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048 ROH Glory By Honor III 9/11/2004

ROH 48 – Glory By Honor III – September 11th 2004

It’s the third annual Glory By Honor event, and it’s a big show for a number of reasons. Mick Foley makes his ROH debut tonight, and speculation is running rampant as to exactly why he’s coming. Allison Danger claims he’s coming to help her, Prince Nana claims he’s coming to join The Embassy. Generation Next already want to beat him up as well! Last year’s event saw CM Punk and Raven pick each other’s opponents, and that tradition continues tonight. The World Champion, Samoa Joe, and the Pure Champion, John Walters, get to pick each other’s title challengers tonight. We already know Walters picked former Pure Champion Doug Williams to challenge Joe tonight…but Joe hasn’t picked an opponent yet. The Havana Pitbulls have a big mountain in front of them tonight, as they have to defend the belts against not just one but three other teams in an Ultimate Endurance match. Last but not least, it’s a special show because it’s taking place on 9/11. Lets hope ROH can pay tribute to the victims of the tragedy by putting on a top quality wrestling show. We’re in Elizabeth, NJ…which is apparently now the ‘home of ROH’. What happened to Philly? Anyway…your hosts are Jimmy Bower and CM Punk.

Contenders Ring –

Austin Aries (a win over Colt Cabana at 8/28 kept him strong).
Nigel McGuiness (huh? Last time we saw him he lost to John Walters at Testing The Limit)
Bryan Danielson (won Survival Of The Fittest…defends his title shot tonight against Alex Shelley)
Homicide (pinned the World Champion at Scramble Cage Melee on 8/28)
Alex Shelley (has now won three matches in a row)
Jay Briscoe (pinned Low Ki at Testing The Limit…but is still suspended)
Ace Steel (made Roderick Strong tap out in under 10 minutes at Scramble Cage Melee)

Shawn Price (arrrggghh…I HATE HIM) opens the tape up and he has Dunn & Marcos with him. Apparently Marcos injured his back in Scramble Cage Melee and that’s why they’re not competing tonight. Lacey (of Special K) laughs at them, but gets dissed by Marcos. Becky, Dixie and Angeldust find that hilarious, but Lacey gets pissed off. Dixie keeps the peace and demands the losing streak ends tonight. Deranged is back!

Jimmy Rave vs Dixie

Dixie leads Special K’s latest attempt to end their ever-growing losing streak. Jimmy Rave beat Angeldust at Scramble Cage Melee, but only with the help of Prince Nana. Dixie is looking to forget about the losing streak, forget about the internal problems within Special K, get some revenge for Angeldust and end Rave’s impressive two-match undefeated streak. Izzy and Lacey for some reason aren’t in Dixie’s corner. Rave has the rest of The Embassy with him.

We have a new canvas and turnbuckle pads with the new ROH logo. Punk claims Mark Nulty isn’t here tonight because his grandmother ‘was in a horrible parasailing accident’. It’s pretty even early, until Rave takes Dixie down with a clothesline. He hits a climbing knee in the corner then a double boot to the groin. Rave hits an STO backbreaker, into a Russian legsweep. He traps Dixie in a grounded abdominal stretch but Dixie escapes and tries to fight back. Urinage from Rave gets 2. Dixie comes off the second rope with a swinging DDT. He follows that with a jumping heel kick for 2. CM Punk wants to join The Embassy for grapes and rubdowns. Swinging head and leg back suplex from Rave gets 2. Dixie rolls Rave up and gets 2 as Nana grabs the mic and starts yelling at Jimmy. Crappy Wizard from Rave…RAVE CLASH gets it done at 05:38.

Rating – * – It avoids getting a DUD because it wasn’t actually bad. They hit everything clean and sh*t…but it was just uninteresting and it felt way longer than the 6 minutes it actually ran. I think Dixie is a far better tag wrestler than he is a solo competitor and it showed here. On the bright side, Jimmy looked far more at home with his new character here, displaying some cocky heel mannerisms and looking much less like a wet blanket. He’ll benefit from this run in The Embassy…hopefully he can start delivering the goods in the ring.

Prince Nana and the Outcast Killaz join Jimmy Rave in the ring. Nana introduces Mick Foley as the newest member of The Embassy…but Foley doesn’t come out. Nana says he’ll sort it out and be back later…goody.

Gary Capetta is with Samoa Joe, who points out Glory By Honor is his event. He doesn’t select an opponent for John Walters’ Pure Title because he doesn’t care about that belt. GMC asks Joe about losing to Homicide at the last show…Joe sidesteps that question a little bit. Samoa Joe then gives Jay Lethal another pep-talk. If Lethal loses his match tonight he’s gone from the ROH roster, so Joe helps him get ready by teaching him how to escape Stryker’s anklelock.

Matt Stryker vs Jay Lethal

Lots on the line here, because if Stryker loses, he loses his plane ticket to the east coast shows. Meanwhile if Lethal loses, he’s out of ROH. He’s looked impressive since splitting from Special K and going his own way, but his lack of victories may cost him his spot. Stryker really has fallen from grace since winning the Field Of Honor last December.

The fans are in jubilant mood as they celebrate the end of Stryker on the east coast. He starts aggressively but Lethal comes back with a dropkick. Stryker messes up a superkick but still gets 2. Lethal comes back and gets 2 with a gutwrench suplex. Stryker avoids another dropkick from Lethal and takes charge with a jumping heel kick. Jay gets 2 after a clothesline and he has the crowd right behind him. They chop lumps out of each other before Stryker pokes Lethal in the eye. He hits a neckbreaker over the knee then knocks Lethal down with a big boot. He goes for the anklelock…but Lethal counters with a roll up and wins it at 04:22. The pop for that is unreal!

Rating – DUD –
Admittedly it’s hard to do much in 4 minutes, but that was poor. Stryker could have at least made some attempt to isolate the ankle in the limited amount of offence he did have. Still, that’s him gone from ROH on the east coast…whilst hopefully Jay Lethal can now move on to more meaningful matches.

Stryker cuts a promo on how much he hates the east coast fans after the match…but messes it up so gets even more heat.

Ace Steel vs Trent Acid vs Izzy vs Kahagas vs Fast Eddie vs Angeldust

Izzy and Angeldust now attempt to break Special K’s streak…and in recent months they’ve been the most impressive members of Special K. Angeldust’s continued improvement as a worker is truly remarkable, as he was the butt of a lot of my jokes in 2002/3…lets hope his improvement continues. Eddie is back after an impressive performance in Scramble Cage Melee, where he had to leave the match injured. Kahagas is making his debut tonight. He’s from the FIP promotion in Florida which Gabe Sapolsky is booking. Trent Acid needs to win here to restore credit to his multi-man match gimmick after he didn’t win Scramble Cage Melee. Ace is stuck in this because there’s nowhere else to put him on the show.

Fast Eddie and Angeldust start and Angeldust draws first blood with a swinging headscissors. He kicks Eddie to the floor THEN JUMPS OUT AFTER HIM WITH A DOUBLE STOMP! Kahagas and Steel come in next. Kahagas unloads with a stream of knee strikes but Ace comes back with a dropkick. Izzy gets thrown in by Kahagas, and thrown into a powerslam from Ace. Eddie and Acid come in with missile dropkicks, before Trent lays Eddie out with a roaring elbow. IZZY WITH A MOONSAULT KICK ON ANGELDUST! SPRINGBOARD CORKSCREW CROSSBODY TO THE FLOOR FROM IZZY! ASAI MOONSAULT FROM ACID! Eddie goes to the top and dives off with a somersault senton to the floor as well. Back in the ring Izzy and Angeldust are fighting again. Izzy scores with a superkick but Angeldust blocks a rana attempt…SOUTH OF HEAVEN SCORES! Acid makes the save but takes a Whippersnapper from Kahagas. SWINGING IMPALER from Ace! HEAD DROP Russian legsweep from Eddie plants Ace Steel. Eddie takes Angeldust to the top…ACID REVERSE RANA’S EDDIE INTO THE MOONSAULT FALLAWAY SLAM ON ANGELDUST! Izzy drops Trent with a reverse hurricanrana as well and Steel has to save. ACE WITH TOP ROPE SPINAL SHOCK ON IZZY! PUMPHANDLE DRIVER FROM KAHAGAS GETS 2! YAKUZA KICK FROM ACID! Cobra clutch backbreaker from Angeldust on Fast Eddie…BUT HE GETS THE INVERTED BRAINBUSTER FROM ACID! Trent takes the win at 07:14.

Rating – *** –
Woooo what a rush that was. They packed so much into those 7 minutes, and what was especially cool was they were hitting everything clean. Even the carwreck multi-man spot with Eddie, Angeldust and Acid came out ok. Kahagas’ performance got slated, and I feel somewhat undeservedly. He didn’t do anything in that match…neither good nor bad. I wouldn’t say he deserves a call back, but to say he hurt this match is unfair. Everyone slams Trent Acid as well, but I always like him in these kind of matches as well. Izzy and Angeldust deserve praise too…

Austin Aries calls out Mick Foley but gets no response. Instead he settles for wrestling CM Punk.

Austin Aries vs CM Punk

The feud between Generation Next and the Second City Saints could really be something to watch, as there’s so much talent on both sides. At Scramble Cage Melee Aries took Colt Cabana out by 450ing two chairs into Cabana’s problematic shoulder. He’s injured and gone for a while (he actually went to the UK for a couple of months)…so Punk is out for revenge. Neither man has any of their stablemates with them, which is interesting.

Both target the arm in the initial exchanges. Austin Aries keeps trying to nip up but Punk keeps knocking him down, all the while holding onto the arm. Punk headbutts the shoulder then lifts Aries in the air arm-first. Fujiwara armbar from Punk continues the attack on the arm. He hammerlocks it, drilling knees to the arm as well. Aries goes for a monkey flip but Punk holds onto the arm and goes for a cross armbreaker. Aries manages to block that but we stay on the mat. Punk pulls out a hammerlock suplex for 2. Aries finally gets some distance by hitting a couple of dropkicks. He misses a third in the corner but manages to shunt Punk to the floor then dropkick him through the ropes into the guardrail. Punk blocks a slingshot hilo attempt by getting the knees up then goes right back to the arm. This time Punk dropkicks Aries to the floor. Punk MISSES a pescado attempt and sails right into the guardrail. Aries forearms Punk on the apron then scores with an amazing CORKSCREW PESCADO! Did that do more damage to Punk or Aries’ injured arm though?

Back in the ring Aries hits the slingshot hilo then an elbow drop for 2. Aries starts attacking Punk’s ribs, driving knees home then applying an abdominal stretch in the ropes. He gets 2 with a fisherman suplex. Punk tries to come back with shots to the arm but Aries drops him with another knee to the gut. Aries gets 2 with a DDT. Aries gets another 2 with an Ace crusher from a fireman’s carry. Aries takes Punk to the top rope but Punk shoves Austin to the mat. Punk hits a missile dropkick and now both men are down. Mule kick from Punk, into a standing enzi kick to the head for 2. Aries blocks the Shining Wizard but that hurts his arm again and Punk traps him in another Fujiwara armbar. Aries has to struggle to the ropes to break that. Gutbuster from Aries, then the spinning elbow drop for 2. Aries hits his brainbuster but Punk still kicks out at 2. Aries goes to the top for the 450 but Punk cuts him off. Punk goes for the Pepsi Plunge but Aries blocks with a sunset flip. Punk rolls through that and scores with the SHINING WIZARD! Double underhook backbreaker from Punk, then back to the Fujiwara armbar. Aries again battles to the ropes and breaks it. Punk accidentally whips Aries into the referee…and as soon as he hits the mat Rod Strong and Jack Evans are in the ring attacking Punk. Ace Steel comes out to run those two off…and out sneaks Alex Shelley! Shelley and Aries beat on Punk…UNTIL STEVE CORINO MAKES THE SAVE! STEVE CORINO RETURNS TO ROH! In the chaos Punk rolls up Aries and the revived referee counts the fall. Punk takes the win at 18:56 as Corino continues to pound on Shelley in the aisle.

Rating – *** –
This was tough to grade…really tough. Punk and Aries really didn’t click this time of asking, and the result was a largely unexciting, but nonetheless physical contest. I liked how hard they worked on the psychology, with Punk attacking the arm and Aries going after the ribs, however, I’m sure both will be disappointed with this effort. I almost docked a star from it for the finish, however, I realised, as ROH rarely uses such finishes, it’s exciting when things like this do happen. Corino’s return was completely unexpected and the feud with GeNext got advanced as a result…decent match despite them really not gelling.

Punk reveals that Corino is here to help him fight off GeNext. Gary Capetta comes out to try and get a word with Corino, but Homicide comes out to the ring to interrupt. He’s injured after a car accident, so he’s not wrestling tonight, but clearly he’s still turned up. He says he still hates Corino, but wants to shake hands this time, because he didn’t at War Of The Wire. Unlike last November, he agrees with Corino – ROH does suck and he wants them to shake on it. In a sequence that takes way too long, Corino eventually doesn’t shake hands with Homicide, and walks out with CM Punk, who almost got into a fight with Homicide himself.

Slash Venom/Chicano vs Dan Maff/BJ Whitmer

Allison Danger’s latest attempt to destroy Maff and Whitmer is booking them in two matches tonight. Later they’re in Ultimate Endurance, but first they have to compete against these two, who Allison has brought in from IWA-Puerto Rico with the specific of taking them out. This is actually the third time ROH and IWA-PR have worked together. On the very first ROH show, IWA-PR’s Intercontinental title was decided in a match between Super Crazy and Eddie Guerrero. Earlier this year Maff, Whitmer and Homicide went to Puerto Rico as part of an ‘ROH Invasion’…and now we have this. Good to see ROH is keeping up appearances with various companies around the world. They also have a good relationship with NJPW (largely through Samoa Joe who is a big part of NJPW’s organisation in the States) and of course, ran co-promotional events with FWA and AJPW. Rumour has it 2005 will see Frontiers Of Honor 2 by the way…

Maff and Whitmer’s new music is awful. Allison Danger stops Venom and Chicano shaking hands with their opponents. She’s wearing a weird prom dress…I like her insane character. Slash and Chicano jump Maff and Whitmer and we’re underway. On the floor Venom nails Maff with a chair, whilst Chicano takes it to BJ inside the ring. Chicano puts a chair over Whitmer’s face then aims a kick at it. Venom swings a chair into Maff’s face again. Venom gives Whitmer a neckbreaker as the action spills back into the ring. He follows that with an inverted DDT, before opening up a chair. TRIPLE JUMP SOMERSAULT SENTON INTO THE CROWD ON MAFF! Chicano misses a Swanton…AND WHITMER GIVES HIM THE WRIST CLUTCH EXPLODER ONTO THE OPEN CHAIR! Whitmer covers for the victory at 03:03.

Rating – * –
It was three minutes long and packed in two completely crazy spots so I’d consider it pretty decent. Maff and Whitmer have overcome one of Allison Danger’s bookings. Now they move onto Ultimate Endurance and their tag title shot.

Allison Danger is irate and furiously yells down Venom and Chicano as they head to the back. That leaves her alone with Maff and Whitmer…UNTIL MICK FOLEY COMES OUT TO MAKE THE SAVE! MICK FOLEY IN ROH! OH MY GOD this is surreal! Maff and Whitmer leave the ring as Allison Danger seems to think he’s come for her. Foley gets a cheap pop in before revealing he hasn’t come to ROH for her. She leaves…and Prince Nana leads The Embassy back to the ring. Foley high fives and hugs everyone…but he isn’t here to join The Embassy. He just wanted to show off his hugging ability. Foley beats on Santiago, Tortuga and Nana before Jimmy Rave drops him with a low blow. Generation Next come out to help The Embassy with the destruction of Foley…until Maff and Whitmer make the save.

Foley says he’s seen some ROH DVD’s…and seen some amazing matches like Samoa Joe vs Jay Briscoe in the cage, the Punk/Steel/Maff/Whitmer Street Fight, and the Scramble Cage. He says ROH stands for Ring Of Hardcore and endorses the product in a pretty unforgettable moment.

INTERMISSION – GMC is with John Walters, who doesn’t look massively happy. He says he’s going to prove his doubters wrong and prove himself worthy of the Pure Title. Shawn Price is with his opponent tonight, Nigel McGuiness. Nigel says he’s been booked for every ROH show from now on so he has to prove himself. He’s going to win or steal the show trying…ENGLISH ACCENTS ROCK. ‘McGuiness is in it to win it’ – Nigel. He’s instantly become one of my favourite wrestlers!

Alex Shelley vs Bryan Danielson

Both of these guys are in the Contenders Ring, and hungry for a shot at Samoa Joe. Indeed, Bryan Danielson has already earned a shot, after he won the Survival Of The Fittest back in June. Alex Shelley is on a role, having beaten Jimmy Jacobs at Death Before Dishonor 2, won a fourway at Testing The Limit by pinning Jay Lethal, then beating Lethal again at Scramble Cage Melee. The winner of this will surely go on to get a World Title shot…and if Danielson loses (after already having suffered a recent high profile defeat to Austin Aries) is his title shot still guaranteed?

Danielson now comes to the ring shrouded in a cloak – fantastic. Shelley starts off by backing Dragon into the corner and slapping him. Apparently Shelley hurt his arm running away from Maff and Whitmer earlier. They chain some, before Danielson pops up and gives Shelley the B*TCHSLAP! More wrestling on the mat between these two, as Shelley focuses arm, but can’t keep Dragon down. ‘I think Alex Shelley has a man-crush on me’ – Punk. Danielson traps Man-crush Shelley in a half crab which has him scrambling for the ropes. Shelley grounds Danielson again with a facelock, but Danielson bridges out. Shelley dropkicks Danielson in the back of the head and he’s actually established an advantage here. Shelley schoolboys Dragon into the Border City Stretch, but he’s too close to the ropes. To the floor where Shelley gives his opponent a neckbreaker over the knee. Skullf*ck from Shelley (he traps the opponents head between his legs and drills their head into the mat repeatedly) for 2. He gets another 2 with a sunset flip. Dragon starts to fight back with European uppercuts. He wrestles Shelley down into a camel clutch, before rolling it into a pin for 2. Dragon prepares for a surfboard (as Shelley prays for divine intervention), then hauls him back into a facelock.

Finally Dragon goes after Shelley’s injured arm, slamming it over his own shoulder, then giving him a bridging double underhook suplex. Danielson goes to an aggressive hammerlock, whilst stretching the wrist and elbow of his other arm. Shelley gets placed in a wristlock, and he gets forced down to the mat where Dragon stomps on the wrist and elbow. CATTLE MUTILATION APPLIED…but Shelley makes the ropes. They go to the top for a back superplex, but Shelley counters with a crossbody for 2. Surfboard from Danielson, but Shelley escapes. Dragon goes for a roaring elbow, but Shelley ducks and drops him with a superkick. Dragon screw from Shelley, then a big kick to the side of the head. Dragon blocks a suplex attempt and goes for Cattle Mutilation again but Shelley struggles to the ropes. Capture stunner from Shelley gets 2. Airplane spin from Danielson, before he just sits on Shelley for a 2 count. DIVING HEADBUTT TO THE ARM…again only for 2 though. SHELLSHOCK SCORES…DRAGON KICKS OUT AT 2! BORDER CITY STRETCH! Dragon makes the ropes though. Clothesline backbreaker from Shelley, then another neckbreaker over the knee. CATTLE MUTILATION…COUNTERED INTO THE BORDER CITY STRETCH! Shelley could be on the brink of taking Dragon’s title shot but Dragon gets up – HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX…CATTLE MUTILATION! Shelley finally taps at 19:21.

Rating – *** –
It’s good, but no better than 3* I feel. It had a lot of the same problems Aries and Punk had earlier, in that the early part of the match lacked a little something, as the two men just didn’t click. However, the psychology in the latter half of this match is really crisp, as Danielson assaults the arm (leading to the Cattle Mutilation) whilst Shelley continues to attack the neck he exposed in the early going. It’s disappointing because these two are capable of better, but I’d imagine a rematch would better this, so…

Dragon gets on the mic after that and demands Joe stop ducking him and finally give him an ROH Title shot. He then issues a challenge to Jushin Liger, since he’s coming to ROH in November. That’s pretty much the best Danielson promo ever.

John Walters vs Nigel McGuiness – ROH Pure Title Match

So this is why Nigel is inexplicably in the Contenders Ring – to allow officials to book this match. Anyway, Samoa Joe was supposed to pick Walters’ opponent tonight, but he decided he didn’t care about the Pure Title, so we now get a rematch from Testing The Limit. Then Walters defeated McGuiness in a disappointingly brief exhibition, but now with the Pure Title on the line you’d imagine they’ll get more time. Walters is a much-criticised choice as Pure Champion, and he desperately needs to get his reign off on the right foot with a good match here. I’ve said before I think the belt is now a bona fide midcard title…some good matches could at least see him make it a credible midcard title. McGuiness has just been told he’s on the full time roster now, he needs to show he’s worthy.

Punk has been looking forward to this one. It’s McGuiness so we get the obligatory impressive chaining to start. The majority of the focus from both men is the arm, but eventually we get a stand off with neither man worse for wear. More chaining, then a fast-paced near falls exchange before another stand-off to a decent ovation. Nigel goes to the cravat to try and force Walters to use a rope break, but Walters finally escapes and blasts McGuiness with a forearm. Arm wrench from Walters, and he has to work to hold onto it because McGuiness has all kinds of funky counters. McGuiness finally breaks it by using the ropes to springboard out…and that costs him a break folks. McGuiness headbutts Walters in the groin then punts him down for 2. Walters lifts McGuiness out of the corner…AND DROPS HIM ON HIS HEAD ELECTRIC CHAIR STYLE! Capture stunner from Walters, into a camel clutch. More nearfalls, before Walters catches McGuiness in a body scissors, and that forces Nigel to crawl to the ropes and use his second break. Cobra clutch from Walters as he looks to take Nigel’s final rope break. McGuiness counters into a Crossface, and Walters has to use his first break to escape that. HAMMERLOCK DDT from McGuiness, into his version of the shortarm scissors. That immediately forces Walters to use his second break, and suddenly both men only have one left.

More Britishness from McGuiness, then a European uppercut…SUPERKICK GETS 2! Walters plasters McGuiness with a dropkick as he goes to the top…THEN NAILS HIM WITH A SUPER RANA! LARIAT SCORES…but McGuiness kicks out at 2. Walters goes to the top and gets caught and dragged down. Nigel climbs now…and again he gets trapped and superplexed. Walters heads upstairs again to MISS a splash. Nigel headstands into the REVERSE SUPLEX ACE CRUSHER! Walters kicks out at 2. McGuiness looks to go up top again so Walters rolls out. NIGEL GOES UP ANYWAY AND SAILS TO THE FLOOR WITH A PLANCHA! Back in the ring…ROLLING LUNGBLOWERS FROM WALTERS! INTO THE CROSS-ARM CHOKE…and McGuiness submits at 16:11.

Rating – **** –
And that’s how you start your reign as Pure Champion – totally stealing the show. That was a pleasure to watch, and up there with the first Williams/Shelley match as the best Pure Title match to date. The psychology was sound, as Walters targeted the neck like a trooper after dropping McGuiness on his head with the electric chair. Nigel wrestled a smart match, trying whatever he could to take rope breaks…but in the end Walters attack was just too much. If Walters can keep pulling out crackers like this he’ll soon boost his stock.

Jim Cornette is coming back to ROH. He wants to come back to get revenge on the Briscoes for firing him, but they’re suspended so he can’t do that. Instead he announces that at the next show, he’ll reunite the Midnight Express – Bobby Eaton, Dennis Condrey and Stan Lane. Cool beans, a lot of old-school fans will get a huge kick out of that.

Samoa Joe vs Doug Williams – ROH World Title Match

This is actually a rematch from all the way back at Round Robin Challenge 2, where Samoa Joe made his very first defence of the ROH Title against Williams. This time round, Williams has been selected as his opponent by Pure Champion John Walters. Joe actually came out before Williams’ match at Scramble Cage Melee and said the Pure Title (then held by Doug) was below Joe, so Williams will be looking for a measure of revenge, and the title, here tonight. Joe is coming off a defeat to Homicide in a triple threat on the last show.

They break out the big guns early, slugging at each other with big forearms. Williams scores the first knockdown with a high knee, but Joe comes back with shoulder blocks and Doug rolls to the outside. Williams puts Joe into a bodyscissors, then turns it into an inverted surfboard. Joe comes back with slaps, forearms and a big kick though. Williams goes for Doug’s legs but finally Joe fights free with some big strikes. Williams breaks out some British technique of his own and goes back to Joe’s leg. Joe has to use the ropes to break that attack. Joe blocks a high knee in the corner…STO SLAM NAILED! Chop/kick combo from Joe, into the knee drop for 2. More hard shots laid in by Joe, and he drives Williams into the corner for the bootscrapes. Joe goes for a crossface, then when Williams escapes he drops the challenger again with a rolling legsweep. Joe goes for the Ole Ole Kick…but Williams blocks with a clothesline. JUMPING ENZI FROM JOE…OLE OLE KICK CONNECTS!

Back inside and Joe drives more kicks home. Williams tries to come back so Joe unloads with some vicious slaps and chops. Williams again comes back, and this time takes another jumping enzi which sends him tumbling to the floor again. Joe goes for the elbow suicida but Williams blocks. He knees Joe between the ropes then goes up top for a CROSSBODY PRESS FOR 2! Williams with a European uppercut flurry, but Joe still takes him over with a powerslam, then looks for a cross armbreaker. Powerbomb from Joe, but Williams blocks the STF then floors him with a high knee. To the top again…BOMB SCARE KNEE DROP NAILED…2 COUNT!! Joe blocks the Chaos Theory…WILLIAMS WITH THE CHOKE! Joe stops his arm going down for the third time and uses the ropes to free himself. Torture wrack from Joe but Williams frees himself. LARIAT FROM JOE…for 2. Joe lifts Williams from the top…AND NAILS THE MUSCLEBUSTER…BUT WILLIAMS KICKS OUT AT 2! E HONDA SLAPS…LARIATOOOOOOO! This time Doug is finally counted down. 17:52 is your time, and with that Williams’s work in ROH is done for 2004.

Rating – *** –
That was an enjoyable, hard-hitting match, and it was good to see them get the chance to go longer and produce a more rounded match than they did back in 2003. Unlike last time though, I did feel this one made Doug look a little bit like a jobber, and after a run as Pure Champion, and being a quality talent in the company since 2002 that he deserved a little more. Where as the first match showed him as a technical wizard against the power attack of Joe…this one was more Joe beating the sh*t out of him and him simply getting in flurries of offence in between. I do like the way Joe varies his finishes to his matches these days…it adds an air of unpredictability and excitement to the conclusion of them. Kicking out of the Musclebuster should not be allowed though.

Havana Pitbulls vs Carnage Crew vs Generation Next vs Dan Maff/BJ Whitmer – ROH Tag Title Ultimate Endurance Match.

So we end up our evening with the second Ultimate Endurance match. Ultimate Endurance is a four team elimination match, with each fall being contested under separate stipulations. The first fall here is a Tap-Out Match, the second fall is under Scramble Rules…whilst the third is for the ROH Tag Title. Maff and Whitmer have to be hot favourites, given that they won the first UE match, winning every fall in along the way (but they have already wrestled tonight). GeNext are represented by Rod Strong and Jack Evans, who are undefeated when teaming together (having won matches at Reborn Completion and Death Before Dishonor 2) and have issues with Maff and Whitmer after earlier. The Carnage Crew and Maff/Whitmer have quite the issue between them now, with a little bit of help from Allison Danger. A respectful match between the two degenerated into a brawl, and continued inside the Scramble Cage Melee where both teams effectively eliminated each other. The Pitbulls meanwhile, are making only their second defence of the belts tonight…and it’s quite a challenge that lays ahead of them.

Maff and Loc start off with a slug out. Maff takes control with a couple of big kicks, but Loc comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. Strong blind tags in and chops Maff from behind as he has Loc trapped in a double underhook. Strong goes to the eyes and fires off a series of his brutal chops. Maff comes back with some hard chops of his own. DeVito and Whitmer are in next, and DeVito takes control with his horrific crossfaces. Reyes and Romero are avoiding tags to stay fresh but Reyes finally comes in as DeVito suplexes Whitmer into the turnbuckles. Reyes slugs away at Whitmer, then traps him in a triangle choke. Evans in with a moonsault kick, then a corkscrew enzi on Whitmer. Strong applies a camel clutch and Maff saves with a big boot. Wheelbarrow boost splash from Evans and Strong, before Romero comes in. He applies a hammerlock on Whitmer and Maff has to save again. Whitmer muscles Loc over with an exploder and tags out. Maff comes in and batters everyone before the brawl spills to the outside. MAFF HIPTOSSES EVANS TO THE FLOOR ONTO EVERYONE! Loc and Whitmer are alone in the ring now, and Loc avoids the Exploder and rolls BJ into a front choke. Maff saves with a chair…Loc no sells…SO GETS PLASTERED EVEN HARDER WITH IT! DeVito goes at it with Maff as the Pitbulls and GeNext are still brawling on the floor. Maff rocks DeVito with the cannonball before they set up DeVito in the corner. CON-CHAIR-TO ON DEVITO’S SH*TTY KNEES! They put DeVito in a double Boston crab and he taps at 10:18…was that legal?

Scramble rules now…and Strong immediately nails Whitmer with a cobra clutch backbreaker. Maff comes in – HEAD DROP HALF NELSON SUPLEX! The Pitbulls come in with a series of strikes on Maff but get a springboard dropkick from Evans. Then fight spills to the floor again…AND EVANS MISSES A SPRINGBOARD 450 SPLASH TO THE FLOOR! Maff drags him back inside…BURNING HAMMEEEEEEEER! Evans is done and GeNext are eliminated at 12:46. Maff and Whitmer have now won five straight Ultimate Endurance falls.

It’s down to Maff, Whitmer and the Pitbulls for the belts, with the Pitbulls quickly take charge. Romero takes Maff to the floor and delivers a series of hard kicks, as in the ring Reyes gets a nearfall. Romero joins him inside and they deliver a back suplex/inverted DDT combo for 2. Reyes busts out the rolling Germans on BJ, but still he kicks out. On the floor Romero tags Maff with his version of the Ole Ole Kick. Guillotine knee combo from the Pitbulls, and Maff makes the desperation save before the three. Romero reels off more stiff kicks on Whitmer as out on the floor Maff gives Julius Smokes a back suplex. HE COMES BACK INSIDE TO FLY TO THE FLOOR AGAIN WITH A TOPE ON REYES! BJ almost puts it away with a roll up on Romero. EXPLODER ’98 ON ROCKY…TWO COUNT!! They go slap for slap and Whitmer peels off his pads Ki vs Joe style. Romero avoids his strikes though and DESTROYS HIM WITH A JUMPING KNEE! That’s enough to finally put Whitmer away at 19:24.

Rating – *** –
I enjoyed that one more than the first Ultimate Endurance, simply because they almost halved how much time it got, meaning it’s a 20 minute sprint through some exciting spots. The Crew/Maff/Whitmer stuff got continued, although I’m not entirely sure a double submission should be legal to win a fall…Jack Evans got his trademark high spot in during the Scramble, and after the IWA-PR Match. Mick Foley, Allison Danger and winning two falls, Maff and Whitmer were super over as they challenged for the belts. Unfortunately, the Pitbulls were just too fresh and took the win. I’d really like to see a straight wrestling match between those four.

Allison Danger is comes out and offers the Rottweilers money to destroy Maff and Whitmer. They take her up on it and start stomping away. The Embassy and Generation Next all come out to get revenge on Maff and Whitmer for earlier…AND OUT COMES MICK FOLEY WITH A FIRE EXTINGUISHER! He douses the ring with foam, which sends everyone scattering. Whitmer gives Aries a back suplex, then Rave an Exploder as Maff throws everyone else out of the ring. Maff gives Strong a German, then watches as Foley low blows Jimmy Rave (payback for earlier)…THEN HITS THE DOUBLE ARM DDT! BANG BANG!!

Backstage with Special K, and Lacey is still pissed off about Marcos calling her a ho earlier. Her and Becky almost get into a fight again…before b*tching about Special K losing again. She leads Izzy, Deranged, Cheech and Cloudy on a mission to get revenge on Dunn & Marcos as Dixie, Angeldust and Becky walk out.

Generation Next are battered and miserable after an all-round unsuccessful night for them. Jack Evans looks really sad, bless him. Shelley has words for Steve Corino, and says they’ll send him back to Zero-ONE for interfering. Aries says the war with the Saints has just begun.

Special K (bar Dixie, Angeldust and Becky) jump Dunn & Marcos as they take the ring down…and that’s where we end. Couldn’t we have cut straight to this attack then finished with Generation Next?

Tape Rating – *** –
No one match is particularly outstanding, but this is a pretty solid show throughout, and all the Mick Foley stuff is really awesome. Seeing him in ROH is weird, and an amazing sight that will be repeated as he’s signed on for future shows. Bar the opening two matches, which are pretty much storyline enhancement anyway (continuing Rave’s push; getting Stryker off the east coast) everything is 3* or higher…you can’t argue with that.

Top 3 Matches

3) Bryan Danielson vs Alex Shelley (***)

2) Havana Pitbulls vs Dan Maff/BJ Whitmer vs Generation Next vs Carnage Crew (***)

1) John Walters vs Nigel McGuiness (****)

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