ROH WRESTLING DVD REVIEWS
| *** Official OWW.com ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***|
March 4, 2007 - FIFTH YEAR FESTIVAL: FINALE - Liverpool, England
Day two of the Ring of Honor stay in Liverpool, England was also the final stop on the historic Fifth Year Festival series. Not only was it the Finale of the 5th Year Anniversary, but it was the Finale of Samoa Joe's remarkable career in Ring of Honor.
Delirious vs. Colt Cabana: The show opened the way every show should open, with the stimulating appearance of Delirious. Colt Cabana did a tribute to legendary British wrestler Big Daddy by coming out to his music and all his gimmicks. For those of you who live under a rock, Delirious has a gimmick where he sits quietly in the corner until the bell rings, at which point he goes absolutely crazy running in and out and around the ring like a madman. Well, Colt Cabana decided to fight fire with fire, and when the bell rang, Cabana went nuts running around the ring - which confused Delirious into a calm silence. You can't put these two wrestlers in the ring and not have some comedy. Delirious had his mask twisted and was temporarily blinded, so he kept trying to pin referee Todd Sinclair. Delirious realized something wasn't right when he felt Sinclair's "plump" physic with his hands. In fact, referee Todd Sinclair became very physically involved in the match. They finally got down to business and started wrestling until Delirious scored what I consider an upset victory with a surprise roll-up on Cabana ( 7 / 10 ). Great way to start a pro-wrestling show.
Allison Danger & Sara Del Rey vs. Jetta & Eden Black: It was time for a SHIMMER Women Athlete's special attraction match with British female wrestlers, Jetta and Eden Black, challenging the larger more experienced team of Allison Danger and Sara Del Rey, collectively known as the Dangerous Angels. Jetta isn't a believable heel in my opinion - I've seen her work as a babyface and I definitely prefer that. "The Jezebel" Eden Black is a great heel though and has some solid wrestling skills, which makes up for her lack of size. Whenever I see The Jezebel, I think of her as "Mini Lita" - and that's meant as a compliment. I fully expected to see the Angels eat up these two spitfires alive - but they were kind enough to give them some of the spotlight. Del Rey finished off Jetta with a Royal Butterfly to win the match ( 6 / 10 ). There were handshakes all around after the match, as Jetta and Jezebel had to be grateful for the opportunity. I look forward to seeing both of them on future SHIMMER DVDs.
Falls Count Anywhere Match - B.J. Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs: Even before the SHIMMER girls cleared out of the ring, the cameras found the Falls Count Anywhere match between Whitmer and Jacobs getting started prematurely. They followed the fight around the building, and Jacobs found himself dangling dangerously over the balcony railing just as he did the previous night, but once again avoided falling down to the floor. Jacobs took several falls down a flight of stairs and then jumped off a table to hit a hurricanrana on Whitmer. Jacobs then climbed up onto the balcony and jumped off connecting with a cross-body on Whitmer, who saved Jacobs from injury by breaking his fall. Finally they made it to the ring, where Jacobs pulled the railroad spike out of his book and speared Whitmer's forehead with it - causing the blood to flow down Whitmer's face and chest. Jacobs started wiping Whitmer's blood across his own chest and face, to which the fans chanted "you sick f*ck!" - I agree. Jacobs even rubbed his face in the puddle of blood left on the mat by B.J. Whitmer, who obviously bladed himself a little too deep and bleed way too much too fast. Whitmer reversed the Contra-code and hit an Adrenalin Spike Pile-driver, but Jacobs kicked out after a 2-count. Both men where covered in Whitmer's blood as they started exchanging stiff chops. They fell out of the ring again, and B.J. Whitmer finished off Jimmy Jacobs with a Brain-buster on the ramp leading to the ring ( 8.5 / 10 ). These two psychos never fail to push the envelope every time they get in the ring together. It's almost inhumane to allow it - even if it is pre-determined.
Matt Sydal vs. PAC: Two high flying dare-devil's locked it up, as the arrogant heel Matt Sydal took on breakout British star PAC. The previous night, PAC proved why he has received so many rave reviews all across the UK, and on this night it was no different. PAC fought hard but was pinned after a picture-perfect shooting star press by Matt Sydal ( 7.5 / 10 ). Mr. Sydal didn't even have to cheat to win this one.
Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe: Back on August 24, 2002, the Briscoe Brothers wrestled each other for the first time and not only helped put Ring of Honor on the map, but solidified their spot on the ROH roster for years to come. They have wrestled a couple of times since then, and every time it happens it is truly something special. Now in 2007, the Briscoes are giving themselves a gut-check, trying to toughen each other up so they can refocus on the ROH Tag Team titles. There was no heat involved, but there was a lot of pride on the line and neither man wanted to have his shoulders pinned by his own brother. You could really see how far along each Briscoe has come in the last five years. Their first match in 2002 was a series of "Holy Shit" moments with very little rhyme or reason. But they have both evolved into more well-rounded performers, executing power-moves and submission holds and fewer unnecessary stunts. The intensity was so high at certain points that you really thought they would kill each other. In fact they pushed each other so hard that it actually ended with both men knocked out in the middle of the ring and was ruled as DRAW after 30-minutes of action ( 9 / 10 ). The crowd was 110% satisfied and chanted "That Was Awesome!" and "Thank you, Briscoes!" and gave them a well deserved standing ovation once they were revived. In true Briscoe fashion, the brothers knocked fists and exited the ring as a unit - perhaps more unified than ever before.
ROH World Tag Team Titles - Shingo Takagi & Naruki Doi vs. Roderick Strong & Davey Richards: I'm really digging this No Remorse Corps group that Roderick Strong and Davey Richards have assembled. Naruki and Shingo have this refreshing ability to make great lemonade out of rotten lemons. Okay bad analogy. But most of their matches end up stealing the show, when the scheduled match might not look that great on paper. It was very entertaining and the crowd was into it from bell-to-bell. The Dragon Gate duo retained their titles in a great tag team match ( 8 / 10 ).
Fight Without Honor - Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Rave: A "Fight Without Honor" is a fancy way for ROH to bill a No-Holds-Barred Grudge match. The feud between Nigel McGuinness and Jimmy Rave goes back several months now and is a culmination of Jimmy Rave's heel transformation. Nigel McGuinness was competing with a leg injury that he suffered in his match with Samoa Joe the previous night, which made Jimmy Rave's heel hook submission hold even more dangerous. They did some hardcore stuff with weapons at the beginning of the match but then resorted to some in-ring wrestling. I can't believe how many hot matches have been on this card, and Samoa Joe's last match is yet to come. The primary weapon used in this match was a piece of guard rail that was bent into a pretzel by the end of the fight. Jimmy Rave got his heel hook on Nigel McGuinness, who screamed in pain but refused to submit. While fighting to get out of the move, McGuinness inadvertently back-handed the referee. Nigel McGuinness recovered and hit a jaw-dropping Tower of London onto the mangled guard rail (words cannot describe). The original referee was shown bleeding from the mouth and going into convulsions. Nigel McGuinness was energized by the fans and finished Jimmy Rave off with a huge Lariat to win the match ( 8.5 / 10 ).
Samoa Joe vs. Homicide w/Julius Smokes: I shouldn't have to sell you on the historical significance of this match. Samoa Joe is a major link the chain that carried Ring of Honor to world-wide prominence over the past five years. Joe's departure has been drawn out and given the proper respect that has been so richly deserved. Joe came out all fired up by emotions quickly boiled over for the "Samoan Submission Machine." Joe requested that his friend Homicide be his opponent in his final match due to their storied history in ROH. Joe was in a celebratory mood and left the ring to grab a beer from the concession stand before being called back to the ring by Homicide. Homicide actually went heel late in the match, as to get more cheers for the man-of-the-hour, Samoa Joe. Julius Smokes even got into the act, resulting in him becoming the last recipient of the Ole Ole kick in Ring of Honor. Joe went for a second Ole Ole kick but was hit by a Tope Con Heelo by Homicide, who bounced/slid off of Joe and landed in the second row! A minute later Joe connected with a Muscle-buster off the second ropes and pinned Homicide 1-2-3 to reign victorious in his final ROH match ( 8.5 / 10 ).
It was time for Samoa Joe to have his moment in the spotlight. The ROH roster filed out onto the stage and joined the crowd in showing their respect for the ROH Legend. Joe was visibly emotional as he delivered his final farewell speech. Joe put over the rest of the ROH wrestlers and called Gabe Sapolsky a "creative genius." Joe called Ring of Honor the wrestling alternative and the crowd chanted "This is Wrestling! This is Wrestling!" Joe said a few more words and finished his speech, kissed the ROH logo in the ring, took a bow, and exited for the last time to head for what I'm sure was one wild and crazy after party.
Final Thoughts: They concluded the DVD with a really well produced video package featuring some of Samoa Joe's greatest moments in Ring of Honor. It was a wonderful trip down memory lane and a fitting tribute to someone who really deserves it. I hope this next comment doesn't come off as tasteless, but it's so refreshing to see these kinds of touching tributes to wrestlers who are actually ALIVE. Why do wrestlers have to DIE to be honored in this manner?
Anyway..... what a frickin' amazing DVD! There were four, possibly five, match of the year candidates on this show. Combined with the emotional farewell to ROH's biggest legend - this made for a definite must-have for any fan of the Ring of Honor product.
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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