ROH WRESTLING DVD REVIEWS
| *** Official OWW.com ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***|
July 15, 2006 - DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR 4 - Philadelphia, PA
So it has finally come down to this; the ultimate finish to the six month inter-promotional war that has caught the attention of wrestling fans everywhere and resulted in some of the rowdiest moments in the history of professional wrestling. The battle of good vs. evil, pure vs. tainted, honor vs. garbage; regardless of what side you have been on, this one is for all the marbles. Get ready for ROH vs. CZW in............ CAGE OF DEATH!
But first, we have some preliminary matches for your viewing pleasure. Delirious kicked off the show with the closest thing to a squash match you will ever get in ROH. He took on the debuting Seth Delay, who has been making waves down in Florida's Full Impact Pro -- ROH's sister promotion. Delirious continues to build his cult following with this victory over the newcomer ( 4 / 10 ).
Next in line was the introduction of the newest member of Prince Nana's Embassy. Daizee Haze escorted a mystery man covered with a sheet down to the ring, and it turned out to be...................... Salvatore Rinauro! Okay, kind of disappointing, but it makes sense since he was left without a gimmick when Tony Mamaluke left ROH. As it turns out, Sal was hired by Nana to be the official stepping stool for "The Crown Jewel" Jimmy Rave during his entrance - the position formerly held by the beautiful Jade Chung. Jimmy Rave and Sal Rinauro took on Colt Cabana and Jay Lethal in a match that started out with another hilarious toilet paper shower for the Embassy. Rinauro got his ass beat for most of the match but Jimmy Rave snuck in at the end and picked up a clever victory in an okay match ( 6 / 10 ). The pre-match comedy was better than the match itself.
Back at "In Your Face," Roderick Strong made Pure Champion Nigel McGuiness tap out at the conclusion of a tag team match. It was now time for Roderick Strong to have his opportunity at Nigel's Pure championship and this ended up being the sleeper hit of the night. McGuinness got in trouble quickly after using up all three of his rope breaks. At this point it got very aggressive and the crowd made it known that they were having a good time by chanting "This is Awesome!" at the players. ROH keeps coming up with creative finishes for Nigel to retain his belt, and for this match he was trying to cause a Double Countout when he DDT'd Strong on the concrete floor! Strong tried to crawl into the ring, but Nigel pulled his leg and sling-shotted himself back into the ring just as the referee reached the 20-count. Nigel retains the Pure championship by Countout ( 8 / 10 ).
Jim Cornette made his appearance and did his part in riling up the CZW fans. Once again they split the arena in half for this event, a tactic that is truly unique and added to the over-all atmosphere to this very important storyline. Jim Cornette declined Homicide's demands, and therefore was in search of a new 5th member of Team ROH. American Dragon came out and said he wanted to be the 5th member and didn't want any favours in return, wanting only to defend the honor of ROH. American Dragon has kept his big nose out of the ROH/CZW war and I always wondered why the Champion was never apart of it. Dragon always seemed to have his own storylines going on and couldn't be bothered, but I'm glad that factored him into the big showdown to help close the door on this chapter Ring of Honor history.
Irish Airborne showed a lot of improvement and proved that they could hang with the more experienced Briscoe Brothers. Did you ever wonder if the Briscoes named themselves after the original Brisco Brothers, Jack and Jerry? And also do you think they chose their first names after Mark and Jay Youngblood of the 80s? The Briscoes won the match ( 6.5 / 10 ).
Crazy Ace Steel cut a really awesome promo hyping the Cage of Death main event. It fact, all the ROH guys got to cut very passionate speeches about the much anticipated Cage of Death. None of the CZW were allowed to speak, which doesn't seem fair, but like sucks don't it?
Davey Richards has been the buzz of the independent wrestling circuit ever since he won the prestigious ECWA Super 8 Tournament earlier this year. Ring of Honor was the next logical step for him and he has become the undisputed rookie of the year for ROH, putting on some of the best matches of 2006. ROH bookers are not shy about putting Richards in the ring with some of its top talent and this DVD was no different. "The Phenomenal" A.J. Styles took on Davey Richards and was taken by surprise with some of Davey's unique offense, but Styles scored the victory in the end ( 8 / 10 ). I think it would have been more appropriate for Styles to do the job and put Richards over, but I guess TNA wouldn't let their star get beaten by a newcomer. Great match!
Sonjay Dutt represented CZW in challenging for the ROH World championship against American Dragon. I have never seen Dutt play the heel, and I have got to say I love it! Dutt taunted the ROH fans and encouraged the CZW fans, while Dragon taunted the CZW fans and encouraged the ROH fans. The fans brought back the highly entertaining "You're gonna get your F'n head kicked in" chant, the origins of which are quite hilarious if you know the story. This was the perfect set-up for the Cage of Death. American Dragon retained the ROH World title by referee stoppage after a series of sudden elbow shots to Dutt's neck, head, chest and face ( 7.5 / 10 ). American Dragon sent a strong message to CZW as the crew began the construction of the ultra-violent Cage of Death.
During the intermission, the legendary Gary Michael Cappetta interviewed Nigel McGuinness. Something interesting happened when cameras caught Colt Cabana and Lacey getting friendly with each other, and when Lacey saw the camera she quickly and quietly exited the area -- what's up with that?
The thing about the Cage of Death structure is that it changes every year and you never know what sort of dangerous elements will be implemented. The cage circled the entire ringside area in the shape of an octagon and there were man weapons laid out between the ring and the cage wall. This match was fought under traditional war games rules with two men starting, and then having a coin flip to see what team would have the advantage with a new man entering every two minutes. A nice touch was added with the special appearance of James J. Dillon, the man who led the IV Horsemen into so many War Games matches in the past. I'm not going to give a lot of detail on what all happened in this match because I would not want to rob you of the opportunity to experience it yourself when you purchase the DVD. The commentary booth was abandoned and, as the old saying goes, the action spoke for itself. The emotions of the six-month feud were over-flowing as the fans went into chaos-mode while the wrestlers fought for bragging rights in the city of brotherly love. Team ROH consisted of Samoa Joe, B.J. Whitmer, American Dragon, Adam Pearce, and Crazy Ace Steel (who brought a cowbell); while Team CZW included Claudio Castagnoli, Chris Hero, Spyder Nate Webb (who looks like a 95 year old man), Necro Butcher and a mystery partner. Some of the weapons at ringside included a couple of ladders of various sizes, a table wrapped in barbed wire (cringe), folding metal chairs, a barbed wire baseball bat, trash cans with lids and a whole lot more. I have seen a couple CZW Cage of Death matches and they usually aren't this organized. They held off on using a lot of the weapons until the advantage swung in CZW's favor. This made for a much better match in the long-run, as opposed to doing weapon spots 30 seconds into the contest for no reason. Ring of Honor was dominating the first half of the match until a member of Team ROH betrayed his team and attacked his own ROH stable mate! The blood started to flow and ROH's hopes for victory looked like they were going down the drain as Chris Hero got on the microphone and put salt in the wounds with a verbal tirade on ROH and introduced CZW's mystery partner -- Eddie Kingston! CZW was all but ready to claim victory when the "Notorious 187" Homicide showed up and passed out forks to all of his ROH teammates. Necro Butcher walked barefoot through a pile of thumbtacks. Team ROH carved away at the foreheads of their enemies while Adam Pearce pile-drove Claudio Castagnoli on the concrete floor. Pearce then gorilla pressed Spyder Nate Webb over the top rope into the cage! The CZW fans started chanting "6-on-5!" noticing the CZW advantage, and the ROH fans shot back with "You Can't Count!" noticing that it was actually a 5-on-4 advantage for CZW -- I guess maybe if you count the two referees the CZW fans were right. Everyone in the match took some kind of insane bump and everybody had their heads sliced open -- yes, even Claudio Castagnoli! At this point, the over-the-top insane stunt portion of the match began, and anybody who has seen a C.O.D. match knows there are plenty of unreal "Holy Shit" moments. The insanity came to a close when Homicide delivered a bone-crunching Cop-killa (Vertibreaker) onto Nate Webb on top of a board of barbed wire - a fitting end to the surefire ROH match of the year ( 10 / 10 )! As I've stated countless times before, I'm not a big fan of "garbage wrestling" and all this unrealistic violence but the booking of this feud has been so incredible and logical that everything made sense and everything was done for reason.
Jim Cornette came out and proclaimed that we just saw some garbage wrestling and the garbage wrestlers got their butts kicked! Jim Cornette thanked everybody and granted Homicide his three wishes; 1) A fight with Steve Corino in ROH, 2) An ROH World title shot, 3) To Bring Back Low-ki -- But when Cornette refused to reinstate Low-Ki, Homicide spit straight in Cornette's face. J.J. Dillon locked the cage door and Adam Pearce handcuffed Homicide to the corner so Cornette could whip Homicide with a leather belt! What a bizarre twist! This is the beginning of a Homicide vs Cornette feud that would dominate the second half of 2006.
Final Thoughts: Three words; get this DVD! Unbelievable!! Three and a half hours of classic ROH, the greatest wrestling company in the World. 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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