ROH: Sign Of Dishonor – July 8, 2005 Long Island, New York
ROH … Sign of Dishonor … July 8, 2005 … Long Island, New York
JZ says: I’ve been using the top 5 as voted on by the ROH message board. Board member Lonewolf runs the top 5, and he does a fabulous job. After each show (or double shot weekend), go to http://www.rohwrestling.com/MessageBoard/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=5 and vote for the top 5.
ROH WORLD CHAMPION: CM Punk (since 6.18.05)
ROH PURE CHAMPION: Samoa Joe (since 5.07.05)
1) Austin Aries
3) Nigel McGuinness
5) AJ Styles
BG says: New ROH champion CM Punk is in full yuppie mode tonight, with black hair, a new suit and new theme music. Okay, he has purple in his hair too, but I’m ignoring it. He decides to tell everyone why he turned on the fans, unraveling his plot like a true evil genius. Many ROH wrestlers were forced to choose between ROH and TNA 14 months back. Even as the champion in TNA, AJ Styles was afraid to do what Punk did, and he and other wrestlers stayed in TNA when Punk stood by ROH. There would be no ROH for them to crawl back to if it wasn’t for Punk. But then the ROH fans turned their backs on Punk anyway. Oh he’s sloppy, he’s the Triple H of ROH. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that Punk accepted the offer from WWE, and now he’ll take the ROH title with him. But first, he’s going to sign his WWE contract, and he wants to do it on top of the ROH title. Bobby Cruise and Todd Sinclair won’t help him out of respect for the title, so the real top ROH student Shane Hagadorn helps his trainer do the deed. James Gibson rushes the ring but Punk bails. Hagadorn isn’t as fortunate and takes a tiger driver for his troubles. Punk heads for the locker room but Christopher Daniels cuts him off and beats him back into the ring. Punk wiggles out and escapes through the crowd. That’s a great angle to start the show.
JZ says: Punk comes out, with purple streaks in black hair, wearing a suit, to Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality,” which is a pretty cool song. I first heard it when I bought the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s “Say Anything,” mostly to get Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” Some girl gets in Punk’s face and he shows her who the boss is, Tony Danza style. Punk gets amazing heel heat, thus making me like this crowd right off the bat. Punk goes back in time to talk about the TNA/ROH fiasco from March of 2004, when he, Jerry Lynn, AJ Styles, and Christopher Daniels gathered to talk about which company they wanted to work for. Punk says they stabbed him in the back while he was the one who made sure there would be a Ring of Honor for them to come back to. Punk gets angry with the fans, and this promo is KICKING ASS. Punk wants someone to hold the belt for him while he signs his WWE contract on it. Bobby Cruise sticks up for Ring of Honor, as does Todd Sinclair. He calls Shane Hagadorn, one of his students, into the ring to do it, and he is more than happy to. Hagadorn could become a good heel some day. Punk looks up the aisle, where James Gibson is standing. He looks ready for a fight. Punk sacrifices Hagadorn to a Tiger Driver. Punk tries to walk away but Christopher Daniels stops him and throws him back into the ring, where he and Gibson administer a beating. Punk escapes through the crowd. Damn, that was a super hot start to the show.
MATCH #1: Jay Lethal & Dixie vs. The Heartbreak Express
BG says: I am unfortunately very familiar with the Heartbreak Express from their work in FIP. Lethal and Sean Davis start the match. Lethal gets a drop toehold into a headlock and backdrops the advancing Phil Davis. He hits a battering ram with Sean to Phil and tags to Dixie. The feed gets fuzzy and then cuts out. It comes back with the Express hitting a double-team avalanche and butt splash on Dixie. Sean hits a short arm clothesline and a bodyslam. The feed cuts out again and Matt Hardy’s eyes flash across the screen. The match comes back with the Express hitting a guillotine clothesline on Dixie. Lethal tags in and hits the dragon suplex on Phil for the win. The match was just an excuse to put on Hardy’s amateur home movie clips, and gets rated as such.
JZ says: Sean and Phil Davis are the Heartbreak Express, and Sean does the Rick Rude robe-removing gimmick. Jimmy Bower and Dave Prazak are our hosts. Lethal is really slumming it here. We get the color bars for a few seconds, for what reason we do not yet know. The picture goes all fuzzy and we get a close-up of Matt Hardy’s eyes. That’s pretty LAME. Lethal hits a lousy looking Dragon Suplex on Phil for the win at 3:05.
MATCH #2: Azrieal vs. Roderick Strong
BG says: They show a clip of Alex Shelley’s stretcher job at New Frontiers and Strong’s subsequent beating of him. They lock up and Azrieal grabs a headlock. Strong gets out with a wristlock but Azrieal reverses to his own. He goes back to the headlock and hits a hurricanrana. He hits a back elbow for 2. He hits a back suplex for 2. Strong blocks a blind charge and sets Azrieal on the top rope. He yanks Azrieal off and hits a backbreaker for 2. They fight to the floor where Strong sends Azrieal into the barricade. He thrusts Azrieal’s back into the apron and rolls him back into the ring. He gets 2. He hits a back suplex for 2. He goes for the half nelson backbreaker but Azrieal reverses to a roll up for 2. Strong comes back with a clothesline for 2. He hits the chinlock but Azrieal fights out. He goes for a sunset flip but Strong reverses to a backbreaker for 2. Strong sets Azrieal on the top and hits a huge superplex for 2. He sets Azrieal back on the top rope but he gets crotched and double stomped. It gets 2. Azrieal hits a dropkick and a hurricanrana and Strong bails. Azrieal follows him out with a tope. Back in the ring he gets 2. He goes for a springboard hurricanrana but Strong catches him and hits him with the power-breaker for 2. He goes for the suplex flip but Azrieal blocks and hits a running knee. He hits a contrived and ugly blockbuster for 2. He kicks away at Strong’s back and hits a dropkick for 2. Strong hits the flip suplex for 2 and a uranage backbreaker for 2. Azrieal blocks a Stronghold attempt but Strong quickly gets it back on for the win. One awkward spot aside this was a very fun undercard match that did a lot to show how much Strong has improved and what Azrieal can do with a bigger opponent. Alex Shelley exacts his revenge on Strong by attacking him from behind after the match.
JZ says: Bower talks about how no one else is getting promo time, because Punk took up all the “TV time.” That’s cute. Artie will keep us informed of who Punk is defending the title against tonight. Azrieal is kind of in the same position Strong was a year ago, making this an interesting match-up. The action spills to the floor, as Roderick continues to work on the back. Roderick hits an awesome superplex. Azrieal has gotten almost no offense in whatsoever. Just as I type that he makes his comeback, including a very nice dive. Azrieal is hardly selling his back at all, jumping around all willy-nilly. Roderick hits the half-nelson backbreaker but Azrieal kicks out. Azrieal goes for the Demon Driver, but Roderick reverses to the Strong Hold for the tap out victory at 11:28. Alex Shelley comes out after the match and gives Roderick the Shell Shock. That was a really fun match.
MATCH #3: ROH Tag Team Title Match – BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs vs. Lacey’s Angels
BG says: Lacey’s Angels beat Generation Next to get this title shot. If they’d cut the first 20 seconds off of the champions’ entrance music it would probably do a lot more to get the crowd excited. Whitmer and Deranged start the match. Deranged stalls to start. He attacks Whitmer from behind and gets an armdrag. He goes for a hurricanrana but Whitmer blocks and clotheslines him out of his boots. Jacobs tags and comes in with a tomahawk chop from the top rope. The champs clobber Deranged down and Jacobs gets 2. He hits a suplex and tags to Whitmer. Whitmer powerbombs him onto Deranged for 2. Jacobs tags back in and Whitmer slams him onto Deranged for 2. Lacey distracts the referee and Cheech comes in for the double-team. It gets 2. He hits a bodyslam and chokes away. Deranged tags in and punts Jacobs’ ribs. Jacobs HUSSes up but gets poked in the eyes. Cheech tags in and stomps away. Deranged tags in and puts on a very hyped up sleeper hold. Jacobs fights out but he’s cut off from making the tag. Cheech tags in and hits a clothesline. Deranged tags in and goes for a springboard double stomp but misses Jacobs and hits Cheech. Whitmer gets the tag and cleans house. He rams Jacobs wheelbarrow style into the Angels and hits Deranged with the vertical/northern lights suplex combo for 2. Jacobs hits a sort of spear on an elevated Cheech and Whitmer hits a running powerbomb on Deranged for 2. Jacobs tags in and goes for the doomsday hurricanrana but Lacey grabs his foot and Deranged hits Whitmer with a reverse hurricanrana. The Angels hit a doomsday springboard Ace Crusher on Jacobs for 2. They set Jacobs on the top rope but Whitmer tosses Cheech from the ring and the champions hit the doomsday hurricanrana on Deranged for the win. The match was a nice collection of double-team moves, which seems to be the most we can ask of a Lacey’s Angels match.
JZ says: Lacey’s Angels have great entrance music, but it takes too long. Whitmer & Jacobs, on the other hand, have lousy entrance music. But the matching hoodies are nice. Lacey’s Angels are represented by Deranged & Cheech tonight. Whitmer and Deranged start it off, and Deranged does some flippy stuff before Whitmer kills him with a clothesline. Whitmer and Jacobs be clubberin’ Tony, they be clubberin’! Jacobs throws a really nice jab. Deranged and Cheech run around a lot before doing moves like a foot on the chest or a rear chinlock. I like that. Jacobs finally makes the Ricky Morton hot tag and Whitmer cleans house on EVERYONE, his partner included. Winners face the Carnage Crew for the belts tomorrow. Whitmer hits a sick Lygerbomb, and Deranged follows with a reverse ‘rana. Lacey’s Angels hit a Doomsday Ace Crusher (which could be a great finisher if used correctly), but Jacobs kicks out. The champs get the Doomsday Rana for the victory at 11:21. This was their fifth title defense.
MATCH #4: AJ Styles vs. Jimmy Rave
BG says: A clip is shown of the Embassy being abusive to Jade Chung, causing the Outkast Killaz to leave the group. They offered to take Jade with them, but Prince Nana reminded her that he has all the money and she stayed with him. This would turn out to be a downward move for Oman and Diablo.
Rave beat Styles in a huge upset in Dayton in February after spraying him in the eyes with an aerosol can. AJ takes it to Rave with a back suplex sending him from the ring. He starts walking to the back so Styles runs out and beats him back to ringside. He sends him into the guardrail and rolls him back into the ring. He hits a big back bodydrop and Rave calls for a time out. AJ is merciless with a backbreaker trio and a bodyslam. He hits a kneedrop for 2. He hits a back suplex and tosses Rave to the floor. He hangs Rave up on the guardrail and rolls him back into the ring and gets 2. Rave comes back with a back elbow but gets hit with a leg lariat. It gets 2 for AJ. There’s a lot of debris being thrown around here. Styles hits a pair of vertical suplexes but Rave blocks a third. AJ headbutts him down and calls for the Styles Clash. Rave blocks with a headbutt to the groin. AJ misses a discus clothesline and falls to the floor where he gets hit with a baseball slide. Rave tosses Styles into the guardrail and rolls him back into the ring. He hits a snap suplex for 2. He hits a kick to the back for 2. Styles comes back with a roll up for 2. He puts on a sleeper hold but Rave shoves him into the turnbuckle and hits a clothesline to the back of the head and Styles lands hard on his face. Rave hangs Styles on the bottom rope and Nana gets a few shots in. Styles blocks a blind charge but gets clobbered with a clothesline. It gets 2 for Rave. He hits the chinlock but releases to slingshot Styles into the ropes for 2. Styles starts fighting back and hits an enziguiri. He hits a clothesline and a brainbuster for 2. He hits a pumphandle gutbuster for 2. He goes for his moonsault DDT but Rave blocks and hits the running knee for 2. Styles comes back with a dropkick and they fight tot he apron. He goes for the brainbuster he hit in February but Rave blocks. Styles does hit a springboard shoulder block for 2. He climbs to the top turnbuckle but Rave cuts him off and Nana crotches him. Rave picks him up in the fireman’s carry position and drops him back first on the top turnbuckle. He hits a spear for 2. He goes for the Rave Clash but Styles reverses to a roll up for the win. This was incredibly disappointing compared to their match from February, as the match was somewhat plodding and Styles’ comeback revenge victory seemed more like a fluke.
After the match Styles goes to give Nana the Styles Clash but Rave sneaks up from behind him and wraps his head in a plastic bag. I’ve actually been dying to see that attack used again since Terry Funk blew my mind with it back in ’99. I know it happened in ’89, but I didn’t see it until 10 years later.
JZ says: We’re told in a little video package before the match that due to the poor treatment of Jade Chung, The Outcast Killaz have left the Embassy. They offered Chung an opportunity to come with them, but she opted to stay with Nana. Women like it when men treat them like crap, proven right here in ROH. This is AJ’s third match since his 2005 return. I really liked their match back in February, and I really like this one as well. This is a very intense feud, and Rave is such a good heel with Nana and the whole entourage. AJ hits a nasty brainbuster, though this time not on the ring apron. They fight for a while and AJ rolls Rave up for the pin at 16:40. The commentators say this evens the series, but if you count the two AJ versus Rave match from 2002 and 2004, AJ is up 3-1. Nana goes to attack AJ, who sets up for the Styles Clash, but Rave comes back and puts a plastic bag over AJ’s head, thus recreating one of my favorite heel attacks of all-time. God bless Jimmy Rave, and add another ј* onto that match.
MATCH #5: Nigel McGuinness vs. Vordell Walker
BG says: Now there are no backstage segments on this DVD, so I’m guessing based on the commentary that this is where we skip over intermission. Jimmy Bower leaves the booth here and we get FIP’s own Lenny Leonard, making his big debut. And he couldn’t start at a better time, as someone he is very familiar with from FIP kicks off the second half.
I like to think that I’m pretty knowledgeable when it comes to ROH history, but between July when this show happened and now watching this DVD I had completely forgotten that this match happened. They lock up and Walker takes Nigel to the mat. The feed cuts out again as Matt Hardy commandeers the DVD. He hypes his upcoming “dream match” with Christopher Daniels. I have a hard time with them calling it a dream match, as that dream came true years ago when it happened during an ECWA Super 8 tournament. They cut back to the match as Walker hits Nigel with a forearm, but Nigel comes back with his rebound clothesline. Nigel ducks a clothesline and hits a superkick for 2. Walker blocks a blind charge and hits a German suplex for 2. Nigel fights Walker into the corner but gets hit with an Ace Crusher. It gets 2 for Walker. He goes to the top rope but Nigel crotches him and hits the hanging Ace Crusher for the win. I’ve found Walker’s FIP work to be a lot of fun, but his ROH matches haven’t come close to measuring up.
JZ says: Bower goes back to the locker room to find out who Punk is facing tonight. Lenny Leonard joins Prazak on commentary. The picture goes out again and cuts to a goofy Matt Hardy promo. They do some stuff and Nigel gets the win with an elevated Ace Crusher at 3:33. Wow, they kinda jobbed Vordell out right there. Not that I mind that much.
MATCH #6: Four Corner Survival Match – Samoa Joe vs. Homicide vs. James Gibson vs. Austin Aries
BG says: Another four way with big names and nothing on the line here. But at least in this one we have people who are actually feuding with one another. Each of these guys has wrestled in a singles match against the other three, and all for either the World or Pure title. Aries and Gibson start. Gibson gets an overhead suplex into a wristlock. Aries comes back with a shoulder block. He goes for the rebound elbow but Gibson blocks. He escapes the waist lock and hits the rebound elbow from the middle of the ropes. Gibson quickly nails him with a back elbow and goes for the Original Trailer Hitch but Aries makes the ropes. Aries tags to Homicide. Homicide begs off so Gibson tags to Joe. Homicide gets an armdrag and Joe comes back with a monkey flip. He armdrags Homicide out of the ring and follows him to the floor. Homicide sneaks into the ring and goes for his tope but Joe catches him with a slap. Homicide tags out to Aries. Joe hits a series of headbutts and a knee lift. He hits a bodyslam and an elbow drop. He tags to Gibson who hits a back bodydrop on Aries for 2. He hits a pair of leg drops for 2. Aries fires away with chops but Gibson gets a roll up for 2. Aries comes back with a clothesline and tags to Homicide. Homicide hits a vertical suplex for 2. He hits a butterfly suplex and puts on a chinlock. He dumps Gibson to the floor where J-Train takes a shot and rolls him back into the ring. Homicide hangs Gibson up on the apron and hits a legdrop. Joe gets in J-Train’s face as Gibson suplexes Homicide through a table. Back in the ring Homicide tags to Aries. Aries hits a side slam for 2. He cranks the neck and hits a back suplex for 2. He tags to Joe after ramming Gibson’s head into the turnbuckle. Joe hits the Big Joe Combo on Gibson for 2. He puts on a seated abdominal stretch but Gibson powers out. Joe sweeps the legs and tags to Homicide. He gets 2 when Aries breaks the pin. He puts on a butterfly hold but Gibson reverses it to a northern lights suplex for 2. Gibson gets a sunset flip for 2. Joe tags Gibson out and hits the thousand hand slap on Homicide. He hits a powerslam for 2. He hits a high knee in the corner and washes Homicide’s face, hitting Aries on the way over. He tags to Gibson who hits a clothesline and a bodyslam for 2. Homicide blocks a suplex and hits the Ace Crusher. He tags to Aries who gets 2. Aries puts on an abdominal stretch but Gibson reverses to a hip toss. He hits a neckbreaker and tags to Joe. Homicide tags in and Joe beats on everyone. He hits a clothesline on Homicide for 2. Gibson tosses Joe and goes for a dive but Homicide cuts him off and hits the dive himself. Aries hits a suicide dive onto Homicide. Gibson climbs to the top and somersaults onto Homicide and Aries. Joe gets in the ring and then hits the fat man outta’ control dive onto everyone. He hits Aries with the ole kick. He goes to kick Gibson but Homicide cuts him off. Joe gets revenge by back dropping him on the floor. Back in the ring Joe hits Gibson with a powerbomb for 2 into the STF. Aries breaks it up with a legdrop. Joe slaps him down. Gibson dropkicks his knee and hits a huge German suplex for 2. He puts on the Trailer Hitch but Joe rams him into an Aries tag. Gibson and Aries hit a double suplex on Joe for 2. Aries goes for the 450 splash but Homicide knocks him off the ropes. He hits Joe with a lariat to the back and one to the front. Gibson takes him out of the ring as Aries comes out of nowhere with the 450 splash for the win. Alex Shelley attacks Aries from behind after the match and nails him with a superkick.
The crowd chanted that the match was awesome, but I wouldn’t go that far. Gibson took a good beating, but didn’t end up taking any believable near-falls. The finish was annoying as Aries no-sold falling from the top rope to the floor to get the pin. On a positive note, the last few minutes were exciting and I can get behind Joe getting pinned after taking 3 finishers.
JZ says: Here’s yet another Four Corner Survival Match with absolutely nothing on the line. At least it is four of ROH’s biggest names involved, so it should be good. Homicide and Gibson wrestled each other two shows ago, and Joe is defending his Pure Title against Aries tomorrow night, so this match has plenty of animosity in it. Gibson and Aries start out, and this is the third time these two have faced off this year (after Stalemate and The Final Showdown). Plus, Joe and Homicide have wrestled each other about a million times in ROH. Joe and Homicide eventually get in the ring with each other and Joe actually executes a monkey flip. That was sweet. Julius Smokes interferes on Gibson, and his presence is pretty obnoxious. I wish Homicide would ask him to be quiet during every match. J-Train challenges Joe, which is really stupid of him. It is interesting to note that Aries had successful title defenses against all three of these guys, and even won the World Title from Joe. And this is Aries’s first match since losing the title to CM Punk on the last show. The action in this one is pretty much non-stop. The crowd is really getting into it too. Aries takes a sick bump to the outside, and Homicide hits the Lariat on Joe (adding one to the back of the neck is a great touch), but then Gibson takes Homicide out and Aries sneaks back in the ring with a 450 Splash and pins Joe for the third time at 25:46. Wow, that match was really fast and really got the crowd going. However, I must deduct some points for Aries taking a bump to the outside and being up within five or six seconds to deliver the finish. They pop for Alex Shelley, who comes out once again to attack Austin Aries this time. Homicide and Gibson are still fighting outside the ring.
MATCH #7: Christopher Daniels vs. Colt Cabana
BG says: This show is starting to frustrate me a bit, so I’m going to drop play-by-play for the rest of it to see if that ups my enjoyment. I guess this is Cabana’s way of thanking Punk for helping him deal with Nigel McGuinness back at New Frontiers. This is Daniels’ first match in ROH since January of 2004. Cabana makes a comedic apology to Daniels for putting him through a table at that show. He just wants to have fun but Daniels isn’t interested. Cabana gets into his goofy British mode which frustrates Daniels into tossing him from the ring. Daniels starts to dominate so CM Punk interferes on Cabana’s behalf. Cabana wants to do it on his own, however. The finish comes when Punk sneaks in and hits a chinbreaker on Daniels. He then turns around to get a chain out of his trunks, but turns back and clocks Cabana by mistake. Daniels goes ahead and wins with the triple jump moonsault. This match reminded me of Low Ki versus Xavier from Unscripted, where it had potential to be really good but ended up focusing too much on a person not involved in the first place. Focusing on the Punk/Daniels feud isn’t a bad thing on its own, but it didn’t make the match any better. The match wasn’t as bad as the one at Unscripted, but it could have been a great deal better than it was.
JZ says: Daniels has a swank new ring robe (though I think he had worn it in TNA), and Allison Danger is back at his side. This is his first match since The Battle Lines Are Drawn on 1.10.04, which coincidentally was the first ROH show I ever saw live. That match coincidentally pitted Cabana and Daniels on opposite sides. Cabana has his Dusty Rhodes tights on. I don’t like that Bobby Cruise is doing ring introductions as if this is a World Title match. It’s not a World Title match, and it’s not even the main event. Daniels still won’t shake hands, even though he is a babyface now. The commentators are straddling a weird line by mentioning how Punk took Daniels out of ROH; this being just hours after Punk told the story about how TNA made them choose between them and ROH. They do a bunch of chain wrestling and Cabana does some goofy stuff to annoy Daniels. The crowd is in and out of this one. Punk is now out at ringside to distract Daniels. Cabana pushes Punk and tells him that he’s got it under control. Dissension in the ranks of the Saints! The action picks up quite a bit after that, with both men hitting a plethora of moves. They do some more stuff and Daniels gets the Koji Clutch. If he actually finished someone with that one time it would be an even better false finish spot. Punk gets in the ring and gives Daniels a jawbreaker and goes to hit him with a chain, but he hits Cabana instead and Daniels capitalizes with the BME for the victory at 23:02. It was a little long, but they picked it up pretty good in the second half. The Punk interference felt a little unnecessary, but this is a brand-new storyline, so it’s cool with me.
BG says: After the match Daniels says that if Punk wants to take shots at him then he should put the title on the line. He says he even has enough gas in the tank to have the match right now. Punk says that Daniels doesn’t deserve the title shot because he hasn’t beaten anyone worth a damn. I wonder how Cabana feels about that. Referees escort Daniels to the back. And with that Punk brings us into the main event. We’ve been waiting all night to find out who his opponent will be, and he brings out… LOW KI!
But Low Ki doesn’t show up. But that’s okay because Punk thought ahead. Bring out the American Dragon Bryan Danielson!!
Once again we have a no-show. Punk is disappointed, but really we all know that Danielson quit ROH back at Nowhere to Run. It’s okay though, because Punk has two Ring of Honor legends on tap, so bring out the Briscoe Brothers!!!
Yeah, that’ll be the day. And since nobody is man enough to wrestle Punk he’s just going to leave the company with the belt. So Mick Foley comes out to the ring and steps on Punk’s balls until he changes his mind; figuratively of course. He does so in the process of cutting a promo that pretty much puts all the other ones he’s cut in ROH to shame. Punk decides that Foley is right and gives the shot to the man who pinned him at Back to Basics, Jay Lethal.
JZ says: Daniels gets on the mic and says that he’s got a story to tell. Daniels challenges Punk to a World Title match, to which Punk says “he hasn’t beaten anybody,” even though Daniels did just pin Colt Cabana. Punk says that if Daniels wants a match, it’ll be non-title until Daniels earns a shot. Punk demands that Daniels be removed from the ring. Daniels leaves under some protest.
Punk’s opponent for the main event is yet unnamed. He makes fun of the fans and then challenges Low Ki, who not surprisingly doesn’t come out. I say not surprisingly but the fans in attendance sure bought it. Next he challenges Bryan Danielson, who is also not in the building. Punk says if one man won’t face him, maybe two will, and thus he challenges The Briscoe Brothers. You know what happens. He says that if no one is man enough to face him, he’ll just leave. This brings out Mick Foley, who builds up to the big curse word, and then delivers it. He tells Punk that earlier tonight with his new purple hair and three-piece suit that he “looked fuckin’ ridiculous.” He drops another F-bomb a few seconds later. Foley says that Punk didn’t make ROH, but ROH made Punk. He tells Punk that he has to do the right thing for business. Punk comes back by telling Foley that he’s not even in JBL’s league. Ouch. Punk challenges the man who pinned him in March at Back to Basics, Jay Lethal. I don’t know if Lethal can go, he wrestled that grueling opening match. By the way, Jimmy Jacobs also pinned Punk in a tag team match at The Final Showdown.
MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – CM Punk vs. Jay Lethal
BG says: So yeah, it’s not the most thrilling choice, but at least it makes sense that Punk would want to get that pin fall victory back. This is actually a rematch, as these two wrestled each other at Survival of the Fittest. The new graphic for the title match is pretty cool. Lethal hits the dragon suplex right at the opening bell but Punk rolls to the floor. Punk stalls long enough on the floor to gain his composure. The way the first portion of the match is structured definitely made it seem like Lethal could win. Punk starts working over Lethal’s and tosses him hard out of the ring. Here, with Punk in control, the crowd loses their faith in the possibility of a Lethal win and just dies. Punk stays on the neck and almost puts Lethal away with a back superplex but Lethal reverses to a cross body. Around then Samoa Joe comes to ringside to cheer Lethal on. Lethal starts kicking out of Punk’s offense at one and the crowd gets fired up. A great sequence leads to Lethal hitting a fisherman’s suplex and the diving headbutt for a close 2 count. Lethal tries to put Punk away with the dragon suplex but Punk blocks and hits the Shining Wizard. It gets 2 but he slips on the Anaconda Vice. It looks to finish but Lethal makes the ropes. Punk then insults Joe by using the muscle buster and a choke to finish off Lethal. It was pretty slow going for the first little while, but the psychology was really solid and the finish was strong. It also did a lot to cement Punk as a powerful heel.
JZ says: Lethal hits the Dragon Suplex instantly and Punk rolls to the floor. He keeps avoiding getting back in the ring and has trouble getting his ring jacket on. Lethal continues the assault all over the ringside area. Lethal will be facing Homicide in a “relaxed rules” match tomorrow night. We’re not even sure if Punk will be there. I like that intrigue. Jimmy Bower talks about Lethal’s breakout match against Punk about a year ago at the inaugural Survival of the Fittest. Punk takes over for a while and Samoa Joe comes out to motivate his protйgй. Lethal goes for the Dragon several times and gets some near falls, and the crowd is heavily into this match and REALLY wants to see Lethal win the title. Punk reverses a Dragon attempt into a shining wizard, which gets two, and then he locks on the Anaconda Vice and Lethal reaches the ropes. Punk stares down Samoa Joe and hits Lethal with a Muscle Buster. He picks Lethal up at two and puts on The Choke instead, and Lethal taps out at 20:57. Apparently Punk will now leave ROH with the title in tact. That was a good solid match but the crowd heat really put it over the top. Nice job Long Island!
BG says: After the match a miscommunication between Samoa Joe and Mick Foley leads to CM Punk being able to put the boots to him. James Gibson makes the save. Foley gets on the microphone and says that he talked with Vince McMahon during the main event, and Vince said that if Punk doesn’t do the right thing in ROH then he’ll spend the rest of his life working it off in OVW. Maybe Sunday Night Heat, if he’s lucky. That being said, we’ll see CM Punk one night later in Manhattan. Joe and Foley bury their long standing grudge as the DVD ends fifteen minutes earlier than usual.
JZ says: Joe is understandably angry and confronts Punk, as does Mick Foley. Punk takes the advantage on both of them, just as James Gibson comes out. Punk tries to leave through the crowd, but Foley stops him and tells him that Vince McMahon personally told Punk that he has to defend the title tomorrow. Joe, Foley, and Gibson all shake hands and we fade out.
BG says: It’s a tough call here, as there are four guys I’d like to give it to, but I think I’m going to go with Roderick Strong for his part in the match that I had the most fun watching on this DVD.
JZ says: CM Punk for the second show in a row. He was all over the place and just dominated with his awesome heel work. The E could really make some money with this guy.
You can pick up this show, as well as all other ROH shows at www.rohwrestling.com.
Coming soon will be our review of Escape From New York!
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The 411: BG says: Some of the matches on this show are pretty disappointing if you ask me. I expected a lot more out of the returns of AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels. However, Strong versus Azrieal was good stuff from both guys, the four way was solid and the main event is a pretty important chapter in the CM Punk title reign. Mick Foley also does his best ROH work here, so flip a coin if you're torn on getting this one.
JZ says: I really liked this show, as it flowed well and the only two bad matches were just over three minutes long. The Punk stuff, especially with Foley being Vince’s messenger, is great and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
|Final Score: 7.0 [ Good ] legend|