It is a sacred tradition that whenever the ROH World title changes hands, the next show begins with the NEW Champion being interviewed in the ring of honor. However Takeshi Morishima's gimmick is that he is off the page, and perhaps deliberately defies all ROH custom - for whatever reason. Fellow NOAH grappler, Nigel McGuinness, was sent out to the ring to speak for Morishima. McGuinness said that Morishima only comes to the ring if it's to kick some ass, which is what he'll do later tonight against B.J. Whitmer. Irish Airborne came out and challenged Nigel McGuinness to a tag match tonight. Takeshi Morishima suddenly showed up and destroyed both Jake and David Crist and immediately left with his belt. Lacey came out with Jimmy Jacobs and Brent Albright suggesting that Nigel McGuiness not get involved in their business with Colt Cabana tonight. Nigel McGuinness called Lacey a "slag" but was then attacked by Jimmy Rave and put into the dreaded Heel-hook! Colt Cabana rushed the ring to help Nigel McGuinness and their match started early with Nigel's ankle already hurting.
Colt Cabana & Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Brent Albright w/Lacey: The heels worked over Nigel's ankle for most of the match. Then when the time was right, Jacobs wrapped a guitar string around Cabana's throat and choked him mercifully (for Lacey) until McGuinness came to the rescue taking Jimmy's head off with a Lariat for the win ( 7 / 10 )!
Jimmy Rave vs. Sterling Keenan: Sterling Keenan is supposed to be called Sterling JAMES Keenan, but I'm not sure why they dropped the middle name - perhaps WWE has it trademarked (ha ha). Keenan looks a hell of a lot different than the last time I saw him; he has shorter hair and completely different ring gear. He does have the size to fit in anywhere he might work - including WWE. I knew Keenan was only there to serve as a victim to get Jimmy Rave's finishing move over even more than it already is. Predictably, Jimmy Rave was victorious with the dreaded Heel-hook submission ( 5.5 / 10 ). After the match, Nigel McGuinness attacked Jimmy Rave and gave him a devastating European Uppercut that sent Rave flying over the guard rail into the second row!
Grudge Match - Lacey w/Jimmy Jacobs vs. Daizee Haze: This is the first time these two bitter enemies have fought in a one-on-one match in Ring of Honor, although they have wrestled each other dozens of times elsewhere so they are very familiar with one another. Delirious was shown sitting in the crowd, unable to compete due to a concussion he suffered at the hands of Roderick Strong on 2/17 in Philadelphia. Daizee Haze was in the process of finishing off Lacey when Jimmy Jacobs entered the ring and speared Daizee Haze behind the referees back. Lacey takes the tainted victory and was showered with chants of "Bullsh*t! Bullsh*t!" ( 7.5 / 10 ).
The biggest waste of money and air time, Rebecca Bayless, tried to interview Delirious from his seat in the audience but Delirious remained silent and blankly stared towards the ring.
Austin Aries said he was going to search the world and form the greatest faction in Ring of Honor history. Aries also said he would take the Open The Brave Gate title from Matt Sydal tonight and take it back to Dragon Gate
Three Way Dance - Jay Briscoe vs. Homicide vs. Christopher Daniels w/Allison Danger: This match was deliberately set up to feature three guys who have basically been with Ring of Honor since the very beginning. Throw Allison Danger in that category as well. Speaking of Allison Danger, damn she looks amazing. If you're reading this - call me, baby. I feel so bad for the first couple of rows, who had to somehow avoid getting distracted by Danger's backside peaking out from under her skirt - might have been difficult to enjoy the really cool match going on inside the ring. The now former ROH World Champion Homicide won after nailing Christopher Daniels with an Ace Crusher off the second rope ( 7.5 / 10 ).
Dragon Gate Open The Brave Gate Champion Matt Sydal vs. Austin Aries: These two guys are in what I like to call the "everything they touch turns to gold" club. Aries and Sydal have tremendous chemistry and it would be truly uncharacteristic for them to NOT have a good match together. Matt Sydal's Open the Brave Gate championship was on the line, so naturally Sydal won the match so he could return to Dragon Gate with his belt and his dignity ( 8 / 10 ). After the match, Roderick Strong and Davey Richards attacked Austin Aries until Delirious jumped out of his seat in the crowd and made the save for Aries.
The painfully untalented Rebecca Bayless wasted some time during intermission interviewing Lacey and Jimmy Jacobs. Lacey praised the grinning Jacobs for what he did to Cabana tonight, but added that she wants Jacobs to KILL Cabana tomorrow night. Lacey whispered a reward in Jimmy's ear and walked away as Jacobs looked into the camera and said "I'll do anything to ensure that happens!" - why do we need Bayless to stand there and hold the microphone?
Tank Toland w/Larry Sweeney vs. Mitch Franklin: Larry Sweeney came out and said Chris Hero was in Japan but put the ROH locker room on notice, saying Hero would be back in the United States soon. Sweeney praised the fitness trainer Tank Toland and insulted the "inferior athlete" Mitch Franklin. Tank Toland ate Mitch Franklin alive in a short squash match ( 2 / 10 ). Very Boring.
Six Man Mayhem - Matt Cross vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Shingo vs. Mark Briscoe vs. Pelle Primeau vs. Roderick Strong : Claudio Castagnoli is still resisting the obvious pressure to turn full fledged babyface. The fans adore him and want so badly to hear one word come out of his mouth - HEY!!!! What a mixed bag of talent featured in this match - the proverbial melting pot of ROH. "Iron" Matt Cross continues to steal the show with his unique style of high flying offense. They did the gimmick where all six men got into a submission pretzel (so to speak). Poor Pelle Primeau took yet another perpetual pounding at the hands of all five of his opponents. Late in the match, Austin Aries ran down and chased Roderick Strong away from the ring. Claudio Castagnoli won the match after tossing Matt Cross up in the air and hitting (actually missing by a few inches) a European Uppercut ( 7.5 / 10 ). All the praise was given to Pelle Primeau, who left the ring with a red rash on his chest.
Samoa Joe vs. Davey Richard: The farewell tour for Samoa Joe continued with this match against No Remorse Corps enforcer, Davey Richards. Of course Joe was welcomed with chants of "Please don't go!" and "F*ck TNA!" - yeah cozy up to the guy by insulting his employer. Davey Richards was on a mission to prove that he could hang with the ROH legend, Samoa Joe. Richards survived a vicious beating including a couple of Ole Ole kicks and several minutes in the Rear Naked Choke. Finally the No Remorse philosophy shone through and Richards connected with a pair of low blows to turn the advantage in his favour. It didn't last long as Joe caught Davey on the top rope and hit a SICK Muscle-buster on the edge of the ring apron and scored the pinfall to win the match ( 8 / 10 ). The Dayton fans showed their appreciation by giving Joe a "Thank you, Joe!" ovation after the match. Joe helped Davey up and offered to shake hands but Davey callously spit in Joe's face! This was of course their way of getting heat on the No Remorse Corps. Samoa Joe gave another farewell speech and praised the Dayton fans and concluded by saying "I am Samoa Joe, this is Ring of Honor, and I LOVE PRO-WRESTLING!"
ROH World Title Match - Takeshi Morishima vs. B.J. Whitmer: For the second time, Takeshi Morishima attacked his opponent before ring introductions could be made. Morishima continues to trample on all of the ROH traditions - what a heel! The pressure was on Whitmer, because commitments in Japan would keep Morishima off of the next four Ring of Honor events, thus the ROH World title would not be defended on four important shows. Morishima retained his title and will now take the belt back to Tokyo ( 7 / 10 ).
Final Thoughts: Most Ring of Honor shows have at least one Match of the Year candidate but this show was noticeably void of a show-stealer. Sure, there were some great matches, but the bar is raised in ROH and nothing stood out as over the top incredible. So in that respect, I would recommend passing on this one and going after the next ROH DVD.
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