hardcore

DVD Release Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2013

~DISC 1~

MATCH #1: Boston Massacre Match – Da Hit Squad vs. The Carnage Crew, Honor Invades Boston, 8.24.02

What did I do wrong in my life to deserve having the Carnage Crew be a part of it? A Boston Massacre Match is basically an Anything Goes Match. DeVito and Mafia fight on the floor while Monsta Mack and Loc fight in the ring. Mafia gets in the ring and hits Loc with a release German Suplex. Devito goes outside the ring to grab some barbed wire and he uses that to punch Mafia in the head. Mafia is busted open but he still makes a comeback and gives DeVito a taste of his own medicine with the barbed wire. More garbage brawling takes place in and out of the ring, as the camera work reminds me of “The Blair Witch Project.” It’s actually distracting, not that I think I’m missing much. In the ring Mack wraps barbed wire around Loc’s head to bust him open. Everyone is bleeding now. Chairs get involved and the match spills backstage, or behind a curtain, if you want to be literal. Da Hit Squad found two barbed wire boards and the Carnage Crew says bring it on. Nobody goes through them at first, so the brawling continues. DeVito cracks Mafia in the head with a hubcap. Mack misses a Frog Splash. He’s the first one thrown into one of the barb wire planks. Mafia spears DeVito through the other plank and that hurt both guys. He then hits Loc with the Burning Hammer to get the win at 11:03. That was just garbage for the sake of garbage, violence for the sake of violence.
Rating: *

MATCH #2: Barbed Wire Match – Homicide vs. Steve Corino, War of the Wire, 11.29.03

Homicide is accompanied by Julius Smokes, and he’s wearing the old school Natural Born Sinners jumpsuit. Corino has his entourage with him, including Chuck “Guillotine” LeGrande. Both men are cautious in the early going and Homicide backs Corino to the edge of the ring, causing Corino to slip to the floor. That seemed like an accident. Back in the ring they try to force each other into the wire. Homicide takes a powder. Back in the ring they continue to battle each other and try to avoid the barbed wire. Corino hits a low blow and whips Homicide into the wire. He rubs Homicide’s face in it, causing the blood to flow. Corino catapults Homicide into the wire. Homicide finds a steel chair while Corino finds a barbed wire baseball bat. Corino misses with the bat and Homicide cracks him with the chair. Homicide then hits a DDT on the barbed wire bat, which busts him open. Things get even sicker as Homicide busts out the fork. They slide out under the wire and take their fight to the floor. Homicide continues the barbaric assault with the fork and the bat. Corino fights back and monkey flips Homicide into the wire. That’s nasty. They go back to the floor and Corino whips Homicide into the guardrail. Corino suplexes Homicide into the wire and he just hangs there. When Corino grabs a chair Smokes comes over and shoves him, causing a mini-scene on the floor. Corino then punches Homicide squarely in the nuts. Back in the ring Homicide fights back and stupidly hits the face wash, which hurls himself into the wire. Homicide hits a t-bone suplex through a barbed wire table. Corino fights back with the Attitude Adjustment and then locks on the Cobra Sleeper. Homicide powers up and backs Corino into the table. He then hits an Ace Crusher for two. Homicide goes to the floor and finds the steel cage door used last night and throws it into the ring, hitting Corino in the head! Chris Lovey and CM Punk on commentary are aghast that the match would even continue, but Corino recovers in about three seconds so their shock doesn’t really resonate. Corino’s entourage gets in the ring to set up the cage door on top of a few chairs, and Corino hits a Northern Lights Bomb onto it. Homicide recovers right away and hits the Shining Wizard and then locks on the STF. LeGrande goes into a suitcase and pulls out rubbing alcohol and throws it in Homicide’s eyes! Smokes and LeGrande get into a little sissy fight on the floor. Corino hits a lariat for a one-count and then lands two straight piledrivers. LeGrande gives Corino protective gloves and Corino wraps Homicide in barbed wire before applying the Cobra Sleeper! Smokes has no choice but to throw in the towel and Corino gets the win at 20:52. Fans of this kind of match will likely love this one, and I certainly give both guys a lot of credit for the amount of punishment they willingly took. It just does get a little hard to get behind a match when the commentators are saying a man’s career is over and five seconds later he’s up on his feet like nothing’s wrong. I understand that the hatred propelled them to fight hard against each other but this one went a little overboard in that regard. That being said this is a good match for its type and definitely something different for Ring of Honor, so it’s worth taking a look at.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #3: ROH World Title Steel Cage Match – Samoa Joe vs. Jay Briscoe, At Our Best, 3.13.04

Joe has been the Champion since 3.22.03, and this is his fifteenth defense. You can win this match by pinfall, submission, knockout, or escape. Jay goes for the door right away but Joe is all like “eff that!” Joe is aggressive with the challenger, but even so Jay is able to hit a big Mafia Kick. Jay continually goes for the door as brother Mark encourages him, but Joe is able to keep him in the cage. Joe rams Jay into the cage wall and then chains the door shut! Jay is busted open something fierce. Joe executes the Big Joe Combo for a two-count. The Champ is looking like a monster here, throwing the bloody Jay around the cage. Blood is literally pouring out of Jay’s head, but amazingly he is able to fight back with some kicks. Jay tries to climb out of the cage but Joe brings him down with a Super Back Drop Driver! The massacre continues but Jay hits his own Back Drop Driver from out of nowhere! They fight up near the top of the cage again and Jay hits a Super Ace Crusher! Both men rise and start throwing strikes. Jay hits a low blow and a big lariat. He tries to escape but Joe joins him up on top. Jay boots Joe down but then loses his balance and crashes down as well. Joe hits a modified Ole Kick against the cage and the wall breaks! Mark tries to pull the cage wall out so Jay can crawl to the floor but Joe fights to pull him back in. That’s a great spot. Joe hits the powerbomb and turns it into the STF. Referees are arguing with Mark on the floor. Jay will not quit despite the massive blood loss. He’s even able to hit a Jay Driller! Mark climbs up on the side of the cage but AJ Styles comes out to the rescue, pulling Mark down into the Styles Clash on the floor! That’s sick. Jay tries to escape but Joe grabs him and hits a Super Muscle Buster to finally put Jay away and end the feud at 14:15. What a spectacle. The Briscoes feud with Joe definitely made them in the eyes of ROH fans, and they’re still one of the most over acts in the company eight years later. This match in particular is a fantastic monster versus underdog fight, but with the usual heel and face roles reversed. Both guys did it perfectly and Jay’s effort considering the blood loss is insane.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #4: Scramble Cage II – The Carnage Crew vs. Special K, At Our Best, 3.13.04

This is War Games style, and it’s HC Loc and Dixie starting it off. Loc uses a belt to whip poor Dixie. Things are looking bad for Special K when Dixie throws powder in Loc’s eyes to blind him. Surprisingly the Carnage Crew has the numbers advantage, and DeVito is the next man in the ring. DeVito dominates for a minute and then Deranged is the net man in to technically even the sides. The Carnage Crew continues to control most of the action, and Masada is up next. Izzy enters the ring as well, even though it’s not his turn. Masada brings a ladder in the ring and brings it up to the top of the platform, where he battles Izzy. This looks dangerous. Izzy hits a moonsault dropkick to knock Masada down and he falls into a sea of people on the floor. Now all the Special K members get in the cage and there are too many of them to name. Justin Credible comes in and tries to help out but the numbers here are ridiculous. Dusty Rhodes makes his way out to help the Crew! Ox Baker then ambles his way out to beat up Dusty. What the hell? The Crew reclaims control and Credible uses a Singapore Cane with great effect. The fight even spills outside the cage and multiple people are bleeding. Masada goes to the top of the cage and does a 360 off the platform to wipe out most of Special K. Loc and DeVito set up two tables in the ring, and then trap Angeldust on one of the platforms. DeVito then hits Angeldust with the Carnage Driver through the two tables to get the pin at 12:14. With the 88 members of Special K involved in this match they at least were able to keep this one from getting boring by having a lot going on. It was not particularly memorable outside of the finish though.
Rating: **

MATCH #5: Chicago Street Fight – CM Punk & Ace Steel vs. Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer, Death Before Dishonor II Pt. 2, 7.24.04

Everyone’s wearing jeans, so you know it’s on now. This match is Non Sanctioned. Maff and Whitmer stall on the floor and threaten to walk out on the match. Contact is finally made about two minutes in when Maff and Whitmer pull Punk and Steel to the floor and throwing them around a bit. Back in the ring they throw Punk to the floor and double-team Steel. Punk pulls Whitmer to the floor and then gets in the ring for some double-teaming. Whitmer tries to get back in the ring off the top rope but Punk catches him and hits an Exploder. Steel throws Whitmer to the floor. Punk nails Maff with a cross body off the top rope. Steel tries to plancha out on Whitmer, but he runs into a chair instead. Punk then tastes the steel chair as well. Steel and Punk are already busted open. All four men make it back to the ring. Maff and Whitmer are totally in control, and they whip Punk and Steel with their belts. The Saints come back and go on offense. Whitmer hits Punk with a back elbow and everyone goes back to the floor. Steel throws Maff into the barricade. Whitmer introduces a table and Steel takes him out and throws him into the barricade too. Punk goes into the crowd to get a running start for a leaping lariat over the guardrail. Punk throws both a ladder and a chair into the ring. He holds the chair in front of Maff’s face for Steel to hit a running dropkick in the corner. The Saints trap Maff’s head in between the ladder and bash it with a steel chair. Maff is busted open now. Meanwhile the Saints find a creative use for a table, a ladder, and a chair at the same time to bust Whitmer open. Punk beats on Whitmer in the ring. Steel works on Maff outside the ring. Punk brings the barbed wire 2×4 in, and Whitmer covers his head so Punk hits him on the arm. He hits Maff in the gut and across the back with it. Whitmer’s arm is bleeding now too. Out of desperation Maff and Whitmer fight back. Whitmer hits Punk with a board-assisted Russian Legsweep. Maff hits Punk in the groin with the barbed wire board. Steel gets the same treatment. Maff brings the big barbed wire board in the ring. Punk goes for a swinging DDT but Whitmer shoves him off and Punk lands on the barbed wire. Whitmer goes for an exploder but Steel stops him and goes for a suplex. Maff moves the board so Whitmer doesn’t have to feel the barbed wire. Punk tries to throw Maff through the barbed wire board set up in the corner, but Maff reverses the momentum and cannonballs Punk through it! Steel gets Maff back in the ring and throws him through the remaining section of the barbed wire board. He hits a Pearl River Plunge for a two-count. Back in the ring all four men have a chair in their hands and they look ready for war. Maff and Whitmer deliver the first shots, and then they take their shots as well. They chop each other and then deliver chair shots once again. Punk and Steel come back with a couple of brutal chair shots in their own right. Maff and Whitmer go to the floor and start throwing chairs in the ring and the fans follow suit! It’s an official chair riot as the ring fills up with chairs. All four men get back in the ring and fight on top of the chairs. Maff hits Punk with a half-nelson suplex. Punk comes back with a German Suplex on Maff. Steel and Maff are fighting outside the ring. Maff sets up a ladder in between the barricades and slams Steel on it. Whitmer goes up to the top rope to dive on him, but Punk breaks that up by slamming Whitmer back on the pile of chairs. Steel recovers and slams the ladder into Maff’s face a few times. He sets Maff on the ladder and Punk dives off the top rope right on top of Maff. Steel goes after Whitmer back in the ring. They battle up on the top rope and Steel grabs Whitmer in a Super Tombstone through a table and onto the pile of chairs to get the pin at 27:41. That was a sick match with tons of blood and brutal spots. This was a great way to end the feud and totally felt big-time. These guys took a lot of abuse for our enjoyment.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #6: Boston Street Fight – BJ Whitmer & Dan Maff vs. The Carnage Crew, Weekend of Thunder Night 1, 11.5.04

Everyone starts out slugging it out and trying big moves to hurt each other. The fight spills to the floor and DeVito is the first one busted open. Loc takes Whitmer into the crowd with a flying body press. DeVito hits Maff with a DDT on the steel ramp. Weapons get involved and the Carnage Crew has been in control for most of the match. Eventually more stuff happens and Maff and Whitmer make a comeback. Allison Danger comes out with a couple of trash cans. Chairs and trash cans get involved and Maff throws a chair into Danger’s face. Dick. Whitmer chases Danger backstage, leaving Maff alone. The Crew smash trash cans on either side of Whitmer at the same time and Loc gets the pin at 7:47. This was just garbage with nothing of substance behind it.
Rating: ¾*

MATCH #7: Fight Without Honor – The Carnage Crew vs. Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer, Final Battle 2004, 12.26.04

Loc pairs off with Whitmer while Maff and DeVito do battle in the early going. They all take it to the floor and engage in various levels of brutality. Maff is the first one to use a chair, and he also brings out a ladder. More brawling and hardcore activity continues with little rhyme or reason. Loc and DeVito take control for a good amount of time and use plenty of weapons to their advantage. Ladders get set up and all four men climb up and slug it out. Maff and Loc fall down crotch first on the top rope, and DeVito takes Whitmer down with a Side Effect. All four men are down. Mick Foley makes his way out to take the attention away from the wrestlers. He cuts a promo to reveal a Christmas stocking full of thumb tacks. DeVito hits an Ace Crusher pretty close to the tack pile for a two-count. Things get crazy when Loc delivers a neckbreaker to Maff, from the apron through a table on the floor. Back in the ring Whitmer hits the Wrist-Clutch Exploder on a pile of tacks for the pin at 14:48. That was slightly better than the Boston Street Fight, but mostly more of the same. Foley coming out there was just weird and unnecessary, it just felt forced.
Rating: *½

MATCH #8: Chicago Street Fight – Homicide vs. Colt Cabana, Better Than Our Best, 4.1.06

Cabana starts off on fire, no doubt fired up by being in front of his hometown fans. They take it to the floor and all over the arena, with Cabana in control. In the ring Homicide fires up with a back elbow that sends Cabana right back to the floor. Homicide is in his element on the floor. He produces a coat hanger, which has been a very important weapon in this feud. Cabana is able to get a hold of it and chokes Homicide with it. Homicide uses his momentum to send Cabana to the floor, and then he follows him out with a Tope Con Hilo. They take the fight to the apron but no one is able to execute a maneuver. Cabana grabs a ladder from under the ring and brings it inside. Homicide has recovered and he tries a piledriver but Cabana counters with an Illinois Slam. Cabana then slingshots Homicide into the ladder and then hits a butt-butt for a two-count. Homicide comes back with a sick Tornado DDT onto the ladder for two. They go back to the floor, where Homicide sets Cabana on a table. Homicide goes up top and delivers a splash, breaking the table in the process. He and Smokes go under the ring and produce a barbed wire board. Homicide uses the ladder as a weapon until Cabana reverses a suplex, landing Homicide’s back right on said ladder. Cabana tries to slam Homicide on the barbed wire but Homicide counters with a side Russian Legsweep. They trade some punches and surprisingly Cabana gets the better of it. Cabana grabs the fork out of Homicide’s boot and jabs him with it. Obviously Homicide is bleeding now and Cabana tears into him with the ghetto fork. Homicide is able to pitch Cabana to the floor and get a slight reprieve. He goes under the ring for a bottle of Drain-o. Cabana gets back in the ring before Homicide can do anything with it. He then hits a Tower of London (so now we know where Nigel got the move from. Cabana then gets a bottle of rubbing alcohol and dumps it into Homicide’s open wound. Homicide tries to beg off but Cabana will have none of it. Cabana goes for the Colt .45 but Homicide slips out and hits a blatant low blow. Homicide then encourages the fans to start throwing chairs in the ring, and of course the fans oblige. Cabana takes Homicide up top and delivers a superplex into the pile of chairs! He sets up for another one but Homicide counters with a nasty Pepsi Plunger for a two-count. Homicide hits a Lariat but it only gets two! Smokes gets in the ring and accidentally hits Homicide with a clothesline, and then Cabana drills Homicide with a capture suplex. Cabana undoes his wrist tape and ties Smokes to the top rope. The chairs are mostly cleared out, but both men start setting up tables. Homicide throws a chair at Cabana and puts him on the top rope for a super rana. Cabana counters with a Super Powerbomb through the table onto the barbed wire but it only gets two! He tries a Lariat for another two-count. Finally the Colt .45 is enough to get the pin at 26:33. This was an epic brawl and the perfect way to cap off this feud. The hatred felt real and Cabana literally had to throw everything he had to defeat the Ghetto Thug. This cemented Cabana as a funny guy who could be serious if called upon, and he performed brilliantly.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #9: Cage of Death – Team ROH vs. Team CZW, Death Before Dishonor IV, 7.15.06

There’s this old rule that I choose to invoke for this match: when the commentators decide not to do commentary, I decide not to do play-by-play. See you in about 40 minutes! Here’s a rundown of the highlights:

• Team ROH – Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer, Bryan Danielson, Adam Pearce, and Ace Steel. Team CZW – Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Spyder Nate Webb, Necro Butcher, and a mystery partner.
• Bryan Danielson came out as the third man for Team ROH and after taking out both Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli the ROH World Champion injured Samoa Joe’s knee. Joe would not return and Danielson also went to the back, so ROH was at a two-man disadvantage.
• Chris Hero announced Eddie Kingston as his mystery partner. Since I don’t really know their history I don’t understand the significance of it other than they hate each other. They end up getting into a shoving match.
• During said shoving match, Homicide’s music hits and the Notorious 187 makes his way out with weapons for all. Team ROH takes an advantage even though they’re a man down.
• After about 15 minutes of brawling, Homicide hits Spyder Nate Webb with a Cop Killa onto a barbed wire board for the win at 40:34.

The match was a great hardcore brawl. Sure they really could have ended it quicker after Homicide came out to really capitalize on the crowd heat, and some of the spots looked contrived. Still for the entire match the crowd was into it, the wrestlers did crazy stuff and bled buckets, the storytelling was some of Sapolsky’s best, and it was a great payoff to one of the greatest storyline runs in ROH history. I miss these days like you wouldn’t believe.
Rating: ****½

~DISC 2~

MATCH #10: Barbed Wire Match – BJ Whitmer vs. The Necro Butcher, War of the Wire II, 7.28.06

Whitmer and Necro start off throwing punches and the fight is on. This is only the second-ever barbed wire match in ROH, following Homicide versus Steve Corino at the first War of the Wire on November 29, 2003. Speak of the devil, Homicide is in Whitmer’s corner to show support. Necro is able to use the barbed wire first, by shoving Whitmer chest and arms-first into it. Ouch. Necro then cracks Whitmer across the back with a chair. He continues to dominate, using various weapons and his unique offensive attack to wear Whitmer down. Necro forces Whitmer’s head into the barbed wire and busts him open. He uses a chair some more until Whitmer blocks a shot and delivers a roaring forearm to the chair into Necro’s face! Whitmer drives the edge of the chair into Necro’s face, which looked nasty. Necro is busted open now too. Whitmer throws Necro back-first into the wire a couple of times and then bodyslams him on the wire. Necro’s back is messed up. Whitmer hits a piledriver for a two-count. The brutality continues and both guys are doing sick things to each other. Whitmer gets a hold of a pair of wire cutters and cuts away one side of the ring. Unfortunately for Whitmer, that backfires, as Necro is able to hit him with a sitout powerbomb off the apron and through a table wrapped in barbed wire on the floor. Officials come down and try to cut the men out of the barbed wire so the match can continue. Back in the ring Whitmer hits a brainbuster on a steel chair but it only gets two! Whitmer brings out a bag of thumb tacks and spreads them out, but Necro grabs him and hits the Tiger Driver onto the tacks! That only gets two! Necro follows with a side suplex on the tacks for another two-count. Whitmer throws tacks in Necro’s eyes, and then drops him bare feet fist into the pile! He hits a Wrist-Clutch Exploder into the tacks but Necro kicks out! Back on their feet Whitmer tries to kick Necro in a barbed wire board but Necro avoids it and hits a Death Valley Driver into it instead! Whitmer again has to be cut out of the wire. Necro sets up two chairs in the ring and tries to put the barbed wire board over them but Whitmer kicks the board back on top of him. Whitmer then sets the barbed wire side on top of Necro and unloads on Necro with a steel chair! Homicide gets Whitmer a ladder, and Whitmer climbs to the top to deliver a big splash but Necro kicks out! Whitmer then hits another exploder, dropping Necro right on his head to get the pin at 26:10. This one actually holds up better than Homicide versus Corino, as the progression of depravity was more clearly defined. Whitmer comes out of this looking like a tough bastard, Necro comes out looking tough as well, the fans are happy, everybody wins.
Rating: ****

MATCH #11: Steel Cage Match – Homicide vs. Adam Pearce, Chicago Spectacular Night 2, 12.9.06

They slug it out to start and try throwing each other into the cage walls. Pearce takes early control and tries to wear Homicide down, but it doesn’t last. Homicide hits the Three Amigos. He asks for a fork and when one gets thrown into the cage referee Todd Sinclair throws it right back out. That distraction is enough for Pearce to take control. Pearce calls out his man servant Shane Hagadorn and Hagadorn throws a belt into the cage. Homicide kicks Pearce in the nuts and Hagadorn slams the cage door on Homicide’s head to bust him open. Homicide comes back and grounds Pearce with a sleeper. Pearce comes out of it with a back suplex. Pearce tries the Piledriver but Homicide blocks it and catapults Pearce into the cage. Now Pearce is busted open as well. They fight on the top rope and Pearce gets crotched. Back down in the ring Sinclair gets a little too close to the action and catches an errant Pearce elbow. That gives Homicide the chance to kick Pearce in the nuts again and find his Ghetto Fork! Homicide uses the fork and Pearce’s head is a bloody mess. Pearce avoids a fork shot and powerbombs Homicide into the cage wall. He pulls Homicide off with a suplex. Pearce picks up the fork and jabs it into Homicide’s head. He covers and gets two. Pearce climbs up and Homicide joins him, only to get hiptossed down for a near-fall. Homicide comes back with a tornado DDT for two. Pearce hits a spinebuster for two. He puts on the Figure-Four Leglock and Homicide turns it over to reverse the pressure. Finally the hold gets broken. Pearce climbs up again and Homicide goes up too. Homicide hits a superplex for two. He goes for the Lariat but Pearce catches him and hurls him into the cage wall. Pearce goes up top again and Homicide whips him with the belt. Homicide then hits a Super Ace Crusher. He follows with a traditional Lariat to get the pin at 15:11. I remember thinking that match was good, but boy does it ever not hold up. There’s very little tying anything together, and it’s just a series of moves with some intermittent selling.
Rating: **

MATCH #12: Last Man Standing Match – BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs, Battle of the Icons, 1.27.07

Jacobs is trying to make his entrance but Whitmer cracks him with a steel chair from behind. They get in the ring and Whitmer hits Jacobs in the head with the chair. Jacobs has Lacey in his corner. He makes it back to his feet and Whitmer tries a brainbuster but Jacobs slips out and sends Whitmer to the floor. They fight outside the ring and take it into the crowd. Jacobs is in control, throwing chairs at Whitmer’s head. They continue to fight throughout the crowd as Whitmer turns the tide. Back in the ring Jacobs kicks Whitmer in the ribs and blasts him with the chair. Jacobs is busted open. He sets up the chair in the corner and then abuses Whitmer’s head with the patented spike. After several minutes of abuse Whitmer avoids a charge and Jacobs crashes head-first into the chair. Whitmer hits a spinebuster on the chair. Jacobs makes it back to his feet. Whitmer is able to hit the brainbuster on the chair this time. Jacobs barely makes it up at the count of nine. Whitmer ends up on the apron and Lacey grabs his leg to distract him. Jacobs knocks Whitmer back to standing on the ringside table, and then he hits a Spear to send Whitmer off the table and crashing into the barricade. Both men make it back to their feet. They get back to the ring and Jacobs brings a table with him. Jacobs sets it up in the corner and tries a Spear, but Whitmer cuts him off with a chair shot to the face. Whitmer takes Jacobs up top and brings him down with an exploder. Both men are down. Whitmer actually pulls Jacobs up before the 10-count, and wants to put Jacobs through the table. “The Hired Gun” Brent Albright comes out and throws Whitmer through the table with an exploder. That’s enough to keep Whitmer down and Jacobs gets the win at 15:46. That match gets overshadowed by the cage match, but it’s a pretty good brawl on its own. The finish is kind of weak, but they did have to keep the feud going for two more months, so this was a fine way to do that.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #13: Philadelphia Street Fight – Roderick Strong, Rocky Romero, Davey Richards & Matt Sydal vs. Austin Aries, Delirious, Erick Stevens & Matt Cross, Death Before Dishonor V Night 2, 8.11.07

Roderick Strong gets on the microphone and says that they eliminated Austin Aries last night, so he gives Matt Cross, Erick Stevens, and Delirious the option to not go through with the match lest they want to get beaten up. Aries runs in out of nowhere and hits Strong, Sydal, Rocky Romero, and Davey Richards with a weapon. The fight quickly spills to the floor. Strong pairs off with Stevens, Delirious with Romero, Sydal with Cross, and Richards with Aries. They’re fighting all over the arena, clearing fans out of their way. Cross leaps to the top of the bleachers and Sydal joins him up there. Everyone else migrates over to the bleachers for some reason. Cross knocks Sydal off the bleachers onto the six bodies below, and then runs up the wall and dives onto everyone! The first two back in the ring are Cross and Sydal. Delirious and Romero are battling by the barricade not too far away. Cross and Sydal go right back to the floor and Richards gets in the ring. Richards hits a slingshot dive onto a pile of chairs stacked on top of Cross. Sydal brings a ladder in the ring and quickly falls victim to a Panic Attack from Delirious. Romero hits Delirious with a flying knee strike for two. Aries and Stevens recover and bring a rake into the ring to take the advantage. Stevens hits a Choo-Choo on Romero and Strong stacked up in the corner, but misses on his second attempt and crashes into the ladder. Richards pulls Aries to the floor and they brawl. In the ring Delirious hits Strong with the Cobra Clutch Suplex onto a ladder. Romero hits Delirious with a Tiger Suplex and a knockout kick, but Cross breaks up the pin by throwing a chair. Cross hits Romero with a Death Valley Neckbreaker and then double stomps Romero into a chair for two. He goes for the same move on Sydal, but Sydal moves out of the way and hits a fisherman buster on a chair. Stevens comes in and hits Sydal with a TKO on a ladder. He avoids Richards’s stupid handspring spin kick and throws a chair at him. Out on the floor Strong hits Stevens with a powerbomb. Inside the ring Aries kicks Richards in the balls and DDT’s him on a chair. Strong breaks up the cover there with a huge kick to the face. Back outside the ring Strong battles with Delirious, and Sydal jumps from the top rope over the guardrail to knock Delirious off a table. Richards and Aries fight by one of the camera scaffolds with a table set up. Aries throws powder and sets Richards up on the table. Cross hits the Flag Pole Press on Richards to break the table. Aries drags Strong back to ringside and the others follow. In the ring Richards hits Aries with a powerbomb for two. Strong and Richards double-team Aries while Delirious battles Sydal on the floor. Stevens tries running off the apron at Strong but gets swatted out of the air with a chair, and then cracked in the skull with the chair again. Back in the ring Aries hits Richards with a brainbuster on a chair. Aries goes for another brainbuster on Strong, but instead hits him with the Stroke. He goes up top and Richards hits his injured ankle with a chair. Stevens is busted open from the chair shots. Strong and Richards now double-team Stevens in the ring. Stevens recovers and powerslams Richards off the apron and through a table. Strong and Stevens are back in the ring slugging away at each other. Stevens hits a modified powerbomb for two. Strong comes back and hurls a ladder into Stevens’ face. He sets up two chairs and puts the ladder between them. He goes for a Gibson Driver but Stevens avoids it and hits a release German Suplex and a lariat for two! Strong and Stevens fight up on the top rope and Strong hits a half nelson backbreaker off the top rope through the ladder and then locks on the Stronghold and Stevens is done for at 33:50. That was an insane brawl throughout the arena. They probably could have cut it down five or six minutes, but these guys did some insane spots and this felt like a big feud ender. That’s just too bad for the Resilience.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #14: Ladder War – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico, Man Up, 9.15.07

The Briscoes have been the Champions since 3.30.07, and this is their fourteenth defense. It doesn’t take long for this brawl to begin out on the arena floor. Steen launches Mark into the crowd while Jay blasts Generico with a chair elsewhere in the crowd. The fight continues to go throughout the crowd, with all four men beating each other unmerciful. It’s funny to see Rhett Titus just trying to hold the crowd back during this Ladder War, knowing that four years later he would be facing the Briscoes in this exact match. They make it back to the ring and Generico makes the first attempt at climbing the ladder but he doesn’t get very far. Generico and Mark take their fight to the outside, so Steen and Jay get in the ring. Jay goes for the Jay Driller but Steen blocks it and hits the pumphandle neckbreaker. Steen climbs up the ladder and Mark knocks him down. Mark climbs up now but Steen is able to stop him. Generico rejoins the fray and the Briscoes hit him with a double biel right into a ladder! That was sick. The Briscoes set up a taller ladder to climb, but Steen throws Mark to the floor and pushes Jay over onto the broken ladder. Steen then hits Jay with a belly-to-back suplex right on the ladder. Mark gets back in the ring and Steen kicks him right in the nuts. The challengers are firmly in control now as they replay a couple of highlights from the match for some reason. Generico sets a ladder in front of Jay in the corner and hits the running yakuza Kick. Steen then launches Mark over the top rope with an Awesome Bomb right on top of a ladder. Generico tries to hold Jay at bay while Steen climbs the ladder but Jay pushes through and knocks the ladder over. These guys are taking absurdly sick bumps in this match. Mark hits Generico with a sick exploder on a ladder. Jay hits Steen with a Death Valley Driver onto a different ladder, and on the jagged edge of it. Mark sets a ladder on Generico and hits him with a beautiful Shooting Star Press. Jay goes up top and dives onto Steen on a table on the floor. Mark tries to climb a ladder but it’s very wobbly and Generico is able to knock him down. Jay calls for one of the maintenance ladders, which is significantly taller than the regulation ladders. This new ladder is so tall that the Briscoes are able to hit a Doomsday Device with Mark diving THROUGH the ladder. That’s incredible. Steen gets back in the ring and takes out both Briscoes with a ladder, and then setting it between the super tall ladder and the corner. Mark hits Steen with a couple of superkicks and climbs up the ladder. Steen climbs up with him and hits the Package Piledriver! This is insane. Generico flails around as he climbs the ladder and Jay throws another ladder at him to thwart his progress. Jay sets up the ladder between the tall ladder and the corner just like Steen did and hits Generico with a Jay Driller! If Jimmy Bower was on commentary that’d be worthy of a DANGEROUS! Steen and Jay climb to the top of the ladder now and slug it out. Jay knocks Steen down onto a ladder. He tries to pull the belts down but has great difficulty and Steen climbs back up but Jay is finally able to get a belt down at 26:19 to retain the titles. The first in a series is always hard to top, and this Ladder War set the bar awfully high. The bumps were sick, the crowd was hot, and the hatred was there. This is one of the best matches of 2007 and one of the best tag team matches in company history.
Rating: ****½

MATCH #15: Street Fight – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Necro Butcher & Joey Matthews, Take No Prisoners, 3.16.08

They start out brawling somewhere near the entrance to the arena. They make it into the arena and fight through the crowd. Lacey is accompanying The Age of The Fall while Daizee Haze is with the Briscoes, and they fight through the crowd as well. Chairs fly freely between all four men as the battle in opposite sides of the arena. Mark looks to be the first one busted open. Even so, Mark and Necro make their way to the ring first, but Matthews and Jay soon follow. The AOTF is in control, dominating the brothers from Sandy Fork. They go to the top rope but the Briscoes join them up there and hit simultaneous superplexes. The men go back to the floor and cede the spotlight to the women, letting them go at it in the ring. Why not just make it a six-person tag? The Briscoes briefly fight back but the AOTF is too strong and they go back to work, sadistically attacking the Briscoes every way way they know how. Jay gets a hold of a chair and they blast Necro in the head with it. Now it’s Jay and Mark in control and they dish out heaps of punishment. Necro is laid out on a table on the floor and Matthews gets thrown out on top of his head! That’s awesome. The Briscoes hit Matthews with the springboard Doomsday Device. Necro gets back in the ring and gets hit with a Jay Superkick. The Briscoes set up a chair in the ring and go for a Doomsday Device on Necro, but he swats Mark out of the air with a right hand. Necro then victory rolls Jay to get a two-count. That was awesome. They go back to the floor and Jay clotheslines Necro in the crowd. Mark is a bloody, bloody mess here. He fights Necro through the crowd while Matthews and Jay battle up at ringside. Back in the ring Matthews hits Jay with a short-arm clothesline. Up by the entrance Mark has Necro laid out on a table and he climbs to the top of the scaffolding to hit a splash! In the ring Jay hits a Death Valley Driver through a table. Jay then ends the fight with a Jay Driller for the pin at 15:03. I remembered very little about that match but that was a good deal of fun. Matthews really brought something different to ROH and it was a pleasure to watch him work there.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #16: No DQ Match –Necro Butcher vs. Jimmy Jacobs, Take No Prisoners 2009, 4.4.09

We take a look at the Jimmy Jacobs versus Necro Butcher feud, in video package form. Necro has been insanely boring since leaving Age of The Fall. They’re calling it both a No-DQ match and a “Fight without Honor,” but I choose to go with what Bobby Cruise said. The match starts as a big brawl outside the ring, with Necro throwing Jacobs around and into the crowd. Necro continues to control the action as they move throughout the crowd. It’s all Necro as he throws Jacobs back over the guardrail to ringside, and then back into the ring. But what Necro didn’t know was that Jacobs found a giant screwdriver under the ring and he drills Necro in the face with it, causing blood to flow. Back in the ring Jacobs attacks Necro’s bloody forehead, and even rips Necro’s hair out, drawing a “you sick f*ck” chant. Jacobs tries to use a chair but Necro fires up and uses the chair himself to regain control. Necro hits a chair slam and then sends Jacobs to the floor. Jacobs is busted open now as well. Necro gets distracted by setting up some chairs, allowing Jacobs to hit a Spear off the apron. He goes up top and Necro weakly throws a chair into his midsection. They fight up on the turnbuckles with a table looming below. The crowd chants “please don’t die” as Jacobs suplexes Necro all the way down to the floor! These guys are nuts. Jacobs recovers first and tries to pick Necro up. Paul Turner and other officials help Jacobs roll Necro into the ring, for some stupid reason, and Jacobs goes for the cover. Necro kicks out at two, but is still pretty groggy when he gets back to his feet. Jacobs lands a sold chair shot to Necro’s head, and then Necro shrugs off the second one and unloads on Jacobs with chops, punches, and a bulldog on the chair for two. Necro pastes Jacobs with a chair shot to the head for another two-count. He takes Jacobs to the apron and hits a Death Valley Driver through the table. Back in the ring Necro hits a shitty cross body block off the top for two. He piles three chairs and goes for a chokeslam, but Jacobs hits a low blow and locks on the End Time. Necro powers out of it and breaks the hold. Jacobs goes for the Contra Code but Necro blocks it and hits a right hand to the face. Necro then hits a Tiger Driver on the chairs for the pin at 14:52. The no-selling was kind of ridiculous but I guess it’s to be expected. The match was okay garbage but I’m just not into Necro and this feud seemed to go on forever.
Rating: **½

MATCH #17: No DQ Match – Kenny King vs. Jerry Lynn, From the Ashes, 3.26.10

Lynn charges the ring and pulls King to the floor. He throws him into the barricade. He tries another whip but King reverses it. Moments later Lynn reverses a whip himself and throws King into the barricade again. Lynn gets back in the ring first and wedges a chair in between the top and middle turnbuckle. King gets back in the ring and Lynn sends him right back to the floor and follows him out with a dive. Lynn gets back in the ring and King grabs a ladder, only to have Lynn kick it right back into his face. He hits King with the legdrop, and then hip tosses King on top of the ladder. He goes for a legdrop but King moves and Lynn hits nothing but ladder. King grabs a chair and is able to kick it into Lynn’s face. He gets a sunset flip but Lynn holds on to the chair and cracks King in the brain with it. Lynn gets an O’Connor Roll for two and King kicks him right into the chair. Dombrowski thinks that King set that chair there before the match. This guy is killing me. King pulls out a table and Lynn is busted open. Back in the ring King throws Lynn into the ladder for a two-count. The ladder gets knocked down and Lynn bulldogs King right on top of it for two. Lynn goes for a tornado DDT but King counters with a northern lights suplex right on the ladder for two. King traps Lynn’s head between the rungs of the ladder and runs him into the turnbuckle. He goes outside and grabs another table. First he nails Lynn in the head with a chair. They go to the apron and Lynn pushes King into the barricade. Back in the ring Lynn sets up a table and hits a hurricanrana followed by a TKO. King comes back with a DDT on the open chair. He hits the double knees through the table but Lynn kicks out at two! King goes for a superplex through the table but Lynn counters with a Sunset Bomb but the table doesn’t break. Lynn finishes King off with a Cradle Piledriver through said table at 13:00. That was decent but it was mostly just a collection of spots with little rhyme or reason.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #18: Steel Cage Match – Kevin Steen & Steve Corino vs. El Generico & Colt Cabana, ROH on HDNet Episode 80, 11.1.10

Steen slams the door into Cabana’s face and the match starts out on the floor. Corino and Steen are in control due to their early treachery. They take it into the cage and Steen steals the key. Steen puts the key up near his junk region, and that’s icky. Cabana and Generico fight back and work together to to stymie Steen and Corino’s attacks. They expertly use the cage to further inflict punishment on their rivals. Steen fights off some mounted punches by powerbombing Generico into the cage walls, and then dropping him to the mat with a hard powerbomb. Corino puts his thumb in Cabana’s butt. Steen and Corino control the action for a bit until Cabana inadvertently knocks them from the top rope and onto their junk. Generico follows with a Running Yakuza Kick to both of them at the same time! He hits a tornado DDT on Corino and a Michinoku Driver on Steen for a near-fall. Cabana locks Corino in the Billy Goat’s Curse and Generico tries to keep Steen at bay. Steen shoves Generico into Cabana to break it up. The pace gets quite fast and everyone is getting their signature moves in. Generico is the last one on his feet. Cabana encourages Generico to go to the top of the cage. Steen shoves Cabana into the cage, causing Generico to lose his balance. Even worse, Steen knocks Generico all the way to the floor and Cabana is in the cage alone with Steen and Corino! That ends badly for Cabana, though he fights valiantly. Steen locks on a Crossface and Corino adds a fork to the forehead and Cabana taps out at 13:10. I really like the finish there, as Cabana lost by being too emotional, and Steen and Corino took advantage. The rest of the match was serviceable, but it didn’t feel as heated as other matches in this feud.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #19: Ladder War III – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The All Night Express, Death Before Dishonor IX, 9.17.11

The Briscoes were in the first Ladder War, successfully defending the ROH World Tag Team Titles against Kevin Steen & El Generico at the Man Up! pay-per-view in Chicago on September 15, 2007. At stake in this match is a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship on November 19 in Chicago. This feud has been really awesome. The Briscoes weigh a combined 462 pounds and hail from Sandy Fork, Delaware. The ANX check in at 463 pounds. Mark and Titus battle on one side of the ring while Jay and King battle on the other. Titus gets dumped to the floor and grabs a ladder as the fans chant “we want blood.” The war quickly spills to the floor, where King is the first one to go through a table, via a back body drop. Titus is the first one busted open, and it’s a gusher. He responds by suplexing Mark from the apron onto a ladder, and then wiping out everyone at ringside with a dive. The ANX takes control now, using ladders to their advantage. Jay is the next one busted open, and that’s a gusher too. These guys are going all out that’s for sure. Somewhere in the melee Mark has been busted open too. There’s a lot of blood out there as the violence continues. Blood is literally squirting out of Jay’s head. Oy I hope whatever they got paid for this match was worth it. The Briscoes try a spiked Jay Driller on a chair on King, but Titus pushes Mark off the top rope and through a table at ringside. Jay goes through a table next, courtesy of the powerbomb/blockbuster combination. Finally about 20 minutes into the match Titus makes the first attempt at climbing the ladder to retrieve the contract. Mark recovers and knocks Titus off the ladder with a dropkick. The Briscoes go under the ring and find an even bigger ladder than the ones they’ve already used. They set it up in the aisle next to a table and drag Titus over to set him on it. Mark goes up top and delivers a splash through the table! That was insane. The action continues and King busts out a shooting star press! I didn’t know he could do that. King climbs up the tall ladder and Jay climbs the other side. They slug it out and King punches Jay right off the ladder and grabs the contract to win the Ladder War at 27:51. The pool of blood under Jay’s head is truly sickening. This lived up to the standards of previous ladder wars, which is no small feat. I believe the All Night Express are now truly main event players in ROH.
Rating: ****¼

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