Ring of Honor Empire State Showdown October 25th, 2003

October 25, 2003

From somewhere in Spencerport, NY

Your hosts are Chris Lovey and Ray Murrow

 

The show starts with Samoa Joe talking about war. He said there is glory in war, just pain and suffering before asking why the Briscoe Brothers want to declare war on him. Joe then talks about Homicide asking for another title shot at Glory By Honor II. Joe said he did not earn that shot, as he does not hold the #1 Contender’s Trophy, but tonight he will give him a match and make it a No Holds Barred. Solid promo here by Joe, who while never wowing anyone in this department, always came off as believable.

 

Colt Cabana is shown. He tells us since Gary Michael Cappetta is not here tonight, he will be the one to break the scoops. He then walks over to Julius Smokes and Homicide and breaks the news that the Homicide vs. Samoa Joe match will be No Holds Barred as Smokes does his routine and yells a lot as Cabana talks about having no idea what he just said. Cabana fans will find this more amusing but overall, it was okay.

 

 

Field of Honor Tournament Block B: BJ Whitmer vs. Dan Maff w/ Allison Danger

Both guys start off by feeling each other out. Danger grabs Whitmer and that allows Maff to go on the attack. They are now trading chops in the middle of the ring until Whitmer hits a high knee. Whitmer is now working Maff over in the corner but misses a charge and Maff takes control. He sends Whitmer to the floor then goes out and sends him into the guardrail. He does it a few more times at the request of the crowd as the announcers tell us there are no countouts in this match. Maff rolls Whitmer inside but takes his time staring down the fans and ends up getting kneed off of the apron. Whitmer flies out with a tope then goes out and slaps Maff around before sending him into the guardrail a few times. Maff tries a half-nelson suplex on the floor but Whitmer blocks that and hits an exploder. Whitmer rolls Maff inside but gets hit with a back suplex as both men are down. Maff is up first and hits Whitmer with a buckle bomb then follows with a cannonball as that gets a nearfall. Whitmer kicks out of a few more suplexes but is able to escape from a Burning Hammer attempt. Whitmer then hits a pair of super kicks and tries for the Exploder 98. Maff grabs the ropes but Whitmer takes his wrists to hit a wrist lock exploder for the win (9:40) **3/4.

Thoughts: Solid, hard-hitting match. The ending kinda broke away from the psychology they were building up but a fine way to open the show.

 

 

Trent Acid is backstage talking about how his partner, Johnny Kashmere, will not talk to him because they lost the Tag Team Titles to Special K. However, at the next show in New Jersey, he promises they will be back and win the Scramble Cage Match. Acid looked a bit rough here.

 

 

Outcast Killaz vs. Fast Eddie & Don Juan w/ Rudy Boy Gonzalez vs. Ring Crew Express vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Alex Shelley

Jacobs came out on Shelley’s shoulders as they were both chanting “huss.” The crowd even chants along with them. Shelley and Fast Eddie start off going back and forth in a nice sequence then they all trade off after that. It was not as good. Funny moment as the Killaz and Shelley & Jacobs work a chicken fight as they guys on top maintain a test of strength. I gets broken up by the other teams as the match breaks down. They hit a bunch of suplexes and evena  four corner super hurricarana spot as the crowd chants “ROH.” We then have a bunch of double-team moves then Fast Eddie takes out Shelley & Jacobs with a moonsault neckbreaker. The Killaz and Ring Crew Express are left inside and that ends when Marcos pinned Santiago with a Torture Rack Driver (8:23) **1/4.

Thoughts: This was all moves at a rapid-fire pace but it was at least enjoyable and fun to see the Ring Crew Express get a win. Jacobs & Shelley were over here and this crowd has been red-hot so far.

 

 

John Walters vs. “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels w/ Allison Danger

The crowd is really into Daniels, even starting a “Fallen Angel” chant. They both play mind games with each other to start until they trade standing holds. Daniels works a headlock for a bit and that leads to Walters fighting out. Walters connects with a dropkick but Daniels starts unloading on him in the corner. Walters fights back then works over the leg of Daniels. He does that for a while as he is firmly in control of the match. Danger interferes then chases Danger and finally grabs a hold. Daniels tries a baseball slide but Walters dodges that and slams his leg off of the apron. Back inside, Daniels holds the ref from the mat as that allows Danger to shove Walters off of the top rope. Daniels targets the back of Walters then stretches it out for a bit. He tries a suplex but his knee gives out as Walters falls on top for a two count. However, Daniels is able to come back and put Walters in a Boston Crab then a bow-and-arrow lock until Walters reaches the ropes. Walters rolls outside as Daniels whips him into the guardrail. In the ring,  Daniels continues to work over the back. He hits a delayed vertical suplex and follows with an Arabian Press then segues into a crossface but Walters is able to grab hold of the ropes. Walters fights out and shoves Daniels into the corner then catches him with a lungblower as both men are down. Walters is up first and runs wild. Spear gets two. Daniels catches him with a backbreaker then hits an STO but that only gets two. Daniels signals for the BME and hits that but Walters is able to kick out. Daniels climbs up top but Walters cuts him off and hits a powerbomb for two. He hits the Hurricane DDT but Daniels kicks out of that. They trade pinfalls until Daniels catches him with the Angels Wings then finishes him off with the Last Rites (19:06) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Really good match and the best from Walters so far in RoH. He looked like a credible threat here and Daniels did a great job carrying the match.

 

 

After the match, Daniels grabs the mic and lets Walters know that he helped build this company and gave his life for the championship. He also said if he has to break down and shake a man’s hand, it will be to someone who gave him the fight for his life. However, Daniels said he will not shake hands because RoH tells him to and he does not listen to them. Daniels offers something better, which is a spot in the Prophecy. The crowd chants for Walters to join but Xavier runs in to tell Daniels Walters is a loser as the crowd starts a loud “AC Slater” chant. Walters then promises Xavier the next time they fight, he will kick his ass and that losing is not an option. Xavier attacks him from behind and calls him a loser as Walters fights back. Xavier bails as Daniels is not happy and follows him back as he yells at Xavier is still heated. Maff steps in front of Xavier, who motioned towards Daniels, and warned him what will happen if he touched Daniels. Xavier insults Maff, who is now held back by Daniels as the segment ends. Good segment to tease dissention within the Prophecy. They can go a lot of directions as you can have Xavier against Maff or even Walters. And, Walters can still join the Prophecy. I thought Xavier in particular showed a lot of personality here as a heel.

 

 

We are shown Steve Corino, cutting a prom from an office. He is appalled that Daniels called him a “snake” and mentions how they trained together five years ago in a dojo and does not understand the problem. He then switches focus to CM Punk and how he reminds him of himself when he was younger. He is pissed about having to face Raven as Corino did not care to be behind in while in ECW. He then shows his scars off to the camera he received in his match against Homicide as he boasts about not getting pinned Corino then said he is here to irritate all fans of RoH and wants to piss off the internet fans as we can ask his ex-wife, girlfriend, and bosses about how he loves to irritate as he is better than all of us. And Corino finishes before saying he will not leave until fulfilling his destiny, which is to irritate everyone in the building. A damn good promo from Corino as he drove home the point that he just wants to irritate everyone and that is good heeling.

 

 

RoH Tag Team Title Match: Carnage Crew vs. Izzy & Dixie w/ Special K (c)

The Carnage Crew immediately attack the Special K guys. They beat the piss out of all of them as Dixie is now busted open. They finally settle down as DeVito attacks Dixie, who hits a jawbreaker. Lit is on the outside screaming as his face is covered in blood. They re back outside again as the Carnage Crew continue to beat the piss out of these guys. We are back inside the ring again as DeVito is destroying Izzy as the announcers keep on pushing the characters of both teams. Special K finally comes back with Izzy hitting a low blow on Loc as Deranged flies in with a Blockbuster. Izzy & Dixie hit a few double team moves, none of which look any good, as they also use the numbers advantage to help maintain control of the match. Loc tries to fight back then blocks a corner sunset flip and makes the tag. The Carnage Crew get a few nearfalls then Loc blocks a tornado DDT and works a front facelock. DeVito takes out a bunch of guys with a somersault plancha but Becky Bayless distracts the ref to allow Lit to break it up then puts Dixie on top but Loc kicks out. Carnage Crew take back control but and set up for the spike piledriver but Hijinx whacks Loc with a strap, as the referee is distracted, then Izzy takes DeVito off of the middle rope with a powerbomb and rolls him up for a win (14:55) 1/2*. After the match, the Carnage Crew are pissed and swear then get a “you still kick ass” chant from the crowd.

Thoughts: The first couple of minutes were entertaining but after that it was utter garbage. The finish was almost embarrassing. Dixie might be the single worst wrestler in RoH history to hold any sort of title belt and Izzy had a poor showing here as well. They also lost the crowd here as this dragged badly and had no business lasting almost fifteen minutes long.

 

 

Cabana is backstage trying to get some scoops. He talks to Dan Maff, calling him a loser for losing to BJ Whitmer tonight. He asks Maff about Lucy getting attacked at the end of the Wrath of the Racket show back in August but Maff denies that himself or the Prophecy had any involvement. He swears on his father’s grave the Prophecy had nothing to do with the attack. Cabana said he will take home the Field of Honor and will “whip his butt” as Maff screams he will “kick his ass” and the “comedy shit” ain’t over with him. Maff screams some more and warns Cabana to bring his “A” game. I’m personally not the biggest Maff fan but he could bring the intensity with his promos. Sometimes, it was too much to the point where it came off as goofy but here, Maff was on point.

 

 

Field of Honor Tournament Block A: Chris Sabin vs. Xavier

Xavier blows off the handshake attempt by Sabin and they go at it after that. Sabin works the arm then they trade forearm smashes for a bit. Sabin hits a dropkick then heads outside and chops Xavier. Sabin slingshots inside for a rana but after that Xavier rakes the eyes, playing off of Sabin’s eye injury from the Tradition Continues show, and goes to work. Xavier skins-the-cat and Sabin dropkicks him to the floor as they had some timing issues on that. Sabin flies out with a twisting pescado then gets two with a springboard dropkick. Xavier dodges an attack then goes to work. He gets two with a fisherman’s suplex then hits knee strikes to the head in the corner. Sabin comes back with a cross-armed German suplex but eats boot on a charge after that. Xavier goes to work as Lovey tells us we will hear some upcoming “International news” as Xavier works a surfboard while pulling down on the neck. Sabin escapes a powerbomb attempt and hits a basement dropkick as both men are down. They trade chops as Sabin wins that battle. Xavier cuts him off but gets drilled with an enziguiri after that and rolls outside. Sabin climbs up top as Xavier is on the apron and they fight up top until Sabin crotches him. Sabin follows with a running knee strike then a brainbuster for a nearfall. Crucifix gets two. Xavier ducks a clothesline and hits a knee strike. He then hits a Cobra Clutch suplex and puts on a Muta Lock as Sabin taps out (11:54) **3/4. After the match, Xavier looks into the camera and says that “no one can contest, the all-around best.”

Thoughts: Another solid match tonight. Xavier is showing a lot of personality on this show as he was so much better as a cocky heel. This lost also knocks Sabin out of the Field of Honor Tournament.

 

 

CM Punk comes out for his match tonight. Corino comes out with his own entourage, which includes a ring announcer. It goes on forever and at one point, the announcer and Corino swigging from a flask. Punk tells Corino to show some “fucking respect” then the announcers goes on and on listing off various wrestlers known for drug and alcohol use before it ends, seven minutes later. Well, Corino does like to irritate. We then hear a list of drugs CM Punk has never used as that goes on and on as well. The drug thing was a bit funny as they listed off stuff like Prilosec and Zyrtec. However, this whole segment went on for too long at roughly thirteen minutes. Then again, Corino’s goal was to irritate and he did a fine job of that here.

 

 

CM Punk vs. Steve Corino

Corino messes around for a bit then Punk kicks him in the ass. Punk hits an arm drag then the fans start cheering as Punk nearly rolls up Corino for the win. Corino challenges Punk to hit him and they keep using mind games until Corino takes Punk down with an armbar. Corino mocks Punk then they trade forearm smashes. Corino sends Punk to the floor and runs out after Punk shoved one of Corino’s young boys. Corino roughs up Punk and we seem to get some clipping her as Punk is rolled back inside. Corino hits a powerslam after a criss-cross spot. He hits a corner clothesline then a backslide gets him two. Punk catches Corino with a dropkick then takes control. Punk facewashes Corino then stretches him out in the middle of the ring. Punk targets the neck and back then covers nonchalantly a few times as he toys with him. Corino blocks a suplex but could only hold up Punk for a bit during a delayed vertical suplex and yells at the crowd its because Punk has a “fat ass.” Punk comes back with a clothesline then targets the neck. Corino fights back but Punk catches him in the ear, which was messed up prior to the match. Corino rolls out asking for time but the ref starts counting. Corino gets up at nine then Punk takes him back down. Punk climbs up top but misses a frog splash as Corino gets up and yells “who is the fucking heel now!” Corino hits an STO then the Colbykaze for a nearfall. Superplex gets two. Northern Lights Bomb gets two. Punk cuts Corino off with an elbow and a mule kick but runs into a clothesline. Punk reverses an Old School Expulsion with a Northern Lights Suplex. He then hits a Shining Wizard for two then charges but eats a super kick as Corino almost scored the pin. Punk hits a leg sweep DDT after a reversal sequence then uses a side headlock. Corino breaks that up with a back suplex but the bell rings as we hit the 20:00 time limit ***1/4.

Thoughts: Entertaining match that really kicked into next gear in the final five minutes. I liked the time-limit draw here, especially how it played into what happened next.

 

 

After the match, the crowd chants for five more minutes and Corino signals for the bell. He gets in Punk’s face then they shake hands as Punk rolls outside. Corino then wants Punk to head inside and asks the crowd if they want five more minutes. Corino says he does not get paid by the hour and that “Gabe and Rob” are too cheap and tries to make a deal regarding gas money. Corino then puts over Punk for being a thinner and more inked-up version of his younger self. Punk then says while he and Corino do not see eye-to-eye, they are on the same level and they crack some jokes as they both heel on the crowd by sitting down in the ring as they continue to chant. Punk then makes fun of the crowd and how they can chant all they want as they both managed to piss off the crowd. They established Punk and Corino as strong heels and a potential alliance between the two. They were both great at insulting the crowd here.

 

 

Jimmy Rave vs. Colt Cabana vs. Justin Credible vs. John Walters

Walters said he vowed to win his next match and did not want to wait any longer. He starts off the match with Rave as they go back-and-forth in a nice fast-paced mat sequence. They all trade off after that and its nothing special. Credible hits Rave with five rolling suplexes then Cabana pulls him outside and hammers away. Walters takes out Rave with a baseball slide then takes out Credible and Cabana with a missile dropkick. They all work a wacky four person submission for a little bit as all four men are inside trading all sorts of moves. Walters fails to break up a pin but is able to catch Credible in a sharpshooter and gets him to tap out (7:21) **1/4. After the match, Credible shakes his hand and gives the thumbs up.

Thoughts: Fine for what it was. The main point of this was to build up Walters and give him a win over a known opponent as they are trying to give him a push.

 

 

No Holds Barred Match: Homicide w/ Julius Smokes vs. Samoa Joe

They work a sloppy fast-paced sequence to start. It was a mess, actually. Joe then works the arm then they trade slaps. Homicide uses a thumb to the eye then lays into Joe in the corner with chops. He hits some more strikes but Joe blocks a monkey flip in the corner then plants Homicide with an uranage in midair. Joe flies out with a tope then taunts Smokes before hitting an ole kick. Back inside, Joe hits a German suplex then locks on a crossface but Homicide is able to reach the ropes as he is bleeding from the mouth. Joe misses a charge and flies to the floor as Homicide nearly breaks his neck with a tope con hilo as he bounced off of the guardrail. Homicide then grabs a chair and hits Joe in the head. Smokes brings out a table as Homicide sets that up in the corner as one of the legs broke. Joe fights back and they battle near the table. Joe tries to powerslam him into the table but misses then finally puts him through with a powerbomb as that gets two. Dragon suplex gets two. Joe hits another powerbomb then locks on an STF. He breaks then tries for a super muscle buster but that fails as Homicide catches him with an Ace Crusher. He then hits Joe with a back suplex as that gets two. Joe comes back with a roundhouse kick to the back of the head that nearly knocks out Homicide. Joe sends him back down with a forearm as Homicide drags himself back up then fights back only to get elbowed in the face. Homicide escapes from the Island Driver and dropkicks Joe’s knee before locking on the STF. Homicide then puts a noose around Joe’s neck as Smokes yells and screams until the ref calls for the bell (14:01) **1/2. Smokes holds up the RoH Title Belt as officials check on Joe.

Thoughts: Although hard-hitting and violent, it was quite sloppy overall. Plus, I was not a big fan of the ending. Winning by choke out by using a noose didnt really do it for me and it fell flat with the crowd. I get the point of trying to make it seem like these guys would do anything to get the title but you could have gone a different route and got a bigger reaction.

 

 

Special K are partying backstage as Rob Feinstein yells at them. Becky is trying to hug him as he brushes her away then he tells Izzy & Dixie they will be defending the belts next show against the Briscoe Brothers. They were not happy with that.

 

 

Jim Cornette tells us that next show, Samoa Joe will go from legend to icon and that the Prophecy will not be around to see it happen. Cornette cut the promo in his trademark style.

 

 

Final Thoughts: There was no blow-away match here but the action was generally solid, the crowd was jacked, and they did a fine job with storyline advancement and building up future shows. Next show, we would get that blow-away match. The Field of Honor Tournament isn’t exactly catching fire but those matches were all fine tonight. The promotion is also doing fine creatively, something they really struggled with during its first year. Right now, they are a damn good promotion.

 

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