Ring of Honor Night of Champions March 22, 2003

March 22, 2003

From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dunn & Marcos vs. Backseat Boys

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mase & Hotstuff Hernandez vs. Carnage Crew

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

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

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

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

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

Jody Fleisch vs. Low Ki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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