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*** Official ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
April 14, 2007 - FIGHTING SPIRIT - Edison, New Jersey

Tonight's challenger to the ROH World championship, Nigel McGuinness, got some valuable promo time to kick-off this DVD home release. Nigel talked about sitting in Wembley Stadium watching Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog in 1992 and deciding that he wanted to become a professional wrestler some day. Nigel said he never game up that dream and he paid his dues and made his sacrifices and now he's proud to be a professional wrestler. Nigel said that he doesn't know how much longer he can continue wrestling due to injuries, but does know that he has to stop wrestling great matches and start winning great matches. Great promo, straight from the heart.

Chris Hero & Tank Toland vs. Eddie Edwards & Jason Blade: "Sweet & Sour" Larry Sweeney was away "on a business trip," and therefore not in the corner of Chris Hero and the fitness guru Tank Toland. Jason Blade and Eddie Edwards have joined forces and become a tag team in an attempt to get noticed by the ROH community. Hero and Toland were without a doubt a little too confident in taking their rookie opponents for granted, because Blade and Edwards pulled out a miraculous upset victory ( 6.5 / 10 ). They actually did a pretty good job, but they shocked the crowd into virtual silence with their victory.

Top of Class Trophy - Shane Hagadorn vs. Pelle Primeau: The Top of Class Trop was finally within the grasp of the underdog Pelle Primeau, who has been begging for the opportunity to challenge Shane Hagadorn for a REALLY long time! Young Pelle Primeau did indeed extract revenge on Shane Hagadorn and did his traditional crowd surfing celebration all over the arena ( 6.5 / 10 ). Hell, the guy is living out his dream. Bobby Dempsey was also on hand to nail Hagadorn with a running Cannonball splash after the match!

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Rocky Romero: Double C has become very inspired since being forgiven by the ROH population for betraying the company during last year's promotional war with CZW. Claudio has returned to the fun-loving babyface, with a brand new focus on recapturing the ROH World Tag Team titles with a yet-to-be-named tag team partner. The match with Rocky Romero was surprisingly even, but it was Romero who won with an Inside Cradle which could have gone either way ( 6.5 / 10 ).

Jay Briscoe & Erick Stevens vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico: The Canadian tandem of Kevin Steen and El Generico are going to set the Ring of Honor tag team division on fire sooner rather than later. Jay Briscoe's baby brother Mark was still not medically cleared to wrestle after suffering a severe concussion on a brutally botched shooting star press two weeks ago. Jay recruited ROH's hottest prospect, Erick Stevens, to stand in for his absent brother. Keven Steen and El Generico have a unique gimmick where Steen is an aggressive heel, while Generico is a fun-loving babyface with a conscience - but they are without a doubt a very solid combination. Mid-way through the match, Roderick Strong, Davey Richards, and Rocky Romero showed up and viciously assaulted Erick Stevens at ringside. Poor Briscoe was left without a partner once again. Jay fought hard, just like he did when he single-handedly won the tag team titles from Shingo and Naruki Doi two weeks ago, until young Mark Briscoe jumped the rail wearig street clothes and stood in his brother's corner with an out-stretched hand. Mark's recent concussion left him dangerously vulnerable to a deadly shot to the head. The match just kept going, with Mark repeatedly coming to his brother's rescue, getting hit in the head, and then coming back. It was absolutely ridiculous. He took a German Suplex on the back of his neck, he took a Package Pile-driver from Steen, and a Brain-buster from Generico before getting pinned ( 7.5 / 10 ). Unless all this concussion stuff is one big elaborate work, then everybody associated with Ring of Honor is a complete moron for letting Mark do what he did in this match. If you have a guy wrestling two weeks after a major concussion, where do you go from that? Even if it's a work, it's really stupid.

"Classic" Colt Cabana vs. Doug Williams: ROH legend Colt Cabana made his final east-coast appearance with Ring of Honor, hand-picking British grappler Doug Williams to be his opponent. Long-time ROH fans will remember Doug Williams from the early days of ROH when he was a member of The Prophecy, led by Christopher Daniels. Last night, Colt Cabana wrestled a classic comedy match with Delirious, and tonight it was a technical masterpiece with a lot of European influences. Doug Williams won the match with his famous Rolling Chaos Theory finisher ( 7.5 / 10 ). Looks like Colt Cabana is doing a lot of jobs before he leaves. After the match, Colt talked candidly with the fans about he and C.M. (I forget his name) wanting to just be the best wrestlers in the Midwest. Colt said when Ring of Honor opened it allowed them to start wrestling on the east-coast. Colt said that he wasn't moving up, and he wasn't moving down, he was just moving on. Colt then used the Burger King/McDonald analogy to make his point. Colt finished by saying Ring of Honor was the greatest professional wrestling company in the world. He thanked all the fans and told them to continue supporting Ring of Honor. "Thank You, Colt! Thank You, Colt!"

During intermission, the bubbly Becky Bayless interviewed Chris Hero and Tank Toland about their loss to Jason Blade and Eddie Edwards. Chris Hero blamed it all on Tank using too much baby-oil, and Tank said Hero just needed to work on his grip strength (insert joke here). Kevin Steen and El Generico showed up to steal some camera time, bragging about their victory over the ROH Tag Team champion Briscoe Brothers. Man, I love hearing a Canadian accent on ROH DVD!

Sara Del Rey vs. Ernie Osirus: ROH graduate Ernie Osirus walked to the with a big grin on his face, feeling good about getting to roll around on a wrestling mat with a good-looking girl, but then he realized that that good-looking girl was Sara Del Rey and he was about to get his ass kicked. It didn't take long before poor Ernie was tapping out for the best damn girl wrestler EVER ( 3 / 10 ).

"Iron" Matt Cross vs. Shingo: Shingo won but I don't know why. Matt Cross is the one who needs the push. Shingo does nothing for me any more, he has worn out his welcome as far as I'm concerned ( 4 / 10 ).

No Remorse Corps (Roderick Strong & Davey Richards) vs. Jack Evans & Delirious: Roderick Strong has ruffled a lot of feathers since he went through his attitude adjustment earlier this year. Strong has been embroiled in bitter feuds with Delirious, Jack Evans, and Austin Aries. Jack Evans and Delirious found themselves with a common enemy and decided to combine their powers to make an attempt to take down the No Remorse Corps. Jack has already declared his intentions to create his own faction, but has yet to name any members. Austin Aries was conspicuous by his absence at this event. Rocky Romero was at ringside, probably watching the backs of his NRC partners. All four participants had their faces rearranged by a lot of stiff kicks to the head. The No Remorse Corps proved once again that they are the most dominant faction in ROH by leaving their opponents bruised and defeated ( 8 / 10 ).

Becky Bayless interviewed Daizee Haze, who accepted Sara Del Rey's challenge for a rematch. Any time, any place..

ROH World Title - Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness: This is Takeshi Morishima's first defense of the ROH World title since winning it from Homicide in February. Due to commitments in Japan, Morishima missed the next six scheduled ROH events. I suspect they allowed this so that the spotlight could be focused on Samoa Joe for his farewell tour. Regardless, it was time for the big Japanese rookie to prove that he is a fighting champion. Both men are regulars for the NOAH promotion in Japan. It wasn't the prettiest wrestling match, but it did get pretty damn exciting near the end of the match - especially after a very close near fall that would have given McGuinness the championship. Fighting Spirit took over both grapplers as they gave everything they had, but was Morishima won reigned victorious after three devastating Backdrop Drivers ( 8.5 / 10 ).

The DVD concluded with the No Remorse Corps having fun backstage bragging about everything they accomplished tonight. Then they went out and beat the crap out of ring-crew member Alex "Sugarfoot" Payne and walked away 100% proud of their actions.

Final Thoughts: The term "Fighting Spirit" was the perfect title for this DVD, because the main event was the absolute embodiment of the fighting spirit philosophy. ROH delivered mostly pretty good matches, with a couple of duds, but everybody on the roster is there to make ROH look good. There are a lot of changes being made, with the departures of several high profile stars on the horizon, ROH is scrambling to build new stars and new gimmicks to continue on with the quality that we fans have come to demand.

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