June 14, 2003
From the National Guard Armory in Cambridge, MA
Your hosts are Chris Levy and Ray Murrow
Paul London is backstage and recalls his classic matches against Michael Shane and Bryan Danielson as he tells AJ Styles that he can beat him and will tonight in their #1 Contender’s match.
AJ Styles is backstage with Alexis Laree. AJ shows off the NWA-TNA World Title that he just won as well as his RoH Tag Team Championship. He tells London that he will beat him then add the RoH World Title to his collection.
Christopher St. Connection w/ Ariel vs. Carnage Crew
Buff E insists that he start out the match against Loc and hits him a few times. Buff E does a lot of comedy spots here including kissing Loc on the forehead as part of a double-team move. Mace tags and gooses DeVito then rides him around the ring before engaging in more homoerotic comedy spots. DeVito comes back with a clothesline as the Carnage Crew take control of the match. DeVito gets a nearfall with a dropkick then chokes out Mace in the corner. He beats on Mace with crossfaces as Buff E starts jawing with the Carnage Crew. Mace grabs Loc’s nuts as he was on top but DeVito stops that as this leads to more homoerotic stuff from the CSC. Mace comes back with a swinging DDT as both he and Loc are down. Hot tag made to Buff E as he cleans house while prancing around. Mace hits DeVito with a Bronco Buster then makes out with Buff E then hit Loc with the Gay Basher. DeVito breaks up the pin and tosses Mace to the floor and the Carnage Crew go for the spike piledriver but Mace breaks that up. Mace gets tossed back outside as Loc hits Buff E with a neckbreaker then DeVito gets the win with a moonsault (8:42) *. After the match, the Carnage Crew hit Ariel with a spike piledriver that looked like it killed her. The fans liked seeing that and actually chant “one more time.”
Thoughts: Way too long for a comedy match. Buff E looked awful in the ring too as he moved at a snails pace. The characters are natural enemies and it makes sense for it to happen but it was given too much time.
Chance Beckett vs. Matt Stryker
Beckett tells us that he is all the way from Canada. Wow, what a rarity in wrestling. Anyway, he got a shot here after impressing in the 2003 ECWA “Super 8” Tournament. He didnt have much of a look either as he was pale with an average physique. Match starts with the “pure wrestling” typical back and forth matwork. Beckett goes to work on the leg and works a single leg crab but Stryker reaches the ropes. They go back and forth again briefly until Stryker works a neck vise. Beckett stops that with a neckbreaker then puts on a Dragon Sleeper but Stryker again is able to reach the ropes. They now battle over a test of strength and Beckett ends up hitting another neckbreaker after that. Stryker reverses an Irish whip that sends Beckett right into the tree of woe position in the corner then follows that with a dropkick. Both men collide and are down but Beckett covers first and gets two before applying a chinlock. Stryker breaks and hits a clothesline then hammers away. Leg Lariat gets two. Beckett blocks the Stryker Lock and puts on a Reverse Cloverleaf. Stryker then reverses that and is able to put on the Stryker Lock (11:16) **1/2.
Thoughts: Bland match. Although techincally sound neither guy showed much of anything in terms of personality. The “pure wrestling” format basically consisted of matches revolving around matwork that featured a lot of counters. At least it did here anyway.
As the introductions for the next match takes place, Justin Credible takes out Angel Dust with a super kick and entered himself in his place as the give him a favorable reaction and the token “ECW” chant. This was his
John Walters vs. Justin Credible vs. Chris Sabin vs. Homicide
This is Sabin’s RoH debut. At the time he was the NWA-TNA X Division Champion and only 21 years old as well. Match starts with Walters and Homicide exchanging holds and moves. Homicide chops Walters against the ropes but Walters comes back with a dropkick that sends Homicide to the floor. Walters has a bit of crowd support here as he is from Massachusetts. Inside, Homicide sends Walters in the corner with a butterfly suplex as Julius Smokes comes out. Walters fights back and hits a lungblower then puts him in a bow-and-arrow lock. Walters now has him in a modified Camel Clutch but Homicide reaches the ropes. Sabin is in and snaps off a hurricarana on Walters. Credible tags and gets a good pop before hitting Sabin with a tornado DDT that looked sloppy. He stomps Sabin in the corner then gets two with a powerbomb. Lots of quick tags take place now as Homicide gets two with a sitout powerbomb from the second rope. Sabin catches Homicide then turns that into a catatonic backbreaker for two Homicide comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex for two then Walters tags in and hits a tornado armbreaker for two then attacks the arm some more. Sabin comes back with an enziguiri for two then he and Credible take turns beating on Walters. The match breaks down as Credible takes out Homicide with a pescado and that ends with Homicide taking everyone out with a tope con hilo In the ring, everyone trades off big moves until Homicide powerbombs Walters then makes him tap out to the STF (12:54) **1/2.
Thoughts: The action was decent but it was hardly memorable or anything. Credible was a bit out of place style-wise with the other three but did okay for himself. Sabin didn’t get a chance to really show off here as Walters got some time to shine as did Homicide.
After the match, Homicide and Smokes head backstage to see the rest of his “empire” as Low Ki tells Homicide that he doesn’t need to associate himself with those thugs then walks away as Homicide is conflicted. They have been doing a great job with Homicide’s character by the way.
Punk cuts a promo about being an outcast because he is straight edge, even comparing himself to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Raven the cuts a promo about he was in a good mood when he got here tonight then welcomes Punk to his House of Fun.
Raven’s Rules Match
Colt Cabana & CM Punk vs. BJ Whitmer
“Raven’s Rules” means it is basically a no-DQ match. This starts with Punk stomping on Raven in the corner. Raven fights back and catches Punk with a knee then a super kick. Cabana and Whitmer are in now as the story here is that Punk questions the heart of Whitmer after their match when Whitmer suffered a concussion. Cabana fucks around then Punk whacks Whitmer on the head with a chair. Raven counters by taking out Cabana with a chair then circles around with Punk, who bails and heads out back. Raven chases him and they come back out with Raven beating on Punk with a trash can. Punk is busted open as he continues to get hit. Punk’s face is covered in blood as Raven is destroying him. Raven slams Punk’s head off of the wall as we see Cabana and Whitmer spill outside and now everyone is brawling outside. Raven and Whitmer hit their opponents with drop toeholds into the chair. Punk comes back and crotches Raven on the guardrail as Cabana takes care of Whitmer in the ring. Punk yells at Cabana for wanting to fuck around as the match heads back into the ring. Whitmer is getting destroyed as Punk & Cabana are in control. Whitmer dodges Punk, who accidentally takes Cabana down with a rana as Whitmer makes the tag to Raven, who is a house of fire. Whitmer hits Punk with a flying headbutt then Cabana yanks the referee outside. Whitmer then takes Cabana from the apron and hits the Exploder but the referee is not around to count then Punk runs in with a chair and drills Whitmer with a Shining Wizard and puts Cabana on top then rolls the referee back inside. Whitmer was able to kick out but Cabana hits the Colt 45 for the win (16:50) **3/4. After the match, Punk & Cabana destroy their opponents some more.
Thoughts: This match had its moments but it went on longer than it should have and the last few minutes were not all that great. Punk was starting to become a better worker as this match had a lot more psychology than his usual stuff.
Gary Michael Cappetta is with Matt Stryker, who cuts a generic babyface promo putting over his opponents and talking about being in the Top 5 title ratings. Why on earth this guy was getting a push is beyond me. He is the definition of a vanilla midget. Prince Nana then comes in as Stryker leaves and says he is back in RoH and has a partner that will take out who comes in his way.
Diablo Santiago vs. Prince Nana
Santiago hits a back suplex then chops away before getting two with a neckbreaker. Nana comes back and chops Santiago in the corner. Santiago comes back with a neck snap and some more chops but Nana clotheslines him in the corner then hits a running thump before finishing off Santiago with an elevated DDT (2:15) 1/4*. Tortuga comes in and Nana beats him down as well.
Thoughts: Nana is back and getting a bit of a push. The character wasn’t too bad but he sucked in the ring.
Spanish Announce Team vs. Mikey Whipwreck & Dixie w/ Special K
Match starts with Joel and Whipwreck in a sloppy sequence that included a botched tilt-a-whirl headscissors spot. Dixie gets hit with a double team move as the match breaks down. The SAT’s put Whipwreck in the Taffy Machine as this match seems to be under tornado rules. Whipwreck & Dixie are now in control and hitting all sorts of double team moves as the crowd is out of this match. And with good reason. The crowd wakes up with Joel hits Dixie with the Maximo Explosion onto the apron that looked brutal. Whipwreck takes everyone out with a senton then the action goes back inside as Joel hits Dixie with four powerbombs as the crowd is numb to this match. The match breaks down again then Jose hits a swinging DDT on Dixie, who was on Joel’s shoulders, then covers for the win (10:38) *1/4.
Thoughts: Just way too many big moves without a shred of psychology. Plus, a lot of the moves looked awful.
After the match, Special K takes out the SAT’s. Then the Carnage Crew run in and beat down Whipwreck, who fights back, but ends up eating a super kick from Justin Credible. After that, DeVito grabs the mic and announces that Credible is the newest member of the Carnage Crew.
Paul London vs. AJ Styles w/ Alexis Laree
These two start trading stuff on the mat as the fans are doing the duel chant bit. They fight over a test of strength then after that London offers a handshake that AJ declines. They now have a fast-paced sequence that ends in a standoff as the fans applaud. AJ hits a springboard dropkick but misses a pescado. London takes AJ down with a baseball slide but AJ sends him into the guardrail. London stops short of the guardrail then sends a charging AJ into it with a drop toehold then acts heelish as he uses boot scrapes. AJ leaps over the guardrail on a Irish whip but London blocks a super kick then slams AJs leg off of the guardrail. AJ then blocks London after he tried to springboard and takes it into the ring as London sells his shoulder. In the ring, AJ gets two with a neckbreaker as he is selling his own leg. London gets drilled with an enziguiri but London held on to AJ’s other leg and refused to let go then took him down with a vicious Dragon Screw. London works the injured leg of AJ, who comes back and hits London with a brainbuster after a reversal sequence. London gets up and starts viciously attacking AJ’s leg. He slingshots in with a leg drop onto AJ’s leg for two then applies a leg lock. They get up and slug it out until AJ murders London with a clothesline. My god that was brutal. AJ gets two with a powerbomb but London goes back to work on the leg. AJ ducks a diving attack then hits London with the Phenomenon for two. He gets up and limps before placing London on top. Both men are fighting on top until London takes AJ off with a gordbuster then hits the London Calling right on the leg of AJ. London tries a figure four but AJ turns that into a small package. London successfully puts on the hold this time as AJ struggles but eventually reaches the ropes. London places AJ up top but gets shoved off. London hits AJ and goes up again but gets knocked back down. Again, London heads up top and gets knocked down and tries and fails to take AJ off with a headscissors then gets taken down with a sunset powerbomb. AJ hits the Styles Clash but London was able to kick out. AJ then tries a German Suplex and the referee counts to three but then we learn that each guy had both of their shoulders on the mat and the match is ruled a draw (24:23) ****1/2. The crowd starts a “five more minutes” chant as after each guy stands they stare at each other for a few minutes before shaking hands.
Thoughts: A MOTYC for sure. These two were some of the best in America at this point and this match did not disappoint. The finish was a bit lame and a time limit draw would have seemed better I think but the commentators made sense of it by saying how AJ’s leg gave up because of the abuse he took during the match. Another thing is that AJ was not going to lose cleanly as the NWA-TNA Champion and London needed to be the #1 Contender.
Samoa Joe & Michael Shane & CW Anderson vs. Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan & Danny Maff
The stipulation here is that the losing team must disband. Shane and Daniels start off the match going back and forth and that ends in a standoff. Maff and Anderson trade chops for a while then end in a stalemate, only to have a slap battle. Joe and Morgan are in as Joe works the neck. Daniels and Shane are in as Daniels beats on him in the corner as the Prophecy neutralize Shane. Joe makes the tag and beats on Morgan then has Anderson come in so they can use double-team moves. Anderson is in and hits an armbreaker as he targets that for a while. Morgan comes back with a powerbomb and tags Maff, who cleans house. The crowd has no idea who to cheer for so they are quiet. To be fair to them, this feud has not been very well built and part of that is most of these guys are in Japan or wrestling elsewhere. Hell, Corino is the leader and not even here. Shane hits a tornado DDT for a nearfall on Maff after a top rope X Factor. Maff dodges a corner attack then hits Shane with a cannonball but Anderson takes him out with a super kick. Joe takes Maff outside as the ref is distracted and sits him down as he hits a running knee strike. Maff takes a beating then comes back with an German suplex on Shane that gets the crowd into the match. Maff tags Daniels, who runs wild as the crowd is into him a lot here. Daniels hits Anderson with an STO then gets two with the Best Moonsault Ever. Anderson comes back with a left hand then tags Joe who gets a nearfall. Morgan tags and Joe gets the best of him for a bit. Anderson tags and hits Morgan with a superplex then Shane comes off of the top with an elbow drop but Daniels comes off the top and hits Anderson then they make double covers until Joe and Maff make the save. The match completely break down as Daniels and Shane go back and forth which leads to a lot of big moves that result in nearfalls as people keep running in for the save. Maff and Joe are in the ring as they escape from each other’s finishers then Maff cradles Joe and gets the upset win (20:51) ***.
Thoughts: Solid action but the finish came out of nowhere. Plus, this feud was not that hot as the leader of the Group, Corino, barely appeared in RoH at this time and was not even present here. This was the last of Shane, Morgan, and Anderson in RoH too.
Backstage, the Prophecy are gloating as Daniels tells the Group that they dropped the ball. After that, Raven tries to recruit Daniels as his partner to face Punk & Cabana. Daniels appreciates Raven compliments then agrees to be his partner.
Joe is backstage as he tells Maff that he has his shot against the champion on 6/28.
Special K demands the lighting guy turn off the lights so they can party and he says no until Slugger intimidates him. As they party, the Carnage Crew toss them around and say that they will be more angry and violent and as a result, will kick more ass. Credible then yells about using two years of anger from being “held back” as motivation kick ass.
Final Thoughts: Not a bad show. You had a MOTYC and the Raven/Punk feud is still going well. The Group/Prophecy feud kinda sucked and now that it ended they can focus on something else. The only complaints are the constant scramble matches that are getting tiresome to watch and the pure wrestling stuff is not exciting at all. But overall, the company is going in the right direction.