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*** Official ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
November 4, 2005 - SHOWDOWN IN MOTOWN - Detroit, Michigan

The show got off to an inspirational start with ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette cutting a promo about the history of Detroit wrestling specifically mentioning the Sheik. West coast indy sensation Adam Pearce showed up and started demanding title shots in Ring of Honor, to which Cornette quickly pointed out that it is customary for wrestlers to EARN their opportunities inside the ROH ring. I agree whole-heartedly and so did Adam Pearce, who said he would do just that.

The beautiful Lacey led her man B.J. Whitmer to the ring to face the unorthodox lizard man known as Delirious in the opening match of the card. I like both of these guys and this was a decent opener that got the fans going, not that they needed any help (***). After that we were treated to highlights of a 3-WAY Top of Class Trophy match -- I have yet to see an ROH student who looks like a future champion, but Davey Andrews (the first graduate) does look like he's got a bright future.

The Pure title was on the line, as Switzerland's own Claudio Castagnoli battled Britain's Nigel McGuinness for McGuinnesses championship. Claudio finally got his shot at the Pure title after the Champion did everything in his power to avoid putting the belt on the line. Nigel took a page out of Eddie Guerrero's book when he grabbed the Iron and tossed it to Claudio and played dead so the referee would DQ Castagnoli. Sadly 6 days later Eddie Guerrero would tragically pass away. This match was short but served its purpose for setting up a rematch at some point down the line (*** 1/2). McGuinness would later state that if Castagnoli wanted a rematch he would have to earn one, and it ain't gonna be easy.

Generation Next's Roderick Strong & Jack Evans took on one half of the ROH Tag Team Champions Salvatore Rinauro and his partner for one night only Chad Collyer (subbing for the injured Tony Mamaluke). Great effort from everybody but I expected a lot more from Roderick Strong one week after his World title match. This match was capped off by one a spectacular finishing move from Generation Next to finish off their opponents and bring the fans to their feet!

Homicide and Colt Cabana were scheduled to be two out of the four combatants in a 4-Corner Survival match but a big fight broke out before the match which ended with Colt Cabana suplexing Homicide off the bleachers through a Table. These lengthy brawls are a good "break" from the wrestling matches and this one served to further hype the eventual meeting between Homicide and Colt Cabana. ROH understands the value in building up a feud to maximize its effect in a long term program. Commissioner Jim Cornette replaced Homicide & Cabana with Jimmy Jacobs & Adam Pearce.

The 4-Corner Survival match started right after that with Christopher Daniels vs Samoa Joe vs Adam Pearce vs Jimmy Jacobs. Four very experienced talent but Adam Pearce was still a newcomer to the land of Honor. This was one of the worst 4-Corner Survival matches I can remember. The story at the finish was Christopher Daniels scoring a pinfall over Samoa Joe for the first time in ROH. Their 1-on-1 match tomorrow night at Vendetta. Adam Pearce still has to modify his style just a little bit to fit in with ROH. (** 3/4)

The SHIMMER girls were up next with Allison Danger facing Daizee Haze in a short match. This was miles above what WWE offers so in that respect it was a five star match. However by SHIMMER & ROH standards it was kind of lacking (*** 1/4). I'm begging ROH to book a SHIMMER match with some kind of cool stipulation like Falls Count Anywhere or First Blood.

Finally something worth getting excited about. The culmination of a year long feud went down as Generation Next's Austin Aries squared off against The Embassy's Alex Shelley. This feud goes back to when Shelley was ousted as the leader of Gen-Next in favor of Aries (****). Prince Nana, Abyss & Jimmy Rave hit the ring and attacked Aries after the match, until AJ Styles & Matt Sydal hit the ring to make the save. This led to a tag match between Styles/Sydal vs Abyss/Rave. Rave was showered with rolls of toilet paper before the match and he played it up as usual with the fans loving every minute of his temper tantrum. Styles/Sydal came out on top of this match and it was pretty good too. (*** 3/4). I enjoyed both of these matches but they were just more set-ups leading towards Steel Cage Warfare on 12/3 - which I am really looking forward to watching!

The main event of the evening featured ROH World Champion American Dragon defending his championship against hometown favorite TNA's Chris Sabin. Sabin had gotten his hands on one of Dragon's "open contracts" which he sent to various promotions around the world. It was a good solid performance concluding with Danielson making Sabin tap out to the Stronghold to send a message to Roderick Strong leading into their rematch tomorrow night at Vendetta (****).

Final Thoughts: By ROH standards, this was a weak show. But like I've said many times before, even the worst ROH shows are great. If you would like to purchase this or any other ROH DVD, please check out - Thank you!

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