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050 ROH Gold 10/15/2004

ROH 50 – ROH Gold – 15th October 2004

It’s been a crazy, bumpy road, but tonight ROH celebrates making it to 50 shows. And that’s just including main shows. They’re not including co-promotional events with JAPW or FWA in that, or the two convention cards they ran before Final Battle 2003 or Midnight Express Reunion, or the ‘Do Or Die’ events before At Our Best and Reborn Completion. It’s an amazing feat, ROH has got to 50 shows, and has elevated itself to one of the premier indy wrestling promotion in the States…so much so I’d probably argue that it was the #3 promotion in the US right now, but others would disagree. Considering this is their 50th show, it’s a surprisingly low key card. We’re kicking off a double shot weekend, and all eyes are on tomorrow night where Samoa Joe defends the belt in a rematch against CM Punk. Tonight, we see an interesting mish-mash of the past and the future of ROH. Homicide and Punk open the show, fitting since they are two stalwarts and marquee players, and have been vital parts of the last 50 shows (particularly Homicide, who’s been here since Era Of Honor Begins). We’re main evented by a Generation Next tag match, fitting since in Alex Shelley and Austin Aries (assuming they can hold onto them) ROH have two of the brightest young stars in the indy scene. In between, there’s lots of chances for the future talent to shine. Nigel McGuiness, Chad Collyer, Jay Lethal, Matt Sydal, Jimmy Jacobs, Delirious etc etc, all young guys on the show tonight hungry for more bookings and an increased role in the company. Incidentally, Steve Corino was supposed to be on these shows after his return at Glory By Honor 3, but was jerked at the last minute by Zero-One. He was gonna be in the 6-Man tonight, then get the title show with Joe tomorrow for the record. I’m excited, you’re excited…Mick Foley’s here tonight and he’s excited. We’re in Dayton, OH for tonight, as after trying new markets in St Paul and Wauwatosa for the Friday night show, ROH have decided to kick a Midwest weekend off in “ROH territory”. Hosts are Jimmy Bower and Mark Nulty, who I like more with every show. His old-school chatterings are a little dull, but his unabashed sexism and increasingly confident insight into matches is enjoyable.

Contenders Ring –

Austin Aries (pinned John Walters at Midnight Express Reunion after an impressive summer)
CM Punk (beat Austin Aries at Glory By Honor 3, and is after an ROH Title rematch)
Low Ki (destroyed Jay Lethal at Midnight Express Reunion)
Alex Shelley (won the 8-man Tag at Midnight Express Reunion)
Rocky Romero (sneaks in after winning on every show since DBD2 Part 1)

Dave Prazak, with terrifying short bleached hair now, tries to pester Homicide and Rocky Romero (the only Rottweilers here this weekend) for a promo…but they run him off.

Matt Stryker is happy to be in the Midwest because the fans appreciate wrestling there. He flips off the east coast fans as well. It’s all very clever this angle…but what if the fans decide to sh*t on it and boo him in the Midwest? Stryker’s days in ROH seem to be numbered if this bombs…

CM Punk vs Homicide

Such a fitting way to start the 50th ROH show. Punk debuted at Unscripted (although didn’t wrestle until Night Of The Butcher), whilst Homicide has been here since the first show, and I’d guess that he probably has more appearances than anyone else bar Loc. Both have been major players, and both have been involved in some of the most memorable feuds seen in the promotion. Punk’s battles with Raven made him, whilst Homicide and Corino took part in some wild, violent matches that nobody will ever forget. They’ve met twice before (Round Robin Challenge 2 and The Last Stand) and Punk is still winless. This match is taking place because last time in Dayton, after Punk and Joe’s World Title Classic, Homicide came out and disrespected them, then stole Joe’s new championship belt. They also clashed at Glory By Honor 3 as Homicide came out to confront the returning Steve Corino. Homicide has Rocky Romero in his corner, and brings the stolen belt to the ring with him.

Homicide flies fists flying into the ring but Punk quickly sends him right back out after a back body drop. They brawl on the floor, where Punk sends Homicide into the front row then SUPLEXES HIM ONTO AN OPEN CHAIR! Back in the ring Punk hits a powerbomb for 2. Punk with bootscrapes, but Homicide bails before he can get the running one. Punk goes to the floor again with a tope on Homicide and Romero. Tilta-whirl backbreaker from Punk, then a torture wrack, but Romero pops up on the apron to distract Punk and the ref. Homicide knees Punk to the floor, where he DROPS him with a neckbreaker. Back in the ring he guillotines Punk’s neck over the top rope, then goes upstairs for a knee drop right to the back of the head for 2. He works a chinlock, putting more hurting on the neck. Punk misses a dropkick and gets clamped in the STF. T-bone suplex from Homicide gets him another 2. Desperation small package from Punk, but Homicide pops right back up with a clothesline, then dumps him to the floor for cheapshots from Romero. Punk tries to mount a fightback but gets poked in the eyes. DIVING HEADBUTT scores for another 2.

Homicide goes to the top rope again though, and that’s a mistake as Punk catches him this time with a flurry of strikes then a SUPERPLEX! Punk blocks the Ace crusher and hits a flying forearm, then the double underhook backbreaker. Homicide blocks a suplex attempt, but takes a belly to belly as he looks for the lariat. PILEDRIVER FROM HOMICIDE…but Punk is in the ropes before he can cover. PEPSI TWIST FROM PUNK, but Homicide kicks out at 2. Punk goes for a lariat, Homicide blocks and nails an Ace crusher for 2. Homicide goes for the Cop Killa…but Punk counters and goes for it himself. Romero distracts the ref again AS HOMICIDE NAILS PUNK WITH THE TITLE BELT! PUNK STILL KICKS OUT AT 2!! Homicide takes Punk to the top rope but Punk blocks a superplex attempt. Punk sets up for the Pepsi Plunge but Romero is on the apron again. He goes after Rocky…AND HOMICIDE HITS HIM IN THE NECK WITH A CHAIR! LARIAT TO THE NECK! Homicide wins it 17:15.

Rating – *** –
Absolutely blistering opener, and a million miles better than their disappointing match at The Last Stand. They worked some nice psychology in, as Punk worked on the back after suplexing Homicide on the chairs, whilst Homicide attacked the neck after exposing it on the floor with a neckbreaker. The finish and belt shots were cheap, as was all the Romero interference, but these days that’s part and partial of a Rottweilers match I guess. Homicide is now 3-0 against Punk in ROH.

Romero takes the mic to remind Punk, Joe and Dayton that it doesn’t matter about Joe vs Punk tomorrow night, he’s becoming the new ROH Champion tonight.

Chad Collyer cuts a promo, and it’s almost as whacky as his demands that Matt Stryker give him the world title at Reborn Stage 2…less intentionally this time though. He wants revenge for Lethal pinning him at World Title Classic tonight.

Matt Sydal vs Trent Acid

Check this out, Sydal and Delirious manage not to be booked with/against each other for once, how rare. Sydal is a regular on the Midwest shows now. He’s a solid talent, and shines in the spot-match environment. If he wants to progress and edge his way onto the occasional east coast show he needs to now develop, and show promise in little matches like this against the likes of Trent Acid. Acid, meanwhile, is going nowhere in ROH right now. His multi-man gimmick is done already, he’s looked largely unable to cut it as a singles talent…bring back Johnny Kashmere anyone?

Acid has ditched the Midnight Express entrance music. Acid slaps Sydal in the face for grinning like an idiot. Bower and Nulty are absolutely laying into Trent on commentary. He gets distracted by Daizee Haze (Sydal’s valet) and they take near-miss to the next level as they run all the way round the ring before Acid drops Sydal to the floor. Sydal misses a shoulder through the ropes and gets a neckbreaker, THEN THE ASAI MOONSAULT all whilst hanging there. Sydal goes for a hiptoss and gets placed in an abdominal stretch, and Bower and Nulty are STILL dissing him. Enzicanrana from Sydal but he takes too long going to the top and gets caught. Sydal crotches Trent over the top rope…THEN JUMPS OFF TO DOUBLE STOMP HIM BEFORE CRASHING TO THE FLOOR! On the floor Sydal tries a moonsault but gets caught AND SPEARED INTO THE RAIL! Acid gets caught on the top but still manages to nail Sydal with a top rope gourdbuster. He misses the corkscrew somersault leg drop…TWISTING ASAI MOONSAULT from Sydal for 2. Acid escapes a German suplex attempt and nails a superkick. Orange Crush from Acid for 2. Acid goes for the inverted brainbuster, but Sydal counters and rolls him up for the shock win at 08:22.

Rating – ** – There wasn’t a lot between the spots, but some of them were really good, and it was the right thing to do putting Sydal over here. Acid had nothing to gain from this match, and with this win Sydal becomes all the more credible, and his solid performances so far warrant that. There’s a lot of Acid hate floating around right now, and I’m not sure he deserves all of it. Creatively, he’s in a slump right now, but in the ring, whilst not the best, he can work a spot match, and this was a good example of it. I still say get Kashmere and the Backseat Boyz back.

Samoa Joe promo time next. He goes way back with Romero, given that they trained in the same dojo together…but whilst Romero is good, Joe says he’s the best.

Jimmy Jacobs/Delirious vs Special K

Jacobs/Delirious may well be the most crazy tag team ever…but they actually work quite similar styles and may compliment each other well as a team. Special K are Dixie and Angeldust…and they’re so serious about ending the slump now they’re not even coming out to any music. Izzy isn’t here this weekend because he’s on a bad trip. His troublemaker girlfriend Lacey and Becky are here though.

Dixie and Angeldust shake hands because they’re serious now. Angeldust and Delirious start, and Angeldust takes early control as they trade holds. Delirious barn-dances with Angeldust, into a roll up for 2. They have a screaming contest before Jacobs tags in. Clotheslines from the freak team, before they scare him with lizard gibberish and HUSSing. Dixie tries his hand but gets weirded out as well, and Special K flee to the aisle. Backbreaker by Dixie on Delirious for 2 as Nulty is on another chauvinist rant teehee. Angeldust comes in and hits his cobra clutch backbreaker for another 2 count. Dixie clotheslines Delirious over Angeldust’s knees, then goes to a camel clutch as Special K are attacking Delirious’ back right now. He escapes a back suplex though, and fires off a load of chest slaps, but Dixie cuts him off with a clothesline. Leg drop/backbreaker combo from Special K gets 2. Angeldust comes in with a series of kicks to the back, then a dropkick. DOUBLE STOMP from Angeldust for 2 again. Dust goes for the springboard blockbuster but Delirious gets the ropes. Delirious lifts Dust into the Ace crusher and makes a tag to Jacobs. Jacobs gets some offence in, until SOUTH OF HEAVEN FROM ANGELDUST! Jacobs tags out to Delirious, who flies in with a missile dropkick. Hiptoss facebuster double team on Delirious. Jacobs tags himself in again…INVERTED PEDIGREE/FROG SPLASH COMBO ON ANGELDUST! Jacobs covers Angeldust but Dixie is legal. Dixie hits Delirious with the Side Effect and goes for a cover, but he’s not legal. Jacobs is legal…CONTRA CODE ON DIXIE! Jacobs and Delirious take it at 12:41.

Rating – * –
The work rate from all four was good, but I just didn’t enjoy it at all. There were a few decent spots, but Delirious non-selling of the back after having it worked on for like 5 minutes pissed me off. Neither the Izzy/Angeldust or Dixie/Angeldust combinations have the fluidity of the Izzy/Dixie team, and it hurts the match. Where as in the Scramble Cage Melee match against Reyes and Romero they were able to turn in a plucky underdog performance, bringing Angeldust in tends to make the team more spotty (hence less easy to identify with as underdogs). Still, at least their losing streak has enabled Jimmy Jacobs to get a rare win…

Lacey isn’t too impressed with that performance, and walks off as Angeldust has to hold Becky back from attacking her.

Jay Lethal vs Chad Collyer

At World Title Classic, in a match that was largely clipped off the home release, Collyer and Lethal clashed in a fourway which also included Ray Gordy and Superstar Steve (neither of whom have been back since). That night Lethal made Collyer tap out, so Chad wants revenge. Lethal is coming off probably his best solo outing to date with Low Ki at Midnight Express Reunion.

Collyer starts wrestling in his robe because he’s a nutter. He goes right to Lethal’s legs and sends him scuttling to the ropes. They go through the standard exchanges, and eventually Lethal gets Collyer in an armbar. Collyer beats on Lethal in the corner, then gets 2 from a reverse elbow. Collyer catches his shoulder on the turnbuckle and gets sent to the floor with a jumping heel kick. Lethal dives out with a tope then goes to the top rope. He hits a beautiful crossbody for 2. Dropkick to the knee from Collyer, as he finally starts thinking about working the leg for the Texas Cloverleaf. He puts Lethal in a deathlock looking to wear him down and gain a submission. Shinbreaker from Collyer, then a hamstring stretch, which is apparently called the Tower of London. It’s switched into a figure 4 leglock, but Jay manages to roll it over and force Collyer to grab the ropes. He attempts the Texas Cloverleaf, but Lethal flees to the ropes quickly. Chad slams Lethal’s knee into the apron. He goes for a second shinbreaker but Lethal almost pins him. Gutbuster from Lethal, then a neckbreaker…and now both men are down. Chops exchanged, and Lethal gets the advantage despite the fact he can barely stand up. Collyer picks the leg, but Lethal hits an enziguri. Lethal hits the diving headbutt for 2. Lethal goes for a standing moonsault, but Collyer moves and gives him a fisherman suplex. Collyer blocks the dragon suplex and goes for the Texas Cloverleaf – but Lethal almost steals it with a roll up. Jumping DDT from Lethal but Chad kicks out in time. Collyer stops Lethal coming off the top again. DRAGON SCREW OFF THE TOP…TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Collyer wins at 12:52.

Rating – ** – It was solid, if a little unexciting. The first five minutes were absolutely wasted, as they chained monotonously, doing pretty much nothing. Once Collyer went to work on the knee it was much better, and it’s always nice to see all the work pay off with the finish. Lethal at times sold the knee badly e.g. the standing moonsault, but I notice he also has a lot of in-ring charisma that sucks fans into his comebacks. I’m not sure putting Collyer over was the right idea though, Lethal needed the win far more than he did.

Carnage Crew vs Dan Maff/BJ Whitmer

This feud rumbles into Dayton, and they need to end it now. Maff and Whitmer are better than brawling with the Carnage Crew on every show. I assume Allison Danger booked this since she knows how much the Crew hate Maff and Whitmer. Maff is back after missing Midnight Express Reunion with an injured shoulder. There, in his absence, the Crew put Whitmer in a trash can and murdered him with baseball bats in revenge for Maff and Whitmer chairing DeVito’s knees at Glory By Honor 3. This is also linked to Mick Foley’s Ring Of Hardcore stuff, as the Crew are pissed off Mick picked Maff and Whitmer out, and not them as the hardcore guys.

Maff and Whitmer’s music sounds like the Count Duckula theme. They go right at it in a slugfest. They each go out and grab a chair and swing at each other. Maff has a swing at the referee, who then throws the match out at 00:35. That brings out Mick Foley who isn’t happy with that decision. He wants to see hardcore wrestling, and he appoints himself as referee and restarts the match under hardcore rules. He even goes to get some weapons for them. Loc gives Whitmer a swinging neckbreaker as DeVito and Maff do the usual guardrail ramming schtick. Loc chokes Whitmer as Maff deposits a table in the ring. DeVito drops it into his face though then gives BJ a whip into the rails. Loc then sets up a chair and gives Whitmer a tornado DDT off it. Maff rocks him with a chair shot right after though. Maff and DeVito are bleeding…this is rubbish. Loc rakes at Whitmer’s bloody face with a tyre iron. Maff knocks DeVito into the crowd, but that just puts chairs in easier reach and Maff takes a couple of shots. Maff gives DeVito a German suplex in the ring as a rare wrestling move gets 2. Loc lays out Maff with another chair shot…EXPLODER on him by Whitmer. DeVito gives Whitmer a northern lights into the turnbuckle. They chop it out, before DeVito gets sent to the floor and Maff/Whitmer hit Loc with a hiptoss spinebuster. Loc nails Whitmer with a back suplex. Carnageplex on Whitmer for 2. Loc fights out of a half nelson suplex attempt but still gets clotheslined to the floor by Maff. Maff sets up a table in the corner, then props DeVito up on it…CANNONBALL through the table. Whitmer brings a garbage can into the ring and puts Loc in it. THEY MASSACRE THE CAN WITH STEEL CHAIRS! Loc is pinned whilst he’s still in the can at 12:13.

Rating – DUD –
Sorry lads, but that was utter crap. For all ROH’s big talk about only doing hardcore when it really means something, that was piss-poor garbage wrestling for the sake of piss-poor garbage wrestling, and I didn’t want to see it. With the Briscoes out, Maff and Whitmer should be at the epicentre of the Tag Title scene, not wasting their time feuding with the Carnage Crew, which Maff was doing back in 2002 for Pete’s sake. End this feud, put the Carnage Crew with someone they can elevate, give Maff and Whitmer some wrestling matches…bar Death Before Dishonor 2 Part 1 they haven’t had one of those.

The fans give that a ‘Ring of Hardcore’ chant, and it doesn’t deserve it. Foley puts them over for the match…then puts ROH over as a real alternative to the WWE. Ricky Steamboat comes to the ring…and as we saw at Midnight Express Reunion, he really dislikes Ring Of Hardcore. They proceed to have an AWESOME debate on the whole hardcore/pure wrestling deal in ROH. Steamer calls hardcore wrestling garbage…but Mick calls pure wrestling softcore. It gets personal as Steamboat brings up Ric Flair…and eventually they decide that tomorrow night it’ll be Foley’s hardcore team of Maff and Whitmer against two pure wrestlers of Steamboat’s choosing. It’s a fantastic segment (far better than the match it proceeds) and one I don’t wanna spoil by typing out the highlights.

INTERMISSION – Prazak is in Punk’s locker room, where he’s having his neck worked on by…Tracy Brooks? Clearly TNA are easing up a little if she’s allowed back. Punk says his neck injury won’t stop him tonight against Generation Next or Samoa Joe.

Josh Daniels vs Roderick Strong vs Nigel McGuiness vs Matt Stryker

There are four men absolutely craving the win in this one. Daniels needs the win to secure a spot, Stryker needs the win to get back into contention for an east coast ticket, Rod Strong is the underrated guy in GeNext and would love a break out match, whilst McGuiness is coming off a huge win over Homicide and needs to follow it up. Stryker may have issues with Strong, because last time in Dayton GeNext kicked his ass. He’s also clashed with Josh Daniels (Second Anniversary Show) and Nigel McGuiness (Reborn Stage 1) before.

Daniels and Stryker start. They both look pretty determined, with Stryker eventually looking for an early Strykerlock and getting kicked away. McGuiness comes in next and both men work over the arm in their exchanges. Stryker grabs an anklelock, but McGuiness gets to the ropes. Strong finally manages to tag in, but he tries to slap Daniels, who holds his hand up to tag and forces Roderick out of the ring again. McGuiness/Daniels now, and Nigel almost rolls Daniels up for three, then gets armdragged by Stryker. Strong tags in, and in him and Daniels we have two of the hardest choppers in ROH. Stryker comes in and goes after Strong’s arm as well but gets blasted with chops. McGuiness with a neck crank on Strong, but he gets chopped into the corner. McGuiness grabs Strong prone and lets Stryker and Daniels take turns chopping him, and we get more triple teaming to follow. Wristlock drop, then a hammerlock DDT from McGuiness, into the shortarm scissors, and Stryker comes in to break that. McGuiness grabs him and suplexes him ONTO Strong.

Daniels tags himself in as McGuiness and Stryker bicker. They’re still fighting on the floor as in the ring Strong blast each other with chops. Daniels gets 2 with a German suplex. Daniels sends Strong to the floor, but Stryker blind tagged in. Daniels takes Stryker down for 2 with a lariat. Legsweep DDT from Stryker for 2. On the floor McGuiness is slamming Strong’s hand into the guardrail. Stryker takes Daniels over with some form of suplex, which brings Strong in to save. HALF NELSON backbreaker from Strong to Daniels, but McGuiness comes in with a superkick for 2. He goes for the reverse suplex Ace crusher but Stryker blocks. Daniels with a GERMAN SUPLEX ON STRYKER! McGuiness nails the reverse suplex on Daniels and picks up another win at 16:41.

Rating – ** –
The last five minutes of that were really good, but before that, it felt like a really long exhibition match. I really like three of these guys, and don’t mind Stryker as much as a lot of people, but they’re all capable of better than this match. I didn’t like the finish, because this show is supposed to mark the start of a big effort by ROH to clamp down on stuff like not counting the legal man. The legal men at the finish were Josh Daniels and Matt Stryker…

Samoa Joe vs Rocky Romero – ROH World Title Match

It was an obvious way to continue the Joe/Rottweilers issue, which will surely only end with a Joe/Ki rematch. Romero is the more impressive of the two Pitbulls, and won matches (including all the falls in tag matches) on every show since Death Before Dishonor 2. Dan Maff, Chad Collyer, Colt Cabana, Izzy, BJ Whitmer and Angeldust have all been pinned by him in this streak. He also spat on Joe’s belt at Part 1 of the DBD2 weekend.. Joe is going on as champion after surviving the challenge of Bryan Danielson in an epic match. Is the length of his title reign starting to wear him down? Homicide (who pinned Joe at Scramble Cage Melee) is in Romero’s corner. Champion vs Champion here, as Romero is half of the Tag Champions.

Romero is up for this, and he slaps Joe rather than shake hands. Both men look for big strikes early, since that’s a forte of either one. Homicide finally grabs Joe’s leg and allows Romero to get some kicks in. The ref throws Homicide out for that. Joe drops Rocky with a big slap then fires in a few kicks as he tries to back away. They start stiffing each other like f*ck, and Joe tags Romero with a big kick to the head and Romero rolls out for a break. Romero puts Joe into a cross armbreaker but Joe grabs the ropes. They switch on leglocks, and Romero gets a couple more kicks in on Joe’s legs. BASTARD STIFF chops and kicks from Joe has Romero scrambling for the aisle to get some distance. Romero goes for leg kicks again…AND GETS KICKED SQUARE IN THE HEAD! E HONDA SLAPS on Romero in the corner. Springboard missile dropkick to the leg from Romero, and he follows it with more kicks to it. Slaps from Romero, but Joe takes him down with a powerslam.

Chop/kick combo, followed by a knee drop to the back for 2. Romero with more kicks, but Joe finally blocks one and lays him out with a single punch. Rolling legsweep from Joe, as after having his legs worked on the whole match, he retaliates a little. Joe with a back suplex backbreaker, then a Boston crab. Romero fires up but Joe knocks him the f*ck back down with a nasty looking right hand. I think Romero got legit ko’d from that. JUMPING ENZI from a sympathetic Joe! That sends Romero to the floor which can mean only one thing…OLE OLE KICK TIME! Back in the ring Romero somehow manages to get some more offence in. STRAIGHT KICK TO THE HEAD…and Romero has the champ down for 2. Romero dives off the top rope with a DDT. Joe blocks the jumping knee strike from Romero…but he still connects with slaps – JUMPING KNEE STRIKE! THREE COUNT…but Joe had his hand on the bottom rope. More knee strikes from Romero…KNEE TO THE HEAD FROM JOE! HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX FOR 2! Romero with the hurricanrana into the cross armbreaker, but Joe gets the ropes again. E HONDA SLAPS AGAIN…but Romero snatches on a triangle choke. Joe counters with a powerbomb…STF!! Romero taps at 18:09.

Rating – *** –
Fun hard-hitting action, as you’d expect from these two. I think they actually relish the chance to kick lumps out of each other. Unsurprisingly, considering the stiffness of the shots they were dishing out in this one, Romero got knocked out during the match…which makes the quality of the bout surprising. It wasn’t as good as Joe/Ki, but was miles better than Joe/Reyes to give you some perspective. Romero could really get over as a singles star in ROH if he wanted to put aside the Havana Pitbulls stuff. Joe moves onto CM Punk tomorrow night.

Before this match Aries again points out he wants the ROH Title…which again doesn’t please faction leader Alex Shelley. Seriously…this angle is about six months too soon.

Generation Next vs CM Punk/Ace Steel/Jimmy Jacobs

Originally this was Steve Corino teaming with the Saints, but Jacobs has to step in thanks to Zero-One. This is another attempt to get it right after the Midnight Express Reunion 8-man just felt a little flat. I think part of the problem was so much of it was based around John Walters, who really isn’t over in Philly at all. No such problems tonight, and no problems with the elimination rules. GeNext cheated all the way through the tag match last time, using a chair to eliminate Jacobs, forcing Punk to use a chair and get disqualified, then Strong running in to hit Walters with a chair during the final fall. The issues between these men are well documented…lets see if they produce a better effort this time out. In case you hadn’t realised, GeNext are Shelley, Aries and Evans. Ricky Steamboat leads the Punk/Steel/Jacobs team to the ring. Tracy Brooks accompanies CM Punk. Punk and Jacobs are competing in their second matches tonight.

Aries hits on Tracy before the match then gets b*tch slapped. Jacobs and Shelley start, and Shelley rolls Jacobs into a hammerlock. Double underhook stretch from Shelley, with the leg grapevined as well. Jacobs fires back with chops and forearms. Punk tags in with Aries and they trade forearms before Aries drops Punk with a springboard reverse elbow. Double underhook backbreaker from Punk. He tags Ace in whilst holding Austin in a rolling leglock. Double rolling leglock from Punk and Steel for 2. Inverted atomic drop on Aries, then a clothesline. Chops from Ace which are so hard Jack Evans is selling them and he’s out on the apron. Punk tags in with Flippy McGillicutty now…and Evans break dances and backflips. Punk is far more effective with a stalling brainbuster. Inverted atomic drop from Evans, but he comes off the second rope, and Punk catches him with one of his own. Evans tastes turnbuckle before Punk tags Ace in for a messy giant swing/leg drop combo for 2. Stepping dropkick in the corner from Ace, as Evans is being dominated. Punk does the robot before kicking Evans in the head. Backbreaker/elbow drop combo from Punk and Jacobs. Jacobs does the chest trampoline again, and Aries/Shelley throw him to the floor. Punk and Steel try to fight them and the GeNexters bail. TOPES FROM PUNK AND STEEL! Jacobs is alone in the ring…PLANCHAAAAAAAA TO THE FLOOR! Evans tries ramming Jacobs head into the buckles, but that doesn’t effect Jimmy. Jacobs goes for the Contra Code, but it’s the wrong idea in the GeNext corner, and Aries stops him and slams him into the turnbuckle. Shelley comes in and knees Jacobs in the stomach, then gives him a snap suplex. ‘I’ll give her one’ – Bower on Tracy. More sexism from Mark Nulty follows. Sambo suplex from Aries for 2. Double suplex from Aries and Shelley, complete with Evans diving off the top, grabbing Jacobs’ legs on the way. Aries catapults Jacobs into the first rope for another 2.

Backbreaker/springboard leg drop from Aries and Evans. Jacobs blocks a superplex attempt from Shelley…SENTON SPLASH SCORES! Both men are down and Jacobs manages to tag to Punk. DDT/Ace crusher combo on Aries and Shelley. Aries and Punk run the ropes…BEFORE ARIES BASEBALL SLIDES TRACY BROOKS FOR NO REASON! Punk snaps, and we’ve got a brawl on the floor. Ricky Steamboat has to carry Tracy out, and the referee goes with him. Punk has been wrestling for almost 40 minutes now, as Aries ducks the Pepsi Twist and hits a clothesline of his own. Shelley comes in with the Skullf*ck, as GeNext are starting to isolate Punk’s injured head and neck from the Homicide match. Triple team offence in the corner on Punk gets another 2 count. Shelley with a sleeper hold, but Punk stops his arm dropping for a third time. Jawbreaker breaks it, but Shelley immediately dropkicks him in the neck. Shelley, Aries and Evans pancake Punk. Fishermans buster from Evans for 2. Golden Gate Swing from Shelley for another one. Aries and Shelley inadvertently take each other out, and that allows Punk to make a tag. Ace (wearing Jack’s do-rag) hitas a double missile dropkick on Shelley and Aries. Tiger Driver on Aries…SWINGING IMPALER ON SHELLEY! Punk with a somersault senton on Evans…WHO THEN GETS SPINAL SHOCK FROM STEEL! Aries escapes a slingshot suplex attempt but gets taken down with a German suplex. SHELLEY BREAKS THE PIN WITH A FROG SPLASH! Jacobs in…AND CONTRA CODES SHELLEY ONTO ARIES! It’s completely broken down now, with Punk and Steel looking for a Doomsday Device on Aries. Aries hurricanrana’s Steel into the turnbuckle, crotching Punk. TWISTING SOMERSAULT SENTON TO THE FLOOR FROM EVANS. Rod Strong runs in with a chair…BUT RICKY STEAMBOAT SAVES WITH CHOPS AND AN ARMDRAG! PEPSI PLUNGE ON ARIES! Punk wins it and gets momentum for his title shot at 32:24.

Rating – **** –
That was much more like it. That was a really well-worked 6-man tag. There were some great moments – like the babyface dives to the floor, or Aries’ baseball slide on Tracy, or Ricky Steamboat breaking out the chops on Roderick Strong. I liked the isolation segments with Jacobs and Punk…and I liked how Punk and Aries were the legal men for the finish. Jack Evans’ performance was decent again, as he proved that, in tag matches at least, he really can be more than just the guy who flips around a lot. Good match, and a world apart from the somewhat stagnant match at Midnight Express Reunion.

Backstage it’s Ricky Steamboat promo time. He announces he’s picked Chad Collyer and Nigel McGuiness to take on Maff and Whitmer in Chicago. Steamboat reminds Foley that Steamboat won the NWA World Title from Ric Flair in Chicago…

Tape Rating – ** –
Yep, I’m sorry to do that to them on their 50th show, but it wasn’t up to the usual standard. The 6-Man is good, as is Joe/Romero and Punk/Homicide…and the Steamboat/Foley segment is great but outside of that, there’s really not a lot doing. There’s a few solid matches, but nothing to write home about. The Carnage Crew/Maff/Whitmer match is really awful and left me frustrated with the direction Maff and Whitmer are getting pushed in. If you’re a completist you’ll get a lot out of the three big matches…if you’re not this could be skipped over quite easily.

Top 3 Matches

3) Samoa Joe vs Rocky Romero (***)

2) CM Punk vs Homicide (***)

1) CM Punk/Ace Steel/Jimmy Jacobs vs Generation Next (****)

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