ROH 013 – Revenge On The Prophecy – 11th January 2003
Throughout 2002 we saw The Prophecy abusing men like Low Ki and AJ Styles. Tonight they join together and seek to kick of 2003 by getting some REVENGE! The main event tonight is a No Holds Barred tag – Ki and Styles against Chris Daniels and ROH Champion Xavier. There’s a few other matches that look like they’ve got a lot of potential, as well as a Konnan match which probably sucks. I’m in no mood to talk, just anxious to get going. It’s another new building – the CCAC South Campus in West Mifflin, PA. On commentary are Chris Lovey and Ray Murrow.
The show opens by replaying Steve Corino introducing Simply Luscious as the first member of The Group. A week later (these are all clips from High Impact TV) Corino announces that Samoa Joe is the second member of his new crew. That’s two people he’s stolen from The Prophecy. Another week of High Impact TV goes by and together they go to confront Chris Daniels. He makes it personal and introduces Allison Danger (Corino’s sister) as Luscious’ replacement in The Prophecy.
Special K interrupt the opening formalities to start an in-ring rave. Da Hit Squad and SAT chase all but one of them away. The one that got left behind takes a real beating ending in a BURNING HAMMAH!
Simply Luscious and Allison Danger get into a fight before the show as the Group/Prophecy feud escalates.
Paul London says tonight is a big night in a new market. If he wins he’ll be in the first ever Top 5 Ranking, which he needs if he’s to get another ROH Title shot.
Matt Stryker vs Chad Collyer
This is a brave choice to open a show in a new market since it should be very mat-centred. Collyer debuted at Night Of The Butcher and put on a solid technical match with Bryan Danielson. Matt Stryker gets his first shot in ROH. He’s been around the indies like HWA and ECWA I believe.
Counters and armdrags to start which the crowd show some love for. You can tell they’re familiar with each other as they continue with really fluid chaining for a fair few minutes. Stryker seems to be focused on Collyer’s arm. Collyer rolls to the ropes to escape a cross armbreaker. He goes to work on Stryker’s leg to set up for his finisher. He hits a shinbreaker, then drives his knees into the side of the leg. Stryker misses a dropkick and that’s the cue for the COLLYER CLOVERLEAF! Just too near to the edge of the ring though. Stryker comes up with an offensive flurry ending in a powerslam for 2. He neckbreaker’s Collyer down only to miss a Lionsault. Toilet Flush pin gets 2. Stryker puts on an anklelock but he hasn’t worked the leg to set up and Chad counters. He powerbombs Matt into the CLOVERLEAF again. Stryker taps at 10:47.
Rating – ** – Really solid opening match which kept everyone interested. Both are good technical wrestlers, but both showed weaknesses. They’ll be given time to improve though. In the end Chad got the win because he showed some advanced thinking and worked the body part for a finish. Stryker failed to do that (he worked the arm early) and ultimately had to tap out.
CM Punk says his match tonight is about redemption. He lost his ROH debut match to Michael Shane, but only because Shane used the ropes to pin him. He wants revenge…
CM Punk vs Michael Shane
Punk just covered the whole premise for this match in his promo. It’s a rematch from All Star Extravaganza, where they met in the #1 Contenders Gauntlet. Like Punk said, Michael Shane cheated to win that one, so it’s all about personal redemption for him.
They go off in similar fashion to Collyer/Stryker with more mat wrestling. Nearfalls exchanged then Shane bails to think about it. The most impressive stretch of the match thus far is a long sequence all done whilst holding on to a knucklelock. Shane ducks the Shining Wizard only to be dropkicked in the back instead. He responds by throwing Punk over the top rope to the floor. Back inside Punk flips out of the corner into a jawbreaker. Shane counters a crossbody with a gutbuster and both men are staggered. Punk neckbreakers over the knee but again Shane hits right back with a clothesline. He grounds Punk with a chinlock but can’t hold on to it. Punk blocks a Shiranui attempt and both go down with clotheslines. Punk up first with a Shining Wizard for 2. He tries a rana and gets powerbombed, but blocks a tornado DDT with a powerslam. Split-legged moonsault gets 2 as well. Shane grabs the ropes and tries to win like that again but gets caught this time. SWEET SHANE MUSIC! Punk kicks out. In the end Punk wins with a roll-up at 13:07.
Rating – ** – Not as good as the first match. Michael Shane didn’t seem to be trying that hard and nothing ever got exciting. The ropes-pin spot was a nice reference to All Star Extravaganza but that was really it for nifty psychology. All you actually got was a solid back and forth clash with a pretty lousy finish. I HATE roll-ups dammit…
SAT/Ghost Shadow vs Divine Storm/Konnan
This is actually Konnan’s second ROH appearance. He was at Final Battle 2002 as well but looked so appalling that the fans boo’d him out of the building. He claimed he was coming to ROH to go back to his lucha routes, and as such this match is a lucha 6-man. I have nothing at all on Ghost Shadow, but since he didn’t do a whole lot in ROH it doesn’t matter. We’ve all seen the SAT and Divine Storm fight each other a zillion times so don’t expect anything new there.
Is Konnan aware he looks like a total muppet dressed up like that? This really is lucha-style, as Shadow and Divine work the mat with zero logic or intensity. I hate really telegraphed, fake-looking wrestling. Quiet Storm and Joel come in and they do more of the same but with some more anger. Konnan gets the tag and tries to teach Jose Maximo a lesson. At least he didn’t get boo’d out of the building. Ghost and Divine work together again and look really average again. Storm looks awesome, Joel doesn’t. Rolling clothesline by Konnan on Jose. Everyone comes in and does a gay ass near miss stuff. Missile dropkicks by four guys. Jose with an ASAI MOONSAULT to the floor, with Jody Fleisch-style guardrail wipe-out. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA by Ghost Shadow. Trinity inexplicably hits a moonsault to the floor as well. Where’s the DQ? Shadow tries a springboard move but Konnan kicks the ropes. Divine botches a move on the ropes, then they put a three-man submission on Ghost. He comes back by dragging Storm out of the corner with a RUNNING MUSCLEBUSTER! Jose tries a tope suicida and Konnan kicks him in the face. Divine does get to hit a tope suicida though. MINI-MISAWA ELBOWS by Storm! HEAD DROP GERMAN…STORM NO SELLS! He wants to be Misawa so bad! Storm…Cradle…Driver gets blocked and El Chunko Maximo gets a super brainbuster for 2. Konnan comes in with a CRADLE DDT, only to be taken out by a swinging DDT from Shadow. Divine attacks his leg and locks in a cloverleaf. SLINGSHOT DDT on him by Jose. RUBIX CUBE gets Storm a 2 count. Shadow gives him a sit-out powerbomb. Konnan hits a splash mountain for 2. Tequila Sunrise applied. Ghost taps at 16:40.
Rating – * – Eh, call it a star for some of the good stuff, but that was rubbish. I know some people like this, but I thought it was utter dross. Konnan didn’t do anything worthy of getting particularly abused, but then again, when he’s in there with Chris Divine and the SAT it’s hard to look truly appalling. Credit to Quiet Storm who was pretty good, but whatever. I’m glad that’s over.
Carnage Crew vs Da Hit Squad – Weapons Match
This is the conclusion to this feud which dates back to Road To The Title when DHS put the Carnage Crew through a table. They had their first match at Honor Invades Boston, which Hit Squad won amidst a mess of blood and barbed wire. Crew got a win back at Glory By Honor in a Falls Count Anywhere match when they almost killed Mafia by piledriving him off a stage.
Mafia and Monsta Mack bring a ladder out then demand that the fight starts on the floor. DeVito probably breaks his own hip with a dropkick out there. Mafia sets up for a tope suicida but the Crew cut him off by nailing him with a guardrail section. DeVito makes it worse by suplexing the bleeding Mafia through the same piece of mesh. This goes WWE-style all of a sudden, as the teams start using baking sheets on each other. Mack suplexes Loc whilst DeVito hits a Rock Bottom on Maff for 2. Monsta Mack goes up for the FATTY FROG SPLASH. The ladder is brought into the ring and Loc takes it in the face. Mack scales the ladder and is so fat that he breaks it missing another fatty splash. DeVito does the Sandman ladder suplex. HUBCAP SANDWICH for Mafia. Loc has a cowbell and drives it into his bloody head. Mack clobbers DeVito with a big lariat. Mafia is nuts and elbow drops a ladder onto Loc. Both members of the Crew are tied up in rungs of the ladder. DHS HIT THE LADDER WITH CHAIRS! That was brutal. They try to bring a table in but DeVito has a chair and uses it to get the advantage. Carnage Crew put Monsta on the table…hopefully he won’t break that too. Mafia makes the save. DeVito on the table…Loc powerbombed through it. DHS win in 11:38.
Rating – * – Easily the worst match in the series. Lots of pretty inane and bland brawling, and quite a few screw ups. But there were some good spots as well and that helped salvage a star for the ratings.
SPECIAL K’S ROLLIN’ NEW YEAR – From High Impact TV, this is Special K celebrating the new year. They don’t know what to call Jay Lethal yet. A caption informs me that I should look at Slugger in the background with some Special K girls. Angeldust, Slim J and Deranged are ‘on a gimmick run’. In the end they all crash from too much drugs. That was actually quite amusing…
Dunn & Marcos/Outcast Killaz vs Special K – Scramble Match
Wasn’t one spotfest enough? I think this is the Killaz (Oman Tortuga/Diablo Santiago) first non-High Impact TV match, proving that this will officially be the most jobber-tastic Scramble yet. At least Dunn & Marcos promise to rock Special K…LIKE A HURRICANE. Special K are Deranged, Angeldust, Hydro and Yeyo, but they’ve also got Slugger and Lit (another new guy) on the floor.
No Code of Honor followed by the ravers, and they clear the ring of the job squad. Triple tope suicida by three of them, leaving Deranged for a SPRINGBOARD SOMERSAULT SENTON! Chris Lovey claims K are all taking ecstacy. Marcos is a jobber and looks a lot more coherent in the ring than Spasticdust. He gets too cocky though and Hydro boots him in the face. Santiago kicks Hydro in the same way then there’s a lot of standing around doing nothing. Dunn gives Yeyo the Gory Driver. Deranged kicks his head off for that, then screws up a DDT spot. Tortuga comes in and botches his own DDT. Slugger marches into the ring and dishes out chokeslams for all four of his crew’s opponents. Angeldust hits Marcos with SOUTH OF HEAVEN. Hydro innovates a strange inverted Kryptonite Krunch. Mad Scientist Bomb by Deranged. Slugger comes in again and he lays Marcos out with the Bodybag. Special K win with a 5-way pin at 07:07.
Rating – DUD – That was sh*t. Tons of screw ups, and the whole premise for the Slugger intervention in the match was that ‘it wasn’t said who were the legal men for Special K’…when Jeff Gorman (ring announcing) DID IT RIGHT BEFORE THE MATCH. Crap…worst Scramble ever.
BJ Whitmer vs Colt Cabana vs Paul London vs Homicide
This is a four corner match with huge ramifications for the first ever Top 5 to be announced next month. BJ Whitmer is debuting tonight, and like Chad Collyer and Matt Stryker has stood-out in HWA. Cabana had to drive to the show because he didn’t win the contract match against CM Punk at Final Battle 2002. Paul London needs the victory to get a rematch with Xavier after taking the champion so close in December. As we learned at Final Battle, Homicide is desperate to win the ROH Title to make more money and give his son a better life. Getting to the top of the Top 5 is therefore vital to him.
Whitmer and London start with switches ending with BJ hitting a tilta-whirl backbreaker. London responds with a belly to belly suplex. Homicide brings the gangsta mat-wrestling to Cabana. Colt tries to increase the pace only to be put in Cide’s STF. Homicide drops him in the corner for a running knee strike which gets 2. Whitmer comes back with a leg drop over Cide’s arm. Cabana goes to the top rope only for Homicide to drag him off with a superplex. London gets 2 with a spinning heel kick. He moonsaults for Cabana to…miss a clothesline? He quickly makes amends for that screw up with a crisp clothesline to London’s chest. BJ and Colt have isolated Paul now, but London hits a beautiful springboard crossbody.
Whitmer slows him down again with a northern lights suplex then a camel clutch. He eventually tags Cabana with the dropsault but opts to cover rather than tag out to Homicide. In the end he make the Ricky Morton rolling hot tag anyway. GERMAN SUPLEX by BJ! Back suplex/leg drop combo by London and Cabana for 2 on Cide. EXPLODER SUPLEX by BJ. Homicide recovers with a TOPE CON HILO! Cabana flips London into a MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! Colt is alone now…SPRINGBOARD CORKSCREW SENTON! Homicide and BJ are in first, and it’s Cide nailing a second rope Ace crusher. London jumps from the top rope into the COP KILLAAAAA! Colt breaks the pin! Homicide tries the Cop Killa again and eats COLT 45! This time Whitmer saves. ROLLING DRAGON SUPLEXES! BRIDGING PIN…LONDON STAR PRESS! London pins Whitmer at 19:27.
Rating – **** – Maybe I’m being a little generous but this match is so enjoyable. Really solid, engaging wrestling for 15 minutes building to five minutes of utter mayhem – I like that sh*t! The finish was absolutely sick – and I have no idea why Whitmer has dropped the rolling dragons from his regular moveset. They looked great here – as indeed BJ did on his debut. London and Homicide were the stars though. The whole match was built around Paul, whilst Homicide looked like a machine everytime he was in there. This was still early in his singles career so showing that kind of potential is vital if he wants to progress up the card.
Samoa Joe vs Bryan Danielson
This is their first ever ROH match. They had some heated and violent exchanges in the big fourway at Final Battle 2002 and now they’re booked in singles action. This is Joe’s first match since leaving his role as the Prophecy’s paid hitman and joining Steve Corino’s group.
The SAT should watch these guys and study how to make the opening to a match seem intense. Danielson tries to shoulder charge Joe and gets slapped in the face. He dropkicks the knee and then retaliates with a big time slap. He stays on the leg with a leglock, despite the fact that Joe absolutely plasters him with crossfaces. Joe gets free and drops Dragon to his knees with slaps and chops. He grabs Danielson round the chest and effortlessly lifts him into a gutwrench throw. Dragon goes to the leg again with a deathlock WITH arm chickenwing. Joe comes out of the corner with a big lariat for 2. BIG TIME short kicks rock American Dragon, who gets escorted to the corner for a facewash. Joe applies a half crab with MEGA crankage. SUPLEX TO THE FLOOR! But there’s no respite for Danielson. Joe sits him in a chair…RUNNING BOOT THROUGH THE DAMN RAIL! That’s a pre-Ole Ole Kick incidentally. Powerbomb then the floatover STF as Joe goes crazy yelling ‘I own you’. He repeatedly brutalises Dragon with chops, but Dragon refuses to stay down. He manages to floor the Samoan with RUNNING ELBOWS! Judo DDT scores, as does the diving headbutt. Danielson scores with European uppercuts but Joe responds with kicks. ROARING ELBOWS! JOE WITH A KNEE STRIKE! ISLAND DRIVER! Joe wins at 13:21.
Rating – **** – If you liked Ki/Joe then you should love this, because it’s as stiff as that match, and with more wrestling thrown in. Basically it was the dominant and brutal Joe trying to pound the resilient, superior wrestler into oblivion, but essentially they just went out there and kicked seven shades of sh*t out of each other.
Low Ki and AJ Styles cut a promo in similarly oversized beanie hats. When they wrestle each other it’s for a love of pro-wrestling. But tonight they’re teaming up to beat the crap out of The Prophecy.
Christopher Daniels/Xavier vs Low Ki/AJ Styles – No Holds Barred Match
The history behind this one is pretty extensive. Ki and Daniels have been feuding since show 1 when Daniels refused to follow the Code of Honor. Ki seemed to have gained victory when he got past the Fallen Angel to win a gruelling Iron Man and become the first ROH Champion. But Daniels went on to orchestrate an elaborate plot to get the belt away from him – joining forces with Xavier to screw Low Ki out of the title at Unscripted. Meanwhile AJ’s problems started when he won the #1 Contenders Trophy at All Star Extravaganza. He fell victim to repeated run-ins by The Prophecy in the run-up to his title shot at Night Of The Butcher – then got screwed out of the belt inside 5 seconds when Simply Luscious saved Xavier after he was hit with the Styles Clash. Tonight it’s no holds barred because AJ Styles and Low Ki are coming for REVENGE ON THE PROPHECY.
Daniels and Xavier go for the jump-start but Ki quickly ends up mauling the ROH Champion on the floor. Xavier blocks the Ki Krusha as I spy Daniels and Styles in the background fighting in the crowd. Since this is No Holds Barred ropes don’t break pins. I wish every NHB was like that. Styles hits an enziguri then holds Xavier for a basement dropkick from Ki. Gutbuster by the champion then he tags out. Low Ki batters Daniels and Fallen Angel quickly heads out again. KRUSH COMBO on Xavier. AJ tries to kill Xavier with a brainbuster and Daniels has to break the pin. He gets back in the ring again and immediately busts AJ’s nose. Suplex neckbreaker and the bloody Styles quickly leaves to inspect the damage. Ki slams Daniels on the hard floor, then he applies a Boston crab to demonstrate that the ropes won’t break submissions or pins tonight. Xavier is drilling Styles with knee strikes on the other side of the ring. AJ hits REPEATED STO backbreakers on Daniels, and follows it with the Muta Lock. Xavier saves and Ki hilariously storms in and chops him OVER THE TOP ROPE! The babyfaces are working on Daniels’ back and Xavier has to continually save his leader. Finally Daniels is able to throttle Ki over the middle rope with a HANGING CHOKE! Xavier capitalises on that and goes to work on the neck. SEATED CATTLE MUTILATION but AJ breaks it. Allison Danger (in Daniels’ corner for the first time) chokes Low Ki as Daniels distracts the referee. Ki escapes a neck crank but Danger grabs his leg and Daniels scores with a Blue Thunder bomb for 2. Knee drop TO THE NECK by Xavier. SPLASH MOUNTAIN INTO THE BUCKLES!
Ki blocks Angels Wings and tries a sleeper, then gets the hot tag to Styles. PHENOM DDT on Daniels for 2. Xavier cuts his run short and goes to work on the leg. Did Xavier suddenly get good over new years or is it me? He works an STF but Ki breaks it with the GHETTO STOMP! Daniels works a Lion Tamer in the ropes. Ki gets a tag and hits a SPRINGBOARD ENZI! CAPO KICK on Xavier! He lifts Daniels into the Krush Rush for 2. Xavier catches him as he goes for another springboard enzi with a Michinoku Driver. He tries the 450 Splash but gets crotched as Styles hits a handspring elbow on Daniels. Ki works an abdominal stretch on the top rope but Daniels saves with a superplex (and sells the back!). Super gourdbuster from Xavier to AJ and all four are down. Xavier saves Daniels from the Styles Clash, then Fallen Angel goes to the leg again with an anklelock. Daniels to the floor and Ki dives after him with a TOPE SUICIDA! Xavier tries a dive but Ki BLOCKS IT WITH A CAPO KICK! He recovers for the COBRA CLUTCH SUPLEX on Styles. FALL FROM GRACE ON KI! He’s soon up again with a TIDAL KRUSH…and Allison breaks the pin. Daniels accidentally clobbers her. CORKSCREW PESCADO BY AJ! Low Ki and Xavier fight up the aisle. KI CHAIRS A CEMENT BLOCK INTO XAVIER! That’s a receipt for Unscripted right there! Daniels tries Last Rites but instead switches to the ANGELS WINGS on AJ. He kicks out at 2. Chris sets up a table on the floor then positions AJ on the apron. STYLES CLASH THROUGH THE F*CKING TABLE! DANIELS IS DEAD! BITE OF THE DRAGON ON XAVIER! He quits at 28:40…REVENGE ON THE PROPHECY!
Rating – **** – Until they went a bit spot-happy at the end and no-sold all the injuries they’d generated in the beautifully told first 20 minutes this was cruising to MOTYC territory. It’s still an awesome match, one of the most underrated ROH has EVER done. Seriously, it’s worth the price of the tape or DVD by itself. The babyfaces started the match hot and desperate for revenge, but the heels cheated their way to the ascendancy. Xavier was shockingly great in this – responsible for opening up the neck injury on Ki and the leg injury on AJ. And the tag format meant he was protected – thus avoiding the usual problem of him blowing up after 5 minutes. The finish is all money though, with Low Ki getting revenge for being screwed at Unscripted by reversing the cement block spot, followed by the mental Styles Clash through a table. What a classic…
Gabe and Feinstein are out checking on Daniels, who looks like he got knocked out on that table bump. It’s been a relatively quiet crowd for most of the night but they give that match a standing ovation – and rightly so.
Later backstage Daniels comes round and points out that his Prophecy still hold all the belts.
Tape Rating – *** – The real tragedy about so many people getting into ROH now is that it’s so hard to catch up on the early days of the company – which means great stuff like the top 3 matches tonight are totally lost. The No Holds Barred main event in particular is a forgotten classic. The rest of the card is a little poor but only one match (the jobber Scramble) is unspeakably bad. That said, Coller/Stryker and Punk/Shane are semi-decent, and if you like American Lucha and/or SAT matches you’ll probably enjoy the Konnan 6-man more than I did. Throw in some important story-line developments (the end of the Ki/Prophecy feud as a prominent storyline, Joe joining Corino, Danger joining The Prophecy etc) and you’ve got yourself a surprisingly high-quality event. If you’ve got some spare cash go ahead and splash out on this. 2003 is the year ROH got good and this is a solid way to start that year.
Top 3 Matches
3) Paul London vs BJ Whitmer vs Colt Cabana vs Homicide (****)
2) Samoa Joe vs Bryan Danielson (****)
1) Low Ki/AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels/Xavier (****)