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*** Official ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
April 28, 2007 - THE BATTLE OF ST. PAUL - St. Paul Minnesota

The DVD started with an Austin Aries promo, reminding fans of his 2004 ROH World title victory over the dominant champion Samoa Joe, and promised to become the first 2-time ROH World champion by defeating the even more dominant Takeshi Moreshima tonight.

The Dangerous Angels (Allison Danger & Sara Del Rey) vs. The Minnesota Home-wrecking Crew (Lacey & Rain w/Jimmy Jacobs *on crutches*): Ring of Honor prides itself on doing everything that other promotions consistently fail at doing. This event kicked off with some REAL women's tag team wrestling action. There are less than a handful of really serious women's tag team combinations right now on the independent circuit, and this match featured by far the two most established of the bunch. Fans of SHIMMER will obviously love this match, but those who haven't been exposed to good women's wrestling in a while will be pleasantly surprised ( 7.5 / 10 ).

Do or Die Match - Rhett Titus vs. Michael Elgin: This was my first opportunity to see Rhett Titus in his new arrogant heel gimmick - he definitely gets points for trying hard. I wasn't sure why this match was included on the DVD until Jimmy Rave interfered and I realized it was just a little something special to help push Rave's early return from a broken jaw. Jimmy got a thunderous ovation from the crowd as he said he was going to make an example out of HIM (points at Michael Elgin).

Jimmy Rave vs. Michael Elgin: This was a squash match dominated by Jimmy Rave. He won by submission with the dreaded heel hook, and kept it on for a couple extra seconds after the bell to "make an example" out of him ( 4.5 / 10 ).

Shingo vs. B.J. Whitmer: These two guys are perfect examples of great wrestlers who desperately need to spice up their characters or change direction as soon as possible. Shingo hasn't evolved in two years and Whitmer is rebounding from a hellacious two-year feud with Jimmy Jacobs. They played this match off nicely, like the irresistible force meeting the immovable object until Shingo scored what I could call a major upset victory ( 6.5 / 10 ). Whitmer accepted Shingo's offer of a handshake after the match.

Ultimate Endurance - The Briscoe Brothers vs. Gran Akuma & Hallowicked vs. Mike Quakenbush & Jigsaw vs. Pelle Primeau & Mitch Franklin: The Ultimate Endurance is one of many Briscoe specialty matches and they were facing three relatively unknown teams, making this match one of the more predictable contests in ROH history. Chikara Pro Wrestling officially arrived in Ring of Honor, as Akuma, Hallowicked, Quackenbush, and Jigsaw are all mainstays of that popular Pennsylvania-based promotion. I was particularly happy to see "Lightning" Mike Quackenbush make his debut inside the ring of honor. The Briscoes were truly the dominant team, first eliminating Franklin & Primeau, then Hallowicked & Akuma, and finally Quackenbush & Jigsaw to retain their ROH World Tag Team titles ( 7.5 / 10 ). I expect a rematch between the Briscoe Brothers and Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw.

Anything Goes - Colt Cabana & Homicide vs. Adam Pearce & Brent Albright w/Shane Hagadorn: This would be Colt Cabana's second last appearance with Ring of Honor before heading into WWE's developmental system. Cabana tried to soak in the fan response, but he was attacked by Albright from behind. Since it was "Anything Goes," that means Homicide and Cabana had to deal with Shane Hagadorn too. They did some wild brawling through the crowd and got back into the ring, where they were showered with a chant of "This is Awesome!" from the fans. The match was going pretty good, but I don't think it deserved that particular chant (not at that point). Shane Hagadorn passed a piece of the steel barricade into the ring, and Homicide introduced a big ladder - ladders are rarely used in ROH. The weapons were propped up in the corners, but Brent Albright hit a Northern Light's Suplex on Colt Cabana for the win ( 8 / 10 ). The crowd booed because the weapons weren't used and because Colt Cabana was unnecessarily jobbed on his way out of the company. Homicide got a measure of revenge by giving Shane Hagadorn a Cop-killa. The crowd chanted "Thank you, Colt!" and were then treated to a bone-crunching Colt 45 on Shane Hagadorn! Homicide started a "We're Not Worthy" movement for his friend as he exited. No farewell speech, but you should expect an emotional speech tomorrow night in Chicago for "Good Times, Great Memories".

Erick Stevens vs. Delirious vs. Rocky Romero vs. Jack Evans: At first glance, you might think this would be a perfect opportunity to push Erick Stevens higher up the ROH ladder, or maybe make the fans happy by letting Delirious win, or perhaps showcase Jack Evans with another victory. Instead, I was shocked speechless when No Remorse Corps member Rocky Romero walked away with the victory in this match ( 7.5 / 10 ). Everybody looked great, and the crowd enjoyed the match.

FIP World Title - Roderick Strong vs. Christopher Daniels w/Allison Danger: This was a total flashback to the way things used to be in Ring of Honor. Just a hard-fought, sweaty battle for bragging rights. However it did end in a somewhat unorthodox manner, with Christopher Daniels getting counted out after his foot got stuck in the guard rail. Roderick Strong took the cheap victory and left with his FIP World title still in tact ( 8.5 / 10 ). It was yet another screw-job finish as far as The Fallen Angel was concerned.

Adam Pearce cut a long promo about promising to ruin Colt Cabana's farewell the next night in Chicago, Illinois.

ROH World Title - Takeshi Morishima vs. Austin Aries: I wonder if there will ever be a two-time ROH World champion. Austin Aries was fired up 100% for this opportunity, trying to duplicate his glorious victory back in December 2004. Aries was never forced to deal with such a merciless powerhouse as ROH World champion Takeshi Morishima - not even Samoa Joe. I would say this was Austin's best match as a singles wrestler in a very long time, and really had the fans believing they were going to see a title change. However, the unstoppable Morishima was too much, using a Super Backdrop-driver, a Lariat, and a regular Backdrop-driver to put away his challenger ( 9 / 10 ). Takeshi bolted backstage, as usual, to hit the showers and collect his paycheck as Austin Aries was given a Hero's reception from the ROH faithful.

Becky Bayless interviewed Jimmy Jacobs, who claimed the ROH locker-room was full of insensitive jocks who don't know how to treat a woman. Roderick Strong and Rocky Romero showed up to harass Jimmy Jacobs, who went on a rant and stormed off. Roderick bragged about retaining his FIP World title, and Rocky bragged about kicking Jack Evans' head off in the 4-WAY.

Final Thoughts: There were so many upset victories on this card - matches that should have been booked the other way around - and ended up leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Save your money and get the next DVD "Good Times, Great Memories" featuring the farewell to ROH Legend Colt Cabana. Best matches of the night included the girls tag match and the last two matches on the card.

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