ROH WRESTLING DVD REVIEWS
| *** Official OWW.com ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***|
July 16, 2007 - LIVE IN TOKYO - Tokyo, Japan
It's official, Ring of Honor has invaded the country of Japan - a country rich in professional wrestling tradition and occupied by a unique breed of wrestling fans. The DVD opened with footage of number one contender Nigel McGuinness entering the building, followed by a quick promo by ROH World champion Takeshi Morishima in Japanese.
The ring announcer introduced a bearded Delirious to the crowd, who were treated to one of Delirious' hilarious trademark Lizard-man rants. In America, these ramblings usually cause the fans get off their seats and initiate a wave of noise and excitement, but the Japanese fans sat quietly listening to Delirious jabber on in what probably sounded just as confusing to them as English. Soon the ring was infested by members of the No Remorse Corps trying to mercilessly tear Delirious apart, but Jack Evans and NOAH wrestler Kotaro Suzuki made the save. Jack Evans, who has spent enough time in Japan to pick up some of the language, issued a challenge in Japanese to the No Remorse Corps. Delirious tackled Roderick Strong and they brawled backstage, leaving the other four in the ring for a tag team match.
Davey Richards & Rocky Romero vs. Jack Evans & Kotaro Suzuki: Anyone who has seen any Japanese wrestling knows how eerily quiet the audience can get. That silence more often than not translates to respect for the performers in the ring. The fans occasionally pop when a high-spot happens, with intermittent "oooooooo's" and "ahhhhhhhh's" - it's a pleasant atmosphere. Rocky Romero finished off Jack Evans with three not-so-pleasant kicks to the head to give Evans a terrible headache AND win the match for the remorseless Corps ( 7.5 / 10 ).
Shuhei Taniguchi vs. Akihiko Ito: Who? Two NOAH wrestlers, that's who. I had no clue what to expect from these two young grapplers. They ended up being VERY GREEN, not great, but to the western world they are just unique enough to be considered enjoyable ( 3.5 / 10 ).
B.J. Whitmer vs. Jimmy Rave: This match was dubbed the "battle of ROH veterans." I don't have the time to do the math but I think Whitmer and Rave are the two longest reigning members of the roster. That is if you exclude the Briscoes, who took a full year off at one point. Dave Prazak said they were the two men with the most ROH matches under their belt - so there ya go. B.J. Whitmer has become increasingly frustrated since returning from an injury he sustained at the end of his feud with Jimmy Jacobs. This was purposely booked as an old-school ROH-style match. Jimmy Rave, whose entrance music is "the Land of the Rising Sun," scored the victory after planting Whitmer with a Pedigree ( 7 / 10 ).
"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson vs. Go Shiozaki: This was a special challenge match set up to really put NOAH rising star Go Shiozaki to the ultimate test against arguably the greatest ROH wrestler of all-time. I believe Shiozaki is a Japanese legend-in-the-making; he just has that grizzled fighter image. Fans of American Dragon will be happy to know that the famous "You're gonna get your f*cking head kicked in" chant has made it all the way to Tokyo! Danielson made Shiozaki look like a billion dollars, and together they wrestled a phenomenal wrestling matches ( 8.5 / 10 ). American Dragon declared he was going after the winner of the main event!
Becky Bayless didn't make the trip to Japan, so referee Todd Sinclair stepped in as backstage interviewer. Wow, talk about going from one extreme to another! Becky is cute, and Todd is the opposite of cute. He awkwardly interviewed NOAH's Ricky Marvin.
Grudge Match - Delirious vs. Roderick Strong: When a feud reaches a boiling point in ROH, they like to resolve their issues in a match called a "Fight Without Honor," which basically means relaxed rules, which basically means No Holds Barred - which is the most basic way I could explain it. The No Remorse Corps has been a thorn in the side of Delirious for the past several months, but the source of the Lizard-man's hatred lies squarely at Corps leader Roderick Strong. Delirious is still growing his facial hair, which looks funny to me having that patch of fuzz sticking out of the mouth hole of the mask. If I didn't know better I'd think the lead singer of the Spin Doctors was under there. A few minutes into the fight, Strong tossed a couple of chairs in to the ring and then picked up a table and launched it at Delirious at ringside! A few minutes later, Delirious introduced a ladder into the match from beneath the ring. Later on they did a big stunt earned a "Holy Sh*t!" chant - which the announcers got a big kick out of. It was a tough battle from start to finish, which saw Delirious come out on top and hand the No Remorse Corps a rare loss in the battlefield ( 8 / 10 ).
All-Star Six Man Tag - The Briscoe Brothers & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Matt Sydal & Ricky Marvin & Atsushi Aoki: This was a really good match but mediocre by Briscoe standards. I also expect a lot more from Naomichi Marufuji. I expect dynamite show-stealing performances and anything less often leaves me wanting more. Still, good match ( 6.5 / 10 ).
ROH World Title Match - Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness: Main event time, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one expecting Morishima to drop the ROH title at some point during ROH's weekend in Japan. Nigel McGuinness was on a mission to "stop having great matches, and start WINNING great matches." The crowd was surprisingly in the corner of the British challenger, leaving their hometown hero out to dry. McGuinness fought like a champion for roughly thirty minutes, but did not survive the speed-bump known as Takeshi Morishima, who successfully defended his ROH World championship ( 8 / 10 ). Guess what. Nigel McGuinness HAD a great match, but didn't WIN a great match. After the match, American Dragon picked up the ROH belt and told Morishima "THIS IS MY BELT" and slapped Morishima accross the face, but when he turned around to escape the champion's wrath he walked right into a European upper-cut from Nigel McGuinness. Nigel returned the belt to Morishima and they shook hands out of respect.
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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