ROH 30 – The Conclusion – 28th November 2003
It’s ROH’s first ever double shot weekend, meaning two shows on consecutive nights. Main Eventing the two shows are the climaxes of the two feuds that have been staple to the ROH product through 2003. Tonight it’s the turn of Raven and CM Punk, as they meet in a Lottery From Hell Match (ie a lottery will be held to determine what kind of match they have). After beating Bryan Danielson in a classic at Main Event Spectacles, AJ Styles has a date with Samoa Joe for the ROH Title, but that’s tomorrow night. Interestingly enough, AJ teams with Joe tonight for the Tag Titles, as Joe looks for some vengeance on the Briscoes. We also have the Field Of Honor finalists decided, and a series of Present vs Future matches. We’re on the WWE’s doorstep in Fairfield, CT tonight. Hosts are Chris Lovey and Ray Murrow…and picture quality is amazing on this tape…thought I’d throw that in there.
Top 5 Rankings
1) AJ Styles
3) Matt Stryker
4) CM Punk/Steve Corino (TIE)
GMC is in the ring to begin with conducting the Lottery From Hell for THE CONCLUSION of the Raven/Punk feud. Capetta picks out a cage match, which sucks. The worst match the two have put on was in a cage.
CM Punk hits the ring with a picture of Lucy. He reels out his life story…essentially he’s still pissed off that someone attacked Lucy. Punk says he’ll ruin the show to find out who took her out.
GOOD TIMES, GREAT MEMORIES – There’s no comedy tonight because Cabana is focused on winning his FOH block. He has a musical guest though – Julius Smokes. He sings about weed, with Cabana on harmonica. ‘I got the sooouuuuul baby’ – Cabana. This rocks hard…
Outcast Killaz vs Backseat Boyz
Poor Killaz, they were good in a great little Scramble Match at Empire State Showdown, so now they’re returning to being job-fodder for the big boys. Acid and Kashmere are fresh of their win in the Scramble Cage. Apparently they’ve put the disappointment of their brief ROH Tag Title run behind them are hot in pursuit of the gold once again.
Santiago and Tortuga jump the Backseatz out of the handshake, and hit Kashmere with a Poetry In Motion dropkick, then a hiptoss facebuster on Acid. Dance moves by Acid and Kashmere, into a clothesline brings them back into the match. Double dropkick almost caves Diablo’s skull in, before Trent hits a missile dropkick on Oman. They look for a T-Gimmick on Diablo but Oman makes the save and the Killaz bail to the floor. Trent misses the Yakuza kick and takes a back suplex into a facebuster from Tortuga. Mafia kick from Santiago into a Russian legsweep from Oman. Powerbomb/neckbreaker combo on Tortuga gets 2. Dream Sequence on Santiago. Santiago takes a Yakuza kick. T-Gimmick on Tortuga gets it done at 04:05.
Rating – * – Squash, but a relatively entertaining, fast-paced, painless one. Maybe it’s time the Killaz got a chance in something a little more meaningful. They definitely didn’t look out of place against the Backseat Boyz there.
CM Punk returns to the ring after the match to interrogate the competitors about Lucy. They don’t know anything, and don’t look like they really care. He stays in the ring to pester John Walters as he comes to the ring for his match.
John Walters vs Homicide
This is part of the Present vs Future series tonight. Homicide being the present, and has made himself irreplaceable in ROH this year with awesome match after awesome match. He’s preparing for his Barbed Wire Match with Steve Corino tomorrow night, so this will be an interesting warm-up for him. John Walters finally got himself a singles victory at Empire State Showdown, but lost to Xavier again in a Tag Match at Main Event Spectacles. Can he fare better against someone who’s name isn’t Xavier?
Homicide gets a couple of early takedowns in, as Lovey reveals on commentary Tony Mamaluke is no longer part of ROH…that is a shame. Headscissors on the mat by Homicide, but Walters escapes and gets a 2. Walters pie-faces Homicide, then takes him down with a headscissors submission of his own. Homicide goes to the STF but Walters quickly makes the ropes. Both men get slaps in, before Walters suplexes Cide for 2. Homicide with a snapmare followed by a kick to the spine. Walters up, and he does exactly the same thing, then puts Homicide in a surfboard. We go up in pace, but Walters gets in a dropkick. Homicide to the floor – TOPE BY WALTERS!
Walters stretches out Homicide’s back, but Cide’s feet are in the ropes so it’s an illegal hold. Indian deathlock, then a MutaLock. Homicide has to rake the eyes to escape that one. Homicide goes to the top rope but gets caught – SUPERPLEX! Back suplex from Walters who’s back is bleeding from an earlier back rake. Homicide drops a knee from the second rope, right to the side of the head. Walters has to bail because his jaw is hurting him, but Homicide pulls him back with gives him a neckbreaker. Piledriver nailed to continue the punishment on the neck and head. He lariats the back of Walters’ head hard, then rides a German suplex to hit a dropkick. TOPE CON HILO SCORES! Somehow Walters mounts a comeback with a missile dropkick. Homicide looks for another piledriver but Walters escapes – CAPTURE STUNNER! That doesn’t finish it, but Homicide tries to come back. He escapes a swinging DDT, then the Cop Killa. Falling double knee, then a dragon suplex gets 2, but Walters’ neck means he couldn’t keep the hold on. Big lariat from Homicide almost gets it done…but Walters taps to the STF at 11:35.
Rating – *** – Good match, nothing earth-shatteringly great or spectacular, but a solid effort from two top talents. Walters is getting a huge rub by putting on good matches with all these top guys, even if he is losing a lot. He continually impresses me with the stuff he puts out there. For Homicide, he didn’t exactly bust 100% out there…but when you’re 24 hours away from a Barbed Wire Match, it’s hardly surprising.
Homicide takes the stick and says he’s done following the Code Of Honor until after his match with Corino is over. Building’s a little echoey and it’s hard to understand what he’s saying…but I can make out his plan to retire Corino at the War Of The Wire.
Matt Stryker looks like a tramp, but he’s backstage. He has Xavier in his final Block A Match. Both are 2-0, so this will be the decider. Not the worst promo in the world…but not the best.
Hotstuff Hernandez/Fast Eddie vs SAT vs Carnage Crew vs Special K – Scramble Match
Hooray, the SAT are back. At least we have the intriguing proposition of the Eddie/Hernandez team. I have a soft spot for Fast Eddie, and everyone loves Hernandez’s suicidal big man dive, even though it’s all he can do. Crew and SAT would love a win over the Special K kids, since you know, they keep cheating wins. The Crew also have that history with the TWA kids. The K team are Dixie and bizarrely, Cloudy. Since when has he been a wrestler? Winner gets a Tag Title shot in December.
DeVito and Jose Maximo start, and Jose gets dropped a couple of times with shoulder tackles. Enzi kick from Jose knocks DeVito down in return. Spinning heel kick does it again for 2. Powerslam from DeVito, followed by the SAVAGE crossfaces. Joel and Eddie (after DeVito mocks him for being blind) now, and Joel flukes a clean hurricanrana. Springboard swinging DDT from Eddie for 2. Eddie takes a big enzi kick. Loc in and he gets hammered on by Cloudy and Dixie. DeVito throws Cloudy out, and Loc takes out some aggression on Dixie. Cloudy back, and Loc tosses him to Hotstuff Hernandez. Cloudy looks for a sunset flip, but gets nailed with the choke toss belly to belly. Spiralbomb on Dixie…THEN HE KICKS EDDIE INTO A BLIND GUY SENTON ON DIXIE! The Crew with a double backdrop on Hernandez, then the Carnageplex on Eddie. Dixie gives Loc a gourdbuster, and Cloudy flies in with a leg drop for 2. SAT in with Cloudy…WASHING MACHINE! Cloudy is legit knocked out by that.
DeVito somehow manages a northern lights into the corner on Hernandez. SAT in with Hotstuff and they rock him with stiff enzi kicks. DOOMSDAY DDT ON HERNANDEZ! Dixie with a sitout facebuster on Joel, as Eddie drills Jose with a Tombstone. Loc gets drilled with a clothesline from Hernandez…BEFORE EDDIE GETS SPLASH MOUNTAINED TO A PILE OF GUYS ON THE FLOOR! BIG MAN SUICIDE DIVE FROM HOTSTUFF! Angeldust and Hydro are in the ring for no reason…SPANISH FLY ON HYDRO. SAT get the win at 09:11.
Rating – *** – Cannot believe I’m saying this, but that was another great little Scramble Match. Even the people I normally dislike (SAT and Hotstuff) were great here, and believe me if you like Hotstuff’s work, you’ll love this match. Not enough Fast Eddie madness, but the SAT knocking Cloudy out with the Washing Machine is great. I guess Cloudy was scheduled to take the finish, hence Hydro stepped in to take it even though he wasn’t in the match.
BJ Whitmer…zzzzzzzzzz. I don’t really pay attention, but he talks about his opponents in the playoffs, and says he’ll win that…and the FOH…then get another shot at Samoa Joe like he had at Wrath Of The Racket.
Maff does a much better job of hyping the match just moments later. He says he’s going to win the FOH…and we’re going a little overboard with all these ‘I’m gonna win the Field Of Honor’ promos.
Jimmy Rave vs Christopher Daniels
The second Present vs Future match, as Jimmy Rave, who’s been pretty much a jobber since he’s set foot in ROH, faces one of the founding fathers of the company. He lost to all three of his FOH block opponents, despite the tutelage of AJ Styles. Can he get it right against Daniels? Daniels, meanwhile, is on great form right now, with 4*+ matches with Samoa Joe, John Walters and Corino/Punk/Joe in his last three appearances. Can he drag a similar standard out of a thus-far hapless Jimmy Rave? Allison Danger is back in his corner after getting mashed by a Samoa Joe STO Slam at Main Event Spectacles.
Like a chump Rave expects a handshake from Daniels, who despite being a huge babyface, still won’t shake hands. Rave tries to go after the arm early, much like AJ has taught him to do. Headscissors from Rave and that’ll soften up the neck a little as well (remember his finisher is the Satellite Crossface). Armdrags from Rave, a kick to the arm, then a third armdrag into an armbar. Fujiwara armbar from Rave, as he continues the focus on that arm to set up the Crossface. Daniels gets a shoulder block in, but that hurts his arm, and Rave puts him in a cross armbreaker. Northern lights suplex, rolled through into another cross armbreaker, and if Rave looked like he was doing this with any ferocity and tenacity at all, he’d be giving Daniels arm a real working over. Danger climbs on the apron and showing inexperience Rave is distracted by her. Daniels shoves him to the floor then hits him with a baseball slide.
Rave takes a series of scoop slams, but Daniels is still feeling the effects of all that work on the arm. Daniels with a suplex, then a slingshot elbow drop to the back. Crossface applied, and it looks like Daniels’ is singling out Rave’s back for punishment. Rave comes back with some forearms but he takes a boot to the face, then a running shoulder tackle to the back.
Backbreaker, but Daniels holds onto it and looks to force a submission. He enziguri kicks Rave right in the back of the head for 2. Blue Thunder Driver gets the same result. Rave escapes the Angels Wings…SHINING WIZARD! Rave has taken too much punishment so he can’t follow up – both men down. Rave scores with some chops then a belly to belly suplex. STO backbreaker, then a bridging back suplex for 2. He looks for another back suplex, but Daniels rolls through and plants Rave with a flatliner. Arabian press to Rave’s back gets 2. Daniels looks for a suplex but can’t because his arm hurts. Rave can’t suplex because of his back, but does drop the Fallen Angel with an inverted DDT. Rave busts out a series of roll ups but can’t finish it off. Daniels blocks the Satellite Crossface and plants Rave with the STO. DOUBLE JUMP MOONSAULT! LAST RITES FINISHES AT 13:27.
Rating – *** – Rave’s best match in the company by some distance. Daniels worked the same style that got him great matches with Doug Williams, Xavier and John Walters, but since Rave isn’t as good as those guys (and they didn’t get as much time), it didn’t quite reach that level. Jimmy Rave really does need some work, his assault on the arm lacked any kind of intensity or charisma. It just takes away from the believability of the match when Rave attacks Daniels arm with the force of a wet biscuit.
CM Punk gets in Daniels’ face with a picture of Lucy right after the match. Punk says Corino told him it was Daniels behind the Lucy attack. Daniels says he doesn’t care about the Second City Saints, and denies taking out Lucy…but he does know something about it. ‘You can’t handle the truth’ – Daniels to Punk. Intriguing…
Xavier…yep, he says he’s gonna win the FOH as well…except when he does it he’ll be the only guy that’s won the FOH and the ROH Title. John Walters turns up to guarantee victory some more if Xavier gives him one more match. Xavier suggests they do it tomorrow night in Walters’ hometown of Boston.
Josh Daniels vs Steve Corino
The final Present vs Future match features Corino, who says this is nothing but a warm up for his match with Homicide tomorrow night, and Josh Daniels, a man with only one ROH main show appearance to his name. Corino got a (joint) win at Main Event Spectacles and is in the Top 5, so a win for Daniels would be a huge deal here. We’ve only previously seen him at Tradition Continues where he tagged with Danny Doring and was underused in a Scramble Match. He was far more impressive on the Glory By Honor II convention card, and he is a solid talent. This really could be a break out match for him.
Corino’s entrance tonight lists famous wrestling midgets (because Josh Daniels isn’t exactly tall). Tazz is listed to much laughter.
Even in the early going, and Allison Danger invades the commentary box. She’s pissed off at CM Punk of course. Daniels gets an advantage on Corino so he bails to the floor and has a sissy fit. Daniels looks for some shoulder blocks, so Corino puts him in an abdominal stretch. Back suplex from Josh Daniels to escape. Snap suplex gets 2. Daniels looks for a crossbody off the top and Corino just walks out of the way. Allison sidesteps the question of whether The Prophecy took out Lucy…significant?
Daniels is choked over the bottom rope but looks to mount a fight back. Corino quickly surpresses that by raking the eyes. Daniels tries to fire back with more chops, but takes a second eye rake for his troubles. Piledriver from Corino gets 2. Daniels gets 2 with a northern lights suplex. Corino climbs to the top rope but gets caught by Daniels and taken down with a superplex. Corino with a low blow on Daniels, but he still takes a German suplex. Big lariat from Corino in response. Daniels blocks a second lariat but almost gets put away with the northern lights bomb. Chopfest ensues…COLBYKAZE GETS 2! Corino gets a second northern lights bomb in…ONE COUNT! LeGrande grabs Josh’s leg, and he walks right into a superkick. The referee refuses to count because of the interference, much to the disgust of LeGrande. He argues with the ref as Corino and Daniels fight on the turnbuckles. HOMICIDE RUNS IN…SUPER ACE CRUSHER ON CORINO! DIVING HEADBUTT FROM DANIELS!! CORINO LOSES!! Daniels wins at 11:02!!
Rating – ** – Pretty mundane stuff (aside from how hard they were hitting each other)…but the run-in at the end (it’s significance was added to so much by the fact it that it was possibly the first run-in finish in ROH) was exciting stuff, as was the upset victory. We are all set for the War Of The Wire tomorrow night.
Corino storms backstage and gets into a brawl with Homicide. Jobbers, Young Boys and officials have to pull them apart. ‘I ain’t Low Ki motherf*cker’ – Corino to Homicide…huh? Corino storms out with a camera man in tow. The camera man has Ray Murrow’s voice and Corino calls him Doug all the way through, pretty much giving away the real identity of the announcers. ‘This is why your company doesn’t draw, because you don’t put me over’ – Corino…because we’re in the mood for a little kayfabe breaking. Crazy segment which totally has me psyched for tomorrow night. Like him or not, Corino has such a presence about him and it’s really made the Homicide feud something special. ‘No wonder Low Ki quit’ – Corino on his way out.
INTERMISSION – GMC is with AJ Styles yelling at Jimmy Rave for being a loser. AJ yells at him because he ‘needs a little fire’…that’s for sure. AJ tells Capetta his leaving this weekend as Tag Champion and ROH Champion…CM Punk busts in to ask for information on Lucy. Styles walks away…and Capetta knows nothing either.
Matt Stryker vs Xavier – Field Of Honor Block A
Matt Stryker – Cincinnati, OH – debuted vs Chad Collyer 11/01/2003 – FOH Record 2-0
Xavier – Queens, NY – debuted vs Scoot Andrews 23/02/2002 – FOH Record 2-0
I just realised we never saw Walters vs Sabin from this block…not that it matters since they both ended 0-2. Stryker gets an early European uppercut in on Xavier. Xavier comes back with one of his own. Cue some headlock exchanges, before Xavier gets some disrespectful slaps in…so Stryker forearms CRAP out of him. More headlocks, mostly from Stryker. Yep…we’ve had around three minutes of headlocking now. Xavier lifts Stryker into a crotch over the ropes, before he falls to the floor. Stryker tries to get back into the ring but Xavier uses the top rope to shoot him into the guardrail.
Stryker takes a dropkick in the corner…his beard makes him look like Vince Russo. Stryker gets hung over the middle rope then takes a couple of knees to the neck. Reverse suplex from Xavier, rolled into a camel clutch. Cross armbreaker applied next but Stryker doesn’t let him lock it in properly. Forearms exchanged before Xavier knocks Stryker down again with a double axehandle. Xavier goes to the top rope but gets caught with the rope run belly to belly superplex. Xavier looks for Kiss Your X Goodbye but Stryker escapes then NAILS him with a discus forearm. Lionsault doesn’t quite get it done for Stryker. Vertical suplex gets Stryker another 2, as does a powerslam. Thumb to the eyes from Xavier and we break into a sluggish nearfalls routine. Stryker with a boot to the face before applying the Strykerlock. Xavier makes the ropes but almost gets put away as Stryker counters a La Magistral pin. Stryker escapes a Rock Bottom attempt and puts Xavier away with the DVD at 13:50. Stryker goes to the finals at Final Battle 2003 with a 3-0 record.
Rating – ** – Started real slow but got better. Stryker lapsed back into his old habits of wrestling with no rhyme, reason, flow or psychology and it hurt the match. The methodical pace didn’t suit Xavier all that much either, and the FOH continues to amble along in its mediocrity.
BJ Whitmer vs Dan Maff vs Colt Cabana – Field Of Honor Block B Tiebreak
BJ Whitmer – Cincinnati, OH – debuted vs London, Homicide, Cabana 11/01/2003 – FOH Record 2-1
Dan Maff – Brooklyn, NY – debuted w/Mack vs Christopher St. Connection 23/02/2002 – FOH Record 2-1
Colt Cabana – Chicago, IL – debuted vs CM Punk 07/12/2002 – FOH Record 2-1
Cabana opts to stretch as Whitmer and Maff go at it. They double clothesline Cabana then take in turns to stiff him. Cabana gets thrown to the outside so Whitmer and Maff can stiff each other with hard forearms. Cabana low bridges Maff then hits an awesome crossbody on BJ for 2. He looks for a back suplex but Whitmer counters that for 2. Maff pulls Whitmer out for more forearms…ASAI MOONSAULT FROM CABANA! Maff dumps him into the railings as punishment for that, then sends BJ into the rails the other side. Maff looks for his tope, but Cabana charges the ring and takes a clothesline. POWERBOMB INTO THE TURNBUCKLES ON WHITMER! Maff goes for the cannonball but Colt trips him up. Neck ringers for Maff and Whitmer, and he keeps it on BJ as he puts Maff in a neck crank. Whitmer looks for the Exploder ’98…AND MAFF GERMANS BJ AT THE SAME TIME! He opts to attempt the Burning Hammer on Whitmer, but BJ escapes and hits a flatliner/DDT combo on both his opponents. EXPLODER ’98 ON MAFF! Rolling suplexes on Cabana…HALF NELSON HEAD DROP SUPLEX FROM MAFF TO WHITMER! Back suplex on Cabana but Maff takes a big forearm to the face. WRIST CLUTCH EXPLODER ON CABANA…WHITMER GOES TO THE FINALS! 07:47 is your time.
Rating – *** – Such a fun little match. Maff and Whitmer are awesome right now, as their combination of head drops and stiffness is totally cool. Match was so short because Cabana had pretty bad shoulder injuries that eventually forced him to take a few weeks off.
Punk emerges from the locker room again (is he planning on any kind of warm up for his match with Raven) and royally pisses BJ Whitmer off by stealing his thunder and asking Maff about Lucy. Maff again swears on his father’s grave that The Prophecy had nothing to do with it. Whitmer gets the biggest pop of the night by telling Punk that no-one gives a crap.
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Samoa Joe/AJ Styles – ROH Tag Title Match
When Samoa Joe successfully retained his ROH Title against Jay Briscoe at Tradition Continues, he wasn’t banking on a full-blown war with the Briscoes, but he has one. Since beating Jay then choking out Mark, he’s suffered the wrath of the Briscoes since they joined forces with Jim Cornette at Main Event Spectacles and assaulted Joe. The Champ got revenge on Corny at the end of the night, and he wants the same on Jay and Mark tonight. AJ has his own history with the Briscoes, as he and Red defended the Tag Title against the Briscoes three times, and at Death Before Dishonor they were pretty savage on Red’s knee (Red’s knee injury forced ROH to strip them of the straps). But then again, he faces his partner of tonight at War Of The Wire tomorrow for the ROH World Title…there’s a lot going on here. After Joe’s assault Jim Cornette is not at ringside with the Briscoes.
Mark and AJ start and AJ works an early headlock. Lots of fast paced exchanges, before AJ isolates Mark’s leg. He tags Joe in who gets a few shots in before Mark tags out to Jay. Judo style hiptoss gets Joe 2. Leglock applied but Jay quickly gets the ropes. Mafia kick from Jay, but Joe tags out to AJ who hits a spinning bodybag. Picture perfect dropkick gets 2. Double teaming as Joe tosses Jay into an enzi kick from Styles. Mark blind tags in and hits a springboard knee to the back. STO SLAM ON MARK! Jay tries to involve himself SO AJ DIVES OFF MARK’S BACK INTO A DDT!
The Briscoes flee to the floor…CRISS-CROSS ELBOW SUICIDA/SOMERSAULT SENTON FROM JOE AND AJ! OLE OLE KICK ON JAY! Joe puts Mark on the chair…OLE OLE KICK BY AJ! Backbreaker then a gutbuster by AJ on Mark. Mark manages to knock AJ to the ropes so Jay can neckbreaker him over the top rope.
Back suplex backbreaker from Jay, into a springboard knee drop from Mark for 2. Bridging northern lights suplex gets Mark 2 as well. Mark draws Joe into the ring so the Briscoes can sneakily stomp on the #1 Contenders Trophy holder behind the ref’s back. Rear chinlock applied by Jay, but he takes a reverse heel kick, then a brainbuster. Again Mark distracts the ref and sneaks into the ring, switching places with Jay. Back suplex drops Styles, but he gets up and trades blows. Styles looks for the quebrada inverted DDT, and with Joe’s assistance he manages to DDT both Briscoes.
Styles tags in Joe…DOUBLE MOONSAULT KICK BY THE CHALLENGERS! Powerbomb-2 count-STF on Mark but the younger Briscoe makes the ropes. Powerslam gets Joe two, before he puts Mark in a cross armbreaker. Jay has to make the save quickly there, and AJ tags in to give Mark a swinging neckbreaker. BACK BODY DROP INTO A SITOUT POWERBOMB BY THE BRISCOES! That was clean out of nowhere! HAMMERLOCK HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX BY AJ! Joe tagged in…KAWADA KICKS. Jay escapes the Island Driver…springboard dropkick from Mark into a German suplex from Jay. Both Briscoes head to opposing turnbuckles. Styles grabs Mark but Jay gets a leg drop on Joe. Jay lariats AJ but takes a boot from Joe, and all four are down!
Everyone forearms everyone else…CHOKE ON JAY BUT HE STILL MANAGES TO SAVE MARK FROM A STYLES CLASH! Mark saves Jay WITH A URINAGE…NO SOLD BY JOE!! Rolling suplexes from Joe but Mark blocks the straightjacket German…and AJ inadvertently discus lariats Joe! Mark gets in another urinage as Jay boots Styles to the floor. Mark goes to the top rope…SHOOTING STAR PRESS! Mark Briscoe pins the ROH Champion at 15:50!
Rating – **** – Probably the second best tag match in ROH ever (behind Briscoes/AJ/Red from Night Of Champions) with so much good stuff on show. Mark Briscoe particularly impressed me. Normally he’s the spottier of the two Briscoes, but he looked equally as good as anyone in this match tonight. I liked the chemistry of the Joe/AJ team, so it’s kinda bad it’s a one-time deal…although realistically they’re better in singles anyway. Mark puts himself in line for an ROH Title shot since he pinned the Champion.
Samoa Joe isn’t happy with Styles about that mis-timed lariat. They stare down as the Briscoes head for the back. Tomorrow night should be GREAT!
CM Punk vs Raven – Steel Cage Match
It’s time for THE CONCLUSION!! We are all set for this feud to end at Beating The Odds, but their first attempt at a cage match bombed, so the feud continues. Punk left that night by crucifying Raven on a Straight Edge ‘X’ despite losing the match. At Glory By Honor II we saw the Punk/Raven Challenge, where Punk cost Raven his match, then almost crippled Raven’s friend Terry Funk before Raven and Tommy Dreamer made the save. That’s pretty much all that’s happened, since Punk has got distracted with the whole Lucy situation. Quite why this is a cage match when the last one sucked so much is a mystery…but lets see if they can get it right at the second time of asking. This has been a fantastic feud for ROH, here’s hoping they send it out on the right note. Despite being a dick all night, Punk gets a decent pop, and there are a load of people singing along with his entrance theme…what is it with this company’s top heels? Raven has ‘PUNK SUX’ painted on his chest…
Punk wastes no time as he keeps Raven out of the ring, then double axehandles him off the apron. He drives Raven into the rails before finally bringing Raven into the cage. Punk sets up a chair in the ring…DROP TOEHOLD ON THE CHAIR! He tries to do it for a second time, but when Raven escapes Punk tries to climb the cage. He gets halted with a chair to the head. He takes a chair to the spine as well, before Raven tosses him head-first into the cage. Stunner from Raven, then a Yakuza kick and Punk is down and bleeding. Raven drills him with a series of knee lifts but only gets 2. Punk goes face-first into a steel chair, then takes the drop toehold into it.
Cloverleaf applied as Raven tries to make a bloody Punk tap out. No dice there, but Raven drops a flurry of knees to the head, as he is just dominating Punk here. Piledriver scores, but Punk kicks out before the 3. PILEDRIVER ON A STEEL CHAIR! Still Punk kicks out. Raven looks to run a chair into Punk’s face but he gets a boot up kicks it into Raven’s face.
Chair shot to the spine, then a Russian legsweep into a chair set up in the turnbuckles. Punk kicks Raven’s head against the chair. He starts choking Raven with the chair, then lobs him into the cage, busting him open. Raven looks for a spear AND GETS NOTHING BUT CAGE! Punk launches Raven into the cage Undertaker/Shawn Michaels style. Punk looks for an elbow drop off the top rope BUT RAVEN GETS A CHAIR UP! Punk looks for a sleeper but Raven back suplexes him, and both men are down on the mat.
Low blow from Raven…Low blow from Punk! Raven tries to escape through the door, but Punk drags him back and almost escapes himself. Punk scores with an enziguri then decides it’s time to climb the cage! LEG DROP OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE…BUT HE MISSES!! Discus lariat from Raven, followed by all his trademark spots i.e. clothesline out of the corner, then a bulldog for 2.
Raven stands poised with the chair, but Punk ducks…backhand chair shot from Raven gets 2. RAVEN EFFECT BY PUNK…FOR 2! He looks for a second with a chair in place, but Raven runs him to the corner to escape that. Small package from Raven almost gets him a quick pin, before he goes down again with a superkick. Punk makes for the door, but opts to climb the cage instead…RAVEN CROTCHES HIM ON THE DOOR! Raven looks to go out the door BUT PUNK SLAMS IT IN HIS FACE! Punk drops to the floor and wins the match at 17:11.
Rating – *** – Great to see this feud go out on the right note, although they never did reach the heights of that first match back at Expect The Unexpected. The cage seriously limited what they could do, but they made the absolute most of what they had (and of the steel chairs in the ring) and put on a dramatic, back and forth match. Great work by both guys in selling the emotion of the contest, as the physicality put over just how intense this feud has been. Pleasing to see them right the wrongs of Beating The Odds.
‘Cellphone calls to Lucy – $500 a month. Beating your arch nemesis – Priceless’ – Punk. He pledges to find out who attacked Lucy tomorrow night in Boston.
GMC is hosting the contract signing for the FOH finals, so he has Matt Stryker and BJ Whitmer with him. He also pretends like he has a few internet journalists there as well. Stryker pokes fun at BJ by pointing out that Punk stole his thunder tonight. Stryker says he knows what it takes to beat Whitmer at Final Battle 2003. BJ says something as well but he’s long, boring, monotonous and dull. He brings up Wrath Of The Racket and says that winning the FOH means as much to him as the ROH Title.
Special K are backstage, and they come across Raven who looks pretty desolate. ‘He looks mean’ – Becky of Raven. Raven doesn’t really talk…but tells them to leave Becky behind as they go…smart guy.
Tape Rating – *** – Not the best show ever…in fact there is absolutely nothing of must-see value here. However, it’s a solid show with nothing that is poor or offensive in anyway. Raven and Punk sign off with a decent match, and we get one of the best tag matches the company has produced. I’d say it’s a fairly successful start to your first double shot weekend.
Top 3 Matches
3) SAT vs Special K vs Carnage Crew vs Hotstuff Hernandez/Fast Eddie (***)
2) CM Punk vs Raven (***)
1) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Samoa Joe/AJ Styles (****)