Ring of Honor DVD Review: Death Before Dishonor IV, 7/15/06

Death Before Dishonor IV

On the 15th July 2006, Ring of Honor presented its 4th annual ‘Death Before Dishonor’ event. This event was largely centred around the end of the ROH vs CZW feud, so if you want to read up on what went down during the feud, click here and take a look at some of my ROH Milestone Series reviews. For more ROH and Indy stuff, check John Kirschner and Pulse Glazer‘s recent columns.

This show features the blowoff to the massive ROH VS CZW FEUD, as Team ROH (Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer, Adam Pearce, Ace Steel and Bryan Danielson) take on Team CZW (Chris hero, Nate Webb, Necro Butcher, Claudio Castagnoli and Eddie Kingston) in CZW’s own match, the CAGE OF DEATH. CZW’s Sonjay Dutt also challenges Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Title, and Roderick Strong challenges Nigel McGuiness for the ROH Pure Title.

For a non-spoiler review of this show, scroll down to the Summary section. Remember Summary!

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Current Storylines: The ROH vs CZW feud is ending tonight. For 6+ months now the 2 sides have been murdering each other, and tonight it’s time for them to murder each other for the last time. ROH challenged CZW to a Steel Cage Warfare match, but CZW wanted to make the blowoff to this even more violent, so they proposed their own style of match, the Cage of Death.

There’s not much else going on apart from that. Strong is gonna try to dethrone Nigel for whatever reason, and Sonjay wants the ROH World title so CZW can say a big “Fuck you” to ROH.

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*Adam Pearce shows us the scar that he was given at The 100th Show by Chris Hero. He says when he looks at the scar he thinks of the CZW feud, which ends tonight. He notes he’s not a death match wrestler but tonight ROH becomes ‘ultraviolent’.

A flashback to Hell Freezes Over is shown. The CZW feud started with a match between Chris Hero and Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Title.

1. Delirious vs. Seth Delay: They start with the usual feeling out process. Seth gets a nice Sunset flip for 2. He hits a dropkick sending Delirious to the outside, then he hits a nice flip dive. Back in Delirious cuts him off with the Never Ending Story clotheslines in the corner and a bulldog. Delay gets a sitout reverse DDT move for 2. He goes up top 450 MOONSAULT SENTON misses! Wow. Delirious hits Shadows Over Hell, then slaps on the Cobra Stretch for the win.
Winner: Delirious.

Fun little exhibition to get the crowd warmed up.
**.

*BJ Whitmer says he can still feel the pain of staples, barbed wire and tables when he lies in bed at night, but he’s still not intimidated by CZW. After Cage of Death he’s going to finally finish off the Necro in Dayton.

Another flashback to Tag Wars 2006 sees Jim Cornette lose a tooth while trying to help remove Hero and Necro from the building, and cutting an angry promo.

2. Jimmy Rave & Sal Rinuaro vs. Colt Cabana & Jay Lethal: Prince Nana stands in the ring to introduce Alex Shelley’s permanent replacement in the Embassy. Daizee Haze escorts a shrouded man to the ring in like back at Reborn: Completion when Jimmy Rave joined the Embassy. Nana reveals that it’s Sal Rinauro and demands that he act as the new footstool for Jimmy Rave.

Colt and Lethal run wild on Rinauro early with a load of armdrags and dropkicks. Rave slaps Rinauro around a bit. Lethal tries to be cool doing a backflip, and just as he lands on his feet Rave takes him OUT with a clothesline to the back of the head. That was great. The Embassy work over Lethal. Jimmy does his usual stuff with Rinauro not adding much else. Lethal makes a comeback with an enziguri to Sal, which (due to Sal’s momentum) gave him a back body drop from Rave! Lethal makes the hot tag to Colt!

He cleans house with Bionic elbows. Quebrada! It gets a 2 count on Rave. Colt gives Sal a big butt butt and kills Rave with a Lariat! 1 2 NO! Lethal comes off the top rope DDT on Rave! Rollup by Colt! 1 2 NO! Rinauro hits Colt with a stunner, RUNNING KNEE from Rave! 1 2 NO! Lethal kills Sal with a back flip kick and hits Rave with a suplex. He goes up top but Sal crotches him. Super Bulldog! Sal hits Colt with a superkick, as Rave destroys him with a Spear! 1 2 3!
Winners: Jimmy Rave & Sal Rinauro

That was a really fun, formula tag match. Nothing was too long and everyone played their roles perfectly. Good stuff all round.
***1/2.

*A flashback from the 4th Anniversary Show shows Samoa Joe brawling like mad with Chris hero. Another flashback from Arena Warfare is shown, as a group of CZW wrestlers beat BJ Whitmer down until ROH producers cut off the feed.

3. Nigel McGuinness vs. Roderick Strong (Pure Title Match): Strong got this title shot by making Nigel tap to his Boston Crab finisher, the Stronghold, back at In Your Face (in a tag title defence). The fans really fucking love Roddy on his entrance. Nigel cuts a promo thingy about the rules of the match before the bell, but gets met with a predictably hard chop from Roddy. It’s on!

Roddy goes for more chops, but Nigel evades them. They do some fast mat sequences, but nothing too RVD/Lynn esque. Strong puts the Stronghold on early, as Nigel uses his first rope break! Nigel suddenly gets very aggressive, trying to destroy Roddy’s arm. He works over Strong’s arm for a few minutes. Strong gets a comeback with a crucifix, then an enziguri and Falcon Arrow. It gets 2. He puts on the Stronghold and Nigel uses his 2nd rope break. Nigel regains control and works over the arm more, until Strong hits some weird toss into the turnbuckles, putting Nigel right on his head. Strong unloads with his usual hot tag offence, chops, clotheslines, forearms, backdrops and dropkicks. GIBSON DRIVER gets a 2 count.

STRONGHOLD and Nigel goes to the ropes, using his 3rd and final rope break! Strong puts the Stronghold again, but Nigel crawls to the outside to escape it! Strong kills Nigel on the floor with strikes. He grabs Nigel on the apron BACKDROP on the APRON! That was sick. Strong kills Nigel with chops on the outside. Nigel lures Strong in (asking for more chops), then throws him into the fans. Nigel gets back in at 15, as Strong gets back in at the 19 count!

Back in Nigel kills him with some strikes. Nigel does his headstand BIG BOOT TO THE FACE from Strong! GUTBUSTER! BIG BOOT! Strong is murdering him here! Nigel rebounds PENDULUM LARIAT! That made a fucking sick sound. 1 2 NO! Tower of London from Nigel! 1 2 NO! They go out and fight on the floor. Nigel tenaciously holds onto a front facelock, desperately trying to get the count-out victory. DDT ON THE FLOOR from Nigel! The count goes higher, as Nigel beats Strong in a struggle to get back in the ring, leaving Nigel in the ring at the 19 count and Strong still outside for the 20 count, and loss.
Winner, and still Pure Champion: Nigel McGuiness.

Very good match. It was based around Nigel’s quest to get past Strong’s onslaught, particularly the Stronghold (because he’s tapped to it in the past). Strong got Nigel’s number fairly early (making him lose all 3 rope breaks with the Stronghold), so Nigel became as aggressive as he could, trying to hit all of his big moves. He absorbed and evaded all of Strong’s big stuff, just to put Strong down for good. Nigel did hit most of his big moves (they didn’t put Strong away), but before he could hit his last few he realised his back couldn’t take it. With no other route to go Nigel used what worked against Homicide and Danielson, getting the count-out victory.

As well as having a good story, this match was ridiculously stiff, and never too slow or boring. If Nigel could have sold his back a bit more in the later stages we could have had something really great.
***3/4.

*A flashback to Supercard of Honor and Better than Our Best shows us Adam Pearce’s attempt to fight off CZW on his own and Claudio helping him, pretending to be on ROH’s side.

*Jim Cornette comes out to the ring to announce that KENTA will return to ROH when ROH returns to Philadelphia. He also announces Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA for September 16th in New York City during Glory by Honor V weekend. He says that although he desperately wants Homicide on Team ROH he will not grant him the three wishes he demands to be on the team. Bryan Danielson comes out to the ring and says that though Homicide is the CZW killer a CZW wrestler has never beaten him. He offers to be the fifth member of Team ROH and Cornette lets him on.

*A flashback to The 100th Show shows the match that saw Super Dragon kill BJ Whitmer, putting him through a table with a Psycho Driver and Claudio Castagnoli’s turn on ROH. We also see some of the aftermath with Adam Pearce’s open “H” gash.

4. Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Irish Airborne: They start with a feeling out process, with added flips and fast sequences. The Briscoes don’t sell much and use their power and double team strength to dominate the Crists. They do some nice double team offence. Both teams get some more workover periods and keep them short. It’s hard to recap everything that happens here.

It goes into the finishing sequence, with both teams busting out some big moves. They do a nice double team SSP to the outside spot. The Briscoes hit their powerbomb/neckbreaker combo, a Saito Suplex and a Press DVD, but can’t get the pin. Irish Airbourne hit some high flying offence such as hurricanranas and Ace crushers, but they cannot put the Briscoes down. For the finish, the Briscoes both take out one brother, then mark Cutthroat Driver’s the other for the 3.
Winners: The Briscoes.

That was an odd match. It pretty much consisted of flash moves, nothing else. This was fun to watch, but by tomorrow I won’t remember anything that happened from this, cos so damn much happened. Fun exhibition, nothing more though.
**1/2.

*Ace Steel cuts a promo on CZW, angry that they interrupted his match with Sterling Keenan. Steel is quite crazy.

A flashback to the Weekend of Champions shows BJ Whitmer taking a Muscle buster at the hands of Claudio Castagnoli in Dayton, Ohio. He gained some revenge by putting Super Dragon out of the feud with an exploder from the turnbuckle through a table on the floor in Cleveland.

5. AJ Styles vs. Davey Richards: Crowd is wild for AJ. They do some aggressive stuff on the mat to start. Some quite MMA-ish. They trade some stiff strikes and kicks, and then have a staredown. Davey hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Davey dominates AJ with some kicks. AJ comes back with a dropkick to the leg. He works over Davey’s leg for a few minutes. This isn’t too bad.

Davey makes a comeback, giving AJ a SICK DDT on the floor. The stiffness there was quite unnecessary, AJ must have been hurt there. Back in, Davey hits some fine stuff, then renders all the legwork purposeless by hitting a barrage of kicks and dropkicks. He hits some more things involving his leg, not selling it in the process. AJ hits a backdrop driver variation. Davey hits a smooth looking handspring enziguri. They exchange some more nearfalls. AJ eventually wins the battle, hitting the Pele Kick and the Styles Clash for the 3.
Winner: AJ Styles.

Poor match. Any chance of a story or build was ruined by all the no selling, and they didn’t do much to explain why both men were being so aggressive to each other. Add on being over reliant on moves and you have one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen from both Davey and AJ.
*1/2.

*Samoa Joe says he’s tired of CZW going after his weak knee in sneak attacks. Tonight in the cage nobody on Team CZW will be able to escape him! Also, when he’s done with Team CZW he’s going after Bryan Danielson.

We get flashback #378428, showing the tide turn in ROH’s favour, when Homicide killed Necro Butcher at Ring of Homicide.

6. ROH World Title Match: Bryan Danielson vs. Sonjay Dutt : Sonjay slaps Dragon to start. They wrestle a bit, then Dragon takes out Dutt with a dropkick. He bails and stalls. Back in, Dragon soon outwrestles Dutt and gets control. He stretches him on the mat. Dutt comes back with his speed, and hits a flip dive to the outside. Back in he works over Dragon, hitting a suplex and a moonsault press. He slaps on a chinlock, as the fans fire Dragon up. He catches Dutt off a crossbody attempt and hits a fall-away slam.

They start hitting bigger moves, as Dutt hits a shining Enziguri and a standing SSP. It gets 2. He tried for a moonsault but Dragon moves, then nails him with a German! 1 2 NO! Dragon puts on the Crossface Chicken Wing Dutt fights out ASAI DDT! 1 2 NO! They trade some more nearfalls. Dutt hits a superkick and moonsault double stomp for a close 2. He tries to make Dragon humble, but he reaches the ropes. Dragon catches Sonjay up top Backdrop superplex! ELBOWS TO THE HEAD! Sonjay is KTFO’d, so the ref rings the bell. Dragon is the CZW Killer though, so he pummels Sonjay with more ELBOWS!
Winner, and still ROH World Champion: Bryan Danielson.

Decent match. The story there was Sonjay had a speed advantage, as he knew Dragon was a better overall wrestler he relied on his speed to get him through. He was too reliant on that speed though, as Dragon soon scouted it and cut him off at every turn, then knocked him the fuck out with elbows for the victory. Everything was solid, but nothing was really that good or interesting.
**1/2.

*It’s intermission before COD. GMC is backstage with Nigel McGuiness. He asks about Nigel’s methods of retaining the Pure title and Nigel says he’ll do anything to retain it. He says he’d be a tag champion right now if he had a good partner. The camera cuts to Colt Cabana and Lacey together. Lacey swiftly runs off as Colt argues about who the weak link was in their team in NYC. He challenges Nigel to a Pure title match to prove once and for all who the better wrestler is, and Nigel accepts.

*We get our final COD hype, a flashback to In Your Face shows Homicide talking about the fact that he lost to Danielson and taking out the new CZW Champion Chris Hero. The last flashback shows Claudio Castagnoli taking out Samoa Joe’s knee after his match with Delirious at Chi-Town Struggle.

7. CAGE OF DEATH: Team ROH – Samoa Joe, Adam Pearce, BJ Whitmer, Ace Steel, & Bryan Danielson vs. Team CZW – Chris Hero, Necro Butcher, Nate Webb, Claudio Castagnoli, & Eddie Kingston: This COD match is basically contested under War Games rules, so the match can only end when all members of both teams have entered the cage. The cage is an open top yellow wired thing with a ton of weapons surrounding the ring. The big issues here are who Team CZW’s fifth member is and whether or not Homicide will get involved in one way or another.

1st for ROH is Samoa Joe, and first for CZW is Claudio Castagnoli. Claudio uses his speed against Joe to start, but it’s not long before Joe takes over and hands out an ass whoopin’. Joe kicks a garbage can into his face and hits an Ole Kick. BJ Whitmer enters as the second man for ROH. He hits a leg lariat on Claudio. Joe and Whitmer double team Claudio. Second person out for CZW is their leader, Chris Hero. He pokes Joe and Whitmer’s eyes. Hero and CC hit one of their trademark double teams on Whitmer.

Next in for ROH is Bryan Danielson. He works with Joe; they hit some double teams on Claudio and Hero. Joe gets Hero up for the Muscle buster. In a shocking turn of events, Danielson CLIPS Joe’s injured knee! He then viciously goes to work on it, with weapons and everything. Traitor! Turns out Dragon was only in this to soften up Joe for their upcoming world title match. Joe is badly hurt so he is taken out of the cage, and Dragon leaves, for he has nothing left to do. Nate Webb comes in as Team CZW’s 3rd member.

Nate hits an awesome looking Moonsault VanTerminator (with weapons over Whitmer’s face), that busts BJ open. Ain’t looking good for BJ, it’s 3 on 1 here. Adam Pearce enters for ROH. Alone, he fights off the CZW guys and revives Whitmer, but soon the numbers game catches up on them and they’re dominated by CZW. Necro Butcher comes in to make it 4 on 2. Necro hits a chair assisted bodyslam on Pearce. Claudio hits an Elbow Drop on Whitmer as Necro drives a ladder into Pearce. This is great.

Hero puts the dreaded Cravat on Whitmer, as Ace Steel comes in for ROH (technically, he’s the last member on Team ROH). He cleans house. COWBELL FOR EVERYONE. He soon gets cut off though, as CC rams him into the cage. Hero gets on the mic and talks some trash. He introduces Team CZW’s fifth and final member, Eddie Kingston! Hero and King have had feud after feud, so this is odd for Hero to bring him in here. He comes in and kills Steel with a Yakuza Kick and DDT on a chair. ROH has no chance here.

ROH get a slight glimmer of hope, as Kingston and Hero start arguing and shoving each other. Like they did at the 100th Show, the fans chant for Homicide. Last time in this building (100th Show) he didn’t come, the fans realise this and stop chanting for him. Just when everyone thinks it’s hopeless HOMICIDE’S MUSIC HITS! The fans go FUCKING NUTS. That had to have been the loudest pop in ROH history. Alongside Smokes, Cide makes his way down to the cage. This is awesome.

King tries to attack him as he comes in, but Cide breaks a block of wood over his head! Necro charges at Cide Cide throws thumbtacks on the floor (Necro wrestles barefoot)! Whitmer catches Necro EXPLODER! 1 2 NO! Cide goes in his boot and pulls out 4 FORKS! He hands them out to his team, and they go stabbing some CZW flesh. Pearce grabs Claudio PILEDRIVER on the floor! Claudio is busted open. Everything breaks down and we’re met with a million weapon orientated highspots.

In an awesome spot, Steel hits a top rope Stunner on Webb and a legdrop on Kingston at the same time. Pearce grabs Webb Torture rack Backdrop Driver! That was sick. More insane spots. Whitmer exploders Kingston on the floor. Pearce and Claudio fight atop the cage Russian Leg Sweep off the top from Pearce, through a table! Everyone comes together on the outside, as Hero climbs to the top of the cage. MOONSAULT off the cage onto everybody! Crazy.

Hero sets up a chair inside the ring. Whitmer grabs Hero BRAINBUSTER ON THE CHAIR! 1 2 NO! Cide and Whitmer grab Necro DOUBLE BACKDROP SUPLEX on the setup chair! 1 2 NO! Whitmer gets pissed and takes Necro to the apron, above a barbed wire wrapped table! EXPLODER through the table! BJ and Necro are out of the equation. The only people left alive are Cide and Webb. Webb tries a moonsault while holding a chair, but Cide moves and lariats the chair into his face! Cide sets a barbed wire board on the mat and grabs Webb. After some struggle he gets Webb in position COP KILLA ON THE BOARD! 1 2 3! The fans erupt in a really feel good moment.
Winners: Team ROH.

Awesome match. The story of that was incredible, and led to a ton of emotion and crowd heat. Danielson let his team down, as an epitome of him throughout the feud – he started the feud but didn’t help ROH throughout it at all. Then after Dragon let team ROH down, you thought ROH was done. But then there was Homicide’s battle with his pride to help the company he’s been with since the beginning (although that company has screwed him over many times), and he came through, helping team ROH get the win.

Regarding action, this was top notch. For a match like this, everything that was necessary was there; hate, realism and big spots. Everything was timed really well (Dragon’s turn, Cide’s entrance) and there were lots of things to set up future matches (Joe/Dragon, BJ/Necro NRBW). The only gripe I have with this was ROH got the big pin on Nate Webb, who compared with the other members of Team CZW is pretty insignificant. Overall this was a superb way to end a feud like this, and an excellent match on its own.
****1/2.

*Post match Jim Cornette has Team CZW carried out of the building. Whitmer and Steel are congratulated and leave. Homicide and Pearce are asked to stay. Cornette thanks Pearce for being his eyes and ears in ROH during his absence and thanks Homicide for leading Team ROH to victory. He decides to give Homicide his three wishes and asks what they are. Homicide wants a match against Steve Corino. Cornette is fine with that. Homicide wants a match for the World title. Cornette is also fine with that. Homicide wants Cornette to reinstate Low Ki. Since Ki knocked out Cornette’s tooth Jim will not grant Cide that wish. Cornette gets pissed and accuses Cide of being homosexual (for he wants Low Ki back so much). Cide calls him a lair and spits in his face. Cornette responds with mace to the face and JJ Dillon locks the cage door. OH NO. Smokes tries to climb over the cage to help and gets mace to the face as well. Pearce and Dillon handcuff Homicide to the turnbuckle and Cornette whips him with his belt. Pearce and Dillon keep the students and security from entering the cage as Cornette finishes up his punishment. The fans HATE Cornette. That was an well executed angle setting up one of ROH’s main feuds for the coming months.

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Overall Show Thoughts: This was a good show. The match/angle it’s centred around (end to the ROH/CZW feud) certainly delivered, and is must see if you’ve seen anything else from the feud. The undercard is hit and miss. It has 2 really good matches in The Embassy vs Colt/Lethal and Nigel/Strong, but the rest was either mediocre (Briscoes/IA) or plain bad (Davey/AJ). This deserves a recommendation alone for the COD match.

Overall Score: 8/10.

As always, check out rohwrestling.com if you’re interested in picking this show up.

The Inside Pulse
Summary

1. Delirious vs. Seth Delay – ** (Fun stuff to start things off)

2. Jimmy Rave & Sal Rinuaro vs. Colt Cabana & Jay Lethal – ***1/2 (really awesome tag match out of nowhere)

3. Nigel McGuinness vs. Roderick Strong (Pure Title Match) – ***3/4 (Really good match)

4. Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Irish Airborne – **1/2 (A move heavy exhibition)

5. AJ Styles vs. Davey Richards – *1/2 (Nothing really worked here)

6. Bryan Danielson vs Sonjay Dutt (ROH World Title Match) – **1/2 (Mediocre match with lots of crowd heat)

7. CAGE OF DEATH: Team ROH – Samoa Joe, Adam Pearce, BJ Whitmer, Ace Steel, & Bryan Danielson vs. Team CZW – Chris Hero, Necro Butcher, Nate Webb, Claudio Castagnoli, & Eddie Kingston – ****1/2 (Awesome end to the 6 month feud)

Overall Thoughts: This was a good show. The match/angle it’s centred around (end to the ROH/CZW feud) certainly delivered, and is must see if you’ve seen anything else from the feud. The undercard is hit and miss. It has 2 really good matches in The Embassy vs Colt/Lethal and Nigel/Strong, but the rest was either mediocre (Briscoes/IA) or plain bad (Davey/AJ). This deserves a recommendation alone for the COD match. 8/10.

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