Thanks go out to Paul Vlosich II for sending this in!
Hello there, InsidePulse! I figured I type up a recap of ROH’s Dayton, OH show on June 22, 2007. Indeed, it’s another recap but it’s also a documentation of the first ROH show of a recently converted fan.
I’ve been a fan of ROH since earlier this year, when a friend showed me some of the ROH Top 100 matches that he downloaded for himself. Since then, I’ve collected some DVDs and am so far very impressed with what ROH brings to the table. Eventually, being a huge fanatic for my wrestling hobby, I went & bought 3rd row tickets outright to the next show that’s near me, which is Dayton, OH….and I live in Pittsburgh, PA. Yeah, some of you are probably thinking ‘why not Philly?’ Why? Because I don’t enjoy the PA Turnpike if I’m gonna drive it for more than 4-5 hours and I know Philly to be near NYC level in terms of stressful traffic. Whereas, I’ve driven to Columbus before and Dayton is 1.5 hours farther; that’s all. I was willing to drive 500mi in two days for my first ROH show…yeah, I’m either nuts or passionate, haha. Note to all Dayton show attendees: If you got the money, hit Dominic’s before the doors open. I did with my married couple friends and it was absolutely amazing. The one friend of mine is half Italian and she could NOT find a single important flaw in their pasta cooking. Me, I’m always picky with my marinara sauce….but this place’s sauce was like heaven. No lie. Pre-Show/Shopping As we came back from Dominic’s, the dark matches started. First, it was Bobby Dempsey and Dingo defeating Ernie Osiris and Alex “Sugarfoot” Payne. After that, Mitch Franklin pulled a David-Goliath with Jon Moxley, who dwarfed him by at least 75-100 pounds. Admittedly, I kinda missed the tag match, since I quickly did the Buy 3 Get 1 at the DVD stand. Here’s my purchase, in case you’re wondering: 1. Punk: The Final Chapter – end of Summer of Punk and the farewell of an ROH legend and current WWE star 2. Glory by Honor V: Night 2 – was told it was show of the year 2006 and looking at the card on the back of disc? Me likey. 3. Fifth Year Festival: Finale – super emotional goodbye for Samoa Joe. Having seen it before with said friend, I had to have this DVD. 4. Good Times, Great Memories – another farewell, this one for Colt Cabana (got a theme running, eh?) + its the latest DVD release. I might as well start my run of current shows with that. Show Starts The electricity running through me during the countdown sequence…what a feeling. The crowd was about half full at this time but it was still quite rowdy. I saw Gabe come out, high fiving the front row fans. I guess he does that at every show but seeing the ROH owner like that was very special for me.
Match #1 Irish Airborne vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
First off, I am still in shock of exactly how stiff Steen is. Seriously, one forearm from him and my lung would probably collapse, along with the rest of me. I don’t know IA as much so I wasn’t exactly into them. Of course, I did like their moves and heart in the match. The angle in the match was Generico just trying to have some fun with the match and Steen playing the bossy heel partner. Some interesting exchanges between them but eventually, they got the win with the Package Piledriver/Brainbuster combo. The PP got the first “OH!” out of me and my bud. Then, for good measure, they motioned that they’ll get the ROH World Tag Team titles in Chicago the next night.
Notable Chants: “Mis-ter Wrest-ling!” for Steen, “El Ge-ner-ico”, weak “I-rish Air-borne”
Winners: Kevin Steen & El Generico
Match #2a Gauntlet Series: Jimmy Rave vs. Pelle Primeau
One of my new favorite wrestlers, Pelle, got more dumb luck and drew #2 in the gauntlet. Oh wells, I know he’d put his heart into it anyway. During Rave’s entrance, a white streamer was thrown out at him. I admit, I thought it was TP at first. This was a fun match, with Pelle taking chops like they’re candy and exchanging some ringside action with Rave. This was right in front of my section and I got a great visual of Pelle doing a painful face while pulling himself up from the guardrail. Despite that spirit, Rave latched on the heelhook and Pelle tapped so quick that I missed it.
Notable Chants: “Pel-le Pri-meau”, “Jim-my’s a ***got”
Winner: Jimmy Rave
Match #2b Gauntlet Series: Jimmy Rave vs. Delirious
Delirious is another guy who gets my blood pumping so he was great to see him. Surprisingly, this was the worst match of the night, if only because it lasted less than two minutes. The Lizard Man pinned an exhausted Rave after Chemical Imbalance II.
Notable Chants: n/a
Match #2c Gauntlet Series: Delirious vs. Adam Pearce w/ Shane Hagadorn
Our section was really nasty with Pearce, giving him the Barry Darsow lookalike treatment. “HOLE IN ONE” from a guy 4-5 seats from me got me laughing. Delirious held his own here, avoiding Shane interference and getting the crowd into it. After a healthy 7-10 minutes, Delirious made Scrap Iron tap to his submission finish, the Cobra Stretch.
Notable Chants: “Re-po Man! Re-po Man!” for Pearce, “Bah, bah, bahbahbah”
Match #2d Gauntlet Series: Delirious vs. Chris Hero w/ Sweet N Sour Enterprises (Larry Sweeney, Tank Toland, and Bobby Dempsey)
Yes, I said Bobby Dempsey. His role in SNS is as Toland’s bitch. He was decked out in a silver jump suit and did jumping jacks & squats. It was comedic gold and the crowd responded in kind. Sadly, it took away from the match itself some. Del/Hero still put on a good match, with Hero giving his usual heel routine. In the end, he hit his spinning crevat neckbreaker to win the gauntlet in just one match. I love that kind of booking for a heel like Hero.
Notable Chants: “Bob-by Demp-sey”, “squat! squat! squat!”, “that was gay, that was gay”
Winner of Gauntlet Series: Chris Hero
Match #3 No Disqualification Match: Brent Albright vs. BJ Whitmer
Albright comes out to that new Ozzy song. It ain’t too bad but I would imagine something harder and more powerful for Brent. Anyways, like just about every review you’ve read of this match, it was very violent and allowed the crowd to get their moneys worth of direct interaction. I sure know this; Whitmer’s irish-whipped body flew through and destroyed the row I was sitting in!!! I was right there, which I must say has never happened to me before. It was awesome. From there, they messed up some more floor seats before returning to the ring. Quick note – I was so relieved that the people in my section were so organized and got their seats back in line right after Albright/Whitmer swept through us. I did hear that someone got struck and needed an ice pack from the ROH crew. Props to that guy and I hope it’s healing well. Back to the match, a couple chairs were killed ringside and a table ended it, with BJ’s Exploder off the top rope backfiring onto him.
Notable Chants: “B-J Whit-mer”, first “this is awe-some” of the night
Winner: Brent Albright
Post-match, the angle of Whitmer being angry with himself continued. He refused medical help and decided to give Mitch Franklin some lickings before delivering a huge Exploder on him. It looked like a heel turn. Sweeper Break Because of the broken table, a sweeper had to get all the wood chips & splinters out of the ring. To avoid dying of boredom, we cheered him on like he was Samoa Joe, hahaha. The best line was “western whopper!!”, because the guy had a mustache just like the commercials.
Notable Chants: “sweap! sweap! sweap”, “this is awe-some” Winners: The Fans
Match #4 No Remorse Corps (Roderick Strong & Davey Richards) vs. The Resilience (Erick Stevens & Matt Cross)
Big, biiig angle started here! Austin Aries, who I had no clue was released by TNA (learned afterward), was sitting about 10 feet away from me for the entire show! I noticed this after the first match and got super interested in this NRC/Res tag as a result. Before the match started, Roddy glanced over to Aries and gave a laugh, “ohhh, heeey. You here to see some REAL wrestling, eh?” From there, it was the standard NRC/Res match. Stevens has definitely improved in my eyes and Cross is an excellent middleweight high flyer. They brought the goods and made the match more than I thought it would be. I noticed that NRC loves to spit, randomly or on someone. Some guys in my section questioned that. After 20ish minutes, Stevens got pinned by Strong with the Gibson Driver.
Notable Chants: “M-Dogg Twen-ty”, “Rooooooooderick” (friggin classic), “AUS-TIN A-RIES”
Winners: No Remorse Corps
Post-match, Strong put more fuel on the Austin Aries fire. He got a mic and called him out of the crowd. We all stood and called for Aries like he was an outsider looking in. To play up the angle, Gabe screamed at Roderick to stop, in fear of TNA suing ROH over this. He even made “cut the cameras” arm movements, to play off removing Aries footage at an ROH show. Eventually, despite Strong’s & the fan’s wishes, Aries walked away. By now, you should know that they saved the spooge moment for Chicago’s show the next night. Still, knowing I was there when the Aries return started was simply magical.
Spectator Note: Aries didn’t walk away; it was more like he needed another beer. He came back in time to see his real-life girlfriend Lacey in action. I
ntermission Ahhh, having some fresh air during intermission was really nice. Most of the fans just gathered to chitchat and smoke away. Two 10ish year old boys were noticeably killing each other, peaking with a DDT that gave a painful end to their dumb fun. I did meet two of the wrestlers. David Crist of Irish Airborne was really cool, talked about the match and whatnot.
However, a night-long mini story was made when I met Mr. Chris Hero. He was greeting some fans, having a short laugh with them in the alleyway leading to the back of the building. I saw them and decided to shake hands & say hi. My extended hand was answered with a disgusted face and a harsh insult. “Get the **** outta here, fatass. Go on a ****ing diet, why dontcha” Now I usually don’t take stuff like that well. My wrestling thought patterns didn’t help either. Was that a work or shoot, y’know? Either way, I yucked it up. Like later he was near the DVD stand and I skimped away saying “Oh God, Chris Hero gone knock the fat off me!”
Match #5 Serena Deeb vs. Lacey w/ Jimmy Jacobs
Again, the section I sat in was really awesome. One guy yelled “How to be a PIMP….by Jimmy Jacobs” and I added “in just four days!” This was the standard SHIMMER match in an ROH ring. The ROH angle was important and thus, the woman involved in it went over with a big DDT. In an awesome moment, Jacobs did one of the biggest heel things to do in Ohio. He had…..and lit a cigarette. Indoors. In Ohio! Guy in our section: “Arrest that man!! That is a major misdemeanor! That’ll be a $2500 fine, son!” Being from PA, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the total lack of smoking sections in EVERY public place.
Notable Chants: “Jim-my Ja-cobs”, “Se-re-na, Se-re-na”, “O-V-W, O-V-W” (which Serena smiled for), “You’re A PimpÃ¢â‚¬Â
Post-match, Rain ran in to help Lacey give a bigger beatdown to Serena. To even the odds, Daizee Haze came in for the save. Jacobs only got heckled more, for now holding back not one, but TWO lovely ladies. Lucky, lucky.
Match #6 Rocky Romero vs. KENTA
This match was very MMA-driven. Lots of strikes, kicks, and ground wrestling. That style isn’t exactly my forte, so I guess I wasn’t into the match as much as most others were. Still, seeing KENTA’s work was great and this was the best work I’ve seen out of Rocky. Perhaps he’s done better? I dunno. Despite me not liking the style, I was into the match. It was ultimately the most competitive match of the night, shifting in either wrestler’s direction at any time. After 20+ minutes, KENTA hit the Go to Sleep for the pinfall.
Notable Chants: “KEN-TA, KEN-TA”, “G-T-S, G-T-S”, dueling “Let’s Go KENTA/Rocky”
Post-match, NRC’s Davey Richards came out to primarily confront his mentor, KENTA. There was a staredown and some fans shouted “No remorse!” to call for a turn. Instead, they shook hands and Rocky helped in raising KENTA’s hands in victory….and then, NRC turned on KENTA and beat him down. The Resilience (Stevens, Cross, and Delirious) ran out for the save.
Match #7 Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness vs. ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima & Naomichi Marufuji
This was match of the night easily and probably the tag team match of the year that didn’t involve the Briscoes. My first great moment was hearing “The Final Countdown”. I’ve loved that song for years on end and it was a treat to hear when the greatest wrestler in the world comes out to it. Second moment? Seeing Morishima for the first time. He’s HUGE!! He sure bumped around, focusing on Nigel. ‘Shima even did a running buttsmash against the corner guard rail. Our section dubbed it the “Ole, ole, o-ass”, funny as hell. Marufuji and Danielson were paired off as well, giving a great showcase of chain wrestling. I instantly stood up and clapped when they did a dropkick at the same time, only hitting each other at the boot soles. Other hot move spots were a double team assisted Tower of London and Shiranui. As always, Morishima got a bloody nose hardway. Outside of having an unstoppable posterior, he was basically Godzilla, just screaming in his opponent’s face after getting hit or chopped.
The end of the match, I remember very vividly. Nigel was slowly breaking down Morishima with some lariats, but he wasn’t able to get the big man down. He went for another lariat but Marufuji jumped in and superkicked him! Right after that, Danielson tackled Marufuji to the ground as Nigel got the Rebound Lariat on Morishima for the pin! The crowd went insane, having witnessed Morishima’s first pinfall loss in ROH.
Notable Chants: “Let’s Go Dragon”, “Ma-ru-fu-ji”, “this is awe-some”, “please don’t stop, please don’t stop”, “best in the world, best in the world”
Winners: Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness
Match #8 2/3 Falls Match for ROH World Tag Team Championship: Matt Sydal & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe
After the previous match, I think Gabe told these guys to hurry it up before midnight struck. Thus, this match was sadly under 20 minutes….but that don’t mean it wasn’t a bad match by any way of thinking about it. Me, I basically gave props to all of them, mostly cheering some “heeeeey” for Claudio. Mark Briscoe hit the first fall in about 6-8 minutes, which more or less foreshadowed the titles being retained. That prediction was correct, as Mark hit a reverse DVD on Claudio for the second straight fall. Despite the loss, Sydal & Castagnoli worked as more of a team than previously, from what some say. From how I saw, it didn’t seem that Sydal’s heart was into winning the titles. He didn’t exactly help Claudio too much when it was necessary. The next night, he turned on Claudio, so I guess that’s that.
Notable Chants: “heeeeeey”, “Bris-coes, Briscoes”
Winners: Still the ROH World Tag Team Champions, Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe
After show: After the show ended, the crowd poured out of the arena and into the sweet, cool lower 70s night. After another smoke, I decided to hang around and see what wrestlers are still left to meet & greet with. Of course….Chris Hero was still there. The saga continues! I did notice something wrong….the ring announcer asked for any fans to help break down the ring and setup…and no one stayed. There was Bobby Dempsey, Pelle Primeau, and the rest of the younger guys working at it. To be honest, I felt like shit when I saw this. Reward or nothing, acknowledgment or not, I marched on over and helped them out. I just so happened to walk past Hero and jokingly call out “here I go to lose some pounds, yeah!”. From there, I met the “students roster”, as I call them, including Alex Payne, Ernie Osiris, & Mitch Franklin. Also, Sydal was around to pick up more than the average fanboy and the Briscoes were discussing after-show meal & drinking plans. I made very small talk with Pelle but thanked him for the match. They all appreciated my helping, which really gave me the perfect ending to an incredible night. ROH returns to Dayton, OH on November 30th!!!!! Thanks for reading!