*** ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens *** August 10, 2007 – – Boston, Massachusetts DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR V (Night 1)
Jack Evans vs. Davey Richards: The action-packed Death Before Dishonor V weekend started on a heavy note with the continuing feud between Jack Evans and the No Remorse Corps. Jack has been promising to build his own faction to level the playing field against the No Remorse threesome. It looked like Jack had things in order, when NRC leader Roderick Strong hit the ring and pushed him off the top rope causing the disqualification. Rocky Romero joined in and the Corps dismantled Evans while Strong promised to end Jack Evans at Caged Rage later that month. Austin Aries and Erick Stevens, known as the Resilience, hit the ring to save Jack Evans from further damage. Jack pushed Aries and Stevens away and said he would go out and get some of his own people to watch back.
SHIMMER #1 CONTENDERS GRUDGE MATCH Lacey vs. Daizee Haze: While SHIMMER is a completely separate wrestling promotion, it also represents Ring of Honor’s women’s division at the same time – and does a fantastic job of it. The heated feud between Lacey and Daizee in Ring of Honor has spilled over into the SHIMMER realm. SHIMMER champion, Sara Del Rey, stood on the entrance ramp in an attempt to intimidate the competitors in the ring. I really wish SHIMMER could draw the crowd that ROH draws. A full card of SHIMMER matches in front of hundreds of fans (instead of dozens) would be awesome. It took an Implant DDT for Lacey to put away her flower-child nemesis and earn herself a shot at Sara Del Rey’s SHIMMER championship the next night in Philadelphia.
PURE WRESTLING MATCH Chris Hero w/Sweet & Sour Inc. vs. Nigel McGuinness: As usual, Chris Hero was accompanied to the ring by the Sweet & Sour crew, consisting of “Super Agent” Larry Sweeney, Tank Toland, Bobby Dempsey, and the beautiful but villainous Sara Del Rey. Nigel McGuinness was the last Pure Wrestling champion before he lost it to American Dragon in a unification match one year ago – almost to the day. Before the match, Sweet & Sour announced their own “rules,” which were obviously ridiculous and meant to stack the deck against Mr. McGuinness. Something very mysterious happened during the opening moments of the match, when the lights went out and a voice came over the sound system shouting “Project 161! Project 161 is real! Project 161! Project 161! Project 161!” The announcers claimed that it was fans trying to make a name for themselves at ROH’s expense. Once the match got started, Hero put McGuinness in a simple Hammerlock, and Tank Toland put Nigel’s leg on the ropes, thus wasting Nigel’s first rope break. A few minutes later, Nigel was penalized another rope break for using an illegal closed fist. After some more Sweet & Sour shenanigans, Toland pulled the same trick by putting Nigel’s leg on the ropes and using up Nigel’s third and final rope break. This meant that the ropes were in play, and Hero immediately locked in a submission and made Nigel tap out even though he had reached the ropes. After the match, McGuinness got a small measure of revenge when he pounded Bobby Dempsey down with a huge Lariat.
SIX-MAN MAYHEM Delirious vs. Brent Albright vs. “Iron” Matt Cross vs. Pelle Primeau vs. “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards vs. Jigsaw: What a strange mix of wrestling style and personalities. These matches are purposely booked randomly without reason, usually lacking any heat – just an opportunity for someone to rise up the ranks in one night at the expense of five other guys. Late in the match, Delirious lured Brent Albright backstage, and Matt Cross scored a rare victory after hitting a really smooth shooting star leg-drop on Eddie Edwards inside the ring.
The Resilience (Austin Aries & Erick Stevens) vs. The No Remorse Corps (Roderick Strong & Rocky Romero): This war has gotten interesting since Austin Aries left his “Starr” in TNA and returned to Ring of Honor – where he belongs. Before the Aries return, the Resilience of Erick Stevens and Matt Cross were mercifully losing the war to the No Remorse Corps. With Aries back at the helm, the Resilience proved just how resilient they really are with a hard-fought victory. After the match, Davey Richards joined Strong and Romero in a beat-down of Aries and Stevens until Jack Evans hit the ring and took out all three members of the No Remorse Corps.
“American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. Matt Sydal w/Larry Sweeney: What a great match-up of styles. I was always pushing for Sydal to get a shot at the ROH World title when Danielson held it, but it was an opportunity which never came. To my knowledge, Matt Sydal has NEVER gotten an ROH World title shot. What’s up with that? Before the match, Larry Sweeney said that he and Bryan Danielson had some unfinished business. Sweeney said he offered the services of Matt Sydal a few weeks ago and he (Dragon) owes them $3333.34 (one third of the $10,000 prize, plus one cent!). Bryan Danielson said he put the money in a retirement fund so Matt Sydal will have some money when he retires. Danielson said if Matt Sydal can beat him tonight, he will give him his share of the money, but if he loses he gets to keep Sydal’s portion of the $10,000. Sweeney agreed, but only if Danielson’s portion was on the line too. Three thousand three hundred thirty three dollars and thirty three cents is a lot of money. They beat each other up pretty good in this match. Danielson used a Triangle-choke, in combination with his trademark flurry of elbow shots to the head to earn a victory via referee stoppage. After the match, Sweeney was mad at Sydal for costing him so much money, and Sydal was mad at Sweeney because twenty minutes ago he had a retirement fund. They argued up the isle but hugged and made up before exiting through the curtain.
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH: Takeshi Morishima vs. Claudio Castagnoli: The Race to the Top tournament winner, Claudio Castagnoli, decided to cash in his guaranteed title shot against the Japanese ROH champion, Takeshi Morishima. There was a brief moment of euphoria when Double C managed to hit Morishima with the Ricola-bomb and referee Todd Sinclair came within an eyelash of counting the three before the champion kicked out. The fans erupted, believing that Castagnoli had captured the gold, but quickly realized it was an extremely stressful false finish. The fans got hostile, chanting “F*ck you, Sinclair!” at the referee. A few minutes later Morishima battled back and finished off his Swiss challenger to retain his ROH World championship once again. Morishima grabbed his belt and put it between his teeth like an animal and immediately hit the showers, leaving Claudio in the ring to get a well-earned standing ovation from the ROH fans.
UNSANCTIONED BOSTON STREET FIGHT The Briscoe Brothers vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico: I think everyone expected the absolutely maximum amount of insanity for this, the latest match in the ongoing feud between Team Steenerico and the now-legendary Briscoe brothers. Everything about El Generico is “fan friendly,” but his tag team partner is “all business,” and has no problem doing what it takes to get the job done. The Briscoes are the ROH World Tag Team champions, but since the match is non-sanctioned, the belts were not on the line. Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard signed off early, thus allowing the action to speak for itself. The fight spilled out of the ring and over the barricade, which was replaced by a preverbal human-barricade, as ROH fans stood clueless in the path of danger. Their ROH tickets surely contained a small print disclaimer, relieving the company of any responsibility if a fan got hurt or injured. It got so rowdy that one fan yelled “You ain’t gonna see this sh*t on ECW!” Jay Briscoe got busted open, as did baby brother Mark. It just kept getting crazier and crazier with every death-defying stunt. They turned multiple chairs into scrap metal and probably took years off their careers – but the fans were happy as pigs in you know what. Eventually a huge ladder was introduced into the match. It was the least sturdy ladder in the history of pro-wrestling matches which included ladders. Kevin Steen put the finishing touches on the Briscoes by nailing Jay with a Package Pile-driver onto the ladder in the middle of the ring and got the 1-2-3. After the match, Steen challenged the Briscoes to a Steel Cage match in Hartford and promised to take the belts if they like it or not.
If you would like to purchase this or any other Ring of Honor DVD, please check out ROHwrestling.com —- if you still need some convincing, you can check out streaming video of various ROH matches for free at www.ROHVideos.com