Something for everyone on ROH releases
JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling
|Death Before Dishonor II Part 2
Ring of Honor truly is one of the most resilient companies in wrestling, and have proved it this year by putting on some of the best shows in the two and a half year history of the promotion. Recent releases of the "Death Before Dishonor" weekend and "Testing The Limit" are some of the company's most solid shows, capped with three very unique main events.
Death Before Dishonor II Part 1 from Wauwatosa, Wisc., is probably the weakest of the three shows, but still well worth watching. The main event two-out-of-three falls tag match between ROH Tag Team Champions CM Punk & Colt Cabana over former champions The Briscoes is a classic old school tag team match. ROH Champion Samoa Joe's feud with Homicide continues on this tape with another brutal match, while the six-man tag between John Walters, Matt Stryker & Jimmy Jacobs (with Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat in their corner) against Generation NeXt's Jack Evans, Roderick Strong & Austin Aries continues the story line between the two sides with another great match. Another standout is the Pure Title bout between champion Doug Williams and challenger Alex Shelley.
It was the next night in Chicago Ridge, Ill., that is truly a must-see show. Considered by many ROH followers to be the best show of the year, the lengthy feud between The Prophecy and the Second City Saints culiminated in a brutal, bloody and brilliant Chicago Street Fight. The Prophecy's Dan Maff & BJ Whitmere and hometown boys CM Punk and Ace Steel gave the fans everything; barbed wire, ladders, tables, creative spots and a recreation of the infamous ECW chair throwing riot. The match truly has to be seen to be believed and rivals the classic Foley/Orton match earlier this year in terms of being a great match.
On the other end of the spectrum were more traditional matches like Doug Williams vs. Austin Aries and John Walters & Matt Stryker vs. Roderick Strong and Jack Evans that are very good in their own right. The Briscoes' single bouts prove that they truly are two of the best up-and-comers in the business. Mark faces Low Ki while Jay faces Homicide, two of the hardest hitting guys in the business, and they prove not only can they take it, they can dish it back. Colt Cabana, also from Chicago, is known mostly for the comedic aspects of his character, but proves against ROH Champ Samoa Joe that he deserves to be in there with the champ.
From top to bottom, DBD 2 Day 2 is the show to see for fans who have been curious about seeing the ROH product. It gives a wide variety of matches, from a six-man scramble to the street fight, and every match offers something different and is exciting.
"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson facing Austin Aries in a two-out-of-three fall match headlined "Testing The Limit" in Philadelphia on August 8th. Before the match it was announced that instead of the traditional time limit, each fall would have a 60-minutes. Fans buckled themselves in for a long match, and they got it as what unfolded was a 75-minute classic. The two men built slowly towards each fall and combined mat wrestling with high impact moves like Aries' flying elbowdrop off the top to the floor. The match will not be for everyone due to the slow build and length, but to those who long for the days of Ric Flair putting on 60-minute draws, this is the match for you.
The show took place at the Ramada hotel, and in a post-match brawl between the Briscoes and Low Ki & Homicide the locker room emptied and everyone ended up in the parking lot. Guests unaware of the wrestling show going on actually phoned the police thinking that someone was being assaulted in the parking lot!
Another great thing about "Testing the Limit" is the return of CM Punk to commentary. Punk is one of the best talkers in ROH and his promo skill is matched by his color skill. He adds to each match he calls, but departs the booth to defend the ROH Tag Titles with Colt Cabana against The Havana Pitbulls. Initially Punk goes to ringside alone, as Cabana was nowhere to be found. Colt wanted to go to the ring solo, paying tribute to the recently departed Rick James by strutting to the ring to Superfreak. The look of disgust on Punk's face is priceless.
Ring of Honor continues to be an innovator and alternative to WWE and TNA. If you are one of the fans who are tired of sports entertainment and three-minute matches, you should definitely check out some ROH releases. Their fanbase is rabid for a reason, mainly great stories told by wrestlers in the ring.
For info on how to order these and other Ring of Honor releases, visit their online store for details.
Jason Clevett is from Calgary, Alberta. He is a big fan of independent wrestling and encourages fans to support indy shows like ROH and their local promotions.