Philadelphia, PA – 4.22.2006
Commentary is provided by Dave Prazak & Lenny Leonard.
The show begins where the “Better Than Our Best” left off, with Bryan Danielson signing paperwork at the ROH Wrestling Academy. After Bryan signs, Cary Silkin introduces him as the new head trainer of the ROH Dojo. The former head trainer, Austin Aries, congratulates Bryan and hands over the keys to the building. Bryan tells Cary that between being the World Champion and now the head trainer of its school, Bryan more or less runs ROH now.
Colt Cabana is now clean shaven and feeling fantastic after getting his respect from Homicide earlier in the month. Tonight, he’s using that momentum to come after Bryan Danielson and his gold.
Lacey is in an ROH t-shirt large enough to cover her from knees to neck. She tells Jimmy Jacobs she won’t be in his corner tonight, but if he is able to win, she will show what’s under the shirt on ROHvideos.com. She says it’s all up to Jimmy.
Christopher Daniels vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Allison Danger is in Daniels’ corner. To further show his allegiance to Ring of Honor, Claudio’s entrance jacket now has the initials “ROH” in rhinestones on the back. Both men earn some “HEY!” chants from the crowd as they pose. After both men work over each other’s arms, Claudio hip tosses his way out of a side headlock. Each guy snaps off an armdrag and Daniels sends Claudio to the floor with another. Claudio puts Danielson in the Neutralizer submission when he comes back inside. Daniels gets the ropes and then retreats to the floor. Daniels goes for a leg hold and Claudio gets the ropes. Claudio lifts Daniels for over 60 seconds in a vertical suplex. He throws a few uppercuts before Daniels dropkicks Claudio’s knee out from under him. From there, Daniels focuses his attack on Claudio’s left leg. Claudio manages to hit an uppercut from the second turnbuckle, but the landing aggravates his knee. He hits the Match Killer for two. Daniels responds with a Death Valley Driver. The BME gets him two. Daniels misses a knee strike and Claudio reapplies the Neutralizer. Daniels makes it to the ropes once more. Claudio goes for the Alpamare Water Slide and Daniels counters with a Ranhei for the pin at 15:54. The finish was a bit abrupt, but it followed a really strong back-and-forth wrestling match. It was cool to see one of ROH’s forefathers battle one of the newer stars in the opener of the 100th show. ***
After the match, Daniels on the microphone notes that the 100th Show concludes a series of events ROH has dubbed as the Milestone Series. Tonight, he creates a milestone of his own, by making Claudio Castagnoli the first man whose hand he will shake. Daniels says he chose Claudio because he respects him and sees him as the future of ROH. Surely Claudio won’t do anything to make him regret this decision. Daniels thanks the fans for helping make Ring of Honor what it is today.
As Claudio is taking a bow, Chris Hero makes his way through the ROH crowd. He says all the destruction and chaos he has caused in ROH brings a smile to his face. He calls the ROH crowd disrespectful, arrogant, know-it-all smart marks. He’s been through hell and back to get to where he is today. Claudio gets the fans to chant ROH as Hero continues to walk through the building. Hero says he knows what it’s like to rise, just as he is making it over to the CZW fans bleachers. The fans chant “Hero” as he proclaims that tonight he will help destroy Ring of Honor. The ROH fans chant “Joe’s Gonna Kill You” as he exits. Hero more or less shifting from a Rudo promo to a babyface promo as he went from the ROH fans to the designated CZW fan bleachers rules.
Delirious vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Jimmy Yang
Taimak aka Bruce Leroy is back tonight in Yang’s corner. Prince Nana and Daizee Haze are in Rave’s corner. As mentioned previously in the evening, Lacey is NOT in Jacobs’ corner. Jacobs and Yang start off, and Rave repeatedly refuses to tag out when Jacobs comes near. Yang gets Jacobs’ ire up when he pulls in a large photo of Lacey Jacobs brought to the ring and humps it. Jacobs goes berserk with strikes and takes down Yang with a flying Frankensteiner. Delirious hits the Panic Attack on Yang for two, then sends him into the barricades with a baseball slide dropkick. Jacobs goes back to attacking Yang, including his own hump, and is wiped out in mid-air by Yang with a spinwheel kick. Rave is alright tagging in now that Yang is on his stomach. He twists away at Yang’s face which is busted open. Nana grabs Yang’s boot as he hits the ropes, and Haze sneaks in a yakuza kick to the side of his head. Leroy drags Haze off the ring apron after Yang lands a moonsault press on Rave. Leroy chases Nana and Haze to the backstage area. Yang and Rave wipe each other out with stereo clotheslines. After they tag in, Delirious baits Jacobs into a diving clothesline and a punt to the head. Jacobs headscissors Delirious into the middle turnbuckle and stomps on his back. Jacobs also headscissors Rave, but Rave recovers and spears him for two. Rave sets up for Greetings From Ghana but he backs Rave to the corner where Yang tags himself in. He low blows Rave when Rave waistlocks him and takes him down with two high kicks. He misses Yang Time on Jacobs. Jacobs drops Yang with the Contra Code, and although he has Yang pinned, he decides not to go for the pin. Delirious sneaks in and gives Jacobs a backbreaker before locking on the Cobra Stretch for the submission at 13:00. Jacobs not wanting to pin Yang makes sense – why would he want to share “his girl” with everyone else? The match meandered for a little bit, but the last few minutes were really excellent, and I appreciate that Delirious’ win in Chicago was the start of something rather than a one-off. ***
ROH World Tag Team Championship
Generation Next (Roderick Strong & Austin Aries) vs. The Rottweilers (Homicide & Ricky Reyes)
Strong and Aries have been champions since 12.15.2005 and this is their fifth defense. The Rottweilers earned this title shot at “Arena Warfare.” Julius Smokes is in the Rottweilers’ corner. A week prior, Ricky Reyes went to the ROH Dojo and attacked Alex Payne and Ernie Osiris during practice, and Aries promised to make him pay. Reyes however won’t get in the ring with Aries. Homicide takes Aries down with a diving uppercut. Aries pops out a headscissors from behind and elbow drops the back of Homicide’s head. Strong dropkicks Homicide to the floor. Aries follows with the Heat-Seeking Missile. Reyes kicks Aries in the back of the head from the ring apron. She smashes Aries’ left leg into the barricades. Reyes attacks Aries’ leg, but foolishly suplexes him towards his own corner, allowing for Strong to tag in. He takes down Reyes with a leaping knee and Homicide with the Sick Kick. Strong counters a tornado DDT with a dropkick to Homicide on the top turnbuckle, but Reyes brings Strong down with a belly-to-back suplex off the second turnbuckle, and Homicide delivers a diving headbutt for two. They throw Strong into the barricades. Aries attacks Homicide from behind, but Reyes takes him down and kicks away at his left leg. Homicidedouble stomps Strong through the timekeeper’s table. A dazed Strong is able to give Reyes a chinbreaker and chop, stumbling back to a tag from Aries. Aries on one leg but a lot of anger fights off both Homicide and Reyes on his own. He nails Reyes with the IED for two. Homicide chop blocks Aries when he goes for a brainbuster on Reyes, then drops Aries with an Ace Crusher. Homicide lariats Aries and Strong breaks up the pin. Strong gives Homicide a half-nelson backbreaker and Reyes the Tiger Driver. Reyes puts Strong in the Dragon Sleeper to counter a half-nelson suplex. Aries 450 splashes onto Reyes and pins him at 15:10. Great ending aside, this was a mess. There was no real structure to the match and overall was very plodding. It’s a shame because there was some juice in the issue with Aries and Reyes, but the execution was subpar. **¼
ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson vs. Colt Cabana
Danielson has been champion since 9.17.2005 and this is his sixteenth defense. After some locking up, Cabana takes down Danielson with some shoulder blocks. He uses a back bridge on Danielson and gets a two count, frustrating the champion. Cabana rolls up Danielson for two, and also gets two with a crucifix. Danielson brings Cabana down in a waistlock, looking like he is going for the Cattle Mutilation. Instead he rolls Cabana onto his shoulders, pinning him at 5:00. Cabana is completely stunned that the match ended so quickly. The match itself was more or less nothing, but would be the start of a story for Danielson and Cabana, and one that I think worked out really well. *½
During intermission, Gary Michael Capetta confirms with Jimmy Jacobs what we surmised – he purposefully tanked the Four Corner Survival because he loves Lacey and his principles wouldn’t allow her to be portrayed online in the buff for the ROH fans to ogle. GMC then tries to grab a word with a flabbergasted Cabana to no avail.
ROH Top of the Class Trophy
Derek Dempsey vs. Pelle Primeau
Dempsey is the current Trophy holder, but I am uncertain when he won it or how many times it has been defended. Dempsey slaps Primeau when Primeau reverses a wristlock. Primeau slaps him back and gets two with an O’Connor roll. Primeau sends Dempsey outside with a flying shoulder tackle. Dempsey dumps Primeau on his head with a backdrop driver for two. Primeau comes back with a Frankensteiner and crossbody for two. Dempsey drills Primeau with a spinebuster and jackknife pins him at 3:19. This was a perfectly acceptable student level match with Dempsey dominating, but the fans didn’t give them a chance. *
Bryan Danielson comes back to the ring as Dempsey and Primeau are exiting. He asks them both to get back in the ring. The CZW fans chant “overrated” at Danielson, so he gives both them and hardcore wrestlers a piece of his mind. He says the match Dempsey and Primeau just had involved more technical wrestling than the entire CZW catalogue, putting over both of their efforts and saying that they’re going to get better now that they’re under his tutelage. He shakes both of their hands and sends them backstage to rest. Like he told Cary Silkin, he says that as both the ROH World Champion and head trainer of their school, he pretty much runs the place and can call his own shots. He doesn’t feel satisfied beating Cabana in such a quick fashion, so he is going to defend the title for a second time against a winner from the first half of the show. Amongst the winners in the first half, he’s already defeated Christopher Daniels, Roderick Strong, and Austin Aries, which leaves Delirious who Danielson calls out for a title match. Danielson asks Delirious if he really believes he can defeat him. Delirious incoherently responds, and for some reason when he begins to sing “The Final Countdown”, Danielson gets angry and slaps Delirious in the face. This starts our second World title contest of the evening.
ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson vs. Delirious
Danielson has been champion since 9.17.2005 and this is his seventeenth defense. Danielson takes Delirious to the corner with a flurry of slaps to the face. He stands right on his face and chest and then puts him in the Romero Special. Danielson then stomps Delirious’ knees into the mat before applying a Bow and Arrow. He does a Curb Stomp to mock Super Dragon to further agitate the CZW fans in attendance. He does some hip swivels to the vocal crowd while also doing damage to Delirious’ locked up legs. He switches that into an abdominal stretch, in which at times he rubs his forearm into Delirious’ face and grabs the ropes for extra leverage. Danielson dropkicks him for a two count. He brings Delirious to the top rope. Delirious fights him off and connects with Shadows Over Hell. He dropkicks Danielson to the corner for the Panic Attack and cradles him for two. Danielson halts Delirious’ leaping lariat and locks on Cattle Mutilation. Delirious gets to the ropes. Delirious Airplane Spins Danielson and puts him in the Cobra Stretch. Danielson makes it to the ropes and rolls to the floor. Delirious suicide dives after him. Danielson sends Delirious into the barricades chest first. He airplane spins Delirious momentarily before throwing him head first into a ring post. Delirious has now been busted open, so Danielson rips open that part of his mask and throws him back into the barricades. He bites his open wound as well. Back in the ring he gives Delirious a Dragon suplex and puts on Cattle Mutilation. Somehow Delirious gets his feet to the ropes. Danielson gives him a suplex and goes up top. He misses a diving headbutt. Delirious gives him the Neverending Story clothesline. Danielson manages to maneuver his way for a belly-to-back superplex. He drives the point of his elbow into the side of Delirious’ head. Referee Todd Sinclair calls for the bell at 15:37. Delirious was such a great underdog for Danielson, as he only had two singles wins to his name before getting to challenge. The blood added a lot to the presentation and made Delirious look tough as nails, further legitimizing him in the eyes of the ROH audience. For the 100th Show, some may see this as a throwaway title defense, but for what they were looking to accomplish I thought they did a great job. ***½
AJ Styles & Matt Sydal vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe)
The Briscoes lunge at Sydal and Styles at the bell, but Styles tackles Jay into the corner while Sydal chops Mark. They attack the Briscoes in opposite corners, then AJ pops Sydal into a knee strike to Mark. Styles hits his patented drop down/leapfrog dropkick on Jay.. Styles ducks a springboard dropkick from Mark and tags in Sydal. Sydal and Styles double team Mark, but Mark blocks a knee strike in the corner from Sydal and delivers a chop. Jay tags in and the Briscoes hit a double shoulder tackle for two. The Briscoes isolate Sydal in their corner until Sydal blocks a Death Valley Driver and takes Mark over with a headscissors. Sydal tags in Styles after a dropkick. Styles hits a leaping knee drop and a back suplex on Jay for two. Jay drop toe holds Styles onto the middle rope where Mark drills him in the side of the head with a knee strike. Mark follows up with a slingshot double stomp, and Styles now finds himself isolated in the Briscoes corner. Styles fights back and takes Mark to the floor with a kip-up headscissors. Styles knocks Jay to the floor, and Styles and Sydal hit stereo dives onto the Briscoes. Back in the ring, Mark low blows Styles. The Briscoes both launch Sydal straight in the air and he comes crashing down to the mat. The Briscoes continue to beat down Sydal until Sydal takes Mark off the middle rope with a Frankensteiner and tags in Styles. Styles knocks down both Briscoes with kicks and punches. Styles turns an Asai moonsault into a reverse DDT on Mark, then hits a German suplex/facebuster combo on Jay. Mark Jon woo dropkicks Styles to save Jay from a Styles Clash. Styles and Sydal hit a neckbreaker/top rope splash combo on Mark and Jay breaks up the pin. Styles and Sydal hit a tandem neckbreaker on Jay. Mark attacks Styles on the floor. Jay blocks a huracanrana from Sydal, and the Briscoes nail him with a springboard Doomsday Device. Jay wipes out Styles with a yakuza kick. Sydla kicks Mark to the apron. Sydal blocks the Jay Driller and hits a standing moonsault. Jay forearms Sydal from behind. The Briscoes hit Sydal with the Spike Jay Driller for the pin at 12:42. In the battle of teamwork versus speed, teamwork won out, with the Briscoes dominating Sydal with two huge tandem maneuvers to ultimately come out victorious. Between this win and the win against Evan and Strong the month prior, The Briscoes proved they are ready for a tag title shot. Both teams packed a lot of action into a relatively short period, and it made for a super fun watch. ***½
An awesome video highlighting the first 99 ROH shows plays, ending with a thank you to the fans for getting them to the 100th Show.
Gary Michael Capetta is in the ring to moderate a debate between ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette, and CZW Owner John Zandig. Adam Pearce is there with Cornette, helping him get into the ring as Cornette is hobbled and has a crutch under his left arm thanks to Chris Hero attacking him in Chicago. Pearce also holds onto Cornette’s baseball bat. Zandig brings his own bat, but his is wrapped in barbed wire. Cornette points out his general standing in wrestling compared to Zandig, and says Philadelphia’s wrestling reputation is on the line in this rivalry. It could’ve ended there, but Cornette and Zandig just yell in each other’s faces for a while. Cornette tells Zanding he’s pathetic and is about to leave when Zandig calls for the CZW locker room to come take care of him. Chris Hero, Super Dragon, and Necro Butcher appear from the crowd. Samoa Joe’s music hits and he and BJ Whitmer head to the ring, and with Pearce already out, our main event is ready to rock.
Team ROH (Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer & Adam Pearce) vs. Team CZW (Chris Hero, Necro Butcher & Super Dragon)
Both ROH official Todd Sinclair and CZW official Bryce Remsburg have been assigned to this match. A brawl between all six men begins before the fans’ streamers can be cleared. Whitmer and Dragon pair off on the floor while Hero and Joe fight in the ring. Pearce big boots Hero and delivers a senton. Pearce and Necro are also fighting on the floor. Joe suicide dives onto Hero. Claudio Castagnoli comes out to take away the barbed wire bat from Zandig, and then heads backstage. Pearce becomes bloody from Necro’s strikes and chair shots. Pearce slams a chair twice into Necro’s head while the other four brawl in the crowd. Whitmer and Joe suplex Dragon onto a chair. Ringside, Joe throws Hero into a barricade. Joe knocks down Necro with headbutts and a palm strike. Pearce hits Necro with a flying forearm back in the ring for two. Dragon gets in the face of some fans, allowing Whitmer to smack him with a chair a couple of times. Joe and Pearce light up Dragon with slaps to his face. Whitmer suplexes Hero back in the ring for two. Pearce throws a chair into Necro’s face but then gets dropkicked by Dragon. Whitmer crotches Dragon on the top rope. Dragon is able to fight Whitmer off the ropes and deliver a senton splash for two. Dragon misses a shoulder block in the corner. Pearce slams two chairs into the sides of Necro’s head. Necro recovers and sets up two chairs in the ring. His plan backfires and Joe suplexes Necro onto them. Necro somehow kicks out at two.
Pearce slams Dragon into a barriacade. Hero shows off on the ropes as he takes control of Whitmer in the ring. Joe brings a table to the ringside area. Hero boots Whitmer for two. Necro prevents Pearce from giving Hero a piledriver. Necro and Pearce put up their dukes and trade jabs with one another. Necro knocks down Pearce for a bit, but Pearce recovers in a grand fashion. Hero throws a chair into Whitmer’s head. Pearce suplexes Hero. Joe suplexes Dragon through a table. Hero and Joe stand-off in the ring and wildly throw strikes. Joe owns Hero but gets attacked by Necro and Dragon from behind. Pearce gives Hero a spinebuster. He follows with a top rope splash. Dragon double stomps Pearce to stop the count. Dragon gives Pearce a curb stomp. Whitmer spears Dragon and sets up a chair in the ring. He gives Dragon an exploder suplex onto the chair for two. Whitmer notices the table ringside. Necro nails him with a chair in the head and back. Pearce hits Necro with a chair from the floor after Necro hits an open chair into Whitmer’s face. Dragon traps Whitmer’s head in a chair and delivers a double stomp! After Whitmer miraculously kicks out, Dragon gives Whitmer the Pyscho Driver off the apron and through a table ringside! With them disposed of, Hero jabs a chair into Joe’s stomach and neck in the ring. Zandig comes in to help Hero attack Joe. Necro attacks Todd Sinclair when he argues with CZW referee Bryce Remsburg. Zandig helps Hero attack Joe. Once Hero has Joe in a cravate, Claudio Castagnoli comes to Joe’s aid He disposes of Zandig and grabs Hero. Claudio holds Hero in a cravate for Joe to attack. As Joe comes off the ropes, Claudio releases Hero and blasts Joe with an uppercut! Claudio and Hero hug, confirming Claudio’s allegiance to CZW. Pearce missile dropkicks Claudio right away. The ROH crowd cheers for Homicide, hoping he will come out to even the odds, but they have no such luck. With Hero and Joe laid out, Hero and Claudio hit the Hero’s Welcome: KOW Edition on Pearce to get the win at 25:25. This match was a masterpiece. The way everything was orchestrated built to the crescendo of Claudio’s turn at the exact right moment. They capitalized on that high point by concluding the match shortly after and not overstaying their welcome. The crowd was really loud at the beginning and just kept getting louder as it progressed. In the world of wrestling where pride often gets in the way, it is commendable ROH allowed for their 100th Show end with CZW on top for the betterment of this story. ****½
The CZW team celebrates in the CZW bleachers. Joe is shaking with anger as he looks upon them from inside the ring. Claudio shows his “ROH” suit jacket has been torn down the middle. Students from the ROH Dojo and others check on Pearce whose head and shirt are covered in blood. Whitmer is also bloody and laid out ringside and gets checked on. The CZW team leaves though the exits, as Whitmer is taken out on a table which serves as a makeshift stretcher.
Backstage, Gary Michael Capetta finally gets a word from Colt Cabana. He apologizes to the fans for losing to Danielson so quickly in his title match. He realized that the months of brawling with Homicide deteriorated his wrestling acumen. He understands his place in wrestling, and is happy to go back to opening matches in order to work his way back into the title picture once more. He understands you only get so many shots at the title, and the next time he and Danielson meet, he will take the title back to Chicago where he belongs. We then get a look at Adam Pearce being cleaned up backstage, and an “H” shaped cut that was left in his forehead.