ROH WRESTLING DVD REVIEWS
| *** Official OWW.com ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***|
April 1, 2006 - BETTER THAN OUR BEST - Chicago, Illinois
Ring of Honor finished off their first ever triple shot with yet another spectacular show in Chicago Ridge, Illinois just 24-hours before WWE's big WrestleMania 22 event to be held on the other side of town. The ROH show still featured some of the finest talent to ever step inside a squared circle.
The opening match was a hot 6-Man Mayhem match including some veteran names, rising stars, and rookie talent. Jack Evans showcased his usual dare-devil set of move on his wat to victory over Matt Sydal, Jimmy Jacobs, Ace Steel (whose entrance music kicks butt), David Crist and Jake Crist ( 7 / 10 ). Evans now departs for Japan to do an extensive three month tour with Dragon Gate. Best of luck and please come home in one piece!
Commissioner Jim Cornette called Delirious out to the ring for a bit of a pep talk. Cornette praised Delirious for his skills but was quick to point out his lack of victories in Ring of Honor. Cornette gave Delirious one more chance to pick any opponent and if he didn't win, he would lose his spot on the ROH roster. Delirious grabbed the microphone and shouted a few things in his lizard language and called out Ricky Reyes, whom he had an altercation with the previous night. Delirious did indeed pick up the elusive victory over Reyes to secure his position in the company and solidify his status with his adoring fans ( 6.5 / 10 ).
The Embassy's Prince Nana paid Dragon Gate's Masato Yoshino to team up with Alex Shelley and Jimmy Rave as they went up against the Do-Fixer faction also from Dragon Gate in Japan. It seemed like everything the Japanese guys touched this weekend turned to gold, as this match turned out to be another slobber-knocker of a contest ( 8 / 10 )
Four-Corner Survival featured three of ROH's biggest legends in Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles. They were joined by a rising star in Jimmy Yang, who is bring elevated in the minds of fans just by being placed in the ring with such amazing talent. Joe, Styles and Daniels were, of course, engaged in a massive feud in TNA at one point so they all know each other very well - which makes for an amazing dynamic. It really goes without saying that all four men delivered stellar performances making for an incredible match ( 8 / 10 ). I really thought Jimmy Yang should have won and catapult up the Top 5 Rankings but Samoa Joe came out on top and issued a challenge to ROH World Champion American Dragon. Dragon came out to the ring and really gave the fans a hard time and set up a future match between Joe & Dragon for the rights to be called an ROH Icon, but more importantly for the ROH Title.
CZW reared its ugly swollen head at this point, hitting the ring and brawling with Adam Pearce all over the arena. Claudio Castagnoli showed up but was quickly dumped and appeared to have injured his knee causing Jim Cornette to jump into the ring and take a beating. It was very subtle but Castagnoli appears to be on ROH's side but never seems to be effective with his defense. There is more going on here than meets the eye and I'm very interested to see what direction they are taking on this one. The CZW guys really took a bite out of ROH by destroying BJ Whitmer's already injured knee and also injuring Commissioner Jim Cornette, thus taking him out of the storyline (I assume).
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong successfully defended their titles against Dragon Gate's Blood Generation team of CIMA & Naruki Doi. Another insane outing for the Japanese contingent who really helped make the triple-shot weekend extra special with their unique style and innovative moves. Aries was the star of the match, after having his nose completely smashed and bloodied mid-way through the match and somehow fighting through the pain. The crowd was into the match chanting "This is Awesome!" and "Holy Shit!" at various times during the match. The Dragon Gate guys were showered with loud chants of "Please Come Back" and then CIMA used his broken English to proclaim his love for R-O-H, causing the fans to erupt with chants of R!O!H! ( 9 / 10 ).
Finally the match I have been waiting to see for months; One of my all-time favorites from Calgary, *dramatic pause* Alberta, Canada; coming out of retirement to challenge American Dragon for the ROH World Title. Lance Storm brought his "A" Game and proved to fans that he could still put on a great match. The crowd showered Storm with Red and White streamers before the match which was a nice touch. By the way, note to fans: Streamers are to be thrown during ring introductions not when the house lights are still down. Storm delivered big time and the fans showed their appreciation like no other wrestling crowd ever could and it was yet another special moment for ROH's biggest weekend in its history ( 8.5 / 10 ). My greedy side is hoping we will see more of Lance Storm in ROH, as I fantasized that maybe Gabe Sapolsky (the genius behind ROH) could sign Chris Jericho to face Storm in a match in the Ring of Honor! Whooooo hoooo!!!
The main event was a Chicago Street Fight between Chicago's own Colt Cabana taking on the man who has ruined his life for the past six months - Homicide! I couldn't help but spot the irony, as the ring filled with ultra-violent weapons, that ROH is fighting to keep "garbage wrestlers" from CZW out of their company, yet the war zone created by Cabana & Homicide somewhat resembled almost every single CZW main event. I guess the argument would be that it's okay to do something like that once in a while when the storyline permits it, but not several times per show like CZW does it. Personally, I usually fast-forward through garbage wrestling matches unless there is some good booking behind the match. The Cabana/Homicide feud has been escalating for the past six months and has reached a boiling point where a match like this is necessary to blow all the steam off. They used a barbed wire board, tables, and a fork to torture each other for a half hour. Cabana used Homicide's ghetto fork to slice open his head and then unsympathetically poured a bottle of rubbing alcohol over the wounds - I know it was probably water or something in the bottle but the illusion of such horror was just cruel and unusual! Cringe moment! Homicide called for fans to start throwing chairs into the ring, and soon squared circle became buried in folding metal. Colt Cabana hit a crazy Super-plex on top of the mountain of chairs, and followed up with a Lariat and a Colt-45 to win! After the match, Cabana was attacked by The Rotweillers until Homicide called them off and shockingly told Cabana that he respected him and shook his hand and hugged him in the middle of the ring to finally end one of the most brutal feuds in ROH history. Cabana finally achieved piece of mind and was able to smile for the first time in months and celebrate with his trademark dance moves to put a couple dozen exclamation marks at the end of a unforgettable weekend of ROH action ( 9 / 10).
Final Thoughts: All of the ROH wrestlers were undoubtedly hurting after such a grueling weekend so I am here to say Thank You guys (and girls) for a brilliant series of high quality shows. I couldn't help but think of how great a job ROH did all weekend long with its booking. The final three matches all included very memorable endings which closely resembled what WWE would call a "WrestleMania Moment". The sight of Aries & Strong raising the arms of CIMA & Doi, witnessing American Dragon shake Lance Storm's hand, and especially watching Homicide & Colt Cabana wrap up their six month feud are scenes that will be etched in my mind for many years. 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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