The first of many DVD reviews from me, so I hope you enjoy.
Backstory: Steel Cage Warfare is the show that ended the Embassy/Generation Next fued that was going on for months. Alex Shelley was the leader of Generation Next, that also included: Jack Evans, Austin Aries, and Roderick Strong. Over time, Austin and the others grew weary of him and booted him out of the faction. Shelley then tried to patch things up against former enemies in attempt to level the playing ground, but all attempts failed.
At long last, came a calling. The one of Prince Nana. Shelley joined The Embassy(made up of: Abyss, Jimmy Rave, Prince Nana, and now Shelley). Gen Next eventually got a new member; Matt Sydal. The two teams had wars against each other at shows like Redemptions and Vendetta, and incidents like Jimmy Rave breaking Roderick Strong’s girl friend’s face with a Pedigree on the outside floor.
So, it finally came down to the steel cage.
This is what happened.
Dunn & Marcos vs Jason Blade & Kid Mikaze
Davey Andrews vs Pelle Primeau
(Top of the Class Trophy Match)
ROH Tag Title:
Tony Mamaluke & Sal Rinauro (c) vs Milano Collection AT & Colt Cabana
ROH World Title Match:
Bryan Danielson vs Rocky Romero
Jay Lethal vs Samoa Joe
Steve Corino vs Homicide
Steel Cage Warfare:
Jimmy Rave, Abyss, Alex Shelley and Prince Nana VS Roderick Strong, Austin Aries, Jack Evans, and Matt Sydal.
The DVD begins with a Jay Lethal promo. Yay. The promo itself isn’t bad for Jay Lethal standards, however that isn’t much praise. He goes on about how Samoa Joe helped him realize his full potential and to reach goals. Yet he’s tried of being in the shadow of his mentor.
Oh and now look, another promo! Jim Cornette calls out Nigel for being a Not-So-Pure Champion against Claudio Castagnoli during his match in Detroit and warns Homicide’s thugs and Colt Cabana that they better not show during the Homicide/Corino match.
Dunn & Marcos vs Jason Blade & Kid Mikaze
Fabulous exchanges in the early going with a unique roll up by Marcos. Dunn is tagged in and botches what looks like it was going to be a leg trip school boy in the turnbuckle. Mikaze gets the tag, Blade him Mikaze hit a double Japanese arm drag (mark out moment)for a two.
Fantastic team work by Blade and Mikaze: Blade hits a Manhattan Drop and holds Dunn in place while Mikazie nails a Shining Wizard and Blade rolls him up for a two count.
Blade continues to dominate with a spine buster and doesn’t allow Dunn to get any offense. Blade-Kazie both go up top but get pushed off by Marcos. Dunn and Marcos go up separate turnbuckles and hit double splashes to the outside. Back in the ring, Kazi goes for a tornado DDT but is reversed into a northern lights suplex for a 2.
Dunn and Marcos trade off chops to Kazi in the corner, however Kazi gets out, goes to the ropes and gets caught in a death valley driver.
Fantastic kicking combination ending with a Falcon Arrow to Mikaze, but only gets 2.
The Ring Crew Express continue dominating Kazie with an inzugeri to lariat. But Kazi kicks out, gets the hot tag to Blade, runs off the ropes ducks under Marcos and suicide dives out of the ring onto Dunn as Blade cross bodies onto Marcos in the ring.
RCE hits some very good double team moves, however Blade and Mikaze keep fighting back. Dunn rolls outside, Blade leaps out with a twisting vault over the top as Mikaze hits a reverse shooting star off the top to Marcos for the win.
Winners: Jason Blade & Kid Mikaze by pin.
Promo by Austin Aries: He says that Generation Next was a business decision to get himself to the top. And that Shelley and Prince Nana took it beyond business and made it personal.
Promo by Prince Nana: Now this is a Prince Nana promo, which automatically makes it awesome (Note: Not in the same awesome stratosphere as Larry Sweeny, but close). He says that the day has come to put Generation Next into the grave. I think he called Roderick Strong “James Hung”, but thats because he’s Prince Nana.
Top of the Class Trophy Match:
Davey Andrews (c) vs Pelle Primeau
Davey just demolishes Pelle with power moves and just as Pelle starts fighting, Davey decks him with a huge b!tch slap. A huge German followed by a huge power bomb and intro a Anaconda Vice like submission end the match.
Winner: Davey Andrews by KO.
Post Match: Ricky Reyes hit the ring and is pissed off that ROH set up a match that featured two ROH Students and not him. He challenges every ROH Student and they accept.
Reyes kills Mitch Franklin with a tombstone pile driver type move into a dragon sleeper, Franklin taps. Next is some big guy with a mask. Reyes disposes him with two weak kicks. Reyes gets a taller version of Mitch Franklin in a dragon sleeper and he taps. Flying knee takes out Bobby Dempsey. Another dragon sleeper to what looks like Bobby’s brother.
Finally it comes down to Reyes and Davey. Davey takes down Reyes with a tackle, but Reyes gets up and nails a stiff kick, a flying knee and hits Andrews with the trophy.
Promo by Roderick Strong(uh oh): Roderick states that Nana will pay, and it’s over for Jimmy Rave. Whew, at least it was short.
Promo by Jimmy Rave: LOL at Rave! He looks likes the child molester a block from my house. Rave reminds us how he beat AJ Styles and that he (not WWE) sent Punk packing and that him alone will take out Generation Next.
ROH World Tag Team Title:
Tony Mamaluke & Sal Rinauro vs Colt Cabana and Milano Collection AT
Colt doesn’t really look in the mood for games, after all he’s feuding with Homicide. Cabana works the arm of Sal for a few minuets. Cabana begins to work on the ankles now with twists. Cabana pretty much just out wrestles Sal the whole time until he tags out to Mamaluke. Colt tags in Milano.
We now have the Italian against the Japanese Italian! All Milano needs is some German influence and we’ll have some Axies action. The two chain a little bit into a tag to Sal, Milano brings both down and give both a double single crab submission (or would it just be called a crab since theres two singles so it’d be consid….ah screw it)
Sal begins gaining some momentum until Milano ends it with a back drop. Milano gets Sal into a paradise hold onto the bottom rope. Milano sets himself up like an Olympic runner, shoots against the ropes and lands a big kick to the vulnerable Sal.
Cabana in now, works over Sal with uppercuts and elbow drops. Great comedy spot for AT and Cabana. They manage to tie up Sal into a sort of sitting position and rotate him around the ring until Mamaluke missile dropkicks them off Sal.
Mamaluke gets a hot tag and starts cleaning house, hip tossing Cabana and hurricarana-ing Milano into the turnbuckle. He rolls up AT various times for 2’s and puts him in a Stretch Muffler.
Sal gets in and continues to work on the leg, tags in Mamaluke. AT fights back to get a tag in. but is stopped by Mamaluke who tags out again.
AT is worked on for quite awhile, until he connects with a jaw shattering kick to Sal’s face allowing him to make the tag to Cabana. Cabana goes to work on Sal, and then Mamaluke, and then Sal, then Mamaluke, Sal, ‘luke, Sal, ‘luke, runs and moonsaults onto both of them for a two.
‘Luke gets an impressive German Suplex on Cabana followed up by a moonsault by Sal. AT decides to join the fun. The two obliterate Sal and Mamaluke including a nice Ace Crusher. Colt tags in to AT and AT hits a very impressive splash spring boarding off the top rope. Sal and Mamaluke double team AT and hit an absolutely insane DDT for the win.
Winners: Tony Mamaluke & Sal Rinauro by pin.
Promo by Matt Sydal: Sydal says that when he first got into ROH, and he got his first win, it was the Embassy attacking him from behind. Cutting him off before he even got started. So he joined with Generation Next to take them out.
Promo from Abyss(sort of): LOL at reasons for not having a promo:
“We tried to get comments from Abyss, out camera man ended up in the hospital, there will be no comments from Abyss”
ROH World Title:
Bryan Danielson (c) vs Rocky Romero
Dragon is rockin’ the beard around this time, works well for him. LOL at Danielson whipping his hand on the camera man’s shirt after having it spat on. Surprisingly the crowd is pretty much split equal between Rocky and Bryan.
Romero and Dragon Greco Roman knuckle lock and trade kicks and head-butts. They trade monkey flips and Romero locks in the arm bar! However Danielson gets into the ropes quickly. Rocky stiff kicks Danielson a few times but Dragon answers back with a head-butt to take down Romero. Danielson now with the stiff kicks, brings down Romero with a headlock, Romero slips around and locks in the armbar again but Bryan gets the ropes.
Danielson strikes away with a huge slap and kicks to the corner and nearly murders Rocky with a kick to the shoulder blades. Dragon pulls him over to the center of the ring and puts in the Mexican Surfboard yet Rocky gets out and gets in an ankle lock. Rocky pummels Daniels with kicks after the rope break and works on the leg. Danielson reverses a leg lock into a very painful looking half crab. American Dragon turns it into an Indian death lock with shades of Val Venis before snapping back.
Dragon continues to destroy the leg of Rocky and kicks him out of the ring. Rocky finally catches that “second wind” upon entering the ring and kicks away at Dragon in the corner. Rocky grabs Daniels by the arm and spins around him and leaps onto him, wrapping his legs around the waist and his free arm around the head. What a nice move. Danielson starts to fade and falls to his knees in the middle of the ring. Danielson’s arms fall twice but rise up before it falls for the fatal third time.
Danielson powers out but Rocky hits a springboard dropkick to knock him back down and nails a Tiger Suplex for a 2. Soon, both begin a fast paced slug fest that ends with Rocky kicking Danielson’s thigh. Danielson dragon screw’s Rocky to the mat into a half crab and Rocky taps!
Winner: Bryan Danielson
Post Match: LANCE F’N STORM!!!!!! He wanted to see Bryan Danielson live and he wanted his damn microphone to work!!!! He’s thankful that guys like Bryan are wrestling and that he wrestles the way he wants to. Lance said he ended his career with a company that wouldn’t let him wrestle the way he wanted to. Lance and Danielson shake hands and the crowd pops. The entire crowd demands “one more match” this is the set up for Better Than Our Best.
Promo by Jack Evans: Evans questions ROH’s decision to have him in a cage match. He goes on saying how he’s taller than anybody when standing on a cage (Who isn’t Jack?) and that he has something to prove other than getting the win. And you know this man.
Promo by Alex Shelley: Shelley tells Aries to bring his watered down version of Generation Next (because it’s not the same without him) and he’ll bring his Embassy. He tells Personal Jesus (Aries) that he’s going to PERSONALLY crucify him.
Jay Lethal vs Samoa Joe:
Jay “YOU BETTER FU*KING WIN!” Lethal comes out. Joe comes out and I automaticlly mark out because he has the Godzilla theme as his intro. The crowd is 99% Joe and 1 screaming annoying woman% Lethal.
The two try and feel each other out, Joe capitalizing whenever Lethal begins to get the advantage, this goes on for a good 5 minuets. Finally Lethal gets on top of Joe with a couple of arm drags and an arm lock. Lethal runs to the turnbuckle and leaps off it, only to meet canvas as Joe just walks away. Lethal starts using his speed advantage to get a few nicks at Joe. Slowly but surely Lethal begins working away on Joe with quick moves and a suicide dive to the outside.
Very slow placed match, and a botched DDT to Joe didn’t help much. Million Dollar Dream to Joe but Joe powers out, inverted atomic drop, backs into the rops and nails Lethal with an insuguri and a back senton. The pace has been picked up. Joe hits his traditional: snapmare, back slap, kick to chest, knee drop combo for a 2.
Lethal elbows out, goes into the ropes but gets kneed in the face. Joe wears out Lethal in the corner with jabs and chops, whips him to the opposite corner and hits a shining wizard. FAAAAAACE WAAAASH! But Lethal avoids the rushing leg, grabs Joe’s leg on the outside and rams it against the pole. Lethal goes for it again, but thinks better of it and stops midway. He grabs a chair next to him and starts smashing away at the leg of Samoa Joe!
Lethal is beating the holy hell out of Samoa Joe. Jay works on the leg with stomps and holds. Joe starts chopping back but a low dropkick knocks him back down. Lethal continues to work the leg with an Indian death lock. He holds the ropes until 4 before breaking or else what, he’d get DQ’ed? The man used a chair about 12 times and barley got a warning, is rope holding for 5 seconds more heelish than that? Make sense RoH!
Lethal begins the trash talking and starts to piss off Joe. He slaps him but gets power slammed for his trouble. Joe rolls over and spins Lethal around the ring Cabana-Like for a two count.
Lethal begins to fight again and hits an impressive vertical suplex. He nails his flying head-butt onto Joe’s leg. Jay springboards off the top rope into a botch by Joe(though if he hit what he was going to, it’d be quite the site) Joe gets angry about the botch and nearly kills Lethal with a German suplex. Joe slaps Lethal into the corner, sets him up for the Muscle Buster and gets to the middle of the ring with him but his legs give out. Lethal nails the Dragon Suplex for the 3!!!
Winner: Jay Lethal.
Homicide vs Steve Corino
Ok before I write up how this match happened let me say one thing: CORINO HAS THE LONGEST F’N ENTRENCE I’VE EVER SEEN! With that said, onto the match.
The two go teeth and bone right into it at the start of the bell. Just pounding away on each other. Corino goes for the strong shoulder tackle but Homicide holds his ground, Corino spits in his eye. Homicide goes for the strong tackle but Corino holds his ground, Homicide slaps him in the face. Corino and Homicide trade blows until Homicide nails a low dropkick and shining wizard.
Homicide suicide dives onto Corino and lands very badly onto the basketball court floor. While this is happening, someone in a mask comes out and beats down Julius Smokes with a pipe. Corino comes back to the ring with an unfolded chair wrapped with barbed wire. Homicide really messed up his shoulder on that suicide dive. The bone looks like its trying to poke through his skin.
Corino works away on Homicide on the outside, Homicide tries to fight back but his shoulder prevents him from doing anything other than light jabs. The two go back inside and Corino sets up the barbed wire chair, BUT HOMICIDE HAS THE FORK!
He pokes it in the eye of Corino and begins to recover. Drop toe hold to Corino on the barbed wire chair. And holy hell, Homicide begins working the fork into Corino’s ear, producing lots of blood and a very loud “you sick fu*k” chant that the announcers agree with. A close up of Homicide just tearing the fork into Corino’s ear is a bit to much.
Homicide puts Corino’s head right under a piece of barbed wire, right on the ear, and stomps away on it. ‘cide wraps one of Corino’s wrists in a handcuff and picks up another chair and whips it at Corino’s head Sabu style. Homicide goes back to stabbing the ear and begins laughing. Corino launches the chair now. The two battle on the apron, Corino tries to pile drive Homicide, but Homicide wriggles out and gets a Cutter off the apron and through a table.
While Corino recovers, Cide takes out a big ‘ol board from under the ring and throws in another chair (why not?) They set up the board with three chairs, and go back to the outside. Corino stabs Homicide in the forehead with a fork (very hard I add).
Homicide goes back in and Corino goes up top but Homicide gets there to fast and throws him off and through the board!
Homicide picks up the barbed wire chair and whips it at Corino who ducks and it hits the ref in the face (most hardcore ref bump ever!) ‘Cide gets the Ace Crusher on Steve and goes for the pin. A back up ref (Sinclair) comes running out for the pin but only gets 2.
Guy in the mask comes back and low blows Sinclair! He lariats Homicide and pulls Corino over on top of him. The original ref(who’s bloody now, awesome) makes the pin for the 3.
Winner: Steve Corino by pin.
STEEL CAGE WARFARE:
Rules of the match:
One member of each team starts the match, every few minuets another member from a team will come out. Eliminations can occur anytime.
Coming out first for The Embassy: Jimmy Rave
Coming out first for Generation Next: Austin Aries
Even in a cage, Rave still gets TP’d. As soon as the match starts Rave tries to get out of the cage but Aries stops him at every turn. Until he pokes Aries in the eyes Rave tries to leave the arena but Aries stops him up the runway and battles him back to ringside. Rave and Aries get back into the ring and Rave attempts to climb up but Aries dropkicks the side of the cage which crotches Rave onto the rope. Aries goes up top and delivers an elbow to the head. Austin punches away at Rave’s head. Aries asks the crowd if he should show him mercy. The crowd shouts a huge “NO!” and Aries goes back to attacking.
Alex Shelley is the next one to enter the cage. But before fully entering Aries dropkicks him outside into the railing. With Rave down, the one man advantage for the Embassy isn’t working out.
Aries goes for the chair but as his back is turned, Shelley attacks and the double teaming begins with punches and a big ‘ol FU to Aries from Shelley. Aries gets whiped into the ropes but bounces off and nails both Rave and Shelley with a double elbow attack. Rave gets thrown headfirst into the mesh and almost comes close to going through it, along with Shelley afterwards. Aries slams Alex down and steam rolls Rave onto Alex. Aries climbs the cage and gets thrown down, followed by a spear/clothesline combination by Shelley and Rave. Alex and Rave get some double action on Aries including a double camel clutch, very cool. Shelley and Rave toss Aries into the mesh and work on him before the next wrestler enters the match.
Matt Sydal runs to the ring and cleans house. He slams down Alex and goes up top for a moonsault, lands on his feet and avoids the knees, drop toe holds Rave onto them, climbs on top of both Shelley and Rave and does a moonsault for a 2 only. Aries and Sydal pound away and toss their opponents into opposite corners, run to the center, spin each other around and clothesline each man in the corner.
Sydal plants Rave next to the downed Shelley and locks Rave’s legs around Shelley’s neck. Austin and Sydal put their knees into the backs of their opponents and bring them up, double bow and arrow!
Sydal works on Rave, hits a nicely placed leg lariet for a 2 count. Rave attempts to leave, but gets pulled back in and gets his head smashed against the mesh. Rave gets choked out with a shirt, while Aries stomps away on Shelley.
Abyss hits the ring! Sydal and Aries try to stop him before he gets into the ring but Abyss fights them off. Aries and Sydal go against the ropes and come back but Abyss gets them in a double choke hold. They stomp his feet and as they try to go back to the ropes again, Aries gets caught by Abyss and put into a Burning Hammer position while Sydal gets a big boot upon his return, and Abyss sits down, snapping the back of Aries.
Alex and Rave go to work on Aries while Abyss calls out Sydal, and Sydal is dumb enough to accept and runs towards Abyss only to be thrown high into the air and come crashing down to the canvas. Alex gives orders to Abyss in the corner, chopping away at Sydal while Rave chokes out Aries on the top rope.
The Embassy is basically taking a breather and taunting here. Aries tries to fight back but Abyss throws him over head, head first into the mesh. Shelley adds to Aries’ headache with a well placed chair shot. Abyss chucks Sydal into the cage now as well.
Shelley wraps his legs around the neck of Aries, turns over and starts ramming Aries’ head onto the chair!
Roderick Strong hits the ring and starts chopping and punching Abyss and Shelley while Rave is busy with Austin. Shelley comes running but gets flipped into a tilt-a-whurl back breaker, followed up by two more back breakers in various positions.
Roderick chops away at Rave, whips him into the cage and knees him in the back.
Abyss goes for a choke slam but Roddy slides out and picks up the big man in a fireman’s carry position but Abyss scrambles out of it, Roddy runs to the ropes only to get overhead belly to belly suplexed against the opposite cage side.
Sydal gets sent into the ropes by Rave, Rave ducks as Sydal leaps over but gets cought by Abyss who swings him around for a Black Hole Slam! Rave picks him up and gives him the Pedigree for the 3. Sydal has been eliminated.
Rave and Roddy go to the outside, Rave whips him into the barricade and then gets whipped into the opposite side. On the inside, Shelley and Abyss double team on Aries. Back on the outside, Roderick is chopping away at Rave, I can even see him starting to bleed. Inside, Abyss holds a chair to Aries’ neck.
Here comes Prince Nana!!! Nana dressed in cameo delivers desvistating stomps! (OK, not really, but he’s Prince Nana). Austin is in a tree of woe as the others nail him with drop kicks and the sort. Nana trash talks and starts punching away on Roderick as Abyss holds him down.
Austin tries to get to his feet but Shelley sits on top of him and paintbrush slaps him. He even tastes Aries’ blood. I hope he doesn’t get AIDs. The Embassy fools around mostly here, biding their time and waiting for the last member of Generation Next to come out.
What’s this!? Jade Chung (former, pretty much, slave of The Embassy that Gen Next freed, also Roderick’s lady friend)! She taunts Nana about being free. Nana gets sick of her talking(honestly I was too) so him and Abyss chase her outside the ring.
JACK EVANS HITS THE RING! He runs right to the top of the cage AND DOES A F#*KING DOUBLE BACK FLIP OFF IT ONTO ABYSS, RAVE AND NANA!!!! Ahem, yes, Roderick and the others join the fray on the outside.
Back inside, Roderick picks up Evans and chucks him at Abyss who’s in the corner. Double Gut Buster to Abyss!
Evans climbs up top, Rave in pursuit, Roderick goes after Rave. Roderick picks up Rave in a Burning Hammer position on the third rope. Evans jumps onto Rave’s chest and moonsaults off him onto Abyss laying on the mat!!! Evans and Roderick pin Abyss for the 3. Abyss has been eliminated.
Rave is crotched up on the third rope and Aries, Strong and Evans alternate in taking shots at him. Shelley comes into the fray, kicks Roddy in the balls and crotches Aries on the top. Jack fights Shelley off and whips him into the corner and flips around into an elbow. Evans hits a fisherman buster and goes up top, he hits a perfect 630 splash onto the knees of Alex Shelley. Shelley grabs Evans on the top and leaps off and Evans lands on his neck. Shelley pins him for the 3.
Jack Evans has been eliminated.
Rave is choking Roddy with his boots on the top rope but Rod power bombs him to the mat. Shelley connects with a dropkick to the face of Aries in the corner. Rave stops a double team by Rod and Aries, crotches Aries up top and spears Roderick. Super kick by Shelley to Aries, Rave goes for the Pedigree but Aries powers out but Aries gets a Shell-Shock and Roderick makes the save. Rave hits Guaniriea on Aries but only gets a 2.
Prince Nana sees that it’s safe to enter the cage and goes for the big butt to the face. But Aries pulls Rave in the way, Nana doesn’t see and runs to the opposite corner to connect with Roderick but connects with Shelley by mistake and doesn’t know.
As announcer Prazak says “You fool Prince Nana, you fool!” Shelley and Rave try to help Nana but they end up colliding. Roderick hits two original back breakers and flips him over for a third. Picks him up for a 4th, a 5th! The STRONG HOLD! (Boston crab) Aries DDT’s Alex onto the chair twice followed by a Brain buster through the chair for a 3 count! Rave taps out!
Alex Shelley and Jimmy Rave have been eliminated.
Prince Nana tries to escape the cage but Aries and Roderick start going to work on Nana. Huge back breaker to Nana. 450 splash by Aries to Nana!
1, 2, 3!
Prince Nana has been eliminated!
Winners: Generation Next.
Post Match: The other members of Generation Next come out to the ring and celebrate.
Promo by Samoa Joe: The Samoan submission machine asks why Jay, why?
End of show
The Inside Pulse
The Blade-Kazie/Dunn Marcos match was a great opener minus some minor botching by Dunn (I guess they’re called the Ring Crew Express for a reason).
Serious Colt is pretty awesome, it’s great to see him pull of his great wrestling without the humor for once.
Rickey Reyes just totally made the ROH Students look like jobbers, but who cares?
Better selling from Rocky would be appreciated.
LOL at Julius Smokes throwing water at a random fan after the match.
Great promo by Alex Shelley, short but very emotional.
Joe’s selling is awesome in his match. Lethal’s mid-match heel turn made me mark.
Corino’s entrance is a massive entity that takes weeks to finish and months to comprehend. But his music makes up for it. Who else has the coho nays to have their theme an epic opera theme turn into a dance remix?
Roderick Strong has, by far, the hardest chop in professional wrestling.
Jack Evans is inhuman.
Overall, this was one hell of a show. From top to bottom I was thoroughly entertained. It had a bit of everything: Great tag action, excellent singles match, insane hardcore match and the cage. The Homicide/Corino match was good which surprised me because Homicide really messed up his shoulder early in the match. However he covered it well with gross out fork stabbing. This show is probably a bit overlooked by some, most only know it from the cage match(and reasonably so), but the full card is solid and there isn’t a dull moment. I’d definitely recommend this for an ROH fan who wants to see one of the older shows.
-At some points during the opener, Dunn looks confused and it kinda shows in his botching.
– Rickey Reyes demolishing the entire ROH Student roster. Couldn’t he have just had a match?
– Steel Cage Warfare
– Homicide fork usage.
– Jason Blade winning
– Lethal turning heel.
– Reasons for not having an Abyss promo.
You can get many shows like this at www.rohwrestling.com (they’re currently having a 10 dollar DVD sale!). However, this show in particular sold out on the 21st of January, but I’m sure it’ll be in stock soon!