027 ROH Tradition Continues 10/16/2003

ROH 27 – Tradition Continues – 16th October 2003

Another show and another new area for ROH. Tonight it’s the Maryland debut, and we’re in Michael’s 8th Avenue…I have no idea what the hell it’s supposed to be, but it looks like they’ve taken over the dining room of a country manor. This has been a summer of expansion for ROH, with debuts in New Jersey, Ohio, Connecticut, and now here, this company really is going places right now. After the relative disappointment of Glory By Honor II, we’ve left the Murphy Rec behind, however, Samoa Joe still stands on top of the mountain, surviving one of his biggest challenges to date. He gets no respite though, because he meets Jay Briscoe in tonight’s Main Event. Aside from that, new Tag Champions the Backseat Boyz defend against the team they beat in the finals of the Tag Title Gauntlet, Izzy and Dixie of Special K. AJ Styles and CM Punk are wrestling each other too, just for kicks. We’re in Glen Burnie, MD (which is close to Baltimore for the record). Hosts are Chris Lovey and Ray Murrow (although he’s replaced for the majority of the evening by CM Punk).

Top 5 Rankings –
1) Jay Briscoe
2) Christopher Daniels
3) Colt Cabana
4) Homicide
5) Steve Corino

Gary Michael Capetta opens the show in the ring, and puts over MCW (Maryland Championship Wrestling) and thanks people for various things. Prince Nana interrupts GMC rambling on like a nerd. Nana is upset that he’s never received a title shot. This brings Samoa Joe out and we get ourselves an impromptu match…no idea if the title’s on the line, but if the Joe/Cabana/Carter/Stryker match isn’t regarded as an official ROH Title Match (according to ROHwrestling.com) then neither is this. Nana gets a few asses to the face in, before chokes him out like a b*tch. He hypes the show, which brings Jay Briscoe…MAFIA KICK FROM JAY! We have ourselves a fight, and Mark Briscoe arrives to pull them apart and tell Jay to wait for the match later. Great little opening segment.

GOOD TIMES, GREAT MEMORIES – Cabana is live from Chicago (wink wink) and his guests this time are the Backseat Boyz and CM Punk. He got the show by beating Feinstein at dredel spinning apparently. The Backseatz arrive, and Cabana has little cards calling them gay. Acid and Kashmere are happy to be champs and aren’t sweating Izzy and Dixie tonight. They’ve got aroused when women shove money in their pants on the way to the ring too. We’ll have to get to Punk next time…Cabana, Acid and Kashmere are off to catch a plane to Baltimore.

Dunn & Marcos vs Danny Doring/Josh Daniels vs Slyk Wagner Brown/Sonjay Dutt vs Rottweilers – Scramble Match
This is the first time we’ll have seen Homcide and Smokes stable (the Rottweilers) compete. Representing them tonight are Slugger and Grim Reefer…meaning this illustrious group contains one good wrestler (Homicide), a retard (Smokes) a big talentless goony (Slugger) and a spotmonkey with the worst wrestling name ever (Reefer). Lots of new faces in this match. Danny Doring, Sonjay Dutt, Josh Daniels and Grim Reefer all making main show debuts tonight. We saw Doring at Death Before Dishonor as he got involved in the Punk/Raven Dog Collar Match, whilst Josh Daniels we saw at the Glory By Honor II convention card competing in a great fourway match. Slyk isn’t too great, but his style might work pretty well in the Scramble environment. I’m looking forward to this, as it’ll be nice to see a Scramble with NONE of the usual suspects in. I believe only Dunn, Marcos and Slugger have been in one before of this lot. Dutt, by the way, is an indy standout, has been seen in CZW and TNA, and has finally made his way to ROH. He’s lightning fast and will fit in with this perfectly. Julius Smokes is at ringside with the Slugger and Reefer.

Doring and Marcos start out together as CM Punk busts into the broadcast booth, and he kicks Ray Murrow out of the booth, he’ll be doing commentary. Hurricanrana from Marcos, followed by an enzi kick as Punk demands information on who took out Lucy. ‘Does Marcos have a first name?’ – Punk. Big clothesline from Doring. Josh Daniels and Dunn in next, and Dunn gets 2 with a victory roll. Dutt-Reefer now, and they run CRAZILY FAST standing switches. Swinging headscissors from Reefer. Lots of near misses before Dutt connects with a dropkick. That was pretty impressive.
Slyk and Slugger now, because putting the least talented duo in the ring together is a good idea. ‘I thought it was natural too’ – Punk on Slyk’s formerly bleached hair. Dropkick from Brown, but he can’t ground Slugger. He finally knocks the big man down with a missile dropkick, before Dunn and Marcos come in to have a go with Slugger. Assisted Sliced Bread #2 nailed, before Doring and Daniels invade the ring. They get grounded as well AND DUNN GORY DRIVERS DANIELS ONTO DORING! Reefer breaks the air guitar up and gives Marcos a somersault senton off the top. Dutt and Reefer in the ring…STUNNER BY DUTT! BOMBAY SPLASH TO FOLLOW…GERMAN SUPLEX BY DANIELS! Dutt just got dumped and now it’s Slyk and Daniels. Press slam into a moonsault splash from Slyk. Doring in with the Bareback on Brown. Slugger and Dunn are going at it again, and Slugger kicks Dunn clear across the ring. Reefer nails a frog splash, and Slugger gives Dunn the Bodybag to take the win at 08:12.

Rating – * – Unlike most Scramble Matches, I was nowhere near ready to see that one finish yet. It seemed to get cut off just as it was getting going, and all in order to put the stupid Rottweiler nobodies over. Slugger sucks bigtime…although as far as spot guys go, Reefer looked ok. Dutt and Daniels also looked pretty good here. It’s hard to make an assessment on Danny Doring, since he didn’t do an awful lot. I imagine he didn’t do enough to justify forking out to bring him in regularly. He was never that good…

Matt Stryker vs Chris Sabin – Field Of Honor Block A
Matt Stryker – Cincinnati, OH – debuted vs Chad Collyer 11/01/2003 – FOH Record 1-0
Chris Sabin – Detroit, MI – debuted vs Homicide, Walters, Credible 14/06/2003 – FOH Record 0-0

We get some mat-based exchanges to start but neither man gets a real advantage. They go after each other’s arms now, but once again there’s no real advantage gained. Sabin gets taken down, but he quickly drags Stryker over as well with a headscissors takedown. They look to test each other’s strength, but pepper each other with kicks at the same time. Nearfalls traded now, and once again they’re pretty even. Armdrag from Sabin, followed by a jawbreaker then an enziguri. He breaks out some knee strikes in the corner, then looks for a springboard crossbody…AND GETS DROPPED ON HIS F*CKING HEAD FROM AN ATTEMPTED POWERSLAM COUNTER! Somehow that didn’t knock him out and the match continues with Stryker working a surfboard on Sabin. Sabin fights free of that, but immediately takes a back suplex. ‘I would’ve pinned Chris Sabin by now…twice’ – Punk. Sabin looks for a hurricanrana, and we have a messy counter with a powerbomb…I think that was supposed to be Sabin’s facebuster thing.
Sabin goes for the springboard again AND NAILS A SPINNING HEEL KICK! Sabin looks for something but Stryker escapes it and gets in a neckbreaker for 2. Springboard swinging DDT from Sabin in response. Sabin goes back to the top rope…but gets taken over with Stryker’s ‘not as good as Kurt Angle’s rope run belly to belly. Punk claims he’s a better commentator than Steve Corino. Stryker nails a big boot to the face then looks for the DVD. Sabin escapes…STRYKER ROLLS THROUGH AND NAILS THE DVD TO WIN IT! Unfortunately Stryker is not hitting much clean tonight, and his head clashed with Sabin’s on the way down there and Sabin’s face is a bloody mess. Stryker advances to 2-0 at 10:04.

Rating – ** – Unintentionally violent, but Sabin seemed to work real hard to get a good match out of Matt Stryker who was simply not at the races today. He’ll have the wounds to remind him of this match for a while…

Stryker apologises backstage, and frankly rightly so. Sabin accepts because it’s all part of the game.

Colt Cabana vs BJ Whitmer – Field Of Honor Block B
Colt Cabana – Chicago, IL – debuted vs CM Punk 07/12/2002 – FOH Record 1-0
BJ Whitmer – Cincinnati, OH – debuted vs London, Homicide, Cabana 11/01/2003 – FOH Record 1-0

Cabana quickly backs BJ into the corner…and gives him a high 10 as he calls for a clean break lol. Whitmer gets the better of a test of strength then works some arm wrenches. Cabana comically has to gain momentum before nipping up to escape it. Jumping heel kick from BJ gets him 2. Whitmer works a hammerlock, which Cabana escapes and works a mean side headlock. Cabana runs the ropes and trips over BJ…the crowd find that hilarious and Colt threatens to walk out. Dunno if that was a legit screw up or not but it too was funny.
Rolling suplexes from BJ, and he gets 2 from a bridging northern lights. Cabana hits a knee lift, then a fist drop in a rare moment of non-comedic wrestling. Colt looks for the swinging snap suplex, but BJ blocks. Cabana finally gets the snap suplex in but it doesn’t put BJ away. Colt knocks Whitmer down again with a jumping ass to the face, which does not impress Punk on commentary. Colt goes for the…IRON CLAW! ‘This cannot possibly be doing any damage’ – Lovey. Whitmer manages to fight free of that devastating hold AND BELLY TO BELLY THROWS COLT INTO THE CORNER! BJ tries to roll up Cabana a couple of times, but still no victory for him. High knee to the face…EXPLODER ’98! Cabana kicks out and now he looks for the Colt 45. BJ escapes…BUT TAKES A HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX! Somehow he kicked out of that, and he looks for a dragon suplex, but Colt rolls him up for three at 11:35. Despite acting like a ‘goofball’ Colt is now 2-0.

Rating – ** – Lots of comedy…and by lots, I mean the whole match until they broke out a few headbumps at the end. It’s all funny stuff though, and I was going to give this match 3* until the sh*tty finish. The Iron Claw thing was priceless.

Backstage after the match, Cabana says that was serious to him. Apparently when he steps in the ring he’s serious…and that’s bad news for Dan Maff, who he faces in his final Block A match.

AJ Styles is still mentoring Jimmy Rave, and he’s encouraging Rave to go after Maff’s injured neck. He’s still hurting from the match with Low Ki, and Styles wants Rave to take advantage. Jimmy is unsure, but AJ assures him its part of wrestling.

Backseat Boyz vs Special K – ROH Tag Title Match
The Backseatz achieved their goal at Glory By Honor II and finally won the ROH Tag Titles, the reason they came to ROH in the first place all the way back at the first Glory By Honor. In the final match of the Gauntlet series to crown new champions, they defeated Izzy and Dixie, but they’d already had one match, eliminating one of the favourites – the Briscoe brothers. They have a rematch here, and will be looking to recreate the numerous stolen victories they already have over teams like the Backseat Boyz and complete an unlikely Tag Title victory. Lets not forget it was Special K who put the Backseatz through a table after Acid’s epic Wrestlerave match with Homicide…

Naturally Izzy and Dixie don’t shake hands and the Backseatz take it to their opponents in their early going. Trent prepares to dive to the floor but gets cut off by Dixie. Izzy and Kashmere inside, before Acid cuts Izzy off and enables Kashmere to get in an airplane spin. Suplex powerbomb from Acid to Izzy. Acid is stiffer than Izzy and out-strikes him. Acid looks to dive to the floor again, but he gets dragged off the ropes by Izzy. Kashmere lifts Dixie to the outside, then goes for a baseball slide. Dixie catches him…AND IZZY AIDS A FACEBUSTER ON THE FLOOR!
Trent Acid is by himself for now, and he takes a springboard dropkick from Izzy, followed by a jumping heel kick from Dixie. Acid fires back with high knees in the corner, but he misses a Yakuza kick attempt on Izzy. He takes a reverse hurricanrana but kicks out and isn’t ready to lose the straps quite yet. Kashmere is back on the apron at least, as Acid gets worn down by Dixie. Acid gets in a desperation Yakuza kick on Dixie and makes the tag to Kashmere. He spears Dixie into the corner then bulldogs Izzy. Superkick from Acid to Dixie. Lit gets involved but takes a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo. Elax and Hijinx interrupt as well, but they all get beaten up. All of this is whilst Becky distracts the referee. Dream Sequence on Izzy…T-GIMMICK ON DIXIE! That would’ve got it done but Lit drags the referee out of the ring. The Backseat Boyz chase him, and he leads them right into a belt shot by Izzy. The ref was still on the outside and didn’t see it…BUT ACID KICKS OUT ANYWAY! Gourdbuster by Dixie…SPRINGBOARD 450 BY IZZY! Special K are your new Tag champions at 08:43

Rating – ** – Horrible horrible idea to put the belts on Special K, but it was at least done in an entertaining fashion, that really got K over as guys you HAVE to hate. Total sports-entertainment stuff here…

Loc of the Carnage Crew hits the ring to try and break up the celebration, but he gets outnumbered. The Rottweilers of Smokes, Slugger and Grim Reefer make the save, but Izzy and Dixie have already fled to the back with the belts.

CM Punk vs AJ Styles
So this is a pretty big match just thrown into the midcard. This is probably the reason I love ROH. They don’t tell their wrestlers to hold stuff back and limit themselves, they throw guys like AJ Styles and CM Punk out there together and give them the opportunity to put on a great match. These two haven’t had a lot (if any) of interaction with each other, but they are two of ROH’s biggest stars right now. This is also AJ’s first singles match since Wrestlerave, as he’s pretty limited in what he can do right now due to being NWA Champion. Punk is on a losing streak right now, losing to Samoa Joe, Raven and Terry Funk…although he did crucify Raven, and then almost cripple Funk so…

In a funny moment, after Punk lecturing him about it on commentary at Glory By Honor II, Lovey is once again using a CM Punk match to run through the Code Of Honor. AJ rides Punk in the early going as Samoa Joe arrives on commentary. Test of strength, and they throw in some stiff headbutts for fun. Punk tries to monkey flip out of it but AJ rides that and clamps on a body scissors. Styles looks for a bearhug, but Punk slams his head into the mat and works on the legs. With their legs grapevined, they stand on their heads and slap at each other…crazy!
Headlocks exchanged…UNTIL PUNK UNLEASHES A HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX! It’s almost 6 minutes in and the commentators are finally talking about this match for the first time. Mule kick from Punk, but he takes Styles’ perfect dropkick just seconds later. Styles takes a drop toehold into the bottom turnbuckle, and Punk follows up with a dropkick to the face. Punk looks for a hurricanrana…AND AJ LOOKS FOR THE STYLES CLASH! Punk escapes that but takes an enzi kick and he falls to the outside. Styles misses the moonsault press off the apron then gets thrown hard into the railings.

Back in the ring AJ takes a tilta-whirl backbreaker for 2. Stalling vertical suplex from Punk. Punk continues to focus on the back with forearms and kicks…as Lovey starts shilling RFVideo as well. Punk WILL NOT be happy. MOONSAULT KICK FROM AJ! That hurt the back though, and Punk is quickly able to reassert himself. Punk grounds him with a neckbreaker into a slam, then puts Styles into the Regal Stretch. Russian legsweep gets Punk 2. Styles looks for the quebrada off the second rope, but gets caught in a backbreaker. To the corner and Punk looks for the split-legged moonsault, but Styles gets the knees up. Punk ducks the discus lariat and clotheslines AJ over, but Styles comes right back with the nip up hurricanrana!
Punks traded…chops traded…forearms traded. Styles looks for the suplex neckbreaker, but Punk blocks. AJ looks for a German but Punk blocks that as well! Styles finally takes Punk over with a back suplex for 2. Pumphandle gutbuster attempted, but Punk escapes…HAMMERLOCK DDT – FOR 2! Punk goes to the turnbuckles as he looks for the Pepsi Plunge. AJ looks to fight free so Punk takes him over with a sunset flip off the ropes, but Styles kicks out before 3. Discus lariat takes Punk over, and now both guys are down. AJ calls for the Styles Clash, but Punk is still too fresh. He goes to the corner…and Punk has to escape a super Styles Clash attempt! Styles looks for a jump swinging DDT but Punk brushes him off. Shining Wizard attempt from Punk…BUT HE GETS CAUGHT – STYLES CLAAAAAASH!! Punk loses again at 18:08!

Rating – **** – Great match, but you’d expect no less from these two. It could’ve been better, as not enough was made of AJ’s back injury after the middle part of the match, but everything was done so cleanly and the match had such a nice flow and pace to it. It’s hard to argue with quality like this…and the finish was really top quality.

INTERMISSION – GMC wants a comment from the Backseat Boyz after they lost the Tag Titles in a shock defeat to Izzy and Dixie. Kashmere is inconsolable, and walks out without comment. Acid leaves to go after him.

Elsewhere…in a room which looks remarkably similar to Colt Cabana’s ‘Good Times, Great Memories’ set, Special K are partying to celebrate their win…except Lit who partied too hard and is throwing up in the toilet. Is this building actually some form of country estate or what? They’re in some plush room for pete’s sake. What kind of arena is this?

Jimmy Rave vs Dan Maff – Field Of Honor Block B
Jimmy Rave – Atlanta, GA – debuted vs AJ Styles 07/12/2002 – FOH Record 0-2
Dan Maff – Brooklyn, NY – debuted w/Mack vs Christopher St. Connection 23/02/2002 – FOH Record 0-0

Rave has the quickness advantage, and he looks to use it early, going for some armdrags, until Maff drops him on his head with a back suplex. Rave gets pasted into the guardrails and when Maff does it, believe me it’s especially brutal. Rave is already eliminated from the FOH and he’s fighting for pride here, and right now he doesn’t even look close to a consolation victory. Maff is just destroying him, running him to the railings all over ringside. Maff fakes out throwing Rave into the crowd because he’s still a dick whether the crowd are cheering for him or not (and before that they were).
Rave recovers and knocks Maff to the floor…and then hits the running knee (I refuse to call Rave’s pitiful excuse for this move a Shining Wizard) off the apron. Back in the ring Maff begs off, claiming the neck injury (sustained against Low Ki) is hurting him. Rave completely disregards what AJ told him earlier and gives Maff some time, and even turns his back on him. Maff was playing possum and quickly gets to his feet. He looks for the Burning Hammer but Rave escapes TO WALK RIGHT INTO A STIFF LARIAT! Incredibly he kicks out of that and his reward is some stiff chops in the corner. Running cannonball from Maff just crushes poor Jimmy. Rave locks in the Satellite Crossface out of nowhere, but he’s hardly worked Maff’s neck at all, so it isn’t enough to put Maff away. Maff just stands up out of it…BURNING HAMMER!! DANGEROOOOUUUUS! Maff wins and completes a complete 0-3 whitewash for Jimmy Rave at 06:43.

Rating – * – Nothing but a squash, but the storyline between Rave and Styles is continued nicely as Rave completely ignored AJ’s advice and lost again as a result.

AJ gets pissed off at Jimmy Rave backstage for not listening. ‘I’m not mad at you, I’m just disappointed’ – AJ. Ouch…that stings.
Maff looks like he’s walked right out of the building, but he says he’s the winner of the FOH…and has an inane b*tch at Low Ki as well.

Here’s how the FOH Stands right now:
Block A – Stryker 2-0, Xavier 1-0, Sabin 0-1, Walters 0-2
Block B – Cabana 2-0, Maff 1-0, Whitmer 1-1, Rave 0-3

Jimmy Rave and John Walters, therefore, have already been eliminated.

I’m taking a break from this review, and whilst I’m here…
Top 5 ROH Girls (to 16/10/2003)
1) Becky Bayless
2) Allison Danger
3) Alexis Laree
4) Lollipop
5) Lucy (she was soooo hot in an alternative kinda way)

Dan McDevitt formerly of MCW comes out and puts over ROH big time. ROH will be running the Shane Shamrock Cup in July 2004 now MCW are defunct…it’s a big announcement but due to Feinstein’s mistakes it never happened.

Justin Credible vs Raven
Oh dear I’m not looking forward to this. His feud with Punk has been excellent, but recently Raven’s matches have been poor. He’s a great worker with the right opponents, but in a straight match with somebody like Justin Credible, this may well suck…royally.

We save a little time by JIP, which is not a good sign, although I doubt we missed too much. Credible tries to take a walk and it’s here I notice his beard is ridiculous. Raven joins him on the floor and throws him hard into the rails a few times. Back inside and Raven looks for the Raven Effect, but Credible rolls away. Credible takes Raven back to the outside with a drop toehold through the ropes. Diving elbow from the second rope keeps Justin in the ascendancy. Lovey and Punk are deep in conversation about Steve Corino, Chris Daniels and the Lucy situation. Raven gets crotched against the ringpost. Credible puts Raven in the figure 4 as Punk starts challenging Tommy Dreamer on commentary.
Justin looks for the baseball slide kick and takes goes crotch-first into the ringpost to even the score in the crotch around the ringpost stakes. Punk looks for a superkick but Raven moves and the referee takes the shot. Raven hits a superkick of his own, but there’s no referee to count the fall. Justin gets a…lounge chair and takes a drop toehold over it. One Raven Effect later, and Raven takes the win at 07:52.

Rating – DUD – Yep, that sucked hard. Just fast forward it, there’s really nothing about it that makes it worth spending your time watching. Complete nothing match, with Raven and Credible looking like they cared as much as I did.

John Walters vs Mark Briscoe vs Xavier vs Homicide
Not an intense amount of heat in this match, but there’s a few issues you need to be aware of. Walters is coming in off back to back FOH defeats against Matt Stryker and Xavier. He’s pissed off at Xavier who needed to cheat and take a cheap victory to beat him in their match, so no doubt he’ll be looking for revenge there. Mark Briscoe, meanwhile, fired back onto the ROH seen with an unexpected victory over BJ Whitmer at Beating The Odds, and then had a good showing in the Tag Title Gauntlet Match at Glory By Honor II. Last time we saw Homicide he was ending his issues with Trent Acid as they stole the show for the second time at Beating The Odds. He was in Japan for GBH2 and dropped down the Top 5 as a result. He’ll be looking to climb back up here. Homicide has Smokes in his corner, and is once again coming out to the sounds of 50 Cent which is good.

Xavier slaps Homicide instead of shaking hands, and they’re the two that start things off. To the mat and Xavier tries to pick at Homicide’s leg. That’s unsuccessful, but Xavier still acts like as a dick as he steps on Homicide then pie-faces Walters. Walters tags in, but Xavier tags out to former-Prophecy stablemate Mark Briscoe rather than face Walters. They run some nice chain wrestling, naturally they’re both pretty good at that. Briscoe wins the exchange with a hiptoss. Japanese armdrag from Briscoe, but Walters almost rolls Mark up for a 3 count soon afterwards.
Homicide-Briscoe now, and Cide takes a couple of armdrags. Standing plancha from Mark Briscoe scores and Homicide is down on the floor. Back in the ring and they battle on the top rope – and Homicide nails a double underhook superplex! Homicide brings Xavier, who gets a nice belly to belly suplex in. Briscoe runs Xavier to the outside. Xavier back in quickly, but he takes a spinning heel kick, then a urinage suplex. Homicide tagged in and Mark gets some offence in on him as well. Walters-Homicide now, and Homicide gets some kicks in on Walters’ spine. Walters takes to the air to nail a missile dropkick for 2. Low blow by Homicide, then a bridging T-bone suplex gets 2. Briscoe in with a gutwrench suplex on Walters. Walters ties Mark and Xavier in a submission hold…which Homicide breaks with a HUGE dropkick to the face!

Homicide lifts Walters to the top rope…SUPER RANA! Xavier in, and he drills Homicide with a spinebuster. Xavier and Briscoe trade blows, before Mark gets taken into the corner to receive Xavier’s trademark knee strikes. Walters throws Xavier to the outside, then gets back suplexed by Homicide. Homicide and Briscoe fight on the top rope, and Walters looks to powerbomb Homicide. He slips off the ropes, but Homicide gets the superplex anyway. Guillotine leg drop off the top gets Walters 2, before Walters and Xavier finally come face to face. They unload on each other with chops…CAPTURE STUNNER BY WALTERS! Homicide has to make the save there, and he throws Walters to the floor for the TOPE CON HILO! Mark Briscoe likes that idea…AND GOES HIGH FOR HIS SHOOTING STAR PRESS OUTSIDE! Xavier goes up as well…ARABIAN PRESS ONTO EVERYONE! Walters teases a dive but opts to flip them all off instead. Xavier tries to give him the 450 Splash but misses. Homicide into the ring TO GIVE WALTERS THE SUPLEX DDT! SPRINGBOARD TWISTING CROSSBODY BY BRISCOE! Xavier takes over on Mark and gets 2 with a fisherman suplex. HURRICANE DDT ON XAVIER! HOMICIDE MAKES THE SAVE! Homicide lifts Walters to the turnbuckles again, but Walters fights free. ACE CRUSHER BY HOMICIDE! Walters somehow kicks out…and drills Homicide with the falling double knee backbreaker. Mark wipes out Walters…BUT THEN TAKES A PILEDRIVER BY XAVIER! Mark still kicks out…SITOUT POWERBOMB BY BRISCOE! Homicide is there to stop that though…COP KILLAAAAAAAAAA! BUT WALTERS MAKES THE SAVE! Walters belly to belly’s Homicide into the corner…SUPER HURRICANE DDT ON HOMICIDE…AND XAVIER HAS TO SAVE! Xavier goes for the X-Breaker but Walters blocks. Xavier tries a repeat from last month and goes for the low blow but no dice there…so he thumbs Walters in the eye! KISS YOUR X GOODBYE! Xavier wins it with that, and gets another cheap win over Walters.

Rating – **** – Save one mess up by John Walters that was all gold. Despite that, Walters proved he belonged with regular ROH upper midcarders like these three, so hopefully we’ll see him in there with guys like this a lot more often in future. Xavier’s remarkable 2003 continues, as he is yet to have a bad match I think…quite a turnaround from the previous year. Mark Briscoe was solid as well, whilst Homicide has another great match to add to his amazing streak.

Jim Cornette is still hyping his next appearance – on ROH’s return to the RexPlex on November 1st. He says he’ll be in Samoa Joe’s corner…and that spells trouble for The Prophecy who pissed Corny off with their actions at Wrath Of The Racket.

Samoa Joe vs Jay Briscoe – ROH World Title Match
So what if Samoa Joe came through possibly his toughest challenge to date as he retained the title against Christopher Daniels. Life goes on, and now he has this defence against the elder Briscoe brother. Jay earned this match when pinned Chris Sabin in a fourway also including AJ Styles and Samoa Joe (in a skirt). Last time Jay was in this position he couldn’t quite beat Xavier for the belt, can he go better against Joe and become the youngest ROH Champion to date? These two had to be held apart at the opening of the show, so tensions are running high by this point.

Joe has the size and power advantage as usual, and he demonstrates that in the early exchanges. Joe forces Jay down into a bridge then gets a hard couple of kicks. Chop/kick combo follows, then a devastating back suplex backbreaker. Abdominal stretch surfboard from Joe, before he opts to dominate Briscoe with more strikes. Jay is put into the Boston crab with extra crank, and he is just screaming in pain. Joe beats him down in the corner and looks to bootscrape his face off. Joe looks for a second, but Jay fires back with a duo of Yakuza kicks! Joe rolls to then outside…SO JAY DIVES OFF THE TOP ROPE WITH A PLANCHA! Joe gets thrown hard into the rail a couple of times, then sent back into the ring. Jay seems to hang in the air as he hits Joe with a dropkick, which he follows up with a snap suplex.
Joe takes a big kick in the corner…BUT COMES BACK WITH THE STO SLAM! He takes Jay to the outside, which can mean but one thing. OLE OLE KICK SCORES! He asks if they want it one more time…AND THEY GET IT!

Powerbomb-2 count-STF as Joe looks to make Briscoe submit. Jay comes back with some slaps! He’s slapping the ROH Champion in the face. Joe almost gets a victory with the rolling cradle. HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX BY JAY! He keeps it going and almost puts Joe away with a falcon arrow. He sets up for the Jay Driller but Joe blocks…SO JAY GIVES HIM A DOUBLE UNDERHOOK DDT! Jay goes to the top rope and connects with a leg drop for 2. For all Briscoe’s offence, Joe has no trouble putting him into an abdominal stretch. Somehow Jay muscles Joe up INTO THE DEATH VALLEY DRIVER…BUT STILL JOE KICKS OUT! He looks for the Jay Driller again, but again Joe blocks. Joe goes for the Choke but Jay blocks it. Jay’s biting and clawing but he escapes…ONLY TO GET DROPPED ON HIS HEAD WITH A DRAGON SUPLEX! E HONDA SLAPS…KAWADA KICKS…ISLAND DRIVEEEEEER! JAY KICKS OUT!!! Jay is still fighting back…LARIAAAAAT – DANGEROOOOOUUUUS! Joe finally retains at 15:02.

Rating – **** – When Samoa Joe defends the ROH Title, you’re almost guaranteed a good match, and this was no exception. The crowd in this match were truly remarkable. When Jay was announced he got polite applause, and by the end of the match they going absolutely nuts for him, willing him to win the title. This was a real breakout match for him, as he takes another few steps up the ROH ladder. Credit to Joe for going out of his way to make Jay look so good on what was expected to be nothing more than a routine title defence.

Joe smirks and shakes Jay’s hand, and Mark gets in his face…SO JOE CHOKES HIM OUT! ‘F*ck You Joe’ – Baltimore. 15 minutes ago they could care less about the Briscoes, now check them out! You know this issue isn’t over.

To a Christopher Daniels promo. He actually gives credit to Joe for beating him, but he knows how close he was, and he vows he’ll still become ROH Champion some day. He’s also confused by Corino wishing him luck in that match. He also knows Punk is on his ass because he thinks Daniels took out Lucy. He denies all knowledge of it once again.

John Walters is here to look attractive and talk robotically. Naturally he’s pissed off that Xavier has cheated him twice now. He guarantees victory next time he faces Xavier. As Walters walks out, Johnny Kashmere walks out of the building as well, leaving a confused Trent Acid behind him.

Xavier next, and he’s getting better at being a cocky dick. He wants to fight Walters again, but since he’s beaten him in singles and fourway format, he wants a tag match. He says he’ll get a partner and wants to wrestle Walters and his partner in The Purists, Tony Mamaluke.

Mark and Jay Briscoe end the tape by announcing they’re officially at war with Samoa Joe.

Tape Rating – *** – Since Death Before Dishonor ROH have been a little flat, and this one is no exception. It is carried by three fantastic matches, as the rest of the show is VERY lacklustre. Aside from the ROH Title Match, the fourway and Styles/Punk nothing gets above 2*, and that’s a bad sign…and at worst it’s Raven/Credible bad. Luckily there are three excellent matches that do make this tape a worthwhile purchase. It’s just been a while since ROH has really switched up a gear and put on an awesome show. Maybe all this expansion isn’t such a good idea…

Top 3 Matches
3) Xavier vs John Walters vs Homicide vs Mark Briscoe (****)
2) AJ Styles vs CM Punk (****)
1) Samoa Joe vs Jay Briscoe (****)

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