wrestling / Video Reviews

The Furious Flashbacks – ROH Death Before Dishonor III

February 15, 2008 | Posted by Arnold Furious

The Furious Flashbacks – ROH Death Before Dishonor III

Yes, I know I said I probably wouldn’t but I didn’t say I definitely wouldn’t

Hi there fellow smart-marks. I actually recapped this show months and months ago. I didn’t get around to posting it because I felt there were too many ROH recaps on 411 but people DO keep asking me for my opinion so here it is. The deal is I’ll be recapping any major ROH shows for the general amusement of my readership. For this I’ll be relying on 411’s ROH writing staff to provide recommendations. Also I miss getting plugged in Ari’s column. It almost never happens with the stuff I review now. So expect a few of these to be mixed in with my regular reviewing schedule whenever I feel the urge to watch something really good.

After doing Nowhere to Run I let everyone know what happened on my skipped show New Frontiers. What I missed was the show after that and before this one; The Future is Now. Here’s what happened on that show…

• The Carnage Crew return from their 90 day absence.
• Jay Lethal is also back complete with neck brace.
• Colt Cabana pins Jimmy Rave clean. He’s stuck without a feud after losing to Punker.
• Alex Shelley is out indefinitely after Gen Next gave him a pipe beating at the previous show.
• Carnage Crew beat Ring Crew Express
• Azriel wins a 6-way spotfest. During which CM Punk comes up with a new nickname for “Flippy McGillicutty” Jack Evans. This one being “Corkscrew Schultz”.
• Shane Douglas cuts a promo shitting on the WWE’s ECW show. Crowd calls him a liar and chants for Flair. Good.
• Homicide beat James Gibson with the lariat
• CM Punk beat Roderick Strong with the Anaconda Vice. Crowd knows he’s leaving and chants “please don’t go”. He cuts a promo post match acknowledging Strong as the future of ROH
• Samoa Joe beat Nigel McGuinness with a Muscle Buster to retain his Pure title. Although Nigel looked like taking the win after absorbing Joe’s rope breaks in quick time.
• Low Ki beat Austin Aries in a non title match. Now Ki, Joe and Punk have claims to shots at Aries.

We’re in Morristown, New Jersey. 18th June 2006. Hosts are Jimmy Bauer and Dave Prazak.

BACKSTAGE Colt Cabana has Good Times, Great Memories. He talks about it being CM Punk’s last match in ROH tonight and he talks about the memories he has of his long term friendship with Punk. He has to get him on as a guest on Good Times, Great Memories before he goes. He’s not here. But he’ll have him on later. After this match.

OUTSIDE Gen Next are hanging out. Aries talks about taking all the big moves in ROH and his neck is sore as a result. But wrestling means having a sore neck all the time. Aries talks about it being Punk’s last night but he’ll leave as a loser. Jack Evans is going all out tonight.

CLIPS Paul London’s farewell at Death Before Dishonor to demonstrate how emotional goodbyes are in ROH. Especially with his “whatever it says on my shirt, it says ROH on my heart” and him kissing the logo on the ring.

ROH tag titles – BJ Whitmer/Jimmy Jacobs (c) v The Embassy (Jimmy Rave/Fast Eddie w/Prince Nana/Jade Chung/Outkast Killaz)

Nice shot of Jade kneeling. Yowser. Nana rants at Jade for doing her job wrong again. She has to get on her knees again so Fast Eddie can use her as a stool too. “Can you see where you’re going Eddie?” – Some wiseass fan. Man, Jade is too hot. Nana rants about taking out AJ Styles before picking on Jade some more. DAYUM. Bauer talks about the emotion of Punk leaving tonight and puts over his achievements and his future. Jacobs does that damn armdrag where he’s already set for it way before the guy is anywhere near him. So stupid, so ugly. Jacobs takes a beating to virtually no reaction. Whitmer gets the tag and cleans house. Nana grabs his foot and we get heat on Whitmer too. Eddie breaks out the over the knee neckbreaker for 2. Mike Kruel is out here too and he gives Whitmer a shoeing on the floor. The commentators talk about who Nana’s mystery man might be for later tonight to face AJ. Eddie gets caught in a exploder and Jacobs gets a tag to no reaction. Springboard forearm from him gets 2. Whitmer is right back in and walks right into Ghanarea and a running knee gets 2. Jacobs saves with the senton bomb. Eddie avoids the Doomsday Rana and shoves Whitmer into Jacobs crotch. FLIPOVER TABLETOP SUPERPLEX from Eddie. Always an impressive spot. Rave-Whitmer and Rave runs right into a LARIATOOOOO! That kills him clean out of the ring and leaves Eddie prone for the DOOMSDAY RANA. That finishes off the Embassy at 10.02. **. Passable tag formula stuff. I still prefer Whitmer’s strongstyle antics to the spot based flippy style of his partner.

POST MATCH Nana somehow blames Jade for the loss.

CM PUNK MEMORIES – CM Punk recorded these earlier where he talks about his favourite moments. He starts off talking about Unscripted, his first show. He was booked on a show just down the road so he just walked out and cut a promo with Cabana. He says he was pleased they knew who he was. Man, Punk looks SO thin back then. He seems to think he’s gained 20lbs. Maybe even more. He talks a bit about the history of the Murphy Rec Centre where ROH originally ran. Punk thinks he looks like a 12 year old kid.

BACKSTAGE Cabana says it’s important for the fans that he has Punk on Good Times, Great Memories. Cabana talks about the Pure title shot he has tonight and talks about Nigel not winning when he had his shot because he’s a jerk who can only win by cheating.

ELSEWHERE AJ Styles talks about coming back and saying this time he’s back for good. And that’s bad news for Jimmy Rave.

CM PUNK MEMORIES – The Raven feud. He talks about how everyone hates Punk in Boston because he was such a jerk in the Raven feud. Like legdropping Trinity through a table. He thinks the feud brought out the best of both of them. He calls the feud old school and everyone wanted to see him get murdered. He says he learned a lot from Raven but they didn’t even like each other. There was respect though.

Carnage Crew v Ring Crew Express

Clip of Marcos bleeding badly at Future is Now. Looked like a gusher. RCE have switched to a different Poison track. This match is anything goes. CM Punk joins the commentary for his last commentating appearance. Marcos hits a slick swinging DDT on Loc. Trashcan shots all round and Loc looks like a pussy for having his arm up so early. Especially for a trashcan. DeVito gets whipped into the rail, hard. Loc knees Marcos in the head. DeVito is bleeding. Marcos gets suplexed on two trashcans for 2. Dunn is bleeding. Oh, that’s a gusher and DeVito pastes him in the wound with a trashcan. Dunn looks like he can’t see now. DeVito helpfully pours Jack Daniels on it. Loc has a bunch of crap from under the ring and chokes Marcos with a length of rope. Marcos is doing better against Loc than Dunn is with DeVito. Speaking of which, Dunn gets suplexed on the ramp. Now the Carnage Crew have a two on one advantage. Marcos rana’s DeVito into a chair for 2. He also gets Loc down and this is a battling display. Dunn is back in there. DeVito escapes the Sliced Bread #2. Dunn gets himself backdropped over the ropes and through a table. When did he become a bump machine? Table into the ring and Marcos is once again left two on one. Splash Mountain/neckbreaker through the table and Marcos is also dead at 8.35. **1/4. That was fun. Nice to have something different on the card. Unlike a lot of ROH fans I actually like the Carnage Crew and their motto of “Fat, drunk and pissed off”.

POST MATCH the Carnage Crew kill one of the other kids of the ring crew for shits and giggles.

CLIPS – Lacey beating Cindy Rogers. The match got cut off the tape for whatever reason.

BACKSTAGE Lacey cuts a promo calling herself the #1 businesswoman in wrestling. She rants at men who apparently all want to give her an Angry Dragon. Or a chili dog. Possibly a Pasadena Mudslide (which is a bit like a Cleveland Steamer only after eating Indian food). Another Lacey segment shows her training and bitchslapping some guy. I really don’t care much for Lacey’s character and her incessant whining. Great ass though. I’m sure she’s been the object of the occassional Stingy Nut.

CM PUNK MEMORIES – Homicide match at Round Robin 2. It’s considered his breakout match in ROH. He talks about showing off his wrestling skill in that match and how it changed perception of him from a loudmouth to an actual wrestler.

ROH Pure title – Samoa Joe (c) v Colt Cabana

THE CHAMP IS HERE~! Duelling chants for these two babyfaces before we’re even underway. Cabana wristlocks Joe into the ropes and Joe loses a rope break right off the handshake. Cabana runs around to celebrate but Joe is PISSED OFF. They go to the mat and Cabana looks superior down there thanks to his British style. He crawls out of a pin as well, which is frustrating the big Samoan. Punk talks about Cabana using the British style and how it makes him hard to wrestle. Joe goes for another roll up and Cabana crawls out of that too. Joe spends a while too long stalling. His initial anger seems to have subsided. Cabana breaks out the knucklelock escape into the wristlock but Joe gets out with a headscissors. Cabana does the headstand escape. Clearly Joe has had enough of this and punches Cabana in the face costing himself a rope break in the process. Cabana slaps away at him having no effect whatsoever and realises it during it. He manages to fake Joe into looking up though and rolls him up for 2. Joe is getting even MORE pissed off and hooks up a Fujiwara armbar. Cabana has no choice but to use a rope break and quickly. Joe with the kick, chop and kneedrop to the arm. Sweet. Joe gets right on that arm and he’s looking like a real badass here. Joe headbutts the arm. DIVORCE COURT! That gets 2. Joe’s offence has altered to suit his focus. Very impressive. Joe strikes at the arm with some serious aggression and all Cabana can do is chop to keep Joe away. Cabana gets up a head of speed but gets the big boot to the arm for 2. Joe slaps on an armbar near the ropes to try and get Cabana to use the rope breaks. He kicks his way out instead though. Cabana goes for a shoulderblock with his bad arm and Joe kicks him in it. Cabana with a sunset flip for 2 and he turns it into the STF stealing Joe’s material. Joe loses his last rope break. Joe looks for his powerbomb because he’s pissed off that he lost a break to his own STF move. But Cabana crawls out of the powerbomb so Joe can’t get the STF anyway. More frustration and Cabana adds in a moonsault press for 2. Cabana pulls out a big lariat for 2. He’s doing all this to keep Joe off his bad arm. He goes for a rana but Joe powerbombs him into the STF and he hauls the bad arm in the process. Cabana uses the ropes and there goes his second break. Joe busts out a running knee strike and Punk talks about new offence from Joe in this one. He goes for the Muscle Buster but Cabana keeps him away and hits a missile dropkick for 2. Cabana gets cute in the corner so Joe kicks him in the head. Heh. Now he’s set for the Muscle Buster but he can’t hold Cabana up. He also gets out of the resulting roll up by crawling away but he makes the mistake of running into a powerslam. While he’s still down Joe switches to the juji-gatame for the tap out win at 14.05. ***1/2. I liked the changes in offence from Joe and Cabana’s goofing around while still wrestling a smart match. In the end Joe’s focus paid off and he took the win. Good match.

POST MATCH Nigel McGuinness shows up to applaud Joe and stay out of his way. But he’s also amused that Colt tapped out. Cabana is all “get in here bitch”. When Nigel doesn’t move Cabana goes after him.

BACKSTAGE Gibson talks about Homicide and how he made a mistake by adding fuel to his fire by pushing him further down the list of title contenders. He thinks Homicide made it personal with a ball shot in their match and he’s going slightly mental with desire to take the title.

CM PUNK MEMORIES – The Corino match. The one that was a bit silly. He says people tell him that he reminds them of Corino. “Except I work out”. HAHAHA. He says they both take pride in being assholes and how this match was all about one upmanship. He says he first hurt his knee in that match.

BACKSTAGE Jay Lethal says he won’t quit until he beats Low Ki. He has one on one tonight.

PROMO TIME – The Embassy. Nana is out here to talk about his mystery opponent for AJ Styles and how much money he’s spent on him. The wrestling world will be shocked apparently. Before he’s able to tell us Chris Daniels music kicks in. Eh? People initially think Daniels is Nana’s man but it’s not him. It’s Alison Danger. She shakes hands with Nana so in comes the Scoopster GMC to ask her a few questions because he thought she gone from ROH. She’s here to hype Daniels return to ROH on July 8th in Long Island. The Prophecy is back, baby! She puts over the Embassy and asks Nana to destroy AJ. Nana is actually getting over as a babyface because he’s such a dick heel. Anyway, his mystery man is none other than…PETEY WILLIAMS.

Petey Williams v AJ Styles

The good thing with ROH now stealing from TNA is they’ll actually give the match enough time for it to be good. AJ is seriously over and gets treated like a returning hero. Punk suggests that Petey is here to stop AJ from getting at Rave. Petey doesn’t like being overlooked. They go to the mat and work some nice counters without getting complicated. AJ goes all armdrag-tastic throwing a few perfect ones. They run some nice near misses and Petey is hanging onto the arm to try and keep AJ from getting away from him. Timing seems a little off here. AJ hits a dropkick for 2. Backbreaker gets 2. Punk makes a few unsavoury remarks about Jade and Alison Danger for that matter. Hey, he’s leaving he can say what he likes! Like claiming he’s never heard of the NWA title. Heh. Another slightly awkward spot leads in to the nip up rana. AJ sloppily dumps Petey onto the ropes. They screw up the follow up to that and AJ tries for a sunset flip to the floor but Petey blocks and legdrops on the apron. Then it’s rana to the floor time. The spots seem to be connecting but their transitions have been horrible. Looks like they have no chemistry and yet I know they do. AJ gets dumped on a chair at ringside and that looked painful too. Petey distracts the ref to allow for Nana to almost reluctantly pop a cheap shot in. Not the company to do that Petey. The fans just generally think it’s bullshit. Nana opts to throw Jade around for cheap heat. Petey hauls out the rolling suplex into a back suplex for 2. Crowd has started mimicking Nana’s vocal ticks to my amusement. Petey runs into a roundhouse and a clothesline. Pumphandle gutbuster from AJ working the rib area to work towards the Styles Clash. He whiffs on the moonsault into inverted DDT for 2. I thought he’d got that down. Off day for these guys methinks. AJ goes for a neckbreaker but Petey counters into his own for 2. Petey goes for the Destroyer, which becomes a sunset flip instead and they counter back and forth until Petey hits a DDT for 2. Petey onto the apron and AJ wings him with the Pele Kick. Well, you can’t always hit that bang on I guess. That’s the problem with a lot of AJ’s stuff but I’ve not seen him miss this much in a match for like 4 years. Up to the ropes and Petey goes for the Destroyer off there but AJ holds the ropes. Spiral Tap misses. They fight over pinning combinations and Petey goes into the Sharpshooter. AJ powers out into a pin for 2. Petey has the Destroyer ready but AJ reverses out into a near fall then hits the STYLES CLASH for the win at 16.35. **1/2. Well that was underwhelming. Lots of mistakes for such big stars.

POST MATCH Nana gets on the mic, HUH, to complain about how much money he wasted on Petey, HUH! He has another surprise, HUH. He grabs Jade, HUH, and tells her to go in there and slap AJ, HUH. She doesn’t want to but Nana orders her to do it and threatens to send her back to Vietnam, HUH. AJ calls her a filthy ho and warns her not to slap him. Nana gets too close so AJ goes after him and Jade punches him in the balls. Then Jimmy Rave runs in here to hit the Rave Clash. Petey doesn’t look thrilled with their behaviour.

INTERMISSION – GMC has the tag champs. Jacobs tells BJ off for doing all the cool stuff like picking the guy up for the double team. He wants to do that next time. BJ says they’ll be champions for a long time.

CM PUNK MEMORIES – Getting shot of Christopher Daniels and the winning the feud against the Prophecy. He then moves on to winning the tag titles in Chicago. He has great memories of wrestling in Chicago. He says he misses the Briscoes because they were the best tag team in ROH. He talks about wrestling them and having Ricky Steamboat call a match between Punk/Cabana v Briscoes one of the best he’d seen. He talks about how proud Ace Steel was of them for winning the titles.

GOOD TIMES, GREAT MEMORIES in the Intermission. Cabana says Nigel isn’t funny and he goes looking for CM Punk. He still can’t find him. By the end of the night he’ll get an interview.

Laceys Angels v Generation Next

Izzy & Deranged are representing the Angels with Lacey, Cloudy and Cheech out here too. Gen Next are Roderick Strong and Jack Evans. Cheech & Cloudy are like two little kids being mothered by Lacey. Gen Next are playing babyfaces and Evans is even slapping hands. Even more shocking is the handshakes as both teams follow the Code of Honor. Deranged does some seriously lame breakdancing so Evans double stomps his nutsack. Deranged goes for the Code Red but Evans gets out and hits a headscissors takeover. Now Evans breakdances so Deranged kicks him in the nuts. RECEIPT! Evans and Deranged both go flippy until Evans just trips Deranged up. Punk takes to referring to Strong as “Short Bus” as he starts stretching the hapless Deranged. Izzy tags in and gets armdragged around but the Angels try and make it a numbers game so Strong suplexes Deranged onto Izzy. Everyone to the floor and Evans heads up for the 630 Splash onto the assorted crowds below. I’m starting to dislike that spot, not the 630 just the dive, because of how people stop fighting and stand there looking up for so long. Sure, the rest of the crowd are looking up too, which is the only way it works. Gen Next pull out the double teaming to take apart Izzy who can’t even cope with Evans hitting more highspots than him. He promptly comes back with a springboard swinging DDT to shut me up. Angels with a double team brainbuster but the cover is arrogant and Strong comes in to kick Deranged in the face. Deranged seems hurt and spits blood at Strong. DAYUM. Now they’re running heat on Evans. Doomsday Springboard Ace Crusher from the Angels. I wouldn’t be happy if I were Jacobs/Whitmer. They’re ripping off their high spots. But then when all you have is high spots I guess it’s hard to do anything that doesn’t rip off or undermine someone else. Strong gets a hot tag and cleans house. Half nelson backbreaker on Izzy is really fun. Evans nails Deranged with a reverse rana. Well, he’s dead. Izzy totally screws up Blue Thunder on Evans and lands him on the top of his head. Jesus Christ. Why in the hell do they keep bringing these kids back? Someone is going to die one of these days. The Angels both hit backflip dives and Izzy nearly kills himself that time. I’m begging for someone to sell something. Strong kills Deranged by throwing Evans’ corpse onto him for 2. Gen Next break out the double stomp fireman’s into the moonsault for 2 as Cheech pulls the ref out. Oh come on, that’s a blatant DQ. I almost hate these retards as much as I hated Special K. The Angels hit a double team off the top and dump Evans on his head again for the upset win at 12.31. *1/2. For what was essentially a bunch of spots that sure went on long. Can’t understand the logic of booking the Angels to go over anyone either.

CM Punk leaves the commentary position as he’s on his way to greatness.

CM PUNK MEMORIES – Ricky Steamboat and the face turn. Punk talks about Steamboat telling him what to do in order to go a long way in the business. He talks about it being great advice from a great man.

James Gibson v Nigel McGuinness v Homicide v Azrieal

No idea what Az is doing in there with all those heavy hitters. Although to be fair he actually looks like a wrestler now, which is one up on the fraggles in the last match. Julius Smokes is out here for Homicide and he’s shouting at Gibson before we’re underway. Gibson is just starting to look like a star. Looks like he headed back to the WWE at the wrong time. Smokes nearly takes a bat to a ringside fan. Bauer pimps Az as one of the breakout stars of the year. He certainly looks a reasonable match for Homicide in the early going on the mat. Gibson gets shoved by Homicide and it’s clear there’s tension there. Homicide goes into that corner to get out of a hammerlock and Gibson tags in. Homicide jumps off the apron not wanting any part of Gibson so Gibson tags in Nigel instead. Az tags himself back in to try and get headlocks on Homicide. They trade armdrags and Az doesn’t look out of his depth. Crowd dig that. Gibson tags in again and now we’re on for that big match up until Homicide wusses out and tags Nigel. He brings the British style and rolls out of most of Gibson’s attempts to take him down. Nigel goes to the neck, which is unusual as most of his finishes are on the arm bar the Tower of London. Gibson works Nigel’s arm though. But all his finishes are on the neck (Guillotine Choke/Dragon Sleeper) or the leg (Trailer Hitch). Homicide tags in blind on Nigel with Gibson down but he armdrags him and Homicide doesn’t seem happy. I guess the thinking with any arm work is a guy is easier to beat if he can’t use both his arms. But often does that work? How often do people sell the arm that much? Homicide has enough in quick order and tags Az in. He’s very fresh and takes it to Gibson. Back suplex into a grounded chinlock. Gibson uses a jawbreaker to get out and in comes Nigel to work over Az. He picks Az up into a hammerlock while pushing down on the neck. Az fights back so Nigel drops him for 2. Nigel drags him into a short arm LARIAT for 2. Damn, he hits that hard. Nigel stays on the arm but Az tries to triangle choke him out. He can’t keep it on though and Homicide tags in. Az sees him coming and takes him over in a chinlock. Homicide jawbreakers out of that just like Gibson did. Shows a little inexperience by Az to get caught the same way twice. Homicide with a whirl backbreaker for 2. Az rolls through a sunset flip and kicks Homicide in the chin for 2. Nigel blind tags in as Homicide monkey flips Az into Nigel’s big boot. Tags go out the window as the ref loses control, which leads to a tower spot in the corner and Nigel gets caught underneath it. Nice variation on the spot at the finish. Az tries to pin everyone but who in the hell is legal? Az kicks at everyone. Nigel gets up and headstands and Az is too inexperienced and runs into it. He goes for the Tower of London but Gibson breaks it up. Then hits a great German suplex on Az only for the pin to get broken by Homicide running up and kicking him SQUARE IN THE BALLS. The ref threatens a DQ but in a 4-way no one wins if there’s a DQ. Gibson stomps Homicide down in the corner but Nigel throws European uppercuts at him. Sort it out, ref. Who’s legal? Az dives in looking for a rana but Gibson catches him in the Tiger Driver and hits a neckbreaker on Homicide for good measure. Homicide goes for another low blow but Gibson side steps it. Nigel falls outside and Homicide murders him with the TOPE CON HILO. Gibson flattens him with a pescado though. Once again only Az is standing. Not for long as he hits a moonsault to the floor wiping out the other three. Smokes wakes Homicide up. He nut shots Nigel on the ring post while Az jumps off and double stomps the back of his head. He doesn’t have long to celebrate though as Homicide levels him with the LARIATOOOO. Gibson in and he looks for the Tiger Driver but Homicide counters into the Cop Killer BUT Nigel is in to break that up. He throws Homicide to the floor and just absolutely kills Gibson with the TOWER OF LONDON for the pin at 20.26. ***1/4. Lots of action and hard work. Nigel proved himself by pinning a main event guy like Gibson. And Azrieal got the chance to hang with the big guys and didn’t get beaten.

CM PUNK MEMORIES – Joe v Punk trilogy. He talks about comparisons with Flair-Steamboat but doesn’t agree with them. He says the 2nd match meant the most and went in hurt. Joe was also hurt. He says it has no business being as good as it was. He talks about them both being locker room leaders and how they wanted to prove they were the best. He talks about changing his offence to put Joe off his game and avoid any scouting that he’d done. He talks about Steamboat watching the 3rd match and how he wanted to use the Anaconda Vice so he worked the neck. But got busted open, which made it harder for him to keep going. He wrote the word “champ” on his wrist tape to motivate him. He says the trilogy is the highlight of his career so far.

Low Ki v Jay Lethal

Ki has Julius Smokes with him doing some really wacky dancing. We get a clip from Manhattan where Ki slapped Lethal down. He’s to blame for Lethal missing so much ring time in ROH. Now it’s Lethal’s chance for revenge. They don’t show the Cop Killer/Double Stomp ultimate death spot. We do see him showing up at the last show and hitting Ki with the Dragon Suplex though. Ki chases him around the ring like a psychopath, which leads to a brawl. Lethal is the first to step it up a bit as he hits a springboard missile dropkick. Ki bails and then sidesteps a tope attempt only for Lethal to change a run up and hit a tope himself. Back inside a snap suplex gets 2. Backbreaker gets 2. Another suplex gets 2. He’s holding his neck and Ki is selling his back. Smokes’ baseball bat is in the ring. The ref sees it and removes it. Ki dropkicks the distracted Lethal for 2 and he’s having trouble with that neck. Bauer talks about how hard Ki is to beat. The last loss he can remember is Unscripted when he lost the ROH title. Ki works the neck very deliberately as he’s had time off with that neck injury. Lethal goes after the Dragon Suplex to finish this as quickly as possible. Ki snap mares out though and hair yanks him into the air for a slam. That gets 2. Lethal dodges the double stomp by rolling over so Ki just stomps on his back instead for 2. Ki sets up for the corner double stomp to the face but spends too long showboating so Lethal drags him off. Lethal throws some chops and backs Ki into the corner. He kicks Lethal away though. Lethal breaks out a gutbuster right into a gutwrench suplex for 2. Neckbreaker scores but that hurts his own neck so he’s slow pinning. Lethal goes for a brainbuster but Ki knees him in the head and double stomps the charging Lethal for 2. That was cool. Ki needs to wrestle Rhino in TNA. Lethal can’t get the brainbuster again and Ki dropkicks him into the corner for 2. Ki takes Lethal onto the buckles looking for something evil. Lethal shoves him off and hits the Flying Wolverine. Obviously that injures himself so the pin is again slow for 2. Smokes is on the apron and he throws the bat in behind the refs back. Lethal ducks the shot though and hits the DRAGON SUPLEX. Smokes dives into the ring to break up the pin at 15.10. No contest? Are you on crack? That’s a blatant DQ. ***. BS finish aside that was decent with some good psychology.

POST MATCH Smokes goes for a piledriver but Lethal gets out and threatens the Dragon Suplex so out comes Homicide to save his manager. Homicide looks all kinds of pissed off.

ROH title – Austin Aries (c) v CM Punk

Here it is. Punk’s final ROH appearance. Crowd is expecting a love in like when Paul London left at the original Death Before Dishonor. Reaction for him walking out here is enormous. He looks like he’s welled up on the way out there. The emotion is there in his eyes. That’s one of the best things about Punk; his facial expressions. Tonne of streamers for Punk. Man, that looks awesome. “Please don’t go”. “Thank you, Punk”. Crowd seriously heels on Aries, er, because he’s not just signed for the WWE. Code of Honor is followed and Aries even gives Punk a clean break on the ropes, which the crowd boos. Jesus. He can’t do anything right can he? Waistlock switches to start and Punk clean breaks too, which gets polite applause. Aries refuses to break clean next and that gets booed too. Aries could donate his paycheque to charity tonight and he’d get booed. Aries does his forward rolls into the rope back elbow. He headlocks Punk over to dictate the pace. Aries pulls the hair to stop Punk getting out of the headlock and it’s weird because normally Punk uses the headlock to control the pace of matches. Aries gets caught in a headscissors and Punk keeps pushing his head back in there working at the champ’s bad neck. Aries headstands out but Punk moves out of the way and dropkicks him in the back. OW! The jarring on that neck. Damn. Punk now controls with the headlock almost as a retort to Aries use of it. Bauer talks about the title situation if Punk wins and how ROH have a tournament. Aries gets out of the ring but Punk headlocks him back in. Aries tries a back suplex but Punk holds on. Aries keeps trying to break free so Punk bulldogs him for 2. Cool stuff as Punk used the momentum of Aries trying to push him off to drive him down. Punk dropkicks him in the neck. Fisherman suplex gets 2. Backbreaker and Punk works at the neck again rather than rush into another pin attempt. Aries considers the brainbuster but Punk gets out and hits a neckbreaker. Tasty. Nice reversal. Punk springboard dropkicks Aries to the floor. He’s been at the Jericho tapes and as Aries gets up Punk levels him with a tope. They battle onto the apron where Aries hits a DVD. Dude, that was uncalled for. Punk looks completely screwed. Seems the aim was to even the playing field by injuring Punk’s neck. Punk gets whipped into a few rails. Until he reverses Aries into one and he hits upside down. Whoa. Punk sees blood on the floor and thinks it’s his. It’s actually from Dunn earlier. Aries mocks the streamers by chucking a few at Punk while he’s down. Back inside Aries hits the slingshot corkscrew splash and then a quebrada for 2. They get the “boo”, “yay” thing going way before it got used in Cena matches. Crowd just boos the hell out of Aries. They even get an FU Aries chant going. Aries with a back suplex for 2 and he’s screaming at the crowd. He’s really let the crowd get to him. Punk gets run into the corner a few times. “Boooo”. That gets 2. Aries doesn’t even have to do anything here. I bet he wishes he had heat that easy the rest of the time. Oh, CHINLOCK! BOOOOOOO! This is awesome. You never get heat like this. Punk tries to fire up but Aries side slams him for 2. The buckle is now exposed in the one corner and Punk gets whipped into it (boo), feet up (yay), Aries into the buckle (yaaaaay). Both men down. “CM Punk”. Aries is up first but Punk lays in strikes to more big reactions. Flying forearm scores (yaaaay). This is nuts. Aries into the buckle again and a backdrop leaves him selling his back. Punk even goes HOGAN on Aries by doing the “YOU”. WELCOME TO CHICAGO…gets 2. Punk goes up for the High Crossbody for 2. Mule Kick scores and the crowd are loving everything. Pepsi Twist is blocked though and Aries hits a lariat for 2. Cheer for the kickout. They fight over a brainbuster and Aries wins with a dropkick to his face. Discus lariat is ducked and Punk comes up into a backslide for 2. Aries hauls him up for the PILEDRIVER. That gets 2. Loving all this. Aries does his rolling splash and goes up for the 450 but Punk is up to throw him off. Big Farewell and the SHINING WIZARD…gets 2. Punk calls for the Plunge and gets the crowd chanting it. Aries punches him to stop it and goes up for the superplex but they continue to fight. SUPERBRAINBUSTER…DANGEROUS!!! PUNK KICKS OUT! Aries drags him into position and goes up for the finish. Punk is up! He slugs at Aries. I’d have had him roll out so he could sell the brainbuster for longer. Up Punk goes and he tries for the Pepsi Plunge. Aries punches him off again and steals the PEPSI PLUNGE! PEPSI PLUNGE ON PUNK! PUNK KICKS OUT AT ONE!!! HE’S HULKING UP! Aries rightfully elbows him in the face, kicks him in the head and hits the 450 SPLASH! But when he pins Punk straps him in the ANACONDA VICE!!! Aries gets his foot on the rope but Punk drags him back out so Aries rolls him up…for 2. Crucifix Bomb is blocked into the TKO. SHINING WIZARDOOOO! He throws Aries onto the top – PEPSI PLUNGE!!! PUNK WINS THE TITLE! PUNK WINS! Match time is 30.26 and the rating is ****1/4. It was four snowflakes based on the reaction from the crowd alone.

POST MATCH the crowd is going mental. Punk is choked up. “Thank you Punk”. “Please don’t go”. “We will miss you”. This is unreal. Aries looks upset that his 6 months title reign is over. He still shakes Punk’s hand and gives him the belt. “ROH”. Now Punk is really choked up. Nice chant for Aries as he leaves for a good title reign. Crowd wants a speech. Oh boy. He kneels amongst streamers to cut a promo. He calls the belt the prettiest thing he’s ever seen and the most important belt in North America. He says it’s now the most important belt in the world. He says it becomes power when he has it. Much like the mic. Much like words. He has a story to tell. It’s the frozen snake parable where the man heals a snake and then it bites and kills him. “You stupid old man. I’m a snake”. He calls himself the devil and tells the crowd they fell for all the make believe fairy tale superhero bullshit. He says he feels sorry for them all. Now he’s the champion and the greatest wrestler walking the planet today. He calls the crowd puppets and used their emotions and played with them. “I hate each and every single one of you”. HAHAHA. This is fantastic. He says he’s better than all of you, AJ, Joe, everyone. He says he’s taking the title with him to WWE and no one in the locker room can stop him. And then Chris Daniels hits the ring from the crowd and the crowd pops huge. Punk gets in his face and Daniels rants at him about how he lost 16 months. This crowd is insane hot and wants a match. RIGHT NOW. They brawl with Daniels generally being superior. He backdrops out of Welcome to Chicago and hits an STO. BEST. MOONSAULT. EVER but Punk bails out. Crowd still wants a match for the title but Punk grabs his belt and leaves. Daniels still wants a match. “Punk is a bitch”. Wow, fickle fans. I like Punk calling a fan at ringside a sucker for falling for all his babyface antics. “CM Pussy”. Punk calls the fans “ROHbots” and tells Daniels he’ll have to wait 16 more months to get him in the ring and he leaves through the crowd with the belt. Holy shit. And he is GONE. Daniels is left bemused in the ring. He calls Punk back into the ring but he’s GONE. Daniels takes advantage of this opportunity to cut a promo. He talks about biding his time to finish his war with CM Punk. He talks about TNA telling him to make a decision. “F*ck TNA”. He didn’t want to lose either gig because he cared about both. He talks about walking away from ROH. PWG are the only other company that ROH fans like it seems. Well, in America. They should capitalise on that and hire Super Dragon. He talks about the Ironman 4-way and the first ROH show and how he nearly beat Samoa Joe. He says he gets the DVD’s and he watched Austin Aries, Jay Lethal and Jimmy Rave improve. He talks about the young guys stepping up in ROH. But now they have to deal with Chris Daniels. He hasn’t forgotten his destiny, to win the ROH title. Serious difference between this comeback and the AJ Styles one. Daniels is right back into the main event. “Welcome back”.

BACKSTAGE Gen Next tell the camera guy that Aries won’t be cutting a promo. Jack says he has to disappear for a while because he keeps losing and he’s holding Gen Next down.

ELSEWHERE Ring Crew Express are waiting for the Carnage Crew. They say the Crew are running scared.

ELSEWHERE Colt Cabana is sat down but there’s no CM Punk because he left already.

LATER Aries talks about how he received a lot of emails and phone calls about losing the title. He doesn’t feel sorry for himself. People who win world titles lose world titles. He’s proud of what he accomplished. The only thing he’s not proud of was Punk walking out and he’ll have to face the locker room eventually. He’s not taking time off. He wants Generation Next to achieve all their goals. They’re going back to the top. The beginning of a legacy.

There’s a bonus match from FIP’s Florida Rumble with brawling between CM Punk & James Gibson followed by an actual bout. Nothing special. And after that main event nothing worth reviewing.

The 411: Decent undercard but the true gold is the main event. The crowd reactions are completely stellar and just made the match. Punk then went from one of the biggest babyfaces I’ve ever seen to the biggest douchebag in ROH history. In the space of 30 seconds. Total 360. I can’t believe they had the balls to do that. Punk was SO over as a face in that match. The streamers at the start to the “yay” for absolutely everything he did in a 30 minute match and turning Aries into a fully blown heel from his usual tweener routine. Anyone would have gotten hate wrestling Punk in that match. Just unbelieveable. Worth checking out if only for the main event.
 
Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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