ROH 125 – The Bitter End – 4th November 2006
After complaining about how gay I thought the ‘Irresistible Forces’ show name was, I’ll give out props here because I think ‘The Bitter End’ is a great name, and very appropriate for this event. The feud between Homicide and Steve Corino comes to an end tonight as Homicide continues on his road to a World Title shot at the end of the year. Jim Cornette and Konnan are both in attendance to add a touch of nonsense to that issue. KENTA ends his 2006 stint in ROH with a singles match with the improving Matt Sydal. The Kings Of Wrestling have a big rematch against Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, and that’s just one of three big tag bouts on this release. We’ve also got the Briscoes against Davey Richards and Delirious, and a big midcard clash with Bryan Danielson and Jimmy Rave teaming up against Samoa Joe and Nigel McGuinness. I think I’m right in saying this is the first time ROH has run in Philadelphia, PA since the CZW feud ended. Hosts are Dave Prazak and Jared David.
ROH VIDEO WIRE (11/01/06) – See Honor Reclaims Boston (ROH 124) review for details.
Samoa Joe introduces Nigel McGuinness as his tag partner tonight. Nigel is happy with another chance to get in the ring with Danielson again. Joe says he’s also got a message for KENTA and NOAH…
Matt Cross vs Christopher Daniels
Personally I think M-Dogg deserves this shot. He looked great in a totally inane spot-match at Motor City Madness and he potentially adds an injection of real enthusiasm and excitement into the sometimes stagnant Ring Of Honor midcard. He’s in there with Chris Daniels, a veteran who’s got experience of being the “go to” guy when the promotion has a new talent they want to evaluate. For a recent example of that, check out Daniels/Albright from Suffocation. He’ll know what to do to draw the best out of Cross. This is being taped for ROHVideos.com so you can get it for free on the website.
Daniels tries to pull Cross out of the corner, but he flips up and dropkicks him in the head. Cross thinks about a dive but springs back off the top rope when Daniels has it scouted. FLAGPOLE PRESS SPLASH! That’s where he hangs off the ringpost into a splash on the floor. It’s a cool move. He flies back into the ring with a springboard dropkick, continuing to dominate the veteran. In the end Daniels smacks him with a clothesline just to get a breather. Next he scoops M-Dogg into a backbreaker, obviously trying to negate the high-flying prowess of his opponent. Swinging front lungblower rocks Cross again, then a running powerslam gets a 2 count. Cross ducks something and pops up with a sloppy enziguri. Standing moonsault scores, as does a DVD over the knee but Daniels gets a shoulder up. Daniels goes to the back again with a blue thunder driver. He suggests it’s time for a BME but Matt moves aside to nail a flying headscissors. M-Dogg dropkicks Daniels through the ropes which is a set up for a SPACE FLYING TIGER DIVE! Back in the ring with a successful springboard double stomp, but again Daniels finds a way to kick out. He catches Cross with a DVD then ANGELS WINGS! Daniels picks up the win at 08:32.
Rating – *** – That’s probably quite a generous rating but the crowd were very into it and I thought it was good meaningless fun. Like I said at the top, Cross is something a little different. He’s not an outstanding technical wrestler but he’s very athletic and with the right opponents (i.e. someone more grounded like Chris Daniels) or in tag matches to hide his weaknesses, he’s an effective new addition. Think (extremely) low-budget AJ Styles. This is up there with Briscoes vs Keenan/Blade for the best ROHVideos.com match. Well worth watching for free…get your ass over there now.
The Kings Of Wrestling think it’ll be fun to come through the crowd and try to attack Daniels. Allison Danger tries to save Daniels but Hero socks her in the face. That dastardly man. Daniels gets some KRS-1 treatment before Austin Aries, Roderick Strong and Matt Sydal run in to save.
Jim Cornette troops to the ring (flanked by Shane Hagadorn with a broken Top Of The Class Trophy – when did that happen?), apparently in a bad mood. He immediately heels up on the crowd then rants about Homicide. Then he rambles on about immigration and Mexico. The fans are sick to sh*t of him talking about irrelevant sh*t and making childish/homophobic jokes. Finally he announces that the special referee for Homicide/Corino tonight is going to be Hagadorn…and it’s only “anything goes” rules for Corino…and Homicide has to pin Corino for a 10 count, not the usual 3. Am I the only person that WANTS to see that match? Eventually Homicide comes to the ring, with Ricky Reyes, Julius Smokes and Konnan in tow. Konnan makes a few equally childish jokes, but it’s hard to make it out…and to be honest I’ve already lost interest. In the end this segment does nothing except turn the crowd sour on what would’ve been a really hot main event…and it breaks down to an impromptu singles match with Hagadorn taking on Reyes. That was unforgivably long…
Shane Hagadorn vs Ricky Reyes
Didn’t this already happen once, back when Ricky was doing his student-killer gimmick that got him over? Anyway, the point is that Cornette wants Hagadorn to send a message to Homicide by taking out one of his goons. After the new rules Jim announced for the main event tonight I’d suggest that Reyes needs to kill Hagadorn, stop him refereeing the match, then Cide might stand half a chance.
The fans show how over the student-killer gimmick was by chanting ’30 seconds’ and keeping count to how long the match is running. Unfortunately Reyes and Hagadorn ignore that and settle into their own match. That’s not popular, and Hagadorn has to work hard to get any kind of heat whilst working over the non-over Reyes. Finally Ricky hits a few chops and kicks then goes for a leglock. Swinging neckbreaker nailed, and he applies the dragon sleeper for victory at 03:34.
Rating – DUD – Do you know what would’ve salvaged this whole rubbish segment? The crowd would’ve popped huge had Reyes totally crushed the loathsome Hagadorn in “thirty seconds” or less. It’s a shame they hadn’t booked that finish instead. As was, this match was needlessly rambling and long, and served to further bore a crowd that were already fed up following the Cornette promo.
Reyes holds onto the choke post-match, effectively stopping Hagadorn from refereeing later.
Pelle Primeau vs Tank Toland vs BJ Whitmer vs Colt Cabana
This is a weird combination of talent thrown together into one meaningless midcard bundle. Primeau is popular in Philly, and comes in after pinning Jimmy Rave in the six man match at Motor City Madness. Tank Toland debuted at Suffocation but didn’t do much there. The interactions between BJ and Colt should be interesting though. They have a long history in ROH, and now have common enemies in Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey.
Pelle looks about six years old compared to the other three guys in this. Everyone has a bit of a laugh at his expense during the handshakes, further emphasising his size disadvantage. Hilariously, he tries to start with Toland which is possibly the dumbest mismatch in the history of wrestling. Tank has way too much power and effortlessly lifts the little guy into a press slam. Cabana tags and continues to make fun of Primeau. Pelle tries one of Cabana’s tricks against him, and ends up heaved high into the sky again. Whitmer comes in and demands a shot at Tank Toland instead. They test each other in hulking big guy fashion but neither man goes down. Pelle blind tags and tries to get some licks on Whitmer, only to be savagely powerbombed into the turnbuckles. Cabana nails him with the Twirly Bird then brings Tank in to carry on the beating. Fireman’s carry Rydien bomb gets 2. Finally Primeau gets some joy, landing a reverse rana on Whitmer for a 2. Toland in with a Hurricane DDT but Pelle kicks out. He gets a pop for that, and an even bigger one as he kicks out of an Alabamaslam. Whitmer and Cabana do a number on Tank but they end up fighting on the floor. Primeau hits a jawbreaker on Toland and gets a massively popular roll-up victory at 11:08. He then goes crowd surfing again…
Rating – ** – The comedy at Pelle’s expense was entertaining (mostly thanks to Cabana), and when he’s not going over established ROH talent (like he did with Rave in October) I really don’t mind him getting a crowd-popping victory. I think he’s got a long way to go before he’ll ever be anything more than a lovable jobber in this promotion, but fair play to Primeau for getting over enough to earn himself a few wins. Will he go the way of Dunn & Marcos (popular jobber act that faded away) or Jimmy Jacobs or Delirious (popular jobber that actually went somewhere) though? Again I don’t think Toland got enough of a chance to prove himself here – although he never did a good job of projecting himself as a real monster, even when he was in there with Pelle. Given his size and physique compared to everyone else on the roster, he’ll really need to work on that.
The Briscoes tell Davey Richards to man up in their tag match tonight, since he beat them in singles matches during the Suffocation/Irresistible Forces weekend.
SIDENOTE – Apparently there is now a meeting going on backstage between ROH management and Konnan (see, he’s here to help Homicide). They’re discussing the actions of Jim Cornette and what to do about the Fight Without Honor later.
Bryan Danielson/Jimmy Rave vs Samoa Joe/Nigel McGuinness
This is the last show American Dragon is on before his big steel cage match with Samoa Joe when ROH returns to Chicago. He isn’t defending the belt tonight since he only defends it once a month now due to his troublesome shoulder injury. These guys have been feuding since Wrestlemania weekend and are fast approaching their final clash. To build up to the cage match, they were booked in a tag match and allowed to pick their own partners. Samoa Joe picked McGuinness since he was so impressive in his series of matches with Danielson this year. Why Dragon picked Jimmy Rave, who hasn’t won in months, is anyone’s guess. Should be a good match though.
Danielson’s first act in the match is to tag out and avoid wrestling Samoa Joe. Prazak says that Rave wasn’t so much chosen as Dragon’s partner, more he volunteered because he wants a big win to end his losing streak. Nigel has no problem out-wrestling him so the World Champion steps in to renew his lengthy rivalry with the British competitor. Danielson continues to evade Joe though. Rave has a crack at wrestling him, but quickly rolls to the floor as well. Back he comes, and back into the line of Samoan fire as well. He tries a crossbody which is silly because Joe always steps out of the way of those. McGuinness tries a rebound lariat, but Danielson pulls his partner out of the way – showing his experience wrestling Nigel this year. He hits a spine kick final cut on Rave then a big lariat on Danielson anyway. But again familiarity works in Dragon’s favour. He holds Nigel in the air when he tries a headstand, allowing Jimmy to knee him in the face and turn the match in their favour. The heels take it turns to choke McGuinness with the tag rope whilst the other distracts the referee. Nigel still has enough about him to absolutely HAMMER Rave with a big forearm smash on the floor though. More choking antics quickly extinguish his comeback hopes.
Even when McGuinness finally does get a tag, Danielson was again occupying the ref meaning it went unseen. Dragon works a cross armbreaker, which is an awesome idea since it will damage the effectiveness of the big lariat. Crippler Crossface by Rave which does exactly the same thing. With that tactic effectively used, they go back to choking Nigel at every opportunity and keeping him trapped in their corner. Danielson tries to get extra leverage on the ropes, but is pulled into the TOWER OF LONDON! Hot tag to Joe, who ensures Rave spears his own partner. Danielson uses his familiarity with Joe and saves Jimmy from his trademark powerslam. CHOKE instead, but Danielson breaks it with a diving headbutt. CRAPPY WIZARD on Nigel for 2. He applies a kimura (which beat Danielson during the Epic Encounter 2 match) but American Dragon breaks it. SUPER LARIAT ON DANIELSON! That sends him to the floor where Joe is waiting with an OLE OLE KICK! Pedigree blocked…REBOUND LARIAT! Nigel secures the victory at 18:55 with Danielson and Joe still stuck on the outside.
Rating – *** – I really enjoyed that. Not the epic or exciting match it could’ve been but it shows that even when these guys go out and do very little, they’re all good enough workers to string a solid match together. I thought Rave and Danielson did a really good job as a heel team, and I thought Danielson showing his vast experience wrestling both opponents (something his partner obviously lacked) was a tremendous touch. Much like in the 6-man tag last night, Joe did pretty much nothing. I know it’s going over old ground but this year he’s becoming more and more selective with his workrate. I’ll catch some flak for saying that but I think my case can be backed up.
Jimmy Rave gets pissed off and goes after a fan in the crowd. Nigel McGuinness tells him to stop being such a prick and act like a professional.
It’s now supposed to be time for the Briscoes against Richards and Delirious, but Jim Cornette marches out for some more promo time. He says Shane Hagadorn is injured and can’t referee. Therefore he cancels the main event and fires Homicide. Konnan and the Rottweilers come out again obviously. Konnan is fresh from his meeting with management, and it’s been decided that the fans will decide who they want to stay in ROH. They decide they want to keep Homicide, meaning Jim Cornette is fired. Well, the less said about that the better. It was stupid, and these goofy antics have totally killed the main event. Thankfully it ships Cornette and his ultra-long promos out.
SIDENOTE – I am genuinely glad Jim Cornette has gone. The Homicide/Cornette feud really didn’t set the world on fire – which is a shame because the angle that kicked it off at Death Before Dishhonor was hot. Unfortunately, Jim’s boring interviews and the fact that heel authority figure against top babyface has been played to death (and done MUCH better) elsewhere really forced this into a flop. It also didn’t help that none of the matches have been particularly special. The Briscoes vs Joe/Homicide matches were good, but outside of that (and the angle with the plastic bag – which I count more as the Homicide/Corino feud) nothing really stands out. I also think it hasn’t helped that it’s very obvious who will win. We KNOW Homicide will make it past Cornette and get to Final Battle 2006 and his World Title shot. Combine a tired story with an obvious outcome and it seems pretty destined to fail. Apparently Cornette was scheduled to stick around longer, but health issues forced his early withdrawl. That might explain this ridiculous angle tonight i.e. it was a rushed together explanation due to it being Cornette’s last booking.
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Delirious/Davey Richards
Yep, in the midst of all that stupidity we still have a match to get to. Richards has had his problems with the Briscoes, and constantly come up short against them in tag matches. But he beat both of them in the Midwest so now it’s THEM who are coming for revenge. Delirious partners Davey tonight, and the Lizard man also had problems with Cornette…hence he’s come into this to get some action against two men who the now-former Commissioner was close to.
Delirious goes mental…then tags out. That’s quite funny. Richards plays to the crowd, but I think that actually hurts his popularity rather than increases it. Someone has to move their car apparently. Couldn’t they have announced that between matches? Delirious is still going whacky on the apron incidentally. Mark blocks Davey’s trademark stepover kick combo and gives him a dragon screw. Like I keep saying – familiarity spots rule. Anyway, that facilitates the Briscoes being able to capture Richards in the ring and away from his partner. In the end Richards does manage a (leg-selling) STO and gets the tag to Delirious. Never Ending Story clotheslines into a bulldog gets 2 on Mark. ‘Move your car godammit’ – Delirious as another car announcement distracts everyone. Jay boots Delirious in his masked head to once again turn the match in the favour of his team. SPLIT-LEGGED CORKSCREW SENTON/backbreaker combo by the Briscoes. That’s the most exciting thing in this match by miles in truth. Mark scores 2 with a springboard splash. Delirious flips out of a back suplex and gets a “hot” tag to Richards. TWISTING TOPE SUICIDA scores on Mark, but Delirious has blind-tagged in again. Jay blocks the Cobra Stretch only to fall to the Panic Attack instead. Mark catches Delirious as he goes for Shadows Over Hell and hits the urinage. HANDSPRING ENZI…then a CRADLE SUPLEX by Richards! He gets thrown out of the ring again as Delirious nails Shadows Over Hell on Jay. Cobra Stretch applied as Richards traps Mark in the Stretch Muffler. Jay rolls to the ropes and since he’s legal, there’s no submission. Press Slam DVD on Delirious, then Jay gets up to join his brother in a SPLASH MOUNTAIN NECKBREAKER for Davey. SPIKE JAY DRILLER wipes out Delirious, and he takes the fall at 16:05.
Rating – ** – Some lively spots at the end actually improved this match a lot, but by and large it was rather dull. Much like the previous match, none of these guys looked like they were coming to the ring intent on going balls to the wall and stealing the show…which meant you basically got a copy and paste, fairly generic tag as a result. Unfortunately, the Briscoes aren’t as charismatic in carrying the heel role as Bryan Danielson, whilst neither Richards nor Delirious are as over as Nigel and Joe. At least 12 of this 16-minute contest were really dull.
INTERMISSION – Lacey says Colt Cabana disgusts her, and she’s spending all her money to take him out. Daizee Haze walks in to complain about getting slapped in the face last night in Boston.
Kings Of Wrestling vs Austin Aries/Roderick Strong – ROH Tag Title Match
This is somewhat of a homecoming for the new ROH Tag Champions, as it’s the first time Ring Of Honor has run Philadelphia since they’ve been added to the roster post-CZW feud. On their agenda is a crunch rematch, as they defend against the team they took the belts from under dubious circumstances at Glory By Honor 5. Over the past few shows we’ve seen Austin and Roddy get increasingly impatient and a few skirmishes between the teams as a result. Can the former-GeNext avenge their loss in NYC?
The challengers take over on the KOW, ending their interminable pre-match crowd working routine (which seemed long to even me – and I’m a Hero mark). Hero tries to run to the floor only for Aries to jump out after him with the Heat Seeking Missile. Castagnoli gets deposited out as well, allowing Strong to execute a running corkscrew plancha as well. Hart Attack gets 2 on Claudio as Aries and Roddy continue to dominate. Double C tags out after poking the eye, but Hero’s pointless springboard into the ring backfires as Aries catches him with a Japanese armdrag. The pace slows with Hero getting dissected by his opponents, at which time it’s obvious that the Kings have a lot of crowd support in Philadelphia. In the end an illegal double team turns the tables and gets Hero out of the ring. Within a minute it’s the champions on offence – giving Roderick a somewhat disjointed working over. After some classic abdominal stretch cheating Strong almost battles to his corner but is cut off at the last by Castagnoli. Hero’s running atomic drop sends Roddy into the corner, but Strong manages to block more illegal double teaming and make it to his partner. Aries lands offence on both the Kings, but eventually misses a Lionsault. No dice on the Alfa Mari Water Slide and Austin capitalises with the shinbreak back suplex and a running dropkick in the corner. Hero walks into a slingshot shoulder tackle by Strong, but Castagnoli saves him from the chop brainbuster combo. Flip suplex by Hero, then the Alfa Mari Water Slide gets 2 on Aries. KRS-1 blocked, but Claudio comes from the top with a DIVING European uppercut for 2. Gibson Driver on Hero, then Death By Roderick on Double C. That’s not enough to give us new champions though. Hero saves Castagnoli from the 450 Splash, then gets speared through the ropes by Roderick. BRIEFCASE TO THE RIBS by Claudio! The ref didn’t see it but Aries kicks out at 2! Todd Sinclair gets bumped in the corner as Strong and Castagnoli totally f*ck something up. Aries flips out and hits both Kings with the briefcase right in front of the referee. That leads to the DQ at 16:58.
Rating – ** – Very dull…which is a weird thing to say because normally the charisma of the Kings is enough to keep me entertained during their matches. For whatever reason they just weren’t on tonight and the match felt totally flat. The heat segment on Strong garnered very little heat, and the bigger spots at the end felt muddled and there were some noticeable screw ups. I liked the finish in that it showed progression from their initial encounter, but it was a lot to sit through for a DQ. After the greatness of the GBH5 match this has to go down as a massive disappointment, but the door is open for a third match to set the record straight.
Matt Sydal vs KENTA
So after a great year in Ring Of Honor, this is KENTA’s final appearance for a while. He’s delivered strong performances throughout 2006 and will be looking to go out in similar fashion. In truth this match is a bit of a coup for ROH, since it pits a Dragon Gate athlete (Sydal) against one of NOAH’s top juniors. Sydal has improved in leaps and bounds since the turn of the year, and made himself into one of ROH’s bigger stars. This is easily his biggest singles match though, and a real chance to test himself against one of the best wrestlers going today. He has Chris Daniels in his corner as he goes about that task. I have high hopes for this one.
Sydal does a good job in the feeling out process and holds his own with Kenta. Kenta throws out a few kicks but Matt stands tall and responds with his enzicanrana then a dropkick. Standing Cannonball scores for 2. Kenta has had enough of Sydal’s pretty games and tries to initiate a striking contest – but Sydal gets the better of that too. In the end it takes more brutal kicks to take the American off his feet. Matt gets the better of a battle over a suplex though, as he continues to surprise Kenta by controlling the early going. He gets dropped over the top rope and subjected to a barrage of kicks, then the DOUBLE STOMP to the neck! It took a moment of real brutality like that to finally give Kenta the advantage. Sydal has definitely been damaged, as evident from the fact that he can no longer stay on his feet in the face of some forearm smashes from Kenta. He tries a sunset flip only to be SLAPPED hard. Slingshot disrespect boot next as Kenta disciplines Matt for his insolence in standing up to him. Camel clutch applied, and Kenta twists on the neck at the same time. Boston crab next, but Kenta has to struggle to apply that – again giving credit to Sydal’s fighting spirit. Matt escapes that and nails a spinning heel kick to give himself some time to recover. Quebrada into the Slice finds the mark and both men stay down. Sydal avoids a big boot in the corner and sends Kenta outside. TOP ROPE MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! Incidentally, Daniels’ shirt is PIMP! Again Sydal tries a sunset flip, but this time he is quick enough to avoid the strike. BIG BOOT INSTEAD! Kenta’s springboard dropkick finds the mark as well but the plucky Sydal is still game for more. He blocks a double underhook suplex so gets kicked in the chest instead. This whole match is about Sydal standing up to and frustrating the veteran Kenta. He lands on his feet out of a tiger suplex and hits the STANDING MOONSAULT for 2! STANDING SUPER RANA nailed as well. HERE IT IS DRIVER…but Kenta kicks out. SYDAL PRESS MISSES! DOUBLE UNDERHOOK SUPLEX INTO THE TURBUCKLES! POWERBOMB INTO THE TURNBUCKLES TOO! That’s devastating, but STILL Sydal is able to kick out at 2 on a tiger suplex. Matt tries a rana once too often and gets dropped into a powerbomb. BUSAIKU KNEE for 2. It’s time for Go 2 Sleep…BUT MATT COUNTERS WITH A F*CKING HURRICANRANA! But he gets too confident and dives off the top rope into an Ace crusher. GO 2 SLEEEEEEEEEP! Finally Sydal is defeated at 16:46.
Rating – **** – So that rocked. I know most of KENTA’s matches have all got the same rating but that was my third favourite singles match he’s done in ROH (after the obvious matches with Danielson and Low Ki). I thought it did a VERY strong job of establishing the “testing the young up and comer” dynamic – something that didn’t come across as well in the KENTA/Richards match in August. A major criticism of this match is that KENTA somewhat squashed Sydal, but I don’t see it. Matt dominated the opening portion, proving that he can hang with his senior opponent, and constantly thwarted KENTA’s attempts to squash him – fighting every move, continually getting up, and countering the friggin’ G2S for goodness sake. Second criticism I’ve seen a lot – KENTA did nothing but kick. I really don’t get that one. It’s not about his kicking – it’s about the way he conducts himself in the ring, and the way he uses that kicking ability. Sure he kicks a lot, but he uses those stiff kicks to project himself as a bad ass in the ring. It was those kicks which were used to attempt to beat Sydal down into the mat – therefore making Sydal’s refusal to stay down all the more striking and powerful. The repeated kicks are KENTA’s trademark therefore it was not allowing them to work which got Sydal over. I reckon you guys need to check this out.
KENTA thanks the fans and promises we’ll see him again next year…as Samoa Joe storms to the ring. Joe gives KENTA credit for earning his respect with his awesome performances this year. With that in mind, he asks KENTA to take a message to NOAH. The message – B*TCHSLAP! They brawl until students run out to pull them apart. That’s another hot Joe vs NOAH segment to add to the Morishima thing from GBH5.
Steve Corino vs Homicide – Fight Without Honor
Long time followers of the Ring Of Honor product know the history (and violence) of the Fight Without Honor match. Those same long time followers will also be aware of the heat that exists between these two men. Their feud goes all the way back to 2002 when Corino turned on Homicide whilst tagging with him against the Backseat Boyz at Glory By Honor. At All Star Extravaganza that year Homicide stabbed Corino in the eye with a fork, and their epic war was started. The First Anniversary Show saw Corino beat Homicide, leading to a riot and Steve quitting ROH. He returned at Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies for a total bloodbath with Homicide, which still stands up today as their best match (Homicide won). In November 2003 these guys went into the dangerous Barbed Wire Match, with Corino emerging victorious…but still no handshake. In truth that was the last time this feud was especially good. In 2005 Corino returned to set up another match with his perennial enemy. At Steel Cage Warfare they engaged in a very watchable “greatest hits” match, despite the fact that Homicide seriously injured his shoulder in the first minute. Into 2006, and as one of his wishes for helping ROH beat CZW at Death Before Dishonor 4, Homicide asked Jim Cornette to bring Corino in for one more match. Since then Steve joined forces with the evil Commissioner in Cornette’s quest to put Homicide out of ROH – almost killing him with a plastic bag at Suffocation. This lengthy issue will finally be put to bed tonight. Note that all Jim Cornette’s goofy rules of earlier have been thrown out.
Homicide is the first to dish out a dirty slap, reminiscent of the August 2003 match. Corino does the same thing but the opening has been pretty tentative. They fight into the crowd and, as you’d expect things get pretty messy. Homicide goes for a suplex on the bleachers but Steve is a heavy guy to get up in that kind of environment. We arrive back at ringside with Homicide in control thanks to the use of a few plastic chairs. He randomly goes after Corino’s seconds at ringside (Mike Kehner and Ricky Landell). The tedious opening 10 minutes have absolutely killed this crowd. Three Amigos nailed but Corino blocks Homicide’s diving headbutt with a Jim Cornette tennis racket. That’s a nice touch, and it looks like it’s busted Cide open. The laceration is made worse by Corino hurling a garbage can into Homicide’s face. That backfires though, as Homicide uses the can to regain the advantage. Corino back drops him through a ladder, bending it totally in half. Cobra Sleeper locked in but Homicide fights out for a tornado DDT. GHETTO FORK TO THE EAR! The close-ups on that are sickening. Corino pulls out a barbed wire bat from nowhere and rakes it his opponent’s face. Homicide gets a hold of it and clubs Steve in the head. He starts stamping the barbed wire into the ear too. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Homicide finds some rubbing alcohol and pours most of it into the open wound. Corino gets put on a table on the floor, allowing Homicide to come from the top and FROG SPLASH him through it. He tries the tope con hilo but Corino has seen that spot a million times and blocks it by throwing a chair into Cide’s face. He rakes at Homicide’s face with a shard of broken table as we cross 20 minutes. Lariat blocked with Corino’s northern lights bomb, but that gets the 1 count of disrespect. Steve tries a lariat, but that only gets 1 too. OLD SCHOOL EXPULSION! Both men down. Homicide gets up and slaps at the bad ear, but Steve evades the Cop Killa with an STO. Homicide no sells a few chair shots then hits an Ace crusher. The Briscoes do a run-in to hit Homicide with the tennis racket, but Homicide kicks out again. Corino sets him up on another table for a Low Ki Ghetto Stomp. Homicide gets up though and hauls Steve down for a super DDT through the table. The Lariat finishes the job at 26:43, and Homicide marches on towards Final Battle 2006.
Rating – * – There were points during that one where I felt like it would never end. It’s a real sad way for one of ROH’s defining feuds to end, but lets face it, this was really bad. Lots of dull and inane brawling, a few token grotesque moments with absolutely no build whatsoever and a really messy finishing stretch. Where was the passion or intensity in these guys? Check out that August 2003 match, it really feels like they’re going out there to KILL each other. Check out War Of The Wire, where each moment of barbed wire brutality was meticulously built up to mean something. This was nothing more than two men ambling through 25+ minutes and wilting under the pressure to live up to their previous battles.
Homicide says it’s a Mexican tradition that the loser of a feud has his head shaved to show respect. Corino gets on the microphone and agrees to it. He ends up shaving his own head. That’s kinda weird. I didn’t really need the whole handshake “now we respect each other” end to this feud either. Another strange segment that fell completely flat. Kinda sums up this show…
Colt Cabana expresses his anger at Jimmy Jacobs for turning on him at Irresistible Forces. He also promises Lacey that she won’t injure him like she did to BJ Whitmer. BJ comes in and says he’s got Cabana’s back against them…
Tape Rating – ** – From the best show in months yesterday, to quite possibly the worst event in all of 2006. The Bitter End was built around the end of Homicide’s issues with both Jim Cornette and Steve Corino, and the problem was everything that involved that group of guys bombed. Jim’s ultra-long promo pissed everyone off. The way he was fired made no sense to anyone. Konnan added absolutely nothing, and you couldn’t hear what the hell he was saying anyway. Then to round it all off the Homicide/Corino feud-ender absolutely tanked. It immediately becomes hard to recommend a show when the centrepiece of it blows. Two other marquee matches (the Briscoes tag and the Tag Title match) were disappointing as well, which really doesn’t help. And what was the deal booking all the tag matches to go on consecutively? I know it’s easy to armchair book with hindsight but I really think that was a poor decision, and didn’t help the crowd or the wrestlers out at all. Why not open the show with the Danielson/Joe tag and have Daniels/Cross after intermission? Why not have the Tag Title match open the show since the KOW are so popular in Philly? KENTA/Sydal is really awesome, and a superb performance from both men, but by itself it’s simply not enough to advocate purchasing this show. The Danielson/Joe tag wasn’t bad, but was nothing more than a solid effort, and I could name 10+ tag matches this year alone that have been better…whilst the third best was Daniels/Cross – a match which you can see for free anyway. Unless you’ve got a lot of cash to burn and you REALLY want to see the KENTA/Sydal match, you don’t need this one at all.
Top 3 Matches
3) Christopher Daniels vs Matt Cross (***)
2) Samoa Joe/Nigel McGuinness vs Bryan Danielson/Jimmy Rave (***)
1) KENTA vs Matt Sydal (****)
Top 5 Honor Reclaims Boston/The Bitter End Weekend Matches
5) Nigel McGuinness vs John Walters (*** – Honor Reclaims Boston)
4) Matt Sydal vs Claudio Castagnoli (*** – Honor Reclaims Boston)
3) Bryan Danielson vs Delirious (**** – Honor Reclaims Boston)
2) KENTA vs Matt Sydal (**** – The Bitter End)
1) Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs KENTA/Davey Richards (****1/2 – Honor Reclaims Boston)