Ring of Honor: Bryan Danielson – World Champion


This compilation picks up right where Danielson’s “American Dragon” collection left off.

Disc One

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Austin Aries

“Enter The Dragon” – Cleveland, OH – 10.14.2005

After a quick wristlock exchange Danielson kicks Aries to the corner. They go to the mat in a double knuckle lock. Danielson monkey flips Aries to finish it. Danielson gets two with a backslide. Aries uses the ropes to escape a Japanese strangle hold. Danielson again dropkicks Aries away. Danielson applies a headscissors. When Aries goes to pop up, Danielson drives his head into the mat twice. Aries’ eventually does pop out and delivers a dropkick. Danielson focuses his attack on Aries’ left arm. He traps Aries’ in the ropes and dropkicks him in the shoulders. Aries uses the ropes to stop the Cattle Mutilation. Danielson stomps at the arm and throws some uppercuts. He dropkicks Aries’ arm in the corner and goes back to working on it on the mat. Aries suplexes his way out of a hammerlock. He gets two with a jumping elbow drop. Aries gives Danielson an inverted Finlay Roll and a frog splash to the back. Danielson hops out of the corner and nails Aries with a rolling elbow after escaping a modified crossface. Aries is able to free himself from a superplex. Danielson swipes away his missile dropkick attempt and stomps his knees into the canvas. Aries gets his knees up to block a diving headbutt. Aries hits the IED for two. He heads up top and Danielson crotches him on the top. Danielson superplexes Aries down and gets two with a jackknife pin. He puts on Cattle Mutilation. When that doesn’t work he airplane spins Aries. Aries grabs the ropes to stop from being spun and delivers a crucifix driver. Danielson goes for an O’Conner roll. Aries reverses and Danielson kicks out. Danielson throws some strikes but Aries knocks him down with a lariat. Even though Danielson resists at first, Aries is able to pull off a brainbuster for two. He misses a 450 splash but rolls through. Danielson sends him into the corner with a Japanese armdrag. He puts on Cattle Mutilation in the center of the ring. He Tiger suplexes Aries when he starts to struggle. He then applies a crossface chickenwing. Aries taps at 30:21. This was probably a little long but I liked what it accomplished. It was nice having Danielson defeat a former ROH Champion right off the bat to give him legitimacy and to further put over the crossface. His arm work was really solid and paid off which is always a positive. A good way to kick of his reign as champion. ***½

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Chris Sabin

“Showdown in Motown” – Detroit, MI – 11.5.2005

They feel each other out to start. Danielson takes Sabin to the ropes where he aggressively digs his forehead into Sabin’s before breaking the lock-up. He slaps Sabin in the face when pretending he wants a handshake. Danielson ends a wrist lock exchange by dropkicking Sabin. Sabin slaps him in the face. Danielson grabs at Sabin’s face when applying a chinlock. Sabin shoves his way out of a headlock and sends Danielson to the floor with a Frankensteiner. Sabin comes off the apron with another one. He sends Danielson shoulder first into the barricades. In the ring he dropkicks Danielson in a tree of woe position and brings him out of it with a neckbreaker. Danielson shifts the momentum with some European uppercuts. He gives Sabin a series of backbreakers. He grabs the ropes while putting Sabin in an abdominal stretch. After some chops he delivers another backbreaker. Sabin fights out of an over the shoulder torture rack and gives Danielson an enzuigiri. Sabin does some damage to his neck before getting two with a Liger Bomb. Danielson gets him in the Cattle Mutilation and pulls back on his chin. He misses a diving headbutt. Sabin hops off the ropes into a tornado DDT. Danielson gives him a desperation German suplex. Sabin fights off his Chickenwing attempt. Sabin dazes Danielson with a dropkick but Danielson responds with a clothesline. After strikes are traded, Sabin gives Danielson a piledriver for two. He places Danielson on the top rope. Danielson maneuvers his way so that Sabin is on top. Sabin is brought down with a superplex. When Sabin kicks out, Danielson puts him in the Strong Hold. Sabin taps out at 24:24. While I really like that Danielson is facing different outside challengers to legitimize himself, the challenge becomes making the challengers believable. In this case, while the crowd definitely enjoyed watching Sabin, I don’t think he ever made them think he had a real chance. It doesn’t help that Danielson’s jabs at Roderick Strong made the match felt secondary in importance. Despite all of that though, the math was good and different from what Danielson usually presents. ***½

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Rocky Romero

“Steel Cage Warfare” – New York, NY – 12.3.2005

Romero is replacing the injured BJ Whitmer. He spits in Danielson’s hand instead of shaking it. Ricky Reyes is in his corner. They cautiously move around while hoping to be the first to land a kick. Danielson spits at Romero. They both land kicks in a double knuckle lock. They also monkey flip one another. Romero goes for an armbar causing Danielson to scurry to the ropes instantly. Romero stomps him down. Danielson throws an uppercut and kicks Romero’s chest repeatedly. They roll around on the mat. Romero again tries the cross armbreaker. Danielson gets the ropes just as quickly as the first time. He once again kicks Romero in the corner and snapmares him out into a back kick. He puts Romero in the surfboard. Romero counters into an ankle lock. Danielson gets the ropes again. Romero monkey flips him before going after his ankle again. Danielson instead puts him in a half crab. He has a sexy party before snapping back on Romero’s key locked legs. He drives Romero’s knee into the mat. Romero takes a break on the floor but then kicks Danielson down when he re-enters the bout. Danielson slaps him before kicking out his leg. Romero puts him in a hammerlock guillotine. Danielson drives Romero into the corner to escape. Romero gets two with a Tiger suplex. Danielson moves around so Romero can’t get a kick or strike in. Danielson palm strikes him in the face like a mad man. Romero stops him with kicks to the back of the leg. Danielson blocks some palm strikes with a dragonscrew leg whip. He puts Romero in a half crab causing Romero to tap at 15:27. I loved what these two did. They used lot of calculated strikes and submissions hoping to catch each other off guard. At the end of the day, Danielson had a smarter approach and caught Romero with the submission at the right time to win. They didn’t go all out, but given that they were on early in the show and had a giant main event casting a shadow on them they did a remarkable job. ***¼

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. AJ Styles

“Dissension” – Cleveland, OH – 1.28.2006

A stalemate is reached after aggressively going after one another on the mat. Danielson offers a handshake but Styles just spits into his hand. Danielson claws at his face and spits at him in the corner. Styles tackles Danielson and wrecklessly punches and kicks him. Danielson retreats to the floor. Now cooled off, both men move into some chain wrestling. Styles tries suplexing himself out of a side headlock but Danielson holds on. Styles lands on his feet out of a monkey flip. Danielson holds onto the ropes to evade a dropkick but eats a roundhouse kick right after. Styles gives him a backbreaker for two. Styles ends a forearm exchange with a dropkick. He spins Danielson into a backbreaker across his own back. He key locks Danielson’s legs for two versions of the Muta Lock. Danielson gets the ropes. He fights off a Styles Clash attempt. He steps on Styles’ face. After some positioning, Styles suplexes Danielson to the floor where he meets the apron chin first. Styles comes out but gets sent into the barricades. Danielson tries sending him into them again. Styles hops into the crowd and comes out with a springboard forearm strike. Danielson takes control back in the ring. Styles comes back with a Pelé kick. He dumps Danielson on his head from a belly-to-back suplex. Danielson rakes his face. He comes off the second rope with a European uppercut. Styles fights Danielson off the from the apron. He slingshots in with the Phenomenon for two. Danielson superplexes him. Styles kicks out so he puts him in Cattle Mutilation. Styles makes it to the ropes. They knock each other down with stereo forearm strikes. Styles spins Danielson out in a torture rack bomb. He nails the Spiral Tap. Danielson kicks out. He goes for the Styles Clash. Danielson gets the ropes, so Styles kicks at his back before dropping him. He tries for the hold again. Danielson goes for the leg and then locks on Cattle Mutilation. Styles flips forward to try and get a pin. Danielson gets him in the crossface chicken wing and Styles taps at 31:24. Simply put, this was two great wrestlers having a great wrestling match. Styles was a very believable opponent and the fans really bought into the Spiral Tap being the finish. This match seems to be forgotten but it’s really worth taking a second look. It holds up very well. ***¾

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Jimmy Rave

“Fourth Anniversary Show” – Edison, NJ – 2.25.2006

Prince Nana is in Rave’s corner. After wrestling to a stalemate, Rave pie faces Danielson. Rave also fights out of Danielson’s grasp on the mat. Danielson pie faces Rave after another exchange. Rave stomps on his face. Danielson gets right up and snapmares him into a back kick. He key locks Rave’s legs and snaps back a few times to apply pressure. Rave throws some chops in multiple corners. He stomps Danielson down. Danielson grabs his boot trying for the surfboard. Rave escapes before it can be applied. He puts on his own surfboard with a chinlock. Danielson escapes and puts on a straightjacket choke. Rave reverses it. He fires away with chops and strikes in the corner and chokes Danielson with his boot. Danielson uppercuts him from the second rope. He hits a slingshot suplex for two. Rave nails a spear and a twisting neckbreaker. Danielson puts Rave in a surfboard with a chinlock. He stands on Rave’s face. Rave hangs Danielson face first on the top rope. He kicks him in the face which sends him to the floor. Rave sends him into the barricades and clubs on Danielson’s back. Rave puts him in the Cattle Mutilation back in the ring. After releasing, Nana sneaks in a cheap shot from the floor. Rave re-applies the Cattle Mutilation after a superplex. Danielson reaches the ropes. He hops out of the corner and connects with a tornado kick. Danielson wins a strike exchange with an enzuigiri. He nails a diving headbutt. Rave kicks out. When Rave fights off a double underhook, Danielson German suplexes him for two. Rave comes back with a Saito suplex. He goes for the Doppler Effect. Danielson trips him into an Achilles Lock. Rave fires back with punches to the face. He puts Danielson into a sleeper. Danielson is able to fire up and reverse it into the Cattle Mutilation. With Rave now busted open but unwilling to quit, Danielson takes Rave to the top turnbuckle. He brings him down with the superplex. Rave somehow kicks out, so Danielson re-applies the Cattle Mutilation. Danielson gives him a Tiger suplex. Prince Nana pulls referee Todd Sinclair out of the ring before he can make a three count. Danielson takes him out with a suicide dive. He comes back in with a springboard move but gets caught mid-air by Rave’s spear. Rave hits Ghanarhea and the Doppler Effect for two. He calls for the Pedigree. Danielson escapes and knocks Rave down with a forearm. He gets two with a Regalplex. Danielson drives his elbow repeatedly into Rave’s face until Sinclair stops the match at 31:57. This was an awesome character study for Rave. It was all of his best elements in one: cowardice, move thievery, as well as some clever and well crafted maneuvers. Nana only came into play once and it was really effective. Aside from his feud with Nigel, this is the best Rave has ever looked. This is another underlooked bout from Danielson’s title run. ***¾

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Alex Shelley

“Arena Warfare” – Philadelphia, PA – 3.11.2006

Prince Nana is in Shelley’s corner. The crowd’s heckling has thrown Shelley off of his game, so much so that he gets on the microphone to give them a piece of his mind. Danielson puts him in a double knuckle lock. He monkey flips him out of the corner while keeping the knuckle lock on. The fans chant “boring” as Danielson breaks the lock in the corner. Shelley puts the main instigator in his place. Danielson and Shelley chain wrestle. Shelley bites his finger to break a chinlock. Danielson dropkicks him to the floor. He comes back in with a lock-up. He slaps Danielson in the corner. Danielson responds with some slaps of his own which causes Shelley to retreat. He slaps Shelley when he comes back in. He applies an abdominal stretch. Shelley slaps Danielson and gives him a kneeDT. He puts Danielson in a figure four. This devolves into a strike exchange when Danielson throws forearms to escape. Danielson catches Shelley with a belly-to-belly suplex. He stomps Shelley’s knees into the mat. He gives him a slingshot suplex for two. Danielson applies a surfboard stretch. Shelley powers out of it. Danielson stomps his knees into the mat and gives him several spinning toe holds. He puts on the figure four again. Shelley makes it to the ropes. A diving headbutt gets him two. Shelley blocks a chicken wing. He enzuigiri’s Danielson and gives him a tornado DDT. A series of pin reversals ends with a dropkick from Shelley. He gives Danielson three neckbreakers and then puts his entire body weight onto his neck and shoulders. Nana pulls Danielson to the floor to get in some cheap shots. Shelley misses a suicide dive and lands on Nana instead. Danielson pitches them both into the crowd and dives after them. In the ring he nails Shelley with a top rope dropkick. Shelley ducks an elbow. Shelley goes for Shell Shock. Danielson evades and puts on Cattle Mutilation. He tries for a superplex. Shelley shoves him down and gets two with a frog splash. He superkicks Danielson. A brainbuster and 2k1 Bomb are only good enough for a two count. He locks on the Border City Stretch. Shelley rolls his shoulders over and gets two again. He goes for Sliced Bread #2. Danielson instead superplexes him. Nana gets on the apron when Danielson wins a forearm exchang. Shelley kicks him in the groin and hits Shell Shock. Danielson kicks out. He reapplies the Border City Stretch. Danielson gets his foot on the ropes. Shelley goes for Sliced Bread #2. Upon impact Danielson puts on Cattle Mutilation. Shortly after he rolls Shelley onto his shoulders and gets the pin at 32:29. That was out of this world awesome and the best heel vs. heel wrestling one will see. Shelley working over Danielson’s neck was tremendous. However, Danielson’s proclivity for taking the Sliced Bread allowed him to roll through it and get the win. This is easily my favorite singles match from Shelley. Heck, it’s one of my favorites from Danielson too. ****¼

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Lance Storm

“Better Than Our Best” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 4.1.2006

They exchange wristlocks to start. Danielson slaps Storm in the corner. Storm responds in kind. Danielson goes for a dropkick but Storm steps back. Danielson hits on his second attempt and drops the point of his knee into Storm’s jaw. Storm nails his own dropkick that sends Danielson to the floor. Storm dodges a monkey flip. Danielson elbows him back to the mat. He drives his knee into the side of his head. Storm gives him a delayed vertical suplex for two. Danielson chokes Storm in the corner with his boot. Danielson comes out of the corner. Storm comes underneath and rolls him into the Canadian Maple Leaf. Danielson gets the ropes and goes to the floor. Storm sends him into the barricades while lighting him up with chops. In the ring Storm goes to the second rope. Danielson forearms him back to the floor. This time he’s the one sending Storm into barricades and chopping him up. He puts on a chinlock back in the ring. He fights free but is knocked down with an elbow quickly. Storm mules kick out of a Cattle Mutilation attempt. Danielson responds with an uppercut. He drives Storm’s knees into the canvas. He then puts him in the surfboard. He rips at Storm’s face before releasing. Storm gives Danielson a kick to buy some time. Storm legdrops the back of his head. Danielson gets in some more moves but is taken down with an enzuigiri. Storm gets two with a powerslam. He goes for a dropkick but is caught mid-air with a powerbomb. Storm kicks out so Danielson puts him in a Bow and Arrow. Danielson digs his knee into Storm’s back a few more times. Storm runs the ropes to block the Crossface Chicken Wing and nails a superkick. Danielson kicks out. Storm wants a superplex. Danielson however slides out and turns it into his signature belly-to-back superplex. Storm kicks out of the pin so Danielson goes for the Chicken Wing. He locks it on. Storm makes his way to the ropes. Danielson misses a diving headbutt. Storm gives him a Cradle Piledriver for two. He locks on the Canadian Maple Leaf. Danielson counters it into a roll-up. Storm kicks out. Danielson ducks his superkick. He blocks another and nails a rolling forearm. The Regalplex doesn’t get the job done. Storm rolls through Cattle Mutilation. Danielson Tiger suplexes him for two. The Cattle Mutilation finally puts Storm away at 26:22. I remember the rumor at the time was that this match wasn’t the main event because they were worried Storm wouldn’t live up to expectations (not to mention the main event was going to have a lot of violence). Storm however more than carried his end of the bargain and had a really entertaining match and served to be maybe his biggest outside challenge yet. Not just because the wrestling was good but because the title change actually seemed believable. This more than served it’s purpose and was a nice semi-main event to a stellar show. ***½

Disc Two

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Colt Cabana

“Chi-Town Struggle” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 6.24.2006

Cabana’s proud of himself for evading some of Danielson’s early attacks. They reach a stalemate on the mat. Cabana gets two with a quick huracanrana. He offers Danielson his arm. What Cabana probably didn’t expect was that Danielson would take the arm and maintain control of a wristlock. Cabana eventually frees himself from it. Danielson offers Cabana his arm. Danielson gives him a headbutt and an uppercut. He dropkicks Cabana to the floor where he sends him into the barricades. Back in the ring Danielson stomps Cabana’s knees into the mat and puts him in a Dragon Sleeper. Cabana grabs referee Todd Sinclair to avoid a surfboard but it doesn’t work. Raking Danielson’s face however does. Danielson tries a superplex. Cabana shoves him down and nails a missile dropkick. Danielson throws uppercuts while Cabana throws jabs and elbows. Danielson rakes at his face. A bionic elbow from Cabana takes Danielson down. After the Flying Asshole, Cabana crossbody’s Danielson to the floor. His own weight carries him out too. Cabana lands an Asai moonsault. Danielson German suplexes Cabana back in the ring twice. He springboards off into a sunset flip. This leads to both guys leveraging for a pin. Danielson O’Conner rolls him into Cattle Mutilation. Cabana makes it to the ropes. Danielson tries a superplex. Cabana sunset bombs out of it and lariats Danielson for two. Cabana fights for Colt 45. Danielson goes for Cattle Mutilation. When Cabana fights away he starts nailing him with elbows to the head. Cabana gets away from that. Danielson rolls Cabana onto his shoulders for a two count. After a short strike exchange Cabana gives Danielson a cradle DDT. He gets two with a moonsault. Danielson crotches him on the top rope and brings him down with a belly-to-back superplex. It’s only good for a two count, so Danielson locks on Cattle Mutilation. Cabana turns it over. Cabana trips him out of the Crossface Chicken Wing and puts on the Billy Goat’s Curse in the middle of the ring. Cabana then puts on the Cattle Mutilation himself. Danielson makes it to the ropes. Cabana powerbombs him into a kneeling press for two. He hits a lariat and the Colt 45. He gets a two count, but Danielson turns it into a small package for the win at 29:38. I really liked that Cabana had been able to withstand some of Danielson’s methods that got him key wins in the past. It showed that he had growth from the previous two title matches he had with Danielson before this. However, I do think it kind of sucks that Danielson simply rolled him up after taking his finisher. The crowd was really hot and into everything in the final stretch which picked up the energy, which was needed after a meandering opening segment. ***½

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Samoa Joe

“Fight of the Century” – Edison, NJ – 8.5.2006

Danielson gets a cheap shot out of the initial lock-up. He moves around to avoids Joe’s kicks. Joe eventually gets some in which sends Danielson to the floor. Danielson looks to go after Joe’s knee which he injured back in the “Cage of Death” match last month. Danielson however retreats when he gets trapped in the corner by more kicks. Joe tries to repeat this successful tactic, but this time Danielson is able to grab his leg and twist it up. Joe wins a shoving match. He kicks Danielson in the back, frustrating the World champion. Danielson comes back in with a chinlock which Joe escpaes with an electric drop. Danielson keeps Joe grounded with wristlocks and cheap attacks. He ends up crotching himself on the second rope. Joe brings him to the corner. Danielson stops the Facewash kick and goes for it himself. Joe blocks with a lariat. Danielson decides to change his approach from going after Joe’s knee to focusing on his left arm. Joe blasts him with right handed jabs in the corner. He applies a chin lock and kicks Danielson’s back in the process. When Danielson escapes Joe powerslams him. Danielson responds with a neck wrench suplex. He gets two with a diving headbutt. He puts on strangle hold until Joe gets the ropes. Joe dragonscrews Danielson’s leg and applies a figure four. Joe turns it over so Danielson puts on an armbar. Joe tries a Boston Crab but Danielson again gets the ropes. Joe gets two with a Death Valley Driver. Same goes for a Manhattan drop, big boot, and senton combo. Danielson drives his elbow into Joe’s face and chokes him with his boot. Joe goes for the Muscle Buster. Danielson slips out and comes off the second rope. He chop blocks Joe’s knee out. Danielson hits Joe’s leg with a steel chair against the ring post multiple times.

Danielson of course continues to attack Joe’s knee back in the ring. Joe manages in to sneak in a facewash kick to buy a little recovery time. Danielson dragonscrews his leg. He applies pressure to Joe’s legs. He delivers a suplex and heads up top. When Danielson comes down, Joe catches him mid-air with an Ace Crusher. Danielson goes to the floor and Joe follows with an elbow suicida. He gives Danielson the Ole kick. When he goes for it a second time Danielson cuts him off with a forearm strike and sends him into the barricades. The fight spills into the crowd. Danielson gets the better of the exchange, allowing him to get back to the ring just to springboard dive right back out onto Joe. Back in the ring he nails a missile dropkick. Joe blocks a running forearm with the STJoe. He gets two with a Gedo Clutch. A rolling cradle has the same result. Danielson gets two with a Dragon suplex. They each maneuver for a submission but neither gets one locked on. Danielson blocks an STJoe and puts on Cattle Mutilation. Joe gets his foot on the ropes. Danielson tries it a few more times and then rolls Joe onto his shoulders for two. After some more positioning on the mat each guy throws strikes. Danielson delivers a rolling forearm. Joe responds with a lariat rendering both men lying on the mat. Joe powerbombs Danielson into the STF. Danielson rolls back to pin Joe’s shoulders to the mat forcing Joe to release the hold. He headscissors his way out of Joe’s powerbomb attempt. Joe knees Danielson and goes for the Muscle Buster. Danielson again slips out. He crucifix pins Joe for two. Joe comes off the middle rope with a knee strike for two. Same goes for a brainbuster. Danielson applies a half crab. Danielson escapes. He brings Joe to the top and delivers a super belly-to-back suplex. He repeatedly drives his elbow into Joe’s head. When Joe fires up Danielson applies the crossface Chicken Wing. Joe elbows his way free. Danielson O’Conner rolls him for two. Joe puts him in the Coquina Clutch. The 60:00 time limit expires while Joe has the hold applied. Sure, maybe this would have been a “tighter” package with a few mintues shaved off but given these two men’s proclivity for going long I think having it go this long is acceptable. They built everything really well, the last 15 minutes were especially awesome, they built off all the work they had in the build up to this bout, and it felt appropriately epic. There weren’t so many times in the first three-quarters where it felt like either guy was rushing for a pin which didn’t make too much sense given their back story. It fell only slightly short of their “Midnight Express Reunion” match and isn’t as classic a match as the Punk/Joe draws but certainly worth watching if you’re a fan of either guy. ****

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Roderick Strong

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

This is Danielson’s third title defense in 24 hours. He unified the World and Pure title against Nigel McGuinness’ yesterday and defended the World title against SUWA earlier tonight. After each guy goes for an early advantage, Danielson slaps Strong in the face and bails to the floor. He pops out of Strong’s headscissors and puts on a Bow and Arrow. Strong uses his leg strength to block a surfboard attempt. Danielson applies his own headscissors. Strong gets the ropes to escape. Strong gets in some chops. Danielson runs the ropes but gets caught with a backbreaker and belly-to-belly suplex for two. He goes for a surfboard which Danielson escapes. Danielson stomps Strong’s knees into the mat. He ties up Strong’s leg and grasps at his face while applying a chin lock. Strong comes back with a dropkick. He does the deal with a Falcon Arrow for two. Danielson grabs the ropes when he puts on an abdominal stretch. Strong goes to the floor and Danielson suicide dives after him. In the ring Strong comes off the second rope. Danielson catches him in Cattle Mutilation. Strong escapes and hits a Tiger Driver for two. Danielson goes for a dicing headbutt. Strong ducks that. Danielson evades the Sick Kick and O’Conner rolls Strong for two. Strong ends a strike exchange with Death by Roderick. Danielson forearms him to block the Sick Kick. Danielson brings him to the second rope. Strong knocks him down and comes off the second rope with a Sick Kick. Danielson kicks out so he puts on the Strong Hold. Danielson makes it to the ropes. Strong brings him up for a super Death by Roderick. Danielson slides off and dropkicks him. He brings Strong down with a belly-to-back superplex. Strong gets his foot on the rope. He puts on the chicken wing. Strong escapes. Danielson tries another superplex. Strong brings him down with a super Death by Roderick. He puts on the Strong Hold. Danielson escapes. The Sick Kick gets Strong two when Danielson switches it into a crucifix. Danielson drives his elbows into Strong’s head repeatedly. He then puts on Cattle Mutilation. Strong passes out at 20:07. That was incredibly well put together for a match that was put on last minute. These two had amazing chemistry and even though this was the lesser of their four ROH World title matches, it was still pretty darn great ***¾

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. ****½

No Disqualification – There Must Be a Winner
Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe

“Irresistible Forces” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 10.28.2006

Joe meets Danielson with an elbow suicida right away. He sends Danielson shoulder first into the barricades twice. Joe throws some knees and strikes back in the ring. Danielson gets more aggressive when he goes after Joe’s left arm. He comes off the second rope and gets caught with an STJoe. Joe throws some jabs. He goes for a boot which Danielson side steps. Joe slides to the floor. Danielson comes to the apron so Joe kicks his legs out. He swings Danielson shoulder first into the barricades. In the crowd Danielson gets in some shots with a chair to Joe’s arm. Joe places Danielson on an equipment case and shoves him into the wall. They hit each other with some random plunder. Ringside and back in the ring Danielson uses a club on Joe’s arm and shoulder. He chokes Joe with it as well. Joe fights out and gets two with a powerslam. Danielson throws some elbows and knee strikes. Joe gives him a suplex. He applies the STF. Danielson rolls out so Joe throws his own elbows to the head. Danielson rolls him up for two. Joe ends a forearm exchange with an enzuigiri. Danielson puts on the Cattle Mutilation. He rolls Joe’s shoulders over for a two count. Danielson takes referee Todd Sinclair’s belt off and whips Joe in the back with it. Joe catches him with a boot as he comes off the second rope. Joe whips Danielson with the belt. Danielson fights off the Muscle Buster and kicks Joe in the groin. He tries an O’Conner Roll. He’s successful but Joe uses the belt to choke Danielson in the Coquina Clutch. His arm only drops twice. Joe re-applies the hold. This time Danielson passes out at 21:31. This was a decent follow up from their hour draw but it didn’t have the same vibe. I appreciate that it was a totally different match but there wasn’t much urgency considering the title wasn’t on the line and you just knew Joe was going to win and get another shot at the belt. That’s all and well and good but there’s a reason this match isn’t mentioned much today: it’s just not all that special. ***¼

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Homicide

“Final Battle 2006” – New York, NY – 12.23.2006

This is the title match Homicide was promised back at “Death Before Dishonor IV.” Homicide promised he would leave Ring of Honor if he is unable to defeat Danielson. Like Homicide did at “Destiny”, Danielson flips off Homicide instead of shaking his hand. Danielson suplexes Homicide out of a double knuckle lock. Danielson places Homicide on the top rope to break a headlock and slaps him in the face. Homicide goes for the knee while Danielson goes for the arm. Danielson puts on the Romero Special. He then stomps Homicide’s knees into the canvas. Danielson gets two with a slingshot suplex. Homicide puts on a straightjacket choke and sends Danielson to the floor. Homicide throws Danielson’s bad shoulder into the barricades. In the ring Danielson uses a chinbreaker to free himself from a chinlock. Danielson does some damage to Homicide’s bad shoulder. Homicide avoids an attack on the ropes. He uses the Three Amigos and heads up top. Adam Pearce and Shane Hagadorn run out, ending the match in a Disqualification at 10:50. The fans are livid as Pearce and Hagadorn continue to attack Homicide. Danielson smiles as he walks away with the title. Julius Smokes and some other people from Homicide’s crew take Pearce and Hagadorn out. Todd Sinclair changes his mind and re-starts the match.

Danielson is pissed by this call. Homicide knee strikes Danielson and gets two with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Danielson jams Homicide’s shoulder across his own shoulder. Danielson butterfly suplexes him into a cross armbreaker. Homicide escapes. Danielson gets two with a rolling forearm. He goes for a diving headbutt but gets caught with an Ace Crusher. Homicide suplexes Danielson to the floor and follows with a tope suicida. Homicide does more damage to the arm. He hammerlocks Danielson’s arm and suplexes him off the second rope. Danielson gets the ropes to break an armbar. Danielson boots Homicide away and nails an uppercut. Danielson flips off the crowd before hitting his diving headbutt. Homicide kicks out. Danielson German suplexes Homicide. Homicide not only kicks out of it, but reapplies the armbar. Danielson gets the ropes again. They go boot for forearm. Homicide’s spears Danielson to the floor. Danielson shoves Homicide into the crowd. He springboard sentons onto him. Back in the ring Danielson hits a dropkick off the top rope. Homicide turns mid-air to counter a superplex. Homicide goes up top and gets caught. Danielson successfully pulls of the superplex. Danielson is slow to cover and Homicide is able to kick out. Danielson repeatedly drives his elbow into Homicide’s head. Danielson puts on the crossface chicken wing with a bodyscissors. Homicide’s arm drops twice, but he grabs Sinclair’s foot when it’s about to drop the third time. Homicide grabs the bottom rope to escape the hold but Danielson won’t let go. Homicide fights out anyways. Danielson blocks a lariat. Homicide dragonscrews Danielson into the STF. Danielson rakes Homicide’s face to force the break. Danielson puts on the Cattle Mutilation. Danielson gives him a Tiger suplex and reapplies it. Danielson throws elbows at the side of his head and applies it one more time. Homicide climbs the ropes to turn it into a pin. Danielson kicks out. Homicide ducks a clothesline. He finally hits the Cop Killer but Danielson grabs the bottom rope to stop the pin. Homicide brings in the ring bell. As Sinclair disposes of it, Danielson kicks Homicide low. He small packages Homicide for two. Homicide lariats Danielson for the pin and the title at 18:34! This definitely felt a little long, but the false finish earlier really helped the crowd noise pick up. This also felt like a genuinely enormous moment for both the company and Homicide. They did a great job playing off their previous encounters and a lot of what Danielson did in his title reign as a whole. The crowds joy over the switch can’t be understated. ****

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s