ROH - Fifth Year Festival: NYC DVD Review
Posted by Garoon & Ziegler on 05.14.2007
A future ROH Champion debuts, a former ROH Champion returns, and the present ROH Champion defends the title!
ROH – Fifth Year Festival: NYC – New York, New York – February 16, 2007
BG says: The Video Wire starts off with an angry Jimmy Rave letting Homicide know that he’s going to use the heel hook become the new champion. Clips of the six-person tag match from Dedicated that you’ve probably already seen is shown. Joe then cuts a teary promo thanking ROH and the fans and then announcing that he has to leave ROH. He’ll be gone after the Fifth Year Festival so he plans on making that the Samoa Joe Farewell Tour. He makes it clear that it was not his decision to leave the company. The Wire ends with a video hyping up Joe’s farewell matches. He’ll face Takeshi Morishima, Davey Richards, Jimmy Rave, team with Homicide to take on Morishima and Nigel McGuinness, wrestle McGuinness in a singles match and have his final match against at yet-to-be-named opponent in Liverpool. It would turn out to be Homicide.
In an awesome touch the main menu has the music that’s been used in the Fifth Year Festival hype videos. Rebecca Bayless reports from outside the building. She tries to hype up the fans and then reports on the only guy who’ll give her an interview, Homicide. He faces Jimmy Rave tonight, and later on she’ll talk to him to see how he feels about it.
An actual title video follows, with a Fifth Year Festival graphic playing over the video they’ve shown. That is so cool.
Jimmy Rave cuts a promo about his World Championship match tonight while looking at the side of the room. These promos are so lame, they look like the person cutting them is talking to someone we can’t see.
Pelle Primeau comes out to the ring (which has a new mat) and issues an open challenge to anyone so that he can crowd surf. Samoa Joe’s music plays but it’s Takeshi Morishima that runs out to answer the challenge.
JZ says: Rebecca Bayless is outside with the fans who are waiting in line to get into the building. She says some boring stuff and hopes that we enjoy the show.
They show the same ad they’ve shown on the last few DVD’s touting the Fifth Year Festival, which actually begins tonight!
Jimmy Rave, looking off to the side, says his road in Ring of Honor has been long-traveled. He promises to win the ROH World Title from Homicide tonight. This looking away from the camera thing has to stop NOW.
MATCH #1: Pelle Primeau vs. Takeshi Morishima
BG says: In what is definitely one of the quickest matches in ROH history Morishima runs in and immediately picks up the win with the backdrop driver. He gets on the microphone and calls out Samoa Joe. At least I assume he is because it’s mostly in Japanese. Nigel McGuinness runs out to try to calm him down.
Shane Hagadorn and Adam Pearce come out and taunt Primeau. Hagadorn slaps him around until Delirious makes the save.
JZ says: Primeau grabs the microphone and says he came to crowd surf tonight. So he issues an open challenge, which is answered by Samoa Joe’s music. It’s a SWERVE though, as it’s actually Takeshi Morishima who runs out and hits a backdrop driver on Primeau to win the match at 0:08. That was technically my first Morishima match, but I’ll reserve judgment until after his match later in this show. Morishima grabs the microphone and presumably challenges Joe, but NOAH McGuinness runs out and calms him down. They leave and Adam Pearce and Shane Hagadorn come out and Hagadorn tosses Primeau aside and our real first match is on now.
MATCH #2: Adam Pearce vs. Delirious
BG says: Delirious clobbers Pearce down to start. He dropkicks Pearce to the floor and drags him back in. Hagadorn distracts him so he hits him with a baseball slide. He low bridges Pearce onto Hagadorn and dives out onto them with a somersault off the top. Back in the ring Pearce hits a low blow and a chokeslam. He rips off one of Delirious’s tassels and chokes him with it. He hits a suplex and spits at the referee. Delirious goes for a sunset flip but Pearce hits a right hand to block it. Pearce puts on a chinlock and hits a knee to the gut. He hits a powerslam for 2. He tries to press slam Delirious out of the ring but Delirious escapes and puts on the Cobra Stretch. Pearce gets to the ropes but Delirious holds on. Pearce goes to the corner to escape. Delirious comes off the top rope with a hurricanrana and hits a leaping clothesline. Pearce goes up top but Delirious slams him down, a la Ric Flair. Delirious hits the Panic Attack and Shadows Over Hell for 2 when Hagadorn distracts the referee. Pearce pulls a foreign object out of his tights but hits Hagadorn with it by mistake. Delirious pulls a foreign object out of his own tights and loads up his mask before hitting a headbutt for the win. Great finish to an average match.
Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal have a chat backstage. Daniels is disappointed that ROH fans only care about Roderick Strong and Austin Aries and the Briscoes in the tag division. Tonight they’re going to take out Aries and Strong to prove that they deserve to be the champions. Sydal also shows off his newly won Dragon Gate Open the Brave Gate title. This was another not facing the camera promo, and feels like Aries and Strong are in the room. It’s really, really annoying. I guess this is also the beginning of a subtle heel turn for Daniels as well.
JZ says: Please let this end the feud. Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard are hosting tonight. There’s a new design on the ring mat which I find very cool. They fight outside the ring for a minute, but as soon as they go back in Pearce hits a dangerous looking chokeslam on the masked man. Pearce removes some tassels from Delirious’ mask and chokes him, then delivers a release suplex. Pearce stays in control as the crowd is getting behind Delirious. Pearce threatens to throw Delirious into the crowd but he escapes. Pearce tries channeling Ric Flair and Delirious delivers the slam off the top rope and the Panic Attack, followed by Shadows over Hell. Shane Hagadorn jumps on the ring apron and the referee stops counting, one of my all-time pet peeves. Pearce brings out brass knuckles but accidentally hits Hagadorn. This allows Delirious to load up his mask and deliver a Headbutt to get the pin at 8:00. Let’s just move along. Pearce is angry with Hagadorn after the match, but they make up.
ROH World Tag Team Champions Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal are backstage with their belts, doing that stupid looking some other direction thing. Daniels is pissed because most fans think the tag team division is made up of only Austin Aries & Roderick Strong and the Briscoes.
MATCH #3: Sara Del Ray & Allison Danger vs. Alexa Thatcher & Daizee Haze
BG says: It would have made more sense for the Dangerous Angels to wrestle the Minnesota Home-Wrecking Crew here instead of Haze and Thatcher considering Del Ray was Haze’s substitute in the mixed tag match on Battle of the Icons. Prazak shuts me up pretty quickly be revealing that Haze and Tatcher answered an open challenge issued by the Angels, and then he makes it seem like they want to eventually fight for the ROH tag titles. Let’s hope that never happens and that the closest we ever get to it is SHIMMER belts defended on ROH shows. Haze and Danger start. They trade holds and then trade roll ups. Del Ray tags in and gets hit with a hurricanrana. Haze hits an armdrag and a facebuster. Thatcher tags in and they sandwich Del Ray’s face with dropkicks for 2. Lacey runs out and attacks Haze at ringside, brawling with her to the back. Del Ray hits a Chimeraplex on Thatcher for 2 before finishing her off with the butterfly slam. The whole thing was just an excuse to add heat to the Lacey/Haze feud.
JZ says: Thatcher is a 19-year-old from New Jersey, and this is her Ring of Honor debut. Haze and Danger start it off and execute a series of pins and reversals. The crowd mostly pops for ass shots, showing just how involved the Ring of Honor fans are. Del Ray tags in and Haze counters all of her offense and tags out to Thatcher. Right about then Lacey comes out and brawls with Haze all the way to the back, leaving Thatcher alone. That leaves her easy prey to Del Ray’s royal butterfly into a slam and the Dangerous Angels win at 3:16. That was there only to serve the Lacey/Daizee feud, which is fine.
MATCH #4: Four Way Fray – Xavier vs. Jack Evans vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Shingo
BG says: This is an FIP stipulation. It’s an elimination match with all four guys are in the ring at the same time. Xavier was a surprise participant in this match. I’m pretty happy about his involvement because his last match in ROH was a great outing against Bryan Danielson at Unscripted II. Shingo and Evans pair up against Jacobs and Xavier because of their Dragon Gate connection. Xavier turns Jack inside out with a lariat and gets into a striking contest with Shingo. Shingo hits a spinebuster and Xavier bails. Evans tries to hit him with the Space Flying Tiger Drop but comes up with nothing. Jacobs dropkicks Shingo and hits a series of double stomps and an elbowdrop for 1. He hits a seated dropkick for 2. Shingo shoves Xavier into Jacobs and hits them with a flatliner and a DDT at the same time. Xavier comes back with a falling knee for 2. Jacobs spears Xavier for 2. Xavier blocks the Contra Code and hits a powerbomb for 2. He holds on and hits the Alley Oop and a piledriver. Shingo catches Xavier with the Blood Fall and Evans hits him with a reverse hurricanrana to eliminate him. So much for the former ROH Champion. Shingo hits a clothesline in the corner on Jacobs. Evans follows up with a handspring elbow and a kneedrop. Shingo hits a gutwrench toss for 2. Jacobs goes for the Contra Code but Shingo blocks and hits a hanging neckbreaker. He finishes Jacobs off with a lariat. It’s down to Evans and Shingo. They both go for cheap shots and then trade forearms. Evans hits a slingshot hurricanrana and Shingo bails. Evans follows him out with the Space Flying Tiger Drop. Back in the ring Shingo counters the handspring elbow to a toss onto the top rope. He hits a lariat for 2. Evans hits a roundhouse kick but Shingo catches him with a German suplex for 2. Evans hits a cartwheel kick and a flying knee for 2. He climbs the ropes and hits the 630 senton for the win. That was a fantastic way to introduce this stipulation to ROH fans. Everyone busted their asses. Evans and Shingo were especially impressive and got me really excited to see them challenge for the tag titles.
JZ says: Kiss2Kill is pretty great entrance music. The surprise fourth entrant to this match is the second ever ROH Champion Xavier, who gets both boos (the good kind, I think) and “welcome back” chants. The four way fray is different from a four corner survival in that it’s an elimination match. This is a staple match of Full Impact Pro down in Florida. Xavier is replacing the injured Davey Richards. Shingo and Evans work together in the early going, and this isn’t the usual ROH four-way. It’s moving a lot faster, and Evans takes a nasty bump to the floor. This gives Jacobs the chance to get some shots in on Shingo. Xavier comes back in an he takes on Shingo for a minute. Jacobs comes back and hits Xavier with a spear. He tries the Contra Code but Shingo gets a sweet series of moves in on Jacobs, which allows Shingo to hit a big move on Xavier. Then Evans comes in and hits a reverse rana and a backslide (rolling all the way over with it, which I’ve never seen) to pin Xavier and eliminate him at 4:23. Evans and Shingo focus on Jacobs now. It doesn’t long before Shingo levels Jacobs with a lariat to eliminate him at 5:48, leaving Evans versus Shingo now. Interestingly enough, these two are challenging for the ROH World Tag Team Titles tomorrow night. Shingo gets another huge lariat but Evans is able to kick out. Shingo continues to deliver suplexes. Evans comes back with a series of kicks and a flying knee. He goes up for the 630 but Shingo knocks him down and they fight up top. Evans is able to knock him down, and nails the 630 senton to get the win at 9:50. That was not at all like most ROH four-ways. It was really good.
Answering Morishima’s Challenge…
BG says: Bobby Cruise hypes Takeshi Morishima’s title challenge against either Homicide or Rave tomorrow night. This brings out Samoa Joe. The crowd tells him not to go. Joe is thankful but asks the fans not to say naughty things about TNA. He talks about how far ROH has come and thanks the fans again. With all the niceties out of the way he says he got a phone call letting him know that Morishima called him out, and he’s ready to go. Nigel McGuinness comes out instead and said that while he respects Joe he essentially doesn’t think he’s on Morishima’s level. Joe reminds Nigel that he’s in his promotion and pie faces him away. That triggers a big pull apart brawl.
JZ says: Bobby Cruise gets on the microphone to plug tomorrow night’s show in Philadelphia, and Samoa Joe’s music hits. It’s actually Joe this time. He’s here to put over Ring of Honor, the fans, etc. Joe then answers Morishima from earlier tonight by calling him out. He gets Nigel McGuinness instead. Nigel sticks up for Morishima and Joe gets all uppity about it so the two of them brawl.
MATCH #5: Tables Are Legal – BJ Whitmer vs. Brent Albright
BG says: This match is coming as a result of Albright powerbombing Whitmer through a table at Final Battle 2006. Albright inspects the tables on his way to the ring. Albright attacks Whitmer during his entrance and throws him off the top rope through a table on the floor. He puts a table into the ring and they brawl on the floor. Back inside they try to suplex each other through the table. Whitmer wins that exchange with an exploder suplex. Whitmer hits another one through the remains of the table for 2. Albright rolls to the floor and sets up a table out there. He smacks Whitmer with what I believe is a binder and then sets him up top. He goes for a back superplex through the table on the floor but Whitmer counters to a crossbody in midair. Back in the ring Whitmer gets 2. He dropkicks the knee and hits a flying knee. He hits a vertical suplex for 2 when he lifts Albright up. He stacks two tables on the floor and goes to powerbomb Albright through them. Albright blocks it and hits a German suplex. He hits a half nelson suplex but Whitmer sneaks in a lariat before going down. Albright smacks Whitmer around with a piece of table and then powerbombs him through the tables on the floor. Back inside Albright gets 2. He sets a table up across the top turnbuckle and smacks Whitmer with a piece of table. Hard camera replays are shown of the table spots as Albright gets more tables set up in the ring. He drags Whitmer onto the top rope table but Whitmer fights back and hits an exploder through the two tables set up in the ring for the win. The final spot took a little too long to set up but the replays helped to distract from the lag. The spots were crazy and innovative without being overly dangerous and contrived for the most part. That’s really all you can ask from a match like this.
JZ says: It takes about two seconds before Albright tosses Whitmer off the top rope through a table on the floor. This is going to be fun. Albright follows Whitmer to the floor and throws him into the barricades and generally abuses him. Albright sets up a table in the ring and Whitmer fires up and delivers an Exploder through the table. He hits another one just for fun. Albright is back in control soon after. He goes to back suplex Whitmer to a table on the floor, which is just an inherently stupid move since the giver would be taking almost the same bump as the taker, and Whitmer turns the momentum on Albright and rolls him back into the ring for two. Whitmer stacks up some tables and tries to powerbomb Albright, but Albright counters with a German suplex and a half nelson suplex. Whitmer does the NOAH sell on that and hits a lariat and both men are down. Albright gets up first and delivers the Awesome Bomb through the tables Whitmer set up outside the ring. That’s a wicked bump. The crowd chants “this is awesome.” I’m told it’s only the TNA fans who chant that. Whitmer is able to kick out of all that, and the crowd chants “BJ.” Albright sets up a table on the top rope. He sets up two more tables and puts Whitmer on the top rope table. Whitmer counters and delivers an Exploder off the top through the two tables to get the pin at 13:54. That was a hell of a lot of fun, even if selling was optional and some of the spots didn’t make sense. The crowd chants for both men after the match.
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MATCH #6: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – Matt Sydal & Christopher Daniels vs. Austin Aries & Roderick Strong
BG says: When Aries and Strong were champs they beat Sydal and Daniels, which is why they get this title shot. Strong and Daniels start. They trade holds to a stalemate. Daniels puts on a wristlock and ducks a chop. Strong hits a leg lariat and tags to Aries. Aries works the arm until Daniels tags to Sydal. Aries forearms Sydal down but Sydal comes back with an armdrag. Sydal blocks the basement dropkick but gets distracted long enough for Strong to hit a cheap shot. He comes back with a headlock takedown/hurricanrana combo. Strong bails so Daniels hits him with a suicide dive. Aries hits Sydal with an elbowdrop for 2. Strong tags in and hits a fall away slam for 2. Aries tags in and hits a slingshot elbowdrop for 2. Strong tags in and they hit a double atomic drop and a double back suplex for 2. Strong puts on a Mexican chinlock but Sydal goes to the eyes to escape. Strong hits a German suplex for 2. Aries tags in and hits a dropkick with Sydal in the Stronghold for 2. He hits a chop and then tags Strong in to show him how it’s done. Strong hits a delayed over-the-shoulder gutbuster for 2. Sydal hits a leg lariat and tags to Daniels. Daniels hits a pair of clotheslines and a vertical suplex for 2. He works the back and rams Strong hard into the corner. He hits a backbreaker and tags to Sydal. The champs hit a double bodyslam and then Daniels bodyslams Sydal onto Strong for 2. Sydal hits a dropkick and the slingshot dropkick for 2. He puts on a chinlock but Strong gets to the ropes. Daniels tags in and hits a leg lariat for 2. He puts on a chinlock but Strong escapes and gets a backslide for 2. Daniels hits the Complete Shot and puts on the Koji Clutch but Aries breaks it up. Sydal tags in and hits a slingshot legdrop for 2. He hits a clothesline in the corner and tags to Daniels. Daniels hits a bodyslam but Strong catches him with a slingshot back suplex. Aries tags in and cleans house. He dumps Sydal to the floor and follows him out with a suicide dive. He hits a slingshot splash on Daniels and goes for a springboard moonsault but slips and lands right on his head. He favors his ankle and Daniels tags advantage. Sydal hits the Slice but the standing moonsault hits knees. Sydal hits the reverse tombstone for 2 when Strong saves. Strong tags in and hits a slingshot suplex for 2. He blocks a top rope hurricanrana and comes off the second with the Sick Kick for 2. Things get sloppy as Sydal goes for his launching DDT but can’t connect and hits knees. Daniels tags in and hits the STO and the Arabian press for 2. He hits the Iconoclasm for 2. Sydal tags in and jumps off Strong’s back to hit a standing moonsault for 2. The challengers double-team Daniels and roll up Sydal but it only gets 2. Aries tags in and Daniels hits him with a DVD. Sydal tags in and hits the shooting star press followed by Daniels hitting the triple jump moonsault and getting the illegal winning pin. This wasn’t quite as exciting as their last encounter and it fell apart near the end.
After the match the champs leave but the challengers stay. Davey Richards comes out and gets in Aries’s face. Strong sneaks up from behind and hits the half nelson backbreaker on Aries. He gets on the microphone and runs Aries down, saying he won’t be kept in the background any longer. Richards gets on the microphone and dubs his team with Strong the No Remorse Corp. Jack Evans runs out to keep Strong and Richards from attacking Aries anymore. Aries gets on the microphone and says that he and Evans will take them out. Evans says he won’t get in the middle of this and he won’t fight either of them, but he will get to the bottom of this. Aries says that while Evans gets to the bottom of things he’ll take care of Strong his way. Great stuff.
JZ says: Sydal and Daniels have been champions since 11.25.06, and this is their second defense. They are also accompanied by Allison Danger, and Sydal is wearing Dragon Gate’s Open the Brave Gate Championship as well. This is a rematch from Gut Check, when Aries & Strong were actually defending the titles. Daniels and Strong start it out. Aries tags in and goes to work on Daniels’s arm. Daniels reverses that and tags Sydal in. The former champs are able to take over on Sydal, who has been displaying more of a cocky side lately. Sydal is just getting dismantled here. Sydal makes the comeback and the hot tag to Daniels, who unloads on Strong. Sydal and Daniels now double team on Strong and tag in and out to keep the fresh man in. Strong makes a brief comeback but gets cut off by the champs. Aries finally makes the tag and is able to take down both challengers. A suicide dive lands a bit awkwardly, but Aries is on fire right now. Aries tries a quebrada and takes a super nasty fall on his head and he hurt his ankle as well. That looked horrific. Everyone starts unloading with their big moves. Sydal tries to springboard off Strong’s shoulders into a DDT but it looks like he slips but they cover it beautifully. Daniels hits an STO and the Arabian Press on Strong for two. Iconoclasm gets a two-count as well. They trade more offense until Strong gets dumped to the outside and Sydal hits a Shooting Star Press on Aries and Daniels follows with the Best Moonsault Ever to get the pin at 20:43. That was a good enough tag team match that kept everyone strong, and I like how Sydal gets a little cockier every time out. After the match Davey Richards comes out, and when Aries tries to ask him why he’s there, Strong comes from behind on Aries and delivers a half-nelson backbreaker. Strong said he’s been in the background for too long, and he’s going to lead the new faction in ROH. Richards names the group the No Remorse Corps, and Jack Evans comes out to stick up for Aries. Richards and Strong leave, and Aries cuts a vaguely homo-erotic promo and says that he and Evans will take them on anytime. Evans isn’t wild about that, as he tries to play peacemaker between the two.
BG says: Rebecca Bayless is backstage with Homicide. She asks Homicide what it feels like to have made it from the first ROH show to this show and to now be the champion. He says what you’d expect, so Bayless asks how Homicide will deal with the newly dominant Jimmy Rave. Homicide isn’t worried about the heel hook. I’m so getting really tired of this act.
JZ says: Rebecca Bayless is backstage with ROH World Champion Homicide and Julius Smokes. She asks him how he feels. Is asking Homicide how he’s feeling the only thing she knows how to do? Homicide basically says he’s not sweating Jimmy Rave.
MATCH #7: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Nigel McGuinness & Colt Cabana
BG says: ROH made a big stink about Cabana and Nigel teaming up full time, but this would be the one of only two times they ever teamed before Cabana’s departure. For the time being we’ll call this team Manichewitz and Shiksas, in honor of Cabana and in place of Beer and Girls. The Briscoes attack before the bell. Cabana catches Jay with a roll up for 2. Jay comes back with a hurricanrana and the Bricsoes hit a double flapjack. The hit a double face wash but Cabana and Nigel return fire with a double suplex. Cabana hits a bodyslam and an elbowdrop on Jay. Nigel tags in and hits a hammerlock takedown. He hits another from a different angle and then headbutts the shoulder. Mark trips Nigel up and Jay hits a legdrop. Mark tags in and hits a slingshot double stomp for 2. Jay tags in and hits an elevated legdrop for 2. Mark tags in and puts on a headlock. Nigel escapes and slams Mark to the mat. Cabana tags in and sends Mark onto Jay on the floor. Cabana dives out onto them and pulls Mark’s chest hair back inside. Mark blocks a blind charge and hits a crossbody. Jay tags in and hits a dropkick. Mark tags in and hits a leg lariat for 2. Jay tags in and gets hit with a swinging suplex. Nigel tags in and cleans house. He suplexes Mark onto Jay and then tosses him to the floor. He hits a lariat for 2. He hits another for 2. Mark hits a leaping knee and the yelping splash for 2. Nigel dodges the shoulder tackle and Cabana comes in to hit a moonsault press. He hits the Flying Asshole and Nigel follows with a running European uppercut. They set Mark up top and go for a double-team Tower of London but Jay saves. He hits a German suplex on Cabana and powerbombs Nigel into a neckbreaker from Mark. It gets 2. The Briscoes hit fisherman busters on both opponents and follow up with frog splashes from opposite corners for 2. Nigel hits the corner combo on Mark for 2. Manichewitz & Shiksas hit Mark with the double-team Tower of London for 2 when Jay saves. Jay hits a Yakuza kick on Nigel and tags in legally. He hits a DVD for 2. He dumps Cabana to the floor and goes for the Doomsday Device on Nigel. Nigel dodges it and rolls Jay up for 2. Cabana hits Mark with a missile dropkick and Nigel hits Jay with the Rebound Lariat for the win. Once again the Briscoes looked better than their opponents but in this case the wrong team went over. The match featured solid action but failed to really capture the attention of the crowd or this viewer.
After the match Samoa Joe rushes the ring and attacks Nigel. Cabana and the usual gang of knuckleheads try to break it up. Takeshi Morishima comes out in his gear and the marquee match gets underway.
JZ says: The Briscoes attack right away and it’s a brawl from the get-go. Cabana and Jay are in the ring while Mark and Nigel are outside. Cabana gets a few quick rollups in the ring for near falls. Mark takes Nigel out and gets into the ring so the Briscoes can double team Cabana. Nigel makes it back to the ring and he takes control on Jay, working on the arm. That doesn’t last too long as the Briscoes use some chicanery to take control of Nigel. After a few minutes of abuse Nigel makes the tag to Cabana, who dumps both Briscoes to the floor and hits a somersault dive to the floor on both Mark and Jay. Back in the ring the Briscoes soon regain control and work on Cabana now. Cabana gets a swinging suplex and tags Nigel. He takes out both Briscoes, suplexing Mark on top of Jay and then dumping him to the floor. Lariat by Nigel gets two. Another one gets another near fall. Mark hits his springboard splash and that gets a two-count for Jay. Cabana and Nigel recover and dump Jay to the floor and go to work on Mark. They try a double Tower of London but Jay breaks it up and the Briscoes hit a double-team neckbreaker. They follow it up with stereo frog splashes (very cool looking), but they only get near falls. Nigel and Cabana come back and executer the double-team Tower of London on Mark but Jay breaks it up. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but it’s a no-go. Jay hits Nigel with a stunner but Nigel no-sells it to hit the Rebound Lariat to get the win at 14:34. Finish aside this was a good solid tag team match with a lot of people I like.
After the match Samoa Joe runs out to attack Nigel McGuinness. Colt Cabana breaks it up and both he and Nigel roll outside the ring. Takeshi Morishima walks down the aisle and it looks like their match will begin right now!
MATCH #8: Takeshi Morishima vs. Samoa Joe
BG says: They trade forearms to start. Morishima bowls Joe over with a shoulder tackle, sending him to the floor. He follows him out with another shoulder tackle from the apron. Back in the ring Morishima hits a handspring avalanche. He chokes Joe over the middle rope and then hits a bodyslam. He puts on a chinlock and hits a clothesline in the corner for 2. He hits a butt butt and climbs the ropes. He comes down with a dropkick for 2. Joe hits a Manhattan drop and a big boot. He hits a senton for 2. He hits an enziguiri and washes Morishima’s face. He busts Morishima’s nose open and kicks his face. Morishima bails so Joe follows him out with a suicide dive. He hits the Olé Kick and then drags Morishima to another corner of the barricade to hit it again. Back in the ring Joe gets 2. Morishima hits a sidewalk slam and a seated leg lariat. He hits another for 2. He hits a big boot in the corner but falls victim to the STJoe for 2. Joe hits an enziguiri and a DVD for 2. He lays in some especially stiff kicks but Morishima blocks a sunset flip and sits on his chest. Morishima climbs the ropes but Joe cuts him off with a kick to the face. He hits the Muscle Buster for 2. Joe hits a superkick but Morishima shrugs it off and hits a lariat. Morishima hits a Thesz Press for 2. He hits the uranage slam and the backdrop driver for 2. He hits a lariat to the back but Joe counters one to the front to a half nelson suplex. He puts on the choke but Morishima hits a chinbreaker. Joe puts it back on and hits a facebuster. He puts the choke on again and Morishima’s hand falls three times. The match was undoubtedly good, but in my opinion Morishima was seriously devalued. Aside from the amazing show of strength at the beginning of the match and the one small string of consistent offense that Morishima got in Joe never looked to be in danger here. Knowing what I know about how Morishima was booked after this and the way that Joe left the company I feel that Morishima got devalued here for the sake of Joe’s farewell tour. I’ll probably be in the minority here but this match left me with a sour taste in my mouth.
JZ says: Morishima gets the first knock down on Joe and they go to the floor where Morishima dominates. Back in the ring he hits a cartwheel into a clothesline, which seems cool until you remember that Chyna used to pretty much do the same thing. Morishima stays in control but Joe is trying to fight back. Morishima delivers a missile dropkick, a rather impressive move for a man his size. Every time Joe tries a move Morishima blocks it. Joe’s finally able to get a few moves in and is in control now as the crowd chants “Joe’s gonna kill you.” They go back outside the ring and Joe hits the Ole Kick. It looks like Joe really caught him with that kick, because his face is bleeding. Back in the ring Joe gets a two-count. Back on their feet a reversal sequence leads to Morishima hitting a Boss Man Slam. Joe recovers and hits an enziguiri and a Death Valley Driver for two. Joe tries for a powerbomb, but has to deliver a few kicks first. Morishima reverses his way out of it and then he sits on Joe’s chest. Morishima goes up top again but Joe stops him and hits a Muscle Buster but Morishima kicks out! Joe looks desperate. Both men are up now and busting out shoulderblocks and lariats. Morishima hits a lariat but both men go down. Back up and Morishima hits a Thesz Press for two. Morishima hits an uranage and picks Joe up for a Backdrop Driver, which only gets two. Morishima hits a Northern Lariat but Joe blocks a regular one and hits a half nelson suplex and picks him up to put on The Choke. Morishima tries to chinbreaker his way out, but Joe won’t let go. He gets the body scissors on and Morishima passes out at 18:06. I don’t really get the logic behind Joe getting the win, but this was a really good match, but lacked the overall atmosphere of a better match, Joe vs. Kobashi. Since this was my first real Morishima match, I’m going to wait until I watch his matches on the next few DVDs before I decide how I feel about him.
Feuds of the Year
BG says: A “Feuds of the Year” video plays, showcasing the following feuds; Nigel vs. Rave, Nigel vs. Bryan Danielson, Danielson vs. KENTA, Danielson vs. Homicide, Homicide vs. Cabana, Cabana vs. Jacobs, Jacobs vs. Whitmer and Whitmer and the rest of ROH vs. CZW. There are also the different variations of the Homicide vs. Cornette feud, the Brsicoes vs. Aries & Strong, Aries & Strong vs. Sydal and his many partners and Danielson vs. Joe. Can’t really argue with any of those picks, and offhand there’s nothing I can think of to add.
JZ says: Our first highlight package is the feuds of the year. According to ROH, these feuds are – Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Rave; Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness; Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA; Bryan Danielson vs. Homicide; Homicide vs. Colt Cabana; Colt Cabana vs. Jimmy Jacobs; Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer; CZW vs. ROH; Steve Corino vs. Homicide; Samoa Joe & Homicide vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe; Austin Aries & Roderick Stronv s. Jay & Mark Briscoe; Matt Sydal vs. Austin Aries & Roderick Strong; and Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe. Those were all pretty good feuds in one way or another, and I can’t think of any off the top of my head that they forgot.
MATCH #9: ROH World Title Match – Homicide vs. Jimmy Rave
BG says: Rave attacks before the bell. He hits a clothesline and a northern lights suplex for 2. Homicide sends him to the floor and follows him out with the topé con hilo. He crotches Rave on the barricade and has Smokes chop him down. He crotches Rave on the barricade again but this time chops him down himself. Back in the ring he hits a back elbow. He hits a crossbody for 2. Rave tosses him into the corner and to the floor before diving onto him off the top. Back in the ring He hits a neckbreaker for 2. He hits a side Russian legsweep and goes after the shoulder. He hits a DDT for 2. Homicide comes back with a hurricanrana and his running knee for 2. He hits a tiger driver and a northern lights suplex for 2. He puts on the STF but Rave gets to the ropes. Rave dropkicks the knee and puts on a leglock. He elbows the knee until Homicide gets to the ropes. Rave puts the leglock back on and takes out Homicide’s fork. The referee keeps him from using it but Homicide manages to jam a spare fork into Rave’s forehead. Rave bleeds so Homicide works the cut. He goes back to work with the fork and then hits a bodyslam for 2. They fight to the apron where Rave hits the STO in nasty fashion. He rams Homicide into the barricade and gets 2 back in the ring. Rave counters the Cop Killer to the running knee for 2. He hits Ghanarrhea and the spear for 2. Homicide hits a spinebuster for 2. He climbs the ropes but Rave cuts him off and suplexes him off the second rope for 2. Homicide hits the Three Amigos and climbs the ropes. Rave tries to cut him off again but this time Homicide brings him down with a DDT. He climbs the ropes again and hits a senton for 2. He sets Rave up top and goes for a hurricanrana but Rave blocks it and hits the illegal Rave Clash for 2. He goes for the heel hook but Homicide gets to the ropes. He hits a big boot and a top rope Ace Crusher. He hits the lariat for 2. Rave counters the Cop Killer to the heel hook. Homicide rolls out of it and hits the Cop Killer for the in. It was rather one-dimensional but the match was much better than Homicide’s first defense, and actually better than I expected going in.
JZ says: Homicide has been champion since 12.23.06, and this is his third defense. Rave attacks right away, but it’s not long before Homicide gains control, on the outside of the ring of course. The winner of this match will face Takeshi Morishima tomorrow night in Philadelphia. They’re back in the ring but not for long, as Rave hits a cross body from the top rope to the floor, and then rams Homicide into the barricade. Rave can never keep control for very long, and both guys are moving at a pretty fast pace. When Rave is on offense he spends time working on the leg, no doubt to set up for the dreaded Heel Hook. Homicide is able to use a fork without the referee detecting it and Rave is bleeding now. They trade some more big moves, and Homicide does a senton off the top rope now. Homicide tries a top rope rana, but Rave reverses it to a Race Clash and puts on the Heel Hook. Julius Smokes distracts Rave, making him release the hold. That’s just stupid. Homicide hits a top rope Ace Crusher and a big lariat but only gets a two count. He pulls Rave up and tries the Cop Killa, but Rave blocks it and puts on the Heel Hook. Homicide reaches the ropes and jumps right up to deliver the Cop Killa and retain the title at 18:52. That started off really good, but I feel like it lost steam rather than gaining, which is what kept this from being an excellent match. I still enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.
BG says: Rebecca Bayless wants to see what the fans thought of the show. On her way outside she finds Jack Evans laid out with a big piece of wood on top of him. She asks someone off camera if they’re responsible.
JZ says: Rebecca Bayless wants to go outside and find out what fans thought of the show. Before she can get there, she says Holy Shit again when she finds Jack Evans beaten up on the ground. Gasp! To Be Continued!
BG says: I’m going to give it to Whitmer. The tables match was my match of the night and Whitmer went though most of them.
Coming soon will be our review of FIFTH YEAR FESTIVAL: PHILLY!
The 411: BG says: Two-thirds of the matches clocked in at *** or more, which makes this an automatic recommendation. I was disappointed in Morishima vs. Joe for what I think were political reasons and backwards booking. The Four Way Fray and the tables match were both spectacles well worth checking out and the show is solid all the way through, so it’s a safe buy.
JZ says: This is a good show to start out the Fifth Year Festival with. I gave out my first four-star rating of 2007 (though I think the winner of the match was the wrong one and the reasons are silly), and five more matches reached three stars or higher, so this show is easy to recommend.