edwards and hits the 630 senton for the win. This was a much better showing from Edwards here than his debut match against Aries. Evans also got a chance to show off some of his new offense.
JZ says: Edwards’s hair is kind of weird looking, but I guess he needs something to make himself stand out. This is Evans’s return match from a three month or so tour of Dragon Gate. Edwards tries using his power early on, but the agility of Evans is too much to overcome. They go to the floor and Edwards is able to hit a nasty looking Powerbomb right onto the ring apron. That gets a small “Eddie Edwards” chant. Back in the ring Edwards stays in control and hits a nice snap suplex. Evans comes back and knocks Edwards to the floor and hits a big somersault dive. He rolls Edwards back into the ring and hits an awesome variation of the Vader Bomb. He follows that with a kick to the head and a knee to the face that proves that he is working on his strikes and becoming more awesome than he already is. Edwards fights back and hits a missile dropkick. Evans retakes control and gets on the top rope and nails the 630 senton to get the pin at 8:29. I liked this Edwards match a lot better than his last one. Evans is getting scary good.
MATCH #3: Delirious & Pelle Primeau vs. Adam Pearce & Shane Hagadorn
BG says: Pearce and Hagadorn attack before the bell. Delirious and Primeau come back with crossbodies for 2. Delirious slams Hagadorn onto Pearce and puts on a chinlock. Primeau hits a dropkick to the face on both opponents. Primeau puts a wristlock on Pearce and tags to Delirious. Delirious stays on the wrist and tags to Primeau. Pearce comes back with a back elbow and tags to Hagadorn. Primeau hits an armdrag into an armbar. He hits a hurricanrana and clobbers Hagadorn down. Pearce hits a cheap shot and Hagadorn hits a clothesline. Pearce tags in and slams Primeau across the ring. He does it again and fake tags Hagadorn. Hagadorn puts on a chinlock and then hits a big slam. Delirious pulls Pearce to the floor and rams him into the barricade. Primeau puts a cross armbreaker on Hagadorn but he gets to the ropes. Pearce press slams Delirious into the post and tags in. He hits a shoulder tackle for 2. He hits a release falcon arrow and a chokeslam. Hagadorn tags in and hits a vertical suplex for 2. He hits a running knee and a side Russian legsweep for 2. Primeau gets a sunset flip for 2. He hits the scariest piledriver I’ve ever seen for 2. Pearce tags in and hits a guillotine elbowdrop for 2. Hagadorn tags in and runs into a hurricanrana. Primeau hits a DDT on Pearce and tags to Delirious. Delirious cleans house with clotheslines and kicks. He hits the Neverending Story clotheslines on Pearce and a leaping clothesline on Hagadorn. He hits the Panic Attack and Shadows Over Hell on Pearce but Pearce isn’t legal. Primeau hits a double stomp on Hagadorn and dumps Pearce to the floor. He dives onto Pearce but Pearce catches him and slams him into the barricade. Delirious puts the Cobra Stretch on Hagadorn for the win moments later. The Pearce/Primeau segments were fun due to the size difference but Primeau and Hagadorn both had their share of goofs and looked pretty nervous out there.
The Briscoes start a promo looking at whatever Rave was looking at. They won and lost the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship in NOAH and now they’re focused on the ROH tag titles. Mark thankfully looks into the camera to tell Austin Aries and Roderick Strong to man up as Jay tells us that they’ll win the 2/3 falls match in two straight falls.
JZ says: Well, at least Ace Steel isn’t in this one. Pearce is wearing Chris Sabo goggles for some reason. Hagadorn is still the Top of the Class Trophy holder. The heels attack right away as I try to figure out why Delirious is feuding with Adam Pearce. The babyfaces soon take over and execute some unique double team moves. They go to work on Pearce’s arm. The heels cheat to gain an advantage and go to work on Primeau, the smallest man in the match. Primeau comes back on Hagadorn while Delirious just goes over to where Pearce is and starts fighting with him on the floor. I look away for a second and now Pearce is in the ring beating up Primeau. The heels are really dismantling Primeau here, even hitting the Demolition Decapitation Elbow. He recovers though and makes the hot tag to Delirious. He hits Shadows over Hell on Pearce, but he’s not legal so Sinclair won’t count. Delirious and Primeau do some more double teaming and they’re able to position Pearce outside the ring. Primeau tries a dive but Pearce catches him and slams him back first into the barricade. Back in the ring Delirious hits the Cobra Clutch Backbreaker into the Cobra Stretch and that’s all at 11:16. That was a brisk and inoffensive tag match.
Backstage the Briscoes are looking away from the camera, but Mark stops that nonsense and calls he and his brother beating Austin Aries & Roderick Strong in two straight falls tonight.
MATCH #4: Colt Cabana, BJ Whitmer & Daizee Haze vs. Jimmy Jacobs, Brent Albright & Lacey
BG says: Jacobs, Albright and Lacey attack their opponents during their entrance. Everyone pairs up and brawls on the floor. In the ring Whitmer blocks the satellite head scissors and hits a suicide dive on Jacobs. Lacey and Haze get in the ring and Haze hits a Thesz Press. Albright trips Haze and Lacey hits her with the implant DDT. Whitmer goes after Lacey but Albright makes the save. He hits a side Russian legsweep on Whitmer and tosses Jacobs into Cabana for 2. Jacobs hits an elbowdrop on Whitmer and Albright hits a clothesline to Cabana’s back. Cabana hits a moonsault press on Albright and Jacobs and elbows Lacey down. He hits a double noggin knocker and the Flying Asshole on both male opponents. He goes to hit it on Lacey but she dodges it. Whitmer goes for an exploder on Lacey but Cabana stop shim and gets a table. Haze is sporting a huge bump on her head. Whitmer goes to powerbomb Lacey through the table but Jacobs spears him to stop it. Lacey goes after Cabana but he shrugs her off and Haze hits her with a Yakuza kick. Whitmer hits a turnbuckle powerbomb on Jacobs and Haze hits him with the Shattered Dreams. Albright runs in with a chair and takes Whitmer and Cabana out. He German suplexes Haze across the ring and helps Lacey set her up on the table. Jacobs finishes her off with a top rope senton through the table to win the match. This was short and sweet but not quite as violent as the hype made it out to be.
JZ says: This is a no-disqualification match, so the heels attack the babyfaces during their entrance and it’s a big brawl on the floor to start with. Whitmer and Jacobs are the first ones to get in the ring and Jacobs tries his satellite headscissors but Whitmer just tosses him aside and hits a dive to the floor on his arch nemesis. Haze and Lacey get in the ring now as the men brawl on the floor. The men get in the ring now and the women are on the floor, and we get a little picture-in-picture to try and keep up with all the action. Prazak points out that Lacey is not at all disfigured as Jacobs said she was, to put over how over the edge he is. Cabana hits an ugly quebrada on his opponents and is able to fight off both of them for a minute. He hits elbows on both of them and even has one for Lacey. He uses the move he named after himself, the Flying Asshole, and then dumps Albright to the floor. Whitmer is back in now and he has Lacey in a headlock and Cabana goes out to get a table. Jacobs thwarts their evil plan to put Lacey through a table, but he winds up getting beat on by all three of his opponents. Whitmer hits a Powerbomb into the turnbuckle and Haze kicks him in the nuts. Albright grabs a steel chair and takes out Cabana and Whitmer and then murders Haze with a release German Suplex. Lacey gets up and they put Haze on the table and Jacobs goes to the top rope and hits a senton bomb and gets the pin at 10:44. That was a decent enough brawl, and I like that the heels won by beating a girl. Lacey cuts an awful promo after the match and then Cabana and Whitmer run them off with chairs. Haze is able to get up and walk out under her own power, which really shouldn’t have happened.
MATCH #5: Samoa Joe vs. Nigel McGuinness
BG says: Nigel finally got tired of Joe ripping on NOAH so we have this match. They lock up and Nigel holds his own with Joe. He slaps him against the ropes but Joe comes back with kicks. Joe hits the STJoe and kicks Nigel some more. He hits the Big Joe Combo and an enziguiri for 2. He hits another enziguiri and puts on a chinlock. He blocks the rebound lariat with a back elbow and Nigel bails. Joe follows him out with a suicide dive. I know that a novelty exists in a guy the size of Joe doing a suicide dive, but when it looks as lazy as that one did it might be time to remove it from the repertoire. Joe hits the Olé Kick but Nigel comes back with a lariat on the floor. He snaps the top rope into Joe’s eyes and rams his shoulder into the turnbuckle. He stays on the shoulder with strikes and a bridging armbar. He gets a hammerlock takedown and Joe starts favoring the shoulder. He puts on his modified Rings of Saturn but Joe comes back with another enziguiri. He hits a powerslam for 2 and puts on a cross armbreaker. Nigel gets to the ropes. Joe hits a powerbomb for 2 and puts on the Samoan crab. He switches to the STF and then to an armbar but Nigel gets to the ropes. Nigel hits a handstand kick for 2. He hits a running European uppercut and a short arm lariat for 2. Joe goes for the Muscle Buster but Nigel blocks it and hits a superkick. Joe hits a Manhattan drop and a big boot. Nigel hits a lariat for 2. Nigel clumsily sets Joe up for his corner combo and gets 2. He hits the Tower of London for 2 when Joe gets to the ropes. He goes for another Tower of London but Joe counters to the choke. Nigel counters to a pin for 2. Joe hits a back elbow and a big boot when Nigel goes for the handstand. He hits the Muscle Buster for 2. That wakes up the crowd. Joe hits a lariat for 2. He hits another enziguiri and puts on the choke for the win when Nigel passes out. This was pretty much Nigel dominating until Joe pulled out his finishers to win. In my book that’s the sign of an unmotivated babyface. It was about on par with all the past matches they’ve had.
After the match Rave runs in and puts the heel hook on Joe in retaliation for the slap at Final Battle. Nigel makes the save and plays nice with Joe.
They play the Fifth Year Festival ad again. For the sake of being detailed, here’s what ROH thinks the most important moments of the last five years were; Eddy Guerrero frog splashing Brian XL, Paul London diving off a ladder onto Michael Shane, Christopher Daniels breaking the Code of Honor on the first show, Low Ki’s Matrix minute with the Amazing Red, Bryan Danielson beating Low Ki with Ken Shamrock as the referee, the riot from the First Anniversary Show, Samoa Joe winning the ROH title, Paul London kissing ROH goodbye, the Great Muta giving Christopher Daniels the Shining Wizard, the Second City Saints giving Christopher Daniels a Pepsi Plunge through a table, Ricky Steamboat hitting a crossbody on CM Punk, Homicide throwing a fireball at Samoa Joe, Punk and Joe celebrating their first draw at World Title Classic, Jushin Lyger debuting in ROH, Austin Aries beating Joe for the title, Joe slapping Kenta Kobashi, Punk’s post-match celebration at his last show in 2005, ROH celebrating after winning Cage of Death, Nigel McGuinness getting fired up at Unified, and Bryan Danielson suplexing KENTA on the floor at Glory by Honor V Night 2. Good choices all around. I’ll talk about what else I’d have put in there the next time they show this video.
JZ says: These two have wrestled many times before, and strangely enough Nigel has more often than not had Joe’s number. This is stemming from Joe’s issue with NOAH, a company Nigel wrestles for. Joe dominates the early going but Nigel isn’t backing down. Prazak and Leonard hype the upcoming arrival of NOAH prospect Takeshi Morishima. They go to the outside and Joe continues to dominate, hitting the Ole Kick. Joe tries to throw Nigel back into the ring but he rebounds off the apron and hits a lariat and he throws Joe back in the ring. He snaps the top rope into Joe’s eyes and goes to work on the arm. After a few minutes Joe comes back with a big powerslam and an armbar of his own and now he’s done selling the arm. He hits the Powerbomb into the STF. Nigel fights back with some European uppercuts and a short lariat. Joe comes back and gets Nigel in position for a Muscle Buster but Nigel avoids it. Both guys no sell each other in various forms. Nigel hits the Tower of London but Joe gets the ropes. The crowd isn’t much into this at all. Nigel tries another one but Joe comes out of it with the Choke. Nigel gets out of that. Nigel tries the headstand but eats a boot to the face. A Muscle Buster follows but Nigel is able to kick out. A big lariat by Joe follows but Nigel kicks out of that too. Joe tries another Muscle Buster but Nigel blocks it. Joe goes for the Choke instead and Nigel is finished at 18:15. The crowd never really got into it, but it was fairly solid if unspectacular. Jimmy Rave runs out and puts the Heel Hook on Joe, and Nigel gets up and tosses Rave outside the ring. Joe and Nigel shake hands afterward.
The Fifth Year Festival is coming soon!
BG says: Rebecca Bayless goes looking for scoops backstage and unprofessionally swears while approaching Daizee Haze, who is getting treated for her head wound. She doesn’t have much to say but Cabana is full of fire for Jimmy Jacobs. He doesn’t want to see Jacobs picking on Daizee anymore. It sounds ridiculous coming out of his mouth as he’s the one who told Whitmer to suplex Lacey through a table. Daizee just got what was originally intended for Lacey.
JZ says: The useless Rebecca Bayless is hanging around at intermission and she runs into Daizee Haze (with a huge knot on her forehead) and Colt Cabana. Bayless’s reaction is silly. Even sillier is Cabana’s outrage at the fact that Jacobs beat up Haze. Um, weren’t you going to put Lacey through a table? Seriously, are they paying Bayless money to be on these shows?
MATCH #6: Four Corner Survival – Christopher Daniels vs. Shingo vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Jason Blade
BG says: Shingo and Blade start. Shingo tries to use his power advantage but Blade counters with quick dropkicks and hurricanranas. Daniels tags in but has trouble with Blade as well. Blade finally hits the mat when Daniels catches him with a pair of armbars and an armdrag. Rave tags in and gets manhandled by Daniels. He bails to get away from Daniels and then grabs a headlock on Blade back in the ring. Shingo tags in and has more luck with Blade this time around. He and Rave take turns beating on Blade until Blade catches them with a moonsault press and tags to Daniels. Daniels hits the STO on Rave and a DVD on Shingo. He hits the Iconoclasm on Rave for 2. Shingo goes after Allison Danger but she catches him with the head scissors. Rave goes after her but Daniels takes a spear to protect her. Blade hits a missile dropkick on Rave and clotheslines him to the floor. He hits a clumsy powerbomb on Shingo and gets a roll up for 2. Shingo comes back with a lariat and a piledriver for 2. Daniels hits Shingo with a crossbody for 2. Shingo returns fire with the TKO for 2. Daniels puts the Koji Clutch on Shingo but Rave had blind tagged Shingo out. He sneaks in and puts the heel hook on Daniels for the win. In the seemingly never-ending series of these four way matches this was a pretty mundane one, albeit with a good finish. Please ROH, stop trying to get anything out of Blade.
JZ says: Shingo and Blade start it off, and Blade gets a rana so Shingo tags out to Daniels, one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions. Blade gets in a few moves on Daniels but looks a little bit nervous or something still. Rave gets tagged in and the crowd heckles him right away. Shingo and Blade come back in and Shingo just overpowers the smaller Blade. Rave comes back in and he beats on Blade too. Shingo and Rave are sort of working as a team. Blade recovers and tags out to Daniels and he is a house-a-fire on Rave and Shingo. He hits an Iconoclasm on Rave for two. Shingo brings Allison Danger into the ring for some reason, and she executes a headscissors on him. Rave goes after her but Daniels makes the save. Everyone comes in and starts hitting moves on everyone else. Blade tries a Stinger Splash on Shingo but it misses and he eats a huge lariat and a variation of the Here It Is Driver for two. Daniels gets a Koji Clutch on Shingo and Rave sneaks in and puts the Heel Hook on Daniels at the same time and Daniels taps out at 12:24. That was one of those forgettable four-ways.
MATCH #7: ROH World Title Match – Homicide vs. Chris Hero
BG says: Turns out Hero is actually a sucker for entrance songs that are played to death at hockey games. He asks Bobby Cruise to tell the crowd to stop swearing at him. It probably would have been a good thing for Homicide’s title reign if his first defense could main event the show. As it is the main event is for no title at all and Homicide already kind of feels like a lame duck champion. They fight it out on the mat to start. Homicide works Hero’s arm but Hero comes back with a roll up for 1. Hero puts on a cravat but Homicide spins out and slugs him out of the ring. Back inside Homicide hits a hurricanrana. He hits an armdrag and a dropkick and Hero bails. Homicide follows him out and rams him into the barricade. Sweeney distracts Homicide and Hero takes control. Homicide comes back with a sunset flip for 2. He hits a vertical suplex for 2. He puts on a Koji Clutch and then hits a legdrop on the apron. He puts on the STF but Hero gets to the ropes. Homicide hits the running knee in the corner but Hero catches him with a slam and a senton. He puts on a chinlock but Homicide escapes and hits a crossbody. Hero hits a neckbreaker for 2. Sweeney chokes Homicide with a towel and Hero hits an atomic drop. He gets a roll up for 2. Homicide gets a crucifix pin for 2. Hero hits a powerslam for 2. He goes to the eyes but Homicide sends him to the floor with a back elbow and follows him out with a somersault off the apron. Back in the ring Homicide hits the Ace Crusher for 2. He goes for the Three Amigos but Hero counters to a roll up for 2. Homicide hits a vertical suplex and climbs the ropes. Hero pulls him down with a cravat for 2. Homicide dodges a moonsault and hits an overhead suplex for 2. Hero hits a neckbreaker and a vertical suplex for 2. Hero grabs the title belt and tries to hit Homicide with it but Homicide ducks and hits the Cop Killer for the win. This was the slow and boring version of their match from In Your Face, which is a real shame considering it was Homicide’s first defense. It might have flown as a RAW main event, but not in ROH.
Jack Evans doesn’t know why he hasn’t been able to win gold in ROH before. I have a feeling it’s because his win over Edwards tonight was his first one-on-one win ever in ROH.
JZ says: I like the new music Hero is using with his Super Agent Larry Sweeney. Homicide has been the champion since 12.23.06, and this is his first defense. The crowd is all over Hero right away, chanting “Fuck You Hero” and “Die Hero Die.” They start off with some mat wrestling, with Hero trying to go after the leg. Hero tries to control the pace while Sweeney encourages him. A goofy little exchange leads to Hero putting on his first cravat, but Homicide is having none of it and slaps Hero in the face so he bails again. So far there’s been a lot of stalling. Maybe this match would be more exciting if I pretended to be Chris Hero and wrote a bunch of stuff. Sweeney gets involved so Smokes chases him. Meanwhile in the ring the boringness continues. The fight spills to the floor and Homicide hits the Mick Foley senton while Smokes distracts from the match, as usual. Back in the ring they trade moves with Hero getting a series of near falls and Sweeney keeps trying to interfere. Smokes comes over and delivers a Headbutt while Hero tries to use the belt but ends up eating the Cop Killa instead and that’s it at 18:37. That was pretty dull most of the way through and Homicide already look like a lame duck champion.
Jack Evans is backstage to tell everyone that 2007 will be the year that he gets gold around his waist. It’s pretty amazing that he and Strong never won the Tag Team Titles.
MATCH #8: Two Out Of Three Falls Match – Roderick Strong & Austin Aries vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe
BG says: Strong and Mark start. Mark puts on a headlock but Strong gets to the ropes. Aries tags in and goes after the leg. Strong tags in and shows Aries how to chop a Briscoe. Aries tags in and hits the corner elbow. Jay tags in and puts on a chinlock. Aries gets a headlock and hits the basement dropkick. Strong tags in and runs into a hurricanrana. He comes back with a leg lariat and they trade chops. Mark tags in and hits an elbowdrop for 2. He puts on the Mark Nulty Special but Strong gets to the ropes. Mark hits a vertical suplex for 2. Strong tosses Mark back, forcing him to bail. Back in the ring Mark goes after Strong’s leg. Aries tags in and hits a double stomp for 2. He hits a side slam for 2. Jay tags in and hits a clothesline in the corner. He hits a basement dropkick for 2. He puts on a stranglehold and switches with Mark. Aries hits a back suplex and tags to Strong. Strong hits a butterfly suplex for 2. Aries tags in and hits a slingshot splash for 2. Strong tags in and they hit a double atomic drop. Mark dropkicks both opponents and hits a double jump moonsault press. Jay tags in and dropkicks Aries into the turnbuckle. He hits a backdrop on Strong and a knee to Aries’s back. Mark hits a somersault dive onto Aries on the floor as Jay hits another backdrop on Strong for 2. The Briscoes hit a springboard Hart Attack leg lariat on Strong for 2. Aries dumps both Briscoes to the floor and follows them both out with the Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Strong gets 2 on Jay. He hits a backbreaker for 2. Aries tags in and hits a backbreaker for 2. Strong tags in and hits a dropkick. He hits a delayed vertical suplex and tags to Aries. Aries hits a slingshot senton and an elbowdrop for 2. He puts on a chinlock but Mark breaks it up. Strong tags in and gets hit with a double stomp. Aries tags in and keeps Jay from tagging out. He hits a pancake and puts on a chinlock. Strong tags in and puts on a modified surfboard stretch. He hits an elbowdrop for 2. Aries tags in and hits the powerdrive elbow for 2. Strong tags in and they go for a double superplex. Jay fights them off and hits a neckbreaker on Strong. Mark tags in and hits a yelping kick on Strong. He hits a thrust to Aries’s throat and kicks him down. He hits a gutwrench superplex and a springboard kneedrop on Strong for 2. The Briscoes hit the double shoulder tackle on Aries. Strong hits a slingshot suplex on Mark and Aries follows up with a frog splash for 2. Mark hits a lariat on Aries and the Briscoes hit a double boot on Strong for 2. Strong hits a second rope gutbuster on Mark and Aries hits a lariat for 2. Aries and Strong hit a double backbreaker and the brainbuster/chop combo on Jay. Aries climbs the ropes but Mark shoves him to the floor. The Briscoes hit the spike Jay Driller on Strong to win the first fall.
The second fall starts with the Briscoes in control. They hit the powerbomb/neckbreaker combo on Strong for 2. They hit a double flapjack and Total Elimination for 2 when Aries saves. They go for the Doomsday Device but Aries trips Mark up and Strong hits the half nelson backbreaker on Jay. Aries tags in and hits a missile dropkick on Jay. He hits dropkicks on both Briscoes in opposite corners. He hits a DVD on Mark on the apron and a slingshot splash on Jay. Strong and Aries hit a double backbreaker on Jay but can’t hit the follow up combo. Strong hits the Sick Kick on Jay. Mark misses a springboard crossbody. Aries and Strong hit the soccer kick-->spinebuster-->450 splash sequence for 2 when Jay saves. The Briscoes counter a brainbuster to a spike Jay Driller on Aries to win the match in two straight falls. The crowd is too shocked to actually react to the decision. Weird finish aside this was a crazy stiff match that firmly established the Briscoes as a sure thing to win the titles from Sydal and Daniels. Not as good as the Unified match but better than the other two matches these teams have had.
JZ says: These two teams had three high profile matches in 2006, all for the tag team titles, all won by Aries & Strong. Mark and Strong start it off with some mat wrestling. Aries is soon tagged in and the former Generation Next team is going to work on the leg. That doesn’t last long and they brawl for a little bit until Mark takes a quick powder. Strong tags back out to Aries, who is soon taking a beating from both Briscoes. Control keeps shifting back and forth, and somewhere in there Mark hits a really nice Merosault. The action breaks down for a few minutes, and back in the ring Aries and Strong begin to work on the back of Jay. Prazak announces that Aries, Strong, and Jack Evans will take on Delirious, Shingo & Davey Richards tomorrow night, while the Briscoes will face Rocky Romero & Ricky Reyes. Aries and Strong remain in control. Jay hits a neckbreaker out of nowhere and tags in to Mark who is all fired up on both Aries and Strong. Jay comes back in and they start going for some of their double team moves, but Strong breaks it up and Aries hits a big frog splash for two. The brawl continues for a few minutes until the Briscoes hit a spike Jay Driller to get the pin on Strong and win the first fall at 20:13. A thirty second rest period starts now. The Briscoes are relentless and go for the second fall. Total Elimination by the Briscoes gets a near fall. Strong finally makes the hot tag to Aries and he goes nuts on the Briscoes. They try the spike Jay Driller again but Strong breaks it up. Aries hits the 450 on Mark but Jay breaks it up. A few moments later a spike Jay Driller leads to a pin at 25:13 and the Briscoes have taken the match in two straight falls. Sinclair looked confused at the ending there and the crowd hardly popped. Other than that it was a good solid tag team match, but not on the level of the match at Unified. It stands to reason that Jay and Mark would now be the number one contenders to the ROH World Tag Team Titles. Aries seems to be selling the Spike Jay Driller like he lost to a small package on his way up the ramp.
BG says: Samoa Joe confronts Homicide in the back. Homicide brags about being the champion and says tomorrow night he’s going to fight Joe in Bizarro 2003 style. Joe has a sudden burst of anger and reminds Homicide that he held the belt for 2,000 months and says he’ll win it back tomorrow. Awful, awful exchange.
JZ says: Homicide and Samoa Joe have a face-off backstage, in which everyone sounds like they’re thirteen years old on a playground. Julius Smokes couldn’t be more useless.
BG says: I’ll go with Jay Briscoe for being the driving force in the match of the night.
Coming soon will be our review of BATTLE OF THE ICONS!
The 411: BG says: The first show of the year is rarely a knock out in ROH, and this show is no different. There are three matches over *** which is nothing to sneeze at. The main event is very good both in terms of match quality and in setting the stage for major things for both teams. Better things would be ahead for ROH, so there’s no real reason to run out and pick this one up.
JZ says: I’ve got three matches that are rated higher than *** and a few in the middling ** region, so this is a solid but unspectacular show. Nothing on it is worth going out of your way for but it does set up for some good stuff down the road, and it flows nicely. It’s still better than most TNA shows.