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Manhattan Center – New York City, NY – Friday, February 16, 2007
Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Pelle Primeau Open Challenge
Primeau challenges anyone to come out and face him, and Samoa Joe’s music hits! But it’s actually Takeshi Morishima answering the challenge, still dressed in street clothes. Morishima bulldozes Primeau over and delivers the Back Drop Driver to get the pin in about 8 seconds. Obviously not much of a match but this got the crowd hyped up real nice.
MATCH #2: Adam Pearce vs. Delirious
Pearce has Shane Hagadorn in his corner. Delirious charges the ring and the fight is on. He fights off Pearce’s attacks and sends him to the floor with a dropkick. Delirious follows him out and throws him back in. Hagadorn interferes but Delirious is able to fight him off as well and send Pearce back to the floor. Delirious then wipes both of them out with a senton from the top rope. Back in the ring Delirious tries the Cobra Clutch but Pearce delivers a low blow and then hits a vicious Chokeslam. Pearce is in control now and he slows down the pace. He hits a nice powerslam for a two-count. He looks to press slam Delirious into the crowd, but Delirious slips out and delivers a drop toehold that he rolls right into the Cobra Stretch! Pearce breaks the hold but Delirious comes right back with a leaping rana from the top rope. Delirious builds some momentum and delivers the Panic Attack. He follows with Shadows over Hell and Hagadorn jumps up on the apron to distract the referee. Pearce goes into his tights and pulls out brass knuckles, but he accidentally hits Hagadorn with them! Delirious goes into his tights and produces his own brass knuckles, which he puts into his mask. He then hits a loaded headbutt to get the pin at 8:00. That was about the right length, and the crowd certainly enjoyed seeing Delirious finally get a big win over Pearce.
MATCH #3: Sara Del Rey & Allison Danger vs. Alexa Thatcher & Daizee Haze
Haze and Danger start the match. Thatcher is making her ROH debut tonight. Danger and Haze wrestle on the mat and exchange holds and pinning combinations, but both women can only get two-counts. Del Rey tags in and goes for a powerbomb but Haze counters with a rana. Haze continues to fly around the ring to keep Del Rey off balance. Thatcher tags in and she hits a dropkick along with Haze. Unfortunately for Thatcher, Lacey comes out and attacks Haze, fighting with her to the back. That leaves Thatcher all alone. Del Rey hits a Straitjacket German Suplex for a near-fall. She follows with the Royal Butterfly to get the pin at 3:16. That was fine for the extremely small amount of time they got. I wonder what the point is of even booking this match if that’s all the time they’re going to get.
MATCH #4: Four Way Fray – Jack Evans vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. SHINGO vs. ???
Jacobs has Lacey in his corner. The surprise fourth competitor (filling in for the injured Davey Richards) is the second-ever ROH Champion Xavier! That’s a good get for an Anniversary Show. This is slightly different from a Four Corner Survival, because there are no tags and elimination rules are in effect. Evans and SHINGO are in the same faction in Dragon Gate, so they work together, and Jacobs and Xavier sort of work together by default. The action is fast and furious from the get-go, with all four men allowed in the ring. Jacobs gets knocked to the floor early. SHINGO and Xavier take it to each other with hard strikes, and SHINGO hits a modified spinebuster that sends Xavier to the floor. Evans goes for a Space Flying Tiger Driver but hits no one and crashes hard into the barricade. Back in the ring Jacobs goes to work on SHINGO, and Xavier comes back in to help him out. That partnership doesn’t last long, as Jacobs surprises him with a Spear for a two-count. Jacobs goes for the Contra Code but Xavier counters it and hits a powerbomb. Xavier pulls Jacobs up for an alley-oop powerbomb, and then floats over into a picture perfect piledriver. SHINGO catches Xavier with the Blood Fall, and Evans follows with a reverse rana. Evans then executes a backslide and flips all the way over to hold Xavier down for the three-count at 4:25. SHINGO and Evans work together on Jacobs, who refuses to go down without a fight. His fight is short-lived though, as SHINGO destroys him with a Pumping Bomber to score the second elimination at 5:51. We’re down to SHINGO and Evans to decide the winner. They try to remain respectful but both men want to win the match so they take it to each other. Evans hits a rana that sends SHINGO to the floor and he follows him out with the Space Flying Tiger Driver. Back in the ring Evans goes for handspring back elbow but SHINGO catches him and hits the Blood Fall onto the top rope! SHINGO then legally murders Evans with a Pumping Bomber but Evans somehow managers to kick out. Evans tries to fight back but SHINGO catches him in a release German Suplex that flips Evans all the way over. Showing his resilience, Evans is able to connect with a series of strikes, including a flying knee for two. Evans goes up top and SHINGO joins him, only to get knocked back down. That leaves him prone to the 630 and that’s enough for Evans to get the pin at 9:53. That sounds like an odd foursome for a match, but they busted ass for 10 minutes and went all-out the entire time. This was ridiculous fun.
MATCH #5: Tables Are Legal – BJ Whitmer vs. Brent Albright
Whitmer gets up on the second rope during his entrance, and Albright wastes no time taking advantage of the stipulation by hurling him through a table at ringside! That’s a helluva way to start the match. Albright follows Whitmer to the floor and abuses him in a variety of ways around ringside. He throws another table into the ring, but it backfires when Whitmer is able to hit an exploder through that table. Whitmer then hits another one to further break the table. He covers but only gets two. Albright recovers and goes back on offense. He tries to back suplex Whitmer from the top rope though a table on the floor, but Whitmer shifts the momentum and lands on top, driving Albright through said table. Back in the ring Whitmer covers but only gets two. Whitmer lands a few strikes and a big vertical suplex, and he pulls Albright up on the cover at two. Right, a vertical suplex was going to get the win, sure. Whitmer sets up two tables on top of each other out on the floor. He goes for a powerbomb but Albright counters and hits a German Suplex and rolls it into a half-nelson suplex. Whitmer hits a big lariat with his last gasp, and both men are down. Back on their feet Albright has a piece of table that he decks Whitmer with. Albright then Awesome Bombs Whitmer through the table stack that Whitmer himself had set up on the floor. Back in the ring Albright covers but only gets two! Albright sets up a table across the top turnbuckle, and whacks Whitmer with a piece of broken table to keep him down. He brings in a third table and sets it right next to the second. Albright puts Whitmer on the table across the top rope, and he climbs up there as well. Whitmer gets a burst of energy and hits an exploder through the two tables! Albright is done for and Whitmer gets the pin at 13:55. Well they delivered what they promised with the stipulation, and that’s just about all you can ask for. This was also a ton of fun, with several cool table spots and hard work from both men throughout the match that kept the crowd into it and waiting for the next table spot.
MATCH #6: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – Matt Sydal & Christopher Daniels vs. Austin Aries & Roderick Strong
Sydal (also the Open the Brave Gate Champion) and Daniels have been the Champions since 11.25.06, and this is their second defense. They have Allison Danger in their corner. Daniels and Strong start the match. These two teams met back at Gut Check in August, when Aries and Strong successfully defended the titles. Daniels and Strong go back and forth on the mat and trade moves back and forth. The challengers take control and focus on Daniels’ arm. Sydal gets a tag and he battles Aries in a preview of the Open the Brave Gate Title match scheduled for Dayton on February 23. Despite Sydal’s best efforts, the challengers remain in control. Strong and Aries make quick tags in and out and wear Sydal down with a variety of strikes, slams, and holds. After several minutes of abuse Sydal is able to make a tag and Daniels is fresh and ready to battle Strong. The Champions tag in and out to keep a fresh man battling Strong and wearing him down, keeping him away from Aries. Finally tags are made on both sides and the referee loses control. Aries sends Sydal to the floor and wipes him out with a Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Aries focuses on Daniels and hits the slingshot corkscrew press for two, and then tries a quebrada but lands right on his head! Ouch. Looks like his ankle gave out on him there, not sure if that’s legit or selling, so that’s a good thing. The referee loses control and action is happening everywhere. Strong rescues his injured partner and takes it to Sydal, almost scoring a pin with a slingshot powerslam for two. Daniels is able to tag in and hit the STO and Arabian Press for a near-fall. He hits a Palm Strike and the Iconoclasm for another two-count. The referee loses control again and the action is hard for me to keep up with. Sydal takes Strong out with an enziguiri, and Daniels hits Aries with a Death Valley Driver. That puts Aries in perfect position to take the Shooting Star Press and the Best Moonsault Ever, and the champs retain at 20:46. These are two great teams and they worked extremely well together. They worked the tag team formula for a while and then things escalated down the stretch and it led nicely into the finish. The champions looked strong here in beating one of the best teams in ROH history.
After the match, Davey Richards comes out to get in Aries’ face, and Strong attacks Aries from behind with a backbreaker! Strong announces that he’s tired of being aligned with Aries, and that he and Richards are starting a new faction. Richards calls them the No Remorse Corps. Jack Evans comes out to Aries’ defense, and Strong keeps Evans and Richards apart. Aries gets on the mic and challenges Strong and Richards to face him and Evans, but Evans isn’t so sure. Evans says they’re all boys, and that he’ll get to the bottom of it. Aries wants nothing to do with that.
MATCH #7: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Nigel McGuinness & Colt Cabana
The Briscoes attack before the bell and it’s a brawl from the get-go. Cabana and Jay battle in the ring while Mark and McGuinness fight on the floor. Jay and Mark take control and double-team Cabana, but McGuinness makes his way back into the fray to give his team the advantage. Jay gets sent to the floor while Mark gets double-teamed, and the referee has finally restored order. McGuinness and Cabana go to work on Mark’s arm, but momentum quickly swings back towards the brothers from Sandy Fork. Cabana makes the comeback and sends the Briscoes to the floor and wipes both of them out with a dive. The crowd is digging on Cabana. Back in the ring the advantage continues to alternate between both teams with great frequency. All four men get a lot of offense in as the action is non-stop. The referee loses control and mayhem has ensued. McGuinness hits Mark with an assisted Tower of London and Jay has to break up the cover. Jay catches McGuinness with a Death Valley Driver and Cabana breaks up that pin. Cabana tries a Colt .45 but Jay backdrops him to the floor. The Briscoes go for the springboard Doomsday Device but McGuinness avoids it. Cabana takes Mark out with a missile dropkick. Jay hits McGuinness with a Stunner but McGuinness comes back with the rebound lariat to get the pin at 14:33. That never got into much of a rhythm as control shifted back and forth so many times, but it never got boring and that’s a good win for the new team of Cabana and McGuinness.
MATCH #8: Takeshi Morishima vs. Samoa Joe
They start off hot, slugging at each other. Morishima shoulderblocks Joe down to the floor and follows him out with a shoulderblock off the apron. Back in the ring Morishima continues slugging Joe down in the corner. The crowd is hot for both guys. It’s all Morishima in the early going, as Joe looks sluggish. Morishima hits a huge missile dropkick, which is always fun to see. Joe catches Morishima in an inverted atomic drop, which leads to the Big Joe Combo for a two-count. He follows up with the Face Wash. Morishima is bleeding from the nose now. Joe knocks Morishima to the floor and wipes him out with the Elbow Suicida. He follows with the Ole Kick and then another one. Back in the ring Joe covers for two. Morishima is able to catch Joe coming off the ropes with a side slam and he’s back in control now. He bowls Joe over a couple of times for a two-count. Morishima hits a running Yakuza Kick in the corner but misses a second charge and Joe hits a regular STO for a change. That gets two. Joe hits a nasty Death Valley Driver for another two-count. He goes for a powerbomb but Morishima backdrops him and sits down on his chest. Morishima goes up top but Joe joins him up there and kicks him in the face. Joe is then able to hit the Muscle Buster! Morishima kicks out! Back on their feet they trade strikes and knock each other out. Back on their feet Morishima hits a Thesz Press for two. Morishima follows with a uranage slam and then the Back Drop Driver! Joe kicks out! Morishima hits a Northern Lariat but Joe responds with a half nelson suplex! Joe puts on the Choke and keeps it on despite Morishima’s many escape attempts. He locks on the body scissors and Morishima is out at 18:07. With Morishima challenging for the title the next night and Joe on his way out, the result of this match doesn’t make much sense. But for the sheer fun of two big guys kicking the crap out of each other I really enjoyed this.
MATCH #9: ROH World Title Match – Homicide vs. Jimmy Rave
Homicide has been the Champion since 12.23.06, and this is his third defense. He has Julius Smokes in his corner. Rave attacks before the bell and goes for an early victory, wanting to spoil Homicide’s homecoming. Homicide quickly comes back and sends Rave to the floor and wipes him out with a Tope Con Hilo. The Champ throws Rave around ringside and the crowd loves seeing their hometown boy dominate. Back in the ring Homicide continues to control the action. Rave is able to send Homicide back to the floor and he follows with a cross body block from the top rope. Back in the ring Rave focuses on the arm, which is strange because they’ve been building up his Heel Hook as a killer submission hold. Homicide reclaims control briefly, but Rave cuts him off and now starts going to work on the leg. Rave tries to use the Ghetto Fork but Smokes distracts the referee and Homicide gets control of said fork, busting Rave open with it. They battle to the apron and Rave hits an STO, which is a wicked cool bump. Back in the ring Rave hits the running knee for two, and the move formerly known as Ghanarrhea. Rave his a big spear for a near-fall. He hits a superplex for another two-count. Homicide fights back with the Three Amigos. Rave goes for another superplex but Homicide counters with a super DDT. Homicide goes to the top rope and hits a senton bomb for two. He goes for a super rana but Rave blocks it and hits a super Rave Clash! That only gets two. Rave locks on the Heel Hook and Smokes gets up on the apron to distract the referee, and for some reason Rave releases the hold. Homicide hits a big boot to the face and a super Ace Crusher. He follows with the Lariat but only gets two. Homicide goes for Da Cop Killa but Rave counters into the Heel Hook. The resilient Champion makes the ropes and is able to grab Rave in Da Cop Killa to get the pin at 18:53. That was okay and had some cool spots, but the easy story with Rave is to have him attack the leg and try to win with the Heel Hook, but he only sort of did that. Homicide was his usual “sell if I feel like it” self. Also, no one thought Rave had a shot of winning the title here, so they probably should have gone with Joe versus Morishima as the main event.
Tags: Fifth Year Festival, Homicide, Jimmy Rave, Ring of Honor, Samoa Joe