Home > Uncategorized > ROH DVD Reviews – “Time to Man Up”, “Fight of the Century”, and “Unified”.

ROH DVD Reviews – “Time to Man Up”, “Fight of the Century”, and “Unified”.

I’ve taken advantage of sales in the past couple weeks to buy seven (SEVEN!) ROH DVDs. Unfortunately I can’t plow through them like I used to (in other words when I was unemployed), so I’m taking my sweet time watching them. Quick reviews of the shows I’ve watched thus far…

*Note: Matches are rated on a star scale of one (*) to five (*****), and overall shows are rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Anybody reading long enough knows the drill by now.

TIME TO MAN UP – Long Island, NY 8/4/06
Bryan Danielson vs. Jack Evans (Non-Title Match) – **1/2. One of two matches meant as “warm-ups” for the “Fight of the Century” the following evening between Danielson and Samoa Joe. It’s kept short and isn’t a total squash, but nothing extraordinary. Not really meant to be either.
Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal vs. Irish Airborne – ***1/2. Daniels and Sydal make a surprisingly good team, and Irish Airborne’s starting to grow on me.
Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli – ***.
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. BJ Whitmer & Adam Pearce vs. Homicide & Ricky Reyes vs. Jimmy Rave & Sal Rinuaro (ROH World Tag Team Title Ultimate Endurance Match) – **1/2. An okay mess.
Nigel McGuinness vs. Delirious (Pure Title Match) – ***. Not much of a match in terms of workrate but it’s entertaining as all get-out, especially once the crowd starts getting behind Delirious.
Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. KENTA & Davey Richards – ***. Good hard-hitting affair, and the Briscoes as always make Davey Richards look like a million bucks even though there’s a couple moments where his inexperience shows.
Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles – ***1/2. Unfortunately, it’s a little disappointing in that both guys do what comes across as a by-the-numbers match for these two. Fortunately, a by-the-numbers match for these two is better than any by-the-numbers match that most other guys would put on.
OVERALL RATING – 6.0/10 It’s one of those DVDs that’s worth getting if there’s a sale on or when it gets reduced to $10. The show exists solely to hype the following show, which it does fairly well.

FIGHT OF THE CENTURY – Edison, NJ 8/5/06
Colt Cabana vs. Sal Rinuaro – ***. Sal Rinauro plays the doof lackey role so well that it makes me even sadder knowing The Embassy is through and Prince Nana left ROH (if anybody knows the story behind why he’s gone I’d like to know). Entertaining comedy match.
Shane Hagadorn vs. Bobby Dempsey (Top of the Class Trophy) – NULL. Match literally lasts all of 3 seconds. Hagadorn has good heel charisma, he just needs to hit the gym and stop blowing more spots than a slutty dalmatian. It served as a lead-in for a Pearce & Corino promo setting up the tag team match later on in the disc.
Nigel McGuiness vs. Jay Lethal vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Christopher Daniels (Four Corner Survival Match) – ***1/2. It’s fairly short for a 4 Corners match and for the four participants involved, but the last couple minutes are fantastic.
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Jack Evans & Matt Sydal vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Irish Airborne (ROH World Tag Team Title Ultimate Endurance Match) – ****. MUCH better than the Ultimate Endurance match on the “Time to Man Up” DVD.
Homicide & BJ Whitmer vs. Steve Corino & Adam Pearce – ***.
KENTA vs. Davey Richards – ****. Davey’s best match yet, which isn’t hard to do against Kenta, but he hit everything he needed to hit and looked great. If he keeps putting on performances like this, I won’t be quite as annoyed when the Fatty McDorkinson’s on the internet rave about him being the future of professional wrestling.
Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe (ROH World Title Match) – ***1/2. It’s a lot better in concept and on paper than it was in execution. They decided to go long with the match, and for some reason they started falling apart in the last twenty minutes despite pacing themselves well for the first forty. Kind of a letdown.
OVERALL – 7.0/10 There’s some very worthwhile stuff on here, but it was hurt by the main event not delivering. Though that apparently is just my opinion, since everyone else seemed to freaking love that match. Oh well.

UNIFIED – Liverpool, UK 8/12/06
Matt Sydal vs. Colt Cabana vs. Spud vs. Jonny Storm – ***1/2. Good opener. Cabana’s over in the UK to the point of ridiculousness. The crowd gave Spud a ton of shit for some reason…maybe he works heel over there? *shrug*
Davey Richards vs. Jimmy Rave – ***1/2. The best of the three matches I’ve seen these two have. ROH is smart to put Richards in the ring with someone like Rave who’s comically underrated by the fans but is one of the more talented guys on the roster.
BJ Whitmer vs. Claudio Castagnoli – **1/2. Short with some good brawling. The storyline during the match was that Castagnoli was the one CZW guy Whitmer felt he needed to dispatch, which they probably should’ve made clearer in the weeks leading up to the event. It serves more as a segue to…
Colt Cabana vs. Chris Hero – ****. Chris Hero is the best pure heel on the indy scene today, hands down. The crowd really helped with this match too, since they hated on Hero and as mentioned above fucking LOOOOOOVE Colt Cabana.
Doug Williams & Jody Fleisch vs. SUWA & Go Shiozaki – ***. Really good whenever Jody Fleisch wasn’t in the ring. I thought it was just me until the crowd started riding him hard in the final minutes. DI’ve seen Doug Williams in matches from 2003 and 2004, and he looked okay. Here, he looked fantastic and seems to have improved leaps and bounds. SUWA might be an acquired taste if this match is any indication, but his heel persona’s terrific and he sells it well.
Robbie Brookside vs. Chad Collyer (FWA Title Match) – **. I almost blew my brains out during this match. Brookside has been wrestling since 1984, which you wouldn’t know because he looks like a 23-year-old kid trying to look like Edge. Oh, and Chad Collyer sucks. Okay, maybe he doesn’t SUCK suck, but he’s boring as Hell and totally indy bush-league in his heel mannerisms.
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe (ROH World Tag Team Title Match) – *****. Seriously the best tag team match I’ve seen in a long LONG time, and that statement would still hold up if the tag team scene in North America hadn’t gone to shit in the last five years. This match alone would be worth the $20 if it weren’t for…
Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness (ROH World Title vs. Pure Title Unification Match) – *****. Forget Joe/Danielson, THIS is the Fight of the Century. Nigel worked face and looked so goddamn heroic in the match that he made me forget that the match was three months ago and I found out the result the day after. They also did a spectacular opening video package highlighting the feud and the two participants, which they should really do more often on these DVDs.
OVERALL – 9.5/10. Minus the Brookside/Collyer match, top-to-bottom this card is on par with (and I would argue better than) the better installments of the Milestone series. It was ROH’s first ever show in the United Kingdom, and if this crowd was any indication they should make it an annual event. Definitely go out of your way to pick this up.

UPCOMING
ANARCHY IN THE U.K. – Broxbourne, UK 8/13/06 – Could ROH have come up with a more cliche title for this show? The ROH roster takes on wrestlers from Britain and Japan, all of whom are on the previous disc. Also, Chad Collyer makes another unwelcome appearance, but the main event of Danielson and Strong should make up for it.

EPIC ENCOUNTER II – St. Paul, MN 8/25/06 – Features the Briscoes taking on Irish Airborne (the last match was a lot of fun and I expect this to be just as much), Matt Sydal vs. Delirious, and Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness in a 2 out of 3 Falls match. REALLY looking forward to this one.

GUT CHECK – Chicago Ridge, IL 8/26/06 – Headlined by Bryan Danielson defending his ROH World Title in yet another 2 out of 3 falls match against Colt Cabana. Also on the card – the Briscoes take on Homicide & Davey Richards, Austin Aries & Roderick Strong defend the tag straps against Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal, and BJ Whitmer tries to get through a match without killing poor Jimmy Jacobs.

GLORY BY HONOR V, NIGHT 2 – New York, NY 9/16/06 – It’s the big one from New York City and ROH’s debut in the famed Hammserstein Ballroom, home of the largest contingent of overly smarky fans in the world. Homicide seeks to extract final revenge against The Briscoes by teaming with Samoa Joe, Austin Aries & Roderick Strong defend their tag titles in a long-awaited match with The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli), Naomichi Marufuji defends the GHC Heavyweight Title (the main belt for the Pro Wrestling NOAH promotion in Japan) against Nigel McGuinness in what is supposedly a fantastic match, and Bryan Danielson defends the ROH Title against KENTA.

I know this statement’s going to come across as pretentious and annoying, but thank God for ROH. With WWE is focusing its efforts on pushing 40-year-olds cracking bad jokes that I thought were lame when I was 12 and making internet cartoons about Vince McMahon’s ass and TNA doing its best to overbook itself into oblivion, ROH is the only thing keeping me active as far as being a fan of wrestling is concerned.

I had a good weekend. I’ll write about it after work.

More later…

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