Reported by Bob Magee of WrestleView.com
On Sunday, April 23, 2006 at 7:13 AM EST
Ring of Honor returned to Philadelphia for its 100th Show Celebration before a packed Northeast Philadelphia National Guard Armory of well over 1,000. The large crowd (given that the Philadelphia Flyers were opening their Stanley Cup playoff series last night), has to be considered a tremendous testimony to what happened when independent promoters do business the right way with each other, as opposed to other promoters in the market telling their workers where they can and can't work...and screwing their fans in the process.
From all appearances the crowd has only been topped once at the National Guard Armory by the Final Battle 2003 show on December 23, 2003 with The Great Muta, Tomoaki Honma and Kazushi Miyamoto, Arashi, and Kaz Hayashi.
Early on, even during the pre-show, there were numerous loud CZW-ROH dueling chants. While the crowd was about 3/4 ROH fans to 1/4 CZW fans, the CZW fans made up for the disadvantage in volume, creativity, and general rowdiness all night long.
Christopher Daniels (with Alison Danger) defeats Claudio Castagnoli via pinfall. A big deal was made post-match about the fact that Daniels shook Castagnoli's hand after the match, given the whole "Code of Honor" that ROH has pushed since day one (and that was flaunted by Daniels and his "Prophecy" faction in the earliest days of ROH).
Chris Hero appears, cut a promo to set up the night's main event that had the CZW fans going nuts and the Ring of Honor fans going into overdrive yelling mode.
Delirious won the Four Corner Survival over Jimmy Rave (with Prince Nana), Jimmy Yang, and Jimmy Jacobs. Jacobs does a hilarious entrance where he brings in a picture of manager Lacey, who he's infatuated with in storyline...to the point where he comes in to a new entrance song, with fans holding up light sticks swaying to the music (you have to see this in person to get how funny it is, helped out by the fans playing along with the gag).
Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions Austin Aries and Roderick Strong defeated the Rottweilers (Homicide and Ricky Reyes) after Aries hit Reyes with a 450 Splash.
Ring Of Honor World Champion defeats Colt Cabana with a flash rollup pin.
In the post-intermission match, Derrick Dempsey defeats Pelle Primuea with a spinebuster.
"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson then cut a promo on the CZW fans, which included him mooning the CZW fans, and insulting their members, their intelligence. In reaction to the CZW fans chanting "Overrated" at him, Danielson told the CZW fans he was a "real world champion", and "he'd prove it by taking all challengers". American Dragon is accepting a ROH Heavyweight Title match with Delirious.
Bryan Danielson defeated Delirious via ref stoppage after he hit Delirious repeatedly with elbows to the head with no defense offered. During the match, Delirious sliced his hand badly on the railing surrounding the ring.
The Briscoe Brothers defeat AJ Styles and Matt Sydal after a stuff Jay Driller. The Briscoes look like they're back at 100% after a year plus of injuries, which had seen their in-ring work suffer somewhat.
Then there was the debate between James E. Cornette vs CZW's John Zandig. Cornette was at his profane, funny, witty best with Zandig doing surprisngly well, even if taking a distant second to Cornette (mind you, this is like losing an IQ test to Einstein...not exactly any shame in it).
This segued into the main event...
Main event/ROH-CZW tag team match
Team CZW (Chris Hero, Necro Butcher, and Super Dragon) defeated team ROH (BJ Whitmer, Samoa Joe, and Adam Pearce) in a violent, bloody, all-Arena brawl to take onInsane brawl, the debate turned right into the main event. At the finish, Claudio Castagnoli turned on Ring Of Honor and helped Chris Hero in beating Samoa Joe. BJ Whitmer took an insane Psycho Driver through a table that had to be seen to be believed. Hero won via after a Hero's Welcome (helped by Castagnoli) on Adam Pearce for the pinfall.
Post-match, the Ring of Honor fans seemed stunned (some others were for different reasons...that CZW and ROH have handled this so well, done the right things for business..including putting over the "enemy promotion" over at their home shows) After the match, Zandig, Necrobutcher, Super Dragon, and Chris Hero came up into the CZW side of the bleachers. Samoa Joe sputtered out "this is only the beginning", before the CZW fans drowned him out.
NOTES: Ring of Honor will return to the National Guard Armory in Philadelphia on July 15. This weekend, Ring of Honor goes to Dayton (Friday night) and Cleveland (Saturday night).