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DVD Review: ROH "Domination" (6-9-07), w/Strong vs. Morishima, Briscoes vs. Hero/Castagnoli

Dec 6, 2007 - 2:47:06 PM
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By Chris Vetter

Ring of Honor returned to Philadelphia, Penn., on June 9, 2007, for “Domination.” This show is back at the armory, and it appears the crowd is 700 to 800, and possibly more. Production is just vastly improved, as lighting is really good, sound is better, and the usual commentary team of Dave Prazak & Lenny Leonard are back.

* The DVD opened with Rebecca Bayless backstage, and she said we would hear from ROH wrestlers about the first-ever ROH PPV.

(1) Matt Sydal defeats Hallowicked at 9:17.
Very good opener and it got the crowd hot. Sydal told the camera that “every masked man falls to me.” They opened with some standing switches, as Prazak talked about how Sydal hadn’t signed an ROH contract yet, and he’s a “top free agent.” They traded quick rollups and quick armdrags. Sydal hit a leg lariat for a nearfall, and he cranked on Hallowicked’s “stem,” and the crowd booed. Sydal hit a nice sideslam for a nearfall at 3:30, and he tied Hallowicked in a Bow & Arrow, then he hit a guillotine for a nearfall and he applied a modified Crossface.

Hallowicked came back with a headscissors takedown and a running bicycle kick in the corner, and an Iconoclasm/flip slam from the corner, then a backbreaker over his knee. Sydal nailed a top-rope Rana at 6:00, and they were both down. They traded chops, and Sydal hit a running clothesline and a running double knees in the corner. Sydal went for a move off the ropes, but Hallowicked caught him with a dropkick. Sydal hit his snap headscissors takedown.

Hallowicked NAILED a Mafia Kick, which popped the crowd, and Hallowicked got a believable nearfall. Sydal went for a standing moonsault, but Hallowicked got his knees up to block it. Hallowicked hit a (D-Lo) Sky High spinebuster for a nearfall at 8:30. However, Hallowicked couldn’t hit a fisherman’s buster. Sydal nailed a DDT! Sydal hit a top-rope Shooting Star Press for the clean pin. Prazak again stressed that Sydal was a “free agent.”

(2) Lacey (w/Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Daizee Haze went to a 10-minute draw at 10:00.
Lacey got on the mic and said she had started a new chapter in her life. Fans chanted, “you f**ked Jimmy!” Lacey ignored the crude remarks and said, “I too, now know about love.” The match began, and the crowd was all over Lacey, as they traded good standing reversals. Lacey applied a Front Guillotine Choke. Haze tied up the legs and cranked on her head. Lacey applied a Japanese Stranglehold at 2:00. Prazak talked about Sara Del Rey winning the Shimmer title. Haze twisted on the left arm and applied a Fujiwara Armbar. Lacey applied a nice Boston Crab, as Prazak continued to push the Shimmer product.

Haze hit a basement dropkick to the back and some chops, then a clothesline at 5:00. Haze hit a bodyslam for a nearfall, and Lacey bailed and conferred with Jacobs. Lacey slammed Haze’s back into the ring apron, and she choked Haze on the floor. “So much for that clean wrestling match,” Leonard said with sarcasm. In the ring, Lacey hit some heavy chops to the chest and she hit a hair-mare. Lacey hit an inverted DDT over her knee for a nearfall, then a sideslam for a nearfall at 8:00. Lacey hit a running knee to the back in the corner. Hze hit some chops, a faceplant for a nearfall, but she missed a Heart Punch. Lacey nailed a Lungblower for a nearfall. Haze hit the Heart Punch, then she nailed the “Mind Trip”/Snapmare Driver, and Lacey bailed, as the match ended in a countout. Good women’s action.

* Erick Stevens cut a backstage promo. He said it was difficult for the Resilience to lose its leader, Austin Aries. But now, ROH is on PPV! “Everyone has to step up their game,” Stevens said.

(3) Kevin Steen & El Generico defeat Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw at 13:04.
Wow, this was good stuff. The crowd was hot and behind Quack. Jigsaw and Generico started and they traded some good armbars and reversals. Quack entered and traded offense with Generico in a knucklelock. Quack hit a modified Northern Lights Suplex. Nice. Steen entered at 2:30. Jigsaw tried to hit some shoulder tackles, but they had no effect on the bigger Steen. Steen unloaded some heavy chops! Jigsaw hit a headscissors takedown. Steen tagged out, but he then attacked Jigsaw from behind! Generico seemed perplexed by his partner’s heelish tactics, as Steen hit some more chops and he choked Jigsaw.

Generico hit a backbreaker over his knee at 5:30. Steen hit his flip guillotine legdrop, a backbreaker over his knee, and a senton. Jigsaw got a schoolboy rollup for a nearfall. Generico hit some punches. Jigsaw hit an enziguri and a Tornado DDT on Generico, and they were both down at 8:30. The crowd was HOT! Quack and Steen both got in, and Quackenbush hit a headbutt to the chest, a standing tumbleweed in the corner, and he was fired up. Steen tried, but he couldn’t hit the Package Piledriver, as Jigsaw hit a superkick on Steen to save Quackenbush. Steen hit a standing powerbomb on Quackenbush. Generico hit a frogsplash for a believable nearfall, and fans chanted, “ROH!” Quack hit a full-nelson swinging faceplant on Generico.

Jigsaw went for a frogsplash, but Generico got his knees up. Generico missed a Mafia Kick. Jigsaw hit a Falcon Arrow slam. Quack hit a swanton. Jigsaw made a cover on Generico, but Steen pulled Jigsaw out of the ring! Steen hit a gutbuster on Quackenbush in the ring, but he missed a moonsault. Jigsaw couldn’t hit his top-rope Rana. Generico hit an awesome coast-to-coast missile dropkick! Steen hit a second-rope sitdown powerbomb for a believable nearfall on Jigsaw, but Quack made the save. Steen hit the Package Piledriver on Jigsaw, and Generico immediately hit the mid-ring brainbuster! Steen then pinned Jigsaw. A very good match.

* Steen shook Jigsaw’s hand after the match, but he then tossed Jigsaw across the ring during the handshake! The crowd, of course, booed Steen’s tactics. “I shook his hand,” Steen told the camera as he walked to the back. “He just didn’t let go in time.”

* The Irish Airborne cut a backstage promo! They too talked about ROH getting on PPV. Dave Crist said, “everyone wants to be here, and so do we. We want another shot.”

(4) Davey Richards defeats Matt Cross at 10:11.
Good match. They opened with some intense standing switches, and Richards immediately tried to apply the Kimera lock. Richards hit a shoulder tackle. Cross hit a dropkick that sent Richards to the floor. Cross hit a dive to the floor. In the ring, Cross hit a catapult senton for a nearfall. Prazak talked about Austin Aries moving on to TNA. Cross hit a headscissors takedown and a Japanese armdrag. Richards dropped Cross stomach-first on the top rope at 3:00, and Cross stalled on the floor in pain. Richards hit some chops and a bodyslam on the floor, and he whipped Cross into the guardrail. In the ring, Richards hit a big clothesline for a nearfall, and he jawed at the ref.

Richards stayed in charge, as he hit a snap suplex, but he couldn’t hit the DR Driver. Richards hit some spin kicks to the chest, and he stood on Cross’ face. Richards nailed a back suplex for a nearfall at 6:30, then a gutbuster over his knee, and a German Suplex with a bridge for a nearfall. However, he missed a running forearm into the corner, and Cross hit a springboard doublestomp to Richards’ back. Cross hit a top-rope Rana, then a neckbreaker over his knee and a top-rope twisting press for a nearfall at 9:00. Cross hit his cartwheel-into-a-dive over the top rope. In the ring, Cross missed a Shooting Star Press but he landed on his feet. Richards nailed a Tombstone Piledriver for a nearfall, then he applied the Kimera lock, and Cross tapped out.

* Richards continued to beat down Cross after the match, and Rocky Romero & Roderick Strong jumped in the ring to help beat up Cross. Delirious & Erick Stevens ran out to make the save, which immediately led to the next match!

(5) Delirious defeats Rocky Romero at 9:14.
Solid, above-average match; I honestly hoped for a bit more, as I’m a big fan of both guys. Delirious hit some chops and a dropkick to the back, but he couldn’t hit the Panic Attack. Romero hit a missile dropkick, and he paused to dance. Delirious hit a top-rope flip dive to the floor. Delirious tossed Rocky over the guardrail, and they fought into the crowd. Delirious whipped some chairs at him, then a garbage can. They fought into the bleachers. Rocky hit a crossbody block on Delirious as Delirious was sitting on a chair at 3:30.

Delirious hit some chairshots to the head. Back at ringside, Delirious hit some headbutts. In the ring, Delirious hit a drop-toe-hold and the Panic Attack. Delirious went for the Shadows Over Hell backsplash, but Romero avoided it, and Rocky immediately applied a cross-armbreaker, but Delirious reached the ropes at 6:00. Romero hit some spin kicks to the chest. Delirious hit a Field Goal kick to the chest, some chops, slaps, and the BAM leaping lariat for a nearfall, but he couldn’t lock in the Cobra Stretch.

Rocky hit a running knee and a second-rope DDT for a nearfall, and he again applied the cross-armbreaker, but Delirious again reached the ropes. Delirious nailed the Shadows Over Hell for a nearfall at 9:00, and he applied the Cobra Stretch, but Romero escaped the hold! Romero hit a Tiger Suplex, but he missed a spin kick; Delirious quickly got a schoolboy rollup for the pin out of nowhere. This needed a few more minutes!

* Strong & Richards returned to ringside, so Cross & Stevens returned as well, and they all fought. This was a fairly extended fight scene, with no commentary.

* Backstage, Larry Sweeney talked about ROH coming to PPV. “No stopping us now!” Sweeney said. “We’re on the move!”

(6) Brent Albright defeats B.J. Whitmer and Jimmy Rave and Erick Stevens in a four-way at 12:54.
Prazak talked about Whitmer getting disqualified for hitting this same ref (Paul Turner) a night earlier. Stevens and Albright started, with Brent hitting a Field Goal kick and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex and a delayed vertical suplex. Whitmer and Rave entered at 2:00, and BJ hit a shoulder tackle, so Rave begged off. Whitmer hit an Exploder suplex and a dive to the floor on Rave. Stevens hit a diving forearm on Whitmer. Albright hit a top-rope flip dive on all three opponents! In the ring, Albright peppered Rave with some forearm shots, then a senton for a nearfall.

Albright traded blows with Stevens. Rave beat up Stevens on the floor. Albright hit some kicks on Stevens on the floor at 6:00, then he hit an Exploder on Stevens on the floor. Rave & Albright were now working together on Stevens. Rave yelled at the ref. Albright hit a backbreaker over his knee. Whitmer got the hot tag at 9:00, and he hit some chops, a leg lariat, and a Spinebuster on Albright for a nearfall. Albright hit a German Suplex on Whitmer, a hard slap on Stevens, and a spinning neckbreaker on Stevens. Albright then nailed his wrap-around-the-ropes kneeshot on Rave.

Albright hit two German suplexes on Whitmer for a nearfall. Whitmer pulled Albright to the floor, and they continued to fight. Meanwhile, Stevens hit some chops and forearms on Rave and the Choo Choo running splash in the corner, then a powerslam. Rave applied the Heel Hook on Stevens, but Whitmer made the save. Whitmer hit a brainbuster on Rave, then an Exploder suplex on Stevens. Whitmer made a cover, but ref Turner said that Stevens wasn’t legal! Whitmer yelled at Turner. This allowed Albright to hit a half-nelson suplex, dumping Whitmer on his head, and Brent pinned Whitmer.

(7) Jay & Mark Briscoe defeat Claudio Castagnoli & Chris Hero (w/Larry Sweeney, etc.) at 18:42 in a best of three falls match.
The crowd was HOT, as they chanted, “F**k you, Hero!” Hero and Jay started, as Prazak talked about how Claudio had chosen Hero as his partner for this match. Hero did his kip-ups and bounced around and celebrated, then he hit a shoulder tackle. Jay hit a Mafia Kick. Claudio and Mark squared off and traded mat holds. Jay hit a basement dropkick on Claudio for a nearfall at 3:30. The Briscoes hit some quick team moves and their football double shoulder tackle on Hero, then on Claudio. Claudio hit a gutwrench suplex on Mark and a second-rope elbowdrop. The Kings of Wrestling hit a double boot on Mark at 6:30.

Mark hit a mule kick, but he couldn’t make the tag. Claudio hit a delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall. Hero hit a running boot on Mark as Claudio held Mark on his shoulders. Hero applied a half-crab. Claudio hit a bodyslam & guillotine legdrop combo. Mark nailed a spin heel kick, a springboard dropkick on both opponents, and he finally made the hot tag at 9:30. Jay entered and hit a hurricanrana on Claudio, some chops, a dropkick, and a running forearm on Hero. Jay nailed a Superkick on Claudio and a powerslam on Hero. Jay then nailed the JayDriller/butterfly piledriver on Hero for a pin at 10:35! The Briscoes lead, 1-0!

The Briscoes jumped on Claudio, as Hero rolled to the floor, as it appears he has been knocked out! Claudio hit a second-rope diving European Uppercut and a Giant Swing. Mark hit a springboard corkscrew press on Claudio at 13:00. Claudio put Jay in the Giant Swing, and he hit another running European Uppercut for a believable nearfall. The Briscoes hit a double hiptoss. Hero made the save, but he was still clutching his head in pain. Claudio hit a top-rope diving European Uppercut. Hero finally tagged in and he hit a Mafia Kick and a swinging neckbreaker, then a second-rope cravate neckbreaker for a nearfall and a hooked-leg suplex on Mark.

Jay hit a Death Sentence/elevated guillotine legdrop on Hero at 16:30. Hero hit a chokeslam on Jay. Claudio hit a top-rope headscissors takedown. Both Hero and Claudio hit a Bicycle Kick. Claudio hit the Waterslide for a believable nearfall on Jay, while Hero and Mark fought on the floor. The Briscoes set up for a Spike JayDriller, but Tolant grabbed Mark’s ankle to stop them. Mark hit a springboard moonsault to the floor on Toland & co. In the ring, Claudio nailed the Ricola Bomb/pyramid powerbomb on Jay for a believable nearfall, but Mark made the save. The Briscoes then hit the springboard Doomsday Device clothesline, and Jay pinned Claudio. Hero & Toland & Sweeney & Dempsey headed to the back without Claudio.

* Backstage, Daizee Haze said she was excited about being on PPV. Suddenly, Lacey attacked Daizee. She walked away, with Rain in tow, as they laughed at Haze.

(8) Takeshi Morishima defeats Roderick Strong at 13:12 to retain the ROH World Heavyweight title.
Excellent match, especially for the time given. Fans taunted Strong with a loud “Rod-A-rick” chant. Strong hit some chops, but he couldn’t budge Morishima. Morishima hit a shoulder tackle. Strong hit a leg lariat to the chin and a flying boot off the ring apron to the floor, then some more chops. Back in the ring, Strong hit an enziguri. Morishima hit a sidewalk slam and his rolling buttbump as Roderick was on the mat at 2:00. Morishima stood on Strong’s chest, he choked him in the ropes, and he hit a Mafia Kick. They fought back to the floor, and Takeshi whipped him into the guardrail, then he hit a running buttbump against the guardrail!

In the ring, Morishima applied a sleeper at 5:00, but Strong reached the ropes. Strong hit a Mafia Kick. Morishima hit an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, but he missed a buttdrop on the apron. The crowd was HOT! Strong hit a sideslam on the floor! In the ring, Strong peppered Takeshi with some chops and kicks, then a running clothesline in the corner for a nearfall at 8:00. Morishima fired back with his cartwheel-into-a-Stinger Splash and a missile dropkick, then a running boot in the corner. Strong nailed a pumphandle overhead back suplex! WOW; that’s a lot of weight to hoist overhead! Strong hit several clotheslines, but Morishima wouldn’t go down.

Morishima was cut off as he went for another missile dropkick, and Strong hit a superplex, but he only got a one-count! Strong hit a big boot, then the Gorilla Press Gutbuster over his knees, then a running boot for a believable nearfall at 11:00. The crowd was HOT and split! Strong went for a sunset flip, but Morishima hit the buttdrop on Roderick’s chest! Strong went for a big clothesline, but Morishima avoided it, and Takeshi hit the Back Drop Driver/Saito Suplex for a nearfall; Strong reached the ropes. Morishima hit a swinging uranage, then a second Back Drop Driver for the clean pin. Excellent action. “Who can stop Morishima?” Prazak exclaimed.

* Main DVD program ends at 2 hours, 18 minutes.

BONUS MATERIAL:

(1) Bryan Danielson (w/Dave Prazak & Mr. Milo Beasley) defeats Jay Lethal at 21:00 even.
This match is from an FIP show on May 27, 2006, in Florida. Lethal was not doing the “Black Machismo” gimmick yet. Leonard & Prazak provided new commentary, and they made it clear this was a look at a year-old match. (Yes, that means you have DP at ringside and in the booth. But, it worked here.) Prazak explained that FIP is a “throwback promotion,” with more families and children. Danielson stalled at the bell and he hugged Prazak. Lethal hit an armdrag, and Danielson stalled some more. The crowd was HOT and all over Danielson. Lethal overpowered Danielson in a knucklelock at 3:00. On commentary, Leonard & Prazak really pushed the new FIP product, as they talked about the new DVDs and the Briscoes feuding with Mad Man Pondo & Necro Butcher.

Danielson bailed and stalled a lot, as the kids chanted, “Chicken!” at him. In the ring, Lethal hit a monkeyflip at 7:00, and Danielson begged off. Danielson hit a headbutt and some bodyblows. Lethal got a Victory Roll for a nearfall, and he hit a basement dropkick to the chest, and Danielson bailed, and he yelled at the kids. Lethal applied a headscissorslock in the ring, but Danielson reached the ropes at 10:30. Danielson applied his own headscissorslock, but Lethal EASILY escaped, and that annoyed Danielson! Funny. Danielson dropped Lethal throat-first on the top rope, and he pushed him to the floor. Milo got out of his wheelchair and stomped on Danielson, and he hit a flip senton off the apron to the floor. Danielson choked him in the ropes. Lethal pulled down the back of Danielson’s trunks to show Bryan’s black underwear.

Danielson hit a snap suplex for a nearfall at 14:00, then a second-rope ax handle for a nearfall. Lethal hit a kneelift as Danielson was coming off the top rope. Lethal hit some punches, a clothesline, and a leg lariat at 17:30, and he was fired up! Lethal hit a backbody drop and a Spinebuster for a nearfall, then a big clothesline. However, Prazak grabbed Lethal’s ankle. Danielson got crotched on the second rope. Lethal hit a frogsplash for a nearfall, but Danielson reached the ropes. Lethal went to the top rope, but Prazak tripped him. Danielson hit a top-rope superplex for a nearfall at 20:00. However, Danielson missed a Benoit flying headbutt. Lethal got a schoolboy rollup, then a small package. However, Milo Beasley jumped in the ring, rolled Danielson on top as they were tied in the small package. The referee saw Danielson on top and counted the victory. Good match.

(2) Pelle Primeau defeats Alex Payne and Mitch Franklin and Rhett Titus at 5:38 in an elimination match.
This match was from the Philly pre-show. Pelle was still the “Top of the class” trophy holder. Rhett has his Rick “The Model” Martel gimmick working for him. No tags in this match. The three challengers attacked Pelle and they all hit splashes in the corner. However, the challengers broke up pin attempts (which has NEVER made sense to me.) Pelle hit a springboard Thesz Press and a doublestomp for a nearfall on Rhett. Mitch hit a headscissors takedown on Payne.

Pelle hit an UGLY-looking headscissors takedown to the floor, as his head struck the ring apron. Painful. Mitch dove through the ropes and barreled into Pelle. Back in the ring, Mitch Franklin tied Payne in a pretzel, and Payne tapped out at 2:59. Rhett hit a nice dropkick on Pelle, sending him to the floor. Rhett missed a frogsplash. Mitch hit a faceplant, got a rollup, and he pinned Titus at 4:03, leaving Mitch vs. Pelle. They shoved each other, and they traded rollups, and this was decent action. Pelle nailed a stunner, got a cradle rollup, and scored the pin. Solid.

Final thoughts:


This was an entertaining show. I’ve skipped around recently in my ROH viewing, but I’m glad I saw this one. I’ve been harsh toward the Philadelphia crowd on some recent reviews, but on this night, the fans were hot and into the action, and that really helped make this show so entertaining.

Best match goes to the main event. Strong got in some big spots, like that pumphandle overhead suplex, which showed off his strength. There aren’t too many wrestlers on the roster that I considered having a chance at beating Morishima, but Strong is on the short list of wrestlers that could do it, and I think the fans present felt the same way. Even though Strong is a top heel, many fans cheered for him, perhaps just because they wanted to see a title change.

Second-best match goes to the Briscoes vs. the Kings of Wrestling. I have to admit that I’m a bit surprised that Hero didn’t attack Claudio after the match, as I fully expected that to happen. The Briscoes stayed dominant, and the loss didn’t hurt Claudio Castagnoli or Chris Hero at all. The Briscoes continue to be the best tag team in wrestling to watch.

Third-best match goes to a sharp, entertaining tag match of Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico. The action was quick and fun, and it continued to get over that Steen is the heel of his team, with Generico being, more or less, a babyface. Quack yet again delivered, and showed why he should have been in ROH for the past several years.

I’ll give fourth-best match to Cross vs. Richards. The bonus match of Danielson vs. Lethal earned fifth best; it was good, but they told a story in 21 minutes that could have easily been condensed into 12-14 minutes. Danielson milked it out, but he kept the crowd into it.

My complaints are minor. The promos between matches did more for pushing a PPV than they did about forwarding storylines. Outside of a surprise cameo appearance from Irish Airborne, I really learned nothing new from the promos. Guess what? Everyone knows they have to “step up” now that ROH is on PPV. Yes, the promos were repetitive!

As I said, I’m a huge fan of Delirious and Romero. But, they had some pretty standard brawling in the crowd, and didn’t click quite at the level I hoped when they got in the ring. I’d like to see them have a rematch, as I know they have a better match in them.

This DVD has earned a thumbs up, and it’s available at www.rohwrestling.com for $20.


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