Ring of Honor: Chris Hero – Ring of Hero

Disc One

ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (Champion) vs. Chris Hero

”Hell Freezes Over” – Philadelphia, PA – 1.14.2006

At this time, Danielson had been champion for roughly four months. Danielson sent out open contracts to wrestling promotions around the world, looking for challengers for his title so that he could prove that he is “The Best in the World”. Chris Hero signed the contract that was sent to CZW. Hero had been clamored for by fans to be brought into ROH long before this match, but Hero used this loophole to finally make his debut. Accompanying Hero to the ring to show support would be CZW wrestlers Necro Butcher, Nate Webb, Adam Flash, and CZW referee Bryce Remsburg. Earlier this afternoon, CZW held a show across town in Philadelphia where these two had a confrontation.

Danielson controls the opening with a full nelson. The CZW crew cools Hero down after he gets dropkicked to the floor. Hero jaw jacks with some ROH fans who are giving him a hard time. Hero boots Danielson after dropping down. Danielson responds in kind. Danielson takes over control after stomping Hero’s knees into the mat. Danielson owns Hero on the floor (although Hero gets a few strikes in), bringing Hero to beg for mercy back in the ring. Danielson doesn’t let up, picking apart Hero’s legs and doing damage to his neck area. Hero snaps Danielson’s arm and decides to focus his attack on that. Danielson climbs the ropes to escape a hammerlock and slaps Hero in the face. As a nice touch, Remsburg makes a motion to referee Todd Sinclair to make sure they’re open handed. Danielson suplexes Hero and heads up top. Danielson hits a diving headbutt to Hero’s shoulder for two. Hero holds Danielson’s arm when giving him an STO. Danielson and Hero trade some nearfalls once Danielson counters one of Hero’s arm holds. A strike exchange ends with Hero poking Danielson in the eyes. He puts Danielson in Hangman’s Clutch. Danielson gets his foot on the ropes to break it. Danielson blocks the Hero’s Welcome. Hero Saito suplexes him and heads up top. Danielson evades a double stomp and nails a forearm. Danielson rolls him over to get a two count. Danielson transitions and puts Hero in the Cattle Mutilation. Hero manages to roll to the ropes. Danielson places Hero on the top rope. Danielson tries for a belly-to-back superplex. Hero fights Danielson off and backflips off the ropes. He hits a Cravate Buster twice and Danielson kicks out. Hero re-applies the Hangman’s Clutch. Danielson reaches back to the ropes to break free. Danielson knees his way out of Hero’s attempt at a Hero’s Welcome. Hero forearms and elbows Danielson so he can finally hit it for two. Hero picks up Danielson to hit it a second time. Danielson turns it into a bridging Tiger suplex for two. Danielson puts Hero in the Cross-faced chicken wing, causing him to tap out at 29:07. This was an excellent debut for Hero and the exact mix of technical wrestling and brawling you want and expect from a match like this. This was a nice tease as to what was to come with the ROH/CZW war and was quite surreal at the time. I wonder how things would have played out if Hero’s debut wasn’t such a success. ***3/4

We cut to the Fourth Anniversary Show from 2.25.2006 in Edison, NJ. Christopher Daniels and BJ Whitmer are mid-match brawling in the crowd when Chris Hero and some other CZW wrestlers hit the ring. Hero sarcastically sings Happy Birthday to ROH while the CZW cronies fight off the ROH wrestlers who try and stop him. Adam Pearce makes it in the ring and attacks Hero. Soon the ring is filled with wrestlers from both sides in a giant brawl. Hero remains the last man standing, which brings out Samoa Joe to get in a fight with him. The fans are losing their minds as confetti falls from the sky. Pearce and Whitmer help Joe clear the ring of Hero and the rest of the CZW guys. Soon the ROH locker room is standing victorious in the ring.

Street Fight
Team ROH (Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer & Adam Pearce) vs. Team CZW (Chris Hero, Super Dragon & Necro Butcher)

”The 100th Show” – Philadelphia, PA – 4.22.2006

A brawl between all six men begins before the streamers can be cleared. Whitmer and Dragon pair off on the floor while Hero and Joe fight in the ring. Pearce big boots Hero and delivers a senton. Pearce and Necro are also fighting on the floor. Joe suicide dives onto Hero. Claudio Castagnoli comes out to steal a barbed wire bat from CZW owner Zandig. Castagnoli was an interesting case in this war, as he was a member of both of the ROH and CZW rosters, as well as CZW and CHIKARA tag team champions with Hero. It was being questioned jut which side he would take, but he pledged his allegiance to ROH earlier in the night after facing Christopher Daniels. Pearce becomes bloody from Necro’s strikes and chair shots. Pearce slams a chair twice into Necro’s head while the other four brawl in the crowd. Whitmer and Joe suplex Dragon onto a chair. Ringside, Joe throws Hero into a guardrail. Joe knocks down Necro with headbutts and a palm strike. Pearce hits Necro with a flying forearm back in the ring for two. Dragon gets in the face of some fans, allowing Whitmer to smack him with a chair a couple of times. Joe and Pearce light up Dragon with slaps to his face. Whitmer suplexes Hero back in the ring for two. Pearce throws a chair into Necro’s face but then gets dropkicked by Dragon. Whitmer crotches Dragon on the top rope. Dragon is able to fight Whitmer off the ropes and deliver a senton splash for two. Dragon misses a shoulder block in the corner. Pearce slams two chairs into the sides of Necro’s head. Necro recovers and sets up two chairs in the ring. His plan backfires and Joe suplexes Necro onto them. Necro somehow kicks out at two.

Pearce slams Dragon into a guardrail. Hero shows off on the ropes as he takes control of Whitmer in the ring. Joe brings a table to the ringside area. Hero boots Whitmer for two. Necro prevents Pearce from giving Hero a piledriver. Necro and Pearce put up their dukes and trade jabs with one another. Necro knocks down Pearce for a bit, but Pearce recovers in a grand fashion. Hero throws a chair into Whitmer’s head. Pearce suplexes Hero. Joe suplexes Dragon through a table. Hero and Joe stand-off in the ring and wildly throw strikes. Joe owns Hero but gets attacked by Necro and Dragon from behind. Pearce gives Hero a spinebuster. He follows with a top rope splash. Dragon double stomps Pearce to stop the count. Dragon gives Pearce a curb stomp. Whitmer spears Dragon and sets up a chair in the ring. He gives Dragon an exploder suplex onto the chair for two. Whitmer notices the table ringside. Necro nails him with a chair in the head and back. Pearce hits Necro with a chair from the floor after Necro hits an open chair into Whitmer’s face. Dragon traps Whitmer’s head in a chair and delivers a double stomp! Whitmer somehow kicks out. Dragon brings Whitmer to the ring apron. Dragon gives Whitmer the Pyscho Driver off the apron and through the table! With them disposed, Hero jabs a chair into Joe’s stomach and neck in the ring. Zandig comes in to help Hero attack Joe. Necro attacks ROH referee Todd Sinclair when he argues with CZW referee Bryce Remsburg. Hero puts Joe in a cravate, causing Claudio Castagnoli to come back out. He disposes of Zandig and grabs Hero. In a swerve, Claudio nails Joe with an uppercut! He and Hero hug, confirming his allegiance to CZW. Pearce missile dropkicks Claudio right away. The crowd wants Homicide to come out and even the score but they have no such luck. Finally, Hero and Claudio hit the Hero’s Welcome: KOW Edition on Pearce to get the win at 25:25. This match was a masterpiece. The way everything was orchestrated was absolutely brilliant and built to the crescendo at the right moment. The crowd was really loud at the beginning and just kept getting louder as it progressed. Its incredible story telling and enthusiasm like this I miss from ROH nowadays. ****1/2

ROH Tag Team Championship
Austin Aries & Roderick Strong (Champions) vs. Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli

”Glory By Honor V, Night 2” – New York, NY – 9.16.2006

Although CZW ultimately lost the war, Hero and Claudio remained in ROH as a team (known as the Kings of Wrestling). At the time of this match, they were the CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas and looked to add the ROH tag belts to their collection. They actually held the physical titles ransom in order to get this match. Aries’ ribs are taped up due to suffering an injury during a tag title defense against the Briscoes last month.

The Kings deny Aries & Strong a pre-match handshake and jump them before the bell. Aries and Strong lay in some strikes in retaliation. Hero and Claudio bail to the floor. Strong takes Claudio to the mat. Claudio goes for a Boston Crab but Strong twists on his ankle. Claudio holds Strong so Hero can hit him. Strong however baits them into striking each other. Strong gives Claudio a fallaway slam and Aries follows with a slingshot senton and frog splash for one. Strong gets one with a butterfly suplex. Aries slingshot sentons onto Claudio while he is stretched out on Strong’s legs. Strong and Aries double suplex Claudio for two. They give Claudio the Hart Attack for two. Claudio wisely distracts the referee so that Hero can push Aries off the top rope. Aries lands ribs first on the top rope. Wisely, the Kings now isolate Aries in their corner and focus the attack on his ribs. After a lengthy beat down, Aries manages to slip out of a double suplex and tag in Strong. Strong wails on both Hero and Claudio, sending them to the floor. Aries hits them with the Heat-Seeking Missile. Strong follows suit with a twisting tope. In the ring Strong hits Claudio with a Tiger Driver. Hero breaks the count. Hero rips at Strong’s face in the corner. Hero atomic drops Strong into a gutwrench powerbomb from Claudio. Claudio gets two with Alpamare Water Slide thanks to Aries breaking the count. Aries hits Hero with the IED and Strong delivers the Sick Kick. Strong chops Claudio into a brainbuster from Aries. Strong gives him a backbreaker. Aries heads up top for the 450 splash. Hero and Strong fight causing Aries to lose his balance. Claudio nails Aries in the ribs with his briefcase behind the referee’s back. The Kings hit the Hero’s Welcome: KOW Edition on Strong. Strong rolls to the floor to prevent from being pinned. Aries comes back in to fight them both off. He gets caught with the KRS-ONE for the pin at 21:32, making Hero and Claudio the new tag team champions. This had really good story telling and finish that paid it all off. The middle segment where the Kings trapped Aries in the corner went on too long and began to wane my interest in the overall match. The two teams made a nice recovery in the end, but this wasn’t the epic match you would likely see out of these teams nowadays. ***1/4

Clips from Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal from “Dethroned (11.25.2006) in Edison, NJ are shown. Daniels and Sydal earned this shot when Sydal and Daniels defeated Claudio and Hero in singles matches (respectively) at “Honor Reclaims Boston” a couple weekends earlier. Hero and Claudio were able to hit Daniels with the Hero’s Welcome: KOW Edition but Sydal broke the pin attempt. The Kings attacked Sydal and set him up for the KRS-ONE. Daniels pushed Hero out of the way, allowing Sydal to hit Claudio with a dragonrana for the pin. Daniels and Sydal are your new ROH Tag Team Champions. The Kings have been, as the show title says, dethroned.

Next we get clips from The Briscoes vs. Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli at “International Challenge” from Hartford, CT on 12.22.2006. The Briscoes have Hero set up for the Doomsday Device when Larry Sweeney appears on the apron. He punches one of the Briscoes in the face, allowing Hero to pick up the pin with a surprise roll-up. Hero and Sweeney celebrate and head backstage leaving a confused (yet happy) Claudio all by his lonesome. The next night at “Final Battle 2006”, The Briscoes would demand a rematch due to the unsatisfactory finish.

The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli
”Final Battle 2006” – New York, NY – 12.23.2006

Sweeney is in the Kings’ corner. The Briscoes start off at top, energized and determined to make up for their loss. Jay eve comes off the top rope with a swanton onto them on the floor. In the ring Mark crossbody’s Claudio. They give Hero a double sit-out uranage. The match officially starts and Mark gets a two count. Hero sends Mark to the floor. Mark moonsaults onto Claudio on the floor. Jay springboard dropkicks Hero for two. The Briscoes give Hero a spin kick/spinebuster combo. Claudio tags in and gets double hip tossed right away. Mark’s tumbling senton gets him a two count. So does a Northern lights suplex. Claudio catches Jay’s huracanrana attempt. Hero dropkicks Jay as Claudio holds him in position. The Kings now take control off Jay. Jay backdrops Claudio and almost tags out, but Hero pulls Mark to the floor. Jay does however manage to double DDT the Kings moments later. Mark finally is tagged in and takes down the Kings by himself. He Saito suplexes Hero for two. He goes for a springboard splash but Hero gets his knees up. Claudio tags in and hits a diving European uppercut. He follows with the Ricola Bomb for two. Mark places Claudio on the ropes and tags in Jay. Jay gives Claudio a gord buster for two. Claudio gives Jay the Match Killer and tags in Hero. A few boots from Hero in the corner lead to a cravate buster off the top rope for two. Claudio enzuigiri’s Jay on the top rope. Claudio and Hero deliver the Royal Power and Glory to Jay but Mark breaks the pin. Mark catches Claudio with a skyscraper huracanrana onto Hero. Jay frog splashes Claudio for two. The Briscoes hit Claudio with the Red Neck Boogie and Hero breaks the pin. The Briscoes pitch Hero out to the floor. Hero however stops them from hitting the Doomsday Device. Claudio spins both Briscoes simultaneously on his shoulder and drops them at the same time. A string of moves brings everyone but Hero down. Jay eats the Jay Driller. Claudio gives Jay the Alpamare Water Slide. Mark drops Claudio with the Cut-Throat Driver, leaving all four men on the mat. Hero and Jay trade forearms back on their feet. Sweeney distracts the referee. Claudio accidentally clobbers Hero with his briefcase. Jay disposes off Claudio. The Briscoes hit a shooting star press/flying leg drop combo on Hero for the pin at 16:02. That was an insane, action packed match. At the time we thought it was Claudio’s final match in ROH, and if it was, it would be a heck of a way to go out. Everyone brought their A game and created a really fun match with a clever ending. ****

We cut to Bruno Sammartino giving a speech at “All Star Extravaganza III” in Detroit, MI during WrestleMania 23 weekend (3.30.2007). He is interrupted by Sweet N’ Sour Inc., a faction formed by Sweeney shortly after Hero and Claudio’s team dissolved. Currently under Sweeney’s employ are Chris Hero and Tank Toland. Sweeney says the only reason Sammartino is considered a legend is because Hero was born 50 years too late. He says Hero is ten times the athlete that Bruno ever was and lays out a challenge for an arm wrestling match. Sweet N’ Sour Inc. begins to corner Sammartino when Nigel McGuinness runs out. He takes out Toland and Hero and then feeds Sweeney to Sammartino. Sammartino punches Sweeney, sending all of them packing.

Pure Rules Match
Nigel McGuinness vs. Chris Hero

”Death Before Dishonor V, Night One” – Boston, MA – 8.10.2007

By this time, Sweet N’ Sour Inc. had grown to include Sara Del Rey and Bobby Dempsey who are out with Sweeney and Toland. Todd Sinclair lays out the rule before the match: each wrestler gets three ropes breaks to break a pinfall or submission. Once you run out, the ropes come into play. There’s a strict 20 count on the floor. You can be penalized a rope break for throwing a closed fist. If you’re out of rope breaks, you are disqualified. Sweeney adds a few goofy rules to the bout that certainly won’t be enforced.

Hero shows off after breaking one of McGuinness’ wristlocks. When Hero’s attention comes back to the match, McGuinness takes Hero to the mat in a wristlock. The lights go out and a voice talks about “Project 161”. Everyone looks confused when the lights come back on. Hero gets the ring announcer to tell referee Todd Sinclair that McGuinness used all three of his rope breaks when the lights were out. Hero gets angry when Sinclair doesn’t fall for it. McGuinness goes back to controlling Hero by his wrist. Sweeney gets on the ring apron to distract Sinclair, which allows Hero to break the hold with the ropes without losing a rope break. McGuinness uses some nice World of Sport style wrestling to bring Hero to the mat. Both men get continuous two counts in multiple pin reversals. Hero puts McGuinness in a hammer lock on the mat. Toland puts McGuinness’ foot on the ropes while Sinclair isn’t looking. Sinclair docks him a rope break when he turns around. Hero gets the ring announcer to insult Hero for wasting a rope break. McGuinness becomes more aggressive in his attack on Hero’s arm. Hero punches McGuinness in the corner with a closed fist while Sinclair isn’t looking. McGuinness angrily throws two closed fists at Hero. Of course Sinclair sees both of those and it costs McGuinness yet another rope break. Hero pitches McGuinness to the floor. Dempsey drops an elbow while Hero distracts Sinclair. Hero brings McGuinness back into the ring after a few strikes for a two count. Hero twists McGuinness’s leg near the ropes hoping McGuinness will use his third and final rope break. That does not work. McGuinness instead fires up and throws a series of thrust to Hero’s throat. McGuinness nails a European uppercut. Hero ducks a lariat. He misses a corner elbow. McGuinness brings Hero to the mat for two. He throws Hero into the guardrails. He even whips Dempsey into Hero. Hero has trouble getting out from under Dempsey’s large frame, but successfully does so just in time. He hits a flipping neckbreaker on McGuinness for two. McGuinness blocks the Hangman’s Clutch. McGuinness catches Hero on the top rope with the Tower of London. Sweeney puts Hero’s rope on the ropes to break it, but it cost Hero a rope break. Hero ducks the Jawbreaker Lariat. Hero hits a discuss lariat. Sweeney puts McGuinness’ foot on the ropes for his third and final rope break. Hero then puts McGuinness in the Hangman’s Clutch causing him to tap out at 19:58. That seemed strange for Sweeney to cause McGuinness to use his final rope break when Hero had him pinned. Other than that, this was an entertaining bout that got Hero to crawl under McGuinness’ and the fans skin. While there was lulls in the actions at times it was a very well told story. **3/4

Survival of the Fittest 2007 Finals (Elimination Match)
Chris Hero vs. Austin Aries vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Roderick Strong vs. Rocky Romero vs. Human Tornado

”Survival of the Fittest 2007” – Las Vegas, NV – 10.19.2007

Sweeney is in Hero’s corner. They stand with chairs on the stage, avoiding Claudio who also has a chair in hand. Meanwhile, Romero and Aries start off in the ring. Strong attacks Aries from behind to help Romero take down Aries in the corner. Romero accidentally elbows Strong to the floor. Aries dropkicks his way out of Romero’s headscissors. Aries dropkicks both of them into the crowd and follows with the Heat-Seeking Missile. Hero looks for a dive. He runs into Claudio and gets hip tossed for two. Hero tags in Tornado to avoid Claudio. Tornado huracanrana’s Claudio out with the rest of the crew. Tornado tope con hilo’s onto Aries, Strong, Romero and Claudio. He comes back in the ring to celebrate. Hero runs in and hits the Hero’s Welcome to eliminate Tornado at 3:59. Hero goes back to the floor with Sweeney who is proud of him. The match in the ring basically turns into a tag match between Romero & Strong against Aries & Claudio. Aries and Claudio use a little tandem offense to get control over Romero. Romero and Strong turn the tables, dismantling Aries in their corner. All this time, Sweeney is helping Hero relax on the stage. Aries ducks a double suplex and hits a quebrada press on both Strong and Romero. Claudio tags in and cleans house, using Strong and Romero to hurt each other. Claudio uppercuts both of them in the corner. Aries hits Romero with the IED and Claudio gives him the Alpamare Waterslide. Strong and Claudio battle up to the stage. Hero retreats to ringside. Romero hits Aries with a flying DDT for two. Aries goes up top after giving Romero a brainbuster. Hero blind tags himself in as Aries is on the top rope. Aries doesn’t notice and hits a 450 splash. Hero powerbombs Aries onto Romero, then pins Romero at 13:33. Strong pummels Aries but can’t get the pin. Aries’ running knee strike also gets him two. Hero blind tags Strong while Aries punches him. Hero catches Aries off guard with a backslide for two. He then rolls up Aries in a cradle for the pin at 15:38. Strong turns his attention to Hero. With Sweeney’s money, Hero makes a deal with Strong to take out Claudio before they fight each other. Strong accepts (stuffing the money in his knee pad) and helps Hero beat Claudio down. Claudio manages to throw them together and deliver a double bulldog. Hero blind tags himself in as Strong hits the Tiger Driver on Claudio. He gives Strong the Hero’s Welcome for the pin at 19:49. He retrieves the money from Strong’s knee pad and hands it back to Sweeney. AWESOME.

Hero immediately goes for a pin on Claudio and gets two. Hero comes off the second rope with a blockbuster for two. After four senton splashes, Claudio gets his knee up to block the fifth. Claudio ducks a boot and hits a springboard European uppercut for two. He sets up for the Ricola Bomb. Hero counters with a cravate Code Breaker. He big boots Claudio for two. Claudio brings Hero off the top rope with a headscissors. He follows up with a European uppercut for another two count. Hero fights out of the Alpamare Water Slide. He delivers a rolling elbow and a cravate suplex for two. Claudio deadlifts Hero into a German suplex for two. Hero blocks the Ricola Bomb with an elbow strike and the Hero’s Welcome. That only manages to get another two count. Hero locks in the Hangman’s Clutch. Claudio crawls his way to the ropes. Claudio hits the Ricola Bomb for two. Hero comes off the second rope with a cravate neckbreaker. Hero double stomps Claudio and puts the Hangman’s Clutch back on. Claudio passes out at 27:40, making Hero the 2007 Survival of the Fittest winner. This was a very clever and fun story to follow. Hero was so brilliant and methodical in his plan to take out everybody and win the match that it was difficult not to cheer him for his sheer brilliance. It’s one of the most memorable and unique Survival of the Fittest matches. Outside in Vegas, Sweeney and Hero are celebrating their victory. ***3/4

Hero cashed in his title shot that earned from winning this match at Glory By Honor VI, Night One in Philadelphia, PA on 11.2.2007 against then champion Nigel McGuinness. At the time, Nigel had a hurt shoulder and was planning to take some time off. Of course, with McGuinness injured, Hero decided that it would be an opportune time to get his title shot. McGuinness valiantly fought Hero against his best judgment. Hero was able to force McGuinness to tap out when McGuinness’ foot was on the ropes. Hero thought he won, but referee Paul Turner forced the match to continue. McGuinness gave Hero the Tower of London on the floor and a lariat back in the ring before making Hero tap out to the London Dungeon.

El Generico vs. Chris Hero
”Glory By Honor VI, Night 2” – New York, NY –11.3.2007

Hero and Generico trade arm holds. Generico breaks out of a overhead wristlock on the mat. Hero gets the ring announcer to inform the crowd that he was not impressed with Generico’s escape. Generico’s shoulder blocks have no real effect. Generico does however deliver an armdrag after evading one of Hero’s. Hero brings Generico to the corner and elbows him in the face. Hero shows off in the opposite corner, confusing Generico. Generico wrenches on Hero’s arm. Hero showboats after giving Generico a couple of elbows to his head. Generico armdrags and toreador’s Hero once Hero flips back into the ring. Hero pulls referee Todd Sinclair in the way to avoid an elbow. He also uses Sinclair as a distraction so he can boot Generico in the stomach. Hero avoids Generico’s big boot and skins the cat on the ropes. Generico clotheslines him out to the foot to catch him off guard. Sweeney grabs Generico’s leg on the ring apron while Bobby Dempsey distracts the referee. Hero pushes Generico off the apron and into the barricades. That cunning maneuver only gets Hero a two count. He hits a senton off the second rope for two. Hero goes for a leg drop across the ring but comes up just a bit short. Generico seems surprised that he took no damage, but takes advantage by getting in a flurry of offense. Generico huracanrana’s Hero for two. Generico goes back up top. He delivers a crossbody, but Hero rolls through in a Cravate Cutter. Hero turns a reverse suplex into a Falcon Arrow for two. Generico counters the Hero’s Welcome with a backslide for two. Generico hits a tornado DDT for two. Hero moves out of the way of a yakuza kick. He gives Generico a neckbreaker and heads up top. Generico catches Hero and goes for the top rope brainbuster. Hero fights Generico off. Generico catches Hero with a yakuza kick and rolls him up for two. Generico tries a diving heabdutt. Hero captures his head in a cravate, then dumps him with the Hero’s Welcome for the pin at 14:25. For these two, this was pretty mundane. The moments from Generico’s backslide to the end were pretty great, but up until that point it was a lot of stalling and the basics of what these two usually muster. Granted, with both of them being good it was still a rather entertaining match, just not anything too special. **3/4

Three classic Sweet N’ Sour Inc. promos are included as bonuses. These guys may be the most entertaining act ROH ever had.

Disc Two

We start of the second disc with clips from an Elimination Match where the winner became the #1 Contender for the ROH World Championship: Chris Hero vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima vs. Claudio Castagnoli from Final Battle 2007 (12.30.2007) in New York City. Hero’s annoying shtick gets to Aries and Danielson after Morishima becomes the first man eliminated. Althoug Hero does an admirable job taking on Aries and Danielson, Aries eventually catches him with a Gedo Clutch to send him packing.

ROH World Championship; Steel Cage Match
Nigel McGuinness (Champion) vs. Chris Hero

”Breakout” – Dayton, OH – 1.25.2008

Sweet N’ Sour Inc. is ringside for Hero. Hero attacks McGuinness right before the bell. Hero tries to climb out quickly but McGuinness brings him back in. Hero ducks a lariat and back fists McGuinness. He pins McGuinness for two after a couple kicks. McGuinness tries to escape through the door but Hero catches him. Hero gets a few shots into McGuinness’ previously hurt arm. The cage tugs at Hero’s head as he hits the ropes. McGuinness hits a lariat when he turns around. Hero prevents McGuinness from climbing out of the cage. McGuinness judo throws Hero to the mat and goes for the London Dungeon. Hero gets the ropes instinctively but McGuinness does not have to let go. McGuinness ditches Hero and attempts to go for the door. He and Hero each take chances climbing out with Sweeney hindering McGuinness’ attempts. Hero sunset flips McGuinness from the top rope when McGuinness stops Hero from climbing out. Hero ducks an uppercut and O’Conner rolls McGuinness for two. A diving blockbuster gets Hero two. McGuinness and Hero fight on the ropes. McGuinness superplexes Hero to the mat. Hero dropkicks McGuinness’ leg into the cage as McGuinness tries to climb out. Hero does some damage to McGuinness’ back before trying to climb out of the cage again. McGuinness stops him and also tries to escape. Hero brings him back into the middle of the ring and does more damage to McGuinness’ legs. It’s not enough as McGuinness stops Hero from climbing the cage. Hero decides while McGuinness is in the corner that he will hang McGuinness in a tree of woe and climb out. McGuinness manages to hold onto Hero’s legs. Hero climbs down and boots McGuinness’ knee. McGuinness recovers just in time to catch Hero from crawling out. Hero brings in a chair to further his damage to McGuinness’ leg and knee. McGuinness slams Hero’s face into the chair to stop him. McGuinness throws Hero into the cage multiple times. He knocks the now bloody Hero down with a lariat for two. Hero throws McGuinness off the top rope with a cravate for two. Hero climbs the cage up. McGuinness goes to stop and Hero kicks him away. Hero’s loss of balance however causes him to fall crotch first on the top rope. McGuinness gives him the Tower of London onto the steel chair. Sweeney slams the cage door into McGuinness’ head as McGuinness tries to climb out. Referee Paul Turner ejects Sweet N’ Sour Inc. from ringside which makes them very angry. Hero is on the other side of the cage when McGuinness grabs him. He manages to lift Hero back in for a superplex. Sweet N Sour Inc. distracts Turner from ringside while Bobby Dempsey comes to slam the cage door on McGuinness’ head. At the same time however, Hero goes to dive out of the cage. Dempsey accidentally slams the cage door on Hero’s head. Moments later, McGuinness climbs over the top of the cage and to the floor for the win at 25:36. For whatever reason this did not hold up as well as I remembered. It was a fine match but had too much down time and not enough utilization of the cage itself until the finish. I appreciated the multiple cage escapes but even that went a tad over board at times. ***

Roderick Strong vs. Chris Hero
”Battle For Supremacy” – Dayton, OH –6.27.2008

Larry Sweeney and Sara Del Rey are in Hero’s corner. Hero and Strong trade control of each others’ arm and leg. Hero wrenches on a headlock. Strong turns it into a headscissors. Hero escapes and stomps Strong in the mid-section. Strong takes Hero down in the corner. Sweeney gives Hero enough time to recover and slam Strong. He elbows Strong in the side of his head. Strong takes Hero back down in the same corner. Strong goes for a slingshot suplex. Hero counters with a rolling elbow for two. Hero chops Strong and rakes his eyes on the floor. Strong back elbows Hero to block his attack in the corner. Hero blocks Strong’s boot and rolls right to an elbow strike for two. As Strong hangs onto the rope to try and gain his bearings, Hero throws more chops and punches at him. Strong hits a sole butt before coming off the second rope with a dropkick. Hero picks up Strong and spins him out into a senton splash for two. Hero pitches Strong out to the floor. Out on the floor Strong whips Hero to the guardrail. Hero jumps onto the guardrail and spins off with an elbow strike to Strong. Strong and Hero fight it out on the apron. Strong lights up Hero with chops before giving him a back breaker on the ring apron. Once back in the ring, Hero runs through Strong’s chop but eats a leg lariat. Strong sends Hero to the floor and follows with a twisting tope. He brings Hero back into the ring for two. Hero comes off the second rope with a blockbuster for two. Strong rams his shoulder into Hero’s mid-section. He follows a gamengiri with a backbreaker for two. Hero elbows Strong. He folds him in a powerbomb for two. Strong gives Hero a leg-cradle backbreaker to avoid a big boot. The Death by Roderick and Sick Kick only get Strong a two count because Sweeney placed Hero’s foot on the bottom rope. Strong puts Hero in the Stronghold. Sweeney gets on the apron which breaks Strong’s attention. Hero hits a rolling elbow. Sara grabs Strong’s leg allowing Hero to hit another one. He clobbers Strong with a boot to the side of the head. He hits a swinging elbow strike to the head for the pin at 21:08. I remember this match as being the only thing worth watching on the “Battle For Supremacy” DVD. I’m sure that’s still true, but again this was not the amazing match I remembered. The strikes and nearfalls were still cool but it had the usual “sell when needed, ignore when not” mentality that a lot of recent ROH matches have that annoys me. Still a really fun strike heavy match and a turning point in Hero’s personality. ***1/4

Lance Storm came out at Northern Navigation in Toronto, Canada on 7.25.2008 to interrupt Sweet N’ Sour Inc. (Larry Sweeney, Shane Hagadorn and Go Shiozaki). Storm doesn’t like how Sweeney’s in wrestling for the money when Ring of Honor is about what happens in the ring. Chris Hero runs out to attack Storm and Erick Stevens (who was also in the ring after his and Shiozaki’s) match. Shiozaki helps Hero in his attack. Storm and Stevens got Hero and Shiozaki in dueling Canadian Maple Leafs. Sweeney and Hagadorn helped them escape, but Hagadorn would eat a superkick from Storm because of it. This would lead to the next night where Hero and Shiozaki would team up to take on Roderick Strong and Naomichi Marufuji, with Lance in their corner.

Roderick Strong & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Chris Hero & Go Shiozaki
”New Horizons” – Detroit, MI –7.26.2008

Storm is in Strong and Marufuji’s corner while Sweet N’ Sour Inc. is in Hero and Shiozaki’s. Shiozaki and Strong trade chops to start. Strong hits a leg lariat and exchanges chops with Shiozaki once again. Shiozaki hits a dropkick and tags in Hero. Marufuji knees Hero from the apron. Strong chops Hero before tagging in Marufuji. Marufuji ducks a rolling elbow. Hero snaps Marufuji chest first on the ropes before giving him a Hot Shot. Shiozaki tags in. Marufuji gives him a side Russian leg sweep in the corner. Strong gives Shiozaki a backbreaker. Marufuji dropkicks Shiozaki in the side of the head while Strong holds Shiozaki over his knee for two. Hero is able to pull Strong to the floor and throw him into the barricade. Hero and Shiozaki wear down and isolate Strong in their half of the ring. Storm makes sure Sweeney and his crew do not interfere. Strong manages to catch Shiozaki with an enzuigiri in the corner, allowing him to tag in Marufuji. Hero and Shiozaki try to team up on him, but Marufji is too crafty and able to move around them. He chops Shiozaki to the corner and hits a running knee strike to the back of his head. Strong gives Shiozaki a gamengiri. Marufuji superkicks him for two. Shiozaki blocks Marufuji’s Shiranui attempt. Shiozaki brings him down into a fisherman’s buster. Hero gets in a few elbows before Marufuji superkicks him. Hero blocks the Shiranui. He nails Marufuji with a boot but Strong breaks his pin. Strong ducks an elbow. He and Marufuji give Hero a Death by Roderick/Code Breaker combo. Shiozaki breaks the pin. Marufuji superkicks him. Hero tags Marufuji with two rolling elbows. Strong catches Hero with the Sick Kick and a backbreaker for the pin at 11:51. This was a real fun showcase on everyone’s part. On this DVD it was less effective since we just saw Hero and Strong go at it in the previous match, but even still it was a fun exhibition and nice to see the NOAH talent mixed in there. ***

After the match, Storm gets in a fight with Sweet N’ Sour Inc. He’s able to put Sweeney in the Canadian Maple Leaf for a bit, but Hero gets the last laugh by giving Storm a rolling elbow.

ROH World Championship
Jerry Lynn (Champion) vs. Chris Hero

”Never Say Die” – Boston, MA – 5.8.2009

Tyler Black was originally scheduled for this match, but was unable to make it due to an injury. Shane Hagadorn is in Hero’s corner. Neither man is able to get a clear advantage in the first few exchanges. Lynn throws some phantom elbows at Hero to get under his skin. Hero takes Lynn to the mat in a side headlock. Lynn rolls him up to escape, then takes Hero down with a headscissors. Lynn goes for a bulldog out of the corner. Hero block, but Lynn uses his weight to bring Hero down to the mat in a lateral press. Hero stomps Lynn’s chest after slamming him. Lynn blocks a rolling elbow with one of his own. The elbow gets him a two count. Hero pitches Lynn to the floor. Hero slides out with a dropkick after Hagadorn baits Lynn to that side of the ring. Hero pulls the mats over Lynn’s body and hits a senton. Hero talks some trash as he throws kicks and strikes at Lynn. Lynn fires back but takes a Hot Shot. Hero hits a flash kick for two. Lynn’s having difficulty getting to his feet after Hero rocks him with elbows in the corner. Lynn does come back, tackling Hero to the mat. Hero back elbows him quickly to score a nearfall. Hero senton splashes onto him two times but Lynn still refuses to quit. Lynn shoulder blocks Hero to the mat twice. He hits a leaping clothesline showing a burst of adrenaline. He gives Hero an inverted DDT for two. Lynn huracanrana’s Hero to the floor. Lynn tries a somersault senton off the apron. Hero catches Lynn and rams him stomach first into the guardrail. Hero jumps up on the guardrail and Lynn shoves him into the crowd. Back in the ring Hero hits an elbow. He comes off the second rope with a blockbuster for two. Lynn counters a corner attack. Hero blocks a tornado DDT and hits a rolling elbow for two. Hero is clearly frustrated. To throw Lynn’s mind games back in his face, he goes for the cradle piledriver. Lynn escapes out of it. He drops Hero with a TKO for two. Lynn stomps on Hero in the corner. Hero reverses an Irish whip with another rolling elbow. He hits a Liger Bomb for two. Lynn collapses near the apron when Hero goes for another elbow. Hero sets up for a blockbuster on the ring apron. Lynn is able to fight back and instead huracanrana Hero into the aisle way. Lynn gets Hero back in the ring and hits a piledriver. Somehow, Hero kicks out. Lynn picks up the seemingly lifeless Hero. Hero delivers a sole butt and goes for another Liger Bomb. Lynn counters into the Yoshi Tonic for two. Hero elbows Lynn in the back of the head while Hagadorn distracts him. Lynn kicks out again. Hero goes for his loaded elbow pad while Hagadorn is on the ring apron. Lynn ducks his attempt and catches Hero in a small package for two. Lynn rips off the elbow pad. Hero clobbers him with an elbow strike and Lynn kicks out. Completely stunned, Hero goes for another elbow. Lynn ducks and finally hits the cradle piledriver for the pin at 24:30. This is easily one of the best matches Lynn had in his ROH tenure and possibly his best title defense. It went a little long and the nearfalls got a bit ridiculous by the end, but there were a lot of cool moments and I liked the perseverance story these two were able to portray. This is one of those main events that comes out of nowhere and surprises you. ***3/4

Lance Storm vs. Chris Hero
”Death Before Dishonor VII, Night Two” – Toronto, ONT – 7.25.2009

This is a match that was one year in the making. Hero uncharacteristically shakes hands with Storm. Hero has Shane Hagadorn in his corner. Storm controls Hero by his arm on the mat. Hero elbows Storm while keeping him in a wristlock. Storm dropkicks Hero to the floor. Hero regains his composure before coming back into the ring. Hero places his body weight onto Storm after bringing him down in a knuckle lock. Storm keeps strong and monkey flips Hero to the corner. Storm comes off the top rope. Hero catches him, slams him to the mat, and hits a senton splash. Hero rakes Storm’s eyes. He snapmares Storm into a crucifix pin for two. Hero applies a headscissors right after. Hero lands a couple forearm strikes for two. Hagadorn gets in a few licks when Hero pitches Storm to the floor. Hero comes out after him. Storm however gains the upper hand. Hero reverses Storm’s Irish whip, sending Storm into the guardrails. Hero controls Storm back in the ring. Storm fires back with chops. He delivers a Side Russian leg sweep and a pair of clotheslines. He gets two with a leg lariat. Storm punches Hero from the ring apron. He comes in with a springboard shoulder block for two. Hero nails a rolling elbow for two. He goes for the Liger Bomb after landing another elbow. Storm fights out but eats Hero’s flash kick for two. Storm ducks an elbow and lands a superkick for two. Hero elbows Storm as Storm hits the ropes. Storm catchs Hero coming off the ropes and puts Hero in the Canadian Maple Leaf. Hero crawls to the ropes to break it. Storm powerslams Hero off the second rope for two. Storm misses a forg splash. Hero hits him with the Hangman’s Elbow for two. Hero puts on his loaded elbow pad. Storm backslides Hero for two. Hero rocks Storm with an elbow. Storm is dazed but still standing. Hero clobbers him with one more elbow for the pin at 16:46. That was a nice pay off to the crowd for a match they had waited so long to see. It was certainly a good match, but not particularly memorable. Funny enough, Hero would go on an incidental streak of facing ex-ECW competitors around this time: Jerry Lynn, Sabu, RVD, even Chris “Braden Walker” Harris! What? We don’t count him? Fine. ***1/4

KENTA vs. Chris Hero
”ROH on HDNet Episode 27” – Philadelphia, PA – 8.15.2009

Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey are in Hero’s corner. Hero and KENTA fight for control on the mat. Hero gets backed up to the ropes by KENTA. Hero chops KENTA instead of letting him go cleanly. This leads to a strike battle between the two. KENTA lights up Hero’s chest with kicks. KENTA knees Hero in the stomach as he comes off the ropes. KENTA puts on a bodyscissors after failing to get a pin with various kicks. Hero gets the ropes. Hero boots KENTA to counter a corner attack. He then sends KENTA shoulder first into the ring post. Hero gets two with an elbow. He kicks KENTA as he tries to recover. Hero gets two with a senton splash. KENTA tries to take control on the floor. Hero however comes off the guardrail with a rolling elbow. Hero brings him back in the ring for two. Hero twists KENTA’s arm and claws at his face. Hero hits a second senton after slamming KENTA for two. Hero slaps KENTA in the face as he lay on the mat. Hero applies a Stretch Plum. KENTA gets his foot on the bottom rope. KENTA knocks down Hero with a flurry of clotheslines. He nails a running boot for two. KENTA heads up top. He dive off with a clothesline for two. KENTA blocks a boot and puts Hero in an STF. Hero grabs the ropes. Hero cracks KENTA with an elbow as KENTA comes off the ropes. Hero releases him in a suplex for two. Hero puts the Stretch Plum back on. KENTA gets to the ropes to break that again. KENTA catches Hero in his blockbuster attempt. He aims for the Go 2 Sleep but Hero slides off his shoulders. KENTA and Hero knock each other to the mat. KENTA springboard dropkicks Hero to the corner. They each hit a running yakuza kick. KENTA hits a second and third one, then a delayed dropkick to Hero while he’s seated in the corner. KENTA hits a fisherman’s buster. He follows up with a double stomp for two. Hero hits the Busaiku Knee for two. Hagadorn and Sara do some distracting so Hero can attack KENTA from behind. Hero nails an elbow in the corner and the Hangman’s Elbow for two. Hero looks for the Go 2 Sleep himself. KENTA fights off. Hero elbows KENTA in the back of the head again, yet KENTA kicks out still. Sara tosses Hero his loaded elbow pad while Hagadorn distracts the referee. Eddie Kingston, who’s been feuding with Hero for the past few months, comes out and takes the elbow pad away. KENTA kicks Hero a few times before hitting the Go 2 Sleep for the pin at 16:29. They beat the piss out of each other, got the crowd to go wild and the interference both made sense and continued another feud. That to me is the sign of an excellent overall match. ***3/4

Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Hero
”The Final Countdown Tour: Dayton” – Dayton, OH – 9.17.2009

Hero maneuvers his way to a crucifix pin on the mat but only gets two. Hero rolls to the floor when Danielson throws a kick. Hero wrenches on Danielson’s shoulder. Danielson turns out of it. He bends Hero’s arm while holding the other in a hammerlock position. Hero chops Danielson against the ropes. He continues to target Danielson’s arm and shoulder. Danielson reverses the attack, doing damage to Hero’s elbow and wrist. Hero backs Danielson to the corner to break a hammerlock. He elbows Danielson in the face instead of breaking away cleanly. Danielson blocks Hero’s elbow and hits one of his own. Danielson drives Hero’s knees into the mat. Danielson locks Hero’s legs together and bends back to apply pressure. Danielson nails a flurry of forearms to Hero’s face. Hero elbow strikes Danielson to the floor. Hero boots Danielson into the guardrail. Hero places the floor mats on top of Danielson. Hero senton splashes onto them. Hero puts on a Stretch Plum back inside the ring. Hero turns that into the Cattle Mutilation. Danielson breaks free very quickly and drops a knee into Hero’s face. He hits the ropes and gets caught with Hero’s flash kick. Hero throws some elbows. Danielson fires back. Danielson backflips off the top rope. He knocks Hero to the floor with a running elbow strike. Danielson baseball dropkicks Hero into the barricade. Danielson runs off the apron with a knee strike. Back in the ring Danielson hits a diving headbutt for two. Hero comes off the second rope with a blockbuster for two. Hero nails two more elbows but only gets a two count. Hero sends Danielson out with another elbow. Hero throws Danielson into the guardrail. Danielson shoves Hero into the crowd when Hero jumps on top of a guardrail. Danielson springboards off the top rope onto Hero in the crowd. Danielson hits a missile dropkick back in the ring. He gets two with a running knee strike. Danielson goes for the Cattle Mutilation. Hero sits down, so Danielson drives his elbow into Hero’s head repeatedly. Hero seems out of it, but still kicks out at two. Danielson then puts Hero in the Cattle Mutilation. Hero escapes. Hero gets in a few strikes before Danielson brings him back to the mat. Hero hits a rolling elbow to the back of Danielson’s head for two. Danielson backslides Hero to avoid the Hangman’s Elbow. He rolls up Hero for two when that pin fails. He fights out of a Liger Bomb and kicks Hero’s head over and over. He then rolls Hero into a triangle choke. Hero picks up Danielson and powerbombs his way free. Hero and Danielson trade strikes. Danielson blocks an elbow with one of his own. Hero elbows Danilson after. He finally lands the Hangman’s Elbow for the pin at 24:09. This was a great match. It was totally the right call to have Hero win the match not only because Danielson is on his way out, but because Dayton is somewhat of a hometown to Hero. Both men put on a great performance, and Danielson did a great job setting up the next crop of ROH stars before he said farewell. ****

From their HDNet rivalry, Chris Hero and Eddie Kingston finally met in singles action at ”Glory By Honor VIII” in Eddie’s home of New York City on 9.25.2009. Of course, these two had built an intensely personal rivalry over the course of many years in other companies. Kingston was still in possession of Hero’s green elbow pad that he stole from him during the KENTA match. Kingston put the elbow pad on his hand, looking to use it when hitting the Backfist to the Future. Shane Hagadorn came in and got hit with it instead. Hero pulled out a new golden elbow pad and cracked Kingston with it while the referee was tending to Hagadorn. That was able to score Hero the pin.

Kenny Omega vs. Chris Hero
”ROH on HDNet Episode 42” – Philadelphia, PA – 11.6.2009

An exchange of arm holds starts off the bout. Hero bocks an arm whip and elbows Omega in the forehead. Hero and Omega go back and forth. Omega gives Hero a pair of armdrags. Hero breaks an arm hold with a chin breaker. Omega Japanese armdrags Hero and slams him. Omega sends Hero out with a nice sliding dropkick. Omega follows Hero to the floor with a dropkick. Omega tries a crossbody back in the ring but gets caught with an elbow strike. Hero catches Omega with a flash kick. Omega ends up resting near the ring frame, so Hero dropkicks him in the side of his head from the floor. Hero elbows Omega as he gets to his feet. He only manages a two count. Omega hits the Hadouken as Hero comes off the ropes. Omega spin kicks Hero to the corner. Omega elbows him and flips to the apron. Omega successfully crossbody’s onto Hero for two. Omega gets two with a Northern Lights suplex. Hero Saito suplexes Omega to stop his momentum. Hero doesn’t fall for the STOP sign enzuigiri, instead rolling through with an elbow strike. Hero sets up for the Hangman’s Elbow. Omega cradles Hero instead for two. Hero hits another rolling elbow for two. Omega arm whips Hero to block another elbow. He huracanrana’s Hero and then hits a release Dragon suplex for two. Hero elbows Omega as Omega hits the ropes. Omega sole butts Hero. Hero elbows Omega to avoid the Kotaro Krusher. Hero puts Omega in a chair on the floor. Hero comes off the guardrail for an elbow. Omega gets out of the chair to hit the STOP sign enzuigiri. Omega gives Hero the Kotara Krusher on the chair. Omega moves far away so he can hit an effective Tony Jaa (running double knees) to Hero on the chair. In the ring Omega connects with a missile dropkick. He hits the Aoi Shoudou for two. He sets up Hero for Croyt’s Wrath. Hero escapes and hits the Hangman’s Elbow for two. Hero grabs his loaded golden elbow pad while Hagadorn is distracting him. Her misses the elbow. Omega rolls him up for the pin at 15:11. This was certainly a bit more different than most of Hero’s matches around this time and it was fun for a TV match. The finish was kind of weak considering the action we had seen before hand, but still a gem of a match from the HDNet library. ***

Fight Without Honor
Eddie Kingston vs. Chris Hero

”Final Battle 2009” – New York, NY – 12.19.2009

Kingston attacks Hero in the entrance way. Kingston gets the better of Hero before throwing him in the ring. Hero kicks Kingston off the ring apron and then flash kicks him through the ropes. Hero grabs a chain. He lashes Kingston across the back and chokes him with it. In the ring, Hero gives Kingston a few boots to the side of his head while keeping the chain around his neck. Kingston comes back with a punch after Hero kicks Kingston in the corner. Hero knocks Kingston with a rolling elbow for two. Hero knocks Kingston down with a flash kick after Kingston headbutts Hero. Hero puts the chain in a pile, then drops Kingston back first off his shoulders onto it. Hero tries a powerbomb, but Kingston turns it into a hurricanrana onto the chain. Kingston then gives Hero a urinage suplex onto the chain. Kingston blocks a boot and gives Hero a modified 2k1 Bomb for two. Hero cracks Kingston with three elbows for two. Each guy rips the others shirts off as they exchange strikes. Hero hits two consecutive rolling elbows for two. Hero removes a piece of the barricade and puts it in the ring. Hero drops Kingston head first with a backdrop driver on the mat. Hero sets up the barricade so it is lying across the ropes in the corner. He places Kingston on the top rope and steps on the barricade. After they fight it out, Hero dumps Kingston on his head, on top of the barricade with a powerbomb. Kingston miraculously kicks out at two. Kingston evades the Death Blow, and gives Hero a release German suplex. Kingston fires up and clocks Hero with a chain assisted lariat for two. Sara Del Rey runs in and gives Kingston some kicks to the chest. Kingston grabs her and gives her a leg-capture suplex. Meanwhile, Hero puts on the loaded elbow pad. Kingston ducks and gives Hero a backdrop driver. Hero blocks the backfist and low blows Kingston. Hero blocks Kingston with the loaded elbow pad after kissing Kingston on the forehead. Kingston again miraculously kicks out. Kingston nails Hero with two Backfists to the Future for two. Kingston removes Hero’s loaded elbow pad and gives Hero a rolling elbow of his own for the pin at 15:09. It could be argued that the finish should have been Kingston being dumped on the guardrail. I can see where that argument comes from, but I thought the underlying tone of this match was Kingston absolutely refusing to lose for a second time no matter what Hero threw at him. His will to win and conquer his career long foe in his hometown gave him the ability to fight through the pain of that incident, as well as the loaded elbow pad. With that said, this match felt like it was missing something. It was still good, but didn’t feel like it had the importance or epic feel that most Fight Without Honor matches have. ***

Overall: If you’re a newer ROH fan, this is an exceptional collection of some of Hero’s finest matches. The DVD does a good job taking you through all of Hero’s major ROH milestones and does a fine job showing how he transitioned and evolved from his debut up until the end of 2009. If you’re a long time ROH fan but not a DVD completionist, there’s a few odds and ends here that you may not have seen before. There’s nothing here that feels like filler; every match is enjoyable in some manner. For $20, you can’t go wrong with this set. You can pick it up for yourself over at ROH’s Store.

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