ROH: Beating the Odds

 

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ROH: Beating the Odds - 9/6/03 in Wakefield, MA

***CM Punk and Colt Cabana are in the locker-room as Punk pretty much retells his feud with Raven. It’s amazing how Punk can recap months of storyline in a short promo doing what it takes TNA or WWE 5 minutes to do via video packages…and he does it better.. Punk brings up straight edge and promises and says, “I’m X-ing out my hands with your blood.” I can’t remember who won Feud of the Year in the Observer End of Year awards, but if it wasn’t Punk and Raven then they were robbed more than Big Fish was when it came for Academy Award nominations.

***The promo segues to Colt Cabana, who says tonight he is not goofing around. Colt takes off his aviator glasses and headband while saying that his upcoming Field of Honor match will be his biggest test so far in ROH.

***Raven is shown sitting in his locker-room and cuts a promo against CM Punk, basically saying that tonight he is going to kill him. He ends the promo with a maniacal laugh straight out from the Joker in Batman.

***AJ Styles is shown with his “protégé” Jimmy Rave and says, “I believe in you brother.” I really like the idea of a mentor-protégé angles in wrestling as I am UP TO HERE with Larry Zbyszko talking about his feud with Bruno Sammartino and would like to see a worthy equivalent in today’s wrestling world.

(1) Colt Cabana beat Jimmy Rave in a Field of Honor match. Before the match the camera cut to Cabana stretching out in the back and had a graphic that had some stats like Cabana’s first ROH match and his record in the FoH. Great touch and they had the same type graphic for Jimmy Rave as he made his way to the ring. Right away there was a graphic for the Top 5 Rankings in ROH, but this lasted all of two seconds. I feel the fact that wins and losses actually mean something in ROH is one of its greatest strengths and this should have been talked about more. To me it blew across like ads for upcoming house shows on WWE TV.

***A couple moves into the match and the camera cuts away to Rob Feinstein and Gabe at the RF Video table before the show. All of a sudden the Backseat Boyz show up and Feinstein’s mad about them being late. Trent Acid and Johnny Kashmere blow him off though as they make their way over to the autograph table and find none other than Homicide. Words get spoken and eventually all hell breaks loose with Homicide and Julius Smokes getting into it with the Boyz. All of this ends with Julius Smokes screaming in whatever language he speaks in.

Now here is my problem, why did they have to cut into the match to show that clip? It was a decent enough bit, and really gets you more into why Homicide and Trent Acid hate each other, but why couldn’t it be shown to start the show? This drove me nuts on a recent SmackDown as well when the camera cut to Eddie Guererro going into Paul Heyman’s office during a Fatal Four Way cruiserweight match.

Anyhoo, back to the match. We are told that Jimmy Rave got into the FoH by beating Slim J at Wrath of the Racket, and this was cool because we are only at the first match of the show and ROH has shown that 3 DVD’s (Punk talking about the events of Death Before Dishonor along with Homicide and Acid’s main event at WrestleRave ‘03) directly tie into this disc. That my friends, is booking. Sometimes I think that with the exception of the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, you could take a years worth of WWE PPV’s and mix them around and it still wouldn’t make that much of a difference as none of them tie into each other. Cabana brought some good comedy into the match including getting on the fans case for shouting “two!” and before going to the top rope he put up his finger to check the wind. (Chris Lovey: ‘Uh, we’re inside a building.”) Finish came when Rave finally applied the Crippler Crossface, but Cabana powered up and connected with the Colt .45. Good match to start the show, but I can’t shake the feeling that Jimmy Rave looks like a jacked up Jarred Leto from Requiem for a Dream or My So Called Life.

***AJ is backstage with a dejected Jimmy Rave. Styles tells Jimmy that he should have worked over Cabana’s neck more during the match. I think this is another cool idea as I have been reading in the Torch and Observer for years about agents going over the matches with wrestlers and this is kinda like a kayfabe’d version of that.

***Colt Cabana shows that he has honor by displaying welts all across his neck and chest. “I’m going to be on top and Colt Cabana…Superstar…will be born!” This kid has major league charisma.

(2) Slyk Wagner Brown (w/April Hunter) beat Diablo Santiago (w/Oman Tortuga) Slyk is billed as “New England’s Own” Before the match, Oman approaches April but is given a spear courtesy of Slyk to start the match. I think that Oman has a great look and would like to see more of him, but I can’t say the same of Diable Santiago, a guy who just seems to be ROH’s version of Savio Vega. During this match Chris Lovey called one move like this, “A butt-butt/Lou Thesz Press maneuver.” As Torch Euro Heat Guy Celian Varini would say, “That’s your homoerotic moment of the week.” I’m really impressed at how much high flying stuff that Slyk does for a guy his size. With a solid push as a heel, I think I could really learn to like this guy. Finish came when Brown gave his power bomb to Diablo. After the match Oman grabbed a mic and again propositioned April Hunter, but this time she slapped the taste out of his mouth and proceeded to kick his ass. As much as I like Oman, this was like seeing Sara Undertaker kick the holy shit out of Diamond Dallas Page, and that certainly didn’t do any wonders for the InVasion.

(3) The Backseat Boyz beat The S.A.T. & The Ring Crew Express & Special K (Izzy & Dixie) in a scramble match. I’m still not sold on the S.A.T. at all, although I love that Pendulum move they do (this match they crushed Izzy with it). The other three teams though just keep getting better and better. Chris Lovey on Dunn & Marcos, “I hope they don’t get hurt. Who’s going to take down the ring?!” I can’t get enough of Dunn’s Gory Bomb, that move is sick. Elaborate finish came after the Backseat Boyz nailed Dunn with the T-Gimmick, but Jose made the save before a 3 count. Jose then hit Dunn with the Maximo Explosion, but the Backseats worked together and Trent hit a high knee enabling the pin. There’s nothing like a good ROH scramble match…

(4) Matt Stryker beat John Walters in a Field of Honor match. Damn it, it’s only match 2 in the FoH and already they dropped that cool “stats graphic” they had for the Jimmy Rave/Colt Cabana match from earlier. Most of this match was Stryker beating the crap out of Walter’s leg, including the Stryker Lock, knee breakers and other things of that nature. © Arnold Schwarzeneggar. Walters made a small comeback at the end, including an awesome looking Hurricane DDT. The finish came when Walters slipped out of a Death Valley Driver attempt and set up Stryker for a power bomb, but his leg gave out and Matt fell on him for the pin. After the match Walters grabbed a mic and put over what we just saw and also said this concerning his return to Massachusetts at the next ROH show, “For the first time in my career I’m guaranteeing a victory.”

***Rob Feinstein, not wearing a muscle shirt I might add, is eating chicken and talking about upcoming promos when Homicide bursts in with Julius Smokes and Benny from the Bronx. Homicide wants Trent Acid, TONIGHT, and will take himself out of the Fatal Four Way to do it. Rob says it’s a done deal. Julius Smokes closed the skit but I swear to God I have no idea what he said. Maybe Gabe can subtitle Julius Smokes like Mel Gibson did with his film The Passion.

***Special K are on their way to the ring and Deranged wants to know who they are fighting. Hi-jinx says they are going to a have a party! Becky Bayless is upset because, “We were going to go out tonight! We wrestle all the time!!!” Not for nothing, but Torch VIP member Jason Detrick picked Becky Bayless as one of his Top Ten Babes in Wrestling, and I can’t see that at all. To me she looks like a bad hybrid of Christina Aguilera and Kelly Osbourne.

(5) The Carnage Crew beat Special K (Deranged, Angel Dust & Hydro). Great stuff from Deranged who was flipping out when Carnage Crew was announced, “I didn’t know we were fighting these guys! Why are they here again?!” The usual crazy match between the two teams in which Slugga finally went down to the mat, courtesy of a superkick from Justin Credible. Moments later Julius Smokes came out and convinced Slugga to leave Special K and join the new Rottweilers. You know it’s a Special K match when there are a ton of moves to the outside of the ring, sending the intended victims and miscellaneous Special K members tumbling like Dominoes. Finish came after Justin Credible hit a fantastic looking That’s Incredible from the second rope on Deranged for the win. Ouch~! After the match Loc and Devito grab Becky Bayless and set up for a spike piledriver. They are stopped by Justin…who tells them to put her through a table. Loc then nails Becky with a piledriver from the apron onto a table on the floor in a “Oh My God” spot. Wow~!

***It’s intermission and Tool Capetta announces that the upcoming Glory By Honor II show will have a tag team Gauntlet for the ROH Tag Team belts as the Amazing Red and AJ Styles had to forfeit their championship due to Red’s ACL surgery. Capetta then interviews Jay and Mark Briscoe who say they are more dedicated than ever to win the ROH tag titles. They are interrupted by the SAT, who ask maybe the dumbest question of all time, “If you knew that Red’s knee was his weak point, why did you go after it?” Imagine asking that question to a team who was fighting for the ROH tag belts knowing that if they lost they would never be able to challenge Red and Styles again…Puh-lease.

(6) Mark Briscoe beat BJ Whitmer It seems to me there is just something missing from Whitmer to make him a bona fide star in my book. He has the talent, but he’s lacking something I can’t quite put my hands on. Briscoe looked tiny compared to Whitmer and was announced at 185 lbs, which in WWE math is 220. A brutal match between the two that was highlighted by a sequence in which Briscoe suplexed Whitmer on the floor and ran into the ring and hit a shooting star press onto him~! This was even more amazing because unlike every other shooting star press I’ve ever seen, Mark didn’t take his time and make sure he was set-up, he just ran into the ring, climbed the top rope and jumped. A spectacular spot. The end of the match had a cool sequence in which Mark went for a moonsault, but Whitmer moved out of the way. Believe it or not, Mark landed on his feet, but was quickly nailed with the Exploder. In a weird moment, Whitmer climbed to the top rope and pushed off Mark Briscoe twice. The third time Briscoe ran up and hit Whitmer with a Rock Bottom from the top and for the victory. Great match. I haven’t seen much of the Briscoe Bros., but everything I have seen has been top notch.

***Rob Feinstein tells the fans that the ROH investigation into who attacked Lucy turned up no results. Boy, is this gonna piss off CM Punk. Rob says that ROH needs your help and to contact www.rohwrestling.com if you have any info. Maybe Rob should hire Leslie Neilson and George Kennedy from the Naked Gun movies, I mean they found out about the Fake Undertaker back at SummerSlam ’94 right? Anyhoo, Feinstein ends the promo by saying, “Contact ROHwrestling immediately, if not sooner.” Which begs the question, what is sooner than ‘immediately’?

(7) Homicide (w/Julius Smokes) beat Trent Acid (w/Johnny Kashmere). Before the two hookup they cut to a quick Raven vignette where he repeats he is going to kill CM Punk tonight. There was some serious f---ed up shit in this match. I have seen the spot where one wrestler on the outside of the apron teases suplexing the person inside the ring about 1,000 times in the WWE and they never do it. Well, in this match Acid suplexed Homicide to the outside and it was off the hook! Acid then did an Asai moonsault onto Homicide, who was in the crowd, and this might have been better than the Ultimo Dragons. Homicide slams Trent into a chair on the outside, jumps back in the ring and comes charging across to deliver his Tope Con Hilo, which has to be seen to believed. These guys are nuts! Acid hit the Backseat Driver onto a chair, which looked like it could have killed Homicide. Think of it like a “Razor’s Edge”, except the opponent sees where he is going. Another Must See part came when the pair was trading Yakuza kicks back and forth, including the spot where they ran at each other and hit a kick at the same time. AWESOME~! The finish came after Homicide hit this great looking move off the top that I believe Chris Lovey called the “Koji Cutter”. Kashmere pulled the ref out of the ring at two, and was chased by Julius Smokes until Trent Acid blindsided him. Homicide the chased Kashmere and followed him into the ring at which point Kashmere ducked and Acid hit a jaw dropping Yakuza kick! And Homicide kicks out! HOLY SHIT! Homicide went for the Vertebreaker, but Kashmere slipped out and rolled up Homicide (ala the ending to WrestleRave ’03), but this time Mr. 187 kicked out. A shot to the nuts followed by one Vertebreaker and Homicide walks away the winner.

Now THAT was one hell of a match!

***The Fallen Angel Christopher Daniel is with Allison Danger (who is holding his ECWA title). The skit is shot in black & white and Daniels talks about defending his title tonight, but his true destiny is to beat Samoa Joe for the ROH title. “I’m not Low Ki. I’m not Paul London. I’m not Homicide. I’m not BJ Whitmere. I’m the next ROH champion!”

(8) Jay Briscoe beat Samoa Joe & Chris Sabin & AJ Styles. The stips of this match reminded me of those great ECW Ultimate Jeopardy matches. Is Samoa Joe won, the guy he pinned would never get a title shot again. If any of the other three won, they would become the number one contender and get the next title match after Joe fights Christopher Daniels at Glory By Honor II. Wait a second, WHAT IN THE BLUE HELL IS SAMOA JOE WEARING?! Dear God, it’s like the worst Hawaiian shirt in the world wrapped around his waist like a mini-skirt. This was also billed as the first time AJ Styles and Samoa Joe were in the ring together. Everyone took turns beating the hell out of Briscoe, including AJ applying a Muta Lock. This was crazy as Styles wrapped up Briscoe’s legs like he was going for an STF, but then AJ bridged himself so that he grabbed Jay’s neck. Insane~! I think I now have to see Final Battle ’03 to check out Muta. Samoa Joe leveled AJ with his OLE OLE OLE kicks, but when he went for a second attempt he was speared by Chris Sabin. Late in the match Styles went to the top rope and slipped off, but still managed to save it by hitting a leg drop. “You F---ed Up” chant from the crowd which is insane after all the spots that have been flawless. Tehre was a good spot when Sabin blocked a Styles Clash by folding his arms in, but AJ just dropped him, flipped him around and then hit the move anyway. Sweet~! Samoa Joe and Styles knocked each other out with a double enziguri while Briscoe hits the JayDriller on Sabin for the win.

***Tool Capetta is at ringside while they are setting up the cage and brings out Justin Credible for an impromptu shoot interview. Justin takes one long question from the crowd, which was totally inaudible and then proceeds to give an answer which was just as inaudible. The next question came from a kid who looked like Jack Osbourne and he wanted to know if, “Bret Hart ever f---ed Sunny.” Credible said, “Hell yes~!” but then backtracked and said he really has no idea. Could anyone really blame Bret if he did? Seriously. Then this 60 year old man, and it’s been confirmed this was not the Torch’s own Bruce Mitchell, asks Credible what he thinks about Ecstasy. Justin was like, “What?” Shortly thereafter he was blindsided by Special K. The Carnage Crew came for the save but they too were laid out. This is a great feud.

(9) Raven beat CM Punk in a Clockwork Orange House of Fun match. This was a steel cage match with weapons on the inside. And something’s up here as 1 minute into the match and CM Punk is wearing the crimson mask. Methinks a ton of stuff was taken out of the match. Raven hits Punk with a steel chair and Lovey explains, “That’s not a typical steel chair, that’s a extra heavy one!” That means it must be a ghetto chair! I liked the spot where CM Punk set the chair up in the ring and was going to do the Raven spot of doing a drop toe-hold onto it, but Raven countered it. If anyone should know how to stop that move, it should be Raven. The finish came after Raven went to the top rope and hit The Raven Effect through a table for the victory. Not that this match stunk up the joint, but as a climax to the best feud I have possibly ever seen it should have been a lot better. After the match the lights went out and when they came back on Raven was tied with barbed wire to a giant X [“It’s not an X, it’s a symbol!” -Vince Russo]. CM Punk slaps Raven across the face while shooting a promo on him.

***Samoa Joe is backstage and he says Christopher Daniels can take his “destiny” and shove it up his ass. Joe says he is Pro Wrestling and will beat the crap out of Daniels. Short, but intense promo. I honestly tell you that before I started watching ROH I thought of Joe as nothing but a low rent Rikishi after a gastric bypass operation, but he has shown me a lot. He is definitely the real deal and a great asset to the promotion.

Overall Thoughts: A must see match between Homicide and Trent Acid that somehow beats their match at WrestleRave, which I didn’t think was possible. A let down for the Main Event, but the tag team scramble and Fatal Four Way more than make up for that. A great addition to the ROH library. You can get this DVD by Clicking Here or by going to ROHwrestling.com and checking out everything they have.

Derek Burgan reviews SmackDown for PWTorch.com along with doing the tremendously successful Cheap Pops! comic strip every Thursday Night. He can be reached at derek@gumgod.com and welcomes any and all comments, except the ones that tell him the Baltimore Orioles have NO CHANCE of winning the AL East this year.

 

Copyright © 2005 Derek Burgan. All rights reserved.