Ring of Honor
Fifth Year Festival: New York City February 16 2007
Hard to believe Ring of Honor has already been around for five whole years! This event kicks off a five event series to celebrate this accomplishment. -The DVD kicks off with Rebecca Bayless hyping the show in front of the Manhattan Center, with a crowd of rowdy fans behind her. They really should reconsider doing close ups of her face, she's attractive and all, but it's a little too close for comfort.
-Next is a word with Jimmy Rave, who is challenging Homicide for the ROH World title tonight. Rave has a storied ROH career, and tonight he feels it will "end" with him finally become the champion. Rave puts himself over as a guy who's defeated all of the ROH legends. Rave is "tired of being a failure."
Pelle Primeau vs. Takeshi Morishima
Poor Pelle issued an open challenge and it turned out to be the ROH debut match of the monstrous Morishima. They teased it being Samoa Joe, but of course that was just a little joke by Morishima. Mori immediately slams Primeau to the mat and pins him cleanly.
Winner: Takeshi Morishima
-Morishima takes a microphone and cuts an angry Japanese promo. He's apparently calling out Joe, who he is scheduled to face later in the show. Nigel McGuinness comes out instead and tries to talk some sense into Morishima. As they leave, Adam Pearce and Shane Hagadorn come out to no music and beat on Primeau, who still hasn't gotten up.
Adam Pearce (with Shane Hagadorn) vs. Delirious
Delirious charges in and attacks Pearce before the bell can ring. He clubs Pearce to the mat and celebrates. Pearce mounts some punch/kick offense. Delirious hits a flying forearm and a drop kick to the floor. Ringside chops by Delirious. Back in the ring, Pearce takes control after an assist from Hagadorn. Delirious gains some revenge on Hagadorn with a baseball slide and throws Pearce over the ropes. Delirious hits a senton off the top turnbuckle onto the evil Pearce and Hagadorn. More chops by Delirious. Back in the ring, Delirious goes for the cobra clutch, but Pearce gets a blind low blow and plants him on the canvas. Pearce keeps control with arrogant heel offense, including choking Delirious with his own tassels. Delirious goes for the sunset flip, but Pearce keeps control. Slugfest by Pearce and a couple of two counts. Reverse chinlock by Pearce. Delirious gets to his feet, but gets taken down by a knee to the gut. Pearce gets cocky and takes a break, but keeps control with a powerslam and another close cover. Hagadorn suggests throwing Delirious into the crowd, which Pearce attempts, but Delirious fights back with a drop toe hold and locks in the cobra clutch. Pearce drives him into the turnbuckles to escape, but Delirious comes back with a hurracanrana. Boot to the face by Pearce, who then goes high risk. Delirious knocks him off the turnbuckles. Panic attack by Delirious, who then goes high risk. Shadows over Hell by Delirious should have won the match, but Hagadorn gets on the apron for the distraction. Pearce gets brass knuckles from his tights and accidentally hits Hagadorn. Delirious pulls out his own pair of knucks and puts them in his mask. Delirious head butts Pearce and gains the victory! Decent opener with a fun finish, **1/2.
After the match, Delirious celebrates at ringside, while Pearce pushes Hagadorn down in anger over the loss. Crowd chants "you both suck."
-We zoom over to Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal, the reigning ROH Tag Team Champions. Daniels admits that the ROH tag team division has been lacking lately, and attributes it to himself and Sydal having schedule conflicts. Sydal is amused that Aries and Strong are the challengers now. Sydal claims he has proven his ability to handle himself in Japan, and feels confident about retaining the belts tonight.
Daizee Haze and Alexa Thatcher vs. Sara Del Ray and
This should be interesting, I haven't seen Thatcher perform yet and the other three women are all very good. Daizee kicks things off against Allison Danger. They lock up and Haze hits an arm drag and hammerlocks her way to a side headlock. Allison reverses and takes Daizee to the floor. Daizee reverses into a leg scissors, and they go through a series of pinning combinations and chain wrestling. The match restarts with a waistlock by Daizee. Sara tags herself in and stalls with a power bomb attempt for too long and Daizee takes her down with head scissors. Alexa is tagged in and they hit simultaneous drop kicks to the head of Sara Del Ray. Meanwhile, Lacey sneaks to ringside and attacks Daizee. In the ring, Sara hits a German suplex on Alexa. Royal butterfly by Sara into a suplex. This is enough to pick up the victory. I really wish this had gotten more time, as all four women were impressing, *.
Winners: Sara Del Ray and Allison Danger
Four way fray:
SHINGO vs. Jimmy Jacobs (with Lacey) vs. Jack Evans
You might be wondering "Xavier is back?" He was the replacement for an injured Davey Richards. I'm not exactly sure why Xavier isn't around anymore, I'll have to look into that some time. Jacobs isn't using the Lacey ballad theme song anymore, which disappoints me. However, it's been replaced with an over the top emo song, which makes sense for his new character, so it's all good. Evans takes the time to hug several fans on his way to the ring, but only because he's a nice guy. He doesn't answer my fan mail, but that's okay. Xavier comes back to a very loud mixed reaction. It's good to see him again, I really wish they'd book him more. But once again, I have to remember that I have no idea what the circumstances of his inactivity are. For all know, he found something better to do than wrestling.
This is a four way fray, meaning that elimination rules are in effect and there are no tags. This should be fun to do play-by-play for. Match starts with Xavier and Jacobs trying to double team Evans. Evans fights back, but eats a strong clothesline from Xavier. SHINGO attacks Xavier, but gets snapmared. SHINGO shakes off the pain, but eats several hard kicks from the former World champion. SHINGO catches Xavier into a powerslam. Evans cartwheels over the ropes but hits the floor when Xavier moved out of the way. IN the ring, Jacobs aggressively beats on SHINGO. Xavier returns and double teams SHINGO with Jacobs. SHING fights both off and hits a double DDT. Chops on SHINGO by Xavier, followed by knee strikes. Xavier gets close cover on SHINGO, but walks into a spear from Jacobs for a near fall. Jacobs hunts Xavier down for a contra code. Xavier hits a powerbomb and a fap jack, and then finally the piledriver. Xavier looks ON tonight. Unfortunately, SHINGO and Evans slam Xavier down with power moves before Evans pins Xavier with a backslide.
Match continues with SHINGO and Evans double teaming
Jacobs. SHINGO plants Jacobs on the mat and only gets
a two fall. SHINGO is furious that Jacobs won't stay
down. Jacobs fights back and goes for the contra code
again. SHINGO hits a rope assisted elbow thrust and a
lariat to eliminate Jacobs. Lacey is upset, for
obvious reasons. The match is down to Evans vs.
SHINGO. They shake hands and both go for mid kicks.
Slug fest follows, and SHINGO gets caught with a head
scissors to the floor. Evans cartwheels to the floor
again, this time hitting SHINGO (as well as the guard
rail). Evans directs SHINGO back to the ring but gets
caught by SHINGO and tossed onto the ropes. SHINGO
hits the lariat for an extremely close near fall.
Evans escapes a power move, goes for a flying knee,
but gets caught in a German suplex for another near
fall. Evans tries to fight back, hitting several stiff
kicks and a flying kick to the head. Flying knee by
Evans gets a near fall. Evans goes for a 630, but
SHINGO catches him for an attempted superplex. Evans
knocks him down and hits the 630! This is enough for
the victory for Jack Evans! This was a spirited
contest. I enjoyed the Evans vs. SHINGO portion, but
it was disappointing to see Xavier and Jacobs
eliminated so quickly, **3/4.
Winner: Jack Evans
-Samoa Joe makes his way to the ring for an interview. "Please don't go chants" from the crowd, as Joe had already announced that he was leaving ROH as a full-time competitor to focus on his TNA career. Joe welcomes everyone to the show and thanks the boys in the back for giving him this opportunity to speak. Tonight is the kick-off of the "Samoa Joe Farewell Tour." "Fuck TNA" chants from the crowds, and Joe tells them they can chant that when they're not signing his paychecks, but right now he needs to pay the rent. Joe looks back at how far ROH has come since the early days. Joe wants to thank the fans for making this the "best goddamn time he's ever had in a motherfucking ring." Passionate and sincere speech by Joe gets the sold out crowd on their feet and a loud "ROH" chant breaks out. Joe then takes the opportunity to call out Morishima. Instead, we get Nigel McGuinness again. Nigel tells Joe to relax, and reminds Joe that Morishima already called him out earlier. Joe asks Nigel if he's forgotten who he works for and if his Japanese sugar daddy is too busy, he'll kick his ass now. Joe and Nigel brawl and are separated, which hypes the match later tonight as well as the Joe/Nigel collisions that would finish up Joe's ROH stay.
Tables are Legal:
Brent Albright vs. BJ Whitmer
Albright attacks Whitmer while he's still posing during his entrance, knocking off the turnbuckle and through a table to kick things off! Albright chokes Whitmer with the plastic straps from the table and pushes him into the barricade. Repeated shots into the steel by Albright, who then grumpily fetches another table. Whitmer gets some shots in of his own but gets tossed back into the steel. Albright positions the table in the corner of the ring and drags Whitmer in by the hair. Whitmer fights back and tries to hit an exploder suplex, but Albright reverses. Whitmer reverses again and hits the exploder suplex on Albright through the table! A "you fucked up" chant breaks out by some fans who seem to think that the spot was botched, but I would disagree. Whitmer sets up another table and hits another exploder suplex on Albright through the table. This earns a "one more time" chant as Whitmer goes for the cover, which only gets two. Albright shakes the pain off and beats Whitmer into the corner. Albright sets a table up at ringside and repeatedly drives Whitmer's head into the apron. Albright returns to the ring for some beating and sits Whitmer on the top turnbuckle. Albright back suplexes Whitmer off the top, but Whitmer maneuvers so that Albright gets the main brunt of the table instead! That was really cool. Whitmer rolls Albright to the ring for a cover, but it's only two. Series of shots by Whitmer, but gets an eye rake from Albright. Whitmer keeps control and hits a vertical suplex. Cover attempt by Whitmer, but he pulls off. Whitmer wants to punish Albright some more, and positions a couple of tables as a stack at ringside. Loud "BJ" chant from the crowd. Whitmer attempts to powerbomb Albright through the tables, but Albright reverses into a couple of suplexes. Whitmer shakes it off and hits a desperate lariat. Albright grabs a piece of broken table and beats BJ with it. Albright then lifts up Whitmer and throws him over the ropes onto the stack of tables! Holy shit! "This is awesome" chant from the crowd, as Albright drags Whitmer into the ring for a very close near fall. Albright is furious and brings another table to the ring. Albright, get this, sets the table up on the top turnbuckle! Albright grabs another table, but has trouble with it and angrily kicks it. Albright gets another table set up in the middle of the ring . I'm very curious to see what he's going for here. Albright gets a third table into the ring, setting it besides the second table. Albright positions Whitmer on the turnbuckle table and climbs up from the outside himself. Albright is using the turnbuckle table as a platform to launch Whitmer off! Albright looks for an awesome bomb, but Whitmer fires back and suplexes Albright off and they both hit the tables! DAMN! Whitmer barely manages to drape an arm over Albright to cover him for the victory! Hard hitting match, with creative uses of the tables, ***3/4.
Winner: BJ Whitmer
ROH World Tag Team Championship:
Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal (c) vs. Austin
Aries and Roderick Strong
Daniels kicks things off against Strong and open with some chain wrestling. Daniels favors the side headlock. Strong slips into a wristlock. Daniels reverses into a hammerlock. Daniels ducks a chop and quickens the pace with a series of reversals until Strong hits a leg lariat. Aries tags in and drives an elbow off the top rope. Aries applies a wristlock and drives his knees into Daniels' arm. Daniels reverses and tags in Sydal. Wristlock by Sydal is reversed. Sydal flips around to escape, but Aries hits a still elbow shot to the ear. Rope assisted arm drag by Sydal leads into a fast paced reversal sequence. Strong tags in but Sydal double teams both men. Daniels enters and hits a suicide dive through the ropes onto Strong. Sydal attempts a flying move, but Aries trips him and drops an arm for a cover. Surfboard stretch on Sydal by Aries, which is modified into an interesting looking leg scissors armlock. Aries drives Sydal into the corner and tags in Strong, who fires away with some nasty chops. Fallaway slam by Strong gets a near fall. Aries tags in and Strong slingshots Sydal into the elbow of Austin Aries. Aries slingshots into an elbow drop and gets a near fall. Aries clubs away at Sydal and tags Strong back in. Double atomic drop by Aries and Strong gets another near fall. Strong surfboard stretches Sydal into a chinlock, which certainly looks painful. Release German suplex by Strong gets another near fall. Aries tags in and hits a drop kick to the face of Sydal for yet another near fall. Note to Carlito in WWE: if you're going to make a lot of pinfall attempts, at least make the moves preceding them look painful.
Back to the match, Strong is the legal man again and hits some evil chops on Sydal. Delayed vertical suplex turns into a gutbuster by Strong. Daniels breaks up the following pinfall. Strong wraps himself around Sydal, but the hold is broken. Open hand chops by Sydal and a spinning heel kick. Daniels is finally tagged in. Daniels hits a flurry of offense on Strong, and gets a cover attempt. Daniels targets the back of Strong, with knee thrusts and authoritative Irish whips to the turnbuckles. Backbreaker by Daniels continues this psychological attack. Sydal tags in and they double team Strong. Sydal is used as a weapon and gets a near fall. Sydal corners Strong and drives his feet into Strong's chest. Aries breaks up the cover attempt. Chinlock by Sydal. Tag to Daniels, who double teams Strong with Sydal. Daniels retains control of Strong. Strong desperately goes for a backslide pin and manages to hit some chops before Daniels takes him down again. Aries makes the save, and Sydal tags in. Sydal shows off with a lariat and big boot, before tagging Daniels back in. Strong is the tweener in peril, as he tries to fight back against Daniels. Strong hits a springboard belly to back suplex and crawls towards Aries. Sydal and Aries tag in simultaneously. Aries dumps Sydal to the floor, hits a clothesline on Daniels, and suicide dives onto Sydal! DAMN!
Aries hits a corkscrew press on Daniels for a near
fall. Aries attempts a rope move, but botches it and
lands on his head. That may have been a planned botch,
playing off of Aries' apparent ankle injury. Sydal
returns and goes for a standing moonsault on Aries,
but lands on the knees. Sydal keeps control and drops
Aries on his neck. Strong hits a big boot to break up
the fall. Strong tags himself in and hits a rope
assisted suplex. Sydal reverses the Irish Whip, but
runs into Strong's boot. Strong and Sydal go high
risk, with Strong blocking the hurracanrana. Strong
leaps off into a knee strike and gets a close fall.
Strong sets Sydal up for the doomsday, but Daniels
cuts off Aries, so Strong hits a gutbuster instead for
yet another close fall. Daniels saves Sydal from
Strong and tags in. STO on Strong by Daniels, followed
by the Arabian press. Daniels hits the iconoclasm on
Strong for a close fall. Daniels holds Strong still
for a standing shooting star press by Sydal! Near fall
is broken up by Aries. Aries and Strong hit some
double team moves on Daniels, but Sydal breaks it up
only to suffer some double team offense himself. Aries
tags in and goes high risk. Daniels cuts off Aries for
the inverted driver. Sydal tags in and hits the
shooting star press on Strong. Daniels tags in, hits
the Best Moonsault ever, and pins Strong to retain the
titles! Very good match, with some strong storytelling
and dramatic high impact moments. A few sloppy moments
hurt it, but still a solid ***3/4 affair.
Winners and still ROH World Tag Team Champions: Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal
After the match, Aries and Strong receive and ovation from the crowd. Suddenly, Davey Richards appears, seemingly for no reason. Aries is confused and confronts Richards. Then STRONG HITS A BACKBREAKER ON ARIES! Strong proceeds to turn heel by grabbing a microphone and telling the crowd to shut up. Strong feels that he has been in the background for far too long. It is time for Strong to lead a faction. Richards takes the microphone and introduces their new faction as the No Remorse Corp.! Jack Evans runs in for damage control and to check on Aries. Aries takes the microphone and shames Strong for his cowardly turn. Evans tells Aries that he doesn't want to have beef with Strong, so he wants to be left out of this conflict. Evans wants to get to the bottom of this himself. Aries tells Evans to go his own way then, but a war has been started, and Aries isn't backing down. It's a shame that Aries was plucked out of ROH by TNA before this angle could be resolved, but Strong's turn was effective and he has become an effective heel since.
-It's intermission time with Rebecca Bayless! She's standing by with ROH World Champion Homicide and Julius Smokes. She asks him how it feels to have performed on the first ROH show and to now be the champion at the fifth year anniversary. Homicide is looking for a party tonight. Rebecca talks about the hot streak that Jimmy Rave has been on lately, putting him over as a threat to the title. Homicide laughs off Rave in a confident fashion.
Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Colt Cabana and Nigel
The Briscoes have been tearing shit up everywhere they go, so I have high hopes for this match. By this point they were considered to be the uncrowned tag team champions. The Briscoes dump Nigel through the ropes in the very early going. Colt tangles up with Jay in the ring while Mark chases after Nigel to ringside. Chain wrestling by Colt and Jay, followed by hard strikes by Colt. Jay takes down Colt with a head scissors and Mark returns for a double flapjack. The Briscoes hit running forearms and stereo running boots. Double hard Irish whip by the Briscoes, but Nigel stops Mark from a springboard move. Nigel and Colt hit European uppercuts on Jay, as Colt takes his place as the legal man. Nigel tags in trips Jay in an a hammerlock position. Corner head butts by Nigel. Jay reverses an Irish whip and hits a sloppy leg drop. Mark tags in and stomps on Nigel. Forearms and chops by Mark leads into a head scissors submission. Colt enters, and distracts the referee while Mark grabs the ropes for leverage. Jay tags in hits a leg drop on Nigel. Mark tags back and head butts Nigel. Drop toe hold into a side headlock by Mark. Nigel desperately tries to fight back and tags in Cabana. Cabana dumps Mark over the ropes onto Jay. Colt leaps over the ropes onto both Briscoes, cleaning house. Colt directs Mark back to the ring, but spends too much time showing off. Mark almost got some offense in, but Cabana fires away with strikes and pulls on Mark's chest hairs. Mark gets a boot to the face and a flying cross body. Jay tags in and hits some chops. Dropkick to the back of the head by Jay. Mark holds Colt in place for a running knee to the back of the head by Jay. Shoulder thrusts byu Jay and a tag to Mark for a spinning heel kick to Cabana's face.
Colt kicks out of a cover, and continues to be the
victim of the frequently tagging Briscoes. Cabana
blocks a charging Jay and hits a swinging suplex.
Nigel tags in and cleans house on the Briscoes,
including suplexing Mark onto Jay. Nigel destroys Jay
with uppercuts and strikes and a lariat. Jay gets a
foot on the ropes in a cover. Nigel hits another
lariat and it gets another close fall on Jay. Mark
fights back with a knee to the chin of Nigel and a big
springboard splash. Jay was the legal man and goes for
the cover. More frequent tagging by the Briscoes.
Cabana enters and cleans house on the Briscoes. Jay is
dumped to the floor after Colt hit a moonsault press.
Nigel and Colt double team Mark. Nigel and Colt go for
a double team Tower of London, but Jay makes the save.
The Briscoes hit a double neckbreaker on Nigel, and
almost win the match. Briscoes end up hitting stereo
fisherman busters and go thigh risk for stereo frog
splashes. Both Briscoes almost pinned their victims.
Cabana is sent packing, and Mark is left alone with
Nigel. Nigel almost wins after some stiff shots. Mark
is planted on the top and Cabana comes back for the
double team Tower of London, this time successful. Jay
breaks up the following cover attempt. Jay takes down
Nigel with a running boot and tags in. Nigel blocks
the J-Driller, but eats a Death Valley Driver.
Luckily, Colt breaks the pinfall and tries to hit the
Colt 45. Jay dumps Cabana to the floor and position
Nigel for the springboard doomsday. Nigel ducks and
Mark gets hit with a flying Cabana. Nigel hits the
rbound lariat on Jay and pins him for the victory!
Aside from a sloppy moment or two, this was a sharp
match, with innovative action, ***1/2. I will add that
the wrong team went over here.
Winners: Colt Cabana and Nigel McGuinness
After the match, Samoa Joe comes in to get some shots in on Nigel McGuinness. This brings out Morishima and their match is on!
Samoa Joe vs. Takeshi Morishima
Morishima doesn't waste a damn moment and nails Joe with his forearm before the bell can even ring. They brawl and Joe whips Morishima into the ropes, but is taken down by a shoulder block. Joe retreats to ringside and takes a flying shoulder block off the apron from Morishima. Joe is directed back into the ring and over powered by Morishima, who cartwheels into a corner avalanche. Morishima is a beast and stomps Joe to the mat. "Dueling chants" from the crowd as Morishima chokes Joe on the ropes. Scoop slam and a rope assisted stomp by Morishima. Joe hits a chop and tries to regain his edge, but Morishima directs Joe back to the second rope. Jabs by Joe, but Morishima assaults with a hard shot. Sleeper by Morishima. Joe escapes, but is splashed in the corner again. Morishima goes for a cover, but Joe gets a foot on the ropes. Rear chinlock by Morishima. Joe gets to the ropes, but Morishima reapplies the hold. Joe pops out and hits some chops. Joe bounces off the ropes and runs right into Morishima's huge ass. Morishima goes high risk and hits a missile drop-kick! Morishima is a fucking beast! Morishima gains another close cover. Joe counters an Irish whip but runs into Morishima's boot. Joe counters an off the ropes club with his knee and mounts enough offense to gain a close fall. Joe his a back elbow and enziguri on a cornered Morishima. Joe wipes his boot on Morishima's face and hits the running boot. Joe hits a ruthless kick to the face, all the while selling his back. Jabs and kicks by Joe. Snapmare by Joe into a face rake. Joe drives his elbow into Morishima's face, busting him open in the process. Joe blocks a suplex and hits some more stiff kicks, directed towards the face region. Morishima retreats to ringside, but takes a suicide dive from Joe! Joe made sure to connect his arm to Morishima's face in the process, that was awesome! Joe positions Morishima for the "ole, ole" kicks and connects in brutal fashion! Joe repeats the spot and connects yet again.
Morishima is still bleeding from the nose, adding to
the drama. Joe directs Morishima into the ring for a
cover, but it only gets two. More jabs by Joe, but
Morishima dodges a lariat, Joe keeps trying to get the
lariat but runs into a side slam after a thrilling
exchange. More dueling chants from the crowd.
Morishima dives on a sitting Samoa Joe twice and gets
a near fall. Irish whip and a big boot by Morishima.
Joe dodges another boot and slams Morishima for
another near fall. Morishima blocks a suplex, but Joe
gets another enziguri and a Death Valley Driver! Joe
only gets a two out of the cover! Joe goes for the
power bomb, but Morishima blocks, so Joe hits some
stiff kicks. Morishima blocks the power bomb and flips
Joe over his back, and then drops his ass on Joe's
chest. Morishima goes high risk again, but Joe cuts
him off with kicks and shots. Joe climbs up goes for a
superplex. It is blocked, so Joe hits a kick to the
head and then the Muscle Buster! Somehow Morishima
kicked out of the following cover! WHAT! That was damn
convincing. More jabs by Joe, focusing on the nose,
and a big boot! Morishima shrugs it off and connects
with a lariat! They are both down for several seconds.
Lou Thesz press by Morishima almost wins the match.
Side suplex by Morishima! Morishima gets a second side
suplex and a near fall. Joe appears to be dead.
Morishima hits a lariat to the back of Joe's head, but
Joe ducks a second attempt and hits a half nelson
suplex! Joe goes for the headlock, blocks a
chinbreaker, and keeps the hold on. Morishima fights
out, but Joe goes back to the choke. Joe applies the
full blown Coquina Clutch! Morishima passes out and
Joe is the winner at 18:09! That finish was a little
anticlimactic, but it sets the table for future
rematches. The match went from "feeling out" to "going
home" really quickly, but provided tons of action,
psychology, and big bumps, ****1/4.
Winner: Samoa Joe
After the match, Joe celebrates with streamers and shows his respect to the NYC fans. Morishima leaves to a standing ovation and a loud "Morishima" chant.
-We are treated to a video package of some of the biggest feuds of the last year in ROH. This includes Danielson/Nigel, Jacobs/Cabana/ ROH/CZW, Homicide/Corino, etc.
ROH World Championship:
Homicide (c) (with Julius Smokes) vs. Jimmy Rave
If you blink, you'll miss Homicide's world title reign. This was his second to last night as champion, having just won the belt less than two months earlier at this very building. The crowd is absolutely in love with Homicide and hates Rave for daring to challenge him. Rave jumps Homicide as streamers fly into the ring and quickly hits a Northern Lights suplex for a cover attempt. H9omicide sends Rave flying through the ropes and shoots himself through the ropes himself. Homicide whips Rave into the steel barricade and crotches him on it. Julius Smokes gets a chop in himself, which the referee doesn't seem to mind. Homicide crotches Rave again and hits a series of chops. Homicide directs Rave to the ring and sends him into the ropes for an elbow shot. Rave reverses an Irish whiop but Homicide hits a crossbody. Raven pulls Homicide into the turnbuckles and onto the floor. Rave goes high risk for a flying crossbody off the top to Homicide on the floor! Rave slams Homicide itno the steel and flashes a creepy smile to the cameraman. Rave chokes with his boots and directs Homicide to the ring. Shoulder thrusts by Rave and a high knee and slam. Rave soon catches Homicide with a side Russian legsweep and goes for the armlock. Rave goes for the cover, but it's not even close. DDT by Rave gets another cover attempt. Homicide fights back with a boot to the face and hits a head scissors takedown. Rave is planted in the corner and eats a running boot to the face. Homicide scores a close fall. Tiger driver by Homicide and a suplex cover attempt. STF by Homicide. Rave makes it to the ropes after being trapped in the hold for a while. Homicide goes for a swnging DDT off the turnbuckles, but Rave blocks it and hits a drop kick to the knee. Rave applies a leg grapevine, presumably weakening Homicide's leg for the heel hook. Homicide attacks the back of Rave's head, but Rave simply won't let go of the hold. Homicide finally makes it to the ropes. Rave breaks and drives his weight into the injured knee of Homicide. Rave reapplies the leg grapevine. Homicide frees himself with clubs, but Rave drives the knee to the mat again. Rave now has Homicide's fork, but the referee stops him from using it. Meanwhile, Julius hands Homicide a fork, who carves Rave with it while the referee was distracted. Rave is busted open. Homicide focuses on the open wound with his bare hands, which just isn't sanitary. Homicide takes the fork again and uses it in a clever way that the ref cannot see it. Power slam gets a near fall for Homicide. Rave fights back with a knee shot and drops Homicide on the apron. Homicide tries to suplex Rave over the ropes, but Rave hangs on for dear life. Rave lands on the apron and hits the STO on Homicide! WHOO! Rave chokes Homicide and slams him into the barricade again with a reversed Irish whip. Rave sends Homicide to the ring for a cover attempt, but it's only two... again! Homicide fights back and goes for the Cop Killer, but Rave blocks it and hits a running knee. Rave slams and hits a spear and gets a DAMN close near fall! Homicide hits a spinebuster and gets a near fall himself. Homicide goes high risk, but Rave joins him. Rave hits a superplex and gets another two count fall. Rave goes for the pedigree, but Homicide blocks and hits a series of snap suplexes. Homicide pays tribute to Eddie Guerrero randomly and goes high risk again. Rave is back and crotches Homicide on the top and goes for another superplex. Homicide blocks and hits a big DDT! Homicide goes high risk and hits a senton, for a two count. Homicide plants Rave on the top rope, and Rave blocks the hurracanrana and hits the Rave Clash off the top! DAMN! Homicide somehow kicks out of the following cover! Rave goes for the heel hook on the injured knee! The crowd detects that Homicide's title is in danger and wakes up. Rave pulls Homicide to the center of the ring and applies the hook. Rave releases to swing at Julius, who was on the apron, and Homicide rebounds with a clothesline. Homicide hits an ace crusher off the top rope and hits the lariat for a very close fall! Homicide goes for the cop killer, but Rave blocks it for the heel hook! Homicide could be screwed, and the crowd knows it! Homicide makes it to the ropes, and hits the cop killer to retain the title! This was a clash of personalities, and the setting really helped this one. This was a surprisingly basic, but sharp match, ***1/2.
Winner and still ROH World Champion: Homicide
Homicide celebrates in the ring, while selling the knee.
-Backstage, Rebecca Bayless is looking for feedback from the NYC fans. "Holy shit" seems to be her new catchphrase, as she finds Jack Evans beaten and unconscious. She drops the camera and asks someone "Did you do this? Are you responsible for this?" The show ends in a rather Blair Witch-ish fashion.
Final Thoughts: ROH tends to step up their game when they are performing in the Manhattan Center, and this show was no exception. This was a solid card from top to bottom, with only the women's match being a disappointment, but that was due to it being short. Morishima/Joe didn't quite live up to the five star expectations that everyone set up for them, but was still a solid MOTYC. Finally, the main event was pretty much what I hoped it would be, though I would have liked to see Rave control a bit more of it.
High recommendation for ROH Fifth Year Festival: NYC.