ROH DVD Review: Race to the Top Tournament Night 1, 7/27/07

Back story: Ring of Honor needed a replacement to fill in the spots left by Samoa Joe and Homicide’s departure. So they created a 16 man, two night tournament in which the winner would be rewarded with a main event spot and a challenge for the ROH championship. Also it is the return of Austin Aries to ROH. Aries was contracted to TNA for quite some time after ROH announced their PPV deal. Now that Aries quit TNA, he’s back and wants vengeance on Roderick Strong.


The Card:

Race to the Top Tournament Roud 1 Matches:
BJ Whitmer vs Pelle Primeau
Davey Richards vs Jigsaw
Claudio Castagnoli vs Hallowicked
Matt Sydal vs Mike Quackenbush
Chris Hero vs Erick Stevens
Delirious vs El Generico
Jack Evans vs Kevin Steen

FIP World Heavyweight Championship:
Roderick Strong (c) vs Austin Aries vs Jimmy Rave vs Gran Akuma

ROH World Tag Team Championship:
The Briscoes (c) vs Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness

The Show:

We open up to a El Steenerico promo. Kevin Steen tells us that he was disappointed at first when hearing about the race, but then he found out it’s not an actual race, but a tournament of matches. All the while making sure he’s more on camera than Generico is. Gabe, if you’re reading this, Steen + ROH World Title = DVD buys.

BJ Whitmer vs Pelle Primeau:

Whitmer tries to scare Pelle and tries to charge at him, but alas, Pelle falls to his back and pulls down the middle rope, dumping Whitmer to the outside. Whitmer gets distracted by a ROH student graduate on the outside and harasses him for awhile, as he turns Pelle runs on the apron and dropkicks Whitmer down.

Pelle slides BJ back in and springboard head scissors him for two. Pelle tries a whip but BJ is to big for it, and gets sent into the ropes lifted high overhead and slammed down. BJ hangs Pelle sternum first on the top rope and hits him with a running knee strike. BJ starts using his power advantage to use with a back breaker, fall away slam combo for a two.

BJ chops away at Double P in the corner and pins him for a two. Whitmer climbs up top and yet again gets distracted by the ROH student Rhett Titus that is doing absolutely nothing, Pelle takes advantage of this and pushes Whitmer into a Ball Fall on the top rope, rolls Whitmer in a small package for a tw……a three. Yes you read that right, Pelle just beat Whitmer, clean.
Winner: Pelle Primeau by a miracle

Post Match: Pelle body surfs around the crowd and BJ runs over and drags him out. BJ power bombs Primeau into the turnbuckle and big boots him. God Pelle sells good. Whitmer continues the assult with a brain buster as the crowd chants “BJ blew it”

Promo by Claudio Castagnoli: Double C tells us that he’s ready to take it to the top and that Sweet and Sour INC better watch out.

Davey Richards vs Jigsaw

Davey shows no remorse in spitting on Jigsaw to start the match. The two lock fists and test each others strength until Jigsaw goes down, kicks an arm away and wrenches Davey’s other arm back. Davey rolls through and drops Jigsaw down, and clenches his arm. The two chain some more, Jigsaw catches Davey’s delayed kick and rolls him through into the ropes and Davey reverses, Jigsaw comes back, twirls around DR and brings him down with two arm drags. Saw continues the quick pace with a hurricarana and back body drop. A botched dropkick to the outside to Davey, Davey falls through the ropes instead. Jigsaw suicide dives over the ropes and onto the floor as Davey moves away in time.

Richards brings him and delivers a nice chop and kick combo. A devistating shoulder breaker to Jigs followed up by a kick to the elbow. DR runs Jigsaw chest first into the turnbuckle, gets back to the opposite corner and rushes back to Jigs for a dropkick. Jigsaw reverses a few holds and brings David to the mat with a nice enzugeri. Jigsaw is taking the match, even though he only has one arm to work with. Saw continues the assault with a great tornado DDT for a near fall. Davey starts fighting back, tries the DR driver but Jigsaw escapes. Saw tries a victory roll but Davey doesn’t roll through and almost gets the pin fall. A great German suplex by Davey and rolls into the Kimora arm hold for the tap out victory,
Winner: Davey Richards by submission

Promo by The Resilience(Austin Aries, Erick Stevens, Matt Cross): We open to see Aries holding basketballs and saying that no one has ever questioned the size of his balls. Right. Anyway he encourages Stevens and Cross to win the tournament and begins calling out Roderick. He says that Roderick Strong is done for and that FIP title is his.

Claudio Castagnoli vs Hallowicked

Ay! Claudio and Hallowicked go through the motions, Double C noticably on top. The two criss cross against the ropes several times before Hallowicked leaps through and over Claudio for an arm drag, ‘Wicked follows up with a kick to the sternum in between the ropes and a leap frog school boy. Claudio and Wicked exchange again, Wicked gets monkey flipped onto his feet, and this time it’s Claudio with the arm drag.

Double C leaps onto the 2nd turnbuckle and nails Wicked with a diving uppercut. Claudio jumps over Hallowicked only to be school boy’ed mid-air for a two. Claudio gains the advantage and gets in the big swing! Hallowicked is a bit Delirious (sorry, had to) and Claudio takes advantage of it with a nice gut wrench suplex from the mat. Attempt at a whip is reversed by Wicked and Claudio leaps onto the 2nd rope but is thrown head first off by the masked man. Two arm drags and a head scissors from Wicked followed up by a huge boot to the face for a near fall. Castagnoli works his way back by reversing an arm drag into a swinging face plant. Alpimari Water Slide to Wicked for a very close two. Claudio misses a double kick, Wicked gets in a sky high for a 2.

Claudio gets rolled up but rolls backwards out of it, goes into it forwards, wraps up Hallowickeds arms and lifts him up for a Ricola bomb for the win.
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli by pin. Ay!

Mike Quackenbush vs Matt Sydal

Sweet and Sour INC have more important things to go through and Sweeny knows that Quack is a pushover (he’s not) so Sydal is in it alone tonight.

Sydal and Quack try and outwrestle each other for the first few minuets with Quack getting on top more than Sydal. The two quicken the pace and again, Quack delivers more than recieves, ending with a flip senton dive over the top to Sydal on the floor. Back in the ring, Quack puts Sydal in one of his nifty submissions. Sydal escapes and gets Quack into a submission of his own. Sydal slams Quack down several times and hits his cannonball leg drop for a two. Sydal continues the offense with his turnbuckle combo for a two and goes right into another submission. Sydal goes for the standing moon sault but Quack puts up his legs in time. Sydal recovers before Quack though and the two battle over a vertical suplex with Quack winning the exchange.

Quackenbush gets a second wind going and assaults Sydal with chops and a head butt, ending with a springboard double knee stomp to the standing Sydal. Quack continues his speedy offense and cradels Sydal for a near fall. Quack sets up for a Tornado DDT but Sydal rolls out and hits a hurricarana. Sydal goes for his reverse ddt into a leg drop move but Quack reverses into a reverse DDT into a package chin breaker for a near fall. Quack hits a face first full nelson but Sydal again kicks out.

Quack open hand slaps Sydal, which only gets him angry. Sydal with an enzuguri, clothesline off the ropes, jumping DDT and rolls out onto a standing moon sault! Only two though. Sydal hits Quack with a pump handle slam driver and goes up top for a shooting star, lands on his feet, Quack puts him in the BTS and crucifix pins him for the win.
Winner: Mike Quackenbush by pin.

Erick Stevens vs Chris Hero

Usual Hero antics before the match, which is a good thing, and the match begins. Hero taking control of the inexperienced but strong Stevens early on. Stevens manages to power out of most of Hero’s offense however his inexperience always leaves an opening for Hero to get back on top. Hero delivers a kick to Stevens and begins his insane taunting that includes jumping over the top rope onto the apron to the floor and doing jumping jacks. Stevens had enough and shoulder blocks Hero down. Hero again tries to showoff but is power slammed by Erick.

Hero takes advantage by leaping out of the ring as Stevens rushed the turnbuckle and tripping him afterwards. Sweet and Sour INC start to get involved slightly as Sara hits Stevens. Hero starts working on the leg with a nice figure four. Stevens starts to show some signs of life but all is laid to rest with a huge roaring elbow by Hero. Hero begins to toy around with Stevens, gently tapping his head with the foot. Stevens turns into John Cena and begins no selling everything Hero dishes out, the two trade off elbows but Hero gets the win there and taunts about it. Stevens turns him around and nails the TKO.

Both men back on their feet and it’s Stevens knocking Hero down with various blows, backing him up into the corner. Choo Choo to Hero! Jackhammer, but Hero kicks out. Hero starts fighting back and takes off the elbow crowd, poses for the crowd, but that allows Stevens to rack him up in a pump handle power bomb for 2 and 7/8ths. Hero sent onto the apron as Erick follows. Stevens tries for a brainbuster on the apron but Hero squirms back into the ring and cravat neck breakers Erick through the 2nd rope for a two. Hero goes up top but Stevens crotches him. Both men trade off head butts until Hero forearms him down to the canvas. Hero leaps off for the double stomp for a near fall. Hero’s Welcome is reversed into a German suplex by Stevens and intro a Sarasota Screwdriver (resembles a Michinoku driver but the one who takes the move lands on their head, not the spine) 1, 2, Larry Sweeny interrupts the ref.

Stevens goes in hot pursuit of Sweet and Sour INC, as they run he corners Bobby Dempsey in the ring, Hero from behind and hits the Hero’s Welcome for the victory.
Winner: Chris Hero by heel tactics.

Promo by Delirious: Classic Deliriouism. Basically he is going to go to the top and that he was a former survivor of the fittest, and made Bryan Danielson tap out among other things. He insults El Generico and his Ole’s and that he’s going to win tonight and walk away with the trophy tomorrow.

FIP World Heavyweight Championship:
Roderick Strong (c) vs Austin Aries vs Gran Akuma vs Jimmy Rave

Aukma and Rave work the ring while Austin fights with Roddy on the outside. Roddy slides back in and tries to hit Akuma but his speed is to fast for Roderick. Whip to the turnbuckle and a spear to Rave, missile dropkick to Roddy by Austin. Lenny Lenord asks Prazak if he’s rooting for Rave or not. Prazak insists his goals in ROH are differen’t than his in FIP.

Suicide dive to Roddy by Aries, followed by one by Akuma. All four men on the outside. Akuma is the first to roll Aries into the ring. Akuma reverses the Brian buster to a German. Yoshitonic to Aries but only gets 2. Aries man ups and hits the brain buster to Akuma and goes up for the 450. Rave stops him and goes up top. Aries fights him off but Akuma goes up now. Aries dumps him down and attempts again but now Roddy pushes him off and Aries gets his throat caught on the top rope and falls to the mat. Roddy runs over for a pin and Rave and Akuma run over to help in the pin and Aries is the first eliminated.

Akuma taking advantage with kicks to Roddy and Rave. Jimmy revers into the Heel Hook. Akuma taps.

Roderick Strong and Rave exchange chops, not a smart idea on Rave’s part. The two battle on the apron and Rave demolishes Roddy with a rock bottom onto the apron. Fans even start chanting for Rave! Jump swinging DDT to Rave for a near fall. Attempts the Pedigree but Strong reverses, running big boot, gut buster, back breaker all on Rave, but only gets 2. Three back breakers by Strong and Rave blocks the torture rack back breaker but Strong throws him down and gets the Strong Hold for the submission.
Winner and still champion: Roderick Strong

Becky Bayless (SCHWING!!!) interviews Jack Evans: Evans goes intro a flash back, Lost style, and tells us that he acknowledges that all of Generation Next made it to the top except him, and he had to go to Japan for that. But now that he’s back in ROH he’s ready to take it to the top.

Delirious vs El Generico

Generico is a bit taken aback by Delirious’ stillness in the corner and dances around him, much to the delight of the crowd. He shakes the hand and backs off. The bell sounds and Delirious snaps. Delrious has early control with his very unorthodox style that confuses the generic luchador. Gererico starts to use his speed now with several arm drags and doesn’t let up with back breakers. Generico hits the split legged moon sault. Generico leaps off the top rope and into a head butt by Delirious. The Green D picks him up in a fireman’s carry and slams him chest first. A huge head first ramming into the turnbuckle on Generico. Delirious tickles Generico into a stretching submission and begins a slower pace now that he’s in control by far.

Generico ends Delirious’ reign over the match with a tornado DDT. Split legged Asie moon sault to the outside on Delirious. Generico hits a big splash from the top to the bottom but only gets a 2. Generico misses the Yakuza Kick and Delirious nails his clotheslines. Bizzaro Driver for a near fall. Deleirious tries the Cobra Clutch several times but each time Generico gets out of it. Panic Attack to Generico, followed by Shadows Over Hell for a two count.

A slug fest begins, big boot by Generico followed by a Yakuza Kick, and another in the corner. Delirious stumbles out and gets Brain Bustered for the three.
Winner: El Generico by pin.

Brent Albright vs Matt Cross

Albright and Cross try to out wrestle one another. Cross using his speed and Albright using power. Cross having a decidedly large control of the match, flipping out of everything Albright is trying to hit him with. Cross somersault jumps out of the ring onto Albright. It’s been ALL Matt Cross this match. Albright power outs of a pin but Cross lands back onto Albright with an armbar. Albright reverses a clothesline with a divorce court (arm/shoulder slam). Brent begins to use his power to work on the arm of Cross even getting his finisher armbar in but into a rope break. German suplex into a slam into a Half Nelson Suplex. Albright could have won but picks Cross back up. Military Press into the Crowbar and Matt Cross submits almost instantly.
Winner: Brent Albright by submission.

Kevin Steen vs Jack Evans

Steen goes for the Package Piledriver two seconds into the match but Evans flips out of it and uses his insane speed to flip and fly onto and over Steen. 30 seconds into the match Evans already twisted more times than the ending to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Steen whips Evans into the railing and cannonballs into him. Steen takes Jack around the outside and chops him. Jack gets whipped but leaps onto the top of the raining and nails a whisper in the wind.

Twisting body press onto Steen on the inside for a near fall. Steen slams Evans down, spins around three times and stomps, mocking Evans. Steen in total control, even having time to do some sit ups. Evans springboard backflip elbows Steen. Big rotating kick to Steen’s head. Jack goes up top but Steen catches him and dumps him down hard for a near fall. Steen goes up top but Evans stops him but gets toss down. Steen delivers a perfect swanton bomb onto the back of Jack for a near fall.

Steen goes up top for a moon sault but gets crotched on the top rope. Jack kicks him into a tree of woe and double knee stomps Steen for a near fall. Jack goes back up top but it’s Steen’s turn to get crotched. Evans botch slams Steen down(at least it looked good!) and does a 630 splash for the win.
Winner: Jack Evans by pin.

ROH World Tag Team Championship:
The Briscoes (c) vs Nigel McGuinness & Bryan Danielson

This certainly is an all-star main event match. Best wrestler in the world and the best pure wrestler in the world vs the best tag team in the world.

Nigel and Mark start it off, Mark slightly over Nigel. Blind tag by Jay and the advantage goes to the Briscoes. Double shoulder block to Nigel. Danielson asks if he needs to take care of it for Nigel, and tags in. Danielson does what he does best, out wrestle whoever is in the ring with him. Mark tags to Jay. Jay fights off Danielson’s offense but Bryan manages to dropkick out. Danielson brings him down into an armbar but in comes Mark and the Briscoes land a double rock bottom, Mark hits a Hayabusa style springboard splash, in comes Nigel with throat chops and uppercuts. Briscoes take advantage. Cross body to the outside on Nigel by Mark. Jay with a gord buster to Bryan, Mark goes Japanese on Nigel but Nigel lariats him. Bryan slams down Jay in the ring.

Dragon and McGuinness start working together. Danielson gets the Mexican surfboard onto Jay, and Nigel goes off the ropes and dropkicks Jay. Dragon has to say it aloud, showing their inexperience as a tag team. Danielson secures a commanding control with a bridged slam. Nigel gets tagged and begins his arm work on Jay. Nigel locks in this crazy double arm submission that would tap anyone out in any other situation. Nigel lariats Jay and carries him to the corner, attempts a Tower of London but Jay fights out and pushes Nigel away. McGuinness rushes back and crotches Jay again and this time nails the Tower of London but Mark breaks it up, Danielson comes in to toss him out and gets tagged in.

Danielson puts Jay up top and hits a belly to back superplex for a very close near fall. Danielson gets in the cross face chicken wing. But Mark leaps off the top before Jay taps. Jay tags in Mark and Mark misses a springboard. Mark goes to work on both Nigel and Danielson. Mark moon saults onto Danielson and lifts him over head. Danielson locks in Cattle Mutilation and then brings down the elbows and brings him back down to Cattle Mutilation but Jay leaps off the top to break it.

Danielson tags out, as well as Mark. Nigel beats down Jay but in comes Mark with his Japanese chops and shots. Nigel downs Mark and lariats Jay down. Another HUGE lariat as Jay was crotched on the top rope. Danielson misses a dive to the outside Nigel lifts up Jay for the Tower of London but Mark stops him and they hit a leg drop side slam combo for a near fall. Jawbreaker lariet reversed into an exploder as Nigel lands really hard onto the neck. Mark rushes Nigel but Jay puts him in a death valley driver position, Mark double stomps, DVD, and a splash by Mark but only gets a two count.

Superplex by Danielson to Jay the same time as Mark star presses off the top onto Nigel’s knees. Roaring elbow by Danielson but Jay ducks and it nails McGuinness, Jay covers for the win!
Winners and still champions: Jay and Mark Briscoe by pin.

End of Show


-No match is “bad”, since there are so many matches in the first round most were kept short and didn’t have a chance to have any filler.

– Kevin Steen break dancing

– ROH World Tag Title Match


– FIP World Title Four Way. Aries should have been eliminated cheaply yes, but not the first one or the way he was.

– Race to the Top Tournament logo coming up and exploding every single match thats in the tournament. It got annoying by the fourth match.


The show itself is good, I’d recommend it but then again I’d recommend about 90% of ROH shows. But it’s really only must have if you’re an avid collector that “MUST HAVE THEM ALL” (like me) or if you have a sick fetish of tournaments (like me), or if you want to have the full tourney weekend (like me). The ROH World Tag Title is the gem of this show, while other greats include Sydal/Quackenbush, and Evans/Steen.

Again, it’s skippable, but not a bad show at all.

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