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*** Official ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
January 14, 2006 - HELL FREEZES OVER - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hell indeed froze over when Ring of Honor decided to start 2006 off by signing a working agreement with the rival independent wrestling promotion Combat Zone Wrestling. I have mixed feelings about this as I think about it as I feel that ROH really has nothing to gain and CZW has everything to gain by this relationship. With that said, I will keep an open mind and proceed with cheerful optimism. It should also be noted that this was the second half of a double-header that included a CZW event earlier that afternoon accross town. click here for results to that event.

Austin Aries began the night defending the honor of his ROH Students. Ricky Reyes took the fight to Aries, and managed to apply the Dragon-choke on him late in the match, only to have Aries push back with his legs and pin Reyes' shoulders to the mat (*** 1/2).

Nigel McGuinness successfully defended his Pure title against Tony Mamaluke (***). Decent match, with nothing to write home about, but cetainly not a poor outing by either man. The Embassy has regrouped with Alex Shelley & Jimmy Rave joining forces to make a formitable combination in the tag team division. They defeated the make-shift tag team of Claudio Castagnoli & Azrieal, who was substituting for Colt Cabana after the vicious Drano incident (*** 1/4). Rave & Shelley make an incredible pairing and I can't wait to see them clash with Aries & Strong. Even though the Embassy/GenNext feud is dead, these battles could still make for some exciting Ring of Honor action.

ROH's sister-promotion Full Impact Pro was featured on this show with Homicide (who had a shoulder injury) scheduled to defend the FIP title against Roderick Strong. American Dragon showed up and challenged Homicide to make it a 3-WAY. Homicide was, of course, taken out of the match by the invading force of Colt Cabana. Dragon & Strong fought for the FIP championship until Homicide briefly returned to the match, only to tap out to American Dragon (***). Not a great match considering who was involved. It was just a dirty way of getting the title off of the injured Homicide. With the victory, American Dragon now holds both the ROH & FIP championship, further solidifying his claim as the "Greatest Wrestler in the World."

At Final Battle 05, Jay Lethal scored a pinfall over Christopher Daniels in a Four Corner Survival match. Tonight, Daniels successfully got his pin back by defeating Jay Lethal in a 1-on-1 contest (*** 1/2). Very good match, but considering the participants it really could have been better. Jack Evans emerged victorious in a 6-MAN Mayhem match featuring Adam Pearce, Sal Rinauro, the debuting Trik Davis, Kid Mikaze and Jason Blade (*** 1/4). Samoa Joe was as aggressive as ever as he knocked out BJ Whitmer with stiff elbow strikes to the face (*** 1/2). Not sure what the purpose of that was -- hopefully we will find out soon.

The match of the night was a contest that featured the Phenomenal AJ Styles and Matt Sydal. This was one of those matches that needed to be seen to be believed, with great back-and-forth action and false finishes. The spirit of competition was alive and well in Philadelphia as Styles pinned Sydal and then asked him to be his tag team partner to challenge for ROH Tag Gold (****). Sydal agreed and they shook hands -- throwing yet another incredible team into the tag division.

The main event featured American Dragon defending the ROH World title against CZW's Chris Hero. I will admit, I am somewhat bias, as Hero is probably one of my favorite all-time Indy wrestlers. Dragon is up there too, so my expectations were set very high for this match. I thoroughly enjoyed the action, but I have to say I expected a whole lot more out of the two. Despite this, it was a worth while match and a great catalyst for things to come involving the forthcoming ROH vs CZW mega-feud that will dominate the next six months.

Final Thoughts: Being that I am reviwing this DVD in July, and knowing how the CZW/ROH feud eventually turned out, I am very happy after seeing the beginning of what will turn out to be a fantastic war between two great promotions. If you would like to purchase this or any other ROH DVD, please check out - Thank you!

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