Tuesday, 26 June 2012

15 Y.C. Part 8: Glorious Honor

For the first time in this series of reviews I’m looking at Ring of Honor and one of the biggest shows they ever had, Glory by Honor V Night 2. Taking place in the Manhattan Center in New York on September 16th 2006 the show had Bruno Sammartino on for his first wrestling show since retiring years before, it also saw the GHC Heavyweight title defeated outside of Japan for the first time. Dave Prazak and Jarrett David (I think I don’t know who he is).
The DVD opens with Bryan Danielson outside Madison Squared Garden and we then follow him a very short distant to the Manhattan Center. A nice little touch putting over the importance of the arena, we then see a video hyping up the Main event of Bryan vs. KENTA and this leads to the show starting.
Davey Richards vs. Jack Evans: 2006 was a good year for Davey as he won the Super 8 and Battle of Los Angeles tournament but he wouldn’t get the World title until 5 years later and for good reason as he would transform himself over that time. The fans are crazy for Jack, which I really don’t get. Jack does well to start and flips on everything he does. Jack does a nice handspring elbow in the corner where he lands on the apron and Davey just kicks him in the face, that pleased me for some reason. Just noticed the ROH owner, Cary Silken, was at the time keepers table rare to see an owner out there. Davey throws Jack stomach first on the top rope he then falls out and breaks the edge of a table. Jack hits a twisting version of the Sasuke Special to the outside. Jack goes for the 630 but Davey gets his knees up. Davey hits the Alarm Clock and locks in the Stretch Muffler for the 2nd time to win. I really didn’t like Jack’s style or this match, the fans helped but still wasn’t impressed. Jack is a prime example of doing flips for the sake of flips and really didn’t much actual wrestling.
Bruno Sammartino Promo: This was basically Bruno thanking the fans, talks of his memories and puts over ROH. While that may not sound important think of this, Bruno didn’t do wrestling show after leaving WWE and even in shoots talked about how much he hated wrestling so to get him to not only show up but to put the company over was huge. Most of the locker room is out for this and as they head back Samoa Joe and Takeshi Morishima bump into each other near the entrance and push each other, planting the seeds for a match down the road.
Adam Pearce vs. Delirious: The battle of 2 ROH bookers! Adam would take over Gabe and Delirious would take over Adam. The story behind this match was that Adam worked for ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette and on videowires Delirious kept asking for matches so Jim made this match. Adam jumps Delirious before he gets into the ring. Delirious hides under the ring which leads to Adam looking under and Delirious sneaking up and hitting the Foley senton of the apron. Adam presses Delirious up and throws him out of the ring and into the guard rail. The fans are calling Adam fat, weird thing to pick on since he really wasn’t fat at all. Adam goes for the Superfly but gets nothing but knees. Delirious becomes Ultimate Warrior and hits endless clotheslines and bouncing of different sides of the ring. Delirious hits 60 turnbuckle clothesline, thanks NY fans. Delirious hits the Panic Attack and goes for Shadows Over Hell but Shane Hagadorn interferes and Adam hits the piledriver for the win. I wasn’t too impressed with this match but it was better than the opener.
Jimmy Jacobs w/Lacey vs. Colt Cabana vs. Christopher Daniels: The story here is that Jacobs loves Lacey but Lacey is going out with Colt so she demands that Jacobs helps Colt. During Jacobs entrance the fans bring out their phones and sway them, like at a music gig and it looked awesome. Watching these entrances make me miss ROH when they used real bands and not their own music, I know they can’t for legal reasons but I still miss it. Match starts with Jacobs crying and the other two wrestling. Lacey’s on the apron and Daniels almost run into her but saves himself, Colt then trips himself and grabs her boobs and then falls down and slides under her to look up her skirt. This breaks down to a handicap match and double team comedy spots. Colt sets up a Russian Leg Sweep, Jacobs tries for a clothesline and Colt moves and then hits the Sweep. He repeats this spot with a backbreaker. Colt holds Daniels up in a surfboard with his feet and then kicks off into a body scissors which looked really nice. Jacobs accidentally spears Colt leading to Daniels coming back. Daniels hits the Best Moonsault Ever, that always looks great and I’ve never seen him botch it. Colt hits an Asai Moonsault, which I forgot he would do. Colt goes for the Colt 45 but Jacobs low blows him and hits the Contra Code of Daniels for the win. Lacey is pissed at him. A fun little comedy match and it told a great story throughout.
Jim Cornette Promo: He comes out with the Briscoes and basically runs down the fans and Homicide. He explains that Homicide will get his ROH title at Final Battle, if he wins the upcoming tag match, but if he doesn’t win ROH gold by the end of the year he’s gone. For those who don’t know Homicide would beat Danielson at Final Battle in the same Arena to win the title. So I feel a little story is needed here, Homicide was a big help in the ROH/CZW feud and Jim offered him 3 wishes but he refused his last one, bring back Low Ki, and basically Jim turned heel. The other 2 wishes were to get a title shot and one final match with Steve Corino. Anyways this promo basically leads to the next match.
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark) vs. Homicide & Samoa Joe w/Julius Smokes: This starts with just shots being traded and see’s Joe hit a Tope and Homicide hit his Tope Con Heelio. Mark attempts a slingshot crossbody and Joe just walks away, such a dick move. Homicide hits the Three Amigos, with the final being a Falcon Arrow, and gets Eddie chants that move will always be his no matter what now. The Briscoes get the advantage when Jay gets a low blow on Homicide and throws him out where Mark repeated rams the back of his head into the rail. Homicide gets the tag and instead of Joe running in the action almost starts all over again. Smokes is just annoying here, he’s constantly barking and growling. The Briscoes then get heat on Joe after a sneaky knee. In a spot I liked Jay keeps locking in a chin lock, Joe would fight back but would end up in the chin lock again. Joe just suddenly tags out, no HOT tags here it seems. Homicide hits a second rope jumping DDT on Mark. They hit a serious of big moves on each other ending with Joe nailing a lariat, Homicide teased the same move and his always looked odd to me Joes looked really nice. Joe & Homicide hit a backdrop driver and clothesline which sees Mark landing really high. The Briscoes got for the Doomsday but Joe grabs Mark’s foot as he jump up and it looked really painful. Homicide nails the Cop Killer for the win. Pretty good tag match here, my only problem is that the faces really didn’t build up to the tags. We go backstage to Gary Michael Cappetta who is doing backstage interviews, nice to see his face.
Generation Next (Roderick Strong & Austin Aries) (c) vs. The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) for the ROH Tag titles: This stems off the ROH/CZW feud, Claudio had been able to stay in ROH because he had a contract and Hero had constantly interrupted shows since the feud ended. They gained the shot by answering an open contract. The Kings come out to “We Are the Champions” by Queen, overused? Yes but still great. The Kings also come through the crowd, another thing I like in feuds like this. They are also the Chikara campeones de parejas. Aries has a massive bandage on his rips, I recently reviewed Wrestlemania 19 where Brock Lesnar had the smallest bandage to sell a rip injury. Anyways at this time Gen Next were the most successful Tag champs, they made the title World title by going to Japan and had the longest and most title defences. On record would be broken by the Kings later on. Claudio looks like a Swiss IRS. The Kings jump start  this match. They do a series of chomps which sees Strong chop them both and the Kings chop each other. Aries is in briefly and grabs his ribs throughout, always worth doing in my view. Lots of quick tags from the faces and a load of double teams as a result, we even get the Hart Attack. Hero hangs Aries on the top rope to start the heat and the attack on the ribs. Aries fights back and tries to jump over Hero for the tag but is blocked by a double team by the Kings, I complained they didn’t build the tags in the last match is this is a prime example of how to build to a tag. The Kings are very good at avoiding Strong from coming in and hitting them or they were until Hero locks in a weird submission and Strong kicks him in the face. Aries finally gets the tag by rolling by the Kings after a double suplex attempt, the fans popped for the tag. Aries hits his Heat Seeking Missile on both Kings and this is followed by Strong hitting a twisting plancha. Aries hits the turnbuckle dropkick and runs Hero into a sick kick, this is followed by a chop/brainbuster combo. Aries goes up top but Claudio hits him with a briefcase, Strong gets hit with a double team Hero’s Welcome and then taunt. Aries sneaks in and gets some strikes in but the Kings get the KRS 1 and the titles. I really like this match and it was a great way to justify the Kings staying in ROH.
Naomichi Marufuji (c) vs. Nigel McGuinness for GHC World Heavyweight Title: A very long intro to this match. Marufuji had only won the title the week before and was the first to win every title in NOAH. Chain wrestling to start. Jimmy Bower aka Gabe Sapolsky comes on commentary just to put over the match. Marufuji hits a Dragon Screw while Nigel’s leg was through the ropes this starts the attack on the leg. We get another Dragon Screw but around the ring post this time. Nigel gets a comeback after Marufuji shoulder blocks the post and this starts the attack on the arm. Even while on offence Nigel is selling the leg by shaking it out. Nigel starts using lariats, they don’t look as impactful as they would during his World title reign but he would also destroy his own arm in the process. Nigel slings the rope in Marufuji’s face in a nice spot, they fight on the outside and Marufuji hits the shiranui to the floor. Nigel gets in the ring at 17 and what I liked is that he physically struggled to get up before getting in, sometimes guys just pop up and jump. Nigel hits his hanging lariat for a near fall Nigel hits the Tower of London but Marufuji pops up and hits a shiranui and both men are down, that’s how you actually do fighting spirit spots. Nigel hits his rebound lariat for a near fall, if done smoothly that move looks awesome. Nigel hits the Tower of London on the apron and both men are fighting the count. They trade sick kicks which sees a near fall for Marufuji. Nigel does the headstand in the corner but gets superkicked, he lands in the tree of woe and Marufuji does a Van Terminator minus the chair. Marufuji hits the top rope shiranui for the win. A great, great match from these two and really helped build McGuinness up.
Bryan Danielson (c) vs. KENTA for ROH World Title: Bryan is working this match with a serious shoulder injury which required surgery. We get the “Final Countdown” for Bryan, how can you be a heel with that? Both are doing very dickish type strikes when they should do breaks. Bryan grabs his shoulder and rolls out after a kick, would like to think that’s good selling but it was probably a shoot. Every kick KENTA throws is to the shoulder, I understand why you’d work the shoulder in the match but why would you let KENTA kick you there? KENTA does his slingshot cocky kick, seriously what dick. Bryan goes for a sunset flip and KENTA slaps the hell out of him. Bryan gets the advantage after a Kravate suplex. Bryan tries the Mexican Surfboard but it gets messed up and he jumps down on the knees instead. We get a Ric Flair spot where the Figure 4’s locked in and Bryan grabs the ropes when the ref isn’t looking. Bryan does a roll through into a single crab just like Lance Storm, who he beat earlier in the year. Bryan goes for a flying headbutt but KENTA gets his legs up. After a double down both get up and hit & absorb a lot of big moves leading to another double down. Bryan somehow hits a one armed slingshot plancha into the crowd. KENTA blocks a roaring elbow with a Fujiwara armbar and he would use this throughout the rest of the match. Bryan hits the Regalplex for a near fall. A Super Back suplex by Bryan leads to Cattle Mutilation by KENTA gets the ropes. Bryan jumps off the top but KENTA catches him and hits the Go 2 Sleep, see that CM Punk, for a near fall but Bryan gets his foot on the rope. Bryan reverses the GTS with a crucifix and then elbows but KENTA fights out but is put into a pin for a near fall. Bryan locks in the Cattle Mutilation, he breaks it to hit elbows and puts it back on for the tap out. Just a fantastic match to close the show and even more impressive when you think about the fact Bryan was injured going in.
Overall: This is still probably the best ROH show I’ve ever seen. I often find that when you go back to watch ROH show they don’t really hold up but this was truly does. Each match on the card got better as we went along, which you could argue it should do. I found while reviewing shows that my complaints are mostly match order and unnecessary matches on the card but I think you didn’t get that on this card. Storyline progressed and the match quality was great, mostly. Watching this you can understand why ROH got called King of the Indies for so long.

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