Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tag Team Excellence: The Best of the Briscoe Brothers - DVD Review

They are Ring of Honor originals, and regarded as one of the best tag teams of the 21st century. Now we’re going back a few years to look at their early careers with the ROH DVD release Tag Team Excellence: The Best of the Briscoe Brothers.

8th February, 2003: The DVD begins with the brothers taking on each other at the One Year Anniversary show.

Having feuded since the company began this was touted as the last match they’d have against each other before becoming a team.

This was a great way to start this collection, an enthralling action packed encounter which saw both brothers going all out for victory.

Each brother was as good as his opponent, and as the back and forth action neared it’s conclusion Mark actually used the Jay driller to get the win, before Jay used his patented move three times before taking the pin.

12th April, 2003: The first tag match of the collection sees the brothers challenging Amazing Red and A.J. Styles, accompanied by Alex Laree (aka Mickie James) for the Tag Team titles at Epic Encounter.

A short and sweet encounter here with both teams pulling out the high spots early on. Styles and Red looked great as a team, but they had their hands full with the brothers until the mass brawl at the end, with Red countering the Kay driller with his maximum explosion move before getting the pin after the red star press.

6th September, 2003: The next two matches saw the brothers flying solo, beginning with Mark taking on B.J. Whitmer.

A highly entertaining battle saw both men putting in a great effort in what turned out to be an extremely hard hitting battle. Both guys took it up a notch as they broke out the big moves, with Mark getting what was considered an upset win, pinning Whitmer after a urinage from the top rope.

Then it was on to Jay taking on Chris Sabin, A.J. Styles and World Champion Samoa Joe in a four corners match. This one had a few stipulations. If Jay, Styles or Sabin took the pin they’d get a title shot. If Joe took the pin then the other three wouldn’t get another shot while he was champion. Basically it’s like the Roderick Strong match from my recent Defy or Deny review.

Jay is portrayed as the big underdog in this match, and he’s taken apart early on by Joe before all three men using him as a human punching bag.

But then, as the match breaks down into the inevitable four way brawl all the big moves come out, and there are plenty of near falls from all four men until Jay ends the match by taking Sabin down with the Jay driller, earning a shot at the title.

As well as being a great exhibition of Jay’s skills it’s also a great example of how the Samoa Joe of 2003 is a lot better than the Samoa Joe of 2011.

16th October, 2003: Jay goes it alone again as he challenges Samoa Joe for the World title at Tradition Continues.

Once again Jay is portrayed as the underdog, especially when Joe dominates early on.

But Jay eventually comes back with some high impact stuff of his own, but it wasn’t long before Joe regained control.

However, no matter what Joe threw at him Jay kept kicking out of the pin attempts. Eventually Joe got the pin after taking his man down with a huge lariat.

1st November, 2003: Jay and Mark, managed by Jim Cornette, challenge Special K members Izzy and Dixie for the Tag Team titles. The rich stoner kids are accompanied by the rest of their posse, including a guy called Hydro, who would go on to do Randy Savage impressions in TNA a few years later.

For me this was a timely reminder of how annoying the Special K faction were back then, although they did put on a great display here.

This was a pretty good match. Though short in length it was full of high flying moves, with the brothers looking a more refined unit under the guidance of Cornette.

It would also prove to be a pivotal moment in their careers. After they took Izzy down with the doomsday device Jay sealed the deal with the Jay driller for what would be the first of many tag title wins.

28th November, 2003: The brothers face a tough title defence against the dream team of A.J. Styles and World Champion Samoa Joe at The Conclusion.

Great action throughout here. Styles and Joe looked tremendous as a team, gelling extremely well together.

The brothers weren’t portrayed as underdogs here and really took it to their challengers, especially when they were doubling up on Styles.

A miscommunication between the challengers saw Styles accidentally take Joe down with a lariat. Seconds later Mark took Joe out with a shooting star press for the winning pin.

29th November, 2003: Jay and Mark faced a second title defence in as many days, this time against the Prophecy team of Dan Maff and Christopher Daniels, accompanied by Allison Danger.

While not as good as the previous match it’s still a pretty good encounter. Maff and Daniels looked good as a unit, but nowhere near as polished as their opponents.

Danger made periodic appearances as she tried to run interference, only to be taken out by Jay’s falcon arrow.

Moments later the Briscoes took Maff out with the doomsday device, and they would have taken the win had Daniels not returned to the ring.

But although Daniels managed to take Mark out with the angels wings it was the Briscoes who took the pin when Jay took the fallen angel down with the Jay driller for the pin.

23rd April 2004: The final match of the collection sees the brothers taking on the Havana Pitbulls, Rocky Romero and Ricky Reyes, in a non-title match at Reborn Stage 1.

The Pitbulls were looking to make a big impression on their ROH debut, and they certainly achieved that in a highly intense encounter which threatened to break down into an all out brawl at times.

But perhaps what was most interesting was how polished the Briscoes looked as a unit compared to the match against Styles and Red the year before, and all of these ingredients made this a very enjoyable encounter.

The end came when the Briscoes isolated Reyes and took him down with a spiked Jay driller for the winning pin.

In conclusion - having seen quite a bit of the Briscoe Brothers in the past couple of years or so this certainly proved to be a very interesting look at their early ROH careers, and they’re a lot younger and smaller in those matches you can still get a good feeling of what these guys are all about.

It was also good to look back at some great moments involving the likes of Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels in their early ROH days.

So does this get the thumbs up? Definitely, but the one downside is that you may have trouble getting a copy of this release. I couldn’t find it on the ROH website, so I’d suggest contacting them through www.rohwrestling.com. Either that or do an extensive Google search.