ROH 26 – Glory By Honor II – 20th September 2003
Last year Glory By Honor was ROH’s first attempt at promoting a bigger show. The fact that it was in the same place as the vast majority of their shows to date, and largely failed to deliver on what was a mildly promising card (although did provide us with the memorable Low Ki vs Samoa Joe stiff-fest) meant they probably weren’t all that successful. Still, it did enough to make it an annual event, and this time round, it honestly feels like a big show. We’re back in the now-historic Murphy Rec Centre, and for the last time. ROH truly has outgrown its first home, and needs a new Philadelphia home, and says goodbye to the hot stuffy sports hall once and for all tonight. We also have the Punk/Raven Challenge, which sees them pick each other’s opponents…which means Terry Funk is making his ROH debut tonight. Cap that off with the crowning of new Tag champions and the biggest ROH Title match ever and you have yourselves a supercard. For one last time we head to the Murphy Rec in Philadelphia, PA. Hosts are Chris Lovey and CM Punk.
Awesome video package for the Top 5 Rankings tonight, which is what I’ve been wanting for months, so here’s hoping that stays around.
1) Christopher Daniels
3) Matt Stryker
4) Jay Briscoe
5) Low Ki
Colt Cabana opens the show hyping his fourway tonight. He wants to be in the Top 5 and winning the match tonight will probably do that. But more importantly he’s making ‘home video history’ tonight…
Dan Maff is at home in a neck brace (and with hair). He’s still out thanks to Low Ki stiffing him. He’s upset that he’s missing one of the company’s biggest shows. He finds time to hype the Joe-Daniels match. Unlike Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies…this is not a good promo.
MURPHY REC MEMORIES – It’s the last show here so we’re getting little videos throughout the night. The first one is the Ki-Daniels-Dragon triple threat from the first show. Ki takes the win, and Daniels starts as he means to go on by refusing to shake hands.
AJ Styles is still coaching Jimmy Rave. He wants Rave to work the arm better for his finish, as he failed to do that against Colt Cabana last time.
Jimmy Rave vs BJ Whitmer – Field Of Honor Block B
Jimmy Rave – Atlanta, GA – debuted vs AJ Styles 07/12/2002 – FOH Record 0-1
BJ Whitmer – Cincinnati, OH – debuted vs London, Homicide, Cabana 11/01/2003 – FOH Record 0-0
Rave works a hammerlock because he listened to AJ’s advice, and Punk tries to insist BJ taps out inside a minute. Fireman’s carry takedown into an armbar in response from Whitmer. Punk describes these two as ‘underwhelming’. He’s started in fine form tonight. Back suplex from BJ dumps Rave on his head for 2. Rear chinlock from BJ which Rave fights free from, only to get knocked down again with a lariat. Brainbuster almost puts Jimmy away…but as Punk points out, there was no hook of the leg.
Rave finally gets some offence in by shoving BJ’s shoulder into the turnbuckles, but Whitmer almost gets it done again with a dragon suplex. Rave knocks BJ down with a running forearm and the fight spills out onto the apron. Rave continues the assault on the arm with an armbar DDT on the apron. Whitmer takes a running knee off the apron from Rave before going back inside. Rave hits the flying headscissors, then goes to a cross armbreaker. BJ breaks that with some kicks to the back, but quickly has to block a Satellite Crossface again. Whitmer looks for a roaring elbow…HEAD AND ARM SUPLEX FROM RAVE! He follows that with a northern lights suplex into the corner, and he’s isolated Whitmer’s arm, shoulder and head right now. He lifts Whitmer into the top rope and looks to go up with him. BJ catches him…SUPER POWERBOMB – DANGEROOOOOUUUUUUS! Whitmer takes the win and effectively eliminates Rave from the Field Of Honor at 09:23.
Rating – ** – Good opening contest. It actually could’ve gone longer and not lost mine or the crowd’s interest, which is a compliment to it. Rave tried to do what AJ said and focus his attack on BJ’s arm, but it wasn’t enough, but he was gutsy enough to need a crazy super powerbomb to finally put him away.
Backstage, BJ says he’s taking his career to the next level by winning the FOH. He is really boring people. Rave looks distraught backstage, and AJ turns up again to compound his misery and yell at him for putting BJ on the top rope. Rave made another mistake and it cost him…
Samoa Joe promo, and once again he’s talking about destiny. It’s basically the same promo that he ran at the end of Beating The Odds. Steve Corino wanders in at the end of the promo to chat. Joe irritates Corino by implying he’s beaten Raven before, when Corino never has. Corino talks about The Group, and how he was supposed to be good heel champion, whilst Joe was just supposed to be the enforcer. What, is he trying to get himself a title shot or what?
MURPHY REC MEMORIES – Still at Era Of Honor Begins, and Super Crazy beating Eddie Guerrero for the IWA-Puerto Rico IC Title.
Shots of Xavier preparing for his FOH opener against John Walters, and Lollipop from TNA checking him out…interesting.
John Walters vs Xavier – Field Of Honor Block A
John Walters – Boston, MA – debuted vs Andy Anderson 31/05/2003 – FOH Record 0-1
Xavier – Queens, NY – debuted vs Scoot Andrews 23/02/2002 – FOH Record 0-0
Lollipop and Allison Danger are both out there, and Xavier sends Danger to the back, despite the fact he’s supposedly still in The Prophecy. Xavier even shakes hands with Walters (although uses it to take Walters down)…is he out of The Prophecy? They go back and forth nicely in the early going, with both men looking impressive. What was Xavier doing on that break – he’s become a great wrestler. Knucklelock to test each other’s strength, which Xavier gets the better off until Walters monkey flips out of it. He gains an advantage, so Xavier nicely works him into a cross armbreaker. Dropkick from Walters before he gets 2 with a hammerlock backbreaker. Punk is implying Lovey is a New Kids On The Block fan…as Xavier lifts Walters to the floor with a belly to belly suplex.
Xavier climbs to the top rope – 450 SPLASH TO THE FLOOR! That opened up a weakness in Walters’ knee, and he clubs at it, before taking Walters into the corner for some of his trademark knee strikes. Xavier looks for a suplex but gets rolled up for 2. Xavier jumps off Walters and almost lands on his head by nailing an Arabian press. Camel clutch, into a cobra clutch, as Xavier continues to focus on the neck. Xavier looks to go to the top again but gets crotched. Walters goes up – SPRINGBOARD FALLING DOUBLE KNEE! Back body drop from Walters, followed by a spear. Sunset flip gets Walters 2, and this kicks off a nice nearfalls sequence. HURRICANE DDT FROM WALTERS…FOR 2! Walters didn’t hook the leg, which CM Punk apparently would’ve done. Xavier goes to the second rope – BLOCKBUSTER X-BREAKER GETS 2! Urinage backbreaker from Walters for another nearfall. Xavier low blows Walters out of nowhere, and rolls Walters up for the 3 at 10:44.
Rating – *** – More goodness from Xavier, and Walters can do no wrong at the moment either. Xavier decided he’d try to innovate all over the place in that, which sometimes wasn’t that successful, but it’s hard to deny that this made good viewing. Finish very much kept Xavier over as a heel, whilst didn’t damage Walters too much as he continues to search for his first singles victory.
Walters is pissed off that Xavier got a cheap victory. Walters promises next time they wrestle each other, Xavier will find out what respect means to Walters…what the hell does that mean? Xavier walks backstage but says he’ll take Walters on again.
Chris Daniels is smelling a title change tonight – it’s his destiny after all. He runs through the history of the two guys, and says he’s becoming champ tonight. Corino pops in for another chat. Corino acts humble and puts Daniels over, then wishes him luck in his match. What is with Corino tonight?
MURPHY REC MEMORIES – American Dragon and Low Ki in the final match of the first Round Robin Challenge. Dragon wins by making Ki pass out to the Cattle Mutilation, and the first RRC ends in a 3-way draw.
TJ Wilson vs Teddy Hart
Both making debuts here, from Stampede Wrestling in Calgary. Wilson is somewhat of an unknown quantity to me, whilst we all know Hart’s background. He’s a member of the Hart family, and has been brought into this show after standing out in TNA’s Super X Cup Tournament, where he went to the semi-finals before losing in a great match to Juventud Guerrera. I think Wilson is one half of the Stampede Bulldogs (along with a relative of the Davey Boy, Harry Smith). Teddy Hart also makes his own ring attire…
Punk gets pissed off at Lovey for running the Code Of Honor or promoting RFVideo during his matches. Aimless submission moves to start, and the likelihood of this one ending with a submission is absolute zero. Lovey accuses Punk of sending tapes to TNA to get himself over lol. Wilson gets a high knee in on Hart in the corner. Nice takedown from Hart before he puts TJ into an anklelock. He rolls that into a sloppy Cloverleaf which Wilson has to break by grabbing the ropes. Wilson looks for a German suplex, but Teddy escapes. TJ rolls through a German attempt from Hart, then drops him on his head with a dragon suplex. Hart rolls around on the mat working TJ’s legs again. Wilson front suplexes Teddy over the ropes, then kicks him in the head with a springboard dropkick. Rolling fireman’s carry slam from Wilson off the second rope gets 2. Punk and Lovey haven’t commentated on this match at all yet, they’ve been arguing about Terry Funk for over 7 minutes now.
Jump swinging DDT off the ropes from Hart, before he goes to the top rope – shooting star press gets Teddy the win at 07:40.
Rating – DUD – I’m sure both guys are capable of better than this (well I know Hart is, and on based on what I’ve heard, so is Wilson), so this is very poor. They didn’t get the best time allocation in the world, but even with what they had, this was boring fare. The groundwork went nowhere and on the whole this just had no flow at all…
Special K laugh at Teddy after the match, saying he’s a lame high flyer…Becky looks hot again.
Raven has no hair by this point, and his head still looks a mess from the horrible job Shane Douglas and co. did of shaving his head. He talks about the Punk/Raven Challenge. He’s never lost to Steve Corino, and wants to make this match Raven’s Rules.
MURPHY REC MEMORIES – The bloodbath between the Natural Born Sinners and the Carnage Crew at Crowning A Champion.
Steve Corino vs Raven – Raven’s Rules Match
So despite the fact that the Punk-Raven feud was supposed to end at Beating The Odds, the flop of a cage match meant they’ll get another chance, meaning the feud has to be continued in some way. As such, ROH has allowed them to book each other’s opponents in a Punk/Raven Challenge tonight, and this is who CM Punk has selected for Raven. It’s an odd choice since Corino has never beaten Raven…although is there some form of relationship formed between Punk and Corino? After all, we saw him mysteriously leave Corino’s locker room at Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies, and it turns out Corino told Punk it was Daniels who took out Lucy at Wrath Of The Racket. Corino has his whole entourage once again, including Simply Luscious who looks f*cking awful. His ring announcement tonight lists every guy Corino has ever beaten in a match…priceless. This includes amongst others, Doink The Clown, the Headbangers, ROH Champion Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy (big pop for that feat), Mitsuhara Misawa…and if Jesus ever wrestled, him too.
Punk implies Raven looks like he’s fresh from a Nazi concentration camp. We have a staredown before Corino backs Raven into a corner, but gives him a clean break. Raven works a headlock then gets a couple of shoulder barges in. Corino bails to the floor for a few moments following that. Raven throws Corino to the outside again before they go for a test of strength. Cheap shot from Raven, before he throws Corino outside again, then goes out to throw him into one of the security guys. Back into the ring and Raven tries some wrestling, with a kick to the spine followed by a suplex for 2.
Corino takes the advantage, and now Raven has to roll to the outside. LeGrande throws him back in, and Corino chokes him against the ropes. Raven looks to come back, but Corino keeps him down with a thumb to the eye. He wedges a chair in the corner then suplexes Raven for 2. Raven takes a whip to the chair and then falls to the floor. Corino retrieves him them drills him with a running forearm in the corner. Corino looks for a big lariat, but that gets ducked, and Raven scores with a superkick. Both men down…wow this is dull.
Left jabs followed by a couple of clotheslines from Raven. Bulldog out of the corner gets Raven a 2. Raven grabs the chair now, and unsurprisingly, he drop toeholds Corino into it. He goes for the pin, but Simply Luscious breaks that. Raven spanks her for that as Punk leaves commentary to ‘do something about that’. Cobra sleeper applied on Raven, but he refuses to let his arm drop 3 times. RAVEN EFFECT ON CORINO…BUT PUNK STOPS THE COUNT! Punk leads Raven back into the ring and into a Corino superkick which puts Raven away at 13:07.
Rating – * – 10 minutes of complete and utter tedium, but at least the last few were a mild improvement. These two are both better when they have more talented guys to work with.
Punk hammers away at Raven after the match, but Corino is livid. He didn’t want or need Punk’s help, and he SLAPS Punk! Punk walks because LeGrande is in the ring and he’s outnumbered…but there’s definitely an issue between these two now.
MURPHY REC MEMORIES – Crowning A Champion’s Iron Man Match to…crown a champion. Low Ki, Christopher Daniels, Spanky and Doug Williams go 60 minutes in stifling heat battling to become the first ROH Champion.
Chris Sabin vs Colt Cabana vs Matt Stryker vs AJ Styles
There’s some interest here because at the next show, Tradition Continues, Matt Stryker and Chris Sabin will wrestle each other in the Field Of Honor (I believe Sabin’s FOH opener), so we’ll have a nice preview of that there. Colt Cabana is in the FOH as well, so he can scout out potential opponents from Block A should he progress to the final. Styles and Sabin met in a fourway at Beating The Odds, and before that at Wrestlerave when Styles defended the NWA Title against Sabin. Winner of this will surely be in the Top 5, as Cabana pointed out at the start of the show, so you know everyone wants to win this, especially Stryker, who would be right in line for a title shot if he gets a win here.
Styles and Stryker kick it off and they struggle to get an advantage on each other. Sabin tags himself in and goes at it with AJ until Cabana brings himself into the match, and he gets a huge pop. Cabana stomps on Sabin’s head that struts around the ring. Sabin responds with a hurricanrana. Sabin out onto the apron, and Cabana knocks him to the floor with a springboard shoulder tackle. Colt prepares for a dive, but psyches everyone out by stepping through the ropes and nailing a double axehandle. Styles kicks Cabana out and takes a springboard cross body from Stryker. Sabin comes in in a big mess, and Cabana flies back in off the top as well.
Cabana back body drops Sabin, and AJ almost catches Sabin with a Styles Clash. Sabin manages to escape and dropkick AJ in the face. Dropkick from Styles gets him 2. Pumphandle gutbuster on Sabin, before Cabana is tagged back in. Double underhook sitout slam from Colt gets 2. Stryker tagged in and he works a chinlock on Sabin. I wasn’t watching the screen and Sabin hit some form of suplex, but Cabana tags in and stops him making a tag.
Cabana spits at AJ, so Styles throws his gum at him. Cabana and Sabin fight on the turnbuckles now…NECKBREAKER DROP OFF THE TOP FROM SABIN! Styles in to hit a reverse heel kick on Cabana. He looks for a Styles Clash, but Sabin stops that with a dropkick. Stryker-Styles again, and Stryker has AJ beaten back against the ropes with forearms. Nip up hurricanrana from AJ, but his monkey flip attempt is countered with a throw from Stryker. Stryker tags Colt back in, and he Russian legsweeps Styles, then puts him into a full nelson with a facelock. Styles escapes, but gets grounded again with a knee to the stomach.
Stryker tags back in and works an armbar. European uppercut isn’t enough to put Styles away though. Sabin blind tags in to work on AJ, and he hits an amazing stalling vertical suplex. Cabana tags in and he puts Styles into an abdominal stretch. Sabin in to put an armbar on Cabana, and Stryker to work a chinlock on Sabin. Styles drops Sabin and Cabana with a quebrada double inverted DDT. Stryker nails him with some stiff forearms, then gets his head taken off with a discus lariat. German suplex from Stryker with so much velocity Styles lands on his face. Thesz press on Cabana, then a Lionsault for 2. Sabin lifted onto Cabana’s shoulders AND HE NAILS A REVERSE RANA! Stryker and Styles both break that pin up…AND STRYKER GIVES SABIN A REVERSE SATELLITE HEADSCISSORS! Stryker takes the German suplex from Styles, but gets right up to drill him with a dragon suplex. Sabin gets back body dropped to the floor…AND CABANA HITS THE COLT 45 ON STRYKER! Cabana wins it at 18:54!
Rating – *** – I liked that one more than the Beating The Odds fourway actually, even though that had a marginally more exciting climax. This one was more solid throughout, with first the isolation of Chris Sabin, then followed with Styles getting beaten down by all three guys. Stryker really turned it on in the closing stages as well, busting out lots of cool stuff.
Maff is still at home but is getting updated by Allison Danger on his phone. He talks so slooooooooowly. So dull as we get minutes of one side of a telephone conversation, with most of Maff’s head not even in the camera shot. Apparently removing Maff from the FOH due to injury is being considered…but Maff says he’ll be back next show to take his spot in the tournament.
MURPHY REC MEMORIES – Paul London vs Michael Shane, the Street Fight from Unscripted. Phenomenal match that made London a star in ROH.
INTERMISSION – GMC has Colt Cabana, and as excited as he is about winning his match, he’s more excited about what he’s got planned to make home video history today. CM Punk arrives to interrupt Cabana’s promo time. Punk is pissed off at Corino…he’s pissed off at Terry Funk…he’s pissed off at Steve Corino. He has angst me thinks. Capetta is a nerd…
ROH Live Events – 16/10/2003 in MD, 25/10/2003 in NY, 01/11/2003 in NJ, 28/11/2003 in CT, 29/11/2003 in MA, 27/12/2003 in PA, 10/01/2004 in OH, 29/01/2004 in MD, 13/03/2004 in NJ (comically all the 2004 events are listed as being in 2003…how did that slip past production?)
Special K vs Carnage Crew
This is a 6 Man Tag, where the winning team gets to enter a team into the Gauntlet Match to crown new tag champions. Special K will be Hydro, Deranged and Angeldust, whilst the Crew is, of course, Loc, DeVito and Justin Credible. Things got even more bitter in the feud between these two groups at Beating The Odds when Special K jumped Justin Credible then beat down the whole Crew during a special Q&A session with Credible whilst the steel cage was being set up. That was in retaliation to the Crew putting Becky through a table. Last time they met in 6 Man Action was at Beating The Odds, when Justin Credible pinned Deranged with a super That’s Incredible.
Special K try to jump the Crew as they do their funky little pose, but they get beaten up anyway. To the floor and we have ourselves a big brawl. Credible flies off the top rope with a plancha on to everyone. Lit gets thrown into the guardrails, even though he’s not part of the match. Credible breaks out the rolling verticals on Angeldust…and apparently angeldust makes Angeldust ‘miss a lot of moves’ – Lovey. ‘Seven suplex…AH AH AH’ – Punk doing impressions of The Count from Sesame Street…he is gold on commentary tonight.
DeVito crossfaces through Angeldust’s face, before tagging Loc in to get 2 from a falcon arrow. Credible back and he gets his leg grabbed by Becky. He kisses her on the apron, but Angeldust takes the opportunity to shove Justin to the floor. Deranged hammers away on Credible and hops around crotch chopping. Running…chinlock from Deranged – ‘holy sh*t’ – Philly. ‘Isn’t Dunn & Marcos in Special K too?’ – Punk.
Credible puts Deranged in a sleeper, but that gets broken with a jawbreaker. Deranged springboards off the ropes, right into a superkick, and Justin makes the tag to Loc. All the K guys take a pasting, before DeVito comes in to catch Deranged with a sidewalk slam. Splash mountain bomb/neckbreaker combo on Angeldust which would’ve finished it, but Credible stops the count. He wants to do the super That’s Incredible again, but he gets ambushed on the top by more Special K members…any chance of a DQ? Why yes…yes there is, but it’s the Carnage Crew that are disqualified for using leather straps on Special K…they advance to the gauntlet series, and it’ll be Angeldust who steps aside, leaving Deranged and Hydro to face the Briscoes who are out next.
Rating – * – If Special K were gonna win this, they got way too much offence in. I like Deranged, but there is no way he should be dominating Justin Credible for three or four minutes if his team are winning the match. It made the Crew look weak definitely…but at least Deranged and Hydro (who, in fairness, are more talented wrestlers than Loc, DeVito or Credible) who go through.
Special K vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe – Tag Title Gauntlet Match
The Briscoes returned to ROH full-time at Beating The Odds, and ironically enough, beat the odds as Mark gained an unexpected victory over BJ Whitmer, then Jay Briscoe pinned Chris Sabin in a fourway and earned himself a World Title shot at Tradition Continues. They stated they’re determined to win the Tag title now, after failing on three occasions against AJ Styles and Amazing Red. This gauntlet is their opportunity, and they start against Deranged and Hydro who have already been through one match.
The Briscoes fly out of the blocks on the K guys, hitting simultaneous mafia kicks and brainbusters. Deranged gets a hurricanrana on Mark, before trading fists with Jay. Jay gets the upper hand with that, then almost clotheslines Deranged out of his shoes. Hydro in and he sidesteps another mafia kick attempt then clotheslines Jay down for 2. A duo of powerbombs from Hydro aren’t enough to pin the older Briscoe though. Mark in and he puts Hydro on the top rope FOR THE SPRINGBOARD ACE CRUSHER. Deranged makes the save there, and plants Mark with the Code Red.
Jay chops at Hydro in the corner, then belly to belly suplexes Deranged into the corner. SPIKE JAY DRILLER ON HYDRO! The Briscoes advance at 02:47
Rating – * – A few nice spots and exchanges, but at less than 3 minutes I can’t go higher.
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Dunn & Marcos – Tag Title Gauntlet Match
So Jay and Mark advance, and they now face everyone’s favourite underdogs. Dunn & Marcos are rank outsiders here, but they’re every bit as capable as the Special K guys. Give this one longer than 2 minutes and they could produce some fun.
‘Speaking of idiots, here’s Dunn & Marcos’ – Punk. Marcos says they’re gonna rock the Briscoes like a hurricane. The Briscoes give them big clotheslines out of the handshakes, then chop away at Marcos in the corner. Marcos ducks a spinning heel kick from Mark, but takes a mafia kick from Jay. Dunn gets another big clothesline, but refuses to get pinned there. ASSISTED SLICED BREAD #2 ON MARK…AIR GUITAR!! Mark Briscoe gets back up and suplexes the crap out of Dunn.
Mark swings Marcos into another big boot to the head from Jay. Springboard Doomsday Device finishes Marcos off at 01:42…
Rating – * – I can’t DUD it because like the first one, it was fun to watch…but it was so freakin’ short. Are any of these matches gonna get any time?
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Special K – Tag Title Gauntlet Match
The second Special K team is Izzy and Dixie, two of the original members and the staple K team. They’ve probably got more experience as a team in ROH than the Briscoes do, but have spent most of their time in Scrambles. Anyway, Jay and Mark have looked unstoppable thus far, defeating Hydro/Deranged, then Dunn & Marcos whilst taking barely any offence themselves. Only the Backseat Boyz are left to come, so this is the penultimate match.
The Briscoes jump Izzy and Dixie as they hit the ring, then send them to the floor, as the Briscoes are being ruthless in this. Mark clotheslines Izzy back to the outside, as Jay is left in the ring with Dixie. Backbreakers nailed, into a springboard knee drop from Mark. Mark breaks out more suplexes on Dixie. Dixie hits Jay off the apron, but Mark quickly hurts him again with a climbing knee to the head. He thumbs Mark in the eye before finally making a tag to Izzy. Moonsault kick on Mark, as CM Punk walks from the announce booth. Ray Murrow quickly comes in to replace him.
Double teaming on Mark and Dixie covers him for 2. Dixie distracts the ref whilst a few of the K guys on the outside choke Mark over the ropes. Gourdbuster gets Dixie another 2. Mark comes back with a springboard twisting crossbody and he looks for a tag. Izzy knocks Jay off the apron, but can’t stop the tag a second time. Jay unloads on Izzy and Dixie, almost powerbombing Izzy through the mat. Mark nails a moonsault but Dixie saves. A K member, I believe Cloudy, distracts the referee so Angeldust can come off the top and nail Mark with a springboard blockbuster. Dixie covers and gets a cheap win for the K team at 05:24.
Rating – * – So that was longer, but not as fun…nothing is going right in this gauntlet series lol. I mean, it’s not hideously bad or anything, but it’s just such a gigantic waste of time, and such a shame after the fantastic title reign of AJ Styles and Amazing Red.
Special K vs Backseat Boyz – Tag Title Gauntlet Final Match
So the Tag Title is on the line in this one, and the opportunity for Acid and Kashmere to back up their claim to be the best tag team in the world is right now. Acid is off the back of another awesome Homicide match at Beating The Odds. He lost that, but the Backseatz did win a Scramble Match on the same show…can they repeat that feat here?
Acid and Kashmere hit the ring in a hurry and fire away with double team moves on Izzy and Dixie. Spear/high knee combo in the corner on Dixie. Izzy looks for a somersault senton off the top BUT GETS CAUGHT AND NAILED WITH A POWERBOMB/NECKBREAKER COMBO! Airplane spin on Dixie by Kashmere…before he nails a somersault plancha to a bunch of K guys on the floor. Acid looks for a dive as well, but Dixie stops that and hiptosses him off the second rope.
Jumping heel kick from Dixie to Kashmere, but the Backseatz quickly give Dixie the Dream Sequence…but Izzy springboards in with a somersault senton. Izzy looks for a rana, but Acid blocks. Yakuza kick misses…REVERSE RANA FROM IZZY! That gets 2 before Kashmere saves. Hiptoss into a facebuster by the K guys on Johnny, before Dixie goes to the top to fight with Acid. Izzy goes up to super rana Acid onto Kashmere. Izzy and Dixie call for the T-Gimmick BUT KASHMERE SAVES WITH A DOUBLE SPEAR. T-GIMMICK ON IZZY! The Backseat Boyz are your new Tag Team Champions at 03:53
Rating – ** – The best match of the series, but nothing overly great. Much like the rest of it, in that there was lots of nice spots, but just no time for them to expand beyond that. Still, at least the Backseatz won, not Special K.
Special K are pissed off though, and look to beat down the Backseat Boyz after the match. Izzy and Dixie hit dives to the floor where Trent and Johnny are laid out. Jay and Mark Briscoe arrive to try and make a save, and Mark takes the chance TO NAIL THE SHOOTING STAR PRESS TO THE FLOOR! Teddy Hart arrives…AND HE HITS A SPRINGBOARD CORKSCREW MOONSAULT TO THE WHOLE PILE! He just got revenge for K laughing at him earlier.
MURPHY REC MEMORIES – Back to the first Glory By Honor, and the sick brutality of Samoa Joe vs Low Ki…it’s cringe-inducing even in highlight form.
Homicide is in Japan, but he’s still cutting a promo. He puts over the Rottweilers, which is nice. He calls Low Ki disrespectful and challenges him to a fight. He wants Samoa Joe one more time, since Smokes and Ki distracted him at Do Or Die. He doesn’t care if it’s non-title, but wants another shot at the champ. THERE’S NO N AT THE END OF HIS NAME…HE’S NOT CALLED SAMOAN JOE…
Alexis Laree comes out night to bid farewell to the ROH fans before she leaves to join Paul London and (then) Spanky in the WWE. She gets streamered and looks hot…I mean genuinely moved by the people chanting her name and ‘Please Don’t Go’ at her. The lights go out and Special K rave out there to ruin things. Joey Matthews makes the save for Alexis…isn’t he in Special K? Apparently not since he runs them off with a chair, and we have ourselves a kiss in the middle of the ring. Matthews looks chuffed, and says thanks by clotheslining Alexis down.
Slugger comes out, and he’s got a past with Special K – he used to be their Special Security. Is he back with them? No, he’s not, since he batters Hydro, before Smokes joins him at ringside. Benny Blanco is here as well. It results in an impromptu match, Alexis Laree vs Hijinx (who spiked her drink at Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies), with Smokes as referee. Laree wins with the inverted DDT. Bye Alexis…
Jim Cornette is somewhere and he’s pissed off at the happenings of Wrath Of The Racket. He’s coming back to ROH, despite The Prophecy embarrassing him by losing then attacking him in Dayton. He’s got new talent to help him get revenge on those guys apparently. Great promo…
CM Punk vs Terry Funk
The second leg of the Punk/Raven Challenge, and for some sadistic reason I’ve been looking forward to this. Punk has been promising to finally cripple poor Terry on commentary all night, and for some reason, I find the idea of Punk dismantling Funk’s knees to be a fun prospect. This is Funk’s first appearance in Ring Of Honor…and I don’t expect it to be the first of many. As a one time deal though, it’ll be great to see him…but does he have what it takes anymore to go with a young guy like Punk? Punk already got one over Raven earlier as he cost Raven his match with Steve Corino, then continued beating him up afterwards. Punk cuts a great promo on Funk, even mocking his ‘Forever’ retirement speech from AJPW. ‘He’s a drunk, pilled-up, schizophrenic, multi-personality dick…head’ – Punk.
Funk plays games with Punk before they finally shake hands. Terry actually gets an early advantage and Punk has to bail to the outside to get away from him. Back inside and Terry puts Punk in a hammerlock, which he has to use the ropes to break. Neckbreaker from Funk, and Punk has to bail to the outside again. We have ourselves a brawl on the floor, and Punk makes it a hardcore match. Funk responds by back body dropping Punk into the front row, which I assume means that’s ok with him.
Punk gets some chops in, but he takes an Irish whip into the guardrail. Funk with a chair to the back, but Punk fights back by slamming Funk against the timekeeper’s table. Punk nails Funk with a chair – ‘You can’t hit any harder than that? – Funk. Terry manages to crawl back in the ring, but Punk quickly punches him back out to the apron. Punk looks to suplex him back in BUT HE GETS SUPLEXED OUT OF THE RING, RIGHT THROUGH A TABLE!
Back in the ring and Funk climbs to the top rope – MOONSAULT MISSES! ‘Please don’t die’ – Philly. That’s apparently the first time he’s tried to do a moonsault in three years. That hurt Funk’s knee bad, and Punk goes at it like a shark. ‘You prick…you bastard’ – Funk. They battle over a suplex…STUNNER BY FUNK! That buys Terry some time, but Punk recovers and goes right back after the knee. Spinning Toehold applied by Punk…then into the Figure 4 leglock. Funk fights it like crazy AND SOMEHOW HE MANAGES TO TURN IT OVER! Punk quickly makes it to the ropes, but that gets Terry some more time. He goes to the outside, but Punk brings him back into the ring, then brings a chair in. CHAIRSHOTS TO THE KNEE! Punk goes to the figure 4 again, but again Funk refuses to give it up. He gets to the ropes again, but Punk drags him away and puts him in the Spinning Toehold again. Funk gets some punches in…SPINNING TOEHOLD ON PUNK! Terry’s leg gives away again though, and Punk puts him in the figure 4 AGAIN! HE GETS THE ROPES AGAIN! Punk refuses to break the hold, and he’s disqualified at 15:49.
Rating – *** – A world apart from Raven/Corino earlier, that was as dramatic a match as ROH has ever produced. Punk produced a miracle there, working around Terry’s well-known weaknesses to create an awesome story, and Funk is still good enough to run with this kind of match and sell it for everyone. Hardly a classic but it’s gripping stuff.
Punk keeps the hold on until Colt Cabana arrives. Cabana yells at Punk…THEN PUTS THE FIGURE 4 ON FUNK HIMSELF! Punk stomps the hell out of Funk until Raven sprints out to make the save. The Saints flee…UNTIL TOMMY DREAMER CUTS OFF CABANA IN THE AISLEWAY! Dreamer throws Cabana into the ring – RAVEN EFFECT ON CABANA! He gets a Stunner from Funk as well…and he rolls out. It’s Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk and Raven standing side by side in an ROH ring…what a picture.
MURPHY REC MEMORIES – AJ Styles vs American Dragon to determine the first #1 Contenders Trophy holder. How does one company produce so many amazing matches?
Samoa Joe vs Christopher Daniels – ROH World Title Match
So after a long long show, it’s Main Event time…and like I’ve said before, this is the biggest ROH Title Match to date. Soooooo much history here. Daniels was the man that brought Joe into ROH a year ago at Glory By Honor to put a beating on Low Ki. Joe was part of The Prophecy, but only as a paid assassin, and jumped ship at the first opportunity to join with his friend Steve Corino in his elite group. Naturally this clashed with Daniels’ Prophecy, and after Corino vanished, Joe took charge, heading The Group in the war with The Prophecy. We actually had contact between the two at Round Robin Challenge II when Daniels laid out Joe after his title defence against Doug Williams. Next, Joe was pissed and busted Maff’s jaw backstage before clashing with Daniels in an empty arena. The Prophecy won the war with The Group at Night Of The Grudges when Maff pinned Samoa Joe himself…but Daniels still vowed to take the World Title. He finally guaranteed a shot (his first since contesting the match to crown the first champion) by winning the #1 Contenders Trophy against Xavier at Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies, then drew the battle lines as he laid Joe out with the Angels Wings after Joe’s match with CM Punk. Now it’s FINALLY time for their match…and it has a lot of hype to live up to. This is ROH’s last match ever at the Murph, just to add more importance to it.
Daniels is WAY over as a face tonight. He’s been getting a lot of cheers recently, and he’s supposed to be the company’s top heel. Thankfully Joe has ditched the skirt (see Beating The Odds) and has his gameface on here.
Joe almost gets it done in 5 seconds with a big boot to the face and a quick pin. He’s clearly looking to over-power and defeat Daniels early. Daniels isn’t playing ball though, and he responds with armdrags and a dropkick. Joe reasserts himself quickly though, with the chop/kick combo into a knee drop for 2. Jumping heel kick from Daniels, and an early pattern is emerging. Joe is looking to use all his power, but Daniels has the speed advantage and will be looking to use it. Arabian press gets Daniels 2, but he foolishly looks for forearms, and Joe quickly takes control again. Daniels gets hammered down into the corner, then takes some bootscrapes, followed by a BIG running bootscrape.
Backbreaker from Samoa Joe, which he sensibly follows by dragging Daniels into a Boston crab. Allison Danger interjects herself and tries to drag Daniels to the ropes. Joe is too strong through, and he pulls her into the ring, still attached to Daniels. Joe tries to give her a running bootscrape, but Daniels makes the save and sends Joe outside…THEN FOLLOWS HIM OUT WITH ANOTHER ARABIAN PRESS! Daniels hurls Joe into the crowd barrier, but he really doesn’t want to be spending too long on the outside with the innovator of the Ole Ole kick. Daniels sets Joe up on the chair, but Joe blocks an attempted Ole Ole kick. Daniels is all set…AND HE TAKES THE OLE OLE KICK! We go around the ring, and Daniels takes a second for good measure.
Rolling cradle from Joe but Daniels still kicks out before 3. DANIELS REPLIES WITH A HEAD DROP GERMAN SUPLEX! Daniels runs at Joe WHO NAILS HIM WITH A POWERSLAM FOR 2. Joe looks for a mafia kick which Daniels sidesteps…Flatliner takes Joe down! He gets up again and Daniels tries everything to get him down again…SAMOAN DROP GETS THAT DONE! Urinage slam from Daniels…DOUBLE JUMP MOONSAULT NAILED…BUT JOE KICKS OUT!!!
Suddenly Joe is up, and he almost drills Daniels through the mat with an STO. He follows that with KNEE STRIIIIIIIKES! Daniels won’t be put away though, and he drops Joe with another Flatliner, into the headscissors crossface! BLUE THUNDER DRIVER ON JOE…BUT IT’S STILL NOT ENOUGH! Joe lifted onto the turnbuckle and Daniels looks for the Fall From Grace. Joe blocks, and Daniels climbs upstairs. Joe tries to get Daniels and drill him with the Muscle Buster…BUT DANIELS COUNTERS WITH A SUPER RANA! ANGELS WINGS CONNECTS…3 COUNT!!! NO!!!!!!! The referee is signalling Joe kicked out at the last possible opportunity…AND JOE COUNTERS LAST RIGHTS INTO THE CHOKE!! DANIELS MAKES THE ROPES!! Huge enzi kick from Joe…ISLAND DRIVER NAILED! Joe finally retains at 15:00…
Rating – ****1/2 – Alright so in practice, this was nothing more than a competitive back and forth contest, but I cannot state through this how much I was marking out through most of that match. Having seen this angle develop and waited for this match for COUNTLESS shows, to finally see the clash of Samoa Joe and Chris Daniels was fantastic, and they did not disappoint at all. Was the bell ringing after the Angels Wings deliberate? I don’t know, but it was all part of an incredible climax…definitely one of the most memorable ROH Title matches ever…and Joe’s reign as Champion continues.
Joe makes his exit after the match and Daniels gets a deserved standing ovation. He just added another classic to his already massive body of fantastic work in the company he helped build.
MURPHY REC MEMORIES – Epic Encounter and the 2/3 Falls 45 minute MOTYC between Paul London and ‘American Dragon’ Bryan Danielson. I’m not as high on this match as some people, but I’m not gonna refute the fact it is fantastic. It’s one of those must-see ROH matches.
Dan Maff is STILL at home, and he is certain that Daniels had the belt won tonight…despite the fact he wasn’t even there. He also claims he’ll win the Field Of Honor…and has harsh words for Low Ki as well. Please please please get well soon Dan, so we don’t have to endure 3 more of these horrible sloooooooow selling injury promos.
Carnage Crew are disappointed that they didn’t win their match, but Loc is happy since they put Becky through a table at Beating The Odds…he’s still pissed off at the DQ though, since all they were doing is getting revenge for the actions of the K guys. Justin runs his catchphrase, which is cool with me, it’s one of the coolest things he does.
The Backseat Boyz are celebrating being new ROH Tag Champions. That’s about all we get from this promo…
MURPHY REC MEMORIES – Samoa Joe in possibly his best ROH Title match to date in his Do Or Die violent match with Homicide. The debut of the Muscle Buster…sweet.
GOOD TIMES, GREAT MEMORIES – This what Colt Cabana has been talking about all night, he has his very own talk show on ROH releases. His first guests on the show will be the Rottweilers and CM Punk. The Rottweilers are here first…and naturally Cabana chatting with Smokes is pretty comical. He asks if ‘the man’ (ie Rob Feinstein) holding Smokes down lol. He goes on to try to negotiate a spot for Twiggy (his water skiing squirrel) in the Rottweilers…this is hilarious. Smokes makes less sense that Cabana, and decides to sing. That’s the end of the show…I guess we’ll get to CM Punk next time…great segment.
Convention Card Matches –Outcast Killaz d. Slyk Wagner Brown/April Hunter
Angeldust d. Joey Matthews
Jimmy Jacobs d. Alex Shelley, Josh Daniels, Roderick Strong (FANTASTIC **** match)
Tape Rating – ** – It has enough good stuff on it to be pushing 3*…but it’s just SO long. This double tape set weighs in at almost 5 hours, and there’s not enough good stuff in that 5 hours to guarantee a higher rating. In fact, it’s much like the first Glory By Honor in that it promised much, but in the end is pretty much a one match card. The fourway was decent, and CM Punk and Terry Funk’s dramatic matches were good, add to those the Walters/Xavier FOH match and the awesome fourway on the convention card, there’s enough to guarantee that if you buy this tape you won’t be disappointed, but there are FAR better shows for your money. Joe/Daniels is must-see at some point though…
Top 3 Matches (not including the convention card sadly)
3) Colt Cabana vs Matt Stryker vs Chris Sabin vs AJ Styles (***)
2) Terry Funk vs CM Punk (***)
1) Samoa Joe vs Christopher Daniels (****1/2)