I know what you’re thinking. I’m the WWE RAW reporter, why am I doing a report for Ring of Honor? Well, the folks on Pulse Wrestling who usually cover ROH don’t get the PPV until next weekend, so when I was asked, I of course agreed. I guess it is a nice gesture and a good chance to break the new guy in.
On that note, let me be the first to tell you that I have never watched ROH before. I’m paying attention to the show before I start my report. Hopefully I can deliver to you a good report. On with the show!
ROH comes to us from Chicago, Illinois and Dave Prazak is in the ring. He welcomes us to the Pay-Per-View. He gets to talking about how ROH has great performers until he is interrupted by Delirious, Erick Stevens, & Matt Cross. Erick Stevens has the microphone and he calls out No Remorse Corp. for a six man tag right now. Delirious has the mic now and he speaks out. We then cut to the opening video for ROH: Driven.
Back to the arena as No Remorse Corp, consisting of Roderick Strong, Rocky Romero, and Davey Richards runs down the ramp and they get into a six man brawl in the ring.
Delirious, Erick Stevens, & Matt Cross v. Roderick Strong, Rocky Romero, & Davey Richards
A referee gets in the ring as Richards falls out on the floor. More brawling ensues as No Remorse Corp regroup outside the ring. Delirious starts the match as he clubs Davey Richards. Crossbody knocks Richards out onto the floor and Strong enters the ring and nails a nice dropkick that sends Stevens out onto the floor. In comes Rocky Romero in and he leapfrogs Strong and takes out Stevens outside the ring. Cross in the ring and he nails a headscissors on Roderick Strong. Delirious up on top and he takes out all three members of No Remorse Corp. Delirious rolls Rocky Romero inside the ring. Back suplex connects and Delirious is whipped to the ropes and is taken down by Romero. Stiff kick to the middle of the back by Romero, as Delirious is reeling early in the match. Romero tags in Richards, who clotheslines Delirious. Snap Suplex and in comes Roderick Strong. Strong chops at Stevens and Cross and Delirious gets double teamed. Double kicks to both sides of Delirious’ head and Romero drives down the knee for a two count. Romero keeps Delirious away from his teammates as Strong continues to beat down Delirious. Catapult attempt, but it turns into a triple team move as Romero drives the knees across Delirious. Two count follows as Richards gets the tag. Delirious whips Richards to the turnbuckle and Richards follows up with an elbow to the head. The move takes some out of Richards as he tags in Strong. Suplex attempt and Delirious counters. Hot tag to Stevens and he is a man on fire, taking out Richards and Strong. Romero enters and is clotheslined out of midair for his troubles. Matt Cross comes in and does a splash on the corner. Delirious nails the Panic Attack on Strong in the corner. Stevens sends Strong to Hell with the TKO. Close two count follows as Matt Cross nails a flying twisting lariat, taking out Romero and Richards. He celebrates with the fans as in the ring Stevens and Strong are inside the ring. Powerslam by Stevens and Romero breaks the fall. Romero exits the ring as Richards takes out Stevens with a missile dropkick. Delirious on top as Richards looks for a DR Driver. That is countered as everything is countered. Delirious nails a flying lariat as all six men are down. The referee starts to count as Cross and Romero are up. Tiger Suplex by Romero is countered. Strong nails a buster on Cross. Romero nails a vicious DDT on Cross. Close two count, broken up as all six men are back inside the ring. Stevens and Strong are in the ring. Strong chops away at Stevens and he whips him to the ropes. Strong looks for a big boot and gets planted by Stevens. Romero inside and it looks like Stevens is going to do an Electric Chair, but Cross bails from the turnbuckle and the double team is successful. The fall is broken up by Richards. Slapfest ensues as Richards nails a near low blow. Stevens hits a nice German Suplex. Shadows over Hell connects and Cross nails the Shooting Star Press as the count is again broken. Strong takes Delirious out back first on the ring’s edge. Everything happens outside as Cross counters the Tiger Suplex and nails a neckbreaker. He goes up top and nails a corkscrew moonsault for a very close two count. Romero gets Cross in an Anklelock, but Cross rolls through for a close two count. Richards inside the ring and he nails the DR Driver for the pinfall!
Winners: Roderick Strong, Rocky Romero, & Davey Richards
Match Rating: **** Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Very fast paced, nice opening contest as I feel like I’m in heaven watching this match.
After the match, No Remorse Corp continues the beatdown as Austin Aries comes inside and he wants his hands on Roderick Strong. Austin Aries is a man on a mission as the fans chant his name. Aries has a microphone. He’s been sitting at home for two months. He pulls something out of his pocket, a contract to ROH. He takes some jabs at TNA and he asks for a pen. He signs the contract and he is home. He ends this by saying that “We Are Wrestling!Ã¢â‚¬Â ROH chants follow.
The Briscoe Brothers cut a promo saying that they are the best tag team in wrestling. Highlights of ROH in Japan are shown.
Back to the action as Claudio Castagnoli and Matt Sydal are in the ring. Looks like they are going to be facing each other.
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Matt Sydal
Both men jockey for position as neither gain any headway. Back and forth action as Sydal takes down Claudio. Quick cover for a two count. The Greco Roman lock is still being applied as Sydal takes Claudio down. Sydal runs towards Claudio, but Claudio takes and tosses Sydal away. Claudio slams Sydal and nails the legdrop for a two count. Claudio is in control as he hefts him in the air. He stalls with a brainbuster before planting him. Two count follows as Sydal isn’t out yet. Claudio swings Sydal around and around for another close two count. Sydal tries to gain some momentum, but Claudio nails a gutwrench suplex. Claudio follows with a few forearms and he runs the ropes. As he comes by, Sydal sweeps the leg and Claudio lands outside the ring. Sydal takes and he nails a plancha off the ropes. Sydal brings Claudio back inside the ring. Claudio is in the corner as Sydal rushes him and nails an elbow, follows up with the knees to the chest. He runs at him a third time, and he gets DENIED! Sydal with a leg lariat for a two count as Claudio looks to be reeling. Sydal looks to whip Claudio, but he counters with a spinning DDT like move which gets a two count. Claudio picks Sydal up as he nails the Waterslide for no count. Bicycle kick countered to a Dragon Screw. The La Magistral Cradle gets a two, countered by Claudio for another count. A series of close pinfalls follow. Matt Sydal nails the Standing Moonsault for a close two count. Claudio nails some forearms and he sends Sydal to the ropes. The Bicycle Kick misses as Sydal rebounds off the other side. Spinebuster attempt gets countered to a nice looking DDT for a close two count. Sydal takes to the ropes and Claudio connects with a European Uppercut. Claudio then follows with an enzugiri. Claudio finally gets the Bicycle Kick for another close two count. Sydal back up and Claudio nails a vicious European Uppercut for even another two count. He looks for another uppercut, but Sydal counters. Off the ropes, Claudio looks to nail a powerslam, but Sydal hits the hurrancanrana. Claudio attempts a high powerbomb, but Sydal counters with a sunset flip for a close two. This match is awesome! Sydal nails an enzugiri, but Claudio is still standing. Claudio hoists Sydal up with great elevation, but Sydal counters AGAIN. Wait, Claudio rolls through and he gets the win!
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli
Match Rating: ***1/2
After the match, Larry Sweeney and Sweet & Sour, Inc. come out and interrupt the celebration. Sweeney has a piece of paper in his hand. He talks to Matt Sydal and says that he is great. The paper is a contract for Sydal to join with Sweet & Sour, Inc. Claudio with the microphone he tells Sydal that Sweeney is a scumbag. Claudio takes the contract and rips it apart. The goons attack and are met with European Uppercuts. Claudio then gets a hold of Larry Sweeney, but Matt Sydal clubs Claudio as Sweet & Sour takes and leaves Claudio Castagnoli out in the ring. It appears that Matt Sydal takes Sweeney up on the offer.
A promo from Jimmy Rave appears, warning the World Champion that he will take his title.
BJ Whitmer vs. Naomichi Marafuji
Both men look to get the early advantage as this is an even matchup. Marafuji has a wristlock applied as they get to the corner. The referee calls for a clean break and gets one. Marafuji off the ropes, and he gets an arm drag. Whitmer gets an arm drag of his own. Both men get the same idea and nail dueling dropkicks. Neither men get all of it as the fans are cheering. Whitmer and Marafuji chop each other until Marafuji runs the ropes. On the rebound, Whitmer nails a leg lariat that sends Marafuji out of the ring. Whitmer follows up with a dive through the middle ropes! Whitmer throws Marafuji back inside the ring for a close two count. Nice snap suplex for another cover. Whitmer looks for another suplex, but Marafuji lands on his feet. Whitmer off the ropes, but Marafuji takes out the leg. He follows with a dropkick to the face. They battle with Whitmer on the ring apron. Both men look for a suplex, but couldn’t get it. Marafuji with a DDT on the apron and Whitmer is down! Whitmer gets bounced off the ring post as Marafuji rolls him back inside the ring for a two count. Marafuji nails a nice Butterfly suplex into an armbar. Whitmer reaches the ropes and Marafuji breaks the hold. Marafuji wears the neck down in an effort to perform the Shiranui, or Sliced Bread #2 for my sakes. Marafuji nails a splash on Whitmer in the corner. He heads up top, but Whitmer telegraphs this. Whitmer on top as well and a Superplex connects. Both men are down as the referee starts the count. Both men get up at the count at 8 and they chop each other. Whitmer nails a forearm, and receives one right back. Off the ropes goes Whitmer and he nails another forearm. Marafuji attempts the same thing, but is countered with a German Suplex. Whitmer holds on and he nails a Dragon Suplex. He retains his hold and he looks for powerbomb, but Marafuji gets out of it. Whitmer with a boot to the midsection and he follows up with a knee to the face. He gets a close two count. Straitjacket Suplex by Marafuji and he gets a close two count. Marafuji charges and drives a knee to the throat. Whitmer kicks out at two as Marafuji waits for him to get up. Superkick blocked as Whitmer sends Marafuji to the ropes. Powerslam connects as Whitmer goes for the cover. Marafuji gets a shoulder up as the tension has to be settling in. Whitmer is back up and he looks for a suplex. It’s countered to a clothesline, but Whitmer stands tall. Marafuji tries again, but they both nail each other with dueling clotheslines. Marafuji explodes off the ropes and takes Whitmer off his feet with another clothesline for a close count. Marafuji looks for the Shiranui, but Whitmer stops it and he nails a Brainbuster for a two count. Whitmer on top but Marafuji knocks him into the Tree of Woe. Marafuji goes opposite corner and heads Coast to Coast, dropkicking Whitmer’s head! WOW!! Marafuji with the cover two! Marafuji with the Superkick and he goes for the Shiranui, but he’s DENIED by Whitmer, who shoves him to the turnbuckle. Whitmer with the Dragon Suplex attempt, but Marafuji lands on his feet. He nails the Superkick again and this time he connects with the Shiranui and gets the three count!!!
Winner: Naomichi Marafuji
Match Rating: ***3/4 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Another fast paced match which keeps me happy.
We go to Rebecca Bayless, who is standing with the ROH Crowd. She puts over where ROH performs at.
Coming out the chute is Pelle Primeau. He is a graduate of the ROH School and has the Top of the Class Trophy. Who is he facing, you ask? Why it’s Brent Albright. I smell a nice squash.
Brent Albright v. Pelle Primeau
Albright slaps Primeau to get things started. Primeau tries some offense, but an Albright forearm knocks him silly. Albright decimates Primeau in the corner as it looks like Albright is going to make short work. Primeau gets tossed halfway across the ring. Primeau gets caught in a suplex as Albright nails another variation of the suplex. Full Nelson Suplex should have gotten the win, but Albright is only toying with Primeau. Albright wants to break his arm apparently. He picks Primeau up with a military press and he slams him down, taking hold of his arm in a deadly Crowbar, to which Primeau taps quickly. Albright continues to keep the hold applied until the referee reaches four on his count.
Winner: Brent Albright
Match Rating: * Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Well, I heard Albright was great during his days in OVW, but it seems that Ring of Honor is a better place for him, as he is able to use his smashmouth style in the ring. This was a squash, nonetheless but an enjoyable one at that.
And now it’s time for tag team title action.
Kevin Steen & El Generico v. Jay & Mark Briscoe Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The Briscoe Brothers
The crowd is behind the Briscoe Brothers as El Generico and Jay Briscoe start things off. Arm and elbow tie up to the ropes and they get a clean break. They jockey for position as Generico gets a waistlock, but it’s countered to a leg lock. Both men back up as Jay calls for a test of strength. El Generico obliges, but Jay counters to a waist lock into clubbing blows to the face. Jay Briscoe gets a front facelock and gets a hiptoss. Jay is on the offensive, taking El Generico down with a series of moves. Generico gets Jay backed into the corner. Out of the corner and Generico gets an armdrag takedown. Kevin Steen gets the tag as he goes to town on Jay Briscoe. Whip across the ropes and Mark takes Steen down. Mark is the legal man in as he does some karate chops. Jay back in and the Briscoe Brothers nail some stereo kicks to Steen. Jay Briscoe is on the offense here as Steen kicks out at one. Steen whips Jay into his brother and he nails a neckbreaker for a two count. Steen tags in El Generico and he gets Jay in a drop toehold. Steen follows up with a front leg drop as Generico gets a close two count. El Generico gets a suplex and gets another two count as Steen returns to action. Jay Briscoe is reeling as Kevin Steen knocks Mark Briscoe off the ropes and Jay is being double teamed. El Generico back in and he whips Jay off the ropes and into a leg lariat for two. Jawbreaker by Jay Briscoe and Jay gets a neckbreaker. Jay tags in Mark and he runs the ropes. Mark gets a big boot and gets a close pinfall. He drops a couple elbows and fist drops for two. Mark Briscoe whips Generico to the ropes. On the rebound, he scores a shot to the midsection, which allows Jay to get a leg drop for two. Jay gets a submission maneuver on El Generico. He follows with a kick to the back of the head as Mark gets the tag. Mark drops the knee on Generico for two. Mark Briscoe gets a nice Samoan Drop for two. Mark tags out, but Generico looks to tag in Kevin Steen, but he is DENIED! Double team failed as Generico sends Jay outside. Kevin Steen works on Jay as Mark takes Generico to the corner. Mark runs across the apron and he flips over the turnbuckle onto Kevin Steen. Jay Briscoe in the ring and he sends Generico outside as all four men are on the floor. Mark Briscoe climbs the barricade and nails a moonsault on Kevin Steen. The brothers take Generico and they launch him into the chairs! That has to hurt. Steen nails a shoulder block on Jay Briscoe, colliding with the barricade. Kevin takes and nails the Steelizer on Mark Briscoe into the chairs! WOW! Generico gets back in the ring to tag in Kevin Steen. Jay and Kevin nail each other with shots. Off the ropes and Jay Briscoe gets caught with a sit down powerbomb by Kevin Steen. That gets two as Kevin Steen looks for the end. He looks for the packaged piledriver, but Mark Briscoe stops that. El Generico takes Mark Briscoe out of the equation as Kevin Steen picks Jay Briscoe up and drops him on the knee! Swanton Bomb by Steen gets a two count! This match is amazing! Generico gets the tag as Mark Briscoe prevents the double team. Generico with a swinging DDT on Mark Briscoe. Both men back to their feet as Generico rushes towards Mark Briscoe. Mark with a boot to the face and he hops over the rope to land on Kevin Steen who was on a table! Jay Briscoe has Generico in a military press before nailing the Death Valley Driver! Generico kicks out at two as Jay Briscoe signals for the Jaykiller. Mark off the ropes to spike the move as the Briscoe Brothers retain the Tag Titles!
Winners: The Briscoe Brothers
Match Rating: ****1/4 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Awesome tag team bout with both teams on the ball. I would love to see some more of this in the future!
After the match, Kevin Steen nails the Briscoe Brothers with a steel ladder and blows snot on them. In the back, Larry Sweeney gloats on his newest acquisition in Matt Sydal. He calls out Claudio Castagnoli and informs him that he won’t be getting his hands on Sweet & Sour Inc until the money is right and all conditions are met to his liking. They pick on Bobby Dempsey for kicks and laughs.
Jimmy Rave v. Takeshi Morishima
Morishima attacks before the ring crew is able to clean up the streamers, taking Jimmy Rave out. He beats down Jimmy Rave as the referee warns him. Rave to his feet, but Morishima throws him outside to the ring. On the outside, Rave reverses an Irish whip, sending the champion against the barricade. Jimmy Rave chops Morishima as he is on the attack. Back in the ring and Rave takes the big man off his feet with a spear. On top, Rave bails and is caught by Morishima, who delivers a Belly to Belly suplex. Morishima on top now, but Jimmy Rave tries to counter as well, but to no avail. Morishima pushes him off and he hits the missile dropkick. Jimmy Rave is in trouble as Morishima gets a lariat, but Rave holds on. Off the ropes, Rave gets a sunset flip attempt, but the laws of gravity defy him as Morishima drops south. Rave moves in time as he is back up and he nails a knee strike for two. Jimmy Rave looks for the Pedigree, but Morishima backdrops his way out of it. Rave applies the heel hook Anklelock, but the champ makes the ropes. Rave off the ropes and is met with a sideslam. Huge lariat by Morishima for two and Morishima hefts Rave up for the finisher, which scores the three count.
Winner: Takeshi Morishima
Match Rating: ** – The match ran about four minutes, which surprised the commentators. Apparently, Morishima has had a record of quick wins on ROH Pay-Per-Views.
Since there’s time left, we are sent to Philadelphia for the #1 Contender’s Match involving Nigel McGuinness and Bryan Danielson.
Bonus Match: Nigel McGuinness v. Bryan Danielson
This match has a sixty minute time limit, so this tells me that it’s going to go thirty or more. I pause the recording and it says 32 minutes left, so my guess is as good as any. Both men have a lot of history with each other. They shake hands in respect. The match starts as they look for position. Dueling chants from the fans as the Dragon takes McGuinness down with a drop toehold. They get tied up on the ropes and get a clean break. Headlock by McGuinness and it takes Danielson down. Danielson gets free and he has McGuinness in a wristlock. McGuinness uses his legs to get free and he applies a headscissors. Danielson is free as he gets McGuinness in a Bow & Arrow submission, but McGuinness flips over for a one count. Both men tie up again in the center. Off the ropes, McGuinness takes the Dragon down. They circle the ring again and lock up. McGuinness with a side headlock. Off the ropes, Danielson takes McGuiness down. Several blows come along as McGuiness gets a headlock applied. Danielson with a knuckle lock, but McGuinness gets a keylock submission hold. That is broken up as the Dragon slaps McGuinness in the face and nails an uppercut. The Dragon with a knee to the face, followed by hard chicks to the chest. McGuinness to his feet with a slap of his own. Danielson takes and gets McGuinness in the corner and slaps the hell out of him. Off the corner and Danielson eats a mule kick in the face. One arm DDT follows as McGuinness works on the arm of the Dragon. A nice submission move utilizing the locking of left arm and the stretching of the right arm is applied. Danielson rolls out of it and he applies a chinlock on McGuinness. McGuinness back up to his knees as Danielson nails a Backcracker of sorts, holding onto the chinlock. McGuinness is back up as he breaks the hold and clotheslines the Dragon. Danielson takes a breather on the outside, but McGuinness is out there as well. He nails a European Uppercut as they fight along the barricade. McGuinness with a rushing European Uppercut, but the Dragon fights back. The weapons come to play as the Dragon tosses a chair at McGuinness, followed by a table. The referee issues a warning to take it back to the ring, McGuinness rolls back inside the ring and he rushes back out, taking Danielson into the first row with a lariat! McGuinness back in the ring and he goes on top. He nails Danielson, who was still in the crowd area. AWESOME! Both men are down as McGuinness throws the Dragon over the barricade and nails another European Uppercut. McGuinness rushes, but Danielson nails a punch to the forehead. A suplex ON THE BARRICADE follows! That was sick! Nigel McGuinness is out in the first row as the Dragon plays to the crowd. He goes back to McGuinness and he suplexes him back over the barricade. Back in the ring as the Dragon goes for a cover. McGuinness kicks out as Danielson drives the knee to the prone back of McGuinness. The Dragon applies a crossface before electing to drive his knee to McGuinness’ spine. He gets an illegal hold on and the referee warns him about it, but the Dragon says that he has until five to break it. He takes and he stretches the nose before clubbing the face. Forearm to the nose as he looks to make McGuinness bleed. They fight in the corner until the Dragon nails a vicious headbutt. Slaps to the face as McGuinness asks for more. European Uppercut is blocked, and McGuinness explodes with a lariat! At the corner, McGuinness lets it fly with uppercuts and jabs. To the ropes, on the rebound, Dragon eats a superkick and a lariat for a two count. Danielson reverses a whip, sending McGuinness to the corner. He rushes as McGuinness moves out of the way. Kick to the back and a shot to the chest sends the Dragon down. McGuinness looks for a suplex, but the back gives way as the Dragon sends McGuinness to the corner. Kick to the head gets a two count by the Dragon. Another uppercut sends McGuinness down as the Dragon goes to the top. McGuinness prevents that as he looks for the Tower of London. The Dragon counters and he nails a Sunset Flip from the top, but McGuinness rolls through. Anklelock attempt countered as the Dragon sends McGuinness to the ropes. On the rebound, the Dragon leap frogs, only to get caught in a powerbomb for two. Half Boston Crab applied as the Dragon heads towards the ropes. McGuinness keeps the hold applied as the Dragon reaches the ropes! McGuinness gets the Dragon in the corner. He rushes towards him, but Danielson moves and he sends McGuinness over and up, before scoring a dropkick to the face! Danielson goes to the top and he nails a Belly to Back Superplex! HOLY CRAP! The Dragon gets a cover for two! The Crossface Chickenwing is applied as McGuinness is struggling. McGuinness breaks the hold and he gets Danielson in the Tower of London! He can’t go for the cover as his back is hurting. The referee starts his count and McGuinness is up first. Forearm shots from McGuinness to the Dragon and he gets the Dragon on the top rope. Flying lariat connects as he gets a cover. The Dragon gets a foot on the ropes! McGuinness has a hold of Danielson’s leg as Danielson has his hands on the ropes. Enzugiri connects as both men are down! They get up and a slapfest commences. Danielson with the upperhand as he nails a headbutt, sending McGuinness to the ropes, who bounces back with a headbutt of his own. They duel out the headbutts as the Dragon misses and he is taken down and is busted open! WOW! Danielson nails McGuinness with a gutwrench suplex for two. The Dragon has the arms of McGuinness locked as he has a double arm submission cinched in. McGuinness taps!
Winner: Bryan Danielson
Match Rating: ****3/4 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ By far the BEST match I have seen in 2007. This match puts most of the others to shame. This is definitely a MOTY Candidate and it deserves every bit of the rating I give it.
Post match, the men shake hands as we go off the air.
The Inside Pulse
Oh my God. This Pay-Per-View featured some of the best wrestling I’ve ever seen. This show puts the last two wrestling Pay-Per-Views I ordered to shame. While ROH has minor issues with the house mic and other things, the wrestling was so awesome. This show had three **** or better matches. If I were you, I would check this out. For $10, you get two hours of awesome action with no crap. I definitely recommend this.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out Pulse Wrestling for the latest in wrestling happenings.
Roderick Strong, Rocky Romero, & Davey Richards d. Delirious, Erick Stevens & Matt Cross
Claudio Castagnoli d. Matt Sydal
Naomichi Marafuji d. BJ Whitmer
Brent Albright d. Pelle Primeau
The Briscoe Brothers d. Kevin Steen & El Generico
Takeshi Morishima d. Jimmy Rave
Bryan Danielson d. Nigel McGuinness