ROH: Death Before Dishonor V Night 1
August 10th 2007
Roxbury Crossing, MA
Ring of Honor's annual Death Before Dishonor spectacle kicks off in the slums of Boston, MA. There is a double main event of Takeshi Morishima defending the ROH World Championship against Claudio Castagnoli and the war between the Briscoes and Kevin Steen and El Generico will reach new heights of violence as they battle in a Boston Street Fight!
-The DVD opens with the Briscoes rambling on about how they are going to kill Steen and Generico. They use some fun medical props to make their point, as they anticipate their foes will resemble a human skeleton by the night's end. The Briscoes are such fun drunks.
Davey Richards vs. Jack Evans
Evans is extremely over with the Boston crowd. Richards is sporting that vest that New York fans seem to think resembles Chris Benoit a tad too much. This turns out to be a fine opener, as it is very spotty, but very sharply executed. Evans hits a lot of his trademark flying moves, including a standing moonsault. Evans attempts a springboard move, but Richards catches him with a powerbomb. Richards applies some submission holds for Evans to fight out from. Evans ends up missing his first 630 splash attempt and gets hit by a nasty German suplex from Richards. Evans attempts the 630 splash a second time, but Roderick Strong and Rocky Romero run in and attack, forcing the disqualification finish at 11:22. This was a fine exhibition match that also managed to advance a feud, **3/4.
Winner by DQ: Jack Evans
-After the match, the Resilience of Austin Aries, Erick Stevens, and Matt Cross runs in to save Evans from the NRC beat-down. The NRC retreats. Evans did not want the help of the Resilience and once again teases that he is going to put together his own crew.
SHIMMER Championship #1 Contender match:
Lacey vs. Daizee Haze
Lace and Daizee have a rich history of feuding in Boston. At Honor Reclaims Boston, Lacey jumped Daizee after suffering a loss to Mercedes Martinez. At Dedicated, Lacey helped destroy Daizee in a six man tag match, that included Daizee being put through a table by Jimmy Jacobs. At A Fight at the Roxbury, Daizee was taken out yet again by the vicious duo of Lacey and Jacobs. The crowd is 100% behind Daizee and wants to see her get her revenge. Things didn't quite work out that way, as after a hot start, this turned into just another regular women's match. It was a solid match, but they were not exactly feeling the hatred. SHIMMER Champion Sara Del Rey watched from the stage, and was outraged when Lacey stole her "Royal Butterfly" submission attack to use on Daizee. Rather than feeling like a true blow-off match, this simply felt like build for the upcoming SHIMMER title match, as Lacey won after a lungblower and implant DDT at 8:09. Adequate match, but not what it needed to be, **1/4. The finish left the crowd feeling somewhat deflated.
Pure Wrestling Rules:
Nigel McGuinness vs. Chris Hero (with Larry Sweeney,
Tank Toland, Sara Del Rey, and Bobby Dempsey)
There was some fun mic work before the bout, as Sweeney and Hero had some "pure match commandments" for Nigel. They included "Thou shalt not be British, or forfeit all rope breaks." Hero warms up with his usual stalling antics and high fives all the other members of Sweet and Sour Inc as they step down from the apron (except for Dempsey, who he kicks off). Shortly into the match, the house lights go off and a "Project 161" promo goes off over the house system. The ROH students run around in a panic trying to find the source of the infiltration. The lights go back on, and Hero informs the ring announcer to tell the referee that during the black-out Nigel used all of his rope breaks. That was rather amusing. The match restarts, with lots of stalling from Hero. Nigel finally catches Hero and works the wrist. Sweeney and company help Hero force Nigel into using up his rope breaks by placing Nigel's leg on the ropes during submission spots. For someone who reigned as Pure Champion for a year by abusing the pure rules, Nigel sure didn't do too well against Hero here. Nigel loses his patience and exchanges closed fists with Hero, as the referee only sees Nigel breaking the rule and turns his back in time to miss Hero doing the same thing. A chop-fest follows, with Nigel dumping Hero from the ring after a nice kick/clothesline combo. At ringside, Nigel tosses Bobby Dempsey into Hero, and Hero becomes trapped under Dempsey's girth. Sweeney, Sara, and Tank all desperately try to lift the massive Dempsey off of Hero, as he is threatened with being counted out. Hero gets back to the ring and goes for the Hangman's clutch. Nigel breaks the hold and hits the Tower of London, but Sweeney breaks the count by placing Hero's leg on the ropes. Hero then applies the Hangman's clutch again, and Nigel passes out at 19:59. This match came off a lot better on DVD than it did live, as Hero's antics were very amusing and the wrestling was solid as well, ***1/4.
Winner: Chris Hero
-After the match, Tank Toland has some fun bullying Bobby Dempsey around. Nigel then gets his heat back by dishing out a fierce lariat on Dempsey.
-Backstage, El Generico is tying Kevin Steen's boots for him. Steen talks about the upcoming street fight with the Briscoes. He is upset that the titles are not on the line, which is a shame. However, Steen will enjoy hurting the Briscoes. Generico then wheels Steen to the bathroom, apparently because Steen is a lazy fat-ass. Steen and Generico have a wonderful oddball chemistry together.
Jigsaw vs. Pelle Primeau vs. Matt Cross vs. Eddie
Edwards vs. Delirious vs. Brent Albright
These six man mayhem matches tend to be pointless fun, and this is no exception. Albright toys around with Delirious, who won't move until the bell rings. Once the bell rings, Delirious goes nuts and chases Albright around the ring. Pelle and and Edwards end up starting off the action, as they go through some routine chain wrestling. Eddie looks very slick, but Pelle still looks sloppy. Jigsaw and Cross enter the match and exchange some spotty moves, with Cross looking particularly sloppy here. Delirious trades places with Cross, and puts on a nice show against Jigsaw. Albright tags himself in and Delirious outsmarts him by teasing a test of strength. Pelle tags in and hits a missile drop-kick on Albright, which is NO SOLD! Pelle is light as a feather, so I can't say I blame Albright. Pelle hits a second missile drop-kick, which gets some selling from Albright. The action picks up as all six men brawl. Cross flings himself over the ropes onto Delirious and Edwards. The match boils down to a "two in, two out" sequence. Delirious picks up some dominance, hitting the panic attack and "shadows over hell" on Edwards. Pelle picks up some fun jobber offense on Albright, before getting murdered when Albright dishes out and overhead suplex into the turnbuckle. Albright then chases Delirious up the ramp to the backstage area, leaving Cross to hit a shooting star leg drop on Edwards for the win at 10:56. The match was all sorts of fun, and only loses points for some sloppy moments, **1/2.
Winner: Matt Cross
Roderick Strong and Rocky Romero vs. Austin Aries and
There is some heavy stalling by the NRC in the beginning, as the crowd annoys Roderick with the "Roooooooooooooderick" chants. Aries starts off for the Resilience, but Roderick chicken-shits out of the match and tags in Romero. There is a slow start, as Aries is mainly interested with attacking Roderick. Aries dives through the turnbuckles to attack Roderick, and injures his leg in the process, thus ruining the rest of the match. Aries becomes the face in peril, and the crowd picks up on the legit injury to Aries' leg. The crowd heat dies as a result. The isolation of Aries by the NRC lasts for what feels like forever, and when Aries finally makes the "hot" tag to Stevens, the crowd doesn't come to life as hoped for. Stevens cleans house, and hits some nice head butts on Romero. They are working hard, but the match just is not clicking. Soon enough, Stevens becomes a face in peril as well, and the crowd doesn't care because they don't think Aries could really make any sort of save. Strong destroys Stevens with some especially nasty chops, and later Stevens and Romero really start stiffing each other in a desperate move to win the crowd back. Aries tags in and sucks up the pain to clean house in a convincing fashion. Aries hurts himself when he attempts a drop-kick. Stevens, who was dead seconds earlier, makes the emergency tag . Romero hits the Diablo arm-bar off the top rope on Stevens, in an impressive moment. Stevens fights out, tags in Aries, who somehow manages to connect with the 450 splash on Romero for the victory at 20:51. Most of the match was dull and heatless, but the drama of the closing moments save this one from being a total wash-out, **.
Winners: Austin Aries and Erick Stevens
-Backstage, Shane Hagadorn talks about how he has learned so much from Adam Pearce. Shane hints that they are in the midst of a "calm before the storm" as Pearce is in Japan tonight, but he knows exactly what is going on in Ring of Honor. Pearce will return soon, and then the calm will be over. This was a suitable promo by Hagadorn, who still has a lot of work to do before I buy him as an official member of the ROH roster.
Matt Sydal (with Larry Sweeney) vs. Bryan Danielson
Sweeney and Sydal are upset because two weeks ago at the second Race to the Top show, Sydal and Danielson were teammates in an eight man elimination tag match, where the winning team would get $10,000. They won the match, and Danielson took all the money for himself. The Briscoes were also in the match, but were on opposite teams, and they bailed out in the early going so the money should be divided three ways. Sweeney demands that Danielson hand over the $3,333.34 that Sydal is owed. Danielson claims that Sydal only earned $3,333.33. Hyuck yuck. Danielson claims that he put the money in a retirement fund so that it can build interest. Sweeney doesn't care and wants the money now. They make the stipulation that if Sydal wins, he gets his money after the show. If Danielson wins, he gets to keep Sydal's share. And the match begins!
Danielson is very good at carrying lesser wrestlers
and he proceeds to do so with Sydal. Danielson is very
dominant in this match, and applies a lot of very
creative submission holds on Sydal, who can bend like
a pretzel. Sydal is able to hang with Danielson, so
this turns into a very entertaining match. Sydal
quickens the pace, which throws Danielson off his game
for a few minutes. The momentum shifts to Danielson
for quite a while, as he locks Sydal into the Mexican
surfboard and breaks the high flier in half. Danielson
then celebrates the city of Boston, by locking Sydal
into a half Boston crab for quite a while. Sydal
somehow gets to the ropes, but gets tied up in them by
Danielson, who then hits a nasty running drop-kick.
Sydal recovers, and manages to leap over the ropes
onto Danielson on the floor. Danielson goes high risk,
blocks Sydal's headscissors attempt, but misses the
missile drop-kick, resulting in a close near fall for
Sydal. Danielson hits some MMA elbows, but Sydal
powers out and hits the "Here it is!" slam. Sydal
follows up with a shooting star press, but Danielson
gets his knees up. Danielson then viciously applies a
triangle choke combination with his MMA elbow shots.
Sydal is dead at 16:45! This was a great show by
Danielson, and Sydal managed to keep up, so huzzah!
Winner: Bryan Danielson
-After the match, Sydal and Sweeney argue over what just went down. They tease dissension, but ultimately embrace, much to the crowd's annoyance.
ROH World Championship:
Takeshi Morishima (c) vs. Claudio Castagnoli
The crowd is absolutely jazzed for this contest. Claudio receives a huge ovation during his entrance, as some fans wave the Switzerland flag in his honor. Claudio aggressively brings a fight to Morishima right away. Claudio attempts to powerbomb Morishima off the apron, but Morishima blocks and tries to drop his weight on Claudio, but misses. Claudio then hits a sharp European uppercut between Morishima's shoulders. Morishima drops to the floor, and Claudio drops an elbow off the apron! This match is on fire! Back in the ring, Claudio manages to hit a big swing on Morishima, much to the delight of the crowd. Claudio attempts the Riccola Bomb, but it's blocked. This would become a running theme during the match. Morishima takes control, using his size arrogantly. Morishima applies a camel clutch and a chin-lock to wear Claudio down. Claudio fights out and ends up hitting a BEAUTIFUL suicide dive through the ropes onto the floor, sending Morishima crashing back into the barricade. Claudio follows up with a top rope attack for a close near fall, earning a "That was three" chant from the fans. Claudio attempts the Riccola Bomb again, but it's blocked. Morishima pummels Claudio into the corner and has to throw the referee away to get his way. This backfires, and the referee then misses a pinfall attempt. Morishima goes high risk and hits the missile drop-kick for a two count. Claudio fires back, hitting a springboard European uppercut and almost hits the Riccola Bomb yet again. This time Claudio gives out under Morishima's weight and is nearly pinned. Morishima hits a lariat, but Claudio blocks the backdrop driver. Morishima goes high risk again, and Claudio kicks off a stunning finishing sequence with a diving European uppercut and then the Riccola Bomb! Claudio goes for the cover and it's 2.9999999999999!! The crowd thought Claudio had it won there and a loud "Fuck you, Sinclair" chant breaks out towards the referee. Morishima has soon had enough, as he rolls through a German suplex from Claudio and hits the backdrop driver for the victory. "Bullshit" chants erupt from the fans, who really wanted to see a title change. This was the certainly the match of Claudio's career, ****1/4.
Winner and still ROH World Champion: Takeshi Morishima
-After the match, Claudio receives a standing ovation from the crowd.
-Backstage, Brent Albright puts Morishima over as a true champion. He also puts himself over for destroying five other people earlier tonight and only losing because he chased Delirious away. Albright promises victory against Morishima tomorrow night in Philly, as he is going to drop Morishima on his head and pull his arm out of it's socket. Albright guarantees that he will be the next ROH World Champion.
Boston Street Fight:
Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico
The ROH Tag Team title that the Briscoes currently hold will not be on the line. A brawl erupts as the Briscoes make their entrance and it quickly spills into the crowd. Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard on commentary pretend they are in the arena and have to leave for their own personal safety, so the remainder of the match will have no commentary. That is alright with me, as this match can really speak for itself. The match becomes violent quickly, as Generico throws a table at the Briscoes and they brawl near the bleacher seats. Steen quickly powerbombs Mark through a table. There are a lot of unprotected chair shots and bumps onto chairs and other furniture. The action goes everywhere and there are sick bumps left and right. Steen pummels Jay with a shoe that he stole from a fan, and soon finds himself dumped into a trash can. The action heads back towards the ringside area, as Jay hits an ace crusher off the guard rail onto Steen. Steen is on the floor, reaching out to the sky and calling for his mom. That's funny, I didn't know Steen had a mom.
Meanwhile, Generico is sent flying into the guard rail, breaking it in the process. Jay is now bleading heavily. Steen picks up the broken guard rail and launches it at a Briscoe, who moves out of the way just in time. That was dangerous. I will note that the action still has not reached the ring. Steen recovers and suplexes Jay through a table. Steen sets up another table, but the leg breaks. "It'll work" claims to Steen, as some fans laugh at his bad luck. Steen and Jay then brawl into the ring, with Steen biting the bloody forehead for good measure. Generico enters the ring with a flying crossbody. Mark joins the fray and they all knock each other out. They get back to their feet and suddenly it's the end of Reservoir Dogs, except with chairs. The chair shots fly left and right and everyone is back down again. The "This is awesome" chant erupts, and this time I agree with it. The Briscoes set up some chairs side by side and fling Generico into the air, and he lands on the chairs in sickening fashion. Steen slams Mark through the chair, goes for a cover, but only gets two. Steen sets up Mark for a moonsault, but Jay launches him off the top and onto the table at ringside.
The Briscoes concentrate on destroying Generico, as
they hit an ace crusher/Razor's edge combination off
the top turnbuckle. Mark then wipes out flying over
the ropes onto Steen, who had gotten back to his feet.
The Briscoes hit their springboard doomsday attack on
Generico, but Steen breaks up the cover. Steen fetches
a ladder and murders Jay with it at ringside. Steen
then sets up the ladder against the turnbuckle and
tries to powerbomb Mark onto it. Mark counters with a
back drop, and the ladder dents under Steen. Mark then
climbs the ladder, but Generico flies up and hits an
ace crusher! DAMN! Jay returns and tries to drop Steen
onto the ladder, but Steen counters and hits a package
piledriver right onto the damn ladder! I think Jay is
dead, and Steen pins him for the hard earned victory
at 22:11. That might have been the finisher of the
damn year. This was an intense hardcore spotfest, and
you could really feel the hatred. ****1/2
Winners: Kevin Steen and El Generico
-After the match, Steen grabs a microphone and claims that this building has become a giant crystal ball. It is foreshadowing the future, when Steen and Generico will defeat the Briscoes again, in a steel cage match, and become the new ROH Tag Team Champions! Steen embraces with Generico as the show comes to an end.
Final Thoughts: The undercard had some flaws, but there were no bad matches to be found. The only disappointment was the Resilience/NRC tag match, which was ruined by Aries' injury. That match had a few redeeming moments, but the main events more than made up for it. Claudio had an emotional and hard fought match against Morishima, and took the champion to the absolute limit. The main event also more than delivered. This was one of the better Ring of Honor shows of the year, and not a bad show to use if you want to try and get some new people into the product.