Ring of Honor: Danielson vs. The World


Disc One

Bryan Danielson vs. Doug Williams
“Road to the Title” – Philadelphia, PA – 6.22.2002

Williams goes for the leg and eats an enzuigiri for it. Danielson gets in a few snapmares, but twice Williams gets a wristlock right after. The third time Danielson kicks him in the back. He applies a headlock but of course Williams turns it into a wristlock. Danielson Judo throws him across the ring. Williams puts him in a modified parachute hold. They trade forearms until Williams releases the hold. He catches Danielson with a backbreaker, then puts him in a bow and arrow. Danielson gets the ropes. Williams gets two with a hammerlock suplex. He stretches Danielson out over his shoulders and drives him chest first into the corner. Williams then dropkicks Danielson in the back. Williams goes for a knee drop off the top and gets caught with a dropkick. Danielson puts on a figure four. Williams rolls to the floor but Danielson manages to keep the hold on. Once the hold is broken and they are back in the ring. Williams suplexes Danielson outside of the ring but he luckily lands on his feet. Williams gives Danielson a tornado DDT back in the ring. Danielson blocks a backslide and suplexes Williams out of a cravate. They throw forearms until Danielson delivers a suplex. He follows up with a diving headbutt for two. Williams only gets two with the Chaos Theory! Not only that, but Danielson is able to recover and superplex him off the top rope. Williams kicks out. Danielson goes for Cattle Mutilation. Williams picks him up for a reverse suplex and rolls him into a pin for the victory at 13:27. When you see these two names, you expect some excellent mat work, some hard strikes, and a surprise here and there. You got all of that to varying degrees in this match and it was a lot of fun to watch. ***1/2

30 Minute Iron Man Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Doug Williams

“Scramble Madness” – Wakefield, MA – 11.16.2002

Williams hits the floor when Danielson is getting the best of him. Danielson key locks his legs. He snaps back a few times before applying a Muta Lock. Williams elbows is way free. He catches Danielson off guard with a clothesline. Williams Judo throws him across the ring a couple of times. Danielson hip tosses Williams and throws some uppercuts. Williams puts on a headscissors. Danielson escapes and goes for a Boston Crab. Williams grabs the ropes before he can apply it. Danielson does however get on a side headlock. He works over Williams’ neck, presumably for the Cattle Mutilation. Williams hooks Danielson in a vertebreaker position and rams him stomach first into the corner. Danielson reverses and does the same. He kicks at Williams’ neck as he hangs in the tree of woe. They switch positions looking for a hold. Danielson ends up getting a Dragon suplex for two. A second Dragon suplex gets Danielson the first pin of the match at 18:22. Danielson gets in a Dragon suplex right away for two. Williams knocks Danielson to the floor and follows with an elbow suicida. In the ring he gets two with a running knee strike. He swings Danielson around in a Cobra Clutch. Danielson suplexes Williams and comes off the top rope with a headbutt. Williams grabs a waistlock. Danielson rolls them to the floor in case a Chaos Theory was coming. Danielson superplexes Williams back into the ring. Williams kicks out of that, and blocks another Dragon suplex. Williams whips Danielson to the corner and delivers a tornado DDT. Williams gets two with a knee strike off the top rope. He’s able to hit the Chaos Theory but Danielson’s feet land in the ropes so he can’t go for a pin. Danielson kicks out of a brainbuster. He belly-to-back superplexes Williams. Danielson goes for a pin. Williams turns it into his own pin for two. He desperately applies a crossface. The 30:00 time limit expires making Danielson the winner. I was hoping that with more time these two would be able to deliver a better match than their initial encounter. While they didn’t do that, they did still tell a good story and kept things interesting for the most part. The Boston crowd was not nearly as into things as the Philly crowd was though. ***1/2

KENTA vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe
“In Your Face” – New York, NY – 6.17.2006

Danielson wants to see KENTA and Joe start off with each other. They seem to have their sights on Danielson. Danielson kicks Joe’s bad knee and rakes both his and KENTA’s eyes. He throws uppercuts between them. KENTA and Joe kick Danielson’s leg and chest respectively before hitting a tandem chest kick. KENTA then slaps and kicks Joe. Joe catches him with a body slam. Danielson rubs his forearm against Joe’s face. Danielson misses a crossbody off the second rope. Joe powerslams KENTA and Danielson breaks the pin. Danielson stops KENTA’s forearms by raking his eyes. KENTA delivers a hard chest kick to knock Danielson off his feet. He slingshots in and back punts Danielson in the head. Joe smacks KENTA in the face so hard he goes for a pin. Danielson breaks it and trades slaps with Joe. Danielson runs to the floor when he sees how angry Joe is getting. Joe chops him in the corner when he comes back in the ring. KENTA springboard dropkicks both of his opponents. Danielson butterfly suplexes KENTA for two. Joe shrugs off Danielson’s headbutt. He gives Danielson one of his own, followed by some slaps and an enzuigiri. Danielson forearms KENTA and Joe in opposite corners. Joe slams Danielson onto KENTA. Joe and KENTA trade boots. Danielson drags KENTA to the floor. Joe suicide dives onto both of them. Joe and KENTA fight into the crowd, so Danielson springboard dives onto them. Joe ends up back in the ring first. Danielson and KENTA try simultaneous missile dropkicks, but Joe simply walks out of the way to avoid them both. Joe gives Danielson the same Manhattan Drop/Boot/Senton combo he did to KENTA. It doesn’t get him a pin here either. KENTA catches Joe on the top rope and delivers a super Falcon Arrow. Danielson breaks the cover. KENTA snaps Joe’s throat on the top rope. Danielson baits KENTA into the Cattle Mutilation. Joe’s senton breaks the hold. Joe knee strikes KENTA and goes for the Muscle Buster. Danielson clips Joe’s bad leg and stomps on it. Danielson delivers a rolling forearm to KENTA. KENTA ducks a second and kicks Danielson in the side of the head. He gets two with a fisherman’s buster. Danielson forearms KENTA to block the Busaiku knee. He gets two with a Regalplex. Danielson flips off the crowd before giving KENTA a belly-to-back superplex. KENTA manages to kick out. Joe enzuigiri’s Danielson. Danielson forearms him down. Danielson puts KENTA in the Crossface Chicken Wing. KENTA fights out and hits a Tiger Suplex for two. KENTA trips Joe into a cloverleaf. Danielson dropkicks KENTA and puts on Cattle Mutilation. He rolls that into a crucifix for two. Danielson rakes his eyes to block the Go 2 Sleep. Joe puts Danielson on his shoulders. When Danielson rakes Joe’s eyes, he throws Danielson into KENTA’s Go 2 Sleep. KENTA sends Joe out with the Busaiku Knee. KENTA hits a proper Go 2 Sleep on Danielson for the pin at 20:23. Some triple threat matches tend to be awkward, but these guys did a tremendous job keeping the action going without having to keep someone out of the fray. This was some of the hardest hitting stuff I’ve seen in ROH and just super fun from bell to bell. ****

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. SUWA

“Anarchy in the UK” – Broxbourne, England – 8.13.2006

Danielson attacks SUWA in the aisleway because SUWA attacked him with a kendo stick earlier in the night. They brawl into the crowd where Danielson whips him into a wall. SUWA throws him into the barricades and hits him with a chair. Danielson is now bleeding from the head as SUWA gives him a couple of chops. The match officially begins now that they are back in the ring. They exchange chops mid-ring until SUWA pokes Danielson in the eyes. He rakes his feet across Danielson’s face. SUWA gets two with a shoulder tackle. He drives Danielson’s neck into the middle rope for two. He stretches his back out across his knee. Danielson fights out in a double knuckle lock but SUWA throws some headbutts to take Danielson back down. SUWA throws chops. Danielson keeps getting up from them. SUWA turns a spinebuster into a Boston Crab. He chokes Danielson with his boot in the corner. Danielson gets his boot up to block a corner attack. He comes off the second rope with an uppercut. He superplexes SUWA and then delivers a top rope headbutt. When SUWA kicks out, Danielson goes for the cross face chicken wing. SUWA gets his feet on the ropes. SUWA comes back with a flapjack. He misses his signature John Woo dropkick. He tries for the FFF. Danielson turns it into a German suplex for two. SUWA gets two with a lariat. Danielson throws some rolling forearms. SUWA delivers a haymaker. He hits the ropes and Danielson catches him in a small package for the pin at 10:07. That was super fun and a lot more hard hitting than I anticipated. Danielson bleeding added a layer of brutality to it that made his desperation small package make more sense than usual. ***

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. KENTA

“Glory by Honor V, Night 2” – New York, NY – 9.16.2006

Danielson ducks KENTA’s initial kick. KENTA slaps him in the face after breaking a lock-up. Danielson does the same. Danielson pulls up on KENTA’s arm and shoulder, bringing KENTA to the ropes. Danielson knee strikes him before letting go. KENTA kicks Danielson in his injured shoulder. Danielson takes some time on the floor. KENTA kicks Danielson in the shoulder again, causing Danielson to angrily unload with some strikes. KENTA dishes another kick to the shoulder anyways. Danielson grabs a side headlock to stop KENTA’s offense. They exchange submissions on the mat. KENTA puts a wristlock on Danielson’s bad arm. Danielson dropkicks him to the floor. Danielson follows out only to be kicked in the shoulder multiple times. KENTA throws him shoulder first into the barricades. He does work on Danielson’s shoulder back in the ring. KENTA does that slingshot head kick. Danielson feels insulted by it and takes KENTA down. KENTA keylocks his arm and Danielson desperately grabs the ropes. Danielson goes for a sunset flip. KENTA smacks him in the face. Danielson goes through KENTA’s legs. He knee strikes him in the stomach and delivers a cravat suplex. Danielson throws a bunch of kicks in the corner. He lays his forearm across KENTA’s chest after a suplex. He eye rakes KENTA across the top rope. Danielson stomps his knees into canvas. He twists up KENTA’s legs before putting on a figure four leg lock. This is brilliant, as it will lessen the impact of the Busaiku Knee and the Go 2 Sleep. Danielson slingshots KENTA throat first into the bottom rope. KENTA kicks the inside of his leg to block a boot in the corner. He delivers a boot of his own and kicks Danielson’s bad arm. He even gives the arm a missile dropkick. KENTA puts on a cross armbreaker. Danielson makes it to the ropes. He trips KENTA into a half crab. KENTA grabs the ropes and hits an enzuigiri. Danielson nails a forearm to block the Go 2 Sleep. Danielson superplexes him for a two count. He puts on the Crossface Chicken Wing with a bodyscissors. KENTA gets the ropes.

KENTA gets his feet up to block Danielson’s diving headbutt. KENTA goes for a springboard move and gets caught mid-air by a dropkick. Danielson smartly uses his uninjured arm when throwing punches at KENTA. He has to resort to headbutts to match KENTA’s kicks. They eventually knock each other down. On the floor, KENTA blocks being thrown into the barricades. He turns around and Danielson belly-to-back suplexes him onto the floor. Danielson sends KENTA into the audience and springboard dives out onto him. In the ring Danielson connects with a top rope dropkick. KENTA ducks a forearm and puts a Fujiwara armbar on Danielson’s bad arm. Danielson scurries to the ropes in an expedient fashion. KENTA catches him with an Ace Crusher and re-applies the hold. Danielson gets the ropes again. Danielson Regalplexes KENTA for two. Danielson superplexes him as well, doing some damage to his own shoulder in the process. When KENTA kicks out, Danielson puts on the Cattle Mutilation. KENTA maneuvers towards the ropes to escape. Danielson suplexes KENTA before heading to the top rope. KENTA jumps up but gets thrown back down. Danielson dives off. KENTA catches him on his shoulders and hits the Go 2 Sleep! Danielson puts his foot on the bottom rope to stop the count. KENTA knees Danielson in the back of the head. Danielson blocks the Busaiku Knee with an O’Conner Roll. KENTA kicks out. KENTA boots Danielson in the face. Danielson crucifix pins KENTA to block another Go 2 Sleep. He throws elbows at the side of KENTA’s head while locking his arm. KENTA fires up so Danielson reapplies Cattle Mutilation. KENTA rolls through for a two count. Danielson Tiger suplexes him for two. He puts on the Cattle Mutilation. He throws more elbows and applies it again. KENTA taps out at 33:00, making Danielson the first person to defeat KENTA in ROH. That was pretty damn great. KENTA was smart to after Danielson’s arm but was too focused on hitting Go 2 Sleep to keep with his strategy. That gave Danielson enough time to recover some of the strength and submit KENTA with the move after wearing him down with elbows. This is definitely KENTA’s best ROH match and one of Danielson’s best defenses of the ROH title. ****1/2

Bryan Danielson vs. Go Shiozaki
“Live In Tokyo” – Tokyo, Japan – 7.16.2007

Danielson avoids Shiozaki’s opening chop. He leans back after key locking Shiozaki’s legs. Shiozaki gets the ropes to escape. They armdrag each other and throw stereo dropkicks to reach a stalemate. Danielson stretches out Shiozaki’s shoulders. On the floor Shiozaki chops Danielson into the crowd and then back to ringside where he whips him into the guardrails. In the ring he stretches Danielson’s arms out while digging his leg into his shoulder blades. He throws a chop and drops a knee for two. Shiozaki gets the better of Danielson in a chop exchange. He misses a dropkick while Danielson is in a tree of woe. He chops him a few more times and pulls it off on the second attempt. Danielson dropkicks him to the floor. Shiozaki tries an apron German suplex. Danielson lands on his feet. Shiozaki jumps off the apron. Danielson side steps him, sending Shiozaki shoulder first into the barricades. Danielson twists his arms up in the guardrail and the ring post before bringing him back into the ring. He allows Shiozaki to weaken his arm by throwing some pitiful chops. Danielson applies a cross armbreaker. Shiozaki makes it to the ropes. He comes back with a diving shoulder tackle. That and some chops hurt his worked over shoulder. He drives his knee into Danielson’s chest for two. He also gets two with a fisherman’s suplex. Danielson flips over Shiozaki in the corner and knocks him to the floor with an overhead elbow. Danielson baseball slide dropkicks him into the crowd. He springboard dives after him. Back in the ring he gets two with a missile dropkick, and then two again with a diving headbutt. After fighting on the top rope, Shiozaki takes Danielson down in a spin-out slam. Shiozaki throws a superkick and smacks Danielson down. Danielson woozily throws a forearm and a Saito suplex. Shiozaki comes back with a superkick before collapsing. He throws chops with his good arm. Two German suplexes aren’t good enough to keep Danielson down. He muscles up Danielson for the Go Flasher. Danielson grabs the bottom rope to stop the pin. Shiozaki positions himself for a moonsault. Danielson gets up and superplexes him for two. Shiozaki throws a superkick and a lariat. He slams Danielson and heads up top. He misses the moonsault. Danielson puts him in Cattle Mutilation. Shiozaki maneuvers his foot to the ropes. He goes for a lariat. Danielson grabs his arm and Dragon suplexes him. When Shiozaki kicks out, he turns him over and drives his elbow repeatedly into the side of his head. He then locks the Cattle Mutilation back on. Shiozaki submits at 26:41. This match was good enough to get Shiozaki a full time gig in ROH the following year. When you see just how smartly he and Danielson worked together and how fired up the crowd was for all their nuances in working his arm, it’s no wonder why. Danielson of course is sensational but this match really set up Shiozaki as a player in both the US and inevitably Japan. ****

Bryan Danielson, CIMA & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & The No Remorse Corps (Davey Richards & Rocky Romero)
“Live In Osaka” – Osaka, Japan – 7.17.2007

After trading holds on the mat, Richards kicks CIMA in the bicep. He puts on a Stretch Muffler until CIMA makes it to the ropes. CIMA kicks Richards in the back of his head. Richards tires for a couple of quick roll-ups. They throw stereo dropkicks and tag in Danielson and Romero respectively. Romero breaks a lock-up against the ropes. He delivers a rolling sole butt and controls Danielson by his wrist. Danielson dropkicks him away. Romero monkey flips him. ¡Azúcar! Danielson pitches him to the floor and suicide dives after him. Rick Rude hip swivel! Mochizuki of course wins a kick exchange with Marufuji. Marufuji catches him with a side headlock on the apron. Mochizuki kicks his legs out when he tries a leapfrog. CIMA helps Marufuji out by delivering a dropkick with him. He gets two with a slingshot senton. Mochizuki kicks CIMA in the chest. He drags CIMA over so that the Corps can help wear him down. Danielson helps CIMA wishbone Romero’s legs. Marufuji dropkicks Romero while Danielson has him in a Mexican Surfboard. CIMA hits the Superdrol. Richards jumps in to make the save. Romero kicks Danielson in the chest as he comes off the ropes. Richards quickly tags in to get his worn down partner out. He works over the arm and his other partners follow suit. Danielson escapes their grasp by giving Richards an uppercut from the second rope. CIMA double stomps Richards and stomps the back of his head. He follows that up with a modified Tokarev. Mochizuki kicks him in the back to cut off his dive. Richards O’Conner rolls CIMA for two. Marufuji leaps into a back elbow to Mochizuki in the corner. Mochizuki throws a couple of kicks but Marufuji clotheslines him down. He dragonscrew leg whips Mochizuki. Mochizuki blocks a shin breaker and delivers a running chest kick. They knock each other down with a superkick and enzuigiri. Danielson gets caught in Romero’s cross armbreaker right away. CIMA breaks it up. Romero drives Danielson’s back into Richards knees using a springboard knee strike. Romero accidentally knees Richards to the floor. Danielson gives Romero a back breaker. Marufuji hits the Code Breaker. All three Tecnicos attack Romero in the corner. CIMA brings him down with the Iconoclasm. Danielson puts on Cattle Mutilation. Richards breaks it. Romero brings Danielson off the top in the Diablo Armbar. With Richards and Mochizuki blocking his partners, Danielson has to fight to the ropes. He does so and avoids a German suplex. Richards crotches himself on the top rope by accident, and Danielson superplexes him. CIMA knee strikes Romero. Romero blocks an Iconoclasm and drops CIMA with a Flying DDT. CIMA blocks a kick to the head and hits the Perfect Driver. Mochizuki sends him out with the Sankakugeri. Marufuji sends Mochizuki out. Richards sends Marufuji out. Romero drops Danielson with a spinning DDT and rolls CIMA up for a cross armbreaker. CIMA frees himself and drops him with the Schwein for two. He and Marufuji double superkick Romero. CIMA helps him with a Shiranui then delivers another Schwein for the pin at 24:17. This was so much fun to watch. I’ve said that for like every match haven’t I? Aside from the novelty factor, the No Remorse Corps were tremendous heels. I loved little things like CIMA coming to help Marufuji when he had trouble with Mochizuki since CIMA was more familiar with him. Definitely a good way for ROH to cap off their inaugural Japanese excursion. ***3/4

Bryan Danielson vs. PAC
“Caged Rage” – Hartford, CT – 8.24.2007

Danielson controls PAC on the mat. He puts on a modified triangle choke. When he can’t fully get it he contorts PAC so that’s twisting up both of his arms and shoulders. PAC makes it to the ropes to escape. Danielson throws some kicks at his leg and puts on an Achilles hold. PAC makes it to the ropes again. PAC breaks a wristlock and snaps off a couple of armdrags. He sends Danielson to the floor with a wheelbarrow variation and fakes him out on a dive. He kicks PAC down in the corner when he comes back in. He puts him in the Romero Special, transitioning into a surfboard Dragon sleeper. PAC rakes Danielson’s eyes to escape. Danielson bends back PAC’s elbow and grinds his face into the mat. He puts on a half crab and digs his knee into PAC’s head. Danielson gets two upon releasing the hold. He gets two with a running chest kick as well. PAC breaks a side headlock but is mowed down with a back elbow seconds later. He sweeps Danielson’s leg and hits a standing twisting splash. He gets two with a sunset flip. PAC dropkicks him into the guardrails and follows out with a twisting quebrada senton. In the ring he delivers a missile dropkick. Danielson knees him in the stomach. PAC flips out of the corner and hits an enzuigiri. He gets two with a Northern Lights suplex. Danielson crotches him on the top rope. PAC throws him down and delivers shooting star knees to his back. A German suplex gets him a two count. He misses the 360 shooting star press. Danielson gives him a rolling elbow and stomps PAC’s face into the mat. He finally puts on the triangle choke and PAC taps out at 12:39. PAC looked terrible being totally owned by Danielson for the vast majority of the bout. He got in some of his flashier offense towards the end, but this mostly served to build up Danielson the night before his title match with Morishima moreso than to showcase PAC in his ROH U.S. debut. Now that they are both in WWE and PAC is worlds (or would that be World-1?) better, I’d kill for a rematch. **3/4

ROH World Championship
Takeshi Morishima (Champion) vs. Bryan Danielson

“Manhattan Mayhem II” – New York, NY – 8.25.2007

Danielson is tentative at the onset, throwing kicks at Morishima’s legs whenever he can. He side steps Morishima’s charge. Morishima clobbers him with some forearms and right hands in the corner. Danielson’s right eye becomes messed up from one of those strikes. He gets in a few more kicks before being knocked back down. Morishima big boots him. He bowls over Danielson with all his body weight and throws some of his own kicks to the leg. Morishima boots Danielson’s head into the barricades. Danielson dumps Morishima into the crowd, then springboards from inside the ring onto him. He smashes Morishima’s leg with a chair into the barricades. In the ring, Morishima remains standing when given a missile dropkick. Danielson hits the ropes but is met with a big lariat. Danielson blocks a Backdrop Driver with a lateral press for two. He throws some strikes only to get knocked back down. Morishima tries for a hip attack but Danielson kicks his leg mid-air. Danielson puts on a legscissors Achilles lock. Morishima picks him up for a German suplex. He gets two with a uranage suplex. Morishima knocks him off the top rope. Danielson swats away the missile dropkick and puts on modified ankle lock. Morishima makes it to the ropes. He takes down Danielson and clubs at his face. Danielson sneaks through his legs and applies a half crab. Morishima kicks him in the side of the face until he releases. Danielson goes for a small package and gets two. He throws some elbows before rolling up Danielson for two. Morishima gets two with a German suplex. Danielson throws repeated elbows at the side of Morishima’s head. Morishima fights back up so Danielson kicks at his leg until he crumples to the mat. Danielson stomps Morishima’s head while holding onto his arms. When Morishima kicks out of those he puts on Cattle Mutilation. Morishima gets to the ropes. Danielson tries for a superplex. Morishima is too heavy and rotates mid-air, causing him to land on Danielson’s face when they hit the canvas. Danielson kicks out. Morishima lariats him for two. He gives Danielson the Backdrop Driver for the pin at 20:14. I feel like I talk about how brilliant Danielson is when reviewing a lot of his matches. This would be another. His approach to attacking Morishima was flawless, working smartly to literally take him off of his feet. Danielson’s legitimate eye injury was incredibly unfortunate, but that realism added so much to the match and created an entirely different dynamic. ****1/4

Disc Two

ROH World Championship
Takeshi Morishima (Champion) vs. Bryan Danielson

“Man Up!” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 9.16.2007

Danielson is wearing a sweet eye patch due to the eye injury he suffered in the previous bout. Danielson charges after Morishima’s leg. Morishima is ready though and pummels Danielson until he slips out to the floor. Danielson tries again and this time gets his head stomped into the bottom turnbuckle. He boots Danielson in the face and pitches him out to the floor. There Morishima throws him into the barricades and delivers a hip attack. Danielson is able to recover and suicide dive after Morishima when he walks towards the aisleway. He’s able to take Morishima off his feet back in the ring but not get the pin count. Morishima also catches him missile dropkick attempt. Danielson puts on a triangle choke. Morishima gets his leg under the ropes to break it. Morishima is too big for the Romero Special, so Danielson just stomps his knees into the mat and puts on a Bow and Arrow. He tries a roll-up but Morishima sits down on his chest. Danielson ducks a lariat and puts on a sleeper. Morishima tries turning it into a Backdrop Driver. Danielson counters with a small package attempt. Morishima counters that with a slam. Danielson evades a boot and places Morishima on the top rope. He throws a flurry of forearms to Morishima’s back before giving him a belly-to-back superplex. Morishima kicks out. Danielson drives his elbow into his head before giving him a tiger suplex. Morishima kicks out of that too, but Danielson converts the bridge right into the Cattle Mutilation. He stomps Morishima’s face in, puts on a triangle choke and drives his knees into Morishima’s head. Morishima powers Danielson up for a powerbomb. Danielson kicks out of a lariat. Morishima hits the Backdrop Driver but Danielson is able to get his foot on the ropes to prevent being pinned. He rips off Danielson’e eye patch. Danielson tries another small package and gets two. Morishima gives him a Back Drop driver. After that he throws repeated elbows and forearms to Danielson’s eye. Referee Paul Turner has no choice but to stop the match at 12:43. That was an awesome follow up to their previous encounter. Danielson changed up his strategy a little bit while Morishima of course ended up going for his injured eye even though he promised not to. Definitely a great way to follow up from their initial encounter while keeping the feud going. ***3/4

Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima
“Glory By Honor VI, Night 2” – New York, NY – 11.3.2007

Danielson suicide dives onto Morishima during his entrance. He chokes Morishima with a chair and dumps the ringside table onto him. In the ring he comes off the top rope. Morishima catches him mid-air and throws him overhead. He boots Danielson in the corner and clobbers his face. He hits a cartwheel splash and a missile dropkick that sends Danielson to the floor. Morishima sends Danielson into the barricades with a hip attack. When he tries it a third time, Danielson side steps it and shoves Morishima into the crowd. Danielson springboard dives onto him. Danielson grabs the timekeeper’s bell and digs the hammer into Morishima’s eye. Morishima uses a Backdrop Driver to stop him. He forearms Danielson off of the apron, sending him into the barricades once again. Danielson has been busted open, yet gets forearmed down into the barricades again after that. Danielson comes in with a sunset flip. Morishima kicks out and hits a lariat also for two. Danielson evades the Backdrop Driver. He throws a series of rolling forearms before kicking Morishima’s leg out. Kicks to the chest lead to elbows to the head. Danielson German suplexes him for two. He stomps in Morishima’s head before putting on a triangle choke. Morishima lariats him when they get back to their feet. Morishima throws forearms to Danielson’s head. Danielson low blows Morishima and begins stomping away at his groin! He shoves referee Paul Turner down when he tries to stop him. That gets Danielson disqualified at 11:40. That was a super hot match. The finish here actually worked really well and it intensified things even moreso. I mean really, stomping a dude in the groin? That’s not right. ***1/2

Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima
“Rising Above” – New York, NY – 12.29.2007

This time it’s Morishima who jumps Danielson during his entrance. He throws Danielson into the barricades a few times. Also like Danielson, Morishima dumps the timekeeper’s table onto him. Morishima lariats him off of the ring apron. Danielson is bleeding from his forehead as Morishima hits him with a missile dropkick back in the ring. He lariats Danielson in the corner and brings him down with repeated lariats. Danielson’s body is covered in blood now. Morishima rakes the cut across the top rope. Danielson is able to block a corner charge by getting his boot up. He kicks Morishima in the back and chest over and over again. He applies the triangle choke. Morishima picks him up but Danielson throws some elbows to the crown of his head. Morishima lariats him down. He delivers the Backdrop Driver. Danielson gets up but gets knocked right back down with another lariat. Danielson and Morishima trade shots on the mat. Morishima kicks him in the groin. He does it over and over and shoves Paul Turner down. Like the last match, Morishima gets disqualified for doing so at 7:56. I love how much these guys call back to their previous matches and keep the momentum going. Brilliant work. **3/4

After the match, students and officials try to separate them. Morishima shoves off some students and gives Bryce Remsburg a Backdrop Driver! Danielson tries digging the ring bell hammer into Morishima’s eyes. They eventually cool Danielson down and take him to the back. It wouldn’t be until a year later until they got their blow off match, but more on that later.

Bryan Danielson & Austin Aries vs. Nigel McGuinness & Go Shiozaki
“Double Feature” – Dover, NJ – 3.15.2008

Danielson wins the opening exchange with Shiozaki with a knee to the stomach and a kick to the back. Aries works over his arm upon tagging in. Shiozaki hip tosses his way out of an arm hold. He tags in McGuinness who delivers an uppercut before choking him in the corner. He chokes Aries with his boot and alerts the referee he has til five. Shiozaki hits a dropkick for two. Aries wins a chop battle and brings Shiozaki to the corner so Danielson can tag in. He kicks down Shiozaki and chokes him with his boot. He too tells the referee that he has til five. Aries puts Shiozaki in a stump puller. Danielson feels the wrath of Shiozaki’s chops. McGuinness headstands into a mule kick. He and Shiozaki take turns wearing him down. Danielson catches McGuinness with a lariat and tags in Aries after a few minutes. Aries ducks a lariat and dropkicks Shiozaki off the apron. He throws elbows and punches in the corner McGuinness escapes a brainbuster but takes a belly-to-back suplex. McGuinness gets his boot up to block the IED. Shiozaki spins him out into a side slam for two. Aries ducks a double clothesline. Danielson missile dropkicks both opponents. Aries hits the IED to send McGuinness to the floor. Danielson pescado’s after him. Aries follows with the Heat-Seeking Missile. Shiozaki then pescado’s onto him and Danielson. Back in the ring Shiozaki gets two on Aries with a fisherman’s buster. He misses a moonsault. Danielson kicks him in the chest. McGuinness hits a lariat. Aries gives him a chinbreaker. McGuinness wants the Jawbreaker Lariat but Aries clotheslines him to the floor instead. Aries kicks out Shiozaki’s leg. Shiozaki rolls him into a bridging German suplex for two. Aries strings a crucifix bomb, kick to the head, and a brainbuster together. McGuinness breaks the pin. Aries puts Shiozaki in the Last Chancery while Danielson has McGuinness in the Cattle Mutilation. McGuinness taps, then Shiozaki taps, ending the match at 18:34. That was a lot of fun and a nice way for Aries to pick up a win heading into his title match with McGuinness later that month. Team Work was pretty kick ass. ***1/2

Bryan Danielson vs. Naomichi Marufuji
“A New Level” – New York, NY – 5.10.2008

This is a rematch from “Final Battle 2005.” Danielson breaks a wristlock by bridging back and hitting a dropkick. Marufuji does the same thing. Danielson puts him in a Bow and Arrow. Marufuji turns it into a lateral press for two. After a couple of leapfrogs Marufuji delivers another dropkick. Danielson mirrors that. They suplex one another while holding onto a knuckle lock. Danielson puts Marufuji into the Romero Special, transitioning into a Dragon sleeper. He throws some strikes to ground Marufuji in the corner. Marufuji ends up giving Danielson a slingshot DDT on the apron. He follows by giving Danielson a brainbuster of sorts on the apron. In the ring Marufuji rams his head into the turnbuckles and dropkicks him from the floor. He stomps Danielson’s face into the mat for two. He twists up his neck with his feet. Danielson charges out of the corner with a kick to the chest. He clobbers Marufuji with a running elbow and then sends him across the ring with a missile dropkick. Marufuji kicks Danielson to block an oncoming charge. He drives Danielson’s head into the middle ropes. Marufuji turns him inside out with a clothesline for two. He calls for a Shiranui but Danielson dumps him to the floor. Marufuji does however hit the coast-to-coast dropkick. Danielson butterfly suplexes Marufuji into a cross armbreaker. Danielson German suplexes him. He bocks Marufuji’s superkick and puts on a grapevine Achilles Lock. Danielson dropkicks him in a tree of woe after that hold is broken. Marufuji ends up putting Danielson in the tree of woe. He delivers a swift kick to the side of the head before another coast-to-coast dropkick. Danielson sits up to avoid it, then tries for Cattle Mutilation. Marufuji flips out and hits a superkick. Danielson blocks the Shiranui and locks on a triangle choke. He throws elbows to the top of Marufuji’s head. Marufuji rolls out and delivers a superkick. He rolls Danielson into a side triangle choke. Danielson rolls to the ropes. He goes for the crossface chicken wing. He brings Marufuji down to trap his arm and drives his elbow repeatedly into Marufuji’s head. Marufuji escapes and throws some of his own elbows. Danielson gives him a tiger suplex before throwing more elbows. He puts on Cattle Mutilation. Marufuji taps at 21:17. Simply put, that was a very engaging back and forth battle between two top guys. Clearly a step above their initial encounter. ****

GHC Jr. Heavyweight Championship
Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Champion) vs. Bryan Danielson

“The Tokyo Summit” – Tokyo, Japan – 9.14.2008

Danielson has the advantage on the mat to start. Kanemaru hip tosses Danielson before dropkicking him to the floor. He follows with a pescado. He performs a guillotine legdrop across the guardrails. Kanemaru applies a headscissors back in the ring. He sits down with a Camel Clutch. He releases and gets a two count. He gets two with a second rope splash as well. Danielson works over his left arm. Kanemaru reverses a suplex attempt and hits a missile dropkick after kicking out Danielson’s leg. An impressive tornado DDt gets him a two count. So does the Deep Impact. Danielson throws him away and then catches him with a backbreaker. When a butterfly suplex doesn’t get him the pin, he puts on an armbar while also pulling on his wrist. Kanemaru snaps off a suplex. His second Deep Impact fails. He shoves Danielson off of the top rope. Danielson makes his way back up but gets brought down with an impaler DDT. Danielson gets his foot on the ropes. He gets two with a brainbuster. Danielson struggles with getting Cattle Mutilation on, so he throws some elbows to the side of Kanemaru’s head and gives him a tiger suplex. After that, he locks on Cattle Mutilation. Kanemaru taps out at 20:38, giving Danielson the win and the title. That was a solid display, but the energy was kind of lacking and I found it tough to really get immersed in what they were doing. ***1/4

Elimination Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Go Shiozaki

“Driven 2008” – Boston, MA – 9.19.2008

Claudio and Danielson have had an issue with each other lately, so it’s no surprise that they attack each other at the onset. Larry Sweeney is in Shiozaki’s corner, and Shiozaki is now the FIP World Heavyweight champion. Claudio drives Danielson into the corner to block a tiger suplex. Shiozaki throws chops at both men. Danielson trips him and looks for the Romero Special. Claudio bicycle kicks Danielson before he can lock it on. He beats down Danielson in the corner and drives Shiozaki into the mat with his knee. Claudio rocks Danielson with an uppercut when he tries to make a comeback. He pitches Shiozaki to the floor. Claudio has control of Danielson when Shiozaki comes back in. Danielson accidentally kicks him. Danielson then knees Claudio in the stomach. He kicks Claudio in the spine for two. Claudio hits Swiss Death on Danielson. Claudio suplexes referee Paul Turner when he refuses to stop beating down Danielson in the corner, getting himself disqualified at 4:56. He gives Danielson the Ricola Bomb. He brings in a chair that he wants to stomp into Danielson’s head. Many run out to stop him but Claudio is too out of control and ends up fighting a lot of them off. When he is gone, Shiozaki takes over and controls Danielson for awhile. Danielson catches him coming off the second rope with an uppercut. Danielson butterfly suplexes Shiozaki into a cross armbreaker. He then throws elbows to the head before locking on Cattle Mutilation. When he doesn’t tap, he throws more elbows and then reapplies the submission. Shiozaki makes it to the ropes. He turns Danielson inside out with a lariat for two. Shiozaki throws repeated chops at Danielson’s neck. He misses a moonsault and puts on a triangle choke. Danielson throws elbows to his head until Shiozaki quits at 13:58. This should have been Danielson vs. Claudio or Danielson vs. Shiozaki – not him against both guys. It worked out OK but just would have been so much better as a singles match. ***

GHC Jr. Heavyweight Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima

“Glory By Honor VII” – Philadelphia, PA – 9.20.2008

Danielson duck a scary swift kick. He goes for a cross armbreaker early. Nakajima won’t let it happen and gets to his feet. Danielson goes through his legs and kicks him to the corner. Nakajima kicks him in the chest. Danielson stomps his arm into the mat. Danielson does more damage to the arm by locking it around his legs. When Nakajima tries for a comeback, Danielson drives his arm across his shoulder and grounds him again. He puts Nakajima in the Romero Special. Nakajima gets to the ropes. Danielson flips out of the corner and knocks Nakajima to the floor with a clothesline. Danielson baseball slide dropkicks him into the crowd and then springboard dives onto him. In the ring he hits a missile dropkick. Nakajima dragonscrew leg whips Danielson’s leg in the ropes. He kicks Danielson in the chest from the ring apron. In the ring he ties up Danielson’s leg in the ropes and dropkicks it. Danielson knees Nakajima in the mid-section to stop his leg from being kicked any longer. Nakajima throws a superkick and drops Danielson with a DDT for two. Nakajima misses a bicycle kick and gets German suplexed for two. He delivers a Sankakugeri. Danielson comes back with a suplex and a running chest kick. Nakajima throws some of his own kicks before taking a backbreaker. He blocks Danielson’s chest kick with another dragonscrew. He kicks Danielson in the head before applying an ankle lock. Nakajima pulls Danielson to the middle and grapevines the leg when he gets close to the ropes. Danielson does manage to fight to the ropes however. Nakajima throws a series of kicks to the chest. Danielson blocks a chest kick and small packages Nakajima for two. He then Regalplexes Nakajima before kicking his head in. He rolls him into a triangle choke. Nakajima makes it to the ropes. He hangs Nakajima in a tree of woe and dropkicks him. He drives his elbow into the side of Nakajima’s head before giving him a tiger suplex. Danielson then goes to the Cattle Mutilation. Nakajima taps at 23:02. That was like a much better version of the Kanemaru match. Nakajima was the man in his ROH U.S. debut and stole the show with Danielson and put on what would end up being the match of the night. It’s a shame Nakajima only came back a small handful of times after this. ****

Bryan Danielson vs. Alex Koslov
“Supercard of Honor IV” – Houston, TX – 4.3.2009

Koslov fails to get a “Russia” chant going after he shoulder blocks Danielson. He takes Danielson to the mat in an armbar. Danielson breaks a wristlock and drops Koslov to the ropes. His “USA” chant got over much more easily. Koslov tries pinning Danielson’s shoulders to the mat in a double knuckle lock. Danielson monkey flips Koslov over into his own pin attempt. Danielson sets him up for the Romero Special. Koslov gets the ropes and Danielson willingly releases his knees. Koslov squirms his way out of the hold when Danielson tries it in the middle of the ring. Danielson’s goes after his arms. Koslov scoots to the ropes. He then jumps after Danielson’s leg and aggressively delivers two spinning toe holds. A Lucha exchange ends with Koslov telling Danielson to stop. His “Russia” chant again does not work. While he’s distracted, Danielson trips him and finally puts on the Romero Special. Koslov ends up suplexing Danielson to the floor after that. Koslov then follows with a springboard crossbody. Back in the ring, Koslov puts on his Russian hat and delivers some kicks whilst dancing. Danielson comes back with a running elbow strike. Danielson kicks him in the back for two. He tries for Cattle Mutilation. Koslov fights it off by kicking Danielson in the leg. He nails an enzuigiri and a frog splash for two. Koslov tries putting on the Cattle Mutilation himself. He then drives elbows into Danielson’s head which only makes him angry. He throws some forearms. Koslov gives him a side Russian leg sweep. He places the Russian flag on top of Danielson before ascending the ropes. He misses a diving headbutt. Danielson throws elbows to Koslov’s head and puts on Cattle Mutilation. Koslov taps out at 15:15. I’m not sure how to feel here, because I had a good time watching this, but I know they are capable of puttiing on a terrific match together and instead we got mostly comedy. It is what it is. ***

Fight Without Honor
Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima

“Final Battle 2008” – New York, NY – 12.27.2008

I guess this is put on last so they can end the DVD as strongly as possible, rather than sticking with the order that the matches actually took place. The match starts with Danielson digging the ring bell hammer into Morishima’s eyes, although the true beginning was cut because Danielson attacked Morishima while “The Final Countdown” was still playing. The biggest spot then was Danielson diving onto Morishima in the crowd. Morishima fires up back in the ring as Danielson throws uppercuts and headbutts. Danielson drives his knees into the mat. Morishima knocks him to the floor. Danielson tries for a sunset bomb but Morishima sits right down on his chest. He hits Danielson in the back with a chair after throwing him into the barricades. He drives the now bloody Danielson into the barricades with a hip attack. Morishima chokes him on the middle rope and kicks him back to the floor. Morishima brings out a chain and chokes Danielson with it mid-ring. He goes for a missile dropkick. Danielson moves and throws some forearms. He flips out of the corner and sends Morishima out with a running elbow strike. Danielson suicide dives after him and his momentum carries him into the front row. Back in the ring he throws a bunch of chest kicks. Morishima kicks him in the corner. He gets two with a uranage suplex. A lariat has the same result. Danielson tries a small package. When that does not work, he lifts up Morishima for a German suplex and gets two. Danielson drives his elbow into the side of Morishima’s head. Morishima shrugs them off and forearms Danielson down. He nails a lariat that turns Danielson inside out. He chokes Danielson with the chain. When he feels Danielson is passed out, he rolls him over but only gets a two count. Morishima wants a super Backdrop Driver. Danielson slips out and brings Morishima down with his own superplex. Danielson wraps the chain around Morishima’s throat and stomps his head in. He then uses the chain in a triangle choke. Morishima almost passes out, but finds the energy to pick up and throw Danielson off. Danielson jumps off the second rope. Morishima catches him with a belly-to-belly suplex. The lariat and the Backdrop Driver may have been good enough to put Danielson away, but he’s close enough to get his foot on the ropes. He tries a rope-assisted lariat. Danielson ducks and puts on a Fujiwara armbar with the chain. He ties up Morishima’s arms with the chain. Morishima is still able to give him some boots. Danielson kicks him in the crotch a few times, then stomps it repeatedly. He takes the chain, wraps it in his arm and reigns down with elbows to Morishima’s head. He then puts on the Cattle Mutilation. Morishima submits at 18:39. It took some time to get there, but this was a tremendous way to blow off their feud. They still played into their previous matches and escalated the violence that you want to see in a final encounter. Danielson was able to use Morishima’s own trick against him and send him back to Japan with a loss. Terrific stuff and a great way to end 2008. ****1/4

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