087 ROH A Night Of Tribute 11/19/2005
ROH 87 – A Night Of Tribute – 19th November 2005
I return to reviewing ROH shows after a brief hiatus for the unfortunate death of my father. What with all the obvious stuff that’s thrown up, it’s been a while since I watched this show. Ring Of Honor has a big December coming up with Steel Cage Warfare at the new Manhattan venue then Final Battle 2005 featuring Marufuji and KENTA. This is the last show before those two, and understandably given their big reputation, you don’t hear so much about it. Bryan Danielson defends the World Title against the winner of a triple threat match between AJ Styles, Chris Daniels and Matt Sydal – none of whom really deserve a title shot. #1 Contendership for Mamaluke and Rinauro’s tag belts is on the line when Samoa Joe and Jay Lethal take on Generation Next’s Austin Aries and Roderick Strong. After a tempestuous weekend in the Midwest Homicide and Colt Cabana are wrestling again too. This one comes from Long Island, NY with commentary from the usual combo of Prazak and Leonard.
SIDENOTE – Tonight is dedicated to Eddie Guerrero who tragically died right before this show. RIP Eddie – you’ll be missed. He gets the 10-bell salute…
FROM ROHWRESTLING.COM – Samoa Joe runs through his whole history in ROH. Chris Daniels bringing him in to hurt Low Ki, the Group/Prophecy feud, winning the ROH Title, his 2 year run with it, heat with Homicide, the CM Punk trilogy, bickering with Mick Foley, losing to Aries, fighting Kobashi, wanting to win the triple crown of titles, mentoring Jay Lethal. This is a great way for people who haven’t followed ROH since it began to catch up on his career. For those of us that have a 10 minute retrospective wasn’t the hottest way to start…
Jason Blade/Kid Mikaze vs Dunn & Marcos
Blade and Kid make a second ROH appearance. They showed a little promise wrestling Azrieal and Davey Andrews at This Means War so I don’t think anyone is begrudging them a second look. Dunn & Marcos haven’t really been around since they beat the Carnage Crew. They’re a little stale in fairness, but in small doses can still rock…LIKE A HURRICANE!
Marcos starts with “Rufio” Kid Mikaze with some of the most tentative and basic of chaining in the history of wrestling. Mikaze redeems himself with a cool kick flurry. Wheelbarrow rana on Blade by the RCE then tandem bulldogs on both the new guys. ‘Kiss suck’ – LI fan. Dunn & Marcos respond with AIR GUITAR! RCE kick combo for Blade, but Kid breaks the electric chair senton with a springboard dropkick. Everyone on the floor for Jason to nail a RUNNING CORKSCREW PESCADO! Botched catapult/dropkick combo nicely covered by some slick camera work. TOTAL ELIMINATION on Marcos for 2. The Express member shoots Blade into the buckles with a headscissors and gets the hot tag. Backbreaker/top rope elbow combo for 2. Mikaze with an inverted Air Raid Crash for Marcos. Blade dumps Dunn on his face with another made up move. THEY SPANISH FLY EACH OTHER…BUT MISS! Blade gets the assisted Shiranui and the electric chair senton. Ring Crew Express win at 06:52.
Rating – * – A few nice high spots (Blade and Mikaze have some neat stuff) but some of the worst transitioning between them you’ll ever see. Blade and Kid are still pretty green and part-timers like Dunn & Marcos probably aren’t what’s needed to carry them. That Spanish Fly deal (essentially a moonsault/somersault senton combo from the top) is an awesome move though. They sort of feel like a flashback to 2002/3 when ROH would use people like the SAT, Special K and the Backseat Boyz in Scramble Matches though…
Dave Prazak shows us a still photo taken by a fan of Jimmy Rave giving Jade Chung a Pedigree in the parking lot in Chicago after Vendetta. She was so messed up she’s now out of pro-wrestling.
Aries begs Roderick to put his rage about that incident aside for tonight so they can become Tag Title #1 contenders. Strong has some words for Rave and Nana but seems pretty focused on winning tonight.
Davey Andrews vs Jimmy Rave
Andrews is showing up on way too many shows before he’s really ready if you want my opinion. I know he’s gotta be cheap and he’s a useful jobber, but I’d much rather see Jimmy Rave crush someone like Delirious or Dixie (remember him?) than Andrews. Davey was trained by Jimmy’s former nemesis CM Punk though. Rave is obviously pretty hot after winning the fall for The Embassy in the big 8-man tag at Vendetta when he debuted his new finisher – Greetings From Ghana.
Davey tries to be an amateur wrestler supremo and attempts to take Rave down. Jimmy responds by shoving him away then dishing out a neckbreaker. It’s too early for a finish though, so Andrews takes a clothesline to the neck. Davey comes back with some of that rookie fighting spirit and hits a springboard dropkick for 2. Anaconda Vice variation applied but Rave makes the ropes. Jimmy hits the spear then a GREETINGS FROM GHANA to win in 04:18.
Rating – DUD – Davey got squashed like a b*tch which, given the situation, is fine and dandy. Rave gets some momentum going into Steel Cage Warfare, and Andrews gets more valuable ring time. Everyone is a winner, except huge Jimmy Rave marks that didn’t get to see him wrestle for very long.
Colt Cabana with awesome promo #2 in as many shows. He talks about all the opportunities he’s had in life and still choosing to be a wrestler. He says he’s not just a goofy whiteboy, and Homicide crossed the line when he tried to cut out Cabana’s tongue in Chicago. Out of nowhere I LOVE this feud!
Matt Sydal vs Christopher Daniels vs AJ Styles
Winner gets the title shot later tonight. Interestingly, Sydal and Daniels have already crossed paths in a fun triple threat (also featuring Azrieal) at Joe vs Kobashi. You’d think adding AJ to the equation would make it better. Daniels and Styles have a well documented rivalry that has spanned numerous companies, countries etc etc. I loved their first 30 Minute Iron Man in TNA and their X-Division Title Match at International Showdown was incredible live. AJ is also a well-known fan of Matt Sydal, taking him under his wing somewhat. Meanwhile Sydal is having to deal with Daizee Haze turning on him and Generation Next in favour of The Embassy at the last show.
Daniels and AJ staredown and don’t want to let Sydal play. Daniels throws Matt out so he can slug it out with the X-Division Champion some more. Sydal springboards in on both of them, then dishes out climbing wizards. Cannonball leg drop for 2 before Daniels breaks. Sydal walks into the patented Styles dropkick and goes to the floor again. AJ and Matt then initiate a little teamwork on Daniels after they teamed with each other in Detroit. Daniels with an STO/reverse DDT combo on them to put an end to that. Sydal gets chucked out a third time allowing Chris to neckbreaker Styles for 2. He hits the Arabian press but Matt makes the save. Sydal dropkicks both his TNA opponents in the corner. He goes for the inverted Rocker dropper on Daniels but Styles flips over into the quebrada inverted DDT. Daniels is sitting it out on the floor as Styles knocks Sydal stupid with a snap DDT for 2. Standing moonsault by the GeNext member. He goes for the moonsault belly to belly but AJ almost counters to a super Styles Clash. Matt falls away into the inverted Rocker dropper on Daniels, then he hits Styles with a dropkick as AJ jumps off the top. Daniels with a DVD on Sydal but he can’t even pin before Styles is all over him. Hammerlock driver gets AJ a 2. Blue thunder driver gets Daniels a 2. AJ blocks the Fall From Grace then dives right into the urinage slam. He knows that’s the set up for the BME though and grabs Daniels leg. WRACK BOMB for 2. Daniels goes to the floor so AJ goes right after him with a pescado. CRAZY TOP ROPE TWISTING MOONSAULT BY SYDAL! He almost knocked himself out on the ring apron there. Styles gives him a pumphandle gutbuster but Sydal counters the Styles Clash into a rana for 2. AJ gets sent to the floor and Daniels blocks the Here It Is Driver. BEST MOONSAULT EVER! Daniels gets the title shot after 14:44.
Rating – *** – Maybe I’m being a little generous with that rating. In TNA they’d be raving about it, but I wasn’t so hot on it. The last few minutes were good, but it was way too spot-heavy with too many obvious instances of killing time till the next spot. I like all three guys but I’d rather have seen a singles match. I’m guessing we would’ve had AJ/Daniels for the #1 contendership but TNA wouldn’t let X-Division Champion AJ do the job. I also don’t think it did a very good job of elevating Sydal either. He was never really made to look on the same level as Daniels or Styles – only really hitting offence after one of those guys had beaten up the other. It could’ve been better is what I’m saying, but it wasn’t a complete bomb.
Claudio Castagnoli says Milano Collection AT will be a tough opponent, but he can’t concentrate because Nigel McGuiness screwed him out of the Pure Title. He begs Jim Cornette for another shot.
Gary Capetta brings Bryan Danielson to the ring in the same building where he won the ROH Title. He wants to make things a bit fairer for Chris Daniels in the main event so he’s going to wrestle twice as well. In what is sure to be a very demanding contest for him, he brings out Azrieal as his opponent.
Bryan Danielson vs Azrieal
Yay…Azrieal’s push over the summer bombed, now he’ll be used as job-fodder for the World Champion. Balance is restored to the world at last. Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t do badly, but when you’re in matches with the likes of James Gibson and Roderick Strong, it’s hard to look too appalling. Never once did he look particularly special himself though. Allison Danger is on commentary scouting for the main event.
The World Champion starts in fairly restrained fashion, dominating Azrieal but at least keeping it fairly clean. Az works a wristlock but Danielson clowns around rather than counter out of it. Now he goes for a full nelson, then a sleeper. AmDrag pretends he’s falling asleep but it’s all a big joke. Joke’s over as Dragon destroys Azrieal with European uppercuts. Az with a springboard crossbody for 2. No clean breaks for the youngster now – Danielson chops lumps out of his chest then stands on his face. Azrieal with a messy springboard lucha armdrag but he hurts his own hand trying to chop the champion. Az misses the double stomp and gets dropped on his head with a German suplex. CATTLE MUTILATION! That’ll be Azrieal finished off in 05:56.
Rating – * – A star for treating Azrieal like a little b*tch. Suddenly those four corners in the summer seem a long way off. Bryan Danielson didn’t break too much sweat on his way to his title defence later.
Homicide vs Colt Cabana – No DQ Match
This feud has been going on for a while now, but the last time they actually wrestled was at Glory By Honor 4 in this building – and it kinda blew. Since then though, the feud has really got more interesting. They were booked in a four corner match in Motown but had to be replaced when they fought into the crowd and suplexed each other off the bleachers through a table. Then they’re scheduled match in Chicago didn’t happen because they had another brawl – ending in Homicide taping Colt to the ropes, assaulting him with a fork then trying to cut his tongue out with scissors. The crazy brawls and that rather disgusting gesture have really picked up everyone’s interest in their deal – helped by a couple of fantastic serious promos by Cabana – who is quietly having a breakout year in 2005. The McGuiness feud showed he could wrestle, the James Gibson title match showed he was capable of taking a step up and putting on legit main event matches, and now this is taking him away from his comedic persona whilst still showing what a capable and adept performer he is.
Cabana’s entrance is completely devoid of horseplay. It’s a big slugfest from the word go which Colt gets the better of in the corner. He pulls out a fork and Homicide bails. Grim Reefa blindsides Cabana with a missile dropkick. Still he hits a knee lift on Cide and tries to use the fork again. Next he chinlocks Homicide and starts pulling on his tongue for more revenge from Vendetta. Homicide lifts Cabana to the floor for the TOPE CON HILO! Both guys back to their feet to start lumping the tar out of each other at ringside. Cabana again has to deal with Reefa and Smokes which distracts him long enough for Cide to get the advantage. He goes for the second rope swinging DDT but Cabana counters with a powerslam. Notorious 187 takes control again by ramming his head into a chair, then he throws his opponent into Smokes and Reefa again. Cide with a Raven drop toehold on Cabana then DROPKICKS THE CHAIR INTO THE ARM! That looked pretty horrible, and this whole thing is getting uglier since Homicide is giving Cabana the ghetto fork treatment again. GRAPHIC HEAD STABBING! Homicide starts right handing him in the face to no effect so he just boots Cabana in the balls instead. Colt back with a chair to the head…SUPERPLEX ONTO A CHAIR! Both men to their feet for another punishing slug-out. Cabana hits the lariat but it’s only good for 1. Homicide with the LOW BLOW/LARIAT COMBO…ONE COUNT OF DISRESPECT! LARIAT AGAIN – NO SOLD! LARIAT DUEL! Both go down in a heap. Cop Killa and Colt 45 attempts both unsuccessful, then Cabana blocks an Ace crusher to hit the kryptonite neckbreaker for 2. The Chicago native gets himself a metal pipe and uses it to lay J-Train out. Homicide tries to run and gets a pescado. Cabana sets up a table on the floor and sets up for a splash but Reefa distracts him. Homicide goes up after him which is so not good. SUPER ACE CRUSHER THROUGH THE TABLE! Can I get a ‘dangerous’? Cide’s thugs roll them both back into the ring…but Cabana kicks out! HOMICIDE CHOKES CABANA WITH A COAT HANGER! Cabana is unconscious after 19:35 and the ref stops it. Cide wins I guess.
Rating – *** – Talk about a turn around. From sucking at Glory By Honor 4 to putting on this crazy brawl tonight. I can’t believe how much of a 180 I’ve done in my opinions on this feud. Homicide pulling out crazy ghetto stunts like the fork, scissors and the coat hanger on the rich white boy who is being driven increasingly insane is working so well. Not all of this match was great – I didn’t enjoy the constant interference so much, and between 5 and 10 minute mark it got a little repetitive but some of the exchanges at the end were money. I hope they’ve got better in them for the blow-off.
Homicide refuses to stop choking Cabana as Lenny Leonard goes absolutely apesh*t on commentary. Referees and students are finally able to prize the crazed Homicide off and drag the unconscious Cabana out of there.
INTERMISSION – GMC is with World Title challenger Christopher Daniels. The Fallen Angel says that just because there isn’t a big feud between he and Bryan Danielson, it doesn’t make the match any less important. It’s his destiny to be the ROH Champion.
EDDIE GUERRERO TRIBUTE – We get a clip from Night Of Appreciation with Eddie beating up Brian XL as Jimmy Bower talks about how important Guerrero was in getting ROH off the ground (he was the major draw for the first show) and how influential he was for many talents and the ROH style.
Milano Collection AT vs Claudio Castagnoli
There’s no history or heat to this but it should be a fun wrestling match. Castagnoli is looking to rebound off a bad weekend for him at the last double shot where he lost a Pure Title match to Nigel McGuiness then dropped a match to BJ Whitmer the next night at Vendetta. I can’t be assed to go back and check but I think this is Milano’s second ROH appearance – debuting in a losing effort against Samoa Joe at Survival Of The Fittest 2005. The winner here will surely be considered a top contender for Nigel’s gold, and that’s something Claudio has been fervently demanding a rematch for so.
The opening chain sequence is predictably very even, until AT hammerlocks Castagnoli in the ropes. Springboard crossbody followed by an armdrag from the Japatalian supermodel. He stays in control until Double C comes out with a springboard armdrag then the diving uppercut to the neck for 2. He sets up and scores with the rolling uppercut in the corner to leave Milano reeling. AT goes to the apron and guillotines him over the middle rope before connecting with a long-distance running dropkick. Big front slam by Castagnoli for 2. A stalling vertical suplex gets 2 as well, then he hits a cool rolling knee strike. He tries to springboard off the apron with something but Milano blocks with a jumping enzi to the head. Paradise lock by Milano which is the set up for a running basement dropkick. Claudio finds the mark with another trademark European uppercut but AT takes control again with a TORNADO ARMBREAKER! Both are shaken up but take it to each other again with a chop/uppercut duel. Handspring clothesline from Milano, then a running senton for 2. Castagnoli refuses to stay down and hits the Match Killer for 2. To the top rope for the Savage elbow which gets another close fall. Alfa Mari Water Slide blocked…Milano MATRIX DUCKS an uppercut and hits a springboard corkscrew senton. Claudio flees to the ropes to escape the AT Lock and lifts Milano into an ELEVATED UPPERCUT! Riccola Bomb blocked and Milano arm wrenches Double C into the AT LOCK! That gets him his first ROH win at 12:50.
Rating – *** – At first it seemed a little meandering, and another one of those matches which seem more like an exhibition of chain wrestling than anything meaningful, but it got better as AT started working the arm and countering some of Claudio’s trademark offensive moves. Milano is so much fun and Castagnoli continued to step up in a big way. The fact is Milano is a better wrestler than him, but he more than proved he could hang with the guy. When he first went full-time in October I thought it was his gimmick getting him pushed, but after the Shelley time limit draw, the Pure Title match with Nigel and this, he’s starting to impress me.
SPOILER/SIDENOTE – In hindsight, I wonder if ROH wishes they’d booked Claudio over Milano here. The Japanese competitor would only make a couple more appearances before quitting over disagreements (some say he had problems with Gabe’s booking, other reports suggest it was ROH’s connection to the Dragon Gate promotion which he left under a cloud earlier in 2005). A win over Milano would’ve really put Double C over ahead of the inevitable McGuiness rematch. It’s a shame we’ll never really get to see more of what AT is capable of either.
Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs Samoa Joe/Jay Lethal
This is a big match with ramifications beyond the fact that it’s four of ROH’s top guys in the same ring at the same time. Jim Cornette is making the tag division more of a priority under his rule, and as part of that, this big-time contest will determine #1 contenders for the Tag belts at Final Battle 2005. Aries and Strong have both failed to beat ROH Champion Bryan Danielson and would surely like to bring gold back to Generation Next. Meanwhile we all know that Samoa Joe is desperate to become the first grand slam champion in the company, and he only needs the tag belts to complete that.
Strong demonstrates what lengthy matches with Bryan Danielson will do for you as he dominates Lethal on the mat. Jay doesn’t back down though and does work his way back into things. Joe tags and makes a stand by chopping Roderick. Lethal/Aries now, with Jay running right into a boot to the face. Double pounding by Generation Next which allows Strong to demonstrate his own noted chopping ability. Hart Attack gets GeNext a 2, with them having isolated Lethal now. Strong works the leg full nelson but Joe breaks it with a leg drop. Aries somersaults across the ring only to see Jay duck the usual springboard reverse elbow and plant him with a spinebuster. Joe almost decapitates Aries with a running massive leg to the face. Lethal holds Aries prone in the corner for the elevated boot scrape and Roddy has to break the pin. Cobra clutch backbreaker stretch from Jay, and he keeps Aries down even after he escapes with a knee to the stomach. Lethal backflips out of the corner but Austin runs at him with a clothesline and both are left in need of a tag. Strong gets the hot tag and throws around multiple chops on both opponents. Joe blocks the double knee gutbuster BUT ARIES BREAKS THE CHOKE WITH A RUNNING DROPKICK! CRADLE BACKBREAKER from Strong for 2. Roderick runs into the STO Slam and Lethal tags to go to the top rope. He connects with the diving headbutt but Aries breaks the pin with a diving elbow. BRAINBUSTER…Joe breaks the pin. Aries runs into the powerslam but gets the shoulder up at 2. He blocks a lariat but tries to block the crucifix driver he’s felt so often. Strong boots Joe into the head, straight into the crucifix driver. Lethal goes for the Dragon suplex on Roderick and eats ROLLING HALF NELSON BACKBREAKERS! EDDIE GUERRERO TRIBUTE FROG SPLASH FROM ARIES! GeNext get the nod in 17:23.
Rating – *** – A solid, by the numbers effort but considering who was involved you’d expect it to be better. They did the isolation stuff, which was fine – both Lethal and Aries are good at getting beaten down. Then the hot tags meaning the series of big spots (where everyone just forgets about the beatings Aries and Lethal had taken) and then the finish was a little sudden. The Joe/Lethal vs Rave/Shelley tag from Enter The Dragon was better. Generation Next get Tag Title shots anyway…and now they have to worry about The Embassy and Steel Cage Warfare.
Jimmy Rave and Prince Nana attack GeNext on the ramp, leading to Rave giving Strong a Greetings From Ghana on the ramp. Aries runs backstage to get help and discovers an unconscious Matt Sydal hanging from a ladder. Consider those the final shots fired before the cage match…
Bryan Danielson vs Christopher Daniels – ROH World Title Match
If you’ve been following the company since 2002 you should know the history between these two men. They were in the first ever main event – the historic triple threat match that also featured Low Ki. After that Daniels raised the ire of both Dragon and Ki by refusing to shake hands. Although the more heated issue was between Low Ki and The Prophecy, Dragon didn’t approve of Daniels’ actions either. They met in the first ever Round Robin Challenge Match (where Daniels made Dragon tap out, then he shook his hand ) and in the final of the tournament to crown the first ever Tag Champions, when Daniels and Donovan Morgan beat Dragon and Mike Modest, only to see Danielson destroy the trophy. Daniels has always claimed it’s his destiny to be Ring Of Honor Champion. Can he beat an old nemesis and succeed where he failed against Samoa Joe and CM Punk? Will his exploits in the triple threat qualification match earlier effect him?
It’s intense but entirely respectful from the bell. That is until Danielson backs Daniels to the ropes and slaps him in the face. Daniels tries to work the arm but Dragon is as good as it gets and he suplexes into an armbar of his own. He keeps the Fallen Angel down with the arm until Daniels is able to work into the same suplex counter. Dragon backs his challenger into the corner for more slaps. Chris comes out of the corner with a headscissors though. He escapes that and slaps Daniels again. Now it’s a choke in the corner as the fans start to rile the champion with their support for Daniels. Danielson with a leg grapevine now but it’s too close to the ropes. More damage to the legs is inflicted via the bridging deathlock. Daniels refuses to tap so Danielson begins slapping him again. Still holding onto the deathlock the champion grabs onto a double underhook, then an abdominal stretch as well – just tying Daniels in a knot. Dragon has progressed to being truly vicious now, as he starts knee dropping Daniels in the forehead which is cut from Daniels’ match with Samoa Joe at the recent TNA ppv. Fallen Angel with a couple of quick pin attempts but Danielson cuts that off and applies the Mexican surfboard. Now he keeps it as basic as choking the challenger over the ropes and clawing at his face whilst Chris is all tangled up. The laceration on the forehead has been opened again as Danielson runs up into a dropkick to the neck. He goes for another choke over the ropes but Daniels moves aside and starts raking at Danielson in the ropes.
His momentum is cut off again though with a big clubbing shot to the neck. AmDrag drives his forearm and elbow into the open cut. Slingshot suplex gets the champ a 2. He wants to keep the belt so bad he starts biting the head in the corner. Out of nowhere Daniels scores with a stepping enziguri but can’t capitalise immediately. Danielson goes aside but Daniels gives chase with the ARABIAN PRESS! Daniels goes to the top again and soars with a crossbody for 2. Danielson counters the blue thunder driver once but then runs into it second time of asking. Dragon dives off the second rope with a European uppercut laying Daniels out again. He finds the mark with a diving headbutt. Danielson sets up for the airplane spin but realises the fans want to see that so he switches to a Finlay roll instead. Daniels hauls him off the top rope into a DVD…INTO THE KOJI CLUTCH! This is what he tapped out to at Round Robin Challenge 2002, but this time Daniels just hasn’t done enough damage to the neck. Danielson blocks Last Rites and rolls Daniels into CATTLE MUTILATION! Too close to the ropes though. Daniels looks to fire up and hits the urinage slam. BME NAILED…DANIELSON KICKS OUT! Dragon takes Daniels to the top rope for an enormous superplex that rattles both competitors. Danielson is first up and gets a nearfall with a dragon suplex. BACK TO CATTLE MUTILATION! Daniels refuses to tap, then he fights out of the Crossface Chickenwing. ROARING ELBOW TO THE JAW! Daniels is knocked out and pinned at 29:35
Rating – **** – A great continuation of the Danielson title reign. He kicked his new vicious tweener gimmick into an even higher gear as he did literally NOTHING that the fans wanted him to do and heeled it up big time on Daniels with repeated slaps, chokes, eye rakes, clawing at the mouth and nose etc. It’s all little things but he did it almost constantly to great effect. The plot was simple – Daniels had already wrestled once and was coming in injured from the TNA ppv, so Danielson went out there from the start to tear him apart till he couldn’t stand anymore. Daniels tried to work the arm first – so Danielson outdid him at that. Then he attacked the legs…then he started opening up the cut. In the end Daniels, who had been hit with the diving headbutt, the dragon suplex and repeated Cattle Mutilations just couldn’t withstand anything else and was knocked out with the roaring elbow. Another unique finish to a Danielson title match too. I think that’s a continuing theme to his championship reign.
Samoa Joe seems pretty reflective and calls his failure to get the title shot tonight a temporary setback. Jay Lethal says nothing then walks out on his mentor.
EDDIE GUERRERO TRIBUTE – Clips from Night Of Appreciation again with him standing in the ring as fans chant ‘We Will Miss You’.
Tape Rating – *** – I think this show passes under the radar somewhat because there’s no out and out MOTYC here – and ROH has been churning them out by the bucketload this autumn and winter. If you’ve got the money to check it out though, I recommend you do. It’s an underrated event with far less skippable filler stuff than you usually find on Ring Of Honor releases these days. It’s only the opening tag, Rave/Andrews and Danielson/Azrieal that don’t make it to 3* or higher. You get the best match of the Homicide/Cabana feud so far (in fact, it’s Homicide’s best match in MONTHS) and a hell of a main event as well. In reality, this show isn’t better than Steel Cage Warfare, and doesn’t have a MOTYC the likes of Danielson/Strong, Joe/Kobashi or KENTA/Ki so if you’re not a completist you don’t really need it or anything…but I still give it a mild thumbs up.
Top 3 Matches
3) Austin Aries/Roderick Strong vs Samoa Joe/Jay Lethal (***)
2) Homicide vs Colt Cabana (***)
1) Bryan Danielson vs Christopher Daniels (****)