ROH 157 – Death Before Dishonor 5: Night 2 – 11th August 2007
I liked the first night of DBD5 weekend a lot. Not all of the show was superb but the two main event matches were so good. The first night of a double shot weekend can sometimes be problematic for Ring Of Honor but the show avoided many of the traditional “B-show” pitfalls and really delivered. And now for Night 2 which boasts another stellar line-up. The main event sees a huge 8-man Street Fight, which will hopefully breathe new life and/or end the No Remorse Corps vs Resilience feud which has trailed off disappointingly in recent months. Takeshi Morishima defends the World Title against Brent Albright which should be a lot of fun. There’s also Danielson/Quackenbush, the Steen-erico/Briscoes war continuing with two singles matches, a SHIMMER Title defence and much more. This event was taped in Philadelphia, PA. Commentary comes from Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.
ROH VIDEO WIRE (01/08/07) – See Death Before Dishonor 5 Night 1 (ROH156) for details.
Straight to the ring to open the show (which is something I think ROH should do more often) and the Briscoes making their way through the curtain. They call out Steen and Generico who promptly appear on the ramp. Kevin Steen has no problem with the Briscoes wanting to fight since his team have kicked their asses all over the place. Unfortunately he can’t fight right now because he has to call his mother. Instead it’ll be Generico/Mark getting us started.
Mark Briscoe vs El Generico – Falls Count Anywhere Match
The feud between these two teams took another twist last night as Steen and Generico finally beat the Briscoes in a scintillating non-sanctioned Street Fight. With that win they’ve earned themselves another title shot, and we know the two teams are scheduled to meet in Hartford, Connecticut inside a steel cage. Tonight the four men wrestle in gimmicked singles matches.
Jay and Steen brawl to the back as Generico drives Mark into the barricade. Mark decides the only appropriate course of action is to climb the ropes. SHOOTING STAR PRESS TO THE FLOOR! That’s how he almost killed himself at All Star Extravaganza 3. He tries a second dive from the ring apron but the Generic Luchador sidesteps and sends him into the railings. He tries to hit his Yakuza Kick out there but Mark blocks. SUPERPLEX OFF THE GUARDRAIL INSTEAD! Generico gets 2 with a split-legged moonsault. Double jump moonsault press by Mark then redneck ninja attacks that sends ElGen to the floor again. He tries to climb the turnbuckles but gets caught. BACK SUPLEX OFF THE APRON! Mark kicks out at 2. Generico can’t get Mark up for a Brainbuster on the ramp so nails him with a Yakuza kick instead. URINAGE ON THE RAMP FROM MARK! Kevin Steen returns and tries to attack him with a ladder…but Mark cuts him off with a superkick. Generico hits his through-the-ropes tornado DDT and pins Briscoe at 08:17.
Rating – *** – They packed a hell of a lot of craziness into a short amount of time there. This feud is the best thing ROH has going at the moment and the match was another fine chapter to add to it. How they were able to put their bodies through this less than 24 hours after that absolute war last night in Roxbury is beyond me.
Jay Briscoe is back out too and all four men brawl some more before a triumphant Steen and Generico make their way to the back.
Backstage the NRC plan a night out to celebrate after winning their Street Fight tonight. Davey Richards sulks because he isn’t allowed to go. Larry Sweeney seems happy that they’ve stumped up the cash and have paid Matt Sydal to be their partner tonight. Sydal is, of course, pleased that he gets to wrestle Delirious again. Davey then sulks because he doesn’t have a Rolex like Matt Sydal.
Deranged vs Jack Evans
Man alive, it feels like ages since I’ve seen Deranged. In fairness, it HAS been ages since he’s been on an ROH DVD. He definitely hasn’t made a main show appearance since 2005 sometime. I wonder if he’s improved since then. He was always my favourite member of Special K since he was the funniest, and one of the better workers of the group. I really struggle to see how he would fit onto the 2007 ROH roster though, so he’ll need to pull a hell of a performance out tonight.
Deranged looks exactly the same and seeing him is such a retro moment. I’m even missing Special K! The match barely gets started before some guy jumps the guardrail with a megaphone and hypes up Project 161. We then make a fairly clunky edit back to the wrestling. Evans drops Deranged with a springboard knee to the head. He tries one too many handspring moves though, allowing Deranged to counter and hit a corkscrew enzi. Springboard double stomp to the chest nailed, then an ASAI MOONSAULT outside. Stalling brainbuster gets the former Special K member a 2-count. Deranged is totally dominant now, laying Jack out with a springboard swinging DDT for another 2. Mad Scientist Bomb blocked with something REALLY ugly, before Evans lands a standing corkscrew press to save the crowd. Ong Jak knee then the 630 give Jack the win at 06:42.
Rating – * – Live reports absolutely slated this match. Deranged apparently totally tanked, and this match has obviously been edited. What’s here isn’t bad (although there is one very major f*ck up), but it’s nothing more than a succession of spots. Deranged hasn’t been given another look since this. He was loads of fun back in the day with Special K, but he needed to show a massive improvement to get back in the hunt for a roster spot, and it just wasn’t there. The Chikara students (Jigsaw, Hallowicked, Akuma), hell, even some of the ROH students (Primeau and Hagadorn) offer far more. None of them have Deranged’s charisma though. Maybe if the right gimmick/angle comes along in the future he’ll get another chance. He’d definitely make a good spazzed out lackey for someone’s stable.
Chris Hero/Jigsaw vs Nigel McGuinness/Claudio Castagnoli
Larry Sweeney has hired Jigsaw to be Hero’s partner tonight. Apparently he’s got a lot of experience wrestling Claudio in other promotions. The opposition team features both of Sweet’n’Sour Inc.’s main rivals in ROH. Hero scored a big (albeit shady) win over Nigel last night in a Pure Wrestling Rules match. Nigel’s partner is Chris’ old friend Claudio Castagnoli. The Kings Of Wrestling split when Hero signed with Larry Sweeney, and Claudio and Larry have hated each other ever since. It’s never been made entirely clear where Hero stands on the matter. Clearly he’s loyal to Sweeney, but he’s never shown any aggression towards his former partner either. Will we get some answers here?
Claudio has no problem going right after Hero who bails to the floor to avoid contact with him. Soon enough he’s back in the ring doing his needless displays of athleticism. Jigsaw comes in and does a good job on the mat with both Castagnoli and McGuinness. Claudio tries to throw a European uppercut but Jigsaw runs to the floor. Claudio PULLS HIM IN BY THE HEAD and delivers the uppercut anyway. McGuinness gets 2 with a shortarm McLariat. Hero saves his partner from the Tower Of London and attacks Nigel’s arm to prevent more lariats. That’s the cue for Team Sweet’n’Sour to work over Nigel, repeatedly going to the arm. He clobbers Jigsaw with a McLariat, but the move hurt him so much that Hero has time to get into the ring and stop him making the tag. McGuinness eventually dishes out spine kick/chest smashes to both opponents and makes the tag. Claudio in with the Match Killer on Hero then a lengthy Giant Swing for Jig (almost dragging his pants down too). Nip-up uppercut on Hero, then the Alpamare Water Slide for 2. Jigsaw climbs up Hero in the corner…FLYING LEG DROP OFF HERO’S SHOULDERS! Nigel comes in throwing lariats again, but his arm is still hurt. Jig eats the Tower Of London and that’s him out of the contest. Meanwhile Hero grabs Claudio’s RTTT Trophy and lays him out with it. Hero wins at 14:59.
Rating – *** – It took an absolute age to get going, but once it did the match wasn’t bad. The heat segment on McGuinness was focused, logical wrestling, and I like the fact that ROH are finally pulling the trigger on the Claudio/Hero feud…although it seems months overdue. The team split last December, and it’s taken us to August to get to this point. Jigsaw looked very solid in this match. Of the three Quackenbush students we’ve seen wrestle in ROH thus far, he definitely looks the most polished and capable of hanging with the main roster.
Things take a turn for the ugly after the match as Hero double stomps the trophy into Claudio’s head, leaving him a bloody mess. He then smashes the trophy into bits until Nigel finally makes a save by throwing Bobby Dempsey into Tank Toland. Hero and Sweeney have long since vanished to the back.
Bryan Danielson talks about his respect for Mike Quackenbush but points out that he’s the veteran in ROH and wants to step on Quack on his way to regaining the ROH World Title.
Sara Del Rey vs Lacey – SHIMMER Title Match
This is the first time the SHIMMER belt has been defended in ROH. Del Rey won it at SHIMMER Volume 12, defeating Lacey in the finals of the tournament to crown the promotion’s first champion. She then beat Lacey in an extremely competitive rematch during SHIMMER’s debut in Florida – a match I highly recommend you check out. Lacey won this shot in a #1 contenders match with Daizee Haze last night.
Del Rey tears into Lacey from the get go, flattening her with a body block and using her power advantage to dominate. A massive kick sends Lacey scrambling out of the ring, but even there she’s not save. They trade RUGGED forearm smashes on the floor until Del Rey floors Lacey with a roaring elbow. CANNONBALL SENTON OFF THE APRON MISSES! Sara landed with a real thud there, and it looks like she’s injured her back. Lacey capitalises with repeated kicks then snaps the back between the ropes. Boston crab applied next, doing more damage. Del Rey tries something from the top rope but Lacey pulls her down, slamming the back against the canvas again. Running knee strike to the back nailed, then a reverse DDT gets 2. Lacey even appears to try Low Ki’s Dragon Clutch but Sara’s leg is right under the bottom rope. Stranglehold neckbreaker scores for 2. Sara finally comes back out of nowhere with a big powerbomb leaving both women down. Stiff forearms traded, then Death Rey gets some momentum going with a series of kicks to the sternum. She gets 2 with a back senton…why would you do that move if you had an injury there? Lacey blocks the Royal Butterfly with a backbreaker. LUNGBLOWER SCORES but Sara kicks out by bridging. SELL THE BACK!! ELEVATED NECKBREAKER out of the corner from Lacey but she still can’t put the match away. Bridging German for Sara Del No Sell gets her another 2. Lacey goes for a sunset flip but it’s rolled through into the ROYAL BUTTERFLY! BUTTERFLY POWERSLAM! Death Rey retains at 12:37.
Rating – *** – This was probably the longest women’s match ROH has ever done. I think they kept the crowd interested for the whole time so you can probably say it was a success. Lacey’s performance was absolutely superb. Her story-telling ability and charisma totally carried the match. I’ve seen Sara wrestle much better than this though. What the hell happened to her back selling? They based the WHOLE match around that injury and she totally no sold it down the stretch.
Brent Albright says he’s can finish Morishima with the Half Nelson Suplex or the Crowbar and will bring home the World Title tonight. This guy has got SO much promo time to build the match. It’s just a shame that most of them haven’t been very good.
Mike Quackenbush vs Bryan Danielson
This was the match a lot of message board fans were clamouring for the second it was announced that Quack was on his way to Ring Of Honor. They’ve had some highly praised bouts elsewhere so I’m looking forward to seeing the two square off here. Mike has really impressed people with his showings since he debuted in April, but doesn’t have too many wins to his name. Will that change against ROH legend American Dragon?
These guys find a great new way to follow the Code Of Honor. Check out the DVD to see what I mean. Danielson takes Quack off his feet with a dropkick. Mike’s response is to get the better of him in a chaining sequence and drop him with an armdrag. Learning from that, Danielson decimates him in the corner with a series of strikes and kicks. Clearly having found that Quack is a dangerous opponent on the canvas, Dragon immediately switches to an aggressive, strike-based offensive style to compensate. Having worn him down with the strikes, he then takes Mike down to the canvas and starts to stretch him. Quackenbush rallies back, throwing chops at his opponent then slapping him from the top rope all the way to the floor. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA from Lightning Mike. That seems to aggravate Dragon’s problem shoulder, something that Mike immediately notices. Black Tornado Slam nailed and rolled into a Rings Of Saturn. Abdominal stretch next, but still pulling hard on the arm to apply pressure to the shoulder. Danielson drops him with a German suplex but takes too long to follow up due to his injury. He still cuts Quack off with a running enzi then gets 2 with a bridging Tiger suplex. Crossface Chickenwing locked in but Mike finds a way to escape it. Leonard speculates if it’s because of Danielson’s shoulder. Cattle Mutilation next…he can’t hold on and turns it into a pin for 2. Inverted DDT nailed by Quack, then a double knee drop for 2. He puts Danielson in a Stretch Plum, then a cross armbreaker. Danielson goes back to the strikes that worked earlier in the match, and almost gets caught in a small package. TRIANGLE CHOKE MMA ELBOWS! Quack’s done at 17:08.
Rating – *** – A really fun match, but I’m coming away mildly disappointed because I know they’re capable of so much better. For it’s position on the card at a Ring Of Honor show it did it’s job perfectly. Quack is a newcomer, Danielson is a former World Champion on his way to a title match with Morishima in Manhattan. Under the circumstances, this really was an engaging midcard encounter. But both men have much more in the locker. Quack’s schedule is fairly packed for the rest of 2007 and beyond, meaning he’ll only make a couple of appearances in the next few months. If he’s ever around on a more permanent basis, we need a rematch.
INTERMISSION – Veteran wrestling journalist Bill Apter (who I met a couple of years ago and is a really nice guy) is guest interviewer tonight, since Rebecca Bayless isn’t here. His interview style reminds of Gary Michael Capetta. I miss GMC! Anyway, he’s got The Resilience and Delirious. Matt Cross and Erick Stevens try to look mean whilst Aries and Delirious promise to hurt the NRC.
Jay Briscoe vs Kevin Steen – Lights Out Match
To clarify, this isn’t a match fought in the dark. It’s simply Last Man Standing rules inexplicably renamed. El Generico beat Mark earlier in the show with some help from Mr Wrestling. Jay will want to beat Steen here to make sure the Briscoes don’t go 0-2 before their big Cage Match.
Steen gets the better of Briscoe in an exchange of fists, then somersault pescados out onto him on the floor. They take turns throwing each other into guardrails and/or beat each other down against them. Briscoe drops Kevin into the turnbuckles with a flatliner then punts him in the face. Steen hits back with a cannonball senton but neither man looks like staying down for 10 quite yet. They also can’t hit their finishers yet so Steen nails a cradlebreaker instead. He tries the Swanton Bomb but flies into Jay’s knees. ‘Where’s my mom…I want my mom…OH GOD’ – Steen as Jay sails off the top rope with a leg drop. Jay Driller on the floor countered…POWERBOMB INTO THE GUARDRAIL! Jay’s landing on that was ugly as sin. Steen thinks about a Package Piledriver but Jay counters with a DVD ON THE APRON! He still can’t get big Kev off his feet for the Jay Driller though. Steen tries a sleeper hold but Jay switches on him. HEAD DROP GERMAN! We almost have a double KO from that. PACKAGE PILEDRIVER NAILED! Steen thinks he has the match won but Briscoe mans up and beats the 10 count. He flips out of a second Package Piledriver. JAY DRILLER! Steen has a dazed look on his face but he beats the count as well. El Generico does a run-in and hits Yakuza kicks on Jay. PACKAGE PILEDRIVER AGAIN! This time there’s no getting up for Jay. Steen wins at 14:12.
Rating – *** – Mark/Generico was faster and more exciting, but these two put tons in tons of effort and took some courageous bumps. Much like with their partners earlier, to be able to have a gruelling, physical match like this after what they went through last night is just amazing. This was a straight-up brawl with both guys just trying to head drop each other into oblivion. Both guys looked absolutely exhausted, and after this weekend, who can blame them.
Takeshi Morishima vs Brent Albright – ROH World Title Match
I’m still at a total loss as to how it is that Albright qualifies for a title shot. Maybe Prazak or Leonard will explain it on commentary. Storyline quibbles aside, this should be a really good match. Albright hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since joining from the WWE, but it’s only in recent months that I think he’s been booked properly, and he’s looked a lot better for it. The “Gun for Hire” brawler has somewhat given way to a powerhouse wrestling machine, which suits him far more in my opinion. This is the biggest match he’s had since joining the roster. He needs to recapture some OVW form for it.
Albright is almost as big as Morishima, but even he can’t stand up and take a relentless barrage of blows from the massive World Champion. BODY SLAM by Albright! He goes for an early Half Nelson Suplex but can’t get him up yet. He dumps Mori out of the ring and does some damage with the guardrails. Shima tries a lariat but it’s ducked and he ends up clobbering the ringpost. Brent goes right after it with a hammerlock back suplex, softening up the champion for the Crowbar. The attack continues over the next few minutes but Morishima still has enough about him to block Brent’s signature hold. Bossman Slam scores and gives him some breathing space. He hits the running butt to the face on the outside then returns to the ring, still shaking out his injured arm. Cartwheel avalanche scores, followed by the big man missile dropkick for 2. Mori just isn’t selling the arm with his offence at all. Albright shows some heart by getting back to his feet and heaving Morishima into a powerslam. The fans are actually starting to get behind the challenger at this point. Mori tries another butt attack and gets caught with a GERMAN SUPLEX for 2. Crowbar locked in but Shima’s such a big guy and he powers to the bottom rope. Albright tries a sunset flip like an idiot and gets sat on. Why does anyone try to sunset flip Morishima? It makes no sense! Back Drop Driver blocked…Crowbar again. He’s in the middle of the ring this time, so Morishima STANDS UP! BACK DROP DRIVER! Albright kicks out at 2! He superplexes Morishima but it’s NO SOLD! HALF NELSON SUPLEX…NO SOLD! HALF NELSON SUPLEX AGAIN! MORI KICKS AT 2! Everyone in the building thought we were seeing a new champion then. Brent lines up the Kobashi-plex again but Morishima collapses against the ropes. OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY! Mori up…HEAD DROP GERMAN! LARIATOOO! Brent kicks out and gets a huge pop. BACK DROP DRIVER! It’s over at 15:14.
Rating – **** – Terrific match, helped by a crowd that were unexpectedly hot. Albright really delivered the goods here. It’s the match I think people have been waiting to see from him since he debuted, and his best performance thus far. Morishima too has been amazing this weekend. He’s produced star-making matches against two midcarders who will both come out of their battles with him with immense credibility. I think Mori/Castagnoli was slightly better – mostly because Morishima just didn’t bother to sell the arm, and they forgot about that portion of the match in favour of fighting spirit and head drops – but I enjoyed this too.
No Remorse Corps/Matt Sydal vs The Resilience/Delirious – Street Fight
Everyone should know the history behind this one so I’m not going into it in too much detail. Basically Roderick Strong turned on his former tag partner Austin Aries and formed his own group (the NRC). Aries recruited Matt Cross and Erick Stevens to form The Resilience to battle them, but promptly got pulled from ROH by TNA and has only just come back. Initially this was booked as a 6-man Street Fight with Cross and Stevens teaming with Delirious against the NRC, but Aries return meant it switched to 8, with the NRC recruiting Delirious’ rival, and another former Generation Next member in Matt Sydal. These guys have got their work cut out to live up to Briscoes/Steen-erico yesterday.
Matt Sydal comes out in a dress shirt and neckerchief for a street fight. That’s just hysterical. The Resilience come out without Austin Aries…who runs in from behind the NRC to get the fight started. As you can imagine with eight men brawling, there are bodies everywhere and it’s hard to concentrate on any single piece of action. Strong and Stevens are the first two to spill into the crowd, and are joined by Romero and Delirious who fight all the way to the back of the building. Sydal and Cross are right at the top of the bleachers. Richards, meanwhile, is attacking Aries’ injured ankle and he’s already limping badly. Cross and Sydal are now fighting high above everyone else on an unfolded bleacher segment. Everyone else has appeared below them now. CROSS KNOCKS SYDAL OFF! He topples backwards onto the pile of bodies below. M-Dogg isn’t done. HE RUNS UP THE WALL INTO A SOMERSAULT PLANCHA ONTO EVERYONE! That was absolutely nuts. Eventually we come back to ringside where Richards hits a SLINGSHOT SENTON onto Cross who is covered in chairs. Sydal brings a ladder into the ring, only to be Panic Attacked into it by Delirious. Aries and Stevens low blow Strong and Romero with a rake they’ve found from somewhere.
LADDER CHOO CHOO on Romero, but Strong moves meaning Erick runs into the ladder. COBRA CLUTCH SUPLEX FROM DELIRIOUS! Romero drops him with a Tiger suplex then a Knock Out Kick for 2. M-Dogg drapes Rocky over a chair and hits a springboard double stomp for 2. Sydal in…FISHERMAN BUSTER THROUGH A CHAIR! Stevens grabs Sydal, TKO ON THE LADDER! Roderick Strong pulls him to the outside and powerbombs him on the hard floor. Sydal has found a table and is setting that up in the crowd. He seems to have something in mind but Delirious stops it by throwing a chair at him. Strong tries to put Delirious onto the table, but Delirious ends up standing on top of it. SYDAL JUMPS ANYWAY…THEY BOTH CRASH AND BURN! That looked ugly and exceptionally painful. Aries is throwing powder into the eyes of as many opponents as possible as Cross climbs a scaffold. FLAGPOLE PRESS OFF THE SCAFFOLD THROUGH A TABLE! The building is a total mess now, with chairs, fans, wrestlers and debris scattered everywhere. Richards gets 2 on Aries with a Ligerbomb. Erick tries a shoulder tackle off the apron only to run right into a savage chair shot by Strong.
Aries with the BRAINBUSTER on Davey. All of a sudden he has his sights set on Roderick. They counter each others moves. ARIES WITH THE STROKE ON A LADDER! He sets up for the 450 but Richards hits his bad ankle with a chair. Roddy then shuts the leg in the ladder and hits it with a chair again. That leaves Aries rolling around on the floor in pain and Strong and Richards alone in the ring to double team Stevens. Erick battles courageously against both opponents and gets the upper hand. He hoists up Davey…POWERSLAM OFF THE APRON THROUGH A TABLE! Delirious and Sydal brawl to the back, so it’s down to just the NRC and the Resilience now as the match time approaches 30 minutes. Aries still can’t walk and is crawling around on the ramp whilst Stevens and Strong stiff each other like mad. Roderick throws the ladder literally straight into Stevens’ face, then sets it up between two open chairs. Erick German suplexes him onto his face then throws a big lariat for 2. Both fight on the top rope with the ladder below them. Strong gets the advantage. AVALANCHE HALF NELSON LADDER BACKBREAKER! STRONGHOLD! Stevens is out and the No Remorse Corps have won at 33:53.
Rating – **** – A really wild main event to round off a really good ROH show. It wasn’t quite as good as last night’s, there were a few dead spots, it ran a little long and I didn’t think the pacing was anywhere near as good either. The last 5 minutes made a star out of Erick Stevens though. The focus of the NRC/Resilience feud has always been on Aries and Strong, but the climax here made it very clear that the Strong/Stevens rivalry is something to keep an eye on too. The problem was that the eight guys had done so much crazy stuff beforehand that the crowd was literally spent and the Strong/Stevens exchanges at the end had minimal heat and came off as far less dramatic. Aries showed a lot of guts working this match when he was very clearly injured. And he did a hell of a lot more than Delirious and Rocky Romero, who barely figured in the match at all. For all my criticism of M-Dogg, he did a terrific job as well. He delivered the two most memorable high spots of the match. I imagine that dive off the wall will be shown in replays for years to come. It was definitely the defining moment of the whole 30+ minute match.
Tape Rating – **** – Great show, one of the best of the year. The only bad match on the whole DVD is Evans/Deranged, and that’s both short and edited anyway. The Briscoes/Steen-erico singles matches are hard-fought, the SHIMMER match is amongst the best ROH female matches to date, Danielson/Quack was technically great and left me wanting more and the two main events both delivered. Death Before Dishonor 5 has been a great weekend for ROH. Get both shows. This one is the better top to bottom event, but the best two matches of the weekend (Morishima/Claudio and Briscoes/Steen-erico) were last night in Boston. It’s one of those rare occasions where I really recommend you get both shows.
Top 3 Matches
3) Bryan Danielson vs Mike Quackenbush (***)
2) Takeshi Morishima vs Brent Albright (****)
1) No Remorse Corps/Matt Sydal vs The Resilience/Delirious (****)
Top 5 Death Before Dishonor 5 Weekend Matches
5) Bryan Danielson vs Mike Quackenbush (*** – Night 2)
4) Takeshi Morishima vs Brent Albright (**** – Night 2)
3) No Remorse Corps/Matt Sydal vs The Resilience/Delirious (**** – Night 2)
2) Takeshi Morishima vs Claudio Castagnoli (**** – Night 1)
1) Kevin Steen/El Generico vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe (****1/2 – Night 1)