Transform (DVD Review)

*** ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
January 12, 2008 – Edison, New Jersey

The YRR (Jason Blade & Kenny King & Sal Rinauro w/Chasyn Rance & Lexxus) vs. Delirious & El Generico & Mike Quackenbush: The YRR was stacked with FIP championship gold, since Sal Rinauro is the FIP Florida Heritage champion and Jason Blade & Kenny King are the FIP Tag Team champions. The group was accompanied to the ring by the injured Chasyn Rance and one random groupie – the dangerously petite Lexxus (from NECW). The Delirious-Generico-Quackenbush combination was a strange one but turned out to be an interesting venture for the trio. Each man has their own cult following within the wrestling community. Delirious really enjoyed Generico’s “Ole Ole” music and joined in the enthusiastic chant with the fans. The YRR has become a dominant force in Full Impact Pro, and now it looks like they are ready to take ROH by storm. I feel like they are an updated version of Special K. Rinauro is still wearing those goofy ring tights that he used to wear when he was the court jester of Prince Nana’s Embassy. I miss Prince Nana, a lot. The fan favorites were in control at the end of the match, but the YRR studs pulled out a controversial win after Chasyn Rance whacked Delirious with his crutch from the floor. Delirious is headed to FIP to get revenge on the YRR, but before that he has a dog collar match with Adam Pearce for ROH in the not-too-distant future.

Daniel Puder w/Sweet & Sour Inc. defeated Alex “Sugarfoot” Payne by Submission: Larry Sweeney walked to the ring, flanked by the entire Sweet & Sour entourage which included the supposedly injured Chris Hero, Daniel Puder, Bobby “King of the Hill” Dempsey, and the devilishly sexy Sara Del Rey. The segment belonged to Daniel Puder. Larry Sweeney pulled out his wallet and produced $1000 of what he claimed was his own money. Puder is a waste of ROH time and an even bigger waste of ROH money. Sweeney issued an open challenge for anybody in the back to take on the “most dangerous man in Ring of Honor.” Alex “Sugarfoot” Payne accepted the challenge to last one minute in the ring with Daniel Puder. Sugarfoot tapped out to the Arm-breaker in roughly 30 seconds.

Daniel Puder w/Sweet & Sour Inc. defeated “Addicted to Love” Rhett Titus by Submission: Larry Sweeney repeated the challenge, and the fans let it be known that they wanted Bobby Dempsey! Rhett Stevens strutted out to the ring and tried to run down the clock by literally running from Daniel Puder, but he still tapped out to the Ankle-lock before the 60-second goal. Sweeney asked for someone else, and Claudio Castagnoli tried to push his way to the ring. Sweeney (who has a restraining order against Claudio) said he ruined it and said it wasn’t fun any more. Sweeney sent Puder back to the limo to cool off.

Chris Hero & Sara Rel Rey w/Larry Sweeney defeated Ernie Osirus & Alexa Thatcher: Larry Sweeney called out Bobby Dempsey just so he could slap him and then order him to “get to the back” so he doesn’t have to see his face. Sweeney presented the best male athlete (Chris Hero), and the best female athlete (Sara Del Rey) two championship belts and crowned them the World’s Heavyweight Intergender Tag Team champions! The belts were ridiculously cheap, but Del Rey & Hero embraced them! Sweeney brought out ROH student Ernie Osirus and the lovely Alexa Thatcher to be the first challengers. Osirus made the mistake of trying to “charm” Del Rey with a kiss on the hand before the match. Del Rey grappled with Osirus for most of the match, while Hero sat on the ring apron selling his injury. The finish saw Chris Hero get tagged in and pinned sweet little Alexa Thatcher with a brutal Knockout punch. Hero is such a convincing woman beater. Jerk!

Roderick Strong vs. Jigsaw w/Julius Smokes: This was another battle between the No Remorse Corps and the Vulture Squad in their feud that has been escalating throughout the closing months of 2007. I really expected Jigsaw to break-out in this match but it ended up being quite unremarkable. The finish saw Roderick Strong force Jigsaw to tap out with a brand new submission finisher. Roderick Strong is booked to get an ROH World title shot on 1/26 in Chicago.

Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jack Evans w/Mercedes Martinez: Jimmy Jacobs showed up first and started preaching the message of the Age of the Fall loudly over the microphone. Jack Evans interrupted, and Jacobs took it as an insult and attacked Evans before the match! While Jigsaw gets Julius Smokes, Jack Evans gets the Booty Vulture (Mercedes Martinez) in his corner! In yet another somewhat unremarkable match, Evans missed a double knee stomp and Jacobs cinched in the End Time (Guillotine Choke) submission for the win! Jacobs refused to break the deadly hold, as the Booty Vulture & Julius Smokes tried to break it up. Tyler Black ran down and took out Julius Smokes while Necro Butcher grabbed Mercedes and fed her to Lacey, who wasted the Latina Sensation with an Implant DDT on a chair! Jigsaw tried to help his crew but he was driven out of the ring by Black & Butcher. Finally the Briscoe brothers hit the ring and the Age of the Fall took off!

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Austin Aries: This match had the potential to steal the show. Austin Aries has been on a disappointing losing streak that has had a noticeable effect on his behavior. He hasn’t gone completely heel, but it is obvious that he is headed in that direction. While Aries was focused on getting his career back on track, Claudio was having his usual fun with the fans – and getting under the skin of Aries. Castagnoli repeatedly tried to hit his trademark Ricola-bomb, but Aries kept escaping the big move. Double C was determined to execute the hold, and ended up planting Aries not one, but twice, with the Ricola-bomb! Castagnoli offered his hand to Aries after the match, but Aries once again dropped out of the ring and left with only his disappointment. The frustration for Austin Aries continues………

Claudio Castagnoli survived one minute in the ring with Daniel Puder: After the match, Claudio Castagnoli produced $1000 of his own money and said if Daniel Puder can tap him out in less than one minute he will give Larry Sweeney the money. Sweeney appeared with dollar signs in his eyes, and clarified that only Claudio’s money was on the line and NOT his. Puder hit the ring and went on the attack. Castagnoli avoided all of Puder’s submission attempts and actually got Puder in the Giant Swing. Sweeney interfered as time ran out, and they double-teamed Castagnoli – putting a chair across his chest and Sweeney did a flying elbow drop on the chair (ouch!).

The Hangmen 3 (B.J. Whitmer & Shane Hagadorn) vs. Bobby Fish & Eddie Edwards: Bobby Fish & Eddie Edwards are a couple of New England-based wrestlers with experience working for NOAH in Japan. Fish is a big guy and moves very quickly for a guy his size. The announcers spent most of the match pointing out how much of a weak link Shane Hagadorn was to the Hangmen 3 faction. Whitmer finished off Fish with a Power-bomb to give the Hangmen 3 the win. The crowd did not budge an inch for the finish. I don’t know if the crowd was dead for this show or the guys just weren’t working up to par, but the majority of the matches felt like they didn’t live up to the ROH standard.

“The Shooter” Brent Albright vs. “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen: In a promo that played out earlier on the DVD, Kevin Steen expressed his anger over the Hangmen 3 slapping around his tag team partner, El Generico, the night before. Steen made it completely clear that nobody in Ring of Honor slaps around El Generico except him! That was Steen’s unique way of telling us that he was defending the honor of his little buddy! It was a battle of heavyweights, and finally the audience came alive for the action in the ring. Brent Albright put Kevin Steen through a table early in the match, and blood began to flow from Steen’s forehead shortly thereafter. They fought tooth and nail for quite some time before the bloody Mr. Wrestling finished Albright off with his trademark Package Pile-driver. B.J. Whitmer & Shane Hagadorn hit the ring to attack Kevin Steen, and tried to hang Steen with a noose. El Generico ran down to save his tag team partner and was joined by Delirious, who spewed and insane amount of dark mist all over B.J. Whitmer! Kevin Steen embraced Delirious and their alliance against the Hangmen 3 became even stronger!

Erick Stevens vs. “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson: Bryan Danielson was the FIP World champion in 2006, before he lost the championship to Roderick Strong, who would drop the title to Erick Stevens a full year later. This would be the American Dragon’s first opportunity to regain the FIP championship. It seems like Dragon’s number one job in ROH is to wrestle everybody who is climbing up the ladder and make them look like a million bucks. He’s sort of like the official stepping stone for the entire promotion, which isn’t exactly a bad position to be in. The match initially ended with American Dragon getting counted out. Erick Stevens once again refused to accept a finish that wasn’t 100% clean, and added that the “Best in the World” deserves better than that! The match was restarted, much to the delight of the fans in attendance. Erick Stevens applied a weird submission hold known as the Horse Collar and forced Danielson to waste more energy crawling to the ropes. Danielson recovered and cinched in the Cattle Mutilation and then went for his patented flurry of stiff elbows to the head! Stevens powered out of it and connected with a TKO on the Dragon! Stevens lost his balance attempting to hit the Doctor-bomb and ended up in a Triangle-choke at the hands of Danielson. Stevens made it to the ropes to force the break of the punishing submission hold. Dragon went his dreaded small package, and Stevens reversed it and got a two-count. Stevens with a Lariat, followed by a Doctor-bomb, and scored the 1-2-3 to pick up one of the biggest victories in his entire career! Dave Prazak proclaimed “Erick Stevens matures before our very eyes, defeating both Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson on consecutive nights to retain the FIP championship!” American Dragon endorsed Erick Stevens with a handshake after the match. Erick Stevens truly is a super star on the rise!

The Briscoe Brothers w/Daizee Haze vs. The Age of the Fall (Tyler Black & Necro Butcher w/Lacey): This was to be a no holds barred war setting fire to the already scorched feud between the Briscoe brothers and the Age of the Fall. Daizee Haze and Lacey started brawling and ripping away at each others beautiful smooth bodies. Jimmy Jacobs got involved bringing a ladder to the ring and giving the Age of the Fall a very unfair advantage. Jimmy Jacobs jumped off of a ladder with a Back-senton, putting Jay Briscoe through a table! It looked like Jacobs messed up his ankle, but he may just have been selling it. The referee threw up the X and Jay was carried backstage for medical attention, leaving Mark to fight all three members of the Age of the Fall. Lacey and Daizee continued to pound each other senseless until the Haze was put out to pasture as well. All four members of the Age of the Fall methodically dissected Mark, having no mercy on the baby Briscoe. This seemed to go on forever, until Daizee Haze jumped into the ring and threw herself on top of Mark to save him. Necro Butcher grabbed Daizee by the throat and Jimmy Jacobs threatened to Spike her but thankfully the Vulture Squad hit the ring to make the save!

Mark Briscoe & Daizee Haze & Jack Evans & Jigsaw vs. The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black & Necro Butcher & Lacey): Now it makes sense why the Vulture Squad was featured on the cover of the DVD. Daizee Haze did a leap of faith off the top rope onto Lacey on the floor, just as Jack Evans & Jigsaw did stereo dives through the ropes onto Jacobs & Black, while Mark Briscoe did a crazy back-flip off the top rope onto Necro Butcher. Pure insanity broke loose as Dave Prazak & Lenny Leonard signed off to let the action speak for itself. Everybody paired off and crazy stuff began happening in all four corners of the arena. Stupid fans stood there with their hands in their pockets trying to look cool as chaos unfolded all around them. They tried a picture-in-picture feature but it really did help the viewer follow the action. Necro Butcher severely botched a Hurricanrana attempted on Mark Briscoe. A few minutes later, Mark suplexed Necro off the ring apron over the guard rail and they splattered on the floor together in the front row. By this point, fans had scattered and the arena was a complete mess. It was standing room only and every man for himself – God bless the small print on ticket stubs. A few minutes later, Mark pushed Tyler Black off the top rope sending him crashing down on top of some poor unsuspecting camera operator. Inside the ring, Mark slammed Jacobs down and Jack Evans landed a Spring-board 450 Back-splash and scored the 1-2-3 to win the match! Pandemonium was the star of the show in Edison, New Jersey on January 12, 2008!!

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