January 11, 2003
From West Mifflin, PA
Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy
Backstage, Steve Corino is with Simply Luscious. He declares that he is no longer the “King of Old School” as he is done with nicknames. He then tells us that the next member of the stable is someone he spent time with in bars in Japan and toured all over the world with and that person is…………………….Samoa Joe. He comes out and tells the Prophecy that he and Corino will be paying them a visit.
We are then shown a clip from RoH Impact TV as Corino, Joe, and Luscious interrupt the Prophecy’s meeting. Daniels tells him that he has replaced Luscious with Corino’s sister, Alison Danger, who warns her brother to stay out her business then Corino claims that his stable will take all the titles then almost comes to blows with Daniels.
The Special K come out acting like they are all fucked up as Deranged cuts a rambling promo about how the Special K is all about drugs and partying. Da Hit Squad and the SAT’s interrupt and beat the shit out of them. Mafia then grabs the mic and pumps up the crowd about how they will be seeing great in-ring action tonight.
Paul London is backstage who talks about how the guys in the locker room always bust their asses then talks about his four-way match tonight and how he needs the win to crack the “Top 5” ranking system. London says that there is a special vibe in the air tonight and also acknowledges the “please don’t die” chants, saying how they pump him up.
Matt Stryker vs. Chad Collyer
They start by going back and forth on the mat and end in a standoff, capping off a solid sequence. That is followed by another sequence that ends in a stalemate. Both guys fight over a key lock and that ends in a stalemate. Stryker works the arm as someone finally takes control in this match. Collyer catches Stryker with a hiptoss but misses an elbow drop and Stryker goes for a cross armbreaker but Collyer reaches the ropes. Collyer works over the leg after hitting a shinbreaker as he tries to soften up Stryker for his finisher, the Texas Cloverleaf. Stryker fights back with chops then a backdrop. Stryker continues to sell the leg. Collyer holds the ropes on a dropkick attempt then locks on the Texas Cloverleaf. Stryker is able to climb to the ropes. Stryker counters a shinbreaker with a sunset flip then takes down Collyer with a leg lariat. He hits a few clotheslines then gets two with a powerslam. Stryker hits a neckbreaker but misses a quebrada attempt and Collyer gets a nearfall with a rollup. Stryker comes back with a rollup of his own then puts Collyer in an ankle lock. Collyer reverses that into a cradle and Stryker comes back with a cradle of his own but Collyer catches him with a powerbomb then locks on the Texas Cloverleaf in the middle of the ring as Stryker taps (10:47) **3/4.
Thoughts: Solid match. This would have been rated higher but Stryker’s non-selling of his leg later in the match hurt things. These two were also the definition of “Vanilla Midgets.”
CM Punk is backstage wearing a “D.A.R.E” t-shirt. He talks about losing to Michael Shane in the #1 Contender’s Trophy and that he can handle losing but feels a rage since that happened because Shane cheated to win. Punk then says that he will get redemption by beating Shane tonight and if he doesn’t he will not be able to live with himself.
CM Punk vs. Michael Shane
They go back and forth and barely avoid disaster as they came dangerously close to smashing their heads together at one point. They take it to the mat where Punk has a side headlock. Punk fucks up a bridge spot and does it again then they trade rollups. Shane takes a breather outside then starts trying to get the crowd behind him until Punk does the same. Shane grounds Punk after a test of strength but they still maintain the hold as they perform all sorts of moves and counters. Punk knees Shane in the back repeatedly and finishes with a dropkick that gets two. Shane tosses Punk over the top rope then beats him up on the floor then blows a kiss towards two girls who look barely legal. In the ring, Punk comes back with a jawbreaker but Shane counters a crossbody attempt by sticking out his knee. Shane beats up Punk again on the floor before rolling him back inside. Shane gets a nearfall then puts on a front facelock. Punk comes back with a backbreaker but runs into a clothesline then Shane puts him in a chinlock. A sloppy reversal sequence ends with a double clothesline as both men are down. Punk is up first and hits a backdrop then the Shining Wizard that gets two. Spinebuster gets two. Shane knocks Punk off of the top rope then tries for a swinging DDT but Punk turns that into a powerslam then gets two with a split-legged moonsault that was not even close but covers and gets two. Punk tries a sunset flip from the apron but Shane blocks it and grabs the ropes. However, the referee sees it this time and stops his count. Shane drills Punk with a super kick and that gets two. Shane is pissed and tries for a piledriver but Punk blocks it then uses a double wristlock rollup for the win (13:50) **1/4. After the match, these two go face-to-face and almost come to blows after the handshake.
Thoughts: Disappointing match. Punk was really sloppy and Shane didn’t seem to give a fuck. This was Shane’s last match of importance with the company. Multiple guys have said in shoot interviews that he was difficult to deal with and I have to believe that was the reason his pushed stopped as he was teased as a member of Corino’s stable for a while but that was dropped.
Four Corners Match
BJ Whitmer vs. Colt Cabana vs. Paul London vs. Homicide
This is the RoH debut of Whitmer. Two men are in the ring at the same time in this match as London and Whitmer start off by working the arm. Whitmer catches London with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker then works the arm for a bit. London then catches him with an overhead throw as both guys tag out. Homicide puts Cabana in an armbar and works that for a bit. Homicide ends a reversal sequence with a drop toehold then he chops Cabana in the corner. Homicide hits him with a running knee smash and gets two off of that. Whitmer tags in and catches Homicide with a leg lariat for two. He then leg drops the arm and puts on a cross armbreaker that London breaks up. Cabana tags back in and briefly roughs up Homicide before he gets it with a superplex. He gets two with a dropkick but the ref broke it up as London made a blind tag. London gets two with a spinning heel kick but Cabana fights back and takes him down with a clothesline. Whitmer tags himself in and beats on London. Snap suplex gets two then he puts London in a chinlock. Cabana tags and hits a slam and a knee drop that gets two. London lands on the apron after a backdrop and comes back with a crossbody that gets two but Cabana flattens him with a clothesline then tags Whitmer as those two seem to be working together to beat on London. After a few minutes, London comes back with a dropkick for a nearfall then Cabana teases tagging in Homicide before going to tag Whitmer as London takes some more punishment. London then uses a few somersaults to tag Homicide, who takes it both Cabana and Whitmer. The match breaks down as everyone breaks up pinfalls. Homicide flies out and hits Whitmer with a tope then London catches a charging Cabana with a dropkick then Cabana flips London over the top ropes and onto both guys in a contrived but cool looking spot. Cabana caps it off with a springboard somersault senton as everyone is down and the crowd going nuts. Homicide rolls Whitmer inside and hits the Super Ace Crusher but London runs in for the cover and that leads to Homicide and London going back and forth until Homicide hits the Cop Killer that looked like it killed London but Cabana makes the save. Cabana avoids a Cop Killer attempt then hits the Colt 45 but Whitmer breaks up that pin attempt. Whitmer and Cabana trade shots until Whitmer hits Cabana with three consecutive Dragon Suplexes but on the third attempt, London flies off of the top with a Shooting Star Press onto Whitmer and gets the win (19:29) ***1/2.
Thoughts: Good stuff. The finish was awesome and Whitmer impressed in his RoH debut. Cabana ad Homicide did fine but the other two stood out a lot more than they did here.
Samoa Joe vs. Bryan Danielson
Joe overpowers Danielson to start. Danielson keeps fighting back and bounces off of Joe a few times before taking him down with a dropkick to the legs. Danielson chops Joe down then uses a Dragon Screw as he attacks the leg. Joe uses crossfaces but Danielson still maintains the leg lock. They are now trading shots as Joe wins that battle. Danielson comes back and puts him in an Indian Death Lock then uses a butterfly lock but Joe makes it to the ropes. Danielson chops Joe in the corner then hooks the leg on the rope but eats boot on a charge then gets turned inside out with a clothesline. Joe covers for two then kicks Danielson in the face a few times before hitting him with a running face wash. Joe bends Danielson in half with a single leg crab then tries to suplexes him on the floor as Danielson lands on the floor and was lucky that he did not break his tailbone. He sits Danielson in a chair then takes him down with a running boot that also knocked down the guardrail. Back inside, Joe gets two with a powerbomb then locks on a STF while yelling to Danielson that he owns him. Joe chops down Danielson as he keeps coming back. Joe misses a charge in the corner then takes Joe down with a running forearm. Danielson uses a suplex then climbs up top and hits the diving headbutt that gets two. They trade more strikes until Joe kills him with a knee smash to the head then finishes him off with the Island Driver (13:21) ***1/2.
Thoughts: Another really good match. The story here was that Danielson refuses to stay down, even when facing a monster like Joe. These two worked stiff and Danielson got over good with the crowd.
SAT’s & Ghost Shadow vs. Divine Storm & Konnan w/ Trinity
The fans hate Konnan. Ghost Shadow was trained by Homicide and wrestled in one other match for RoH before leaving. Shadown ad Storm start off the match trading moves as we are informed that the Amazing Red is not here because he is touring All Japan. Divine works on the arm of Ghost Shadow and they work a sequence that ends in a standoff that was not particularly exciting. Joel and Storm trade moves now. Konnan finally tags in and he and Jose actually work a decent fast-paced sequence. Ghost Shadow and Divine are back in a work a terrible sequence filled with botches. Divine was a horrible wrestler. Storm and Joel go at it then engage in a slap fest that ends with a and shake. Konnan is back in and hits Jose with a rolling clothesline then everyone gets in the ring and work a lucha reversal sequence that ends with a dance. Seriously! They trade missile dropkicks then Jose takes out everyone with a quebrada then Shadow hits a somersault senton as someone is yelling “back up” to the other wrestlers. Trinity caps off that with a moonsault then the action goes back in the ring. Konnan & Storm use a rolling leg lock submission on Shadow but the SAT’s break that up. Shadow hits Storm with a Muscle Buster as both guys are down. The match breaks down again as the SAT’s run wild. Storm beats on Joel, who cuts him off on the top rope then hits a super brainbuster that only gets two. Konnan tags and his Joel with a cradle DDT that Shadow breaks up then hits Konnan with a swinging DDT. They all hit a series of big moves then Konnan makes Shadow tap to the Tequila Sunrise (16:39) **.
Thoughts: The match was okay but would have benefited if it was several minutes shorter. Konnan did not work a lot in the match but did okay when in the ring. His stamina was awful at this point in his career so that was for the best. This was a lucha-style match for the RoH crowd.
Carnage Crew vs. Da Hit Squad
They brawl in the aisle then make their way ringside. Mafia attempts a dive but the Carnage Crew block that with a guardrail in a spot you could see coming a mile away. Devito sends Mafia into the guardrail in the corner with a Northern Lights Suplex as he is busted open. Devito beats on Da Hit Squad with a steel pan then after knocking down the referee, walks into a hubcap shot from Mafia, who then beats on the Carnage Crew with a pair of cowboy boots. Mack hits Devito with a frog splash as Mafia is yelling all sorts of obscenities at Loc while choking him out. Da Hit Squad bring a ladder into the ring and use that as a weapon. Mack then climbs a ladder and tries a splash but it breaks as he jumps and it falls way short. Oh boy. The Carnage Crew beat on Da Hit Squad with the ladder and hubcaps. Loc cuts open Mafia’s head with a cowbell but Da Hit Squad fights back. They put the ladder over the heads of the Carnage Crew and whack them with chairs but that does not get the pin. The Carnage Crew come back with chair shots then set up Mack on the table but Mafia cuts off Devito on the top rope and place him on the table then Mafia powerbombs Loc onto Devito and through the table for the win (11:38) **1/2.
Thoughts: Decent garbage-brawl, which was the only times these teams could be entertaining.
We see a clip from Impact TV with Special K all passed out in the locker room after their New Years Eve party. This was the first time their bodyguard was identified on camera as he was called “Slugger” here.
Dunn & Marcos & Outkast Killaz vs. Deranged & Angel Dust & Hydro & Yeyo w/ Lit & Slugger
The Outkast Killaz were Oman Tortuga & Diablo Santiago, who along with Dunn & Marcos, put together the ring before the shows. Special K jump their opponents from behind then take them all out with dives. For those of you who do not know, Hydro is Jay Lethal. Dunn and Angel Dust are in the ring and work an okay sequence until Hydro breaks it up with a dropkick. Santiago comes in and powerbombs Hydro as everyone else is brawling on the floor. Dunn and Deranged work a nice sequence that gets the crowd into the match. Tortuga comes in and counters a fireman’s carry with an inverted swinging DDT but Slugger comes in and hits Tortuga then everyone else not in Special K with a chokeslam. Special K comes in and hits a few big moves until Slugger comes in and hits Marcos with the Bodybag then lifts Deranged on his shoulders as they all cover Marcos for the win (7:06) *3/4.
Thoughts: A few decent moves here and there but that was all. The focus of Special K was on Deranged in the match and that made sense as he was easily the best worker out of the others in the match.
AJ Styles and Low Ki are backstage. Ki tells us that they are both in RoH as they can compete as athletes and that tonight, they are here to end the war against the Prophecy.
No Holds Barred
Christopher Daniels & Xavier w/ Allison Danger vs. AJ Styles Low Ki
The Prophecy attack their opponents from behind to start. Xavier gets kicked by AJ then Ki beats the crap out of Xavier outside and inside of the ring. AJ & Ki use quick tags to isolate Xavier. AJ flattens Xavier with a powerbomb then uses a cradle to get a few nearfalls. Xavier comes back with a gutbuster then tags Daniels but AJ is able to tag Ki, who goes right after Daniels. They trade chops in the corner and Ki wins that battle. Double Underhook Suplex with a bridge gets two. Xavier tags and Ki hits him with the Krush combo before tagging AJ, who kicks Xavier a few times as well. Daniels breaks up a pin attempt after a brainbuster then Xavier boots a charging AJ and hits him with a DDT. Daniels tags and busts open AJ’s nose with a leg lariat that gets two. AJ hits a neckbreaker after a reversal sequence then tags Ki, who gets two with an elbow drop. Ki slams Daniels on the floor then rolls him back inside for two. Ki applies a Boston Crab but Daniels is able to reach the ropes. The match breaks down and Ki tosses Xavier to the floor as AJ hits Daniels with a discus clothesline for a nearfall. AJ hits three straight backbreakers before putting on the Muta Lock as AJ refuses to break as Daniels has the ropes but since this is a “No Holds Barred” match it is allowed. Ki tosses Xavier then he and AJ double-team Daniels for a bit. AJ hits Daniels with a powerslam for two. Ki tags and puts Daniels in a Camel Clutch and doesnt break as Xavier is kicking him in the back. AJ takes care of Xavier as Ki gets a few nearfalls on Daniels. Ki tries a reverse rollup but Daniels sends him throat-first into the middle ropes. The Prophecy now isolate Ki for a while, working on his neck. I must admit that Xavier looks pretty good here. Danger chokes out Ki while Daniels distracts the referee. Daniels gets two off of a fisherman’s suplex then locks on a headlock. Danger hooks the leg of Ki and that allows Daniels to get two off of a Blue Thunder Driver. Xavier tags and softens up Ki’s neck before applying the Camel’s Clutch. Daniels calls for the Angel Wings but Ki turns that into a sleeper. Daniels drops Ki who makes the tag to AJ, who runs wild for a bit. Xavier attacks AJ from behind then works the leg until Ki breaks that up with a double stomp from the top rope. Daniels stretches out AJ in the ropes until Ki kicks him in the back of the head. Xavier tags in and AJ greets him with an enziguiri then tags Ki, who runs wild. Ki hits Xavier with a rolling Koppu Kick but gets caught with a slam afterwards. In a cool spot, AJ handsprings into the ropes, that knocks off Xavier from the top, and comes back to hit Daniels with a back elbow smash. Ki stretches out Xavier on top but Daniels slaps Ki and takes him down with a superplex. AJ climbs up but Xavier reverses a superplex as all four men are down on the mat. They get up and reverse each other’s finishers as the match has broken down. Ki flies out and hits Daniels with a tope after being whipped by Xavier. AJ tries a dive but Xavier breaks that up with a back elbow smash. Xavier tries a dive but Ki stops that with a Koppu kick then AJ hits him with a German Suplex and a wheelbarrow facecrusher but Daniels breaks up the pin. Ki breaks up a pin after a Cobra Clutch Suplex as the match breaks down again. Danger breaks up a pin after a Tidal Crush but Ki comes back and knocks Daniels & Xavier outside as AJ flies out with a twisting pescado. Ki grabs a chair and a concrete slab that Xavier used to win the title from him and puts it on Xavier’s chest and whacks it with a chair. In the ring, AJ kicks out of the Angel’s Wings as Daniels is in disbelief. He sets up a table on the floor as Xavier is still down. He calls for the Angel’s Wings again but AJ blocks that and takes him through the table with a Styles Clash. In the ring, Xavier comes in but Ki puts him in the Dragon Clutch while in the ropes as Xavier taps out (28:40) ***3/4. After the match, Daniels gets carried to the back.
Thoughts: Really good match. Ki and Styles finally got their revenge on the Prophecy (heh). All four guys looked good here too.
Daniels is backstage with Danger. He is all beaten up but happy that he still has the belts. He tells AJ and Ki that they got lucky tonight then yells at Corino about how he has his sister.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a solid show from top to bottom. Also, the order in which these matches were reviewed are not the actual order from the card but rather the order from the copy I watched. They are setting up storylines for 2003 and have an awesome three-way match planned for the 1st Anniversary show, which is Ki vs. London vs. Styles. The company is also starting to shape up the roster as they are establishing the top guys from the rest of the card, which was tough here with guys leaving constantly or touring Japan. A good way to kick off 2003.