ROH 31 – War Of The Wire – 29th November 2003
The second night of ROH’s first double shot weekend, and the second blood-feud is settled tonight, as Homicide and Steve Corino do battle one more time, this time in a Barbed Wire Match. This is as far away from the principles upon which ROH was founded as you get, but I think it’s a justifiable end to a great feud, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to it. We also have one of the most anticipated ROH Title matches ever, as Samoa Joe defends against AJ Styles. The Briscoes defend the Tag Titles against The Prophecy, Xavier and John Walters are at it again, and we have ourselves a gauntlet match too. ROH are in their fourth Boston home tonight, as we’re in Framingham, MA. Hosts are Chris Lovey and CM Punk
Top 5 Rankings –
1) AJ Styles
3) Matt Stryker
4) CM Punk
5) BJ Whitmer
In strangely green light, GMC interviews Steve Corino as he arrives with the whole entourage in tow. Corino thinks the Barbed Wire Match isn’t necessary. He does a good job making himself seem like the victim…and for some reason he’s brought Colby (his son) with him. Bizarre choice of matches to bring him to. Because of the importance of the match there’ll be camera crews on Corino and Homicide all night…
Samoa Joe addresses the claims that the wheels are starting to fall off his title run. He respects AJ, but tonight Styles is wrestling a guy who has nothing left to lose. Great little promo from the Champ…
Capetta finds Homicide and Smokes as they enter the building. Despite being a professional video company Homicide’s arrival can barely be made out because of a bright white screen. Smokes plays to the crowd who are still queuing to get in. Homicide says he’s gonna hurt Corino tonight…and seems less happy about being followed by cameras than Corino.
Hotstuff Hernandez/Fast Eddie vs Backseat Boyz
Curtain jerking again for the Backseatz, but they’re on a two match winning streak after winning the Scramble Cage Match then beating the Outcast Killaz last night at The Conclusion. This is a test for the new team of Eddie and Hernandez, who impressed last night in a Scramble Match.
Hernandez and Acid start, and Trent gets thrown across the ring with a hiptoss. Acid gets some right hands in, but Hotstuff just hiptosses him again. Kashmere tags in and gets shoulder blocked, before Acid gets clotheslined down. Kashmere cheapshots Hotstuff rather than go into a test of strength, but it has no real effect. Acid low bridges Hernandez and Eddie comes in to take a missile dropkick. Double bulldog on the blind guy before he flees to the outside as well. Tope/somersault senton combo from the Backseatz before Acid brings Eddie back into the ring.
Acid mocks Eddie’s blindness then kicks him in the face. Double Russian legsweep on Eddie before some double team dance wrestling. ‘That’s gay’ – Punk. Acid puts Eddie in a chinlock, then Kashmere grabs his leg when he fights free. Acid misses a Yakuza kick and takes a neckbreaker. Tags to Hernandez and Kashmere, and naturally Hotstuff dominates both Backseatz. He looks for a double back suplex but he drops Acid on his face. And he looks to choke toss belly to belly Eddie over the ropes onto the Backseatz. That was pretty ugly…BIG MAN SUICIDE DIVE WINS THE CROWD BACK! Acid stops Eddie on the top rope but Hernandez hands Acid up to him…for the moonsault fallaway slam. Doomsday enziguri kick from the TWA guys. Hotstuff looks for a splash mountain bomb but takes a Yakuza kick. Acid and Kashmere dump him to the floor, then T-Gimmick Eddie for the win at 08:48.
Rating – * – Yeah…it had about as many exciting moments as it had sloppy moments. Hernandez teaming with Eddie means less blind guy insanity so I’m not overly psyched about them as a team again now. Backseat Boyz end a pretty mundane weekend for themselves with two victories.
To the Corino locker room for the first time and they discuss the advantages Corino has over Homicide since he’s been in a Barbed Wire Match before. Corino wants to keep it short, so Homicide can’t get up a head of steam. This is awesome stuff…great idea from ROH with this. Colby thinks his dad will win…how cute.
Meanwhile in Homicide’s locker room he pulls out his ring attire…
Special K vs Carnage Crew/SAT/Slugger – Scramble Match
Special K are represented by Dixie, Hydro, Angeldust, Lit and some other guy. They’re opponents all have issues with them. They’ve screwed the SAT a number of times, whilst the feud with the Carnage Crew gets more and more violent. The Crew got a few leather strap shots in on them at Main Event Spectacles, but aside from that there’s been very little retribution and they’ll be looking for some today. Slugger has issues with K going back to when he was their Special Security…he eventually walked out on them to join the Rottweilers.
Angeldust and Jose start and Angeldust takes an enzi kick to the head. Dixie and Loc next and he hits a nice press slam into a brainbuster. Joel and Hydro and they run some lucha spots which aren’t that good since Joel is a fatty. Hydro doesn’t stand for Joel’s crapness but takes an enzi then a hard ass lariat. Lit and DeVito and DeVito blocks a jump swinging bulldog then blasts him with crossfaces. Punk is hysterical on commentary during this by the way. Lit bails, and Hijinx is in with Slugger. He’s gone from blonde hair to a buzz cut with his natural black hair hence I didn’t recognise him. Slugger hits a big Samoan drop. The Carnage Crew in and they put Dixie and Hijinx in submission holds. SAT in with the Human Taffy Machine on Hydro and Angeldust. Slugger with a standing bow and arrow on Lit.
Somehow Special K clear then they all hit topes before Angeldust goes upstairs for a moonsault plancha. Slugger is suddenly in the ring…BIG JAMAICAN PLANCHA OFF THE TOP ROPE!! Angeldust gets German suplexed into the knees of the Carnage Crew. Angeldust unloads with kicks on Joel, then Hydro holds him prone for a Dixie missile dropkick then a Tiger suplex for 2. All five of them hit dropkicks on Slugger…but he then clotheslines all of them down. Belly to belly suplex on Hydro for 2. Hydro hits a pescado on Slugger on the floor but he catches him and dumps him. K look for a fourway super rana…BUT INSTEAD WE GET FOUR TOP ROPE POWERBOMBS! The Crew look for the Spike Piledriver, but Hydro pulls Loc away. SPIKE PILEDRIVER BY DEVITO AND JOEL MAXIMO! Joel cuts Hydro off on the top…SPANISH FLY BY JOSE AND DEVITO! Jose is a greedy Mexican so he wants the pin. The Crew and the SAT argue…Dixie rolls up DeVito and holds the tights for the win at 11:32.
Rating – * – Sorry, but there was way too much Slugger in that. The crazy plancha was cool, but aside from that he sucks, and really hurt the match. Aside from that, this was a little dull for a spotfest until the closing stages where DeVito and the SAT traded finishing moves. Yesterday’s Scramble was much better.
Jimmy Rave vs CM Punk – Gauntlet Match
No real purpose to this gauntlet match, aside from the fact that we have a bunch of mid-card guys (Punk aside) battling to see who is king of the midcard…I thought we already had the FOH for that. Anyway, Rave has so far been a jobber, but almost looked capable of a win at The Conclusion against Christopher Daniels. Punk meanwhile, beat Raven last night in a Steel Cage Match, and is probably still feeling the effects of that.
Punk still wants to know who attacked Lucy (how funny would it have been if it had been Rave who took her out). He claims to have beaten Raven because he’s Straight Edge and promises to know who took out Lucy before the night is over.
Allison Danger is in the commentary box with Chris Lovey since Punk is in the ring. Rave goes after Punk’s knee, going for an early leglock. Allison again avoids the question over whether The Prophecy attacked Lucy, and then bails. Rave still works Punk’s knee before taking a kick to the head, then one to the spine. Mule kick from Punk, but Rave takes him down again with a dropkick to the knee. He’s attacking that knee with all the tenacity of roadkill. He hangs the knee over the ropes and kicks away at it, then just torque’s it in the ropes.
Punk misses a springboard crossbody and gets put in a kneebar. He rolls through and sends Rave to the outside. Punk looks to go to the floor but Rave takes out the knee again. Rave comes off the apron – SWINGING HEADSCISSORS INTO THE GUARDRAIL! Punk sends Rave into the guardrail, then works a neck crank back in the ring. STO from Punk gets 2. Dropkick to the side of the head, then back to the neck crank…NECK CRANK SUPLEX FROM PUNK! Rave tries to go back to the knee but he gets put in a sleeper hold. Shinbreaker to break it, then a dropkick to the knee. STO backbreaker by Rave, then a bridging back suplex. Dragon screw by Rave…into a modified figure 4. Punk rolls it over and Rave has to struggle to the ropes. Awesome shoulder breaker by Punk, but that hurt his own knee! Rave looks for the Shining Wizard but Punk rolls through into a half crab. Rave makes the ropes to Punk puts him into a Boston crab. Shining Wizard from Rave for 2. To the turnbuckles and Rave puts Punk on the top…BUT TAKES THE PEPSI PLUNGE!! Punk wins it at 11:45
Rating – *** – I actually enjoyed that, and Rave has looked better this weekend. He doesn’t do it very aggressively, but I liked the way he’s focused on body parts this weekend, much like AJ Styles has been telling him to do. Didn’t like the finish either, since a top rope Pedigree is the last thing you should be doing with a bad knee…lets hope Punk sells it in the next match.
CM Punk vs Matt Stryker – Gauntlet Match
Stryker comes out looking more like a deranged Vince Russo than ever. I’m not sure these two have ever come into contact before in ROH. Either way, if Punk has a bad wheel, and Matt Stryker can focus on that and not do his pointless pure wrestling thing, Punk could be in real trouble.
Punk is hobbling badly, and Stryker goes right after his knee. Punk keeps him at bay with a swinging neckbreaker before he mounts him and punches away. Punk runs back and forth avoiding Stryker getting close to his knee. Stryker pretends to be tying his boot then attacks the knee, and Punk has to scramble to the ropes. Desperation thumb to the eye from Punk, but Stryker still goes for the leg. He kicks at it, then scoops him up looking for the DVD. Punk escapes but takes a forearm to the face for 2. Punk can’t run the ropes his knee is so screwed and takes a mafia kick from Stryker Strykerlock applied and Punk taps at 03:49.
Rating – * – I don’t agree with this at all. Like it or not, Punk was the biggest name in this match, and after the Raven match yesterday, this booking makes him look horribly weak. Basically he got his ass kicked so much by perennial jobber Jimmy Rave that Stryker beat him easily. I liked the exchange where Punk tried everything to avoid Stryker getting at his injured leg…but in sub-4 minutes these two weren’t gonna do a whole lot.
Matt Stryker vs Colt Cabana – Gauntlet Match
Cabana actually pinned Stryker in a fourway at Glory By Honor II, but then again, since then Matt Stryker has progressed to the FOH Finals whilst Cabana was eliminated last night at The Conclusion. Stryker will hardly be worn down at all considering his match with Punk was so short…whilst Cabana enters the match with shoulder injuries. Not sure if they’ll make an issue of that or not…Punk tells Cabana to be serious…he obliges by dancing to ‘Cope Cabana’ first in slow motion then in fast forward…
Stryker knocks Colt to the floor to start, which doesn’t impress him. Cabana won’t be serious as Stryker tries to lock up which pisses him off. ‘Dance’ – Boston to Colt. The sound guy plays music, but Colt walks out and refuses. Jumping heel kick from Stryker for 2. Cabana comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. Neck ringer by Colt…FOLLOWED BY CABANA PLUCKING THE BROW! Jumping ass to the face gets Cabana 2. Stryker tries for a reverse hurricanrana, no dice with that but does get a victory roll. Springboard crossbody from Cabana doesn’t exactly connect but he gets 2 with it. Rope run belly to belly superplex from Stryker. Thesz press from Stryker, then a lionsault for 2. Powerslam doesn’t put Colt away either. Cabana escapes a DVD attempt, but Stryker locks a Colt 45 attempt. Kryptonite neckbreaker from Colt gets 2. Stryker plants Cabana with the DVD and wins it at 08:57.
Rating – ** – Lots of comedy stalling and not a lot of real substance to the match. I think Cabana’s shoulders where the reason for this again though, although during the match Lovey mentioned the injuries and said they were ‘no big deal’.
Matt Stryker vs BJ Whitmer – Gauntlet Match
The final match in this Gauntlet series is a preview of the FOH Final, which is next month at Final Battle 2003. Stryker and Whitmer wrestled to a 15-minute draw at Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies to earn their invitation to the FOH, then last night at The Conclusion both won passage to the finals. The contract was signed and both pledged victory…
Whitmer opens up with a neckbreaker for 2. He whips Stryker hard into the turnbuckles, then puts him into a camel clutch. Rolling suplexes from BJ, and he gets 2 with a bridging northern lights. Another neckbreaker gets another nearfall. Stryker battles free of an Exploder attempt then hits a discus forearm to buy himself some time. Big boot from Stryker, then a rolling senton gets 2. BJ goes to the top rope but gets caught up there. Stryker looks for the rope run belly to belly BUT BJ SHOVES HIM TO THE OUTSIDE! Stryker is down and out on the floor and referees and Feinstein crowd around him. BJ isn’t finished though, as he drags the injured Stryker inside FOR THE WRIST CLUTCH EXPLODER! BJ wins the series at 04:34.
Rating – * – So the whole point of this thing wasting over half an hour of the show was for less than 5 minutes to build up the FOH Final…which by this point I’m not really caring about since the FOH has looked like nothing more than something for all the midcard wrestlers to do, and has produced nothing more than solid midcard matches. I like Whitmer, and Stryker mostly isn’t too bad…but they made Punk look weak for this? Colour me disappointed with the booking here…
INTERMISSION – Capetta walks in on AJ Styles yelling at Jimmy Rave again. Rave snaps and shoves Styles away…and AJ likes that because Rave actually shows some emotion.
To the Corino locker room and he’s warming up. LeGrande and Corino think Homicide will use the fork tonight.
Homicide is warming up as well, and Smokes looks happy enough babbling away at him. Homicide says he’s gonna eat Corino’s children…ok.
Outcast Killaz vs Slyk Wagner Brown/April Hunter
The Killaz defeated Brown and Hunter on Glory By Honor II’s convention card, and because there were millions upon millions of fans demanding a rematch, here it is. We JIP to show how gripping and fantastic this match is.
Slyk hits the press slam into the moonsault splash on Oman and Diablo has to make the save. Backbreaker on Diablo, before Brown holds Oman up for a springboard blockbuster from April. Diablo superkicks her into a Russian legsweep from Oman and they pin her at 01:02 shown.
Rating – DUD – Just because Slyk is from Boston, that’s no reason to but this guy on the show every time we’re there. Seriously…he sucks. Fortunately, that’s twice the Outcast Killaz have gone over him and the cilicone b*tch April Hunter…
Xavier strolls out after the match to point out that people from Boston are losers…like Slyk Wagner Brown and John Walters. Xavier reminds everyone that he’s from New York, so that means he’s a winner. Walters comes out and takes exception…and it’s time for their match.
Xavier vs John Walters
This feud started when Xavier used a low blow to beat Walters in their Field Of Honor match. Walters wasn’t best pleased, and was even more agitated when Xavier pinned him again in a fourway at Tradition Continues by raking his eyes. He teamed up with Tony Mamaluke against Xavier and Nigel McGuiness, and after McGuiness dropped him with the hammerlock Pedigree, Xavier snuck in for a third cheap victory. Walters has guaranteed a win like 8000 times…lets see if he can actually live up to his word here.
Walters slaps Xavier and the fight is underway. They punch away at each other on the mat, then both look for cross armbreakers. Walters looks for an early Hurricane DDT and Xavier rolls to the floor. Xavier flips back into the ring but takes a clothesline. SPRINGBOARD SUPER RANA FROM WALTERS! Xavier up and he tosses Walters to the floor. Xavier onto the apron – SPRINGBOARD CORKSCREW BODY PRESS! Xavier misses a dropkick in the corner, but manages to block Walters’ falling double knee and puts him into a chinlock.
Xavier continues the punishment with a forearm to the neck, then a knee to the back of the neck from the second rope. Unique armbar takedown, then a brainbuster for 2. Knee strikes in the corner send Walters to the apron. They battle on the top rope, and Walters looks for a sunset flip powerbomb. Walters crotches Xavier on the top rope…then screws up horribly looking for the falling double knee to the back, just drilling Xavier’s head into the canvas. Neckbreaker from Walters gets 2. HURRICANE DDT SCORES…FALLING DOUBLE KNEE TO THE BACK…FOR 2! Xavier lifts Walters to the top rope…SUPER INVERTED DDT! Xavier goes back upstairs…to miss the 450 Splash. He rolls through it but takes the springboard sunset flip powerbomb for 2. Walters gets thrown to the floor again and Xavier goes outside and drags a ladder out. Back in the ring Xavier goes for Kiss Your X Goodbye…Walters counters with a roll up and finally beats Xavier at 11:28.
Rating – ** – At times exciting, but it was also incredibly messy, and had a stupid roll up. I appreciate they weren’t done with the feud, but it sucked. Nothing on the quality of their Glory By Honor II match trust me…
Xavier jumps Walters and smacks him in the head with a steel chair. Walters is busted open so naturally Xavier decides it’s best to blast him in the head again. He brings the ladder into the ring then throws it into his face before walking out. No real point in the ladder being there at all really…
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Christopher Daniels/Dan Maff – ROH Tag Title Match
The Briscoes tough weekend continues, because after defeating Samoa Joe and AJ Styles last night, tonight they have to defend against The Prophecy. Daniels and Maff will be extra keen to get the win since the Briscoes are managed by Jim Cornette, who had Samoa Joe assault Maff, Danger and Daniels at Main Event Spectacles…and he even had the nerve to walk out on The Prophecy and shake hands with AJ Styles and Homicide back at Wrath Of The Racket.
Jay and Daniels start, and Daniels looks for an armdrag but Jay avoids it. Mark blind tags in and hits a springboard missile dropkick for 2. Northern lights suplex gets another 2. Maff tagged in and he takes a reverse elbow before Mark brings Jay into to hit a leg drop/sidewalk slam combo. Maff takes a powder SO JAY THROWS HIMSELF OVER THE TOP ROPE ONTO HIM! ARABIAN PRESS FROM DANIELS BUT JAY MOVES! Daniels only got Maff there…SHOOTING STAR PRESS BY MARK! Allison Danger distracts the ref, and Mark shoves her off the apron. Maff throws Mark to the floor WHERE DANIELS GIVES HIM AN STO INTO THE GUARDRAIL!
Daniels into the match legally now and he gives Mark a back suplex. Neck crank by Daniels before Maff is tagged back in. Mark goes for a tag but instead gets a kick to the spine then another neck crank. Swinging neckbreaker from Maff before he tags Daniels back in. Daniels doesn’t shake hands because he has arthritis according to Punk. The Prophecy continue to work the neck, and Maff scores 2 with a suplex. Rear chinlock before he tags Daniels in to hit a suplex of his own. Mark rolls Daniels up but Maff was distracting the ref so there was no count. To rub it in Mark gets choked over the bottom rope by Maff and Danger as Daniels has the official occupied.
The assault on Mark’s neck continues, but Mark rolls through a German suplex and hits a kick. Daniels knocks Jay off the apron so there’s no tag. Daniels taunts the Briscoes, holding Mark close to his corner then dropping him with a Russian legsweep. Maff in with a back suplex…before he tags right back out. Maff nails the cannonball in the corner but Mark still kicks out. Mark somehow manages to throw Daniels into a spear on Maff and makes the hot tag to Jay.
Daniels cuts off his momentum with a thumb to the eye, but Jay still gets a clothesline on both Prophecy members, then a Yakuza kick on Maff. He flies off the top rope with a dropkick but Maff kicks out at 2. Daniels drops Mark with a flatliner. DOUBLE JUMP MOONSAULT! Jay saves then gives Daniels the sitout gourdbuster. Death Valley Driver scores, but Maff pulls him up to deliver a swinging fisherman suplex. HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX ON JAY! Maff goes to the second rope BUT MARK SNEAKS IN WITH THE SPRINGBOARD ACE CRUSHER! Knee drop into a backbreaker by the champions on Daniels, before Maff pulls Jay out and throws him into the rail. Mark with a urinage on Daniels…but Allison Danger stops the ref froun counting. The ref shoves her down…and Mark tries to give her the Cutthroat Driver. Daniels makes the save…and Danger nails him with a DDT! Rocket launcher on Mark…MISSED! Jay gives Daniels a Mafia kick…then rocks Maff with one as well. FALCON ARROW ON ALLISON DANGER! Mark gets turned inside out from a Maff lariat, but the Briscoes take him down with a flapjack. Double sidewalk slam follows…THEN THE SPRINGBOARD DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Daniels makes the save…ANGELS WINGS ON MARK! Jay saves again but almost gets put away himself with an STO. Daniels looks for the Angels Wings but Jay blocks it…JAY DRILLER SCORES!! The Briscoes retain at 18:25.
Rating – *** – Crowd was dead throughout, and frankly that looked a little confused. The work on Mark’s neck became an irrelevance after 10 minutes, as they abandoned that for spot-spot-spot work, with absolutely no acknowledgement of the tag rule either. Most of it was good stuff, but this could’ve been better. They didn’t really click, and that’s an extra disappointment after last night’s great Tag Title match.
Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles – ROH World Title Match
What can you say about these two? There’s no massive heat between them, they’re just two of the best wrestlers in ROH, and now we get them one-on-one for the World Title. AJ became #1 Contender at Main Event Spectacles when (for the second time in ROH history) he beat Bryan Danielson for the #1 Contenders Trophy. We had an interesting situation last night at The Conclusion when AJ and Joe teamed together against The Briscoes. The end in that match came when AJ inadvertently hit Joe with a discus lariat, which set him up for a Shooting Star Press from Mark. It was another defeat for Joe, meaning in recent memory he’s failed to win matches at Beating The Odds, Empire State Showdown, Main Event Spectacles and The Conclusion. Has Joe lost it? AJ is ready to test the theory…
Duelling ‘AJ’ and ‘Joe’ chants before the bell. Interesting to have Punk on commentary for this as he’s lost to both in recent months. AJ hits the nip up rana. HURRICANRANA BY JOE! That was different…and now they go to the mat and it’s a struggle for an advantage. Chop/kick combo by Joe, but it wasn’t brutal enough so he goes for it again and AJ trips him down and puts him in a headlock. Sweet dropkick from Styles gets 1. AJ just about musters a suplex on Joe. Styles looks for the discus lariat but takes a left jab THEN GETS BOOTED THROUGH THE ROPES TO THE FLOOR!
ELBOW SUICIDA FROM THE WORLD CHAMPION!! Joe sets AJ up on the chair…but Styles tries to avoid the Ole Ole Kick – THEN GETS BLASTED WITH A SUPERKICK! Joe looks for a whip to the rails, but Styles jumps it. Joe follows in AND AJ NAILS HIM WITH A DIVING CLOTHESLINE! Back in the ring AJ signals for the Styles Clash, but Joe blocks. Powerbomb from Styles gets 2, but that probably took just as much out of the challenger as it did the Champion. STO SLAM ON AJ! BOOTSCRAAAAAAPES!
AJ is in trouble and Joe no sells his strikes then dropkicks him hard in the knee. Powerbomb-2 count-STF on Styles, and he’s in the middle of the ring. Joe floats over into a Crossface before AJ gets his leg in the ropes. AJ looks for another fight back but Joe rakes his eyes. Rolling cradle gets Joe 2. Joe runs off the ropes – OVERHEAD KICK FROM AJ! Quebrada inverted DDT scores but only scores 2. HARD kicks to the side of the head, then a big knee keeps Joe down. MutaLock applied by AJ but Joe rakes the eyes once again to escape. Joe with a ferocious enziguri kick out of nowhere, and now both men are down. STIFF AS F*CK forearms from both guys…E HONDA SLAPS BY JOE! AJ ducks one last slap and drops Joe with another enzi. AJ lifts Joe to the top rope then powerbombs him off it…INTO THE STYLES CLASH…BUT JOE KICKS OUT!!! AJ looks for another quebrada…BUT GETS CAUGHT WITH THE ISLAND DRIVER…AND NOW AJ KICKS OUT!! AJ gets blasted with knees BUT STILL dishes out a discus lariat. AJ goes to the top rope but Joe catches him…MUSCLE BUSTER NAILED! JOE SLAPS ON THE CHOKE! AJ is choked unconscious at 16:53.
Rating – **** – Best match of the weekend, and one of Joe’s best title defences ever. This was so close to getting an extra half-star, but I felt it lacked the emotional involvement of a match like the Daniels match (Glory By Honor II) or the Homicide match (Do Or Die). It’s not like you should be how surprised how good this one is, believe me it’s amazing. I loved how they used the floor for something other than the Ole Ole Kick…and when AJ nails the Styles Clash you really think it’s over for Joe as World Champion. Joe now goes on to Final Battle 2003 where he has to defend the belt against Mark Briscoe.
Special K are drugged up. Hydro, Angeldust, Dixie and Hijinx rabbit on about something then walk off…ok?
Final preparations are underway in both locker rooms, and the mood is serious as Corino dons his bizarre ring entrance attire. Homicide is wearing a boiler suit, much like he did in the early days of ROH. That’s a far more sensible choice of attire than Corino’s trunks…
We get stills of the first shot in the Saints/Prophecy feud, as Punk lays Daniels out with Last Rites whilst the barbed wire was being set up. Couldn’t we have had some crap cut and had that in full? I’d much rather see this conflict than the Backseatz/TWA or the Killaz vs Brown/Hunter.
Steve Corino vs Homicide – Barbed Wire Match
It’s time for the WAR OF THE WIRE, as this feud is finally settled once and for all in one of the most barbaric match types in wrestling. We saw this begin at the first Glory By Honor when Corino inadvertently caused Homicide to be pinned when they tagged against the Backseat Boyz. Homicide got revenge by stabbing Corino in the face with a fork at All Star Extravaganza. Corino took a #1 Contenders Trophy shot from Homicide at Final Battle 2002. When they wrestled at the First Anniversary Show they caused a riot…then Corino vanished leaving Homicide to feud with his cronies. Homicide finally got Corino to come back to ROH and they had a MOTYC at Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies, which Homicide won when LeGrande threw in the towel with Corino in the STF. In that match, Homicide deafened with a slap to the ear. At Main Event Spectacles Corino attacked Homicide and punched him in the ear with a chain…but Homicide responded at The Conclusion by costing Corino a match against Josh Daniels. Yep…this is intense. No long introduction for Corino tonight, he wants to be in and out quickly…although he’s still the ‘F*CKING GOD OF PRO-WRESTLING’ apparently.
Both guys look tentative, and Corino falls out of the ring because there’s no ropes to protect him…he was lucky not to catch the wire. Homicide mounts Corino and goes after his ear, then tries to rake his face across the wire. Both men almost run straight into the wire, before Homicide slides out for a chat with Smokes. Homicide tries to score a couple of quick pinfalls, and this is almost chilling to watch. Again they try to rake each other’s faces across the wire BEFORE CORINO THROWS HOMICIDE INTO THE CORNER! Homicide is the first one to taste the wire, and pretty soon he’s tangled in it as Corino rakes the wire across his forehead. Unsurprisingly he’s bleeding now, and Corino makes it worse by clawing at the wound. CATAPULT GUILLOTINE BY CORINO! He slingshots Cide into the bottom barbed wire rope!
Corino has a barbed wire bat, but Homicide nails him with a chair THEN DDT’S HIM ON THE BAT! Homicide pulls out the fork AND HE STABS CORINO IN THE F*CKING FACE!
The fight spills to the outside and Homicide slams Corino into the guardrail then attempts to stab him in the ear with the fork. Back inside HOMICIDE STOMPS THE BARBED WIRE BAT INTO CORINO’S FACE. Homicide bites the ear then starts grinding Corino’s face against the wire. BARBED WIRE BAT TO THE HEAD! This is pretty graphic footage folks. CORINO MONKEY FLIPS HOMICIDE INTO THE BARBED WIRE!
Back to the floor and Homicide gets launched into a barbed wire-wrapped fence segment. Corino lifts Homicide up AND SUPLEXES HIM OVER THE BARBED WIRE ROPES! Homicide is hung up there, as Smokes and LeGrande have to be pulled apart. The fans want to see the barbed wire table, so Corino flips them off instead. CORINO WHIPPED INTO THE CORNER…THEN TAKES THE RUNNING KNEE! IS HOMICIDE INSANE??
Homicide has Corino hooked up for a suplex into the table but Corino blocks. Standing switch…AND CORINO GETS T-BONE SUPLEXED THROUGH A BARBED WIRE TABLE! Incredibly Corino isn’t done…AND HE DRILLS HOMICIDE WITH THE COLBYKAZE! Cobra Sleeper locked in…SO HOMICIDE BACKS CORINO THROUGH THE TABLE WRECKAGE INTO MORE BARBED WIRE! Homicide leaves the ring to retrieve the fence section, and he inadvertently throws it onto Corino’s head. Homicide gets whipped into the wire, as Punk leaves commentary position again. The Young Boys and LeGrande set up the fence section over some open chairs…NORTHERN LIGHTS BOMB THROUGH THE FENCE SECTION!
Incredibly Homicide isn’t done…AMERICAN WIZARD SCORES! STF APPLIED! LEGRANDE MAKES THE SAVE BY THROWING ALCOHOL INTO HOMICIDE’S FACE! Smokes and LeGrande brawl on the floor as Corino scores with a lariat – FOR ONE! Rolling piledrivers from Corino, before he puts on some protective gloves then wraps Homicide in barbed wire. COBRA SLEEPER WITH BARBED WIRE!! Smokes throws in the towel at 21:02.
Rating – **** – Honest to God one of the most violent matches you’ll ever see. It wasn’t garbage like the stuff you’ll see in other promotions, but the logical end to a bitter, violent feud. Considering the limitations a Barbed Wire Match places on you, these two came up with some neat stuff. It wasn’t as good as the Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies match, but it’s up there.
Punk is out there checking on Corino, as both guys get a standing ovation for that effort. Corino extends a hand but Homicide doesn’t shake and walks off.
Backstage Corino says he would’ve killed Homicide if Smokes hadn’t have thrown in the towel. Corino says he’s through with ROH, whilst Colby looks pretty pleased.
GOOD TIMES, GREAT MEMORIES – Colt Cabana’s guests are the SAT and CM Punk. He’s learnt Spanish so he can talk to Jose and Joel…and he invites them to ‘takeo el seato’. Cabana is stoked that they know English…and his cue card guy (Rob Feinstein) is made redundant. He wants to know how ‘El Rojo’ (Red) is doing. The SAT say he’ll be back soon, and say they’ll get revenge on the Briscoes for attacking his knee so bad when they face them on the Final Battle 2003 convention card. Much angry Mexican-ness ensues and Fat Joel starts sobbing. The SAT are chumps…Cabana isn’t. No Punk until next time unfortunately.
BJ Whitmer and Matt Stryker are face to face as they’re just one show away from the FOH Final. Naturally Stryker is pretty pissed off that Whitmer gave him the Wrist Clutch Exploder whilst he was injured. BJ says winning is the only thing that matters…
Tape Rating – ** – I deliberated long and hard about this, since Joe/Styles and Corino/Homicide are fantastic. Unfortunately, the rest of the show is shockingly substandard, with very little decent stuff. The Gauntlet is a great long waste of time for 5 minutes of hype for the FOH, there’s lots of poor stuff, and the Briscoes/Prophecy tag is mildly disappointing. AJ/Joe is the best match of the weekend, but overall The Conclusion is the better of the two shows from this weekend. It’s a more solid, consistent show.
Top 3 Matches
3) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Christopher Daniels/Dan Maff (***)
2) Steve Corino vs Homicide (****)
1) Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles (****)
Top 5 Matches Of The Weekend
5) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Christopher Daniels/Dan Maff (*** – War Of The Wire)
4) CM Punk vs Raven (*** – The Conclusion)
3) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Samoa Joe/AJ Styles (**** – The Conclusion)
2) Steve Corino vs Homicide (**** – War Of The Wire)
1) Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles (**** – War Of The Wire)