Ring of Honor

Ring of Honor – Driven

September 30, 2007

Recap by Sassy

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.  

Warning:  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 challenge.

Six Man Tag Team Match

The No Remorse Corps

Davey Richards, 5’6”, 202 lbs., from WA

Rocky Romero, 5’7”, 175 lbs. from CA

Roderick Strong, 5’10”, 205 lbs., from FL

Vs.

The Resilience

Matt Cross, 5’7”, 181 lbs., from OH

Delirious, 5’10”, 186 lbs., from MO

Erick Stevens, 6’0”, 235 lbs., from FL

Winners:  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, Austin Aries. 

Matt Sydal, 5’9”, 177 lbs., from St. Louis, MO

Vs.

Claudio Castagnoli, 6’5”, 232 lbs., from Switzerland

Winner:  Claudio Castagnoli

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.

BJ Whitmer, 6’1”, 232 lbs., from Cincinnati, OH

Vs.

Naomichi Marufuji. 5’9”, 185 lbs., from Japan

Winner:  Naomichi Marafuji

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 right.

Pelle 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.

Vs.

Brent Albright, 6’0”, 230 lbs., from Tulsa, OK

Winner:  Brent Albright

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.

ROH Tag Team Title Match

The Briscoes

Jay, 6’0”, 216 lbs.,

Mark, 6’4”, 214 lbs.

both from DE

Current ROH Tag Team Champions

Vs.

Kevin Steen & El Generico

Kevin 5’10”, 220 lbs.

El Generico 5’11”

both from Canada

Winners:  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 Sour, Inc.

ROH World Championship Match

Jimmy Rave, 6’0”, 202 lbs., from Atlanta, GA

Vs.

Takeshi Morishima, 6’3”, 319 lbs., from Tokyo, Japan

Current ROH World Champion

Winner: Takeshi 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 floor.

In Philadelphia, PA:

Nigel McGuinness, 6’1”, 220 lbs., residing in KY

Vs.

Bryan  Danielson, 5’8”, 185 lbs., from PA

Winner:  Bryan Danielson

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 bloodshed.

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 Tremont Street.

October 6, 2007, ROH will be in Edison, NJ at the Inman Sports Club, 9900 Inman Avenue.

Ring of Honor Wrestling . Com
Wrestling Bodyslam . Com