ROH – Death Before Dishonor II Pt. 1, July 23, 2004, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
ROH – Death Before Dishonor II Pt. 1, July 23, 2004, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Review by Brad Garoon and Jacob Ziegler
BG says: A note before we start. Fellow 411mania video reviewer Sydney Brown recently put some tapes up for sale. Well I too need to clear out some space in this hole I live in. I’ve got eleven UPW videos and one APW video for sale. The following current and former ROH stars appear on these tapes: Havana Pitbulls, B-Boy, Super Dragon, Spanky, Mike Modest, Donovan Morgan, Samoa Joe, Paul London and Frankie Kazarian. There are also a bunch of current and former WWE stars on here if that’s your thing. These are all masters that I bought from UPW.com and I’m selling them for seven dollars a video or 65 dollars for all 12. No charge for shipping in the United States. Please shoot me an e-mail if you are interested.
Things get kicked off with Dave Prazak introducing Baron Von Raschke to the ring. Seems he’s something of a local celebrity there in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. The Baron is interrupted by Generation Next. Shelley of course introduces everyone one by one, but just as they get poised to attack The Second City Saints get the jump on them. Evans gets clawed by the Baron to end this. Good job of firing up the crowd here.
JZ says: No backstage promos at all here, trying to give the event a different feel. The awesome Dave Prazak welcomes Baron Von Raschke to the ring. This is cool for me because I grew up around Minneapolis and saw a lot of the Baron growing up, so it was nice to see him again. Gen Next come out, the Saints save, and Jack Evans takes the immortal claw. Then the Saints and Baron all goose step around the ring. Fun stuff. Baron says to “start your engines.”
MATCH #1: Four Corner Survival – Delirious vs. Matt Sydal vs. Trent Acid vs. Ace Steel
BG says: Delirious and Steel start but Acid tags himself in. Mark Nutly tells us that Trent Acid is the master of the multi-purpose match. I’d say to fire this guy, but I recently watched the WPCW DVD (which you can buy from www.rohwrestling.com), and the commentators on that show are SO HORRIBLE that they make Nutly sound like Jim Ross in his glory days by comparison. Acid goes to the eyes but gets knocked by a right hand from Steel. Steel hits a nasty powerslam and Acid tags out to Delirious. Sydal tags Steel out and he and Delirious chain wrestle until Delirious gets a 2 count. He hits the ground and baits Sydal into a clothesline. Sydal hits the enzicanrana as Steel blind tags in and springboard dropkicks Delirious who was going for an STF. Acid goes long on an Asai moonsault to the outside on Steel. Back inside, Steel blocks a dive from Acid onto the others on the outside. He gets an Oklahoma slam on Delirious for 2. The ref is noticeably confused as Sydal gets 2 on Acid. He goes up but gets caught by Delirious who gets caught by Steel and they all get caught by Acid. The end result is Sydal getting dropped on his head by a Trent Acid reverse rana. That looked rough, but thankfully not as horrible looking as I’d heard it was. Steel gets an implant DDT but Sydal breaks the pin. Delirious nails Shadows Over Hell on Steel for 2. Sydal gets a pumphandle piledriver but Acid nails a Yakuza kick to break the pin. Acid puts Steel on the top but it’s Delirious who takes a second rope spinal shock at the hands of Steel. The match gets crazy until Acid hits a sick inverted brainbuster on Delirious for the 3 count. This was pretty sloppy, and nobody really sold any of the mega devastating maneuv… maneuvers that were delivered, but in the spirit of positivity I’ll say the action never stopped.
JZ says: This would be the debut, as far as I can recollect, of Mark Nulty being unable to say “multi-person match,” instead repeatedly calling it a “multi-purpose match.” Ace Steel outsmarts Trent Acid in the beginning, thus earning my MVP honors of the night. Well, not really, but I do love me some Ace Steel. I especially love it when Nulty calls him “Colt Steel.” I try to give this guy a break, but he does it to himself really. Bauer and Nulty talk about the possibility of Delirious having a “lizard face,” which segues to Mil Mascaras, which prompts Bauer to note “Mil Mascaras had the face of a Mexican.” Awesome. Lots of offense and brawling in this match, and no one really bothers to sell too much or for too long. Eh, it’s Four Corner Survival, whatddya gonna do? That reverse hurricanrana Acid does to Sydal did look pretty sick I thought, and even though Sydal didn’t get hurt, it could have gone drastically worse. Why would anyone try something so ridiculous? Of course, then Sydal almost injures himself, so maybe he doesn’t mind. Acid ends up winning the match with that inverted brainbuster gimmick he does on Delirious at 9:14. It wasn’t very good, and no one was selling, but when everyone no-sells it looks better than when just one guy no-sells. Oh, and I’m going to say one nice thing about Trent Acid’s involvement in the match – he didn’t ruin it.
MATCH #2: Pure Title Match – Alex Shelley vs. Doug Williams
BG says: Now here’s a rematch I can live with. Prazak helpfully explains the rules of the match to the crowd. Williams puts Shelley to the mat but gets his hands stomped. He gets revenge by twirling Shelley around, putting him to the mat and stomping on his arm. A knucklelock starts gong Williams’ way, so Shelley caves. Shelley goes for a devilish-lock but Williams turns over. Williams puts Shelley down and grabs a Vulcan nerve grip, but Shelley reverses and gets one of his own. That’s about the lamest hold to trade ever. Shelley tries to slam Williams’ head to the mat a couple of times but Williams just rolls through. Williams goes back to the nerve hold and slams Shelley’s head to the mat. Shelley takes Williams down and works the arm but he reverses to the leg scissors. Shelley tries to get out but Williams puts him back. Williams makes a wish, torturing Shelley and then steamrolls him. He goes to do it again but Shelley goes to the ropes, using his first rope break. Williams ties Shelley up in the ropes and gets him stuck until ref Sinclair helps him out. Shelley slaps on the Border City stretch but Williams makes the ropes using his first rope break. Shelley drives Williams’ head into the mat with his knee. He works the neck with cross arm neckbreakers and Williams uses his second rope break to get out. Williams catches Shelley with a half crab forcing him to use his second rope break. He gets out with an enziguiri. He puts his knee to Williams’ head 12 times and then rubs it to get the feeling back. Williams rolls Shelley up for 2 but eats a back elbow. Williams gets all Johnny Saint on Shelley and locks on the Gory special and slams him into the turnbuckle. Super double underhook suplex gets 2 for. Shelley hits the Golden Gate swing for 2. He nails the Shellshock but Williams uses his third rope break to stop the pin. Williams nails the Bomb Scare for 2. He goes for the Chaos Theory but Shelley reverses to a rollup for 2. Shelley hits a leaping Sliced Bread #2 and both men are down. He puts on a full nelson, and the ropes can no longer save Williams. Williams backs into the turnbuckle to escape but Shelley gets the top rope stomp for 2. Williams blocks and reverses the Shellshock and Shelley uses his third rope break to get him off. Williams finally hits a Chaos Theory and its over. Not as good as their match from the week before, with a goofy middle portion and an ending that was definitely struggled through, but still a very entertaining match.
JZ says: Maybe the rematch should have waited just a little bit, as they just wrestled the week before. But still, it’s Doug Williams and Alex Shelley, so who can complain? Just as I was thinking that, they start trading the Yokozuna nerve hold of death. I always heard that Yoko was a great guy, but do we need to start doing his moves? Well, I know he didn’t invent it, but, well, you know what I mean. Williams ties Shelley up in the ropes, and Nulty remarks that he’s “never seen that before.” Did he not watch last week’s show? At one point early on Shelley locks on the Border City Stretch, and the commentators don’t call it right away. Shelley does the multiple knees to the back of the head, like he did the week before, which is a really cool move, and sets up nicely for the BCS. Nulty calls the Williams knee drop off the top rope the “bomb scare,” though I’m not sure that move title is appropriate anymore. It doesn’t bother me at any rate. Williams does the Johnny Saint stuff, which Nigel McGuiness also does. It’s cool looking, but a little overused between the two of them. I realize I sound a little bit negative on this match, but it is really cool, just not up to the level of the previous week. Williams gets the win with the Chaos Theory, still one of the coolest finishers around, at 16:49 for the win. Alex Shelley still won’t shake hands, because he’s a jerk. What a great heel he is.
MATCH #3: Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer vs. Low Ki & Rocky Romero
BG says: This match came about because Alison Danger owns Maff and Whitmer’s contracts and is putting them against tough teams in order to punish them for leaving the Prophecy. Speaking of which, she asks them to rejoin before the match, but Maff declines colorfully. The Rottweilers attack before the bell. Maff and Whitmer hold their ground and knock the Rottweilers to the floor. Whitmer and Romero start of the match proper with a knucklelock. They trade kicks and Romero tags to Ki. Whitmer tags to Maff. Ki nails Maff with a kick similar to the one that knocked him out in their bout at Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies, but Maff is tougher now and doesn’t pass out. He knocks Ki down with a chop and puts him in the corner, and would you look at that, Ki has learned how to sell! Maff hits a big bodyslam but Ki goes low after a Maff waist lock. He gets his elbow drop and tags Romero. Romero paints Maff with kicks and chops. Maff comes back with a back elbow and tags Whitmer. Whitmer gets a leg lariat for 2 and tags Maff back in. Maff hits a vertical suplex and pins Romero’s hand down. Whitmer comes in but gets dominated. Ki tags in and hits some hard chops and chokes Whitmer in the ropes. Whitmer gets beat on for a while but catches Ki in a front face lock allowing him to tag in Maff. Maff goes to the eyes but Ki bails to escape an elbow drop. Maff knocks him down and hits the elbow on the outside. The Rottweilers attack Maff’s arm on the outside and roll him back in. An ugly arm breaker gets 2 for Ki. Romero tags in and the Rottweilers double team Maff in the corner. Romero gets a high knee and a kick to the back of the head and puts on an armbar but Whitmer saves. Ki comes in with a huge kick to the head and works the arm with rope assistance. Romero comes in, working the arm with kicks and a 1 count off of a cocky cover. Ki hits the nastiest top rope double stomp I’ve ever seen on Maff but it only gets 2 for Romero as Whitmer saves. Ki comes in and Bauer even comments on how the ref is ignoring who the legal man is on the heel team despite seeing them switch. Maff comes back with a bodyslam but Ki attacks illegally. He blocks a double kick and hits a German suplex on both Rottweilers simultaneously. He finally makes the tag but J-Train distracts the ref and he doesn’t allow it. Lame lame lame lame lame. That really doesn’t work when the ref has been visibly watching the heels cheat. Whitmer and Maff brutally attack Smokes, and Whitmer finally gets a tag in front of the ref. Whitmer cleans house and gets a northern lights suplex for 2 on Romero. He exploders Ki into Romero and finally breathes life back into this match. Ki attacks the bad arm of Maff but Whitmer nails another exploder on him. Whitmer goes for the wrist clutch exploder but Ki reverses to the dragon clutch. Maff spears Ki off of Whitmer but Romero gets an armbar after a struggle and makes Maff tap as Ki keeps Whitmer busy. Most of this match was just 4 guys punching one another, but once BJ made the hot tag this thing really picked up. Danger congratulates the Rottweilers post-match and insults Maff and Whitmer. Maff pushes her into Homicide, so he gives her the Cop Killa.
JZ says: Crazy Allison Danger tries to reform the Prophecy, despite Maff’s adamant objections. Low Ki, despite being a heel and doing a really good job of it, is still over as a face. Come on Milwaukee, work with them. Ki, as Brad points out, also learned how to sell for this match, so he’s really stepping up his game. Unfortunately the match he did it in was pretty sub par. It’s not terrible or anything, but it is a lot of punchy-kicky stuff, kind of like (please don’t kill me) a WWE Main Event Style match, except a lot stiffer. Maff is on fire at the beginning, suplexing both men at the same time and looking really solid all around. It’s amazing how much more I like Maff since he quit doing the Prophecy gimmick. I also realize that ROH could really ditch Ricky Reyes and just have Romero with Homicide & Ki. Wow, Low Ki is a really good heel; I think he was totally miscast as a babyface. Ref Hansen seems to be very lost in this match, as he is “distracted” at strange times, pretending he can’t see things that are right in his line of sight. It’s so bad that Nulty comments on his inconsistency, which earns him a free pass from me for the rest of the show. Smokes tries to interfere, but Maff hits a wicked spear to take him out. Good. Whitmer comes in and makes an awesome house-of-fire, and this match finally picks up. Romero makes Maff tap out to get the win at 16:50. I couldn’t decide if this match was **3/4 or ***, as I loved how awesome Maff and Whitmer looked, and how great Low Ki was as a heel. But I don’t understand why Maff & Whitmer have to lose every single match, and it was kinda boring for the first half or so. So I’ll flip a coin – heads it gets **3/4, tails it gets ***. Tails it is. Then Allison Danger comes back, and Smokes takes this as his cue to stop selling the vicious spear. Then Homicide gives Danger the Cop Killa, and it looks like he actually cares about her safety. Good for him.
BG says: Danger gets taken out on the most bootleg stretcher ever during intermission.
JZ says: Yeah what the hell is up with that “stretcher?”
MATCH #4: Danny Daniels vs. Chad Collyer
BG says: Danny Daniels is turning into the guy they send out to die after intermission. Lockup to start. Collyer gets a fireman’s carry but Daniels hits an STO into a headlock until Collyer makes the ropes. Bauer talks about the lack of backstage promos on the Death Before Dishonor shows because it’s all about the wrestling this weekend. Speaking of commentators, I wish they’d let Danny Daniels on commentary so he could talk about his epic steel cage battle with King Kong Bundy. Yeah, you read that right. Daniels hits some hard chops and a gutbuster followed by his stomp/senton combo. He nails a cool stomach breaker, into a seated submission, into a pin attempt for 2. Collyer hits a nasty shin stunner in the corner. He kicks at the leg and catches Daniels with a belly to belly suplex into the corner. Daniels goes to the eyes but Collyer hits a leg lariat. A weird hurricanrana gets 2 for Collyer. Daniels gets sent out and Collyer hits a suicide dive. Back inside Collyer goes to the top but Daniels reverses a crossbody to a gutbuster for 2. Collyer gets a nice dragon screw and the Texas Cloverleaf for the win. They tried hard through the post-intermission dead crowd to do some cool stuff, so I’ve gotta give them points for that.
JZ says: Poor Danny Daniels, always sent out after intermission, when the fans don’t care. Both of these guys are really solid technical wrestlers, but the match was the typical post-intermission snooze-fest. They blow a few spots (Collyer should never again attempt a hurricanrana), but mostly just do their mat wrestling until Collyer makes Daniels tap to the Texas Cloverleaf at 8:28. Not a good representation of either guy.
MATCH #5: Generation Next – Austin Aries, Roderick Strong & Jack Evans vs. Matt Stryker, Jimmy Jacobs & John Walters
BG says: Walters has a hard time starting his promo because of the fan reaction to Jacobs. Walters, who is nicely matching both Stryker and Jacobs in ring gear, introduces Steamboat as their corner man. Jacobs and Evans start. Evans hits an armdrag and taunts Jacobs. Jacobs gets all armbaranddraggy on Evans and tags Walters in. Evans tags to Strong, who is met by Stryker armbars. Strong tags to Aries who comes in and gets dumped on his head. Arm Attack fest continues to the point that the crowd actually chants “work that arm.” Stryker misses a knee in the corner and Aries smells blood and attacks. He stretches the leg in his corner and tags Strong. Strong goes right to the leg with a cross-legged surfboard while slamming his face into the mat. Awesome. Evans tags and attacks the leg in his own unique way. He hits a dragon screw and puts on an ankle lock. Stryker socks him to get out. Steamboat stupidly distracts the ref as Aries comes in. Stryker pulls out of an Aries stretch and tags Jacobs in. Jacobs is a Huss of Fire until Generation Next nails some awesome triple team action. Steamboat kills me further by distracting the ref like an idiot. Aries hits a huge dropkick for 2. Jacobs’ tag is blocked by a spinebuster for 2 and Strong tags in. Strong hits a back suplex for 2 after knocking Stryker off the apron. Evans comes in, hitting a dropkick and his nutty flippy legdrop for 2. He tags Aries in but Jacobs gets put on top and fights off Generation Next only to have his crossbody reversed to a fireman’s carry slam. Strong comes in with a flying elbow for 2. Jacobs tries to make the tag but Strong just beals him into the turnbuckle. Another amazing Generation Next triple team gets 1 as Steamboat’s distraction FINALLY works for his team. Strong hits a double underhook suplex and tags in Aries. Aries hits the first snap side slam ever for 2. Jacobs is able to make the tag but the ref doesn’t see it causing Jacobs gets messed up as a result. He gets kicked into the turnbuckle for 2. Whoa, that was nasty. Aries tags in with a slingshot senton and elbow drop for 2. Jacobs fights back with everything he has and dodges a triple team attack, tossing Evans into his teammates and tagging in both Stryker and Walters. They clean up the ring and work like a couple of guys who’ve been teaming for a while. Elevated lung blower gets 2 on Evans. Strong gets a big powerbomb on Stryker and Aries hits a 450 but Jacobs breaks the pin with a senton. Shelley interferes so Steamboat takes him out. Evans misses the 640 on Walters, who locks a submission on him for the win. The portion with Stryker getting worked over was awesome, and Jacobs plays a great Ricky Morton. A couple awkward spots and a strange performance by Steamboat bring this down from freaking awesome to just plain awesome.
JZ says: The first few minutes of this match are unspeakably awesome. The babyfaces come out to Jimmy Jacobs’s music, and the crowd chants “USA.” Jacobs coaxes them to chant “Huss” instead. Walters calls out Steamboat, and the faces look genuinely excited to have him in their corner. Hey look at that, Jimmy Jacobs’s new haircut makes he and Aries look like twins. The faces start the match with a lot of armdrags, which is sweet. Jacobs and Jack Evans have some good interaction at the beginning, and then the heels take their first heat on Stryker. The crowd is really hot for this. Evans really shows how much better he is getting with each match. The babyfaces briefly take over before some Alex Shelley-led chicanery leads to the heels taking heat on Jimmy Jacobs, who is probably among the best “Ricky Morton” tag team wrestlers in the business today. Roderick Strong just kills Jacobs here, and if these two ever had a singles match (as they did in IWA-Mid South), it would be awesome (as it was in IWA-Mid South). The action in this one is super all around, a really good match. Near the end, Steamboat and Alex Shelley get into a brawl, and Walters gets Evans to tap out for a much needed babyface victory at 16:47. Steamboat Hussing and giving Jimmy Jacobs a big hug is a great moment. It looks like the two were reunited father and son or something. Great match.
MATCH #6: World Title Match – Homicide vs. Samoa Joe
BG says: The big blow off is finally here, as this would be declared Homicide’s last shot at the title as long as Joe is champion. With that in mind I believe a history lesson is in order. At Glory by Honor, Steve Corino and Homicide tagged up against the Backseat Boyz, but miscommunication lead to the team falling apart. Also on this show, Samoa Joe debuted against Homicide’s friend Low Ki. At the next show, and angry Homicide and Joe locked horns for the first time in a 6 man tag team match for the Prophecy’s tag team titles. Joe choked Homicide out to win that match. Later in the evening, Homicide forked Joe’s friend Steve Corino in the eye in retaliation for his actions at Glory by Honor. At Scramble Madness, Samoa Joe failed in defending the honor of Corino, losing by rollup. Joe did, however, win the world title in March of 2003, and made his third defense against Homicide. Joe won, in part thanks to Homicide being distracted by his corner men. Homicide won a no holds barred match against Joe in New York a few months later by using a noose. The feud had become very personalized. At Reborn Stage One, the two met again for the title, but after a false finish teased Homicide with the championship, he lost it and tossed a fireball at Joe, with the help of the Havana Pitbulls. Joe and Homicide beat each other unconscious in a bathroom backstage shortly after. Homicide, J-Train and the Pitbulls formed the Rottweilers at Round Robin Challenge 3. Joe made quick work of Pitbull Ricky Reyes en route to fighting Homicide again for the title, this time winning cleanly. At World Title Classic, Joe was presented with a new World title belt, but was robbed of it by Homicide after his grueling 60 minute match against CM Punk. At Completion, Joe and the Briscoe Brothers beat the Rottweilers by DQ in a 6 man war. Following the match, Low Ki returned to Ring of Honor, joined the Rottweilers and obliterated Joe. All the attacks forced Joe to give Homicide one last chance at his world title, finally bringing this chapter of the longest running feud in Ring of Honor to a close.
Homicide attacks from behind as Joe is distracted by the Rottweilers to start. Ref Hanson ejects the Rottweilers from ringside to even the playing field, as per ROH’s new Code of Honor. Now one on one, both men start just beating the tar out of each other. Joe washes Homicide’s face clean of his skin. He hits the Big Joe Combo and puts Homicide down with headbutts. Joe hits a delayed vertical suplex and puts on an armbar. Homicide goes to the eyes to shift the momentum and puts Joe down with some kicks to the head. He gets a pair of back rakes and spits on some fans. Joe takes the opportunity to beat the crap out of him. Kawada kicks by Joe only fire Homicide up who goes back to the eyes. Yakuza kicks by Homicide fire Joe up but do eventually put him down. Joe starts to beat on Homicide in the corner but he goes to the eyes again to cut him off. Homicide gets a legdrop on the apron. Joe gets fired up and hits Homicide from every angle, putting him down in the corner. Homicide comes back with his knee in the corner and tosses Joe out of the ring. He gears up for his tope but smartly baseball slides Joe instead. Joe whips Homicide into the barrier hard and puts him back in the ring for a 2 count. He gets a flurry of strikes and a beautiful enziguiri for 2. Homicide hits his top rope kneedrop for 2 and taunts the crowd. He puts on a legvice but Joe makes the ropes. Joe gets a legsweep but gets tossed to the floor again. Homicide calls for the tope but won’t give it to the crowd. He goes to taunt Joe but gets kicked in the face. Yeah, that ruled. Now on the floor, Joe gets drop toe holded to the chair. Homicide goes for the ole kick but gets belly to bellied on the floor. Damn. Joe nails the Ole kick and puts the boots to Homicide on the floor while he’s covered by an ROH sign. Homicide takes the advantage back in the ring with another eye poke, but gets caught by the STO for 2. He misses a 2nd kneedrop attempt and a Joe powerslam gets 2. Joe kicks Homicide a lot and hits the powerbomb for 2. In an awesome moment, Homicide becomes the first guy in ROH to not get caught on the kickout. However, Joe catches him with a tiger driver for 2 immediately. Homicide hits the Diamond Dust, a neckbreaker and a weak piledriver for 2. He sells the back like a champ, paying off that last exchange. He hits 3 lariats but still it only gets 2. Joe blocks a fourth lariat and hits a cobra clutch suplex for 2. Homicide goes to the eyes again and tries a tornado DDT but Joe reverses to a muscle buster and it only gets 2. I totally thought that was going to be it. Homicide is totally dazed, struggling around the ring, and Joe hits a NASTY Island driver for 2. He decides that he’s had enough and puts on the choke. Homicide is far too fucked up to continue, so arm drops 3 times and Joe wins. Joe won’t let go, and the pain gets to Homicide so much that he starts tapping. The Rottweilers have to attack to get Joe to release the choke. This started a little slow but got super-delicious by the end. I can definitely say this turned out to be the best match between the two. The Rottweilers beat Joe down post-match. Homicide gets on the mic and says he may be done with Homicide, but he isn’t done with the Rottweilers. They spit on the belt, which the commentators take just a little too seriously.
JZ says: You know, I wasn’t a big Samoa Joe fan for a while, but his work has really grown on me, and I think he’s a fantastic worker and a fantastic champion. This will be the last tile match between these two in 2004, which is cool because then you can have a strong build for their first meeting in 2005. After a few months of struggling to get over as a heel (I mean people were still cheering him), Homicide is over as a monster heel here, as the crowd chants “Homo-Cide” and “F*** You Homicide.” Good for them, I knew I always liked Wauwatosa. Ref Hansen sends the Rottweilers to the back early on, always a good tactic in title matches. And what a match this one is. These guys really show no mercy on each other, and neither seems to care how hard the other hits him. They hit each other so hard you can actually SEE Joe’s face swelling up. Homicide once again teases the tope and gives Joe a baseball slide instead. That’s awesome heel work, duh (seriously). He must have been reading my reviews (not so seriously). Later on he teases it again and telling the crowd to do something nasty to themselves, which I appreciate, but Joe doesn’t so he gives Homicide a wicked enziguiri. The only problem with Homicide in this match is that he uses an eye-poke eight or nine times. Homicide and Joe work really well together because of their similar styles and because they both hit hard, as opposed to an opponent for Joe like Matt Stryker who just doesn’t hit so hard. These guys go back and forth and have the crowd with them the whole way; the pops for the false finishes are huge. Joe gets fed up finally and chokes Homicide out to retain the title at 24:00. Joe won’t release the hold, so the Rottweilers come out and attack Joe and spit on the belt. For comparison’s sake, of the Joe vs. Homicide matches I’ve seen, here’s how I rate them: Do or Die **3/4; Reborn Stage One ***; and Generation Next ***1/2.
MATCH #7: Tag Team Title Match, 2 Out of 3 Falls – Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. CM Punk & Colt Cabana
BG says: The last 2/3 falls match for the tag team titles in ROH was the disastrous Prophecy v. SAT match from Final Battle 2002. I pray that this ends up better. This would end up being the Briscoe Brothers’ last shot at the ROH tag titles to date. Punk and Mark start. Mark gets a rollup for 2. Punk grabs a headlock and brings Mark down. Jay tags in and the crowd begs for Colt. Colt tags in and gets rolled up. He comes back with a rollup of his own for 1. He puts Jay in the corner and gives him a double high five. I heard high fives are the leading cause of cancer these days, so that’s a particularly brutal move. Colt grabs a headlock, but gets tricked into one by Jay. Mark tags back in and takes Colt down with a headlock. Colt reverses to a legvice, so Mark returns the favor and tweaks the neck. Punk comes back in and trades armdrags with Mark. Things get heated as Punk unloads on Mark with forearms and an attempted face wash. Never try to wash a Briscoe, they like it dirty. Cabana tags back in and throws Mark to the mat, but he comes back with a wristlock. Punk tags back in as Colt hits a side Russian legsweep and ties Mark up for a Punk slingshot senton. Punk gets an abdominal stretch and tags Cabana. Cabana comes in and segues into the abdominal stretch himself. He takes Mark down with a snap mare and gives him a receipt in the form of a tweaked neck. Punk tags back in and puts on a reverse double toehold with surfboard, called by Nulty. Cabana tags in and knees Mark while he’s still in the hold. A pair of elbow drops gets 2. Punk tags back in but gets caught with a backslide for 2. Cabana tags back in and puts on a seated recliner getting a 2 count. Punk tags back in and rolls up Mark for 2. Mark sends punk to the floor where he dives on him. Back inside he goes low and tags Jay. Jay hits a leg lariat and fights with Cabana on the apron. Cabana tries to come in as the Briscoes double team Punk. Mark comes in illegally and gets the 2 count. Shady Briscoes, stupid Sinclair. Gut wrench suplex and elbow drop get 2 for Mark. Jay tags in and gets an inverted falcon arrow for 2. Punk rolls Jay up for 2. Mark makes the blind tag and comes in with a springboard dropkick for 2 off of a cocky cover. Jay chokes Punk to the point that he pulls off the corner pad in desperation. Jay tags in and smacks Punk with said corner pad. Mark tags in and advises Jay not to pull Punk from the turnbuckle because of the way Punk used that to his advantage at Round Robin Challenge 3. Freaking awesome. Punk avoids both Briscoes and tags in Cabana. Cabana cleans house and tags Punk in for the double pendulum submission. Jay comes back and nails the Jay driller on Punk to win the first fall.
Fifteen seconds later Jay hits a huge baseball slide on Punk, but then hits Mark by mistake and gets caught in the pendulum by Cabana. An elbow drop gets 2 for Cabana. He hits a butt-butt for 2. Mark makes the blind tag but Cabana dodges the dropkick and he nails Jay by mistake. Cabana hits a reverse suplex for 2. Mark nails a leg lariat for 2 after a distraction by Jay. Vertical suplex gets 2 for Mark. Jay tags in and Cabana gets double teamed. He hits a back elbow and tags in Mark. A nasty boot gets 1 for Mark as he walks over Colt. Cabana misses a charge and gets neckbreakered and rolled up for 2. The Briscoes go for the double team knee but Cabana pulls Marks head down and he takes the damage. Brilliant. Cabana then gets his super special rollup to win the second fall.
The Briscoes ignore the rest period and work over Cabana. Cabana gets away from the Briscoes but Punk is still knocked out, I assume from the baseball slide, and is nowhere to be found. The Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device but Punk returns from the floor and makes the save. Jay grabs a sleeper but Colt gets out and they nail one another with clotheslines. Mark tags in and knocks Punk off the apron, cutting off the tag. Colt gets stuck in the Briscoe corner and Mark and Jay switch a couple of times. Cabana gets a springboard crossbody on both Briscoes. He goes for an enziguiri on Jay and misses, but luckily hits Mark. He makes the dive and tags Punk in. Punk takes it to the Briscoes and gets a Russian legsweep/DDT combo for 2 on Mark. He hits Welcome to Chicago for 2. He goes for another but gets Yakuza kicked by Jay. He blocks a Jay Driller and Alabama slams Jay. Cabana hits a frog splash, getting 2 for Punk. Punk gets the mule kick, but gets back-dropped over the top rope onto Cabana and Jay. Mark goes up to the top and hits the shooting star press onto everyone on the outside. Colt hits an Asai moonsault onto everyone. Punk and Mark go back inside where Punk misses a shining wizard and Mark hits an enziguiri. Cabana hits a lariat and Jay hits a Yakuza kick, but Punk comes back with a shining wizard on Jay. The crowd begs for the Pepsi Plunge as Mark hits a springboard Ace crusher on Punk. Colt hits a neckbreaker on Jay for 2. Mark gives Cabana the cutthroat driver for 2 when Punk saves. He goes for one on Punk but it is reversed. Punk gets Mark to the turnbuckle and hits the Pepsi Plunge for the win.
There was definitely some brilliance sprinkled throughout the match, mainly bookending each fall. However, the middle portions of each fall were pretty plodding, and gave me the feeling that they simply didn’t have enough to fill the 40 minute slot they were given. The second fall in particular was pretty useless aside from a couple cool spots. Also, the extended rest period for Punk after the Jay Driller/baseball slide was a little silly. That’s not to say the match was boring or bad, because it felt much shorter than it was and had some quality stuff. And just for the record, this was a million times better than the Final Battle 2002 match I mentioned.
JZ says: CM Punk & Colt Cabana versus Jay & Mark Briscoe is really one of the most overlooked feuds of 2004. They had three matches, none of which ranked below ***3/4, and wrestled each other based on respect and wanting to see who really was the best. No hatred, no silly contrived angles, just amazing tag team wrestling. Speaking of wrestling, the commentators are putting over this match as the “athletic competition” of tonight’s title matches, thus proving my point. To further prove that point, all four men shake hands. This match rules already. Being that we’re near Milwaukee, does anyone remember that CM Punk used to feud with Bobby Bambino in the greater Milwaukee area? They once had a very entertaining match involving Sensational Sherri, but I digress. Brad does a really great job on the play by play for this one, so let me just offer up some thoughts. I had heard of the infamous “turnbuckle spot” where CM Punk ripped the pad off, but it actually looked fine, and Jimmy Bauer covered up whatever mistake might have been very well. These guys did a great job tag team wrestling, playing off their earlier matches in several spots. About the only part of the match that seemed off to me was when Punk laid on the outside of the ring for the duration of the entire second fall. As far as the falls go – Jay pinned Punk at 20:13 with the Jay Driller; Cabana pinned Mark with one of his rollups at 26:43 (total); and CM Punk pinned Mark at 37:30 with the Pepsi Plunge. This could have been closer to 30 minutes instead of 40, as a few spots were a little bland, but for the most part this was a wicked cool match and a great way to end the show.
BG says: Homicide, for really coming into his own on this show. He took a beating but kept coming back, and all his work actually had me rooting for him against my favorite Samoa Joe by the time the match was over.
JZ says: Colt Cabana, for showing that not only is he the funniest man in wrestling, but a really great wrestler too. He wrestled the second fall all by himself, and it looked totally realistic.
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The 411: BG says: The work on this show was phenomenal. How often do you see a show with two ****+ matches and nothing below **? The only gripe I had was that there was no backstage stuff to break up the wrestling, but that's what they were going for so I'll let it go.
JZ says: Wow, this show rules. It’s one of the best of 2004, if not ROH history. Of the seven matches, two were in the ** region, two more were in the *** area, and the last three matches were all ***1/2 or higher. That’s awesome.
|Final Score: 8.3 [ Very Good ] legend|