Ring of Honor has begun releasing the last 6 DVDs of 2006 shows, I picked this one up.
*-Poor. Nothing worth seeing.
**-Solid. Some good stuff, some bad.
***-Good. All around fine match but with little to no spark.
****-Great. Everything clicked.
*****-Amazing. Running high on all cylinders.
Brent Albright vs. El Generico **½
The generic luchador El Generico makes his "return" to Ring of Honor after a few years and even then he only did a handful of shows. His opponent formerly WWEs Gunner Scott, Brent Albright. Pretty straight forward match. Generico with some basic luche libre style moves, nothing fancy but it says it in his name. Just a fun wrestler. Albright is a monster. Though he looked relatively normal sized in WWE, in ROH he's one of the biggest athletes and fights a very hard hitting style of strikes and suplexes. Match was pretty short with Albright hitting the german suplex/half nelson suplex combo and going into the fujiwara armbar. Couple of slow spots where Albright looked confused, but I'm assuming its just Albright getting use to working with a wrestler he had no familiarity with.
Skipped Hagadorn vs. Dempsey
Delirious vs. Jason Blade **½
Delirious is just entertaining. His incoherent speech pattern, ring presence, and surprising skill make him a fun wrestler to watch and here's taking on another "returning" wrestler looking for a full time spot in Jason Blade. Blades solid, some nice high flying moves but doesn't have it in my opinion. He tries some interesting things like a weird "reverse swinging" powerslam or rolling belly to back suplexes but just doesn't seem to really do much for me. Delirious had fun, had a camel clutch and was pulling on the face or mouth, when the ref would count he would release and count "4!" loudly. Delirious pulls out a submission victory and Delirious tries to make Blade look like a threat but I don't feel it. All in all, about equatable to a solid WWE TV match.
Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer ***½
Not really a match as the ref gets thrown out early on for this fight between former tag champions turned rivals. Whitmer a heavyweight dwarfs the much smaller Jimmy Jacobs but it was a good fight with some nice spots. Including a flying hurricarana off the guardrail by Jimmy, BJ with overhead exploder suplex on steel ramp or powerbombing Jacobs back first over the steel guardrail. The match gets real twisted when Jacobs takes a railroad spike and starts stabbing Whitmer who trades the favor. The two also strike the ref as he tries returning and putting order into the fight. Nice reverse hurricarana by Jacobs with Whitmer bouncing up and hitting him with the lariat spot. Its cool to see Jacobs at 5'7 and 170 pounds try going strike for strike the 6'1 232 Whitmer. The ending comes as Jacobs manager Lacey is in the ring, berating the two and Daizee Haze coming out and chasing her off. Then officials stopping the match.
Roderick Strong(c) vs. Shingo-FIP Heavyweight Title **½
Been hearing bad things about Shingo, or mixed reviews and I think he's fine in this match against the hard hitting Roderick Strong. Shingos style comes off as a WWE heavyweight adjusted to the Japanese puroresu style. Hits lariats and powerbombs and has a good heel ring attitude. he's a ways off from being all put together as sometimes he seemed off. Strong does his usual stick, blistering chops and his grouping of powermoves. The match wasn't spectacular but fun. The tiger driver on the chair for the win.
Kings of Wrestling(c) vs. "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal-ROH World Tag Titles***
This was a solid match. It started off with the Kings(Chris Hero and Double C Claudio Castagnoli) playing the annoying, cowardly heels. Nice piece in the beginning where Daniels slaps Hero and does Hero and Claudios signature poses as insult. The match starts with the challengers working over one half of the champs and making them look ineffectual and then the champs taking Daniels. Eventually Daniels makes the hot tag to Sydal who goes super high flyer. The match breaks down and we get some high flying to the floor and big moves to one another. Sydal does a neat move where he stands on Claudios shoulders after Double C attempts a powerbomb, then comes down with the DDT. He also reverses the KOWs finisher into a nice hurricarana hold and gets his team the win. Pretty good match that built some good heat but felt it ended too early, right as things begin to really get under way.
The thing about the Kings are there a love them or hate them team. both employ versions of the European style(catch, counter, chain wrestling), their tag team moves seem too complex at times, and they use a lot of stalling and cowardly heel work. Seeing them in Chikara shows me they are also playing a different version of KOW in Ring of Honor so this doesn't exactly showcase what they could do. I have two problems with this match really, 1)Daniels and Sydal don't feel like a tag team to me. Ironically each man had a successful tag team with AJ Styles. 2)The styles of these two teams don't seem to click. Still, good, solid match.
Nigel McGuiness vs. Jimmy Rave ***½
I've always liked Rave and right here he reinvents himself a second time. First he went from being a mat wrestler/high flyer to being the cowardly heel and now he attempts to go to being a serious in ring threat in the wake of his stable, the Embassy, falling apart. McGuiness is on a roll now. Just an imposing wrestler who actually relies on his strikes and European style rather then do any sort of powermoves. The first one on one of these two and Rave does good in trying to keep up on the mat against the better wrestler. He does a few little things that really show the differences between the two. Where as you'd knock Rave down he'd escape away, here he nips up and looks over to McGuiness. McGuiness uses his usual strategy of working the arm including this odd submission here he locks an arm in his legs then takes the other arm behind himself and bridges back onto it. Rave holds his own going with some strikes and a handful of powermoves. Rave does a nice STO takedown on the apron, McGuiness pulls out a variation of his pendulum lariat when Rave tries throwing him inside the ring, McGuinness off the bottom two ropes and nails Rave hard. Good heat and McGuiness wins with the real pendulum lariat.
Afterwards McGuiness puts Rave over and then tries having fun with him throwing toilet paper(reference to Raves Embassy days) this snaps Rave who smacks him. Chris Daniels tries breaking it up with rave leaving the building and McGuiness wanting some more of Rave.
Davey Richards vs. Austen Aries ***½
A rematch of sorts as Aries pinned Richards in both a singles and tag encounter. The best one on one affair of the show has Aries making Richards look like a fool partly in the beginning by mimicking some of Richards standards or avoiding them entirely. Richards does the same a few times but doesn't have that ability to capture the same kind of disrespect Aries had. Richards works over the arm pretty well as Austen Aries fights back with some of his high flying moves and hard strikes. Richards is being built up as one of ROHs premiere strikers but Aries is just as good when he's trying. There was nothing too fancy here other then two men trying to show one another up and being in general a heated match. Mad Richards won, I just can't find myself liking that guy.
Samoa Joe & Homicide vs. Jay & Mark Briscoes-Falls Count Anywhere Elimination ***
Really this match was mostly a brawl with some nice spots. they fought in the crowd and there was a fun bit where Joe donned a hockey helmet and stick(the arena was a hockey stadium) and Homicide throws Jay into Joe how slams him into the wall. Then puts a chair over Jays lower region, hits it with the stick. The highlight move would be Marks insane shooting star press of the lighting system onto Joe. Some other spots was Homicide suing his managers cigar to burn Marks arm and both Joe and Cide hitting their respective moves to eliminate the Briscoes at the same time.
My nitpicking was the lack of heat from the fans. They weren't disrespectful but usually more quiet. A good audience can elevate a match and that didn't happen here. Overall a fine show and I'm glad I ordered as I haven't seen new ROH in almost a month and the last DVD I got had only one match I really liked and the others were probably not over **½ for me. Chicago Spectacular night 1 and night 2 are next up which I'll get. Then the final two shows, for which I will get final Battle 2006 which sounded like an awesome show all the way through.