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008 ROH Glory By Honor 10/5/2002

ROH 008 – Glory By Honor – 5th October 2002

The idea behind this show is that ROH wanted to create a “supershow”, celebrating the success the company has had in its early months of existence. It’s supposed to be the biggest show to date in fact. However, there’s no titles on the line tonight because The Prophecy have them all and refuse to defend them. We do, however, have final appearances for James Maritato and Spanky (until 2004), Ikuto Hidaka returning for another show, Steve Corino’s in-ring debut, Doug Williams and Christopher Daniels in the main event, and the debut of a big Samoan guy. This is Philadelphia, PA once again. Since Lovey and Murrow were so appalling at Unscripted they’ve already been scrapped as a duo. Commentating tonight are Jeff Gorman and Chris Lovey. Incidentally, this is the remastered DVD version of the show. Up until 2005 I collected my ROH shows on tape, and I’m now trying to rebuild my back catalogue in DVD. I picked this one up on ebay recently. I don’t know if the remastered versions are any different to be honest. The Murphy Rec never looked so pretty as it does in DVD VQ.

SIDENOTE –
There’s an annoying promo video for this show which gives away tons of what happens during the event. But it ends with a really creepy shot of Feinstein and John Zandig shaking hands…

Divine Storm vs Special K vs Homicide vs SAT – Scramble Match

Homicide is in this match by himself since the Natural Born Sinners were signed to it before Boogalou “got injured”. Izzy and Dixie are representing Special K, with Elax at ringside. Trinity is in the corner of Divine Storm after her “unscripted” invasion on the last event. Remember, Scramble rules mean no tags and lots of flippy floppy silliness.

Special K refuse to shake hands so SAT and Divine Storm jump them. Elax gets involved so Trinity gives him a moonsault. Izzy and Joel run into each other whilst running the ropes. Joel kicks Izzy in the head then puts him in a horizontal cloverleaf. Jose and Storm run some bastardised lucha before bailing. Divine botches an armdrag on Homicide, who in two seconds in the ring looks the best wrestler in the match. He gets 2 with a tilta-whirl Tombstone. SAT with the Human Taffy Machine on Izzy and Dixie. Homicide puts Divine in an STF so Storm puts a crossface on him. It’s a big submission-fest. Joel gives Izzy a TOP ROPE LARIAT! MAXIMO EXPLOSION gets 2 before Dixie saves. Divine suplexes Dixie on his head then works his leg into a leglock. Jose gives Divine a tornado DDT. Homicide comes in with the AMERICAN WIZARD on him. Storm blocks another Wizard and hits the RANDOM HEAD DROP suplex. TOPE CON HILO like a second later by Homicide. Jose hits a lame tope suicida. Somersault pescado by Storm…SWANTON from Dixie! Izzy lines up the SPRINGBOARD TWISTING MOONSAULT! That is a pretty dive. No need to sell he dives, everyone climbs up one turnbuckle for a big mistimed carwreck spot. Dixie with a kryptonite neckbreaker on Joel. He tries to do the same thing to Divine who lifts him to the top rope for the Real Deal from up there. Jose with a swinging Regalplex and a frog splash for 2. Storm with a RUBIX CUBE on him. He thinks it’s time for the SCD but Joel blocks it with a random head drop blue thunder. Izzy moonsault kicks Homicide but misses a moonsault. COP KILLA on Izzy. STF on Dixie who taps at 14:57.

Rating – ** –
There was some fun elements to that, but there was also some of the most extreme and appalling sloppiness, and at 15 minutes, it was WAY too long for this type of match. Not just because this match got boring, but because it facilitated so many head drops and crazy moves that every other match tonight is going to struggle to compete with the needless lunacy of this. Homicide deserved the win for being the only wrestler to come out of this looking half-decent. Izzy looked like the best spot-merchant amidst a sea of human crap.

The Backseat Boyz come in through the crowd to make their ROH debut. ROH and CZW (how ironic) have reached an agreement to run double-headers in Philadelphia. They want to prove their the best tag team in the world and challenge Homicide to an inter-promotional match…except he doesn’t have a partner. Steve Corino is the first man through the curtain to fill the spot…

Backseat Boyz vs Homicide/Steve Corino

The Backseatz are Trent Acid and Johnny Kashmere. They’ve been pretty successful in CZW, and are generally moderately entertaining as a team. Corino makes his first in-ring appearance. Apparently he stopped being the colour commentator on ROH shows because he wanted to wrestle instead.

The Backseatz try to follow the Code Of Honor but they get cheap-shotted by Corino. He drops Kashmere with a powerslam as Homicide takes Trent to the top rope for a SUPER Ace crusher. Corino gets stuck in the corner for some double-team offence from Acid and Kashmere. Homicide plants Trent face-first into a chair on the floor. TOPE CON HILO AGAIN! Kashmere with a bridging camel clutch on Corino. He then sets up for a dive but runs into a superkick from Corino. Johnny hits spears on both the ROH guys but Corino puts him in the Cobra Choke. That’s one of his finishers in Z-1 apparently. YAKUZA KICK by Trent breaks that. BSB with the Dream Sequence on Corino. The Zero-ONE star hits an exploder from the top on Acid. Homicide tries to pin but Corino shoves him off. Homicide accidentally forearms Corino out. He tries the Cop Killa on Kashmere but Corino superkicks him and walks off. T-GIMMICK on Homicide! Backseatz win for CZW at 06:44.

Rating – ** –
Well, Corino lasted almost 5 minutes without the big heel turn at least. They probably accomplished as much good stuff in this 6 minute match as the Scramble before did with an extra 10 minutes. I do quite like the Backseat Boyz though. Most people don’t but they’re fun to watch on occasion, and as a quick, filler, spotty brawl this was ok. Corino works best as a heel so his turn was inevitable, but sets him up for a decent run with the promotion. That superkick is also the start of the infamous Homicide/Corino feud which, as I write this (October 2006) is still on-going today.

Christopher Street Connection/Allison Danger vs Christian York/Joey Matthews/Alexis Laree

This has been brewing for a couple of months, basically ever since Danger told Alexis she has a crush on her then “branded” her ass with glitter. York and Matthews weren’t here last show but Laree still came out and beat the crap out of the Christopher Street Connection as they were piss-taking the Billy & Chuck gay wedding. So I guess this is something of a grudge match. If you missed it before, Laree is the women you now see in the WWE competing as Mickie James.

The gays attempt some non-consensual ass-groping and get clobbered. York gives Mase a gutbuster for 2. Matthews joins him for a double team tilta-whirl DDT. The Japanese Pool Boy distracts Joey allowing the CSC to get the advantage. Sidewalk slam/neckbreaker combo gets 2. Matthews hits the reverse DDT and edges towards the hot tag. Apparently he’s been hanging out with Special K. Laree is fine getting in there with the men and kicks their ass too. Really awful swinging DDT nailed. Pool Boy shoves Joey off the top rope. Gay Basher on Alexis wins it at 04:47

Rating – DUD –
Some of their backstage comedy skits are mildly amusing. The CSC are over so clearly they’re entertaining people. But please keep them out of the ring. Their matches suck and every one is the same.

James Maritato cuts a great promo about the FBI gimmick and his deal with Tony Mamaluke. He has fond memories of the FBI, but he’d been doing the same comedy stuff since 1996. With the closure of ECW his career stalled so he dropped it. He’d love to team with Mamaluke, but since he won’t be serious that can’t happen.

Tony Mamaluke vs James Maritato

Former partners collide, and this time the rights to the FBI gimmick are on the line. We know the story by now. Tony Mamaluke came into ROH at Night Of Appreciation and was still doing the FBI routine from ECW. Meanwhile Maritato (formerly Little Guido in ECW), who debuted at Round Robin Challenge, had dropped that act and concentrated on getting serious. That obviously led them to clash, and after failed efforts to team together at Honor Invades Boston and Unscripted it all fell apart leading to a brawl after their elimination from the Tag Title tournament.

James demands a handshake but Mamaluke jumps him as he turns his back. He attacks Maritato’s arm, but the former Guido soon legsweeps him down and applies a cross armbreaker in return. More mat-stuff ensues, now with both guys picking at the legs. Maritato picks the leg from a scoop slam position, but Mamaluke escapes the anklelock and applies an anklelock of his own. He stays on the leg with a shinbreaker/dragon screw/half crab sequence. Maritato swings into a Fujiwara but Mamaluke rolls out into a butterfly DDT/stretch combo. Sicilian Slice connects for 2. Superplex front choke blocked and Maritato hits a second rope dropkick. Tony blocks the Kiss Of Death once then BOTCHES it the second time. Superplex front choke has Maritato tapping in 08:29.

Rating – DUD –
Horrible match. At times it looked heated but it was nothing but sprawling, pointless, aimless chaining complete with ugly spots, botches and a heatless finish. This was Maritato’s last ROH appearance (WWE signed him to be Jamie Noble’s cousin…then to reprise the FBI gimmick ironically) and it’s a real shame he went out with such a lame showing. He had a lot of potential to do well but got stuck with lousy opponents in the midcard the whole time so you never got to see what he was actually capable of. I’m sure if he’s ever released ROH will bring him back and use him much better second time around.

Ikuto Hidaka vs Amazing Red

On paper this is one of the stand-out bouts for this card so hopefully it delivers. Hidaka looked good teaming with Dick Togo at Unscripted, and these days is pretty awesome every time he gets in the ring. Red has been impressive for the past couple of months. He stole with show with Low Ki at Road To The Title, and looked good in throw-away matches at Honor Invades Boston and Unscripted so it’s nice to see him getting a higher-profile outing.

Hidaka plants a double boot to the side of Red’s face to let him know what he’s in for. Cue an increase in pace with some sweet kick exchanges. They take it to the floor to man up with chops. More flipping near-misses…armdrags…DUELLING dropkicks! Tilta-whirl DDT by Red, but Ikuto gets onto the apron to stop him diving. Red tries a pescado but gets met by a MID-AIR DROPKICK! He works the leg which will affect Red’s flying ability. He misses a handspring elbow and receives a corkscrew enzi whilst perched on the rope. Tornado DDT blocked so Hidaka grabs the ropes and hits a normal DDT anyway. He springboards and it’s another corkscrew enzi that sends him out. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA…MISSES! Hidaka sells it like it hit but Red just totally missed him. Red applies an armbreaker on the taped up shoulder of the Japanese wrestler. RED STAR misses, but he comes back with a spinning kick to the head. Ikuto dropkicks him as he springs back from the ropes, sending him outside again. ‘Count-outs are stupid’ – Lovey. Hidaka catches Red as he goes for a tilta-whirl and hits an over the shoulder gutbuster whilst driving the legs into the mat as well. Missile dropkick to the knee then a LEGLOCK! He’s been attacking that leg for periods on this match, but Red finds the rope. Back and forth at awesome speed, then a double clothesline taking them both out. Hidaka hits a superkick then a torture wrack cutter for 2. 718 to the ribs…SLINGSHOT CODE RED! That gets 2! Red blocks the sunset flip powerbomb with a Rocker dropper. INFRA-RED! RED STAR! It’s over at 13:43.

Rating – *** –
Not the best match ever, but after a sluggish start (to the card) this match came as welcome relief as it’s tons of fun. They moved at a super-fast pace throughout which led to some cock-ups but made it enjoyable. Hidaka looked like a class act even then – and he’s amazing to watch these days. He also pays the price for putting Red over – since he got his orbital bone broken by the Infra-Red. Watching matches like this it makes you realise what a shame it is that Red’s career has somewhat fallen down the toilet. He really did some awesome things.

Fast Eddie vs Don Juan – ETW TV Title Match

I think this is Eddie’s debut match. He’s legally blind and somewhat crazy which usually makes him worth a look in a car crash type of way. Don Juan just keeps coming back despite never doing anything remotely impressive. Eddie is the defending champion. ETW is the promotion in Texas that most of the TWA grads work. I’m guessing Rudy Boy Gonzalez runs it or something. Rudy is out here of course…

Eddie’s trunks say ‘better than you’ and he immediately looks better than Don Juan. Don hangs him in the corner for an elevated backbreaker for 2. Eddie moonsaults out of the corner and lands a German. Juan tries a spear but Eddie moves and he takes a nasty spill to the floor. BLIND MAN ASAI MOONSAULT INTO THE RAILINGS! How the hell is Eddie still walking? He tries a springboard but Juan catches him with a mid-rope variant of the Tower Of London. Eddie tries a moonsault kick from the top rope but he’s blind so he just mangles Juan with his knee. Moonsault fallaway slam means Eddie retains at 03:22.

Rating – DUD –
It was too short to mean anything and should’ve been clipped since it’s nothing more than extra sh*tty filler. However, despite being blind, Eddie easily looked better than the super-green Don Juan. Eddie is green as well, but hides it by being a) blind and b) suicidal. He looks like he’s going to kill himself or his opponent with the majority of his highspots. How can you not like that?

Michael Shane and Bio-Hazard come out to be pricks and beat up their fellow TWA trainees. Steve Corino also comes out to slag off Rudy Boy just like he did when he was on commentary. Gonzalez calls Corino a ‘Dusty Rhodes wannabe’ which is amusing. He swings a punch and it turns into a match.

Steve Corino vs Rudy Boy Gonzalez – Texas Death Match

Seriously…who the hell thought it’d be a good idea to book Rudy in a match? He’s old and rotund and kinda stupid looking. Anyway, Corino pissed him off endlessly when he was doing commentary. First he did it with his stream of jokes about Chris Marvel’s injury at the second show, then he did it by constantly insulting Rudy. He also keeps gloating about going out with Simply Luscious – another TWA trainee. Texas Death rules mean you have to pin your opponent and keep him down for 10.

Steve Corino shows he’s really changed since his ECW days. Rather than waiting 2 minutes before blading…this time he waits less than 2 seconds. Rudy gets a pin following a superkick but it’s way too early for Corino to stay down for 10 as well. Rudy is so fat he breaks the railings. Michael Shane is still at ringside cheering Steve on. Gonzalez takes a nasty looking flip bump on the floor. I suspect that may be the pinnacle of interest in this match which is almost four minutes long – therefore almost 3 and a half minutes too long already. The Samoa Joe bootscrapes and running facewash combo send RBG out again. He’s bleeding now. Corino kicks the ropes into his balls. Zzzzzzz…ok I can’t be assed anymore. Corino eventually wins with the Cobra Sleeper at 08:05, although the timekeeper blew the finish.

Rating – DUD –
Thank god that’s over. But for the fact that Abdullah The Butcher has been booked in November you could take this to the bank as the worst match of the year by a long way. F*cking terrible. This crap just didn’t belong in ROH – let alone on the supposed biggest show of the year.

Corino, Shane and Hazard maul Rudy some more bringing Paul London from the back to save him with a ladder. LADDER RUN SENTON NECK-FIRST ONTO THE F*CKING GUARDRAIL! PAUL LONDON IS ABSOLUTELY MENTAL! Incredibly he’s still walking as the heels skulk away.

Low Ki vs Samoa Joe – Fight Without Honor

This would be Joe’s debut for ROH, years before anyone like Mick Foley or TNA had ever heard of him or thought abut making him a Samoan Submission Machine. A Fight Without Honor means that the Code is waived, and that’s because Joe has been hired and brought in by The Prophecy to hurt Ki. They booked this because Joe and Ki had a hell of a match at the 2001 APW King Of The Indies, which someone showed to Gabe so he could swiftly book them to go at it again. Joe’s mostly spent his time working in Japan for Zero-ONE, although he’s been fairly regular in some of the California indies as well. Either way, this is his biggest match on the north-eastern indy scene for sure.

No grappling here, they adopt fight stance and start throwing punches and kicks. They go all shoot on the mat including some SICK punches from Ki. Joe responds with a flurry of Modest-like forearms. They are pulling absolutely nothing and knocking the sh*t out of each other. Joe puts some serious crank on a half crab – Jack Evans like crank. He looks annoyed by some of Ki’s chops so SLAPS HIM IN THE FACE! He actually out-kicks Low Ki and kicks him to the mat. Ki traps Joe in the corner and stiffs him some more. RUNNING CAPO KICK gets the disrespectful 1 count. Joe no-sells Mongolian chops and floors Ki with a LARIAT for an equally disrespectful 1. KAWADA KICKS by Joe. He enziguris him in the corner and gets 2 with a German suplex. Ki applies the crucifix-style armbreaker but gets pushed away. Chops, kicks and a jumping enzi knock the Samoan down for 2. He gets 2 again with a tiger suplex. Joe is pissed off now and F*CKING B*TCHSLAPS Ki! The former champion tastes boot as it’s scraped across his face. Powerbomb into the STF by Joe, then he switches to the Crossface as Ki edges to the ropes. Ki goes after Joe’s right arm, probably to stop him continually slapping him in the face, but gets slapped from the left side. Triangle choke applied using that arm instead. HEAD DROP DRIVER! He looks for the Dragon Clutch but Joe STANDS UP into a DVD. ISLAND DRIVER gets 2. Ki kicks him in the back…NO SOLD! Joe tries it…NO SOLD! THEY’RE TAKING OFF THE TAKE AND PADS! It is f*cking on now! FOREARMS! SLAPS! MAFIA KICKS! LARIATS! KI GOES DOWN! He doesn’t stay there though. KAWADA KICK RUSH! Joe is staggered but doesn’t go own! Low Ki has lost it and starts kneeing and clubbing at anything he can reach. Finally Joe crumbles to the canvas and is pinned in 16:26.

Rating – **** –
It doesn’t hold up like it used to, but it’s still a positively brutal stiff-fest between the (then) present star of ROH and the man who would go on to become the promotion’s biggest star. Nothing complex or psychologically intricate. Joe was paid by The Prophecy to go out and beat the sh*t out of Low Ki and he did that. They spent 15+ minutes just stiffing each other. The stretch where they take their tape and pads off is still awesome, and they play off it numerous times down the line. I also love the finish, as it’s very much in keeping with the rest of the match. It’s a real shame that we’ve NEVER gotten a rematch of this because, lets face it, these two are icons in ROH. We’ve come close a couple of times but this still stands as the only Joe vs Ki match. It’s good, but considering how good they are (especially Joe) now, a rematch would be absolutely immense. Still, this one is a total showstealer. That makes 7 out of 8 shows that Ki’s managed that. As for Joe, this was supposed to be a one time deal…so much for that!

Samoa Joe pays respect to Ki with a handshake. They parade a Z-1 towel as well…

Prince Nana is in the ring and he beats the crap out of his former lackey Elax in less than a minute. Dunn & Marcos come out to rock him…LIKE A HURRICANE! Unfortunately they only rocking done (hurricane-like or otherwise) is done by the big mystery black man who turns up to kill them again.

Jay Briscoe vs Xavier

Since The Prophecy are assholes the ROH Title isn’t on the line here. Xavier makes his first appearance as champion after screwing Low Ki out of it in September. He now has Simply Luscious with him to do his ring announcing. Daniels said they’d arrange a squash match for him tonight and Mark Briscoe came in to say Jay is the biggest loser in ROH – hence this was booked. However, last month Jay vowed to stop his losing streak, and backed up his words by beating Amazing Red.

Jay makes the point that this isn’t going to be a total whitewash by more than holding his own with the ROH Champion. Xavier works a leglock but Briscoe is able to counter to an armbreaker. They run some nice standing switches until Xavier slaps his opponent in the face. Jay boots him off his feet. We’re approaching 5 minutes so Xavier will be approaching his limit for not looking tired soon. He suplexes Jay out of the corner for 2. So does an inverted Samoan drop. Jay comes back with a DVD then clotheslines the champ to the floor. Briscoe climbs to the top…GETS GUARDRAIL ON THE PLANCHA! Xavier starts whipping him into the railings to make it worse. He tree of woes Jay then spears him from there – ouch – then takes him from it into a SUPER inverted DDT for 2. Jay hits back with a gourdbuster and a top rope leg jam. Xavier does his regulation one cool thing per match with a COBRA CLUTCH SUPLEX! He tries rolling powerbombs but it’s countered…INTO THE JAY DRILLER! That’s a big upset win for Jay at 13:19.

Rating – ** –
Better than the Xavier/Ki debacle from last time simply because it was shorter and there were less obvious screw ups. But again this guy has no business being champion at this point in time. I get it that he makes a good heel with the fans because they hate him because he can’t work. But that’s not good heat. That’s you suck and don’t want to watch you or buy your promotion’s tapes whilst your champion heat. Even 18 year old Jay Briscoe looked like he could wrestle longer and better than the ROH Champion here. However, credit again to good booking. Having your champ lose in non-title matches immediately gets Jay over despite months of losing.

The Prophecy (Daniels and Joe) turn up to massacre Jay for his insolent victory. Xavier hits a 450 and Daniels counts a pin. Low Ki and Doug Williams run in to save.

Carnage Crew vs Da Hit Squad – Falls Count Anywhere Match

DHS beat Carnage Crew in a Boston Massacre Match at the debut show in Wakefield. Carnage Crew got some revenge and vented their frustration at not being included in the Tag Title scene by beating the crap out of Mafia and Monsta Mack, thusly eliminating them from the tournament as well.

DHS come through the back door and steamroller over the railings on their way to the ring. Mafia CANNONBALLS through a railing segment into DeVito. He brings more insanity by hitting a wild tope suicida wiping out everyone. This spills out in the crowd where we get an assortment of chair shots and whipping people through entire rows of seats. DeVito innovates a Savage elbow drop off a chair. ‘This is turning into a last fan standing match’ – Gorman. Loc batters Mafia with a hubcap but gets clotheslined by Monsta Mack. There’s a table set up next to the hard cam stage. DHS set up for a powerbomb through it but Loc blocks. SPIKE PILEDRIVER OFF THE STAGE! Mafia is dead! Carnage Crew take it at 06:51.

Rating – ** –
I generally don’t like crowd brawling matches enough to go to 2* but it was kept short enough to not get dull, it FELT like they hated each other throughout, and it had a hot start and finish. Can’t really ask for a lot more. Mafia is doing an awesome sell-job on that table bump.

Backstage Joey Matthews is a drugged up mess and Special K laugh at him.

Spanky vs Michael Shane vs Paul London – Elimination Match

The winner of this also gets the right to call themselves the Showstopper. Both London and Spanky have heat with Michael Shane. Shane developed heat with Spanky over the course of the first three shows as the cocky Spanky got a contract and broke out in ROH at the expense of him. Then HE got cocky and made a name for himself at the expense of Paul London, who was similarly displeased. Spanky has sort of become a default babyface because he’s so over. This is also his last ROH show before WWE signed him for the first time. He’s got much shorter hair thanks to working the Leonardo DiCaprio/Titanic gimmick for those crazy Jap fans whilst touring in Zero-ONE.

Spanky attacks Shane to demonstrate that these two hate each other as much as Paul London. Speaking of London, he attempts the dropsault and lands on his neck at a sick angle for the second time tonight. Spanky and London basically fight over who gets to kick Shane’s ass. London rolls over Spanky’s back into a flip splash on Michael. London botches the dropsault a couple more times. He’s determined to injure himself tonight it seems. Shane makes it worse by kicking him in the back of the head, then launching Spanky to the floor in classic three-way match fashion. London comes out with rolling northern lights into a bridging fallaway slam for 2. Shane TKO’s him over the knee and gets 2 with a neckbreaker. London jumps off Spanky into a shooting star press. Spanky pushes him off the top rope to the floor but Shane clotheslines him before he can line up a dive. Spanky skins the cat over a Shane baseball slide which smacks into London instead. Now Spanky gets to dive pescado-style. London tries an Asai moonsault but gets dragged off and thrown through the battered railings. Back in the ring Spanky stops him going for the London Star Press. Shane powerbombs Spanky away from a top rope Sliced Bread. LONDON STAR MISSES! SLICED BREAD on London! Shane superkicks Spanky and eliminates Paul London at 09:22. Well…this match wasn’t over in the first place but eliminating the most popular guy in it wasn’t clever. Shane and Spanky work sleeper holds to such an exciting degree the commentators are talking about how good the referees are. More brawling on the floor…more throwing each other into the dilapidated guardrails. Spanky tries a Picture Perfect Elbow but gets dropkicked. Oh good…more sleeper holds. Sliced Bread #2 blocked with a northern lariat. Second rope elbow drop (which I shall now dub the Almost Perfect Elbow) gets 2. SLICED BREAD #2! He’s too worn down to cover. He recovers enough to hit a springboard dropkick, before they do some more lying around. Spanky gets 2 with an enzi to the back of the head. Northern lights bomb leaves Shane in position for a frog splash. Sliced Bread is countered with a swinging DDT. Shane is a prick and he tries Sliced Bread but Spanky backslides him. Picture Perfect Elbow finishes Spanky in 19:29.

Rating – * –
Could these guys have had a worse match if they went out there and tried to wrestle badly? It was a total mess when there were three of them, then Spanky and Michael Shane seemed to be deliberately having the most boring match they could possibly come up with. This was one of the marquee matches of the show and it totally tanked. Lets face it they’re all young and occasionally they’re going to have an off night – but all three of them on the same day is a real downer. Particularly since Spanky is leaving now. I had to fight falling asleep for the whole 20 minutes.

Michael Shane now has the Showstopper name. He drops it because it he doesn’t need a nickname that he stole from someone else. He’s going to forge his own legacy I guess. I’d suggest he did it with better matches than that triple threat…

Christopher Daniels vs Doug Williams
Originally Williams and Dick Togo were going to have a singles match on this show to decide who’d get to wrestle Daniels (since The Prophecy cheated to beat the Far East Connection in the tournament so they hate them too) but Togo got injured so we skip to this. Williams felt disrespected when Daniels wouldn’t shake hands after the awesome Iron Man Match in July. If Chris Daniels wins this Doug Williams loses the right to shake hands in ROH. If Doug wins though, Daniels HAS to shake.

Their opening sequence is better than anything from the preceding match. Doug back rolls into an ankle pick which I love. Daniels tries to work the arm but it’s hard to maintain any kind of hold on Williams without him countering it with some British skills. Simply Luscious grabs Williams’ leg to allow the Fallen Angel to get an advantage. Doug just starts attacking his leg again though – Doug rules. He goes for the Chaos Theory but Daniels lands a neckbreaker. A neck crank and another neckbreaker follow that, and it’s obvious to see which body part Daniels is focused on. He can’t suplex him though because of the bad wheel. Chaos Theory blocked again with a Stunner. Hammerlock abdominal stretch with a neck crank as Daniels brings the greatness too. Revolutions DDT blocked with a swinging DDT. Daniels flatliners Doug but doesn’t follow it with the Koji Clutch as usual – perhaps due to the leg injury. Chaos Theory blocked again, but the Revolutions DDT isn’t. Williams hits the knee flurry culminating with the BOMB SCARE! Williams gets 2 with a swinging fisherman buster. He still can’t land the Chaos Theory though and Daniels sweeps him out with an STO. He comes up with a blue thunder as well but doesn’t execute it properly, possibly thanks to the leg. BME WITH LEG SELLING for 2! Doug throws him into an overhead belly to belly. More nearfalls. CHAOS THEORY! Daniels is in the ropes though. He then uses the ropes to pin Williams at 12:28.

Rating – *** –
The first time you watch this match it’s so disappointing because it’s at least 5 minutes too short. It really felt like they’d only just started scratching the surface of what they could do together when they had to finish it. However, watching it back now and knowing how little time they get, I appreciate what they did to a lot more. It’s a really solid match with absolutely flawless wrestling, especially from Williams who is so amazingly good. Little things like Daniels grabbing at his leg before hitting the BME are so good to see. Ultimately it’s an ok match but it could’ve been much better. Much like this whole show really.

Daniels mocks Williams by offering a handshake. Dick Togo does a run-in on crutches to lamp Daniels. Jay Briscoe arrives too to hit a JAY DRILLER!

Tony Mamaluke prepares to leave the building but he’s stopped by James Maritato. He’s heading off to Vinceland which, I think this promo acknowledges. The future Nunzio makes one last plea for Tony to drop the FBI/comedy and concentrate on being a serious wrestler – filling his spot. Mamaluke agrees with him…so I guess that means he is officially now SERIOUS TONY!

The Prophecy are backstage somewhere. Samoa Joe stands in the background looking bored and sarcastic. That’s quite funny. Simply Luscious points out that Jay Briscoe knocked Daniels and Xavier out, but Daniels stresses that the titles will stay with them at the next show. Steve Corino walks in (and is given a big goofy wave by Joe) to collect Luscious. Corino arrives to collect Luscious. Michael Shane comes in to gloat that he turned The Prophecy down. He says he’ll win the #1 contenders gauntlet and take Xavier’s title. The Prophecy now need to talk business. Corino and Shane leave, and Joe goes with them since Daniels will have to pay him extra to ‘be his boyfriend’ after shows.

Tape Rating – ** –
Pretty much the same as Unscripted. Immense amounts of filler crap that you just want to skip right over, a few decent matches but overall it’s a one match show. Maybe Unscripted has a couple more “decent” matches than this one, but I prefer Ki/Joe to London/Shane which means the same rating. This is the third show in a row which would’ve really benefited from some selected editing. The Corino/Rudy match sucked…everyone knew it, so why the hell is on the DVD? Why the hell did Eddie/Juan make the tape? What about the gay 6-man? The problem with this show is that outside of Ki/Joe and Red/Hidaka, all the “money” matches disappointed. Mamaluke/Maritato was a total bust, Shane/Spanky/London was awful and Daniels/Williams didn’t get anything like the time it needed. Clearing the filler and giving Daniels/Williams more time in the main event could’ve made a real difference. At the time this wasn’t such a bad show because, lets face it, back then seeing THIS much wrestling on any show was enough to get ROH over. But you’ll see why people that have only joined the ROH craze later on don’t like 2002 shows. It’s carried essentially by one memorable match and has a lot that you’ll never want to watch again. Much like Unscripted, you’re spending your money to see Ki vs Joe. If that’s something you’re interested in then go for it. If you’re looking to drop your cash on a complete card then…move right past this one. For a supposed “supershow” it’s not so hot.

Top 3 Matches

3) Amazing Red vs Ikuto Hidaka (***)
2) Christopher Daniels vs Doug Williams (***)
1) Low Ki vs Samoa Joe (****)

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