036 ROH At Our Best 3/13/2004

ROH 36 – At Our Best – 13th March 2004

This is ROH’s biggest show to date. The claim to that has been made a lot, but this is it. The Feinstein scandal had broken, and ROH was in crisis. Even with the disgraced Feinstein apparently gone, there was still a big question mark hanging over the company, whose excellent reputation had been vastly tarnished. Would fans turn up and show their support? Would the wrestlers turn up to put on the show? Well in answer to the first question – an emphatic yes. Over 1,800 fans packed into the RexPlex, making this the biggest crowd in the companies history. Bobby Heenan, Roddy Piper, Jim Cornette, Abyss and Low Ki all distanced themselves, however, with the promise that Feinstein was removed, the majority of ROH’s marquee players turned out in force to put on the best show they could. ROH is fighting back tonight by attempting to present one of the best wrestling shows you’ll ever see, and the card is stacked. Both the Samoa Joe/Briscoe and Special K/Carnage Crew wars are settled tonight inside the steel cage, and we get a rematch of the Pure Wrestling Title Tournament final as AJ Styles his newly-won crown against CM Punk. The Second City Saints/Prophecy feud continues, a new #1 Contender will be decided, Ricky Steamboat and Dusty Rhodes are in the house. It’s Wrestlemania weekend and we’re in Elizabeth, NJ. Hosts are Chris Lovey and Ray Murrow…lets rock.

SAMOA JOE’S RING – Taped at ROH’s wrestling school, Joe wants to demonstrate how he would nullify the “purists”, hence showing himself to be a better wrestler than the Pure Wrestling Champion, and his title more prestigious. He stretches a student who looks like Ethan Hawke…and he suffers as a result of Joe’s rage at the pure wrestling division. He chokes Drew out…

Dusty Rhodes is meeting fans before the show…and Ox Baker (a very comical old wrestler…he’s killed people in the ring, but these days he looks like a crazy senile goon) shows up yelling that Dusty ‘did not run me out of the state of Flaaawidaaaah’. Dusty seems to find it quite funny, as do I. (I watched this with friends, this was their favourite part of the show…it’s hysterical). Dusty gets in the ring and undoes his shirt (very attractive) and laughs that Ox can’t get over the rail (which he can’t so it’s doubly funny). Decrepit old loser…call me disrespectful all you want, but I don’t care one little bit about Mr. Baker being run out of Florida. Dusty says he turned down Vince McMahon and the WWE Hall Of Fame show to be here tonight to a huge pop then pokes more fun at Ox for being old. He puts over ROH and the show…nice one Dusty.

Shawn Price (oh dear) is chasing Julius Smokes through the RexPlex, because he wants information about Homicide. Smokes says he’ll be in the ring later tonight to deliver a message.

Amazing Red vs Jack Evans vs Jimmy Rave vs Teddy Hart vs Sonjay Dutt vs Mark Briscoe

The second Six Man Mayhem match, and it should be even more spot-errific than the first. Amazing Red is in an ROH ring for the first time since Death Before Dishonor, having spent the winter out with knee surgery (he wasn’t scheduled back till the summer, and given that he moves at like half speed through the match, it looks like he came back way too soon). Teddy Hart is back for the first time since making almost everyone in the locker room hate him for his post-Scramble Cage antics (30 foot moonsaults ;-). Jack Evans were in the first Six Man Mayhem back at The Last Stand. Mark Briscoe is new to this environment but he should be right at home here. Rave is…in the match as well. Winner earns a spot in the Top 5.

Briscoe and Rave start and attempt a semblance of wrestling, but realistically, this is a spot-fest, it goes nowhere. Briscoe to the apron and he gives Jimmy the springboard dropkick. Dutt in with a headscissors, and Briscoe goes to the floor. Evans in with Dutt and they’re fast and even. Rolling hurricanrana from Dutt scores, but Evans replies with a satellite headscissors. POWERBOMB FACEBUSTER FROM DUTT! Hart and Red are tagged in, and Red gets a huge pop. German suplex from Red before Rave and Dutt sneak in. They hit ranas and go at it with each other. Rave goes to the floor…Sonjay goes to the outside and hits a 619 on the apron. Evans goes for a dive but gets kicked off the ropes. Dutt jumps off the referee’s back for a dive – BUT MISSES THE ROPES AND CRASHES TO THE FLOOR! Mark to the top rope FOR THE SHOOTING STAR PRESS! CORKSCREW MOONSAULT FROM TEDDY! Evans…TWISTING CORKSCREW MOONSAULT! Red goes for a dive but Rave stops that…then gives him the Crappy Wizard. Satellite Crossface on Dutt…SHOOTING STAR NOTHING FROM TEDDY! Rave puts Teddy in the sharpshooter to a HUGE pop.

Evans and Hart work together, and Hart hits a shooting star elbow drop into a backbreaker. DRAGONRANA FROM SONJAY! Michinoku Driver from Evans wipes him out…630 SPLASH FROM OFF THE TOP! Briscoe in WITH THE CUTTHROAT DRIVER – DANGEROOUUUUS! Red makes the save there and drops Mark with an Island Driver for 2. MAXIMO EXPLOSION ON SONJAY – RED STAR PRESS WINS IT! 11:05 is the time.

Rating – *** –
Not as good as the first one, with far more mistakes, but it was still lots of fun. Teddy Hart’s shooting star nothing is funny, but Lovey and Murrow ridiculing him afterwards is funnier still. Red looked…rusty. He was barely in the match, and when he was, he was moving far slower than we’re used to (and at times seemed to be limping). Evans is just perfect for this type of match. He might not be the best wrestler in the world, but he can pace a match, and his agility and athleticism is just unparalleled by anyone in wrestling right now. He is one of the most innovative men in the roster, and I mean that in an honest way, not in an SAT kinda way…

CM Punk wants Ace Steel and Colt Cabana to be serious, and Colt tells him not to worry. They’re all serious with the #1 Contendership for the Tag Titles on the line. Punk says he was robbed of the Pure Title in Boston, and he’ll win it tonight.

GMC is in the ring, and he brings out Julius Smokes out to talk about Homicide again…didn’t we do this already? Couldn’t Smokes have given us this update last time? Is fitting him in on a show REALLY that important…I hate Smokes! Smokes says Homicide has sent him to challenge Samoa Joe to a title match since Homicide beat him at Empire State Showdown.

Ricky Steamboat (YES…STEAMER IN ROH!!) is with AJ Styles and CM Punk to clarify the rules for the Pure Wrestling Title match tonight. Punk and AJ shake hands which is nice…

Slyk Wagner Brown vs Xavier

It’s a special attraction match (which is ROH code for very unimportant match), and poor Xavier deserves better than this. He’s been fantastic since coming back in the summer, but since the Walters feud ended, he’s done nothing. He joined Prince Nana in The Embassy which probably wasn’t a good idea, and now faces Slyk, who is chronically hopeless inside the ring. Neither man was at the Second Anniversary Show (why could Xavier not be in the Pure Wrestling tournament?) and failed to win at The Last Stand. April Hunter is with Brown as usual, whilst Nana is in Xavier’s corner for the first time.

The announcers poke fun at Wrestlemania as Slyk knocks Xavier to the floor and almost lands on his head with a tope. Slyk misses a baseball slide and gets held on the apron as Xavier delivers some knee strikes. It’s a year since Xavier lost the ROH Title by the way. ‘NananananananananaNANA!!!’ – fan to Nana. Back in the ring Xavier takes a belly to belly into the corner for 2. Springboard crossbody from Xavier but Slyk rolls through into a swinging sidewalk slam. Brown misses a quebrada and gets floored with a reverse heel kick. Slingshot knee strike in the corner for 2. Horse collar from Slyk, which gives us a perfect shot of his piggy face. Xavier misses something in the corner then gets lifted to the top rope. He escapes a splash mountain attempt…dragon suplex gets 2. Full nelson camel clutch forces Brown to tap at 07:25.

Rating – DUD –
Pretty horrific actually. Nobody cared about this…not the fans, not the bookers, and I don’t think Xavier and Slyk cared too much either. They went to the ring, killed a few minutes there, then walked off again. Probably the worst ROH match of 2004 thus far.

Nigel McGuiness vs Jerry Lynn

Jerry has indicated that he’s coming to ROH to compete for the Pure Wrestling Title, and Nigel excels in the area of Pure Wrestling as well. Last time we saw Nigel he was beating Cody Hawk at Battle Lines Are Drawn to retain his HWA Title. Jerry Lynn returned to ROH at The Last Stand to team with Samoa Joe against the Briscoes in a losing effort.

Jerry looks to go for Nigel’s leg from the start but he has to deal with the Britishness from McGuiness all the while. Near miss sequence, followed by armdrags, then a stand off. Chinlock from McGuiness, but Lynn rolls through and stretches out Nigel’s arms and shoulders. More near misses before Nigel goes for a tornado DDT. Lynn blocks then goes to the second rope to hit a diving clothesline for 2. Jerry works an armbar but Nigel brings more unique counters to break that. Reverse elbow from Lynn gets 2. Jerry goes to the outside and sweeps McGuiness’ legs. To the apron for the leg drop over the middle rope.

Clash of heads sees both men drop to the mat for a few seconds. A series of nice roll-ups all score nearfalls from Nigel. DDT from Jerry sees him come back into the match. Lynn looks for the Cradle Piledriver but Nigel almost finishes the match by rolling him up to counter. Headbutt to the gut from McGuiness, then a crossbody on a grounded Lynn for 2. Lynn counters a scoop slam with an inverted DDT for 2. McGuiness escapes a TKO then drops Jerry with a clothesline. Nigel goes for a piledriver, but Lynn drops him on his head with a kryptonite krunch for 2. McGuiness looks for a back body drop BUT GETS CAUGHT WITH THE CRADLE PILEDRIVER! Lynn wins it and goes into contention for a Pure Wrestling Title shot at 10:58.

Rating – ** –
It’s all good stuff, but it was all a little tame and unexciting. Rather than tell a story, it seemed more like an exhibition, with both guys giving a demonstration of what they can do, rather than using what they can do to put on a good match. 11 minutes is long enough to do better than this…

The Ring Crew Express are out fixing the ring, as The Solution (a tag team who made an appearance on Do Or Die II, the convention card from earlier in the afternoon) to b*tch about not being on the main show. They turn their attentions on Dunn & Marcos…WHO AREN’T GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE! They kick ass on the big fat jobbers, and that’s enough of that. After two years, Dunn & Marcos still rock like a hurricane.

Matt Stryker vs John Walters – #1 Contenders Trophy Match

Rematch from way back at Beating The Odds when these two met in the Field Of Honor. Stryker of course, won that match and went on to go undefeated and win the FOH. That’s the reason he gets this shot – remember, winning the FOH guaranteed him a plethora of opportunities. Not quite sure what Walters has done to deserve being in this match. He did beat Xavier at Final Battle 2003, but that was 3 months ago. Since then he’s only beaten Chad Collyer at The Last Stand. He was eliminated from the Pure Wrestling Title tournament at the first stage, despite being in front of his hometown fans. Still, the Beating The Odds match was good. I don’t imagine this will be poor either. Winner can choose whether he wants a World Title or Pure Title shot during the Midwest double shot next month.

Your standard start to a pure wrestling match, with lots of chain wrestling as they feel each other out. Walters softens up the arm by dropping it over his shoulder then wrenching it hard. Northern lights suplex gets 2. He cloverleafs the legs and keeps hold of the arm, and Stryker has to break it with right hands. Walters to the floor and he slams Stryker’s arm over the apron. SLINGSHOT LEG DROP OVER THE ARM! Walters clubbed to the floor, but he avoids a baseball slide and spears Stryker into the guardrail. Stryker comes back by throwing Walters into the railings, which is hardly in the spirit of pure wrestling. Bow and arrow lock continues to soften up Walters’ back. Kick to the spine is followed up by a surfboard, still stretching out the back.

Walters avoids a back suplex…ARMBAR DDT! Back body drop then a dropkick from Walters. Pumphandle escaped by Stryker, and he takes Walters over with a German suplex. Walters goes for a forearm, but gets dropped with a powerslam for 2. He looks for the DVD but Walters frees himself…CAPTURE STUNNER! Walters locks in a surfboard, and Stryker gets his head in the ropes to break that. Strykerlock from Walters, which is nice but he’s worked the arm all match. Stryker again gets the ropes. He also escapes a Hurricane DDT attempt, then he slaps on the Strykerlock. Walters passes out from the pain at 12:17.

Rating – ** –
Disappointing, and not a patch on the Beating The Odds match. Sometimes I really can’t stand Stryker, and this is a good example why. He works the back all match, then wins with the Strykerlock. In fairness, Walters was hardly much better, as he worked the arm all match for equally pointless reasons. That’s a third relatively poor match in a row here as for the biggest show in ROH history, people who can usually be relied on are struggling to deliver.

Colt Cabana/Ace Steel vs Dan Maff/BJ Whitmer

Winners become #1 Contenders for the Tag titles…which is odd since I thought the Saints already had a title shot negotiated thanks to Bobby Heenan but anyway. More Prophecy/Saints warfare here, as Maff and Whitmer again have to struggle on without leader Chris Daniels. The Second Anniversary Show was the first ROH show ever without some original Chris Daniels material (i.e. promos, matches etc) and it looks like the Saints may have taken him out of ROH permanently. Colt Cabana will be looking for revenge since Maff and Whitmer injured his shoulders at The Last Stand. Allison Danger is with The Prophecy, Tracy Brooks is with the Saints.

Maff and Whitmer storm the ring and we have a slugest. To the floor and Whitmer wails away at Cabana as Maff and Steel are in the ring. Stiff chops traded between Ace and Maff before Ace traps Maff in an abdominal stretch. BJ in and he steps off Maff to break it with an enziguri. ACE GETS POWERBOMBED INTO THE TURNBUCKLES! Whitmer with a running dropkick, followed up by Maff’s cannonball. HEAD DROP GERMAN SUPLEX FROM CABANA! Colt traps BJ on his shoulders, and Ace dives off the top to nail a clothesline assisted powerbomb. Double knee in the corner from Cabana, before he swings Steel into a dropkick. Tracy Brooks and Allison Danger come into catfight, and Whitmer and Ace toss them out.

Stiff forearms from BJ, then a jumping heel kick on Ace. HEAD DROP GERMAN SUPLEX ON CABANA! Maff and Whitmer DUMPED Colt there, and Maff is waiting in the ring to continue the assault. Colt lifted onto the apron – ASAI MOONSAULT ON WHITMER! Maff prepares for his tope but gets cut off by Ace Steel. He then goes to the floor and clotheslines Whitmer into the crowd. They’re in the crowd now…AND MAFF DIVES INTO THE FIRST ROW WITH A TOPE! Maff and Whitmer start swinging chairs, before BJ shoves the ref down. He’s lost control and throws the match out for a no contest at 07:57.

Rating – *** –
Even with the finish this is fun. The Saints/Prophecy feud (remember at this point Daniels was still expected to be coming back) was taken up another notch as another match is thrown out due to the intensity of the fight. Lots of great spots, and a good match that gives the feud still more heat as we head to the Midwest for the double shot weekend (and up until TNA pulled talent, the return of the Fallen Angel).

Crowd don’t like the call, but the fight continues regardless. Danger and Brooks start fighting again, and Cabana and Whitmer pull them apart on the floor. STEEL FLOORED WITH A MONSTER OF A CHAIRSHOT FROM MAFF. The two teams are still fighting and the locker room empties to pull them apart. Most of the Do Or Die II talent and most of the lower card are in the ring with assorted jabronis and officials trying to separate them. Ace lays out Gabe Sapolsky on the floor and the brawl STILL continues. Finally there’s enough separation for Cabana and Steel to get to the locker room to end this segment.

AJ Styles vs CM Punk – ROH Pure Wrestling Title Match

Ricky Steamboat is the guest referee for this one, and he’s been brought in for this contest after the shady officiating which cost Punk a rope-break. AJ won the tournament final and the title last month with the second rope Styles Clash, but Punk had his foot on the rope. Had he not lost a rope break earlier to a bad call, he would’ve kicked out there, and may still have gone on to win the title. AJ’s performance was somewhat off at the Second Anniversary Show, and since this is his final ROH appearance to date (July 2004) you’d hope he gets it right. Remember this is under Pure Wrestling rules, meaning 3 rope breaks, a 20 count on the floor and no punching once again.

Lots of work on each others arms, and as Punk looks to nip up out of an arm wrench AJ drops his weight south to keep Punk down. Punk works a front facelock and AJ grabs the ropes, losing his first rope break. Punk works a headscissors and AJ has to really fight hard to free himself so he doesn’t have to use another ropebreak. Armdrags traded in front of the master of the armdrag, Ricky Steamboat. Punk gives Styles a slap but AJ takes him into the corner and UNLOADS chops on him. Mafia kick from Punk and we have an intense staredown. Test of strength time…complete with a HEADBUTT DUEL. Kicks and forearms traded all the way through the knucklelock. Punk kicks at the arm, then rolls him up a couple of times. Punk avoids the dropkick…AJ avoids the Shining Wizard THEN hits the dropkick!

Punk ducks the discus lariat AND AJ FALLS THROUGH THE ROPES! Punk follows with a dropkick through the ropes which sends Styles crashing into the barrier. AJ jumps the guardrail and SCORES with the superkick. Back in the ring AJ has his tornado DDT attempt blocked…swinging neckbreaker OVER THE ROPES FROM PUNK! He throws AJ head-first into the turnbuckle, then puts him into a camel clutch to continue the work on the neck. AJ opts not to take another rope break and fights his way free. MutaLock applied, and Punk grabs the ropes for his first rope break.

Stalling vertical suplex from Punk, but AJ gets right back up and hits a German suplex. Punk blocks a kick then FIRES a lariat to the neck. AJ misses another dropkick then gets put into a Boston crab. AJ goes to the ropes and uses his second rope break. Double underhook backbreaker from Punk for 2 as Punk begins to soften up the back as well as the neck. Overhead kick from AJ knocks Punk over, but he’s too beaten up to capitalise. To the top rope…AND BOTH MEN FALL TO THE FLOOR!

It takes a while for both of them to get back in the ring. Both miss Shining Wizards…then AJ looks to counter another Shining Wizard into a Styles Clash. Punk rolls through…STYLES CLASH ON AJ…AND AJ GRABS THE ROPES TO BREAK! AJ has no rope breaks left, whilst Punk has 2 left. Punk goes to the ropes and works a chinlock in the ropes, and Steamboat breaks it because it’s a choke. Punk is irate at that of course. AJ looks for the quebrada, but Punk catches him and puts him in a sleeper hold. AJ gets to the ropes but that doesn’t matter at this point. AJ goes down and his arm drops three times. The bell isn’t rung straight away, and AJ starts to fight free. He breaks the hold and hits some STIFF lariats for 2. Punk tries to go back to the sleeper…A THIRD LARIAT DROPS HIM AGAIN! AJ wins the match at 24:09 (lost time for a few seconds so it may be a little out).

Rating – *** –
I didn’t like the finish too much, and before that it was an absolute classic so it’s all the more disappointing. THIS was how a Pure Wrestling match should work, Punk worked the neck and the back to rid AJ of all his rope breaks, and kept two of his three in the process. The amount of time given allowed them to really tells a great story with the ropes, and to this point this is the best example of the three rope break rule creating a good match. The finish absolutely sucked though…first Punk won it with the sleeper. The arm dropped three times, it was over. Samoa Joe kicked out right after the three count back at The Last Stand but he still lost a match…why is AJ’s fighting back AFTER his hand dropped for the third time any different? Plus if AJ was going over clean, why not use a Styles Clash to finish? In fairness, thems were some stiff lariats.

Samoa Joe storms the ring after the match and gets in AJ’s face, holding the World title aloft. Steamboat makes them shake each others hands and show some respect which begrudgingly they do. Punk still isn’t happy though, as he b*tches about the sleeper hold, and rightly so. He demands an apology, but doesn’t get one. Punk attacks Steamboat…BUT GETS CHOPS AND AN ARMDRAG! The roof just blew off the RexPlex and Punk backs off down the aisle.

INTERMISSION – GMC is with Matt Stryker and he wants to know which title he wants a shot at. Stryker says it depends on the Joe/Jay match tonight. If Joe beats Jay, then Stryker wants a World Title shot.

Shawn Price is with Samoa Joe…and unfortunately they’re just talking, not Joe kicking sh*t through ‘Sugar’ Shawn Price’s face. Joe isn’t happy that Jay can win the title by climbing out the cage. He also says Homicide needed a noose to beat him at Empire State Showdown, and when they meet next time for the ROH Title, he won’t have that luxury. He wants a meeting with Julius Smokes at the end of the show too.

GMC has the Briscoes. The picture is obscenely bright, but Mark says they’ve got a plan for the title match from Jim Cornette. Jay says he’s not being bullied or scared by Joe or the steel cage tonight. He’s climbing out of the cage and becoming the first ROH double champion tonight.


Hydro d. Roderick Strong

Austin Aries d. Danny Daniels

Samoa Joe vs Jay Briscoe – ROH World Title Steel Cage Match

First time the ROH title has been contested inside a steel cage. This is the climax of the Joe/Briscoes feud which started in earnest at Tradition Continues when Jay Briscoe took Samoa Joe to the limit in their first title match. The Briscoes declared war on Joe, and screwed him over at Main Event Spectacles by recruiting Jim Cornette as their manager and beating him down. Joe tried to take the tag straps from them at The Conclusion (w/ AJ Styles), The Battle Lines Are Drawn (w/ Bryan Danielson) and at The Last Stand (w/ Jerry Lynn) and failed every time. He destroyed Mark in a title defence at Final Battle 2003, but Jay earned another title shot by pinning Joe at The Last Stand (after he’d hit him with Cornette’s tennis racket). Don’t forget, Cornette negotiated the rules of this match and now Jay can win the belt by escaping the cage. He also has Mark in his corner, which cannot be a good thing. Streamers for Joe once again, and if he wins he completes one full year as ROH Champion.

Jay immediately tries to run out the door but gets cut off. Joe headbutts the hand to try and stop him climbing. Jay with a drop toehold and he runs to the door again, and again he gets cut off. Yakuza kick from Briscoe and Mark opens the door for him. Jay says he doesn’t need to walk out quite yet and goes back to hammering away on Joe. Joe fights back and right away Jay scrambles for the door. He gets caught again…HARDWAY GERMAN SUPLEX! Joe drives Briscoe into the steel cage Undertaker/HBK style, shoves the door into Mark’s pretty face then chains the cage door shut. Escape just got made a lot harder for Jay Briscoe now. Jay is BLEEDING and bleeding bad but he still takes the chop/kick combo then a knee drop. He grins Jay’s face against the cage and he is a MESS. The gash in his head is huge and it is just POURING from his head. Joe isn’t sympathetic…BOOTSCRAPES! The cut is absolutely massive…SO HE GETS AN OLE OLE KICK!

Joe looks to drive him into the cage again but Jay somehow escapes and boots him in the face. Blood is still coming out of his head by the pint as he climbs the ropes…THEN GETS DRAGGED OFF WITH A HEAD DROP BACK SUPERPLEX! Jay ducks a clothesline – HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX ON JOE! His eyes are just rolling around in his head as he climbs the cage again. He gets caught and they battle on the top rope – SUPER ACE CRUSHER BY JAY! Stiff forearms traded…and Briscoe scores with a lariat. Everytime Jay looks downwards blood literally drops out of his head in The Shining-esque proportions. He climbs up again, and once again Joe tries to stop him. He knocks Joe off the ropes, but collapses himself and both men are down again. Joe gets an enzi kick in that knocks him down…OLE OLE KICK BREAKS THE CAGE! Mark rips the cage open and Jay almost drags himself out. Joe somehow manages to pull Briscoe back in for the powerbomb-2 count-STF. Joe is raking at the cut as he applies the hold…but somehow Jay makes the ropes. The blood is just clotting and hanging down from Jay’s face…E HONDA SLAPS! ENZI KICK…JAY DRILLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRR!! Both men are down, and now Mark is trying to climb into the cage. AJ STYLES PULLS HIM OFF…STYLES CLASH ON THE FLOOR!! AJ just helped the World Champion as Jay tries to climb the cage…MUSCLE BUSTEEEEEEEEEEER! DANGEROOOOOOUUUUUS! Samoa Joe finally puts Jay Briscoe away at 14:15.

Rating – ****1/2 –
This is not for the weak at heart trust me. God knows how, but Jay literally seemed to have bladed a canyon into his forehead and pissed blood for the rest of the match. One of the sickest blade jobs ever, but it helped create perhaps the most dramatic match the company has ever seen. A bloody Jay Briscoe hitting the Jay Driller on Joe is one of THE defining moments in ROH history – it’s truly an awesome sight. Best…cage match…EVER.

Referees pour into the ring with towels and tissue paper to clean Jay Briscoe a little, he is a mess. He somehow makes it to a feet, and even Samoa Joe gives him his props after that effort. They shake hands, but as Joe leaves he opens the door and hits AJ Styles in the face with it. They argue, but Joe walks having successfully completed one year as champion. Jay deservedly gets a standing ovation before he heads to the locker room…and hopefully to a hospital.

Carnage Crew vs Special K – Scramble Cage II Match

Wargames style rules here, with one man starting out, and another man entering every 1 minute. This feud started all the way back at Epic Encounter when Special K cheated to win a Scramble match with the Crew in. They kept cheating to win for…pretty much ever since then, but the feud has gotten more and more personal. At Glory By Honor II they brought straps into the ring, then the Carnage Crew were disqualified for using them, costing the Crew a spot in the Tag Title gauntlet. Izzy and Dixie cheated to retain the Tag Titles against them at Empire State Showdown. At Final Battle 2003 it was revealed that DeVito’s daughter wanted to be a raver, and it got worse. The challenge for Scramble Cage II was made at ROH/JAPW Collision Course after a Crew/K brawl, then the next night at Battle Lines Are Drawn Abyss joined Special K and wiped out the Crew. At the Anniversary Show Angeldust ran off with DeVito’s daughter, costing them the ‘Country Whipping Match’ with the K…and now it’s time for the score to finally be settled inside the Scramble Cage. K is pretty much everyone…Deranged is back (after being fired at Final Battle 2003 for being late), Slim J has been brought in (normally he doesn’t make the north-east shows)…and all the usual suspects of course. Carnage Crew is Loc, DeVito, Masada, Justin Credible…and Dusty Rhodes will be on their side too.

Loc and Dixie start, and Loc immediately takes his belt off and starts whipping Dixie with it. Press slam brainbuster drops Dixie on his head to he can be choked with the belt then throw into the cage. Dixie throws powder into the eyes of Loc and hits a Side Effect, but DeVito is in and he back suplexes Dixie off the ropes. Carnageplex for Dixie and he is being battered senseless here. Deranged is in next (YUS) and he breaks out the poses. He looks for a rana on Loc AND GETS POWERBOMBED INTO THE CAGE. Splash mountain neckbreaker on Dixie…and Masada is in with a ladder, and Izzy get plastered with it as he tries to climb into the ring. People are brawling on the floor, as Masada and Izzy fight on a platform. MOONSAULT KICK FROM IZZY…AND HE FALLS TO THE FLOOR! Masada crashes to the ring, and Izzy was the next man in for the K (not that it matters anymore). Izzy somehow gets into the ring and he takes a belly to belly suplex into the ladder. Hydro and Justin Credible are in the ring…and all the K members just bundle in and start hammering away at the Crew. Hydro rams Credible into a ladder, into the cage. Dusty Rhodes arrives…AND HE GIVES BIONIC ELBOWS TO EVERYONE IN SPECIAL K! Special K finally overwhelm the American Dream…then Ox Baker lumbers out there.

In the single funniest thing ever seen in wrestling, Ox Baker and Dusty Rhodes are brawling in the aisle. Ox Baker should have his own show, honestly. Meanwhile in the ring K bring a table into the ring. CREDIBLE WIPES OUT AS MANT OF THEM AS POSSIBLE WITH A SINGAPORE CANE! ECW! ECW! ECW! The fight starts to spill to the floor as Slim J climbs to one of the platforms. CORKSCREW PLANCHA TO THE FLOOR! Masada follows him to one of the platforms…450 SPLASH OFF THE CAGE!! DeVito and Credible are back in the ring stacking tables as Angeldust and Loc climb up to a platform above them. Angeldust gets caught, and DeVito climbs to the platform. SPIKE PILEDRIVER OFF THE CAGE THROUGH TWO TABLES – ULTIMATE DANGEROOOOOUUUUUUS! SICKEST SPOT IN WRESTLING…PERIOD! Carnage Crew win it at 12:24.

Rating – ***
– Nowhere near the quality of the first Scramble Cage Match, but there was just too much insanity to award anything less. I totally marked out for Dusty wiping out all of K, likewise with Justin and the Singapore cane in a total ECW flashback. Masada shocked everyone with his insane dive off the cage, and to round it off we saw the single most screw-loose thing in wrestling ever. A spike piledriver off a 15 foot cage through two tables. There is no way wrestling gets more DANGEROOOOOUUUUUUS than that!

Special K leave ringside as fast as possible, leaving Angeldust behind in the table wreckage as the Crew are left in the ring to celebrate. When they first started in ROH they were boo’d and hated. Now here they are in the Main Event of the biggest ROH show ever…quite a turnaround. Dusty Rhodes is back to celebrate with them too…

Backstage later in the night, the Crew are still celebrating, until Dusty smells sh*t in their bags. He leaves in disgust, and someone has disrespected the Crew and ruined their night.

Shawn Price points Samoa Joe in the direction of Julius Smokes. Joe beats the sh*t out of J-Train and accepts Homicide’s challenge.

Tape Rating – *** –
Total show of two halves. Aside from Six Man Mayhem, the first half of the show is largely a disappointing waste of time, with Xavier/Slyk and Lynn/McGuiness both failing to deliver, then Walters/Stryker delivering a shockingly lacklustre performance. Last three matches are good stuff though, and worth buying the tape for. ROH needed to be at their best as the eyes of the wrestling world were on them following the Feinstein scandal. Thanks to AJ Styles, CM Punk, cage-fulls of wrestlers and sh*t-loads of Jay Briscoe’s blood…they certainly were.

Top 3 Matches

3) Carnage Crew vs Special K (***)

2) AJ Styles vs CM Punk (***)

1) Samoa Joe vs Jay Briscoe (****1/2)

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