Background: After several months of trying to overcome the Japanese monster Takeshi Morishima for the Ring of Honor World Championship (not to mention the previous year of failing to defeat Bryan Danielson for the title), Nigel “Desmond Wolfe” McGuinness earned one more title opportunity during ROH’s return to Philadelphia for a pay-per-view taping.
October 6, 2007
Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness
The fans were vehemently behind the challenger. Both men unsuccessfully went for their finishers early, leading to a forearm exchange that saw Morishma knock Nigel into the ropes. McGuinness saw an opportunity, going for his Jawbreaker Lariat again, only to be drilled with the sidewalk slam. Nigel, luring Morishima to the floor, looked for another lariat that resulted in Takeshi sending McGuinness left arm first into the steel barricades. The champ’s left arm-focused attacks left McGuinness on the mat and the crowd clapping to rally him to his feet. The strategy worked as Nigel fired himself up and actually slapped the champion. That was not a good idea as Morishima dropped him with one forearm.
Punch after punch by the champion literally had Nigel slumped in the corner and glassy-eyed. Aware enough of his surroundings, McGuinness countered the champion’s Backdrop Driver attempt; hitting two Lariats to finally drop Takeshi … to gain a two count!
Elbows and forearms became McGuinness’ strategy to set up his Lariats. Each Lariat connected, but none put Morishima down for the three count. Morishima fired back with a lariat of his own. Rather than go for the pin, Morishima used an avalanche splash-missile dropkick combination to gain a two count of his own. Once again, McGuinness avoided the Backdrop Driver, forcing Morishima to scale the ropes. This time, Nigel clotheslined Takeshi out of midair … for another near fall!
The crowd believed in Nigel, but the attacks of a rallying Morishima seemed to have Nigel in a bad way. Somehow, some way, Nigel fought through the executed Backdrop Driver, pulling the rope-scaling champion off of his top rope perch with a superplex. Though it appeared Takeshi couldn’t be stopped, the fans continued to support the challenger. Lariat after Lariat from Nigel only put him position for another Backdrop Driver. Nigel stumbled to his feet, falling through the ropes. McGuinness caught himself; exploding with the Jawbreaker Lariat … to earn another two count!
The fans questioned whether or not it was a three count. McGuinness didn’t argue over the count, climbing the ropes to sunset bomb Morishima for another two count. Blocking the rising champion’s forearms, McGuinness was able to hit another Lariat … for a one count!
Jawbreaker Lariat from the challenger … to give Nigel McGuinness a three count! We have a new ROH World champion and the crowd lost its mind!
Winner: Nigel McGuinness (14:22)
Is It A Classic: An epic homage to the previous, hard-hitting battles between the two international stars. Nigel’s plan was simple – wear down the champion with Lariats while surviving Morishima’s barrage of strikes. Little did Nigel know that the champ would go after his arm early, weakening McGuinness’ limb and causing him to use the Lariat more than he would’ve hoped. The atmosphere can’t be denied as the fans were white hot throughout the match; making it feel more important than it already was. Definitely an incredible, must-see match that perfectly represented what ROH was at that time.