ROH Ė SUPERCARD OF HONOR II Ė MARCH 31, 2007 Ė DETROIT, MICHIGAN
BG says: This time around the Video Wire is all clips of things weíve already seen again. First up is Joe coming out to all of his former entrance songs for his last ROH match ever. Then there are clips of Shingo & Naruki Doi winning the tag titles from the Briscoe Brothers. There are also clips from the Jacobs/Whitmer Falls Count Anywhere match, hype for Bruno Sammartinoís return and it all wraps up with clips of Joeís farewell.
Jimmy Jacobs wonders why BJ Whitmer fights him. After all, it was Whitmer who walked out on him and Whitmer who tried to kill him. He thinks Whitmer fights because he wants to be accepted by the ROH fans, he wants to become an ROH legend. Jacobs thinks thatís greedy. He fights for love, something he finds much more worthy. Another really good promo from Jacobs.
Clips of last yearís Dragon Gate six-man tag match are shown. Dave Meltzer called it the match of the year, so of course ROH claims it was just that. Donít get me wrong, the match was great, I just get annoyed at how much faith is put into one guy (what, me jealous?). Tonight there will be a rematchÖ sort of.
New tag champ Jay Briscoe comes out to the ring to start the show. He apologizes for Markís absence, insisting that if he wasnít confined to a hospital bed heíd be there tonight, and that when he heals heíll come back as crazy as ever. Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal come out to the ring to demand their title shot, even in Markís absence. Jay says no, so Daniels says the Briscoes should forfeit the belts. Jay says no to that too, but says that if they can beat him and his partner for the evening they can have a title shot down the line. Daniels agrees.
JZ says: We begin right where we left off last night, with Jimmy Jacobs back to talk about BJ Whitmer some more. This one delves further into the reasons that Jacobs hates Whitmer, and itís much more than Whitmer turning on him over a year ago. He talks about how Whitmer fights for pride, and he fights for love. Tonight, he fights for Lacey. That wasnít quite as good as last nightís promo, but it still was great and is leagues ahead of what just about everyone else in ROH can do promo-wise.
We get a nice little video package from last yearís Dragon Gate six-man tag team match that was awarded Match of the Year in some circles. We get a ďrematchĒ tonight, even though the match doesnít have all the same competitors.
Out in the arena, Bobby Cruise introduces one of the new ROH World Tag Team Champions, Jay Briscoe. Jay calls his brother, who injured himself last night, very unlucky, and says that thereís no place Mark would rather be than right here. This brings out Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal, who were scheduled for a World Tag Team Title shot tonight. Daniels tells the crowd that heís a heel now. He demands that the Briscoes forfeit the titles. Jay doesnít want to do that, obviously, and calls Daniels ďold man.Ē Jay says there will be no title defense tonight, but there will be a match, because he has a partner. Itís Delirious, who cuts a promo, urging the crowd to Man Up.
MATCH #1: Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal vs. Delirious & Jay Briscoe
BG says: Jay and Daniels start. Daniels slugs Jay down but Jay comes back with a dropkick. Delirious and Sydal tag in and Daniels attacks Delirious from behind. Delirious comes back with hiptosses to both opponents. Sydal leg lariats Daniels by mistake and Delirious hits him with a clothesline. He tries to crossbody both opponents but they catch him. Jay dropkicks the horizontal Delirious to keep control. Back in the ring Jay puts Sydal in a stranglehold. Delirious tags in and kicks Sydalís back for 2. Sydal comes back with a leg lariat for 2. Daniels tags in and they hit a double bodyslam. Daniels slams Sydal onto Delirious and then rams Delirious into the corner. He hits a knee to the gut and tags to Sydal. Sydal hits an elevated cannonball legdrop for 2. He puts on the Mark Nulty Special but Delirious gets to the ropes. He chokes Delirious with his tassels and tags to Daniels. Delirious gets a roll up for 2 but Daniels keeps him down with a clothesline. He puts on an abdominal stretch and Sydal pulls his arm for leverage. Sydal tags in and hits a slingshot dropkick. He puts on a seated abdominal stretch and hits a clothesline in the corner. Daniels tags in and hits a bodyslam for 2. He puts on a chinlock but Delirious comes back with a hurricanrana. He hits the cobra clutch backbreaker and tags to Jay. Sydal tags in but Jay is cleaning house. He hits a hurricanrana and a superkick on Sydal and a stunner on Daniels. He hits a falcon arrow on Sydal for 2. Sydal forearms Daniels by mistake and gets booted out of the ring. Jay follows them out with a no-hands topé con hilo. Back in the ring he hits a big splash on Sydal for 2. Daniels tags in and hits the DVD for 2. He hits the uranage but misses the triple jump moonsault. He hits a palm strike and the Iconoclasm for 2. He puts on the Koji Clutch but Delirious breaks it up. Delirious tags in and hits the Panic Attack. He hits Shadows Over Hell for 2. Sydal comes in and hits the pumphandle piledriver for 2. After countering each otherís signature moves Sydal hits Delirious with the standing moonsault for 2. Delirious hits the Bizarro Driver for 2. Daniels and Sydal come back with a clothesline/neckbreaker combo for 2. Daniels pokes Jay in the eyes and sets him up top. Jay fights back with a top rope X-Factor but Sydal blocks the Jay Driller with an enziguiri. Daniels hits the STO and the Angelís Wings. Delirious hits Daniels with a soccer kick and hits Sydal with Chemical Imbalance II for the win. Started slow but picked up considerably towards the end.
BJ Whitmer talks about picking Jimmy Jacobs to be his partner against Samoa Joe and Jay Lethal a couple years ago to win the vacant tag titles. He did so because he saw untapped toughness in Jacobs. But now Jacobs knows how tough he is and Whitmer feels heís created a monster. Tonight he takes Jacobs out, not because he wants to but because he has to.
JZ says: The makeshift duo of Jay & Delirious gain the early advantage and frustrate Daniels. Delirious and Sydal are about to renew their rivalry, but Daniels attacks from behind. Delirious is able to handle both opponents and they bail again. Outside the ring Jay and Delirious continue to be in control. Sydal takes a beating for several minutes before tagging out to Daniels, and then they beat on Delirious for a while. Delirious is finally able to make the hot tag to Jay, who cleans house on the former ROH World Tag Team Champions Daniels and Sydal. The heels briefly reclaim the advantage before everyone comes in and starts hitting moves with not much tagging. Sydal hits a Here It Is Driver but Delirious kicks out. They trade moves and reversals for a bit until Delirious is able to hit a Bizarro Driver fro two. Daniels and Briscoe then come back in. They go to the floor and Delirious and Sydal are back in the ring now. Delirious is able to hit the Chemical Imbalance II on Sydal to get the pin at 18:04. That started off slow but got going really good by the end. Delirious and Sydal are pretty automatic in the ring together.
BJ Whitmer is backstage to talk about his upcoming steel cage match with Jimmy Jacobs. He thinks he might be responsible for creating what Jacobs has become, like Dr. Frankenstein. He gets abruptly cut off, but he does note that he will take Jacobs out tonight, not because he wants to, but because he has to.
MATCH #2: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Yamato
BG says: YAMATO is concerned with Claudioís height. Claudio has inexplicably embraced the fans. The commentators chalk it up to ROH accepting him by putting him on Team ROH last night. YAMATO stands on the bottom rope to knuckle up with Claudio. Claudio pulls him down but gets caught in a wristlock. They fight on the mat until YAMATO goes for ineffective shoulder tackles. A dropkick has no effect but a hard shoulder tackle finally puts Claudio down. Claudio hits a European uppercut for 2. He hits a bodyslam and a legdrop for 2. He hits another European uppercut for 2. YAMATO hits a spear and an exploder for 2. Claudio hits a bicycle kick and another European uppercut for 2. They trade strikes and YAMATO hits a German suplex for 2. Claudio is obviously tougher than Pelle Primeau. Claudio hits the Alpamare Waterslide for 2 before finishing YAMATO with the Lesertess Lift for the win. That move could be spelled wrong, I donít know. Good short match with a good short story.
With the promos out of the way we get our first taste of Jacobs & Whitmer history. First up is a clip of them winning their first tag titles.
JZ says: Claudio has the slight height advantage in this one. He uses that advantage to keep Yamato grounded. Yamato gets a few little moves in, but Claudio mostly maintains control. Prazak mentions that Claudio may have a new finisher to unveil, perhaps tonight? Yamato fights back with a spear and lands an exploder for two. Claudio hits a big European Uppercut but it gets two. Yamato fights back and hits a German Suplex but Claudio kicks out. Claudio tries the Alpamare Water Slide and that gets two. He finally hits the new finisher Prazak was talking about, a gut wrench into a piledriver, and thatís enough to finish Yamato at 6:57. Yamato looked good again, and Claudio got a solid victory.
Whitmer vs. Jacobs History Ė At the Best of American Super Juniors Tournament show on 4.02.05, Jacobs and Whitmer teamed to beat Samoa Joe & Jay Lethal to win the vacant ROH Tag Team Titles. It was their first time teaming together.
MATCH #3: Erick Stevens vs. Mitch Franklin
BG says: Stevens goes for a cheap shot before the bell but Franklin catches it and fights back. Franklin goes for a sunset flip but Stevens counters to a TKO. He hits a powerbomb for the win moments later.
Next up in Jacobs & Whitmer history is Whitmer turning on Jacobs at Dissension by hitting him with a wrist-clutch exploder. This feud sure has been going on a long time.
JZ says: Stevens recently won the FIP Florida Heritage Title, and thatís why heís getting this shot in ROH. Franklin gives it a go, but Stevens overpowers him at every turn and hits the Doctor Bomb to get the pin at a brisk 40 seconds. I think Stevens is going to get over.
Whitmer vs. Jacobs History Ė At Dissension on 1.28.06, Whitmer turned on Jacobs by slapping him in the face and delivering the Wrist-Clutch Exploder. The two had just lost a Tag Team Title match with then-champions Austin Aries & Roderick Strong.
PLUS: Reality TV Star Johnny Fairplay
BG says: Larry Sweeney comes out and introduces ROH to Johnny Fairplay, who he compares to such celebrities as Paulie Shore, Corey Feldman and Bob Loblaw. Chris Hero accompanies Fairplay to the ring. This guy just looks like such a sleaze. Iíll tell you whatís cool though; Fairplay has proven himself to be a big wrestling and ROH fan, so I at least respect that the pseudo celebrities ROH uses are people that are into their product. At any rate the three of them run down the fans until Hero calls Nigel McGuinness out to the ring. This was all filmed for a VH1 where are they now program show also.
JZ says: Larry Sweeney is out to talk about all the cool people he and Chris Hero hang out with. He then introduces Chris Hero with Johnny Fairplay, of Survivor fame. The crowd doesnít want to hear what they have to say, which angers Sweeney. Fairplay insults the crowd. Hero gets on the mic and talks about how he would have had Bruno Sammartino last night if not for Nigel McGuinness, so he calls him out for a match right now.
MATCH #4: Nigel McGuinness vs. Chris Hero
BG says: Nigel attacks Hero before the bell. He hits a running European uppercut as Jimmy Bower enters the commentary booth to apologize for Johnny Fairplay and all the other lame names ROH has brought in. Well, thatís a strange thing to do. Nigel hits the corner combo for 2. He tosses Hero to the floor where he hits another European uppercut. Back in the ring Hero hits a big boot for 2. He hits a forearm in the corner and ties Nigel up in the ropes. Fairplay gets in a few cheap shots but Nigel regains control with a short arm clothesline. He hits another for 2. Hero hits a second rope dropkick for 2. He sets Nigel up top and hits a cravat suplex for 2. Nigel comes back with another clothesline for 2. He crotches Hero up top and hits the Tower of London for 2 when Fairplay pulls him to the floor. Nigel goes after Fairplay and hits him with a short arm clothesline in the ring. Hero hits a big boot but Nigel comes back with the Jawbreaker Lariat for the win. More than 50 percent of Nigelís offense in this match was lariats. Not great if you like diversity. The match is retroactively declared a number one contender match so Nigel gets a title shot at Morishima.
Now we come to the first really big moment in the Whitmer and Jacobs story, as BJ Whitmer tries to powerbomb Jacobs off the top rope at Dragon Gate Challenge and ends up falling to the floor and dropping Jacobs hard on the apron. That was a scary moment that occurred right in front of Jake and I.
JZ says: Prazak is outraged that Johnny Fairplay is actually in a Ring of Honor ring. Jimmy Bower joins the booth to recall past transgressions like ICP and Konnan in ROH in 2002, or Jeff Hardy in 2003. The actual match is very secondary to the fact that Fairplay is present. VH1 is recording footage of Fairplay, so ROH will get some good exposure that way. Nigel uses mostly strikes to keep Hero down in the early going. Hero comes back with some dirty tactics, while Sweeney and Fairplay do their best to interfere as well. Nigel fights back with his staple Ė lariats. Hero channels Tracey Smothers, and Nigel comes back with a lariat. Anyone else sensing a pattern in this match? Hero tries to go up top but Nigel hits a nasty Tower of London, Hero landed right on his head. Sweeney and Fairplay break up the pin though, and Nigel chases Fairplay into the ring. He shakes the hand, and then CLOBBERS Fairplay with a lariat. He follows that with the Jawbreaker Lariat on Hero to get the pin at 9:39. Nigel did almost nothing but lariats in that match, and most of it was centered on the fact that Fairplay was there. Jimmy Bower announces that as a result of this victory, Nigel gets a shot at Takeshi Morishima on April 14.
Whitmer vs. Jacobs History Ė At Dragon Gate Challenge on 3.30.06, Whitmer tried to powerbomb Jacobs from the top rope, but they fell backwards onto the floor in one of the scariest bumps I have ever seen in my life. That pretty much was the spark for this year-long feud.
MATCH #5: Jack Evans & Naruki Doi vs. Davey Richards & Rocky Romero
BG says: Roderick Strong and Davey Richards come out to the ring. Roderick is falling into a trap where he thinks dressing nicely as the champion makes him a heel. Not everyone needs to be the Four Horsemen. They introduce Rocky Romero as the new member of the No Remorse Corp. Of course this opens up a little plot hole as Romero could have attacked Austin Aries at the end of their match the night before but didnít.
Doi and Romero start. They lock up and trade chops. Richards and Evans tag in. Evans hits a hurricanrana and a roundhouse kick. He holds Richards over the second rope and Doi comes off the top with a senton for 2. Evans hits a back flip kick on Richards but Richards bails and pulls Evans to the floor. He rams Evans into the barricade and rolls him back into the ring. Romero tags in and hits a Manhattan drop and a dropkick for 2. Richards tags in and kicks the chest. He hits a bodyslam and an elbowdrop for 2. He puts on the Mark Nulty Special but Evans gets to the ropes. Richards hits a back elbow for 2. Romero tags in and hits a springboard kneedrop. He puts on a camel clutch and Richards kicks Evansís chest for 2. Richards tags in but Evans catches them with a double springboard back elbow. Doi tags in and cleans house. Romero knees Richards by mistake and Doi shoves him to the floor. Richards and Doi trade strikes and Doi hits Romero with a suicide dive. Richards hits an enziguiri and a falcon arrow for 2. The crowd gets behind Doi so he hits Richards with a spinebuster for 2. He drapes Richards across the second turnbuckle and puts Romero on top of him. He follows that up by flipping Evans into a double stomp on them. Evans hangs Romero in the Tree of Woe over Richards who is sitting in the corner and Doi hits them with Dai Bosou! for 2. Romero tags in and hits a back suplex for 2. They trade strikes until Romero puts Doi down with a knee to the gut. He comes off the second rope with a DDT for 2. He sets Doi up top but Doi comes back with a German superplex. Richards tags in but Doi catches him and goes for the Doi 555. Richards and Romero try to block it so Evans comes off the top with a double stomp onto Richards, springboarding onto Romero on the floor. Doi hits the Doi 555 for 2. Evans tags in and dropkicks Richards going for the handspring kick. He hits a reverse hurricanrana for 2 when Romero saves. Doi takes Romero to the floor and Evans climbs the ropes. Richards crotches him but Evans manages to catch him in the Tree of Woe and hit the Ong Bak kneedrop and the 630 senton for the win. Turned into a fantastic spotty tag match after a very short feeling out process. Richards is now twelve matches into his losing streak.
The next Whitmer and Jacobs moment sees Whitmer accomplishing in New York what he couldnít in Detroit as he powerbombs Jacobs off the top rope into the crowd. That was a crazy spot and stopped the match on the spot.
JZ says: FIP World Champion Roderick Strong comes out with Davey Richards, so that they can announce the third and newest member of the No Remorse Corps. The third member is, as most predicted it would be, Rocky Romero. Heís a good fit. Strong and Richards have a good heel basis, but sometimes they just say goofy stuff and it hurts them just a little bit. I still infinitely prefer both of them as heels. Evans and former tag team champion Doi control the early going, and Evans continues to amaze me with what his body is capable of. The Corps cut Evans off on the outside of the ring and start going to work on him. Evans takes a beating for several minutes before being able to tag in Doi, who sends Romero to the floor and he and Richards exchange moves inside the ring. Romero comes back but Doi stacks the NRC up in the corner and powerbombs Evans onto them. Romero is able to make the comeback on Doi and hit a few power moves on him. Doi fights back with a big German Suplex off the ropes. Richards comes in the ring and goes for the DR Driver but canít get it. Evans executes the old Ode to the Bulldogs on Romero outside the ring. Back inside this one is getting hard for me to call. Evans finally hits a Warriorís Way (except with the knees) on Richards and follows it with the 630 senton to get the win at 14:36. That was balls to the wall for the last half of the match or so, and it was tremendously entertaining. Evans & Doi make an awesome team, and itís sad that Doi wonít be around after this match.
Rating: *** ¾
Whitmer vs. Jacobs History Ė At In Your Face on 6.17.06, Whitmer and Jacobs fought for a shot at the ROH World Title. The match was declared a no-contest after Whitmer literally powerbombed Jacobs into the crowd. Both men got the title shot in an awesome three-way match the next week in Detroit.
MATCH #6: Brent Albright vs. Homicide
BG says: Homicide goes after Albright before the bell and they brawl on the mat. Homicide hits a swinging DDT but Adam Pearce runs out and attacks him, drawing the DQ.
The beating continues until Colt Cabana (w/entrance music) runs out and makes the save. Pearce and Albright retreat and Cabana gets on the microphone. One year ago he and Homicide finished their bloody and intense feud up. Actually it was one day shy of a year ago. Since Homicide showed Cabana respect after their feud was over heís going to give that respect back. He suggests they team up against Pearce and Albright right now. Pearce and Albright go to leave but Homicide and Cabana attack them from behind. They brawl around for a while using various weapons and nasty tactics before finally getting into the ring and starting their match.
JZ says: These two wrestled way back in December, when Homicide beat Albright by disqualification. This one starts off as a brawl right away. Albright has a significant size advantage here. They brawl for a bit and then Adam Pearce runs out for the disqualification at 1:18. That obviously never really got going as a match, but Colt Cabana comes out now, so I think weíre about to get a real match.
MATCH #7: Colt Cabana & Homicide vs. Adam Pearce & Brent Albright
BG says: Homicide and Cabana start out in control. Homicide hits a neckbreaker on Albright. He and Cabana hit a double backdrop on Albright and a double hiptoss on Pearce. They put on a double wristlock and hit a double backdrop. Cabana clotheslines Albright to the floor and Homicide hits the Ace Crusher on Pearce. Shane Hagadorn attacks Homicide from behind but Pelle Primeau comes out of nowhere and takes Hagadorn out. Jim Cornette runs to the ring and tries to attack Homicide but Homicide catches him. Albright attacks Homicide from behind with a German suplex for 2. Pearce and Albright hit a double flapjack on Homicide for 2. Albright hits a back suplex for 2 as the match takes a more traditional turn. Pearce comes in illegally and hits a vertical suplex for 2. Albright tags in and hits an elbowdrop for 2. He puts on a chinlock and hits a powerbomb for 2. Pearce comes in and hits an elbowdrop. He blocks the Ace Crusher and hits a piledriver for 2. He sets Homicide up top but Homicide fights him off. Cabana tags in and cleans house. He hits a moonsault press onto both opponents. He hits a snap suplex on Pearce for 2. He hits a head scissors takedown on Pearce and the Flying Asshole on Albright. Homicide hits the corner knee on Albright and Cabana hits a dropkick on Pearce on the floor. Homicide knocks Albright to the floor and follows him out with the topé con hilo. Cornette tries to mace Cabana but gets Pearce by mistake. Cabana takes Cornette out and hits Pearce with the can of mace for the win. The brawl was more heated than the match, which was overbooked nonsense. At least the finish was nice symmetry with the previous nightís opener. Cornette was never seen again, making these appearances seem pretty pointless.
Another Jacobs and Whitmer moment is a clip from their triple threat title match against Bryan Danielson. Jacobs and Danielson hit a Contra Code/powerbomb combo to eliminate Whitmer from the match.
JZ says: Cabana proposes the tag match, and he and Homicide take the fight to Albright and Pearce on the floor. This one goes all over the crowd, with Cabana fighting Pearce and Homicide fighting Albright. Theyíre sure taking their sweet time getting to the ring. They make it back there and now the bell rings and weíve got an official tag team match here. Former bitter rivals Homicide and Cabana control the early going. Shane Hagadorn comes out and interferes, so Pelle Primeau comes down to take him out. Primeau is great. Jim Cornette comes down and Homicide goes after him. The crowd chants ďFire Russo,Ē as if anyone currently in the building has anything to do with it. The heel team is beats on Homicide for a while until Cabana gets the hot tag and hits his usual stuff. Homicide is able to land the Tope Con Hilo on Albright. That leaves Pearce and Cabana in the ring. Pearce holds Cabana for Cornette to hit, but Cabana blocks it and hits Cornette with al elbow and uses Pearceís brass knuckles to get the pin at 12:29. Well that put two feuds together nicely, but didnít do much for me outside of that.
Whitmer vs. Jacobs History Ė At Throwndown on 6.23.06, Jacobs and Whitmer both got a shot at ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson in a three-way elimination match. Jacobs and Danielson teamed up to eliminate Whitmer, and then fought each other in one of Jacobsís best showings ever.
BG says: Rebecca Bayless is backstage as the steel cage is being set up. She asks Erick Stevens what itís like to be in ROH. Heís been tearing it up in FIP and what heís done so far in ROH is just the beginning. Austin Aries watches Stevens creepily from behind Bayless.
The final Jacobs and Whitmer moment is from their sick brawl at Dethroned. It may not have been a match but it was entertaining as hell.
JZ says: Rebecca Bayless, still employed by ROH for some reason, is backstage to talk to Erick Stevens on his ROH debut weekend. He says this is just the beginning. He looked a little awkward and nervous, but Iím sure I would be in his situation too, so Iím not holding it against him or anything. Aries is admiring Stevens from afar, and couldnít look gayer doing it if he tried.
Whitmer vs. Jacobs History Ė At Dethroned on 11.25.06, Whitmer and Jacobs were scheduled for a regular singles match. It didnít take long for them to eliminate the referee and engage in a bloody brawl that had no decisive winner, but a lot of blood was spilled.
MATCH #8: Steel Cage Showdown Ė BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs
BG says: The crowd chants ďplease donít dieĒ during Jacobsís entrance. Daizee Haze accompanies Whitmer to the ring. Jacobs dives through the door onto Whitmer before the bell. He jumps off a chair to hit an elbowdrop on the floor. He hits Whitmer with a pop bottle that bounces back into his own face. That knocked out half of one of his front teeth. They get into the ring and Jacobs favors his mouth. They avoid letting the other drive their face into the cage so Whitmer lifts Jacobs up and throws him into it back-first. He tosses Jacobsís face into the mesh and the crowd is decidedly mixed. Jacobsís face goes back into the cage as Haze orders security to bring her weapons for Whitmer. A chair is introduced but Jacobs blocks a shot with kicks. Whitmer boots Jacobs down and dropkicks the chair into him. Jacobs returns fire by booting the chair back at Whitmer. He places Whitmer on the chair but misses an elbowdrop and hits it himself. Whitmer hits a spinebuster on the chair and then whacks Jacobs across the face with it. He sets it up as we get the first shot of Jacobsís busted tooth. Whitmer goes for a brainbuster on the chair but Jacobs counters to a drop toehold on it. Lacey demands some weapons from security. The kid comes back with a spike. Whitmer pulls a spike out of his boot and we have a standoff. After some hesitation they both attack with the spike and go down. Back on their feet they hit each other with spikes again. Both are now bleeding but the spike shots increase exponentially. The crowd eats it up. Jacobs spikes himself in the head and Whitmer hits a turnbuckle powerbomb. Whitmer hits a big boot and asks for more weapons. Haze gets him a barbed wire bat but Jacobs ducks the shot and kicks the bat out of his hands. Jacobs comes out of the corner with a bat shot to the head. He hits Whitmerís arm with the bat, busting it open. He puts the barbed wire in his own mouth and hooks it on his own hair. He digs the wire into Whitmerís arm, nauseating me a little bit. The crowd agrees that itís pretty sick.
He licks the blood off of Whitmerís face and spits it back at him. He gets both spikes and jabs Whitmerís arm and head with them. He puts the barbed wire bat on the floor and presses Whitmerís face onto it before hitting a con-chair-to with the chair and the bat. He sets up the chair in the corner and jams the spikes into Whitmerís head and arm. Jacobs is covered in Whitmerís blood. He goes for a spear but Whitmer dodges it and sends him into the chair. Whitmer hits an exploder and counters a head scissors takedown to a powerbomb into the cage. He hits Jacobs with the barbed wire bat on his stomach and his back. He sets up the chair and hits a brainbuster onto it for 2. Yep, thatís the first near fall of the match. Lacey slams the cage door into Whitmerís face and Jacobs hits him with the bat for 2. Jacobs hits a top rope senton for 2. He hits a fistdrop with the spike and sets Whitmer up top. He goes for the hurricanrana but Whitmer catches him and drops him on the turnbuckle. Whitmer hits a German suplex and a dragon suplex. He hits a powerbomb for 2. He climbs the ropes and pulls Jacobs up for the superbomb. Jacobs counters to a hurricanrana in midair. He goes for the Contra Code but Whitmer counters to the Adrenaline Spike for 2 when Lacey breaks it up. Whitmer hits the Adrenaline Spike on Lacey and climbs to the top of the cage. He goes for a frog splash but misses and Jacobs hits the Contra Code for 2. Jacobs brings Rhett Titus into the cage to help him set up a table and then puts Whitmer on it. He climbs to the top of the cage but Whitmer goes up after him. Jacobs knocks Whitmer down and puts him back on the table. He climbs back up the cage and dives off with a senton to put Whitmer through the table for the win.
The match was full of unreal violence and no dull spots to speak of. This was pretty easily the best cage match in ROH history, with only one match even coming close. They just wanted to hurt each other, shown by the fact that neither guy was even going for the win until late into the match when things were starting to get scary dangerous. Fantastic feud ender that really legitimized Jacobs as a player. The only knock on the match at all was the weirdness of Rhett Titus setting up the table with Jacobs and a slow setup to the finish. After the match part of the cage is taken down so that the battered wrestlers can leave more easily. Jacobs hardly seems pleased with his victory as his ankle and mouth are completely messed up. Whitmer has to be assisted out by Titus and a referee. Titus is such a flip flopper.
JZ says: I think the videos in between each match proved that this is a big match. This is definitely Jacobsís most important match in ROH, and one of Whitmerís too. Jacobs dives through the cage door and this one is on right away. Jacobs uses a pop bottle to hit Whitmer with, and Iím sure that wouldnít backfire on anyone who tries it. They make it into the cage and the brawl still continues. Whitmer brings in the first weapon, a steel chair. They brawl for a few more minutes and Whitmer gets a huge shot to the face and knocks Jacobsís tooth out. Jacobs fights back and calls for the Spike. Whitmer produces one of his own and they both hit each other and go down. They get up, hit each other again, and go down again. They both get up, and then engage in a hockey fight with the spikes and the crowd loves it. Whitmer calls for the barbed wire baseball bat, but Jacobs is the first one to use it. He then carries it around the ring in his mouth, and dangles it from his head. Thatís pretty sick, dude. Whitmerís arm is bleeding, so Jacobs grabs two spikes, and alternates hitting Whitmer on the head and on the arm. Whitmer eventually comes back with some big moves, culminating in a sick brainbuster on a chair. A table gets brought down to ringside, as the brawl continues inside the cage. They go up top so Whitmer can try the powerbomb off the top rope, but this time Jacobs hits the rana. Jacobs then tries the Contra Code, but Whitmer blocks it to an Owen Driver í97, and then gives the same move to Lacey when she interferes. Whitmer then goes up to try a Frog Splash off the cage but it misses. This allows Jacobs to hit the Contra Code, but Whitmer kicks out. Jacobs calls for the table, and Rhett Titus helpfully helps him stand it up. Jacobs has injured his left knee. Jacobs gets Whitmer on top of the table and goes up and hits the senton and that finishes the match and the feud at 24:26. That was almost 25 minutes of intensity from bell to bell. It incorporated a lot of things from the year-long feud into one awesome match. Itís the best match of both guysí career, and definitely one of the best matches of the year.
MATCH #9: FIP World Heavyweight Title Match Ė VS.
BG says: They lock up and take it to the mat. Aries gets the advantage so Strong bails. Back in the ring they knuckle up. Aries grabs a cravat and works over Strongís neck with elbows. He hits a pair of armdrags and puts on an armbar. He blocks Strongís chops and puts on a headlock. Strong dodges the basement dropkick but Aries comes back with a backslide and a dropkick to the top of Strongís head. Strong hits a chinbreaker and dropkicks Aries in midair going for his back elbow out of the corner. Aries blocks another chop so Strong pokes his eyes and chops him down for 2. He hits a bodyslam for 2. He works over Ariesís back but Aries dodges a dropkick and gets a roll up for 2. He catapults Aries into the bottom rope and hits a backbreaker for 2. He puts on the leggy nelson and floats into a camel clutch. Aries gets to the ropes. He hits a slingshot suplex for 2. Aries blocks a blind charge and hits a missile dropkick. He hits a legdrop for 2. He chops Strong around and hits the corner elbow. He hits the corner dropkick for 2. Strong dodges a senton and bails so Aries follows him out with the Heat Seeking Missile. Back inside he hits a corkscrew press but a Lionsault hits knees. Aries blocks the gutbuster and hits a forearm for 2. Strong hits a backbreaker for 2. Aries hangs Strong over the middle rope and hits a springboard backflip into a knee to the back of the head for 2. They dodge each otherís offense until Strong drops Ariesís head into the bottom turnbuckle. He tosses Aries across the top turnbuckle and hits a fall away slam off the second rope for 2. They fight to the apron where Aries hits a DVD. Strong falls to the floor but gets back in the ring at 15 and rolls Aries up for 2. He hits the gutbuster but Aries comes back with a clothesline. Aries hits the brainbuster and climbs the ropes. Strong shoves the referee into the ropes to crotch Aries (dangerous as DQs lead to title changes) and tosses Aries through a table on the floor. Strong goes to the floor and rams Aries into the barricade. He rips off a part of the barricade and hits the tiger driver on it. Aries struggles but gets back in the ring at 19. Aries gets a roll up for 2 but Strong comes back with the Sick Kick. He hits the half nelson backbreaker and the tiger driver before putting on the Stronghold and making Aries pass out for the win. It was an interesting match between two guys who had each other scouted. It was like watching the AI on a wrestling video game on the hardest setting. This did a lot for Strong as a singles wrestler. After the match Strong tries to put the Stronghold back on but Delirious makes the save.
Daizee Haze tries consoling Whitmer but heís completely despondent. He walks out of the building bruised, bloody and beaten.
JZ says: Strong has been the champion since 11.10.06, and this is his tenth defense, first after making it a World Title against PAC in England. These two once had an ROH World Title match in FIP when Aries was the champion, so this match is the bizarro that match. They show some clips of Aries and Strong teaming together. Aries is aggressive in the early going, so Strong tries to avoid him. They do some feeling out in the early going, since they obviously know each other so well after being in a faction since 2004 and being World Tag Team Champions for most of 2006. Aries controls the early going, but when Strong lands a chop that puts him in control for a while. He works on the back of Aries and jaws with the fans who are heckling him. Aries makes the comeback and this some chops that do rival Strongís. They fight outside the ring briefly, but Aries brings it back in. He tries the twisting splash but Strong gets the knees up. Strong tries to back suplex Aries on the ring apron, but Aries avoids it and hits a Death Valley Driver there instead. Thatís sick. Strong gets back in before the 20-count and Aries hits the brainbuster but gets crotched when he goes for the 450. They fight over a superplex and Aries falls off the top rope through the timekeeperís table. Iím not sure if he slipped for real or if that was supposed to happen. And thatís what I like about it. Strong follows him out and sets up the barricades and delivers a Tiger Driver onto it. That looked nasty. Strong is really making a great heel. Aries actually makes it back in to the ring. Aries gets a small package but Strong kicks out. He follows with the Sick Kick, a half-nelson backbreaker, a Tiger Driver, and finally the Strong Hold, and Aries passes out at 21:43. Thatís probably the best FIP Title match Iíve ever seen (Brad would be able to tell me if Iím wrong there), and they really had a tough act to follow after the cage match. I knew this was a good match live, but it was even better this time.
A despondent BJ Whitmer says that he ďcouldnít get it doneĒ and he walks out of the building. Daizee Haze follows him.
MATCH #10: CIMA, Shingo & Susumu Yokosuka vs. Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito & Masaaki Mochizuki
BG says: What would have been really cool would have been if Shingo and Saito had switched places. Then this match could have been an Open the Triangle Gate title defense. CIMA and Saito start. The crowd is very much behind CIMA. They knuckle up and Saito hits a northern lights suplex. CIMA lands on his feet after Saito hits a hurricanrana and tags to Shingo. Mochizuki tags in and they trade strikes. Mochizuki kicks Shingo down and then kicks the back. Shingo fires up and asks for more. He grabs Mochizukiís leg and hits a bodyslam. Yokosuka and Dragon Kid tag in and Yokosuka hits a backbreaker. Dragon Kid hits an armdrag and a hurricanrana. Yokosuka bails so CIMA comes in. Saito tags in and hits a back elbow for 2. Shingo tags in and hits a kneedrop for 2. Mochizuki tags in and goes back to the kicks. Shingo hits a vertical suplex and tags to Yokosuka. Yokosuka hits a backbreaker for 2. Mochizuki hits a bodyslam and tags to Dragon Kid. Dragon Kid hits a dropkick and a basement dropkick. Saito comes in with an axe handle to the arm. He stays on the arm so CIMA tags in. CIMA hits a slingshot senton and puts on a full nelson. He hits a dropkick for 2. He goes for a double knee strike in the corner but Saito blocks it and slams CIMA. Dragon Kid tags in and hits a kneedrop for 2. Mochizuki comes in and kicks CIMA down. I dare you to do anything else Mochizuki. He puts on a half crab and gets some help from Dragon Kid. Yokosuka breaks it up. Saito swings Dragon Kid into CIMA for 2. Mochizuki tags in andÖ I bet you can guess what he does. Saito drags CIMA to the floor and sits him on the apron for a kick to the back from Mochizuki. Mochizuki suplexes him back inside and Saito hits a splash off the top for 2. CIMA comes back with simultaneous stomps onto Mochizuki and Saito. He piledrives Dragon Kid onto Saito and tags to Yokosuka. Thatís the first really awesome thing in the match.
Yokosuka hits an exploder on Mochizuki for 2. Dragon Kid hits a hurricanrana on Yokosuka. Shingo hits a spinebuster on Dragon Kid for 2. He puts on a half crab but Dragon Kid gets to the ropes. Yokosuka tags in and they make a wish. Yokosuka stays on Dragon Kidís leg. He sends Dragon Kid to the floor where he and CIMA crotch him on the post. Back in the ring Shingo hits a military press slam. He hits a pumping vertical suplex for 2. He drapes Dragon Kid over the second rope and CIMA hits a top rope double stomp for 2. They stack Dragon Kid on the second rope and CIMA hits a double stomp on Saito and a lung blower on Dragon Kid for 2. Saito gets triple-teamed in the corner. They stack Dragon Kid on Saitoís shoulders and CIMA bulldogs Dragon Kid down. Dragon Kid hits a top rope hurricanrana on CIMA and tags to Mochizuki. Mochizuki cleans house and Saito hits an overhead suplex on Shingo. Dragon Kid hits Déjà Vu on Yokosuka and follows him to the floor with a hurricanrana. Shingo and Mochizuki trade chops until Mochizuki puts on a cross armbreaker. Shingo counters that to a powerbomb for 2. Saito powerbombs CIMA and hits the Fisherman Express for 2. CIMA counters a dragon suplex to a DDT for 2. Saito hits a dropkick and Dragon Kid puts on the Christo. Yokosuka breaks it up with a dropkick. Dragon Kid hits a stunner on Yokosuka for 2. Yokosuka hits the World Liner on Dragon Kid, the only person he ever hits it on, for 2. Saito and Shingo hit a Doomsday Device on Dragon Kid and CIMA hits the Tokarev on Saito. He hits the Schwein for 2. Saito comes back with a dragon suplex and Mochizuki hits a running knee for 2. Mochizuki dropkicks Shingoís back. Shingo gets triple-teamed, culminating in a DDT from Dragon Kid and kicks from Mochizuki for 2. Dragon Kid hits a hurricanrana for 2 when CIMA pulls him off and hits the Schwein. Roundhouse kick from Mochizuki to CIMA. Clothesline from Yokosuka to Mochizuki. German suplex from Saito to Yokosuka. Gutwrench toss from Shingo to Saito. Lariat and Blood Fall from Shingo to Dragon Kid for 2. He hits a lariat on Saito but Saito comes back with a dragon suplex for 2. CIMA and Yokosuka take out Mochizukiís legs but Dragon Kid hits a crucifix bomb on CIMA for 2. He hits a Code Green on Yokosuka for 2. Yokosuka rolls through a hurricanrana for the win. The match was a little less smooth than last yearís and the finish looked ridiculous after everything that had happened leading up to it, but other than that thereís nothing to complain about here.
JZ says: I donít anticipate doing much play-by-play for this one, since I fully expect it to get out of control in a hurry. Prazak and Leonard talk about last yearís match and how no one quite knew what to expect and they ended up stealing the show, which is why theyíre the main event tonight. I think Jacobs vs. Whitmer should have gone on last, but maybe thatís just me. Mochizuki and Yokosuka are making their ROH debuts this weekend, the rest have appeared several times before. This one starts off a little slower and has more tag team work than just spots. Prazak announces a huge main event for the Long Island show on 4.13.07, as Takeshi Morishima & Chris Hero will take on Nigel McGuinness & Doug Williams in what should be a good tag match. The next night in Edison, New Jersey, McGuinness will get his World Title opportunity against Morishima. CIMAís team controls most of the early stages. Both teams are babyfaces in Dragon Gate; I think I remember Brad telling me that. As predicted, this one gets out of control and I know I canít keep up with it. Plus, everyone knows what to expect from these guys now. The commentators take my cue and also stop play-by-play. The end finally comes when Dragon Kid tries the Dragon Rana on Yokosuka, but he reverses it to a sunset flip for three at 27:15. The finish was a little weak. Overall it wasnít as mind-blowing as seeing this stuff for the first time last year, but itís still a really good match with some insane action.
BG says: Rebecca Bayless catches up with Lacey and Jimmy Jacobs after the show. Theyíre both pretty battered and just hold each other rather than go to the hospital. What a development!
JZ says: Rebecca Bayless is backstage and was very impressed with the main event. She comes across the bloody Jimmy Jacobs and the injured Lacey. She advises them to either see the doctor or sheíll take them to the hospital. They forego those options to cuddle up in each otherís own misery.
BG says: Jimmy Jacobs. The kid sacrificed his tooth and his ankle for this amazing cage match.
Coming soon will be our review of THIS MEANS WAR II!
The 411: BG says: Best show of the year so far. Two matches well above **** and an FIP title defense that comes close. Both two-on-two tags were also quite good. Newcomers Erick Stevens and YAMATO had good showings and were icing on the cake. Get this match now, mostly for the main event and the epic cage match.
JZ says: I definitely agree that this is the best show of the year so far, if just for the second half alone, which featured three matches at four stars or higher. The undercard was pretty solid, highlighted by the Evans/Doi vs. Romero/Richards match and Erick Stevens looking like heís going to be a player. Thereís pretty much something for everyone, and the steel cage match is reason enough alone to recommend buying this DVD.