Saturday, 23 December 2006 16:10
This was another packed house, and the crowd was rabid, chanting “Homicide” several times before the show started. The crowd in the same building on September 16 were called the best crowd in ROH history. This crowd was hotter.
The show opened with Santa and his Elves (Pelle Primeau and Mitch Franklin) throwing out t-shirts to the crowd, until the Briscoes hit the ring and destroyed them to an unbelievable pop. The Briscoes challenged the Kings of Wrestling to a rematch tonight.
Jimmy Rave d. El Generico, Davey Richards, and Christopher Daniels when he made Generico tap out to his new half-crab finisher. Generico and Richards were the standouts here. Generico was extremely over from the get-go, and did a lot of comedy getting the crowd to chant “Ole!” Richards and Daniels also had a good time by hitting a stiff move on Generico, and getting the crowd to chant Ole. It broke down into Daniels, Generico, and Richards hitting big moves on each other to great crowd heat, while Rave hit on the outside. Generico hit his sick top-rope brainbuster onto the top turnbuckle on Richards, but before he did Rave tagged Richards. Generico went to pin Richards, but Rave snuck in and got his submission finisher on Generico, leading to the top out.
After the match Nigel McGuinness hit the ring and he and Rave brawled.
Adam Pearce and Shane Hagadorn hit the ring. Pearce got on the mic and said that tonight’s show was dedicated to Jim Cornette. He guaranteed that Homicide would not walk out of the show tonight as ROH champ. At that point Julius Smokes and Ricky Reyes interrupted him. Smokes called Pearce a “fake ass Repo Man”, which got over as the crowd chanted “Repo Man” at Pearce.
Adam Pearce pinned Ricky Reyes. Reyes attacked Pearce, and the two had a match. It was the lowlight of the show, but the crowd was into it enough. It was short and fine. Reyes had Pearce in the Dragon Sleeper, but Hagadorn distracted the ref. This allowed Pearce to hit Reyes with brass knucks and pin him. After the match, they hit Smokes with a Spike Piledriver, giving him a reason not to come out with Homicide during the main event.
Brent Albright and Jimmy Jacobs d. Colt Cabana and BJ Whitmer when Jacobs pinned Cabana. This was the token brawl of the night. There was a segment of the crowd that turned on it early, but they were quickly shut up and the crowd was into it down the stretch. Two highlights were Jacobs hitting the Contra Code on Cabana, and immediately springing into a spinning headscissors on Whitmer. It was really impressive. The other big spot was Albright powerbombing Whitmer from the ring through a table on the floor. After that spot, Albright hit 5 or so German Suplexes on Cabana, followed by Jacobs hitting a top-rope senton for the pin. After the match Whitmer sold the powerbomb for a long time, and was helped to the back.
The Kings of Wrestling came out, and Hero introduced his new “agent”, Larry Sweeney. The KOW, and especially Claudio (since tonight was supposed to be his last match), were very over. The Briscoes then attacked, and the match got underway.
The Briscoes d. The Kings of Wrestling when Mark Briscoe pinned Chris Hero. This match was a highlight of the show. This was pretty much a big-moves tag match, but it was an awesome one. The match was relatively non-stop, and there was just as big of a KOW contingent as there was a Briscoes contingent. The crowd was going nuts down the stretch, with “ROH” and “this is awesome” chants. At one point Jay had Claudio on his shoulders, with Hero on the floor. Mark hit a rana on Claudio, while at the same time hitting a splash on Hero. They traded big moves, including Mark hitting a cutthroat driver on Claudio, and Jay hitting a J-Driller on Hero. The finish saw Claudio go to hit a Briscoe with the briefcase, but he moved and Claudio hit Hero by mistake. They knocked Claudio out of the ring, and The Briscoes hit a doubleteam Shooting Star Press/legdrop onto Hero for the pin. This match got over huge and the crowd gave a great ovation at the end.
After the match, Claudio said it looked like he’d be staying for a while, and the KOW would be better than ever in 07. At that point, Sweeney grabbed the mic and said he and Hero and big plans for 07, and Claudio wasn’t a part of them. Claudio said that Hero would pick him over Sweeney, but Hero walked out with Sweeney.
After this, Joe hit the ring and apologized for not being able to wrestle, but he wanted to challenge anyone from NOAH to a match in NYC on February 16. He mentioned Morishima, Marufuji, and even Misawa by name, and then mentioned Doug Williams or Nigel McGuinness. Nigel came out and challenged him for 2/16. Rave attacked Nigel from behind, and Joe slapped him hard in the face. Rave tried to get away, but Joe grabbed the mic and said Nigel and Rave should fight tonight.
Jimmy Rave d. Nigel McGuinness by submission. This was in the death spot on the show, and the crowd was dead for the first 8 minutes or so, but they crowd the crowd with them with a hot final 10 minutes of nearfalls. Nigel hit a bunch of lariats, and a Tower of London onto the apron, but Rave kicked out of everything. Finally, Rave slipped on his new submission and the got the tap out to a big pop. Very good match.
Cima, Shingo, and Matt Sydal d. Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, and Delirious when Cima pinned Delirious. This was your usual Dragon Gate-style non-stop big highspots match, and it was a great one. The crowd was going nuts. It’s difficult to list all of the great spots, but one highlight was Roderick hitting the hardest looking flying boot to the face that I’ve ever seen, and Matt Sydal hitting a sunset flip bomb after standing on Roderick Strong’s chest. Delirious got his Cobra Stretch on Shingo to a big pop. Cima got a few big nearfalls on Delirious, before finially getting the pin. There was a huge ROH chant after the match, as well as a please come back chant.
Homicide pinned Bryan Danielson to become the 8th Ring of Honor World Champion, ending Danielson’s 14-month-plus reign. These two guys had a tough act to follow, but the crowd was hot for it from the start. They did some chain wrestling early, with Dragon usually getting the edge. After just 8-10 minutes of exchanging reversals, Homicide hit the 3-amigos, and went to the top for a frog splash. Adam Pearce and Shane Hagadorn hit the ring and hit a shoulderbreaker on Homicide. Todd Sinclair called for the bell and DQ’d Danielson to a huge chorus of boos and a bullshit chant. The announcer was about to call the match for Homicide, when Sinclair stopped him and decided that there was no way he’d let this match end by DQ. He restarted the match to a huge pop and even a “Sinclair” chant. This might sound dumb on paper, but it got over huge, and played off of Sinclair “screwing” Homicide during his last title match in June. After the match restarted, they got off hot and heavy. Danielson went after Cide’s shoulder’s. Cide hit the tope con hilo and flew into the crowd. Cide got a bunch of shoulder submissions on Danielson to big heat, but Danielson kept escaping. Danielson hit a somersault dive into the crowd on Homicide. Danielson went for the top rope belly-to-back, but Homicide reversed it into a crossbody for a nearfall. Homicide got on the STF, but Danielson escaped. Danielson went for his elbows to the head, but Cide escaped. Danielson locked in the chickenwing but Cide escaped. Homicide went for the copkilla, but Danielson got out. Danielson locked in the Cattle Mutilation, but Homicide escaped. Danielson hit a tiger suplex for two. Homicide kept escaping the cattle mutilation. Danielson hit a low blow, and then got a small package for a great nearfall. Homicide finally hit the Cop Killa, but Danielson got his hand on the rope to a huge pop. Finally, Homicide hit the lariat for the pin, and one of the biggest pops I’ve ever heard, and that includes Kobashi in ROH.
After the match Samoa Joe, Colt Cabana, BJ Whitmer, Julius Smokes, Ricky Reyes, Allison Danger, and other members of the roster hit the ring to celebrate. Danielson hesitantly handed over the belt and the two shook hands to another big pop. After Danielson left, Homicide gave a speech and dedicated the win to the fans. Afterwards, “Ballin’” played, as everyone danced and celebrated in the ring. It was quite the scene.
I feel that this show was even better than Glory By Honor V Night 2 in the same building in September. There was no overwhelming MOTY like Dragon vs. KENTA, but there was 3 great matches, another really good one, and nothing was close to bad. The crowd was incredible hot, and the post-show celebration was incredible. One of the best shows I’ve ever had the privilege of attending, and a fitting end to the year. Even if Homicide’s reign is unsuccessful, this moment was worth it. The only thing I wish was that there was a bigger tribute to Danielson after his amazing reign, but they didn’t linger on him enough for that to happen, as he left immediately after shaking Homicide’s hand.
Still, an amazing night.
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