ROH on SBG #543 – Bryan Danielson Hall of Fame Special


Deonna Purrazzo held an open challenge for her ROH Women’s Championship on the February 10th episode of Impact Wrestling:


ROH Women’s World Championship
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Santana Garrett

Impact Wrestling #912 – Pembroke Pines, FL – 2.10.2022

Purrazzo has been champion since 1.13.2022 and this is her first defense. Garrett held her own against Purrazzo until Purrazzo caught Garrett in the splits on the apron and dropkicked her to the floor. Purrazzo kept control of the match during the commercial break. Garrett lands a back handspring elbow in the corner. She puts Purrazzo into a Muta Lock which Purrazzo breaks by grabbing the bottom rope. Purrazzo avoids a super Frankensteiner and delivers a pump kick. She pulls down Garett into a Koji Clutch, which Garrett escapes by rolling Purrazzo onto her shoulders. Garrett front flips into a forearm smash to Purrazzo. However, when she comes off the top turnbuckle, Purrazzo catches her and applies a Fujiwara armbar. Purrazzo converts that into a European Clutch for the pin at 9:00. This match was strangely constructed, with little cohesion between the action and the result. Fine enough for TV but it does the ROH Women’s title no favors. *½

On February 12th, The Briscoes made their first defense of the ROH Tag Team titles since winning them at Final Battle:


ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. The WorkHorsemen (Anthony Henry & JD Drake)

Warrior Wrestling “19” – Cicero, IL – 2.12.2022

The Briscoes have been champions since 12.11.2021 and this is their first defense. Mark uses some redneck kung-fu on Henry, with an angry Henry knocking him down with a chest kick. Kay tags in and surprises Henry with a running big boot. Drake takes the Briscoes strikes in stride. Henry drop toe holds Mark onto Drake’s knees, and Henry then lands a back senton as Mark is still chest first on Drake’s knees. Mark follows Henry into the corner with a clothesline, then Jay assists Mark with a double team assault. Mark’s spicy dropkick wipes out both Henry and Drake, as does a chair assisted tope con hilo. The WorkHorsemen take over on the floor, with Henry Sick Kicking both of them into the guardrails.Mark is able to take back over inside the ring, with a Jon Woo dropkick and super Iconoclasm to Henry. Redneck Boogie gets Mark a two count on Henry. Jay blasts Henry with a boot when Henry defiantly kicks out of the ratchet neckbreaker. Henry tornado DDT’s Mark and tags Drake, who delivers running chops to the Briscoes on opposite corners of the ring. Drake lands a senton on Mark and takes out Jay with a neckbreaker. Henry and Drake blast Mark with knees to the face and back of his head. Mark takes out Henry with a couple suplexes onto the top of his head. Henry victory rolls Jay to evade the Doomsday Device. Henry and Drake then give Jay a missile dropkick and Saito suplex combo, followed by double knees and a cannonball in the corner. Mark comes back in, catches Henry after he double stomps Jay. After Drake moonsaults onto Jay, Mark uses a rolling Death Valley Driver on Henry to break up Jake’s pin. Jay takes out Drake with a short-arm clothesline. He gives Henry the Jay Driller, and Mark hits the Froggy Bow, giving the Briscoes the pin on Henry at 14:04. This was a great match that lacked an atmosphere. Commentary had no energy and the crowd seemed inconsistently engaged. I would love to see this again in a different environment because they definitely brought a good level of intensity and some rock solid tag team wrestling. ***¼

Now onto this week’s episode!

On January 26th, Ring of Honor announced the creation of the ROH Hall of Fame to coincide with their 20th Anniversary. Throughout the month, each episode of ROH television will feature one of the inductees into this year’s inaugural class. This week’s episode features highlights and two complete matches from the second inductee, Bryan Danielson.

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. KENTA

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

In the episode, about 20 minutes of this match is shown. Below is my review of the match in full.

Danielson has been World champion since 9.17.2005 and this is his thirty fourth defense. 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, so 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 and continues to work over Danielson’s shoulder back in the ring. Danielson feels insulted by KENTA’s slingshot head kick and takes KENTA down from behind. KENTA key locks his arm and Danielson desperately grabs the ropes. Danielson goes for a sunset flip and KENTA smacks him in the face. Danielson knee strikes him in the stomach and delivers a cravate suplex. Danielson throws a bunch of kicks in the corner and lays his forearm across KENTA’s chest after a suplex. He eye rakes KENTA across the top rope and stomps his knees into the canvas out of the Romero Special. He twists up KENTA’s legs before putting on a figure four leg lock. Danielson slingshots KENTA throat first into the bottom rope. KENTA kicks the inside of Danielson’ 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 and 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, then superplexes KENTA for a two count. He puts on the Crossface Chicken Wing with a bodyscissors and KENTA gets the ropes to escape.

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. Danielson retaliates with headbutts to combat KENTA’s chest kicks. Danielson belly-to-back suplexes KENTA on the floor, then throws KENTA into the crowd and springboard dives out onto him. In the ring Danielson connects with a top rope dropkick. KENTA ducks a forearm and applies 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, making him the first person to not be pinned by the GTS in ROH. Danielson blocks the Busaiku Knee with an O’Conner Roll. KENTA boots Danielson in the face. Danielson crucifix pins KENTA to block another Go 2 Sleep, throwing 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 33:01, making Danielson the first person to defeat KENTA in ROH. 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. It was also great that Danielson wore down KENTA’s knees to mute the Busaiku Knee and Go 2 Sleep. Pretty much every single thing about this ruled. This ties with the Low Ki match as KENTA’s best match in ROH, and is rightfully remembered as one of Danielson’s best title defenses. ****¾

We are shown a highlight of when Danielson initially won the ROH World Championship, submitting James Gibson at “Glory By Honor IV.”

ROH World Championship & ROH Pure Championship Unification Match
Bryan Danielson (ROH World Champion) vs. Nigel McGuinness (ROH Pure Champion)

“Unified” – Liverpool, England – 8.12.2006

At “Weekend of Champions, Night 2” McGuinness would get his opportunity at the ROH World Championship against Bryan Danielson, while also putting his title on the line. The match was contested under Pure Rules, and McGuinness won by count out. However, since only the Pure Title can change hands on a count out, Danielson remained World Champion. Three months later at “Generation Now”, McGuiness received another World Championship opportunity, this time without the Pure Title or Pure Title rules in play. In that match, Danielson surprised McGuinness with a small package to win. With Danielson and McGuiness 1-1 in singles matches, the threematch would see both titles on the line once again, but this time, the Pure Championship would be unified with the World title and its lineage would end. The match is contested under Pure Rules. It is made clear that unlike their “Weekend of Champions, Night 2” bout, both the World and Pure titles can change hands on a count out.
An aggressive lock-up is broken against the ropes and Danielson smacks McGuinness in the face. McGuinness responds with his own slap to Danielson’s face after arm dragging his way out of a wristlock. Danielson pops McGuinness in the face with his elbow in the corner. McGuinness reverses Danielson’s wristlock and Danielson dropkicks him to the ropes. Danielson does more damage to the arm until McGuinness snapmares him into a back kick. Danielson pushes McGuinness to the corner to break a front facelock, then sends McGuinness shoulder first into the mat. Danielson attacks McGuinness’ wrist and shoulder and then delivers a dropkick for two. Danielson butterfly suplexes McGuinness into a cross armbreaker, forcing McGuinness to use his first rope break. McGuinness catches Danielson in the corner with a kick to the back before driving Danielson down to the mat in a lariat. He then drives Danielson’s arm to the mat in a top wristlock. McGuinness applies a Cobra Clutch after clobbering Danielson with uppercuts. Refusing to use a rope break, Danielson escapes on his own accord and delivers an enzuigiri. Danielson then stomps the back of McGuinness’ knees into the canvas. Danielson delivers a superplex and follows up with a diving headbutt. When that doesn’t get Danielson the pin, he puts on the Cattle Mutilation. McGuinness uses his second rope break to escape. McGuinness catches Danielson climbing the ropes and delivers the Tower of London. Danielson uses his first rope break to stop the pin. McGuinness then puts on his own Cattle Mutilation, and Danielson uses his second rope break to escape that. They fight spills out to the floor where Danielson throws McGuinness face first into the timekeeper’s table. Back in the ring we get a forearm exchange which ends when McGuinness delivers a lariat for two. McGuinness does a corner headstand but gets caught by a dropkick and subsequent rolling forearm. Danielson applies the Crossface Chicken Wing with a bodyscissors, the same method that won him the World Title. McGuinness uses his third and final rope break to escape. Danielson hits a German suplex. He goes for another diving headbutt but this time McGuinness gets his boot up to block it. Danielson wins an intense slap battle. McGuinness blocks a Dragon suplex and crotches Danielson on the top rope, bringing him down with a lariat. Danielson uses his final rope break to stop the pin attempt that follows. Danielson stops McGuinness as he climbs the turnbuckles and puts him in a Chicken Wing while seated on the top turnbuckle. McGuinness cleverly converts into the Tower of London for a two count. They both go outside the ring where Danielson pulls McGuinness head first into the ring post four times. The repeated impact busts him open. Danielson dropkicks McGuinness into the crowd and springboard dives after him. Despite Danielson’s best efforts, both he and McGuinness make it back into the ring before the twenty count. McGuinness is fired up and bloody. He and Danielson throw simultaneous headbutts, as if they were freakin’ rams or something. Danielson counters it the first time, but the second time McGuinness scores with the Rebound Lariat. McGuinness crawls over to Danielson and covers him. Danielson not only kicks out at two, but rolls himself and McGuinness over and applies the Cattle Mutilation. McGuinness escapes, so Danielson traps his head and lays in a barrage of elbows to the side of his head. Odd Sinclair stops the match at 26:20, giving Danielson the win and both titles. This had everything you could want from a high stakes match – a tremendous backstory, intense action that escalated, a rabid crowd, and the genuine feeling something important and momentous was happening. This is easily one of the best matches in ROH history, one of the best matches of both guys’ careers, and a bonafide classic. If you have not seen this match, you need to. ****¾

Overall: Two damn near perfect matches make this one of the easiest recommendations I can possibly give. As time goes on, the more I’m convinced that Bryan Danielson is not only the best wrestler of this generation, but possibly of all time.

NEXT WEEK: Samoa Joe’s Hall of Fame special!

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