Reported by Mike Siciliano of WrestleView.com
On Sunday, November 4, 2007 at 2:48 PM EST
This is long. Be warned. I'll post results first for people who don't have the time to read the column.
Here is the quick results, courtesy of the ROH wrestling message board.
1) Chris Hero defeats El Generico after a sick Hero's Welcome (looked like a brainbuster almost)
2) BJ Whitmer & Brent Albright defeat Kevin Steen & Delirious when BJ hit an exploder on Steen on a steel chair.
3) Austin Aries defeats Shane Hagadorn after the 450 splash.
4) Claudio Castagnoli defeats Naomichi Marufuji after an O' Connor Roll.
5) The Age of the Fall vs The Briscoes goes about one minute, double DQ.
6) Tyler Black defeats Alex Payne after an Inside Cradle Driver (Squash).
7) Takeshi Morishima defeats Bryan Danielson by DQ when Danielson repeatedly curbstomps Morishima with low blows.
8) The No Remorse Corp defeat The Vulture Squad when Evans taps to a SICK Roderick Strong Boston Crab (his neck was bended backwards).
9) Austin Aries defeats Chris Hero via submission with the Bridging Inverted Chinlock (what he used in the Cow Palace, there was a pic on the main page).
10) Mitsuharu Misawa defeats KENTA to retain the GHC Championship with an Emerald Frosion Custom (Suplex Lift into the Frosion - VERY sick and unprotected looking) in what was described as an awesome, awesome match.
11) Jay & Mark Briscoe defeat The Age Of The Fall to successfully retain the ROH World Tag Team Championships as we end Glory By Honor weekend when Jay hit the Jay Driller on Necro after numerous stiff chair shot and Jimmy was pushed off the top rope in a table.
Ring of Honor came to the Manhattan Center last night for the second half of the Glory By Honor VI double shot. This show had a lot of importance with the New York ROH combat debut of NOAH founder and Japanese puroresu legend Mitsuharu Misawa defending the GHC Heavyweight title against KENTA. Also in attendance tonight scheduled is Harley Race, legendary Japanese wrestling personality Joe Higuchi, other NOAH stars such as KENTA, challenging for the GHC crown, Naomichi Marufuji, who has Claudio Castagnoli tonight, and former ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima, who has a date with a very pissed off American Dragon, Bryan Danielson.
After a brief moment getting lost in New York, which is easy to do, and being three blocks away from the site dodging Ranger hockey fans, I manage to make it to the line outside the entrance to the Hammerstein and Grand Ballrooms. Who's eating in the diner next door? Harley Race. I seemed to rub elbows with a lot of luminaries tonight, as Misawa arrived for combat at around 7pm, to a lot of MIS-AW-A chants from the crowd, walking right in the front door.
This is the 2nd time I have attended Ring of Honor at the Grand Ballroom. First time was back in 2006 for Final Battle, and that atmosphere was impressive. Tonight's crowd was also pretty jacked up. Once I got in to the building, with about an hour to go until bell time, I saw Misawa walking through the arena like he owned the place. The crowd on hand at the time did show Misawa some love, and he, I think, was moved by it, but I swear by all that's something, you couldn't tell from his facial expressions.
Over 45 minutes before bell time, and there are people trying to get good vantage points who are definitely going to be standing all night, myself included. Fortunately, I had the energy stored in the bank to be prepared to stand, as I would find out later in the night I would need it. They had the stairwell closed off upon entrance to the building, which apparently was a problem later on for late arrivals, as they only allowed about 10 or so on the elevators at a time. I'm glad I got in when I did and that I took the elevator. 7 flights of stairs in the Manhattan Center in my condition, and I would've been on a gurney. I almost was back when I attended Final Battle.
The ROH office was all over the arena prior to the start of the show. Cary Silkin was back and forth, Gabe Sapolsky was back and forth. Saw the champ arrive, not dressed for combat, but definitely seemingly enjoying holding on to the prize in ROH.
I was hanging out before the show near the rampway, and I thought I saw the NOAH contingent hanging out near the entrance, leading me to think that there may be something on tap at the start of the show. My hypothesis turned out to be wrong, but it was fun to try and predict.
The show started later than anticipated due to the influx of crowd arriving. It didn't start till nearly 8pm, and I believe start time was scheduled for 7:30pm.
Match 1, Chris Hero vs. El Generico
Opening the show was, if memory serves, a rematch from Race to the Top, Night 2, Chris Hero vs. the Generic Luchador, El Generico. Hero was obviously accompanied to the ring by his agent, Larry Sweeney, and his fellow lackies, SHIMMER Champion Sara Del Rey, and the underdog of Ring of Honor, Bobby Dempsey. Hero and Dempsey wearing "Survivor of the Fittest" t-shirts. Dempsey tries to get the crowd to stop cheering for him, as its visibly annoying the man from Metropolis.
After that died down, the crowd was solidly behind the Generic Luchador. This match took an awful long time to get started as Sweet & Sour, Inc. and its crown jewel, (sorry Jimmy Rave), took a lot of time posturing and gesturing to the crowd. Also, Hero seemingly took a lot of pleasure of beating up Bobby Dempsey rather than El Generico. This match took the aura of a comedic opening contest, which is kind of disconcerting in my opinion, as I believe these two guys could conduct a wrestling clinic. I know its Hero's shtick, but its a little bit of stretch from where I sat.
Hero's ring attire was purple and green tonight, which was definitely a new look for me. Hero's antics got Bobby Cruise involved, who was instructed to tell the crowd that Generico's ability was "not impressive" at all. The crowd said that the luchador was taking the Metropolis man to school during the beginning of the match, and began shouting out move names to the delight of New York City. A ton of posturing in the opening segment of this match. Hero did a lot of gymnastics all over the ring, absolutely seeing like he was losing his freakin' mind.
Back and forth combat was the tone of this match, as neither combatant was the aggressor for a significant length of time. Sweeney was the usual involved maniac, losing his mind, and jawjacking with anyone who would listen. During the match, the crowd started chanting for Dempsey again, and Hero responded with a shot to the big man's mouth, due to the fact that he doesn't appreciate the love that he gets.
There wasn't anything significantly nasty. Hero did try a leg drop off the top rope that he missed on Generico by about six feet. I know he tried the comedic approach, but man, this was bad.
Generico hit a hurrancanrana off the top on Hero that was a near fall. The nearest fall for the luchador was a boot to the face later in the match that was so hard, I heard it all the way in the back of the building.
Hero hit a nice combo, swinging neckbreaker in to a reverse ddt suplex, a suplex in scorpion death drop position, for a 2 count.
Generico's tornado DDT off the top rope was another near fall for him against Hero.
Hero won the match with the Hero's welcome that was sick to watch, it looked almost like a brainbuster.
The Hangmen 3 took the ring, and began beating on Generico. Albright tells Sweeney to get lost because this is "Hangmen 3" business. Del Rey, Dempsey, Hero, and Sweeney bolt out of there. Albright scoops up Generico and hit a razor's edge bomb on Generico out to the floor.
Kevin Steen came out and had some advantage in the beginning, but ended up getting beat down by the Pearce led faction. Delirious hits the ring, to the delight of the crowd, and began going ape on all the on site members of the Hangmen 3, Whitmer, Albright and Hagadorn.
Match #2: The Hangmen 3 of BJ Whitmer & Brent Albright vs. Delirious & Kevin Steen
An impromptu tag match is ordered, as Delirious and Kevin Steen vs. BJ Whitmer and Brent Albright. Steen took Whitmer to the ring barrier, sending him out of the match in the beginning, and Albright was left to fend for himself, eating a nasty Flair like chop by Mr. Wrestling.
Steen gets an elbow to the back of the head from Albright that was nasty, but recovers and hits a standing moonsault on the mat on the Shooter, for a 2 count. Back and forth action by Albright vs. Steen & Delirious continues.
Delirious tried to go off the top rope on Albright, but the Shooter caught him in midair, and black hole slammed the masked man for 2 7/8.
Whitmer tried a slingshot suplex on Delirious that did not work very well. The crowd kept calling Whitmer a bad looking Ken Kennedy.
A nice double team move by the Hangmen 3, as Delirious ate Whitmer's knee while set in a backbreaker position by Albright. 2 count.
Delirious was able to get the momentum back in the match as the crowd got to Whitmer when they called for the Green Bay Plunge, so Delirious pushed Whitmer off the rope as he was trying to set up for a super plex, and the blond haired Hangmen 3 member ended up eating a missile drop kick from the top rope by Delirious.
Hangmen 3 were able to keep the hot tag to Steen by Delirious, and spent more time beating on Delirious. Delirious ended up taking a lot of punishment throughout this contest. The Manhattan Center is pretty much full at this time.
Delirious got the hot tag on Steen after a while when he reversed a move and hit a nasty headbutt on Albright. Steen did his business, and Albright ate a super kick right in the side of the head. A plancha on the floor was teased, but Albright stopped it with a shot to the face. Whitmer then tried to whip Steen, who somersaulted on to Albright from the whip, as the Shooter was on the floor.
Steen hit a muscle buster style move on Whitmer for 2. It was nasty, as it looked to me like Steen put Whitmer's head through Mr. Wrestling's knee.
Albright hit what almost looked like a modified 619 on Steen. I wondered who I was watching.
Steen hit a nasty swanton on BJ for 2 7/8 which was saved from the end by Albright.
Delirious tried a dive to the floor on someone, who I can't tell you was there, as my view was blocked.
Steen tried the cradle piledriver, and it was reversed in to an exploder by Whitmer on a steel chair. I couldn't see how the chair came in to play, but it was the final blow to the face team, and the Hangmen 3 won the match.
After the match, the winners beat down the losers, and Hagadorn takes the mike, saying this is what happens when you cross the Hangmen 3 and Adam Pearce. This is definitely not the highlight of the day when Shane Hagadorn has a microphone. He says the Hangmen 3 and says its his control, and the faction is on a roll. It's his role to keep the roll going. A year ago, he says its an honor that he became Adam Pearce's personal man servant. Hagadorn puts down New York and open challenges anyone in the back.
Match #3: Austin Aries vs. Shane Hagadorn
They're calling for Human Tornado, but the #1 contender for the ROH World Championship hits the ring, as Austin Aries accepts Hagadorn's challenge.
It was definitely a weird book to have this match, but so be it. Aries ate a death valley driver from Shane at the beginning for a 1 count. Hagadorn had some more offense, pulls a Shawn Michaels by resting on the top rope. Aries kicks Hagadorn off, hits a brainbuster, the 450, and the roll of the Hangmen 3 is over as Aries wins the match in about 2 minutes.
Aries grabs the mike, says it took him a little longer than he thought it would, putting Hagadorn down. He then says that he has an announcement, puts over Cross and Stevens. But he disbands the Resilience to focus on the #1 contendership for the ROH World Championship, following his victory over American Dragon last night in Philadelphia. He wants his shot at the champ, which brings out the British ROH Champion, Nigel McGuinness.
Nigel puts Aries over, expressing respect for Aries' work in the ring. He wants to put the belt on the line against Aries tonight, but can't do it because of the torn biceps injury after 7 years. One week later after winning the ROH title, he tore his bicep, and the crowd wasn't happy to hear this. The crowd started to get on his nerves, and Nigel gets mad, but ends up calling the guys who were ranting on him a "wanker". One guy by me chants for Nigel to drop the title, and that's just revolting to me. Nigel puts over ROH and being the ROH Champion and the ROH fans. But, as I said, he singles out the idiot, calling him something that I can't publish.
He promises Aries and the fans that he'll be healthy and ready to go by the December double shot in the Manhattan Center, and defend the ROH title at the Manhattan PPV at 100% against Aries on 12/29. Aries puts Nigel over. Aries says he wants the champ at 100%, and wants to main event a PPV in New York City.
Before the next match, the crowd begins increasing in size exponentially. Obviously the problems with getting in to the building described in the beginning of the column is depicted here.
Match #4: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Naomichi Marufuji
Next up is Claudio Castagnoli, no pony tail, and slimmer than I last remember him, if its possible, vs. NOAH standout and GHC Tag Team Champion Naomichi Marufuji. This is my first time for seeing Marufuji ever. Streamers hit the ring for Marufuji. I would've liked to see the GHC tag title belt, but hey, I can't expect miracles.
Marufuji almost appears to be the same height as Claudio. Claudio begins playing with the crowd after some back and forth combat with Marufuji. Marufuji looks emotionless, and then begins playing the crowd the same way Claudio did. The NYC crowd is split pretty close to down the middle for both men.
Claudio works the legs on the NOAH stalwart. Some definite clean wrestling here, no apparent signs of a grudge between both men. Claudio continues the work on Marufuji's legs and ankles. Full nelson is applied on Marufuji by Claudio, who powers out of the hold, similar to how Bobby Lashley of the Master Lock. Claudio then, after a look of shock, challenges the NOAH champion to put the full nelson on Claudio. The crowd starts chanting please don't tap.
Claudio reverse the full nelson in to a waist lock, and I got interrupted from my studies briefly by someone who had just entered the building sounding angry that he had missed three matches.
Only away for a minute, back and forth combat continues onward for both men. The middle of the match has a lot of rest holds, which surprises me, but this is my first time seeing Marufuji as I said, so it's new to me.
A claw contest ensues as Marufuji was jumping around the apron, landed on the top rope, not the turnbuckle, but the ropes itself, and hits a claw on Claudio. Claudio gets a claw on Marufuji, wins the battle of the claws, which is stopped by the NOAH star with a kick to the gut.
They start criss crossing, and Marufuji does a reverse leap frog, timing absolutely first rate. The acrobatics, and back and forth chain wrestling here was too fast to even try and describe, but it was scintillating to watch. The NYC crowd does show its respect for this exchange.
Marufuji loses a test of strength to Claudio for a couple of 2 count near falls. Marufuji comes out of the test of strength, jumps literally ON THE ROPES, not on the turnbuckle, Claudio pushes him off, tries to kick Marufuji, which is caught, and then the NOAH tag champ dragon screw leg whips Claudio's leg from the apron while Claudio is still in the ring. One word here.
Amazing balance shown by Marufuji throughout this match.
The fans near me are looking for Green Lantern. Stupid.
Claudio works on the ankles again. Marufuji counters, armbar submission, leg lace submission by Claudio. Back and forth action continues at a pretty quick pace, which is difficult to describe. Claudio eats another dragon screw leg whip while sitting on the top rope by Marufuji, who then gets Claudio in the figure four leg lock. Claudio eventually reverses the figure four, Marufuji re-reverses, and the duo hit the ropes for a break.
Claudio shows some favoring of his legs from the work Marufuji did on him during the match. A lot of near falls during this segment, a fisherman's suplex by Claudio for a 2 count. Counter and counter of a back suplex and a jawbreaker by Claudio and Marufuji leading in to a tilt o whirl backbreaker by Castagnoli for a 2 count. A lot of quick action which is very, very tough to describe. The crowd is visibly quieter than normal.
Claudio has the NOAH stalwart looking like Jack Evans with no spine, as Claudio has Marufuji twisted around like a pretzel. I couldn't describe the hold he had locked in if I tried.
Marufuji hit a kick to the back of Claudio's head which was sick to see. Back and forth action was the theme of this match throughout as they traded hold for hold.
Claudio picks up Marufuji from the floor, in a reverse waist lock, and literally german suplexes him from the floor back to the floor in almost a 270 degree fashion for a 2 count. It was amazing to witness.
Ricola Bomb reversed, in to a series of counters and a boot to the face by Claudio for a 2. Big Boot. Nasty looking. Claudio nips to the top rope, and Marufuji kicks him in the stomach while Claudio is on the top rope. Marufuji calls and hits a brain buster off the top rope, but Claudio kicks out at 2 1/2.
Marufuji hits a super kick on the side of the chin, tries a shiranui and misses, and Claudio back suplexes Marufuji outside the ring. Have to be honest here. I didn't know the Dudley Dog or sliced bread #2 was called a shiranui until watching the DVD I bought last night, Live in Osaka, and the six man match with CIMA, Danielson, and Marufuji vs. the NRC.
Claudio hits a flying elbow off the top rope on Marufuji for a 2 count. More back and forth action which leads in to Claudio going for a nasty giant swing. Claudio looks dizzy as hell. So does Marufuji. Running european uppercut by Claudio for 2 9/10. The NOAH man is selling the giant swing really well. The crowd is up for this one. Claudio eats a kick to the back of the head which plants the Swiss man on the mat, and then Castagnoli eats a super kick for 2 . Marufuji tries and hits the shiranui for another very near fall on Claudio. Claudio couldn't kick out. He got his foot under the rope to break the count.
Another attempt of the ricola bomb, which is reversed multiple times. Another shiranui attempt reversed. An o'connor roll after an amazing set of reverses by both men and Claudio wins the match. A classic clinic of wrestling studies by two men who know how to go on the mat from bell to bell. It was a pleasure to witness. My attempt of describing this match does not do it justice.
Sweet & Sour, Inc. comes out, and Hero hits the Hero's Welcome on Claudio, and Sweeney hits a flying elbow off the top rope on Claudio, then Sweeney gets the mike and puts down Claudio for his match, saying that S&S Inc will always reign on Claudio's parade for anything that Claudio may have to be proud of, including his match.
Match #5: ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Briscoes vs. the Age of the Fall
Next match is the Briscoes vs. the Age of the Fall for the World Tag Team Titles. Can I tell you, the AotF's theme song is WEIRD. But more on that another time. The screaming is just creepy. Its Jacobs and Necro against Jay and Mark for the titles. I don't see any black headbands and bandanas representing the AotF. The crowd is HIGH on the Briscoes. The view during this match is blocked for me as most of the time the crowd is on their feet when the Briscoes are out.
The brawl gets started pretty quick. It's impossible for me to tell you which is Mark and which is Jay. Jacobs eats a spinning heel kick. Necro eats a double shoulder block. Jacobs gets a hang time shot by the Briscoes, and dueling chair shots by Necro and the Briscoes results in Sinclair calling for a double disqualification, which I honestly thought would bring a riot out from the New York crowd. The crowd is chanting multiple colorful metaphors that I can't publish, followed by a "refund" chant. Briscoes are still in the ring, egging the crowd on, wanting to go. Age of the Fall is gone. Everyone is expecting something, and the crowd gets angrier when the Briscoes leave the ring. Definitely one of the weirdest booked tag team matches I have ever seen in my life.
Quick opinion, I really think that the ROH office decided to change the card here. I think if the crowd wasn't so hostile to that finish, this would've not gone down again as the main event of the evening, and certainly not as THE main event, but how hostile the crowd was after this match, you can't tell me that there wasn't some fast editing by the ROH office. I have to believe that, because in all the times I've been to ROH, I've never seen the president of the company out at the exit door saying goodbye to the fans, and Cary Silkin was there. I think he wanted to make sure that the crowd was happy with the outcome. Obviously, as I'll explain later, they were.
Back to the show, one of the fans calls for the bulldozers to come out and take the ring down. Moronic.
A ceremony in the ring honoring GHC Title Committee chairman Joe Higuchi
ROH office does a ceremony honoring GHC title chairman Joe Higuchi for the work he's done in wrestling. Harley Race is in the ring with Bobby Cruise and Cary Silkin. The crowd is absolutely respect-less for this ceremony. ROH could've done this before the Briscoes, and it probably would have gotten a better response. Here, this was bad booking, as the crowd did not show the respect they should have for luminaries who visited the company tonight.
Cruise does a synopsis of Higuchi's career on the mike as the spotlight is focused right on him. Two plaques are presented, one by Cary Silkin and one by the 8 time NWA World Heavyweight Champion. I have never heard of Higuchi, but the ceremony was proper and classy, and I wish that the crowd was more respectful in the beginning of the segment. They did get better as Cruise spoke.
One man in the crowd called out "we want wrestling," and "give us the Briscoes". Stupid.
Quick note, apparently Nicolas Cage was backstage at the show, researching a role for the upcoming movie, "The Wrestler". He was the one luminary I didn't see.
The crowd did chant for Higuchi as he left the ring, but the crowd was still being stupid calling for the Briscoes to come back out. It got louder and louder. It just serves to further solidify my hypothesis of earlier in the column that the office re-worked the main events to make sure that they got what they wanted.
Cruise hypes the double shot on 12/29 and 12/30 in New York. 12/29 is pay per view #5. 12/30 is Final Battle 2007. We'll see what happens.
Intermission has the NOAH stalwarts doing autographs. The fans are screaming about not being let in on time.
Match #6: Alex Payne vs. Tyler Black
The next match brings out Alex "Sugarfoot" Payne, which was not well received by the crowd in the least bit.
I'm dumbfounded by Payne being out for the card, the "Survivor Series" of ROH, and after the ceremony with Race and Joe Higuchi. Makes zero sense to me. The opponent is Age of the Fall member Tyler Black. The crowd chants more for the Briscoes, "or they leave". There's a delay in Black coming to the ring. Black hits the ring finally, and doesn't even allow Cruise to get his introduction done.
Black drop kicks Payne in the face, and the crowd is angry, and getting angrier. Sick foream to the face by Black on Payne. Payne surprises me and gets a sunset flip for 2 on Black. Black throws Payne to the corner, suplex position, inside cradle driver, and the ball game is over in about 1 minute, 30 seconds. The Briscoes come out, and beat on Black until Black bails. The crowd starts up the "Man Up" chant. Briscoes have a mike.
They mention the refund chant, and call for a promo for a final battle match, but its corrected for later tonight, non-sanctioned, no disqualification, world title match with the Age of the Fall. The crowd is much happier now. I thought they would come out now, but they don't. The Briscoes get a thank you chant from the crowd.
Match #7: Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima
Cruise is in the ring, for the next contest. It's Danielson vs. Morishima. The crowd is going absolutely ape for the "Final Countdown". The pop for Danielson's arrival is intense. Best way to describe it is this. It makes a WWE guy jealous to hear a pop like what Dragon got from his entrance.
Danielson had to be mad at the start of this match after losing to Aries last night. He wants revenge for what Morishima did to his eye, basically costing the Dragon the NWA title, as well as probably the ROH title. The crowd screaming, "The Final Countdown" is really emotional and intense to hear.
It's difficult for me to describe this match in significant detail because a lot of it happened on the floor, and the view from the back of the Manhattan Center first floor is not prime for floor action. Danielson flies out of the ring at the start after Morishima, and we're going before the bell even starts.
I'm screaming 'down in front' and nobody's listening because it's just me. Now, the crowd starts a "you're gonna get your (insert colorful metaphor) head kicked in' chant. It's funny, but I'm pissed because I can't see. After 2 minutes on the floor, Danielson goes off the top, Morishima catches him and suplexes him to the mat. Boot to the face by Morishima on Danielson and things are getting stiff as Morishima is working on Dragon's face and eyes.
Elbows, kicks, punches, stiff as hell looking from where I sit. The emotion in this match is tangible, even though I can barely see it. I'm looking forward to getting the DVD and see this match in its entirety. Morishima is using his godzilla size advantage on Danielson, with all his weight on Dragon's stomach. The former ROH champ from NOAH continues to work on Dragon's head and eyes.
Morishima hits a cartwheel forearm on Danielson, which is amazing to see for someone so big. Morishima goes up top, and hits a missile drop kick on Dragon, sending Dragon to the floor. I called Morishima on top a 747 on the top rope, because it looks like that. The crowd starts chanting "please don't eat me." Creative.
The action is on the floor, the crowd is on top of their chairs, and I can't see any of the action as the match continues.
Danielson rolls back in to the ring, and dives back out on to Morishima. The building is going insane for this match. The crowd noise intensifies as the action continues on the floor. Danielson has the ring bell hammer, goes for Morishima, and the action continues on the floor. I don't know what happened, but the ref hit the floor, and the crowd oohed in dismay. The crowd is split 60-40 for Dragon.
Morishima is in the ring calling for Dragon to come back in. Dragon crawls to the apron slowly after a long while. Morishima hits Dragon as he hit the apron with a forearm, knocking Dragon back to the floor. Danielson eats the barrier hard.
Same setup happens again, Morishima with the forearm as Danielson hits the apron, and Danielson meets the steel barrier, face first.
Dragon is now noticeably bleeding bad, a sunset flip on Morishima for 2 3/4. Morishima hit a 360 clothesline on Danielson for a 2 3/4 count of his own.
Backdrop missed by Morishima. Elbows by Danielson which are no sold by Morishima. The blows are getting stiff as hell, and Morishima is not moving. Danielson gets the roaring elbows going to the side of Morishima's head. A german suplex by Danielson on Morishima in to a bridge for a two count.
Repeated kicks to the head by both men, as I believe Dragon tried for cattle mutilation. A submission move is locked in, and I can't tell what it is from my angle, but Dragon has it. It ended up being a triangle choke. Morishima picked him up, literally from that position, and powerbombed Dragon.
A nasty clothesline by the NOAH former ROH champ, and a choke out, and forearms continue to the eyes of Dragon by Takeshi Morishima. Danielson and Morishima continue the slugfest, and Danielson loses his mind, pushing the ref, and causing the DQ win for Morishima, as Danielson is stompin' away at Morishima, low blows. Repeatedly. About 100 times from where I sat.
Nigel's out, pissed at Dragon. Dragon kicked Nigel in the arm.
Dragon makes fun of Nigel's rebound lariat move, and leaves the ring. He calls out to the crowd that he is the best in the world, and the crowd agrees.
In my opinion, McGuinness is made to look really bad throughout this segment at the hands of someone who just lost his attempt to be the #1 contender.
Intermission time, and the autograph session with the NOAH guys. I didn't even try to get in the area, because I can't imagine the insanity that ensued.
A hundred years ago, ROH Ring Announcer Bobby Cruise emailed me in response to one of my columns, and I had the guts to say hello and thank you to him. I think he recognized my name, but hell, I'm not going to brag, I said hello and shook the hands of an ROH celebrity. I'm happy.
As I am waiting for the show to restart, I am looking behind the backstage entrance, and I see Roderick Strong and Jack Evans. Strong I think saw me, and told me to look away. Hehe. Misawa walked back and forth to the autograph table, almost emotionless. Interesting.
Match #8: Jack Evans, Jigsaw & Ruckus vs. Roderick Strong, Rocky Romero, & Davey Richards
Following the intermission, its a six man tag with Jack Evans, Jigsaw and Ruckus of the Vulture Squad with Julius Smokes vs. the NRC of Davey Richards, Rocky Romero, and the FIP World Heavyweight Champion Roderick Strong. It's still weird to hear Strong's music open, and not hear Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode come afterwards, signaling the arrival of the former ROH World tag team champions, former Gen Next stalwarts Strong and Austin Aries.
It's even weirder to see J-Train with Jack Evans, Ruckus and Jigsaw. This was insane. Too fast to try and even describe. Aerobatics by Ruckus are intense, and he's a big boy. Evans has no spine. Smokes is wearing a throwback LT jersey. Nice fashion from the J Train.
Classic Evans match with a ton of spinning kicks and flips, and I wouldn't bring the match any justice if I tried to explain this match one bit. I'll try anyway.
Ruckus and Jigsaw flapjack Evans literally on to Romero. Romero eats a shooting star press by Evans. Jigsaw ends up on the short end of some NRC offense, and the NRC begin triple teaming the masked man. The crowd is beating on Roderick Strong something significant. Atomic drop and a boot to the head by Romero on Jigsaw.
Ruckus and Evans distract referee Sinclair causing more triple teaming by the NRC for near falls.
Richards pulls a stone cold and hits a lou thesz press on Jigsaw with multiple shots to the head.
Jigsaw was set up upside down in the ropes, and gets kicked in the head for his effort, followed by a kick to the stomach by Romero.
Smokes is losing his mind as Jigsaw eats a backbreaker by Strong. Jigsaw eats a stomachbreaker from the tree of woe by Strong.
Strong hits a stalling suplex on Jigsaw.
The NRC continue their beat down of the masked man of the Vulture Squad.
The chaos of a six man match is ensuing as multiple saves are the theme of this match.
Richards and Romero try a double team move that misses, and Jigsaw finally gets a tag to Ruckus after about 5 minutes of a pure beatdown by the NRC. Ruckus beats on the NRC briefly and Evans gets involved with some twists and flips and a shooting star.
Missed handspring elbow in to a DDT by Rocky on Ruckus.
Smokes is screaming as the vulture squad has more near falls against them. Evans gets some offense in on all three members of the NRC, but Strong stops it with a boot to Evans's head for two.
Bridge german suplex by Richards on Jigsaw stopped by Evans with a double boot to the stomach.
A rolling suplex by Ruckus on Strong in to a power bomb by Jigsaw in to a standing moonsault twisting press by Evans for a two count. Insane combination.
Evans pressed by Strong in to a neck breaker by Romero for two. High emotion in this match is easy to notice.
The action spills to the floor and Ruckus goes for the moonsault to the floor. I can't tell you if he made it, because my line of sight was blocked. Strong goes for a dive, Evans is on the apron, and hits a diving gut buster on Strong as the champ goes for a dive on the floor. Evans goes for a 630, but Strong stops it with a knee. Another set of near falls by the NRC.
Handspring elbow over the top rope by Evans. Another dive the Vulture Squad. The action is just insane and out of my line of sight at this point. Strong is up and back in the ring. Strong has Evans in a submission move that was nasty that I couldn't see anything but Evans' knees. According to people with line of sight, it was a sick boston crab.
The ROH World Champion is leaving the building. Smokes has the microphone.
Smokes wants to know what the Vulture Squad is gonna do about this losing that the Squad has been enduring. Evans says he doesn't want to be compared to the New York Jets. He proposes a rematch at Final Battle. But Smokes wants to up the ante. He calls for going down to Brooklyn, which Evans asks if it involves chairs, tables, and ladders. Smokes is going nuts saying, 'yeah, yeah, yeah.' J train calls it a Brooklyn street fight. NRC vs. Vulture Squad six man TLC match at Final Battle. I assume its done. But it wasn't accepted in the arena by any member of the NRC, who left awfully quick after the win.
Cruise tries to promote the return of ROH to New York, and Sweeney interrupts. Hero's mad. Sweeney is happy that Claudio agreed to his terms. 12/29 at the PPV in New York is Claudio vs. Hero again, but if Claudio loses, he leaves ROH. It was his one year anniversary of Claudio's supposed final match. It's not official that if Hero wins, he's out of ROH. Hero is mad. He takes the mike, and says he should be the ROH champ because he made Nigel Mclariat tap out last night. He's not the champ, and not the #1 contender, and ends up beatin' the high holy crap out of Bobby Dempsey some more.
The crowd chants, Hero says the louder we chant his name, (Dempsey), the harder Hero hits. Hero calls out Aries being the #1 contender, and "Mr. 2005". Hero calls Aries the worst ever ROH World Champion. Aries comes to the ring to challenge Hero after his words. Aries says Hero may have made Nigel tap out, but he may not have. Aries says he knows what it takes to be the ROH world champion. And that he earned the spot as the #1 contender for the ROH title.
He also knows that he hasn't had a real match tonight, so 'put his money where your mouth is, and let's get it on'.
Match #9: Austin Aries vs. Chris Hero
Sweeney says he's a business man, and challenges Aries to put his #1 contendership for the ROH title.
Aries says he doesn't do anything for free. He says when he beats Hero tonight, its Claudio vs. Sweeney on 12/30 at Final Battle.
The match is on, and Aries attacked from behind by Hero. Hero kickin' Aries in the head to start the contest. Shoulder block by Hero on Aries. Nobody budges.
Aries challenges a shoulder block move, and tricks Hero, briefly getting the advantage, forcing Hero to run for higher ground.
Crowd is not very active at all for this match. Not much in the way of action. Chris Hero is outside the ring jawjackin' with everyone, and makes Cruise announce that he is requesting a professional do - over.
The crowd is doing multiple chants of two different types, complete opposites. Awesome and F-You. Only in New York.
After what seemed to be an interminable amount of time, they chain wrestle with some arm lock maneuvers. More chain wrestling. The crowd is so into it, they're screaming at someone else in the crowd to shut up. Like I said, only in New York.
The show is getting a tad long, and we still have the GHC title match and the world tag title match to come. Hero's headband gets knocked off. Aries uses it as a towel in an area he shouldn't, and throws it to the crowd. It comes back via Sweeney and Hero stuffs it in Dempsey's mouth. Welcome to Ring of Honor. :) Just kidding. Good heel work.
A couple of nice moves, senton and elbows by Aries. Hero regains the advantage, does more of his gymnastics, and Aries looks stupified.
Aries gets Hero on the outside, goes for the dive, Hero moves, and Aries takes out Dempsey. Dempsey took more abuse than Hero the whole night through both matches. My line of sight is now blocked, but Hero's up, Dempsey's down, and Aries is nowhere to be found. Except, of course, when you hear the sound of head meeting barrier, and the head was the cranium of the #1 contender.
Dempsey looks like he's going to die. Hero beats on Dempsey some more, kicks Aries in the face, and gets a 1 count. Hero does some more of his gyrating, and then a 2 count on Aries. Hero continues the advantage with basic moves, no major spots throughout this segment of the contest.
Hero gets a nasty atomic drop on Aries, then a arrogant cover for a 1 count. He sets up Aries in a fireman's carry into a somersault senton for a 2 count.
Hero misses a double stomp from the top rope, misses, Aries misses a clothesline, Hero tries for the Hero's Welcome, Aries counters and clotheslines Hero right in the side of the nose.
Aries chops Hero a couple of times, then hits the Metropolis' native's head in the turnbuckles 3 times. Aries throws Hero outside, Hero skins the cat, Aries drop kicks Hero, Hero hits the barrier, and Aries sentons outside the ring. Aries spinning press over the top for a 2 count on Hero. Lionsault missed by Aries, spinning neckbreaker by Hero, and the back and forth combat continues.
Toward the end of the match, Dempsey and Del Rey have disappeared. Sweeney is still out there. Hero hits a reverse neckbreaker smacking Aries' throat on the ropes. Ouch.
Aries hits a kneebreaker and a back suplex on Hero. The crowd is dead. I'm yawning like mad. But I am intrigued. I'm yawning because its been a long show.
Aries goes for a side slam, Hero spins out of it, Aries eats a backbreaker. Counters galore and Aries gets a brainbuster on Hero. Hero is put in a submission move that has his neck bent back badly. Sweeney tries to get in, and Claudio runs in. Sweeney takes off. Aries re-locks the submission move, a reverse cross face/cattle mutilation type move on Hero to retain his #1 contendership, and if Hero loses his match with Double C on 12/29, Larry Sweeney makes his ROH wrestling debut vs. Double C on 12/30 in NYC.
Green japanese flags are passing by me at this time, and the realization has come in that the Briscoes are gonna main event Glory By Honor VI. It's unreal to think that Misawa is not the main event for this show. They're calling tonight a double main event, but the last match, I would've thought was a lock for Misawa, and it's not. Here comes the NOAH contingent for the GHC Heavyweight title match.
Match #10: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. KENTA
Joe Higuchi is in the ring with Bobby Cruise for the ceremony prior to the title contest between KENTA and Mitsuharu Misawa for the GHC title. The crowd pops big for both men on their entrances, but the pop for Misawa was noticeably bigger. ROH fans know KENTA from his multiple stops on the circuit in Ring of Honor, but the majority of this crowd is here to see the Emerald from the Land of the Rising Sun.
MISAWA chants erupt through the Manhattan Center. I gotta admit, the expectations were not good for me at the beginning of this match off the reviews from Philly, and seeing this guy throughout the night walking around like he was old, and in constant pain. Green light floods the Grand Ballroom, and out comes the GHC Champion in his traditional ring garb.
Higuchi reads the title declaration for this match. The crowd by me is going "What?" Ridiculous. You get a match that nobody expects to see on US soil, have the respect to watch it, and accept it. Don't show your ignorance by being, well, being. Show some respect.
Big KENTA chants as he is introduced. Show of respect from both combatants with streamers galore. The MISAWA chants were a little less intense, but the ovation was emotional.
KENTA has some tape on his leg. The belt is goregous. Let's go to war.
Big weight and height advantage for the champion. Misawa reminds me of a Japanese Samoa Joe. He looked very slow initially as the match began.
KENTA gives one clean break, and then things get hot and heated, stiff blows, arm drag, head scissors, back to a stalemate, and the crowd shows its respect. Very stiff blows in the beginning of this contest.
Something in the back of my head said there could be something special tonight.
A fan was making fun of the rest holds used during this match, screaming, ' a chinlock, this is so awesome '. I mean it, fans trying to put themselves over are repulsive.
Couple of near falls from this chinlock position by the former GHC Jr. Heavyweight title holder. KENTA selling some of the blows from Misawa big, as initially, Misawa's blows looked a little lacking. KENTA's were stiff from the first bell.
Misawa's blows grew in intensity as the match progressed.
KENTA's speed is giving Misawa some headaches. Misawa's blows don't seem to have any effect. KENTA puts Misawa on the ropes, literally, with his head in the air, and then knee drops Misawa in the back of the head from the top rope. Ouch. I am shocked Misawa took that type of bump.
Good game of human chess here, which is fun for studious fans like myself, but others, well, you know.
Misawa in a head scissors, rolling around the mat. KENTA releases the scissors when they reach the ropes. Forearm exchange by both men. Misawa eats some nasty spine kicks after a snap mare from KENTA.
KENTA shows a nasty side. He slingshots over the ropes to hit Misawa with his boot, misses, then just paintbrushes the back of his head with the heel of his boot, which results in a 2 count.
Rest hold, ref picks his arm up three times, drops three times, a pin and a 2 count for KENTA. Don't ask me why this isn't over from the arm dropping three times. KENTA gets knocked off the top rope by Misawa, and we're going outside the ring. I am surprised again, and we have a barrier hit, and I believe its KENTA, but my line of sight is blocked.
We're back in the ring, and 3 jumping front kicks and KENTA goes down. An impressive back senton and a 2 count for Misawa on KENTA. Another rest hold ensues, and I'm not surprised this match has been slow paced, especially after 30 minutes last night.
Following a brief exchange by both men, Open hand shots and forearms by Misawa, things are looking stiffer, and KENTA's on the mat, and motionless.
Back and forth in to a powerslam by the challenger. Impressive show of strength by the smaller combatant. Irish whip in to a straight kick to the face on the champion by KENTA for 2 3/4. Some more boots to the face, and Misawa's looking the worse for wear. A missile drop kick from KENTA gets a 2 count.
KENTA gets knocked out of the ring after an exchange, and Misawa goes out for a suicide dive to the floor. I am stunned. Never expected it. The tide of the match is solely in the champion's favor at this point.
No line of sight while the contestants are on the floor. KENTA gets rolled in by Misawa, and the champion follows. A powerbomb by Misawa after a series of counters, looked like a tiger driver, and a 2 count ensues following that nice move by the GHC champion.
A slam by Misawa. Misawa to the top, KENTA kicks Misawa in the stomach on the top rope, Superplex position. An attempt at a tiger driver on the top ropes is blocked. Forearm by KENTA, a block by Misawa, a dive by KENTA and he eats Misawa's knees.
ROH chants. KENTA runs over Misawa, literally. Misawa's head snaps back. A tiger suplex for 2 7/8 by the challenger.
KENTA's calling for the original Go To Sleep. Sorry Punk.
Misawa's trying to block it. Chops by KENTA. Forearm by Misawa. Tiger driver attempt by Misawa, KENTA powers out and puts Misawa in the position, and Misawa eats Go to sleep. 2 count. I can't believe it.
NOAH chants through the arena. Another attempt at G2S, countered, emerald flowsion attempt, hits, for 2 7/8 by Misawa. It may not have been the finisher I remember, but it looked like it. KENTA gets Misawa in the mush with some boots.
Back and forth by both men. Elbow to the head by Misawa, and KENTA kicks out at 2.
Forearms by Misawa which leads in to a modified emerald flowsion, and KENTA loses in his attempt to win the GHC Heavyweight title on US soil. I am duly impressed by both men, and was thrilled to be a part of this historic match. I don't think, from the reviews I've heard, that this match can stand up to Low Ki vs. KENTA, but frankly, I don't care. It was impressive, and I am proud to say I was a part of it. Misawa and KENTA show respect and Misawa looks like he's been through a war. And he was.
Cruise promotes the next PPV and Final Battle coming up in December.
Match #11: No DQ: ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Briscoes vs. The Age of the Fall
Time for the main event. NO DQ match for the ROH World Tag Team Titles between the Necro Butcher and Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jay and Mark, the Briscoe Brothers.
Necro wrestles barefoot. I didn't realize this. Yuck. Nice no hair too Necro. Makes ya look 90. But, sorry, let me get back to recapping the matches.
Out come the incredibly over ROH World Tag Team Champions. Daizee Haze is out with the Briscoes, and the brawl starts before Cruise finishes. My line of sight is definitely impeded as most of this goes down on the floor. Necro gets pounded in the beginning. Necro eats a double boot. Briscoes try a double team on the AotF, and Lacey trips one out. Daizee comes over, and takes out Lacey. Mark goes for a shooting star on the floor. The man has more guts than brains, because that move put him on the shelf for God knows how long.
Jacobs counters off a press slam, and begins an offensive onslaught. Slingshot drop kick by the Briscoes on Jacobs, and Necro brings in the hardware. Chair shot on the champs. Necro picks up a Briscoe (don't know which one), with the chair in hand, and body slammed for a 2 count with the chair underneath his body. Ouch.
Necro brings in some hardware while the Briscoes are on the floor. Jacobs goes for a suicide dive and hits nothing but barrier. Jacobs continues to get beat down, and then thrown, literally, out of the ring. Necro gets pounded on the outside, and eats a chair to the back.
Slug out ensues in the middle with the Necro Butcher. Intense as hell. Lacey starts mouthing off. Daizee gets involved again and starts pounding on Lacey while they're in the ring. Daizee throws Lacey out, Daizee to the top, and dives on Necro and Lacey who are on the floor.
Daizee's lookin' hot tonight.
Line of sight is impeded significantly during this match, and I can't see anything now. The crowd is hot for this match, though, that is a guarantee.
Necro gets whipped in to and eats the barrier, face first. Back and forth continuing, with a hard core twist on the floor. Total chaos here. Two on on side of the ring, and two on the other, both outside on the floor.
This type of match, you need to have the balcony seats.
Necro's in the ring. He jumps off, and I hear a thud on the floor. Don't know what he hit. Jacobs is busted open, bad across his forehead. Another thud on the floor, off an attempt for a leg drop by the AotF. Necro is back up and moving.
Necro is bleeding from the mouth, and the Briscoes eat a couple of kicks to the back of the head. Chair introduced again to the contest, and the kicking fest continues. Jacobs is in bad shape. Man up chants are heard. A suplex on the chair by the Necro Butcher for a 2 count.
Jay is fighting with Jacobs, and Jacobs takes a bite out of Jay's nose. The Age of the Fall continue their onslaught with a spear on Jay Briscoe. Mark is outside the ring after a kick by AotF.
Chokeslam by Necro on a steel chair for Jay Briscoe. Ouch. Spike DDT by Jacobs on Jay in to a submission move on the champs. Mark jumps over Necro and saves Jay from losing the titles. Mark works on both men. Exploder on Necro for a 2 count.
Mark and Necro in the ring, and a chair is in their. A drop toe hold on the chair is attempted and missed. A back suplex by the Briscoes on Necro on a chair, head first, and a 2 count. The chair is dented badly from the Butcher's head on the back of the chair. So much for no hardcore wrestling in Ring of Honor.
Necro's kicked out of the ring. Jacobs eats a flying heel kick. A suplex is attempted out to the floor from the ring by the Briscoes, and it succeeded, after some forearms to the back by the champs. A cover on Jacobs for a 2 count for the champs. A suplex on Jacobs, and the Briscoes hit a moonsault on Jacobs on a chair. 2 count.
Modified version of a 3D by the Briscoes on Jacobs for a 2 count. Not sure if it was on a chair or not, but it didn't appear to be.
Jacobs looks out on his feet. DVD by the Briscoes. Moonsault and a 2 count with a save by the Butcher for Age of the Fall.
Fans are screaming for tables. Pier six brawl ensued. Jacobs is hurting. Necro is outside the ring. Springboard doomsday device hit on Jacobs by the champs, but Jacobs manages to kick out at 2. I don't believe it.
Necro crotches a Briscoe on the chair, and boots him in the face. Slugfest continues throughout the Manhattan Center.
AotF hit a side slam on a chair and got a 2 count. God knows how they kicked out of that one.
MAN UP chants are abound in the building. Crowd is jacked for this one, even at the end of the night.
Necro on the top rope. The champs are playing ping pong with Necro's head, literally, and then slammed him from the top rope right on to a chair. Jacobs just got put through a table. Two incredible chair shots by the Briscoes on the Necro Butcher, a spike jay driller, and that is the ball game. The Briscoe Brothers retain the ROH World tag team championships over the Age of the Fall.
I really think ROH did well here. No, it was not five star, but close. Some weird bookings, some more angles than I would like, but it was still very entertaining to watch. I hope you enjoyed this review. It was fun to write.
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