Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Motor City Madness
Date: October 7, 2006
Location: Michigan State Fairgrounds & Expo Center, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators: Dave Prazak, Jared David
It’s another ROH DVD and another era I don’t know much about. That was a lot of fun when I checked out the 7th Anniversary Show and this one is a little earlier, as we are only about four years into the company’s history. This time around we have Bryan Danielson defending the World Title against Austin Aries and a dream tag match between Samoa Joe/Homicide vs. the Briscoes. I’m not sure what to expect here so let’s get to it.
In an extreme closeup, Samoa Joe says that the Briscoes are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bryan Danielson knocked him out with a title that he made and tonight, he’s taking it out on the Briscoes.
Homicide is ready to kill Jim Cornette (that’s kind of implied in the name) and doesn’t care who Cornette brings.
Austin Aries talks about his rivalry with Bryan Danielson and says he’s ready to take the World Title back.
Bryan Danielson talks about the two of them feuding forever and tonight, he’s taking the title.
Delirious vs. Zach Gowen
Hometown boy Gowen (who has one leg if you haven’t seen him before) seems to be a big surprise and if nothing else, it’s nice to hear Out Of My Way again. Gowen doesn’t want to shake hands before the bell so the bell rings and Delirious snaps, as he tends to do. Back in and Delirious grabs the referee, allowing Gowen to hit a missile dropkick. Commentary talks about Gowen bringing some sports entertainment to ROH as Delirious brings a clothesline to Gowen.
They head outside with Gowen knocking him into the barricade, setting up a falling flip dive for the big crash. Gowen: “THAT’S HOW I BEAT THE BIG SHOW B****!” Back in again and Delirious takes him down to bite the back of Gowen’s head before stopping to….sing? Now it’s a bite of the leg, followed by a fireman’s carry faceplant. A running knee in the corner sets up the missed top rope splash to the back and Gowen hits a rolling neckbreaker for two of his own. Gowen misses a moonsault though and it’s a cobra clutch into a Cobra Stretch to make Gowen tap at 4:25.
Rating: C-. There is something funny about Gowen being the hometown boy but being such a jerk that the fans don’t seem upset when he loses. To be fair, Gowen was never exactly a big star, but rather someone who was around big stars. That doesn’t quite make him someone the fans would be rather interested in, though a little star power, especially a local star, isn’t going to hurt that much.
Here’s Commissioner Jim Cornette for a chat. After saying he sounds like James Earl Jones on the microphone, Cornette shrugs off a fan shouting that Homicide is going to kill him. Cornette talks about all the other sports going on in Detroit this year and thanks the fans for supporting Ring of Honor. Thanks to the fans, Ring of Honor is going to be back in Detroit in April for Wrestlemania weekend. So if you want to go see the pyro and insanity, go over to the stadium but come here early to see some wrestling.
Now we have some bad news though: Roderick Strong was injured last night in Cleveland, Ohio and can’t wrestle tonight. Cue Strong, in street clothes, who needs a chair to help him get inside. Strong says he’s here to wrestle tonight but Cornette says he can’t do it. Cornette talks about being 23 years old once and can appreciate the fire and passion, but Strong isn’t wrestling tonight. That doesn’t work for Strong, who gets in Cornette’s face and says he’s doing this.
Cornette gets firm with him and says no but here’s Homicide to cut them off. Cornette heads to the floor as Homicide throws in chairs before wisely running to the back. Homicide talks about having a bad day because the Detroit Tigers beat his Yankees today. Tonight, that “little cracker” Jim Cornette is going to get his tonight. And yes, Strong should wrestle tonight because Homicide says “f*** him”, in regards to Cornette. I don’t think he and Homicide like each other.
Allison Danger/Lacey vs. Daizee Haze/MsChif
This era’s women’s division wasn’t the strongest but I’d still take it over what ROH offers fourteen years later. I’m not overly familiar with most of these four’s work though so this should be interesting. Lacey freaks out at fans patting her on the back on the way to the ring so I’m guessing they’re the heels here. They shout at each other a good bit before the bell and again we have no handshake. The bell rings and commentary says the partners were chosen at random so they don’t exactly get along. Fair enough.
Haze sunset flips Lacey for two to start and we hit the quick pinfall reversal sequence. The threat of a test of strength sends both of them over for a tag with Danger working on MsChif’s arm. Some armdrags have MsChif in trouble but Lacey tags herself in. Allison tags herself back in as well and rolls MsChif up for two in a hurry. Lacey grabs an armbar on MsChif and hands it off to Danger for the same but this time Haze comes in to break it up.
Haze comes in for a bodyscissors and rolls Danger around into a cradle for two. A standing moonsault gives MsChif the same and there’s a gutbuster to put Danger down again. Haze’s suplex is countered into a small package for two but she’s right back with a Stunner. Danger drops her throat first across the top though and the hot tag brings in MsChif to Roll the Dice on Lacey.
A TKO gives Lacey her own two with Haze making a very last second save. Everything breaks down and Danger gives Haze an STO. MsChif takes Danger into the corner for something like a middle rope Pedigree but the referee stops to yell at Haze. The distraction lets MsChif spray mist into Danger’s eyes by mistake so Haze comes back in for the Mind Trip (falling forward cutter) to finish Danger at 9:52.
Rating: C+. Again, not exactly a good match but they did their thing and looked totally competent at the same time. The women’s division has always been a weak spot for ROH and given that these women were on loan from Shimmer, there was only so much that could be expected. That being said, I liked what we got here and I could go for more of them, though preferably after hearing a bit more about them and having some kind of a story included.
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Davey Richards
That would be Cesaro and both of them look VERY young here. I’m also not sure that they can get away with Running With The Devil and We Are The Champions as entrance music on a DVD release. Castagnoli has the ROH Tag Team Title, the Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas and a big briefcase. Ok so one of them isn’t as impress as the other, but that Chikara title makes a nice third piece. Also, three matches in and still no handshakes. Davey grabs an armbar to start and then kicks his way out of Claudio’s counter.
The fans get on Claudio’s nerves in a hurry but he shrugs off the much smaller Davey’s running shoulders. A running boot to Claudio’s head works a bit better and there’s a headscissors to take him down. Davey headlocks him for a bit and then takes him down again, this time with a steal of Claudio’s HEY! Back up and Claudio gets in a poke to the eye to set up a belly to back suplex to really take over.
We hit the seated abdominal stretch, followed by a running knee in the corner with Richards doing a near comical face first fall to the mat. Now it’s a standing abdominal stretch but Davey is out in a hurry, meaning it’s a running clothesline to take him down again. The choking in the corner keeps Davey down and Castagnoli runs him over with a clothesline. Castagnoli misses a running knee in the corner though and falls outside, allowing Davey to hit a hard suicide dive.
Back in and a nice springboard missile dropkick into a nip up lets Davey strike away. A bridging German suplex gets two on Castagnoli but he faceplants Davey for the same. Castagnoli puts him on top but Davey reverses into a heck of a sunset bomb for two more. The Kawada Kicks connect, only to have Castagnoli snap off the European uppercuts.
One of the bigger uppercuts gets two but the Riccola Bomb is countered into a DDT into an armbar on the mat. Cue Castagnoli’s partner Chris Hero for a distraction, allowing Castagnoli to roll Davey up for two. Hero gets in a shot with the briefcase though and Castagnoli hits the Alpamare Waterslide (something like an Angle Slam) for the pin at 12:21.
Rating: C+. They hit each other rather hard here but it’s strange to see Castagnoli as so much more of a character with all of the Very European stuff. That being said, the Kings of Wrestling were an awesome team and Richards wasn’t quite much yet. The match was good enough, despite the fairly cheap ending.
Post match Hero says the Kings of Wrestling will reign forever.
Jimmy Jacobs/Colt Cabana vs. Christopher Daniels/Matt Sydal
Lacey is here with Jacobs (there’s a LONG history there as Jimmy loves Lacey but she doesn’t care for him, which went on for years) and Cabana. The fans seem rather into Daniels, which isn’t that surprising. Jacobs and Sydal get things going with Sydal working on the leg early on. That gives us a standoff so they lock up again with the fans laughing at something. Another standoff lets Jacobs blow a kiss to Lacey before going to a test of strength. Sydal bridges up off the mat but gets taken down by an anklescissors.
Sydal’s own anklescissors sends Jacobs outside as the rather choreographed opening continues. Cabana and Daniels come in with Cabana cartwheeling and strutting away. Daniels takes him down into a headscissors but Cabana is back up for some shaking knees. Cabana sends him outside to set off the frustration and things slow down a bit. Back in and Daniels shoulders him down a few times before hitting a kick to the head.
Lacey grabs Daniels’ foot so Daniels pulls her in, which results in Lacey landing in various positions with Cabana. Jimmy freaks out and comes in for the save but Lacey yells at both of them as Cabana gives an “uh, sorry” look. We settle back down to Daniels slamming Sydal onto Cabana before hitting the STO into the Koji Clutch. Lacey gets up on the apron for a distraction though and for once it actually works, though Jacobs goes outside to check on her.
Jacobs comes in to work on Daniels’ arm, followed by Cabana coming in for more of the same. A top rope stomp to the arm (ow) gets two on Daniels and the arm cranking continues. Daniels gets some boots up out of the corner and the STO gives us a double knockdown. The diving tag brings in Sydal and it’s time to start kicking people in the head/chest.
A super hurricanrana brings Cabana off the middle rope and Sydal sends Jacobs flying into Cabana. The standing moonsault gets two on Jacobs but he’s right back with a spear for two. A middle rope legdrop/belly to back suplex combination gets two on Jacobs and Sydal crotches Cabana on top. Lacey checks on Cabana so Jacobs lets go of the Contra Code, allowing Daniels to hit the Angel’s Wings for the pin on Jacobs at 14:07.
Rating: B-. I liked this a lot more than I was expecting to as they were four talented wrestlers having a nice match. Jacobs is usually hard to take as the over the top heel so having him as the lovesick face was a nice switch. The Lacey stuff worked well and I got what they were going for with only a basic understanding of the story. Well done here and a perfectly enjoyable match.
Post match BJ Whitmer (I think) runs in to go after Jacobs, who had injured him recently. That’s broken up, though Whitmer yells threats anyway. Jacobs threatens to break Whitmer’s other ankle and throws a chair at him…but it bounces off the top rope and almost hits him in the head. Whitmer says Jacobs poured gasoline on the fire because not only did he take food off of his table, but he also took professional wrestling away from him. So tonight it’s a fair warning: Whitmer is going to be Jacobs’ shadow until he is cleared.
Jacobs throws the chair again and almost hits Daniels this time, even as Whitmer continues promising to end Jacobs. As Jimmy yells at Whitmer, Lacey is more worried about Cabana crotching himself. Lacey and company leave so Daniels calls out the Kings of Wrestling for ducking them. Cue Chris Hero, who asks what Sydal has ever done. Sydal grabs the mic to say Daniels has proven himself time after time, but what has Hero done?
The challenge is on but Hero walks away instead. Sydal insults Hero’s pants though and asks what kind of a champion he is. Daniels says Hero isn’t good enough to be booked around here anyway. Hero says that’s not true and Daniels says get in the ring right now. That’s enough for Hero and we’re ready to go.
Matt Sydal vs. Chris Hero
Hero hammers away in the corner to start but Sydal snaps off some flippy armdrags. Sydal knocks him outside but the Lionsault is pulled out of the air. Back in and we hit the choking, followed by the front facelock for a more legal version. Hero drops an elbow and slaps on a reverse chinlock. Sydal fights up but gets taken down with a running atomic drop out of the corner.
The double arm crank with a knee in the back goes on before Hero heads up top, only to have to bail out of a flip. Sydal kicks him in the head and they’re both down for a bit. Back up and Hero grabs a powerslam for two and can’t believe the kickout. With frustration setting in, Hero grabs the referee so Castagnoli can bring in the briefcase. Daniels cuts him off though and they fight on the floor, allowing Sydal to hit a missile dropkick. The shooting star press finishes Hero at 9:29.
Rating: C. This felt like a WWE TV match and that’s all it needed to be. The idea here was to set up a title match down the line and that is exactly what they did the following month, when Daniels and Sydal won the titles. They had to get things ready here though and that worked out rather well, despite Hero’s offense not being the most thrilling.
Here is Jim Cornette again for another chat. Earlier tonight, a nine year old asked him why he ran from Homicide. That got Cornette thinking…why did he run from Homicide? He has been in this business for fifteen minutes and that punk spat in his face. The fans aren’t pleased and Cornette tells them what they can do with what they think. Ever since Homicide started things with Cornette, he has vowed to prevent Homicide from becoming World Champion.
Cornette had knee surgery earlier this year, but now he has healed up a bit and now he wants Homicide out here to face him. After making what sounded like a bit of a homosexual reference and calling Homicide a woman, Cornette tells him to get out here to take his beating. Cue Homicide, who doesn’t seem overly nervous. With Homicide on the apron, Cornette starts warming up and does some martial arts poses…before screaming a lot. Homicide loads up the Gringo Killer (Vertebreaker) but here are the Briscoes to beat Homicide down.
The fans want Samoa Joe (Homicide’s partner tonight) but Cornette spits in Homicide’s face instead. Cue Samoa Joe for the save with a chair though before the Jay Driller can flatten Homicide. With the villains out of the way, Homicide swears a lot and calls the three of them “fa****s”. Tonight, Homicide wants a falls count anywhere street fight with the Briscoes. That’s fine with Joe.
We’re on intermission so Delirious rambles on about Zach Gowen and seems to say that he wants the World Title.
Jimmy Rave vs. Pelle Primeau vs. Dave Crist vs. Jake Crist vs. Shane Hagadorn vs. Matt Cross
One fall to a finish with tags because calling it a Six Man Mayhem implies controlled mayhem. It’s also under Lucha Rules with one fall to a finish. Hagadorn has the Top Of The Class Trophy but it does not seem to be on the line here. The fans throw toilet paper at Rave, as is their custom, with one roll hitting him square in the head to a reaction from the fans. Finally, it’s Cross’ debut, just in case you didn’t have enough details to remember yet.
The rather small Pelle starts with Rave, who takes him down and hammers away. A heck of a chop sends Pelle into the ropes for some swearing. Pelle seems to miss most of a dropkick and it’s Hagadorn coming in to dropkick Pelle down again. Dave comes in with a running hurricanrana to Hagadorn but he dropkicks the knee out to take him down. A wristlock has Dave in trouble though and he runs the corner for an armdrag. Jake comes in to cover Hagadorn for two but Cross makes the save and sticks around for a bit.
A Japanese armdrag takes Jake down into an armbar, with Jake being sent outside. Pelle comes in to go after Cross but charges into a Rock Bottom onto the apron. Cross head fakes Rave and then feet fakes him for a bonus, only to get knocked outside. Back in and the Crists knock Hagadorn to the floor but Dave’s half of the stereo dives is cut off by Rave. That sets off a parade of dives with Cross hitting the big one and getting a rather strong reaction.
Pelle tries his own but gets speared down by Rave, who snaps off a suplex to Cross. Back up and Cross hits a springboard double stomp to Rave’s back as Dave is sent hard into the barricade. Cross’ corkscrew moonsault gets two on Rave with Hagadorn making the save this time. Hagadorn rolls Cross up for two with the feet on the ropes not mattering all that much. The Crists come back in for a double spinebuster on Hagadorn but Rave is back in to get beaten up for a change. The Irish Air Raid (powerbomb onto raised knees) gives Dave two on Rave but Pelle comes back in to Stun Rave for the pin at 8:11.
Rating: C+. This was the all action match that you would expect from something like this and that was fine. Pelle is someone whose name pops up every now and then in ROH history but he isn’t exactly someone who stood out other than from being small. The winner wasn’t quite the point here though as they just threw everyone out there and let them do their thing for a bit, which worked out just fine all things considered.
Post match Pelle is very, very excited and shakes everyone’s hand.
Ring of Honor World Title: Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries
Danielson is defending and gets a heck of a reaction, as you probably expected. If nothing else, the Final Countdown in front of an ROH crows is always worth seeing. That being said, it’s hard to see Bryan in blue trunks after all those years of seeing him in the signature red. They stare at each other for a bit to start and it’s a feeling out process to get things going. Danielson gets driven into the corner and we actually get a clean break. A test of strength doesn’t get Danielson very far so he takes Aries into the corner for a kick to the arm.
Danielson poses a lot before snapmaring him down into a chinlock. Commentary makes me feel a lot better by explaining that the airline lost both of their bags so neither is in their usual gear. That explains a few things and at least I’m not going nuts. Danielson takes him down by the leg for a change but the cranking only sends Aries over to the ropes. Aries grabs a short armscissors and they roll around a bit until Danielson knees him in the face. Danielson’s headlock is broken up in a hurry and they head outside, where Aries sends him hard into the barricade.
Back in and Danielson manages a suplex before they head right back to the floor. This time it’s Aries going into the barricade so Danielson can choke away a bit. They go inside again and this time Danielson grabs a reverse chinlock to make Aries shout a lot. Aries manages to reverse into one of his own but Danielson reverses into a cross armbreaker. The rope is grabbed, but Danielson HAS UNTIL FIVE. Back up and Aries misses a dropkick so Danielson slaps him in the face.
The chinlock goes on for a bit, followed by one of the only bearhugs that you will ever see from Danielson. Aries breaks out with some ear claps so Danielson grabs a belly to belly suplexes to drop him again. Danielson takes way too long going up for a Swan Dive and (awkwardly) dives into a raised boot. The comeback is on with a bunch of forearms to set up a frog splash but the running dropkick in the corner misses.
Danielson slaps on the half crab so Aries goes for the ropes, meaning it’s off to an airplane spin. That’s reversed into something like the Rings of Saturn to put Danielson in trouble so he grabs the rope as well. Danielson is back with the hard elbows to the head before slapping on the crossface chickenwing in the middle of the ring.
Cattle Mutilation is blocked so Danielson elbows him in the head over and over again. Aries absorbs those and loads up the brainbuster, which is blocked with a knee to the head. Another attempt works just fine though but Aries has to bail out of the 450. Danielson is right back with a small package to retain the title at 22:44.
Rating: A-. Oh like this was going to be anything but great. Danielson and Aries are two of the best that Ring of Honor has ever had and they had over twenty minutes to do their thing here in the co main event. There was no way this wasn’t going to work and they had an awesome match. Danielson wouldn’t be champion that much longer, so it was nice to see him get in another big title defense.
Post match Samoa Joe comes in for the fight with Danielson, drawing in the Briscoes to beat Joe down. Here’s Homicide and it’s time for the main event.
Homicide/Samoa Joe vs. Briscoe Brothers
Anything goes and falls count anywhere. The brawl is on in a hurry and the Briscoes are sent to the floor in a hurry. We settle down to Joe punching Mark in the face with the other two on the apron because ANYTHING GOES means structure. Joe’s knee drop makes it even worse and Homicide comes in for a double shoulder. Jay dares to try a cheap shot from the apron and gets knocked outside, which allows Mark to nail a spinwheel kick.
The delayed double vertical suplex drops Joe and it’s time to hammer away in the corner. The chinlock goes on as we are in no way shape or form resembling a street fight so far. Joe fights up and brings in Homicide to clean house, including sending the two into each other. Jay gets sent into the barricade so it’s Mark hitting the big dive over the top to take Homicide out.
Joe’s suicide elbow takes the Brothers down and NOW we get to the street fight part. Joe starts pelting chairs at the Briscoes (and hitting them with several of them) and everyone else gets involved with their own chair shots. Homicide suplexes Jay onto a bunch of open chairs (egads) and then throws him through them for a bonus. Mark is sat in a chair but pops back up with a big boot to take Joe down. Joe doesn’t seem to mind and snaps off a powerslam to drive Mark through an open chair….and it’s ladder time.
That ladder is punted between Mark’s legs but here’s Jay to break it up. They all fight outside with Joe sending Mark into a brick wall and PELTING a chair at Jay’s head. Mark rolls underneath a production truck so Joe Razor Edges Jay HARD into the side of the truck. Mark is back up with a shooting star off the top of the truck because OF COURSE HE IS. Everyone is mostly dead so Homicide gets powerbombed onto a table as Joe is carried out. The table isn’t broken up so the Briscoes flapjack Homicide through it in a nasty crash.
Homicide pops back up and sends Mark into a brick wall, only to be sent into it by Jay. They fight back inside with both Briscoes being dropped onto the same table for no break. Mark is dropped on the table again but it still doesn’t break so Jay is slammed through it instead. They get back to ringside with more chairs being thrown as the fans are WAY into Homicide. Back in and Homicide can’t hit the Gringo Killer, instead getting caught in a spike Jay Driller to give Mark the pin at 18:50.
Rating: B+. This actually felt wild and that is the kind of thing you need in a match like this one. The Briscoes were a big deal but it is amazing to see how much bigger they would get. Homicide is clearly the hottest thing in the world but Joe is still revered in ROH today. You can imagine what he was like at this point, even if he was wrestling in a shirt here which feels so out of place given how well known his regular look has become.
Post match the fans call that awesome but Jay says it’s the stupidest chant he’s ever heard. He drops quite a few F Bombs over everyone around here, both in and out of the ring, before leaving to end the show.
Actually we’re not done yet as Jimmy Rave won’t answer questions about the recently broken up Embassy and leaves his gear behind. Now we’re done.
The DVD also includes another Video Wire, which is a bunch of videos related to the show.
Colt Cabana talks about how high tech the Video Wire is but doesn’t seem to know the words he is using. He’s the host of this edition but you never know who it is going to be next time. Next time it might be Alf or Bobby Dempsey, but he’s starting it off because he’s Colt Cabana. He has a match featuring the Kings of Wrestling for us but here is Lacey to interrupt. She has something for him, though Cabana says she has something big for her. Lacey doesn’t mind the implication but this is business.
Apparently the match is only available on the online version of the Video Wire. They didn’t think of that when they included this on the DVD?
Here is a bunch of merchandise you can buy! WWE DVDs are included.
Jack Evans is going to be out for the rest of the year but he’ll be back in January. He wants some gold.
Cabana wishes Jack Evans good travels in Japanese and says play some Pokemon while he’s over there. Lacey comes in and says she has gotten Jimmy Jacobs and Colt Cabana a Tag Team Title shot in Cleveland on October 6 (the day before this show). Jimmy comes in and asks if Cabana will team with him for Lacey’s sake. Jacobs apologizes and Cabana agrees because he’s always down for a title shot.
And now, some Glory By Honor V highlights.
Bruno Sammartino is in the ring to praise Ring of Honor, which earns quite the round of applause.
Later in the night, Adam Pearce introduced Shane Hagadorn as his new manservant.
We get some clips of Homicide and Samoa Joe beating the Briscoes. Jim Cornette came out after the match and gave Homicide the World Title shot at Final Battle but promised to make it really hard to get there.
The Kings of Wrestling won the Tag Team Titles. And Castagnoli had hair!
Clips of Nigel McGuinness unsuccessfully challenging Naomichi Marufuji for the GHC Heavyweight Title.
Then Bryan Danielson beat Kenta to retain the Ring of Honor World Title.
House show ads.
Samoa Joe meets the debuting Takeshi Morishima and hopes he can hack it in Ring of Honor. Morishima doesn’t seem impressed.
Colt Cabana, with Lacey’s legs on his lap, thanks us for watching while Jacobs glares. As usual, this isn’t much of an addition but it wasn’t a bad thing at all.
Overall Rating: B+. I liked this show a lot and that was kind of a surprise. It wasn’t a major show and felt like any run of the mill event, but one of the nice things about Ring of Honor at this point is they didn’t really have traditional house shows. You get something out of all of them and that helps a lot, as you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time on a nothing show. I could go for more from this era and it’s really easy to see why Ring of Honor had such a reputation from around this time.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!