DVDs - VGames - Books Tape Review: ROH, "Dragon Gate Invasion," Aug. 27, 2005, with Styles-CIMA, Curry Man-Takagi
Oct 11, 2005 - 11:45:00 AM
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By Chris Vetter, Torch Contributor
Ring of Honor returned to Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005, for “Dragon Gate Invasion,” featuring two wrestling from the Japanese promotion Dragon Gate, and those matches are definitely the highlight of the show.
On commentary are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard. Gabe “Jimmy Bower” Sapolsky is on commentary for only one minute of this tape. As with all recent ROH releases, lighting is good, and sound is improving.
The tape opened with Colt Cabana hosting “Good Times, Great Memories.” He talked about his recent winning streak, with victories over Spanky, Nigel McGuinness and CM Punk. “Colt Cabana is the hottest property in Ring of Honor,” Colt said.
The guest on GT,GM is Homicide. Colt asked him if he’s living a “gangsta’s paradise.” Cabana said he can relate to Homicide’s life, because there was one time … he didn’t want TO DO THE DISHES … and his mom yelled at him. Colt explained that “that’s what the cleaning lady is for.” Homicide shot Cabana some looks, and is perplexed that Colt is trying to compare their lives. Colt says some “ferrr-shizzle” lines, and Homicide is now annoyed. “I’m not a god-damn joke. Don’t disrespect me,” Homicide said, as he stormed off.
(1) Ricky Reyes defeats Puma at 7:28. Really good action for the time given. They opened with quick armbars, and Puma hit a nice headscissors takedown, then he dove through the ropes on Reyes. Reyes came back with a gutwrench suplex for a nearfall and a snap suplex. Puma hit some European Uppercuts. He tied Reyes in the Tree of Woe, then planted several kicks to the body. Puma hit a hard Tombstone Piledriver for a nearfall at 5:30.
Reyes came back with a sit-down powerbomb for a nearfall, a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, and a fisherman’s buster for a nearfall. Puma applied a Sharpshooter, but Reyes reached the ropes. Reyes applied a Dragon Sleeper, and Puma tapped out. Good, hard-hitting, but short match.
Nigel McGuiness cut a promo backstage. He said he always seems to come up a bit short, and he doesn’t want to be a mid-carder forever. “I’ve never really stepped to that next level,” Nigel said. “I want to make it to the top of this business.” A very good, serious promo.
(2) Chad Collyer defeats Davey Andrews and Kevin Steen and Jimmy Jacobs in a four-way at 10:34. Solid match. Collyer and Andrews start, and Andrews goes to a headscissorslock. Jacobs entered at 2:00, and he hit some armdrags and dropkicks on Collyer. Steen got in, and the crowd heartily booed him. Steen hit some chops on Jacobs. Jacobs hit a hurricanrana on Steen.
Steen hit his summersault legdrop on Andrews. Collyer got in, and he hit some European Uppercuts and a flying knee on Andrews. Steen and Andrews traded some hard clotheslines at 7:00. Jacobs hit the top-rope senton splash on Andrews. There is a neat spot where two German Suplexes are hit at the same time. Jacobs dove through the ropes onto Collyer and Andrews. Steen climbed to the top turnbuckle and hit a forward-roll dive to the floor on all three opponents.
A loud “Mr. Wrestling” chant broke out. Steen hit his spinning crucifix bomb. Andrews hit a Pepsi Twist/short-arm clothesline for a nearfall. Jacobs and Steen brawled on the floor, leaving just Andrews and Collyer in the ring. Collyer applied the Texas Cloverleaf, and Andrews tapped out. Andrews is improving, but he’s still not at this level.
(3) Homicide defeats El Generico at 14:02. Good match. They immediately go to the floor, and Homicide hit SEVERAL hiptosses into the guardrails. Homicide hit several hard chops. Back in the ring, Generico hit some armdrags, and there is plenty of quick action. Generico threw some chops, and Homicide just looked angry at these blows!
Homicide dominated the action, with a German release suplex, a running knee in the corner, a series of kicks, and a belly-to-belly overhead suplex for a nearfall at 9:00. Generico is red on his chest from all these blows. Generico hit a sunset flip powerbomb off the ropes for a nearfall, and he took over with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, a springboard dropkick, and a corkscrew plancha to the floor. In the ring, Generico blocked a Copkillah, and he hit a tornado DDT for a nearfall.
Prazak pointed out that Ring of Honor has eliminated the boxing-style turnbuckles; I didn’t notice that before! Homicide hit an Ace Crusher off the ropes for a nearfall, a diving headbutt, then the hard running clothesline for the pin. Good action.
(4) Curry Man defeats Shingo Takagi at 12:10. Shingo wore a black singlet, and he has light brown – almost blonde – hair in a mullet. He’s fairly muscular. He is slated to face Christopher Daniels. However, we were informed that Daniels has not arrived at the building. The crowd booed this news. He would be replaced by Curry Man (Daniels alter-ego in Japan.) Curry Man came out in a red half-shirt, that states he is “the king of spice.” He wears a mask with a tiny white fedora.
Leonard and Prazak do an awesome job on commentary, filling in the viewer on Shingo’s background, saying he’s only been wrestling for 10 months! Prazak never acknowledges that Curry Man is Daniels. They open with some comedy spots, as they each show off their ability to do pushups. Shingo hit a shoulder tackle. Curry Man hit a plancha. Shingo came back with some chops and a flying knee for a nearfall at 5:30.
Shingo hit a running clothesline in the corner, then he applied a Crippler Crossface, but Curry Man reached the ropes. They traded stiff forearms. Curry Man hit a back body drop, a springboard back elbow, and a Blue Thunder bomb for a nearfall. Shingo applied an Anaconda Vice/arm & neck submission hold, but Curry Man reached the ropes. Curry Man hit the Best Moonsault Every for a nearfall at 11:30. He then hit a Flatliner and a Burning Hammer/inverted Death Valley Driver for the pin. Good match.
Curry Man got on the mic and apologized for “his rusty English.” (The voice is clearly Daniels, as if there was any doubt!) Curry Man put over Shingo. The crowd chanted “please come back” to Shingo. They shook hands; this is a big deal, because Christopher Daniels doesn’t shake hands in Ring of Honor.
(5) Nigel McGuiness defeats Samoa Joe at 14:46 to win the ROH Pure Title at 14:46. Good match; on par with their prior matches this year. There is a clip from their last encounter at “The Future is Now” in June. Nigel went to work on Joe’s arm, and they traded kicks to the thighs. Nigel put Joe in a headlock and threw some punches, but the ref is blocked from it. Joe hit a closed-fist punch at 5:00, and he was warned for it.
Joe hit a Mafia Kick, then his back chop/front kick/knee drop combo. They traded stiff forearms and chops. Joe applied a cross-armbreaker, and Nigel used his first rope break at 6:30. Nigel grabbed a chair from ringside and he hit Joe with the chair; the ref fined Nigel a rope break. Nigel – who had been working on Joe’s arm much of the match – applied an armbar, and Joe used two quick rope breaks. Joe later threw a punch, and the ref saw it, and he fined Joe his final rope break at 12:00!
Joe hit a uranage, and both men were down. Nigel went to a headstand in the corner, but Joe hit a Mafia kick. Nigel escaped a Musclebuster! Nigel hit the Tower of London/Ace Crusher in the ropes; Joe got his foot on the bottom rope as the ref counted to three. Prazak said, “Joe’s foot was on the bottom rope, but it doesn’t matter.” Good match.
Suger Shawn Price interviewed Chad Collyer in back. Collyer talked about leaving Ace Steel in a pool of his own blood on Aug. 13. I’m sooo happy this angle will continue. Homicide interrupted Collyer, saying he is looking for Cabana. He said he’s upset at being disrespected.
We come back from intermission to see the last seconds of the Ring Crew Express defeating Matt Turner and Shane Hagadorn. Christopher Daniels ran to the ring and apologized for his tardiness. The crowd chanted, “You are late!” Funny. Daniels said he is ready for his match with Shingo. When he found out that Shingo already wrestled, against Curry Man, Daniels said – in perfect comic timing – “He’s here? Oh, I missed him AGAIN.” Hagadorn – the only wrestler from the prior match – is still in the ring, and he’s annoyed. He grabbed the mic from Daniels and shoved him. Daniels grabbed him and hit the Angel’s Wings for a huge pop.
(6) Jimmy Rave & Spanky (w/Alex Shelley & Jade Chung) defeat Austin Aries & Roderick Strong at 18:43. Good, long match. Rave and Shelley did Spanky’s dance routine with him. There is a clip shown of the Aries-Spanky match from June 4. No Prince Nana tonight.
Spanky argued with the crowd, and the heels stalled early. Spanky and Strong start, and Strong hit some HARD chops, and Spanky tagged out IMMEDIATELY. Strong then chopped Rave, and he bailed to the floor. Spanky got in and he hit some punches to the ribs, but Strong came back with more hard chops. Aries tagged in at 7:00, and Gen Next hit a Heart Attack clothesline on Spanky. Aries and Spanky traded some nice quick offense. Strong hit a nice dropkick on Spanky. Aries hit his running dropkick in the corner on Spanky.
Strong placed Rave across his knees, and Aries hit a senton back in the ring on Rave. Cool maneuver. Spanky hit a Flatliner/face-first Russian legsweep on Strong at 12:30, and the heels began to work over Strong. Jimmy Bower joined commentary, just to say how upset he is at the way the Embassy treats Jade Chung; he goes back to the stands to enjoy a beer. Aries made the hot tag at 15:00, and he hit the Power Drive elbowdrop on Spanky. Aries dove through the ropes on the heels.
In the ring, Spanky went for the Sliced Bread #2, but Aries blocked it. Rave went for the Rave Clash, but Aries blocked that, too. Strong hit a backbreaker over his knee on Rave. Rave hit the Rave Clash on Aries, but Strong made the save. Shelley hit Aries with a chair to the head, and Rave rolled up Aries to score the pin. Good match, but another ROH match where outside interference directly led to the finish.
Aries got on the mic and told Rave that if he wanted a war, that is what he will get.
(7) CIMA defeats A.J. Styles at 16:57. My pick for match of the night. CIMA has short black hair, with black shorts and tassels. The crowd immediately began alternating, “Let’s go A.J.,” “Let’s go CIMA” chants. They have an intense lockup. Prazak says this is the biggest Japanese name in ROH since Jushin Liger last year; Leonard asked about Dragon Soldier B, and Prazak reiterates, this is the biggest name since Liger – a fun dig at DSB’s terrible showing at the April 2 show.
CIMA and Styles have a test of strength, then some cool offense with their fingers still laced together. A.J. hit some armdrags, then applied an armbar. They brawled on the floor, and A.J. accidentally hit the ringpost. CIMA dove through the ropes to the floor at 6:00. A.J. nailed his Kip-up Rana. CIMA nailed a catapult doublestomp on Styles’ back on the ropes. A.J. hit a wind-up backbreaker, then a back suplex and a Muta Lock. I just want to add here that Lenny Leonard is awesome in calling this match.
CIMA hit a basement dropkick to the knee at 11:30. They hit simultaneous crossbody blocks, and both men were down. CIMA hit a cross-legged Michinoku Driver for a nearfall. A.J. went for the Phenomenon, but CIMA grabbed the top rope to block the inverted DDT. A.J. put CIMA in the Torture Rack, and spun him down to the mat off his shoulders. CIMA fired back with a series of kicks, then a Van Terminator, springboarding across the ring into a dropkick. The crowd chanted “Holy sh—!”
CIMA hit some palm strikes. A.J. blocked a frogsplash; he went for a Styles Clash, and the crowd booed! CIMA blocked the Styles Clash, and he hooked Styles’ leg, did a forward roll into a pinning move and scored the victory! Excellent action.
Samoa Joe cut a promo, saying that you can’t be a champion forever. When you lose a title, you can either become complacent… or you can become more intense and more aggressive. Good promo.
(8) James Gibson defeats Colt Cabana at 28:18 to retain the ROH World Title. Good, methodical, mat-based match. This is a face-face matchup, and the crowd likes them both. To my surprise, Lenny Leonard is still in the commentary booth.
Cabana worked the left arm; he jumped on it and shouted “yabadabadoo.” Funny. Gibson applied a headscissorslock. Cabana kept escaping Gibson’s holds. Prazak reiterates that Gibson will stay in Ring of Honor as long as he has the title. Gibson hit a guillotine legdrop and worked the neck. Gibson went for a Tiger Driver at 10:30, but Cabana blocked it and he dumped Gibson to the floor.
In the ring, Cabana hit some double chops as Gibson was lying against the ropes. Gibson hit a swinging neckbreaker. Gibson tied Cabana in the Tree of Woe and cranked back on Cabana’s head at 15:00. “You’re out of your league, Colt Cabana,” Gibson shouted. They traded chops. Gibson dove through the ropes, and it appeared their heads collided. In the ring, Cabana hit a Splash Mountain/Razor’s Edge. Gibson hit a running knee to the head, then a German suplex with a bridge for a nearfall.
Cabana applied a Front Guillotine Choke (Gibson’s move!) at 22:30. Cabana hit an Asai Moonsault to the floor. Gibson hit a Victory Roll, and rolled through it into a modified Texas Cloverleaf; Cabana reached the ropes. Gibson hit a top-rope swinging neckbreaker for a believable nearfall at 26:00. Gibson applied the Front Guillotine Choke, but Cabana escaped. Gibson applied the move again, and this time, Cabana tapped out.
The show ends with Sugar Shawn Price following Homicide outside. Homicide ran over to Cabana in the parking lot and attacked him, kicking him several times. (It was dark; for all I know, Homicide could have been kicking Shane Hagadorn.) The show ends with Homicide swearing a lot and walking away from the beatdown.
Final thoughts: This was a pretty good show; not on the level of the two Midwest shows from earlier in the month, but still good. Styles-CIMA was best here, followed by Joe-Nigel, then the Embassy-Gen Next tag match. I enjoyed this show, and it is recommended viewing. Purchase a copy at www.rohwrestling.com for $20.
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