Ring of Honor Final Battle December 28th, 2002

December 28, 2002

From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

We are shown a clip of CM Punk and Colt Cabana driving to the show with Ace Steel filming in the back. Cabana talks about all of the moves he is going to perform and about the different stewardesses on the planes then Punk gets out and tosses the keys at Cabana and yells at him for trying to double-cross him then tells Cabana that when he wins he will be flying while Cabana drives home. God, Punk was an awful character here. At least Cabana had some arrogant heel charisma but Punk was the pandering indy stereotype and by watching this, there was no way you would peg him as a future star.

Backstage, Gary Michael Cappetta is with Steve Corino. He talks up how he is going to build a stable of wrestlers as Corino takes offense to being called the “King of Old School” as the company that gave him the name put him $32,000 in debt then whines and cries about fans talking shit about him on the internet and not helping him out when he was struggling. He puts over the fact that he wrestles for the Zero One promotion then gets interrupted by his sister, Allison Danger, then goes off on her for cutting into his time and leaves.

We see clips from the RoH TV show with Homicide defeating Jay Lethal.

CM Punk vs. Colt Cabana

The stipulation for this match is that the winner gets to be flown in by RoH while the loser will have to drive in from Chicago if they want to make the show. They go back and forth to start. Punk hits a slingshot senton then tries a ropewalk move but Cabana kicks him down. Cabana comes back with a clothesline then chops him against the ropes. Cabana mocks Punk by “flying” on his back then uses a surfboard to stretch him out. Cabana stays in control until Punk gets a sunset bomb for two. Cabana blocks a shining wizard attempt then hits a powerbomb for a nearfall. They trade blows before working a terrible spot in which Cabana comes off the top and Punk apparently snaps his neck off of the ropes. Punk flies out with a tope then gets cut off as Cabana takes him off with a reverse superplex for two. They go back up top and Punk takes Cabana off with an overheard suplex as both men are down. Punk catches Cabana with an airplane spin then gets two with a split-legged moonsault. Punk hits a knee smash in the corner but Cabana escapes from a Pepsi Plunge attempt and that leads to a sloppy sequence that ends with Punk hitting the shining wizard for two. Punk uses boot scrapes then they fight back on the top rope and that ends with Punk hitting the Pepsi Plunge for the win (9:24) **1/4.

Thoughts: Average match. Despite the stipulations, there was no drama in this match at all . It had a few nice moves and not a whole lot else. Neither of these guys seem like much at this point to be honest.

Homicide runs into the Backseat Boyz, who tells Homicide that they had nothing to do with Corino turning on him in their match as they hash it out and Homicide tells them to take care of Special K.

Cappetta welcomes Christopher Daniels to the ring, accompanied by Simply Luscious. Daniels says that he came to address the injustice that occurred at the last show when Alexis Laree attacked Luscious from behind then calls her out for having no honor. He then orders Laree to come out so they can settle it once and for all. Laree comes out and accepts the challenge to face Lucious on March 22nd, when RoH returns to the Murphy Rec Center. Laree wants a match now then Luscious attacks her from behind.

Simply Luscious vs. Alexis Laree

Laree ducks a punch and comes back with a spear. She slams Luscious off of the mat but Daniels takes her and hits the Last Rites and Luscious covers for the win (0:51) NR.

Thoughts: Filler to set up the following segment.

After the match, Corino interrupts and tells Daniels that it is not personal, just business, then more or less cuts the same promo he did earlier in the show. He furthers his point of yelling at the fans for not being there for him when ECW went bankrupt and he was poor before telling Daniels that he is putting the Prophecy on notice and says his group will take all of the RoH titles. Corino then tells Luscious that their relationship is over because he cannot have her tell Daniels his secrets. Corino now eggs on Daniels to throw the first punch and they tease coming to blows but Daniels leaves as he has to defend the Tag Team Titles tonight. Corino finishes by dissing the fans and they respond with a funny “You’re a Jobber” chant and that switches to an “Asshole” chant after he makes fun of them. Corino then calls out Homicide, referring to him as a “disrespectful young boy” and Homicide comes out as they brawl in the ring, with Homicide getting the best of him. Corino bails after Homicide pulled out a fork. Long segment too. It wasn’t bad or anything and the fans hated Corino, which provided a funny moment when a fan was flipping out on him as he headed up the aisle and Corino responded by yelling “get your teeth fixed, Leroy,” but by the end of the show you felt burned out. Looks like they are setting up a feud between the Prophecy and Corino’s soon-to-be assembled stable.

Another clip of RoH High Impact TV with Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan destroying Dunn & Marcos.

Da Hit Squad are backstage and yell about how they are the “two stiffest bastards in the game” as they call out Special K and the Backseat Boyz. Maff showed a lot of intensity here and it was good.

Scramble Match
Deranged & Angel Dust w/ Special K vs. Backseat Boyz vs. Da Hit Squad

Levy tries to sell the fact that the Da Hit Squad and Backseat Boyz are facing off as a dream match. Well, it’s not. Deranged tries to get an “LSD” chant started but that fails. Acid slaps Deranged after getting flipped off then shoves him in the corner. They then work a martial arts sequence that ends with Acid nailing Deranged in the face with a dropkick. Not bad at all, actually. Kashmere and Angel Dust trade armdrags and do a bunch of reversals that ends with Kashmere spearing him in midair. Mafia tags in and grabs Angel Dust and hits him with a Dragon Suplex. He puts Angel Dust in a tree-of-woe then suplexes Deranged right into him. The Backseat Boyz run in but Da Hit Squad does a few double team moves then powerbomb Kashmere right on top of his partner. That looked painful. Deranged and Angel Dust dropkick Da Hit Squad into each other then dive outside as everyone is down. Hydro (Jay Lethal) runs in but Mack powerbombs him outside onto the rest of Special K. The Backseat Boys use a running flip dive onto everyone. Mafia then takes everyone out with a tope as this is getting a bit silly. Back inside, the Backseat Boyz hit Deranged with a powerbomb/cutter combo then hit Angel Dust with the Dream Sequence. Deranged & Angel Dust beat on the Backseat Boyz for a bit then Mack tosses Deranged at his partner and Mafia hits them both with a German Suplex that looked like it almost killed Angel Dust. Mack goes up top and hits Angel Dust with a frog splash as Mafia had him in a figure four. Everyone then hits a bunch of crazy moves and that ends with Mafia attempting to hit Deranged with the Burning Hammer but Izzy, Yeyo, and Hydro run in and break it up then Angel Dust and Deranged roll him up for the win (10:22) **1/4.

Thoughts: Much like the opener, some cool moves but not much else and the end was too slow with the constant set-ups for the big dives coming off as ridiculous. The feud between Da Hit Squad and Special K continues.

More RoH TV Taping Highlights, this time with Jay Briscoe defeating Ace Steel

Best of Three Falls
RoH Tag Team Title Match
SAT’s vs. Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan (Champions)

First Fall

Morgan starts off the match by taking down Jose. He then slaps him across the face after a break then wins a test of strength. Morgan grabs a side headlock then Jose hits him with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and a few armdrags as Morgan ducks outside. After some stalling, Daniels tags in and works a fast-paced sequence with Joel that ends in a stalemate. Joel chops down Daniels then catches him with an armdrag. The SAT’s use quick tags as they work over Daniels and get a few nearfalls as they work at a slower pace than usual and it is for the best in this match. Now they work over Morgan for a bit until Joel gets caught with a knee. Daniels tags but gets immediately backdropped as the SAT’s are hitting the Prophecy with all sorts of cool double-team moves. Morgan tosses out Joel then Daniels crotches Jose against the post and holds him so Morgan can hit him with a baseball slide. Morgan stretches out Jose then tags Daniels who nails him with a dropkick then tosses him outside where Morgan roughs him up. Back inside, Daniels hits a delayed vertical suplex then follows with an Arabian Press for two. The Prophecy continues to dominate Jose as the fans attempt to rally behind him as they use a lot of illegal double-team moves behind the referee’s back. Jose comes back with a tornado DDT as both men are down and he makes the tag to Joel, who goes wild on the Prophecy. He hits Daniels with a flying body press but gets dumped outside by Morgan then hit Jose with the Revelations (powerbomb/neckbreaker combo) to win the fall, despite Jose not being the legal man (14:00).

Second Fall

We have a new referee for this fall as the announcers tell us the previous ref split his pants. Morgan stretches out Joel then tags Daniels, who gets a nearfall with a suplex. The Prophecy continue to use illegal double-team moves then Daniels puts Joel in a cross armbreaker. They then no sell a double clothesline spot and slap each other until they both go down after a second double clothesline. Morgan runs in and knocks Jose off of the apron then grounds Joel. Daniels pokes Joel in the eye then covers for two. Joel fights off a double-team move then makes the tag to Jose. He hits a double dropkick and the SAT’s almost put him away with a DDT off of the shoulders. Daniels breaks up the fall and heads up top but the SAT’s cut him off then hit the Spanish Fly to win the fall (20:43).

Third Fall

Jose covers Daniels but Morgan breaks that up. The SAT’s clear house and almost put away Daniels with a DDT but Morgan breaks that up and hits Joel with the Golden Gate Swing and a Fisherman’s Buster but Jose breaks up the pin with a frog splash. Daniels tags and hits Jose with the Angel’s wings but Joel makes the save. Daniels hits Joel with a jawbreaker and a slam but misses the BME and gets hit with the Maximo Explosion. Joel puts Morgan on his shoulders as they try another DDT but Morgan catches Jose in midair with a spinebuster for two. Cool reversal spot. The match breaks down as Daniels hits Joel with the STO for two then puts him away with the Last Rites (24:47) **3/4.

Thoughts: Solid match but it was missing something and it appeared that the SAT’s were gassed near the end. The SAT’s started off fine wrestling at a slower-pace at the beginning but did not appear to have enough left in the tank at the end or the ability to connect with the crowd. This match did somewhat expose them as guys who could only do highspots too.

RoH TV highlights of Samoa Joe destroying the Outkast Killaz

Carnage Crew vs. The New Christopher St. Connection w/ Allison Danger

Buff E has been replaced by Guapo. The CSC piss off the Carnage Crew during the Code of Honor by licking and hugging them. The Carnage Crew suplex them around for a bit. This match is clipped as we jump to the CSC kissing the Carnage Crew, who then get disqualified for beating the shit out of them with hubcaps. Maybe two minutes shown of this and just another attempt to put over the Carnage Crew as a team who only cares about inflicting pain.

Homicide is backstage and cuts a promo about how he is on probation and wants a better life for his kid as wrestling is all he has.  He then says he will show why he is the “King of Strong Style.” Good, passionate promo from Homicide.

Jody Fleisch vs. Amazing Red

These two go back and forth on the mat to start. Now they work a lucha sequence and that ends in a stalemate as the fans give them a standing applause. Fleisch chops Red but misses a corner splash and eats a kick in the face. Fleisch ducks outside and Red hits him with a flip dive. Back inside, Fleisch ducks a 718 attempt and hits him with an enziguiri. Red ducks out and Fleisch hits him with a springboard shooting star press. Back inside they fight up top and end up taking each other down with a one man Spanish Fly in a terribly contrived spot. Plus, Fleisch sat there forever on the top rope. Special K come down to ringside as Fleisch and Red trade punches. Red gets a nearfall with a facebuster of sorts but Fleisch comes back with a quebrada then heads up top but Red takes him off with a spinkick. Red goes up top for the Infrared but Special K pull Fleisch away. Fleisch then goes up top and hits the 720 DDT for the win (6:14) *1/4. After the match, Special K celebrates with Fleisch, who pulls them away from beating on Red, but only so he can dance. They beat on Red then call for the DJ to hit their music but The SAT’s, Divine Storm, JT Smith, and Da Hit Squad run in for the save. The Big Black Guy in the suit comes out and acts like he is helping Smith again but turns on him with a powerbomb and helps Special K. Fleisch then proclaims Special K as the future of RoH.

Thoughts: Short and unimpressive match. Fleisch was just not very good at all to be honest. If he performed three highspots, one of them would look good. They put over Special K here and apparently Fleisch is a new member. They certainly are making an attempt tonight to put over the stables.

RoH Championship Match
Xavier (Champion) vs. Paul London

Before the match, Xavier cuts a promo on the crowd about how they can call him whatever they want but he is the champion. Xavier jumps London as soon as he enters the ring. He then roughs him up in the corner as Levy talks about how everyone from the internet to the “sheet writers” hate Xavier and do not want to see him as champion. London fights back and hits a standing shooting star press. London hits a few armdrags then a hurricarana. Xavier ducks outside but is able to avoid a diving attack attempt then yells at the crowd. London knocks Xavier off of the apron a few times then avoids a monkey flip attempt and works a side headlock for a bit. Xavier runs into a forearm smash then gets nailed with a spinning heel kick. Xavier manages to block a headscissor attempt and drops London on his face then hits London with several knee smashes in the corner. Now they trade chops until Xavier uses a thumb to the eye. Xavier hits a double underhook suplex then targets the neck. London manages a rollup but Xavier goes right back on offense. He puts London in a bow-and-arrow lock then catches him with a knee to the gut. Gutwrench suplex gets two. London fights back with knee strikes but Xavier tosses him into the corner. London slips out of a powerbomb attempt but Xavier comes back with a German Suplex that gets two. Xavier then hits London with a necksnap then signals for the 450 splash but London cuts him off and tries a superplex onto the floor as the crowd starts a “please don’t die” chant. London gets dumped to the floor but is able to crotch Xavier. Londn hits an inverted atomic drop and follows with a dropkick that gets two. The crowd is booing every move that Xavier does and cheers everything London does. London powerbombs Xavier then tries the shooting star press but Xavier rolls outside. London then flies off of the top with a shooting star press, nearly killing himself in the process. Back inside, Xavier cuts off London but gets shoved off of the top. London tries the SSP but Xavier rolls out of the way and rolls him up for two. London comes back with a neckbreaker for two. Xavier dodges a charge and goes for the X-Breaker but London hits a DDT for a nearfall as Xavier’s foot was on the ropes. The ref counted to three but saw Xavier’s foot on the ropes as the fans chanted “bullshit.” Xavier hits a pair of Cobra Clutch Suplexes then puts him away with the X-Breaker (17:05) ***1/2. All of the fans flip off Xavier as he heads up the aisle.

Thoughts: Good match. I give a lot of props to Xavier here as this was by far his best performance in RoH. He also looked a lot more comfortable in his role as the heel and did a fine job at that. London remains one of the top babyfaces in the promotion.

Backstage, Cappetta attempts to conduct an interview with Special K but they refuse to stop partying and dancing. Special K then messes around with Cappetta and he walks off. The huge black guy in the suit then prevents Da Hit Squad from entering the locker room and asks if they have a VIP pass. He shoves Mafia then tells introduces himself as “Slugger,” the security for Special K. Mafia and Slugger almost come to blows as Mack steps between them and walks off with Mafia.

Corino is sitting in the ring, wearing his ring gear. He was wearing a suit all night long. The crowd starts a “who booked this shit” chant. Corino says that you cannot book a main event in RoH without him then antagonizes the crowd some more until Homicide comes out. Corino jumps him with a fork as soon as he enters the ring then hits him with a few piledrivers as the rest of the contestants come out. Joe watches from ringside and then Low Ki comes out and checks on Homicide as the American Danielson and Joe are in each others faces while standing on the top rope. Rob Feinstein comes out and orders them to get Homicide out of the ring then names Corino as his replacement. Corino smirks after hearing that and looks quite confident.

#1 Contender’s Trophy Match
Steve Corino vs. Samoa Joe vs. Low Ki vs. Bryan Danielson

Ki and Danielson start off the match by battling over a test of strength. They then take it to the mat as they go back and forth until Danielson tosses him. Ki starts kicking the leg of Danielson until he gets taken down then put in a giant swing. Joe tags himself in then elbows Danielson in the corner. Joe puts on a chinlock before switching to a front facelock. Danielson fights back and they spill outside, with Danielson sliding back inside and tagging Corino. Joe and Corino show each other respect then trade strikes. Joe takes him down with an enziguiri then hits him with more strikes. The crowd is really into Joe tonight, cheering everything he does. Joe flips of Ki as after they had some words then Joe goes back to beating on Corino. Suplex gets two then Corino ducks outside for a breather. Corino then calls someone in the crowd a “fag” after they harassed him then he takes down Joe but gets kicked to the floor. Ki tags himself in as Corino takes his time getting into the ring. Ki was pissed that Corino attacked Homicide. They go back to the mat as Corino works a side headlock. Ki kicks him in the face then drops an elbow for two. Danielson tags in as he viciously works over the neck of Ki. He catches him with a running knee strike then hits a slam. He drops a few elbows and covers but Corino breaks that up. Danielson tags Joe as he headbutts Ki down. Corino tags himself in and kicks Ki out to the floor. Corino roughs him up then chokes him out with his foot. Corino catches Ki with a leg lariat then works a cross armbreaker on the mat as the crowd rallies behind Ki, who comes back with a low dropkick then repeated kicks to Corino. Ki works a figure-four neck lock until Joe breaks it up. Corino then puts on a STF while he nails Ki with crossfaces. Joe tags and clotheslines Ki in the corner. Danielson makes the blind tag but gets kicked in the face by Ki, who was tossed by Joe. Corino tags and goes for the cover but that only gets two. Joe hits Danielson with an overhead suplex for two then applies a chinlock. Joe chops Danielson down then tags Ki, who hits a back suplex for two. Ki chops Danielson in the corner but comes back with a running forearm strike then a fallaway slam with a bridge that gets broken up by Corino. Danielson takes Ki down with an European Uppercut then tags Corino, who covers immediately for two then works over the arm and neck. Ki bridges out and chops away. He drills him with a boot to the face that gets two. Ki attempts the Dragon Clutch but Corino turns it around then hits a DDT. Corino hooks on an abdominal stretch then hammers away on the chest of Ki, who escapes and hits a kick. Danielson tags and attacks Corino briefly until he gets chopped. Joe tags and Danielson puts him in the Cattle Mutilation. Ki stands on top of Danielson until Corino takes him down. Joe tags Corino as he drops a knee on Danielson then targets the knee. Corino grapevines the leg as the crowd is all over him. Joe tags and works a single leg crab on Danielson while driving his knee into the back of his neck. Ki breaks that up with several kicks. Joe then chops Danielson and puts him in the Coquina Klutch. That gets broken up then Ki tags and  repeatedly tries to apply the Dragon Clutch but Danielson fights it off. Ki hits the Krush Rush then tries again for the Dragon Clutch but is able to hit him with a brainbuster after he escaped. Danielson comes back with a forearm and a rollup but gets drilled with a brainbuster as Danielson rolls outside. Ki follows him and hits a suplex as Danielson has been getting destroyed. Ki chops Danielson against the apron then finally rolls him inside and covers but Joe breaks that up. Joe tags and drops a knee onto Danielson. Corino runs in and clotheslines Danielson as Joe hit him with a German suplex then tags himself in and chops away as the crowd boos. He then puts on a chinlock to further piss off the fans but Ki breaks that up with a kick to the face. Corino and Joe work on Danielson for a minute. Danielson fights back with a forearm to Joe then finally makes the tag. Ki and Joe go back and forth until Joe chops him down. Joe and Corino work over Ki in the corner as Corino continues to jaw with the fans. Ki comes back with a running forearm smash then puts Corino in an Octopus Hold. They have a reversal sequence that ends with Ki hitting the Tidal Crush as both men are down. Corino tags Joe, who face-washes Ki as we are informed by Levy that there is just a few minutes left in the match. Corino puts Joe in a figure four but Ki and Danielson break that up with a double flying headbutt. Joe powerbombs Corino then puts him in a STF. He then takes Ki down with a dragon screw and applies a single leg crab. Danielson charges and Joe puts him in a STF until Ki breaks that up with a dropkick. Ki catches Corino with a springboard kick then Ki and Dragon kill each other with forearm smashes. DAnielson hits a roaring elbow for two then gets turned inside out with a lariat from Joe. Ki and Joe no-sell some shots then take off their tape as the crowd applauds. They have a stiff exchange of moves until Corino and Danielson break that up. Corino takes Ki off of the top with a T-Bone Suplex as it’s announced that two minutes are remaining in the match. Joe takes Corino off top with an Ace Crusher but Danielson breaks that up with another flying headbutt as everyone is down. Ki and Joe take down Corino and Danielson with enziguiris. The match has completely broken down as Danielson hits Corino with a Northern Lights Suplex over Ki as that gets easily broken up. Ki drops down and boots Danielson in the face then hits Joe with the Ki Krusher and puts Corino in the Dragon Sleeper as the ten second countdown begins. The bell sounds as it seems like Corino tapped but its announced a draw (45:00) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Long match that was missing something until the last ten minutes or so. It would have helped if they played up the time-limit stipulations at the beginning of the match. I guess they wanted to have a cliffhanger by going into 2003 without a #1 contender or they plan to have a 5-man title match because the ending made no sense otherwise. There was also some teasing of Joe being a potential member of Corino’s group.

Da Hit Squad rushes the locker room door along with the Amazing Red, JT Smith, SAT’s, and Divine Storm and tosses about Special K. Slugger is the only one left and he tells them all that they just made a huge mistake.

The Carnage Crew are backstage gloating about beating the shit out of the CSC then talks about how their day jobs suck and have ugly wives but the one thing they give a damn about his violence and do not care if they win or lose. They then tell Da Hit Squad at the next show, they will take them out.

Low Ki looks into the camera and tells us that RoH gives him a platform to do what he loves. He then gives himself three goals for 2003: Hurt Xavier, destroy The Prophecy, and to reclaim the RoH Title.

Cappetta is with Corino and asks him about the first member of his stable. Corino says that the first member of his group was in fact the first member of the Prophecy, Simply Luscious. She comes out as Corino says next week, we will find out who the second member will be.

Final Thoughts: This show was more about setting up for 2003 than delivering a great in-ring product. There were some good matches here but the main focus was on Corino, who ws being positioned as a major heel in the company. They set up feuds for him against Homicide, Low Ki, and the Prophecy tonight. If you are not a fan of Corino, then this is not the show for you. They also put over Special K a lot here and London looked like a legitimate star as well. Another thing to note that Konnan was introduced at this show and reportedly booed out of the building. He was going to be wrestling at the next show. This was not featured on the DVD. This crowd was really tough on the heels, and it made it fun. Not the best show of the year but far from the worse and I give it a recommendation.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Sunday: WWF Houston Summit House Show 10/19/86
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 10/25/86
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Sabu, Volume 1
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 10/26/86
Saturday: RoH Revenge on the Prophecy 1/11/03

Andre Memorial Battle Royal

Hi Scott,

Long time fan etc etc.  I have a quick question regarding the Andre Memorial Battle Royal – seems like a lovely idea, and great that more talent gets on the card, but isn't this a bit cynically timed, ie happening RIGHT after the network has launched, and wrestlers are likely getting hosed on ppv bonuses compared to previous years?

It's almost like this "best for business" thing is a shoot comment that…you know the rest.


Yeah, but they're competing for a seven foot tall solid gold statue!  That's bigger than any paltry WM payoff could be!  

Match of the Day: 23rd Anniversary of Battle Kat’s WWE debut

This has it all!  Brady Boone in a stupid gimmick!  Jobber extraordinaire BOB BRADLEY!  Gorilla Monsoon shilling Hulk Hogan’s vitamins!  Actual vitamins, not just the metaphorical ones.

Fun fact:  Boone got shitcanned and they wanted to keep this retarded gimmick for some reason, so it went to… Bob Bradley.  For like two weeks and then they really did cut it loose for real.  And now you know.

ROH Final Battle 2012

Live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. Anyone want to
take a guess at how long it will take for an ECW chant to break out? Hosted by
Kevin Kelly and Caleb Seltzer, who announce that the new commentator (who was
supposed to be Adam Pearce) no-showed. OK then…

Michael Elgin vs.
Roderick Strong:
Good enough choice for the opener. The slug it out to
start, then Elgin ends up on the floor on a blind charge. Strong tries a
plancha but Elgin catches him, Strong gets out of the powerbomb into the ringpost,
but a forearm shot finds the post. Elgin gets caught coming back in and Strong
takes over with chops and forearms as Truth Martini makes his way out. Elgin
belly-to-belly suplexes Strong to the floor and hits a flying shoulderblock
from the apron. He sends Strong into the barricade a couple times and hits the
Bulldog powerslam on the floor. The fight it on the apron, Strong hits
a belly-to-back on the edge of the ring and hits a dive from the apron of his
own. Martini isn’t yet letting us know where his allegiances lie, cheering on
both guys and occasionally popping over to the commentator’s table to talk to
the people at home. More brawling on the floor and back in the ring, a quick
reversal sequence leads to a Black Hole Slam from Elgin for 2. Some guy tries
to start a “Let’s go Elgin” chant but the rest of the crowd won’t get into it.
Strong misses a blind charge and Elgin hits the corner Death Valley Driver for
2. Elgin goes for the corkscrew but gets crotched on the top rope and Strong
drops him into a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle. I question the
effectiveness of trying to hurt someone’s back on padding, but it was a
creative spot and it gets 2. Strong hits a couple jumping knees for 2, he sets
up for what looked like a front superplex, but Elgin knocks him to the apron
and hits the second rope apron-to-ring superplex. “Holy shit” chant is of
course not bleeped here, and that’s the one good thing about iPPV, it’s totally
unregulated. Strong no-sells the bucklebomb and hits the double-knee gutbuster,
Elgin no-sells that and clotheslines the shit out of Strong (with the full 360
sell). Martini hops up on the apron and slides the Book of Truth into the ring,
Elgin goes for the spinning powerbomb but gets nailed with the book and Strong
hits the jumping double-knee backbreaker to end it at 11:32. Decent opener,
**1/2, Strong tells off Martini AGAIN (can’t this guy take a hint?), so Martini
tries sucking up to Elgin, and when that doesn’t work he starts telling him off
and slaps him and gets bucklebombed for his troubles.
Jay Lethal vs. Rhino:
Not really any angle with these two, just a case of 2 guys with nothing else to
do getting matched up with each other. Here’s our first ECW chant as Steve
Corino makes his way out to do commentary. Awesome. Lethal hits a springboard
crossbody and tosses Rhino over the top to the floor. Corino: “That should be a
DQ!” Kelly: “It’s not 1975 anymore!” Rhino tries getting back in and Lethal
hits a springboard dropkick to send him back out. Lethal misses a plancha but
lands on his feet and hits a superkick and the Bret Hart dive through the ropes,
then tosses Rhino into the barricade as Corino talks about how he used to date
Lethal’s mother. Back in the ring Lethal gets a kick for 2 and calls for the
Lethal Injection, it misses and Rhino hits a spinebuster for 2. Corino informs
us that Rhino is being paid off to bust up Lethal and keep him from getting
involved in the main event tonight. Forearm shots to the back from Rhino,
Lethal tries to come back with chops but just gets beat on in the corner. Rhino
hooks a body scissors as Corino makes fun of Seltzer, Lethal gets free but
keeps getting pounded. Now a bearhug, and if not for Corino’s commentary I’d
seriously be losing patience with this match. Lethal gets free and hits a
handspring elbow and a leg lariat. Irish whip is reversed and Lethal gets
speared in the corner and eats a belly-to-belly. Rhino attempts the Gore and
gets superkicked, Lethal locks in the Koji clutch, Rhino just lifts him right
up while the hold is on and drops him for 2. Lethal is back up with punches and
the Lethal Injection finishes it at 9:33. Corino’s commentary was ***** as
usual, match itself was about *, way too much laying around for a match that
short. Corino hops up on the apron to talk shit and Jimmy Jacobs attacks Lethal
from behind, 3 on 1 beatdown results.
RD Evans (w/QT
Marshall) vs. Prince Nana:
While Evans is only a manager in ROH he’s a
CHIKARA regular (as Archibald Peck) and a 10 year vet of THIS BUSINESS, so this
shouldn’t be too horrible. Evans is wearing a fruity looking pink and black
outfit with a sash, Nana is dressed like New Jack. Evans bitch slaps Nana, Nana
attacks and we’re on. Nana pounds away for a while but gets tossed to the
floor, Evans tries a plancha but lands on his face. Nice bump there, QT
Marshall helps him up and Nana takes them both out with a running dive from the
ring to the floor. Back in Evans trips up Nana and sends him into the corner
and stomps away. A few shots to the back get 2. He grabs a sleeper then hits a
backdrop suplex and goes up top, Bret Hart elbow finds nothing but boot, a
spinning side slam and a standing senton gets 2, Evans tries a springboard
bodypress but lands in a Diamond Cutter, and Marshall pulls out the ref.
Arnesto O’Cyrus (whoever the hell he is…) attacks Marshall but gets wiped out as
Evans gets a scoop slam and goes up to again, this time he gets crotched and
Nana gets a superplex for 2. He charges, Evans boots him in the gut and hits an
inverted Styles Clash to end this one at 6:40. I thought for sure Nana was
winning here. *1/2, which is better than I expected. Tomaso Ciampa tries to
attack from the crowd but gets held back by security.
NYC Streetfight:
Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Rhett Titus and BJ Whitmer:
and Whitmer jump WGTT from behind as they make their entrance and beat their
asses all around ringside. Titus pulls out a big stocking from under the ring
and start beating on WGTT with huge candy canes. So it’s going to be one of
those sort of streetfights, eh? I’m waiting for the plastic lizard, or I guess
maybe a plastic Frosty the Snowman. Kelly tries to tell us that there are now
dangerous shards of candy in the ring but can’t even say it with a straight
face as the crowd chants “Merry Christmas”. Whitmer tosses Hass to the floor,
Titus heads back outside and tosses one of those 3-foot tall fake Christmas trees
in, Shelton grabs it and nails him in the head with it. Meanwhile, Hass and
Whitmer are in isle tearing shit up, in the ring Benjamin starts beating on
Titus with a crutch. Whitmer attempts to piledrive Hass on the concrete but
Benjamin runs up and blasts him in the face with a kick, Hass takes his belt
off and goes after Titus with it in the ring as Benjamin hits Whitmer with
pieces of the barricade. Benjamin back in the ring now and they double-team
Titus with belt shots, Whitmer crawls back in but gets sent out and beat on by
Benjamin while Hass goes to work with the crutch. Benjamin gets back in and
grabs a kendo stick, but for whatever strange reason tosses it outside right in
front of Whitmer, and of course he’s back in with it and goes to town on WGTT.
Why the hell would Benjamin toss it right to him? Whitmer dumps Benjamin to the
floor and hits the rolling Northern Lights suplex for 2. Haas comes back with
the Olympic Slam for 2, Benjamin brings in a piece of the barricade, Whitmer
(who’s bleeding, looks hardway, probably from a piece of Christmas ornament off
the tree) gets dropped back first on it, Titus makes the save. He and Hass go
out to the floor as Benjamin grabs a chair but Titus nails him from behind and
he lands face-first on the chair for 2. Haas sets up the guardrail in the
corner but ends up getting hiptossed into it, Benjamin makes the save and
superkicks Titus. He sets up a really beat-up table on the floor and both he
and Titus end up going through it as Whitmer gets a rollup on Haas for 2.
Exploder suplex on Haas gets 2 and Whitmer grabs another table, but ends up
getting belly-to-belly suplexed off the top rope through the table 3/4 of the
way across the ring (Holy SHIT!) to finish at 15:27. One HELL of a finish right
there. Some might hate the goofy weapon shots at the start, and this doesn’t
even pale in comparison to the craziness in Brooklyn later that night (though I’d
say this match had the better finish), but it was still damned entertaining.
****, replays show that Whitmer landed right on his head and he looks to be out
Mike Bennett (w/
Maria Kanellis and Brutal Bob) vs. Jerry Lynn:
This is Lynn’s final match
in ROH, as he’s retiring next month. He’s looks like he’s hardy aged since his
ECW days. Crowd gets into the “Fuck him Jerry, fuck him up!” chant before the
match even starts. This is the first time we’ve seen the Code of Honor tonight,
for those that care about that sort of thing. Headlock-based chain wrestling
sequence to start with the camera focusing more on Maria (who’s wearing shorts
so small I’m surprised that New York state law allows them, not that I’m
complaining about it or or anything) than the match. Lynn goes for the cradle
piledriver about 3 minutes in but Bennett quickly gets free and goes for some
advice from Brutal Bob. A tilt-a-whirl headscissors sends him to the floor and
Lynn follows with a plancha and Bennett hides behind Maria, Lynn chases him
around but gets nailed by Brutal Bob. Bob hops on commentary for a minute as
Bennett sends Lynn into the barricade. Is there some reason that spot has to be
in every match tonight? Back in Bennett tries a suplex and Lynn reverses it
into a rollup for 2. Bennett goes to the eyes and charges at Lynn in the
corner, Lynn gets his feet up but Bennett catches them and drops Lynn into a
backbreaker for 2. Bennett punches away, Lynn fires back and hits a rolling
elbow and a back rake, then does the 10-count punches in the corner. DDT for 2,
then Lynn hits an Ace Crusher from the apron to the floor. That was cool, and
it gets 2 back in the ring. Cradle piledriver attempt #2, Bennett gets free
again and hits a spinebuster for 2. Maria hops up onto the apron to distract
the ref as Brutal Bob tosses in a chair, Bennett tries a TKO onto the chair but
Lynn reverses it into one of his own for 2. Now Bob distracts the ref, Lynn
tries to go after Maria, she drops him throat-first on the top rope and Bennett
hits the Box Office Smash for 3 at 10:08. Seemed about **ish, but it’s kind of
hard to give it a fair rating with the camera more focused on Maria than the
match. Bennett tries to attack Lynn but Lynn spears Brutal Bob, DDTs Maria, and
lands the cradle piledriver on Bennett. Crowd gives him a standing ovation and loud “Thank
you Jerry” and “You still got it” chants.
Lynn gives a really nice farewell speech thanking the fans
and Cary Silkin for everything, Nigel McGuiness comes out and gives him a
plaque commemorating all his contributions to wrestling, Lynn gives another
speech thanking the crowd and he and McGuiness pose for some photos. Glad to
see Lynn get out of the business relatively healthy and on his own terms, class
act all the way. Now Jay Lethal has to stick his nose into all this and pester
McGuiness about not getting his title shot. Lethal says he’s taking El Generico’s
spot in the main event tonight, McGuiness tells him he’s not, Lethal starts to
whine about Kevin Steen spitting on his mom, and at this point this has all
gone on a bit too long and is starting to kill the crowd. Lethal spits in Nigel’s
face, Nigel tries to attack and security breaks it up, McGuiness has them toss
Lethal out of the building.
Intermission, video packages for Steen/Generico, Cole/Hardy,
and the tag title match are shown.
Mike Mondo is out for a promo. He’ll be back in a month.
Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish join us to run their mouths and attack Mondo.
Davey Richards makes the save but gets beat down, Eddie Edwards saves him, and
takes us right into…
Bobby Fish & Kyle
O’Reilly vs. Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards:
The Wolves start by
double-teaming Fish while O’Reilly is down on the floor, he gets back in and
gets beat on in the corner. O’Reilly gets dumped, Fish and Edwards are the
legal men and Edwards hits a snap suplex for 2. Richards in now and he hooks in
a modified Texas Cloverleaf, O’Reilly tries to get in and Edwards provides a
little more leverage to the hold behind the ref’s back. Richards turns it into
a pin, Fish kicks out. Edwards back in and he gets backdropped to the apron, O’Reilly
knocks him to the floor and goes after Richards but gets tossed over the top
and out. Richards tries the kick off the apron on Fish but it’s caught and O’Reilly
nails him from behind. Edwards is sitting in that chair that always in the
corner of the ringside area for whatever reason and O’Reilly nails him with a
missile dropkick from the apron. Fish takes over on Edwards back in the ring,
he and O’Reilly go into the classic formula, baiting Richards to distract the
ref so they can double-team Edwards. Sidewinder on Edwards, Richards makes the
save. Backdrop suplex by Fish for 2, O’Reilly in and some double-team kicking
gets a couple 2 counts. Richards has had enough and goes after the heels
(including a nice German suplex on O’Reilly) but gets caught with a Falcon
Arrow by Fish. All 4 men end up on the floor thanks to twin suplexes from the
faces. Nice looking spot there. Richards and O’Reilly are back in first and
they slug it out, O’Reilly grabs a standing Dragon sleeper, Richards hooks in a
standing anklelock while still in the sleeper. Richards wins that battle and
turns it into a standard anklelock, O’Reilly gets free but eats a kick to the
head from Edwards. Tombstone by Richards gets 2, Edwards tries a powerbomb but
O’Reilly gets free and hits a brainbuster for 2 as it appears the ref no longer
cares who the legal man is. O’Reilly goes for the Dragon sleeper, Edwards rolls
it into a pin and Fish breaks it up with a moonsault from the top and seems to
have messed up his knee doing it. He gets dumped to the floor and the faces hit
a double-team powerbomb on O’Reilly for 2, Edwards hooks the Achilles lock
while stomping on the back of his head and the ref stops the match at 12:27.
Kind of an odd ending there… ***1/2, good classic formula tag match that’s
pretty much impossible to screw up, with some crazy near falls towards the end.
Matt Hardy vs. Adam
Crowd is NOT happy to see Hardy (nor am I), with quite a few fans
throwing him the double bird. Cole is the ROH TV champ, but the title isn’t on
the line here because Hardy doesn’t work for ROH. Pretty loud “Fuck you Hardy”
chant as we begin. Can’t say I disagree. Lockup to start goes nowhere, another
one has them fighting over a wristlock. Cole gets free and hits some forearms
and a dropkick and Hardy bails. Cole follows with a running dive to the floor
that also nails a cameraman, he tosses Hardy back in and Hardy bails again, so
this time Cole hits him with a plancha. He tries a German suplex from the apron
but Hardy gets loose and nails Cole with a Side Effect on the edge of the ring
for a 2 count. He hooks a sort of inverted full nelson, Cole gets loose. I’m
loving the crowd here, as they are just merciless in their abuse of Hardy. He
goes for the Twist of Fate, Cole turns it into a figure 4, Hardy reverses it
and Cole makes the ropes. Another Side Effect gets 2, he hits 2 more for
another 2 count and it’s pretty clear at this point that he doesn’t have much
else. Another one for 2 and I’m rapidly getting irritated with this match, it’s
starting to remind me of that HHH/Steiner Royal Rumble atrocity. He goes for
the Twist of Fate again, Cole shoves him into the corner but runs into a boot,
Hardy hits an elbow from the second rope but Cole pops right back with a superkick
for 2. Cole stomps Hardy down in the corner, Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate
again, Cole turns it into a backslide for 2. Now Cole hits the Twist of Fate
for 2, jumping enziguri and a knee to the face for2, and he tries to go up top
bet gets caught with a crucifix powerbomb. Both guys tumble out and Cole hits
the Florida Key on the floor and rolls him back in for 2, Hardy is back up and
finally hits the Twist of Fate. It gets 2, Hardy goes to the second rope but
gets pulled off and put in the figure 4 again. Hardy makes the ropes, Cole goes
for the Florida Key but Hardy grabs the and pulls his shirt over his head and
boots Cole in the balls while the ref can’t see it, and gets a small package
for 3 at 11:47. God fucking DAMNIT! The crowd is about as happy with that
finish as I am. Well, at least it wasn’t clean. Cole’s really talented but he’s
not a miracle worker, at least not yet. 1/2*, match was terrible, Hardy was
totally out of shape and had nothing here, doing only 4 moves in the entire
match. I’m not looking forward to the rematch, that’s for damn sure.
ROH Tag Team title:
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. The Briscoes vs. Steve Corino &
Jimmy Jacobs (c):
This is sudden death rules, meaning that the champs somehow
have to be involved in the fall to end the match. Better than WWE-style first
fall wins 3-ways, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be elimination rules. The
Briscoes are the pretty clear-cut favorite of the crowd. The rules basically
make this a 4 on 2 handicap tornado match, and the challengers jump the champs
and double-team them, with Jay and Coleman taking on Corino and Mark and
Alexander going after Jacobs. Mark hits an elbow from the top on Jacobs, but
Coleman grabs the ref to break the count. C+C gets into it with the Briscoes,
so S.C.U.M. takes the opportunity to try and walk out, but the Briscoes grab
them at the curtain and Jay tosses Corino (who’s wearing that awful looking
singlet again) back in, but Alexander knocks him off the apron and C+C take
over on Corino. They hit the obligatory completely fucked up Total Elimination,
then Alexander hits a running somersault dive to the 3 guys on the floor.
Coleman hits a springboard splash on Corino, Mark makes the save. Jacobs goes
for Sliced Bread #2 on Mark but can’t hit it, springboard Diamond Cutter does
hit for 2. Jay back in and he dumps Corino and slugs it out with Coleman, but
he too takes a Diamond Cutter and bails. Corino back in, Jacobs spears Coleman
and Corino hits a belly-to-back suplex, Mark and Alexander make the save but
quickly get tossed out. Jacobs hits the Corino-assisted Slice Bread #2 and
Corino hits a lariat, Coleman kicks out. Corino tries to hit Alexander with the
roll of nickels but eats a jumping enziguri as Coleman nails a top-rope rana on
Jacobs. Corino nails Coleman with the roll of nickels, it only gets 2. Briscoes
hit the Doomsday Device on Jacobs and we have NEW tag team champions at 7:06.
**, I feel like this should have been better than it was, and it was way too
short, there’s absolutely NO reason that the shitty Cole/Hardy match should
have gone longer than this one. The Briscoes cut a celebratory promo and tell
Coleman and Alexander that they will get the first title shot just out of
respect. Works for me.
Ladder War 4, ROH
Title: El Generico vs. Kevin Steen (c):
Steen is carrying the old belt, the
new one is hanging above the ring. Brawling to start, Generico hits a tornado
DDT and a Yakuza kick and Steen bails, Generico follows with a tope. Generico
sends him back in, grabs a ladder (there’s a bunch of them at ringside, and
they’re pretty cheap looking) and starts going to town on Steen with it. He
tries to set it up but Steen nails him from behind, Generico charges and Steen
backdrops hin onto the ladder (leaning up against the ropes) and it bends right in
half. Ouch. Now Steen goes to work with the busted ladder, he throws it at
Generico and a big chunk of it breaks right off. I hope they have a stronger one
under the ring or something, these ones look like they could barely support
Steen’s weight. Cannonball into the ladder with Generico lying under it, then
Steen nails him with the chunk that broke off. Steen heads out for a couple
fresh ladders, Generico tries throwing one of them at him but he just catches
it and bounces it off Generico’s face. Steen dumps him and tosses him right
through the guardrail and into the first row, then decides to go fuck with a
fan wearing a Generico mask. Generico sets up the ladder while Steen is
distracted, but he gets caught before he can start climbing. He gets whipped
into a ladder set up into the corner and Steen stomps away. There’s a bigger
(and what looks be a better constructed) ladder in the isle, Steen grabs that
and nails Generico with it, and Generico falls to the floor. Steen sets it up
in the center of the ring and starts climbing, Generico pulls him down and
suplexes him into one of the ladders in the corner. Generico starts climbing,
Steen pulls him down but Generico suplexes him onto the ladder again. Generico
goes for the belt again, this time Steen just pushes the ladder over and
Generico lands in the corner. He’s back up and tries for the tornado DDT again
but Steen gets the knee out and turns it into a backbreaker. He dumps Generico
to the floor and starts climbing, Generico pulls him down, so Steen dumps him
again and goes for the belt, Generico catches him again. Steen dumps him back
out and this time follows him out and tosses him through the barricade again.
He sets up one of the ladders between the guardrail and the ring but decides to
just send Generico into the barricade one more time and goes under the ring
looking for something, but comes up empty. OK… He goes to the other side of the
ring and finds what he’s looking for: a table. He sets that up on top of the
ladder that’s between the ring and guardrail, tries to powerbomb Generico through
it from the ring but ends up getting backdropped through it. Generico sends the
ring crew to the back for a really big ladder and the crowd gets into the “Si!
Si! Si!” chant. He sets it up, Steen is back in and goes to the top rope,
Generico meets him and goes for the super brainbuster but gets put through the
timekeeper’s table. Steen starts climbing the really big ladder, Generico is
back in and uses the other big ladder to knock Steen down. He sets the 2 big
ladders up and tries to wedge one of the cheap looking ladders horizontally in
between them but Steen nails him and sets it up himself. Steen powerbombs
Generico onto the ladder and goes for the belt, Generico pulls him down and
hits the package piledriver. Generico climbs, Steen pulls him down, grabs
another one of the smaller ladders and wedges that one between the 2 big ones
above the first and tries to reach the belt from there but he’s about 4 feet
too short. Generico gets up there with him as the crowd chants “Please don’t
die!”, Steen boots him in the balls and hits the package piledriver through the
ladders. Generico ain’t getting up from that, Steen claims the belt for the win
at 28:03. ****, this was really good but not one of the greats, and I honestly liked
Steen’s match with Elgin at Glory by Honor (or even the streetfight from
earlier tonight) better.
Like the ladder match this was a good but not great show,
but more than worth the money. Next PPV isn’t till March and the next TV show
won’t be for at least another 3 weeks, so no more ROH for a while.


Disqus: The Final Battle

I’d love to have different versions of Disqus for different threads, but I can’t unless I set up a seperate Blogger account just for live threads.  And I’m not doing that.

So here it is, the poll to determine the fate of Disqus.  Whatever the majority says, I will go with once and for all.

<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/6394484/”>Binding Disqus Poll, So Vote Carefully!</a>

Battle Royals, Midgets and Sheepfuckers

Hi Scott,
I know from long experience of reading your rants that you don't rate battle royals or midget matches and that there was a spell when you refused to rate (or possibly even watch) Sheepherder/Bushwhacker matches, but I was curious…
Given that you don't rate them, what do you consider to be the gold standard for these types of matches? The sort of match where, if you were to review them (and I understand that you might have to apply different standards), you give them ****+? A lot is made of the midget match from the When Worlds Collide AAA/WCW PPV, for instance and I'm personally a fan of the Sheepherders vs. Nikita and Dr. Death from one of the early Clashes.
I'd be interested in your thoughts.
All the best,

That was quite the attention-grabbing e-mail title. 
I don't know that I ever said I wouldn't rate Bushwacker matches.  They were uniformly terrible as a comedy act, but I have no issues just giving them a DUD and moving on with my life.  But I used to be a big fan of the Sheepherders right up until they jumped to the WWF.  Had they not gone that route, Paul Heyman probably could have resurrected their career in ECW, in fact.  
Midget matches are different, because they're existing in a different universe than the rest of wrestling, with different rules of conduct and different referees who get much more involved.  It's like trying to handicap a Globetrotters game.