*** ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens *** January 25, 2008 – Dayton, Ohio [ BREAKOUT ]
TAG TEAM MATCH The Briscoe Brothers vs. Jigsaw & Matt Cross: Every once in a while, the Briscoes have to recharge themselves with an easy preliminary match. The bearded Matt Cross became an honorary member of the Vulture Squad, since Jack Evans was injured in Japan and Ruckus was injured a week earlier. The Briscoes won the match after Mark jumped over the top rope onto Jigsaw, followed by Jay hitting a Jay-driller on Matt Cross for the win. The Briscoes showed good sportsmanship, and then cut a promo on ROH Tag Team champions the Age of the Fall!
SINGLES MATCH Claudio Castagnoli vs. “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce w/Shane Hagadorn: The ROH fans hate Adam Pearce just as much as they love Claudio Castagnoli. They chanted “Repo Man!” at Pearce, while Hagadorn grinned through his stolen Delirious mask. Pearce had a chain with him, in preparation for his Dog Collar grudge match with Delirious the following night. Late in the match, Pearce lost focus and went after his chain, but Castagnoli planted him with a Ricola-bomb for the win! Pearce will have to be more focused if he wants to survive his war with Delirious tomorrow!
FIP WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE 3-WAY Erick Stevens (c) vs. Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards: FIP title matches are fought under No-DQ, No-Countout, and No Time Limit rules. Austin Aries has become frustrated with his lack of victories in recent ROH competition, and while he is still clinging to the babyface side of the tracks, it feels like he is on the cusp of a heel turn. Erick Stevens is making the best of his first reign as FIP World champion, racking up a few successful title defenses while on tour with Ring of Honor. These three warriors went back and forth and back again, each man having their turn with the advantage. Aries came within an eyelash of making Richards tap out via submission but Stevens broke it up to save his title. Aries and Richards continued to battle, until Stevens jumped in an knocked Aries’ head off with a clothesline and planted Richards with a Doctor-bomb for the win! Stevens offered to shake hands with Aries, who backed off and walked out filled with even more frustration than when he walked in. Erick Stevens will defend the FIP World title on 2/16 at FIP Redefined (click here for my DVD review) against former champion Roderick Strong..
NO-DISQUALIFICATION TAG TEAM MATCH Delirious & El Generico vs. HANGMEN 3 (B.J. Whitmer & Brent Albright w/Shane Hagadorn): My twisted side gets a big kick out of seeing Delirious and El Generico in the ring together – it doesn’t matter if they are opponents or partners. Two very bizarre individuals making up an even more bizarre tag team combination. Delirious has to deal with the rabid stable-mates of Adam Pearce before their big Dog Dollar match 24 hours later. Shane Hagadorn was in the corner of the HANGMEN 3, and was interfering at will (since it was legal). The heels were under strict orders from Adam Pearce to soften up Delirious in this brutal No-DQ match. Little Pelle Primeau hit the ring and fought with the pest, Hagadorn, until Delirious covered Hagadorn’s face with dark green mist! Albright & Whitmer then demolished Primeau for sticking his nose in their business. Delirious & Generico did stereo dives over the top rope onto their opponents. Delirious pulled a table out from under the ring and set it up at ringside. The battled ended up spilling over the guard rail into the general seating, putting the fans well-being at risk. They went back towards the ring and Whitmer power-bombed Delirious through that table at ringside which we were supposed to have forgotten about. Whitmer & Albright double-teamed Generico in the ring. Generico held on long enough for Delirious to recover from his big bump on the floor. Delirious & Generico punished Whitmer with repeated chairshots to the skull – enough to make you CRINGE! Albright put a stop to it and started beating on his masked opponents. Albright set up another table in the ring, and then used the rubber frame from the already broken table to choke out Generico. Delirious kicked Albright and set him on the table in the middle of the ring, so that Generico could jump off the top rope and splash Albright through the table!!! Whitmer broke up the pinfall and this crazy match continued…… The masked men were in firm control until Adam Pearce made his way to the ring and pulled the referee out of the ring before jumping into the ring and pounding Delirious with a chain-wrapped fist! Pearce began choking Delirious with the chain and dragging him up the isle backstage. Generico could not survive the onslaught from Albright & Whitmer and the referee stopped the match after repeated knee-strikes from Albright. The fans were so desperate for a happy ending for this one, but they did not get one. Still a crazy fun match.
SHIMMER MATCH Daizee Haze vs. Lacey (w/Jimmy Jacobs & Allison Wonderland): Jimmy Jacobs led his girlfriend Lacey to the ring, with new AOTF groupie Allison Wonderland not far behind. Both Lacey and Allison make Goth look super hot. Jacobs said tonight Lacey will take the monkey off her back that is Daizee Haze tonight. Jacobs talked about his tag team match later, and Tyler Black facing the “Best in the World.” Jacobs said American Dragon wasn’t the best in the world any more because he (Jacobs) beat him in Chicago. Jimmy Jacobs looked into the camera and invited Austin Aries to join the Age of the Fall, and said anybody else who is frustrated is welcome to join. Daizee Haze came out and said the fans didn’t come to the show to listen to Jimmy Jacobs bitch about his miserable life. Daizee hit the ring and set out to finish her feud with Lacey. Daizee grappled with Lacey for a while before rolling her up for a quick 1-2-3! Jimmy Jacobs, Allison Wonderland, Lacey, and Tyler Black surrounded the Haze and threatened bodily harm against her. The Briscoes hit the ring to take the fight to the Age of the Fall (as promised), but their assault was cut short by the shocking appearance of Joey Matthews – who viciously smashed Mark with a steel chair! The crowd chanted “Welcome Back!” as Jay had the life squeezed out of him by Jimmy Jacobs with a Guillotine Choke.
IN THE RING The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black & Lacey & Allison Wonderland & Joey Matthews): The crowd decided to play along and started to boo the Age of the Fall. The fans chanted “how’s his face?” referring to the facial injuries Matthews sustained while working for WWE. Jacobs brilliantly adlibbed, “how’s his face? It’s scarred… just like the rest of him!” Joey Matthews talked about fighting nine years in the independents and making it to Madison Square Garden. Matthews quoted some of the reasons he was fired from WWE, “Joey has personal issues,” “Joey had insurmountable demons,” and “Joey showed up in no condition to perform.” Matthews said instead of letting his demons defeat him, he beat them off and he’s now clean and sober. Matthews said he was turning another wrestling tragedy into the come-back of the year, and it was because of one guy who believed in him – and that was Jimmy Jacobs. Matthews said the only road to freedom is the one being paved by the Age of the Fall. Matthews said any enemy of these men are enemies of his, and on that road there will be no remorse. Great promo.
TAG TEAM MATCH The No Remorse Corps (Roderick Strong & Rocky Romero) vs. The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Joey Matthews w/Tyler Black): The final comment by Joey Matthews in the previous segment suddenly makes sense. God bless Joey Matthews for cleaning up and putting up with insensitive heckles from the ROH fans. I thought for sure they would use this match to launch Joey Matthews into the spotlight, but the No Remorse Corps proved to be too tough for the Age of the Fall, scoring a massively huge victory. Tyler Black was not impressed with Joey Matthews, and said that tonight the third time is going to have to be the charm. Matthews & Jacobs limped backstage while Black cut a sharp promo and promised to pin “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson 1-2-3.
SINGLES MATCH “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. Tyler Black: Bryan Danielson’s job in ROH these days is to make new stars, and it takes a really special talent to do that job successfully. Danielson is both great enough, and humble enough, to put the company above his ego. Tyler Black was already on the road to becoming a major breakout star in 2007, and a match with this “ROH legend” helped get 2008 off on the right foot. Danielson became frustrated with Black’s determination, which was one of many subtle methods to get Black over as a star in the eyes of the fans. Both men were physically spent as the match inched towards a conclusion. Danielson went for the kill, smashing Black with a flurry of elbows to the head. Danielson followed up with Cattle Mutilation, but Black simply refused to give up! Black escaped the deadly maneuver and kicked Danielson on the back of the head! Black connected with a few more kicks, then hit a power move, but could only get a two-count. Black then went for the kill with a spectacular top rope twisting splash causing the fans to erupt with pleasure! Dragon seemed to be impervious to the pain, as he reversed the pinfall to his own favor and miraculously scored the 1-2-3 to win the match! Black was a God in the eyes of the fans, and could have been a gracious loser, but instead he found a weapon at the time keeper’s table and jammed it into Danielson’s previously injured eye. The Briscoe brothers hit the ring and chased Tyler Black away and told the Age of the Fall that their issue is a long way from over!
ROH WORLD TITLE STEEL CAGE MATCH Nigel McGuinness (c) vs. Chris Hero w/Sweet & Sour Inc.: The top of the steel cage structure was about four feet below the ceiling of the building, so I didn’t expect any crazy moves off the top of the cage. Chris Hero was accompanied by the Sweet & Sour entourage of Larry Sweeney, Tank Toland, Sara Del Rey, and “Survival of the Fattest” Bobby Dempsey. I wonder if Dempsey would lose his job if he actually lost weight. Ohio was definitely Nigel McGuinness country, having paid some of his dues in the area after training with the legendary Les Thatcher. The announcers pointed out that Chris Hero started out in Ohio as well, but the fans did not have any emotional attachment to him. There was a referee inside the cage, but both men spent the entire match trying to escape the cage. Larry Sweeney guarded the door from the outside, making it difficult for the ROH World champion every time he tried to escape the cage. Hero worked over McGuinness’ knee, making it difficult for him to do any climbing. It became apparent that a pinfall or submission would be Nigel’s best chance at victory. While the door was open, Tank Toland grabbed a chair and slid it into the ring. Hero used the chair to further assault Nigel’s injured knee. Hero executed a Half-crab submission using a chair which has to be seen to be appreciated. Hero started taunting the fans, and that allowed McGuinness to recover and mount a comeback. McGuinness rammed Hero head-first into the cage, busting him open in the process! Chris Hero and his crimson mask caught McGuinness trying to scale the cage and pulled him back down. McGuinness hit Hero with the Tower of London onto the steel chair! McGuinness inched his way towards the door, but Larry Sweeney slammed the cage into Nigel’s head! Finally, the referee (Paul Turner) ejected Sweet & Sour from ringside! I’m surprised Nigel wasn’t bloodied at this point. Nigel recovered just in time to grab Hero by the hair as he was trying to escape over the top of the cage. Nigel pulled Hero back inside by the hair and delivered a spectacular Superplex off the top rope all the way down to the mat! McGuinness once again crawled towards the door, as Bobby Dempsey returned to ringside and prepared to slam the door on Nigel’s head again. Chris Hero ran across the ring ready to dive out the door, but Dempsey accidentally slammed the door right at that moment and smashed the wrong guy, sending Chris Hero crashing back into the cage like a sling shot! Tank Toland admonished Dempsey and desperately held the cage door shut so McGuinness could not escape. The referee was distracted by Larry Sweeney. Talk about insane chaos! McGuinness began climbing, as Hero crawled towards the door, a race to the finish! Nigel McGuinness dropped to the floor first and was declared the winner of the match! Quite a thrilling cage match if you ask me.
If you would like to purchase this or any other ROH DVD, please check out ROHwrestling.com —- if you need some convincing, you can check out streaming video of various ROH matches for free at www.ROHVideos.com