DVDs - VGames - Books DVD Review: ROH, "Dethroned," (11-25-06), w/ Sydal & Daniels vs. Hero & Castagnoli, Aries vs. Richards
Feb 27, 2007 - 9:17:00 AM
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By Chris Vetter, Torch Contributor
Ring of Honor returned to Edison, N.J., on Nov. 25, 2006, for “Dethroned.” The crowd is perhaps 800 fans. While this show featured pretty-much the same roster as the show the day before, “Black Friday Fallout,” this event was a MUCH, MUCH better show. The fans here in New Jersey were far hotter and more into the action, which just made the show much better all around.
On commentary are Dave Prazak and Jimmy (Gabe Sapolsky) Bower. I personally like Sapolsky on commentary, as he stresses the key storylines he wants to get across, and he likes to tell the past history of feuds in ROH. Sound, like on “BFF” is vastly improved over some recent releases. Overall, the “look” of the DVD is professional.
* The DVD opens with Homicide, Samoa Joe and Julius Smokes cutting a backstage promo, ripping on the Briscoes. Smokes called them ‘country boys’ and he said they were going to “deep fry them like Crisco.” Joe sarcastically said, “it’s time to man up, b!tches.”
(1) Brent Albright defeats El Generico at 6:40. Decent opener. The fans were hot and chanted for Albright. Albright easily shoved Generico to the mat, and he overpowered him in a test of strength. Generico hit his quick armdrags, a spin kick to the face, and they had a standoff. Albright came back with an Exploder Suplex, a hard European Uppercut, and a gutwrench suplex for a nearfall at 6:30. Albright hit his running knee, wrapping around through the ropes, for a nearfall, and he was in charge.
Generico came back with a top-rope crossbody block for a nearfall, then a Tornado DDT and a Yakuza Kick, getting a rollup for a nearfall at 6:00. Albright hit a German Suplex, a half-nelson suplex, then he applied the Crowbar/Fujiwara Armbar, and Generico tapped out. Good but short, and I had hoped Generico would get to show off more of his dazzling offense.
(2) Shane Hagadorn defeats Bobby Dempsey at 2:15. These are the ROH students, and I’m still indifferent to their matches. Dempsey is still too heavy, and he has curly blonde hair. Dempsey attacked from behind and hit some stiff forearms and a headbutt. Hagadorn hit a boot to the top of the head for a nearfall, and he choked Dempsey with his shirt. Dempsey hit a rolling Tumbleweed in the corner for a nearfall. Hagadorn pulled out some brass knuckles, but the referee confiscated them; Hagadorn pulled out a second pair, and he hit Dempsey with them, to score the tainted pin. Skippable.
(3) Delirious defeats Jason Blade at 9:25. Good match with some good energy. Blade wore his plain white trunks. Delirious got a huge pop, and he went crazy at the bell. Blade worked the left arm and he applied a hammerlock. Delirious did some quick reversals and hit a shoulder tackle. Blade hit some nice deep armdrags, and Bower really put over how much Blade has improved. Delirious applied a Camel Clutch at 3:30, then he hit some chops. Blade came back with a nice standing dropkick to the face, then he hit a nice T-Bone Suplex for a nearfall and a sideslam for a nearfall. The crowd rallied for Delirious.
Delirious dove through the ropes to the floor. Bower & Prazak talked about wrestlers who started out at the bottom of ROH and worked their way to the top of the card. Delirious hit a running Kawada Kick to the face. Blade hit a nice flip dive to the floor at 7:00, and he was in charge. In the ring, Blade hit a powerslam for a nearfall, but he screwed up a move off the ropes. The cameras tried to change positions quickly to cover the mistake, but fans chanted, “you f---ed up.” (I hate that chant, and I never participate.)
Delirious hit a neckbreaker off the ropes, but he missed the Shadows Over Hell backsplash. Blade immediately hit two back suplexes and a superkick for a nearfall. Delirious applied the Cobra Stretch, and Blade tapped out! Good match, as Delirious gave him plenty of offense, although I never sensed that the crowd thought Blade really was going to win.
* Davey Richards cut a backstage promo, saying he came out of nowhere on his first night and beat Jimmy Rave. Since day 1, he’s had obstacles thrown at him. He talked about being KENTA’s protégé, and that he proved he had what it took. Richards said the biggest obstacle for him now is beating Austin Aries.
(4) Jimmy Jacobs (w/Lacey) vs. B.J. Whitmer brawled for 13:00. They IMMEDIATELY traded stiff forearms, and they each shoved the referee. Whitmer hit a Mafia Kick. They brawled to the floor, where Jacobs slammed Whitmer into the guardrail. Bower mistakenly said this is the first time they’ve been in the ring since Jacobs broke Whitmer’s foot. (They ‘battled’ in the gauntlet one night earlier, Gabe!) Jacobs hit a hurricanrana off the guardrail to the floor at 3:30, and he blew kisses at Lacey. They continued to brawl on the floor, with Whitmer hitting an Exploder Suplex onto the metal ramp! OUCH!
Whitmer then hit a powerbomb across the top of the guardrail! They re-entered the ring, and the crowd was HOT. Jacobs hit a spear, and they were both down. Jacobs pulled out a spike, and he jabbed Whitmer repeatedly with it at 6:00, cutting Whitmer open, and B.J. was bleeding. Jacobs spiked the referee, and put ‘warpaint’ on his face with Whitmer’s blood! Lacey hopped on the ring apron, and Whitmer tried to chase her. Jacobs hit a basement dropkick, then a standing neckbreaker at 9:00 and a Reverse Rana.
Whitmer came back with a big clothesline, and the crowd was HOT, chanting, “This is awesome!” They traded stiff forearms, then some slaps, and Whitmer hit a headbutt, and they were both down. Lacey hopped in the ring, and she screamed at Jacobs! Lacey hit a Field Goal kick on Whitmer and she slapped him! Out of nowhere, Haze ran in the ring at 12:00 and she attacked Lacey! The women brawled briefly until Lacey ran away. Several ROH students hit the ring to separate Jacobs and Whitmer, so this match ended in a draw. Fans chanted, “Let them fight!” Another match with great energy and a lively crowd, and this feud is definitely not over!
(5) Roderick Strong defeats Shingo at 10:45 to retain the FIP title. Good match. Strong got on the mic and said that Shingo put him through a table in Chicago, so he was going to make tables legal in this match. Strong hit a big boot, some stiff forearms, and they brawled to the floor, where Strong tossed Shingo into the guardrail. Shingo dropped him throat-first across the guardrail. In the ring, Strong hit a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall. Shingo swung Strong around and planted him on the mat. Shingo took over with some chokes and stomps, then a low blow mule kick at 3:30.
Shingo applied an Anaconda Vice on the mat, but Strong reached the ropes. Shingo hit a chairshot to the back, then he slammed Strong’s head into a chair in the corner. Strong hit a back suplex on the ring apron, and Strong hit a running forearm off the apron to the floor. They fought some more on the floor. In the ring, Shingo hit a powerbomb into the corner at 7:00. Strong hit a top-rope superplex, a backbreaker over his knee, and he applied a Boston Crab, but Shingo reached the ropes.
They traded stiff forearms, and Shingo hit a hard clothesline, then a gutwrench sitdown powerbomb for a nearfall. Cool move. Shingo hit a DDT onto an open chair for a nearfall at 10:00. However, Strong hit his Gorilla Press Gutbuster over the knees, a chairshot to the head, a big boot, and he nailed the Gibson Driver/butterfly powerbomb onto a folded chair in the ring, to score the pin. Good match, and Shingo looked better here than I’ve seen so far.
(6) Matt Sydal & Christopher Daniels defeat Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli (the Kings of Wrestling) at 22:45 to win the ROH tag titles. Excellent match. Fans chanted, “New f’n champs,” and Hero jawed at the fans, and the crowd was HOT. Hero and Daniels started, with Daniels hitting some quick armdrags; the heels stalled on the floor and hugged. Daniels and Hero traded armholds; Hero slapped him in the face and celebrated. Daniels returned the slap. Sydal entered and he hit a headscissors takedown and a back heel kick on Claudio at 5:30, and the heels bailed again. Sydal kept out-maneuvering both heels. Daniels hit a headscissors takedown on Hero, then he gave Claudio a backbody drop to the floor. Daniels tossed Sydal onto both KOW on the floor at 8:00!
Sydal & Daniels were dominating, and they hit a team elbow drop move. Sydal hit a guillotine legdrop. Claudio made a blind tag, and he jumped Daniels at 10:30. Hero choked Daniels, and the match slowed down as the champs worked over Daniels. Hero hit his rolling senton for a nearfall, and the heels made quick tags. Claudio hit a European Uppercut to the back, then a Mafia Kick to the side of the head for a nearfall. Daniels hit an STO, and he made the hot tag to Sydal at 16:30. Sydal hit a headscissors takedown on Hero, then one on Claudio! In a nice spot, Sydal jumped up onto Claudio’s shoulders, hopped down, and hit a Tornado DDT, which absolutely POPPED the crowd!
Hero hit a vertical release suplex on Sydal for a nearfall, and the heels regained control of the match. Daniels hit a double clothesline, then an Iconoclasm/flip slam out of the corner on Castagnoli. Daniels hit the Best Moonsault Ever on Hero, but the ref told Daniels that Hero wasn’t the legal man. Daniels hit an Arabian Press to the floor on Castagnoli at 19:00. Hero hit a flip dive to the floor. Sydal hit a top-rope moonsault to the floor. In the ring, Claudio hit a flying European Uppercut on Daniels; Sydal hit an enziguri on Claudio; Hero hit a boot on Sydal; Daniels hit a Flatliner on Hero, and all four were down!
Daniels got a Victory Roll on Hero for a believable nearfall at 21:30! The heels hit a Team Heroes Welcome/spinning faceplant on Daniels, but Sydal made the save. Sydal got his Floatover Famouser on Hero, and he went for a top-rope Shooting Star Press, but Claudio caught him with a European Uppercut on his way down! The KOW went for the “Kings Reign Supreme”/team powerbomb, but Daniels hit Hero! Sydal immediately hit a hurricanrana with a flash rollup on Claudio to score the pin! New champs!
* The crowd popped for the title change, as they again chanted, “New F’n champs!” Sydal and Daniels celebrated with the belts in the ring. Hero and Claudio pouted, and fans chanted, “Don’t come back!” at them. Daniels got on the mic and made an open challenge to anyone to come after their belts. A replay of the finishing spot aired. Cool. Their was EXTENDED footage of the celebration before Sydal & Daniels headed to the back.
* It’s intermission time with Gary Michael Cappetta! GMC interviewed the Briscoes, who mockingly congratulated the new tag champs, but they said those two are now targets.
(7) Nigel McGuinness defeats Jimmy Rave at 19:28. Good mat-based match. The crowd taunted Rave (far more than a day earlier). They opened with basic standing reversals as Bower went over the history between these two. Nigel applied a Cobra Clutch on the mat, but Rave escaped. Nigel hit a back suplex at 4:00, and he worked over Rave’s right arm. Nigel hit a legdrop on the arm, and he stretched Rave’s arms, and he was in control. Nigel applied a neat arm submission hold, leaning backward on Rave’s arm, and Rave screamed in pain. Rave hit a backbreaker over his knee at 7:30, and the crowd booed him.
They traded strikes and chops, and Rave applied an abdominal stretch on the mat, and the crowd rallied for McGuinness. Rave hit a back suplex, some chokes and punches, and Nigel came back with some European Uppercuts, then a short-arm clothesline for a nearfall at 12:30. Nigel hit his kick to the back & inverted DDT combo out of the corner for a nearfall. Rave hit a swinging neckbreaker, but he couldn’t hit the Greetings From Atlanta (which Bower & Prazak now called it “the Pedigree” throughout the match.) Rave hit a running knee. Nigel hit a European Uppercut in the corner, and Rave bailed. Rave hit a uranage on the ring apron. On the floor, he whipped Nigel into the guardrails.
Nigel came back with a short-arm clothesline on the floor, then another one in the ring for a nearfall at 17:00. Nigel hit the Tower of London/stunner out of the ropes for a believable nearfall. Rave hit a Tornado DDT, and they were both down. They traded stiff forearms, then they traded superkicks! Rave hit a spear, then the Pedigree, for a believable nearfall. Nigel hit his rebound clothesline from the ropes for the pin.
* Nigel got on the mic and said he respects Rave, and they shook hands. Nigel got a roll of toilet paper, snuck up on Rave, and threw it at him! Rave attacked Nigel, looking legit ticked off, and he swore repeatedly at Nigel. Christopher Daniels came out and separated them. Rave headed to the back, grabbed his luggage, and he immediately left the arena! The crowd could see him walking out, sulking.
(8) Davey Richards defeats Austin Aries at 17:07. Good match. Bower noted that Aries won their first meeting at GBH, Night 1, in September. They traded intense mat holds as Prazak talked about how he’s frequently compared Richards to Aries. Richards applied a headscissorslock, then he avoided Aries’ basement dropkick. Aries hit a handspring-back-elbow at 3:30. Richards went for his bridge-backward kick, but Aries blocked it, and Aries hit a kick to the chest. Richards went for his handspring-back-enziguri, but Aries blocked that move too, by hitting a dropkick to the back. Prazak noted they are doing a good job of countering each other’s key offense.
Richards hit his Alarm Clock/flip-up kick to the chest. Aries dove through the ropes and barreled into Richards on the floor! In the ring, Aries went for the Power Drive elbow, but he missed. Richards hit some kicks to Aries’ arm & elbow, and he hit a Saito Suplex at 7:00. Aries immediately began clutching his elbow. Richards mockingly went for a Power Drive elbow, and he worked the left arm & elbow. Richards applied a cross-armbreaker, but Aries reached the ropes. Bower began talking about his definition of who is an “ROH legend.” Who cares?
Richards hit a belly-to-belly overhead suplex, but he missed a missile dropkick at 10:30. Aries hit a Finlay Roll, a missile dropkick, and a running dropkick in the corner for a nearfall. Aries stayed on top with his catapult body press and a Lionsault for a nearfall. Richards hit the handspring-back-elbow, but he barely grazed Aries. Richards hit a nice Divorce Court Armbreaker, and he turned it into a Fujiwara Armbar with a nice bridge at 13:00. Cool. Richards hit some Kawada kicks. Aries came back with a Crucifix Takedown for a nearfall, and he applied the Rings of Saturn, then rolled Richards over for a nearfall. They traded stiff forearms, and Richards hit an enziguri and a DDT for a nearfall.
Aries hit a butterfly suplex. Richards hit some right & left kicks. Aries hit a brainbuster for a nearfall at 16:30. Aries went for the 450 Splash, but he missed. Richards hit a DDT, and he applied an arm submission hold – the camera angle didn’t help me see what it was – and Aries tapped out! Very good, intense mat-based match.
* Backstage with Lacey, who said that Jimmy Jacobs has disappointed her once again. She said it’s obvious she needs to find someone bigger and stronger. She badmouthed both Colt Cabana and Daizee Haze, and she proclaimed herself the best women’s wrestler in ROH.
(9) Homicide & Samoa Joe (w/Julius Smokes) defeat Mark & Jay Briscoe at 12:43 in an elimination-style street fight. Good, hard-hitting brawl. The crowd was HOT for this match, and they loudly chanted, “Joe’s gonna kill you!” All four immediately fought, and the faces dove to the floor on the Briscoes. The faces whipped the Briscoes into the guardrails. The Briscoes came back by hitting simultaneous flip dives over the top rope onto the faces. In the ring, the Briscoes hit simultaneous Facewashes in the corner on Joe for a nearfall. Joe hit a senton. Homicide hit a basement dropkick to Mark’s face. Jay was bleeding already from the mouth.
Joe hit a Giant Swing on the floor on Mark, and Mark’s head hit some chairs at 4:00! They all fought into the crowd. Homicide & Joe hit a “con-chair-to” on Mark Briscoe! Joe hit a running clothesline. In a fun spot, Joe put on a hockey helmet and grabbed a hockey stick, and he ‘checked’ one of the Briscoes into the hockey boards at 7:00! Mark climbed on top of the scaffolding above the entrance ramp! Mark hit an UNBELIEVABLE Shooting Star Press off the scaffolding onto Joe & Homicide! The crowd chanted, “Holy sh!t!” and “This is awesome!”
Jay suplexed Homicide onto some open chairs. Mark hit a standing moonsault on Joe. In the ring, Homicide hit an Ace Crusher for a nearfall at 10:00, then some rolling suplexes. Jay hit a Falcon Arrow slam for a nearfall on Homicide. Joe hit a hard clothesline on Mark in the ring, then a standing powerbomb on Jay for a nearfall. Jay and Joe fought on the floor, while Homicide and Mark fought in the ring. Julius Smokes lit a cigar, and he handed it to Homicide, who BURNED Mark Briscoe with it. Joe hit a Musclebuster on one Briscoe, at the same time Homicide hit the Copkillah on the other Briscoe, and we had simultaneous pins to end this match. Fans chanted, “ROH!” and “Next World champ!” Very good match.
* Replays aired of Mark’s awesome Shooting Star Press, then the finishing sequence. Joe told Homicide that he might be facing him at Final Battle.
Final thoughts: DVD runs 2 hours, 46 minutes. This was a very satisfying show, and it topped “Black Friday Fallout” in virtually every way. (Although the main event of BFF topped anything here). The crowd was hot throughout the show, and the wrestling was just more energized because of it.
I love when a title change has MEANING. The decision to show extra footage of Sydal & Daniels celebrating with their newly won titles was the right move. It sends home the message to viewers that what they just saw was a BIG DEAL. (I remember when a certain West Coast promotion had a title change to end the show in fall 2005, with Kevin Steen defeating A.J. Styles, and the DVD ended three seconds later, before viewers even had a chance to soak in the title change.)
I’ll give the tag title match the nod for best of the show, largely based on the title switch. I really liked Aries-Richards a lot, and that earns second best. Third-best match goes to the energetic main event, although I feel like the Briscoes were squashed a bit. The crowd loved the hardcore brawling in this one. Likewise, the crowd loved the brawling in Whitmer vs. Jacobs, and that earned fourth-best.
I enjoyed the Nigel-Rave match, but I fully expect many ROH fans will say I underrated the match. I like Nigel, but not as much as most diehard ROH viewers.
I can’t stress enough how much the crowd helped this show. The New Jersey crowd was hot most of the night, and it made the matches so much more fun to watch. While the N.Y. crowd sat quietly during Rave’s match a day earlier, this crowd was eager to taunt him and get under his skin.
The under card was fine. Jason Blade easily had his best match in ROH, even with the messed up move. The students match was short and didn’t overstay its welcome. Generico-Albright needed to be closer to 11-13 minutes long so they could get in all their offense.
I’ve handed out very few “thumbs up” reviews of ROH DVDs from their October and November shows, but this one has earned a “thumbs up” rating. If you were only getting one or two of the ROH DVDs from November 2006, get this one and “Honor Reclaims Boston.” Purchase this at www.rohwrestling.com for $20.
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