From the UK: ROH Man Up 2007

I currently have a bunch of tapes lent to me by my friend from training Alec and this was in the pile and I’ve been wanting to watch it for a long time do I decided to do a review of it as well.

We’re in Chicago

Hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard

Naomichi Marufuji Vs Nigel McGuinness Vs Chris Hero w/ Sweet and Sour Inc.Vs Claudio Castagnoli

Nigel interrupts Prazak and Leonard to state that he’s “In it to win it” which is an awesome catchphrase. As Prazak continues to hype the show a stranger in a balaclava runs in talking about Age of the Fall but he’s then dragged off by security. Sweeney cuts a promo stating Hero will win. Marufuji and Nigel start us out and it’s time for some chain baby! That leads to a stand off and Hero demands a tag. Nigel obliges and Hero wipes his hand on his tights, which is just awesome. Hero continues with the chain wrestling but makes the mistake of taunting, allowing Claudio to tag in. Hero bails instantly of course and quickly tags out because he rules. Now it’s time for Claudio and Marufuji to do some chain. If I wrote down every counter and hold we’d be here for days but take my word for it that it all looks very cool.

In a funny spot, Marufuji and Claudio do a double face claw. Hero gets tagged in by Marufuji and attacks a down Claudio, of course he quickly bails again once Claudio starts fighting back. Now it’s back to Nigel and Claudio as they have an uppercut competition that leads to a pin sequence for the standing ovation. Hero keeps picking his spots by tagging in and jumping Claudio when he’s not looking. Yakuza Kick in the corner gets two for Hero on Claudio. Two back sentons get another near fall for Hero. Claudio starts Swissing Up and Hero bails again but Claudio follows and they brawl on the outside until Marufuji flattens them both with a plancha. Fans want a Nigel dive, so he obliges to a big pop. Back inside, Marufuji and Nigel trade strikes, with the exchange going Nigel’s way.

Marufuji fights back with a lariat for two. Sliced Bred #2 is broken up by Hero who goes to a CRAVAT!!! Amazingly, Marufuji doesn’t tap out instantly from the devastating hold. Alpawatermajiggy Waterslide gets two for Claudio on Hero. Yup, it’s definitely FINISHER MADNESS!!! More finishers are hit and broken up as the match is getting a little too hard to call. Nigel gets the Tower of London on Marufuji but Hero breaks the count. Hero gets the Cravat Cutter on Nigel and heads up for a Double Stomp that Claudio breaks at two. Claudio Switzerland Suplexes Claudio for two and it’s Giant Swing time! European Uppercut only gets two though. Marufuji blocks the Ricola Bomb with a roll up for two. Marufuji gets Claudio up for the Coast to Coast dropkick but Nigel crotches him. It’s Lariats for everyone but Claudio knocks him down and gets the Ricola Bomb on Marufuji as Hero just stops the count by grabbing the ref. hero gets knocked outside and Nigel Jaw Breaker Lariats Claudio for the win.

Time – 18:00
**** – Excellent match. A match where everything was solid and entertaining but there just wasn’t the epic big match feel that a higher rated match would have.
Bryan Danielson is backstage talking about how upset his family was about his eye injury. He cuts an awesome promo about how much wrestling means to him and he says he’s taking the belt from Morishima and the eye injury won’t stop him.

Rocky Romero Vs Matt Cross

This is the first match in a best of 3 series between the No Remorse Corps and The Resilience. Austin Aries advice to Cross is “don’t let him kick you”, can’t argue with that. Both men trade open hand chops to start. Romero bails and Cross follows him out where he shoves him into the post. Cross gets the Flag Pole Press on the outside where he balances off the post horizontally and falls on Romero. That was awesome. Back inside, Romero gets the Cross Arm Breaker but Cross makes the ropes. Romero is such a great piece of shit heel. You just want to slap him every time he gets that cocky look on his face. Cross fights back and gets the Split Legged Leg Drop for two. Standing Moonsault gets another two for Cross. Cross heads up for the Dragon Sault but Romero moves and kicks him in the head for the win

Time – 4:45
**3/4 – Solid match, everything was crisp and executed well and I love Romero’s heel act.

Austin Aries Vs Davey Richards

Aries wanted Roderick Strong but Strong was having none of that. Aries works the arm to start and then switches to a side headlock. Richards counters to a head scissors and then dodges Aries dropkick counter. To be fair you would know it was coming after seeing him do it for the 5 million times he has, good psychology. Richards tries to mock Aries elbow drop but Aries dodges and hits it for real. Richards takes over and starts working on Aries back. After getting worked over for a while, Aries tries to fight back with some forearms. A roaring elbow sends Richards outside and Aries follows with a suicide dive.

That was the snap suplex of suicide dives, Aries was like a bullet coming out of a shotgun. Richards gets the Air Spring Kick and follows with a Brain Buster for two. Richards goes for the Kawada Kicks but Aries catches his leg and gets the Shin Breaker/Back Drop combination for two. Aries heads up top but Richards stops him and gets a big German Suplex from the top for two. Aries blocks the DR Driver and goes to town on Richards in the corner with right hands. Richards dodges a dropkick and goes for the DR Driver again but Aries counters with a backslide for two. Brain Buster sets up the 450 to give Aries the win and tie the series.

Time – 13:23
***1/4 – That was great although I wish they would have just picked a part of the body and worked it instead of flip flopping to different parts.

Erick Stevens Vs Roderick Strong

Stevens is fast and furious on the offence. This is match 1 in their series of 7276. Back suplex gets two for Stevens. Not a minute in and it’s chopfest time. Stevens puts an end to that with an overhead belly to belly, causing Strong to bail. They fight on the apron where Strong back drops him. That must hurt like a bitch, it suddenly would in the Futureshock training ring. Strong beats on Stevens outside, pulling him ribs first into the post. Stevens gets some chops but Strong puts an end to that with a dropkick for two.

Fans get behind Stevens and he tries to fight back but Strong clubs him down and gets a back breaker submission. Strong gets some gunshot like chops in the corner but Stevens fights back and knocks him into the corner. Stevens gets the Ho Train and follows it with the TKO for two. Strong stops the momentum with a chin breaker and gets a suplex for two. Strong tries to get Stevens into the firemans carry but Stevens blocks it and gets a Powerslam for two. Strong blocks the Dr. Bomb and gets the Firemans Carry Back Breaker. Strong gets a terrifying back drop that looks like it kills Stevens for two. That was an All Japan quality head drop. It’s CHOPFEST TIME again but Strong stops it with a roaring elbow. Stevens gets a sit out pumphandle slam for two.

Strong sets Stevens up on the top rope for a massive superplex but Stevens no sells. Strong makes him pay by getting the half nelson back breaker but Stevens kicks out at two. Strong tries a Tiger Driver off the top but Stevens fights back with a Power Slam off the top for two. That should have been the finish. Stevens puts Strong back up to the top and goes for the Dr. Bomb but Strong fights him off and goes to town on Stevens with forearm blows to the back of the head. Stevens blocks the Half Nelson but Strong crotches him on top and gets a top rope Splash Mountain followed by a Tiger Driver 91 for the win.

Time – 16:26
***3/4 – That match was fucking awesome. I’m becoming quite a fan of Erick Stevens. I’ve liked the stuff I’d seen. They probably went a few near falls too many but I liked the story of Stevens giving it all to prove he belonged in ROH.

Meanwhile, in Hartford, Adam Pearce, Shane Haggadorn and Brent Albright beat up Delirious and try to staple his mask to his face. BJ Whitmer looks to be making the save but he turns on Delirious and they end up doing it anyway and “The Hangmen Three” is born.

ROH World Championship
Champion – Takeshi Morishima
Bryan Danielson

Story here is simple, Danielson’s eye was injured by Morishima and this is his shot at payback. Danielson refuses to shake hands and the fight is on instantly. Morishima goes to town on Danielson but he doesn’t go after the eye. Danielson looks like a low rent bond villain with his eye patch. Outside we go, where the slugfest continues going Morishima’s way. Danielson tries to fight back but Morishima is having none of that and throws him back inside. However, he makes the mistake of turning his back and Danielson flattens him with a suicide dive. Danielson unloads with forearms back inside and follows that with a running high dropkick to finally knock Morishima down.

Leonard informs us that Danielson has already lasted longer than anyone else has with Morishima on ROH Pay Per View. Danielson goes to a triangle choke to try and cut Morishima down to size but Morishima gets the ropes. He’s got till 5 referee! Danielson tries the surfboard but settles on the bow and arrow instead. Morishima rolls on top for two. Crowd is very pro Danielson here. It’s time for another forearm battle and that goes Morishima’s way. Morishima crushes Danielson on a school boy attempt and kicks his face off with a big boot. Danielson tries a sleeper on Morishima, playing up the size difference again, but Morishima powers up.

Danielson lands on his feet from a back drop driver but Morishima blocks the small package with a slam. Danielson gets a super back drop for two and it’s ELBOW TIME! Tiger Suplex only gets two so Danielson goes for the Cattle Mutilation instead. Morishima refuses to tap so Danielson adds some stomps and more elbows in a triangle choke. Morishima is all like “fuck this, that’s enough offence for you, you milky skinned tosser” and Powerbombs Danielson to counter. Lariat only gets two and Danielson gets his feet on the ropes following a Back Drop Driver. Morishima gets a clothesline in the corner and rips off the eye patch. Danielson gets the Small Package but Morishima kicks out. Morishima goes right after Danielson’s eye, going full heel in crowds eyes in the process, and the ref stops the match.

Time – 12:43
****1/2 – The psychology in this match was excellent, with Danielson getting just too close for Morishima’s comfort, meaning Morishima has to go after the eye to retain.

ROH World Tag Team Championship
Ladder Match
Champions – Briscoe’s

The brawl is on right away and if you think I’ll have any chance of doing accurate PBP for this match you’re fucking insane. Basically, this match is a big fucking brawl, with the guys pairing off and going into the crowd for chair shots and concrete falls galore. Jay is already busted open, no doubt from one of the insane chair shots. I’m not one to condone guys taking loads of unprotected chair shots but hey if that’s what they want to do to their bodies then go them. The fight finally gets in the ring for the first time as Jay and Generico go at it. Both men fight over the ladder in the corner and end up countering each others attempts.

Generico makes our first climb attempt but Mark stops him. Mark takes a ridiculously stupid move by going face first unprotected into the set up ladder. Tsk, silly redneck, who needs a fully functioning head at 40 anyway? Jay and Steen now go at it in ring, with Steen getting the better of it. Steen tries to climb but Mark stops that with a springboard dropkick. Mark now tries to climb; with fans chanting for some wrestler called “Please don’t die” is he a hot new lucha star? Briscoe’s beat on Generico inside and give him a double beal onto the set up ladder in the corner. That can only mean it’s time for the extra tall emergency Wrestlemania ladder. Jay tries to climb but Steen knocks the ladder over sending Jay back first into the fucked ladder in the corner. Okay that was fucking cool. Jay takes another bump on the ladder, this one being an overhead belly to belly. Mark tries to fight back so Steen just kicks him in the balls. Man I love Kevin Steen, and you all should too!

Generico lays Jay on the ladder and gets split legged moonsault. Steen tries whatever on Mark but he fights back and it takes Generico to make the save. Now it’s Jay’s turn to be gutsy but Generico uses the ladder to stop that. Generico kicks the ladder into Jay’s face and Steen Awesome Bombs Mark to the outside through a ladder. Steen tries to climb while Generico keeps Jay at bay but Jay fights back knocks the ladder over before spiking Generico with a vicious German Suplex. Jay now goes mental with the ladder but Steen blocks it, only for Mark to dropkick it in his face. Generico gets exploder suplexed on the ladder by Jay. Now it’s Steen’s turn as Jay gives him a DVD on the side of the ladder. Shit on a stick!!!

The Briscoe’s decide not to win and instead feel the need to inflict more punishment. They really should have just won but nope there needs to be more MOVES! Such as. Jay giving Generico a Shooting Star Press on the ladder and Mark leg dropping Steen through a table. I may have the wrong Briscoe for each move there. Mark now goes to climb but Generico recovers to stop him. Jay now calls for the stupidly large maintenance ladder as we must be nearing a fatality of some sort. Generico gets Doomsday Deviced and it looks like the public execution might be over, but as I type that it’s now Steen’s turn to recover and nail everyone with a smaller ladder.

Mark gets a few super kicks and climbs up the big ladder but Steen stops him and gives him the package piledriver off the big ladder through the smaller ladder. That looked very cool and it was probably safer than some of the other spots in this match. Speaking of which, Jay gives Generico the J-Driller on the other ladder. For old times sake, DANGEROUS!!! Jay and Steen now go at it on top of the ladder and Jay knocks Steen off to win. However, the belts won’t come off so Steen, being the trooper he is,, climbs back up for another bump allowing Jay to finally win.

Time – 27:23
****1/4 – Right, here’s the deal with this match. Sure, the spots looked cool and all four guys worked hard. The rating speaks for itself, this was a brilliant match. But the match should have ended 5 minutes earlier than it did in my opinion. For me, the match crossed a line from being a wrestling match to being watching people I like taking stupid and unnecessary bumps. What would be a match ender in WWE, simply led to a 30 second sell job in this match. Now I know Briscoe fans like THE MOVES, and no doubt enjoyed all the head drops and weapon shots but I just couldn’t enjoy it after a certain period because I was genuinely afraid for the guys in the match. Maybe it’s just because we live in a post Benoit world, but this match kind of made me feel very uncomfortable.

Post match, Tyler Black, Jimmy Jacobs and Necro Butcher attack The Briscoe’s and lay them out, forming the Age of the Fall.

So overall the Pay Per View portion of this DVD is brilliant and I think this is probably the best 2 hour pay per view I’ve ever seen, with Canadian Stampede being the only one that challenges it and that shows great in a completely different way.

Okay, on with the Bonus portion of the DVD!

First bonus feature is a much more bloody cut of the Briscoe’s beat down. Jay gets strung up above the ring and bleeds all over Jimmy Jacobs a she cuts a promo. That was pretty disgusting. If Jay has an STD than I guess the jokes on Jimmy. Fans chant “Fuck you Jimmy”. I’d rather chant “You’re not Raven”

Top of the Class Trophy
Champion – Mitch Frankin
Alex Payne

Frankin gets bonus points for coming out to “Live to Win”. Payne gets the upper hand to start. Fans are pro Payne due to him being from Chicago. Fans do the “boo” “yay” punches which I thought I’d never see in ROH. Payne gets two from a Fishermans suplex. Franklin rana’s Payne into the corner and gets a roll up for the win.

Time – 2:25
*1/4 – Barely a match

Lacey and Sara Del Ray Vs Amazing Kong and Daizee Haze

Funny bit at the start as Lacey’s music hits and one lone fan says “oh yeah Lacey” in an excited voice. It would seem like Kong is going to work face here. Kong is massively over. Lacey is hilarious yelling encouragement to Del Ray from the apron while having pretty much both feet on the steps in case of a speedy exit. Haze gets the better of Ray to syaty but gets back breakered to death and now Lacey wants in. What a shock. Haze fights back and tags in Kong causing Lacey to bail and tag Ray back in. Ray doesn’t back down but Kong no sells a kick to the gut and gets a clothesline and big splash combo for two. Kong crushes Ray in the corner and no sells some chops.

Ray, to her credit, keeps on Kong and gets his down long enough to try a cross arm breaker. Kong shoves her off so Lacey gets tagged in and that goes about as well as you’d expect. Haze comes back and drops some elbows on Lacey. Lacey’s goofy facials are really funny. Haze gets cut off in the heel corner to become hippy in peril. Lacey and Ray don’t have much chemistry as a team but they get by well enough here in the heat. After getting worked over for a while, Haze is able to get a desperation face buster but Ray drags her back just in time. Haze finally makes the tag and Kong is a House En Fuego. Kong runs wild and causes the heels to bail. Haze gets thrown over the top by Kong onto everyone. Back inside, Kong gets two on Ray with a Sit Out Powerbomb.

Spinning back fist floors Ray but the splash from the second rope is broken up by Lacey at two. Lacey gets dealt with but Ray gets a second wind and unloads with shots on Kong, flooring her with a forearm. Ray goes for a German Suplex but Kong blocks it and gets the Angels Wings for two. Ray ducks the back fist and gets the German Suplex for two. Lacey gets the tag and the heels go for a double team but Kong double clotheslines them and tags in Haze. Haze gets two on Lacey following a splash from the top. Mind Trip ends it for Haze.

Time – 14:48
*** – That was a really solid tag match. Del Ray is definitely the best American female wrestler active right now in my opinion.

Brent Albright and BJ Whitmer w/ Shane Haggadorn Vs Kenny King and Chaysn Rance w/ Valery Malone

I don’t expect this one to last too long. Albright yells “we’re gonna fuck somebody up” on his way to the ring, which would seem to confirm that. Whitmer looks like such a tool with bleached blond hair here. Whitmer and Albright just demolish Rance to start, this is definitely going to be a squash. Fans don’t care about King and Rance, so there’s not much heat here. King gets what I guess you’d call a hot tag, and actually knocks Albright outside. King slips on the top rope on a springboard attempt which I guess means he was expecting Haggadorn to trip him but Haggadorn missed his cue. Rance and King both get tortured some more and Rance gets pinned following a double spine buster.

Time – 5:19
*1/2 – For some of the cool moves Albright and Whitmer did. Haggadorn gets slapped post match and Whitmer cuts a bitter promo against the fans.

Jack Evans Vs Tyler Black

This is apparently an improtu match if the commentary is anything to go by. This would appear to be after Age of the Fall was formed earlier in the show as the announcers are acknowledging him as being part of it. Black maintains control but Evans uses the power of flips to fight back and send Black outside. This is the cue for Jacobs and Necro Butcher to come out making it 3 on 1. Evans gets triple teamed but the Irish Airborne make the save. This would appear to now be a 6 man tag. Fucking hell the group just formed in a heavy angle and you’ve got them in a match on the same show? This is like the first Manhattan Mayhem show where Jay Lethal and Samoa Joe got the crap kicked out of them by The Rottweilers only to return later for the main event. Patience guys, patience. How is an angle meant to mean something if you follow it up with a pointless match like this? Couldn’t they have done this on the next DVD rather than have a match in front of a pretty subdued crowd? Anyway there’s a massive fight and it doesn’t even have an ending as the ref just gets decked and the match sort of ends. Sorry, but I’m pretty burnt out now and there’s only one match left so I kind of want this pointless scuffle to be over. Age of the Fall are scary and use weapons, I get it.

Matt Sydal w/ Larry Sweeney Vs Delirious

This would be Sydal’s swan song before becoming Evan Bourne and jobbing to Mike Knox. Sydal cheap shots on a handshake to establish that, yes, he will be working heel here. Chain wrestling to start and that goes Delirious’ way so Sydal stalls outside. Sweeney causes a distraction and makes a nuisance of himself. Delirious wipes Sweeney out with a cannonball off the apron and chokes Sydal with some streamers as this seems to be turning into a comedy match. Back inside, back senton gets two for Delirious. Man I really shouldn’t watch ROH in big three hour blocks like this. I should have had an hour break once the pay per view section ended.

Sydal eventually gets the heat on Delirious. Fans are gone here, obviously over stimulated. It was like this when I went to see NOAH but they had the advantage of having Kenta Kobashi and Misawa in the main event. Sydal stays on Delirious and spits some water in his face. This fires Delirious up who gets some forearms but Sydal stops him and clotheslines him in the corner. Delirious counters an axe handle with a head butt and gets some clotheslines followed by a leaping lariat. Crowd starts getting back into things. Sydal gets dumped on the top rope from a fireman’s carry and goes outside. Delirious follows Sydal out with a suicide flip.

Back inside, Sydal dodges Shadows over Hell but gets hip tossed into the corner. That’s a cool spot that would work better with the old turnbuckle pads they had in ROH. Here it is Driver only gets two for Sydal. Sydal heads up but Delirious stops him, only to get head scissored and kicked in the face. They do flippy counters to stuff and Delirious gets the Panic Attack. Shadows over Hell is countered with a dropkick for the double down. Sydal lays into Delirious in the corner but Delirious blocks a rana and gets the SOH for two. Delirious gets the Cobra Clutch but Sydal counters with a leg drop across the throat for two.

DDT sets up the SSP from Sydal but Delirious moves and boots Sydal to the outside of the ring. Back in, Sydal gets a Super Rana and nails the SSP for two. Sweeney comes in the ring and yells at the ref. In a funny spot he Garvin Stomps his sports jacket and shoves the ref. Sydal goes for the Super Belly to Belly but Delirious throws him to the outside and chases Sweeney. Sydal gets two from the distraction and another two from a rana. Delirious gets a Cobra Clutch Suplex for two and follows it with the Cobra Stretch but Sydal gets the ropes. Chemical Imbalance ends it for Delirious.

Time – 21:52
***1/2 – Both men worked hard and the match was good but I’ve just had enough wrestling for one night, as had the fans.

Well, this show is fantastic but, if you’re like me, if you watch it all in one setting you will be burnt out by the end.