Caged Rage (DVD Review)

*** ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
August 24, 2007 – – Hartford, Connecticut

Chris Hero w/Sweet & Sour Inc. vs. Hallowicked: The green and black masked Hallowicked was looking for that all-important victory which would secure his spot on the Ring of Honor roster, but the odds were not in his favor as he went up against Chris Hero, who always has the support of Sweet & Sour Inc. at ringside. Larry Sweeney was flanked by the lovely Sara Del Rey, and the pathetic Bobby Dempsey. Hallowicked had a lot of support from the fans, but could not defeat the combined forces of Sweet & Sour Inc. Chris Hero won the match and continued to climb up the ladder towards another ROH World title shot. During a backstage promo after the match, Chris Hero set his sights on former tag team partner, Claudio Castagnoli. Finally.

Jimmy Jacobs vs. Rhett Titus: Jimmy Jacobs received a hero’s welcome upon his return to Ring of Honor action. For the time being, at least, Jimmy has gone back to his fun-loving ways. Unfortunately there was no return of the infamous fuzzy boots. Jimmy broke out a new submission hold and made Titus tap out. Backstage, Jimmy delivered a message to Lacey, saying that his knee was 100% and he was ready to go!

Adam Pearce (w/Shane Hagadorn) vs. B.J. Whitmer vs. Delirious vs. Nigel McGuinness: Considering the people involved in this match, this victory has to be one that is very important to each of the participants. B.J. Whitmer is still trying to put an end to his recent disappointing slump. Nigel McGuinness crushed Whitmer’s hopes of getting back on track with a stiff Jawbreaker Lariat – giving McGuinness the victory! After the match, Delirious was checking on Whitmer when Pearce assaulted him from behind. Shane Hagadorn joined in and Delirious fought back until Brent Albright hit the ring and dumped Delirious on his head! Pearce ordered Albright to do it again, and Albright complied! Albright held Delirious while Pearce yelled at him on the microphone about hiding behind his mask. Hagadorn pulled out a staple gun and threatened to staple the mask to Delirious’ head permanently. B.J. Whitmer slid into the ring and listened to Pearce tell him to make a choice. Whitmer chose to turn on Delirious and nailed him with a Pile-driver! Whitmer and Albright held Delirious while Pearce repeatedly stapled the mask to Delirious’ head!

The Resilience (Austin Aries & Erick Stevens & Matt Cross) vs. Davey Richards (sub for Pelle Primeau) & Jason Blade & Eddie Edwards: Austin Aries ruled that if Stevens or Cross were pinned, they would leave the Resilience and be replaced by whomever pinned them. Aries also stated that if HE gets pinned then he will disband the Resilience. Before the match, Davey Richards attacked Pelle Primeau and entered himself in the match saying if anybody is going to disband the Resilience, it’s him! I thought for sure that the Resilience was going to lose this one, but after a long hard-fought match filled with drama and excitement, the team of Aries, Stevens and Cross prevailed. During a backstage promo after the match, Austin Aries said the No Remorse Corpe might have one a few battles but the WAR will be won by the Resilience! Aries also warned Jack Evans and his group that if he “brings it” they will “end it.”

PAC vs. “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson: WOW. Sit back and enjoy the RIDE! For those of you who don’t know, PAC is one of the fastest rising wrestlers to come out of the UK circuit. He appeared for ROH when they ran two shows in the UK back in August 2007, and he has also appeared for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in California, but this was his United States ROH debut. There was some great mat-based wrestling action going on between these two grapplers. Late in the match, PAC severely missed a twisting shooting star press, and Danielson followed up with some vicious boots to the head and a quick submission hold to make the young Brit tap out.

Takeshi Morishima vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brent Albright: Takeshi Morishima defeated both Castagnoli and Albright in separate matches at the last doubleshot weekend, but now he was faced with the task of defeating both of them at the same time. The ROH World champion could only hope that his challengers would cancel each other out and give him the advantage. Not counting Bobby Dempsey, these are probably the three largest wrestlers in the company. Morishima was knockout and he fell out to the floor, leaving Castagnoli and Albright to do battle in the ring. Albright locked in the Crowbar and cinched it in, but Castagnoli miraculously rolled it over and pinned Albright to eliminate him! Castagnoli rolled the half-conscious Morishima back into the ring but could not connect with the Ricola-driver. Morishima got his second wind, but Castagnoli put an end to it by hitting a HUGE Ricola-bomb on the champion! In true Morishima fashion, the ROH champion mounted his come-back amd crushed the hopes and dreams of all the Claudio marks who were praying for a rare title change. Takeshi Morishima retains the ROH World championship…… AGAIN!

Roderick Strong vs. Jack Evans: This match would be decided by pinfall or submission, instead of the traditional escape rules. I would think the escape rules would give Jack Evans an incredible advantage. Still, the cage provides endless offensive opportunities for the innovative “Man from the Heavens” Jack Evans. These two guys have gone from being stable-mates, to tag team partners, to bitter enemies throughout their long history. The match wasn’t that special until the final two minutes when they started doing some crazy stuff off the cage. Jack Evans seemed determined to do something (anything) off the top of the cage, so he put Strong in the Tree-of-woe and performed a Double Knee-stomp off the top of the cage (which is kind of stupid). Evans climbed right back up the cage, but Strong caught him and hit a Razor’s Edge off the top rope and then followed up with a Macho Man elbow drop for the WIN! Jack Evans needs help more than ever!

The Briscoe Brothers vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico: Keep your eye on the insanity meter because this one is about to get unbelievably insane! As usual it was non-stop no-fear full-speed-ahead all-bets-are-off don’t-eat-yellow-snow action! It did, however, seem to end abruptly. I guess cage matches aren’t supposed to last as long as regular matches since the level of punishment is elevated. Both cage matches seemed to leave me wanting more.