121 ROH Motor City Madness 10/7/2006

ROH 121 – Motor City Madness – 7th October 2006

I panned the annual Survival Of The Fittest event as one of the most skippable of the year. In hindsight that seems a little harsh for an event in which there wasn’t a “bad” match on the entire card, but in truth there are far in excess of fifty shows I’d recommend before that one. It’s now the following night and I’m sure the promotion will be looking to rebound in the Detroit market, where they need to be building a strong base ahead of Wrestlemania weekend next year (Mania is in Detroit, and ROH is running a double shot to take advantage). Main eventing tonight is a Glory By Honor 5 rematch, as Homicide and Samoa Joe team up against the Briscoes in a Street Fight. There’s also another installment in the Danielson/Aries series of matches, which has produced wonderful results since their historic first clash at Survival Of The Fittest 2004. In truth, that’s all that stands out about the card, but lets see if ROH can surprise me. Obviously we’re in Detroit, MI with Dave Prazak and Jared David.

ROH VIDEO WIRE – see Survival Of The Fittest 2006 (ROH 120) review for details

Samoa Joe opens the show telling us he’s pissed off after getting beaten senseless with the ROH Title belt last night, and is looking to take all his anger out on the Briscoes. Homicide tells Jim Cornette he can only run for so long, and he’ll beat however many Cornette-stooges that are placed in his way.

Delirious vs Zach Gowen

I’m really not kidding. Delirious’ reward for possibly his biggest win in ROH at Survival Of The Fittest? He gets to jerk the curtain against a guy with one leg. Everyone remembers Zach from his run in the WWE. He’s got one leg so well done on becoming a wrestler, but I doubt he’s got any business in ROH. This does nothing to break the perception of Delirious as a midcard act at best.

Delirious goes crazy as usual, but Gowen is surprisingly smart to it and simply scales the ropes for a missile dropkick. He sends Delirious to the floor for a SPRINGBOARD SOMERSAULT PLANCHA! ‘That’s how I beat the Big Show, b*tch’ – Gowen. Delirious comes back by biting Zach’s leg. Panic Attack scores but Shadows Over Hell misses. Neckbreaker suplex gets Zach a 2. He thinks about a moonsault but nobody’s home. Cobra backbreaker, then the Cobra Stretch. Gowen taps at 04:25.

Rating – * –
For a nothing match taped for ROHVideos.com this was actually ok. Zach was mildly impressive, displaying a sizeable amount of character to make up for his obvious and drastic in-ring flaws. He’d make a great manager/non-wrestling sidekick for someone…but I imagine he’s far too expensive to book in that kind of minor role. Delirious wins easily, but putting him in a total throwaway opener kills all his momentum following SOTF.

Here comes Jim Cornette with a microphone. I swear if he doesn’t keep this brief tonight I’ll cry. He announces the return to Detroit for Wrestlemania weekend. He also announces that Roderick Strong will be unable to compete tonight after getting injured yesterday. Roddy actually comes to the ring and demands to be allowed to compete, but Jim doesn’t allow it. Homicide comes out as well, but Cornette runs off before he can get close. Not exactly riveting TV but it was a segment which achieved everything it set out to do without taking up 20 minutes of DVD time so…

Daizee Haze/MsChif vs Allison Danger/Lacey

This would be a SHIMMER exhibition bout, although it’s seems a little weird booking-wise. In terms of SHIMMER storylines it’s three babyfaces and Lacey. But in ROH Daizee has been a heel for the past year, and is now floating around after The Embassy collapsed and MsChif has only been on one show. Danger is basically the face of the SHIMMER promotion so it seems strange that she’d be booked with one of the top heels, but I’ll roll with it. Surely having Daizee (a heel in ROH) with Lacey would’ve made more sense, and SHIMMER could’ve pulled the “ROH booked it” card.

Lacey basically orders Danger out of the ring so she can start the match for their team. She runs through a flurry of pinfall attempts with Daizee. Allison and MsChif try some DREADFUL looking arm wrench exchanges. Lacey tries to tag, but quickly runs away from the freaky-acting MsChif until Danger puts her at a disadvantage. Camel clutch/Boston crab combo applied, but Haze breaks it with a kick. Daizee with a bodyscissors, then an inverted rolling cradle on Danger for 2. MsChif gets 2 as well from a standing moonsault. She innovates a bizarre looking stranglehold/foot capture submission as well, then drops from that into a gutbuster. Daizee Cutter gets 2 as well. Allison gets the tag following a hotshot on Haze. MsChif damn near kills Lacey with some weird ass neckdrop move. Desecrator blocked, and Lacey nails a TKO for 2…although Haze was late breaking it up. She drops Lacey with a German, then gets mowed down by Allison with a running STO. Mschif ties Danger up in the ropes then PLANTS HER ON HER FACE! I have no idea how to call that. Lacey breaks the fall. MsChif tries to GREEN MIST her, but Lacey pulls Danger into the way. Daizee hits the Heart Punch then the Mind Trip on Danger to win it at 09:51.

Rating – * –
Some of that was almost brutally bad. I think Allison and Daizee have real problems with their execution (most of the things they do can look really lame) and work best when they have better opponents to cover their flaws (see Lacey/Daizee from SHIMMER Volume 1 for an example). Unfortunately they occupied most of the time in the ring together and there were numerous bad spots. MsChif is pretty decent but largely a spot worker, whilst Lacey, they best worker by far in this match, spent the entire match on the apron. That was a bad match for all concerned, and not a good advertisement for SHIMMER. Get yourselves an actual SHIMMER DVD if you want to see what these girls are really capable of. A review of Volume 1 is already up on the site, and Volume 2 is coming.

Davey Richards vs Claudio Castagnoli

This is an intriguing clash of styles. Can Claudio compete with a more explosive, striking wrestler like Davey? Can Davey hang with the technical prowess of Double C? In truth he needs to. He’s basically been treading water for a few months now. When he debuted he was red-hot, beating Jimmy Rave in well-received bouts, linking up with KENTA and so forth. Since the summer he’s really floundered in the midcard, and a victory against one half of the Tag Champions would be a good way to recover.

Richards rather naively grabs one of Claudio’s arms. He quickly atones for his error with the superior chain-wrestler by bridging into a kick. Castagnoli makes fun of Davey’s height, and gets rocked with a few kicks as punishment. He goes to the eyes before dropping Richards with a back suplex. Grounded abdominal stretch applied to ram home his advantage, and when Davey escapes that he gets caught in a standing version with Castagnoli pulling on a rope to boot. He chokes Richards on the rope as well, continuing the bend the rules to stay in the ascendancy. Finally Richards blocks a suplex, and is able to send Claudio to the floor. TWISTING TOPE SUICIDA NAILED! That might be my favourite dive in ROH right now. Davey scores with a missile dropkick as well, then a big kick flurry. Gutbuster connects, and is followed with a German suplex for 2. He blocks the Match Killer, but Castagnoli blocks the handspring enzi with a European uppercut to the back. Match Killer gets 2 this time. Richards blocks a superplex with a sunset flip powerbomb. More kicks, this time met with Europan uppercuts. SAITO SUPLEX. He goes for that lariat but Claudio keeps blocking his trademark offence with uppercuts. Riccola Bomb blocked and Davey slaps on an armbar. Chris Hero runs in through the crowd to distract him. Richards kicks him off the apron, then gets a decent pop for kicking out of Claudio’s opportunistic holding-the-trunks roll-up. Hero throws Claudio’s briefcase in Richards’ face though, and he staggers into the Alfa Mari Water Slide. Double C is the winner in 12:21.

Rating – ** –
It felt flat at first but got progressively better as the match went on. I wasn’t wild on the cheap finish (it’s not like Davey losing is so big a deal that he needs protecting, and the KOW don’t exactly need the help getting heat), but at least they made it interesting and had Richards kick out of the initial interference-assisted roll-up. I’m starting to go off Claudio Castagnoli. He’s fine as a tag wrestler (the KOW vs Aries/Strong match at GBH5 rocked) but he’s been in ROH for well over a year and still hasn’t had many memorable singles bouts in that time. Only the 20-minute draw with Alex Shelley (This Means War) and the last match with McGuinness (Best In The World) really stand-out.

Colt Cabana/Jimmy Jacobs vs Christopher Daniels/Matt Sydal

Their tag title attempt last night was unsuccessful, but it seems Lacey is going to continue to make Jimmy Jacobs and Colt Cabana team up – she initially booked this to be their first defence of the belts. Incidentally, why isn’t she more pissed off that they lost last night – especially with Jacobs? There should be some continuity to be honest. Chris Daniels is Matt Sydal’s last attempt to form a tag team. They lost an exciting match to Aries and Strong at Gut Check but with new champions installed, they could be right back in the hunt for tag team gold. Will Daniels be annoyed here, since Lacey deliberately made his valet Allison Danger take MsChif’s Green Mist?

Sydal and Jacobs start in the ring, but in truth the fans are more interested in what Cabana and Daniels are doing on the apron. No need to guess where the star power is in this match. Colt blows a kiss in Lacey’s direction, so Jimmy runs to try and catch it – that’s quality. Jacobs hits the satellite headscissors, but Sydal recovers with an enzicanrana to keep things even. Cabana and Daniels tag and come in with more copy and paste work. The first five minutes of this match have been utterly devoid of meaning. Lacey grabs Daniels’ leg to distract him, and in the end Colt hauls her into the ring for comedy inadvertent positioning. Jimmy is understandably upset by this…and Lacey starts screaming at everyone in sight. The confusion does allow Sydal and Daniels to isolate Cabana from his partner. Koji Clutch applied, but Lacey is again preoccupying the referee’s attention. Jacobs tags and attacks the arm of the Fallen Angel. That’s an assault which Colt continues too. He exposes the arm for JJ to land a flying double stomp right on it. Incidentally, Jimmy and Colt are starting to show surprising fluidity as a tandem. Eventually Daniels does get the hot tag to Sydal though. Standing frankensteiner on Cabana, then a standing moonsault on Jimmy for 2. Matt gets distracted by Cabana, and Jacobs takes advantage with a spear. Cannonball leg drop/sidewalk slam (no hint of arm selling by Daniels then?) for 2. Jimmy boots Sydal, but he collapses into the ropes and crotches Colt. Lacey tends to him and that makes Jacobs upset. Daniels hits Angels Wings to win at 14:09.

Rating – * –
That really sucked. I’m sorry, but seriously – that was crap. The first five minutes almost redefined boring. The heat segments were brief and accomplished nothing. Then Daniels totally no-sold the only worthwhile thing in the whole match (Cabana and Jacobs’ teamwork to attack the arm) by using it for a finisher. The BME doesn’t need the arm, why not use that? Urgh…

BJ Whitmer does basically the same thing as last night – running out to attack Jimmy Jacobs but gets pulled off by everyone else in the ring. The only difference is the Detroit crowd reacts, where as Cleveland really didn’t give a sh*t. Jacobs flips out and is more intense than I’ve ever seen him. That reaction was better than anything in the last match. They clear out, but it seems like Daniels and Sydal have something to say as well. Daniels challenges the Kings Of Wrestling to a title shot. Hero comes out and says they’ve done nothing to earn a title shot…which is true. Sydal points out that Daniels doesn’t need to “earn” one since he’s a legend, which means he must be the weak link. He challenges Hero to a match in order to prove he’s worthy of a title shot.

Matt Sydal vs Chris Hero

Originally this was scheduled to be Roderick Strong vs Hero, but since he’s injured, it seems like we’ll be pushing the fast forward putting and getting the ball rolling on a KOW/Daniels&Sydal feud a little early…which is fine by me. If Sydal loses after that promo he looks like a total b*tch.

Hero attacks Sydal before the bell so we’re starting with him being a prick as usual. Matt comes back with a climbing knee strike in the corner then a couple of super-cool lucha armdrags. He goes for an Asai moonsault to the floor, but Hero catches him and drops him onto the apron. Cue Hero bringing the cocky heel offence you’d expect from him. Camel clutch applied with the hands digging in across the face for instance. He shows off the obvious size difference by strolling around the ring with Sydal on his shoulder before hitting a running atomic drop. Hero’s pointless slingshots and rolling around before moves works well in this environment since it makes him seem like such an asshole. Sydal lands a desperate spinning heel kick to leave both men in need of recovery time. He does a Tiger Mask flip into the Slice for 2. Hero powerslams him and gets his own nearfall with a release suplex. Claudio Castagnoli tries to interfere with the briefcase, but Daniels is still at ringside and he pulls Double C away. SYDAL PRESS! Matt gets the win at 09:30.

Rating – ** –
When this is MOTN when you’re over halfway through the show you know there’s a few problems. It was too brief to mean anything, but (kinda like Hero/Cabana at Unified) it was a great way to showcase exactly why Hero is so awesome as a heel, and one of the best things on the ROH roster right now. If/when Bryan Danielson has to take time off for shoulder surgery I’d really like to see Hero pushed in a singles role; he’s got all the attributes that Dragon has these days. He’s a superb wrestler, but even that’s outshone by a tremendous ability to get the story of his matches over with the fans. Obviously this worked well here, since Sydal is good at taking an ass kicking and hitting the babyface comeback spots. Kings vs Daniels/Sydal should be really good…

Dave Prazak is doing the token shilling future events routine, but he gets interrupted by Jim Cornette. The Commissioner has decided to stop running from Homicide. He calls the Notorious 187 out to the ring for a fight. Homicide comes out and seems to be falling for the most obvious set-up in the history of the world. He barely gets his hands on Jim before the Briscoes come out to double team him. Way to make Cide look like a moron. Cornette gets revenge from Death Before Dishonor by spitting in Homicide’s face. Eventually Samoa Joe hits the ring for a save…but we’ll have to wait for the main event to see more. Homicide challenges the Briscoes to make the match a Falls Count Anywhere fight.

INTERMISSION – Dave Prazak backstage now, and he interviews an excitable Delirious. He appears to say it doesn’t matter if Danielson or Aries win tonight, he’ll take the World Title from them.

Matt Cross vs Pelle Primeau vs Shane Hagadorn vs Jake Crist vs Dave Crist vs Jimmy Rave

Poor Jimmy Rave, he’s fallen so low on the card he’s been tossed into a Six Man Mayhem with an assortment of total non-entities on the roster. He learned last night that Prince Nana has been fired and is gone from ROH, effectively meaning the Embassy is no more. Matt Cross makes his ROH debut tonight – you’ll recognise him as M-Dogg20, but he’s dropping that geeky internet lingo name. People give him heat for being spotty and a former backyarder but I’m willing to give him a chance. Irish Airborne came into ROH in the spring and looked impressive, but they’re starting to fall away again now. Hagadorn has his detractors, but I’m finding him mildly amusing as a lower-card heel. The team of him and Adam Pearce has potential. Oh…and Pelle Primeau is here too. He does nothing for me at all, but there are a few guys who seem to think he’s entertaining.

Rave is still decked out in the robe with his Embassy music, so he hasn’t quite let go of the gimmick yet. He starts with Pelle and immediately clobbers the sh*t out of him. Primeau is able to connect with a dropkick, but Hagadorn kills his buzz like a jerk with a big clothesline. He boots Pelle hard in the back of the head too. He stomps on Dave Crist’s head too and gets a 2. Slingshot DDT by Jake. Cross and Jake crank up the pace. Satellite FACE BOMB by M-Dogg. Primeau tries to intervene only for Rave to give him an STO ON THE APRON! Everyone bundles to the floor allowing Jake to hit a somersault plancha. Despite Jimmy Rave’s best efforts, Dave is eventually able to follow his brother. Cross is left in the ring…HANDSPRING SOMERSAULT PLANCHA! Primeau thinks about a dive only to be speared by Rave. He grabs M-Dogg next and dumps him with a Saito suplex. Matt responds with a springboard double stomp for 2. DVD over the knee nailed, then a CORKSCREW MOONSAULT! Hagadorn breaks that pin, and tries to pin Cross using the ropes. Irish Airborne play the numbers game. IRISH AIR RAID on Rave! Hagadorn breaks that pin as well. Pelle sneaks in amongst the chaos to hit a comedy LITTLE GUY STUNNER on Rave and get a shock win at 08:10.

Rating – ** –
Nothing to write home about, and nothing memorable other than the performance of Matt Cross. M-Dogg isn’t the greatest talent in the world, but he’s got a number of great, unique spots which he is able to hit with real crispness. They’re running so many shows with such a limited roster of guys that Ring Of Honor events are starting to feel very samey. I feel that expanding the roster and bringing in people like Cross (who by the way, looked like he REALLY wanted to be there) adds much needed freshness to the roster as it starts to stagnate a little bit. Like I said, I don’t really like Primeau, so I’d rather have seen someone else get the rub by pinning Rave (one of the Crists, or the debuting Matt Cross a’la Davey Richards)…but from the storyline point of view of breaking Jimmy down after the collapse of The Embassy, it made a lot of sense.

Bryan Danielson vs Austin Aries – ROH World Title Match

The history between these two men is immense. Danielson made Aries a star when they first clashed at Survival Of The Fittest 2004. Later that year they had an epic 70+ minute 2/3 Falls Match. In 2005 Austin Aries successfully defended the World Title against Danielson at Nowhere To Run – a defeat which drove Dragon to quit ROH for several months. When he returned to ROH and won the ROH Title himself, the first man Danielson offered a title shot to was Aries – and they had a VASTLY underrated match at Enter The Dragon. In turn, when Aries and Strong won the tag belts, the first man Aries extended a title shot to was Danielson, and the Aries/Strong vs Danielson/Lethal Tag Wars 2006 bout remains one of my favourite Tag Title matches ROH has done. Austin secured this title shot by pinning the champion in a fourway at War Of The Wire in July, but has had to wait for his chance. This match was originally scheduled for Glory By Honor 5 Night 1, but was rearranged when Danielson injured his shoulder wrestling Colt Cabana at Gut Check.

The initial exchanges are intense but cautious. They know each other well enough to know that any early mistakes could be costly. Danielson ends up giving Aries a sneaky knee to his injured ribcage. By and large they seem content to test the skill of their opponent, rather than go to the lingering injuries they enter the contest with though. Dragon snatches an advantage after another dirty knee strike. Austin tries the headscissors escape dropkick spot but takes a shot to the head. Finally he hits a monkey flip which sends Dragon to the floor. HEAT SEEKING MISSILE nailed. They jostle over a suplex on the apron, resulting in Danielson dropkicking Aries to the floor. He doesn’t make the mistake of diving at him like he did in August 2004 at Testing The Limit though. He drops out instead and starts chucking Aries into the metal railings. Camel clutch applied, which is going to really hurt the bad ribs. Aries counters that, so Danielson starts knee dropping him in the back/rib region. Jared David makes a great commentary spot, by noticing Dragon has a leg embedded in the back even whilst working a cross armbreaker. The champion gets disrespectful and stands over Austin, slapping him. Bridging judo DDT (that’s new) gets 2. BEARHUG locked in! Now we’re going really old school. Aries escapes that to walk into a belly to belly suplex. Danielson’s cockiness finally gets too much, as he stalls too long on a diving headbutt and gets kicked in the face upon landing. AA manages a frog splash (and comes up selling the back) for 2. Danielson has wrestled Aries so many times he knows to evade the running dropkick, and Sayama flips into a rolling half crab. After finding a way free from that Aries blocks a dragon suplex for the running dropkick. Brainbuster blocked, and Danielson grabs a rope to block the crucifix driver. AIRPLANE SPIN instead…but Austin stops that with the RINGS OF ARIES! He hasn’t used that hold in a couple of years, but it goes right to the injured shoulder of the champion. Aries crotched going for the 450 splash prematurely, and he gets dropped with a back superplex for 2. MMA ELBOWS…CROSSFACE CHICKENWING! Austin gets to the ropes though. He shows his familiarity by continually rolling out of Cattle Mutilation, then he blocks the Regalplex too. BRAINBUSTER!! But Danielson knee’d him in the head on the way down to lessen the impact. 450 SPLASH MISSES…SMALL PACKAGE! Danielson retains at 22:47.

Rating – **** –
It is comfortably the worst match of their series, so that it’s still this good really shows you how well these two gel as opponents. My main criticisms of this one were that it felt very one-sided. By this point we all know how good American Dragon is, and don’t need it quite so emphatically pointed out with 10-12 minutes of him totally dominating Austin Aries. The way he factored AA’s rib injuries into his game plan was pretty cool though. I just wanted to see a little more demonstration of Aries’ abilities (such as when he broke out the Rings Of Aries) in order to work Danielson’s injury. Still, it’s a good match, with lots of neat and subtle references to their past matches.

But Danielson barely has time to celebrate before Samoa Joe sprints to the ring looking for revenge for last night. He manages to DESTROY Danielson with a lariat before the Briscoes come out to take advantage and kick start the main event. They stomp down on Joe before Homicide jogs out to join.

Samoa Joe/Homicide vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe – Street Fight

Since this is probably the centrepiece storyline running in ROH right now, you should be familiar with it. Homicide is on the road to Final Battle 2006 and a World Title shot that he vows to win, else he’ll quit the promotion. He’s at war with Commissioner Jim Cornette who’s desperate to stop him making it that far. Jim has enlisted the help of the Briscoes, who have long-standing heat with Homicide (and Joe) anyway to help him in that quest. Samoa Joe is teaming with former nemesis Homicide out of respect gained for him during the CZW feud…and they successfully defeated the Briscoes at GBH5.

Homicide cleans house and sends both Briscoes to the floor, which is basically where the match starts. Joe takes Mark’s head off with an overhead enziguri, and doesn’t slow up with a few trademark sequences on the younger brother. Jay tries to connect with a cheap shot, only to be slapped in the face. It does work as a distraction though, allowing Mark to score with a spinning heel kick. STALLING double suplex on the big Samoan. Nice commentary as Prazak points out that the Briscoes have turned this into a wrestling match because it benefits them. Inside Joe drops Jay on his face, facilitating the hot tag to Homicide. Jay misses a pescado and gets launched into the railings. RUNNING SUICIDE PLANCHA BY MARK! That one scored. ELBOW SUICIDA from Joe scores too. Much as Prazak foreshadowed on commentary, with Joe and Homicide in control, they’ve started taking advantage of the street fight rules. Joe is in the front row just relentlessly throwing chairs at Mark. Jay tries to intervene and gets his noggin rattled too. Everyone brawls off into the crowd, and I notice how MASSIVE the building is (or how small the crowd is, which ever you prefer). Homicide suplexes Mark through a row of chairs. Mark is crazy and gets right back up…BACK DROP THROUGH CHAIRS INSTEAD! MORE CHAIR THROWING TOO! Mark just got massacred!

Meanwhile Joe is elsewhere with Jay…POWERSLAM THROUGH A CHAIR! He finds a ladder and kicks it straight into Mark’s balls too. Now it’s a legitimate street fight, as they’ve brawled out of the building into the parking lot! Joe slings Mark into a parked truck, but he crawls under it to avoid further damage, so Joe simply grabs Jay instead. SPLASH MOUNTAIN INTO THE TRUCK! MARK IS ON TOP OF IT NOW! SHOOTING STAR PRESS OFF A F*CKING TRUCK! That is legitimately crazy! Samoa Joe sells it like total death, and appears to have injured his knee again. The Briscoes have found a table and set about trying to decimate Homicide with it. It doesn’t break despite two attempts to put him through it, so Mark flips out and has a hilarious temper tantrum. Back in the building, Homicide back drops BOTH Briscoes into a table…but that one doesn’t break either. Mark slaps Cide onto the table, and it eventually collapses through sheer abuse. This is a handicap match now since Joe has been carried out. All the way back into the ring now, where Homicide blocks a springboard Doomsday Device. Jay escapes the Cop Killa that Homicide won with in Manhattan. SPIKE JAY DRILLER! The Briscoes win an absolutely crazy match at 18:52.

Rating – **** –
I know I’m probably overrating this, but I thought that was a hell of a brawl (and this is from someone who generally hates lengthy crowd-brawl segments). It’s like what I said about Matt Cross debuting earlier. ROH runs SO many shows now, with a small roster. It means everything starts to become predictable and a little bit similar. But this match was totally unique, and unlike anything we’ve seen this year (even including the CZW brawls), and the difference made it really enjoyable. There’s even some awesome psychology too, with the Briscoes trying to wrestle at the start, then working the Glory By Honor 5 finish into this one as well. Jay and Mark are 2-0 over Homicide this weekend.

‘That’s the stupidest f*cking chant I ever heard’ – Jay Briscoe on the ‘that was awesome’ chant.

Dave Prazak catches up with Jimmy Rave as he leaves the building. Rave throws his symbolic robe in the trash and leaves. The Embassy is dead….

Tape Rating – ** –
The two main events totally saved this show. Up till that point the undercard was one of the worst in ROH history. Not just in recent history…I’m talking since the inception of the company. Admittedly Richards/Castagnoli and Sydal/Hero weren’t bad, but they weren’t anything special…and there were two REALLY bad tag matches to sit through, a pointless opener which I thought killed Delirious’ post-SOTF momentum, and a spotfest memorable only through the flying of the debuting Matt Cross. Thankfully the two main events really delivered. Danielson/Aries is always a good match, and even here, in their worst outing together I’ve seen, it’s tremendous. The main event really needs to be seen, since words don’t do it justice. ROH has been criticised for going through a real slump after Glory By Honor 5 weekend, with lots of average-but-no-better shows blending into one. The Briscoes vs Homicide/Joe Street Fight stands out and is ENORMOUSLY memorable. Despite that, I’d say skip both shows this weekend. They’re nothing you NEED to see. If you’re picking one, be clear about what you want. Survival Of The Fittest is a much better top-to-bottom card, as MCM’s undercard is super-weak. But Danielson/Aries and the Street Fight were the best matches this weekend. I’m inclined to say get Motor City Madness simply for the main event…

Top 3 Matches

3) Matt Sydal vs Chris Hero (**)

2) Bryan Danielson vs Austin Aries (****)

1) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Homicide/Samoa Joe (****)

Top 5 Survival Of The Fittest 2006 Weekend Matches

5) Matt Sydal vs Davey Richards (*** – SOTF2006)

4) Samoa Joe vs Bryan Danielson (*** – SOTF2006)

3) Delirious vs Matt Sydal vs Jay Briscoe vs Mark Briscoe vs Austin Aries (**** – SOTF2006)

2) Bryan Danielson vs Austin Aries (**** – Motor City Madness)

1) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Homicide/Samoa Joe (**** – Motor City Madness)

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