Ring of Honor is back with more classic content to promote the Pure Championship tournament. Enjoy Daniel Bryan versus Nigel McGuinness to unify the World Championship and Pure Championship, every Pure title change, and more.
Earlier in the week, ROH released the tournament bracket. ROH even provided a full breakdown with a bracketology special (here). The action began airing this weekend. Check here for ROH channel listings in your area. Episodes will also be posted on Mondays for Honor Club and maybe Fite TV as well. Recaps on Cageside Seats will be posted Tuesdays.
On ROH Week By Week, Quinn McKay announced the Pure Championship tournament matchups. The program also aired Daniel Bryan versus Nigel McGuinness. It acted as a unification bout for the World Championship and Pure Championship. That contest on August 12, 2006 from Liverpool, England resulted in the last Pure Championship defense to date. The classic duel begins at the 4:28 mark.
The bout opened with mat work and chain wrestling. McGuinness was forced to use two rope breaks early due to submissions. Bryan got cocky by his domination thus far. As Bryan climbed the turnbuckles, McGuinness shot up for a huge cutter. Bryan used a rope break on the pin cover, so McGuinness immediately transitioned to a submission for Bryan’s second rope break. The fight turned ugly for a moment with brawling on the floor. Bryan turned over a table to lean it onto McGuinness’s throat.
Back to the ring for a high-octane pace. Bryan locked in another submission. McGuinness exhausted his three rope breaks for the match. A few minutes later, McGuinness struck with a leaping clothesline as Bryan was stuck on the ropes. Bryan used his third rope break to escape the pinfall. That meant no more rope breaks for either man with about 8 minutes left of action.
The finishing sequence is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Bryan was out cold. Or was he? As McGuinness went for the cover, Bryan flipped him over into the Cattle Mutilation submission. Without any more rope breaks, McGuinness used his intestinal fortitude to roll it over to a seated position. McGuinness even managed to get top position for a pin. Bryan had to let go to avoid the three count, but he ratcheted up the intensity with a brutal barrage of elbow blows to McGuinness’ bloody head. After 33 consecutive strikes, McGuinness was knocked unconscious, and Bryan was declared the winner. Delightful drama and amazing aggression for a fantastic fight.
Other free matches from ROH include:
- Pure Championship: Nigel McGuinness vs Austin Aries (here)
- Pure Championship: Jay Lethal vs Spanky (aka Brian Kendrick) (here)
- Pure rules: Jonathan Gresham vs Silas Young (here)
- Briscoes first tag title win vs Special K (here)
- Episode #467 of ROH Wrestling (here) spotlighted Tracy Williams. Feature bouts include his ROH debut versus Jonathan Gresham, versus Zack Sabre Jr., and versus Bully Ray in hardcore no DQ.
- Episode #468 of ROH Wrestling (here) spotlighted the Bouncers. Feature bouts include Brian Milonas, Beer City Bruiser, & Silas Young versus the Young Bucks & Cody Rhodes for the Six-Man Championship, Bouncers & Cheeseburger versus Dalton Castle, Flip Gordon, & Kenny King, and tag team action versus the Briscoes for the Tag Team Championship.
ROH also created a highlight package with every Pure title change. There have been 7 Pure title holders.
1. AJ Styles
2. Doug Williams
3. John Walters
4. Jay Lethal
5. Samoa Joe
6. Nigel McGuinness
7. Daniel Bryan
We’ll close with some fantasy fun. Ian Riccaboni, Bobby Cruise, Todd Sinclair, and Caprice Coleman each drafted their own all-time ROH roster. Watch the entire proceedings (here) or take the shortcut with a list for each squad.
Where do you rank the finish to Bryan vs McGuinness on the all-time scale? Which fantasy roster is the best?