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*** Official ROH DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
October 27, 2006 - SUFFOCATION - Dayton, Ohio

SUFFOCATION: (suf-fo-ca-tion, noun) - the condition of being deprived of oxygen (as by having breathing stopped); "asphyxiation is sometimes used as a form of torture"

Despite having ditched the Embassy gimmick at the end of the previous DVD, Jimmy Rave escorted his man servant Salvatore Rinauro to the ring for a Non-title match against ROH World Champion "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson. Once in a while, especially right before a particularly brutal match, they will give Dragon a low impact match to save him from doing more damage to his body. This was the closest thing to a squash match that you will see in Ring of Honor ( 4 / 10 ). After the match, Jimmy Rave slapped Rinauro, threw him out of the ring, and challenged SHINGO to start their match immediately. SHINGO came out and defeated the overly-frustrated Jimmy Rave in an good match ( 6.5 / 10 ).

Brent Albright (formerly Gunner Scott on WWE SmackDown!) cut promo about his match with "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels.

The Minnesota Home-wrecker Lacey escorted her dysfunctional tag team consisting of Jimmy Jacobs and Colt Cabana to the ring. As I said in my review for the last DVD, I call this trio the Soap Opera Express. B.J. Whitmer made his presence felt and warned Jimmy Jacobs that his revenge was coming and Jacobs won't know when or where until it happens. The Soap Opera Express (not an official team name) was taking on the high-flying pair of Jake and David Crist, collectively known as Irish Airborne. I feel the Crists have paid enough dues and should be getting a bigger push - which would be best accomplished with an unexpected heel turn. Colt Cabana was supplying the audience with a good dose of his usual comedy including a great "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan impersonation. Irish Airborne scored the all-important victory when they pinned Jimmy Jacobs ( 6.5 / 10 ). After the match, Lacey berated Jimmy Jacobs for dropping the ball AGAIN but Cabana was surprisingly supportive of his tag team partner.

Tank Toland (formerly James Dick on WWE SmackDown!) cut a promo about making a name for himself in Ring of Honor.

Brent Albright, who I believe was born to be an ROH wrestler, made his highly anticipated (by me, at least) debut in Ring of Honor and was met with chants of "SmackDown Sucks!" - His opponent would put him to the ultimate test, as he was facing an ROH legend and one of its founding fathers, "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels. With his short-lived career in sports-entertainment behind him, Brent Albright had no trouble remembering how to wrestle and fit right in with the Ring of Honor style. Albright and Daniels put on a great match that saw Albright win over the respect of all the fans but unfortunately lost the match to The Fallen Angel ( 7.5 / 10 ). I'm excited about having Brent Albright in ROH and judging by the crowd response, I can safely say the ROH fans agree with me.

Tank Toland also made his ROH debut but he wasn't quite received as well as Mr. Albright. Fans chanted "You're a Dick!" at Toland, who wrestled in the WWE as "James Dick." The former Dick competed in a Four Corner Survival match against Mark Briscoe, Roderick Strong, and Chris Hero. A few notes - Mark Briscoe's mouth was missing a few teeth as he had several of them knocked out while competing in the PWU Pitbull/Public Enemy Tag Team Tournament, however ROH's official explanation was that he got into a bar fight and was sucker punched but Mark "took him out with a shooting star press off the roof of the bar." Seriously how do they come up with this stuff? Ha ha! Chris Hero made his entrance to "We Are the Champions" wearing all three of his Tag Team belts from Ring of Honor, CZW and Chikara. Ol' Roddy was the only participant without some kind of excess baggage attached so I picked him to win it and I was right ( 6 / 10 )! Claudio Castagnoli attacked Roderick Strong after the match, leading to the next match.

It was a smooth transition from one match to the next - trademark of the usual flawless ROH continuity. The contest between Austin Aries and Claudio Castagnoli could have been a lot better but it was still a good match with Austin Aries getting the victory ( 7 / 10 ). Chris Hero returned to the ring after the match and he and Castagnoli double-teamed Aries until Roderick Strong made the save.

During intermission, Lacey fired Jimmy Jacobs from Lacey's Angels and purposely started kissing Colt Cabana to make Jacobs feel even worse. Cabana pushed her away causing Lacey to say "You're part of Lacey's Angel's now; that means you do what I say!" - Cabana laughed sarcastically and walked away. B.J. Whitmer tackled Jimmy Jacobs and they tumbled out the door brawling.

The following night in Chicago, Davey Richards will face Mark Briscoe in a singles match - but before that Richards had to survive the older brother Jay Briscoe. Richards had his work cut out for him but managed to successfully defeat the Briscoe in a good (but not great) match ( 7 / 10 ). Much like many of the matches on this DVD, I expected a lot more. Good luck tomorrow night!

It seems strange to see Matt Sydal vs. Delirious so high on the card, but ROH has done a wonderful job building both men up and through their efforts each have solidified their spots in the company with consistently good matches. Their issue is not so much a feud but instead a "rivalry" going back to their days in IWA Mid South even before they came to ROH. Delirious, of course, defeated Matt Sydal in the Finals of the Survival of the Fittest competition. They used each others finishing moves in an attempt to get the psychological advantage and they followed up with a series of near falls. It was Delirious who scored the victory and gets some good momentum leading towards his ROH World title shot in the near future ( 8 / 10 ). The crowd loved it but I felt like they held back.

Jim Cornette escorted his hired assassins, Adam Pearce and Steve Corino, to the ring to face Homicide and Samoa Joe in a wild and crazy tag team main event. Before Joe and 'Cide came out, Mr. Cornette insulted all of the fans for supporting Homicide. Cornette said his men are going to commit homicide on Homicide tonight! Adam Pearce went from being a cult hero to ROH fans to an insignificant heel "lackey" for Jim Cornette - I really feel bad about that. Corino and Pearce took turns on the microphone throwing out really uncreative insults to the crowd to get extremely cheap heat - you know, "you're fat," "you're ugly," and "you're a ho." I expect more from ROH - they aren't known for taking cheap short cuts to spice up the crowd heat. Samoa Joe and Homicide hit the ring and the fight was on. They settled into a polite tag team match but after a while they ended up brawling within the audience putting the fans at risk. Homicide put Steve Corino on a table at ringside and jumped off the top rope and crashed through the table - the back of Corino's head scraped against the metal leg of the table which decided not to collapse with the rest of the structure. Thirty seconds later Corino was back up on his feat giving Homicide a beat down - totally careless and unrealistic (I HATE THAT!). Samoa Joe power-bombed Corino through a table, and then gave Adam Pearce a Muscle-buster! Homicide took out Adam Pearce with a Lariat to get his revenge for the Cage of Death incident and pinned him to win the match ( 8.5 / 10 ). Samoa Joe dragged Shane Hagadorn backstage, while Pearce, Corino, Cornette and the Briscoes attacked Homicide. Steve Corino wrapped Homicide's head in a plastic bag and suffocated him for several minutes as Cornette's hired goons held back anybody who tried to save Homicide. The match itself was below par for an ROH main event but the chaos that ensued after the match was pretty intense.

Final Thoughts: Ring of Honor is one of very few promotions who can put on a full card of solid wrestling matches with very little storyline progression and still produce and entertaining show. If you watch ROH for the storylines you can skip this one, but if you enjoy the wrestling aspects then you might enjoy it. The crowd was kind of quiet at times but they really had nothing to go wild for.

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