ROH 119 – Glory By Honor 5 Night 2 – September 16th 2006
The Glory By Honor roadshow rolls into New York City for a show which has received much critical acclaim. Headlining the show is KENTA’s challenge for the ROH World Title, which promises to be a real classic. We’ll also witness the historic first ever defence of the GHC Heavyweight Title on foreign soil as Naomichi Marufuji defends it against Nigel McGuinness. The Kings Of Wrestling get their shot at the ROH World Tag Titles, there’s a big grudge tag match as former enemies Homicide and Samoa Joe team up against the Briscoes. Jim Cornette and Bruno Sammartino are in the house as well. We’re in Manhattan, NY at the Manhattan Centre – the same building where they used to tape Raw when it first started. It looks incredible – perhaps the best looking arena ROH now runs in. Hosts are the solid duo of Dave Prazak and Jared David. They’re doing a fine job now, but I still miss Lenny Leonard.
ROH VIDEO RECAPS (01/09/06 – 13/09/06) – See Glory By Honor Night Night 1 (ROH 118).
American Dragon is in the street outside Madison Square Garden, with lots of confused New Yorkers looking at him. His label is sticking out of his t-shirt. He says MSG was where Bruno Sammartino made his legacy…and tonight he’ll forge his own legacy in the Manhattan Centre.
Davey Richards vs Jack Evans
This should be a great opening match. Evans is making his last appearance of the year, since he’ll be spending the next few months with Dragon Gate. He won a four corner match last night and will be looking for back to back victories to set him up for 2007. Davey is still one of the highlights of ROH’s midcard…but he’s stalled a little since finishing up his mini-feud with Jimmy Rave. His matches are still good but he needs a bit of direction to keep him fresh.
Still can’t get over how incredible ROH in the Manhattan Centre looks on DVD. Jack goes all flippy to avoid Richards, including a wild DOUBLE SPRINGBOARD flying headscissors. Davey promptly grabs Evans and throws him to the mat to stop the aerial antics. BACKFLIP kick by Evans, then a handspring elbow. He goes to the apron only to be kicked in the head. Richards uses the guardrails, then gets back in the ring to use a gutbuster to stop Jack’s constant motion. He goes for a suplex over the top rope, and does it with such velocity that Evans ricochets off and crashes through the timekeepers table to boot. Moonsault reverse elbow sends Richards to the floor. SPACE FLYING TIGER DIVE! I think he even added an extra rotation on that. Evans thinks 630…630 SENTON INTO DAVEY’S KNEES! Davey gets 2 with a running powerslam. Evans uses a hurricanrana to counter the Ligerbomb. Davey comes back with a flurry of kicks. Powerbomb into the Stretch Muffler. 07:35 is your time as Jack Evans taps out.
Rating – *** – Balls to the wall, super-exciting way to open the show. Jack has improved so much this year. He’s been a good tag wrestler for a while, but check out this match, and check out Evans/Dragon from Time To Man Up – he’s starting to get good in singles matches too. These guys basically wrestled at 100mph and delivered a really exciting bout. Finish was out of the blue though…
Backstage Nigel cuts a pretty emotional promo about what tonight’s GHC match with Naomichi Marufuji means to him. He’s going to leave it all in the ring tonight.
Wrestlers, officials, NOAH guests and more (including Alex Shane…what’s he doing there?) surround the ring as Bruno Sammartino is brought out. He gets an enormous ovation and seems genuinely touched by it. He says he’s been impressed by what he’s seen of Ring Of Honor on DVD, and the work ethic of the wrestlers. He leaves shaking every hand in sight. Then the wrestlers start to leave. Except Samoa Joe and Takeshi Morishima (of NOAH) who get into an argument and have to be physically restrained. The crowd goes ballistic. Joe/Morishima in 2007…should be fantastic.
Adam Pearce vs Delirious
Delirious has been bugging Commissioner Cornette for bigger matches recently. He’s had a breakout year and wants more time in the spotlight. Cornette has mostly been pretty unresponsive and annoyed, and has booked him against Lt. Commissioner Pearce (who hasn’t been on a show for a while) in order to teach him a lesson.
Pearce clobbers Delirious before the bell, which negates the lizard-man’s usual off-putting antics at the start of a match. Delirious responds with a flurry of pin attempts. He decides to hide under the ring, then pops out the other side for a running cannonball senton from the apron. Back in the ring it’s Pearce nailing a spinebuster, then lifting him into a PRESS SLAM TO THE FLOOR! Jeez, New York fans hate Adam Pearce. He picks Delirious up for a backbreaker, then scales the ropes for the Superfly Splash. He soars into Delirious’ lizard-knees. Never Ending Story clotheslines in the corner wear Adam down. The fans count them all the way up to 60. Panic Attack connects, and it’s time for Shadows Over Hell. Shane Hagadorn runs from the back and clobbers Delirious with brass knucks. The ref saw none of that, and Pearce takes advantage with a JUMPING PILEDRIVER. He wins at 08:17.
Rating – ** – Pretty basic, but I enjoyed it – partially because of the crowd heat. Delirious was super-over, and Pearce was boo’d like crazy anytime he was on offence. It really added what was nothing more than a throwaway undercard match to advance a few angles (bringing Delirious onto the anti-Cornette side of ROH’s political divide and officially unifying Pearce and Hagadorn). I feel like I’ve spent a lot of the summer complaining about various crowd…but credit to the guys in the Manhattan Centre. Thus far they’re easily the best crowd of the year.
Adam Pearce says Shane Hagadorn is his new assistant/”man-servant”. NYC is ecstatic…not.
SIDENOTE – The amount mobile phones for Jimmy Jacobs’ entrance tonight is astounding.
Jimmy Jacobs vs Christopher Daniels vs Colt Cabana
We were made very familiar with the situation with Cabana, Lacey and Jimmy Jacobs during last night’s event. Colt is nailing Lacey, and as a result Jimmy Jacobs is extremely miserable. They now have a bizarre love triangle thing going on as Lacey wants them to team up, Cabana just wants to have fun, and Jimmy is thoroughly miserable. Who knows what Chris Daniels will make of all this.
Jimmy Jacobs starts crying before the bell even rings. Lacey screams at him until he finally tries to get involved. Cabana sends Jacobs straight into a drop toehold from Daniels which sends him to the floor. Lacey is still on the apron and Colt takes the opportunity for a little upskirt perving. Lacey again tries to get CC and JJ to work as a team. Colt almost immediately ends up shoulder tackling Jimmy. He wants to get revenge, but Lacey orders him to stop, much to Cabana’s amusement. This leads to lots of the comedy goofing team spots that Cabana and Jacobs did last night. Daniels is nothing but the punching bag in this circus. Finally he hoists Jacobs into an accidental spear on Cabana. Jimmy gets 2 on Daniels with a Golden Gate Swing. Daniels evades the Contra Code to land the BME, but Colt breaks the fall. Daniels puts him in the Koji Clutch. Angels Wings blocked and Colt hits an ASAI MOONSAULT to the outside. He thinks about Colt 45 but Jimmy comes from behind and kicks him in the nuts. CONTRA CODE…and Jacobs wins at 11:06.
Rating – * – Not my cup of tea at all. It was basically the same match as yesterday, except not as fun, full of spots I’d already seen, and with the added disadvantage of classic two guys fight, one guy stands around triple threat lameness. I love the finish, with Jacobs getting the win by screwing over Lacey’s boyfriend, but the match went on too long and just didn’t hold my attention as well as the four way on Night 1.
Jim Cornette makes his way to the ring flanked, as he was at Gut Check, by the Briscoes. After his lengthy speech that night, I’m worried about seeing him with a microphone again. It doesn’t take him long to start repeating things he’s already said. He asks for a show of hands to see who’s on his side. The Briscoes raise their hands lol. Jim resorts to cheap anti-New York heat…for the love of god stop giving him a live microphone with no time limits. He’s decided to grant Homicide’s request for an ROH World Title shot…on the last show of 2006. And only if he and Joe beat the Briscoes tonight. If he loses the title match will be pushed back to January 2007…by which time he’ll already be gone because he’s only given himself until the end of this year to win it. He then launches into a pseudo-racist tirade which serves no purpose whatsoever. What the hell is this? Another 10 minutes of my life wasted…
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Homicide/Samoa Joe
Even though Homicide and Joe don’t like each other and have heat going all the way back to 2002, the Samoan is stepping up to help Homicide after Cide was man enough to help ROH in the fight with CZW. And that brings Joe back into contact with two guys he’s had a lengthy feud with in the past – the Briscoe brothers. Jay and Mark are firmly in the corner of Commissioner Cornette and are willing to do whatever it takes to stop take Homicide out of ROH. He’s now in a position where he must win this match tonight to get his World Title shot at Final Battle 2006. If he loses, he’s done with ROH.
Homicide and Joe look absolutely mental before charging the ring. DUELLING ELBOW SUICIDA/TOPE CON HILO!!! Mark starts legally for the Briscoes only to get his ass kicked. Jay gets the tag but Joe and Cide have their way with him too. Three Amigos gets Homicide a 2. Jay tries to fight back, so Joe winds up for an enzi kick right to the back of the head…ouch. He brings more neat bad ass-ery by dragging Jay across the ring by his mouth. Finally Briscoe is able to get an advantage by kicking Homicide in the balls, then tossing him to the floor where Mark waits to attack. That’s a cue for the Briscoes to take control of the contest. Tag to Samoa Joe who promptly obliterates Mark with the big boot/running senton combo. Mark tries to throw some forearms but Joe knocks him back with a SPINNING BACK HAND TO THE FACE! Jay’s had enough of that and he knees the Samoan from behind. The crowd start to rally behind him, so Jay slows the match down with a rear chinlock. Finally Joe drops Jay on his face and gets the tag. Homicide gives Mark a DDT from the second rope, and springs across the ring into a running knee strike on his brother. He tries to suplex Mark to the floor but that’s countered. RUNNING SUICIDE DIVE by Mark. But Homcide runs back in to give Jay an Ace crusher. Urinage suplex by Mark…LARIATOOOOOOOOO by Joe! NECKBREAKER/BACK DROP DRIVER combo on Jay. Joe blocks the springboard Doomsday Device by hanging Mark on the top rope then kicking him almost through the guardrail. Homicide and Jay are still going at it in the ring. COP KILLA! Homicide wins at 17:59.
Rating – *** – Considering the talent involved the middle portion of that match was SO dull. I mean, it was well structured, you could physically SEE the storyline and direction they were driving the match in, but until that spinning back hand chop by Joe it all seemed so perfunctory and dry. The stipulations effectively meant Homicide was fighting for his ROH career…but the match never ever really made it feel like that was the case. Fortunately, just like the Briscoes/KENTAfuji tag from last night though, a hot closing stretch salvaged the match and hid its fault under a flurry of exciting action. Homicide’s title shot is set at December 23rd 2006.
Jim Cornette comes out for some more mic time. He confirms that Homicide has his title shot, but promises he’ll have to walk through hell in order to get to Final Battle.
INTERMISSION – Gary Cappetta is with Lacey, Colt Cabana and Jimmy Jacobs again. Lacey tells Jimmy to apologise to Cabana for kicking him in the balls.
We see KENTA warming up backstage somewhere. Cool shot…
Bruno Sammartino talks to Bryan Danielson and Naomichi Marufuji about the responsibilities of being a World Champion. I’m not sure Marufuji understood a word of that…
Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs Kings Of Wrestling – ROH Tag Title Match
Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli use Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ as entrance music. That makes them the coolest people in the Manhattan Centre. Anyway, they’ve got this title shot since they grabbed an open contract that Aries and Strong sent out. There’s also heat on it because Hero and Claudio are the guys that stole the belts back in August.
Hero and Claudio jump the champions rather than shake their hands, and the match is underway. Aries and Strong recover to hit a barrage of chops. Roderick and Double C chain, but that just results in both challengers becoming victims of more savage Strong chops. Claudio has been isolated early, but take note of Aries grabbing at his ribs after hitting a couple of splashes from various positions. Roddy suplexes Castagnoli over the ropes then hits a leg drop from the second for 2. Hart Attack double team gets 2 as well. Finally Double C is able to distract the referee whilst Hero sneaks across the ring and drops Aries ribs-first over the top rope. Just like that the momentum changes and Austin is having his ribs worked over by the KOW. Castagnoli lodges a knee deep into the back as he wrenches on a rear chinlock – superb camera work on that. Canadian gutbuster by Hero, then he holds Aries in a Gory special allowing CC to dropkick the exposed torso. Rib dropkick/gutbuster combo by the Kings as the onslaught continues. The big boot/Dislocator combo gets 2, and Strong is having to come in regularly to break pinfalls now. Hero chickenwings the arms around his own legs then grabs AA’s legs for extra stretch…but Strong comes in to boot him in the head. Finally Aries tumbles through both opponents to get the crucial hot tag to his partner. Roddy clears house on the Kings…allowing Aries to nail the HEAT SEEKING MISSILE! RUNNING CORKSCREW PESCADO BY STRONG! Gibson Driver gets a 2 on Castagnoli. Hero boots Rod in the head allowing Claudio to get a 2 right back with a gutwrench powerbomb. ALFA MARI WATER SLIDE…but Austin breaks the pin. He tags Hero with the running corner dropkick, then launches him into Roddy’s big boot. CHOP BRAINBUSTER! HALF NELSON BACKBREAKER! Hero prevents Aries from nailing the 450 Splash to round it off. Claudio SMACKS Austin in the ribs with the briefcase! DOUBLE HERO’S WELCOME ON STRONG! Austin can barely stand due to his injuries, and is bleeding from the mouth, but he gets back in. Hero stops him hitting a brainbuster with another boot to the stomach. KRS-1! New champs at 21:35.
Rating – **** – That was a hell of a match. It maybe lacked the flat-out excitement of some of Aries and Strong’s prior defences, but for great heel work, focused body part attacks and wonderful selling this was a great match. Everyone was desperate to see the Kings get their asses kicked, and the first five minutes were just that – with the ROH turncoat Double C singled out for most of the abuse. But from there the heat segment on Austin was brilliant, leading to a solid finish which nicely rounded out the story they’d worked on for the whole match. The match wasn’t without it’s flaws – some of the Hero/Castagnoli double team moves still look enormously contrived and stupid, but I thought overall this was very strong. Another great match to end the terrific reign of the now-former champions.
BJ Whitmer is on a couch at home with his surgically repaired ankle in a cast. But his message to Jimmy Jacobs is simple – he’ll be back for revenge. For Whitmer this was a semi-decent promo.
Naomichi Marufuji vs Nigel McGuinness – GHC Heavyweight Title Match
This gets the full GHC treatment, with theme music, title declaration…the whole shebang. Marufuji won the title a week ago, defeating Jun Akiyama with his Perfect Inside Cradle. He’s now the first ever man in NOAH to have held the Junior and Heavyweight titles in both singles and tag wrestling. This is his first defence. Nigel is a regular in NOAH, but isn’t really anything more than your average midcard gaijin act. This is a huge deal for him so he’ll be looking to put in a performance to remember.
The place is buzzing, showing that everyone fully understands the enormity of this occasion. Nigel knows Marufuji has a speed advantage and tries to draw him into lengthy mat battles to negate that. He lifts Maru to the apron, but the champion grabs the leg and hits a dragon screw through the middle rope. He attacks McGuinness’ leg from that. Nigel is marginally bigger so taking out his leg obviously works to Marufuji’s advantage. He goes to the outside and starts wrapping the leg around the ringpost, then concludes that with a ring post dragon screw. Figure 4 Leglock applied but it’s too early and Nao hasn’t inflicted sufficient damage. Finally Nigel is able to send Marufuji shoulder-first into the metal post, which gets him some distance to recover. To the floor again, where McGuinness throws Marufuji’s shoulder into the guardrails. He uses the legs to apply an arm submission hold which annoys me a little bit since Nao just worked that body part for 5+ minutes. The wristlock takedown gets the challenger a 2 count. Hammerlock DDT next, but still not enough for a victory. Grounded cobra clutch applied. Marufuji fights it so he gets swung into a big lariat before the hold is clamped on again. Marufuji dropkicks the knee, then gets 2 with a low clothesline. McGuinness headstands into a mule kick, then positions Fuji for the super Lariat. Marufuji ducks it, but Nigel snaps the top rope into his face. SUPERKICK ON THE APRON…SHIRANUI TO THE F*CKING FLOOR! This is under GHC rules so Nigel is in danger of being counted out, but he just beats the 20 count to re-enter the ring. They battle on the ropes, resulting in McGuinness’ SUPER LARIAT for 2. TOWER OF LONDON…NO SOLD! SHIRANUUUIIIII! Marufuji tries some weak looking forearms and gets clobbered. REBOUND LARIAT GETS 2! Nigel has had it…TOWER OF LONDON ONTO THE APRON! Is that even possible? Both men are hurt though, and they struggle back inside to slap the taste out of each other. DUELLING SUPERKICKS! Marufuji wins that sequence but it’s only good for 2. Nigel tries the headstand and gets another SUPERKICK! He’s in the tree of woe. VAN TERMINATOR!! AVALANCHE SHIRANUI!! Marufuji retains at 22:32.
Rating – **** – Hell of a contest, but the people going out there and calling this an MOTYC are a little off the mark. The last seven minutes are off the chain exciting…but they make the initial 15 minutes of the bout entirely worthless. There was some really solid arm-work by Nigel, and some awesome leg attacks by Marufuji, but in the end it felt like that portion of the match was simply something to kill time until they could hit the big spots at the end. Please don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s awesome. There were simply too many faults for this to be up there in MOTY consideration, however.
Standing ovation for that…and now we have a main event to get to.
Bryan Danielson vs KENTA – ROH World Title Match
This is one of the most eagerly anticipated ROH Title matches ever I’d say. KENTA has come in from Japan and taken ROH by storm. He’s earned a title shot by virtue of being undefeated in singles matches against the likes of Low Ki, Roderick Strong, Austin Aries and Davey Richards. He’s also pinned Dragon with the Go 2 Sleep twice – during a tag match at Best In The World, and the triple threat at In Your Face. An added twist to this match is the fact that this is Danielson’s first match since severely injuring his shoulder in his match with Colt Cabana at Gut Check. The doctors have recommended surgery but he’s turned that advice away. Nobody knows how the shoulder will hold up.
First blood goes to Kenta as he fakes on a clean break in order to slap the champion in the face. Dragon promptly does the exact same thing. Danielson gets some retribution from In Your Face by forcing Kenta in the corner then kneeing him RIGHT in the face. Kenta kicks him in the shoulder and he immediately bails. Kenta tries to kick it again but Dragon blocks him with slaps and headbutts. SPINE KICK DUEL, and even that forces Danielson to grab his shoulder in pain. He’s had enough of the striking, and puts the Japanese challenger in a headlock, the pulls him to the mat. Absolutely vicious chinlock applied, almost bending Kenta in half. Kenta escapes with more kicks then wrenches at the injured arm. Dragon tries a pescado but merely jumps into a flurry of kicks. He takes a shoulder-first trip into the railings. Everything Kenta does right now is all about hurting the injury. Except that slingshot disrespectful kick to the head. Danielson gets pissed off at that, but Kenta is able to lock onto the arm for a similar keylock to the kind Nigel McGuinness scored a fall against Danielson with at Epic Encounter 2. The champion looks a little desperate, but breaks out a cravat suplex to finally get some distance.
He starts using shady tactics, like choking Kenta on the canvas or raking his eyes on the ropes. He thinks the Mexican surfboard but there just isn’t enough strength in the injured sholder. Figure 4 applied instead, which is perfect since it doesn’t require his arm at all. It does require his arm to pull on the ropes for extra leverage though. 15 minutes gone, and after Kenta’s early dominance Danielson has come right into this contest. Kenta rectifies that with more kicks, then a MISSILE DROPKICK TO THE SHOULDER! How good do you have to be to be THAT accurate? Cross armbreaker locked in and Dragon thrashes around before finding a bottom rope. Tiger Mask flip into the Lance Storm rolling half crab, and now it’s Kenta writhing in pain. Go 2 Sleep blocked with assorted elbow strikes, then Danielson takes it upstairs for a big superplex. Crossface Chickenwing in the middle of the ring but Kenta gets to the ropes. Is that due to the injured arm perhaps? Dragon tries the diving headbutt but he only launches himself into Kenta’s boots. The challenger tries another springboard but is met with a dropkick to the stomach. Trademarks of both men countered there. Kenta tries Yakuza kicks…SO DANIELSON LANDS RUNNING HEADBUTTS! GERMAN SUPLEX NO SOLD! FISHERMAN BUSTER NO SOLD! ROARING ELBOW BY DANIELSON! LARIAT BY KENTA!
Both men wipe out and hit the floor. Danielson responds better to that and hits a belly to belly suplex out there. He deposits Kenta in the crowd, and you know what’s coming next. SPRINGBOARD CROWD DIVE PLANCHAAAA! He re-enters the ring with a missile dropkick, but is almost carrying his wounded arm. He uses it for a roaring elbow…and gets caught in a FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Ace crusher nailed…FUJIWARA AGAIN! Kenta tries his trademark strike combo, but gets caught in a REGALPLEX. To the top again, where Danielson lifts Kenta into an enormous back superplex for 2. CATTLE MUTILATION! Kenta gets the ropes. Danielson goes upstairs again…and he BLOCKS the running single jump falcon arrow. KENTA CATCHES DANIELSON ON HIS SHOULDERS! GO 2 SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! DANIELSON GETS A FOOT ON THE ROPES! BUSAIKU KNEE TO THE BACK! Danielson blocks the mega-run up Busaiku knee and almost wins it with a Mexican roll-up. Go 2 Sleep blocked a second time. MMA ELBOWS! KENTA WON’T LAY DOWN! CATTLE MUTILATION…COUNTERED WITH A ROLL-UP! TIGER SUPLEX INTO CATTLE MUTILATION AGAIN! MMA ELBOWS! MUTILATION ONE MORE TIME! KENTA TAPS! DANIELSON WINS! DANIELSON WINS! 32:51 is your time.
Rating – ***** – And that would be your MOTY. In fact I’ll probably go on record and say that’s the best match in ROH history. For drama, emotion, story-telling, a superb crowd…it really ticks every box. I’ve seen a few people complain about the finish and Dragon using Cattle Mutilation, but that’s the PERFECT way to end this match. It’s a legit injury, it’s not like he’s no selling it. The entire story is KENTA abusing the injured shoulder, and Danielson absorbing it, gutting it out and doing whatever it takes to win. Absorbing the pain of the shoulder to apply his trademark submission hold is like…the ULTIMATE way to conclude the match. And KENTA nailing Go 2 Sleep has to be one of the hottest nearfalls ever…the crowd literally went ballistic. In a year where I’ve given out more 5* than any other…this stands out as the best. You need to watch this two or three times to truly understand the beauty of it. One of the best I’ve ever seen.
SIDENOTE – If you’re wondering or keeping score…I’ve now got Danielson/KENTA as my MOTY. Danielson/Strong and Do Fixer/Blood Generation from Supercard Of Honor are second and third respectively. Honourable mentions to the 100th Show 6-man brawl and Danielson/McGuinness from Unified. It’s fair to say Bryan Danielson is having the best year of his wrestling career.
Tape Rating – **** – As a show, despite being this good it’s still probably one of the more overrated events ROH has released. Every year there are number of marquee shows that are considered “must see”, and Glory By Honor 5 Night 2 has basically been pimped as the show of the year. And for my money, it really wasn’t. The middle of the show drags, with another lengthy and unnecessary Jim Cornette promo, a poor triple threat and Pearce/Delirious which was nothing special. But really all that is redundant anyway, since you’re getting this show for the three title matches, and they all deliver. The Tag Title match is a great way to put the belts on the Kings Of Wrestling, and the double main events both deliver…including the 2006 MOTY. Danielson/KENTA needs to be seen by every ROH fan, so once you’ve finished reading this run along and buy yourself a copy of this DVD.
Top 3 Matches
3) Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs Kings Of Wrestling (****)
2) Naomichi Marufuji vs Nigel McGuinness (****)
1) Bryan Danielson vs KENTA (*****)
Top 5 Glory By Honor 5 Weekend Matches
5) KENTA/Naomichi Marufuji vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe (**** – Night 1)
4) Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs Kings Of Wrestling (**** – Night 2)
3) Naomichi Marufuji vs Nigel McGuinness (**** – Night 2)
2) Samoa Joe vs Roderick Strong (**** – Night 1)
1) Bryan Danielson vs KENTA (***** – Night 2)