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DVD Review: ROH "Death Before Dishonor, N2" (8-11-07), w/ 8-man tag, Danielson-Quackenbush

Dec 18, 2007 - 5:14:23 PM
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By Chris Vetter

Ring of Honor returned to the armory in Philadelphia, Penn., on Aug. 11, 2007, for “Death Before Dishonor V: Night 2.” As with the prior show here, the crowd is perhaps 800 and they are HOT for ROH action. This is quite a turnaround from the lackluster Philly crowds in late 2006/early 2007.

As with all recent ROH releases, sound is good, lighting is vastly improved, and commentary is provided by Dave Prazak & Lenny Leonard.

* The DVD opens with the Briscoes walking to the ring! Mark got on the mic and said it was time to “Man up.” Jay got on the mic and said they are ready for a fight right NOW, and he didn’t care which match started it. Kevin Steen & El Generico appeared on the ramp. Steen said that he & Generico have beaten up the Briscoes across the “ROH circuit.” However … Steen isn’t ready for his match … and he has to call his mom… so he volunteered Generico for the first match!

(1) El Generico defeats Mark Briscoe in a falls-count-anywhere match at 8:24.
Really, really good short match. They immediately fought on the floor, with Generico hitting some chops and he whipped Mark into the guardrail. Mark hit a top-rope Shooting Star Press to the floor for a nearfall on the floor, as the fans chanted, “Holy sh!t!” In the ring, Mark got a Northern Lights suplex for a nearfall. They traded more chops on the floor, with Generico hitting some STIFF forearms. Generico hit a suplex off the guardrail at 3:00, dropping Mark onto the thin mat at ringside, for a nearfall! OUCH!

Generico hit a top-rope crossbody block in the ring for a nearfall, then a split-legged moonsault for a nearfall. Mark came back with a Moonsault Press, some karate thrusts, and a back heel kick, then a springboard dropkick, and Generico bailed to the floor. Generico hit a back suplex off the apron to the floor for a nearfall at 6:00. OUCH and dangerous!

They traded chops on the floor, as they brawled over to the entrance ramp. Generico hit a Mafia Kick, and Mark crashed backward onto the ramp. Mark fired back with an Exploder Suplex on the ramp, and they were both down, before Mark finally got a nearfall. Suddenly, Kevin Steen walked to ringside, holding a ladder. However, Mark nailed Steen with a Superkick. Generico did his move where he ran on the floor, dove through the ropes – around the ringpost – and hit a Tornado DDT on the floor for the clean pin! WOW that was some great action with some nice big bumps, in just 8 minutes.

* Backstage, the No Remorse Corps (Strong, Richards, Romero) talked about going out later. Larry Sweeney walked up with the “hottest free agent” in wrestling, Matt Sydal. Sydal said he wants to be in the match against Delirious.

(2) Jack Evans defeats Deranged at 6:41.
Blah. This was a mess. Evans works best when he is facing a guy bigger than him who can pummel him, or a mat technician that can bend Evans in a bunch of painful-looking positions. Here, with Deranged being smaller than Evans, this match was doomed from the get-go. Deranged is still scrawny. Lenny Leonard talked about how Evans still “wants to put together a crew.” Just as the match was beginning, someone hopped the guardrail, shouting into a megaphone, that “Project 161 is real.”

Deranged hit some spine kicks. Evans hit a handspring-back-elbow in the corner, then a springboard kneestrike to the neck for a nearfall. Evans went for another handspring-back-elbow, but Deranged flipped him into the corner. Deranged hit a spin heel kick and a springboard doublestomp to the chest. Deranged hit an Asai Moonsault to the floor at 3:00, and they were both down. In the ring, Deranged hit a delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall, a headscissors takedown, and a Tornado DDT for a nearfall.

Prazak & Leonard continued to talk about Evans wanting to put together a crew. Evans hit a spin kick to the head, a standing corkscrew press for a nearfall, and a running kneestrike for a nearfall. Deranged went for a Spider Suplex out of the corner, but Evans landed on his feet! Evans then hit his Ghetto Stomp kneedrop as Deranged was tied in the Tree of Woe! Evans hit the top-rope 630 Splash for the pin. This was a bit messy, as Deranged still isn’t that sharp. I do like Deranged, but this match just didn’t play to Evans’ strengths.

(3) Jigsaw & Chris Hero (w/Larry Sweeney, Tank Toland, Bobby Dempsey) defeat Nigel McGuinness & Claudio Castagnoli at 14:58.
Good match with great heat. Hero, Toland & Sweeney berated Dempsey as he exercised. Leonard said that Jigsaw was hired for the night, and is not a part of “Sweet & Sour Inc.” Hero stalled at the bell as Claudio fired up the crowd. The crowd is HOT! Hero tied up with Nigel, then he began to bounce around, doing his jumping/exercise routine. Claudio tied up with Jigsaw at 4:00 and they wrestled on the mat. Nigel entered and traded good wrist reversals with Jigsaw. Claudio tagged in; Hero immediately tagged out. Jigsaw hit some deep armdrags on Claudio.

In a neat spot, Claudio leaned over the top rope and pulled Jigsaw in the ring by his head, then Claudio hit a European Uppercut and a second-rope elbowdrop. Nigel hit a short-arm clothesline for a nearfall at 7:00. Nigel set up for a Tower of London/hangman’s ace crusher, but Hero made the save, and Hero immediately hit a Divorce Court armbreaker on Nigel. Hero & Jigsaw began working Nigel’s left arm & wrist. On the floor, Dempsey did some jumping jacks, while Sweeney gabbed on his cell phone. Hero slammed Jigsaw onto Nigel for a nearfall. Nigel fired back with a decapitating clothesline on Jigsaw at 10:00. Hero & Jigsaw continued to work on the arm. Nigel hit his back kick & inverted DDT combo on both opponents, and he made the hot tag to Castagnoli.

Claudio entered and hit a Bicycle Kick on Hero, then spun Chris around his back into a faceplant. Claudio hit a Giant Swing on Jigsaw, doing perhaps 20 rotations, as fans counted along! Cool. Jigsaw actually was tugging on his pants to keep them on. Claudio hit a European Uppercut on Hero, then hit the Waterslide for a nearfall at 13:00. Jigsaw hit a top-rope guillotine legdrop, launching off of Hero’s shoulders, on Castagnoli, and Hero immediately hit a top-rope doublestomp on Castagnoli, but Nigel made the save. Nigel hit a clothesline on Hero and a Tower of London on Jigsaw. Nigel and Jigsaw brawled to the floor, with McGuinness whipping Jigsaw into the guardrail. Meanwhile, Hero got Claudio’s “Race to the Top” trophy and hit Castagnoli with it, and Hero quickly covered him for the cheap pin!

* The crowd booed the finish, as Hero hit another doublestomp on Claudio’s back after the match. Claudio had a bloody forehead. Hero took one of Toland’s workout tools and smashed Claudio’s trophy! Nigel returned to the ring and saved Claudio. Nigel whipped Bobby Dempsey into the corner, with Dempsey hitting a rolling tumbleweed on Toland.

* Backstage, Bryan Danielson talked about his upcoming match with Mike Quackenbush. Danielson said he respects Quackenbush. However… “I’m the veteran here. I’ve been the main event since the very first show,” Danielson said. He referred to Quackenbush as just another stepping stone for him.

(4) Sara Del Rey defeats Lacey at 12:36 to retain the Shimmer title.
(Yes, the Shimmer title is recognized and defended on an ROH show.) No sign of Jimmy Jacobs tonight. Del Rey hit her running Vader press, and she worked the left wrist. Daizee Haze appeared on the ramp to watch the match; the cameras would glance at her occasionally through the match. Del Rey hit a stiff kick, and Lacey bailed. They traded forearms on the floor. Del Rey missed a flip senton off the apron and she crashed on the floor at 2:00! OUCH! Lacey hit some stomps, and she began to work over Del Rey’s back. In the ring, Lacey applied a Boston Crab, and she leaned back to pull on Del Rey’s hair.

Lacey yelled at the crowd as she hit some kicks to the back, then some shoulder thrusts to the lower back as Del Rey was in the corner. Lacey hit an inverted DDT for a nearfall at 6:00. Lacey was now dominating the match, as she applied a full nelson leglock, hit some back chops, then she put Sara in a Camel Clutch, and she hit a standing neckbreaker for a nearfall. Del Rey fired back with a standing powerbomb at 8:30, and they were both down. They traded stiff forearms, and Del Rey hit three consecutive big boots, a bodyslam, and a senton for a nearfall.

However, Del Rey couldn’t apply the Royal Butterfly lock. Lacey hit a backbreaker over her knee for a nearfall, then a Lungblower for a nearfall. Del Rey got a quick rollup for a nearfall. Lacey hit a hangman’s swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall at 11:30, but she couldn’t hit her implant DDT. Del Rey hit a German Suplex for a nearfall, then she applied the Royal Butterfly lock, and she turned it into a butterfly suplex for the pin. Very good women’s match. The crowd was respectful, but it appeared that no one really thought a title change would happen, so that hurt some of the heat.

* Brent Albright talked backstage. He is confident he can get Takeshi Morishima up for a suplex, or down on the mat and into a Crowbar.

(5) Bryan Danielson defeats Mike Quackenbush at 17:07.
WOW, this was a fantastic mat-based match! They shook hands, and the crowd was HOT. They opened with some intense mat reversals. They did headstands with their legs locked together, and they shook hands. Danielson hit a dropkick at 2:00 and he celebrated. Quack fired back with some quick armdrags. Danielson hit some knee strikes in the corner and a snap suplex for a nearfall, then some kneedrops on the head for a nearfall. They traded slaps to the face. Danielson set Quackenbush up for a Surfboard, and he pulled on Quack’s nose at 5:30. In a fun spot, Danielson would open his mouth to admonish the referee, but the crowd would say, “I have til five!” for him.

Danielson hit some spin kicks to Quack’s chest as Mike was on his knees. Leonard talked about how Danielson is using more MMA holds. Danielson hit a back suplex for a nearfall, and he applied a modified Stretch Plum that was almost a Dragon Sleeper, but Quackenbush escaped at 8:30. Quack fired up and hit a headbutt to the chest and some chops, then a running tumbleweed and a palmstrike in the corner, and Danielson bailed to the floor. Quack nailed a flip dive to the floor, and they were both down. Back in the ring, Quack worked over Danielson’s left shoulder, and he hit a reverse Crucifix Takedown, and he CRANKED on Danielson’s left arm. Quack applied an Octopus, and he got Bryan on the mat for a nearfall at 12:00.

Danielson fired back with a German Suplex, a running kneestrike, and a Tiger Suplex for a nearfall. Danielson locked in a Crossface Chickenwing on the mat, in the center of the ring! Quack was eventually able to escape. Danielson applied the Cattle Mutilation/double armbar, and he rolled Quack over for a nearfall at 14:30. Quack fired back with an inverted DDT slam, then a top-rope flying kneedrop to the chest for a nearfall, and Quackenbush applied a Stretch Plum. Quackenbush applied a cross-armbreaker, and the crowd was going NUTS, as Danielson sold the effects of Quack working over that shoulder! Danielson eventually reached the ropes. Bryan hit some right & left kicks. Quack got an inside cradle for a nearfall. Danielson applied a Triangle Choke, and he hit rapid-fire elbow shots to the head. The referee stopped the match. The crowd popped and chanted, “Best in the world!”

* Backstage, long-time wrestling journalist Bill Apter spoke with Austin Aries about the match later against the NRC. Aries said the NRC attacked him last night. “You guys showed me you’re scared,” Aries said. The camera panned over to show Erick Stevens, Matt Cross, and Delirious. Delirious cut one of his gibberish promos; nothing made sense from it tonight.

(6) Kevin Steen defeats Jay Briscoe in a “lights out” match at 14:12.
(WWE calls this a ‘last man standing’ match, which I think more accurately describes how you win. No pins here; a wrestler has until the count of 10 to stand up after hitting the mat or floor). Jay got on the mic and he told Steen to “get his fast a$$ out here.” Steen charged the ring, and they traded blows. Steen hit a flip dive to the floor, and he whipped Briscoe into the guardrail. Jay hit some forearms, and he also whipped Steen into the guardrail. They traded chops. Steen dropped Jay face-first on the apron at 3:00. Jay peeled the sheet metal off the guardrail, and he tossed it onto Steen. In the ring, Briscoe hit a missile dropkick, then a Flatliner into a turnbuckle, then a Facewash in the corner.

Steen fired back with a Superkick, a rolling tumbleweed, and they traded more forearms and slaps. Steen couldn’t hit the Package Piledriver. Jay hit a headscissors takedown. Steen hit a pumphandle neckbreaker over his knee at 6:00, and they were both down. Steen went for a top-rope Swanton Bomb, but Jay got his knees up to block it. Jay applied a Stretch Plum, then a plancha to the floor. In the ring, Jay hit a top-rope guillotine legdrop. Steen avoided the Jay Driller, and he gave Briscoe a backbody drop to the floor. Steen then NAILED an overhead powerbomb, tossing Briscoe into the guardrail at 9:00, and fans chanted, “Holy sh!t!”

They fought on the apron, and Jay hit a Death Valley Driver on the apron! However, in the ring, he still couldn’t hit the Jay Driller. Steen applied a sleeper. Jay hit a German Suplex, and they were both down. Steen hit an enziguri, then the Package Piledriver at 12:00! Fans chanted, “Man up!” and Briscoe got back to his feet at the 8-count! Jay avoided a second Package Piledriver, and he nailed the Jay Driller! However, El Generico ran in the ring and hit two consecutive Mafia Kicks. Steen then hit another Package Piledriver, and Jay couldn’t get back to his feet before the 10-count, giving Kevin the victory. Sharp, hard-hitting match.

(7) Takeshi Morishima defeats Brent Albright at 15:15 to retain the ROH World Heavyweight title.
Excellent match, and easily Albright’s best ROH work to date. They immediately traded forearms with neither man budging. Morishima went for the Back Drop Driver immediately, but he couldn’t get it. Albright hit a shoulder tackle, which had no effect, but Brent hit a dropkick and a bodyslam, and the crowd popped. Albright couldn’t hit a half-nelson suplex. Lenny Leonard noted this was Albright’s first ROH title shot. Brent hit some stomps on the floor, and he whipped Morishima into the guardrail. In the ring, Brent focused on the left arm. He hit a back suplex for a nearfall at 3:00, and he applied a keylock on the left arm. Prazak said Morishima’s had a grueling schedule between Japan and ROH. “Is the champion weakening?” Prazak wondered. “Is it taking a physical toll?”

Albright couldn’t get the Crowbar/Fujiwara armbar locked in. Morishima hit a (Boss Man) Sidewalk Slam, and some stiff forearms that sent Albright to the floor. Morishima whipped Brent into the guardrail, then he nailed a chairshot to Brent’s back at 5:30. Takeshi hit a butt bump against the guardrail. In the ring, Takeshi hit his cartwheel-into-a-Stinger Splash, then a missile dropkick that grazed Albright, for a nearfall. Takeshi stood on Albright. They traded chops. Morishima hit his rolling buttbump as Brent was sitting on the mat, for a nearfall at 8:30. Morishima hit some stiff forearms, but Brent fired up and hit a powerslam! The crowd was HOT and alternating chants. Morishima went for a running buttbump, but Albright caught him and hit a German Suplex for a nearfall!

Albright got a Crowbar locked on! Morishima reached the ropes. Morishima hit a buttdrop for a nearfall at 11:00. Morishima hit a running boot to the side of the head, but he couldn’t hit the Back Drop Driver. Albright once again got the Crowbar locked on. Morishima hit a clothesline and a Back Drop Driver for a nearfall. He once again went for a missile dropkick, but Albright cut him off, and Brent hit a Superplex, but Morishima hopped up! Brent hit a half-nelson slam, but Morishima again hopped up! Brent hit another half-nelson slam for a BELIEVABLE nearfall at 13:30, and the fans loudly chanted, “That was three!” Albright couldn’t hit a third half-nelson slam. Morishima hit a crossbody block for a nearfall. Albright hit an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Morishima hit a German release suplex, a clothesline for a believable nearfall, then the Back Drop Driver for the pin. Excellent stuff.

* An FIP commercial aired for the “Unfinished Business” DVD, from Jan. 2007, featuring Erick Stevens vs. Steve Madison in a dog collar match.

(8) Roderick Strong & Rocky Romero & Matt Sydal & Davey Richards defeat Austin Aries & Delirious & Erick Stevens & Matt Cross in a street fight at 33:51.
A fantastic brawl. That said, it peaked at about the 27-minute mark, and it lost some steam in the final minutes. Fans taunted Strong with the slow, “Rod-A-rick” chant. Strong got on the mic and said that his faction took out Aries the previous night. However, Aries attacked from behind and hit the heels with a cane, and the match was underway! All eight men fought on the floor, as Prazak talked about the history of ROH street fights in Philly. Delirious chopped Romero and whipped him into the wall. Cross and Sydal fought into the bleachers. Strong choked Cross with a towel. Richards brawled with Aries, and Strong brawled with Stevens.

At 4:30, Cross and Sydal brawled on top of bleachers, with the steep dropoff below. Fans chanted, “Please don’t die!” Cross pushed Sydal onto everyone below! (A replay immediately aired.) In an UNBELIEVABLE spot, Cross ran up the WALL, pushing himself off, and he hit a flip dive onto everyone, about 20 feet below. Fans chanted, “ROH!” WOW, that was insane! Cross brought Sydal into the ring, and he hit a back suplex at 7:00. Richards hit a flip dive to the floor onto some chairs that were piled on top of Cross. Delirious hit a dropkick and a Panic Attack on Sydal in the ring. Romero hit a running knee on Delirious, sending Delirious crashing into a ladder. Romero & Strong hit a double suplex on Delirious at 9:30, then they gave hit a team slingshot into a ladder.

Aries brought a rake into the ring and used it on both Strong and Romero. Stevens hit a Choo Choo running splash, but he missed a second one. The fans were ON THEIR FEET, and continued to stand for the next 20 minutes! Delirious applied a Cobra Clutch on Strong, and he turned it into an overhead suplex onto a ladder! Romero gave Delirious a Tiger Suplex for a nearfall. Cross hit a neckbreaker over his knee on Romero at 12:00. Cross then hit a doublestomp on Romero onto an open chair for a nearfall. Sydal hit a fisherman buster on Cross, dropping him on a chair. Stevens hit a TKO. Richards missed his handspring-back-enziguri, and Stevens immediately slammed a chair on Richards!

Strong gave Stevens a powerbomb on the floor. Aries hit a DDT on Richards onto a folded chair for a nearfall. Sydal set up a table on the floor. Delirious and Strong fought into the crowd. Sydal climbed to the top rope and dove over the guardrail to clothesline Delirious at 15:30. Meanwhile, Strong and Cross were climbing a camera scaffolding! Aries threw powder on Strong. Cross hit his Flagpole Press off the scaffold onto Romero. They all fought back to the ring. Lenny Leonard talked about how the effects of this match would stay with competitors for “weeks and months.” Stevens slammed a chair on Romero on the floor. Richards hit a sitdown powerbomb on Aries for a nearfall at 19:00. The NRC whipped Aries into the ladder in the corner. Aries gave Richards a back suplex, with Richards accidentally striking Strong.

Stevens leapt off the ring apron, but Strong NAILED Stevens with a stiff chairshot, and the crowd chanted, “you sick f**k!” Aries hit a brainbuster in the ring on Richards. Aries hit a (Jarrett) Stroke on Strong, sending him into the ladder, but he couldn’t hit the 450 Splash, at 22:00. Strong hit some chairshots on Aries’ injured knee, then some blows to his head. Richards bit on Stevens’ bloody forehead. Richards & Strong worked over Stevens in the ring, as the action suddenly slowed down. Romero and Cross brawled on the floor. Stevens hit a double clothesline on Richards & Strong at 25:30. Stevens hit a half-nelson slam, then a running Bulldog Powerslam on Richards, off the ring apron through a table, set up on the floor!

In the ring, Stevens and Strong traded punches and forearm shots. Strong hit a running boot for a nearfall at 29:00. Stevens hit a sideslam for a nearfall. Strong whipped a ladder at Stevens, then Strong set up a bridge with the ladder and two chairs. Stevens fired back with a German release suplex and a clothesline for a believable nearfall. Stevens couldn’t hit a top-rope Dr. Bomb on Strong. Strong then nailed a top-rope uranage, sending Stevens into the bridged ladder! Strong applied a Boston Crab and sat down on Stevens’ lower back. The ref checked Stevens and determined he had passed out, giving the NRC the victory. “Is this it for the Resilience?” Prazak wondered.

* Aries, who had looked like he was hobbling to the back, returned to the ring and helped Stevens get to his feet. The crowd was still hot as they chanted, “ERICK STEVENS!” It is really unclear what happed to Delirious & Matt Cross.


Final thoughts:
DVD runs 2 hours, 46 minutes.

ROH will run about 50 shows this year, and this one has earned a spot in the “Top 10” of the year, and may even crack some “Top 5” lists. It is really THAT GOOD.

Best match goes to the wild 8-man brawl main event. While I think it peaked a bit early, this was an insane brawl, with some hard-hitting bumps and great, believable action. I’ve seen a LOT of wrestling, and I’m probably a bit jaded… so it takes a rare spot to make me jump up in shock … but that’s what happened when Cross bounced off the wall and into a flip dive onto wrestlers 20 feet below. It was a breath-taking, dangerous bump. If the match hadn’t slowed down a bit, I would have scored it a bit higher.

Second-best match goes to the Morishima-Albright brawl. Albright easily delivered his best ROH match to date, as he matched Takeshi blow for blow. If Albright had been in a better position entering this match (as in, if fans considered him a legit champion), I think this match would have been even more breath-taking. As is, the Philly fans were hot for this exchange.

I love watching Quackenbush wrestle, and his mat exchange with Danielson earned third-best. Some VERY good stuff, for a third-best match of the show. Everyone knows about Danielson’s history of shoulder problems, but I just don’t recall anyone exploiting it like Quackenbush did here. Give Danielson a LOT of credit here for his selling of the pain in his left arm as Quack worked him over.

Fourth-best match goes to Steen vs. Jay Briscoe in their last man standing match. The copout finish of Generico interfering was expected, and it really didn’t hurt the quality of this match. Even though Mark Briscoe vs. Generico was really short, it still was quite good and deserving of being fifth best on this ultra-stacked show.

I liked the women’s match a lot, and it was certainly one of the best Shimmer matches in ROH. That said, with Sara Del Rey having just won the title, and this not being a Shimmer show, I knew the title wouldn’t change hands. The crowd felt the same way. Lacey is a great heat magnet, and Del Rey is a great champion. Prazak made a smart decision making her the ‘face of his promotion.’

I MUST repeat that the Philly fans were hot this entire show… it’s quite a turnaround from the dead crowds last winter there. The fans brought this show up another level, making this one of the best shows of the year.

The negatives: I like Deranged, I really do. But not against Jack Evans. I already stated that Evans shouldn’t be in the ring with someone smaller than him. EVER. Evans is at his best when he’s being bent in weird positions, but is still able to overcome it and make his superman comebacks. So, this bump-fest stood out like a sore thumb.

One other negative was how Jigsaw was used here. I never want to complain about seeing a Jigsaw match, but his pairing with Hero & Sweeney was really random. Sure, the announcers tried to explain it away, but I think a backstage segment was really needed here. I would have liked to see Sweeney approach Jigsaw about joining Hero for the night, and Jigsaw cautiously agreeing to it, against his better judgment. All that said, the match was really good!

Should you purchase this DVD? Definitely! If you are only ordering one – or fewer – ROH shows a month, you should put this on your short list to pick up. This DVD is available at www.rohwrestling.com for $20.


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