Ring of Honor: Tradition Continues October 16th, 2003

October 16, 2003

From Michaels 8th Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

The show starts with Gary Michael Cappetta welcoming the crowd to Ring of Honor and bringing up how Ron Simmons won the WCW title here. Prince Nana interrupts and says that its been almost two years and he has yet to receive a title shot. The crowd chants “we don’t care” as Nana goes on and on about the crowd lacking respect until Samoa Joe interrupts. Nana then gets in his face and demands a title shot right now! Joe then calmly gives him his title shot before attacking him.

RoH World Title Match
Prince Nana vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)

Joe beats on Nana for a minute. Nana fights back and hits a corner splash but takes too long and gets hit with an enziguiri. Joe then follows with an overhead suplex before applying the Coquina Clutch for the win (0:57) 1/4*. After the match, Joe grabs the mic and welcomes the crowd to RoH and promises to make some memories tonight as we will see amazing high-flyers and technicians then will see him choke out Jay Briscoe, who is now in the ring. Jay is then held back by his brother as they build tension for the main event.

Thoughts: Decent way to kick off the show and get the crowd going. Nana was entertaining as a bottom of the card guy at least.

Colt Cabana is behind the desk as he tells us his show, “Good Times, Great Memories” which he got the chance to do after beating Rob Feinstein in a game of dreidel. He welcomes the Backseat Boyz, who light up cigarettes in lieu of the “No Smoking” sign. They put them out as they say it wont bring them down. Cabana makes a lame Backstreet Boys joke as Acid puts over how many titles they have won all over the country. Cabana then asks them if they ever got “chubbed up” from the women in the stands sticking dollar bills down their pants as they said it happens. If you think Cabana is funny, you’d probably like this but everyone else would think that it sucked.

Scramble Match
Ring Crew Express vs. Josh Daniels & Danny Doring vs. Slyk Wagner Brown & Sonjay Dutt vs. The Rottweilers w/ Julius Smokes

The Rottweilers consist of Slugger & Grim Reefer. This is the RoH debuts for Daniels, Doring, Dutt, and Reefer. Match starts with Doring and Marcos doing some chain wrestling as CM Punk joins on commentary. Marcos comes back with a hurricarana and an enziguiri before running into a clothesline. Daniels and Dunn are in now as the announcers talk up Daniels, who never ended up amounting to anything. He overpowers Dunn, who proceeds to hit the slowest victory roll in history. Dutt and Reefer are in now and do a bunch of standing switches at rapid speed. They are going way too fast for their own good in here. Dutt made his TNA the day before this show. Slugger as Brown comes in and chops away but runs into a shoulderblock. Slugger is terrible in the ring by the way. He stomps Brown in the corner but walks around and lets Brown hit him with a missile dropkick. Marcos tags in and hits the Sliced Bread #2 on Slugger, which looked ridiculous. Why let him get hit with that in his first match. The match breaks down as they hit all sorts of stuff, including a ropewalk swanton from Reefer. Dutt hits him with a Phoenix Splash as the crowd goes nuts but Daniels hits him with a German suplex. The match breaks down again as Dunn tries to face off against Slugger but gets booted down. Reefer then hits Dunn with a frog splash and Slugger hits the Bodybag for the win (8:05) **.

Thoughts: Not that bad. It was designed to put over the Rottweilers. I do think they should have made Slugger look a lot more dominant though as all his mystique was gone once he got taken down by one of the Ring Crew Express goofs. Dutt looked okay in his RoH debut and Daniels was a guy trying to wrestle like Chris Benoit but didnt show much. All Doring did here was collect a paycheck.

Field of Honor Tournament
Block A
Matt Stryker vs. Chris Sabin

Match starts with both guys doing some matwork as Punk still wants to know who took out Lucy at the Wrath of the Racket show then talks about his match with AJ Styles tonight. They end in a standoff and are met with a light applause. They go back and forth again until Stryker lights up Sabin with chops in the corner. Sabin fights back after a floatover then gets two with an enziguiri. Sabin hits more kicks but gets caught with a powerslam coming off of the top rope and his fortunate not to have been killed. That was fucking scary. Stryker works a surfboard then turns it into a back suplex for two. He hits a powerbomb that looked terrible for two. Sabin comes back with a few flying kicks but Stryker comes back with a neckbreaker for two. These two are not on the same page at all in this match. They trade chops until Sabin hits a springboard DDT for a nearfall. He heads back up top but Stryker climbs up and hits an overheard suplex for two. After another sloppy reversal sequence, Sabin gets two with a rollup. Stryker fights back and tries a Death Valley Driver that Sabin tries to turn into a crucifix but Stryker rolls through it and nearly drops him before getting up and hitting the DVD, dropping Sabin right on his face, for the win (10:03) *1/2. Sabin is pouring blood out of a cut near his eye as the ref is screaming for a towel.

Thoughts: An extremely disappointing match. These two were off all night and Styker almost killed Sabin on more than one occasion. A pretty embarrassing match as part of a tournament celebrating “pure” wrestling.

After the match, we see Sabin and Stryker in the back. Stryker says all he was trying to do was win as Sabin says its just part of the game and not to worry as he is pissesd about losing. He didn’t seem to thrilled about the cut either.

Field of Honor
Block B
Colt Cabana vs. BJ Whitmer

The crowd is all over Cabana, who responds by taunting. The crowd then calls Cabana a “homo” as he stalls to start the match. Punk talks about breaking into the business with Cabana and sometimes you don’t pick your friends and as a result he is stuck with Cabana. Punk also makes fun of Whitmer as their side feud continues. Whitmer catches Cabana with a leg lariat for two the works the arm as Punk makes fun of him for that. Cabana then trips over Whitmer after he dropped down as the fans chant “you fucked up.” Cabana yells at the fans as he is now pissed off. Back inside, Whitmer gets two with a Northern lights suplex as Punk talks about having a few leads on who attacked Lucy. Cabana fights back as Punk compares him to Mr. Wrestling II. He hits a double knee smash in the corner for two. Snap suplex gets two. He then hits a butt smash for two and follows that with an iron claw,something the announcers say doesn’t work as Whitmer fights out then catches Cabana with an overhead suplex as both men are down. Whitmer gets up and hits an Exploder for two. They have a reversal sequence that ends with Cabana nearly killing Whitmer with a back suplex for a nearfall then shortly after that he gets the win wit a bridging rollup (11:30) **.

Thoughts: Not much to this match as well. Cabana did this as a comedy match and it came off like a WWE house show comedy match at times. The highlight of this match was Punk on commentary. He was great here.

Backstage, Cabana tells us that was serious as he can do it all, stressing how he is 2-0 and is all serious in the ring.

AJ Styles is giving pointers to Jimmy Rave. He is a little hard on him as he wants him to take advantage of things.

RoH Tag Team Title Match
Izzy & Dixie w/ Special K vs. Backseat Boyz (Champions)

The Backseat Boyz start off hitting some double-team moves. Acid beats on Izzy then gets the crowd going but ends up getting tossed off of the top rope. Kashmere dumps Dixie then gets caught with a wheelbarrow slam/leg drop combo onto the floor. Ouch. Acid is in the ring fighting off both guys but that doesnt last as the Special K guys are in control. Punk leaves to get ready for his upcoming match against AJ Styles as Dixie gets a nearfall with a suplex. Acid fights back but Kashmere is still out on the floor as he looks for a tag. Izzy hits an inverted hurricarana then a snap suplex as Kashmere has now finally made his way onto the apron. Acid dodges a double-team attack and comes back with a Yakuza kick before finally making the tag. Kashmere cleans house as Becky Bayless is distracting the ref so the Special K goofs on the outside can try an interfere but that fails. Backseat Boys hit Izzy with the Dream Sequence then they hit Dixie with the T-Gimmick. They cover but Lit pulls out the referee and Acid chases Dixie around but gets hit with the belt by Izzy. Dixie covers but only gets two so he then hits a gordbuster as Izzy follows with a springboard 450 splash for the win and the titles (8:44) **. As the lights are off for Special K’s celebration, Loc runs into the ring but gets jumped by the rest of Special K until Julius Smokes and the Rottweilers make the save. Levy tells is that DeVito was working overtime and could not be here tonight. Kashmere was also seen walking away, leaving his partner behind.

Thoughts: The story of Kashmere getting taken out early on was good but Special K was far too weak of a team to be holding the belts. I swear to god Dixie had to have been blowing someone to get his spot because he is one of the worst wrestlers in the company. He is terrible at everything. The run-ins at the end were okay but it highlighted the lack of depth in the tag division more than anything else.

Punk comes out and tells the crowd that prescription drug use is on the rise but will not make fun of them for that or their failures. He then tells us that he is straight edge, which also means he is better than you.

CM Punk vs. AJ Styles

Both guys start by jockeying for position as Levy goes over the Code of Honor. They continue to trade holds on the mat as Samoa Joe has joined on commentary. Levy asks Joe about Jay Briscoe as he tells us everyone knows he will choke him out. Back to the match as both men continue to go back and forth as Joe leaves. AJ grabs a side headlock for a bit until Punk catches him with a back suplex. Punk attacks the neck but runs into a dropkick as both men are down. AJ gets two with a knee drop but gets caught with a drop toehold as he charged into the corner. Punk chops away then almost gets caught with the Styles Clash. AJ lands on his feet after a counter then drills Punk with an enziguiri that sends him outside. AJ tries for a moonsault off of the apron but Punk sidesteps that then rams Styles into the guardrail a couple of times. Back inside, Punk gets a nearfall with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He hits a delayed vertical suplex then targets the back some more. AJ fights back with a moonsault kick but Punk takes him down and stretches him out. Punk gets a few more nearfalls, growing increasingly frustrated. He tries a spilt-legged moonsault after taunting the crowd but AJ gets his knees up as both men are down. They exchange chops then fight over a suplex until AJ hits a cradle back suplex for two. Punk slips out of a pumphandle then hits a legsweep DDT for two. They now fight up top as Punk hits a sunset powerbomb for two. Punk taunts the crowd then ends up getting hit with a discus clothesline. AJ tries for a super Styles Clash but Punk escapes. Punk tries for a shining wizard but AJ catches him then turns that into the Styles Clash for the win (18:44) ****.

Thoughts: Awesome match. Both guys were superb ad really laid into each other as well. Easily the best match on the show.

Cappetta is with the Backseat Boyz, who are not happy after losing the belts. Acid finally speaks and says he cant believe they lost to Special K as Kashmere gets pissed and walks off.

We see the Special K party in the hotel room as Lit is hurling in the bathroom with the others making fun of him.

Field of Honor
Block B
Jimmy Rave vs. Dan Maff w/ Allison Danger

A light “welcome back” chant breaks out for Maff. Rave offers a handshake but gets booted in the gut. Rave comes back with a pair of armdrags but gets hit with a backdrop driver and rolls outside. Maff follows him out and attacks the back and rams him into the guardrail a few times. Punk rejoins on commentary and tells us that he is still better than AJ due to the fact that he is straight edge. Rave fights back with after dropkicking Maff off of the apron then follows with a flying knee smash. Rave complains to the ref then Maff gets up and hits a clothesline after a Burning Hammer attempt failed. Maff hits the cannonball in the corner as Punk makes fun of Danger’s hair. Rave comes back with a crossface off of a tilt-a-whirl but Maff power out then hits the Burning Hammer for the win (6:50) *1/4.

Thoughts: Nothing more than a glorified squash. Rave’s losing streak continues as they try an re-establish Maff back into the Field of Honor tournament after getting knocked out cold by Low Ki. I dont think this match accomplished a whole lot for him in that regard.

Backstage, AJ shares his disappointment with Rave for not listening to him. AJ says he is knows what he is doing and that he needs to stay on the attack as Rave looks disappointed.

Maff tells us that Cabana and Whitmer are next as he will win the Field of Honor. He then tells Low Ki he is standing tall after taking his best shot as he walks over yelling “bitch.”

Dan McDevitt from Maryland Championship Wrestling comes out to thank the fans. He also tells them that a lot of independent promoters tried to run here and it was not until Rob Feinstein called from RoH that he decided to let them fill the spot vacated. He then talks about the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup and that RoH will be hosting the 6th Annual version of that as the crowd applauds.

Justin Credible vs. Raven 

Raven roughs up Credible to start as he rams him against the guardrail. They head back inside where Credible escapes from a DDT then takes a breather. Credible now beats on Raven in the corner then takes him outside with a drop toehold. Credible beats on Raven outside then heads back in where he works the leg. Credible works a figure-four that Raven breaks then crotches himself against the post when Raven moved out of the way. Raven fights back with a pair of clotheslines and a kneelift. Bulldog gets two. Raven pulls up as to not hit the ref then moves away as Credible takes the ref out with a super kick. Credible hits Raven low then grabs a chair but that backfires as Raven takes him down then hits the Evenflow DDT for the win (7:56) *1/2.

Thoughts: Not the best effort from these two, especially by Credible. Raven’s feud with Punk has cooled off considerably and he had nothing else going on here besides that. This was Raven’s second to last match with the company.

John Walters vs. Mark Briscoe vs. Homicide w/ Julius Smokes vs. Xavier

Typical back-and-forth action early on in this match. Xavier taunted Walters a bit but nothing else notable so far. The crowd is into Homicide more than anyone else. The action is fine but these four-way matches are all really wrestled the same way so it all comes off as old hat at this point. They work a contrived spot where Walters grabs Briscoe in a single leg crab and Xavier in a stretch while Homicide runs the ropes sevearl times before breaking that up with a dropkick. Walters then messes up another trainwreck spot after mistiming a springboard. Walters and Xavier trade chops but Homicide clears the ring and takes Walters out with a tope con hilo. Briscoe climbs up top and hits a shooting star press that drew a lot of “holy shit” chants. Xavier tries an Arabian Press but overshot the move. Walters teases a dive then Xavier snaps his neck off of the rope. Xavier rolls through a 450 then Homicide hits a draping DDT on Walters for a nearfall. Now everyone breaks up pinfalls after big moves until uses an eye poke before hitting Walters with the Kiss Your X Goodbye for the win (16:41) ***.

Thoughts: Good action but it didnt really resemble a match. It was a ton of cool moves done well and entertaining but these matches have been done so many times here that I cannot get to excited over this stuff anymore.

Jim Cornette tells us he is coming back to RoH on November 1st.

RoH World Title Match
Jay Briscoe vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)

Match starts with Joe grounding Jay on the mat. Jay tries to keep up and is able to grab a front facelock. Mark is now out at ringside to support his brother as Joe is in control. Joe now uses a Boston Crab but Jay reaches the ropes. Joe facewashes Jay in the corner but takes his time as Jay comes back with a Yakuza kick. Joe is now outside as Jay takes him out with a plancha. He sends Joe into the guardrail. Back inside, Jay gets a bit more offense in before he gets caught with an uranage. Joe takes Jay outside and connects with the ole kick. Back inside, Joe locks on the STF. He then uses a rolling cradle that gets two. Jay then blocks a strike and hits a back suplex as both men are down. Jay fights back with a DDT then climbs up top and hits a leg drop for a nearfall. Jay fights out of an abdominal stretch and lifts up Joe for a Death Valley Driver for two as the crowd is now solidly behind Jay. He now tries for the Jaydriller but Joe blocks it and tries for the Coquina Clutch. Jay bites out of that but Joe hits a Dragon Suplex. Joe slaps and kicks Jay repeatedly before hitting the Island Driver but Jay kicks out of that as the fans go nuts. Joe then turns Jay inside out with a lariat and gets the win (15:03) ***1/4. After the match, Joe crouches over Jay and shakes his hand while slapping him in the face. Mark comes in and is pissed but Joe takes him down with an enziguiri then puts him in the Coquina Clutch. Joe leaves then the Briscoes eventually get up and receive a standing ovation from the crowd.

Thoughts: Fun match that told a good story of Jay not backing down from the monster Joe, giving him everything he had. I did think the finish was weak though as a lariat getting the pin after everything else came off weak. But if the goal was to establish the Briscoes as threats, it was accomplished.

Christopher Daniels tells us that another show has passed and the Prophecy are still in the middle of things. He switches attention to Joe and says just because his first title shot did not go as planned doesnt mean he will not fulfill his destiny of being the RoH Champion. Daniels now tells Steve Corino he was surprised when he wished him luck in his title match then tells a story of a man who found a frozen snake and took care of it only to get bit and killed by it at the end. He then tells Punk that he doesnt appreciate being accused of attacking Lucy and the next time he steps in his face he better bring more than loud talk. This still continues as Daniels alerts RoH that they are not so big until he makes an appearance so they can sell their tapes. This promo went on for too long but it did show how RoH had a number of ways to go in building up feuds.

John Walters tells us that Xavier has cheated him out of two matches and that this injustice will be taken care of as next time they face he will throw respect out the door and will be there for a fight. Promos are certainly not Walters’ strong suit.

Trent Acid then tries to stop Kashmere from leaving but it fails as Kashmere says that he needs some time. This story line was really rushed.

Xavier tells Walters that he hears him crying and a win is a win. He also tells him that he can have another battle but in a tag match as he will find a partner.

The Briscoes tells Joe he can hit them as hard as they want but they will hit him back harder and assure him the war has just begun.

Final Thoughts: This show was average. It had some good matches, some bad matches and a bit too much filler. The Field of Honor stuff came off poorly and the Tag Team Division is a joke but they did build up a few people and seem to have many directions to head in when building new top feuds. Joe is great as the champ and Punk was entertaining all around here. RoH is still trying to build up compelling feuds as they close out the year and they are getting closer.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/22/87
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/23/87
Thursday: Highspots Shoot Interview with Brickhouse Brown
Friday: WWF Sam Houston Coliseum 8/28/87 (Paul Boesch Retirement Show)
Saturday: Brickhouse TV: Season 1, Episode 1

RoH Secrets of the Ring with Dusty Rhodes

This was filmed in 2004

The interview was conducted by Gabe Sapolsky

It runs at one hour and fifty minutes long

The interview starts with Dusty holding a book that he used as a diary while the booker of the NWA in 1987. Dusty also said he kept everything he did and joked that one day people will buy this like people bought Samuel Clements (Mark Twain).

Gabe starts this off by asking Dusty to start with January 1st of 1987. Dusty holds up his book of the people he booked that month and said they grossed $54,000 for that show with a main event of Ric Flair & Tully Blanchard vs. Nikita Koloff and himself. He runs down the show and Dusty jokes with Gabe and displays the charisma that made him famous. He said they started the year well and that the New Years Day show at the Omni were always big. The referee’s were Earl Hebner and Tommy Young.

Gabe now asks Dusty how he decides the order of the matches. Dusty said he wanted to build a “crescendo,” using an example of how if he wanted to see Elvis, he would not want to in the opening match. Dusty also said you have to keep in mind with everyone on the card that they mean something and that someone paid to see them. He talks about some of the feuds that were going on for a bit then said that he went with the $100,000 Bunkhouse Stampede math because he thought it was unique to see guys who were partners or allies possibly fight at the end. After that, Dusty jokes about he always won those matches. They toured with the Bunkhouse Stampede matches for a month.

Dusty talks about how the feud in which Koloff took Magnum’s place as Dusty’s partner was easy money as the story itself mirrored real-life and how it was so easy to write their feud against the Four Horsemen.

He then talks about how one or two matches draw the house while the rest of the card is “garnish” and led up to drawing the house, something that Eddie Graham taught him in Florida.

When asked if it was tougher to book two shows in one night, Dusty said it wasn’t with the talent they had at the time.

Dusty then said how they had two planes, with the private jet named “Stardust” after himself, something Dusty jokes that Flair was upset about and probably written about it in his book, which he will not read.

He talks about booking everything to lead into the Summer for the “Great American Bash” tour and how he kept the same core of guys (Horsemen, himself, Nikita) but also had other things going like Jimmy Garvin and Precious and the tag teams like the Rock & Roll Express and the Midnight Express. Even still, the core would always be at the top in different stages.

Dusty now talks about how their TV was very strong and they did good business during the week so as a result, they drew huge at weekend house shows. He talks about the War Games and how they drew a $180,000 advance for the show.

He then talks about “garnishing” again and goes back to the WWWF when they decided to make Bob Backlund the champion, regardless whether people liked it or not, but also decided to have a lot of big matches on the card, like the first bullrope match in the WWWF so people would still buy tickets to the show.

Gabe asks Dusty about the UWF guys and the criticism he received as booker for not pushing them more, Dusty laughs and says he is asked that all of the time. He said that the Crockett guys were his “posse” and describes the wrestling business like the mafia as he said while getting talent from the UWF, they did not want to replace their own talent with these guys and let them come into their area, noting how they were underneath when going to their territory. Dusty also adds that if guys cannot understand this then they should not be in the business to begin with. He also said he was selling out with what he had. He did say that Steve Williams fit right in then notes that selling out a “phone booth” in Oklahoma is different that filling the Charlotte Coliseum.

Dusty now talks about his favorite match from this era were the Ronnie Garvin vs. Ric Flair matches as you believed every chop they did. He also loved Fritz Von Erich coming out of retirement after his son David passed away and how when he tagged in, there was a roar that you have never heard and how the wrestling business captures that like no other can as moments like that is why he is a wrestler.

On to the Crockett Cup as Dusty lists off the Top 10 seeds after asking the guys to guess. Gabe said Nikita and Dusty, who laughs and said he wouldnt even to that. He said Rude & Fernandez were #1 because they were the champs. The 5th seed were the Japanese guys (because they were their top team) and the 9th guys were the Mod Squad (Mac & Jim Jeffers) who Dusty said if anyone watching knows the names of the guys they can write into Ring of Honor and he will give them an autographed photo. He said that he wanted every fan in attendance to like someone in the match so they built them all up.

Dusty said Crockett told him when he came in that he wanted four events that he could build to yearly. Dusty said he came up with Starrcade first then the Jim Crockett Memorial Cup Second. The Great American Bash was 3rd and Halloween Havoc was the fourth.

He talks about the War Games match drawing $150,000 Sunday afternoon in August of 1987 in Chicago as he had to do something big because UWF TV was really over in that market.

Dusty goes over how they’d have four shows in one night and how many people he had to use to make sure they sold out.

On Ronnie Garvin as the champion, Dusty said no matter what people say, Garvin deserved to be the champ. He said that house shows were down but everything was after the “Great American Bash” tour and that compared to that time of year, the shows were up as he made sure to “garnish” the shows in which Garvin vs. Flair was the main event.

He talks briefly about being fired by Jim Herd in 1988, calling him the most “unintelligent and uncreative” person he has met besides Gary Jester.

Dusty talks about companies today that are running (Ring of Honor, TNA, NWA Wildside) and how they need to take 5 companies and have them put their resources together and get TV because that is where we will find our next big star. He also tells Gabe that they have a great product in RoH but without TV you cant push anyone then hypes TNA on Fox Sports Net is helping them out.

He jokes about Dave Meltzer, who he congratulates for working hard on being the best booker today and making millions of dollars (Dave was critical of Dusty’s booking in the Observer at the end of 1987). He does say that he likes him today and talks to him once in a while.

On Crockett selling, Dusty said they were losing money and their business was in disarray to corporate came in and took over.

He talks about wanting Sting and Lex Luger to be involved at the top by the end of 1988 and how he booked them to get to that point.

Dusty talks about how devastating Magnum TA’s career-ending injuries were as Dusty saw him as the future world champion with “movie-star” charisma who was the guy. He said he loudest he heard the crowd in TV was when he walked into the Charlotte Coliseum with Nikita Koloff to face Flair & Ole in a cage as Koloff was Magnum’s replacement. Dusty said he was in mourning when Crockett asked him what to do. Dusty also said Koloff always wanted to be a babyface but the fans bought him as the baddest man on the planet. Dusty then asked Koloff to not think or anything when he walked out to the ring as his parnter as Dusty said that today he still gets chills when he thinks about the crowd that night.

He talks about loving interviews like this and just having a passion about the industry before closing by thanking the fans.

Final Thoughts: I thought this was a solid interview. It wasnt all that structured and came across as a less organized version of a “Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline” shoot but Dusty’s charisma and intelligence were on full display here. There were no crazy stories here but his shared some of his booking insights and you could tell just how much he loved wrestling. He loved talking about wrestling as well.

Gabe only asked several questions throughout the interview so Dusty kept talking and sometimes when he got off track it was tough to decipher what he was referring to when it came to they year at hand. Regardless, its an easy listen and Dusty can draw you in when he speaks. Easy to see how he drew a lot of money during his career.

Overall, I recommend this shoot but its tough to find. RoH had a sale on these a few years ago and you’re best bet is eBay or Amazon at this point because I do not see them anymore on the RoH website.

RIP Dusty.

Ring of Honor Glory By Honor II September 20th, 2003

September 20, 2003

From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Chris Levy and CM Punk

Colt Cabana is shown hyping up the 4-man match tonight that includes AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, and Matt Stryker. He states that a win would put him in the “Top 5 Rankings.” They are now having Cabana take things seriously, well more than before.

Dan Maff is shown at home sitting in a chair wearing a neck brace. He talks about facing the Carnage Crew at the first Glory By Honor show and how they both hated each other and at Glory By Honor II, he is still full of hate because of Low Ki injuring him as he has to sit home with a pinched nerve and effects from post-concussion syndrome. He then tells Christopher Daniels that he will beat Samoa Joe for the RoH World Title as he is everything you look for in a leader as he wants Daniels to bring the title back home to the Prophecy. He then pulls out a flip phone as he tells us that Alison Danger will keep him updated all night and he will also give ups updates throughout the show. Maff did okay here but some of the overacting was painful.

We get the first of many memories from the Murphy Rec Center. This is the last show that ever took place here. I am not going to list them all here as they happen because this DVD is almost five hours long due to stuff like this.

Field of Honor
Block B
Jimmy Rave vs. BJ Whitmer

The match starts back and forth as Punk tells us the Field of Honor is not important because he is not in it while telling us Whitmer and Rave are both underwhelming. Whitmer busts out a Saito suplex for two as Levy tells us the winner of this tournament will see their career skyrocket. That was not the case. The crowd chants for Whitmer as he clotheslines Rave for two as Punk continues to rag on both guys, particularly Whitmer. Brainbuster gets two. Whitmer misses a charge as Rave now briefly takes control of the match until Whitmer comes back with a Dragon Suplex. They have a slugfest that Rave wins with a running forearm smash. Rave then hits a DDT on Whitmer on the apron then hits a shining wizard off of the apron. Back inside, Rave hits a hurricarana off of the top rope then works a cross armbreaker. Whitmer breaks free and kicks Rave in the back. Whitmer then hits some soft forearm smashes but Rave comes back with a Cobra Clutch suplex. Rave works the arm then sets Whitmer up top and tries something but Whitmer fights back and hits him with a top rope powerbomb for the win (9:24) **. That finisher was really dangerous. The crowd cheers for both guys.

Thoughts: It got a bit better at the end but the match was dull and it had zero heat. Punk on commentary was the only real highlight. In fact, Punk’s commentary as a whole was one of the few highlights here.

Whitmer is shown out back as he tells us Rave is a tough kid that will make it in “this business” and how the Field of Honor is the start of his rise to the top of RoH. They were trying to push Whitmer here but besides a decent look, he didnt have much else.

AJ Styles questions Rave as to why he had to get fancy at put Whitmer on the top rope instead of working the arm. They are still going with AJ acting as Rave’s mentor.

Samoa Joe talks about destiny and names the others who failed to take the RoH World Title away from him as he questions Daniels if he has what it takes of will he be another victim. After the promo ends, Steve Corino comes in and talks about CM Punk putting him in a match with Raven tonight. Joe said that Punk is “anti-social” and rough around the edges as Corino tells Joe the original plan was for him to be champ and Joe the enforcer as Corino wishes him luck.

Xavier is shown working out wearing nothing but a pair of shorts as Lollipop is checking him out. Looked like the opening scene of a porno film. For those who are unaware, Lollipop was one of the cage dancers that TNA featured during their weekly PPV era.

Field of Honor
Block A
John Walters vs. Xavier

Lollipop is now checking out Xavier at ringside then Alison Danger comes out as well but Xavier tells her to go back to the locker room. The match starts with both guys trading stuff and it came off quite choreographed. The crowd starts a dueling chant as Punk questions if half of Philadelphia is gay because they are not cheering for Lollipop. Xavier sends Walters to the floor with a belly-to-belly suplex then follows him with a 450 as the crowd applauds. Punk makes fun of Levy for liking “New Kids on the Block” then goes back to ragging on Whitmer as Xavier tries some acrobatic stuff that didn’t work as planned. Walters blocks the Cobra Clutch then cuts off Xavier up top and hits him with a lungblower as both men are down. Walters hits a rolling spear that looked odd then they engage in a pinfall reversal sequence. Walters hits the Hurricane DDT for a nearfall. Xavier comes back with a reverse neckbreaker but Walters hits him with a backbreaker shortly after that. Walters picks him up but Xavier kicks him low then rolls him up for the win (10:44) **. Xavier immediately leaves without shaking hands then Walters calls him out and promises he will find out what respects means next time they face off.

Thoughts: They did some nice moves but there was nothing resembling an actual match here, which seems counterproductive for a tournament designed to celebrate traditional wrestling.

The camera follows Xavier backstage as he cannot believe that Walters had the audacity to call him out and that he can fight him anytime, any place.

Christopher Daniels is with Alison Danger as he talks about bringing Joe into Ring of Honor and how a lot of twists and turns have happened since, like him laying out Joe after his first title defense. He then promises to win the title as the promo ends with Corino cutting in and tells Daniels that he is #1 and to go win the world title. Long-winded promo from Daniels and the stuff with Corino comes off confusing more than intriguing.

TJ Wilson vs. Teddy Hart

TJ Wilson is currently Tyson Kidd in the WWE. Hart, who was a couple of weeks removed from a tremendous performance at TNA’s 2003 Super X Cup, got a decent reaction from the crowd. Match starts with both guys squaring off before getting into a slap fight. Neither guy can get the advantage as the keep on ending their sequences with a standoff. Wilson sends Hart into the corner then follows with a big boot that wasn’t even close before choking him out. Hart then takes Wilson down with a drop toehold then works the leg as the crowd applauds. Punk talks about facing Terry Funk tonight as this match is not impressing. Wilson drops Hart on his head with a full nelson suplex as that gets two. Hart comes back and works the leg but Wilson reaches the ropes. Punk continues to talk about Funk as Wilson hits a springboard dropkick then places Hart up top and hits the Lambeau Leap move that Mr. Kennedy used for a nearfall. Hart comes back with an inverted floating DDT then heads up top and hits a swinging DDT to set up for the shooting star press that gets the win (7:42) 3/4*. The fans chat for Teddy after the match. As he heads backstage, Hart blows off Special K’s offer to party after they tell him he is not a high flyer.

Thoughts: Terrible match. I have no clue what they were trying to do for the first six minutes of the match. Hart, fresh off of an incredible performance at the TNA Super X Cup just a few weeks prior, did nothing here except for a shooting star press.

Raven is backstage and talks about selecting Terry Funk as CM Punk’s opponent tonight so he can teach discipline, respect, and intestinal fortitude. Raven then said he is unsure why Punk picked Raven as he has beaten him everytime they face and makes the match “Raven’s Rules.”

Raven’s Rules
Steve Corino w/ Veronica Stevens & Guillotine LeGrande vs. Raven

Stevens is the former Simply Luscious for those wondering. Corino’s ring announcer lists off all the people Corino has beaten over the years in one of the more grandiose ring introductions you will ever see. Although having him stop for a drink of water halfway through was pretty funny. Match starts off with a lot of stalling. Corino hits a few shoulderblocks but Raven fights back and hits a suplex. Corino gets his foot up on a charge then catches Raven with a back elbow smash. Corino chokes out Raven in the corner then they trade chops until Corino gets a thumb in the eye. Suplex gets two. Corino wedges a chair in the corner then whips Raven into it as he spills out to the floor. Corino gets in some weak shots on Raven outside then connects with a flying forearm. Raven ducks a lariat and comes back with a super kick as both men are down. Raven is up first and hits a few clotheslines and a kneelift. Raven gets two with a bulldog as Punk is screaming about how the referee is not doing their job. Raven sets up a chair as he sends Corino into it with a drop toehold but Stevens breaks up the pin. Raven corners Stevens then spanks Stevens as he drapes her over his knee so Punk leaves the booth. Corino puts Raven in the Cobra Clutch in the middle of the ring. Raven is able to get up and ram Corino into the corner then hits the Raven Effect but Punk pulls the referee out of the ring. Raven chases him around but runs into a super kick from Corino, who covers and gets the pin (13:08) **. After the match, Corino & Punk beat on Raven until Corino tells him he doesn’t need his help and slaps Punk across the face. They get into each other’s faces as Punk eventually leaves.

Thoughts: The “Raven’s Rules” stipulation was not needed for the match and the only purpose it served was for the screw job finish, which could have done in a number of other ways. This was wrestled like a mid 80’s WWF house show match, which I guess is why the call Corino “The King of Old School.”

Chris Sabin vs. Colt Cabana vs. Matt Stryker vs. AJ Styles

Punk is back in the booth and asks if he missed anything. The crowd is really into Cabana. Match starts off slow with lots of stalling and feeling each other out. Cabana and Sabin go back and forth until Cabana knocks him off the apron. Cabana then teases a dive but stops before the ropes and ends up hitting a double axe handle from the apron. Back inside, Sabin nearly kills AJ by landing on his head after a spinning heel kick then Cabana missed a top rope splash as everyone rolled out of the way. AJ tags himself in and keeps trying to hit Sabin with a Styles Clash but fails then hits him in the face with a basement dropkick. AJ comes back with a dropkick of his own after a fast Irish whip sequence as Levy notes that Punk will face AJ at the next show. Sabin gets beat on for a while by everyone then Cabana spits at AJ, who responds by throwing his gum at him. Sabin gets placed up top but is able to take Cabana off with a neckbreaker as both men are down. Stryker and AJ tag but AJ goes after Cabana. Sabin hits AJ with an enziguiri then hits some sort of swinging slam as the match finally settles down between the two legal men. Stryker and AJ go back-and-forth then Cabana tags in and stretches out AJ while Punk cant get over the fact that AJ threw his gum like a sissy. AJ is now the one who is in trouble as we learn that Cabana and Sabin will face each other in a Field of Honor match next show. AJ then comes back with a double Phenomenon on Stryker and Sabin as the match breaks down again. Everyone trades moves at a decent pace, including an awesome reverse hurricarana on Cabana courtesy of Sabin. Stryker suplexes AJ but gets grabbed by Cabana. Sabin charges at them but Cabana backdrops him then hits the Colt 45 on Stryker for the win (18:55) **1/2.

Thoughts: The match was formulaic and disappointing considering the competitors. Cabana winning was a bit of a surprise I suppose but that’s all I took away from this match.

Maff is talking to Alison Danger about the show. He tells her to talk to Rob Feinstein about something that he is upset about.

Gary Michael Capetta is with Colt Cabana, who says he has something special planned. However, CM Punk interrupts to talk about Steve Corino briefly then switches topics to Raven and Terry Funk and asks Cabana how it feels to get cut off, as Cabana says it feels weird.

RoH Tag Team Title Gauntlet Match

Carnage Crew & Justin Credible vs. Angel Dust & Deranged & Hydro

For some reason, this match starts off with a six-man “grudge” match due to the strap attack by Special K on these guys from Beating the Odds. However, the winning team will have to reduce to two members. The Special Guys jump the Carnage Crew to start. The Carnage Crew then take control as they beat the shit out Angel Dust. Becky Bayless distracts Credible and after kissing her and Levy making a bunch of whore comments at Becky, Angel Dust takes him off of the apron. Hydro tags as Special K regains control while Levy goes through his usual schtick about Special K spending their parents money on drugs. Deranged puts Credible in a chinlock in what feels like an eternity. Credible finally breaks free as he tags Loc while the crowd is silent. Loc cleans house as the Carnage Crew try to get the crowd going but they seemed burned out. They set up Angel Dust for the spike piledriver but the Special K flunkies run in to break it up. The Carnage Crew then use straps as Deranged gets whacked in the face as the ref rings the bell for the DQ as we learn that the Carnage Crew have been disqualified, despite Special K using blatant outside interference (9:06). This sucked.

Deranged & Hydro vs. Briscoe Brothers 

The Briscoes take control early. Deranged hits a few hurricaranas on Jay but Mark tags and pancakes him. Hydro is in and clotheslines Mark after a fast-paced sequence. Mark then places Hydro up top and hits a springboard Ace Crusher. Deranged runs in and hits a Code Red as this is essentially under scramble rules. Jay tags and hits Hydro with the Jay Driller for the pin as Mark attempted to make it a spike but overshot his springboard dive (11:52). Brief but decent action at least.

Briscoe Brothers vs. Dunn & Marcos

Marcos hits the Sliced Bread #2 as he celebrates but Mark hits him with a springboard dropkick and shortly after that the Briscoes put Dunn away with a springboard Doomsday Device (13:34). Total squash.

Briscoe Brothers vs. Izzy & Dixie

The Briscoes immediately beat on Izzy and Dixie. They focus on Dixie as Levy tells us the winner of this fall will go up against the Backseat Boyz for the title. Dixie rakes the eyes of Mark then tags Izzy as Punk leaves the booth after Levy brought up Lucy and after that Ray Murrow finally enters. Mark comes back with a crossbody as both men are down. Izzy tags but Mark rolls away and makes the tag. Jay runs wild then Mark hits Izzy with a moonsault but Dixie breaks up the pin and the Special K guys pull Jay out of the ring then distract the ref as that allows Izzy to hit Mark with a Blockbuster for the pin (18:50). The ending was a mess but most of it actually resembled a wrestling match at the very least.

Izzy & Dixie vs. Backseat Boyz

The Backseat Boyz pounce on Izzy & Dixie as they hit all sorts of double-team moves. Kashmere takes out Special K with a dive on the outside. Acid tries to dive out but Dixie stops him and flings him off the top in a really pathetic looking spot. Kashmere comes back in and they hit the Dream Sequence but Izzy manages to hit Kashmere with a springboard senton at the end. Acid and Izzy work a fast but sloppy sequence that ends with Izzy hitting an inverted hurricarana for a nearfall. Kashmere gets hit with a double team move then Izzy takes Acid off of the top with a rana. They then signal for the T Gimmick as they try to hit it on Acid but Kashmere spears them both then the Backseat Boyz hit Izzy with the T Gimmick for the win and the Tag Team Titles (22:42) 1/2*. After the match, Dixie breaks up the celebration then takes out the Backseat Boyz with a weak-looking dive to the floor as Special K are beating on the Backseat Boyz but the Briscoes come out for the save then Teddy Hart comes out and hits an insane springboard corkscrew quebrada onto Special K then heads inside to raise the hands of the Backseat Boyz.

Thoughts: I personally couldnt think of a better way to match the Tag Team Titles seem less important than RoH did with this monstrosity of a match. The whole thing was filled with awful action and the end was filled with zero doubt or drama as to who would win. Joke teams like the Special K guys and Ring Crew Express showed the lack of depth and how those teams were essentially unable to even work an actual tag match. I dont know who Dixie was blowing to get his spot on the roster because he was by far the worst in the match. And he was treated as one of the top guys in the Special K stable. The Backseat Boyz did not even look impressive in winning the belts and who do they feud with now? Special K? The Briscoes are the best team but they would seemingly want revenge on Special K, who fucked them over. Not only was the match shit but they dont even have a good tag feud to run with now.

Homicide, who is in Japan, cuts a promo on Low Ki, telling him that he forgot where he came from and that he even trained him so he could be the superstar that he is today. He then tells Ki to come find him in the “projects” as he is pissed for Ki telling him not to bring in “thugs” into Ring of Honor. He then tells Samoa Joe to be ready and will beat his punk-ass, just like he will do to Ki. Now, both Maff and Homicide are looking to go after Ki.

Alexis Laree comes out to cheers as streamers come down from the ceiling. Gary Michael Cappetta wishes her luck as she just signed a Developmental Deal with the WWE. The fans chant “please don’t go” as she looks emotional but Special K’s music interrupts then Joey Matthews, who was in rehab the announcers tell us, comes out and hugs her then clotheslines her down as its revealed he is back with Special K. The Special K guys hold up Alexis as Joey grabs a chair. Slugger comes down and Joey gives him the chair as Hydro tells him to hit Alexis but he gets slapped down as the Special K guys are scared shitless as they leave the ring, dropping Laree to the mat. Julius Smokes runs in and lays out Hijinx as he now have a match between Laree and Hijinx.

Alexis Laree vs. Hijinx

Hijinx wants no part of Alexis, who takes him down with a flying headscissors and a rana as Smokes, who is now the ref apparently, counts to two. Hijinx knocks her down then hits a backbreaker but misses a senton off of the middle rope then after a reversal sequence, Alexis gets the win with a DDT (1:15) 1/4*. After the match, Slugger raises Alexis on her shoulder as the fans applaud.

Thoughts: No idea what the stuff with Smokes and the Rottweilers were about but it was a nice sendoff for Laree.

We get a promo from Jim Cornette, who tells us he is back in Ring of Honor after the Prophecy attacked him at Wrath of the Racket. He tells them that he is back in town. Okay then.

Punk comes out for his match against Terry Funk as he tells us Funk retired for the first time in 1983 and that he could shit on his career and family all night long if he wants but its all been done before. He says that Funk keeps on coming back because he is a “drunk, pilled-up, schizophrenic, multi-personality dickhead.” Punk then says that RoH put him in with a guy who has to take pills to get up in the morning and that he will finally dismantle Punk forever, which is repeats several times. Punk’s mic work has been the only highlight of the show at this point.

CM Punk vs. Terry Funk

The crowd goes nuts for Funk. Match starts with Punk slapping Funk after they shook hands. Funk backs Punk into then corner and breaks cleanly. After an armdrag by Funk, they roll around on the mat and end up outside as Punk retreats. Back in the ring, Punk takes down Funk and grabs a chinlock. Funk reverses it and works a hammerlock on the mat. Funk hits a neckbreaker then follows Punk outside but gets beaten on then Punk grabs the mic and declares this a hardcore match. Funk then roughs him up as they go back inside, where Funk punches him down. They then trade chops outside of the ring but that stops when Punk gets whipped into the guardrail. Funk hits Punk with a chair across the back. Punk then smashes Funks head off of the table then whacks him with the chair as Funk challenges Punk to hit him harder. Punk fires away at Fun, who is caught between the ropes, but Funk fights back and ends up suplexing Punk from the apron and through a table. Funk repeatedly slams Punk’s head on the table then heads back inside and goes for a moonsault but Punk rolls away as both men are down. Funk sells the knee like a champ then Punk goes right on the attack as he targets the knee as Funk calls him a “prick” and a “bastard.” Funk comes back with a stunner but is still in too much pain to follow up with anything as Punk brings him into the middle of the ring and works the leg before putting on the figure four as Punk taunts him. Levy tells us that the referee was warned before the match to not let anything dangerous happen to Funk, who now reverses the hold. Funk rolls outside and has trouble standing as Punk follows him up and rolls Funk back into the ring. Punk then grabs a chair and whacks the injured knee repeatedly then puts on the figure four again as Funk reaches the ropes but Punk pulls him back into the center of the ring to try it again. Funk fights back and eventually puts Punk in the spinning toe hold but Punk takes him down as Punk puts the figure four back on as Levy wants the ref to call the match in order to protect Funk, who reaches the ropes. Punk tries to yank Funk away from the ropes then puts the hold back on and refuses to break the hold as the ref calls for the bell as Funk wins by DQ (15:48) **1/2. Punk still refuses to break the hold as Colt Cabana comes down to tell Punk to break the hold, only to put it on himself and doesnt stop until Raven runs them off. However, Tommy Dreamer stops Cabana in the aisle as they bring him back in the ring as Funk hits him with a stunner. Funk, Dreamer, and Raven all shake hands together as the crowd applauds.

Thoughts: This match was about as good as it could have been but the Dreamer stuff felt all like deja vu and the Raven/Punk feud in general has lost a lot of steam.

RoH World Title
Christopher Daniels w/ Alison Danger vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)

Joe starts the match by drilling Daniels with a kick that almost got the win. Joe continues to rough up Daniels, who eventually comes back with a leg lariat. Daniels gets two with an Arabian Press but Joe knocks him down with a spinning backhand. Joe then destroys Daniels in the corner as the announcers list off all the title defenses Joe has had as he puts Daniels in a Boston Crab. Danger comes in as Joe goes for a face wash but Daniels knocks him to the floor and follows with another Arabian Press. He grabs a chair and sits down Joe as he tries an Ole kick but Joe cuts him off then hits one on Daniels. Joe hits the move again then they head inside where Joe hits the rolling cradle. Daniels comes back with a German suplex as both men are down. Daniels charges but Joe catches him with a powerslam for a nearfall. Daniels then blocks a kick and hits a pair of enziguiris. Daniels fires away then hits a Samoan drop. The crowd is into Daniels here. Daniels then hits a STO then follows with the Best Moonsault Ever but Joe is able to kick out at two. Joe comes back with an STO of his own then knees Daniels in the head. Joe gets a few nearfalls then catches a breather but Daniels comes back with the Koji Clutch but Joe is able to reach the ropes. Daniels gets two with a Blue Thunder Driver. He then places Joe up top and tries a superplex but Joe blocks the move. Daniels is able to take him off with a hurricarana then hits the Angels Wings and covers but Joe kicks out. However, the timekeeper rang the bell as Daniels is in disbelief. Daniels tries for the Last Rites but Joe reverses and takes him down with the Coquina Clutch. Daniels finally makes the ropes but Joe connects with an enziguiri then gets the win with the Island Driver (15:02) ***3/4. The announcers then talk about who will ever be able to beat Joe. Daniels gets a standing ovation once he makes it back up to his feet.

Thoughts: Really good match but not a classic like the announcers made this out to be or anything like that. After the win, Joe now needs someone to feud with.

Maff is shown again as he tells Daniels that he had the match won and everyone knew it too before telling us that he will win the Field of Honor. His final comment is for Low Ki as he tells him that he is a “self-righteous, egotistical son of a bitch” and that he will be back and it will having nothing to do with winning a match as he promises to hurt him as he rips off his neck brace. Good, intense promo from Maff this time but he isnt someone who is worth all this promo time to begin with f you ask me.

Backstage, the Carnage Crew are talking about how they are disrespected every day in their lives before they warn Special K that they will kick their ass.

The Backseat Boyz gloat over the fact that they have won the RoH Tag Team Titles then tell is that they are the best tag team in the world. They then tell us they are going down to Atlantic City to get some hookers, room service, and shrimp.

Colt Cabana is now hosting his own talk show in the Murphy Rec Center hallway as his first guest is Julius Smokes, who is flanked by the Rottweilers. Cabana tries a “the man” joke then asks Smokes introduces us to . Smokes then tells us the Rottweiler Express is coming. A sad attempt at comedy by Colt Cabana.

Final Thoughts: A really disappointing show. It was more dull than horrible I suppose but that is the best I can say about the show as a whole. Besides the main event and Punk, everything else was either forgettable or awful. They are lacking in compelling feuds and the tag team division is complete shit at the moment. They might as well have just put the Briscoes vs. Backseat Boyz for the titles and built off of that because the other teams should be nowhere near a title belt. Also, the Field of Honor stuff has been a major disappointment so far. No one is looking like a breakout star from being a part of this tournament. One of the weaker shows RoH offered in 2003.

Ring of Honor Beating the Odds September 6th, 2003

September 6, 2003

From the Charbonneau Field House in Wakefield, MA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

The show starts with CM Punk, alongside Colt Cabana, cuts a promo on Raven. He says that he wants Raven to remember how he is a failure and that he began wrestling so he could get his mission across. He ends by saying he will taken Raven out for good then walks away as Cabana is shown. Cabana says that he is not going to say something funny or talk about how Dunn & Marcos’s mothers wanted to be his groupies as he is serious and going to make a name for himself in the Field of Honor.

Raven is shown backstage telling us the world his filled with kings and queens and heaven and hell. He then informs us that for Punk, heaven is not an option as he welcomes him to his Clockwork Orange House of Fun. Raven then promises to “kill” Punk then finishes off this promo with a maniacal laugh.

Field of Honor Qualifying Match
Block B
Jimmy Rave vs. Colt Cabana

Lively crowd tonight. Cabana starts the match by stalling in the corner. Both guys trade arm wringers as the announcers put over the tournament and the “pure wrestling” aspect. We are now shown footage from before the show of the Backseat Boyz at the gimmick table harassing Gabe Sapolsky and Rob Feinstein then yelling at fans to get out of their way until they run into Julius Smokes and Homicide, who yells at them for being late. The argue as the Carnage Crew are laughing in the background then a brawl breaks out. Homicide then tells Feinstein to stop being a “pussy” and fine those “faggot-ass niggas.” We are finally back to the action as Rave takes down Cabana with an armdrag, with the announcers putting down the Backseat Boyz for unprofessionalism. Cabana challenges Rave to knock him down with a shoulder tackle then trips him up as the crowd applauds. Cabana whips Rave into the corner then puts him in a surfboard as we hear that all of the Field of Honor competitors will have cameras on them in the back at all times. Cabana hits a backdrop and gets two off of that. Rave tries to fight back with chops but keeps getting cut off. Cabana gets two off of a gutwrench powerbomb then catches him in a bearhug a few times. Rave connects with an enziguiri for two but Cabana comes back with a leg drop. Cabana misses a top rope twisting senton as Rave follows up with a shining wizard as both men are down. Rave hits a floating DDT for two then catches him with an armbar off of a springboard. Cabana takes control with a modified version of his Colt 45 then targets the back for a bit. Rave ends up putting Cabana in a crossface but Cabana powers out and hits the Colt 45 for the win (13:06) **.

Thoughts: Not much of a match. It did get better at the end though. The main focus was on Homicide and Acid as their feud is not going away. The secondary focus was on Cabana as his win keeps him going in the tournament as they story with him is that he wants to prove himself as a wrestler and stop acting like a goofball.

Backstage, AJ Styles tells Rave he lost because he went for the arm instead of the neck then gives him some advice. Styles appears to be the mentor for Rave.

Colt is shown as he says he is honor as the doctors and his family and friends told him not to wrestle tonight but he did as he is going to the top.

Diablo Santiago w/ Oman Tortuga vs. Slyk Wagner Brown w/ April Hunter

Before the match, the Outkast Killaz corner Hunter but Brown flipped into the ring to scare them off. Match starts with Santiago jumping Brown from behind. Santtiago kept taunting the crowd as that allowed Brown to hit him with a missile dropkick. Brown then hit a press slam and followed that with a standing moonsault. Santiago goes outside as Brown sends him into the guardrail with a baseball slide. Back inside, Santiago works over the back of Brown then they fuck up a super kick spot that missed by a mile but Brown sold anyway. Santiago gets two with a bridging slam but misses a diving headbutt as both men are down. Brown wins a slugfest then hits some sort of half-assed Thesz Press for two. Catatonic slam gets two. Santiago comes back with another bridging suplex as he is now bleeding from his nose. Brown almost botches a float over then catches Santiago with a sitout powerbomb for the win (4:19) 1/4*. After the match, Tortuga tells Brown they are not down and that Hunter was checking him out all match. Tortuga then Hunter to come with him then gets attacked in a sequence to show off Hunter, who was probably bigger than Tortuga anyway.

Thoughts: This match sucked. The point was to get Brown and Hunter over but Brown was a bad wrestler and did a ton of flips in the match for some reason. Hunter got over a bit for beating on the Outkast Killaz as they seem to be building up to a match between the four.

Scramble Match
Dunn & Marcos vs. Izzy & Dixie w/ Special K vs. SAT’s vs. Backseat Boyz

We are informed that Homicide & Julius Smokes are “tearing” up the locker room due to the Backseat Boyz being here tonight. This starts off the same as every other scramble match with guys pairing off and going at rapid speed. One cool move was when Joel countered a tarantula from Izzy with an Alabama Slam. Less blown spots than usual here too. Izzy busts out a few cool hurricaranas here as well. Dunn & Marcos hit a nice version of the Demolition Decapitation on Dixie for two. The match breaks down with the SAT’s botching a double-team move as they are incapable of having a match without at least one. The announcers talk about the Tag Team Title situation due to the Amazing Red’s injury and how Gary Michael Capetta will address that later tonight. THe match breaks down again as Kashmere takes out almost everyone with a senton. In the ring, Joel and Izzy take turns kicking each other then climb up top where Joel takes Izzy off with a Spanish Fly to the floor on top of everyone, drawing a “holy shit” chant form the crowd. They head back inside as the action breaks down again until Acid hits Joel with a high knee for the win (8:44) **1/4.

Thoughts: These tag scramble matches were really tiresome. The only team worth a shit was the Backseat Boyz as the others were probably incapable of wrestling an actual tag match. Despite all of that, this was more cool moves and less botched spots than usual, making it a bit entertaining at least.

Field of Honor
Block A
Matt Stryker vs. John Walters

Both guys feel each other out to start. They battle over a test-of-strength then trade moves until Walters stretches out Stryker in the ropes. Stryker takes a breather then re-enters as he takes down Walters and works a front facelock. They end in a stalemate as the crowd applauds then Walters works the arm. Stryker takes him down with a dragon screw and works the leg briefly before putting on the Stryker Lock. Walters is able to make it to the ropes then Stryker goes back to working the leg. Walters knee gives out as he was Irish whipped into the ropes then Stryker grapevines the leg. Stryker is unable to put Walters away then gets caught with a lungblower as Walters continues to sell his leg. Walters is up first and eventually hits his Hurricane DDT for a nearfall. Stryker comes back with rolling German Suplexes then takes him down and tries to work the leg but Walters crawled over to the ropes. Walters comes back with a La Magistral then lifts him up for a  chokeslam and drops him across his knee for a backbreaker. They have a reversal sequence that ends with Stryker getting a nearfall with a German suplex. Walters tries to hit Stryker with a powerbomb but his leg gave out as Stryker fell on top of him for the win (12:38) **3/4. After the match, Walters grabs the mic and tells us that he has been wrestling in the area for three years and talks about having pride and wanting to win before shaking Stryker’s hand.

Thoughts: Above-average match but I still dont really care about either one of these guys. Walters selling of the leg was questionable at times and his promo after the match was extremely long-winded. Stryker is a fine technical wrestler but had no personality or even a decent look and would be best served in a jobber role.

Homicide interrupts Feinstein as he is eating wanting to fight Trent Acid tonight, even giving up his title shot. Feinstein tells him he can make it happen.

Hydro & Deranged & Angel Dust vs. Carnage Crew & Justin Credible

The Special Guys are freaking out over the fact they have to fight these guys. Match starts with Loc getting the best of Hydro as the announcers put over the Homicide vs. Trent Acid match that will take place later tonight. Credible works over Angel Dust then kisses Becky Bayless as the announcers crack jokes about her being a whore. He then hits Angel Dust with several rolling suplexes as the crowd goes nuts. Deranged and DeVito are now in the ring as Deranged hits him low then hammers away in the corner. DeVito fights back and takes him down with a dropkick. Outside, Special K yell at Slugga and order him into the ring. He heads in as Loc slaps him in the face then chops away. Loc hits him low but gets caught with a reverse chokeslam as Angel Dust runs in and grabs a headlock. The Special K guys are now beating on Loc and that goes on for a bit until he hits Angel Dust with a backdrop driver then tags Credible, who runs wild. The match breaks down as all three Special K get whipped into each other. Carnage Crew hits Deranged with a Splash Mountain/Neckbreaker combo but Slugger makes the save on the pin attempt as the match breaks down again. Slugger holds up the Carnage Crew for Angel Dust and Hydro, who accidentally hit him with missile dropkicks that Slugger did not even know how to sell correctly. Credible takes Slugga down with a super kick then grabs Bayless and pulls her onto the apron after she tried to trip him but Deranged breaks that up then hits Credible with a spin kick for two. The match breaks down again as all we hear is Julius Smokes yelling at Slugga, asking him to follow him as he agrees with both guys heading to the back. Hydro and Angel dust take out the Carnage Crew with dives, leaving Deranged and Credible in the ring. They battle up top where Credible takes him off with a tombstone piledriver from the middle rope and gets the win (15:32) *1/2. After the match, DeVito destroys Hijinx with a chair then they drag Bayless into the ring for the spike piledriver but Credible prevents them as he asks for the tables as the Carnage Crew put her through the table from the apron with the spike piledriver. DeVito can barely walk after the move.

Thoughts: This feud looks like it will continue but this match really fell apart the last couple of minutes. It turned into a disaster. DeVito seemed to hurt himself putting Bayless through the table but still managed to really protect her with the move. Slugga has now apparently joined up with Smokes and Homicide as Special K is without their muscle.

Gary Michael Cappetta is backstage with some updates. He tells us that Low Ki has fractured his jaw during a recent tour of Japan and will be out indefinitely. Also, the Amazing Red will be out as he is undergoing surgery for an ACL injury as the Ring of Honor will have a Tag Team Gauntlet Series that will begin next show at Glory By Honor II when new Tag Team Champions will be crowned. He then brings out the Briscoe Brothers as Mark tells us that they are young and unsure what they want to do with their lives but now they want to win the Tag Team Titles. Cappetta tells us that Mark will face BJ Whitmer tonight and that Jay will take part in the four-way match, with the winner getting a title shot. After that, the SAT’s ask the Briscoes why they hurt Red, thinking that they were boys. The Briscoes tell them they were just trying to win the match. Christ, that was an awkward exchange. Jay improved by leaps and bounds in his promo skills while the other three have not.

Mark Briscoe vs. BJ Whitmer

The crowd chants for Briscoe as Whitmer has him in a headlock. Briscoe comes back with a spinning heel kick then grounds Whitmer as the announcers put over how much of an upset it would be if Briscoe won this match. Briscoe gets a nearfall with a crossbody but Whitmer fights back. He hits a gutbuster that gets two then works a surfboard. The announcers are trying way too hard to put Whitmer over by pretending that he has had all sorts of incredible matches. Well, you can say that many other guys in this company too. Whitmer beats on Briscoe outside of the ring as he targets the ribs. Back inside, Whitmer gets another nearfall with a gutbuster. He locks on an abdominal stretch but Briscoe counters with a hip toss. Whitmer goes back on offense after Briscoe missed an elbow drop as he continues to target the ribs. Whitmer sends Briscoe to the floor with a hiptoss but Briscoe is able to cut him off on a dive to the outside. Briscoe suplexes Whitmer onto the floor then flies out with a shooting star press as the crowd starts a “holy shit” chant. Briscoe repeatedly whips Whitmer into the guardrail then heads back inside, hitting a springboard dropkick for two. Briscoe then catches him with a uranage after a reversal sequence but that only gets two. Whitmer comes back with a superplex but that is not enough to get the win. Dragon suplex gets two. Briscoe comes back with an exploder for a nearfall. Whitmer then hits an exploder of his own after a reversal sequence but that is not enough for the win. They now battle up top where Briscoe takes him off with a belly-to-belly that looked really sloppy but it was enough for the win (13:50) **3/4.

Thoughts: Another match that was above-average but hurt again by a lack of psychology as they kept on hitting a ton of big moves then ended it with something that looked less painful than most of what they were doing to each other. The ending was also anti-climatic, which is a bad sign as you cannot build to a finish in a match that lasted almost fourteen years long. Still, Briscoe was just a teenager and was wrestling at a level far above most with the same experience. I also felt that the announcers gave away the finish with how they constantly talked up Whitmer and how much of an upset it would be if Briscoe won.

Feinstein is backstage asking the fans if they have any information about the attack on Lucy at the “Wrath of the Racket” show. If you do, send it to the company website.

Trent Acid w/ Johnny Kashmere vs. Homicide w/ Julius Smokes 

Before the match begins the camera cuts to Raven in the locker room, who is breathing heavily, as he tells Punk he will kill him. We are back to the action as these two go back and forth at a quick pace. Acid cuts off Homicide with a kick on a dive attempt then suplexes him onto the floor. Acid pulls the guardrail forward and asks the fans to move back then takes out Homicide with a quebrada. They go back and forth again then Homicide tosses Acid into the guardrail as he was in midair and holy shit did that look like it hurt. He places Acid on a chair then flies out and hits him with a tope con hilo. The action heads back into the ring as Homicide destroys Acid in the corner. He sends Acid to the floor with a running knee smash as they play up that Acid has an eye injury as he is bleeding. A dazed Acid heads back inside where Homicide goes back on offense. Acid is able to come back with a missile dropkick then hits a flurry of moves but remains dazed. Homicide hits a T-Bone suplex for a nearfall but Acid comes back with a low blow then brings a chair inside as the ref is tied up with Smokes. Acid takes him off of the top with a Backseat Driver as Homicide’s head whacks the edge of the chair. Ouch! Now they trade Yakuza kicks until Acid knocks him down but that only gets one as they go at it again until both men are down as the crowd goes nuts. Homicide blocks a kick then takes Acid down with a Dragon Screw before locking on the STF. Acid makes the ropes but Homicide puts the hold back on as Acid once again is able to make it to the ropes. Acid knocks Homicide down with a forearm smash as his nose is pouring blood. Acid waits up top but Homicide knocks him down then hits a Super Ace Crusher for two as Kashmere interrupts the pin. Smokes chases him around until Acid takes him out. Acid catches Homicide with another Yakuza kick as he was chasing Kashmere but that is not enough to put him away. Homicide breaks up a sleeper with a low blow then is able to hit the Cop Killa after failing previously and that is enough for the win (15:00) ***1/2. After the match, everyone shakes hands as the fans start an “R-O-H” chant.

Thoughts: Wild match. These two beat the crap out of each other and earned their paychecks with this performance. The next logical step is to have the rubber match to their feud. Acid looked like someone who could have been a star but drugs ruined that among other things.

Christopher Daniels is shown with Allison Danger talking about destiny. This is shot in black-and-white. Danger is holding up the ECWA Title. Daniels says that his goal has always been to be the Ring of Honor champion but he will not be here tonight as he is defending the ECWA title. Daniels closes by telling Samoa Joe that he is the only thing standing in his way and says that at “Glory By Honor II” he will fulfill his destiny by winning the title. I’ll say it before and I will say it again, the Fallen Angel gimmick held Daniels back. It came off too corny for someone positioned near the top of the card.

Four Corners Survival Match
Chris Sabin vs. Jay Briscoe vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe

The rules for this are as follows: Winner gets a title shot in the future. However, if Joe wins, the loser will not get a title match as long as Joe is the champion. Sabin and Briscoe start off the match as they work a decent little sequence that ends in a standoff. AJ and Joe tag in as now the NWA-TNA and RoH champs are in the ring but Sabin tags himself in and tries to attack AJ but fails. Sabin tags Joe, who starts kicking Joe. AJ then bails and tags Briscoe, who gets knocked down a few times. AJ tags back in as Briscoe catches him with a powerslam as all four guys keep tagging in and out until the match breaks down until everyone ends up in a standoff. That looked far to contrived and the crowd didnt care at all. Joe and Briscoe take turns beating on Sabin for a bit until he comes back with a catatonic backbreaker. Joe tags and puts Briscoe in a Boston Crab that looked painful as AJ breaks up the move. Now we are at the point where the guys all break up submission holds so they can have a chance to win a title shot. Briscoe is taking a beating here as he is getting put in all sorts of submission holds. He rolls away from a splash attempt by Sabin and finally makes the tag as AJ clotheslines Sabin to the floor. Joe takes him outside with an enziguiri then hits him with the ole kick. He tries it again but Sabin spears Joe then gets drilled with a super kick by AJ. All three guys outside brawl until Briscoe takes them out with a senton. In the ring, Briscoe chops Joe in the corner. Joe plants a charging Briscoe with an uranage. Joe follows with a powerbomb then locks on an STF but Briscoe reaches the ropes. AJ is in and messes up the Phenomenon but still gets two. The match breaks down as Sabin hits the Future Shock for two then Briscoe hits him with a Splash Mountain. Joe uses a rolling cradle on Briscoe that AJ breaks up at two. AJ botches a springboard move but salvages it somewhat by making it a leg drop. AJ then hits Sabin with a Styles Clash after a reversal sequence but Joe breaks it up then everyone takes turns kicking each other as the match has broked down again. AJ and Joe hit Sabin with a double enziguiri then Briscoe swoops in and hits Sabin with the Jaydriller and gets the win as the other two were unable to break up the pin (21:15) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match but nothing to write home about or anything. Briscoe winning was a surprise as they put over both of them strongly on this show. With the news of the new Tag Team Champions being crowned next show, it seems like they have put the Briscoes and Backseat Boyz at the top tier of teams.

Cappetta is with Justin Credible as they are fielding questions from the crowd. Some clown asks him if “Bret really fucked Sunny” then Credible said that he did then follows that he is just telling them what they want to hear.  After that, Special K jumps him from behind until the Carnage Crew make the save but they also end up getting beat down.  We can see the crew put together the cage as this is happening.

Clockwork Orange House of Fun Match
CM Punk vs. Raven

They fight over a lockup as Cabana is now ringside. Raven whacks Punk with a trashcan then chokes him out with a chain as Punk is already busted open and now wearing a crimson mask as Raven is ramming him into the cage. Punk is able to now send Raven into the cage as he now takes control of the match. Punk whacks Raven with a shovel then opens him up some more with punches to the forehead. He now uses the garbage can as the announcers tell us that Punk and Raven will pick opponents for each other as Raven has selected Terry Funk to face Punk at “Glory By Honor II” as Punk selected Steve Corino for Raven, who comes back with a DDT as Cabana breaks that up by tossing a chair at him. Raven runs over to him but gets the door slammed in his face. Punk comes back with a DDT but that just gets two. Raven whacks Punk with a chair a few times but is unable to put him away. He sets up a table but Punk hits him low and lays him across the table then heads to the top of the cage. Raven gets up and meets him there as they trade punches until Punk gets tossed off and through the table. Raven climbs down and but Punk is just able to kick out. Raven then hits a super kick then sets him on the top rope as he puts Punk through the table with the Raven Effect and gets the win (11:45) ***1/2. After the match, the lights go out and when they turn back on Raven is shown tied-up to a giant “X” with barbed-wire draped over his neck as Cabana is also in the ring. Punk grabs the mic and that while Raven had won this battle he will not win the war. Punk then leaves as the referees

Thoughts: Good match. These guys bled all over the place and the hype delivered for the most part, although you would have expected this match to last longer. With Raven winning the battle and Punk getting his heat back, this feud will continue. Punk looks like more of a star after each show. His character was awesome.

Joe talks about Daniels talking about his destiny of winning the RoH title as he talks about always being the bully and never the underdog as Daniels’ destiny is to get choked out and dropped on his head by him. He closes by saying that he is “pro wrestling.”

Final Thoughts: Solid show. Some of the undercard was garbage but the main storylines are going strong and they appear to be doing more with the tag division than scramble matches with the announcement that new champions will be crowned. Punk/Raven remains the hottest feud but they built up the Briscoes, Homicide, and the Backseat Boyz tonight. The Field of Honor hasnt really impressed all that much to be honest with Cabana the central part of that storyline. All in all, the promotion has more positives and negatives at the moment and I look forward to each show.

Destination America Brings More Action To The Ring Acquiring The Rights To RING OF HONOR’s Weekly Television Programming

I'd say this is probably bad for TNA…

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 27, 2015           CONTACT: Nikki Suseck | 212-548-5452 | [email protected]   DESTINATION AMERICA BRINGS MORE ACTION TO THE RING ACQUIRING THE RIGHTS TO RING OF HONOR’S WEEKLY TELEVISION PROGRAMMING   (Silver Spring, Md.) –Destination America announced today that it has signed a national broadcast deal with professional wrestling league RING OF HONOR, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., bringing one of the most respected wrestling organizations to the only network dedicated to all-American entertainment. Destination America is now the one-two-punch to professional wrestling, adding RING OF HONOR (ROH) to its line-up after launching IMPACT WRESTLING in early 2015. RING OF HONOR has been delivering top wrestling matches for ten years with captivating hard-hitting stars such as Jay & Mark Briscoe, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, The Young Bucks, Maria Kanellis, Adam Cole and Jay Lethal.  Destination America will pack on the action beginning Wednesday June 3 with the series premiere of RING OF HONOR at 8/7c leading into brand new premieres of IMPACT WRESTLING at 9/8c.   "With the electric and intense matches that RING OF HONOR provides, Destination America is the network for fans to get an entire evening of jaw-dropping entertainment on Wednesday nights,” said Marc Etkind, general manager of Destination America. “RING OF HONOR showcases tenacity, athleticism and passion and it serves as the place where America’s favorite wrestling stars are born.”   “We are very excited to be partnering with Destination America for the broader distribution of the ROH programming,” commented Joe Koff, Chief Operating Officer – Ring of Honor Wrestling.  “ROH will now reach an additional 57 million households including those in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and other large cities where Ring of Honor is not currently airing.   ROH has a loyal fan base and is one of the fastest growing major wrestling franchises in the country.  With this great partnership with Destination America, we can continue to expand our footprint and reach while producing entertaining, original content and continuing to provide wrestling fans some of the best wrestling content available.”   RING OF HONOR will premiere on Wednesday, June 3 leading into IMPACT WRESTLING, making Destination America the home for wrestling every Wednesday evening. The first match will feature the Briscoe Brothers, Mark and Jay, as they face off with the House of Truth in the main event.  Also catch athletes of New Japan Pro Wrestling battle it out with the RING OF HONOR stars and follow former NFL lineman Moose compete against BJ Whitmer.   Since launching in 2012, Destination America has become one of cable’s top fastest-growing networks, and continues to earn telecast ratings records among key series.  In 2015 to date, Destination America has acquired over 50 million unique viewers. With top series that explore unique American cultures and ways of life – including Paranormal Survivor, Hillbilly Blood, Buying the Bayou, and BBQ Pitmasters – Destination America’s programming spans the nation from Alaska, Hawaii and Colorado to Louisiana, West Virginia and communities in between. To find Destination America, go to destinationamerica.com/watchda.   About Destination America Destination America is the only network to celebrate the people, places, and stories of the United States. The inclusive network targeting Adults 25-54 is available in more than 57 million homes, emblazoning television screens with the grit and tenacity, honesty and work ethic, humor and adventurousness that characterize our nation. Destination America features travel, food, adventure, home, and natural history, with original series like BBQ Pitmasters; A Haunting; Mountain Monsters; Buying Alaska; Buying the Bayou; and Railroad Alaska. For more information, please visit DestinationAmerica.com, facebook.com/DestinationAmerica, or twitter.com/DestAmerica. Destination America is part of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world’s #1 pay-TV provider reaching nearly 3 billion cumulative subscribers in 220 countries and territories.   # # #   Please visit the Press Website at http://press.discovery.com/us/da/programs/ring-honor/ for additional press materials Follow us on Twitter at @DestAmerica Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/DestinationAmerica Visit us online at DestinationAmerica.com     Nikki Suseck Discovery Communications w: 212.548.5452 c: 347.334.2403  

BREAKING NEWS: Ring of Honor to Start Airing on Destination America Beginning June 3rd

Here is the official announcement of Ring of Honor on Destination America, starting June 3rd at 8pm.


It should also be noted that Dixie Carter has scheduled a conference call for 3pm EST and requested that all TNA talent participate.


Place to be Nation Presents: King of the Ring Special

The fine folks over at Place to be Nation have gone through every King of the Ring PPV as they re-booked and re-ranked all the brackets and overall shows. So, click on the link below and listen then post here on what you agree and disagree with.


Ring of Honor Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies August 16th, 2003

August 16, 2003

From Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

The show starts of zoomed in on Raven’s “Rust Never Sleeps” tattoo as he denies he attacked Lucy then questions whether or not the cage match stipulations are violent enough for when he faces CM Punk so he makes it a “Clockwork Orange House of Fun” match instead.

Punk interrupts Rob Feinstein, who was bragging about being “twelve inches” to the camera man as he talked about hitting on chicks. He yells at Feinstein for creating an unsafe work environment and demands to know what happened. The Outcast Killaz interrupt, with Punk calling them “Special K” as they cut a goofy promo as Tortuga tells him to relax and drink a beer as Punk responds by kicking both of their asses. Loving how they are building up the Punk/Raven feud to start the show.

Special K are backstage. Deranged then complains that there parties are too much like a “sausage fest” as the camera briefly shows Becky Bayless. He then says they need more girls then they all go on a voyage. They run into Alexis Laree, who rejects their advances and reminds them that RoH is about athleticism. Bayless then pushes her and wants her to dance as Laree questions if she is a wrestler then challenges here to a match. Bayless says it is not a good idea but the rest of the group tell her it will be fine as she smiles then dances.

Prince Nana comes out for his scheduled match against Oman Tortuga. Homicide then comes in the ring and demands that Steve Corino come out so he can kick his ass. Instead we get Corino’s friend, Guillotine LeGrande, who promises us that Corino is here and will kick his ass for insulting him. Homicide is all fired up here. He then turns around as Nana wants a match as the bell rings.

Prince Nana vs. Homicide

Nana surprises Homicide with an overhead suplex. He hits a few charging attacks in the corner then follows with a senton. Nana chops him all over the ring but Homicide tosses him outside then follows with a tope con hilo. The crowd is fully behind Homicide here. The action heads back inside where Homicide chops him a few times then hits a low dropkick. Nana escapes from the STF then hits a side slam. Nana heads up top but misses a senton then Homicide finally puts him in the STF for the win ( 3:03) 3/4*. After the match, Homicide once again calls out Corino as Feinstein comes out and reassures him that Corino is here and that he has a match as Homicide swears at him while the crowd chants “kick Rob’s ass.” Homicide then threatens Gary Michael Cappetta as he is just going completely mental, challenging anyone to stop him from getting Corino.

Thoughts: The match was nothing but it did a great job at hyping the Corino/Homicide feud.

The Carnage Crew are talking backstage as DeVito tells Loc how he missed the last show as he could not leave work and had to deal with his wife and kids. Loc talks about driving 10 hours to Dayton and how he took the pin due to Special K interfering as they talk about how they hate them then plug the scramble match while ripping on the fans at cheering for highspots. They are now setting up the Carnage Crew to feud with the other teams on the bottom of the totem pole. At least it is something.

Ring Crew Express vs. The Purists

Dunn and Walters start off the match. Walters stretches out Dunn then tags out as Mamaluke is now in as they jumped ahead a bit. Dunn hits a Gory Bomb and tags out as Marcos hits an enziguiri. The Ring Crew Express run wild then celebrate but pay the price then as Mamaluke puts Marcos on his shoulders, Walters takes him down with a lungblower and stretches him out then Mamaluke joins in as Marcos finally taps (2:34) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Quick little match to put over the Purists as a threat in the Tag Team division.

Danny Maff tells us that to advance in the future, you have to eliminate your past. He tells Low Ki how that he got bigger and faster and became an “indy wrestling wonder” but as that happened, he was held back watching from behind but now he grew up and his bigger and is now one of the biggest bad asses that RoH has to offer. Then after his daughter told him that Low Ki was her favorite wrestler, Maff said that he felt like “smacking the shit” out of her has he goes out of his mind while flipping out about Low Ki and how he will need to be killed in order to lose this match. I appreciate Maff trying to turn up the intensity here but this went on too long and was over exaggerated at times to the point where it came off as just plain goofy at times.

Field of Honor Qualifying Match
BJ Whitmer vs. Matt Stryker

The fans start dueling chants as both guys trade various holds. The chants get louder as Levy puts them over as Whitmer gets two with a leg lariat. Neither man can gain an advantage as they both spill out to the floor. Stryker then sends Whitmer into the guardrail then shortly after that takes him down with a dragon screw as Whitmer clutches his knee. Back inside, Stryker works on the injured knee. Whitmer is able to use his momentum to send Stryker to the floor then hobbles outside and hits a neckbreaker. They head back in as he kicks Stryker repeatedly to the back of the neck then stretches him out as Stryker just reaches the ropes. Snap suplex gets two. Whitmer applies a chinlock as he drives his knee into the neck. Stryker fights out but runs into an elbow then gets chopped in the corner. Whitmer places Stryker up top but gets taken off with a sunset powerbomb as both men are down. They get back up an trade chops until Stryker boots him down. They then trade suplexes for nearfalls as the crowd is really into this match. Stryker then hits a Death Valley Driver off of the top rope but that only gets two. Whitmer then cuts off Stryker from the top and hits a superplex for two. He tries for the Exploder 98 but Stryker escapes that and they end up elbowing each other before dropping to the mat. The ref starts a ten count but the bell rings at six as we learn the match is ruled a draw as it reached the fifteen minute time limit (15:00) **1/2. Gary Michael Cappetta then enters the ring and lets them know that due to the draw they are now out of the Field of Honor, despite deserving to be there then tells us that he has learned that they are both entered in the tournament based off of their performance tonight.

Thoughts: The company seems to be intent on putting these two over in the “Field of Honor” by having them both advance after wrestling in a time-limit draw. The match itself wasn’t bad but a lot of it felt like trasing holds just for the sake of doing so, while not really building into anything. Almost like a “highspot” match but instead of those moves they use mat holds. These two sold an elbow smash more than top rope suplexes, which is insane. It also didnt help that both of these guys were dull. At least Whitmer looked like somewhat of a star while Stryker was a goof with a unibrow.

Scramble Match
Dixie & Izzy w/ Special K vs. Carnage Crew vs. SAT’s vs. Backseat Boyz

Before the match, Acid chases away Special K  with a chair. The crowd is really into the Backseat Boyz. This starts off like every other scramble match where everyone take turns in the ring, getting in as many moves as possible. Nothing too impressive or horribly botched. Acid is the only one that resembles a star in this match by the way. Joel and Izzy then worked one of the more over choreographed sequences you will ever see and it looked like shit. The SAT’s hit Loc with a terribly botched double-team move then the match breaks down until the Backseat Boyz hit Izzy with the Dream Sequence. The Carnage Crew then run in and attack the Backseat Boyz as the match breaks down again, with the SAT’s hitting Izzy with a pendulum face buster. More fast-paced action occurs until the Carnage Crew hits Izzy with a spike piledriver but the rest of Special K run in and break up the pin in front of the ref, who does not ring the bell. The match continues as a big dive spot leads to Acid superplexing Special K flunky Cloudy to the floor, nearly killing each other in the process. The crowd chants “holy shit” as Lit tries a dive but Kashmere stops him but Dixie sneaks in, wearing a giant hat, and rolls up Kashmere for the win (9:19) *1/4. After the match, Special K starts a rave but that gets broken up as the DJ plays Alexis Laree’s theme music.

Thoughts: Ugh. Lots of bad looking moves and the Tag Scramble matches were way past the point of entertaining. I might have felt differently at the time but now these do not hold up well at all. Acid was the only wrestle worth a shit in the entire match.

Becky Bayless vs. Alexis Laree

Bayless fakes a fingernail after the handshake and that allows some of the Special K guys to attack Laree. Bayless then throws some forearm smashes that look horrible but Laree fights back. She hits a few kicks then some other girl from Special K jumps up on the apron to distract the ref but Laree dodges a few double-team attacks then hits Bayless with an inverted DDT for the win (2:32) DUD.

Thoughts: Luckily it was kept short. They seem to want to establish the women’s division around Laree and by the looks of things, will have a credible wrestle to face her at some point, likely brught in by Special K.

Before their match, Xavier tells Daniels that he won the RoH Title by himself, despite being the leader of the Prophecy. He then tells Daniels the best thing he can do is lay down as Daniels has had enough and reminds Xavier that he made the decision to have him be the champion. which was the only way he would have won the belt. He then tells Xavier that he doesn’t need to ask someone to lay down for him. They are certainly teasing a rift between these two Prophecy members.

#1 Contender’s Trophy Match
Xavier vs. “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels w/ Alison Danger

The winner of this match gets a title shot at the 9/20 Glory By Honor show. These two start on the mat as Xavier goes after the arm. The announcers put over the fact that Xavier has been out with a concussion for four months as he is in control of the match. Daniels grabs a headlock for a bit as this match is being wrestled scientifically at the start. Xavier comes back and works the arm as they keep a slow but steady pace as the announcers also let us know that Joe will not be defending the belt until the Glory By Honor show. Xavier punches Daniels in the face, who looks pissed. Danger even screams at Xavier about how they are both in the Prophecy. Daniels punches Xavier back and that triggers a shoving match. They square off then back off as they tried to trick each other into a handshake then both started punching each other. Daniels tosses Xavier onto the top rope then kicks him off as Daniels takes control of the match, to the delight of the fans. Xavier snaps Daniels neck off of the top rope then uses a baseball slide to send him into the guardrail. He then follows with a split-legged moonsault to the floor as he is in control of the match. Back inside, Xavier works the back and neck as the crowd chants “AC Slater.” He beats on Daniels in the corner as the announcers are trying way too hard to put him over. He was never at the level the company wanted to be and going overboard trying to sell him as a star just backfired. Daniels breaks up a sunset flip attempt then comes back with a basement dropkick. Gutbuster gets two. Xavier comes back with a stretch as Daniels escapes that then goes back to targeting the ribs of Xavier. Daniels locks on an abdominal stretch but Xavier escapes that and hits a facecrusher followed by an enziguiri that gets two. Daniels comes back with a spear as both men are down. They get up and go back-and-forth until Xavier yanks him off the top rope and clotheslines him down. They continue to go back and forth as neither man can gain the advantage. Xavier is able to hit a 450 splash, which looked great, but only gets two. Daniels escapes an X Breaker attempt that triggers a pinfall reversal sequence that ends with a double clothesline. They get up and fight over a backslide that Xavier wins but the ref breaks the count as he had his feet on the ropes. Xavier argues with the ref then Daniels sneaks up and gets a rollup while grabbing the tights for the win (22:25) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match. Slower-paced than a lot of other matches in the company but the psychology was solid. Xavier did fine but he didnt need to be a part of the RoH Title picture, especially after an unimpressive overall run as the champ.

Cappetta is backstage, looking to speak with Corino. CM Punk barges out of the locker room looking for Daniels then Cappetta attempts to interview Corino and his friend Guillotine LeGrande as they yell at Cappetta while denying that Corino is hurt.

4 Corners Survival Match
Slyk Wagner Brown w/ April Hunter vs. Jonny Storm vs. Hydro vs. Deranged

Deranged and Hydro start out as the attempt to recreate the finger poke incident between Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan but the pin attempt gets broken up. They turn their attention to Brown, who dumps them both to the floor. Storm runs in and gets clotheslined as Brown works the arm. Storm comes back and grabs a headlock as they work a so-so sequence that ends in a standoff. Deranged catches Brown with a springboard dropkick off of a blind tag. He follows with a satellite headscissors, that failed the first time, then a nearfall with a DDT. Brown catches Deranged with a press slam then follows with a standing moonsault for two. Storm clotheslines Deranged but runs into a spinning heel kick. Hydro tags as the Special K guys take turns beating on Storm. Brown tags and beats on Hydro and that leads to a wacky submission hold between all four guys. They have a dive sequence that ends with a tope con hilo from Brown, who then rolls Hydro inside. Hydro fights back and gets two with a clothesline. Top rope splash gets two. Deranged tags and says he isn’t fighting Brown so goes after Hydro and gets a few nearfalls. Storm tags in and hits a few sloppy moves on Deranged but cannot put him away. Brown cuts off Storm up top and hits a Dominator for two. Storm tries a top rope hurricarana but Brown blocks that and hits a catatonic slam for two. Brown goes up top but misses a shooting star press then Deranged tags himself in and ends up surprising Storm with an inverted hurricarana for the win (12:28) **.

Thoughts: Decent action at times but it was pretty meaningless as a whole. Brown appeared to be blown up at the end and did not impress. No one really stood out much to be honest but after this win and the scramble tag match, and the Laree stuff they seem to be building up Special K.

Punk runs down the crowd while running down Raven and Tommy Dreamer, then asks his “soldiers” in the crowd to throw up their “X” as the others in the crowd scream at him. Punk then promises that his match against Raven in Boston (Wakefield, MA) will be the bloodiest and most brutal we will ever see as the vocal minority start a “Raven’s gonna kill you” chant. Great mic work from Punk, who was knocking it out of the park week after week.

CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe

The announcers put over Punk coming back from his first tour of Japan and that he has an injured knee. Joe takes over the match to start as the announcers wonder who was behind the attack of Lucy. Levy predicts that one day CM Punk will be the RoH World Champion as he breaks up a test of strength with a kick to the gut then gets two with a rana. Joe brushes off a diving attack but Punk takes him down and works the arm. Joe comes back with an Exploder then sends Punk to the floor with a running kick as Punk is bleeding from the mouth. Joe chops the piss out of Punk then sets him up for the Ole Kick but Punk reverses it into a drop toehold in a nice spot. Punk chops Joe then mocks him as he tries the kick but Joe catches it and throws him into the guardrail. Joe finally connects with the Ole Kick then grabs a chair from a fan in the crowd as he sets him up for another Ole Kick on the other side of the ring. Punk is able to get up and run away from a third attempt then greets him with forearm smashes in the ring. Punk goes back to work on the arm but Joe catches him and slams his knee on the mat then immediately grapevines the leg. Joe stays on the attack as he puts Punk in the tree-of-woe. He works over the knee but Punk comes back then hits a slingshot senton as he goes back to targeting the arm, while selling his knee. They fight on the top rope as Joe wins that battle and goes back to targeting the knee. Both guys are down after going back-and-forth the Punk is up first and hits a Shining Wizard for two. They go back and forth again until Joe hits a Dragon Screw then makes Punk tap with a single leg crab (13:06) ***1/4. After the match, Daniels runs in and attacks Joe, hitting the Angels Wings. He then smiles at Punk, who is too hurt to stand up, then leaves the ring while shouting about being the next RoH World Champion. The ref then checks on Joe as Punk goes over and shakes his hand.

Thoughts: Good match, although it felt more like the beginning of a half-hour long match. The long ole kick spot might turn people off a bit as it did go on for a while but I thought it was fun. Punk’s psychology is also improving, something he attributed to working with Raven. This also left you wanting more between these two and with Daniels running in at the end and Punk hobbling over to make sure to shake Joe’s hand, it left a lot on intrigue.

Homicide vs. Steve Corino w/ Guillotine LeGrande

Corino’s entrance is complete with his own ring announcer, streamers, and his “young boys.” His introduction lasts forever as they name off all his titles, past and present, as Homicide is being warned by the referee to put down the chair he is playing with. They finally lockup after about five minutes of introductions then start brawling in the corner. Homicide grabs a leg lock then beats the piss out of Corino in the corner. They exchange chops then Homicide slaps Corino in the ear as he sells it like his ear drum is busted. He tries to walk away but is met by Julius Smokes and Slugger then Homicide drags him back towards the ring. Homicide stays on the attack but misses a diving headbutt then Corino hits a leg lariat. Corino beats on Homicide on the floor then gets his head rammed against the post as Homicide pulls barbed wire from underneath the ring and digs it into Corino’s arm. Shit, this is pretty graphic. Homicide then smashes Corino’s arm over the guardrail as it is covered in blood. Corino comes back with a lariat then takes the fight outside and busts open Homicide and digs his fingers into the cut as Homicide’s face his drenched in blood. Corino now digs the barbed wire into the cut as this is now a brutal bloodbath. Back inside, Corino gets two with a piledriver then pildrives him though a table from the apron as both men are down, with the crowd going mental. They finally head back into the ring as Corino chokes out Homicide then taunts the crowd. He charges but Homicide boots him then hits a tornado DDT. Homicide follows with a Shining Wizard that gets two as he is down on the mat while Corino ducks outside for a breather. Homicide finally gets up but misses a tope con hilo and slams into the guardrail, flipping into the crowd. My god. Corino picks up Homicide by the ears then rolls him inside but only gets two. Corino then puts Homicide in a sleeper but he was able to make the ropes. Homicide comes back with a big boot as both men are down, with the camera zooming in on the pool of blood that covers Homicide’s face. Corino cuts off Homicide as he climbed the top rope and hits a superplex that gets two. Corino hits a running forearm in the corner then climbs the top rope after blowing snot on the apron but Homicide cuts him off and hits a Super Ace Crusher but that only gets two, to the surprise of the crowd and Julius Smokes. Suplex gets two. Corino hits a Death Valley Bomb after a reversal sequence but still cannot get the win. Homicide comes back with a tombstone as that gets two with both guys hitting each other with everything they have then Homicide puts on the STF as the crowd is fully behind him. Homicide drags him back into the center of the ring and puts on the hold again then LeGrande gets up on the apron and tosses in the towel as the ref rings the bell, with Homicide declared the winner (23:39) ****1/4. After the match, several officials check on Corino then back off when Homicide stands over him and raises his arm.

Thoughts: Holy shit, this was a brutal bloodbath and the definition of a grudge match. Both these guys earned their paychecks here. The ending also left it so this feud can continue and I didnt mind it at all, although some might not appreciate it too much.

Dan Maff vs. Low Ki

Maff starts the match by attacking Ki from behind as he made his entrance. He roughs him up then they head into the ring where he chokes him out. Ki comes back with a low dropkick then hits a barrage of kicks and chops. Maff blocks a double underhook then puts Ki in a sleeper. Ki escapes and locks on a cross armbreaker. They now slap each other repeatedly until Ki kicks down Maff. Ki tries an Octopus Hold but Maff breaks the hold and hits a half-nelson suplex. Maff regains control of the match as he works over the shoulder, even biting it at times. Maff hammers away but Ki is trying to walk of the pain. Ki comes back with a springboard kick as both men are down then the ref rings the bell as Maff is not moving. They show about a dozen replays of the kick from a few different angles as Rob Feinstein checks on Maff (11:13) **.

Thoughts: Eh, didnt care for this too much. The match was dull and the “kick heard ’round the world” stuff came off really forced as well and just an attempt to protect Maff in anyway possible. You can debate as to whether or not Maff is someone who should have been protected as well.

Special K confront Alexis Laree as Becky Bayless tells her that they are all going to take things more seriously before leaving.

Daniels is backstage with Danger as he talks about how Maff took the stiffest kick in history and that is why he is the toughest wrestler in RoH. He then talks about how he is one step closer to the title and will deal with Xavier later as it was just a spat between family members. Punk interrupts and interrogates Daniels if he was the one who knocked out Lucy. Daniels tells him to worry about September 6th and his match against Raven. Punk is about to tell Daniels something then looks into the camera and decides to cut a promo on Raven. He tells him that he was his wrestling debut August 1997 and put the “X” on his hands to stand up to those who poisoned society and grew up in a broken home with an alcoholic father. Punk then tells Raven he will bring violence and blood and be careful what he wishes for because he will get it then rants some more before leaving as the camera shows a smirking then laughing Daniels while the show ends. Great way to end the show and again, they leave a lot of intrigue.

Final Thoughts: Another solid show. Make sure to seek out that Homicide/Corino match and they had a few other solid ones but more importantly, they are building solid storylines and putting together a solid top of the card. They made the Punk/Raven match seem like must-see stuff as that feud has been terrific. The Corino/Homicide feud is heating up and they are building up Daniels and Joe to something as well. The only minuses are that the scramble matches are getting tiresome (although that is probably more in retrospect on my part as the crowd still popped for this stuff) and the Tag Team Division is unstable at the top but luckily that will be changing soon.

Here is my schedule for the next several days

Tuesday: WWF Madison Square Garden 6/14/87
Thursday: Kayfabe Commentaries 1989 WCW Timeline as told by Jim Cornette
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 6/20/87
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 6/21/87

WWF’s larger ring

One of the things that always struck me back in the Monday Night Wars (and still stands out when watching old non-WWF stuff on the Network) was the difference in size between the WCW and WWF ring (as well as WCW using cables while the WWF used ropes).  What was the reason for the WWF using a larger ring than pretty much everyone else?

​I think probably because they had larger guys than WCW and wanted to look "bigger" on TV, if I had to guess.  Ring sizes vary so wildly that it was actually kind of unusual for a company like the WWF to have a standardized 20×20 setup like they did.  I honestly never thought about it watching the shows, but then I'm not the most observant person when it comes to that stuff anyway.  ​

The SmarK Rant for WWF King of the Ring 1996–06.23.96

The SmarK Rant for WWF King of the Ring 1996 – 06.23.96 I’ve kinda been hemming and hawing about this one, but the original rant isn’t great and it does contain one of the most important moments in the history of wrestling and all. Oddly, this is the home video version instead of the original PPV broadcast and is actually about 10 minutes longer than the PPV thanks to “Coliseum Video exclusive” material. Live from Milwaukee, WI Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Owen Hart. King of the Ring Semi-Final: Steve Austin v. Marc Mero Mero has his grumpy jobbing face on during the ring entrance. Orton gets that one a lot, too. They trade headlocks on the mat to start and Mero puts him on the floor with a headscissors. Back in, Mero starts to work on the arm, but Austin stomps him down while Owen sums up the difference between Mero and Austin: “You don’t see Austin out there with some hosebag in his corner!” Austin offers a handshake and they go to the test of strength, which allows Austin to cheat and take over. He tosses Mero and drops him on the concrete with a press slam, which is a move you don’t see out of Austin very often. Back in with a snap suplex for two and Austin drops the middle rope elbow for two. Press slam into a backbreaker gets two. Boston crab as Austin busts out every bit of wacky offense in his playbook. Mero manages to power out of that one and gets a small package for two, but Austin puts him down with an elbow and goes back to the crab again. Mero powers out again (with help from some really well-timed cheerleading from Sable, which is impressive for someone so new in the business) and they trade near-falls off that, and Mero gets a rollup for two. Austin just slugs him down and counters a sleeper with a jawbreaker, but Mero launches out of the corner with a butt-butt. Mero makes the comeback and slugs away in the corner, and a double axehandle gets two. Mero tosses Austin (who is suddenly gushing blood from his lip) and follows with a dive, and back in for a missile dropkick that gets two. They fight to the top and Mero brings him down with a rana, which gets two. Austin comes back with a stungun variation out of a powerbomb for two, and the Stone Cold Stunner finishes at 16:48. And that was Mero’s first loss, so no wonder he was grumpy. Hell of an opener, with tons of crazy stuff from Austin and heat that built consistently throughout. **** Reading the original rant, I was thinking I must have overrated it, but no, Austin and Mero were working their asses off here. King of the Ring Semi-Final: Vader v. Jake Roberts Vader overpowers him and starts working the arm on the mat, and a big splash gets two. Jake blocks a blind charge and slugs back, but Vader escapes the DDT and beats him down in the corner. Corner splash misses and Jake gets the DDT, but the ref gets wiped out and calls for the DQ on the way down, giving Jake the win at 3:38. Nothing much to this one. ½* Vader completely destroys Jake afterwards to set up the storyline for the finals. Of mild note here is Owen calling him “Big Van Vader” during the beatdown, which probably got him a dirty look from Vince. WWF tag titles: The Smoking Gunns v. The Godwinns Thankfully this version of the show omits the pre-show match with Cloudi the transvestite managing the Bodydonnas, although they do show “highlights” here. The commentary and Billy’s pre-match promo really hammer home that the Gunns are HEELS NOW, DAMMIT, SO STOP CHEERING FOR THEM! Billy attacks PIG, who has immediately spazzes out while we cut to an inset interview with Cloudi. Was “she” ever seen again? I don’t recall the character lasting much beyond this. Meanwhile, Henry works on Bart’s arm, but a cheapshot turns the tide and the Gunns beat on Henry in a dull heat segment. Henry reverses a slam for two, but Billy continues working on the back before missing a blind charge and taking what would become a trademark bump. Bart comes in and misses a flying bodypress, and Phineas gets the hot tag. We get the requisite pier-six brawl, but Bart takes off his boot and nails PIG with it, giving Billy the pin at 10:00. Not terrible, but really, really, really boring. I was reading a recap of the 28-hour Marvel movie marathon over on the AV Club while watching this match, and now I know what he must have felt like by the time Age of Ultron rolled around. * Ultimate Warrior v. Jerry Lawler Lawler does a wonderfully cheesy rundown of the crowd on the way to the ring, basically insulting everyone in the front row one by one. I have to say, the impact of Warrior’s entrance is lessened a lot by the fancy pyro, because it minimizes the chances of him just storming to the ring and destroying someone. King attacks with the royal scepter and chokes Warrior out on the ropes, and Vince notes that Warrior certainly didn’t expect those sorts of tactics. I would presume that Warrior would have watched a Jerry Lawler match at some point in his life, in which case he should have expected those and more. Finally Warrior has had enough and no-sells a piledriver, making the comeback and destroying Lawler at 3:50. And that was the last time Warrior ever wrestled on a WWF PPV, although he did a couple of house show and TV appearances after this. What a way to go out. DUD This was pretty much exactly how the match needed to go, however. Undertaker v. Mankind This was looking to be another “urn thief of the month” feud for Undertaker, but then it suddenly caught fire and ended up evolving both guys. A severely pissed Undertaker attacks out of the darkness to start and pounds Mankind down in the corner, and Mankind bails for advice from the voices in his head. That advice: “Talking to yourself isn’t crazy. It’s only crazy if you answer yourself.” Back in, Taker works on the arm with the ropewalk, but Mankind slams him and slugs away in the corner. Mankind tosses him a couple of times, but he charges with a chair and that backfires on him. Taker backdrops him onto a chair on the floor. And you wonder why Mick is in the shape he is now. Back in, Taker gives him a shot with a chair behind the ref’s back, but Mankind escapes the tombstone and puts him down with a neckbreaker to set up the Mandible Claw, but Taker sits up to block it. It’s kind of amazing that they could get a simple move over to the point where Taker blocking it could get such a huge reaction from the crowd. He’s basically sticking his finger’s into a guy’s mouth, but the crowd is horrified and fearing for Undertaker’s safety when he does it, and overjoyed when Taker blocks it. Mankind with a Vulcan nerve pinch, but Taker slugs out of it and they brawl to the floor, where Mankind debuts the running knee into the stairs. Taker, not to be outdone, smashes in the face with a chair and they head back in. Taker beats on him in the ropes and adds the flying clothesline, but Mankind pulls out the piledriver out of nowhere for two. Mick gets all riled up and steals the urn from Paul Bearer, but can’t get it away from him. Taker seemingly moves in for the kill, but Mankind applies the Claw…and Paul accidentally hits Taker with the urn while aiming for Mankind, and that’s all for Undertaker at 18:18. Great brawl that kicked off a series of matches which gave us the first big reinvention of Undertaker’s gimmick. ***1/2 Intercontinental title: Goldust v. Ahmed Johnson Much like Mankind, this should have launched Ahmed Johnson into the stratosphere, but unfortunately ended up being a peak that he was never able to achieve again instead. Ahmed bursting through the doors and knocking the poor doormen down in a great visual, as he charges to the ring and starts beating on Goldust. They head to the floor and Ahmed throws the stairs at him, which has Owen criticizing his aim. Owen was pretty great on commentary here as the snarky jerk. Finally Goldust dodges a blind charge and takes over with a lariat, slugging him down for two. Goldust goes to a chinlock, and a rather lengthy one at that, and a piledriver gets two. Back to the chinlock, but Ahmed fights out and Goldust knees him in the back to slow him down again. Goldust with a sleeper, but he releases the move so he can give Ahmed some mouth-to-mouth, at which point Ahmed wakes up, does the crazed angry black man comeback, and squashes him for good with the powerbomb to win the IC title at 15:27. Way too long in the middle leading up to Ahmed’s big comeback. Also, the whole nonsense with the Savio Vega title controversy really lessened the impact of Goldust finally losing the title. ** This was set up to be the launching pad for Ahmed, and it just didn’t happen. Not for lack of trying, however, as this felt like a big deal at the time and you could sense the rocket getting strapped to Ahmed. Brian Pillman joins us at ringside to cut a crazed promo about how Jeffrey Dalmer should have eaten everyone in the city because Milwaukee sucks so much. Pillman’s gonna rape, pillage and plunder the WWF! If only he could have. King of the Ring finals: Steve Austin v. Jake Roberts Austin wisely goes right for the ribs and throws down on them. Austin slaps him around and tears the rib tape off, which brings Gorillla Monsoon out to check on Jake personally. Owen raises a good point – Why SHOULD Austin stop the beating unless he hear a bell? Jake decides to fight back, but Austin casually blocks the DDT by going to the ribs, and the Stone Cold Stunner finishes at 4:35 to kick off the Austin Era. DUD At least they kept it short. And then, the REAL moment, as Austin cuts his coronation promo and buries Roberts for his bible-thumping promos. “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass” suddenly became the ultra-cool catchphrase for online fans everywhere, and soon there were signs all over TV. Although as awesome as this moment was, no one had any idea how big Austin would become. WWF World title: Shawn Michaels v. British Bulldog So weeks after the entire point of the match has been shelved for good (the Diana lawsuit), the main event of this show limps into the home stretch. Sadly, Curt Hennig is exiled to the outside referee position, as they can’t even resist a bait-and-switch for a guest referee stip. They trade headlocks while Owen vocalizes what we’re all thinking: We all KNOW Shawn is a gutless coward, so how can he retain his title without cheating or getting himself disqualified? I love how Owen was making no effort to get himself over as a cool hip guy here, just going all out to be an unlikeable lying jerk. Shawn dumps Bulldog and follows with a rana off the apron, and poor Cornette gets spanked with the tennis racket. Back in, Bulldog goes back to the headlock, but Shawn reverses into a cross armbreaker and then evades Bulldog’s power to stay on the arm. Shawn with a sleeper, but Bulldog runs him into the corner to break and tosses him around the ring. Shawn puts him down with an armbar and goes up with a flying axehandle to the shoulder, but Bulldog presses him and drops him straight to the floor in a crazy Shawn bump. Bulldog adds a suplex on the floor and then presses Shawn back into the ring again for two. Bulldog with a chinlock, and he whips Shawn around the ring again and hooks him with the Rito Romero Special, then bridges back for two. Back to the chinlock, and he puts Shawn down with a backdrop and legdrop for two, which gives us a rare burst of emotion from Diana at ringside. She almost smiles and emotes! Vince puts over Shawn’s fanbase and Owen goes on an epic rant about how wrestling fans are morons and Bulldog should be champion because he’s talented and a winner, like himself. He’s just such a great asshole. Shawn fights up and Bulldog puts him down with a lariat and goes back to the chinlock. Shawn escapes with a crucifix for two, but they trade finisher attempts and then Bulldog kills him with another clothesline. That’s the kind of stuff Bulldog should have been doing all along. Piledriver and Bulldog goes up, but he misses a diving headbutt in embarrassing fashion. Owen, without missing a beat, immediately accuses Jose Lothario of pulling the ropes and tripping him up. Shawn goes up and Bulldog brings him down with a superplex for two. Another one is reversed in mid-air by Shawn, for two. They slug it out and collide, and Shawn recovers first with a rana, which Bulldog turns into a powerbomb for two. Both guys are out, but Shawn makes the comeback and the ref is bumped. Shawn with the flying elbow and superkick to finish at 26:23. Perfect didn’t even factor into the match after all the buildup. **** Bulldog and Owen proceed with the heel beatdown, which turns into Camp Cornette beating down Shawn and Ahmed Johnson, and then Ultimate Warrior makes the save to set up the six-man for the July PPV that no one remembers. The Pulse This show had the misfortune to be sandwiched between two of the greatest PPVs in history on the WCW side and saddled with a main event angle that no one cared about, but it’s a pretty tremendous show during a shit time for the company. Bookended by **** matches and featuring a surprisingly great performance from Undertaker in the middle, it’s really only hampered by Jake Roberts stinking up the KOTR tournament itself. Check it out on the Network if you’ve never seen it!

The PG Era Rant: 2015 King of the Ring

The PG Era Rant for the 2015 King of
the Ring Final Four.
Well, I was supposed to rant on
Tuesdays and then Main Event disappeared. But hey, this is a Tuesday
show, so let’s have some fun together and enjoy the show.

This show is dedicated to the memory of
Verne Gagne.
We start with a video about past kings
and how winning the King of the Ring title leads to big things for
all involved. So which of the four tonight will join them?
Live from the WWE Network.
Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL, and
master of ceremonies Jerry Lawler. Lawler welcomes us and talks
about being King of the Ring. But first, highlights of the
Byron Saxton interviews Sheamus. He
says he’ll be a 2-time King, but first he has to beat Neville. Yes,
Neville defies gravity – but not while he’s unconscious. And it
doesn’t matter who’s in the final; Sheamus will become King and make
you kiss his arse.
Renee Young, meanwhile, gets Adrian
Neville. He reminds us he was a long-reigning NXT Champion, and in
just a month, he’s in the King of the Ring semis. No one thought he
could do this – just as no one thinks he’ll win tonight – but he
defies gravity and expectations. He’s ready to show Sheamus what he
can do.
2015 King of the Ring Semifinals:
Sheamus v. Adrian Neville.
1980s Kings are now canon, because Sheamus is trying to join Bret
Hart as 2-time King. Sheamus starts with the “lol you’re short”
hand signal. He shoves Neville in the corner a couple times and
talks trash, but Neville forearms and kicks out. Neville handsprings
out of the corner, boot is caught, clothesline ducked, but Neville
runs into the Irish Curse. Neville shoves Sheamus away as the ref
checks on him. Sheamus charges in on kneelifts and delivers a second
Irish Curse. Neville tries to fight back from a kneeling position,
but Sheamus clubs him down and gets a running knee. Boot choke in
the corner follows, and Sheamus goes to a rear bearhug as the crowd
chants for Neville. Neville elbows out, then gets the Tito Santana
forearms to rattle Sheamus. Sheamus recovers with a knee to the gut,
then tosses Neville to try the Ten of Clubs. Neville fights out, so
Sheamus throws him into the announce table from the apron. They
tease the countout, but Neville’s in at 9. Sheamus disgustedly
pounds away on Neville before throwing him halfway across the ring.
Sheamus with White Noise on Neville… but Dolph Ziggler is here to
get his attention. You know, with how Dolph won at Extreme Rules?
Sheamus is furious and misses the Brogue Kick from it, and the
enzuigiri and Red Arrow ends it at 5:44. Would a clean finish kill
them? *3/4
puts Neville over before addressing Sheamus and saying that, um,
there was supposed to be a stipulation for when he won, and it’s time
to collect. He charges the ring and gets a few shots in, but Sheamus
escapes. Sheamus is furious and decides to race back in to continue
the fight as ALL the referees come out to do something about it.
Sheamus’ right eye is busted open from the fight.
know it wouldn’t be very insightful, but I would pay money if the
entire Chris Jericho and Stephanie McMahon podcast was Jericho
finding newer ways to call Stephanie a trashbag ho like back in 2000.
But that’s just me.
ago, for those who don’t understand how video on demand works.
Young is with Bad News Barrett. First off, Neville beating Sheamus
is one of the biggest upsets in King of the Ring history. Renee said
it, not Wade. Barrett wants to know why he should be worried about
R-Truth. Once Barrett beats a has-been, he’ll take out a
never-will-be. When he’s done, Neville will be the Man That Everyone
Forgot, and they’ll only remember Barrett as King.
Saxton is with R-Truth for the rebuttal. Truth’s final thoughts:
he’s still afraid of spiders. But he has a plan: he’s not facing his
fears. He has something concrete. His plan is become King of the
Ring, and when he does, he’ll declare that spiders are banned in
wrestling. He’ll build a castle, make a drawbridge, fill up a
moat… wait, are there water spiders? As for Barrett, he’s not
invited to the castle unless he can kill spiders. He’s a
goooooooooooooooood R-Truth again.
King of the Ring Semifinals: R-Truth v. Wade Barrett.

Truth with a quick rollup for two. The two exchange strikes, with
Barrett doing better in it, but Truth stops a whip to dance and get
another cradle for two. Barrett boots Truth down for one. Choke on
the second rope by Barrett, then some knee strikes and a running boot
to send Truth to the outside. On the outside, Barrett sends Truth
into the apron and gets two back in. To the chinlock! Barrett
misses a blind charge and Truth gets the clotheslines and front
suplex for two. Axe Kick misses, but the Lie Detector gets two. A
second one gets two. Little Jimmy gets blocked, Bulhammer missed,
and the Bossman Slam gets two. Barrett with kicks in the corner, but
a blind charge airballs and Little Jimmy gets two, but Barrett gets
to the rope. No one bought that as a near fall. Barrett with an eye
rake and Bullhammer more or less from nothing to win at 4:38. This
never got out of the blocks. ½*
video tribute to Verne Gagne. It gets a classy ovation. Lawler and
JBL share their thoughts.
Young is with Dolph Ziggler. We’re reminded of how Ziggler got
Sheamus to advance by DQ over Dean Ambrose. But Ziggler eliminated
Sheamus this time. Dolph says he’s tired of Sheamus being a
loud-mouthed bully. He even called Dean Ambrose to apologize, so
that story thread is going nowhere. He promises there’s more pain to
come for Sheamus. This isn’t about kissing an arse – it’s about
kicking one.
week: Mick Foley! Chris Jericho and Stephanie McMahon! WrestleMania
Rewind – Money/Giant!
from the Extreme Rules kickoff show, where Neville scored an upset.
Saxton is with Barrett. Saxton says there’s some bad news: Neville’s
already beaten Barrett. Barrett doesn’t like fighting twice in one
night, but Neville is in trouble because Barrett destroyed R-Truth
and has all the momentum. And from here, Barrett will be the King of
the Ring.
really should not have shown the Neville/Barrett highlights. Too
many fans know about 50/50 booking nowadays. Of course, those that
do also remember Sunday’s match…
2015 King of the
Ring: Adrian Neville v. Wade Barrett.

Winner becomes King of the Ring. With any luck, the loser gets his
first name back. Fun little detail: Barrett comes out and points at
the throne, clearly shouting “That’s mine” as he does. Barrett
stalls to start. Lockup leads to a knee from Barrett and works the
ribs. Neville with the handspring and head-scissors, then a back
heel kick. More kicks, but Barrett pounces on Neville and
clotheslines him out of the ring. Barrett with a slam on the
outside, then he shoves Neville into the apron. Back in, Barrett
gets one. Barrett hangs Neville on the top roe and clubs the back
before kicking the ribs for two. Slingshot backbreaker gets two. He
stomps on the ribs before going to a half-surfboard with his knee in
Neville’s ribs. Neville kicks out, staggering Barrett, but Barrett
recovers. Neville flips out of another slingshot and kicks away,
this time ducking Barrett’s rush and sending him out. Neville
follows with a springboard quebrada. Back in, Neville with a
springboard dropkick. He strikes Barrett with every limb he’s got,
getting a sliding dropkick and German suplex for two. Neville runs
into the Bossman Slam for two. Wasteland try, but Neville escapes
and gets a kick before… running back into Wasteland for two.
Barrett’s running out of ideas, with nothing but the Bullhammer left,
and he’s ready to deliver it. It misses, and Neville with a cradle
and bridge for two. Enzuigiri by Neville and he goes up, but the
Shooting Star Press misses. Neville rolls through and charges…
right into a Bullhammer for the crown at 7:06. A neat little story
they told there, with Neville showing fighting spirit and Barrett
unloading the hard shots and winning with experience. **1/4
puts on the robe and takes the throne. Lawler makes it official.
Barrett says he’s got the class and elegance to call himself King.
He will rule with an iron fist and a Bullhammer. Boom.
with that, I throw it back to Tommy Hall to take you through the rest
of the week. If you want me to do a Network recap, let me know. See
you later!

Ring of Honor Wrath of the Racket August 9th, 2003

August 9, 2003

From the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Dayton, OH

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

The show starts with Lucy filming Ace Steel and Colt Cabana goofing around backstage as they compare the Field of Honor tournament to the film “Field of Dreams.” They then see Homicide and Julius Smokes play craps in the corner as Cabana plays the geeky white guy while asking them about the Field of Honor. Smokes tells him that its for the cream of the crop and that there is nothing worse than a “bitch-ass wigga.” A painfully unfunny comedy segment. These Cabana/Steel segments trying to find out what exactly the Field of Honor is went on throughout the entire show.

AJ Styles and Amazing Red are talking backstage. Red is really, really bad on interviews. Anyway, AJ tells the Prophecy that they do not respect them and to try and take away their belts. Red is trying to no-sell his injury by saying he is okay. AJ leaves as the SAT’s asks Red about his injury and he downplays that as well. Amateur hour stuff from these guys as AJ was a mediocre promo guy and Red was one of the worst I have ever seen.

Fast Eddie & Don Juan vs. Carnage Crew vs. Deranged & Hydro w/ Special K vs. SAT’s

Masada is replacing DeVito in the Carnage Crew tonight. Special K beats on Loc to start. Loc comes back with a Saito Suplex. Jose chops Eddie a bunch then hits him with a dropkick as the fans lightly applaud that sequence. Don Juan and Masada work a decent sequence that sees Juan bust out one of the most unique inverted atomic drops you will ever see. Hydro comes in and works with Joel, who looks even worse than usual as he can barely take any of the moves. Everyone trades high-impact moves now as some of it is sloppy but generally okay. The SAT’s then nearly drop Deranged but make up for it with a crazy double-team pendulum swing facebuster that looked like it killed the poor guy as the crowd is up on their feet. Jose blocks a spike piledriver attempt from the Carnage Crew then takes Masada off of the top rope with a hurricarana in another awful-looking spot. Hydro gets a nearfall off of a German Suplex but gets cut off on the top rope as the SAT’s hit him with the Spanish Fly. The TWA guys break up the pin then dive outside onto the SAT’s but in the ring, Dixie hooks the leg of Loc as Deranged hits a rana then has Dixie hold his hand for leverage during the pin as he scores the upset victory (9:04) **. After the match, Deranged looks into the camera and tells us that weed is good for us as Loc is swearing about the loss.

Thoughts: Fast-paced action that was hit or miss. The segment seemed to be designed towards a Special K/Carnage Crew feud so at least there was some point to this match.

Special K remains in the ring as they start a rave then Jim Cornette comes out with his tennis racket. The fans are going nuts for him. However, his microphone does not work so he had to head back near the ramp and used a mic that was plugged in as Cornette calls the guy an idiot before laying into Special K. He tells Special K that if he wants any shit out of them he will squeeze their head. He then runs down the scramble match and how it was like a blender as he welcomes what he calls a traditional tag team. The Midnight Express theme hits but out comes Dunn & Marcos, who do their schtick, then Cornette makes fun of them until they get ambushed by Christopher Daniels and Danny Maff. They drag Dunn & Marcos into the ring where Cornette tells them to hit the Rocket Launcher and they do. Cornette then whacks them with the racket as the fans mostly applaud. Daniels then grabs the mic to officially announce Cornette as a member of the Prophecy. So they have established why Cornette is here now. The segment was fine, if not a little lame.

BJ Whitmer cuts a promo about getting a title shot tonight against Samoa Joe and how he watched wrestling in Ohio with his dad growing up. This was pretty bad as Whitmer completely lacked the intensity to make this work. The verbiage was fine but Whitmer had no idea how to cut a promo.

Chet “The Jet” Jablonski w/ Brock Guffman vs. Nigel McGuiness

Winner of this match gets a shot at the HWA Heavyweight Title. Jablonski actually spent three years (05-08) in WWE Developmental and had a decent look. Guffman was a fat guy in a buttoned short sleeve shirt and a fleece vest. Quite the look. He told us that this is their time to shine and how they earned the right to be here in a passionate speech. Jablonski works the arm to start the match. He gets two off of a spinebuster as there was some miscommunication on that one. McGuiness comes back with some European Uppercuts but gets caught with a T-Bone suplex. They fight over a test of strength until McGuiness breaks that up with a Mexican armdrag. McGuiness now takes control as he targets the back then puts on the STF. Jablonski reaches the ropes then takes McGuiness down with a lariat but comes back and puts on the STF then a chinlock that Jablonski breaks up. He hits a Fisherman’s Northern Lights suplex that gets two then they trade pinfalls until Jablonski with an Emerald Frosion for two. Jablonski then misses a top rope senton as McGuiness rolls him up and uses a bridge to get the win (6:43) *3/4. After the match, both guys raise their hands in unison as the crowd applauds.

Thoughts: Neither guy really impressed all that much here. They kept it basic for the most part. The crowd was somewhat receptive to them but that could have been due to the fact they were in the local territory.

Chris Sabin vs. Homicide w/ Julius Smokes

The match starts as they trade moves on the mat. The pace picks up as Homicide hits a few armdrags after an Irish whip sequence then slows back down when he works the arm. Sabin then hits a few armdrags and a clothesline until they wind up in the corner during a lockup. Homicide headbutts Sabin down then hits monkey flips him out of the corner. Homicide is operating at half-speed tonight. Sabin fights back and hits a Michinoku Driver for two. Homicide is in control but Sabin avoids a baseball slide then pancakes Homicide on the mat. Shining Wizard gets two. Brainbuster gets two. Homicide comes back with a STF but Sabin hits a neckbreaker for two. He climbs up top but gets cut off then Homicide takes him down with a rana for two. Sabin rolls through a crossbody and hits a catatonic backbreaker for two. Homicide tries a Cop Killa after a reversal sequence but Sabin escapes then Homicide kicks him low and hits the move for the win (9:02) *3/4. After the match, Homicide calls Steve Corino a “pussy motherfucker.”

Thoughts: Really disappointing match. Homicide was going at half-speed here but later on in the show we will know why that was the case. And besides that, these guys lacked chemistry together in a major way.

Alex Shelley & Jimmy Jacobs vs. Ace Steel & Colt Cabana

Steel and Shelley go back and forth to start the match. Shelley is thoroughly outwrestling him here by the way. Jacobs tags and hits the bulldog as a few fans start the “Huss” chant. He hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors then gets two with a flying forearm. Steel lights up Jacobs with chops then tags Cabana, who hits a chop. Jacobs comes back with a dropkick then bites Cabana. Steel breaks up a pin attempt after a double team move. Steel makes a blind tag as Cabana distracts Shelley long enough for Steel to take him to the floor with a dropkick. Steel gets two with a slingshot suplex as Shelley is now getting destroyed by the Second City Saints, who are doing some solid tag wrestling. Shelley then takes them down with a neckbreaker/DDT combo before making the hot tag to Jacobs, who runs wild. Shelley gets up as he also goes nuts but gets dropped on his head after a nasty German suplex from Cabana. Jacobs takes Cabana down with a rana but Steel catches him up top and hits Jacobs with the Spinal Shock. Shelley tries a another neckbreaker but Steel breaks that up and the Saints put Shelley away with a neckbreaker/Colt .45 combo (11:18) **3/4. After the match the Saints dedicate the win to CM Punk.

Thoughts: Solid match. Shelley stood out the most here as he was by far the smoothest worker in the ring and could play the underdog babyface role well. This was to establish the Saints as a bit more than the goofballs part of Punk’s crew.

Matt Stryker vs. Justin Credible

Both guys butt heads before the match. Credible pretends that he got punched with a closed fist as he yells at the crowd to get some heat. Credible then cheapshots Stryker, who fights back, then bails. Its clear that they are trying to get Stryker over as a face here. Credible bullies the referee then goes up the ramp to speak on the mic as he swears at the fans and refuses to come back until he is shon respect but Stryker follows him through the curtain as they head into the ring. Both guys trade chops then Stryker sends him flying off of the apron with a forearm smash. Stryker whips him into the railing as he is far more aggressive than usual. They are brawling behind the bleachers as Stryker is getting the best of Credible until he gets tossed back over the guardrail. These two are beating on each other as Credible is busted open. Back in the ring, Credible tries to set up Stryker for a cheapshot but it fails. Credible blocks a Death Valley Driver attempt and sends Stryker back to the floor. He slams him down then taunts the crowd as he then rolls Stryker back inside. He puts him in a headlock as the crowd rallies behind Stryker as he fights out. He crotches Credible against the post then hammers away. Quebrada gets two. He tries a flying body press but Credible catches him with a super kick. Credible heads up top and hits a crossbody but Stryker rolls through and gets two. Credible escapes from a pair of DVD attempts and hits a tombstone but Stryker kicks out as Credible is in disbelief. He repeats the move but Stryker escapes then Credible counters another DVD attempt with a crucifix but Stryker rolls through that and finally hits the DVD for the win **1/2 (11:31).

Thoughts: Fun match. You would not notice it in the WWE as much but Credible really carried things here as far as working the crowd and getting them into the match. They were into Stryker here. The match itself was far from a masterpiece but it was enjoyable. And Credible did put over the guy, even if it was someone who probably was not worth pushing much.

Les Thatcher, replacing Gary Michael Cappetta tonight, interviews the Prophecy. Daniels promises AJ Styles & Amazing Red that their title reign will end tonight. Cornette tells us that he has been around a lot of the “next big things” and how he is in Ring of Honor for the Prophecy as he puts them over. Maff then orders Thatcher to leave as Cornette asks the Prophecy to see a tape of how Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson got the Tag Titles from the Rock & Roll Express in 1987 as he has an idea to use from that match tonight. They are going a bit too overboard with the Nostalgia act here. It was probably designed this way for the fanbase but to have a slapped-together tag team pretend to be like the Midnight Express was not going to work out all that well.

Steel and Cabana are backstage with their awful comedy routine trying to get the scoop on the “Field of Honor.” Even worse than them was Chris Sabin, who was terrible in his backstage role. He was almost as bad as Red at talking.

The Prophecy run out and ambush the Amazing Red and the SAT’s at the gimmick table. Cornette calls Red a “crippled midget” as the referees attend to him. Red is clutching his knee as he struggles to get helped to his feet. The fans start cheering for him as AJ arrives to help him out as well.

Four Corners Survival Match
Slyk Wagner Brown w/ April Hunter vs. Hotstuff Hernandez vs. “Black Nature Boy” Scoot Andrews vs. Michael Shane

Match starts with Hernandez no-selling Shane’s offense. He then beats on Shane for a minute and uses an impressive overhead throw. Shane hits him low then tags Andrews, who returns for the first time in a year. Brown tags in as he sports the blond hair. He botches a move then locks on an armbar. Hernandez tags and he chops Brown in the corner then crushes him with a slingshot splash for two. Andrews tags back in and works the arm of Brown as all three men take turns beating on him as the announcers talk up the Field of Honor, speculating that it might be a tournament. Shane has Andrews in a headlock as we are informed that the Amazing Red will be unable to compete tonight due to his injured knee. Hernandez catches Andrews off of the top then hits him with a spiral bomb. Brown gets two with a blockbuster then hooks on a reverse headscissors that triggers a wacky submission spot to pop the crowd. This match is lacking right now and needs to pick up. Hernandez brushes away a missile dropkick from Brown then slams his down as both men are down. They tag as Andrews and Shane trade punches that leads to a contrived car crash spot that Brown nearly ruined with his sloppiness. We are now alerted that AJ Styles will be able to choose a partner to replace Red tonight as this match has been a backdrop for the announcers to promote everything else in the company. Hernandez takes out everyone with his tope as the crowd goes nuts. In the ring, everyone trades big moves then Brown almost breaks his neck trying a shooting star press. He pulled a Brock Lesnar circa WrestleMania 19. The action picks up a bit then Shane hits Andrews with a Fisherman’s DDT for the win (16:34) **.

Thoughts: This went on for far too long. It was a throwaway match between 4 guys barely doing anything in the promotion. Brown did not impress in his debut and I have no idea why Shane got the win as they could at least have given it to Hernandez, who was over with the crowd.

Slim J vs. Jimmy Rave

Apparently, Slim is no longer part of Special K. That was not explained here though. We are informed that the winner of this will be invited into the mysterious Field of Honor. They start the match going back and forth. Rave flattens Slim with a clothesline but gets kicked low when he followed him out. Rave blocks a springboard attempt as they head back inside and trade a bunch of high impact moves without rhyme or reason. Slim hits a double underhook tornado piledriver and follows that with another creative slam but Rave comes back with a German suplex and a powerbomb as the crowd is not feeling this match. At all. Rave locks on a crossface off of a tilt-a-whirl as the crowd chants for Slim to tap and he does (8:57) *1/4.

Thoughts: Just a collection of moves here without a bit of psychology. Slim J was notable for grabbing his junk throughout the match. That was his gimmick. Rave gets to be the first person announced to the Field of Honor and seeing how he was low on the totem pole, it did not get you all excited for that.

RoH World Title Match
BJ Whitmer vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)

Whitmer is sporting a faceguard here due to a broken nose suffered at the hands of Homicide. Match starts with some back and forth stuff until Joe puts Whitmer in a single leg crab that he really stretches him out with. Joe wins a battle of strikes but Whitmer sends him down shortly after that. They slap each other then Whitmer tosses of the face guard where they continue their slap battle. Whitmer gets two with a back suplex then chops Joe in the corner. Joe comes back by planting Whitmer with a uranage then beats the crap of him. Joe follows Whitmer outside and roughs him up. Whitmer reverses an Irish whip that sends Joe into the guardrail then does it a few more times as the crowd approves. Joe chops Whitmer back then sets him up in the chair for the ole kick then does it again as the crowd also approves this. Back inside, Whitmer escapes from an Island Driver and comes back with a super kick. He heads up top and hits a flying forearm to the back of the head for two. Northern Lights Suplex gets two. Whitmer tries and fails to put Joe away a few more times then Joe takes Whitmer down and knees him in the face a few times as he locks on the Coquina Clutch. Whitmer is able to reach the ropes then Joe comes back with a rolling cradle that draws an applause from the crowd. Whitmer then comes back with the Exploder 98 that dropped Joe right on his head but that only gets two. He hits the backdrop driver but Joe is able to kick out of that. Whitmer hits a pair of knee strikes but Joe comes back with an enziguiri. Joe then hits a few suplexes before getting the win with a straightjacket suplex (12:21) ***.

Thoughts: Good match but I don’t think anyone was buying Whitmer as a threat here. This match did help get him over a bit though.

Cabana and Steel are goofing around backstage as they run into Nigel McGuiness and make fun of Dunn & Marcos, who stand up for themselves. Cabana says he has to find Rob Feinstein to learn about the Field of Honor. Its getting tiresome watching these things.

RoH Tag Team Championship Match
Christopher Daniels & Danny Maff w/ Jim Cornette & Allison Danger vs. AJ Styles & Homicide w/ Julius Smokes

AJ and Homicide immediately go after their opponents. They then brawl all over ringside then AJ and Homicide pull the guardrails forward and fly out with dives as the crowd goes mental. Cornette & Danger get trapped in the ring as AJ and Homicide use the rowboat on them. The match settles down as AJ and Homicide take turns beating on Daniels. Maff tags in but does not fare to well as AJ catches him with a powerslam. Daniels is back in as AJ takes him down with a rana. Homicide is in and gets two with a T-Bone but Danger grabs his leg and that allows Maff to suplex him. Maff then knees Homicide several times but misses the cannonball as Homicide fights back but gets caught in the wrong corner as the Prophecy now takes control of the match, mixing in illegal tactics but not much in terms of double-team moves. Homicide tries to mount a comeback but Daniels takes him down and puts on the Koji Clutch as Maff prevents AJ from breaking up the hold but Homicide is able to stick his foot on the rope. They set up for the Rocket Launcher but took too long as Homicide was able to roll away then he tags AJ, who runs wild. AJ was great here. Maff catches AJ with a release German suplex. AJ comes back and tries the Phenomenon but they botched that badly so AJ ends up with an inverted DDT. Daniels attacks AJ as they go back and forth for a bit. AJ hits the Pele kick but Maff hits him with a facebuster of sorts then they hit the Rocket Launcher but Homicide breaks up the pin and runs wild. Maff and Smokes go at it on the floor then Homicide accidentally takes out Smokes with a tope. Back inside, Daniels hits Homicide with the Angels Wings but AJ breaks that up. Daniels shoves AJ into the ref then has Cornette toss him the racket but AJ boots Daniels and hits him with the Styles Clash on the racket as the ref gets up and counts to three (18:18) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Match was good and best of the night but it was missing something to make it more than that. Daniels and Maff also wrestled as two singles guys teaming up as opposed to an actual team as the only double-team move they did was the Rocket Launcher.

After the match, Cornette gets pissed off as he shakes hands with AJ and Homicide but blaming Daniels for the loss. Daniels and Cornette scream at each other until Daniels attacks him from behind. Maff then slams Cornette down as they both beat on him until Amazing Red limps in and takes them out with a tennis racket. Red becomes a victim of the numbers game until Samoa Joe runs in and clears the Prophecy from the ring. Cornette then raises the hands of Red and Joe as he grabs the mic with the fans chanting “RoH.” Cornette then says its not often he says this but he was wrong as he puts over Ring of Honor. They went from Cornette doing a nostalgia act to then putting over the company at the end. Yeah, that didnt work out all that well.

Homicide calls out Steve Corino in a pre-taped promo as Smokes does his routine during and afterwards.

Joe is in the locker room congratulating BJ Whitmer then tells him that he will sacrifice everything for this belt. He even said that Paul London sacrificed his career by facing him just before going up to the WWE and how Dan Maff faced him after burying his father but it wasn’t enough. He then asks who is the next to make the sacrifice and ends up questioning if CM Punk, Christopher Daniels, and Low Ki will have what it takes. Good, intense promo from Joe.

Steve Corino is then shown saying he did not think it could get lower than now. He says that we are all “smart” and “read the sheets” as he calls out those thinking that the riot was a work. This drags as Corino tells us that Japan matters more than Ring of Honor because they do not complain on the internet then tells Homicide he will be there to fight on August 16th and will even bring his kid in, the one that Homicide brought into the feud.

Cabana and Steel finally see Feinstein. They hang up his phone as Cabana asks about the Field of Honor as Feinstein angrily tells him that it is a tournament and that he is invited. Feinstein then leaves as Cabana declares that this is the greatest day before leaving then the camera drops as Lucy was attacked. The camera then shows a piece of paper that read “Trust Never Sleeps” before the show ends. The end would be followed up upon for future shows.

Final Thoughts: Even after expecting a let down from the fantastic “Death Before Dishonor” show, this show felt below expectations. The long running “Field of Honor” bit being revealed as a tournament was a waste seeing how it was assumed the whole time and the Cornette stuff was okay at first as a nostalgia act but him turning on the Prophecy and putting over RoH felt too forced and a lot of the matches were really just filler. And there were too many bad promos/backstage segments. Not much to recommend from this show.

Ring of Honor: Death Before Dishonor July 17th, 2003

July 17, 2003

From the Rex Plex in Elizabeth, NJ

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

CM Punk is backstage. He says it is the most important night in his life. He calls Raven no better than the dog a collar goes around and promises to end the feud tonight as it has gotten way too personal. He talks about choking out Raven at Wrestlerave and gloats that he gave Raven a flashback of his horrible life then talks about a time when his dad came home from work drunk then puked as he was asleep and turned blue then watched the light fade away but tipped him over so he could breathe again and regrets doing that ever since as he wanted the misery and pain to end. He now cannot figure out why he let Raven live as he is better than him because he has saved lived while all Raven has done is ruin them. Colt Cabana then walks in to interrupt as Punk pins him up against the wall and says how he is sick of his “Tom Foolery and shenanigans.” He walks away then Cabana looks into the camera and attempts to be funny as he claims that fans say they remind them of a “modern day Dave Coulier” before saying he has a serious side because he cried during the film “My Girl.” Cabana closes by saying we should wait until the night is over so we can take him seriously.

Before the show we see Special K having a rave at ringside. Elax has even made his return, to the joy of no one.

Backstage, Gary Michael Cappetta approaches Samoa Joe and asks him about his match against Paul London, who is having his last match in the company tonight. Joe then runs down other special moments and says that it won’t be one for Paul London tonight as this is his night and he will retain his RoH World Title. Cappetta then gets notified off camera that Homicide and Julius Smokes are here so he runs off to find them.

Back to the ring as the Special K rave continues. Becky Bayless was smoking hot here.

Cappetta talks to Homicide and asks what happened at the closed door meeting between Low Ki, Julius Smokes and himself after Wrestlerave. Homicide calls Cappetta a dumb ass for suggesting that he is now in a feud with Ki as Smokes and another one of Homicide’s thugs call Cappetta a “bitch-ass wigga” and does not care that Steve Corino refuses to come back to RoH because of him. Homicide then tells Cappetta to tell Corino that he is challenging him to a Strong-Style match in RoH and that he will leave his guys back in Brooklyn.

Back in the ring as the show is starting with the rave continuing in the ring. They then start to mess with ring announcer Stephen DeAngelis. Now, the Christopher Street Connection come down to the ring with Ariel as they have interrupted the rave. A “you suck dick” chant is aimed at the CSC as they tell Special K that they do not like their raves but rather disco music as they dance briefly until Special K jumps then from behind. The CSC get destroyed until Low Ki comes out and he looks pissed. Special K all back away from him as Ki first excuses himself for interrupting but that he is not here to see anyone dance and that he came here for a fight. The bell then rings as Deranged, Cloudy, and Hijynx all plead with Ki, who slaps down Cloudy. Hijynx laughs as Ki laughs with him before taking him down with the Dragon Clutch as the bell rings again. The rest of Special K leaves except for Deranged, who hits Ki with a low blow then mocks Ki as we now have a match.

Deranged vs. Low Ki

This is Ki’s first match in RoH since returning from injury. Deranged lands a bunch of shots then hits a tilt-a-whirl armdrag. Deranged then snaps off a hurricarana then gets two off of a spin kick. Deranged chokes him on the mat then targets the injured shoulder of Ki. Deranged doesn’t look half bad here. He kicks Ki in the face before going back to the arm as Levy tells us that Ki is only at 75%.  Ki gets sent through the ropes with a dropkick then Deranged takes him out on the floor with a springboard moonsault. They head back inside as Deranged hits Ki in the back of the head with a springboard dropkick. He then tries a handspring move but Ki catches him and just slams him down in a clunky-looking sequence. Ki is now viciously kicking Deranged in the face as he grabs him by the hair. He then drills him with a rolling Koppu Kick in the corner as he is just brutalizing this kid. Deranged sells like he is dead on the mat as Ki yanks him up so he can chop him in the corner. He then hits Deranged with the Tidal Crush as a few of the Special K goons distract Ki so Slugger can run out and grab Ki as the ref does nothing because this is not a match with honor from what Levy said. We then see that Ki is grabbing Slugger by the dick as he has the big man down. Deranged moves in for the attack but Ki picks him up and hits a pair of Krush Rushes before hitting the Ki Krusher then gets the win with the Dragon Clutch (6:34) **.

Thoughts: Fun match that was able to put Ki right back in the mix as a top guy for the company. Deranged did his part here too as this was a smart way to start the show.

Christopher Daniels is “backstage” at a New Japan show as he tells us that this is the biggest night in RoH history but that they never would have been in position to draw 1,200 fans tonight if it wasn’t for him and that the company was built on his shoulders. He then calls out Low Ki and how he will take him out just like he did with Corino, by getting close to those around him. He then says that he will challenge for the #1 Contender’s Trophy when he gets back to the states.

Jimmy Rave vs. Matt Stryker

These guys both trade hammerlocks to start. They are now fighting over a headlock as Stryker wins that battle then attacks the arm. Rave now takes control as he takes Stryker down with a Fujiwara armbar and that leads to a back-and-forth sequence that ends in a stalemate. Levy says that we will get some information about the “Field of Honor” as soon as tonight as Stryker has Rave grounded. Stryker targets the arm as this match has slowed down. Rave fights back and hits a backbreaker then follows that with a bridging suplex for a nearfall. Stryker comes back with a boot to the face but Rave counters a leg lock and puts on a rear chokehold. Stryker backs Rave into the corner but gets placed up top as Rave hits a Spider belly-to-belly suplex but poses for too long and that allows Stryker to hit a suplex of his own. Both guys are down then trade chops in a sequence that ends with Rave kneeing Stryker in the gut. Shining Wizard gets two. Rave ducks his head and gets booted in the face. Stryker then comes back with a leg lariat and gets two with a powerslam. Rave escapes from a Death Valley Driver attempt and goes for a headlock but Stryker hits a jawbreaker. Rave then uses a satellite headscissors to take down Stryker then puts on a STF. Stryker reaches the ropes then gets up and hits Rave with the Death Valley Driver for the win (8:45) **.

Thoughts: The action here was okay but they did not have the greatest chemistry and just a showcase for Stryker as a threat in the upcoming “Field of Honor” tournament. Stryker did not have anything to warrant a push, IMO.

Weapons Match
Carnage Crew & Justin Credible & Masada vs. Fast Eddie & Don Juan & Hotstuff Hernandez & Rudy Boy Gonzalez

Match starts with a giant brawl outside of the ring. DeVito is smiling as he canes Fast Eddie. The action starts to spill into the ring where Hernandez crotches Masada on the top rope then he an Eddie mistime a double dropkick that draws a “you fucked up” chant. In the ring, Credible is chopping Juan in the corner then powerbombs him for a nearfall. The action is everywhere as Rudy Boy follows Credible into the crowd and it looks impressive as there is a decent sized crowd here. The camera work is shaky though. In the ring, Eddie hits Masada with a release German suplex, crashing his head off of a chair. Loc cuts him off the top then climbs up and hits a released German suplex that sends Eddie through a folding chair! That draws a well-deserved holy shit chant as that spot looked fantastic. The ladder is in the corner across the ropes as that is used as a weapon. These guys are just beating the shit out of each other now but its all action and come cool spots too. Juan DDT’s Masada off of the top rope and through a chair as DeVito breaks up that pinfall. Masada bounces the ladder off of Hernandez then Eddie sets it up in the corner. He climbs up but Loc is on the second rope and cuts him off. DeVito climbs up the ladder and takes Eddie down with a superplex after Juan takes Masada off of the apron and through a few chairs with a swinging neckbreaker. Christ, this match is brutal. Everyone slows down for a few minutes then the Carnage Crew put Juan through a table from off of the apron with a spike piledriver as Levy alerts us that Gonzalez and Credible are now brawling in the parking lot. Hernandez then flies out and hits a tope on Masada that gets a good reaction. Gonzalez comes out as Levy now tells us that Credible is hurt and unable to continue. Back to the match as Hernandez puts Masada through a few chairs with a crucifix powerbomb (8:04) ***1/4.

Thoughts: This was a lot better than I was expecting. No idea what happened with Credible here but he did look very good in this match. Some of these spots were absolutely brutal though as these guys beat the shit out of each other.

Outcast Killaz vs. The Purists

The purists are Tony Mamaluke and John Walters. They are both very intense during the pre-match handshake. Levy talks up the Purists as Mamaluke starts off the match by grounding Tortuga, who to his credit fought back well, as they end up tangled in the ropes. Walters and Santiago tag in as they also roll around on the mat. They are letting the Outcast Killaz look a bit credible here. Walters works the ankle as the announcers talk about the feud the Killaz have with Dunn & Marcos. The Killaz take control of the match and hit a few nice double-team moves. Walters clotheslines Santiago then puts both of the Killaz in a contrived double submission hold that does not even get that much of a response from the crowd. Mamaluke works a neck vise but that gets broken up with a jawbreaker. Mamaluke comes back with a knee to the gut then gets two with a flying knee smash to the face. Walters tags and chops down Santiago in the corner. Dropkick gets two. Santiago comes back with a blockbuster as both men are down. The crowd rallies behind Santiago, who makes the tag. Tortuga then runs wild on Mamaluke and puts him in a stretch after elevating him in the wheelbarrow position as Santiago dropkicks him down. Walters comes in and dumps Santiago on the ropes then sends him to the floor with a dropkick. Mamaluke then powerbombs Tortuga as Walters stretches him out while Mamaluke puts him in a leg lock and they get the win (8:31) **1/4.

Thoughts: A decent way to showcase the new Purists team. Also, they let the Outcast Killaz shine a bit here and they did fine.

After the match, Dunn & Marcos come out and mock the Killaz. Then, Xavier makes his return as he walks down the aisle and stares at the duo, who are doing their routine. Xavier is not amused as he takes them both out with a double clothesline. He hits Dunn with a Cobra Clutch suplex then hits Marcos with the Kiss Your X Goodbye but not before kneeing him in the head three times. Gary Michael Cappetta then comes out and asks Xavier why he has returned. Xavier said that he cannot believe RoH would hold a tournament with the eight best wrestlers without inviting him and says that all he wants is respect and will go through seven other guys to get some. He closes by saying that he is back and better than ever. Decent promo from Xavier but the sound was not too good here.

Tom Carter vs. Doug Williams

Match starts with some back-and-forth action on the mat that the crowd appreciates. Carter works the arm for a bit as Levy puts over the matwork featured in RoH and how they respect it, unlike “other” companies. Williams fights back and hits a pair of European uppercuts before using a figure-four neck lock. Carter escapes and from that puts Williams in a bow-and-arrow hold. Williams then fights back and hammers away. Neckbreaker gets two. Carter is able to put Williams in an armbar then continues to work on the arm for a while. They go back and forth with Williams trying to act aggressive as Carter counters by targeting the arm. Williams rolls outside and sells his shoulder but drags Carter outside then sends him into the guardrail. Back inside, Carter blocks a suplex attempt but Williams eventually gets him up in a delayed vertical suplex that gets two. Tornado DDT gets two. Williams kneedrops Carterin the head before placing him up top. Williams tries for a German suplex but Carter reverses and has him in a hammerlock. Williams tosses him off as both men are down on the mat. Carter comes back with a moonsault block that gets two but Williams sends him into the corner and hits a pair of knee smashes. He then hits a top rope kneedrop that gets two. Williams targets the head but Carter comes back with a Flatliner and a pair of Shining Wizards but is unable to put him away. He heads up top but Williams cuts him off. Williams tries to take him off but Carter counters with a swinging DDT. He heads back up top and hits a beautiful frog splash that gets two. Carter uses an armbar but Williams lifts him up off of the mat and tosses him into the corner. Williams then hits the Chaos Theory but sells his arm and is unable to cover. He gets up and tries a suplex but Carter reverses the hold and rolls him up for the win (14:21) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Really good match. This was also the last appearance of Carter in RoH. No idea what happened here but it made no sense to have him win this and blow off joining the Prophecy if he was planning on never returning to the company. His wife did give birth several weeks before the match so maybe he just decided to quit wrestling. Does anyone know what happened regarding his departure?

After the match, Allison Danger meets Carter in the back and asks him to join the Prophecy because Daniels wants him in the group. Carter doesn’t say anything then walks away. This was the last time Carter was in RoH.

#1 Contender’s Trophy Match
Colt Cabana vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Homicide w/ Julius Smokes vs. Dan Maff w/ Alison Danger

After some blind tags, Whitmer and Homicide start off the match. They go back-and-forth in a decent sequence. Colt blindly tags Homicide and tries to attack Maff from behind but that fails. Colt has been doing his comedy schtick the whole time. Maff hits a suplex but misses a diving headbutt. Cabana comes back with a lariat. Whitmer and Homicide tag in and go at it for a bit. Whitmer goes outside and Homicide flies out with a tope as he crashes into the guardrail. Back inside where Whitmer catches Homicide with a powerslam then hits a Northern Lights Suplex as Cabana breaks up the pin. Cabana is now in as Homicide chops him in the corner. Cabana comes back with a suplex-type move that ends up as a butterfly lock but Whitmer tagged himself in and targets the back and neck of Homicide, who then returns the favor as they trade kicks to the back in a “Strong Style” sequence. Maff then yanks Homicide to the floor. Whitmer charges and Maff backdrops him outside then Maff pauses and look back and forth before flying out with a tope that he overshot and wound up in the front row. That looked quite painful. Cabana then takes out the other two with a quebrada. In the ring, Maff and Whitmer trade chops until Homicide pokes Maff in the eye. They all trade various suplexes. Whitmer is getting destroyed in the corner as Cabana is back in with the action too fast to call. The crowd goes nuts as Maff hits Cabana with a German suplex as he hit Homicide with a fisherman’s buster. Everyone is down on the mat as Colt is up first. He tries to hit Whitmer with the Colt 45 but Whitmer floats over and hits an inverted DDT. Whitmer gets flattened by a clothesline courtesy of Homicide. Maff hits Homicide but misses a cannonball. Cabana hits Homicide with a draping Ace Crusher then Maff hits Cabana with the Burning Hammer and covers but Whitmer breaks that up. Whitmer hits a Saito suplex for two that Homicide breaks up. He boots Whitmer in the face then sends Maff to the floor. Homicide places Cabana on top but takes too long as Whitmer takes him off with a German Suplex. Whitmer then goes up top and hits Cabana with an Exploder for the win (13:45) ***3/4. After the match everyone shakes hands except for Maff, who spits at Homicide then leaves after telling everyone to fuck off. Maff and Smokes then get into it as Maff yells at Smokes to “go back to the projects.”

Thoughts: Awesome stuff. All four guys busted their ass too. They are doing a fine job with the Homicide storyline of him trying to get away from his thug past to provide for his kid yet needing protection and having Smokes and his thugs with him, with everyone hating Homicide for bringing Smokes into the company. They are also giving Whitmer a push and although he was fine in the ring here, he did not really stand out other than being taller and having a better physique than most on the roster. See, even in RoH that can be the case as that is something not just unique to the WWE but rather accustom in all of professional wrestling.

Daniels is shown backstage from “Japan” as he is talking to Danger on his phone. He tells her to watch the show and call her as soon as the title matches end. He then gets off the phone and says that Xavier’s return was planned all along then tells Maff that he stole the show and made a mockery of the “Code of Honor.” He then addresses Tom Carter and tells him he needs his answer soon as its better to be with the Prophecy then against them.

Cappetta is backstage with Low Ki. He asks him about hurting Special K tonight as he tells Cappetta that they have disrespected the Code of Honor since the company began and will teach them lessons until they stop breaking the code. He calls out Maff for betraying his family before closing by saying he will be the RoH World Champion again. Cappetta then asks him about his meeting with Homicide as Ki tells him that it is not of his concern and to do his job and listen as he tells him he will be the RoH Champion once again.

We are shown a clip from Wrestlerave when Special K put the Backseat Boyz through a table.

Scramble Match
Mikey Whipwreck & Hydro & Angel Dust & Brian XL vs. Backseat Boyz & Spanish Announce Team

Hydro and Joel start off the match with a nice little sequence. Hydro in particular looked good. Angel Dust then comes in and hands a pill to Kashmere, who shoves it back down his throat and hits him with a few chops. Kashmere then spears Angel Dust and applies a figure four. Brian XL flies in with an elbow as he and Jose work their usual botch-filled sequence of highspots. Whipwreck hits Acid with a facebuster then this heads to Special K getting suplexed in a lame spot. Acid and Hydro anre in the ring and its clear that they are the best two in the whole match. The SAT’s then take down Hydro as Jose puts him in the Camel Clutch and everyone else hits him in the face with dropkicks repeatedly. Angel Dust springboards in to hit Jose with a blockbuster that gets two. The match breaks down then Jose drops Angel Dust as both men are down. Joel then hits the Maximo Explosion on Brian XL as now Trent Acid runs wild then this leads to the SAT’s hitting Hydro with the Spanish Fly. Joel then holds up Mikey for Acid but misses and gets hit with an enziguiri as Whipwreck then gets the Whippersnapper on Acid for the win (8:22) *1/4. After the match, the Backseat Boyz destroy the SAT’s as the crowd applauds.

Thoughts: These scramble matches were a lost cause and this match pretty much sucked. A majority of the Special K guys were useless and the SAT’s fucked up all the time. And fat Mikey Whipwreck is just awful in every single way. And he trained these guys too.

Krazy K vs. Joey Matthews vs. Jeff Hardy

A few fans start a “Fuck you Hardy” chant as he came to the ring in a goofy mask doing some of his terrible dancing. Hardy had a few vocal fans here at the start then a loud “You Got Fired” and a “We Want Matt” chant breaks out just before the match. Matthews beats on both guys to start. Hardy fights back as the fans boo then he takes off his mask as the girls in attendance scream. Hardy clotheslines Matthews to the floor then works one of the worst sequences I have ever seen with Krazy K. My god, wrestling school students in their first week could have done a better job. Hardy is still wearing his coat here too. Matthews comes back and tosses Krazy K to the floor. He follows him out and orders the fans to get out of the way then teases throwing him over the guardrail before tossing him back inside. Hardy comes out and brawls with Matthews then Krazy K flies out with a twisting plancha as Hardy doesn’t ever bother to catch him. Even the announcers are noting how Hardy isn’t giving a shit out here. Krazy K and Hardy team up on Matthews until Krazy K goes for a quick rollup. Hardy comes back with a powerbomb then takes forever to climb up and gets shoved off by Matthews as the crowd cheers. Matthews then hits Krazy K with an inverted DDT for two as the fans are completely shitting on this match and rightfully so as it is awful. Hardy and Matthews fight up top as Hardy shoves him off then hits the Swanton Bomb. Hardy now goes after K and gets the win with his double leg drop rollup (6:15) DUD.

Thoughts: What a fucking disaster this turned out to be. If not for Matthews, this would have easily reached negative star territory as Hardy and Krazy K were fucking horrible. The crowd hated Hardy, who looked every bit as strung out as he did before getting canned by the WWE. Krazy K was never seen in RoH again and for good reason. Its almost worth seeking this out because of the trainwreck factor.

We are shown a recap of the Punk/Raven feud.

Punk taunts the crowd before the match about how the building does not sell alcohol and that they were led down the wrong path as they start a “shut the fuck up” chant back at Punk, who says he feels sorry for them because Raven led them down the road to ruin. Punk then compares Raven to his “lousy, drunk father” as the crowd starts an “alcohol” chant. He then rips on Danny Doring, who is shown chugging a beer in the crowd as the fans start an “ECW” chant. Security prevents Doring from coming out to the ring as Punk again rips on the crowd until Raven comes out for the match. Punk was truly great here.

Dog Collar Match
CM Punk vs. Raven

A few in the crowd start a “CM Pussy” chant. They get chained together as Punk tries to escape but Raven yanks him back then uses the chain as a weapon. The action heads outside where Raven sends Punk into the post then crotches Punk with the chain before sending him into the guardrail with a Russian leg sweep as Punk is already busted open with his forehead painted red with blood. Raven continues the assault as he rolls Punk back inside. He sets up a table in the corner but Punk hits him with a low blow. Raven comes back with a kneelift but Punk reverses an Irish whip and sends Raven through the table as he now takes control of the match. He beats on Raven outside of the ring then chokes him out with the chain then busts open his forehead. Punk sends Raven into the guardrail a few times before sending him into the crowd. Punk steps back to take a breather but Raven yanks the chain as Punk flies into the guardrail. Both men are brawling through the crowd as this match is pretty fucking good right now. Raven knocks Punk through a few chairs then they head through to the other side of the crowd where Raven hands a fan a chair to hold so he can bounce Punk’s head off of that. Raven heads up to the bleachers but Punk yanks him down as Raven takes a hell of a bump. Punk now whips Raven with the chain as they head back towards the ring. Punk brings a garbage can ringside then rolls Punk into the ring. He hits Raven with a back elbow smash as Punk hurt his arm on that move. Punk then drops a knee on Raven as he has a microphone and calls Raven an “old timer” as he beats on him some more. He hits a suplex then a step-up enziguiri before he climbs up top and talks into the microphone but Raven yanks him off. Punk gets back up and taunts Raven by calling him “Flamingo” but Raven fights back. He clotheslines Punk down several times and gets two with a kneelift. He sets up a chair and sends Punk into it with a drop toehold for two. He then spits on Punk before grabbing a chair but Punk ducks as the ref gets hit with the chair. Raven then yanks Punk down then hits the Raven Effect but the referee is down. Colt Cabana runs into the ring and hits him with a low blow before hitting a DDT onto the chair. Cabana then taunts the crowd but Danny Doring comes out from the crowd and takes him out with a clothesline as they brawl outside but in the ring Punk rolls on top of Raven as the referee awakes and gets the win (18:22) ****. After the match, Punk tapes Raven’s wrists to the ropes as he is on the floor. Punk then grabs the mic and tells Raven that he is better than him and all that is left to do now is to send Raven back to rehab as he cracks a beer and pours it down his throat. Punk then calls Raven an addict as someone screams “I can’t believe you gave him a fucking beer.” Tommy Dreamer then comes out from the crowd to whack Punk with a chair as the crowd starts an “ECW” then a “Dreamer” chant. Dreamer then ties Punk to the ropes as the crowd chants “fuck him up Dreamer, fuck him up.” Dreamer then unties Raven, who can barely stand then they hug as the fans applaud. Raven then grabs the mic as he welcomes Punk to his worst nightmare as he cracks a beer then pours it down Punk’s throat, who is spitting it out. Dreamer when pulls a Sandman and smashes the can against his head as Punk is flipping out. Raven pours another beer on Punk as Dreamer struts around. They leave as the referees untie Punk, who flips out and tosses them down as he heads to the back.

Thoughts: Excellent match and easily the best from Punk at this point in his career. Both guys beat each other and kept it heated throughout the entire time. The post match stuff was fun as well with Dreamer surprising everyone by running in and he had some fun with Raven as they tortured Punk. It also set them up to have another match to keep the feud going.

Paul London cuts a promo about his experience in Ring of Honor as this was his last show before heading to the WWE. He puts over his opponents like Michael Shane, Bryan Danielson, Low Ki, and AJ Styles. He closes by saying that he will not let the people down and has a special feeling tonight and has to win the Championship. Long-winded promo from London, who seemed genuinely emotional here. And came off a tad high as well.

The Briscoes vs. AJ Styles & Amazing Red w/ Alexis Laree

The stipulations here are that this is the last match between the two teams and no matter who wins, there will not be a rematch. Match starts with Jay and AJ beating the shit out of each other as they spill outside. Mark and Red fight in the ring then Mark misses a dive to the floor. AJ sends Mark into the guardrail but Jay sends whips him then rolls AJ back inside. Red tags in and hits Jay with the Code Red for two. Mark tags in as the Briscoes now attack AJ, who comes back with a lariat on Mark. AJ tries for the Styles Clash but that gets blocked as Red tags and they hit Mark with stereo enziguiris for two. Red kicks Mark in the back then hits a basement dropkick for two. AJ tags as the announcers bring up Red’s knee injury. AJ gets two off of a dropkick then a neckbreaker. Red tags back in as he chops Mark then gets a baseball slide for two. Mark comes back with a low dropkick onto the hurt knee of Red. The Briscoes take turns working over the knee of Red as Mark uses a single leg crab. Jay chokes out Red as the referee orders AJ back to the apron. Laree rallies the crowd behind Red as he gets taken down with a Dragon Screw. Red gets sent to the floor and gets roughed up briefly before getting rolled back into the ring. Mark and Red exchange chops until they have a sloppy reversal sequence that ends with Mark getting two with a powerbomb. Red then is able to come back shortly after that with a Kryptonite Krunch as both men are down. Red finally makes the tag as AJ beats on both of the Briscoes. Mark then hits AJ with a T-Bone suplex then hits Red with a Mafia Kick. AJ comes back with a slingshot crossbody and then this leads to a Tower of Doom spot with each team getting a nearfall. Jay hits Red with the Jaydriller but AJ breaks up the pin by tossing Mark at his brother. The Briscoes hit AJ with a springboard Doomsday Device for two as Red is down in the corner. AJ comes back with the Phenomenon on Mark then Red hits Jay as he tried the Jaydriller then hits a Shining Wizard and that leads to AJ hitting Jay with the Styles Clash for the win (14:27) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Good match. The story at the end was that Red sacrificed his injured knee in order to help retain the Tag Team Titles. The Briscoes were so damn impressive too, especially when they were both under 20 years old. The Tag Team Belts have not been focused on much, especially with Red having been out with an injury, but that will be changing going forward.

Jim Cornette is shown in a promo with the Ohio Valley Wrestling logo in the background. He says that he will be part of the RoH show on August 9th as he wants to see what RoH is all about as he smells money and wants to be a part of that. He closes by saying that his appearance will make news on the internet and the magazines. Not bad and it did the job in making you intrigued as to why Cornette will be appearing on a RoH show.

We see clips of the last few matches featuring Paul London and Samoa Joe. This lasts for several minutes.

RoH World Championship Match
Paul London vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)

This match gets the boxing-style ring introductions as London gets a great crowd reaction as streamers drop from the ceiling after its announced that this is his final night in the company. Joe takes down London after the handshake then grounds him on the mat. London fights out as they are both on their feet. London puts Joe in a side headlock then they work a fast-paced sequence that ends with Joe destroying London with a forearm smash to the face. Joe beats on London in the corner for a bit. London floats over and gets a quick rollup then sends Joe out of the ring. He sends him into the guardrail with a baseball slide then takes him down with a moonsault off of the guardrail. Back inside, London barely gets a two count off of a splash but gets caught with an uranage off of a charge. Joe targets the back of London then catches him off of a springboard and throws him across the top rope. Joe then puts London in the tree-of-woe but misses on a baseball slide. London flies out with a pescado but Joe caught him then slams London into the post. Joe puts London in the chair and hits him with a few running kicks. In the ring, Joe hits London with a missile dropkick then gets two with a German Suplex. Joe tries for the Island Driver but London counters with a rollup as that leads to a rollup reversal sequence. London hits the dropsault then fakes out Joe pretending that he is hurt as he hits the legsweep DDT. London then heads up top and hits the London Calling but Joe kicks out at two. That looked perfect by the way. Joe then ducks a swing and locks on the Coquina Clutch as he drags him back in off of the apron. London escapes quickly but misses a spinning heel kick. Joe gets two with a Dragon Suplex. London comes back with a quick backslide but Joe comes right back with a vicious lariat. Joe then murders London with all sorts of strikes then locks on the Coquina Clutch and after a struggle, London’s hand drops three times as Joe retains the title (14:13) ***1/4. After the match the entire locker room comes out as Whitmer and Williams hoist him up on his shoulders before they all say their goodbyes to him. London grabs the mic as the roster surrounds him with the entire audience now giving him a standing ovation. He thanks everyone here as he refers to them as family. He then thanks Rudy Boy and hugs him then puts over the RoH office for making this show possible. The crowd starts a “please don’t go” chant then London said that no matter what he will always have Ring of Honor in his heart. He then says goodbye to everyone in the ring.

Thoughts: Good match but not a classic or anything. It was missing something. The announcers telling the story that London was risking his WWE contract by taking this match as he could get hurt by Joe wasn’t the worst I have heard but no one seemed to buy that or the fact that he was going to win this match. They just seemed happy to see him for the last time and wanted to give him a good sendoff. The end with the locker room wishing London luck as he went to the WWE was great and he gave a passionate, from the heart speech to the fans and other wrestlers. That was a great moment.

Raven cuts a promo behind a chain link fence about how Tommy Dreamer could not beat him for 2.5 years but now he cannot beat CM Punk. He then says that payback is hell and that he does not think that Punk has suffered enough because he is an “arrogant piece of shit” as he challenges Punk to a cage match and guarantees victory as long as Punk has the balls to face him.

The Carnage Crew talk about their ugly wives and shitty jobs then tell Mikey Whipwreck is a crippled old man then run down Special K as Credible calls them a joke as they leave to head to the “nudie bar.” Credible wasnt that good here on the mic.

Daniels tells AJ & Red that the Prophecy is coming for those titles but his first priority is taking the RoH World Championship from Samoa Joe. The Prophecy has gotten better but they have been a weak stable for a long time. This act is not a favorite of mine.

Rob Feinstein approaches Colt Cabana and CM Punk, who he asked to cut a promo about the challenge issued by Raven. Cabana warns Feinstein to leave Punk alone but he does not listen then Punk shoves Feinstein down as he tells him how he does not care where the match happens and that he will not be held responsible for his actions and how no one does what Raven did to him. The Punk character was so, so much better than the other acts in this company. Quite frankly, no one else was close.

Final Thoughts: Even at 4.5 hours long, this show was incredible. This show had it all:hot feuds, memorable moments, and great action. Plus, the pacing was fantastic. There was minimal filler as they reestablished guys, formed new teams, and had a great sendoff for London. Even Jeff Hardy’s disaster of a debut was enjoyable in a way. Plus the action was good as RoH hit a home run for their biggest show to date. Definitely seek out this show because it is one of the best that RoH has ever produced and it is loads of fun.

Ring of Honor Wrestlerave June 28th, 2003

June 28, 2003

From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

Show starts with Low Ki cutting a promo with his arm in a sling as he thanks the fans for their support as he recovers from his injury. He then calls out Danny Maff for joining the Prophecy and says that they will never have a place in RoH, much like Julius Smokes as the streets do not belong in Ring of Honor. Ki then says that Samoa Joe proved to be a fighting champion and how the one-year anniversary of their first match is coming up soon and he will be returning to the ring in August then yanks of his sling and tells Joe all he can do is be ready. Decent promo from Ki here.

Rob Feinstein cuts an intentionally corny promo then gets asked about the “promo schedule” by someone off camera when Simply Luscious interrupts. Feinstein points out how The Group lost two weeks ago and has disbanded so wants to know why she is here as Corino, Shane, and CW Anderson are all out of the company. Luscious said she is ready to work as Feinstein said she can sell programs as Luscious then cuts a terrible promo about how we have not seen the last of The Group and that Corino will come back to cause trouble. This telegraphs a Corino return but the segment itself was not too good.

Dunn & Marcos vs. Prince Nana & Jimmy Jact Cash

Before the match, Nana insults the crowd as he calls Cash one of the best wrestlers on the Independent scene today. Marcos then grabs the mic to say their catchphrases but get attacked from behind. Cash knocks down Marcos before destroying him in the corner. Cash then hits a flying back elbow smash for two then goes over to Dunn and calls him a “bitch” but turns around and gets hit with a Northern Lights suplex. Both men tag out as Nana catches Dunn with a lariat before hitting a few running charges in the corner. Cash tags and comes off of the top with a leg drop then hits a spinebuster but Dunn is able to come back with a Gory Bomb as both men are down then tag out as Dunn & Marcos take care of Nana. Dunn puts Marcos on his shoulders and tosses him off with a senton onto Nana but Cash breaks that up but after that, Dunn assists Marcos with a Sliced Bread #2 and ends up splashing onto Nana in the process then gets the win as Dunn & Marcos have won their first match (4:18) 3/4*. After the match, Dunn & Marcos celebrate to a solid reaction from the crowd.

Thoughts: Match was nothing but it was cool to see Dunn & Marcos actually win. Their celebration afterwards was fun.

Alexis Laree vs. Sumie Sakai

Match starts with the girls trading moves. Sakai’s screams are quite grating. Sakai then hits a pair of missile dropkicks before putting Laree in a bow-and-arrow lock. Sakai then puts on a Camel’s Clutch as the match has slowed down. Laree fights out and hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors but gets caught with a knee. They have a sloppy pinfall reversal sequence then follow that with a much better one as they are rolling all over the ring with the ref unable to even make a count due to how fast they were going. That pumps up the crowd then Sakai gets two with a back suplex. Northern Lights Suplex gets two. Sakai slams her down the goes up top but misses a moonsault then Laree hits her with an inverted DDT for the win (5:02) **1/4. After the match, Laree raises the arm of Sakai and they hug each other.

Thoughts: Decent action here and easily the best women’s match in the company to date. Even still, the company has no semblance of a women’s division but as the show went on it seemed like they were trying to establish one.

The Prophecy are backstage as Daniels says that they finally got rid of The Group but are not going to rest and that their mission is to retain the RoH Championship as Danny Maff will be taking on Samoa Joe for the belt tonight. Maff tells Joe that he beat him once and will do it again. Daniels then said that he will team with Raven tonight to face the Second City Saints as Raven is shown sitting on the ground. Daniels asks Raven if he is okay with his messed up ankle as the camera zooms in with Raven just smiling into the camera.

Tap Out Match
Chad Collyer vs. Matt Stryker

Collyer is taking the place of Tom Carter, who we are told missed the show as his wife was about to give birth. Crowd is silent to start as the guys trade holds. Hell, they didnt even applaud the standoff. A few guys start a “Let’s go Stryker” chant as Collyer has him grounded on the mat. Stryker now takes control as he has Collyer in a crossface of sorts. Collyer comes back and pus Stryker in a painful looking hold that pops the crowd but cannot maintain it and they end up back on their feet. Collyer takes Stryker back down and stretches him out in order to soften him up for the Texas Cloverleaf, the move that has made Stryker tap twice. Stryker comes back and grounds Collyer with a hammerlock. Collyer fights out then knees Stryker in the face before roughing him up as Levy shits on the WWE for the “Boring” angle with Lance Storm. Stryker ends up escaping from a Fujiwara armbar and is able to put Collyer in his own finisher. Collyer is able to reach the ropes and ducks outside then yanks down Stryker and starts roughing him up, even ramming his leg against the ring post. Collyer attacks the leg with Stryker trying to fight back. Collyer locks on a Figure Four that Stryker is able to reverse as both men are now limping around then start to trade chops. Stryker is able to put Collyer in the ankle lock in the middle of the ring as the crowd chants “tap.” Collyer fights out and Stryker puts him back in the hold then Collyer trips him up and locks on the Texas Cloverleaf but Stryker reaches the ropes. Stryker then puts on the Stryker Lock but Collyer reaches the ropes as the crowd boos. Collyer floats over on a suplex attempt from the apron then blocks an enziguiri as he takes down Stryker with a Dragon Screw then is able to put Stryker back in the Cloverleaf as Stryker has no choice but to tap (18:20) **1/2.

Thoughts: The “pure wrestling” matches were too dull for my tastes. Also, it wasn’t even all that psychologically involved as they just did submission holds for the sake of doing them, making it too contrived. Plus, both guys bore the shit out of me. Never did get why they were high on Stryker at this point. He should have been a Velocity jobber for the WWE.

Izzy & Dixie & Deranged w/ Special K vs. Carnage Crew & Justin Credible

Before the match, the Carnage Crew introduce Justin Credible as a surprise partner, despite the fact he joined them at the last show. He gets a good pop from the crowd and a loud “welcome back” chant too. After some stalling by Special K, the match begins with Credible taking down Deranged. Credible beats on him but Deranged comes back with a hurricarana and a spin kick that has the rest of Special K going crazy. Loc tags in and beats on Dixie until he gets hit with a tornado DDT. DeVito tags and he beats on Izzy and they work an awful sequence that takes the crowd out of the match. Izzy fights out of the opposing corner as Special K are wrestling as the faces here then makes the hot tag to Deranged. Loc tags and folds Deranged in half with a Saito Suplex. DeVito then destroys him with crossfaces as Levy a lot of awful jokes on commentary. Credible tags back in and chops Deranged in the corner. DeVito misses a moonsault as Deranged makes the hot tag to Dixie, who runs wild. His offense looked bad here. The fans are silent as Special K are the faces in this match, despite being heels. As soon as I say that Special K gets the crowd going with a dive sequence capped off by Izzy getting crazy height on his move. Back in the ring, the Carnage Crew are in control until Dixie fights them off. He potatoed Loc badly on a moonsault kick and has had a terrible match as a whole. Credible takes him out with a super kick then hits the That’s Incredible (Tombstone) for the win (9:13) *3/4.

Thoughts: This was entertaining at times but some of this was bad and Dixie flat-out sucked in this match. Nothing he did looked good and he managed to single-handedly dragged down the match. And Special K playing faces for the match made no sense to the crowd but would play into the end of the show.

RoH World Title Match
Danny Maff vs. Samoa Joe

They let us know that Maff’s father just passed away the day prior as Maff gets a ton of cheers from the crowd. Maff attacks Joe before the bell. Joe ducks outside where Maff takes him out with a tope. Back inside they exchange strikes with Joe winning that battle then he shoves Maff into the guardrail but misses the ole kick but is able to catch him with a big boot off of a charge. He then hits the ole kick as the crowd goes nuts and want to see it one more time so Joe does it and it looked brutal. Joe tosses Maff into the guardrail before hitting him with a chair. Brutal stuff so far. The action heads back into the ring as Joe hits a butterfly suplex before stretching him out. Joe kicks Maff a few times then hits a German Suplex but Maff pops right up and hits a clothesline as the crowd is fully behind him. Maff beats on Joe in the corner then hits him with a cannonball and follows that with a heel kick. Lariat gets two. Joe puts Maff in the choke but it gets countered with a back suplex as both men are down. Maff finally crawls on top of Joe but is only able to get two. Maff charges but Joe flattens him with an uranage. Joe gets two with a powerbomb then locks on a STF but Maff is able to reach the ropes. Joe charges as Maff returns the favor and catches him with an uranage. He then has Joe up for the Burning Hammer but Joe escapes and hits an enziguiri before getting the win with a Dragon Suplex (10:37) ***1/4. After the match, both guys bow in front of each other on the mat as the crowd applauds. Joe then leaves as Maff is in the ring soaking up the applause from the crowd, who are going crazy for him.

Thoughts: Good hard-hitting match and a nice moment for Maff as the fans really let him know that they felt sorry about the passing of his father. I’m not the biggest Maff fan in the world but he has improved since the company began.

Gary Michael Cappetta is with Homicide and Julius Smokes as he asks Homicide about his match without honor tonight against Trent Acid. This is the result of Acid attacking Homicide at the Do or Die Show that took place one month prior. Cappetta then asks Smokes about Low Ki’s comments about him costing Homicide the title as he goes off on a tirade about him. They were using the beef between Ki/Smokes to enhance Homicide’s storyline and I was fine with that, especially with Ki being injured.

Alex Shelley vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Tony Mamaluke

This is the RoH debut of both Shelley and Jacobs, who is only 19 years old here. He starts off the match with Mamaluke as they go back and forth on the mat. Levy alerts us that Cappetta is trying to arrange an interview with both Julius Smokes and Low Ki. Jacobs tags and has a test of strength with Mamaluke and from that they have a pinfall reversal sequence. Jacobs reaches the ropes quickly after Mamaluke put him in an armbar as the crowd chants “let’s go huss” at Jacobs,  referencing his furry boots. Shelley tags and works a nice sequence with Jacobs. Shelley is the more impressive out of the two. Whitmer tags and hits both guys with an Exploder but Mamaluke also tags and works the leg. Mamaluke then locks on a Camel Clutch but that gets reversed. Shelley tags himself in and beats on Mamaluke. Jacobs tags as the crowd goes nuts with a “huss” chant then he gets booted to the floor by Whitmer. Lots of quick tags as the action stays steady. Shelley shoves Mamaluke off of the top rope but gets tripped by Whitmer then Jacobs knocks Whitmer off of the apron and tries a hurricarana off of the top rope but Shelley counters and alley oops Jacobs into the turnbuckle from the top in a move that I have never seen before. The pace picks as we get several nearfalls that get broken up and the action is all good. Whitmer then takes the advantage as he overpowers everyone before putting away Jacobs with an Exploder just before Shelley tapped to Mamaluke’s hold (14:34) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Very good match that was all action. Shelley in particular stood out as he showed a lot of personality and did a fine job in the ring. Jacobs was a fan favorite and also did a fine job in the ring as well. Mamaluke is just a guy added to provide some name value but it was Whitmer who was the focus of the match.

No DQ Match
Colt Cabana & CM Punk w/ Lucy vs. Raven & Christopher Daniels w/ Allison Danger

Punk gets on the mic after being chased from the ring as he runs down Raven and the fans. He enters with Cabana and they both get clotheslined to the floor. Back inside, the Second City Saints are getting double-teamed as Raven & Daniels put them in the row boat spot. Raven sets up a chair but Punk blocks a drop toehold. However, Daniels whacks him with the chair. Punk then is able to return the favor as he is now busted open. Punk and Cabana then open up Daniels, who tries to fight back. Punk is wearing a crimson mask at this point. The Second City Saints maintain control as the crowd chants “Raven’s Bitch” at Punk before he locks on a crossface. Cabana stretches out Daniels as despite a “No DQ” stipulation, it is not tornado rules and you must tag in and out. Daniels has Cabana in a submission but Punk breaks that up with a leg drop from the top rope. Daniels fights back and hits Cabana with an inverted DDT then makes the tag to Raven, who runs wild. Cabana knocks down the ref then gets caught with a Raven Effect. The girls are fighting in the ring now then Cabana super kicks Danger out of the ring. Everyone then trades finishers until Punk hits Raven with a chain then chokes him out. He starts whipping Raven with the chain then covers him as the ref crawls over and counts to three (13:47) *1/2. After the match, Punk chokes out Raven with the chain some more as he is covered in blood. After the Second City Saints leave, Raven is slowly helped to his feet then he grabs the mic and tells Punk that their will have to be retribution for what he did and that they will have to settle this once and for all next show in a Dog Collar Match. Raven is coughing and selling the beating quite well here.

Thoughts: First off, this match sucked. Despite the no DQ stipulations, you still had to tag into the match. That is idiotic to say the least. And the actual wrestling was disjointed at the beginning and far too slow-paced overall. However, it was what took place after the match that was memorable.

Punk and Cabana are backstage as Punk looks into the camera to tell Raven that the reason he hates him is because when he was a kid and his dad can home smelling like beer and grew up not thinking it was strange for someone to drink all day long and says how he acted just like Raven. He then yells at Raven and said the reason he is coming after him is because he had everything handed too him but flushed it down for booze and pills then tells him that he will fight him on July 19th and promises to end his time in RoH. Tremendous promo from Punk and quite possibly his best ever. My recap does not do this justice so I included it below:

NWA-TNA Heavyweight Championship Match
Chris Sabin vs. AJ Styles

Sabin is the X Division Champion here but that title is not on the line. Match starts on the mat with both guys going back and forth. AJ goes for a Styles Clash but Sabin quickly escapes. AJ then snaps Sabin’s neck off of the top rope from the apron. Sabin catches AJ with a baseball slide then from that sends AJ into the guardrail with a hurricarana. Back inside, Sabin gets two with a flying clothesline then locks on a crossface. AJ escapes then hits a neckbreaker from a vertical suplex position that looked painful. Brainbuster gets two. Powerslam gets two. Both men then attempt to hit each other with an enziguiri at the same time and are now down. They get up and trade chops for a bit until Sabin hits a release German Suplex for two. Sabin tries a catatonic but AJ reverses it into a crucifix in a cool spot that gets two. Sabin is able to come back with a catatonic backbreaker then climbs up top and goes for a rana but AJ rolls through then hits a Styles Clash for the win (10:05) ***1/4. AJ then grabs the mic as they play Ric Flair’s entrance music as AJ talks about how a few years ago this belt was thrown in the trash but that he will respect the title as much as he does the fans, who cheer loudly and chant his name.

Thoughts: Good match that had the chance to become great if given several more minutes. This was all about establishing the NWA-TNA title as the two companies were exchanging talents at the time and the crowd was super into AJ too.

Cappetta catches up with Ki and tells him that Smokes wants to meet up with him after the show. Ki seems reluctant.

Fight Without Honor
Trent Acid vs. Homicide

Acid’s entrance is devoted to mocking Homicide. He then attacks Homicide before the match and takes him out with a quebrada. They head into the ring where Homicide fights back and suplexes him around. He then sets up a ladder in the corner and sends Acid crashing into it with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Homicide grabs a chair and sets it up on the floor. He chokes out Acid then places him on the chair and heads back in the ring so he could run out and hit a flying body press. Homicide bridges the ladder across the ring apron and guardrail then Acid gets backdropped and lands on the ladder feet first as they are both now standing on it where Acid DDT’s Homicide. Back inside, Acid throws a chair at Homicide’s face than rings around his head. He then bridges the ladder across two chairs and hits Homicide with a Blue Thunder Driver. Homicide is eventually able to fight back with a baseball slide then hits Acid with a brainbuster onto the chair. Johnny Kashmere runs into the ring and he and Acid with Homicide with the T Gimmick. Smokes then attacks Kashmere as they brawl all the way backstage. Acid gets two with the Backseat Driver as the fans chant for Homicide, who comes back with an Ace Crusher. Northern Lights Bomb gets two. He then sets up a table outside of the ring as a dueling chant breaks out. In the ring, Acid sets up a table and places Homicide up top but Homicide then takes Acid off of the top and through the table outside of the ring with an Ace Crusher in an insane spot that has the crowd going crazy. Homicide gets up and rolls Acid in the ring but can only get two. Homicide plays to the crowd then they trade Yakuza kicks that sees Acid getting a nearfall. Acid then sets up a ladder in the ring. He slams Homicide and climbs up top but Homicide gets up and pushes the ladder over as Acid dumps outside and hits the guardrail. Homicide limps outside and lays Acid across of the ladder then flies outside but crashes on a tope con hilo as Acid was able to roll away. Acid rolls Homicide back inside but only gets two. They trade strikes and more Yakuza kicks. Acid rolls through a Cop Killer attempt then gets a reverse rollup that he messed up and got the pin (19:42) ***3/4.

Thoughts: These two guys went all out and really put their bodies on the line and it made for a fantastic match. The ending looked rough but everything else was awesome and it should have made Acid into more of a star with this win but that did not happen and drugs definitely played a part in that.

After the match the lights go out as Special K’s music hits. They are beating up everyone in the ring but we can barely see as the lights are still out and the strobe lights are going. The lights come back on as Izzy and Dixie put the Backseat Boys through a table. Special K celebrates as we have learned that Homicide was carried to the back. All of the girls in the ring are making out with each other as Deranged grabs the mic as we now have a giant rave taking place in the ring.

Jim Cornette is cutting a promo with the OVW banner in the background. He talks about how he has seen the next big things throughout his career then says that he has heard RoH might be the next big thing and that he would make an impact at the August 9th show in Dayton, OH.

Back to the ring as the rave continues as the camera focuses on the girls who hang with Special K.

We then get a promo from the Carnage Crew as they hype their match against the guys from TWA. Loc then cuts a really good promo about how he worked in ECW doing all sorts of menial tasks but the company shut down before he got his chance to shine. Both guys excelled in their roles.

We are shown more of the rave as Colt Cabana has joined the “Special K Sluts.” Great.

Samoa Joe cuts a promo on his next opponent, Paul London, and how he should listened to his fans and not die by reconsidering his match. This was London’s final RoH match before leaving for the WWE.

Cappetta hears screaming behind a closed door and goes to see what it but it turns out to be Benny from the Bronx screaming a Lit from Special K. Bronx was an indy guy from the Northeast who was nothing special at all.

Final Thoughts: Despite the overly long Special K rave at the end, I thought this was a solid show. Although no memorable matches, the main event was good and the reaction to Maff’s match was nice to see. More importantly, they did some angle advancement with Punk/Raven, Homicide, and established AJ Styles as a major player. Plus the addition of new talent (Shelley and Jacobs) made this an enjoyable show.

Ring of Honor Night of the Grudges June 14th, 2003

June 14, 2003

From the National Guard Armory in Cambridge, MA

Your hosts are Chris Levy and Ray Murrow

Paul London is backstage and recalls his classic matches against Michael Shane and Bryan Danielson as he tells AJ Styles that he can beat him and will tonight in their #1 Contender’s match.

AJ Styles is backstage with Alexis Laree. AJ shows off the NWA-TNA World Title that he just won as well as his RoH Tag Team Championship. He tells London that he will beat him then add the RoH World Title to his collection.

Christopher St. Connection w/ Ariel vs. Carnage Crew

Buff E insists that he start out the match against Loc and hits him a few times. Buff E does a lot of comedy spots here including kissing Loc on the forehead as part of a double-team move. Mace tags and gooses DeVito then rides him around the ring before engaging in more homoerotic comedy spots. DeVito comes back with a clothesline as the Carnage Crew take control of the match. DeVito gets a nearfall with a dropkick then chokes out Mace in the corner. He beats on Mace with crossfaces as Buff E starts jawing with the Carnage Crew. Mace grabs Loc’s nuts as he was on top but DeVito stops that as this leads to more homoerotic stuff from the CSC. Mace comes back with a swinging DDT as both he and Loc are down. Hot tag made to Buff E as he cleans house while prancing around. Mace hits DeVito with a Bronco Buster then makes out with Buff E then hit Loc with the Gay Basher. DeVito breaks up the pin and tosses Mace to the floor and the Carnage Crew go for the spike piledriver but Mace breaks that up. Mace gets tossed back outside as Loc hits Buff E with a neckbreaker then DeVito gets the win with a moonsault (8:42) *. After the match, the Carnage Crew hit Ariel with a spike piledriver that looked like it killed her. The fans liked seeing that and actually chant “one more time.”

Thoughts: Way too long for a comedy match. Buff E looked awful in the ring too as he moved at a snails pace. The characters are natural enemies and it makes sense for it to happen but it was given too much time.

Chance Beckett vs. Matt Stryker

Beckett tells us that he is all the way from Canada. Wow, what a rarity in wrestling. Anyway, he got a shot here after impressing in the 2003 ECWA “Super 8” Tournament. He didnt have much of a look either as he was pale with an average physique. Match starts with the “pure wrestling” typical back and forth matwork. Beckett goes to work on the leg and works a single leg crab but Stryker reaches the ropes. They go back and forth again briefly until Stryker works a neck vise. Beckett stops that with a neckbreaker then puts on a Dragon Sleeper but Stryker again is able to reach the ropes. They now battle over a test of strength and Beckett ends up hitting another neckbreaker after that. Stryker reverses an Irish whip that sends Beckett right into the tree of woe position in the corner then follows that with a dropkick. Both men collide and are down but Beckett covers first and gets two before applying a chinlock. Stryker breaks and hits a clothesline then hammers away. Leg Lariat gets two. Beckett blocks the Stryker Lock and puts on a Reverse Cloverleaf. Stryker then reverses that and is able to put on the Stryker Lock (11:16) **1/2.

Thoughts: Bland match. Although techincally sound neither guy showed much of anything in terms of personality. The “pure wrestling” format basically consisted of matches revolving around matwork that featured a lot of counters. At least it did here anyway.

As the introductions for the next match takes place, Justin Credible takes out Angel Dust with a super kick and entered himself in his place as the give him a favorable reaction and the token “ECW” chant. This was his

John Walters vs. Justin Credible vs. Chris Sabin vs. Homicide

This is Sabin’s RoH debut. At the time he was the NWA-TNA X Division Champion and only 21 years old as well. Match starts with Walters and Homicide exchanging holds and moves. Homicide chops Walters against the ropes but Walters comes back with a dropkick that sends Homicide to the floor. Walters has a bit of crowd support here as he is from Massachusetts. Inside, Homicide sends Walters in the corner with a butterfly suplex as Julius Smokes comes out. Walters fights back and hits a lungblower then puts him in a bow-and-arrow lock. Walters now has him in a modified Camel Clutch but Homicide reaches the ropes. Sabin is in and snaps off a hurricarana on Walters. Credible tags and gets a good pop before hitting Sabin with a tornado DDT that looked sloppy. He stomps Sabin in the corner then gets two with a powerbomb. Lots of quick tags take place now as Homicide gets two with a sitout powerbomb from the second rope. Sabin catches Homicide then turns that into a catatonic backbreaker for two Homicide comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex for two then Walters tags in and hits a tornado armbreaker for two then attacks the arm some more. Sabin comes back with an enziguiri for two then he and Credible take turns beating on Walters. The match breaks down as Credible takes out Homicide with a pescado and that ends with Homicide taking everyone out with a tope con hilo In the ring, everyone trades off big moves until Homicide powerbombs Walters then makes him tap out to the STF (12:54) **1/2.

Thoughts: The action was decent but it was hardly memorable or anything. Credible was a bit out of place style-wise with the other three but did okay for himself. Sabin didn’t get a chance to really show off here as Walters got some time to shine as did Homicide.

After the match, Homicide and Smokes head backstage to see the rest of his “empire” as Low Ki tells Homicide that he doesn’t need to associate himself with those thugs then walks away as Homicide is conflicted. They have been doing a great job with Homicide’s character by the way.

Punk cuts a promo about being an outcast because he is straight edge, even comparing himself to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Raven the cuts a promo about he was in a good mood when he got here tonight then welcomes Punk to his  House of Fun.

Raven’s Rules Match
Colt Cabana & CM Punk vs. BJ Whitmer

“Raven’s Rules” means it is basically a no-DQ match. This starts with Punk stomping on Raven in the corner. Raven fights back and catches Punk with a knee then a super kick. Cabana and Whitmer are in now as the story here is that Punk questions the heart of Whitmer after their match when Whitmer suffered a concussion. Cabana fucks around then Punk whacks Whitmer on the head with a chair. Raven counters by taking out Cabana with a chair then circles around with Punk, who bails and heads out back. Raven chases him and they come back out with Raven beating on Punk with a trash can. Punk is busted open as he continues to get hit. Punk’s face is covered in blood as Raven is destroying him. Raven slams Punk’s head off of the wall as we see Cabana and Whitmer spill outside and now everyone is brawling outside. Raven and Whitmer hit their opponents with drop toeholds into the chair. Punk comes back and crotches Raven on the guardrail as Cabana takes care of Whitmer in the ring. Punk yells at Cabana for wanting to fuck around as the match heads back into the ring. Whitmer is getting destroyed as Punk & Cabana are in control. Whitmer dodges Punk, who accidentally takes Cabana down with a rana as Whitmer makes the tag to Raven, who is a house of fire. Whitmer hits Punk with a flying headbutt then Cabana yanks the referee outside. Whitmer then takes Cabana from the apron and hits the Exploder but the referee is not around to count then Punk runs in with a chair and drills Whitmer with a Shining Wizard and puts Cabana on top then rolls the referee back inside. Whitmer was able to kick out but Cabana hits the Colt 45 for the win (16:50) **3/4. After the match, Punk & Cabana destroy their opponents some more.

Thoughts: This match had its moments but it went on longer than it should have and the last few minutes were not all that great. Punk was starting to become a better worker as this match had a lot more psychology than his usual stuff.

Gary Michael Cappetta is with Matt Stryker, who cuts a generic babyface promo putting over his opponents and talking about being in the Top 5 title ratings. Why on earth this guy was getting a push is beyond me. He is the definition of a vanilla midget. Prince Nana then comes in as Stryker leaves and says he is back in RoH and has a partner that will take out who comes in his way.

Diablo Santiago vs. Prince Nana

Santiago hits a back suplex then chops away before getting two with a neckbreaker. Nana comes back and chops Santiago in the corner. Santiago comes back with a neck snap and some more chops but Nana clotheslines him in the corner then hits a running thump before finishing off Santiago with an elevated DDT (2:15) 1/4*. Tortuga comes in and Nana beats him down as well.

Thoughts: Nana is back and getting a bit of a push. The character wasn’t too bad but he sucked in the ring.

Spanish Announce Team vs. Mikey Whipwreck & Dixie w/ Special K

Match starts with Joel and Whipwreck in a sloppy sequence that included a botched tilt-a-whirl headscissors spot. Dixie gets hit with a double team move as the match breaks down. The SAT’s put Whipwreck in the Taffy Machine as this match seems to be under tornado rules. Whipwreck & Dixie are now in control and hitting all sorts of double team moves as the crowd is out of this match. And with good reason. The crowd wakes up with Joel hits Dixie with the Maximo Explosion onto the apron that looked brutal. Whipwreck takes everyone out with a senton then the action goes back inside as Joel hits Dixie with four powerbombs as the crowd is numb to this match. The match breaks down again then Jose hits a swinging DDT on Dixie, who was on Joel’s shoulders, then covers for the win (10:38) *1/4.

Thoughts: Just way too many big moves without a shred of psychology. Plus, a lot of the moves looked awful.

After the match, Special K takes out the SAT’s. Then the Carnage Crew run in and beat down Whipwreck, who fights back, but ends up eating a super kick from Justin Credible. After that, DeVito grabs the mic and announces that Credible is the newest member of the Carnage Crew.

Paul London vs. AJ Styles w/ Alexis Laree

These two start trading stuff on the mat as the fans are doing the duel chant bit. They fight over a test of strength then after that London offers a handshake that AJ declines. They now have a fast-paced sequence that ends in a standoff as the fans applaud. AJ hits a springboard dropkick but misses a pescado. London takes AJ down with a baseball slide but AJ sends him into the guardrail. London stops short of the guardrail then sends a charging AJ into it with a drop toehold then acts heelish as he uses boot scrapes. AJ leaps over the guardrail on a Irish whip but London blocks a super kick then slams AJs leg off of the guardrail. AJ then blocks London after he tried to springboard and takes it into the ring as London sells his shoulder. In the ring, AJ gets two with a neckbreaker as he is selling his own leg. London gets drilled with an enziguiri but London held on to AJ’s other leg and refused to let go then took him down with a vicious Dragon Screw. London works the injured leg of AJ, who comes back and hits London with a brainbuster after a reversal sequence. London gets up and starts viciously attacking AJ’s leg. He slingshots in with a leg drop onto AJ’s leg for two then applies a leg lock. They get up and slug it out until AJ murders London with a clothesline. My god that was brutal. AJ gets two with a powerbomb but London goes back to work on the leg. AJ ducks a diving attack then hits London with the Phenomenon for two. He gets up and limps before placing London on top. Both men are fighting on top until London takes AJ off with a gordbuster then hits the London Calling right on the leg of AJ. London tries a figure four but AJ turns that into a small package. London successfully puts on the hold this time as AJ struggles but eventually reaches the ropes. London places AJ up top but gets shoved off. London hits AJ and goes up again but gets knocked back down. Again, London heads up top and gets knocked down and tries and fails to take AJ off with a headscissors then gets taken down with a sunset powerbomb. AJ hits the Styles Clash but London was able to kick out. AJ then tries a German Suplex and the referee counts to three but then we learn that each guy had both of their shoulders on the mat and the match is ruled a draw (24:23) ****1/2. The crowd starts a “five more minutes” chant as after each guy stands they stare at each other for a few minutes before shaking hands.

Thoughts: A MOTYC for sure. These two were some of the best in America at this point and this match did not disappoint. The finish was a bit lame and a time limit draw would have seemed better I think but the commentators made sense of it by saying how AJ’s leg gave up because of the abuse he took during the match. Another thing is that AJ was not going to lose cleanly as the NWA-TNA Champion and London needed to be the #1 Contender.

Samoa Joe & Michael Shane & CW Anderson vs. Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan & Danny Maff

The stipulation here is that the losing team must disband. Shane and Daniels start off the match going back and forth and that ends in a standoff. Maff and Anderson trade chops for a while then end in a stalemate, only to have a slap battle. Joe and Morgan are in as Joe works the neck. Daniels and Shane are in as Daniels beats on him in the corner as the Prophecy neutralize Shane. Joe makes the tag and beats on Morgan then has Anderson come in so they can use double-team moves. Anderson is in and hits an armbreaker as he targets that for a while. Morgan comes back with a powerbomb and tags Maff, who cleans house. The crowd has no idea who to cheer for so they are quiet. To be fair to them, this feud has not been very well built and part of that is most of these guys are in Japan or wrestling elsewhere. Hell, Corino is the leader and not even here. Shane hits a tornado DDT for a nearfall on Maff after a top rope X Factor. Maff dodges a corner attack then hits Shane with a cannonball but Anderson takes him out with a super kick. Joe takes Maff outside as the ref is distracted and sits him down as he hits a running knee strike. Maff takes a beating then comes back with an German suplex on Shane that gets the crowd into the match. Maff tags Daniels, who runs wild as the crowd is into him a lot here. Daniels hits Anderson with an STO then gets two with the Best Moonsault Ever. Anderson comes back with a left hand then tags Joe who gets a nearfall. Morgan tags and Joe gets the best of him for a bit. Anderson tags and hits Morgan with a superplex then Shane comes off of the top with an elbow drop but Daniels comes off the top and hits Anderson then they make double covers until Joe and Maff make the save. The match completely break down as Daniels and Shane go back and forth which leads to a lot of big moves that result in nearfalls as people keep running in for the save. Maff and Joe are in the ring as they escape from each other’s finishers then Maff cradles Joe and gets the upset win (20:51) ***.

Thoughts: Solid action but the finish came out of nowhere. Plus, this feud was not that hot as the leader of the Group, Corino, barely appeared in RoH at this time and was not even present here. This was the last of Shane, Morgan, and Anderson in RoH too.

Backstage, the Prophecy are gloating as Daniels tells the Group that they dropped the ball. After that, Raven tries to recruit Daniels as his partner to face Punk & Cabana. Daniels appreciates Raven compliments then agrees to be his partner.

Joe is backstage as he tells Maff that he has his shot against the champion on 6/28.

Special K demands the lighting guy turn off the lights so they can party and he says no until Slugger intimidates him. As they party, the Carnage Crew toss them around and say that they will be more angry and violent and as a result, will kick more ass. Credible then yells about using two years of anger from being “held back” as motivation kick ass.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad show. You had a MOTYC and the Raven/Punk feud is still going well. The Group/Prophecy feud kinda sucked and now that it ended they can focus on something else. The only complaints are the constant scramble matches that are getting tiresome to watch and the pure wrestling stuff is not exciting at all. But overall, the company is going in the right direction.

Ring of Honor Do or Die May 31st, 2003

May 31, 2003

From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Chris Levy and CM Punk

Homicide is with Julius Smokes as he cuts a promo about how ten years ago he was a fuck up by selling drugs and even pissed away his chance at a football scholarship from Miami University but when he gave birth to his son, he sacrificed everything to raise his son right and is putting everything on the line and declares that he will be the next RoH World Champion. Good stuff and the Homicide character in general has been built up well.

We now get a look at Deranged’s “R U Hizigh Cam” as he shows Special K partying in the locker room. They get sick of that then decide to head down to the ring but the production crew refuse to let them do so as they get pissed.

BJ Whitmer vs. Dan Maff w/ Allison Danger

Match starts with some back and forth action as Punk is asked about concussing Whitmer at the “Epic Encounter” show. Punk talks himself up as Maff chops Whitmer down. Whitmer comes back with an Exploder but Maff ducks outside to avoid a high knee. Whitmer follows Maff outside and roughs him as the fans start banging on the sheet metal RoH banners that have been placed on the guardrails for added noise. Back inside, Maff takes Whitmer down with an elbow smash then targets the back. Senton gets two as Whitmer’s hand is bloodied. Maff puts on a chinlock then takes Whitmer down with a clothesline. Punk is asked about competing in two matches tonight as Maff face washes Whitmer in the corner. Whitmer fights back but gets caught with a half nelson suplex. Maff calls for the Burning Hammer but Whitmer escapes and hits a German suplex as both men are down. Whitmer heads up top but Maff distracts the ref allowing Danger to cut him off. Maff then takes Whitmer on his shoulders and hits the Burning Hammer for the win (9:11) **1/2.

Thoughts: Decent match. Maff has come a long way since the beginning of RoH as he got himself into shape and is more than just a lame ECW knock-off type wrestler. Never really cared for Whitmer but he okay in the ring back then.

After the match, Julius Smokes comes out to confront Maff about turning his back on Homicide. Smokes then calls Maff a “Nigga” as Low Ki comes out with his arm in a sling due to an injury at the RoH/FWA “Frontiers of Honor” joint show. Maff ducks out as Ki grabs the mic and tells him to watch out. Ki then tells Smokes that he is in the ring with athletes, not thugs, as Smokes does a strut. Ki says that neither the “streets” or Smokes belong in RoH. Smokes takes off his shirt but Homicide comes in to stop a potential fight. Ki even takes off his sling then says that tonight is a very important night for Homicide and that he will become the new RoH World Champion. Trent Acid then runs in and kicks Homicide down from behind as we are told it is due to their feud in Japan.

We get clips of a match between Dunn & Marcos and Slugga & Hydro.

Tony Mamaluke vs. Jason Cross

Both guys were wrestling in TNA at the time. Cross had his Shooting Star Press leg drop finisher called the “Crossfire.” He looked like a miniature AJ Styles. And half of his talent too. Match starts with Mamaluke working the arm of Cross. Mamaluke gets taken off of the apron with a basement dropkick then Cross flies out with a corkscrew plancha. Cross then climbs back in only to hit Mamaluke with a somersault plancha and rolls him in for two. Mamaluke floats over and hits a Saito Suplex then follows that with a draping DDT that gets two. Mamaluke works on the neck for a bit then gets two with a Northern Lights suplex. Mamaluke locks on a Horse Collar off of a dragon screw but Cross comes back with an enziguiri. Cross gets two with a top rope corkscrew neckbreaker as Punk wonders why Cross isn’t hooking the leg on his pin attempts. Mamaluke then locks on a guillotine but Cross ends up suplexing him into the corner. Cross then hits a pair of brainbusters but only gets two. Another brainbuster gets two then Cross heads up top but misses the Crossfire as both men are down. Cross is up first and hits a Dragon Suplex then heads up top but Mamaluke shoves the ref into the ropes then takes Cross down with a superplex and locks on the Guillotine for the win (8:48) **1/4.

Thoughts: A lot of cool moves but there was no flow or even selling in this match. Mamaluke wasn’t that bad of a worker at all, really. He just had a terrible look.

Backstage, Rob Feinstein welcomes Iceberg, who has “RoH” spelled out on his forehead with thumbtacks. After Iceberg leaves, the Outkast Killaz come out and asks why they don’t get a spot as Feinstein offers Tortuga a chance to wrestle Iceberg and if he wins, he can tell Iceberg that he no longer wrestlers for the promotion.

Oman Tortuga w/ Diablo Santiago vs. Iceberg

Iceberg is a big, sloppy fat guy. Tortuga uses his speed to elude Iceberg at first but gets clotheslined. Iceberg hits a running powerslam for two as Levy tries to tell us that he is 600lbs. Iceberg hits a DDT for two as the crowd shits all over him. Tortuga avoids an Avalanche and hits a few strikes. He takes him down then stupidly tries a monkey flip but gets caught as Iceberg hits the Kryptonite Krunch then finishes him off with a senton (3:00) 1/4*. After the match the crowd starts a “don’t come back” chant aimed at Iceberg, who then hits Santiago with a suplex. Iceberg then pulls out what appears to be a prison shank but Dunn & Marcos run in for the save.

Thoughts: Iceberg would not return to RoH and did a few shows with TNA shortly after this as “Edward Chastain” as an associate of Don Callis. He sucked there too. Really nothing more to add other than this.

Highlights from the Alexis Laree vs. Persephonie match prior to the show.

Matt Stryker vs. Tom Carter

Punk is asked about wrestling Carter when he was “Reckless Youth” a while back. Match starts on the mat with neither guy gaining an advantage. The crowd starts a dueling chant as Carter works the arm. Punk talks about his opponents in the upcoming scramble match and looks down upon who use substances as Carter gets two with a senton. Dropkick gets two then Carter puts on a leg lock that eventually gets broken up. Carter puts on a chinlock as the announcers mention how Stryker has a pulled muscle in his ribcage. Stryker then catches Carter with a powerslam for two. Stryker gets a nearfall after some European uppercuts then puts on a chinlock. Carter breaks the hold but gets knocked off of the apron then Strykers takes him out with a plancha. Carter then hits Stryker with a half-assed DDT on the apron and drags him back into the ring. He climbs up top but Stryker climbs up and suplexes him off as both men are down. Punk leaves to get ready for his match then promises us a surprise as Ray Murrow replaces him. Stryker hits a leg lariat then fires up but gets hit with a brainbuster. Carter then hits a frog splash for two as both men are down. They both get up and engage in a pinfall reversal sequence that the crowd applauds as they are both down on the mat due to exhaustion. Stryker hits a Death Valley Driver after rolling through a crucifix attempt by Carter but only gets two as the crowd goes back to the dueling chants. Stryker places Carter up top for a Death Calley Driver but Carter counters hit to an inverted DDT in midair and that gets two as the crowd goes nuts. Carter takes him down with a dragon screw then locks on an inverted Texas Cloverleaf but Stryker is able to reach the ropes. Carter tries a shinbreaker but Stryker floats over for a sunset flip then Carter locks on the inverted Texas Cloverleaf but Stryker reverses that with a rollup and gets the win (18:23) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Awesome match. Carter reinventing himself as a more mat-based wrestler was something else. Stryker was a solid worker as well but his height and unibrow were not doing him any favors as far as having a chance to get a decent gig.

After the match, Carter refuses to shake hands so Gary Michael Cappetta tries to get him to do that but Carter grabs the mic and says that Stryker beat him with a cheap pin and almost beat him by submission then says that he is the former “King of the Independents,” Recklesss Youth and how the other “marks” in the locker room copied his junior heavyweight style. Carter says he was cheated out of his submission victory and lets everyone from “smart marks” to the workers that he will reinvent “pure” wrestling  and challenges Stryker to a “tapout” match. Stryker grabs the mic and says that he is now in the “Top 5” rankings and accepts the challenge but only if Carter shakes his hand. Allison Danger comes out and we can barely hear her but she offers Carter a spot in the Prophecy but Carter instead shakes Stryker’s hand to set up their match. Carter was not very good on the mic and the segment died as a result. But the pure wrestling comment would play into RoH as the year developed.

Right after the introductions for the scramble match, Samoa Joe, wearing his “Ribera Steakhouse” jacket, is backstage talking to Gary Michael Cappetta and tells him that a thug like Homicide is not going to take his table then gives Cappetta a scoop as he makes the cameraman follow him into the Prophecy’s locker room as Joe then beats down Maff as Cappetta screams for someone to help.

Scramble Match
Izzy & Dixie  w/Slugga vs. Carnage Crew vs. CM Punk & Colt Cabana w/ Lucy vs. The Briscoes

The match is joined in progress with Jay and Cabana going back and forth. They didn’t work all that well together. Jay takes him off of the ring with a stunner then hits him with a pescado. In the ring, Devito drops Dixie with a clothesline but eventually comes back with a swinging DDT. Dixie charges and gets sent into the corner with a suplex. The match breaks down with one member of each team in the ring until the Carnage Crew takes control until Izzy takes them both down with a moonsault kick. Izzy hits Mark with the Sliced Bread #2 after a reversal sequence but that just gets two. Mark comes back with an Exploder then CM Punk comes in as the fans boo but the match breaks down and is just a clusterfuck as it develops into an awful choreographed dive spot. Holy shit was that bad and the crowd was silent the entire time. Izzy goes up to Punk and motions that they should share a join and gets clotheslined as a result. Jay and Punk have an intense forearm exchange then the match breaks down again as Punk and Cabana are now in control. Izzy botches a top rope move as this match is just the shits right now. Levy covering for him by playing up the drug gimmick was a nice crush. Cabana puts Izzy on his shoulders but as Punk comes off the top with a dropkick, Izzy takes Cabana down with a rana that plants him on his head. Devito beats on Punk then the match breaks down with the Briscoes and the Carnage Crew  go back and forth in the only decent segment so far this match. The crowd starts a chant for the Briscoes but the Carnage crew regains control. They try to hit Izzy with the spike piledriver but Dixie breaks that up and that triggers a dive sequence. Punk then cuts Izzy off of the top rope as Cabana hits Dixie with the Colt 45, Punk comes off the top and hits Izzy with the Pepsi Plunge right on his partner and gets the win (11:05) *1/2.

Thoughts: Way too long and disorganized. Izzy was horrendous out there too but other than that everyone else just blended in together. The crowd was hot for the Briscoe Brothers though.

After the match, Punk grabs the mic and declares Izzy & Dixie the first two casualties of his revolution and shakes their hands as the lay on the mat to tell them that “Straight edge means that I am better than you.” Punk the rips into the Philly crowd by calling them weak for depending on substances then rips into Raven. Cabana then stops Punk as he goes on a tirade and gets Lucy to join him in his own revolution. Cabana then asks Lucy to be his girlfriend but she said that she can’t. Punk was awesome here and had the crowd in the palm of his hands. He always brought the goods on the mic.

Backstage, Cappetta is with BJ Whitmer, who is pissed over interference costing him a match tonight. Christopher Daniels then interrupts them to say that Maff had to be taken to the hospital. Daniels and Whitmer get into a very brief verbal altercation until Daniels tells Whitmer about the hypocrisy in RoH and when his luck changes, he will think about bringing him into the Prophecy. Daniels then wants Cappetta to tell Samoa Joe that he wants to fight him in an Empty Arena match after the show.

“Lone Wolf” Andy Anderson vs. John Walters

Anderson is from the IWA Puerto Rico promotion. He is from Canada and did a few dark matches for the WWE prior to this. Walters currently wrestles as RJ Brewer for Lucha Libre USA in a role that is a more extreme version of what Jack Swagger/Zeb Coulter were doing in the WWE. He also had the gimmick before them. Match starts with both guys fighting over a lockup. They then have a slap battle before going back and forth on the mat. Decent back and forth action here that gets a mild applause from the crowd as Punk joins on commentary to talk about how he won the scramble match and that the revolution has begun. Anderson hits Walters with an Alabama Slam and a delayed Falcon Arrow that gets two. Anderson is now chopping Walters in the corner but gets powerbombed off of the second rope after a reversal sequence. Walters works the leg until Anderson reaches the ropes but misses a top rope splash. Anderson comes back with a Splash Mountain but that only gets two. He tries it again but Walters floats over and that leads to Walters taking Anderson off of the top rope with a lungblower as both men are down. They get up and have a pinfall reversal sequence until Walters gets two with a DDT-type move. Both guys are now trading forearms then Anderson hits him with a helicopter slam for the win (6:45) **.

Thoughts: Decent action. This was Anderson’s only RoH match. He had a look of someone who the WWE would give a Developmental Deal to but that never happened. Walters looked fine as well and the crowd reacted to them favorably but seemed surprised by the finish, which was out of nowhere.

Jimmy Rave vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. CM Punk w/ Lucy vs. “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels w/ Allison Danger

This is the RoH debut of both Rave and Kazarian. Punk and Rave start things off. Rave is only 20 years old here too. They go back and forth then Punk gets angry and tags in Kazarian, who would make his TNA debut a few days after this match. Kazarian works the leg then they battle over the arm until Daniels tags himself in and goes right after Kazarian. The fans are into Daniels tonight. Kazarian comes back with a boot to the face and a neckbreaker that has Daniels run over and tag Rave. Kazarian catches Rave with a dropkick and acts cocky for a minute then they both collide in the ring. Punk and Daniels tag as the crowd goes nuts and chants for Daniels. They start by playing mind games as some of the crowd start a “CM Sucks” chant. Punk works the arm then grabs a headlock. They have a standoff after colliding then tell each other to tag out and that leads to a shoving match. They trade working the arm as Daniels grabs the advantage. Punk returns the favor and slaps Daniels in the back of the head, They continue to go back and forth until Rave tags Punk but get hit. Punk sends Daniels to the floor then Rave sends him out and flies off the top with a crossbody onto Daniels. Punk grabs him but Kazarian takes him out with a pescado. In the ring, there are a lot of quick tags as whenever some gets into trouble they tag out. Decent action during this sequence that lasts a few minutes until everyone is down. Rave takes down everyone with forearms then takes Punk down with a crossface after a tilt-a-whirl. Kazarian breaks that up but gets hit with a bridging back suplex. Rave then heads up top but Daniels cuts him off then headbutts him to the floor. Punk climbs up and takes Daniels off with a superplex and gets two with that. He hits Daniels with a backbreaker but Danger trips him up. Lucy returns the favor and trips up Daniels as the girls are in the ring with the fans going nuts. They are grab by the opposing guys then Punk and Daniels go back and forth until Kazarian kicks them both down. Slingshot leg drop onto Punk gets two. Punk comes back with a legsweep DDT but that only gets two. Kazarian hits a Novocaine but Daniels breaks that up. Kazarian comes back with an Ocean Cyclone Suplex on Daniels for two. Springboard leg drop gets two. Daniels comes back with an STO then shortly after that gets the win with the Last Rites (20:13) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match. The Punk/Daniels dynamic was fun. Rave and Kazarian, who would not return to RoH until this year, also shined. However, the beginning was slow and the match itself never seemed to get fully out of second gear.

After the match, Daniels grabs the mic and tells Kazarian that he saw him at the Super 8 Tournament and was very impressive. He tells Rave that he came back to show fire and heart and that is impressive. However, he tells Punk that it is time to talk and that they are from the same city and both know how to “kick ass” before telling a heckler in the crowd that if he wants shit from him, he will “scrape his tongue” then offers Punk a spot in the Prophecy. Punk grabs the mic and tells Daniels he sees the fear in him or his Second City Saint surpassing his guys and he will join the Prophecy only if he shakes his hand. The crowd starts with a “just say no” chant and Daniels fakes out Punk and says it is off as Punk tells him that somewhere down the life, he is a deadman and will be begging him to join the Second City Saints. Daniels then tells Punk he will “drop him like a bag of dirt” in a singles match. Another tease of a stable feud.

Slim J & Jody Fleisch vs. Backseat Boyz

Fleisch and Acid start off with a really fast-paced exchange of moves. Acid looked pretty good there and could go before drugs completely ruined his ability. They have a faster and sloppier “martial arts” sequence that ends in a standoff/ They tag out as Kashmere and the recently turned 18 years of age Slim J are now in the ring. Kashmere makes short work of him then Fleisch tags back in and works the arm until he match breaks down. The Backseat Boyz take down Slim J with a powerbomb/neckberaker combo then dive out and hit everyone, including Lit and Hydro. The Backseat Boyz take control in the ring as Acid beats the piss out of Slim J until Flesich comes in and they nearly break Acid’s neck with a double-team move. Fleisch gets two with a crossbody then a standing SSP. Fleisch completely botches his 720 DDT then puts Acid on top but he gets shoved and Acid almost falls off as they botch another spot as this match is falling apart. Acid takes Fleisch of top with a reverse hurricarana as both men are down. Both men tag out but it is Kashmere who runs wild. Acid recovers as the hit Slim J with the Dream Sequence but Fleisch breaks that up. Slim hits Kashmere with a terrible springboard inverted DDT and that leads to a lot of sloppy highspots. It’s amateur hour now, folks. Crowd is out of the match completely as Dixie and Hydro help up their guys as the camera follows them going out in the crowd but the camerawork is awful. Slim J and Fleisch wheel out a scaffold and climb up as the rest of Special K bring over the Backseat Boyz and they stereo Moonsaults as the crowd goes nuts. Well, that was quite the visual. Slugger carries Acid to the ring and Slim covers but Acid was able to kick out. Fleisch is selling his knee and needs to be held up and fails to climb up top. Slim heads up top now but Acid cuts him off and Kashmere climbs up and they both hit Slim with the T Gimmick for the win (15:50) *3/4.

Thoughts: The match started off okay but it just fell apart due to a plethora of botched spots. This would be the last of Fleisch in RoH until 2006 and he left wrestling altogether for a few years due to injuries and “personal issues” according to Wikipedia. The scaffold spot was insane though. Fleisch may have very well been injured on that.

RoH World Championship Match
Homicide w/ Julius Smokes vs. Samoa Joe

This match gets the boxing-style ring introductions. Both guys have an intense staredown during the handshake. This is now referred to as the “World” title as it was defended in England a few weeks prior at the Frontiers of Honor Show. Joe works the arm to start then they go back and forth on the mat. Homicide hits a few kicks then hits him with crossfaces on the mat until Joe reaches the ropes. Homicide hits a flying forearm that Joe no-sells but Homicide pokes him in the eye and then takes him down in the corner. Joe catches him with an uranage that flattens him as Joe is now in control as he lays in a bunch of stiff strikes. Homicide comes back with an T-Bone suplex that has Joe roll outside. Homicide flies out with a tope but Joe shoves him into the guardrail and the sheet metal makes it sound deadly. Joe then hits Homicide with a belly-to-belly on the floor in a sick move. Joe boots Homicide off of a chair and the fans chant him to do it one more time and he does as Homicide looks dead as his head went through the metal. Great visual. In the ring, Homicide is busted open as Joe hits rolling German suplexes as Smokes yells at Homicide to get up. They are now trading slaps as Homicide fights back and eventually hits a swinging DDT. Joe rolls outside and Homicide follows him out as Smokes pulls out a table from underneath the ring and lays it against he guardrail. Joe is in front of the table as Homicide goes inside and flies out with a tope as Joe smashes through the table. He rolls Joe inside and gets two as Joe looks dead. Joe ducks a backfist and flattens Homicide with a powerbomb then locks on the Coquina Clutch. The crowd goes nuts as Low Ki comes out with his arm in a sling and yells at Homicide to start fighting. Homicide reverses the hold and has Joe in a STF. Joe reaches the ropes and is able to knee down Homicide then yells “fuck you” to Ki. Joe destroys Homicide with a knee smash as Ki continues to yell at him. Homicide just beats the standing ten count on that. Ki yells at Homicide that it is his time and fires him up as Homicide gets up and floats over Joe and hits a suplex as the crowd goes mental. Homicide hits an Ace Crusher then hits a double stomp from the top that gets two. Homicide boots Joe in the face a few times then hits a brainbuster that looked deadly. Joe rolls outside and is on the floor as a few referees are checking on Joe. Homicide then comes out and rolls Joe in the ring as the match will continue. Homicide hits a few more kicks as Ki but Joe is getting back into the match. Homicide places Joe up top as Ki and Smokes are yelling at each other. Homicide is distracted as Joe picks him up and hits a Super Muscle Buster for the win (18:16) ****. After the match, Homicide is helped to his feet by Rob Feinstein and Ki as he is distraught over losing the match.

Thoughts: Great stuff. The story of Homicide needing to win so he can provide for his kid and not be a thug was done to perfection. The crowd was into him a lot as well. The match itself was good but the backstory made it better. The finishing move was sick.

Joe is in the locker room and says that the RoH World Championship is the only belt that means anything anymore because its guys who live and die for wrestling and put it all for the line. The camera zooms in on his swollen eye and says that it means nothing as he is still the champ. He tells Daniels that he started the war and will do whatever it takes to finish it before kissing his belt.

Daniels is shown in the empty arena and sees Joe as he runs in and spears him down. Danger yells at them to stop as dozen or so guys run in to break it up. Then in the back, Daniels challenges Corino’s group to a six-man tag at “Night of the Grudges.”

Final Thoughts: Solid show. Not the best for wrestling but they are starting to put together solid storylines and build intriguing characters. Sure, not all of them worked and the scramble matches format was starting to wear thin and some of the characters (Special K) seemed to serve no purpose at all. But, Punk was coming into his own and Joe was starting an impressive reign as Champion so the positives were outweighing the negatives.

Bad Ring Gear

Hey Scott:

Just finished watching the latest episode of Lucha Underground, which continues to be entertaining (although the commentary could definitely use some work. Anyway, the main event between Big Ryck and Prince Puma was a fine wrestling match, which was marred for me by Ryck's awful middle aged dad gym shorts. He's worn them in two matches now, so apparently that is his look? It's neither threatening or cool looking. 

Anyway, thoughts on bad ring gear? Who had the worst? Any guilty pleasures? Am I the only one who gets annoyed by this when watching a match?

Probably not.  I remember that dude Sam Shaw in TNA wearing basically gym shorts and sneakers as his gear, which looked low rent even by TNA standards.  That was pretty bad.  I always hated IRS and his dress shirts, which immediately got drenched in sweat, not to mention that opponents should just choke him out with his tie.  That's probably the worst ever.  Big Bossman 2.0 and his riot gear seemed like it would be horribly uncomfortable to work in.  And of course we can't talk about bad gear without bringing up Naked Mideon.

As far as guilty pleasures, I always liked Shane and his custom made shirts, which gave the aura of a regular guy being a wrestler for fun.  

Brass ring?

So Vince goes on about nobody in the current era (aside Cena of course) going for the "brass ring".  But then we have the blatant examples of Zack Ryder who made himself into the most over guy in the world and was promptly crushed because… ?   Daniel Bryan turned a one-word catch phrase into a movement without any help from upper management and Punk before them.  Cesaro even got himself over by sheer force with the swing and his balls were promptly cut off after Wrestlemania.  Imagine if Austin spent months on Raw jobbing and getting beaten down after his KOTR speech.  Or HHH reforming DX then being left off the next 3 ppvs?   Why doesn't anyone (Austin, HHH) point this out to Vince?   You grab the brass ring, you're reward is getting jobbed out and humiliated until the crowd learns not to "like" you, then it's your fault
​I think in a more general sense that there's no "brass ring" to grab anymore.  The system is specifically engineered to make the brand a bigger deal than the individual guys, and the 50/50 booking means that even if you start to get over as a big deal (Dean Ambrose) you're just going to be used to attempt to make someone else a big deal as well (Bray Wyatt).  And then neither person is a big deal.  This is decidedly the WCW booking philosophy and part of what killed the product for them.  The only exception is Roman Reigns, where they've already decided in advance that he's going to be The Guy​ and so none of the rules apply to him and he gets to bypass all the same criticisms thrown at Cesaro (can't talk, doesn't connect with the fans).  So then they don't bother to make anyone else and if Reigns gets injured, we get four god-awful boring months of bullshit like we're stuck in now.  Oh, and you also get shows like Hell in a Cell, which did 20,000 buys.  That's TNA numbers.  And if their plan to have Brock turn Reigns into the big star at Wrestlemania doesn't work, then what?  Cena v. Orton again?  
Sadly, probably yes.  

Ring of Honor Retribution: Round Robin Challenge II April 26th, 2003

April 26, 2003

From the Allegheny County Community College in West Mifflin, PA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

The Prophecy are backstage as Daniels says that tonight is their right of retribution. Donovan Morgan is finally back and says it is not his fault he has a job in Japan and blames RoH for punishing them because they are successful. Allison Danger makes fun of Corino for being a bed-wetter at age fourteen as Daniels brings out the former Mafia as their enforcer who will now go by Danny Maff, who comes out and cuts a promo about the Code of Honor getting him straight to the midcard but with the Prophecy, he will make his name.

Round Robin Match
Amazing Red vs. “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels w/ Allison Danger & Danny Maff

We learn here that the Round Robin Challenge will consist of Daniels, Red, and Paul London. The match starts off with Daniels overpowering Red. Daniels gets a bit cocky then Red comes back with an armdrag and a headscissor takeover. Daniels ducks outside for a breather then Red slingshots out and takes Daniels down with a hurricarana. Red roughs up Daniels then the action heads back into the ring where Red runs into a clothesline. Daniels hits a move similar to the Eye of the Hurricane that gets two then he continues to target the neck. Standing dropkick gets two. Red is able to land on his feet after a German Suplex attempt and dropkicks Daniels in the leg. He gets a nearfall with a La Magistral cradle and a botched rana. Red hits a springboard swinging STO for two but in another sloppy sequence Daniels blocks a rana attempt and takes Red down with an enziguiri then works a neck vise. He catches Red with a sleeper but is able to eventually break it up with a jawbreaker. He then hits Daniels with a float over inverted DDT as both men are down. Red hits the 718 then gets two with a springboard rana. Red connects with a few different kicks but gets caught with an STO. Daniels drags Red a bit closer then hits the Best Moonsault Ever but that only gets two. Red cuts off Daniels from the top and takes him down with a rana that gets two. Code Red gets two as these two are not on the same page tonight. Red heads up top but Daniels pushes the ref into the ropes and Red falls down, allowing Daniels to hit him with the Last Rites for the win (11:08) **1/4.

Thoughts: Really disappointing as these two did not appear on the same page and Red was really sloppy tonight.

Da Hit Squad w/ Allison Danger vs. Colt Cabana & Ace Steel

Cabana acts all goofy then hits Mack with a few forearms while asking if that was “stiff” then gets knocked down and sells it in an over exaggerated manner. Cabana is what I call a “rec center guy,” meaning he should only be wrestling in rec centers in front of 350 fans at most. Mack roughs up Cabana, who is doing a lot of awful comedy here. Maff tags and catches Steel with a leg lariat then orders Mack on the apron as he chops Steel. He misses a senton as Steel fires back. Maff catches him and hits a Dragon Suplex before tagging Mack as they hit a double press slam then they use quick tags to neutralize Steel. Maff and Steel trade slaps and chops for a while as Maff wins that then attacks Steel in the corner. Steel ducks a big boot as Maff’s foot is caught on the ropes and tags Cabana as they hit repeated charging attacks. Maff is able to make the tag as Mack catches Cabana with a powerslam and an Orange Crush that gets two. He hits Steel with a neckbreaker then kills him with a lariat. Steel is down in the corner and they set up for the cannonball but Steel moved out of the way and Steel catches Maff with a tornado DDT then Cabana and Mack fight on the top and he and Steel end up hitting him with a Colt 45 for the win (8:13) *3/4. After the match, Maff is pissed but Danger is able to talk him down and remind him about how he is in the Prophecy.

Thoughts: The comedy stuff with Cabana at the beginning was garbage but this got better towards the end. This was Mack’s last match for RoH as Maff stayed on for a few years. When Da Hit Squad first started, they were tough to tell apart but as the year went on, Maff got himself into better shape while Mack got even fatter. Cabana’s comedy stuff was terrible and Steel is one of my least favorite wrestlers.

Before the show, Dunn & Marcos cut a promo then the Outkast Killaz want to but the camera man says he doesn’t have the time so Diablo said that they have a catchphrase and first copy the “Rock You Like a Hurricane” phrase then Oman Tortuga gets serious and calls out the other teams. Seems like the Outkast Killaz will be getting involved with something soon.

Scramble Match
Dunn & Marcos vs. Hydro & Brian XL vs. EZ Money & Sterling James Keenan vs. SAT’s

Keenan is the current Corey Graves, who dresses like he is part of MNM here. To his credit, Graves had the look before they came around. He is quite skinny here too. The match starts with Money and Dunn going at it until Money sends Dunn into the ropes with a monkey flip. Marcos comes in as Money roughs him up but he spills outside and Hydro flies out with a tope. The action is too fast for play-by-play and Joel and Brian work a terrible sequence, which is sadly expected. The match breaks down as Brian ends up in the front row with a tope. Back in the ring, there are all sorts of dives with nothing standing out until the crowd cheers for a move where Money picked up Brian XL on his shoulders from the tope, who had Jose Maximo in a bodyslam position, then flips them off of his shoulders. Angel Dust comes off of the top behind the ref’s back and hits a blockbuster on Money. Everyone else trades all sorts of high impact moves with other Special K guys interfering until EZ dives to the floor instead of taking care of Marcos then the SAT’s climb up and hit the SAT on Marcos for the win (9:11) *1/2. After the match, Slugger beats up the SAT’s then the other huge, unidentified black man goes after Hydro but Slugger steps in between and stares him down and as the guy fends off one attack, Angel  Dust kicks him low and Slugger slams him down.

Thoughts: No one stood out and the novelty of these scramble matches were really wearing thin. The fact they all seemed to involve the same people was not helping matters either.

CM Punk heads to the ring as some jabroni is sitting in the corner acting like Raven. The guy gets into Punk’s face until Daffney of WCW fame runs in and takes him down. Punk then introduces her as “Lucy” before telling the crowd he is better than them.

#1 Contender’s Trophy Match
CM Punk w/ Lucy vs. Homicide w/ Julius Smokes

Homicide tries to slap on the STF at the start but Punk is able to reach the ropes. Homicide gets the best of Punk then they trade all sorts of moves at a rapid pace that ends in a stand off. Homicide takes control as he boots Punk in the face. Punk takes control with a shining wizard then flies out to take Homicide down with a tope. Back inside, Punk catches Homicide with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker then Lucy interferes and screams a lot while cheering for Punk. Pumphandle backbreaker gets two. Homicide regains control and starts kicking away before putting Punk in a surfboard. Punk escapes and is able to put Homicide in a STF. After a few reversals, Punk hits a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Homicide kicks Punk out of the ring then takes Punk out with a tope con hilo that pinned him against the guardrail. They go back and forth outside until Punk catches Homicide with an overhead suplex. Smokes tries to fire up Homicide as he rolls back into the ring. Homicide catches Punk with a low blow then drops him on his head with a German Suplex for two. They head up top as Homicide gets two with a hurricarana. Punk dodges a charge then takes Homicide off of the top rope with a Pepsi Plunge but Homicide is able to kick out as the fans go crazy with Punk completely shocked. Homicide then catches Punk with an Ace Crusher then gets two with a lariat. So much for selling the move. He then drops Punk on his head then tries for the Cop Killer but Punk flips out of the move and after a few revesals, Punk hits a Death Valley Driver but that only gets two as Homicide got his foot on the ropes. He hits an enziguiri but Homicide then reverses a move and locks on an STF as Punk taps (15:29) **1/2.

Thoughts: First, the crowd reaction for this match was awesome. The story of Homicide trying to win the belt to provide for his family because its all he has and he does not want to go back to his violent past was great. The announcers sold it well on commentary too. Punk was a great heel here too and the fans hated him. However, the match itself was pretty bad. There was no selling and just a bunch of moves without purpose. The fact that Homicide kicked out of the Super Pepsi Plunge and went right on offense was just ridiculous. If the storytelling in the match that even close to compelling as Homicide’s angle, this could have been a classic.

No Disqualification Match
Carnage Crew & Masada vs. Hotstuff Hernandez & Fast Eddie & Don Juan w/ Rudy Boy Gonzalez

Before the match, the Carnage Crew run down Rudy Boy. The Crew bring weapons into the ring but the Texas Academy guys use them to their advantage then the match breaks down. Masada takes an unprotected chair shot from Juan then smashes his head off of the chair in a nasty spot that busts open the bavk of his head. Eddie flies across the ring with a somersault Van Terminator. In the ring, Hernandez no sells some of DeVito’s offense and outside of it, the camera shows the back of Loc’s head which is soaked in blood. Jesus Christ. Hernandez tosses DeVito across the ring as the announcers talking about actually being able to soak up the blood. Just about everyone is bleeding as they brawl all over the place as Masada takes Juan off of the top with a Death Valley Driver. He heads back up top but Eddie cuts him off and takes him off with a hurricarana that sends Masada through a pair of chairs on the floor. Hernandez then picks up Eddie and tosses him over the top as he takes out the Carnage Crew. Loc’s neck is completely covered in blood. DeVito then whacks Hernandez with a chair on a tope attempt. In the ring, the Carnage Crew hit Eddie with the Carnageplex then after Loc wipes his blood on Eddie, they hit him with the Super Spiked Piledriver for the win (9:13) **3/4. After the match, the Carnage Crew beat the shit out of Scott from Tough Enough 3 until they get run off by Rudy Boy.

Thoughts: An entertaining garbage match. Tons of blood in this one so you “juice freaks” out there would enjoy this a lot.

Round Robin Challenge Match
Paul London (0-0) vs. Amazing Red (0-1)

The announcers bring up how London was pissed at Red for taking his spot when he was hurt as AJ Styles’ teammate. The match starts on the mat with neither guy gaining an advantage. They trade counters then Red hits London with a tornado DDT. London fights back and hits Red with a top rope knee smash that gets two. He hits a spinning heel kick then gets two with a dropsault. Powerbomb gets two. London is acting heelish here tonight as he is a lot more aggressive than usual. Red fights back with a few kicks as London ducks outside. Red and London try to outsmart each other but London catches Red off of the apron and drops him on the guardrail. London then mentions how he is bleeding as he rolls Red back inside then gets two with a slingshot senton. He hits rolling double underhook suplexes then turns it into a submission hold. He boots Red in the face and tries a delayed vertical suplex but Red turns that into a small package for a nearfall. They trade punches and Red ends up getting two with a German Suplex that dropped London on his head. Red tries to slingshot in with a sunset flip but London turns that into a Northern Lights Suplex for two. London mocks AJ Styles but misses a corner attack then Red ends up hitting a Super Code Red for two. Red fires away then gets two with the Red Star Press. He tries a springboard rana but London catches him with a powerbomb then picks him up and hits the Styles Clash for the win (10:11) ***. They shake hands after the match.

Thoughts: Much better than the first Round Robin match but it was clear that Red was not in the same class as London and Daniels. London was the heel here too and did a good job as they are continuing his story with AJ Styles when he was pissed that Red replaced him as his partner when London was in the hospital.

Backstage, Gary Michael Cappetta is with Matt Stryker. He asks Stryker about his four way match tonight against Chad Collyer, BJ Whitmer, and Donovan Morgan. Stryker cuts a dull face promo until Collyer interrupts and talks about how he will make him tap for the third time. Stryker cuts an even worse promo in response to that. Cappetta leaves then runs into Michael Shane and Simply Luscious. Shane says that he will get camera tonight as he does not have a match but promise they will be in the ring tonight. Shane’s stock has dipped a lot in RoH.

Persephone vs. Alexis Laree

I have no idea who Persephone is but she is noticeably bigger than Laree. They take it to the mat and Laree gains the advantage. She hits a basement dropkick then gets a rollup for two. They have an exchange of chops until Persephone hits a neckbreaker. Laree fights out of a chinlock but Persephone yanks her down by the hair. Persephone stays on the attack as she targets the back and neck. Laree fights back after kicking Persephone in the face after she ducked her head. Missile dropkick gets two. Persephone works over Laree in the corner and tries a DDT but Laree escapes and ends up hitting an inverted DDT for the win (5:23) *1/4. After the match, Shane and Luscious run in as Luscious hits both girls with Death Valley Drivers. Shane sits in a chair in the ring as Cappetta runs in and gets run off.

Thoughts: Better than any other women’s match in RoH to date but still not that good. Laree became a much better worker later on and Persephone seemed okay. Without an official women’s division, these matches were meaningless.

The Second City Saints backstage. Punk talks about being discriminated against at an early age for not using drugs and alcohol and says that his life was a war. He then runs down Raven before bringing out Lucy. The promo wraps, and Punk was great, then when it ends, the others are fucking around as Punk is frustrated. Too often here the leader of the stable is serious while the rest are just fucking around. Makes them seem all weak and that was what made the Prophecy look pathetic at the beginning.

Michael Shane w/ Simply Luscious vs. Matt Stryker vs. Chad Collyer vs. Donovan Morgan vs. BJ Whitmer

Shane apparently booked himself into this match according to the announcers. Shane tags Whitmer instead of facing off against Morgan to keep the Prophecy vs. Corino stable feud going. Whitmer and Morgan go back and forth in a solid sequence. Shane tags Whitmer blindly as he thought Morgan was hurt but runs into a hiptoss. Shane scurries out after tagging Stryker then Morgan spits at him and runs out to attack Shane. He goes after Luscious when she interferes but Stryker attacks him from behind. In the ring, Collyer tags in and works an intense mat sequence with Stryker that ends in a standoff. Stryker takes control then tags Whitmer, who puts the boots to Collyer. Morgan tags and suplexes Whitmer around. Stryker tags back in and grounds Morgan with a headlock. Lots of quick tags follow until Shane tags himself in and unloads on Collyer in the corner. Shane really did throw a great worked punch. Collyer comes back with a few rollups but Shane chop blocks him then works the leg. The other guys all tag each other and work over the leg of Collyer with Shane tagging himself in and breaking up submission holds when needed. Shane misses a kneedrop then Collyer takes him down with an enziguiri before tagging Morgan, who goes right after Shane. He beats on him for a minute until Shane hits an enziguiri then tags Whitmer. Morgan hits Whitmer with the Sayonara after a reversal sequence but Shane breaks up the pin with a super kick. Collyer and Stryker are in the ring and go back and forth until Collyer puts him in the Texas Cloverleaf until Shane breaks it up with a super kick. The guys trade off moves until Stryker rolls through a rollup then locks on the Stryker Lock as Collyer eventually taps out as Stryker gets the win (19:11) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Solid match. Also, unlike the other random multi-person matches in RoH, this one actually had some storylines going on as you had Shane and Morgan feuding as part of two different stables to go along with the Collyer/Stryker feud as Stryker finally made Collyer tap.

Round Robin Challenge
“Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels (1-0) w/ Simply Luscious vs. Paul London (1-0)

Daniels stalls to begin the match but London returns the favor as they are playing mind games with London basically copying Daniels and fucking around. They finally get to the action and trade arm wringers until London cradles him for a nearfall. Daniels ducks outside for a breather then grabs the mic and tells London he is going to kick his ass as he is mad at London for not taking the match seriously. London then slips outside and grabs the mic as he tells Daniels he should shake hands if he is serious about the match. In the ring, Daniels extends his hand but it was a trap as Daniels boots him down. An Irish whip sequence ends with Daniels trying to skin the cat but London kicks him to the floor then follows out with a pescado. Back inside, London gets two with the dropsault after that he runs into a knee. Daniels targets the ribs of London and gets two with a gutbuster. London tries to fight back but Daniels puts him an abdominal stretch for a while. Daniels then misses a charge and London hits an enziguiri but Daniels comes right back with a dropkick to the ribs. London manages a quick rollup but Daniels sends him down with a clothesline then stretches out London on the mat. Daniels then hits London with the Angels Wings but London is just able to kick out as Daniels is in disbelief. He goes back on offense but London fights back then knocks him down with a springboard forearm smash as both men are down. London is up first and fires away. He hits an enziguiri and that gets two as London is still selling the ribs. He misses a double jump moonsault then Daniels whips London into the turnbuckle then slams him off the top rope for two. He misses the Best Moonsault Ever but is able to block a sunset flip and that leads to a rollup reversal sequence. London knocks down Daniels and heads up top. Daniels cuts him off but gets knocked off then London takes him off with a gordbuster and follows with the Shooting Star Press. London goes to cover but Danger distracts the ref by jumping up on the apron. London grabs Danger then sends Daniels over the top rope and takes them both to the floor. London flies out and hits Daniels with a tope then in the ring he gets two with a DDT. He tries another SSP but Daniels got his knees up as London is in agony. Daniels hits a Flatliner then hits the BME for the win (24:53) ****.

Thoughts: The match itself was very good but it was odd to see London, who had been acting like a heel all night, play the face in this match. The London/Styles storyline itself made sense but I never got why RoH wanted to make London a heel. The fans loved the guy and never wanted to boo him. Even when mocking Styles they did not seem to care much at all.

RoH Championship Match
Doug Williams vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)

The match starts with each guy going after the ankle. Williams works the arm for a bit then they use all sorts of counters and submission holds until they end in a stalemate. Joe takes the advantage with an enziguiri then chops away. Elbow drop gets two then Joe works the neck. Joe then face-washes Williams in the corner before getting two with a delayed brainbuster. Joe stays on the attack until Williams blocks a kick then takes him down with several knee smashes. Williams works the arm of Joe for a while as this match slows right down. Joe blocks a piledriver attempt but Williams turns it into an Octopus Hold until Joe reaches the ropes. Williams charges but Joe catches him with a Uranage then gets two with a German Suplex. Powerbomb gets two then Joe locks on the STF as the crowd rallies behind Williams. He breaks the hold then puts Joe in a cross armbreaker after ducking a clothesline. Williams targets the arm then heads up top and kneedrops the arm of Joe. Williams yells at the ref for breaking a submission hold then walks into an enziguiri. Joe gets two with a lariat then applies a chinlock. Williams escpaes and tries the Chaos Theory but Joe grabs Williams by the leg. Joe then knees Williams in the head repeatedly before putting him in the Coquina Clutch as Williams quickly taps out (11:46) **1/2. After the match, Morgan and Maff run in to attack Joe. Shane runs in and attacks Morgan but Daniels runs out and attacks him as the Prophecy has the 3-on-2 advantage. After laying them out, Daniels grabs the mic and says that the Prophecy made retribution tonight.

Thoughts: Disappointing match. It felt more like a midcard match instead of a title match and it lacked crowd heat. Plus, Williams’ mat based offense it not exactly the most exciting thing to watch.

We get a pretaped promo from the Carnage Crew as they run down the Briscoes for being kids, Special K for living off of their parents then CM Punk for not understanding why the drink to deal with their shitty jobs, ugly wives, and nagging kids. This is to hype their match at “Do or Die.” The Carnage Crew was a fine lower card tag gimmick for this company. Their promos were kinda funny too.

Backstage, the Prophecy are gloating  after laying out Shane and Joe. Daniels then puts himself over winning the Round Robin Challenge and being in the Top 5 rankings. He then tells Corino that he hope he is watching.

Joe shows off his broken nose and asks Daniels if he wants a war then tells Daniels that he will break him in half.

Final Thoughts: This was probably the most storyline driven RoH show to date. However, it lacked a big match and the Round Robin paled in comparison to last year. Also, the scramble tag matches are really getting tiresome to watch too. I’d recommend seeking out Daniels vs. London and that is all from this show as far as good matches are concerned. A lot of people love Punk/Homicide but I found that to be highly overrated for the reasons I explained above.

Here is my schedule for the next several days

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/6/86
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 12/7/86
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Raven, Volume 1
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/13/86
Saturday: RoH Frontiers of Honor 5/17/03