I am not going to do a play
by play of this pay per view. It
would be unfair to try to describe in detail how great this show was.
If you have not seen it, I highly recommend that you do so.
It is old school plus new school and more action than you should be able
to fit into a two-hour spot.
The sound system was a mess. It
doesn’t take away from the matches and it does make you feel more like the
good old days when action was action and storylines were minute little pieces
thrown in here and there. I will
add in as much storyline as was provided but this is not your normal wrestling
show. And that, wrestling fans, is a good thing.
ROH Driven was broadcast
from Chicago, IL.
Ring announcers: Dave
Prazak and Larry Leonard.
Here is the rundown of the Driven card and the talent involved in each match:
The Resilience challenges
The No Remorse Corps to a match. The No Remorse Corps accepts the
Richards, 5’6”, 202 lbs., from WA
Romero, 5’7”, 175 lbs. from CA
Strong, 5’10”, 205 lbs., from FL
Cross, 5’7”, 181 lbs., from OH
5’10”, 186 lbs., from MO
Stevens, 6’0”, 235 lbs., from FL
The No Remorse Corps
Great way to start a pay
per view and more action than any one person could monitor. There were times I
thought the fans were in more danger than the wrestlers.
All six men in this match pulled no punches and each one of them managed
to put their bodies on the line more than once during the course of this match.
Delirious is just that.
He may be a great wrestler but he sounds like he belongs in a
straightjacket. I kept adjusting the sound to see if it was the sound system
that made him sound so strange. It wasn’t and the crowd went wild when he took the mic.
Stevens appears to be the largest of the bunch and was a powerful ring presence.
Cross, Richards, Romero and Strong all appear to have great wrestling ability,
all are high fliers and none of them have a problem going outside the ring.
Resilience worked the crowd and kept them involved in the match.
After the match, The No
Remorse Corps weren’t quite finished with their opponents, but Austin Aries
hit the arena to make the save. Aries
made a magnificent suicide dive through the ropes, losing a shoe in the process.
The fans were certainly happy to see Aries. I believe he got a standing
ovation. Aries was there to let the fans know that he was signing with ROH and
was back. I saw Aries before in TNA. Aries
is looking good. Nice welcome back,
Sydal, 5’9”, 177 lbs., from St. Louis, MO
Castagnoli, 6’5”, 232 lbs., from Switzerland
Another great match with
two great wrestlers. I am impressed with Claudio.
He moves very well for his size and kept me watching to see what move he
would come up with next. Sydal is
quick on his feet and works the ring around Claudio. Sydal is reported to have
signed with WWE. This may be your
last opportunity to catch him in a ROH match.
At the end of the match,
Larry Sweeney and his crew, including Chris Hero, make their way to the ring.
Sweeney is looking to add to his gang and wants Sydal to sign. Claudio does his
best to talk Sydal out of signing. Sydal
decides to go the other way, agrees to join Sweet ‘n Sour, and Claudio gets
the worst of Sweet ‘n Sour.
A word about Sweet ‘n
Sour and Larry Sweeny: Sweeney has the talent to make you want to slap that
smirk off his face, or, if you can’t get close enough, have a Claudio
Castagnoli do it for you.
Sweeney has a mouth that would
make Jimmy Hart, Bobby Heenan and Ted DiBiase proud. From what I could ascertain, Sweeney’s charges include
Chris Hero, Tank Toland, Bobby Dempsey and Sara Del Ray.
Whitmer, 6’1”, 232 lbs., from Cincinnati, OH
Marufuji. 5’9”, 185 lbs., from Japan
Another impressive match
with two impressive wrestlers. I give a big thumbs up to Marafuji for speed and
agility. BJ was fast, but Marafuji
was faster. Every maneuver Whitmer tried, Marafuji countered.
Both men were athletic, agile and well versed in wrestling holds.
This match was worth the watch.
Becky Bayless is on camera
reminding everyone where ROH matches will be held in the near future.
She has a great speaking voice but I thought the outfit wasn’t quite
Primeau, 5’7”, 145 lbs., from AK
Pelle is carrying a trophy,
but I could not understand what it was or why he had it – after some digging
around, it appears to be The Top of the Class Trophy.
Albright, 6’0”, 230 lbs., from Tulsa, OK
I know you have to have one
of “those” matches. Pelle got
whomped from the minute the bell rang and Albright used the match to showcase
his strength. Since Albright is being touted as a “hired gun”, I’m sure
that is why we saw nothing but brute force.
I look forward to seeing both of these men in matches more suited to
their size and talents.
6’0”, 216 lbs.,
6’4”, 214 lbs.
ROH Tag Team Champions
Steen & El Generico
5’10”, 220 lbs.
The Briscoes, who retain the ROH Tag Team titles
The Briscoes work so well
together you would think they are attached at the hip Giving credit where credit
is due, Steen is fast and can fly despite being a big boy. El Generico took a
lot of lumps in this match but he was just as entertaining as the other
wrestlers. After watching all four
men in the match, I have a whole new meaning for “using chairs in a match”.
This is another daring group of wrestlers who don’t mind using the fans
seating area to carry out their battles. You will NOT see a match like this
anywhere on network television.
After the match, Steen
decides to take out the Briscoes with a ladder. The announcer reminds us how unsportsmanlike this is.
Steen’s point appeared to
be sure El Generico knew that he should be acting the way Steen acts.
Larry Sweeney is backstage
with Sydal and Hero bragging about how great Larry Sweeney really is. Bobby
Dempsey is exercising but spends most of the time being belittled by Sweet ‘n
Jimmy Rave, 6’0”,
202 lbs., from Atlanta, GA
6’3”, 319 lbs., from Tokyo, Japan
Current ROH World
Morishima, who retains the ROH World Title
It was a one sided match
from the start. Morishima started
working on Rave before the bell rang. Rave worked hard to overcome the odds but
Morishima was ahead for most of the match. I was surprised at Morishima’s
agility. I believe one of the announcers said this is not the first time
Morishima has retained the title by winning a match in under four minutes. The
worst part of this match was not seeing more of Jimmy Rave.
I keep seeing him in small parts on TNA when I know he is better than
what we fans are getting.
Shane Hagedorn and Adam
Pearce are backstage and Pearce is giving Hagedorn a pep talk although I am not
sure what the pep talk is about. Pearce then switches to address the viewing
audience to explain that BJ Whitmer is not getting what he needs which is the
approval of the fans and that Whitmer is on a losing streak because he isn’t
getting what he needs. Pearce then walks over to Whitmer, bends down to talk to
him, and when Whitmer stands, Pearce gives him a brotherly hug and then drops
him with a right hand. Pearce walks
away leaving Whitmer laying on the
In Philadelphia, PA:
McGuinness, 6’1”, 220 lbs., residing in KY
Danielson, 5’8”, 185 lbs., from PA
This started out as a real
wrestling match with great wrestling skill on both sides.
I was a little surprised at how well the crowd responded to the wrestling
maneuvers. It didn’t take long
for the match to switch to a little more than wrestling holds and the audience
was just as enthused. I didn’t hear that this was a no disqualification match,
but it must have been, because chairs, tables and fans outside the ring were
part of the weaponry that was allowed. This is the only match that had any
I have never seen a Ring of
Honor show. I flipped over to
YouTube yesterday and picked up a couple of teaser matches to try to get a feel
of what I would be seeing before I ordered the pay per view. I am not familiar
with most of the wrestlers on this card but after seeing the show, I intend to
get to know them all.
After seeing Driven, I
can’t understand why I hadn’t gotten around to paying attention to this
organization sooner. Not only was
every match action packed, some of the stuff they were doing made me believe
someone was going to get hauled out on a stretcher. I checked out their website
and then hopped over to their eBay sales to bid -- and win -- a DVD.
As I previously stated,
Matt Sydal has signed a
developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment.
After watching him work on Driven, I believe his going to WWE is a
mistake. He will never be able to
showcase his talent in WWE like he does in a ROH ring and that will be a huge
let down for his fans.
To find out more about Ring
of Honor wrestling and schedules, please visit their site: www.rohwrestling.com.
If you are in Boston, MA or Edison, NJ, there are two live
ROH events scheduled for this weekend. The Driven pay per view is top notch but
live action can’t be beat.
October 5, 2007, ROH will be in Roxbury, MA, Roxbury
Community College's Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, located at 1350
October 6, 2007, ROH will be in Edison, NJ at the Inman Sports Club, 9900 Inman Avenue.