ROH WRESTLING DVD REVIEWS
| *** Official OWW.com ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***|
August 13, 2006 - ANARCHY IN THE UK - Broxbourne, England
ROH's second night in England started with the announcement by Austin Aries that he broke two ribs the night before and could not compete in his scheduled ROH World title match. ROH Champion American Dragon came out and questioned Aries' character and doubted that the injury was legit. Roderick Strong wouldn't stand for Dragon talking crap about one of the hardest working guys in wrestling, so he stepped in and challenged Dragon to defend the title against him instead. Dragon initially refused until the crowd started chanting "pussy" at him and then he changed his mind and agreed to the match, but reminded everyone that he's already beaten Roderick Strong three times. As Dragon was exiting, he was attacked by NOAH star SUWA with a series of stiff shots with a Kendo stick!
The opening match was between crowd-favorite Go Shiozaki and ROH loyalist B.J. Whitmer, who was also praised by the fans. I find both Shiozaki and SUWA embrace the old school style of Japanese wrestling - which is meant as a compliment. Neither man gave an inch as they went at it full force battling for the all-important victory. It got REALLY heated near the end as they exchanged multiple near falls as each man upped the risk factor with every move they went for. If you're going by the book, the amount of drama consumed by this match should never be done in the opening match of a wrestling card. Finally Shiozaki put Whitmer away with a moon-sault to put an end to the sleeper hit of the night ( 8.5 / 10 ). What a way to start the show!
Prince Nana and Jimmy Rave had some promo time and berated the Liverpool fans for throwing toilet paper at them the previous night. Jimmy Rave said he warned the UK fans before he made the eight hour flight not to throw toilet paper at him, so he was going to take it out on UK native Doug Williams TONIGHT!
The next match was a triple threat match featuring three of the UK's top Junior Heavyweights in Jody Fleisch, Jonny Storm, and Spud. I absolutely LOVE Fleisch and Storm but I'm sorry to say Spud looks like he should be selling popcorn. He seems to be over with the UK fans though, so what do I know. I expected a lot out of this one because all three had to be aware of all the American fans who would be viewing this DVD. They unofficially billed it as a battle for bragging rights to the best high flyer in the UK. Jonny Storm pinned Spud to win those bragging rights ( 7 / 10 ).
After the match, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli (wearing Hero's pants) and Chad Collyer attacked all three Junior Heavyweights and kicked them out of the ring. Now it all makes sense -- in my previous ROH DVD review, I questioned why Jimmy Bower made a point of saying Chad Collyer wasn't good enough to be on the ROH roster. This established Collyer as an outsider and now he's part of the invading force known as the Kings of Wrestling - clever, Mr. Sapolski, very clever! The fans began showering all three unwanted guests with toilet paper before Nigel McGuinness, Robbie Brookside and Colt Cabana came in to defend the "ring" of honor and set up an impromptu six man tag match.
Colt Cabana, Nigel McGuiness and Robbie Brookside defeated Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli and Chad Collyer in a really fun match ( 7.5 / 10 ). The crowd was chanting "We Love Wrestling!" during the match and I think that's the best chant ever - I hope that one catches on in America. It's crazy enough that Nigel McGuinness was even standing on his feet after what he went through the previous night, but he actually wrestled the match - albeit in a limited capacity.
American Dragon came out and challenged SUWA to come out and fight him with the ROH World title on the line! In my previous ROH DVD review, my first impressions of SUWA included the desire to see him wrestle someone like American Dragon. Thank you to the karma Gods. Dragon almost immediately suffered a cut on the side of his head at the hands of SUWA. Bare in mind, Dragon still had to wrestle Roderick Strong in the main event. Not to mention the fact that Dragon had his "toughest defense ever" the previous night against Nigel McGuinness. Dragon took a beating but was able to retain the ROH World title ( 7 / 10 ).
Despite a pre-match warning from Prince Nana, Jimmy Rave was engulfed by a fog of toilet paper as soon as he made his appearance. Jimmy Rave had intentions of taking out his frustrations on UK's own Doug Williams, however Williams pinned Rave after his famous Chaos Theory finisher ( 6.5 / 10 ). It was a really great match, but surrounded by such outstanding matches it came off as one of the less entertaining matches on the show. It would have been the match of the night in any other promotion.
They showed a brief backstage clip featuring American Dragon getting his head stitched up by a doctor. Dragon said a little cut wasn't going to stop him from defending his ROH World title against Roderick Strong in the main event.
The Briscoe Brothers suffered a heart-breaking loss to ROH World Tag Team Champions Austin Aries and Roderick Strong the previous night. They were now being challenged by the unique pairing of Matt Sydal and Davey Richards, who look like they could be an incredible tag combination if they began to team up regularly. Dave Prazak made a point of listing all the people who have issues with the Briscoe Brothers, citing the fact they are good at pissing people off. I always expect so much from matches like this, and fortunately for me most of the time my expectations are reached, and occasionally surpassed. This match did not start off as explosive as I would have wanted, but slowly the pace picked up as the minutes passed (A trademark of Briscoe matches). That's the best word I can think of to describe the Bricoes -- explosive! Late in the match, there was a brief flurry of high-impact offense and the fans sat there awestruck by the action until all four men were on their backs. At that point, the fans snapped out of it and gave the wrestlers a resounding standing ovation. When smoke cleared, the Briscoes took control and achieved victory after nailing both their opponents with EXPLOSIVE finishing maneuvers ( 8.5 / 10 ). That was awesome! *clap clap clap-clap-clap* That was awesome! was the response from the UK fans.
Next it was time for American Dragon's third title defense of the weekend, this time being challenged by Roderick Strong. Yes fans, the "You're gonna get your F'n head kicked in" chant has made it all the way to England. It didn't take long before the cut on Dragon's head opened up, and Roderick Strong suffered a laceration on the inside of his thigh - but they didn't acknowledge it. I've heard people say that this was the best match in the Dragon vs. Strong series, and they just might be correct with that proclamation. They delivered a dynamite match with American Dragon looking like he went to hell and back to survive the weekend ( 9 / 10 ).
Final Thoughts: I think it's a bit unrealistic for American Dragon to have three grueling title defenses in two nights - especially considering the first one was as brutal as it was. I think it sort of exposes the fact that everything is pre-determined and not legitimate. All three matches were incredible, but no man - not even the BEST WRESTLER IN THE WORLD - can withstand that kind of pressure. If ROH is trying to portray their selves as REAL, they cannot make mistakes like that. That's just my opinion.
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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