ROH 29 – Main Event Spectacles – November 1st 2003
Empire State Showdown was so good I’m wasting no time at all at jumping into Main Event Spectacles. Hell, I’m so enjoying ROH right now it’s on TWC in the background…Jay Briscoe vs Tony Mamaluke from Night Of Appreciation…what a long time ago. Match got 1* for the record.
Anyway, this show has quite the reputation – some going so far as to call it the best ROH show ever. There is a lot on the card, even without Homicide vs Low Ki, which was scheduled for this show. Ki no-showed and at that point it was claimed that the company were done with him. The first Scramble Cage promises much madness…that’s a cage with platforms on the top to dive off by the way. One of the most star-packed fourways ever is on the card as Samoa Joe, Steve Corino, CM Punk and Christopher Daniels clash. Our Main Event is a little special as well. The #1 Contenders Trophy is on the line, as AJ Styles wrestles ‘American Dragon’ Bryan Danielson, who ROH hasn’t seen since Epic Encounter. We’ve returned to the RexPlex in Elizabeth, NJ, although the crowd doesn’t look as big as last time. Hosting are Chris Lovey and Ray Murrow.
Top 5 Rankings –
4) AJ Styles
5) Colt Cabana
Colt Cabana is…meditating? CM Punk arrives to talk FOH with him. Colt says he’s going to beat Maff tonight and win his block. Punk says this isn’t about Cabana and Maff, it’s about Punk and Daniels, and The Prophecy vs the Second City Saints.
Colt Cabana vs Dan Maff – Field Of Honor Block B
Colt Cabana – Chicago, IL – debuted vs CM Punk 07/12/2002 – FOH Record 2-0
Dan Maff – Brooklyn, NY – debuted w/Mack vs Christopher St. Connection 23/02/2002 – FOH Record 1-1
All or nothing for Maff here – he wins or is eliminated. Maff opens up with big chops, but Cabana catches him with a comedic forced handshake. Allison Danger takes offence…SO CABANA DANCES THE TANGO WITH HER! Music and everything! Maff in…and Colt dances with him as well! Maff’s face is such a picture. Maff knocks Colt outside and looks for a tope, but gets cut off with a clothesline. Grounded stretch by Cabana, rolled into a pin for 2. Cabana headscissors’ Maff over the top rope to the outside again. Allison gets in Cabana’s face again, and is distracted long enough for Maff to throw him into the guardrail. He gets thrown into the guardrails all around ringside…before Cabana counters and throws Maff HEAD FIRST into the barrier!
HALF NELSON SUPLEX FROM MAFF! Incredibly Cabana isn’t dead, and he recovers enough to look for his tornado snap suplex. Maff counters and Cabana busts out a series of pinning combinations. Cabana misses his running double knee in the corner, and that sets him up perfectly for the cannonball. He lifts Cabana onto his shoulders, but Cabana fights free. Kryptonite neckbreaker on Maff for 2. Colt goes to the top rope…to MISS a moonsault. BURNING HAMMER!! Maff wins at 07:26. Maff, Whitmer and Cabana all finish at 2-1, meaning we’ll have a three way playoff on the next show.
Rating – ** – Fun, but ultimately not too great. Definitely a step down from Maff’s fantastic show opener against BJ Whitmer at Empire State Showdown. You might want to consider buying this tape just for Colt Cabana dancing with Allison Danger then Maff though…
Samoa Joe and Jim Cornette storm the ring after the match, and Joe destroys Maff with knees to the face. STO ON ALLISON DANGER! Chris Daniels storms the ring and Joe comes THIS close to hitting him with the tennis racket. Cornette just got his REVENGE ON THE PROPHECY!!
This piece of business isn’t done yet though. He wants to introduce his new talent, but the Briscoes interrupt. They’re at war with Samoa Joe remember. AND CORNETTE SMACKS JOE IN THE BACK WITH THE RACKET!! Corny’s new talent is the Briscoe Brothers! They put a hurting on Joe, and you better believe it’s on now! AWESOME angle there – one of the best this company has done.
Special K are raving backstage, but Izzy and Dixie aren’t in the mood to party. They’re worried about the Briscoes tonight, and given what they just did to Samoa Joe…they’re probably justified.
Xavier/Nigel McGuiness vs The Purists
The challenge was made by Xavier at Tradition Continues. He said he’d find himself a partner and take on The Purists (as part of his increasingly heated feud with John Walters), and here it is. He’s found himself Nigel McGuiness, who’s making only his second ROH appearance, his first being in a HWA Title match back at Wrath Of The Racket. For The Purists, this is the first real test for them as a team, since all they’ve done is squash jobber teams thus far. At least Walters isn’t carrying a winless singles streak into this one, as he finally got a victory in a fourway at Empire State Showdown. This is the first time we’ve seen my old friend Tony Mamaluke for a few shows actually…don’t tell me he MIGHT not be over or anything…
McGuiness shakes hands, Xavier doesn’t…despite the fact he’s not wearing Prophecy colours, and the presence once again of Lollipop in his corner. McGuiness and Walters start and naturally they chain wrestle for a while. McGuiness breaks out all kinds of freaky British wrestling holds, and actually eclipses Walters with his skills. Walters kicks Nigel’s arm then puts him in an armbar. Xavier tags in once McGuiness regains the advantage…but Walters almost decapitates Xavier with a clothesline. Xavier quickly tags out again, and we get the pleasure of Mamaluke being tagged in as well. Messy dragon screw by Mamaluke, but McGuiness is able to work him into a side headlock.
Xavier tags in with Mamaluke down and takes him to the corner for the knee strikes. He holds Mamaluke by the hair and tosses him across the ring like a big girl. Mamaluke looks to fight back with a jawbreaker, but no dice with that. He traps Xavier in a cross armbreaker, but Xavier lifts him up AND THROWS HIM TO THE FLOOR! Cheap shot to Walters before he goes to the floor and SPEARS Mamaluke into the guardrail. Nigel tagged in and together they whip Serious Tony into the turnbuckle. McGuiness with a cobra clutch and Mamaluke starts fading away. He breaks that with another jawbreaker and he finally makes the tag to Walters. Xavier in as well, and Walters finally gets his hands on him again. Xavier goes for Kiss Your X Goodbye, but Walters blocks – HURRICANE DDT! Nigel tries to make the save but elbow drops Xavier. Mamaluke is back but Xavier tosses him out. Hammerlock Pedigree from McGuiness, and Xavier sneaks in to pin Walters again at 11:28.
Rating – ** – Pretty boring, although it was made mildly more fun by watching Xavier be such an asshole. That’s probably the biggest selling point of this match, seeing Xavier refine his character to such a great extent. The other three were just props to get that over sadly…
‘Sucks to be you doesn’t it?’ – Xavier to Walters. Xavier walks out with Lollipop, and backstage he breezes past Prince Nana…who smiles. Perhaps Nana fancies him…
Matt Stryker vs Justin Credible
When I said I mildly enjoyed their match at Wrath Of The Racket, it didn’t mean I was clamouring for a rematch. To be honest, I doubt anyone wanted to see this again. Unfortunately, Justin Credible really can’t cut it in singles matches, and he’s having one too many of them right now. Stick him back in 6 mans with Loc and DeVito please. For Stryker, this is just killing time before the next show when he faces Xavier to decide who goes to the Field Of Honor finals.
My sound goes altogether at the start of this match, but realistically, it’s Stryker vs Credible…like it matters. Stryker works Justin’s arm to start, forcing him to retreat to the apron. They go back and forth without anything overly interesting happening. Armdrag from Stryker, followed by an armbar, as he continues to work Credible’s arm. Sound is back as Justin backs Stryker into the corner and peppers him with chops. Credible gets crotched on the top rope, but comes back by drop toeholding Stryker to the floor. Stryker takes a whip to the guardrail. Back inside and Stryker stomps away at him in the corner. Rolling verticals from Credible for 2. He goes to the chinlock, because after 7 minutes of nothing we need a rest hold. This is worse than 2002 Xavier to be honest. Stryker comes back and slingshots him into the turnbuckle. To the other side of the ring and Credible takes his ringpost to the crotch bump. Neckbreaker over the knee by Stryker, then a powerslam for 2. Stryker looks for the lionsault, but Credible gets the knees up then blasts him with a superkick. Crossbody off the top from Credible, but Stryker rolls through it for 2. He nails the Death Valley Driver, but this time Justin kicks out. That’s Incredible drops Stryker on his head, but he kicks out. Justin taps out to the Strykerlock at 10:37
Rating – DUD – One of the most boring matches in ROH history. It picked up mildly in the closing stages and almost managed to drag a star back, but the Strykerlock to finish put pay to that. Why did Stryker work the arm for the early part of the match then use a leg submission to finish? That’s why Stryker gets criticised, and that’s why I can’t argue with it.
Special K vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe – ROH Tag Title Match
Izzy and Dixie eliminated the Briscoes from the Tag Title Gauntlet Match at Glory By Honor II. Naturally it wasn’t clean, as they used outside interference to do it. Since then they’ve beaten the Backseat Boyz and become Tag Champions, but at Empire State Showdown Rob Feinstein declared the Briscoes the #1 contenders for the belts, and now we have this one. Jay and Mark have Jim Cornette in their corner, as he’s their manager following the events of earlier.
Izzy and Dixie don’t shake hands so take big right hands from the Briscoes to start. Izzy gets an early moonsault kick in on Jay, and Dixie joins him to hit the hiptoss facebuster. Monkey flip on Mark Briscoe which sends him right into Jay. That brings Jay into the match and he starts to dissect Izzy. Izzy fires back with an enzi kick before tagging Dixie in. Mark distracts Dixie, then blind tags in to kick him in the face. Mark off the top rope to hit a knee drop into a backbreaker. Jay tagged back in and both hit clotheslines, then a double dropkick in the corner. Jay tries to wear Dixie down with a front facelock. Izzy manages to tag in but Mark was distracting the ref so Izzy gets sent back out. Back suplex by Jay gets 2. Mark in with a suplex, then a knee drop. Gutwrench suplex, before he draws Izzy in the ring to distract the ref enabling him to choke Dixie. Jay tries to come in but Dixie ducks and Mark gets nailed with a Yakuza kick.
Izzy tagged in to hammer on both men. Dixie hits a dive on Jay, so Mark tries to go upstairs. Izzy (eventually) stops that…THEN HITS A MOONSAULT PRESS TO THE FLOOR! SHOOTING STAR PRESS FROM MARK…BUT HE ONLY GOT JAY!
Jay taken into the ring AS MARK SPRINGBOARDS IN WITH AN ACE CRUSHER. The Briscoes look for the springboard Doomsday Devide…but Izzy escapes with a reverse hurricanrana. Jumping inverted DDT nailed on Mark gets 2. Veg-O-Matic on Izzy, but somehow he kicks out again. Springboard Doomsday Device connects this time. JAY DRILLER!! New Champions at 09:53
Rating – *** – At the 5th time of asking (3 against AJ/Red plus the Gauntlet Match), Jay and Mark win the Tag Titles, and this is a decent match, far better than Special K’s previous defence of the belts against the Carnage Crew in New York. Hopefully the Briscoes end this constant belt switching now and get the chance to put on some decent matches.
BJ Whitmer vs Homicide – Fighting Spirit Match
Practically zero history behind this aside from a few clashes in fourways, since Homicide was scheduled to be wrestling Low Ki in a match to decide their issues. However, we won’t be seeing that (although MLW did do the match at a later date) instead it’s this. BJ is fresh from a hard hitting match, and victory over Dan Maff in the FOH. Homicide choked out Samoa Joe and got a win over the ROH Champion at Empire State Showdown, so he’s on a high as well. A Fighting Spirit Match is pretty much a normal match, except we have a 20 count on the floor (normally ROH has no count outs).
Homicide rides Whitmer in the early going, and Murrow reminds me Homicide broke Whitmer’s nose in the fourway at Death Before Dishonor. They get a couple of armdrags in then run a few headlock exchanges. UNTIL BJ DROPS HOMCIDE ON HIS HEAD WITH A BACK SUPLEX! Homicide rolls to the floor FOR WHITMER TO HIT A TOPE! Back in the ring BJ scores 2 with a high knee. Exploder scores and gets him another 2. He breaks out the disrespect as he steals Homicide’s knees in the corner routine. Homicide isn’t too happy so he gets up and shows him how it’s done. Crowd ask for it one more time AND HOMICIDE DELIVERS.
Low blow from Homicide, then a big front dropkick to send BJ outside. TOPE CON HILO SCORES! Homicide goes to the top rope but gets caught up there and taken to the canvas with a superplex. ROLLING Mexican surfboard from Whitmer complete with SICK facelock to finish.
Belly to belly suplex from Homicide gets 2. Homicide takes Whitmer to the top rope for the DOUBLE UNDERHOOK SUPERPLEX! Homicide follows with the STF and Whitmer has to battle to the ropes. Homicide drops BJ on his head with a T-bone suplex…BUT IT’S NO SOLD! BJ gets right back up…but Homicide almost knocks both of them out with a HUGE headbutt. BOTH guys were busted open with that. Whitmer somehow gets up…AND GERMAN SUPLEXES HOMICIDE ON HIS HEAD IN THE CORNER! HEAD DROP DRAGON SUPLEX! He almost finishes Homicide off with a big powerbomb. BJ goes to the top rope for the diving headbutt. Homicide has to flee to the floor because of the abuse. Whitmer again goes for the tope BUT HE GETS NOTHING BUT GUARDRAIL!
Homicide looks for a piledriver but BJ escapes with a back body drop. BJ looks for a forearm…BUT GETS NAILED WITH THE COP KILLAAAAAAAAAAAA!! BJ KICKS OUT, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? The fans are NOT happy with that believe me. Whitmer rolls to the outside where he gets medical attention, but the referee starts to count. Whitmer somehow drags himself back into the ring at 18. Whitmer somehow attempts to fight back, and he escapes another Cop Killa attempt…WRIST CLUTCH EXPLODER!! HOMICIDE KICKS OUT!! BJ goes to the second rope BUT GETS CAUGHT WITH THE SUPER ACE CRUSHER! LARIAT FINISHES AT 19:21.
Rating – **** – Superb match, as once again Homicide steals the show with his absolutely violent best. Both of these guys deserve all the credit in the world. In a match thrown together at the last second these two risked permanent injury with some of the sh*t they threw out there and they leave us with a memorable classic. Not entirely sure I disagree with BJ kicking out of the Cop Killa (that move is disgusting, nobody should kick out of it…likewise the Burning Hammer) but still…
Steve Corino jumps Homicide after the match, hammering at his ear with a chain wrapped round his fist. Payback’s a b*tch I guess…and you know these two need another match to settle their differences. I like LeGrande a little bit more because he gets some kicks in on Smokes.
INTERMISSION – GMC is with Samoa Joe, who is pretty livid about what happened earlier. He says he has other things to worry about, like his match tonight, but says he’ll deal with Cornette before the end of the night. ‘Don’t go away everybody’ – Capetta. Not only is the guy a geek, he’s a retarded one. We’re watching a friggin’ tape, where are we gonna go…and even if we do, can we not come back?
Backseat Boyz vs Teddy Hart/Jack Evans vs Carnage Crew vs SAT vs Special K – Scramble Cage Match
This is the debut of the Scramble Cage, and the rules are simple. Two teams start, a new team enters every two minutes, nobody can win until all teams have entered. A Scramble Cage is also different in that it has platforms on top of the cage for the wrestlers to dive off, making for complete lunacy. Johnny Kashmere is back after disappearing following the Backseatz shock defeat to Izzy and Dixie. Jack Evans debuts tonight, tagging with long-time friend Teddy Hart who’s only making his second appearance himself. The Carnage Crew and the SAT will no doubt be looking to get their hands on the Special K team, who are Hydro and Angeldust.
Hart/Evans and the Backseatz start and Teddy nails Trent with a back suplex into a bulldog. Corkscrew enzi from Evans to Kashmere. Jack Evans nails Acid with TWO twisting corkscrew splashes. POWERBOMB/BLOCKBUSTER COMBO ON KASHMERE! The Backseatz fire back with a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo on Evans. DOUBLE HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX ON THE CANADIANS! The Backseatz kick Evans and Hart out of the cage (leaving the cage is legal fear not) as the Carnage Crew make their entrance. DEVITO THROWS EVANS INTO THE CROWD! Loc hurls Teddy into the rails as well, and that apparently gives Teddy a concussion. THE BACKSEATZ GET BACK DROPPED INTO THE CAGE! Carnageplex on Kashmere…before they nail a double back suplex on Acid INTO THE CAGE!
Trent looks for a swinging DDT but gets suplexed into Kashmere. The SAT are in next and hit Trent with Total Elimination. WASHING MACHINE INTO THE CAGE! Kashmere is dead after that! Both Crew members are busted open as the fight spills outside the cage. Evans and Hart scale the cage…AND TEDDY HART RANAS EVANS ONTO A PILE OF BODIES!! THAT’S INSANE!!
In the ring Hydro and Angeldust are stomping whoever they can find until Angeldust hits a tope to the floor. Back in he hits his springboard blockbuster on Loc for 2. Special K just destroy Jack Evans but can’t put him away. Joel Maximo almost takes Hydro’s head off with a lariat, then plants Angeldust with the Maximo Explosion. DEVITO WITH A KI KRUSHER ON HART! Trent Acid and Jose are fighting on top of the cage, and Jose manages to punch out Acid. Hydro scales onto one of the platforms…but he’s joined by the SAT. You know what’s coming….SPANISH FLYYYYYYY!!! Hijinx, Cloudy and Elax are beating down whoever they can find as the fight spills to the floor again. Teddy Hart and Jack Evans decide it’s time to go to the platforms again. PHOENIX SPLASH TO THE FLOOR BY TEDDY!! 450 MOONSAULT BY EVANS…STOP THE MADNESS! Loc has a leather strap and he’s flogging Angeldust with it…SPIKE PILEDRIVER ON ANGELDUST! The Backseat Boyz make the save…T-GIMMICK ON HYDRO! The Backseat Boyz win it at 14:13
Rating – ****1/2 – Absolute lunacy, and you will not see a more psychotic match this side of TLC. I’m not just talking about the crazy dives off the platforms, I’m talking about the moves into the cage, the fighting on the floor where both Evans and Hart look like they got hurt legitimately. This was the absolute mother of all Scramble Matches…
Teddy Hart going nuts and moonsaulting repeatedly off the cage to steal the show is cut from this tape. ROH have plans to release that footage along with a load of other comically cut stuff from all it’s previous shows along with the convention card from Final Battle 2003 at some point down the line.
Steve Corino vs CM Punk vs Christopher Daniels vs Samoa Joe
ROH Title isn’t on the line but you know the deal. If anybody manages to pin Joe they’ll be right in line for a title shot so. Lots of issues here to get through. Corino and Punk have a unique relationship, but seemed to at least respect each other after their match at Empire State Showdown. Meanwhile we know Daniels isn’t best pleased with Corino after Corino (who he thought was his friend) tried to take his spot in ROH with the formation of The Group. Punk and Daniels aren’t exactly best friends since Punk has been told it’s Daniels who was responsible for the attack on Lucy back in Dayton. Meanwhile Joe is a marked man since they all want the ROH Title. He’s already beaten Punk and Daniels before…but isn’t he supposed to be friends with Corino? Corino has his whole entourage with him, Daniels (who’s pop gets bigger every show) doesn’t have Allison Danger after Joe wiped her out earlier. Punk would have Lucy except she got taken out of ROH back in August.
Some prick of a fan gets in Punk’s face as he walks to the ring and yells ‘DIE’ at him repeatedly. ‘Scuse my language, but what a f*cking c*nt you are mate. Corino’s entrance today is listing the history of his NWA Southern Title, to make the point about the lack of heritage of the ROH belt. The other guys clowning around totally steals this. Joe lies down and pretends to be asleep, then steals some guy’s camera and starts taking pictures of the crowd. Meanwhile, as the fans chant ‘show your tits’ at Simply Luscious, Daniels obliges them and shows them what he’s got.
Corino and Daniels start and Corino wants a handshake, which he isn’t getting. They argue over who’s going to throw the first punch…before Punk comes from behind and knocks Daniels to the floor. Joe and Punk start with a YAKUZA KICK DUEL! Punk kicks Daniels off the apron, but he walks into another boot from Joe and gets pinned for 2. Daniels charges the ring and assaults Punk. Stalling vertical suplex from Daniels (30 seconds) for 2. Joe tags in with Daniels and he lifts Daniels into a stalling vertical suplex of his own. Back to Corino and Daniels and Corino gains a slight advantage with a shoulder barge. Daniels tries to do it back but isn’t strong enough. Finally he does knock Corino down and that prompts him to bail to the outside. Punk comes in from behind Daniels and knocks him over again. Slingshot leg drop from Daniels to Corino, but Punk makes the save before the 3 count.
Corino drags Daniels to the outside, but Daniels throws Corino into the guardrails. ARABIAN PRESS FOLLOWS! Punk and Joe in the ring…AND PUNK NAILS A TOPE! CORKSCREW PESCADO FROM JOE!! Joe sets Daniels and Corino up in chairs. OLE OLE KICK FOR DANIELS! Punk tries to cut off the Ole Ole Kick to Corino with a hurricanrana BUT HE GETS POWERBOMBED INTO THE GUARDRAIL! OLE OLE KICK TO CORINO!
Joe and Daniels back in the ring and Daniels takes the chop/kick combo. Belly to belly suplex takes Daniels down again. Joe tags Corino in, and like a little kid Corino gives him the finger behind his back. Corino keeps Daniels down then tags in Punk and the fight between the leaders of The Prophecy and the Saints is on. Daniels breaks up a chinlock with a jawbreaker, and follows that up with a running neckbreaker. Corino and Joe tagged in…STO SLAM ON CORINO! BOOTSCRAPES FOR EVERYBODY! Kawada kicks for Corino, then a bridging German suplex for 2. Corino and Joe take it in turns to stiff each other, and Joe finally wins with a big chop which grounds Corino. Punk cheapshots Joe in the back which sets him up for a Corino neckbreaker. Corino and Punk look for a double clothesline on Joe, but he runs through it and clotheslines the pair of them. Joe tags in Daniels who tries to take on Punk and Corino at the same time. Miscue between Punk and Corino…and now they’re shoving each other. DOUBLE QUEBRADA FROM DANIELS! Corino and Punk miscue again and clothesline each other down, and Daniels gets 2 on Punk with the Blue Thunder Driver. DOUBLE JUMP MOONSAULT CONNECTS, but Joe makes the save. Powerslam from Joe to Daniels gets 2. Corino drills Joe with a jumping heel kick, then the Hashimoto DDT. Ogawa STO follows…NO SOLD! Joe gets right back up and nails a powerbomb. He looks for the STF but Punk breaks that up (after the worst Shining Wizard ever on Daniels). He looks for another Shining Wizard on Joe but gets caught, then he gets put in the STF. Corino makes the save, but then takes an enzi kick from Daniels. Urinage slam from Daniels, before he looks for another double jump moonsault. Guillotine LeGrande shoves Corino aside and takes it for himself. Corino and Punk take each other out…DANIELS WITH A FLATLINER ON JOE! All four are down!
Joe and Corino battle on the top rope, and Daniels joins them. Corino and Daniels drag Joe off the top with a superplex, and Punk tries to sneak in and pin both Joe and Daniels. STO on Punk by Daniels…before Daniels and Corino go at it again. Northern lights bomb on Daniels, but Joe makes the save. Daniels tosses Punk to the floor, then whips Joe into a superkick. ANGELS WINGS ON JOE! Corino almost gets the win after a clothesline on Daniels. Corino and Punk with a double northern lights on Daniels…and they both pin him for the win at 22:56.
Rating – **** – I hated the finish, but it was a tremendous match before that. So much clever stuff, like Corino and Punk always protecting each other, or the Corino/Daniels clashes, as we finally got to see that happen after all the Group/Prophecy stuff earlier in the year. Joe broke out some cool stuff as well, like the powerbomb into the guardrail. Even after Scramble Cage that looked brutal. Great effort…
Matt Stryker and Xavier stare each other down. They meet next show to decide who goes to the final. Stryker says nothing is gonna stop him. Xavier points out he’s been to the very top of ROH, something that Stryker’s never done. John Walters is behind Xavier and he wants one more match, and yep, he guarantees victory again. Xavier laughs and says sure thing.
Rob Feinstein to talk like a spastic and yell everything he says again. AT THE FIRST DOUBLE SHOT WEEKEND CM PUNK AND RAVEN WILL FINISH THEIR FEUD ON 28TH NOVEMBER. HOMICIDE AND STEVE CORINO WILL SETTLE THEIR FEUD ON 29TH NOVEMBER IN A BARBED WIRE MATCH…
Bryan Danielson vs AJ Styles – #1 Contenders Trophy Match
What a match this promises to be. Last time they were in there for the #1 Contenders Trophy was back at All Star Extravaganza when they put on one of my favourite ROH matches ever, with AJ Styles eventually coming out on top. This is Dragon’s return to ROH, having missed all of ROH’s summer schedule, splitting his time between Japan and England funnily enough. Either way, last time we saw him as the MOTYC with Paul London at Epic Encounter, that’s how long ago it was. AJ Styles is coming off a win over CM Punk at Tradition Continues which pushed him into the Top 5 Rankings. Winner gets a title shot on the 29th November…ironically on the 28th AJ partners Samoa Joe in a match against the Briscoes.
Dragon and Styles cheerlead to start and make sure everyone is chanting their names. They are even in some intense opening exchanges. They spill to the outside and CHAIN WRESTLE OUT THERE! The commentators walk out so they can watch this in the crowd, which I don’t like personally, but it’ll be unique to watch a match without commentary. Goku Raku stretch from Danielson, but Styles backs him into the ropes to break. Danielson ends the respectful exchanges with a big forearm, then a back suplex which sends Styles to the floor. He tries to whip Styles into the guardrail, but just like All Star Extravaganza, AJ jumps it into the crowd. Once again AJ looks for the superkick, Danielson catches his boot BUT STILL GETS AN ENZIGURI!
Back inside AJ nails a beautiful dropkick, but Dragon lands on top of him which slows his momentum. Danielson throws Styles across the ring, then ties him in the ropes to he can just kick away at his arm. He continues the focus on it, drilling it over his shoulder a couple of times. ‘What the f*ck do you know about wrestling?’ – Danielson to a wise ass in the crowd. Back suplex gets Dragon 2. Arm wrench suplex from Dragon, into an armbar continues the pressure. Styles tries to kick his way free, and eventually does. Double underhook from Dragon which continues to work the arm…before finally dragging him over with a butterfly suplex. ‘Anybody wanna say anything now? ‘ – Danielson. When did this guy become hysterical?
Dragon wrenches AJ’s arm so hard it CRACKS! That was SICK and Styles has to bail. Dragon hangs his arm over the top rope…BUT THEN GETS SUPLEXED TO THE FLOOR! He landed right on his knee there, but AJ is too hurt to follow up. Shinbreaker on the floor by Styles THEN HE DROPS DRAGON KNEE FIRST ON THE GUARDRAIL! Dragon’s knee meets the ringpost, then the guardrail for a SECOND TIME! Back in the ring AJ applies a leglock to continue the pressure, but Dragon counters into a half crab with EXTREME crank. He grabs AJ’s injured arm just for kicks. Styles fights free and savagely kicks Dragon in the knee, then plants him on his face with an arm wrench. Figure 4 leglock applied, and when Dragon finally rolls it over, Styles is right in the ropes anyway. Enziguri from Danielson, but Styles rides it. He tries it for a second time, and Styles rolls with him into a dragon screw. Styles kicks at Dragon’s leg again – ‘come on AJ, give it to me you pussy’ – Dragon. Styles wraps his knee in the ropes and stretches it. Dragon comes back with some boots…THEN A DIVING EUROPEAN UPPERCUT OFF THE ROPES!
Roaring Elbow scores but only gets Danielson 2. To the top rope and he SCORES with the diving headbutt. Styles looks for the quebrada inverted DDT but gets caught with the NECK CRANK SUPLEX! To the top rope AND AJ COUNTERS A BACK SUPERPLEX IN MID-AIR! Styles looks to springboard with something but Dragon shoves his knee and he gets caught on the ropes. SPRINGBOARD BACK SUPERPLEX FROM DRAGON! Dragon locks in Cattle Mutilation, but he can’t hold it since his knee can’t hold his weight. He locks it in a second time, and this time AJ is right in the middle of the ring. Again AJ doesn’t quit so Dragon pulls him up – MOONSAULT KICK OUT OF NOWHERE! AJ calls for the Styles Clash but no dice…SO HE TAKES DRAGON’S HEAD OFF WITH A LARIAT! Styles Clash attempted again, but Danielson blocks again…then puts AJ in a cross armbreaker! Incredibly Styles manages to pull Dragon up FOR A ONE-ARMED STYLES CLASH! PROPER STYLES CLASH FOLLOWS…AND AJ WINS! 24:15 is your time for that bad boy.
Rating – ***** – Match of the Year thus far, yes IMO that’s better than London/Dragon, Homicide/multiple people and anything else you care to mention. Everything was done with such a purpose, and the ferocity of Dragon’s work was really a sight to behold. Anybody that says he lacks charisma should watch this. He totally sells the contest, not just by yelling at the crowd, but with the intensity and the deliberate aggression of everything he does. Just watch the way he moves, you see why he is regarded as one of the best in the world. For large parts AJ was just a passenger in this match, but he carried his end well, and the one armed Styles Clash followed by the full effect Styles Clash was such an awesome finish.
GOOD TIMES, GREAT MEMORIES – Live from Chicago (as evident from the badly drawn skyline), Colt Cabana’s guests today will be the Carnage Crew and CM Punk. They debate who has the better finisher, Spike Piledriver or the Colt 45. Cabana isn’t sure if they’re allowed to be drunk on his show. Cabana reads them a poem about the nudie bar. Comic disguised woman-beating references ahoy. Too bad we’ll have to wait for next time for CM Punk.
Steve Corino gloats about how he attacked Homicide’s ear. On the Double Shot weekend he faces Josh Daniels on the 28th and that’ll be a warm up before he cripples Homicide in the Barbed Wire Match. He says he’s not coming back to ROH after that match.
GMC enters Cornette and the Briscoes locker room. ‘Gary Capetta are you still living?’ – Cornette. Jay and Mark leave and Corny continues to praise them to GMC. Capetta brings up Cornette’s issues with The Prophecy and Samoa Joe. ‘You give them a raw fish and a coconut…they’re happy people’ – Cornette of Samoans. He continues to rag on Joe…’I’ve been around a long time’ – Capetta. ‘Yes you have and you’re not preserved very well’ – Cornette in response. GMC fears for Cornette but gets silenced. Joe arrives and my tape cuts out…but he goes into Cornette’s locker room and kicks his ass.
Tape Rating – **** – After a slow start, this show just threw out great match after great match. Seriously, 2 4* matches, a MOTYC then my pick for MOTY…you can’t ask for more than that. Stryker/Credible aside…great show. Head drop madness with Homicide/Whitmer, complete suicidal mayhem in the Scramble Cage, a star-packed fourway then technical excellence in the Main Event…you need this show.
Top 3 Matches
3) Homicide vs BJ Whitmer (****)
2) Backseat Boyz vs Special K vs SAT vs Carnage Crew vs Teddy Hart/Jack Evans (****1/2)
1) AJ Styles vs Bryan Danielson (*****)
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.