SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
I’m going to bring you my top picks for the various Black Friday sales for wrestling DVDs. The sales have started early this year, so for Pt. 1 of Radican’s Black Friday Guide, I will look at the must-have DVDs from ROH’s sale.
RADICAN’S BLACK FRIDAY GUIDE (Pt. 1) – Top picks for ROH’s early Black Friday Sale
FYI: ROH’s Black Friday sale runs until Nov. 23. Replica belts are 10 percent off, apparel is 25 percent off, and DVDs are 35 percent off. If you sign up for a ringside membership, you will save an additional 15 percent off apparel and DVDs, so after purchasing a ringside membership apparel will be 40 percent off and DVDs will be 50 percent off.
TOP RING OF HONOR DVD PICKS
– “Field of Honor 2015,” August 22, 2015 (9.0) – This was ROH’s best offering of the year with several members of the NJPW roster brought in to bolster the show. The show was consistent from top to bottom and nearly everything tied into ongoing ROH storylines heading into the “All-Star Extravaganza VII” PPV the following month. The setting was simply gorgeous at MCU Park, a minor league baseball stadium, in Brooklyn. The ROH production team did a great job capturing the atmosphere of the show.
Top matches that you’re going to want to see include IWGP Hvt. Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. Roderick Strong in a Non-Title match (****1/2) and a fantastic main event featuring ROH World Champion Jay Lethal & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Champions ReDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) (****).
– ”War of the Worlds 2015: Night 1,” May 12,2015 (9.0) – The crowd at the former ECW arena was red hot for this event, as ROH delivered one of its better shows of 2015. Adam Cole kicked off the show making his return from shoulder injury and much to the delight of the crowd he announced he would face A.J. Styles later in the show. The show had an ROH vs. NJPW theme that carried throughout the show and tied together nicely in the end.
There were a number of really good matches on this card, especially IWGP Hvt. Champion A.J. Styles vs. Adam Cole in a Non-title match (****1/2) and Young Bucks vs. The Kingdom vs. ROH World Tag Team Champions The Addiction vs. The Kingdom vs. The Young Bucks in a Non-title match (****). This is a show well-worth going out of your way to check out, especially from a crowd atmosphere standpoint, as it was one of the hottest ROH shows of the year.
– ROH “Best in the World 2015,” June 19, 2015 (8.5) – “Best in the World” has become ROH’s signature PPV event and this show delivered ROH’s best PPV offering to date. The undercard was a bit flat and felt rushed at times, but they progressed several storylines as well as set the stage for other angles to unfold, especially with Alexander’s heel turn being completed and Strong becoming the new #1 contender to the ROH World Title.
The second half of the show was really good in front of a hot crowd in NYC. The Kingdom (Adam Cole & Michael Bennett & Matt Taven w/Maria) vs. The Bullet Club (A.J. Styles & Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) in a Six Man Tag match set the crowd on fire with some tremendous back and forth action. The finish saw Cole take the fatality from the Bullet Club (****1/2).
The best feud in ROH in 2015 culminated at “Best in the World” with ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe vs. ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal in a Title vs. Title match. Both men went into the match with lengthy title reigns. In fact, Jay hadn’t been pinned for over two years and Lethal had held the ROH World TV Title for over a year. The match itself started with a slow build, but really came together as a fantastic package from start to finish (****1/2). Lethal’s post-match celebration was the signature moment in ROH in 2015.
– Other noteworthy DVD releases: “Winter Warriors Tour: Atlanta”, Feb. 21, 2015 (The Kingdom vs. The Briscoes in a 2/3 Falls Armageddon match) … “Supercard of Honor IX,” March 27, 2015 (ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe vs. Samoa Joe, ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal vs. Jushin Liger) … “Aftershock Tour: Las Vegas, NV,” July 17, 2015 (Austin Aries returns to ROH) … “Aftershock Tour Finale: Philadelphia, Pa.,” Aug. 21, 2015 (Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Adam Cole, ROH World Champion Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong, IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion KUSHIDA vs. Matt Sydal in a non-title match).
– “ROH Year 5″ (10.0) – 2006 was one of if not the best year in the history of ROH. The company was on fire during the first half of the year thanks to the CZW vs. ROH angle that spawned a number of memorable ROH debuts such as Chris Hero, The Necro Butcher, and Super Dragon amongst others. My only complaint about the set is I would have included more from the CZW vs. ROH feud, but the match collection chronicling ROH’s year in 2006 is incredible.
The first disc features three incredible matches from ROH’s WrestleMania weekend shows including the first Dragon Gate Six Man Tag match featuring Do Fixer vs. Blood Generation, ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong, and the blow off to the Colt Cabana vs. Homicide feud in a Chicago Street Fight.
Discs 2 and 3 also feature some incredible matches and moments from 2006. Notable matches on disc 2 include A.J. Styles vs. Matt Sydal, the blow off to the ROH vs. CZW feud in a Cage of Death match at “Death Before Dishonor IV,” and ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson vs. ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness in a Unification match from the UK.
Disc 3 on this set has some of the most iconic ROH matches in the history of the promotion including ROH World Champion Daniel Bryan vs. KENTA from “Glory By Honor V: Night 2” and ROH World Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Homicide from” Final Battle 2006.” Also included is one of my favorite matches in the history of the company that doesn’t get a lot of recognition featuring GeNext (Austin Aries & Roderick Strong) vs. KENTA & Davey Richards. This is a match that I saw live and rated at *****. It is just an incredible hard-hitting back and forth match between four of the best Jr. Hvt. wrestlers in the world at that time. This is a must-buy set from ROH and although even more matches could have been added, the feuds and matches chronicled on this release are unbelievably great.
– ”Superkick Party: Part 1 (9.0) – The Young Bucks have become one of the hottest acts in ROH and this two DVD set chronicles their first six years in the company. It’s a lot of fun to watch The Young Bucks EVOLVE as performers from start to finish on this release. Although some of their matches from their early years don’t compare to their work now, this is a set well-worth owning, although they’ve put on a series of killer matches in ROH where this set leaves off in March of 2014.
Fans new and old will enjoy this set, as it showcases some of the best opportunities The Young Bucks got early in their ROH careers, although they were relegated to special appearances here and there when they signed with TNA for a short-lived stint. Watching The Young Bucks against The Briscoes, Steen & Generico, and The American Wolves in multiple matches across this two disc set is a blast. The final stretch of matches on disc 2 are a blast, especially matches against Forever Hooligans and Adrenaline Rush. Also included is a fantastic Six Man Tag with The Young Bucks teaming with Kevin Steen against The Briscoes & Michael Elgin and their first ROH World Tag Team Championship beating ReDRagon at “Raising the Bar: Night 2.” This is another set that will make a great addition to your ROH DVD library.
– ”A Lethal Dose: The Jay Lethal Story” (8.5) – This interview leaves you with wanting to hear more from Lethal. He is well-spoken and comes across as very intelligent in terms of how he approaches his wrestling career. It’s a smart move to have the interview and match selection included on this two DVD set ends with his heel turn at “Supercard of Honor” VIII, as Lethal has done his best work since that time.
The interview has good production, although it would be a welcome change if the interviewer were shown in the picture instead of the standard shoot interview camera angles that are stale in this day and age given the work Kayfabe Commentaries and Highspots have done in recent years to revolutionize wrestling interviews. One of the cool production aspects of this interview is that match footage is spliced in as Lethal is talking about certain topics to enhance them. Top matches included on the set include Lethal’s excellent matches against the likes of Kevin Steen, Davey Richards, and Michael Elgin.
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