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*** Official ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
February 17, 2007 - FIFTH YEAR FESTIVAL: PHILLY - Philadelphia, PA

The DVD opened with Rebecca Bayless informing Jimmy Rave that he has been suspended for using the Styles-Clash the previous night against Homicide. Samoa Joe showed up and said he gets to choose his own opponents on his farewell tour, and he is lifting Rave's suspension so he can wrestle Jimmy Rave tonight!

Nigel McGuinness vs. T.J. Perkins: T.J. Perkins is a California-based wrestler who is more well-known by his masked gimmick, PUMA, and has appeared on several TNA Pay-Per-Views in the past. This is actually the first time I've seen Perkins wrestle without the mask - and I admit he loses some of his mystique without it. This had all the characteristics of a squash match but Perkins actually absorbed a lot of Nigel's offense until he was finished off by the big Lariat ( 5.5 / 10 ).

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Austin Aries: I've never seen someone resist an obvious face-turn as much as Claudio Castagnoli. The ROH faithful want so badly to cheer for Double C and hear him yell his famous "HEY!" catch-phrase once again. Luckily the fans also love Mr. Aries, so that made it easier to boo Mr. Castagnoli. I'd still like to know what the heck happened that caused Castagnoli to lose his WWE developmental contract. I guess that's a mystery that we'll never know. He belongs in WWE, though. Aries looks to be rekindling his singles career by using his old Brain-buster followed by a 450 splash off the top rope to finish off Double C ( 7 / 10 ).

The fireworks started to fly after the match when Austin Aries addressed Roderick Strong and Davey Richards. Jack Evans came out and refused to allow a war to start between Aries and Strong, wanting to rather make peace with Generation Next. Roderick Strong and Davey Richards came out and Strong said he would love to fight Aries tonight but he already has an FIP Heavyweight title match. Roderick then made it clear that Jack Evans was either with them or against them. Davey Richards said they were looking for new recruits for No Remorse Corps and offered a spot to Jack Evans. Jack remained neutral but Aries told him he had a big decision to make. When I first heard about Roddy's heel turn a few months ago I was very curious to see if he could pull it off. I was very impressed with the heel promo Roderick (and Davey for that matter) cut on Aries. I think the No Remorse Corps are going to generate a ton of heat during their existence.

Street Fight - B.J. Whitmer & Colt Cabana & Daizee Haze vs. Adam Pearce & Jimmy Jacobs & Lacey: The mayhem was wild and crazy as Lacey/Haze, Jacobs/Whitmer, and Pearce/Cabana paired off and brawled all over the place. Everyone was dressed for a street fight, including the girls who fought like a pair of ferocious tigers. Lacey looks awesome in jeans, knee-pads, and tank top. Whitmer spilt a sick amount of blood after Jacobs stabbed him repeatedly in the head with the metal spike. Lacey came face-to-face with Colt Cabana, who tried to corner his ex-girlfriend but Jacobs low-blowed him! Jacobs then duct taped Cabana's arms behind his back and then stabbed him with Lacey's high heel shoe right in the throat! Next they wrapped Cabana's neck inside of a folding chair, but B.J. Whitmer thankfully came to his rescue. Whitmer connected with a top rope Exploder on Jacobs and pinned him to win the battle - but not the war ( 7.5 / 10 ). The concern was for the health and well-being of Colt Cabana.

The Briscoe Brothers vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico: The tag team division just got an injection of beefy Canadian goodness with the debut of El Generico and "Mr. Wrestling" Kevin Steen. They were thrown right into the deep end against home-grown tag team specialists Mark and Jay Briscoe. I love El Generico and I was never a big fan of Kevin Steen, but I am very excited about the impact this new partnership will have on Ring of Honor. This match was high speed and hard hitting contest that featured a lot of dramatic moments. The Briscoes won with a spectacular Shooting Star Press/Top Rope Leg-drop combination that will become permanent fixtures on highlight reels for years to come ( 8 / 10 ). The fans loudly chanted "Please Come Back!" - El Generico and Kevin Steen definitely earned a return ticket to Ring of Honor.

Backstage Rebecca Bayless found Colt Cabana not able to breath and he was being taken to the hospital. B.J. Whitmer cut a promo saying Jimmy Jacobs would have his hands full in Chicago (Cabana vs. Jacobs in a Windy City Street Fight) and he will get whatever is left over.

Samoa Joe vs. Jimmy Rave: Jimmy Rave managed to avoid a one-night suspension due to an outstanding issue he had with ROH legend Samoa Joe. Joe, being on his farewell tour, has been granted the right to choose his opponents, and on this night Joe decided to extract revenge on Jimmy Rave for putting him in the Heel-hook at Dedicated on 1/26. As usual, Jimmy Rave looked great even in a losing effort - until being put away with an Island Driver by Samoa Joe ( 7 / 10 ). After the match, Samoa Joe gave a farewell speech for the Philadelphia fans calling them the most hardcore fans in the world. Joe continued with a passionate speech about being a part of Philadelphia, being a part of Ring of Honor and loving pro-wrestling.

"Thank you, Joe! Thank you, Joe! Thank you, Joe!"

FIP Heavyweight Title - Roderick Strong vs. Delirious: The new and improved heel version of Roderick Strong defended the FIP Heavyweight title against the unpredictable Delirious. Before the match, Austin Aries tried to get at Roderick Strong but he was held back by ROH security. A few minutes into the match, Roderick Strong pulled Delirious' legs out from under him while he was on the top rope. Delirious landed on his back and they sold it like there was "something wrong," as Delirious was motionless. Strong dragged Delirious to the floor and was going to win the match by Countout, but Delirious crawled back into the ring. Strong connected with a power-bomb but Delirious kicked out. Strong then took Delirious out of the ring and gave him a Gibson-driver onto a flattened guard rail. Announcers Dave Prazak and Jared David started freaking out as the remorseless Roderick Strong gladly took the Countout victory ( 7 / 10 ). Delirious was cautiously being helped out by security guards and ROH students and Roddy ran back to do more damage but thankfully Austin Aries match the save!

ROH World Tag Team Title - Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal w/Allison Danger vs. Jack Evans & Shingo: Somewhat of a make-shift tag team going after the ROH World Tag Team titles - although the one thing they have in common is working for the Dragon Gate promotion in Japan. Jack Evans is on a mission to put some ROH Gold around his waist, but I don't see him as championship material - maybe a Junior Heavyweight title if they had one. Christopher Daniels (who is on hiatus from TNA) is growing out his dark colored beard, developing his new TNA heel persona which would be unleashed a month later. For the time being, though, the Fallen Angel is still a fan-favorite in Ring of Honor. Daniels and Sydal retained their titles after debuting a new finishing move - a reall cool double team Angel's Wings ( 7 / 10 ).

After the match, Austin Aries came out to publicly talk business with Jack Evens. Evans spoke some Japanese to Shingo and asked him to go backstage. Evans said he knows what Aries wants, but his opinion hasn't changed - he still refuses to get involved with Aries' feud with Roderick Strong. Aries said he respected that and said he was going out to form a faction of his own. Evans said if Aries has a group, and Strong has a group, then maybe he'll go out and get a crew of his own. Let the faction wars begin.

Backstage, Becky Bayless (we want Gary Michael Cappetta back!) interviewed Lacey and Jimmy Jacobs. Jacobs apologized to Lacey for getting pinned in their match, but Lacey was there to tell Jacobs that she was very proud of what he did to Colt Cabana - add that it was "kinda hot." Lacey whispered something into Jimmy's ear and he got VERY excited to the point of being speechless.

They played a video package featuring highlights from the past few years of the many international wrestlers that have come to Ring of Honor. These super stars have provided some of ROH's most exciting matches - you're going to want to watch this fast-paced video package two of three times when you get this DVD. Maybe it will inspire you to purchase some of the older ROH DVD's.

ROH World Title - Homicide vs. Takeshi Morishima: The Notorious 187's dream of carrying the torch for Ring of Honor was put in jeopardy as he went up against the massive force of Takeshi Morishima. Homicide was jumped by Morishima during his ring entrance, and for the first time ever, an ROH World title match got started without proper introductions. Morishima was on a mission to solidify his status as the most dominant foreign wrestler to invade the American wrestling circuit. Homicide looked seriously out-matched going up against such a heavyweight phenom. Homicide kept coming back but a Backdrop-driver, a Lariat, and a second Backdrop-driver was too much for him to handle. Morishima shocked the wrestling World by capturing the ROH World championship ( 8 / 10 ). The "Road of Homicide" hit a brick wall on February 17, 2007. As per the tradition, the ring began to fill with ROH wrestlers to congratulate the new champion. However, Morishima knocked a few of them out of the ring and immediately exited in a sign of apparent disrespect and dishonor.

Final Thoughts: There was a shocking conclusion to this show, which literally flipped the promotion up-side-down. Morishima's actions after winning the ROH World title were both confusing and unexpected. It will be interesting to see what sort of torch Morishima will choose to carry during his reign as World champion of ROH. I'd love to see a rematch between Joe and Morishima for the ROH World title and have Joe put his Japanese counterpart over.

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