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Tape Review: ROH, "Redemption," Aug. 12, 2005, with Punk vs. Daniels vs. Gibson vs. Samoa Joe

Oct 9, 2005 - 4:26:00 PM
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By Chris Vetter, Torch Contributor

Ring of Honor ran another pair of fantastic shows in the Midwest in August. This is a review of ROH in Dayton Ohio, on Aug. 12, 2005. The crowd is maybe 600-700, and sound & lighting are good. Dave Prazak & Lenny Leonard are on commentary early; Gabe "Jimmy Bower" Sapolsky joins Prazak just for the last couple matches. Leonard was a great find -- I've really enjoyed his color commentary.

The tape opened with a promo by James Gibson, who talked about already having three opportunities for the ROH title. "Tonight, I've been graced with a fourth opportunity," Gibson said. Good promo.

A promo with Austin Aries & Roderick Strong & Matt Sydal aired. Aries does the talking. He said that with Jack Evans out with an injury, they've found a great new star, and they've recruited Matt Sydal.

On to the matches!

(1) Ace Steel defeats Delirious and Sterling James Keenan and Matt Stryker at 5:23. Wow, that's a lot of action packed into just a few minutes! Ace and Stryker started, and we have a four-way headscissorlock spot. Ace hit a springboard clothesline. Delirious nailed a flying clothesline. Keenan hit a backbreaker over his knee on Steel.

Stryker put Delirious in the Strykerlock/leglock at 2:30. Ace hit a running dropkick, then a German suplex on Keenan. Stryker hit a Lionsault for a nearfall. Delirious hit the Shadows over Hell backsplash on Ace. However, Ace hit Delirious with a top-rope sitdown powerbomb for the pin. This was good, nonstop action.

Christopher Daniels cut a promo, outdoors, and a loud siren in the background marred this promo. "The battle I fight tonight is my destiny versus my history," Daniels said. He went into his history in ROH, from the four-way in July 2002 where he pinned Low Ki, but didn't win the title, to his fight with CM Punk.

(2) Colt Cabana defeats Spanky at 8:25. Good, funny match. Cabana got a huge crowd pop. Spanky had medical tape on his back. The crowd seems split in cheering for these two. Prazak talked about Cabana's exile to Europe, and one of the reasons he left is because the locker room blamed him for CM Punk's heel turn.

They traded armholds, and Spanky hit some Japanese armdrags, and they had a standoff, and the crowd applauded. They did some goofy spots with running the ropes. Spanky hit a hard chop, and Cabana was upset that Spanky hit him so hard. Prazak acknowledged that Spanky is returning to WWE.

Spanky hit a spin heel kick and a swinging DDT for a nearfall at 6:30. Spanky hit a frogsplash. Cabana came back with an enziguri and a standing side kick for a nearfall. Colt won it with a rollup out of nowhere for the pin.

CM Punk came out to "Cult of Personality," and the crowd booed him. Spanky asked for a title shot. Punk pretty much said no. "You're going to be on Velocity, and I'm going to be on Monday Night Raw." He also proclaimed, "There wouldn't be a Ring of Honor without CM Punk." He declared that ROH is about to lose its world champion.

(3) Jimmy Jacobs & B.J. Whitmer defeat Nigel McGuinness & Chad Collyer at 10:49 to retain the ROH tag titles. Good match. Collyer has a new, flat Mohawk. Jacobs and Nigel started, and Nigel overpowered Jimmy. Jacobs slapped him. Collyer got in and he chopped Jacobs. The heels worked Jacobs over, and they used Jacobs as a weapon, launching him into Whitmer in a variety of moves. One nice spot had Collyer monkeyflip Jacobs, who landed on Whitmer.

Whitmer finally made the hot tag at 7:30, and he tossed Jacobs onto the opponents. Collyer blocked a Doomsday Rana. Collyer hit Whitmer with a German Suplex, dummping B.J. on his head! Nigel hit an Ace Crusher, with Jacobs' feet on the top rope, for a believable nearfall at 10:00. However, Jacobs hit a Doomsday Contra Code on Collyer, and Whitmer pinned Collyer for the win.

Samoa Joe cut a promo, also outdoors. Joe talked about his 21-month reign as champion. "In the span of two (months), you've disrespected everything I've ever done," Joe said of CM Punk.

(4) Austin Aries & Roderick Strong & Matt Sydal defeat Alex Shelley & Abyss & Jimmy Rave (w/Prince Nana) at 16:50. Wow, this is a really good six-man tag. Rave and Strong started, then Aries battled Shelley. Prazak said that Jade Chung isn't here tonight, because she is cleaning all the bathrooms in Nana's palace. Aries hit a nice flying back elbow, a corkscrew catapult press, and a Lionsault. Shelley came back by putting Aries in a Border City Stretch.

Sydal tagged in at 4:00, and he squared off with Abyss! Sydal tried ducking Abyss' blows, while hitting some chops and kicks, but Abyss grabbed Matt, and threw him up in the air, with Sydal crashing hard on the mat! Shelley entered the ring, and he folded Sydal backward, yanking on his head. Aries made the hot tag at 7:00. Abyss beat up Aries on the floor. In the ring, Aries and Abyss traded hard chops.

Abyss hit a Stinger Splash at 10:30. Nana pulled out the Ghana flag, and he choked Aries with it. Rave entered and put Aries in a bearhug. Strong made the hot tag at 14:30, and he nailed a backbreaker over his knee on Shelley. Abyss hit a German Release Suplex on Strong, with Strong twisting in the air and crashing on his stomach. Aries & Sydal hit dropkicks on Abyss, helping Strong get a German Suplex on Abyss. Nice move.

Sydal hit a top-rope moonsault to the floor on Abyss. Rave went for the Rave Clash on Strong. Strong hit Rave with a backbreaker over his knee. Aries hit a 450 Splash and pinned Rave. Good, strong match.

(5) Low Ki vs. Jay Lethal went to a draw (double disqualification) at 15:56. I really liked this match too, despite the non-finish. Lethal ran into the ring and the fight is on immediately! Lethal went for a Dragon Suplex, but Ki escaped and stalled. Lethal dove through the ropes to the floor on Ki. A few minutes later, Lethal was standing on the ring apron, and Ki kicked him off to the floor. Prazak on commentary said Julius Smokes isn't here tonight because "he is a wanted man here in Ohio."

Ki hit several repeated chops, a clothesline, then he applied a bodyscissorslock at 5:30. They traded punches, but Ki is dominating. Lethal hit a back suplex, and both men were down. Lethal hit a Benoit diving headbutt off the top turnbuckle for a nearfall at 11:00. Lethal again went for the Dragon Suplex, but Ki blocked it.

Low Ki tied Lethal in the Tree of Woe, and he hit a doublestomp to the chest for a nearfall. Ki went to the top rope, but Lethal pushed the ref into the ropes, and Ki fell and got crotched. The announcers made a point of acknowleding the physical contact both wrestlers had on the ref. They brawled to the floor, into the crowd, and up into the bleachers. The ref got pushed again, and he called for the bell. The crowd booed the double DQ, and chanted, "bullsh--." Homicide hit the ring to help beat up Lethal, but Matt Hardy made the save.

(6) Matt Hardy defeats Homicide at 17:37. Good match. The crowd is really split between cheering these two. Homicide really looks small standing toe-to-toe with Hardy. Prazak said that Edge called Homicide tonight, asking Homicide to take out Hardy! The match started, and Hardy grapevined Homicide's leg. Homicide hit repeated kicks and stomp in the corner. Hardy hit a tilt-a-whirl side slam at 5:30.

Homicide went to work on Hardy's left knee, and he hit the Tope Con Helo dive through the ropes. They brawled on the floor. In the ring, Homicide hit a standing neckbreaker. The crowd chanted, "Let's go Matt!" Homicide yanked Matt down by his hair. Homicide hit a Tornado DDT for a nearfall at 11:30. Hardy came back with a top-rope Superplex, and both men were down. Hardy hit a bulldog and applied a Front Guillotine Choke.

Hardy hit the second-rope Gullotine Legdrop at 14:30, and there were audible boos at the move. Homicide hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall, then a hard clothesline for a believable nearfall. Homicide went for the Copkillah, but Hardy blocked it. Hardy went for the Twist of Fate, but Homicide blocked that move. Homicide hit the Ace Crusher/stunner for a believable nearfall. The crowd was now loudly chanting "Homicide!"

Hardy hit the Splash Mountain/Razor's Edge for a nearfall. Low Ki ran to ringside to distract Hardy, allowing Homicide to hit an Exploder Suplex. Jay Lethal ran out and attacked Low Ki. Lethal, standing on the floor, fought over a chain with Homicide, who was still in the ring. While those two fought over the chain, Hardy snuck up behind Homicide and rolled him up for the pin.

(7) James Gibson defeats CM Punk and Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe to win the ROH World Title in a four-way elimination match at 50:39. There are full introductions for all four competitors. The crowd loudly chanted "Fallen Angel" at Daniels. The crowd taunted Punk with a "Na na, hey hey, goodbye" chant, but they quickly chanted "thank you Punk!" Jimmy Bower is on commentary.

Joe and Punk were going to start, but Punk tagged out to Gibson, only to immediately tag Joe to get in. Punk seems more leery of Joe than the other two competitors. In an interesting note, Bower said that Punk could retain the title EVEN IF HE HAD BEEN ELIMINATED, if the match was not finished in the one-hour time limit. Bower also acknowledged that Gibson is returning to the WWE.

Punk and Gibson traded matholds. Daniels entered at 4:30 and he traded quick matholds and reversals with Punk, and they had a standoff. Joe tagged in, and Punk tried to tag out, but the other competitors won't let him. Joe hit a Saito Suplex, dropping Punk on his head at 8:00. Punk bailed to the floor, but Gibson attacked him on the floor.

Joe and Daniels squared off in the ring, and Joe hit a big slap in the face. Joe tied up Gibson's legs, and he pulled back on the head. Gibson hit Joe with a big senton at 13:00, and they traded chops. Punk tagged back in at 16:00, but Gibson and Daniels beat him up. Punk slapped Joe in the face, and the ref ruled it was a tag. Joe hit Daniels with a Facewash at 19:30. CM Punk entered the ring, and he hit a back chop/front kick/elbow drop (mocking Joe!) on Daniels for a nearfall. Punk put Daniels in a modified Tarantula, but Joe broke it up.

Punk put Daniels in a Boston Crab. They brawled on the floor. Punk went for an Ole Kick, but Joe stopped him! In the ring, Punk went for a Split-legged moonsault, but Daniels got his knees up to block it. Daniels hit the STO uranage, and both men were down. Gibson tagged in at 27:30, and he hit a guillotine legdrop for a nearfall on Punk, then a plancha to the floor. Daniels hit an Arabian Press on Gibson and Punk. Joe dove through the ropes on everyone, leading to a loud "ROH" chant.

Suddenly, Punk hit Gibson with a hard chairshot to the head! Gibson bled heavily, and he was helped to the back at 33:00. Joe and Punk traded stiff forearms and kicks to the thighs. Bower said that Gibson has a concussion, and would be going to the hospital. Punk hit a moonsault on Joe for a nearfall. Daniels entered the ring, and he hit a Death Valley Driver for a believable nearfall on Punk. Punk hit the Welcome to Chicago spinning backbreaker on Daniels. Daniels hit the Best Moonsault Ever on Punk for a believable nearfall at 37:00.

Joe entered, and he hit a Mafia Kick on Daniels. Joe applied an STF, but Daniels reached the ropes. Daniels hit a Samoan Drop on Joe, and he applied the Koji Clutch/headscissorslock. In a really cool spot, Daniels went for a rollup on Joe with a bridge, but Joe reached up, grabbed Daniels head, and applied the rear-naked choke! Daniels' foot reached the ropes, but Punk pushed the foot off the ropes, and Daniels passed out and was eliminated at 41:08.

Daniels awoke and he tried to continue to fight, but he accidentally hit Joe with an enziguri! Punk rolled up Joe and pinned him at 42:09!! Joe and Daniels brawled on the floor and up the ramp. Joe bled on his thigh. The crowd chanted, "We want Gibson!" Gibson stumbled out of the back, still bleeding heavily from his forehead.

Gibson and Punk brawled immediately, and Gibson hit a top-rope crossbody block. Punk hit a TKO Ace Crusher at 45:00. They brawled to the floor, and Gibson crotched Punk on the guardrail, then he hit a chairshot on Punk's leg. In the ring, Punk hit a top-rope hurricanrana. Gibson applied a Sharpshooter, but Punk reached the ropes. Punk hit a Shining Wizard for a nearfall, then he applied the Anaconda Vice/head and arm submission hold. Gibson hit the Tiger Driver/double underhook powerbomb for a believable nearfall, and the crowd chanted "F--- you ref!!"

They brawled on the top turnbuckle. Punk went for a Pepsi Plunge, but Gibson blocked it. Gibson then hit a huge top-rope Tiger Driver and scored the pin!! The crowd went nuts, and Spanky ran into the ring to hug Gibson. Several wrestlers hit the ring to celebrate with Gibson. This is a neat moment. The crowd chanted "Match of the year!" Gibson got on the mic and said, "I consider this the greatest day of my professional wrestling career." Gibson and Punk shook hands, then hugged. The crowd chanted "Thank you Punk."

The camera followed them backstage, then the show ended.

Final thoughts: Tape lasts 2 hours, 59 minutes. I really enjoyed this tape. The promos by Daniels, Gibson and Joe made it appear anyone could win. They built up this match perfectly in the past two months, and it delivered. The six-man tag was really good, and is second-best on this tape behind the main event. Both Homicide-Hardy and Lethal-Ki were standout matches as well.

The undercard was good but short. This is a fantastic show, and many fans will consider this among the top five ROH shows of the year. Purchase this tape at www.rohwrestling.com for $20.


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