ROH 100 – The 100th Show – 22nd April 2006
And so we come to the final show in the epic Milestone Series. The Fourth Anniversary Show was solid, Arena Warfare was shocking, Best In The World was excellent and the Wrestlemania three-nighter was sensational. We round things off by returning to the city where it all started 99 shows ago as Ring Of Honor celebrates it’s 100th live event. Technically they’d already crossed that mark what with the numerous “Do Or Die” afternoon cards and co-presented events with the FWA and JAPW, however, this is the 100th “proper” ROH event and the line-up is as good as any you’ll see. The main event sees ROH finally get their hands on CZW in a real match. After brawling all over the place since January it’ll be ROH’s Joe, Whitmer and Pearce against the CZW team of Hero, Necro and Super Dragon in what promises to be a war. There’s also Danielson/Cabana for the World Title (leading to all sorts of other shenanigans), GeNext/Rotts for the Tag Belts, the Briscoes taking on the Styles/Sydal team in what could be a show-stealer, and even the Daniels/Double C opener sounds good. Plus this event features the frankly unbelievable and improbable sight of John ‘say f*ck every three words’ Zandig in a “verbal debate” with Jim Cornette. The National Guard Armory in Philadelphia, PA is where we are. Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard to call the action.
ROH owner Cary Silkin announces that Bryan Danielson will be the new head trainer at the ROH school. That’s not interesting. Neither is Austin Aries coming in to hand over the keys. Dragon telling Cary that now he’s World Champion and head trainer he OWNS Ring Of Honor is funny though.
Colt Cabana is happy again since he finally got a win over Homicide. Tonight he’s going to win the World Title apparently.
ELSEWHERE Lacey tells Jimmy Jacobs that she won’t be appearing in his corner tonight. However, she gives him some incentive. If he wins the match he’s in tonight she’ll take her shirt off on ROHvideos.com.
SIDENOTE – This show has a really unique crowd atmosphere because a section of the bleachers was allocated entirely to the very vocal CZW fans who make their presence known in pretty much every match. To be honest, it’s annoying at points, but it’s something different.
Claudio Castagnoli vs Christopher Daniels
This should be a technically sound opening match between two guys who don’t have a lot going on right now. Daniels main evented the first ever ROH show, now he’s back and ready to get in there with one of the next generation of talents on the roster. Claudio gets into the spirit of the night by having ‘ROH’ emblazoned on his usual tacky suit get-up that he wears to the ring. He gets a ton of heat from the CZW crew for turning his back on them.
No need to wrestle or anything, Castagnoli and Daniels start out with mutual crowd posing. Both work the arm to start with, and in truth, the most interesting part is when the camera gives us an Allison Danger close-up. Daniels gets a break with a nice springboard armdrag and both men are feeling their arms a little bit. They go through a series of pretty swish armdrags before Claudio takes a break on the floor. Out of nowhere Double C applies the Neutralizer but Daniels manages to scramble under the ropes. A leg grapevine by the Fallen Angel forces his Swiss opponent into doing the exact same thing. Castagnoli breaks out his super-stalling vertical suplex as the CZW fans give him a ‘we want Hero’ chant. He applies a chinlock which gives the ROH and CZW fans a chance to yell at each other again. Daniels dropkicks the knee to give himself a slight advantage. He begins to focus his offence on Claudio’s leg at 10 minutes. Single leg crab IN THE ROPES! I mark for some weird things! Double C attempts a running uppercut but Daniels clips the knee to ground him again. ARABIAN PRESS ON THE LEG! Castagnoli manages to land an enziguri then dives off the second rope with a European uppercut, which hurts his knee a little more. The Match Killer gets 2 as usual. Daniels blocks more uppercuts and dumps him with a DVD for another nearfall. BME GETS 2! ‘TNA’ – CZW fans. Claudio goes after Daniels’ knee now, then ties him into the Neutralizer again, but he makes the ropes. He blocks the Alfa Mari Water Slide and wins it with a completely heatless roll-up at 15:54.
Rating – ** – That was a really disappointing match, which was ultimately more memorable for our first experience of the unique crowd interaction and how hot Allison Danger looked than any of the wrestling. The first five or so minutes meant absolutely nothing other than to kill time since they knew they were going 15+. It got vaguely interesting for a while as Daniels went after Castagnoli’s leg…except in the end all the work was barely relevant to the finish (Daniels had the leg cradled, that’s about it). Then the finish came out of nowhere and after the somewhat drab match that came before it, didn’t really get any kind of response. Incidentally, by winning this match Daniels has earned a Pure Title shot at the Weekend Of Champions (the next two shows).
Chris Daniels adds his own Milestone and for the first time ever, follows the Code Of Honor and shakes Claudio’s hand, calling him the future of ROH. He leaves…and Chris Hero arrives through the crowd. Hero and his crowd heat have been one of the driving forces behind this feud, and he cuts perhaps his best promo thus far as he marches through the throngs of ROH fans towards the CZW faithful. There’s an awesome visual of him standing with his arm aloft as his fans chant ‘CZW’, as all around them people are literally screaming ‘ROH’.
APRIL TOP 5 RANKINGS
1. Colt Cabana (goes top after winning the final match with Homicide)
2. Christopher Daniels (He’s high in the rankings after a clean win over Joe in Detroit)
3. Samoa Joe (won back to back matches in Chicago to stay strong)
4. Jimmy Yang (how this guy is still in the Top 5 is anyone’s guess)
5. Roderick Strong (lost his World Title match with Bryan Danielson)
Jimmy Rave vs Delirious vs Jimmy Yang vs Jimmy Jacobs
That’s a whole lot of Jimmy. Rave went unbeaten during Wrestlemania weekend and is now right in the Tag Title hunt with Alex Shelley. Yang didn’t win a match the whole weekend, neither did Jacobs, so they’ll both need it here – and both have added incentive. Yang is looking to one-up The Embassy again just like he did at Best In The World (and has Bruce Leroy in his corner tonight) whilst f Jacobs wins, Lacey strips. He brings a picture of her to the ring since she isn’t here. Delirious is fresh off his first ever singles win and is the real wildcard of the match.
‘Lets go Jimmy’ – best chant ever! Jimmy Bower is in the booth waiting to jerk off to Lacey stripping. Meanwhile Yang grabs the picture of Lacey and humps it which makes Jacobs as mental as Delirious. Flying headscissors nailed by Jacobs but Yang knocks him into the corner with one heel kick. Delirious tries to argue that Yang’s kicks are illegal. PANIC ATTACK on Yang! Jacobs does the Viscera male-humping thing on Yang as some form of revenge for earlier. He tries to dive off the top but only succeeds in flying straight into a spinning heel kick. Rave finally makes his first entrance into the match and continues to pound on Jimmy Yang. The Korean’s nose is bleeding a little, so Rave starts pulling at his nostrils. Nana grabs his leg allowing Daizee Haze to kick him in the head. The Haze is so loathsome – probably the best heel SINCE Jimmy Rave! Jacobs gets 2 with a diving elbow from the second rope, then he starts to attack Yang’s busted up nose too. MOONSAULT PRESS on Rave by Yang, as Bruce Leroy chases Nana to the back. Tags all round meaning it’s Delirious/Jacobs now. They run around ringside before Delirious hits a leaping lariat then a big running kick to the head for 2. Rave spears Jacobs after a blind tag for another 2. Greetings From Ghana blocked as Yang comes back and takes out Rave with a low enziguri. YANG TIME MISSED! CONTRA CODE ON YANG! BUT JACOBS DOESN’T PIN HIM! He refuses to, and Delirious tags. COBRA CLUTCH BACKBREAKER…COBRA STRETCH! Delirious wins again! 13:02 is your time.
Rating – *** – Still not brilliant but much more enjoyable than the opening contest. After some early shenanigans, Jimmy Yang (and his bloody nose) made excellent fodder for a face in peril segment, and the humping thing meant both Rave and Jacobs had a real reason to WANT to hurt him. The story of Jacobs not wanting to win the match brings an intriguing twist to the Jacobs/Lacey thing. Another win does wonders for Delirious, and I assume we’ll still get Rave/Yang blown off before Yang heads back to the WWE (he was already in discussions to re-sign by this point).
Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs Homicide/Ricky Reyes (ROH Tag Title Match)
Well the GeNext/Rottweilers feud never got off the ground since Low Ki left and the Rottweilers were left with just two active wrestlers. However, they did earn themselves this Tag Title shot by winning the Scramble Match at Arena Warfare. Both suffered high-profile losses at the last show so they haven’t exactly had the greatest preparation. Aries and Strong have already cemented their place as the greatest ever ROH Tag Champions, epitomised by their thrilling defence against Blood Generation’s CIMA and Naruki Doi at Better Than Our Best. Can they keep their reign of awesomeness going against the dangerous Rottweiler combination? The interesting back story to this is that twice Ricky Reyes has trapped Aries in the dragon sleeper, and twice Aries has been unable to escape the hold.
Homicide yells down CZW fans for chanting ‘We want BLKOUT’ and he’s already getting babyface reactions after his show of respect to Cabana after the Chicago Street Fight. Reyes seems to avoid Aries, tagging out as soon as Austin gets in with him. Aries puts Homicide in a Samoan crab after a few nice mat exchanges with the Notorious 187. The champions look to work Homicide over with a lot of mid-section based offence, softening him up for the bulk of Strong’s offence. He rolls out but Aries gives chase with a HEAT SEEKING MISSILE! Reyes grabs Aries out there and rams his leg into the metal railings, and immediately the Rotts focus on the injury. Austin has to tag out because he just can’t stand up. Homicide goes for a slingshot sunset flip but only shoots himself right into a Roderick backbreaker. Reyes suplexes Strong from the second rope allowing Cide to fly from the top with a diving headbutt. Now it’s the Rottweilers going after Strong’s back with a nice backbreaker/leg drop combo for 2. Aries tries to make a save but Ricky starts kicking on his injured leg. Homicide takes Roddy outside and uses the guardrails to damage that spine again. Behind the ref’s back he throws a chair into his face. Strong has the tope con hilo scouted and this thing breaks down to a big brawl in the aisle. Cide suplexes Roddy onto a table…THEN F*CKING DOUBLE STOMPS HIM THROUGH IT! But eventually he’s able to chop his way free of the opposition clutches and get a tag. Aries is limping badly but he’s able to dish out some offence on both opponents. RUNNING DROPKICK gets 2. He goes for the brainbuster only for Homicide to chopblock the knee. Ace crusher wipes out the former World Champion…LARIAT! STRONG SAVES! HALF NELSON ON HOMICIDE! Reyes starts kicking away on Rod but eats a GIBSON DRIVER! Homicide pulls Aries off the top…DRAGON SLEEPER ON STRONG! ARIES BREAKS IT WITH A 450 SPLASH! GeNext got the crap beaten out of them but they retain at 15:11.
Rating – *** – Had that been given a little more time and we would easily have seen that breaking 4*. I’ve seen a few critical reports of this match but personally I thought it was another solid defence by the Aries/Strong combo. Maybe it wasn’t the explosive, action-packed match you’d expect with Aries, Strong and Homicide in there, but it was entertaining nonetheless. I liked the way the Rottweilers out-wrestled the Tag Champions (both injuries were well sold by Austin and Roddy) throwing in some classic gangsta antics like the chair and table use. But the ultimate story is that Aries and Strong are great defensive wrestlers too and even when comprehensively out-wrestled in a match they still have the offence to pull a flash win out of the bag – Aries 450ing for victory seemingly out of nowhere.
Bryan Danielson vs Colt Cabana – ROH World Title Match
Cabana has been rewarded for finally getting the big win over Homicide with a World Title match. He also happens to be one of the best mat-wrestlers in the company and one of the few who should be able to hang with Bryan Danielson. He’s fresh off big back-to-back wins over Rod Strong and Lance Storm so comes into this full of confidence. Remember the split crowd, and the CZW fans absolutely HATE American Dragon – the epitome of all Ring Of Honor stands for.
Danielson moons the CZW fans who are giving him all kinds of heat. The ROH faithful add to that with a ‘Hero tapped out’ chant. In the ring Dragon seems to have counters for everything Cabana tries as they get to grips with each other. Colt makes the mistake of giving Dragon a clean break but is almost able to roll him up a couple of times. CM PIN…THREE COUNT! Danielson retains in 04:59 – what a shocker! Cabana can’t believe it…and neither can most of the crowd.
Rating – * – If I gave ratings for booking I’d give that 5* since it was excellent stuff. With the focus of this event being what it is, and the crowd being as volatile as they are, there was no way Danielson and Cabana were going to go out there and wrestle the match that they could. This finish makes an interesting angle for Cabana – he’s now rusty at wrestling after months of fighting with Cabana. Meanwhile it gives Dragon an awesome amount of credibility – polishing off challengers in five minutes. These two should have great chemistry together and will have a great match down the line. For now, salute some top notch booking by Gabe and enjoy some entertaining crowd/crowd/wrestler interaction.
INTERMISSION – GMC brings his cheesy 1980’s interview skills to Jimmy Jacobs. Jimmy says he loves Lacey, and doesn’t want her to strip on ROHvideos.com for the geek fans – that’s why he didn’t pin Jimmy Yang. Colt Cabana wanders backstage still in disbelief that he lost in five minutes.
Derrick Dempsey vs Pelle Primeau – Top Of The Class Trophy Match
Because what everyone needed to see was another student match. Not that these guys don’t deserve the chance to wrestle – but it’s what dark matches and pre-shows are for. There are two Dempseys amongst the graduates – Derrick is the in-shape won. He’s the holder of the trophy here, he won it after Davey Andrews vacated it and quit ROH. Pelle is a tiny guy that takes a good pasting and isn’t as gross-looking as Mitch Franklin.
Naturally the CZW fans just aren’t interested in watching two green students from the ROH wrestling school and sh*t all over this, whilst Prazak and Leonard take the opportunity to shill the academy to potential students. Derrick and Pelle slap each other. Primeau shows some fire in hanging with his more powerful opponent but Derrick just keeps hammering him down. BACK DROP DRIVER! Dempsey slaps on an abdominal stretch in an attempt to dominate his little opponent, but Pelle counters with a hurricanrana. Springboard crossbody from the little guy gets 2, but Derrick comes back by wiping him out with a spinebuster. That’s enough for him to retain at 03:19.
Rating – * – To be fair to these kids, that was probably as good a three minute match between two guys with barely a years experience as you’re likely to see. They told the big guy/little guy story well in the time given with Pelle again bumping like a lunatic to put over Dempsey’s offence well. I expected nothing from this and was pleasantly surprised.
Bryan Danielson re-emerges from the locker-room (wearing one of the Tag Titles by mistake) to antagonise the CZW fans some more. He is absolutely FANTASTIC here, tearing the CZW fans apart. For a guy that used to suck on a promo he stands tall now, delivering one of the most charismatic and entertaining promos of the year. He truly is perhaps the best wrestler in the world right now. Maybe it’s between him and Samoa Joe…but then again he’s stuck in TNA-Joe mode at the moment. Getting to business, he talks about his reign as World Champion. Since he beat Cabana so quickly he wants to defend the belt again tonight – against a winner from the first half. Problem is – he’s already beaten Daniels, Aries and Strong…so that just leaves Delirious!
Bryan Danielson vs Delirious – ROH World Title Match
Talk about your mis-match. Bryan Danielson is cementing his legacy as arguably the best World Champion in ROH history and has beaten an all-star list of challengers. Meanwhile Delirious has won two singles matches in two years with the company and has never come close to beating someone the calibre of AmDrag. Can he make the huge step up and shock the world? Is this his chance to establish himself as a big name in Ring Of Honor at last?
Danielson repeatedly slaps Delirious in the face to stop him ranting in lizard-speak. He goes right to the Mexican surfboard with some extra stretch for increased Delirihumbling. Bow and arrow stretch next, then pisses off the CZW fans by stealing Super Dragon’s CURB STOMP! Delirious is pretty much destroyed, but he kicks out of Dragon’s cocky pin. Sexy-sexy deathlock greets the CZDub marks as they chant ‘this match sucks’ and ‘Ring Of Homos’. He starts ripping at the mask because his mission here is to make a statement and completely obliterate the lizard-man. Delirious has officially lasted longer than Cabana now though. Just like in the ECW Arena, Danielson reacts to the ‘boring’ treatment with an abdominal stretch; as per usual with rope-pull cheating. Delirious finally mounts some offence, headbutting Danielson away from him on the top rope. SHADOWS OVER HELL! But he can’t follow because he’s too beaten up. PANIC ATTACK, then a small package for 2. Dragon counters the leaping lariat with Cattle Mutilation and you’d think that would be it, but Delirious gets to the ropes! Crossface chickenwing blocked…WITH AN AIRPLANE SPIN! Delirious punts Dragon in the head THEN APPLIES THE COBRA STRETCH! This time it’s American Dragon scrambling for the bottom rope. TOPE SUICIDAAAAAAA! That was cool, but Danielson counters by throwing Delirious into the guardrails, and throwing him INTO the ringpost. Dragon rips the mask open and it turns out that ringpost shot has busted him open. Delirious has brown hair…how un-lizard-like. Danielson executes a dragon suplex and calls for the finish with another Mutilation. Only for Delirious to get to the ropes again – sending the ROH fans nuts! He spends way too long posing and misses a diving headbutt. The bloody Delirious hits a LARIAT FLURRY in the corner then takes him upstairs. Danielson slips out though…BACK SUPERPLEX! MMA ELBOWS! Danielson finally forces ref stoppage at 15:38.
Rating – **** – I’m going 4* on this because it’s as brilliantly performed as I’ve EVER seen the underdog squash story performed. Bryan Danielson single-handedly led Delirious to his best ROH match to date with possibly his best heel wrestling ever. He started cocky, not really caring about Delirious and spending more time jawing with the CZW fans. But then Delirious mounted an unlikely flurry – forcing Dragon to get serious. He attacked the mask like a cock and busted him open. But Delirious still wouldn’t admit defeat, refusing to tap to the Cattle Mutilation and coming back for more. In the end it took Danielson’s dreaded “for f*cks sake won’t you just die now” elbows to get the win – and Delirious has taken a big step to becoming the star he’s always had the ability to be. Bryan Danielson deserves 4* for this match – and for bleeding for the cause, Delirious does too. Incidentally Delirious absolutely shredded his hand on the ringpost during that final sequence and it’s gushing blood.
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs AJ Styles/Matt Sydal
In the Spring of 2003 the Briscoes/AJ&Red clashes produced some of the most memorable tag team matches the company had ever showcased. Until the Briscoes finally gave some stability and credence to the tag belts later that year they were pretty much the only significant matches in the history of that championship. Now it’s years later, and the Briscoes are back in ROH, bigger and seemingly better than ever. They’re chasing Generation Next and a Tag Title shot – but so are AJ and Sydal, who have already failed once. Matt Sydal in particular wants another shot, seeing as he’s still in a little competitive rivalry with his GeNext compadres. It’s 2006. The Briscoes are better than they were then. AJ is better than he was then, but holds a little more back in ROH than he used to. Matt Sydal is better than Amazing Red was. Can this top what we saw years ago?
Jay and Mark try to jump their opponents, but Styles knows his opponents well and they’re able to counter that. LEAPFROG KNEE-STRIKE by Sydal on Mark in the corner. AJ dropkicks Jay as their early momentum continues. Mark misses a springboard dropkick and gets clobbered by Styles. Swinging neckbreaker nailed for Sydal to get a 2. Mark blocks the climbing wizard allowing the Briscoes to finally get an advantage on Matt. Jay goes for a DVD but Sydal counters with his enzicanrana and gets a tag. But the Briscoes take over on Styles as well, Mark hitting a slingshot double stomp for 2. AJ gives him a nip-up rana and both Briscoes end up on the floor. STEREO DIVES FROM STYLES AND SYDAL! They bring Mark back in but he kicks Styles in the balls to escape their clutches. The Briscoes manipulate the referee enabling them to get some crafty double-teams in. Sydal tries to get a tag so Mark drags him back to their corner by his face – ouch. JUMPING FRANKENSTEINER on Mark finally allows Matt to tag. Styles messes up a backbreaker/gutbuster on Jay but follows up well with a quebrada inverted DDT. Mark kicks him in the face to save Jay from the Styles Clash. NECKBREAKER/BODY SPLASH combo by Styles and Sydal…then a BRUTAL powerbomb/neckbreaker combo to follow! Jay lifts Sydal onto his shoulders for a MOTHERF*CKING SPRINGBOARD DOOMSDAY DEVICE! AJ SAVES! Jay tries to kick AJ’s head off as punishment. Sydal blocks the Jay Driller with a STANDING MOONSAULT! Mark nails him from behind…SPIKE JAY DRILLER! AJ desperately tries to save his partner but it’s too late. Briscoes win in 12:42.
Rating – **** – It was surprisingly short but nonetheless jam-packed with action and had a good story running through the whole thing holding it together. Styles and Sydal would repeatedly get in flurries of offence but it was the experience as a team (both within and outside the rules) of the Briscoes that continually kept them in charge, and it was their array of double team moves that finally got them the victory. Incidentally, I LOVED the finish here, with Styles diving but being too late to prevent the spike Jay Driller. Criticise AJ in ROH if you may (and I do have my reservations) but he’s having a great year for a guy that’s pretty much only part-time these days. He’s made Matt Sydal a star, both as an opponent and partner, participated in some enthralling tag team bouts and given Bryan Danielson a top notch title defence back in January. He’s not the force he once was to the promotion – but as an outsider he’s doing a hell of a job. I’ll tip my hat to him here. Oh, and rewind that springboard Doomsday Device – simply jaw-dropping.
Here there’s a nice video package of memorable moments from the first 99 shows. Good times, and I can definitely say I’m proud to say I’m an ROH fan, and proud to have contributed in a small way to their success with my merchandise purchases. I also miss Paul London.
Jim Cornette vs John Zandig – Verbal Debate
As part of the inter-promotional rivalry their two vibrant figure-heads will go head to head on the microphone. On paper this is probably the dumbest thing Zandig has done in his long history of doing dumb things. Trying to out-promo a guy who is recognised as giving some of the best interviews of the past quarter of a century in professional wrestling. Zandig will swear a lot, and will have the support of his vocal CZW fans. Jimmy is on crutches after blowing out his knee in all the shenanigans in Chicago, and brings Adam Pearce with him as added security.
Unfortunately this deal means we have to put up with GMC getting some in-ring time as well. He tries to structure this like a high school debate contest which is the most retarded thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Cornette predictably opens up (in admittedly comical fashion) by pointing out that compared to him, Zandig is nothing in the hierarchy of this sport. Then he sucks up to the crowd by raving about how important Philadelphia is to wrestling. Zandig tells him to ‘shut the f*ck up’ because it’s not 1986 so Cornette talks over him. He says it’s time for Philly to decide if they want to be on the cutting edge (ROH) like they were with ECW or in the 80’s. Zandig points out that it’s thanks to the CZW feud that ROH has finally started drawing well in the city. Then Jim rambles off criticising WWE and Zandig calls him out on it. Corny is getting visibly pissed off now, whilst Zandig seems remarkably relaxed. Then he rips the piss out of Smokey Mountain too – awesome! I think GMC has given up by the way, because these two are pretty much shooting the sh*t out of each other. Cornette resorts to rather childishly calling him a ‘faggot f*cker’ than walking off…and with that it’s pretty much time for the fight…
MY PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS –
‘You couldn’t innovate a fart if you ate a plate of baked beans’ – Cornette.
‘You don’t know what you’re talking about, half of that f*cking locker room came from CZW’ – Zandig
‘Half of that locker room wouldn’t go back for a million dollars either’ – Cornette (in reply)
Segment Thoughts – Personally I thought the whole segment was a little embarrassing. It crapped all over kayfabe for one thing. And for another it was so unstructured and intensely personal it wasn’t so much good TV as like watching a really ugly carwreck. But believe it or not (and I know most people disagree on this) I actually thought Zandig emerged with a lot more credit than Cornette. He kept his cool throughout and continually made good points (telling him to stop ranting about the past, to stop talking about the WWE, talking about half of the ROH roster coming from CZW etc) whilst Cornette took everything rather personally, came off as rather desperate for the fans to side with him and ended up ranting and not letting Zandig get a word in edgeways. He did come up with some hilarious lines though. It was again pretty unique, and an interesting addition to the feud – but never do that again.
Samoa Joe/BJ Whitmer/Adam Pearce vs Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon
So finally, for the first time since Danielson/Hero in January, we get ROH vs CZW in a legitimate match. Over the course of the Milestone Series Samoa Joe has got himself more and more involved in the CZW feud (probably since Wifebeater chased him with a weedwhacker at Arena Warfare!). Meanwhile it’s been BJ Whitmer (who ended that very show tied up to the ropes and beaten senseless by the entire CZW roster) and Adam Pearce who have stepped up as the key defenders of Ring Of Honor. On the CZW side, it’s been Chris Hero and Necro Butcher who have really taken the fight to ROH. They’ve frequently invaded shows and caused havoc anywhere Ring Of Honor has gone. Now they’ve called on the services of the man that vented his frustrations at the ECW Arena in March, Super Dragon – another guy ROH deemed not good enough for them. They’ve also brought their own referee (Bryce Remsburg – who incidentally is a really nice guy). This one could get real violent really quickly. There’s no commentary here simply because the action speaks for itself. To be honest I barely noticed, and it took me nearly 10 minutes just to realise nobody was commentating.
Predictably it’s a complete pier sixer to start with the crowd absolutely ravenous. Joe has Hero in the ring and rocks him with the big boot/senton combo then the ELBOW SUICIDAAAAA! Claudio Castagnoli does a run in to steal Zandig’s baseball bat whilst Necro chair slams Pearce. OLE OLE KICK ON HERO! Pearce is bleeding from a big gash in the top of his head and it looks really nasty, but he appears to have opened Butcher up as well with a few chair shots. Meanwhile in the crowd Joe and BJ suplex Super Dragon into a stack of chairs to more thunderous cheers. Whitmer adds to that by slamming him through an open chair whilst Joe, Pearce, Necro and Hero are messing up ringside again. JOE AND NECRO SUPER-STIFFNESS DUEL! JOE B*TCHSLAPS NECRO DOWN! In the ring Pearce powerbombs him on a chair but there is literally fights going on all over the arena now…including Super Dragon seemingly about to start on fans until BJ starts hammering him with a chair. E HONDA STRIKES BY JOE! That’ll learn that mask-wearing freak. Adam actually tries to rip the mask off, whilst Butcher does his best to literally throttle the Samoan. Whitmer gives Hero a brainbuster which gets a rare 2 count, but Dragon runs into the ring and jabs him in the balls. He pushes Whitmer off the ropes and lands a SENTON BOMB for 2. On the floor again Pearce gives Necro a one-man con-chair-to…what a war. Back in the ring Necro tries to powerbomb Joe through some chairs…but Joe floors him with forearm strikes THEN TURNS THE CHAIRS BACK TO BACK! BACK DROP DRIVER THROUGH THE BACK TO BACK CHAIRS! Pearce gives Dragon a running powerslam into the railings but Hero arrives to take him out.
Hero gets 2 on Whitmer from a Yakuza kick. CRAVAT NECKBREAKER..for 2. Pearce and Necro take centre stage FOR A BOXING MATCH! The clock has just gone by 15:00 as Necro and Pearce continue to lay into each other. Hero ends that fight with another cravat only for Adam to suplex him for being such a twat. Joe has Dragon – SIDEWALK SLAM THROUGH A TABLE! He enters the ring to kick the sh*t out of Hero, but both Butcher and Dragon hit the ring to make the save. Necro flogs him with a belt. PEARCE WITH THE SUPERFLY SPLASH ON HERO! DRAGON BREAKS THE PIN WITH A DOUBLE STOMP! CURB STOMP! WHITMER TAKES HIS HEAD OFF WITH A LARIAT! EXPLODER THROUGH A CHAIR! DANGEROOOOUUUUS! DRAGON KICKS OUT AT 2!! Necro breaks a chair over Whitmer’s head by way of a save for his partner. He then wraps another chair around his head and starts smacking that one with it which must hurt like f*ck. Dragon sets Whitmer’s head up in a chair. DOUBLE STOMP ON THE CHAIR! WHITMER KICKS OUT! Super Dragon is f*cking furious. No goddamn way…PSYCHO DRIVER OFF THE APRON THROUGH A TABLE! THAT’S MURDER! Zandig arrives through the crowd again and Joe tries to kill him…except the numbers are too much now. The ROH and CZW refs start going at it…AND BRYCE LAYS OUT TODD! Hero puts Joe in a cravat…as Castagnoli comes back to even the sides. EUROPEAN UPPERCUT ON JOE! THE KINGS OF WRESTLING RE-UNITE! The ROH fans are begging Homicide to come to the ring but he doesn’t. DOUBLE HERO’S WELCOME on Pearce! Thanks to Claudio turning his back on ROH, CZW get the win in an epic 25:23.
Rating – ***** – I had to think a little bit about rating quite that high, but hell, it definitely justifies it. That was an incredible brawl with all six men looking absolutely incredible. Hero shone as the chickensh*t prick that hates the ROH fans, Necro looked like he can withstand anything whilst Dragon came off like a machine after that insane Psycho Driver. On the ROH side, Joe was awesome, having excellent exchanges with all three opponents. Whitmer again deserves credit for putting his body on the line for the cause, whilst Pearce bled buckets and showed some incredible chemistry with Necro. For six guys to brawl for that long with-out any semblance of rules and for it to NEVER get boring is quite incredible. THAT’S why it deserves 5*. The climax with the KOW and Zandig stuff was a great way to give CZW the win on ROH’s big 100th show but keep this feud going. In fact, after this amazing war, I’d say this feud just got even MORE intense.
Joe comes to the aid of a hapless (and disgustingly bloody) Adam Pearce as all the CZW guys run off to celebrate with their fans. A doctor has to take a loot at Pearce, whilst BJ has to be stretchered out. Samoa Joe looks irate but sportingly instructs the sound guy to play the CZW music – promising it’s the last time anybody will hear it. And that ends what was a crazy spectacle. Truly a one of a kind match that hasn’t been seen in this promotion before, and probably won’t again.
GMC is with a distraught Colt Cabana. He apologies for sucking so badly and losing in under five minutes. He says he now has to go back to the bottom of the card and work his way up again – remembering how to wrestle along the way. He promises it’s not over with Bryan Danielson.
The final shots are of Adam Pearce getting cleaned up. He has an absolutely sickening (and deep) ‘H’-shaped wound in the side/top of his head. Blame that on Hero please!
Tape Rating – **** – It didn’t pepper you with amazing matches like the Wrestlemania shows and maybe it wasn’t as top-to-bottom solid as Best In The World either, but this had a feel like no other Ring Of Honor event. The split crowd made for an awesome (almost football (soccer)-like) atmosphere and gave the whole show a big-time feeling. Add to that you get Bryan Danielson giving perhaps the most charismatic performance of his life, some really intelligent booking (with Danielson/Cabana match), an unexpectedly gripping World Title match, exciting tag team wrestling and a surefire MOTYC main event – you need this show.
Top 3 Matches
3) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs AJ Styles/Matt Sydal (****)
2) Bryan Danielson vs Delirious (****)
1) Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon vs Samoa Joe/BJ Whitmer/Adam Pearce (*****)
MILESTONE SERIES LIST-A-MANIA
Milestone Series Top 10 Matches
1) Bryan Danielson vs Roderick Strong (***** – Supercard Of Honor)
2) Do Fixer vs Blood Generation (***** – Supercard Of Honor)
3) Team CZW vs Team ROH (***** – The 100th Show)
4) KENTA/Naomichi Marufuji vs Bryan Danielson/Samoa Joe (****1/2 – Best In The World)
5) Blood Generation vs Generation Next (****1/2 – Dragon Gate Challenge)
6) Roderick Strong/Jack Evans vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe (****1/2 – Best In The World)
7) Bryan Danielson vs Jimmy Rave (****1/2 – Fourth Anniversary Show)
8) Colt Cabana vs Homicide (**** – Better Than Our Best)
9) Bryan Danielson vs Lance Storm (**** – Better Than Our Best)
10) Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs CIMA/Naruki Doi (**** – Better Than Our Best)
Milestone Series Top 10 Wrestlers
1) Bryan Danielson (Had show-stealing 4*+ matches on nearly every card)
2) Austin Aries (Continues his awesome ’06. Even his short match with Reyes in New York was fun)
3) Roderick Strong (2006 MOTY, great matches elsewhere, is only dragged down by the Yang match)
4) Matt Sydal (2006 is a break-out year for him and he put in consistent performances throughout)
5) Homicide (Entered the Milestone Series as a huge heel – comes out on the cusp of being top face)
6) BJ Whitmer (The CZW feud is FINALLY getting him over. Has put his body on the line repeatedly)
7) Colt Cabana (The Homicide feud was gripping, great blow-off to that and leaves with a good angle)
8) Jimmy Rave (Delivered a career-best performance at 4YA and was solid every time out)
9) CIMA (The pick of the Dragon Gate wrestlers with three memorable matches Wrestlemania week)
10) Jack Evans (Almost died at 4YA, but continues to improve rapidly and now goes to Japan)
The Milestone Series – Ranked
1) Supercard Of Honor (31st March 2006 – Chicago Ridge, IL)
2) Better Than Our Best (1st April 2006 – Chicago Ridge, IL)
3) The 100th Show (22nd April – Philadelphia, PA)
4) Dragon Gate Challenge (30th March 2006 – Detroit, MI)
5) Best In The World (25th March 2006 – Manhattan, NY)
6) Fourth Anniversary Show (25th February 2006 – Edison, NJ)
7) Arena Warfare (11th March 2006 – Philadelphia, PA)
Reasons You NEED Each Show
Fourth Anniversary Show – 25th February – Edison, NJ
Bryan Danielson vs Jimmy Rave is a classic match. There’s an enjoyable Tag Title match too. The Cabana/Homicide feud escalates further in a violent Ghetto Fight, plus Jack Evans suicidal dive to the floor and more ROH/CZW rioting fun.
Arena Warfare – 11th March – Philadelphia, PA
Perhaps the weakest show of the Milestone Series, but it ends in truly memorable fashion as the entire rosters of both ROH and CZW brawl throughout the ECW Arena. Aries/Sydal is a show-stealer between two of the most consistent talents in the promotion this year, whilst Bryan Danielson and Alex Shelley produce a lengthy but entertaining World Title bout.
Best In The World – 25th March – Manhattan, NY
Gabe calls this his favourite ROH New York show and it’s an arguable point. The two tag team matches at the top of the card are must-see. Strong/Evans vs the Briscoes is simply beautiful, cutting-edge tag team wrestling whilst the dream main event of KENTA and Marufuji against Joe and American Dragon is a hard-hitting classic. Nigel/Claudio have their last Pure Title match, and there’s also Ring Of Honor’s best ever womens match.
Dragon Gate Challenge – 30th March – Detroit, MI
The start of the historic Wrestlemania triple shot is one of the most solid top-to-bottom shows you’ll see. FIVE matches reach 4* with the obvious pick being the BloodGen vs GeNext trios match. Don’t sleep on Joe/Daniels as your main event though, there’s some really sensible work there. Elsewhere, Delirious shows signs of starting to finally show his full potential as he steals the show in the Embassy vs Dragon/Delirious match, and BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs almost kill each other in a hellish undercard clash.
Supercard Of Honor – 31st March – Chicago Ridge, IL
My personal pick for best ROH show ever. It doesn’t have the consistent match quality of some others (including the following evening’s show) but it FEELS like a big-time PPV that the WWE could put on and it wouldn’t look out of place. It also hosts the top 2 MOTY’s for this year thus far in BloodGen/Do Fixer and Danielson/Strong 3.
Better Than Our Best – 1st April – Chicago Ridge, IL
Many fans opt for this event as the best ROH show ever. After some crowd-pleasing early matches it hits into higher gear with 4* matches being peppered at you one after another. The Dragon Gate stars are in top form again, Lance Storm returns to the ring in a technical masterpiece with American Dragon and the main event witnesses the emotional conclusion to the long-standing Homicide/Cabana feud (which ironically, I think, ultimately did more for Homicide than it did for Colt)
The 100th Show – 22nd April – Philadelphia, PA
Ending the Milestone Series with ROH’s 100th ever show, you’ll witness a memorable and truly unique event with a red-hot crowd, brutal main event and more to look out for besides.
FINAL THOUGHTS – ROH really delivered what it promised with the Milestone Series. Each show has it’s own very definite selling points and, in it’s own way, each event has something which stands up and says MUST-OWN. It is as good a sequence of shows as any company has ever done ever delivering endless memorable matches and moments. I cannot stress enough how much you NEED the entire series in your wrestling collection. Even the fiercest of critics will find lots to enjoy.