Yet another in our series of ROH DVD reviews. If you missed the previous shows, be sure to step back and read Big Andy Mac’s review of All Star Extravaganza 3.
Last year, the “Supercard of Honor” show gave us the surprise match of the year in the Dragon Gate 6-man match. Now, however, the crowd is ready for it, and is craving some insane triple-team action. Can they live up to the hype of the main event?
If you would like a spoiler free review of the show, just scroll down to the Summary section at the bottom where from now on you will be able to find these spoiler-free reviews.
Supercard of Honor II
March 31, 2007
We start right off with a backstage promo from the emo-warrior Jimmy Jacobs, talking about the difference between himself and BJ Whitmer (his opponent tonight, in the blow-off match of their year-long feud). The difference? BJ fights for pride and hubris, while Jimmy fights for the most important reason of all: love. (Nice low-angle camera shot of Lacey.) “I fight to reclaim my innocence, to reclaim my purity.”
And we continue with a sweet recap of last year’s Dragon Gate Six Man tag match, which was quite simply mind-blowing. If you haven’t seen it, go get Supercard of Honor I now. Right now. I’m not kidding – go. I’ll wait.
Match 1: Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal vs. Delirious & Jay Briscoe
Jay comes out to the ring and explains that his brother is currently laid up in a hospital bed. Daniels and Sydal march out, and Daniels insists that Jay march backstage, and bring his “crippled brother out here.” Jay lets them know that he does have indeed have a partner, Delirious’ music hits, and crowd goes nuts. Delirious cuts a promo, and I actually understand about half of it – he must have taken the good meds tonight.
Brisco and Delirious do well for themselves at the beginning, fighting off both their opponents individually, and even show a bit of teamwork: Delirious is caught while attemping a splash onto the rideside floor, but Briscoe follows up with a baseball slide, sending Daniels and Sydal into the barrier.
Daniels gets the advantage back with a bit of heel antics, pauses to mock Delirious to the crowd. He and Sydal continue with some quick tags and nice double-teams, playing off the “We’re former tag champs” angle. Sydal even chokes out Delirious with one of his own tassles (I wonder why more guys don’t try that – they’re just hanging there). Delirious with a quick roll-up for 2, but taken down with a lariat by Daniels. The heels do a double dose of cheating on an abdominal stretch, with Daniels holding onto the rope, and Sydal (outside the ropes) pulling back on Delirious’ arm.
Briscoe finally gets the hot tag and rips through both opponents, including a sweet bow and arrow on Sydal for 2. Sydal and Daniels are both tosses to the floor, where Jay hits a no-hands tope over the top rope. The 2-to-1 advantage is too much, and Daniels hits a DVD for 2, gets an Urinagi, and motions for the BME (Best Moonsault Ever). Briscoe avoids that, but gets caught on the top rope and suplexed down for 2.
Delirious gets his hot tag, and he and Sydal do an extended sequence of counter-wrestling, with Sydal getting a standing moonsault and Delirious hitting the Bizarro driver. Endgame: Sydal goes for the Shooter Star Press on Delirious and misses, and Delirious hits a nasty modified Bizarro driver for the 3 count.
Delirious & Jay Briscoe defeat Daniels & Sydal (Pin, Delirious on Sydal, ***3/4)
Backstage with BJ Whitmer, who talks about how he picked Jimmy Jacobs as a tag team partner 2 years ago, because of the “untapped toughness” he saw. But now, “it’s gone too far”, and BJ will take him down tonight: “Not because I want to, but because I have to.”
Match 2: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Yamato
Yamato is a Junior-sized Japanese wrestler from Dragon Gate. The story is quite simple: speed (Yamato) vs. size (Claudio), though Claudio is fairly quick himself, as well as being one of the best in ROH at making a smaller opponent look great.
Yamato gets a few nice-looking moves, including a spear and an exploder suplex, but Claudio gets the momentum back with a big boot, and a running European uppercut for 2. Alpamare Waterslide for 2, but the Le$ Arte$$ Lift (a gutwrench into a piledriver) gets 3.
Claudio Castagnoli defeats Yamato (Pin, Les Artess Lift ***)
Match 3: Erick Stevens vs. Mitch Franklin
Franklin is a cruiserweight usually seen nowadays in ROH pre-shows, while Stevens is a big young rookie with a mohawk from FIP down in Florida (and who had a very impressive showing at the end of the recent ROH show in Philadelphia). Stevens easily overpowers the much smaller Franklin, hitting an Ace Crusher followed by the Copter Bomb (a gut wrench powerbomb) in less than a minute. Short and inoffensive, I guess.
Stevens defeats Franklin (Pin, Copter Bomb DUD)
Larry Sweeney struts down to ringside and mentions his “Hollywood celebrity A-list” friends: Corey Feldman, Scott Baio, Pauly Shore, and his newest buddy – Johnny Fairplay. The crowd treats him exactly as you would expect them to. Fairplay starts to cut a promo, but Sweeney (who wears an awful lot of make-up) basically goads the crowd into shouting him down. Fairplay finally talks up Sweeney and Hero, and tells they crowd they “suck” and “could never be reality famous”. Hero begins his own speech, pauses, gets a “You f*cked up” chant from the crowd, but lets them know “that is so 2001!” This is all playing off an angle from the previous night, when Hero attacked Bruno Sammartino, only to be stopped by a certain stout loving Englishman.
Match 4: Nigel McGuinness vs. Chris Hero w/Larry Sweeney and Johnny Fairplay
Good striking to start from Nigel, with a good running European uppercut in the corner, and another one outside the ring. Hero takes advantage of interference from Sweeney to get the upperhand for a bit. Fairplay even gets one quick shot, and then runs away giggling and jumping around. McGuinness with some more Europeans, and two lariats, but gets no more than a two count. More interference gives Hero a chance to pull a Kravate for 2, but McGuinness stops the “Tracy Smothers” tribute with another lariat for 2. Tower of London, 1-2-… and Fairplay pulls McGuinness out. There’s a chase around the ring, then inside… and Nigel and Fairplay end up in the ring together. Fairplay begs for mercy, and Nigel looks around for the crowd’s reaction. You can probably guess how that works out. Nigel motions for the handshake… and, of course, takes Fairplay’s head off with a lariat. Hero is up, Nigel with the jawbreaker lariat: 1-2-3.
Nigel defeats Hero (Pin, Jawbreaker Lariat ***)
Fairplay is DEAD. Sweeney carries him out in a Fireman’s Carry, yelling for “medical attention” the whole time.
We get a replay of the attempted top rope powerbomb from BJ Whitmer on Jimmy Jacobs at Dragon Gate Challenge, when BJ slipped and almost killed the both of them. I still can’t believe they survived that without major career-ending injuries.
Roderick Strong and Davey Richards walk to the ring, with Roderick in dress clothes. After dealing with a few “Roooo-derick!” chants, he lets the crowd know that tonight is the night that he’s “going to teach Austin Aries a lesson!” Davey then lets us know the newest member of the No Remorse Corp: Rocky Romero.
Match 5: Jack Evans & Naruki Doi vs. Davey Richards & Rocky Romero
After several “JACK!” chants, Evans insists that the crowd do a “DOI!” chant – nice touch. Doi and Romero start with some quick action, highlighted by Doi offering a handshake and Romero spitting in his hand. Jack tags in, and immediately starts the high-impact offense, including a springboard hurricanrana, and a Pele kick to Richards. Richards catches Evans outside the ring, and he and Romero work over Jack with chops and kicks. Great sequence: Richards monkey flips Evans into his corner, where Romero lays him out with a forearm; Richards holds on, so Evans falls backwards over Davey’s knees; then, Romero does a springboard stomp onto Jack’s chest. Ouch. Doi gets the hot tag and cleans house for a few moments before getting double-teamed. Some heel miscommunication, and Richards is sent to the floor. Romero goes for a springboard dropkick, but Doi simply pushes him off the top rope to the floor (why don’t more guys do that?) and follows up with a tope suicida. Some great double-teams from Doi and Jack, including an assisted dropkick on both Richards and Romero, who have been squeezed in the corner between the 2nd and 3rd rope. From here – honestly, these guys go NUTS. Jack pulls out a somesault swanton onto Romero on the floor, after jumping off of Richards’ back, who is in a Fireman’s Carry on Doi’s shoulders. Sick. Several high spots later, Jack finally finishes off Richards with a corner stop in a Tree of Woe, followed by the 630 splash.
Evans and Doi defeat Richards and Romero (pin, 630 splash ****)
Another Jacobs/Whitmer highlight, this time from “In Your Face”, when BJ powerbombs Jimmy off the top rope, out of the ring, and into the crowd. It’s… insane.
Match 6: Brent Albright vs. Homicide
This is coming from last night in New York, when Jim Cornette came back and declared war on Homicide. Albright is here to collect on the bounty. The match starts almost immediately, with Homicide entering the ring, Albright charging, and Homicide taking him down with a double-leg. 2nd-rope swinging DDT from Homicide, some punches and kicks, and Adam Pearce runs in.
Homicide defeats Albright (DQ, interference DUD)
Colt Cabana runs in, sends Pearce and Albright to the floor, and (after reminding us that his fued with Homicide ended a year ago to the day), challenges those two to a tag match. Pearce and Albright wave it off and walk away, but Colt and Homicide chase them down. And here we go.
Match 7: Colt Cabana & Homicide vs. Adam Pearce & Brent Albright
Pretty much all outside the ring to start, with Pearce and Cabana facing off on one side of the crowd. Albright and Homicide do the dueling chairs elsewhere. It’s mass chaos for a while – everybody gets smacked with a chair, Homicide gets bodyslammed into the crowd, and multiple “Holy shit!” chants start up. We get back to the ring, and apparently we’re now in a Texas Tornado match. Homicide and Colt dominate, until Shane Hagadorn interferes – but Pelle Primeau runs out to chase him off. Cornette shows up and tries to sneak attack Homicide, but gets grabbed by the lapel. Before Homicide can do any damage Albright nails him with an Exploder. The crowd then bursts into a “FIRE RUSSO!” chant – heh. Albright and Pearce do an extended heat sequence on Homicide, with Pearce pulling out the “slap my hands together when the ref has his back turned” spot – I like the old-school heel stuff. Cide goes for a rana, but gets caught in a powerbomb for 2. Pearce with a piledriver, and Homicide rolls out of the ring. Pearce goes for a superplex, but Homicide counters with a Greco-Roman ear bite. Cabana finally gets the hot tag, and tags both men out with a double Flip Flop and Fly. Homicide back in, both heels gets sent to the floor, and Cide pulls a tope con hilo on Albright. Cornette tries to throw power in Cabana’s face, but nails Pearce instead. Colt nails Cornette with an elbow, picks up Pearce’s brass knucks, knocks him out, and covers for the pin.
Homicide and Colt Cabana defeat Albright and Pearce (pin, brass knucks ***1/2)
Yet another Whitmer/Jacobs highlight, from “Throwdown” on 6/23/2006: another set-up for a top-rope powerbomb, but Bryan Danielson interferes.
A quick backstage interview with Erik Stevens, who is pretty obviously green. However, Austin Aries is seen off-camera, nodding appreciately.
More Whitmer/Jacobs: “Dethroned”, 11/23/2006. Both men are bleeding, and they just beat the hell out of each other with chops.
Match 8: BJ Whitmer w/Daizee Haze vs. Jimmy Jacobs w/Lacey
Jacobs enters with Lacey (yelling at the crowd, of course), and the crowd starts a “Please don’t die!” chant before he even enters the cage. Whitmer makes his entrance, and when he tries to enter the cage, Jacobs nails him with a tope through the cage door, and follows up with a chair shot on the floor. Into the cage, BJ takes the upper-hand and sends Jimmy into the cage face-first multiple times. Oh, and did we mention that there are weapons in this match? Yeah – the first one is a steel chair. Jacobs blocks the first couple of swings with his feet, but Whitmer nails him with a dropkick into the chair in the corner. Jacobs comes back to dropkick the chair into BJ’s face, but gets misses and elbow-dropped, and gets a spinebuster on the chair. Whitmer CRACKS the chair over Jacobs’ head, and Jimmy cracks a tooth (legitimately). Jimmy calls for a weapon, and gets his favorite: the railroad spike. However, Whitmer pulls a spike out of his boot, and they face off. BANG – they both hit the spike the head. BANG – another. (They’re both cut open.) BANG. BANG. BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG… the crowd goes BERSERK. Jimmy motions to the crowd – and stabs himself in the head with his spike. Nice. BJ gets a running powerbomb into the corner, and asks for another weapon. And we get – a barbed-wire baseball bat. Jacobs is able to counter with kicks, BJ whips him into the corner, goes for a blind charge – and gets the baseball bat to the head. Another shot to Whitmer’s arm. Jacobs has some fun with the barbed wire, holding it in his teeth, and hanging it from his hair. Jacobs drives the barbed wire into BJ’s arm, then picks up both railroad spikes. Jacobs licks the blood from Whitmer’s head, and spits it back at him. Umm – yuck? Jimmy then alternates railroad spikes into BJ’s head and arm, places Whitmer’s head on top of the bat, and slams a chair into the back of his head. More spikes to the forehead and the arm. Jacobs plays to the crowd, biting the bottom rope. BJ gets fired up by the crowd, gets back to his feet, and sends Jacobs into a chair set up in the corner. BJ gets ahold of the bat, and smacks Jimmy with it across his stomach, his back, and his forehead. The chair gets set up in the middle of the ring, and BJ does a brainbuster into the chair. For… TWO! Jeezus. Lacey slams the door into Whitmer’s face, and Jacobs takes advantage with a Backsplash for two. Whitmer comes back with a Dragon suplex/powerbomb combo for two. A table gets brought out to ringside (sure, why not?). BJ goes for a top-rope powerbomb, countered with a rana; Jacobs goes for the Contra Code, countered with an Adrenline Spike. Cover, two-count broken up by Lacey. BJ grabs ahold of Lacey, and gets an Adrenline Spike on her, too. BJ climbs to the top of the cage, misses a Frog Splash, Contra Code by Jacobs, 1-2-NO! (And that’s where Jimmy suffers the knee injury that put him out until last weekend.) The table is set up in the ring, while Jimmy limps around and places BJ on top of it. “Please don’t die!” chant. Jimmy climbs to the top of the cage, BJ goes up to meet him, Jimmy fights back. BJ back onto the table, Jimmy back up, blows a kiss to the crowd. Backsplash through the table. 1-2-3.
Jimmy Jacobs defeats BJ Whitmer (pin, Backsplash through a table ****3/4)
Dueling “Thank you Jimmy”/”Thank you BJ” chants by the crowd.
Oh. My. God. Seriously – get the DVD for this match alone. That’s the sickest thing I’ve ever seen.
And in yet another bit of awesomeness, though Jimmy is legitimately injured, you can here him insisting “Get her out first!” when the ring crew shows up to help him out. (And in a less-than-wise move, he shoves off help and limps backstage himself.)
Match 9: Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries
Easy storyline to follow here: these two were tag champs for about a year. Strong turned on Aries after they lost the belts, and beat him down along with Davey Richards. And they hate each other. Strong plays a bit of cowardly heel to start, but they do some ground’n’pound for a bit, with a few arm drags thrown in. These two are very evenly matched, and have each out scouted well – which you would expect from two guys that tagged together for about a year. They tease a chop from Strong three times, with Aries countering each time with a quicker over-hand strike. When it does hit – ow. No wonder he’s known for those. Strong then works down the back (I know, I’m as shocked as you.) Aries comes back with some chops, and a dropkick to the corner for 2. Strong avoids a springboard splash by rolling outside, so Aries meets him with a tope suicida. Strong with a backbreaker to counter for 2. Second rope fallaway slam for 2. Strong sets up for a suplex to the floor on the apron, but Aries counters with a DVD Driver on the ring edge. Aries sets up for the 450, Strong meets him, and Aries “slips off” and falls through a ring-side table. Strong climbs out, and starts to take the steel ringside barricade apart. Strong sets the barrier flat on the floor, and pulls a Gibson Driver on Aries onto the steel. The ref is counting, and Aries makes it back in… at 19. (In FIP, you have a 20 count outside the ring.) Back in the ring, Strong hits a half-nelson backbreaker, into another Gibson Driver, into a Boston Crab, into the Stronghold. Aries resists, resists… and passes out. The ref calls it.
Strong defeats Aries (unable to continue, Stronghold ****)
Match 10: CIMA, Shingo & Sasumu Yokosuka vs. Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito & Masaaki Mochizuki
As usual, this starts out fairly slow – each individual participant gets to go one-on-one, with a few basic storylines set: speed vs. speed, strength vs. strength, and so on. A few restholds get put in, but they are usually storyline driven – trying to wear down the legs of the faster juniors, etc. The double-teams start about 12 minutes in, highlighted by a double-team crotch-shot on Dragon Kid into the ringpost. 16 minutes in, you see CIMA pull the weirdest looking submission move ever – I’m not going to bother describing. This is also when the triple teams start, which means – that’s when the match starts getting really good. You have to see some of the moves that Dragon Kid can pull to believe them. I know I’m not describing the match very much in detail here: honestly, if I did, this match alone would be 4,000 words. Just believe me – the action is non-stop from the 16 minute mark, with various combinations of high-impact moves and double- and triple-teams. The highlights include a Doomsday Device by Yokosuka, and a Van Terminator from CIMA. CIMA’s team wins when Yokosuka pins Dragon Kid after rolling through a springboard rana into a sunset flip.
CIMA, Shingo & Sasumu Yokosuka defeat Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito & Masaaki Mochizuki (pin, Sunset flip ****)
Just an excellent show overall. Don’t even hesitate to pick this up for your collection.
1. Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal vs. Delirious & Jay Briscoe (***3/4) Great hot opener, with good effort from all 4 guys.
2. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Yamato (***) – A good big guy vs. little guy match, helped out by Claudio’s ability to keep up wth the cruiserweights without making them look totally overmatched.
3. Erick Stevens vs. Mitch Franklin (DUD) – Squash.
4. Nigel McGuinness vs. Chris Hero (***) – Mostly a reason to get some needed publicity through the Johnny Fairplay angle, but still a pretty decent match between two guys that always bring it.
5. Jack Evans & Naruki Doi vs. Davey Richards & Rocky Romero (****) – An excellent Dragon Gate homage tag match, with a good mix of basic striking and a few “Holy shit” high impact moves.
6. Brent Albright vs. Homicide (DUD) – just a build-up to…
7. Colt Cabana & Homicide vs. Adam Pearce & Brent Albright (***1/2) – A very effective brawl, with a nice shout-out to last year’s incredible feud between Homicide and Cabana.
8. BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs (****3/4) – Oh. My. God. Seriously – get the DVD for this match alone. That’s the sickest thing I’ve ever seen.
9. Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries (****) – The psychology is top-notch, the storyline is well-developed, and the continuity is refreshing: these guys know each other extremely well, and they just hate each other. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re two of the best at what they do.
10. CIMA, Shingo & Sasumu Yokosuka vs. Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito & Masaaki Mochizuki (****) – This suffers from comparison to the first Dragon Gate 6-man, which simply blew the doors off the building. But it is certainly nothing to ignore.