Ring of Honor: Tradition Continues October 16th, 2003

October 16, 2003

From Michaels 8th Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

The show starts with Gary Michael Cappetta welcoming the crowd to Ring of Honor and bringing up how Ron Simmons won the WCW title here. Prince Nana interrupts and says that its been almost two years and he has yet to receive a title shot. The crowd chants “we don’t care” as Nana goes on and on about the crowd lacking respect until Samoa Joe interrupts. Nana then gets in his face and demands a title shot right now! Joe then calmly gives him his title shot before attacking him.

RoH World Title Match
Prince Nana vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)

Joe beats on Nana for a minute. Nana fights back and hits a corner splash but takes too long and gets hit with an enziguiri. Joe then follows with an overhead suplex before applying the Coquina Clutch for the win (0:57) 1/4*. After the match, Joe grabs the mic and welcomes the crowd to RoH and promises to make some memories tonight as we will see amazing high-flyers and technicians then will see him choke out Jay Briscoe, who is now in the ring. Jay is then held back by his brother as they build tension for the main event.

Thoughts: Decent way to kick off the show and get the crowd going. Nana was entertaining as a bottom of the card guy at least.

Colt Cabana is behind the desk as he tells us his show, “Good Times, Great Memories” which he got the chance to do after beating Rob Feinstein in a game of dreidel. He welcomes the Backseat Boyz, who light up cigarettes in lieu of the “No Smoking” sign. They put them out as they say it wont bring them down. Cabana makes a lame Backstreet Boys joke as Acid puts over how many titles they have won all over the country. Cabana then asks them if they ever got “chubbed up” from the women in the stands sticking dollar bills down their pants as they said it happens. If you think Cabana is funny, you’d probably like this but everyone else would think that it sucked.

Scramble Match
Ring Crew Express vs. Josh Daniels & Danny Doring vs. Slyk Wagner Brown & Sonjay Dutt vs. The Rottweilers w/ Julius Smokes

The Rottweilers consist of Slugger & Grim Reefer. This is the RoH debuts for Daniels, Doring, Dutt, and Reefer. Match starts with Doring and Marcos doing some chain wrestling as CM Punk joins on commentary. Marcos comes back with a hurricarana and an enziguiri before running into a clothesline. Daniels and Dunn are in now as the announcers talk up Daniels, who never ended up amounting to anything. He overpowers Dunn, who proceeds to hit the slowest victory roll in history. Dutt and Reefer are in now and do a bunch of standing switches at rapid speed. They are going way too fast for their own good in here. Dutt made his TNA the day before this show. Slugger as Brown comes in and chops away but runs into a shoulderblock. Slugger is terrible in the ring by the way. He stomps Brown in the corner but walks around and lets Brown hit him with a missile dropkick. Marcos tags in and hits the Sliced Bread #2 on Slugger, which looked ridiculous. Why let him get hit with that in his first match. The match breaks down as they hit all sorts of stuff, including a ropewalk swanton from Reefer. Dutt hits him with a Phoenix Splash as the crowd goes nuts but Daniels hits him with a German suplex. The match breaks down again as Dunn tries to face off against Slugger but gets booted down. Reefer then hits Dunn with a frog splash and Slugger hits the Bodybag for the win (8:05) **.

Thoughts: Not that bad. It was designed to put over the Rottweilers. I do think they should have made Slugger look a lot more dominant though as all his mystique was gone once he got taken down by one of the Ring Crew Express goofs. Dutt looked okay in his RoH debut and Daniels was a guy trying to wrestle like Chris Benoit but didnt show much. All Doring did here was collect a paycheck.

Field of Honor Tournament
Block A
Matt Stryker vs. Chris Sabin

Match starts with both guys doing some matwork as Punk still wants to know who took out Lucy at the Wrath of the Racket show then talks about his match with AJ Styles tonight. They end in a standoff and are met with a light applause. They go back and forth again until Stryker lights up Sabin with chops in the corner. Sabin fights back after a floatover then gets two with an enziguiri. Sabin hits more kicks but gets caught with a powerslam coming off of the top rope and his fortunate not to have been killed. That was fucking scary. Stryker works a surfboard then turns it into a back suplex for two. He hits a powerbomb that looked terrible for two. Sabin comes back with a few flying kicks but Stryker comes back with a neckbreaker for two. These two are not on the same page at all in this match. They trade chops until Sabin hits a springboard DDT for a nearfall. He heads back up top but Stryker climbs up and hits an overheard suplex for two. After another sloppy reversal sequence, Sabin gets two with a rollup. Stryker fights back and tries a Death Valley Driver that Sabin tries to turn into a crucifix but Stryker rolls through it and nearly drops him before getting up and hitting the DVD, dropping Sabin right on his face, for the win (10:03) *1/2. Sabin is pouring blood out of a cut near his eye as the ref is screaming for a towel.

Thoughts: An extremely disappointing match. These two were off all night and Styker almost killed Sabin on more than one occasion. A pretty embarrassing match as part of a tournament celebrating “pure” wrestling.

After the match, we see Sabin and Stryker in the back. Stryker says all he was trying to do was win as Sabin says its just part of the game and not to worry as he is pissesd about losing. He didn’t seem to thrilled about the cut either.

Field of Honor
Block B
Colt Cabana vs. BJ Whitmer

The crowd is all over Cabana, who responds by taunting. The crowd then calls Cabana a “homo” as he stalls to start the match. Punk talks about breaking into the business with Cabana and sometimes you don’t pick your friends and as a result he is stuck with Cabana. Punk also makes fun of Whitmer as their side feud continues. Whitmer catches Cabana with a leg lariat for two the works the arm as Punk makes fun of him for that. Cabana then trips over Whitmer after he dropped down as the fans chant “you fucked up.” Cabana yells at the fans as he is now pissed off. Back inside, Whitmer gets two with a Northern lights suplex as Punk talks about having a few leads on who attacked Lucy. Cabana fights back as Punk compares him to Mr. Wrestling II. He hits a double knee smash in the corner for two. Snap suplex gets two. He then hits a butt smash for two and follows that with an iron claw,something the announcers say doesn’t work as Whitmer fights out then catches Cabana with an overhead suplex as both men are down. Whitmer gets up and hits an Exploder for two. They have a reversal sequence that ends with Cabana nearly killing Whitmer with a back suplex for a nearfall then shortly after that he gets the win wit a bridging rollup (11:30) **.

Thoughts: Not much to this match as well. Cabana did this as a comedy match and it came off like a WWE house show comedy match at times. The highlight of this match was Punk on commentary. He was great here.

Backstage, Cabana tells us that was serious as he can do it all, stressing how he is 2-0 and is all serious in the ring.

AJ Styles is giving pointers to Jimmy Rave. He is a little hard on him as he wants him to take advantage of things.

RoH Tag Team Title Match
Izzy & Dixie w/ Special K vs. Backseat Boyz (Champions)

The Backseat Boyz start off hitting some double-team moves. Acid beats on Izzy then gets the crowd going but ends up getting tossed off of the top rope. Kashmere dumps Dixie then gets caught with a wheelbarrow slam/leg drop combo onto the floor. Ouch. Acid is in the ring fighting off both guys but that doesnt last as the Special K guys are in control. Punk leaves to get ready for his upcoming match against AJ Styles as Dixie gets a nearfall with a suplex. Acid fights back but Kashmere is still out on the floor as he looks for a tag. Izzy hits an inverted hurricarana then a snap suplex as Kashmere has now finally made his way onto the apron. Acid dodges a double-team attack and comes back with a Yakuza kick before finally making the tag. Kashmere cleans house as Becky Bayless is distracting the ref so the Special K goofs on the outside can try an interfere but that fails. Backseat Boys hit Izzy with the Dream Sequence then they hit Dixie with the T-Gimmick. They cover but Lit pulls out the referee and Acid chases Dixie around but gets hit with the belt by Izzy. Dixie covers but only gets two so he then hits a gordbuster as Izzy follows with a springboard 450 splash for the win and the titles (8:44) **. As the lights are off for Special K’s celebration, Loc runs into the ring but gets jumped by the rest of Special K until Julius Smokes and the Rottweilers make the save. Levy tells is that DeVito was working overtime and could not be here tonight. Kashmere was also seen walking away, leaving his partner behind.

Thoughts: The story of Kashmere getting taken out early on was good but Special K was far too weak of a team to be holding the belts. I swear to god Dixie had to have been blowing someone to get his spot because he is one of the worst wrestlers in the company. He is terrible at everything. The run-ins at the end were okay but it highlighted the lack of depth in the tag division more than anything else.

Punk comes out and tells the crowd that prescription drug use is on the rise but will not make fun of them for that or their failures. He then tells us that he is straight edge, which also means he is better than you.

CM Punk vs. AJ Styles

Both guys start by jockeying for position as Levy goes over the Code of Honor. They continue to trade holds on the mat as Samoa Joe has joined on commentary. Levy asks Joe about Jay Briscoe as he tells us everyone knows he will choke him out. Back to the match as both men continue to go back and forth as Joe leaves. AJ grabs a side headlock for a bit until Punk catches him with a back suplex. Punk attacks the neck but runs into a dropkick as both men are down. AJ gets two with a knee drop but gets caught with a drop toehold as he charged into the corner. Punk chops away then almost gets caught with the Styles Clash. AJ lands on his feet after a counter then drills Punk with an enziguiri that sends him outside. AJ tries for a moonsault off of the apron but Punk sidesteps that then rams Styles into the guardrail a couple of times. Back inside, Punk gets a nearfall with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He hits a delayed vertical suplex then targets the back some more. AJ fights back with a moonsault kick but Punk takes him down and stretches him out. Punk gets a few more nearfalls, growing increasingly frustrated. He tries a spilt-legged moonsault after taunting the crowd but AJ gets his knees up as both men are down. They exchange chops then fight over a suplex until AJ hits a cradle back suplex for two. Punk slips out of a pumphandle then hits a legsweep DDT for two. They now fight up top as Punk hits a sunset powerbomb for two. Punk taunts the crowd then ends up getting hit with a discus clothesline. AJ tries for a super Styles Clash but Punk escapes. Punk tries for a shining wizard but AJ catches him then turns that into the Styles Clash for the win (18:44) ****.

Thoughts: Awesome match. Both guys were superb ad really laid into each other as well. Easily the best match on the show.

Cappetta is with the Backseat Boyz, who are not happy after losing the belts. Acid finally speaks and says he cant believe they lost to Special K as Kashmere gets pissed and walks off.

We see the Special K party in the hotel room as Lit is hurling in the bathroom with the others making fun of him.

Field of Honor
Block B
Jimmy Rave vs. Dan Maff w/ Allison Danger

A light “welcome back” chant breaks out for Maff. Rave offers a handshake but gets booted in the gut. Rave comes back with a pair of armdrags but gets hit with a backdrop driver and rolls outside. Maff follows him out and attacks the back and rams him into the guardrail a few times. Punk rejoins on commentary and tells us that he is still better than AJ due to the fact that he is straight edge. Rave fights back with after dropkicking Maff off of the apron then follows with a flying knee smash. Rave complains to the ref then Maff gets up and hits a clothesline after a Burning Hammer attempt failed. Maff hits the cannonball in the corner as Punk makes fun of Danger’s hair. Rave comes back with a crossface off of a tilt-a-whirl but Maff power out then hits the Burning Hammer for the win (6:50) *1/4.

Thoughts: Nothing more than a glorified squash. Rave’s losing streak continues as they try an re-establish Maff back into the Field of Honor tournament after getting knocked out cold by Low Ki. I dont think this match accomplished a whole lot for him in that regard.

Backstage, AJ shares his disappointment with Rave for not listening to him. AJ says he is knows what he is doing and that he needs to stay on the attack as Rave looks disappointed.

Maff tells us that Cabana and Whitmer are next as he will win the Field of Honor. He then tells Low Ki he is standing tall after taking his best shot as he walks over yelling “bitch.”

Dan McDevitt from Maryland Championship Wrestling comes out to thank the fans. He also tells them that a lot of independent promoters tried to run here and it was not until Rob Feinstein called from RoH that he decided to let them fill the spot vacated. He then talks about the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup and that RoH will be hosting the 6th Annual version of that as the crowd applauds.

Justin Credible vs. Raven 

Raven roughs up Credible to start as he rams him against the guardrail. They head back inside where Credible escapes from a DDT then takes a breather. Credible now beats on Raven in the corner then takes him outside with a drop toehold. Credible beats on Raven outside then heads back in where he works the leg. Credible works a figure-four that Raven breaks then crotches himself against the post when Raven moved out of the way. Raven fights back with a pair of clotheslines and a kneelift. Bulldog gets two. Raven pulls up as to not hit the ref then moves away as Credible takes the ref out with a super kick. Credible hits Raven low then grabs a chair but that backfires as Raven takes him down then hits the Evenflow DDT for the win (7:56) *1/2.

Thoughts: Not the best effort from these two, especially by Credible. Raven’s feud with Punk has cooled off considerably and he had nothing else going on here besides that. This was Raven’s second to last match with the company.

John Walters vs. Mark Briscoe vs. Homicide w/ Julius Smokes vs. Xavier

Typical back-and-forth action early on in this match. Xavier taunted Walters a bit but nothing else notable so far. The crowd is into Homicide more than anyone else. The action is fine but these four-way matches are all really wrestled the same way so it all comes off as old hat at this point. They work a contrived spot where Walters grabs Briscoe in a single leg crab and Xavier in a stretch while Homicide runs the ropes sevearl times before breaking that up with a dropkick. Walters then messes up another trainwreck spot after mistiming a springboard. Walters and Xavier trade chops but Homicide clears the ring and takes Walters out with a tope con hilo. Briscoe climbs up top and hits a shooting star press that drew a lot of “holy shit” chants. Xavier tries an Arabian Press but overshot the move. Walters teases a dive then Xavier snaps his neck off of the rope. Xavier rolls through a 450 then Homicide hits a draping DDT on Walters for a nearfall. Now everyone breaks up pinfalls after big moves until uses an eye poke before hitting Walters with the Kiss Your X Goodbye for the win (16:41) ***.

Thoughts: Good action but it didnt really resemble a match. It was a ton of cool moves done well and entertaining but these matches have been done so many times here that I cannot get to excited over this stuff anymore.

Jim Cornette tells us he is coming back to RoH on November 1st.

RoH World Title Match
Jay Briscoe vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)

Match starts with Joe grounding Jay on the mat. Jay tries to keep up and is able to grab a front facelock. Mark is now out at ringside to support his brother as Joe is in control. Joe now uses a Boston Crab but Jay reaches the ropes. Joe facewashes Jay in the corner but takes his time as Jay comes back with a Yakuza kick. Joe is now outside as Jay takes him out with a plancha. He sends Joe into the guardrail. Back inside, Jay gets a bit more offense in before he gets caught with an uranage. Joe takes Jay outside and connects with the ole kick. Back inside, Joe locks on the STF. He then uses a rolling cradle that gets two. Jay then blocks a strike and hits a back suplex as both men are down. Jay fights back with a DDT then climbs up top and hits a leg drop for a nearfall. Jay fights out of an abdominal stretch and lifts up Joe for a Death Valley Driver for two as the crowd is now solidly behind Jay. He now tries for the Jaydriller but Joe blocks it and tries for the Coquina Clutch. Jay bites out of that but Joe hits a Dragon Suplex. Joe slaps and kicks Jay repeatedly before hitting the Island Driver but Jay kicks out of that as the fans go nuts. Joe then turns Jay inside out with a lariat and gets the win (15:03) ***1/4. After the match, Joe crouches over Jay and shakes his hand while slapping him in the face. Mark comes in and is pissed but Joe takes him down with an enziguiri then puts him in the Coquina Clutch. Joe leaves then the Briscoes eventually get up and receive a standing ovation from the crowd.

Thoughts: Fun match that told a good story of Jay not backing down from the monster Joe, giving him everything he had. I did think the finish was weak though as a lariat getting the pin after everything else came off weak. But if the goal was to establish the Briscoes as threats, it was accomplished.

Christopher Daniels tells us that another show has passed and the Prophecy are still in the middle of things. He switches attention to Joe and says just because his first title shot did not go as planned doesnt mean he will not fulfill his destiny of being the RoH Champion. Daniels now tells Steve Corino he was surprised when he wished him luck in his title match then tells a story of a man who found a frozen snake and took care of it only to get bit and killed by it at the end. He then tells Punk that he doesnt appreciate being accused of attacking Lucy and the next time he steps in his face he better bring more than loud talk. This still continues as Daniels alerts RoH that they are not so big until he makes an appearance so they can sell their tapes. This promo went on for too long but it did show how RoH had a number of ways to go in building up feuds.

John Walters tells us that Xavier has cheated him out of two matches and that this injustice will be taken care of as next time they face he will throw respect out the door and will be there for a fight. Promos are certainly not Walters’ strong suit.

Trent Acid then tries to stop Kashmere from leaving but it fails as Kashmere says that he needs some time. This story line was really rushed.

Xavier tells Walters that he hears him crying and a win is a win. He also tells him that he can have another battle but in a tag match as he will find a partner.

The Briscoes tells Joe he can hit them as hard as they want but they will hit him back harder and assure him the war has just begun.

Final Thoughts: This show was average. It had some good matches, some bad matches and a bit too much filler. The Field of Honor stuff came off poorly and the Tag Team Division is a joke but they did build up a few people and seem to have many directions to head in when building new top feuds. Joe is great as the champ and Punk was entertaining all around here. RoH is still trying to build up compelling feuds as they close out the year and they are getting closer.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/22/87
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/23/87
Thursday: Highspots Shoot Interview with Brickhouse Brown
Friday: WWF Sam Houston Coliseum 8/28/87 (Paul Boesch Retirement Show)
Saturday: Brickhouse TV: Season 1, Episode 1

RoH Secrets of the Ring with Dusty Rhodes

This was filmed in 2004

The interview was conducted by Gabe Sapolsky

It runs at one hour and fifty minutes long

The interview starts with Dusty holding a book that he used as a diary while the booker of the NWA in 1987. Dusty also said he kept everything he did and joked that one day people will buy this like people bought Samuel Clements (Mark Twain).

Gabe starts this off by asking Dusty to start with January 1st of 1987. Dusty holds up his book of the people he booked that month and said they grossed $54,000 for that show with a main event of Ric Flair & Tully Blanchard vs. Nikita Koloff and himself. He runs down the show and Dusty jokes with Gabe and displays the charisma that made him famous. He said they started the year well and that the New Years Day show at the Omni were always big. The referee’s were Earl Hebner and Tommy Young.

Gabe now asks Dusty how he decides the order of the matches. Dusty said he wanted to build a “crescendo,” using an example of how if he wanted to see Elvis, he would not want to in the opening match. Dusty also said you have to keep in mind with everyone on the card that they mean something and that someone paid to see them. He talks about some of the feuds that were going on for a bit then said that he went with the $100,000 Bunkhouse Stampede math because he thought it was unique to see guys who were partners or allies possibly fight at the end. After that, Dusty jokes about he always won those matches. They toured with the Bunkhouse Stampede matches for a month.

Dusty talks about how the feud in which Koloff took Magnum’s place as Dusty’s partner was easy money as the story itself mirrored real-life and how it was so easy to write their feud against the Four Horsemen.

He then talks about how one or two matches draw the house while the rest of the card is “garnish” and led up to drawing the house, something that Eddie Graham taught him in Florida.

When asked if it was tougher to book two shows in one night, Dusty said it wasn’t with the talent they had at the time.

Dusty then said how they had two planes, with the private jet named “Stardust” after himself, something Dusty jokes that Flair was upset about and probably written about it in his book, which he will not read.

He talks about booking everything to lead into the Summer for the “Great American Bash” tour and how he kept the same core of guys (Horsemen, himself, Nikita) but also had other things going like Jimmy Garvin and Precious and the tag teams like the Rock & Roll Express and the Midnight Express. Even still, the core would always be at the top in different stages.

Dusty now talks about how their TV was very strong and they did good business during the week so as a result, they drew huge at weekend house shows. He talks about the War Games and how they drew a $180,000 advance for the show.

He then talks about “garnishing” again and goes back to the WWWF when they decided to make Bob Backlund the champion, regardless whether people liked it or not, but also decided to have a lot of big matches on the card, like the first bullrope match in the WWWF so people would still buy tickets to the show.

Gabe asks Dusty about the UWF guys and the criticism he received as booker for not pushing them more, Dusty laughs and says he is asked that all of the time. He said that the Crockett guys were his “posse” and describes the wrestling business like the mafia as he said while getting talent from the UWF, they did not want to replace their own talent with these guys and let them come into their area, noting how they were underneath when going to their territory. Dusty also adds that if guys cannot understand this then they should not be in the business to begin with. He also said he was selling out with what he had. He did say that Steve Williams fit right in then notes that selling out a “phone booth” in Oklahoma is different that filling the Charlotte Coliseum.

Dusty now talks about his favorite match from this era were the Ronnie Garvin vs. Ric Flair matches as you believed every chop they did. He also loved Fritz Von Erich coming out of retirement after his son David passed away and how when he tagged in, there was a roar that you have never heard and how the wrestling business captures that like no other can as moments like that is why he is a wrestler.

On to the Crockett Cup as Dusty lists off the Top 10 seeds after asking the guys to guess. Gabe said Nikita and Dusty, who laughs and said he wouldnt even to that. He said Rude & Fernandez were #1 because they were the champs. The 5th seed were the Japanese guys (because they were their top team) and the 9th guys were the Mod Squad (Mac & Jim Jeffers) who Dusty said if anyone watching knows the names of the guys they can write into Ring of Honor and he will give them an autographed photo. He said that he wanted every fan in attendance to like someone in the match so they built them all up.

Dusty said Crockett told him when he came in that he wanted four events that he could build to yearly. Dusty said he came up with Starrcade first then the Jim Crockett Memorial Cup Second. The Great American Bash was 3rd and Halloween Havoc was the fourth.

He talks about the War Games match drawing $150,000 Sunday afternoon in August of 1987 in Chicago as he had to do something big because UWF TV was really over in that market.

Dusty goes over how they’d have four shows in one night and how many people he had to use to make sure they sold out.

On Ronnie Garvin as the champion, Dusty said no matter what people say, Garvin deserved to be the champ. He said that house shows were down but everything was after the “Great American Bash” tour and that compared to that time of year, the shows were up as he made sure to “garnish” the shows in which Garvin vs. Flair was the main event.

He talks briefly about being fired by Jim Herd in 1988, calling him the most “unintelligent and uncreative” person he has met besides Gary Jester.

Dusty talks about companies today that are running (Ring of Honor, TNA, NWA Wildside) and how they need to take 5 companies and have them put their resources together and get TV because that is where we will find our next big star. He also tells Gabe that they have a great product in RoH but without TV you cant push anyone then hypes TNA on Fox Sports Net is helping them out.

He jokes about Dave Meltzer, who he congratulates for working hard on being the best booker today and making millions of dollars (Dave was critical of Dusty’s booking in the Observer at the end of 1987). He does say that he likes him today and talks to him once in a while.

On Crockett selling, Dusty said they were losing money and their business was in disarray to corporate came in and took over.

He talks about wanting Sting and Lex Luger to be involved at the top by the end of 1988 and how he booked them to get to that point.

Dusty talks about how devastating Magnum TA’s career-ending injuries were as Dusty saw him as the future world champion with “movie-star” charisma who was the guy. He said he loudest he heard the crowd in TV was when he walked into the Charlotte Coliseum with Nikita Koloff to face Flair & Ole in a cage as Koloff was Magnum’s replacement. Dusty said he was in mourning when Crockett asked him what to do. Dusty also said Koloff always wanted to be a babyface but the fans bought him as the baddest man on the planet. Dusty then asked Koloff to not think or anything when he walked out to the ring as his parnter as Dusty said that today he still gets chills when he thinks about the crowd that night.

He talks about loving interviews like this and just having a passion about the industry before closing by thanking the fans.

Final Thoughts: I thought this was a solid interview. It wasnt all that structured and came across as a less organized version of a “Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline” shoot but Dusty’s charisma and intelligence were on full display here. There were no crazy stories here but his shared some of his booking insights and you could tell just how much he loved wrestling. He loved talking about wrestling as well.

Gabe only asked several questions throughout the interview so Dusty kept talking and sometimes when he got off track it was tough to decipher what he was referring to when it came to they year at hand. Regardless, its an easy listen and Dusty can draw you in when he speaks. Easy to see how he drew a lot of money during his career.

Overall, I recommend this shoot but its tough to find. RoH had a sale on these a few years ago and you’re best bet is eBay or Amazon at this point because I do not see them anymore on the RoH website.

RIP Dusty.

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.

Destination America Brings More Action To The Ring Acquiring The Rights To RING OF HONOR’s Weekly Television Programming

I'd say this is probably bad for TNA…

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 27, 2015           CONTACT: Nikki Suseck | 212-548-5452 | [email protected]   DESTINATION AMERICA BRINGS MORE ACTION TO THE RING ACQUIRING THE RIGHTS TO RING OF HONOR’S WEEKLY TELEVISION PROGRAMMING   (Silver Spring, Md.) –Destination America announced today that it has signed a national broadcast deal with professional wrestling league RING OF HONOR, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., bringing one of the most respected wrestling organizations to the only network dedicated to all-American entertainment. Destination America is now the one-two-punch to professional wrestling, adding RING OF HONOR (ROH) to its line-up after launching IMPACT WRESTLING in early 2015. RING OF HONOR has been delivering top wrestling matches for ten years with captivating hard-hitting stars such as Jay & Mark Briscoe, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, The Young Bucks, Maria Kanellis, Adam Cole and Jay Lethal.  Destination America will pack on the action beginning Wednesday June 3 with the series premiere of RING OF HONOR at 8/7c leading into brand new premieres of IMPACT WRESTLING at 9/8c.   "With the electric and intense matches that RING OF HONOR provides, Destination America is the network for fans to get an entire evening of jaw-dropping entertainment on Wednesday nights,” said Marc Etkind, general manager of Destination America. “RING OF HONOR showcases tenacity, athleticism and passion and it serves as the place where America’s favorite wrestling stars are born.”   “We are very excited to be partnering with Destination America for the broader distribution of the ROH programming,” commented Joe Koff, Chief Operating Officer – Ring of Honor Wrestling.  “ROH will now reach an additional 57 million households including those in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and other large cities where Ring of Honor is not currently airing.   ROH has a loyal fan base and is one of the fastest growing major wrestling franchises in the country.  With this great partnership with Destination America, we can continue to expand our footprint and reach while producing entertaining, original content and continuing to provide wrestling fans some of the best wrestling content available.”   RING OF HONOR will premiere on Wednesday, June 3 leading into IMPACT WRESTLING, making Destination America the home for wrestling every Wednesday evening. The first match will feature the Briscoe Brothers, Mark and Jay, as they face off with the House of Truth in the main event.  Also catch athletes of New Japan Pro Wrestling battle it out with the RING OF HONOR stars and follow former NFL lineman Moose compete against BJ Whitmer.   Since launching in 2012, Destination America has become one of cable’s top fastest-growing networks, and continues to earn telecast ratings records among key series.  In 2015 to date, Destination America has acquired over 50 million unique viewers. With top series that explore unique American cultures and ways of life – including Paranormal Survivor, Hillbilly Blood, Buying the Bayou, and BBQ Pitmasters – Destination America’s programming spans the nation from Alaska, Hawaii and Colorado to Louisiana, West Virginia and communities in between. To find Destination America, go to destinationamerica.com/watchda.   About Destination America Destination America is the only network to celebrate the people, places, and stories of the United States. The inclusive network targeting Adults 25-54 is available in more than 57 million homes, emblazoning television screens with the grit and tenacity, honesty and work ethic, humor and adventurousness that characterize our nation. Destination America features travel, food, adventure, home, and natural history, with original series like BBQ Pitmasters; A Haunting; Mountain Monsters; Buying Alaska; Buying the Bayou; and Railroad Alaska. For more information, please visit DestinationAmerica.com, facebook.com/DestinationAmerica, or twitter.com/DestAmerica. Destination America is part of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world’s #1 pay-TV provider reaching nearly 3 billion cumulative subscribers in 220 countries and territories.   # # #   Please visit the Press Website at http://press.discovery.com/us/da/programs/ring-honor/ for additional press materials Follow us on Twitter at @DestAmerica Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/DestinationAmerica Visit us online at DestinationAmerica.com     Nikki Suseck Discovery Communications w: 212.548.5452 c: 347.334.2403  

BREAKING NEWS: Ring of Honor to Start Airing on Destination America Beginning June 3rd

Here is the official announcement of Ring of Honor on Destination America, starting June 3rd at 8pm.


It should also be noted that Dixie Carter has scheduled a conference call for 3pm EST and requested that all TNA talent participate.


Place to be Nation Presents: King of the Ring Special

The fine folks over at Place to be Nation have gone through every King of the Ring PPV as they re-booked and re-ranked all the brackets and overall shows. So, click on the link below and listen then post here on what you agree and disagree with.


Ring of Honor Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies August 16th, 2003

August 16, 2003

From Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

The show starts of zoomed in on Raven’s “Rust Never Sleeps” tattoo as he denies he attacked Lucy then questions whether or not the cage match stipulations are violent enough for when he faces CM Punk so he makes it a “Clockwork Orange House of Fun” match instead.

Punk interrupts Rob Feinstein, who was bragging about being “twelve inches” to the camera man as he talked about hitting on chicks. He yells at Feinstein for creating an unsafe work environment and demands to know what happened. The Outcast Killaz interrupt, with Punk calling them “Special K” as they cut a goofy promo as Tortuga tells him to relax and drink a beer as Punk responds by kicking both of their asses. Loving how they are building up the Punk/Raven feud to start the show.

Special K are backstage. Deranged then complains that there parties are too much like a “sausage fest” as the camera briefly shows Becky Bayless. He then says they need more girls then they all go on a voyage. They run into Alexis Laree, who rejects their advances and reminds them that RoH is about athleticism. Bayless then pushes her and wants her to dance as Laree questions if she is a wrestler then challenges here to a match. Bayless says it is not a good idea but the rest of the group tell her it will be fine as she smiles then dances.

Prince Nana comes out for his scheduled match against Oman Tortuga. Homicide then comes in the ring and demands that Steve Corino come out so he can kick his ass. Instead we get Corino’s friend, Guillotine LeGrande, who promises us that Corino is here and will kick his ass for insulting him. Homicide is all fired up here. He then turns around as Nana wants a match as the bell rings.

Prince Nana vs. Homicide

Nana surprises Homicide with an overhead suplex. He hits a few charging attacks in the corner then follows with a senton. Nana chops him all over the ring but Homicide tosses him outside then follows with a tope con hilo. The crowd is fully behind Homicide here. The action heads back inside where Homicide chops him a few times then hits a low dropkick. Nana escapes from the STF then hits a side slam. Nana heads up top but misses a senton then Homicide finally puts him in the STF for the win ( 3:03) 3/4*. After the match, Homicide once again calls out Corino as Feinstein comes out and reassures him that Corino is here and that he has a match as Homicide swears at him while the crowd chants “kick Rob’s ass.” Homicide then threatens Gary Michael Cappetta as he is just going completely mental, challenging anyone to stop him from getting Corino.

Thoughts: The match was nothing but it did a great job at hyping the Corino/Homicide feud.

The Carnage Crew are talking backstage as DeVito tells Loc how he missed the last show as he could not leave work and had to deal with his wife and kids. Loc talks about driving 10 hours to Dayton and how he took the pin due to Special K interfering as they talk about how they hate them then plug the scramble match while ripping on the fans at cheering for highspots. They are now setting up the Carnage Crew to feud with the other teams on the bottom of the totem pole. At least it is something.

Ring Crew Express vs. The Purists

Dunn and Walters start off the match. Walters stretches out Dunn then tags out as Mamaluke is now in as they jumped ahead a bit. Dunn hits a Gory Bomb and tags out as Marcos hits an enziguiri. The Ring Crew Express run wild then celebrate but pay the price then as Mamaluke puts Marcos on his shoulders, Walters takes him down with a lungblower and stretches him out then Mamaluke joins in as Marcos finally taps (2:34) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Quick little match to put over the Purists as a threat in the Tag Team division.

Danny Maff tells us that to advance in the future, you have to eliminate your past. He tells Low Ki how that he got bigger and faster and became an “indy wrestling wonder” but as that happened, he was held back watching from behind but now he grew up and his bigger and is now one of the biggest bad asses that RoH has to offer. Then after his daughter told him that Low Ki was her favorite wrestler, Maff said that he felt like “smacking the shit” out of her has he goes out of his mind while flipping out about Low Ki and how he will need to be killed in order to lose this match. I appreciate Maff trying to turn up the intensity here but this went on too long and was over exaggerated at times to the point where it came off as just plain goofy at times.

Field of Honor Qualifying Match
BJ Whitmer vs. Matt Stryker

The fans start dueling chants as both guys trade various holds. The chants get louder as Levy puts them over as Whitmer gets two with a leg lariat. Neither man can gain an advantage as they both spill out to the floor. Stryker then sends Whitmer into the guardrail then shortly after that takes him down with a dragon screw as Whitmer clutches his knee. Back inside, Stryker works on the injured knee. Whitmer is able to use his momentum to send Stryker to the floor then hobbles outside and hits a neckbreaker. They head back in as he kicks Stryker repeatedly to the back of the neck then stretches him out as Stryker just reaches the ropes. Snap suplex gets two. Whitmer applies a chinlock as he drives his knee into the neck. Stryker fights out but runs into an elbow then gets chopped in the corner. Whitmer places Stryker up top but gets taken off with a sunset powerbomb as both men are down. They get back up an trade chops until Stryker boots him down. They then trade suplexes for nearfalls as the crowd is really into this match. Stryker then hits a Death Valley Driver off of the top rope but that only gets two. Whitmer then cuts off Stryker from the top and hits a superplex for two. He tries for the Exploder 98 but Stryker escapes that and they end up elbowing each other before dropping to the mat. The ref starts a ten count but the bell rings at six as we learn the match is ruled a draw as it reached the fifteen minute time limit (15:00) **1/2. Gary Michael Cappetta then enters the ring and lets them know that due to the draw they are now out of the Field of Honor, despite deserving to be there then tells us that he has learned that they are both entered in the tournament based off of their performance tonight.

Thoughts: The company seems to be intent on putting these two over in the “Field of Honor” by having them both advance after wrestling in a time-limit draw. The match itself wasn’t bad but a lot of it felt like trasing holds just for the sake of doing so, while not really building into anything. Almost like a “highspot” match but instead of those moves they use mat holds. These two sold an elbow smash more than top rope suplexes, which is insane. It also didnt help that both of these guys were dull. At least Whitmer looked like somewhat of a star while Stryker was a goof with a unibrow.

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

Before the match, Acid chases away Special K  with a chair. The crowd is really into the Backseat Boyz. This starts off like every other scramble match where everyone take turns in the ring, getting in as many moves as possible. Nothing too impressive or horribly botched. Acid is the only one that resembles a star in this match by the way. Joel and Izzy then worked one of the more over choreographed sequences you will ever see and it looked like shit. The SAT’s hit Loc with a terribly botched double-team move then the match breaks down until the Backseat Boyz hit Izzy with the Dream Sequence. The Carnage Crew then run in and attack the Backseat Boyz as the match breaks down again, with the SAT’s hitting Izzy with a pendulum face buster. More fast-paced action occurs until the Carnage Crew hits Izzy with a spike piledriver but the rest of Special K run in and break up the pin in front of the ref, who does not ring the bell. The match continues as a big dive spot leads to Acid superplexing Special K flunky Cloudy to the floor, nearly killing each other in the process. The crowd chants “holy shit” as Lit tries a dive but Kashmere stops him but Dixie sneaks in, wearing a giant hat, and rolls up Kashmere for the win (9:19) *1/4. After the match, Special K starts a rave but that gets broken up as the DJ plays Alexis Laree’s theme music.

Thoughts: Ugh. Lots of bad looking moves and the Tag Scramble matches were way past the point of entertaining. I might have felt differently at the time but now these do not hold up well at all. Acid was the only wrestle worth a shit in the entire match.

Becky Bayless vs. Alexis Laree

Bayless fakes a fingernail after the handshake and that allows some of the Special K guys to attack Laree. Bayless then throws some forearm smashes that look horrible but Laree fights back. She hits a few kicks then some other girl from Special K jumps up on the apron to distract the ref but Laree dodges a few double-team attacks then hits Bayless with an inverted DDT for the win (2:32) DUD.

Thoughts: Luckily it was kept short. They seem to want to establish the women’s division around Laree and by the looks of things, will have a credible wrestle to face her at some point, likely brught in by Special K.

Before their match, Xavier tells Daniels that he won the RoH Title by himself, despite being the leader of the Prophecy. He then tells Daniels the best thing he can do is lay down as Daniels has had enough and reminds Xavier that he made the decision to have him be the champion. which was the only way he would have won the belt. He then tells Xavier that he doesn’t need to ask someone to lay down for him. They are certainly teasing a rift between these two Prophecy members.

#1 Contender’s Trophy Match
Xavier vs. “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels w/ Alison Danger

The winner of this match gets a title shot at the 9/20 Glory By Honor show. These two start on the mat as Xavier goes after the arm. The announcers put over the fact that Xavier has been out with a concussion for four months as he is in control of the match. Daniels grabs a headlock for a bit as this match is being wrestled scientifically at the start. Xavier comes back and works the arm as they keep a slow but steady pace as the announcers also let us know that Joe will not be defending the belt until the Glory By Honor show. Xavier punches Daniels in the face, who looks pissed. Danger even screams at Xavier about how they are both in the Prophecy. Daniels punches Xavier back and that triggers a shoving match. They square off then back off as they tried to trick each other into a handshake then both started punching each other. Daniels tosses Xavier onto the top rope then kicks him off as Daniels takes control of the match, to the delight of the fans. Xavier snaps Daniels neck off of the top rope then uses a baseball slide to send him into the guardrail. He then follows with a split-legged moonsault to the floor as he is in control of the match. Back inside, Xavier works the back and neck as the crowd chants “AC Slater.” He beats on Daniels in the corner as the announcers are trying way too hard to put him over. He was never at the level the company wanted to be and going overboard trying to sell him as a star just backfired. Daniels breaks up a sunset flip attempt then comes back with a basement dropkick. Gutbuster gets two. Xavier comes back with a stretch as Daniels escapes that then goes back to targeting the ribs of Xavier. Daniels locks on an abdominal stretch but Xavier escapes that and hits a facecrusher followed by an enziguiri that gets two. Daniels comes back with a spear as both men are down. They get up and go back-and-forth until Xavier yanks him off the top rope and clotheslines him down. They continue to go back and forth as neither man can gain the advantage. Xavier is able to hit a 450 splash, which looked great, but only gets two. Daniels escapes an X Breaker attempt that triggers a pinfall reversal sequence that ends with a double clothesline. They get up and fight over a backslide that Xavier wins but the ref breaks the count as he had his feet on the ropes. Xavier argues with the ref then Daniels sneaks up and gets a rollup while grabbing the tights for the win (22:25) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match. Slower-paced than a lot of other matches in the company but the psychology was solid. Xavier did fine but he didnt need to be a part of the RoH Title picture, especially after an unimpressive overall run as the champ.

Cappetta is backstage, looking to speak with Corino. CM Punk barges out of the locker room looking for Daniels then Cappetta attempts to interview Corino and his friend Guillotine LeGrande as they yell at Cappetta while denying that Corino is hurt.

4 Corners Survival Match
Slyk Wagner Brown w/ April Hunter vs. Jonny Storm vs. Hydro vs. Deranged

Deranged and Hydro start out as the attempt to recreate the finger poke incident between Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan but the pin attempt gets broken up. They turn their attention to Brown, who dumps them both to the floor. Storm runs in and gets clotheslined as Brown works the arm. Storm comes back and grabs a headlock as they work a so-so sequence that ends in a standoff. Deranged catches Brown with a springboard dropkick off of a blind tag. He follows with a satellite headscissors, that failed the first time, then a nearfall with a DDT. Brown catches Deranged with a press slam then follows with a standing moonsault for two. Storm clotheslines Deranged but runs into a spinning heel kick. Hydro tags as the Special K guys take turns beating on Storm. Brown tags and beats on Hydro and that leads to a wacky submission hold between all four guys. They have a dive sequence that ends with a tope con hilo from Brown, who then rolls Hydro inside. Hydro fights back and gets two with a clothesline. Top rope splash gets two. Deranged tags and says he isn’t fighting Brown so goes after Hydro and gets a few nearfalls. Storm tags in and hits a few sloppy moves on Deranged but cannot put him away. Brown cuts off Storm up top and hits a Dominator for two. Storm tries a top rope hurricarana but Brown blocks that and hits a catatonic slam for two. Brown goes up top but misses a shooting star press then Deranged tags himself in and ends up surprising Storm with an inverted hurricarana for the win (12:28) **.

Thoughts: Decent action at times but it was pretty meaningless as a whole. Brown appeared to be blown up at the end and did not impress. No one really stood out much to be honest but after this win and the scramble tag match, and the Laree stuff they seem to be building up Special K.

Punk runs down the crowd while running down Raven and Tommy Dreamer, then asks his “soldiers” in the crowd to throw up their “X” as the others in the crowd scream at him. Punk then promises that his match against Raven in Boston (Wakefield, MA) will be the bloodiest and most brutal we will ever see as the vocal minority start a “Raven’s gonna kill you” chant. Great mic work from Punk, who was knocking it out of the park week after week.

CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe

The announcers put over Punk coming back from his first tour of Japan and that he has an injured knee. Joe takes over the match to start as the announcers wonder who was behind the attack of Lucy. Levy predicts that one day CM Punk will be the RoH World Champion as he breaks up a test of strength with a kick to the gut then gets two with a rana. Joe brushes off a diving attack but Punk takes him down and works the arm. Joe comes back with an Exploder then sends Punk to the floor with a running kick as Punk is bleeding from the mouth. Joe chops the piss out of Punk then sets him up for the Ole Kick but Punk reverses it into a drop toehold in a nice spot. Punk chops Joe then mocks him as he tries the kick but Joe catches it and throws him into the guardrail. Joe finally connects with the Ole Kick then grabs a chair from a fan in the crowd as he sets him up for another Ole Kick on the other side of the ring. Punk is able to get up and run away from a third attempt then greets him with forearm smashes in the ring. Punk goes back to work on the arm but Joe catches him and slams his knee on the mat then immediately grapevines the leg. Joe stays on the attack as he puts Punk in the tree-of-woe. He works over the knee but Punk comes back then hits a slingshot senton as he goes back to targeting the arm, while selling his knee. They fight on the top rope as Joe wins that battle and goes back to targeting the knee. Both guys are down after going back-and-forth the Punk is up first and hits a Shining Wizard for two. They go back and forth again until Joe hits a Dragon Screw then makes Punk tap with a single leg crab (13:06) ***1/4. After the match, Daniels runs in and attacks Joe, hitting the Angels Wings. He then smiles at Punk, who is too hurt to stand up, then leaves the ring while shouting about being the next RoH World Champion. The ref then checks on Joe as Punk goes over and shakes his hand.

Thoughts: Good match, although it felt more like the beginning of a half-hour long match. The long ole kick spot might turn people off a bit as it did go on for a while but I thought it was fun. Punk’s psychology is also improving, something he attributed to working with Raven. This also left you wanting more between these two and with Daniels running in at the end and Punk hobbling over to make sure to shake Joe’s hand, it left a lot on intrigue.

Homicide vs. Steve Corino w/ Guillotine LeGrande

Corino’s entrance is complete with his own ring announcer, streamers, and his “young boys.” His introduction lasts forever as they name off all his titles, past and present, as Homicide is being warned by the referee to put down the chair he is playing with. They finally lockup after about five minutes of introductions then start brawling in the corner. Homicide grabs a leg lock then beats the piss out of Corino in the corner. They exchange chops then Homicide slaps Corino in the ear as he sells it like his ear drum is busted. He tries to walk away but is met by Julius Smokes and Slugger then Homicide drags him back towards the ring. Homicide stays on the attack but misses a diving headbutt then Corino hits a leg lariat. Corino beats on Homicide on the floor then gets his head rammed against the post as Homicide pulls barbed wire from underneath the ring and digs it into Corino’s arm. Shit, this is pretty graphic. Homicide then smashes Corino’s arm over the guardrail as it is covered in blood. Corino comes back with a lariat then takes the fight outside and busts open Homicide and digs his fingers into the cut as Homicide’s face his drenched in blood. Corino now digs the barbed wire into the cut as this is now a brutal bloodbath. Back inside, Corino gets two with a piledriver then pildrives him though a table from the apron as both men are down, with the crowd going mental. They finally head back into the ring as Corino chokes out Homicide then taunts the crowd. He charges but Homicide boots him then hits a tornado DDT. Homicide follows with a Shining Wizard that gets two as he is down on the mat while Corino ducks outside for a breather. Homicide finally gets up but misses a tope con hilo and slams into the guardrail, flipping into the crowd. My god. Corino picks up Homicide by the ears then rolls him inside but only gets two. Corino then puts Homicide in a sleeper but he was able to make the ropes. Homicide comes back with a big boot as both men are down, with the camera zooming in on the pool of blood that covers Homicide’s face. Corino cuts off Homicide as he climbed the top rope and hits a superplex that gets two. Corino hits a running forearm in the corner then climbs the top rope after blowing snot on the apron but Homicide cuts him off and hits a Super Ace Crusher but that only gets two, to the surprise of the crowd and Julius Smokes. Suplex gets two. Corino hits a Death Valley Bomb after a reversal sequence but still cannot get the win. Homicide comes back with a tombstone as that gets two with both guys hitting each other with everything they have then Homicide puts on the STF as the crowd is fully behind him. Homicide drags him back into the center of the ring and puts on the hold again then LeGrande gets up on the apron and tosses in the towel as the ref rings the bell, with Homicide declared the winner (23:39) ****1/4. After the match, several officials check on Corino then back off when Homicide stands over him and raises his arm.

Thoughts: Holy shit, this was a brutal bloodbath and the definition of a grudge match. Both these guys earned their paychecks here. The ending also left it so this feud can continue and I didnt mind it at all, although some might not appreciate it too much.

Dan Maff vs. Low Ki

Maff starts the match by attacking Ki from behind as he made his entrance. He roughs him up then they head into the ring where he chokes him out. Ki comes back with a low dropkick then hits a barrage of kicks and chops. Maff blocks a double underhook then puts Ki in a sleeper. Ki escapes and locks on a cross armbreaker. They now slap each other repeatedly until Ki kicks down Maff. Ki tries an Octopus Hold but Maff breaks the hold and hits a half-nelson suplex. Maff regains control of the match as he works over the shoulder, even biting it at times. Maff hammers away but Ki is trying to walk of the pain. Ki comes back with a springboard kick as both men are down then the ref rings the bell as Maff is not moving. They show about a dozen replays of the kick from a few different angles as Rob Feinstein checks on Maff (11:13) **.

Thoughts: Eh, didnt care for this too much. The match was dull and the “kick heard ’round the world” stuff came off really forced as well and just an attempt to protect Maff in anyway possible. You can debate as to whether or not Maff is someone who should have been protected as well.

Special K confront Alexis Laree as Becky Bayless tells her that they are all going to take things more seriously before leaving.

Daniels is backstage with Danger as he talks about how Maff took the stiffest kick in history and that is why he is the toughest wrestler in RoH. He then talks about how he is one step closer to the title and will deal with Xavier later as it was just a spat between family members. Punk interrupts and interrogates Daniels if he was the one who knocked out Lucy. Daniels tells him to worry about September 6th and his match against Raven. Punk is about to tell Daniels something then looks into the camera and decides to cut a promo on Raven. He tells him that he was his wrestling debut August 1997 and put the “X” on his hands to stand up to those who poisoned society and grew up in a broken home with an alcoholic father. Punk then tells Raven he will bring violence and blood and be careful what he wishes for because he will get it then rants some more before leaving as the camera shows a smirking then laughing Daniels while the show ends. Great way to end the show and again, they leave a lot of intrigue.

Final Thoughts: Another solid show. Make sure to seek out that Homicide/Corino match and they had a few other solid ones but more importantly, they are building solid storylines and putting together a solid top of the card. They made the Punk/Raven match seem like must-see stuff as that feud has been terrific. The Corino/Homicide feud is heating up and they are building up Daniels and Joe to something as well. The only minuses are that the scramble matches are getting tiresome (although that is probably more in retrospect on my part as the crowd still popped for this stuff) and the Tag Team Division is unstable at the top but luckily that will be changing soon.

Here is my schedule for the next several days

Tuesday: WWF Madison Square Garden 6/14/87
Thursday: Kayfabe Commentaries 1989 WCW Timeline as told by Jim Cornette
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 6/20/87
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 6/21/87

WWF’s larger ring

One of the things that always struck me back in the Monday Night Wars (and still stands out when watching old non-WWF stuff on the Network) was the difference in size between the WCW and WWF ring (as well as WCW using cables while the WWF used ropes).  What was the reason for the WWF using a larger ring than pretty much everyone else?

​I think probably because they had larger guys than WCW and wanted to look "bigger" on TV, if I had to guess.  Ring sizes vary so wildly that it was actually kind of unusual for a company like the WWF to have a standardized 20×20 setup like they did.  I honestly never thought about it watching the shows, but then I'm not the most observant person when it comes to that stuff anyway.  ​

The SmarK Rant for WWF King of the Ring 1996–06.23.96

The SmarK Rant for WWF King of the Ring 1996 – 06.23.96 I’ve kinda been hemming and hawing about this one, but the original rant isn’t great and it does contain one of the most important moments in the history of wrestling and all. Oddly, this is the home video version instead of the original PPV broadcast and is actually about 10 minutes longer than the PPV thanks to “Coliseum Video exclusive” material. Live from Milwaukee, WI Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Owen Hart. King of the Ring Semi-Final: Steve Austin v. Marc Mero Mero has his grumpy jobbing face on during the ring entrance. Orton gets that one a lot, too. They trade headlocks on the mat to start and Mero puts him on the floor with a headscissors. Back in, Mero starts to work on the arm, but Austin stomps him down while Owen sums up the difference between Mero and Austin: “You don’t see Austin out there with some hosebag in his corner!” Austin offers a handshake and they go to the test of strength, which allows Austin to cheat and take over. He tosses Mero and drops him on the concrete with a press slam, which is a move you don’t see out of Austin very often. Back in with a snap suplex for two and Austin drops the middle rope elbow for two. Press slam into a backbreaker gets two. Boston crab as Austin busts out every bit of wacky offense in his playbook. Mero manages to power out of that one and gets a small package for two, but Austin puts him down with an elbow and goes back to the crab again. Mero powers out again (with help from some really well-timed cheerleading from Sable, which is impressive for someone so new in the business) and they trade near-falls off that, and Mero gets a rollup for two. Austin just slugs him down and counters a sleeper with a jawbreaker, but Mero launches out of the corner with a butt-butt. Mero makes the comeback and slugs away in the corner, and a double axehandle gets two. Mero tosses Austin (who is suddenly gushing blood from his lip) and follows with a dive, and back in for a missile dropkick that gets two. They fight to the top and Mero brings him down with a rana, which gets two. Austin comes back with a stungun variation out of a powerbomb for two, and the Stone Cold Stunner finishes at 16:48. And that was Mero’s first loss, so no wonder he was grumpy. Hell of an opener, with tons of crazy stuff from Austin and heat that built consistently throughout. **** Reading the original rant, I was thinking I must have overrated it, but no, Austin and Mero were working their asses off here. King of the Ring Semi-Final: Vader v. Jake Roberts Vader overpowers him and starts working the arm on the mat, and a big splash gets two. Jake blocks a blind charge and slugs back, but Vader escapes the DDT and beats him down in the corner. Corner splash misses and Jake gets the DDT, but the ref gets wiped out and calls for the DQ on the way down, giving Jake the win at 3:38. Nothing much to this one. ½* Vader completely destroys Jake afterwards to set up the storyline for the finals. Of mild note here is Owen calling him “Big Van Vader” during the beatdown, which probably got him a dirty look from Vince. WWF tag titles: The Smoking Gunns v. The Godwinns Thankfully this version of the show omits the pre-show match with Cloudi the transvestite managing the Bodydonnas, although they do show “highlights” here. The commentary and Billy’s pre-match promo really hammer home that the Gunns are HEELS NOW, DAMMIT, SO STOP CHEERING FOR THEM! Billy attacks PIG, who has immediately spazzes out while we cut to an inset interview with Cloudi. Was “she” ever seen again? I don’t recall the character lasting much beyond this. Meanwhile, Henry works on Bart’s arm, but a cheapshot turns the tide and the Gunns beat on Henry in a dull heat segment. Henry reverses a slam for two, but Billy continues working on the back before missing a blind charge and taking what would become a trademark bump. Bart comes in and misses a flying bodypress, and Phineas gets the hot tag. We get the requisite pier-six brawl, but Bart takes off his boot and nails PIG with it, giving Billy the pin at 10:00. Not terrible, but really, really, really boring. I was reading a recap of the 28-hour Marvel movie marathon over on the AV Club while watching this match, and now I know what he must have felt like by the time Age of Ultron rolled around. * Ultimate Warrior v. Jerry Lawler Lawler does a wonderfully cheesy rundown of the crowd on the way to the ring, basically insulting everyone in the front row one by one. I have to say, the impact of Warrior’s entrance is lessened a lot by the fancy pyro, because it minimizes the chances of him just storming to the ring and destroying someone. King attacks with the royal scepter and chokes Warrior out on the ropes, and Vince notes that Warrior certainly didn’t expect those sorts of tactics. I would presume that Warrior would have watched a Jerry Lawler match at some point in his life, in which case he should have expected those and more. Finally Warrior has had enough and no-sells a piledriver, making the comeback and destroying Lawler at 3:50. And that was the last time Warrior ever wrestled on a WWF PPV, although he did a couple of house show and TV appearances after this. What a way to go out. DUD This was pretty much exactly how the match needed to go, however. Undertaker v. Mankind This was looking to be another “urn thief of the month” feud for Undertaker, but then it suddenly caught fire and ended up evolving both guys. A severely pissed Undertaker attacks out of the darkness to start and pounds Mankind down in the corner, and Mankind bails for advice from the voices in his head. That advice: “Talking to yourself isn’t crazy. It’s only crazy if you answer yourself.” Back in, Taker works on the arm with the ropewalk, but Mankind slams him and slugs away in the corner. Mankind tosses him a couple of times, but he charges with a chair and that backfires on him. Taker backdrops him onto a chair on the floor. And you wonder why Mick is in the shape he is now. Back in, Taker gives him a shot with a chair behind the ref’s back, but Mankind escapes the tombstone and puts him down with a neckbreaker to set up the Mandible Claw, but Taker sits up to block it. It’s kind of amazing that they could get a simple move over to the point where Taker blocking it could get such a huge reaction from the crowd. He’s basically sticking his finger’s into a guy’s mouth, but the crowd is horrified and fearing for Undertaker’s safety when he does it, and overjoyed when Taker blocks it. Mankind with a Vulcan nerve pinch, but Taker slugs out of it and they brawl to the floor, where Mankind debuts the running knee into the stairs. Taker, not to be outdone, smashes in the face with a chair and they head back in. Taker beats on him in the ropes and adds the flying clothesline, but Mankind pulls out the piledriver out of nowhere for two. Mick gets all riled up and steals the urn from Paul Bearer, but can’t get it away from him. Taker seemingly moves in for the kill, but Mankind applies the Claw…and Paul accidentally hits Taker with the urn while aiming for Mankind, and that’s all for Undertaker at 18:18. Great brawl that kicked off a series of matches which gave us the first big reinvention of Undertaker’s gimmick. ***1/2 Intercontinental title: Goldust v. Ahmed Johnson Much like Mankind, this should have launched Ahmed Johnson into the stratosphere, but unfortunately ended up being a peak that he was never able to achieve again instead. Ahmed bursting through the doors and knocking the poor doormen down in a great visual, as he charges to the ring and starts beating on Goldust. They head to the floor and Ahmed throws the stairs at him, which has Owen criticizing his aim. Owen was pretty great on commentary here as the snarky jerk. Finally Goldust dodges a blind charge and takes over with a lariat, slugging him down for two. Goldust goes to a chinlock, and a rather lengthy one at that, and a piledriver gets two. Back to the chinlock, but Ahmed fights out and Goldust knees him in the back to slow him down again. Goldust with a sleeper, but he releases the move so he can give Ahmed some mouth-to-mouth, at which point Ahmed wakes up, does the crazed angry black man comeback, and squashes him for good with the powerbomb to win the IC title at 15:27. Way too long in the middle leading up to Ahmed’s big comeback. Also, the whole nonsense with the Savio Vega title controversy really lessened the impact of Goldust finally losing the title. ** This was set up to be the launching pad for Ahmed, and it just didn’t happen. Not for lack of trying, however, as this felt like a big deal at the time and you could sense the rocket getting strapped to Ahmed. Brian Pillman joins us at ringside to cut a crazed promo about how Jeffrey Dalmer should have eaten everyone in the city because Milwaukee sucks so much. Pillman’s gonna rape, pillage and plunder the WWF! If only he could have. King of the Ring finals: Steve Austin v. Jake Roberts Austin wisely goes right for the ribs and throws down on them. Austin slaps him around and tears the rib tape off, which brings Gorillla Monsoon out to check on Jake personally. Owen raises a good point – Why SHOULD Austin stop the beating unless he hear a bell? Jake decides to fight back, but Austin casually blocks the DDT by going to the ribs, and the Stone Cold Stunner finishes at 4:35 to kick off the Austin Era. DUD At least they kept it short. And then, the REAL moment, as Austin cuts his coronation promo and buries Roberts for his bible-thumping promos. “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass” suddenly became the ultra-cool catchphrase for online fans everywhere, and soon there were signs all over TV. Although as awesome as this moment was, no one had any idea how big Austin would become. WWF World title: Shawn Michaels v. British Bulldog So weeks after the entire point of the match has been shelved for good (the Diana lawsuit), the main event of this show limps into the home stretch. Sadly, Curt Hennig is exiled to the outside referee position, as they can’t even resist a bait-and-switch for a guest referee stip. They trade headlocks while Owen vocalizes what we’re all thinking: We all KNOW Shawn is a gutless coward, so how can he retain his title without cheating or getting himself disqualified? I love how Owen was making no effort to get himself over as a cool hip guy here, just going all out to be an unlikeable lying jerk. Shawn dumps Bulldog and follows with a rana off the apron, and poor Cornette gets spanked with the tennis racket. Back in, Bulldog goes back to the headlock, but Shawn reverses into a cross armbreaker and then evades Bulldog’s power to stay on the arm. Shawn with a sleeper, but Bulldog runs him into the corner to break and tosses him around the ring. Shawn puts him down with an armbar and goes up with a flying axehandle to the shoulder, but Bulldog presses him and drops him straight to the floor in a crazy Shawn bump. Bulldog adds a suplex on the floor and then presses Shawn back into the ring again for two. Bulldog with a chinlock, and he whips Shawn around the ring again and hooks him with the Rito Romero Special, then bridges back for two. Back to the chinlock, and he puts Shawn down with a backdrop and legdrop for two, which gives us a rare burst of emotion from Diana at ringside. She almost smiles and emotes! Vince puts over Shawn’s fanbase and Owen goes on an epic rant about how wrestling fans are morons and Bulldog should be champion because he’s talented and a winner, like himself. He’s just such a great asshole. Shawn fights up and Bulldog puts him down with a lariat and goes back to the chinlock. Shawn escapes with a crucifix for two, but they trade finisher attempts and then Bulldog kills him with another clothesline. That’s the kind of stuff Bulldog should have been doing all along. Piledriver and Bulldog goes up, but he misses a diving headbutt in embarrassing fashion. Owen, without missing a beat, immediately accuses Jose Lothario of pulling the ropes and tripping him up. Shawn goes up and Bulldog brings him down with a superplex for two. Another one is reversed in mid-air by Shawn, for two. They slug it out and collide, and Shawn recovers first with a rana, which Bulldog turns into a powerbomb for two. Both guys are out, but Shawn makes the comeback and the ref is bumped. Shawn with the flying elbow and superkick to finish at 26:23. Perfect didn’t even factor into the match after all the buildup. **** Bulldog and Owen proceed with the heel beatdown, which turns into Camp Cornette beating down Shawn and Ahmed Johnson, and then Ultimate Warrior makes the save to set up the six-man for the July PPV that no one remembers. The Pulse This show had the misfortune to be sandwiched between two of the greatest PPVs in history on the WCW side and saddled with a main event angle that no one cared about, but it’s a pretty tremendous show during a shit time for the company. Bookended by **** matches and featuring a surprisingly great performance from Undertaker in the middle, it’s really only hampered by Jake Roberts stinking up the KOTR tournament itself. Check it out on the Network if you’ve never seen it!

The PG Era Rant: 2015 King of the Ring

The PG Era Rant for the 2015 King of
the Ring Final Four.
Well, I was supposed to rant on
Tuesdays and then Main Event disappeared. But hey, this is a Tuesday
show, so let’s have some fun together and enjoy the show.

This show is dedicated to the memory of
Verne Gagne.
We start with a video about past kings
and how winning the King of the Ring title leads to big things for
all involved. So which of the four tonight will join them?
Live from the WWE Network.
Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL, and
master of ceremonies Jerry Lawler. Lawler welcomes us and talks
about being King of the Ring. But first, highlights of the
Byron Saxton interviews Sheamus. He
says he’ll be a 2-time King, but first he has to beat Neville. Yes,
Neville defies gravity – but not while he’s unconscious. And it
doesn’t matter who’s in the final; Sheamus will become King and make
you kiss his arse.
Renee Young, meanwhile, gets Adrian
Neville. He reminds us he was a long-reigning NXT Champion, and in
just a month, he’s in the King of the Ring semis. No one thought he
could do this – just as no one thinks he’ll win tonight – but he
defies gravity and expectations. He’s ready to show Sheamus what he
can do.
2015 King of the Ring Semifinals:
Sheamus v. Adrian Neville.
1980s Kings are now canon, because Sheamus is trying to join Bret
Hart as 2-time King. Sheamus starts with the “lol you’re short”
hand signal. He shoves Neville in the corner a couple times and
talks trash, but Neville forearms and kicks out. Neville handsprings
out of the corner, boot is caught, clothesline ducked, but Neville
runs into the Irish Curse. Neville shoves Sheamus away as the ref
checks on him. Sheamus charges in on kneelifts and delivers a second
Irish Curse. Neville tries to fight back from a kneeling position,
but Sheamus clubs him down and gets a running knee. Boot choke in
the corner follows, and Sheamus goes to a rear bearhug as the crowd
chants for Neville. Neville elbows out, then gets the Tito Santana
forearms to rattle Sheamus. Sheamus recovers with a knee to the gut,
then tosses Neville to try the Ten of Clubs. Neville fights out, so
Sheamus throws him into the announce table from the apron. They
tease the countout, but Neville’s in at 9. Sheamus disgustedly
pounds away on Neville before throwing him halfway across the ring.
Sheamus with White Noise on Neville… but Dolph Ziggler is here to
get his attention. You know, with how Dolph won at Extreme Rules?
Sheamus is furious and misses the Brogue Kick from it, and the
enzuigiri and Red Arrow ends it at 5:44. Would a clean finish kill
them? *3/4
puts Neville over before addressing Sheamus and saying that, um,
there was supposed to be a stipulation for when he won, and it’s time
to collect. He charges the ring and gets a few shots in, but Sheamus
escapes. Sheamus is furious and decides to race back in to continue
the fight as ALL the referees come out to do something about it.
Sheamus’ right eye is busted open from the fight.
know it wouldn’t be very insightful, but I would pay money if the
entire Chris Jericho and Stephanie McMahon podcast was Jericho
finding newer ways to call Stephanie a trashbag ho like back in 2000.
But that’s just me.
ago, for those who don’t understand how video on demand works.
Young is with Bad News Barrett. First off, Neville beating Sheamus
is one of the biggest upsets in King of the Ring history. Renee said
it, not Wade. Barrett wants to know why he should be worried about
R-Truth. Once Barrett beats a has-been, he’ll take out a
never-will-be. When he’s done, Neville will be the Man That Everyone
Forgot, and they’ll only remember Barrett as King.
Saxton is with R-Truth for the rebuttal. Truth’s final thoughts:
he’s still afraid of spiders. But he has a plan: he’s not facing his
fears. He has something concrete. His plan is become King of the
Ring, and when he does, he’ll declare that spiders are banned in
wrestling. He’ll build a castle, make a drawbridge, fill up a
moat… wait, are there water spiders? As for Barrett, he’s not
invited to the castle unless he can kill spiders. He’s a
goooooooooooooooood R-Truth again.
King of the Ring Semifinals: R-Truth v. Wade Barrett.

Truth with a quick rollup for two. The two exchange strikes, with
Barrett doing better in it, but Truth stops a whip to dance and get
another cradle for two. Barrett boots Truth down for one. Choke on
the second rope by Barrett, then some knee strikes and a running boot
to send Truth to the outside. On the outside, Barrett sends Truth
into the apron and gets two back in. To the chinlock! Barrett
misses a blind charge and Truth gets the clotheslines and front
suplex for two. Axe Kick misses, but the Lie Detector gets two. A
second one gets two. Little Jimmy gets blocked, Bulhammer missed,
and the Bossman Slam gets two. Barrett with kicks in the corner, but
a blind charge airballs and Little Jimmy gets two, but Barrett gets
to the rope. No one bought that as a near fall. Barrett with an eye
rake and Bullhammer more or less from nothing to win at 4:38. This
never got out of the blocks. ½*
video tribute to Verne Gagne. It gets a classy ovation. Lawler and
JBL share their thoughts.
Young is with Dolph Ziggler. We’re reminded of how Ziggler got
Sheamus to advance by DQ over Dean Ambrose. But Ziggler eliminated
Sheamus this time. Dolph says he’s tired of Sheamus being a
loud-mouthed bully. He even called Dean Ambrose to apologize, so
that story thread is going nowhere. He promises there’s more pain to
come for Sheamus. This isn’t about kissing an arse – it’s about
kicking one.
week: Mick Foley! Chris Jericho and Stephanie McMahon! WrestleMania
Rewind – Money/Giant!
from the Extreme Rules kickoff show, where Neville scored an upset.
Saxton is with Barrett. Saxton says there’s some bad news: Neville’s
already beaten Barrett. Barrett doesn’t like fighting twice in one
night, but Neville is in trouble because Barrett destroyed R-Truth
and has all the momentum. And from here, Barrett will be the King of
the Ring.
really should not have shown the Neville/Barrett highlights. Too
many fans know about 50/50 booking nowadays. Of course, those that
do also remember Sunday’s match…
2015 King of the
Ring: Adrian Neville v. Wade Barrett.

Winner becomes King of the Ring. With any luck, the loser gets his
first name back. Fun little detail: Barrett comes out and points at
the throne, clearly shouting “That’s mine” as he does. Barrett
stalls to start. Lockup leads to a knee from Barrett and works the
ribs. Neville with the handspring and head-scissors, then a back
heel kick. More kicks, but Barrett pounces on Neville and
clotheslines him out of the ring. Barrett with a slam on the
outside, then he shoves Neville into the apron. Back in, Barrett
gets one. Barrett hangs Neville on the top roe and clubs the back
before kicking the ribs for two. Slingshot backbreaker gets two. He
stomps on the ribs before going to a half-surfboard with his knee in
Neville’s ribs. Neville kicks out, staggering Barrett, but Barrett
recovers. Neville flips out of another slingshot and kicks away,
this time ducking Barrett’s rush and sending him out. Neville
follows with a springboard quebrada. Back in, Neville with a
springboard dropkick. He strikes Barrett with every limb he’s got,
getting a sliding dropkick and German suplex for two. Neville runs
into the Bossman Slam for two. Wasteland try, but Neville escapes
and gets a kick before… running back into Wasteland for two.
Barrett’s running out of ideas, with nothing but the Bullhammer left,
and he’s ready to deliver it. It misses, and Neville with a cradle
and bridge for two. Enzuigiri by Neville and he goes up, but the
Shooting Star Press misses. Neville rolls through and charges…
right into a Bullhammer for the crown at 7:06. A neat little story
they told there, with Neville showing fighting spirit and Barrett
unloading the hard shots and winning with experience. **1/4
puts on the robe and takes the throne. Lawler makes it official.
Barrett says he’s got the class and elegance to call himself King.
He will rule with an iron fist and a Bullhammer. Boom.
with that, I throw it back to Tommy Hall to take you through the rest
of the week. If you want me to do a Network recap, let me know. See
you later!