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024 ROH Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies 8/16/2003

ROH 24 – Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies – August 16th 2003

Coming off possibly ROH’s weakest show ever, the pressure is on to deliver, particularly as tonight we have two of ROH’s biggest ever grudge matches. Homicide and Steve Corino will be in the same ring as each other for the first time since the Anniversary Show riot, and both promise violence in abundance to end their feud. Tonight’s Main Event sees Low Ki finally get his hands on Dan Maff for turning his back on their trainer and joining Ki’s mortal enemies, The Prophecy. Speaking of The Prophecy, they’re being punished for taking Red out of action at Wrath Of The Racket, as Prophecy members Chris Daniels and Xavier (in his return match) face each other with the #1 Contenders Trophy on the line. For the first time ever, Samoa Joe and CM Punk square off as well…unlike last time, the card is pretty stacked. It’s also the Connecticut debut, as tonight we’re in Fairfield, CT at Sacred Heart University. Hosting, as always, are Chris Lovey and Ray Murrow.

Top 5 Rankings-
1) vacant
2) CM Punk
3) Matt Stryker
4) Christopher Daniels
5) Homicide

We kick proceedings off with a Raven promo, and he claims he didn’t attack Lucy on the last show, despite the fact he has a tattoo that reads ‘Rust Never Sleeps’. He also doesn’t think a Steel Cage Match will be violent enough to settle the feud between himself and CM Punk. He wants a Clockwork Orange House of Fun Cage Match…

Rob Feinstein says something about 12 year old children, and he gets cut off by a furious Punk. He wants to know what happened to Lucy whilst he was gone. The Outcast Killaz interrupt him, and take a beating for that.

Special K are backstage, and Deranged thinks they need more girls in the group. They find a girl in Alexis Laree and try to get her to join up. She tells them to take a hike, as Becky Bayless tries to spike her drink. Laree catches her, doing it, and challenges her to a match. Becky is SOOOO hot.

Prince Nana makes his way to the ring to…do something, but he gets interrupted by Homicide, who wants Corino there and then. Crowd is loving this, and I am psyched for their match by this point. Guillotine LeGrande and GMC come out. LeGrande says he wants to slap Homicide himself, and Cide is BEGGING him to. Corino is confirmed as being in the building. It was supposed to be Nana vs Oman Tortuga right now, but since Punk decked Oman, Nana wants a match against Homicide. The Notorious 187 accepts…

Prince Nana vs Homicide
This will surely just be a squash. Nana is an ongoing joke in ROH (I hope at least), whilst Homicide has Corino later in probably the biggest match of his ROH career to date. The Corino feud has been the making of him, and this surely serves as nothing more than to hype that match even further…

Nana lifts Homicide into a belly to belly out of the handshake, then unleashes the running ass to the face. Big senton from Nana, as he just unloads with fatty offence on Homicide. Cide tosses Nana to the floor…TOPE CON HILO! He landed on his feet as well! Homicide goes for the STF but Nana escapes that. Homicide takes a sidewalk slam, before Nana goes to the top rope. Nana misses a senton and Homicide slaps on the STF for the win at 3:03

Rating – DUD – Nana got in way too much offence, but on the bright side, Homicide is waaaaaay over. Crowd were digging everything he did…this did just add to the hype for the Corino match tonight, so it did it’s job.

Homicide demands the mic again and demands Corino again. Feinstein appears and says he’ll be out later. Homicide doesn’t get Corino…but he does get Gary Michael Capetta. GMC manages to calm him down enough to wait for later…despite the crowd chanting for Homicide to kick his ass. AWESOME opening to the show…everyone, including myself, is set for Homicide vs Corino later…

DeVito missed the Dayton show because he had to work. Loc is pissed off because he was there and he was the one that got pinned in the Scramble Match. They hate every team in their Scramble tonight…especially Special K.

Dunn & Marcos vs The Purists
And there was me thinking Dunn and Marcos were finished with being absolute jobbers. With the Outcast Killaz down for the night (and having already jobbed to The Purists), the next exhibition match opponents for Tony Mamaluke and John Walters will be the Ring Crew Express. We get the point, The Purists are a good little team, and they even proved they have nice spots against the Killaz at Death Before Dishonor. Stick them in a real match with decent opponents already…The RCE will be looking to put an end to this upstart team the way they did Prince Nana and Jimmy Jact Cash a few shows ago.

Walters and Dunn start, and Walters takes Dunn to school on the mat. Clip forward to Dunn nailing the Gory Driver on Mamaluke. Marcos tagged in and he gets a hurricanrana and an enziguri kick on Mamaluke. Walters takes a few kicks from the RCE, before they break out some air guitaring. ELECTRIC CHAIR FALLING DOUBLE KNEES FROM THE PURISTS!
Mamaluke gives Dunn a back suplex, and Marcos taps to the same submission move that did for Oman Tortuga at DBD at 02:34 shown…

Rating – DUD – This could easily have been edited off the tape. The point that The Purists have potential was made at Death Before Dishonor, making this whole extra squash entirely unnecessary. Hopefully next time we see Mamaluke and Walters they’ll have a meaningful match to get their teeth into.

Dan Maff promo now, and he talks about his past with Low Ki. He talks about all of Low Ki’s successes…whilst he’s been held back. ‘PISS ON LOW KI’ – Maff. His daughter told him Low Ki was the best wrestler in the world. ‘I FELT LIKE KICKING MY DAUGHTER…AND SMACKING THE SH*T OUT OF HER’. Seriously, this is a phenomenal promo…despite the fact it’s suddenly sounding quite insane. He tells Ki he’ll have to kill him before he gets a win tonight. The only promo better than this is CM Punk’s Wrestlerave 2003 promo.

BJ Whitmer vs Matt Stryker – Field Of Honor Qualification Match
Both of these two are from the Ohio wrestling scene, so realistically, this isn’t the first time they’ll have wrestled each other. They’ve been in the same match a couple of times in ROH as well, at Night of Champions and Round Robin Challenge II. Winner of this joins Colt Cabana, Xavier, Jimmy Rave and Chris Sabin as confirmed entrants into the FOH.

Both go after the other’s arms in the opening exchanges, but I doubt that’ll mean anything at the end of the match. They run the mat sequence that has been featured in all the Field Of Honor promo videos, to demonstrate how far ROH had fallen behind in their tape releases at this point. Dropkick gets BJ a 2 count. Jumping heel kick from Stryker gets him 2 in return. Whitmer looks for a waistlock, but Stryker fights free. Whitmer tries to hiptoss Stryker to the outside, but both guys end up taking the tumble and this one has spilled outside. Whitmer gets whipped into the guardrails. BJ looks to boot Stryker in the face, but he catches the boot and SCORES with a dragon screw on the floor.
Back into the ring Stryker goes for a cloverleaf, but Whitmer gets to the ropes in a hurry. Kneebreaker from Stryker, followed up by another dragon screw. He gets the Strykerlock on for a second, but Whitmer again is too close to the ropes. Anklelock, which he’s used as a finish in the past…but Whitmer manages to roll free, and send Stryker to the outside. BJ follows him out…NECKBREAKER ON THE FLOOR!

Back inside Whitmer unleads with kicks to the spine, then a front facelock, which has Stryker scrambling for the ropes. Stryker takes another neckbreaker which almost puts him away. Rear chinlock continues the punishment to the head and neck. BJ gets some chops in the corner, then lifts Stryker to the top rope. That wasn’t a wise move, because Stryker connects with a sunset flip powerbomb out of the corner. STIFF chopfest, which Stryker ends with a neckbreaker, then a mafia kick for 2. Urinage suplex from Whitmer gets him 2 right back. Whitmer looks for a roaring elbow…COBRA CLUTCH SUPLEX FROM STRYKER! BJ landed on his head, but still kicks out. Big forearms from Stryker, but BJ nails him with a big suplex. Stryker catches Whitmer on top with a forearm…SUPER DEATH VALLEY DRIVER…DANGEROOOOUUUS! WHITMER STILL KICKS OUT!!
Stryker goes back to the top and gets crotched. Whitmer meets him upstairs and drops him with a superplex. Big forearms…followed by big kicks. Whitmer looks for the Exploder ’98, but Stryker escapes. Simultaneous Roaring Elbows nailed, and both men go down. Nobody gets up again because the bell rings to signal the 15 minute time limit has expired (at 15:39)…so we have ourselves a draw.

Rating – *** – This is probably the best singles match from either man to date – definitely the best from Stryker, only his Tom Carter match even comes close to this. This came close to breaking 4*, but the non-finish, and what turned out to be pointless work on BJ’s knee in the early going holds it back. Why did Stryker not go back to working the leg later in the match? Keeping this in kayfabe, he’s never going to out-hit BJ Whitmer! Fine effort, but we have no answer as to who’s going into the Field Of Honor.

Capetta emerges from the back and has the verdict on the FOH. He puts over the match, and says it was so good both men have earned invites into the tournament. Stryker hopes they can lock it up in the FOH itself…ironic that.

Special K vs Carnage Crew vs SAT vs Backseat Boyz – Scramble Match
K is Izzy and Dixie tonight. There are a lot of issues in this one as well. Carnage Crew are especially pissed since Special K stole a win over Loc and Masada last week in Dayton at Wrath Of The Racket. Special K have also stolen a recent win over both the SAT and the Backseat Boyz at Death Before Dishonor, so we’ve established nobody likes Special K. The Backseats and the SAT have heat as well, after Acid and Kashmere beat up the Maximos after that DBD match, blaming them for their defeat (since Fat Joel kicked Trent Acid in the face, leading to the pin).

Dixie and Kashmere start and Kashmere unloads with a bulldog then an axe kick to the face. Jose and DeVito next, and Jose gets a satellite headscissors in. Powerslam by DeVito for 2. Both go for armdrags and hiptosses, before Loc and Trent Acid take to the ring. Acid hits some sweet kicks, then a double knee in the corner. Loc ducks the Yakuza kick and NAILS a back suplex. Joel and Izzy in, with Izzy hitting a hurricanrana. Izzy looks up for this as he buzzes all over Joel, before getting his head taken off with a clothesline. Loc in with Joel but he gets caught, and Jose holds him up for Joel to hit a springboard botch off the top.
Izzy and Dixie hit a double team on Jose before the Backseats beat on them. Dream Sequence on Dixie. The Carnage Crew arrive and give Kashmere the Carnageplex. Izzy back and he gets rid of the Crew before the SAT try to beat on him. Washing Machine drills him face-first into the canvas. Acid hits the Yakuza kick on Loc, but gets northern lights suplexed into the corner by DeVito. Moonsault kick by Izzy on Kashmere.

Izzy gets taken to the top rope by the SAT, but Dixie makes the save. Izzy takes a swinging neckbreaker by Loc…SPIKE PILEDRIVER ON IZZY! Every member of Special K storms the ring to make the save…but they all get thrown out by the SAT. Tope by Jose…FOLLOWED BY AN ASAI MOONSAULT BY JOEL. Cloudy goes to the top but gets caught by Trent…SUPERPLEX TO THE FLOOR! Lit finds his way into the ring and takes a Cradlebreaker from Kashmere…who gets rolled up by Dixie for another shock Special K win at 09:19

Rating – ** – OK after slagging a lot of these guys off for the past few shows that was actually kinda fun. Not a lot was hit cleanly but it was well paced, it seemed like the match climaxed, rather than just ended like the last few Scrambles have. Izzy looked like he’d really stepped his game up during the match.

Special K try to rave but Alexis Laree comes to the ring…so that means it’s time for her match with Becky Bayless.

Becky Bayless vs Alexis Laree
I hated Alexis’ match with women who reportedly can wrestle, so the likelihood of me enjoying this is minimal. Anyway…this is the match that came as a result of Becky spiking Alexis’ drink earlier. Two hot girls rolling around groping each other…I’ll try not to be too critical, since it’ll probably be mildly arousing.

Becky distracts the ref whilst Special K stomp the crap out of Alexis. Becky Bayless is so very very beautiful. Alexis fights back with a boot to the face and a forearm to the face. The other Special K girl distracts the ref whilst Angeldust and Lit try to attack Alexis again. They screw up, so Hijinx and Cloudy try. They mess up as well…inverted DDT gives Alexis the win at 02:30.

Rating – DUD – Yeah it sucked, no real surprises. Still, it was nice to see so much of Becky, since she is very hot, and the sequence where Angeldust, Lit, Cloudy and Hijinx all screwed up trying to get Alexis was funny.

Xavier vs Christopher Daniels – #1 Contenders Trophy Match
This is a match between two Prophecy members (although Xavier hasn’t been seen with The Prophecy since he returned) because ROH officials were pissed off at them for taking Red out of action in Dayton. Xavier returned at Death Before Dishonor to announce his entrance into the Field Of Honor – the only problem is he hadn’t told Chris Daniels he was coming back at all. It’s Xavier’s first match back tonight, but it’s also a huge match for Daniels. Since Night of Champions he’s vowed to restore The Prophecy to greatness and win back all the titles. He won Round Robin Challenge II, and his goal now is to win the ROH Championship. The heat between Joe and Daniels is already there…but don’t forget who Joe beat to take the title in the first place. Final issue – has Xavier got better since he’s been away? He had a decent run of matches before he left…can the streak continue?

Xavier gets on the stick and claims that he’s the leader of The Prophecy. He also says he’s a better wrestler. He wants Daniels to lay down and let him take the trophy. ‘Oh REALLY’ – Daniels. Unsurprisingly, Daniels isn’t too happy, and we have ourselves a real match, whether Xavier likes it or not.

Both get early knockdowns before going to a heated trading of holds. Daniels gets Xavier into a crossface, but Xavier makes the ropes quickly. Daniels works a side headlock, which Xavier finally counters with a hammerlock. He rolls through a couple of escape attempts but Daniels finally goes back to the headlock. Headscissors from Xavier, then he goes back to the arm with an armbar. Xavier finally makes the fight dirty as he unloads with a closed fist on Daniels. Daniels responds with a punch of his own. They shake hands…but both try cheapshots at the same time. They slug each other on the mat, before Daniels gets a spear, then a front suplex over the ropes.
He drills a knee into the ribs as he continues the work on Xavier’s midsection. Slingshot elbow drop follows that up. Xavier fights back with a guillotine over the top rope which sends Daniels to the outside. He kicks Daniels into the rail, before going upstairs…ARABIAN PRESS TO THE FLOOR! Nicely he sells the ribs after that move, and he royally goes to work on Daniels’ neck. Getting bored of that, he goes for a slingshot, then rolls it into a half crab. Knee strikes in the corner, then a slingshot knee to the face. Neck crank on Daniels, as he goes back to that neck.

Daniels buys himself some time by dropping another elbow to the ribs. Xavier takes a dropkick to his sternum as well, then a gutbuster. Daniels looks for a suplex, but he can’t get it because of the neck. Russian legsweep from Xavier. Daniels fires back with a knee to stomach, as these two are going back on forth on those injured body parts. Gutwrench into a gutbuster from Daniels gets 2. This has gone way past the 15 minute mark, and Xavier has come a long way from his early days. Yeah he’s breathing heavy, but he’s still looking pretty solid in terms of executing his moves. Abdominal stretch from Daniels, but Xavier escapes that and plants him with an inverted DDT. Enzi kick to the back of the head gets 2. Daniels comes back with a unique jawbreaker, then a big spear (which hurt his own neck), and now they’re both down.
Daniels is up first and he gets a back body drop in, followed by a jumping heel kick. Flatliner scores and Daniels gets another near fall. He lifts Xavier into the corner, but Xavier escapes the Fall From Grace. He lifts Daniels up top, then drags him off into a shortarm clothesline! Modified STO gets Xavier a 2. Urinage slam from Daniels out of nowhere…DOUBLE JUMP MOONSAULT MISSES! Xavier goes upstairs TO NAIL THE 450 SPLASH! That was foolish, as that hurt his ribs just as much as it hurts Daniels. The time it takes him to make a cover is enough for Daniels to recover. Xavier looks for the X-Breaker, but Daniels counters with a series of roll ups. Daniels goes for the Angels Wings, but Xavier escapes that, and both men hit clotheslines simultaneously and go down. Xavier looks for a backslide with his feet on the ropes, but the referee spots it. Daniels rolls up Xavier with the tights, and that the referee doesn’t see. It’ll be Daniels vs Joe at Glory By Honor II…as Daniels takes the win at 22:25.

Rating – **** – WOW where did that come from? I know Daniels is a great worker, but that was not all him in this one. Xavier just went over 20 minutes and looked capable of doing so for the first time in his ROH career. Daniels took the formula from his Night of Champions match with Doug Williams and used it again here, and it was every bit as fun to watch. The heel exchanges at the start and end were also great, and for once we saw a roll up finish that makes sense, as the rookie tries to outcheat the old fox…but fails. If he can produce matches like that regularly it’s great to have Xavier back.

INTERMISSION – Capetta invades Corino’s locker room, just as CM Punk leaves it looking for Christopher Daniels. Corino acts like his neck and shoulder aren’t injured. Corino is hilarious…before LeGrande escorts GMC out of the locker room.

Slyk Wagner Brown vs Jonny Storm vs Deranged vs Hydro
After last show’s sucky fourway, we decide the time is right for another one? Unlike last time when I was hesitant to call it a jobber fourway, this one definitely is. I feel sorry for Jonny Storm, who, I think, is only making his second appearance in ROH (the first being ALL the way back at Road To The Title), but this will not be stealing the show. Hydro is ok, as is Deranged, but Slyk was hideous last week and I don’t expect him to be any better tonight. The Special K members are not on the same team here for the record, and April Hunter is in Slyk’s corner.

Deranged and Hydro start and try to do the fingerpoke of doom Nash vs Hogan thing, but Jonny Storm and Slyk have other ideas. Slyk back body drops both of them to the floor, before clotheslining Storm for 2. Storm and Brown wrestle a little, and Jonny Storm looks way better than Slyk (he even gets some ‘FWA’ chants). Deranged blind tags in and hits a springboard dropkick on Brown. Satellite headscissors from Deranged, but Slyk catches him out of a quebrada. Deranged escapes that with a swinging DDT. Press slam into a moonsault splash from Brown, before he tags Storm back in. Discus clothesline has Deranged landing on his head. Storm takes a spinning heel kick before the tag is made to Hydro. The Special K guys double team Jonny, hitting the double stomp into a backbreaker which allows Hydro to get 2. Waistlock from Hydro, but Storm escapes a German suplex attempt and tags Slyk back in. They do the same fourway submission spot in the ropes that we saw in the four corner at Wrath Of The Racket, and the fans love that.
Storm looks for a tope, but Slyk blocks that. Brown looks for a dive and gets cut off with a corkscrew enzi kick from Deranged. Hydro clotheslines Slyk to the outside, but gets dragged out…FOR STORM TO HIT THE DOUBLE JUMP SOMERSAULT SENTON! Deranged follows that with a SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT. Slyk is the only guy left…SOMERSAULT SENTON FROM SLYK!
Hydro and Brown back in the ring, and Hydro nails a flying headbutt for 2. Tag to Deranged, but Deranged tagged Slyk since he doesn’t want to face him. Deranged and Hydro go at it properly now, as Deranged gets 2 with the Code Red. Hiptoss powerbomb from Storm on Deranged gets him 2. He follows that with a wheelbarrow into a DDT. Slyk back and he catches Jonny on the top rope…and nails him with a Splash Mountain facebuster. Storm somehow kicks out of that, and even manages to crotch Slyk on the ropes. He looks for a double jump hurricanrana…BUT GETS CAUGHT WITH A SUPER CATATONIC. Again that’s not enough to get the win. Slyk slips as he tries to go to the top rope…THEN MISSES THE SHOOTING STAR PRESS. Deranged in REVERSE HURRICANRANA ON STORM! Deranged wins at 12:28.

Rating – *** – Way better than the Dayton fourway…mostly because there was far less of Slyk Wagner Brown. He still managed to get in one screw up, when he slipped off the top, but there was lots of Jonny Storm and Deranged, who I like. Hydro probably didn’t get enough time to show what he can do, since he’s much more of a wrestler than a high flyer like Deranged and Storm.

CM Punk vs Samoa Joe
This is non-title, but is nonetheless as a huge match, because this pits two of ROH’s biggest stars against each other. Punk is also #2 in the Top 5 Rankings, so a win here would put him right in line for a shot at the title. Speaking of the title, Joe is normally pretty insistent that his belt is on the line in every match. Is his acceptance of this match as non-title indicative of the fact that he’s suffering from a few niggling injuries. Punk just got back from his first tour of Japan, which is why he missed the Dayton show, and he’s pissed off majorly because someone took out Lucy whilst he was away.

Punk is still pissed about what happened to him at Death Before Dishonor. He has a lot of support from the fans tonight…and he’d be similarly over in the WWE. Apparently they’ve got people in the crowd tonight, would it kill them to let him do this sh*t in the WWE? He says his cage match with Raven is going to be the most violent thing ever, but gets ‘Raven’s gonna kill you’ chanted at him.

Punk is nursing an injured knee after his Japanese tour apparently, whilst Joe has a bad elbow which he injured in his match with BJ Whitmer in Dayton. Punk gets an early hammerlock on Joe, who gets to the ropes real quickly to protect his elbow. Punk goes for the elbow again, but Joe counters into a camel clutch. He unloads with harsh crossfaces at the same time. Punk breaks that by wrenching the injured arm, and again Joe has to back off to the ropes. SWEET hurricanrana from Punk, and he even manages to avoid full contact on the STO Slam. He continues working over Joe’s injured arm…SAMBO SUPLEX FROM JOE! Punk takes some bootscrapes and he rolls to the floor with a busted lip. Joe calls for a chair and that means only one thing. He sits Punk on the chair…BUT PUNK COUNTERS THE OLE OLE KICK WITH A DROP TOEHOLD ON THE CHAIR! He does a Raven pose to follow that…then looks for an Ole Ole kick of his own. Joe blocks that and drills Punk’s injured knee into the chair…OLE OLE KICK ON PUNK! That was SUCH a cool exchange.
Around ringside and Punk gets put on another chair…FOR A SECOND OLE OLE KICK. Joe looks for it one more time, but this time Punk runs for the ring. He jumps Joe as the Champion re-enters and looks to go back to the elbow. Joe catches him and drills his knee into the canvas, then puts him in a leglock. Punk breaks that by kicking at Joe’s elbow, but Joe hangs him in a tree of woe. He chops at Punk’s exposed knee…THEN MAFIA KICKS IT! Punk lands on his feet out of the corner…armbar takedown on Joe. He slingshot hilos the elbow as well, then goes to the ropes – ROPE WALK INTO A LEG DROP OVER THE ARM!

Punk puts Joe into a cross armbreaker, but Joe manages to get his feet on the ropes. Punk goes to the top but Joe follows him. Punk looks for the Pepsi Plunge, but Joe escapes that, then kicks him right in the knee. DRAGON SCREW OFF THE TOP! Kawada kicks to Punk, then a sloppy looking clothesline. They run the spot again, and this time Punk ducks the clothesline…but Joe ploughs through his knee with a chopblock. Both are on their knees, and they chop each other. Shining Wizard from Punk gets him 2. Punk looks for a second…COUNTERED INTO A SECOND DRAGON SCREW. SICK CRANKAGE ON A HALF CRAB…PUNK TAPS! Punk couldn’t go into his Cage Match with Raven with an injured knee, so he had to tap at 13:06.

Rating – *** – Does Samoa Joe do bad matches? Everything he does is so hard hitting and violent, and when he’s in there with someone the quality of CM Punk…I don’t know how anyone could even doubt this one would be good. I liked the working on real injuries, as it gave them a unique spin on a match that could’ve suffered as a result of those legit injuries. Plus the sequence with all the Ole Ole kicking rocked.

Daniels hits the ring after the match…ANGELS WINGS ON JOE!! Daniels has the belt and celebrates with it then bails before CM Punk can get at it. Joe vs Daniels – BIGGEST ROH TITLE MATCH EVER!

Homicide vs Steve Corino
This possibly is the biggest grudge match in ROH to date. This started all the way back at Glory By Honor when Corino tagged with Homicide, and miscued, costing them a match against the Backseat Boyz. Homicide wasn’t too pleased then, and he was even less pleased when Corino beat the crap out of him at Final Battle 2002, and took him out of the fourway match for the #1 Contenders Trophy. Skip forward to their match at the Anniversary Show, which Corino won, and we then saw the infamous riot. Corino hasn’t been seen in ROH since then, but Homicide has still been calling for him to come back, as well as fighting with Corino’s Group on several occasions. He finally got Corino to come back by bringing his son into the war of words, and now Corino is back one more time to silence Homicide for good.

Corino hits the ring complete with young boys, ring announcer, cornerman and title belts in tow, and THIS has big match feel. It then gets a touch comical as Corino has Bobby Cruise (his ring announcer) run through EVERY SINGLE title Corino has ever won. It’s all mind games to piss of the fans and make Homicide wait even longer. ECW Title gets a big pop…MLW Title does not. He’s also introduced as the ‘F*CKING GOD of pro-wrestling’…I love Corino’s entrance.

Intense lock-up to start, which Corino gets the better off by backing Homicide into the corner. Homicide puts a leglock on Corino. They fight up from the mat and we have a chopfest. Corino spots a right hand from Homicide, taunts him and takes a huge slap. Corino gets in Cide’s face again…BITCHSLAP FROM HELL! Comically oversold by Chris Lovey (since they add the commentary after the event, and Homicide ruptured Corino’s eardrum with that slap). Corino tries to take a walk…but Homicide’s street crew (including Slugger for some reason) cut him off. Homicide gets Corino back in the ring and drills him in the face with a knee. Homicide goes upstairs, but misses a diving headbutt. Jumping heel kick from Corino, then he just lobs Homicide into the ropes, before taking it to the outside.
Corino looks to take Homicide to the ringpost, but Cide counters and drills him into the post, then the guardrail, before he breaks out the barbed wire. BARBED WIRE TO THE ARM! HE’S JUST RAKING AT HIS F*CKING ARM WITH BARBED WIRE! Now he gets a fork…AND DOES THE EXACT SAME THING WITH THAT! Corino’s arm is a mess, and this is sick!

Corino has his arm smashed over the guardrail, but manages to clothesline Homicide down as the fight goes back in the ring. He takes a moment to spit on J-Train before going back to the floor. He busts Homicide open on the guardrail, and now his face is a bloody mess. Corino gets the barbed wire and rakes it across Cide’s head just to make a point. Piledriver gets a 2 count. To the outside…AND HOMICIDE GETS PILEDRIVEN THROUGH THE TIMEKEEPERS TABLE! In the ring again, and Homicide manages to connect with a tornado DDT. AMERICAN WIZARD FROM HOMICIDE! Corino goes to the outside again…TOPE CON HILO MISSES…DANGEROOOUUUUUUUS!! He just landed right on top of the damn guardrail!
Somehow Homicide isn’t dead, and he manages to kick out after Corino drags him out into the ring. Shades of the First Anniversary Show as Corino puts him in the Cobra Sleeper. HOMICIDE GETS THE ROPES! Corino pulls him away and goes back to the Cobra Sleeper. Homicide breaks it with a low blow, then a Yakuza kick. For some insane reason he tries to go to the top rope, and gets caught. Superplex from Corino, and both men are down in a heap. Corino equally inexplicably goes to the top…AND GETS CAUGHT WITH THE SUPER ACE CRUSHER! CORINO KICKS OUT!! Homicide looks for another ace crusher…COLBYKAZE FROM CORINO! IT ONLY GETS 2! Corino looks for a lariat, but Homicide blocks THEN NAILS THE SCOOP TOMBSTONE – STILL ONLY 2! Homicide looks for a lariat…NAILS IT FOR 2! STF!! Homicide has focused his offence on Corino’s neck all match…and now he has him in the STF! It’s in the middle of the ring…LEGRANDE THROWS IN THE TOWEL! Homicide wins at 23:46.

Rating – ****1/2 – That takes the cake as the most violent match in ROH history. It wasn’t spectacular (in the way that Homicide vs Trent Acid at Wrestlerave was), but everything was brutal, from the bitchslap, to the barbed wire, to Homicide almost killing himself missing a tope con hilo. Then it finally broke down into nearfall after nearfall, and I was buying everyone of them as a finish. Awesome match…

Dan Maff vs Low Ki
Although we didn’t know it at the time, this is the end of an era in ROH, as it’s Low Ki’s last match as a regular member of the ROH roster. He no-showed Main Event Spectacles in November, and an already turbulent relationship between ROH and Low Ki was officially ended. This isn’t the last time we’ll see him in ROH, but it is the last time we can consider him part of the roster. This match is taking place because Maff turned on Homicide (who trained both himself and Low Ki) and joined The Prophecy – Low Ki’s biggest enemy. He told Maff if he didn’t quit it’d mean they’d have to wrestle, and that’s exactly what’s happening. Maff outlined what this match means to him earlier in the night. This is his chance to finally step out of Low Ki’s shadow…

Maff jumps Low Ki ahead of the bell and we’re underway. He rakes away at Ki’s eyes, grinding them into the ring apron. Ki fires back with a kick, but can’t withstand Maff’s power in the early going. He finally gets some offence in with a dropkick to the knee…KRUSH COMBO! Maff tries to block the last shot…SO KI UNLOADS ON HIM! Muta elbow drop gets 2. Low Ki looks for a double underhook, but Maff comes back with a cradle butterfly submission. Ki goes for a cross armbreaker, but Maff just powers him up. HARD slaps, which Ki seems to win…BEFORE HE GETS A LARIAT! Incredibly Ki pops up and kicks Maff, and both men are down.
Crucifix stretch on Maff…COUNTERED INTO A HALF NELSON SUPLEX! Maff goes to Ki’s injured shoulder, sending him shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Shoulderbreaker from Maff, before dropping an elbow right over the shoulder. Big senton splash gets Maff 2. Ki takes some chops to the spine, but can’t take clubbing blows to the shoulder. He gets in a couple of kicks out of nowhere, but still Maff rains down chops on him. Ki gets in another big kick to the head out of nowhere. Ki goes to the ropes…SPRINGBOARD ENZI GONE WRONG! Ki just stiffed Maff and knocked him the f*ck out. Maff is unconscious, and Ki has to pin him because Maff is knocked out. Match time is 11:03…which is a shame, because this was Maff’s big shot. The kick gets replayed from a number of angles and it is BRUTAL.

Rating – ** – Disappointing, although it’s hard to tell where they were going since Maff’s injury cut it so short. As it was, all we saw was 10 minutes of stiffness with no real point, followed by stiffness gone wrong, then it’s over. Not the way you want to remember Low Ki in ROH I assure you.

Special K backstage and they’re nursing poor Becky who’s in pain. Becky tries to apologise as Hijinx spikes Alexis’ drink. K take a walk, and Alexis swigs some drink.

Christopher Daniels is in jubilant mood. He puts Maff over because he survived Ki kicking his head off. He rubbishes the magnitude of the rift between himself and Xavier, and celebrates both winning the #1 Contenders Trophy and hitting the Angels Wings on Samoa Joe. CM Punk barges in and demands information about Lucy from Daniels.
Punk takes the opportunity to yell at Raven and make the point that we’re gonna see violence next show in their Cage Match. He leaves…and Daniels cackles about something…funny that.

Tape Rating – *** – Lots of good stuff, highlighted by the Corino/Homicide MOTYC. Seriously, Whitmer/Stryker, Daniels/Xavier, Deranged/Hydro/Storm/Brown, Joe/Punk and Corino/Homicide are all good to great watching. Just an all round consistent show. Could’ve lived without the early squashes, and Low Ki vs Dan Maff is a MASSIVE disappointment…but it’s nitpicking really…

Top 3 Matches
3) Samoa Joe vs CM Punk (***)
2) Christopher Daniels vs Xavier (****)
1) Homicide vs Steve Corino (****1/2)

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