Driven was one of Ring of Honor’s first pay-per-views. The show has a pretty impressive card, we have an ROH World Title match between dominant champion Takeshi Morishima and Jimmy Rave. The Briscoes defend their Tag Titles against Steen & Generico and the main event of the show is an epic encounter between Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness. All this and more on‘ROH Driven’ (6/23/07):
Delirious & The Resilience (Matt Cross & Erick Stevens)
vs. The No Remorse Corps (Davey Richards, Roderick Strong & Rocky Romero)
Wow, what an opener. Considering this was an impromptu match, it was terrific. This followed the usual ROH opener rules, it got the crowd going and was very fast-paced. All six men got offense in and Matt Cross pulled off some insane diving moves. Brilliant match that you just didn’t want to end, what a start. NRC picked up the win after several kicks on Cross by Romero followed by the DR Driver from Richards. After the match, Austin Aries comes out to make the save for Delirious & The Resilience and announced he had re-signed with ROH.
Matt Sydal vs. Claudio Castagnoli
First things first, how weird does Claudio look with hair?! Yet again, another great match. Both guys with some really innovative moves that kept this match an interesting one. Didn’t go too long or end prematurely and the end was crazy. Claudio reversed a hurricanrana attempt, rolled through and got the win… somehow! After the match, Sweet n Sour Inc came to the ring and beat down on Claudio, Sydal turned on CC and joined SnS Inc.
BJ Whitmer vs Naomichi Marufuji
Decent little back-and-forth match here. It was entertaining enough but just felt like a string of moves put together with very little story or selling behind it. Marufuji is very hard hitting and the crowd love him. He was made to look great in this one and after a couple of failed attempts, hit the Shiranui (Sliced Bread V2) for the win.
Pelle Primeau vs. Brent Albright
As you can imagine, this was a squash. But it was one of the most devastating squash matches I’ve ever seen. It was fun seeing Primeau tossed around like a ragdoll!
ROH World Tag Team Titles
The Briscoes © vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
This match took a while to get going but when it did, it was great. Both teams had great chemistry and I loved the dynamic they had going with Steen & Generico. This showed the challengers in a good light whilst also putting the Briscoes over as strong champs. Some crazy spots in this one including people getting tossed into the crowd. Very good match with the Briscoes picking up the win with a spiked Jay Driller. Steen attacked Mark Briscoe with a ladder afterwards.
ROH World Title Match
Takeshi Morishima © vs. Jimmy Rave
Wow, a squash World Title match? Controversial. Anybody but Morishima and I don’t think they could get away with it. Considering this lasted just over three minutes, it was fun. Morishima was devastating as usual and I don’t know how he’s so athletic… Rave pretty much buried.
Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness
As the PPV went a little short, we will see the recent #1 contenders match for the ROH World Title in Philadelphia. These two men bring it every single time they face off against each other. Despite having numerous matches they make every one unique. Both men know how to tell a story and keep you captivated. I can’t say anything bad about this match, it was perfect. This match just embodies everything Ring of Honor is about, you need to see this match. Bryan picked up the win with the Cattle Mutilation after some vicious headbutts.
Overall Thoughts: The card for this show wasn’t the greatest but my did it deliver. The impromptu match at the start was one of the best openers in ROH history. Despite the highly disappointing World Title match, this is a fantastic show. Even the squash match was entertaining and I’d definitely try and catch this. There’s also a bonus DVD with a few extra matches.
Overall Score: 8.5/10