Ring of Honor: Year Six (Disc Three)

Race to the Top Tournament Final Round Match
Claudio Castagnoli vs. El Generico
Race to the Top Tournament Night 2” – Edison, NJ – 7.28.2007

Claudio defeated Hallowicked, Mike Quackenbush, and Jack Evans en route to the finals, while Generico defeated Delirious, Chris Hero, and Davey Richards. It’s HEY! vs. ¡Olé! chants in the beginning. Both men approach one another cautiously, but since their stamina is depleted, they also go for their big moves and pin attempts early. Generico nurses his left shoulder during the process. Claudio’s first big score is an uppercut followed by a backbreaker. Generico is able to nail a leg lariat, but Claudio comes back with a Giant Swing and an uppercut to Generico’s shoulder blades. Claudio kicks Generico in the shoulder on the top turnbuckle, but Generico resists a superplex and takes down Claudio with a high crossbody for two. Claudio comes back with the Match Killer and a straight-jacket choke. Generico hip tosses Claudio to the floor after escaping a Gedo Clutch and follows with a springboard moonsault. Generico then dives through the second and third turnbuckles and tornado DDT’s Claudio onto the floor! Generico scores another two count with a crossbody back inside the ring. Generico musters up the energy for a Helluva kick, but Claudio counters with Swiss Chin Music. He tries the Ricola Bomb, and Generico counters mid-air with a Yoshi Tonic for two! Claudio then blocks a tornado DDT with Swiss Death for two, and gets two again with an Alpamare Water Slide. Generico crotches Claudio as he climbs the ropes and hangs him in a tree of woe. Generico nails a coast-to-coast front flip dropkick to an upside down Claudio, following up with a brainbuster, which Claudio amazingly kicks out of. A successful Helluva kick leads to a top turnbuckle brainbuster attempt. Claudio blocks and instead brings down Generico with a super Alpamare Water Slide! Generico kicks out from that pin, so Claudio goes for the Ricola Bomb. Generico counters with a huracanrana for two. Claudio rolls through a sunset flip and muscles Generico up into the Ricola Bomb for two. Generico blocks an uppercut with a backslide for two. Claudio’s running uppercut knocks Generico down, but fires Generico up! He nails three big boots which Rock Claudio. Claudio ducks a Helluva kick and comes off the top turnbuckle with a diving European uppercut. A Last Ride variant of the Ricola Bomb wins Claudio the match and the tournament at 18:47. At this point, this was the best singles match either guy had in ROH up to. This match solidified both Claudio and Generico as being guys just under the cusp of the main event to bonafide main eventers. The action was exceptional, almost every nearfall was believable, and the crowd was going bananas. The fact they had so many callbacks to the way they won their previous tournament matches was really satisfying too. What a tremendous way to end the tournament. ****¼

ROH World Championship
Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson
“Manhattan Mayhem II” – New York, NY – 8.25.2007

Morishima has been champion since 2.17.2007 and this is his sixteenth defense. This is Danielspon’s first World title match since he lost the title to Homicide in December. Danielson kicks at Morishima’s left quadricep while maintaining distance. The angry champion ends up cornering Danielson and blasting him with punches and forearms repeatedly. An open hand strike messes up Danielson’s right eye. Morishima stomps away at Danielson when Danielson gets up and delivers more kicks to the quadricep. Morishima bowls over Danielson after yakuza kicking him in the corner. Morishima gives Danielson some of his own quadricep kicks before pitching him outside and kicking his head into the barricades. Danielson is able to dump Morishima over the barricades and into the crowd, landing a springboard dive over the barricades and onto the champion. Morishima resists a missile dropkick back in the ring and knocks down Danielson with a lariat. Danielson blocks both the Backdrop Driver and a hip attack, throwing strikes at Morishima’s face in the process. Danielkson kicks at the quadricep before locking Morishima in an Achilles lock. Morishima gets to his feet and German suplexes Danielson across the ring. Danielson swats away a top rope dropkick attempt and applies an ankle lock, but Morishima gets the ropes. Morishima takes down Danielson with a Thesz Press, but Danielson goes underneath and applies a half crab to Morishima’s left leg. Morishima kicks him with his right leg until he releases and goes for the Backdrop Driver. Danielson counters with a small package for a two count. Morishima sits down on a sunset flip attempt. A german suplex from Danielson leads to repeated elbows to the side of the head. Morishima muscles Danielson up, so Danielson kicks at his left leg until he crumples back down. Danielson stomps his head in repeatedly before attempting a pin. When Morishima gets his shoulder up, he locks in Cattle Mutilation. Morishima backs his way to the ropes to escape. Danielson tries a superplex, and unfortunately, Morishima rotates in mid-air and lands right on Danielson’s injured face. Morishima turns Danielson inside out with a lariat. Danielson impressively kicks out, but a Backdrop Driver puts him away at 20:14. Danielson’s game plan here was nearly flawless, attacking Morishima’s leg to neutralize the size advantage and get him to the mat where he could attempt a knockout or submission. We saw Danielson take a bad beating from the champion, but he was able to come back from so much that it almost makes you wonder if Danielson’s eye injury was the key reason he ended up on the losing end of this match. The crowd was fantastic too. This match got a ton of love when it happened and it definitely holds up. ****¼

ROH World Tag Team Championship – Ladder War
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
“Man Up!” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 9.15.2007

The Briscoes have been champions since 3.30.2007 and this is their fourteenth defense.
The fight spills into the crowd almost immediately, with everyone being tossed into rows of chairs and having chairs thrown at their heads. When they end up ringside, Mark is able to give Steen an Ace Crusher off of the guardrails. A bloody Jay Briscoe trades strikes with Generico inside of the ring. Generico dropkicks Jay to the floor, and sends Mark face first into one of the spreaders. Jay comes back in and drops Generico with a Gourd Buster. Steen responds with a fisherman’s buster onto his knee, but Mark springboard dropkicks Steen off of the ladder. Mark almost has the belts when Steen knocks him to the apron and uses the ladder to send him crashing to the barricades. Both Briscoes are now bloodied, but are able to double Beele toss Generico onto a ladder in the corner! However, as Jay is climbing another ladder to reach the titles, Steen dumps Jay off and onto the ladder in the corner Generico was tossed onto. Steen then suplexes Jay onto the second ladder. A fired up Mark goes after Steen and gets kicked in the groin for good measure. Generico hits a split legged moonsault onto Jay onto a ladder. Steen props up a ladder between the edge of the ring and the barricade. Both teams fight in the ring, with Steen eventually powerbombing Mark onto the edge of the ladder! As Steen climbs the ladder, Jay shoves Generico into the ladder, causing Steen to come crashing down and almost landing on the ladder itself. Jay then German suplexes Generico onto his head. Jay uses the ladder as a weapon to batter both Steen and Generico, and when Steen gets it out of his hands, Mark missile dropkicks the ladder into his face. Steen is given a Death Valley Driver onto a ladder by Jay, and Mark gives Generico a shooting star press while Generico is underneath a ladder. Jay looks as if he’s about to dive onto Generico, but notices Steen has rolled onto the timekeeper’s table, and instead delivers a leg drop onto him! Generico is able to stop Mark from climbing the ladder. Jay calls for the much taller maintenance ladder in the crowd and some kind fans comply. The Briscoes set up the ladder, and Mark dives through the ladder to give Generico a Doomsday Device. Steen uses a ladder to stop the Briscoes from climbing the maintenance ladder, and then props up the ladder between a turnbuckle and one of the rungs of the maintenance ladder. Steen follows Mark as Mark begins to climb the maintenance ladder and delivers a Package Piledriver through the other ladder! Jay props up a ladder in the same manner on the opposite side of the ring. He stops Generico from climbing and puts Generico through his ladder with a Jay Driller! Steen and Jay slug it out at the top of the maintenance ladder. Jay punches Steen off, sending him onto one of the crumpled up ladders, and unhooks the title belts to win the match at 27:22. Ladder War is an extremely apt name for this match, as all four men put each other through an immense amount of punishment. The ingenuity involved and the escalation of the violence is to be commended, especially since the match ended at its climax. This was an incredibly satisfying ending to what I think is a candidate for the best rivalry in Ring of Honor history. ****½

Amazing Kong & Daizee Haze vs. Sara Del Rey & Lacey
“Man Up!” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 9.15.2007

This is Kong’s debut. Lacey was involved with the Age of the Fall debut earlier, so seeing her in a normal tag match later is a bit jarring. Sara makes Haze pay for her opening strikes with several backbreakers. Haze takes out Lacey and tags Kong, who squares off with SHIMMER Champion Sara. Kong clobbers Sara with a clothesline against the ropes and lands a running splash for two. Kong splashes Sara in the corner for a one count. It takes two single-leg dropkicks and a kick to the chest to take Kong off of her feet. Sara tags Lacey after taking Kong down again with a crossbody, but Kong quickly knocks Lacey down with a body block. Sara pulls Haze’s hair when she hits the ropes, enabling Lacey to attack her from behind and Sara to knock her down with a headbutt. Lacey and Sara beat down Haze until she victory rolls her way over to Kong for a tag. Kong forearms Lacey off of the apron and clotheslines Sara before military pressing Haze to the floor onto both opponents. In the ring, Kong backfists Sara and lands a splash off of the second turnbuckle, but Lacey breaks up the pin. Kong makes Lacey pay with a backfist of her own. A pair of running boots and a forearm smash from Sara take Kong off of her feet. Kong maneuvers Sara into the Implant Buster for two. Sara ducks a Backfist and German suplexes Kong for two. Kong clotheslines both opponents down. Haze Heart Punches Lacey into a powerbomb from Kong, then comes off the top with a splash. Sara breaks up the pin and Kong drags her outside to continue their fight. Meanwhile, Haze gives Lacey the Mind Trip for the pin at 14:48. Kong stole the show in her debut, with the crowd loving everything she did. This was a good match to set up her SHIMMER title match with Sara Del Rey and give the crowd something special for the non-PPV portion of the event. ***¼

ROH World Championship
Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness
“Undeniable” – Edison, NJ – 10.6.2007

Morishima has been champion since 2.17.2007 and this is his twenty-first defense. Morishima blocks the Jawbreaker Lariat with a side slam and bowls over McGuinness with a roll. McGuinness looks to take a break on the floor and ends up having his hammer locked shoulder sent into a ring post. Morishima focuses his attack on McGuinness’ arm back inside the ring. When McGuinness looks to fire up, Morishima pummels him down to a seated position in the corner and hits him in the ear. Two lariats take Morishima down after McGuinness escapes the Backdrop Driver. McGuinness blasts him with an uppercut in the corner before taking him down with another lariat. Morishima blocks a Jawbreaker Lariat and knocks down McGuinness with a clothesline of his own. Morishima splashes him in the corner before delivering a dropkick off the top turnbuckle for two. Morishima comes off the top turnbuckle again, and this time McGuinness shuts him down in mid-air with a lariat. Morishima boots McGuinness to block his corner headstand kick and delivers the Backdrop Driver for two. McGuinness cuts off Morishima climbing the ropes. When Morishima resists the Tower of London, McGuinness delivers a superplex instead for two. Morishima gives McGuinness a lariat of his own. McGuinness rolls up from the momentum of taking another Backdrop Driver, using that to hit the Jawbreaker Lariat. The crowd goes nuts when Morishima kicks out from McGuinness’ subsequent pin attempt. McGuinness halts a super Backdrop Driver attempt with a Sunset Bomb. McGuinness slaps Morishima repeatedly before delivering a lariat. Morishima roars as he kicks out of McGuinness’s pin at one. Morishima hip attacks McGuinness, and McGuinness uses that momentum to hit another Jawbreaker Lariat to get the win and win the World title at 14:21. The fans went absolutely bonkers for this title change. It felt like a long time coming for McGuinness, and a hard fought victory as well. The match itself was not as good as their previous two encounters, but it was still really good and made for a memorable moment.. ***½

GHC Heavyweight Championship
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. KENTA
“Glory By Honor VI, Night 2” – New York, NY – 11.3.2007

Misawa has been champion since 12.10.2006 and this is his seventh defense. KENTA backs Misawa to the corner and slaps him in the face repeatedly. Just two forearm shots knock KENTA to the mat. KENTA takes him down with repeated chest kicks and comes off the top with a knee strike to the back of his neck. KENTA does more damage to his neck with a headscissors and gives him the slingshot head kick before applying a grounded headlock. Misawa elbows KENTA to the floor and sends him crashing into the barricades. In the ring, a dazed KENTA ends up knocked down in a strike exchange, but is able to catch Misawa with a powerslam.KENTA takes out Misawa with a couple of boots and s springboard elbow. Misawa however ends up knocking KENTA to the floor and sending him into the barricades with an elbow suicida. Back in the ring Misawa hits the Tiger Driver for two. KENTA catches Misawa on the top turnbuckle with a running boot. Misawa forearms him down, but KENTA catches Misawa coming off the top with a knee strike to the chest. KENTA follows up with a running knee strike and Tiger suplex for two. KENTA blocks the Butterfly Suplex with the Go 2 Sleep for two. Misawa gives him the Emerald Flowsion for two. KENTA delivers the Busaiku Knee but is too worn down to follow up with a pin attempt. Misawa ducks a kick and forearms KENTA thrice. More elbows from Misawa lead to him delivering a second Emerald Flowsion to score the pin at 18:31. While this by no means was a classic, it was neat to see Misawa in a singles match in the U.S. and for ROH to host a GHC Heavyweight title match. Misawa definitely worked harder than he did the night before too. ***½

ROH World Championship
Nigel McGuinness vs. Austin Aries
“Rising Above” – New York, NY – 12.29.2007

McGuinness has been champion since 10.6.2007 and this is his third defense. McGuinness’ left shoulder is taped up, and that’s where Aries targets immediately. McGuinness rolls to the floor when Aries slaps him in the face. As McGuinness is bad mouthing some fans, Aries gives McGuinness the Heat-Seeking Missile causing him to collide head first with the guardrail and a cut to be opened over his right eye. McGuinness lariats Aries on the floor, but back in the ring, Aries takes back over as they switch a full mount position while punching one another. McGuinness has blood in both eyes as Aries wears him down with a side headlock. McGuinness blocks two of Aries’ dropkicks, so Aries kicks him in the chest and attacks McGuinness’ wound and shoulder. McGuinness drives Aries into the mat with a hammerlock divorce court and sends him retreating to the ropes after a lariat. McGuinness repeatedly drives Aries’ head into the mat while holding him in a choke. Aries rolls him into a neck and shoulder stretch. McGuinness uses the ropes to break that and also a Rings of Saturn. Aries counters McGuinness’ corner headstand with a dropkick, sending him to the floor. McGuinness uppercuts Aries to block another Heat-Seeking Missile, then gives him the Tower of London onto the floor. Aries initially blocks a Tower of London inside the ring, but after McGuinness gets his boot up to block the IED, McGuinness successfully hits the Tower of London for two. Aries avoids both the London Dungeon and Jawbreaker Lariat, trapping McGuinness in the ropes and using a slingshot double axe handle to drive him to the floor. Aries sends McGuinness into the barricades and follows up with a running knee strike into the barricades. Aries attempts a brainbuster after unloading with repeated back elbows in the corner. McGuinness counters by placing Aries onto the top rope and sending him to the floor with a lariat! McGuinness attempts a running uppercut into the barricades. Aries stops him and gives McGuinness a brainbuster onto the top of the barricades! Aries lands the IED and a brainbuster, but McGuinness gets his knees up to block his 450 splash, the same move that won Aries the ROH World Title at Final Battle 2004. Aries escapes the London Dungeon, delivers a brainbuster, then puts on the Last Chancery. McGuinness uses the ropes to escape, and engages in an open hand strike exchange with Aries. Aries blocks the Jawbreaker Lariat with a clothesline and tries the Last Chancery again. McGuinness lariats him in the back of the head, and Aries flips forward onto the back of his head. Aries kicks McGuinness away to block the London Dungeon. However, McGuinness uses the momentum from being kicked into the ropes to hit the Jawbreaker Lariat and get the pin at 23:17. This match was so awesome. The crowd hated McGuinness and only got hotter as the match wore on. Each fall received a larger response, and with each of Aries nearfalls it felt like McGuiness’ title was slipping away. That made the ending so great, as McGuiness used momentum from Aries’ offense to take him down. The very unfortunate head injury McGuinness suffered added a lot to the drama of the match as well. This was one of McGuinness’ best World title defenses, and I would absolutely hear arguments for it being his best. ****½

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black)
“Final Battle 2007”- New York, NY – 12.30.2007

The Briscoes have been champions since 3.30.2007 and this is their twentieth defense. Lacey is in the Age of the Fall’s corner and Daize Haze is in the Briscoes corner. Jay is a one man wrecking crew to start, with Mark taking out Black outside with a whip into the barricades and a suplex. Jacobs is then Double Beele tossed onto the entrance ramp! The Briscoes pummel Black inside the ring while Lacey helps Jacobs recover. The Briscoes have Black set up for the Doomsday Device when Jacobs trips Mark off the apron and spears Jay. Black dropkicks Mark to the floor, stopping his springboard offensive plan. The Age of the Fall then beat down Jay as Mark recovers. Jay escapes their grasp by avoiding a superplex from Black and sending him into the second turnbuckle with a Complete Shot. Mark uses redneck kung-fu on Black and gives Jacobs a fisherman’s buster. Mark springboard splashes onto Black for two. Black catches Mark in a tree of woe, and he takes tandem dropkicks from AOTF. Jay military press Jacobs to the floor. Black clotheslines Jay to the floor and drops Mark with Paroxysm for two. Black succumbs to the Redneck Boogie moments later.Jay gets two with a Falcon Arrow, but Jacobs saves Black from a Jay Driller after taking out Mark on the outside of the ring. Jay halts Jacobs on the top rope, looking for a Super Jay Driller, but Black sneaks in from underneath and the AOTF take down Jay with a Doomsday Huracanrana for two. Jacobs senton splashes Jay into a Burning Hammer from Black and then locks Jay in the End Time. Mark saves Jay with a springboard double stomp and powerbombs Jacobs for two. Mark sets him up for the Cut-Throat Driver. Black chop blocks Mark to save and sends both Briscoes to the floor. Black ascends the ropes, but the Briscoes end up surprising him with a Doomsday Device off of the ring apron and to the floor! Mark then delivers the Cut-Throat Driver to Jacobs for two. The Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device on Jacobs, and Black from out of nowhere dives in to stop the pin. Black and Jay fight on the floor while Jacobs and Mark fight in the corner. Black tosses Jay into the barricades with a running powerbomb. Mark looks for a Super Cut-Throat Driver. Black stops him and comes from underneath him onto the second rope. The Age of the Fall hit the Skyscraper Contra Code/powerbomb combo, and Black followed up with a Phoenix Splash to win the match and the titles at 18:56. There was a lot of fun, exciting offense in this match, and the fans responded to each momentum swing and pinfall save. There just wasn’t a coherent story to hold everything together, which loses it some points. Nevertheless, it was a huge win for the Age of the Fall, setting them up as THE people to watch in Ring of Honor in Year Seven. ***½

Disc One
Disc Two

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