*** ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
February 22, 2008 – Deer Park, New York
EYE OF THE STORM
IN THE RING: Ring of Honor ring announce Bobby Cruise had the undesirable task of announcing to the crowd that, due to weather conditions (hence the name “Eye of the Storm”), the following ROH wrestlers did not make it to the show; ROH World champion Nigel McGuinness, Davey Richards, Brent Albright, Tyler Black, Erick Stevens, and Roderick Strong. This announcement saddened the audience, but they seemed pleased that ROH would provide a one-night number one contenders tournament to make up for the limited roster offering.
FIRST ROUND TOURNAMENT MATCH “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. Rocky Romero: These two competitors go back a long way, and share a similar in-ring philosophy. They are almost mirror images of each other, except American Dragon has a bit more charisma than Romero. Lenny Leonard pointed out that Dragon already has a title shot owed to him, so he doesn’t have anything to prove tonight. That doesn’t make any sense, cause two title shots is always better than one! Rocky Romero worked over Danielson’s leg for most of the match. After some top notch grappling, Bryan Danielson forced Romero to tap out and moved onto the next round.
FIRST ROUND TOURNAMENT MATCH “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen vs. Delirious: Kevin Steen looked like he was determined to bring home the title shot tonight. This was a tri-lingual affair, with English, French, and whatever Delirious speaks being represented. I started to get the feeling that this night would belong to Mr. Wrestling, and he got off to a great start with an impressive victory over Delirious. After the match, Delirious looked into Steen’s eyes and shook his hand to wish him luck in the next round(s).
FIRST ROUND TOURNAMENT MATCH Austin Aries vs. El Generico: This is an example of two very contrasting styles meshing perfection to create some very nice chemistry. Austin Aries is still being haunted by his disappointing lack of victories lately. The announcers theorized what the finals would be like if it ended up being Generico vs. Steen. Aries started in on his trademark flurry of offense, but Generico splattered Aries’ face with a Yakuza kick! Instant blood. Generico kept up the pressure and put Aries down with a roll-up! Generico celebrated and quickly bolted backstage. Aries sat in the ring with blood pouring from his nose looking very disappointed with himself. The crowd chanted his name, but it didn’t seem like it was enough to console the “Ace” of Ring of Honor.
FIRST ROUND TOURNAMENT MATCH Go Shiozaki vs. Necro Butcher: The weather didn’t keep Japanese sensation Go Shizaki away from Deer Park for his U.S. debut appearance with ROH. His opponent was the crazy bastard from the Age of the Fall known as Necro Butcher. Butcher is supposed to be a heel, but the fans adore him – sort of a throwback to the days of Bruiser Brody. Go Shiozaki chopped Butcher’s chest until it resembled raw hamburger. Necro did what he does best, and absorbed an inhumane amount of torture in a losing effort. Go Shiozaki will represent Japan in the second round of this very important tournament! The fans chanted in honor of Necro Butcher after the match..
IN THE RING (THE LARRY SWEENEY SHOW) “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney + Shane Hagadorn & Bobby Dempsey: Larry Sweeney made his energetic entrance and welcomed the fans to the most exciting night of their lives! Sweeney went into verbal warfare with the rowdy audience, picking on one unfortunate heckler in the front row. Sweeney said ROH officials have caved into his demands and given him segment on the show. Sweeney correctly claimed that he was the only undefeated man in Ring of Honor! Sweeney got over-heated when the fans started chanting for Bobby Dempsey. Sweeney said Claudio Castagnoli would not show his face tonight and is hiding in Osaka, Japan. Sweeney said he called all his A-list friends to come on the show, but they all refused to come to Long Island. Sweeney introduced his guest for the night…. Shane Hagadorn! That announcement sucked the life out of the building. The crowd came alive when Bobby Dempsey accompanied Hagadorn to the ring. Hadadorn treated Dempsey like his slave, making him hold the ropes open and placing his gum in the palm of Dempsey’s hand. Hagadorn praised Larry Sweeney and basically kissed his ass as the fans heckled and chanted “boring!” Sweeney told Bobby Dempsey that Shane Hagadorn should be his roll-model. Sweeney insulted poor Dempsey just for fun. Sweeney berated Dempsey and told him to shape up or ship out! Sweeney then pushed Dempsey over, tripped by Hagadorn, down on his back in the middle of the ring..
SECOND ROUND TOURNAMENT MATCH “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen: This was a true test for Kevin Steen, who has to show the fans that he is worthy of singles stardom against an ROH legend like American Dragon. Steen ruthlessly targeted the leg that Danielson injured in the first round while wrestling Rocky Romero. Steen worked over the leg for a really long time, and eventually made the “Best in the World” tap out with a leg submission. They are saying that Danielson tapped out to save himself for his title match with ROH World champion Nigel McGuinness. Bryan Danielson endorsed Mr. Wrestling with a handshake after the match….
SECOND ROUND TOURNAMENT MATCH El Generico vs. Go Shiozaki: El Generico is no stranger to tournament finals, having made it to the finals of the Race to the Top Tournament, only to come out on the losing end and the hands of Claudio Castagnoli. If he survives Go Shiozaki he will have to face his long time tag team partner, Kevin Steen, with a coveted title shot on the line. The Steen vs. Generico dream was squashed when Shiozaki scored the victory to move on to the finals to face “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen.
BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW Becky Bayless & Rocky Romero: Rocky Romero felt that Nigel McGuinness owed him one for injuring American Dragon’s leg tonight. Romero hinted that maybe McGuinness could give him a title shot next time. Romero then invited Becky Bayless to his hotel room later, and she pretended to be appalled by the offer!
FOUR-CORNER SUVIVAL Human Tornado vs. Pelle Primeau vs. Mitch Franklin vs. Jason Blade: Jason Blade was representing the YRR, a rich punk faction from Full Impact Pro, and was carrying his half of the FIP tag team titles. It was great to see the infamous Human Tornado make another shot with ROH. I feel like he is the greatest wrestler that nobody has ever seen. Thanks to WSX and ROH, hopefully people will get to see this great talent. Jason Blade won. Human Tornado should have won.
IN THE RING Human Tornado + Lacey + Jimmy Jacobs: Human Tornado cut a promo after the match, saying his goal was bring more women to Ring of Honor. Tornado said there was enough women in ROH for him to start his own little stable. Tornado said the finest woman in ROH is Lacey! Lacey came out and screamed at Tornado, “shut your filthy mouth!” Lacey went on a rant about women in wrestling doing more than just standing around looking pretty. Lacey said Tornado couldn’t handle a woman like her. Lacey said she has respect for herself, unlike the TornadHOs he hangs out with. Lacey took a couple swings at Tornado but he just ducked. Jimmy Jacobs jumped in the ring with a knife, and Tornado quickly made his exit. Jacobs warned Tornado that if he talked to Lacey like that again he would get stabbed in the eye! Jacobs talked about a new member of the Age of the Fall whose life was supposed to be an inspiration, but it turned out to be a tragedy. Jacobs called out the “one-legged freak,” Zach Gowan.
TAG TEAM MATCH The Vulture Squad (Jigsaw & Ruckus w/Julius Smokes & Mercedes Martinez) defeated The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Zach Gowan w/Lacey): Cool match. Nothing too special.
BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW Becky Bayless & Austin Aries: Becky Bayless asked how Austin Aries’ nose was, and he looked at her and said “broke.” Bayless asked if Aries had any thoughts on the Age of the Fall, and he responded “nope!”
#1 CONTENDERS TOURNAMENT FINALS “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen vs. Go Shiozaki: A small venue of American fans sat and watched representatives from Canada and Japan fight for the right to face the ROH World champion, who just happens to be British. Go Shiozaki is an odd choice to make it to the finals, but I guess they want to push him for future storylines. Kevin Steen did what he said he was going to do and earned himself the title shot he wanted so badly. Generico hit the ring to celebrate with his partner, and Steen put over Shiozaki’s performance. Steen also addressed the No Remorse Corps and made it clear he and Generico were still going after the ROH World Tag Team titles. The final match of the tournament was decent but failed to live up to the usual standard of ROH main events. Truthfully the entire show was a throw-away, so save your money for the Sixth Anniversary Show!
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