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By Sean Radican, Torch Columnist
ROH Respect Is Earned Report
July 20, 2007 (taped May 12, 2007)
By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist
The show opened with B.J. Whitmer standing in the ring in front of a red hot crowd. Whitmer said ROH lets the wrestling do the talking for the company. He issued an open challenge to anyone in the back.
ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima came out and accepted his challenge. The crowd chanted his name.
1 -- ROH WORLD CHAMPION TAKESHI MORISHIMA vs. B.J. WHITMER
Morishima hit a side slam early and a big boot on Whitmer in the corner. The crowd chanted “Fuck him up” as Morishima pounded on Whitmer in the corner. Whitmer made a comeback and hit an exploder. Whitmer got a nearfall with a clothesline. The crowd chanted for both men. This is an incredible atmosphere. Morishima wouldn’t go down as Whitmer hit several clotheslines. Morishima then absolutely decapitated Whitmer with a huge clothesline. Morishima hit the backdrop driver for the pin.
WINNER: Morishima. This was a great introduction to Morishima as ROH’s champion. (**)
Nigel McGuinness came down to the ring and the crowd gave him a huge response. He was identified as a top challenger in the company. McGuinness told Morishima he was one hell of a wrestler, but then again so is he. McGuinness said he was throwing his name in on the list of contenders for Morishima’s title. McGuinness said he didn’t care where he got the shot. Bryan Danielson came down to the ring to a huge ovation and the announcers said the former World Champion was back after a 5 month absence. Danielson told McGuinness he had held the ROH World Title for 15 months and he was the best wrestler in the world. Danielson listed a number of wrestlers, including McGuinness that he had defeated during his reign. Danielson told McGuinness he was the one who deserved the shot. Danielson took a cheap shot at McGuinness and Morishima joined in.
Danielson held the ROH World Title in his hands while Morishima was pounding on McGuinness in the corner. Morishima took the title from Danielson and left the ring. McGuinness recovered and confronted Danielson, but he bailed to the back. This was a heck of a segment that quickly established the top contenders to the ROH World Title.
A video package aired for Brent Albright coming to ROH PPV. He said in his world it’s get out or tap out. He said he was a gun for hire.
2 - - ROCKY ROMERO vs. NAOMICHI MARUFUJI
The announcers thanked the fans for supporting ROH. After a brief exchange, both men came to a standoff. The crowd was still red hot as the announcers talked about Romero’s ability to use his kicks and submissions. They had another great exchange that saw both men miss kicks and the crowd applauded. Romero caught Marufuji in a cross arm breaker, but Romero let go and delivered several hard kicks that had the crowd gasping. Romero locked in another arm submission. Marufuji held his hands together as a UFC fighter would to counter the hold. Romero got the mount and punched away at Marufuji as the crowd booed.
Marufuji cut Romero off on the apron and dropkicked him into the guardrail on the outside. Marufuji targeted Romero’s knee and used the ropes for leverage on a dragon screw. Marufuji continued to use the ropes for leverage while working over Romero’s leg. Romero hit an elbow and went up top, but Marufuji hit him with a dropkick and hit a dragon screw takedown on him off the top rope. The announcers discussed how Marufuji was taking away Romero’s ability to strike with his legs with his attack. Romero made a comeback with a DDT and favored his knee. Romero came off the top, but Marufuji caught his leg. Romero was able to escape and hit a kick. Romero hit a springboard DDT for a 2 count.
Romero went for a suplex, but Marufuji landed on his feet and hit a knee to Romero’s face. They exchanged forearms in the middle of the ring. Marufuji came off the ropes and hit a huge clothesline. Marufuji hit a powerbomb for a 2 count. Marufuji went up top, but Romero cut him off. They came off the top and Romero caught him in the cross arm breaker in mid-air. The crowd badly wanted Marufuji to reach the ropes to break the hold and he did. Romero and Marufuji traded kicks and both men ended up on their backs as the crowd chanted “ROH, ROH.” Marufuji hit an elbow in the corner and powerbombed Romero into the turnbuckles. Marufuji then hung Romero upside down as the crowd roared and signaled for the coast to coast dropkick, which he hit full force, but Romero kicked out at the last second.
Romero hit a tiger suplex, but Marufuji got right up only to eat a kick to the face from Romero for a 2 count. Marufuji blocked a kick and hit one on his own. Marufuji then hit the sliced bread #2 for the pin.
WINNER: Naomichi Marufuji. This was just an incredible match. (****)
Larry Sweeney and Tank Tolland were backstage. Sweeney said now that ROH was on PPV, we would see a lot of him. Sweeney said he was the top agent going today. He said he had Hero under contract. Sweeney then said his latest athlete under contract, Sara Del Ray. Sweeney said he now had the best male and female wrestlers in ROH under contract. Sweeney said he would have his athletes sit out if the money wasn’t right. Sweeney then told Del Ray that Tolland would be her trainer. Tolland then brought Bobby Dempsey into the picture and said he would mold him into a Greek god. Tolland said he was an all natural superior athlete. He had Dempsey do squats. Del Ray started doing squats with Dempsey, which Tolland didn’t like. He said the exercise was for men. Del Ray said she could do more squats then Tolland. They then had a contest to see who could do the most squats as Dempsey collapsed in the background.
They cut back to the ring. Danielson and Morishima were beating on McGuinness. KENTA made the save to a huge ovation. They put him over as a top athlete in ROH. KENTA and McGuinness sent both men packing. This set up the main event of Morishima & Danielson vs. KENTA & McGuinness.
An ad for ROHWrestling.com aired.
Sydal and Castagnoli were already in the ring and the Briscoes music hit to a huge ovation. Highlights then aired of Castagnoli and Sydal in action.
3 - - ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE BRISCOES vs. MATT SYDAL & CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI
The announcers said Castagnoli had chosen Sydal to be his partner after earning a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Titles. Castagnoli and Mark started out in the ring and came to a standoff early. Jay tagged in and exchanged holds with Sydal on the mat. Jay took Sydal down with a headscissors takedown and pounded him in the corner. Sydal gained the upper hand quickly after and tagged in Castagnoli. Jay and Mark double teamed Castagnoli with a kick in the corner and then a running boot from Mark for a nearfall. Castagnoli tagged in Sydal, but he ended up in the Briscoes corner and they hit a flurry of double team maneuvers on Sydal for a nearfall. The Briscoes continued to tag in and out. They threw Sydal high in the air and he came crashing down to the canvas. The Briscoes hit their double team shoulder tackle and Mark taunted Castagnoli. Mark held Sydal across his leg and Jay came off the top with a corkscrew legdrop for a 2 count. That was a great looking maneuver. Sydal backdropped Mark to the floor and sent Jay to the canvas with a hurricanrana.
Castagnoli tagged in and hit a series of uppercuts on Jay as the crowd roared. Castagnoli walked the second rope to the middle and hit an elbow for a 2 count, but was quickly cut off by the Briscoes, who took him out with a double team maneuver. Sydal charged in, but the Briscoes hit a huge biel on him. Castagnoli charged at them, but also got a double team biel. Castagnoli and Sydal fired back out of the corner and regained the advantage as they worked over Jay in their own corner. Sydal locked Jay in a seated abdominal stretch. Castagnoli and Sydal worked together with several double team maneuvers on Jay. Castagnoli hit the giant swing on Jay as the crowd roared while Sydal and Mark brawled on the outside. Castagnoli got a 2 count and tagged in Sydal, who hit a springboard bulldog and then a springboard senton on Jay for a 2 count. Castagnoli and Sydal placed Jay up top, but Jay fought him off and hit a reverse blockbuster on Sydal and a chin breaker on Sydal. Jay tagged in Mark, who ran wild on Sydal as the crowd roared. The Briscoes monkey flipped Castagnoli to the floor and then Jay hit a huge dive onto him on the outside as the crowd became unglued. Mark powerbombed Sydal into the corner and then hit a suplex for a 2 count. The Briscoes hit a double team sidewalk slam/legdrop on Sydal for a nearfall. Castagnoli came into the ring and took out both Briscoes. Sydal then tagged him into the match legally. Castagnoli hit an incredible step up headscissors takeover and then a bicycle kick on Mark for a 2 count. Sydal tagged into the match and hit a standing moonsault on Mark for a 2 count. Mark tried to fight back and eventually hit a huge forearm on Castagnoli and tagged in Jay, who hit a crossbody off the top for a 2 count. The Briscoes continued to use double teams on Castagnoli. Sydal took out Mark and they brawled on the outside. Jay and Castagnoli traded blows, but Castagnoli sent him to the floor with a springboard European uppercut. Sydal then came off Castagnoli’s shoulders and hit a dive to the outside on the Briscoes. Castagnoli tagged out to Sydal, who hit the Sydal press, but Mark broke up the pin at the last second.
Mark hit a superkick on Castagnoli, but Sydal interfered. Jay then caught him with a DVD as Mark hit a dive to the outside through the second rope on Castagnoli. Jay only got a nearfall. Sydal reversed the Jay Driller into a dragonrana. The Briscoes then hit the springboard doomsday device on Sydal for the pin.
WINNERS: The Briscoes. This was another excellent match on this PPV. Both teams worked so well together and this really was a showcase for tag team wrestling. (****1/4)
Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard thanked the fans in Manhattan from ringside. Leonard said the live experience of ROH was incredible as the crowd continued to cheer the Briscoes, who were still in the background. The fans chanted “ROH, ROH.” Prazak listed the cities ROH is going to be visiting shortly.
Kevin Steen and El Generico then came out. Steen said he had a question for the Briscoes. He wanted to know when they were going to get an ROH World Tag Team Title shot. The Briscoes challenged them to come to the ring and Generico and Steen charged in. Both teams had an intense brawl, but several people ran out from the back to break them up. Both teams continued to brawl, despite security trying to hold them back. This was a great brawl as neither team wanted to give up and began beating on the security trying to break them up. They brawled into the seats and backstage. Steen took out Mark with a chairshot backstage. Generico and Jay brawled backstage as well. Generico looked upset about Steen hitting Mark with a chairshot. Jay tended to Mark in the hallway.
Highlights aired from the Strong-Delirious feud. This was a good way for new fans to catch up on their past matches.
4 - - DELIRIOUS vs. RODERICK STRONG
Both men were already in the ring when we got back from the video package. Delirious dominated Strong on the outside early. The crowd chanted for Delirious as he took down Strong with a crossbody off the ropes. Strong gained the upper hand briefly, but Delirious caught him with a clothesline out of the corner. Delirious charged Strong out of the corner a few minutes later, but Strong caught him with a backbreaker. Strong came off the second rope, but Delirious hit a headbutt to his mid section. The crowd chanted for Delirious, as both men tried to get to their feet. Delirious hit a series of lariats off the ropes, but was too gassed to make the cover. Delirious dropkicked Strong into the corner and hit the panic attack. Delirious went up top for Shadows Over Hell, but Strong got out of the way. Delirious rolled through coming off the ropes and hit a bizzaro driver for a 2 count.
Delirious went for the cobra stretch, but Strong drove him into the corner to break the hold. The crowd taunted Strong with chants of “Roderick, Roderick.” Delirious avoided a charge in the corner from strong and hit a hangman’s neckbreaker for a 2 count. Strong hit another version of the backbreaker for a 2 count. Strong stood on the second rope and hit a fall away slam on Delirious for a 2 count. Delirious rolled Strong up for a 2 count and hit an enzuguri. Delirious went up top, but Strong cut him off. Delirious fought Strong off and hit the shadows over hell for a 2 count. Both men exchanged pinning combinations, but Strong dead lifted Delirious into a back breaker for a 2 count.
They fought on the apron and Delirious sent Strong to the outside. Delirious went up top and hit a suicide flip onto Strong. The crowd applauded for Delirious as he went on the attack sending Strong into the guardrail. Delirious hit the panic attack on Strong, who was leaning against the guardrail. Strong cut off Delirious as he came back into the ring and sent Delirious back-first against the edge of the apron as the crowd gasped. Strong went for a Gibson driver, but Delirious blocked it. They exchanged forearms in the center of the ring, but Strong raked Delirious’s eyes. Delirious came off the ropes, but Strong caught him with a gutbuster for a nearfall. Strong then got a Boston crab on Delirious in the center of the ring, but Delirious eventually got to the ropes. Delirious countered a backbreaker and hit the chemical imbalance 2 for a nearfall. Delirious got the cobra stretch on Strong, but Strong fought out. Delirious then hit a suplex out of the cobra stretch position, but Strong got his hand on the bottom rope at the last second.
Delirious hit Strong with a kicked to the head, but missed a clothesline. Strong hit a series of high impact maneuvers capped by the Gibson driver for the win.
WINNER: Roderick Strong. This was a very good match with a lot of back and fourth action. (***1/2)
Rocky Romero and Davey Richards came down to the ring. They put the boots to Delirious as the announcers talked about how they were in the No Remorse Corps with Strong. They set up a guardrail on the ring apron. Strong then hit the Gibson driver on the steel barricade on Delirious. Erick Stevens of the Resilience then came out to make the save. The announcers didn’t explain how Delirious fit in with Stevens and Matt Cross of the Resilience.
Shane Hagadorn and Adam Pearce were backstage. Pearce sent Hagadorn away and talked about ROH’s growth to PPV. Pearce showed Whitmer in the hallway. He said Whitmer had made a lot of sacrifices for ROH. He said Whitmer had recently lost a violent feud to Jimmy Jacobs. Pearce said Whitmer was a tortured soul. Pearce then said Whitmer was going to be known as the man who lost the first match on ROH PPV. Pearce said he knows what he is capable of and everyone else would soon know what he is capable of too. Pearce then went up to Whitmer and put his hand on his shoulder. This was an interesting segment.
Bobby Cruise did full introductions for the main event from the ring.
5 - - KENTA & NIGEL McGUINNESS vs. ROH WORLD CHAMPION TAKESHI MORISHIMA & BRYAN DANIELSON
The announcers said they had been handed a not that said Mark Briscoe had suffered a concussion from Kevin Steen’s chairshot. KENTA sent Danielson to the mat with a flying kick to the gut off the ropes. Morishima tagged in and signaled for McGuinness, so KENTA tagged out. The crowd was red hot once again after coming down a bit during the Delirious-Strong contest. Morishima sent McGuinness to the mat and tagged in Danielson, who applied an arm submission, but McGuinness was able to break it by reaching the ropes. The crowd chanted “You’re gonna get your fucking head kicked in” for Danielson, but McGuinness gained the upper hand with a European uppercut. Morishima distracted McGuinness and Danielson hit a European uppercut off the top. Danielson hit a headbutt on Danielson. KENTA then ran into the ring and all four men ended up in stalemate as the crowd chanted “ROH, ROH.”
Morishima hit a running hip on McGuinness who was in the seated position and then stood on his chest in the corner with Danielson draped over him. The ref told them to break it up, but Danielson told the ref he had until five to break the hold. Danielson worked over McGuinness on the mat with a modified stretch plum choke. You won’t see that move anywhere else. It looks devastating. Danielson sat down to leverage the hold, but McGuinness rolled into a pinning predicament to break the hold. Morishima tagged in and hit another running hip on McGuinness. McGuinness tried to fight his way out of the corner, but Morishima cut him off. Morishima and Danielson tagged in and out to work over McGuinness on the mat. McGuinness tried to fire back on Danielson, but got kicked in the head for his efforts. McGuinness ducked a charge into the corner from Danielson and took out Morishima with a jawbreaker lariat before tagging in KENTA.
KENTA hit a big boot on Danielson and then a springboard missile dropkick for a 2 count. Danielson and KENTA traded slaps, but KENTA hit a hard shot and hit a running boot to Danielson’s face in the corner. KENTA charged Danielson out of the corner, but Danielson caught him with a backbreaker and tagged in Morishima, who hit a cartwheel elbow on KENTA in the corner. KENTA cut off Morishima and tagged in McGuinness, who hit a series of slaps on Morishima in the corner and then running European uppercut. Morishima hit a big boot on McGuinness as he came off the ropes and then a missile dropkick, but McGuinness fired up and hit a huge lariat right away for a nearfall. That was a great sequence. Morishima went for another cartwheel into an elbow in the corner, but McGuiness nearly decapitated him with a lariat. McGuinness went up top, but Danielson cut him off. KENTA threw Danielson to the floor and McGuinness battled Morishima up top. Danielson came back and interfered, which allowed Morishima to sit down on McGuinness’s chest. Morishima hit his backdrop driver, but the pin got broken up. Morishima went up top, but McGuinness cut him off and hit the Tower of London. McGuinness was too tired to make the cover and both men struggled to their corners. Both men tagged out and Danielson and KENTA exchanged big blows. KENTA got the upper hand and draped Danielson over the top rope and hit a flying knee strike off the top for a nearfall.
Danielson hit a forearm on KENTA and a dragon suplex for a 2 count. Danielson got the crossface chickenwing on KENTA in the middle of the ring. KENTA bridged back to create a pin and Danielson was forced to let go. Danielson placed KENTA on the top rope, but McGuinness cut him off with a powerbomb. KENTA came off the top, but Morishima caught him and hit a suplex. McGuinness hit a huge lariat on Danielson, who was draped over the top rope. Morishima sent McGuinness to the floor. McGuinness hit a rebound lariat on the floor and threw him into the crowd. McGuinness went up top and hit a flying bodypress into the crowd. The crowd chanted “ROH, ROH.”
Danielson hit a suplex on KENTA in the ring. McGuiness and Danielson went nose to nose as the announcers said the rivalry was back on. They exchanged European uppercuts. Danielson caught his arm and hit a kick to McGuinness’s elbow. McGuinness went to the floor. Danielson went up top and went for a flying headbutt on KENTA, but KENTA got his feet up and went on the attack. KETNA hit Go 2 Sleep, but Morishima broke up the pin. Morishima hit a suplex as McGuinness got his elbow taped. Danielson hit a flying headbutt on KENTA for a 2 count. Morishima held KENTA for a roaring elbow from Danielson, followed by a clothesline from Danielson for a nearfall. McGuinness came back into the ring and hit the jawbreaker lariat on Morishima with his bad elbow. KETNA hit a top rope falcon arrow on Danielson for a convincing nearfall as the crowd chanted “ROH, ROH.”
All four men were down as McGuinness screamed and held his elbow. Danielson and KENTA exchanged blows in the middle of the ring. Danielson got the crossface chickenwing. Danielson placed KENTA on the rope and hit a belly to back suplex for a 2 count. Danielson locked in cattle mutilation. Danielson then switched the hold and hit KENTA with elbows to the head, but KENTA picked him up and went for the Go 2 Sleep. Danielson blocked it and hit a tiger suplex for a nearfall. Danielson locked in cattle mutilation again as Morishima pounded on McGuinness. KENTA eventually tapped to cattle mutilation, as McGuinness was unable to make the save.
WINNERS: Bryan Danielson & Takeshi Morishima. This was another excellent match on this PPV. It was nearly a MOTY contender. (****1/4)
Danielson grabbed the ROH World Title after the match. Morishima didn’t like that and gave him the backdrop driver. McGuinness picked up the belt and offered it to Morishima, but ate a huge clothesline. The announcers asked if anyone could stop Morishima as he swung the belt over his head in the center of the ring.
Replay recommendation: I highly recommend this show. It is the best pro wrestling PPV I’ve seen on television in a long time.
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