Ring of Honor: Year Six (Disc One)

ROH World Championship
Homicide vs. Takeshi Morishima

“Fifth Year Festival: Philly” – Philadelphia, PA – 2.17.2007

Homicide has been champion since 12.23.2006 and this is his fourth defense. There’s no honor shown by Morishima, who attacks Homicide in the aisle during his entrance. After throwing Homicide into the barricades, Morishima DDT’s him onto the concrete floor. Homicide is able to land a tornado DDT inside the ring, then a tope suicida back to the outside, where Homicide gets retribution by throwing Morishima into the barricades and face first into the timekeeper’s table. Back in the ring, Morishima turns both Homicide and Julius Smokes inside out with stereo clotheslines, then lands a cartwheel splash to the champ in the corner. He does damage to Homicide’s ribs and neck. Homicide cuts him off with an Ace Crusher. A lariat to the back of the neck and front gets him a two count. Thanks to Smokes stopping Morishima’s ascent up the buckles, Homicide is able to pull off a superplex. Morishima is able to catch a flying Homicide and toss him overhead in a belly-to-belly suplex. He then blasts Homicide with a dropkick off the top turnbuckle. Homicide cuts him off with a drop toe hold, and takes out Morishima with a neckbreaker before coming off the top with a back senton. Homicide puts an STF on Morishima’s busted open nose. Morishima quickly gets back to his feet after a lariat and drops Homicide with a Backdrop Driver. Homicide nails a couple of boots, but Morishima delivers another Backdrop Driver and a lariat. A third Backdrop Driver keeps Homicide down for the pin at 16:55, and Morishima is the new ROH World Champion. It’s not often you see champions get rolled, but it was a very effective way for Morishima to begin his championship lineage. It’s for the best, as Homicide’s win was hot, but once the chase was over, the reality of seeing him as champion wore off quickly due to three ho-hum defenses in a row. It’s also strange that Morishima was so dominant after losing to Joe the night before – why did they do that? All’s well that ends well, I suppose. **¾

ROH World Tag Team Championship
Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe)

“Fifth Year Festival: Chicago”- Chicago, IL – 2.24.2007

Daniels & Sydal have been champions since 11.25.2006 and this is their fourth defense. Allison Danger is in their corner. The two teams reach a stalemate in the opening exchange, but the champions take control and isolate Jay in their corner shortly after. Mark surprises Daniels with a trip, allowing Jay to give him a leg drop to the back of his neck, and Mark swoops in with a suplex to follow up. Sydal makes fun of Mark for having no teeth before giving him a dropsault to the mouth. Sydal pays for that with a heavy back elbow to the face from Jay. Sydal takes Mark down with an enzuigiri and Daniels delivers a charging knee to the chest in the corner. The Briscoes take down Daniels with tanem offense, ending with a slingshot double stomp from Mark. Jay also knocks Sydal off the apron in the process so they can maintain control over Daniels more easily. Daniels gets a moment of respite with an enzuigiri to Jay. Sydal tags in, taking out Mark with an enzuigiri as well, and landing a standing moonsault on Jay. Sydal then hits a twisting splash to Mark on the floor. Sydal talks more trash as he and Daniels beat down Jay once more. Jay catches a Sydal corner clothesline and suplexes him overhead, but Sydal grabs Jay’s leg and pulls him back to the corner before he can make a tag. Moments later, Jay scores with a super Gourd Buster on Sydal, and Mark flies in with a karate kick to Daniels. After a savate kick to the back of Sydal’s head, Mark gets a two count on Daniels with a Michinoku Driver, and another with a corkscrew springboard splash. Some bad timing sees Sydal take down Daniels with a back elbow. Jay big boots both champions, and sets up Sydal for a springboard Ace Crusher from Mark. Sydal also succumbs to a double Beele toss. Sydal Frankensteiner’s Daniels off the top so he can double clothesline the Briscoes. Sydal moonsaults Jay onto Daniels’ knees for two. Jay avoids the BME. Mark halts Sydal on the top rope, and the Briscoes launch him high so that he comes crashing down to the canvas. Daniels saves Sydal from a Doomsday Device, but his Death Valley Driver on Mark and Sydal’s huracanrana on Jay fail to yield a pinfall. Their tandem super Angels Wings only gets two, as Mark saves Jay just before the three count. Mark gives Daniels the Cutthroat Driver. He gets his feet up to block Sydal’s standing shooting star press and dumps him on his head out of a Cutthroat Driver. Jay lands a super leg drop, and Mark follows up with a shooting star press to get the pin at 24:50. Tightening this up would have been helpful, but those last five minutes were HOT. It was an interesting dynamic, as the champions were the underdogs in a way, as they are a far less experienced duo than the challengers. Everybody looked great, the crowd dug it, and Sydal taking the fall after being arrogant during the match was sweet, sweet justice. ****

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. Shingo Takagi & Naruki Doi

“Fifth Year Festival: Liverpool” – Liverpool, England – 3.3.2007

The opening exchange ends with Mark suplexing Shingo. Jay snaps off a Frankensteiner and leg lariat on Doi before he and Jay double Beele toss him across the ring. Shingo and Mark deliver knee drops to one another, and Mark puts him in a headscissors. After using the ropes to escape, Shingo repeatedly headbutts Mark in the corner. The Dragon Gate tandem takes down Mark with the Hart Attack. Mark slides out of a suplex from Shingo and takes him down with a spinwheel kick. Jay forearms Doi off the apron, and although Shingo attempts to fight the Briscoes on his own, he is taken down with relentless tandem offense. The Briscoes wear down Shingo in their corner, focusing on his neck and chest. Shingo eventually takes them down at the same time with a Complete Shot/DDT combo and tags in Doi, who forearms Mark to the floor and suicide dives after him. Shingo drops Jay with a spinebuster and locks on a crossface. Jay escapes, but Shingo puts in him in a tree of woe. Mark dropkicks Jay while he is upside down in the corner, and then Doi hits both Briscoes with Dai Bosou. Shingo and Doi pummel Jay, with Doi landing a somersault senton as Shingo dangles him on the middle rope. Mark breaks the pin for his brother. Jay takes Doi with a Blockbuster and tags Mark who karate kicks Shingo to the floor and takes out Doi with Redneck Kung-Fu and a Michinoku Driver. Mark runs up the ropes and lands a shooting star press onto Shingo on the floor! Doi ends a forearm strike with Jay with a running forearm smash for two. He also gets two with the Doi 555. Doi dropkicks Jay into a belly-to-back suplex from Shingo for two. Mark emerges with a springboard frog splash to Shingo for two. Another two count comes after the Briscoes hit the Sidewinder on Shingo. Doi legdrops Mark across Shingo’s knees and then release superplexes Mark onto his stomach. Jay breaks the pin and drops Doi with a Gourd Buster. Shingo shoves Jay off of the top turnbuckle while Doi gets his knees up to block Mark’s shooting star press. He gives Mark the Doi 555. Shingo superplexes Jay into a flying elbow from Doi for two. Shingo accidentally lariats Doi and Jay big boots him to the floor. The Briscoes wipe out Doi with Total Elimination and Redneck Boogie for two. Jay military presses Doi into a Death Valley Driver and Shingo breaks his pin just in time. Shingo stops the Briscoes from giving Doi the Doomsday Device and takes them out with lariats. Doi nails the Bakatare Sliding Kick on Mark and Jay stops the pin. Jay brings Doi to the floor and Mark goes for the Cutthroat Driver on Shingo. Shingo fights free and drops Mark with the Last Falconry to get the pin and the titles at 22:37. That was as fast paced of a contest as you would expect from a Dragon Gate tag team match. The crowd was hot for everything, they avoided complete overkill in the finishing stretch, and the upset win seemed believable. At the time the Briscoes had proven they were the best team in ROH, so it made sense for two outsiders to come in and catch them off guard. Tremendous match. ****

Colt Cabana vs. Delirious
“Fifth Year Festival: Finale” – Liverpool, England – 3.4.2007

Cabana is in full Big Daddy mode here. He mimics a lot of his offense, which in addition to Cabana freaking out at the bell seems to upset Delirious. Referee Todd Sinclair gets caught up in the thick of things, resulting in him schoolyard tripping Delirious over Cabana. Delirious takes issue with his pin counts being slow too. Cabana messes with Delirious mask and ends up being headbutt in the stomach. Delirious dropkicks Cabana to the corner. Cabana evades a Panic Attack and lands a swinging suplex for two. Delirious takes the Flying Asshole, but is able to maneuver Cabana into a few pinning combinations. Cabana Kangaroo kicks Delirious from the apron. Delirious goes up and over a charging Cabana, rolling him up into a cradle for the pin at 11:43. Cabana’s shtick was hyper regional and lost on me, but the live crowd seemed to appreciate it. I’ve seen both of them do comedy much better, so while it was a solid opener and adds levity to a fairly severe card, it’s inessential viewing. **

Samoa Joe vs. Homicide
“Fifth Year Festival: Finale” – Liverpool, England – 3.4.2007

At the time, this was Joe’s final match in ROH. Homicide sends Joe to the floor, but Joe jumps into the crowd to avoid a tope suicida, grabbing a beer before heading back to the ring. Homicide gets in a few shots when Joe comes in, but misses a crossbody from the second rope. Julius Smokes grabs Joe’s foot so Homicide can get in some punches. He gives Joe a running knee and basement lariat for one. Joe catches Homicide with an atomic drop and a senton. The facewash kick follows up. Homicide sunset flips Joe for two, and a diving DDT for the same result. He sends Joe to the apron with a Frankensteiner where he gives him an Ace Crusher. Homicide puts on a rear chinlock. Joe rolls Homicide around in a cradle before taking him down with a lariat. Homicide blocks an atomic drop with a chinbreaker. Joe quickly recovers and powerslams him for two. He gets planted with the STJoe. Smokes grabs Joe’s leg on the top rope and Homicide superplexes for two. A couple of neckbreakers and a piledriver get him another two count. Joe powerbombs Homicide twice and then puts on the STF. Homicide gets the ropes to escape. They fight for position in the corner and Homicide eventually DDT’s Joe off the second rope. He wants to do it again, but Joe fights him off and goes for the Muscle Buster. Homicide slips out, but Joe ducks his lariat and locks on the Coquina Clutch. Smokes climbs to the top rope. Joe notices and tosses him into the ring. Homicide clobbers Joe with the ring bell, but Joe kicks out of the subsequent pin attempt. Joe pulls off the Muscle Buster, but Smokes pulls referee Todd Sinclair out of the ring to stop the pin. Joe throws Smokes into the barricades and gives him the Ole Kick. Joe goes to do it a second time, but Homicide stops him with a tope con hilo. Back in the ring, Homicide lariats Joe for two. He brings Joe up to the top rope, but Joe ends up delivering a super Muscle Buster to Homicide, the same way he pinned him at “Do or Die” in 2003, for the pin at 22:58. That was a lot more smoke and mirrors for Joe’s last match than I would have liked, as randomly grabbing a beer and lots of Julius Smokes interference doesn’t really define Joe’s ROH career. This match was more less two friends having fun one last time in a company they helped grow. Unfortunately, Joe’s farewell tour really did nobody but himself any favors. I guess his final match being self-gratifying makes sense in that regard. ***

Austin Aries, Claudio Castagnoli, Delirious & Rocky Romero vs. Typhoon (CIMA, Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito & Susumu Yokosuka)
“All Star Extravaganza III” – Detroit, MI – 3.30.2007

Saito works over Romero’s leg on the mat. Romero looks for a cross armbreaker to no avail, but does get a Boston Crab which he converts into a Bow and Arrow stretch. Saito escapes and tags Kid, and Romero tags Claudio, giving us the tallest ROH team member against the shortest Typhoon member. Kid uses his speed to make up for the difference, sending Claudio outside with the Déjà vu headscissors. Delirious’ unpredictability serves him well against CIM,A but CIMA ultimately takes him down with a dropkick. Aries sends all of the Dragon Gate team out to the floor with armdrags and then lands a four person Heat-Seeking Missile. He pulls CIMA back inside the ring for a slingshot spinning splash. Yokosuka trips Aries as he tires a lionsault, and CIMA pounces on him. Typhoon wears down Aries in their corner, including some illegal team maneuvers used when referee Jason Harding was distracted. Aries takes CIMA and Yokosuka out with a lionsault press and tags Delirious. He takes down Saito with a leaping lariat and gets Kid trapped in the corner so all of his partners can attack, ending with the Panic Attack from Delirious. The ROH foursome now beat down Kid in their half of the ring, also pulling off multi-man offense when possible. Kid finally gets a respite when Aries accidentally forearms Claudio to the middle rope. Kid nails Claudio with a tiger feint kick and missile dropkicks Aries. Romero tries a wheelbarrow on Yokosuka, only for CIMA to surprise him with a lungblower. CIMA suplexes Delirious while he has Romero’s legs tied up. Saito then belly-to-belly suplexes Aries onto Romero. CIMA and Kid wipe out Romero and Aries on the floor. Claudio ends a strike exchange with Yokosuka with a springboard European Uppercut. Yokosuka pins Claudio after an exploding suplex. Delirious tries to aid with a super leg drop but ends up landing on Claudio. Delirious gives Yokosuka a Cobra Clutch backbreaker and snapmares Saito into a crucifix pin for two. Saito pops Delirios up into a German suplex for two. Romero enzuigiri’s Saito for two. CIMA crotches Romero on the middle rope and brings him down with the Superdrol. Romero blocks Schwein and gets two with a fisherman’s buster. He rolls CIMA into an ankle lock and CIMA rolls it into a jackknife cradle. Romero kicks him in the head for two, and CIMA gets two himself with the Perfect Driver. Romero brings CIMA off the top with the Diablo Armbar and Yokosuka saves him. CIMA strings Venus, the Iconoclasm, and the Mad Splash together, but Romero gets his knees up for the last one. Aries Finlay Rolls CIMA into a frog splash. CIMA gets his knees up, but then takes Shadows Over Hell from Delirious for two. Kid disrupts Delirious’ Chemical Imbalance II attempt on CIMA and puts him in Christo. Claudio breaks the hold, only to get put into Christo himself. Aries suplexes Kid off of Claudio and to the corner, and Claudio uppercuts him back into the corner for good measure. Yokosuka blasts Aries with Jumbo no Kachi! but then is taken down by Romero. Saito takes out Romero, but falls to Claudio’s Alpamare Water Slide. Kid gives Claudio the Dragon Stunner. Delirious slams Kid onto his stomach. Delirious gets caught in the Dragon Gate corner. CIMA double stomps Romero off of Yokosuka’s shoulders into Mugen, rolling into a Venus to Delirious. Kid brings Delirious down with a Skyscraper Frankensteiner, and Saito follows with a backsplash. Aries punts Saito in the head and delivers a brainbuster. The 450 splash is only good for two as CIMA breaks the pin. Delirious puts CIMA in the Cobra Stretch. CIMA escapes and hits a superkick. Schwein only gets him a two count, but the Crossfire pins Delirious at 27:54. This was super fun and exciting. It wasn’t necessarily as crisp as the original Supercard of Honor six man tag and overstayed its welcome by just a hair, but was still great fun. I also like that CIMA pinning Delirious with Crossfire is a callback to the six man tag from Final Battle 2006. This match doesn’t get much love, as the Dragon Gate six man Mania weekend tag matches get the spotlight, but this is absolutely worth watching. ****

Steel Cage Match
BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs

“Supercard of Honor II” – Detroit, MI – 3.31.2007

Jacobs dives through the cage door onto Whitmer as he makes his entrance. Lacey and Daizee Haze are in their respective corners. Jacobs throws Whitmer into the barricades and drops an elbow off of a chair They make their way into the cage where Whitmer sends Jacobs back first into the steel. Jacobs then gets sent head first into the cage a couple of times. Whitmer dropkicks a chair into his face and Jacobs kicks the chair right back at him. Whitmer gives him a spinebuster onto the chair, but then gets sent face first into it with a drop toe hold. Jacobs is handed a railroad spike by Lacey. Whitmer reveals he has a spike of his own hidden in his boot, and he and Jacobs jab each other in the head repeatedly until they fall down covered in their own blood. Whitmer powerbombs Jacobs into the corner and boots him in the face. Whitmer gets handed a barbed wire baseball bat. Jacobs kicks it out of his hands and drives the bat into Whitmer’s head. He digs the bat into Whitmer’s arm as well. Jacobs then jabs Whitmer in the arm and forehead with the two spikes. He places Whitmer’s head onto the barbed wire bat and smacks him in the back of the head with a chair! He sets up a chair in the corner. He goes for a spear, but Whitmer sends him head first into the chair instead. He throws Jacobs overhead with an exploder suplex before collapsing. Whitmer rolls through a Frankensteiner and powerbombs Jacobs into the cage. He drives the barbed wire bat into Jacobs’ head and then gives him a brainbuster onto a chair! Jacobs kicks out, so Whitmer goes to escape the cage. Lacey slams the cage door into Whitmer’s head, and then Jacobs rams the bat into his head. Jacobs gets two with a top rope senton. Jacobs tries for a super Frankensteiner, but Whitmer holds onto the top rope and drops Jacobs face first onto the top turnbuckle. He strings together a few suplexes and a powerbomb for two. A table is entered into the cage. Whitmer goes for a top rope powerbomb, which Jacobs counters with a super Frankensteiner. He tries for the Contra Code which Whitmer counters with the Adrenaline Spike for two. Lacey enters the cage and tries to slap Whitmer, but she takes an Adrenaline Spike for her troubles. Whitmer misses a frog splash off of the top of the cage. Jacobs pulls off the Contra Code for two. He sets up Whitmer onto the table and goes to the top of the cage. Whitmer follows him up, but Jacobs manages to knock him down and onto the table again. Jacobs comes off of the top of the cage with a super back senton, getting him the pin at 23:41. That was wild and wildly entertaining. The atmosphere and action were crazy from before the opening bell and never ceased. They incorporated so many aspects of their previous matches throughout the bout which made it even more of a fulfilling watch. The only complaint I have is that having students serve as weapon fetchers was illogical and corny. Otherwise, this was a perfect way to end this feud. Without a doubt, this is the best cage match in ROH history and both Jacobs and Whitmer’s best match in the company. ****½

Typhoon (CIMA & Susumu Yokosuka) & Shingo Takagi vs. Typhoon (Dragon Kid & Ryo Saito) & Masaaki Mochizuki
“Supercard of Honor II” – Detroit, MI – 3.31.2007

Saito and CIMA wrestle to a stand off. Shingo chops Mochizuki who responds with kicks. Shingo ends his succession of chest kicks with a bodyslam. Kid sends Yokosuka outside with a headscissors and feigns a dive. Saito takes down CIMA with a back elbow for two. Shingo kicks the inside of Saito’s thigh and drops a knee across his jaw. Saito backs Shingo to his corner where Mochizuki throws more chest and thigh kicks. Shingo reverses a suplex attempt and tags Yokosuka who comes in with a double ax handle to Mochizuki’s back. Mochizuki blocks a slam from Yokosuka and delivers one himself. Saito and Kid do some damage to Yokosuka’s arm, but Yokosuka forearms Saito to his corner where CIMA lands a slingshot senton. Saito blocks double knees in the corner and slams CIMA onto his head. Saito’s team beats CIMA down in their corner, focusing their attack on his back. CIMA is able to pull down Mochizuki and Saito and give them simultaneous stomps, and give Kid a tombstone piledriver onto Sait’s mid-section. Yokosuzka takes down Mochizuki with an exploder suplex. Kid sends him out with a flying headscissors, but Shingo takes him down with a sit-out waterwheel slam. Shingo applies a half-crab, and then snaps both of Kid’s legs. CIMA’s team attacks Kid’s legs and also send him crotch first into a ring post. Kid impressively kicks out of a DDT/double stomp combo, a Mugen/Superdrol combo, and a Doomsday bulldog. Kid counters a super powerbomb attempt from CIMA with a super Frankensteiner and tags Mochizuki who knocks down all of the opposing team with kicks. Saito blocks Shingo’s lariat attempts and tosses him with a belly-to-belly suplex. Kid sends Yokosuka out with Déjà vu and follows with a slingshot Frankesnteiner. Mochizuki Sankakugeri’s CIMA to the floor. Mochizuki and Shingo exchange strikes until Mochizuki Judo throws Shingo into a cross armbreaker, which Shingo escapes by lifting him up into a powerbomb. Saito breaks Shingo’s pin and gives CIMA the Fisherman Express for two. CIMA counters a suplex with Nakayubi. Saito then blocks Venus with a dropkick. Kid locks CIMA in Christo, which Yokosuka breaks with a dropkick. Kid uses the Dragon Stunner to counter a suplex from Yokosuka. Yokosuka then blocks a Frankensteiner with a Yokosuka Driver. Kid sets Yokosuka up for a Skyscraper Frankensteiner, but CIMA stops it with Venus. Shingo and Yokosuka land the Doomsday Device on Kid while CIMA takes out Saito with the Tokarev. CIMA follows up with Schwein for two. Mochizuki gets two on CIMA with a running chest kick after a Dragon suplex from Saito. Mochizuki springboard dropkicks Shingo in the back of his head. Shingo gets mauled in the corner and then is taken down by Messiah from Dragon Kid’s Messiah. Shingo kicks out after two chest kicks from Mochizuki. A series of offenses, ending with Last Falconry from Shingo on Kid, leaves everyone laying. Shingo lariats Saito, who fires up and gives Shingo a Dragon suplex for two. CIMA and Yokosuka wipe out Saito with a Jumbo no Kachi!/chest kick combo. Yokosuka drops Mochizuki with Ashi Yokosuka. CIMA goes for another Schwein on Kid and Kid counters with Bible. Yokosuka breaks the pin, and Kid gives him a Code Red, followed by Mochizuki hitting him with a Sankakugeri. Kid tries the Dragonrana on Yokosuka, but he counters with the World Liner and pins Kid at 27:08. It was more difficult getting into this match than it was last year’s, because this year’s installment had members of the same faction pitted against each other while last year’s featured two dueling factions. Because of that, this felt like more of an exhibition. Granted, it was an amazing exhibition, but the finish was very abrupt and didn’t feel like the culmination of all the action that preceded it. I’d still say this was a worthy successor to the first match. ****

Disc Two
Disc Three

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