Smackdown – January 2, 2003

Date: January 2, 2003
Location: Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s time for a new year with a special live show. The big deal tonight is the wedding between Al Wilson and Dawn Marie, which should hopefully be a big step towards finally ending this stupid storyline. The thing won’t go away and unfortunately it’s going towards another Torrie vs. Dawn match. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – January 2, 2003

Ring of Honor Glory By Honor II September 20th, 2003

September 20, 2003

From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Chris Levy and CM Punk

Colt Cabana is shown hyping up the 4-man match tonight that includes AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, and Matt Stryker. He states that a win would put him in the “Top 5 Rankings.” They are now having Cabana take things seriously, well more than before.

Dan Maff is shown at home sitting in a chair wearing a neck brace. He talks about facing the Carnage Crew at the first Glory By Honor show and how they both hated each other and at Glory By Honor II, he is still full of hate because of Low Ki injuring him as he has to sit home with a pinched nerve and effects from post-concussion syndrome. He then tells Christopher Daniels that he will beat Samoa Joe for the RoH World Title as he is everything you look for in a leader as he wants Daniels to bring the title back home to the Prophecy. He then pulls out a flip phone as he tells us that Alison Danger will keep him updated all night and he will also give ups updates throughout the show. Maff did okay here but some of the overacting was painful.

We get the first of many memories from the Murphy Rec Center. This is the last show that ever took place here. I am not going to list them all here as they happen because this DVD is almost five hours long due to stuff like this.

Field of Honor
Block B
Jimmy Rave vs. BJ Whitmer

The match starts back and forth as Punk tells us the Field of Honor is not important because he is not in it while telling us Whitmer and Rave are both underwhelming. Whitmer busts out a Saito suplex for two as Levy tells us the winner of this tournament will see their career skyrocket. That was not the case. The crowd chants for Whitmer as he clotheslines Rave for two as Punk continues to rag on both guys, particularly Whitmer. Brainbuster gets two. Whitmer misses a charge as Rave now briefly takes control of the match until Whitmer comes back with a Dragon Suplex. They have a slugfest that Rave wins with a running forearm smash. Rave then hits a DDT on Whitmer on the apron then hits a shining wizard off of the apron. Back inside, Rave hits a hurricarana off of the top rope then works a cross armbreaker. Whitmer breaks free and kicks Rave in the back. Whitmer then hits some soft forearm smashes but Rave comes back with a Cobra Clutch suplex. Rave works the arm then sets Whitmer up top and tries something but Whitmer fights back and hits him with a top rope powerbomb for the win (9:24) **. That finisher was really dangerous. The crowd cheers for both guys.

Thoughts: It got a bit better at the end but the match was dull and it had zero heat. Punk on commentary was the only real highlight. In fact, Punk’s commentary as a whole was one of the few highlights here.

Whitmer is shown out back as he tells us Rave is a tough kid that will make it in “this business” and how the Field of Honor is the start of his rise to the top of RoH. They were trying to push Whitmer here but besides a decent look, he didnt have much else.

AJ Styles questions Rave as to why he had to get fancy at put Whitmer on the top rope instead of working the arm. They are still going with AJ acting as Rave’s mentor.

Samoa Joe talks about destiny and names the others who failed to take the RoH World Title away from him as he questions Daniels if he has what it takes of will he be another victim. After the promo ends, Steve Corino comes in and talks about CM Punk putting him in a match with Raven tonight. Joe said that Punk is “anti-social” and rough around the edges as Corino tells Joe the original plan was for him to be champ and Joe the enforcer as Corino wishes him luck.

Xavier is shown working out wearing nothing but a pair of shorts as Lollipop is checking him out. Looked like the opening scene of a porno film. For those who are unaware, Lollipop was one of the cage dancers that TNA featured during their weekly PPV era.

Field of Honor
Block A
John Walters vs. Xavier

Lollipop is now checking out Xavier at ringside then Alison Danger comes out as well but Xavier tells her to go back to the locker room. The match starts with both guys trading stuff and it came off quite choreographed. The crowd starts a dueling chant as Punk questions if half of Philadelphia is gay because they are not cheering for Lollipop. Xavier sends Walters to the floor with a belly-to-belly suplex then follows him with a 450 as the crowd applauds. Punk makes fun of Levy for liking “New Kids on the Block” then goes back to ragging on Whitmer as Xavier tries some acrobatic stuff that didn’t work as planned. Walters blocks the Cobra Clutch then cuts off Xavier up top and hits him with a lungblower as both men are down. Walters hits a rolling spear that looked odd then they engage in a pinfall reversal sequence. Walters hits the Hurricane DDT for a nearfall. Xavier comes back with a reverse neckbreaker but Walters hits him with a backbreaker shortly after that. Walters picks him up but Xavier kicks him low then rolls him up for the win (10:44) **. Xavier immediately leaves without shaking hands then Walters calls him out and promises he will find out what respects means next time they face off.

Thoughts: They did some nice moves but there was nothing resembling an actual match here, which seems counterproductive for a tournament designed to celebrate traditional wrestling.

The camera follows Xavier backstage as he cannot believe that Walters had the audacity to call him out and that he can fight him anytime, any place.

Christopher Daniels is with Alison Danger as he talks about bringing Joe into Ring of Honor and how a lot of twists and turns have happened since, like him laying out Joe after his first title defense. He then promises to win the title as the promo ends with Corino cutting in and tells Daniels that he is #1 and to go win the world title. Long-winded promo from Daniels and the stuff with Corino comes off confusing more than intriguing.

TJ Wilson vs. Teddy Hart

TJ Wilson is currently Tyson Kidd in the WWE. Hart, who was a couple of weeks removed from a tremendous performance at TNA’s 2003 Super X Cup, got a decent reaction from the crowd. Match starts with both guys squaring off before getting into a slap fight. Neither guy can get the advantage as the keep on ending their sequences with a standoff. Wilson sends Hart into the corner then follows with a big boot that wasn’t even close before choking him out. Hart then takes Wilson down with a drop toehold then works the leg as the crowd applauds. Punk talks about facing Terry Funk tonight as this match is not impressing. Wilson drops Hart on his head with a full nelson suplex as that gets two. Hart comes back and works the leg but Wilson reaches the ropes. Punk continues to talk about Funk as Wilson hits a springboard dropkick then places Hart up top and hits the Lambeau Leap move that Mr. Kennedy used for a nearfall. Hart comes back with an inverted floating DDT then heads up top and hits a swinging DDT to set up for the shooting star press that gets the win (7:42) 3/4*. The fans chat for Teddy after the match. As he heads backstage, Hart blows off Special K’s offer to party after they tell him he is not a high flyer.

Thoughts: Terrible match. I have no clue what they were trying to do for the first six minutes of the match. Hart, fresh off of an incredible performance at the TNA Super X Cup just a few weeks prior, did nothing here except for a shooting star press.

Raven is backstage and talks about selecting Terry Funk as CM Punk’s opponent tonight so he can teach discipline, respect, and intestinal fortitude. Raven then said he is unsure why Punk picked Raven as he has beaten him everytime they face and makes the match “Raven’s Rules.”

Raven’s Rules
Steve Corino w/ Veronica Stevens & Guillotine LeGrande vs. Raven

Stevens is the former Simply Luscious for those wondering. Corino’s ring announcer lists off all the people Corino has beaten over the years in one of the more grandiose ring introductions you will ever see. Although having him stop for a drink of water halfway through was pretty funny. Match starts off with a lot of stalling. Corino hits a few shoulderblocks but Raven fights back and hits a suplex. Corino gets his foot up on a charge then catches Raven with a back elbow smash. Corino chokes out Raven in the corner then they trade chops until Corino gets a thumb in the eye. Suplex gets two. Corino wedges a chair in the corner then whips Raven into it as he spills out to the floor. Corino gets in some weak shots on Raven outside then connects with a flying forearm. Raven ducks a lariat and comes back with a super kick as both men are down. Raven is up first and hits a few clotheslines and a kneelift. Raven gets two with a bulldog as Punk is screaming about how the referee is not doing their job. Raven sets up a chair as he sends Corino into it with a drop toehold but Stevens breaks up the pin. Raven corners Stevens then spanks Stevens as he drapes her over his knee so Punk leaves the booth. Corino puts Raven in the Cobra Clutch in the middle of the ring. Raven is able to get up and ram Corino into the corner then hits the Raven Effect but Punk pulls the referee out of the ring. Raven chases him around but runs into a super kick from Corino, who covers and gets the pin (13:08) **. After the match, Corino & Punk beat on Raven until Corino tells him he doesn’t need his help and slaps Punk across the face. They get into each other’s faces as Punk eventually leaves.

Thoughts: The “Raven’s Rules” stipulation was not needed for the match and the only purpose it served was for the screw job finish, which could have done in a number of other ways. This was wrestled like a mid 80’s WWF house show match, which I guess is why the call Corino “The King of Old School.”

Chris Sabin vs. Colt Cabana vs. Matt Stryker vs. AJ Styles

Punk is back in the booth and asks if he missed anything. The crowd is really into Cabana. Match starts off slow with lots of stalling and feeling each other out. Cabana and Sabin go back and forth until Cabana knocks him off the apron. Cabana then teases a dive but stops before the ropes and ends up hitting a double axe handle from the apron. Back inside, Sabin nearly kills AJ by landing on his head after a spinning heel kick then Cabana missed a top rope splash as everyone rolled out of the way. AJ tags himself in and keeps trying to hit Sabin with a Styles Clash but fails then hits him in the face with a basement dropkick. AJ comes back with a dropkick of his own after a fast Irish whip sequence as Levy notes that Punk will face AJ at the next show. Sabin gets beat on for a while by everyone then Cabana spits at AJ, who responds by throwing his gum at him. Sabin gets placed up top but is able to take Cabana off with a neckbreaker as both men are down. Stryker and AJ tag but AJ goes after Cabana. Sabin hits AJ with an enziguiri then hits some sort of swinging slam as the match finally settles down between the two legal men. Stryker and AJ go back-and-forth then Cabana tags in and stretches out AJ while Punk cant get over the fact that AJ threw his gum like a sissy. AJ is now the one who is in trouble as we learn that Cabana and Sabin will face each other in a Field of Honor match next show. AJ then comes back with a double Phenomenon on Stryker and Sabin as the match breaks down again. Everyone trades moves at a decent pace, including an awesome reverse hurricarana on Cabana courtesy of Sabin. Stryker suplexes AJ but gets grabbed by Cabana. Sabin charges at them but Cabana backdrops him then hits the Colt 45 on Stryker for the win (18:55) **1/2.

Thoughts: The match was formulaic and disappointing considering the competitors. Cabana winning was a bit of a surprise I suppose but that’s all I took away from this match.

Maff is talking to Alison Danger about the show. He tells her to talk to Rob Feinstein about something that he is upset about.

Gary Michael Capetta is with Colt Cabana, who says he has something special planned. However, CM Punk interrupts to talk about Steve Corino briefly then switches topics to Raven and Terry Funk and asks Cabana how it feels to get cut off, as Cabana says it feels weird.

RoH Tag Team Title Gauntlet Match

Carnage Crew & Justin Credible vs. Angel Dust & Deranged & Hydro

For some reason, this match starts off with a six-man “grudge” match due to the strap attack by Special K on these guys from Beating the Odds. However, the winning team will have to reduce to two members. The Special Guys jump the Carnage Crew to start. The Carnage Crew then take control as they beat the shit out Angel Dust. Becky Bayless distracts Credible and after kissing her and Levy making a bunch of whore comments at Becky, Angel Dust takes him off of the apron. Hydro tags as Special K regains control while Levy goes through his usual schtick about Special K spending their parents money on drugs. Deranged puts Credible in a chinlock in what feels like an eternity. Credible finally breaks free as he tags Loc while the crowd is silent. Loc cleans house as the Carnage Crew try to get the crowd going but they seemed burned out. They set up Angel Dust for the spike piledriver but the Special K flunkies run in to break it up. The Carnage Crew then use straps as Deranged gets whacked in the face as the ref rings the bell for the DQ as we learn that the Carnage Crew have been disqualified, despite Special K using blatant outside interference (9:06). This sucked.

Deranged & Hydro vs. Briscoe Brothers 

The Briscoes take control early. Deranged hits a few hurricaranas on Jay but Mark tags and pancakes him. Hydro is in and clotheslines Mark after a fast-paced sequence. Mark then places Hydro up top and hits a springboard Ace Crusher. Deranged runs in and hits a Code Red as this is essentially under scramble rules. Jay tags and hits Hydro with the Jay Driller for the pin as Mark attempted to make it a spike but overshot his springboard dive (11:52). Brief but decent action at least.

Briscoe Brothers vs. Dunn & Marcos

Marcos hits the Sliced Bread #2 as he celebrates but Mark hits him with a springboard dropkick and shortly after that the Briscoes put Dunn away with a springboard Doomsday Device (13:34). Total squash.

Briscoe Brothers vs. Izzy & Dixie

The Briscoes immediately beat on Izzy and Dixie. They focus on Dixie as Levy tells us the winner of this fall will go up against the Backseat Boyz for the title. Dixie rakes the eyes of Mark then tags Izzy as Punk leaves the booth after Levy brought up Lucy and after that Ray Murrow finally enters. Mark comes back with a crossbody as both men are down. Izzy tags but Mark rolls away and makes the tag. Jay runs wild then Mark hits Izzy with a moonsault but Dixie breaks up the pin and the Special K guys pull Jay out of the ring then distract the ref as that allows Izzy to hit Mark with a Blockbuster for the pin (18:50). The ending was a mess but most of it actually resembled a wrestling match at the very least.

Izzy & Dixie vs. Backseat Boyz

The Backseat Boyz pounce on Izzy & Dixie as they hit all sorts of double-team moves. Kashmere takes out Special K with a dive on the outside. Acid tries to dive out but Dixie stops him and flings him off the top in a really pathetic looking spot. Kashmere comes back in and they hit the Dream Sequence but Izzy manages to hit Kashmere with a springboard senton at the end. Acid and Izzy work a fast but sloppy sequence that ends with Izzy hitting an inverted hurricarana for a nearfall. Kashmere gets hit with a double team move then Izzy takes Acid off of the top with a rana. They then signal for the T Gimmick as they try to hit it on Acid but Kashmere spears them both then the Backseat Boyz hit Izzy with the T Gimmick for the win and the Tag Team Titles (22:42) 1/2*. After the match, Dixie breaks up the celebration then takes out the Backseat Boyz with a weak-looking dive to the floor as Special K are beating on the Backseat Boyz but the Briscoes come out for the save then Teddy Hart comes out and hits an insane springboard corkscrew quebrada onto Special K then heads inside to raise the hands of the Backseat Boyz.

Thoughts: I personally couldnt think of a better way to match the Tag Team Titles seem less important than RoH did with this monstrosity of a match. The whole thing was filled with awful action and the end was filled with zero doubt or drama as to who would win. Joke teams like the Special K guys and Ring Crew Express showed the lack of depth and how those teams were essentially unable to even work an actual tag match. I dont know who Dixie was blowing to get his spot on the roster because he was by far the worst in the match. And he was treated as one of the top guys in the Special K stable. The Backseat Boyz did not even look impressive in winning the belts and who do they feud with now? Special K? The Briscoes are the best team but they would seemingly want revenge on Special K, who fucked them over. Not only was the match shit but they dont even have a good tag feud to run with now.

Homicide, who is in Japan, cuts a promo on Low Ki, telling him that he forgot where he came from and that he even trained him so he could be the superstar that he is today. He then tells Ki to come find him in the “projects” as he is pissed for Ki telling him not to bring in “thugs” into Ring of Honor. He then tells Samoa Joe to be ready and will beat his punk-ass, just like he will do to Ki. Now, both Maff and Homicide are looking to go after Ki.

Alexis Laree comes out to cheers as streamers come down from the ceiling. Gary Michael Cappetta wishes her luck as she just signed a Developmental Deal with the WWE. The fans chant “please don’t go” as she looks emotional but Special K’s music interrupts then Joey Matthews, who was in rehab the announcers tell us, comes out and hugs her then clotheslines her down as its revealed he is back with Special K. The Special K guys hold up Alexis as Joey grabs a chair. Slugger comes down and Joey gives him the chair as Hydro tells him to hit Alexis but he gets slapped down as the Special K guys are scared shitless as they leave the ring, dropping Laree to the mat. Julius Smokes runs in and lays out Hijinx as he now have a match between Laree and Hijinx.

Alexis Laree vs. Hijinx

Hijinx wants no part of Alexis, who takes him down with a flying headscissors and a rana as Smokes, who is now the ref apparently, counts to two. Hijinx knocks her down then hits a backbreaker but misses a senton off of the middle rope then after a reversal sequence, Alexis gets the win with a DDT (1:15) 1/4*. After the match, Slugger raises Alexis on her shoulder as the fans applaud.

Thoughts: No idea what the stuff with Smokes and the Rottweilers were about but it was a nice sendoff for Laree.

We get a promo from Jim Cornette, who tells us he is back in Ring of Honor after the Prophecy attacked him at Wrath of the Racket. He tells them that he is back in town. Okay then.

Punk comes out for his match against Terry Funk as he tells us Funk retired for the first time in 1983 and that he could shit on his career and family all night long if he wants but its all been done before. He says that Funk keeps on coming back because he is a “drunk, pilled-up, schizophrenic, multi-personality dickhead.” Punk then says that RoH put him in with a guy who has to take pills to get up in the morning and that he will finally dismantle Punk forever, which is repeats several times. Punk’s mic work has been the only highlight of the show at this point.

CM Punk vs. Terry Funk

The crowd goes nuts for Funk. Match starts with Punk slapping Funk after they shook hands. Funk backs Punk into then corner and breaks cleanly. After an armdrag by Funk, they roll around on the mat and end up outside as Punk retreats. Back in the ring, Punk takes down Funk and grabs a chinlock. Funk reverses it and works a hammerlock on the mat. Funk hits a neckbreaker then follows Punk outside but gets beaten on then Punk grabs the mic and declares this a hardcore match. Funk then roughs him up as they go back inside, where Funk punches him down. They then trade chops outside of the ring but that stops when Punk gets whipped into the guardrail. Funk hits Punk with a chair across the back. Punk then smashes Funks head off of the table then whacks him with the chair as Funk challenges Punk to hit him harder. Punk fires away at Fun, who is caught between the ropes, but Funk fights back and ends up suplexing Punk from the apron and through a table. Funk repeatedly slams Punk’s head on the table then heads back inside and goes for a moonsault but Punk rolls away as both men are down. Funk sells the knee like a champ then Punk goes right on the attack as he targets the knee as Funk calls him a “prick” and a “bastard.” Funk comes back with a stunner but is still in too much pain to follow up with anything as Punk brings him into the middle of the ring and works the leg before putting on the figure four as Punk taunts him. Levy tells us that the referee was warned before the match to not let anything dangerous happen to Funk, who now reverses the hold. Funk rolls outside and has trouble standing as Punk follows him up and rolls Funk back into the ring. Punk then grabs a chair and whacks the injured knee repeatedly then puts on the figure four again as Funk reaches the ropes but Punk pulls him back into the center of the ring to try it again. Funk fights back and eventually puts Punk in the spinning toe hold but Punk takes him down as Punk puts the figure four back on as Levy wants the ref to call the match in order to protect Funk, who reaches the ropes. Punk tries to yank Funk away from the ropes then puts the hold back on and refuses to break the hold as the ref calls for the bell as Funk wins by DQ (15:48) **1/2. Punk still refuses to break the hold as Colt Cabana comes down to tell Punk to break the hold, only to put it on himself and doesnt stop until Raven runs them off. However, Tommy Dreamer stops Cabana in the aisle as they bring him back in the ring as Funk hits him with a stunner. Funk, Dreamer, and Raven all shake hands together as the crowd applauds.

Thoughts: This match was about as good as it could have been but the Dreamer stuff felt all like deja vu and the Raven/Punk feud in general has lost a lot of steam.

RoH World Title
Christopher Daniels w/ Alison Danger vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)

Joe starts the match by drilling Daniels with a kick that almost got the win. Joe continues to rough up Daniels, who eventually comes back with a leg lariat. Daniels gets two with an Arabian Press but Joe knocks him down with a spinning backhand. Joe then destroys Daniels in the corner as the announcers list off all the title defenses Joe has had as he puts Daniels in a Boston Crab. Danger comes in as Joe goes for a face wash but Daniels knocks him to the floor and follows with another Arabian Press. He grabs a chair and sits down Joe as he tries an Ole kick but Joe cuts him off then hits one on Daniels. Joe hits the move again then they head inside where Joe hits the rolling cradle. Daniels comes back with a German suplex as both men are down. Daniels charges but Joe catches him with a powerslam for a nearfall. Daniels then blocks a kick and hits a pair of enziguiris. Daniels fires away then hits a Samoan drop. The crowd is into Daniels here. Daniels then hits a STO then follows with the Best Moonsault Ever but Joe is able to kick out at two. Joe comes back with an STO of his own then knees Daniels in the head. Joe gets a few nearfalls then catches a breather but Daniels comes back with the Koji Clutch but Joe is able to reach the ropes. Daniels gets two with a Blue Thunder Driver. He then places Joe up top and tries a superplex but Joe blocks the move. Daniels is able to take him off with a hurricarana then hits the Angels Wings and covers but Joe kicks out. However, the timekeeper rang the bell as Daniels is in disbelief. Daniels tries for the Last Rites but Joe reverses and takes him down with the Coquina Clutch. Daniels finally makes the ropes but Joe connects with an enziguiri then gets the win with the Island Driver (15:02) ***3/4. The announcers then talk about who will ever be able to beat Joe. Daniels gets a standing ovation once he makes it back up to his feet.

Thoughts: Really good match but not a classic like the announcers made this out to be or anything like that. After the win, Joe now needs someone to feud with.

Maff is shown again as he tells Daniels that he had the match won and everyone knew it too before telling us that he will win the Field of Honor. His final comment is for Low Ki as he tells him that he is a “self-righteous, egotistical son of a bitch” and that he will be back and it will having nothing to do with winning a match as he promises to hurt him as he rips off his neck brace. Good, intense promo from Maff this time but he isnt someone who is worth all this promo time to begin with f you ask me.

Backstage, the Carnage Crew are talking about how they are disrespected every day in their lives before they warn Special K that they will kick their ass.

The Backseat Boyz gloat over the fact that they have won the RoH Tag Team Titles then tell is that they are the best tag team in the world. They then tell us they are going down to Atlantic City to get some hookers, room service, and shrimp.

Colt Cabana is now hosting his own talk show in the Murphy Rec Center hallway as his first guest is Julius Smokes, who is flanked by the Rottweilers. Cabana tries a “the man” joke then asks Smokes introduces us to . Smokes then tells us the Rottweiler Express is coming. A sad attempt at comedy by Colt Cabana.

Final Thoughts: A really disappointing show. It was more dull than horrible I suppose but that is the best I can say about the show as a whole. Besides the main event and Punk, everything else was either forgettable or awful. They are lacking in compelling feuds and the tag team division is complete shit at the moment. They might as well have just put the Briscoes vs. Backseat Boyz for the titles and built off of that because the other teams should be nowhere near a title belt. Also, the Field of Honor stuff has been a major disappointment so far. No one is looking like a breakout star from being a part of this tournament. One of the weaker shows RoH offered in 2003.

Ring of Honor Beating the Odds September 6th, 2003

September 6, 2003

From the Charbonneau Field House in Wakefield, MA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

The show starts with CM Punk, alongside Colt Cabana, cuts a promo on Raven. He says that he wants Raven to remember how he is a failure and that he began wrestling so he could get his mission across. He ends by saying he will taken Raven out for good then walks away as Cabana is shown. Cabana says that he is not going to say something funny or talk about how Dunn & Marcos’s mothers wanted to be his groupies as he is serious and going to make a name for himself in the Field of Honor.

Raven is shown backstage telling us the world his filled with kings and queens and heaven and hell. He then informs us that for Punk, heaven is not an option as he welcomes him to his Clockwork Orange House of Fun. Raven then promises to “kill” Punk then finishes off this promo with a maniacal laugh.

Field of Honor Qualifying Match
Block B
Jimmy Rave vs. Colt Cabana

Lively crowd tonight. Cabana starts the match by stalling in the corner. Both guys trade arm wringers as the announcers put over the tournament and the “pure wrestling” aspect. We are now shown footage from before the show of the Backseat Boyz at the gimmick table harassing Gabe Sapolsky and Rob Feinstein then yelling at fans to get out of their way until they run into Julius Smokes and Homicide, who yells at them for being late. The argue as the Carnage Crew are laughing in the background then a brawl breaks out. Homicide then tells Feinstein to stop being a “pussy” and fine those “faggot-ass niggas.” We are finally back to the action as Rave takes down Cabana with an armdrag, with the announcers putting down the Backseat Boyz for unprofessionalism. Cabana challenges Rave to knock him down with a shoulder tackle then trips him up as the crowd applauds. Cabana whips Rave into the corner then puts him in a surfboard as we hear that all of the Field of Honor competitors will have cameras on them in the back at all times. Cabana hits a backdrop and gets two off of that. Rave tries to fight back with chops but keeps getting cut off. Cabana gets two off of a gutwrench powerbomb then catches him in a bearhug a few times. Rave connects with an enziguiri for two but Cabana comes back with a leg drop. Cabana misses a top rope twisting senton as Rave follows up with a shining wizard as both men are down. Rave hits a floating DDT for two then catches him with an armbar off of a springboard. Cabana takes control with a modified version of his Colt 45 then targets the back for a bit. Rave ends up putting Cabana in a crossface but Cabana powers out and hits the Colt 45 for the win (13:06) **.

Thoughts: Not much of a match. It did get better at the end though. The main focus was on Homicide and Acid as their feud is not going away. The secondary focus was on Cabana as his win keeps him going in the tournament as they story with him is that he wants to prove himself as a wrestler and stop acting like a goofball.

Backstage, AJ Styles tells Rave he lost because he went for the arm instead of the neck then gives him some advice. Styles appears to be the mentor for Rave.

Colt is shown as he says he is honor as the doctors and his family and friends told him not to wrestle tonight but he did as he is going to the top.

Diablo Santiago w/ Oman Tortuga vs. Slyk Wagner Brown w/ April Hunter

Before the match, the Outkast Killaz corner Hunter but Brown flipped into the ring to scare them off. Match starts with Santiago jumping Brown from behind. Santtiago kept taunting the crowd as that allowed Brown to hit him with a missile dropkick. Brown then hit a press slam and followed that with a standing moonsault. Santiago goes outside as Brown sends him into the guardrail with a baseball slide. Back inside, Santiago works over the back of Brown then they fuck up a super kick spot that missed by a mile but Brown sold anyway. Santiago gets two with a bridging slam but misses a diving headbutt as both men are down. Brown wins a slugfest then hits some sort of half-assed Thesz Press for two. Catatonic slam gets two. Santiago comes back with another bridging suplex as he is now bleeding from his nose. Brown almost botches a float over then catches Santiago with a sitout powerbomb for the win (4:19) 1/4*. After the match, Tortuga tells Brown they are not down and that Hunter was checking him out all match. Tortuga then Hunter to come with him then gets attacked in a sequence to show off Hunter, who was probably bigger than Tortuga anyway.

Thoughts: This match sucked. The point was to get Brown and Hunter over but Brown was a bad wrestler and did a ton of flips in the match for some reason. Hunter got over a bit for beating on the Outkast Killaz as they seem to be building up to a match between the four.

Scramble Match
Dunn & Marcos vs. Izzy & Dixie w/ Special K vs. SAT’s vs. Backseat Boyz

We are informed that Homicide & Julius Smokes are “tearing” up the locker room due to the Backseat Boyz being here tonight. This starts off the same as every other scramble match with guys pairing off and going at rapid speed. One cool move was when Joel countered a tarantula from Izzy with an Alabama Slam. Less blown spots than usual here too. Izzy busts out a few cool hurricaranas here as well. Dunn & Marcos hit a nice version of the Demolition Decapitation on Dixie for two. The match breaks down with the SAT’s botching a double-team move as they are incapable of having a match without at least one. The announcers talk about the Tag Team Title situation due to the Amazing Red’s injury and how Gary Michael Capetta will address that later tonight. THe match breaks down again as Kashmere takes out almost everyone with a senton. In the ring, Joel and Izzy take turns kicking each other then climb up top where Joel takes Izzy off with a Spanish Fly to the floor on top of everyone, drawing a “holy shit” chant form the crowd. They head back inside as the action breaks down again until Acid hits Joel with a high knee for the win (8:44) **1/4.

Thoughts: These tag scramble matches were really tiresome. The only team worth a shit was the Backseat Boyz as the others were probably incapable of wrestling an actual tag match. Despite all of that, this was more cool moves and less botched spots than usual, making it a bit entertaining at least.

Field of Honor
Block A
Matt Stryker vs. John Walters

Both guys feel each other out to start. They battle over a test-of-strength then trade moves until Walters stretches out Stryker in the ropes. Stryker takes a breather then re-enters as he takes down Walters and works a front facelock. They end in a stalemate as the crowd applauds then Walters works the arm. Stryker takes him down with a dragon screw and works the leg briefly before putting on the Stryker Lock. Walters is able to make it to the ropes then Stryker goes back to working the leg. Walters knee gives out as he was Irish whipped into the ropes then Stryker grapevines the leg. Stryker is unable to put Walters away then gets caught with a lungblower as Walters continues to sell his leg. Walters is up first and eventually hits his Hurricane DDT for a nearfall. Stryker comes back with rolling German Suplexes then takes him down and tries to work the leg but Walters crawled over to the ropes. Walters comes back with a La Magistral then lifts him up for a  chokeslam and drops him across his knee for a backbreaker. They have a reversal sequence that ends with Stryker getting a nearfall with a German suplex. Walters tries to hit Stryker with a powerbomb but his leg gave out as Stryker fell on top of him for the win (12:38) **3/4. After the match, Walters grabs the mic and tells us that he has been wrestling in the area for three years and talks about having pride and wanting to win before shaking Stryker’s hand.

Thoughts: Above-average match but I still dont really care about either one of these guys. Walters selling of the leg was questionable at times and his promo after the match was extremely long-winded. Stryker is a fine technical wrestler but had no personality or even a decent look and would be best served in a jobber role.

Homicide interrupts Feinstein as he is eating wanting to fight Trent Acid tonight, even giving up his title shot. Feinstein tells him he can make it happen.

Hydro & Deranged & Angel Dust vs. Carnage Crew & Justin Credible

The Special Guys are freaking out over the fact they have to fight these guys. Match starts with Loc getting the best of Hydro as the announcers put over the Homicide vs. Trent Acid match that will take place later tonight. Credible works over Angel Dust then kisses Becky Bayless as the announcers crack jokes about her being a whore. He then hits Angel Dust with several rolling suplexes as the crowd goes nuts. Deranged and DeVito are now in the ring as Deranged hits him low then hammers away in the corner. DeVito fights back and takes him down with a dropkick. Outside, Special K yell at Slugga and order him into the ring. He heads in as Loc slaps him in the face then chops away. Loc hits him low but gets caught with a reverse chokeslam as Angel Dust runs in and grabs a headlock. The Special K guys are now beating on Loc and that goes on for a bit until he hits Angel Dust with a backdrop driver then tags Credible, who runs wild. The match breaks down as all three Special K get whipped into each other. Carnage Crew hits Deranged with a Splash Mountain/Neckbreaker combo but Slugger makes the save on the pin attempt as the match breaks down again. Slugger holds up the Carnage Crew for Angel Dust and Hydro, who accidentally hit him with missile dropkicks that Slugger did not even know how to sell correctly. Credible takes Slugga down with a super kick then grabs Bayless and pulls her onto the apron after she tried to trip him but Deranged breaks that up then hits Credible with a spin kick for two. The match breaks down again as all we hear is Julius Smokes yelling at Slugga, asking him to follow him as he agrees with both guys heading to the back. Hydro and Angel dust take out the Carnage Crew with dives, leaving Deranged and Credible in the ring. They battle up top where Credible takes him off with a tombstone piledriver from the middle rope and gets the win (15:32) *1/2. After the match, DeVito destroys Hijinx with a chair then they drag Bayless into the ring for the spike piledriver but Credible prevents them as he asks for the tables as the Carnage Crew put her through the table from the apron with the spike piledriver. DeVito can barely walk after the move.

Thoughts: This feud looks like it will continue but this match really fell apart the last couple of minutes. It turned into a disaster. DeVito seemed to hurt himself putting Bayless through the table but still managed to really protect her with the move. Slugga has now apparently joined up with Smokes and Homicide as Special K is without their muscle.

Gary Michael Cappetta is backstage with some updates. He tells us that Low Ki has fractured his jaw during a recent tour of Japan and will be out indefinitely. Also, the Amazing Red will be out as he is undergoing surgery for an ACL injury as the Ring of Honor will have a Tag Team Gauntlet Series that will begin next show at Glory By Honor II when new Tag Team Champions will be crowned. He then brings out the Briscoe Brothers as Mark tells us that they are young and unsure what they want to do with their lives but now they want to win the Tag Team Titles. Cappetta tells us that Mark will face BJ Whitmer tonight and that Jay will take part in the four-way match, with the winner getting a title shot. After that, the SAT’s ask the Briscoes why they hurt Red, thinking that they were boys. The Briscoes tell them they were just trying to win the match. Christ, that was an awkward exchange. Jay improved by leaps and bounds in his promo skills while the other three have not.

Mark Briscoe vs. BJ Whitmer

The crowd chants for Briscoe as Whitmer has him in a headlock. Briscoe comes back with a spinning heel kick then grounds Whitmer as the announcers put over how much of an upset it would be if Briscoe won this match. Briscoe gets a nearfall with a crossbody but Whitmer fights back. He hits a gutbuster that gets two then works a surfboard. The announcers are trying way too hard to put Whitmer over by pretending that he has had all sorts of incredible matches. Well, you can say that many other guys in this company too. Whitmer beats on Briscoe outside of the ring as he targets the ribs. Back inside, Whitmer gets another nearfall with a gutbuster. He locks on an abdominal stretch but Briscoe counters with a hip toss. Whitmer goes back on offense after Briscoe missed an elbow drop as he continues to target the ribs. Whitmer sends Briscoe to the floor with a hiptoss but Briscoe is able to cut him off on a dive to the outside. Briscoe suplexes Whitmer onto the floor then flies out with a shooting star press as the crowd starts a “holy shit” chant. Briscoe repeatedly whips Whitmer into the guardrail then heads back inside, hitting a springboard dropkick for two. Briscoe then catches him with a uranage after a reversal sequence but that only gets two. Whitmer comes back with a superplex but that is not enough to get the win. Dragon suplex gets two. Briscoe comes back with an exploder for a nearfall. Whitmer then hits an exploder of his own after a reversal sequence but that is not enough for the win. They now battle up top where Briscoe takes him off with a belly-to-belly that looked really sloppy but it was enough for the win (13:50) **3/4.

Thoughts: Another match that was above-average but hurt again by a lack of psychology as they kept on hitting a ton of big moves then ended it with something that looked less painful than most of what they were doing to each other. The ending was also anti-climatic, which is a bad sign as you cannot build to a finish in a match that lasted almost fourteen years long. Still, Briscoe was just a teenager and was wrestling at a level far above most with the same experience. I also felt that the announcers gave away the finish with how they constantly talked up Whitmer and how much of an upset it would be if Briscoe won.

Feinstein is backstage asking the fans if they have any information about the attack on Lucy at the “Wrath of the Racket” show. If you do, send it to the company website.

Trent Acid w/ Johnny Kashmere vs. Homicide w/ Julius Smokes 

Before the match begins the camera cuts to Raven in the locker room, who is breathing heavily, as he tells Punk he will kill him. We are back to the action as these two go back and forth at a quick pace. Acid cuts off Homicide with a kick on a dive attempt then suplexes him onto the floor. Acid pulls the guardrail forward and asks the fans to move back then takes out Homicide with a quebrada. They go back and forth again then Homicide tosses Acid into the guardrail as he was in midair and holy shit did that look like it hurt. He places Acid on a chair then flies out and hits him with a tope con hilo. The action heads back into the ring as Homicide destroys Acid in the corner. He sends Acid to the floor with a running knee smash as they play up that Acid has an eye injury as he is bleeding. A dazed Acid heads back inside where Homicide goes back on offense. Acid is able to come back with a missile dropkick then hits a flurry of moves but remains dazed. Homicide hits a T-Bone suplex for a nearfall but Acid comes back with a low blow then brings a chair inside as the ref is tied up with Smokes. Acid takes him off of the top with a Backseat Driver as Homicide’s head whacks the edge of the chair. Ouch! Now they trade Yakuza kicks until Acid knocks him down but that only gets one as they go at it again until both men are down as the crowd goes nuts. Homicide blocks a kick then takes Acid down with a Dragon Screw before locking on the STF. Acid makes the ropes but Homicide puts the hold back on as Acid once again is able to make it to the ropes. Acid knocks Homicide down with a forearm smash as his nose is pouring blood. Acid waits up top but Homicide knocks him down then hits a Super Ace Crusher for two as Kashmere interrupts the pin. Smokes chases him around until Acid takes him out. Acid catches Homicide with another Yakuza kick as he was chasing Kashmere but that is not enough to put him away. Homicide breaks up a sleeper with a low blow then is able to hit the Cop Killa after failing previously and that is enough for the win (15:00) ***1/2. After the match, everyone shakes hands as the fans start an “R-O-H” chant.

Thoughts: Wild match. These two beat the crap out of each other and earned their paychecks with this performance. The next logical step is to have the rubber match to their feud. Acid looked like someone who could have been a star but drugs ruined that among other things.

Christopher Daniels is shown with Allison Danger talking about destiny. This is shot in black-and-white. Danger is holding up the ECWA Title. Daniels says that his goal has always been to be the Ring of Honor champion but he will not be here tonight as he is defending the ECWA title. Daniels closes by telling Samoa Joe that he is the only thing standing in his way and says that at “Glory By Honor II” he will fulfill his destiny by winning the title. I’ll say it before and I will say it again, the Fallen Angel gimmick held Daniels back. It came off too corny for someone positioned near the top of the card.

Four Corners Survival Match
Chris Sabin vs. Jay Briscoe vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe

The rules for this are as follows: Winner gets a title shot in the future. However, if Joe wins, the loser will not get a title match as long as Joe is the champion. Sabin and Briscoe start off the match as they work a decent little sequence that ends in a standoff. AJ and Joe tag in as now the NWA-TNA and RoH champs are in the ring but Sabin tags himself in and tries to attack AJ but fails. Sabin tags Joe, who starts kicking Joe. AJ then bails and tags Briscoe, who gets knocked down a few times. AJ tags back in as Briscoe catches him with a powerslam as all four guys keep tagging in and out until the match breaks down until everyone ends up in a standoff. That looked far to contrived and the crowd didnt care at all. Joe and Briscoe take turns beating on Sabin for a bit until he comes back with a catatonic backbreaker. Joe tags and puts Briscoe in a Boston Crab that looked painful as AJ breaks up the move. Now we are at the point where the guys all break up submission holds so they can have a chance to win a title shot. Briscoe is taking a beating here as he is getting put in all sorts of submission holds. He rolls away from a splash attempt by Sabin and finally makes the tag as AJ clotheslines Sabin to the floor. Joe takes him outside with an enziguiri then hits him with the ole kick. He tries it again but Sabin spears Joe then gets drilled with a super kick by AJ. All three guys outside brawl until Briscoe takes them out with a senton. In the ring, Briscoe chops Joe in the corner. Joe plants a charging Briscoe with an uranage. Joe follows with a powerbomb then locks on an STF but Briscoe reaches the ropes. AJ is in and messes up the Phenomenon but still gets two. The match breaks down as Sabin hits the Future Shock for two then Briscoe hits him with a Splash Mountain. Joe uses a rolling cradle on Briscoe that AJ breaks up at two. AJ botches a springboard move but salvages it somewhat by making it a leg drop. AJ then hits Sabin with a Styles Clash after a reversal sequence but Joe breaks it up then everyone takes turns kicking each other as the match has broked down again. AJ and Joe hit Sabin with a double enziguiri then Briscoe swoops in and hits Sabin with the Jaydriller and gets the win as the other two were unable to break up the pin (21:15) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match but nothing to write home about or anything. Briscoe winning was a surprise as they put over both of them strongly on this show. With the news of the new Tag Team Champions being crowned next show, it seems like they have put the Briscoes and Backseat Boyz at the top tier of teams.

Cappetta is with Justin Credible as they are fielding questions from the crowd. Some clown asks him if “Bret really fucked Sunny” then Credible said that he did then follows that he is just telling them what they want to hear.  After that, Special K jumps him from behind until the Carnage Crew make the save but they also end up getting beat down.  We can see the crew put together the cage as this is happening.

Clockwork Orange House of Fun Match
CM Punk vs. Raven

They fight over a lockup as Cabana is now ringside. Raven whacks Punk with a trashcan then chokes him out with a chain as Punk is already busted open and now wearing a crimson mask as Raven is ramming him into the cage. Punk is able to now send Raven into the cage as he now takes control of the match. Punk whacks Raven with a shovel then opens him up some more with punches to the forehead. He now uses the garbage can as the announcers tell us that Punk and Raven will pick opponents for each other as Raven has selected Terry Funk to face Punk at “Glory By Honor II” as Punk selected Steve Corino for Raven, who comes back with a DDT as Cabana breaks that up by tossing a chair at him. Raven runs over to him but gets the door slammed in his face. Punk comes back with a DDT but that just gets two. Raven whacks Punk with a chair a few times but is unable to put him away. He sets up a table but Punk hits him low and lays him across the table then heads to the top of the cage. Raven gets up and meets him there as they trade punches until Punk gets tossed off and through the table. Raven climbs down and but Punk is just able to kick out. Raven then hits a super kick then sets him on the top rope as he puts Punk through the table with the Raven Effect and gets the win (11:45) ***1/2. After the match, the lights go out and when they turn back on Raven is shown tied-up to a giant “X” with barbed-wire draped over his neck as Cabana is also in the ring. Punk grabs the mic and that while Raven had won this battle he will not win the war. Punk then leaves as the referees

Thoughts: Good match. These guys bled all over the place and the hype delivered for the most part, although you would have expected this match to last longer. With Raven winning the battle and Punk getting his heat back, this feud will continue. Punk looks like more of a star after each show. His character was awesome.

Joe talks about Daniels talking about his destiny of winning the RoH title as he talks about always being the bully and never the underdog as Daniels’ destiny is to get choked out and dropped on his head by him. He closes by saying that he is “pro wrestling.”

Final Thoughts: Solid show. Some of the undercard was garbage but the main storylines are going strong and they appear to be doing more with the tag division than scramble matches with the announcement that new champions will be crowned. Punk/Raven remains the hottest feud but they built up the Briscoes, Homicide, and the Backseat Boyz tonight. The Field of Honor hasnt really impressed all that much to be honest with Cabana the central part of that storyline. All in all, the promotion has more positives and negatives at the moment and I look forward to each show.

Ring of Honor Wrath of the Racket August 9th, 2003

August 9, 2003

From the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Dayton, OH

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

The show starts with Lucy filming Ace Steel and Colt Cabana goofing around backstage as they compare the Field of Honor tournament to the film “Field of Dreams.” They then see Homicide and Julius Smokes play craps in the corner as Cabana plays the geeky white guy while asking them about the Field of Honor. Smokes tells him that its for the cream of the crop and that there is nothing worse than a “bitch-ass wigga.” A painfully unfunny comedy segment. These Cabana/Steel segments trying to find out what exactly the Field of Honor is went on throughout the entire show.

AJ Styles and Amazing Red are talking backstage. Red is really, really bad on interviews. Anyway, AJ tells the Prophecy that they do not respect them and to try and take away their belts. Red is trying to no-sell his injury by saying he is okay. AJ leaves as the SAT’s asks Red about his injury and he downplays that as well. Amateur hour stuff from these guys as AJ was a mediocre promo guy and Red was one of the worst I have ever seen.

Fast Eddie & Don Juan vs. Carnage Crew vs. Deranged & Hydro w/ Special K vs. SAT’s

Masada is replacing DeVito in the Carnage Crew tonight. Special K beats on Loc to start. Loc comes back with a Saito Suplex. Jose chops Eddie a bunch then hits him with a dropkick as the fans lightly applaud that sequence. Don Juan and Masada work a decent sequence that sees Juan bust out one of the most unique inverted atomic drops you will ever see. Hydro comes in and works with Joel, who looks even worse than usual as he can barely take any of the moves. Everyone trades high-impact moves now as some of it is sloppy but generally okay. The SAT’s then nearly drop Deranged but make up for it with a crazy double-team pendulum swing facebuster that looked like it killed the poor guy as the crowd is up on their feet. Jose blocks a spike piledriver attempt from the Carnage Crew then takes Masada off of the top rope with a hurricarana in another awful-looking spot. Hydro gets a nearfall off of a German Suplex but gets cut off on the top rope as the SAT’s hit him with the Spanish Fly. The TWA guys break up the pin then dive outside onto the SAT’s but in the ring, Dixie hooks the leg of Loc as Deranged hits a rana then has Dixie hold his hand for leverage during the pin as he scores the upset victory (9:04) **. After the match, Deranged looks into the camera and tells us that weed is good for us as Loc is swearing about the loss.

Thoughts: Fast-paced action that was hit or miss. The segment seemed to be designed towards a Special K/Carnage Crew feud so at least there was some point to this match.

Special K remains in the ring as they start a rave then Jim Cornette comes out with his tennis racket. The fans are going nuts for him. However, his microphone does not work so he had to head back near the ramp and used a mic that was plugged in as Cornette calls the guy an idiot before laying into Special K. He tells Special K that if he wants any shit out of them he will squeeze their head. He then runs down the scramble match and how it was like a blender as he welcomes what he calls a traditional tag team. The Midnight Express theme hits but out comes Dunn & Marcos, who do their schtick, then Cornette makes fun of them until they get ambushed by Christopher Daniels and Danny Maff. They drag Dunn & Marcos into the ring where Cornette tells them to hit the Rocket Launcher and they do. Cornette then whacks them with the racket as the fans mostly applaud. Daniels then grabs the mic to officially announce Cornette as a member of the Prophecy. So they have established why Cornette is here now. The segment was fine, if not a little lame.

BJ Whitmer cuts a promo about getting a title shot tonight against Samoa Joe and how he watched wrestling in Ohio with his dad growing up. This was pretty bad as Whitmer completely lacked the intensity to make this work. The verbiage was fine but Whitmer had no idea how to cut a promo.

Chet “The Jet” Jablonski w/ Brock Guffman vs. Nigel McGuiness

Winner of this match gets a shot at the HWA Heavyweight Title. Jablonski actually spent three years (05-08) in WWE Developmental and had a decent look. Guffman was a fat guy in a buttoned short sleeve shirt and a fleece vest. Quite the look. He told us that this is their time to shine and how they earned the right to be here in a passionate speech. Jablonski works the arm to start the match. He gets two off of a spinebuster as there was some miscommunication on that one. McGuiness comes back with some European Uppercuts but gets caught with a T-Bone suplex. They fight over a test of strength until McGuiness breaks that up with a Mexican armdrag. McGuiness now takes control as he targets the back then puts on the STF. Jablonski reaches the ropes then takes McGuiness down with a lariat but comes back and puts on the STF then a chinlock that Jablonski breaks up. He hits a Fisherman’s Northern Lights suplex that gets two then they trade pinfalls until Jablonski with an Emerald Frosion for two. Jablonski then misses a top rope senton as McGuiness rolls him up and uses a bridge to get the win (6:43) *3/4. After the match, both guys raise their hands in unison as the crowd applauds.

Thoughts: Neither guy really impressed all that much here. They kept it basic for the most part. The crowd was somewhat receptive to them but that could have been due to the fact they were in the local territory.

Chris Sabin vs. Homicide w/ Julius Smokes

The match starts as they trade moves on the mat. The pace picks up as Homicide hits a few armdrags after an Irish whip sequence then slows back down when he works the arm. Sabin then hits a few armdrags and a clothesline until they wind up in the corner during a lockup. Homicide headbutts Sabin down then hits monkey flips him out of the corner. Homicide is operating at half-speed tonight. Sabin fights back and hits a Michinoku Driver for two. Homicide is in control but Sabin avoids a baseball slide then pancakes Homicide on the mat. Shining Wizard gets two. Brainbuster gets two. Homicide comes back with a STF but Sabin hits a neckbreaker for two. He climbs up top but gets cut off then Homicide takes him down with a rana for two. Sabin rolls through a crossbody and hits a catatonic backbreaker for two. Homicide tries a Cop Killa after a reversal sequence but Sabin escapes then Homicide kicks him low and hits the move for the win (9:02) *3/4. After the match, Homicide calls Steve Corino a “pussy motherfucker.”

Thoughts: Really disappointing match. Homicide was going at half-speed here but later on in the show we will know why that was the case. And besides that, these guys lacked chemistry together in a major way.

Alex Shelley & Jimmy Jacobs vs. Ace Steel & Colt Cabana

Steel and Shelley go back and forth to start the match. Shelley is thoroughly outwrestling him here by the way. Jacobs tags and hits the bulldog as a few fans start the “Huss” chant. He hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors then gets two with a flying forearm. Steel lights up Jacobs with chops then tags Cabana, who hits a chop. Jacobs comes back with a dropkick then bites Cabana. Steel breaks up a pin attempt after a double team move. Steel makes a blind tag as Cabana distracts Shelley long enough for Steel to take him to the floor with a dropkick. Steel gets two with a slingshot suplex as Shelley is now getting destroyed by the Second City Saints, who are doing some solid tag wrestling. Shelley then takes them down with a neckbreaker/DDT combo before making the hot tag to Jacobs, who runs wild. Shelley gets up as he also goes nuts but gets dropped on his head after a nasty German suplex from Cabana. Jacobs takes Cabana down with a rana but Steel catches him up top and hits Jacobs with the Spinal Shock. Shelley tries a another neckbreaker but Steel breaks that up and the Saints put Shelley away with a neckbreaker/Colt .45 combo (11:18) **3/4. After the match the Saints dedicate the win to CM Punk.

Thoughts: Solid match. Shelley stood out the most here as he was by far the smoothest worker in the ring and could play the underdog babyface role well. This was to establish the Saints as a bit more than the goofballs part of Punk’s crew.

Matt Stryker vs. Justin Credible

Both guys butt heads before the match. Credible pretends that he got punched with a closed fist as he yells at the crowd to get some heat. Credible then cheapshots Stryker, who fights back, then bails. Its clear that they are trying to get Stryker over as a face here. Credible bullies the referee then goes up the ramp to speak on the mic as he swears at the fans and refuses to come back until he is shon respect but Stryker follows him through the curtain as they head into the ring. Both guys trade chops then Stryker sends him flying off of the apron with a forearm smash. Stryker whips him into the railing as he is far more aggressive than usual. They are brawling behind the bleachers as Stryker is getting the best of Credible until he gets tossed back over the guardrail. These two are beating on each other as Credible is busted open. Back in the ring, Credible tries to set up Stryker for a cheapshot but it fails. Credible blocks a Death Valley Driver attempt and sends Stryker back to the floor. He slams him down then taunts the crowd as he then rolls Stryker back inside. He puts him in a headlock as the crowd rallies behind Stryker as he fights out. He crotches Credible against the post then hammers away. Quebrada gets two. He tries a flying body press but Credible catches him with a super kick. Credible heads up top and hits a crossbody but Stryker rolls through and gets two. Credible escapes from a pair of DVD attempts and hits a tombstone but Stryker kicks out as Credible is in disbelief. He repeats the move but Stryker escapes then Credible counters another DVD attempt with a crucifix but Stryker rolls through that and finally hits the DVD for the win **1/2 (11:31).

Thoughts: Fun match. You would not notice it in the WWE as much but Credible really carried things here as far as working the crowd and getting them into the match. They were into Stryker here. The match itself was far from a masterpiece but it was enjoyable. And Credible did put over the guy, even if it was someone who probably was not worth pushing much.

Les Thatcher, replacing Gary Michael Cappetta tonight, interviews the Prophecy. Daniels promises AJ Styles & Amazing Red that their title reign will end tonight. Cornette tells us that he has been around a lot of the “next big things” and how he is in Ring of Honor for the Prophecy as he puts them over. Maff then orders Thatcher to leave as Cornette asks the Prophecy to see a tape of how Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson got the Tag Titles from the Rock & Roll Express in 1987 as he has an idea to use from that match tonight. They are going a bit too overboard with the Nostalgia act here. It was probably designed this way for the fanbase but to have a slapped-together tag team pretend to be like the Midnight Express was not going to work out all that well.

Steel and Cabana are backstage with their awful comedy routine trying to get the scoop on the “Field of Honor.” Even worse than them was Chris Sabin, who was terrible in his backstage role. He was almost as bad as Red at talking.

The Prophecy run out and ambush the Amazing Red and the SAT’s at the gimmick table. Cornette calls Red a “crippled midget” as the referees attend to him. Red is clutching his knee as he struggles to get helped to his feet. The fans start cheering for him as AJ arrives to help him out as well.

Four Corners Survival Match
Slyk Wagner Brown w/ April Hunter vs. Hotstuff Hernandez vs. “Black Nature Boy” Scoot Andrews vs. Michael Shane

Match starts with Hernandez no-selling Shane’s offense. He then beats on Shane for a minute and uses an impressive overhead throw. Shane hits him low then tags Andrews, who returns for the first time in a year. Brown tags in as he sports the blond hair. He botches a move then locks on an armbar. Hernandez tags and he chops Brown in the corner then crushes him with a slingshot splash for two. Andrews tags back in and works the arm of Brown as all three men take turns beating on him as the announcers talk up the Field of Honor, speculating that it might be a tournament. Shane has Andrews in a headlock as we are informed that the Amazing Red will be unable to compete tonight due to his injured knee. Hernandez catches Andrews off of the top then hits him with a spiral bomb. Brown gets two with a blockbuster then hooks on a reverse headscissors that triggers a wacky submission spot to pop the crowd. This match is lacking right now and needs to pick up. Hernandez brushes away a missile dropkick from Brown then slams his down as both men are down. They tag as Andrews and Shane trade punches that leads to a contrived car crash spot that Brown nearly ruined with his sloppiness. We are now alerted that AJ Styles will be able to choose a partner to replace Red tonight as this match has been a backdrop for the announcers to promote everything else in the company. Hernandez takes out everyone with his tope as the crowd goes nuts. In the ring, everyone trades big moves then Brown almost breaks his neck trying a shooting star press. He pulled a Brock Lesnar circa WrestleMania 19. The action picks up a bit then Shane hits Andrews with a Fisherman’s DDT for the win (16:34) **.

Thoughts: This went on for far too long. It was a throwaway match between 4 guys barely doing anything in the promotion. Brown did not impress in his debut and I have no idea why Shane got the win as they could at least have given it to Hernandez, who was over with the crowd.

Slim J vs. Jimmy Rave

Apparently, Slim is no longer part of Special K. That was not explained here though. We are informed that the winner of this will be invited into the mysterious Field of Honor. They start the match going back and forth. Rave flattens Slim with a clothesline but gets kicked low when he followed him out. Rave blocks a springboard attempt as they head back inside and trade a bunch of high impact moves without rhyme or reason. Slim hits a double underhook tornado piledriver and follows that with another creative slam but Rave comes back with a German suplex and a powerbomb as the crowd is not feeling this match. At all. Rave locks on a crossface off of a tilt-a-whirl as the crowd chants for Slim to tap and he does (8:57) *1/4.

Thoughts: Just a collection of moves here without a bit of psychology. Slim J was notable for grabbing his junk throughout the match. That was his gimmick. Rave gets to be the first person announced to the Field of Honor and seeing how he was low on the totem pole, it did not get you all excited for that.

RoH World Title Match
BJ Whitmer vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)

Whitmer is sporting a faceguard here due to a broken nose suffered at the hands of Homicide. Match starts with some back and forth stuff until Joe puts Whitmer in a single leg crab that he really stretches him out with. Joe wins a battle of strikes but Whitmer sends him down shortly after that. They slap each other then Whitmer tosses of the face guard where they continue their slap battle. Whitmer gets two with a back suplex then chops Joe in the corner. Joe comes back by planting Whitmer with a uranage then beats the crap of him. Joe follows Whitmer outside and roughs him up. Whitmer reverses an Irish whip that sends Joe into the guardrail then does it a few more times as the crowd approves. Joe chops Whitmer back then sets him up in the chair for the ole kick then does it again as the crowd also approves this. Back inside, Whitmer escapes from an Island Driver and comes back with a super kick. He heads up top and hits a flying forearm to the back of the head for two. Northern Lights Suplex gets two. Whitmer tries and fails to put Joe away a few more times then Joe takes Whitmer down and knees him in the face a few times as he locks on the Coquina Clutch. Whitmer is able to reach the ropes then Joe comes back with a rolling cradle that draws an applause from the crowd. Whitmer then comes back with the Exploder 98 that dropped Joe right on his head but that only gets two. He hits the backdrop driver but Joe is able to kick out of that. Whitmer hits a pair of knee strikes but Joe comes back with an enziguiri. Joe then hits a few suplexes before getting the win with a straightjacket suplex (12:21) ***.

Thoughts: Good match but I don’t think anyone was buying Whitmer as a threat here. This match did help get him over a bit though.

Cabana and Steel are goofing around backstage as they run into Nigel McGuiness and make fun of Dunn & Marcos, who stand up for themselves. Cabana says he has to find Rob Feinstein to learn about the Field of Honor. Its getting tiresome watching these things.

RoH Tag Team Championship Match
Christopher Daniels & Danny Maff w/ Jim Cornette & Allison Danger vs. AJ Styles & Homicide w/ Julius Smokes

AJ and Homicide immediately go after their opponents. They then brawl all over ringside then AJ and Homicide pull the guardrails forward and fly out with dives as the crowd goes mental. Cornette & Danger get trapped in the ring as AJ and Homicide use the rowboat on them. The match settles down as AJ and Homicide take turns beating on Daniels. Maff tags in but does not fare to well as AJ catches him with a powerslam. Daniels is back in as AJ takes him down with a rana. Homicide is in and gets two with a T-Bone but Danger grabs his leg and that allows Maff to suplex him. Maff then knees Homicide several times but misses the cannonball as Homicide fights back but gets caught in the wrong corner as the Prophecy now takes control of the match, mixing in illegal tactics but not much in terms of double-team moves. Homicide tries to mount a comeback but Daniels takes him down and puts on the Koji Clutch as Maff prevents AJ from breaking up the hold but Homicide is able to stick his foot on the rope. They set up for the Rocket Launcher but took too long as Homicide was able to roll away then he tags AJ, who runs wild. AJ was great here. Maff catches AJ with a release German suplex. AJ comes back and tries the Phenomenon but they botched that badly so AJ ends up with an inverted DDT. Daniels attacks AJ as they go back and forth for a bit. AJ hits the Pele kick but Maff hits him with a facebuster of sorts then they hit the Rocket Launcher but Homicide breaks up the pin and runs wild. Maff and Smokes go at it on the floor then Homicide accidentally takes out Smokes with a tope. Back inside, Daniels hits Homicide with the Angels Wings but AJ breaks that up. Daniels shoves AJ into the ref then has Cornette toss him the racket but AJ boots Daniels and hits him with the Styles Clash on the racket as the ref gets up and counts to three (18:18) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Match was good and best of the night but it was missing something to make it more than that. Daniels and Maff also wrestled as two singles guys teaming up as opposed to an actual team as the only double-team move they did was the Rocket Launcher.

After the match, Cornette gets pissed off as he shakes hands with AJ and Homicide but blaming Daniels for the loss. Daniels and Cornette scream at each other until Daniels attacks him from behind. Maff then slams Cornette down as they both beat on him until Amazing Red limps in and takes them out with a tennis racket. Red becomes a victim of the numbers game until Samoa Joe runs in and clears the Prophecy from the ring. Cornette then raises the hands of Red and Joe as he grabs the mic with the fans chanting “RoH.” Cornette then says its not often he says this but he was wrong as he puts over Ring of Honor. They went from Cornette doing a nostalgia act to then putting over the company at the end. Yeah, that didnt work out all that well.

Homicide calls out Steve Corino in a pre-taped promo as Smokes does his routine during and afterwards.

Joe is in the locker room congratulating BJ Whitmer then tells him that he will sacrifice everything for this belt. He even said that Paul London sacrificed his career by facing him just before going up to the WWE and how Dan Maff faced him after burying his father but it wasn’t enough. He then asks who is the next to make the sacrifice and ends up questioning if CM Punk, Christopher Daniels, and Low Ki will have what it takes. Good, intense promo from Joe.

Steve Corino is then shown saying he did not think it could get lower than now. He says that we are all “smart” and “read the sheets” as he calls out those thinking that the riot was a work. This drags as Corino tells us that Japan matters more than Ring of Honor because they do not complain on the internet then tells Homicide he will be there to fight on August 16th and will even bring his kid in, the one that Homicide brought into the feud.

Cabana and Steel finally see Feinstein. They hang up his phone as Cabana asks about the Field of Honor as Feinstein angrily tells him that it is a tournament and that he is invited. Feinstein then leaves as Cabana declares that this is the greatest day before leaving then the camera drops as Lucy was attacked. The camera then shows a piece of paper that read “Trust Never Sleeps” before the show ends. The end would be followed up upon for future shows.

Final Thoughts: Even after expecting a let down from the fantastic “Death Before Dishonor” show, this show felt below expectations. The long running “Field of Honor” bit being revealed as a tournament was a waste seeing how it was assumed the whole time and the Cornette stuff was okay at first as a nostalgia act but him turning on the Prophecy and putting over RoH felt too forced and a lot of the matches were really just filler. And there were too many bad promos/backstage segments. Not much to recommend from this show.

Ring of Honor Wrestlerave June 28th, 2003

June 28, 2003

From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

Show starts with Low Ki cutting a promo with his arm in a sling as he thanks the fans for their support as he recovers from his injury. He then calls out Danny Maff for joining the Prophecy and says that they will never have a place in RoH, much like Julius Smokes as the streets do not belong in Ring of Honor. Ki then says that Samoa Joe proved to be a fighting champion and how the one-year anniversary of their first match is coming up soon and he will be returning to the ring in August then yanks of his sling and tells Joe all he can do is be ready. Decent promo from Ki here.

Rob Feinstein cuts an intentionally corny promo then gets asked about the “promo schedule” by someone off camera when Simply Luscious interrupts. Feinstein points out how The Group lost two weeks ago and has disbanded so wants to know why she is here as Corino, Shane, and CW Anderson are all out of the company. Luscious said she is ready to work as Feinstein said she can sell programs as Luscious then cuts a terrible promo about how we have not seen the last of The Group and that Corino will come back to cause trouble. This telegraphs a Corino return but the segment itself was not too good.

Dunn & Marcos vs. Prince Nana & Jimmy Jact Cash

Before the match, Nana insults the crowd as he calls Cash one of the best wrestlers on the Independent scene today. Marcos then grabs the mic to say their catchphrases but get attacked from behind. Cash knocks down Marcos before destroying him in the corner. Cash then hits a flying back elbow smash for two then goes over to Dunn and calls him a “bitch” but turns around and gets hit with a Northern Lights suplex. Both men tag out as Nana catches Dunn with a lariat before hitting a few running charges in the corner. Cash tags and comes off of the top with a leg drop then hits a spinebuster but Dunn is able to come back with a Gory Bomb as both men are down then tag out as Dunn & Marcos take care of Nana. Dunn puts Marcos on his shoulders and tosses him off with a senton onto Nana but Cash breaks that up but after that, Dunn assists Marcos with a Sliced Bread #2 and ends up splashing onto Nana in the process then gets the win as Dunn & Marcos have won their first match (4:18) 3/4*. After the match, Dunn & Marcos celebrate to a solid reaction from the crowd.

Thoughts: Match was nothing but it was cool to see Dunn & Marcos actually win. Their celebration afterwards was fun.

Alexis Laree vs. Sumie Sakai

Match starts with the girls trading moves. Sakai’s screams are quite grating. Sakai then hits a pair of missile dropkicks before putting Laree in a bow-and-arrow lock. Sakai then puts on a Camel’s Clutch as the match has slowed down. Laree fights out and hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors but gets caught with a knee. They have a sloppy pinfall reversal sequence then follow that with a much better one as they are rolling all over the ring with the ref unable to even make a count due to how fast they were going. That pumps up the crowd then Sakai gets two with a back suplex. Northern Lights Suplex gets two. Sakai slams her down the goes up top but misses a moonsault then Laree hits her with an inverted DDT for the win (5:02) **1/4. After the match, Laree raises the arm of Sakai and they hug each other.

Thoughts: Decent action here and easily the best women’s match in the company to date. Even still, the company has no semblance of a women’s division but as the show went on it seemed like they were trying to establish one.

The Prophecy are backstage as Daniels says that they finally got rid of The Group but are not going to rest and that their mission is to retain the RoH Championship as Danny Maff will be taking on Samoa Joe for the belt tonight. Maff tells Joe that he beat him once and will do it again. Daniels then said that he will team with Raven tonight to face the Second City Saints as Raven is shown sitting on the ground. Daniels asks Raven if he is okay with his messed up ankle as the camera zooms in with Raven just smiling into the camera.

Tap Out Match
Chad Collyer vs. Matt Stryker

Collyer is taking the place of Tom Carter, who we are told missed the show as his wife was about to give birth. Crowd is silent to start as the guys trade holds. Hell, they didnt even applaud the standoff. A few guys start a “Let’s go Stryker” chant as Collyer has him grounded on the mat. Stryker now takes control as he has Collyer in a crossface of sorts. Collyer comes back and pus Stryker in a painful looking hold that pops the crowd but cannot maintain it and they end up back on their feet. Collyer takes Stryker back down and stretches him out in order to soften him up for the Texas Cloverleaf, the move that has made Stryker tap twice. Stryker comes back and grounds Collyer with a hammerlock. Collyer fights out then knees Stryker in the face before roughing him up as Levy shits on the WWE for the “Boring” angle with Lance Storm. Stryker ends up escaping from a Fujiwara armbar and is able to put Collyer in his own finisher. Collyer is able to reach the ropes and ducks outside then yanks down Stryker and starts roughing him up, even ramming his leg against the ring post. Collyer attacks the leg with Stryker trying to fight back. Collyer locks on a Figure Four that Stryker is able to reverse as both men are now limping around then start to trade chops. Stryker is able to put Collyer in the ankle lock in the middle of the ring as the crowd chants “tap.” Collyer fights out and Stryker puts him back in the hold then Collyer trips him up and locks on the Texas Cloverleaf but Stryker reaches the ropes. Stryker then puts on the Stryker Lock but Collyer reaches the ropes as the crowd boos. Collyer floats over on a suplex attempt from the apron then blocks an enziguiri as he takes down Stryker with a Dragon Screw then is able to put Stryker back in the Cloverleaf as Stryker has no choice but to tap (18:20) **1/2.

Thoughts: The “pure wrestling” matches were too dull for my tastes. Also, it wasn’t even all that psychologically involved as they just did submission holds for the sake of doing them, making it too contrived. Plus, both guys bore the shit out of me. Never did get why they were high on Stryker at this point. He should have been a Velocity jobber for the WWE.

Izzy & Dixie & Deranged w/ Special K vs. Carnage Crew & Justin Credible

Before the match, the Carnage Crew introduce Justin Credible as a surprise partner, despite the fact he joined them at the last show. He gets a good pop from the crowd and a loud “welcome back” chant too. After some stalling by Special K, the match begins with Credible taking down Deranged. Credible beats on him but Deranged comes back with a hurricarana and a spin kick that has the rest of Special K going crazy. Loc tags in and beats on Dixie until he gets hit with a tornado DDT. DeVito tags and he beats on Izzy and they work an awful sequence that takes the crowd out of the match. Izzy fights out of the opposing corner as Special K are wrestling as the faces here then makes the hot tag to Deranged. Loc tags and folds Deranged in half with a Saito Suplex. DeVito then destroys him with crossfaces as Levy a lot of awful jokes on commentary. Credible tags back in and chops Deranged in the corner. DeVito misses a moonsault as Deranged makes the hot tag to Dixie, who runs wild. His offense looked bad here. The fans are silent as Special K are the faces in this match, despite being heels. As soon as I say that Special K gets the crowd going with a dive sequence capped off by Izzy getting crazy height on his move. Back in the ring, the Carnage Crew are in control until Dixie fights them off. He potatoed Loc badly on a moonsault kick and has had a terrible match as a whole. Credible takes him out with a super kick then hits the That’s Incredible (Tombstone) for the win (9:13) *3/4.

Thoughts: This was entertaining at times but some of this was bad and Dixie flat-out sucked in this match. Nothing he did looked good and he managed to single-handedly dragged down the match. And Special K playing faces for the match made no sense to the crowd but would play into the end of the show.

RoH World Title Match
Danny Maff vs. Samoa Joe

They let us know that Maff’s father just passed away the day prior as Maff gets a ton of cheers from the crowd. Maff attacks Joe before the bell. Joe ducks outside where Maff takes him out with a tope. Back inside they exchange strikes with Joe winning that battle then he shoves Maff into the guardrail but misses the ole kick but is able to catch him with a big boot off of a charge. He then hits the ole kick as the crowd goes nuts and want to see it one more time so Joe does it and it looked brutal. Joe tosses Maff into the guardrail before hitting him with a chair. Brutal stuff so far. The action heads back into the ring as Joe hits a butterfly suplex before stretching him out. Joe kicks Maff a few times then hits a German Suplex but Maff pops right up and hits a clothesline as the crowd is fully behind him. Maff beats on Joe in the corner then hits him with a cannonball and follows that with a heel kick. Lariat gets two. Joe puts Maff in the choke but it gets countered with a back suplex as both men are down. Maff finally crawls on top of Joe but is only able to get two. Maff charges but Joe flattens him with an uranage. Joe gets two with a powerbomb then locks on a STF but Maff is able to reach the ropes. Joe charges as Maff returns the favor and catches him with an uranage. He then has Joe up for the Burning Hammer but Joe escapes and hits an enziguiri before getting the win with a Dragon Suplex (10:37) ***1/4. After the match, both guys bow in front of each other on the mat as the crowd applauds. Joe then leaves as Maff is in the ring soaking up the applause from the crowd, who are going crazy for him.

Thoughts: Good hard-hitting match and a nice moment for Maff as the fans really let him know that they felt sorry about the passing of his father. I’m not the biggest Maff fan in the world but he has improved since the company began.

Gary Michael Cappetta is with Homicide and Julius Smokes as he asks Homicide about his match without honor tonight against Trent Acid. This is the result of Acid attacking Homicide at the Do or Die Show that took place one month prior. Cappetta then asks Smokes about Low Ki’s comments about him costing Homicide the title as he goes off on a tirade about him. They were using the beef between Ki/Smokes to enhance Homicide’s storyline and I was fine with that, especially with Ki being injured.

Alex Shelley vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Tony Mamaluke

This is the RoH debut of both Shelley and Jacobs, who is only 19 years old here. He starts off the match with Mamaluke as they go back and forth on the mat. Levy alerts us that Cappetta is trying to arrange an interview with both Julius Smokes and Low Ki. Jacobs tags and has a test of strength with Mamaluke and from that they have a pinfall reversal sequence. Jacobs reaches the ropes quickly after Mamaluke put him in an armbar as the crowd chants “let’s go huss” at Jacobs,  referencing his furry boots. Shelley tags and works a nice sequence with Jacobs. Shelley is the more impressive out of the two. Whitmer tags and hits both guys with an Exploder but Mamaluke also tags and works the leg. Mamaluke then locks on a Camel Clutch but that gets reversed. Shelley tags himself in and beats on Mamaluke. Jacobs tags as the crowd goes nuts with a “huss” chant then he gets booted to the floor by Whitmer. Lots of quick tags as the action stays steady. Shelley shoves Mamaluke off of the top rope but gets tripped by Whitmer then Jacobs knocks Whitmer off of the apron and tries a hurricarana off of the top rope but Shelley counters and alley oops Jacobs into the turnbuckle from the top in a move that I have never seen before. The pace picks as we get several nearfalls that get broken up and the action is all good. Whitmer then takes the advantage as he overpowers everyone before putting away Jacobs with an Exploder just before Shelley tapped to Mamaluke’s hold (14:34) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Very good match that was all action. Shelley in particular stood out as he showed a lot of personality and did a fine job in the ring. Jacobs was a fan favorite and also did a fine job in the ring as well. Mamaluke is just a guy added to provide some name value but it was Whitmer who was the focus of the match.

No DQ Match
Colt Cabana & CM Punk w/ Lucy vs. Raven & Christopher Daniels w/ Allison Danger

Punk gets on the mic after being chased from the ring as he runs down Raven and the fans. He enters with Cabana and they both get clotheslined to the floor. Back inside, the Second City Saints are getting double-teamed as Raven & Daniels put them in the row boat spot. Raven sets up a chair but Punk blocks a drop toehold. However, Daniels whacks him with the chair. Punk then is able to return the favor as he is now busted open. Punk and Cabana then open up Daniels, who tries to fight back. Punk is wearing a crimson mask at this point. The Second City Saints maintain control as the crowd chants “Raven’s Bitch” at Punk before he locks on a crossface. Cabana stretches out Daniels as despite a “No DQ” stipulation, it is not tornado rules and you must tag in and out. Daniels has Cabana in a submission but Punk breaks that up with a leg drop from the top rope. Daniels fights back and hits Cabana with an inverted DDT then makes the tag to Raven, who runs wild. Cabana knocks down the ref then gets caught with a Raven Effect. The girls are fighting in the ring now then Cabana super kicks Danger out of the ring. Everyone then trades finishers until Punk hits Raven with a chain then chokes him out. He starts whipping Raven with the chain then covers him as the ref crawls over and counts to three (13:47) *1/2. After the match, Punk chokes out Raven with the chain some more as he is covered in blood. After the Second City Saints leave, Raven is slowly helped to his feet then he grabs the mic and tells Punk that their will have to be retribution for what he did and that they will have to settle this once and for all next show in a Dog Collar Match. Raven is coughing and selling the beating quite well here.

Thoughts: First off, this match sucked. Despite the no DQ stipulations, you still had to tag into the match. That is idiotic to say the least. And the actual wrestling was disjointed at the beginning and far too slow-paced overall. However, it was what took place after the match that was memorable.

Punk and Cabana are backstage as Punk looks into the camera to tell Raven that the reason he hates him is because when he was a kid and his dad can home smelling like beer and grew up not thinking it was strange for someone to drink all day long and says how he acted just like Raven. He then yells at Raven and said the reason he is coming after him is because he had everything handed too him but flushed it down for booze and pills then tells him that he will fight him on July 19th and promises to end his time in RoH. Tremendous promo from Punk and quite possibly his best ever. My recap does not do this justice so I included it below:

NWA-TNA Heavyweight Championship Match
Chris Sabin vs. AJ Styles

Sabin is the X Division Champion here but that title is not on the line. Match starts on the mat with both guys going back and forth. AJ goes for a Styles Clash but Sabin quickly escapes. AJ then snaps Sabin’s neck off of the top rope from the apron. Sabin catches AJ with a baseball slide then from that sends AJ into the guardrail with a hurricarana. Back inside, Sabin gets two with a flying clothesline then locks on a crossface. AJ escapes then hits a neckbreaker from a vertical suplex position that looked painful. Brainbuster gets two. Powerslam gets two. Both men then attempt to hit each other with an enziguiri at the same time and are now down. They get up and trade chops for a bit until Sabin hits a release German Suplex for two. Sabin tries a catatonic but AJ reverses it into a crucifix in a cool spot that gets two. Sabin is able to come back with a catatonic backbreaker then climbs up top and goes for a rana but AJ rolls through then hits a Styles Clash for the win (10:05) ***1/4. AJ then grabs the mic as they play Ric Flair’s entrance music as AJ talks about how a few years ago this belt was thrown in the trash but that he will respect the title as much as he does the fans, who cheer loudly and chant his name.

Thoughts: Good match that had the chance to become great if given several more minutes. This was all about establishing the NWA-TNA title as the two companies were exchanging talents at the time and the crowd was super into AJ too.

Cappetta catches up with Ki and tells him that Smokes wants to meet up with him after the show. Ki seems reluctant.

Fight Without Honor
Trent Acid vs. Homicide

Acid’s entrance is devoted to mocking Homicide. He then attacks Homicide before the match and takes him out with a quebrada. They head into the ring where Homicide fights back and suplexes him around. He then sets up a ladder in the corner and sends Acid crashing into it with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Homicide grabs a chair and sets it up on the floor. He chokes out Acid then places him on the chair and heads back in the ring so he could run out and hit a flying body press. Homicide bridges the ladder across the ring apron and guardrail then Acid gets backdropped and lands on the ladder feet first as they are both now standing on it where Acid DDT’s Homicide. Back inside, Acid throws a chair at Homicide’s face than rings around his head. He then bridges the ladder across two chairs and hits Homicide with a Blue Thunder Driver. Homicide is eventually able to fight back with a baseball slide then hits Acid with a brainbuster onto the chair. Johnny Kashmere runs into the ring and he and Acid with Homicide with the T Gimmick. Smokes then attacks Kashmere as they brawl all the way backstage. Acid gets two with the Backseat Driver as the fans chant for Homicide, who comes back with an Ace Crusher. Northern Lights Bomb gets two. He then sets up a table outside of the ring as a dueling chant breaks out. In the ring, Acid sets up a table and places Homicide up top but Homicide then takes Acid off of the top and through the table outside of the ring with an Ace Crusher in an insane spot that has the crowd going crazy. Homicide gets up and rolls Acid in the ring but can only get two. Homicide plays to the crowd then they trade Yakuza kicks that sees Acid getting a nearfall. Acid then sets up a ladder in the ring. He slams Homicide and climbs up top but Homicide gets up and pushes the ladder over as Acid dumps outside and hits the guardrail. Homicide limps outside and lays Acid across of the ladder then flies outside but crashes on a tope con hilo as Acid was able to roll away. Acid rolls Homicide back inside but only gets two. They trade strikes and more Yakuza kicks. Acid rolls through a Cop Killer attempt then gets a reverse rollup that he messed up and got the pin (19:42) ***3/4.

Thoughts: These two guys went all out and really put their bodies on the line and it made for a fantastic match. The ending looked rough but everything else was awesome and it should have made Acid into more of a star with this win but that did not happen and drugs definitely played a part in that.

After the match the lights go out as Special K’s music hits. They are beating up everyone in the ring but we can barely see as the lights are still out and the strobe lights are going. The lights come back on as Izzy and Dixie put the Backseat Boys through a table. Special K celebrates as we have learned that Homicide was carried to the back. All of the girls in the ring are making out with each other as Deranged grabs the mic as we now have a giant rave taking place in the ring.

Jim Cornette is cutting a promo with the OVW banner in the background. He talks about how he has seen the next big things throughout his career then says that he has heard RoH might be the next big thing and that he would make an impact at the August 9th show in Dayton, OH.

Back to the ring as the rave continues as the camera focuses on the girls who hang with Special K.

We then get a promo from the Carnage Crew as they hype their match against the guys from TWA. Loc then cuts a really good promo about how he worked in ECW doing all sorts of menial tasks but the company shut down before he got his chance to shine. Both guys excelled in their roles.

We are shown more of the rave as Colt Cabana has joined the “Special K Sluts.” Great.

Samoa Joe cuts a promo on his next opponent, Paul London, and how he should listened to his fans and not die by reconsidering his match. This was London’s final RoH match before leaving for the WWE.

Cappetta hears screaming behind a closed door and goes to see what it but it turns out to be Benny from the Bronx screaming a Lit from Special K. Bronx was an indy guy from the Northeast who was nothing special at all.

Final Thoughts: Despite the overly long Special K rave at the end, I thought this was a solid show. Although no memorable matches, the main event was good and the reaction to Maff’s match was nice to see. More importantly, they did some angle advancement with Punk/Raven, Homicide, and established AJ Styles as a major player. Plus the addition of new talent (Shelley and Jacobs) made this an enjoyable show.

Ring of Honor Do or Die May 31st, 2003

May 31, 2003

From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Chris Levy and CM Punk

Homicide is with Julius Smokes as he cuts a promo about how ten years ago he was a fuck up by selling drugs and even pissed away his chance at a football scholarship from Miami University but when he gave birth to his son, he sacrificed everything to raise his son right and is putting everything on the line and declares that he will be the next RoH World Champion. Good stuff and the Homicide character in general has been built up well.

We now get a look at Deranged’s “R U Hizigh Cam” as he shows Special K partying in the locker room. They get sick of that then decide to head down to the ring but the production crew refuse to let them do so as they get pissed.

BJ Whitmer vs. Dan Maff w/ Allison Danger

Match starts with some back and forth action as Punk is asked about concussing Whitmer at the “Epic Encounter” show. Punk talks himself up as Maff chops Whitmer down. Whitmer comes back with an Exploder but Maff ducks outside to avoid a high knee. Whitmer follows Maff outside and roughs him as the fans start banging on the sheet metal RoH banners that have been placed on the guardrails for added noise. Back inside, Maff takes Whitmer down with an elbow smash then targets the back. Senton gets two as Whitmer’s hand is bloodied. Maff puts on a chinlock then takes Whitmer down with a clothesline. Punk is asked about competing in two matches tonight as Maff face washes Whitmer in the corner. Whitmer fights back but gets caught with a half nelson suplex. Maff calls for the Burning Hammer but Whitmer escapes and hits a German suplex as both men are down. Whitmer heads up top but Maff distracts the ref allowing Danger to cut him off. Maff then takes Whitmer on his shoulders and hits the Burning Hammer for the win (9:11) **1/2.

Thoughts: Decent match. Maff has come a long way since the beginning of RoH as he got himself into shape and is more than just a lame ECW knock-off type wrestler. Never really cared for Whitmer but he okay in the ring back then.

After the match, Julius Smokes comes out to confront Maff about turning his back on Homicide. Smokes then calls Maff a “Nigga” as Low Ki comes out with his arm in a sling due to an injury at the RoH/FWA “Frontiers of Honor” joint show. Maff ducks out as Ki grabs the mic and tells him to watch out. Ki then tells Smokes that he is in the ring with athletes, not thugs, as Smokes does a strut. Ki says that neither the “streets” or Smokes belong in RoH. Smokes takes off his shirt but Homicide comes in to stop a potential fight. Ki even takes off his sling then says that tonight is a very important night for Homicide and that he will become the new RoH World Champion. Trent Acid then runs in and kicks Homicide down from behind as we are told it is due to their feud in Japan.

We get clips of a match between Dunn & Marcos and Slugga & Hydro.

Tony Mamaluke vs. Jason Cross

Both guys were wrestling in TNA at the time. Cross had his Shooting Star Press leg drop finisher called the “Crossfire.” He looked like a miniature AJ Styles. And half of his talent too. Match starts with Mamaluke working the arm of Cross. Mamaluke gets taken off of the apron with a basement dropkick then Cross flies out with a corkscrew plancha. Cross then climbs back in only to hit Mamaluke with a somersault plancha and rolls him in for two. Mamaluke floats over and hits a Saito Suplex then follows that with a draping DDT that gets two. Mamaluke works on the neck for a bit then gets two with a Northern Lights suplex. Mamaluke locks on a Horse Collar off of a dragon screw but Cross comes back with an enziguiri. Cross gets two with a top rope corkscrew neckbreaker as Punk wonders why Cross isn’t hooking the leg on his pin attempts. Mamaluke then locks on a guillotine but Cross ends up suplexing him into the corner. Cross then hits a pair of brainbusters but only gets two. Another brainbuster gets two then Cross heads up top but misses the Crossfire as both men are down. Cross is up first and hits a Dragon Suplex then heads up top but Mamaluke shoves the ref into the ropes then takes Cross down with a superplex and locks on the Guillotine for the win (8:48) **1/4.

Thoughts: A lot of cool moves but there was no flow or even selling in this match. Mamaluke wasn’t that bad of a worker at all, really. He just had a terrible look.

Backstage, Rob Feinstein welcomes Iceberg, who has “RoH” spelled out on his forehead with thumbtacks. After Iceberg leaves, the Outkast Killaz come out and asks why they don’t get a spot as Feinstein offers Tortuga a chance to wrestle Iceberg and if he wins, he can tell Iceberg that he no longer wrestlers for the promotion.

Oman Tortuga w/ Diablo Santiago vs. Iceberg

Iceberg is a big, sloppy fat guy. Tortuga uses his speed to elude Iceberg at first but gets clotheslined. Iceberg hits a running powerslam for two as Levy tries to tell us that he is 600lbs. Iceberg hits a DDT for two as the crowd shits all over him. Tortuga avoids an Avalanche and hits a few strikes. He takes him down then stupidly tries a monkey flip but gets caught as Iceberg hits the Kryptonite Krunch then finishes him off with a senton (3:00) 1/4*. After the match the crowd starts a “don’t come back” chant aimed at Iceberg, who then hits Santiago with a suplex. Iceberg then pulls out what appears to be a prison shank but Dunn & Marcos run in for the save.

Thoughts: Iceberg would not return to RoH and did a few shows with TNA shortly after this as “Edward Chastain” as an associate of Don Callis. He sucked there too. Really nothing more to add other than this.

Highlights from the Alexis Laree vs. Persephonie match prior to the show.

Matt Stryker vs. Tom Carter

Punk is asked about wrestling Carter when he was “Reckless Youth” a while back. Match starts on the mat with neither guy gaining an advantage. The crowd starts a dueling chant as Carter works the arm. Punk talks about his opponents in the upcoming scramble match and looks down upon who use substances as Carter gets two with a senton. Dropkick gets two then Carter puts on a leg lock that eventually gets broken up. Carter puts on a chinlock as the announcers mention how Stryker has a pulled muscle in his ribcage. Stryker then catches Carter with a powerslam for two. Stryker gets a nearfall after some European uppercuts then puts on a chinlock. Carter breaks the hold but gets knocked off of the apron then Strykers takes him out with a plancha. Carter then hits Stryker with a half-assed DDT on the apron and drags him back into the ring. He climbs up top but Stryker climbs up and suplexes him off as both men are down. Punk leaves to get ready for his match then promises us a surprise as Ray Murrow replaces him. Stryker hits a leg lariat then fires up but gets hit with a brainbuster. Carter then hits a frog splash for two as both men are down. They both get up and engage in a pinfall reversal sequence that the crowd applauds as they are both down on the mat due to exhaustion. Stryker hits a Death Valley Driver after rolling through a crucifix attempt by Carter but only gets two as the crowd goes back to the dueling chants. Stryker places Carter up top for a Death Calley Driver but Carter counters hit to an inverted DDT in midair and that gets two as the crowd goes nuts. Carter takes him down with a dragon screw then locks on an inverted Texas Cloverleaf but Stryker is able to reach the ropes. Carter tries a shinbreaker but Stryker floats over for a sunset flip then Carter locks on the inverted Texas Cloverleaf but Stryker reverses that with a rollup and gets the win (18:23) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Awesome match. Carter reinventing himself as a more mat-based wrestler was something else. Stryker was a solid worker as well but his height and unibrow were not doing him any favors as far as having a chance to get a decent gig.

After the match, Carter refuses to shake hands so Gary Michael Cappetta tries to get him to do that but Carter grabs the mic and says that Stryker beat him with a cheap pin and almost beat him by submission then says that he is the former “King of the Independents,” Recklesss Youth and how the other “marks” in the locker room copied his junior heavyweight style. Carter says he was cheated out of his submission victory and lets everyone from “smart marks” to the workers that he will reinvent “pure” wrestling  and challenges Stryker to a “tapout” match. Stryker grabs the mic and says that he is now in the “Top 5” rankings and accepts the challenge but only if Carter shakes his hand. Allison Danger comes out and we can barely hear her but she offers Carter a spot in the Prophecy but Carter instead shakes Stryker’s hand to set up their match. Carter was not very good on the mic and the segment died as a result. But the pure wrestling comment would play into RoH as the year developed.

Right after the introductions for the scramble match, Samoa Joe, wearing his “Ribera Steakhouse” jacket, is backstage talking to Gary Michael Cappetta and tells him that a thug like Homicide is not going to take his table then gives Cappetta a scoop as he makes the cameraman follow him into the Prophecy’s locker room as Joe then beats down Maff as Cappetta screams for someone to help.

Scramble Match
Izzy & Dixie  w/Slugga vs. Carnage Crew vs. CM Punk & Colt Cabana w/ Lucy vs. The Briscoes

The match is joined in progress with Jay and Cabana going back and forth. They didn’t work all that well together. Jay takes him off of the ring with a stunner then hits him with a pescado. In the ring, Devito drops Dixie with a clothesline but eventually comes back with a swinging DDT. Dixie charges and gets sent into the corner with a suplex. The match breaks down with one member of each team in the ring until the Carnage Crew takes control until Izzy takes them both down with a moonsault kick. Izzy hits Mark with the Sliced Bread #2 after a reversal sequence but that just gets two. Mark comes back with an Exploder then CM Punk comes in as the fans boo but the match breaks down and is just a clusterfuck as it develops into an awful choreographed dive spot. Holy shit was that bad and the crowd was silent the entire time. Izzy goes up to Punk and motions that they should share a join and gets clotheslined as a result. Jay and Punk have an intense forearm exchange then the match breaks down again as Punk and Cabana are now in control. Izzy botches a top rope move as this match is just the shits right now. Levy covering for him by playing up the drug gimmick was a nice crush. Cabana puts Izzy on his shoulders but as Punk comes off the top with a dropkick, Izzy takes Cabana down with a rana that plants him on his head. Devito beats on Punk then the match breaks down with the Briscoes and the Carnage Crew  go back and forth in the only decent segment so far this match. The crowd starts a chant for the Briscoes but the Carnage crew regains control. They try to hit Izzy with the spike piledriver but Dixie breaks that up and that triggers a dive sequence. Punk then cuts Izzy off of the top rope as Cabana hits Dixie with the Colt 45, Punk comes off the top and hits Izzy with the Pepsi Plunge right on his partner and gets the win (11:05) *1/2.

Thoughts: Way too long and disorganized. Izzy was horrendous out there too but other than that everyone else just blended in together. The crowd was hot for the Briscoe Brothers though.

After the match, Punk grabs the mic and declares Izzy & Dixie the first two casualties of his revolution and shakes their hands as the lay on the mat to tell them that “Straight edge means that I am better than you.” Punk the rips into the Philly crowd by calling them weak for depending on substances then rips into Raven. Cabana then stops Punk as he goes on a tirade and gets Lucy to join him in his own revolution. Cabana then asks Lucy to be his girlfriend but she said that she can’t. Punk was awesome here and had the crowd in the palm of his hands. He always brought the goods on the mic.

Backstage, Cappetta is with BJ Whitmer, who is pissed over interference costing him a match tonight. Christopher Daniels then interrupts them to say that Maff had to be taken to the hospital. Daniels and Whitmer get into a very brief verbal altercation until Daniels tells Whitmer about the hypocrisy in RoH and when his luck changes, he will think about bringing him into the Prophecy. Daniels then wants Cappetta to tell Samoa Joe that he wants to fight him in an Empty Arena match after the show.

“Lone Wolf” Andy Anderson vs. John Walters

Anderson is from the IWA Puerto Rico promotion. He is from Canada and did a few dark matches for the WWE prior to this. Walters currently wrestles as RJ Brewer for Lucha Libre USA in a role that is a more extreme version of what Jack Swagger/Zeb Coulter were doing in the WWE. He also had the gimmick before them. Match starts with both guys fighting over a lockup. They then have a slap battle before going back and forth on the mat. Decent back and forth action here that gets a mild applause from the crowd as Punk joins on commentary to talk about how he won the scramble match and that the revolution has begun. Anderson hits Walters with an Alabama Slam and a delayed Falcon Arrow that gets two. Anderson is now chopping Walters in the corner but gets powerbombed off of the second rope after a reversal sequence. Walters works the leg until Anderson reaches the ropes but misses a top rope splash. Anderson comes back with a Splash Mountain but that only gets two. He tries it again but Walters floats over and that leads to Walters taking Anderson off of the top rope with a lungblower as both men are down. They get up and have a pinfall reversal sequence until Walters gets two with a DDT-type move. Both guys are now trading forearms then Anderson hits him with a helicopter slam for the win (6:45) **.

Thoughts: Decent action. This was Anderson’s only RoH match. He had a look of someone who the WWE would give a Developmental Deal to but that never happened. Walters looked fine as well and the crowd reacted to them favorably but seemed surprised by the finish, which was out of nowhere.

Jimmy Rave vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. CM Punk w/ Lucy vs. “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels w/ Allison Danger

This is the RoH debut of both Rave and Kazarian. Punk and Rave start things off. Rave is only 20 years old here too. They go back and forth then Punk gets angry and tags in Kazarian, who would make his TNA debut a few days after this match. Kazarian works the leg then they battle over the arm until Daniels tags himself in and goes right after Kazarian. The fans are into Daniels tonight. Kazarian comes back with a boot to the face and a neckbreaker that has Daniels run over and tag Rave. Kazarian catches Rave with a dropkick and acts cocky for a minute then they both collide in the ring. Punk and Daniels tag as the crowd goes nuts and chants for Daniels. They start by playing mind games as some of the crowd start a “CM Sucks” chant. Punk works the arm then grabs a headlock. They have a standoff after colliding then tell each other to tag out and that leads to a shoving match. They trade working the arm as Daniels grabs the advantage. Punk returns the favor and slaps Daniels in the back of the head, They continue to go back and forth until Rave tags Punk but get hit. Punk sends Daniels to the floor then Rave sends him out and flies off the top with a crossbody onto Daniels. Punk grabs him but Kazarian takes him out with a pescado. In the ring, there are a lot of quick tags as whenever some gets into trouble they tag out. Decent action during this sequence that lasts a few minutes until everyone is down. Rave takes down everyone with forearms then takes Punk down with a crossface after a tilt-a-whirl. Kazarian breaks that up but gets hit with a bridging back suplex. Rave then heads up top but Daniels cuts him off then headbutts him to the floor. Punk climbs up and takes Daniels off with a superplex and gets two with that. He hits Daniels with a backbreaker but Danger trips him up. Lucy returns the favor and trips up Daniels as the girls are in the ring with the fans going nuts. They are grab by the opposing guys then Punk and Daniels go back and forth until Kazarian kicks them both down. Slingshot leg drop onto Punk gets two. Punk comes back with a legsweep DDT but that only gets two. Kazarian hits a Novocaine but Daniels breaks that up. Kazarian comes back with an Ocean Cyclone Suplex on Daniels for two. Springboard leg drop gets two. Daniels comes back with an STO then shortly after that gets the win with the Last Rites (20:13) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match. The Punk/Daniels dynamic was fun. Rave and Kazarian, who would not return to RoH until this year, also shined. However, the beginning was slow and the match itself never seemed to get fully out of second gear.

After the match, Daniels grabs the mic and tells Kazarian that he saw him at the Super 8 Tournament and was very impressive. He tells Rave that he came back to show fire and heart and that is impressive. However, he tells Punk that it is time to talk and that they are from the same city and both know how to “kick ass” before telling a heckler in the crowd that if he wants shit from him, he will “scrape his tongue” then offers Punk a spot in the Prophecy. Punk grabs the mic and tells Daniels he sees the fear in him or his Second City Saint surpassing his guys and he will join the Prophecy only if he shakes his hand. The crowd starts with a “just say no” chant and Daniels fakes out Punk and says it is off as Punk tells him that somewhere down the life, he is a deadman and will be begging him to join the Second City Saints. Daniels then tells Punk he will “drop him like a bag of dirt” in a singles match. Another tease of a stable feud.

Slim J & Jody Fleisch vs. Backseat Boyz

Fleisch and Acid start off with a really fast-paced exchange of moves. Acid looked pretty good there and could go before drugs completely ruined his ability. They have a faster and sloppier “martial arts” sequence that ends in a standoff/ They tag out as Kashmere and the recently turned 18 years of age Slim J are now in the ring. Kashmere makes short work of him then Fleisch tags back in and works the arm until he match breaks down. The Backseat Boyz take down Slim J with a powerbomb/neckberaker combo then dive out and hit everyone, including Lit and Hydro. The Backseat Boyz take control in the ring as Acid beats the piss out of Slim J until Flesich comes in and they nearly break Acid’s neck with a double-team move. Fleisch gets two with a crossbody then a standing SSP. Fleisch completely botches his 720 DDT then puts Acid on top but he gets shoved and Acid almost falls off as they botch another spot as this match is falling apart. Acid takes Fleisch of top with a reverse hurricarana as both men are down. Both men tag out but it is Kashmere who runs wild. Acid recovers as the hit Slim J with the Dream Sequence but Fleisch breaks that up. Slim hits Kashmere with a terrible springboard inverted DDT and that leads to a lot of sloppy highspots. It’s amateur hour now, folks. Crowd is out of the match completely as Dixie and Hydro help up their guys as the camera follows them going out in the crowd but the camerawork is awful. Slim J and Fleisch wheel out a scaffold and climb up as the rest of Special K bring over the Backseat Boyz and they stereo Moonsaults as the crowd goes nuts. Well, that was quite the visual. Slugger carries Acid to the ring and Slim covers but Acid was able to kick out. Fleisch is selling his knee and needs to be held up and fails to climb up top. Slim heads up top now but Acid cuts him off and Kashmere climbs up and they both hit Slim with the T Gimmick for the win (15:50) *3/4.

Thoughts: The match started off okay but it just fell apart due to a plethora of botched spots. This would be the last of Fleisch in RoH until 2006 and he left wrestling altogether for a few years due to injuries and “personal issues” according to Wikipedia. The scaffold spot was insane though. Fleisch may have very well been injured on that.

RoH World Championship Match
Homicide w/ Julius Smokes vs. Samoa Joe

This match gets the boxing-style ring introductions. Both guys have an intense staredown during the handshake. This is now referred to as the “World” title as it was defended in England a few weeks prior at the Frontiers of Honor Show. Joe works the arm to start then they go back and forth on the mat. Homicide hits a few kicks then hits him with crossfaces on the mat until Joe reaches the ropes. Homicide hits a flying forearm that Joe no-sells but Homicide pokes him in the eye and then takes him down in the corner. Joe catches him with an uranage that flattens him as Joe is now in control as he lays in a bunch of stiff strikes. Homicide comes back with an T-Bone suplex that has Joe roll outside. Homicide flies out with a tope but Joe shoves him into the guardrail and the sheet metal makes it sound deadly. Joe then hits Homicide with a belly-to-belly on the floor in a sick move. Joe boots Homicide off of a chair and the fans chant him to do it one more time and he does as Homicide looks dead as his head went through the metal. Great visual. In the ring, Homicide is busted open as Joe hits rolling German suplexes as Smokes yells at Homicide to get up. They are now trading slaps as Homicide fights back and eventually hits a swinging DDT. Joe rolls outside and Homicide follows him out as Smokes pulls out a table from underneath the ring and lays it against he guardrail. Joe is in front of the table as Homicide goes inside and flies out with a tope as Joe smashes through the table. He rolls Joe inside and gets two as Joe looks dead. Joe ducks a backfist and flattens Homicide with a powerbomb then locks on the Coquina Clutch. The crowd goes nuts as Low Ki comes out with his arm in a sling and yells at Homicide to start fighting. Homicide reverses the hold and has Joe in a STF. Joe reaches the ropes and is able to knee down Homicide then yells “fuck you” to Ki. Joe destroys Homicide with a knee smash as Ki continues to yell at him. Homicide just beats the standing ten count on that. Ki yells at Homicide that it is his time and fires him up as Homicide gets up and floats over Joe and hits a suplex as the crowd goes mental. Homicide hits an Ace Crusher then hits a double stomp from the top that gets two. Homicide boots Joe in the face a few times then hits a brainbuster that looked deadly. Joe rolls outside and is on the floor as a few referees are checking on Joe. Homicide then comes out and rolls Joe in the ring as the match will continue. Homicide hits a few more kicks as Ki but Joe is getting back into the match. Homicide places Joe up top as Ki and Smokes are yelling at each other. Homicide is distracted as Joe picks him up and hits a Super Muscle Buster for the win (18:16) ****. After the match, Homicide is helped to his feet by Rob Feinstein and Ki as he is distraught over losing the match.

Thoughts: Great stuff. The story of Homicide needing to win so he can provide for his kid and not be a thug was done to perfection. The crowd was into him a lot as well. The match itself was good but the backstory made it better. The finishing move was sick.

Joe is in the locker room and says that the RoH World Championship is the only belt that means anything anymore because its guys who live and die for wrestling and put it all for the line. The camera zooms in on his swollen eye and says that it means nothing as he is still the champ. He tells Daniels that he started the war and will do whatever it takes to finish it before kissing his belt.

Daniels is shown in the empty arena and sees Joe as he runs in and spears him down. Danger yells at them to stop as dozen or so guys run in to break it up. Then in the back, Daniels challenges Corino’s group to a six-man tag at “Night of the Grudges.”

Final Thoughts: Solid show. Not the best for wrestling but they are starting to put together solid storylines and build intriguing characters. Sure, not all of them worked and the scramble matches format was starting to wear thin and some of the characters (Special K) seemed to serve no purpose at all. But, Punk was coming into his own and Joe was starting an impressive reign as Champion so the positives were outweighing the negatives.

Ring of Honor Night of Champions March 22, 2003

March 22, 2003

From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

We see a clip that is sent in from backstage at the 3/15 Zero One show as Corino is in the shower and dares Christopher Daniels to cast the first stone.

Jody Fleisch interrupts the Special K rave to let them know that he has a match with Low Ki tonight and does not want to get his ass kicked as he denies their offer of drugs. Mikey Whipwreck is partying with Special K wearing a sombrero and demands the DJ play some rock n’ roll instead of techno and the rock music disturbs the other members of Special K.

Christopher Daniels is with Xavier and Alison Danger. Daniels has the FWA Heavyweight Championship over his shoulder and tells Doug Williams that he beat him at “Glory by Honor” then again two weeks ago as he won the belt. Daniels challenges Williams tonight for the #1 Contender’s Trophy and the FWA Title and if Daniels wins, he can also be allowed to shake hands in RoH again. Xavier tells Samoa Joe since Low Ki beat Joe and he beat Ki, he will beat Joe tonight and retain his title. At the end, Daniels asks Xavier if he is sure that he is ready for his match and Xavier says that he is indeed ready.

Matt Stryker vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Alex Arion vs. Dixie w/ Hijinx & Lit

Stryker and Whitmer start off the match by working the arm then they take it to the mat. Solid action from these two. They end in a standoff after a reversal sequence that draws an applause from the crowd. Whitmer tags Dixie, who pokes Stryker in the chest. Stryker works the arm then takes Dixie down with an European Uppercut. Dixie catches Stryker with a few armdrags and a leg lariat but Stryker blocks a monkey flip and tosses Dixie halfway across the ring. Arion tags and suplexes Dixie for a nearfall. Leg drop gets two. Backbreaker gets two. Whitmer makes a blind tag and holds up Arion but gets dropkicked by accident. Arion puts Whitmer in an armbar then Whitmer fights back but Stryker makes the blind tag. Arion clotheslines Stryker then hits a dropkick and a super kick. Stryker fights back and gets nearfalls with a powerslam and a backbreaker. Whitmer tags and targets the back of Arion. Dixie tags and tries to work the arm but Arion fights back. Both men collide when they attempt cross body blocks and are down on the mat. Both men tag as Stryker and Whitmer trade chops then knock the other guys off of the apron. They slug it out until Stryker hits a Death Valley Driver. Dixie breaks up the pin then hits Stryker with the Kryptonite Krunch neckbreaker and Arion makes the save and hits a Splash Mountain. Stryker slams down Arion then puts Arion in an ankle lock but Dixie breaks that up with a botched top rope hurricarana. Whitmer comes in then hits Dixie with the Exploder 98 for the win (11:26) **1/4.

Thoughts: Average match that was really only interesting when Whitmer and Stryker faced off. Arion was bland even by RoH standards and his ring work was decent but that was all. Whitmer by far had the most potential out of these guys.

Quiet Storm & Spanish Announce Team vs. Izzy & Deranged & Angel Dust w/ Mikey Whipwreck

Special K attacks their opponents from behind after they were distracted by Whipwreck to set up this match. Storm hits Deranged with the Spinal shock then Jose beats on Angel Dust and heads up top for an elbow drop. Izzy distracts the ref and Whipwreck slams Jose throat first against the guardrail. Storm & the SAT’s hit a contrived but cool looking triple-team move on Izzy that gets a standing ovation. Then, the SAT’s nearly break the neck of Angel Dust with a top rope move. Fuck, that was dangerous. Special K takes control of the match and are kicking Storm in the back. The SAT’s clean house as Deranged takes a crazy bump to the floor. Back in the ring, Jose hits Deranged with rolling brainbusters but Angel Dust breaks that up. Storm comes in and hits Angel Dust with the Storm Cradle Driver but Izzy makes the save. Joel then hits Izzy with six straight powerbombs. Brian XL and Hydro run up on the apron and put the sombrero on the ref’s head to distract him as Whipwreck hits all of his former students with the Whippersnapper as Angel Dust covers for the win (6:24) *3/4. After the match, Slugger comes in and hits Quiet Storm with the Bodybag then a second black guy in a suit with glasses comes in the ring and they have a staredown, with the other guy noticeably bigger.

Thoughts: Short match that had a few cool moves. The staredown at the end was the most interesting thing that took place here.

Ronnie from Atlas Security and Gabe Sapolsky order Homicide’s friends from last week (Julius Smokes & Louie Ramos) to calm down.

Dunn & Marcos vs. Backseat Boys

Acid comes down to the ring and has some ugly chicks put dollar bills down his pants. The Backseat Boys outsmart their opponents then hit them with stereo dropkicks. Dunn & Marcos fight back after mocking the Backseat Boys but that doesn’t last long as the Boys fight back. The crowd is really digging the Backseat Boys here. Outside the ring, Dunn hits Kashmere with a delayed vertical suplex while Acid is taking care of Marcos in the ring. Dunn comes in and they double team Acid. Dunn gets two with a top rope elbow drop and they celebrate as they are in control. Marcos gets dumped to the floor as the Boys hit Dunn with the Dream Sequence. Marcos flies in but gets caught and dumped with an H-Bomb. The Backseat Boys use some more double-team moves then Marcos blocks the T Gimmick as they rollup the Boys for two. Dunn gets knocked down then the Boys hit Marcos with the T Gimmick onto Dunn for the win (5:19) **. After the match, Acid gets on the mic and says that they are the best team in the world. Solid mic work from Acid here and its a shame that drugs ruined him before he got a shot in TNA or WWE. The Boys head backstage then encounter Da Hit Squad who say that he have to go through them first.

Thoughts: Not bad and a good showcase for the Backseat Boys, who definitely had potential. Dunn & Marcos where solid RoH-level jobbers, actually.

FWA Heavyweight Championship & RoH #1 Contender’s Match
Doug Williams vs. Christopher Daniels w/ Alison Danger

The winner of this match gets a title shot on the April 26th show. Match starts with a shoving match then they trade rollups as Daniels ducks outside as the crowd applauds. Back inside, Williams takes control and works the arm. Daniels escapes and grabs a headlock that Williams eventually counters with a back suplex. Williams targets the neck with all sorts of strikes and holds. Daniels comes back and hits a gutbuster then a slam. Daniels hits a slingshot elbow drop that gets two. Daniels is targeting the ribs then sends him to the floor with a leg lariat. They have an exchange on the floor but Daniels sends Williams into the post then once again targets the ribs of Williams. Daniels slaps Williams in the face a few times but misses a charge in the corner. Williams hits a high knee but gets caught with a knee to the ribs as Daniels covers for two then goes back on offense. Williams comes back with another high knee then rolls through a top rope double stomp and after a reversal sequence, murders Daniels with a lariat as both men are down. They battle for a bit then Williams hits a tornado DDT but takes a long time to make the cover and only gets two. Williams misses a charge and Daniels hits him with a STO then calls for a moonsault but Williams takes him down and puts him in a crossface. Daniels fights out then hits the Best Moonsault Ever but Williams is able to kick out at two. They trade chops and slaps until Daniels catches Williams with an Uranage then puts Williams in the Koji Clutch. Williams escapes then they reverse each others finishers. Williams puts Daniels in a swinging Cobra Clutch then hits Daniels on the back of the neck with a top rope knee drop for two. Daniels fights back and goes for the Angels Wings but that gets blocked and Williams ducks a swing and is able to hit Daniels with the Chaos Theory for the win (19:12) ****.

Thoughts: Excellent match. Some fine technical wrestling was on display here too. The downfall of the Prophecy continues.

CW Anderson, Samoa Joe, and Simply Luscious head down to the ring. Ramos & Smokes are yelling at them from behind the guardrail and Smokes ends up pulling down his pants and mooning Anderson. Security then orders them out then Jack Victory makes an appearance and beats them up as Rob Feinstein comes out with the announcers mention how Victory is not associated wit RoH. Homicide and Da Hit Squad run out and brawls with Anderson then they have a six-man tag match.

CW Anderson & Samoa Joe & Jack Victory vs. Homicide & Da Hit Squad

Everyone is brawling outside as the match starts. Mack and Joe are in the ring as Joe hammers away. Mack comes back with a clothesline but Joe takes him down with an enziguiri. Mafia and Joe have an exchange of strikes that ends with Mafia hitting a German suplex. Anderson comes in and Mafia clotheslines him down but Victory punches him from the apron. Homicide beats on Anderson then Joe comes in and hits him. Da Hit Squad beat on Joe. Anderson eventually hits Mafia with a spinebuster then Joe flies outside and hits Mafia with a tope. In the ring, Homicide and Anderson are going at it as this match is way too unfocused. Luscious is raking the eyes of Da Hit Squad then drags Becky Bayless from behind the guardrail and roughs her up. In the ring, Homicide takes Luscious and hits her with the Cop Killer but Anderson sneaks up from behind and hits a shoulder breaker then puts him in an armbar. The announcers let us know that the rest of the wrestlers in the match are brawling backstage but Victory comes back with a garbage can and Anderson sends Homicide through that as the ref rules the match a DQ (7:09) 3/4*. Ramos, Smokes and some other thugs, one of which has a machete, run out and clear the ring. They help Homicide to the back and leave as Smokes is flipping out.

Thoughts: Bad match. Everything felt unfocused as there was just too much going on. This was a set-up for a match at the next show though.

Gary Michael Cappetta is with Doug Williams, who promises that the next time he is in the U.S. he will take the RoH Championship.

Mase & Hotstuff Hernandez vs. Carnage Crew

Mase lets us know that Buff E couldn’t make it tonight because his “ass hurts too much.” Hernandez comes to the ring wearing a feathered boa. Hernandez starts the match by destroying the Carnage Crew with power moves. Loc hits Mase with a German suplex then yells about “faggots” then the Carnage Crew use double team moves on Mase. DeVito gets hit with a Thesz Press as Mase grinds his crotch on DeVito’s face. Hernandez yells at the ref and puts him in the corner but the Carnage Crew hit him from behind. Hernandez pops back up and ends up hitting them with a double DDT. He then rallies behind Mase as he makes the tag and runs wild on the Carnage Crew. He hits DeVito with the Dominator then catches Loc and hits a spiral bomb. He dumps the Carnage Crew then flies out over the top rope with a suicide dive that has the crowd going nuts. DeVito puts Hernandez on the guardrail with a spinebuster then hits him with a chair. In the ring, the Carnage Crew corner Mase and hit him with the spike piledriver for the win (6:29) *1/2. After the match, Buff E runs in and makes the save for Mase.

Thoughts: Hernandez really looked impressive here. He also stood out among everyone else on the roster due to his massive physique. The fans were really starting to dig him by the end too.

RoH Tag Team Title Match
AJ Styles & Amazing Red w/ Alexis Laree vs. Briscoe Brothers

Red and Jay work a nice back-and-forth sequence to start. Mark tags and works a bit with Red until AJ tags and ground Mark. These two work an impressive reversal sequence that ends with AJ hitting a release German suplex. Mark comes in and Red super kicks him as AJ hits Mark with a German then they take out the Briscoe’s with Stereo somersault planchas. Back in, Mark catches AJ with an overhead throw then the Briscoe’s double team AJ for a bit. AJ comes back and hits a gutbuster/backbreaker combo then hits Mark with a Death Valley Driver. Red tags and hits Mark with a flying elbow drop for two. He boots Mark in the face but gets caught by Jay with a springboard missile dropkick after he made a blind tag. Red hits Jay with the Brain Damage but that only gets two. AJ tags and hits a delayed brainbuster for two. AJ hits all sorts of crazy moves on Mark but is unable to put him away. Jay then catches AJ with a powerbomb and they go back and forth until Jay cuts off AJ on the top rope. Jay goes for the super Ace Crusher but AJ turns it into a back suplex in midair as both men are down. Red tags and dropkicks Jay to the floor then hits Mark with the Red Star Press after a Mafia Kick but that only gets two. Jay attacks Red from the apron as Mark knocks Red down with a lariat. Jay tags and slams Red before applying a chinlock. Red runs into a boot to the face then Jay knocks AJ off the apron as the Briscoes neutralize Red. Jay turns Red inside out with a clothesline then Mark distracts the ref so he does not see Red make the tag as the Briscoes continue to beat on Red. Finally, Red fights back and takes down both Briscoes before making the tag. AJ runs wild on the Briscoes. AJ and Jay have a battle of chops then Red and Mark go for Shining Wizards at the same time and collide. Jay clotheslines AJ to the floor then blocks a Code Red attempt with a DDT but AJ is able to make the save. He hits the Briscoes with an inverted DDT/ Guillotine combo that gets two. Jay and AJ counter each others finishers until Jay hits a Falcon Arrow. Red makes the save then cuts off Jay on top with a spin kick and heads up and hits a Super Code Red but Mark makes the save just in time. Mark is up top but gets cut off by AJ ,who then alley-oops Red and that gets turned into a hurricarana and AJ ends up catching Mark off of that and hits the Styles Clash for the win (16:43) ****1/2. Man, that was an awesome finish.

Thoughts: Phenomenal match and a legit MOTYC candidate. Definitely try to seek this match out. The Briscoe’s first match as a team in RoH was a great one.

Jody Fleisch vs. Low Ki

This match is taking place as Ki wants to teach respect to everyone in Special K. Ki takes Flesich down and works him over, mixing in the occasional strike. The crowd is really into Ki here. Ki no-sells a kick then they work a fast-paced reversal sequence that ends in a standoff. Impressive stuff. Ki takes Flesich over with a side headlock. They battle over a test of strength then Ki goes down and locks Flesich’s arms while his legs are wrapped around his head in a unique submission hold. Flesich comes back with an inverted hurricarana then a springboard dropkick. Ki is outside as the fans are going nuts for him then he hits Ki with a springboard Shooting Star Press that got a lot of height. Back inside, Fleisch gets two with a split-legged moonsault. Flesich kicks Ki in the neck then hammers away and taunts him with slaps. Ki comes back and hits a springboard kick in an awesome sequence and that gets two. He chops Fleisch in the corner then gets two with a double underhook suplex with a bridge. Flesich hits a spinning heel kick then gets two with a corkscrew body press. He tries the 720 DDT but Ki catches and puts him down then Fleisch locks on an armbar. Ki lifts him up and hits Fleisch with a Krush Rush then follows that with a rolling Koppu Kick. Ki hits Fleisch with a barrage of kicks as the crowd is loving this match. Ki beats on Fleisch but misses the Tidal Crush and gets hit with a German Suplex. Ki stretches out Fleisch, who just barely makes the ropes. They trade chops and that ends Ki hitting a Yakuza kick. Fleisch comes back with an enziguiri after a disjointed sequence as both men are down. Fleisch gets two with a victory roll but Ki powerbombs him after that and gets two with a bridge. Ki blocks a tilt-a-whirl headscissors attempt by sending Fleisch into the corner. He sets Fleisch on the top rope then eventually takes him off with a Tidal Crush that has Fleisch fall to the floor. Fleisch fits back from the air then hits a springboard Shooting Star piledriver that sounds a lot better than it looked. Ki rolls ourside as Fleisch brings him back in and covers but is only able to get two. Fleisch prepares for the 720 DDT but Ki is unable to get to his feet. Fleisch drags Ki to the corner and softens him up. Fleisch gets up top and brings Ki with him but Ki fights back. He kicks Fleisch a few times then hits him with a Super Ki Krusher that definitely warrants the “holy shit” chant from the crowd. It looked like they were going to fall off before the move too. Ki eventually covers and gets the win (19:35) ***3/4

Thoughts: Very good match that would have been better if not for Fleisch’s sloppiness as a worker. He had some rough spots here but this was still a good effort on his part. The finish was insane.

Backstage, the Special K dance party is going on strong as Fleisch limps back. They drip some drugs on his tongue and that wakes Fleisch right up and he starts dancing.

CM Punk and Ace Steel are in the ring. Punk runs down the crowd and does a damn fine job at that. e mocks the crowd as he does not wake up hungover next to disgusting women or work for a boss that he hates then runs the crowd down for going to church on Sunday’s and praying to a god that does not exist. Raven and Colt Cabana then come out as Raven cracks a joke about Punk waking up at the Neverland Ranch then basically runs down Punk for being an indy scrub. Punk finishes by saying he has beaten Raven at his game once and he will embarrass him again then tells Cabana he should be ashamed at himself for wrestling against his trainer (Steel).

Raven’s Rules Match
CM Punk & Ace Steel vs. Raven & Colt Cabana

Raven and Punk continue on the mic after the bell rings. Everyone keeps tagging out as Punk tries to avoid Raven. Steel and Raven start off as Raven works the arm. Raven tosses Steel down then beats him with a trashcan lid. Cabana tags but Steel knocks him down. Punk tags and catches Cabana with a leg lariat for two. He then chokes out Cabana in the corner but misses a charge. Cabana comes back with a running double knee strike then tags Raven but Punk runs outside. Raven chases him around but Steel hits him with a chair then sends him into the guardrail with a Russian leg sweep. Back inside, Punk hammers away on Raven in the corner. Suplex gets two. Punk puts on an Indian Death Lock variation as the announcers hype the next show. Raven makes it to the ropes but Punk sends him into the corner. He sets up a chair in the middle of the ring but Raven reverses an Irish whip and sends Punk into the chair with a drop toehold. Cabana tags and cleans house. Punk breaks up a pin attempt with a dropkick then Cabana clotheslines him to the floor. Punk is able to trip up Cabana then Raven and Steel brawl on the floor. Raven then whacks Punk in the back with a chair and Cabana hits Punk with the Colt 45 but Steel is just able to break up the pin. Punk hits a backbreaker that gets two then drags Cabana in the corner and tags Steel as they hit a double-team move that gets two. Cabana tries to fight out of the corner but Punk rakes his eyes. Punk & Steel continue to neutralize Cabana. Punk and Cabana botch a spot in which Cabana was supposed to catch Punk coming off of the top rope then Cabana slams him down and tags Raven, who cleans house with a trashcan. Punk gets drilled with a trashcan in midair then Steel flies into Punk on the outside after getting caught with a drop toehold. Raven takes them both out with a tope and Cabana tops that off with a moonsault then screams as he clutches his knee. In the ring, Steel breaks up a Raven Effect attempt with a missile dropkick. Steel and Punk have the 2-1 advantage as Cabana is still on the floor. They set him up on the table but he rolls off as Punk crashes through with an elbow drop then Raven hits Steel with the Raven Effect for the win (15:53) **1/2.

Thoughts: Decent match that dragged at points but it was the post match angle that was the most memorable.

After the match, Raven demands that Punk shake his hand but he slides out of the ring. Raven then hits Steel with another Raven Effect. Punk then yells at Cabana for not saving his trainer then attacks Raven from inside. Cabana them comes in and sqaures off against Punk but then stomps on Raven instead as the crowd boos. Cabana then tells Punk that he is about Raven being a has-been washup as he also tells them that Steel & Punk are what he knows.

Backstage, Homicide alerts us that they will be a Bunkhouse Match “Texas Style” at the next show. Julius Smokes comes in and cuts another crazy promo. Low Ki walks in and is disgusted as Homicide for bringing the streets into RoH.

Ring of Honor Championship Match
Samoa Joe vs. Xavier (Champion) w/ Simply Luscious & Christopher Daniels

Before the match, Michael Shane sneakes up from behind and drills Daniels with a super kick as CW Anderson takes Danger away as Corino’s guys have “cast the first stone”. Joe knocks down a distracted Xavier then beats on him in the corner as the announcers play up how Xavier suffered a concussion at the last show. Joe no-sells some chops then continues to beat on Xavier. Joe boots Xavier down as he tried to skin the cat then sets up a chair outside the ring and seats Xavier down before hitting him with a running Yakuza kick. Joe continues to attack Xavier in the ring. Xavier comes back with a Lung Blower then targets the neck of Joe. Overhead suplex gets two. Joe rolls outside after getting dropkicked then Xavier flies out with a tope that he turns into a swinging DDT. Back inside, Xavier goes back to attacking the neck before applying a chinlock. Ki puts on another submission move on Joe after hitting a suplex as Levy lets us know that Homicide is bringing in Dusty Rhodes as his partner for the Bunkhouse Match. Joe fights back and chops down Xavier. They have a chop exchange until Joe turns him inside out with a clothesline. Joe then hits Xavier with Rolling suplexes but Xavier is able to knee Joe in the head in midair after a suplex attempt. Xavier hits the X-Breaker then goes up top for the 450 splash but Joe gets his knees up as both men are down. Joe hits Xavier with an enziguiri then kills him with several knee strikes before applying the Coquina Clutch. The crowd goes nuts as Xavier passed out and Joe wins the title (11: 54) **1/2. After the match, Joe clutches the belt while on his knees then celebrates for a bit as he heads back to the locker room.

Thoughts: Another decent match as the unimpressive titlte reign of Xavier has finally ended. He was not a good choice as the champion.

Backstage, Raven talks about Punk and how he has a lack of balls but is impressed in his ability to put together a group together. Still, he doesnt mind how many beatings he has to take as long as he hits him with the Raven Effect then warns Punk to look over his shoulder as he will be hiding out in the weeds.

We get a video that was sent in the day after this show with Christopher Daniels talking about how it was the worst week for the Prophecy as they lost all of their titles. He says that Xavier will be out due to another concussion then turns attention to Corino and his group and lets then know that he is going to go for Joe’s title and that Morgan will be back as they challenge for the Tag Team titles. He also warns them that the Prophecy might be getting a new member and vows that the Prohpecy will be stronger than ever.

Corino sends in another promo as he reads on the internet about Homicide giving Simply Luscious the Cop Killer and that he will be back to RoH looking for him.

Final Thoughts: The big news here was the tile change as Joe is a more credible champion. But this was a very good show with some excellent matches. They are also building up feuds as the matches have more meaning to them instead of some random guys thrown together, which was still happening but not as much lately. The promotion is starting to get some momentum too. I’d recommend this show.

Ring of Honor: Expect the Unexpected March 15, 2003

March 15th, 2003

From the National Guard Armory in Cambridge, MA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

Christopher Daniels, Xavier, and Alison Danger are backstage. Daniels congratulates Xavier for retaining his title against Paul London at the “First Anniversary Show” then goes on about how everyone thinks he will lose the belt but he has beaten everyone he has faced then says that it does not matter who wins the 4-way #1 Contender’s Trophy match as they will get “X’ed out.” Daniels is pissed that RoH made him defend the Tag Team Belts with Donovan Morgan in Japan then laughs at RoH because the people pay to see him, not the company itself and that he will continue to take down the Code of Honor. He even puts over new wrestlers and teams, like the Brisco Brothers. Guess they are tagging together now.  Danger threatens to reveal all of the secrets about her brother, Steve Corino. This was long winded but more than that, it was showing how RoH was pushing all of their new talents.

Matt Stryker vs. Chad Collyer

This is a rematch from “Revenge on the Prophecy” when Collyer made Stryker tap to the Texas Cloverleaf. These two go back and forth, both on the mat and while standing up. The announcers make fun of Stryker’s unibrow as Collyer steps on his hand. Collyer works the arm on the mat as Stryker tries to break the hold then reverses into a crossface. Collyer catches Stryker with an armbar after a hiptoss attempt but Stryker reverses it into his Stryker Lock but Collyer reaches the ropes. Collyer works the leg for a bit as Stryker is now limping. Collyer boots him down then stretches him out as the crowd applauds. Stryker reaches the ropes as Collyer had him in a single leg crab then fights back but misses a flying knee strike in the corner and Collyer puts him in the Texas Cloverleaf but he is able to reach the ropes. Collyer uses a suplex for a nearfall then stretches him out again on the mat. Stryker fights out and chops Collyer hard but Collyer kicks his leg then hits a shinbreaker for two. Stryker fights back again and catches Collyer with a backdrop. He kicks him a few times but Collyer blocks a hurricarana and gets two with a rollup. They trade rollups then Stryker catches Collyer in an ankle lock. Collyer breaks then Stryker puts it back on for a bit. Stryker chops Collyer in the corner and tries a sunset flip off of the top rope but Collyer rolls through and puts Stryker in the Texas Cloverleaf and Stryker eventually taps out (15:05) ***

Thoughts: Good action. It felt more like a mat wrestling exhibition more than anything else but it was good to watch at least. These two had zero personality though but made for a solid choice as opening match guys in this promotion.

Backstage, Low Ki and Da Hit Squad arguing over who is going to cut the promo as Mafia is jealous of Ki, calling him “Mr. Ring of Honor” and how they are just a couple of midcarders. Ki then cuts a promo on Special K but Mafia cuts him off at the end. They are teasing a heel turn of Mafia here.

Slim J vs. Amazing Red

Red just came back from a tour of All Japan. They work the standard fast-paced sequence that ends in a standoff to get the fans going. Slim kicks Red after a handshake and they work another sequence that ends with Red turning Slim inside out with a clothesline. Slim rolls outside and Red flies out and hits him with a running flip dive. Red knocks down Hijinx as the action goes back into the ring. Levy alerts us that London had emergency sinus surgery thus will not team with AJ Styles tonight but that Red will be his replacement. Slim uses some innovative offense to work on the neck of Red then gets two with a suplex. Red counters an electric chair drop with an inverted hurricarana. They go back and forth for a bit until Slim hits Red with a cradle DDT that gets two. Sweet move. Slim hits a springboard inverted DDT for two. Slugger grabs Red by the leg as Slim hammers away on Red. Red boots Slim off of a charge then gets two with a leaping swinging STO. Red hits Slim with an F5 but that only gets two. Slim hits Red with a low blow then heads up top for a moonsault but Red catches him with a cutter in midair. Red escapes from the electric chair drop again then kills Slim with a few kicks. Red Star Press gets two. Slugger tries to trip up Red again but gets booted in the face and a reversal sequence ends with Red hitting Slim with a sitout piledriver (12:03) **1/4. After the match, Slugger hits Red with the Body Bag.

Thoughts: Some nice moves here but not much more than that. Slim was only 18 years old and looked like Eminem here and grabbed his crotch between moves. Slugger attacking Red would have an effect on the following match.

CM Punk comes out to the ring and tells the crowd that he is straight-edge thus better than you as he runs down the crowd and city of Boston for being drug addicts. The crowd is all over him as a few start calling him a homo. He even tells the crowd that they stunk the place up more than Konnan did in Philly. He calls out Raven for not having the balls to show up. He then heads to the locker room but Raven busts through the curtain as Punk retreats. The fans give Raven a decent reaction but nothing too crazy. Raven says that while he is older now, he still will not be as bad as Konnan was in Philadelphia and they go back and forth until Raven challenges him to a “Raven’s Rules” match and that he will even wrestle the standard RoH-style match for the first ten minutes. Punk then tries to jump Raven from behind but gets attacked then ducks outside as he heads up the ramp.

#1 Contender’s Match for the RoH Tag Team Titles
Carnage Crew vs. Backseat Boys vs. AJ Styles & Amazing Red w/ Alexis Laree vs. SAT

This match is under scramble rules. AJ is actually alone for this match as Red is selling the effects of getting attacked by Slugger. Jose and Acid start off by going back and forth. Kashmere and Loc slug it out until Kashmere spears him in midair. AJ and Joel are in now as AJ is still without a partner. AJ sends Joel to the floor with an enziguiri then hits him with the Phenomenon from the apron. Jose takes out AJ with a tope and that triggers a dive sequence that ends with Devito taking everyone out with a top rope moonsault. Joel goes back inside then takes out everyone but AJ with a senton as AJ also headed back inside and quieted the crowd as he dedicated a Shooting Star Press to London. Back inside, the Backseat Boys double team AJ. Devito comes in and stomps Kashmere then the match breaks down. Acid pulls down the top rope on AJ as he dumps to the floor. The Backseat Boys hit Joel with the Dream Sequence then the Carnage Crew beat on Acid. The SAT’s hit Loc with a really sloppy double team move then AJ hits Jose with rolling wheelbarrow suplexes. Now everyone is brawling as the Backseat Boys almost kill Loc with the T-Gimmick. Everyone is now outside except for AJ and Jose as AJ flattens him with a powerbomb then uses a bridge to get the win (12:15) **1/2.

Thoughts: Solid action here. No one in particular stood out but it was fast-paced and fairly enjoyable to watch.

The Outkast Killaz come out to confront the SAT’s. They try to attack them but end up getting taken out as the SAT’s hit Oman Tortuga with the Spanish Fly. Seemed just like an excuse to let the crowd see the Spanish Fly.

Dixie & Deranged & Angel Dust w/ Brian XL & Hydro & Slim J vs. Low Ki & Da Hit Squad

The Special K guys take out Da Hit Squad with dives before they enter the ring. They try another attempt but get caught and slammed. Inside, Ki is beating the piss out of Deranged. Mafia elevates Deranged as Ki destroys him with a kick in midair. Damn. Da Hit Squad take turns tossing around Deranged. Dixie tags and gets sent into the corner with a belly-to-belly suplex. Ki and Angel Dust are in as Ki chops him hard. Ki hits Angel Dust with a boot to the face as the fans chant his name. Ki misses a charge and Angel Dust gets a few kicks but Ki catches his foot then unloads on him various strikes. He uses the Hanging Dragon as the other Special K guys are begging for Ki to stop. Da Hit Squad comes in and they continue to brutalize these guys. Brian XL distracts the ref and that allows Hydro and Slim J to grab Mafia’s leg as Deranged hits him with a spin kick. Deranged tosses Mafia outside and distracts the ref so the rest of Special K can beat him down. Mafia is now getting triple-teamed in the corner. Mafia fights back and hits a suplex as both men are down. He tags Ki who beats the shit out of Deranged. He takes Brian XL off of the apron with an enziguiri. Hydro comes in as Ki kicks him down. Da Hit Squad double-team Angel Dust then knock Slim J off the top rope as he had a chair. Monsta Mack climbs up top and hits Angel Dust with a Van Terminator headbutt that looked terrible. Deranged then whacks Mafia with a chair as the match has broken down and the ref calls for the DQ (12:37). However, Ki grabs the mic and says that he does not  want to win that way and orders the referee to restart the match. Da Hit Squad beat on Special K outside of the ring as Dixie offers Ki some pills and actually swallows it as some shitty music plays as Special K dances with him as Ki is on the mat tripping as Slim and Brian have his arm but the camera shows Ki stick is tongue out with the pill still on his tongue then takes them all out. He hits Dixie with the Tidal Crush then takes his Kangol as Da Hit Squad enters and they all hit their finishers and cover for the pin (18:01) **1/2.

Thoughts: Decent action here as well. The story was that the other guys were teaching Special K a lesson and that came across well as they really laid into them. They did not tease any tension between Da Hit Squad and Ki here.

Gary Michael Cappetta are with the Carnage Crew who have fun pissing people off as they have shitty jobs and ugly wives. More of the same from this team.

Raven is backstage and sees Trinity walk by and asks her to see him later.

Dunn & Marcos vs. Quiet Storm & Ghost Shadow

Storm is with a new partner after Chris Divine left the company, reportedly due to roughing up his girlfriend Trinity, but the announcers tell us that he is touring Puerto Rico. Marcos gets double-teamed until he snaps off a rana in a terrible spot. Ghost Shadow catches Dunn with a muscle buster then Storm takes out both guys. Shadow & Storm hit a few cool double-team moves then Storm makes Marcos tap with a modified Indian Death Lock (4:00) *.

Rating: Ghost Shadow looked good here but Storm seemed disinterested. The fact that his partner was gone and he was wrestling the ring crew guys probably were the reason for that as he must have seen the writing on the wall. Storm wasn’t that bad in the ring and still wrestles in Japan for Pro Wrestling NOAH today but looked to be about 5’1.

Raven’s Rules Match
CM Punk vs. Raven w/ Trinity

Punk starts the match with a hiptoss then mocks Raven. Punk frustrates Raven early but then gets caught with a pair of armdrags. Raven sends Punk to the floor with a dropkick then takes him out with a twisting pescado as Levy brings up Raven’s shoot interviews. Back inside, Raven uses a neck snap then grabs a side headlock on the mat. Punk escapes and takes a breather outside as Raven grabs the mic and says that he is going to break out the “plunder” as Punk comes in with a chair then swings and misses as the chair catches Punk in the face after he hit the ropes. Punk then outsmarts Raven by going after Trinity then whacking Raven with a chair as he followed. Raven sends Punk into the guardrail then they brawl some more until Punk rolls Raven into the ring and hits a suplex. Punk grabs a chair and places it into the corner then rams Raven into it as the announcers acknowledge that Divine and Trinity are in a relationship. On the floor, Raven reverses a suplex as both men are down. Punk is up first and hammers away then slams him back in the ring. Punk misses a top rope leg drop as both men are down again. Raven is up first and hits a back suplex but Punk catches him in a sleeper as Raven is busted open after getting sent into the chair again. Raven now catches Punk in a sleeper but that get broken up with a jawbreaker. Raven fights back and hits a clothesline then a bulldog that gets two. Punk shoves Raven to the mat after a superplex attempt but Raven catches him coming of off the top and puts on a modified sharpshooter but Punk reaches the ropes. Raven heads outside and tries to bring a table into the ring but Punk kicks it into his face then tosses Trinity into the guardrail then runs back inside only to fly out and hit Raven with a tope. Trinity climbs up top and hits Punk with a moonsault as Raven now sets up a table but Punk knocks him down with a chair then puts Trinity on the table and puts her through with a leg drop. Back inside, Punk hits Raven with a Shining Wizard for two. He then puts Raven in the Devil Lock submission after hitting him with a DDT. Raven reaches the ropes as then Raven ducks a clothesline as Punk ends up hitting the referee. Punk sets up a chair in the ring but Raven reverses an Irish whip then uses his trademark drop toehold to drive Punk into the chair. Punk hits Raven wit a low blow then hits the Devil Lock as the referee comes back in as Raven taps out (28:52) ***1/2. After the match, Punk mocks Raven and the fans then tries to attack Punk but Raven fights back. Punk manages to slip out of the Raven Effect then after the ref yells at him, Raven takes him out with the move. Raven checks on Trinity after the match.

Thoughts: Good stuff and this instantly established Punk as a singles heel threat. Raven looked good here and 2003 was a great year for Raven as he was rejuvenated and wrestling in some of the best matches of his career. The ending was not the greatest but everything else was really good and Punk was great as a heel, pissing off the fans at every opportunity.

#1 Contender’s Trophy Match
BJ Whitmer vs. EZ Money vs. Samoa Joe vs. Homicide

Whitmer and Money start off the match by trading off a bunch of stuff is an alright sequence. Joe and Homicide are in now as they go at it until Joe flattens him with a uranage. Joe tags Whitmer and he gets two off of a high knee smash. Homicide takes control and destroys Whitmer in the corner. Money tags himself in and hits the Money clip on Whitmer then puts him in the pendulum swing. Money beats on Whitmer in the corner as these two are not working too well together. Joe tags and beats on Whitmer with kicks and chops before putting him a Boston Crab. Homicide breaks up the hold as Joe stares him down. Money tags and he rams Whitmer into the corner. Suplex gets two then Money stretches him out. Homicide tags but Whitmer is able to put him in a Dragon Suplex that gets two. Homicide sends him outside then flies out with a tope con hilo as Money and Joe are in as Joe flies out and hits Whitmer and Homicide then Money flies out with a body press onto everyone. That looked bad. Back in the ring, Homicide and Whitmer trade chops. Whitmer blocks a top rope hurricarana attempt then hits a Blockbuster. Joe levels Whitmer then trades slaps and chops with Homicide. Joe powerbombs Homicide, who tries to hold onto the arm but Joe kills him with knee strikes. Whitmer sends Joe down with a forearm then they work a ridiculous sequence when they trade suplexes. Joe comes back in and powerbombs Whitmer then puts him in the STF until Homicide breaks that up. Joe tags Money, who hits Whitmer with a few double stomps. Whitmer is able to get his knees up on a moonsault attempt then tags Homicide. Money wins a slugfest then tags Joe but Homicide is able to hit him with an Ace Crusher for two. Homicide hits a low blow then has Joe in a STF but it gets broken up as Money is in and hits Homicide with the Cha-Ching but Whitmer makes the save. Money snaps Whitmer’s neck but fails to hit the Money Clip and Whitmer hits him with the Exploder 98. Joe comes in and clotheslines Whitmer then hits Homicide with a knee smash. Money suplexes Joe and tries it again but Joe blocks that and puts on the Coquina Clutch as Money taps out quickly (16:33) **1/2. After the match, Joe and Homicide start butting heads.

Thoughts: This was only good when it was Joe and Homicide going at it in the ring. Money looked bad tonight and had no chemistry with Whitmer. I don’t think Joe winning was a surprise to anyone given who he was in there with.

After the match, there is another pull apart between the fans as the camera shows someone getting tossed outside as Sapolsky is screaming like a girl as Mafia swears at him. They are still trying to play off of the “riot” that happened at the “First Anniversary Show.”

RoH Tag Team Title Match
AJ Styles & Amazing Red w/ Alexis Laree vs. Christopher Daniels & Xavier w/ Alison Danger

The Prophecy attacks Red & Styles right after the bell. AJ alley-oops Red as he boots both Xavier and Daniels outside. Red & Styles fly outside with running flip dives as Red winds up in the front row. Daniels & Xavier head up the ramp for a breather then yell at the crowd. Xavier gets back in the ring with Red and overpowers him but acts too cocky. Xavier laughs off a few kicks until he gets drilled in the head with a spin kick. Red hits a DDT off of a tilt-a-whirl that gets two. AJ tags and Xavier ducks outside to avoid a double-team move. Daniels is now in with AJ after a breather as the announcers try to sell that Xavier might have a concussion. They go back and forth on the mat for a bit then Daniels hits a dropkick and a shoulderblock. AJ comes back with a few armdrags then a spinkick. He tags Red and he hits the 718 then gets two after AJ hit a senton. Red gets two with a rana then tags AJ as he hits a back suplex that gets two. Xavier is in as AJ kicks him in the head then clotheslines him in the corner. Xavier fights back and hits a Cobra Clutch suplex then tags Daniels as they isolate AJ, targeting his neck. They hit him with some nasty double team moves but AJ comes back with a double dropkick as all three men are down. AJ makes the tag to Red, who hits a double missile dropkick then runs wild. Xavier blocks a monkey flip attempt by Red as he leaped on the apron and stunned Red off of the top rope. Red avoids a double-team move as Daniels knocks down Red then tags out. AJ hits an inverted DDT on Daniels that gets two. Neckbreaker gets two. Danger grabs the leg of AJ and he drags her in the ring and holds her up so Laree can spear her as they roll around on the mat. Xavier attacks AJ from behind and hits the Kiss Your X Goodbye but Red braks up the pin then hits the Code Red as Daniels breaks up that move. AJ tries to escape a Blue Thunder Driver attempt but Xavier runs in and hits a neckbreaker for two. They have multiple pin attempts that follows then AJ calls him a wobbly Xavier and they trade kicks. AJ hammers away with forearm smashes then catches him with a spinning heel kick for two. Brainbuster gets two. Daniels hits AJ with a STO then Red comes in and Daniels hits him with the Best Moonsault Ever until AJ breaks that up. Daniels puts AJ in the Koji Clutch then hits the Angel’s Wings but Red breaks up the pin. Red gets two with a small package but gets caught with a clothesline. Daniels sets Red up for a superplex but AJ goes underneath and takes Daniels off and hits the Styles Clash and covers for the win just before Xavier could make the save. My god that finished looked horrible as it seemed clear that Xavier made the save and it looked like Red was going to hit him with a top rope move too. The fans were all confused until the bell rang (21:10) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Another poor finish. The end of this match really picked up as the first half was fairly average. They got the belts off of the Prophecy, which was a good thing seeing how Morgan was always in Japan and they rarely got defended. The storyline with Xavier getting a concussion would not be forgotten about the next show.

Homicide is backstage as he tells Steve Corino that there feud is not over then alerts the rest of his stable that if they interfere, he will have his “Doghouse Crew” with him where ever he goes. Two guys, one of them the future Julius Smokes, comes in and cuts a promo as the other guys wonders why Low Ki is not down with them. The girl with them who does not talk and is barely on camera would go on to become Becky Bayless. Smokes was like the gangsta version of King Curtis on the mic.

The camera guy asks Quiet Storm where Christopher Daniels is as he has no clue and does not care as well. He sees Daniels in the back, who refuses to cut a promo, despite the camera guy saying he needs it to finish the tape. Daniels yells about constantly being screwed over by RoH the slams the door in his face.

CM Punk cuts a promo about how wrestling is his life and not some hobby. He then says that his hobby is crushing the human spirit and says that he picked Ace Steel as his tag team partner for next week and tells Raven by picking Colt Cabana, he has chosen a tag partner who he cannot trust. He finishes by telling Raven he will bury him in Philly then mocks his taunt.

Final Thoughts: Decent show. There was not a must-see match here but this was notable for Punk’s heel turn as he was the highlight of the show. They are starting to tell better stories in the ring too, which is good. The roster was stabilizing a bit as they still had guys coming and going constantly and leaving for tours overseas but they were establishing the core and solidifying the Tag Team division, which had been horrible. RoH is starting to shape up but they are not quite there yet.

Place to Be Podcast Episode 333: WWE 2003 w/ Kevin Kelly

In this episode of the Place to Be Podcast, Justin and Scott welcome back Kevin Kelly to discuss the first half of 2003 in WWE. The boys talk about Scott Steiner’s WWE issues, Triple H’s transgressions, Brock Lesnar’s ascent, Hulk Hogan’s return, The Rock’s farewell, Goldberg’s arrival, WrestleMania XIX’s legacy, Kevin’s WWE departure and much more.
Kevin also talks about some news out of Ring of Honor, including what is going on with ACH and Michael Elgin, the passing of Sean O’Haire and then announces the special guest for next week’s Kevin Kelly Show.
So fire up this action-packed episode and join Scott, Justin and Kevin because it is time for another edition of the PTB Podcast!

Survivor Series 2003 and Bob Holly

Hey, Scott.
I was watching Survivor Series 2003 last night. Bob Holly is in the opening Survivor Series match. Before the bell even rings, he attacks Brock Lesnar (as retaliation for the broken neck he got the year before), gets DQ'd, and leaves. I didn't time it, but I'm sure he was done for the night in less than 10 minutes from the start of the PPV. He walks off under his own power- he wasn't hurt or beat badly, so he could easily have grabbed his bags and left at that moment. If he was out there three minutes total, I'd be surprised.
Has there ever been a wrestler who ever had a faster "beat the traffic" moment than that on a major PPV? (i.e. gets eliminated or loses early in the show and doesn't return)?

​Yup!  The Rougeaus got bounced from Survivor Series 88 in the opening tag team elimination match due to fears that Jacques was going to get literally murdered by Dynamite Kid due to a prank retaliation.  So they booked it to give the Rougeaus time to get the hell out of the city while the Bulldogs remained in the match for another 30 minutes on their way out of the company.  That's probably the ultimate example of it. ​

The Only Review of Badd Blood 2003 That You’ll Ever Need


I always enjoyed this show, and felt like it was buried amongst the crap that was 2003. So, why not a random review of a great show from your fearless leader, well, fearless assistant to the leader.

Blood – June 2003 – Houston, TX

announcer literally says this is an Austin and Bischoff Production. Austin said
he really dug doing the GM stuff on his DVD, which I wonder whether if that were
true of if he was trying to save face knowing he was just ruining his legacy. 

Boyz vs. Chris Nowinski & Rodney Mack

was during Rodney’s White Boy Challenge, and apparently Nowinski is rolling
with him and Teddy as some sort of Uncle Ted or something. Thankfully, he’s
doing the brunt of the ring work, as he’s pretty damn decent, especially at one
point where he tears it up with Bubba. A pretty even match that saw the Dudleyz
hold the momentum near the end until Nowinski nailed Bubba in the back of the
head with this Cody Rhodes-like metal face mask, earning the pin. It’s a shame
that Chris had to retire so soon, I think he could have been something in this
hits Bubba with his Dr. Doom mask for the pin at 7:13 | ** Nothing worth
tracking down, but a perfectly fine opener. 

King and
JR talk about the Redneck Triathlon that’s going on between Austin and Bischoff
later tonight, and that one of the contests will be pie eating. The King says
it’s gonna be Poontang Pie. Yes. They’re gonna perform oral sex on women here
on PPV. Terri is hosting the first segment, which is a burping contest. Oh,
Terri. I will never be able to see her and not think Alli. Of course, the burps
are added in post, and they sure are hilarious. Because it’s burping! Chuck
Lorre saw this and thought “I could turn this style of sophisticated humor
into a TV show!” and thus, we got Big Bang Theory. 

vs. Scott Steiner – for Stacy Keibler’s Managerial Services

gets a pretty big pop. Man alive the things a fucking catchphrase will earn
you. In the story here, Test is a sexist sleezeball and Scott is the better man
whom Stacy wants to be with. You know, as wrestling fans, we sure are asked to
suspend our disbelief a lot. Regardless, this could very well be Scott’s best
match while in the WWE. He worked babyface, getting his ass-kicked for a good
portion of the match, and the only offense he every really handed out were suplexes
and clotheslines, and not once did he win the lotto. Test served up straight
power offense maneuvers while he mocked both Scott and Stacy. The finish saw
Test take a swing at Scott with a chair, however he missed, it nailed the rope
which bounced back into his skull, at which point Steiner hit a reverse Russian
Leg Sweep for the pin. A damn fine match that delivered far more than I thought
it would. 
hits a reverse Russian Leg Sweep for the pin at 6:27 | *** You know, it’s
worth tracking down to see Scott’s best WWE match

up is the Pie Eating contest. Bischoff has some hot chicks, and I wish they’d
just hurry up and get to him having to go down on Mae Young and get it over
with. It’s incredible how far away they are from things like this now a days. 

We see
footage from Judgment Day where Christian won the IC Title Battle Royal. He
cheated against final opponent, Booker T, which leads us to…

[C] vs. Booker T – WWE Intercontinental Championship

King makes a crack about Booker’s prison record, and The King says “Yeah,
there are some people who could have ended up in jail had certain situations
gone a certain way. *ahem*” The momentum is all Booker’s in this match,
crushing Christian with back-body drops, scissor kicks, and missile drop-kicks.
Only few spare moves, one of them being Booker’s Bookend, keep this from being
a total squash. Christian ends up hitting Booker for the DQ in order to keep
his strap. Shitty finish, and seriously more like a Main Event Squash than
anything else.
wins via DQ at 7:55 | ** Decent, but it’s the first blemish on the show so

and Stone Cold come out for the Pie Eating. Oh my goodness, Stone Cold pulled a
ruse and Bischoff has to perform oral sex on Mae Young. I’m gonna shit my pants
from laughing so hard. 

La Resistance
gets an interview. They do not enjoy America. I’m expecting them to take me on
a tour of ghettos so they can point out the crumbling buildings, and lackluster

Resistance vs. RVD & Kane [C] – World Tag Team Championship

The funny
thing is, any person who has done 10 seconds of research would see how much
better of a place France is than America. RVD gets a bit of offense in the
beginning, soon after Kane enters the fray and just destroys both of them until
RVD misses a summersault flip and nails Kane. This leads to a double chokeslam
on RVD for the pin and the titles. From what I’ve read during this era, these
guys were terrible, and the only reason they kept getting a push was because Sylvain
was the son of Patterson’s golfing buddy. Nepotism in wrestling? I am
displeased to hear of this. RVD and Kane sure had some odd, but well worth it
eats a double chokeslam for the pin at 5:49 | **  Far from a classic,
but helped the PPV going with another decent match that had some worthwhile

vs. Jericho

never liked Greenberg, and it made me sick that Jericho had to job to him in
2003. This one starts off with Goldberg tearing into Jericho, taking him down
with constant throws and power slams. Chris finally turns the tide when
Goldberg looks to spear him on the outside, but Chris side-steps, which sends
Bill crashing through the barrier in pretty incredible fashion. Chris is
immediately on him, working the shoulder. Goldberg eventually mounts a
comeback, only to stop short due to his shoulder. The crowd is about 60% Y2J
and 40% Goldberg. People really did not give a shit about Bill this time
around. Naturally, Goldberg wins this one, but Jericho carried him to one of
his all-time best matches. He actually had to tell a story this time around
that wasn’t the same ol’ shit he did in WCW. 
hits the Jackhammer for the pin at 10:55 | ***1/2  worth looking up,
as it’s one of Goldberg’s all time bests. It gives this PPV another solid

We get
a recap of the Shawn vs. Ric feud. It started when Shawn told Ric that he
couldn’t lay down for Triple H on Raw. So, at first it was babyface vs.
babyface, until Flair turned heel and claimed that Michaels was nothing but a
Flair wannabe. Really, it’s best this way. 

Flair vs. Shawn Michaels

start off with some mat wrestling, and each time they’re pulled apart they
antagonize one another with slaps and pushes. Eventually while Shawn’s back is
turned, Ric gets the chop-block, then goes to work on his knee before putting
on the figure 4. Shawn eventually turns the tide and slaps on a figure 4 of his
own. Then, out of nowhere, Shawn goes outside to pull out a table for no
reason. He places Flair on top of it just as Randy Orton runs from the crowd,
only to eat a superkick. Shawn, not to be stopped, does a splash from the top
rope, turning in mid-air and driving Ric through it. Pretty spectacular,
although not enough to get the pin. Soon, the ref is down from an inadvertent
low-blow, Ric is down from Sweet Chin Music, and Randy is back up in time to
smash Shawn’s head with a steel chair, giving Flair the win. This is one of
those matches that’s never spoken of, and something I consider an underrated
gem. It’s another great match Flair had during his final run. 
eats a chair and the pin at 14:18 | ***3/4  A hell of a match that’s
worth hunting down, and helps to put this PPV in a special class. 

the stupid Redneck Triatholon ends with Stone Cold beating up Bischoff and throwing
him in a pig-pen. Yes, this is much better than just being retired. 

We get
footage of what happened between Nash and Triple H. They had a match at Judgment
Day where Triple H got himself disqualified by smashing Hebner with a sledge
hammer. This being, none of the refs want to take the job of Hell in a Cell,
thus bringing out Mick Foley. 

Nash vs. Triple H [C] w/ special guest ref Mick Foley – World Heavyweight
Championship – Hell in a Cell

H opens up the match with a few punches, but that’s about all he gets before
Nash controls the match with back-drops on the outside, elbows, big boots to
the face, and steel chairs to the back. Triple H finally gets some momentum
right after he dodges a set of stairs that Nash threw at him. He soon bashes
Kevin in the head with a hammer, which doesn’t kill him. Making that the second
most hard-to-believe moment of the night, the first being that Scott Steiner
isn’t a creepy jerk who lists ‘date rape’ under his hobbies. Hunter soon finds
the mascot of the HIAC, the barbwire 2×4. Nash wrangles it from him, leveling
Triple H twice with it, busting him open the first time around. He then sets it
on the turnbuckle and drops him on it with snake eyes, pretty original spot.
Great near fall when Hunter is catapulted into the 2×4 on the turnbuckle, and
then jack-knifed. Hunter soon levels Nash with a sledge-hammer shot and
Pedigree for the win. Perhaps it’s because I’m so thirsty for something that’s
not the current sanitized product, but I was absolutely in love with this
match. I thought they tore the house down with weapons, plenty of blood, and
some brutal spots. These type of matches are sorely missed in wrestling today,
and are desperate for a comeback. 
H hits the Pedigree and pins Nash at 21:01 | ****1/4  A fantastic
main event that capped off a great PPV. Definitely search for the match, as
it’s a Top 5 for Kevin Nash, and one of the few great ones from Triple H during
this era. 

Easy to see from the numbers that this is a solid PPV that belongs in
an elite class among the best B shows. The only major point deductions came
from the God-awful Stone Cold and Bischoff skits, but thankfully they were kept
to somewhat of a minimum. For those that just want the hits, make sure to track
down Flair/Shawn and HHH/Nash. Hell, while you’re at it why not check out
Goldberg/Jericho, simply to give some love towards Y2J’s busting ass in order
to make something happen with Goldeneye.

As always, much love to my editor, Steven Ferrari. He and I met when I was with a group of friends and we were trying to open up a summer camp. He was known as “Crazy” Steven, and warned us all that we were doomed. I listened, they didn’t. 

 Need more Caliber? Of course you do!
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser – My homebase, baby. Everything you need. From True Blood recaps, Top 4 lists, mock Big Bang Theory scripts that actually fooled fans of the show. What more could you want?
WCW In 2000 – I recently updated with a review of not only the worst Nitro ever, but the absolute WORST episode of wrestling programming in history. 
Caliber’s books, nay! Living, breathing, guides to life! – All of my books are 99cents! That’s less than a dollar!

If you want to send in a QotD, a question in general, or just want to chat with your ol’ boy Caliber, send it to [email protected]

– Caliber

Royal Rumble 2003

> I have a question and I'm not sure if this has been asked before. Let's say the WWE didn't sign Scott Steiner in 2002, what would've been the best World Heavyweight title match for HHH at the Rumble? I was thinking a triple threat match with himself, HBK, and RVD, considering we didn't get this match at Armageddon in December of that year. I'm thinking HHH v HBK in some form, yeah.  Maybe the RVD match since he was supposed to get the shot at Jericho before they panicked and changed it to Rock again.

WWE 2003 Fixed

Since someone NARCED on me to Amazon and they pulled the WWE 2003 collection for quality reasons, I was forced to actually figure out what the fuck was wrong with it and why it wouldn't show proper black text on a white background:  Short answer:  I have no goddamn clue, although I should note that the book was compiled from web pages pulled off 411, not from my original Word documents like the others were.  Solution:  Go into the style section of the original document's HTML and replace with the style section of one of the books that works.  And yes, it now works exactly like it's supposed to and I've re-uploaded it.   I THINK it should automagically update on your devices, but I'll probably do a free promo for it soon anyway if not.

By the way, the free promo has been a BIG success and I've sold hundreds of extra copies in the past few days, so hopefully everyone enjoys it.  More Kindle books are coming soon.