It's a night of tag team action, as ROH battles NOAH, and the Briscoes put the titles on the line.
ROH Ė UNITED WE STAND Ė DAYTON, OH Ė 6.22.07
BG says: Same Video Wire as the last pair of shows, but hereís a recap anyway. Rebecca Bayless catches up with Delirious in a field in Florida for an interview. Delirious says something about Roderick Strong, but itís actually a less coherent rambling than usual. Also included in the wire are stills from theRespect is Earned PPV, clips of Kevin Steen & El Genericoís tag team dominance, Deliroius looking around the FIP locker room for Roderick Strong, hype for Jay Briscoeís title shot against Takeshi Morishima (already happened at this point) and a promo from Jay Briscoe in Florida promising to win the World title. Mark talks about getting revenge on Kevin Steen and having nothing to lose. They also promise to beat the Kings of Wrestling in two straight falls in their 2/3 falls match (already happened at this point) and donít seem to be worried about facing Steen & Generico at the next PPV taping. The Video Wire wraps up with Delirious finding Strong in the FIP locker room and attacking him. Babyface Sean Davis pulls him off.
Rebecca Bayless pimps the 2/3 falls World Tag Team Championship match and tries to get a word with the tag champs. She runs into Tank Toland and Bobby Dempsey instead. Toland is making Dempsey do squats and tells Bayless to leave the building to find the Briscoes. She runs into Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey but rather than help her find the Briscoes Jacobs blows cigar smoke in her face. She walks away from them and bumps into the Briscoes sitting on concrete partitions. The Briscoes say they havenít had any luck; itís their skill that gives them wins. Tonight theyíre going to beat Claudio Castagnoli and Matt Sydal in two straight falls.
JZ says: As usual, the lovely strains of Rebecca Baylessís voice welcome us to this ROH DVD. Iím not sure how they continue to justify paying her, but I guess thatís why Iím not running a wrestling company. She tries to find the Briscoe Brothers, so she asks Tank Toland and Bobby Dempsey. They havenít seen them. So she asks Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey. Wow, this is investigative reporting at its finest. She hits on the Briscoes and they cut their usual awesome promo. Couldnít they have done that without Bayless entirely? Iím just sayiní.
MATCH #1: Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. Irish Airborne
BG says: Generico and Dave Crist start. Dave grabs a headlock but Generico comes back with a wristlock. Dave puts on a headlock and tags to Jake. Jake gets a headlock takedown so Generico tags out. Steen shoves Generico away and pummels Jake in the corner. Generico tags in and pounds on Jake under orders from Steen. He hits a bodyslam for 2. Jake hits a head scissors takedown and puts on an armbar. Dave tags in and hits a dropkick for 2. Jake tags in and gets shoved to the floor. Steen follows them out with a slingshot dive and rolls Jake into the ring. Generico gets 2. Steen tags in and pokes Jake in the eyes. Generico tags in and hits a drop toehold. Steen hits the somersault legdrop, getting 2 for Generico. Generico wants to tag out but Steen wants him to do more stuff. Generico hits a back suplex for 2. Steen tags in and hits a vertical suplex for 2. Jake hits a neckbreaker and tags to Dave. Generico tags in but Dave takes him down with clotheslines. He hits a back bodydrop but Steen forearms him down. Dave hits a dropkick on Steen and throws Generico to the floor before diving out onto both of them. Back in the ring he hits a springboard dropkick for 2. The Crists double-team Steen in the corner until Generico pushes Dave to the floor. Jake hits an enziguiri on Generico and Dave hits a hammerlock back suplex for 2. They go for the Irish Air Raid but Steen crotches Dave and Generico hits the swinging DDT on Jake. Steen hits a Swanton Bomb on Jake and Generico dropkicks Dave to the mat. Steen hits Dave with the package piledriver and rolls him into Genericoís brainbuster for the win. This was a little sloppy at times but kept Steen and Generico very strong. Daveís crazy dive to the floor was really something to behold.
BJ Whitmer lets us know that he was fined his entire weekendís pay because of what he did to the referee. Tonight heís in a no disqualification match against Albright, so the referee canít screw him this time. He continues to cut a heelish promo, but man oh man would it be nice if he had someone to cut promos for him.
JZ says: This is one of those funky shows where Dave Prazak is doing the ring announcing as well as commentating. The blond Crist proves just how bland he is by climbing the second rope, pounding his chest and screaming ďcome on, baby!Ē Steen & Generico have been on a roll while feuding with the Briscoes, with wins over Jason Blade & Eddie Edwards and Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw, among others. Generico and Dave mat wrestle in the early going as the Crist brothers are in control. Generico keeps it pretty clean, but Steen acts like a jerk the second he gets tagged in. Generico gets tagged back in and the Irish boys take control of him again. Steen and Generico take control and Steen refuses to tag in, instead issuing orders to his masked partner. This guyís awesome. Irish Airborne utilizes a lot of high flying moves but Steen and Generico are mostly able to thwart them. They do get to try an Irish Air Raid on Generico, but Steen breaks it up and Generico nails Jake with a swinging DDT and Steen hits a Swanton Bomb. That leaves Dave open to a Package Piledriver into the Brainbuster and thatís it at 10:21. That was a solid opener and a solid tag match, as Steen and Generico continue to be one of the best things ROH has going.
BJ Whitmer sometimes wonders how much one man can take. He blames the referee for his outburst last week, which cost him his entire weekendís pay. Heís excited about facing Brent Albright in a no-DQ match later tonight.
MATCH #2: Gauntlet Match
~Round 1: Jimmy Rave vs. Pelle Primeau~
BG says: Primeau hits an armdrag to start. Rave responds in kind and slaps Primeau down. Primeau hits a crossbody for 2. He puts on an armbar and then hits a satellite head scissors takedown. Rave hits a spear and chops Primeau down. Primeau hits a springboard forearm and a pair of dropkicks. Rave hits a back elbow but Primeau hits him with an enziguiri. Rave hits a powerbomb but Primeau rolls him up for 2. Primeau hits a DDT for 2. Rave misses a knee in the corner and falls to the floor. Primeau follows him out with a head scissors takedown into the barricade. He hits a dropkick off the apron and rolls him back into the ring. He hits the springboard Thesz press and a double stomp before rolling Rave up for 2. Rave slaps on the heel hook for the win. It was nice to see Primeau get so much offense but these two have shown better chemistry before.
JZ says: Primeau has pinned Rave before, but Rave has also handed Primeau his own ass, so this should be fun. Both men start a bit cautiously, exchanging armdrags in the early going. Rave slaps Primeau in the face, and Primeau actually goes after Rave and puts him down in the corner. A cross body gets two for Primeau and he takes over on Raveís arm. Rave tries to comeback but Primeau hits a satellite headscissors. Primeau hesitates and Rave comes back with a spear. Primeau keeps trying to fight back, but a powerbomb slows his momentum. Primeau comes back and hits a few signature moves on Rave, but as soon as Rave locks on the Heel Hook Primeau taps at 5:44. That was pretty fun for the short time it lasted.
~Round 2: Jimmy Rave vs. Delirious~
BG says: Delirious hits a series of clotheslines and the Bizarro Driver right away for the win. What am I supposed to say about? I guess just that except that itís nice not to have to sit through two Jimmy Rave matches.
JZ says: Delirious rushes to the ring, hits six clotheslines on Rave and the Bizarro Driver to pin Rave and eliminate him from the gauntlet in just 25 seconds.
~Round 3: Delirious vs. Adam Pearce~
BG says: Pearce misses an avalanche and Delirious comes off the top with a crossbody for 2. Pearce comes back with a press slam and bites Deliriousís face. Delirious blocks a blind charge and comes off the top with a head scissors takedown for 2. Pearce hits a spinning torture rack bomb for 2. He chokes Delirious with his mask tassels and gouges at Deliriousís eyes. Delirious blocks another blind charge and drop toeholds Pearce into the turnbuckle. He hits the Panic Attack and climbs the ropes. Hagadorn tries to give Pearce a foreign object but the referee knocks it out of his hands. Delirious knocks Pearce into Hagadorn and rolls him up for the win. This was about as basic a match as they come.
JZ says: These two feuded for what seemed like forever not too long ago. Pearce tries to cheat right away of course, but also hits an impressive press slam. He takes over on Delirious and bends the rules a bit, as Pearce tends to do. The crowd wants to see Repo Man. Delirious comes back with a headscissors off the top rope. Pearce responds with a spinning Rack Bomb. Delirious comes back with a Panic Attack and goes for Shadows over Hell. Hagadorn gets involved, allowing Pearce to try a suplex. Delirious pushes Pearce into Hagadorn on the apron and rolls up Pearce with a schoolboy to get the pin at 4:03. Much like the rest of these twosí matches against each other, it didnít do much for me.
~Round 4: Delirious vs. Chris Hero~
BG says: Hero falls off the ropes when he goes for his pre-match flippidido. Delirious uses Heroís stall time to catch his breath under the ring. Hero goes looking for him so Delirious crawls out, climbs the ropes and dives onto Larry Sweeney and Bobby Dempsey. Hero starts the match with a springboard double axe handle to the back. He hits a bodyslam and a senton for 2. He kicks Delirious to the mat and hits a bodyslam. He hits another senton and jaws with the fans. He hits a chokeslam for 2. He dumps Delirious to the floor and Sweeney rolls him back into the ring. What the hell was that? Hero hits a dropkick for 2. He hits a forearm but Delirious comes back with the Neverending Story clotheslines. Hero blocks them after just a few but Delirious catches him with a bulldog off the second rope. He pounds Hero down and hits the soccer kick. He hits the Panic Attack and climbs the ropes. He hits the Shadows for 2. He puts on the Cobra Stretch but Hero gets to the ropes. Hero hits a big boot and a kick to the head. He hits a neckbreaker and the Cravat Buster for 2. Delirious comes back with clotheslines but Hero cuts him off with a big boot and hits the Heroís Welcome for the win. After the strangeness that was Sweeney rolling Delirious back into the ring this picked up quite nicely. The gauntlet match from Black Friday Fallout was much better overall than this series was. This was like a group of WWE television matches strung together. Only the last match was really worth anything at all.
JZ says: Delirious hides under the ring and while Hero looks for him, the masked man hits a dive on Sweeney and Dempsey. Hero comes out from under the ring with a springboard double axe handle. Hero takes over with his usual offense, making sure to throw in some superfluous athleticism. Hero hits the chokeslam for a near fall and then pitches Delirious to the floor. Sweeney takes his chance to interfere by Ö gently placing Delirious back in the ring? Hero misses a charge in the corner and Delirious tries the Never Ending Story, but Hero stops it and tries a cravat. Delirious counters that to a bulldog off the second rope. Delirious hits the Shadows over Hell and rolls it into the Cobra Stretch. Hero reaches the ropes. Hero hits a front-flip cravat neckbreaker but it only gets two. A few moments later Hero hits the Heroís Welcome at that finally finishes Delirious off at 7:11 (22:08 total gauntlet time). That got pretty decent by the end, but overall this match, like the whole gauntlet, was nothing memorable.
MATCH #3: No DQ Grudge Match Ė Brent Albright vs. BJ Whitmer
BG says: Whitmer throws his shirt at the referee and attacks Albright before the bell. They trade chops and Whitmer hits a leg lariat. Albright hits a back elbow for 2. He sets Whitmer up top but Whitmer fights him off and suplexes him (and himself) to the floor. He whips Albright into the barricade and goes for a chair shot. Albright ducks it and Whitmer hits the post. Albright clotheslines Whitmer into the crowd and tosses him through rows of chairs. Whitmer hits a vertical suplex on the floor but Albright comes back with a pop (thatís soda for the rest of you) bottle to the head. Whitmer throws Albright onto a group of chairs and then slaps him across the back with one. Albright hits a chair shot to the head and tosses Whitmer back to ringside. He hits a powerslam on the floor and pulls out a leather strap. Back in the ring he whips Whitmer with the strap. Whitmer comes back with an exploder and grabs the strap. He whips Albright with it for 2. Albright hits a German suplex but Whitmer responds in kind. Whitmer hits a dragon suplex for 2. He climbs the ropes but misses a frog splash. Albright puts on the Crowbar and then hits an overhead suplex into the corner for 2. He sets up a table in the ring and sets Whitmer up top. Whitmer fights back and sets Albright in the Tree of Woe. He hits Albright with a double stomp and lifts him out of the Tree of Woe to hit a back superplex through the table. Albright counters to a crossbody in midair and puts Whitmer through the table for the win. This was a little too intense considering there hasnít been any real issue between the two since April, and even then it was by proxy through Jimmy Jacobs. That finishing sequence was creative but was executed poorly.
After the match referees and students come out to check on Whitmer. When he gets his wits back he shoves the referees to the floor and hits Mitch Franklin with an exploder.
In the back Nigel McGuinness tells Bryan Danielson that the only reason heís teaming with him because he wants to get his hands on Takeshi Morishima. Danielson feels the same way. They agree not to headbutt each other in during the match. Ladies and gentlemen, youíve just seen the formation of the tag team known as Milk & Nice Young Ladies.
JZ says: Whitmer goes right after Albright and they start off by trading chops. Theyíre not Sasaki and Kobashi, but it still looks painful. Albright takes the first advantage but it doesnít last long as Whitmer comes back with some offense of his own. The crowd isnít particularly into this so far. Both men take a spill to the floor and they perk up a bit. Albright clotheslines Whitmer over the barricade and they fight into the crowd now. They go back towards the ring after a few minutes, and Albright bodyslams Whitmer on his head on the hardwood floor. Back in the ring Albright finds a strap and uses it to abuse Whitmer. Whitmer fights back with an exploder and now he grabs the strap. He hits a Dragon Suplex for two. He argues with the referee and thus misses a frog splash because of it. Whitmer goes for a lariat but Albright grabs the arm and goes for the Crowbar. Albright sets up a table and gets trapped in a Tree of Woe. Whitmer delivers a Low Ki-esque double stomp. Whitmer tries a back suplex through the table but Albright reverses it to a cross body for the win at 12:52. That was a fine brawl and Iím glad these guys have been given something to do, but I just havenít found their feud worth becoming invested in.
Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness agree that theyíre both agreeing to team up tonight to get a shot at ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima. They agree to work together for the greater good.
MATCH #4: Roderick Strong & Davey Richards vs. Erick Stevens & Matt Cross
BG says: Richards and Stevens start. Stevens asks for a handshake but Richards spits in his hand and stalls. Prazak notes on commentary that Austin Aries is in attendance but canít appear on camera because of his TNA contract. Richards grabs a headlock but Stevens comes back with chops and a shoulder tackle. He clotheslines Richards to the floor so Cross and Strong come in. Cross his a pair of head scissors takedowns and a dropkick. Stevens hits Richards with a shoulder tackle off the apron. He hits Strong with a clothesline for 2. Cross hits Strong with a leg lariat for 2. Stevens tags in and the Resilience hits a double hiptoss. Stevens hits an elbowdrop and Cross hits a legdrop for 2. Strong hits a chinbreaker and tags to Richards. Cross hits a hurricanrana and a neckbreaker. Strong trips Cross and Richards kicks his back. Strong throws Cross into the barricade and Richards rolls him back into the ring. Richards hits a bodyslam and a kneedrop for 2. Strong tags in and chops Cross down. He and Richards hits a double facebuster and then sandwich Cross with a kick and a chop for 2. Richards kicks Crossís chest for 2. He hits a snap suplex for 2. Strong tags in and spits in Crossís face. He and Richards chop Cross down in the corner. Cross comes back with an enziguiri and tags to Stevens. Stevens cleans house, hitting an overhead suplex on Richards and the Choo Choo Avalanche on Strong. He swings Strong into Richards and hits him with the TKO for 2. He blocks the handspring kick and holds Richards for a springboard double stomp from Cross for 2. Cross climbs the ropes but Richards cuts him off and German superplexes him into Stevens. Strong hits Cross with the half nelson backbreaker for 2. He hits the gutbuster and Richards hits a running sit-out powerbomb for 2. Stevens dumps Strong and suplexes Richards to the floor. Cross follows Richards out with the Space Flying Tiger Drop. Strong rolls Stevens up for 2. Stevens returns the favor for 2. Strong hits an enziguiri and they trade chops. Strong goes to the eyes but Stevens catches him with The Original. Richards hits Stevens with a springboard dropkick and dives out onto Cross. Strong hits Stevens with the Sick Kick and the tiger driver for the win. Fun match that kept the NRC looking strong and Resilience looking competitive but lost.
After the match Strong gets on the microphone and points out how dominant the NRC has been. He tells Stevens and Cross to run away like Aries did. Aries looks on from the crowd as Strong exclaims that Aries is afraid and is just hiding behind his contract. Stevens and Cross try to console Aries as Gabe Sapolsky comes out to escort Strong to the back. Oooooh, political.
JZ says: Stevens goes for the handshake with Richards, who promptly spits in his hand. Prazak mentions that former Resilience leader Austin Aries has been forced out of ROH due to his TNA contract. He is in attendance tonight though, to watch his teammates battle their rivals. Richards tries to use his quickness, but Stevens is having none of it, clotheslining Richards to the floor. Cross and Strong come in now and Cross gets the better of Strong. This oneís getting out of control, and letís see if the referee can restore order. He does, and Cross and Stevens work over Strong for a bit. Richards then interferes and cheats to gain an advantage, and they beat up Cross outside the ring. Back inside Cross is getting abused. He finally recovers and makes the hot tag to Stevens, who hits the Choo-Choo on both members of the Corps. This one gets out of control in a hurry. Cross hits a big dive on Richards outside the ring. That leaves Strong and Stevens battling it out in the ring. Strong hits the big boot to the face and a Tiger Driver, following it up with quite the homoerotic lateral press to get the pin at 12:04. That was a fun exhibition, but Iím not sure how much longer the Resilience is going to let the No Remorse Corps make them their own personal bitches.
Strong notes, as I just did, that theyíve now beaten the Resilience approximately 34 times. He also says that Aries ran scared from him, and thatís why heís in TNA. They exchange words and Jimmy Bower escorts Strong to the back
BG says: Rebecca Bayless is backstage with Sweet Ní Sour Inc. She asks Hero what he has to say about winning the gauntlet. Sweeney takes the microphone and reports that Hero has officially signed his contract with ROH. Hero says that with Tolandís help in training he was able to outlast five other men in the gauntlet tonight. That of course ignores the fact that there were really only four other men and that Hero only had to fight one of them. But that doesnít change the fact that ďChris is awesome!Ē
JZ says: Ugh, Bayless is backstage with Sweet ĎNí Sour Incorporated. Sweeney thankfully cuts her off and announces that Hero has signed his official ROH contract. Hero says he survived five men tonight, even though he only wrestled once, and there were five guys in the match counting himself. They make Dempsey do jumping jacks while Bayless does her impression of someone who is out of place and has no idea what sheís doing.
MATCH #5: Lacey vs. Serena Deeb
BG says: Yeesh, Deebís entrance music is awful. Lacey kicks her back to start. Deeb goes after Laceyís arm, slamming it to the mat and hitting a kneedrop on it. She gets a crucifix pin for 2. She puts on a wristlock and then switches to a headlock. She kicks Laceyís back and hits the Skull F*cker. Someoneís been watching some Alex Shelley matches. Deeb hits a pair of armdrags and a bodyslam for 2. Lacey blocks a blind charge and hits a facebuster for 2. Jacobs lights up a cigarette and blows smoke in Deebís face, getting 2 for Lacey. Deeb comes back with a monkey flip but Lacey catches her with kicks to the back. Lacey hits a lungblower for 2. She puts on a surfboard stretch but Deeb fights out and hits a clothesline. She hits a dropkick and a kneelift for 2. She puts on the Joejigatame as Rain strolls out to the ring. Rain gets on the apron, distracting Deeb long enough for Lacey to hit a backbreaker and the implant DDT for the win. That was an incredibly cheap finish for a Ring of Honor match, but the match itself was pretty good.
After the match the Minnesota Home-Wrecking Crew and Jacobs beat on Deeb until Daizee Haze makes the save. Jacobs trips Haze but that doesnít stop her from hitting the heart punch on Lacey and the Mind Trip on Rain.
JZ says: The newly in love Lacey gets the early advantage as Jimmy Jacobs cheers her on at ringside. Deeb recovers and goes for the arm. Lacey knocks her off the arm, but then gets caught in a side headlock. Deeb gets Lacey down on the mat and executes the Skull Fucker. Thanks, Alex Shelley. Lacey comes back with a Facebuster from the second rope for a near fall. Jacobs is being awesome and smoking a cigarette at ringside. Lacey chokes Deeb on the ropes and distracts the referee, allowing Jacobs to blow smoke in her face. What a dick. Deeb fights back with a few chops in the corner and hits a monkey flip. Lacey hits a lung blower for two. Deeb comes back again with a flurry of offense. Serena puts a submission on Lacey and Rain comes out to ringside. She distracts Deeb long enough for Lacey to hit the Implant DDT and get the pin at 6:10. Wow, that was so competent and average, Iím going to go on and on about how great it is that women wrestle in ROH and get all uppity if anyone dare say otherwise. Daizee Haze comes out to clear the ring as Deeb is nowhere to be found. Jacobs holds Lacey and Rain back, and appears to be having a good time doing it. The crowd chants his name for it.
MATCH #6: KENTA vs. Rocky Romero
BG says: Romero refuses a pre-match handshake. The match starts out like an MMA bout, with both guys carefully looking for strikes. Romero pushes KENTA to the ropes and hits a cheap shot. KENTA returns the favor with a slap across the face. He puts on a headlock and slaps Romero again. KENTA goes for leap frog but Romero pulls him to the mat. Romero hits a snap suplex for 2. He puts on a seated abdominal stretch and rolls KENTA up for 2. They trade forearms and Romero puts on the octopus stretch. He hits a Manhattan drop and a knee kick. Lenny Leonard makes me happy by keeping himself from translating ďazucarĒ for Romero. KENTA drops Romero on the top rope and comes off the turnbuckle with a kneedrop. He unloads with kicks and puts on the Mark Nulty Special. Romero goes for a sunset flip but KENTA blocks it and slaps him again. He hits the afterthought kick and puts on a camel clutch. The crowd makes my day by chanting ďmake him humble.Ē KENTA goes back to the Mark Nulty Special and the crowd falls silent. Romero counters to a bow and arrow but KENTA rolls out and puts on the kimura. Romero gets to the ropes. KENTA hits a big boot but Romero comes back with a knee kick and a swinging DDT. Romero kicks KENTAís face and puts on a guillotine choke. KENTA goes to the corner to escape but Romero comes off the second rope with a DDT for 2. KENTA comes back with the Ace Crusher. He hits a Yakuza kick and the springboard dropkick for 2. Romero shoves him to the floor and follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Romero comes off the top rope with a crossbody. KENTA pops up but gets hit with another swinging DDT. Romero hits a tiger driver for 2. KENTA hits a vertical suplex and climbs the ropes. Romero goes up after him and brings him down with the Diablo Armbar. KENTA gets to the ropes. Romero hits a tiger suplex but KENTA pops up and returns the favor. KENTA hits a turnbuckle powerbomb and a running knee. He hits the Busaiku knee kick for 2. Romero counters the Go2Sleep to a roll up for 2. He puts on the cross armbreaker but KENTA counters that to the Go2Sleep for the win. Like his match against Delirious this didnít really do anything for me. KENTA didnít seem to be phoning it in as much here but this time around the structure of the match was very strange. At one point it felt like they started the match over, as spots were repeated and the pace didnít pick up until the last 5 minutes. That counter into the finish was great, however.
After the match Davey Richards comes out to confront his mentor KENTA. He helps both KENTA and Romero up and Romero shakes KENTAís hand. Richards and Romero raise KENTAís hands and then kick him down and put the boots to him. Delirious, Stevens and Cross make the save.
JZ says: We just might see some kicking in this one. Both men are cautious in the early going, and KENTA strikes first with a couple of slaps to the face, and Romero fights back with slaps of his own. Romero takes an early advantage and starts going after the leg. KENTA fires back with forearms, but Romero is able to lock in an Octopus Stretch. KENTA comes back with a knee to the back of the head from the top rope. KENTA remains in control for a bit, hitting some of his signature moves and wearing Romero out. Romero fights back and works in a bow and arrow submission. That doesnít last long, as KENTA puts on a Kimura but Romero quickly reaches the ropes. KENTA whips Romero off the ropes and Romero comes back with a big swinging DDT. Romero then puts on a guillotine choke but KENTA escapes. Romero goes up to the second rope and hits the jumping DDT for two. They exchange some more strikes and Romero is able to knock KENTA all the way to the floor and hit a big dive on him and both men are down. Back in the ring they go back and forth for a few minutes until Romero is able to lock in the Diablo Armbar. KENTA is able to reach the ropes. Romero tries the knockout kick but KENTA avoids it. They each give each other a Tiger Suplex and now theyíre both down. Back to their feet and neither man will let the other take an advantage on him. Romero puts the armbar on and KENTA is able to lift Romero right out of it and hit the Go 2 Sleep and get the pin at 18:44. Good back and forth match, though it was really not unlike all of KENTAís other matches.
Davey Richards, who was KENTAís American protégé last year, comes out and shakes his former mentorís hand and checks on his fellow Corps member. Richards gets the crowd to cheer, and then he and Romero put the boots to him. Thatís tremendous, Iím sick of heels showing respect to their opponents. I issue kudos to you, No Remorse Corps. Delirious, Matt Cross, and Erick Stevens come out to make the save.
MATCH #7: Takeshi Morishima & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness
BG says: Danielson and Marufuji start. They trade holds and Danielson hits a dropkick. Marufuji dropkicks him back and they lock up. Danielson puts Marufuji on the mat and puts on a headlock. They both go for dropkicks and then tag to their partners. Nigel grabs a headlock but canít knock Morishima down. Nigel gets a roll up for 2. Morishima forearms Nigel down. Nigel finally puts Morishima on the mat with European uppercuts. Danielson tags in and kicks out Morishimaís leg. They trade shots and Danielson goes down. Marufuji tags in and puts on a stranglehold. Danielson counters and tags to Nigel. Nigel hits European uppercuts and tags to Danielson. Danielson hits a knee to the gut and puts on an armbar. Marufuji dropkicks Danielson off the apron to the floor where Morishima throws him into the barricade. Morishima hits the Olé Butt Splash and then throws Danielson into the barricade again. He hits another butt splash and throws Danielson into the ring where Marufuji gets 2. Morishima tags in and stands on Danielsonís neck with Marufuji on his back for extra weight. Danielson tries to fight back but Morishima forearms him down. Marufuji tags in and hits a leaping back elbow for 2. He puts on his scarecrow submission but Nigel breaks it up. Morishima tags in and hits a butt lariat for 2. He puts on a rear naked choke but Danielson gets to the ropes. Marufuji tags in and hits a back heel kick. Danielson comes back with a backbreaker and tags to Nigel. Nigel hits a short-arm lariat for 2. He hits the corner combo for 2. He sets Marufuji up top but Marufuji blocks the Tower of London. Nigel catches him coming off the top with a superkick for 2. He goes for the Jawbreaker Lariat but Marufuji blocks it and hits a clothesline. Morishima tags in and hits the handspring avalanche. He hits a sidewalk slam for 2. He goes for the backdrop driver but Nigel blocks and Danielson comes in with a missile dropkick. Danielson tags in and hits another dropkick off the top. Morishima hits a butt butt and tags to Marufuji. Marufuji hits a leaping back elbow and the chasing clothesline for 2. He gets a sunset flip for 2. They trade pin attempts until Marufuji drives his knee into Danielsonís chest. Danielson hits a roaring forearm and Nigel hits the handstand kick. Danielson hits a German suplex for 2. Marufuji fights off both opponents with superkicks but Nigel turns the Shiranui into a double-team Tower of London with Danielson for 2. Morishima helps Marufuji hit the Shiranui on Danielson. Nigel and Morishima tag in Morishima sits on Nigelís chest. Marufuji hits the Whisper in the Wind and Morishima hits a big boot and the backdrop driver for 2 when Danielson saves. Morishima sets Nigel up top but Danielson shoves him to the floor. Nigel follows Morishima out with a clothesline from the top. He hits the floor version of the Jawbreaker Lariat and rolls Morishima back in the ring for 2. He dodges a dropkick and puts on a half crab while Danielson puts Marufuji in the Cow Killer. Morishima gets to the ropes. He hits vertical suplexes on both opponents at the same time and climbs the ropes. Danielson tries to cut him off and gets stuck in the Tree of Woe. Marufuji hits Danielson with the corner to corner kick and Nigel hits Morishima with the Tower of London for 2. He hits a running European uppercut but his lariats have no effect. He hits a superkick so and rebounds from a superkick from Marufuji to hit the Jawbreaker Lariat on Morishima for the win (as well as bragging rights to being the first guy to pin Morishima). Great finish after a mostly exciting if sometimes sloppy match.
JZ says: Danielson and Marufuji start it off, and they exchange creative dropkicks. The crowd is behind both men, but it is Danielson who takes first control. Marufuji comes back and we have a stand off and the crowd cheers. Danielson tags out to Nigel and Marufuji tags out to the Champ. Morishima overpowers McGuinness, and Danielson encourages his partner to go back and get him. Nigel does just that, and then tags out to Danielson. He tries to use forearms on Morishima, but the champ hits forearms of his own and wins that battle. Marufuji comes in and Danielson goes to work on him. The fight spills to the floor and Morishima inflicts punishment on Danielson, so that he and Marufuji can dominate him back in the ring. McGuinness gets tagged in and he is on fire on Marufuji. Marufuji comes back and leaps off the top rope and McGuinness catches him with a Superkick. Marufuji recovers and tags out to Morishima, who hits the cartwheel stinger splash and a side slam for two. Morishima goes for the Back Drop Driver and Danielson sneaks in with a missile dropkick on Morishima to break it up. McGuinness tags out to Danielson, who hits another missile dropkick for two. Morishima uses brute strength to come back and tags Marufuji in. They go back and forth and McGuinness interferes illegally and knocks Morishima off the apron and Team ROH double teams Marufuji while the referee does nothing. Marufuji recovers and tries the Shiranui on Danielson, but McGuinness catches him with a Tower of London, and the cover is broken up by Morishima. The champion then helps Marufuji deliver a standing Shiranui to Danielson and both men make the tag. The NOAH contingent now takes their opportunity to double team McGuinness. Morishima hits the Back Drop Driver on McGuinness, but Danielson breaks it up. Morishima tries a Super Back Drop Driver but Danielson breaks it up again by tossing Morishima to the floor. McGuinness hits a lariat from the top to the floor on the champ, and then hits a jawbreaker and gets two back inside the ring. Morishimaís nose is bleeding now. McGuinness puts a single leg crab on Morishima and Danielson puts the Cattle Mutilation on Marufuji. The ROH team tries to double team Morishima but he powers out of it. McGuinness hits a poorly executed Tower of London on Morishima but it only gets two. McGuinness tries for lariats but Morishima is brushing them off. Marufuji comes in and hits a Superkick on McGuinness, who no-sells it and bounces back with the jawbreaker to cleanly pin the ROH World Champion at 24:13. Thatís the first time Morishima has been pinned in ROH. The match was very good, but had a few awkward spots that kept it from being a great one.
MATCH #8: ROH World Tag Team Title 2 out of 3 Falls Match Ė The Briscoe Brothers vs. Matt Sydal & Claudio Castagnoli
BG says: Both Claudio and Sydal got to pick a partner for separate shots at the Briscoesí belts in 2/3 falls matches because of their great showing against the champs on ROHís first PPV. Claudio chose Hero for a challenge on the show before this. Luckily for Claudio Sydal chose him to be his partner so he gets one last shot. Mark and Claudio start. Mark gets a roll up for 2. Sydal and Jay tag in and Sydal gets a roll up for 2. Claudio and Mark tag back in and Claudio takes Mark apart in the corner. Mark hits a crossbody for 2. Jay tags in and gets hit with a gutwrench toss. Sydal tags in and runs into a hurricanrana. He rolls Jay up for 2. Mark tags in and hits a springboard elbow. The Briscoes hit the double shoulder tackle but Sydal comes back with a crucifix pin for 2. The Briscoes hit an elevated legdrop for 2. Claudio stops them from hitting their double toss and then hits the Match Killer on Jay onto Mark for 2. He goes for a powerbomb on Jay but Jay counters to a hurricanrana over the top rope to the floor. Mark hits a baseball slide on Claudio and Jay hits the military press DVD on Sydal. Mark hits a moonsault on Sydal to pick up the win in the first fall. Dave Prazak uncharacteristically makes the subjective exclamation that thereís no way the Briscoes will win two straight, so we now know they will. The second fall starts with the Briscoes double-teaming Claudio for 2. Mark puts on a seated abdominal stretch and pins Claudio for 2. He hits a gutwrench suplex and a kneedrop for 2. Jay tags in but Claudio blocks the double shoulder tackle with a bicycle kick on Mark and the Alpamare Waterslide on Jay for 2. Jay hits a chinbreaker and tags to Mark. Mark hits the yelping splash for 2. He hits a kneedrop and a dropkick to the head. Jay tags in and they hit a double uranage for 2. Claudio fights the Briscoes off and then hits them with a double giant swing and slam. Sydal tags in but canít finish his corner combo on Jay. He does hit a big DDT for 2. Claudio tags in and hits a European uppercut for 2. Jay comes back with a blockbuster and tags to Mark. Mark chops Jay by accident and Sydal hits a kneedrop off the top for 2. Claudio hits a straight jacket suplex and puts a stranglehold on Mark. Sydal dives onto Jay on the floor as Mark gets to the ropes. Mark hits a T-bone suplex and tags to Jay. Mark hits a double stomp on Sydal. Claudio gets a victory roll on Jay for 2. He hits a springboard European uppercut and tags to Sydal. Sydal hits an enziguiri and a standing moonsault for 2. He dodges a dropkick and rolls Jay up for 2. Jay hits a big boot and tags to Mark. The Briscoes climb the ropes but Claudio pulls Jay to the floor and Sydal brings Mark down with a hurricanrana. Claudio tags in and hits a flying elbow for 2. Mark counters the Ricolabomb to the cutthroat driver for the win. Everything from the unusual commentary to the awkward moments to the dead crowd in this match rubbed me the wrong way. I canít deny that everyone tried hard but the pieces didnít fit together. It actually seemed like they were trying too hard. Whereas their PPV match seemed to flow perfectly without too many crazy and innovative spots this felt like four guys trying out complicated double-team sequences that didnít work out most of the time.
Brent Albright introduces himself to usÖ again. Tonight he saw Nigel McGuinness pin Takeshi Morishima, so now he knows it can be done. When he gets his title shot heís going to do the exact same thing.
JZ says: The Briscoes have been the champions since 3.30.07, and this is their sixth defense. Mark and Claudio start it off with some mat wrestling, with Mark going for an early pinfall. Jay and Sydal get tagged in. Leonard explains that both Sydal and Castagnoli were granted rematches after the show stealer at Respect is Earned, and Castagnoli chose Chris Hero and Sydal chose Castagnoli. Thatís pretty funny to me for some reason. Sydal soon tags back in to Claudio, who hits a big gut wrench suplex and tags out to Sydal. Jay hits Sydal with a headscissors and theyíre starting to move very quickly now. The challengers take control and double team the champs. Jay delivers a big headscissors to put he and Castagnoli on the floor. Mark hits Castagnoli with a dropkick through the ropes. Back in the ring Jay hits Sydal with a Death Valley Driver and Mark hits a Moonsault on Sydal to get the pin and win the first fall at 4:54. Wow, that was brief. Leonard points out that this is five straight falls the Briscoes have won in two out of three falls matches. Prazak thinks there is NO WAY they can do six in a row. The champions look to prove Prazak wrong and thus administer a beating to Castagnoli. Castagnoli comes back with a double bicycle kick to both Briscoes and the Alparmare Water Slide to Jay for two. Jay is able to tag out to Mark, and the champions continue to beat on Castagnoli. Castagnoli comes back with what is to the best of my knowledge the first ever double giant swing. That allows him to make the lukewarm tag to Sydal. He hits a few charges in the corner and a sick DDT for two. Castagnoli gets tagged back in again and Jay is able to make the comeback on him and tag out to Mark. Castagnoli comes back and the challengers use some creative double teams. Castagnoli hits a straight jacket suplex on Mark and turns it into a necktie submission. He reaches the ropes. Sydal gets tagged in and gets a few near-falls before being turned inside out by a big boot. The Briscoes knock Castagnoli off the apron and ascend opposite corners. Castagnoli tosses Jay off and Sydal gets Mark with a rana. Castagnoli gets tagged in and hits an elbow off the top rope for two. Mark comes back with a Cutthroat Driver and thatís all for fall number two at 10:48, and the match is over at a total of 16:12. That was surprisingly weak for a match involving these four guys. It wasnít bad, it just felt really out of place as the main event, and I think that may have hurt it a little bit.
Brent Albright reminds us once again what his name is. He says itís been proven tonight that Morishima can be defeated. Albright says heís going to be the guy who beats him for the ROH World Title. And people say this guy has charisma and/or cuts good promos?
BG says: Honors go to Nigel McGuinness for being in the match of the night and being the first guy to get a deciding fall over the champion since he became champion.
The 411: BG says: There were a couple cons on this show. The gauntlet was underwhelming as a whole and the main event and the ROH vs. NOAH match should have switched places on the card. Other than that however the matches were decent at worst and very good at best. Mild recommendation this time around.
JZ says: Only two matches topped ***, which is a rarity for ROH. It reminded me a lot of Reborn Again for the obvious reason that theyíre both night-before-the-PPV shows, and the whole shows feel like thereís something more important to get to later (which is true). The ROH vs. NOAH tag team match is pretty good, but thereís literally no combination of matches between the four wrestlers in it that hasnít been done, so it doesnít really feel special. Thereís nothing terrible on here either though, so itís not tough to sit through, itís just not essential.