ROH 011 – Night Of The Butcher – 7th December 2002
Abdullah The Butcher in a Ring Of Honor ring? No wait, I can do better. Abdullah The Butcher in a Ring Of Honor MAIN EVENT? You couldn’t make this stuff up – he actually is. Never mind, even if it sucks (what am I talking about ‘if’? Have you seen Abby lately?), the rest of the card is pretty decent. There’s no Low Ki for a second show running, and also no Christopher Daniels. But there are debuts for a number of new talents, a new #1 contender will be crowned, and Xavier defends the ROH Title against AJ Styles. This show was originally scheduled for a different venue (Hamburg, PA) but, I’m guessing ticket sales were abysmal since we’re returning to the Murphy Rec in Philly. Jeff Gorman and Chris Lovey continue on commentary.
Da Hit Squad and Divine Storm leave the locker room. The Special K tools (complete with skanks) take over and start raving.
Michael Shane vows that 2003 will be an even better year for him than 2002 was. He’s ditched his lackey Bio-Hazard because he lost last show in Boston.
DHS and Divine Storm return to find the rave still on-going. The kids get shouted at.
Jeremy Lopez vs Michael Shane
If Shane wants to win a championship in 2003 he should probably round out the preceding year by winning a couple of matches. I’d say beating a guy who’s on his way out to do a six month tour in Japan would be a good start. This is Lopez’s last appearance before jetting off to Osaka-Pro. He did some decent stuff with Xavier at Scramble Madness but doesn’t look like he’ll set the world on fire. I don’t think he’s been back since this.
The start with a few basics as Lovey calls Michael Shane an asshole for like the 8th show running. It’s so basic Lopez works a full nelson (in the pre-Masterlock era when it got no heat). Four minutes in and Lopez gets 2 with a neckbreaker. Eventually Shane gets the advantage by raking the eyes like a scoundrel. There was a danger that this would almost get exciting so quickly Michael slows it down with a chinlock. Lopez crucifixes into a Crippler Crossface but by the time he has it they’re too close to the ropes. Canadian backbreaker by Shane gets 2. Chinlock again, although he brings some heel flair to it by grinning like a dick. Lopez rallies back with a generic babyface flurry then does that cool tornado double underhook DDT. Tiger Driver gets 2. Shane blocks the chickenwing DDT with SWEET SHANE MUSIC! Picture Perfect Elbow to the back gets the win at 10:54.
Rating – * – Man alive was that ever boring. Lopez has some decent spots but is a really bland talent that there’s no need to bring back. I give points to Michael Shane for bringing some semi-heelisms and a touch of psychology with the back finish but it’s nothing compared to what Jimmy Rave would go on to become.
SIDENOTE – production values for this promotion continue to get better with some excellent on-screen graphics on this release.
Colt Cabana vs CM Punk
This was booked at Unscripted when Cabana complained that CM Punk was booked by ROH and he wasn’t, despite the fact that they’re both Midwest stand-outs. These two are experienced as partners and opponents. This is Punk’s second ROH appearance after making his debut ahead of schedule (due to his surprisingly speedy recovery from a fractured skull), jobbing to Michael Shane in October.
The way they run the ropes together immediately shows the familiarity they have with each other. They duel armdrags and headlocks then go to a stand-off. Punk stands on Cabana’s shoulders out of a knucklelock to hit a rana. ROPE WALK ARMBREAKER! He got all the way across the ring – when was the last time Undertaker did that? A missile dropkick to the arm follows that. Punk goes for a running bootscrape and gets clotheslined to the floor. Colt flies with an ASAI MOONSAULT! He frog splashes the back for a 2. That’s set-up for the Colt 45. More obvious familiarity ensues in a nearfall stretch. Cabana blocks a tornado DDT and counters it with a tornado snap suplex. Punk flips out of the corner then nails a springboard crossbody. He gets 2 with a double underhook backbreaker (that’s Welcome to Chicago Motherf*cker). Colt catches Punk going to the top rope again for a CRADLE DDT! That’s followed up with a big clothesline. REVERSE RANA by Punk and both men are down. Kudos to Punk for selling the back whilst he’s flat out. Shining Wizard gets him 2. That was almost as bad as Jimmy Rave’s patented Crappy Wizard. Colt 45 blocked a couple of times but eventually Cabana does nail it. That gets him a win on debut at 12:28.
Rating – *** – That was a really good way to show off what both men are capable of. I’m sure it’s nothing more than an exhibition clipshow of things they do together (much like the 2/3 Falls match they’d have in August 2005) but it packed in fun spots, good psychology and a degree of familiarity that held it all together. Looking back they both seem pretty green, but that’s only because of how good they’d go on to become. Cabana in particular has come miles since this. I’d probably back this as their best ROH match. Not that the competition is that good – they didn’t work as opponents so frequently.
Gary Cappetta comes out for scoop duty. He announces that there will be a Punk/Cabana rematch at Final Battle 2002 – with an ROH contract (therefore plane ticket) on the line. Punk offers to give up the tickets and drive together so they can both be booked. Cabana isn’t so generous and wants the contract. That will lead to some tension I’d wager.
EZ Money vs Paul London
This is part of another one-night tournament dealy to crown a new #1 contender. The winner of this faces the winner of the Danielson/Collyer match for the trophy. Money impressed a few people in ECW, and continued the fine RFVideo tradition of ‘if you worked for ECW we’ll book you’ (even though ROH’s mantra seems to be getting away from the hardcore stuff). Paul officially ended the feud with Michael Shane at Scramble Madness, and with that monkey off his back he now turns his focus to continuing his remarkably fast progress up the card. London comes to the ring in a bad ass new shirt. EZ Money comes to the ring in what appears to be something he stole from a male stripper.
I like Money’s size and he’s agile for it, which means he and the equally agile Paul London start with some fast paced back and forths. They then both show their faults by screwing nip-ups. London goes for a prawn hold but EZ catches him in a pendulum. He hits London with the Money Clip then a standing moonsault for 2. London manages to get him on the floor. I smell another Please Don’t Die moment. MENTAL SOMERSAULT DIVE INTO THE AISLE! It says something that that one was probably the least crazy of his dives to that part of the Murph. Dropsault scores and gets 2. Money gets a nearfall with an inverted suplex Emerald Fusion. Paul tries a sunset flip and gets planted with an INVERTED TOMBSTONE! London misses a moonsault and EZ keeps it coming with a handspring back elbow. Cha Ching blocked, but he catches Paul’s spinning heel kick and powerbombs him. London wins at 07:26 with the legsweep DDT.
Rating – ** – Well, if you want to see two guys try to pack as many crazy moves as possible into seven minutes without stopping to sell a single one of them then this is the match for you. I like some of EZ Money’s spots but he needs to concentrate less on getting them all in and more on making them all make sense in the context of the match. At this stage London worked best with a more grounded athlete to play off (hence his success with Shane and Dragon) so naturally all this was going to be was a messy offence splurge. EZ Money is miles better than anyone in Special K though. I’d imagine he probably costs a lot more to book as well. Unsurprisingly he doesn’t have an extensive future with the ROH. He’s got a successful business making wrestling gear though so don’t feel bad for him.
Chad Collyer vs Bryan Danielson
Therefore the winner of this has Paul London to beat in order to become #1 contender. This is Collyer’s debut and he comes in as a highly rated technical wrestler so you can expect another mat-based affair from American Dragon here. He’s already failed to win the #1 Contenders Trophy once (losing to AJ Styles at All Star Extravaganza), but he has beaten Paul London before so will be confident of winning if he can advance past the first round.
Lengthy feeling out process to start as the announcers talk about Abby bringing a different type of fan to watch ROH. There’s lots of counter-wrestling based around the arm, but almost 5 minutes in almost nothing has happened. It’s all very technically sound though. Three minutes later and they’re still just countering everything in smooth fashion. Collyer clings on to a shortarm scissors but Dragon powers up and kicks him to the floor. Collyer double underhook suplexes Danielson, and AmDrag quickly rolls to the floor clutching his knee. Chad wastes no time in attacking the injury which will help set up his Texas Cloverleaf finisher. He deathlocks the legs, then gives up on that just to stomp and kick them. Danielson has to use straight punches to block a Boston crab. He hits an enziguri but Collyer holds onto the leg forcing him to use another kick to free himself. Rather stupidly Dragon uses his injured leg to knee Chad in the stomach. ONE-LEGGED BRIDGE German suplex gets 2. Collyer gets 2 with the Toilet Flush. Dragon counters the Collyer Cloverleaf with a roll-up. Collyer powerbombs Danielson and holds the leg for the COLLYER CLOVERLEAF! Dragon has a real battle to find the bottom rope. He roaring elbows the neck and wins with a dragon suplex at 19:38.
Rating – *** – That just barely made it to 3* because for the first 10 minutes there wasn’t a whole lot happening. Really this match just proves why a lot of people find 2002 American Dragon bland, and why Chad Collyer has just never gotten over in ROH. There’s some really pretty wrestling but it’s just all style with no substance. It annoyed me that Collyer did nothing to work the leg for his own finishing move until an accidental injury. Once that injury had gone down it was Danielson’s selling ability that drove the match on, not Chad’s ability as the aggressor. If you have your doubts about whether you like either one of these wrestlers then I guarantee you won’t like this match too much.
Special K vs Jay Briscoe/Amazing Red vs SAT vs Da Hit Squad – Scramble Match
The winners of this get a Tag Title match at Final Battle 2002. Representing Special K are Joey Matthews and Deranged (which means Angeldust is thankfully sitting it out). DHS will want to get their hands on the druggies for raving in the locker room. Jay and Red would love a crack at The Prophecy after what went down between them at Scramble Madness. As would SAT, who jumped The Prophecy in Boston when the numbers were too much for AJ Styles and Jay Briscoe.
Briscoe and Jose start with a few basics – Jay unsurprisingly looking much better than Maximo. Jose hits a nice springboard lucha-drag though. Monsta Mack misses a second rope splash on Joey. Deranged/Mafia is a mismatch of comedic proportions. Deranged shows off his skinny body and gets chopped in the back. Mafia swats away a couple of enzis but Deranged lands on his feet off a half nelson suplex attempt. Red and Joel go at it and do some familiarity stuff with lots of trademark moves blocked. On the floor Angeldust and Dixie are fighting with Trinity (who came to the ring with SAT). Joel is working some submissions on the spindly Deranged, but the raver counters with an inverted DDT. Elevated tornado facecrusher by Red and Jay gets 2. Mafia and Briscoe get together to SMACK THE EVER LOVING SH*T out of each other! Deranged and Joey try to interrupt and both get squashed. Jay eventually gets caught in the corner for Mafia to powerbomb Red on top of him. Briscoe blocks Mack’s lariat and tags out to Matthews. In the end Hit Squad get knocked to the floor with everyone else except Red and Deranged who go to the top rope. SUPERPLEX ONTO THE HOARD ON THE FLOOR! Mafia winds up for an enormous tope suicida which collapses a section of guardrail. He misses a diving headbutt after that though. Jay misses a senton bomb. Jose misses a senton too. I’ll give you a hint…everyone misses from the top rope. I love Deranged Jeff Hardy mocking swanton though. In the end Monsta nails the FATTY SPLASH for 2. SCREWDRIVER ON MATTHEWS! Deranged launches himself off the ropes into a swinging DDT. Briscoe goes for the Jay Driller and gets SPEARED by Mafia! The ref appears to be signalling that someone got injured there. Joel blocks Red’s 718 so the little guy hits him with the FRICKIN’ F-5! RED STAR PRESS gets 2! Jose comes in with ROLLING PILEDRIVERS! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? He’s still going mental with a swinging cradle suplex. He almost looked good there, so ruins it by barely connecting with a frog splash. Joey drops Jose with a reverse DDT. JOEL POWERBOMBS THE CRAP OUT OF DERANGED! Human Taffy Machine on Special K! SAT get the submission win at 23:34.
Rating – *** – And that would be my pick for best Scramble so far – it was heaps of fun. The keys to success here? Pacing for one thing, they didn’t just go for the big stuff straight away. There are 8 guys out there, they all came in and did their thing for a while before going to the insanity. This led to a gradual increase in madness, ending with the SAT going crazy at the end with a ton of brutal stuff. Joey and Deranged should be the default Special K team since they’re hilariously fun with their heel stuff. Matthews pisses everyone off with his pseudo-Memphis antics (which the commentary team rip on too) whilst Deranged is my favourite member due to his idiotic ways (like mocking Jeff Hardy). I think the best thing was that they didn’t just go the Scramble Madness route of hitting a ton of spots, they used the scramble rules to enhance a regular four corner tag match. In that way they made it good to watch. That’s MOTN so far – and that’s quite a compliment given that I hate the SAT.
Special K yell at the referee until mutant Lennox Lewis comes in and attacks him.
HIGH IMPACT TV TAPINGS –
Paul E. Normous d. Mace
Bryan Danielson d. Marcos
Paul London d. Angeldust
Da Hit Squad d. Outcast Killaz
AJ Styles d. Jimmy Rave
The Prophecy attack AJ after his match with (the debuting) Jimmy Rave. Danielson and London save.
Jeff Starr/Shockwave vs Divine Storm
Couldn’t this have been relegated to the High Impact TV clipshow as well? Starr and Shockwave make their debuts tonight and will be nothing but job fodder for Divine Storm, who you sense were only held out of the Scramble earlier because otherwise the concept would get tired with the exact same teams participating every time.
Starr and Shockwave try to start quickly and promptly get put in their place. Rolling northern lights by Quiet Midget get 2. Divine puts Jeff in a cloverleaf whilst Storm straps a Tarantula Crossface on Shockwave. Starr gets 2 with a Swanton. Divine takes him to the top rope for a…weird nondescript DDT move from up there. Shockwave drops him with a wheelbarrow Ace crusher. Storm runs in with SPINAL SHOCK then the STORM…CRADLE…DRIVER (!!!) to win at 03:39.
Rating – DUD – Lousy in every way imaginable. The jobber team (particularly Starr) looked green as hell. Horrible basics and horrible legal man rules as well. Divine Storm are done in ROH. SAT have the top spot as the spotty team, whilst DHS have the top spot as the brutal spots team. Since Divine Storm don’t have the spots of the Maximos and are midgets without the charisma and impact of DHS, there’s nowhere for them to go. Drop them, or have Quiet Storm come out on every show and do his AJPW wannabe elbow strikes then a Storm…Cradle…Driver then leave. Kinda like that black guy.
CW Anderson runs in out of nowhere to lay out the jobbers. Lovey makes it look like a shoot by saying to edit this from the tape. CW b*tches to Cappetta and slags off ROH and Gabe Sapolsky. ‘You bring your little Jewish ass out here’ – Anderson. DHS and Joey Matthews (an old ECW guy) break kayfabe to further the moronic pretence that this is a shoot and try to convince Anderson to leave. In the end he walks to the back and has a hilarious pussy-ass shouting match with Gabe who’s shrieks are so girly that only dogs and bats can hear him. What was the f*cking point?
Paul London vs Bryan Danielson – #1 Contenders Trophy Match
This should be a classic. They had a really fun match at All Star Extravaganza during the first #1 contendership series when Dragon picked apart a fatigued Paul London and eventually beat him. Now the tables are turned with Paul being the fresher man (his 1st round match went 7 minutes as opposed to Danielson’s 20 minute match). It’s the agility, speed and aerial antics of London against the aggression, hard-hitting and technical skills of American Dragon. Winner gets the title shot at Final Battle 2002.
Danielson doesn’t give London a clean break and opts to chop him instead. London does the same thing and they (respectfully) stare each other out. Inevitably the match finally drops to the canvas and it’s there where Dragon can control his opponent. As the commentators point out, Danielson is more aggressive tonight, and repeatedly goes back to strikes to beat Paul back. He rattles off some mean crossfaces as he applies an STF. Now it’s London that tries to ground the match in order to negate Dragon’s striking power. He almost steals the match with sweet armdrag avoidance into an Oklahoma roll. London kicks the leg Collyer injured earlier during a knucklelock and Danielson rolls out to sell it, but also show that it’s healthier than earlier. He comes back with a chop flurry so vicious you have to respect London just for standing up and taking it. Abdominal stretch applied, and when Paul escapes that Danielson almost puts a boot through his skull. Indian deathlock WITH elbow drops to the head. Now he steps on London’s face. This is shades of what Danielson would go on to become in 2005/6 after winning the ROH Title. DROPSAULTS by London, then a springboard forearm. He gets 2 with a standing moonsault. Danielson NAILS him with a straight-jacket German suplex. As usual a diving headbutt follows the judo DDT and it gets 2. London again rallies back with a modified neckbreaker but he’s too beaten up to capitalise. Dragon tries a back suplex but London headlocks…THEY BOTH TUMBLE TO THE FLOOR! Paul tries a springboard move to the floor, but when AmDrag grabs him he simplifies it by hurdling him into a superkick. Jeff Gorman compares London to Ricky Steamboat and it’s not undeserved. He thinks about the LSP but takes far too long climbing up. Danielson really smacks him hard then goes up for a BACK SUPERPLEX! Just in case you’d forgotten he was awesome, Dragon pauses after that to throw in some knee-selling. CATTLE MUTILATION, but perhaps the knee weakness is what allows London to the ropes. Dragon goes for another back superplex but Paul elbows him away. Danielson keeps coming back but London knocks him back with some really hard shots. LONDON STAR PRESS! London wins at 18:40.
Rating – **** – I think that might be the only match from 2002 that still holds up and is EVERY bit as good in 2006 as it was back then. Danielson showed real glimpses of his aggressive, tweener side which has pretty much defined his era of dominance as World Champion, and for the first time Paul truly demonstrated the extent of his babyface potential as he minimised the amount of highspots he used, and showed sheer fire and courage to stand up to the onslaught of his opponent and still pull out the win. If the great storyline of Dragon trying to dominate Paul wasn’t enough, how about the extra hints of psychology he threw in by selling that leg enough to make you believe it was still injured without limiting what he could do? American Dragon RAN this match and, London comes out of it on the cusp of main event stardom. A definite show-stealer and another must-see match from ROH. And this isn’t even their best match together!
They have a post-match love-in, with London calling Danielson the best wrestler in America. Dragon says London deservedly won the match because he had more heart and wanted it more.
Xavier vs AJ Styles – ROH Title Match
Man who’d want to follow the last match? This is easily Xavier’s biggest match since winning the title, so the pressure is on to finally enter a performance that justifies his spot at the top of the company. AJ won the #1 Contenders Trophy at All Star Extravaganza and was immediately jumped by The Prophecy. He successfully defended it against Chris Daniels at Scramble Madness, but was then the victim of not one but two sneak attacks. Then earlier tonight at the High Impact TV taping he was jumped AGAIN. He’ll be desperate for revenge, and has enlisted the help of Alexis Laree to watch his back against Simply Luscious and Mark Briscoe who accompany Xavier to the ring.
Xavier slaps AJ so AJ gives him the F*CKING STYLES CLASH! Luscious puts Xavier’s foot on the rope to save the match inside 20 seconds. Alexis comes in to give Luscious the Scorpion Death Drop. There’s some clipping here but hopefully it was just Mark carrying SL to the back. Xavier tries to work a knucklelock and gets repeatedly kicked in the chest. Xavier sensibly tries to negate Styles by holding him down in headlocks. AJ tries his dropkick only for Xavier to grab the headlock again. HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX then the dropkick anyway! The champion gets knocked off the apron and Styles hits a corkscrew pescado. Xavier blocks a heel kick with a powerbomb for 2. We’ve passed five minutes now so we’ll see how Xavier’s stamina holds up. Admittedly he’s working a lot of chinlocks to save himself. He takes it to the floor now and goads AJ with the belt. See look, he gets better every show. Unfortunately he pauses to yell at a fan and Styles capitalises with an enziguri. Xavier lands a couple of mediocre looking suplexes which are nowhere near enough preparation for his 450 splash and Styles catches him up top with a superplex. Xavier tries to throw chops with AJ and gets kicked in the head again. Kiss Your X Goodbye blocked with the Phenom DDT. Xavier uses an Alabamaslam to escape the Styles Clash. ‘You suck’ – fan. Xavier proves the fan right by messing up through a nearfalls sequence. Styles slips on the ropes and STILL hits a sweet crossbody. Ocean cyclone suplex by Xavier, who’s now looking tanked. Why does this guy blow up so easily? He spears Styles into the buckles then gives him a Canadian backbreaker. Camel clutch applied which should give him a nice chance to catch his breath. He goes for another Alabamaslam but this time AJ lands on his feet and scores with a piledriver. Xavier goes from working the back to working the knee. Death valley shinbreaker scores, then the Kiss Your X Goodbye gets 2. 450 misses and AJ lands a superkick, hurting his own leg. Xavier screws up something else on the ropes because he’s so tired. SUPER STYLES CLASH! AJ’S LEG IS HURT! When he finally covers the champion grabs the bottom rope. Thunderfire DDT blocked and Xavier wins it with a figure 4 pin in 17:06.
Rating – ** – Well, first the positives – it started and ended really well. Xavier showed the necessary crowd working and heel skills to be the heel champion, and quite sensibly used a lot of boring offence to wind the fans up and slow AJ down. The finish after he attacked the leg was sweet too. Unfortunately the middle 10 minutes were really dull. Xavier got gassed AGAIN. Xavier made multiple screw-ups AGAIN. AJ Styles is a terrific wrestler but he couldn’t quite perform a miracle and carry Xavier into the magical 3* territory. That middle segment just went nowhere and ambled for way too long. Still, yet again it’s his best match so far (I feel like I keep saying that). But for the love of god get that damn belt off of him.
Carnage Crew vs Homicide/Abdullah The Butcher – Bunkhouse Match
Goody, it’s main event time. This is the end of a feud that stretches back to Era Of Honor Begins when the Natural Born Sinners (Homicide and Boogalou) kicked the sh*t out of Loc (who was the referee) for disqualifying them in a match. DeVito came in at Night Of Appreciation to form the Carnage Crew and we went from there. The Sinners won a violent Bunkhouse match at Crowning A Champion, but it was the Crew who “permanently injured” Boogalou and forced the Sinners’ elimination from the Tag Title tournament at Unscripted. Now Homicide has drafted in the woefully out of shape and past it Abdullah The Butcher to team with him. This promises to be…interesting.
Abby is a candidate for the most obese person I’ve ever seen with grotesque rolls of fat dripping from him. I think he’s actually too old and fat to get in the ring. He starts forking Loc on the floor as DeVito and Homicide screw up a moonsault spot in the ring. No violence in this match can be as uncomfortable as looking at Abdullah The Yokozuna Impressionist. Unfortunately we’re focusing almost entirely on him rather than Homicide. Gabe appears to be bigging up his own booking on commentary. I’d do pbp but it’d just be me having a laugh at FLAbbdullah’s (badda bing) expense. He’s stabbing the screaming Loc in the mouth now. If you take this seriously it’s easily the most abysmal sham of a wrestling match ever. Girls in the front row look appalled by this. Maybe it’s because The Butcher has bigger boobs than any of them. Hey, he got in the ring. Well done fatty. Homicide sets Loc up on a table but misses a TOPE CON HILO! That was something that didn’t blow! This is, unintentionally, the funniest match in ROH history. Abby no-sells both members of the Crew because, lets face it, it’d break the ring if he bumps. Loc blocks the Cop Killa with a Saito suplex. Abby no sells a chair shot next, and goes mental with…the same fork he’s brandished all match. COP KILLA ends this bizarrely watchable wreck at 09:22.
Rating – DUD – And that very possibly is the worst wrestling match of all time. But…whatever, I don’t really want to bury it. There’s no point. Just don’t take it seriously and have a laugh at a really old, really fat man waddling around stabbing people in the head with a fork. To me this IS the funniest match in ROH history. Maybe it’s my sense of humour. But don’t show it to your kids. Not because of the violence…but because of the despicable obesity of Abdullah.
SIDENOTE – my apologies if you’re a big history mark and think I should be respectful to Abdullah as a legend. I’m not going to be. He should know full well that he has no place in a ring anymore, and get his big fat blubbery lardy ass out. And stop eating so much too…
What follows next is one of the strangest things in Ring Of Honor history. A succession of foolhardy jobbers (including Julius Smokes incidentally) troop to the ring for no apparent reason other than to get ruthlessly and repeatedly stabbed and decimated by Abdullah and Homicide. Then Da Hit Squad come out to kill some jabronis too. I really have no clue what’s going on but it’s hilarious. I have really fond memories of showing this to my friends at university and being reduced to hysterics by it.
Backstage a bloody Homicide declares the feud with the Carnage Crew over. He says he’ll be winning the #1 Contenders Trophy at Final Battle 2002.
The Carnage Crew have a laugh at how fat Abdullah was and say that they enjoyed all the bloodshed. They debut the bitter working class blue collar gimmick by b*tching about their jobs, kids and wives.
CM Punk and Colt Cabana are driving home. Colt brags about how great he was whilst Punk is too pissed off to talk. Punk eventually leaves the car. Is he going to walk back to Chicago then?
The Prophecy end the show by complaining about being booked in a 2/3 Falls Match with the SAT at Final Battle 2002. Morgan makes some comedy racial slurs. Daniels says they’ll win the match 2-0.
Tape Rating – *** – As a show it started and ended badly, but in between there was more good stuff than bad. Just like Scramble Madness there was no MOTYC (although London/Dragon comes close) but the top-to-bottom consistency is what this release is all about, plus you get the best Scramble match of 2002. In truth I might be overrating it a little. Xavier/Styles is another disappointment, and the main event is just an atrocity. But then again, I think Abby’s ROH appearance is one of the funniest things ever so I’m automatically quite fond of this show. Put it this way, I think if you’re buying a 2002 ROH show there are BETTER ones out there, but this isn’t the worst either.
Top 3 Matches
3) Colt Cabana vs CM Punk (***)
2) SAT vs Special K vs Da Hit Squad vs Jay Briscoe/Amazing Red (***)
1) Paul London vs Bryan Danielson (****)