ROH – RESPECT IS EARNED – MANHATTAN, NEW YORK – MAY 12, 2007
DISC ONE - Pay Per View
BG says: The Video Wire for this weekend’s shows starts off with ROH owner Cary Silkin’s announcement that ROH will be debuting on PPV in July of this year. Included in the wire are clips of Jimmy Rave’s return to ROH, Austin Aries’s title shot against Takeshi Morishima, Shingo’s title shot against Morishima, hype for Sweeney’s appearance on ROH’s PPV debut and finally hype for Bryan Danielson’s return to ROH. That last bit is pretty exciting.
The show kicks off with BJ Whitmer in the ring. He challenges anyone in the locker room to a match because in ROH the wrestling does the talking. Before anyone can answer a video package plays. It ends with ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima, and he’s exactly the man who answers Whitmer’s challenge.
JZ says: BJ Whitmer opens the show in the ring, and the crowd at the Manhattan Center is going bananas. The place looks jam packed. Whitmer says that in ROH, they let their wrestling do the talking. So he issues an open challenge.
Before we find out who’s accepting the challenge, we get an opening video featuring some of the Ring of Honor wrestlers who may or may not be on the actual pay-per-view part of the show. When that’s over, ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima comes out to take the challenge and the title is on the line!
MATCH #1: ROH World Title Match – Takeshi Morishima vs. BJ Whitmer
BG says: They trade forearms to start and Morishima hits a sidewalk slam. He hits a big boot in the corner and beats Whitmer down. Whitmer counters the backdrop driver to a crossbody. He hits a basement dropkick and an exploder for 2. He hits a lariat for 2. He climbs the ropes and hits a frog splash for 2. He goes for the wrist clutch exploder but Morishima blocks it. Whitmer’s offense can’t take Morishima off his feet and the champion hits a lariat. He this a Yakuza kick for 2. He hits another lariat for 2 and the backdrop driver for the win. If Whitmer didn’t look like a jobber in the tag match the night before he sure looks like one now. Morishima looks strong to the PPV audience at least.
Nigel McGuinness comes out to the ring and challenges Morishima to another title match. Bryan Danielson comes out and says he deserves a shot at the title more because the strength of his own title reign and because he defeated Nigel during that reign. He and Nigel brawl and Morishima joins in on Danielson’s side. A little tension over the belt sends Morishima to the back and Nigel goes after Danielson. Danielson bails and cowers to the locker room.
Brent Albright is coming soon to ROH Pay Per View. For a price that is. The hype video for him would probably be a lot better without Albright’s voiceover.
JZ says: Morishima has been the champion since 2.17.07, and this is his seventh defense. The champion goes right after Whitmer, one night after challenging for the ROH World Tag Team Titles with him. He tries the Back Drop Driver but Whitmer reverses it and gets a few moves in. An exploder gets a near fall. A big lariat follows but that also only gets two. Whitmer goes up top for the Frog Splash and that also only gets two. He sets up for the Wrist Clutch Exploder but can’t execute it. Whitmer gives Morishima everything he’s got, only to have it thrown back in his face with a lariat. Morishima hits a big boot and Whitmer kicks out. Morishima hits a running lariat and that gets two. A vicious Back Drop Driver is enough for Morishima to get the pin and retain his title at 2:52. That was an interesting choice for an opener, and they packed a lot into three minutes.
Nigel McGuinness comes out after the match and grabs a microphone. Nigel gives Morishima credit for being a good champion, and then throws his hat in the ring for another shot at the ROH World Champion. Nigel is adamant that he wants a shot, and so does the next man down the aisle, former Champ Bryan Danielson. He says that if anyone deserves a shot it’s him. Nigel gets angry when Danielson sticks his finger in his chest, so Danielson backs off. Of course he sucker punches Nigel and the former champ and current champ beat up Nigel. Danielson picks up the belt and declares it his, and Morishima takes issue with that. Nigel gets back up and wants to fight Danielson, who wisely lives to fight another day.
Coming soon to ROH pay-per-view will be … Brent Albright. Albright’s voice-over work on this is pretty lame and bush league sounding and I continue to not wonder why WWE assumed they could do nothing with him.
MATCH #2: Rocky Romero vs. Naomichi Marufuji
BG says: I just got done watching NOAH’s NTV tag team tournament so this match is sort of a nice transition back into ROH for me. In a nice touch a highlight reel plays for both guys as they make their entrances. They trade holds to start. Romero puts on the octopus stretch and rolls Marufuji up for 2. Marufuji puts on an abdominal stretch and rolls Romero up for 2. They dodge big kicks from each other and Romero goes after the cross armbreaker. Marufuji gets to the ropes. Romero kicks Marufuji’s arm and drops a knee on it. He goes back to the cross armbreaker but Marufuji rolls him up for 2. Romero strikes Marufuji around and hits a kneedrop for 2. Marufuji comes back with a springboard dropkick, sending Romero to the floor. Marufuji follows him out and hits a shinbreaker on the post. Back in the ring he gets 2. He hits a dragon screw over the middle rope for 2. He stays on Romero’s knee by dropkicking it and hitting a dragon screw off the top. He puts on the figure 4 leglock but Romero gets to the ropes. He drops a leg on Romero’s knee but Romero comes back with a swinging DDT. Marufuji catches him coming off the top rope but Romero hits a mule kick. He hits another swinging DDT for 2. Marufuji hits a chinbreaker on his knee but Romero comes back with a knee to the face. Marufuji hits a clothesline and a powerbomb for 2. He climbs the ropes but Romero brings him down with the Diablo Armbar. Marufuji gets to the ropes. He hits a superkick but Romero comes back with one of his own. Marufuji hits an elbow in the corner and a turnbuckle powerbomb. He sets Romero in the Tree of Woe and hits the corner to corner dropkick for 2. Romero hits a tiger suplex and a buzzsaw kick for 2. Thanks for selling that dropkick Rocky. Marufuji hits a roundhouse kick and the Shiranui for the win. The heat portion in the middle was a bit dull but the rest of the match was about on par with what we usually get when Marufuji is motivated.
Larry Sweeney talks up his “all natural” athlete Tank Toland backstage while Toland exercises. He calls himself the best agent in sports today. He’s got Chris Hero as his top client and Tank Toland getting Bobby Dempsey in shape. He’s also just signed his newest client, the top women’s wrestler around Sara Del Rey. Toland seems less than enthused. He tries to mark his territory by bragging about what he’s going to do to Dempsey. Sara tries to get in on the action by challenging Toland to a squat contest. Before we can see who wins the action cuts back to the ring where something big is happening!
Nigel and Danielson start fighting again and again Morishima helps Danielson out. This time KENTA runs out to help Nigel and set up the main event for the evening.
JZ says: Both guys get a little video with some highlights to help introduce them to the new viewers. They start off with some mat wrestling, with Romero going after the leg and the arm. Neither man can gain a clear advantage over the other one in the opening minutes. Marufuji starts going for strikes, and Romero stays with a submission based attack, going for the arm. The fight goes to the floor and the crowd is very much behind Marufuji. They go back into the ring rather quickly and Marufuji is in control. It goes back and forth for a while, and Marufuji locks on a figure-four Leglock. Romero gets out of it and winds up nailing a sick tornado DDT. Romero tries a dropkick off the second rope but Marufuji turns it into a Leglock. Romero kicks his way out and goes for the Tiger Suplex. He can’t hit that but he does hit another tornado DDT for two. Marufuji comes back by driving his knee into Romero’s face. A big lariat knocks Romero down and Marufuji follows it up with a powerbomb and the folding press for two. Marufuji goes up top and Romero stops him and pulls Marufuji down in a cross armbreaker. Marufuji reaches the ropes. Both men get back to their feet and exchange kicks and they’re right back down again. Marufuji takes the advantage and powerbombs Romero into the corner. He puts him in the Tree of Woe and hits the Coast to Coast dropkick. Romero kicks out at two. Romero blocks the Shiranui and hits the Tiger Suplex. Marufuji gets right back up and is met with a kick to the head for two. They exchange kicks with Marufuji winning the exchange and the Shiranui follows and Marufuji gets the win at 16:04. That was a good match but it lacked the emotion necessary to bring it to the next level. It’s still a good representation of ROH style.
Super Agent Larry Sweeney is backstage with Tank Toland, the all-natural superior athlete. He says that we’ll be seeing much more of him now that ROH is on PPV. He wants to prove that he is the best agent in sports today. He has an announcement for the PPV audience. Toland is really funny in the background. Sweeney and his evil genius laugh introduce Sara Del Ray as the newest member of Sweet ‘n’ Sour Inc. Toland brings Bobby Dempsey out to insult him. Toland tries to knock Del Ray down a peg, but she’ll have none of it. They engage in a squat challenge and Toland is absolutely hilarious here.
We cut back to the ring where Morishima and Danielson are beating up Nigel McGuinness. KENTA comes out for some reason to make the save. Why couldn’t this segment be a part of the one earlier tonight?
MATCH #3: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – The Briscoe Brothers vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Matt Sydal
BG says: Mark and Claudio start. They trade holds until Mark hits a northern lights suplex for 2. Sydal tags in and puts on a wristlock. But Mark counters to a hammerlock and tags to Jay. Jay puts on a headlock but Sydal comes back with a cheap shot and a head scissors takedown. Jay hits a hurricanrana but runs into a leg lariat. Claudio tags in and rolls Jay up for 2. He gets a crucifix pin for 2. Mark tags in and hits a climbing dropkick. Jay hits a Yakuza kick and Mark gets 2. Sydal tags in and they make a wish. He hits the cannonball legdrop for 2. Jay tags in and hits a leg lariat to the back and the Complete Shot for 2. He hits a dropkick for 2. Mark tags in and the Briscoes toss Sydal into the air for 2. Mark hits a gutwrench suplex and a kneedrop for 2. Jay tags in and the Briscoes hit the double shoulder tackle. Jay puts on the Stretch Plum and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He holds on and Mark hits a guillotine split legged moonsault for 2. Mark tags in legally and hits a suplex for 2. Jay tags in but Sydal tosses Mark to the floor and hits Jay with a turnbuckle off the ropes. Claudio tags in and hits a bodyslam. He hits an elbowdrop off the second rope for 2. Mark hits him with a knee from the apron and a slingshot double stomp for 2. The Briscoes toss Sydal out of the corner and then do the same to Claudio. Claudio comes back with a European uppercut to Jay and Sydal hits an enziguiri on Mark. Claudio hits a fisherman suplex on Jay for 2. Sydal tags in and puts on a seated abdominal stretch. Claudio tags in and hits a European uppercut. Sydal hits a double knee strike and a clothesline and Claudio gets a few rotations on the giant swing for 2. Sydal tags in and hits a springboard bulldog. He hits a springboard corkscrew senton for 2. Claudio tags in and hits a slingshot elbowdrop for 2. Sydal tags in and gets hit with the Rude Awakening. Jay hits a stunner on Claudio and tags to Mark. Mark hits an axe kick on Sydal and Jay monkey flips Claudio to the floor before diving out onto him. Mark blocks an enziguiri from Sydal and gets a sunset flip for 2. He hits a turnbuckle powerbomb and a t-bone suplex for 2. The Briscoes hit a side slam/legdrop combo for 2. Claudio rams them into each other and hits the Match Killer on Jay onto Mark for 2. He tags in legally and hits the Alpamare Waterslide on Mark. He hits a head scissors takedown off the second rope and a bicycle kick for 2. Sydal tags in and hits the Slice for 2. He hits a standing moonsault for 2. Claudio tags in and walks into a forearm. Jay tags in and hits a crossbody off the top for 2. He hits a facebuster and a springboard kick Hart Attack with Mark. Mark hits the yelping splash, getting 2 for Jay. Claudio hits a springboard European uppercut on Jay and tosses Sydal onto the Briscoes on the floor. Back in the ring Claudio hits the Ricola Bomb for 2. He hits a European uppercut and tags to Sydal. Sydal hits the shooting star press for 2 when Mark saves. Mark hits a superkick and clotheslines Claudio to the floor. Jay hits the military press DVD on Sydal for 2. Sydal hits a snap hurricanrana on Jay for 2. Jay ducks a kick and the Briscoes hit the springboard Doomsday Device for the win. That’s the match they’ve been reeling in the ROH fans with. Not as great as some Briscoes matches but perfect for the first PPV.
After the match Prazak and Leonard talk about how great it is that people can watch ROH on PPV now. Having them there live and on camera is an awesome touch. They should do it more often. Kevin Steen and El Generico storm out, and Steen grabs a microphone to demand a title shot. They rush the ring and brawl with the Briscoes as the crowd sings Generico’s Olé song. The fans boo when the usual suspects try to break up the brawl, but these two teams were not to be denied. Highlights of the fight include Generico and Steen destroying some students with their crazy offense (I think it was Azrieal taking the double finisher) and Generico’s huge dive onto the Briscoes. The skirmish goes all the way to the back where Steen lays Mark out with a chair.
JZ says: The Briscoes have been champions since 3.30.07, and this is their fourth defense. Prazak announces that tonight’s main event will be Takeshi Morishima & Bryan Danielson taking on KENTA & Nigel McGuinness. Claudio and Mark start it off. They mat wrestle to start and Claudio is able to subdue Mark and tag out to Sydal. Both teams make a few tags and continue the feeling-out process. The Briscoes soon take over and unleash their high-potency offense. They beat up on the smaller Sydal for a little while until Claudio tags in but he too soon falls victim to Jay and Mark. Claudio comes back and uses a giant swing and then tags out to Sydal. The action starts coming pretty fast and furious here, it’s getting hard for me to follow. Castagnoli executes a pretty impressive headscissors off the top rope. That’s sweet for a guy his size. Everybody starts busting out the big guns. This match makes the tag team titles seem really important in Ring of Honor, and that’s one of the things I dig most about the company as a whole. A springboard Doomsday Device on Sydal is enough for the Briscoes to retain at 20:07. That had awesome action and made the point that these are four of the top athletes in ROH.
Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard get on the house microphone to thank the crowd for ordering the show and the fans live in attendance. When that is done Kevin Steen and El Generico come out to badmouth the Briscoes. They want their tag team title shot, and they don’t wait for it by running to the ring and attacking the champs. The security force tries to separate them, much to the chagrin of the crowd. Steen and Generico take out their frustrations on a couple of students. I never thought I’d appreciate Kevin Steen so much, but I do. The fight continues all the way to the back.
MATCH #4: Roderick Strong vs. Delirious
BG says: A video package of Strong and Delirious’s feud plays before their match. Strong injured Delirious and kept fighting him afterwards. Delirious became a thorn in the collective side of the No Remorse Corp after that. Delirious flips out at the sound of the bell and beats Strong on the floor. Back in the ring Strong regains control with a boot and hits a shoulder tackle. Delirious gets a headlock takedown and hits a bodyslam. He misses the soccer kick and Strong goes for the Stronghold. Delirious counters that to a roll up for 2. He hits a crossbody for 2. He kicks Strong's back and jumps off the top to get a head scissors takedown. Strong tosses him into the turnbuckle and pounds him down for 1. Delirious comes back with a clothesline and hits a back suplex for 2. Strong hits a backbreaker for 2. Delirious catches him coming off the second rope with a headbutt to the gut. He hits a series of clotheslines and a dropkick to the back. He hits the Panic Attack but misses Shadows Over Hell. He hits the Bizarro Driver for 2. He goes for the Cobra Stretch but Strong goes to the corner to block it. Delirious hits a hanging neckbreaker for 2. Strong hits a chinbreaker and the torture rack backbreaker for 2. He tosses Delirious onto the turnbuckle and hits a fall away slam off the second rope for 2. Delirious gets a crucifix pin for 2. He hits an enziguiri and climbs the ropes to hit the Shadows Over Hell for 2. He puts on the Cobra Stretch but Strong rolls over for 2. They trade roll ups and Strong hits a powerbomb across his knee for 2. Delirious dodges a backdrop on the apron and kicks Strong to the floor before following him out with a somersault off the top. He whips Strong into the barricade and hits the Panic Attack against it. They fight to the apron where Strong hits a back suplex for 2. They trade forearms and Strong goes to the eyes. He hits the gutbuster for 2. He puts on a Boston crab but Delirious gets to the ropes. He hits Chemical Imbalance II for 2. He puts on the Cobra Stretch and then hits a cobra clutch suplex for 2 when Strong grabs the bottom rope. He hits the soccer kick but Strong comes back with the half nelson backbreaker. He hits the Sick Kick and the tiger driver for the win. Kind of a strange match as Delirious mostly dominated and Strong only got sporadic offense in before the finish, but the commentators kept selling it as Delirious getting unfairly beaten up by Strong. At any rate they both forth a good effort.
After the match Romero and Davey Richards come out and help Strong hit Delirious with the tiger driver on a section of the barricade draped between the rest of the barricade and the apron. Erick Stevens and Matt Cross make the save. Stevens puts an exclamation mark on things by hitting a powerslam on Strong.
Backstage Adam Pearce sends Shane Hagadorn to go find someone. Shane leaves and Pearce starts cutting a promo. He talks about ROH's growth over the passed five years. Tonight ROH takes it biggest step by debuting on PPV. Now everyone in ROH has to step up. Hagadorn comes back and shows Pearce that BJ Whitmer is just around the corner. Pearce talks about the sacrifices Whitmer has made in ROH, and how broken he's become since losing to Jimmy Jacobs in the cage match in Detroit. Now Whitmer must be known as the man who lost the first ROH match on PPV. He says he knows how he himself finds peace and then walks over to Whitmer, seemingly to help him do the same.
JZ says: The video package shows just what a jerk Roderick Strong has become since forming the No Remorse Corps. This one starts off hot and quickly spills to the floor. Delirious is on fire in the early going. They take turns being in control, with Strong gaining the first real advantage of the match. Delirious stays alive though, and the crowd is behind him. He comes back with the Panic Attack and appears to be going up for Shadows over Hell. Strong avoids it but does get hit with a Bizarro Driver for two. Delirious tries the Cobra Stretch but Strong won’t let him put it on. Strong works on the back with backbreakers, and Delirious goes up top once again. Strong knocks him down but Delirious reverses that and hits the Shadows over Hell for a near fall. He gets the Cobra Stretch out of that but Strong reverses it and they exchange pinning combinations. The fight spills to the floor again and Delirious hits a huge dive. Prazak brings back the old “there’s no countouts in Ring of Honor but if you’re outside too long the ref can disqualify you.” I haven’t heard that in a while. Strong hits a nasty back suplex on the edge of the apron. Strong continues the abuse, locking on a Boston Crab. Delirious fights back and hits Chemical Imbalance II, and then puts on the Cobra Stretch. Strong is able to fight it but Delirious suplexes him out of it instead. Strong finally unleashes his match killing combination – the half nelson backbreaker, big boot to the face, and Tiger Driver – to get the pin at 17:06. That was good, with Delirious fighting back from a lot and Strong being a complete dick through the whole thing.
The rest of the No Remorse Corps come out with a guardrail in tow. Strong gives Delirious another Tiger Driver on the guardrail, and Matt Cross and Erick Stevens finally come out for the save.
Adam Pearce is backstage with Shane Hagadorn. He sends him on some kind of mission, and Pearce introduces himself. He talks about how Ring of Honor has grown, and how the entire roster has a lot of soul searching to do. Pearce points out BJ Whitmer, who has done so much for Ring of Honor fans, but now his spirit has been broken. Pearce walks down the hall and talks to Whitmer, though the audio can’t pick it up. Pearce cuts really good promos every now and then, and this is one of them.
MATCH #5: KENTA & Nigel McGuinness vs. Takeshi Morishima & Bryan Danielson
BG says: Nigel and KENTA will from here on out be known as Sake and Geishas. Danielson and KENTA start. Lenny Leonard has a Mark Briscoe update, saying he's been sent to the hospital and has been diagnosed with a severe concussion. Danielson hits a monkey flip on KENTA but KENTA comes back with a kick to the midsection. Morishima and Nigel tag in and Morishima hits a big shoulder tackle. Danielson tags in and fights with Nigel on the mat. Danielson puts on a cross armbreaker but Nigel quickly gets to the ropes. Nigel goes after Danielson's arm and then hits a European uppercut. He sets Danielson up top but Danielson comes back with a diving European uppercut. Nigel hits a headbutt so Morishima attacks him from behind. KENTA knocks Morishima down and everyone stands at attention. Morishima tags in and hits a butt butt. He stands on Nigel's throat in the corner and tags to Danielson. Morishima gets back on Nigel's throat and Danielson gets on Morishima's back to add weight. Danielson kicks Nigel's back for 2. He puts on a dragon sleeper but Nigel rolls over for 2. Morishima tags in and hits the butt lariat. He hits a double stomp and stands on Nigel's stomach. He goes to the eyes and puts on a camel clutch. Danielson tags in and hits the thigh stomp. Nigel hits him with the corner combo and hits a short-arm lariat on Morishima. KENTA tags in and hits a big boot. He hits the springboard dropkick for 2. He hits a leg lariat for 2. They trade strikes and KENTA hits a Yakuza kick in the corner. Danielson comes back with a backbreaker and tags to Morishima. Morishima hits the handspring avalanche and climbs the ropes to hit a dropkick. He hits a sidewalk slam but KENTA comes back with a powerslam. Nigel tags in and forces Morishima into the corner. He hits a running European uppercut but walks into a big boot. Morishima climbs the ropes again and hits another dropkick. Nigel pops up and hits a lariat for 2. He blocks the handspring avalanche with another lariat for 2. He climbs the ropes but Danielson grabs him. KENTA knocks Danielson away and Nigel goes for a sunset bomb on Morishima. Danielson helps Morishima block it and Morishima hits the Banzai Drop. He hits the backdrop driver for 2 when KENTA saves. Morishima dumps KENTA and climbs the ropes again. KENTA keeps him from diving and Nigel hits the Tower of London. KENTA and Danielson tag in and trade strikes. KENTA hangs him up on the top rope and dives off the turnbuckle with a kneedrop for 2. Danielson hits a roaring forearm and a dragon suplex for 2. He puts on the crossface chicken wing but KENTA uses the turnbuckle to roll Danielson up for 2. Danielson sets KENTA up top but Nigel blocks the superplex with a sunset bomb. He hits the second rope lariat but Morishima tosses him to the floor. He follows Nigel out and gets hit with the apron lariat. Nigel dumps him into the crowd and hits him with a crossbody off the top rope. Danielson hits a butterfly suplex on KENTA. He blocks a lariat from Nigel and snap kicks his arm. He climbs the ropes but a diving headbutt hits KENTA's feet. KENTA hits the Busaiku knee kick for 2. He hits Go2Sleep for 2 when Morishima saves. Morishima hits the uranage suplex and Nigel tapes up his elbow. Danielson hits a diving headbutt on KENTA for 2. He hits the roaring forearm and Morishima hits a lariat for 2. Danielson climbs the ropes but Nigel crotches him and hits the rebound lariat on Morishima. KENTA hits the super falcon arrow on Danielson for 2. Danielson hits the back superplex on KENTA for 2. He puts on the Cow Killer and lays in the unprotected elbows. KENTA counters that to the Go2Sleep but Danielson catches the kick and hits a tiger suplex for 2. Morishima takes out Nigel's elbow and Danielson goes back to the Cow Killer to get the win. This had great continuity from the matches these guys had with each other in the past, and was an excellent first main event for PPV.
After the match Danielson grabs the belt so Morishima hits him with the backdrop driver. Nigel tries to do the right thing and hand Morishima the belt but Morishima hits him with a lariat. I guess he just doesn't want any friends.
JZ says: Danielson and KENTA start it off. Interesting to note that the two best matches of last year were Danielson vs. KENTA and Danielson vs. Nigel, and we’ll see both of those pairings in this match. They go back and forth for a few minutes, and then each man tags his partner, so now it’s McGuinness and Morishima. They do a little bit and then Danielson comes in to fight Nigel. It doesn’t take long for this one to break down and everyone to hop in the ring. Referee Sinclair restores order and we’re back to Danielson and McGuinness. Danielson and Morishima beat on Nigel for a while. McGuinness makes the big comeback and tags out to KENTA, who unloads on Danielson and gets a near fall with a missile dropkick. Danielson recovers and tags to Morishima, who delivers a monster missile dropkick to KENTA. Morishima hits a Boss Man Slam, but KENTA comes back and actually powerslams the champion. McGuinness comes back in and goes to work on the champ. Morishima hits McGuinness with a missile dropkick, but McGuinness no-sells it and hits a lariat for a two count. Morishima comes back and hits a Back Drop Driver on McGuinness, but KENTA makes the save. Morishima goes back to the top rope but KENTA grabs his leg, allowing McGuinness to hit the Tower of London. Danielson and KENTA are in the ring now and both are going for their high impact stuff. The fight spills to the floor and Morishima goes into the crowd. McGuinness hits a big dive from the top rope into the audience. That leaves Danielson and KENTA in the ring. McGuinness comes in for some reason and the referee doesn’t even try to stop him for not being the legal man. KENTA hits the “original Go 2 Sleep” (as called by Leonard) on Danielson but Morishima breaks it up. McGuinness is getting his injured arm taped up so he can continue to fight. KENTA is taking plenty of abuse, and the referee has completely lost control. McGuinness hits an ill-advised lariat on Morishima, further injuring his arm. KENTA hits a top-rope Falcon Arrow on Danielson for two. Danielson gets Cattle Mutilation on KENTA. KENTA fights out and tries Go 2 Sleep but Danielson reverses it and puts on Cattle Mutilation again, while Morishima just pummels McGuinness. KENTA taps out at 24:44. That had a lot of cool stuff and some hard hitting action, but the total lack of referee involvement in the last little while was kind of irritating, which is what makes this just a notch below the tag title match.
Danielson tries to grab the belt, so Morishima gives him a Back Drop Driver. McGuinness picks up the belt as well, and hands it to Morishima, only to get punched in the face for his trouble. Morishima is starting to grow on me.
DISC TWO - Bonus Matches
MATCH #6: Tank Toland vs. Brent Albright
BG says: On my cable system this match was actually advertised as being on the PPV. They lock up and trade wristlocks to start. Albright hits a hiptoss and an overhead suplex for 2. He kicks Toland’s back so Toland military press slams him onto the top rope for 2. Toland hits a bodyslam and does jumping jacks on Albright’s chest. He hits an elbowdrop for 2. He puts on the body scissors and does sit ups while elbowing Albright’s head for 2. He hits a one-armed spinebuster for 2. Albright comes back with a dropkick and a clothesline. He hits two more clotheslines and a backdrop. He hits a powerslam for 2. He hits an enziguiri and the 908 but Toland comes back with a spear for 2. Albright gets a roll up for 2. He kicks Toland’s arm and hits the half nelson suplex for the win. Solid match all in all.
Roderick Strong and Davey Richards talk about the No Remorse Corp a bit. Strong introduces the group and Richards pulls over Pelle Primeau for an exhibition of what no remorse means. Strong chops him and Richards and Romero kick him and throw him into the wall. Romero says that Primeau got a taste of what Marufuji will get tonight. Hmm, that would have been a nice promo to see BEFORE the match.
JZ says: I think these guys have something in common. The crowd is super into Albright for some reason. He dominates with some mat wrestling in the early going. Toland incorporates jumping jacks and sit-ups in his comeback attempts, which I find hilarious. Oddly enough, I think Toland could succeed in WWE if given the chance at a more comedic gimmick, as has been discovered during this ROH run. Albright I think is vastly overrated and I think WWE made the right decision by cutting him loose. They go back and forth without anyone gaining a real strong advantage. Albright finally gets the win with a half nelson suplex at 6:47. That never really went anywhere.
The No Remorse Corps is backstage to introduce themselves. Thanks, guys. Richards acts like a jerk and pulls Pelle Primeau into the promo so that they can take liberties with him. Poor guy, that looked like it really, really hurt. Romero says something about how he will beat Marufuji, even though that already happened on the DVD.
MATCH #7: Davey Richards vs. Erick Stevens
BG says: Richards attacks before the bell so Stevens fires back with chops. Richards bails so Stevens follows him out and keeps up with the chops. Richards tries to escape into the crowd but can’t get away from Stevens’s chops. Back in the ring Stevens hits a back bodydrop and then clotheslines Richards to the floor. Stevens hits a forearm off the apron and rolls Richards back into the ring. Richards kicks his chest and boots him to the floor. He follows Stevens out and whips him into the barricade. Back in the ring he hits a snap suplex for 2. He puts on a chinlock and hits a knee to the gut. He hits a bodyslam and a legdrop off the second rope for 2. He puts on the Mark Nulty Special but Stevens gets to the ropes. Richards suplexes Stevens over the top rope so his feet touch the apron and then pulls him back in onto his face in one of the nuttier things I’ve seen in wrestling. Stevens responds by suplexing Richards to the floor. Back in the ring they trade strikes and Stevens hits a clothesline. He hits a back elbow and a German suplex. He hits the Choo Choo avalanche and the TKO for 2. Richards drop toeholds him into the turnbuckle and hits the handspring kick. Stevens powers through and hits a lariat and a pumphandle powerbomb for 2. Richards hits a springboard missile dropkick and a running forearm. He hits a back suplex but Stevens pops up. Richards hits a side suplex for 2. He puts on the 14:59 but Stevens gets to the ropes. Stevens sets Richards up top but gets caught with a swinging DDT and Richards puts the 14:59 back on for the win. That match was a lot of fun and actually better than a couple matches that made the PPV.
JZ says: Stevens rules. Richards foregoes the handshake and attacks Stevens before the bell. Stevens goes for the Choo-Choo but Richards rolls outside the ring and tries running to the back. Stevens brings him back to the ring through the crowd and Richards gets a bunch of beer dumped on him. Whichever fan did that, go fuck yourself. Back in the ring Stevens continues to dominate, clotheslining Richards to the floor. Back in the ring again and Richards unleashes some kicks and takes the advantage. He throws Stevens into the guardrail. Richards now controls Stevens for several minutes. Richards tries a suplex but Stevens reverses it and suplexes Richards to the floor. Back in the ring Stevens is in control now and hits a nice release German suplex and the Choo-Choo and a TKO for a near-fall. Stevens goes for another charge in the corner but Richards avoids him and hits that ridiculous handspring enziguiri. Stevens no-sells it and hits a lariat and a pump handle powerbomb for a near fall. Richards rolls to the floor and springboards back in with a dropkick. Richards hits a Saito suplex and Stevens no sells, so he hits another one. Richards puts on the Kimura Lock and Stevens reaches the ropes. Richards tries the DR Driver but Stevens avoids it. He puts Richards on the top rope and Richards fights out of that and hits a swinging DDT into the Kimura Lock and Stevens taps out at 10:03. I think Stevens no-sold a little too much, but other than that this was pretty fun.
Jimmy Loves Lacey: Can’t Buy Me Love
BG says: The next chapter in the Jimmy Loves Lacey four-part special is shown. Chapter 2, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” sees Jacobs trying to take Lacey to Brooks Brothers in downtown Chicago but finding it closed. He instead takes her on a shopping spree somewhere else and scores big points for buying her a leather jacket. Lacey notes that she doesn’t get Jacobs paid well enough to afford the spree, and Jacobs notes that the magic of credit cards made it happen. This time around when he walks her to her door she gives him an awkward ass-out hug made strange when Jacobs half goes for a kiss. Neither of them are too put off by the awkwardness and agree that the second day went better than the first.
JZ says: This is a continuance of Jimmy Jacobs’ and Lacey’s four-day date in Chicago. This is day two. Jimmy tries to take Lacey shopping but the nice store is closed. He’s very proud of himself for buying her stuff. He bought it on credit of course, which is pretty much like getting it for free. Lacey says the dates are getting better and she seems to be warming to Jacobs. She even gives him a big hug good night. Awww, this is adorable.
MATCH #8: Sara Del Ray vs. Daizee Haze
BG says: They lock up and Sara overpowers Haze. Haze comes back with armdrags but Sara catches her with a fall away slam. Sara hits a big boot for 2. She puts on an armbar and then hits a backbreaker for 2. She hits a body block for 2. She puts on a Boston crab and walks around the ring with it. Haze gets to the ropes. She sets Haze in the Tree of Woe but Haze uses the position to hit a tornado Daizee Cutter. She chops Sara down and hits a crossbody for 2. She climbs the ropes and knocks Sara off the second turnbuckle with the heart punch. She dives off with a clothesline for 2. She goes for a hurricanrana for Sara counters to the Royal Butterfly hold into the Gory Special. Haze counters to a roll up for 2 but Sara gets a roll up moments later for the win. This was much better than their first match, thanks to more crowd heat and Haze being on her game.
JZ says: You know, we’re not going to be seeing any Erick Stevens vs. Davey Richards matches on a SHIMMER show anytime soon. I’m just saying. Del Ray starts off by going for big strikes and Haze avoids her with her speed. Del Ray finally catches Haze with a fall-away slam and goes to work on her. Del Ray uses her size and power to subdue her opponent. Haze comes back with a tornado Daizee Cutter and the pace of the match quickens. Haze goes back up the ropes and Del Ray tries to stop her. Haze comes back with a heart punch and a clothesline off the top for two. Haze tries the mind trip but Del Ray blocks it and is able to tie Haze up in a pinning combo a la Bret/Bulldog in ’92 and that’s it at 5:51. That was perfectly competent wrestling.
Jimmy Loves Lacey: Falun Apart
BG says: Chapter three of Jacobs’s efforts to woo Lacey, titled “Falun Apart,” in honor the World Falun Dafa Day demonstration that they pass by in Chicago. It’s very windy in the Windy City so Jacobs gives Lacey his jacket. Jacobs is really into the fountain in Grant Park and Lacey is less amused. He scares off some seagulls but hurts his leg in the process. After reading on her MySpace page that she likes Ferris wheels he takes her on one. The problem comes when Jacobs tells Lacey that he wants to take care of her so that she doesn’t have to work. Being an independent woman Lacey takes offense and demands to be taken back to the hotel. Because she knows he meant well she won’t stop the comment from ruining day four. However as punishment she refuses to let Jacobs walk her to her door. In a great touch The Ballad of Lacey is playing on Jacobs’s car stereo. He vows to pull something big out of his sleeve tomorrow.
JZ says: I love the title of this segment. Jacobs’ enthusiasm for the fountain is pretty fantastic, and him chasing seagulls all gimpy is even better. Today was a rough day for him though, after a promising start. Lacey loves Ferris Wheels, which I never knew about her. He blows it by making a stupid comment about wanting to take care of Lacey and she gets all offended.
MATCH #9: Tag Team Scramble – Jimmy Rave & Adam Pearce vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. Irish Airborne vs. Pelle Primeau & Mitch Franklin
BG says: Primeau and Rave start. Rave chops Primeau down but Primeau comes back with a head scissors takedown. Rave goes out and Generico comes in. Primeau dropkicks Rave on the floor and Pearce attacks Generico. Pearce puts on the Repo Man mask and rakes Generico’s back. Franklin comes in and gets slapped across the face. Pearce goes up top and throws Franklin across the ring. The Irish Airborne double-team Pearce and knock him to the floor. Steen and Generico come in so Dave armdrags Generico and hits a crossbody to the floor. Jake hits a dropkick on Steen but Steen tosses him to the floor and dives out onto everyone. Rave drops Steen onto the apron and Pearce rolls Primeau into the ring. He chops Primeau around and hits a back bodydrop. Rave tags in and chops Primeau down. Primeau comes back with a springboard Thesz press and a double stomp. Jake Crist and Steen come in and Jake hits a running forearm and a neckbreaker. Generico hits him with a backbreaker. Pearce hits Generico with a clothesline and hits a legdrop off the top for 2. The Crists dive onto Rave and Pearce on the floor and Franklin hits a snap hurricanrana on Generico for 2. Generico hits a scary blue thunder bomb for 2. Primeau rolls Generico up for 2. Steen hits him with the Go Home Driver for 2. Generico hits the swinging DDT on Jake and Steen follows that with the pumphandle neckbreaker. Rave hits Dave with a knee to the gut but Generico boots him in the face. Steen hits Dave with the package piledriver for the win. This was good for a scramble. It’s nice to see Steen and Generico go over so strong.
JZ says: Pearce and Rave seem to be paired up simply because neither of them had anything else to do. The mish-mash of their music is pretty awful. Rave and Primeau start it off, and Rave is still mad at Primeau for that big upset back in Detroit in October. Primeau delivers a headscissors and Rave powders, so Generico comes in. Generico gets distracted by Pearce, and Primeau takes another opportunity to dropkick Rave on the arena floor. The crowd chants “Repo Man” for Pearce, so Pearce puts on the headband and does his best Barry Darsow. Franklin is in and Pearce dominates him. Irish Airborne both come in and Pearce bails, so Steen and Generico come in and all four men are in the ring. Steen and Jake are left in the ring and Jake hits a dropsault and then Steen back drops him to the floor and hits a dive onto everyone. Rave grabs Steen’s leg and trips him, and now Pearce and Primeau are in the ring. Pearce beats on him and then tags out to Rave. Primeau is able to get the better of Rave and they go to the floor. Steen and Jake are back in the ring. Pearce and Generico are in the ring, and Pearce hits a big lariat and a top rope legdrop for two. The action starts getting faster and everyone is going for their big moves. In all the confusion Steen hits the Package Piledriver on Dave Crist to get the win at 7:33. That was fine enough for a tag team scramble, and the right team went over.
Jimmy Loves Lacey: Behind Closed Doors
BG says: The final chapter of the Jacobs/Lacey saga is titled “Behind Closed Doors,” and sees Jacobs kick things off by giving Lacey a diamond ring. He says it’s not an engagement ring but just something to show his love for her. Lacey goes inside to get something that she thinks Jacobs would like. A few minutes later she comes back out wearing lingerie. She pulls Jacobs in the room and kicks the cameraman out. The cameraman wisely leaves the door cracked open on his way out and we see Lacey pulling Jacobs’s clothes off. They start to fondle each other so the cameraman gives them their privacy. “Some Time Later” he sneaks in and we hear Lacey, obviously post-coital telling Jacobs she loves him. Jacobs looks disappointed with the whole ordeal.
JZ says: Jacobs is nervous about his final day with Lacey in Chicago. After he pulled a boner yesterday he pulls out the big guns today and gives Lacey a diamond ring just to say “it’s not like I wanna marry you, it’s just like, it’s kind of like ‘I love you’.” Lacey is so impressed that she says she has something she wants to give Jacobs too. She is wearing something a little more comfortable and Lacey kicks the camera man out. He manages to get a little bit of footage of Jacobs and Lacey getting ready to do the nasty. This is very different for ROH. Some time later the camera man returns to find Lacey and Jimmy in a post-coital cigarette. She is pretty happy with what just happened. She tells Jimmy she loves him too and they embrace. Jacobs looks dissatisfied. What could that mean?
BG says: Takeshi Morishima. He looked like a monster in beating Whitmer and then cemented his crazy big man status by attacking Nigel after the great PPV main event.
Coming soon will be our review of A FIGHT AT THE ROXBURY!
The 411: BG says: This show was a great first showing on Pay Per View. Every PPV match is good and even the bonus matches are a lot of fun. Stevens vs. Richards could have easily made the PPV show. Nothing dips below “entertaining” and the bonus matches are strong enough that even if you’ve seen this on PPV it’s worth checking out the DVD.
JZ says: This was a GREAT first pay-per-view, with the only match less than three stars also being less than three minutes, and it made the Champion, the focal point of the company, look dominant, so that’s a-ok in my book. The DVD packaging is pretty cool, and the bonus matches are generally fun. Plus disc two has the culmination of Jimmy Jacobs’ pursuit of Lacey, and it’s worth watching for that alone. This is an easy, easy recommendation.