DVDs - VGames - Books DVD review: ROH, "Do or Die IV," with Joe-Aries, Shelley-Walters, B-Boy-Steen, Delirious
Aug 26, 2005 - 2:06:00 PM
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By Chris Vetter, Torch Contributor
Ring of Honor recently released “Do or Die IV.” This 3-hour release includes matches several different events between Oct. 2004 and March 2005. There are 13 matches in all on this release.
The biggest problem with this DVD is there is no commentary. When ROH has a great play-by-play announcer like Dave Prazak available – who does a lot of research on the guys who he watches wrestle – I don’t understand why ROH doesn’t add commentary to this release. Commentary would undoubtedly lead to more sales of this DVD.
The first four matches are from a convention show on Oct. 2, 2004. The lighting is ok, but the crowd is sparse.
(1) John Walters defeats Alex Shelley at 14:29 in a Pure Wrestling Match. This is actually one of the best matches on this DVD. The crowd loves the heel Shelley. Walters tied up Shelley’s legs and pulled back on his head. Lots of mat wrestling early, until Walters hit a suplex for a nearfall at 6:00. Shelley used two quick rope breaks.
Walters hit some European Uppercuts, and he applied a Boston Crab at 7:30, and Shelley had to use his last rope break. Shelley put Walters in the Border City Stretch, and the crowd chanted for Walters to tap out. Walters used a rope break. Lots of quick rollup attempts, and they hit simultaneous crossbody blocks, and both were down. Shelley hit a flying knee to Walters’ neck at 11:30.
Shelley went back to the Border City Stretch, and Walters used a second rope break. Walters hit a Lungblower for a nearfall. Shelley got in a Tornado DDT for a nearfall. Walters applied a Sharpshooter; Shelley was near the ropes, but he was out of rope breaks, and he tapped out. I liked this mat-based match.
(2) Loc & Devito defeat Jesse Robinson & Matt Turner & Shane Hagadorn at 6:52. A total squash. The crowd chanted, “Let’s go Turner” to open the match. Loc nailed Turner with some big chops. Devito got in and he pounded away on Turner’s back. Loc applied a modified Figure Four. Hagadorn got in at 2:30, but Devito peppered him with crossface punches. Devito then beat up Robinson on the floor.
Loc hit a senton splash on Hagadorn. Hagadorn actually landed a clothesline! The Carnage Crew hit the Carnage Plex, then a team Razor’s Edge on Turner. Devito hit a Burning Hammer on Jesse, then Devito finished Turner off with a Spike Piledriver for the pin. Total domination; I believe this might be the first-ever matches for these rookies.
NOTE: While I definitely wasn’t a fan of the ROH rookies in October, they are improving. I’ve seen some of their recent matches in Chikara, and they are getting better.
(3) CM Punk defeats Davey Andrews at 5:18. Andrews got the early offense, with armdrags, working over the left arm, and a headscissorslock. Punk applied a modified Figure Four and he hit some chops. Andrews hit a powerslam for a nearfall at 4:30. Punk hit a Shining Wizard, then he put Andrews in an Anaconda Vice, and Andrews tapped out. Pretty basic.
(4) Dunn & Marcos (The Ring Crew Express) defeat Cloudy & Deranged at 8:54. Marcos and Cloudy open, and Marcos hit a nice headscissors takedown. The faces beat up on Deranged early, and the crowd is definitely behind the Ring Crew. Deranged hit a nice spin heel kick at 4:00 on Marcos.
Deranged took over on offense with a standing moonsault, a HARD running knee into Marcos’ head in the corner, and a headscissors takedown. Deranged had a scary-sloppy uranage. Marcos made the hot tag to Dunn at 7:30. Dunn hit a nice snap Gory Bomb and an overhead powerbomb for a nearfall (the bell actually rang to end the match.) Marcos hit a mid-ring flip bulldog. Marcos hit a senton off Dunn’s shoulders onto Deranged for the pin. Cloudy just isn’t at the ROH level.
The next two matches occurred at the 2/26/05 “Third Year Anniversary, Part 3” show, but did not make the final edit of that release, so they are included here.
(5) Lacey defeats Daizee Haze and Tracy Brooks and Allison Danger in a four-way, one-fall match at 10:48. Tracy and Daizee start with basic headlocks and armbars. Lacey and Danger enter and start throwing some stiff forearms. Allison trips Haze, who lands hard, throat-first, across the bottom rope. Danger then gives Haze a Curbstomp on the rope. OUCH. Lacey and Danger take turns working over Haze, with Danger getting a series of rolling suplexes.
Danger and Brooks exchange some slaps. Brooks gets the hot tag at 9:00. Daizee dives off the top rope onto the heels on the floor… who catch her, and flip her into the front row! Back in the ring, Lacey hits Allison Danger with a DDT for the pin. Good women’s match that was given time to develop.
(6) Ring Crew Express (Dunn & Marcos) defeat Delirious & Golden Vampire XII (Davey Andrews?) at 9:01. The lights are down for this match, and the crowd is into this action, more than any match on this DVD. Golden Vampire starts and does a series of summersaults, only to make himself so dizzy he has to tag out. Funny. Dunn and Delirious do some humor spots. RCE hits simultaneous bulldogs. Golden Vampire goes for an Undertaker Old-School ropewalk, but Marcos pulls him down with an armdrag.
Delirious works over Dunn with headbutts and kicks. Dunn hits a Gorybomb on Delirious. Delirious misses his Shadows over Hell backsplash. Marcos goes to the top rope and launches off Dunn in the corner into a back senton on Golden Vampire for the pin.
The next six matches (7-12) occurred on Feb. 19, 2005, at the “Do or Die IV” show in Elizabeth, N.J. The crowd is small and fairly quiet. I really, really wish we had commentary here!
(7) Mase & Buff E. (The Christopher Street Connection) (w/Arial) defeat Phil & Sean Davis (The Heartbreak Express) at 8:58. This is a comedy match. Sean & Phil wear ugly purple & pink singlets. Sean is heavy; he talked about how great looking he is. The crowd booed him when he removed his robe, and they chanted, “you fat f---,” at him. The CSC are gay characters, who are cheered for their antics.
Buff E. grabbed Sean Davis’ rear. The heels accidentally collided. Plenty of silly gay spots. Mase bit Phil’s rear. Mase tried to ride Phil horsey-style. Sean hit a sitdown powerbomb for a nearfall on Mase at 7:30. Mase hit some chops. Buff E. made the hot tag at 8:30, and he grabbed his opponents’ crotches. Mase won it with a flying butt splash on Phil for the pin.
(8) Vordell Walker defeats Cheech at 2:05. A total squash. Vordell is much thicker, and he overpowered Cheech immediately. Vordel hit a nice pumphandle overhead release suplex, and the crowd popped. Cheech got in a headscissors takedown. Vordell planted some chops and a knee strike to Cheech’s face. Vordell hit a spinning uranage for the pin. The crowd chanted “Please come back,” at Vordell. Fun, stiff squash.
(9) Alex Law & Ricky Landell (w/Steve Corino) defeat Davey Andrews & Anthony Franco (w/CM Punk) at 6:24. This should have been better than this. Landell is taller with blonde hair. Law is bald. Landell and Andrews started with some basic mat wrestling. Franco and Law entered. Franco hit a nice spinning neckbreaker. Andrews hit a backbody drop, but a sloppy DDT on Law, and the crowd groaned in disapproval.
Law hit a Shining Wizard/running knee on Andrews, then one on Franco, and he pinned Franco. This match, to me, just didn’t click. My guess is these two teams hadn’t worked together before.
(10) Fast Eddie defeats Arik Cannon and El Generico and Josh Daniels in a four-way at 19:29. Ok match, but nothing special, either, and these guys were given ample time to have a ‘special’ match. Dave Prazak is in Fast Eddie’s corner; he cut a heel promo about FIP’s “DP Associates;” however, Prazak was unnoticed most of the match. Generico, with his generic black mask, is ridiculously over here. Cannon, who had just returned to the ring after a four-month layoff due to a broken collarbone, is not as sharp as usual.
Cannon and Daniels started, and Arik immediately went to the cravat. They traded basic armbars and armdrags. Fast Eddie and El Generico entered at 3:30 and sped up the match with some quicker offense. Generico hit a spin kick. Josh tagged in and nailed Generico with hard chops at 7:30. Fast Eddie entered, and he hit Cannon with a spine kick. Cannon hit some armdrags, and he made fun of Eddie’s blindness.
Cannon hit a backbreaker over his knee for a nearfall at 10:30. Fast Eddie came back with a Death Valley Driver into a backbreaker over his knee. Cannon hit Generico with a backbody drop, then a modified Pedigree for a nearfall. Generico hit Cannon with a running Mafia Kick at 14:30. Fast Eddie hit a moonsault on Daniels. Cannon hit Eddie with a Glimmering Warlock/step-up enziguri, and all four men were down.
Fast Eddie and El Generico are the only wrestlers in the ring, and Eddie hit a dangerous-looking German Suplex, dropping Generico on his head. Eddie hit an Asai Moonsault on Cannon & Daniels. Generico hit a forward roll dive from the top turnbuckle to the floor. Daniels hit a German Suplex on Fast Eddie, but Prazak interfered! Generico hit a Brainbuster on Daniels for a nearfall at 18:00. Fast Eddie got Cannon alone in the ring, and Eddie hit his fallaway moonsault off the second turnbuckle for the pin on Cannon. Above average, but not memorable.
(11) B-Boy defeats Kevin Steen at 13:53. My pick for match of this DVD. Steen wore a singlet; no T-shirt here. They opened with quick mat reversals and a standoff. Steen hit a shouldertackle, and he immediately went for a package piledriver at 1:30, but B-Boy blocked it. The crowd is definitely behind B-Boy.
Steen hit some chops. B-Boy went for the Facelift/running basement dropkick, but Steen bailed to the floor. They brawled outside the ring. B-Boy hit an inverted DDT on the ring apron for a nearfall at 3:30. They each hit doublestomps. Steen laid in some spine kicks and he put B-Boy in a Japanese stranglehold. The crowd alternates cheering “Mr. Wrestling” and “Let’s go B-Boy.” They traded some stiff forearms at 7:30, then some headbutts.
Steen hit an enziguri; B-Boy hit a decapitating clothesline, and both are down. Steen hit a moonsault for a believable nearfall, then a nice tilt-a-whirl crucifix bomb. B-Boy came back with a suplex into the corner turnbuckles and a Facelift for a nearfall, then a Shining Wizard for another nearfall. Steen hit a Package Piledriver, but he couldn’t make the cover, and B-Boy rolled out of the ring.
B-Boy hit a Tornado DDT, then a Package Piledriver, followed by a Shining Wizard, for the pin. Very good match; both of these two should be regulars on the ROH roster.
(12) Homicide defeats Antonio Banks at 12:16. Good match. Banks is muscular with white trunks; I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him on the FIP releases. They opened with an intense lockup. Banks hit a shoulder tackle and Homicide bailed. Homicide hit a dropkick, then a tope con helo at 3:30. Homicide hit a flying kneedrop to the back of Banks’ head and some chops.
Banks came back with a Samoan Drop for a nearfall and some boot scrapes, then a nice vertical suplex. They traded some chops and forearms shots at 7:30. Homicide hit an Ace Crusher, then a running knee in the corner. Banks hit a German Suplex with a bridge for a nearfall. Homicide hit a Saito Suplex.
Banks applied a cross-armbreaker at 10:00, but Homicide reached the ropes. Banks hit a nice modified Spinebuster for a nearfall. Homicide hit a low blow, two piledrivers, three clotheslines, another low blow, then finally one last clothesline that took Banks off his feet, and Homicide scored the pin. Banks came out of this match looking good in the loss.
The final match occurs in the ROH dojo on March 9, 2005; it has plain white walls with the ROH logo on a few of the walls. The camera follows Samoa Joe as he enters the training center. Joe talks about how Austin Aries won’t give him a title shot; in the background, Aries is working in the ring with several trainees. Aries heard Joe badmouthing him, and they agree to a non-title match.
(13) Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries goes to a 15-minute time-limit draw at 16:10 in an empty arena match. No my clock wasn’t off. They did something unique here. Joe would hit a move, and the camera would suddenly go black and white. It was a ‘pause’ in the match, as Joe would stare at the camera and explain why he did the move; what is accomplished by the maneuver. I loved this 10-second vignettes, as Aries or Joe demonstrated the move on a student.
Aries demonstrated a dropkick to the knee, explaining the purpose of taking his opponent off his feet, and he explained a dropkick in the turnbuckle, and a 450 splash.
Joe narrated segments for the open-hand paintbrush slaps, a musclebuster, a powerslam and a choke. These were really strong, insightful segments. I know some people won’t like these “pauses” in the match, but I think they were cool.
OK, to the match:
They opened with some quick mat wrestling, and Aries went to armlocks and a cravat in the center of the ring. Joe went for an armbreaker and a Crippler Crossface at 3:00, then a Boston Crab. Aries hit a dropkick to the knee, and he worked over Joe’s knee. Joe hit his open hand paintbrush slaps. Joe hit his back chop/front kick/knee drop combo, then a running Facewash at 9:00. Joe hit a vertical suplex, and Aries is begging for Joe to put him down.
Aries hit a brainbuster. Joe hit a Musclebuster for a believable nearfall at 12:00, but Aries reached the ropes. Joe hit some stiff kicks to the chest and a headbutt. Aries came back with a side Russian Legsweep and a tight 450 splash for a believable nearfall. Joe hit a powerslam, then he applied the choke, but the bell rang before Aries could submit; the match ends in a time limit draw. The two have to be separated by all the students. Good, intense match, especially considering there is no crowd in attendance.
The show closes with a short video that recaps the past year of Ring of Honor. Nice touch.
Final thoughts: DVD runs 2 hours, 59 minutes, so it is identical to any other ROH release in that aspect. But quite honestly, this DVD is only for ROH completists. (I got it as my free selection in a recent sale). The B-Boy-Steen match leads the way, followed by Aries-Joe and Shelley-Walters.
I have the “Do or Die 2 & 3” DVD, and I thought that just had better overall matches, with more star power. If you like Ring Crew Express, the ROH students, Carnage Crew and the Special K B-team, you may want this DVD. Otherwise, it is skippable; get a DVD from the ROH May and June shows instead. This DVD can be purchased at www.rohwrestling.com for $20.
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