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*** Official ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
May 11, 2007 - REBORN AGAIN - Hartford, Connecticut

Becky Bayless started the show, hyping the name of the show "ROH Reborn Again," and was interrupted by "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson. Mr. Danielson wanted to know exactly what "Reborn" meant, suggesting ROH would be run differently now that it is on Pay-Per-View. Dragon said he was returning to ROH and would be better than ever - and it all starts tonight! They did a breaking news segment announcing ROH's intentions to debut on PPV (taped the following night in NYC), and that TNA pulled Homicide & Austin Aries from ROH. They added that for the first time ever, ROH has a roster of contracted wrestlers. And we begin a new era in Ring of Honor.

Jimmy Rave vs. Pelle Primeau: Any self respecting main eventer should never have to wrestle more than three minutes with somebody like Pelle Primeau. Jimmy Rave was a total pro, staying in there for over five minutes and making little Pelle look like a million bucks. That is, until Rave forced Primeau to tap out and scream like a little girl with the dreaded Heel-hook submission ( 4 / 10 ).

The No Remorse Corps of Roderick Strong, Davey Richards, & Rocky Romero bragged about taking out Jack Evans and laughed over Austin Aries being pulled by TNA. Roddy said he was the only member of Generation Next left standing and all they need to do now is get rid of Erick Stevens & Matt Cross.

SHIMMER Special Attraction Match - Daizee Haze vs. Nikki Roxx: What a pleasant surprise to see the beautiful and talented Nikki Roxx step inside of an ROH ring again. Roxx has by far the best ass in the wrestling business. Soon after this appearance, Nikki would debut with TNA as Roxxi Leveau. A lot of SHIMMER talent has been in and out of ROH over the past year, but the division (if you can call it that) is all about Daizee Haze and Lacey - and Sara Del Rey to a lesser extent. The Haze scored the victory, and was unsmilingly (yes, that is a real word - I love my thesaurus) congratulated by Sara Del Rey afterwards ( 6.5 / 10 ).

Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. Eddie Edwards & Jason Blade: The appearance of El Generico is enough to light a fire under any audience. How can you not get excited by Generico's infamous entrance music. Team Steenerico was still relatively fresh at this point, but they would help set the tag team division on fire in the later half of 2007. Steen and Generico's victory here was pretty much a foregone conclusion ( 6.5 / 10 ). There are ROH wrestlers who simply never win a match, but nobody ever ends up looking like a jobber. It's all about making everybody look good and ROH prooves that that is good business ethics.

Claudio Castagnoli vs. "The Infamous" Bobby Fish: Double C has cut his hair off! I've been waiting for a long time to see "The Infamous" Bobby Fish, a frequent competitor in New England Championship Wrestling as well as Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan. Fish is a powerful looking athlete but looks a little short. I tell you though, his style was tailor-made for Ring of Honor. He's got technical skills, power, stiff kicks, and high flying abilities. Bobby Fish looked great but it was Claudio Castagnoli who had his hand raised after a weird-looking power-bomb ( 6.5 / 10 ). Great debut for Bobby Fish, who got a standing ovation after the match. Please come back.

American Dragon's music hit and the crowd erupted at the return of the "BEST WRESTLER IN THE WORLD." Fans assumed the hooded shadow walking to the ring was their hero, but it ended up being a complete swerve as Shane Hagadorn popped out from under the robe laughing. Adam Pearce came out and made fun of the fans for being so gullible and then said there were two free tickets to the following night's show in New York City under the seat of one lucky fan. Pearce then insulted a little kid for being the "stupidest fan in Hartford" for falling for that trick. Shane Hagadorn was in the background literally rolling on the floor laughing his arse off. Pearce said they will welcome American Dragon back with a Dream Match against Shane Hagadorn.

"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson vs. Shane Hagadorn w/Adam Pearce: Bryan Danielson looked completely refreshed and energized after a five month hiatus from Ring of Honor. After all the epic matches Danielson has been involved in, this encounter with Shane Hagadorn was a walk in the park ( 4.5 / 10 ). After the match, Adam Pearce attacked American Dragon and they started another match. It's not at all uncommon for American Dragon to wrestle twice in the same night. He quickly defeated Adam Pearce by submission without breaking a sweat ( 4 / 10 ). The No Remorse Corps of Roderick Strong, Davey Richards, and Rocky Romero showed up and invited Bryan Danielson to join their group - adding that he would either be with them, or against them. Danielson said he has never sold out, and if he had to choose he would choose to be AGAINST the No Remorse Corps - so bring it on! Erick Stevens and Matt Cross hit the ring and stood with Bryan Danielson, who challenged the No Remorse Corps to a six man tag. Roddy declined the offer, so Matt Cross did a flip over the top rope onto the NRC which eventually turned into a match anyway!

No Remorse Corps (Roderick Strong & Davey Richards & Rocky Romero) vs. American Dragon & Erick Stevens & Matt Cross: So much for ring rust, this would be American Dragon's third match of the night! When Roderick Strong first turned heel, I didn't think he had what it takes to be a successful heel, but he has done such a great job that I can't imagine him going back to being a babyface. The NRC isolated "Iron" Matt Cross and beat the crap out of him for several minutes. There was a spot where all three members of the Corps had submission moves on their opponents. It was a deadly kick from Rocky Romero to the head of Matt Cross followed by a DR Driver from Davey Richards to give the No Remorse Corps a big victory ( 7.5 / 10 ).

Tank Toland w/Bobby Dempsey vs. Mitch Franklin: There have been a few too many unbalances contests on this card. This was thankfully a quick squash, which focused on Tank Toland's relationship with chubby Bobby Dempsey. Seriously, I don't know why young Bobby hasn't gotten into better shape. Tank won and then ordered Dempsey to do a rolling senton on Mitch Franklin after the match ( 2 / 10 ).

Backstage, Delirious cut a long promo which is highly entertaining despite the fact that nobody has a clue what the heck he is saying. You could actually see bruises on Delirious' face through the eye holes.

Matt Sydal vs. Naomichi Marufuji: Now THIS is a match worthy of my time and attention - a classic first-time-ever match! They had the crowd in the palm of their hand the entire match. After some exciting action, Naomichi Marufuji hit his finisher and pinned Matt Sydal ( 8 / 10 ). The ROH fans in Hartford, not unlike myself, worship the ground Marufuji walks on.

Delirious vs. KENTA: As beloved as Marufuji is, KENTA is a small step above. KENTA had his hands full with the unorthodox ROH lizard-man Delirious, both physically and psychologically! ANOTHER first-time-ever match! This match was a bit slower than the previous match, but equally entertaining due to the comedy. KENTA plays the "straight man" very well, even though he is not a comedy wrestler. This slow-building match ended on a high note with KENTA walking away victorious ( 8 / 10 ).

The Briscoe Brothers vs. Takeshi Morishima & B.J. Whitmer: I'm not exactly sure how Whitmer and Morishima got hooked up, but I guess sometimes things just happen randomly - and that is okay as long as they put on entertaining matches. They said Morishima wanted to challenge for the ROH World Tag Team titles and he hand-picked Whitmer to be his partner against the Briscoes. I guess they are trying out B.J. Whitmer as a heel. Ring of Honor is the only company in North American with the balls to consistently feature Tag Team matches in their main events. This would have been your typical high endurance Briscoe performance were it not for their lack of effectiveness against the force of ROH World champion Takeshi Morishima. The 300+ pound Morishima was in rare form, doing some incredible offensive maneuvers, including repeated ascents to the top rope! Whitmer proved to be the weak link, and ended up taking the fall, allowing the Briscoes to keep their ROH World Tag Team titles ( 7.5 / 10 ). B.J. Whitmer shook hands with both Briscoes but in typical fashion, Takeshi Morishima disappeared right after the match.

The DVD ended with Part 1 of a documentary series featuring Lacey agreeing to spend four days with Jimmy Jacobs as sort of an extended date. This was his reward for a job-well-done with the Whitmer feud. The first day was a bit of a disaster, after Jacobs took the high maintenance Lacey to the bowling ally. Later at the bar, little Jimmy redeemed himself but sticking up for Lacey and kicking some dumb jock's ass. Jacobs did the right thing and got separate rooms at the hotel, and got the proverbial "wave" goodnight from Lacey. I have a feeling little Jimmy will win Lacey's heart by the end of their four-day adventure together.

Final Thoughts: There was too much fluff on this DVD, but they still had a healthy dose of good old fashioned ROH action with the big six man war, and the last three matches delivering the goods. The next night ROH taped its first PPV entitled Respect is Earned.

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