A2Z Analysiz: ROH Best in the World 2006 (Samoa Joe, KENTA, Bryan Danielson)

BITW 2006

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Basketball City – New York City – March 25, 2006

The “Milestone Series” was a cool concept where they actually had shows starting where the last one left off, as it was in the midst of the CZW feud. This one starts with Jimmy Bower narrating a clip from the end of “Arena Warfare,” where CZW showed up and brutalized BJ Whitmer. As a result of the disgusting attack, BJ Whitmer will not be at tonight’s show. Bower then invites the CZW guys to show up and challenge anyone on the roster face-to-face.

The March 2006 Top 5 Rankings: 5) Samoa Joe, 4) Alex Shelley, 3) Christopher Daniels, 2) Jimmy Yang, and 1) Roderick Strong.

Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard are calling the action.

MATCH #1: Jimmy Rave vs. Pelle Primeau

Rave gets toilet paper during his entrance, which is still one of my favorite things for an entrance in ROH, ever. This match is being taped for ROHVideos.com. Rave takes Primeau down and opens up on Primeau’s head with punches. He throws some chops in as well. Primeau is able to come back with a springboard cross body block for two, but Rave immediately cuts him off with a Spear. Rave then drills Primeau with the Greetings from Ghana to get the pin at 1:58. Obviously there’s not much to rate there.
Rating: *

Nana gets on the microphone and the crowd is all over him. He insults various people in the crowd to tremendous heat. He even badmouths Bruce Leroy, who is a special guest. That brings out Jimmy Yang to defend his honor, and we have an impromptu match.

MATCH #2: Jimmy Rave vs. Jimmy Yang

Rave attacks Yang before the bell and away we go. Yang fights back with a Kickflip in the corner and a superkick. He follows with a leg lariat in the corner, and since he flipped all the way over the ropes he kicks Nana in the face for god measure. That brief distraction allows Rave to take control on the floor. Back in the ring Rave tries a full nelson but Yang stomps his way out of it. Yang hits a back elbow and a standing moonsault for two. He goes to work on the arm now. Yang hits a vertical suplex for two. He charges into the corner but Rave moves out of the way and Yang this nothing but ring post. Rave wears Yang down with a chinlock and then clobbers him with a clothesline. He places Yang up top for a superplex but Yang drops him down to the canvas. Nana gets on the apron and Yang hits a spinning heel kick to knock him down. Back on their feet Yang unloads with right hands and a clothesline. Yang hits a back body drop. He tries a spinning kick but Rave ducks and hits a Spear for two. Rave follows up with the running knee strike for another two-count. Yang grabs a crucifix from out of nowhere to get the flash pin at 6:33. That was a decent little sprint of a match.
Rating: **¼

After the match Nana and Rave try to attack Yang, but Bruce Leroy makes the save.

MATCH #3: SHIMMER Four Corner Survival Match – Mercedes Martinez vs. Allison Danger vs. Daizee Haze vs. Lacey

Haze was aligned with the Embassy at this time, and thus has the best entrance music of the wrestlers in this match. She starts the match with Lacey. Martinez is making her ROH debut tonight. Lacey and Haze wrestle on the mat and exchange holds, as they know each other very well from multiple battles in the past, particularly in ROH’s sister promotion SHIMMER. They go back and forth for a bit and the crowd shows them appreciation, and then they both tag out. Martinez and Danger trade chops as Lenny Leonard refers to them as “four gorgeous women.” Danger overcomes Martinez’s power and starts working on her leg, but both Haze and Lacey break it up. Lacey tags in officially and covers Danger for two. She continues to work on Danger and then tags Haze for more of the same. Danger makes the comeback on Haze and uses the bottom rope to her advantage. Tags are made and Martinez hits Lacey with her own version of the Three Amigos. You know, I know wrestling moves are just that, but I feel like only friends of Eddie should do the Three Amigos. Martinez cleans house and Danger pulls Lacey to the floor. Haze slams Martinez face-first onto the canvas. Ever the proper heel, Haze goes to the top rope and begs the crowd to cheer before she jumps to the floor. She doesn’t even get the chance as Martinez throws her down and all four women are on the floor now. Danger swings Haze head-first into the barricade. Back in the ring Martinez tries the fisherman buster but Lacey slips out and hits a lungblower for two. Lacey yells at Danger, giving Martinez the chance to recover. Martinez lands the Fisherman Buster but referee Paul Turner will not count since Danger had made a blind tag. Haze takes Martinez out with a weak missile dropkick. Danger then traps Lacey in an Oklahoma Roll for the win at 10:32. That was way better and a little longer than average ROH women’s matches and they showed what they could do. It’s certainly one of the best women’s matches in ROH history.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #4: Jason Blade & Kid Mikaze Open Challenge

Blade and Mikaze make their entrance, and Chris Hero and Necro Butcher from CZW accept their challenge. Hero tells Necro to “kill” and the match is on. Necro attacks Blade on the floor while Hero mat wrestles in the ring with Mikaze. Blade gets taken out with the Chari Slam and Hero traps Mikaze in a guillotine choke to get the win at 0:48. Not much of a match but it effectively gets Hero and Necro on the show so it’s a success.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #5: Handicap Match – Chris Hero & Necro Butcher vs. Adam Pearce

Hero then calls out “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce, who is more than happy to oblige. Referee Todd Sinclair calls for the bell so this is an official match. Does that mean it’s a handicap match? Pearce clotheslines Hero to the floor but then Necro sends Pearce right out after him. Necro throws Pearce into the crowd and throws chairs at him. Pearce comes back and throws chairs at Necro. He throws Necro back toward ringside and they continue the fight. Pearce picks Necro up and drives him through a table with a powerslam! The crowd is chanting “ROH.” Hero finally had enough recovery time, and when they make it back to the ring Hero hits Pearce in the nuts, and somehow the referee sees fit to call it a no-contest in lieu of a disqualification at 3:10. I’m not sure what exactly the match was (Pearce versus Hero? Handicap match?) or why it had to be a no-contest. After the match Hero asks for Claudio Castagnoli to come out and finish the job, but Castagnoli instead sides with Pearce and attacks Hero and Necro! Pearce cuts a quick promo to hype up the crowd and suck up to Claudio.
Rating: *

MATCH #6: Christopher Daniels vs. Alex Shelley

Daniels is accompanied by Allison Danger, and Shelley is accompanied by Prince Nana and Daizee Haze. Shelley spits water in Daniels’ eyes to try and gain an early advantage but it doesn’t really help him. Why even do the spot then? Shelley takes a powder and regroups with Nana and Daizee. Back in the ring Shelley slaps Daniels and then bails again, frustrating the Fallen Angel. When Shelley gets back in the ring again Nana distracts Daniels, allowing Shelley to take control. Shelley tries going to work on the arm but Daniels slaps him and Shelley goes to the floor again. This time Daniels catches Shelley coming in the ring with an inverted atomic drop. Daniels follows with a clothesline for two and then takes Shelley to the mat to work on his arm. Shelley fights back with chops and knees. Daniels responds in kind and then goes right back to the arm. Shelley uses some questionable tactics to take control and works both the neck and the legs. He hits a quebrada for two. A northern lights suplex also gets two. Daniels catches Shelley in a springboard attempt and just swats him out of the air. He follows with a step-up enziguiri and both men are down. Back on their feet Daniels unleashes a flurry of offense, including a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and an STO for two. Shelley fights back with a superkick out of the corner. They trade pinning combinations on the mat for some near-falls. Shelley lands a nice dropkick to the top of the head. Daniels responds with the Blue Thunder Powerbomb but can’t capitalize right away. He goes for the Best Moonsault Ever but Shelley moves. Daniels lands on his feet and hits a bodyslam. He tries the Arabian Press but Shelley gets his knees up. Shelley tries a backslide but Daniels rolls through and hits the Angel’s Wings to get the pin at 14:34. Shelley was a great heel and he and Daniels had good chemistry together. I think they could have done more but since they weren’t at the top of the card they had the right match for their spot.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #7: ROH Pure Championship Match – Nigel McGuinness vs. Claudio Castagnoli

McGuinness has been the champion since 8.27.05 and this is his ninth defense. Referee Todd Sinclair tries to explain the rules but Nigel cuts him just to suck up to him. The fans aren’t buying it and neither is Claudio, who attacks the champion to start the match. This is Claudio’s last shot at the pure title while Nigel is Champion, so his aggression is certainly warranted. They spill to the floor and Nigel whips Claudio into the steel barricade. Back in the ring Claudio fights back and starts going to work on the legs. Nigel uses his first rope break. He tries the handstand and Claudio tries to grab him for a powerslam but the Champ counters with the Guns of Brixton. Now Nigel keeps Claudio on the mat and wears him down. Nigel works the arm, no doubt to set up for That Arm Submission. He dumps Claudio to the floor and brings him back in right away. Claudio comes back with the Match Killer and both men are down. Back on their feet Claudio continues to build momentum, hitting a springboard back elbow and a European Uppercut before knocking Nigel to the floor. Claudio follows him out with a twisting body press, which is pretty impressive for a guy his size. Back in the ring Claudio hits a springboard elbow drop for two. Claudio charges into the corner but Nigel avoids him and ties him up in a modified Tree of Woe. Nigel then unloads a series of European Uppercuts to the back of the neck. He follows up with the Tower of London for two. Nigel goes for it again but Claudio fights his way out and hits the Alpamare Water Slide for a two-count. Both men get up and trade European Uppercuts. Claudio avoids the Jawbreaker Lariat and hits another Alpamare Water Slide but Nigel kicks out again! Now Claudio goes to the top rope but Nigel knocks him down and hits the Tower of London for a two-count when Claudio his first rope break. They trade more European Uppercuts and Nigel hits the Jawbreaker to get the pin at 12:57. These two wrestled about eleventy billion times in ROH so they know each other very well and are seemingly incapable of having a bad match. This was good stuff but they hardly utilized the Pure Title rules at all so they maybe could have done more.
Rating: ***¼

The Ballad of Lacey

This is the video that literally saved Jimmy Jacobs’ job, as ROH had nothing for Jacobs so he came up with this video and it led to Jacobs getting booked more and eventually became the impetus for the Age of the Fall. It’s tremendously funny and creepy stuff, and you can watch it Right Here.

MATCH #8: Austin Aries vs. Ricky Reyes

Aries is one-half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions with Roderick Strong. This is a rematch from Hell Freezes Over in January. They take it right down to the mat. Aries uses his momentum to send Reyes to the floor. Back in the ring they continue the chain wrestling, trading holds back and forth. Aries takes control and throws in the Power Drive Elbow and a side slam. Then he does the stupid rewind knee drop that I hate. Reyes comes back and targets the neck, hitting a neckbreaker for two. Aries fights back with a lariat. Reyes rolls to the floor, and obviously Aries hits him with the Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Aries hits the twisting body press for two and a quebrada for another near-fall. Aries goes for the Brainbuster but Reyes counters it to a bridging Saito Suplex for two. Reyes hits a flying knee strike for another two-count. Aries hits the shinbreaker/belly-to-back suplex combo. He follows up with the IED for two. Aries goes for the Brainbuster but Reyes counters again, so Aries instead hits the Finlay Roll. Reyes avoids the 450 Splash and armdrags Aries into the turnbuckles. He then locks on the Dragon Sleeper but Aries gets his feet in the ropes. Reyes won’t release the hold so the referee disqualifies him at 11:26. The crowd is not in love with that finish, but it does continue the “Aries can’t get out of the Dragon Sleeper” angle that I don’t think they ever paid off. The match was average.
Rating: **½

Roderick Strong and Jack Evans run out to save Aries and pull Reyes off of him, so the Briscoes take the opportunity to attack their Generation Next rivals and start their match.

MATCH #9: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Roderick Strong & Jack Evans

The match starts as in insane brawl, with bodies flying all over the place. We settle with Evans and Jay doing battle in the ring. The Briscoes take control and start working Evans over in their half of the ring. Evans fights back with his impressive agility and makes the tag. Strong uses Evans as a weapon, throwing him into Mark and then covering for a two-count. The referee loses control as the match spills to the floor. Evans takes everyone out with a springboard 450 dive. Back in the ring Evans covers Mark for two. The Briscoes fight back on Strong and go to work on him. Strong grabs Jay in a belly-to-back suplex and Evans comes from out of nowhere with a springboard neckbreaker for a nice double-team move. That gets Strong a two-count. Evans tags in and Generation Next is back in control. Jay comes back with a nasty neckbreaker off the second rope on Strong for two. Mark tags back in and the Briscoes double-team Strong for a bit. Strong comes back with a backbreaker and makes the tag. Evans quickly gets cut off and the Briscoes go to work on his legs. Evans is able to drill Mark with an enziguiri but it’s not enough to get to the tag. Jay puts on a Figure-Four Leglock. Mark gives Jay some extra leverage from the apron and the referee catches them to break the hold. Evans is able to scamper up to the second rope and hit Jay with a moonsault. Strong gets the hot tag and is indeed a house afire. He hits Mark with a Tiger Driver for two. The referee loses control and all four men are doing battle in the ring. Things calm down again and Jay goes for the Jay Driller but Strong blocks it with an inverted atomic drop and the Sick Kick. Evans tags in and Strong throws him into the air for a corkscrew body press that gets two. The Briscoes try to double-team Evans but he hits them with a simultaneous DDT! Evans goes up top but Mark yanks him down. Strong knocks Mark off the apron and then superplexes Evans onto Jay! That was awesome. Strong misses a dive on the floor and Mark gets in the ring to hit Evans with a fisherman buster. Jay covers and gets two. The Briscoes hit the springboard Doomsday Device and Strong breaks up the cover. The referee loses control again and Gen Next hits the Ode to the Bulldogs (Evans landed particularly hard on Mark’s face) to get the pin at 19:31. That was awesome tag team formula stuff elevated by the skill and creativity of the four men involved.
Rating: ****

It Needs to End!!!

A crazed Colt Cabana is somewhere backstage talking about his feud with Homicide, particularly when Homicide poured Drain-o into his mouth. Cabana says he’s haunted by all the sick things Homicide has done to him, like choking him out with a coat hanger and almost cutting out his tongue. He says the fear is consuming him, and that it needs to end in Detroit and Chicago next weekend.

MATCH #10: Bryan Danielson & Samoa Joe vs. KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji

Danielson and Marufuji start the match. They exchange holds back and forth at a rapid pace, much to the delight of the crowd. Marufuji backs Danielson into the corner and makes the tag. Joe is itching to get in the ring and fight KENTA. Danielson feigns a tag to Joe, just to be a dick. He then goes to work on KENTA’s arm, and KENTA takes a break to kick Joe right in the face! I don’t know where the heat between these two came from but it’s there. This time Danielson makes the tag and Joe is ready to go. Joe unloads with a series of brutal kicks and more strikes. KENTA backs Joe into the corner and tags Marufuji, who quickly jumps right into an STJoe. Danielson gets in on the fun by dropkicking KENTA to the floor. Joe hits Marufuji with the Big Joe Combo and makes the tag. Danielson goes to work on the knee, and Joe follows suit. Joe and Danielson keep Marufuji isolated from his partner, which is always good tag team strategy. Eventually Marufuji hits Danielson with a low dropkick to the face and makes the tag. KENTA hits Danielson with a big boot and then forearms Joe to the floor. That leads to a big brawl on the floor and KENTA throws Joe into the barricade! Now KENTA and Marufuji keep Danielson isolated from Joe. After many minutes Danielson is able to climb up the ropes off an Irish whip and hit a running forearm strike. He finally makes the tag. Joe is all over both of his opponents, but he seems to take particular joy in hitting a senton on KENTA for two. KENTA comes back with a belly-to-back suplex on Joe and he makes the tag. Marufuji goes to work on Joe but he can’t complete a slam or a suplex. Joe hits the snap powerslam for two and then cinches in the cross armbreaker. KENTA comes in to break it up and Danielson sends him to the floor.

Joe hits Marufuji with a powerbomb for two and turns it into the STF while Danielson plays defense on KENTA. I love that. Joe holds Marufuji in place for Danielson to hit the diving headbutt, which gets a two-count. Danielson hits Marufuji with a bridging German Suplex for two, and then goes for the Crossface Chicken Wing but Marufuji reaches the ropes. Marufuji tries the Shiranui but Danielson awesomely turns it into Cattle Mutilation. KENTA comes in to break it up and Joe pitches him to the floor. Marufuji hits a superkick and this time lands Shiranui for a two-count. Joe and KENTA take their fight to the floor as Marufuji puts Danielson in the Tree of Woe and nails a corner-to-corner dropkick. Marufuji goes for a super Shiranui (stop calling it Sliced Bread you idiots!) but Danielson counters to the belly-to-back superplex and both men are down. Tags are made and KENTA strikes first with kicks to the face. KENTA hits a springboard missile dropkick for two. He tries tornado DDT but Joe blocks it so he hits a top-rope lariat instead. That gets a two-count. Joe comes back with a gourdbuster. He tries the Muscle Buster but Marufuji breaks it up with a superkick. KENTA and Joe trade strikes now and Joe wins that battle with a huge lariat. Danielson gets the tag and quickly goes to work on KENTA with kicks. He hits a dragon suplex with a bridge for two, and then locks on Cattle Mutilation. Danielson turns it into a cradle for a near-fall. He hits a Regalplex with a bridge and Marufuji breaks it up so Joe pitches him to the floor and follows him out with an elbow suicida. Meanwhile KENTA hits Danielson with a super Falcon Arrow for two. After a series of reversals KENTA hits Danielson with Go 2 Sleep for the huge victory at 33:34. The action never stopped and the crowd was molten almost the entire time. I dare you to put any combination of these four guys out there and not get a great match out of it.
Rating: ****½

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