Once again we open with a short hype video for the main event, which is an addition to the DVDs I really like. No other promos, letâ€™s go to the ring. Dave Prazak and Chris Hero are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Petey Williams vs. Rhett Titus
They go back and forth for a bit to start. Titus hits a nice dropkick but decides to rub his balls on Williamsâ€™ head instead of going for a cover, so Williams fires up and claims the advantage. They continue going back and forth but Williams stays one step ahead. Williams goes for the Canadian Destroyer but Titus senses it and bails to the floor. He goes out after Titus, but when he tries to get back in the ring with a springboard move Titus catches him with a Samoan Drop. Titus goes to work now, weathering all of Peteyâ€™s comeback attempts and hitting a kick to the face for two. He locks on a sleeper but Williams breaks it with a jawbreaker. Titus goes for a powerbomb and Williams counters that with a DDT. Williams is on fire now, and once again goes for the Canadian Destroyer. Titus counters it once again, but then charges into the corner and gets dumped to the floor. Williams follows him out with a slingshot assisted Frankensteiner. Back in the ring Williams goes up top, but Titus counters with the Super Sex Factor for two. Williams comes back with the Canadian Leg Sweep and a crucifix for two. He hits an enziguiri to the face for another two-count. The cut on Titusâ€™s head from a few shows ago has been reopened. Titus goes up top for a Frog Splash and misses, and Williams tries another Canadian Destroyer, but Titus blocks it and drops Williams on his head. Williams counters a powerbomb attempt with one of his own, and this time hits the Canadian Destroyer for the win at 8:59. The match wasnâ€™t terrible, but Williams sold almost nothing and pretty much made Titus look like a jobber. Not that Iâ€™m the biggest fan of Titus, but beating jobbers isnâ€™t impressive â€“ beating a competitive opponent is.
MATCH #2: Six Man Mayhem â€“ Silas Young vs. Alex Payne vs. Rasche Brown vs. Sal Rinauro vs. Grizzly Redwood vs. Kyle Oâ€™Reilly
No intros for this one. Rinauro starts the match by attacking Payne, and away we go. Young soon gets his shots in on Payne, as they have a little issue dating back to the last Chicago show. The action is already getting pretty fast, and everyone is coming in and out of the ring since no tags are necessary. Rinauro and Young double-team Redwood, causing Brown to come into the ring for the first time and beat up both of them. All five guys get together to dump Brown to the floor, but he skins the cat and gets back in the ring, only to get dumped to the apron again. Payne and Oâ€™Reilly try to suplex him back in the ring, but instead he suplexes both of them to the floor! We wind up with Brown and Redwood in the ring, and the littlest lumberjack tries valiantly, but gets dumped to the floor. Young reenters the ring with a missile dropkick on Brown, but soon he too is tossed to the floor by the Skull Krusher. Everyone except Brown is on the floor now, and Brown soon remedies that with a superman dive over the ropes, wiping everyone out. Redwood and Oâ€™Reilly wind up back in the ring first, and Redwood hits a 619 and a Tornado DDT for two. Young gets back in the ring and goes to work on Redwood but canâ€™t quite put him away. Payne comes back in with a diving hurricanrana off the top rope. He hits Young with Diamond Dust but Rinauro breaks up the pin. Young and Payne go to the floor, leaving Rinauro alone in the ring with Brown. Not one to waste time, Brown hits the Burning Hammer to get the pin at 8:03. That was fun, and I certainly donâ€™t mind these matches as a showcase for guys trying to find their personalities and get over with the crowd. Rasche Brown is doing exactly that.
Nigel McGuinness Farewell
McGuinness gives a classy speech about his memories of Ring of Honor in and out of the ring. He thanks everyone, and really goes out on a high note. Looking back on how much Nigel McGuinness did in ROH, he really was a huge part of the company and this was a great way for him to (almost) go out.
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MATCH #3: The House of Truth vs. Brent Albright & Bobby Dempsey
Christin Able and Albright start the match for their respective teams. Albright seems to be disinterested as he locks Able in a headlock and then takes him down with a shoulderblock. He makes the tag to Dempsey, and Able runs away in fear to tag Josh Raymond into the match. Raymond tries a headlock but Dempsey gets out of it and knocks Raymond down with a shoulderblock. Dempsey hits a couple of bodyslams and continues to look lost as a wrestler. How much training has this guy had? Raymond tags Able back in the match, and they try to work Dempsey over, but they canâ€™t overcome Dempseyâ€™s terrible looking offense. Albright is back in now, working over Raymond. They cut the ring in half briefly, but Raymond comes back and tags Able. Dempsey and Albright quickly take over on him as well. Albright hits a cross body off the top for a two-count. Raymond makes a blind tag and the House of Truth gets the advantage. That doesnâ€™t last too long, as Albright makes the hot tag to Dempsey. Raymond tries to enter the ring illegally with a cross body block off the top rope, but he literally bounces off the massive Dempsey. Seconds later Dempsey hits Raymond with a Death Valley Driver and the referee counts two even though Raymond is obviously not the legal man in the ring. Dempsey tags Albright back in and he throws both Able and Raymond to the floor. Albright goes for a dive but Truth Martini hooks the leg, so Dempsey hits a somersault cannonball off the apron. Dempsey throws Able back in the ring with Albright, and Able quickly gets locked in the Crowbar. Raymond breaks it up and the match is breaking down here. Able hits a move on Albright that is definitely not a Death Valley Driver but Hero calls it that anyway. Raymond follows up with a beautiful Sky Twister Press for two. Dempsey gets back in the ring and all four men are in now. Martini jumps in the ring to interfere and Albright slaps him right back to the floor. Albright hits Raymond with the Half Nelson Suplex to get the pin at 12:24. The House of Truth looked great but Dempsey is atrocious and Albright is dead weight.
MATCH #4: Dog Collar Match â€“ Jimmy Rave vs. Necro Butcher
The video package for this match includes footage from Manhattan Mayhem III when Rave had Butcher in the Heel Hook and Colt Cabana made the save, and then from last nightâ€™s show when they brawled around the building. That doesnâ€™t make this look like much of a feud to have a Dog Collar match over, but I do like the idea of highlight videos. Oh, I also like that they show a brief clip of Raveâ€™s Dog Collar match with CM Punk way back at the original Manhattan Mayhem. Prince Nana comes out first without Jimmy Rave, and says that he will fight the Dog Collar match himself! Butcher seems more than happy to oblige. Of course itâ€™s all a ruse, as Rave attacks from behind to officially start the match. Obviously Rave takes the first advantage, as the referee canâ€™t make him put the collar on, but Rave instead uses it to bloody Butcherâ€™s head. This one looks like a foregone conclusion as Rave is just decimating Butcher, working over the cut on his head and otherwise abusing him. Grizzly Redwood comes to ringside to try and give Butcher some barefooted, bearded support. Butcher comes back with a baseball slide and then uses the chain for a low blow. He uses the ring post, the chain, and the guardrail to get back at Rave. The fight spills into the crowd and up into the bleachers, and Rave is bleeding now as well. Butcher goes for a cover as I and the commentators just now realize that itâ€™s falls count anywhere. Thatâ€™s really something the commentators should know. The fight continues in the bleachers, as Nana and Redwood follow. Eventually they make their way back to ringside, and Butcher throws a trash can at Rave. Butcher and Redwood set up the barricade between the ring apron and another section of barricade. Back in the ring Nana grabs Butcherâ€™s leg to distract him and Rave cracks a chair on Butcherâ€™s head for a two-count. Rave sets Butcherâ€™s ankle on a chair and hits a senton off the second rope on it. That was certainly unique. Rave goes for the Heel Hook but Butcher reaches the ropes, which really should mean nothing. He goes for Greetings from Ghana, but Butcher backdrops him onto the aforementioned guardrail. Redwood helps Butcher by tossing some chairs in the ring, and Butcher sets them up back to back. Butcher goes for a backbreaker but Rave blocks it and hits an STO for two. Rave once again goes for the Heel Hook and Butcher uses the chain to break the hold. Butcher hits the Tiger Driver but it only gets two. He then wraps the chain around Raveâ€™s face and pulls back, and Rave taps out at 18:11. That was a surprisingly entertaining match, a brutal brawl that was the best thing in this feud by far.
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Bret Hart Appearance
Hart gets a rousing ovation. He puts over his match with Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13. He keeps it short and sweet, putting over Ring of Honor and thanking the fans. He makes his way around ringside on his way out, shaking as many hands as possible.
MATCH #5: Dark City Fight Club vs. The Young Bucks
The DCFC attack right away but the Bucks weather the storm with their quickness. They go at it for about 30 seconds before the referee calls for the bell. The Bucks are all over both Jon Davis and Kory Chavis, as the referee doesnâ€™t bother much with keeping one man in the ring on either side. Chavis uses his power to take advantage on Nick, and then he makes the tag to Davis. Nick tries to fight back but he gets overpowered and hurled over the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring the DCFC continue to dominate the much smaller Nick. Hero goes into how Chavis is the mastermind of the duo, while Davis is simply the muscle. Thatâ€™s a welcome addition to the DCFC characters, and makes them more than two huge tough dudes. After several minutes of abuse Nick gets some desperation offense and makes the hot tag to his brother. Matt is a house afire, hitting a bulldog on Chavis, and Hero says the move was made famous by Dustin Rhodes but Iâ€™m pretty sure others made it famous before him. The match breaks down to a brawl, as Nick seems fully recovered. Davis nails Nick with a Pounce, and then hits Matt with a Rack Bomb for two! DCFC hits Matt with the Greater Good but it only gets two. The Bucks come back and try More Bang for Your Buck but Davis avoids it. The DCFC try to hit Matt with the Project Mayhem, but Matt counters with a Frankensteiner into a rollup to get the pin at 11:21! The Bucksâ€™ selling completely comes and goes, but overall this was a good big guys versus little guys match.
MATCH #6: Grudge Match â€“ Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli
This is being called a Grudge Match, but I canâ€™t actually remember what the grudge is. Bobby Cruise calls it a â€œspecial challengeâ€ match. Thankfully they show video footage from the End of an Age show, where Castagnoli and Cabana were brawling in the crowd and Castagnoli pushed Cabanaâ€™s father down. Well now I know. Castagnoli has added a glove slap to his pre-match repertoire, and I wholeheartedly approve. For facing a guy that abused his father, Cabana doesnâ€™t seem to be particularly angry, just doing all of his usual comedy antics. Castagnoli counters with his serious wrestling and power moves, and Iâ€™m starting to think Castagnoli may be the most talented overall worker in ROH right now. Cabana fights back with a quebrada and both men are down. They rise and start trading punches (Boom! Hey!), and Cabana gets control with a series of elbows. Cabana hits the Flying Apple and a lariat for two. He gets a couple of near-falls, and Castagnoli comes back with a one armed powerbomb for two, and then the UFO for another two-count. Castagnoli hits a Bicycle Kick that sends Cabana to the floor. Back in the ring Castagnoli hits the Ricola Bomb but Cabana is able to grab the bottom rope. Castagnoli throws a tantrum and grabs a chair. When the referee takes it from him and turns his back, he hits a low blow on Cabana for a one-count? Cabana gets up and reveals that heâ€™s wearing a protective cup. He throws the cup to Sinclair, who obviously gets rid of it, and when his back is turned Cabana returns the favor with a low blow of his own to get the pin at 9:11. Cabanaâ€™s antics just donâ€™t do it for me, especially when theyâ€™re billing it as a Grudge Match and he just does all the same old stuff. Itâ€™s also a shame to see Castagnoli have to job so unceremoniously after the great match he had last night.
MATCH #7: ROH World Tag Team Title Match â€“ The American Wolves vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe
This was originally scheduled as a non-title match, but that just didnâ€™t sit well with Jay, so he challenges them to put the belts on the line. ROH President Cary Silkin agrees with the Briscoes, and now we have a title match on our hands. The Wolves have been the champions since 4.10.09, and this is their eighth defense. They are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. The Briscoes attack right away and have all the momentum on their side. Edwards is the unfortunate Wolf who gets stuck in the Briscoesâ€™ half of the ring. They work him over a bit, until Edwards hits a jawbreaker and tags Richards. Jay picks up where he left off with Edwards and they start beating up Richards now. Neither Jay nor Mark seems interested in selling any Wolf offense in these opening minutes. Of course as soon as I type that, the Wolves take over on Mark, who continues trying to fight back. Mark avoids a double-team maneuver and makes the tag to Jay. The Wolves try to double-team Jay but that doesnâ€™t go well for them. Jay hits Richards with a Death Valley Driver for two. The Wolves recover and Richards locks Jay in a Texas Cloverleaf, and Mark comes in to break it up. They continue to work Jay over in their half of the ring for several minutes, keeping Jay away from his brother. Of course at some point Jay decides to stop selling and makes the tag to Mark, who comes in a house afire. He nails Edwards with a Fisherman Buster for two. He follows up with a Super Ace Crusher for another near-fall. He goes for the Cutthroat Driver but Edwards reverses it to a belly-to-back suplex, and Richards gets the tag. Mark tries a Uranage but Richards counters with a victory roll for two. Richards comes back with a handspring enziguiri while Mark stands there waiting for it. The Wolves finally go after Markâ€™s previously injured knee. Edwards hits a super duper Frankensteiner and Richards locks him in the Texas Cloverleaf. Jay tries to break the hold and Richards spits in his face. Everybodyâ€™s up now and throwing kicks and strikes, and all four eventually go down. Jay and Edwards wind up as the legal men in the ring, and Jay hits a big clothesline for two. The Wolves come back with double-teaming and Edwards locks Jay in the Half Crab until Mark breaks it up. They go for the superkick / German Suplex combo but Jay avoids it and hits the Jay Driller! Richards breaks up the pin, but then gets dumped to the floor. The Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device, but Richards breaks it up by dropkicking Paul Turner in the face. Thatâ€™s enough for the disqualification at 18:07. The match was a lot of fun in spots, but it was pretty much just that, spots. Selling was really nowhere to be found, and the rules came and went as they saw fit. Still, to see four guys completely kick the crap out of each other it was pretty entertaining.
MATCH #8: Main Event â€“ ROH World Title Match â€“ Austin Aries vs. Bryan Danielson
They show a nice hype video detailing the history between these two men. It should have been longer actually, but I like these videos. Aries has been the champion since 6.13.09, and this is his sixth defense. The crowd is totally behind Danielson. They take it to the mat early on and Aries bails. Back in the ring they engage in a test of strength, and then they trade monkey flips. They break that and Aries hits a couple of armdrags and locks on an armbar. Danielson escapes and hits a dropkick, and then goes to the headlock. He tries the airplane spin but Aries slips out and goes for the surfboard, which Danielson kicks out of. Aries tries a leap frog but Danielson sweeps his leg and then shows Aries how the surfboard is done. Danielson is firmly in control at this point, until he goes for the super belly-to-back suplex and Aries dumps him to the floor and follows out with a double ax handle. Back in the ring Aries takes control and locks on the Stump Puller (really). Moments later Danielson comes back with a series of kicks and a front chancery suplex. Danielson goes up for the missile dropkick but Aries dropkicks him out of the air. That doesnâ€™t seem to have much effect on Danielson, as he comes back with the running knee strike and then goes for Cattle Mutilation. Aries avoids it and sends Danielson to the floor. He tries the heat seeking missile but Danielson blocks it. They battle on the apron and Aries hits the IED. Back in the ring Aries gets a two-count. Aries sets Danielson up on the top rope for a superplex but Danielson shoves him down and gets a sunset flip for two! Danielson gets a backslide for two, and a schoolboy for two. They trade waistlocks and Danielson uses momentum to send Aries to the floor, and then Danielson hits a baseball slide to send Aries into the crowd. Danielson follows him out with the dive into the crowd. Back in the ring Danielson hits the missile dropkick and then a running knee to the chest for a two-count. He then locks on Cattle Mutilation, but Aries reverses it to the Last Chancery! Danielson gets out of that and hits the elbow strikes, which Aries reverses to knee strikes, and they both counter each other again! Aries weathers the blows and reverses Cattle Mutilation to a pin attempt for a very close near-fall. They start exchanging forearms, and then both go for a cross body and knock each other out. Back to their feet Aries charges at Danielson and eats a boot to the face. Danielson puts Aries up top and hits the belly-to-back superplex for a two-count. He starts kicking Aries in the head and then locks on the Triangle Choke, and Aries is able to make the ropes. Danielson goes for more kicks to the head and then goes for a Regalplex but Aries counters with the shinbreaker/back suplex combo. Aries then hits the IED and a brainbuster for two. He goes up top for the 450 but Danielson counters into the Triangle Choke! Thatâ€™s pretty damn awesome. Aries pushes forward in the hold and gets a near-fall. He gets out of the choke and lands a solid kick to the head. Danielson counters a brainbuster attempt with a small package for two. He hits a rolling elbow and goes for a Tiger Suplex, but Aries lands on his feet. Aries hits another kick to the head and a dropkick. He hits another IED and puts Danielson up top for a super brainbuster! Aries follows up with the Last Chancery and Danielson is unconscious at 24:46. These two almost always had great matches, and this one was no exception. The crowd still bought Danielson as potentially winning the title even though heâ€™s on his way out. Danielson definitely brings out the best in Aries.
Aries gets on the microphone after the match to shake Danielsonâ€™s hand and wish him luck. He then sucker punches him, thus being true to his character. Davey Richards could take a lesson.
Danielson recovers and says that since the fans already heard speeches from Nigel McGuinness and Bret Hart, he wonâ€™t be giving one himself. Just kidding â€“ he thanks the fans and puts over the company.
PRELIMINARY MATCH: The Bravado Brothers vs. Andy â€œRight Legâ€ Ridge & Tony Kozina
Ridge and one of the Bravados (I still donâ€™t know their first names, or which one would be which anyway) start the match. Ridge attacks with kicks, naturally using his right leg. He makes a quick tag to Kozina, who battled the Bravados in Dayton last night with Kyle Oâ€™Reilly as his partner. The Bravados take control of Kozina and hit a dropdown dropkick, but when one of them tries another dropkick, Kozina avoids it and makes the tag to Ridge. Unfortunately for Ridge, when he tries an elbow drop the Bravado moves out of the way, but â€œRight Legâ€ is able to maintain control thanks to an assist from his partner. They work the Bravado over in their half of the ring, using quick tags to keep a fresh man in the ring. The Bravado fights back and makes the hot tag to his brother, who has clotheslines and back elbows for everyone. He hits 10 mounted punches in the corner on Kozina, but moments later Kozina hits a springboard bulldog off the second rope to get the pin at 4:22. Iâ€™m not really sure who the Bravado Brothers are, but I donâ€™t see them ever getting off the preshow. Kozina and Ridge could get there.
Chicago has been the home of many of ROHâ€™s best shows, and this one is one of the better shows this year. The main event is terrific, the tag title match is quite good, and the dog collar match is excellent. Plus the promos by Nigel McGuinness and Bryan Danielson make this a unique event, one that I definitely recommend purchasing. You can do that Right Here.