145 ROH Good Times, Great Memories 4/28/2007

ROH 145 – Good Times, Great Memories – 28th April 2007

Historically this is a hugely significant show as far as ROH goes. I’d like to start out my review by saying that, rather than waste time reading this, you should probably just order it right away. It’s a great show, and it’s famous for being the last show (at least for now) for a number of ROH’s top guys. Officially it’s Colt Cabana’s last show. He’s off to the WWE and departs with one last match against long-time friend/rival/fellow Chicago-ite Adam Pearce. It’s Shingo’s last show too – he’s heading back to Japan. He hopes to go out with a bang as he challenges ROH Champion Takeshi Morishima in a NOAH vs Dragon Gate match. ROH was also about to send shockwaves through independent wrestling by announcing the deal to air a series of pay-per-view events. TNA would respond by immediately withdrawing it’s contracted wrestlers (and rightly so, they can’t have their talent appearing for ROH, who by going ppv just became direct competition). Which means after this show you’ll be seeing an ROH without Homicide, Austin Aries, Christopher Daniels, Jim Cornette as well as Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, who are making a fleeting return tonight to challenge the Briscoes for the Tag belts in a match which is getting MOTYC hype. But hey, I’m spoiling things for everyone. At this point all we knew is that Cabana was going. Lets get to Chicago Ridge, IL (not that lousy building they used during the Fifth Year Festival) with Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.

ROH VIDEO WIRE (18/04/07) – This Means War 2/Fighting Spirit highlights.

Jimmy Jacobs is still all emo and bitter. Lacey offered him sex in return for his victory over BJ Whitmer in Detroit, but he turned her down. He loves her, and didn’t want just one night of sex. He’s going to try to ‘romance’ her, so she’ll feel the same way. This promo has got a lot of praise but personally I wasn’t keen. It went on too long, Jimmy repeated himself a lot and came off as whiny.

Jigsaw vs Delirious vs Gran Akuma vs Hallowicked vs Pelle Primeau vs Mike Quackenbush

Six Man Mayhem to get the ball rolling, and it should be a good one. The Chikara boys debuted at The Battle Of St Paul and looked impressive during Ultimate Endurance – particularly the Scramble rules fall. This type of fast-paced, spot-orientated wrestling should be right up their street. They’ll all be looking to impress in order to secure future bookings with the promotion.

Akuma and Primeau start out, in an exchange which pits Akuma’s kicks against Pelle’s speed. In fairness, Pelle looked more polished and fluid than Akuma. Quack tags and works circles around Primeau, just like he did last night in Minnesota. He does the same thing with Hallowicked too. Jigsaw tries a flying crossbody on Delirious, who cuts him off in mid-air with a torpedo headbutt. Delirious and Hallowicked bond over their love of green masks and jibberish-languages but Akuma interrupts them. Wicked ends up on Akuma’s shoulders on the floor…and Quackenbush wipes them both out with a tope suicida. Delirious takes out Primeau with the Panic Attack/Shadows Over Hell combo. Quack tries to take advantage by giving Pelle an inverted Samoan drop for 2. Akuma gets 2 on Jigsaw with a version of Daizee Haze’s Mind Trip. Hallowicked gets 2 with an awesome fisherman’s powerbomb but Jig comes back to superkick him. Delirious drops Akuma with Chemical Imbalance II, and that’s a victory for him at 10:29.

Rating – *** –
Once again, another fun (if brief) outing from the Chikara guys. That was a perfect choice to open the show. They didn’t go overboard with highspots, but everyone (including Pelle – who I think has been impressive this weekend) is capable of wrestling at a frantic pace and it really worked up the crowd. Of the four Chikara debutants, obviously Quackenbush looked the most impressive. He’s been a stand-out on the indies for a long-time and it’s only right that he’s finally making his way to ROH. I’m never going to be his biggest fan because I think a lot of the things he does are SO smooth that it makes wrestling look unfeasibly fake and silly, but he is VERY good at what he does. Hallowicked and Jigsaw impressed me as well. I’m not sure there’s room for more masked wrestlers on the roster unless they’re given clearly defined personas (although Hallowicked could form his Incoherence team with Delirious – they’ve teamed elsewhere before). Akuma looked the most nervous of the quartet but didn’t make any obvious mistakes. I’m sure he’ll get other chances to shine in future. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll see of these four.

GREAT CABANA MEMORIES – As is usual on a wrestler’s last show, throughout the night we’ll have clips of some of Colt Cabana’s most memorable moments in ROH. This first one is from all the way back in 2002. It shows Colt and CM Punk (both of them looking MUCH younger) bickering after Cabana beat Punk in his ROH debut. Punk ends up stomping off into a freezing cold ‘ghetto Philly’.

Erick Stevens vs Christopher Daniels

This would be the first real test of Erick Stevens since he debuted. He’s looked good so far, but he’s been protected in multi-man matches and squashes. This is his first high-profile singles match in ROH and there’s pressure on him to deliver. Fortunately he’s in there with Chris Daniels, who’s an experienced pro with a proven track record in getting the best out of his opponents. For evidence check out Daniels/Xavier (Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies), Daniels/Walters (Empire State Showdown), Daniels/Albright (Suffocation) Daniels/Cross (The Bitter End) etc.

They spend the opening minutes of the match establishing that Stevens is the feisty youngster, able to use his size to overpower the veteran with considerable ease. Daniels attacks the midsection to get some respite, but is so successful doing it that Stevens retreats to the floor for air. Daniels capitalises with a gourdbuster ONTO an open chair. Perhaps appropriately (Erick is a member of The Resilience after all), Daniels shows no remorse at going after the midsection. Using all his experience he dominates the match and has successfully negated the power-based offence that Stevens utilised earlier in the match. 10 minutes gone now and the Fallen Angel is still in control. But Stevens manages to hit a desperation belly to belly suplex to buy himself some time. Release German suplex nailed as well, then the Choo Choo body avalanche. Stevens didn’t sell the ribs off that which annoyed me. He goes on a no-sell rampage, effortlessly jumping into a powerslam, followed by a back senton – both moves which would impact on the ribs. Daniels counters with a front lungblower, Samoan drop and Arabian press bang on the money. He tries one big move too many though, as he comes off the top looking for a crossbody block. Stevens catches him and delivers a TKO for 2. He flips Daniels into the big front powerslam, but Daniels has enough about him to block the Doctor Bomb. The 15-minute time limit expires so we have ourselves a draw.

Rating – *** –
Solid effort from both men. As expected Daniels worked exceptionally hard to get Stevens over and give him a good match, and by and large it worked. I thought Stevens’ selling of the ribs was enormously disappointing though and REALLY hurt the match. I hate being one of those internet writers who sounds like a total jerk whining ‘oh he didn’t sell this, he didn’t sell that’ etc. But there’s a difference between turning a blind eye to an injury and Erick Stevens here. He was hitting moves which would directly affect his injured ribs, and not thinking about it at all. That’s plain, unabashed inexperience. He will, of course, get better with time. This was our first chance to get a look at Stevens in a singles match. Anyone can see he’s a talented guy. Judging from this match he’s got things to work on but it was mostly good stuff and he’s quickly settling down onto the ROH roster.

Erick Stevens and the Chicago fans want five more minutes. Daniels refuses, since he’s got something to say. He unleashes one of the best promos in Ring Of Honor history. It’s up there in CM Punk Wrestlerave ’03 territory. Basically he complains that after he fought so hard to return to ROH, the fans and company don’t care about him. He hasn’t had title shots (except the one he had last night), when he was a Tag Champion people thought he and Matt Sydal were transitional champions and he’s stuck in the midcard wrestling filler matches. Next he launches into an attack on the ROH fans, and says the TNA/ROH rivalry is all in their head. He loves working for TNA, gets paid exceptionally well for working in TNA, and officially quits ROH. He shoves Allison Danger down and walks out.

SIDENOTE – That was an amazing promo, and a fine example of why Chris Daniels is the biggest missed opportunity in ROH – and I do include not doing Joe/Ki II in that. As he demonstrated in the first 18 months of ROH (when, in terms of storylines, he and his Prophecy stable basically carried the promotion), he has the ability to be the centrepiece of the promotion. But from 2003 onwards it was increasingly obvious that TNA was his top priority, meaning he could never achieve his full potential in ROH. The time is right for him to leave ROH. As he pointed out, he’s been stuck in filler matches and treading water for a long time. The fans have been growing increasingly indifferent to him too (which is a big step down from when he returned in 2005 – remember at August 2005’s Redemption, when the fans spent literally minutes chanting ‘Fallen Angel’). So yeah, the time is right for him to leave ROH, and this weekend he’s left us with a great example of all ROH is missing out on. Two very good straight-up wrestling matches and a colossus of a promo that will be remembered for a long time to come. If he were ever to leave TNA I’m quite sure ROH would take him back in a flash. Thank you Chris Daniels. A lot of newer fans to the promotion don’t fully understand how much he’s done for Ring Of Honor. He had a hell of a run here and that fine segment ensured it ended with a suitable bang.

GREAT CABANA MEMORIES – Moments after the Second City Saints defeated the Briscoes to win the Tag Titles at Reborn Stage 2, CM Punk is backstage trying to cut his usual, super-serious, angry promo. But he’s interrupted by Colt Cabana and Ace Steel who lead some hilarious celebrations. To newer fans of ROH, I recommend you go back and watch Reborn Stage 2. It’s a good show with Homicide/Danielson and Saints/Briscoes being particularly memorable.

Jimmy Rave vs Brent Albright vs BJ Whitmer vs Homicide

As I said before, although nobody knew it yet, this is the last ever Ring Of Honor match for Homicide. He’ll be looking to go after Brent Albright, who has gotten involved in the whole Cornette/Pearce/Cide feud. BJ Whitmer may want a piece of Albright too, since Brent was pretty closely associated with Jimmy Jacobs at points during the epic Jacobs/Whitmer feud. Jimmy Rave made a surprising early return from his jaw injury last night in St Paul. He announced that he’s meaner than ever, and will be looking to rack up some victories to get himself back into title contention.

Rave shows off his mean streak by jumping Homicide to start the match. That doesn’t work out too well for him though, and Albright quickly tags in to put the boots to Cide instead. Whitmer/Homicide next, bringing back memories of their memorable match way back in 2003 at Main Event Spectacles. Three Amigos suplex flurry scores, but Whitmer comes back by dropping Homicide on his face. With the Notorious 187 on the back foot Jimmy is a lot more confident tagging in to the match. Albright hits the 61-Knee right to Rave’s jaw, which is the cue for everyone to spill to the floor. Back in with everyone landing offence on everyone else. Jimmy nails the Crappy Wizard on Brent, but the Pedigree is blocked and BJ grabs him to powerbomb him into the turnbuckles. Homicide gets a run up and tope con hilo’s himself through about three rows of fans. Not one to show any mercy, Albright grabs him and swings him into the metal railing. Rave puts Cide in the Heel Hook…but Albright breaks it by putting the Crowbar on Jimmy! Rave tries a Pepsi Plunge on Homicide, but it’s countered with a SUPER JAWBREAKER! That’s surely it for Rave. Homicide gets 2 with the Lariat to Albright then goes into battle with Whitmer…who drops him on his head with suplexes and a powerbomb. KOBASHI SUPLEX BY ALBRIGHT! He pins BJ Whitmer at 10:16.

Rating – *** –
That was much better than I really expected it to be. Rather than go for the usual 4CS formula, these four decided to do an all out spot-fest for 10 minutes. So whilst it was nothing clever, it was an action-packed and exciting spring. All four men worked exceptionally hard. It was a fun, if forgettable, way for Homicide to end his Ring Of Honor career.

GREAT CABANA MEMORIES – Rewind to Third Anniversary Celebration Part 1 when Cabana came desperately close to defeating Austin Aries in a Steel Cage Match to become ROH World Champion. The match wasn’t ridiculously good but the finish ambitious and really creative.

More redneck promo goodness from the Briscoes. They tell the Machine Guns to Man Up.

Rocky Romero vs Austin Aries

Obviously this one comes about as part of the Resilience/NRC feud. Rocky Romero joined the NRC at Supercard Of Honor 2 and has looked impressive since then, scoring victories in a big four corner match last night (knocking Evans out in the process), and over Claudio Castagnoli at Fighting Spirit.

I’m enjoying the opening exchanges of this one. Both guys are really fast and hit hard so they do some good stuff together. Romero tries to bail but Aries nails him with the Heat Seeking Missile. Rocky avoids the Frog Elbow and immediately attacks the arm – snapping it over the rope then actually landing a missile dropkick right on the shoulder. The arm-work proves effective for Romero and he’s firmly in command right now. Aries isn’t worn down enough to fall to the Tiger suplex which pinned him in the 6-man tag at This Means War 2 though. Aries hits back with some clotheslines and a corkscrew press, executed with all the selling of Erick Stevens earlier i.e. none. Jumping DDT gets Romero a 2-count, and he floats into a cross armbreaker to do more damage. Aries blocks Romero’s Knock Out Kick with a shinbreaker/back suplex then his running dropkick for 2. They fight on the top rope. DIABLO ARMBAR by Romero! Aries fights it so Romero moves seamlessly into an Anklelock. TIGER SUPLEX FOR 2! Aries hits the death kick/Brainbuster/450 sequence to win at 12:28.

Rating – *** –
Maybe the motto of The Resilience is not to sell. Just like his stable-mate Erick Stevens earlier, Austin Aries made little to no attempt to sell an injury his opponent spent the majority of the match working on. Still, as with Stevens/Daniels, this was a fairly enjoyable contest. Aries is the most over guy on the roster (since Danielson isn’t around anyway) and the match told an adequate story to keep the fans interested. It was only in the last few minutes that the match really felt exciting though.

Roderick Strong arrives to try and put a beatdown on Aries, but he’s immediately chased off by Delirious, so he doesn’t get the chance to do any real damage.

GREAT CABANA MEMORIES – The Cabana/McGuinness Soccer Riot match from Night Of The Grudges 2. Probably the only memorable thing about that show.

Takeshi Morishima vs Shingo – ROH World Title Match

A Ring Of Honor World Title match taking place between a NOAH and a Dragon Gate wrestler in Chicago. Who’d have thought that could happen back in 2002? I’m not entirely sure what it is that Shingo has done to warrant a title match, although he did score an impressive victory over BJ Whitmer last night. Securing this kind of inter-promotional match is quite the political coup for ROH.

If anyone has a chance of matching power with Morishima it’s Shingo, and he proves it by getting a run up and flooring the champion with a shoulder tackle. Considering how hard Austin Aries found it to floor Mori last night, that’s quite an achievement. Credit to Shingo, he stays on the front foot by hitting a pescado to the floor and works hard to maintain his dominance. Morishima hits back with a jumping butt attack then a shoulder tackle from the apron to the floor. He keeps the fight out there, slamming the challenger into the railings, and delivering his Ole Ole Ass Attack to leave Shingo dazed. Back inside and Prazak points out that Morishima is softening up the neck to add to the damage of the Back Drop Driver. Shingo tries to rally with forearm shots, but Morishima clubs him back to the mat and stretches the neck again with a camel clutch. He hits the cartwheel body avalanche and demands the ref administer a TKO count. Shingo is up at 7 though, but can’t lift Shima for a suplex. The fans rally behind him and come alive as he finally lifts the World Champion for a vertical suplex. Buoyed by that success, he tries takes the fight to the apron and hits a DDT. DVD ON THE FLOOR! But Shingo takes too long getting Mori back into the ring and it only gets 2. BACK DROP DRIVER ON MORISHIMA! TWO COUNT! Last Falconry blocked and Morishima BATTERS Shingo in the corner. He thinks about the missile dropkick but Shingo is on fire and chases him up the ropes. SUPERPLEX…MORI NO SELLS! SHINGO LARIATO! LAST FALCONRY! MORISHIMA KICKS OUT! The crowd is going nuts now. SHINGO LARIATO AGAIN! STILL 2! Shingo looks for more lariats, but Morishima flattens him out of nowhere. Urinage suplex, then a big lariat of his own for 2. Shingo blocks the Back Drop Driver with a crossbody, but goes for a rather foolish powerbomb and winds up getting sat on. MORI LARIATO! Shingo lands on his neck and still kicks out. BACK DROP DRIVAAAAAAAA! Morishima retains at 15:22.

Rating – **** –
What a physical World title match. Those guys just put on an absolute war and I loved it. Shingo delivered an inspired performance, walking a brilliant line between the underdog character he was forced to adopt when in the ring with someone bigger than he is, and the powerhouse bruiser he normally portrays in his matches. That was easily his best singles match in ROH, a fine example of how he’s improved as a wrestler during his time here, and a fine way to say goodbye as a permanent part of the roster. And Morishima is having a hell of a year thus far. Since debuting in February he’s delivered a string of quality matches. Any doubts people have over his credentials to be ROH World Champion must surely have been erased this weekend. Both nights he’s been utterly tremendous.

GREAT CABANA MEMORIES – Colt puts in probably his best in-ring performance of his ROH career, unsuccessfully challenging for the World Title against James Gibson at Dragon Gate Invasion. Very underrated match which saw Cabana forego a lot of his usual antics, step out of his comfort zone and deliver a hell of a straight up wrestling match. Definitely a match to check out.

INTERMISSION – Rebecca Bayless has Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley. ‘I think I hate rednecks’ – Shelley. ‘Your voice is beautiful’ – Sabin to Shelley. That was awesome.

We look set to come back from intermission with Bobby Dempsey taking on Alex Payne (who is a bit of a cult figure in Chicago). They get interrupted by Tank Toland, who introduces himself as an ‘all natural, superior athlete’. He rags on Dempsey for being fat and Payne for looking like a girl. ‘Is it you, or is it fat in here?’ – Toland to Dempsey. He offers to take Bobby under his wing as a weight loss protégé (he’s already Chris Hero’s personal trainer). It breaks down with Tank squashing Alex Payne in under three minutes. What we learnt there is that Tank Toland is hilarious.

GREAT CABANA MEMORIES – Clips from the Fourth Anniversary Show where Cabana refused to quit in a brutal Ghetto Fight with Homicide. That feud was remarkable because it sucked at first but got better and better as it went along.

Roderick Strong vs Jack Evans

This is a rematch from All Star Extravaganza 3 where these two almost stole the show with a hell of a match. The score they have to settle is still the same. They’re former partners and members of Generation Next, but Roddy attacked Jack in New York, the same night that he formed the No Remorse Corps, and Evans is still itching for some revenge.

This one immediately has a more grudge-match type feel as Evans ditches his usual entrance to rush the ring and take it to Strong. He kicks the FIP Champion out of the ring then flips over the turnbuckles into a somersault plancha. But Roddy’s use of illicit tactics seems him make his way back into the contest. He tries to leave the ring but Evans hits an amazing ROPE JUMP DROPKICK to the floor. He tries to moonsault off the guardrail but Strong kicks it, causing him to tumble to the ground. Strong attacks the back for the first time, ramming it against the ringpost repeatedly. But Jack is able to back flip out of a slingshot suplex attempt. He tries a handspring elbow only to be caught and dropped on his face for 2. Roderick applies a grotesque submission hold, incorporating the usual bend Jack in half in all his matches rule. Jack tries a bridging backslide, but with his weakened back he can’t hold it. HEAD DROP GERMAN SUPLEX by Strong – and that landing was particularly sick. Springboard corkscrew enzi by Evans which leaves both men down. He connects with the handspring elbow second time of asking and a northern lights/fisherman buster combo for 2. Roddy hits the Death By Roderick out of nowhere to kill the momentum then dumps him out of the ring again. BACK DROP ON THE APRON! But Strong makes the mistake of going to the top rope with Evans, and gets himself caught in the tree of woe. Ong Jak knee drop gets 2, but Strong isn’t beaten down enough for Evans to get back to the top for the 630. Super fallaway slam nailed for 2. Gibson Driver blocked but Strong catches Evans as he tries a reverse rana and hits a back suplex backbreaker. Boston Crab applied but Evans makes the ropes. Rocky Romero is on the floor and he delivers a kick to Evans – much like the kind he knocked him out with last night. Strong takes advantage with a splash mountain Ace crusher to win at 15:10.

Rating – *** –
Everything felt a little more lethargic and less fluid than their first match, and the finish was kinda lame (although I see the point since it keeps some of Jack’s heat and credibility which could’ve been lost with a second consecutive clean loss). Still, these two in the ring is always worth a look and it’s still good. I’d check out FIP Strong vs Evans and All Star Extravaganza 3 first though. The NRC are on an amazing winning streak at the moment.

Rocky does more damage to Jack Evans by kicking a chair into his face. Delirious runs in to scupper the NRC beatdown plans for the second time tonight.

GREAT CABANA MEMORIES – This one is from Gut Check in August 2006, when Cabana got within a minute of winning the World Title from Bryan Danielson. Danielson’s courage to work over 40 minutes with a separated shoulder is still incredible to me.

Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Murder City Machine Guns – ROH Tag Title Match

This match was announced when the Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) made an unexpected return to ROH at All Star Extravaganza 3. That was the night Jay Briscoe defied a terrifying injury to his brother to win back the belts from Naruki Doi and Shingo. Unsympathetic, the Machine Guns went heel on him and beat him up. The match was set for tonight, and Mark Briscoe has recovered from his head injury in time for it to happen.

Mark starts with Sabin, and gets some retribution for Chris mocking his head injury in Detroit by slapping him in the face. Sabin acts like he’s going to do some flippy wristlock counters, but instead pokes Briscoe in the eyes. Unperturbed, Mark hits back and sends him running to his corner and we have tags all round. Shelley jerks around in amusing fashion, kissing Jay’s feet before spitting water in his face. Jay boots him out of the ring leaving Sabin to console him on the floor. The Briscoes get in some double teams on Alex, including a nice big boot/flatliner combo. That gives them the first real advantage of the contest as they’re keeping Shelley well away from his partner. Alex hits a gorgeous Russian legsweep and gets the tag to Sabin who comes in fresh and drops Mark with an Ace crusher. The momentum shifts from there and all of a sudden it’s Mark who can’t get to his corner to tag out. The Machine Guns impress me as they show off a couple of really tight double team moves of their own. Jay gets the tag and takes it to the pair of them. Shelley takes the big double-pancake into the sky, but he manages to save Sabin from the splash mountain neckbreaker. Sabin hits a brutal looking tree of woe neckbreaker. STEREO TOPES by the Machine Guns. Sabin tries a Texas Cloverleaf on Jay, as Shelley runs in for a BORDER CITY STRETCH on Mark! The Briscoes survive that predicament, and Mark hits a springboard corkscrew splash on Sabin for 2.

Jay applies the Stretch Plum to confirm that the Briscoes have successfully ridden out that period of MCMG dominance. They try to go to work on Sabin, but he hits an awesome tornado DDT on Jay, enziguri kicking Mark in the process. Shelley is on fire, and lays Jay out with a flatliner into the middle turnbuckle. SUPER Manhattan drop nailed, then a perfect bridging German suplex for 2. More great rapid-fire tandem offence from Shelley and Sabin puts Jay even further on the back foot, and yet again it’s the TNA guys in total control. Briscoe manages to drop toehold Sabin into Shelley’s crotch and make another tag. REDNECK KUNG FU by Mark, then a double jump moonsault press for 2. Shelley blocks the urinage and tags out…so Mark does it to Sabin instead. Splash mountain neckbreaker scores this time but Chris kicks out at 2. They go for the springboard Doomsday Device. MID-AIR CLOTHESLINE BY SABIN! REVERSE RANA ON JAY! Shelley comes in and hits an assisted Shiranui that gets another 2. The Machine Guns both go to the top rope. LEG DROP/SPLASH COMBO FROM THE SAME ROPE! Mark blocks the Air Raid Crash and Jay sprints in to clothesline Shelley to the floor. Jay Driller blocked repeatedly, but the military press DVD isn’t. MARK STAR PRESS GETS 2! Sabin goes to the top rope again, and Shelley gets Mark on his shoulders. DOOMSDAY MISSILE DROPKICK! AIR RAID CRASH! Mark kicks out at 2! SHELLSHOCK NAILED! Jay saves the match for his team! Mark blocks Sliced Bread #2 and hits back with a CUT-THROAT DRIVER for 2. Jay is back…CUT-THROAT LEG DROP! IT’S OVER! The Briscoes retain in an absolute classic at 34:17.

Rating – ****1/2 –
What an absolutely superb tag team match. It represents the pinnacle of the “Briscoes-style” (i.e. spot-orientated, fast-paced, exceptionally smooth etc) match. That was 30+ minutes of beautiful work. I can’t remember a single botch in the whole match, THAT’S how on their game everyone was. This may well be the best tag match ROH has ever done. I’d also like to take a moment to point out that Alex Shelley is incredible. The guy may well be one of the best wrestlers in the world right now. Everything he did was executed flawlessly, and he has a charisma and magnetism about everything he does. This match made me desperately disappointed that ROH didn’t do more with him when he was on the roster full-time. If he ever has a falling out with TNA then Ring Of Honor need to sign him up ASAP. He’s someone that could carry the promotion.

Shelley and Sabin get ‘Please Come Back’ chants, and rightly so. Both of them were fantastic and should be owning TNA’s Tag division at the moment. They do the classy thing and strap the belts around the Briscoes’ waists as Chicago gives all four men a standing ovation.

GREAT CABANA MEMORIES – Cabana ends his feud with Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey in a Windy City Death Match.

The No Remorse Corps are in predictably chirpy mood. Rocky Romero laughs at knocking Jack Evans out again, and says he won’t be making a faction to fight the NRC any time soon. Roderick Strong warns Delirious to stay out of his business.

Colt Cabana vs Adam Pearce

So this is it, after over four fun-filled years in Ring Of Honor, Colt Cabana is off to join his fellow Second City Saints on the WWE’s paylist. Hopefully he’ll go something closer to the CM Punk route than Ace Steel (who’s release from development will surely be announced soon). His opponent is somebody he has a lot of history with. Pearce is a fellow product of the Chicago independent scene. They’ve come up through the business together, teamed with and opposed each other on many occasions. They’ve also built up a rivalry over the past couple of months in ROH. Pearce defeated Cabana using knucks in Detroit at All Star Extravaganza 3. He was also part of a team which beat Homicide and Cabana last night in St Paul. Since it’s his last night Colt gets some special treatment. The guy who raps his theme music sings him to the ring, and he gets a big pop from HIS fans.

Pearce attacks Colt during his intro like a total dick. As a result the ensuing fight takes place in an ocean of streamers. He threatens to leave if people keep chanting ‘Colt Cabana’, obviously that one doesn’t go anywhere since the fans are loving Colt tonight. These two are both super-entertaining when they work in comedy mode and they waste no time getting the comedy started. Finally Adam has enough, attacking Colt’s knee following a distraction from his man-servant Shane Hagadorn. That doesn’t work so Hagadorn drags Cabana to the floor and tries to hit him with a chair. Colt blocks it, but then fakes like Shane actually did hit him…leading to Hag getting ejected from ringside. Pearce has more sneaky tactics up his sleeves though. He undoes Colt’s boot, then kicks him in the head whilst he tries to do it up. He goes for some Gold Bond Mafia powder…but it’s Cabana that ends up sending it into Pearce’s eyes. Colt puts an offensive flurry together, but it comes to an end as Adam hits a spinebuster then applies a Figure 4 Leglock. It’s not enough to win the match though. Cabana tries the Flying Asshole only to be caught and suplexed. Illinois Jam gets Scrap Iron a 2. Colt catches him going to the top rope again for a traditional press slam off the top. Flying Asshole nailed, before he goes for the Billy Goats Curse. Pearce taps and it’s over at 13:33.

Rating – *** –
These two had a hard act to follow coming after the Machine Guns/Briscoes classic, but they put together an entertaining affair that is actually one of my favourite ROH farewell matches. In many ways it summed up Cabana’s ROH career perfectly. It was lots of fun, entertaining to watch and did its job of giving Chicago a chance to say goodbye to Colt Cabana very well. And that’s much like his entire tenure here. He was rarely in the main event, and rarely in the best match on a show. But he was always immensely entertaining regardless of his spot on the card, and almost invariably did his job and delivered what was expected of him in his role in the company. Best of luck to him in the WWE.

It’s now time for the customary farewell speech. Colt starts by thanking Adam Pearce for being a role model for him in the wrestling business. Pearce acts like he’s going to put him over by showering him with compliments…but then spits in his face and walks out. After that silliness the locker room empties (along with Colt’s parents who also come to ringside) and we have the usual love-in. Colt is amazingly classy and gracious in his departure, but vows one day to come back and become World Champion.

Tape Rating – **** –
Without a single bad match on the entire show, this takes it’s place up there as one of the best shows of the year thus far (I have it second behind Fifth Year Festival Finale). It’s a definite must-buy for ROH fans, with over 3 and a half hours of great wrestling. Maybe there was something in the water, as everyone seemed on their game and even the undercard filler matches were surprisingly energetic and exciting. The Tag Title match was truly superb and right at the top of the list of MOTYC’s thus far in 2007. Morishima delivered his second outstanding match of the weekend with Shingo, and Christopher Daniels delivered a scintillating in-ring interview that will live long in the memory. This show is a hell of a way to say goodbye to a number of special talents who now leave Ring Of Honor and continue their careers elsewhere. ROH is about to move into pay-per-view, and this is a wonderful show to remember the contributions of men like Daniels, Homicide and Colt Cabana (who have all been here since 2002). Without them the promotion would never be in a position to start running ppv events. Go out and buy this one now.

Top 3 Matches

3) Colt Cabana vs Adam Pearce (***)

2) Takeshi Morishima vs Shingo (****)

1) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Murder City Machine Guns (****1/2)

Top 5 Battle Of St Paul/Good Times Great Memories Weekend Matches

5) Colt Cabana vs Adam Pearce (*** – Good Times Great Memories)

4) Roderick Strong vs Christopher Daniels (*** – The Battle Of St Paul)

3) Takeshi Morishima vs Shingo (**** – Good Times Great Memories)

2) Takeshi Morishima vs Austin Aries (**** – The Battle Of St Paul)

1) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Murder City Machine Guns (****1/2 – Good Times Great Memories)

Leave a Reply