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Flashback: ROH Round Robin Challenge 2002

Round_Robin_Challenge

Ring of Honor continues to grow and find their identity as they held their second show on March 30th, 2002 in Philadelphia, PA. The show is largely about Christopher Daniels, Low Ki and Bryan Danielson competing in a round robin challenge. Each man would wrestle twice on the show.

There isn’t a ROH Heavyweight Champion nor is there a ROH Tag Team Championship. Those will be introduced in July and in September, respectively.

McXal wrote an in-depth review of the show HERE.

Matches:
1.) Christopher Daniels defeated American Dragon
2.) Da Hit Squad defeated Prince Nana & Eric Tuttle
3.) Joey Matthews & Christian York defeated CW Anderson & Elax
4.) Xavier defeated James Maritato
5.) The Natural Born Sinners defeated The Boogie Knights
6.) Low Ki defeated Christopher Daniels
7.) Paul London defeated Chris Marvel
8.) Spanky defeated Jay Briscoe
9.) The SAT defeated Amazing Red & Brian XL, and Divine Storm in a three way match
10.) American Dragon defeated Low Ki

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Daniels has always been a guy that never seemed to get the big wins, especially in Ring Of Honor despite being a regularly featured wrestler for the company. Obviously myself and others forgot about his win here against Danielson in a pretty good opening match to the second show. Daniels is the only guy to ever make Danielson submit in ROH as he made Dragon submit to a Crossface after hitting the Last Rites. A pretty good opener and a good victory for Daniels as he looks to be the top heel act early on for the company.

Da Hit Squad continued their trend of demolishing people. ROH is all about keeping over the top gimmicks out of the company, such as Prince Nana. Nana will have a far bigger role as a manager, though.

A basic tag match was next with CW Anderson, Joey Matthews and Christian York making their debuts for the company. Elax is just a guy from the ring crew given a shot to team with some former ECW guys. Anderson blamed the loss on the poor kid and hit a spine buster on him. Matthews and York could have been an interesting team to have in ROH on a more regular basis in the early years of the company. However, Matthews was onto bigger things.

Xavier appeared to be the pet project for ROH as he was a virtual unknown and started his career with a winning streak as he got a victory over Little Guido, who made his debut for ROH as well. Even today there isn’t anything about Xavier that would have me interested in seeing his matches.

Homicide and Boogalou simply destroyed the Boogie Knights. The Natural Born Sinners, and more so Homicide, are a believable badass act.

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Daniels had claimed that he could beat American Dragon and Low Ki in the same night. So, when Ki made Daniels tap out with the dragon clutch, Daniels was left looking foolish. As expected, it’s a good match as ROH is focusing heavily on Ki, Dragon and Daniels. They are probably the best options to build your company around. Daniels still doesn’t want to shake hand with Ki.

Jay Briscoe and Spanky put on a good undercard match on a show that is mainly remembered for the round robin series. At the time, Briscoe was only 18-years old and Spanky hadn’t been on the independent scene all that long. These two would go on to be two of the better workers for ROH over the course of the next several years with Briscoe having many memorable moments. With the loss, Mark Briscoe continued to taunt his brother for losing. Mark couldn’t compete yet in ROH, at least in Philadelphia, because he was too young.

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The six man elimination match is the type of match you’d see where students aren’t properly trained and decide to just go out there and put on a horrendous show and just a messy viewing experience. The SAT and the Amazing Red are the only truly talented guys involved in the match.

Ken Shamrock was the special referee for the main event, which was a thirty minute fantastic encounter. American Dragon starts the show with a loss and ends the show with a big victory. The round robin challenge basically determined that Dragon, Daniels and Ki are all equal and we are in store for some great matches between the three men. Dragon got the win with Cattle Mutilation, which caused Ki to pass out.

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Aside from the three round robin matches and the Spanky/Briscoe match, the show doesn’t have a whole lot going on as there was a lot of filler. However, the good stuff really stands out and ROH was quickly getting a buzz.

What are your memories of the second show in ROH history?

Thanks for reading.

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