7/17/07 ROH in Osaka: Three Aces from three top promotions team in main event vs. NRC

Posted in: ROH DVDs
By By Jason Powell
Jan 26, 2008 - 08:20 PM

ROH “Live in Osaka” DVD
July 17, 2007
Osaka, Japan

Backstage, the No Remorse Corps cut a brief promo regarding their matches on the show... A brief “Video Diary” clip aired of Delirious inside a bus along with the rest of the ROH crew talking gibberish to a group of Japanese fans who gathered around the bus...

Jimmy Rave made his ring entrance. The dramatic entrance music always makes me think that something bigger is about to happen. One Japanese fan threw a roll of toilet paper into the ring during Jacobs’ entrance, which drew a few chuckles from fans who have followed the product. Bryan Danielson made his entrance. The live crowd didn’t pop at the sound of his entrance music as a typical ROH crowd would. The referee prepared to start the match, but the lights went down and CIMA came out shook hands with both wrestlers, and cut a brief promo in Japanese. The No Remorse Corps hit the ring and attacked CIMA. Naomici Marufuji ran out and helped Danielson and CIMA clear the ring. Danielson took the mic. He dubbed CIMA the best wrestler in Dragon Gate, Marufuji the best wrestler in Pro Wrestling Noah, and referred to himself as the best wrestler in Ring of Honor. He proposed that the three of them battle the No Remorse Corps in a six-man tag. The three wrestlers shook hands and the match was set. The live crowd clapped along with Danielson...

After Danielson and company left the ring, Rave took the mic and issued an open challenge. The Briscoe Brothers came to the ring and announced that the “dumbass airline lost our belts.” Genki Horiguchi stepped up from ringside and volunteered to team with Rave, meaning our first match was set...

1. The Briscoes beat Jimmy Rave and Genki Horiguchi to retain the ROH Tag Titles. Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard welcomed fans to the show and noted that the Briscoes are also slated to defend their titles a second time later in the show. Horiguchi’s look left something to be desired and the announcers implied that without directly saying it. Nevertheless, he showed good intensity whenever he was in the ring. Very good action in this match, particularly when the Briscoes were on offense. Jay Briscoe hit the J-Driller on Rave and Mark scored the pin. The crowd clapped along with the Briscoes entrance music and was definitely into the action.

Another video diary clip aired of Jack Evans putting over the Teriyaki Burger at a Japanese McDonalds while Nigel McGuiness looked on. He said it’s the best burger just like “Lost” is the best television show. He said it would only be on the menu for two day. As good as “Lost”? Wow, that’s good!...

2. Nigel McGuiness beat B.J. Whitmer at 9:14. A Japanese referee worked the match and instructed both wrestlers to shake hands. They complied and the crowd politely applauded the show of respect. The announcers put over the fact that Whitmer is trying to work out of a slump. Around the five minute mark, Whitmer and Nigel exchanged chops. Whitmer delivered the best blow, as Nigel slumped in the corner and sold the move. The crowd enjoyed the exchange and clapped at various times during the match. Just before the nine minute mark, Nigel scored a believable nearfall that drew some gasps from the live crowd. However, Nigel came right back with a Lariat and scored the clean pin. Afterward, Nigel celebrated in the ring and tried to rile up the crowd. They clapped along with his music and enjoyed themselves, yet never left their seats.

Powell’s POV: It’s refreshing to hear announcers openly refer to a wrestler being in a slump. That rarely happens in WWE or TNA unless a wrestler is about to turn heel and/or align with a manager or valet.

In another video diary moment, Evans narrated a shot of some beautiful Japanese scenery taken from the side of the road. He joked that he was renouncing his American citizenship and turning Japanese, just like the ‘80s song...

Evans came to the ring and performed a few flips that impressed the crowd. He challeged Roderick Strong to a No DQ, no countout match and vowed to take him out of the main event. Strong walked out with Masaaki Mochizuka and said he would grant Evans his wish by making Mochizuka an honorary member of the No Remorse Corps. He gave Mochizuka his spot in the main event and accepted Jack’s challenge.

3. Jack Evans beat Roderick Strong in a No DQ match around 15:20. Strong attacked Evans from behind to start the match. The announcers quickly pointed out that Strong and Evans are former tag partners, which helps put the match into perspective for new viewers. The wrestlers quickly battled to ringside, where Strong threw Evans around like a rag doll. He picked him up in a military press and threw him sideways into the ring post. Less than a minute later, Jack took control of the offense and brought the action back inside the ring. However, Strong came right back and dominated the first five minutes. The announcers verbalized the story by noting that Jack had only managed to sneak in short spurts of offense. Strong locked Evans in a move that’s hard to even describe. Evans was sprawled out with his stomach over the second rope while his arms held behind his back and Strong pushed his legs toward his head into a Boston Crab-like position. The story of the match continued to be Strong dominating, only Evans won over the crowd by refusing to say die. He wouldn’t tap out and fought out of pin attempts. Evans came back with a late flurry and performed the 630 splash for the win. The only part of his body that even hit Strong was his head, so the finish was a tad disappointing.

Powell’s POV: Evans might be the most flexible man I’ve seen since Yogi Kudu of “That’s Incredible” fame. What? You don’t remember the man who squeezed his entire body into a small box and remained their for an hour? Don’t feel bad. The mind is a strange thing. I can’t remember the names of people I met in person last week, but I remember Yogi Kudu from my childhood television viewing. This isn’t the great wrestling analysis you were looking for? It’s a free site so deal with!

Another video diary moment showed Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuiness, and Matt Sydal preparing to order food. It was hard to hear what they were saying to one another, but it didn’t seem to be relevant to any story lines...

4. Matt Sydal and Ayo Saito and Dragon Kid beat Delirious and Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino in a Dragon Gate rules match in roughly 22 minutes. The announcers noted that this match was being fought under Dragon Gate rules, but they didn’t bother to explain them. Delirious comedy to start and the crowd enjoyed it. The announcers did explain about four minutes in that tags were not necessary under Dragon Gate rules. Plenty of action and fun comedy with the Delirious team dominating most of the offense. In one of the coolest spots of the match around 14 minutes in, Saito performed a wild Suplex on Doi. He realized a second later that in the process he launched Doi into his owner partner, Sydal, who was lying in the corner. The crowd laughed at the move because it backfired on Saito. Dragon Kid and Doi had a really nice exchange late in the match that showcased some cool moves from Kid and a great powerbomb into the corner by Doi to change the momentum. At 17 minutes, Yoshino got great height on a missile dropkick and the cameras showed it from a great angle on the other side of the ring. Out of nowhere, Rave and Horiguchi ran in and interfered. More funny than anything. Sydal, who took the most abuse during the match, hit an incredible shooting star press off the top rope and scored the pin over Delirious. A wild match with one wild hight spot after another. The crowd applauded both teams afterward.

Powell’s POV: As impressive as it was to see Saito was, I couldn’t help but think that this was one situation where a less dangerous move would have elicited the same laughter from the crowd.

In another video diary segment, Mark Briscoe sprayed his clothes with what appeared to be a Japanese version of Fabreeze...

5. The Briscoe Brothers beat Shingo and Susumu Yokosuka to retain the ROH Tag Titles at 17:50. About two minutes in, Jimmy Bauer sat in with the announcers just long enough to thank the fans for making the tour of Japan possible. The Briscoes took the early advantage by working over Yokosuka. The announcers pointed out that Shingo is familiar with the Briscoes due to his history in ROH. He played a powerhouse role and handled most of the offense for his team. At 15 minutes, Mark went for a moonsault off the top, but Shingo lifted his knees. Shingo picked up Mark in a gut wrench and threw his twisting body into the air and onto the mat. He went for a lariat and scored a great nearfall. In the end, Shingo accidentally hit the lariat on his own partner and the Briscoes followed up with a springboard Doomsday Device on Yokosuka for the win. After the match, Jay took the mic, noted that they had successfully defended the titles twice in one night and claimed to be the best team in the world.

Powell’s POV: As great as the Briscoes are, I thought Shingo really stole the match whenever he was in the ring. His offense was awesome and his facial expressions were especially strong throughout the match. He also put over the finish by throwing a short tantrum in the ring to sell the loss. Yokosuka didn’t get enough offense in to really stand out, although he did more than enough by taking most of the Briscoes big offensive moves.

Another video diary moment showed Takeshi Morishima talking on a cell phone and getting onto the tour bus...

6. Bryan Danielson and CIMA and Noamichi Marujiji beat Rocky Romero and Davey Richards and Masaaki Mochizuki at 25:01. Before the match, Richards spat in Danielson’s hands. The announcers dubbed the babyface team “The Three Aces” and did a good job of putting over how the three are the top wrestlers in their respective promotions. They also noted that Takeshi Morishima was in attendance, but would not be wrestling because of a thumb injury he suffered the night before in Osaka. The crowd started a “Let’s go CIMA” chant and clapped when he started the match against Richards. The first 10 minutes featured individual showcase of the three members of the dream team. Marufuji was the last man in the ring for his team and he called out Mochizuki, much to the delight of the crowd. Nine minutes in, the announcers noted that the match was being fought under ROH rules rather than Dragon Gate rules. They could have done a better job of explaining the differences earlier in both six-man matches. Danielson took the brunt of the heels offense and sold a left shoulder injury. He also had the shoulder taped coming into the match, which made it even more believable. At 16:30, Richards locked Danielson in a submission hold and Danielson screamed for hep from his partners, who obliged by breaking up the submission attempt. Danielson made the hot tag to CIMA, but the shoulder theme came up later in the match when Romero caught him in the Fujiwara armbar for a believable near submission. Later, CIMA hit his finisher on Romero, but he kicked out. CIMA hit the move again a few moments later and scored the pin. Very good match.

Final thoughts: The absence of Morishima from this show was an unfortunate letdown, as the absence of a great ROH Title match was felt. Nevertheless, this was still a solid show and the All-Star team main event was presumably more than enough to appease ROH regulars and fans who follow Japanese wrestling. The two-disc Japan series carried a genuine feel-good theme for a promotion that was obviously thrilled to be running there. Neither show featured ROH at its best, yet featured two memorable shows in front of two groups of appreciative and impressed crowds. Personally, I enjoyed the first show more and give this event a 7.0, but I admittedly don’t follow Japanese wrestling closely. As I noted earlier, fans who follow the Japanese product might be more excited by the Three Aces team of CIMA, Marufuji, and Danielson. They were certainly impressive and the main event was entertaining, but I still came away wishing Morishima had been able to defend the title.

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