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*** Official ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
August 26, 2006 - GUT CHECK - Chicago Ridge, Illinois

It was gut check time for Colt Cabana, as he was granted his final shot at the ROH World championship with a crucial two out of three falls match against American Dragon. The DVD kicked off with cameras finding Lacey snuggled up to Cabana backstage totally losing her mind from being in love with her man. Lacey was dreaming about the idea of Cabana bringing the ROH World title into Lacey's Angels, but Colt but the breaks on and said they were just experimenting and having fun -- and that he didn't want anything to do with Lacey. For the first time in her life, Lacey was speechless as Cabana went to prepare for his match. Jimmy Jacobs, who was standing idle in the background close to tears, took the brunt of Lacey's frustrations as she lashed out at him and demanded that Jacobs end B.J. Whitmer's career tonight. Jacobs assured Lacey that he would kill B.J. Whitmer for love, as Lacey rolled her eyes and walked off.

B.J. Whitmer received some promo time and said every time he faces Jimmy Jacobs things tend to get a little crazy. Whitmer vowed to put Jacobs behind to pursue his next quest; winning the ROH World title.

The opening contest featured a unique six-man-tag match between the now-legendary Nigel McGuinness teaming with Embassy members Jimmy Rave and Sal Rinauro taking on the unlikely team of cult-favorite Delirious and Irish Airborne - Jake and David Crist. They gave Jimmy Rave the toilet paper treatment before the match - will that gimmick never die? - and Nigel McGuinness had a good laugh at the expense of his tag team partner. Jimmy Rave's heat far-surpassed everything else in this match. One of the Crist boys, I think it was David, had a broken hand and was sporting a cast - but that didn't stop him from going all out for this match. The one big high spot of the match was Delirious piling all three opponents on top of one another and Jake Crist superfly splashed the pile, followed by David Crist nailing a double stomp off the top rope! The end came when Nigel McGuinness took Jake Crist's head off with a Lariat and scored the pinfall ( 7 / 10 ). Nothing specific happened, but this is the beginning of a Rave vs. McGuinness feud.

Before the next match, I was sure to buckle my seatbelt, as I expected it to be an insane encounter of epic proportions. Whenever Jimmy Jacobs and B.J. Whitmer lock it on there is usually one, if not more, heart-stopping moments. Sometimes they don't even finish their match due to some crazy stunt; hell Jimmy Jacobs is lucky to be alive after their 3/30 match at Dragon Gate Challenge. Jimmy Jacobs took the fight to Whitmer with a desperate passion, trying hopelessly to earn the non-existent love of Lacey. About seven minutes into the match, Jacobs head-scissored Whitmer off the top rope bouncing off the apron and through the table. The referee checked Whitmer and called for help, as Jacobs stood over the wreckage staring at Lacey as if he'd accomplished something. Whitmer was helped out as the referee started counting him out, but Whitmer turned around and miraculously rolled back inside the ring. Jimmy Jacobs went on the offense, trying to put Whitmer away, but was having a tough time achieving this goal. Whitmer started to fight back but Jacobs cut it short with a quick roll-up for the 1-2-3 to win ( 6.5 / 10 ). Too short, but it accomplished what it set out to accomplish. While Whitmer was argueing with the referee about a fast count or something, Lacey slid a steel chairs into the ring and Jacobs smashed Whitmer's leg and head with it! Jacobs then repeatedly smashed Whitmer's ankle with the chair. Jacobs then stacked two chair on top of Whitmer's ankle and hit a back senton off the top rope - all for a woman he doesn't even have a chance with! What can I say, Lacey is spicy hot -- I'd do the same thing.

Jim Cornette came out with the Briscoe Brothers watching his back to try to sweet-talk the fans into being sympathetic to his cause. Jim Cornette said the internet was calling him a "heel commissioner" after what happened at Death Before Dishonor 4. Cornette said he thought the internet would give Ring of Honor and Jim Cornette a little more credit than that. Cornette explained how he stuck with ROH and led the promotion into its feud with Combat Zone Wrestling. Cornette talked about holding a spot on Team ROH for Homicide and how Homicide came through and helped ROH defeat CZW at Cage of Death. Cornette said he agreed to grant Homicide three favors, but Homicide asked for his "buddy" Low-Ki to be reinstated, which Cornette had a problem with. Cornette continued to talk about what has happened since then, and painted Homicide as the "bad guy" in the process. Cornette talked about bringing numerous legends to Ring of Honor and hosting the Straight Shootin' DVD series, and scolded the fans for turning on him just because of a feud with Homicide. Cornette said he is fine with everybody in the locker-room, except for anybody who will take Homicide's side against him. Jim Cornette vowed to make Homicide's life hell until Homicide is out of the wrestling business. This morphed into a match between the Briscoes and Homicide & Davey Richards - with Jim Cornette giving full authority to the Briscoes to injure and destroy Homicide!

Homicide took the fight to Jay and Mark Briscoe by himself before being joined by Davey Richards. The brawling eventually turned into a solid wrestling match, which is where all four men excel as athletes. After a long match, the Briscoes pinned Davey Richards after a spring-board Doomsday Device ( 8 / 10 ). The Briscoes scored a huge victory but failed to "destroy" Homicide or even humiliate him with a pinfall. Homicide could have been upset with Richards, but they butted fists out of respect after the match.

Backstage, Jimmy Jacobs rejoiced that the power of love was much stronger than B.J. Whitmer's ankle and started singing "Love lifts us up where we belong...." -- Jimmy Jacobs has actually convinced himself that he has won the heart of Lacey.

Claudio Castagnoli, or as I call him "the man without a ship," came out to the ring for his match with Samoa Joe. There is still a select few who refuse to accept Castagnoli as a heel and continue to cheer him and yell "Heeeeeeeey!" during his entrance. Luckily the fan base was more into Samoa Joe, so Castagnoli was showered with chants of "Joe is gonna kill you!" - Well, Samoa Joe didn't "kill" Double C, but he did take a huge bite out of him. Castagnoli bumped, bounced, and absorbed every stuff shot that Joe threw at him. Joe proved to be too much for the Swiss idol - Joe won with a Muscle-buster ( 7 / 10 ). I wish Chris Hero would hurry up and return to ROH so Claudio can be a star again!

It seems like the team of Roderick Strong and Austin Aries had held the ROH World Tag Team titles forever and a day, but their reign has been both very successful and equally inspirational. Not only have then led the way for the most exciting tag team division in two decades, but they have also provided ROH fans with some of its greatest matches during its entire existence. Their challengers on this occasion, was their old friend Matt Sydal and his new tag team partner Christopher Daniels -- a pair of world class athletes. ROH continually proves that you don't need to have a "good guy" against a "bad guy" to have a good match - sometimes all you need is good old fashioned wrestling to put on a good show for the fans. This was a brilliant contest, as expected, and the team of Aries and Strong won the match to retain their ROH World Tag Team titles once again ( 8.5 / 10 ). Austin Aries used a 450 splash to put away Christopher Daniels, despite having injured ribs.

The main event featured ROH World Champion, "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson defending his World title in a best two out of three falls match for the second night in a row. The previous night in St. Paul, Minnesota, Danielson narrowly escaped with his title in tact when he went to a time-limit draw with Nigel McGuinness, ending with one fall a piece. On this night, Bryan Danielson stepped into the ROH ring with a completely different challenger -- "Classic" Colt Cabana. Did I mention Chicago was Cabana's hometown? A few months ago at The 100th Show, Colt Cabana was severely embarrassed by a loss to Bryan Danielson in only five minutes. In THIS match, Colt Cabana embarrassed the ROH Champion by scoring the first pinfall during the opening moments of the match with a surprise Colt 45! Bryan Danielson was in shock, realizing he now had to wrestle with the pressure of being down one fall to none. The ROH champion desperately fought for the next fifty minutes without the use of his right arm until there was thirty seconds remaining in the one-hour time limit. With only a few precious seconds to spare, Danielson asked the referee to check with the time-keeper. While the referees back was turned, Danielson kicked Cabana between the legs and stole a timely pinfall with the dreaded small package (once again proving why he is known world-wide as "Mr. Small Package") -- The clock ran out and the match ended in a draw, meaning Bryan Danielson once again escaped with his ROH World title raised triumphantly above his head ( 9.5 / 10 ).

Final Thoughts: Excellent Psychology. Dramatic finish. Brilliant concept.

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