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ROH WRESTLING DVD REVIEWS

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*** Official OWW.com ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
July 28, 2006 - GENERATION NOW - Cleveland, OHIO

Back in May of 2004, ROH presented "Generation Next," which featured the formation of arguably the greatest faction in Ring of Honor history when Alex Shelley recruited Austin Aries, Roderick Strong and Jack Evans. They called themselves "Generation Next," and they bragged that they were the future of ROH and the wrestling business as a whole. Over two years later and that prophecy has come true, as all four members, as well as the two subsequent additional members, are now sought after all over the World. Alex Shelley would eventually be ousted as leader in favour of Austin Aries, and Matt Sydal would join the group along with part-time member A.J. Styles. Generation Next dominated ROH for two years and participated in many of the greatest matches in this history of the company. This DVD is dedicated to the evolution of Generation Next.

The night began with a solid match between anti-ROH wrestler extraordinaire Claudio Castagnoli facing the lizard-man Delirious in a respectable opening bout. Fans absolutely love Delirious, and they love to hate Claudio Castagnoli. Delirious won the match and continues to collect victories in Ring of Honor ( 6 / 10 ). Now that the ROH vs. CZW feud is over, Double C has to find a place for himself.

The Embassy, who was without Prince Nana for the second night in a row, came out and received the usual toilet paper treatment from the fans. It was funny to see Sal Rinauro (the Embassy servant) running around trying to block the rolls of toilet paper from hitting "The Crown Jewel" Jimmy Rave. One roll got by and drilled Rave right in the face and he sold it like he was hit with a cannonball -- this gimmick is still hilarious even after all this time. Jimmy Rave and Sal Rinauro, accompanied by the extra spicy Daizee Haze, were victorious over Classic Colt Cabana and Crazy Ace Steel, who reformed the Second City Saints for one match. The pre-match comedy was sensational as usual, and the match itself was just as good. One thing that caught my attention was that Cabana and Rinauro were doing a lot of the old midget-wrestling comedy spots. For example, Cabana would run across the ring and step on Jimmy Rave and hit Rinauro in the corner and run back. Rinauro would chase Cabana across the ring and they would both step on Jimmy Rave, then Rinauro would run back and obliviously step on his own partner again. Then he would realize what he did and try to apologize, only to get slapped by Jimmy Rave. Classic stuff and very entertaining -- ROH does stuff that WWE and TNA are too afraid to do because they *think* it is uncool. The Embassy managed to pull out a victory, mostly thanks to some underhanded tactics by Jimmy Rave ( 6.5 / 10 ).

Lacey came out looking a little less glamorous than usual, with a simple pony-tail and a regular outfit as opposed to the business suit she normally wears. She went on to proclaim that Jimmy Jacobs disgusted her, only to have Jacobs show up and give a live performance of "The Ballad of Lacey" much to Lacey's annoyance. Actually he was lip-syncing but hell, if it's okay for Ashley Simpson and Brittney Spears then it's okay for Jimmy Jacobs. I have a feeling this storyline is going to take a strange twist very soon.

Lacey stayed in Jimmy Jacobs' corner for his match against Jay Briscoe, which very well could have been the sleeper hit of the night. Briscoe won with the Jay-driller ( 7.5 / 10 ). After the match, the Briscoe Brothers got on the microphone and said some stuff that I couldn't understand. Seriously, as awesome as the Briscoes are in the ring, they are equally horrible on the microphone and should never be allowed to talk. I don't know for sure but I can only assume they were telling Austin Aries and Roderick Strong to "Man Up" and give them another shot at the ROH World Tag Team championship.

Apparently Homicide doesn't like to listen to the Briscoes talk either because he came out to take on Mark Briscoe in a 1-on-1 match. Half way through the match, Homicide did the most psychotic Topè Con Hilo I've ever seen when he basically torpedoed through the ropes and speared Briscoe bending him backwards over the guard rail landing neck-first on a chair. Seriously, how do they do it?! A few minutes later, Homicide won with a Lariat ( 7.5 / 10 ). Jay Briscoe jumped in the ring and assaulted Homicide and then the Briscoes double-teamed him and left the ring. B.J. Whitmer then showed up to console Homicide -- I thought 'Cide would turn on Whitmer, but Whitmer just helped him up and they left quietly.

They showed brief video package showing clips of Generation Next starting from the very beginning. Nice stuff. Good times.

Generation Next, consisting of Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Jack Evans and Matt Sydal were opposed by Irish Airborne, Davey Richards and Jerrelle Clarke. On the surface you would think this would be a total squash match but the final outcome would be drastically different. Jimmy Bower (who in reality is promoter Gabe Sapolsky) joined commentary for a few moments to pay tribute to Generation Next and thank them for their contributions. The pace was pretty much non-stop from the start, which is a Generation Next trademark. The action was so fast I almost felt like watching it in slow-motion - which ironically would still be faster than your average WWE main event. The highlight of the match saw all eight men balanced on the top rope, two in each corner. Four guys were pushed to the mat, and Jerrelle Clarke and Jack Evans both did 450 splashes. Then Austin Aries and Davey Richards did spectacular shooting star presses! I simply cannot do it justice here in review format. There was many more breath-taking moments in this match before it was over. Davey Richards spoiled the Generation Next reunion by pinning Jack Evans ( 8.5 / 10 ). The appreciative ROH fans erupted in loud chants of "That Was Awesome!" and "Thank you Gen-Next!" as all eight men shook hands. The winners left and the former members of Generation Next placed their Gen-Next t-Shirt in the ring over the ROH logo and left together for the last time.

The Briscoe Brothers snuck into the ring and grabbed the Gen-Next t-Shirts and started disrespectfully wiping their butts with them. Generation Next sprinted back to the ring to take out the Briscoes, and Homicide showed up and cracked Jay Briscoe with a steel chair, busting his forehead wide open! Austin Aries got on the microphone and said the time for Generation Next was gone, because they were the super stars of TODAY!

Samoa Joe sent in another tape from the gym cutting a promo on ROH Champion American Dragon saying he was coming back.

Back on May 12 at "How We Roll," Christian Cage made what was intended to be a one-time-only appearance in Ring of Honor. He would later say that he enjoyed ROH so much that he wanted to be apart of it more often. Fellow TNA wrestler Christopher Daniels was up to the challenge to face Christian Cage one-on-one in an ROH ring. The bizarre fan moment of the night had an obviously drunk guy randomly chanting "USA! USA! USA!" during Christopher Daniels' pre-match speech. The crowd responded by chanting "Shut the F*** up!" back at him. Christopher Daniels requested a "five second pose" from Christian Cage, causing Cage to call Daniels a mark. Cage then did some sucking up to the crowd and then accused A.J. Styles of stealing his hood and chest-pound gimmick. Christian then obliged and did a special 5-second pose with Daniels and Allison Danger. They were about to start the match when the drunk fan yelled "We Want Edge! We Want Edge!" and was shut down by another "Shut the F*** Up!" chant.

The match itself was everything you might expect from these two constant professionals. Christopher Daniels scored the upset victory after an Angel's Wings on Christian Cage in a solid performance by both men ( 8 / 10 ). Please come back! Please come back!

Back at Weekend of Champions Night #2, Nigel McGuiness successfully defended his ROH Pure championship against ROH World Champion American Dragon -- McGuinness won that incredible match via Count-out to retain his title. This time it was American Dragon's turn to defend his ROH World championship against Nigel McGuinness. The match was equally incredible, but I wouldn't say better, as their first 1-on-1 encounter. These two guys are the masters of figuring out creative ways to retain their championships. They are still pushing the internal competition to see which ROH champion loses their belt first (including ROH Tag champions Aries & Strong) -- because there has yet to be a title change in 2006. The battle between Dragon and McGuinness included a brutal exchange of head-butts that gave me a headache just watching. American Dragon was dumped over the top rope and he crawled under the ring and came out the other side, where he snuck up behind McGuinness and rolled him up with the small package to retain the ROH belt ( 9 / 10 ). The ending seemed abrupt but it left me wanting to see more Dragon vs. McGuinness and I know that's what we will get eventually. McGuinness was about to leave, but then came back and respectfully shook Dragon's hand. Of course, the ring announcer declared "Ladies and gentlemen, your winner.. Mr. Small Package, Bryan Danielson!" which is hilarious because American Dragon embraces it.

Final Thoughts: It now feels like ROH is rebuilding, coming off its hottest feud of all time against CZW. The focus is now on other storylines like Dragon vs. Joe, Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey, The Embassy without Prince Nana, and Colt Cabana's sex life. The next few months will be interesting. 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



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