Ring of Honor Epic Encounter April 12th, 2003

April 12, 2003

From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow & Chris Levy

Alexis Laree introduces us to the RoH Tag Team Champions, AJ Styles & Amazing Red. She warns Alison Danger and Simply Luscious that they better not interfere in their matches and warns her opponent for tonight, Ariel, that she will be receiving a “stiff introduction” to the company. Paul London comes out and acts like he is high then gets pissed at AJ for teaming with Red, who he insults by saying that he is too young to look at porn then calls him a “prop” after trying to take his belt away from him. AJ tells London that they are not partners and he can get a partner to challenge himself and Red for a shot at the titles. London tries to get a Thundercats chant going at the end but it fails.

Backseat Boys vs. Da Hit Squad

What is noticeable right off of the bat is the fact that they put a black tarp up against the back wall which made it look darker in the building. Mackteases Kashmere by asking for a test of strength then gets punched in the face. Mack no-sells that and takes Kashmere down a few times and stomps his hand. The Boys regroup outside then Acid tags himself in and attacks Mack from behind. Mack fights back but Acid rolls outside to avoid a clothesline as the Boys stall in the aisle. Back inside, Mafia shoves down Acid a few times then the Backseat Boys double-team Mafia behind the ref’s back. Acid hits a double knee smash in the corner but gets caught with a half nelson suplex. Kashmere tags in and gets hit with a spinebuster and he rolls outside for another breather then they go backstage and leave. Da Hit Squad follow them backstage and drag them back as the fans are completely silent. Mafia then takes them both out with a tope as we get a replay of that as well. Back inside, Da Hit Squad hits Kashmere with a cannoball. Acid drills Mack with a Mafia kick then celebrates on the top rope. Mafia climbs up and takes him down with a back suplex and covers but Kashmere breaks the count. Mack then hits Kashmere with a running corner powerbomb then Mafia hits Acid with a Dominator. Then in a terribly mistimed spot, Kashmere escapes a Burning Hammer attempt from Mafia then ducks a clothesline that accidentally hits Mack then the Boys hit Mafia with the T-Gimmick for the win (8:03) *1/4. After the match, Mafia is pissed then leaves without shaking hands as Mack is puzzled as to why Mafia left.

Thoughts: Not much of a match as it was really all stalling. The big thing here was Mafia walking out on his partner, which will be addressed later in the show.

The Backseat Boys celebrate after the match but the lights go out and we get an indy-riffic laser show to welcome out Special K as we they start to have a rave. The lights come back on with Mikey Whipwreck laughing and saying that the shows needs “a little more cowbell.” The crowd is chanting “Mikey” as he runs down his former tag team partners and says that he wants to make Special K the best tag team in RoH but after saying that, Dunn & Marcos come out and say that they are the top team. The Carnage Crew come out and call everyone “Green Boys” except for Mikey then this leads to Acid telling them to have a scramble match and they will face the winner next month and they all agree. This was not a shining example of RoH’s tag team depth.

Scramble Match
Carnage Crew vs. Dunn & Marcos vs. Hydro & Dixie

Hydro is the future Jay Lethal. The rest of Special K are taking pills as in the ring, Loc suplexes Marcos. Dixie is in and the Carnage Crew hit him with a cool double team DDT/Powerbomb. Dunn comes in and gets powerbombed by Hydro. Everyone hits a move then gets the pin broken up as the action is too fast to call but looks fairly decent. DeVito sends Dixie into the corner with a Northern Lights Suplex then Loc chops Hydro against the ropes. The Special K guys roll through an attack and fly out and hit Dunn & Marcos with topes. Loc takes them all out with a dive then DeVito follows out with a somersault plancha. Dunn & Marcos climb up top and take out everyone else with the Stage Drive (Stereo Planchas). Whipwreck distracts the ref so Deranged can take out everyone with a double springboard moonsault. In the ring, Dunn hits Loc with the Sliced Bread #1 then follows that with a senton but Dixie breaks up the pin and this starts a diving sequence that ends with DeVito hitting a moonsault. They start a Tower of Doom spot that almost got a few people seriously injured then the Carnage Crew hit Marcos with the spike piledriver but the ref is distracted by Hijinx as Whipwreck hits everyone with the Whippersnapper then Hydro covers Dunn for the win (5:29) *1/2. After the match, Slugger hits Marcos with the Bodybag then the other giant black guy in a suit from last week comes in and Special Ki surround him. Angel Dust slaps the guy in the face then gets nailed with a facebuster

Thoughts: There were a few nice moves and it was all fast-paced so it wasnt that bad. The angle at the end with the two giant black guys fighting was a little intriguing I guess but we still have yet to find out why this is happening.

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

They brawl to start the match. AJ & Red try stereo springboard dropkicks but Jay catches Red and hits a fallaway slam. The Briscoes spill outside after AJ & Red held down the ropes but were able to block a stereo tope attempt and dump them outside. AJ & Red slide in the ring as the Briscoes were in midair then fly back out with criss-cross topes. They brawl outside were the Briscoes get the best of that. In the ring, Red is getting double-teamed in the corner. Red boots Mark off of a charge then jumps off his back to hit Jay with an enziguiri. Red hits Mark with the Code Red for a nearfall and heads up top for an elbow drop that gets two. AJ tags and they hit Mark with a stereo enzuguiris. AJ drills Mark with a dropkick that gets two. Red tags and delivers all sorts of kicks but Jay makes a blind tag and nails Red from behind. He hits a leg drop then gets two with a snap suplex. Mark tags and gets two with a brainbuster. Northern Lights Suplex gets two. The Briscoe’s use quick tags to isolate Red then Mark knocks AJ off of the apron as Jay taunts Red by asking him to make the tag. Red continues to get beaten down as he manages to kick out of a few pin attempts. Red hits a DDT as both men are down. Red tries to make the tag and finally does as AJ runs wild. He hits Jay with a pumphandle gutbuster but Mark comes back with a leg lariat to AJ then Red flies off of AJ to hit a Shining Wizard. AJ then has Mark up in a Torture Rack as Red climbs up top and jumps off of MArk to hit Jay with a swinging STO as AJ slams Down Mark as they both get nearfalls. They try the same Hurricarana/Styles Clash combo from the last show but Mark shoves AJ out of the way and Red gets hit with a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo but AJ was able to make the save. AJ gets clotheslined over the top rope but AJ catches Mark then turns that into a Styles Clash on the floor. Jay baseball slides AJ down then tries to hit Red with the Jaydriller but Red counters that with the Maximo Explosion then hits the Red Star Press for the win (10:56) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Very good match. Not like their match from last show but still awesome as these two teams had awesome chemistry. The Briscoes were acting heelish here, unlike their first match.

BJ Whitmer vs. CM Punk

Trinity is in the ring sitting in the corner like she is Raven as Punk is pissed. She then does the Raven pose in his face and tries to fly out and attack Cabana but he catches her and they go backstage. Punk and Whitmer go back and forth on the mat to start. They work a pathetic reversal sequence that ends with Punk getting dumped outside then Whitmer nearly kills himself after attempting a plancha. Whitmer hits an ugly tilt-a-whirl as the announcers sell the fact that he might be knocked out. Punk takes Whitmer down with a missile dropkick. Punk hits a backbreaker that gets two. They trade chops until Punk catches him with a DDT. Punk then sets a table up outside of the ring and heads back in to try a powerbomb through the table but Whitmer blocks that. Punk tries it again as Whitmer slips out but gets caught with a knee to the head for two. Whitmer catches Punk with a body scissors but that gets turned over as Punk now has Whitmer in a Boston Crab. Whitmer fights out and starts a comeback. Northern Lights Suplex gets two. Punk is then able to take Whitmer down with an overhead suplex as both men are down. They go back and forth trading suplexes and pinfalls then start slugging it out. The action and pacing has been really sloppy here. Whitmer gets tossed outside but blocks an apron smash then rolls Punk inside. Whitmer kicks Punk in the face from the apron then they trade chops until Punk takes Whitmer through the table with a German Suplex as both men are down. The ref checks on both men and they are not moving so the ref rings for the bell (12:21) *1/2. Medics and other wrestlers come out and check on these guys. We flash forward 5 minutes ahead as each guy gets helped to the back.

Thoughts: Not a fan of this match all. The wrestling and pacing was very sloppy and disjointed. Punk was really not a good worker in his early RoH run. Another match that would be followed up on later in the show.

Homicide vs. Christopher Daniels w/ Alison Danger

This match starts joined-in-progress with Homicide working the back of Daniels. He then eats boot on a charge and gets taken down with an enziguiri. Daniels chops and slaps Homicide in the corner. Homicide botches a Dragon Screw then puts Daniels in the STF but Danger distracts the ref from the apron. Daniels comes back with a DDT then breaks up a sleeper with a jawbreaker. Daniels locks on a sleeper then hits him with a lariat for two as this match is just not working out due to a lack of chemistry. Homicide hits an overhead suplex then follows with a running knee smash that gets two. He dropkicks Daniels to the floor then flies out with a somersault plancha but appears to have hurt his knee. Back inside, Homicide misses a diving headbutt then gets hit with a Uranage and after that the Best Moonsault Ever but that only gets two. Daniels gets cut off when he heads back up top but Daniels blocks the Super Ace Crusher and takes him down with a Russian Leg Sweep as both men are down. Daniels catches him with a back suplex after a reversal sequence that gets two. They reverse each other’s finishers then Homicide catches Daniels with a lariat for two. Daniels then hits the Angels Wings but Homicide is able to kick out as Daniels is pissed. Homicide takes Daniels down and they go back and forth until Homicide catches him with a frontsweep leg rollup for the win (12:21) **1/4. After the match, Homicide wants Daniels to shake hands and ponders the choice but CW Anderson, Jack Victory, and Samoa Joe run out and attack both men. Mafia comes out and cleans house as Homicide is on the mat. Mafia and Daniels have a stand off then Daniels rips of Mafia’s shirt to reveal a “Prophecy” shirt as Daniels introduces Mafia as the newest member of the Prophecy. He takes his “Da Hit Squad” shirt and throws it over the face of Homicide as the Prophecy walks away together. The refs then inform Homicide about what happened as seems confused as to why Mafia would do that to him.

Rating: Nothing special about the match but it was all a set up for the post match angle with Maff joining the Prophecy and tossing the shirt over the face of his friend Homicide. I am not the biggest fan of Maff but they did do a pretty good job with his turn and joining the Prophecy.

Gary Michael Cappetta is with a concussed BJ Whitmer. He says he cannot remember anything as Punk talks to him and tells him that the fans loved him and next time he will go a little easier on him so he doesn’t quit and tells Whitmer not to give up as Punk is being completely insincere in his caring for Whitmer and quite frankly, he was great in this segment.

Julius Smokes & Louie Ramos beat two guys down and have stolen their wallets.

Alexis Laree vs. Ariel

This match is clipped as Laree gets the win in about 40 seconds with an inverted DDT. Ariel did not impress.

Hotstuff Hernandez vs. Samoa Joe

This is a non-title match. Joe takes down Hernandez and grounds him to start as he works the arm. Hernandez fights back then takes down Joe with a lariat then follows that with a spinning heel kick. Hernandez the flies over the top rope that gets the crowd to chant “holy s---.” They start chopping each other before heading back in the ring. Joe charges as Hernandez slingshots in with a flying shoulder tackle. Joe blocks a suplex then hits an enziguiri before putting him in a Camel’s Clutch. Joe delivers crossfaces to the face of Hernandez. He tries for a powerbomb but that is blocked and Hernandez hits an overhead suplex. Joe floats over and tries for the Coquina Clutch but is able to ram Joe into the corner. Hernandez hits a spinebuster for two but Joe is able to lock Hernandez with a Triangle Choke and  gets the win via submission (6:38) *3/4.

Thoughts: Hernandez looked solid here and this match was fine for what it was, which was really a glorified squash for Joe.

After the match, Joe brings a chair into the ring and sits down with the belt next to him on the ground. He lays down as Cappetta asks him what he is doing. Joe says that fans pay to see title matches and that he is going to make the RoH Title the most prestigious in the world then tells the sound guy to hit the music as the competitors in the three-way come out and Joe decides to enter himself in the match and put his title on the line.

Samoa Joe vs. Matt Stryker vs. Colt Cabana vs. Tom Carter

Carter is the former Reckless Youth, who was an Indy darling of the late 90’s and at one point signed a Developmental Deal with the WWF but never made it and had a major injury that was thought to have ended his career but he came back to wrestle a technical style instead of being a high-flyer. Match starts with Joe taking out everyone. The other guys then gang up on Joe until they argue over making pinfalls. The other guys brawl in the ring then Carter and Cabana go back and forth on the mat as the match settles down. Stryker tags but Cabana backs him in the corner. Joe tags himself in by slapping Cabana in the back. Stryker slaps Joe but gets decked as a few in the crowd start a “Joe’s gonna kill you” chant. Cabana is in and hits a swinging snap suplex on Stryker for two. Stryker takes Cabana down with a snapmare then works the arm but Joe comes in and breaks that up. Carter dropkicks Joe to the floor then kicks out the leg of Cabana as he tried a suplex. Carter hits a senton then uses a modified surfboard on Stryker. These two then go back and forth on the mat as the announcers run down the future shows. Joe runs in and breaks things up as he is f------ around with these guys. The announcers now mention that there are brawls all over the arena as Stryker is working over Cabana then dumps him to the floor and follows out with a pescado. Joe comes in and tries for a tope but Carter boots him in the face then follows that with a neckbreaker of sorts for two. Joe comes back with a STO but Stryker breaks up the pin then hits Joe with a Death Valley Driver for two. Stryker chops Cabana after he broke up the pinfall but hits the Kryptonite Krunch Neckbreaker for two. Carter cuts off Cabana on the top rope and turns a top rope powerbomb into a DDT in midair as that gets two when Joe broke up the pin. Cabana and Joe escape from each other’s finishers then puts Cabana in the Coquina Clutch. Carter hits Cabana with a frog splash but Joe keeps the hold on as Cabana taps out and Joe gets the win (13:20) **1/2.

Thoughts: Solid match. Joe barely did anything here except for win and act like a bully of sorts. Carter looked good in his RoH debut.

We are shown David Young brawling with Iceberg outside of the arena. Iceberg was huge fat guy with no skills to speak of that would translate into a successful pro wrestling career.

Best of Three Falls
Bryan Danielson vs. Paul London

First Fall

They start by fighting over a lockup as Danielson sells his ear afterwards. They take it to the mat with Danielson winning that then they try to psych each other out afterwards through taunting. London works the arm as the crowd is really into this match. Dragon breaks that up then takes London down and applies a chinlock. They go back and forth a while on the mat as they trade headlocks until Danielson boots London in the face. London kips up after getting knocked down then catches Danielson with an overhead throw before he goes back to the headlock. Danielson comes back with a backbreaker then sells his ear as the announcers speculate that he might have cauliflower ear. They trade strikes and that ends with Danielson knocking down London with a headbutt. He catches London with a double axe handle then stretches him out on the mat as he drills him with open hand strikes. Danielson is ultra-aggressive here as he is beating on London, who just had sinus surgery. Small package gets two. London mounts a brief comeback but Danielson boots him down then gets two with a back suplex. London clasps his hands together in an attempt to block an abdominal stretch but Danielson is able to apply the hold as the fans start dueling chants. London gets knocked to the floor with an European Uppercut then Danielson takes him back in with a suplex. Danielson eats boot on a charge before London clotheslines him down. Danielson comes right back with a sunset flip then tries a slingshot but London skins the cat and is able to take Danielson over the ropes with a headscissors. London kicks Danielson off of the apron but Danielson floats over on a back suplex and knocks London to the floor then follows him out with a tope. Back inside, Danielson gets two with a diving headbutt. London gets a backslide then hits a top rope spinning heel kick. London goes back up top but Danielson cuts him off then hits a German Suplex for two. They fight on the top rope as London reverses a back suplex in midair and hits Danielson with a crossbody for the first fall (20:28)

Second Fall

Danielson cheap shots London after a handshake. London comes back with a flying forearm then glances him with a super kick before hitting an enziguiri. Danielson cuts London off of the top rope but gets knocked down with a headbutt. Danielson goes back up and is sent right down but on the third attempt he dropkicks London in the knee as he is hanging on the ropes as Danielson attacks the injured knee. Danielson is definitely acting heelish here. Danielson rams London into the corner with a shinbreaker then chops London against the guardrail. Back in the ring, London hits Danielson with a German Suplex as both men are down. London attacks Danielson with mounted punches but Danielson comes back with a Dragon Screw then applies a single leg crab. London reaches the ropes but Danielson pulls him into th middle of the ring then sticks his knee in the back of London’s head as he taps out as the match is tied a one fall apiece (27:13).

Third Fall

London comes back with an enziguiri. Danielson tries to target the leg but London keeps kicking him hard in the face. London gets two with a legsweep DDT then tries a slam but his knee gives out as both men are down. They exchange forearm smashes until Danielson takes London down with a discus forearm smash then applies the Cattle Mutilation. London reaches the ropes then blocks a Dragon Suplex attempt and gets a nearfall with a rollup. London slaps Danielson repeatedly as they are both seated and covers for two. Danielson comes back with an eniguiri then gets two with a Dragon Suplex. He goes back to the single leg crab but London reaches the ropes. London is able to counter a mounted punching attack in the corner with a powerbomb that gets two then slowly heads up top where he is knocked off by Danielson. He places London up top and kills him with forearm smashes before hitting a super back suplex that only gets two then goes back to the single leg crab as the crowd starts a “please don’t tap” chant. Danielson drives his knee in the back of London’s head but he is able to eventually reach the ropes. He places London back up top and tries to take him to the floor with a back suplex but gets knocked down on the mat. Danielson climbs back up top and that leads to London countering a Northern Lights Suplex with a swinging DDT. London struggles to get to his feet and climbs back up top and hits the London Star Press on Danielson’s back then turns him over for the win (41:12) ****1/2. After the match, Levy tells us that we have just seen an “epic encounter” as Danielson is helped to his feet and very slowly shakes London’s hand.

Thoughts: Incredible match. Both guys were excellent and this was one of the best matches in company history at this point. Definitely seek this one out if as you will not be disappointed.

Unsanctioned Bunkhouse Riot Match
Iceberg & Homicide & Dusty Rhodes vs. Jack Victory & CW Anderson & David Young

Young and Iceberg are already fighting as Young takes him down with a senton. In the ring, Anderson and Homicide are brawling as there is brawling everywhere as we do not even know all of the competitors yet. Homicide is getting destroyed by Anderson, Young, and Victory as we hear the “Midnight Rider” theme as he comes through the crowd but its a decoy as Dusty is behind them and takes them all out. Homicide carves up Victory’s head with a fork and Anderson is busted open now too. Iceberg splashes a chair onto Young as everyone else is outside brawling and bleeding. Lots more brawling as nothing particularly stands out. Two guys come out, one named Guillotine LaGrande, come out and attack Homicide until Smokes and Ramos comes out. Becky Bayless and Simply Luscious start brawling as Dusty kisses Luscious then shortly after that asks Victory if he quits as Homicide chokes him out. Homicide takes out another fork and carves up Victory again then grinds the fork in his mouth as Victory quits (11:00) **. After the match, Dusty tells the fans to give it up to Homicide

Thoughts: A garbage brawl that was all over the place but it was also fast-paced an entertaining enough that it was not a total waste of time.

Backstage, Dusty tells Corino that Homicide took care of business. Homicide calls Corino a “coward”and promises that this is not over as Smokes come in and does his annoying schtick. He was like the hood version of the Wizard on the mic.

Cabana and Punk are backstage. Cabana tells Raven that he did what he did because he and Punk have history. He then wants Punk to talk about their history as Punk refers to them the “Second City Saints” as he tells Raven that his mind games will not work on him. After that, Cabana runs a few corny catchphrases by him as Punk is aggravated and they walk away.

The Carnage Crew are cutting a promo as the ring crew guys take down the ring. They harass Dunn & Marcos until some other guy on the crew tells them to go back to their crackhead wives which leads to DeVito slapping him down and kicks his ass. The Carnage Crew then decide to leave and go to a seedy strip club around the corner.

Daniels is in the back with Mafia and Allison Danger. He tells Michael Shane that it will be personal when they face off at the next show. Danger then welcomes Mafia to the Prophecy as he is now referred to as “Danny Maff.” Monsta Mack interrupts and asks Maff whats up as Maff says he is sick and tired of the Code of Honor and trying to be a team player. He then tells Mack that he was sick of carrying him as Daniels tells Mack this is his opportunity to evolve. Maff then yells at Mack and says that their last match together will be on 4/26 against Colt Cabana & Ace Steel and that he is not going out a loser. Mack looks defeated as he then turns that into anger as he warns Cabana & Steel that they better be ready and says that Monsta Mack is dead and he is reborn as “Steve Mack.” Excellent performances by both Maff and Mafia here.

Final Thoughts: Another good show. The Danielson/London match was incredible and they are starting to have the matches be more than random scramble matches. They are also starting to establish the main guys from the midcard too. For the first time, RoH is starting to maintain some roster stability.

Upcoming Schedule

November 4th: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 11/29/86
November 6th: Shoot Interview TBD by poll
November 7th: WWF Wrestling Challenge 11/30/86
November 8th: RoH Retribution: Round Robin Challenge II 4/26/03
November 9th: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/6/86