Heel Turn on James Ellsworth
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wondering if the rats have reached the shore
Re: Official Indy DVD Help Thread
Decided to start another fantastic ROH series.
Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson (ROH World Title; Manhattan Mayhem II)
8 months prior, a Homicide Lariat put an end to one of the best title reigns this country had seen in years. On that night, December 23, 2006, Bryan Danielson’s 15 months ROH World Title reign finally fell. Danielson took some much needed time off and repaired a shoulder that was barely hanging on. When he returned 5 months later, things were not as he had left. The man who had defeated him had fallen to a monster named Takeshi Morishima from Pro Wrestling NOAH. Morishima, known for his bear like strength and incredible agility has run through every challenger that ROH had placed before him in his 6 months as champion. Morishima had never faced a challenge like this before though. On August 25, 2007, he defended the title against a man who was getting his first shot at redemption and regaining the title that defined his life for over a year. The match takes place in New York City in the same building where Danielson lost the title. It is the 2007 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Match of the Year.
Danielson is the overwhelming crowd favorite here. His brilliant gameplan is shown within seconds of the opening bell. Morishima had run through the ROH locker room like Kurt Angle runs through prescription meds. No one wanted to admit it, but at full force, no one can take down this behemoth. Danielson is Einstein in between the ropes so he obviously knows this more than anyone. Morishima is like the Titanic, but you know what? The Titanic sunk, and it was all because of a small hole. That’s all Dragon needs…a small hole. That leg is as good a place to start as any.
Danielson starts kicking at the left leg of Morishima. He plays it off as an attempt to get Shima off his game early as he smiles like a dick after it pisses off the monster, and while it could be construed as that, it’s a long term work in progress to chip away at the opposition’s defense. It’s like a Chess master making a move at the beginning of the match while thinking 10 moves ahead. Man, I’m just full of metaphors here. Anyhoo, this works to perfection as Morishima is already showing signs of a chink in the armor. Nothing can go wrong for Dragon early…until Morishima connects with his strikes…
Something is wrong with Danielson. As we all know by now, the huge haymakers from Morishima connected and detached Danielson’s retina. He scrambles on the ground and tries to continue his gameplan, but his kicks have nothing now and Shima smells blood. It almost starts to get out of hand soon after. If it were a boxing match or an MMA fight, the ref would have stopped it by now. Danielson knows that he has no time and as soon as he’s able to get the upper hand, he pushes Morishima into the crowd and connects with his dive. Reminiscent of Joe/Punk III where Punk had a clear objective but became injured and had to go full force. Danielson turns up the legwork by using a chair on said leg of Morishima. He doesn’t have 40 minutes to work over the leg, he has to end it soon. The sympathy Danielson is drawing is amazing. You almost have to root for him. The champion hits the first half of his finishing sequence but Danielson has it scouted. Danielson continues to get manhandled but FIGHTING SPIRIT~! leads to Morishima’s leg morphing into a mass of goo. They trade offense with Danielson attacking the leg like a pitbull and Morishima using his pure strength. Morishima again tries to hit the Backdrop Driver, but he leg buckles. An opening for Danielson! He doesn’t hesitate because he can’t against Morishima. Rapid fire kicks and Morishima crumbles to the ground. A hole in the ship! ICEBERG DEAD AHEAD!!!!!!!!
The crowd is on their feet as Danielson kicks Morishima’s face in and locks Cattle Mutilation. A rope break leads to heartbreak for the New York faithful. A backdrop suplex from the top rope might be the move that wins Dragon the title, but Morishima uses what advantage he has left and shifts his massive weight onto Danielson on the way down. Good God. Danielson still has FIGHTING SPIRIT~!, but Morishima has a lariat that sends reverberations throughout the planet. Danielson is all but dead after that and the Backdrop Driver puts him down for the three.
Standing ovation from the crowd for Danielson. They chant “Best in the World.”, but Danielson takes the mic and proclaims the man with the ROH Title the best in the world. He apologizes for letting them down. He could pretty much piss on Babe Ruth’s grave and he would still get a huge ovation after all of that.
What an emotional rollercoaster. Arguably Danielson’s best performance ever all things considered. I still found myself rooting for Danielson to pull it out even after multiple viewings. I fully expect it to happen the next time I sit down to watch it. The match made Morishima legit and cemented Danielson as the grandest wrestler in ROH history. I’d still “only” put this as my #2 MOTY for 2007 behind Danielson’s match in Philadelphia against Nigel McGuinness for what that’s worth. Classic none the less and a match I’d be proud to show anybody that doesn’t understand why I’m going to watch wrestling for life.