The Ring of Honor Reviewer: “Final Battle” 12/23/06 New York, NY- Live Attendance Review

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This is quite a bit more like it. A fantastic show from top to bottom. This one’s so great, I’ll let the action speak for itself.

We start off with Santa and two elves coming out to throw t-shirts. This is quickly ended by the Briscoes who absolutely destroyed the elves. They announce that it’s “Time to Man Up” and that they challenge the Kings of Wrestling to a rematch tonight.

Match 1: Christopher Daniels with Allison Danger vs. El Generico vs. Davey Richards vs. Jimmy Rave

Very nice match. El Generico was physically outmatched by everyone and so relied entirely on speed. Rave was avoiding Davey, and Davey matched up quite well with Daniels. They all worked crisp. The finish saw El Generico hit a wicked Superplex with Davey landing head first on the turnbuckle. The sneaky Rave then put Generico in his leg submission to earn the dubious win.

Jimmy Rave defeats El Generico, Christopher Daniels and Davey Richards (Submission, Leg Lock on Generico, ** 1/2)
Hot opener that gave everyone a very good role in making Jimmy look like a jerk, Generico seem like a good underdog and Davey like an absolute beast. Daniels was an excellent glue man that added credibility to the proceedings.

After the match Rave says he’s after the world title, which draws out Nigel to beat on him.

Adam Pearce is out with Shane Hagadorn and promises Homicide will not be ROH champion. This draws out Julius Smokes and Ricky Reyes.

Match 2: Adam Pearce with Shane Hagadorn vs. Ricky Reyes with Julius Smokes

Not much of a match, but Reyes gets Pearce in the Dragon Clutch, but the ref is distracted by Hagadorn. Again, this leads to a use of brass knuckles by Pearce for the win.

Adam Pearce defeats Ricky Reyes (Pin, brass knuckles punch, *)
Well, it wasn’t much, but it’ll hopefully lead to a Havana Pitbulls mugging”¦ err, match against Pearce and Hagadorn.

After the match Smokes takes a spike piledriver, further stacking the odds against Homicide.

Match 3: Colt Cabana and BJ Whitmer with Daizee Haze vs. Jimmy Jacobs and Brent Albright
Big brawl to start leads to BJ being in trouble. The heels work him over, busting him open a little I believe. The eventual hot tag to Cabana had the crowd hot. Very little silliness from Cabana as he cleans house, but when BJ comes back in, Albright powerbombs him through a table on the floor. Sick, sick spot. That leaves Cabana easy pickings as he falls prey to 5 rolling Germans by Albright followed by a cannonball from Jimmy.

Jimmy Jacobs and Brent Albright defeat BJ Whitmer and Colt Cabana (Pin, Cannonball on BJ, ***)
I love BJ and Jacobs against each other. A beautiful pure brawl and BJ needed help to the back after. Hopefully he’s okay. I can’t wait for the Fight without Honor to end this one.

Match 4: The Kings of Wrestling with Larry Sweeney vs. The Briscoes

The show kicks into high gear here and doesn’t stop. This is perfect tag team wrestling. The Briscoes started out with some great high risk stuff. Jay played Ricky Morton for quite a bit letting the Kings get their offense in”¦ then they really got going. Quick tags, near falls, insane moves. The finish saw the Briscoes push Hero in the path of Claudio’s briefcase, followed by him taking a Shooting Star Press and Guillotine Leg drop combo from the Briscoes.

The Briscoes defeat The Kings of Wrestling (Pin, Shooting Star Press/Leg drop combination, **** ½)
The epitome of tag team wrestling.

After the match Claudio announces he’ll be sticking around but is ditched by Chris Hero who has other plans with his new agent, Larry Sweeney.

Samoa Joe comes out and tells Claudio to hit the road, which he does. Less than triumphant exit for Castagnoli, but those are the breaks. Joe challenges anyone from NOAH to face him next time at the Manhattan Center, specifically name dropping Morishima, Marufuji and Misawa (please lord let it be Misawa). Nigel comes out and says if no one from NOAH shows, he will. Rave jumps Nigel, but Joe slaps him right out of the ring and they make a match between Rave and Nigel McGuinness for later in the night.


Match 5: Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Rave

Interesting NOAH style match here. Nigel controlled with his pointless arm work to start, but Rave took control with his impact, but unspectacular offense. Nigel regains control and the Tower of London, totally dead as a finisher, gets two. Rave comes back with a Pedigree for only one. A crossface after that by Rave nearly finishes Nigel but he manages the ropes. A pendulum lariat and a Tower of London on the apron each get two, with the crowd buying each as finishes. Nigel hits the elevated lariat, generally a world beater of a move, again for two. Nigel goes for the pendulum lariat again, but Rave moves and puts in his leg submission and Nigel quickly taps.

Jimmy Rave defeats Nigel McGuinness (Submission, leg lock, *** ½)
This made Rave look like an absolute monster but was not without its flaws. Nigel wasted a good bit of time again with arm work that went nowhere. Rave could have stood to spend some time on the leg. I know the story is Nigel’s leg is hurt already, but the whole audience wouldn’t know that, and the leg work would have really helped things along.

Jimmy Rave announces that he will face the winner of Homicide vs. Danielson for the title at the return to NY.

Match 6: CIMA, Shingo and Matt Sydal vs. Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, and Delirious

If you’ve seen any of the Dragon Gate 6 man style matches you know what to expect here. Austin Aries was beat on for a good portion, and then they went absolutely nuts with spots. Great fun and Sydal managed the standing on shoulders counter to Strong. The finish saw CIMA use a cross arm bomb on Delirious for the pin.

CIMA, Shingo and Sydal defeat Aries, Strong and Delirious (Pin, Cross arm bomb on Delirious, ****)
Not as good as the other Dragon Gate matches, but still very good.

Match 7: ROH World Title Match: Bryan Danielson (c) vs. Homicide

The match followed the regular formula for both men until interrupted by Pearce and Hagadorn. A DQ was called, but Monsta Mack, Reyes and Smokes cleared them out and the match was restarted. Once it was restarted Homicide started off hot, but Danielson took over with arm work and his regular moves like the super back suplex. Cattle Mutilation, elbows, a crossface chickenwing”¦ nothing would put Homicide away, but when Danielson managed to grab the ropes after the Cop Killa, he was still alive. This was not to last long, however, as Homicide nailed a big lariat, hurt shoulder and all, for the three. The crowd exploded and the locker room emptied to celebrate with Homicide.

Homicde wins the ROH title by defeating Bryan Danielson (Pin, Lariat **** 1/4)
I was extremely emotionally involved in the match as possibly the world’s biggest Danielson mark. The crowd could hardly be more pro-Homicide and the celebration with the crowd was really emotional.

In attendance for Homicide’s big win were his mother, Low Ki, and CM Punk. Yes, this was a big deal indeed. Danielson handed Homicide the belt and the celebration kicked off. I hope we get to see him again and Homicide’s reign can live up to the amazing legacy of Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson. What a fantastic show.

Glazer is a former senior editor at Pulse Wrestling and editor and reviewer at The Comics Nexus.