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DVD Review: ROH, "Glory By Honor, N2" (9-16-06), with Kenta vs. Danielson in MOTY candidate

Nov 29, 2006 - 1:31:00 PM

By Chris Vetter, Torch Contributor

Ring of Honor debuted in the Manhattan Center in New York, N.Y., on Sept. 16, 2006, for arguable the biggest and best show in ROH history, named “Glory By Honor V, Night 2.” First and foremost, the building inside looks FANTASTIC. With the hundreds and hundreds of fans packing the sold-out ballroom (perhaps a legit 1,000 or more; it’s hard to tell), and the two decks, this show looks GREAT on film. The lighting is well done, the fans are hot, and the action is very good.

Back on commentary is Dave Prazak & Jared David. The problems with the sound that have appeared on recent DVDs has cleared up a bit.

* The DVD opened with Bryan Danielson standing outside, with Madison Square Garden in the background. “This place is where legends are made,” Danielson said. Danielson then walks a block, as the camera follows him. He stopped in front of the Manhattan Center. “This is the building I make my legacy,” Danielson said. Well done segment.

* A video montage aired showing KENTA and Bryan Danielson in action against a variety of opponents in prior ROH matches. Cool.

(1) Davey Richards defeats Jack Evans at 7:35.
Really good, albeit short, opener. Prazak & David talked about what a huge night this is for ROH. The wrestlers opened with a feeling out process, and Evans hit a nice hurricanrana and a Londonsault/flip dropkick, and Richards bailed to the floor. Evans hit a Pele Kick and a handspring-back-elbow. Richards came back with a Mafia Kick that sent Evans to the floor. On the floor, Evans whipped Evans into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Richards hit a snap suplex for a nearfall at 3:00, then a gutbuster over his knee. He tossed Evans stomach-first on the top rope, and Evans fell to the floor, accidentally breaking a table at ringside!

Back in the ring, Evans hit a springboard flip back elbow, then a cartwheel dive to the floor, and the fans chanted, “Holy sh--!” Evans went for a 630 Splash in the ring, but Richards got his knees up to block it at 6:00! OUCH! Richards nailed a running forearm and a powerslam for a believable nearfall, then he applied the Horse Collar, but Evans reached the ropes. Evans hit a nice mid-ring hurricanrana for a nearfall. Richards unloaded some Kawada Kicks to the face, then a hard Field Goal kick to the chest, a standing powerbomb, then he applied the Horse Collar again, and Evans tapped out. Really good action.

* Nigel McGuinness cut a backstage promo. He talked about how life is short, but there are some special moments you recognize are special, and you stop and savor them. “Tonight, is going to be one of those nights,” Nigel said.

* Bruno Sammartino entered the ring to a MASSIVE ovation. (I’m 33, and Bruno has always been retired in the time I’ve been watching.) This is just an awesome spectacle, however, as the whole locker room emptied and stood at ringside to hear what Bruno had to say. Fans chanted, “Welcome Home!” Sammartino talked about how honored he felt to get this reception, as few fans here were alive when he wrestled! Sound here is pretty good, but there were a few times Bruno didn’t hold the mic close enough to his mouth, and he trailed off.

Bruno said he was sent some recent ROH DVDs, and he was impressed. He said he is glad to see that wrestling is back! He really put over the ROH product and the fans for bringing back his style of wrestling. The crowd chanted, “Thank you, Bruno!” This whole segment was just classy and well done. Kudos to everyone involved in making this happen.

* All the wrestlers started to file to the back. Samoa Joe and one of the Japanese guys (I don’t him! Sorry!) bumped into each other. Suddenly, they were fighting in the ring, and they had to be separated. The crowd was going NUTS at this sudden twist, chanting, “Let them go!” Hot, short brawl.

(2) Adam Pearce defeats Delirious at 8:18.
Pearce jumped Delirious as the lizard man entered the ring, hitting a series of punches, and the fans booed Pearce. Pearce choked Delirious with the tassels on his mask, and he unloaded some chops, as the fans taunted Pearce about his weight. Delirious fought back with an armdrag and a chop, then he vanished under the ring. Pearce went to look for him, and Delirious ran off the apron and hit a flip dive to the floor on Pearce. Delirious hit some headbutts on the floor.

In the ring, Pearce hit a spinebuster at 3:00, then he picked up Delirious in a military press and threw him over the top rope to the floor! Pearce whipped Delirious into the guardrail, and he choked him. Delirious hit some chops in the ring. Pearce hit a backbreaker over his knee, and he jawed at the fans. Pearce went for a frogsplash, but Delirious got his knees up to block it, and they were both down. Delirious hit a series of clotheslines, finishing it off with the BAM leaping lariat, and the crowd was hot.

Delirious hit 60 short-arm clotheslines in the corner as the crowd counted along! Delirious then hit a bulldog for a nearfall at 7:00. Delirious hit the Panic Attack/running knee in the corner. Delirious climbed the ropes to go for the Shadows Over Hell/backsplash. Out of nowhere, Shane Hagadorn hit Delirious with some brass knuckles! Pearce grabbed Delirious, and he hit the jumping sitdown piledriver on Delirious for the pin!

* Pearce introduced Hagadorn as his new assistant, or, his ‘personal man servant.’ The crowd booed them both.

(3) Jimmy Jacobs (w/Lacey) defeats Colt Cabana and Christopher Daniels at 11:06.
Like the four-way the night before, this match was more about advancing storylines than about top-notch action. Jacobs dropped his head in shame, and he couldn’t look at Colt. Daniels is solo again; no Allison Danger tonight. The match began with Colt and Daniels squaring off, as Jacobs just held his head out of the ropes, and Lacey yelled at Jacobs to go over and help Cabana. Daniels hit a drop-toe hold on Jacobs that sent him to the floor. Colt fell on the mat by the ring apron, so he was looking up, under Lacey’s skirt! Funny, and this got a nice pop. Colt and Daniels traded armdrags, and Colt accidentally hit Jacobs with a shoulder tackle.

Jacobs put Colt in a headlock at 3:30, but Lacey instructed Jimmy to let go. With Lacey instructing them, it appears this was essentially a two-on-one match. Jacobs hit a baseball slide dropkick to the floor on Daniels. Jacobs & Colt did another “Charlie Brown & Lucy football” spot in the ring, with Colt setting up Jacobs for a move, only to move out of the way, and Jacobs crashed to the mat. “It’s stupidity, at this point,” Prazak said of Jacobs’ fawning over Lacey. “Why does he doe what Lacey says?” Jacobs went for a second-rope elbow drop, but Colt again moved Daniels (i.e., Lucy’s ‘football’), and Jacobs again crashed to the mat. Colt applied a bodyscissorslock around Daniels’ waist at 6:00, as Jacobs cried in the corner!

Colt is actually acting quite heelish, as he taunted Jacobs. Jacobs hit some doublestomps on Daniels, and Jared David said it reminded him of Super Mario Brothers! Jacobs accidentally speared Colt, and they were both down. Daniels hit some stiff forearms and a backbody drop on Jacobs, then an STO uranage for a nearfall. Jacobs hit a fisherman’s swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall at 8:30 on Daniels. Jacobs went for the Contra Code, but Daniels blocked it, and he hit an STO uranage and the Best Moonsault Ever for a nearfall, but Colt made the save.

Colt nailed some Dusty Bionic Elbows on Daniels, then a hurricanrana and a buttbump. Daniels fired back with a Flatliner and he applied the Koji Clutch, but Colt reached the ropes; Lacey was yelling at Jacobs to go over and help out Cabana! Colt hit an Asai Moonsault on Daniels, and the fans chanted for Colt! In the ring, Jacobs suddenly hit a low blow on Colt Cabana! Jacobs hit the Contra Code/flip overhead bulldog, and the crowd popped, as Jacobs pinned Cabana!! “I won!” Jacobs shouted.

* Jim Cornette came to the ring, with the Briscoes! The fans immediately chanted for Homicide! Cornette referred to him as “Homo-cide,” and he noted that us fans in Chicago cheered for him recently. He said that fans are either with him or against him, and he ripped into the fans who supported Homicide! He then ripped on the filth he sees in New York. Cornette said that he would give Homicide his promised title shot at Final Battle 2006; however, if Homicide loses tonight, he won’t get a title shot until January or February. He noted that Homicide has already promised to quit ROH if he doesn’t have a title by the end of this year! Cornette then continued his long-winded promo by pushing the Confederacy and the deep South, just to draw a few more boos.

(4) Samoa Joe & Homicide (w/Julius Smokes) defeat Mark & Jay Briscoe at 18:00 even.
All four men fought immediately, and Joe & Homicide hit simultaneous dives to the floor! In the ring, Mark hit a shoulder block to Homicide’s gut. Joe & Homicide both chopped Mark! Joe hit some punches on Jay, as Prazak talked about their memorable steel cage match! Homicide hit a frogsplash on Jay for a nearfall at 3:30, then some rolling suplexes for a nearfall. Homicide & Joe hit a double shoulder tackle. Joey hit an enziguri on Jay, then a flying knee to the head! The faces put Jay in the Tree of Woe, and Homicide hit a basement dropkick to the face for a nearfall at 6:00.

Jay came back with a low blow mule kick on Homicide. Mark immediately beat up Homicide on the floor, and he rammed Homicide’s head into the guardrail. The Briscoes worked over Homicide, with Mark hitting some headbutts, then his catapult doublestomp for a nearfall at 9:00. Joe made the hot tag, and he hit a running boot and a senton on Mark, then a running forearm in the corner. Joe hit his bootscrapes and a Facewash, as Smokes stood on the floor, barking in Mark’s ear! Joe bounced off the ropes, and Jay – while on the apron – kicked Joe in the back, allowing Mark to nail a spin kick to the face. The Briscoes hit their Football double shoulder tackle for a nearfall on Joe at 12:00.

The Briscoes worked over Joe, as Jay applied a sleeper on the mat, then he hit a dropkick and he was in control. Homicide entered and hit a belly-to-belly overhead suplex on Jay, then a second-rope DDT on Mark! Homicide nailed a running knee in the corner on Jay at 15:00. Mark nailed a dive over the top rope to the floor on Homicide! Jay nailed a Mafia kick on Joe; Homicide hit an Ace Crusher on Jay; Mark hit a Saito Suplex on Homicide, and Joe hit a hard clothesline on Mark, and all four men were down! Nice.

Homicide & Joe hit a clothesline & back suplex combo move for a nearfall. The Briscoes fired back, trying to hit the Springboard Doomsday Device on Homicide, but Joe shook the ropes, and he beat up Jay on the floor, leaving Homicide vs. Mark Briscoe in the ring! Homicide set up for the Cop Killah, but Mark avoided it. However, just seconds later, Homicide hit the Cop Killah for the pin! Very good tag match.

* Jim Cornette came back out to ringside, saying he’s not a liar, and he told Homicide he would get his promised title shot. “But you’ll have to walk through hell to get there!” Cornette said.

* Intermission time with Gary Michael Capetta, and he’s interviewing Lacey & Colt Cabana. Jacobs walked up and said, “Baby, I did it!” Lacey was not amused, and she ordered Jacobs to apologize to Cabana. Jacobs half-heartedly apologized. Colt told Lacey she needed to message his sore groin, and Jacobs and Capetta walked away.

* Bruno Sammartino stood backstage with Marufuji and Bryan Danielson. Bruno told Danielson that a lot of responsibility goes with that title. Bruno said he had done tours in Japan, and he knows how special this match is tonight. Neat segment.

(5) Claudio Castagnoli & Chris Hero (The Kings of Wrestling) defeat Austin Aries & Roderick Strong at 21:34 to win the ROH tag titles.
Castagnoli & Hero wore their Chikara Pro tag titles to the ring, and fans taunted them with a “plastic belts” chant. Loud alternating chant of “Kings of Wrestling,” “Shut the f--- up!” The KOW attacked from behind, and all four fought. Aries’ ribs are again taped. The champs hit some chops, but they accidentally chopped each other’s hands. The heels bailed to the floor and hugged, drawing even more heat. Strong and Claudio traded arm holds. Strong chopped both heels, then he hit a Samoan Drop on Claudio at 3:30. Aries hit a flying press on Claudio for a nearfall, and Strong hit a butterfly suplex.

Aries hit a catapult press on Claudio, as Claudio was lying across Strong’s knees! The champs hit a team back suplex on Claudio. Strong set up for a vertical suplex, but he dropped Claudio stomach-first across the top rope. Aries nailed a Hart Attack clothesline on Claudio. Prazak on commentary ran down the long list of challengers that Strong & Aries have defeated since winning the titles. Impressive, long list! Hero made the tag at 6:30, and he dropped Aries rib-first (keep in mind, those ribs are taped up, and he was injured in Europe!) Hero nailed some shoulder thrusts to the ribs. Claudio applied an abdominal stretch on Aries, then he hit a European Uppercut. Hero hit some buttdrops onto Aries ribcage, and the heels made several illegal switches.

Claudio planted his knee in the lower back. Hero hit a gutbuster on his shoulder, and he focused on Aries’ ribs. Claudio picked up Aries for a gorilla press, and he dropped Aries head-first on the top turnbuckle at 11:30. Hero hit a dropkick to the ribs, and Claudio hit a gutbuster over his knee. The crowd rallied for Aries, as Claudio hit some more European Uppercuts, and Hero hit a hard boot to the side of Aries’ head. Hero applied a Camel Clutch, but Strong entered to break it up. Strong then made the hot tag at 15:30, and he hit some clotheslines, an enziguri, and some dropkicks, and the heels bailed. Aries dove through the ropes onto both heels! Strong then nailed a corkscrew plancha onto the KOW. In the ring, Strong hit the Gibson Driver/butterfly powerbomb on Claudio for a nearfall, but Hero made the save.

Hero chopped Strong, and the KOW hit a gutwrench & powerbomb move on Strong. Claudio hit the “Waterslide”/modified Angle Slam for a nearfall at 18:30. Aries hit a running dropkick to the face in the corner, and Strong immediately hit the big boot! The champs hit the chop & brainbuster combo on Claudio! Strong nailed a backbreaker over his knee, but Aries couldn’t hit the 450 Splash. Claudio grabbed the metal briefcase, and he SLAMMED it into Aries’ ribcage! Aries fell to the floor.

The KOW hit a team Hero’s Welcome/spinning faceplant on Strong, but Strong rolled to the floor to avoid being pinned. The Kings of Wrestling hugged and celebrated as the crowd booed them. Aries got back in the ring, and he was bleeding from the mouth, as he hit some stiff forearms on both Hero & Claudio. However, the KOW hit the team flip powerbomb on Aries to pin him! “This can’t be possible!” Prazak said in shock, as the Kings of Wrestling hugged each other and celebrated. Aries was helped to the back, and there was blood everywhere. This title change was treated as a major event. Very good tag match.

* B.J. Whitmer cut a pre-recorded promo, perhaps from his couch at home. His foot is in a cast. He applauded Jacobs for battling him. “You were the one who finally put me on the shelf. But you didn’t get the job done.” A series of clips aired showing the insane bumps these two have taken against each other. Whitmer promised he’d be back soon and he would get some revenge. “You crossed the line, Jimmy, and there’s no turning back.” Good, intense promo.

(6) Naomichi Marufuji defeats Nigel McGuinness at 23:32 to retain the GHC title.
This is the first time this title is being defended outside Japan! The crowd was HOT and split. They shook hands, and Prazak was absolutely animated on commentary! They opened with a feeling out process, as Jared David said this is the biggest match of Nigel’s career. Nigel applied a headscissorslock, but Marufuji escaped. They traded wristlocks. Jimmy (Gabe Sapolsky) Bower stopped in the booth to thank NOAH, as these two suddenly picked it up by trading stiff, clubbing forearms! Marufuji nailed a Dragonscrew Legwhip as Nigel was in the ropes at 4:00, and Nigel was immediately hobbling.

Marufuji kicked at the hamstring, then he wrapped the leg around the ring post. In the ring, he applied a Figure Four Leglock, but Nigel reached the ropes at 7:00, and he bailed to the floor to recover. In the ring, Marufuji went for a spear, hit his shoulder in the corner, and he crashed to the floor. Nigel tossed Marufuji into the guardrail, and he threw several headbutts at the shoulder! In the ring, Nigel tossed Marufuji overhead by his arm! Nigel hit a Divorce Court armbreaker at 11:00, and the crowd rallied for Marufuji. Nigel hit a nice modified Fujiwara Armbar, then he applied a Cobra Clutch, and he hit a short-arm clothesline.

Marufuji came back with a basement dropkick on the knee, then a clothesline for a nearfall and a flying elbow in the corner. Nigel hit a thrust to the chest and a short-arm clothesline for a nearfall at 14:00. Nigel did the headstand in the corner and hit a mule kick for a nearfall. Nigel snapped the top rope into Marufuji’s eyes! Marufuji hit a Sliced Bread #2 off the ring apron to the floor, and they both crashed to the floor, as fans chanted, “Holy sh--!” Marufuji got in the ring, then Nigel got in at the 17-count. Nigel nailed a hard clothesline at 17:00 as Marufuji straddled the top rope. The crowd was hot and was doing alternating chants for both guys.

Nigel nailed the Tower of London/Ace Crusher out of the ropes, but Marufuji immediately hopped up, hit another Sliced Bread #2, and they were both down! They traded slaps, then stiff forearms, and Nigel hit a running European Uppercut in the corner. Nigel hit his clothesline bouncing out of the ropes at 19:00 for a believable nearfall, and the crowd reaction to this nearfall was just awesome! They fought on the ring apron, and Nigel nailed a Tower of London onto the ring apron! They both crashed to the floor, and the fans chanted, “ROH!”

Nigel got in the ring first, and Marufuji made it back in at the 16-count. They traded slaps, then standing side kicks. Marufuji hit a sharp side kick to the head! Nigel went for the headstand again, but Marufuji hit him with a kick to the head. Marufuji put Nigel in the Tree of Woe. Marufuji then went to another turnbuckle, and he hit a Van Terminator – leaping from one corner to the other – and he slammed his feet into Nigel’s head! Marufuji pulled Nigel to the top rope, and he hit a Sliced Bread #2 off the top rope for the pin! The crowd chanted, “That was awesome!” Excellent mat-based match, and the crowd heat and drama behind this title match added an extra layer of excitement and energy to it.

(7) Bryan Danielson defeats KENTA (w/Davey Richards) at 33:01 to retain the ROH World Heavyweight Title.
Best match in ROH history? I’m not surprised some people are making this claim, as this match is REALLY THAT GOOD. Richards accompanied KENTA to ringside, but he played no role at all in this match. Jared David talked about Danielson’s shoulder injury. The crowd was HOT and split in support for these two as they opened in an intense lockup, and KENTA backed Danielson into the ropes and slapped him in the face! Danielson returned the slap moments later. Prazak mentioned that KENTA already pinned Danielson this year in a three-way from March. KENTA hit a hard kick to the injured right shoulder at 2:00, and Danielson immediately bailed to the floor and stalled! Prazak noted this was Danielson’s first match since the injury.

Back in the ring, Danielson hit some slaps and a spine kick. KENTA came back with his own spine kick and some punches at the shoulder. KENTA applied a headscissorslock, but Danielson got a nice escape, and he immediately tied up KENTA’s legs and pulled back on the head. Prazak ran through the list of all of Danielson’s challengers in his title reign. Danielson hit a nice standing dropkick at 5:30, and KENTA bailed. KENTA hit some kicks on the shoulder on the floor, and he whipped Danielson shoulder-first into the guardrail! In the ring, KENTA hit some more kicks, and he focused on key locks and hammer locks on the injured shoulder. He hit a kneedrop on the elbow, and the crowd began to rally for Danielson. KENTA hit his springboard ‘baseball dirt’ back kick to the head at 8:30.

KENTA applied a cross-armbreaker key lock, but Danielson reached the ropes. Danielson hit a series of left-handed slaps. Danielson went for a sunset flip, but KENTA blocked it and hit a hard slap to the face! Danielson nailed a cravate suplex at 11:00, and he hit several kicks in the corner. Danielson set up for the Surfboard, but he instead stomped on the back of the thighs. Danielson twisted KENTA’s legs, and he applied a Figure Four Leglock, grabbing the ropes for pressure! At 15:00, he gave KENTA a slingshot on throat on the bottom rope. KENTA fired back with some kicks to the shoulder and a springboard dropkick on the shoulder for a nearfall, then a butterfly suplex, and he applied a cross-armbreaker; Danielson screamed in pain, as he made it to the ropes.

Danielson came back with a single-leg crab, getting his own leg across the back of KENTA’s neck! Nice! Danielson hit a running forearm in the corner and a top-rope superplex for a nearfall at 19:00. Danielson applied a standing Crossface Chickenwing, and he was able to drop down on the mat. Prazak said that at the pace these two were going, he didn’t see this match lasting an hour. Danielson went for the top-rope flying Benoit headbutt, but KENTA got his legs up to block it! KENTA went for a springboard move, but Danielson hit a dropkick, and they both were down. They traded slaps and punches, and KENTA hit a Mafia Kick, so Danielson hit a headbutt, so KENTA hit a fisherman’s buster, so Danielson hit a roaring forearm, so KENTA hit a clothesline, and they were both down at 22:30, and the crowd was HOT! Great-back-and-forth exchange of moves there!

On the floor, Danielson hit a belly-to-belly overhead release suplex, then a baseball slide dropkick to the floor, and KENTA flipped over the guardrail and into the crowd. Danielson then hit a springboard dive (no flip on this one!) into the crowd, and he crashed onto KENTA amid the chairs and crowd. In the ring, Danielson hit a missile dropkick, and he was fired up! KENTA immediately came back with a Fujiwara armbar, but Danielson reached the ropes at 26:00. KENTA hit an ace crusher, and he went back to the Fujiwara armbar! The crowd was hot, as Danielson’s arm was in the air – apparently ready to tap out – but he again reached the ropes!

Danielson hit a Regal Plex/fisherman’s back suplex for a nearfall, and he ripped the tape off his shoulder! Danielson hit a top-rope back suplex for a nearfall, then he applied the Cattle Mutilation, and the crowd was going nuts, as KENTA reached the ropes at 29:00. KENTA tried to hit the top-rope Falcon Arrow slam, but Danielson blocked it. Dragon jumped off the top turnbuckle, but KENTA caught him across his shoulders, and he nailed the “Go To Sleep” kneestrike to the head for a believable nearfall, as Danielson reached the ropes! WOW.

The crowd was going nuts, chanting "ROH," as KENTA kicked at the shoulder again and hit a knee strike to the back. Danielson got a rollup with a Backlund bridge for a believable nearfall at 31:00. KENTA tried to again hit a Go To Sleep, but Danielson rolled down the back for a Crucifix Takedown for a nearfall. Danielson began ramming repeated elbow shots to the side of KENTA’s head! KENTA fired up and got to his feet! Danielson again applied the Cattle Mutilation/double armbar submission hold, but KENTA rolled through. Danielson hit a Dragon Suplex for a nearfall, he again applied the Cattle Mutilation, and this time, KENTA tapped out!!! WOW, what a tremendous match. “Words cannot do justice to what we just witnessed,” Prazak exclaimed.

* Danielson held up the title and celebrated, as fans chanted, “Best in the world!” as the show came to a close.

* Bonus material: The new Jimmy Jacobs video “Victory of Love,” is included. I’m still humming it in my head. Funny and endearing stuff.

Final thoughts:
DVD runs 3 hours, 18 minutes.

I don’t know what else I could say about the main event. KENTA went after the very-real injury to Danielson’s shoulder and focused on that, while Danielson fought back with his healthier left arm, and he focused on KENTA’s knees. The crowd heat for this match was absolutely phenomenal! The moves were stiff and believable, and the action built throughout, as the fans were in a frenzy by the finish. A truly superb match, and worthy of any “match of the year” claim.

Marufuji vs. Nigel earned second-best, and that is a show-stealer on pretty much any other night than this one. The announcers made it clear how important this match was to Nigel, the fans treated it as a major event, and the wrestlers stepped up and delivered. The Briscoes tag match earned third-best for me, just ahead of the tag title match.

I again have to address the overall look of this event & venue. My best friend, Joe, is a WWE fan. He went to the pre-WrestleMania ROH shows in Chicago with me, and he enjoyed it (although he just couldn’t get into Danielson-Strong.) However, he’s just not an ROH fan overall, and he even skipped both ROH shows in St. Paul, which is only a half-hour drive for him. Joe has always been uninterested in watching ROH DVDs with me, because he doesn’t like the ‘indy look.’ I can’t wait to show Joe this DVD. In this venue, with this hot crowd, ROH has never ‘looked’ better on film. It looks top-notch and every bit as major league as any other promotion. I can’t say enough about how great this show comes across on tape.

Quick, name all the tag champions on RAW this year? Can’t do it? Me neither. The titles there change hands so often the belts are meaningless. Not here. The title change, with Hero & Castagnoli finally pinning Aries & Strong, was rightfully treated as a major event. The crowd was hot, with a large number of fans behind the Kings of Wrestling. Hero is just a tremendous heat magnet! The title switch is rare and highly important.

What I didn’t like: Cornette’s promo. As I looked at the DVD case before watching this show, I wondered who won the Briscoes-Homicide/Joe match; there are so many ROH shows, I didn’t remember who won this particular match! When Cornette said that Homicide would lose his title shot if he lost tonight, I let out an audible sigh of disgust. With an ABSURD last-minute stipulation like that, it left no doubt in my mind – and I think no doubt in the eyes of anyone there live – that Homicide was going to win this match. Terrible, terrible last-minute booking decision. I see this too often in pro wrestling – a stipulation so absurd that there is simply no way that the wrestler will lose and be forced to follow that stipulation.

While I would still consider “Better than our Best” to be the top ROH show of the year, this certainly has to make the top 5 of anyone’s list. This DVD is a must-buy for ROH fans, and I hope that WWE fans – like my friend, Joe – give this a try and see what a major-league product this promotion has become. Order this DVD at for $20.

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