037 ROH Reborn: Stage 1 4/23/2004
ROH 37 – ROH Reborn: Stage 1 – 23rd April 2004
Because one crisis isn’t enough, ROH got hit with another one right before the Midwest double shot. After the Feinstein scandal rocked the company before At Our Best, the next problem to traumatise the already-shaky boat is TNA acting to pull all its talent from ROH shows. ROH management couldn’t (or perhaps as it turned out – wouldn’t) prove to TNA’s satisfaction that Rob Feinstein was truly gone from the company. With TNA chasing a national TV deal, they didn’t want to be associated with any kind of bad publicity and acted accordingly. This devastated the Midwest double shot. AJ Styles, the Pure Wrestling Champion, was gone, as were his big title defences against Jerry Lynn and the returning Christopher Daniels. Talking of Chris Daniels, his return would’ve kicked the Saints/Prophecy feud into high gear. Instead, his removal from the ROH scene has completely gutted the feud. Others gone include Raven, Jerry Lynn, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt and Tracy Brooks.
So ROH acted to create the Reborn weekend. The trip to the Midwest featured opportunities for new talent, new storylines and great matches all over the card. We see that tonight in the debut of the Havana Pitbulls, Matt Sydal and Delirious. Bryan Danielson is in for the first time since January to kick of his weekend of dream matches, tonight against CM Punk. The Main Event will be Samoa Joe defending against the returning Homicide once again. Lots to look forward to despite TNA. We’re in St. Paul, MN. Your hosts are Chris Lovey and CM Punk.
Homicide says ROH will reborn with a new champion tonight because he’ll beat ‘Samoan’ Joe. He’s pissed that Joe attacked Smokes and says he’s gonna kill Joe tonight and take the belt.
The Carnage Crew are irate, maybe about Loc being sunburnt, maybe about somebody sh*tting in their bags at At Our Best. Tonight they will take their frustrations out on Dunn & Marcos.
SAMOA JOE’S RING – Joe demonstrates a choke because last time he and Homicide wrestled he was choked out with a noose. Bryan Danielson invades the show again and complains about Joe being on the outside of the ring as Jay Briscoe beat him back at Battle Lines Are Drawn. He decides to demonstrate a legal hold, a front facelock. Dragon still wants a title shot…I wish Dragon was around full-time.
Dunn & Marcos are outside to rock St. Paul like a hurricane…and not take it anymore.
Nigel McGuiness vs Matt Stryker
Yep, Matthew is curtain-jerking again but this is a big weekend for him. He defeated John Walters at At Our Best and become #1 Contender, and tomorrow night he gets an ROH Title shot. Nigel McGuiness is providing the warm up, and Nigel is getting fairly regular on the roster. Now he needs a few wins under his belt. He’s also trying to bounce back from a defeat against Jerry Lynn last month. Stryker has finally had a hair cut so he doesn’t look like quite such a hobo now. The #1 Contenders Trophy isn’t on the line tonight.
Nigel is pretty convincing in out-wrestling Stryker in the first exchanges. Stryker looks to work on McGuiness’ leg but it’s hard work for him thanks to Nigel’s Britishness. Nigel stretches out the groin and hamstrings…but gets captured in the anklelock from Stryker. Stryker tries to roll McGuiness up but gets caught in a half crab. BrockLock from Stryker forces McGuiness to scramble to the ropes. Backbreaker from Stryker, before he decides he’ll go to the top rope. He gets crotched then hung in the tree of woe which sets him up for some harsh forearms. Nigel to the top rope…and Stryker hits his rope run suplex even worse than usual for 2. Hammerlock DDT from McGuiness, before a bridging pin for 2. Legsweep DDT from Stryker gets 2 before McGuiness grabs the ropes. Armbar DDT from McGuiness, then a version of the short arm scissors but Stryker fights free. Nigel goes for a roll up but his injured leg means he can’t bridge with Stryker on top of him, and that’s enough for a three count at 10:10.
Rating – ** – Good opener. Somewhat messy in places but I enjoyed the way Nigel sold the leg, and we had a relevant finish to boot. Lots of DDT variations as well, which I enjoyed. McGuiness is on a run of solid matches at the moment.
Ricky Steamboat is backstage and he says he’s in ROH to oversee the Prophecy/Saints feud…
Dunn & Marcos vs Carnage Crew
These two debuted against each other…ALL the way back at Night Of Appreciation. Not that I’m exactly clamouring for a rematch, but they’re both undeniably fun teams, and have both found their niche in the company, and are over with the fans. The Carnage Crew are trying to find out who crapped in their bags last month, whilst the RCE aren’t taking it anymore. They come out to ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ rather than ‘Unskinnybop’ which sucks but I guess makes sense.
Marcos and Loc start, and they break out some rather impressive little wrestling exchanges. Marcos escapes the press slam brainbuster and we get some near falls then duelling dropkicks. Marcos slaps Loc and gets his head taken off with a clothesline. DeVito and Dunn in and Dunn gets a couple of armdrags in before DeVito hits him with a dropkick. Violent crossfaces right in Dunn & Marcos’ corner, but Dunn somehow sends DeVito the floor with a headscissors. Loc gets kicked to the outside again and the RCE go upstairs for a Stage Dive. The Carnage Crew move and make sure they don’t get that, so St. Paul gets AIR GUITAR instead. Carnageplex on Dunn gets 2. Loc gives him a facebuster into a swinging neckbreaker for 2. DeVito in for some tasty slaps. Dunn catches him with a Gory Driver (which as CM Punk points out, was pretty ‘ugly’). Marcos and Loc tagged and Marcos gives him a stepping enzi for 2. DDT on DeVito…electric chair senton on Loc! Assisted Sliced Bread #2 on DeVito. Loc hits the press slam brainbuster on Marcos and Dunn has to save. Dunn takes the northern lights suplex into the corner, and now the RCE are in trouble. SPIKE PILEDRIVER ON MARCOS! Carnage Crew win it at 08:18.
Rating – ** – I actually enjoyed that, and certainly liked it far more than Night Of Appreciation. Rather than being a total squash, it was almost a competitive match, with Dunn & Marcos playing the part of underdog wonderfully well. I’d love to see the RCE get the opportunity to wrestle outside of a somewhat comic format. All they seem to do is hit their trademark spots and taunts, and it’s hard to assess exactly how talented they are as wrestlers when they’re just doing the same thing over and over.
GOOD TIMES, GREAT MEMORIES – Thanks to ROHwrestling.com and the newswire Cabana can find out that ‘Allison Danger got her period’…she got ‘colour the hardway’ AHHH HA HA. He rips on the Havana Pitbulls…but they walk in on the show to interrupt Cabana’s ‘monologue’. Rocky Romero says they’re only in ROH to make money. Ricky Reyes says something as well, but he’s pretty dull. Cabana’s second guest is Becky Bayless of Special K. She’s upset because she can’t find Special K and they’re not returning her calls. Cabana helps by perving on her. He gets her to demonstrate her jumping jack ability to close the show…’LETS GET PHYSICAL…PHYSICAL…I WANNA GET PHYSICAL’ – Cabana.
John Walters vs Justin Credible
Does anybody really want to see this match? Walters entered 2004 on quite a roll after his feud with Xavier, but all that momentum has been lost, and ROH suddenly seem a little reluctant to push him. Walters has achieved some success with the WWE, wrestling a few matches and making a few other appearances with the company. However, the persistent rumours that he’ll be going to the WWE have meant that ROH are hesitant to push someone who could up and leave within months, hence Walters has been overlooked since January. He was eliminated in the first round of the Pure Wrestling Title tournament at the Second Anniversary Show, he was beaten by Matt Stryker at At Our Best, and is now in his lowest profile match in months against Justin Credible…who isn’t notorious for putting on great singles matches in ROH.
Walters outwrestles Credible and that causes him to take a chill on the apron. He does it again and this time Justin flees to the floor for another time out. More nice wrestling from Walters until Justin punches him in the face. Walters off the ropes with a second rope neckbreaker, then going to an armbar. Credible to the apron again but this time he gets shunted into the guardrail. Walters to the floor but he gets a drop toehold into the railings as well. Walters tastes guardrail a few more times then gets taken back into the ring for a stalling vertical suplex. Camel clutch from Justin because he’s a submission specialist folks. Neckbreaker from Walters gets him a breather and now both men are down.
Clotheslines from Walters before he goes to the top rope for a missile dropkick for 2. Walters blocks a superkick then goes to a MutaLock. Walters to the top rope again but he misses a splash attempt. Justin uptairs but Walters rolls through his crossbody to score 2. Superkick from Credible gets a 2 right back. That’s Incredible escaped…DOUBLE KNEE NECKBREAKER! Walters wins at 08:50.
Rating – DUD – Sorry Walters it’s probably not your fault, but this is poor. It’s slow, uninteresting and totally killed the crowd. Not a good effort, and I’d suggest maybe it’s time to pull the plug on Justin Credible. He’s not good enough in singles competition, and surely too expensive just to book as a member of the Carnage Crew.
Danny Daniels vs Masada vs Jimmy Jacobs vs Alex Shelley vs Jimmy Rave vs Jack Evans
Six Man Mayhem once again, but unlike the first two, this has a chance of being a really different kind of spotfest. Aside from Jack Evans, this group of athletes are far less a bunch of guys who like to dive off the top, but more the type that come up with lots of hard-hitting, innovative offence. I look forward to this. Daniels is a former ECW ref-turned wrestler. He’s made at least one appearance outside of a main show (vs Austin Aries at Do Or Die II) and gets a shot on the main card. Masada is in after impressing in Scramble Cage II with a 360 off the cage. Shelley and Jacobs have been impressive every time they’ve been in an ROH ring, and the last time we saw them, they put on a showstealer at The Last Stand. Jimmy Rave…at least he looked impressive in the Six Man at At Our Best. Evans whiny Eminem wannabe voice is SO irritating. As is Alex Shelley’s stupid air gun taunt.
Shelley and Rave start and Shelley immediately starts picking apart the arms. Rave avoids a kick to the spine and gets 2 with a schoolboy. Daniels and Jacobs are the next two in. Daniels tries to use his power but takes a few headlocks. SWINGING gutbuster from Daniels, followed by a senton for 2. Jacobs drop toeholds Daniels into the turnbuckle then hits a flying headscissors out of the corner. A dropkick sends Daniels to the floor and Masada comes in with a clothesline. Masada blocks a victory roll attempt with a giant swing, and Evans comes in to dropkick Jimmy in mid-swing.
Masada tries some break dancing which is comical. Satellite headscissors from Evans, then a moonsault kick. Swinging shoulderbreaker from Masada sends Evans out. Masada prepares for a tope but gets cut off with a kick from Shelley. Masada tries to walk the ropes and gets caught by Shelley, sending him to the floor. Vicious hair-pull backbreaker by Shelley on Rave. STO backbreaker from Rave, followed by a Russian legsweep. Everyone in with submissions to a deserved applause.
Evans in the corner and everyone hits offence on him. He avoids Masada, and everyone hits offence on Masada instead. Springboard dropkick from Evans to Shelley and Jacobs. Alabamaslam from Shelley…CAPTURE STUNNER! Masada in with a FISHERMAN’S CRADLEBREAKER. Rave goes for the Satellite Crossface but Masada counters…until Rave hits the Crappy Wizard. Jacobs saves and hits the CONTRA CODE! Final Cut out of the corner on Evans, before Jacobs grabs Daniels. Backbreaker from Daniels…ELECTRIC CHAIR INTO A STORM CRADLE DRIVER! Corkscrew enzi kick from Evans on Daniels. Jack goes to the ropes…SPRINGBOARD 450 MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! Shelley sneaks into the ring – BORDER CITY STRETCH ON JACOBS! Shelley gets the win at 11:31.
Rating – *** – Possibly the best Six Man Mayhem thus far, and certainly far better than last months effort. Rather than go dive for dive, it was awesome to see one innovative new move after another, with Alex Shelley and Jimmy Jacobs once again standing out. I didn’t particularly enjoy Danny Daniels, but then I’ve never really enjoyed his stuff so. Masada and Rave were solid, with Jack Evans providing us with his usual trademark floppiness. If he didn’t act like such a wigger dickhead I’d like him so much more. The finish was great too. Not only was Shelley taking advantage of another guy’s move (Daniels on Jacobs) to apply his finish, he was forcing his tag partner tomorrow night to tap out…cool beans.
After the match Shelley does his stupid air gun again, then finds Jacobs backstage and tells Jimmy not to let him down in the Scramble Match tomorrow night. Jacobs HUSS’s quietly.
Ricky Steamboat is brought out to referee the Cabana/Whitmer match. Cabana makes his entrance, mocking Steamboat by wearing karate robes and carrying a cabbage patch doll with him. Punk gets on the stick and claims it was him that took Daniels out of ROH, and that Cabana will take out Whitmer. Punk jumps Steamboat before the match, dragging him out of the ring and throwing him into the ringpost. He gets removed from ringside, and Ricky goes to the back to go after Punk.
Colt Cabana vs BJ Whitmer
More Saints vs Prophecy action, although without Chris Daniels it seems a little hollow tonight. These two were both involved in the first two clashes of the factions (Battle Lines Are Drawn and At Our Best), and both ended in no-contests because the brawls got so out of hand. With no Allison Danger, Dan Maff or Chris Daniels in the Midwest, Whitmer is alone, and it’d be quite a feat if he could get through this weekend (he faces Ace Steel tomorrow night) with two victories over two Saints without his stablemates with him. Thanks to CM Punk being a jerk, Steamboat is obviously no longer the referee for this. Last time these two wrestled each other was at The Conclusion in a FOH block decider, when Whitmer beat Cabana and Maff to go the finals.
Punk returns to commentary laughing hysterically. Satellite headscissors from Cabana, but Whitmer takes his head off with a jumping heel kick. We get a few nice nearfalls before BJ throws Colt to the outside. Cabana hurls him into the guardrails all around ringside. Whitmer gets back dropped into the first row of ringside, then a chair thrown on top of him. To the crowd and Cabana plasters Whitmer with a chair again. Whitmer up and he whips Cabana into a row of chairs. Cabana recovers and does the same to BJ. Finally we go back to ringside because that crowd-brawling was tedious as Cabana attempts a suplex back into the ring. Whitmer escapes that amidst a torrent of hilarious insults from Punk on commentary. BJ blocks the tornado snap suplex and hits a Russian legsweep for 2.
Exploder attempt blocked…Colt 45 blocked…HEAD DROP back suplex from Cabana. Double knees in the corner from Colt. He goes for it a second time and gets belly to belly suplexed into the corner. Wrist Clutch Exploder blocked by Colt and he goes to the top rope. Whitmer to the top with him…SUPER WRIST CLUTCH EXPLODER – DANGEROOOUUUUUUS!! BJ wins it at 11:34.
Rating – * – Sorry, but this totally disappointed me. The previous two Saints/Prophecy matches have been great brawls and a lot of fun to watch. This was just tedious, with minutes of stalling, followed by minutes of absolutely dreadful, cumbersome brawling in the crowd. The last couple of minutes were good, but aside from that…meh.
INTERMISSION – Dave Prazak (ROH’s Midwest Correspondent) has Alex Shelley with him. Shelley says he won the match because he’s the best wrestler, and on May 22nd at Generation Next, he’ll make an impact.
Delirious vs Matt Sydal
Two debuts here, and I like to think of these two as the second coming of Alex Shelley and Jimmy Jacobs. They’ve wrestled with and against each other so many times that they’re very familiar with each other, and get a chance to bring their abilities to Ring Of Honor together. Sydal (the Shelley in this equation) looks incredibly like Portuguese scumbag and little Man Utd. b*tch Christiano Ronaldo, whilst Delirious is a quirky little masked wrestler, and in his own way is a lot of fun to watch. Sydal has Daizee Haze in his corner.
Nice opening exchanges, before Delirious gets in a hurricanrana. Big clothesline from Sydal, then a dropkick. Delirious has some nice chain-wrestling skills here and he looks the more impressive in the early going. SWEET spinning heel kick from Sydal drops Delirious before giving him a monkey flip out of the corner. Bootscrapes from Delirious get him another 2. Stepping enzi INTO a headscissors from Sydal. Tornado inverted Rocker Dropper (which gets a ‘WHOOP there it is’ chant). Sydal looks for a shooting star press, Delirious moves AND SYDAL LANDS ON HIS FEET! Thunderfire ACE CRUSHER from Delirious before he goes to the top rope. Sydal catches him and a moonsault belly to belly suplex gets him the win at 06:23. ‘She needs a meal, somebody feed her’ – Punk of the rather anorexic-looking Ms. Haze.
Rating – ** – Impressive little display I’d suggest. Some of Delirious’ holds and counter holds were really great to watch. Plus he’s an oddball character that would be fun to see around more often. Sydal did himself no harm either, looking impressively athletic with the ability to hit big spots cleanly. Biggest testament to this match is that both will be back tomorrow night…
Havana Pitbulls vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe
The Pitbulls (Ricky Reyes and Rocky Romero) are making their debut tonight. They are an established team in the SoCal area, and both are in New Japan as well. People had been clamouring for their debut for a while, and they are making it now with this non-title match against the Briscoes. Jay is fresh off his outstanding Cage match with Samoa Joe at the last show, and tomorrow night they defend the Tag Title against CM Punk and Colt Cabana in their hometown of Chicago, so it’s a demanding time for the young champions.
The ref is an idiot and holds the belts up even though they’re not on the line tonight. Romero and Mark start, and Rocky gets an early strike in to show what he’s capable of. Stiff kick to Mark’s neck gets 2. Cross armbreaker is locked in and Briscoe quickly gets the ropes. Reyes and Jay in now and they run some switches. Mark back in to take a leglock from Reyes. Romero back and the Pitbulls stomp away at Mark before Rocky gets a 2 count. STIFF kick to the leg before Reyes comes back in. Jay tags in and he unloads forearms on Reyes, then hits a dropkick. Snap suplex from Jay, before Mark comes in and they double team Ricky in the corner. Romero grabs Jay and stomps the hell out of him in the corner. Jay gets a mafia kick on Romero, and Mark knocks Reyes to the floor.
The two teams have to be pulled apart as this is getting intense. FOREARM DUEL between Jay and Reyes. CHOPFEST between Romero and Mark. Reyes has Jay trapped in a triangle choke but Jay makes the ropes. Reyes in with more strikes before he tags in Romero who drops a knee. High knee strike knocks Jay down again, before he draws Mark into the ring so the Pitbulls can double team.
Reyes in and Mark blind tags to hit a springboard high knee. Forearms then a double boot in the corner from the Briscoes leaves Reyes down, much to the disdain of Romero. Northern lights suplex gets Mark 2. Jay tagged in to trade more stiffness with Reyes. Mark back to hit double stomps, a knee drop then an elbow drop. Romero tags in and he double stomps Mark. More STIFF slaps and kicks from Rocky fells Mark once more. Mark rolls through a suplex attempt then scored with a fisherman buster. He tags in Jay who drops Rocky with a superkick. Reyes in but he whips Romero into a superkick. HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX ON RICKY!
Backbreaker/double stomp combo on Romero, and Reyes has to make the save. MARK GETS BACK BODY DROPPED TO THE FLOOR! Backbreaker/knee drop combo on Jay by the Pitbulls, and this time Mark makes the save. BACK SUPLEX/INVERTED DDT COMBO ON JAY! Springboard dropkick on Reyes…then the urinage suplex for 2. Jay lifts Reyes onto his shoulders but Romero blocks the springboard Doomsday Device. Knee strike from Romero into a big lariat from Reyes for 2. Jay blocks a suplex…SPIKE JAY DRILLER ON REYES! The Briscoes win at 18:21.
Rating – *** – Whoa…that was so good. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I certainly enjoyed it. The Pitbulls are a lot of fun to watch, particularly their stiff, strike-orientated style. They’ve got some innovative moves and stretches as well, and they certainly proved they belonged on the ROH roster. At times this was somewhat slow, which I think, given that this was a first-time match, may have been inevitable, so hopefully we’ll get to see a rematch somewhere down the road. The Briscoes notch up another decent tag match, and they’ve been a part of so many now in ROH.
CM Punk vs Bryan Danielson
Total dream match here between these two. Danielson was one of the men who put ROH on the map before his excellence led to him spending more and more time in Japan. Punk, meanwhile, is one of the guys who has benefited from the work of men like Danielson, Low Ki and Chris Daniels. They put the company on the map, and he is now the man that enjoys increased fame and fortune as a result of becoming a marquee player. Don’t forget through all this that both still have big matches tomorrow, with Punk teaming with Cabana for a Tag Title shot, whilst Danielson faces Homicide. Danielson’s entrance theme has been made even cooler by adding a little classic intro to ‘Self Esteem’ – The Offspring. Ricky Steamboat, since he didn’t get to ref the Cabana/Whitmer match earlier, will now be reffing this one instead.
They have a little shoving match on the floor before re-entering the ring to go at it. Punk gives Danielson a cheap right hand then dives to the floor. Dragon responds by choking Punk over the ropes, sending the Second City Saint to the floor again. Steamboat gets in Punk’s face again, much to his irritation. Monkey flip from Danielson gets nice applause, but Punk claims Dragon pulled the hair. Ricky polls the crowd who obviously deny Punk’s claim. Knucklelock allows Dragon to pull Punk down to his knees, then isolate Punk’s arm by slamming it against the canvas.
Punk again denies Danielson a clean break in the corner, then gives him a back body drop. Rear chinlock applied but Dragon quickly fights free and drops Punk with a knee to the stomach. Abdominal stretch on the mat from Danielson, complete with a nasty-looking head crank for good measure. Danielson looks for a leapfrog, but he gets caught in a slam from Punk. He goes for the split-legged moonsault, but Dragon gets the knees up and continues to work on Punk’s ribs with a duo of headbutts.
Mexican surfboard from Danielson…WITH A SICK FACELOCK! He is just tearing at Punk’s ribs and stomach with that. Dragon tries to go back to the abdominal stretch BUT PUNK BACK SUPLEXES HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR! On the outside Punk SPEARS Dragon into the crowd barrier. Punk goes back to the chinlock which will give him some respite from his injuries. Backbreaker from CM Punk gets him a 2 before Dragon grabs the ropes. Thumb to the eye from Punk, then a dropkick to the back of Danielson’s head. Punk again tries to intimidate Steamboat, then gets punished by almost getting fast-counted for three when Dragon rolls him up. Dragon blocks a suplex then front suplexes him over the top rope. Punk with a guillotine over the top rope, then hits a missile dropkick. Camel clutch as Punk applies some pressure to Dragon’s back, which he seems to have isolated.
Punk looks to drop his weight south over Danielson’s back, but he rolls and Punk goes crotch-first over Dragon’s knee. Punk looks for a powerbomb but Dragon counters and almost puts him away with pin. DIVING European uppercut from Dragon…AIRPLANE SPIN! That leaves him dizzy but he still hits the front slam then goes to the top rope to MISS the diving headbutt. Mule kick from Punk, but Danielson catches him – CATTLE MUTILATION! Punk COUNTERS with an Unprettier. SHINING WIZARD SCORES FOR 2. Punk tries to haul Dragon to the top rope for the Pepsi Plunge. Danielson somehow avoids that and he stands poised on the rope to deliver a superplex. Punk goes for another Shining Wizard, but gets trapped in a Mexican roll up for 2. Dragon goes for a crucifix pun but gets caught in a Samoan drop. Devil Lock from Punk, as he looks to make Danielson tap the same way he made Raven tap at Expect The Unexpected. Punk to the top rope again, but he gets dropkicked RIGHT in the stomach from his crossbody attempt. DRAGON SUPLEX gets 2…ABDOMINAL STRETCH! Punk taps at 26:10.
Rating – **** – Slow to start, but it’s hard to expect more when they’re going 25+ minutes. What transpired from that was a wonderful match, jam packed full of the kind of quality and psychology you tend to expect from Bryan Danielson. Punk did a wonderfully understated job in working over the ribs, and for the first time in a long time, the abdominal stretch seemed like the devastating hold it once was to win a match. The Punk/Steamboat stuff was distracting, particularly at the start, but it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I’ve read other reviews make it out to be.
Punk and Steamboat get in each others faces again after the match…UNTIL CABANA JUMPS RICKY FROM BEHIND! The Saints team up to do a number on ‘The Dragon’ because they’re assholes. Jay and Mark Briscoe finally come out to make the save, adding to the anticipation of the Saints/Briscoes match tomorrow night.
Samoa Joe vs Homicide – ROH World Title Match
It’s the second time these two have clashed with the ROH Title on the line, and the forth time they’ve met in singles competition – fair to say these two have quite the rivalry. Homicide vanished from ROH after The Last Stand, but his return was announced on March 13th at At Our Best, when Julius Smokes, on behalf of Homicide, challenged Samoa Joe to a title match since Homicide beat Joe at Empire State Showdown. Joe accepted, and sent a message back to Homicide – by kicking the sh*t out of J-Train. As such Smokes isn’t here tonight. The matches at Scramble Madness, Do Or Die and Empire State Showdown have all been damn good…surely they’ll live up to that here.
Joe’s streamers piss Homicide off before the match even starts. Homicide throws his hat at Joe then jumps him. He goes for an early STF, but Joe puts him in one, making Cide quickly grab the ropes. Homicide bails to the floor and throws a chair into the ring in frustration. He stays out there to argue with some pro-Joe fans. Crossfaces from Joe, in a camel clutch position. Abdominal stretch on the mat, before Joe folds up Cide’s legs and just compacts the challenger. Homicide has some chops no-sold, before they slap each other silly. Headscissors on the mat from Homicide forces Joe to grab the ropes. Joe with a running forearm in the corner, before lifting side on the top rope. Homicide kicks himself free THEN DIVES INTO THE STO SLAM! Homicide rolls out and gets an ELBOW SUICIDA!
Homicide gets back dropped into the first row then HIPTOSSED back over the rails to the floor. Backbreaker from Joe, into a Boston crab. Homicide is down in the corner, and naturally he gets his face washed for being there. He even gets the running boot scrape twice. Stretch plum from Joe, but Homicide battles free and hits a double knee to the neck of the second rope. Neckbreaker gets Cide a count of 2. PILEDRIVER continues the pressure on the neck.
Homicide goes to the dragon sleeper, trying to choke Joe out. Joe makes the ropes and goes for an Island Driver. Enziguri sends Joe to the floor for the TOPE CON HILO! Joe fights back on the floor though – OLE OLE KICK NUMBER ONE SCORES! OLE OLE KICK NUMBER TWO SCORES! Back inside Homicide gets a couple of boots in then scores with a jump swinging DDT. BELLY TO BELLY IN THE CORNER from the champ! POWERBOMB INTO THE STF…but Homicide escapes. Slapping dragon screw from Joe, and this time he gets the STF. Joe prepares for a lariat – blocked – ACE CRUSHER FROM HOMICIDE! LARIAT GETS 2! He goes for a second lariat but that gets blocked. Joe has his choke attempt blocked…KNEE STRIKES – HOMICIDE ROLLS JOE UP FOR 3!! We’re redoing the Chris Daniels Glory By Honor II spot here, as the bell rings, but the ref rules Joe kicked out before the three. HOMICIDE LAYS OUT THE REFEREE! He’s snapped now…AND THE LIGHTS ARE OUT. FIREBAAAAAAAAAAAAAALL! HOMICIDE JUST THREW A FIREBALL AT JOE! This match has to be thrown out at 19:03.
Rating – *** – Same rating as Scramble Madness and Empire State Showdown. It was actually just like a longer version of the Scramble Madness match, as they took a step away from the hardcore stuff that they used at Do Or Die and Empire State Showdown, to put on a good, solid, competitive, heavyweight-style match. Lots of hard hitting, lots of subtle character development from Homicide, as he started angry then got more and more irate throughout the contest. The fireball looked SCARILY awesome on tape, and if you’re gonna go for a no contest, this is the type you should aim for.
Homicide is on the rampage as he starts laying out referees left and right. The locker room empties to restrain Homicide, predictably with the Carnage Crew getting to him first. Punk leaves commentary because he sees the Briscoes out there. Seconds later he’s out there with Cabana fighting the Briscoes. Homicide is in the back apparently…AS MARK BRISCOE HITS A SHOOTING STAR PRESS ON THE SAINTS. Cabana onto the apron – ASAI MOONSAULT ONTO EVERYONE! Dunn & Marcos are in the ring…STAAAAAAAGE DIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!! That’s revenge on the Carnage Crew for earlier…but DeVito goes to the top rope FOR A MOONSAULT! Jack Evans appears in the ring, bopping his wigger head and mincing like a retard. SPRINGBOARD CORKSCREW SENTON FROM EVANS!
Lovey bails from commentary screaming in terror because apparently Homicide is coming his way as the fight is still on at ringside. The Saints are in the ring…AND RICKY STEAMBOAT IS BEHIND THEM! CHOPS FOR CABANA AND PUNK…ARMDRAGS FOR CABANA AND PUNK! The show goes off the air with Steamboat and the Briscoes celebrating as Punk and Cabana retreat to the locker room…what a crazy show ending.
Tape Rating – *** – Consistently good show, great booking, great matches with an absolutely wild conclusion. The dive-riddled ending was also made more impactful due to the fact that there had been so few dives during the show. Briscoes/Pitbulls and Punk/Danielson were fantastic matches, and the Joe/Homicide title match and the Six Man Mayhem provided excellent support. Lots more solid stuff to be found as well, and it’s only really Walters/Credible that is actively bad. ROH recommend you purchase both of the Reborn weekend shows and watch them back to back, as they compliment each other, and I’d completely agree with that. This is much like a good undercard, and now we’ve reached intermission. Stage 2 is all lined up to blow you away (trust me, it does)…you need both of them.
Top 3 Matches
3) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Havana Pitbulls (***)
2) Samoa Joe vs Homicide (***)
1) Bryan Danielson vs CM Punk (****)